A-LEAGUE champions Brisbane Roar have re-signed six key players including marquee Thomas Broich, captain Matt Smith and goalkeeper Michael Theo.
The six re-signing is a major boost to Brisbane Roar’s bid to make a long-term mark on Australian football.
Vice-captain Shane Stefanutto, Brazilian import Henrique and versatile defender Ivan Franjic are the other players to put pen to paper with the back-to-back A-League champions ahead of the 2012/13 season.
The six players all played in both of the Roar’s A-League Grand Final victories in 2011 and 2012 and their mass re-signing shows their confidence in new Head Coach Rado Vidosic’s plans and the direction of the club both on and off the football pitch.
Veteran defender Shane Stefanutto has signed a one-year extension, taking him to the end of the 2013/14 season.
A-League Championship-winning skipper Smith, Henrique, who has just applied for Australian permanent residency, and Franjic have committed for an additional three years until 2015/16 season.
Reigning Hyundai A-League Johnny Warren medallist Broich and three-time A-League Goalkeeper of the Year Michael Theo have signed massive four year extensions and will play for Brisbane Roar until at least the end of the 2016/17 campaign.
“I’m extremely happy to re-sign with Brisbane,” Smith said.
“One of the big things when talking to the club was discussing the vision the management has for the team and it was very reassuring to know they wanted to keep us together.
“There have been opportunities not just for me but for the other players, here in Australia and overseas, but what we are trying to create is worth more than money.
“We want to create that legacy and keep building on it and that was a key part of my decision to stay in Brisbane.
“We don’t want to rest on what we’ve accomplished over the past two years, we want to keep pushing and set more benchmarks in the league.”
A combined 18 years of contract extension is ahead for the six players, who have more than 400 Hyundai A-League appearances between them.
For Head Coach Rado Vidosic, himself a longstanding figure at the club having been part of the coaching staff since the inaugural Hyundai A-League season, said he was overwhelmed at the magnitude of the re-signings.
“This is a great day for Brisbane Roar,” Vidosic said.
“The re-signings of these six Championship-winning players gives us a fantastic base to work from for further success and also gives us stability for the future.
“These players are excellent role models for younger players and with their guidance, we hope to develop the next generation of Brisbane Roar champions.”