Patersons an option for Glory

Jonathan Cook, The West Australian May 1, 2012, 11:33 am

Perth Glory will consider playing occasional A-League matches away from the attendance restrictions of nib Stadium next season in anticipation of a spike in interest in the beaten grand finalists.

Glory chief executive Paul Kelly said the club would look to take some games to a bigger venue, probably Patersons Stadium, because the capacity at nib Stadium would be reduced to around 9500 during the venue's refurbishment.

"If they are blockbuster matches and we think the appetite is there for 15,000 to 20,000, we won't hesitate (to move the game)," Kelly said.

Glory have requested they kick-off next season, which is scheduled to start in October, at home to grand final nemesis Brisbane Roar and are waiting for a response from Football Federation Australia.

The peak body is more likely to cash in on the Glory-Roar rivalry, which was sparked by the Queensland side's controversial grand final win recently, by allowing Brisbane to host the match at Suncorp Stadium where more than 50,000 turned up to watch Besart Berisha score a late winner in the recent season finale.

"Traditionally the grand final replay is played at the home of the winning team," Kelly said. "So there's no guarantee but we've made FFA aware we'd like to do it and it would be great for football."

This season, Glory averaged crowds of 8953, including finals matches against Melbourne Heart (12,600) and Wellington Phoenix (13,695).

But Kelly is hopeful the team's first A-League grand final appearance will have a significant impact at the turnstiles next season.

"You would envisage, given the season we've had, that our membership and crowds will increase," said Kelly, who believed it reasonable to anticipate a crowd of up to 20,000 would want to watch a season opener against Roar.

"I think it's a realistic figure in relation to a grand final replay. If you can catch it early enough and promote and market it."

He said matches against Melbourne Victory might also be shifted to a bigger venue and indicated that ground availability could force the club's hand regarding other fixtures.

Kelly met with A-League chief Lyall Gorman and head of football development John Boultbee yesterday to discuss Glory matters, including its support of youth and women's football.

Glory owner Tony Sage wants to cut costs next season and has threatened to stop funding the National Youth League and W-League teams.

Glory confirmed yesterday they have signed Melbourne Heart winger Adrian Zahra and Gold Coast United teenager Chris Harold.

Meanwhile, the WA side hopes Scott Neville and Steven McGarry will agree to new deals, while the club has not given up hope of signing former Gold Coast United defender Michael Thwaite.