Retro Corner – Facing the new boys


In the current climate, seeking comfort in the past seems like a very decent idea and the fact that you’re reading Retro Corner suggests that you are more than a little partial to a stroll down memory lane in any case.

So will this week’s episode provide that warm, fuzzy sense of reassurance and comfort you seek?

Well, yes and no. 

Let us explain…

This Saturday, of course, Glory are set to host Western United at what will, unfortunately, be a closed HBF Park.

So we thought it was the perfect time to see how the men in purple have fared in their first home games against other new clubs that have been added to the Hyundai A-League.

Discounting Wellington Phoenix due to the fact that they were at least a partial continuation of the New Zealand Knights, we’re talking about Gold Coast United, North Queensland Fury and Western Sydney Wanderers.

And the first of those newbies to visit the West was Gold Coast United.

With Clive Palmer bankrolling the venture and Miron Bleiberg filling the Head Coach role in his own, inimitable style, the Queenslanders had a refreshing zest about them and having won four of their first five games ahead of their trip to WA, looked capable of giving the 2009-10 competition a serious shake.

They met a Glory side that had secured only six point from a possible 15 under Dave Mitchell and yet it was the hosts who roared into a two-goal lead within the opening 16 minutes as Branko Jelic and then Victor Sikora found the net.

The second half was a very different story, however and with Jason Culina pulling the strings in midfield, the visitors hit back via two players who would be wearing purple within two years.

Glory v Gold Coast United 2009 - Bas van den Brink

Bas van den Brink bagged the first, one of just four goals he would score in over 90 A-League appearances and in the final minute of normal time, Shane Smeltz pounced to secure his side a share of the spoils.

One month later, in October 2009, it was the turn of fellow-new-entrants North Queensland Fury to come to town.

In contrast to Gold Coast, Ian Ferguson’s men had earned just one win in their opening eight games and made the long trip to Perth as serious underdogs.

That status looked entirely justified when Ufuk Talay was sent off on the stroke of half-time and Mile Serjovski fired Glory in front four minutes after the re-start.

Glory v North Queensland Fury 2009

But the men in green, who boasted an attacking trio of Robbie Fowler, James Robinson and Daniel McBreen, all of whom had either played for Glory or would do so in the future, had no intention of rolling over.

They hit back through John Tambouras and then defended doggedly for the final 18 minutes to claim the first of what would be three consecutive draws.

Two new clubs played by Glory, two games drawn.

Could Glory buck the trend and get the better of Western Sydney Wanderers in November 2012?

Unfortunately not. (we did warn you that there was light and shade in this week’s episode!)

Glory v WSW 2012 - goalmouth scramble

Iacopo La Rocca bucked his own personal trend by scoring at the right end of the field to give the red-and-blacks an early advantage and despite having future Glory signing Youssouf Hersi sent off before the break, Tony Popovic’s men took home the chocolates.

Fast forward to 2020 and finally Glory have a fourth chance to take the shine off a new club at HBF Park.

It’s just such a shame that the club’s 12th man won’t be on hand to help.