Lustica: Berisha is irreplaceable

Brisbane Roar midfielder Steven Lustica says the loss of Besart Berisha for next season is massive, describing the Albanian striker as "irreplaceable".

Berisha will play for Melbourne Victory in 2014-2015 after three successful seasons at Suncorp Stadium.

The 28-year old forward scored 13 goals from 20 matches this season as well as the equaliser in Brisbane’s thrilling come-from-behind grand final win on Sunday. 

Berisha has been an integral cog in the Roar machine since arriving from German outfit Arminia Bielefeld in 2011, notching 50 goals in 83 appearances.

“Bes will be a massive loss,” Lustica said.

“I think he will be irreplaceable. Not only is he an amazing and gifted player but his character and passion for the game will be sorely missed at the Roar.”

His comments come as championship-winning coach Mike Mulvey prepares to head to Europe next week to find a striker to fill the boots of the departing Berisha.

Lustica said he was not troubled when Brisbane trailed by a goal late in the second half in the grand final.

“Playing at a packed Suncorp was an amazing experience,” he said.

“I was not concerned when the Wanderers scored as I knew we had many match winners in team such as Berisha, (Thomas) Broich, (Ivan) Franjic and Henrique who had done it all before.

“We all had the belief that we were the best team all season and going a goal down early in the second half gave us plenty of time to come back.

“You don’t win the league by 10 points and follow it up by winning a grand final unless the team is something special.

“At the Roar there is an embedded culture that no matter what the score we continue to take the game to the opposition. There is no panic and that was quite evident in our great victory (Sunday). ”

Lustica was brought on in the second period, replacing Liam Miller in the 74th minute.

The 23-year old was honoured to be involved in Brisbane’s third grand final win in four years.

“It is every player’s dream to play in a grand final, but to play it in from of your home crowd and win it is even better. I was honoured to be part of this historic victory.”