It’s All Guts & Glory Coming Out of Perth Right Now
December 08, 2014
Perth Glory are yet to taste the Ultimate A-League success but there’s strong signs indicating 2015 could be the season they lift the Hyundai trophy. Silverware could come even earlier with the Purple men set to fight it out with Adelaide to claim the inaugural FFA Cup. Could the Glory end their drought with a double…. perhaps even a treble? With the minor premiership also a possibility. They’ve started the season in scintillating form leaving many wondering will the Westerners win it all?
Perth’s Purple Patch to Start the Season
All the way on the other side of the country there’s dark and purple skies, with a team taking the A-League by storm. Perth are out on their own, on top of the pile having made a superb start to the season. With a third of the campaign complete the Glory sit in first spot on 22 points after 7 wins from their first 9 games. The only blotch on the scrapbook so far is a defeat to the high flying Adelaide while a draw with the reigning champions in Brisbane isn’t exactly a shocking result.
Perth proved they were ready for round 1 after returning from the longest away trip in domestic football with all 3 points. The Glory’s 2-1 win over the Phoenix in Wellington was just their second triumph in New Zealand in the club’s history. While Super sub Jamie Maclaren’s late winner would be a sign of things to come from an outfit which had discovered a never say die determination.
The Glory left it even later to claim victory over Brisbane in round 2. The hosts never led the match, trailing 1 nil and 2-1 before sending their home fans into delirium in injury time. Import Andy Keogh’s brace in the final 20 minutes proved Glory’s gutsy win over Wellington was no fluke. After the red hot Reds ended Perth’s perfect start, the Glory again gave their supporters a scare at home. Newcastle nicked a late lead on the road before Jamie jumped off the bench to be the match winner yet again. Maclaren scored twice in 3 minutes to give Perth an unthinkable advantage and they held the Jets out for the remaining 10 minutes to secure a third win.
A less dramatic but hard fought 1 nil win over the Mariners on the Central Coast was followed by consecutive 2-1 home victories over the Wanderers and Wellington and suddenly Perth were the number one side. The league leaders got a good draw with the Roar on the road before their much anticipated top of the table clash with Sydney. The Sky Blues took a deserved lead early in the second half and were on their way to ending Perth’s undefeated run before the Glory’s guts and steel stunned Allianz Stadium. Goals from the visitors in the 83rd and 87th minute gave Glory another outstanding result and left many believing Perth’s passion could see them take the title.
Luck of the Irish – Andy Inspirational
There’s no doubt coach Kenny Lowe has his side playing for one another; Perth’s performances have been terrific team efforts. And while the saying might go that “there’s no I in team,” there’s plenty of I’s in Irish Import and all eyes have been on Andy Keogh. The striker has been brilliant in his first season with the club. At 28 Keogh’s not an overseas international that’s come for a holiday, he’s still in his prime and Perth are benefiting. He’s not only netted 6 times in the A-League but he’s also banged in a hatful of goals in the FFA Cup. Important equalisers, late winners and nerve racking penalties… the former premier league player is proving his worth.
So Perth’s sensational start to the season sees them with a perfect record at home taking a maximum 12 points from NIB stadium. They’re also unbeaten in their past 6 games securing 15 from a possible 18 points. While 10 points from 15 on the road is an excellent return. But surely it’s the team’s attitude that has most impressed the coach. The side’s picked up plenty of points from losing positions with final flourishes proving pivotal. The kings of the late show have scored 7 goals in the final 15 minutes of matches just under half of their tally for the season. But as fans and pundits start to speculate how far the Glory can go, the players themselves will take it 1 game at a time. Next up is Newcastle at NIB stadium.