Title favourites host Glory youngsters in season opener

Perth Glory begins its 2016 PS4 National Premier League WA season on Saturday, and couldn’t have asked for a more difficult first up game, with a visit to last season’s Champions Bayswater City at Finance 365 Stadium on Saturday.

City, fresh after winning the QBE Night Series last week at nib Stadium, are coached by former Glory and Socceroos defender Chris Coyne, and  will be looking for a fourth consecutive league title.

Glory coach John Gibson said his young charges are looking forward to the opening game.

“We’ve come a long way since first coming into the league and when the fixtures we’re announced I was really happy to be paired up with the Champions,” he said.

“Obviously we play each team twice, and we have good self-belief that if we consistently perform to our high-standards, we can compete with any team in the league. So to be challenged by playing Bayswater in first match will be tough but one we are relishing.”

The Glory youngsters prepared for the opening league game with a friendly against ECU Joondalup last weekend, and came away with a 3-3 draw. Former Glory midfielder Steven McGarry scored a double in the first half to give Joondalup a 3-1 lead at the break, with Nikola Talimdzioski scoring Glory’s goal.

But a double in the second half from Daniel Stynes gave the youngsters a well-deserved point, and Gibson said it was a good workout.

“I thought we controlled the game early - ECU made it difficult for us and we made it rather difficult for ourselves by giving away some uncharacteristically soft goals,” he said.

Stynes said they’re looking forward to the challenge on Saturday and will take some confidence from the draw at Joondalup.

“We played very well, moved the ball well, made chances, and were good and clinical in front of goal and in the final third which bodes well for the season ahead,” he said.

“Bayswater will be one of the tougher tests we’ll have this season, but we showed in the night series that we can get a result against them. It will be a very good game and as a team we don’t fear anyone in the league and we’re raring to go.”

The match kicks-off at 3pm.