Broich back for resurgent Roar

February 29, 2012
By Jim Morton

Brisbane Roar linchpin Thomas Broich will rush back from injury on Friday night as the resurgent A-League champions aim to regain top spot with victory over Melbourne Heart.

Coach Ange Postecoglou's hopes of celebrating his 200th national league game with a win have been bolstered with Broich (shoulder) proving his fitness for the Suncorp Stadium encounter.

Postecoglou has no hesitation in starting with the classy German, who missed the 3-0 win over Perth, at the start of a heavy schedule which sees the Roar play three matches in nine days.

Brisbane start their AFC Champions League campaign on Tuesday night against FC Tokyo before playing Adelaide at home on Sunday week.

Three points over fifth-placed Heart will put the Roar (41) ahead of A-League pacesetter Central Coast (44) for at least 24 hours thanks to their superior goal difference.

With suspended striker Henrique missing, Postecoglou said there were no thoughts of easing Broich back off the bench.

"If he's right his right; there's no point protecting him," he said.

"He's pretty keen to play so he'll strip up and give it a go.

"It's an important game for us and he's put his hand up to play so if he's ready to go and he trained okay that's all I need to know."

The Heart are the only team Brisbane haven't beaten this season following a 2-1 home loss on December 9 and a 1-1 away draw on January 21.

The Victorians are also surging at the right time thanks to a pair of 1-0 wins over Gold Coast and the Mariners since Brazilian playmaker Fred returned from injury.

Coach John van 't Schip said his team would travel to Brisbane full of confidence thanks to their head-to-head record this season.

"It always helps," he said. "Up in Brisbane we played a very good first half and the game here, the whole game we were equal."

Postecoglou, who won two NSL titles with South Melbourne in the late 1990s, said he would wear his 200-match milestone as a "badge of honour".

Since taking over from the axed Frank Farina at the Roar midway through 2009-10, the former Young Socceroos mentor has coached Brisbane to 36 wins, 21 draws and 15 losses from 72 matches.

"I've been privileged to work with two fantastic clubs in South Melbourne and Brisbane and had a bit of success along the way and long may it continue," he said.