It’s been a meteoric rise for Perth Glory right full back Matthew Davies.
It-s been a meteoric rise for Perth Glory right full back Matthew Davies.
After signing a two-year senior contract in March 2013, the 18-year-old Mount Lawley local might have expected to only play a bit-part in Glory-s year, but has instead gone on to play six full games in his first Hyundai A-League season.
Far from being overawed, Davies has looked composed at right back ever since his dream debut against Melbourne Heart in Round 3. A match which also saw Glory win their first game of the season in front of 13-856 fans at nib Stadium.
He was one of seven local players under the age of 22 (along with Danny De Silva, Jack Clisby, Ryan Edwards, Cameron Edwards, Ndumba Makeche and Riley Woodcock) to play against Wellington Phoenix as Head Coach Alistair Edwards continues to give the best young Western Australian talent a viable pathway for playing A-League football.
“It-s really good to get some games under my belt, especially at A-League level, and I-m pretty pleased performance-wise with how we-ve been going and how I-ve been going personally, but I-m just happy to get the first games out of the way really,” Davies said.
Thrown into the firing line after first-choice right back, Josh Risdon, suffered a serious knee away injury to Newcastle United in Round 2, Davies excelled in his first match and drew special praise from Head Coach Alistair Edwards.
“I-m particularly pleased for Matty Davies. Playing in the Youth League last week and he got the opportunity to play today and I thought, if not our best player, he was close to being our best player so that’s great for us,” Edwards said at the Round 3 post-match press conference.
A loyal Perth Glory supporter growing up, Davies has tried to stay grounded as the season progresses by putting the team first and taking each game as it comes.
“I-m just trying to hold down that spot until Rizzo (Josh Risdon) gets back and then try and compete with him as best as possible when he does come back and just do my role for the team,” Davies said.
His ‘role in the team- doesn-t get much bigger than this Friday night when Glory takes on Victory in a crucial match. Both sides are sitting on three wins and three losses so a win by Glory could see them jump up as many as four spots on the ladder.
Davies can expect a tough night at right back against a Melbourne Victory outfit who like to attack down the wings. Melbourne are the second-highest scorers in the competition with 12 goals (behind the Brisbane Roar on 17) and are expected to gain some extra fire power by recalling Archie Thompson from a hamstring injury.
“It-s always a good tester. It-s a little bit nerve-racking to be honest but they-ve got some quality players in their front line, Barbarouses, Connor Pain and Troisi, so there-s no break really. It doesn-t matter if Archie is in there or if they have those other three in there, it-s going to be just as difficult I would imagine.”
Coming off arguably their most impressive win of the season after bouncing back from a goal down to beat Wellington Phoenix 4-2, the Glory squad are in a positive mood as they look forward to a clash with Melbourne Victory in front of a packed AAMI Park Stadium.
“Spirits are pretty high. Especially with all our injury concerns, the depth of the team has really been tested but I think to the boys- credit, the younger boys have managed to step in and fill the roles well.”
“We-ve nothing to lose really. Away to Victory with a lot of injuries, a Friday night game, so just go over there and leave it all on the park and do well as best we can with the squad we have,” he added.