Postecoglou thrilled with Roar cubs
Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou was delighted to expose his younger players to A-League football in Sunday's 2-1 win over Gold Coast.
With Central Coast Mariners' securing the A-League's Premier's Plate earlier on Sunday with a win over Wellington, Postecoglou chose to rest some of his stars before the finals and hand rare first-team chances to some of his lesser lights.
Forward Nick Fitzgerald had an impressive game, particularly in the second half when he bagged his first ever senior goal with a curling shot that went in off the upright midway through.
But Roar substitute George Lambadaridis upstaged him in added time as the National Youth League product made his presence felt with an unstoppable top-corner drive from distance that broke Gold Coast hearts.
Their emergence, combined with the opportunity to rest players like Thomas Broich and Mitch Nichols ahead of their twin campaigns in the AFC Champions League and A-League finals, made for a fruitful night for Brisbane.
"We had to refocus the boys and make sure we finished the season off positively," Postecoglou said.
"Obviously we were pretty disappointed we didn't get the chance to defend the Premier's Plate. That was one of our objectives at the start of the year and we failed.
"(But) some of the young players today took their first tentative steps and it was pleasing to see that they coped.
"The one thing the last month's taught us is that it's hard, and with finals and ACL it's going to be even harder. We're going to need some extra bodies.
"There's no way we can go through this whole month with 11 players.
"The fact that we got 90 minutes into some guys today and some did really well, we got confidence out of that."