Popovic seeking Castro talks

17 May 2018 02:37:02 EST
Diego Castro

New Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic is keen to quickly assess what funds he has available to strengthen his squad before his first season in charge.

Popovic, who led Western Sydney Wanderers to an A-League premiership and the 2014 Asian Champions League title, flew into Perth on Wednesday for his first day at the office.

Talks with star Diego Castro are among his priorities as he looks to improve the team following their failure to make last season's Finals Series.

I have to ascertain first and foremost does he want to stay.

Tony Popovic

Popovic arrived with fewer than ten players signed up for the 2018/19 campaign, their departures since the end of last season having included Australia international striker Adam Taggart, Andreu Guerao, Jeremy Walker and Joseph Mills.

"We have several players we can bring in and possibly more," said the former Crystal Palace assistant manager. "It all depends on what we have remaining in the salary cap.

"This is certainly a challenge for us but there are opportunities to bring in fresh players, players have that hunger and desire to make Perth Glory great again."

Popovic succeeded Kenny Lowe, who has moved into a youth team role, and says he will meet Castro and owner Tony Sage this week to discuss future plans.

Speaking of 35-year-old Castro, who won the Johnny Warren Medal as the A-League's player of the year in 2015-16, the coach said: "I have to ascertain first and foremost does he want to stay. We can have a talk about it and make a decision on which way we want to go."

Popovic's first game in charge will be a marquee friendly with Chelsea on 23rd July.

Perth are 5/2 to win the 2019 Grand Final. The Glory are 6/4 to win the Premier's Plate.

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