Though Perth Glory’s season ended in disappointing fashion with a last-minute defeat and a failure to make the finals, coach Kenny Lowe says there are positives to be taken from the campaign.
A season that promised much proved to be a bumpy ride with Lowe taking the reins from Alistair Edwards mid-season in a tumultuous period of upheaval for the Glory.
The final match also ended in unhappy fashion with the Glory conceding an eleventh-hour goal to fall to a 2-1 defeat at Sydney FC on Sunday despite dominating large periods of the second half.
Lowe said there have been major benefits from the season such as significant game time to the Glory’s large youth contingent, including Jack Duncan, Matthew Davies, Jack Clisby and Daniel De Silvia against Sydney.
“If you said to the younger players, those around 17-18 years old, you would play around 15 games this season they would have laughed,” said Lowe. “But all of a sudden we have got kids in the group now who have that [experience].
“You have to give them experience, but sometimes it means you are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.”
Lowe says the base has been laid for future success. The Glory, however, are yet to confirm their coach for next season, with former Australia and Mariners mentor Graham Arnold linked to the role last week following his exit from Vegalta Sendai.
Lowe said: “There is a nucleus there [within the squad], and there are a few guys who want to leave but that is for the next coach to decide.
“If someone thinks I’m good enough to do the job, I’m more than glad to take it. I think I have proved that, but that is just personal opinion.
“The guys at the club have been open and honest, and very very supportive. But they have a big decision to make because they want the best for the club.”
Lowe was less than optimistic about Sydney FC’s chances in play-offs, with the Sky Blues tackling Melbourne Victory next Friday.
“They do have some quality players, it’s a question of whether they’re able to show that quality. We didn’t see much of [Alessandro] Del Piero, but then he popped up at the crucial moment.
“I think probably it’ll be tough [for Sydney]. Really they’re not one of the top sides at the moment.”
“It was a world class goal from Antonis. He loves doing that against us. I think he wants to play us every week.
“We scored with a set-play that we had worked on so that is always pleasing.
“I enjoyed the game. I thought we were good value to get something out of the game.
“Even if you are getting absolutely battered with backs to the wall, at 93 minutes at 1-1 you should get something out of the game. It probably sums up the season to be truthful.”