Perth Glory’s defensive stocks have taken another massive hit, with defender Steve Pantelidis quitting the A-League in order to link up with Malaysian Super League outfit Selangor.
Pantelidis will leave for Kuala Lumpur later this week, leaving Glory light on for options in defence heading into Friday night’s clash with Wellington Phoenix in Perth.
Fringe Socceroo Scott Jamieson is already out for the season due to a torn achilles tendon, while marquee signing William Gallas is nursing a calf injury.
Fellow defender Josh Risdon is still on the comeback trail from a knee injury, leaving Michael Thwaite as the only first-choice defender who’s available for selection this week.
That means 18-year-old Matt Davies, 18-year-old Riley Woodcock and 21-year-old Jack Clisby are all likely to get gigs in defence this week.
Glory will also be without suspended skipper Jacob Burns, while Shane Smeltz is also in grave doubt due to an ankle injury.
Pantelidis, who won an A-League title with Melbourne Victory in 2006/07, has been a vital cog of Perth Glory since linking up with the club in 2011.
The 30-year-old has played predominantly in defence, but the arrival of former French international Gallas meant Pantelidis would have been squeezed out of a starting berth.
“Steve has been a great servant to Perth Glory over the past two years,” Glory coach Alistair Edwards said.
“We were in talks to extend his contract further.
“However, we had also received significant interest from a number of clubs in Asia for him.
“There is increasing money going into football in Asia and the Malaysian league is fast attracting a number of overseas players.
“As a club we do not want to stand in the way of (a) player seeking to pursue overseas aspirations.”
Former Melbourne Victory coach Mehmet Durakovic is the current coach at Selangor FC.