Can Brisbane Roar mount a strong A-League defence?
New coach, different approach, same attitude. Long-time assistant Rado Vidosic officially took the reins of A-League champions Brisbane Roar for the first time on Monday, vowing to be a hands-on head coach while sounding like hard-nosed predecessor Ange Postecoglou.
“We know that we’ve been front-runners in the A-League for the past two seasons and we want to make sure the gap between us and the rest is getting even wider,” Vidosic said at the end of their first pre-season training session.
Despite Postecoglou now at the Melbourne Victory and plotting to bring Brisbane down, Vidosic, a loyal lieutenant since the club’s 2005 inception, is supremely confident the defending champions can continue their dominance.
He cited the main difference as his close-contact approach to coaching, rather than becoming a more detached manager, something his senior players want.
“Seven years as an assistant coach and I was much closer to players than the head coach so I don’t need to change that,” Vidosic said. “I still want to be as close to players as I was before.
“I need to see how it will go and sometimes I think I’ll have to show my dark side as well – we’ll see.”
Working in favour of the Croatia-born former schoolteacher is the Roar have retained all but one of their starting 11 from this year’s 2-1 grand final victory over Perth Glory.
A the start of last season, Postecoglou had to steer a ship missing skipper Matt McKay, Luke DeVere, Kosta Barbarouses, Jean Carlos Solorzano and Milan Susak.
Only Bahraini international Mohamed Adnan failed to return to training, deciding to return to his extended family in the Middle East and opening the door for Matt Jurman to regain a start in central defence.
While Adnan’s departure is a blow, the Roar have received an unexpected boost with creative midfielder Mitch Nichols back on deck after a trial with newly-promoted Danish club Randers.
“That’s a very good thing,” Vidosic said. “He trained four times with them and apparently the coach liked him but there were some problems internally so for us it’s a good solution.”
As well as Adnan, the Roar have farewelled Canadian Issey Nakajima-Farran to leave them with two foreign visa spots to fill beside Thomas Broich, Besart Berisha and Henrique.
They also lost reserve goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne to Melbourne and released fringe defender Matt Mundy but bolstered their squad, which currently sits at 19, with exciting Gold Coast youngster Ben Halloran.© AAP 2013
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