‘Where they belong’: Sydney captain’s big compliment to ex-club Roar before Australia Cup final

Steve Corica and Luke Brattan | Australia Cup Final Press Conference

The last time Brisbane Roar played in a major final, Luke Brattan was starting in their midfield.

Nine years later, the now-Sydney FC captain is set to face off against his former side in the 2023 Australia Cup Final.

Brattan says Brisbane’s ascension to a first men’s final in almost a decade is fantastic to see, considering the club’s struggle for consistency and success in both the Australia Cup and Isuzu UTE A-League since their glory days in the early 2010’s.

“I saw something during the week that last time they were in a final, I played. So it was a long time ago,” Brattan said.

“But it’s fantastic for them, they’re a great club. It’s taken them a long time to get back here.”

Brisbane last featured in a men’s major final in 2014: the A-League Men Grand Final against Western Sydney Wanderers.

Brattan was part of a star-studded Roar outfit on that occasion, spearheaded by club greats Thomas Broich and Besart Berisha, that won the decider 2-1 thanks to an Henrique match-winner in the second half of additional extra time.


Brattan, who made his professional debut for the Roar in 2009, says his former club’s spot in the 2023 Australia Cup Final is great for football in the region – and predicted Sydney’s final opponents would push on to contend for silverware under new head coach Ross Aloisi in the upcoming A-League Men season, kicking off on October 20.

“Ross (Aloisi) is a fantastic coach, he’s been there for a short time and got them playing great football,” he said.

“So they deserve it. It’s great for football (in) Queensland for them to be back where they belong.

“I think no matter what happens tomorrow, they’re going to be competing in the A-League season for a trophy as well. It’s great to see.”


Sydney and Brisbane will face off at Allianz Stadium on Saturday, October 7 (7.45pm AEDT) to decide the winner of the 2023 Australia Cup – it’s a fixture that presents Sydney head coach Steve Corica with a number of selection headaches, including whether to include key recruits Gabriel Lacerda and Fabio Gomes in the starting line-up.

Corica says the Brazilian duo have settled in nicely to life in Sydney – but remained coy on whether defender Lacerda and forward Gomes had done enough to warrant a place among his starting XI on Saturday night.

“Well, Ross (Aloisi) is coming in later so I don’t want to say too much!” Said Corica, when asked if he’d be starting the two new signings.

“But they’ve got a good chance. They’ve been here a couple of weeks now, and they’ve both fit in really well.

“They’re obviously learning the way we want to play; there are still areas they need to improve on, and the language side of things as well, but we’re really pleased with both of them.”


Roar boss Aloisi was similarly non-committal when pressed for team news, stating all-but one of his players would be available for the Australia Cup final.

“We do have one player who played through an injury in the semi-final who won’t be here, unfortunately,” said Aloisi. “And we didn’t realise he was injured at the time, either, although he knew.”

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Roar captain Tom Aldred added that, out of the players who are available, he looks around the dressing room and sees a good mix of young and old who can contribute in a big way both on Saturday night, and into the A-League Men season.

“We feel like we’ve turned a corner now,” said Aldred.

“We’ve got some young players coming in, and we’ve also got some players who I feel are coming of age, the likes of Henry Hore, Louis Zabala, there’s a couple more names there… players who have been drip-fed first team football but are now starting to become regulars.

“Then you’ve got your really young players like Thomas Waddingham in the side.

“There’s a good mix… huge potential for some players here, I’m really optimistic about their futures and tomorrow will be another exposure to something they’ve probably never been used to.

“But we’ve got players in the dressing room, leaders who have been there before and played in finals, so it will be up to us to get them through that. But I’m sure we’ve got good characters from the young end of the team to handle the occasion.”

Match details

Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar
Date: Saturday, October 7 2023
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Kick-off: 7:45 PM (AEDT)

How to watch?

The 2023 Australia Cup Final will be broadcast live and free on 10, 10 Bold in Perth, and 10 Play.


Tickets for the match start at $12 for a junior ticket, $15 for a concession ticket, $25 for adults, and $65 for a family pass.