Friday, 17 January 2003 12:00 AM
Bill Damianos has joined his teammates today who travel to the west for the top of the table clash with league leaders Perth Glory. Bill Damianos who rolled his right ankle earlier in the week, was only half a chance in catching today’s flight but retains his spot after proving himself fit during a training session last night.
South Melbourne leave for Perth having never won in Western Australia, their best result a 0 – 0 draw in Round 13 which began an amazing run to the finals last season.
Since the Glory’s inclusion into the National League in 1996 the Blue and Whites have played on 6 occasions in Perth. South have conceded 14 goals only scoring 3 in the process with their biggest loss a 4 – 0 drubbing back in 1997.
The odds seemed stacked against the away side, but over the six seasons South’s form has improved at Perth Oval and a win may only be around the corner.
“The last time I visited Perth Oval was a 2-0 win with Brisbane Strikers so I have fond memories of the ground”, says Wright.
The away win against Sydney United which came a fortnight ago, gave Wright’s squad an extra lift leading into the home stretch of the home away season. The win took the monkey off their backs, as third placed South still has five important away matches remaining.
“The players have approached the game in a manner of real enthusiasm, as it is one of the feature matches of the NSL calander. It is not something that should be feared, it is a game we should all look forward to being a part of”, says Wright.
Perth is currently leading the competition and is 10 points in front of the Blue and Whites who will look to close the gap tomorrow night in front of over 10,000 screaming Glory fans.
With Perth still to have their BYE Round and face a tribunal hearing which may cost them three points, tomorrow night’s match becomes vitally important if South Melbourne are any chance in claiming a top two spot.
RECORD V PERTH (Perth Oval)
Season 1996/97 : 4 – 0 Loss
Season 1997/98 : 4 – 1 Loss
Season 1998/99 : 2 – 1 Loss
Season 1999/2000 : 3 – 1 Loss
Season 2000/2001 : 1 – 0 Loss
Season 2001/2002 : 0 – 0 Draw