Zdrilic appointed Glory ALM Head Coach

Perth Glory is delighted to confirm David Zdrilic as the club’s new Isuzu UTE A-League Head Coach.

View his opening media conference in full HERE.

He arrives having spent six years coaching in Europe and the USA before returning to Australia in August 2023 to become Assistant Head Coach at Sydney FC.

The former Socceroo’s impressive resume includes working alongside world-renowned coaches Ralf Rangnick, Julian Nagelsmann and Ralph Hasenhuttl at RB Leipzig in Germany, gaining experience of America’s MLS as Assistant Head Coach at Chicago Fire and becoming the first Australian to hold a coaching position in Italy’s Serie A when he joined Genoa in 2022.

Zdrilic, who has signed a three -year deal with Glory, is excited by the opportunity and what lies ahead.

“I’m extremely honoured and proud to be the new Head Coach of Perth Glory,” he said.

“I’m delighted to be here and can’t wait to start playing my part in driving the club forward.

“Perth Glory is starting an exciting new era with a new owner in Ross Pelligra, a new-look playing squad and new coaching staff.

“There is a lot of hard work to be done, but the challenge is extremely exciting.

“Not only are we looking to improve results in the coming years, but we are looking to embrace a totally new way of playing.

“There will be a new, distinctive style and it is one I hope our supporters will embrace.

“Perth Glory is one of the few clubs where the entire city – and the entire state – gets behind one team.

“That ‘12th man’ is something we want to build on and use to our advantage.

“I know how proud our Members and fans are of this club’s history, but I also know how hungry everyone here is to start winning again.

“In terms of my coaching philosophy, drawing on my Red Bull background, our team will play an attacking, high-intensity brand of football which gets our Members and fans out of their seats.

“That style is very much aligned to Perth Glory’s DNA.

“We’ve assembled a squad of talented, dynamic and hungry players who are keen to play aggressive football on the front foot both in attack and defence.

“The club’s supporters have stayed loyal during the difficult times and now we want to repay them for that faith by developing a team and a playing style they can enjoy, relate to and be proud of. 

“I’m keenly aware of Perth Glory’s proud traditions and past successes and along with the staff and players, we are ready to re-establish this great club as a major force in Australian football.”

Glory Owner and Chairman Ross Pelligra believes that the appointment of Zdrilic represents a major coup for the club.

“David is a highly-credentialled, highly-regarded Australian coach and we are delighted to welcome him to the club as we open an exciting new chapter in our history,” he said.

“His appointment is a critical component of our strategy to reconnect and deliver a successful and sustainable Perth Glory to the Western Australian community.

“He has a clear vision and a strong commitment to a bold, ambitious and exciting style of play which will help reignite our Perth Glory.

“We look forward to working with David to drive the club forward in the coming seasons and I wish him every success in the role.”

Glory CEO Anthony Radich is similarly thrilled to have Zdrilic on board.

“David has learned his trade by working with some of the finest and most innovative tactical minds in world football,” he said.

“His high-intensity, attack-minded philosophy aligns with the vision our ownership has for the club going forward and the kind of entertaining playing style that our loyal Members and fans want to see.

“Our Football Director, Stan Lazaridis, has assembled a squad of players closely aligned to David’s playing philosophy and we are extremely excited to see them develop under his leadership.

“We are very pleased to have brought in a coach of David’s calibre and believe that he will play a pivotal role in helping bring success back to the club.”

David Zdrilic Bio

Zdrilic enjoyed a 17-year professional playing career during which he plied his trade in five countries and scored 21 goals in 31 appearances for the Socceroos.

A combative striker, he topped the NSL goalscoring chart for Sydney United in 1997 and then spent the next seven years in Europe where he played for FC Aarau in Switzerland, SSV Ulm, SpVgg Unterhaching and Eintracht Trier in Germany, Walsall in England and Aberdeen in Scotland.

The Sydneysider returned home in 2005 and immediately helped Sydney FC become the inaugural A-League champions.

After nearly 60 games for the Sky Blues and a one-season return to Sydney United, he hung up his boots in 2010.

At international level, meanwhile, Glory’s new Head Coach debuted for the Socceroos in 1997, scored his first goal in green-and-gold against Paraguay in 2000 and found the net no fewer than eight times in the famous 31-0 victory over American Samoa a year later.

His final international goal came at Subiaco Oval during a 2005 friendly victory over Indonesia, taking his overall tally to 21.

Having already combined dugout duties with playing at Sydney United during the final year of his on-field career, Zdrilic furthered his coaching education via a series of trips to Europe’s top clubs while also working extensively in the media, notably with SBS, ESPN and Fox Sports.

He duly joined the staff of leading Bundesliga side RB Leipzig in 2017 where he was reunited with one of his former managers, Ralf Rangnick, the renowned architect of the high-octane gegenpressing tactic and future Head Coach of Manchester United.

His time at Leipzig was to prove hugely significant for Zdrilic as he honed his coaching skills under the influence of Rangnick, as well as Julian Nagelsmann, currently Head Coach of the Germany national team and Ralph Hasenhuttl, who is now in charge of Vfl Wolfsburg.

Three years later, he took up the role of Assistant Head Coach at MLS club Chicago Fire, before returning to Europe to work firstly at Belgian outfit K.V. Oostende and subsequently with Genoa in Italy’s top flight.

In August 2023, Zdrilic was appointed Assistant Head Coach at Sydney FC.