Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell will be forced to take a depleted line-up into the club's first serious hit-out of the pre-season when they take on Adelaide on Friday night with the club’s big name signings yet to arrive and several experienced players unavailable through injury.
Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell will be forced to take a depleted line-up into the club's first serious hit-out of the pre-season when they take on Adelaide on Friday night with the club-s big name signings yet to arrive and several experienced players unavailable through injury.
Mitchell said the Glory were at least three weeks from having a full squad together as Socceroos' Mile Sterjovski and Jacob Burns had only just finished national duty, Andy Todd was still in England preparing his family for the move to Perth and Serbian striker Branko Jelic was finalising his work visa.
Mitchell said the side had also suffered some niggling injuries in the last few weeks, forcing him to take a youthful squad to South Australia to face last season's grand finalists.
"Jamie Coyne's has got a bit of tightness in his groin, so he's probably doubtful for the game," Mitchell said following training on Monday.
"It's disappointing because he's been really looking sharp from day one and we're disappointed he's not going to be playing the game."
"Victor Sikora's itching to get back in the team too," he added, referring to the Dutch midfielder, who trained lightly on Monday as he continues to recover from minor knee surgery last month.
"He just hates sitting in a room by himself doing weights or whatever he's doing with his program. He's a bit of a character Victor but he won't be travelling because he's a couple of weeks off that yet."
Young defender Scott Neville is also unlikely to play as he recovers from a pre-season groin injury, forcing Mitchell to play a youthful defence around veteran Jamie Harnwell at centre-back.
"There are a couple of options (in defence)," Mitchell said.
"There's Brent Griffiths, we'll give him a game there at the left side of centre half and there's Todd Howarth that we're going to bring in from Perth SC, they've been kind enough to let us loan him for this week to have a look at him."
Mitchell said the Glory still had positions available in the squad, saying that 27-year-old defender/midfielder Howarth was in contention to be signed, following a string of quality performances in the WA Premier League, including a hat-trick against Swan United last April.
"I've had my eye on him for a while and he's done well," Mitchell said.
"I'd like to see him at close quarters and bring him in, so he'll be playing as well."
"(But) Adelaide are a solid side, they haven't changed much. They've got a couple of new players but in general they're a very solid side."
"It will be quite formidable for our boys but we'll look forward to the challenge and it's good to get games now," he said.