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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 8 October 2016
SPORT 24 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 8 OCTOBER 2016 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Perth Glory. PHOTO: WWW.LETSGOKIDS.COM.AU Glory legends honoured in heritage match Mautz and Romero head ‘Down Under’ for Glory Perth’s summer will be home to two more international players when they kit up for Perth Glory Women next month. Twenty-seven-yearold Alyssa Mautz (Mahtz) of the United States and 24-year old Arianna Romero from Mexico have signed on for the upcoming Westfield WLeague season. Mautz has made 70 appearances for US National Women’s Soccer League outfit Chicago Red Stars (the home club of Glory’s current MGP Vanessa DiBernardo) scoring nine goals from the attacking midfield position. The experienced Missouriborn player has also enjoyed success at youth level, having won gold at the 2008 U20’s Women’s World Cup in Chile. Mautz said she’s excited to have joined a club with a rich history. “I’ve been looking to increase my experience internationally,” she said. “Perth Glory is a great fit to achieve that. I’m excited to play a part in the upcoming W-League season and I’m really looking forward to it.” Coach Bobby Despotovski believes Mautz’s ability to move between the midfield and final third will prove invaluable for the upcoming season. “Alyssa has great experience at a very high level,” Despotovski said. “She can hold the ball up in midfield, dictate the tempo and then launch attacks in an instant.” Meanwhile, Romero has signed on from Icelandic club ÍBV, and is another player who has enjoyed success on the world stage. Romero was a key member of Mexico’s 2010 and 2012 CONCACAF U20’s campaigns, picking up a silver and bronze medal respectively. The defender is an established Mexico Women’s team player, having been capped 31 times and scoring once, which has caught Despotovski’s eye. “Arianna is a very mature player for her age,” he revealed. “Since winning the ‘Big Ten’ Defender of the Year in 2013 during college, she has gone from strength to strength and will bring great technical ability to the defence,” the coach added. Mautz and Romero join Glo- ry following the re-signing of attackers Rosie Sutton, Nikki Stanton and WA’s own Samantha Kerr. Glory Women will kick off their campaign in a double header at nib stadium on 6 November, after the men’s teams play against the Western Sydney Wanderers. Both Mautz and Romero are expected to join the Glory Women’s squad for pre-season training later this month. Meanwhile, Perth Glo- ry FC will wind the clock back to 1996 this Saturday night, when it will host the Central Coast Mariners in its opening Hyundai A-League match at nib Stadium. It will be almost 20 years to the day since Perth Glory’s original team, led by skipper Gareth Naven and inaugural coach Gary Marocchi, battled against UTS Olympic at Perth Oval on 13 October 1996. While Glory lost the match 4-1, it will be remembered for the strong, passionate crowd, Alan Mackenzie’s first club goal and the dawn of a new era in Western Australian sport. This weekend the club will pay tribute to the stars, coaches and administrators from the ‘Team of ‘96’, who will all be presented with a heritage jersey (modelled on the original shirt) before kickoff. The jersey will be presented by the club’s current and former owners. The commemorative heritage kit will be worn by the team against the Mariners this Saturday night to pay homage to its 20th anniversary season. The match will also lay the backdrop to a unique members’ banner, which will be erected on the stadium fencing. Thousands of names will be printed on the banner in recognition of the loyal and passionate Perth Glory supporters who’ve stuck by the club through thick and thin. The crowd will also be encouraged to stand and applaud in the 20th minute of the match, as part of the 20year festivities. Four-time club MGP (Most Glorious Player) and inaugural Johnny Warren medallist Bobby Despotovski said he was proud and excited to see the club pay respect to the golden years. “It’s nice to see the club do- ing the right thing and paying respect to the original team,” he said. “Perth Glory was the talk of the town during the NSL (National Soccer League) and it’s timely that now, on the club’s 20th anniversary, the players and administrators will be honoured this way.” Club captain Rostyn Griffiths said he was honoured to be one of 14 home-grown players in the current line-up in the club’s milestone year. “It’s the perfect storm. A lot of the boys have played with each other growing up and this opportunity may never come again,” he said. “There’s an element of romance and nostalgia in the air and I know a lot of the boys are keen to do well in what is a big year for the club,” Griffiths added. Glory kicks off its clash against the Mariners on Saturday night at 7.00 pm, in the first of two home matches.
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