The first of November will forever be etched in the memory of Perth Glory FC goalkeeper Ante Covic.
It was on this day in 2014 when Glory’s veteran recruit created history with the Western Sydney Wanderers and won the Asian Champions League against Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia.
Covic, who was seven months shy of his 40th birthday at the time, was also voted best player of the tournament.
Exactly a year on and Covic will face his former team mates and walk out onto the pitch where for three years he was a cult hero; Pirtek stadium in Parramatta. But how will he feel when he comes across the Red and Black block, wearing the Glory colours?
“Umm it’s a good question to be honest. Obviously it’s a year to the day when we won the ACL with the Wanderers and I’ve always said that achievement is a special and most memorable part of my career. It’s a great club and with a great winning culture which helped put Australian football on the map in an incredibly short space of time. As far as the fans are concerned, well I’m sure the mutual respect is there. If I play a blinder and we win, well, who knows what they’ll think” he joked.
For Covic making the move west was never about filling in time.
“I had many conversations with Kenny before moving to Perth. He explained his vision and ambition that he had for the team and it resonated well with me.”
“You don’t have to look far because the facts speak for themselves. We’re now in the FFA Cup Final for the second year in a row. You have to take your hat off to a coach who can, in only a few months assemble a fresh squad together with really impressive and positive results.”
Covic says he’s been given a new lease on life coming to Perth Glory and he’s a committed West Australian through and through.
“I’ll always give 100% for the team I’m playing for in that particular time. I gave it my all at the Wanderers for three years and now I’m a Perth boy and giving it my all here in the West. I love it here, the playing group has bonded really well, all the boys are accepting of each other and Kenny and coaches are very good people as well. I’m very happy to be here.”
While Glory and Covic already have one win over the Wanderers this season - a quarter final win in the FFA Cup - he knows his first road trip to Western Sydney won’t be easy.
“They’re a team on a mission, with plenty to prove and they won’t be rolling over. They’ll be strong and lethal all over the park and they’ll want to put on a good show in front of their home fans. It’s going to be a tough battle."
The match kicks-off on Sunday at 2pm (WST).
HEAD TO HEAD
|Games||Perth Glory FC Wins||Draws||Western Sydney Wins|
|In Sydney: 4||1||3|
STAT: Glory has defeated the Wanderers in their past four meetings, including the 2015 Westfield FFA Cup Quarter-Final.
Sunday, 1 November 2015
Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Perth Glory
Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta
Kick-Off: 5:00 PM (Local) (5:00 PM (AEDT))
Referee: Matthew Conger
Assistant Referee 1: Allyson Flynn
Assistant Referee 2: Lance Greenshields
Fourth Official: Katie Patterson
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 702 ABC Sydney, 720 ABC Perth & ABC Local Radio NSW, ABC Local Radio WA, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WSWvPER
Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Dean BOUZANIS (GK), 3.Scott JAMIESON, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 8.DIMAS, 9.Federico PIOVACCARI, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.ALBERTO, 18.ANDREU, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 21.Jacob PEPPER
**One to be omitted**
Ins: 11.Brendon SANTALAB (promoted), 15.Kearyn BACCUS (promoted)
Outs: 7.Romeo CASTELEN (hamstring – 2 weeks)
Unavailable: 2.Shannon COLE (groin – 1 week)
Perth Glory squad: 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 2.Alex Grant, 3.Marc WARREN, 5.Antony GOLEC, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Gyorgy SANDOR, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA (c),12.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 14.Chris HAROLD, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA, 17.Diego CASTRO, 18.Mitch OXBORROW, 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Guyon FERNANDEZ 23.Michael THWAITE 24.Jamal REINERS.
***Two to be omitted***
Ins: 5.Antony GOLEC (promoted), 24.Jamal REINERS (promoted),
Unavailable: Ruben ZADKOVICH (knee – indefinite)