Roar boss: ‘It feels like a whole new club’
A REVAMPED Brisbane Roar enter arguably the most important season of their existence as the A-League transitions from Football Federation Australia control to independence.
The 15th season of the national football competition was launched in Sydney on Tuesday, with the promise of better things to come after an indifferent 2018-19 campaign.
The competition has expanded to 11 teams with the addition of a third Victorian club, Western United.
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For the Roar, it's a fresh start with new coach Robbie Fowler and a host of recruits.
The only way is up for Brisbane after the disaster of last season, when they failed to reach the finals for the first time since 2010 and conceded 71 goals.
"It's really important that Brisbane are successful for the A-League to be successful," A-League chief Greg O'Rourke said.
"They are a one-team state. If they're not travelling too well, then the sentiment around the game in that state heads in the same direction as their ladder position.
"If they become successful, climb up the ladder and go back to the glory days they had, then people get on."
Roar CEO David Pourre said last season was "devastating" for him and the club.
"It certainly didn't go to plan, but we've rebuilt and it feels like a whole new club," Pourre said.
"It's a very important season for us, to show our fans how we should be playing football.
"It's an important season for all A-League clubs. It needs to be entertaining."
Come the end of the season, the A-League will be run by the clubs, with transition from FFA ownership to be completed in the upcoming months.
"We're ready to go," said O'Rourke, who has been the link between FFA and the clubs during the transitional period.
The season kicks off on Friday night when Adelaide United host champions Sydney FC at Coopers Stadium.
The Roar open their campaign on Sunday in Perth against the Glory, who won the Premier's Plate last season.