Floreat Athena keeper Jason Saldaris returns to his former club Bayswater City in week ten of the PS4NPLWA

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THIS WEEK ON THE WORLD FOOTBALL PROGRAMME

This Saturday on The World Football Programme on Radio Fremantle 107.9FM at 10am, Jason Washington-King will be hosting with Don Evans. Guests will be Taki Nicolaidis (Inglewood United), Chris Coyne (Bayswater City), Nick Jennings (Joondalup Unite)d and Mike Garland (Denmark SC). The agenda includes a full rundown on the NPL-WA, State League and Women's Cup and news from around the leagues. Join the conversation Saturday from 10am on talk back via 9494 2100 or text in your comments to 0408 921 832.

27.5.2016

PS4 NPL-WA ROUND TEN - PREVIEW

It’s week 10 of the PS4 NPLWA and the Footballwa.net Match of the Week takes us to the Finance 365 Stadium where Bayswater City entertain Floreat Athena (3pm). Bayswater came away with a 1-0 win against ECU Joondalup last week, and winger Jason Mirco said it was a hard fought win, but they always are against them. “You always know what you’re going to get from Joondalup away, and that’s a fight,” he said. “But they’ve got a mix of some really good footballers this year, and will defiantly give teams trouble this season. Although the sending off gave us the upper hand, we were always confident of coming away with the result regardless.” Mirco, who’s crossed to Hayden Doyle for the winner last week, said Floreat have improved after a slow start, and will be another huge challenge. “Saturday’s game is a huge one for us,” he said. “They (Floreat) started the season slowly, but they have a good squad down there and have grabbed a couple of key results lately. As always we’ve had a big week on the track and go into the game full of confidence from the game plan Coyney and the Coaches have set up with.” In team news Andy Reale is back in the mix after missing the last two games, so they have a full squad to choose from. Floreat Athena had the week off in the last round, and keeper Jason Saldaris said it was a good time to sort a few niggling injuries out. “I thought the week off was great for the boys, especially in the terrible weather, and there were some teams who slipped up, which motivated the boys,” he said. “Also just to have that little extra time to prepare for the upcoming must win game against Bayswater.” It’s the first return to the club for the former Bayswater custodian, and he said they have improved after a patchy start to the season. “I believe this will be a tough encounter, because I think both teams best football is yet to come,” he explained. “The Floreat boys are up for this game, and I wouldn’t expect any less from the Bayswater players. This game is a real six pointer and I believe it’s a must win game for us to get us back up the table where we belong.” Floreat are at full strength for the clash, although Declan Hargreaves has played his last game of the season for the club, after signing for Hume City in the Victorian NPL.

League leaders Inglewood United entertain Perth SC at the Inglewood Stadium. Perth had to settle for a draw last week against Cockburn City, while United had to work hard for a 2-1 win against Subiaco. Inglewood keeper Alex Dunn said it was a good three points especially in the horrendous conditions. “It was a game of two halves, I thought we dominated with the wind in the first half, but in the second half they (Subiaco) gave it a good crack and put us under a lot of pressure,” he said. “We could have scored a couple more goals to seal it, but the lads held firm to get three points in horrible conditions.” Taki Nicolaidis’ side are the form team of the league, and former Perth keeper Dunn said they are working extremely hard to maintain their improvement, and is expecting a stern test from Perth on Saturday. “There are a few ex-Perth lads at our club, which adds to the excitement of the game,” he explained. “They (Perth) are always going to be well-drilled and by all accounts Gareth (Naven) has got them playing a decent brand of football, so we need to be switched on from start to finish. We just have to continue our good form and to try and pull away from the rest of pack on the ladder.” Inglewood will be without leading scorer Brian Woodall, with Ashley Rosindale pushing for a starting role after injury, and they should have Mark Pritchard and Tim Robertson both available after injury.

Sorrento left it late last week to beat Armadale 1-0, and this week they entertain Subiaco at Percy Doyle Reserve. Sorrento midfielder Tim Hill said last week’s win was fortunate, but he said they’ll take it. “It was a tough game due to the conditions, but we pulled through as we usually do,” he said. “Maybe we didn’t deserve a win, but I don’t think we deserved to lose either, so we’ll take it and move forward.” Subiaco, who are still looking for their first win of the season, put in a good performance last week, before eventually losing to Inglewood United, and Hill said they need to be at their best on Saturday to get the points. “Subiaco are always a tough team no matter their form, so we’ve got to be wary of them,” he explained. “But if we get the ball down and play how we did at the start of the season, we’ve got the ability to get the three points.” In team news Scott Bulloch is out injured, and Todd Harnwell will be pushing for a starting role after scoring the winner off the bench last week at Armadale.

After a hard fought 1-1 draw at Perth SC last week, Cockburn City host ECU Joondalup at Dalmatinac Park. The sides are level on points on the table, but Joondalup will be looking to bounce back after being beaten 1-0 by Bayswater last week, and Coach Dale McCulloch said it was a frustrating defeat. “Last week was a lost opportunity for us, I thought we were on top when we had Gordon Smith sent off, and then it was back to the wall,” he said. “To the lads credit we fought the game out well and I thought we defended superbly, but we came away with nothing which is disappointing.” McCulloch said they head to Cockburn in a confident mood, and will be looking to bounce back. “We’ve worked hard this week on our shape and the lads are looking forward to a stern test at Cockburn,” he said. “Scott (Miller) has them playing some good football, and it will be a good challenge, but we’re all looking forward to it. We know if we play at our best we can beat any team in the league, so the challenge is there for the players to go out and perform.” In team news Smith and Steven McGarry both miss the game due to suspension, and Hayley Orr is out after breaking his hand. Cockburn are at full strength.

Stirling Lions will be looking to bounce back after last week’s defeat against Balcatta, when they travel to Alfred Skeet Reserve to take on Armadale. Lions’ defender Michael Pugliese said it was a game they had chances but didn’t take them. “The whole team was disappointed with the result last week,” he said. “We didn’t play well, but still could have got something from the game, which is the most frustrating part of it. But credit to Balcatta, they took their chances and snatched the win late.” Armadale were beaten by a last minute goal by Sorrento last week, and Pugliese, who is line to return after injury, said they can’t take them lightly. “It’s an important game for us, and no one in the playing group is happy with just being in the top four, we want that top spot,” he explained. “It’s a big game for both sides. We need to win to stay in touch of the top sides, while Armadale are searching for some points to stay away from the other end of the table, so we expecting a tough clash.”

In the final game Balcatta are on the road when they take on an undermanned Perth Glory at Ashfield Arena. The Glory squad has been decimated this week with a number of players away at the Frenz International under 18’s Tournament in Malaysia. A number of the Glory under 20’s side will be pushed up on Saturday, while Jacob Burns will take over the coaching reins from John Gibson, who is also in Malaysia. Balcatta came away with a win in the local derby against Stirling last week and Feisal Zaw said they will be looking to continue their recent good form. “Last week was a great result for the club, Stirling are a good team especially at home and it was great to get the three points there,” he said. “The boys worked hard on the back of the losses to Inglewood and Floreat to get back to winning ways.” The Glory may be undermanned, but Zaw believes it will be a tough game. “Although it's a game we're expected to win the Glory boys are always up for a game. Their defensive record is quite impressive so it might be hard to get on top,” he said. “But if we play like we did last week I think we'll grab the 3 points and continue our good form.”

27.5.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SEVEN - PREVIEW

It’s week seven in the All Flags State League Division One and the Match of the Round is league leaders Mandurah City’s trip to Walter Padbury Reserve to take on Gosnells City (3pm). Both sides will be looking to bounce back from dropping points last week. Gosnells were beaten 1-2 at Ashfield, while Mandurah were held to a 1-1 draw at home by South West Phoenix. Gosnells Coach Wally Aquino said missed chances cost them last week at Ashfield. “I was disappointed with the result, because I thought we played very well in the first half, considering we played into a gale force wind, but I thought we deserved the lead, even though we missed numerous clear cut chances” he explained. “Unfortunately we were asleep at the start of the second half and conceded two sloppy goals, and when chasing the game we had two players sent off. The boys know we have plenty of work to do to become more consistent, and capitalise when we are dominating games.” Aquino said Saturday’s opponents will be their toughest test so far this season, but he said they are looking forward to the challenge. “They (Mandurah) are the benchmark of the competition, and in reality they should have been granted promotion as last season’s Champions,” he said. “They had a minor hiccup last week, but are still unbeaten, so we know it will be a tough task. The players have trained with enthusiasm this week, knowing they have to play at their highest level to give them a game. The good thing it is at home and we hope this will give us a much needed advantage.” The Gosnells side has been hit by injuries but Aquino said they have given opportunities to the reserve players. “Injury and suspension are starting to take their toll, but we will look to push players up from the reserves in the short term,” he said. “But we hope to add a few extra players from other clubs into the squad before the transfer deadline.”

Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said last week’s game was difficult because of the weather, but also they played a good opposition. “I was happy with the result, especially under the circumstances,” he said. “They played well, although we did control plenty of the game and showed character to from behind, and could have sneaked it at the end, so at the end of the day it was a good point.” Hesketh said Gosnells are very difficult to beat on the home patch and said they need to be at their best to come home with the points. “I think they (Gosnells) are going well, and it doesn’t surprise me,” he said. “I saw a couple of their Night Series games and they looked good. We will need to be on our game, but it’s the same situation every week, and I believe everyone wants to beat us, and seem to lift, so we have to be switched on and motivated from the first whistle.” Craig Young is injured and will miss the trip, while Jack Eades and Lance Louive are also unavailable.

There is another massive game in the round and that’s at Dianella Reserve when Dianella White Eagles host traditional rivals Western Knights. Dianella lost 5-3 at UWA Nedlands last week, a game Chris Rizidis said they should have taken something from. “At 2-1 up I thought we had a chance to go on and win the game,” he said. “But we dropped off in the second half and gave them too much space to play, which cost us the game.” Rizidis said the side are improving with every session with new Eagles Coach Vesko Zmukic, and are looking forward to this week big game. “This week is a massive game for the club, as we need the three points to keep in touch with the rest of the league,” he said. “There’s always a big crowd when we play the Knights, and Saturday will be no different, so hopefully we can get the win and kick start our season.” The home side have a full squad to choose from, and new signing Matt Izzo has looked sharp at training, and the Eagles are expecting a big game from him, while the new look side are starting to gel, after a slow start to the season. The Knights will be missing Shaun French due to injury.

Joondalup United hit the road this week when they travel to the Lark Hill Sportsplex to take on Rockingham City. City’s game at Shamrock was postponed last week, but Coach Rob Crerar said the game could have gone on. “It was really disappointing not to play last week, we had prepared well through the week for the challenge of Shamrock,” he said. “I personally felt more could have been done to get the game on, but these things are out of my control.” Crerar said Saturday’s opponents have started the season well, and will be a tough challenge. “They (Joondalup) are a fantastic side with a great club and fan base behind them,” he said. “We had a couple of good battles against them in 2014, so hopefully we can get one over them on Saturday.” In team news for the home side, Alex Grayson will miss the game due to suspended, while Calum Rothwell is struggling with injury. But they are hopeful they will get Matt Brooks, Christian Hogge, Blake Sokolowski and Max Snelson back from injury.

In other games fourth placed Forrestfield United meet Shamrock Rovers at Hartfield Park. United are coming off a solid 3-2 win against the Knights last week, while Shamrock’s game was called off. Rovers have struggled this season and sit in 11th position on the table and they will be desperate to change that, but will need to be at their best to take on a resurgent United. Ashfield travel to Burrendah Reserve to take on Canning City. Ashfield had to come from behind to beat Gosnells last week, while Canning will be looking to bounce back from a 1-5 loss at Joondalup. Canning will be without the suspended Daniel Tevisiol and Nathan Hubbard, while Tom Gibbins and Peter Cartwright come into the squad. In the final game South West Phoenix entertain UWA-Nedlands at Hay Park. The Phoenix drew the South West derby last week at Mandurah, while UWA beat Dianella. UWA Coach Michael Janssen said they will be looking for their first away win of the season but is expecting a tough game. “Saturday will be an interesting challenge, especially looking at their good results over the last few weeks and the way they performed should keep every opponent on their toes,” he said. “Now it is our target to stop their run and bring the three points back home. Our squad is ready and well prepared for the match and we have a few new options in the squad. The hunger of my team is huge and we will put our best quality of football on the Park. It will be a close game and SWP needs to perform their best football to stop us."

27.5.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SEVEN - PREVIEW

There’s a top of the table clash in Week seven of the All Flags State League Division Two, with top of the table Balga travelling to the Iluka Sports Complex to take on second placed Joondalup City (3pm). Both sides had hard fought derby wins last week, with Joondalup edging out Ellenbrook United 2-0, while Balga beat Wanneroo City 1-0. Joondalup Coach Marco Schisano said it was good to bounce back last week after the loss at Kingsway Olympic. “Last week’s game was very scrappy due to the weather and the game was close to being called off, like the 18’s and reserves games,” he said. “We played very well in the first half and created numerous chances, but we could only score with the last kick. We controlled the second half but once again we were sloppy and didn’t finish the chances we created. But at the end of the day we were happy to take the points and bounce back from the loss the week before.” The Coach said Balga have been the benchmark so far this season and he says Saturday’s clash should be a good contest. “We need to improve sharply to compete against Balga, they are top of the league for a reason, but we’re looking forward to testing ourselves against them,” Schisano said. “Bobby has assembled a great attacking team, and has made dramatic improvements to his team since he took over. We believe in ourselves and I’m sure we can make it difficult for them. The match has been switched to our ground on Balga’s request, and we pride ourselves on making the home ground advantage count.” City goes into the game without keeper Drew Jenke, who injured his knee last week, but they do have cover, apart from that they are fully fit.

Balga were made to work for the three points last week, and assistant coach Amir Dzamastigic said it could have gone either way. “Wanneroo certainly looked a much different side than last time we've played them,” he said. “It was a game with not many chances by both sides, and was decided by Justin Caratozzolo goal. But to be honest a fair result would have been a draw, however it was a testament to our players to get all three points in the end.” Dzamastigic believes Joondalup are the big improvers this season and is expecting another tough game on Saturday. “We played City in the Night Series and had a taste of their quality. They are well organised, and are certainly well coached,” he said. “However with the importance of the game I’m confident that we will play to our strength and will be looking to continue our journey. The season is still young and there is plenty to play for, so I’m looking forward to a game played in good spirits and many goals, hopefully us scoring more than they do.”

Quinns FC continued their good form with a win at Kelmscott last week and this week they host Curtin University, who continued their good start to the season with a 1-0 win against Morley Windmills, at Gumblossem Park. Quinns’ defender Glen Moore said they had to work hard for the points. “We were very pleased with the win, we are undefeated in three now which is good for the lads morale and confidence after we got off to a shaky start,” he said. “Kelmscott have improved vastly and it could be a hard place to go this season with them being very competitive, so it was nice to get the points in the bank, they have made some very astute signings with one if our own captaining the side in Brandon Del Fabro, the win gives us a lift and confidence going forward.” Moore said Curtin have some quality players and they will be a tough test. “Saturday will be a tough game, they have shown that they are a decent side especially with their recent cup run, however we seem to be starting to gel together at the right time,” he said. “The lads are working hard for each other and we are becoming difficult to beat with our never say die attitude, we are always confident on scoring goals with many threats throughout the side and with the addition of Danny Cain from Sorrento it should give us more quality and experience at the back, Gumblossom can be a bit of a fortress for us so we will be looking to stretch our unbeaten to four games.”

In other games Ellenbrook United hosts Fremantle City at Arbor Grove Reserve, Morley Windmills host Swan United at Wotton Reserve, while Kingsway Olympic host Kelmscott Roos at Kingsway Reserve. In the final game Melville City entertain Wanneroo City at Len Shearer Reserve. Melville Coach Gavin Brown said last week’s defeat at Swan was disappointing, and he thought they had enough chances to take something from the game. “It was an exciting game in terrible conditions, but to lose the game from 1-0 up is hard to take, especially with the run we we’re on,” he said. “Both sides missed chances, but I thought we deserved something from the game. They only scored their third and decisive goal in the last couple of minutes when we were chasing the equaliser.” Brown is well aware of the improvement in Wanneroo after a poor start to the season, but he is hoping to kick start their season with a win. “We’ve got to try to arrest the slide we’re on,” he said. “I know they (Wanneroo) are largely a new team, but we did the double over them last year, and we hope to get a similar result this week.”

27.5.2016

ROSINDALE HAPPILY GIVES NICOLAIDIS A HEADACHE

Attacker Ashley Rosindale has no qualms about causing coach Taki Nicolaidis a selection headache after declaring himself fit and ready for action. A hamstring niggle has sideline Rosdindale for the past month but a cameo off the bench against Subiaco AFC has put the 30-year old in the frame for Saturday's game with his former club, Perth SC.

"I've trained well this week so that will give Taki a headache in terms of who starts on Saturday," said Rosindale, who was limited to just a handful of games last year by an on-going foot injury. "I was just starting to get back to full fitness and sharpness when I injured my hamstring, thankfully it's only been a short lay off this time."

Rosindale played the last two seasons at Dorrien Gardens but he'll be putting friendships aside for 90 minutes come Saturday afternoon. "I really enjoyed my time at Perth so I'm looking forward to seeing some old teammates and board members on Saturday," said Rosindale, one of seven former Perth players now at Inglewood.

"They lost a few players over the summer but have put together a new side which has Clarke Keltie and Dean Evans pulling the strings in centre midfield. We will have to be at our best to contain them and for our midfield to run the game. We are taking it one game at a time and, hopefully, come the end of the season we will be fighting for top spot."

25.5.2016

GLORY YOUNGSTERS BEATEN LATE BY ARGENTINE GIANTS

Perth Glory Youth side went down to Argentine powerhouse Club Estudiantes de La Plata 2-0 in their second game at the Frenz International Cup at the Pasir Gudang Stadium on Wednesday evening. Two second half goals in as many minutes, by Estudiantes were enough, but the Glory defended well and went close themselves late in the game.

Estudiantes went close early, Rodrigo Marinelli’s header was pushed onto the bar by Riley Stephenson, before Mauro Oses’ follow up shot was blocked. The Glory were on the back foot and Stephenson was in the action against this time saving well to deny Juan Francisco. Estudiantes continued to dictate terms after the break, and Tomas Montiel made space down the right and his low cross was inches away from Facundo Bruera in the six-yard box.

But the pressure finally told on 66 minutes, Bruera picking out Geronimo Carrasco, who’s curling long-range shot flew into the bottom corner of the net giving Stephenson no chance. It was 2-0 moments later, Bruera cross was turned into his own net by Scott Robertson under pressure from Bruera.

The Glory lifted and Ismail Atak’s low cross was fired just wide by substitute Ignacio Domenguez. Then Abias Bukuru raced clear, his shot was blocked by keeper Emilio Gonzalez, and the follow up shot was well saved by the Club Estudiantes de La Plata custodian, but they couldn’t find a consolation goal.

Perth Glory: GK Riley STEPHENSON, 2 Thomas EUGENHUIJSEN, 3 Riley WARLAND, 4 Scott ROBERTSON, 5 Ross MILLARD (C), 6 Sam POLLARD, 8 Jack LEECH, 9 Ismail ATAK, 11 Cameron MURRAY, 17 Adam ZIMARINO, 18 Abias BUKURU
Subs: RGK Stefan KING, 7 Ethan BROOKS, 10 Sam MCKEARNEN, 12 Ignacio DOMENGUEZ Domenguez, 13 Cameron MCLEAN, 14 Zayd FARAH, 15 Harry QUIGLEY

Club Estudiantes de La Plata: GK Emilio GONZALEZ, 4 Damian ADIN, 13 Juan Pablo ROMAGNOLI, 14 Leon PIERGIACOMI, 15 Rodrigo MARINELLI, 16 Matias AQUINO, 17 Juan Francisco CEJAS, 18 Facundo BRUERA, 19 Tomas MONTIEL, 20 Geronimo CARRASCO, 21 Mauro OSES
Subs: RGK Estefano FRANCESCONI, 2 Juan Marcos FOYTH, 3 Juan Ignacio DIAZ, 5 Ivan Gomez, 6 Bruno CABRERA, 7 Acuna AHUMADA, 8 Franco SIVETTI

23.5.2016

HOSTS BEAT GLORY IN FRENZ INTERNATIONAL CUP OPENER

Perth Glory youth side have started their Frenz International Cup campaign with a 5-0 defeat against hosts Frenz United at the Pasir Gudang Stadium on Monday evening. The conditions on the night were tough, with the pitch water logged in places. The home side were after only four minutes. The lively Reza Karimi played in Ade Ivan Hafilah, who raced into the box and finished low past Riley Stevenson.

It was 2-0 on the quarter hour, Karimi wasted closed down on the edge of the penalty area and he made the Glory pay, firing low past Stevenson The Glory youngsters were on the back foot, and struggling to come to term with the waterlogged pitch but their defence held firm until the break.

The home side added a third just after half time, Karimi’s speculative cross slide on the wet pitch and under Stevenson. It got worse for the young Glory custodian and Karimi completed his hat-trick, when his free kick slipped through the hands of the keeper to make it 4-0 It was soon 5-0, a corner was headed goalwards by Mauricio Tomazi, but the ball fell kindly to substitute Sharul Akmal who fired home from six meters. To the Glory credit they continued to push forward and Abias Bukuru’s free kick was well saved by Frenz keeper Dylan Wilson. The post then denied the Glory a consolation goal, when Harry Quigley raced into the area and his shot beat the keeper but the post denyed the Glory youngster.

Perth Glory: GK Riley Stevenson, 2 Thomas EUGENHUIJSEN, 4 Scott ROBERTSON, 5 Ross MILLARD (C), 6 Sam POLLARD, 7 Ethan BROOKS, 8 Jack LEECH, 10 Sam MCKEARNEN, 11 Cameron MURRAY, 10 Adam ZIMARINO, 11 Abias BUKURU
Subs: RGK Stefan KING, 3 Riley WARLAND, 9 Ismail ATAK, 12 Ignadio DOMENGUEZ Domenguez, 13 Cameron MCLEAN, 14 Zayd FARAH, 15 Harry QUIGLEY

Frenz United – GK Dylan Andrew WILSON, 3 Ghaffar Abdul RAHMAN, 5 Azrul HAZIO (C), 6 Mauricio TOMAZI, 7 Ade Ivan HAFILAH, 8 Aep MAULANA, 10 Reza KARIMI, 11 Aizat Mukhlis YAZIR, 12 Syafiq Heelmi Zainol FIKRI, 13 Fridolin Kristof YOKU, 23 Izzafiq RUZ
Subs: RGK Adam Zairi Fitri ZAINI, 4 Amirul MUHAMAD, 9 Hadi Fayyadh RAZAK, 16 Akhmar Haiqal AZHAR, 22 Sharul AKMAl, 25 Dandi Maulana ABDULHAK, 26 Reva Adi UTAMA, 29 Amin Rais OHORELLA

23.5.2016

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PROVIDES A SKY-BLUE LINING FOR WOODCOCK

Almost to the end he was the forgotten man of Sydney FC's season, but out of the blue Riley Woodcock has become a key part of the Sky Blues quest for Asian Champions League glory. In the week he turns 21, the former Young Socceroos captain will face Shandong Luneng in the second leg of the round of sixteen tie, still slightly bemused by the way he has been thrust into the side at left back.

Woodcock, sidelined for nearly a year by a broken ankle, mustered only 72 minutes of domestic action this season, and even that came in the last game of the campaign. But injuries and player exits forced Graham Arnold to throw Woodcock in against the champions of Asia, Guangzhou Evergrande, three weeks ago and then again in last week's first leg draw with Shandong.

Overcoming a torrid opening, Woodcock set up Sydney's goal against Shandong and is now desperate to make up for lost time after an injury-ravaged first year at the club. "To have ten months on the sidelines was pretty tough, especially as I'd just moved to Sydney when it happened," Woodcock said of the ankle fracture he suffered in pre-season.

"I'd got a few games in pre-season, and it was looking to be a big year for me - so to get a long-term injury like was unbelievably frustrating. It's made it a tough year, but after the way things have gone, for Graham Arnold to show faith in me and use me in the ACL has done wonders for my confidence. To get a draw last week in Shandong was a great result, and to be involved in our goal was a great thing for making me feel like I was contributing to the team."

23.5.2016

RISDON HAS HIGH HOPES FOR ENGLAND CLASH

Socceroos right back Josh Risdon says the opportunity to play against England is a dream come true, despite Australia going in as underdogs in the up-coming clash. The Perth Glory defender is part of the Australian squad which will face the Three Lions for the first time since the Socceroos famous 3-1 upset win in London in 2003.

The odds are stacked against the Asian Champions, with world number ten England going in as the red hot favourite to beat the 50th ranked Australia in Sunderland, in the north of England, on Saturday morning Australian time. But Risdon said the Socceroos would go in firmly believing history can repeat itself.

"You don't really want to go in with the mentality that it's going be a hard game and we're going to get thrashed or anything like that, so you want to go in thinking you can win, no matter who the opponent is," Risdon said. "It's going to be a very tough game but I'm sure everyone will be up for it."

But Australia is under no illusions as to how difficult the task is, against a team expected to challenge for the title at Euro 2016, starting next month. "Yeah they're going to be extremely tough, I think they've got a lot of in-form players like Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane, and they're going to be itching to get into that squad for the Euros."

Fellow West Australian Stan Lazaridis was part of the Socceroos squad that stunned England thirteen years ago, and he says it is a different challenge for the current players. "We caught England by surprise that night," Lazaridis said. "We played against the likes of David Beckham, a young Wayne Rooney and players of that calibre. We were red hot that night, we had that feeling going in the bus."

Lazaridis has given Risdon a glowing endorsement as he continues to fight for a place in the Socceroos line-up, with the crucial phase of World Cup Qualifying ahead. He expects Risdon to move to an overseas club in the near future. "He has been probably the best right back in Australia for the last three years," he said. "All in all he's got a really good career ahead of himself."

20.5.2016

ZAW STORMS BALCATTA TO DERBY VICTORY

A goal in the final minute of normal time from Balcatta’s lively winger Feisal Zaw has given them a 2-1 win against neighbours Stirling Lions in the local derby at Macedonia Park. An early goal from Gomo Dukully put the visitors in charge, but a late goal from David Micevski looked like it had earned the Lions at point, but Zaw had other ideas and won it late.

“It’s always tough facing Stirling, especially in the form they've been in lately,” Zaw said. “But I think the boys have been unlucky the past few weeks with the cup loss and the Floreat loss, so we kept working hard in training and it paid off on the weekend. Scoring the winner was a great feeling but credit to the guys we kept chipping away even after they equalised, just had to tap it in at the back post.”

Balcatta started the game on the front foot, and were ahead after only six minutes. Teenage striker Cameron Teece wasn’t closed down on the edge of the penalty area, his low shot was well saved by John Perkins, Dukully was on hand to finish the rebound. The visitors hand a great opportunity to double their lead 15 minutes later, but Perkins reacted well to deny Carlo Coelho.

The Lions started to get back into the game and went close to the equaliser five minutes before half time. Blamo Qua Qua’s long-range shot drifting just past the post. The Micevski brothers, Daniel and David, both had chances as the Lions ended the half on top, but both saw their efforts miss the target. After the break it was a typical derby game, with end-to-end football and both sides had half chances, but Clint Davies and Perkins weren’t really troubled. But eight minutes from time the home side levelled. David Micevski curled home a free kick, up over the wall and into the net.

The Lions pressed looking for the winner and they had a strong penalty claim turned down by referee Tom Glavovic, after Daniel Micevski was brought down in the area, but the official waved away their protests. But in the 90th minute, Balcatta won it. Teece cut in from the left and crossed to the back post and Zaw ghosted in to fire home.

20.5.2016

SUPER-SUB HARNWELL GIVES SORRENTO THE POINTS

A goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time from substitute Todd Harnwell has given Sorrento a 1-0 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve. The veteran striker, who came out of retirement this season, replaced Billy Quinncroft in the 74th minute and scored the dramatic winner. “It was a very hard fought game in extremely difficult conditions. We found it hard to play our usual style and had to really grind out the win,” goalscorer Harnwell said. “Both sides had a few good chances but thankfully we managed to capitalise in the dying minutes to hopefully get us back on track.”

The home side seemed to settle to the poor playing conditions the better and they had the best chance of the first half. Ellis Healing, who had committed himself to the club in midweek after transfer speculation, was given far too much space in the middle of the park and his long-range effort beat Sorrento custodian James Morgan, but the crossbar came to the keepers rescue.

Healing was outstanding and he was involved again as the home side went close to the lead ten minutes into the second half. His in-swinging corner found Anthony Skorich, whose scissor-kick flashed inches wide of the post. Sorrento were struggling in the final third, but Armadale still looked the most likely to score, and the woodwork prevented them again on 71 minutes.

Jake Sardelic’s cross was caught by the strong wind, and lifted it over James Morgan, but to the dismay of the Armadale supporters the ball crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. Healing then almost won it two minutes from time, the English midfielder found space in the box, but James Morgan stood tall to deny him. It looked like the points would be shared but in the 95th minute the Gulls flew home with the points. Daryl Platten crossed in from the right and Harnwell got a near post flick on header to send past Alfie Brincat.

20.5.2016

LEAGUE LEADERS EDGE OUT SUBIACO

League leaders Inglewood United were made to work hard for victory, but came away from a wet and wild Rosalie Park with all three points, after a 2-1 win against Subiaco. The rain lashed down for most of the game, but Jason Colli and Calum O’Connell had given the visitors the lead at the break, but Zac Edwards pulled one back for the winless Subiaco on the hour, but they couldn’t find the equaliser.

“We were cruising in the first half playing with the breeze in our favour, and went in at half time 2-0 up after scoring 2 quality goals, having lots of possession and Subiaco not really having any clear cut chances,” Inglewood striker Ashley Rosindale said. “In the second half they pulled a goal back and then it was backs to the wall for us as they used the breeze to their advantage with long balls and long throws. We held firm and came away with the 3 points. We knew it wasn't going to pretty considering the conditions.”

Both sides struggled early with the wind and rain, but the visitors, who were playing with the wind behind them, began to take control. Adam Tong headed wide when well placed, but on the half hour they hit the front. Kenny Keogh’s shot was well pushed onto the post by Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery, but Colli was quickest to the rebound to fire home from the edge of the penalty area. Then on the stroke of half time, Inglewood doubled their advantage. Colli made space down the right and crossed to O’Connell, who made no mistake, firing into the roof of the net from 6meters.

Subiaco had the winds at their backs in the second half and used it to their advantage just after the hour. Edwards tried his luck from the left, and his long-range effort got caught in the wind and flew over the top of Alex Dunn and into the net. The goal lifted the home side and Kevin White’s effort was blocked in the six-yard box, and in the ensuing scramble, Inglewood cleared. Then Carlin Feely lost his marker, but his shot flashed just wide of the target.

Keogh wasted a great opportunity to regain the two-goal advantage, when the striker shot over the top after rounding Montgomery. The visitors were defending well and hitting on the counter-attack, and the Subiaco custodian was lucky not to be sent off late, when he raced out and brought down Scott Witchge, but referee Nico Hoyle only showed Montgomery a yellow card. The win maintains Inglewood’s three point gap on the chasing pack.

20.5.2016

PERTH AND COCKBURN BOTH HAIL A POINT

The points were shared at Dorrien Gardens with former Perth Glory teammates Gareth Navan and Scott Miller’s, Perth SC and Cockburn City, drawing 1-1 in horrendous conditions on Saturday afternoon. With rain, wind and hail storms hitting the ground at times, the game was suspended on a couple of occasions, but it was Angel Andres who put the visitors ahead just before half time, but Gustavo Catarcione levelled for Perth, but on the day the weather won out. “Both teams had chances to win the game,” Perth midfielder Dean Evans said. “But with conditions difficult to play in I think the draw was fair for both clubs.”

The weather was on top in the first half with referee Josh Mannella taking the sides off twice as the inclement weather hit the West Perth area, and the players huddled in the tunnel when a hail storm hit. Both sides went close between the breaks, skipper Clark Keltie and Aden Da Luz both firing wide, before Perth keeper Francis Soale had to be alert to save from Harry O’Brien and Andres.

But in the shadows of half time the Cockerels hit the front. Andres wasn’t picked up on the edge of the penalty area and his shot flew into the corner of the net giving Soale no chance. The Spanish striker had the opportunity to double Cockburn’s lead moments later, after O’Brien was brought down in the box by Matthew Milenkovic, but Soale guessed the right way to save the resulting Andres penalty.

The home side hit back early in the second half. Nicholas Ambrogio’s header was well saved by Luke Radonich, but Catarcione was quickest to react to fire home the rebound. Both sides pressed late looking for the winner. Radonich came to his sides’ rescue, with a great save to deny Ambrogio, before Josh Kusar almost won it for Cockburn late, but he failed to find the target.

20.5.2016

DOYLE FIRES BAYSWATER HOME

A first half goal from Bayswater City’s Hayden Doyle was enough to beat a ten men ECU Joondalup 1-0 at blustery ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The home side had Scottish striker Gordon Smith sent off on the half hour, and Bayswater scored the winner eight minutes later, to keep in touch of league leaders Inglewood United. “A well-deserved win, but it didn’t help them having a player sent off early, but a pleasing result for us away from home, although we’re still not ruthful enough in the final third,” City Coach Chris Coyne told the NPLWA website.

“At 1-0 anything can happen, and we created some good chances, but never took them, and took the wrong decision at times, but we’ll work on hopefully get it right next week.” The home side opened brightly and Tommy Amphlett’s shot was saved low by Devon Spence, before Smith’s long-range shot was pushed around the post by Spence at full stretch. The visitors should have opened the scoring on 10 minutes, Jason Mirco’s cross finding Brian Farrell who blazed over from 8meters. Spence then saved Andy Higgins’ curling free kick low at his post, and moments later Higgins’ in-swinging corner was headed off the line by Jack Jones.

But on 31 minutes the home side were reduced to ten men when Smith was given two yellow card in a matter of seconds, for back chatting referee Matthew Southern. Bayswater made their numerical advantage count seven minutes later. Mirco darted down the right and pulled the ball back to Doyle who made no mistake from 6meters.

Both keepers were in the action early in the second half. Lewis Italiano saved well to deny Todd Howarth, before Spence stood tall to deny Amphlett who had raced clear from Steven McGarry’s through ball. Bayswater were finding holes in the ECU defence and Henry Durr got back with a superb last ditch tackle to thwart Mirco on the hour, before Italiano was at his best to stop Brian Farrell on a one-on-one late on to keep the scoreline down.

20.5.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SIX - REVIEW

Joondalup United closed the gap on league leaders Mandurah City after a 5-1 win against Canning City at Forrest Park. “It was good to return to winning ways, it was a dominant performance and we were great value for the three points today,” Joondalup Coach Nick Jennings said. “In difficult conditions we got the ball down on the deck and played some great stuff and could easily have scored a hatful today.” The home side led 2-0 at the break. First a long throw was flicked on by Ross Edwards and Lee Jones headed home. The second goal was a superb free kick by skipper Arran Maplestone. Canning hit back just after the break with Callum Roberts scoring, but Joondalup added a third, with Edwards curling home another free kick. Canning had the opportunity to pull on back but Roberts penalty was saved by James Bosdet, and Roberts’ follow up shot crashed off the crossbar. Things went from bad to worse for Canning and they then had Daniel Trevisiol sent off. Joondalup pressed and added two more. Guy McDonald’s solo run ended with a clinical finish, before Jones added his second with a volley from a tight angle.

League leaders Mandurah City were held to a 1-1 draw by South west Phoenix in the South West Derby at the Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium. The visitors took the lead late in the first half, Yohanes Tadesse shot fell kindly to Matthew Spurling, who rounded a defender and chipped the keeper. The Phoenix went close to a second in the early stages of the second half hitting the crossbar twice, but it Mandurah who levelled mid-way through the second half. In his first game back Jeff Bright cut in from the left and curled home from 20meters in to the corner of the net. The home side pressed for the winner, the best chance fell to Jordan Rhodes, who shot was superbly saved by Jamie Oakley. “It was a hard earned point in difficult conditions against a good side,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “Mick and I are very proud of the effort displayed and over all happy all things considered I think the big turnout of supporters enjoyed the game.”

Forrestfield United moved up to fourth on the table with a hard fought 3-2 win against Western Knights at Nash Field. The home side were ahead after only six minutes, Paul Lloyd lost his marker and slid the ball into Jonty Turner who fired low past Luke Martino. But Forrestfield hit back and were level on 20 minutes. Hasani Sinclair played in Matt Harold down the right, and the American continued his run and cut the ball back to Liam Merrigan who finished low past Sam Stone from the edge of the penalty area. The visitors hit the front on the hour. Jordan Hart cut the ball back to Merrigan again who finished with aplomb. Forrestfield added a third on 74 minutes, Merrigan was the supplier this time, putting in a slide rule pass to send Sinclair clear, and he finished clinically. The Knights pulled one back two minutes later, when Lloyd converted from the penalty spot after a handball had been spotted by referee Arvin Shan. The home side pressed late but couldn’t find the equaliser, the win the first on the road for the newly promoted side.

Ashfield resurgence continued with a come-from-behind 2-1 win against Gosnells City at the Ashfield Arena. Gosnells had the better of the first half and were ahead on the quarter hour. Caleb Aquino laid the ball back to Tyron Pottier, whose shot from the edge of the penalty area flew into the corner of the net. After the break Ashfield hit back and levelled in the opening minute. Jamie Burns picked the ball up down the flank and eased past his marker and crossing to Alex Stamatiadis, who made no mistake. The winner came on 52 minutes, Burns again was the supplier crossing to Stamatiadis was jogging on the spot to fire home. “This team is getting better every week, we have a lot of injuries and players leaving to go to play NPL so our squad is not settled just yet,” Stamatiadis said. “Our belief is getting stronger by the week we just need to cut out our mistakes because that’s the only way we are conceding goals.”

UWA-Nedlands are back in the winner’s circle after a come-from-behind 5-3 win against Dianella White Eagles at the UWA Sports Park. The home side were ahead on 20 minutes, Conor Devlin playing in Alex Kretowicz who finished well. The visitors levelled soon after, Chris Rizidis’ shot on the turn giving Alex Preece no chance. The Eagles then hit the front, Matt Izzo’s free kick from a tight angle beating Preece. The home side levelled just before half time, Michael Vlasich curling home a superb free kick from 20meters. After the break the home took control and Vlasich scored another trademark free kick to regain the lead. It soon became five, with the league’s top goalscorer Kretowicz added two more to complete his hat-trick. Aleks Miladinovic scored a consolation goal late to make it 5-3. The other game between Shamrock Rovers and Rockingham City was postponed with the pitch at Harold Rossiter Reserve waterlogged.

20.5.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SIX - REVIEW

Quinns FC won on the road for the first time this season with a hard fought 3-2 win against Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. The visitors opened well and Chris Williams and Brian Cairney went close, but against the run of play Kelmscott opened the scoring. A long ball was chased by Owen Curtis, who put the pressure on the keeper who mis-judged the bounce and his clearance went straight to Sam Cole, who finished into an empty net. Quinns were back on level terms when Cairney beat the offside trap, and squared the ball to Jake Benson-Cooper to score. Then before half time the home side hit the front again. Pathy Mpio played the ball out to Curtis, he crossed to Lyndan Powell, who played in Cole, to score his second, and send the home time into the sheds with the lead. Their lead was cancelled out early in the second half Cairney again the provider crossing to Benson-Cooper who fired home from long-range. Quinns hit the front with 20 minutes remaining. Craig Tooley slipping in Sam Doherty to score from a tight angle. Kelmscott pressed late and Glen Moore had to be alert to clear off his own line late on but Quinns held on for the win. “We had to absorb some late pressure from Kelmscott, and we defended well,” said Moore. “It was a tight game, but I thought we deserved the points in the end.”

League leaders Balga maintained their lead at the top with a tight 1-0 win against Wanneroo City at Wanneroo Reserve. The only goal of the game came from Justin Caratozzolo, Daniel Nalat received the ball on the left, he cut inside his marker and crossed into a crowded penalty area and Caratozzolo scored from close-range. They was another close encounter at Hilton Reserve, with Fremantle City beating Olympic Kingsway 1-0. The home side thought they had the lead in the first half, Daneil Glennon heading Gareth Hamilton’s corner goalwards, but the referee and his assistant said the ball hadn’t crossed the line, much to the displeasure of the Olympic players and coaches. The winner came in the second half, another Hamilton free kick again found Glennon, who made no mistake this time, heading home. “It was miserable conditions for football, and thanks go out to our volunteers who worked through the conditions and made it possible for us to play,” Fremantle Coach Steve Plucknett said. “It was another good performance defensively although to be fair we weren't troubled throughout.” Joondalup City won the local northern derby beating Ellenbrook United at the Iluka Sports Complex. In Sunday’s game Curtin University beat Morley Windmills 1-0 at Edinburgh Oval. The only goal of the game came from Oliver Robertson, who finished coolly through a crowd of players in the box.

In the final game Swan United moved up to fifth place with a 3-1 win against Melville City at the Swan Italian Club. The visitors were first on the board, with former Swan midfielder Scott Campbell playing in Shane Boyle who fired home past Cory Hugo. The home side levelled ten minutes later, a short corner caught Melville napping and Mark Macalister headed home in the box. The home side had the opportunity to take the lead into half time when they were awarded a penalty but Mirko Grgurinovic guessed the right way to save Dom Ando’s spot kick and sent the sides into half time level. The home side lifted after the break and skipper Chris Marshall headed home from a corner to give them the lead. Melville continued to take the game to the home side and Louie Granich hit the post, as the y looked for the equaliser, but the points were made safe when John Monterosso raced clear one-on-one with the keeper to score. Melville should have had a penalty late when Boyle was brought down in the box, but the referee waved away their penalty claims. “It was a tough first half with the weather conditions we were against the breeze and conceding a goal of a defender slipping is unlucky and no one’s fault. But we got level and should have been ahead at the break missing the penalty,” Swan Coach Matt Debarro said. “I thought in the second half we controlled the game without the ball well and created a lot of chances we failed to again capitalise on. But we got the goals we needed and the points. Credit to Gavin Brown and his boys they were really good, and I think they had a bit of bad luck along the way.”

20.5.2016

FOOTBALL WEST APPOINT NEW CEO

James Curtis will lead Football West through an exciting period for the sport after being appointed to the position of chief executive. Curtis has spent the past four years in the Western Australian State Government at the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in a variety of roles. He is also a member of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Advisory Council.

Prior to his work at Aboriginal Affairs, Curtis spent time as a Senior Management Consultant for Quantum Consulting Australia providing advice to State and Commonwealth government departments and has worked within the finance sector. Curtis was also the Director of Grasshopper Soccer North West Coast and Operations Manager of Grasshopper Soccer and Hyper Active Sports Australia.

Curtis said this is an exciting time for West Australian football and is delighted to have the opportunity to assist in working towards a bright future. "The sport is thriving internationally, nationally and locally here in WA and I'm sure that together we can realise even more of the game's great unlocked potential," he said.

Football West chairman Liam Twigger said Curtis had been selected from a high-quality field of applicants. "Football is experiencing a period of unprecedented growth, with more players, coaches, officials and volunteers involved in the game than ever," Twigger said. "We have an opportunity to take football to a new level and I am confident that following the appointment of James Curtis, we will have the leadership team in place to achieve all of our strategic goals."




If you have any additional information on Western Australian soccer that we have left out, or if you would like to get in contact, email Jacob at jacob@footballwa.net

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