Recap of last night’s Roar Supporters Federation Forum

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Last night the Roar Supporters Federation held a fans forum at the Newstead Brewery in Milton with about 50 supporters turning up to hear from Managing Director Mark Kingsman, A-League Assistant Manager Ross Aloisi and Chairman Rahim Soekasah. Amongst the many topics discussed were the recently started Academy, the ownership situation, the W-League side however the night began with a recap of the recent postgame situation down in Adelaide involving Ross Aloisi.

Adelaide postgame story
After being prompted by one of the Roar Supporter Federation hosts, Ross Aloisi began to outline the back-story to the incident, indicating that the Adelaide assistant was both swearing and abusing members of the Aloisi family in Spanish. While Aloisi hinted this dated back to the previous game this season, it was almost constant after Marcelo Carrusca got sent off.

To the incident itself, Ross outlined how John told him to go straight down the tunnel at full-time to avoid any confrontation, however the Adelaide assistant was waiting for him in the tunnel and in the words of Aloisi was moving towards him. Ross admitted to pushing the Adelaide assistant, with Aloisi then confronted by a security guard.

Contrary to reports at the time there was video of the incident in the tunnel in addition to four witnesses –two Adelaide officials, the match commissioner and the security guard- According to Ross the video showed that neither of the two Adelaide officials weren’t in the tunnel at the time, while the match commissioner didn’t offer a comment either way as to seeing the incident. In the end once they just accepted the ban after the initial allegation of a punch was disproven, with Ross humorously saying “Little did I realise you can’t push an official”

Mark Kingsman didn’t add a lot on the incident, only saying that this all stems back to the media reports last season that the Aloisi brothers would be returning to Adelaide, something he said was lazy journalism. Kingsman went on to say that terms were agreed back in September for the Aloisi brothers to re-sign, with the clubs view that stability would give Brisbane the best chance for success. From the sounds of things the contracts are with the lawyers and it should all be confirmed soon.

Ownership stuff
As you would expect the clubs ownership was an area of conversation on the night, with Chairman Rahim Soekasah outlining that he had been assured of financial stability from the clubs ownership group. Kingsman also indicated that the Bakrie Group have been both committed and supportive, with the Indonesian ownership group injecting 24 million over the past seven years.

Soekasah said that the ownership is happy with the current staff at the Roar, which prompted a question from the crowd surrounding why this time is different given we’ve heard similar in the past. The response from both Soekasah and Kingsman was that the lines of communication are far more open now, with Kingsman talking about having regular discussions with the clubs ownership.

While talking about more open communication currently, Soekasah talked about the clubs previous regime being let down by the clubs ownership and only hearing from them when more money was required.

Mark Kingsman told a story about the first comments from his conversation with Nirwan Bakrie where the head of the ownership group saying that there doesn’t seem to be as much hate from the fans directed towards them, with #Bakriesout used less recently.

Kingsman also talked about how Aga Bakrie was in attendance for the recent AFC Champions League game in Japan against Kashima Antlers, and while there was initially some resentment from the playing group Aga had a good chat with them. Kingsman also hinted that members of the Bakrie family were set to attend a game in Brisbane in future weeks, wit the implication being that they would be here for the finals series.

Soekasah was also asked why do the Bakrie Group retain control of the Roar despite the money they’ve invested in the club and the criticism they’ve received, with the Brisbane Chairman going on to describe the love of football the family has. Soekasah talked about how the group retains control of a club in Indonesia and one of their big goals is to create pathways for Indonesian players to play abroad and potentially one day for Brisbane Roar.
Youth stuff
The other big theme of the night was on youth development and the recently started academy, with Kingsman describing recently hired Academy Director Drew Sherman as an integral part of the recent links between Gold Coast City and Olympic FC. Sherman, who was part of the Southampton academy system turned down an opportunity back in England with Norwich City according to Kingman in order to start something new out here with Brisbane Roar.

There was a suggestion that Sherman may be in attendance at a future fans forum where the direction of the academy and youth development will be the focus. On the subject of links and relationships,

Kingsman was rather blunt on Brisbane’s failings in this area over the years. “For 12 years MV have built relationships, we break them. You name it, every type of relationship, clubs, players, staff, fans, grassroots, sponsors, we’ve done the lot”-

Ross Aloisi went on to give some specifics on players, beginning with Joe Caletti whom he described as an impressive player. According to Aloisi however Caletti was forced to play sooner than expected due to injuries, with the 18 year old midfielder debuting two months earlier than expected.

When it came to his contract situation however Kingsman was non comitial about the potential of re-signing Caletti (or any of the clubs out of contract players), only saying that a lot goes into those decisions including finding the best combinations, ect.

There was also a suggestion that the club wouldn’t be able to keep hold of all the young players who’ve emerged over the last few months, and that it isn’t a bad thing to be developing players for other clubs.

Ross Aloisi also talked about the need for game time for young striker Nicholas D’Agostino in order to continue his development, while now Newcastle Jets striker Harrison Sawyer was being groomed to be involved in the Roar’s ACL campaign before he opted to move to the Hunter.

Both Aloisi and Kingman went on to talk about the difficulties to find game time for the clubs younger players due to the relative lack of games each season, with Kingsman underlining the importance of being in the AFC Champions League as a way of underpinning success of the academy.

Rahim Soekasah repeated a story told at the ‘blood bath’ forum back in September 2015 of Nirwan Bakrie’s view on the importance of youth development and his desire to see a team predominantly made up of players from the Brisbane area.

Ross’ Role
Ross Aloisi was then asked about his role in the first team set-up, with the older Aloisi outlining that he oversees both the planning and implementation of the training drills, in addition to doing large parts of the video analysis and set piece work.

Ross also takes control over the defensive work, with John coaching the attackers, and while John seeks guidance from the rest of the staff on tactics the final decision on all tactical decisions always rests with him. Ross also spoke about how much time he –and the rest of the coaching staff- spend getting around watching both the Brisbane Roar youth teams and teams from other clubs to make sure that they’re not missing anyone.

Ross also provided some background on his own coaching history, talking about his work with West Adelaide where he went on a long unbeaten run over the course of three seasons, before transitioning into the women’s game firstly with Adelaide United and then as an assistant to Alen Stajcic at the last Women’s World Cup.

Upon completion of that tournament Ross outlined that he had the opportunity to remain in the National Team set-up as Australian u17 and u-20 coach and as an assistant in the Matildas set-up, in addition to an offer as an assistant from a rival A-League club before deciding to take the role as the Roar assistant coach.
Injuries
Ross was asked about what was behind the clubs unusually high injury toll this year and while he somewhat hinted at a couple of issues he simply said those are in house issues to address. Ross however was scathing of the FFA for not moving the Melbourne City away game which fell inside the mandatory 72 hour window between games, with Aloisi citing the season ending injury to Daniel Bowles as an example of the failings.

Aloisi also talked about the logistical dramas of getting to the ACL games with the team taking over 24 hours and two separate flights to get to South Korea for the Ulsan game.

Roar Supporters Federation
There was a question surrounding the Supporters Federation and where that process is at given the apparent lack of news since the initial announcement, with those involved outlining that the board is going through the process of formalising the structure of Federation. The other main point that was made is that the Federation will not fall in under the clubs umbrella and instead will be alongside it.

5 year plan
Towards the end of the form Kingsman was asked about Brisbane’s long term plan, to which the Managing Director outlined that while previous regimes had talked about such plans he was more interested in getting in and delivering on the clubs plan.

Kingsman citied endeavours such as the Logan training facility, the recently started academy program in addition to the Roar active program and the Brisbane Roar School of Football as examples of the clubs plan being rolled out.

W-League
The W-League side was brought up towards the end of the forum, with Kingsman announcing that he recently signed off on the biggest W-League budget the club has had.

Attention then turned to departed coach Belinda Wilson, who left the Roar ahead of the 2016-17 season despite a finals appearance in 2015-16, with Ross outlining that John is trying to implement a way of playing that is consistent across every team under the Brisbane Roar badge and without saying it in as many words Ross implied that both Wilson –and former youth coach Josh McCloughan- didn’t fit that.

Ross also explained that there’s integration to some degree between the A-League coaching staff, new youth coach James Robinson and W-League coach Mel Andreatta attending A-League training sessions with members of the A-League staff attending W-League sessions.

Badge
One of the more publicised facts to come out of the meeting last night was the new badge that was unveiled last night. Amongst the details tweaked include the legs, mane and the tail, while the FC was dropped from the badge because ‘people now know who we are’.

Here’s the before and after comparison of the badge.

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Miscellaneous
To wrap this up, here’s some dot points on some of the other stuff that came from the night.

– Kingsman talked about the current FFA congress situation, outlining that the A-League clubs are looking for both more representation and more clout at the table.

– Despite the TV deal being signed off clubs are still waiting to see what the annual distribution from the FFA to the clubs will be.

– As things stand if there’s no Free to Air TV deal signed by the end of May, the rights will go to Channel 10.

– Kingsman talked about Brisbane’s hopes for a loan system to be implemented in future seasons as another avenue to get young players more game time.

– Kingsman also confirmed something that Sydney CEO Tony Pignata suggested on social media on Tuesday night with the salary cap increasing by 300k to 2.95million.

– Kingsman also suggested that the minimum salary will increase from 55k to 70k.

– An update on the training facility in Logan was given, with the pitches set to be ready by the start of the pre-season, with the other facilities likely by the end of the year.

– Kingsman acknowledges the Suncorp Stadium playing surface is ‘shit’, although funding to fix the issue is unlikely due to the upcoming Commonwealth games next year.

While no timetable was given, there was a sense that there would be another of these forums around the end of the season.

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2 Comments on “Recap of last night’s Roar Supporters Federation Forum”

  1. Maj says:

    Thanks for the great wrap up. Also to add to the W-League section, Mark talked about signing players to 12 month contracts to assist in player retention.

  2. Scott says:

    Apologies for the late reply Maj, I completely missed this until now. I completely forgot about the W-League player contract story, it will be very interesting to see how that plays out.


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