Head Coach Warren Moon says Saturday’s clash against Eastern Suburbs will serve as a reward for a strong opening to pre-season preparations.
The Roar head to Heath Park on Saturday night for the first fixture of the 2020/21 pre-season against the local NPL Queensland outfit.
Moon’s men are three weeks into preparations for the A-League season, which is set to begin on December 27.
“The boys have put three hard weeks in and the reward now is a game to look forward to this weekend,” Moon said.
“It’s a good test for us against local opposition, against a number of former champions of the Club.”
Those familiar faces who are set to line up for Eastern Suburbs include Championship-winners Jade North and James Meyer as well as former Roar attacker Abraham Yango.
North, who forged an esteemed career both overseas and in Australia, including the honour of being Australia's first indigenous Socceroo captain, made 115 appearances and won a Championship in Brisbane orange.
“Jade is a legend of the club and it’ll be great to see him playing again, this time against us,” Moon added.
“What he’s doing is great – giving back to local football and continuing to play and pass on his experience to younger, local players.”
Former teammate Jamie Young mirrored his Head Coach’s sentiments.
“Jade’s not only a club legend but a Socceroos legend and someone I looked up growing up,” he said.
“I still do in that sense because he had such a great playing career, but he’s also an incredible human being.”
Young, a former Eastern Suburbs junior who began playing men’s football for the club at just 14 years of age, says Saturday’s clash will be a special return to Heath Park but will also provide a strong challenge for the Roar.
“For me to actually play a game here is really special for me – a bit nostalgic,” he added.
“They’re obviously fit and athletic so we’ll have to be prepared for that. They’ll be all guns raring because they’re mid-season.”
“We’re looking for fitness and playing cohesively together, so those are the main things we’ll take away from the game.
Fans can get up close and personal with their A-League idols with a pre-game signing session from 3:45pm. Entry to Heath Park is free with kick-off at 5:30pm.