After days of speculation, Richard Garcia confirmed that Perth Glory star Neil Kilkenny will not be at the club next season.
Suspicions were first raised when the midfielder was suddenly dropped without reason for Sunday’s clash with Brisbane, and the coach’s comments in recent days only added further fuel to the fire.
With Kilkenny absent once again for Wednesday’s impressive 3 – 0 win over Western United, Garcia brought an end to the speculation in the post-match press conference.
“Killa is a great individual player but the team and the club are moving in one direction and he’s moving in another.”
“We’ve spoken to Killa and yeah, he won’t be at the club next year.”
When pressed on how the veteran Socceroo handled the decision, Garcia added:
“Very professionally, we spoke calmly about it and had a good conversation. He’s a good professional, and he’ll continue to work hard this season. And we’ll move on from there.”
Kilkenny has been a key figure at the Glory since joining from Melbourne City mid-way through the 2017-18 season, guiding the team to a Premier Plate the following season. Garcia was full of praise for Kilkenny’s tenure, but felt the club and the midfielder had come to a crossroads in their relationship.
“We’re moving in a different direction and he wants to move in another direction, so I think that for us is the biggest thing, that everyone is moving in the same direction, and everyone wants to be together and move forward together as a club.”
“I feel like the guys that have come in have done very, very well, so it’s got nothing to do with youth, it’s got to do with performance. The fact for me that we want to be moving towards growth and growth as a group, as well as a club, so that’s probably the biggest thing.”
Asked when the decision was made, and if it was the first of many changes, the young head coach stated:
“We’ve had a plan for a while to restructure what we wanted to do and over the tough period, you sort of see things in a different light.”
“I wouldn’t say cleaning house. I’d say we want to get the right people in for the right roles, and that is the biggest focus.”
This is a developing story, and any further developments will be added as they come to light.