Four More Added As Perth Aim For Glory

Perth Glory have continued their squad construction for the 2021/22 W-League season by re-signing a further three players and announcing the arrival of Young Matilda Aideen Keane.

The club first revealed just over a week ago that long-serving defender Sarah Carroll had re-signed. The versatile 26-year-old debuted for Glory back in 2011 and has become one of the club’s greatest ever servants in the intervening ten seasons, racking up more than 80 appearances and featuring in three Grand Finals.

With the Glory squad taking shape rapidly ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, Carroll is excited at the prospect of representing her hometown club once again.

“The environment and culture that head coach Alex Epakis built last year with the group is very positive,” she said.

“He has big aspirations for the group, the club and the direction in which he wants to go and I believe in what he’s trying to instil into the group.

Above: Sarah Carroll – back for another season in Perth purple. Photo: Perth Glory FC

“It’s definitely something that I want to be a part of. In terms of looking forward to next year, Alex has had more time to put his spin on things this year and he’s working really hard to put together a quality team that can compete and is capable of success.

“I’m really happy to be involved again and hopefully we can see Perth back up there and competing strongly with the rest of the league.”

Epakis, meanwhile, feels that Carroll’s experience and versatility will again make her an invaluable member of the Glory squad.

“I am really happy to have Sarah return for next season,” he said, “She brings a fantastic demeanour and conducts herself as a benchmark professional on and off the field.

“Sarah will be important in using her leadership to help to maintain our culture and ensure that the younger players continue to transition well into the team. “She has the capacity to play in a number of positions and I know I will be able to rely on her to do whatever job is needed for the team week in, week out.”

Earlier this week, the club made ensured that they kept more of their exciting young talent in WA when they confirmed that highly-rated teenagers Isabella Wallhead and Abbey Green have re-signed with the club.

Above: Isabella Wallhead in action for Perth Glory last season against Melbourne City’s Rhali Dobson. Photo: Tom McCarthy.

The duo, both aged 18, continued their development last season with defender Wallhead starting four games and making a further three appearances as a substitute and attacker Green producing two lively cameos off the bench before injury unfortunately brought her campaign to a premature end.

The Perth locals, who went head-to-head with their respective NPLW WA sides Hyundai NTC Women and Murdoch University Melville FC last week, are excited at the prospect of donning the famous purple once again in 2021/22.

“I’m thrilled to be signing again for Glory and can’t wait to see what this season brings us,” said Wallhead. “Although we faced many hurdles last season, the camaraderie between the players and staff was amazing to be a part of.

“It allowed me to be more confident in my abilities knowing that the team would have my back. “I was beyond happy last year to get the game-time I did and can’t wait to continue improving in the coming season.”

Green was equally delighted: “I’m also really excited to get the opportunity to play again this season. Everyone’s determined to have a more successful season this year and prove ourselves as a team which I’m grateful to be a part of.”

Above: Abbey Green – looking to put a tough 2021 behind her with another year at Perth Glory. Photo: Perth Glory FC

Epakis, meanwhile, is confident that both players are capable of making a major contribution to the Glory cause in the upcoming campaign.

“Bella showed last season that despite her age, she can go toe-to-toe with strong opposition players. “She developed throughout the course of the season and we are happy to have given her another opportunity to be able to continue to represent her home State.

“Bella will have the ability to further grow and develop within the environment and have the opportunity to learn from senior players. She is a player with a great skill-set and I can’t wait to work with to her find another level in her game next season.”

“The same applies to Abbey who unfortunately sustained an injury early in the season which kept her off the field for the majority of the year. It was disappointing, as she certainly would have played a part in helping the squad. Nonetheless, she is now fully recovered, fit and extremely determined to represent Glory again.

“As a WA local, Abbey certainly brings the effort and desire to ensure her home club is ready to compete strongly in the competition next season and I am excited to see how she performs. I’ll be ensuring that she gets the right support and coaching to really showcase her ability.”

Then at the end of the week came the announcement that another young star was moving to the club, this time from New South Wales in the shape of Aideen Keane.

Above: Perth Glory announce the arrival of Aideen Keane. Photo: Perth Glory FC

The 19-year-old Young Matildas representative gained her first taste of W-League football with Western Sydney Wanderers last term and is currently starring for Northern Tigers in the NPL NSW.

Keane, who has scored four goals in ten appearances for the Tigers this season, is relishing the prospect of playing her part in what she believes is a very exciting project currently underway at Glory.

“I’m really excited to be there because I think it’s the best place for me to get a chance to show what I’m made of,” she said.

“I think I’m going to get the opportunities at Glory and be able to develop into the best player I can be and show that off. I really want to try and solidify my spot in the team and just do as much as I can for the team to be in the best position we can be to win games and make the Finals.”

Glory Head Coach Alex Epakis, meanwhile, feels that Keane’s all-action playing style makes her a perfect fit for the group which he is assembling.

“Aideen is a fantastic addition to our squad and I am really happy that she has decided to call Glory home for next season. Her youth international experience to date shows that she is a player of immense promise and is highly regarded.

“She is such a blockbuster player who has very intense actions and movement with and without the ball and she will certainly add attacking qualities to our team in the front third. Our attacking style of play is going to be a key aspect for us as a team next season and having Aideen ensures that we have great attacking options to really bring that dynamic type of play to life. I know she works extremely hard and she will certainly be a strong and competitive presence within the team.”

“Furthermore, Aideen has made the move to Perth because she believes in the vision that we are heading in and feels that she can play a part in helping us achieve our goals as a club. I know that she is extremely hungry to keep improving her game and has a really strong mindset in terms of helping the team as well as individually refining her own skill-set. I am really excited to have her as part of the Glory family.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Perth Glory CEO Tony Pignata.

“Alex is building a dynamic, hungry and talented squad for next season,” he said, I’m confident there will be a very competitive Glory side in 2021/22.”

Artwork: Graphics by PW.

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