“Shane” the movie starring Alan Ladd was made in 1953, way before anyone employed by Perth Glory was born. The plot is “a weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smouldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act.” With news that Shane Smeltz has signed a three year deal worth close to $1.5milion over the three years subject to FFA approval, the plot of the movie of the same name has a familiar ring to it. If you make the gunfighter a goal scorer and the settler/rancher conflict a player/management conflict, a remake could well and truly be on the cards.
One thing that Glory fans will hope is that he is deadly when firing shots at goal. If the FFA gives their approval for Smeltz to be signed as the overseas Marquee player before this option is phased out at the end of next season, it spells curtains for Mile Sterjovski who is the current marquee Australian player. As season 2012/13 will see only one player with that status and with Smeltz being offered the big dollars he will take over that mantle.
What is a concern is that once again Perth Glory seems to stepping out of the frying pan into the fire. After a conveyor belt of failed marquee players since the A league was set up, they once again commit to one for a long term contract.
Would it not be better to find a player of the ilk of Dwight Yorke who still has the desire to play, the ability to play, and the character and charisma to lift the profile of the club. Yes these players are few and far between, but that is why the marquee position was created for clubs to try and find players who genuinely would put bums on seats.
The club will tell anyone who wants to listen that Robbie Fowler did that with according to their website at one stage claiming 5000 members, yet at times they only averaged 5,500-6500 fans.
Shane Smeltz may be a good goal scorer on the pitch, but he is a very shy individual off it, so for such an investment the expectation on his performances pulling punters through the gate goes up. It appears a gamble, one that will hopefully pay dividends,especially as it would appear the club are again trying to buy success in the short term.