Smeltz: Long way to go


Perth Glory striker Shane Smeltz says the team cannot afford to get carried away with their perfect start to the season.

Perth Glory striker Shane Smeltz says the team cannot afford to get carried away with their perfect start to the season.

Smeltz was in top form on Sunday afternoon, nailing two goals for the Glory as his side outgunned Melbourne Heart 2-1 at AAMI Park.

The result saw Glory climb into second on the Hyundai A-League table, just behind Brisbane Roar on goal difference, with both sides having won their two opening matches of the campaign.

However, coach Ian Ferguson has already warned the side not to get carried away, pointing to last season’s disastrous slump in form as an indicator of what can happen if you do, as the Glory were unbeaten after the first five games last year before finishing second-last.

And, it was a message Smeltz was keen to echo when the side arrived home from Melbourne on Monday afternoon.

“It’s two games in,” he said. “There’s a long season to go and we know there’s some tough games ahead.”

“(It’s a) really good, great start, but we’re not getting carried away.”

In a match that only burst into life for short periods, Melbourne Heart dominated long periods of possession, although they struggled to find their way past a resolute Perth defence until the stroke of half-time, when Chris Coyne gave away a penalty that David Williams converted.

Smeltz, though, felt the side could definitely lift a notch when Wellington travels to Perth this weekend.

“I guess that’s good signs as well when you don’t play quite so well as a team and you come away with three points,” he said.

“I think the first game (a 1-0 win over Adelaide), we played a lot better football.”

“But we had to adapt. It was a different style of game, different pitch, different conditions, different team and we adapted quite well which is a good sign, so hopefully we can get back to playing some better football next game.”

Smeltz’s brace took his overall tally in the Hyundai A-League to 51 goals from 79 appearances for Wellington, Gold Coast and now Perth.

The striker is now just two goals off matching Archie Thompson’s record, the Melbourne striker currently at 53 Hyundai A-League goals.

But with Smeltz being supplied by the likes of classy Perth midfielder Liam Miller – whose brilliant cross in the 34th minute allowed Smeltz to nod in the opener – don’t bet against the Glory forward edging past Thompson by the year’s end.

“It’s fantastic,” said Smeltz, summing up the quality of Miller’s delivery.

“You know what to expect from that type of player and he’s certainly got that in the locker to produce balls like that.”

“As soon as he had it at his feet I sort of made my run, I knew where it was going to go.”

“(So there’s a) good understanding there and hopefully there’s more of them to come.”

Smeltz also said the team were hopeful that goalkeeper Neil Young had recovered well from abdominal surgery on the weekend.

The stopper, who’s had a long history of abdominal issues from his time at Newcastle, underwent more surgery last weekend in a bitter blow for Young.

“Obviously we wish him all the best,” Smeltz said.

“It’s not a great situation he’s in. (We’ve) obviously just got back here and I’m sure the boys will catch up with him and see how he’s doing.”