Glory in good hands

Emerging Perth goalkeeper Tando Velaphi feels the intense competition for the Glory's 'keeping position has helped develop his skills and confidence throughout the season.

Emerging Perth goalkeeper Tando Velaphi feels the intense competition for the Glory's 'keeping position has helped develop his skills and confidence throughout the season.

Velaphi said that being one of three goalkeepers, alongside the experienced duo of Jason Petkovic and Frank Juric, has helped him improve his technique and enabled him to entrench himself as the club-s number one

The 21 year old recently signed a new two year deal to remain in Perth which will ensure Glory is in safe hands in the years to come.

"I think goalkeeping is one of those things that you get better when you play more games," Velaphi said from Sydney, where the Glory are based heading into this weekend's crunch game against the Sky Blues.

"Playing week in, week out and getting match time, it helps your judgment that little bit and I think that's the main reason (I'm improving), as well as some lessons from the older guys and the 'keeper coach, Willy McNally.

"They're a bit more experienced and they help me out quite a bit which is really helpful and appreciated. It-s a specialist position and there are always new techniques that can be applied while Jason and Frank also make sure I'm well prepared and mentally switch-on which is vital for a ‘keeper.

"We talk about the goals that the team has conceded and work to rectify those," he said.

Glory has had more than their share of late drama this season with several last minute strikes deciding matches. Velaphi said it hurts conceding goals near the final whistle but the 21 year old dismissed any suggestion that the club was fragile in the closing stages.

"The initial reaction is you're pretty devastated because it's costing us points," Velaphi said.

"But once that game's gone you've got to start working on the next week, so give it maybe two or three days and then we'll move on and try and nullify it for the next week and make sure we win the next game.

Originally from Western Australia, Velaphi made his Glory debut after stints at Newcastle and Queensland. The stopper played eight matches for the Glory last season and is due to over-take that figure in this campaign as Perth maintains its late season push for an inaugural finals campaign.

Despite attracting interest from other clubs, Velaphi said signing with the Glory for another two seasons was a no-brainer.

"I'm pretty passionate about Perth, being a Perth boy and I grew up watching the Glory," he said.

"Once I had the opportunity to play, you know what a good club it is, the atmosphere with the supporters and how passionate they are.

"With Mitch (Coach Dave Mitchell) staying on, it gives a bit more stability to the club and I think that's something we lacked in previous years.

"It showed the club was heading in the right direction and I'm happy to stay on and try and help the club to get back to where it was."