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Garcia hopeful of Castro staying at Glory

New Perth Glory coach Richard Garcia says he would love for Diego Castro to stay at the club for the 2020-21 A-League season, as talks continue between the star winger and the organisation.

Castro didn’t feature in the final month of the season for the Glory as part of the NSW hub, opting not to travel with the team and remain in Western Australia.

Things have escalated with the star Spaniard since the season concluded as a pay dispute continues between the PFA and the clubs, trying to come to terms on a collective bargaining agreement for the forthcoming season.

Things escalated a week ago when Castro was set to have his contract torn up and potentially deported from the country, but with a new coach in Garcia now in place reports emerged that the 38 year old could be set to stay.

Speaking on Sports Drive on Monday, Garcia said conversations had begun with Castro on him remaining at the Glory.

“We’re talking to all the players, Diego’s no different. He’s a fantastic player, a legend of the club. He’s probably one of the greatest players to be in Australia.

“Of course, we are in talks with him, and of course we would love him to stay.” He said.

Garcia, a former player and captain of the club has made a quick transition in to coaching since his retirement at the end of the 2016-17 season, having worked as both an assistant first team coach and head youth coach of the PGFC academy in recent years.

The 37 year old was chuffed to be in charge of the Glory.

“Delighted to be able to represent the club and to be able to lead it in a new direction,” Garcia said.

“Being a WA boy, it’s extra special.”

Garcia’s immediate focus was putting together a squad and getting more clarity on the forthcoming season.

“Trying to put a squad together and make sure we get the right personalities and the right people in the right places is my first priority,” he said.

“That will be a tough task, but a challenge that we are looking forward to facing.”

Having worked closely with the young talent coming through the ranks at the Glory in his role with the Academy, Garcia believes the club’s next wave of youngsters is primed to make an impact on the A-League in 2020-21.

“Hopefully there will be opportunities for young guys to make the step up. I think we can do that and improve on that,” he said.

“We’re always looking to improve as a club and move WA talent forward. Hopefully there’s more opportunity for those guys to let their talent shine.

“The way the league is going, I think that’s going to happen throughout the A-League.”

After exiting the season at the semi-final stage last month, the club confirmed the departure of Joel Chianese, Dino Djulbic, Ivan Franjic, Vince Lia and Tando Velaphi, but landed the signatures of Andrew Nabbout and Nathaniel Atkinson from Melbourne Victory and City respectively.

More news on the CBA and the forthcoming A-League season are expected in the coming weeks.

IMAGE: The West Australian.

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