Fired-up Grant relishing challenges on and off the field

Alex Grant celebrates with fan
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He’s not quite ready to step into Kenny Lowe’s shoes just yet and it’s a little early to label him the 'New Mourinho’, but Glory’s Alex Grant is already getting a taste of life on the other side of the touchline.

And he admits that it’s not all been plain sailing so far.

“My brother plays for UWA-Nedlands in Metro North Division Two and he asked me to get involved with them,” he explained.

“But then he did his ACL in the first game of the season and hasn’t played since, so that’s just left me coaching all his mates!

“It’s good fun and I’m enjoying it, but we’ve had a couple of bad results in the last few games so we need to get back to winning ways this week.

“The pressure is on and the lads here at Glory are giving me stick about it because my brother’s always on Twitter talking about the games.”

While revealing that he’s happy to keep it casual when it comes to his choice of touchline fashion, Grant admitted that he isn’t afraid to lay down the law if his charges aren’t performing.

“The other week they were terrible,” he said, “and I had to give them the hair-dryer treatment.

“We were 4-0 down at half-time and I battered them and it did get a reaction because we came back into it in the second half.

“I have been tempted every now and then to throw myself on for the last 20 minutes, but that’s the last thing I need to do given my injury record last year!”

Last season did, of course, unfortunately end prematurely for the 23-year-old when he was laid low by a foot injury, although he is grateful that he was not forced to undergo an operation.

“Even after a good first year, I was probably out of favour a little bit at the start of last season and was on the bench for the first couple of games,” he said.

“But that kind of thing just fires me up and gets a reaction from me. I know that I’m more than capable of breaking into the team and holding onto my spot when I do get in and I did that last year.

“I came in against Melbourne City and stayed in for four or five games until I tweaked my hamstring and then I got back in again until I got the foot injury.

“That really put a dampener on my season, especially because I thought that me and Shane (Lowry) had both got fit and were starting to build a bit of a partnership.

“But then I hurt my foot and he injured his quad.

“I was lucky that I didn’t have to have surgery because it’s a delicate and complex part of the foot. It was actually the same injury that Sam Kerr had a couple of years ago, except she did a little bit more damage and had to have a plate inserted.

“Early doors we thought there was a chance I might be back before the end of the season, but it wasn’t to be.

“In terms of positives, though, it did give me a chance to sit and analyse games and get a different perspective on things.”

Grant and Lowry were among a host of Glory players sidelined at various points last season and the former Macclesfield man believes that those injury issues severely impacted the team’s defensive solidity.

“It showed last year that if there’s no consistency in the team, it’s hard to get consistency into performances,” he said.

“I don’t think there were more than two games on the bounce where we started with the same back four and you do need that consistency to keep it solid at the back.”

Fortunately, Grant has hit the ground running in pre-season and is relishing the additional competition for places that has been created by the arrival of new recruits Scott Neville and Jacob Poscoliero.

“I’m a bit worried because everything’s feeling really good at the moment and that’s usually when something goes wrong!” he joked.

“Posco has come in and started really well in training. I’ve been impressed by him and it’s great to have that healthy competition.

“Rhys [Williams] and Dino [Djulbic] started at centre-back last season, but that only drove me on. I do get frustrated and wound up when I’m not in the side, but it just makes me work harder.

“We’ve got a good group again this year. It’s close-knit and that’s so important. Even before you look at technical ability on the pitch, you need to make sure that the players you have at the club are good people off the pitch and Kenny [Lowe] has definitely built that here.”

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