If you were going to pick a player who is a proven goal scorer in the A league there is no better choice than Shane Smeltz. Perth Glory has done superbly to pick him up as their marquee signing.
The fans have asked the club to deliver and they have for the first time delivered the best player available who has proven he can perform in this competition.
The naysayers have already said that he has only signed for the money, or that Glory has given him a three year deal to try and make money from him when he moves overseas, yet Smeltz may surprise all. He knows the reputation that Damien Mori and Bobby Despotovski carved out here in the West and may look to establishing himself a similar reputation.
There is no doubting he is a quality signing, and all involved should be applauded for pulling it off.
However a successful striker needs to have the supply line to enable him to score and that may be where the problem arises, however in Travis Dodd the Glory has a player who can supply quality crosses. If Dodd’s expertise can rub off on the other wide players, Neville, Amphlett, Howarth and Berger, Smeltz could be on the end of an endless supply of opportunities.
If as has been discussed a front two of Fowler and Smeltz is planned this does not auger so well. Fowler, if he returns, which we believe the owner is determined he will whatever, has to accept that he must be used now off the bench. In a tight game he can come on for half an hour and break open a game nipping in between tired defenders for a winner. Or he may be best used to start the game and work tirelessly for the first half and then replaced. He is not the player he was as last season proved and a year on is unlikely to be a greatly changed player. If however the coach is forced to play him every week the dream partnership could soon become a nightmare.
These are issues for the coaching staff to sort out, but with a solid performer between the sticks and a proven goalscorer up front the Glory have the signs of a far more competitive side for season 2011/12.