Perth Glory rounded off its pre-season preparations in style on Sunday afternoon, sweeping Sydney FC aside 3-0 at WIN Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah.
The Sky Blues fielded all of their big-name off-season signings along with marquee man Alessandro Del Piero, but it was Glory's new recruit Jamie Maclaren who stole the show, bagging two of his side's goals and laying on the third for fellow-new-boy Sidnei.
The Young Socceroos frontman opened the scoring from close range on 15 minutes following some fine approach work from the overlapping Josh Risdon, before playing Brazilian import Sidnei in to double Glory's lead three minutes after the break.
The 19-year-old then rounded the comprehensive victory off by lobbing home 'keeper Ivan Necevski from 25 metres on the stroke of full-time.
Head Coach Alistair Edwards was understandably delighted by both the performance and the result which could hardly have been better-timed with the start of the new A-League season now less than a fortnight away.
"I've always said that results aren’t the be-all and end-all in pre-season," he said, "but today we were very pleased with the performance of the team and the result came from the quality of that performance.
"We also made five substitutions in the second-half and the team didn't skip a beat which was the most pleasing part from a coaching perspective because we've been endeavouring to ensure that everyone is involved and everyone is part of the squad and capable of playing in the A-League.
"It was great to see that happen today."
And while keen to emphasise the team nature of the performance, Edwards did reserve some special words of praise for Maclaren whose brace against the Sky Blues took his tally to four in his last two outings.
"Jamie has come back from England where he played a lot of games for Blackburn out wide," he said, "but I knew him as a number nine before he went over there and we've re-trained him to become a number nine again.
"His movement and ability to combine with Ryan (Edwards) and our wide players is going very well and the most pleasing thing is that he's getting better game by game.
"It's great for a striker to be scoring goals and he's doing that quite regularly, but he's also contributing very well in other aspects of the game with his defensive work and bringing other players into the play."
The eye-catching victory over Frank Farina's well-fancied side meant that Glory's wide-ranging 15-game pre-season campaign ended on a genuine high and Edwards believes that, subject to some minor alterations, his men are ready to hit the ground running against Adelaide on October 13th.
"I'm very pleased with the position we’re in," he said.
"The performances have been very good and the players are really excited about the start of the season.
"It's been a long pre-season with some good trips away, the bond in the group is very good and we're all really looking forward to the season proper.
"The match fitness in the boys is there and now we've just got some fine-tuning to do. "Structurally we're very happy with what we're doing and now it's just about fine- tuning individual performances."
And the Head Coach admitted that the fine form of his squad has left him with some very pleasant selection headaches to contend with ahead of the eagerly-anticipated trip to Hindmarsh.
"It's definitely going to be hard to pick the starting eleven for that game," he said.
"Even today we had Cameron (Edwards) and Brandon (O'Neill) come on, along with (Adrian) Zahra, (Chris) Harold and Jack (Clisby) and they all played extremely well. "We know that whoever we put on the park is a starting eleven player, but obviously when you do the maths, not everyone can fit into that eleven.
"It'll come down to form in the games that we've been playing and it'll also take into account the particular team that we are playing against in any given game."
Sydney FC 0-3 Perth Glory (Half-time 0-1)
WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah
Sunday 29th October 2013
Referee: Alan Milliner
Perth Glory: Danny Vukovic (GK), Josh Risdon, Scott Jamieson (Jack Clisby 60'), Steve Pantelidis (Brandon O'Neill 50'), Michael Thwaite, Jacob Burns (C), Steven McGarry (Cameron Edwards 50'), Sidnei (Adrian Zahra 60'), Ryan Edwards, Ryo Nagai (Chris Harold 60'), Jamie Maclaren
Substitute not used: Devon Spence (GK)
Scorers: Maclaren 15', 90', Sidnei 48'
Sydney FC: Ivan Necevski (GK), Seb Ryall, Mark Warren, Matt Jurman (Tiago Calvano 55'), Nikola Petkovic, Brett Emerton (Joel Chianese 46'), Corey Gameiro (Ali Abbas 65'), Alessandro Del Piero (C), Richard Garcia (Mitch Mallia 76'), Terry McFlynn, Nick Carle
Substitutes not used: Daniel Petkovski, Anthony Bouzanis (GK)
Image Source: Kevin Airs - www.words-and-pix.com