Match Preview: Popa excited by Glory’s ‘huge’ potential


Tony Popovic is relishing the way his Glory side is developing as they set out to secure back-to-back wins by downing the Central Coast Mariners at HBF Park on Sunday (kick off at 3pm, tickets available HERE).


The men in purple remain unbeaten this term after building on draws against Brisbane Roar and Western United by defeating Wellington Phoenix last time out.

And the Head Coach believes that his charges are showing steady improvement.

“That win [over Wellington] just confirms that we played well in the first two games, just not over the 90 minutes for various reasons,” he said.

“We’re still not at 90 minutes, that’s for sure, but we certainly increased the quality and the time we spent playing at a very good level.

“They [the players] are all happy about that.

“They have some points to show for it in terms of a win from what is a very difficult away trip for us and now we can see that they’re all looking forward to playing at home in front of our fans and their families and friends.

“We want to do all we can to perform well and get those three points at home.

“With each match, there’s been an improvement and we expect that to continue.

“We certainly don’t feel after a win that we are now at our best, but we have certainly improved and now we hope to continue seeing those improvements for a long period.”

Popovic went on to express his delight at the on-field chemistry which has already developed between attacking trio Diego Castro, Bruno Fornaroli and Chris Ikonomidis.

 “The potential of the front three is huge,” he said.

“When you think where Bruno’s been and what’s possible with him and with Chris, after a four month lay-off due to his shoulder injury and Diego, who is probably like a really good bottle of wine; he just keep getting better and better.

“Hopefully that combination can keep flourishing and with the support of the players behind them, we can keep getting them the ball in the right areas where they can really express themselves and show their quality.”

The Mariners, meanwhile, will head West having produced decent performances in both of their opening two games and Popovic is expecting them to provide a stern test.

“What we’ve seen of them is that they are a very well-organised team,” he said.

“You can see that there is a real fighting spirit amongst them and they’re all working for each other really hard and they have some talented players.

“They’ve had a week off with the bye, so we expect them to be very fresh and come with high intensity from the start and we’ve got to be ready for that.

“But we’re also confident in our own ability that we can continue on from Wellington and put in a very good performance.”

In terms of early team news, Glory duo Nick D’Agostino and Jake Brimmer are closing in on a return to full fitness and could come into contention for selection, but Kristian Popovic is unavailable due to international commitments with the Young Socceroos. 

Match Details

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Perth Glory v Central Coast Mariners

HBF Park, Perth

Kick-Off: 3:00pm (Local) 

Referee: Kurt Ams

Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella

Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Southern

Fourth Official: Shane Skinner

VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvCCM

Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Jacob TRATT, 4.Gregory WUTHRICH, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 12.Kim SOO-BEOM 13.Osama MALIK, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 17.Diego CASTRO (c), 18.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 27.JUANDE, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY

**2-4 to be omitted**

Ins: 14.Chris HAROLD (promoted), 15.Brandon WILSON (promoted), 18.Nick D’AGOSTINO (returns from injury), 20.Jake BRIMMER (returns from injury)

Outs: 29.Kristian POPOVIC (international duty)

Unavailable: Nil

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Ian Zygmunt GORDON, 3.Jack CLISBY, 4.Eunsun KIM, 6.Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO, 7.Milan DURIC, 8.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 9.Jordan MURRAY, 10.Thomas OAR, 11.Daniel DE SILVA, 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 14.Abraham MAJOK, 15.Kye ROWLES, 16.Dylan FOX, 17.Samuel SILVERA, 18.Gianni STENSNESS, 19.Matthew SIMON, 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 22.Jacob MELLING, 26.Joshua NISBET 

**2-4 to be omitted**

Ins: 22.Jacob MELLING (Promoted), 26.Joshua NISBET (Promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 25.John ROBERTS (International Duty)