Fresh from an unforgettable trip to Russia for the FIFA World Cup™, new Perth Glory striker Brendon Santalab is settling in nicely to his new surrounds after sealing a move from Western Sydney Wanderers.
The man from Wollongong has looked sharp on the training track and insists that he feels refreshed after realising a childhood dream by catching the action in Russia.
“It was incredible," Santalab said.
"I think the whole atmosphere, even on the streets in Moscow and all the cities, was incredible.
“The energy was taken into the stadiums and the football was class as well. I’d wanted to be at a World Cup since I was a little kid, so it was a fantastic experience.”
After leaving the ornate Red Square and rich Eastern European culture of Russia behind him, Santalab was quick to note the intensity of the training sessions and focus of his new teammates in the west.
“There’s a seriousness amongst the group," he said.
"There will be a lot of competition for places, which is great.
“There’s been some fantastic changes for the team and the club, so we’re very much looking forward to the season ahead.”
The 35-year-old has built a reputation as one of the Hyundai A-League’s most clutch goal-scorers, having habitually found himself at the right place, at the right time since returning to Australia in 2013.
However, it’s not just goals that the forward brings to Glory’s setup, with his hunger, passion and desire on full display each time he crosses the white line.
“I’ve got a winning mentality,” he stated.
“I’ve always had that in me and I think it’s very important to have when you want to be successful.
"I’m one of those people who was born with it. I love training, I love playing and I just love football.”
And this thirst for success is something Santalab believes runs throughout the squad.
“Our goal is to win trophies," he declared.
"Overall, we’re here for a reason and that’s to be successful and win titles, so that’s the aim.”
He added: “I can’t wait to play in front of the Perth fans. I think that’s an exciting new change and I’m looking forward to Round 1 with a packed stadium.”
Glory open their pre-season schedule with a clash against Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens on Wednesday night.