Glory Take The Lowe Road

April 23, 2014 at 10:09 am 6 comments

Trying to portray an image of correctness Perth Glory appear to have once more shot themselves in the foot. On the 20th of December they appointed Kenny Lowe as the Interim Head Coach for the remainder of the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season after Alistair Edwards and the club parted ways.

At the time club CEO Jason Brewer stated ““We want to ensure that we undertake a thorough and highly professional search process to identify the most suitable candidate for the permanent position of head coach. We want to make this very important decision with a view to ensuring a path for sustained success in the long term.” That all sounded extremely promising.

No decision was going to be made quickly and fans became concerned that the club was waiting until the end of the season to make such a decision, a time when players coming out of contract are already talking to other clubs and negotiating deals. In the January transfer window the club made three new signings which many found strange when the club was waiting to appoint a new coach, Rostyn Griffiths arrived along with Lithuanian International striker Davydas Sernas and Serbian midfielder Nebojša Marinkovic. Sernas was signed until the end of the season, while Marinkovic and Griffiths were signed until the end of 2014/15.

In February at a Fan Forum the club advised members that a “formal process to identify, select and contract the best permanent candidate” was underway. They were also shown the application document in a powerpoint presentation.

Sadly once again through this recruitment process the club has ended up sending mixed messages to the fans, in the main once again due to the Chairman of the club contradicting his Chief Executive. They have also according to some applicants as of last week not advised them that they were unsuccessful. Having started the process to find a head coach almost fourth months ago and being told that the club had received over 50 application from Australia and overseas, many expected a new face, and not the man who had stepped in to steer the club through the stormy waters of the last season to be given the role. That is why the announcement yesterday was met with a great deal of disappointment. Many fans it is believed calling the club to air their views and vent their frustrations.

By all accounts it was a final decision between Kenny Lowe and Spanish coach Albert Roca who was assistant to Frank Rijkaard at Barcelona, Galatasaray and with the national team of Saudi Arabia

One has to feel for Kenny Lowe. He understandably put his hand up for the role believing that he was good enough to do the job, just as many anyone does when they apply for any job. He did not make the decision to be head coach, but the Glory’s panel of six did. He should not be lambasted for being the successful candidate, purely because he was the one chosen.

Lowe himself has admitted he was surprised to land the role when he said at the press conference “I’m surprised. At the end of the day I’m not really high profile, but I think I’ve got qualities that will allow me to do well. So I’m looking forward to the challenge and it’s a big challenge.’’

It is a big challenge. Of that there can be no doubt, and once again being only given a two year tenure in the role, and being expected to bring through young local talent and make the A-League finals and the Asian Champions League is a massive ask. This shows that the club has not learned from previous mistakes. In order to give the club stability they need to give the coach security of a longer term, even if the exit clause sees him only receive a set amount rather than then amount left on the term of his contract.

“We had candidates that matched Kenny’s talent, but none matched his passion, and I believe that is what we need more of in this club.’’ CEO Jason Brewer stated, this in itself is a worry to many. How does one define passion? People show it in different ways, some will read watch and talk football 24 house a day, but have a quiet demeanour. Others show that passion through physical actions and words. As one wag wrote on social media, “My mum is a passionate lady, so she must have been in the running.”

Lowe will know that recruitment is going to be crucial to determine his future. After the club was beaten 3-0 last month by Western Sydney Wanderers he stated “I think it showed today that we’re not good enough. The young boys are not ready.” Yet part of the job criteria is that he must “develop a first team squad that is made up of at least 35% of home grown players that throughout the course of the season are provided with opportunities to develop into first team players at Perth Glory.” In addition he must “support the reduction of playing staff budget and playing staff number (sic) in accordance with directions from the CEO and the club’s board.”

Lowe has admitted he did not believe he was a front runner for the post, and that may have led to him being more relaxed than his fellow candidates when interviewed. As one of the four points in the job description states “The right candidate will be a leader of men and a builder of teams. He will be able to demonstrate how he has down this previously and he will have to exude confidence that he can do so at Glory. Ideally he will have “turned around” a losing mentality and be able to point to examples of these and explain his role in that. The best man managers will have been leaders all of their lives. People build teams and command respect in different ways.”

Many will point to this requirement and look at the NTC performances over the past three or four years when Lowe was in charge. This was supposedly the best young talent in the state, yet they hardly ever won a game; the reason we were told was because it was not about results, but development. This team’s form never turned around. In seventeen games in charge of Perth Glory Lowe won four, drew four and lost nine. There was a spell where the team had failed to win in ten games, before victories over Newcastle Jets and the Central Coast ended the run. Maybe the panel saw this as the “turn around” they were looking for? Many fans did not.

Kenny Lowe is sadly on the back foot straight away. He will need to get results immediately. There will be no honeymoon period, as football and Perth Glory is a business. Through no fault of his own fans are already disenchanted by his appointment, which may result in lower membership numbers. Early defeats will result in crowds diminishing as was witnessed at the end of this season; Free tickets helping them look a little more respectable! If that happens Lowe will soon be shown the door, something he is well aware of having been around the game a long time. “It’s football. There’s only two things that will happen while I’m here at this club, that I’ll guarantee will happen, one I’ll get criticism. Two, I’ll get the sack. That’s guaranteed.” He said at the press conference.

Three things Lowe will need to do, are be strong when others at the club try to influence his squad and the other is win over the fans. Without them on his side, despite what he thinks, it will be a very bumpy ride. Finally his first signing will need to be one that excites and be a player who can deliver, this will have a big bearing on how people view him and next season, more so than the club may realise.

 

 

 

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. All White  |  April 23, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Sorry, but this is a terrible decision! Kenny Lowe is a clown and Perth Glory already have enough of them.

    He thinks everything is a joke, his humour falls flat all the time. He is a sexist, – wives comment, Lineswoman comment – and he is not a “winning coach.”

    The Glory need to tell the truth, this decision was all to do with money. Kenny was the only one prepared to do the job for what was on offer, and due to his lack of top flight experience not in a position to make demands others did.

    Perth Glory will slip even further behind the pack with this appointment. As you say a few losses and he could be gone by Christmas. If the fans don’t go, Kenny or Brewer will have to.

    The club is a joke. The most uninspiring appointment in the A-League, and it took four months!

    Have you heard Jacob Burns will be the head of Football Development? If so another bad move, the ex Captain overseeing the coach.

    Reply
  • 2. Colin Sharland  |  April 23, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Whilst many fans agree that the appointment of Kenny Lowe is a mistake, lets be clear that it was not him who appointed himself but the team assembled to find the ‘right’ manager for the job.

    Should or if Kenny fails to turn around the team blame shouldn’t immediately be layed at his door but to those who made the appointment.

    It also seems memberships are going to rise (if you believe what’s on facebook), and it won’t take long for members, fans and supporters to turn their backs on the club again should price hikes be to steep or results not be immediate.

    Come the season kick off in October, KL would have had numerous practice games and at least one FA cup game under his belt and his full pre-season like he wanted and stated at the last members forum (Will we ever have another? Time will tell I guess).. that he didn’t get to have last year.

    Hopefully for the sake of the club he can change our fortunes but it would have to be one hell of an off season and some major signings to the squad and I’m not talking about an over 30 year old has been from Europe (after all they have enough money and could play for a minimal amount for the love and development of the game), but a proven Striker or 2 who will actually chase a ball if one isn’t being placed at his or their feet.

    I do not agree however with All White, in that Kenny is a clown. He’s a man with a passion who just happened to be given the gig. If its ‘clowns’ your looking for you’d be looking further up the chain of command.

    Finally, here’s to Kenny proving all the doubters wrong and bringing pride back to the club. It seems its been absent for quite a few seasons now. And, for crying out loud get rid of the new club song its more apt at a pre-school nursery than a professional football club.

    Reply
  • 3. David Meacock  |  April 23, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    World-wide search my arse.

    This isn’t about Lowe. This is about promises made about due process and spin upon spin from the club – even as far back as the fan forum the CEO was softening the masses to the idea of a Kenny Lowe appointment, saying how the players loved him, he was in difficult circumstances, showed a lot of aptitude St training, etc. Then a panel – lead then not lead by Bozza – is appointed and their recommendations put to one side to once again appoint the assistant, the incumbent, the cheapest option.

    Mitchell – Smith’s assistant.
    Ferguson – Mitchell’s assistant.
    Edwards – FFA loan
    Lowe – Mitchell’s assistant.

    When have we actually hired a new coach to revamp the gene pool? Or change the club culture? Perhaps Edwards was the closest we had to that, which is a depressing thought in its own.

    That said, while the board and CEO are under the employ of Sage it’s not like such tough questioning will ever really come up – just more plans drawn up to combat the growing realisation that people in Perth are turned off football because the brand of Perth Glory has damaged it, perhaps irreparably in its current form.

    At least now I’m past the point of caring. Makes membership decisions much easier, and I no longer have to worry about convincing mates who stopped going long ago to come along with me…

    Reply
  • 4. Ryan  |  April 23, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    “Finally his first signing will need to be one that excites and be a player who can deliver, this will have a big bearing on how people view him and next season, more so than the club may realise.”

    Interesting you say this because it’s odds-on to be Youssouf Hersi.

    He was announced as coming over here in March. When Glory publicly announced they weren’t discussing player contracts until a coach was appointed and wanted to speed the process through so they can approach other players.

    I think you will be on the mark.

    Brewer came out and literally says ““We can’t go on as a club making the mistakes we’ve made in the past”

    And yet, as Dave shows, they’ve done exactly that.

    I have 0% faith in Glory now that things will ever change, at least until they get a new owner or Perth get a new club.

    Reply
  • 5. Not The Footy Show  |  April 23, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Ryan, I think you will be 100% correct it will be Hersi, but not a player recruited by the coach. I hear the next signing will be a former player returning.

    I think everyone is losing faith, words have no meaning when spoken by the hierarchy.

    Dave, have to agree it is sad that so many will not attend games as long as Mr Sage owns the club. The Board are toothless and are simply patsies with no power. This club has been set up to be dysfunctional.

    Colin, I was saying just that, people should not blame Kenny for being appointed. He had every right to apply and he was lucky to be chosen. Now we should wish him well and hope he can indeed drive the club forward, but sadly it will take a great deal more than just passion.

    All White, I think you are right the club needed to be more transparent and to wait four months to appoint him was not good form. As for Jacob Burns, yes I had heard that he had a role involved with the coaching and recruiting. Also that he may be helping attract sponsors.

    Reply
    • 6. Ryan  |  April 24, 2014 at 9:03 am

      That’ll be Dino then? He’s another that is hardly inspiring. A position that does not need covering first.

      Reply

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