Match Preview: Epakis targeting quick take-off against Jets

Glory Head Coach Alex Epakis is backing his side to come flying out of the blocks in Saturday’s Liberty A-League Round 3 clash with Newcastle Jets at No.2 Sportsground (kick-off at 12pm WST).

Watch his full pre-match media conference HERE.

The women in purple have started slowly in both of their outings thus far this term, conceding inside the opening 20 minutes against Canberra United and most recently, Adelaide United.

On each occasion, however, they have responded strongly in the second half and the Head Coach is adamant that they have what it takes to replicate those performance levels for the full 90 minutes.

“We just have to start quicker and play better from the first whistle,” he said.

“The second half [against Adelaide] was exactly where we needed to be, but we just need to play that way for longer periods of the game.

“It’s pretty clear internally how we can rectify that and I’m really confident that going into the next round that it will happen.”

Glory will be facing a Jets side who enjoyed an eye-catching 4-2 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers last time out and Epakis is not ruling out altering his line-up for what promises to be an intriguing showdown in the Hunter Valley.

“It was a good result for them [Newcastle] and what that performance allowed us to do was identify where they are strong.

“”We need to nullify that and also be stronger in attack to make sure that we pose some threats to them,” he said.

“Potentially we might tweak some things, but we’ve also got to back the players who have done well over the course of pre-season, so it’s just about finding that sweet spot from a structure point of view.”

The embryonic Liberty A-League table currently has an unfamiliar look about it, with debutants Western United leading the way and last season’s Champions, Melbourne Victory, yet to earn a point.

But Epakis believes that it is too early to draw any significant conclusions.

“From when NPL finishes to when A-League Women starts is a fair gap in time and I think as a result of that, players and teams are still building performances,” he said.

“I think that the inconsistent start some teams have made has maybe been due to that.

“But I think after this round, it’ll start to click into gear.”

Ahead of last week’s win over Western Sydney, the Jets were edged out in Round One by Brisbane Roar and they currently occupy fifth spot in the table.

US import Sarah Griffith has scored three times in the opening two games, with compatriot Murphy Agnew also getting on the scoresheet, along with Tara Andrews.

This fixture has not been kind to Glory in recent years, with the WA side securing maximum points just once in the last ten meetings, but overall, they have claimed nine wins to Newcastle’s six.

Match Details

Liberty A-League 2022/23 Season Round 3

Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory

Saturday 3 December 2022

No.2 Sportsground

Kick-off: 12pm WST (3pm Local)

Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Georgina WORTH, 3. Emily GARNIER, 4. Josie ALLAN, 5. Leia PUXTY, 6. Cass DAVIS, 7. Chloe WANDALOUW 9. Tara ANDREWS, 10. Sophie STAPLEFORD, 11. Tessa TAMPLIN, 12. Murphy AGNEW, 13. Lauren ALLAN, 14. Lucy JOHNSON, 15. Sarah GRIFFITH, 18. Taren KING, 19. Ashlee BRODIGAN, 20. Claire COELHO 22. Cannon CLOUGH, 24. Josie MORLEY, 29. Adriana KONJARSKI.

Ins: 19. Ashlee BRODIGAN, 29. Adriana KONJARSKI

Outs: 23. Teigen ALLEN, 25. Lara GOOCH

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Morgan AQUINO (gk), 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Natasha RIGBY (c), 6.Tijan MCKENNA, 7.Liz ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY, 9.Demi KOULIZAKIS, 10.Susan PHONSONGKHAM, 11.Rylee BAISDEN, 12.Sofia SAKALIS, 13.Sarah CAIN, 15.Cyera HINTZEN, 16.Isabella WALLHEAD, 17.Abbey GREEN, 18.Sadie LAWRENCE, 20.Sarah LANGMAN (gk), 21.Ella MASTRANTONIO, 23.Alana JANCEVSKI, 42.Gabriella COLEMAN

Ins: 6.Tijan MCKENNA, 9.Demi KOULIZAKIS, 18.Sadie LAWRENCE

Outs: None

Unavailable: 22.Claudia MIHOCIC (injured), 24.Milan HAMMOND (injured)


(picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy)