Forrestfield United's Rhys Loxley, in action against Canning City, is looking froward to taking on the league leaders Mandurah City (Photo by Alison Dodgson)

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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 Ludo Boi (Floreat Athena), Miki Vujacic (Stirling Lions), George Hughes (Rangers Supporters Club Victoria), Chad Bennett (Fox Sports). The agenda includes a full rundown of NPL-WA, State League and FFA Cup and news around the leagues. Join the conversation Saturday from 10am on talk back via 9494 2100 or text in your comments to 0408 921 832.



After last week’s Cool Ridge Cup success, Floreat Athena are back into PS4 NPLWA action when they take on String Lions in Round 18 at E&D Litis Stadium in the Match of the Week. The 1-0 win against Cockburn gave Floreat their sixth cup success and striker Lewis McMahan said it was a fantastic day for everyone involved. “It was a great day for the club and a bit of silver ware is always good too,” he said. “The performance wasn’t great but I suppose you can’t play well every week and the result was all that mattered really, so yes we were very happy.” McMahan said they now must focus on league action and Saturday’s game is vital for their top four hopes, although he said it’s a little different to what he is used to in the UK. “This week is a very big game for us in terms of the league table, and with the points being so close between us it’s going to be a big game,” he said. “They (Stirling) edged the game 3-2 last time we played them, so we know we are in for a tough game, they have some good players and we need to make sure we match them if we want to get any points this time. But to be honest the league situation is a bit of a funny one as this whole top 4 thing I don’t understand. If you win the league then you’re the best team over the course of the season and ultimately the best team. But we will go out and be trying to win the game.” In team news Dean Evans returns after being cup-tied last week, but Bobby Wilson and Jason Saldaris are in doubtful.

Stirling Lions skipper Miki Vujacic said last week’s bye came at the right time for them and they are refreshed and ready. “The week off was perfectly timed, we've had a tough month, so the rest was much needed,” he said. “The game against Inglewood was horrendous in terms of the weather, which meant the football was horrendous too, but we are happy with a point against the league leaders.” Vujacic, who played for Floreat for five years including winning the title in 2007, said games between the two clubs are always intense and he is expecting the same on Saturday. “As always the Stirling/Floreat game is massive, even more so at the moment given our respective positions on the table. They've had a great few weeks with the FFA Cup draw, and Cup final victory so they will be pretty confident at home against us,” he explained. “But with our best team on the park we are a title contender, but I think five or six teams could say the same this year such is the evenness of the league. We have a pretty driven group of blokes who want to win, so I have no doubt we'll be pushing hard for some silverware this year and a win on Saturday will go a long way to achieving that goal.” In team news Shane Cassidy returns from suspension and Michael Pugliese from injury. Also Rob Milevski is away in Macedonia for the rest of season due to family reasons, so Dejan Vilic has taken the reins for the rest of the season, but he will be in the stands this week due to suspension.

Inglewood United will look to maintain their spot at the top of the table when they host Sorrento at the Inglewood Stadium. The home side have drawn their last two games, but with other teams slipping up also they still maintain the two point lead at the summit. Sorrento on the other hand sit in seventh spot, and their last game against Cockburn was abandoned. But keeper James Morgan said they go into this week boosted by a hard fought draw at Bayswater City in week 16. “That was a great result considering the conditions and going down 3-1. We are always confident at getting points against Bayswater so we never gave up and I think a draw was a fair result,” he said. “The weather conditions for the game against Cockburn were some of the worst I've ever played in and it's was definitely the right call to call it off.” Morgan knows they need to start winning games to close the gap on the teams above them. “Saturday against Inglewood is a massive game, and we want to be involved in the end of season’s finals, so this is a must win if we are to make the top four,” he said. “They are a good side with some good players but on our day we can beat anyone so we will be up for it.” In team news for Sorrento Reece Vittiglia return from injury.

Second placed Perth SC will look to keep pressure on league leaders Inglewood when they make the trip to Ashfield Arena to take on Perth Glory. One reason why the Dorrien Gardens outfit have been in good form is Francis Soale. He has been outstanding this season, and he said the win last time out against Balcatta was great for the confidence of the side going forward. “It was a really important win for us to back up our prior win over Floreat, and we did,” he said. “The first half wasn't the best we didn't adjust to the poor conditions well enough, but our second half performance was really pleasing as we were able to really run over them with our superior fitness and endeavour.” Soale said Saturday’s opponents will be desperate for the points, and he said every game in the competition is difficult. “As has been the case this season, there's no more easy games, and with the re-introduction of relegation this weekend won’t be any different,” he said. “That being said, the self-belief amongst our group is as high as ever at the moment so we'll go in looking to do what we've doing each week which is putting a shift in for 90 minutes and making it hard for them.” In team news Tom King and Andreas Theodosiades will miss the rest of the season with both off to Europe, but in good news Anthony Danze, Matt Milenkovic and skipper Clarke Keltie are back in the squad.

Subiaco AFC have kick started their season with back-to-back wins, and this week they travel to Finance 365 Stadium to take on Bayswater City. City have struggled in recent weeks and are coming off a 0-1 defeat at bottom of the table Armadale last week, and they need the three points to stay in touch with the top two. On the other hand Subiaco have been in good form and keeper Ryan Montgomery said they have a lot of confidence at the moment. “After a tough season to date we've finally started playing with a bit of confidence and the last two results reflect this,” he said. “All we can do is keep fighting and playing to our strengths and hopefully the results keep coming.” Montgomery knows it’s a huge challenge going to the Champions but he said you are only as good as your last game. “This weeks a mammoth challenge against Bayswater, who'll be looking to bounce back to form,” he said. “But if we get in there face and play like we have been, there is no reason why we can't get a result and we’re all looking forward to the challenge.” Bayswater City will be without Jamie Coyne due to suspension, while Subiaco will be at full strength.

Armadale stunned Bayswater last week, and this week they take on local rivals Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Scott Miller’s side are coming off a disappointing loss in the Cup Final, and haven’t won in the league since Round 10, but that does include draws against two of the top three teams. Armadale need to push on from the 1-0 win against Bayswater, and skipper Jesse Fuller said the win gave them massive confidence. “Yes it was a great win for us, in terrible conditions, but I think it was a well-deserved win,” he said. “We managed to get an early goal, and really played well as a team from start to finish, and we’re disciplined, over the full 90 minutes, and it was great to pick up the points.” Fuller said Saturday’s game is massive for both clubs, and he said they have improved a great deal recently, but haven’t been getting the results. “This one is a big one,” he said. “We have been playing well over the past two months and to be honest, we should have picked up more points than we have. It will be a good game, with both sides looking to take something away from the game. Jordan Candlish is in doubt with an ankle injury, while Daniel Dols is suspended for Cockburn.

In the final game Balcatta entertain ECU Joondalup at Grindleford Reserve, and they will be looking for a repeat of the result the last time the two sides met, when they came home with 6-3 win. The home side have dropped to eighth on the table and only have won once in their last five games, and with only four points separating them on the table a win for either side will keep their top four aspirations intact. ECU have been on a good run of form but have stumbled in recent weeks drawing the last two. Assistant Coach David Tough said the draw against Floreat was tough to take. “Yes it was a disappointing result, but as they say in the game, we didn’t get the rub of the green,” he said. “I thought we had a stone wall penalty that would have made it 3-0, but it was turned down, and the penalty they got was a little questionable, but we hope we can get some decisions from the officials go our way for the rest of the season.” Tough said the loss to Balcatta earlier in the season was a low point of the season for the club, but he said they need to be on their toes to get anything on Saturday. “The loss at home was a very poor performances from the lads, probably the worst of the season, but that’s taking nothing away from Balcatta who were excellent on the day,” he explained. “Marc (Anthony) will have his side ready for the game, after recent poor results, but we know we will be in for a tough one, but we are looking forward to it.” In team news Jon Higgins comeback to football has ended the midfielder is out for the rest of the season with injury.



The race for the title is heating up and league leaders Mandurah City head north to take on Forrestfield United at Hartfield Park, in this week the Match of the Week. Mandurah won convincingly in the last round, and with the weather affecting the other sides, they moved five points clear at the top. Jordan Rhodes bagged a hat-trick in the game, and he said the conditions made it a real tough game. “It was a good result, and it was played in difficult conditions, which was a bit of a leveler,” he said. “But our quality shone through on the day and I thought we deserved the win, and it’s always nice to score as well.” Rhodes said Forrestfield are playing well and it will be another big test for them. “They (Forrestfield) have been good this season, and I was impressed by them when we played against them in round four, so it isn't a surprise to me that results have followed,” he said. “They are now no longer an unknown quantity, so we will be prepared, and our objective is going to be the three points, whatever it takes.” In team news for the Dolphins Jack Eades is away in the UK, Jon Brooks is back from injury.

Forrestfield are coming off back-to-back defeats, but winger Rhys Loxley said they were in the game before being reduced to ten men. “The game against Joondalup United was always going to be a tough one, and up until the sending off, I thought it was an end to end game with both sides threatening,” he said. “The sending off hurt us though and it was always going to be hard to break down a strong Joondalup side. The Circumstances of the Ashfield game were uncontrollable, which was a shame as the game looked to be panning out to be a cracker.” Loxley said Mandurah are the best team in the league and it shows on the table. “The game against Mandurah will be tough as they are a well drilled side who are hard to break down defensively and are clinical in front of goal,” he explained. “If we are to get anything out of the game, we will need to be at our best both at the back and going forward. For us it is a must win game to remain with the pack and I'm sure the boys will be up for the battle come Saturday afternoon.” In team news Milan Vulin and Wilbert Tshabangu are overseas, but Forrie do welcome back Matt Harold, Kaan Karacaan, Hayden Dodgeson and Mitch Crocker who will all be fighting for a spot in the side.

Joondalup United travel south to take on South West Phoenix at Hay Park, looking to keep the pressure on Mandurah. The Phoenix have only lost once this season at home and have won their last three in Bunbury, which has moved them away from the drop zone. Joondalup’s Guy McDonald said their win at Forrestfield in round 13 was a massive win and he was disappointed their game against Dianella was abandoned. “It was a great result against Forrestfield especially in the wet conditions. The way we set up and dictated the game both defensively and attacking wise is a credit to the lads and Nick (Jennings),” he said. “It's just a shame we weren't able to continue our momentum the week after against Dianella due to the rain and the game being called off. But the lads are refreshed and have looked after themselves over the break so we are raring to go this week.” The trip to Bunbury is never easy and McDonald said Saturday will be no different. “It's never an easy game down in Bunbury and we lost last time out and they caused us a lot of problems so we know we are in for a battle,” he explained. “But at the same time we are just playing game by game as all the pressure is on Mandurah, being the reigning champions.” Aaron Maplestone is missing again, but apart from that Joondalup are at full strength.

In other games Ashfield will be looking to keep in touch with the top sides when they head to Dianella Reserve to take on Dianella White Eagles. It’s been a tough week for Ashfield with club stalwart and friend of football John Van Hoek passing away, and they will be doing their best to win for him. The gap to safety is growing all the time for Dianella and they need to start getting results sooner rather than later to survive, and keeper Yousri Gharsallah said they were unlucky not to get anything from the catch up game against Canning last week. “We had a great first half last week against Canning we were dominating,” he said. “We created many chances and we scored a great goal from a corner and we could score more and finish the game of but we didn’t convert.” Gharsallah said it will be another tough game against a good Ashfield side, but he believes they will take it up their visitors. “A hard game is waiting for us this week but we are able to surprise any team, anytime,” he said. “We can score goals against any team in this league, but when it comes to defending we are very naive, and we do a lot of individual mistakes and that cost us a lot of goals. However there is a lack of discipline on the pitch and that has been affecting the result every game.” Striker Joshua Tumoe returns for Dianella, but they have lost defender Yoann Claudot who is overseas. There is a local derby at Walter Padbury Reserve as Gosnells City entertain Canning City. Gosnells are looking nervously over their shoulders after a four game losing streak, while Canning moved clear of them with a 3-2 win at Dianella last week.

Bottom of the table Shamrock Rovers entertain UWA-Nedlands at Harold Rossiter Reserve. Rovers have struggled this season and a change of coach hasn’t helped the cause. They sit bottom of the table, a far cry from when they won the league in 2014. They have only won twice this season and time is running out. UWA have picked up in recent weeks, including a big win over league leaders Mandurah and a tight loss against the Knights last week, and they will fancy their chances of the points this week. The Final games takes us to the Lark Hill Sports Complex where Rockingham City hosts Western Knights. The Knights have only lost once in the last eight games, the last a 2-1 win against UWA-Nedlands last week, and with only five point gap between the two teams a win is important for both sides. Last week Rockingham went to Gosnells and came home with the three points and Coach Rob Crerar as happy with the performance. “I was really pleased with the win last week,” he said. “I thought we controlled the game from the start and put in a really mature and professional display.” Crerar is well aware of the history the Knights have in WA football and said they need to be at their best to win it, but looking forward to the challenge. “Saturday will be a very difficult game against a club with great history that demands success,” he explained. “We didn't deserve anything from our first encounter against them, but we are in good form and go into the game full of confidence.” Rockingham will be missing veteran Lewy Bake and David Clark this week, but they have Brian Gwataringa, Ben Harty and Fraser Marr all pushing for selection.



The All Flags State League Division Two leaders Fremantle City are involved in the Match of the Week when they travel to Gumblossom Park to take on sixth placed Quinns FC. The home side are coming off a 1-0 defeat against Melville City last week, and they will need to play better if they going stop the rampant Fremantle, and Brian Cairney said last week’s loss was poor. “We were pretty disappointed with the result against Melville that would have put us back on track following our defeat to Joondalup,” he said. “The weather conditions didn't help but fair play to Melville they got the goal that mattered.” Cairney said Fremantle are the team to beat this season but said they go into the game looking for three points. “Fremantle are a good side they are scoring goals for fun at the moment, and they are deserved league leaders,” he explained. “But we seem to relish playing the top teams and the lads will definitely be up for another battle on Saturday. It will be a close game but I think our boys are quietly confident of coming away with something.” In team news club captain Glen Moore is back from suspension so that is a big bonus for them, plus Sam Doherty has been back training with the first team which will give them more defensive cover.”

The visitors went to their nearest challenges Joondalup last week and came home with a 1-0 win. Striker Danny Clapham said it was a hard fought win. “Yes it was a good result against Joondalup in bad conditions, we didn't really want to win the game like that as the game was abandoned, but we deserved everything we got and we felt we would of extended the lead as the game went on and opened up, “ he said. “They didn't have a shot on target and we were looking good on the break and had a great chance to go 2-0 up, so we’re happy with the three points.” Clapham said the last time they played Quinns it was a 10 goal thriller. “Quinn's this week is another tough game, the last time we played it was 5-5 but we have a much stronger side than we had then and most importantly have a first team keeper who has only conceded three goals in nine matches,” he said. “So defensively we have definitely tightened up so we will be up for occasion and will be looking to add to our good run with a full strength squad. The lads are just taking each game as it comes and most importantly enjoying our football.”

Second placed Balga entertain Curtin University at Princess Road Reserve looking to keep the pressure on the leaders. Curtin sit in ninth spot on the table and moved away from the drop zone with a big win against Ellenbrook last week. Balga have only lost once in the last six games and last week came home from Morley with a hard fought 2-1 win. Swan United will be looking to rest their fall down the table when they visit Arbor Grove Reserve to take on bottom of the table Ellenbrook United. Swan picked up their first point in six games with a 2-2 draw against Kelmscott in midweek, and will have to do it without keeper Cory Hugo who is suspended. Ellenbrook are still looking for their first win of the season, but will fancy their chances if Swan don’t turn up to play. There is a local derby at Wanneroo Reserve where Kingsway Olympic host Wanneroo City. Kingsway’s good form continued last week with their 3-0 win at Swan moving them to fifth on the table, but they need to at their best in this game against their near neighbours. Wanneroo’s recent improvement has gone missing with three straight defeats, but will be looking for revenge after they were rolled 3-1 at home in the reverse fixture.

Melville City host Morley Windmills at John O’Connell Reserve. Morley sit in fifth spot, but were beaten last time out by Balga, but will be looking for a repeat of the 3-1 win the reverse fixture, but they need to improve their away form, having only won two. City, who are on a four unbeaten run, lost a number of players prior to kick off last week so defender Matt Donlevy said they did well to beat a strong Quinns’ side. “It was great result for the boys, especially after a couple late withdrawals prior to the match,” he said. “The game was played in ugly conditions but the team managed the environment well and we’re delighted to take the points.” Donlevy said Saturday’s opponents are starting to hit their straps. “Morley are a very good side, and will be another tough test for us,” he said. “They have many quality, experienced players who are beginning to fulfill their potential.” In team news for Melville Logan McIsaac returns from suspension to bolster their squad.

In the final game Kelmscott Roos host Joondalup City at Frye Park. City lost the top of the table clash with Fremantle last week and need three points on the road this week if they are not to lose sight of them. Kelmscott on the other hand played a catch up game in midweek and drew 2-2 with Swan, and came away with a hard fought 3-1 win at Wanneroo in Round 14. Striker Owen Curtis said they played well to get the result at Wanneroo. “The squad played to their full potential against Wanneroo, but the weather wasn't very kind to us, and as a result the game only lasted 45 minutes,” he said. “But not to take anything away from the lads, it was a brilliant effort.” Curtis said Joondalup will be desperate to win and keep in touch with Fremantle, while a win for Kelmscott and results elsewhere going their way they could move up to sixth. “Joondalup will be a tough challenge for us this weekend, obviously being so high up the table, they've proved themselves to be a sound unit,” he said. “We have been working on the training pitch to try iron out problems that lead to that initial 2-0 defeat against them the first time out. I'm excited for the game, and I'm sure we'll give them a good battle at home.” In team news for Kelmscott Tait Comley will miss with a tight hamstring.



Floreat Athena midfielder Jon Stynes scored in the third minute of stoppage time to seal a 1-0 win against Cockburn City in Saturday’s Cool Ridge Cup Final at Dorrien Gardens. There were many chances on the day, but it looked like going into extra time but Stynes had other ideas firing home Lewis McMahon’s pass to set off wild celebrations on and off the pitch.

“The boys deserve it for all the hard work they’ve put in on and off the training track,” Floreat Coach Glen Grostate said. “I think both sides worked out each other’s game plans early and I know we’re the winners on the day, but it was a great performance from Cockburn to take us all the way. Last season we were flying, we ran out of steam, but now we have some more depth and things are starting to go our way.”

Stynes said to score late was a great feeling. “I was delighted to have got the winner so late in the game, and win it for the lads,” he said. “The game was scrappy and could have gone either way, but on the day we were able to finish that one chance that made the difference and take home the trophy.”

It was a typical start to a Cup Final, and it was a cautious opening from both sides, the first real chance fell to Floreat, when skipper Ludovic Boi’s corner picked out the unmarked Phil Arnold, who headed over with the goal at this mercy. Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris had to receive lengthy treatment after a clash early, but he continued on. Cockburn went close themselves moments later Liam Murray firing wide from Harry O’Brien’s cross.

It was end-to-end football with chances at both ends. Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich had to be alert to save Boi’s shot from the edge of the penalty area, before Cockburn skipper Euen Grant headed just over from Cameron Edwards corner. The Cockerels ended the half the better and O’Brien’s volley flashed wide of the post and on the stroke of half time their Spanish striker Angel Andres cut into the area, but Jason Saldaris stood tall to deny him.

Floreat were forced into a change at the break with keeper Jason Saldaris unable to continue and he was replaced by Jordon Barbas. Floreat had an early penalty claim turned down by referee David Bruce, and Boi then tested Radonich who saved low. Barbas then came to his sides rescue saving low at his near post to deny Aden Da Luz shot. The game was up for grabs and Cockburn’s Josh Kusar cross was headed inches past the post, but both sides were struggling to turn chances into goals.

It continued when Radonich made a good save to deny Kris Gate, before Barbas was out quick to save bravely at the feet of Andres. It looked like it was going to extra time, but in the third minute of stoppage time Floreat won it. Lewis McMahon lost his marker and played the ball to Stynes, who curled it past Radonich and into the corner of the net to set off wild celebrations. There wasn’t any time for Cockburn to get back into the game and at the final whistle it was Floreat celebrating a sixth state league Cup Final success.

Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS (RGK Jordan BARBAS 45’), 3 Blair GOVAN, 6 Clayton ARNEZ, 8 Jonathan STYNES, 10 Kris GATE, 11 Dennis GALAN (20 Robert GASPAR 62’), 14 Ludovic BOI, 15 Christopher SALDARIS, 18 Phil ARNOLD (5 Bobby WILSON 85’), 19 Lewis MCMAHON, 33 Cameron YORKE – Subs not used: 2 Shaun TIMMINS, 12 Nathan SCULLY - Yellow cards: Gaspar 68’

Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 3 Joshua KUSAR, 4 Euen GRANT, 6 Reuben TRISTAO, 8 Cameron EDWARDS, 9 Angel ANDRES, 10 David ARAYA, 11 Harry OBRIEN, 13 Blake ADAMS, 16 Daniel DOLS (18 Aden DA LUZ 74’), 19.Liam MURRAY - Subs not used: 5 Nathan DE ABREU, 7 Ali GHOLAMI, 14 Julian TELES, 17 Jesse LAZZARO - Yellow cards: Dols 70’, Grant 89’

Referee: David Bruce



Bayswater City have come from behind to beat ECU Joondalup 4-2 to win the Cool Ridge Reserves Cup Final at Dorrien Gardens. ECU led at half time thanks to Ollie Annis’ goal, but Bayswater lifted after the break and a brace from skipper Alex Wild helped them to victory. “We’ve performed all season and it really wasn’t the best start, but we came out in the second half and showed everyone how good we are,” Wild said post-match. “I think we’ll all head out tonight and make the most of it, then it’s back to training on Tuesday. Hopefully we can go on to win the league as well.”

It was a tight opening, but ECU were convinced they had a penalty when John Hulme was brought down in the area but referee Zach Piccicacco waved away their protests. Bayswater lifted and ECU keeper Todd Hoyle saved well to deny Taban Makoii, and they were put under some intense pressure but they managed to hang on. ECU settled and hit the front on 38 minutes, Coire McGuigan found space down the right and his cross picked out Annis who headed past Fraser Greenwood.

Bayswater opened the second half brightly and forced a number of early corners and six minutes in they levelled, Wild heading home from close-range. Their pressure was rewarded on the hour when they took the lead. Wild was the supplier this time, sending Makoii in on goal and he finished past Hoyle. It looked like Bayswater would go on with it, but ECU had other ideas and they levelled on 75 minutes.

Hulme raced into the box but his shot was parried by Greenwood, but Bayley Brown-Montgomery was quickest to react to the rebound and fired home. It was game on but ECU went to sleep sixty seconds later and Bayswater regained the lead, with Jamie Murphy picked out unmarked at the back post and he finished well past Hoyle. ECU pressed looking for the equaliser but they were caught out again in stoppage time, Wild holding off his marker and fire low past Hoyle to win it.

Bayswater coach Chris Barbas was overjoyed with the result. “As I said leading up to the game it was all about a team effort and today’s performance was definitely a team effort,” he said. “We set each other up, we made sure we had that killer instinct in the final third and it was a credit to everyone today.”

ECU Joondalup’s Howard Tweats said he was immensely proud of his young side’s performance, despite the result. “Days like today, we take it on the chin and hope we come out stronger, and with the desire to return and hopefully play more finals and get some reward for the development we’re showing,” he said. “They’re a very young side, they’re relatively inexperienced, and they’re learning the hard way and the good way.”

Bayswater City: GK Fraser GREENWOOD, 3 David STOKOE, 4 Julian ALTERI (16 Abdul ABDELLA 46), 5 Patiente ILAHAMBAYE, 7 Jamie MURPHY, 8 Hifzan MOHD HAYAZI, 9 Alex WILD (c), 10 Taban MAKOII, 14 Tristan COLLI, 20 Luka NINKOVIC (18 Giordano COLLI 83), 21 Stefan BARBAS (6 Les MARI 68) - Subs not used: 11 Charlie WHITE, 12 Jake CHERRIE - Yellow cards: nil

ECU Joondalup: GK Todd HOYLE, 2 Coire MCGUIGAN, 4 Ronald RIXER, 5 Stef VRANESEVIC, 6 Ryan MALTON (c), 7 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY, 10 Oliver ANNIS, 11 Keylun POLLARD, 12 Jonathan HULME, 14 Lee HALLIDAY (3 Jaden EWEN 76), 18 Mateen ALEXANDER (8 Joe MIDDLETON 84) - Subs not used: RGK Daniel HODGKINSON, 15 Liam FYFE, 19 James BRUCE - Yellow cards: Malton 22’

Referee: Zach Piccicacco



Cockburn City have won the 2016 Cool Ridge Under 18’s Cup Final after second half goals from Kristan Santich and Ryan Pratt gave them a 2-0 win against Inglewood United at 2-0 at Dorrien Gardens. It was just rewards for the Cockerels, who lost last season’s under 18’s showpiece in a penalty shoot-out against Subiaco, and Coach John Loreto said his side’s work ethic was the key to getting across the line. “I’m really proud of all the boys, making it through all the rounds and winning the cup is brilliant. It could have gone either way in the beginning, both keepers did well from both sides, and our keeper pulled off three good saves which kept us in the game,” he said. “After that, we capitalised in the middle of the park and started knocking the ball about and found our forwards and they finished off the game for us.”

It was Inglewood who started the match the better, and on five minutes Joel Jebaratnam’s low cross found Nicholas Challot, who flicked the ball towards goal, but Cockburn keeper Ben Radonich scrambled back to push the ball around the post. Inglewood were dominating and on the quarter hour they went close again. This time Tyler Garner sent Brian Mashingaidze clear, but his shot was saved by the outstretched leg of Radonich.

Mashingaidze was at it again three minutes later, this time sent clear by Challot but again Radonich denied him. Cockburn steadied and went close themselves on 24 minutes. Charlie Watt shot on the run was well saved by Rhys MacFarlane. Cockburn ended the half the better and went close to the opener again when Pratt fed Adam Anfuso, but his low shot across goal flashed inches past the post.

Cockburn made the perfect start to the second half and took the lead just three minutes in. Santich held off two Inglewood defenders before firing low past MacFarlane from the edge of the box. The game was put beyond Inglewood when Cockburn added a second 12 minutes from time. A long clearance from Radonich sent Pratt clear and he lobbed the on-coming MacFarlane. Inglewood pressed late Challot headed wide from Matthew Sutcliffe’s cross.

Inglewood coach Richie Abrams said his side’s inability to finish had been costly. “We had some really good chances in the first-half and we didn’t take them. If we had taken at least one of those chances I think it would have been a completely different game,” he said. “In the second-half, Cockburn wanted it a lot more than us and they were first to the ball more than us, and they took all of their chances and in the second-half, while we hardly created any chances so I believe it was a fair result to be honest.”

Inglewood United: GK Rhys MACFARLANE, 2 Charlie SIMPSON (13 Ben DEL DESSO 76’), 3 Nelson TSHONGO, 4 Matthew SUTCLIFFE, 5 Samuel BRENNAN (12 James WALLACE 74’), 6 Tyler GARNER, 7 Kieran PATTERSON, 8 Mohammad REZAI (14 Ben DOCHERTY 74’), 9 Brian MASHINGAIDZE, 10 Nicholas CHALLOT, 11 Joel JEBARATNAM - Substitutes not used: 24 Luke HUTCHENSON - Yellow cards: Nil

Cockburn City: GK Ben RADONICH, 50 Jake ROBINSON, 55 Adam ANFUSO, 57 Jesse LIPPERT, 58 Hudson BLISS, 60 Kristan SANTICH, 61 Charlie WATT (54 Ryan DE GENNARO 86’), 62 Mitchell FIRTH, 64 Denaudo MURRAY, 65 David DOS SANTOS, 66 Ryan PRATT - Substitutes not used: 23 Jordan COOBE, 51 Nicola CUIJOVANIC, 52 Samuel JONES - Yellow cards: Firth 64’

Referee: Darren Quinlan



Perth Glory picked up their first win of its pre-season tour of the Philippines after a come-from-behind 2-1 win against United Football League All-Stars at Rizal Memorial Stadium on Saturday. UFL striker Louis Clark put the hosts in front on13 minutes, before Chris Harold equalised for Glory nine minutes later. Andy Keogh scored the winner on the stroke of halftime to win the friendly which was the highlight of the UFL All-Star weekend.

Glory Coach Kenny Lowe said the opposition made it hard for them but they got what they wanted out of the game. “I thought they (UFL All-Stars) did well, they worked ever so hard,” he said. “But we controlled the game. We controlled the tempo, but the opposition play a decent brand of football, it was enjoyable match to watch.”

The home side opened brightly and on four minutes former Western Sydney Wanderers striker Tahj Minniecon long-range shot was straight at Liam Reddy. The Glory had the perfect chance to take the lead four minutes later, when Harold was brought down by Kouichi Belgira in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Keogh stepped up but UFL keeper and former Australian under 20’s keeper Matthew Acton guessed the right way to save his poor spot-kick.

The Glory went close again moments later, Nebojsa Marinkovic’s corner was headed just wide by Dino Djulbic. But against the run of play the home side hit the front on 13 minutes. Robert Mendy sending Clarke in on goal and he finished low past Reddy. But the Glory hit back and levelled nine minutes later. Marc Warren found space down the left and whipped in a great cross for Harold, who ghosted in at the back post to head home.

Both sides had chances as the game opened up. First Fitch Arrboleda cross picked out Minniecon, whose shot flashed over the top for the home side, before Josh Risdon played in Harold, whose shot beat Acton, but the post came to the UFL custodian’s rescue. Then Reedy stood tall to deny Mendy. But just before the break the Glory hit the front. Keogh was given too much room and he finished clinically past Acton.

With many changes to the sides in the second half the game lost a little bit of intensity, but there were a few good chances. Mendy fired wide early and Masaki Yanagawa headed wide from Minnicon’s corner, before Aryn Williams fed Richard Garcia, whose shot is blocked by UFL defender Jason De Jong. Both sides pressed late but it ended 2-1, the Glory securing their first win of the pre-season.



On Saturday all the roads will lead to Dorrien Gardens as the Final of the Cool Ridge Cup final takes centre stage of WA Football, with Cockburn City taking on Floreat Athena (3.00pm) Cockburn City will be looking for their first Cup success under their identity, although Spearwood Dalmatinac won the cup three times in the 80’s. They went close in 2007, but were beaten in the Final by Stirling Lions 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out. This season in the Fourth Round they beat Mandurah City 3-1 at home, and in the Fifth Round shocked League Champions Bayswater City 2-0 again at home. In the Sixth Round they beat Division One side Gosnells City 5-1 at home, before getting some revenge for the 2007 cup final loss beat Stirling 2-1 in the Semi-Final at Macedonia Park.

Cockburn skipper Euen Grant said Saturday’s opponents are a very good team, but they are looking forward to the challenge. “Floreat are a dangerous team we will need to be switched on for the 90 minutes, “he said “We’ve only played them once this season, and we fought out a 1-1 draw at their place, and that was a tight game, and I'm expecting the same again this weekend.” Grant, who played for Falkirk and Airdrie United in Scotland between 2010 and 2012, before heading down under, said they go into the game with a plan and they believe it will bring them success. “Floreat have threats all over the pitch, so we can’t just focus on one or two players,” he said. “We have to keep our shape and stick to Scott (Miller) game plan and hopefully we’ll come out on top.”

It’s a massive few weeks for the Cockerels with the FFA Cup tie against Melbourne City on the horizon, but Grant said they will be looking to make history on Saturday and bring home the first Cup for Cockburn City. “No doubt it's a massive few weeks for the club with two big league games in between the cup games. The lads are buzzing in training and are looking forward to the games ahead,” he explained. “We do have a chance to make a bit history by becoming the first Cockburn team to win a cup, we’ll just enjoy the occasion and fingers crossed we get the result we want at the end of the day.” Cockburn will be missing Ryan Barker who is overseas, but apart from that they are at full strength.

Floreat Athena didn’t enter the competition until the Fifth Round when they beat UWA-Nedlands 5-1 at home, before coming from behind in the Sixth Round to beat Armadale 6-3 at home. Then in the Semi-Final they travelled to Inglewood United and came home with an impressive 9-2 win. They have won the Cup on five occasions, the latest a 3-1 win against Inglewood United in 2009, and skipper Ludovic Boi said they are determined to add another one on Saturday. “This game will be massive for both clubs wanting to bring some silverware, but all the boys are up for the game, it's huge for us and the club,” he said. “We want to bring that cup home to Floreat Athena and hopefully we will be able to play some good football and get the job done.”

Boi said Cockburn are a well organised side and have dangerous players that can hurt you if you let them. “We've only played Cockburn once this year in the season so it will be interesting to see how both team have improved. They are well organised and will be tough to break down. But that's the magic of the cup, it's anyone's game on the day so I think we will let them worry about us,” he said. “It's a team effort and we will need to be at our best to make their job hard. We know where there strengths and weakness and it about being able to use that to our advantage. I'm sure they have done their homework and will have a game plan as well as both team goes all out.”

Boi, who joined Floreat after stints with Perth Glory and Stirling Lions, said the club are really motivated with two massive cup games coming up, but they must take it one game at a time. “The Melbourne City game will be in our heads until the big day comes but we can't let that take the focus off the final which is just as big,” he explained. “It's not every day we get to play full time professionals and test ourselves against them, but I know it’s a cliché, but we’ll take it one game at a time and focus on what's now and not what's ahead.” In team news Dean Evans is cup-tied and will miss the game, but Blair Govan and Chris Saldaris return from suspension. Bobby Wilson is in doubt and will have a late fitness test.



This year’s Cool Ridge Reserves Cup final sees current league leaders Bayswater City taking on ECU Joondalup at Dorrien Gardens. (12.45pm) In the First round ECU travelled to Mandurah City and came home with a 3-0 win, before beating Balcatta 5-2 in the Second Round. In the Quarter-Finals they scored late to beat Perth Glory 1-0, before edging out Stirling Lions 5-3 on penalties at Macedonia Park in the Semi-Final.

ECU Joondalup Coach Howard Tweets said Bayswater are playing well and the table doesn’t lie. “By right and with merit Bayswater sit top of the 20's league currently and will arrive at the final with confidence,” he said. “Having played out a 1-1 draw earlier this season the nature of the game was a rather flat lack luster affair from both sides and I don't think either myself or Chris (Barbas) learned a great deal from the game. Being lower on the ladder will in many eyes promote Bayswater as favourites for success which will suit us not having to live up to that expectation.”

When asked what his final words will be to his chargers before the game, Tweets said he will give the players confidence and tell them to go out and shine. “The instruction will contain a message around play with no inhibitions, give all you can in passion, energy and intensity,” he explained. “A final is a stage, with family, friends and supporters present, and importantly the prying eyes Managers and Coaches, so as a young player now is the time to shine, deliver a performance they are proud of and show all mentioned that they as a player have arrived.” Striker James Owen is in fine form, bagging six goals at Perth three weeks ago, while Ollie Annis and keeper Todd Hoyle will need to be at their best if they are to win.

Bayswater didn’t enter the competition until the Second Round when they went to Second Division side Kelmscott Roos and won convincingly 11-1. In the Quarter-Final they beat Sorrento 3-1, before beating Floreat Athena in the Semi-Final by the same score. Coach Chris Barbas said Saturday’s opponents will be up for the game. “No doubt the ECU team doesn’t reflect their current standing on the ladder,” he said. “They will be at full strength, well organised and pumped with adrenalin, that’s why we will be giving them the upmost respect come the day.”

Barbas, who coached Floreat Athena first team to the Cup Semi-Final in 2012, was asked what his final words will be to his chargers before the game, and he said just go out and enjoy it. “Like always I tell the player before every game, and it won’t change on Saturday,” he said. “It will be just a reminder to the team about our game plan and go out and play as a team and enjoy the game day.” Although Barbas will be looking for a complete team effort, skipper Alex Wild will have a huge role to play for City, while top goalscorer Luka Ninkovic will have to be watched closely by ECU.



This season’s Cool Ridge Under18’s Cup Final sees Inglewood United taking on Cockburn City at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday. (10.00am) Inglewood opened their campaign with a hard fought 2-0 win against Perth SC in the First Round, before beating Stirling Lions 4-1 in the Second Round. In the Quarter-Final they travelled to Balcatta and came home with a 2-0 win, setting up a Semi-Final clash with Floreat Athena were they prevailed 3-1.

Inglewood Coach Richard Abrams said they have played Cockburn three times this season and haven’t won, but said he is confident they can change that on Saturday. “We go into the game having two draws and a defeat against them, so we are very keen to even things up,” he said. “They are well organized and play the game in the right spirit so I am expecting a good contest. Our road to the final has been very tough having faced Perth, Stirling, Balcatta and Floreat all NPL clubs, however we have scored 11 goals in the process and conceded only two so despite our league positioning we have good cup form this term.”

Abrams, who coached Perth SC under 18’s to cup success in the past, said the cup run has been a great learning curve for his players, but they have come out on top and he believes his player will be ready for the challenge. “We have a very young side and the fact that not one single player has ever featured in a cup final makes it extra special too,” he said. “My assistant Daniel Stoitis and I have featured in many finals as both a player and Coach so we will be passing on all our experiences to the lads and hope we can help guide them to a winner’s medal.”

We also asked Abrams what he would say to his side as they leave the dressing room for the game, and he said they need to relax and play their normal game. “The players have had lots of kind words and advice from many people all week, but we will be asking the lads to relax, enjoy the game and request they put their best foot forward,” he explained. “On our day we know what we can do and we will be treating the game with the respect the cup deserves. Playing at Dorrien Gardens, for me the best ground in the NPL will make the day even more special. We will prepare the lads throughout the week on the track and hope come 10.00am they don’t get too nervous and put on a good solid display.”

The leadership of skipper Samuel Brennan will be vital on the day, while top goalscorer Nic Challot will again be important for Inglewood. Abrams was reluctant to name individuals but midfielder’s Kieran Patterson and Tyler Garner, defender Nelson Tshongo and striker Brian Mashingaidze will also need to be at their best if Inglewood are to win the under 18’s cup for the first time.

Cockburn thrashed Kelmscott Roos 6-1 in the First Round, before coming out on top against Bayswater City 5-4 on penalties in the Second Round after the game ended 4-4 in normal time. In the Quarter-Finals they edged out Sorrento 3-2, and then thrashed Subiaco 7-2 in the Semi-Final. Cockburn Coach John Loreto knows the hard work the players have put in to their Cup run and said they head into the game full of confidence. “It’s always great for the players and club to win the cup grand final for all the hard work they have put in they deserve it,” he said. “The players are confident that they can achieve a positive outcome on Grand Final day.”

When asked what he would say to his players prior to kick off Loreto said it would be just plain and simple. “Take the opportunity playing in a Grand Final, most of all enjoy the moment work hard and you should reap the rewards, “he said. "It will take a team effort to win on Saturday, and all players will need to step up and play well to win the game.” The Cockerels youngsters have been led by Hudson Bliss this season and his influence, plus leading goalscorer Riley Van Dieken will be vital if they are to take out the Final. It should be a great encounter, get down to watch the youngsters in action – Kick off is 10.00am


VALE VAN HOEK (courtesy

Ashfield stalwart and friend of football John Van Hoek passed away peacefully in the company of family on Wednesday morning. The former Ashfield president was one of the club’s most dedicated servants, a fact recognised with the naming of the John M Van Hoek grandstand at the club in 2013. Van Hoek was born in Holland and grew up in Den Bosch before moving to Melbourne in 1954. He moved to Ashfield in 1966 and in 1976 he coached the newly formed Ashfield Dynamo club. In the following decades Van Hoek made a ceaseless contribution to the club and the sport in the decades that followed.



English League One side Oldham Athletic have taken centre-back Cameron Burgess on loan from Fulham for the rest of the year. Burgess, 20, played a big part in a similar half-season spell at Cheltenham Town last season when he helped the Robins win promotion from the National League to League Two.

An Australia youth international, Burgess is looking forward to playing in England’s third tier. "I want to get experience and in playing in such a good division, progress working with my new team-mates and manager," Burgess said. "As a squad, we want to take a game at a time and do as well as we can."

"I would consider Cheltenham to be better than any other teams in the Conference - no disrespect to other sides in that league - and we showed that. The step up will be a challenge, but it's something I am really looking forward to."



Australian football broadcasting icon Les Murray will be a Special Guest Speaker at the Football Hall of Fame WA's 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner/Induction Night at Crown Perth on November 26. Hall of Fame chairman Louis Prospero said it was a considerable coup to have Murray attend what promises to be a night to remember. "Les was the best-known face of the game for many years and he is respected and admired throughout Australia. We are delighted that he has agreed to grace what is a milestone event in our efforts to preserve the history of the game in WA," said Prospero.

Murray said: "It is with great honour that I attend the 2016 Football Hall of Fame Western Australia celebrations. From afar I have long watched with admiration the great work being done by the football community of Western Australia. "Much has been achieved ever since the Western Australian Soccer Football Association was formed in 1896. Many of our greatest Socceroos came out of the West. The creation of Perth Glory in 1995 was one of the benchmark, pioneering events in our country's football history. "I look forward very much to catching up with my many friends in the West."

Known throughout Australia as Mr Football, Murray has been the face and voice of the game for several decades in his role as host of The World Game, and many other footballing events, on SBS. After 34 years with the Sydney-based TV channel, he retired from full-time duties in 2014 but still makes occasional appearances to voice his expertise on football matters. He joined SBS Television in 1980, and his many roles have included being the anchor and executive producer of the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League, the FA Cup Final, Australia's National Soccer League (NSL) and covered all of the Socceroos' World Cup campaigns between 1986 and 2006. Along with his late friend and cohort, the former Socceroos captain Johnny Warren, Les is credited with causing the immense rise in awareness and popularity of football in Australia in the past two decades. It was Les who coined the label 'the world game' in the mid-1980s to describe his beloved sport, a phrase that has since become not only a term of common usage, but a brand in itself.

In 2006 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia. He is a member of Football Federation Australia's Hall of Fame. He is a former chairman of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Sports Group and is a director of the Johnny Warren Football Foundation. In 2009 Les received the Australian Sports Commission's Lifetime Achievement Award for his services to sports journalism. Les's authority and rich experience in sports journalism, broadcasting and business, make him a much sought-after figure, opinion-maker, writer, raconteur and skilled speaker. He has spoken at the United Nations and at many international forums. He is a former a member of FIFA's Ethics Committee. *To book tickets to the 20th Anniversary event (cost $180 each) email



Perth-born Mark Birighitti has completed his dream transfer to English Premier League side Swansea City, but don't expect the talented goalkeeper to have his head turned by the big time. 25-year old Birighitti yesterday finalised a two-year deal with Swansea, with the option of an extra twelve months, following a stand-out season with A-League club Newcastle Jets.

But amid the excitement of hopefully testing himself against the likes of Sergio Aguero, Alexis Sanchez and new Manchester United superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Birighitti is steeling himself for the more immediate task of trying to dislodge current Swans number one Lukasz Fabianski. "It's been a long wait dealing with a few offers, so to come to this stage signing for Swansea City it's a dream come true," Birighitti said.

"It's going to be a huge test but I always play my best when there's a challenge in front of me. As a young footballer growing up, you dream of playing for the Socceroos. But going to the Premier League, it's a huge honour. Fabianski is a great goalkeeper who's got a wealth of experience. He played with Arsenal and recently he was enormous for Poland in the Euros. It'll be great to go and work with him and pick his brain and work with one of the best in England."

"But, of course, it'll be my job to put pressure on him and be better than him each day at training. The good thing about English football is there are so many games. Not only the Premier League, but there's the Capital One Cup and the FA Cup. My main aim is to perform well day in, day out at training and prove to the coaches and everyone at the football club why I should be there ... so when I get the opportunity to play for the first team I take it with both hands."

Birighitti, capped once by Australia in 2013, played his juniors days at Perth SC and ECU Joondalup. In 2007 he moved into the A-League with Adelaide United, where much of his five seasons was spent as understudy to Eugene Galekovic. A 2012 switch to Newcastle brought regular first team football with Birghitti making 78 appearances across four campaigns.

But it's not all been plain sailing. A potential move to Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen in early 2014 fell through at the eleventh hour, and eighteen months ago he had an unsuccessful loan spell with Italian side AS Varese. That move could turn out to be the making of Birighitti, who met the man who has played no small part in his move to Swansea.

"During my time in Italy, the sporting director at the time was Gabriele Ambrosetti, who is now an assistant at Swansea," Birighitti said. "He's a great person, very well respected and me and him get along very, very well. I'm looking forward to linking up with him and the head coach Francesco Guidolin and the rest of the players."

Birighitti was recalled to the Socceroos squad in May this year after a two-year absence and sat on the bench for the games against England and Greece. "While I was with the Socceroos squad in England and back in Australia, I spoke to a few of the players who have played in England, like Mile (Jedinak), Fedders (Adam Federici) and Timmy Cahill, asking what to expect if I went," he explained.

"They gave me a lot of good advice and there's a lot of Australians over in the UK who I can always catch up with them. There are also my agents Frank Trimboli and (former Socceroo) Vince Grella. Since I was first introduced to them a year-and-a-half ago they've been absolutely fantastic. It can be frustrating at times because they don't really say too much, and the whole Swansea thing I've only known about it for two or three weeks. They're fantastic people who want the best for their players."

Birighitti also praised the coaching team at Newcastle who helped him achieve his dream - and the family who instilled in him an unbending work ethic, even if it meant climbing out of bed before dawn for practice as a 10-year old. "My dad (Carlo) has done so much for me," he said. "He was my first ever coach, dragging me out of bed, taking me to training at six o'clock in the morning. He's such an inspiration, and my mum (Fran) and sister and brother-in-law. They make sure nothing gets in the way of me excelling in my football career."

"There's also the team at the Jets who came in last year. Scotty Miller, the coach, Jean-Paul de Marigny and Jess Vanstratten, the Jets goalkeeping coach and the one that will always be there for me. I probably wouldn't be in this position if it wasn't for him. He's been enormous in my career in this past year. Coming back from Italy he has helped me grow as a player and person - he's given me so much belief. I just can't thank him enough."



Rostyn Griffiths and Taylor Tombides have joined Perth Glory on trial during the club's tour of the Philippines. Glory's 30-man travelling party flew out of Perth today for a three-game tour against a series of local sides including the Filipino national team.

Griffiths, 28, left Dutch club Roda JC in April after one season, having previously parted company with Glory the season prior to try his luck in Europe. Tombides, who played juniors with West Ham United and Hull City, is a free agent after an unsuccessful trial at Southend United.

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

since the 26th June, 2002

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