Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gap at the back: Craig Moore ready to go - Brisbane Roar need a realistic plan

At half time on Wednesday Craig Moore looked like he had picked up a knock. This prompted me to say to the people in front 'this could be the last moment we see Craig.' Fortunately, he came out again for the second half. Whether he will have ties with the club by the next home game on 16 January is a real question. The club is desperately saying he will be back. But I think he made his decision as Frank Farina was leaving.

My view is that his plan is to get playing time right up to the Socceroos training camp in quarter two 2010. He says he has an offer from Scotland and interest from Holland and Japan.

After the world cup, he may retire altogether. He has said he is not coming back to the Brisbane Roar.

There is some speculation that Moore wanted to finish his career at the Gold Coast, but could not reach agreement with Miron. Moore is committed the Gold Coast and this week setup a 8 to 13 year olds training academy - Viva Soccer to work in the new FFA guidelines and is developing ties with Gold Coast schools. It is a great pity that this - given that it is the current Brisbane captain - is not happening in Brisbane and that in any case there does not appear to be any tie-up with the A-League nor Gold Coast FC.

Moore's departure is going to put greater pressure on Brisbane Roar as a club. Probably due to lack of funds, the club does not appear to have clear plan to grow its fan base. As a result (and due to giving away its true marquee player - Charlie Miller - what other club in the world would do this mid season?) it is going backwards dramatically. Yet the FFA is negotiating for it to continue at the 52,000 seat Suncorp. The FFA is very keen for there not to be an appearance of a backward step, not the least to support its World Cup bid.

However, it is unlikely that the 2010 World Cup will do anything to boost Roar attendances next year. That will be down to:

- the development of community support (particularly getting out and making real connections with clubs)
- the purchase of new and interesting players including at the very least a $1 million plus marque (never even close at the Roar)
- results (3rd and last in terms of importance in spite what the coach and chair try to tell us)

Please tell us the plan. All we are hearing is the players who are going (Tiatto, Van Dijk etc) and the plan for a new keeper. Young players, exciting as they are, and Aussies coming back from a failed Romanian team are not going to be enough. We can see all that at the local park.

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