Preparations for the 2018/19 Westfield W-League season have begun, with Bobby Despotovski’s Glory squad hitting the training track earlier this week.
Assistant Coach Jessine Bonzas was visibly excited to be back among the group and working towards what promises to be another entertaining campaign.
“It’s great to get the team back together for our first session,” she said.
“Our WA-based players were all there on Monday and we’re all full of hope and excited to continue working hard this pre-season.”
With last season’s results still fresh in the minds of the coaching staff, Bonzas insists the side will be taking all the lessons learned into their preparations.
“We’ve reflected on what we did achieve, as there were some positives,” she said, “but there’s also so much we learned and it’ll definitely provide us with plenty of motivation.
“We did have a gruelling schedule, but we’ve reflected on that and we’ll go into the new season better prepared for those challenges. I think preparation is pivotal, so we’ve got to prepare well and build a platform to succeed from and improve on last season’s results.”
Having missed out on a finals place in the 2017/18 campaign, the club has responded by bolstering the squad with the signing of teenage sensation Jacynta Galabadaarachchi from Melbourne City and Matildas ‘keeper Eliza Campbell from Adelaide United.
[Click HERE to see Campbell in spectacular action for the Matildas.]
“I think they’re a fantastic injection of youth,” Bonzas said. “They’ve both got great track records and truly are up-and-coming talents of Australian women’s football, so it’s really exciting to have them here at Glory.
“Jacynta adds another dimension to our strike-force; she’s super quick and really good with her feet. Eliza brings Matildas experience and standards having made her debut against China late last year and she’s already got plenty of experience in her locker at the age of just 23, having spent time playing in Europe in the Norweigan league.”
It’s not just the skills and talent that Bonzas has noted as unique elements of this Glory squad, with the coach also highlighting the strong team culture that’s been instilled over the past few years.
“It’s crucial to build a positive culture in these early stages of pre-season so that we can build goals and expectations we collectively feel we can achieve,” she said.
“We want to improve every year and that’s something each player subscribes to on and off the pitch when going about their work with Glory. I think the playing group in recent years has built a fantastic environment, they’ve driven that and female players in the sport really value how the culture can help you develop and perform.
“There’s that understanding that everyone has each other’s back in this team and that’s so important to have when you go out there together on the pitch. It’s a key element and cornerstone for success in this competition.”
The club have also secured the services of local youngster Lexie Moreno, who memorably marked her W-League debut at the age of 16 with a long-range goal. Moreno, who was on a scholarship last season, has recently signed her first professional deal with Glory and Bonzas is keen to see the teenager progress.
“Lexie had an unforgettable introduction into the W-League having scored against Canberra in her first game,” she said,a”and we hope that over this pre-season she continues to develop.
“If you look at the philosophy Bobby has, he’s very passionate about giving WA players an opportunity and creating a pathway into pro football, so I think Moreno’s journey highlights this line of approach.”
More signing announcements will be made in the very near future.