Paartalu pushes on

A collective desire to take their game to the next level is helping Brisbane Roar’s players and coaches maintain focus as they embark on a marathon pre-season, according to midfielder Erik Paartalu.

A collective desire to take their game to the next level is helping Brisbane Roar-s players and coaches maintain focus as they embark on a marathon pre-season, according to midfielder Erik Paartalu.

Last season-s busy pre-season regime proved pivotal to the success of the Hyundai A-League Premiers and Champions, with their fitness and sharpness difficult for rival clubs to match.

With that in mind, Paartalu praised the Brisbane Roar coaching staff, claiming their round-the-clock hard work and infectious enthusiasm on the training field was enough to encourage the players to push for even greater heights in the coming season.

“You can see that Ange and the rest of the coaching staff are trying to implement new things into our game,” he said.

“They-re trying to make us even quicker and a bit sharper in our shape so it-s been really encouraging.

“The staff, they-re obviously hungry as well, they want more and all the boys want more.

“We-re all so hungry, personally I-m so hungry to do more with Brisbane and really give it a good shake again next year.”

While the former Australia U-17 representative only put pen to paper on his Roar deal halfway through last season-s pre-season schedule, Paartalu said he could already feel a different vibe within this year-s set-up.

“Last year, we had a bit of work to do because we didn-t know how we were going to play formation-wise and there were lots of personnel changes,” he explained.

“This year, the beauty of it all is that everyone has been here for a full season and we all know what we are expected to do.

“We-ve pretty much started where we left off in terms of our shape and stuff, we all know our movements so there hasn-t been any step backwards which is a good thing.

“We-re just trying to tinker a few things to make us even better for next season.”

With four years of Scottish football under his belt, Paartalu says the professionalism of his current club Brisbane Roar is second to none in his experience.

After departing Australia as a 20-year-old, Paartalu-s football fortunes lead him to Scotland where he added two seasons at Gretna, a short stint at Stirling Albion and an additional two years at Greenock Morton to his football resume.

His time at Gretna was especially memorable as the Sydney-born midfielder was a key part of the Black and Whites side that dramatically clinched promotion to the Scottish Premier League on the final day of the 2006/07 season.

With Head Coach Ange Postecoglou calling his squad back into training action five months ahead of their Hyundai A-League season opener, the towering midfielder said his past experiences indicated an early start was a positive omen.

“In Europe, you only really get seven or eight weeks to prepare for a season so you-re not really given a lot of time to regain your fitness,” Paartalu said.

“The set up is so much more professional here.

“We-ve got proper training programs and although we-ve got five months until the start of the season, I already feel like I-m ready to play games again which is a good sign.”

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