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Rigby named as new Glory Westfield W-League skipper

Natasha_Rigby

Perth Glory is delighted to confirm that Natasha Rigby has been appointed the club's new captain for the Westfield W-League 2019/20 Season.

The 26-year-old defender takes over the armband from Sam Kerr who confirmed her move to English club Chelsea on Wednesday.

Rigby, who hails originally from Margaret River, has made 39 appearances for Glory since debuting in 2016 and is thrilled by the prospect of leading her home-state side.

"It is an incredible honour and I am still pinching myself," she said.

"We have such a beautiful team and I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for this opportunity.

"It is absolutely heartbreaking to lose Sammy (Kerr), but she has an ocean of opportunities ahead of her and we will be cheering her on from afar.

"They are huge shoes to fill, but I have learned a lot from her over the last few years and I just want to focus on doing my part for the team.

"All I can do is lead by example, wear my heart on my sleeve and motivate the team to come together and do their best.

"We have some amazingly experienced players like Kim Carroll and Shannon May, so it will be vital to draw on their knowledge and expertise as well.

"We have a talented young team, everyone is very respectful, motivated and eager to make their mark and I'm looking forward to the season ahead."

Head Coach Bobby Despotovski, meanwhile, is confident that Rigby will prove to be an inspirational leader for what is a young squad.

"Tash came in as a State League pick-up and has never missed a beat since," he said.

"She's bubbly, team-orientated, takes everything in her stride and will do everything in her powers to lead the team.

"She's a very happy, positive person and we need someone like that to help take our younger players to the next level."

Those sentiments were echoed by Perth Glory CEO, Tony Pignata.

"Natasha has been a key member of our Westfield W-League squad on and off the field ever since she joined the club in 2016," he said.

"She has developed into an accomplished player and leader and someone who represents Glory’s core values superbly through her words and actions.

"She thoroughly deserves this honour and will lead our playing group with pride, distinction and a smile on her face."

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Romero returns for more Glory

Arianna_Romero

Perth Glory is delighted to confirm that defender Arianna Romero has joined the club for the Westfield W-League 2019/20 Season (subject to international clearance).

The Mexican international is no stranger to Glory members and fans having spent the 2016/17 season with the club, during which she made 14 appearances as Bobby Despotovski's side reached the Grand Final.

A resolute, ball-playing centre-back, Romero boasts extensive experience in the US National Women's Soccer League with both Washington Spirit and Houston Dash and has also plied her trade in Iceland and Norway.

Now 27, she cannot wait to return to Glory and help the club in its efforts to emulate last year's successful campaign.

"When I was in Perth two years ago, I felt as though we made a lot of strides as a team and I evolved as a defender," she said.

"I’m looking forward to getting back to work, reuniting with my teammates, coaches and fans and working towards our goal of bringing a championship to Perth.

"With a lot of new talent coming through the W-League this season, I personally can’t wait to compete and work everyday to reach our goals.

"I’ve been itching to get back to soccer after a short off-season, so I can’t wait to meet the squad and to get the season started."

Glory Head Coach Bobby Despotovski is thrilled to have a player of Romero's experience and ability at his disposal once again.

"Ari knows our system, the majority of our players and absolutely loves Perth," he said, "so she is a great fit.

"She is second to none in the stability she brings at centre-back and we know what she can deliver in terms of passing out from the back.

"Ari is also a natural leader, which will be especially important in what is a young group this year."

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Kerr departure confirmed

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Perth Glory would like to confirm that Sam Kerr will not be returning to the club for the Westfield W-League 2019/20 Season.

The 26-year-old, who skippered the side to last season’s Grand Final and claimed the W-League Golden Boot for a second successive year, has opted to sign for English FA Women's Super League club, Chelsea.

Since debuting in 2008, the Fremantle local has played 71 W-League games in the famous purple and scored a remarkable 57 goals.

Glory Chief Executive Officer Tony Pignata was quick to acknowledge the huge contribution made by Kerr to the club and wish her all the very best for the future.

“Sam has been an incredible player for Glory on the field and a superb ambassador off it,” he said.

“She has played a huge role in lifting the profile of women’s football to an unprecedented level both here in WA and across Australia.

“We hope that she may return to the club at some point in the future, but for now would like to thank her sincerely for all efforts and wish her all the very best in her future endeavours.

“I’m sure that everyone associated with Perth Glory will continue to follow Sam’s career closely and celebrate her remarkable achievements.”

Kerr herself, meanwhile, expressed her gratitude to Glory on Twitter.

"It's been amazing to represent my home town for so long and a huge honour to captain the club," she said.

"The support from Perth has always been unbelievable.

"Thank you to Tony Sage and his family for believing in me and the team.

"Bobby (Despotovski) has been a huge support to me and I will miss our friendship more than anything.

"To my Glory teammates, we share a special bond and I will miss you girls tremendously!"

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Perth Glory Media Release

Glory land versatile forward Thomas

Crystal_Thomas

Perth Glory is delighted to confirm that American striker Crystal Thomas has joined the club for the Westfield W-League 2019/20 Season (subject to international clearance).

The versatile 25-year-old made 13 appearances for Washington Spirit in the US National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) last season, scoring three goals as the D.C. side recorded a fifth-place finish.

Originally from Illinois, Thomas is a Georgetown University graduate who has previously tasted European football with Valur in Iceland and Medkila II in Norway.

And the former US Under-20 and Under-23 international cannot wait to make her Westfield W-League debut in the famous purple.

"I think this move to Perth Glory will allow me to play for a club that is dedicated to success," she said.

"The players, staff and fans are all committed and I am looking forward to playing with the team and for Head Coach Bobby Despotovski and interacting with our fans.

"I’m excited to work to score goals and help the team win; my objective is to help the team win in every way possible.

"I know other players that have competed for Perth Glory and they hold the club in high esteem.

"I am excited to follow in their footsteps as we compete this season.

"I’m extremely excited to join the team and get the season started!"

Despotovski, meanwhile, is confident that Thomas will help provide a cutting edge to his side's attack this year.

"Crystal is a forward who will really suit whichever system we play," he said.

"She can operate as a target and hold the ball up, or play off the shoulder and get in behind and is the kind of player who can help educate the younger players that we have in our squad this season."

Further player signing announcements will be made in the very near future.

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celia-jimenez-delgado

Perth Glory is delighted to announce that Spanish international Celia Jimenez Delgado (known as Celia) has joined the club for the Westfield W-League 2019/20 Season (subject to international clearance).

The 24-year-old will arrive in WA fresh from a successful US National Women's Soccer League season with Reign FC in which she made 13 appearances as the Seattle-based club reached the semi-finals.

Equally comfortable operating as a midfielder, wing-back or orthodox full-back, Celia represented Spain at both the 2015 and 2019 World Cup having been previously capped at Under-17 and Under-19 level.

2019 will mark her first appearance in the Westfield W-League and she is relishing the prospect of helping Glory to enjoy another successful campaign.

“I am excited to play in the W-League,” she said, “and I believe this is a great opportunity to keep growing as a player.

“Perth had a really good season last year and I'm excited at what we can achieve together this season.

“The Westfield W-League is a tough competition.

“I'm familiar with several of the players from the NWSL, but there is a lot of Australian domestic talent that I'm looking forward to getting familiar with as well.

“The move to Perth has been a long time coming and is something that I'm really excited to experience.

“I can't wait to meet the girls and get out on the pitch amongst the crowd.

“I hope we can achieve something really special together this season!”

Glory Westfield W-League Head Coach Bobby Despotovski is confident that the new recruit will make a big impact in the upcoming campaign.

“Celia is an exciting and versatile player with plenty of experience at the highest level,” he said.

“We’ll look to play her mainly on the left side of midfield and she is the kind of player whose presence will really help the aspiring young girls that we have in the squad this year.”

Further Westfield W-League signings will be announced in the very near future.

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