Around the grounds: Roar edge first pre-season hit-out, DeVere extends Phoenix stay

Brisbane Roar got their preparation for the 2020/21 A-League campaign underway with a narrow 1-0 win over NPL Queensland outfit Eastern Suburbs FC in their first pre-season hit-out at Heath Park on Sunday afternoon.

Roar Head Coach Warren Moon gave all 22 of his game-day squad members a run as his side edged to victory thanks to a stellar free kick from midfielder Jay O'Shea in the first half. 

Brisbane will now turn their attention to their second pre-season match on Saturday, November 14 against Queensland NPL outfit Magpies Crusaders United in Mackay, as Moon looks to get vital match-fitness into the legs of his players ahead of what will be a testing 2020/21 A-League campaign.

DeVere adds significant experience to Wellington backline

Wellington Phoenix boss Ufuk Talay took a significant step toward mitigating the effect of the departure of club captain and defensive stalwart Steven Taylor by re-signing Luke DeVere on a one-year contract ahead of the 2020/21 A-League season.

DeVere, 31, impressed in his first season in Wellington alongside Taylor in Wellington's backline, but as the experienced defender returns for a second season at the 'Nix his role in the side will be all the more important in Taylor's absence. 

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MORE: All players signed for the 2020/21 season

DeVere; Taylor
DeVere's importance in Wellington's backline will be enhanced in the 2020/21 campaign without Taylor by his side

Upon the announcement of his contract renewal, DeVere told the club website he looks forward to showcasing his leadership skills in a squad brimming with young talent. 

“I’ve always been looked to and seen as a leader, I like to think I’m quite vocal on the field and can contribute as a leader there," DeVere said.

“In the past few years its shifted more to the mentoring side of things, passing on what I’ve learnt to younger players like Te Atawhai [Hudson-Wihongi] and Liam [McGing] which is great.

“I think it’s vital for those of us with that experience, to be able to pass it on to others in the team and help them out, especially with the 'Nix being a young squad.”

McManaman, Butterfield on-field chemistry set to flourish at Victory

Melbourne Victory midfielder Callum McManaman says his recent stint alongside fellow Victory acquisition Jacob Butterfield at Luton Town will help the English pair quickly develop a deadly combination in the A-League this season.

McManaman and Butterfield both arrived at Luton ahead of the 2019/20 English Championship campaign and helped the club retain their status in the second tier of English football.

The two midfielders once again begin their journeys at a new club together as part of Grant Brebner's Victory squad for the 2020/21 A-League season, and McManaman says his on-field chemistry with Butterfield will evident from the get-go.

“We have a good relationship on the pitch which will help a lot,” McManaman told the club website.

“[Butterfield] is a good player, very good on the ball, left and right footed.

"He can take corners with both feet which is very rare.

"I think the fans will enjoy watching him and we link up quite well together."