Richard Garcia: Premier League lessons continue to help

The veteran's return to the first team frame has been a welcome sight for Glory fans and players alike.

He’s played for his country, played in the English Premier League (EPL) and is now on the cusp of winning silverware for his home-town club with a Grand Final spot on the line against Sydney FC on Saturday night.

2017 has emerged as a revelation for former skipper Richard Garcia, with the 35-year-old emerging as a crucial member of the squad at the business end of the campaign.

The last couple of months has seen the former Hull City player return to Kenny Lowe's starting line-up and return to form by playing a crucial role in leading Glory to the 2016-2017 Hyundai A-League finals series, with his tireless running, composure and leadership on the field proving invaluable during a pivotal final period of the regular season, as well as the first 65 minutes of the classy 2-0 Elimination Final win over Melbourne City on Sunday.

"It's been pretty good considering I haven't played 90 minutes all season and haven't had much match practice," Garcia said.

"My experience has probably helped me to be able to adapt quickly," he explained.

Garcia v United

With Rostyn Griffiths suffering a quad injury late last month, the former Socceroo has donned the armband in the club captain's place against Adelaide United, Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City, something that the veteran relishes greatly despite all he's achieved overseas.

"The older I get the more I appreciate my career, what I have achieved and the fortunate position I'm in to be able to do something I love every day,

"So my desire stems from that," Garcia explained.

Having come up against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Park Ji-Sung at Old Trafford during his time in the Premier League, the midfielder knows how to mix it with the best and it was an experience that has contributed to the longevity of his career. 

"I think I've learnt different things at different clubs at different stages of my career," he said.

Garcia

"As your career goes on you learn and have many enjoyable and not so enjoyable experiences but the one thing that has helped throughout my career is how you react to those experiences and move on from them," the 35-year-old added.

The former Olympic Kingsway junior made 114 appearances for Hull in both the Premier League and in the challenging English Championship Division after spending time in the youth setup and senior team at West Ham United between 1997 and 2004.

Garcia's time at the famous London club is a period he looks upon with great fondness and one that has held him in good stead for the rest of his illustrious career.

"Going over to West Ham at 15-16 and having to move across the world taught me a lot about myself and helped me grow my inner strength and resolve which has carried me through the rollercoaster ride that is football," the Perth local reflected.

With the team's focus now shifting to a massive Semi-Final this Saturday against runaway premiers Sydney FC, the veteran cannot wait to continue to revel in the atmosphere created by the loyal away supporters and hopefully seal Glory's second ever Hyundai A-League Grand Final berth.

#GloryIsOurs