Kenny Lowe is expected to be handed the vacant Perth Glory job on a full-time basis on Tuesday as the club focuses on youth development in the years ahead.
By
SBS: Dave Lewis

21 Apr 2014 - 6:49 PM  UPDATED 22 Apr 2014 - 7:01 AM

Lowe – given the reins on a temporary basis following the acrimonious exit of Alistair Edwards in December - will be officially handed the baton with the club to make a formal announcement after sifting through a host of candidates including several from overseas.

Highly regarded in Western Australia for his work in youth development, Lowe also convinced Glory owner Tony Sage of his A-League credentials by sparking a late season revival which saw Perth win two of its last three games to finish eighth on the ladder.

Sage refused to confirm that Lowe had received the nod on Monday night, but did confirm the club's focus will be on producing, rather than poaching, young talent in the seasons to come.

Sage also revealed that controversial French striker Nicolas Anelka has been touted to Glory but that 'there was no interest" in making signings until a new coach is appointed.

'I was contacted last Thursday and replied that it’s up to our new coach what he wants to do – whether he wants a marquee or wants to continue on with our policy of developing youth players," he explained. 'Anelka would be a great acquisition for any club in Australia, but whether he would fit into our structure under the new coach, I don’t know.

'But I think it would be hard to sway the board because we want to continue on with our youth policy – and we want a coach who will take us in that direction."

Lowe took over amid player unrest during Edwards’ short stint, and with key striker Shane Smeltz out for long periods and consistency hard to come by, his record of four wins, four draws and nine defeats showed how tough the transition was.

But Sage – and his board – have seen enough promise in his methods to place their trust in him after top choice, Graham Arnold, opted not to apply for the job.

'It’s a shame he didn’t want to throw his hat in the ring. We had a long chat and he didn’t want to do anything so soon after Japan where he had a tough time," explained Sage.

'We have made a decision on our coach and plan to make an announcement on Tuesday. For us, there was a sense of urgency because we could lose up to nine players and want to be in a position to offer deals to other players domestically and overseas straight away.

'Arnie couldn’t make that commitment and I respect his decision."

On the path ahead, Sage added: 'We played more under-21 year olds than any other A-League team this season – and had seven in our starting line-up twice.

'The likes of Matt Davies, Riley Woodcock and Jack Clisby have all had 10 games odd now and that's good for the club going forward."

Sage is keen to follow the model set by Central Coast Mariners in moulding youngsters who then go on to big money moves overseas – just like teenage midfielder Daniel De Silva whose $1 million plus transfer to Serie A giant Roma should be confirmed later this week.

Also likely to leave is 36-year-old French defender William Gallas, who despite voicing his desire to stay, has, according to Sage, substantial offers from Asia and is unlikely to be at nib Stadium next season.

The same applies to midfielder Steve McGarry, 33, who could be heading for Malaysia.

'In the next three to five years we would like to be like a Central Coast where we are still strong but we are in the habit of selling players on overseas," said Sage.

'We already have three or four players on the radar in Woodcock, Davies, Clisby and even Josh Risdon.

"A lot of scouts watching our games.

'The way things are shaping up, we could have the youngest squad in the A League next year."