Retro Corner – Remembering Ryo and Hiro


To mark the signing of the club’s first ever Korean player, Soo-beom Kim, we’ve decided to give Retro Corner an Asian flavour this week.

Perhaps surprisingly given the club’s proximity to Asia, only two players from that region have previously donned the famous purple during the Hyundai A-League era.

The first of those was Hiroyuki Ishida who arrived at Glory ahead of the inaugural A-League season having previously featured against the WA side for Olympic Sharks in the 2002 NSL Grand Final.

Ishida in action against New Zealand Knights

An industrious and pacy wide midfielder, he made 16 appearances over the course of the 2005-06 campaign, scoring a solitary goal against the Mariners in Round 15.

The man from Yokohama duly moved up to Malaysia to sign for Johor at season’s end and it would be six years before Glory opted to recruit from Asia again when  Ryo Nagai became the club’s second Japanese import.

Ryo Nagai v WSW

Brought in on loan from Cerezo Osaka by then-Head Coach Ian Ferguson, 21-year-old Nagai was a quicksilver attacking midfielder/striker who loved to cut in from wide areas and certainly wasn’t afraid to pull the trigger in front of goal.

He was to spend two seasons with the club and arguably produced his best performances when Alistair Edwards replaced Ferguson towards the end of the 2012/13 campaign.

Indeed it was his goal that looked set to secure an upset finals win for Glory over Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium that year, before the navy-and-whites equalised in the 90th minute and then added another in extra-time to end the visitors’ hopes.

Nagai would go on to produce further glimpses of his undoubted natural flair in the following season, but a hamstring tear against Adelaide in Round 11 sadly proved so serious that his loan spell was terminated and back to Osaka he went.

Those are the bare bones of Glory’s Asian connection to date, but as always, we’d love you to flesh them out with your memories of either Ryo or Hiro.

So please join the conversation on our Facebook page HERE or via Twitter HERE.