Brisbane Roar boss Warren Moon hopes Luke Ivanović’s exciting end to the campaign can be the precursor to a full and fruitful 2022/23 season.
Ivanović scored twice off the bench on Friday night to seal a 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers and a place in the Australia Cup’s Final Rounds.
The 21-year-old’s double took his tally to seven goals for the season across all competitions and three in as many days, having
With team-mate Nikola Mileusnić likewise making two influential appearances off the bench in as many matches, the hope is for that pair to increase their influence going forward.
“We know Luke can do that,” Moon said.
“The big thing for us is to get Luke and Nikola match fit and on the park as much as possible.
“We obviously made some changes at half-time which worked out for us. For us, it was about finishing the season off right. We had a good win against Sydney but we wanted to finish by remaining in the Australia Cup for next season.
“We’re not going to hide from the fact that we’re disappointed [with the season overall]. We wanted to play finals this year. But we do have a lot of young players who have been exposed to a lot of match minutes.
“That’s only going to be a benefit to the team and to the club, but we need to make sure we’re playing finals next season.”
Ivanović managed 22 appearances in total across his debut season with Brisbane, including 10 starts.
His second against the Wanderers was an exciting glimpse of how much more there is to come from the attacker as he led a lightning-quick counter-attack and finished coolly inside the near post.
“I wish this was the start of the season now,” he said after the game.
“Coming on, you have to be an impact player. It’s always nice to get two goals and contribute.
“Obviously we’re through to the Australia Cup now. It’s where we want to be, competing for everything.”