thumbnail Hello,

Mehmet makes Glory departure, as Ferguson eyes Sydney FC scalp

The physical Irishman is destined for Thailand after ending his Glory stint, but Perth coach Ian Ferguson has quickly turned his attention to defeating Sydney FC on Saturday

GOAL.com Indonesia   By GOAL.COM


Perth Glory have agreed to terminate Billy Mehmet's contract, with the striker set to join Thai Premier League club Bangkok Glass.

Irishman Mehmet, 29, is due to pen a two-year deal with the capital outfit on Monday, subject to his documentation being finalised.

Glory coach Ian Ferguson has confirmed the club are now targeting an overseas replacement for their departing centre-forward.

"Obviously the January window is now open, and we've got one or two irons in the fire overseas," he said.

"We're waiting to see what happens with those, whether they are still progressing.

"We have put a couple of things to certain players and hopefully if it comes off, it'll be great for Perth Glory."

Ferguson went on to reveal that a desire to play regular first-team football was behind Mehmet's surprise decision to jump ship, having made nine starts and five substitute appearances this season, scoring three goals in the process.

"I can't guarantee anyone a first-team place, and Billy is 29 and he wants to be playing regularly," Ferguson said.

"It's disappointing, but we don't want unhappy players here either and if anyone wants to move on and head overseas, we won't stand in their way.

"And we've got good attacking cover.

"Travis Dodd can play up there, as can [Steven] McGarry and we've got [Chris] Harold and [Ryo] Nagai as well.

"Hopefully the players we bring in will do a good job for us."

The immediate on-field priority for the Glory coach is to try and steer his side back into winning form at the expense of rock-bottom Sydney FC on Saturday.

But like their opponents, the hosts will have to field a makeshift back four due to the absence of the injured Michael Thwaite and the suspended Bas van den Brink.

"I'm not going to comment about other people's defences," he said.

"We've got two of our main centre-halves out and we'll be looking to put another player in there who can provide the cover we require.

"Jacob Burns did it last year against Sydney and I thought he was like [Franz] Beckenbauer at one point.

"But we've also got Dean Heffernan who played there when he was with Central Coast and Melbourne Heart, so we've got two players who can easily slip in there for a game or two and hopefully do us a good job."

Ferguson went on to confirm that he expects marquee man Shane Smeltz to be fit enough to start the nib Stadium clash despite picking up a groin injury in training earlier this week.

"We pulled Smeltzy out of training yesterday just a precautionary measure," he said.

"He was a little bit tight, but he's back in full training today and at this moment, he'll be fine for tomorrow.

"The physios have checked him over and we're happy with where he's at."

In terms of Sydney's own marquee man Alessandro Del Piero, meanwhile, the Glory coach believes that the best way to stop the Italian superstar is to force him to play deep.

"We feel the further you can keep Del Piero away from the goal, the less effective he is," he said.

"He's very dangerous when he gets close to the box, he can create chances and put balls through for assists.

"We know what kind of a player he is, he's a player that can change a game in a heartbeat and we've got to make sure that do the right thing and try and keep him quiet."

Goal Australia has its own and account, so for all the latest news and features on Australian football follow us by clicking on the above links

Related

From the web