Around the Grounds: Perth fans clamour to see United stars ahead of Glory clash

Fans in Perth got the opportunity to get up close and personal with Manchester United’s array of stars as the Premier League club held an open training session on Thursday night.

Almost 10,000 fans came to the WACA ground to watch their United heroes go through their paces in a 70-minute training session.

The Red Devils have been in Perth since Monday ahead of their clash against defending Hyundai A-League premiers Glory at Optus Stadium on Saturday night.

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They will also play a second friendly against English Championship club Leeds United four days later.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who received a huge cheer when he came out of the tunnel, out his side through an intense session as they build-up towards the start of the new Premier League season.

Paul Pogba was in hot demend by United fans in Perth
Paul Pogba was in hot demend by United fans in Perth

The players, including Paul Pogba who has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, then went and met some of the fans, signing autographs and posing for selfies.

The clash against Glory, whose coach Tony Popovic revealed could be a very youthful squad on Saturday night, is United’s first pre-season hit-out ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

While they are along way from home, a cheeky Liverpool fan may have stolen the show, organising a plane to fly over the WACA with a banner reading: 'Liverpool FC - 6x European Champions!'

Liverpool, one of United’s main rivals in the EPL, won their sixth Champions League title last season, three more than the Red Devils have won.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer meets the fans at the WACA

Fowler’s Roar reign to begin on Saturday

Robbie Fowler will take charge of his first match as coach of Brisbane Roar when the Hyundai A-League side takes on Queensland NPL club Redlands United on Saturday.

Roar have been hard at work for the last two weeks under the former Liverpool striker, who has revamped the squad with 10 new signings so far.

One of those new faces is defender Scott Neville, who actually played alongside Fowler during his playing days at Perth Glory in the 2010/11 Season.

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Now working under the ex-England international, Neville says the ‘gaffer’ is thorough as a manager as he was during his playing days.

"He [Fowler] is very detailed, he’s someone that always has his door open and you can go in for a chat, he relays what he wants us to do and he’s very clear with that,” the right-back told Roar’s official website.

“The boys have adapted really well, it’s a good group of boys who are working extremely hard and we’re looking forward to the games which are starting to come thick and fast.

“It’s good that at the end of the second week we’ve got a game. With so many new players, it’s good to play as many games as possible, work on how we’re going to play and iron out a few things.”

Scott Neville and his Roar teammates stretch it out at training
Scott Neville and his Roar teammates stretch it out at training

DeVere goes back to school at Phoenix

Like Roar, Wellington Phoenix are another Hyundai A-League club that have seen big changes to their squad since the end of the 2018/19 Season.

As well as seeing coach Mark Rudan move on, 12 players from last season’s squad have departed, with new boss Ufuk Talay so far bringing in nine new faces.

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It’s meant the start of pre-season has been as much about getting to know your new teammates as much as it is about getting miles in the legs, according to defender Luke DeVere.

“It’s a bit like the first day of school scenario isn’t it? Everyone walks in, there’s a lot of new faces and you don’t really know anyone,” DeVere told local reporters.

“But that’s the beauty of a football club is that everyone is here for the same purpose and the same goal.

“It’s pretty easy to gel when you have that mindset. Things we’re doing around the club, we’re having team lunches…it all helps to build that environment and that culture and the rest of it takes place on the football field.”