Popovic vows to bring Glory days back to Perth

New coach Tony Popovic will bring a high-octane style of football to Perth Glory as he aims to lead the club to a period of sustained success in the Hyundai A-League.

Popovic was last week appointed as Glory’s new boss, taking over from Kenny Lowe after the club missed the 2017/18 Finals Series.

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The 44-year-old knows all about being successful in the Hyundai A-League, guiding Western Sydney Wanderers to a Premiership and three Grand Finals in five seasons at 'Wanderland'.

That’s not to mention the small matter of winning the AFC Champions League in 2014.

The challenge is now to bring similar success to Glory, who only have one Hyundai A-League Grand Final and two losing FFA Cup deciders on their resume over the last 13 years.

“This isn’t just about can we have one good season and tick a box, this is about building a team and a club that can be successful over a long period of time,” Popovic said on Thursday.

“To do that we have to do some good planning over the short, medium and long-term to achieve that.

“I don’t think the team will in the first year be exactly where I want them to be but I’m not going to make an excuse and say ‘let’s wipe the first year and say we need time to put things into place’,” Popovic added.

“I believe we can be successful in the first year, that’s what I expect from myself and that’s what I expect from the people around me both the staff and players.

“There’s a driving force is to be the best. The desire of this football club is we want to win things. We won’t put a time frame on it but we want to be a team that can be challenging for honours in year one. And why not?”

Popovic currently has 11 players signed on for next season and says the “phones have been going red-hot” as he looks to assemble a squad with the “right characters” to be successful.

Diego Castro and Xavi Torres
Diego Castro and Xavi Torres

While he was unsure if Spanish whiz Diego Castro would return for another season, Popovic was certain about stamping a certain style of play into this Glory team.

“The style of football we’ll play is we want to win, first and foremost. We want it to be exciting yes, but we also want to win games,” he said.

“You’ll see the difference in the speed we want to play. We want to play quick, we want to play aggressive and we want to move the ball as quick as we can.

“To do that players need to be at a certain level consistently to manage that.

“We have to manage conditions, the travel, the heat…there are a lot of challenges but that’s part of the reason I’m here and I’m excited by it.”

Popovic has always felt Glory is a club with so much potential and wants to make them a team other clubs ‘fear’ coming up against.

“Always as an opposing coach looking at Perth I was thinking in the back of my mind ‘there’s a lot of potential there, this club could one day be something special’,” he said.

“They are a team that’s always hard to beat here in Perth, we want to make it difficult for teams to come here and take points and be a team people fear here in the west.

“And then be a team that can travel and get points away from home which has been a problem over the years.”

Popovic’s first game in charge of Glory will be in July when they come up against English giants Chelsea in a pre-season friendly at the new Optus Stadium.