Goal Australia examines the champions' hugely impressive domestic campaign, lit up by a stellar season from their German playmaker
In the dugout
Mike Mulvey did well to get Brisbane back on track following the abortive reign of Rado Vidosic early in 2012-13. The Roar certainly looked dangerous on paper going into this season, but no-one knew if the man on the bench was capable of matching the exploits of Ange Postecoglou. He answered any doubters emphatically, remaining level-headed and engaging in the media while orchestrating a deserved Premier's Plate and Grand Final triumph on the field. Handled some big names in the dressing room and the mid-season news of Besart Berisha's impending departure with aplomb.
Plucked from the state leagues in 2010, Englishman Matt Smith has been a picture of consistency for the Roar in 2013-14. The centre-back played all 29 games, scored three goals and only picked up four yellow cards, exactly the sort of reliable, disciplined presence in defence team require to win a championship.
Moving decisively to secure the services of former skipper Matt McKay as Australian marquee was a masterstroke from the Roar's owners. The energetic midfielder made 24 appearances in 2013-14, scored once and provided seven assists, earning a place in Goal's A-League Team of the Season. A favourite of former Brisbane boss Postecoglou, he is likely to go to the World Cup with Australia.
What can we say about Thomas Broich that hasn't already been said? After a subdued 2012-13 by his own high standards, the German maestro hit new heights this term, sweeping the board for individual honours, including a second Johnny Warren Medal as player of the season. He was also decisive in Roar's extra-time Grand Final triumph, sharing the Joe Marston Medal for man of the match with Iacopo La Rocca.
There are almost too many to choose from. The 4-0 win at home to Sydney FC in Round 2 was an early statement of the Queenslanders' intent and they turned it on to get the better of Western Sydney 3-1 at home in Round 7. Mulvey's men were close to their best in successive weeks on the road in Round 12 and Round 13, beating Sydney FC 5-2 and Melbourne Victory 3-0.
The closest the Roar came to a genuinely sticky patch was successive 1-0 defeats at home to Newcastle Jets (their 2013-14 bogey team) and away to Melbourne Heart.
Off the field
Losing Berisha to Melbourne Victory, a deal that was announced in January, was a bitter pill to swallow for a club that also lost Ange Postecoglou and Mitch Nichols to the Victorian powerhouse, as well as seeing Robbie Kruse flourish there and Kosta Barbarouses opt for the Big V upon his return to the A-League. Jean Carlos Solorzano also made the move to Victory in 2011, but it's the men in orange who have prospered in recent times.
Where to next?
Replacing Berisha's goals is the biggest challenge the Roar will face next season. They are set to retain the bulk of their championship-winning squad, but can surely expect interest from overseas for the likes of Ivan Franjic and Luke Brattan, having already sold Kwame Yeboah to Borussia Monchengladbach.
A hugely impressive season that bore rich dividends in terms of silverware, making Brisbane Roar the A-League's most successful club. Trying to back up with another title in 2014-15 will be a challenge without Berisha, but more than possible. Performing well in the AFC Champions League is also a stated goal of Mulvey and his decorated players.