The inaugural Long Distance Derby Cup and three valuable points will be up for grabs when Perth Glory FC faces off against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.
The Long Distance Derby is no stranger between Perth and teams from across The Ditch but a new addition has been added to the rivalry
Both teams will be playing for the inaugural Distance Derby Cup which was conceived by the two clubs to celebrate the world’s longest road trip in top division football
Both teams have won a game each; Glory fell 2-1 with 10 men in Round 2, while a Chris Harold header powered Glory to a 1-0 win in New Zealand in Round 18.
The match is also significant on the Hyundai A-League ladder; a Glory win would keep the club in touch of fourth placed Melbourne City, while 3 points for the 9th-placed ‘Nix would prolong their finals aspirations.
Perth Glory FC Head Coach Kenny Lowe is under no illusion that the match will be tough.
“Wellington just beat Sydney, they’re on fire at the moment,” Lowe said.
“Doesn’t matter who you play in the A-League at the moment, everybody can beat everybody. If you don’t turn up on the day, you’ll get your backside belted.
“It will be a very difficult game, but everyone knows that in our side and everyone is focused.”
Although Glory is closing in the Hyundai A-League’s Top 4, Lowe said the only focus he and the team has is on itself
“No one is bothered about us, they’re only bothered about themselves,” he said.
“We’re no different, if we do what we need to do we’ll be where we want to be, and that’s the big focus for us.”
The game against Wellington forms part of an away double-header, where Glory will travel straight from New Zealand to Newcastle, a trip that collectively will clock over 6,000 kilometres and 8 hours of travel. Lowe is confident the team’s preparation will not be hindered despite the strenuous travel requirements.
“We did that last time and we did alright,” Lowe said.
“We set a precedent, so it doesn’t create any fear in the group.”
“You’ve got a realistic situation in front of you and you’ve got to deal with that. That’s it, end of story.
“At the end of the day, it’s better than coming home and flying back again.”
Glory is set to take an almost-full strength side across the ditch, with midfield specialist Nebojsa Marinkovic the only player confirmed out for the clash.
“He’s got a hammy (hamstring injury). If we had a home game, he’d probably be ready for that game,” said Lowe.
“It’s pointless flying him all the way there because it might compound the injury.
“Better safe than sorry, we’ll get another week of training into him and then ship him to Newcastle.”
Kick-off is at 12pm and the game can be watched on Fox Sports 505.
Sunday, 20 March 2016
Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-Off: 5:00 PM (Local) (3:00 PM (AEDT))
Referee: Ben Williams
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Lount
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Rule
Fourth Official: Matthew Conger
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 3.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport Pop-Up (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio WA, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WELvPER
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets.
Wellington Phoenix: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Justin GULLEY, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 6.Dylan FOX, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 10.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 11.Kwabena APPIAH, 12.Blake POWELL, 13.Albert RIERA, 16.Louis FENTON, 17.Vince LIA, 18.Ben SIGMUND, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 26.Hamish WATSON
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 11.Kwabena APPIAH (promoted), 17.Vince LIA (returns from injury)
Unavailable: 14.Alex RUFER (broken leg – season), 21.Roy KRISHNA (ankle – 10-12 weeks)
Perth Glory: 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Marc WARREN, 4.Shane LOWRY, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Gyorgy SANDOR, 9.Andy KEOGH, 11.Richard GARCIA, 12.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 14.Chris HAROLD, 17.Diego CASTRO, 18.Mitch OXBORROW, 19.Josh RISDON, 21.Kosta PETRATOS, 23.Krisztian VADOCZ, 24.Jamal REINERS, 29.Aryn WILLIAMS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 13.Diogo FERREIRA (promoted), 29.Aryn WILLIAMS (promoted)
Unavailable: 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (knee – indefinite), 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC (hamstring – 1 week)