Life is never dull down Glory way. Likeable coach Kenny Lowe's media musings are often madly brilliant, the club’s financial irregularities last season thrust them into the spotlight for the worst reasons and they have a happy knack of doing smashingly well in the Westfield FFA Cup.
It'd make a ripper story if Lowe's reconstituted Glory boys could hold aloft a trophy or two this season. And the way they're going in pre-season, who'd say with any certainty that won't happen?
Perth’s AFL teams have had very successful seasons. Now, can the city’s Hyundai A-League flagship club discard memories of a tumultuous Hyundai A-League season 10 and in their 20th anniversary make season 11 louder and more successful than ever before?
As they say, it's West v the rest...
THE BURNING QUESTIONS
- Will new foreign signings Fernandez and Castro help fill the goal-scoring void of Keogh and Maclaren?
- How will new captain Richard Garcia adapt to that role?
- Will keeper Ante Covic be the missing link?
LESSONS LEARNT FROM LAST SEASON
- Off-field decisions can’t be allowed to affect on-field success
Glory start their new era on the Central Coast before a home clash against Phoenix in round 2 in the distance derby. They host Victory in round 5 which is always a big game for the club and the supporters.
Back-to-back home clashes against the Mariners and Wanderers in mid-December will be important before they travel to tackle the Victory again on December 27.
Kenny Lowe’s troops have two tough long trips to Wellington this season, both coming in the space of six weeks in rounds 18 and 24.
Glory host Melbourne City FC in the penultimate round before heading to Allianz Stadium to tackle the Sky Blues in round 27 which they hope will be the perfect run-in to a finals campaign.
A water-tight, muscled-up defence with the likes of brilliant keeper Covic behind Djulbic, Thwaite and Golec plus talented Risdon down the right.
- Lowe’s passion and man-management will filter through to the playing group once more
- Class foreign signings (Sandor and Castro look particularly good) while Marinkovic looms as a potential A-League player of the year
- An FFA Cup run has given them vital minutes in pre-season
- New attack needs time to flourish to replace the prolific duo of Keogh and MacLaren
Kenny likes to keep it simple. Why? Because it works and they've had success with that type of game plan.
It's a neat combination of old fashioned hard work and tactical nous sprinkled with some Lowe man-management magic.
So, while there has been a major overhaul of the Glory squad, don’t expect a massive change to the side’s approach in 2015/16.
From the limited matches we’ve seen in the pre-season you can probably expect to see a repeat of the 4-3-3 system which worked so well last season.
It will be interesting to see who replaces Rostyn Griffiths in the holding midfield role, with the versatile Michael Thwaite an option.
And with Marinkovic on the ball and some powerful goal-scoring defenders, expect Glory to win a few games off set-pieces.
*Chris Harold: Has blistering speed and improving in front of goal. A real X-factor this season.
THE FINAL WORD
What a story it'd be if Glory could rebound from last season's tumult and bag a trophy. They are on track for a second FFA Cup final appearance - if they can get past Mooy's men in Perth - and their new signings look good. Very good.
Glory could again be in the headlines; but this time for all the right reasons. And for the neutrals that means another intriguing year at a club that rarely does dull.
TAB Hyundai A-League Season 11 Championship Futures