Perth Glory features as our next team in the tribalfootball.com A-League club-by-club season reviews. The Glory enjoyed a fairly successful season, qualifying for the finals for the first time and winning more matches than they lost for the first time in the A-League.
Finished: 5th regular season (Knocked out of finals Week1) Record: Wins - 11; Draws - 6; Losses - 10; Points - 39 Goals: 40 Against: 34 Top goalscorer:Mile Sterjovski (7)
What went wrong? Overall, the Glory can't be too displeased with season 2009/10. They made the A-League play-offs for the first time, attracted several big name players, had consistent results but came up short in a knockout semi-final in Wellington. The fact that they signed a handful of players with international experience and only finished fifth may be the only detraction.
What went right? Plenty when you look at it. Tony Sage became sole owner and made it his goal to change things around by bringing in quality players, control marketing and introduce a new playing strip and logo among other things. A debut A-League finals berth, solid crowds and the ability to attract English Premier League clubs Wolverhampton Wanderers and Fulham for pre-season friendlies were other highlights in a fairly successful season for the West Australians.
tribalfootball.com's Player of the Year: Andy Todd. The former Derby County defender was the heart and soul for the Glory in central defence in his first season of Australian football.
Crowds: Home average - 9209. Biggest - 12,872 (Rd 9 v NQF) Lowest - 7217 (Rd 17 v BR) Crowd numbers for 2009/10 were fairly good for the Glory. They are one of the best supported teams in the league and their season low of 7217 shows that. An average of almost 10,000 is just behind that of the Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC and Adelaide United - two of those cities having a much larger population and one having a healthier sporting environment.
The coach: Dave Mitchell. In his third season at the helm, Mitchell finally produced the goods after two second-bottom placings. With a strengthened playing list and the fans continuing to turn up, Mitchell has something exciting at the edge of his fingertips if he is able to stay on in the job, which reports suggest will happen.
Surprises: Letting 2008/09 joint-leading goalscorer Eugene Dadi leave but then filling that hole with the short-term signing of Daniel McBreen which was a masterstroke as he scored five times in the final month-and-a-half.
Disappointments: Probably Mile Sterjovski. Although he was the leading scorer he did not really live up to lofty expectations especially seeing he is an Australian national team regular. However, if it wasn't for injuries we may have seen better of the ex-Lille, Basel & Derby County striker.
Where to from here? Perth have the basis to turn back the clock and revisit their halcyon days of the National Soccer League where they won back-to-back championships (2002/03 & 2003/04) and attracted an average of 13 to 14,000 at their home games. Star recruits Jacob Burns, Sterjovski and Chris Coyne are tied to long-term deals and Todd is set to sign on; couple that with a number of talented youngsters and the future is bright at the ME Bank Stadium.