CHRIS HAROLD

Australian Four Four Two - - HYUNDAIA-LEAGUE -

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.

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