Speak to John Aloisi and Besart Berisha and they’ll tell you all about Thomas Broich. And the pair passionately hope the Brisbane Roar great can remain in Australia after this season.
He’s one of the greatest ever Hyundai A-League players.
The question is, in the last year of his Roar contract, will this be German superstar Thomas Broich’s final season in Australia?
The great man himself has hinted it could be his final season as a player though that’s still not confirmed. Clearly coaching will be part of Broich’s future.
But for now, Aloisi says the Championship winner is in incredible shape after a strong off-season.
It begs the million-dollar question: could the now 35-year-old attacking midfielder (he’ll be 36 this Janury) play on after this season?
“The way Thomas Broich has been looking in pre-season, you never know how long he can go around for,” the Roar coach told www.a-league.com.au
“I would hate for him to say this is his last season because it’s too early to say. If he keeps on going the way he is, he could play longer.
“He says this is the best physical shape he’s been in.
“And he’s played a lot of pre-season games, worked hard, scored goals and we know he’ll set up goals so we’re happy with the way he’s looking.
“And it’s not only Thomas. There’s Jade North, who looks better than he did last season.”
Regardless of what the German playmaker decides, it’s fair to say he’s left an indelible mark on the Hyundai A-League and game in Australia.
He almost walked away from the game for good in 2010, disillusioned with the sport after a frustrating season in Germany with Nurnberg.
But a conversation with then-Brisbane Roar boss Ange Postecoglou – who drove nine hours across Europe to meet with the ex-German youth international – changed all that.
Broich agreed to try and resurrect his career in Australia with Roar. And the rest is history.
In a remarkable six seasons in the competition, Broich has provided a plethora of highlights helping Roar to three championships, which included that record-breaking run of 36 matches unbeaten.
He is also the only player in Hyundai A-League history to win the Johnny Warren Medal twice.
A fascinating Friday night’s season opener between Roar and Victory looms, with Broich and his good friend Besart Berisha meeting on the pitch as opponents.
They’ll likely catch up for a coffee in Brisbane after the game and reminisce on some of their golden times at Brisbane.
“It’s will be a shame [if this was his last season]. He’s still fit, he did so many great things for this country and Brisbane,” Berisha told www.a-league.com.au.
“I know him. He can bring so much more.
“I love Thomas. He’s a gentleman. I hope he stays, and I hope he takes another challenge.
“I hope he stays in Brisbane if not another club and another challenge.”
So, Broich for Victory?
“I’d love to see that!” added the Victory hero, with a cheeky smile.
See Berisha and Broich, Holman, Troisi and other stars at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night as the Hyundai A-League kicks off for Season 2016/17 when Roar host Victory.