Ex-Socceroo returns to Glory as football director

Stan Lazaridis in boot room cropped

Former Socceroos star Stan Lazaridis says he has unfinished business at Perth Glory after being unveiled as the club's new football director.

Lazaridis' appointment marks the first significant move under new owner Ross Pelligra, who purchased the A-League club in February after previous owner Tony Sage handed back the licence last year amid ongoing financial woes.

Glory were a powerhouse club of the now-defunct NSL, winning three league championships and two premierships

Since hanging up his boots in 2008, he has remained immersed in the game and is looking forward to using his wealth of experience and knowledge to drive his hometown club forward.

“For me personally, there’s unfinished business at the club,” he said.

“I feel that when I left, I needed to give something back and this is just the right time to do that.

“My motive for coming back is simply that I want this club to be better.

“I want us to achieve things again, to be competitive, for fans to come back through the turnstiles and The Shed to be electric again.

“I’m going to work my damnedest to make this club great again and the board have given me full trust.

“I think when that trust is given to someone, you want to protect it and work even harder.

“I want the books to balance, but I also want a competitive side.

“I want the coaches to be happy and then there’s the club aspect as well.

“Top of my priority list at the moment is looking at the playing squad because we’re actually quite thin on the player roster.

“I’ll be looking at how we can strengthen for next season, looking at players whose contracts are running out, speaking to them individually and seeing where their minds are at in terms of whether they want to still be here or whether they want to move on.

“We’ve got such a great owner who’s very humble, very financial, but also wants success and he’s given us his ideas of what he wants.

“It’s going to be a big team effort, we’ve got some wonderful staff here and I just can’t wait to get stuck into it.”

Glory Chairman Ross Pelligra, meanwhile, believes that Lazaridis’ experience and expertise will prove to be invaluable assets for the club.

“Stan was introduced to myself about two months ago, but I already knew of him through the relationship he had with Vince Grella and Mark Bresciano,” he said.

“Then I started doing some research to see what Stan had done in the past and noticed that he was a big leader in football and had also helped Vince and Mark through their careers.

“I could see that he had that leadership in him and as I got to know him more, I realised that we need a person like Stan in our club; someone who understands football, knows football, has lived football and can help the next generation of kids come through.

“That’s why we decided, at board level, to bring Stan on board.”

Stan Lazaridis Profile

Having risen to prominence with Stirling Macedonia, Floreat Athena and Olympic Kingsway, Lazaridis continued to impress after his 1992 move to National Soccer League side West Adelaide Hellas.

During a friendly between the South Australian club and West Ham United, he caught the attention of the London side’s then-manager Harry Redknapp who signed him for the Hammers soon after.

The versatile left-footer went on to make nearly 70 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers over the next four years, helping the club to secure three top-ten Premier League finishes.

In 1999, he moved on to Birmingham City and played a key role in driving the Blues to the 2001 League Cup Final and promotion to the Premier League in 2002-03.

In total, he made more than 190 appearances during a seven-year stint at St. Andrews, further endeared himself to the club’s supporters by scoring the winner against derby rivals Aston Villa in March 2003 and went on to be named in Blues’ Team of the Century.

The proud Western Australian then returned home and spent the final two seasons of his playing career with Glory, wearing the famous purple 13 times between 2006 and 2008.

His first taste of international football, meanwhile, came at the 1989 Under-17 World Youth Championships and he subsequently won the first of his 60 Socceroos caps, a WA record, in a friendly clash with Kuwait four years later.

He would go on to feature in the green and gold in the 1997 Confederations Cup Final, as an over-age player at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and in the squad at the 2006 World Cup.

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