EDWARDS EXPECTS LIONS TO ROAR

Perth Glory Head Coach is anticipating another tough pre-season test on Wednesday night as his charges take on Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park.

Perth Glory Head Coach is anticipating another tough pre-season test on Wednesday night as his charges take on Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park.

Doug Hesketh's side currently lead the All Flags State League Premier Division, one point ahead of Bayswater and with several former Glory players in their ranks, will be out to impress in the friendly clash.

"State League opposition always gives us a stern test," said Edwards, "and Stirling are playing really well at the moment. "I've watched them a number of times this season and I've been impressed by what I've seen. "I would assume that they are going to field their strongest squad against us and give us exactly the kind of competitive outing we need at this stage of our pre-season preparations. "That was certainly what we got at Cockburn where the 7-0 scoreline didn't reflect how competitive a contest that was. "They just caught us on a really good day."

Edwards went on to confirm that his side's preparations have moved onto another level with the start of the A-League campaign now less than six weeks away.

"We are now in a different phase of our pre-season," he said. "In the last couple of games we've had against Johor and Cockburn, we've started to get more minutes into the players because we need to get them up to 90 minutes in terms of fitness. "That process has started and will continue against Stirling. "We want to get more players playing longer and we're also organising other games so that the players who don't get 90 minutes on Wednesday will get that time in those other games. "Quite a few of the guys have the capacity to go 90 minutes already, but there are five or six who we are still building up because they are coming back from injury or they didn't come over to Johor."

A bumper crowd is expected to head to Macedonia Park for the game which could see the likes of former Glory 'keeper Aleks Vrteski and MGP award winner Andy Todd lining up against their former club. And Edwards feels that the fixture is another example of Glory's commitment to engaging with the local community.

"As well as providing us with ideal preparation," he said, "this game also brings Glory into the local community, into the local clubs which we know is something that has been well received throughout this pre-season. "The State League clubs have been very supportive of what we're trying to do at Glory and this is one way that we can thank them for that support. "There will also be the collection for Princess Margaret Hospital, so hopefully we can play a part in helping to raise money for what is a fantastic and very worthwhile cause."

Stirling Lions v Perth Glory Macedonia Park Wednesday 4th September 2013 Kick-off: 7pm Admission: $10 Adults $5 Pensioners, Child and Student concessions

Gareth Morgan