The Brisbane Roar didn’t quite start their premiership-defending W-League season how they would have wanted, failing to capitalise on the absence of Perth Glory star Sam Kerr’s absence in a 1-1 stalemate.

In fairness, both squads were afflicted with a number of notable absentees.

Perth’s glaring omission from the day was obviously superstar forward Kerr, ruled out by a suspension from last season she was yet to serve.

As well as missing injured winger Hayley Raso, a number of key Roar players were ruled out by international commitments.

The most glaring absence felt was that of star goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold, with playing approval from Norwegian parent club Arna-Bjornar still pending.

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Roar head coach Mel Andreatta assured fans post-game that Arnold’s return would be coming “soon” however.

While it is surely frustrating that players of Arnold’s calibre are left sidelined due to off-field issues, the multiple round one absences gave the 3796 fans in attendance a glimpse at some promising young players.

“The future’s looking very bright, we had three schoolgirls on that park.”

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Lauding the performance of her younger players, Andreatta offered praise in particular for goalkeeper Elli Chapple: “She held her own, there’s not much she could have done about that goal and she got a tip on the one that hit the crossbar. She’s a fantastic prospect.”

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While catching a glimpse of the W-League’s future stars is always exciting, it doesn’t always lead to wins- as shown on Sunday.

The toiling of debutant Chioma Obogagu and eventual goal-scorer Carson Pickett aside, much of the narrative surrounding the match was about the players who weren’t there.

While there’s no certainty in saying so, you have to feel the Roar could have done better and maybe grabbed a win if they were at 100% strength.

Facing Western Sydney Wanderers away next week- hopefully with their remaining returning players finally integrated- we might have good idea if this would have been the case.

Time will tell.

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