A new normal: The realities of COVID scheduling for Glory

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Ahead of the distance derby this Sunday, Perth Glory looks to shake off their home loss to the Central Coast Mariners but not without some considerations.

Head coach Richard Garcia said his side were “hungry to bounce back”, but due to the nature of scheduling he had to think ahead.

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“You’ve got to plan for two games ahead, you know, it’s never going to go according to plan but you’ve got to take that into consideration of where you want your team to be at the end of the run,” he said.

“It’s just a different reality now. It’s not what it used to be and that’s something we’ve spoken to the guys about; that the reality isn’t like a normal season it’s the new normal.

“This is probably best week we’re going to have in terms of normality because we’re going away we’re coming back and we get a week between games.”

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Not only does the team need to physically recover, but the early season quarantine requirements means players are mentally drained, as well.

“We’re going to have be fully focused and make sure we’re resilient not only physically but mentally,” Garcia said.

“I think that’s the hardest challenge is that mentally it’s a tough one for the guys when we keep having a schedule where we’re on the back end.”

While Garcia sympathises with the sacrifices made by upcoming opponent’s Wellington Phoenix, he said the circumstance may have benefitted them this time around.

“They’ve taken a huge sacrifice to settle in Sydney, the one benefit of that is that travel is at a minimum for them,” he said.

“They have come away for a long period of time for the season but at the same time they are playing a lot of games that are very local. So for them it’ll probably be less physically demanding, because they’re not doing the travel they’re used to doing normally.”

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He highlighted the importance of team focus heading into the weekend’s match, to avoid having to “play catch-up” when senior players like Chris Ikonomidis and recruit Sebastian Langkamp, hopefully, make an appearance later in the season.

“It’s about focusing on our results and the way we play,” Garcia said.

“Making sure that people know their specific roles, some of the guys didn’t do that in the last game so we’ve just made them aware of it and I’m sure they’ll do the right thing the next game.”

Feature Image Credit: Vision Inspired Photography

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