Season Preview- Perth Glory

Last Season: 10th

It’s a big season for the folks out west, with the club celebrating their 15th season in professional football, which offcourse goes back to the old NSL days. Sadly for them thou they have not had anywhere near the success of those days in the A-League and are now onto their 5th coach who has big pressure to at least make the finals.

New Kit: X-Blades

Both of Perth’s kits look simply and fine, the biggest surprise is probably that they have gone away from a predominantly purple home kit, with
white coming in. Btw how did FFA let glory get away with a predominantly white home kit and a white away kit…crazy.

Coach: Ian Ferguson

It is a very big year for Fergie, having come in midway through last season he is this year exepcted to challenge for the top places on the table, and at the very least secure Perth its 2nd final series appearence. If he fails to do so, or starts slowly he may very well go the same way as David Mitchell, Ron Smith, Alan Vest and Steve McMahon.

Captain: Jacob Burns.

With Kevin Muscat retiring Burns is now officially the biggest hack in the league, how he can be a captain (and probably a starting 11 player) is mistifying. Absurd.

Possible starting 11.

Full Squad: 1) Danny Vukovic, 2) Josh Mitchell, 3) Bas van den Brink, 4) Billy Mehmet, 6) Chris Coyne, 7) Jacob Burns, 8 ) Adam Hughes, 9) Shane Smeltz, 10) Liam Miller, 11) Viktor Sikora, 12) Scott Neville, 13) Travis Dodd, 14) Steven McGarry, 15) Tommy Amphlett, 16) Evan Berger, 17) Todd Howarth, 18) Jesse Makarounas, 19) Joshua Risdon, 20) Neil Young, 21) Mile Sterjovski, 22) Adam Taggart, 23) Andrezinho (On Loan- Injury Replacement for Viktor Sikora)

* foriegners in italics.

Perth have got some real depth in their squad this season with Coach Ferguson quoted as saying “Im trying to get 2 good players for every position”. Has he done that, well you be the judge but the squad definatly looks alot strong this season than any time in the past. Liam Miller and Shane Smeltz will be the key factors in any success they have.

Transfers In: Evan Berger (Melbourne Victory), Travis Dodd (Adelaide United), Dean Heffernan (Melbourne Heart), Neil Young (Newcastle
United Jets), Danny Vukovic (Wellington Phoenix), Shane Smeltz (Gold Coast United), Adam Hughes (Adelaide United), Jesse Makarounas (Australian Institute of Sport), Liam Miller (Hibernian), Bas van den Brink (Busan I’ Park) Andrezinho (Consadole Sapporo-Loan), Billy Mehmet (Samsunspor)

There are some very good signings amongst this lot for Perth, starting ofcourse with goalscoring sensation Shane Smeltz who should continue t bang them away. Andrezinho, Dodd and Miller will add some creativity and width to a midfield that for mine was industrious at best last season.

Transfers Out: Dean Heffernan (Liaoning Whowin), Andrija Jukic (Bogor Raya FC), Howard Fondyke (Released), Naum Sekulovski (Released), Brent Griffiths (Stirling Lions), Anthony Skorich (Released), Jamie Coyne (Sydney FC), Andy Todd (Oldham Athletic), Michael Baird (Central Coast Mariners), Aleks Vrteski (Solo FC), Adriano Pellegrino (Central Coast Mariners), Robbie Fowler (Muangthong United) Branko Jelic (Released).

The loss of Heffernan- if you can really call it a loss given he never showed up-, Todd and Fowler are the only players of note that Perth have let go this offseason. In the past you could say they got their retention strategies wrong but by getting rid of Coyne, Sekulovski, Barid and Jelic they have gotten stronger.

Key In: Shane Smeltz

I could have gone for Liam Miller here, but really Smeltz is the most important signing the club have made, becuase without him the side lacks genuine proven goalscorers at this level and for them to have any success this season  he must stay fit and produce his form from his Wellington and Gold Coast days.

Key Out: Robbie Fowler

Fowler is obviously a massive loss, both on and off the park with his ability and ofcourse the commerical and sponsorship opportunities that he brings. For mine Perth will feel his loss more off the park than on thou because with Smeltz coming in you have an able on field replacement.

One to watch: Jesse Makarounas

One of the stars from the recent U/18 Fifa World Cup in Mexico, Makarounas definatly has a bright future, and if he gets a chance this season he could make a big impact. It is likely however that you will probably only see they youngster in the youth league.

Strenghts: Depth and midfield.

Perth now have some fantastic depth in their squad with proven A-League performers on the bench or maybe even out of the side altogether. This depth is strongest in midfield with Dodd and Sterjovski options at RM, Van den Brink, Miller, Burns and Hughes fighting for 2 CM slots and Andrezinho and Howarth options at LM. Not a bad midfield at all.

Weaknesses: Coaching.

With a strong playing group, there is bound to be a lot of pressure on manager Ian Ferguson to produce and as mentioned above, if he doesnt get it right he could be gone

Stadium: Nib Stadium.

One of my favourite grounds to visit, its quet a nice little ground to watch the football at, just a shame its such a long flight to get there.

Preseason form: Played 10: Won 5, Lost 4, Drawn 1.

Perth have had a good preseaosn on the surface of it with impressive results agaisnt local sides, a tour to South Africa and a game against Celtic

Perth Glory 3-1 Bunbury Force

Perth Glory 9-4 WA State Team

Perth Glory 0-2 Celtic

Perth Glory 0-1 Platinum Stars

Perth Glory 3-1 AmaZulu

Perth Gloy 1-1 Al Ahli

Perth Glory 2-0 Stirling Lions

Perth Glory 6-1Balcatta

Central Coast Mariners 1-0 Perth Glory

Sydney FC (Carle, Emerton) 2-2 Perth Glory (Mehmet, Howarth)


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