A-LEAGUE: Roar coach Mike Mulvey had so much faith that grand-final super sub James Donachie would deliver something special in Sunday night's grand final against the Wanderers ... and that is because he sees him as a future captain.

It was Donachie who delivered the winning assist for Henrique to smash the ball home in extra time, after coming on late in the game for quality midfielder Luke Brattan.

"Donks could walk into any other side - he is a future captain of this club, and fortunately for us he signed for another two years," Mulvey said.

"As soon as we put him on we knew he could do something special - and he delivered the ball for the match-winning goal, so good decision from me," the coach added with a chuckle.

Roar right-back Ivan Franjic echoed Mulvey's thoughts, while going one further.

"Definitely he can be a future leader," Franjic said.

"But he might want to go overseas as well - he's a young boy with big ambitions. We'll see where he goes, and hopefully he's got a big future."

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic said his team's next challenge - an away Asian Champions League round of 16 fixture against Sanfrecce Hiroshima tonight - was something he was looking forward to.

And that was despite Sunday night's shattering loss.

"That's a challenge and it's my job to do that," Popovic said.

"We'll play the J-League champions of the past two years, and that's something special for our club.

"We'll try to refocus and do our supporters proud."