23/04/2024

Having finished bottom of the ladder last season, the Glory were a much improved outfit in 2021/22. (Image: Perth Flory FC/ Graphic: Will Cuckson)

The Glory were a much improved side in the 2021-22 A-League Women's campaign, with the future of the team looking bright.

Finishing position: 5th (24 points, sevens wins, wins draws, four losses)

The Highs

The Glory came on leaps and bounds this season, having won the wooden spoon the season prior to just missing the finals.

Their high point of the campaign came at the midway point of the season, going on a five game unbeaten run from mid-January to early-February, where they knocked off the Wanderers, Phoenix and Adelaide United, while sharing points with the Jets and Canberra United.

Of their seven wins this season, their best performances came against top-four opposition sides, beating Adelaide and Melbourne Victory in the latter part of the season. Their 1-0 win over United in February was the last game they went unbeaten in their five-game purple patch. It was one of the highlights of their season, holding on for all three points having played neatly half an hour with just 10 players.

Their 2-0 win over the Victory late in the season at AAMI Park was also an impressive performance. Coming off a 4-0 loss the week prior to Melbourne City, the Glory responded by scalping one of the best sides in the competition on the road.

Another highlight was Lisa De Vanna putting the boots back on and being a valuable experienced head for a Perth side which blooded numerous youngsters in the 2021/22 season, which was also a positive this season.

Coach Alexander Epakis gave valuable playing time to younger players, in particular; Aideen Keane, Alana Jancevski, Hana Ann Lowry, Sofia Sakalia and Susan Phonsongkham. All of whom looked comfortable at senior level, and will put the side in good stead in the long run.

The Lows

Though finishing the 2021-22 season on a high, the Glory would be disappointed to not be playing finals, and their season could still be alive had they not dropped points to Canberra United on two occasions.

Though Canberra had a a strong finish to the season, the ACT-based outfit were struggling for most of the season, and wins were there for the taking for the Glory, but were only able to come away with a draw in both meetings.

Recording a lacklustre 0-0 draw in their first meeting, Perth would give up a 3-1 lead in their second clash, with the game finishing in a 3-3 draw. Having missed the finals on goal difference, the Glory will be ruing these chances they let go begging.

Their 4-0 loss late in the season against Melbourne City would also be a low point, given they’d miss out on goal difference, this heavy defeat inevitably sealed their fate.

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MVP

In her first season with the Glory, American striker Cyera Makenzie Hintzen made an immediate impact finishing the season as the side’s leading goal-scorer.

The 24-year-old import played nine games for Perth this season and was a main source of goals for the side and is a large part as to why the Glory climbed up the ladder.

Hintzen was influential up front for the Glory, finishing the season with five goals, one assist, she led the side for successful dribbles per game, shots on target per game and key passes per game. Having signed on for just the 2021-22 season, the club will he hoping they can extend her stay.

Cyera Hintzen had an impressive first season in the A-League Women’s competition. (Image: Perth Glory FC)

Breakout player

Having played just 19 games across four season with the Western Sydney Wanderers between 2017 and 2021, Susan Phonsongkhan was able to put in a consistent season with the Glory, playing nine games and making six starts this season.

Having made three goal contributions this season, Phonsongkham finished the season as the side’s assist leader, while leading the side for chances created per game leader, and finished inside the Glory’s top three player for shots on target.

Aged just 21, Phonsongkham has plenty of football ahead of her and made big strides in getting her season back on track having struggled for playing time with the Wanderers.

Phonsongkham had a breakout season with the Glory. (Picture: Perth Glory FC)

Final Word

2021-22 was a largely positive season for the Perth Glory given where they came from last season, and looked to be in good stead going forward with the core of their playing squad being young.

The squad is brimming with young talent with 18-year-old Hana Ann Lowry developing into a dangerous midfielder, and in Hintzen they have a great goal poacher.

Defensively they were also sound having finished last season with by far the worst defensive record in the league, to having the sixth best defence this season. Though their main issue remains to be taking three points from games that should be winnable.

It looks like the Glory have set a good foundation going forward, but if they are to take another step again next season they need to do more than scrape over the line or share points with the sides below them. On numerous occasions Perth dropped points, with their consistency something that needs to be eradicated.

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