Perth add bite to pre-season

Perth Glory has pulled off a pre-season coup with the club set to play an international friendly against four times FA Cup winners Wolverhampton Wanderers at Members Equity Stadium in July.

Perth Glory has pulled off a pre-season coup with the club set to play an international friendly against four times FA Cup winners Wolverhampton Wanderers at Members Equity Stadium in July.

Perth Glory and Wolverhampton have agreed in principle to the pre-season match in Western Australia with the final arrangements and contracts to be confirmed by the powerful English side and Football Federation Australia in the coming days.

Wolverhampton currently sits top of the Championship and are odds on to re-join the elite Premier League competition next season, alongside the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea, after a six year absence. They currently sit five points clear of second placed Birmingham and nine ahead of Reading in third with just six matches remaining.

Wolves have a long and successful history that dates back more than 120 years and includes three First Division Championships, four FA Cups, two League Cups and runner-up in the UEFA Cup.

It will be the first time in a decade that a top level European club has played in Perth and Glory Deputy Chairman Mr Lui Giuliani said it is the start of many new initiatives that Chairman and Owner Mr Tony Sage has committed to implementing this season and beyond.

“This is a watershed moment in Perth Glory-s Hyundai A-League history,” Mr Giuliani said.

“Perth Glory is committed to winning on and off the field and this is one of many successful opportunities that we-re set to announce in the coming months.

“Our ability to bring Wolves to Perth is a true indication of Tony Sage-s commitment to Perth Glory and the West Australian community. He has underwritten the tour to ensure that Glory receives a significant kick start into a new and exciting era.

“We-ve said we-re committed to action and making things happen and this is a wonderful start,” said Mr Giuliani.

Perth Glory fought off stiff competition from numerous clubs on the east coast to bring Wolverhampton to Western Australia in an exclusive deal that will see them play only on the west coast.

Glory Coach Dave Mitchell, who has a strong relationship with Wolverhampton Manager Mick McCarthy, was instrumental in the negotiations while Mr Giuliani also acknowledged the assistance of John Dennison from Entourage Management Services who helped facilitate the tour.

It is expected that Wolverhampton will spend approximately 12 days in Perth as part of a pre-season program which will culminate in two matches, one against the Glory and another yet to be confirmed.

“Not only will we test ourselves against a club playing at the highest levels in Europe, we-ll also get a great opportunity to observe their professional training standards,” said Mr Giuliani.

“We-re excited about the great tourism benefits this will deliver to Western Australia and there will no doubt be many clubs around the world that will now consider Perth as top class football training destination.”

The timing of the tour sits perfectly for Perth who will be in the final stages of their preparations for the 2009/10 Hyundai A-League season and Mitchell is looking forward to testing his new look squad against the visitors.

“I have no doubt that it will be a hard fought game but played in the right spirit,” Mitchell said.

“They-re well managed by Mick McCarthy who is a no nonsense bloke. I know him well and we-ve kept in touch so it-ll be great to come up against him.

“I-ve told Mick about Perth, what a great place it is and the strength of support for football in this town.

“There will be plenty of opportunities for local football supporters to take part in activities throughout the week and we-re very much looking forward to welcoming Wolves to Western Australia,” said Mitchell.

Perth Glory members will receive priority access to match tickets and will be notified once dates have been confirmed.

Mr Giuliani said the club was continuing to investigate the possibility of more international friendlies in WA during the pre-season and was hopeful of bringing another blockbuster match to Perth in 2009.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

First Division Champions (highest level English competition prior to formation of Premier League in 1992) 1953/54, 1957/58, 1958/59 Runners-up 1937/38, 1938/39, 1949/50, 1954/55, 1959/60

FA Cup winners 1893, 1908, 1949, 1960 Runners-up 1889, 1896, 1921, 1939

Football League Cup winners 1974, 1980

Participated in the following competitions; European Cup 1958/59, 1959/60

European Cup Winners Cup 1960/61

UEFA Cup 1971/72 (runners-up), 1973/74, 1974/75, 1980/81