Alex Grant relishing senior football at Perth Glory

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Glory’s Alex Grant has swiftly become somewhat of a fan favourite down at NIB Stadium in his first season at the Perth club.

The Manchester-born, Perth-raised 22-year-old has made a name for himself with his composed, yet old school no-nonsense style of defending, which included his channeling of Terry Butcher against Sydney, earning him many plaudits.

He’s also making an impact at the other end of the pitch, scoring his first goal for the club against Newcastle Jets over the weekend.

The ECU Joondalup product, who is one of four in the current Glory first team, made the “earlier than expected” trip back to WA after spending a few years overseas, namely at English Premier League outfit Stoke City, chasing his professional football dream.

“I was thrown into different environments. Stoke had really good facilities, better players and was more professional, but I felt held back in many respects with only being able to play at an U21 level,” the Perth number two revealed.

The former Australian U17 squad member went on to add that the opportunity to “see English clubs at both ends of the spectrum” was a real eye-opening experience, one that taught him some valuable lessons.

“I enjoyed my spells on loan playing men’s football where I got a grasp of the feeling and the importance of winning three points, which has developed a hunger within me to win at whatever club I’m at,” the former Hale School student said.

Grant’s hunger for three points every time he steps on the park is vehemently evident in the way he goes about his business on the park. His hard tackling, passion and sheer determination has characterised his displays so far this season.

Alex began his journey in England on the South Coast spending a couple years at embattled Portsmouth, which included loan spells at Conference South clubs Eastleigh, as well as Havant & Waterlooville before signing on at Staffordshire trailblazers Stoke City in 2013.

“I learnt a lot from the experience. I feel that I developed a number of valuable skills which I have been able to utilise here at Perth Glory,” Grant, who also enjoyed 28 senior appearances at Macclesfield Town, explained.

Despite being born in the northern city of Manchester, the young defender insists Perth holds a special place in his heart and has relished the chance to represent them.

Glory have become synonymous with a youth oriented football philosophy, with current striker Jamal Reiners recently made his debut in the 1-0 win against Adelaide United last month. This focus on nurturing and developing young players is something that Grant believes will only serve to help the former NSL magnates.

“Josh Risdon is the primary example of what the boys can achieve individually. It’s a credit to Risdon for what he’s achieved and it’s exciting to now see the likes of Aryn [Williams], Jamal [Reiners], Jake [Collard], Mitch [Oxborrow] and I being given the opportunity to play,” the player revealed.

“It’s encouraging to the fans and any young football enthusiasts who one day dream of playing in the professional environment,” he added.

Playing for Glory has also meant reuniting with former NTC coach Kenny Lowe, which undoubtedly played a part in his decision to head back to the west.

“Kenny has always been a good manager of his players. His knowledge of the game is something I have massive respect for,” Grant extolled.

Despite his team sitting second from bottom with an ever-increasing list of injuries, Alex insists the primary focus is getting into the top six.

“The mood around the camp is positive and we all believe we can achieve this.

“We have displayed some encouraging performances, which will hold us in good stead for the remainder of the season,” he said.

Grant and the rest of the Glory team have a long way to go to make the top six, but there is no doubting the Perth local has the potential and willpower to help guide the club to clinch an unlikely finals berth.

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Bryce Conway
21-year-old Communications and Media Student at UWA, avid Liverpool and Seinfeld enthusiast following Perth Glory during the 2015/2016 A-League season.

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