Perth targetting Asian glory in 2020
Perth: A-League Premiers Perth Glory are intent on making an impact in their AFC Champions League debut in 2020 according to club owner Tony Sage.
It might sound like high hopes for for a debuting side in Asia's most presitigious club tournament, but mining entrepreneur Sage believes Perth Glory can win the AFC Champions League in their maiden campaign.
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An ambition that is somewhat less improbable when the man at the helm, Tony Popovic, did exactly that at the 2014 edition when his Western Sydney Wanderers went all the way to the title at their first attempt, defeating this year's semi-finalists Al Hilal in the climax in Riyadh.
"He's won it before. He knows exactly how to plan for it," Sage said of the 2014 AFC Coach of the Year.
"You can expect a lot of changes to the squad leading up to the AFC Champions League.
"Some players might not even get a game during the lead-up because the AFC Champions League is what we want to win, and we want to be champions of Asia."
"Popa's got it all organised, and I think we've got the squad to do it."
The Western Australian side qualified for their first Continental adventure after they clinched a maiden 2018-19 A-League Premiers title with a record points tally.
This ended a 15-year trophy drought and ensured a place in the 2020 AFC Champions League Group Stage, despite their eventual defeat in the Grand Final to Sydney FC.
Before their continental campaign gets under way, though, Perth's immediate aims will be a strong start to their defence of their Premiers title. Popovic's side begin the 2019-20 A-League season on Sunday against Brisbane Roar.
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