Roar player and former Socceroo Matt McKay is expected to play a big role in his side's pre-season hit-out against NPL club the Magpies Crusaders in Mackay.
Roar player and former Socceroo Matt McKay is expected to play a big role in his side's pre-season hit-out against NPL club the Magpies Crusaders in Mackay. DAVE HUNT

Roar expecting finals-like atmosphere against Magpies

Exclusive: The Brisbane Roar won't be taking Magpies Crusaders lightly in what Roar coach and Australian great John Aloisi described as a "finals game" atmosphere for the fledging National Premier League club.

Set to take on the NPL newcomers at BB Print Stadium on Thursday night, Aloisi told the Daily Mercury he was expecting a strong hit-out against a fired up Magpies Crusaders in front of a large home crowd.

"It's a big game for them and hopefully there's a big crowd, we're expecting over 2000, so it'll be like a finals game for them, to get to play against A-League opposition," Aloisi said.

"To play in front of a big crowd and show what they can do, I expect they'll give everything and they'll be motivated for it and the intensity will be there.

"That's what we need in pre season games, we need a good intensity game and hopefully we'll have a good hit out."


Roar coach John Aloisi is seen during Brisbane Roar training at Logan Metro Sports Park in Logan City, Saturday, March 24, 2018. Brisbane will take on the Wellington Phoenix in their Round 24 A-League clash on Sunday in Wellington. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING
Roar coach John Aloisi. DARREN ENGLAND

Approaching the match as part of their pre-season routine, the Roar will rotate players and while Aloisi was tight lipped about how the side would set up, he confirmed former Socceroo Matt McKay would play a major role.

One player all but ruled out was international signing and former Danish international, Tobias Mikkelsen, who was expected to sit out the match after just arriving in Australia.

"Matt (McKay) will play at least 45 minutes, it'll be good for him also because he represents the club really well. He's played a lot of games for the Socceroos, won titles with the Roar and he's still ambitious and motivated to win more... so you'll definitely see Matt," Aloisi said.

"Tobias (Mikkelsen) probably won't play, it's just good to have him around the group as he doesn't know the boys that well. The quickest way to get to know them is be around them, so he's happy to be here."

Another player to watch out for will be 20-year-old Ipswich product Dylan Wenzel-Halls, who was signed by the Roar after 23 goals in 11 matches with NPL side the Western Pride this season.

With Wenzel-Halls stepping up to A-League level with the Roar, Aloisi said the match would provide an opportunity for other NPL players to impress under the club's watchful eye.

"That's one of the reasons we like going to play against NPL sides, you get to have a look at the young guys doing well and you can also keep an eye on them and see how they're developing in the NPL," he said.

"Dylan was with us a few years ago in our youth team then went away, scored goals, and now he's back with us.

"There's always an opportunity, there's always someone watching and at the moment it's (the game) a good one, because we're actually here playing against them."

Brisbane Roar versus Magpies Crusaders United

  • Where: BB Print Stadium
  • When: Thursday, July 12 at 7pm