So we’re all pumped for tonight right? We don’t need to tell you we’ll be taking on Brisbane Roar in the Westfield FFA Cup Round 32 at Pepper Stadium, Penrith, so instead here’s some other info you might find handy.Our [pre]season so far
This is our fourth week of pre-season and will be our third match following games against Mt Druitt Town Rangers and Central Coast Mariners.
Our first match against Mt Druitt in front of a capacity crowd at Popondetta Park saw positive signs with Mitch Nichols combining well with Mark Bridge and Romeo Castelen as well as some good signs from both keepers in keeping a clean sheet in the 3-0 win.
Goals came from from Bridge, Castelen and trialist Kevin Ly with Nichols claiming two assists.
We then traveled up to Coffs Harbour for a week-long training camp preparing for the season and finishing it up with a match against Mariners.
Fielding two completely different teams in each half, we performed strongly apart from a five minute period where a young backline saw three goals hit the back of our net. Our strikes in the 3-2 loss were scored by Castelen and NYL player Josh Macdonald who is available for selection tonight.
Sadly this season you won’t be able to shout “you’ve signed the wrong Aloisi” with both brothers taking up coaching positions at the Roar.
Ross was recently appointed as the Assistant Coach after coming off the back of another senior assistant position at the Westfield Matildas and campaign with Adelaide United.
The other Aloisi, known as John, previously played for clubs like Antwerp, Cremonese, Portsmouth, Coventry City, Osasuna, Alaves, Central Coast Mariners and Sydney FC before settling at Melbourne Heart.
John then moved into coaching the Heart NYL team followed by his infamous coaching stint of the first team. He then moved to the sworn enemy, Melbourne Victory, as youth development coach prior to joining the Roar as head coach.
New recruit Jamie Maclaren joined the Roar after spending two seasons at Perth Glory where he made 38 appearances and scored 11 goals. Not many new signings have been made since.
Why we will win
Having returned from a successful training camp in Coffs Harbour, the squad is fit, fresh and ready to fire.
Castelen is coming off the back of two goals in two games and with Nichols proving he can create scoring opportunities it will be difficult for Brisbane to keep our front four quiet this early in the season.
Why we will lose
Despite culling a large number of players, Brisbane have more or less kept their same starting XI meaning there will be familiarity around the team. If played, it will be crucial to keep Devante Clut under wraps as he has the ability to score goals out of no where which was seen best by his strike against Villarreal.
Tony Popovic’s thoughts
“The FFA Cup is obviously growing and everyone has embraced the competition.
“It is a fantastic initiative from the FFA and we’d love to be like Adelaide and get some more silverware.
“To do that, you have to get through a tough first round against Brisbane to get a chance and we’re looking forward to the game.”