Perth Glory's A-League coach Richard Garcia says it is “fantastic” to have Diego Castro back at the club after his unexpected exit last season.
Castro surprisingly withdrew from Perth’s squad in July, declining to finish the rest of the A-League campaign in the hub in NSW citing COVID-19 concerns. It was a major blow to the Glory's finals chances.
But the Spanish star has now been welcomed back into the fold and Garcia is keen to look forward.
“It’s good to have Diego back, to be honest it’s good to have all the players back,” Garcia told FTBL.
“The experienced guys as well like Neil Kilkenny, Liam Reddy and also great to have Bruno back on board and the addition of Andy Keogh as well.
“We’ve got a good bunch of experienced guys who are there to be able to help facilitate the younger guys ad help them evolve.
“It’s important that we treat every situation on its merits. Look, I think Diego has come back into the club and been very positive, been a great leader amongst the group, especially amongst the young guys.
“His attitude and application have been top class.”
Perth are currently in Qatar for the Asian Champions League. The head coach admits the condensed tournament has its challenges.
“We’re taking a very young squad, it’s going to be a challenging tournament with the fact we haven’t been in training for very long,” he said.
“We’ve only been in training for three weeks and this is our fourth week completed now. They’re on the back end of their season so they’re going to be super fit.
“The expectations are to compete and try and get some good results and build for the A-League season.
Garcia was appointed coach in September with the exit of Tony Popovic. The 39-year-old says he plans to follow Popovic’s playing style and not make major changes to the team.
“I don’t want to play with it too much,” he admitted.
“With the framework that we’ve got at the moment is very good. I’ll have my slight twist on that. Being a former attacking player I want to play good attacking football, so I think I’ll just put a bit more attacking flair on it.
“I think the players are quite happy with the way we’re travelling at the moment, and happy in the direction we’re going.”