By STEVE SPINKS
QUEENSLAND Roar A-League coach Miron Bleiberg has indicated that some players will be battling for their professional future with the club when they take on the North Coast All Stars soccer side at Oakes Oval, Lismore, this Sunday at 3.30pm.
Bleiberg told The Northern Star on Monday that he has yet to settle on a striker for his new franchise and that at least three overseas players are in the running for the position.
All three will be trialled against the local All Stars, which has set the scene for an intense match come Sunday afternoon.
"Three strikers, maybe their fate will be decided in Lismore," Bleiberg said.
"We have an Argentinian guy, a Macedonian guy and a Kiwi guy.
"They are all here to trial so Lismore will be part of the building process of the Queensland Roar, for better or for worse."
The Macedonian, Jurica Siljanoski, is a former National team member and is currently contracted with Romanian first division club FC Oradea.
He's married to an Australian and is keen to break into the A-League.
The Argentinian, Martin Fernando Perezlindo, is a former Argentina Under-20 representative.
He has played his latest football with Colombian first division clubs Millionarios and Deportivo Pasto.
The Roar have had a continuing battle to attract a high profile striker and have been linked with attempts to coax former Argentinian superstar Gabriel Battistuta out of retirement and former England striker Teddy Sheringham from West Ham United.
In both cases the deals came to nothing.
While acknowledging that the Roar could well overpower the locals, Bleiberg indicated it is much more than just a game for his burgeoning club.
"We're sick and tired of playing against ourselves and the Brisbane local clubs which we know by heart," he said.
"The Lismore team represents new faces and a new challenge."
The Brisbane coach also believes the North Coast match is a good opportunity to get his players used to the rigours of travel, while he also acknowledged the marketing opportunity of playing in Lismore.
"We hope to attract people from the area to Brisbane to watch us at Suncorp," Bleiberg admitted.
"We will also see the difference between professional and amateurs.
"I have two Koreans, a Swiss player and five guys who were in the Australian Under-20 team that beat Brazil two years ago."
If anyone was doubting the Roar's commitment to the fixture ... you'd better think again.
nA preliminary match between the North Coast Academy Under 17 girls and New England will kick-off on Sunday at 12pm.
A President's XI side will then take on a composite Queensland Roar side including six local youngsters at 1.30pm.
n TWO former Lismore boys will return to Oakes Oval this weekend for the Southern Cross Credit Union A-League clash.
It's well known that Todd Gava will turn out for the Queensland Roar in the main game with the North Coast All Stars.
But it's a little known fact that Roar physiotherapist, Tony Ganter, is also a local.
Ganter has been receiving rave reviews by the players and coaching staff at the new A-League club for his professional approach.
n A free coaching clinic will be held at Heaps Oval, Lismore, on Sunday morning at 9.30am with members of the Queensland Roar.
Any interested players are invited to participate.
QUEENSLAND ROAR: Karl Dodd, Todd Gava, Chad Gibson, Josh McCloughan, Warren Moon, Massimo Murdocca, Martin Perezlindo, Hyuk Seo, Tae Young Shin, Jurica Siljanoski, Tom Willis.
NORTH COAST ALL STARS: Rhys Evans, Jamie Austen, Aaron Richter-Steers, Adam Holmes, Jeremy Pollard, Lucas McPherson, Anthony Alvos, Clint Willoughby, John Bradbury, Peter O'Neill, Matt Olley. Reserves: Kevin Crofton, Joel Gosper, Kyle Sutton, Damian Keevers, Wayne Mortimer.
QUEENSLAND ROAR COMPOSITE TEAM: Royce Bronwlie, Remo Buess, Ben Griffen, Samuel Ipoua, Jaimie Johnson, Neil Jones, Jonti Richter, Jordan Simpson, Tyler Simpson, Reece Tollenaere, Dario Vidosic, (also include five SFNC juniors).
PRESIDENT'S XI: Alex Pratt, Stewart Coughran, Joel Saye, Matt Gordon, John Eakin, Eden Robinson, Jonas Van Dommele, Joel Rudgley, Brendan Parks, Jonathon Pierce, James Hirst. Reserves: Daniel Morrow, Aaron Smith, Riley Hechtl, Matt Gordon, Josh O'Driscoll, Tim Wallis,Josh Murphy.