It’s the time of year when clubs are either channeling focus on next week or pondering what could of been as The Football Sack critiques each club’s progress in the 2017/18 A-League season.

Season Summary

Perth finished an ultimately disappointing campaign in eighth position, missing out on finals for the first time in three seasons. A strong roster featuring a potent strike force of Diego Castro, Andy Keogh and Adam Taggart didn’t prove enough as the men from the West again conceded far too many goals to make any serious impact in the top six.

Whilst Glory weren’t aided by constant injuries, they failed to address last season’s defensive frailties which saw them scrape into the finals despite conceding a record breaking 50 goals in the home and away season alone. 35-year-old Dino Djulbic was released before the start of the season before being brought back in January in a desperate bid to toughen up a leaky back-line.

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Kenny Lowe did well to keep star play-maker Diego Castro at the club for a third successive season and the occasional inspired substitution saw sporadic roars from nib stadium but the Shed ceased to show full belief in its side’s ability to compete with top sides and for good reason.

Areas of excellence

Glory are one of the more entertaining sides in the league predominantly because of its top heavy squad who aim to simply outscore opponents at all costs. Aside from this coach Lowe is almost a game in himself at times on the sidelines with his press conferences equally entertaining.

Perth would have aided from a better run of injuries as a lack of continuity was evident in several performances throughout the season particularly in defensive partnerships. Castro was at his devastating best in periods while a fit Taggart posed a threat for all opposition defences.

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Areas in need of improvement

There’s little doubt a clean-out needs to occur within the Perth squad and management team and a clear focus on the back-line should be instated in order for the club to move forward. Tony Popovic appears the ideal man to do this but it remains to be seen if the club can compete with its financially better off rivals. An authoritative figure is needed at the helm for Perth to build towards creating a footballing culture reminiscent of its NSL days.

Top student

Diego Castro. Not too much more can be said about the Spanish wizard who at times looked a one-man-team. Tactics of get the ball to “Cas” at all costs seemed to be employed regularly by Glory and one can hardly blame them because a vast majority of Glory’s play came through the Spaniard. In what will almost certainly be his last season in Australia, Castro lit up nib stadium at times with pieces of skill and flair often the highlight of Perth’s inconsistent performances.

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Class clown

Kenny Lowe. A well liked man within the Perth public, Kenny wears his heart on his sleeve and fronts he media in brutally honest fashion. However his tactical prowess was exposed on occasion this term with the likes of Graham Arnold and Ernie Merrick proving a class above. A 5-2 hammering at the hands of Wellington Phoenix left Perth the laughing stock of the league in mid-season and a failure to make the finals ultimately left Lowe without the last laugh.

Grade: D

Outlook

The sacking of Lowe is sign that owner Tony Sage wants to refresh things at the club which should be seen as positive. However the recent resignation of CEO Peter Filopoulos is a huge loss to Perth as he’s made great strides in off-field areas of fan engagement and membership throughout his tenure in the West. There’s no doubt that Perth has home-grown talent and a public hungry for footballing success, one just hopes a manager with the right vision is appointed to guide a club back to its Glory days.

 

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