Around the grounds: Fornaroli debuts as Popovic brothers shine in Glory’s pre-season win

Uruguayan striker Bruno Fornaroli has turned out in Perth Glory colours for the first time as the reigning Hyundai A-League Premiers began their pre-season with a solid win on Tuesday night.

In a vital 90 minutes ahead of Saturday night’s clash with Manchester United at Optus Stadium, Glory overcame WA NPL side Bayswater City 3-0.

Fornaroli played the first 45 minutes for Tony Popovic’s side but it was another new recruit in Jacob Tratt that got the only goal of the first half with a tidy glancing header.

It was then the ‘Popovic show’ after the break – in which Glory made 11 changes – as young brothers Kristian and Gabriel Popovic both got on the scoresheet to complete the scoring.

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"It was a good first hit-out. We introduced a lot of new players, didn't pick up any injuries from the game which is important and it helped us to prepare for Saturday and to be in the best condition we can possibly be,” coach Popovic told Glory’s website.

"Bayswater did very well and gave us a good run and we're pleased."

Kilkenny eyeing another Man United scalp

Still on the Glory and Saturday night’s glamour friendly against the Red Devils brings back some wonderful memories for Perth midfielder Neil Kilkenny.

Kilkenny knows what it’s like to beat Manchester United, a part of Leeds United’s shock FA Cup win at Old Trafford back in 2010.

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Then in League One, Leeds prevailed 1-0 against a side that had names like Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov and Kilkenny is eyeing off another shock win this weekend.

 "It's going to be a good game, something to look forward to and hopefully we can put on a good performance," Kilkenny told Goal Australia.

"To win the game with Leeds, it was a fantastic day. I remember on the day everyone was looking forward to it and fortunately we came out on top."

Neil Kilkenny goes up against United's Darren Gibson in Leeds' shock FA Cup win in 2010
Neil Kilkenny goes up against United's Darren Gibson in Leeds' shock FA Cup win in 2010

Wanderers defender’s long road back

German defender Patrick Ziegler wants to make up for lost time at Western Sydney Wanderers after enduring one of the toughest seasons of his career in 2018/19.

The former Bundesliga defender played only a handful of games for Markus Babbel’s side due to injury, including a torn meniscus.

He returned to Germany in the off-season and spent a couple of months doing intensive rehab as he aims to be fully fit for the start of the new campaign.

Ziegler Training
Patrick Ziegler on the comeback trail with the Wanderers

While he admits it was a “terrible feeling” having to watch from the stands last season, he can’t wait to get his body right to have a big impact in 2019/20 at the club’s new home ground.

"(Bankwest Stadium) is a huge step, it's a proper football stadium like in Europe and for the crowd it's amazing," said Ziegler on the Wanderers’ official website.

"They have a home now, don't have to go to Olympic Stadium and that's big for them and big for us.

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"In this league, everything is possible you know? You could win everything, you could lose everything. But for me as a player, I want to win everything. If I play football, I want to win and if it's possible win every game.

"It's the start of hopefully a big season."