Glory LEGEND welcomes YOUNG stars

Teenage full-backs Riley Woodcock (17) and Matthew Davies (18) have become the latest additions to the Perth Glory squad as coach Alistair Edwards' youthful overhaul of the club continues.

Teenage full-backs Riley Woodcock (17) and Matthew Davies (18) have become the latest additions to the Perth Glory squad as coach Alistair Edwards' youthful overhaul of the club continues.

In a new club tradition, the Perth-born duo were handed their shirts by Glory legend Scott Miller after putting pen to paper on two-year senior contracts and both were understandably delighted at the prospect of forging professional careers with their hometown club.

"It's great to get a deal," said Woodcock, "especially as I've always been a Glory fan.

"With Alistair coming in, the club's changing, it's a big opportunity for me and I'm loving every minute of it."

"I'm ecstatic," added Davies, who grew up in Mt Lawley.

"It's something I've been working towards for a long time and to finally sign the paper is a good feeling.

"It's great to have the opportunity to work with all these experienced players and me and Riley are trying to learn as much from them as we can and improve as much as we can.

"There's definitely a new direction at the club now, with a fair bit more emphasis on youth."

Miller, meanwhile, has seen the pair rise through the ranks at close-hand and is backing them to make a major impact at senior level.

"Riley comes from the club where I'm coach, Cockburn City," he said, "and I've kept an eye on him as he's gone through the system.

"Matt's a full-back on the other side and both players are technically very gifted and very aggressive.

"A lot of fans will be looking forward to them going forward as well because they've got a bit of razzle-dazzle about them."

And the man who made more than 200 appearances for the club between 1996 and 2006 also believes that the double signing is another indication that Glory are moving in the right direction under their new coaching regime.

"The more youngsters and home grown WA talent we have the better," he said.

"And as long as it's mixed well with some experienced lads, like (Jacob) Burns, (Liam) Miller, (Travis) Dodd and (Michael) Thwaite, the young boys can learn a lot.

"The young lads playing in our state league now know that there are people watching them and that there's an opportunity for them at Glory.

"It looks like there's a confidence and belief around the place now.

"Alistair and Gareth have brought a fresh start and the players have bought into the philosophy of how they want to play and the sky's the limit."

Edwards himself was quick to praise the new recruits, confirmed that they could make their Hyundai A-League debuts this season and then went on to provide a further insight into his vision for the club going forward.

"Riley and Matt are fresh faces as far as the senior squad is concerned," he said, "but I've known both boys for the best part of ten years through my local club Cockburn, the AIS and the NTC.

"They are Perth boys, really good kids and now they've got a really good opportunity to progress their careers.

"We are signing players to be part of the squad and depending on how they perform in training, they are up for selection.

"In terms of WA youth, you could probably put together a team of players who are playing elsewhere in the A-League or overseas and that's something that we're trying to address.

"We want to have a really viable pathway for players within the WA system

"We've got a Ferrari in terms of the youth development program in this state, but then they are going inter-state or overseas to progress their professional careers.

"Now we've got another two of the most talented players in this state who have chosen to stay at Perth Glory and continue their football education."