ROAR v MARINERS
THERE hasn’t been this much anticipation about a Brisbane Roar-Central Coast Mariners game since their epic 2011 A-League grand final.
And the expectation isn’t because of the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt, who remains on trial with the Mariners and won’t be the park at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.
Instead, it’s the return of former Roar heroes Mike Mulvey and Tommy Oar – both now in the Central Coast camp – that has added to the usual excitement that comes with the start of a season.
The Roar pushed hard to get the Mariners in round one at Suncorp Stadium after the Mariners appointed their former coach Mulvey, who was sacked in controversial circumstances by Brisbane officials in November 2014 just six months after guiding the club to its third A-League championship.
And Mulvey’s signing of ex-Roar prodigy Oar last month has only added to the expectancy of Sunday’s round-one battle.
Oar burst on to the A-League scene with the Roar as a teenager before the club cashed in by selling him to Dutch outfit FC Utrecht.
Six years later the excitement machine returned to the Roar, but failed to inspire or deliver. He returned to Europe in June 2017 when Cypriot club APOEL came calling.
However that didn’t work out either, so Oar is back in the A-League for a third stint, and it’s fair to say he’s at the crossroads of his career.
In terms of theatre, Suncorp Stadium is the perfect venue for Mulvey and Oar to start their latest A-League chapter.
Both have points to prove, but so do the Roar, who after their smoothest pre-season in recent memory have the perfect chance to kick off their campaign with three points by beating last season’s wooden spooners.