Two months have now almost passed since last season’s Grand Final loss and it is driving goalkeeper Tom Glover and his City teammates to take the next step in the 2020-21 A-League season.
“You get the feeling of what it feels like to lose a final, the intention around the club now is we don't want to have that feeling ever again,” Glover said.
On a personal level for the 22-year-old Olyroos representative, the Grand Final was perhaps his finest hour. He made eight saves which forced the game into extra time, before a world-class piece of play between Sydney’s Luke Brattan and Rhyan Grant finally found a way past him.
Like every player in City’s squad that day – bar Josh Brillante, it was Glover’s first experience in an A-League Grand Final, something that he said be crucial for himself and his fellow teammates in the future.
“To play on a big stage was great for all of us and now it gives us that experience and which is something you can’t buy,” he said, “Coming into this season we've got a lot more experience under our belt and we don't want to have that feeling of losing a Grand Final again.”
Glover played 15 A-League game last season (including both finals) but was made to wait for his opportunity.
“I didn't start off number one, I had to work for it and work for my opportunity and I'd like to think I took it with both hands and once I got it, I didn't look back,” he said.
He broke into the team in round 10 against Newcastle, where he made six saves in a 4-0 win and held his spot for the next two games before Olyroos duty called, meaning he wouldn’t appear in City colours again until round 18. From that point on, he held down the spot for the remainder of the season and his stellar form was recognised with a Young Football of the Month nomination.
This season he will have new signing Matthew Sutton eyeing off his spot, but that hasn’t curtailed Glover’s excitement about his new teammates arrival.
"I've known Sutto for years, we've worked with each other since under 13's,” he said, “We're from the same area and we have mutual friends.”
“It's always fantastic to have some healthy competition, he's coming after me and I'm coming after him,” Glover said.
With the season now under two months away, the goalkeeping brigade at City is tight knit and there is one clear common goal.
“From the first three or four weeks that we've been training together it's been a good little union,” Glover said, “At the end of the day we want to help to help the team as best we can and we can help each other as well.”
"We want to go that one step further and it started from day one of preseason, it's vibrant and there's a great mood around the joint. It's shaping up to be a very exciting year."