This will be a very interesting game because on paper it looks as though the Glory should just win.
PERTH V CENTRAL COAST
I think they will find it far more difficult than most imagine. Sure, the Central Coast had a terrible year and conceded plenty of goals in 2014/15. At times their defence was laughable and definitely not up to A-League standard.
The club has drawn a line in the sand with the sacking of their coach in the preseason and bringing in Aussie legend Paul Okon. Remember when a new coach comes into a club it immediately lifts the entire place and proves to be a breathe of fresh air.
Okon doesn’t have experience at A-League level but does on the national stage with the Under 20s. There are obvious advantages with hiring him straight away but one of the big ones is that he is used to not having a great deal of time with his players. That is exactly how it is on the international stage – you only ever get together with your team for a week or two, if that! Okon has been at the Mariners for just under a month and if he can bring that exciting football philosophy that he had with Australian Under 20s then the Mariners could be in for a good season.
As for Perth, they were deserved semi-finalists last year and have recruited Rhys Williams and Rostyn Griffiths among others while Adam Taggart will again be key to their chances. Kenny Lowe is a shrewd operator and one of the best coaches in the A-League and if they can match their efforts from last season, then they are definitely a top six side.
Definitely not an easy assignment first-up for them but playing at home might just be enough to get them over the line. When you speak of home ground advantage, it really counts for teams like Perth because other teams have to travel a fair way to get there. They really need to win all their home games if they are to mount a championship threat.
TIP: I am really intrigued by this game and although I think the Mariners wont be pushovers here, Perth will probably get the money.