Heart another chance to firm up a starting berth

Players will have another opportunity to press their claims for a place in Coach Josep Gombau’s starting eleven for Round 1 when the Reds face Melbourne Heart on Friday afternoon.

Players will have another opportunity to press their claims for a place in Coach Josep Gombau-s starting eleven for Round 1 when the Reds face Melbourne Heart in a trial match at Epping Stadium on Friday afternoon.

With just over a fortnight before the season proper commences and only two more trial games against Hyundai A-League opposition to go, Gombau says he is getting closer to finalising his line up for Perth Glory at Coopers Stadium on October 13.

For Gombau, the short time left before Season 9 gets underway means the amount of time experimenting with different combinations is gradually decreasing as he looks to sure up a successful formula to take into the club-s season opener.

After putting his side through a solid, lengthy session at Coopers Stadium this morning, Gombau hinted he has an idea on who he envisages running out in the club-s first game of the 2013/14 campaign.

“Day by day we-re getting closer to knowing who will probably be in the starting eleven in Round 1,” Gombau said.

“We are close. Just two more games, two more weeks and day by day you have a clearer idea of what you want.”

Of course everyone is important but you need to decide which eleven players will start, and with the work that the players are doing, you have an idea of the team that will start.”

While Gombau knows pre season is the time to try things and tinker with various formations and personnel, being only 16 days out from the season means more of the emphasis from here on in will be about getting more game time into his prime movers and mastering the game plan. This will be a focus of Friday-s hit out with the Heart.

“It-s pre season - sure we-ll try things but as each day gets closer to the start of the season you are getting a clearer idea of what you want because you need to practise it,” Gombau said.

“What we want is that the players start to play 90 minutes because it is not the same when you are playing 45 or 60 minutes.

“The players that we think could start in the first eleven, we want them to start to play 90 minutes and to prepare as close as we can to how we want to play in the first game.”

“I also want to try some different movements in the middle of the park but day by day there will be fewer experiments and more specific things that we will need in the league games.”

Friday-s game will also be chance for Gombau to have a look at trialist Brent McGrath. The 22 year old originally from Sydney who had an eight year stint in Denmark with Danish top tier club Brondby trained with the Reds this morning and will continue to work with the squad over the next week or so.

Kick-Off is at 2.30pm AEST. Furthermore, the Reds- final pre season hit out against Hyundai A-League opposition will be against Melbourne Victory behind closed doors at AAMI Park on October 3.