DeVere is Roar’s new Socceroo


Things just keep getting better for defender Luke DeVere in his return to Brisbane.

Hot on the heels of two stellar performances for the Roar, DeVere – along with Roar captain Matt McKay – was today named in Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos squad for matches against Germany (Wednesday, 25 March) in Kaiserslautern and FYR Macedonia (Monday, 31 March) in Skopje.

McKay is one of 18 players from Australia’s AFC Asian Cup-winning squad selected for the two matches.

While the hard-working midfielder will be bidding for his 55th cap, DeVere is yet to play a full international.

The powerful defender has played just 281 minutes for the Roar since he re-signed in January after four seasons with South Korean club Gyeongnam FC.

But DeVere put his hand up for Socceroos squad selection with outstanding performances in the Roar’s last two wins – 1-0 against both Urawa Red Diamonds in the AFC Champions League in Japan last Wednesday and Western Sydney Wanderers in the Hyundai A-League at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

“I have only played a couple of games so it was not something on my radar but obviously its a great honour. It’s something that is exciting for me but wasn’t expected,” DeVere said.

The 25-year-old has nine appearances for Australian at under-20 level, played twice for the national under-23 side and has twice been on the bench for the Socceroos.

“It’s a few years since I was in contention so it is good to be back to that level,” he said

DeVere said he is looking forward to working again with Postecoglou who was the Roar’s Head Coach in 2011 when the versatile defender opted to head overseas.

“It’s going to help that we have worked together in the past,” DeVere said.

“I’m sure he has changed things a bit and there will be a few adaptions to make but it won’t be anything too major. (His style) is the way I enjoy playing.”

DeVere acknowledged it would be hard to break into the Socceroos backline after the success of the AFC Asian Cup.

He said the Socceroos, including Postecoglou’s preferred centre back pairing of Trent Sainsbury and Matthew Spiranovic did a “fantastic job” in winning the trophy for the first time and he acknowledged he will have to be patient before he wins his first cap.

“If there is an opportunity there I’ll look to show what I can do,” he said.

While DeVere has been boosted by his Socceroos selection he said the most important thing now was for him to maintain his form in the Roar’s next Hyundai A-League match against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

“I’m just concentrating on now. We are playing some good football and it’s just about keeping a focus on the next match,” DeVere said.

“The team is very confident that if we keep playing the way we are playing and we can secure a place in the finals the other teams won’t be looking forward to playing us.”

Brisbane Roar interim Head Coach Frans Thijssen praised the selections.

“I’m very happy for Luke, he’s made such a big impression in just a few games,” Thijssen said.

“Matt deserves to keep his place after his strong contribution to the Socceroos at the Asian Cup and his great efforts for us over the past few weeks.”

With a busy club schedule coming up, DeVere and McKay will miss at least two Hyundai A-League fixtures, at home to Western Sydney Wanderers (Wednesday, 25 March) and away to Melbourne City (Saturday,28 March).

Thijssen said the pair’s absence from the squad would provide opportunities for other members of the Brisbane Roar squad, with almost all players – barring goalkeeper Michael Theo – currently fit and available for selection.

The Dutchman is also likely to be without young defenders James Donachie and Corey Brown around the same time with Australia’s U23s team playing in the AFC U23 Championship qualifiers held in Taiwan between 27 and 31 March. That squad is scheduled to be announced next week.

SOCCEROOS SQUAD: Aziz Behich , Nathan Burns, Tim Cahill, Jason Davidson, Luke DeVere, Tarek Elrich, Adam Federici (gk), Ivan Franjic, Chris Ikonomidis, Mile Jedinak, Tomi Juric, Mitchell Langerak (gk), Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Matt McKay, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tommy Oar, Mat Ryan (gk), Trent Sainsbury, Matthew Spiranovic, James Troisi, Alex Wilkinson.