Glory striker Youssouf Hersi has declared it his mission to help bring a Wanderers-like passion back to Perth – and he believes Kenny Lowe's side have the players to make a splash this season.
Hersi’s enthusiasm for his new club off the park has been matched on the pitch with the striker bringing his high-octane game to the West.
But the Ethiopian-born 32-year-old believes there are no more excuses for the Hyundai A-League’s perennial under-achievers.
And with a distance derby win under their belt in round one, the livewire winger says it’s time to make a statement this season.
“Everyone was saying, ‘yeah, Perth Glory had a big success before’. I know that. But it’s forgotten," he said of the club's NSL glory days.
“Everyone knows what you did in the past – but you have to get rid of that.
“You have to start with a new season; new rules. This is it. We make it. We have good players so let’s focus to bring the supporters back; the media back.
“Winning; winning; winning mentality. And you can see they only brought in winning mentality players.
“The culture will automatically change after that.”
The new players at nib Stadium include Irish international Andy Keogh, former Victory and Roar star Mitch Nichols and Jets midfield leader Ruben Zadkovich.
Lowe has purposely brought in players aged around the mid-20s to balance out the squad.
And with the right ‘blue collar’ mentality, it’s music to the ears of the bubbly former Dutch league pro.
“Everyone said, ‘why go to Perth?’... then Rueben [Zadkovich] came and Nichols [Mitch] came and we want to lift the club up again.
“You have to work hard again, you have to improve again ... you put yourself in danger and a lot of players don’t want that.
“But I like a challenge, a club is coming up so I want the challenge to play there. And that’s why I came to Australia.
“Everyone said the club [Wanderers] had nothing at the time but I spoke with Popa and we did achieve something.
“Now I want to achieve the same thing here. It will be hard but I see the players here now and we want to change the culture of the club and help bring more supporters, more media.”
“When I’m now in Perth, I want that same feeling. I want to give Perth a life and actually achieve something.
“Maybe a final or a semi final. That’d be spectacular for Perth. And I think 100% were’ ready for that.”
For Hersi it’s all about the future, but he said it was a big call to leave the red and black.
“Everything was good there. Everything,” he explained.
He wanted the security of a two year deal but there was more to it than that.
“I wanted to have another challenge. I always go somewhere where I can have challenge... in danger actually.”
He conceded playing at Parramatta will be like ‘coming home’. It'll happen on the final round of the season.
“I’ll be happy and sad. But that’s life. Of course it means something but you play for another club and it’s your job.”
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