Kenny Lowe reckons 2016 Perth Glory side is good enough for A-League glory
Kenny Lowe believes he has the squad to take Perth to their maiden A-League title, in this, the league's 12th season.
Glory coach Lowe is full of belief that the mesh of foreign stars Diego Castro and Andy Keogh with home-grown Socceroos has created a "perfect storm" in the west.
Glory swept into the 2015-16 finals following a late-season resurgence led by Spanish Johnny Warren Medallist Castro (13 goals, four assists) and Irish striker Keogh (10 goals in 15 games).
Though they were knocked out by Melbourne City in the first week, the club's offseason recruitment shows Lowe means business in a competition loaded with even higher quality across the board.
Fringe Socceroos Adam Taggart and Rhys Williams have both returned from overseas to headline a squad making the likes of Tony Popovic and John Aloisi sit up and take notice.
"I think it's probably the best squad we've started with in a season at the Glory, which is pleasing," Lowe said.
"We've brought good people in with a purpose."
Lowe said his long involvement in youth football, coupled with some unique individual circumstances, meant Taggart and Williams were just two of 14 Western Australian-born or raised players.
"It's a perfect storm," Lowe said. "Because of my background, I've worked with a lot of the boys at youth level when they were younger so I have relationships with those guys.
"I stay in touch with them and, off the back of that, things happened.
"Tags and Rhys were ready to come back because of their injuries and, last season, [Shane] Lowry had family here and wanted to come home."
The Glory will open their season with a near full-strength squad against Central Coast at home next Saturday, looking to make improvements on last week's 4-0 preseason loss to the Brisbane Roar.
Lowry is the only player not quite match fit but Lowe expects Castro, Taggart and Williams to play at nib Stadium.
Perth's new season signifies a fresh start for the club after the 2014-15 salary-cap scandal bled into their last campaign.
"There was legacy stuff last season because we didn't recruit until January," Lowe said.
"All the time I've been here, there's been problems and crises.
"I'm waiting for another to raise its head."