Popovic pleased by pre-season opener


Glory Head Coach Tony Popovic declared himself ‘happy enough’ after the club opened its pre-season campaign with a 3-0 victory over Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens on Wednesday evening.

First-half goals from Jacob Italiano and Andy Keogh put the visitors firmly in control, before Callum Timmins rounded off the scoring late on with a long-range effort.

Taking charge of the side for the first time, Popovic opted to make 11 changes at the break and handed debuts to new arrivals Tando Velaphi, Ivan Franjic, Brendon Santalab and Fabio Ferreira.

And he was generally pleased with the way his charges acquitted themselves.

“It was a good first hit-out for the players,” he said. “There’s been a lot of change and the players have been working hard for three-and-a-half weeks, so it was nice to get a game and implement the new system.

“We still have lots of work to do, but it was a solid hit-out and I’m happy enough. 

“There were a few things we saw from the players that we’ve been working on which is the most important thing.

“Those actions I’m sure will be repeated a lot more once they get fitter and stronger.”

Popovic went on to confirm that all the players came through the game unscathed, including Santalab who was introduced at half time and then withdrawn after 67 minutes.

“Brendon is fine,” he said. “The other players have been going for three-and-a-half weeks and he’s only in his second week, so he’s not really ready for 45 minutes yet. That’s why we gave him just 20-odd minutes.”

Glory’s pre-season campaign continues next Wednesday (18th July) with another friendly at Dorrien Gardens, this time against Gwelup Croatia and the club’s Head Coach is satisfied with the progress being made.

“It’s still very early days,” he said. “The goal is that we’re ready for Round One in October and along the way we’ll just keep working and improving.

“I’ve been very pleased with the application of the players so far.”

Kick off next Wednesday is at 7pm and admission will again be FREE.