Fergie plays down Glory expectations

Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson says his squad for the upcoming Hyundai A-League season will not be as strong as the one which fell just short of winning last season's title.

Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson says his squad for the upcoming Hyundai A-League season will not be as strong as the one which fell just short of winning last season's title.

The Glory began pre-season training this week keen to avenge the heartbreak of their Grand Final loss to Brisbane, a rivalry set to be renewed at Patersons Stadium in the opening round of next season.

But it will be a new look Perth side which takes the field for the 2012/13 campaign, with experienced defenders Scott Jamieson and Michael Thwaite headlining five new arrivals.

Brazilian winger Andrezinho and defenders Josh Mitchell, Chris Coyne and Scott Neville were the most prominent departures, as budget cuts took their toll on recruitment.

Ferguson, who said he had no plans in the near future to fill the final two available spots in his squad, conceded it would be difficult to win the championship but said he still expected to at least make the top six.

"With the budget where it's at there is basically no more cash at this moment," he said.

"Where we are with squads and personnel is where we'll stay until I'm told otherwise.

"But we've brought in a lot of young players in with a lot of potential ... I'm excited (by the squad).

"Last year we had a really good, strong squad and I do believe again the squad is not as strong but what we have brought in is energy and mobility and potential for next season.

"It's going to be a difficult task but we've also got some very good experienced players that we've been able to hang onto and with that blend I'm hoping that we can push for the finals."

Ferguson said he hoped his players would learn the lesson from his time working with Central Coast, who finished sixth and missed the finals the season after losing the inaugural Grand Final.

"The next season we came back I felt as though a lot of boys had taken it easy," he said.

"That's got to be a learning lesson for these boys because a lot of people will be wanting to beat them and a lot of people will be wanting to take Perth Glory's scalp this year.

"We've got to be ready for that challenge when it comes."

The coach said he was pleased with the A-League draw released on Tuesday, which gives Perth 14 home games, eleven of which will come at usual home nib Stadium.

Of those matches, two will be played at Patersons Stadium, while the other is slated for a yet to be confirmed venue in regional WA.

"I think it (the draw) is a lot better than last year," Ferguson said.

"We do a lot of travelling so to get that 14th home game is a big plus for us."