Perth Glory haven’t won anything since 2004 and after defeats in two FFA Cup finals and the 2011/12 A-League Grand Final, last season’s semi-final loss will only spur the side on in attempting to claim its first piece of silverware since the A-League’s inception.

Last season:
A-League: 5th
Finals: Semi-finals
FFA Cup: Round of 16

They’ll win the league because…
The addition of new signings Xavi Torres and Andreu, along with re-signed Johnny Warren Medalist Diego Castro, provide a Spanish connection that rivals that of Adelaide United’s 2015/16 title winning trio. With a combined 347 La Liga appearances between them, the Spaniards bring an array of both experience and flair to a Perth side looking to bring back its glory days.

Most of the team’s spine remains intact from last year with Liam Reddy, Shane Lowry, Brandon Wilson, Andy Keogh and Adam Taggart all contracted until at least the end of the season. At the same time new signings Mitch Nichols, Jacob Poscoliero and Jake Brimmer will all be pushing for first team places.

There is a strong contingent of younger players within the squad with nine players aged 25 or younger and with recent academy signing Daniel Stynes added into the mix, coach Kenny Lowe will have an eye towards the future.

The semi-final defeat to Sydney FC was a true indication of the distance between the two sides and you can be sure that Glory will be determined to bridge that gap when the two squads meet at Allianz Stadium on October 27.

They’ll be cellar dwellers because…
They’ve lost players in key positions and if new signings fail to gel, the side could find themselves in a spot of bother. With Socceroos Rhys Williams and Josh Risdon joining rival A-League clubs, a major re-shuffle to the back four is needed which may take time to settle. In addition, with the departure of club captain Rostyn Griffiths, Kenny Lowe knows he will have to turn to youngsters should his side succumb to injuries at any stage of the campaign.

Talk around the watercooler… Look smart in front of your colleagues with this valuable piece of information.
Diego Castro is said to have played a major part in the signing of Xavi Torres with the pair having played together at Malaga. You’ll be sure to hear on almost every broadcast that the new Spaniard was a onetime teammate of footballing genius Lionel Messi at Barcelona.  Meanwhile, former players Nichols and Scott Neville return to the club they once called home in a very familiar looking squad list for Glory fans.

 The offseason brought…
New faces. A new season always does but there was also a clear out with no less than ten players departing the club. Out went Griffith, Risdon, Richard Garcia, Rhys Williams, Dino Djulbic, Nebosja Marinkovic, Mitchell Oxborrow, Aryn Williams, Lucian Goan, Jordan Thurtell, while Brimmer, Poscoliero, Neville, Nichols, Andreu and Torres all signed on. Youth team player Stynes was rewarded with a senior contract and will look to replicate Brandon Wilson’s breakout debut campaign.

Key player…
Xavi Torres – The Spanish defensive midfielder has close to a decade of experience in Spain’s top flight and will need to call upon it in replacing Griffith’s grunt in the heart of midfield. At just 30, Perth will be hoping Torres is just hitting his prime and can propel the side into a top four position with a keen eye for silverware. Alongside countrymen Castro and Andreu Perth boast a potent combination that other clubs should be weary, particularly if Torres begins to dictate the pace of the game.

One to watch…
Adam Taggart – The striker will be desperate to claim a spot on Socceroos’ coach Ange Postecoglou’s plane to Russia (should we make it!) in what would be his second World Cup. Now 24, under the guidance of experienced forward Keogh, Taggart will be looking to build upon a solid last campaign in which he netted 12 goals.  A local product and fan favourite, ‘Taggs’ as he’s known by his teammates, has a point to prove to Postecoglou and is definitely worth a punt for the golden boot.

Full squad list…
2. Alex GRANT, 3. Mark Warren, 4. Shane Lowry, 5. Jacob POSCOLIERO, 6. Mitch NICHOLS, 7. Joel CHIANESE, 8. Xavi TORRES, 9. Andy KEOGH, 13. Nick FEELY, 14. Chris Harold, 15. Brandon WILSON, 16. Joseph MILLS, 17. Diego CASTRO, 18. ANDREU, 19. Jo KNOWLES, 20. Jake BRIMMER, 21. Jamal REINERS, 22. Adam TAGGART, 23. Scott NEVILLE, 25. Daniel STYNES, 33. Liam REDDY.

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Football fan and digital communications officer following Perth Glory during the 2017/2018 A-League season.