Academy side out to finish with a flourish


PGFC Academy First Team are set to play their final Foxtel Y-League game of the season this weekend when they visit CB Smith Reserve to take on Melbourne City.

The youngsters currently sit in third spot on the Conference A table after back-to-back wins, two points behind Sunday’s opponents and they can have a say in who will play in the Grand Final next month as City are vying for top spot with Brisbane Roar.

15-year-old Gabriel Popovic played a prominent role in the team’s most recent victory, over Adelaide and along with brother Kristian, has adjusted well after arriving from Western Sydney Wanderers at the start of the season.

“It was a great team performance from the boys against Adelaide, especially after going down to ten men,” he explained.

“We fought hard together for the full 90 minutes and it was great to come away with the three points and win back-to-back games for the first time this season.

“My brother and I have settled in well, as it’s never easy to join a new club, but the boys have been great with helping us settle into the new environment.”

The striker, who is the son of Glory’s Hyundai A-League Head Coach Tony Popovic, will miss the City trip after a training ground injury, but he feels that the group have improved, are now performing well and they head into the final game full of confidence.

“I’m really disappointed to miss the game due to injury, but that’s football,” he said.

“The squad have been working very hard every week in training and it’s great to see it showing on the pitch. We want to win every match we play in and Sunday will be no different, so hopefully the boys get the job done and end the season on a high.”

Head Coach Richard Garcia, meanwhile, was pleased with his side’s battling performance against Adelaide and felt that it was a reflection of how far the squad has come this season.

“To go down to ten men so early in the game wasn’t ideal,” he said, “but it showed me that the group have been taking things on board and they played with courage.

“They fought for everything and continued to try and play the football we want to play. They have worked hard so hard this season and are now starting to find their feet as a group, but there is still plenty of room for improvement and hard work ahead.”

Like Popovic, Garcia is quietly confident that Glory will give a good account of themselves as they look to round their campaign off on a positive note.

“It’s the final game of the season and the players have another opportunity to play against a good opponent and test themselves” he said.

“The guys are gelling well as a group and have grown, which is a great to see. We lost Zayd [Farah] last week early in the game and everyone dug in and played with a fair amount of maturity, which was pleasing to see.

“It’s now about reproducing those performances consistently “

Sunday’s game kicks off at 1pm WST and updates will be available via our Glory Twitter page HERE.