Hopes were surprisingly high ahead of the Glory’s 2020/21 campaign despite a clear out of more than half of the playing squad.
Richard Garcia was given a baptism of fire to begin his managerial career with an Asian Champions League campaign.
After holding their own in Qatar, and the announcement of some exciting new signings, Perth fans were full of optimism.
However, despite a thrilling start at home against Adelaide United, Glory never really got in gear, and quickly found themselves near the foot of the table.
An inexperienced, inconsistent back line proved to be as watertight as a colander, and the goals dried up for the likes of Andy Keogh and Bruno Fornaroli.
A run of home matches and the returns of Chris Ikonomidis and Joel Chianese briefly gave the Glory hope of salvaging something from a rather dismal campaign.
However, after the home matches ran out and the club had to end the season away from home, defeat against Brisbane Roar sealed their position outside of the top-six.
Manager: Richard Garcia
Captain: Diego Castro
The return of Chris Ikonomidis has transformed the fortunes of what was a struggling Glory outfit that lacked dynamism in attack.
Four goals in eight matches since returning from a 14-month absence due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury is a remarkable return.
Darryl Lachman has been a reliable presence in a defence that has generally struggled across the season.
The Curacao international’s physicality has helped plug some of the gaps that have appeared, and he has been a successful addition to the Glory squad.
Former Birmingham City youth Callum Timmins is one of several ex-Glory academy players that dipped in to NPL football at ECU Joondalup and were brought back as Garcia looked to bolster his squad depth.
Timmins has made good on his first team opportunities, slotting into a central midfield role where he has been unfazed by any calibre of opposition.
He’s formed a good partnership with Luke Bodnar, keeping the experienced Neil Kilkenny out of the team.
What they need to do for next season:
One huge issue Garcia faced when given the job was making a squad that was hastily put together competitive.
The huge clear out of players and the strict travel restrictions over the off-season made pre-season immensely difficult as players arrived at the club in dribs and drabs, with many carrying injuries or having to go through quarantine.
Yet again this season, several players are out of contract, including stars Castro, Ikonomidis and Bruno Fornaroli.
If they cannot be persuaded to stay, the club need to identify replacements of similar quality well in advance of the new season.
Predicted Finish: 9th
Image Supplied – Perth Glory