Perth Glory’s ‘tough few months’ served as motivation for their red-hot A-League start, according to the returning Andy Keogh.
After competing in the AFC Champions League in November and December last year, Glory's preparations for the new season were curtailed by a 14-day quarantine period while most of their A-League rivals were deep in their pre-season programs.
Returning to competitive action like animals released from their cages, the Western Australians ripped Adelaide United to shreds in a 5-3 triumph in their season opener in Matchweek 4 at HBF Park on Wednesday.
Neil Kilkenny’s penalty and Nick D’Agostino’s double helped clinch an emphatic start to the 2020/21 campaign, while the 34-year-old Keogh rolled back the years to recorded assists for Bruno Fornaroli and Carlo Armiento on his Glory return.
“I don’t feel that young any more,” Keogh quipped.
“It’s been a tough few months but we’ve come out all guns blazing today so it’s a fantastic result.”
“We were completely dominant, I think we could have had a couple more,” said Keogh, who netted netted 43 goals across four A-League seasons for Glory.
“I missed a good header but we were absolutely in control.
“At the end, [we] just had a little lapse in concentration but in the end it was fantastic.”
Glory young guns shine under spotlight
Keogh paid tribute to Glory’s youngsters that stepped up at HBF Park, three of which were named from the start to make their first competition starts in the A-League.
“Callum Timmins was excellent tonight, [Daniel] Stynes, Josh Rawlins – a 16-year-old – they have big futures and they did so well to come into HBF today and show what they can do,” he added.
“It gives Richie [Garcia] selection headaches in the future.”
The result marked Richard Garcia’s first game as an A-League coach and the Glory chief revealed he had no hesitation in throwing his young guns into the mix with his experienced heads.
“Having people like Neil Kilkenny, Andy Keogh around them, those guys really try and help [the youngsters] on the park,” Garcia said.
“You can see that their confidence is growing every time they step out on the park with those senior guys.”
Garcia believes Glory’s character shone through after waiting so long to open their 2020/21 campaign and he insists their team spirit was forged during 14-days of quarantine following their AFC Champions League exploits in December.
“It was a group mentality. The guys really pulled around each other and made sure everyone was doing ok, everyone was working hard,” Garcia added.
“We did a lot of sessions over Zoom and made sure everyone was in constant contact. I think we’ve got a really good team spirit down here and great bunch of guys.”
Ways to watch
Next up – Matchweek 5
Western United v Perth Glory
Saturday, 23 January 2021
Venue: GMHBA Stadium
Kick-off: 5.05pm AEDT
Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory
Saturday, 23 January 2021
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Kick-off: 7.10pm AEDT