BRISBANE Roar's bid to win the A-League premiership for the third consecutive year started at Ballymore yesterday morning.
They will have to try and do it without Bahraini international defender Mohamed Adnan though.
The 29-year-old - with 79 international caps to his credit - was home in the Middle East while his former teammates went through their paces during the club's first pre-season training session... and he won't be coming back.
Adnan decided he wanted to spend more time with his family after his one-year deal with the Roar ended.
He played 30 times for the Roar and scored one spectacular goal - a memorable free-kick in the dying stages against Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium.
Roar coach Rado Vidosic confirmed the news after the session.
"Mohamed has moved on," Vidosic said.
"He has decided to stay in the Gulf Region. I'm not sure where he'll be playing yet, but we wish him all the best.
"He was a very important part of our team last season and we will try to replace him - we've still got a couple of overseas spots left to fill."
As well as Adnan, the Roar also farewelled Canadian winger Issey Nakajima-Farran (AEK Larnica, Cyprus), reserve goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne (Melbourne Heart) and defender Matt Mundy (Rochedale Rovers, Brisbane Premier League).
Vidosic, who took over from dual-championship-winning coach Ange Postecoglou, has made one signing to-date, former Gold Coast United youngster Ben Halloran.
He said he also expected midfielder Mitch Nichols, who scored 10 goals last season, to remain in Brisbane after it appears he didn't win a contract with Danish first division club Randers.
"He went there for trials, and that was the end of May," Vidosic said. "We haven't heard anything, so I don't think it's going to happen."
The Roar start their title defence with a round one showdown against grand final opponents, Perth Glory, in Perth on October 7.
Their first home game will be in round two against their former coach Postecoglou and his new outfit Melbourne Victory.