Young talent time for Glory


Perth Glory coach Alistair Edwards could turn to some young guns up front to help cover for injured front-line strikers like Shane Smeltz.

Perth Glory coach Alistair Edwards has revealed that two of the club’s youngsters could be handed their starting debuts in Saturday’s crunch clash with Adelaide at nib Stadium.

The hosts will be missing injured attacking trio Travis Dodd, Chris Harold and Shane Smeltz, plus suspended midfielder Liam Miller as they take on the Reds, but Edwards is backing young guns Ndumba Makeche and Daniel De Silva to step up and make a big impression.

“We’ve still got a lot of experience in the side,” said Edwards on Friday. “

“It’s more about shuffling the deck to make sure that we can still play the way we want to play.

“We are not afraid to throw the young, inexperienced lads in and you’ve seen with the likes of De Silva that they can come in and do very well.

“We’re confident that whoever we put on the park will play really well for this great club.

“There’s a good chance that Daniel and Ndumba will start, (assistant coach) Gareth Naven and myself will have a long chat about that later today.

“We’ve seen what Danny can do.

“He’s not a baby anymore, he’s an old 16-year-old with two games under his belt and he’s the kind of guy that thrives on the kind of atmosphere that we’re going to have at nib Stadium on Saturday.”

The hosts will need either a draw or a victory to secure a finals berth depending on how Newcastle fare in their Friday night clash with Western Sydney, but Edwards insisted his charges will go all out for the three points regardless of what’s required.

“We’re not good enough as a structure or as a team to go out and play for a draw,” he said.

“That would be suicide for us.

“Our best form of defence is to go out and attack.

“We did that against Victory last weekend and we’re going to do that again on Saturday.

“Adelaide are a very good team and it’s going to be a very entertaining game because they will come to play.

“Some teams come to stop you playing, but Adelaide will come to play … they’ll be coming here wanting to get a result.

“But we are in pretty good form and we were missing three (players) last week against Victory and put in a splendid performance, so I’m confident we can do the same this weekend.”

Sidelined striker Shane Smeltz, meanwhile, backed his colleagues to secure whatever result they ultimately require to book their place in the finals.

Smeltz also claimed he would be right to play in the finals despite returning from international duty with the All Whites having suffered a head gash that required 15 stitches.

“It’s been frustrating because every time I’ve been away on international duty I seem to have come back with an injury of some sort,” said Smeltz.

“This one is especially frustrating because the body feels fine and I’m just not right in the head, so I’m no chance this week.

“It’s not going to be healed up properly for four to six weeks, but I get the stitches out on Monday or Tuesday and I should be fine for next week.

“I’m sure I’ll have to do some padding for next week, so maybe we’ll dig out a headband out as well.”