Glory’s Killa cutting

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Perth Glory’s veteran midfielder Neil Kilkenny will be leaving the club at the end of the A-League season says head coach Richard Garcia.

Garcia confirmed the player’s departure in a recent press conference and said it was a mutual decision.

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“Killa [Kilkenny] is a great individual player but the team and the club are moving in one direction and he is moving in another,” he said.

“We spoke calmly about it, it was a good conversation, he’s a good professional and has continued to work hard this season.”

The 35-year-old has been with Perth Glory since 2018 and is one of the oldest members of the team, helping guide the younger players on and off the field.

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Given his focus on the future and recruitment of youth players this season, Garcia said the split had come naturally and was in no way related to Kilkenny’s age.

“We’ve had a plan for a while to restructure what we wanted to do and over the tough period you sort of see things in a different light ad yeah it just sort of come about really,” he said.

“I feel like the guys that have come in have done very well so it’s got nothing to do with youth, it’s got to do with performance and the fact for me that we want to be moving towards growths as a group as well as a club so that’s probably the biggest thing.”

Speculation of the midfielder’s departure began when he was axed from the squad for their clash against Melbourne Victory two weeks ago, and again last Wednesday night against Western United.

Both squads featured several youth league players instead.

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Garcia has emphasised the significance of unification in the squad and solidifying the ideal combination of players moving forward.

“We want to get the right people in for the right roles and that’s the biggest focus,” he said.

“That is the biggest thing for us that everyone is moving in the same direction and that everyone wants to be together and move forward together as a club.”

Feature Image Credit: Supplied: Perth Glory.

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

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