Striker set to call time on illustrious career

Perth Glory striker Brendon Santalab has announced that he intends to retire from professional football at the end of the current Hyundai A-League campaign.

The 36-year-old has enjoyed an illustrious, 20-year senior career which has included spells in Belgium, Hungary and China, as well as a highly-successful five-year stint at Western Sydney Wanderers during which he helped the red-and-blacks become the first Australian team to win the Asian Champions League.

The man from Wollongong, however, feels that another major career highlight could still be yet to come.

“I feel it is the right time,” he said.

“It’s been a fantastic year and the best part is that I have the biggest six weeks of my career coming up right now.

“I’ve waited 20 years to win a Premiership and a Grand Final and it would mean a lot to me to lift a couple of trophies at this stage of my career.

“There have been many top memories along the way, but this next six weeks could see another top memory being created that would be right up there with my Asian Champions League winners’ medal.

“To go out on a high is something that I’ve always wanted to do.

“I’m fortunate enough to be in what is an incredible squad, not only as footballers but also as people.

“It’s a privilege to play in this team and within the culture that has been created at the club this year and it will be an honour to end my career as part of this group.

“There are many, many people that I’d like to thank, one of whom is Tony Popovic who has been such an influence on the latter part of my career.

“The belief and confidence that 'Popa' instilled in me enabled me to achieve many great things while working together with him.

“He is not only a fantastic coach, but an incredible motivator and mentor.

“It’s been an amazing journey, especially over the last five years when I’ve been constantly learning and improving every day.”

Popovic, meanwhile, was similarly glowing in his praise of Santalab, both as a player and as a person.

“On the field he’s always been fiery, a winner and someone who plays on the edge,” he said.

“He has that fire in his belly and I’m sure many a defender has found it very tough to mark Brendon over the years.

“Whenever he’s crossed that white line, I’ve always felt that he’s someone I can rely on, someone who will put the team first and he always walks off having given everything that he’s got.

“Off the field, he’ll do anything for anyone. He does so much charity work and all the kids love him.

“When we were at Wanderers, even my own boys would look up to him and loved him.

“That’s the kind of character Brendon is.”

Santalab has made 13 appearances for Glory so far this term and opened his account for the club in the Round 12 win over one of his former sides, Sydney FC.

In total, to date, he has played 133 Hyundai A-League games and scored 39 goals.

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Glory snap up Uruguayan star

Bruno Fornaroli

Perth Glory is delighted to confirm that striker Bruno Fornaroli has signed a two–year deal with the club.

The Uruguayan arrives in the West having forged a reputation as one of the Hyundai A-League’s most prolific goalscorers during a three-and-a-half-season stint with Melbourne City.

The 31-year-old plundered a remarkable 46 goals in 70 A-League appearances, claimed the Golden Boot and made the PFA Team of the Season in 2015/16 and reached the 30-goal mark quicker than any other player in the competition’s history.

Fornaroli, who lists Sampdoria and Panathinaikos among his former clubs, is excited at the prospect of beginning a new chapter in his career with Glory.

“Tony (Popovic) said that there is a project here at Glory and that they want to play better than now and do better next season,” he said.

“I believe in the project and I believe in the coach and that’s why I’m here.

“I’m where I want to be and this is the most important thing for me. I’m very happy to be here.”

Glory Owner and Chairman Tony Sage believes that the significance of Fornaroli’s arrival cannot be overstated.

“The signing of Bruno is another strong statement of intent in terms of our ambition to bring sustained success to Perth Glory,” he said.

“Players with his great goalscoring pedigree are always in huge demand and we beat off stiff competition from a host of clubs from all over the world to sign him.”

Glory CEO Tony Pignata, meanwhile, feels that the recruitment of one of the competition’s most exciting and highest-profile players will delight the club’s fan base.

“I’m sure that all of our members and fans will be hugely excited to see Bruno lining up in purple next term,” he said.

“He made it very clear that he wanted to be a part of what we are in the process of creating here at Glory and it is fantastic to have him on board.”

And Glory Football Director Jacob Burns was quick to pay tribute to Tony Sage for enabling the deal to be done.

“It is testament to our Chairman and Owner’s commitment to Perth Glory that he has made it possible for the club to secure Bruno’s services,” he said.

“He has been one of the Hyundai A-League’s most prolific and complete forwards over the last few years and we look forward to him playing a key role for us next season and beyond.”

Fornaroli has been allocated the number 10 shirt for the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season.

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In-form attacker extends Glory stay

Joel Chianese

Perth Glory is delighted to confirm that Joel Chianese has re-signed with the club.

The 29-year-old has been in superb form this season, featuring in 20 of the club’s Hyundai A-League games, scoring four goals and contributing three assists.

The versatile forward originally joined Glory in 2016 and is relishing the prospect of spending another season here in the West.

“I’m really excited to be staying on board with a club I’ve warmed to year after year in a fantastic city,” he said.

“I have learned so much working under [Head Coach] Tony Popovic and the coaching staff this year and with the great players we’ve got together.

“I have grown a lot as a player and am probably in the best form of my career, so when the opportunity came up to stay on board, I had to jump at it.

“With this squad I think we can achieve a lot as a group.”

Glory Football Director Jacob Burns was quick to acknowledge the quality of Chianese’s performances this term.

“Joel is having a fantastic season,” he said.

“He has taken his game to another level with his performances, contribution and the threat that he poses with his pace.

“He has established himself as a regular amidst stiff competition and really matured as a player under the detailed guidance and structure provided by Tony Popovic and the coaching staff.”

Glory CEO Tony Pignata has been similarly impressed by the role the former Sydney FC man has played in the club’s on-field resurgence this year.

“Joel is realising his full potential and has been a key figure for us,” he said.

“We look forward to him continuing to help drive the team forward this year and playing an important role in achieving the sustained success that we are targeting in the future.”

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Record scorer re-signs for Perth Glory

 Andy Keogh

Perth Glory is delighted to confirm that Andy Keogh has re-signed with the club.

The Irish striker is Glory’s all-time Hyundai A-League top scorer with 52 goals, 12 of which have come this season and he has made a total 115 A-League appearances in purple.

The former Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leeds United and Millwall man, who first joined Glory in 2014, is thrilled to have pledged his future to the club for another year.

“I’m delighted to have extended,” he said.

“I never had any thoughts about leaving Glory and it’s fantastic to be a part of this team and what is an exciting time for the club.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to score goals and hopefully helping the club to secure some silverware.”

Perth Glory Football Director Jacob Burns, meanwhile, believes that Keogh has a major part to play in Glory’s future.

“Andy’s goalscoring record speaks for itself,” he said, “and he is rightly regarded as one of the very best strikers in the competition.

“Proven goalscorers are a rare commodity, so it’s no surprise that plenty of other clubs were competing for his signature.

“His goalscoring form this year has been outstanding and we look forward to seeing him continue that over the next year as part of what we are confident will be a strong and successful Glory side.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Glory CEO Tony Pignata.

“Andy has been an important part of the foundations that have been put in place here,” he said.

“His re-signing is a key component in our aim to achieve success not only this season, but on a consistent basis in the future.”

New date set for Adelaide United away game

Perth Glory FC

New date set for Adelaide away game

The club wishes to advise that the date for its Round 22 game against Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium has been changed by FFA following consultation with clubs, broadcast, commercial partners and other stakeholders.

The fixture, that was originally scheduled to be played on Sunday 17 March, will instead now take place on Friday 15 March with kick off at 7.20pm local time, 4.50pm WST.

The changes made to the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season draw are aimed to assist Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC with their respective 2019 AFC Champions League campaigns.

Should the Newcastle Jets qualify for the group stage of the 2019 AFC Champions League, further changes to the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season draw may be made.

FFA Head of Leagues, Greg O’Rourke, said FFA was strongly committed to assisting the Hyundai A-League clubs that qualify for the AFC Champions League.

“It is in all of our interests to see Australian clubs perform at their best in Asia’s premier club competition, the AFC Champions League,” said O’Rourke.

“As we have done in previous years, we have built flexibility into the Hyundai A-League season draw to give the players the best opportunity to achieve success in both competitions by considering the rest period between their respective matches.

“We have therefore focused on providing at least one additional days rest between certain matches where the Australian clubs are either travelling to or from Asia, while ensuring the general integrity and commercial interests of the Hyundai A-League competition are not compromised.

“This process requires many stakeholders to make changes to their original plans and we thank them for their support in making these fixtures possible,” concluded O’Rourke

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