Perth midfielder Clark Keltie believes the physical test of taking on Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday will be a measuring stick for his side’s capacity to challenge for the National Premier Leagues WA title this season.
Keltie was suspended for Perth’s opening-round draw with Perth Glory but returned last week and was a positive influence in the 4-1 win over Floreat Athena at E&D Litis Stadium.
The English import, who played over 150 games for Darlington and Rochdale and also had a stint in Iceland with Víkingur Ólafsvík, has been in Perth only a year but that has been long enough for him to know what to expect from the Gulls.
“I watched them in the first week and they are a physical side and are hard to beat, especially at their place, as we found last season going down in both games,” Keltie said.
“But we have recruited well and added some quality in all areas of the park. We have a good mix of experience and youth in the side this season and if we’re going to be successful this time around, we have go to these sorts of places and pick up points.”
Keltie felt Perth had shown improvement against Floreat but indicated there was plenty more to come.
“I thought it wasn’t a good first-half performance from us last week but we finished clinically, which was missing in the draw against Perth Glory the week before,” he said.
“We worked hard until the final whistle, but it was a step in the right direction for us.”
Saturday, March 22: Armadale v Balcatta (Alfred Skeet Reserve, 3pm); Floreat Athena v ECU Joondalup (E&D Litis Stadium, 3pm); Bayswater City v Inglewood United (Frank Drago Reserve, 3pm); Perth Glory v Stirling Lions (Intiga Stadium, 3pm); Sorrento v Perth (Percy Doyle Reserve, 3pm).