May 3, 2014 – 6:57PM
Brisbane Roar fans Kieaton Ross, 7, Lily Ross, 3, and Liam Ross, 11. Photo: Michelle Smith
After a season of A-League domination, Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey is banking on a vocal home support to help the team lift the A-League championship trophy for the third time in four years.
Sunday’s grand final at Suncorp Stadium is a sell-out, with a capacity crowd of 52,500 expected to cheer on the men in orange.
Well, most of them anyway – the travelling Western Sydney Wanderers support is expected to number about 10,000 of some of the A-League’s most vocal and passionate supporters.
Brisbane was already buzzing on Saturday, as hundreds of Roar fans got to meet their heroes during a fan day on the Suncorp Stadium concourse.
Come Sunday, those Roar fans will multiply to tens of thousands hoping to live up to the team’s name.
Among them will be Dallas Wallace and his five-year-old son, Chayce.
Despite both former Roar home grand finals being in recent memory for most, it was a different story for one of Brisbane’s youngest fans – Chayce has no memory of his side’s victory over the Perth Glory two years ago.
And for his father, times certainly have changed.
“I think Daddy will be a bit tamer at this one than he was at the first two as well,” Mr Wallace said.
While Mr Wallace may tone down his enthusiasm for the sake of his young son, Mulvey said he was banking on the sea of orange to drown out the formidable Wanderers travelling support.
“The Wanderers are bringing, allegedly, 10,000 fans and I’ve been in their stadium and it’s a wonderful atmosphere, but it’s also quite one-sided,” he said.
“What we’ve got a chance tomorrow is for our fans – there’ll be 40,000 of them – to actually ousting them and we’re looking forward to that.”
Mulvey, a former Gold Coast United coach and Briz31 community television football program host, said he had seen first-hand how a full Suncorp Stadium could help the home team get over the line.
“I’ve sat in this ground when the Roar won two grand finals previously – it’s a fantastic atmosphere and I said to myself that one day I wanted to be a part of a grand final,” he said.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think it’d be for the Roar and so quickly, but I’m really looking forward to hearing the hearts and voices of our fans tomorrow and we’ll do the very best we can for them.”
Brisbane boasts a 100 per cent winning record for its teams when hosting national football league grand finals that stretches back to 1997, when the Brisbane Strikers defeated Sydney United 2-0 in the National Soccer League grand final before a then-record crowd of 40,446.
Wanderers coach Tony Popovic, who started that season playing for Sydney United, missed that match after a mid-season transfer Japanese club Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
“That was a long time ago. It was a totally different game and different circumstances – we just need a different result,” Popovic said.
Forty-odd thousand Roar fans in Suncorp Stadium on Sunday will be hoping history can repeat itself for a third time.
Source :The Brisbane Times