Glory Women ready to shine

Perth Glory Women head coach John Gibson is searching for respect for his team in season two of the Westfield W-League when the underdogs from Perth take on Melbourne Victory in the season opener at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Perth Glory Women head coach John Gibson is searching for respect for his team in season two of the Westfield W-League when the underdogs from Perth take on Melbourne Victory in the season opener at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The Glory have a number of new faces in the squad including former Matildas ‘keeper Emma Wirkus, Queensland defender Elissia Canham and American import Alex Singer, but Gibson feels the team need to earn the respect of the competition after last season-s seventh placed finish.

“To improve on last year is goal number one and for the group as a whole it-s about gaining respect in the competition and like other teams challenging for the top four” said Gibson.

“It-s going to be a wonderful challenge for us, the girls have worked consistently hard over a long period of time now and there has been some major improvement ahead of this first game.”

“Every game we go into, we go to win, but it will be a wonderful and exciting time for the girls and particularly playing at Etihad Stadium which will be a major experience for all of them” he said.

Glory-s big guns including Matildas Lisa De Vanna and Collette McCallum have only linked up with the squad this week following their US club commitments and it will be up to Gibson and the coaching staff to integrate them quickly ahead of the Victory clash.

“We (Glory) have developed a fair bit from last year, there are a lot of things that are different regarding the organisation (of the team), but we have a few days now to get amongst it, talk to them, and get them on the same wavelength as the rest of the team.”

“We-ve done a fair bit of homework on scouting the opposition, they-ve got a few players who are slightly different to last year. We are well aware of what they do and we think we can combat their game. For a lot of the girls we have spoken about this moment but it will be no different to playing at our training ground at Vasto Place” he concluded.

Saturday, 3 October 2009 Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory Etihad Stadium, Melbourne Kick off: 4.45pm (EST), 2.45pm (WST)

Referee: Jacqui Melksham

Perth Glory squad: 1. Emma WIRKUS (GK), 3. Carys HAWKINS, 4. Sam KERR, 5. Shannon MAY, 6. Ella MASTRANTONIO, 7. Elissia CANHAM, 8. Tanya OXTOBY (C), 9. Dani CALAUTTI, 11. Lisa DE VANNA, 13. Elisa D-OVIDIO, 14. Collette McCALLUM, 15. Alex SINGER, 16. Sadie LAWRENCE, 17. Marianna TABAIN, 18. Ellis GLANFIELD, 19. Katarina JUKIC *one to be omitted*

Unavailable: Zoe PALANDRI (overseas)

Melbourne Victory squad: 1. Melissa BARBIERI (gk), 2. Vedrana POPOVIC, 3. Marlies OOSTDAM, 4. Tal KARP, 5. Laura ALLEWAY, 6. Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 7. Sarah GROENEWALD, 8. Katie THORLAKSON, 9. Stephanie CATLEY, 11. Julianne SITCH, 12. Monnique HANSEN KOFOED, 13. Katrina GORRY, 14. Selin KURALAY, 15. Jessica HUMBLE, 19. Enza BARILLA 20. Nicole PAUL (gk), 21. Kara Mowbray

Unavailable: Nil