Tony Popovic's hopes of guiding Perth Glory to next season's A-League title has received a boost after star Spaniard Diego Castro decided to re-sign for another year.
Castro's future was up in the air following the axing of coach Kenny Lowe last month, but the 35-year-old has decided to stay at Glory for a fourth straight season.
And unlike last year, Castro will return to Perth in time for a full preseason, giving him the best chance to start the campaign with a bang.
Castro is currently back in Spain with his family, but the man nicknamed "El Maestro" will return in time to play in Glory's clash with EPL powerhouse Chelsea on July 23.
Popovic was named Glory's new coach earlier this month on a three-year deal.
The former Wanderers coach has been set the goal of winning Glory its first piece of A-League silverware. Castro's presence will significantly help Popovic's cause.
The former La Liga star won the Johnny Warren medal in his first season in Perth in 2015-16, and has also been crowned Glory's MVP on two occasions.
Castro missed five games last season because of soft tissue injuries, but he was still one of Perth's best players.
"A big part of my re-signing came after speaking with the coach. I want to learn as much as I can from Tony Popovic," Castro said.
"It's a new and exciting season for everybody. I think the goal is clear, we want to win trophies and I want to be a part of that in this new era."
Star striker Adam Taggart has signed with Brisbane Roar, but Popovic is confident he will be able to assemble a strong squad to challenge for title honours next season.