Billy Mehmet and Taylor Regan fight for the ball in an A-League Soccer clash between the Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory.
Billy Mehmet and Taylor Regan fight for the ball in an A-League Soccer clash between the Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory. Matthew Attard (SMP Images)

After goal glory comes a start

GLORY striker Billy Mehmet looks like being rewarded in this Sunday's clash with Central Coast for his brilliant opening round cameo.

The big Englishman is tipped to start up front in the game at Gosford's Bluetongue Stadium.

Mehmet admitted he was disappointed not to start in last Sunday's grand final rematch victory with Brisbane - which was won by Perth 1-0. He came on in the 84th minute and just four minutes later headed home the winning goal.

Glory's starting striker last Sunday, Shane Smeltz, will be away this week preparing for two World Cup qualifiers, with his New Zealand outfit to take on Tahiti on Friday and next Tuesday.

Smeltz's unavailability enhances Mehmet's chances of starting for the Perth team.

"I'll be hoping to get a start. We'll just see whatever the gaffer (coach)goes with," he said.

Mehmet acknowledged his side's game against the Roar was a physical affair and said his teammates would not back down over the course of the season.

"You're going to see a lot of strong tackles throughout the season," he said.

"We've got players in our team that like that - obviously the likes of Jacob Burns, he likes to tackle like that."

Meanwhile, star Sydney FC signing Alessandro Del Piero implored his supporters to stay patient after the Sky Blues lost their opening game 2-0 to Wellington.

He told SBS his teammates needed to learn to time their runs better, and that it was too early for him to form an opinion on the standard of the competition.

- JOSH SPASARO


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