This weekend, Jen and I flew down to Melbourne for Brisbane Roar’s final game of the season. After an extremely tight final few rounds of the competition, it came down to a simple equation. Win and the Premiere’s Plate is ours. Lose and it goes to Adelaide United.
Despite being a member for six years, neither Jen nor I have had an opportunity to see a Brisbane Roar away game, even when there was a Gold Coast team in the competition. Seeing them play in a must-win premiereship deciding match against the biggest team in the competition seemed like as good a game as any to be the first.
We flew in Saturday afternoon which gave us a few hours to kill before kick off.
We popped into Nieuw Amsterdam on Hardware Street in the city. They served some pretty excellent American style diner food and had a beer selection that was 30 labels strong. We had a beef brisket, chicken ribs and a cheese burger. Plus Ciders and IPAs.
For dessert we had this deconstructed cheesecake thing which had Laphroiag marmalade. It was pretty tasty let me tell you.
True to its reputation, Melbourne’s cafe culture is full of brilliant places like this that are innocuously tucked away in laneways and full of stupidly good food and drink.
Pre-game, the Roar fans met up at The Irish Daily. There was about a hundred Roar fans there making plenty of noise and getting super excited about the impending game. It was great having a chance to chat and interact with some of the club’s most diehard fans. I didn’t get a chance to take a photo of the Den singing in full voice at the bar but I assume something will pop up online and I’ll add it to this post later. The only picture I got was a selfie catching up with my old friend Suellen who only recently moved from Brisbane to Melbourne.
AAMI Park is situated near the city and is about a kilometre away from Federation Square. The venue is quite striking at night time and looks amazing lit up in Victory’s colours. For most Brisbane Roar fans, a big item on the wishlist is the chance to move away from Suncorp Stadium (which is way too big for our fan base) and play at a venue that holds 20-30k. AAMI Park is the perfect sort of venue. Every seat is close to the action. The domed exterior creates a terrific cauldron effect so the noise of the fans really reverberates around the grounds. And of course, there was a fantastic atmosphere on the night as the Roar fans filled out the entire Away Fans bay which is situated right by the Northern Terrace (Melbourne Victory’s active supporter bay). All night long there were duelling chants, back and forth banter and a really edge to the atmosphere. Perfect theatre.
Of course the night itself didn’t quite go to plan.
But that’s okay.
The team has had an incredible season and I’m proud of everything they accomplished. At the start of the season most of us were just hoping we wouldn’t finish last. Instead the team gave us one hell of a ride. Next week the finals campaign begins and first up is a do-or-die home game against Melbourne Victory.