Brown rewarded with preferential treatment
BRISBANE Roar left-back Corey Brown is not someone to shy away from publicly naming his goals.
And that confidence may be part of the reason why coach Mike Mulvey has once again preferred him over the experienced Shane Stef-anutto for the A-League leaders' clash against Wellington at Westpac Stadium today.
Stefanutto injured his hamstring in late-October and Brown has not looked back ever since, as the Roar's preferred left-sided defender.
But Brown, 19, has higher goals on his horizon.
"It's an exciting time to be involved in Australian football at the moment and I want to be a part of it," he told APN.
"Over the next few years I'll be eligible for Under-23 Socceroos selection, and I'll be hoping to stay in that team. There's also the Asian Cup in 2015, which would be great to play in if I'm good enough."
As well as aiming his playing career sights high, Brown is also not afraid to push up on the pitch and back his attacking instincts.
Mulvey encourages that style of play, with right-defender Jack Hingert adopting a similar strategy.
"Mike's been great - he's brought a real attacking mindset to this club," Brown said. "He gives us a real licence to go forward.
"I enjoy pushing up and linking with (left midfielder) Thomas Broich.
"Thomas and I have set ourselves some goals that we want to achieve together, and he's not afraid to go over video with me and tell me what I need to do better."
Brown has been among the first-placed Roar's best players over the past couple of weeks, creating plenty of attacking opportunities in wins against Perth and Adelaide.
"During the pre-season I was playing pretty well, so that was when I set some goals for this season, in terms of the number of games I want to play and the number of assists I want to make," he said.
"Shane (Stefanutto) has been really supportive towards me - he has a team-first mindset and he couldn't be happier for me.
"That's all part of the great team environment we have here."
Brown said the Phoenix, despite sitting in second-last spot, would pose a huge challenge at its home.
"They move the ball around well and like to play football, just like us," he said. "It's only a matter of time before a guy like Carlos Hernandez starts scoring some goals with his quality.
"Hopefully our strong defence can shut him out."
PHOENIX v ROAR
At Westpac Stadium, Auckland, 2.30pm
Also: Reds v Mariners, 4.30pm, Jets v Wanderers, 6.45pm (All times AEST)