Saturday’s clash at Suncorp Stadium sees former Perth Glory, and current Olryoo, team mates Brandon O’Neill and Jamie Maclaren go head to head. We caught up with the Sky Blues midfielder to get an insight into one of the Hyundai A-League’s current most potent strikers.
You used to be team mates at Perth Glory, what was that like?
He was a good lad first and foremost, I’m still very good mates with him now and every time he’s in Sydney or I’m in Brisbane we try and catch up and talk about the past at Glory. He was always a very hard worker at training, and what he’s doing now for Brisbane he used to do at Perth Glory in the training sessions. He’s a very good finisher and he always has been, he used to do extra stuff after training and he’s reaped the rewards pretty much as he’s still banging the goals in at Brisbane. I couldn’t be happier for him, I know what he’s been through and I know how hard he’s had to work to get to where he is now.
What is it about his game that has brought about all the goals this season?
He’s always been a very good finisher, he’s always had an eye for goal. At Glory he was always banging them in from difficult angles and chipping the keeper when maybe the chip wasn’t on. I think what’s improved out of sight this year is his link up play and first touch. He’s been able to bring people into the game this year where maybe on past years he’s been working on that and it seems to have come to the fore this year. He’s always had speed and his positioning has been very good but his first touch and link up play have definitely improved.
What’s the key to stopping him?
A player like him, you know what you’re going to get from him. He’ll always work hard and be on the move and you just have to match up to everything, whatever he brings to the table you have to bring more. I remember marking him in training and thought the best way of out-marking him was to work harder than him and stop the supply to him, I think that’s a big thing we’ll have to focus on this week. We’ll have to stop the supply to everyone around him as well and I think the main thing will be to work harder than Brisbane, out work them and we’ve got the quality to match them there’s no doubt about that.
It would be great to get one over him wouldn’t it?
Yeah for sure. I think there would be a few words and cheeky stuff if that happened. It’s great to see him, myself, all the lads that were at Glory last season have gone on and we’ve done well and kicked on. It’s great to see he could be in line for a Socceroos call up and I’ve had a good full season at Sydney FC and it’s good for WA football.
How important is Saturday’s game?
Massive. I think all the lads know how important it is and they know how important the three points and the win is so I think all the talking has to be stopped. It’s time for action, we have to go out and get the three points and then move on to the next one after that. We’re the ones that have put ourselves in this situation, we need to be big enough, strong enough, stick together, get ourselves out, make the finals and give the finals a good shake this year. There’s no doubt if we can get to the finals we can do some good things.