Reddy to go: Glory prepared for NSW hub
Perth Glory goalkeeper Liam Reddy says he and his teammates are prepared for the challenge of spending a month in New South Wales as part of a hub to complete the A-League season.
Speaking on Sports Drive after the announcement of the remaining 2019-20 fixtures, Reddy said the group was relieved to put the challenges of recent months behind them and return to the pitch for competitive football.
“Now that it’s official in terms of when we are actually playing and the grounds and the times, it’s all been made official to us, there was a little bit of excitement at training this afternoon.” He said.
The 38-year-old acknowledged the challenges the past few months of uncertainty had created.
“Being stood down and getting put on jobkeeper made it financially very tough for a lot of players including myself,” Reddy said.
“Also, Just the uncertainty of not knowing when or if the competition would resume and what that would look like. It’s good to get some clarity for this year but a deal has been struck for next year as well. There’s a lot of positives to come out of the last few weeks.”
With the Glory now locked in to play their remaining six home and away games in the state of New South Wales, Reddy said he and his teammates were prepared to make sacrifices to get through the season.
“We travel every second week anyway, and this year obviously we had the Asian Champions League, so we knew going in to the season that we would be away for possibly 10 to 15 days anyway,” he said.
“Obviously we are talking a little bit longer than that but every player has got their head around it and is actually looking forward to the challenge.
“We are a tight knit group anyway so we’re taking the positives out of it. It will be difficult being away from the family, but they all understand and appreciate that sometimes we have to make sacrifices because this is our job.”
The return to play format will see 32 games in 39 days to round out the H & A season, and the seven club A-League veteran said he was a fan of the concept.
“I think it’s good. For me, I think the more games the better. I don’t think our season has enough games.” Reddy said.
“Getting to play every five days is good. Overall, I think it’s good they condensed it. I think it’s a game every day and there’s only three days off. It’s going to give the people at home plenty to watch and hopefully we can keep them entertained.”
The A-League won’t cover expenses for families, ruling out the chances of wives and children joining the players in Sydney.
Reddy said the move was a bitter blow for players with families.
“We’re different to the AFL, the FFA haven’t accounted for the families to travel. We haven’t even been given that option,” he said.
“If your family wants to travel it would have to be at your expense, and I don’t even know if they would be allowed to stay in the hub with you. That’s something that hasn’t been brought up because the FFA haven’t factored that in to their cost.
“It’s disappointing. But a lot of things I think in these negotiations have been disappointing between the FFA, the clubs and the players. But we have got through that little period and now we are just looking at the positives and finishing the season.”
When asked what they can achieve over the next 6-8 weeks, Reddy’s answer was simple.
“To win it. (The A-League). We’re going there with a mindset to win. Everyone who has come back to training has exactly that mindset, the coaching staff have got that mindset,” he said.
“Everyone at training is looking really good, sharp and positive. We are not going to Sydney to make up the numbers, we are going to Sydney to win the Grand Final. We’ve got six matches to put ourselves in the best possible position to do that.
“We want to come back with the Grand Final trophy.”
The Glory kick off their season resumption with a match against Central Coast Mariners at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday, July 18th.
IMAGE: Fox Sports.