IT’S not just his older brother’s football knowledge that John Aloisi has sought since his journey as Brisbane Roar coach began in 2015.
Appointing sibling Ross as his assistant has been one of the wisest decisions Aloisi has made in his Roar stint such has been the tough times the club has faced in recent years.
Troubles during the Aloisis’ Roar tenure have included poor facilities, shocking injury tolls and late payments that have on more than one occasion threatened to end the club.
“I’ve been very fortunate that not only is Ross a good coach, he’s someone that I can trust,” John Aloisi said.
“With all the problems that we’ve had, if I didn’t have people next to me that I could trust, it would have been more difficult.
“To be able to get through a lot of those issues has been thanks to having him around.”
Time and again it was John who had to front the media to discuss a range of off-field issues he should not have had to worry about.
It hurt Ross to see his younger brother – widely regarded as the face of the Roar thanks to his high profile – have to face the music so often.
“It’s tough on John and I’ll always look out for him,” Ross said.
“But we know through our time in football, that’s the way it is. I’m actually less emotional now that I’m older and wiser in terms of the game, but not when it comes to my brother.”
And while Ross will always be there for John, he’s not afraid to voice his opinion if it doesn’t correspond with his brother’s.
“If I was here to just agree with everything that he said, then I wouldn’t be doing the right thing by him and by the players,” Ross said.
“We don’t fight because there’s one boss, and that’s him … but if I see something differently, I will let him know.
“We challenge each other all the time to get better within our structures and that’s what John wants.
“That’s the way we’ve been brought up as well.”
The brothers agree that the perception that Ross is fiery and John is calm is correct – most of the time.
“If I need to get fiery I will and then he’s calm,” John said.
Both are angry after a Roar defeat, but express it differently.
“We’re different characters … we both hurt, but I tend not to talk,” Ross said.
In his job, John has no choice but to speak due to post-game media duties.
“I first have to get my mind right before the press conferences. I’m very emotional but I have to take that emotion out of it and think clearly,” the former Socceroos striker said.
Clarity about their role in shaping the Roar has been never wavered since the Aloisis began their Brisbane stint after the club’s difficult 2014-15 season.
“Wherever coaching takes us, we want to leave the place better than it was when we first arrived,” John said.
“Of course we want to win, but we want to improve all the time, we want to improve every single player, whether they are 36 or 16, and we also want to improve the football environment at the club.”
John felt the bond between the club and its fans was as strong it had been in his time in Brisbane.
“The players and the coaching staff have really noticed a connection with our supporters this pre-season through the amount open training sessions we’ve had and with what the fans did for us at our kit launch in terms of the fireworks, the barbecue and the banner,” he said.
“This has been the best pre-season we’ve had on and off the pitch, and that’s credit to all the people involved with our club.”