Glory youth beef up

Perth Glory Youth will be close to full strength for their home clash against Melbourne as the club’s horror run of injuries finally looks to be behind them.

Perth Glory Youth will be close to full strength for their home clash against Melbourne as the club-s horror run of injuries finally looks to be behind them.

The West Aussies have struggled to field a side this season and relied on replacement players for the most part. At one stage 11 of their 16 contracted players were unavailable.

Despite those setbacks Perth have shown plenty of character to be equal on points with third placed Adelaide but occupy fourth because of goal difference.

Utility players Ryan Pearson and Adam Taggart return to the squad this week and follow five of their team mates who returned in a thrilling 4-3 win against the AIS last weekend.

Defender Dean Evans, who was one of the players to suit up last weekend after a long lay-off, says it has been a big confidence boost to have the majority of the squad back up and running.

“We-ve had a lot of injuries but we-re slowly getting everyone back in the side,” Evans said.

“We had quite a few guys come back last week and they did really well and it just adds more strength to the side when the coach has a fit squad to pick from.

“That said, the boys that come in and covered did really well and stepped up to the plate when we needed to get the job done. It-s good to know that they-re all capable of filling in when we need them.”

Pegging back the AIS after falling behind on numerous occasions last weekend showed a resolve that will benefit the young Glory side for the remainder of the season according to Evans.

“Coming back from two nil down last week showed good character among the boys. We stuck to our tactics and never gave up. We just played our game and worked really hard to get back in there and got the result in the end which was great.”

Perth have had mixed fortunes at home this season with a win, loss and draw in three matches at ME Bank Stadium. Victory against Melbourne on Sunday will give Glory some breathing space with only three points separating 2nd and 6th.

“We think we can win every game with the squad we-ve got. We-ve got to start making our home ground a fortress and make it tough for every team that comes over here,” said Evans.

After making an impressive debut in Perth-s inaugural National Youth League season Evans was looking forward to backing that up this season but has endured a frustrating injury battle and missed the opening six rounds with a knee complaint.

He made an impressive comeback against the AIS and can-t wait to get back onto the pitch this weekend as he and the rest of the squad test themselves against a quality Melbourne side.

“There are a well organised side and we know what they-re capable of from what they achieved last year. We-re definitely expecting a tough game but we-ll be ready for Melbourne.

“It-s great to be back. I always like playing in front of our home crowd and I know the boys are pumped up to get another win on the board,” said Evans.

National Youth League 2009: Rd8

Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory Sunday, 1 November 2009 at ME Bank Stadium, Perth

Local kick-off: 1.15pm AWST Referee: Steven Gregory

Perth Glory Squad: Clayton ARNEZ, Ludovic BOI, Million BUTSHIIRE, Jack CLISBY, Tim DOYLE (gk), Cameron EDWARDS, Dean EVANS, Howard FONDYKE, Steve HESKETH, Sam MITCHINSON, Alex PEARSON (gk), Ryan PEARSON, Joshua RISDON, Anthony SKORICH, Adam TAGGART, Glen TRIFIRO, Reece VITTIGLIA *two to be omitted*

Unavailable: Hayden DOYLE (knee - indefinite), Nick FEELY (study commitments), Mario MARCINKO (indefinite), David PRICE (knee - 3 weeks)

Melbourne Victory squad: Aziz BEHICH (c), Matthew DEMO, Diogo FERREIRA, Petar FRANJIC, Stephen HATZIKOSTAS, Antonio LA VERDE, Sebastian MATTEI (gk), Bradley NORTON, Stefaan SARDELIC (gk), Craig SWEENEY, Kliment TASESKI, Simon TOLLI, Tedros YABIO *two to be included*

Unavailable: Luke PILKINGTON (stress fractures, 1 week)