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It’s pre-season and John and Ross Aloisi sit together, smoking cigars in front of a whiteboard.
Red wine bottles and pizza boxes are scattered all over the furniture in the smoky, dim room. A complex algorithm is on the whiteboard, with calculations showing the positions Roar players will play on the field – positions which bear little resemblance to their natural positions.
The brothers laugh and pat each other on the back for the dastardly plan they have hatched to outfox opposition coaches.
Scene 2: ‘Long way to the top’ – AC/DC
Round 6 and the team sit bottom of the League. Ross brings in a clairvoyant friend, who produces Tarot cards and the ten of swords – sickness and injury.
Ross shows her the door and nervously laughs to John that he never really believed that stuff anyway, but that she had predicted CEO Mark Kingsman’s demise when he was round at her place last weekend.
Scene 3: ‘Another one bites the dust’ – Queen
Round 12 and a morose-looking John walks through a hospital ward filled with orange-clad players lying in beds, sitting in wheelchairs, hobbling on crutches and nursing plaster casts. Checking off the roll in a dejected voice Ross ticks off the names on his clipboard.
Matt McKay, dressed as Freddy Mercury, walks into the ward with a suitcase and opens it to reveal bundles of cash. “More than one million dollars worth of talent out,” he yells – tipping the cash out on the floor and stomping off.
Scene 4: ‘Under pressure’ – David Bowie and Queen
Round 17 and the team sit in eighth. Fans are unhappy, crowds fall, Suncorp closes half its food and drink outlets and cuts back on security. There are calls for John’s sacking and he gets the dreaded ‘full support’ statement from the chairman.
The situation gets worse for the club when the numbers fall off the back of some of the team shirts in their Asian Champions League match – a loss to Ceres-Negros at Robina.
John stands defiantly in the middle of the stage behind an ironing board holding an iron – behind him flashing up on a screen are the headlines and pictures of strapping tape numbers on the back of Eric Bautheac’s shirt. He shouts, “It isn’t my job to manage the kit!”
A new image of Craig Moore standing in his garden holding a pair of secateurs is beamed onto the screen before the stage fades to black.
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Scene 5: ‘My happiness’ – Powderfinger
Round 25 and the team have won six and drawn one from the last nine, including a win over the premiers, Sydney – 19 points from a possible 27.
John and the team stand on stage and smile at the audience while Ross manipulates a representation of the A-League ladder like a bookie adjusting the tote to put Brisbane in sixth spot – in the mix for the finals.
At the back of the stage there is a discarded pile of medical equipment – wheelchairs, crutches, bandages, cut off plaster casts, walking sticks and zimmer frames. John walks over, pours petrol on it all and sets it alight, spreads his arms wide, lets out a demonic cackle, and shouts at the sky, “I told you we’d come good at the end of the season!”
Scene 6: ‘Eye of the tiger’ – Survivor
Round 26 and after a loss to the Wanderers, the club sits equal seventh with Perth. The final game is against the Glory in Perth. A cardboard cut-out of a cloud with ‘finals dream’ emblazoned in orange fluorescent text on a background of silver glitter hangs by a thread above the stage.
Ross scribbles on a whiteboard in the corner and yells to John, who is sitting on stage with his head in his hands, “Hey John, if we beat Perth and Adelaide beat the Wanderers – we are in it! Or, ummm, if we have a score draw with Perth and Wanderers lose without scoring we are in it too.”
A courier walks on stage and delivers a book depository parcel to John. He opens the package and unwraps a copy of ‘The power of positive thinking’ by Norman Vincent Peale.
The final Scene: ‘I’m still standing’ – Eton John
Round 27 is over. John stands triumphantly and fist pumps the air as the screen replays the goals that give Brisbane the essential win over Perth.
The next video shows Ryan Kitto slotting home at the back post to consign the Western Sydney Wanderers to a 3-2 defeat against Adelaide, guaranteeing Brisbane a spot in the final six.
Ross and John race across stage to high five each other. John pulls the book from his coat pocket. “I knew it!” he shouts as he slaps Ross repeatedly on the back. “I never stopped believing we could succeed this weekend.”
Ross leaves and reappears with the players carrying bags full of McDonalds. John asks, “What are you guys doing with all that Macca’s Rossco?”
Ross laughs and replies, “Well they reckon if you spend more than ten bucks at Macca’s, you can win through to the grand final, so we just took the minibus to the drive through – we’ve got 19 chances to win through now, Johnny!”
Everyone laughs at the joke and they all leave the stage as the lights fade to black.