After finishing second on goal difference in last year’s regular W-League season and missing out on a title at the last hurdle Perth Glory will be desperate to avenge their Grand Final defeat in the coming campaign.

Last season:
W-League: 2nd
Finals: Runner up

They’ll win the league because…
Perth’s starting eleven is as good as any other in the W-League. Last season’s six game unbeaten run was the best in the league and its second-place finish was a good indication of how strong the side was all year. Glory’s loss in the competition’s showpiece game was a bitter pill to swallow, particularly in front of its home fans. But that should spur the girls on go one further in 2017/18.

The majority of last season’s core remains unmoved with Gabrielle Dal Busco, Jaymee Gibbons, Samantha Kerr and Natasha Rigby all contracted until at least the end of the season and new signings Nicola Bolger and Marianna Tabain will both be eagerly pressing for starting eleven births.

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Kim Carroll, Alyssa Mautz and the returning Danielle Brogan bring an array of experience to the table and there are several exciting youngsters in the squad, including 16-year-old goalkeeper Morgan Aquino.

They’ll be cellar dwellers because…
Injuries may well take their toll on an already thin squad. If Glory’s key players manage to remain fit though there’s every reason they should be in contention for another shot at the title. With spots left in Bobby Despotovski’s squad he’ll no doubt be looking to bring in some quality and depth. The loss of Rosie Sutton may be felt if Tabain struggles to find her feet in front of goal, but having a player of Kerr’s calibre tends to help things like that a tad.

Talk around the watercooler… Look smart in front of your colleagues with this valuable piece of information.
Brogan will be returning to Glory and football following her decision to come out of retirement. It was only 18 months ago Brogan announced she was hanging up the boots to focus on her career outside of football but following the serious knee injury to Adrianna Romero a spot became available within Glory’s squad. The chance to play alongside the likes of Kerr surely made for an easy decision for the 29-year-old.

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The offseason brought…
It was new signings and sleepless nights following the heartache of last season’s grand final defeat. Off-season signings Bolger, Tabain, Brogan and Shannon May will all be looking make an instant impression after replacing Romero and Sutton.

Despotovski has no doubt been using Glory’s Round 1 clash with Melbourne City, a replay of last season’s grand final, as a motivation for his side to kick off the new campaign in style. The two sides meet in the eagerly anticipated match on October 27th at nib stadium in Perth.

Key player…
Sam Kerr – The obvious choice but she is currently one of the finest players in world football and poses talent that is often unstoppable. After scoring four goals in three games against Brazil the 24-year-old is looking ominous ahead of opening round. Astonishingly overlooked in the top three for FIFA’s Women’s Player of the Year, Kerr will surely be out to prove she’s amongst the game’s out-and-out elite. As always she’s worth a cheeky punt for the Golden Boot and a second successive Julie Dolan medal is certainly not out of the question.

One to watch…
Sarah Carroll – The 22 year old defender had another solid season in 2016/17 which saw her on the fringes of the Matildas’ squad. The Perth local who made her debut for Glory in 2011 has already racked up 50 W-League appearances and with two grand final experiences certainly knows what it takes to go all the way.

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 Full squad list…
1. Gabrielle DAL BUSCO, 2. Sarah CARROLL, 3. Kim CARROLL, 4. Natasha RIGBY, 5. Patricia CHARALAMBOUS, 6. Danielle BROGAN, 8. Shawn BILLIAM, 9. Roisin CONNOLLY, 11. Nicola BOLGER, 12. Shannon MAY, 13. Jaymee GIBBONS, 14. Caitlin DOEGLAS, 15. Abbey MEAKINS, 17. Marianna TABAIN, 19. Lexy MORENO, 20. Samantha KERR, 21. Melissa MAIZELS.

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