Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Glory confident even without Kewell
By Justin Chadwick
Perth Glory's bid to land star striker Harry Kewell fell flat, but coach Ian Ferguson remains confident his squad is in good shape to be a major championship contender this A-League season.Glory owner Tony Sage sparked a flurry of excitement on Wednesday when he claimed 34-year-old Kewell had showed interest in joining the club on a guest player deal.Sage said the Socceroos legend would meet Ferguson and Glory chief executive Paul Kelly this week to discuss a possible deal.But that was all news to Kewell who, on Thursday, dismissed the prospect of him joining any A-League club until his family issues in the UK were under control.The former Liverpool striker would have been the icing on the cake to an already-powerful Glory line-up, who sit in third spot with three wins from five games.But Ferguson said even without Kewell, his team remained a formidable outfit with plenty of depth."We're happy with the players we've got," Ferguson said on Friday."We've got great players in."I think Harry spoke to (the media) at the airport and said there was no chance of him coming to Perth Glory."So I'm not going to answer any more questions on Harry Kewell."I think he's made it quite clear that he won't be playing for Perth Glory."With Sage overseas on business, Ferguson said he was yet to find out why there had been so much confusion over Kewell's intentions.Meanwhile, star Glory striker Shane Smeltz will make his return off the bench in Sunday's clash with ladder-leading Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium.Smeltz, who hasn't played since injuring his hamstring while playing for New Zealand last month, is expected to feature for around 30 minutes against Adelaide.The 31-year-old will then head to Shanghai to link up with the All Whites again for Thursday's friendly against China.Smeltz's call-up for the friendly - so soon after injury - is a situation Ferguson isn't happy with."We've just had him back for three sessions and now he's going to be going away again, which isn't good," Ferguson said."But that's the rule, and we've got to agree with it."I wouldn't stop any player from playing for their national team. It's a great honour."But I just hope they will be sensible and realise he's just come back (from injury)."