EDWARDS HEARTENED BY SQUAD STRENGTH

Glory Head Coach Alistair Edwards believes that Wednesday's impressive pre-season friendly win over Melbourne Heart provided a clear indication of the strength of the squad that he now has at his disposal.

Glory Head Coach Alistair Edwards believes that Wednesday's impressive pre-season friendly win over Melbourne Heart provided a clear indication of the strength of the squad that he now has at his disposal.

Jamie Maclaren's early strike ultimately proved the difference between the two sides at a rain-lashed Intiga Stadium, but the youthful hosts were in the ascendancy from start to finish and only an inspired performance from former Glory 'keeper Tando Velaphi prevented them from winning by a far more emphatic margin.

"It was a very worthwhile hit-out for both teams," said Edwards, "and I was very pleased with everyone in the squad. "We kept a clean sheet, I thought we played some attractive football and it's always good to get a win. "We've got a lot of good players who can play in various positions, fit into our philosophy of play and make sure that we don't lose any fluency when they come in. "I'm convinced that everyone in our squad can do that. "We had a lot of players out there today who would consider themselves to be in the full-strength side, so it's very hard to say at this stage what the full-strength side is. "We'll only really know that when we meet Adelaide in the first game of the season. "Nearly everyone in our squad will be hoping to be in the starting eleven, or close to it, for that first game in Adelaide."

Glory were especially lively going forward against a Heart side featuring the likes of A-League regulars Patrick Gerhardt, David Williams and Iain Ramsey and Edwards was particularly impressed by the performances of livewire attacking midfielder Sidnei and frontman Maclaren who was denied a second goal when Velaphi blocked his penalty on 16 minutes.

"Sidnei is steadily getting better and better," he said. "He's really fitting in with everyone and buying into our philosophy and style of play which allows players like him to blossom. "It's early doors yet, but he comes with a good pedigree, he's just getting better and better and he's exciting to watch. "As for Jamie, he is one of the players that we've been most impressed with. "He needed a goal and got one last week against Stirling and then got another one today which is pleasing. "Like all good strikers, he said he didn't miss the penalty, he said it was a great save! "Overall, we have a very mobile team and that's probably one of our biggest strengths. "We're spoilt for choice in terms of mobile players, especially in the front third."

The Glory coach went on to confirm that all the players who didn't feature on Wednesday afternoon will be involved when the two sides lock horns again in Mandurah on Saturday (kick-off 3pm at Peelwood Reserve) and urged fans to get along to the game.

"I would highly recommend people to come down on Saturday," he said. "Both teams are playing some very attractive football, there's a chance to see Harry Kewell in action and we're all very excited about heading to beautiful Mandurah for that game."

Perth Glory v Melbourne Heart Saturday 14th September 2013 Hyundai Stadium Mandurah City FC, Peelwood Reserve, Mandurah KO 3pm Adults $15 Children $5

Gareth Morgan