For all the talk of having to make tough choices and changing the team to improve the team, there does not seem to be too many farewells there were not forecast under Miron.
Dario Vidosic looks set to go to Germany. Dario, with Matt Mackay, was the core of the team this year. Damien Mori jumped on board for a while, and we had to learn a new game plan, now appears to be gone.
Chad and Remo were off early. Anyway, version 1's goalkeeper with the best stats, Tom Willis is also gone - possibly from the sport. Apparently, he was offered a pay cut to stay. I am not convinced of Liam Reddy, who seems a little bad tempered and whose performance is patchy. We really need a new first choice keeper. Tampo looked the part but is not available.
And we have picked up Danny Tiatto, a 34 year old former Socceroo (25 appearances), left sider from Leicester City and Manchester City. The wikipedia on his recent performances is mixed. We have also been promised a new striker. We patiently followed Miron through last year's off-season trying to find a striker better than 'Alex Brosque'. Hmmmmmm. We have also picked up 3 under 20s, but two have really been with the club for a few years - none look like a replacement for Dario or to become a new Nathan Burns.
I feel it is the critical year for the A-League and for the Queensland Roar. The FFA won't have the fantastic organisation of Matt Carroll. It won't have the cash from FIFA for a world cup success. Sydney won't be knobelled by the long ball game and Melbourne aims to be Australia's Manchester United. BUT the dismal crowds at Hindmarsh and in Sydney for the Chinese and Japanese powerhouse teams illustrates that Australia needs to be represented by the serious sporting cities of Melbourne and Brisbane to bring the international sporting dollars that football now needs. Adelaide fell apart even before it reached is first Asian club game and now we must endure two seasons of no-one even noticing that they are playing in Asia.
Queensland Roar is the Queensland team for version 3. Therefore they must pull out the stops and ensure that their team is more than competitive. They have both the most loyal and long suffering fans in Australia and now the club must lay its bets to repay this. Or, risk its following. Gobsmackingly, the Roar missed the opportunity to sign Greg Owen and Saso Petrovski - despite versions 1 and 2 demonstrating that a core of experienced Australian based players is the way to go. So Central Coast has shown it is serious about getting back into the finals in version 3. Perth and NZ have moved to get their financial acts together. With Perth signing a massive sponsorship deal.
My guess is that it could be version 3 or never for football in Queensland. The winners are going to get stronger, and the good young players will increasingly seek out these clubs to produce a better launching pad for overseas markets. With the Perth Glory's rich NSL trophy cabinet, Queensland is the only Australian A-League team without a history of success. They must be bold. They must get over their mis-fires. The must put-up the money for a Carbone like marque. Or be prepared for football to fade up north.