Popovic eyes A-League Glory days at Perth

Justin Chadwick
New Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic is hoping to make an instant impact at the A-League club

New Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic has set himself the goal of leading the club to a period of sustained success, and he says there's no reason why they can't give the title a shake next season.

Popovic has signed on as coach for the next three A-League seasons, replacing the sacked Kenny Lowe.

Glory were a powerhouse in the now-defunct NSL, but they are yet to win any silverware in 13 seasons of A-League action.

They have made just one grand final appearance during that period.

Popovic has been lured to Perth to change all that.

Owner Tony Sage not only wants A-League success, he is desperate for the team to compete regularly in the Asian Champions League.

Popovic led the Wanderers to the ACL title in 2014, and also guided the club to three A-League grand final appearances.

Now, Popovic wants to turn Perth into a heavyweight.

Popovic has a long-term plan. But he also wants to enjoy success from the outset.

"We want to win things," Popovic said.

"We're not going to put a time frame on when that will happen. But we want to be a team that can be challenging for honours in year one, and why not?

"I don't think the team in the first year will be exactly what I want the team to be.

"But I'm not going to make an excuse and say, 'OK, let's wipe the first year and say we need time to put this into place'.

"I believe we can still be successful in the first year."

Popovic has promised to implement a quick and aggressive style of play, but he said winning was the most important thing.

Glory currently have 11 contracted players, including key trio Andy Keogh, Shane Lowry, Liam Reddy.

But the future of star Spaniard Diego Castro remains up in the air.

Castro would likely need to take a pay cut to stay at Perth, and Glory football director Jacob Burns said he was unsure of what the outcome will be.

Popovic will bring an assistant coach with him to Perth, and said his phone had been ringing hot from players enquiring about joining the club.

Glory spent significantly under the salary cap last season, and it remains to be seen how much Sage is prepared to spend in Popovic's first campaign.

"The conversations we've had are clear. I know what we can spend, and I'm happy with that," Popovic said.

Popovic said he will sit down and have a coffee with Lowe, who was moved into a youth role at Glory after being sacked as coach.

"It doesn't need to be about football either, that coffee chat," Popovic said.

"We know each other quite well."