Perth Glory Football Club History
The Perth Glory story began on October 13, 1996 at Perth Oval (now HBF Park).
Despite a 4-1 loss to UTS Olympic, Perth Glory captured the hearts of football lovers throughout the State and their introduction into the National Soccer League heralded a new level of professionalism across the competition.
The charismatic Bernd Stange took the reins as coach in 1998 and the former East Germany national team boss immediately made his mark.
In a stunning season, Perth Glory played finals football for the first time, sold-out the 25,000-capacity WACA ground and became the hottest ticket in town.
The club ultimately fell one match short of reaching the Grand Final, but the standard had been set and from that point on, Perth Glory featured prominently in the NSL finals each and every season.
Perth duly hosted the Grand Final in June 2000 and set a record domestic football crowd of 43,242 at Subiaco Oval.
Despite going down on the day to Wollongong Wolves in a dramatic penalty shoot-out, the Perth Glory brand continued to make inroads into non-traditional football households throughout WA.
The club would play in another Grand Final at Subiaco Oval in the 2001/02 season and again came up just short, this time edged out 1-0 by Sydney Olympic.
The wait for Championship success finally ended in 2002/03, however, when Perth was crowned the nation’s best following a deserved 2-0 revenge victory over Sydney Olympic in front of another packed house at Subiaco Oval.
Glory went on to consolidate their status as Australia’s most powerful club by sealing back-to-back championships, with a ‘Golden Goal’ from Nik Mrdja securing a dramatic win away at Parramatta Power in the 2004 Grand Final.
That game was to be the last in the National Soccer League, but in just eight seasons Perth had featured in the finals six times, played in four grand finals, won two championships and been crowned premiers [top of the table at the end of the regular season] three times.
A new era in Australian football began with the formation of the Hyundai A-League in August 2005 and despite still being in its infancy, the new competition has captured a large portion of the national sporting marketplace as Australians have embraced the world game.
Tony Sage, who became the sole owner of Perth Glory after completing a buy-out of partner Brett McKeon in February 2008, endeavoured to reinvigorate one of the country’s most successful sporting clubs.
The arrival of English Premier League legend Robbie Fowler in 2010 served to raise the club’s international profile, while in 2012, Glory capped a thrillingly successful regular-season campaign by winning three sudden-death finals games to reach a first A-League Grand Final.
3,000 fans travelled from Perth to form part of a 50,000-plus crowd at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium for Glory’s clash with Brisbane Roar and the visitors led until the 84th minute before being defeated 2-1 in controversial circumstances.
The WA side have played finals football on five occasions since that dramatic 2012 denouement and in 2017, were only a game away from reaching a second Grand Final.
The club have also made a strong impression in the FFA Cup, reaching the final in both 2014 and 2015, but unfortunately losing on both occasions to Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory respectively.
2018, meanwhile, saw the arrival of Asian Champions League-winning coach Tony Popovic, along with a host of new playing recruits including three Socceroos and Glory duly proceeded to enjoy its most successful Hyundai A-League campaign to date.
The new era began in spectacular style as 55,522 people flocked to Optus Stadium to see Popovic’s side take on EPL giants and FA Cup holders, Chelsea.
The men in purple built upon their positive showing against the Blues, setting a host of new club records en route to securing the A-League Premiers’ Plate for the first time.
And although they were ultimately denied the Premiership-Championship double by Sydney FC, in front of a record Grand Final crowd of 56,371 at Optus Stadium, it remained a truly remarkable season.
The club’s Westfield W-League team also performed superbly in 2018/19 as they too reached the Grand Final.
Like their A-League counterparts, however, they met Sydney FC in the showpiece decider and came out on the wrong side of the ledger.
Glory’s reward for claiming the 2019 Premiership was a maiden appearance in the AFC Champions League, with the club ultimately forced by the COVID-19 pandemic to complete its group stage fixtures within a hub set-up in Doha.
Following the 2019/20 campaign, both the A-League and W-League teams experienced coaching changes, with former Glory player and ex-Socceroo Richard Garcia taking charge of the former and Alex Epakis replacing Bobby Despotovski at the helm of the latter.
Epakis guided the club to a fifth-placed finish in 2022 despite being forced to play almost the entire season away from home due to issues arising from COVID-19.
Garcia, meanwhile, was relieved of his duties in March 2022 and replaced by PGFC Academy Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich until the end of the 2021-22 ISUZU UTE A-League Season.
Zadkovich was duly named the club’s Head Coach on a permanent basis in June 2022 as part of a restructuring of the football department which also saw former Glory coaches Kenny Lowe and Mich d’Avray returning as PGFC Academy Director and Technical Consultant respectively.
Following a ninth-place finish in the 2022/23 A-League Men’s season, Zadkovich departed the club.
In July 2023, Tony Sage relinquished ownership of Perth Glory and Australian Professional Leagues (APL) took control on an interim basis.
Off the field, Perth Glory is committed to a wide range of strong community programs that reach more than 20,000 children each year.
Perth Glory Advisory Board
Management and Administration
Chief Executive Officer: Anthony Radich
Chief Operations Officer: Joseph Marafioti
PGFC Academy Director: Kenny Lowe
Technical Consultant: Mich d’Avray
Community & Development Manager: Michael Garcia
Community & Development Officer: Stephen Purton
Finance Manager: Sanjer Chowdhury
General Manager of Media & Communications: Gareth Morgan
Graphic Designer: Daniel Boules
Merchandise Manager: Lucy Sage
Receptionist: Gemma Lever
Membership and Ticketing Manager: Louisa Edwards
Events Operations General Manager: Elisa D’Ovidio
Event Manager: Kayla Bond
Head Coach: Alen Stajcic
Senior Assistant Coach: Nahuel Arrarte
Assistant Coach/NPL Coach: TBC
Goalkeeping Coach: Danny Milosevic
Head of High Performance: Carmen Colomer
Head of Medical: Jasraj Sidhu
Strength and Conditioning Coach: TBC
Logistics and Equipment Manager: Brett Lambert