Another young gun exits Glory

Perth Glory Youth skipper Jacob Collard has joined the exodus of young talent from the A-League outfit after failing to nail down a professional contract.

Two-time Glory Youth MVP award-winner, Collard, was developed through the NTC program under Glory coach Kenny Lowe and said he was disappointed at being overlooked.

The 20-year-old joins the ranks of young guns exiting the club: Jack Clisby, Brandon O’Neill, Riley Woodcock and most recently Stefan Valentino – who signed for German side Eintracht Braunschweig last month.

“I’m really excited for my new adventure in my football career,” Collard said after announcing he had signed with Tasmanian NPL side Hobart Olympia for this season.

“I had to look interstate as the Glory continued to give me the run around on a contract, but the new challenge at Olympia is something I can get my teeth into and it’s always good to explore opportunities elsewhere.”  

The rightback, who has been a stand out in the Glory Youth side, didn’t pull any punches in describing the manner of his exit from Perth.

“To be honest I’m really disappointed,” he said.

“Anyone who knows me knows I love the club, and I’d love to have played more than the two games in my time there. But I have found out timing in life is everything and unfortunately it wasn’t there for me, but I wish them all the best for this season.”

Picking up back-to-back youth MVP awards remains a highlight of his career to date.

“Winning the award twice has been one of biggest achievement in the game, and I was real proud to lead such a good group of players, and it was a proud moment,” Collard added.

“Not just for me but my family and friends, they know that all my blood sweat and tears went into them awards, and I have no regrets.”

Collard made club history when he became the first home-grown Indigenous player to line-up for Glory in the A-League.

He debuted against Adelaide United in the 2016 FFA Cup but in just his second appearance was sent off for a second yellow in a 2-2 home draw with Melbourne City in January. 

Despite the lack of opportunities the defender says he’s not discouraged and is ready to take the next step.

“I have been ready for a very long time, but unfortunately I didn’t get the opportunity, which is something I have to live with and learn from and get on with it,” he said. 

“I will work hard at Olympia and I hope I can get an opportunity elsewhere in the A-League or overseas. If that came about I would grasp it with both hands.”

And he hasn’t given up hope of putting on the Glory jersey again: “This is just the beginning for me, and maybe one day I’ll return to play for hometown team again.”