Match Preview: “We want to make Perth Glory proud” – Popa


Head Coach Tony Popovic is backing his squad to give Manchester United plenty to think about in Saturday evening’s prestige friendly clash at Optus Stadium (kick off at 7pm, tickets available HERE).


A number of the club’s Academy players are set to be included in the squad for the showdown with the EPL giants and Popovic believes that the youngsters will seize the opportunity to impress in front of what will be close to a capacity crowd.

“It’s one thing enjoying the experience, but in every football game, you want to go out and try and win,” he said.

“You don’t go out there to just run around and make it pleasant for Manchester United. 

“We want to make Perth Glory and the [Hyundai A-League] proud.

“We certainly understand where we sit in terms of football, but we played Chelsea last year and I thought we gave a good account of ourselves.

“This year there will be more younger players being given an opportunity because some of our senior players aren’t back as yet, but it’s a chance for them to enjoy the experience and show the qualities that they have.

“Competitive we certainly want to be. We have a younger group that lacks experience, but we also have players who were here last year and know how we want to play.

“They’ve been training hard and are ready to be competitive.

“Regardless of the personnel, regardless of who’s out there and which players get an opportunity, it’s a fantastic chance to play against them [Manchester United] and that’s how we’ll tackle Saturday night.

“It’s a chance for our younger players to see how high the bar is at the very highest level, but also to put their case forward in terms of being the best players they can be.”

Popovic went on to confirm how much the club is relishing United’s visit to Perth.

“It’s a very big game not just in terms of football, but as a sporting spectacle,” he said.

“One of the greatest organisations in sport, not just in football, is here in Manchester United and we can see that everyone in WA is embracing that.

“As a football club, we’re also embracing the opportunity to play against them and I’m sure the players are excited about getting out on the field against the superstars of Manchester United.

“Our last game was at Optus [Stadium] in front of a fantastic crowd and the first game of our new season will be again at that stadium which will be full, so we know as a football club that we’re on the right track.”

In terms of squad news, Popovic confirmed that the likes of 15-year-old midfielder Joshua Rawlins will come into contention to face the Red Devils, along with his Gabriel and Kristian Popovic, both of whom found the net in Tuesday’s friendly win over Bayswater City.

Diego Castro, Andy Keogh, Alex Grant, Chris Ikonomidis and Dane Ingham are among those who won’t feature on Saturday.