Harnwell to lead Glory against Wolves

Two times Perth Glory Championship player Jamie Harnwell will wear the Captain’s armband when the club tackles English Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers at Members Equity Stadium on Friday night.

Two times Perth Glory Championship player Jamie Harnwell will wear the Captain-s armband when the club tackles English Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers at Members Equity Stadium on Friday night.

Harnwell was Glory skipper in the club-s first two seasons of the Hyundai A-League and remains a highly respected member of the squad. Coach Dave Mitchell informed the big defender at training this morning that he-d be leading out the team and Harnwell was understandably chuffed.

“It is a hug thrill, this is such a big game,” Harnwell said.

“Apart from our finals games it-s the biggest game the club has been involved in and I can-t wait.”

While a decision on who-ll captain the club during the regular reason remains undecided, Harnwell believes there would be plenty of strong candidates to take the role. Perth has added Socceroos pair Mile Sterjovski and Jacob Burns plus former Blackburn Rovers skipper Andy Todd to the mix of highly credentialed players already at the club.

Their arrival of the new players has sparked plenty of enthusiasm amongst the Glory faithful and Harnwell said the feeling was being replicated in the change rooms.

“We-ve got depth in every position, that is what Mitch has been trying to do and it-s something we-ve probably been lacking the last couple of years,” Harnwell said.

“No one is guaranteed a spot and you take a look around and there are two or three players hungry to take each position so it will be hard to get into the starting line-up.

“This is the strongest squad we-ve had for a long time and I think back to our championship years and think about the competition for places and that is what we-ve got now.”

Harnwell, a veteran of more than 223 games, said there was a great balance of experience and youth in the squad and every player is eager to show their value, starting with the games against Premiership opposition.

“For players like me it-s a bit too late to get picked up and have a long career overseas but I-m looking forward to testing myself against their quality,” he said.

“For the young boys it-s a great chance to catch the eye and also to measure themselves to top-flight standard and see what they have to improve to get to get to that level,” Harnwell said.

While there might not be any competition points at stake in the match there will be plenty of goal mouth action and with pride on the line Harnwell expects both sides to be going for the win.

“I-m not expecting any nastiness… but it will still be pretty full blooded. I wouldn-t want it any other way and I don-t think the fans would want it any other way,” Harnwell said. “I think it would be a confidence booster to get the win but it-s not something we-ll put too much stock into. They-re very early on in their preseason but if we can get the win it-ll be one that I can tell the kids about down the track.

“In terms of preparation Mitch wants to get a good 90 minutes under our belts and start to find a bit of cohesion.”

While the veteran is expected to start at centre back he is keen to get forward at some point to replicate his goal scoring heroics of past seasons.

“I-d love to get a crack up front at some stage, even if that comes in the next game against Fulham with Mark Schwarzer in goal, but we-ll just have to see what happens.”

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Match details

Friday, 10 July 2009 Perth Glory v Wolverhampton Wanderers Members Equity Stadium, 7.30pm * A special celebrity match featuring former Glory greats and Perth celebs kicks-off at 6.10pm

Wednesday, 15 July 2009 - Double Header Wolverhampton Wanderers v North Queensland Fury (kick-off 5.15pm) Perth Glory v Fulham (kick-off 8.00pm) Members Equity Stadium