100 for Michael THWAITE

Following their dramatic late win over Brisbane Roar last weekend, Perth Glory’s sights are now firmly set upon Sunday’s away clash with Central Coast Mariners, a game that will have special significance for both Michael Thwaite and Jacob Burns

Following their dramatic late win over Brisbane Roar last weekend, Perth Glory-s sights are now firmly set upon Sunday-s away clash with Central Coast Mariners, a game that will have special significance for both Michael Thwaite and Jacob Burns.

Central defender Thwaite will be making his 100th Hyundai A-League appearance and he is particularly pleased to be chalking up that personal milestone in Glory colours.

“I-m very excited to be playing my 100th game on Sunday”, he said.

“It-s a big achievement for myself, it-s a goal that I had and I-m very proud that I-ll be doing it playing for Perth Glory.

“We are the oldest club in the A-League with a great history and we want to bring that consistency of success back to Perth Glory.”

The former Melbourne Victory and Gold Coast United man currently has six Socceroos caps to his name and revealed that the prospect of re-igniting his international career was one of the prime motivating factors behind his decision to head home from Europe in 2008.

“This is my fifth (A-League) season”, he said.

“I started on loan at Melbourne Victory and the standard has definitely improved since then, hence why you are getting the calibre of players coming back and not having to play in the lower leagues in Europe.

“The main reason I came back is because I was only coming off the bench in Norway and I wanted to be back involved in the Socceroos set-up and I think that (Socceroos coach) Holger Osieck sees the future of the young players being in the A-League.”

Thwaite-s form in purple will of course ultimately decide whether he is again afforded the opportunity to don Aussie gold and he and his colleagues got off to an absolute flier courtesy of Sunday-s sweet victory over the reigning champions.

“Sunday was exceptional”, he said.

“I-ve never played in front of such a big home crowd and it was definitely good to have them on my side instead of against me as normal!

“It-s all about momentum, just like the finals series.

“You build momentum throughout the season and I always focus purely upon the first three games for my own personal goals and what better way to start than to get three points against the toughest team in the league.”

Burns, meanwhile, was equally thrilled with his side-s performance in the season-opener, but preferred to look ahead to the Mariners clash and in particular, locking horns with Mile Sterjovski.

The duo share a history dating back to their time at both Sydney United and Parramatta Power in the mid-to-late 90s and they were of course subsequently reunited when they both signed for Glory in 2009.

“I promised my wife and Mile-s wife that I wouldn-t kick him”, joked Burns, “so I-ll have to be on my best behaviour.

“He-s a fantastic mate and a fantastic player and he did very well in their first game, so I-m sure he-ll be looking to put in a good effort for his team up there.

“But I think they have a good team all round, so we-re not going to focus on one individual.

“It-ll be a bit strange playing against him, but I-m looking forward to the occasion.”