In the first part of our exclusive two-part interview with Brisbane Roar Managing Director Sean Dobson, he discusses the former champion’s ongoing transformation from franchise to genuine football club – including plans for a permanent home.
Brisbane Roar Managing Director Sean Dobson says the club is taking positive strides behind the scenes as the organisation continues its metamorphosis from franchise to genuine football club.
Speaking exclusively to Football Central, Dobson said Roar were increasing their focus on player development – including the planned introduction of Roar junior teams and establishing a permanent training base.
Bouyant and optimistic about the season ahead, Dobson said Roar was “starting to feel like a club” since the Indonesian owners the Bakrie Group took full ownership of the license in early 2012.
“A big part of what we’ve been trying to do for the past 18 months or 2 years since Bakrie took over is to really take what was basically a senior team franchise concept and build it into a proper football club,” Dobson outlined.
However, he admitted that such plans aren’t without their challenges in the Australian football landscape.
“Our next challenge, and something we are looking to do sooner rather than later, is to work out how do we bring in juniors and how do we bring them in so we can support the NPL (National Premier Leagues), support BPL (Brisbane Premier League) community clubs as well as state football.”
Central to that vision is a permanent training base and Dobson indicated it could well become a reality quicker than many supporters anticipate.
“A lot of it is finding the right partner,” Dobson further explained, “Unfortunately we weren’t around in the 50’s, 60’s and70’s when you could acquire green space for a decent deposit.”
“We’ve been close a couple of times, but I’m not afraid to say that for one reason or the other we just haven’t been able to get over the line.”
“I think what we will find in the next 12 to 18 months something will solidify quite quickly and a home will be established.”
However, in a blow to those supporters seeking their own match day venue, Dobson said there were no plans to depart from their current home ground of Suncorp Stadium.
“There’s calls for a boutique stadium but that’s not something we are looking at. Really what we are focused on is a development facility, a technical and training facility that is something for all Queenslanders.”
Dobson also knocked on the head suggestions of a permanent clubhouse that would serve as an entertainment venue for Roar supporters and the city’s football fans in general.
“There’s a possibility but I’ll be honest, it’s not a priority,” he confided
“What we are focused on is the quality of fields, quality of change rooms and quality of medical support services.”
“Our primary role as a football club is to be successful and to develop the best footballers we can. How we go about supporting those goals, there’s a few different ways we can follow and a clubhouse is an option.”
“However, when you get in to the nitty gritty, unless it’s a relatively significant investment, it’s hard to turn a profit, a reliable profit and a long-term profit, on a clubhouse type facility.”
While several sites around greater Brisbane are rumoured to be on the Roar’s radar, Dobson would not be drawn on a potential location for the training facility.
Return later in the week for part two of Football Central’s exclusive interview with Brisbane Roar Managing Director Sean Dobson, where he discusses the club’s moves to bring their W-League team in-house and the future of the women’s game in Australia.