School kids roaring with delight to meet their stars

BRISBANE Roar players Matt Smith and Luke Brattan brushed off the cobwebs of a week's break … and it came courtesy of a bunch of eager school kids.

Smith and Brattan were put through their paces at St Joseph's Primary School in the leafy Brisbane suburb of Bardon, before Sunday's grand-final qualifier against the Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium.

The A-League competition is quickly catching on to Australia's mainstream, with many kids expected to attend that game.

The head of the A-League, Damien de Bohun, was also at St Joseph's and beamed with pride when talking about the growth of his competition.

"We've had a 54% rise in crowds over three seasons. It's gone from an average of 8000 up to 13,000, which is massive," he told APN.

"We're already on the doorstep of the NRL. We don't ever question how other sports count their numbers, but the reality is their average is only 14,000."



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