It is good news for Perth Glory fans that Alistair Edwards has been appointed head coach for three years. It is also good for football in Western Australia.
One thing that Alistair indicated when he came on “Not The Footy Show” was that if he was to take the job he had to be given the time to turn the club around, and develop the talented youth from this state into regular first team players, alongside seasoned professionals. A three year contract is a step in the right direction, whether it is indeed long enough time will tell. Let us not forget Tony Popovic was given the security of a four year deal at Western Sydney Wanderers.
He has already signed a number of talent local players and has also worked hard to make the players aware of what it used to mean to play for Perth Glory. Alistair as well as being a former professional player who achieved cult status in Asia understands what it is to be a fan and what a football club means to fans of the game and that is a massive plus in his favour. It could well be one of the key reasons he succeeds.
As soon as he came into the club Alistair set about changing the culture that existed at the club, something any new coach would do, as the team and the way that they play will ultimately be a reflection of him as a coach. One thing that does seem evident is he has managed to implement change fairly quickly, which is again good news for the club as a whole. Most coaches take a good six months to a year to change things and have them done they way they see fit.
This is a very positive move if we are to see Perth Glory scale the heights of yesteryear on the pitch. There is still a great deal to be done off the pitch though to restore the club to former Glory days. The profile of the club is at its lowest. The lack of knowledge most young children have of the players and the team is scary. If the children of today are not following you where is the next generation of fans going to come from? There is a mountain to climb here and it will take both money and hard work to raise the profile of the club to where it should be, as well as clear and defined strategies. Hopefully these will be nutted out in the close season.
Finally, a question arises out of Edwards’ appointment, is the current owner going to be in charge next season? Tony Sage has frequently refused to give his coaches long term deals, in fact word is he did not even know that Ian Ferguson still had another year on his contract when he fired him. So why the change of heart, why suddenly give a coach a three year deal and not as before one dependent on making the finals? This appointment could be the first clue that come the 2013/14 A League season Perth Glory will be under new ownership or run by the FFA.
Should it be the latter, that itself will raise a few questions, as no owner is allowed to own two clubs according to FIFA and with the FFA running Western Sydney Wanderers they would then be managing two clubs in the one league. The FFA made a mess of the year they ran the club in the past, and their focus on saving money and not using the full salary club took the club two years to recover, so let us hope this signing does in fact indicate a new owner is waiting in the wings, rather than the FFA stewardship. It will certainly increase speculation that a new owner will be running teh club next season.