Match Preview – Epakis hails ”all in it together” attitude ahead of Sydney FC clash

WWL - Brisbane Roar v Glory - team huddle

Glory Head Coach Alex Epakis believes that his squad’s strong sense of collective responsibility will stand them in good stead ahead of Thursday’s home clash with Sydney FC (kick-off at Dorrien Gardens is at 6.35pm).

The women in purple are yet to taste victory in what has been a frustratingly stop-start campaign to date and suffered a 4-0 defeat at the hands of high-flying Brisbane Roar in their most recent outing.

But while conceding that ladder-leaders Sydney FC will provide another stiff challenge for his young group, Epakis feel that their belief and resilience will enable them to rise to the occasion. 

“I think we have to continue to highlight the positives in the last two performances to give us some momentum going into the game against Sydney FC,” he said.

“Obviously while the scorelines weren’t in our favour against Western Sydney and Brisbane, there were definitely some small wins along the way and improvements in areas that myself and the squad had been really focusing on.

“It’s piece by piece, part by part and we’re hoping that sooner rather than later, we can put all those pieces together and really deliver a a full 90-minute performance that gives us something closer to a win.

“Morale is really good.

“The players are really part of the whole process and as a result of that, knowing that they are really invested and are a part of the decisions and the gameplan, when things don’t go right, it’s a ‘we’re all in it together’ approach as opposed to ‘oh, it’s the coach’ or ‘oh, it’s a specific player’.

“We’re very much together and that means we’re in a better position than would be normally the case after a 4-0 loss.

“Sydney are having a good season and were in a good run of form up until their last match.

“While they got a win against Adelaide, I believe there were some areas in which they weren’t as fine-tuned as they had been earlier in the season, so hopefully that’s a good sign for us.

“Ultimately, if we continue to work on the things that we’re starting to put the pieces together on and Sydney don’t deal with the long trip and have an off day, who knows after that?”

The clash with the Sky Blues is the first of five home games in the space of just 22 days for Glory and Epakis is hoping that the club’s Members and fans will do their bit to help his side kick-start their season.

“We owe them something because we haven’t seen them for so long,” he said.

“We really encourage them to come out.

“I know myself, the staff and most importantly the players, would really benefit from having them here and knowing they’ve got our backs and will be supporting us as best they can.

“We’re going to be doing our utmost to give them something to cheer about.”

In terms of early squad news, the Head Coach confirmed that everyone had returned from the east coast trip unscathed and that Katarina Jukic would return to the selection mix having missed the Wanderers and Roar games due to work commitments.

Glory’s last ten meetings with Sydney FC have produced an even split of five wins apiece and last season saw the away team pick up the three points in both fixtures.

Match Details

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Perth Glory v Sydney FC

Dorrien Gardens, Perth

Kick-Off: 6:35pm (Local)(9:35pm (AEDT))

Referee: Isabella Libri

Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Southern

Assistant Referee 2: Adrien Liechti

Fourth Official: Shane Skinner

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag#PERvSYD

Perth Glory squad: 1.Lily ALFELD (gk), 2.Sarah CARROLL, 4.Natasha RIGBY (c), 5.Deborah-Anne DE LA HARPE, 6.Tijan MCKENNA, 7.Elizabeth ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY, 9.Malia STEINMETZ, 10.Alexia MORENO, 13.Jamie-Lee GALE, 14.Caitlin DOEGLAS, 16.Isabella WALLHEAD, 17.Marianna TABAIN, 18.Taneesha BAKER, 20.Rebecca BENNETT (gk), 23.Katarina JUKIC

Ins: 13.Jamie-Lee GALE (promoted), 23.Katarina JUKIC (promoted)

Outs: 11.Patricia CHARALAMBOUS (omitted), 12.Sarah MORGAN (omitted)

Unavailable: 3.Gemma CRAINE (hamstring – season)

Sydney FC squad: 1.Jada WHYMAN (gk), 3.Charlotte McLEAN, 5.Ally GREEN, 6.Clare WHEELER, 7.Ellie BRUSH,  8.Rachel LOWE, 9.Allira TOBY, 10.Remy SIEMSEN, 11.Cortnee VINE,12.Natalie TOBIN, 15.Mackenzie HAWKESBY, 17.Angelique HRISTODOULOU, 18.Taylor RAY, 19.Charlie RULE, 20.Princess IBINI, 40.Eliza CAMPBELL (gk)

Ins: 7.Ellie BRUSH (return from injury)

Outs: 2.Teresa POLIAS (work commitments)

Unavailable: 4.Liz RALSTON (knee – indefinite), 30.Katie OFFER (gk) (finger – indefinite)