erth Glory's Yousoff Hersi impressed in the first half against Malaga on the weekend. Photo: Paul Kane
Any doubts that Perth Glory is taking the inaugural FFA Cup seriously were dashed on Sunday with the way the club went about its pre-season friendly against Spanish club Malaga CF.
Coach Kenny Lowe tackled the clash against the La Liga top-flight club with an eye on the August 5 FFA Cup game with the Newcastle Jets in NSW.
He gave only minimal ground time in the 1-1 draw to players who would not be available for that clash.
“We want to win it. Not just the game, we want to win it [the Cup]. You want to go as far as you can,” Lowe said after the draw.
“We didn’t give game time to Danny De Silva, Riley Woodcock or young [Jordan] Thurtell, because they are away with the national team [when Glory plays the Jets].
“We only put Danny on because someone was tiring; we only put Riley on because Jamo [Scott Jamieson] was tiring.
“Our focus for this game was to make players play who would play in Newcastle – so that was the focus.”
Ruben Zadkovich and Rostyn Griffiths have also been ruled out of the clash due to injuries.
New recruit Youssouf Hersi will be playing for the A-League All-Stars in the clash with Italian powerhouse Juventus in Sydney on August 10 and will also miss the opening FFA Cup round.
However, he played the first half-half against Malaga at nib Stadium on Sunday and impressed in the midfield.
So too did new striker, Irish international Andy Keogh, who scored the equaliser in the 57th minute.
Lowe conceded the Malaga players were fatigued on Sunday after the 5-1 win over Adelaide United on Friday night. But he said the draw had only added to the upbeat feeling that currently surrounds the club.
“One pre-season game doesn’t make a season,” he said.
“There is a lot of optimism at the club
“Certain things behind the scenes the players are buying in and setting their own standards. And they are trying to raise the bar themselves without a lot of real drive from the coaching staff even though we’ve led certain things out that are non-negotiable.
“I think we look fitter, brighter, everyone seems to be together and there is a good vibe about the place.”
The FFA Cup Round of 32 starts on Tuesday, with four games being played on the east coast.
The Western Australian Athletics Stadium will host the other two Perth-based clubs, with the Stirling Lions hosting A-League club Brisbane Roar on August 19; and Bayswater City up against the Melbourne Victory the following night to complete the first round.
Follow the FFA Cup at www.theffacup.com.au