A wave of optimism fills the training ground, as Socceroos and a new figurehead in Tony Popovic project an aura of professionalism. Could next season belong to Perth?

While Santalab has only been at the club for a matter of days, the 35-year-old reveals that the buzz around the playing group is almost palpable, thanks in part to the presence of Popovic. 

The veteran striker heaped praise on Glory’s new boss.

"Popa played a huge part in getting me over to Perth," Santalab told FourFourTwo.

"Having worked with him at Western Sydney for a number years, he’s someone I’m very familiar with - I knew it would make the transition to Perth easy for me.’

"When you sign Tony Popovic as your manager, it’s a statement that you’re after trophies and success - I share that same ambition, and that’s ultimately what made my decision to sign for Perth an easy one."

This time last season, a familiar energy pervaded the air at Western Sydney, as Socceroo Josh Risdon emerged and the shortcomings of the previous campaign seemed a distant memory. 

The mood quickly dissipated following Popovic’s shock departure to Turkey.