Brisbane Roar’s defensive star Luke DeVere is determined to take his burgeoning career to the next level and continue his progress as one of Australia’s next generation of superstars.
DeVere-s standout performances at the heart of the Roar-s defence throughout last season have endeared him as a fan favourite.
Already capped at youth international level, DeVere has been anointed by many experts as a future Qantas Socceroo, with the belief underlined by a call-up to a national training camp earlier this year.
Eager to pick-up from where he left off last season, the 20-year-old said he is fully focused on improving and becoming a better player this season.
“Obviously I had a good end to last season and I-m looking to try and carry on from there,” DeVere said.
“Hopefully I continue to improve and develop at the start of this season.
“I-m feeling pretty fit and the squad has had a lot of successful pre-season performances.
“We-ll just have to carry that into the season and get away to a good start.”
First up for DeVere and his Brisbane team-mates is a trip down the M1 to Skilled Park and the awaiting Gold Coast United.
Games against United have not been a happy hunting ground for the Roar who are yet to pick up any points against its south east Queensland rival.
But despite acknowledging the Roar-s barren spell in the M1 Derby, DeVere was confident the new season would yield a better result for the Brisbane club.
“The results against United might be in the back of some player-s minds but it-s a new season, a new team and a new outlook,” he said.
“And I think it will be about getting off to a good start more than anything.
“It-s been a long pre-season and the boys have been working hard for all that time.
“So everyone is itching to get onto the field and try to turn all that hard work into a win against United.”
The Hyundai A-League 2010/11 opener ushers a new era for Brisbane, with coach Ange Postecoglou-s revamped side ready to show its potential against one the club-s biggest rivals.
One of the Roar-s on-field generals, DeVere-s strength, dedication and commitment have been rewarded with a leadership position in the new look squad.
Joining captain Matt McKay, vice captain Shane Stefanutto and senior leader Michael Theoklitos, DeVere said his promotion was a show of faith in the club-s younger generation.
“I guess it-s a bit of an apprenticeship,” DeVere joked.
“I think with the leadership group, the boys were trying to involve someone a little bit younger and establish a link between the different age divisions.
“And it-s an honour to get chosen by the boys to be in the leadership group.”