Perth Glory returns home on Sunday when they take on Perth Soccer Club in Week 18 of the PS4 National Premier League WA at Inglewood Stadium (3pm).
Perth SC did WA proud in the FFA Cup on Wednesday night, and Coach John Gibson said they performed well. “Hat’s off to Taki (Nicolaidis) and the players, they did well against Rockdale City Suns, but unfortunately the home was just too good on the night,” he said.
“Sorrento competed really well against A-League side Sydney FC for periods of their game, which shows the standard of the PS4 NPLWA has improved.
“The young lads within our program are competing in the league, and holding their own, even though they have performed well – they haven’t been rewarded for their performance.
“But we always want to become better and the finer details and processes is the key to the individuals and groups success.”
Gibson said Perth will be a huge test for his young side, but said they are looking forward to the challenge. “Perth have been super this season and will be good challenge for the lads, but we don’t fear nobody and go into the game looking for a good performance,” he said.
“We learnt a harsh lesson in football last week, conceding late and the result hurt the lads, but they have been fantastic this week at training and are ready for the big challenge.
“They (Perth) have been the benchmark in WA football for the last 20 years and continue to succeed, but we will go in with our game plan, like we have all season, and will be looking for the points.
“It’s a home game and we’ve performed extremely well, and we will be looking to continue with that on Sunday.”
Gibson said the club’s NPL program is continuing to evolve and the work all the coaches are implementing bodes well for the future. “For Bobby (Despotovski), Steven (McGarry) Callum (Salmon), Dan (Milosevic), David (Butterfield), Jacob (Burns) and I, is to challenge and prepare the players to play at the highest level they can, and if the individuals improve to the required level, opportunities may arise,” he explained.
“A majority of the first team squad has worked really hard through the Foxtel National Youth League season, and the coaching staff is constantly praising the group on their performances, work rate, attitude and character on their improvement during the NPL season, and all three teams continue to do so.”
Midfielder Slobodan Vulin returns to the squad this week after suspension and said he was disappointed to miss last week’s game and felt for his team mates after they let a late goal slip to lose at Inglewood United. “I was really disappointed I couldn't play the game, but that’s football,” he said.
“It was hard watching from the stands and all the lads were all upset after the game after letting a point slip at the death, especially after creating a number of good chances.
“But we’ve put that behind us, and we’ve got a great team spirit within the group and we’ve worked hard at training this week, and will look to get back in the winner’s circle on Sunday.”
With their opponents coming off a flight to the east coast in the FFA Cup, Vulin believes they could be fatigued in the game and they can cause an upset and beat the third placed Perth side. “They have had a big game in the cup and flying back, so we'll be looking to take full advantage,” he said.
“We can't wait to play the game at home and there will be no doubt Perth will be feeling a bit of fatigue from their cup game in Sydney, so if we play how we have in recent weeks, we’re confident we can take the points.”The under 18’s kick off at 11am, under 20’s at 1pm, with the first team at 3pm.