Season preview: Perth Glory

There is much cause for optimism in Perth with several quality attacking signings sparking hopes of a renaissance in the upcoming Hyundai A-League season 10.

The internal issues between coaching staff and players that dogged last campaign appear to have been resolved with Kenny Lowe taking the reins full-time. 

Can the Glory days return to Perth? They have a deep squad that should be capable of causing surprises.

THE BURNING QUESTIONS

Can the Glory's new signings gel?

More than half of Perth's starting 11 is likely to be new signings with Andy Keogh, Youssouf Hersi, Mitch Nichols, Richard Garcia, Ruben Zadkovich and Dino Djulbic expected to play prominent roles.

Michael Thwaite, Rostyn Griffiths and Nebojsa Marinkovic are likely to be the only players in the first 11 from Glory's final Hyundai A-League game last season to start against Wellington Phoenix in round one this campaign.

If the team doesn't settle early, Perth could find themselves playing catch up from early in the season.

Can Lowe solve the problems in front of goal?

Glory were the league's lowest scoring team last season (28 goals in 27 games) but the additions of the experienced Keogh, Hersi, Nichols and Garcia should mean a more menacing Perth attack. Keogh, who has English Premier League experience with Wolverhampton, could become one of the stars of the competition.

LESSONS LEARNT FROM LAST SEASON

Glory fans will hope the club can now focus on building a culture that will pay dividends on the field.

ROAD AHEAD

Perth couldn't have asked for a tougher start to the season with a trip to Wellington Phoenix before facing Hyundai A-League champions Brisbane Roar at home. Victories against the Jets and Saint Albans in the Westfield FFA Cup see the Glory host Melbourne Victory in the quarter-finals on October 29.

EXPECTED STRENGTHS

While the Glory have strengthened their attack significantly, the return of experienced goalkeeper Danny Vukovic and the signing of Djulbic after spells in China and the UAE represent quality additions to the defence.

With captain Thwaite marshalling the backline, attacking full-backs Scott Jamieson and Josh Risdon patrolling the flanks and Griffiths sitting deep, Perth could be difficult to break down this campaign.

POTENTIAL WEAKNESS

The question marks are still out on coach Lowe, who struggled last season despite taking over in a difficult situation. With so many quality of players added to the squad, Lowe could find himself under pressure if the Glory doesn't start strongly.

TACTICAL APPROACH

Lowe is keen to play a 4-4-2 with a diamond in midfield. The make-up of the midfield and attack is still yet to be determined with the Glory keen on acquiring another striker.

Keogh is a definite starter up front but Hersi, Chris Harold and Jamie Maclaren have all been tried alongside him in pre-season.

Marinkovic has played in the hole with Nichols and Garcia in the centre of midfield. But Lowe has plenty of options, with Zadkovich and Daniel De Silva just two players, who will expect plenty of minutes.

BREAKOUT STAR

Long been touted one of Australia's most promising football talents, Daniel De Silva can expect plenty of opportunity to shine this season.

The nifty playmaker is likely to start on the bench behind Marinkovic in the pecking order but expect the 17-year-old to shine when given a chance.

 It will be De Silva's last season in the Hyundai A-League before heading off to join Serie A club Roma at the end of the campaign.

NIGHTMARE HEADLINE

"Lowe sacked after poor start to season"

FAN’S SAY

DID YOU KNOW

Perth's strike force last season of Shane Smeltz, McLaren and Harold scored only nine goals collectively.  New signing Andy Keogh has already scored eight times in pre-season.

PREDICTION

Adam Peacock (Fox Sports): 9 th

John Kosmina (former Socceroo): 9 TH'

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