Michael Theo is set to become the fourth player to play 150 Hyundai A-League games for Brisbane Roar in Saturday night’s blockbuster clash against Perth Glory.
Theo will be the first goalkeeper to reach the milestone which quietly crept up on the veteran shot stopper.
“I was only made aware of the achievement during the week and I’m really proud of it,” Theo said.
“I fancy myself as a Queenslander now, I’ve been up here for seven seasons now. I truly love playing for the club and reaching game 150 is something I’m really looking forward to.”
A five-time Championship winner with the Roar and Melbourne Victory, Theo was the man between the sticks for all three of Brisbane’s Championship winning Grand Finals and says those victories are the ones he cherishes.
“Grand Finals are the ones you remember and I’ve been lucky enough to have won three Championships with this great club, and that’s why we play the game,” he said.
“Hopefully there’s more silverware coming at the end of this season.”
The Roar’s number one will need to be on his toes on Saturday night as the Roar face a dangerous Glory attack coming off a 5-0 demolition of defending Champions Adelaide United.
Regular fullbacks Jack Hingert and Corey Brown are unavailable for the trip west due to injury, but Head Coach John Aloisi says his players are more than capable of filling the void.
“I have a few options and it’s an opportunity for whoever does play,” Aloisi said.
“This is what we worked for in pre-season so that players that do come in understand the role they will play and the structures.
“Every game is important, we take every game seriously. Whatever side I put out, it is always to try and win the game.”
The Glory’s notoriously physical defence was broken apart by the pace of Brandon Borrello and Jamie Maclaren in the side’s last meeting – a 2-1 Brisbane win in October.
Maclaren (below) has scored in his past three Hyundai A-League matches against his former side, a streak that Aloisi is backing the 23-year-old to continue on Saturday night.
“Last year we probably struggled physically against Perth. This year, we played them in pre-season and earlier this season and we beat them both times. We have a squad that can deal with the physicality.”
“Jamie Maclaren loves playing against Perth Glory and he has scored goals against them."
Aloisi also commended the loyalty of milestone-man Michael Theo.
“It’s always nice for a player to reach a milestone. Michael has shown that he’s very loyal, he enjoys playing in Brisbane and for Brisbane Roar, he’s won Championships and he’s been part of a successful club.”
Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar FC
Saturday, 18 February 2017, NIB Stadium, Perth
Kick-Off: 7:00PM (Local) (9:00PM QLD time)
Perth Glory squad: 3.Marc WARREN, 4.Shane LOWRY 5.Rhys WILLIAMS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 13.Nick FEELY (gk), 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Joe MILLS, 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Aryn WILLIAMS, 22.Adam TAGGART, 23.Kosta PETRATOS, 33.Liam REDDY (gk) **two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Marc WARREN (promoted), 4.Shane LOWRY (returns from injury), 23.Kosta PETRATOS (promoted)
Out: 24.Milan SMILJANIC (released)
Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (foot - 2 weeks), 18.Mitch OXBORROW (foot - 2 weeks)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 3.Luke DEVERE, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.Brett HOLMAN, 11.Tommy OAR, 13.Jade NORTH, 15.ARANA, 17.Matt MCKAY (c), 22.Thomas BROICH, 24.Connor O’TOOLE, 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 29.Joe CALETTI, 43.Tomislav BILIC (gk), 46.Cameron CRESTANI, 50.Dane INGHAM **two to be omitted**
Ins: 13.Jade NORTH (returns from suspension), 22.Thomas BROICH (promoted), 24.Connor O’TOOLE (promoted), 29.Joe CALETTI (promoted), 43.Tomislav BILIC (gk) (promoted)
Outs: 4.Daniel BOWLES (knee - season), 5.Corey BROWN (hamstring - 3 weeks), 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk) (not selected)
Unavailable: 19.Jack HINGERT (ankle - 1-2 weeks)
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Assistant Referee 1: Scott Edeling
Assistant Referee 2: Josh Mannella
Fourth Official: Adam Fielding
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 10.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)