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Season Preview 2015/16: Perth Glory

The Salary Cap saga certainly took its toll on Kenny Lowe and the Perth Glory last season, condemning the almost finals certainties to a longer off-season than they had planned for. Despite that, 4 wins from the final 5 games of the season suggested that Lowe had Perth playing a very competitive style of football, and one that he’d be looking to build upon for the 2015/16 season.

Some big losses in key areas, however, may hurt Perth considerably. Midfield anchor Rostyn Griffiths, top scorer Andy Keogh, full back Scott Jamieson and goalkeeper Danny Vukovic are among the 9 departures from the club since May.

In their place, Lowe has brought in a bunch of experienced heads to fill some of those key gaps. Ante Covic and Antony Golec are two names that will definitely be familiar to A-League fans, but it’s the new faces that are the most intriguing. Spanish winger Diego Castro joins the club from La Liga side Getafe, where he managed 18 goals in 129 games, whilst Dutch striker Guyon Fernandez comes to Perth with plenty of Eredivisie appearances under his belt.

2014/15 wash-up

Perth finished up in 7th place last year after the points deduction, due to salary cap breaches. Without that punishment, the Glory would’ve finished their season in 3rd place, and been well and truly in contention for the Championship.

62015/16 predictions

Our contributors and fans were asked for their ladder predictions going into the new season, and it’s a mixed bag for the boys from Western Australia. We received rankings for Perth ranging from 2nd to 10th place, suggesting that the Glory squad is a relative unknown as we head into the new season. In the end, an average ranking of 6.14 means the Glory take out 6th place on our adjusted ladder.

Ins & Outs

In Out
Diego Castro
Ante Covic
Guyon Fernandez
Antony Golec
Hagi Gligor
Alex Grant
Gyorgy Sandor
Jerrad Tyson
Marc Warren
Jack Duncan
Rostyn Griffiths
Youssouf Hersi
Andy Keogh
Scott Jamieson
Jamie Maclaren
Brandon O’Neill
Danny Vukovic
Riley Woodcock

Fixtures

Split: 13 home, 14 away.
Round 1: Away vs Central Coast Mariners.
First Home fixture: Round 2, vs Wellington Phoenix.
Other Notes: The Glory start on their ‘road to redemption’ away at the Mariners in round 1, before returning home to host a Distance Derby against the Phoenix a week later. But it’s not all chocolates and roses for the Glory, as they’ll have to contend with travelling east 3 times in the last 4 rounds, to Newcastle, Sydney and Wellington. A curious inclusion is a Monday Night home game in March against the Jets, and almost everyone is in the dark as to exactly why it has been scheduled for that night.

Key Player

Perth conceded just 35 goals in 2014/15 (the third least in the league), and goalkeeper Danny Vukovic had a lot to do with that. Vukovic has been one of the most consistent shot-stoppers over the life of the A-League, and when he signalled his departure from the club after last season, Kenny Lowe went down the path of experience over youth when choosing his replacement.

Ante Covic certainly brings plenty of experience to the role, along with plaudits and trophies in his time with the Western Sydney Wanderers. The concern, though, would be Covic’s age — he turned 40 years old in June — and some shaky performances toward the end of the last A-League season. If he brings his best this year, however, he’ll be key to a deep run into the finals for Perth.

One to watch

With Andy Keogh and Jamie Maclaren — Perth’s two leading goal scorers last season — leaving during the off-season, the pressure is certainly on new players like Guyon Fernandez to deliver in front of goal. However, it’s an “experienced youngster” we’ll have our eye on this year — Chris Harold. Harold has played 87 A-League games for a return of just 11 goals, and with the now-departed Keogh/Maclaren duo providing almost half of Perth’s goal tally last season, now is the perfect time for the talented forward to make his mark on the league.

Obscure trivia

Over the last 3 seasons, Ante Covic has kept the most clean sheets of any goalkeeper in the A-League (24).

About the author

avatarJustin is a passionate football fan, and the Editor-in-chief of Ultimate A-League.

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Comments

  • Ben

    The Monday home game against Newcastle is a public holiday in WA.