Glory teen's joy at Gallas as mentor

ROOKIE defender Matthew Davies was thrilled with making his A-League debut against Melbourne Heart and is looking forward to learning off Perth’s new marquee recruit William Gallas.

The young fullback made his first A-League appearance in the 1-0 win over the Heart and again played a full 90 in the 1-0 victory against Sydney FC. Promoted from Perth’s National Youth League side this season, Davies’ display earned praised from coach Alistair Edwards.

“The whole thing was a little bit surreal,” Davies said. “It was a lot to take in. But I think after the first 30 seconds it just seemed like a normal game.

"I was happy enough with the way I played. I could’ve gotten forward a little more. Obviously I did enough to hold down my position in the team so got the opportunity against Sydney FC as well.

"After the game against Sydney, it was a bit of an odd feeling. Even though we had won it nobody was all that pleased with the performance.

"[But] no-one’s complaining about being near the top of the ladder.”

Davies signed a two-year senior contract earlier this year after spending time at the AIS and with Western Australia’s National Training Centre. Filled in on the right for injured defender Josh Risdon, the 18-year old is making the most of his opportunity.

“Ris is such a good player,” Davies said. “The only reason I’m playing right now is because he’s injured. My role is just to fill in for him as well as possible until he’s fit and ready and back to play.”

Former France, Chelsea and Arsenal defender William Gallas arrives in Perth to join Glory this weekend - and the 18-year can’t wait to pick the marquee star’s brain.

“It’s incredible a player of Gallas’ calibre is joining the league and it’s a massive coup for the Glory as well,” he said.

“For myself, the opportunity to come in and learn from him at training. Just almost pick his brain and see what he has to say about certain footballing things. It’s a massive opportunity and I’m just looking forward to that.”

A WA local who was a junior at Perth Soccer Club, Davies is relishing the chance to play for the club he grew up supporting.

“It’s really good what Alistair and Gareth have managed to come in and do,” he said. “They’ve created a really good environment at the club and a really good atmosphere for us to come in and train and learn every day.

"I couldn’t be happier to be there.”