Neville hails Aloisi impact and positive pre-season despite Cup defeat

Brisbane Roar didn't get the result in the final they sought, but defender Scott Neville sees the side’s Australia Cup 2023 run as a positive ahead of the new A-League Men's season.

The Roar played an attractive style of football under new coach Ross Aloisi in the Australia Cup and which they demonstrated against their opponents in the first half of the final.

Teenage sensation Thomas Waddingham made it four goals in his last four matches for Brisbane, giving them a halftime lead in an all-round dominant display.

However, according to Neville, the depth of the Sydney squad played its part in turning the match against the Roar in the second period. 

Three unanswered goals from the Sky Blues, saw the trophy slip out of the hands of Brisbane. Neville credited the impact of coach Aloisi has had early on while highlighting the disappointment of the result.

“We’re disappointed,” he said to Network 10 post-match. 

“Ross has come in and he’s completely changed the dynamic of the club. Training is really enjoyable, it’s really hard - it’s physical and I think that showed in the first half how well we dominated the game.

“We took the lead, we probably could have scored again and then second half, Sydney made a few changes, brought on some real quality with the new Brazilian fellow [Fabio Gomes], and Joe Lolley was having a bit of a field day out there, so it was tough for us.”

Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar | Key Moments | Australia Cup Final 2023

Despite the Cup defeat, the experienced defender was pleased with Brisbane’s preseason, explaining how playing competitive fixtures is more beneficial than a series of friendly matches. Neville said that the Cup has also given the team the opportunity to blood some youngsters into the squad, namely, goalscorer Waddingham.

“It’s been really rewarding and we’ve had a great cup run, but it’s time to put that in the past and move on and focus on round one,” he said. 

“He’s been amazing. From day one in preseason, he’s getting stronger and stronger. They call him Haaland because he’s a physical player - he’s quick but he’s a really good finisher.

“To have that kind of finish in your locker at 18 is really good, and he’s a really humble kid.

“If he continues to work hard and have influences like Ross and the playing group we have, then I think he can go a very long way.”