Ross Aloisi’s message after youthful Roar’s statement win: ‘He is going to be hard to stop’

Brisbane Roar upstaged Sydney FC in round two of the Isuzu UTE A-League at Suncorp Stadium.

Ross Aloisi’s Brisbane Roar tenure is only in its infancy but he has seen enough to be excited, especially from his young players following Friday night’s victory over Sydney FC.

It is a new and youthful era in Brisbane, where the Roar proved too strong for Australia Cup champions Sydney 3-0 in round two of the Isuzu UTE A-League at Suncorp Stadium.

A Henry Hore double and a Nikola Mileusnic goal led Brisbane to their first win of the season, having drawn last week’s opener at Macarthur FC following defeat to Sydney in the Australia Cup decider.

Reinvigorated under Aloisi, there was an A-Leagues debut for 18-year-old sensation Thomas Waddingham, while Quinn MacNicol (15 years, 290 days old) became the Roar’s youngest ever A-League Men player and third youngest in the history of the competition following his late cameo.

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Thomas Waddingham after Brisbane Roar’s win over Sydney FC.

Rylan Brownlie – another NPL product and the son of former Roar player Royce – also impressed in a 20-minute display.

“We finished up with a 16-year-old up top (Brownlie) and a 15-year-old (MacNicol) in behind him. Both Brisbane boys,” Aloisi told reporters post-match.

“And leading the line in the first half and most of the second half was Thomas Waddingham, who is an 18-year-old.

“I’m so excited for these players and it’s so positive for the club and fans.”

Former Yokohama F.Marinos assistant Aloisi added: “The thing that pleases me the most is players that come into training and want to learn, and fight for their spot.

“Quinn MacNicol deserved to be in the squad tonight. So did Brownlie and (Jonas) Markovski as well.

“It makes me really proud to have these young boys coming off the bench and doing well.

“Brownlie for me, tonight, it won’t be long before he starts scoring goals and once he does then he is going to be hard to stop. He is explosive, he is good in the air, he presses at the right time, he creeps up on players.”

While much has been made of the kids in Brisbane, the Roar’s experienced contingent have provided plenty of balance early in 2023-24.

From veteran stars Jay O’Shea and Tomas Aldred, to French recruit Florin Berenguer, who arrived from Melbourne City at the start of the season.

“I have to be honest, these guys are phenomenal,” Aloisi said.

“Jay O’Shea is a superstar in my eyes. The amount of work he gets through in a game, but all of them do.

“Flo Berenguer – the amount of running and pressing he does at his age is phenomenal.

“They are invaluable to this team with so many young players too. If the older players can do it, the younger ones just follow.”

For the first time since 2015, Brisbane won their opening home game of a season.

“We want more supporters. We want our supporters back. I don’t want to play in front of 7,000, I want to play in front of 20,000. That’s what excites me,” Aloisi said.

“Having these young boys in and showing the Brisbane Roar supporters what these boys will do to play for the Roar jersey, that excites me.”

“We’re building it but it’s the second game of the season. I’ve had these players for four months but some coaches have their players for four-five years,” he continued.

“I’m extremely excited that we have so much more improvement in us.”