New Head Coach Stajcic excited by the challenge ahead

New Glory A-League Men’s Head Coach Alen Stajcic has spoken of his excitement at the challenge of driving the club back to the summit of Australian football.

View his first Glory media conference in full HERE.

Fresh from guiding the Philippines national team to the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time in the nation’s history, the 49-year-old fronted a busy Zoom media conference on Thursday morning to discuss the three-year deal he has penned with Glory.

And he confirmed that he cannot wait to get stuck into his new role in the West.

“It’s a new period for the club and a sense of renewal for the club,” he said, “so I’m really looking forward to getting over there… refreshed and ready to go and take on this huge responsibility and honour.

“It’s like any new environment you go to; it’s going to be a big job.

“The players having been living with a little bit of uncertainty during this pre-season and there’s nothing worse for players or staff than uncertainty, so hopefully today clarifies a lot of that and we can move forward together, unified, in one direction.

“It’s a period of transition for the club, but a lot of clubs have gone through that in the history of the A-League and even before.

“For me, it’s just a sense of renewal for the club and a point from which we can start to grow and be unified.

“It’s an exciting challenge and an honour to go to such a prestigious club.

“My first memories of the club are the 90s and 2000s and that made a big impression on me.

“Glory changed the landscape of Australian football at the time… Perth became the biggest club in the league and that’s the vision that I have in my head; a club that is massive and an important part of the Australian football eco-system.

“I want us to get back to those heights and be up there regularly.”

Stajcic’s most recent A-League coaching role saw him revive Central Coast’s fortunes in spectacular style and he draw a parallel between what he found in Gosford and Glory’s current position.

“It’s not too dissimilar to the situation I arrived in at the Mariners,” he said.

“They’re both one-team towns and teams that pride themselves on connecting to the community and being popular within their community.

“Sydney and Melbourne clubs are very important for the A-League, but I think regional clubs are even more important.

“It’s even more important that they’re successful on and off the pitch.

“All the elements of the puzzle are important; the connection to the corporate world, the connection to the fans, the connection to government and within the grassroots system around Perth.

“Those things are even more important in a one-team town like Perth and that’s something that I’m really keen to rebuild.

“I know that there’s a massive football fan base there… and it’s essential not only for Perth, but for the A-League, to have a strong Perth Glory.

“The Mariners have shown over the last three or four years that it’s not about resources all the time.

“It’s about what you have in terms of your club culture and your unity amongst your group and they’ve proven that with that, you can win the A-League.”

In terms of his immediate plans, meanwhile, Stajcic is confident that Glory will be in a good place come the start of the new season.

“At a football club, there are different challenges all the time,” he said.

“I’ve missed the first four or five weeks of pre-season and that makes things a little bit more difficult, but I’m coming in at this point and I’m fully aware of what has happened up to now.

“For me, we’ve still got plenty of time.

“There are eight or so weeks before the commencement of the A-League and plenty of time to put things in place in every perspective, from recruitment to training and preparation and everything that needs to be done.

“Last year, they didn’t have a bad season and were actually in the mix and Finals contention for a long time, so there’s a lot to be positive about and a lot that you can hang your hat on.

“It’s not as if you have to throw the baby out with the bath water in terms of the players, or the group, or the way they play.

“We want to be challenging for Finals and getting into the Finals and for that, it needs a little bit of a shift and we’ll be doing that when we come in.

“There are essential qualities that I will demand within the squad and within the club in terms of behaviours and culture and unity and anyone who doesn’t want to come along for the ride and be aligned with how we want to progress as a club, then they won’t be a part of the team.

“We really want to be a united team and stand together and stand strong and that’s been common across all the teams I’ve coached over the last 20 years.

“For us to move forward, it needs to be a positive environment and a united environment.

“I want people who want to fight for the shirt, fight for the city and show that they are proud of where they’re at.

“That’s essential, that’s a non-negotiable.

“Ultimately, it all comes down to the people that are involved.

“There’s no magical formula other than having good people and good leaders around the group and that is something that will be essential.

“That’s something we’ll be ensuring we get right, right from the outset.

“We want the community to be proud of our club and to be in Finals contention.

“We want to play attractive and entertaining football and the fans want to see a club they’re proud of.

“No-one’s proud of a club that’s not contending for Finals and not aiming to win every match.

“We’ll have a positive mind-set and I’m sure the fans will be excited when we come to Round One.”