Perth Glory’s Premiers Plate triumph was a historic moment, as it was the first trophy that the club had won since their NSL days.

Perth completed the double in the 2003/04 NSL season, however until last week failed to win any silverware in the A-League era. They came close in the 2011/12 season, however, could not overcome Brisbane Roar in the grand final.

Their fans have stuck by them throughout this time, and the recent trophy is a fantastic accomplishment for the club and for the state of Western Australia.

Let’s have a look at the 2003/04 Perth Glory side that had been the last to win a trophy:

Mich d’Avray was the manager during this campaign and despite finishing in second place the season before, Perth were crowned champions after defeating the Olympic Sharks 2-0. The Glory were out to defend their championship and do their state proud.

Perth played at three venues over the course of the season – Perth Oval (now known as HBF Park), Arena Joondalup and Subiaco Oval.

The squad featured some quality players, that have had long and successful careers in Australian football.

Jason Petkovic played in goals, while their defence featured players such as Shaun Murphy, Jade North and Matthew Horsley. Damian Mori, Bobby Despotovski, Nick Mrdja and Tom Pondeljak are just some others that also contributed to their success, while many more played a large part. It was a great squad that finished on top of the table with six-point lead over second-placed Parramatta Power.

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Image: Perth Glory

 

Despite a couple of disappointing results, including a 6-0 loss to Parramatta, the Glory won 18 of their 24 matches during the regular season. They were involved in some high-scoring matches – a 5-3 win over the Northern Spirit, a 6-1 triumph over the Brisbane Strikers and a 4-2 victory over Sydney United were just some results that saw a lot of action.

The Glory’s road to the Grand Final came the hard way, with fears that they would not win the championship. They lost 6-2 on aggregate to Parramatta in the semi-final and following a 5-0 drubbing of Adelaide United in the preliminary final, they finally qualified for the Grand Final, albeit away from home at Parramatta Stadium.

Perth and Parramatta had lots of history during the 2003/04 season, with five encounters between the two taking place over the course of the campaign.

The two could not split at the end of regular time at a sodden Parramatta Stadium on Grand Final day.

However, Nik Mrdja managed to break the deadlock for the Glory in the eighth minute of extra time and due to the ‘golden goal’ rule that was prevalent in world football during the time, Perth won the match and were crowned as champions. It was a momentous occasion in the club’s history, with a double-winning season capping off a remarkable campaign.

Fast forward 15 years and Perth have finished on top of the national league table again. There have been some dark years, however the glory is back in Perth and a grand final win this season would be a reward for the club and their fans.

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Tim Sperliotis
tsperliotis@gmail.com