Match Preview: ALM pre-season ramps up with Victory test in Bunbury

Glory’s A-Leagues Men’s pre-season campaign is set to ramp up on Sunday when Alen Stajcic’s side take on A-League rivals Melbourne Victory at Hay Park in Bunbury (kick-off at 3pm, tickets available HERE).

The men in purple have been pitted against local opposition thus far in their preparations for the new season, downing Stirling Macedonia, Olympic Kingsway, Floreat Athena and most recently, the WA State Team.

Now they face Tony Popovic’s navy-and-whites twice in the space of four days, at Hay Park on Sunday and then at Dorrien Gardens on Wednesday evening (kick-off at 7pm, tickets available HERE) and Head Coach Alen Stajcic is relishing the challenge that the back-to-back fixtures will provide.

“The two games will be a good test for us,” he said.

“We haven’t played any A-League opposition yet, so it’ll be good to test ourselves and really see where we’re at.

“It’s still only a friendly and they’re never a predictor of A-League performance, but it’ll be good to test ourselves against A-League-quality players.”

Stajcic is also excited by the prospect of engaging with the local community in the south-west.

“I’ve always said that the regions are the strongholds of Australian football and the parts that we haven’t exploited enough,” he said.

“They’re the parts, not just Bunbury, but all around Australia, that we have to target if we are to become the number one sport in the country.

“We really have to fulfil our obligation in connecting with those communities and building the game because I think that’s the future of our game.

“Football is the number one sport across the country in terms of participation and we need that connection with the top league.

“To have the fans come out and see games live and have that connection with the players is a massive part of our club and our country as well.”

Recent arrivals Oliver Bozanic, Antonis Martis, Jarrod Carluccio and Bruce Kamau are all expected to see more game-time for Glory over the course of both Victory games, while the visitors are likely to include a host of familiar faces such as Bruno Fornaroli, Chris Ikonomidis, Jake Brimmer, Jason Geria and Daniel Arzani in their travelling party.

Glory have enjoyed the better of their recent clashes with Victory, losing just one of the last five and the last meeting between the two sides in WA ended in a 3-1 victory for the hosts at Macedonia Park in January.