If Brisbane Roar fans needed another reminder that Devante Clut could be one of the club’s key players in the next Hyundai A-League season, Wednesday night’s LFP World Challenge tour match against Villarreal CF at Suncorp Stadium was it.
The 19-year-old bagged a brace against the sixth-placed La Liga club in the Roar’s comprehensive 3-0 victory, including a stunning long-range curler from outside the penalty box. Costa Rican striker Jean Carlos Solorzano chimed in with Brisbane’s second goal on the night.
Clut scored 11 goals in 15 Foxtel National Youth League matches last season and then made immediate impact in his first senior game of the 2014/15 campaign, scoring two goals in a 3-3 draw with K-League Classic’s Suwon Bluewings in Match Day 3 of the AFC Champions League.
After his emphatic end to the 2014/15 season and his two goals against Marcelino García Toral’s Villarreal, Clut said even he was surprised by how much he had progressed since the beginning of the year.
“I think I’ve definitely learned more than I thought I would have,” Clut said.
“You can read about, watch it, but until you experience it, that’s when you really take in a lot more. It’s been the best six months of my football career.”
When asked if he thought he could be one of Brisbane’s impact players under new Head Coach John Aloisi – who watched Wednesday night’s match from the stands – in the 2015/16 season, Clut said it was clear what he needed to do.
“I’m confident in myself and I think I can keep it coming,” he said.
“I have to just keep working hard and keep my feet on the ground and I think next season will be bigger.”
The Roar squad is now on a four-week break before returning to training in early July ahead of the blockbuster clash against Liverpool FC on Friday, 17 July – Aloisi’s first match in charge at the club.