Magic Round a tricky spell for Roar

THE Gabba or Dolphin Stadium could host an A-League semi-final this season because of the NRL’s Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium in May.

The second weekend of the A-League finals series clashes with the Magic Round, in which eight NRL matches will be played during a four-day period from May 9 to May 12 at Suncorp Stadium.

If Brisbane Roar finish the regular season in either first or second spot on the A-League ladder, they will earn the right to host a semi-final on either May 10, 11 or 12.

The football Olympic opening ceremony at Brisbane’s Gabba in 2000. Picture: Derek MooreSource:News Corp Australia

Rather than the Roar forfeiting their home advantage because of Suncorp Stadium’s unavailability, The Courier-Mail has learnt that the Gabba or Dolphin Stadium would be the venue for the sudden-death final.

The Gabba, the 42,000-capacity cricket stadium that doubles as the home ground of AFL club Brisbane Lions, hosted football at the 2000 Olympics.

Redcliffe rugby league venue Dolphin Stadium can hold 10,000 people, and played host to the Roar’s FFA Cup clash with Melbourne City in August.

Coach John Aloisi looks on during a Brisbane Roar training session. Picture: AAP ImageSource:AAP

A-League boss Greg O’Rourke said a “couple of venues” had been “pencilled in” as options for the match should the Roar host it.

O’Rourke also said Football Federation Australia had briefly considered playing the match at Suncorp Stadium on the night of Monday, May 13 if the Roar were hosts.

“But it wouldn’t have been ideal to play on a surface that had just had eight rugby league matches played on it in the previous four days,” O’Rourke said.


MATT McKay is on the cusp of becoming the first Roar player to make 250 A-League appearances after being named in an extended 18-man Brisbane squad for Sunday’s clash against Wellington Phoenix at Suncorp Stadium.

For only the second time in his A-League career, club captain McKay was named on the bench for the Roar’s season-opening 1-1 home draw with Central Coast Mariners last Sunday.

The 35-year-old former Socceroos midfielder came on in the 84th minute as a replacement for the man who took his starting spot, Spaniard Alex Lopez.

Matt McKay is on the cusp of becoming the first Roar player to make 250 A-League appearances. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Such was Lopez’s performance that McKay will find it hard to force his way back into Roar coach John Aloisi’s starting plans for the Phoenix’s visit.

Aloisi’s 18-man squad includes attacking pair Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Nick D’Agostino, who both watched from the stands last weekend.

Two players will be omitted from the squad before Sunday’s 4pm kick-off.

The Phoenix squad includes former Roar pair Mitch Nichols and David Williams.

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Originally published as Magic Round a tricky spell for Roar

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