Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi has personally laid to rest any concerns over an ageing squad ahead of their Round 1 trip to Melbourne City tonight, emphasising his happiness at the squad assembled for Roar’s premiership pursuit.

Aloisi portrayed a man content with his squad’s pre-season preparation on Thursday morning following the final training session in Brisbane.

“We just feel that we have a stronger squad this year, the younger players have matured a lot over the last six months and they’re ready to help,” Aloisi said.

“Every season we expect to be there at the end competing, it’ll be no different this year and we believe we’ve got a great squad.

“We’ve got a lot of faith in our young boys, they know the system and their roles and it showed last season when they had to step up with the likes of Joey Caletti and Nicholas D’Agostino both playing really well last season.”

Criticisms surrounding the ageing Brisbane Roar squad featured heavily in the off-season, largely due to the signing of Italian veteran Massimo Maccarone (38).

Roar coach Aloisi has no such qualms however, refuting claims of a ‘dad’s army’.

“Look people are always going to have opinions but we believe in what we’re doing and we know that this playing group are winners and the players we’ve brought in have also won a lot in their careers so we are happy.

“Pre-season has shown we can expect quite a lot from him (Maccarone), no one will ever doubt his pedigree and what he’s achieved in his career.

“He’s fit in really well with the players who are understanding the way he plays, he scores goals – but not only that he actually combines really well with his teammates.”

Melbourne City will be without star players Bruno Fornaroli (ankle) and Tim Cahill who is away with the Socceroos.

Despite the absence of City’s dynamic duo Aloisi is still wary of a new look City outfit in their opening clash at AAMI Park.

“It’s a little bit hard to know exactly how they’re going to play because they’ve got a different coach and have implemented a few different systems in pre-season,” he said.

“They’ve still got quality players, we’re both missing a couple of players and I think just like us they have formed a strong squad.”

Meanwhile, Brisbane Roar’s French signing Eric Bautheac still remains unsighted on Australian shores despite signing way back on September 9.

Visa issues continue for the highly regarded winger who the Roar boss is eager to bring into the squad immediately.

“I’m looking at my phone every single day, waiting for a call or at least a message to say he’s on his way but at the moment I haven’t received anything.

“It’s disappointing because we signed him a few weeks ago now and we’d love for his visa to finally arrive.

“He’s going to be exciting for not only us but for the entire league and we just want him out here.”

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Josh is a student journalist at the University of Queensland currently covering Brisbane Roar's 17/18 season.