Storm brewing for Glory


It’s a hard name to forget and it could be one worth remembering if Storm Roux’s fledgling career maintains its current trajectory.

It’s a hard name to forget and it could be one worth remembering if Storm Roux’s fledgling career maintains its current trajectory.

The Perth Glory defender has enjoyed a stellar start to 2013, making an accomplished Hyundai A-League debut against Brisbane Roar before earning a promotion to the club’s senior roster and he’s also in line to win his first Under-20 cap for New Zealand next month.

“It’s been a great few weeks,” Roux, 20, said.

“The end of last year wasn’t too good for me as I had some bad luck with a few injuries and I really didn’t expect to be given my debut so soon after coming back to fitness.

“I came off the bench for the youth team just before the Roar game because I was just trying to get back into the swing of things, but I thought I might have a sniff with the first-team as (Josh) Risdon was suspended and they were a bit low on numbers.”

Roux was eventually introduced off the bench shortly after the hour-mark against Brisbane, slotting seamlessly into his accustomed right-back position and only denied a dream debut goal by a fine save from Michael Theo.

“I was a bit surprised because I thought I might have been a bit more nervous,” he said, “but I was more excited than anything else.

“Because I came on late in the game and we had most of the ball, I didn-t find it too difficult, I felt fine.

“And with the shot I had, Travis Dodd dropped it perfectly for me as I was running on and I just hit it instinctively really.

“I surprised myself at how much power I got on it.

“It would have been great to score, but I was still happy with the way I played.”

It was impossible not to notice how comfortable Roux was on the ball during his half-hour cameo at nib Stadium and he is quick to attribute that confidence in possession to the coaching skills of Kenny Lowe and Gareth Naven, the men who have overseen his progress through Glory’s youth team.

“I wouldn’t be half the player I am if it wasn’t for those two,” he said.

“They are so determined to make players good with their feet and able to move the ball all the time.

“They just want to produce quality players who can accept the ball under pressure and play under pressure.

“Playing out from the back is one of their main focuses, but really they are more focused on just making a player better in every way.

“We work every day at training on playing out from the back, looking forward and not losing possession and after training in those conditions all the time, it’s not that difficult to repeat it in a game situation.”

Modest and self-effacing, the likeable Roux is not one to promote himself, but his burgeoning talent has already brought him to the attention of our friends from across the Tasman.

Born in South Africa, he moved to New Zealand at the age of three and lived there until moving to Perth some 11 years later.

Set to become an Australian citizen later this month, he is technically triple-qualified, but feels very at home in the All Whites set-up.

“I’ve been over for two camps with the Under-20s squad, and we’ve got a qualifier in Fiji coming up in March which I’m really looking forward to,” he said.

“It’s just another great opportunity that’s come up for me in 2013.

“I do see myself as an Aussie as well as a Kiwi, but I’m ecstatic that New Zealand has given me the chance to play at international level.

“We’ve got a few boys in the Under-20s that are playing first-team football with Phoenix and some boys who are doing well in the UK as well and when I was over there in the two camps, the squad looked pretty good.”

At a domestic level, meanwhile, the presence of fellow youngsters Brandon O’Neill, Ndumba Makeche, Jack Clisby and Risdon has certainly eased Roux’s transition into the senior squad.

“It’s good to have youth in the squad and we’ve been close mates for a few years now so it makes it more comfortable in that first-team environment,” he said.

“We get plenty of banter thrown at us, but I think all the younger boys can stand up for themselves.

“And it’s great to have a few extra hands helping move all the training gear around!”