Pre-season training heats up at Ballymore

The countdown continues to the beginning of the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season, with the season opener on October 7 just over three weeks away.

The Roar today played an internal match at training at Ballymore Stadium as pre-season training begins to heat up.

With a number of new faces in the squad, captain Matt McKay says the Roar culture still remains the same.

“We’re the same side with the same spirit, same culture. We’re going to be a great team to watch this year.”

“We’ll work hard on the field to get results because I know the Brisbane and Queensland public want to see us win games.

#17 Matt McKay

The skipper says the squad have adapted well to the new training setup at Ballymore and the first-class training conditions have benefited the squad during pre-season

“We have a good surface here and it feels like a home for us now,” he said.

“We’ve got three weeks to go and we’ll make sure we’re ready for the opening game."

The Roar senior squad will travel to Sydney next week to take on Perth Glory at Leichhardt Oval on Tuesday, September 20 in a pre-season hit-out behind closed doors.

The Hyundai A-League sides have locked horns already this pre-season in the Westfield FFA Cup.

The game will provide valuable match fitness after last weekend's game against Central Coast Mariners was called off due to bad weather.

Roar Ballymore 1

The Roar pre-season will conclude with an exhibition match against a PS4 NPL QLD Under 23 Select squad, to be played at Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre (QSAC) on Saturday, 24 September (3pm KO).

A similar encounter in last year’s pre-season harvested an opportunity for former Western Pride striker Harry Sawyer, who featured prominently in the Young Roar’s Foxtel NYL and PS4 NPL QLD 2016 campaigns.

Brisbane’s Jayden Prasad and Joseph Champness also both previously played for PS4 NPL QLD clubs before joining the Roar’s Youth ranks.

McKay says the encounter (match details below) will provide the match practice the Roar need during pre-season as well as offering an incredible opportunity to those Under 23 players selected.

“First and foremost it’s a great opportunity for them but for us it’s ideal because we need this match practice,” he said.

“For all these guys playing in the NPL Select side, it’s a great chance to show what they’re capable of.

NPL tile

“We have a lot of young players from the Young Roar who have been training with us this off-season and impressing.

“If they’re doing well, the Boss [Roar Head Coach John Aloisi] has said they’ll get opportunities in the A-League.”

Gold Coast City FC Coach Grae Piddick will lead the NPL U23 Select side and says it provides an incredible opportunity for Queensland’s best young talents to showcase their talent against professional players.

“These players on the big stage against the local [Hyundai] A-league team have got everything to prove and to show the strength of the [NPL QLD],” Piddick said.