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Versatile Perkatis joins Glory squad

Yianni Perkatis - Perth Glory FC

Perth Glory is pleased to confirm that midfielder Yianni Perkatis has signed for the club.

The former Western Sydney Wanderers man has joined on a short-term deal which runs to the end of the current Hyundai A-League campaign.

The 26-year-old is a former Australia Under-17 and Under-20 representative who made eight Hyundai A-League appearances during two seasons at Wanderers under current Glory Head Coach, Tony Popovic.

Perkatis, who also enjoyed two successful spells at NPL NSW club Blacktown City, tried his luck overseas at Cypriot side Ethnikos Assia and in the Philippines with Global FC before returning to Australia in 2017 and linking up with Sydney United.

Glory Football Director Jacob Burns, himself a former Sydney United midfielder, believes that Perkatis is an excellent addition to the squad.

“Yianni has been a standout in the NPL NSW since returning from his time overseas,” he said.

“We do, of course, have strong links with Sydney United through both Head Coach Tony Popovic and myself and have been aware of Yianni’s impressive form for some time.

“He’s a talented, versatile midfielder who can play in the middle or at the back if required and he will add quality and depth to our squad during the busy period we have ahead.

“We’re confident that he will grab this opportunity with both hands and in doing so, press his claim to secure a longer-term deal with the club.”

Perkatis himself, meanwhile, is understandably relishing the prospect of returning to Hyundai A-League action.

“I was thrilled when Tony Popovic told me there was a potential opportunity for me to come and join the Glory squad,” he said.

“I’m now really excited and looking forward to coming into the squad and getting to know the other players.

“I’m aiming to develop as a player and as a person, help the club to win a trophy and explore any opportunities there might be with Perth going into next season.”

Like fellow-new recruit Thomas James, Perkatis will join up with the rest of the Glory squad upon their arrival in Sydney later today.

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Glory snap up Wollongong hot-shot

Thomas James - Perth Glory FC

Perth Glory is pleased to confirm that striker Thomas James has signed for the club.

The 27-year-old, who scored 24 goals for Wollongong Wolves in the NPL NSW last season en route to claiming the competition’s Golden Boot and Player of the Year Award, has put pen to paper on a deal that will run through to the end of the current campaign.

London-born James was a part of the youth system at Nottingham Forest and played for Boston United in the UK before moving to Australia in 2015 and duly scoring a remarkable 80 goals in 83 games for Canberra FC in the NPL Capital Football competition.

Having continued his prolific form in front of goal at Wollongong, James was linked with a number of Hyundai A-League clubs over the past 12 months and Glory Football Director Jacob Burns is delighted that the club have managed to secure the frontman’s services.

"Thomas is a player that we’ve been monitoring for some time," he said, "and we’ve given him this short-term deal with a view to it being extended should he impress when the season resumes.

"A quick and versatile central striker with a proven goalscoring record, we believe he has the ability to play at a higher level and look forward to seeing him prove that in the coming weeks.

"He will give us another exciting attacking option during what will be an intensive period with the games coming thick and fast."

James himself, meanwhile, is understandably relishing the opportunity to reignite his professional football ambitions with Glory.

"This was the solid offer that I was waiting for and from a top club like Perth Glory, it was impossible to knock back," he said.

"Now I just want to enjoy every minute, have no regrets and get on the field as much as I can because I know I’ll score a few goals, that’s for sure.

"I was actually in hospital when I found out about Glory’s interest because I’d just had a new-born baby boy, so I was super-excited about the birth of my child and about the opportunity to play for Perth."

Current Wollongong Head Coach and former Socceroo Luke Wilkshire is similarly confident that James has what it takes to make the step up from NPL level.

"He’s a goalscorer, he’s quick and creative and always a threat for defenders," he said.

"He’s always had that goalscoring ability, but he’s now brought more into his game off the ball as well, improved mentally and physically and I have no doubt that he’s good enough to be playing in the A-League."

James will join up with the rest of the Glory squad upon their arrival in Sydney.

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Diego Castro - Perth Glory FC

Perth Glory can confirm that Diego Castro has withdrawn from the squad which will complete the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season, citing health reasons relating to COVID-19.

The Glory skipper informed the club that he viewed his participation to be an unacceptable health risk for him and/or his family.

Glory CEO Tony Pignata said that the club respected Castro’s decision.

"It is very unfortunate that Diego will not be available for the remainder of the season,” he said, “but we understand this personal decision that he has come to after careful consideration."

Those sentiments were echoed by Glory Football Director, Jacob Burns.

"Obviously we’re very disappointed to have lost a player and leader of Diego’s quality,” he said, "but his absence will create an opportunity for other members of what is a strong, versatile squad united in its aim to build upon last season’s historic success."

The club will not be issuing any further comment on this matter at this time.

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Courtesy Perth Glory.

Please see below for a statement issued today by Football Federation Australia (FFA) regarding the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season:

Football Federation Australia (FFA) today re-confirmed its intention to resume the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season as soon as possible, identifying a number of criteria that need to be satisfied before a firm date for the resumption could be set.

Those criteria include the sustainable provision of:

• Player and staff Health and Safety threshold requirements
• State and Federal border restrictions being lifted
• Large gathering restrictions allowing for the required squads and support staff to gather
• Social distancing protocols being agreed with governments to allow the holding of professional games

The FFA confirmed that it is in ongoing dialogue with government health authorities on all of these elements with thresholds for activation being identified.

Any recommencement would require an initial period of training and conditioning for club squads in order to ensure both the health and safety of the Hyundai A-League’s elite players and the integrity of the competition.

FFA Chief Executive James Johnson said there was agreement between the FFA and the clubs that the season would be completed:

“Our goal is to deliver live, professional football and complete the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season, and we have set a number of criteria that will define when this is going to be possible.
“Our priority remains the health and safety of all players and staff and we will need to be satisfied that appropriate measures are in place to ensure this. Secondly, we will need to meet all government restrictions in place at the time, including state/territory border controls. Finally, any decision to resume will be made in full alignment with Government and its medical advisors.
“We will resume play as soon as possible, and the first stage would see the players return to training. We would then schedule matches. It is difficult to see that process beginning before the end of May, but we will work with all stakeholders to achieve the earliest possible resumption.
“Football takes its responsibilities as a good corporate citizen very seriously, and remains committed to working in partnership with the Government to slow the spread of COVID-19. At the same time, we want to play our part in supporting the social and mental wellbeing of the Australian football family and all sports-loving Australians.
“Ultimately, the coronavirus will have the final say on when we can get the season started again, and completed.
“We want to thank the clubs and players who have been understanding of the current circumstances and worked collaboratively with us in relation to this matter throughout this period. I would also like to acknowledge our supporters, commercial partners and football community who continue to remain engaged and connected during this difficult time, and we thank them for their continued support."

FFA will continue to work with the clubs as well as our broadcasters and provide a further update in May 2020. In the meantime, please stay engaged with the Hyundai A-League and Clubs through all our social channels.

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Western United game postponed

Perth Glory can confirm that, unfortunately, Monday evening's scheduled behind-closed-doors home game against Western United has been postponed.

More details to follow...

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Quit With Darren

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Glory bag six in stunning victory over Jets

Glory maintained their impressive recent form and as they turned on the style to secure a stunning 6-2 victory over Newcastle Jets in what was the club's final game of the decade at HBF Park.

Bruno Fornaroli and Diego Castro led the way for Glory by helping themselves to two goals apiece, while Neil Kilkenny and Joel Chianese also got on the scoresheet for the hosts who ended the day in fourth place on the Hyundai A-League ladder.

Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Steven Ugarkovic, meanwhile, replied for the Jets who showed plenty of attacking intent themselves during what was an enthralling encounter from start to finish.

Castro's 15th-minute free-kick gave Glory the lead and although that was quickly cancelled out by Topor-Stanley's header, Kilkenný's penalty ensured that the men in purple were 2-1 up at the break.

Chianese then added a third almost immediately after the restart and despite the Jets again responding quickly through Ugarkovic, this time Glory pulled away as Fornaroli struck twice before Castro added the sixth late on.

Unsurprisingly, Head Coach Tony Popovic was delighted with both the performance and the result.

"It was a really good day for us," he said. "Scoring six goals in front of our own fans is quite special and we continue on a good run.

"We keep improving and those chances we were creating earlier in the season are now starting to go in.

"Overall I thought we played very well.

"It's a great way to finish this part of the season off before Christmas and I'm sure our fans will enjoy Christmas a lot more now.

"Now we need to recover well, enjoy our family time over Christmas and then get ready for a tough away game at Central Coast.

"We didn't get too down when the results weren't there at the start and we're not going to get too ahead of ourselves now because of winning a few games.

"Obviously we'll enjoy this victory, but we'll very quickly move on to the next challenge."

Making light of the hot conditions, Glory began brightly and took the lead in spectacular style through Castro.

Topor-Stanley's foul on Fornaroli handed the Spaniard an enticing shooting opportunity and he needed no second invitation to take it, bending an inch-perfect effort around the wall into the bottom corner of Glen Moss' net.

Yet Glory's lead was to prove short-lived as a Petratos free-kick was headed back across the area via Lachlan Jackson and then Angus Thurgate, eventually reaching Topor-Stanley who nodded home from point-blank range.

Undaunted, Glory hit back swiftly, this time from the spot.

James Meredith's surging run into the box was brought to an unceremonious end when he was tripped by the lunging Ben Kantarovski and unaffected by a lengthy VAR referral, Kilkenny calmly sent Moss the wrong way from the spot to restore his side's advantage.

There as a minor scare for Glory on the stroke of half-time, but Liam Reddy did enough to push Jason Hoffman's shot away as it threatened to creep in at the far post.

The action continued unabated after the re-start, with two high-quality goals within the opening six minutes.

Chianese's powerful strike from the edge of the box initially made it 3-1 to the hosts, before their lead was again reduced to a single goal when the impressive Petratos played Ugarkovic in on goal and the midfielder applied a neat finish to claim his first goal since 2017.

3-2 then became 4-2 just short of the hour-mark, Castro's trickery carving out a chance for Fornaroli whose low shot took a deflection off Kantarovski which left Moss totally wrong-footed as the ball crept across the line.

There was nothing fortunate about the Uruguayan's second and Glory's fifth, however, Chianese featuring prominently in the approach work before Fornaroli cleverly delayed his shot, dragged the ball onto his left foot and crashed it into the corner of the net.

And the cake was iced in sumptuous style eight minutes from the end when Castro cut into the box and rifled an unstoppable effort beyond Moss to claim his eighth goal in 12 appearances against the Jets.

There was still time for Meredith to have what would have been his first goal in Glory colours chalked off by the VAR for a handball in the build-up, but nothing was going to take the edge off the festivities among the home faithful which were in full swing well before the final whistle.

Match Details

Perth Glory 6 (Castro 15', 82', Kilkenny (pen) 32', Chianese 47', Fornaroli 58', 71') Newcastle Jets 2 (Topor-Stanley 26', Ugarkovic 51')

Half-time: 2-1

HBF Park
Attendance: 6585
Referee: Adam Kersey
Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Southern
Fourth Official: Shane Skinner
VAR: Kate Jacewicz

Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Alex GRANT (3.Jacob TRATT, 46'), 4.Gregory WUTHRICH, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.James MEREDITH, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO (c), 27.JUANDE (20.Jake BRIMMER 72'), 88.Neil KILKENNY

Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 12.Kim SOO-BEOM, 18.Nicholas D’AGOSTINO, 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC

Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None

Newcastle Jets: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 10.Dimi PETRATOS, 16.Matt MILLAR, 22.Lachlan JACKSON (18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS 46'), 23.Matt RIDENTON (11.Nick FITZGERALD 60'), 28.Pat LANGLOIS, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY

Substitutes not used: 2.Bobby BURNS, 19.Kosta PETRATOS, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk)

Yellow Cards: Jackson, Langlois
Red Cards: None

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