Weekend wrap: Thijssen era begins with a point, wins for Youth and Women.


Brisbane Roar 1 (Henrique 86’)
Perth Glory 1 (Djulbic 20’)
13,043 at Lang Park, Brisbane

Brisbane: Young, Bowles, North, Smith, Brown, Petratos, Brattan, McKay, Henrique, Broich, Borrello.
Substitutions: Lustica for Petratos (59’), Kurtishi for Borrello (74’).
Unused Substitutes: Acton, Donachie, Danning.
Yellow Cards: North.
Red Cards: Nil.

Perth: Vukovic, Risdon, Djulbic, Thwaite, Jamieson, Griffiths, Marinkovic, De Silva, Garcia, Hersi, Keogh.
Substitutions: Nichols for Hersi (18’), Harold for Marinkovic (61’), Ferreira for Garcia (81’).
Unused Substitutes: Duncan, Maclaren.
Yellow Cards: Risdon, Griffiths.
Red Cards: Nil.

Brisbane have began the Frans Thijssen era with a 1-1 draw yesterday afternoon in Brisbane after a later Henrique goal cancelled out Dino Djulbic’s first half goal. Brisbane had a couple of chances in the first half, with Henrique having a couple of good chances. It was however the league leading Perth who took the lead after a fantastic volley from Dino Djulbic from right on the penalty spot gave Young no chance in goals.

Brisbane have began the Frans Thijssen era with a 1-1 draw yesterday afternoon in Brisbane after a later Henrique goal cancelled out Dino Djulbic’s first half goal. Brisbane had a couple of chances in the first half, with Henrique having a couple of good chances. It was however the league leading Perth who took the lead after a fantastic volley from Dino Djulbic from right on the penalty spot gave Young no chance in goals.

After the goal, Perth began to sit back and allow Brisbane to have the ball, with Perth happy to sit and hit on the counter attack, a move which gave Brisbane the chance to return to playing in a style fitting the club’s philosophy- something that has become a bit of a focal point after last weeks events. However, despite having plenty of possession and territory, things broke down when the team got towards the final third of the pitch. They would however get their reward late on when Henrique was played in for his fifth league goal of the season.

Next up Brisbane embarks on a road trip which could go some way to defining their season with four consecutive road games, starting on Wednesday against Western Sydney in a catch-up game from round four. Infact between now and February, there is just one home game –Sydney Dec 30- thanks to the Asian Cup and another postponed game with the Wanderers.

Match Stats:
bandicam 2014-11-30 20-03-34-389

Earlier in the afternoon the ladies team rounded out a tough home campaign with a home win against Canberra who are fighting for a finals place. Goals from Tameka Butt and Katrina Gorry cancelled out Ashleigh Sykes early opening goal. Brisbane’s W-League campaign concludes next weekend with a trip to Western Sydney Wanderers.

Brisbane Roar 2 (Butt 40’, Gorry 47’)
Canberra United 1 (Sykes 28’)

Finally this afternoon, the National Youth League side has beaten Sydney FC 3-2 at Dunmore Park in Toowong. An early goal from Devante Clut opened the scoring after just three minutes with a lob from 25 yards over the keeper. Sydney then equalised ten minutes later via Muata-Marlow who was able to head home from a corner.

After an even remainder to the first half, and start to the second Brisbane eventually went ahead with 20 minutes to go after a flowing move saw substitute Samuel Sibatuara find the back of the net. Brisbane then put the game away two minutes later when fellow substitute Abraham Yango made a run down the left before finishing into the bottom corner of the net. A late goal from Lokoli Ngoy gave the visitors hope, but they never really created a chance to win it. Next up for the Brisbane youth side is a trip to Canberra to take on the FFA Centre of Excellence –or AIS if you prefer- next Sunday.

Brisbane Roar 3 (Clut 3, Sibatuara 70’, Yango 72’)
Sydney FC 2 (Muata- Marlow 14’, Ngoy 86’)


Round 8 Match Preview: Brisbane Roar vs. Perth Glory

Perth (H)

Recent form:
Brisbane: LWLLL
Perth: WWWWL

Top Scorer: Brisbane: Henrique (4)
Perth: Andy Keogh (5)

*Little bit late and a bit shorter this week due to the storm, but nevertheless- here we go.

It’s been another massive week in the history of Brisbane Roar, with head coach Mike Mulvey sacked in the aftermath of last weekend loss down in Melbourne. We’ve covered that extensively earlier in the week, so now it’s time to look ahead to tomorrows game- the first in the Frans Thijssen era. Despite all of that off field drama, this looms as a must win game for Brisbane, otherwise they’re in real danger of becoming cut adrift of the top six.
Selection wise it seems to be a case of giving those who played last week down in Melbourne the first chance to impress the new boss, with Corey Brown coming in for Shane Stefanutto the only likely change in the starting side. Of course even if Thijssen wanted to change things up, he’s limited in what he can do with five first team players out injured.

Perth on the other hand are a settled side and it would seem likely that they would field the same XI that got the win against Wellington last Friday night. The only change that they have to make is on the bench where Ruben Zadkovich is suspended after being sent off last week, just 17 seconds after coming off the bench. Sidnei Sciola, who is returning from injury, looms as the most likely candidate to step onto the bench.

Expected Brisbane XI: Young, Bowles, North, Smith, Brown, Petratos, Brattan, McKay, Henrique, Broich, Borrello.
Substitutes: Acton, Donachie, Lustica, Brady, Kurtishi.
Omitted: Nil.

Expected Perth XI: Vukovic, Risdon, Djulbic, Thwaite, Jamieson, Griffiths, Marinkovic, De Silva, Garcia, Hersi, Keogh.
Substitutes: Duncan, Ferreira, Nichols Sciola, Harold.
Omitted: Maclaren, O’Neill.

All time record against Perth Glory:

– Tomorrows game will of course be the first game in charge for interim manager Frans Thijssen. He becomes the sixth person to coach a Brisbane side in a competitive game. Of the previous five, only Miron Bleiberg won his first game, the other four all lost.

This weekend is a triple header for Brisbane teams will all three playing at home. First up tomorrow the W-League side will play their final home game of the season against Canberra United. The match is unfortunately a dead rubber after the ladies were eliminated from the finals race after a loss in Melbourne two weeks ago. Kick-off at Lang Park is from 1.00pm.

Rounding out the weekend the National Youth League are set to take on Sydney FC on Sunday afternoon at the unfamiliar surrounds of Dumore Park- home of Toowong FC. There may or may not be a change in venue after the storm that hit yesterday, but if there is we’ll let you know. Kick-off is set down for 2.30pm.

Former Players Wrap: 26/11/2014

– Dario Vidosic scored his second goal of the new season against Zurich at the weekend in their 3-1 loss. Here’s the goal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVrSiEIeCRA


– The J-2 League concluded this weekend with Yuji Takahashi and Kyoto finishing the season with a 0-0 draw with FC Gifu. A 9th placed finish means that Kyoto will spend next season again in the J.2 League. Yuji made just the one appearance this season.

Full wrap of the weekend:


Frans Thijssen appointed interim manager


Less than 24 hours after announcing that they had sacked Mike Mulvey from the head coach role, today they confirmed that former Dutch International Frans Thijssen interim manager until the end of the season.

Thijssen, 62, had a stellar playing career including spells at Eredivise clubs NEC Nijmegen and FC Twente, in addition to being amongst the first foreign players to make their mark in the English game with Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forrest. Thijssen also made 14 appearances for his national team from 1975-1981, including the 1980 European Championships where the Netherlands failed to get out of the group phase.

While his playing pedigree is stellar, his coaching resume is less so, with only four brief spells as a senior head coach to his name- the last of which was back in 2001 with Fortuna Sitard. Since then Thijssen has been working in the Middle East as a youth coach, where he first met Brisbane Director of Football Ken Stead. His most recent coaching experience was back in 2009 with Al Jazira.

Here’s a breakdown of what Frans had to say at his unveiling today:

– When I was asked to come over to Australia, we spoke about working in the youth as a technical director, but things change in football.

– The training was sharp, lot of work to do getting to know the players.

– Lot of work to do, hopefully we can turn the season around.

– We have to get points. We can only catch them if we get points against, them. Not one or two results but we have to play better and get results. That’s my job.

– You don’t have to know players previously to make them better. If you work with players you can improve players in training. That’s what we will try to do. Im a trainer who works on player’s technique.

– I watched the last game (Melbourne) where we lost the ball so quick that we were always under pressure. There’s a lot of things we can improve. I have my ideas on things we can improve, players will hear about that in the dressing room. Im here to improve things.

It could be that he prefers working in youth development, but his coaching resume isn’t the best it’s fair to say. It was also confirmed today that Thijssen wouldn’t be considered for the role long term, with Dobson saying that he will take up the Technical Director role at the end of the season.

As a short term option, hopefully he can come in and stabilise things and get it all back on track, starting with Perth on Saturday. For now thou it’s a warm welcome to the sixth head coach in Brisbane history, and the first who hasn’t previously been working here in Australia.

Recap of todays press conference/ thoughts on Mulvey, philosophy

Marco/ News Ltd.

Marco/ News Ltd.

Brisbane Roar have today held a press conference to discuss everything from the decision making process that lead to the dismissal of Mike Mulvey as Head Coach,  the clubs philosophy, the appointment of Frans Thijssen and everything in-between. The purpose of this will be two fold- firstly to recap the key points for those who haven’t heard it, and at the end a few thoughts on what was said. I’ll cover the Thijssen part in a later post, for now this will be about what was said in relation to Mulvey, and club philosophy.

Apologies in advance if this is a long post.

Starting off with what was said in the Press conference:
Recap of General Manager Sean Dobson’s opening statement:

On the process of arriving at the decision and the leak to the press:
– Made on Sunday morning.
– Plan was to tell Mike first, Players second, Media/Members third
– Before plan could take place, decision was leaked to the media
– Investigation into who leaked the decision to the media is underway

On his meeting with Mike Mulvey:
– Talked through the decision and agreed to move forward
– Mike was strong, respectful, and understood the decision.

On how it was handled within the club:
– Playing group was made aware of decision yesterday afternoon.
– Thijssen introduced to the players this morning
– Frans took training this morning, assisted by Ken Stead and Jeff Hopkins
– “Group is focused, focused on getting a result Saturday, focused on continuing work and committed to  Brisbane’s renowned style of play”.

On the club’s Philosophy:
– Number 1 factor is as a club we believe in the way we play football, the way we train, the way we approach the game, the way we educate, the conduct, ect.
– Changing the way we train, the way we play, the education of players and the progression of young players aren’t acceptable.
– Meetings have been held to find a solution to these problems.
– End result was a deviation from club philosophy, changes to the way the team trained, analysed, communicated.
– Club strongly believe in the way they do things.
– Thijssen is here work with Ken Stead to bring back the clubs philosophy
– We are entrusting the senior group to Frans, with support of Stead. We believe they have the capacity to deliver our philosophy, in and out of games.

“ Ken has been an integral part of developing the football philosophy, worked with Ange/ Rado, understands the detail, the balance, capacity required on coaching staff to deliver philosophy”.

“We have great faith in Frans and Ken to deliver what were looking for- the Brisbane Roar philosophy. Here to get team back on track, style back on the park. Were not giving up on the season, especially the Asian Champions League, and a key reason to change now was an emphasis on Asia. Want to test Brisbane style/ philosophy against Asia’s best.”

– Mulvey didn’t refute that he was going against/ trying to change the clubs philosophy. Board had to make a decision on that.

– Initially talking to Frans as a Technical Director, working under Ken Stead. Role is required due to continued integration of local NTC program and Brisbane Roar. Frans is being brought in to support and help the clubs youth development. He will coach the team for the remainder of the season, then take up the Technical Director role.

“He is a solution for the current season”

How did Mulvey deviate from philosophy?

It’s about being diligent in the detail (analysis, training, planning, ect). “We create a fabric that runs through everything we do, that was not happening”. Key reason for the change.

Dates back to the end of last season when discussions first took place. “Editing or changing our identity or philosophy is not acceptable. We know what we stand for as a football team and a football club. Results were excellent, but that doesn’t mean we accept a change in what we represent”

Who decided he deviated from philosophy? 
– One dominant voice we listen to- Ken Stead
– When we do a review- it’s about the planning process. Planning phase, execution phase, delivery phase, execution phase.
– Proud of recent achievements under Ange and Mike, but wont accept a change in delivery.
– Player group didn’t lead to the decision, didn’t express desire for a change to the board.
– Chairman (Chris Fong) has only an informal relationship with players. Keeps his distance. Football, performance, structure or training isn’t a topic of discussion between Chairman and the players.

Example of the breakdown?
Example: Training.
– Works in 5-6 week increments, each block of 5-6 weeks builds on the previous. – Breakdown in the pre-planning phase of the training process. How the team trains, conditions itself, what is happening technically and tactically with the players to prepare for games. Training sessions morphed from emphasis on player development to 9v9 and 11v11 games. Was Mikes decision – and his right- to change the sessions, but feedback was that players liked how they prepared previously.

“This is part of our philosophy, how you complete the recovering sessions, training sessions, game day analysis and team talks is linked to the success of the club. Cannot have a philosophy on game day without a philosophy in training, and there was a deviation in that”.

– Influence of Ken Stead:
– Ken’s knowledge and experience in football got intrinsically linked to Brisbane’s philosophy. He was instrumental in establishing that philosophy. – Head coach always has the freedom to change things, but if club moves too far away from the clubs philosophy, discussion becomes how to fix that. With Mike decision was made that it couldn’t be fixed.

– Focus is on Asia and making sure that the playing style and philosophy is corrected in time for the Champions League. Best way to do that was to Bring Ken stead in as assistant, with Frans as coach.

Did recruitment play a part?
– Unfair to judge given we aren’t happy with the way training was occurring.

Few quotes from Matt Smith:

Smith on how it was handled: Happy?
Absolutely not- Sean’s already said it wasn’t professional, simple as that. Processes were in order, but they were breached. Im not sitting here liking what happened yesterday.”

“From when Mike first took over, there was an open channel of communication –between leadership group and other players. He’s the head coach, im not going to question how satisfied I am”. “Over the last 5 years, there has been deviation, which comes from different coaches. It’s upset the playing group that it’s come to this.” “We play for ourselves, the club, the coach and the fans. That hasn’t changed” Do I take responsibility- of course im captain of the club”

Just to round this out, a few thoughts, or things I took out of todays presser:

1) It’s clear that this isn’t a decision that was made after the loss on Friday night. There was no mention of poor results, position on the table ect. Almost 20 minutes was dedicated to talking about club philosophy, particularly around training methods. That’s not something you decide on after a handful of games.

2) One of the main criticisms last night is that there wasn’t any reason or rationale given for this decision. I think that the statement delivered today outlines pretty clearly the reasons why the change was made, and ultimately why it was necessary, whether you agree with them or not.

3) As for how it was handled, I don’t think there’s any debate around that. It was awful. None of us know the logistics of this, but for the media to get hold of this information over six hours before Mike was made aware isn’t fantastic.
4) On the training issue specifically, while it is the coaches right to run training how he likes, there are parameters within that however and if the standards were dropping then he is ultimately responsible for that. The way that you train has a direct influence on the way you play, and if that wasn’t working then a change is needed.

5) I think it’s safe to say that Ken Stead has a lot of influence in the football department currently, and that he and Mulvey disagreed on the way forward. The methods that he, along with Ange Postecoglou brought to the club back in 2011 in bringing Brisbane’s philosophy to live clearly hold a lot of sway.

6) It was reiterated a few times that Asia is the focus, and at this point it should be. Nobody likes to concede a season, and they’ve admitted that they’re not going to do that, but to currently sit 15 points off the pace after ¼ the season –with a game in hand- makes it extremely difficult. Historically everyone knows how important it is to finish in the top two if you want to achieve the ultimate success, with only two sides in 9 years – Central Coast season 1 and Perth season 7- making the Grand Final from outside the top two. A classic example was two years ago with Brisbane itself, when they had tremendous momentum going into the finals, but the home ground factor the Wanderers had helped them get over the line. With that in mind, Asia should absolutely be the primary focus for the remainder of the season, while also simultaneously trying to achieve something in the League.

7) Without saying as much publically, when Dobson said ‘Frans run the session, assisted by Ken Stead and Jeff Hopkins’, it’s safe to say that Mulvey’s assistant Ron Smith has also been removed. There’s no real surprise in that though, when the head coach goes, so does his support staff.

8) Ultimately, it sounds like the relationship between Mulvey and Stead, and amongst the rest of the board soured pretty quickly from the end of last season due to a host of reasons. Some of those were mentioned today –philosophy, training methods-, others weren’t –recruitment, performances-. In the end however, if the relationship between the coach and those in the football department got to this point, it was probably the only outcome.

9) I would still like to hear Mike’s view on all of this. Perhaps some day he’ll be willing and able to give his side of the story on what happened, particularly in relation to the stuff about training methods and attempting to break away from the clubs philosophy.

Confirmed: Brisbane sack head coach Mike Mulvey


After a long day full of speculation, Brisbane have finally confirmed that head coach Mike Mulvey has been removed from the role with immediate effect. The conformation of his departure comes on the back of reports in the paper yesterday and this morning claiming that he had been sacked and replaced by Dutchman Frans Thijssen. The second part of that is yet to be confirmed however.

In their statement, General Manager Sean Dobson has said the decision comes after a review of the club, which started following the conclusion of last season and included the pre-season and the games played so far. The board review of all Brisbane Roar FC football operations was conducted in line with Brisbane Roar’s commitment to continual improvement,” Mr Dobson said.

Mulvey, who took over in December 2012 after the departure of Rado Vidosic, departs the club after 56 games in charge. Of those 56 games, Brisbane won 27, drew 8 and lost 21. Here’s a table of how he compares to his predecessors.


The early days of the Mulvey era were a struggle with a side trying to re-gain their form after back to back Championships, but he steadied the ship to make the top 6 before falling one game short of the Grand Final. Last year Brisbane, under Mulvey’s stewardship won the Premiership by 10 points before winning a third Grand Final against the Wanderers.

Things however haven’t gone according to plan this season with the recruitment failing to replace key players who have departed, and off field dramas in the locker room playing a big role in the decision to part ways. Losing five games out of six hasn’t helped his case however it should be said.

Brisbane now have to appoint a new manager, and whoever that is will have a massive challenge on their hands to regain the momentum which has lead the club to consistent success in recent seasons. Those challenges include regenerating a playing group which has been together for a long time, bringing harmony back to the playing group, turning results around this season and making an impact in the Champions League next season.

More on potential successors as news emerges.

Mulvey to be sacked: Report


After reports first emerged in the papers this morning that Mike Mulvey would struggle to see out the week after a poor start to the new season, now strong rumours are abound that Mulvey has been sacked this morning.

According to reports Mulvey will be replaced by Dutchman Frans Thijssen, who hasn’t coached since 2009 when he coached the Al-Jazira youth side. Infact the vast majority of Thijssen’s experience has been in youth development in the Middle East with spells as youth coach of Al Wahda, Qatar SC and Al Jazira.

If Mulvey has been relieved of his duties however, he’s yet to be made aware of the fact, saying that it’s all ‘news to him’. It was very noticeable that at this morning’s National Youth League game that Brisbane Managing Director Sean Dobson, nor Mulvey –both of whom are regulars in the crowd- weren’t in attendance at Goodwin park as the youth team lost 2-0 to Perth Glory.

If Mulvey has indeed been sacked, then it’s a massive call from the front office. Despite the poor start to the season he still lead the club to the double last season and if he does depart he does so with a record of 27 wins, 8 draws and 21 losses from 56 games in charge (all competitions) There have however been rumours since the season began that all is not right behind the scenes, with rumours of player unrest and offcourse the departure of Liam Miller. The off-season recruitment has from all reports been a part of a thorough review into things, and new recruits Mensur Kurtishi and Jamie Young haven’t set the world on fire to date despite getting plenty of first team opportunities.

Perhaps tellingly, Chairman Chris Fong revealed a couple of weeks ago that there is a review into the recruitment and early season form going on overseas, and he even went as far to say that the next coach would be from Europe. That was two weeks ago, and it seems now they’ve acted on it.

Just on the National Youth  League game played this morning, Perth Glory won 2-0 with first half goals from Chris Harold and an own goal proving the difference. It was a game that the visitors controlled for the most part, and they were worthy of their win. No Brisbane player really excelled on the day, with the only first team player in action being Devante Clut.  More on this story this afternoon as it develops, with Brisbane reportedly set to make a statement this afternoon.