Glory skipper Diego Castro has urged the club’s Members and fans to turn out in force for Sunday’s crunch A-League clash with Macarthur FC at HBF Park (kick-off at 6.15pm, tickets HERE).
The men in purple will be aiming to keep their late bid for a Finals spot on course with what would be a fifth successive win and a first ever over Ante Milicic’s league new boys.
And Castro, who remains in contract discussions with the club, would love to see and hear HBF Park rocking this weekend.
“It is the last year on my contract, but that doesn’t mean we can’t come to an agreement,” he said.
“It could potentially be my last game at HBF Park on Sunday, but who knows what the future holds for everyone?
“It means a lot to me when we talk about this club.
“This is the club where I’ve kept playing the longest; it’s six years already and it means the world.
“My kids have grown up in this culture and it’s very special to me.
“As it could be my last game here, I’d like to bring everyone to the last game.
“Hopefully the fans and the people that have shown me love can join us for a crucial game and enjoy another win, a fifth win, before we head to the east for the last three games when we’ll hopefully finish it off and make the play-off positions.
“I can’t thank the fans enough for the support and love that they have shown to me and my family and it will be a good game for everyone to join together in the same package and enjoy what I do, which is as simple as play football.”
Head Coach Richard Garcia, meanwhile, went on to confirm that the club is keen to see the former Johnny Warren Medal winner extend his time in the West beyond the end of the current campaign.
“We’re in talks with him and of course we’d love him to stay,” he said.
“He’s been not only a fantastic player for the club, but a real shining light in the league and someone who we’re definitely keen to keep at the club.
“We’ve got to work hard to try and secure the services of a number of guys for next season and keep building what we are planning to build.
“It’s a matter of keeping the guys that really fit that culture… but that’s part of football, you have to have these negotiations and it’s coming towards that time.”
Garcia went on to confirm that a number of key players are looking revitalised ahead of the showdown with the fifth-placed Bulls.
“Resting a few the other night has paid off as we have some fresh bodies and will be able to go pretty strong on Sunday,” he said.
“Then we’ve got a week off which is probably the first time we’ve had that for a long while.
“That allows us to then back up for the long flight to Auckland, but then we’ve got three games in a week again, so it’s going to be a difficult balancing act.
“We have something like 12,500 kms and three games in a week which will take its toll and we’ll have to play it pretty smart to make sure that we get the best out of everyone.”
In terms of the Macarthur game, Glory’s Head Coach is quietly confident that his charges can secure what would be the club’s first ever win over the league new boys.
“I feel like we should have won the game against them at home last time,” he said.
“We’re now off the back of a run of a few wins and that builds confidence.
“The guys are fully confident, it’s our last home game and with the fans behind us, the guys will be buzzing to get out there and get another win.
“The guys have loved playing at home after a long time spent away.
“Everything that surrounds HBF Park is a good thing for us and the fans are part of that.”
As far is early squad news is concerned, Glory did not report any fresh injuries from Wednesday’s win over Adelaide and will welcome back Sebastian Langkamp who has recovered from a groin strain , while the visitors will again be without injured duo Tommy Oar and Aleksandar Jovanovic.
Perth Glory v Macarthur FC
HBF Park, Perth
Kick-Off: 6:15pm (Local)(8:15pm (AEST))
Referee: Ben Abraham
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Southern
Assistant Referee 2: Arvin Shanmuganathan
Fourth Official: Adam Fielding
VAR: Kurt Ams
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvMAC
Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Jason GERIA, 4.Sebastian LANGKAMP, 5.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 6.Osama MALIK, 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8.Kosuke OTA, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 10.Andy KEOGH, 11.Joel CHIANESE, 13.Luke BODNAR, 15.Brandon WILSON, 17.Diego CASTRO, 18.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 19.Callum TIMMINS, 20.Carlo ARMIENTO, 23.Dane INGHAM, 24.Daniel STYNES, 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 33.Liam REDDY (gk)
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 4.Sebastian LANGKAMP (returns from injury), 5.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS (promoted), 10.Andy KEOGH (promoted), 15.Brandon WILSON (promoted), 20.Carlo ARMIENTO (promoted)
Outs: 22.Josh RAWLINS (Not Selected), 37.Riley WARLAND (Not Selected), 38.Ciaran BRAMWELL (Not Selected)
Macarthur FC squad: 1.Adam FEDERICI (gk), 2.Jake MCGING, 3.Antony GOLEC, 4.Benat ETXEBARRIA, 5.Mark MILLIGAN (c), 7.Ivan FRANJIC, 8.Denis GENREAU, 10.Loic PUYO, 12.James MEREDITH, 14.Moudi NAJJAR, 15.Aleksandar SUSNJAR, 16.Nick SUMAN (gk), 17.Kyle CIMENTI, 19.Michael RUHS 22.Liam ROSE, 23.Walter SCOTT, 24.Charles M’MOMBWA, 27.Matt DERBYSHIRE, 29.Antonis MARTIS, 33.Markel SUSAETA
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 14.Moudi NAJJAR (promoted), 17 Kyle CIMENTI (promoted – new signing), 23 Walter SCOTT (promoted)
Outs: 31.Lachlan ROSE (not selected)
Unavailable: 6.Aleksandar JOVANOVIC (injury – calf 1-2 weeks) 11.Tommy OAR (injury – 1-2 weeks)