It’s been coming for months, but there was no preparing for the undeniably special moments which followed Perth Glory clinching their first piece of silverware in 15 years.

Glory coach Tony Popovic carried that special feeling with him as he sat down to address the media after his side’s 1-0 win over Newcastle.

Popovic held the demeanour of a man both truly satisfied by completing a monumental task whilst remaining equally focused on what is yet to come, but despite the job not being done he allowed himself and the players, just for one night, to bask in what they’d just achieved; bringing the glory days back to Perth.

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“I’m just proud, really proud.” Popovic said.

“To see the joy on the player’s faces, the staff, the owner, the fans.

“How long they stayed out there, you can see they’ve been waiting for success for a long time.

“Football clubs always go on a journey, the club has had some fantastic times, it’s had some tough times, and this is actually a special time.”

When Sydney FC dropped points to Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday afternoon the first window of opportunity for Glory to write their name on the Premiers Plate arose, and when the fans started streaming into HBF Park on Sunday afternoon the trophy was already there, waiting to be claimed by the rightful owner.

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“You could sense the fans were a bit anxious,” Popovic said.

“The club hasn’t been in this situation before, so it’s new for everyone.

“They’ve been watching the team perform week after week at a fantastic level, then today they expected it to happen quickly.”

It took longer than expected, but when Diego Castro linked up with Ivan Franjic to score the first and only goal in Glory’s encounter with Newcastle a roar broke out and rippled around the ground, allowing the home fans to believe: it’s actually happening.

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At the final whistle Popovic basked in the triumphant moment, his emotions magnified by the knowledge of Glory’s barren A-League past and what it meant to those at the club who had been there through it all.

“When I see people like Jacob (Burns) who has been here for a long time, the owner, and everyone who has been here for a very long time I understand how special it is for them,” he said.

“I think of how long they’ve been here and what they’ve been through, I want to enjoy it with them.

“It’s a fantastic night, just a great result all-round for everyone involved in the club.”

As Popovic ended his first season as Perth Glory coach with the Premiers Plate in his hands comparisons arose with his first season in Western Sydney, where he took the Wanderers to the premiership in their inaugural season as an A-League club.

But although the circumstances are similar, Popovic says the experience has felt entirely different this time around.

“Probably now I’m enjoying it more,” he said.

“I didn’t know how to enjoy it at that time, it happened so quickly and unexpectedly.

“That’s probably me evolving and improving as a coach, I’ve tried to enjoy it with the players along the way.

“Now I think you get more experience and you want to savour and enjoy the moments.”

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Featured image credit: Perth Glory Media Team

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Football nut, student journalist and firm believer that Berisha dived in the 2012 A-League Grand Final. Covering Perth Glory for the 2018/19 season.