Roar youngsters on rise

After strong performances for the Olyroos in the recent Four Nations International Tournament in Hanoi, Brisbane youngsters Luke DeVere and Mitch Nicholls have returned to the Roar with glowing reviews, and coach Ange Postecoglou says both men have the potential to grow into first-rate footballers.

After strong performances for the Olyroos in the recent Four Nations International Tournament in Hanoi, Brisbane youngsters Luke DeVere and Mitch Nicholls have returned to the Roar with glowing reviews, and coach Ange Postecoglou says both men have the potential to grow into first-rate footballers.

Absent for Brisbane's hard-fought 0-0 draw with Adelaide almost a fortnight ago, both DeVere and Nicholls returned to figure in Brisbane's 4-0 demolition of the Melbourne Heart.

DeVere showed great endurance to play 75 faultless minutes in central defence, while Nichols came on to replace Thomas Broich in the 56th minute mark and took just 20 minutes to find the net.

Struggling in front of goal this year, scoring his first for the season clearly came as a relief to Nichols, who was booked for over-celebrating after some friendly interaction with the Brisbane fans.

Postecoglou believes with youth and ability on his side, Nichols - who had a pair of goal assists in the Olyroos' 2-0 win over Vietnam - can push on to become a key player at the club and that his recent efforts have him poised to crack the Roar starting side.

"Now's his chance to really take it to the next level, and that's the kind of responsibility that I'm pushing on him now," said Postecoglou.

"We've got a good side with some good players in his position but I'm confident that if he is on the top of his game with a bit more consistency than there's a place in our first 11 for him."

"I think his career's been really good so far and I expect him to go to the next level."

Also said to have made good impressions in the Olyroos' respectable Four Nations campaign were Brisbane's second-choice gloveman Andrew Redmayne and defensive-lynchpin Luke DeVere.

At just 20, DeVere has a presence and maturity that belies his age and according to Postecoglou the former Australian Under 20 captain is a man born to lead.

"We've got him in our leadership group. The players selected him to be in the leadership group even though he's a young man," said Postecoglou.

"It's part of his maturity. We want him to take his game to the next level as well, and part of that is taking more responsibility."

"He plays a key role in our side and we want him to take more responsibility and I think it will make him a better player - that's certainly where we're pushing him towards at the moment."

In DeVere, it's clear to see that he's happy with his football and that after the Roar's forgettable last season the centre-back has enjoyed combining with new-signings Michael Theoklitos and Shane Stefanutto for an impressive five clean sheets in the Roar's first seven games.

"Last year we sort of had more downs than ups I suppose, but it's been a good start to this season," DeVere said.

"We set ourselves a goal at the start of the season to try and pick up as many clean sheets as we can."

"It's been a great asset to the team the kind of blokes that have come in, they're very experienced players that have come in and done a really good job for the club."