Glory's 2018/19 Hyundai A-League fixtures released

Perth Glory FC

Glory's 2018/19 Hyundai A-League fixtures released

The 2018/19 Hyundai A-League fixtures have been released and there is plenty for Perth Glory members and fans to look forward to during what promises to be a fascinating campaign.

The adoption of FIFA international windows and Asian Champions League breaks means a slightly later start and finish than in previous years and Glory have been handed an absolute cracker first up in the form of a Round One home clash with Western Sydney Wanderers.

New Head Coach Tony Popovic and assistant Hayden Foxe do, of course, head up a substantial ex-Wanderers contingent here in the West which also includes the likes of Matt Spiranovic, Brendon Santalab, Liam Reddy and Scott Neville.

Following that intriguing showdown, Popovic's side face an away trip to reigning champions Melbourne Victory and a home fixture against Brisbane, with an away game at Adelaide rounding things off ahead of the first FIFA break.

November is completed by a visit to nib Stadium from the Mariners and then it's full steam ahead into a five-game December.

Melbourne City and Sydney FC will both be in Perth before Christmas, with those games split by Glory's only trip of the season across the Tasman to face Wellington and a shorter journey to the club's happiest away hunting ground, Newcastle.

Glory will finish 2018 in Gosford taking on Central Coast, before embarking upon a remarkable run of five home games in the space of just 25 days.

Sydney FC, Western Sydney Wanderers, Adelaide United, Newcastle Jets and Wellington Phoenix will all feature at nib Stadium between January 9th and February 2nd.

Highlights of the final third of the campaign, meanwhile, include two more trips to Melbourne to face Victory (February 10th) and City (March 3rd), a meeting with Sydney FC in the unfamiliar surroundings of the SCG (due to the redevelopment of Allianz Stadium) and a home fixture against Wellington to round out the regular season.

14 of the club's games this term are at home, five of which kick off at 7pm on a Saturday, while we also have six Sunday fixtures, four of which have 5pm starts.

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Glory swoop for Portuguese winger

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Perth Glory is delighted to announce that Portuguese winger/attacking midfielder Fabio Ferreira has signed a one-year deal with the club.

Ferreira was on the books of both Sporting Lisbon and Chelsea as a teenager, during which time he represented Portugal at every level from Under-16 through to Under-19.

The skilful and versatile attacking midfielder first came to the attention of Hyundai A-League followers when he debuted for Adelaide United in 2012.

He went on to make 51 league appearances for the Reds across three seasons, scoring 13 goals in the process and coming off the bench against Glory in the 2014 FFA Cup Final.

The 29-year-old boasted a similarly impressive record at his next club, Central Coast Mariners, for whom he found the net 15 times in 55 games.

After a spell in Malaysia with PKNS FC, he returned to Australia last season where he signed a short-term deal with Sydney FC and featured five times as the Sky Blues won the Premiership.

Having impressed during a recent trial period with Glory, he is delighted to have earned a deal here in the West.

“Tony [Popovic] asked me to come here for two weeks and he’s decided to keep me, so I’ve signed a contract for the season,” he said.

“Everything has gone well and I’m very pleased to have signed.

“It’s been a tough couple of weeks, but that’s the way it has to be. You have to work hard if you want to win.

“I’ve scored a few goals and played quite well against Glory in the past and now I want to play well against every other team!

“It’s looking very promising here. The players are training well and looking in great shape.”

Glory Football Director Jacob Burns, meanwhile, feels that Ferreira's arrival will significantly bolster the club's attacking options.

"Fabio is an experienced and skilful player who knows the league," he said.

"He can play anywhere across the front third which means the manager is going to have some great selection headaches in that area this year."

Further player announcements are expected in the very near future.

Keeper Velaphi back for more Glory

Perth Glory

Perth Glory is delighted to announce that Tando Velaphi has signed a one–year deal with the club.

It marks a second spell at Glory for the 31-year-old goalkeeper who chalked up more than 70 appearances for the club between 2007 and 2011.

The Perth local made his Hyundai A-League debut for Queensland Roar back in 2007 and has also featured in the competition for Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and most recently, Wellington Phoenix.

In addition to his extensive domestic experience, the former Australia Under-20 and Under-23 representative has also plied his trade overseas, spending two years in Japan with Shonan Bellmare.

"The project here at Glory is something that I'm really excited for and I didn't have to think twice about coming back," he said.
"With the team we're putting together and the boss coming on board, we have high expectations and we want to deliver on the field.
"Personally, I'm going to push as hard as I can for the number one position. There's going to be a lot of competition for spots and that can only benefit the team as it will mean everyone's being pushed to their limits. That's what it's all about at this level.
"Hopefully everyone from front to back can work together in unison to push towards something really special for the club."

Glory Football Director Jacob Burns, meanwhile, was quick to praise Velaphi as both a player and an individual.

"It's nice to welcome back a WA player," he said. "Tando is a wonderful character and a fantastic pro who obviously knows the club well.
"He's a great addition to the squad and will provide great competition for the number one spot between the sticks this season."

Further player announcements are expected in the near future.

Socceroos centre-back signs for Glory

Perth Glory FC

Perth Glory is delighted to announce the signing of Socceroo Matthew Spiranovic.

The club fought off plenty of competition from around the Hyundai A-League and overseas to secure the services of the defender, who has signed a one-year deal.

Spiranovic is a high-profile addition to the squad having played 35 times for the Socceroos. The centre-back, who is also comfortable playing as a holding midfielder, was a crucial member of the 2015 Asian Cup winning side under Ange Postecoglou, with Spiranovic starting in the heart of the defence for the 2-1 extra-time win over South Korea in the Final.

The 29-year-old is a product of the Australian Institute of Sport, and after graduating from the program he was signed by Bundesliga side FC Nurnberg in 2007, where he went on to make 24 appearances during his four years at the club.

Spiranovic then made the move on loan to J-League heavyweights Urawa Red Diamonds, and after impressing during the 2010 campaign he penned a permanent deal.

After two seasons in the Japanese top flight, Spiranovic’s signature was being chased by a number of clubs around Europe, including the Premier League. He would go on to join Al Arabi in the Qatari league for the 2012-13 season before returning to Australia with Western Sydney Wanderers where he first worked under Tony Popovic.

Spiranovic enjoyed a highly successful couple of seasons in the Hyundai A-League with the Wanderers where he played a key role in taking the side to the Premiership in 2013 and leading the side to a famous Asian Champions League triumph in 2014.

Following 31 games for Western Sydney, Spiranovic earned a lucrative transfer to Chinese Super League side Hangzhou Greentown where he made 49 appearances between 2015-17 before heading West to Perth Glory.

"I'm really happy to have signed with Perth Glory, it's great to be back in Australia playing football," Spiranovic said. "It's fair to say Popovic has had a big influence on my decision to come to the club, he's a fantastic coach with a winning mentality.

"It's a new challenge, this club has a rich history and I'm going to help this team in any way I can to bring success back to Perth."

Football Director Jacob Burns believes this is a major coup for the club.

“Spiranovic brings a lot of class and composure to the side, he’s someone that is very comfortable on the ball and can play both in defence and midfield," Burns added. “He has a fantastic pedigree having been involved with the Socceroos since 2008 and is another quality acquisition to the team.”

Further player announcements are expected in the very near future.

Santalab adds firepower to Glory

Perth Glory is pleased to announce the signing of Brendon Santalab.

Brendon Santalab

The highly experienced striker has joined the club on a one-year deal and will link up with Tony Popovic yet again after working together at Western Sydney Wanderers.

The diminutive forward heads to Perth following a five-year spell with the Wanderers where he scored 34 times in 94 appearances.

Santalab began his career in the old NSL with Paramatta Power in 2000 and went on to enjoy time with Sydney United before being signed by Singaporean heavyweights Geylang United in 2003.

Following a prolific season for Geylang, where he netted 23 goals in 22 games, Santalab returned to Sydney United before spending three years in Europe with Oostende, Sint-Truiden and Újpest FC (loan) in the Belgian top flight.

Santalab would return home to Australia with Sydney FC where he made 23 appearances between 2007-09 before jetting off to China. The Australian striker went on to represent Chengdu Blades and Chongqing Lifan in the Chinese Super League and score 33 goals in the top division.

Tony Popovic then signed the Wollongong-born player to Western Sydney in 2013 where he would go on to forge a reputation as one of the Hyundai A-League’s most clutch goalscorers, while also playing a vital role in the side’s Asian Champions League title in 2014, including a memorable late equaliser against Sanfrecce Hiroshima to send them into the Quarter-Finals. Santalab also received the club’s Player of the Year award for his outstanding 2016-17 campaign and is the current all-time top-scorer for the Wanderers.

“I’m very excited to join Perth Glory Football club,” Santalab said. “The opportunity to work under Tony Popovic again was an opportunity too good to miss.”

“I’m looking forward to joining a team with so many fantastic players and meeting the clubs fans.”

Football Director Jacob Burns believes Santalab is another great addition to the squad and will bring a lot of quality to the side.

“Brendon is a player that brings invaluable experience, a winning mentality and a hunger for success,” Burns explained. “He is a fantastic professional that will assist many of the young talented players we have at the club.”