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Feb 6, 2012

Canadian striker cut from Roar's ACL squad

Canadian international Issey Nakajima-Farran has paid the price as Brisbane's fifth-best import this A-League season by being left out of the Roar's 25-man AFC Champions League squad submitted on Monday.

Nakajima-Farran came to the A-League champions as a highly-rated striker from Danish club Horsens but has failed to nail down a starting position for Brisbane.

The Asian Football Confederation's rules for the Champions League restricts the number of foreign imports to four in each squad, and stipulates one needs to be Asian.

In-form Bahraini defender Mohamed Adnan, classy German playmaker Thomas Broich, leading goalscorer Besart Berisha and dangerous Brazilian striker Henrique have shut out Nakajima-Farran.

The writing's been on the wall for several weeks, particularly since Broich (heel) and Henrique (knee) returned from injuries which has led to the Canadian being dumped by coach Ange Postecoglou for the Roar's past two games.

Youngster Nick Fitzgerald has also made the most of his chance to start, making an impact in Saturday's 2-0 away win over pacesetters Central Coast.

Only injury to one of the Roar's four imports could see Nakajima-Farran added to the squad which will be announced a week before their opening Champions League clash against FC Tokyo on March 6.

Brisbane had hoped to include former striker Dario Vidosic, who had been set to leave Adelaide United after Reds coach John Kosmina had questioned his toughness in a newspaper column.

But Adelaide, also playing in the Asian competition with Central Coast, will keep the Socceroo, whose father Rado is Postecoglou's assistant coach at the Roar.

Meantime, the A-League champions have become the first Australian club with Asian owners after the Indonesia-based Bakrie Group acquired full ownership on Monday.

Bakrie took a 70 per cent share of the Roar last September - six months after Football Federation Australia stepped in to prop up the cash-strapped club in March.

While the new owners have bought out the remaining 30 per cent from the FFA for a full takeover, Bakrie is yet to unveil a new board, which is set to include both foreign and local directors.

A-League boss Lyall Gorman labelled the move as a "significant step" for the competition.

"We can foresee many exciting opportunities ahead for the Roar and Australian football under this relationship with the Bakrie Group, which has extensive investments in football in Asia, Europe, South America and now Australia," Gorman said.

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