Perth Glory kicked off their schedule of pre-season friendly matches with a comfortable 3-0 win over local amateur side Kwinana United at Medina's Kelly Park yesterday.
Brazilian trialist Sidnei Sciola Moraes gave Glory the lead in front of more than 1000 fans, with Steven McGarry and Shane Smeltz finding the net in the second half against a spirited and well-drilled Kwinana side.
Glory enjoyed a solid workout against a Kwinana side which acquitted itself well and boasted the man of the match in goalkeeper Chad Freund.
The talented shot-stopper kept the A-League side at bay with a string of stunning saves, the best of which came after just eight minutes when he went full-length to keep out a Smeltz penalty after Chris Harold had been upended in the box.
Freund foiled the New Zealand international in similarly spectacular style again just before the half-hour mark, but by then Glory had got their noses in front courtesy of Sidnei, who caught the eye in his first outing for the club.
The former Boavista man enjoyed plenty of success down the left flank and broke the deadlock on 16 minutes after cutting infield, outpacing the defence and sliding the ball into the far corner of the net.
Kwinana managed to restrict the visitors to that single-goal advantage until half-time.
But three minutes into the second period, McGarry pounced to make it 2-0 from close range having been picked out by the lively Smeltz.
And it was the A-League's record goal scorer Smeltz who made amends for his earlier penalty miss by completing the scoring in some style shortly before the final whistle.
Picking the ball up just outside the box, Glory's marquee man showed great close control to dance his way past a cluster of Kwinana defenders and calmly beat the advancing 'keeper, much to the delight of the local youngsters gathered behind the goal.
The performance left Glory coach Edwards generally satisfied and praised the contribution made by Sidnei.
"We've only had three training sessions and the players got two sets of 40 minutes today which made this a really important part of our pre-season," Edwards said.
"I thought the boys really enjoyed it.
"Sidnei did well. He's just arrived from Brazil, showed a few flashes of brilliance and he looks like he's going well."
Edwards also reserved praise for the outstanding Freund.
"You could tell how good he was by the fact that he got a standing ovation when he was substituted late in the game," Edwards said.
"They (Kwinana) were really well organised, so it was a very useful exercise to play against them and hopefully we'll have more of the same at Gosnells next weekend."
For two hours prior to kick-off, Glory's players were involved in coaching local youngsters through a series of short-sided games, as well as posing for photos and signing autographs as they mingled with the growing crowd.
And once the final whistle brought the friendly clash to an end, there was another opportunity for the locals to get up close and personal with their favourite players and coach Edwards, who was delighted to be back at the club where his illustrious football career began.
"It was like a reunion of sorts for me, seeing people I haven't seen for over 20 years," Edwards said.
"But in terms of what happened with the festival in the morning, I was really proud of our Glory players who mingled and spent a lot of time with the kids.
"The weather has been fantastic, everyone's buzzing and it's been a perfect day really.
"I'm just thrilled to bits with the way it's gone."
Glory meet Gosnells City in another friendly fixture next week before embarking on a pre-season tour of South Africa.