Perth Glory hosted the 20th edition of their end of season awards, the Most Glorious Player awards at the weekend, but with the Media Manager having left last week did not manage to organise a press release to go out over the weekend advising people as to who the winners were. Disappointing no doubt for all the winners, who would have welcomed the recognition.
Not surprisingly, Diego Castro won the Most Glorious Player award for the second year in a row, and the club was understandably pleased to announce that they had secured the maestro’s signature for another A-League season.
Also on the evening of the awards the club revealed their Ultimate Perth Glory XI, in line with the 20th Anniversary of the club which was celebrated throughout the season just ended. This team was voted on by Glory Members, presumably including fans who bought ticketing packages branded as being memberships.
As is always the case when a club or individuals pick a best ever team, there is going to be much debate over the names of players selected. This is why such teams are created, to cause debate and have people talking about the club. Cleverly each era of the club was covered with the players selected.
What was interesting was that the A-League has been going since 2005, and Perth Glory has played in all twelve seasons. Previously they played in the National Soccer League from their creation in 1996 through to the league closing down in 2004. A total of eight seasons.
In the Ultimate Team seven of the starting eleven played for the club in the NSL. All with the exception of Ivan Ergic and Gareth Naven went on to play for the club in the A-League; Damian Mori, albeit only on loan as an injury replacement player. Similarly two of the five substitutes also played in the days of the NSL.
So, of the sixteen players selected only seven were from the A-League era. Of the sixteen, only three overseas players made the cut, and only two in the starting XI. The two, were Englishman Andy Todd and Spaniard Diego Castro, who in this writer’s opinion have been two of the best players to ever play for the club. We will never know whether Brazilian Amaral would have been due to injury ending his season and time at the club.
Looking at those numbers there is fuel for the fire stoked by those who believe that the NSL was a competition with more talent than the A-League. The counter argument is that the A-League is a more technical league. Which is better to watch, or more enjoyable to watch is yet another debate that could rage for hours.
One area that the A-League has probably outstripped the NSL, or certainly the latter stages of the NSL, is in terms of signing higher quality foreign players. Sadly in both the NSL, and the A-League, too many big name players have been signed when well past their best. Clubs will argue that the presence of these players brought value in other ways, but never has a club actually quantified that return on investment.
There were some who felt that Brazilian Edgar Junior was really hard done by not to make the Ultimate XI. Others felt Gavin Wilkinson, the first ever recipient of the Most Glorious Player award should also have been in the team. There could be any number of teams put together by fans and they would all be different.
What the debate on social media and in the bars did make us wonder was, who were the best imported players to play for the Glory over the years? Diego Castro is bound to be among the best, and based on the votes of the members they felt that Andy Todd and Andy Keogh were the others. But how do you feel?
Tell us who were your best imports for Perth Glory. (Please note Neil Teggert is not listed as he never played more than a friendly)