Perth Glory FC defender Josh Risdon has vowed to help his team climb back to the top of the table this season and put the misfortunes of last season behind him.
The 23-year old attacking full-back had one of the best seasons in the Hyundai A-League, notching up 115 tackles, 22 more than any other player.
Risdon, who has been pushing for Socceroos selection, said he was fitter, stronger and roaring to go, ahead of this weekend’s opening clash against the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford.
“I’m a lot fitter, we’ve got a good team, good comaraderie and a good feeling about this year and hopefully we can take it onto the pitch. All the new lads have been great they love it here and we love having them..and we’re starting to gel on the training track”.
Risdon said he wanted the team to repeat the milestones it achieved last year, before it was excluded from the finals campaign last season.
“To get back into that top six – it was pretty hurtful when we got knocked out and I just want to be competitive this season. Personally I just want to play week-in week-out for the club and get up to the top of the league”.
New club captain Richard Garcia said he too, was looking forward to the opening round of the season.
“By this time everyone is fed up at just training and everyone’s keen in getting into the swing of things. We’re still a side that’s coming together and gelling at the moment but there’s positive signs and we’ve got a few more attacking threats with a few more options”.
Garcia said the team had taken many positives from last week’s dramatic penalty shootout win over the Western Sydney Wanderers which helped Glory earn a berth in the Westfield FFA Cup Semi-Final at nib Stadium later this month.
“It’s been very positive and a great confidence booster” he said.
The captain acknowledged the road trip to Gosford was historically a tough away match, one which Glory struggled with in the past.
However last season Perth played twice against the Mariners on the Central Copast and walked away with four points.
In fact in the last four encounters between the teams, Glory has won three and drawn one.
The match kicks-off on Saturday at 5.15pm local time at Central Coast Stadium.
Glory will host Wellington Phoenix for its first home match at nib Stadium on October 18.
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