Perth Glory W-League 2019/20 season preview

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Despite Perth Glory’s grand final appearance last season their preparation for the 2019/20 W-League season is clouded in the mystery surrounding Sam Kerr.

Last season…

W-League: 4th 
Finals: Grand final

Only Sydney FC scored as many goals in the regular season as the Glory last year, with the dynamic trio of Kerr, Rachel Hill and Alyssa Mautz putting away 26 of the club’s 28 goals.

Hill, the American forward who scored six goals from her 14 appearances was at the club on loan deal from Orlando Pride, returned to her parent club for the National Women’s Soccer League season and is yet to extend her loan arrangement to Perth for a third consecutive year.

Her compatriot Mautz was on loan from Adelaide United and suffered an ACL injury during her stint with the Chicago Red Stars in March, ending her NWSL season.

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Glory owner Tony Sage indicated before the club’s A-League opener that Kerr is due to make her next career move at the end of the Red Stars’ season either on October 19th or 27th.

She is reportedly considering offers from European giants Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain after her FFA marquee offer ended at the conclusion of last season.

They’ll win the league because…

Glory’s fortunes have fluctuated in the W-League during the last part of this decade and with a squad yet to be announced, they’re still at the mercy of their recruitment in the coming weeks.

With that said, Glory are beginning to develop some of the country’s best young talent. Kerr is the most recent West Australian to debut for the Matildas, but Hana Lowry will have every intention of breaking that duck, as will fellow midfielder Abbey Meakins, who at just 19-years of age is set for her fourth year at the club.

Morgan Aquino is an extremely promising young goal-keeper and she has the backing of more experienced shot-stopper Eliza Campbell.

Youthful exuberance may well be the Glory’s best trait as they look to develop their younger players and appear in another finals series.

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They’ll be cellar dwellers because…

Glory are open to the possibility that Kerr may not re-sign with the club and that could leave a gaping hole in the club’s strike force.

As it stands, 19-year old Liana Cook and 17-year old Abbey Green are the only forwards expected to commit to the club. Perth are keen to facilitate the development of its youth but it’s unlikely that these two will cut it over the length of a season.

Player retention and stability has been an issue in the club and it seems the late start to the season hasn’t helped.

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Glory were equal first for goals scored (34) and shot conversion (18 per cent) through the regular season and finals last year but were also second for goals conceded (26).

The off-season brought…

Glory have not confirmed their squad for the 2019/20 W-League season, but it appears likely that they will lose Hill and Mautz but keep the young core group.

Large offers for Kerr will worry the club but with the later finish to the NWSL in the US, the off-season has barely begun.

Coach Bobby Despotovski has a tough assignment assembling a squad and establishing plans for the season in a short period of time.

Key player…

There really is only one option when it comes to finding the Glory’s key player.

Kerr is a key player not only for the football club but for the league and the federation, as reflected by last season’s marquee arrangement.

She has netted 18 goals and assisted in another 5 in 21 games for the Red Stars in the US after being the leading goal-kicker with 17 goals in her marquee season.

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Since last season, the home-grown striker has become the face of international campaigns for Nike alongside Christiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe as well as leading the lines for the Matildas at the 2019 World Cup.

She has a monumental impact for Glory on the pitch and can be trusted in the big moments, such as her stunning hat-trick in last season’s semi-final.

One to watch…

Lowry is the next big thing in West Australian female football. The goal-scoring midfielder was the player of the tournament in the qualifying tournament for the AFC U16 Championship before scoring three goals, including a brace against Thailand in the ensuing tournament in September.

She can expect some game time this season as the void left by the probable departures of the forward group needs filling.

The Perth Glory are yet to confirm their squad for the 2019/10 W-League season.

Feature image credit: Vision Inspired Photography

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