Major coup for Perth Glory as Young Matildas keeper heads West

Perth Glory have bolstered their goalkeeping stocks with the signature of Young Matildas goalkeeper Sally James ahead of the 2023-24 Liberty A-League season.

James, 20, was a key figure in Australia’s 2022 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup campaign, and arrives at Perth following 12 league appearances for Melbourne City last season.

Her duties were shared across the 2022-23 season with Matildas legend Melissa Barbieri; James will be seeking more consistent minutes at Perth under head coach Alex Epakis, who she agreed to work under after an off-season meeting.

“I wanted to come to Perth because of the strong sense of togetherness within the team and staff and the positive environment that the club offers,” James said.

“I came to Perth in the off-season and spoke with Alex (Epakis) and I liked his vision for the club and how he is big on supporting player development while fostering a competitive environment.

“My personal targets for the upcoming season revolve around continuous growth and improvement as a goalkeeper. I’m excited to work closely with the coaching staff and contribute to the team’s success in the push for finals football.

“I believe that Perth Glory has an incredibly talented squad and a coaching staff that is dedicated to bringing out the best in each player.

“Each year, Glory has gotten closer and closer to the top four, so with collective commitment and hard work from everyone involved, I’m confident that we’ll be able to take that next step and challenge for the top positions in the league.”

TRANSFER NEWS: Mariners announce second Liberty A-League signing as cryptic message hints at future plans

Perth are the third A-League Women club to have signed James throughout her burgeoning career, with a stint at Canberra United preceding her one season at City.

Throughout his tenure as Glory boss, Epakis has developed a reputation for recruiting some of the best young talent in Australia to join the Western Australian club from the Eastern seaboard.

Signing James is a continuation of that trend.

“I am really pleased to be able to bring Sally to Perth Glory,” he said.

“She is a very motivated individual who is eager to come to the club and contribute to what we are trying to achieve as a team.

“She has great qualities as a goalkeeper and has been able to showcase these across recent seasons in both the A-League Women and with youth national teams.

“We are in a very fortunate position to have great depth across the squad and I believe the signing of Sally supports this notion.”