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Henrique good enough to play for Socceroos



Henrique is definitely good enough to play for the Socceroos, according to Brisbane Roar teammate Shane Stefanutto.

But the veteran defender reckons Henrique's citizenship papers might have come a few years too late for him to be seriously considered by national team boss Ange Postecoglou.

The Brazilian-turned-Australian forward's stunning comeback from a long-term knee injury has sparked calls for the 30-year-old to be picked for Australia by Postecoglou, his former club boss in Brisbane.

Short of Tim Cahill, the Socceroos don't have a dependable, go-to bench player who can come on and transform a game - as Henrique has done over the past two weeks, scoring crucial second-half goals in Brisbane's win over Perth and their draw with Melbourne City.

"He's definitely good enough," Stefanutto said.

"That's a great conversation point now, isn't it - I love that he's Australian, I think it's great. I know the fans love him, us around the club, we all love him.

"For him to put on an Aussie jersey, that's for him and Football Federation Australia to decide.

"But the way the squad looks now, Ange has blooded a lot of new players who seem to be younger to middle-aged.

"I don't know if Ricky at the grand old ag

Home fortress is Aloisi's goal

 Roar Head Coach John Aloisi has urged his players to continue working hard to make Brisbane one of the toughest and unrewarding venues for visiting teams.

The Roar host Melbourne City in Round 7 of the Hyundai A-League tomorrow night at Suncorp Stadium (7pm kick off).

Aloisi's side is chasing a fourth consecutive win at home.

"We just have to make sure we are at the top of our game to continue that run at home we've had because we want to make this one of the toughest places to visit," he said.

"So far we're getting there but we know there's a lot of improvement to do.

"The most important thing is that we try to improve every game. The players know that, (they) are trying to improve every training session.

"They look sharp again this week. It's a good spirit and we want to make sure we take that into the game."

Aloisi today named an 18-player preliminary squad with two to be omitted tomorrow. It includes captain Matt McKay and striker Jamie Maclaren, who were on international duty last weekend.

The Roar Head Coach says having so many selection options is a headache he's happy to have.

"Whoever I start I am sure they will do the job. I've got no worries about that," he said.

"There's opportunities (for players) every week, every game. We've got a strong squad and everyone is conf

Brisbane Roar wary of former players and Melbourne City?s star power

THREE former Roar players with a point to prove and the presence of star pair Aaron Mooy and Bruno Fornaroli have Brisbane wary of a Melbourne City ambush at Suncorp Stadium.

The Roar are the form team of this season and start as clear favourites to maintain their 100 per cent record at home and add further doubt over the future of beleaguered City coach John van ?t Schip.

However, City will be much better for the return of playmaker Mooy from Socceroos duty. When he plays, City are capable of beating any team in the competition, particularly when Uruguayan striker Fornaroli, who has scored five goals this season, is on song.

Throw in the motivation of ex-Roar trio Erik Paartalu, Ivan Franjic and David Williams to kickstart their own seasons, and City have plenty of incentive to defy ladder positions.

Midfielder Paartalu has been out of selection favour too often for his liking, defender Franjic has not played due to injury and attacking weapon Williams also has struggled with his fitness.

?They?ve got really good players, especially going forward. We all know how well Mooy?s been playing,? Roar coach John Aloisi said.

?I can?t really comment on what they?ve been so inconsistent. All I can say is if you allow them to play, they can play.

?We just have to make sure that we?re at the top of our game to continue that run at home.?

In-form Roar striker Jamie Maclaren is back from Olyroos duty

The Socceroos will play at Adelaide Oval in a FIFA WC qualifying match in March

ADELAIDE Oval will host the Socceroos in an important 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying clash in March.

The Advertiser understands Ange Postecoglou?s 2015 Asian Cup-winning side will face either Tajikistan or Jordan on Thursday, March 24 in the Socceroos? penultimate match of the second phase of qualifying for the Russian World Cup.

The success of English premier league giant Liverpool attracting more than 53,000 fans to face Adelaide United (2-0) in July convinced state government officials to lobby harder for the Socceroos after Adelaide had been starved of the nation?s No. 1 soccer team.

The Socceroos clash in SA will be three days before Port Adelaide hosts St Kilda in the opening round of the 2016 AFL season at Adelaide Oval, while Adelaide United meets Central Coast on the same day at Coopers Stadium in an A-League match.

Australia currently tops the Asian Football Confederation?s World Cup Group B, after Tim Cahill jagged his second Socceroos hat-trick in a 4-0 win over Bangladesh away on Tuesday.

Australia needs to win the group or be among the best four second-place finishers in the eight groups to reach the third stage of the World Cup qualifiers. Cahill, 35, scored his maiden hat-trick for the national team in 2004 in Adelaide at the Marden Sports Complex in a 6-1 win over Fiji in front of just 2000 fans.

The five Oceania FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in Adelaide 11 years ago ? at Hindmarsh Stadium

Thank you Roar fans says Slippery Fish



Henrique has delivered a huge heart-felt 'thank you' to Brisbane Roar fans for their tumultuous response after he netted the match-winner against Perth Glory at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

The Slippery Fish, who had spent eight months on the sidelines after a knee reconstruction, became emotional as thousands of fans cheered his name after he darted in to slot away a clever Javier Hervas assist in the 74th minute.

"I recognised how much they love me and I think they know I love them as well," Henrique said after training today as he reflected on Sunday's match.

"This club is really special for me. Since I came here the club hugged me in a good way and the supporters too. It was really good to hear all of them cheering my name."

Although his comeback could not have been scripted any better, Henrique is certainly not getting ahead of himself ahead of Friday night's clash against Melbourne City FC at Suncorp Stadium (7pm kick off).

With Matt McKay, Jamie Maclaren and Corey Brown coming back into the squad later this week after international duty, the competition for spots goes up another notch.

"Sunday definitely was a big moment but now it is in the past. I am fully focussed on the next one," Henrique said.

&qu

Aloisi bringing out best in Petratos

 Roar striker Dimitri Petratos is looking to build on last week's impressive performance when Brisbane host Melbourne City FC in Round 7 of the Hyundai A-League at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night (7pm kick-off)

Petratos gave a stand-out performance in the Roar's 1-0 win over Perth Glory last Sunday and the attacking midfielder was unlucky not to find the net, hitting the woodwork twice.

"Sometimes it doesn't go in but I have to keep doing my job and try to hit the target," Petratos said today.

Petratos and the Roar squad have trained solidly this week despite just  a five-day turnaround between their Round 6 and 7 matches.

"We're very happy we got the win but we can make some improvements on some things. We have to work hard at training and look forward to the next game," he said.

Petratos believes he is in the best shape of his career and back to the form that saw him impress in the 2012/14 season where he scored five goals in 27 appearances.

"I feel a lot fitter this season, I worked very hard in the off-season," he said.

"I'm trying to get on the ball more. We have a good system here with the new coach (John Aloisi)."

Petratos is taking nothing for granted despite the Roar's positive start to the season (four wins and a draw), and says Friday night's clash with Melbourne City will be another challenge agains
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