GLORY UPBEAT AFTER ACES DEFEAT

Perth Glory may have been edged out 1-0 by MP Black Aces in the first game of their South Africa tour on Thursday, but Head Coach Alistair Edwards took plenty of positives from his side's performance in what was a compelling encounter at Mbombela Stadium.

Perth Glory may have been edged out 1-0 by MP Black Aces in the first game of their South Africa tour on Thursday, but Head Coach Alistair Edwards took plenty of positives from his side's performance in what was a compelling encounter at Mbombela Stadium.

"Putting the result aside because it's really totally irrelevant at this stage," he said, "it was a really good performance from the boys against a team that is just about to start its league season. "We effectively played two different teams in each half so that everyone got at least 45 minutes. "Jacob Burns didn't play and neither did Steve Pantelidis and with the likes of Shane Smeltz and Michael Thwaite not here, the young boys had to step up and they definitely did that. "In the second-half, the next oldest player after Danny Vukovic was Dean Evans who's 21-years-old, so that shows you how youthful the side was."

Glory looked the brighter of the two sides for much of the first-half, with Ryo Nagai and new Brazilian recruit Sidnei regularly troubling the Black Aces' defence down the flanks and Edwards was also impressed by several of the other starters.

"Jamie Maclaren and Ryan Edwards did very well in the nine and ten positions and were a real handful for their defenders," he said, "while Steven McGarry was excellent as the seasoned campaigner in central midfield. "Brandon O'Neill also continued his development as a right centre-back and was absolutely fantastic in that role."

The Black Aces remained on the back foot during the early exchanges of the second period, but eventually found their rhythm and bagged what proved to be the only goal of the contest on 69 minutes. Undaunted, Glory continued to create plenty of chances of their own and came agonisingly close to claiming a deserved share of the spoils with five minutes remaining when Chris Harold rattled the cross bar.

"There were a lot of learning moments this afternoon for everyone in the squad," said Edwards. "The performance was very pleasing and I can see that the team is developing really nicely on and off the park. "We were expecting a good hit-out from a top-quality South African side and I was pleasantly surprised how we matched them in every department. "Their coach was previously in charge of the South Africa national side and he was very complimentary about our team and the way we went about things. "Now I'm looking forward to getting some more training sessions in, building up the capacity of the players to play at that standard for 60 minutes and then developing further from there."

MP Black Aces 1-0 Perth Glory Mbombela Stadium Thursday 25th July 2013 Glory Line-Up First-Half - Formation 4-2-3-1 Danny Vukovic Josh Risdon, Brandon O-Neill, Jack Clisby, Scott Jamieson Cameron Edwards, Steven McGarry Ryo Nagai, Ryan Edwards, Sidnei Jamie Maclaren

Glory Line-Up Second-Half - Formation 4-2-3-1 Danny Vukovic Matthew Davies, Brandon O-Neill, Jack Clisby, Riley Woodcock Blamo Qua Qua, Dean Evans Chris Harold, Harry O-Brien, Adrian Zahra Ndumba Makeche

Perth Glory's 2013 South Africa tour proudly sponsored by Kaboko Mining, Live2Learn and Europcar

Gareth Morgan