Perth Glory 2014/15 season preview

-

It’s a big season for Perth Glory with fans’ patience wearing very thin in the west after a mediocre 2013/14 campaign. Kenny Lowe has been given the head coaching role on a permanent basis and the club have made a number of big name signings as they look to mix it with the best this time round.

Last season
A-League: 8th
Finals: DNQ

They’ll win the league because…
…they got their business done early and signed well. Coach Kenny Lowe, CEO Jason Brewer and the rest of the Glory hierarchy deserve credit for bringing in the bulk of the club’s signings within weeks of the season ending back in April.

Experienced A-League campaigners Mitch Nichols, Ruben Zadkovich, Youssouf Hersi and Richard Garcia got on board with returning defender Dino Djulbic, former Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar utility man Diogo Ferreira, and Republic of Ireland international forward Andy Keogh also inking deals with the club.

Glory also managed to keep a strong spine in Danny Vukovic, Michael Thwaite, Scott Jamieson, Josh Risdon and Sidnei Sciola, while promising youngsters Riley Woodcock, Matt Davies and Brandon O’Neill are back for another season. Their ability to gel with the new boys will be vital to how Glory’s campaign pans out and a busy preseason has given them every opportunity to do so.

They’ll be cellar dwellers because….
…nothing is ever straight forward with Glory. It’s a widely held opinion that Glory were somewhat fortunate to make the Grand Final in 2012 and outside of that they have failed to deliver anything remotely close to success in the ten years of the A-League. The NSL success gets further away every year and the reality is that the club has only made the finals three times to date.

While Glory are undoubtedly stronger than in recent seasons, the league’s other clubs have also upgraded their stocks so making the finals in 2015 is by no means a guarantee. Sixth should be seen as a pass mark but anything less could see the knives out for Kenny Lowe and then we’ll be back to square one…again.

Talk around the water cooler… look smart in front of your colleagues with this valuable piece of information.
Central defender Dino Djulbic is reunited with Michael Thwaite after the two played together for Gold Coast United. In the 2009/10 season, Gold Coast boasted the third best defence in the league, finishing fourth, and made it all the way to the Preliminary Final, only losing 1-0 to the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford.

The off-season brought
plenty of new faces yet again. Change is part and parcel of the A-League where short term contracts are generally the order of the day. The new batch of players are certainly exciting on paper but transferring that onto the pitch is a whole different story.

There were also some big changes in the background at Glory with former captain Jacob Burns and fan favourite Steven McGarry now heavily involved with the club’s NPL and youth teams. The focus is on developing more West Australians to make the step up to the first team and there is now a clear pathway in place that starts at junior level.

The five month off-season can give fans very itchy feet, especially coming off the back of a less than successful season, and there are plenty in Perth who doubt whether Kenny Lowe is the man to bring the good times back to Glory. A good FFA Cup run has helped though, with trips to Newcastle and Melbourne yielding solid victories and a spot in the quarter finals.

Key player
Andy Keogh. Last season, Steven McGarry and Shane Smeltz shared Glory’s Golden Boot award with a paltry four goals each for the league’s lowest goal scorers (28 goals in 27 games). New signing Keogh hasn’t been the most prolific forward throughout his career having spent a lot of time playing in deeper roles but he will be tasked with leading the line by Kenny Lowe.

The Republic of Ireland international is only 28 and has joined the club for three years, showing very good signs with a number of goals in the FFA Cup and preseason friendlies. A lot will depend on the service he receives but the Dublin-born man certainly has the ability to reach double figures at least in his first A-League campaign.

One to watch
Daniel De Silva. One of the main gripes last season was the lack of game time afforded to hot prospect De Silva. “Good enough to sign for Roma but not for a run out in the A-League” was the gist of the fan commentary following the news that the 17-year-old had penned a deal to join the Serie A giants in 2015. While that may be a little simplistic given that De Silva is still developing both physically and mentally, it would be nice to see him light up nib Stadium this season given we may not get a chance to see him play in Western Australia again for some time.

However, with the likes of Mitch Nichols, Ruben Zadkovich, Youssouf Hersi, Sidnei Sciola and Jamie Maclaren all capable of playing in similar positions to De Silva, he may once again find opportunities limited.

Full squad list
(Numbers to be confirmed at the season launch on October 9th)
1. Danny VUKOVIC, 2. Jack CLISBY, 3. Brandon O’NEILL, 5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6. Dino DJULBIC, 7. Youssouf HERSI, 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9. Andy KEOGH, 10. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11. Richard GARCIA, 13. Diogo FERREIRA, 14. Chris HAROLD, 15. Jamie MACLAREN, 16. Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 18. Jack DUNCAN, 19. Josh RISDON, 20. Daniel DE SILVA, 21. Scott JAMIESON, 22. Cameron EDWARDS, 23. Michael THWAITE, 24. Matthew DAVIES, 25. Riley WOODCOCK, 26. Harry O’BRIEN.

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Latest Articles

Mariners face their biggest test yet

The Central Coast Mariners are flying west to take on the record-breaking Perth Glory as they vie to retain their position on top of...

Newcastle Jets out of finals race

Newcastle Jets are out of top four contention after losing 2-1 against Adelaide United at No.2 Sportsground on Friday afternoon.  The defeat for Newcastle left...
mm
Neil Sherwin
Neil has covered the Perth Glory and the Hyundai A-League for five years and is one of Western Australia's most knowledgeable football journalists.