A season of two halves is the best way to describe the 2017/18 campaign for Perth Glory.
Going into round eight in mid-December they were top of the table with four wins and two losses, but then failed to win another game for the rest of the season, resulting in a sixth place finish and missing out on finals football after playing in the Grand Final in season nine.
Not surprisingly, Sam Kerr was the key player for the Glory, scoring 13 goals to win the Golden Boot, and share the Julie Dolan medal with Brisbane Roar captain Clare Polkinghorne.
Exciting young American import Rachel Hill also proved to be a real handful for opposition defences, scoring nine goals and providing a league high of six assists in a very impressive debut season.
The total of 25 goals should have been enough to get Glory into the top four, with only Sydney and Newcastle scoring more, but they really struggled defensively, conceding 27 goals.
One game that really summed up season 10 was the last one against Western Sydney Wanderers. Glory were two down within the first five minutes, then went 3-2 up with 12 minutes to go, before conceding two goals in the final two minutes to lose 4-3.
Glory coach Bobby Despotovski agreed, saying: “That (game) sums it (the season) up. We usually played extremely well for about 60 – 65 minutes in that second part of the season and then lost our fitness and just collapsed.”
He felt that the teams travel schedule was a key factor in the struggles his players had in the second half of the season.
"We started very well but lost our way halfway through the season due to our travelling schedule and inability to train for many days after the travelling," he said.
He also felt the mix of the team was not quite right last season, and that also helped explain why they fell away as much as they did. This seasons squad will be very different from last year, with nine players not returning, but Despotovski is confident that the squad this season can do well.
"We are in a better position now than we were last year, especially with Alyssa Mautz coming back, Nikki Stanton coming back, Rachel (Hill) coming back and Katie Naughton coming who is a proven centre back," he said.
One significant area that is unchanged is the Glory attack, with the irrepressible Sam Kerr teaming up once again with last season's break out star Rachel Hill. With these two in the team Glory will not be short of goals.