Bodnar battling his way back


With Glory’s 2019 NPL WA campaign set to get underway on Saturday when the youngsters will face Floreat Athena at E&D Litis Stadium (kick off at 7pm), we caught up with two players who are set to feature prominently for Richard Garcia’s side, starting with Luke Bodnar.

It’s been a frustrating nine months for the defender who sustained a serious neck injury against Subiaco in Week 18 of last season’s NPL campaign.

Things didn’t look good for the talented 18-year-old, but after months spent in a neck brace and undergoing intensive treatment, the Joeys representative has got the green light to restart training with the squad.

“It’s been a long hard journey, especially mentally for me as I love playing football,” he explained. “When I got the all-clear from the doctors to train, I was over the moon and I can’t wait to get back in the match day squad.”

Glory head into Saturday evening’s fixture off the back of their best ever campaign in the top flight of WA football, during which they finished second on the table, one point behind Perth Soccer Club, who also beat them in the Top Four Cup.

And despite ultimately being pipped for both trophies, Bodnar feels that the players have taken a great deal of confidence from last season’s performances.

“It was a pleasing season in earning the recognition we deserve in terms of how much better as a club we have become and the fact that our youth system is paying dividends,” he said. “We were disappointed not to come away with any silverware, but we’re eager to go one better this season.”

It’s a new look squad and coaching structure for Glory in 2019, but Bodnar believes that there are some talented players coming through the club’s two-star academy.

“We do have a new squad this season,” he said,  “and it’s a younger squad, but we are still confident in our ability to play football the right way.

“We are all familiar with new coach Richard Garcia and that only adds to the confidence within the group, as his valuable experience can help us improve.

“We found out last season that every game in this league is tough and playing the Night Series winners first up is a great challenge for us.

“With us doing so well last season, everyone will want to beat us, but the experience Richard and Steven McGarry bring to the group will help us in these difficult games. We’re ready for the challenge.”