Perth Glory entertains former defender Jamie Harnwell’s Sorrento at Inglewood Stadium on Saturday, in the penultimate PS4 National Premier League WA game of the season.
Harnwell, who spent 13 seasons at Glory, and played over 250 games in the purple shirt took his side to the last 32 of the FFA Cup and currently sit in fourth spot on the NPL table.
The Glory youngsters are coming off a come-from-behind 3-2 win against Balcatta, a game where the determination of the group shone bright.
“The character and attitude of the whole group has been exemplary all season, and last week they got their rewards for their performance with a victory,” said coach John Gibson.
“What’s pleased the coaching staff the most is the youngsters rising to the challenge and performing well - however we all need to strive better. Our program is evolving and we hope to develop players for the future of the organization" he said
Gibson offered a massive thanks to the work of the coaches within the clubs NPL program, and praised their efforts and feels there is a nice vibe with Kenny Lowe’s A-League side and Bobby Despotovski’s W-League side.
“There is always many unknown questions at the start of the every NPL season, but we have been seriously competitive with the first team and the younger teams are progressing nicely,” he said.
“We have grown as a group and continue to do so, but we know we have a long way to go but we are heading in the right direction.
“The Hyundai A-League side has advanced to the last eight of the FFA Cup, the Westfield W-League side have recently signed some quality players for next season - all is positive."
Glory keeper Jordan Franken is expecting another tough test against a strong Gulls outfit.
“Playing Sorrento is always a great challenge,” he said.
“They are a physical side who I believe have the best aerial and crossing game in the league.You always know you are going to go into battle against them and it’s a test of competitive character.”
The 20-year-old, who spent six seasons at Sorrento as a junior before becoming part of the Football West NTC program, and stints at Victorian NPL side Ballarat Red Devils, said the win against Balcatta was a real battling performance and he said it was huge effort, but thought they deserved the win.
“The win was very satisfying,” he said.
“While we focus on performance, we all thrive off that winning feeling.
“We have come very close but not finished off the job in previous games this season, so to be able to come from behind and then hold on for the result was pleasing.
It’s the final home game of the NPL season for the Glory youngsters, and the under 18’s kick off at 11am, the Under 20’s at 1pm and the first team at 3pm.