Roar 'can't afford to keep Minniecon'

January 10, 2009
By Ian McCullough

Queensland Roar coach Frank Farina says his side will miss Tahj Minniecon next season but the club were simply unable to match the offer made to him by Gold Coast United.

Minniecon produced one of the standout performances of the A-League season in the Roar's 4-3 win over Central Coast Mariners on Saturday, but will ply his trade with the Gold Coast in the 2008/09 campaign after agreeing a lucrative contract this week.

The 19-year-old won praise from both Farina and Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna for his performance at Bluetongue Stadium which saw him set-up two of the Roar's goals and score one of his own.

"I said at the beginning (of the season) that we are not going to be able to keep everyone and the offer the Gold Coast made to him was one we could not fit in our cap," Farina said.

"Tahj was man of the match tonight, he showed his professionalism as he knows he is on the move next year.

"I said to him last week to put it in during training and during games and he has done that.

"But after tonight no one can fault his commitment to Queensland Roar."

McKinna admitted his side found the mercurial Minniecon too hot too handle.

"Sometimes he is hot, sometimes he is cold but he was on fire tonight and he gave Heff (Dean Heffernan) a hard time out there and give credit to him, he played very well," McKinna said.

Roar striker Sergio van Dijk, who scored twice, said he is finally enjoying life in the A-League after overcoming a difficult start to his Roar career.

"It is always a great feeling to score a goal but I was always confident I would get the form back," said the Dutchman, who took his total to seven for the season.

"We had a lot of options going forward in attack tonight, and that made it difficult for their defence and it made my job a lot easier."

It was the third time van Dijk had found the net at Bluetongue this season, after his stunning free-kick in the 1-1 draw in December, and he admitted the picturesque stadium brings out the best in him.

"I think it must be something to do with the view of the palm trees behind the goal there!" he said.