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Liverpool block Australia from picking Smith



Liverpool have blocked Australia from selecting Brad Smith for their upcoming qualifiers for next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, according to Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou.

The 21 year-old was handed his first start for the Premier League club in their final Europa League group stage match at Sion on 10 December.

That appearance came after the full-back was brought on as a second-half substitute and set-up a goal as Liverpool ran riot 6-1 against Southampton in the League Cup quarter-finals at the start of the month.

However, with Smith establishing himself as a back-up for Alberto Moreno, the Anfield club are reluctant to let him leave for the Australian U-23 side, who are set to play in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Qatar next month.

"It's a bit of a double edged sword, we've carried Brad with the Olyroos all season and now he's broken into the first team frame they won't release him for the qualifiers which is disappointing from our perspective," Postecoglou told Fox Sports.

"Aurelio Vidmar [Olyroos coach] has selected him all the way along even though he wasn't training so that's the disappointing part about it."

Postecoglou handed Smit

Moore: Roar confident of retaining squad



High-flying Brisbane Roar will be looking to lock in their out of contract stars and maintain a sense of business as usual among the players ahead of the January transfer window.

The Roar were linked this week with reports that 12 members of their first team were coming off-contract, however Football Operations Manager Craig Moore is adamant there will be no mass exodus from Suncorp.

?We?re no different to a lot of clubs,? Moore said. ?We?re in a position where we have several players coming off contract.

?We?re busy in the process of sitting down with all the players and running through the situation of where we see them and moving forward as a football club.

?With the salary cap, what I?ve learnt very quickly, it it?s very competitive. You?ve got a certain amount and you?ve got to keep a certain group of players happy and you?ve also got to work within the salary cap restrictions.?

However despite the amount of off-contract personnel, Moore doesn?t believe the club will undergo a huge turnover during the summer.

?With the January transfer window sometimes you have the ability to move and sometimes you don?t,? he said.

?Now we?re not really in the position of looking to bring somebody into the club for the January transfer window but you can never

Donachie contract blunder

Quote
Brisbane Roar could lose Olyroos defender James Donachie after previous administration contract cock-up

BRISBANE Roar defender James Donachie was on Wednesday contemplating his future after a contract cock-up by the club?s previous administration left the three-time A-League champions vulnerable to losing the Olyroos defender at season?s end on a free transfer.

Under the guidance of then bosses Sean Dobson (managing director) and Ken Stead (football director), the Roar announced in November 2013 that Donachie had signed a contract extension taking him through to the end of the 2016-17 season.

But a failure to properly check documentation led to a contract expiry date of May 2016 being lodged with FFA despite the paperwork containing financial terms through to 2017.

As a result, and much to the shock of the Roar?s current football department, Donachie?s name appeared on an official list recently sent out to all clubs of players entering the final six months of their contract.

Not surprisingly, at least one rival club has already approached Roar football operations manager Craig Moore about negotiating with the centre-back, who despite his undoubted talent is currently stuck o

Lustica hails Roar's strong squad spirit

Midfielder Steven Lustica believes the benefits from Brisbane Roar's visit to Cairns last week will flow on for the remainder of the season.

The trip was a success in terms of bringing Hyundai A-League football back to North Queensland and expanding the Roar footprint across the state.

Personally, it also showed the value of Lustica as he came off the bench to score an equaliser in an impressive second-half performance.

But Lustica is looking at the bigger picture and says the four days away was the perfect tonic for a squad that endured so much in a challenging off-season.

"It was good to get away for a few days together. There was a lot of bonding happening there," he said.

"We didn't have a pre-season camp away, so this was the first time together for a few days.

"It brought the group together and that is going to be good in the long-term as well."

The 2-1 win over the Phoenix in Cairns reaffirmed the Roar's strong credentials this season. They have five wins and three draws from the first 10 rounds.

And while Lustica earned kudos for his efforts on Saturday, he was back at work this week training hard with an impressively strong Roar squad preparing for the last of four consecutive road trips away.

The Roar plays Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Sunday (4.15pm KO).

"It's a nice feeling when you score a goal but

Milestones for Matt and Thomas



Roar captain Matt McKay and international marque Thomas Broich will share significant career milestones this weekend but the team performance is their prime concern rather than individual accolades.

The Roar are away on Saturday to Newcastle Jets (4.15pm KO Qld time).

If selected, McKay, 32, will make his 200th appearance for the Roar across all competitions while Broich, 34, will play his 150th competition game in Orange.

Their combination on the left side of the Roar formation has been a key part of the club's success in recent years.

Both though are looking at what more can be achieved rather than reflecting on the storied history they have help create at the Roar.

McKay and Broich agree that if this current squad can continue the improvement it has shown in the first two months of the season, the Roar will be in a position to challenge for silverware again in four months' time.

And both are adamant they personally have much more football to play.

"As long as it is fun and we are feeling fit, as we are at the moment, there's no reason why we should stop any time soon," Broich said.

McKay's game stats are: 178 Hyundai A-League matches; 13 Pre-Season Cup games; 6 AFC Champions League games , one Westfield FFA Cup game, o

We will play the Roar way says Aloisi

Brisbane Roar Head Coach John Aloisi says his side won't adopt a defensive mentality just because they are playing away from home.

As they prepare for a series of matches on the road, starting in Newcastle tomorrow against the Jets (4.15pm kick off Qld time), Aloisi has urged his players to be true to the Roar's reputation for entertaining, attacking football.

"Whether we are playing home or away, we will keep on trying to be the team that's proactive and take the game to the opposition," Aloisi said.

"We know it is going to be a difficult game in Newcastle. They've got a better side this year in terms of the way they have been set up . . . they are going to make it difficult for us.

"(We will) focus on what we are doing and trying to make sure that we play the style of football that we've set out to do since the first day of pre-season.

"For us we believe that it's the winning way and that's the way forward for us. Others will have their opinion and their way of playing. We feel that the way we play is going to bring us success.

"We're not getting ahead. We know that there's still a long way to go (in the season).

"We know that we need to improve still in the way that we want to play within our structures and our patterns and I think that we are doing that."

Speaking to the media after training today, Roa
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