‘It’s just us’: Perth Glory turn border challenges into strength

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Perth Glory are playing some of the best football their women’s side has seen in almost three seasons, despite being isolated from loved ones by the border restrictions.

Their success this season may come down to the challenges they have faced alone on the road, and overcoming all of the obstacles caused by the pandemic – with the extra layer of border restrictions keeping them away from home – to even play each week.

Following a disappointing display in their previous game against Canberra United, Glory reflected and bounced back to surprise Adelaide United in their clash on Wednesday.

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The Reds were expected to clean out, but Glory took the odds against them and turned it into three points.

“We’ve had a different challenge come up almost each day,” coach Alex Epakis said.

One of those challenges in their most recent clash against Adelaide was having to play down with ten players.

Glory had a call against Susan Phonsongkham, who made her return from injury after missing the last four games. Phonsongkham was subbed on in the second half only to be sent off via a red card moments later.

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But, not only did Glory win playing down by one, they crushed the Reds’ hopes of setting four consecutive clean sheet wins.

Epakis recognised their performance as pure determination, something which he said had been on display since day one.

“All the difficulties we’re going through, it presents itself on the field as well, and the fact we can collectively overcome it and be in the position that we’re in – it just speaks volume of where we’re at as a group,” he said.

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“You can’t underestimate the challenges we’re going through together as a group.”

Their next challenge will be to perform again in their upcoming fixture only three days away. Epakis’ side claims to excel under challenging circumstances, so they will rely on momentum to carry them into their next battle against Melbourne City.

Perth now sit equal fifth on points but trail Adelaide and Melbourne Victory on goal difference.

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For Glory to come this far in the competition, all while being away from home, the kind of football they could produce if they had their share of Perth home games is something to leave up to the imagination.

“We’re doing it away from home, we’ve got no family, we’ve got no friends, we’ve got no support. This is just us,” Epakis said.

Feature Image credit: Tom McCarthy

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Ash Ramos
Ash Ramos
Journalism student at Curtin University covering Perth Glory for the 2021/22 A-leagues season. Siuuu

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