Roar striker Michael Baird hits the water with his squad.
Roar striker Michael Baird hits the water with his squad.

Team builds to a roar

By AARON KELLY ? QUEENSLAND Roar coach Miron Bleiberg is on a mission this weekend ? to discover any potential young stars for the upcoming Hyundai A-League and fine-tune his current crop of recruits.

The Roar's preparations for next month's FIFA Club World Championship Australian qualifying tournament clash against Sydney FC continue at Rockhampton's Ryan Park tonight.

Bleiberg will watch tonight's trial games against Frenchville Sports Club invitational teams intently with six Central Queenslanders joining the Roar squad in a bid to impress the ALeague side.

"We came to Rocky in order to prepare ourselves for Sydney FC,'' Bleiberg said.

"Preparations so far have been good and we get the chance to play another two games this weekend.''

While Sydney FC have been toughing it out in their much publicised pre-season tour of the United Arab Emirates, the Roar have been quietly going about their business developing combinations through a series of intense training games against Brisbane Premier League teams.

In three outings this week, the Roar scored an amazing 30 goals and conceded none.

The final pieces of Bleiberg's plan to mastermind a win over the glamour club of the A-League will fall into place over the next week with starting positions being settled and players readying themselves for their possible match-ups with the Sydney squad on May 7.

The winner of the tournament will appear alongside some of the world's elite clubs at December's FIFA Club World Championship in Japan.

Bleiberg said his players had to adapt to the demands of travel and playing consecutive games away from home.

"My mission is to analyse the players and help them adjust to the type of conditioning required,'' Bleiberg said.

Bleiberg rates Korean international and former K-League star Tae Yong Shin the best international talent to link with an A-League club.

The international midfielder has scored 99 KLeague goals and played in Korea's last two World Cup campaigns ? he is a player CQ soccer fans should keep an eye on tonight.

"When was the last time a World Cup player played in Rocky?'' Bleiberg said.

The 2005 A-League season kicks off on August 28 with the Roar to host New Zealand Knights at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.



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