McKay anoints Caletti as Roar successor

Dec 6, 2017 - 6:46 AM Matt McKay has no idea if his decorated A-League career will stretch to another season.

But the Brisbane Roar captain knows exactly who he'll pass the torch to when the time comes - promising teenager Joe Caletti.

McKay and Caletti have kept the Roar's engine room ticking along in the absence of key midfielder Thomas Kristensen, who is yet to play a single minute this season due to a neural hamstring injury.

At times, it's been tough going - not helped by their patchy results.

Traditionally a team that treasures possession, the Roar have only had more than 50 per cent of the ball in three of nine matches this campaign.

When they have dominated, they've often lacked penetration going forward.

McKay admits it's been a "battle" but one that could prove the making of former Australian under-16s skipper Caletti, who fought his way back after being dropped earlier in the season.

"Joey's developing his game," McKay told AAP.

"He comes under a bit of stick from people but I thought his passing game's improving again.

"It's always a challenge. The better you get, the more people are out there to knock you down as such.

"It's so easy when you're winning and doing well. To be in the hard times, that's when you show your true character.

"He hasn't hid. He missed a couple weeks but he's come back in and been fine. That's the learning curve of any footballer."

McKay agrees with comparisons between him and Caletti - both are diminutive but certainly not lacking ability or aggression.

The 19-year-old is seen as the long-term replacement for the Roar skipper who is 34, coming off contract and unsure if he'll play on for another season.

But he believes Caletti can also replicate his incredible longevity.

"He could be the (next) generational player for Brisbane Roar," McKay said.

"That's the joy and we've got to create more of those players.

"The club's gone and set up their own academy now so that means more players will hopefully get the opportunity to be a 10-year plus player.

"I'm one of the only ones, really, at the Roar."

Source: AAP

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