Rigby: Exciting youngsters and local talent set to ignite Glory’s season
As Grand Finalists in two of the last three seasons, Perth Glory are rightly considered one of the heavyweights of the Westfield W-League.
But there seems to be a different expectation on Bobby Despotovski’s side heading into the 2019/20 campaign.
For the first time in a number of seasons, star striker Sam Kerr won’t be pulling on the purple jersey after her move to English giants Chelsea.
The likes of Rachel Hill and Alyssa Mautz – who were regular scorers in 2018/19 – are also gone making it a new-look Glory squad this season.
There’s more of a focus on local and emerging talent which newly-appointed skipper Natasha Rigby is optimistic about.
“This season is really exciting because we’re looking to build with the local talent we’ve got,” she told w-league.com.au.
“We’ve got so many fantastic younger players coming in from the Young Matildas and the Junior Matildas.
“Obviously we’re devastated because Sammy is such a fantastic asset on the field and as a leader as well, she’s just amazing.
“But she’s got the world at her feet and you can’t blame her for going and doing what she’s doing.”
A couple of those youngsters Rigby expects to shine for Glory this season are the likes of Leticia McKenna and Lexie Moreno.
“They just dance on the ball, they’re amazing,” Rigby says.
“They came in last year, especially Leticia came in towards the end of the season, so getting her as more of a starter in the team, a solid starter, will be awesome.”
DON'T MISS IT: How to watch Westfield W-League Round 1
SIGNING NEWS: Mexican defender Romero back for another bid for Glory
Rigby has been a part of both of Glory’s two losing Grand Finals in the last three seasons, admitting the defeats have been devastating.
But the experience has only made the players stronger and she sees no reason why they can’t go even further in 2019/20.
“If you’re not in it to win it what are you there for?,” Rigby said.
“We’ve got to concentrate and make sure we’ve got the glue we need between our players and form a functional unit that we can go forward and bring a lot of force to the field with.”
Glory start their 2019/20 campaign with a trip to the nation’s capital to take on Canberra United on Sunday, November 17 (kick-off at 4pm AEDT).
“They’ve always been a bit of a bogey team for us so I think if we go out there and absolutely smash them it would be fantastic,” Rigby said of United.
“All respect to Canberra; they are an amazing team and have a really good squad as well so looking forward to it.
“Just the thrill of it all, playing the sport at this level is amazing and I’m so grateful for it every single day.”
INTERNATIONALS: Five key foreigners in the Westfield W-League 2019/20 Season
NEW SIGNINGS: All the Westfield W-League ins for 2019/20