•  
  • Like us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Add us on Google Plus
  • Subscribe on YouTube
  • Follow us on Instagram

Season Preview 2014/15: Perth Glory

Perth Glory will be looking to take their positive pre-season form forward into the 2014/15 regular season, with a host of new faces, a coach entering his first full season at the helm, and a club growing in confidence. Damien Loiacono breaks down the Glory, and where the keys to their success or failure this season will lie:

Who’s Out

Once again, Glory’s pre-season has seen a revolving door of players. Jacob Burns, Travis Dodd and Steven McGarry all retired at the end of last season, with Ryan Edwards and Darvydas Sernas returning to Reading and Gaziantepspor respectively, after their loans expired. Adrian Zahra’s contract also expired, and he has since moved on to Valletta F.C in Malta. Daniel De Silva transferred to Roma, but will remain in Perth on loan from the Serie A club for the entirety of the 2014/15 season.

Who’s In

Goalkeeper Danny Vukovic will return to Perth after a forgettable loan spell in Japan, while midfielders Youssouf Hersi and Diogo Ferreira come to the club from the Wanderers and Brisbane Roar. Mitch Nichols joins on loan from Cerezo Osaka, whilst former Jets midfielder Ruben Zadkovich and journeyman Richard Garcia also join the club. Defender Dino Djulbic will also have his second stint at the Glory after his stay at Al-Wahda concluded. Finally, highly rated young goalkeeper Jordan Thurtell will look to challenge Vukovic and Jack Duncan for the #1 keeper role.

Strengths

Defending

Sure, it might be weird to name Glory’s defensive line as their strength, seeing as they finished last season outside the finals with 37 goals conceded. Yet with Danny Vukovic returning, Scott Jamieson having recovered from injury, and with the experienced Michael Thwaite and Dino Djulbic, the Glory have a particularly strong defence on paper. A number of young players, including Jack Clisby, Matt Davies and Riley Woodcock, all performed admirably in the absence of a number of senior players and will be pushing for starting places yet again, but will likely face less pressure assuming the line is more settled.

Weaknesses

Possession

The first two of Glory’s weaknesses are linked. Usually Perth’s possession game is limited to passing between the back four, and then either moving it long down the middle or towards the wings. The lack of, or at least poor, movement from the middle three is generally to blame for this. While they do well in working hard to get into space, too often last season was this space wide and too close to the defensive line.

Creativity

Poor possession unfortunately leaves the team lacking for creativity. Mitch Nichols and Youssouf Hersi have been encouraging during the preseason, and will need to be responsible for filling this hole. When in form, both of them can open up the park and create chances for both themselves and their teammates — something we haven’t seen for a while in Perth.

X-Factor

Andy Keogh

Perth have been crying out for a star striker for years, and while momentarily they had one in Shane Smeltz, injuries derailed a large portion of his Glory career. Keogh comes in with a respectable record in England, playing in League Two, One, the Championship and Premier League over his career. Keogh has also made a good start to his new life at the Glory — during the pre-season he has scored 7 goals, including two away at Newcastle in the FFA Cup. The Glory will not just be looking to Keogh to score, but for him to hold up the ball and link with the wingers and midfielders to create even more opportunities in the final third.

Who we want to see more of

Daniel De Silva

The 2014/15 season will be the last we see of young star Daniel De Silva. After being sold to Serie A club Roma at the conclusion of last season, De Silva will spend the season on-loan in Perth.

Yet, still, we haven’t seen much of him.

After spending the first part of last season on the sidelines with a series of injuries, he was used sparingly as the season wound down, and often was played out of position on the wings. Despite that, he was still able to show some glimpses of quality in his touch and passing. Glory fans will be hoping he will be able to play a positive role this season.

Under Fire

Kenny Lowe

Over the past 10 years, Glory have changed managers at a rate that would make Maurizio Zamparini proud. Lowe took over as caretaker manager for the majority of last season, after Alistair Edwards was sacked in December. A few good games toward the end of the season (along with low wage demands), and he was handed the role full time during the off season. History says he has half a season to get it right, or he will be following his many predecessors out the door.

Tactics

For a number of years Glory managers have gone with variations of the 4-3-3 and 4-5-1 formation. Yet a change to the 4-4-2 diamond shape did see a few solid performances last year.

The diamond structure allows for play in a number of ways. Firstly, it offers the defensive shape the Glory need to succeed. Secondly, it can either be played with wide midfielders or they can tuck in next to the main midfield anchor. The full backs will offer a lot of width, but the key is getting the ball to that attacking midfielder, and allowing for the other midfielders to join the attack. While Lowe has used the pre-season to try and allow for the plethora of wingers and attacking midfielders in his squad, don’t be surprised if he opts for the diamond, especially if the rumours that the Glory will sign another striker are true.

Pre-Season Results

Inglewood United v Perth Glory 1-1 (4-3 Penalties) — Keogh 28’

Adelaide United v Perth Glory 1-0

Perth Glory v Malaga 1-1 — Keogh 56’

Perth Glory v WA State Team 1-2 — Sidnei 85’

Gosnells City v Perth Glory 0-6 — Harold x 3, De Silva, Maclaren, Ferreira (Pen)

Cockburn City v Perth Glory 0-3 — Keogh 45’ (pen) 55’, O’Neill 80’

Rockingham City v Perth Glory 0-10 — Maclaren 5’ 20’ 23’, Harold 12’ 15’ 30’ 36’, Nichols 41’, Sam 70’, Clark 80’

Adelaide United v Perth Glory 1-1 — Thwaite 38’

Sorrento 1-5 Perth Glory — Edwards 5’ Harold 10’ 22’, Knowles 82’, Collard 85’

Melbourne City 2-1 Perth Glory — Maclaren 88’

Newcastle Jets 0-2 Perth Glory (FFA Cup) — Keogh 28’ 88’

St Albans Saints 1-4 Perth Glory (FFA Cup) — Marinkovic 37’ 90+4’, Maclaren 62’, Keogh 72

About the author

avatarDamien is a freelance sports journalist and podcast co-host for Ultimate A-League.

Share this article

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Comments