Perth Glory women’s team has come back from the brink of extinction last year to be within one win of qualifying for the W-League grand final.
Glory will be aiming to reach the decider for the first time when they host Melbourne Victory in the semifinal at nib Stadium tomorrow.
The outlook wasn’t so rosy about nine months ago, when Glory owner Tony Sage pulled his funding for the women’s team amid a raft of cost-cutting measures.
Football West stepped in to save the women’s program with the help of sponsors and coach Jamie Harnwell’s team has taken all before it on the road to the finals.
Australian international Kate Gill, who won the Golden Boot with 11 goals in the regular season after missing last year’s World Cup with a knee injury, said the team’s revival had been amazing.
“We were written off at the start of the season and there is nothing more satisfying than proving people wrong,” Gill said.
“I think what makes it so great is that we are able to repay Football West for the amount of time and effort they have invested in the team and also thank them for their belief and support.”
Glory will welcome back Lisa De Vanna for the semifinal after the Matildas star served a two-game ban for breaching the code of conduct with comments made on social media.
But fellow striker Rosie Sutton is in doubt after injuring a quadriceps in last week’s win over Adelaide United.
De Vanna returned to Glory from overseas midway through the season and has had a big impact on the club’s fortunes.
“It’s great to have Lisa back, she adds that spark to the team, she is a game changer,” Gill said.
“It is nice to be playing with someone whose game you know so well and who complements your style of football.
“It is always enjoyable when we are playing well together and I can’t wait for the match.”
Glory beat Victory 2-0 in their only other meeting this season, back in round one.
The winner of tomorrow’s semifinal will advance to the decider on January 27, where they will meet the winner of today’s Brisbane Roar-Sydney FC clash.