GLORY'S ULTIMATE XI - THE STRIKER

Glorys Ultimate XI The Striker WEB HEADER
Keogh
Bobby Despotovski
Damian Mori
Shane Smelth
Nikita
Vas
NIK
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EXCLUSIVE GLORY MEMBER'S ULTIMATE XI – THE STRIKER VOTE

 

ANDY KEOGH

Keogh

It took Keogh only 51 games to become Glory’s highest ever A-League goalscorer and he continues to average a remarkable goal every other game.

And the Irishman has not contented himself with just breaking club records, becoming the first player in A-League history to score eight goals in eight consecutive games during the second half of last season.

A tireless worker for the team as well as a deadly finisher, the 30-year-old previously played for a host of clubs in England, most notably Wolves, Millwall, Leeds and Scunthorpe and also won 30 senior caps for his country.

He joined Glory in 2014 and started every game in his debut season, scoring 12 goals along the way.

After a brief, ill-fated spell in Thailand with Ratchaburi, he returned to the club midway through last season and continued where he had left off, finding the net 10 times in just 14 starts.

This term, the Dubliner has taken his A-League goals tally past the 30 mark and has clearly relished playing alongside Adam Taggart, Diego Castro and Chris Harold in a formidable attacking quartet.

 

BOBBY DESPOTOVSKI

Bobby Despotovski

Despotovski’s club record of 113 goals in 241 NSL and A-League appearances is undoubtedly incredible, but his stats are only part of the reason why the locally-born striker remains arguably the most iconic figure in Glory history.

A key part of the inaugural squad back in 1996, his strength, creativity, superb positional sense and instinctive finishing swiftly established him as a firm fans’ favourite and the partnership he duly formed with Damian Mori remains one of the most prolific that Australian domestic football has ever seen.

He scored 14 times in the club’s first season, bagged Glory’s opener in the 2000 NSL Grand Final, was a key member of the side that secured back-to-back NSL titles in 2003 and 2004 and also earned four caps for the Socceroos.

In terms of personal honours, meanwhile, the former Collingwood Warriors man won the Most Glorious Player Award on no fewer than four occasions and also claimed the Johnny Warren Medal in 2006.

A bubbly and engaging character, he moved into coaching after hanging up his boots in 2007 and led Glory’s W-League side to this season’s Grand Final.

 

DAMIAN MORI

Damian Mori

Mori had already established himself as one of the country’s most feared strikers with Adelaide City Force when he was signed by Glory in 2000.

And he duly continued his prolific goalscoring form in tandem with Bobby Despotovski, finding the net no fewer than 86 times over the course of the next four seasons and adding a further two NSL Golden Boot Awards to the three that he had previously won with the Zebras.

Possessing incredible pace, along with the ability to hold the ball up to great effect, the Melbourne-born frontman scored Glory’s second goal in their maiden NSL Grand Final victory in 2003 and was also a part of the side that retained the title in 2004.

After leaving the club to re-join Adelaide City in 2004, he returned to Glory for the inaugural A-League season and added a further seven goals in 17 appearances.

A two-time Johnny Warren Medal-winner, Mori earned 45 caps for the Socceroos, scoring 29 goals in the process and after retiring in 2011, took over as Head Coach of Adelaide City.

 

SHANE SMELTZ

Shane Smelth

New Zealand international Smeltz is best remembered at Glory for the massive contribution he made in driving the club to its maiden A-League Grand Final appearance in 2012.

In what was his debut season in the west, the former Wellington Phoenix and Gold Coast United man scored 13 times during the regular campaign and added a further four goals in the finals.

In the Grand Final itself, he unfortunately received a sickening facial injury which subsequently required reconstructive surgery and undoubtedly limited his effectiveness during the defeat at the hands of Brisbane Roar.

A striker blessed with the priceless ability to conjure a goal out of nothing, Smeltz managed to find the net a further seven times during his second term with the club, while injury unfortunately ruined his third, but he was still Glory’s highest A-League scorer until being overtaken by Andy Keogh late last year.

After leaving the club in 2014, he joined Sydney FC and later signed for Malaysian side Kedah FA before returning for a second sell with Phoenix.

Now 35, he is currently second behind Besart Berisha in the list of all-time highest A-League goalscorers.

 

NIKITA RUKAVYTSYA

Nikita

Rukavytsya’s searing pace and rapier-like left foot soon established him as a rising star when he burst on to the A-League scene as a 19-year-old back in 2007.

Having moved to Perth from Ukraine as a teenager, he was signed by Glory following a stint at the AIS and was employed as a winger on several occasions towards the end of the 2006-07 campaign.

In the following season, he managed six goals from just ten starts in a more central role, but it was in 2008-09 that he really made his mark as he forged a productive partnership with veteran frontman, Eugene Dadi.

The pair would bag ten goals apiece that year, with several of Rukavytsya’s most memorable efforts seeing him simply push the ball past the last defender and then leave him trailing in his wake as he accelerated through on goal.

A lucrative move to Dutch side FC Twente duly followed, as did the first of 13 Socceroos caps and Rukavytsya went on to play for Hertha Berlin, Mainz, Western Sydney Wanderers and Beitar Jerusalem before signing for current club, Maccabi Haifa.

 

VAS KALOGERACOS

Vas

Another forward blessed with blinding pace, Kalogeracos scored 22 goals during his three seasons with the club, many of which were spectacular solo efforts.

A member of the inaugural Glory squad, he had returned to his hometown after trying his luck in England with Birmingham City and swiftly endeared himself to the Perth Oval faithful with his flamboyance and eye for goal.

Diminutive, tricky and something of a maverick, his hat-trick against South Melbourne in April 1997 was the first ever scored by a Glory player and helped take his personal tally during the club’s maiden NSL campaign to an impressive 12.

After another stint in England, this time with Stockport County, Kalogeracos returned to Glory for a further two seasons, making 36 appearances and scoring an additional ten goals.

The former Australia Under-17 international left the club in 2000, linking up with South Melbourne and going on to turn out for a clutch of Victorian Premier League sides including Heidelberg and Richmond.

 

NIK MRDJA

NIK

As the scorer of the dramatic, ‘golden goal’ winner in the 2004 NSL Grand Final, Mrdja’s place in the pantheon of Glory legends is very much assured.

Although Perth born, he got his first taste of the NSL with Canberra Cosmos before joining his hometown club in 2000 and going on to make 75 appearances, scoring a very respectable 25 goals in the process. 

With Bobby Despotovski and Damian Mori also vying to start up front, he was not always a regular first-choice and his appearances during the 2002, 2003 and 2004 Grand Finals all came off the bench.

Indeed, he had only been on the pitch for 16 minutes at Parramatta Stadium when he swept home the goal that would see Glory crowned as the last ever NSL champions.

After leaving Glory in 2004 and spending a season with Swedish club AIK, the 1.86m frontman returned to Australia and joined the Central Coast Mariners for whom he would make nearly 50 appearances before knee problems forced him to retire in 2011.

At international level, meanwhile, he earned one cap for the Socceroos courtesy of a substitute appearance against Argentina in 2007.