Bite-sized news for you to chew over - Kosmina confident of Reds progression, Glory confirm Thwaite and McGowan prepares for Cup final
Adelaide United coach John Kosmina is confident the Reds can continue their march towards AFC Champions League glory by beating Round of 16 opponents Nagoya Grampus at Hindmarsh Stadium on May 29. The Reds claimed top spot in Group E and home-ground advantage for the game with a 2-0 away victory over J-League outfit Gamba Osaka on Wednesday. "We have cautious confidence heading into the next round - we are quietly confident," Kosmina said on Friday. "We have knocked off two previous champions to get where we are at the moment and in terms of Adelaide's name in Asia that's a massive achievement. I think we've done enough now, away from home in particular, to give everyone the confidence to think we should get into quarter-finals and that we should be able to get something out of this competition and go further. But Nagoya are a very good side and they demolished Central Coast [3-0] the other night, so it's going to be a tough game. If we can manage to get past Nagoya, then even that is a phenomenal achievement."
Two days after his move was reported, Perth Glory have confirmed the signing of defender Michael Thwaite for the next two A-League seasons. Regarded by many as one of the league's finest central defenders, Thwaite was not short of admirers and former club Melbourne Victory was known to hold an interest. But the ex-Gold Coast United captain opted for a move to Perth, joining a contingent of former United players out west, which includes Bas van den Brink, Shane Smeltz, Steve Pantelidis and Chris Harold. "It's a fantastic coup to bring a quality player like Michael across to Western Australia," Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson said. "I am delighted, Michael is a leader and a winner." After a five-year spell in Europe, Thwaite enjoyed a Championship-winning loan spell at Melbourne Victory before moving to the Gold Coast, where he played for the next three seasons. "I'm relieved to finally know where I am heading," the 29-year-old said. "Within the Perth Glory squad I have previously played with eight or so of the boys and that was a big factor in my decision."
Ryan McGowan is doing his best to prepare for the Saturday's Edinburgh derby in the Scottish FA Cup on Saturday. The Australian has made a place in Hearts' defence his own this campaign, and is aiming to help his side lift the Cup trophy at the expense of city rivals Hibernian in the closing match of the Scottish football season. "The Old Firm [rivalry] is the biggest one and that is because of the fan power but the Edinburgh derby is just as fiercely contested," McGowan told AAP. "No one quite knows what to expect. It has been more than 100 years since the teams met in the Cup final." McGowan also watered down claims he was considering changing his international allegiances to Scotland, who he qualifies for through his parents. "I was stitched up," he said of the story in The Scottish Sun.