An unbreakable bond among the Roar players is helping to drive the club’s push for finals football, young defender James Donachie has revealed as his side goes into battle again against Melbourne Victory in Round 26 of the Hyundai A-League at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday (7.30pm kick off).
The commitment to cover for each other in the midst of an unprecedented program of four games in 10 days was underlined last night when the 21-year-old Donachie was among one of the Hyundai A-League’s youngest ever back fours at the conclusion of a fighting 2-1 loss to Victory in the rescheduled Round 18 match at Suncorp Stadium.
With 24-year-old Jack Hingert and 21-year-old Corey Brown on either side, Donachie played in the centre of defence with 20-year-old debutant Lachlan Jackson when regular central defender Luke DeVere came off with quad injury in the 84th minute.
The youthful Roar back four had just 174 appearances between them with Hingert accounting for half of that total.
By comparison, the opposing Melbourne Victory forward line in the final minutes of the match boasted 345 A-League appearances courtesy of the league’s most capped player Archie Thompson (206), Besart Berisha playing his 100th game and Connor Pain (39).
While the Roar players have long been mates off the field, Donachie said the extensive travel in recent weeks for Hyundai A-League and AFC Champions League commitments had brought the Roar players even closer.
They are determined to help each other in any way possible to get through a torturous program that has seen several players succumb to injury.
Donachie said the spirit in the side was unbreakable and his youthful optimism has the Roar squad primed to pick up where they left off in an impressive second half last night which nearly earned them a point.
“It was a good looking back four – or even back five with Brattsy [Luke Brattan] in front of us!” laughed Donachie.
“When you get to know each other inside out off the field, it makes it a lot easier on the field.
“I know Lukey DeVere and Jade [North] just as well so no matter who’s playing there, we’ve got a good friendship and on the field, it helps massively especially when you’re playing a team like Melbourne Victory.”
Donachie, another product of the impressive Young Roar player development program, was pleased to see Jackson make his Hyundai A-League debut last night and backed the former Buderim Wanderers junior to continue to impress if given another chance.
“I’ve known LJ for a while now and he’s been hanging out to get a game,” Donachie said.
“It was great to see him run on and I was lucky enough to be there next to him.
“I definitely do see myself as a leader in the way I can help players like LJ through games like that.”
Despite a bright start to the match last night, the Roar found themselves 2-0 down after 22 minutes and Donachie said the team would learn from its mistakes ahead of Saturday night’s quick turnaround.
Brisbane captain Matt McKay pulled one back for the home side six minutes after the restart but the Roar couldn’t make the most of a second-half revival to gain any points from the match.
“Our first half was a bit shaky last night but the second half looked a lot more like us, definitely the last 20 minutes,” Donachie said.
“If we can fix our first half and come out strong on Saturday, then I think we’ll have a better crack at getting three points.”
Don’t miss Saturday’s match against the Victory at Suncorp Stadium! Tickets can be purchased at Ticketek.