Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Roar Fan Forum

By Paul Frederickon

Over 40 supporters were in attendance for the Brisbane Roar's 2011 Fan Forum held at Griffith University's South Bank Campus on Tuesday night.

In attendance were the inner sanctum of the A-League Premiership/Championship winning team. The panel consisted of coach Ange Postecoglou, new CEO Eugenie Buckley and Captain, Matthew McKay. Besides the panel, Shane Stefanutto and Matthew Smith were also in attendance. Hosted by Channel 10 Brisbane's Rob Hazel, the forum was held in two parts, the first being questions to the panel from multimedia sources such as Twitter, Facebook and Email. The second half of the forum allowed open questions to the panel.

The panel focused largely on building the stability of the club on and off the field. The new CEO, Eugenie Buckley, whilst coming from a non-football background, was assured and confident in her vision for the club.

"The long term financial and team stability is the main focus of the club," she said.

Treading a well-worn line Eugenie talked about the numbers that can still be accessed by the club.

"We are aware that football has 400,000 more participants playing than any other football code," she said. In addition Buckley suggested that our place in the football world must focus on our region rather than bringing European clubs to Brisbane in the pre-season.

"We are an Asian team. Our club must focus on building relationships within Asia. This is where we play," she said.

To complete the transition from a struggling off-field unit to a successful organisation is a challenge that still confronts the Brisbane Roar. Eugenie Buckley focused on one way that the club envisages these challenges.

"We are looking from our differences to other codes as opposed to copying them," she said.

She also advised that the club in conjunction to the FFA had worked hard at attracting a consortium of owners to the club as opposed to 'one-owner' structure that she considered risky in a barely veiled criticism of the south-Eastern Queensland who may or not play down the M1.

The majority of the questions were directed to the Roar's coach, Ange Postecoglou. Questions about the squad and style of play dominated the proceedings.

"My vision is that the club will play in a definable style. Last season we were not outplayed in any game. Teams started talking about playing the 'Brisbane way'!" he said.

When asked about signing Harry Kewell, Postecoglou laughed off the Roar's chances but said he would be great for the league.

"I want us to be a marquee team as opposed to having marquee players," he said.

When asked about where he saw the club in the future, Postecoglou was adamant on where he wants the club to be.

"I want us to be the biggest club in Asia," he said.

"Eventually, in fifteen years time, I want the club to have an Academy," he said.

When he was asked about signing a different squad for the club's inaugural ACL season Postecoglou suggested that this would not be the case.

"We want a squad, including up to four kids, who can step up all season," he said.

"We see the Champions League as an extension to the A-League season," he said.

To further add to the sentiment of club stability Matthew McKay answered questions about his long-term future of the club.

"I've signed for three years," he said twice when asked the question again.

"I have learnt what I have here, not from my time in Europe or Asia," he said.

That could not state a more positive position for the current football culture of the club.

A full transcript of the questions and answers will be supplied by the club on their Facebook and Internet site in the coming days.

Oh, and Ange did give away who the new sponsor of the Roar strip will be..(Eugenie looked wrapped!) ..and it won't be Reebok! Maybe it will be something to do with the cat family?

But his final words, whilst borrowed, were the most inspirational.

"To take from JFK, ask not what the club can do for you,but what you can do for the club," he said.