Leigh Broxham praised Brandon Lauton's performance on debut in Melbourne Victory's extra-time loss to the Newcastle Jets in the FFA Cup.
Lauton, 19, produced a fine display at right-back as Victory suffered a 3-2 loss at AAMI Park on Wednesday.
Broxham, who made his 350th Victory appearance, hailed Lauton's display against the Jets.
"He was fantastic. He had some good moments going forward and he defended well as well," he said.
"If you said that was the performance he was going to put in, you'd be very happy with that.
"He should be very happy with himself as well."
A youthful Victory defence, which included Lauton, 21-year-old Benjamin Carrigan and Thomas Deng, 22, held firm until the closing stages against Newcastle.
Andrew Nabbout's brace had put Victory in control in Marco Kurz's first competitive game in charge, only for the Jets to fight back before winning in extra-time.
Broxham, 31, said Victory could take plenty from its performance.
"We went 2-0 up and were executing what we worked on and it was a massive effort from the personnel we had available and can't say a bad word about anybody," Broxham said.
"It was really disappointing in the end, but in the circumstances we had, you've got to be proud of the effort that went in.
"It's something we can learn from I think and the players that were in the squad, there's some good footballers in there as well."