Thwaite out of bounds
Thwaite out of bounds

Perth Glory have rejected reports fringe Socceroos defender Michael Thwaite will be released at the end of the season to join another A-League club.

Interstate media reported this week that Sydney FC coach Frank Farina had asked the club's board to make recruiting Thwaite a priority and claimed Glory were willing to let the defender leave.

Glory granted releases to contracted players Billy Mehmet, Bas van den Brink and Jesse Makarounas last month, but deputy chairman Lui Giuliani said the club had rejected an informal approach for Thwaite, who is contracted to Glory until the end of next season.

"The report was bemusing, but it is definitely not on," Giuliani said yesterday.

"He's clearly a required player and I was surprised by the press.

"We had an informal approach by somebody where we categorically told them no, and it wasn't Sydney.

"My understanding is he's more than happy (at Glory) and he's had no discussions. He's not a player we will be releasing."

Thwaite drew praise from Socceroos coach Holger Osieck despite being played out of position during the successful East Asian Cup qualifying tournament in December and has been one of Glory's better players this season.

But he attracted unwanted attention when he publicly questioned the direction and leadership of the club during a season that has gone from bad to worse during a winless eight-game spell.

Giuliani said there were no on- going issues between the club hierarchy and Thwaite, who could partner Steve Pantelidis in the centre of defence when Glory take on league leaders Central Coast at nib Stadium tonight.

Interim coach Alistair Edwards replaced Ferguson this week and has spent the past few days implementing a new game plan.

Yesterday's training session suggested he would employ a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Liam Miller and Nick Ward positioned to provide support for striker Shane Smeltz from the midfield. Josh Risdon, who will play his usual role at right full-back, said the players had worked hard to adapt to their new coach's philosophy.

"We've been working hard on a few things at training and we're really looking forward to the game to see how we go," Risdon said.

"He (Edwards) has different tactics and different ways he wants to play so he's been drilling it into us this week and planting it in our minds so we know where to be on the weekend."

Glory captain Jacob Burns will miss a fourth successive match with a back injury.

"We had an informal approach … we categorically told them no, and it wasn't Sydney." " Glory deputy chairman *Lui Giuliani *

The West Australian

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