Pre-season 2014 preview: Brisbane vs. Moreton Bay United.



The long wait is finally over with Brisbane Roar to commence their 2014 pre-season schedule tomorrow night at Ballymore against NPL Queensland side Moreton Bay United. The hit-out marks the first steps of the defence of the Premiership and Championship double won last term, while in addition being a warm-up for the upcoming FFA Cup tie against Stirling Lions in Perth next month. These early pre-season games for Brisbane in recent times have tended to see the first team contracted players play the first half, before a combination of youth team players and trialists take over in the second. This year- im not sure there will be too many trialists on show, given that the first team roster seems to be settled, and there aren’t as many pre-season games organised this year.

Brisbane’s first team squad have been back in training for a month now and the majority of the squad will likely see some game time tomorrow night. Ivan Franjic is still out with his hamstring injury sustained in Brazil, while Mensur Kurtisi has headed back to Europe to get married. Other than that, the only other first team player who may not feature is Matty McKay, who has had a longer break given his World Cup involvement. There’s a chance that we may see new signings Jamie Young and Daniel Bowles in action, while were also likely to see a few of the better NYL players who have been kept out of the NPL squad. Lachlan Jackson, Ben Litfin, Patrick Theodore, Fraser Chalmers, Brandon Borrello and Jai Ingham who are expected to be in and around the first team squad this season could all possibly be in action tomorrow night.

Moreton Bay currently sit in sixth place on the NPL Queensland table after a solid run of form earlier in the season saw the Albany Creek based club to catapult to the top of the table. Recently however they’ve won just two of their last five – home to Redlands and away to Brisbane Roar NYL-, and lost 5-1 on Friday night to Olympic FC. While Moreton Bay have played the Roar NYL twice in the NPL Queensland this season (1-1 draw in round 2, 5-1 win to Moreton Bay in the rematch), this is the first meeting between the two senior teams.

Player wise the strength of Moreton bay lies with their front men Charles Mendy and foundation Roar striker Royce Brownlie. Between them they’ve netted a very impressive 44 goals this season, with Brownlie topping the goal scoring charts with 25 goals. Other notable players for Moreton Bay include Mario Aparacio, a mid-season acquisition in goals, and former Roar youth player, -and son of ex Roar boss Frank Farina- Jordan Farina. Moreton Bay have been a solid side in the NPL this season and should provide a good first up test for Brisbane this pre-season.

Kick-off at Ballymore is set down for 7.30pm tomorrow night, and for those that cant make it we’ll have a full recap of the match Thursday morning.



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