Perth Glory 2020/21 season preview

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Perth Glory hope to climb back up the A-League ladder, ringing in an all-star team for the upcoming season despite a mass exodus of defenders.

Last Season…

A-league: 6th
Finals: Semi finals
FFA Cup: Round of 32

They’ll win the league because…

Glory’s barbaric front line will make it difficult for competing defenders this season, with top goal scorers Bruno Fornaroli and fan favourite Andy Keogh fronting up alongside team captain Diego Castro.

With Fornaroli marked as the fastest player in the league to score 30 goals during his time with Melbourne City and Keogh renowned as the teams leading goal scorer in A-league history, there is no doubt opposing teams may face some difficulty standing guard to their talents.

A promising lack of team injuries will see all players fit for a roaring start come their season debut on January 16.

They’ll be cellar dwellers because…

A top-heavy roster leaves little to be desired in Glory’s back line following the departure of notable defenders Juande, Dino Djulbic, and Tomi Mrcela.

This may diminish the team’s ability to present a unified side, particularly defensively, in the early rounds of the season with so many new players on hand.

On top of this, Tony Popovic’s exit from the club earlier this year leaves everything in the hands of Richard Garcia, who has a lot to prove with a mismatched team. It is up to him to ensure the boys are able to work quickly in order to present in solidarity.

The off season brought…

Drama. Covid-19 had the club’s name in lights for all the wrong reasons as players and owner Tony Sage struggled to come to terms with CBA negotiations with the PFA regarding pay cuts.

Furthermore, the pandemic caused the club to lose new signings Andrew Nabbout and Nathaniel Atkinson before they even stepped foot into the club, with both players now at Melbourne City.

It was not until a sudden sweep of signings the week of October 19 saw the new side take shape and frame the squad up for a prospective A-League season: a strong comeback after the departure of many of the team’s great defenders.

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Key player…

Returning for his third stint with the Glory, Irish striker Keogh is back on Australian soil after a brief spell with Al Qadsiah in Saudi Arabia and India’s North East United.

As the team’s leading goal scorer in A-League history, Glory will no doubt soak up the Dubliner’s talents in what hopes to be a successful season with him on the books.

Rounding out the team’s forwards alongside Fornaroli and Nicholas D’Agostino, a strong front line-up may see Glory rise back to the top spot next year.

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One to watch…

International comer Darryl Lachman will be making his A-League debut joining the Glory this season.

The Curacoan joins the club on a two-year deal from Israel’s Hapoel Raanana, hoping to seal in a grand final win for the team after their twice failed attempts.

With over 200 Eredivisie appearances, the 31-year-old will hope to prove a fitting replacement for Mrcela in the team’s defensive back line.

Ins: Andy Keogh (North East Utd.), Brandon Wilson (Wellington Phoenix), Jonathan Aspro (Western United FC), Nick Sullivan (Western Sydney), Darryl Lachman (Hapoel Raanana), Daniel Margush (re-signed).

Outs: Ivan Franjic (Macarthur Bulls), Jacob Tratt (Odisha FC), Joel Chianese (Hyderabad FC), Tomi Mrcela (termination), Juande (termination), Vince Lia (released), Dino Djulbic (released), Thomas James (released), Jake Brimmer (Melbourne Victory), Alex Grant (Pohang Steelers) and Daniel Margush (Western Sydney).

Full squad list

Goal Keepers: Tando Velaphi and Liam Reddy.

Defenders: Johnathon Aspro, Darryl Lachman, Kosuke Ota, Osama Malik, Luke Bodnar, Tarek Elrich and Dane Ingham.

Mid-Fielders: Nick Sullivan, Brandon Wilson, Diego Castro, Chris Ikonomidis, Callum Timmins and Neil Kilkenny.

Forwards: Andy Keogh, Bruno Fornaroli, Nicholas D’Agostino, Daniel Stynes, Carlo Armiento and Yagoub Mustafa.

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Breanna Redhead
WA based student journalist, covering Perth Glory for the 2020/21 A-League season