Manchester United to face Perth Glory side featuring schoolchildren… with Australians to call on two 15-year-olds to make up the numbers for opening game of pre-season tour
- Manchester United will face a Perth Glory team featuring some schoolchildren
- Perth boss Tony Popovic has included his two sons – Kristian, 17, and Gabriel, 15
- Popovic will have another 15-year-old on the bench in the absence of key players
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may not get the workout he wants for his touring side
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may not get quite the workout he wants for his players after it emerged that his A League opponents have had to draft in kids to make up the numbers.
Perth boss Tony Popovic has included his two sons – Kristian, 17, and Gabriel, 15 – in the squad because he is without six of his best players. Joshua Rawlins, also 15, is expected to be on the bench.
Manchester United will face a Perth Glory squad containing several schoolchildren
Perth boss Tony Popovic has included his two sons – Kristian, 17, and Gabriel, 15 – in his squad
The Glory, who are halfway through a five-month off-season after losing the championship final to Sydney in May, will be missing Diego Castro, Andy Keogh, Matt Spiranovic, Dino Djulbic, Chris Ikonomidis and Alex Grant.
‘I have two sons that could be involved – we still have to see about that,’ said Popovic, who saw both his boys score in a friendly against National Premier Leagues side Bayswater City in midweek. Kristian made two A League appearances off the bench for Perth last season.
‘As a father, you are proud to see them doing well and taking those first little steps towards a football career that they want to have. There will be more young players get an opportunity. They will get thrown in. Josh Rawlins, who is younger than my son, has an opportunity to maybe get some minutes.
‘These kids are getting reward for how well they are playing in the NPL. They just remind me of all other kids that are out there trying to make their mark.’
Gabriel Popovic (C) will be hoping to make the most of his chance against the Red Devils
United players work up a sweat during a training session at the WACA in Perth on Thursday
Popovic, the 46-year-old former Crystal Palace defender, insists his team are still determined to give United a game.
He told The West Australian newspaper: ‘I’m sure there is time to admire them and take a few photos after the game but we don’t want them doing that during the match.
‘Regardless of who’s out there we certainly want to be out there and make Perth Glory proud. We don’t want to just turn up. We certainly understand where we sit but I see a very focussed group, a very excited group that wants to play well. It’s very big game against one of the biggest organisations in sport.’
United’s other game in Perth is against Leeds United on Wednesday before they face Inter Milan in Singapore and Tottenham in Shanghai.
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