Where are they now? Brisbane Roar 2010/11 A-League champions

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As Brisbane Roar prepare for the 2020/21 A-League competition finals, let us have a look back at one of the best campaigns in the club’s history – the 2010/11 season.

The record breaking Brisbane side claimed their inaugural premiership and championship, while also recording a 25-game unbeaten run with only one loss in the entire regular season.

This Roar squad delivered Brisbane a penalty shoot-out victory against Central Coast Mariners in one of the most memorable grand finals in the A-League era.

So the question has to be asked, where are they now?

STARTING XI

Michael Theoklitos

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In between the sticks for the Roar was Michael Theoklitos, the Roar’s talisman won goalkeeper of the year in 2010/11 after conceding only 26 goals in 30 A-League matches and saved two of the four penalties in the shootout to help his side prevail in the grand final.

Theo is still gracing the football field at the ripe old age of 40 with the semi-professional side Nunawading City FC in Melbourne. Theo also has a passion for coaching and mentoring young aspiring footballers and is currently running his own soccer clinics which teach kids basic football skills.

Ivan Franjic

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Ivan Franjic was one of four defenders in the 2010/11 Professional Footballer ‘Team of the Year’. The right-back was influential for the Roar as a rock solid defender who could also launch devastating counter-attacks down the field.

Franjic is currently playing off the bench for Macarthur FC in their inaugural season of the A-League, after signing with the club in September 2020.

Matt Smith

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Matt Smith joined the Roar ahead of their premiership winning campaign in 2010/11 and went on to play the full 120 minutes in the nail-biting decider against the Mariners. Smith was an instant success at his new club earning himself the club captaincy the following year.

The former Roar captain and Socceroo has since joined National Premier League club Brisbane City as both a player and as their Football Director, aimed at overseeing and leading technical staff and programs related to coach education and player development.

Milan Susak

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Milan Susak was a versatile defender who slotted into Brisbane’s back four with ease during his first year at the club in the 2010/11 season, he went on to play a crucial role in defence throughout the campaign including in the penultimate grand final.

Susak has remained in the football scene and is currently an official scout for Serbian football side Redstar Belgrade, he also runs Susak Football Academy which is a football skills clinic for youngsters.

Shane Stefanutto

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Shane Stefanutto was another key player in the Roar’s premiership and championship winning team. The left back made more than 134 appearances for the club during his career which included three championships, the first of which came in the 2010/11 season.

Stefanutto announced his retirement from the professional football in April 2016, at the end of the 2015/16 A-League season.

The now 41-year-old remains involved with the A-League in a management role as the Football Director at the Roar.

Erik Paartalu

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Erik Paartalu was an important player for Brisbane, he became a linchpin in the midfield and made a habit of scoring crucial goals. Paartalu’s defining moment came in the 2011 A-League grand final, when he scored the equaliser with the last touch of the game.

The 35-year-old has since joined Indian Super League club Bengaluru FC and signed a two-year contract extension at the end of the 2019/20 campaign.

Mitch Nichols

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Mitch Nichols was a creative midfielder for the Brisbane Roar who made 125 appearances for the side between 2007 and 2013. Nichols was at his creative best in the 2011 grand final and was the closest to scoring a goal during regular play when his first-half shot clattered into the crossbar.

Nichols is currently in the National Premier League Queensland competition with the Gold Coast Knights.

Matt McKay (c)

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Matt McKay was a Brisbane legend and club captain who epitomised the professionalism and skill that helped his side dominate the A-League. It was reported after the grand final that McKay gave a stirring speech at half-time which boosted the Roar’s morale to overcome their 2-0 deficit.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Erik Paartalu admitted after the match that he had conceded defeat before McKay’s speech.

“I gave up hope in the first part of extra time. I thought it just wasn’t our day and was basically resigned to the fact that the Mariners had won. But Matty McKay came out and gave a great speech and we all responded,” he told the publication.

McKay has since retired from professional football and launched a company called Freddy and Co. which designs baby play mats. He is also a very keen golfer and an ambassador for Brookwater Golf & Country Club.

Kosta Barbarouses

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Kosta Barbarouses played an attractive brand of football which perfectly suited the Roar and his standout season saw him named in the 2010/11 A-League All-Star Team. Unfortunately, the winger was not able to get on the scoresheet in the grand final and was substituted at the 81st minute.

The 31-year-old is now in his second season with the reigning A-League champions Sydney FC and has contributed eight goals and three assists throughout his 23 league matches in 2020/21.

Thomas Broich

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Thomas Broich is considered as one of the greatest players in A-League history. He was a star for Brisbane throughout the 2010/11 season and was a key player in the sides outstanding undefeated run. Broich assisted both of Brisbane’s goals in the grand final, it was his corner kick that assisted Paartalu’s last minute equaliser.

Broich ended his career in 2017 but has since embarked on a coaching career with a youth side at one of Germany’s biggest clubs, Eintracht Frankfurt.

Jean Carlos Solórzano

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Jean Carlos Solórzano impressed at Brisbane after signing with the club on a loan deal from Costa Rican club Liga Deportiva Alajuelense. The centre forward was the top scorer at the club with 11 goals in the season, but failed to make an impact in the grand final despite being a constant attacking threat.

The now 33-year-old is busy leading the line for Lions FC in the NPL Queensland competition and has already added one goal to his tally early this season.

SUBSTITUTES

Massimo Murdocca

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Massimo Murdocca was widely known in the A-League for his high work rate and stamina. The midfielder played 162 matches for Brisbane, including a limited appearance in the grand final against the Mariners.

Murdocca is still involved with the A-League as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for Western United.

Henrique

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Henrique missed a large portion of the 2010/11 season because of a broken arm he injured earlier in the year. The Brazilian became a wildcard for the Roar in the grand final, after coming off the bench to score a goal and convert the winning penalty.

The forward now plays with Coomera Colts in the Gold Coast Premier League, he has also spent some time coaching different levels of football, including helping out the Brisbane Roar W-League side earlier this year.

Rocky Visconte

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Rocky Visconte turned down a new contract with Scottish side Heart of Midlothian to sign with Brisbane ahead of 2010/11 season. The winger only started seven matches in his Roar career and found himself on the bench again for the grand final, getting limited minutes in extra time.

Visconte is now back at Croydon Kings in the South Australian Premier League competition, which is the club where he made his first senior appearance.

WATCH: 2010/11 A-League Grand Final HIGHLIGHTS

Featured Image Credit: Peripitus

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Angus Brien
Covering Brisbane Roar A-League and W-League matches during the 2020/2021 season. Currently studying Journalism at Queensland University of Technology. Big sports fan and lover of football.
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