The Brisbane Roar unveils its very own home
SOCCER: After 13 years as a footballing nomad, Brisbane finally has a place to call home.
And long-serving captain Matt McKay is hopeful the A-League club's new $9 million training and administrative headquarters in Logan can help spur the side on to an unlikely finals appearance.
The Roar has unveiled the facility at Browns Plains, which eventually will house every section of the club's operations - including their W-League, NPL and academy teams.
It ends more than a decade of life on the road for the three-time A-League champion.
As the last remaining foundation player at the Roar, McKay has been through it all - starting out training at Richlands in 2005, then Ballymore, then Griffith University before heading back to Ballymore, with other staff often scattered at various spots across the city.
The players now have everything they need to perform in the one location to perform at their best, even if it is technically outside Brisbane.
"It's really good that we can just be based here and not have to filter off to different places - it's all here,” McKay said yesterday.
"To say it's ours is great. Someone's given us a chance. No one else has gone, 'here's some land and a facility'.
"A lot of other codes are desperate for that.”
The main training pitch - a former rubbish dump - has been transformed into a surface coach John Aloisi says is the best he's had access to while at the Roar.
Importantly, there are only football goals on it and a fence around it - no rugby posts or paraphernalia from any other sport in sight, and no need to pick out overblown passes from a creek, like at Ballymore.
"I remember them saying about multi-purpose. I said 'no, no, it has to be football',” Aloisi said.
"They made it happen ... a facility that's going to be up there with the best in the A-League and make the players feel like they're professional footballers.
"We've got a good group and a close group, but this will just make them closer.”
With the Roar still on a high from last weekend's 2-1 upset of reigning champion Sydney FC, the new digs will keep the enthusiasm chugging along as the team aims to break into the top six with four rounds left.
"We've had a great run and this just picks it up again,” McKay said. "It's a good feeling.”