Brisbane Roar have been rejuvenated by a string of new signings for Friday’s match against Central Coast, according to coach Mike Mulvey.
Dutch attacking player Stefan Nijland, who arrived from Holland on Thursday morning, is the club’s latest recruit. Roar signed him on a four-month loan deal from PSV Eindhoven.
A decision on whether Nijland plays against the Mariners at Suncorp Stadium will depend on his condition, but both coach and player are confident he will be available.
Recent signing Jade North looks set to make his first start, while veterans Besart Berisha and Shane Stefanutto will both return after serving one-match suspensions.
Another player signed in the January transfer window, Steven Lustica, also looks likely to play in a refurbished Roar line-up.
Mulvey told reporters after training on Thursday that 24-year-old Nijland was eager to make an impression at the Roar.
“The thing that impressed me most about speaking to him was that there was a hunger and a desire to join us,” Mulvey said.
“He wanted to come out because he wants to make a difference. Once you speak to him and once you see him on the field, you’ll see that that desire is there.
“And if you’ve played at a big club like PSV that brings a level of confidence and a sort of an aura that is going to rub off on most of our players, which will be great.”
Nijland’s preferred position is in the number 10 role, just behind the strikers, and Mulvey said he would complement Brisbane’s other attacking players in the final third.
“I want him to score goals, create goals, play in a winning team,” he said.
Though he admitted that facing a “ruthless” Mariners outfit would be tough, Mulvey said the new additions to the Roar’s playing stocks and the return of Berisha and Stefanutto ensured his side would be up to the challenge.
“Competition for places is key. Yesterday was the first time I’ve been able to try lots of different combinations. That’s very, very pleasing as a coach,” he said.
“We’ve got that competition for places, and through that we should get improved performances.
“Just Matty Smith (is out) at the moment, who is still on rest leave.
“But we’re getting the troops back, and it’s good news.”