Kruse’s Roar return looming?

Brisbane Roar will bid farewell to striker Charlie Austin this week, with former Socceroos forward Robbie Kruse waiting in the wings to return to the Isuzu UTE A-League club.

Former Premier League striker Austin will return to England for family reasons after the away A-League Men clash with the Newcastle Jets on Friday evening, with Kruse – who has been training with his former club for the past three months – ready to fill his boots.


The Roar sit 10th in the standings – head coach Warren Moon’s team boasting the equal-best defensive record in the league but the fewest goals scored.

That is an area Kruse, who has 75 caps for the Socceroos and has been without a club since leaving Melbourne Victory at the end of 2021-22, could help solve. 

“Robbie has been very good in training of late and it will come to a point where we will have to make a decision, and so will he, but we are not quite there yet,” Moon said. 

“(Kruse) does score goals. You can see with Robbie why all his managers picked him in national teams because when you see him up close you see the qualities he brings to a team.”

Austin has a young family and said his return to his homeland was all about putting them first. When the competition took a three-week break during the World Cup the decision crystallised in his mind.

“(The break) made my decision a little bit easier, as mad as that sounds,” Austin said.

“When the football is going on and you are training, your mind is elsewhere. When we were on the break … that is when I had the conversation with (my wife) Bianca and the kids. 

“How the gaffer has responded is first class and I can’t fault him in any way. It was more than just football. It was two dads talking more than anything.”

Moon said he was disappointed the former Swindon, Burnley, Queens Park Rangers, Southampton and West Bromwich Albion forward was leaving because he had made such a positive contribution on and off the pitch. 

“It comes down to one thing and that’s family. Charlie has been honest, open and up-front and we wish him all the best,” Moon said. 

The coach said the club had been proactive about finding an international replacement for Austin. 

“We will escalate that in the next couple of weeks,” he said. 

Austin wants to finish with a win at sixth-placed Newcastle.

“I want to go out on a high, of course I do,” he said. “We’ll be all guns blazing to try and get the three points.”