Saturday, February 25, 2012

Brisbane Roar club culture in one goal

By Paul Frederickson

Many football clubs around the world have a unique identity through their history, culture or results. Some, such as Barcelona have a combination of all three. The A-League clubs are in their infancy but since Ange Postecoglou took over the reins at the Brisbane Roar that has been his mandate, create a 'Brisbane way'. Last night's second goal against Perth Glory encapsulated all things that have captured Australian football fan's imaginations.

For ten minutes after half-time, and leading one-nil away from home, the Brisbane Roar defense were under tremendous pressure from a desperate Perth Glory team. Even under pressure, and with a few close calls, the Roar continued to pass the ball across the back-line, trying to probe the pressing attack and find a safe passage out of their half. This is Ange's way and he has repeatedly stated that he places performances above results.

Goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos received a dangerous back-pass and under Postecoglou's training could not just kick the ball long up field. Under pressure he played a nice ball up the wing to Shane Stefanutto. The full-back, come winger transferred the ball across the goal to Mohamed Adnan. Adnan then quickly transferred the ball to the opposite wing. All the while Perth's players could just watch the ball movement like they were watch a tennis match.

Henrique sprinted down the right wing and provided a beautiful cross that was well controlled by Besart Berisha who quickly turned Bas Van den Brink and put the ball into the back of the Perth net. Not one Perth player touched the ball for the entire passage of play.

These are not just goals, these are moments that develop the identity of a club, its philosophy and why people will watch them even if they follow another team.