Perth Glory 2018/19 W-League season preview

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After missing out on the W-League finals last season the Glory are hungry for success, and Bobby Despotovski’s fleet of young talent is ready to sink their teeth into the new season.

Last season:

W-League: 6th

They’ll win the league because…

They kept their dynamic duo together. Sam Kerr and Rachel Hill dominated defences around the league last season, combining for 22 goals (Kerr 13, Hill 9). In a disappointing campaign for the Glory Kerr and Hill were the shining stars, finishing 1st and 3rd in the golden boot race respectively. Retaining the same deadly strike force for another campaign was a huge win for the Glory in the off-season.

When these two play together, there’s bound to be goals. If Despotovski can improve the rest of his squad to match the performance of his elite attacking pair, the Glory will strike fear into any opponent this season.

They’ll be cellar dwellers because…

It’s hip to blame millennials, and the Glory are stocked with them this season. One third of the squad are teenagers, with five of their 18 players born in the 2000s (feel old yet?). Losing experienced players such as Raquel Rodriguez, Amanda Frisbie, Melissa Maizels and Marianna Tabain, Despotovski has bravely instilled his faith in a fleet of youngsters to fill the gaps.

With so many young players yet to prove themselves in the league, injuries to this squad could see the Glory relying heavily on their teenagers to perform on game day. Could Glory’s youth and inexperience cost them in the long run?

Talk around the water cooler… look smart in front of your colleagues with this valuable piece of information.

On the 1st of November 2008 Shannon May scored the Glory’s first ever goal in the W-League against the Central Coast Mariners. One decade later May is still at the club, and avoiding injuries will make her 100th appearance for the Glory this season. The 27-year-old will no doubt have memories of where it all began fresh in her mind as she runs out for the opening game of the season this Sunday against the Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium, nearly ten years to the day since she scored the Glory’s inaugural goal in the league.

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The off-season brought…

New recruits, ten departures and a whole lot of change. The Glory have a new number one in Eliza Campbell this season, who joined the Glory from Adelaide United with three Matildas caps to her name. Joining Campbell at the Glory are two more Chicago Red Stars in defender Katie Naughton and midfielder Alyssa Mautz.

The two Americans join Nikki Stanton and Sam Kerr as the Glory’s four players on loan from the Chicago Red Stars for the W-League campaign. Fresh from competing together in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) these four players will bring much needed chemistry and consistency to a squad that underwent extensive off-season changes.

Key player

I’m going to let you in on some inside knowledge: Sam Kerr is pretty good at football. The Glory superstar has scored for fun in the W-League, NWSL and for the Matildas over the years.

Top scorer and MVP of the NWSL in 2017 with Sky Blue FC, Kerr has since won two more golden boots: one with the Glory in the last W-League campaign and another in the NWSL, this time scoring 16 goals for Chicago. Ballon d’Or nominee, Young Australian of the Year, goal-scoring phenomenon, I think you get the picture: Sam Kerr is the Queen of Australian football, and she’s out to claim her crown this season.

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One to watch

Jacynta Galabadaarachchi. The speedy teenager blessed with rapid pace is set to link up with the Glory’s already lethal attacking unit. The 17-year-old had a spell at Melbourne City in the 2016/17 season making five appearances, before training with a raft of high-profile English sides in the UK. Now Galabadaarachchi is back in Australia, and ready to melt the turf with her blistering speed and eye-catching skills. Hold onto your hats, with Glabadaarachchi in their ranks the Glory of 2018/19 is going to be a fun side to watch.

In – 1. Eliza CAMPBELL (Adelaide United), 4. Alyssa MAUTZ (Chicago Red Stars), 6. Abbey MEAKINS, 8. Grace HENRY, 10. Jacynta GALABADAARACHCHI, 11. Leticia McKENNA, 12. Jenna ONIONS, 25. Katie NAUGHTON (Chicago Red Stars).

Out – Gabby DEL BUSCO, Melissa MAIZELS (Canberra United), Patricia CHARALAMBOUS, Danielle BROGAN, Shawn BILLAM, Raquel RODRIGUEZ (Sky Blue FC), Nicola BOLGER, Jaymee GIBBONS, Amanda FRISBIE (Sky Blue FC), Marianna TABAIN.

Full Squad List

Goalkeepers – 1. Eliza CAMPBELL, 21. Morgan AQUINO.

Defenders – 2. Sarah CARROLL, 3. Kim CARROLL, 8. Grace HENRY, 12. Jenna ONIONS, 24. Natasha RIGBY, 25. Katie NAUGHTON.

Midfielders – 4. Alyssa MAUTZ, 5. Shannon MAY, 6. Abbey MEAKINS, 7. Nikki STANTON, 11. Leticia McKENNA, 15. Alexia MORENO.

Forwards – 9. Rachel HILL, 10. Jacynta GALABADAARACHCHI, 14. Caitlin DOEGLAS, 20. Sam KERR.

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Matthew Comito
Matthew Comito
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.

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