When asked for a word to describe Perth Glory's 2012-2013 Hyundai A-League campaign, club deputy chairman Lui Giuliani opted for "unusual".
When asked for a word to describe Perth Glory's 2012-2013 Hyundai A-League campaign, club deputy chairman Lui Giuliani pondered for a while before opting for "unusual".
"To have started well, then had a string of losses and ended up at the bottom of the table before going on to be two minutes away from winning a finals game made it an unusual, roller-coaster ride of a season," he said.
"And to have lost 10 games by only a 1-0 scoreline also made it unusual.
"But in saying that, I was thrilled with the way the season progressed at the end and definitely delighted by the fan and community participation in the last home game with the new eastern stand being opened at nib Stadium.
"Hopefully that earmarks a new beginning for Perth Glory."
That run of narrow defeats ultimately cost coach Ian Ferguson his job, but the decision to replace him with Alistair Edwards paid immediate dividends as the former Glory striker duly guided the men in purple from the foot of the ladder into the finals, where they were desperately unfortunate to bow out at the hands of Melbourne Victory.
And Giuliani said that the club's fans would see more evidence of Edwards' long-term vision starting to take shape during the off-season.
"Alistair certainly met our expectations in the short-term," he said.
"Not only in terms of the results and the style of football, but also the number of young players he signed, the likes of Daniel De Silva, Storm Roux, Matthew Davies and Riley Woodcock.
"Over the next few months, you'll definitely see the club take concrete steps towards fulfilling the vision and philosophy that Alistair has outlined.
"The football department is totally committed to playing a winning, entertaining style of football while at the same time, providing a pathway for young, exciting WA players.
"So you will definitely see steps in that direction. But it's about balance.
"While there will be a commitment to having young WA players, there will also be a commitment towards having experienced players in the team for those young WA players to learn from.
"The trick is going to be getting that balance right."
In terms of new signings, meanwhile, Edwards has insisted that he will be attempting to bring several WA-born players back to the state and although understandably reluctant to name any of the club's specific targets, Giuliani did confirm that the recruitment process is very much underway.
"The football department, led by Alistair, have been thinking about recruitment for the past few weeks," he said.
"They are now doing their searches and their analysis of players that are available, while also continuing to look at the players we currently have and re-sign and get the best out of them."
Giuliani remains confident that their strong finish to this season will stand Glory's playing group in good stead heading into the 2013-2014 campaign and he is similarly optimistic that the club's commercial department can build upon their achievements of the past twelve months.
"The challenge for 2012-2013 was obviously having an incomplete stadium," he said.
"That created some issues, including having to turn some people away from games.
"But other than that, commercially it was a solid year.
"We renewed our sponsorship with QBE for another three years, our corporate sales were excellent and even with the stadium reconstruction, we maintained our membership base.
"Now we need to lift the bar in all of those areas going forward."
The deputy chairman, now in his fifth year at the club, also feels that Glory's positive relationship with FFA will help them achieve their commercial targets, while their closer links with state football body Football West will facilitate the continuing growth of the game in Western Australia.
"We're very pleased with the way they (FFA) are heading. Both strategically and in terms of creating financial stability.
"David Gallop was a great acquisition for FFA.
"We've always had a good relationship with them, a great rapport and I think they have been bolstered by the introduction of Damien de Bohun who's been excellent along with David Gallop.
"The relationship was strong and has become stronger.
"Another significant part of our strategy is to work closely with Football West.
"We have a common goal and that is to promote the game in this state, so it would be illogical not to share resources and share the commitment to develop the game here.
"That will lead to benefits for both sides.
"Overall, I think football is in a great place at the moment and the next four or five years are going to be exciting ones for the game.
"I believe football is going to propel into another stratosphere and it's very exciting to be a part of that."
And with Edwards on board, Giuliani is confident that the implementation of several key strategic elements will enable Glory to re-establish itself at the forefront of Australian football as the domestic game continues to go from strength to strength.
"The goals for the club are around its strategic direction. Namely greater engagement with the WA football community, promoting our WA youth, developing winning ways within the team and achieving financial stability.
"Those are the four pillars of our strategy that we are committed to executing."