Last season could be described as disastrous for the Perth Glory. It featured coaching dramas, internal affairs and poor on field displays from a disjointed outfit.
Fast forward six months and the Glory have made the headlines for the right reasons, with a host of impressive signings, a stable coach and a spot in the quarter finals of the FFA Cup.
Last Season: 8th
Ins: Youssouf Hersi (Western Syndey Wanderers), Dino Djublic (Al-Wahda), Mitch Nichols (Cerezo Osaka), Richard Garcia (Sydney FC), Andy Keogh (Millwall), Diogo Ferreira (Brisbane Roar), Ruben Zadkovich (Newcastle Jets)
Outs: Jacob Burns (retired), Travis Dodd (retired), Steven McGarry (retired), Shane Smeltz (Sydney FC), Ryan Edwards (Reading), Darvydas Sernas (Gaziantepspor), Adrian Zahra (Valleta)
Strengths: Pre-season friendlies and competitive FFA Cup matches have shown Perth are capable of moving the ball with pace and combination between the attacking players is looking sharp, and with new striker Andy Keogh already netting three times, the Glory are looking a complete package within the final third.
Weaknessses: Glory teams over the years have picked up an unpredictable trait which has not always worked in their favour. Finding consistency this season will be the hurdle Kenny Lowe’s side will need to overcome.
Key Players: Andy Keogh
The Irish international has already made his name known to those in purple, and the former Wolverhampton Wanderers striker has all the tricks in the bag to be a success in the Australian game, pace, close control and eye for goal. Look for the 28-year-old to go under the radar and place high on the goalscoring charts.
Manager: Kenny Lowe
The English manager nailed down the head coaching position at the back end of last season following the fallout of Alistair Cook. Lowe has splashed the cash and put together an impressive side on paper and early performances in the FFA Cup point to the Englishmen knowing what he is doing and puts the Glory in good stead ahead of the tenth A-League season.
Prediction: Perth Glory will fly under the radar and be involved in some thrilling matches. Top 6. – Jake O’Brien
Top photo from Peter Nowakowski’s Flickr photostream