Owner Tony Sage admits the speed of Perth Glory's Premiers' Plate success under coach Tony Popovic has come as a surprise.
The West Australian club have clinched the minor premiership with two rounds to go in the regular season, following their 1-0 win at home to Newcastle Jets on Sunday.
It is the first time they have topped the A-League, though they were a big force in its predecessor the National Soccer League.
Sage said plans were hatched midway through last season – when the Glory failed to make the Finals Series under Kenny Lowe – for a different strategy and a new coach.
They turned to Popovic, who had led Western Sydney Wanderers to the premiership in the club's inaugural season, largely due to the urging of football manager Jacob Burns.
"There were several coaching candidates available and Jacob pushed and pushed for Popa (Tony Popovic)," said Sage.
"The vision has been fulfilled a year earlier than we expected – we had to make a decision on which direction we were going to go."
The 15-year silverware drought ended with the victory against the Jets when captain Diego Castro lifted the Premiers' Plate.
Now Sage, who has poured nearly $30 million into the Glory in more than a decade, says the club want to go on and win the championship and then start planning for next year's Asian Champions League campaign.
"We're up for the challenge – it's only going to be a feather in everyone's cap if we can do it," he added. "Asia has been a dream of mine from day one; it's going to be huge."
Perth Glory are 5/4 to win the Grand Final.
The Glory are 2/1 to win their next game against Sydney FC, who are 11/8 with the draw 9/4.
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