Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe was so impressed when he first saw Diego Castro play, he was certain the Spanish star wouldn’t come to the Hyundai A-League.
But the La Liga striker did come to Australia and on Tuesday night, after one stunning season with Lowe’s Glory, Castro was crowned the Johnny Warren Medal winner for Season 2015/16.
“We did it [the deal] a lot through the agent. He’s the guy who was going to bring Corona [from Brisbane Roar] to us a couple of years ago.
“So we knew there was quality there,” Lowe told www.a-league.com.au at the awards night in Sydney.
“And then when we saw him [Castro] play, it was like, ‘wow, surely he’s not going to come to us?” the Glory coach added with a laugh.
“But as it turned out Diego wanted a new adventure with his family.
"So it wasn’t so much the football side of it. It was an adventure for him. And he’s fantastic.”
Lowe wasn’t able to speak on Castro’s behalf when it came to his thoughts on football in Australia.
However, Lowe said the 33-year-old from Pontevedra in Spain had thoroughly enjoyed himself and was keen participant in the banter of the Glory change room.
“The players have embraced him and he’s integrated. He’s humorous, he’s funny, he’s sharp. He takes the mick, he’s a superb guy.”
Lowe remembers Castro’s first training session in Perth. It turns out it was quite prophetic.
“I remember someone asked me a question at the time about whether he was good enough and I just said, ‘he’s the best player in the league.’
“But it wasn’t that I saw it, everyone could see it.
"He’s just a fantastic footballer who came into the club at a really difficult time with the legacy issues and he’s helped the club grow out of that.
“He’s just embraced everything. Including the travel from Perth [to the eastern states].
“Nothing was a problem for him. He just absolutely embraced everything.”
The former Getafe, Malaga and Sporting Gijon striker is currently pondering his future in Australia.
Lowe, who described him as the best player he’s ever coached, is hopeful the lure of adventure keeps him in the A-League for another season.
“It’s a choice him and his family will make. He came for an adventure. He’s had an adventure. Originally we offered him a two-year deal but he said he just wanted one [year].
“Now does he want another year’s adventure? That’s the question.”