Garcia’s Cup final message: ‘Stay calm boys’


Perth Glory captain Richard Garcia will stress to his players the importance of controlled aggression in Saturday night’s Westfield FFA Cup final.

Garcia, 34, knows about big deciders after over a decade in the UK from 1999 to 2012. 

The Glory leader has fond memories of Hull City’s second leg of Championship semi final play-off against Watford, scoring one and having a hand in two of the Tigers’ goals in the 4-1 win at the KC Stadium in 2008. 

The Aussie midfielder also won the FA Youth Cup in 1999, alongside West Ham teammates Michael Carrick and Joe Cole, so he knows something about the pressure that comes with a decider like Saturday’s at AAMI Park against Melbourne Victory. 

“The main thing I’ve been trying to get across to the players is you’ve got to be full of enthusiasm, but it’s got to be controlled,” Garcia told reporters at the official pre-Cup Final press conference at AAMI Park.

“You’ve got to be controlled and calculated in your decisions.

“Don’t let the occasion get to you. That’s the main thing.”

Melbourne Victory captain Carl Valeri and Perth Glory skipper Richard Garcia.

Amid speculation Saturday’s FFA Cup final could become a physical affair – with fierce striker Besart Berisha facing Glory’s defensive enforcer Dino Djulbic – the former Hull City star knows it’s easier said than done.  

Victory star Berisha waded into the debate yesterday saying Victory were also a physical side.

“And it’s always tough in a Cup final to get that [mindset] right.

“But when you speak about those things and you’re open about those things, within the playing group everyone takes it on-board 

“Hopefully that comes into a good performance on the park and a win,” added Garcia.

Glory arrived from sunny Perth to a rainy Melbourne on Friday morning after the city was hit by wild weather in the last 24 hours. 

The SES received 200 calls for help within two hours as Melbourne’s north was hit by what was believed to be a tornado on Thursday afternoon as heavy rain buffeted the city. 

This may affect the AAMI Park pitch and the type of game on Saturday night. It could help Glory draw the free-flowing Victory into a more physical battle. 

For Garcia, though, holding up the Cup on Saturday night would be extra special for him and a club that last won a trophy 11 years ago.

“Especially being a Perth boy and playing for Perth Glory would be fantastic to bring some silverware back to my home town,” Garcia told reporters in Perth.

On that day in 2004,  it was also a wet track as Glory defeated Parramatta Power in the last ever NSL Grand Final thanks to a late goal. 

An omen perhaps?

FFA Cup Final