Popovic proud as son Kristian gets A-League taste

A father and son combo is brewing in Perth

While Tony Popovic didn't bring his son Kristian on for an A-League debut on Friday night, the Perth Glory coach conceded he was proud to see him making the step up to senior football.

Still just 17, Kristian Popovic was named on Glory's bench against Adelaide United as Perth eased to a 2-0 win.

While Kristian didn't see any action, his father was proud to be able to include him in his squad after the midfielder had impressed in the Y-League.

"As a coach, we’re giving a young player an opportunity," Popovic told Fox Sports pre-game.

"He’s been training with the first team, albeit once a week, for the past month so he’s not quite at full-time status with us. But Richie Garcia has done a great job with the youth team to get him up to speed.

"It’s an opportunity, they all start somewhere.

"You’ve got one hat on as a coach - it’s great for a young kid to get a chance - and the other side, of course, you’re a proud father and certainly I am a proud father."

Kristian scored one goal across six games for Glory's youth team this season and was a part of the Western Sydney Wanderer's academy prior to his dad's move to Perth.

While the son of the coach, Kristian is getting no special treatment from Popovic with the Glory team welcoming him in with open arms. 

"They’ve made him feel welcome as they do with all the young players and he’s no different," he said.

With one son inching towards an A-League debut, Popovic has another in the form of 15-year-old striker Gabriel that will also be worth keeping an eye out for in seasons to come. 

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Wanderers academy technical director Ian Crook telling Goal last year that both Popovics have plenty of talent and that their dad was initially reluctant to bring them to the Wanderers. 

"I had seen both of them play over the previous four or five years and liked them and I must admit Tony was a bit reluctant at first because he didn’t want people to feel the boys were getting opportunities because he was the coach," Crook said. 

"I just said to him they have talent in their own right and they’ve gone on to show that."