Ruben Zadkovich turns Perth Glory into the fountain of eternal youth

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Perth Glory played their first home game under new manager Ruben Zadkovich and they presented an array of youth as opposed to squeezing the life out of experienced players game in, game out.

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In only one game, Zadkovich gave three players their first A-League Men minutes with one, Adrian Coyne, fortunate enough to actually feature in the starting side.

“I’m not fearful to play young and inexperienced players,” Zadkovich said.

This comes as a very different approach as opposed to his predecessor, Richard Garcia, who reiterated that it was the lack of experience from the younger players which lead to their poorer performances.

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Zadkovich promoting, and including, some of the Glory academy players to ALM may be the unspoken confidence boost that the in-prime Glory players need to begin thriving again.

“The quality cattle that we’ve got coming through – it’s actually huge for our club,” he said.

His confidence in the younger generation, is due to working closely with the players he has bought in.

“I know them well, I spent hours and hours on grass in my previous role, mentoring and shaping those guys,” he said.

So much so, that the young apprentices are now fighting for minutes against the likes of Daniel Stynes, who has won over fans with his performances but is yet to receive a continuous inclusion in the starting XI.

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Zadkovich is set to re-design the way Glory play football and replace it with his one of his preferred methods; the attacking game. But, it poses a steep challenge ahead, considering Glory is a side that is predominately known for its strong defence.

“The style I want them to play, I can honestly tell you, they’re not ready for it yet,” he said.

“To play that type of football and that style of football – you have to be conditioned to play it.”

Glory have their work cut out for them, using final opportunities before the season’s end to attempt to move away from last place under the guidance of Zadkovich and assistant coach Chris Coyne.

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However, the interim coach used snippets from the second-half against Newcastle Jets on Wednesday as an example of what his side could do and what they have been able to quickly implement in only a short time together.

While the second-half may have been testament to what the younger players may be familiar to under his management, it was a game without some of Glory’s experienced players.

The return of Bruno Fornaroli, Osama Malik and Mitch Oxborrow poses the question of how adaptable they can be as a collective during the rebuilding phase.

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Following the return of those missing from the Jets squad, Zadkovich has already issued reassurance to the younger players that their work will not be forgotten and said he will try to reward those who stepped up to the plate.

Perth Glory are set to take on Macarthur, away, on Sunday.

Feature Image credit: Vision Inspired Photography

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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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