The Westfield W-League 2015/16 season for Perth Glory Women has come to an end and while it may not have lived up to the expectations set at the start of the year, the coach and playing group are proud to have unearthed some local, new and exciting football talent.
Glory lost its final match of the season on Sunday, 2-0 away against Western Sydney with the team finishing eighth on the table, only five points outside the top four.
Injuries were by far the most costly factor for the team with captain Samantha Kerr sidelined after RD 5 with a foot injury and then losing fellow striker Caitlin Foord with a collarbone injury.
"It felt like every week we were faced with another injury" said American import Vanessa DiBernardo.
"I wouldn't say the injuries were the deciding factor, but they definitely played a role in our season. It's hard for a team to lose any player for the rest of the season, and we saw that happen a couple times," she said.
Coach Bobby Despotovksi said it was a mixed season with lots of "ups and downs."
“For me the hardest thing as a coach was to find out what made each player tick and how I could get the best out of them; what motivated each one of them. And for me it was a challenge," said the Hyundai A League inaugural Johnny Warren medallist.
"Yes there were injuries which affected us but at the same time, everyone had an opportunity to showcase their talent," he said.
23-year old DiBernardo was the top scorer for Glory Women with six goals which came in the form of three braces.
One of those emerged in her debut match in RD 5 against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.
Despotovski said DiBernardo was one player he'd hoped to lure back to Perth next season.
"Yes I would like to bring her and Nikki (Stanton) back. It all depends though. Vanessa is knocking on the door of the US national team so it would depend on their scheduling and our fixtures, come next season."
DiBernardo was coy on whether she would return but there's no doubt, the Western Australian capital has left a great impression upon her.
"I loved my time here in Perth. It's a great city with a lot to do, and the girls on the team were fun to play with and be around. Those two things really made my time here enjoyable."
Despotovski, Glory's highest goal scorer, said his focus for next season was to build around local players.
"We know what local players can produce, like Sarah Caroll, Shawn Billam and Carla Bennett. We want to build a club with WA product and then topped up with players from here and there. It's the only way to sustain the club and team for the future. The door is wide open for emerging talent." he said.