Double delight for Glory juniors

Last weekend proved to be a truly glorious one for two of the club’s junior sides, with both the Under-12s and Under-13s securing their respective PS4 NPLWA league titles.

The Top Four Cup remains up for grabs, but regardless of whether they manage to ice the cake by claiming the extra silverware, it has been a superb season for the two groups.

And Under-12s coach Dimitri Phylactou was quick to heap praise upon his young charges.

“It’s been an excellent season not just results-wise, but also in terms of how the boys have developed,” he said.

“The boys have been a pleasure to work with all season and hopefully in a few years’ time, they’ll be knocking on the door of the Glory first team.

“Winning the league was a just reward for the effort they put in at training three times a week and if we win this weekend, we’ll have gone the whole season undefeated which is a big achievement in any league in the world.

“The league shows your consistency and in knockout football, anything can happen. But our boys just want to win everything, so hopefully we can do that this weekend.”

Under-13s team shot - cropped

Phylactou’s Under-13s counterpart Goran Stajic, meanwhile, was also keen to acknowledge the role played by the Glory Development Centre in underpinning the success achieved by the two teams this year.

“I think the GDC that Callum Salmon [Community and Development Manager] introduced was a big catalyst,” he said.

“This started last year after the trials where we selected a shadow squad, so we had the 16 players selected plus another 20 who unfortunately didn’t make the team.

“This enabled us to train with a squad of 30-plus players and get a head start on everyone else by playing 11-aside training games.

“That gave us the jump on everyone else at the start of the season.”

Stajic went on to confirm that the two age groups benefitted from working closely together and made special mention of the contribution made by some of the younger members of his side, along with the parents.

“The collaboration between both teams has been fantastic,” he said.

“The 12s and 13s trained together the whole year and played a lot of games against each other.

“We also brought in a number of new players who I believe really complemented the squad.

“They hadn’t been in the system before, but did really well.

“There was one player, Jaylan Pearman, who was two years younger than everyone else. He’s a 2006 player who was playing up a couple of years and he certainly held his own.

“And Sebastian Despotovski was another of the players who played above his age and excelled. We scored 95 goals in the regular season and he had a big part in that.

“The parents also play a huge role because we have four sessions a week, including the game and then on top of that, they help with getting the field ready and running the line and that kind of thing.

“It was great to see that the parents of the shadow squad players really bought into it as well.”

And Stajic is confident that both the Under-12s and the Under-13s can build on this season’s success as they advance through the age groups.

“We’re really building something,” he said. "There are very good signs for Perth Glory and I’m looking forward to seeing how far all the boys from all the under-age teams can go.”

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