From the penthouse to the outhouse and back again, it has been a long time between drinks for the once great Perth Glory FC.
The dominant club of the latter years of the NSL, arguably had some of the best teams ever in that competition, they were champions, they had swagger and they were glorious.
Then came financial difficulties and the start of the A-League. The club struggled despite having some of the most loyal fans in the country, things only continued to get worse on the pitch and last year they finished tenth.
It was a disaster; Ian Ferguson’s managerial career was on the ropes.
They bought well, Smeltz, Dodd and the like and now they are reaping the rewards. The experience they have in the squad has never stood them in better stead than it did against the Mariners.
First Smeltz, then Billy Mehmet, Liam Miller, a nervous-looking Dean Heffernan and finally Jacob Burns all beat Central Coast keeper, Mat Ryan, from the penalty spot, level heads prevailing.
Combine that with a smattering of youth led by Josh Risdon and the club have turned things around and look a real threat to the best team the A-League has ever seen, Brisbane Roar.
Making it a case of a former champion club taking on the current champion club.
Make no mistake, despite not taking the Premier’s Plate, this Roar team are something special and they present the ultimate challenge for the Glory.
But are the Glory capable of beating them? So far this season the answer has been a resounding ‘no’.
The one match at Suncorp yielded a 4-0 win to the Roar, while two trips to Perth ended in a 3-3 draw and a 3-0 Roar victory.
The biggest problem for Perth in those games has been Besart Berisha.
The Nike Golden Boot winner has punished them with two separate braces,
pouncing on loose balls in the area, as is his wont.
There is some good news for Glory fans though, Brisbane will attack, and that attacking mentality can lead to errors, errors a team with the likes of Smeltz, Mehmet and Dodd at their disposal can take advantage of.
Also, despite not beating the Roar this season, they have every reason to be confident, the Glory have been achieving 'firsts' all finals series.
In the last few weeks, they have achieved their first ever finals win and first win ever at Bluetongue Stadium, why should a first Grand Final victory and first win for the season over the Roar be out of their reach?
The truth is, despite past results, it is not. And the Roar still have an important Asian Champions League match midweek.
Ange Postecoglu might wrap some players in cotton wool for that one, but the possibility of injuries and or some tired legs for some Roar stars is very real.
As for the Glory it’s time for recovery and they have the whole week to prepare for Brisbane. Beating them is not impossible.
Next Sunday it could very well be a case of ‘Glory, glory to the Glory’.