Glory swoop to bring Socceroo Taggart home

Perth Glory is delighted to announce that Socceroos striker Adam Taggart has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with his hometown club.

The 29-year-old has been transferred from J-League club Cerezo Osaka and will be available for selection once the January transfer window opens.

Taggart began his professional career with Glory, debuting in 2011 and during his two spells in purple racked up 48 A-League appearances and scored 22 goals.

He has spent the last three years overseas, taking out the K-League Golden Boot in 2019 while playing for Suwon Samsung Bluewings and then moving to J-League side Cerezo Osaka for whom he scored a further 10 goals.

Having proven himself in two of Asia’s most demanding competitions, the man who watched Glory from the stands as a youngster is now delighted to be returning home.

“It’s always been in the back of my mind that if I got the opportunity to come back, I’d jump at it straightaway and when that opportunity did come up, I knew I wasn’t going to let it go,” he said.

“This club means so much to me; it’s my hometown club, the club that I grew up supporting, a club that I know inside out and which is full of people that I love and that I’ve played with and against.

“To be able to do it all in front of my family and friends, especially after being away for so long, means a lot to me and it’s just something I felt needed to happen.

“At the age of 29, it makes sense to play my best footballing years at Perth Glory.

“Having been at Macedonia Park on Saturday, I got that buzz like you get at HBF Park, the buzz that I had growing up as a kid and it makes you feel at home.

“I can’t wait to get started and do everything I can to help the club and push the club forward.

“Ruben Zadkovich [Head Coach] has played a massive role in getting me back to the club.

“He’s someone I’ve always had a good relationship with and he was a mentor for me, especially when I was at Newcastle with him.

“He shares the same mentality as me and knows me very well as a player and as a person.”

Zadkovich believes that his former teammate will play a key role in helping the club progress in the coming years.

“Taggart is a player I’ve seen grow from a young up- and-coming talent in the A-League into a top-class striker at international level,” he said.

“During my time as captain of Newcastle Jets, I witnessed first-hand what he is like at the peak of his powers on the grass in terms of finishing.

“I also got the chance to know the depths of him as a person and more importantly, the ability and attributes he has in terms of leading the team from the front as a player.

“He possesses the qualities that a top striker needs, both physically and mentally.

“He is selfish when he needs to be in front of goal and yet always plays for the team.

“I believe he is the right character to spearhead this rebuild at Glory and help drive the club back to the top.

“Being from Perth and more importantly a Glory fan at heart, he understands what the club is about and what we are working hard to build.

“We are extremely excited to secure his signature and can’t wait to unleash him in the purple jersey again.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Glory Head of Recruitment, Andy Keogh.

“This is an exciting signing for Perth Glory leading into the January transfer window,” he said.

“There was a big void to fill when Bruno Fornaroli left and the planning that took place to make this happen shows a clear vision and direction which the club wishes to go in.

“We can’t wait to get Adam playing in his hometown in front of the Members and fans and of course, his family, in the famous purple of Perth Glory.”

Club CEO Anthony Radich, meanwhile, believes that the signing is an important one for the club at a number of different levels.

“We’re incredibly delighted to welcome Adam back home and have him commit to us for the next three-and-a-half seasons,” he said.

“Having someone of his quality will add enormous value to the club both on and off the field and I’m sure all Glory Members and fans will be excited by this news.”

Having progressed through Glory’s youth ranks, Taggart broke into the first team in the 2010/11 season and scored his first senior goal away at Gold Coast United in Round 26.

In 2012, he completed a move to Newcastle Jets where he was to enjoy a productive two-season stint during which he took out the A-League Golden Boot and was named the A-League Young Player of the Year.

Following a spell in the UK with Fulham and Dundee United, the mobile frontman returned to Glory and fired home 20 goals across the 2016/17 and 2017/18 campaigns, solidifying his position as a fans’ favourite in the process.

The next stop on his football journey was a single season at Brisbane Roar and he then opted to try his luck overseas, making an instant impression at Suwon Samsung Bluewings by claiming the K-League Golden Boot and helping them secure the KFA Cup in his debut season.

After one more year in Korea, he was signed by Cerezo Osaka and over the course of two campaigns with the Japanese top-flight side, made 44 appearances in all competitions.

At international level, meanwhile, Taggart won Under-20 and Under-23 caps before making his Socceroos debut against Hong Kong in 2012.

He featured against both Spain and Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup and to date, has scored six goals in 17 appearances.