Roar great makes 250th

THE likelihood of Matt McKay’s 250 A-League appearance being off the bench won’t diminish the occasion for the Brisbane Roar stalwart.

For just the second time in his A-League career, McKay was among the substitutes in the Roar’s 1-1 season-opening draw against Central Coast Mariners last Sunday at Suncorp Stadium.

And such was the performance of Alex Lopez, the Spanish midfielder who started ahead of McKay, that the club captain will almost certainly again be a reserve when Brisbane host Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.

“I know how to prepare properly, starting or off the bench,” McKay said.

“I’m a professional, I understand that the coaches have to make decisions which they think can win games.

Matt McKay will make his 250th Brisbane Roar appearance on Sunday. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

“I was very privileged to start a lot of those games (for the Roar), but it wouldn’t make a difference.

“I’m here for the team and I’m looking forward to the season.”

The former Socceroos midfielder said 250 A-League games was a “massive achievement”.

“I’ll enjoy it this weekend if I get on,” said McKay, who has won two championships with the Roar.

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“I’m a Brisbane boy, born and bred. I love the Roar. I signed when I was 21, I’m 35 now so it’s been a long portion of my life.

“I’m very proud of who I’ve grown up to become as a player and person and hopefully that rubs off on guys in our team now.”

Matt McKay celebrates with teammate Thomas Broich after Brisbane Roar secured the Premier’s Plate in 2014. Picture: Darren England.Source:News Corp Australia

Another proud Brisbane boy at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow, but on the opposing team, will be former Roar prodigy David Williams.

As a 17-year-old, attacking weapon Williams made two appearances for the club then known as Queensland Roar in the first season of the A-League (2005-06).

He then moved to Danish club Brondby, before returning to Australia for stints with North Queensland Fury, Sydney FC and Melbourne Heart/City.

Europe again called, with Williams spending two and half years with Hungarian club Haladas.

Now 30, the former Socceroos forward is back in A-League after signing a season-long deal with the Phoenix.

Matt McKay celebrates with the A-League trophy in 2011. Picture: Nathan RichterSource:News Limited

“It’s always nice to go back to Suncorp Stadium,” Williams said.

“Playing in your home city is always a good feeling … and from what I wanted out of football, I can get from Wellington.

“I feel like my career’s gone quite quickly. I have good memories from football and I still hope there are quite a few years left.”

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Originally published as Roar great makes 250th

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