Defending champions Brisbane are ready to grab back the A-League limelight from the glamour clubs, claiming they are Australia’s “capital of football”.
The underdog tag Queensland teams usually cherish has been spectacularly discarded by Roar coach Mike Mulvey after claiming Brisbane is Australia’s “capital of football”.
The defending A-League champions have been largely overlooked in the 2014-15 season countdown with all eyes on the likes of glamour clubs Melbourne City and Sydney FC.
And Mulvey’s claim on Friday that the club felt a “level of uncertainty” ahead of their title defence without big guns Besart Berisha and Ivan Franjic would only have them flying further under the radar with punters.
But unlike most other coaches in the Sunshine State, Mulvey does not shirk the limelight – and firmly believed it should be shining on them ahead of Sunday’s home season opener against Adelaide United.
Told most were tipping a Sydney FC-Melbourne City grand final, Mulvey said: “Isn’t that the nature of things in Australia?
“In Queensland we are always seen as outsiders.
“The biggest populace is in the southern states but the capital of football right now is in Queensland.
“We are the champions and very proud of that – I welcome the challenge.”
At this week’s A-League season launch, none of Brisbane’s rival coaches nominated the Roar outright as the most likely team their side would meet in the decider.
And Brisbane admit there are question marks over how they will not only vie for a fourth title in five seasons but also counter their Asian Champions League campaign at the back end of 2014-15.
Especially without Victory import Berisha and Socceroos defender Franjic who now plies his trade in Russia.
Five time championship winning goalkeeper Michael Theo (wrist) is also set to miss the first five weeks of the season.
“There is always a level of uncertainty, there is the feeling of the unknown,” Mulvey said.
“But I can guarantee that we will be super competitive in every game we play.”
Mulvey admitted he had to address the group about desire at training in the pre-season.
It would have sounded alarm bells for fans after what was believed to be a lack of hunger led to a poor start that sabotaged their title defence in 2012-13.
But Mulvey sounded like a happy man on Friday ahead of their Suncorp Stadium opener.
“Nothing ever runs smoothly,” he said.
“(But) this morning’s session was alien to three weeks ago.
“Today there was real desire, enthusiasm and quality.
“Now we are getting the feeling game day is coming and players change.
“This time last week we had a couple of niggles in the place – today they were the first players out on the paddock.
“That’s a healthy sign.”