Harnwell apple of Mitch's eye

Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell has paid the ultimate tribute to veteran utility Jamie Harnwell, calling him the heart and soul of the club after he backed up from the arrival of his third child to score the opening goal of the Glory's stunning 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell has paid the ultimate tribute to veteran utility Jamie Harnwell, calling him the heart and soul of the club after he backed up from the arrival of his third child to score the opening goal of the Glory's stunning 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

Harnwell's wife Karen gave birth to a son, Liam, on Tuesday and while the club legend admitted that his preparation had been less than ideal for Saturday's match, he performed brilliantly as Perth won its first ever game in the Victorian capital.

Mitchell said Harnwell's commitment to the team could never be doubted and that he had been a rock of reliability for the Glory over the five and a bit seasons of the Hyundai A-League.

"Jamie stands up, week in, week out. Leads by example. Tonight he scores a goal, Johnny on the spot. He epitomises Perth Glory, Jamie Harnwell. He loves the club and he's part of the club," Mitchell said.

Harnwell revealed that he and Karen had decided to induce the birth so he would be available for the crucial trip to Melbourne and praised Mitchell for his support.

"It's been a huge week. My wife was due tomorrow. But we made the decision and she was induced on Tuesday. She's been dedicated to the cause as well," he said.

"Mitch has backed me 100 per cent. I missed some training this week, I flew in last night later than the rest of the team, when coaches do that for you, you want to perform and reward them for it. Hopefully I did that tonight."

"To actually score, it's a dream come true. I haven't spoken to my wife yet, but I'm sure she would have been in tears when it went in."

Mitchell felt that because of his size and strength, Harnwell was unfairly put into the box of being a player high on courage, but not blessed with talent.

"A lot of people keep writing him off. I think last week when he went through, he broke the line and he actually played a ball into Pellegrino, if that had have been Nick Carle, everyone would have been raving about it,. Because it was Jamie Harnwell, it was not said," he said.

"That annoys you a little bit because it was a fantastic piece of skill. That's the sort of guys he is, he loves the club and his performance tonight was outstanding."

Mitchell said Harnwell offered a flexibility that few others in the competition could and that was a major asset to the team.

"The good thing about Jamie is that you have that asset where you can use him up front, you can use him behind. We had a few injury problems last year and he was fantastic. He'll always pop up and score because defenders don't like playing against him. He gives his heart and soul. That's what you want from good players," he said.