Perth Glory is delighted to confirm that the club's prestige friendly against English Premier League giants Chelsea at Optus Stadium will take place on Monday 23rd July.
The date was revealed by WA Tourism Minister Paul Papalia at a press conference held at Optus Stadium earlier today. Chelsea were represented by their former goalkeeper and Socceroos legend Mark Schwarzer, while ex-club skipper and current Head of Football Jacob Burns and CEO Peter Filopoulos headed up Glory's delegation at the well-attended event.
"This international friendly between Perth Glory and Chelsea, is a huge coup for Western Australian and football fans throughout Australia and Asia," said Filopoulos. "It is also an enormous opportunity for our club to play in front of a large attendance at the new, world class Optus Stadium in its rectangular configuration against a prestigious international football club in Chelsea. "The scheduling of this game is ideally placed and the club will be using it as a platform from which to build its pre-season preparations for the 2018 FFA Cup and 2018/19 Hyundai A-League season."
Perth Glory members have an opportunity to be first in line for tickets to this game with a pre-sale window set to commence on Monday 12 February.
Perth Glory Football Club would like to add its congratulations to our Westfield W-League captain Sam Kerr who was today announced as Young Australian of the Year.
The club is immensely proud of Sam’s achievements on the pitch both domestically and at international level and also of the way she conducts herself away from the game.
And Glory CEO Peter Filopoulos feels that the 24-year-old Fremantle local is a very worthy winner of the award.
“Everyone associated with the club is absolutely thrilled for Sam,” he said.
“She had an incredible year in 2017 and thoroughly deserves to receive this hugely prestigious honour in recognition of her achievements.
“But her goalscoring feats and incredibly consistent form for clubs and country are only part of what make her a very special individual.
“Her dedication, commitment and work ethic, along with her humble and down-to-earth personality, make her a superb ambassador for Perth Glory and an ideal role model for all young people and young female sportspeople in particular.
“Sam has done an incredible amount to raise the profile of women’s football and women’s sport in general in this country and we’re sure that she will continue to do so in what promises to be another massive year for her in 2018.”
Kerr becomes just the fourth sportswoman to be named Young Australian of the Year, following in the illustrious footsteps of Deahnne McIntyre, Cathy Freeman and Jacqueline Freney.
The award caps an incredible 12 months for the striker in which she was also named MVP and claimed the Golden Boot in the American National Women’s Soccer League, took out the AFC Women’s Player of the Year award and the W-League Julie Dolan Medal and was included in the Best FIFA Women’s Player top ten.
Perth Glory have made their second signing of the week with experienced Socceroos midfielder Neil Kilkenny putting pen to paper following a season-and-a-half stint at Melbourne City.
The 32-year-old's arrival follows that of Dino Djulbic whose return to the club was confirmed on Tuesday.
A versatile, industrious and uncompromising performer who also boasts a fine range of passing, Kilkenny has spent almost his entire career to date in England where, after coming through the youth ranks at Arsenal, he played for Oldham Athletic (loan), Birmingham City, Leeds United, Bristol City and Preston North End.
He made a total of almost 350 first-team appearances in British football before joining Melbourne City in 2016 and claiming their Player of the Year and Fans' Player of the Year awards at the end of his first season with the club.
At international level, meanwhile, he currently has 14 Socceroos caps to his name and featured in the 2011 Asian Cup Final against Japan.
Having flown into Perth on Wednesday evening, the man who was born in Enfield, England cannot wait to get back into action.
"I'm excited to have joined the club and am really keen to make the most of this opportunity," he said.
"We have a strong squad here and I'm looking forward to doing my bit to help drive us into the finals.
"That's the aim and I'm confident that we can achieve it."
Glory's Head of Football, Jacob Burns, believes that Kilkenny will prove an excellent addition to the squad.
"Neil has a wealth of experience and a winning mentality which will prove hugely beneficial for the whole playing group," he said.
"He will have a vital role to play in the midfield engine-room and can also slot in at centre-back if required which is another major plus.
"A number of other clubs both in Australia and overseas were keen to sign him, so we're delighted that we managed to beat off the competition and get him on board."
Kilkenny's deal runs through to the end of the current campaign and he will wear the number 88 shirt.
Head Coach Kenny Lowe has confirmed that the new recruit could come into his selection plans for Sunday's clash with Western Sydney Wanderers at nib Stadium (Kick off at 5.30pm WST).
Dino Djulbic is set for a third spell with Perth Glory after signing a deal with the club that runs through to the end of the 2018/19 Hyundai A-League season.
The Perth-raised defender originally joined in 2007 and featured for two seasons before embarking upon a global football journey that featured stints in Germany, China, UAE and also with the now-defunct Gold Coast United.
He returned to Glory in 2014 and spent a further three campaigns with the club, during which time he took his tally of appearances in purple to 85.
The 34-year-old spent last season playing for Malaysian outfit Felda United before joining Melbourne Victory on a short-term injury-replacement contract earlier this month.
A huge fans' favourite throughout his long association with the club, Djulbic is thrilled to be back on familiar ground.
"It's fantastic to be back for a third spell at Glory," he said. "I have a long history and great connection with the club and have had loads of people welcoming me back which has been great.
"I just can't wait to get back into it and hopefully do my bit to help drive us into the finals."
Those sentiments were echoed by Glory's Head of Football, Jacob Burns.
"“Dino is a local WA boy who has been a rock for us in the past and we’re delighted to welcome him back on board," he said.
“He's a fantastic character on and off the field who will add great leadership and experience to the group.”
Djulbic will wear shirt number 66 and is expected to feature in Sunday's home clash with Western Sydney Wanderers.
No one is more excited about Glory's Westfield W-League clash with Canberra United on Saturday than Tash Rigby.
The 24-year-old, who has been a regular in Bobby Despotovski's side this season, hails from nearby Margaret River and is thrilled that those in the south-west region will have the opportunity to watch W-League football live and unfiltered.
"I so extremely excited to take this game to Bunbury," she said. "I'm counting the minutes until kick off! I am so incredibly proud of the area that I grew up in and I feel honoured to be able to go and play back in front of some very special people that helped shape who I am today."
In addition to the game against Canberra at Hay Park (kick off at 4.30pm), Glory are also laying on a program of free Go For 2&5 coaching clinics in Bunbury, Busselton and Dunsborough that start on Friday and run right through to Sunday.
And as someone who is closely involved in youth development through her job with Football West, Rigby is sure that the clinics will prove hugely popular.
"It is so nice to give something back to the surrounding regional towns that show us so much support," she said. "I know how much they will appreciate this and it fills my heart to the brim!
"We are all very excited for the clinics. It is going to be so great to have some fun with the next up-and-coming superstars of the south-west and I personally know more than a few young girls who will be beside themselves to see our 'El Capitano', Sammy Kerr, in Bunbury!"
The Canberra clash itself, meanwhile, is very much a must-win game for Glory who currently sit three points outside the top four with only two games of the regular season left to play.
As it stands, they need to win both of their remaining games and hope that results elsewhere go their way if they are to book a place in the finals, but Rigby is confident that they can do just that.
"We have had a bit of a rough run as of late," she said, "but if I know anything about this team, it's that we always stick by one another, through thick and thin, and that is what really sets us apart. "We are such a tight-knit family and our cohesion and chemistry on and off the field is what I believe will get us through.
"I know we still have a chance to make finals depending on a few results. Although we lost against Sydney, we were really happy with our performance and hopefully we can run with that positive attitude and momentum into our final two games. We have got this!"
Glory will be out to avenge their 3-2 defeat at the hands of United in Round 5 and with the top six sides on the ladder separated by just seven points, the race for the finals looks very much set to go down to the wire.
So make sure you get along to Hay Park on Saturday and get behind the Glory!