Broich forever grateful to master mentor Postecoglou

Brisbane Roar’s Thomas Broich paid tribute once more to Australia coach Ange Postecoglou for reviving his career as the midfielder reflected on the season that got away after the epic semi-final defeat at Wanderland on Sunday.


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After being on the wrong end of a 5-4 thriller against Western Sydney Wanderers, the German star looked back on another strong Brisbane season in which he played a key part.


Broich has a year left of his contract and will be seeking a last hurrah when he returns from a holiday in his homeland.

Broich, 35, has spent six successful years in the A-League and delighted thousands of fans across the country with his superlative attacking football that helped Brisbane win three championships.

Yet his stint in Australia was only possible due to then Roar coach Postecoglou’s success in talking Broich into coming to Brisbane.

How Postecoglou sold the A-League to Broich is anybody's guess but the coach’s nine-hour drive across Germany in 2010 to meet his man and persuade him to come Down Under will go down as one of the finest achievements of his coaching career.

“I am so grateful to Ange for giving me the chance to revive my career at a time when I was struggling,” Broich said.

“But it’s much more than that. I liked the way Ange played the game and his role as an educator.

“For the first time in my career I was able to understand football, to analyse games and make sense of such a complicated game.

“I did not understand what it takes to be successful. He was the one who taught me a lot and I shall be eternally grateful to him.

“These last six years have brought much happiness to my life and I’m so much better off for this experience.

“I am also grateful to all the people who helped me really express myself. This period in Australia has been the best time of my career.

“I am very happy to be a citizen of Brisbane.”

Broich chatted to David Zdrilic about all things football in January 2013

Broich was still coming to terms with Brisbane’s deflating defeat half an hour after the final whistle.

But he had a simple answer to Brisbane’e debacle after being three goals up in one of the greatest games in the A-League’s history.

“We forgot how to play football,” he said bluntly.

“After taking a three-goal lead we allowed them too much ball and kept dropping deeper and deeper.

“We were hoping to get them again on a break but it backfired spectacularly.”

Coach John Aloisi was stoic in his defence of Brisbane’s attacking mantra when asked why the team did not sit back to protect the lead.

“We are an open, attacking team,” he said.

“Shutting up shop is not my style and it will never be Brisbane Roar's style as long as I’m here.”

Broich agreed with Aloisi's sentiments to a degree.

“We’d love to be like that (more defence-minded) but we have some issues regarding defence. It is something we have to work on to be successful again,” he said.

“What John is saying, I guess, is that attack is the best form of defence. But if we deprive the opposition of the ball and play our football they will not create any momentum and any chances.

“We need to defend, yes, but it can’t be by dropping deep which we did for long periods and by parking the bus.

“Ironically, after we went 4-3 down we rediscovered our connection with football when Henrique and Tommy Oar came on.

“It was a lively game again and we went forward again and looked a lot more dangerous.”

Broich offered his appraisal of his team’s and his own performance in a year that started with lots of administrative problems in the off-season.

“From a team perspective we have done quite well. We had the belief and we overcame several challenges this year, some of them in a spectacular way,” he said.

“We had a chance to win the premiership and we were very unfortunate to lose 5-4 but we pushed the Wanderers to the limit, so that is a positive.

“On a personal level it was a bit of an up and down season. We changed our playing style a bit which means we have had to play a bit deeper and be more direct and on the break which quite naturally for a 35-year-old is a bit tougher.

“Even in my prime I was never that kind of player but I suppose this is the way football is evolving so I'm fine with that.

“The game has become very fast but I won’t be around for ever so I won’t be taking it personally.

“We’ve got a great team and a great coach who has improved us in the season he has been with us in terms of how he wants us to play and we will get even better next season.

“I’m now going back home for a holiday and refresh myself for what could quite likely be my last season in Australia.

“It will be the last year of my contract and I intend to make the most of it and enjoy it although I don’t know what role I might have."

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5 min read
Published 25 April 2016 at 11:00am
By Philip Micallef
Source: SBS