You’re one of the A-League’s quiet achievers, finishing behind only Marco Rojas and Milos Ninkovic for assists in 2016/17 with eight. Was that your best A-League season to date? The addition of Adam Taggart last year changed the way we played. When you’re an attacking player, you want to be involved and scoring a lot of goals, but my role was to provide. I know that if I give good service to guys like Andy Keogh and Tags, they’re going to finish it. Football is better when players aren’t overly selfish.
Can Diego Castro keep producing at 35?
He is getting older and last year people may have questioned whether he’d back it up but he did. The fact that he’s still playing at this age says a lot about how he looks after himself. The coaches and physios have to monitor him a bit closer, but so be it. When he’s on the field, he always produces. Glory scored the second most goals in the league last season with 53, but also conceded the equal most with 53. Improving that defence is crucial, isn’t it? As a playing group we are the first to admit that wasn’t good enough. If we want to make the top two, we can’t be conceding that volume of goals. You look at Sydney who won the league, they were so sound defensively. There’s a clear correlation between why they were successful and their defensive stability. The addition of Scott Neville and Jacob Poscoliero plus Alex Grant and Shane Lowry fit might give you that stability... That’s obviously the main focal point for us. We chopped and changed a lot last season due to injury and other circumstances in our back four, so it’d be good to come to a pretty stable back four and not have to chop and change all the time. The potency of your attack is exciting... The stats don’t lie, we scored a lot of goals. Those three (Keogh, Taggart and Diego Castro) are very exciting players. It’s good for me to be able to tag along and join in as well. I think if we can try to control games a bit more, as a whole unit, we have the capability to score even more. With that control of games, we will concede less. This is your sixth season at Glory. You’re 25. What’s motivating you? I feel like a bit of an old timer now, given I’ve played over 100 games for the club despite being still quite young. I pride myself on that loyalty. I’ve never made a Grand Final or played in the Asian Champions League, so they would be massive highlights. I’ve got room to improve. Last year I set up quite a lot of goals but I’d like to chip in with a few more myself and still keep that assists tally high. That’s my per-sonal goal for the year.
After reaching the semis last season, what’s the team’s ambition for 2017/18?
I think in a 10-team salary capped competition it should be every team’s aspiration to make the finals. We’ve been really close over the past few years to making that Grand Final. We have high aspirations. What we did last year is the bare minimum. Perth Glory have never been in the ACL and [owner] Tony Sage has been pretty vocal about that. Making the top two and the ACL would be pretty great.