Key Westfield W-League quartet pledge futures to Glory

Perth Glory is delighted to confirm that Head Coach Alex Epakis, skipper Natasha Rigby and rising stars Hana Lowry and Tijan McKenna have all pledged their futures to the club.

Epakis has already begun planning for what will be his second season in charge of the W-League side, while Rigby is now set for a sixth year in purple and her third as captain.

And having made long-term commitments to the club, Junior Matildas teammates Lowry (17) and McKenna (16) will be looking to maintain their impressive rate of development, with the former having made 14 starts over the past two seasons and the latter featuring on 12 occasions in the 2020/21 campaign.

Understandably, Epakis is thrilled to have the services of three such key figures secured for what he is confident will be a more successful season.

WWL - Glory v Victory - Fotoenzo - Alex Epakis rallying the troops


"I am personally extremely pleased and proud that three of our core players have committed to the club going forward," he said.

"It sets a fantastic foundation and direction for the squad and all three players have great value within the team.

"Tash proved to be a strong leader throughout adverse times this past season.

"Her commitment to the team and club on and off the field is priceless and she is one of the fiercest competitors I have come across in my coaching career to date.

"We are extremely pleased to have her lead the group next season and I look forward to working with her to continue to guide and set the direction for the team.

"Hana is an outstanding talent.

"She was immense in her efforts and performances throughout the whole season when she certainly took the opportunity to step up and be a key player for the team.

"Hana has the potential and mindset to develop into a top-level player and I look forward to playing a part in that process.

"Tijan is another key long-term signing who proved last season that she is able to go toe-to-toe with all players.

"She certainly stood out to me early in my time here and developed considerably over the course of the season.

"All three women are local WA players who embody the values and commitment that we are seeking to form the cornerstone of our team direction."

Defender Rigby is also backing the youthful playing group to drive the club forward.
 

WWL - Canberra United v Glory - Natasha Rigby heading


"I am both humbled and elated to have signed on for my sixth season," she said.

"More than ever, we are focused on building a successful and sustainable W-League team.

"Last season we witnessed a multitude of young, local players step onto the big stage and it was incredible to watch them grab the opportunity and really shine.

"It is really special to be able to watch the team develop and grow and to assist, where I can, in laying the foundations and paving the way for this amazing future generation."

That confidence in the future development of the squad is very much shared by Lowry who established herself as a midfield mainstay for Glory last term.

WWL - Glory v Victory - Hana Lowry


"Although the results didn’t go our way last season," she said, "I really enjoyed the environment within the team and the vision the club has moving forward.

"I really liked Alex as a coach and his vision for future seasons is super-exciting and something I really want to be a part of.

"Representing my home city is something that makes me feel very honoured and I believe it’s the right place for me to improve as a player and help me grow."

McKenna, too, feels that Glory is very much moving in the right direction.

WWL - Melbourne City v Glory - Tijan McKenna on the ball -


"It’s great to re-sign with the club which is building a special long term environment," she said.

"I’m excited about achieving what’s to come in the future and developing on my form from last season."

Glory CEO Tony Pignata, meanwhile, believes that locking the key quartet in for next season represents a genuine statement of intent on the club’s behalf.

“We are committed to giving our Westfield W-League side the best chance to succeed,” he said, "and securing the services of Alex, Natasha, Hana and Tijan at this early stage is a clear illustration of that.

"Alex performed admirably in the face of unprecedented challenges last season and we look forward to him building upon the foundations which he laid in terms of both team culture and playing style."

Further Westfield W-League squad announcements are expected in the near future.