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Finals assesment

by Ashley Morrison on Mar 29, 2012

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Perth Glory has made the Hyundai A-League finals for the second time, but more importantly they have secured a home final for the first time. The significance of this achievement is a big one in Western Australia.

Perth Glory was, for so long, the club that everyone wanted to be. They were the team everyone wanted to play for, and they were the team everyone wanted to play against. With quality players, playing a good style of football, in front of good crowds and with good marketing, a ticket to watch the Glory was one of the most desired things in town.

Throw in the fact that they were winning, as Perth people are drawn to such teams, everything was rosy.

Then, with the birth of the Hyundai A-League, all teams were supposed to become as professional as the Perth Glory. The even playing field in terms of salary, big crowds and the sudden boom in Perth made it no longer the attractive proposition that it used to be.

The coach’s office had a revolving door on it. The owner did not want to offer more than one year contracts to his coaches and there were conditions attached.

Ian Ferguson and his team have, under difficult circumstances, achieved a great deal this season. He assembled an undoubtedly talented squad full of proven professionals, and at a time when he looked to be struggling with injuries and suspensions, the selection of two players turned his season around.

Despite the style of football Perth Glory has played at times this season, the crowds have not come flooding back and that is why the finals game this weekend will be interesting.

In 2000, the 43,500 capacity Subiaco Oval was almost sold out when close to 38,000 fans flocked to the semi-final that year.

NIB Stadium, the home of Perth Glory, holds close to 19,000. It would be fair to say that the club and football fans should expect a capacity crowd this weekend, with people queuing to get tickets.

If there is not a capacity crowd then alarm bells should ring at the club and the FFA. Those two, along with the governing body Football West, need to sit down and come up with a plan as to how to woo the football fans in Western Australia back to the fold.

The team is playing good football and has some talented players, but sadly in this day and age it takes more than that to fill a stadium.