The final game of our season was also the end of an era, the final match for club legends Matt McKay and Henrique.
Since the A-league’s inception, there has not been a season Brisbane Roar have played without one of Matt McKay or Henrique, two of our last remaining members of THAT Grand Final XI in 2010. It truly marked the end of an era for a remnant Roar, with the team going down 5-3 to Adelaide United on the inaugural ANZAC Day clash.
It was a game full of goals and atrocious defending. Once again, Brisbane got my hopes up, leading twice in the game and then, after a cheeky Bautheac failed Panenka penalty (or was it intentionally bad?) gave us the lead, the crowd really picked up. I will be watching the tackle that gave us the penalty on repeat just to see D’Agostino’s gymnastics routine. It seemed like we might actually get something from this game and give the boys a proper send off, but alas, it wasn’t to be. We conceded to Adelaide shortly after the pen, perhaps payback for the disrespect from Bautheac.
I’m sure a lot of fans will be getting Kckay on the back of their jerseys after another classic Roar fuck up, the man has been with us 14 years for football’s sake. At least the memorabilia jerseys presented to both legends didn’t have the numbers falling off, although perhaps it would’ve been a nice touch. Henrique, who had been our number 10 for all our championship winning seasons, was presented his number 33 jersey, something that still makes me furious. Can we just release Holman already?
So, we ended the season the way we spent the season, losing. One good thing to take away from what was a very sad very nostalgic game, the future is bright. Our best players on the day were Zach Duncan and Dylan Wenzel-Halls, two of the youngest on the team. DWH netting a goal and in true DWH fashion slipped during his celebration. Even Daniel Leck, a natural attacker playing as our right back, had a decent game especially considering the man is not a defender. Unfortunately, his weakness in defence was exploited by Goodwin, who won the ball from him leaving him in dust as he sizzled the ball into the top right corner. Halloran and Goodwin both with good performances, pressing the young and dishevelled Brisbane defence, scoring some absolute crackers from situations they should not have been allowed into by the Roar defence. Tongyik was caught out of position more than once, on one of United’s goals he appeared to be marking his own centre back partner, Jacob Pepper, rather than closing down the shot.
It seems there will be a mass exodus from Brisbane in the off season, and with new coach Robbie Fowler set to take the reigns shortly there will no doubt be cuts made and new players brought in. Here’s hoping he brings in youthful, effective players and continues to grow the young talent we already have. Please no more oldies Robbie, we’ve been through the signing your mates route with Aloisi already.
The loss to Adelaide was a cruel reminder that we are ending our season in ninth place, missing out on the final’s series for the first time since winning the Premiership and Championship in 2010. Adelaide now go on to fight for the Championship finishing up in fourth place, I know most of TLL will be pumped for Adelaide, so I guess I’ll have to support them now in lieu of Brisbane (I am really sad about this). I’ll have a Marrone jersey, he pushed a kid over and I know we’ve all wanted to do that at some point.
To Matt McKay and Henrique, on behalf of my little corner of Brisbane Roar fans I want to thank you for everything you’ve given to this club. You are both two of the nicest players to walk the halls of Suncorp always giving your time to the fans and always giving your best for the club. As a fan, I have been attending since I was 12 years old and I have grown up watching both of you light up the park.
Matty the silent worker bee, you’re not always noticed but you’re always controlling the midfield and leading from the centre of the park. You were a big part of building the culture at the club, so many young players coming up through the ranks were lucky enough to learn from you, no doubt a lot of those boys will credit you when they get their ‘roos cap. You aren’t a striker but you’re the best damn centre back we had all season.
Riki the slippery fish, always there for the big moments and always there when we need you. Some of my favourite memories of this club are of you. That grand final penalty shootout was the first penalty shootout I had ever seen, and the calm cheekiness you had will always astound me. The love and passion you have for this club remind me why I stay and support even when we have a season like this one.
You both left the club for a period of time but you’ve come back and now you can get the proper send-off you deserve: as legends, respected by your opponents, valued by the club and beloved by the fans.
A sad end to a sad season. I’m going to wallow in sadness and alcohol for the next six months and pray we don’t have to re-live this pain again (ninth place and losing club legends). Enjoy your finals series everyone except Mariners, Jets and Wanderers fans. We can drink together and cry.
By Kianna Aquilina