Former Socceroo and one of WA’s favourite football sons Richard Garcia, has been named Perth Glory’s new captain for the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season.
The former Hull City and West Ham United player returned to Australia three years ago before signing up with his home-town team last season.
Garcia today described wearing the Glory armband as a “badge of honour”.
“It’s a humbling moment for me and my family. This club was formed when I made my move to England as a teenager and to lead the team into the next Hyundai A-League season is a wonderful honour” he said.
“I’m confident this team has the goods to be competitive and make its mark and I don’t think the critics should write us off” he added.
Lowe said Garcia’s experience in the English Premier League coupled with his service for the Socceroos in the 2010 World Cup campaign in South Africa, were strong factors to appoint the Perth born winger to lead the team.
"Richie is a top lad. He’s the consummate professional on and off the park. He always leads by example and whatever job he’s given he gets it done. The players look up to him and he has the respect of the whole club”.
Garcia began his career at the prestigious West Ham United academy, where he won the FA Youth Cup and Premier League double in 1998-99. Since then, he’s appeared in the English Premier League for West Ham United and Hull City Tigers, while also having stints at Leyton Orient, Colchester United, the then-Melbourne Heart, Sydney FC and Minnesota United, before returning to Perth.
Matilda and Perth Glory star Samantha Kerr will lead the team, under new coach Bobby Despotovski for the Westfield W-League 2015/16 season.
Kerr is no stranger to the Glory Women. She began her football career with the Western Australian outfit in 2008, before moving to Sydney FC picking up a Championship in 2012/13. She returned to Perth last season, helping the team to a W-League Premiership.
The star striker has more than 40 caps for the Matilda's and represented Australia at this year's Women's World Cup in Canada. She was part of the winning Asian Cup team in 2010 and has twice been voted FFA U-20 Female Footballer of the year.
The 22 year old said she was looking forward to the new challenge ahead.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for me. It’s a fresh start and there’s definitely a good vibe at training. I’ve had the taste of a championship at Sydney and we came close last year in the Grand Final. I hope we can go one step further this season" she said.
The club also unveiled its slick new 2015-16 Macron kit, commemorating 20 years since the inception of Perth Glory in WA.
Glory was launched on December 1st, 1995, before entering the National Soccer League competition in 1996-97.
The new look kit includes a collar with purple and white lines on the trimming and sleeves. It also recognises the date of the club's establishment on the lower back.
The launch also saw the major announcement of a new four year sponsorship extension with Principal Partner QBE Insurance and represents the longest sponsorship association with a professional soccer club in Australian football.
Glory CEO Peter Filopoulos said only a few sports clubs could boast about such a strong and loyal partnership.
"QBE's long term commitment demonstrates the close and special relationship that we have with this esteemed organisation" Filopoulos said.
"We're excited to be continuing our sponsorship as Principal Partner and I'd like to take this opportunity to wish the team the best of luck in the upcoming season" said QBE's Head of Marketing, Colin Ahern.
The day also saw towering defender Dino Djulbic take out the MGP (Most Glorious Player) award while Samantha Kerr won the W-League MGP and youth player Jacob Collard won his second consecutive MGP award.
Glory will now look to advance to the final four of the Westfield FFA Cup when it hosts Asian Champions League winners Western Sydney Wanderers at Dorrien Gardens, West Perth the home of Perth SC.
Kick-off is at 6.30pm and will be streamed live on Fox Sports.