It comes as no surprise to hear Jesse Makarounas take a swipe at Perth Glory at his unveiling at new club Melbourne Victory, as his time at his home town club was wrought with frustration. It is however, still disappointing. Makarounas was signed after a spell at the AIS where he was marked for a big future in the game. He has languished in the shadows at NIB stadium on a match day making just four appearances from the bench in 18 months, while his AIS team mates have established themselves at other clubs prepared to give youth a chance.
One question that has to be asked is was Perth Glory the right club for Jesse Makarounas at that point in his career? As stated on “Not The Footy Show” at the time of his signing, we do not believe that it was. The style of football that they play he was always going to struggle to force his way into the side. Which proved to be the case.
A great deal has been made about the number of Western Australian players plying their trade in the Hyundai A League at other clubs and not with their home town one, and understandably the fans want to see local boys playing for their club, but sometimes that is not the best move for that particular player, and that has to be taken into account.
In March 2011 the much talked about Hatt Review into Perth Glory’s operations highlighted that Perth Glory needed to re-evaluate its recruiting processes and stated according to the club’s media release that ‘youth should be the priority.’
Fans and media were also advised that the Head Coach was to establish ‘clear performance goals for players and staff, and ensuring they are monitored and reported on regularly.’
Perth Glory have it appears since the Hatt Review signed local players simply to say that they have local talent at the club. As asked previously on this site has the club assisted those players in developing their game and getting those players closer to pushing for a first team position? It is one thing to sign a player who is raw and keen, but frequently a diamond has to be polished. Players need one-on-one help on developing areas of their game where they may be weak, shooting, crossing, positioning etcetera. Simply training as part of squad will see minimum improvement in some players.
As for playing young players it comes down to the culture at the club, and because of its past history, Perth Glory fans want success. The owner wants success, so the coach despite having a contract opts to play players with experience even if they are out of form, or results are not going his way, as he believes they have the know-how to deliver that success. His fear is by playing a youngster one mistake could result in a loss, which could ultimately see him sacked for not making finals. This is where strong leadership is required. The Owner should be giving guarantees that the coach’s job is safe until the end of the season but he wants to see young players coming through, after all they will bring money back into the club if transferred overseas. However time must be invested in those players to help them become good enough to hold a place in the A-League side.
More local players coming through and playing for Perth Glory will also help boost the crowds coming through the turnstiles, as West Australians are extremely parochial.
Perth Glory has to change the way it thinks as a club in terms of local players and the opportunities it affords young talent or we will continue to see players developed here in the West head elsewhere for game time and to play under coaches who have faith in them. Let us hope this change happens soon.