Perth SC: Into 2016
Report by Jonathan Cook
Infographics: Adrian Petrilli
New Perth Soccer Club coach Gareth Naven is all about raising the bar, lifting standards and driving improvement. But the former Perth Glory captain’s hopes are not just for the Dorrien Gardens’ club.
Perth SC is first and foremost in his mind, and improving above and beyond the standard set by Bayswater City in recent years is his immediate focus.
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“We are the second tier to the A-League and I think we should have better expectations of what it means to be in the NPL,” Naven said.
“We should all be aiming to reduce the gap between us and the A-League and we should be looking to push players up into the A-League. (Perth Glory’s former Floreat Athena defender) Aryn Williams is an example of how the NPL is a vehicle for players to go up; not to stand still. It’s not a place where people disappear.
“If Bayswater are the benchmark of the competition I think it’s important that clubs want to overtake them. That’s how the competition grows.”
Naven has replaced Taki Nicolaidis, who took the club to second-place last season, a Round of 32 Westfield FFA Cup place and the final of the Cool Ridge Cup before being released.
Nicolaidis has since moved to Inglewood United, and ex-Perth players Ashley Rosindale, Mark Pritchard, Josh Pereira, Alex Dunn and David Cyrus have gone with him.
Naven, though, has retained a strong core of experienced players such as skipper Clark Keltie, talented midfielders Dean Evans, Reece Vittiglia and Andreas Theodosiades and goalkeeper Francis Soale.
Former Socceroos defender Adrian Madaschi has joined the club, while ex-Crystal Palace midfielder Anthony Danze has returned after a long sabbatical. Former Balcatta striker Gustavo Catarcione will add punch up front.
As a former Perth player, Naven knows the level of expectation he will face and is comfortable being under the spotlight.
“I’m new to the club in a coaching sense but old to the club having been a past player,” Naven said. “The club is supported really well off the field, supported really well on the field and their history states they’re in the business of winning trophies - it’s as simple as that.
“You set out to win everything you can. If there’s a cup to be won or a league to be won, we’ve got to do our best to try to achieve that.”