Coyne’s century

Perth skipper Jamie Coyne will join a select group of Glory stars this Sunday as he takes his games tally into three figures.

Perth skipper Jamie Coyne will join a select group of Glory stars this Sunday as he takes his games tally into three figures.

Of the current Glory squad only Jamie Harnwell and Jason Petkovic have played more games in purple while former greats to achieve the feat include Gareth Naven and Bobby Despotovski.

Coyne-s milestone match comes at a critical time for Perth who tackle reigning Hyundai A-League champions Newcastle at Members Equity Stadium on Sunday evening. With the Glory chasing a fourth straight win on home turf and outright sixth on the A-League ladder the defensive linchpin will draw on all his experience to inspire a win against the Jets.

Speaking on the eve of his 100th match, which includes both the old National Soccer League (NSL) and the new competition, Coyne said it had been a long journey but one that offered him some perspective, having experienced the good times and the bad.

And for the 27-year-old skipper, it’s the experience of winning the 2003/04 NSL title with the Glory that drives him on to lead the club into a new powerhouse era – although keeping track of his appearances seems to have taken a back seat along the way.

“I was a bit surprised,” declared Coyne when told he was due to play his 100th match against Newcastle this weekend.

“I wasn’t too sure, I had no idea how many games I’d played.”

“It seems like a long time … I started playing in the NSL, there was also that year and a half break between seasons as well. It does really seem like a long time.”

Coyne said the highlight of his career so far had been helping the Glory to back-to-back premierships as part of the club-s 2003/04 side that won the title in the final year of the NSL.

It was a special moment Coyne recalls, after going down to Parramatta twice during the early stages of the finals’ series, a convincing win over Adelaide United in the preliminary final took the Glory through to the championship decider against the highly fancied Power.

Despite the challenges of a playing on a rain-sodden pitch away from home Coyne and his team mates produced the goods to take the title and confirm their status as Australia-s best.

“I missed out playing the year before when we won it at Subiaco Oval, I wasn’t in the team that day which was a bit disappointing,” Coyne said.

“But to play the year after when we were able to win, beat Parramatta in that final year would be the highlight for me so far.

“Once you’ve been somewhere and you’ve been successful, it has a big impact on your life.

“We-ve been through a bit of a lean period the last couple of years but the success in the past is something that drives you to want to achieve it again with the same club.

“Obviously it leaves a big impression in your heart,” he said.

After playing the majority of his career in defence, Coyne said he’s relished the opportunity over the last three matches to team up with Brazilian International Amaral in the centre of the park.

In his defensive midfield role, Coyne feels he can have a greater influence on the match, while the position allows him to captain the side more effectively too.

“So far, it seems to have worked, we’ve won two of the last three games and had a close one against Adelaide,” Coyne said.

“Amaral’s a very experienced player and he brings a lot of different qualities to the team.”

“(I get) more of a licence to run around the park and I also can have a bigger influence on the game.”

“It makes it a lot easier to not only make a difference … but also to actually speak to the rest of the team and speak to players and give out advice or information as the game goes on, it does make it a lot easier.”