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A-League Grand Final: 50-50 challenge

Australian A-League
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Tony Popovic: Perth Glory 'not a big club' yet

Big names from across the A-League launch the new season, set to get underway on Friday October 11.
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Tony Popovic reckons Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory deserve to be favourites for this season's A-League title, saying Perth Glory can't call themselves a "big club" just yet.

Glory won last season's Premiers Plate with two games to spare in a dominant campaign and fell just short of snaring the double when they lost the Grand Final to Sydney FC on penalties.

Sydney are rated the favourites for this season's title, with Victory expected to be their main challenger.

Glory are ranked third in most betting markets despite their dominance last season.

It's a ranking Popovic feels is fair.

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"They should be favourites, they're the biggest clubs in the league," Popovic said. "We're not a big club. We're striving to become a big club.

"Sydney and Melbourne have shown over the course of the journey in the A-League that they've always been successful and they've always challenged for the title. And that is why they are big clubs.

"For us to become a big club that takes, for me, three to five years that you can be in that category."

Glory players have spoken openly about the pain of last season's Grand Final loss and Popovic is encouraging them to use it.

"All players are motivated in different ways. Them to be hurting from a Grand Final loss is a good thing," Popovic said.

"We had a fantastic year and came so close. If that's a driving force for the group, great. So be it."

Glory will field a new-look defence in Sunday's clash with Brisbane Roar at HBF Park following the departure of Matthew Spiranovic, Jason Davidson, Shane Lowry and Scott Neville.

Tony Popovic
Tony Popovic insists that Perth Glory aren't a big club yet.

Popovic thinks it will take a bit of time for them to hit full stride but he still expects them to perform strongly.

Brisbane will be coached by former Liverpool star Robbie Fowler and Popovic said it was hard to know exactly what to expect from the new-look squad.

Glory will unveil star recruit Bruno Fornaroli, who has enjoyed a seamless preseason.

"He's been a breath of fresh air since he's come into the club, just his attitude and his work ethic," Popovic said.

"He's enjoyed his training, he's enjoying being around the group and I'm sure he'll be smiling when he plays on Sunday and that's when he's at his best."

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