Floreat Athena's Blair Govan has signed for Victorian NPL side Hume City

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Football West have decided to reduce the State League to twenty-two clubs next season, after the State League standing committee's recommendation of two divisions of eleven clubs each was accepted by the Football West board. Following Joondalup United and Mandurah City moving up to the NPL-WA, the State League was forced to alter their competition. There was a number of options on the table, however it was decided that eleven clubs in both State League Division One and Two was the fairest option. It means Joondalup City will now be promoted to Division One and a bye will be placed in both competitions for at least one season.



Perth Glory returns home, after two weeks on the road, when they entertain Newcastle Jets in week 10 of the Hyundai A-League at nib Stadium on Saturday evening (7.00pm). After last week’s ‘backs to the wall’ 1-1 draw against Melbourne Victory the Glory need a win to keep in touch with the leaders. After going unbeaten through the first three rounds they have dropped to fifth in the league and are 11 points behind leaders Sydney, but go into the game having not lost in 10 home games, and go into the game with confidence, as the Jets haven’t beaten them in the last 14 matches.

Former Jets’ striker Adam Taggart is hoping to start the game, after coming off the bench in the last two away trips, and the former Socceroos’ striker said it a huge game for him and the team. “It's a special game, Newcastle has a special place in my heart, and I had such a good time there," he said. “But I'm going to be as aggressive as normal and go out there looking to win. It's important we really go out there and take it to them ... and put them on the back foot early."

It’s been a frustrating time for the 23-year-old, after a calf injury has curtailed his return to the side but he hopes that’s behind him. “I’m confident in my body at the moment, but it’s up to the boss and up to the medical staff,” Taggart said. “Of course I want to start ... it’s just consistency in training, being able to prove that I can do a job in the team, being able to get back to where I was in round one in terms of how I felt and the way I was going into the game. I’ve been pushing and working as hard as I can.”

The Glory welcome back Josh Risdon from injury, and Rhys Williams from suspension to the squad, but will still will be Spanish maestro Diego Castro and Alex Grant with injury, but it looks like Brandon Wilson has recovered from injury to take his place in the squad. "We've got a team of class players, so there's always competition for spots, and that's half the reason I came back to the club,” Taggart said. “I don't want to be in a team where it's just you're guaranteed to play every week because it doesn't push you.

“We've got to step up as men and take responsibility for your own actions and our own performances, so I personally, and I know the other boys aren't hiding away from the fact last week performance-wise wasn't good enough. "I hope we're really going to take it to them and give the home fans something to cheer about, so we're all motivated and looking forward to putting the performance right and we're at home, so we're always looking for three points."

The Jets started the season well but have dropped off in recent weeks, and are coming off back-to-back 0-2 losses against Victory and Sydney FC. But in some good injury news winger Andrew Nabbout is fit and ready for the game. The former Victory player, who only joined Newcastle this season from Malaysian Premier League side Negeri Sembilan, insisted that Mark Jones' side aren't worried about history, and will be ready for the challenge.

"I was touch-and-go to play against Sydney [last week]," he said. “I was trying to get the physio to push me back in but, you know, he's smart about these sorts of things and the coaching staff were really smart about it. So they said it's better to come back at 100 per cent rather than 60, 70 and risk doing it again. It was hard but it's the right time now."

The Jets may be finally turning the corner after a terrible run of injuries that has hurt them in defence, and Nabbout said it’s looking better ahead of the trip west looking to kick start their season. “Daniel Mullen looks like he's going to be back, also skipper Nigel Boogaard, but we'll see how the week progresses and we'll see how they both pull up,” he said.

“But there are definitely some key boys putting their hands up for a gig this week. It's that final decision that we have to keep working on and, you know, we've been working on it at training and they're going to fall for us eventually, so we just have to make sure we keep ourselves in those areas." Get along and support the Glory and help them back to winning ways.

Squads: Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 3 Marc WARREN, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Rhys WILLIAMS, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 8 Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joe MILLS, 18 Mitch OXBORROW, 19 Josh RISDON, 21 Jamal REINERS, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Kosta PETRATOS, 24 Milan SMILJANIC *two to be omitted* - Ins: WILLIAMS (returns from suspension), RISDON (returns from injury) - Outs: Nil

Newcastle Jets: GK Jack DUNCAN, GK Pierce CLARK, 2 Daniel MULLEN, 3 Jason HOFFMAN, 4 Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 6 Steven UGARKOVIC, 7 Andrew HOOLE, 8 Mateo POLJAK, 10 Wayne BROWN, 11 Labinot HALITI, 13 Ivan VUJICA, 15 Andrew NABBOUT, 16 Nicholas COWBURN, 18 MA Leilei, 23 Devante CLUT, 24 Kristian BRYMORA, 28 John KOUTROUMBIS *one to be omitted* - Ins: MULLEN (returns from injury), BOOGAARD (returns from injury), NABBOUT (returns from injury), BRYMORA (promoted) - Outs: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (knee – indefinite), 12.Andy BRENNAN (omitted), 26.Iain FYFE (injury replacement contract complete)



Perth Glory Youth side continue the search for the first points of the season when they host Melbourne Victory in week five of the Foxtel National Youth League on Sunday morning. Victory have also struggled this season, sitting only one point ahead of John Gibson’s side, so it’s the battle of the bottom two teams.

The Glory are coming off a 1-3 defeat in Adelaide, a game were two dubious penalty cost them in the first half, but Gibson said they are working extremely hard to turn things around. “We as a group we're very frustrated at half time with our first 45 (much of it was out of our own control) we re-focused and in the second half we went back to our fundamentals and plan,” he told the Glory website.

“Our performance improved significantly, gained the ascendency, created chances numerous chances which we need to capitalize on. Every game we demand being the best we can. A big positive was the introduction of some of our younger players of our squad - the likes of Yagoub Mustafa, Luke Bodnar and Jack Leech received game time and will learn from the experience.”

Gibson said the players are working tirelessly to get their first win and he believes it’s just around the corner. “We understand the tough nature of the competition and the importance of negating silly things plus improving the details is crucial to a more complete performance,” he said. “The group are frustrated at themselves as they are aware of the tiny details that are costing them at the moment - their self-belief, confidence and energy is always high - we look forward to this weekend.” Admission to Perth Glory’s home Foxtel National Youth League games are free to members.



Perth Glory W-League side are set for a huge game on Sunday, when second on the table Sydney FC head west to take on Bobby Despotovski’s side at Dorrien Gardens. (Time) The Glory won on the road last week, a 2-0 win against Melbourne Victory, and Despotovski said it was a good all-round team performance. “It was a very good performance from the team in all departments,” he said. “We all executed the game plan to best ability and got the reward for it. Yes it could have been more goals, but at the end of the day we didn’t concede and scored twice, so over all very happy.”

They lost first team keeper Melissa Maizels during last week’s win, the custodian has been in outstanding form between the sticks, but Despotovski said he has every confidence in Balcatta keeper Gabby Dal Busco this week. “Melissa was on the receiving end from ND (Natasha D), the Victory striker, and she got a nasty cut on her finger, which will put her out of action for 2-3 weeks,” he said. “I thought Gabby did extremely well when she was called up on. She now has the starting spot and we’ve signed young upcoming keeper Morgan Aquino from the NTC, which will be a great experience for young Morgan.”

Despotovski said Sunday’s opponents will be a big test for his side, as they look to maintain their spot in the top four, and he said they are looking forward to the challenge. “They (Sydney FC) are a well organised team, with some talented Matildas in the team, and the mix of the best young talent in the country,” he said. “They are very well balanced team and will be very hard to beat, but we will do everything we can to perform and try to get the three points.”

The Sky Blues are coached by Daniel Barrett and have a squad oozing with talent. Former Glory striker and new 2016 Asian Women’s Player of the Year Caitlin Foord will be a danger with Kyah Simon up front, skipper Teresa Polias will give them drive in the middle of the park, while former Glory defender Alanna Kennedy pins a tight defence with NAB Young Footballer of the Year nominee Remy Siemsen.



They call football ‘The World Game’ and in a recent survey from the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), it showed that football is Australia’s largest club-based participation sport. The ASC’s AusPlay survey reveals that more than a million men, women, boys and girls are playing football, significantly more than any other club-based sport.

“It’s official, we are number one,” Football Federation Australia (FFA) chief executive David Gallop said. “Football is Australia’s most popular club-based participation sport for adults and children because it is the most inclusive and accessible. Everyone is welcome in football regardless of gender, age, ability or background. Football is also the biggest global sport with the world’s highest profile players and competitions and the planet’s biggest event, the FIFA World Cup. The combination of local accessibility and global interest is attracting more and more Australians.”

Gallop said the growth of the Hyundai A-League and the Westfield W-League was providing pathways for more Australian juniors to pursue a professional career while giving Australian and New Zealand fans a high quality league of their own. “There has been a lot said recently about the emergence of opportunities for women in sport and we applaud these developments. But this is nothing new for football,” he said.

“The Westfield W-League is currently in its 9th season and producing players like Caitlin Foord who is representing her country with distinction and last week was named Female Player of the Year by the Asian Football Confederation. “Caitlin is a great role model and if you are looking to inspire your kids to get involved in sport then take them along to a W-League match or A-League match this weekend.”

The chief executive said the AusPlay survey was an important initiative by the Australian Sports Commission, supported by the Australian Government. “Ultimately sport is about fun, fitness and friendships. It helps shape us as individuals and as a society. This work by the Sports Commission provides evidence and insights that will tell us what we need to do to keep the next generation healthy and active,” Gallop said.



Sydney FC's Brandon O'Neill is out of contract at season's end but the midfielder says he is focused on the current A-League campaign and is not worried about his future. O'Neill joined the Sky Blues on a two-year deal in Amy 2015 from Perth Glory and has been a regular for Graham Arnold's side, chalking up 30 league and Cup appearances to date.

O'Neill, an Australia youth international, says his focus at the moment is on the current season, not the next one. "Not really to be honest, I haven’t really thought about it," he admitted. "All I’ve been thinking about is each game and being able to bring success to Sydney FC. I’m sure if we can have a very successful year as a team and as a club then everything will sort itself out."

"I’m enjoying my football and working under a master coach in Graham Arnold and I’m playing alongside some very top players. The way things are set up for this season I’ve been able to kick on. But I still believe there’s a lot of improvement left in my game. There’s weaknesses in my game I need to improve on and I have to improve on to be able to play week in and week out for a team like Sydney FC."

O'Neill has ambitions to play for the Socceroos and ply his trade in Europe one day, but believes he is best placed to develop at the Sky Blues. "Of course, any young player coming through the ranks in the A-League would be lying if they said they didn't have any aspirations to play in the highest league possible, and I’m no different to them," he said.

"It’s always been a dream of mine to try and test myself in another country and another culture, in a different playing style. But at the moment I’m developing as best as I can under Graham Arnold and Andrew Clark. They’re not only getting the best out of me as a footballer but as a person learning my trade. I think I’m in the right environment to develop and continue to play as best football as I can."

"For the near future I’m loving life in Sydney, I’m with the league’s best coach, the league’s best team and the league’s best organisation in terms of facilities and infrastructure. So my main focus is with Sydney." O'Neill's agent, Tony Rallis, is in talks with Sydney about a new contract for the former ECU Joondalup junior.



Perth Glory owner Tony Sage has called for two teams from south-east Asia to join the A-League as part of the competition’s planned expansion. Glory have been granted approval from Football Federation Australia to hold a home game overseas for the first time in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur in the next 18 months.

But Sage has urged the game’s powerbrokers to take the expansion even further, saying the A-League should add clubs based in Singapore, Malaysia or Indonesia to open up new markets and demand higher revenue from a new broadcasting deal. A-League chief Greg O’Rourke confirmed this week that two new teams would join the league in 2018 but did not declare where they would be from.

Brisbane, Sydney’s southern suburbs, Wollongong and Melbourne’s west have been suggested as possible bases for expansion clubs. However, Sage said south-east Asia was a stronger market, predicting A-League teams based in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta would attract home crowds of 50,000 and tens of millions of new viewers.

Given there was a team from New Zealand, “there was no reason why we shouldn’t let two Asian teams join the competition,” Sage said. “I think it would be a fantastic way to expand the TV audience. A team based in Jakarta could attract an extra 250 million eyeballs watching the A-League.”

Sage said playing A-League matches in south-east Asia would be no different to the travel demands managed by Super Rugby clubs such as the Western Force or the schedule faced by Wellington Phoenix. Glory could play their first home game overseas as early as next season with discussions set to commence with the Malaysian and Singapore governments.

Sage said Western Australia should ultimately get a second A-League team, but not during the first expansion phase and only once existing clubs, including Glory, became profitable. Glory recorded a loss of more than $3 million last season. Football West has not ruled out bidding for an A-League licence for the 2018/19 season.



Winger Ryan Williams is vying to be mentioned in the same breath as Socceroos Aaron Mooy, Massimo Luongo, Jackson Irvine and Bailey Wright as he emerges from injury hell at English Championship side Barnsley. Limited to just nine league appearances across the past two seasons due to a debilitating groin injury, 23-year old Williams is playing for a new contract.

Williams shares the Championship stage with a bevy of Australians including national team captain Mile Jedinak, in addition to Queens Park Rangers' Luongo, Huddersfield's Mooy, Burton's Irvine and Preston's Wright. He returned to Australia last year for treatment from groin specialist Anthony Hogan and former Fulham conditioner Andrew Young put him on the path to recovery.

Now, he is aiming to make up for the missing years. "Thankfully, what they did worked ... if it hadn't I don't know what I would have done," admitted Williams, who is now looking to grab the match minutes which he hopes will bring him to the attention of national team coach Ange Postecoglou. Williams has been included in a number of provisional national team squads but his groin woes always intervened.

"That was when I was 21 and now I am 23 and I am just happy to be fit now and able to play again," said Williams, who joined Barnsley from Fulham via a loan spell with Oxford. "I feel like a free man now ... nothing is in my mind other than football. I have maybe 80 to a 100 games over the past couple of years, and of course that will set you back. But things happen for a reason and I am happy where I am now."

Williams would love nothing more than to earn a senior call up for his country. "If I can get the match time it would be great if the Socceroos came calling," he said. "Ange says he picks players why play every week and that's what I need to be doing. If I can do that in the Championship that would put me at the same level as a lot of the boys already in the squad and would give me a hell of a chance."



Fresh from a stellar performance at right-back against Melbourne Victory, teenage midfielder Brand Wilson has earned his first A-League Team of the Week berth. Wilson's superb display filling in for the injured Josh Risdon on the weekend helped secure a hard-fought away point for Glory, with his goal line heroics earning him a number of plaudits.

19-year old Wilson has already made seven appearances for Glory so far this season and he believes his pre-season work played a crucial role in being given the opportunities by Kenny Lowe. “I was taken by surprise with the first start,” Wilson said. “I really worked hard in pre-season but I loved the opportunity and hopefully keep getting some more.”

The Botswana-born youngster, who moved to Western Australia when he was 10, made his Glory debut in the opening round clash with Central Coast Mariners and has been relishing his chance in senior football. “I’m loving it, I’m loving every minute of it,” he said. “Hopefully I keep getting some more opportunities and keep showing what I’m made of.”

Wilson has a strong relationship with Lowe, who he played under for three years in the National Training Centre. “Even in the UK when I was playing he helped me out a lot,” said Wilson, who played at Burnley and Stockport County prior to joining Glory in July. “It’s been good, especially coming back here having a coach that I know and (he’s) helped a lot.”

Wilson, capped at Under-20 level by Australia, also noted the helping hand from the senior players has created the perfect platform for him to perform at his best. “The likes of Dino (Djulbic), Griffo (Griffiths) and Rhys (Williams), they help me out a lot off the pitch (and) on the pitch,” he said. “They give me a lot of advice, so I’m finding it helps me grow as a player and as a person a lot as well.”

With Josh Risdon expected to make his swift return from injury this week, Wilson hopes his versatility can earn him more appearances throughout the season. “If I don’t start and I’m on the bench, then I’ll put my hand up and keep working hard and hopefully get back in the team as soon as possible,” he said. Wilson and his Glory teammates will be looking to claim all three points in this Saturday’s crucial clash against Newcastle Jets.



Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams has won her second Professional Footballers Australia’s (PFA) Player of the Year award in four years. Williams, who also collected the award in 2012, was honoured in Tuesday night’s PFA Awards ceremony in Melbourne where Huddersfield Town midfielder Aaron Mooy scored the men’s player of the year.

Williams won the prize for her glovework at national level, for W-League club Canberra United and National Women’s Soccer League franchise Houston Dash. “Over the past few years we have had a really hectic schedule and a lot of ups and downs. To have the backing of the girls means so much,” Katanning-born Williams said.

“The first time I won the award was when I was breaking into the team. This time around there has been a lot of history-making events and I have experienced so many highs with the girls and this is the most rewarding recognition I can imagine.” Jamie Maclaren was recognised as the best Under-23 player and Kewell presented the Alex Tobin Medal for his career-long contribution to the sport.



It’s a new era at Ashfield Reserve in 2017 with Matt Wardle and Marco Schisano taking the reins of the first team, but the club are on the search for an under 18’s coach for next season. The club would like coaches interested in the position to call Matt Wardle on 0402480042.

The club is also pleased to confirm the appointment of former player Mladen Kovacevic as Reserves Coach. Mladen was a product of Inglewood United's U18's and then graduated to become a fist team regular. In 2010 he joined Ashfield for a fresh challenge and then played for several seasons with the reds. Mladen has had 2 years out of the game to focus on work commitments. He is hungry to return and with his youth and enthusiasm he is looking forward to working with last year’s squad and the new look coaching team at Ashfield.

The club would like to thank Barry Richards for his year of service to the club. Barry now wants to put the playing boots back on and will be staying at Ashfield as a player. Barry will of course be assisting Mladen in the transition to his new role by helping him with the current squad and recruiting new players, an assistant for Mladen will be found in the coming weeks.

Ashfield is also pleased to confirm the appointment of another former player James Duncan as fitness coach. Before playing at Ashfield James was also a product of Inglewood United coming through the system before holding down a first team spot. James's playing career was cut short after a serious leg break which ruled him out for 2 years. James made his comeback game for Ashfield and played one season for the reds. James sadly retired from football after suffering yet another serious leg break.

James comes into the coaching staff as a fully qualified personal trainer and his fitness programs will be used at Ashfield to get all the boys into great shape. The club would like to welcome both Malden & James back to Ashfield and can't wait to link up with Matt Wardle and new coaches for the 2017 season.



Blair Govan has left PS4NPLWA side Floreat Athena and joined Victorian NPL side Hume City for 2017. The big defender started his career at Sorrento where he played his junior football before making his way up to the senior side, before the Scottish-born defender moved to Athena, where he won the club’s player of the year award in 2016. He said it was a tough decision to move from Floreat, but thanks them for developing his game. “It was a really tough decision to leave Floreat I've had probably the most enjoyable years of my career so far at the club. It's a real top bunch of boys I can't thank them enough for the last few years it's been good fun and we have won trophies and for me that's what football is all about,” he explained.

“Glen Grostate and the coaching staff and everyone at the club have been very supportive of me and they have believed in me which is why I have grown into a better player over the last few years and if it wasn't for them I wouldn't be where I am now. So I would like to say a huge thank you too everyone at the club especially Glen, and I wish them all the best for next season.”

Speaking after completing his first few weeks of pre-season, Govan said he is delighted at the welcome he has received at ABD Stadium. “I have absolutely loved it, the boys have been really welcoming,” he said. “The club is great, the coaches have been brilliant, I felt like I have settled right in and am really enjoying it.”

Govan stated that the he has been impressed with the standard of play he has seen in training so far and is looking forward to cementing a first XI spot. “Even just in training already I can see that the competition for places is tough,” he explained. “There are no bad players in that squad, even the young kids that come in to help are all really good players and they are all talented. Definitely, the competition is tough, but I am enjoying it.”

Govan, who will look to play his first minutes in a Hume City shirt when it hosts Richmond SC in a pre-season friendly at ABD Stadium on Saturday, said the club and players are squarely focused on winning trophies in 2017. “Everyone has got the will to win and everyone wants the same thing,” he said. “We are all there to win and we are all there to try and win trophies, bring silverware to the club and get ourselves right up the league challenging for it and trying to win some trophies.”

Hume City technical manager Dean Hennessey, said that Govan has fitted in well with his new teammates as his new squad starts to take shape before the beginning of pre-season friendlies.

“Blair has settled in well since he arrived from Perth a few weeks ago,” Hennessey said. “He’s coming off being Floreat Athena’s player of the season after a good season over there, he’s a great size and really mobile plus has a great foot. He settled in well with the squad and looks like a great addition for us.”

Hume have links to a number of A-League clubs, and the big defender said if the opportunity arose to play at the next level he would jump at the chance. “It would be absolutely unreal if I was to make it to the next level and I feel like I'm in the right place to do so but I'm not thinking that far ahead,” Govan said. “For now I need to work hard and get myself ready for a big season with Hume, stay fit and cement my spot in the starting 11 and just take it game by game. Hopefully bring trophies to this club then who knows what could happen.”



Experienced defender Josh Risdon is expected to return for Perth Glory’s home clash with Newcastle Jets on Saturday night. The 24-year old slotted in at right-back and moved freely during match simulation as part of a one-hour training session this morning.

Risdon had been tipped to miss up to four weeks with a quad strain sustained against Central Coast Mariners less than a fortnight ago, but will be declared available to face Newcastle if he gets through the week. Fellow defenders Joseph Mills (knee) and Aryn Williams (adductor) also joined in the majority of the session.

Risdon’s availability would create a selection headache for Glory coach Kenny Lowe. Teenager Brandon Wilson was thrown into the breach against Victory and produced a stunning goal line save to help clinch a hard-earned point for Glory, a performance which earned the 19-year old a place in the A-League Team of the Week.

Wilson said he had enjoyed the challenge and would cop it on the chin if demoted this week despite his game-saving heroics. “Risso is a really good player and he plays for the Socceroos, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he went straight back in,” Wilson said.

“(If I don’t start), that’s just football. Whatever (coach) Kenny (Lowe) says is what goes and you have to stick by what he says really. If I don’t start and I’m on the bench, I’ll just put my hand up and keep working hard and hopefully get back in the team as soon as possible.”



Perth Glory striker Adam Taggart says Newcastle Jets will always have a special place in his heart, but he'll be aiming to inflict maximum pain on his former side on Saturday evening. Taggart's two-year stint at Newcastle helped launch his international career, with his 16-goal haul in the 2013/14 campaign landing him the Golden Boot award and a Socceroos call-up.

Injuries blighted Taggart's two years in the United Kingdom, where he played for Fulham and Dundee United, and a niggling calf injury grounded him for five games earlier this season. But after negotiating his way through the past three games off the bench, Taggart says he's ready for a starting berth again, and he hopes it comes against his former club.

"It's a special game," Taggart said. "Newcastle has a special place in my heart. I had such a good time there. But I'm going to be as aggressive as normal and go out there looking to win. It's important we really go out there and take it to them ... and put them on the back foot early." Ninth-placed Newcastle have snared just one win from nine games this season, and are coming off a two-goal loss to Sydney FC.



Oldham Athletic head coach Stephen Robinson is looking to keep defender Cameron Burgess at the League One club. The Latics signed Burgess on loan from Fulham at the start of the season on a six-month deal, with the 21-year old centre-back forming a strong partnership with veteran Peter Clarke to become a key player for the team.

Robinson has revealed that he is in talks with Fulham about extending Burgess’ deal through to the end of the season. And with Burgess keen to stay at Boundary Park, it seems likely a deal could happen. “We are already speaking to Fulham and they want him to stay and we want him to stay,” Robinson told the ‘Oldham Evening Chronicle’.

“It’s just a matter of getting the paperwork done and confirming it. I have spoken to Cameron and he is very keen to stay. He is enjoying his time here and he has come on a lot as a player as well. I think he has done really well. He made a couple of mistakes in the early weeks but it shows what kind of character he is that it didn’t affect him. For me, he has got better and better.”

“I think he could go on to bigger and better things. He is only 21 years old, six foot four and left-footed. They don’t come around too often. He is one that I feel could have a really good career and we are lucky to have him.” Burgess played locally for ECU Joondalup prior to entering the Fulham Academy in 2011, since when been capped by Australia at youth level and been loaned to Cheltenham Town and Oldham.



Perth Glory Women’s team have bounced back from their first defeat of the W-League season against Newcastle Jets, with a 2-0 win against Melbourne Victory at a warm Lakeside Stadium on Sunday afternoon. A first half volley from striker Rosie Sutton and another from American import Vanessa DiBernardo on the hour wrapped up the victory to keep Bobby Despotovski’s side in contact of the league leaders.

“We went into the game with our strongest side, and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but we also knew that we had to win the game so we could keep the pace with the top four sides,” Despotovski said. “We started really well and took a deserved lead and we had a couple more chances to extend it but we were not clinical enough, but in saying that we were pleased we were creating chances. We then fell into a little hole, midway in the first half and the Victory had more possession, but couldn’t break us down.”

“We re-grouped after the break and were able to score that crucial second goal, a great strike from Vanessa, and we then created numerous chances to increase our lead, but again we were not clinical enough. But Jessine (Bonzas) and I were very pleased for the girls, who put so much hard work into their football and three points were well-deserved, and we now concentrate on next week’s game against top of the table Sydney FC.”

The Glory side were coming off the bye, but they opened brightly and Victory keeper Bethany Mason-Jones had to be alert to save Alyssa Mautz’s effort early. But on 16 minutes the Glory’s early pressure was rewarded with the lead. Sutton, who has returning to the Glory this season showed great quality, volleying home superbly from a cross from the right.

The home side, who were still looking for their first win of the season, went close to levelling five minutes later. Christine Nairn’s long-range free kick took a deflection and crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. Glory keeper Melissa Maizels was in the action on the half hour, tipping over Natasha Dowie’s header from Annabel Martin’s pin point cross. Victory was pressing and Dowie went close again on 37 minutes heading inches past the post.

The Glory lifted and ended the half the better and Sam Kerr raced past two Victory defenders but her shot from the angle crashed off the post. Kerr went close again just before half time, she was sent clear one-on-one with Mason-Jones, but the Victory custodian stood tall to deny the Matilda’s striker. The Glory suffered a blow on the stroke of half time with keeper Maizel being replaced by Gabby Dal Busco, after she couldn’t shake off an injury.

Kerr continued to terrorise the Victory defence and Mason-Jones again came to her sides rescue on the hour, tipping Kerr’s shot onto the post. But four minutes later the Glory doubled their advantage. DiBernardo received the ball on the edge of the penalty area, and she turned her marker and finished superbly into the top corner of the net.

Dal Busco then saved to deny Dowe, before the Balcatta SC custodian saved Lia Privitelli’s shot. Kerr then saw her shot flash over the top before Nairn did likewise for Victory as the game opened up. The home side ended the game well and Dal Busco had to be alert to thwart Dowie again, before Privitelli shot wide of the target, but at the final whistle it was the Glory celebrating their first away win of the season.



Perth Glory Youth Foxtel National Youth League campaign goes from bad to worse after a 3-1 defeat against Adelaide United at the Elite Systems Football Centre on Saturday morning. The game was over as a contest at half time with Joshua Mori, and a brace of penalties from Ryan Strain put the Reds in control. A strong second half performance from John Gibson’s side was rewarded with Daniel Stynes pulling one back, but it was too little too late.

“It was a very tough game overall, however it was a typical game of two halves,” Stynes said. “We were far from our best in the first half and that’s what caused us to be 3-0 down. In the second half we much better creating chances and defending much better so there some positives to be taken out of the game, we need to be searching for a complete game.”

The Glory went into the game still searching for their first point of the season, but it was Adelaide who opened the brighter. Glory keeper Jordan Thurtell had to be alert early to deny Apostolos Stamatelopoulos on eight minutes, and two minutes later their pressure was rewarded with the opener, Mori’s lob beat Thurtell. It was 2-0 three minutes later, Jack Iredale was deemed to have brought down an Adelaide player and Strain converted the resulting spot kick. The Reds added a third on 40 minutes when Ross Millard handball was spotted by the referee and Strain converted his second penalty. The Glory pressed late and Michael McDougall shot was saved by Daniel Margush, but at the break it was the Reds in total command.

The Glory were on the front foot in the second half, but almost conceded a fourth on the hour, Blake Carpenter’s free kick smacking off the crossbar. The visitors continued to take the game to the home side and Margush had to be alert to save skipper Joe Knowles’ shot ten minutes later. The Glory were rewarded for their pressure on 80 minutes. Yagoub Mustafa won the ball on the left and squared it to Stynes, who took one touch and finished clinically past Margush. It was the Glory who ended the game the better and Stynes’ free kick picked out Iredale, whose header was well saved by Margush. Then Dejan Spaseski fired inches wide after good approach work from Jack Leech, before Stynes’ shot from the edge of the penalty area flashed over the top. The Glory are back in action next week when they host Melbourne City on Sunday at the Ashfield Sports Club.



Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe said Andy Keogh still does not get anywhere near the credit he deserves after becoming the club’s all-time leading goalscorer of the A-League era. Keogh scored Glory’s sole goal in last night’s away draw with Melbourne Victory, despite being on the wrong end of a 22-4 shot count.

Keogh’s 17th minute rocket in Melbourne was his 29th goal in 53 A-League appearances for Glory. It was also Keogh’s seventh goal of the current season, putting him level with Melbourne City’s Bruno Fornaroli in the Golden Boot standings. Lowe said it is time 30-year old Keogh is given his kudos.

“He doesn’t get the credit he deserves at all in any way shape or form,” Lowe said. “How many has he got this year? Seven? Look at his work ethic, look at what he brings to the team, look at his work ethic, look at his leadership qualities and his character away from the game, look at him in our changeroom.”

“The bloke is a diamond. He’s toiled up there by himself all night. And at the death he’s dropped in at right back for somebody who’s got an injury.” Glory entered the game without Diego Castro (hamstring), Josh Risdon (quad), Rhys Williams (suspended) and Alex Grant (hamstring) while Joseph Mills exited the action early with a knee injury.



Perth Glory are keen on bringing Central Coast Mariners full-back Storm Roux back to Western Australia. Glory is understood to be one of two clubs to have expressed an interest in New Zealand international Roux, who comes out of contract at the end of the 2016/17 season.

Roux was born in South Africa and spent time in New Zealand as a child before relocating to Western Australia as a teenager, when he played for Sorrento. He played three seasons with Glory Youth, making one senior appearance, prior to joining Central Coast where he's played 78 games.

Signing Roux would continue Glory's preference for recruiting players who came up through the Western Australian system. This season Glory lured former Middlesbrough captain Rhys Williams, one-time Burnley junior Brandon Wilson and ex-Roda JC midfielder Rostyn Griffiths back to their hometown club.



An undermanned Perth Glory have rode their luck, but came home with a 1-1 draw against Melbourne Victory in week nine of the Hyundai A-League at AAMI Stadium on Friday evening. With Diego Castro, Josh Risdon and Alex Grant all injured and Rhys Williams suspended, Kenny Lowe’s side shocked the Victory with Andy Keogh opening the scoring on 17 minutes, but the home side levelled just before half time through Besart Berisha, with a helping hand from Dino Djulbic. The home side dominated the second half but some great defending and a little luck, kept them at bay to share the spoils.

“They had enough chances to win three games,” Glory Coach Kenny Lowe said. “That’s the beauty of (football). That’s why everyone gets so emotional and worked up. I thought the first 20 we were bang on, we did exactly what we wanted to do and we scored a goal that was exactly how we anticipated we could hurt them. We didn’t want to lose today and we spoke about that all week. It was the mantra; we were going to come here and get something out of it, and we have done. So fair play to the people in the change rooms, they didn’t roll over and buckle and it would have been easy to do that.”

Lowe brought in Djulbic and Brandon Wilson into the back four, the midfielder filling in at right back, while Kosta Petratos came in for his first start up front with Keogh. The Victory knew a win would move them into second on the table, and they had the ball in the net on nine minutes, Berisha turning home Marco Rojas’ cross, but the flag was up for offside. But eight minutes later the Glory stunned the home crowd by scoring the opener.

A superb through ball from Nebojsa Marinkovic sent Chris Harold racing down the right he outpaced Leigh Broxham and cut the ball back to Keogh on the edge of the penalty area, and the Irish striker thumped home past Lawrence Thomas. It was Keogh’s seventh for the season and his 29th for the club, eclipsing former striker Shane Smeltz as the club’s top A-League era goal scorer. The Glory was holding it tight at the back, with Shane Lowry outstanding, but the Victory started to get busy in the final third and the Glory rode their luck.

On the half hour Berisha slipped the ball to Rojas who went one-on-one with Liam Reddy but the Glory custodian was out quick to deny him. The Kiwi was in again moments later, his curling shot looked destined for the far corner of the net, but Reddy produced a stunning one handed to push it on to the post. But four minutes from half time the Victory levelled. Rojas made space down the right, his low cross was missed by Djulbic, and Berisha fired home from close-range, to send the sides in level at the break.

Victory was out of the blocks early in the second half, and Ben Khalfallah found space on the edge of the penalty area, but his shot flashed inches past the post. The Tunisian went close again moments later, this time he was picked out at the back post, but he had to stretch and fired wide. Reddy was having a blinder he saved while from Alan Baro’s long-range shot and then blocked Khalfallah shot on 69 minutes, the rebound fell to Khalfallah again but his shot was cleared off the line by the alert Wilson.

It was one-way traffic as Kevin Muscat’s men looked for the winner, as the Glory hung on desperately. Berisha should have done better on 69 minutes, after he was picked out by Oliver Bozanic, but the unmarked Albanian striker headed over the top, and moments later second half substitute Jai Ingham’s volley from five meters whistled wide. The Glory defence were working overtime to hold on to their point, but in the final minute of stoppage time they almost lost it. James Troisi’s volley from the edge of the penalty area beat Reddy, but the post came to the rescue of the Glory custodian, and the point was secured.



Perth Glory will make the trip to AAMI Park to take on Kevin Muscat’s Melbourne Victory, with an undermanned side with four major players missing. Rhys Williams is suspended for the trip while Alex Grant, Josh Risdon and Diego Castro are all out injured. There is also a doubt over Adam Taggart, who looked to be troubled with his calf again last week. Glory Coach Kenny Lowe has brought in Marc Warren, Dino Djulbic, Mitch Oxborrow, Jamal Reiners and Kosta Petratos to the travelling squad.

Defender Shane Lowry said they do head into the game undermanned but they have the players to step up and do a job for the club. “You always want to have your better players in the team, but you know we’ve got a good squad, and we’ve got a lot of players who want to play games,” he said. “It’s part and parcel of football, and I’m sure other teams are going to have to deal with injuries throughout the season, we’re no different. It’s someone else’s opportunity now to step up. We’ve got a big away game against Melbourne Victory, and I’m sure we’ll come up with some sort of plan, but as a unit we need to be better.”

Surprisingly Lowry returned to the starting side last week, after Risdon was injured in the warm up, said there is plenty of room for improvement. “We’ve been very inconsistent, one week winning, one week losing or drawing,” he said. “We know that’s not good enough, we know we need to work on it and obviously keen on keeping clean sheets and getting back to scoring loads of goals.”

The former Aston Villa and Millwall defender is getting back to fitness after hip surgery, and said the 90 minutes last week was much needed. “I feel good, it’s been a long time for me, and it’s a frustrating injury to be honest, but I badly needed game time and to get 90 minutes under my belt is good, although it was an unexpected start for me.”

Victory coach Kevin Muscat has implored his players to put the team first, conceding he now has a few selection headaches. Jai Ingham, who came off the bench to score in their last match, was dropped from the squad to make way for Marco Rojas who was returning from New Zealand duty. The Kiwi was denied a brace after his opener was later awarded an Iain Fyfe own goal, while German youth international Maxi Beister will be pushing for a start in coming weeks and Fahid Ben Khalfallah also impressed off the bench.

With Daniel Georgievski (collarbone) set to return in coming weeks, Muscat hinted that he would have some tough calls to make starting with Friday’s home clash with the Glory. “All in all we’re pretty pleased. The first time where we had some real selection dilemmas and people putting pressure on players in front of them,’’ Muscat said. “If I’m truthful, Jai was so unlucky not to be involved against Newcastle because his performance last (game), coming on and affecting the game the way he did, and I struggled with that one the last couple of nights.

“What we do need is a group of players that put the team first, because teams that don’t do that, and individuals that don’t do that, normally they’re the teams that don’t succeed.” Mitch Austin (ankle) is expected to be cleared of serious injury after coming off just before half-time, while keeper Lawrence Thomas will be assessed after injuring his finger during the week. Saturday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets lifted Victory to within seven points of top place Sydney FC with a game in hand against Wellington, with a date yet to be determined.


Melbourne Victory: GK Lawrence THOMAS, GK Matt ACTON, 2 Jason GERIA, 4 Nick ANSELL, 5 Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6 Leigh BROXHAM, 7 Marco ROJAS, 8 Besart BERISHA, 9 Max BEISTER, 10 James TROISI, 13 Oliver BOZANIC, 14 Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15 Alan BARO, 16 Rashid MAHAZI, 17 James DONACHIE, 21 Carl VALERI (c), 22 Stefan NIGRO, 23 Jai INGHAM - *two to be omitted* - Ins: GEORGIEVSKI (returns from injury), THOMAS (returns from injury), NIGRO (promoted), INGHAM (promoted) - Outs: 11.Mitch AUSTIN (ankle – 2 weeks), 30.Lucas SPINELLA, (omitted)

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 3 Marc WARREN, 4 Shane LOWRY, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 7 Joel CHIANESE, 8 Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joe MILLS, 18 Mitch OXBORROW, 22 Adam TAGGART, 21 Jamal REINERS, 23 Kosta PETRATOS, 24 Milan SMILJANIC - *two to be omitted* - Ins: WARREN (promoted), DJULBIC (promoted), OXBORROW (promoted), REINERS (promoted), PETRATOS (promoted) - Outs: 2 Alex Grant (Hamstring – 1 week), 5 Rhys WILLIAMS (suspended – 1 week), 17 Diego CASTRO (hamstring – 4-6 weeks), 19 Josh RISDON (quad – 3-4 weeks)



Perth Glory Women’s team are back in Westfield W-League action again this weekend, when they travel to take on Melbourne Victory at the Lakeside Stadium. The Glory had the bye last weekend, but lost for the first time in their last game, a 0-1 defeat against Newcastle Jets. The Glory sit in sixth spot, but do have a game in hand, while the Victory, who are coached by former Fulham, Crystal Palace and Wales defender Jeff Hopkins, sit bottom of the table with just one point to their name and are coming off a 0-3 loss in the Melbourne derby last week.

Coach Bobby Despotovski said it was good for the girls to take a break from the rigors of football, and he thought they deserved more from the Jets game. “It was a nice having a couple of days off so the girls can relax,” he said. “The loss at Newcastle was disappointing but I thought we did enough for the point. It was a difficult trip, in sense of the result and also the travel, but football is a funny game and if you don’t score goals when you are on top you are running the risk of conceding at any time.”

The Glory head east with a fully fit squad, and they take on a Victory side who are yet to win this season and Despotovski said they are looking to come home with all three points to continue that. “Again it will be a difficult trip, but it’s a must win game for us,” he explained. “A win and we will be close to the top four play-off spot and keep close to the league leaders. I do believe if we play the brand of football we have in the first three games we will win more games than we’ll lose.”


NPL-WA EXPANSION FOR 2017 (courtesy footballwest.com.au)

The PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues WA competition will be expanded to 14 teams in 2017 to include Joondalup United and Mandurah City following consultation between Football West and stakeholders. Football West acknowledges the recent challenges relating to promotion and relegation and wishes to reassure members of its commitment to improving the game both on and off the field. In establishing the new competition in 2014, Football West had anticipated facing challenges that would require adjustments over time. It also accepted that a comprehensive review of the mechanics of the NPLWA would be inevitable.

Football West will conduct a full review of the competition and its relationship with underpinning leagues over coming months, seeking input from all stakeholders for the purpose of developing an NPL Strategy to ensure the game’s continued growth. This review will form part of a series of key initiatives that will be undertaken by Football West in the coming months, including the Insights Project. The Insights Project will focus on canvassing the views of all football stakeholders in WA with the aim of supporting the continued growth of the game. A key component of this project will be a survey to all stakeholders identifying their views of the different aspects of the football ecosystem in WA. This statement confirms the reversal of an earlier decision to make no changes to the PS4 NPLWA in 2017. At all times, Football West has sought to act with the best intentions and with the interests of the game at the core of its decision-making. Football West will reassess NPL eligibility criteria and provide further clarity for clubs seeking promotion to the top tier beyond next season.

The 2017 NPL-WA will be a 26-week competition and the salary cap will remain at the 2016 level. The additional competition weeks will be absorbed through the modification of the 2017 Night Series. The inclusion of All Flags State League Division One winners Joondalup United and runner-up Mandurah City in first team, U20 and U18 competitions in 2017 will extend further NPL benefits to two of WA football’s growth areas. Participation rates have spiked by more than 4% above the state average in the areas around Joondalup and Mandurah over the past four years, while overall registrations in WA are at a record high of 44,000.

Joondalup United’s junior teams, from U12 to U16, will join the Junior NPL, expanding the youth ranks to a 21-club competition. Subiaco AFC, who finished last in the senior NPLWA in 2016, will retain their status in WA’s top competition in 2017. Football West acknowledges the efforts of officials at Joondalup United, Subiaco AFC, Mandurah City and other stakeholders in working collaboratively with Football West to reach a positive outcome for the sport. Football West will continue to work with all clubs, players and officials to achieve WA football’s great potential.



Central defender Alex Grant has become Perth Glory's latest injury casualty, with the 22-year old to miss tomorrow evening's game at Melbourne Victory due to hamstring tightness. Grant's absence compound's Glory's woes with Josh Risdon (quad), Diego Castro (hamstring) and Rhys Williams (suspension) all remaining at home this weekend.

“He’s tightened up with his hammy,” coach Kenny Lowe said of Grant. “He won’t travel. That’s why we’ve done it (left him out). We’ve just done it as a precaution because we could have a team up in the stands by this time next week. It’s just to make sure he’s OK.”

Lowe said Risdon's injury, which was expected to sideline the defender for up to four weeks, may not be as bad as initially thought. “Risso might be back earlier than we thought, which would be a plus,” Lowe said. “(But) win this weekend and he won’t be back in at all. There’s a flip side to everything.”

“It’s what we’ve got. We’ve got two players for every position. It doesn’t help when the players that are going to replace them are also injured. That causes a bit of a problem as well, but we’ve got a squad. Everyone wants to play, everyone’s upbeat.”



Joondalup City will have a familiar face in control next season, after appointing Gary Kalaher as first Team Coach for 2017. In 2013 Kalaher guided City to the State Division Two and claimed the All Flags State League Division Two Coach of the Year award. He returns to the club with his coaching team of Terry Booth and Paul McAteer, all three having spent a considerable number of years at the club, and will work with the clubs existing reserves Coach Kevan Towers and newly appointed U18’s Coach Terry Maton.

Kalaher said it was good to be back home. “Joondalup City (Heathridge S.C) has been my club since moving to Perth in 1997 so delighted to be back,” he said. “I’m particularly pleased that I will be working with Kevan, Paul and Terry again. We are all delighted to be given this opportunity and can't wait to get to work."

Despite not coaching in the state league, Kalaher has still been involved with the game, and has enjoyed watching football. “Although not coaching at State League Level for the last two years I've still been involved in Coaching and Administration,” he explained. “In my roles at School Sport WA, I’ve enjoyed the chance to watch a lot of football.”

Despite some highly suitable candidates, it was unanimously agreed that Kalaher's excellent credentials and experience stood out and made him an ideal appointment, and he’s looking forward to the challenge. “Last season was very successful for the club with the First Team finishing as runners-up and the reserves winning the league,” he said. “Hopefully we can be as competitive next season, and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

Joondalup City will have a meet and greet for players interested in joining the squads for the 2017 Season, and Kalaher will be in attendance. The bar will be open and a sausage sizzle provided. Coaches, Technical Team and Committee will be in attendance to answer any questions. - Date: Wed 14th Dec 2016 - Time: 6:30pm - Venue: Iluka Sports Complex, 6 Miami Beach Prom, Iluka. WA.

Training for all existing and new State League players (excluding U18's - date TBA) will commence on Thursday 5th January 2017 - 6:30pm at Iluka Sports Complex. Training will then continue each Tuesday and Thursday.



Western Sydney Wanderers must be more ruthless in front of goal if they're to finally kick-start their stuttering A-League season according to defender Scott Neville. Western Sydney, who have one win and five draws from eight games, produced arguably their strongest half the season on the weekend against Brisbane Roar, yet even with 19 shots on goal they could not inflict the killer blow.

"Unfortunately, we couldn't put away the chances we created but it was our best performance of the season so far, defensively and offensively," Neville said. "But we've still got to limit the mistakes because they had another chance where they could have punished us. We've just got to be a bit more ruthless in front of goal."

Saturday's trip to Central coast Mariners presents an opportunity to put to bed any doubts last year's grand finalists can match their promising performances with results. Neville's side squandered an early lead to earn a 1-1 draw the last time the teams meet and the former Sorrento junior says three points are now crucial ahead of a busy Christmas period.

"This really has to start our season and get it rolling," he said. "Last year when we went up there it felt like we were playing at home we had that many fans travel - they put the Mariners fans to shame. They're the 12th man for us so we need to get the win for them, but also to start rocketing up that table like we did last season."



Former Armadale keeper Matthew Gould will be in the spotlight on Saturday in the UK when his side Stourbridge FC take on League One side Northampton Town in the second round of the English FA Cup. Stourbridge, who play in Northern Premier League, are the lowest ranked club still left in the competition, but Gould has a pedigree for the FA Cup with his grandad Bobby and father Jonathan both having success in cup competitions. Bobby lifted the FA Cup with Wimbledon in 1988, when he coached the crazy gang who beat Liverpool 1-0 in the final at Wembley, while Jonathan won the Scottish Cup three times with Celtic.

Gould, 22, joined Stourbridge after a spell in Scotland with Livingstone last season, said both Bobby and his dad had given him some advice. “Bobby has been to lots of Stourbridge games, and he would drive me up here for games and training,” he said. “He’s really positive. We have worked in his garden together, and he loves shooting at me, as an ex-striker. I have a video of him and me having a penalty shoot-out, he’s in his 70’s now, and he was going into the corner celebrating like he used to as a player. He has given me plenty of support, as has dad. I used to play cricket when I was younger, and he said to me when I used to walk out to bat I had an aura about me that I was unbeatable – he say’s I have to have that as a keeper as well.”

Gould had two seasons at Alfred Skeet Reserve, and he enjoyed his stay. “I loved every minute of my time at Armadale, but it was a steep learning curve for me, especially being on the end of some hidings along the way,” he said. “But I believe that helped me grow up and experience senior football. I can’t thank then coach lee Bamber and his family enough for the opportunity they gave me to play football in another country.”

Stourbridge beat Whitehawk in the first round, and are expecting 3,000 on Sunday. They started their FA Cup journey back in the first qualifying round, and have battled through six games. But the Worcestershire club have a cup pedigree because in 2011 they knocked out Plymouth after a reply. The keeper said there is a real buzz in the town ahead of the game against the Cobblers and he said it will be a huge game. “I’m looking forward to the game, it’s a great opportunity for the players to play against league opposition and to test themselves against players of a higher calibre,” he explained. “I think with the attacking prowess we have we can cause them problems and hopefully cause and upset and be in the draw on Monday, for potential glamour tie against a Premier League club.”

The Glassboys have hit some good form in recent weeks and Gould said they have hopes of promotion this season. “We started off a little inconsistent in the league, but we’ve started to turn the corner, and have been on a good run of late, and personally I’ve been happy with my performances,” he said. “At the start of the season I said it would be a successful season if I play every single game, and so far I’ve played all 30, and I feel I’m getting better every game. Hopefully I can help us get through this FA Cup tie and then push us towards promotion.”



After helping Dianella White Eagles to Division One safety last season, former Socceroo defender Robbie Dunn has become the head coach at Dianella Reserve for 2017. Dunn gave a helping hand to then Coach Vesko Zmukic towards the end of last season and after talking to the club Dunn is delighted to take the reins. “I actually had no intentions of coaching again and it all came about mid this year when I went along to the Dianella, Western Knights game to watch the usual great rivalry between these two clubs,” he explained.

“The Knights smashed Dianella that day and my very good friend Vesko Zmukic was coaching Dianella and he was feeling pretty bad after the game for himself the club and his players. He had inherited a really bad position and I felt for him, so I offered to help and he luckily accepted my input. Dianella had won only one game till then and were rock bottom of division one so it was a very tough job ahead. Vesko was giving it his all but he really was up against it and I could see he just needed someone to bounce things off.”

It had the desired affect and the Eagles survived the drop in the relegation / promotion play-off against Joondalup City. “I knew their only hope was trying to get off the bottom position and play in the play offs for any chance to stay in division one,” Dunn said. “Fortunately this was achieved as the players responded really well to my changes and the supporters were fantastic especially in the play-off game at Morley and they definitely helped the players get across the line. It was a brilliant night for Vesko and the club and I was really happy we job got done.”

After talking to the club officials Dunn said it was a challenge he was ready to take on and he’s looking forward to the season ahead. “After the season finished Vesko asked me to consider taking on the Senior Coaching job for this year and he would go into the football management position and look after the whole Football component of the club,” he explained. “I finally agreed to do this the other day and I’m now fully focused on re building Dianella, as I believe that FW needs this club to be in the NPL to bring its huge supporter base to every game it plays in.

“The club needs re structured and a new culture needs to be instilled and I will be looking for players who want to buy in to what Vesko and I will put in place this year to make this happen. I am really excited about the year ahead and know that Division One will be a really tough competition so we will be scouring the market place for good players and good characters that can fit into our culture and proposed game plans.”

Dunn said he is looking for an improvement from last season, and said it’s an exciting challenge to move the club back up the table. “I suppose I could just try and stay out of the relegation zone and claim that I would have been successful compared to last year,” he said. “But I want to create a team that plays exciting free flowing football that people want to come and watch. It will be a tough challenge but one which I am now really looking forward to.”

It’s a new look in the first team but the clubs reserve team coach will be the same as last year. Dragan Njegic will continue his good work, with Aleksandar Bukvic his assistant. Njegic will also be Dunn’s assistant for the first team. The club are also looking for an under 18s coach for the up-coming season, any coaches who are interested in applying for under 18s coach, please contact Vesko Zmukic the new Director of Football of the DWE on 0421313846.



Socceroo Trent Sainsbury was left to wonder what might have been after Jiangsu Suning was denied a late opportunity to secure the Chinese FA Cup. With scores locked at two-each and 96 minutes on the clock, Sainsbury’s teammate Alex Teixeira looked to have been taken down inside the 18-yard box.

But the referee waved away the shouts of Teixeira’s teammates, who then surrounded the match official in protest of the decision. When the final whistle blew soon after the teams were deadlocked at 2-2, however, Guangzhou Evergrande secured the trophy on away goals having earned a 1-1 draw in the first leg oif the Cup Final.

Sainsbury expressed his disappointment with the result on Twitter. “Difficult way to lose the trophy. We didn’t lose home or away leg and yet we’ve lost! Such a shame but we hold our heads high,” he wrote. “The fans were amazing tonight. One of the best I’ve ever experienced. The less said about the Singaporean referee the better.”

“Season is finally over and now we can relax and forget about it. Next season we will be better and hopefully go one better in both the league and cup.” Jiangsu finished 2016 as runners-up in the Chinese Super League, the FA Cup and Super Cup after exiting the Asian Champions League at the group stage.



Perth Glory have been hit with a huge double injury blow with star import midfielder Diego Castro and Socceroos defender Josh Risdon both out for several weeks. Castro is expected to miss between four to six weeks with the hamstring tear suffered against Central Coast Mariners while Risdon, who strained a quad in the warm-up, is likely to be out for three to four weeks.

Glory’s backline has been a problem having leaked 16 goals, the most in the A-League this year. Problems have deepened with central defender Rhys Williams’ mandatory ban for his accumulation of yellow cards. But fellow defender Shane Lowry, who replaced Risdon in his return to the starting line-up after pre-season hip surgery, is confident they have the depth to cover the losses.

“I’m sure we’ll cope,” Lowry said. “You always want to have your better players in the team but we’ve got a good squad. We’ve got a lot of players that want to play games. I’m sure every other team has to deal with injuries and we’re no different. We’re disappointed to lose Rizzo (Risdon) but that’s the way it goes … Ideally you don’t want to chop and change your back four too much but these are forced changes.”

Lowry said he was satisfied with his first full game after brief spells in the previous two matches. “I feel good. It’s been a long time, a frustrating injury, but I badly needed that 90 minutes,” he said. “It was an unexpected start but I’m happy to get through unscathed. There was always going to be that bit of rustiness and stiffness. It’s the first time in my career I’ve had surgery (so it’s) a bit of a learning curve for me.”



Ashfield have bolstered their coaching stocks for 2017, by bringing in former Joondalup City coach Marco Schisano as assistant to Matt Wardle. Schisano has been involved in WA football since he was a youngster and played for Kingsway Olympic and Bassendean Caledonians, before going into coaching with Joondalup City Reserves in 2015 and first team last season.

The decision to leave City was a difficult one, but Schisano said it had to be done. “The decision to resign from the coaching position at Joondalup City was one of the hardest I have ever had to make,” he explained. “Since the day we lost the play-off I had spent a lot of time in order to start planning another tilt at bringing the club to Division One.

“Unfortunately, due to various circumstances I felt that I could not take the club to where I had hoped, and I made the painful decision to step down. I have been very fortunate to meet some wonderful people in my two teats at the club, and I would like to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to start my coaching career. I look forward to having some great times there even though I will not be able to do it as a coach.”

The move to Ashfield, and working with good mate Matt Wardle is one Schisano is looking forward to. “I’m grateful to Matt for presenting me with an opportunity to stay involved in football, and I’m very excited to start this new adventure with him,” he said. “I have known Matt for a very long time, and I played under his father Gerry at Bassendean Caledonians many years ago, and Matt would never miss an opportunity to watch a match.

“He still has the same passion for the game and I have been impressed with the effort he has put in to planning for next season. I’m excited to be part of his coaching staff and I hope to offer him the support he needs to succeed. Ashfield have built a great reputation for being a strong club over the years and I share Matt’s vision on how to build on this going forward. The club have a great set up and they have some experienced football people involved at all levels. I’m looking forward to getting started and I hope to contribute to a successful 2017.”

Wardle is extremely pleased to have Schisano on board the coaching group and he believes it will be a very successful time for the club, and he will be a great addition as they look to improve on last season’s fifth position. "Marco will fit in perfectly with the club's new coaching team. The team look forward to working with him to further strengthen and develop the squad," Wardle said. “We started our pre-season training on Thursday, and players who feel they are up to the standard of state league, are more than welcome to come down and put their skills to the test under the watchful eyes of the coaches.”



footballwa.net is saddened to hear the passing of WA soccer legend Ray Ilott, who died yesterday.

A Londoner born in Highbury in 1948, Ray Ilott emigrated to WA in 1970 and joined SMA Cottesloe where his speed, skills and goalscoring ability had a huge impact. During his nineteen-year career on the local scene, fourteen of them as a player, Ilott played five times for Australia. He was picked to play for WA on thirty-two occasions at a time when WA finally emerged from the dark ages and started to win major tournaments in Asia. He played with SMA Cottesloe, Rockingham, Floreat Athena, Forrestfield, and Balga, while he coached with some success at Forrestfield, Balga, Wanneroo, Hamersley, Stirling Macedonia, Kingsway Olympic and Kingsley. As a player he enjoyed five major trophies, winning two First Division championships, two Night Series and one Top Four Cup. Ilott won the 1974 Rothmans Gold Medal as the top flight's 'Fairest and Best'.

Ray was inducted into the WA Football Hall of Fame in 1996. footballwa.net sends condolences to his family. RIP Ray.


WA HALL OF FAME INDUCTION FUNCTION - A NIGHT TO REMEMBER (Courtesy of Mel Moffat and the Football Hall of Fame WA Facebook page)

What a night! There were hugs, tears, laughter, tension, several touches of sadness - and a kissing policewoman. The 20th Anniversary of the Football Hall of Fame WA had it all. A record crowd of over 430 turned out to acclaim and applaud the 32 new inductees into what was Australia's first football Hall of Fame (established in 1996) at a glittering function in the Grand Ballroom at Crown Perth on November 26. Hall of Fame Committee chairman Louis Prospero rightly declared it a night to remember. The political landscape was represented by the WA Government's Minister for the Environment Albert Jacob and the Labour opposition's Shadow Minister for Police Michelle Roberts, while football's hierarchy boasted Football West chairman Liam Twigger and chief executive James Curtis as they took part in a celebration that also saluted the 120th anniversary of the foundation of the game in WA.

It was fitting that Hall of Fame Patron Julian Burt JP was also in attendance as his ancestor Septimus Burt (WA's first Attorney General) and other members of the Burt family were among the founding fathers of the sport in the west in 1896. Perth Glory chief executive Peter Filopoulos was there, as was former Glory CEO Roger Lefort and former club co-owner Paul Afkos as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of WA's only club in the national league. Glory playing greats Bobby Despotovski, Scott Miller, Tony Franken, Tommy Maras, Robbie Zabica and Danny Milosevic also turned up. Adding to the special night was the guest-speaking appearances of former Glory coach Bernd Stange, who came from Germany for the event, and former SBS football broadcasting icon Les Murray, who flew in from Sydney. Both added humour, football wisdom and much praise for the initiative of Western Australia in setting up a system that honours the great players, coaches, referees, administrators and others.

There were other visitors from far and wide. Former State team player Alex Cummings, who was inducted into the Hall of Merit for Players, flew in from his home in Hanoi, Vietnam, the day before. He quickly bought a new suit for the occasion - "I usually only wear shorts and sandals in Hanoi," he said - and then flew back to Vietnam 24 hours later. But it was a proud occasion for Alex, who was cheered on by his father and his sisters. Ian Cox, the former CEO of the Soccer Administration of WA, came from Melbourne, while ex-Socceroo Dave Todd (a member of the 1965 World Cup squad) travelled from England and English international John Sydenham ventured from his home in Melbourne. Another Socceroo, Doug Stewart, flew in from Queensland, while Colin Burton, the 1976 Gold Medal winner when playing with Spearwood Dalmatinac also flew over from Queensland for the event.

It was Colin's first visit to WA in over 30 years. "I had a wonderful time and caught up with a lot of my old teammates," said Colin. "It was great to see the likes of Hughie Miller, my old Dalies fellow defender, and Len Dundo, who was the great striker and a wonderful teammate when we were both with the Kingsway Olympic Green Machine team." Colin was sitting at a star-studded table, which he shared with Dave Todd, ‘Hall of Legends’ greats Ron Adair and John McInroy, five-time Gold Medal winner Theo Papp and Ashfield club president Bill Busby. WA's famous Marocchi brothers also put in an appearance – ‘Hall of Legends’ member Gary and his siblings Eric and Leo being on hand to applaud older brother Bruno, who was inducted into the Hall of Merit for Players.

There was a sad note when new Legend Alan Vest mentioned the recent deaths of Dave Brooks and John Davies, two members of the State teams that Vest led to ground-breaking triumphs in Asia in 1975 and 1976. While tinged with much sadness, the posthumous induction of budding superstar Dylan Tombides into the Hall of Merit for Players brought a standing ovation when his father Jim went up to receive the award. There was a standing ovation of a different sort when Bernd Stange, who famously kissed policewoman Angela O'Hehir after one of Perth Glory's stunning victories at the WACA Ground in 1999, had the tables turned on him.

Stange was just about to make a speech when, to the background music of the well-known The Bill signature tune, Senior Constable O'Hehir appeared in full police uniform to this time plant a kiss on the German's cheek. Stange took it all in with great humour, saying: "I think this incident from 1999 will follow me forever. It was just a spur of the moment thing. We had won, I was happy and I saw this attractive policewoman as I made my way to the dressing room and I couldn't resist a little kiss." – A great night for everyone concerned, and from everyone at Footballwa.net congratulation to all the inductees.



Perth Glory produced a solid performance to bounce back from last week’s heavy loss against Brisbane Roar, but they were eventually edged out 1-0 by Foxtel National Youth League Conference leaders Melbourne City at CB Smith Reserve on Saturday morning, the home side continuing their unbeaten start to the season. The only goal of the game came from Daniel Arzani just after the half hour, but the Glory went close with skipper Joe Knowles hitting the crossbar and City keeper Yaren Sozer produced a couple of telling saves to keep the Glory boys at bay.

“A very strong and gutsy performance today - we wanted a positive reaction after last week and that was forthcoming today. We are angry at ourselves today because we had a real opportunity to win,” Glory Coach John Gibson said. “Our response to the task at hand was super - pressure on the ball, shape, structure was outstanding however we need to capitalize on key moments in the front third. We came with a plan to take on Melbourne City who are currently the best in our conference and beat them - we are very disappointed in ourselves because it was there for us today to take the three points - it's always about us and being the best.”

It was high tempo opening to the game with both sides having good early chances. First on eight minutes City’s Connor Metcalfe tested keeper Jordan Thurtell, but the Glory custodian saved on his return to the side. Then three minutes later the City defence failed to clear a cross and Jack Iredale shot was saved low by Yaren Sozer at the second attempt. City looked dangerous going forward but a compact Glory held firm, and Thurtell had to be alert to save Gerrie Sylaidos low shot on the half hour.

But moments later City hit the front. Sylaidos played Arzani down the flank, and his shot from the bye-line beat Thurtell at his near post. It was a bitter blow for Gibson’s side who had soaked up the City pressure, but on the stroke of half time they went close to the equaliser. A free kick from skipper Knowles looked destined for the net, but it crashed off the crossbar with keeper Sozer well beaten.

The Glory opened the second half well and Jamel Reiners made space down the left, and his shot on the run flashed just wide of the target. Thurtell then came to the Glory’s rescue first he parried Sylaidos’ dangerous cross before saving well from Austin Wong’s follow up shot. Knowles was a real handful, and the he and the Glory were convinced they had a penalty on the hour when he was brought down in the box, but referee Andrew Meimarakis waved away their protests.

City should have added a second on 70 minutes, good work between Metcalfe and Sylaidos saw the latter in on goal, but Thurtell stood tall and he fired wide. The home side were reduced to ten men three minutes from time when Denis Genreau was shown a second yellow card by the referee and was sent off. Glory pressed late for the equaliser and it almost came when Mitch Oxborrow’s free kick was well saved by Sozer, to deny the Glory a share of the spoils.



Perth Glory have been beaten 2-0 by a determined Central Coast Mariners in Gosford, in week 8 of the Hyundai A-League on Thursday evening. It was a dis-jointed performance from Kenny Lowe’s side, but they did lose Socceroo Josh Risdon with a quad injury during the warm-up, before Spanish striker Diego Castro succumbed to a hamstring knock early in the first half.

Goals either side of half time to Harry Ascroft and Roy O’Donovan did the job for the hosts, as the Glory failed to kick on from last week’s win against Adelaide United. “We came out a little bit sluggish, but you’ve still got to cope with those things and obviously Cas [Diego Castro] going off as well it’s another little thing,” Lowe said. “Disappointed to concede a goal off a set play. Generally we’ve been very solid, it gave them a bit of momentum again. “[We] had a great chance early on to go one up that we didn’t quite take, but I thought we huffed and puffed, to be truthful, they took the little opportunities they had, the little opportunities we had, we didn’t take.”

Shane Lowry came into the starting line-up for the injured Risdon, and that was the only change to the side that beat Adelaide last week. The Glory looked good early and should have taken the lead on 10 minutes. A superb through ball from Castro sent Milan Smiljanic in on goal, but Mariners keeper Paul Izzo stood tall and blocked the Serbian’s low shot. Castro was caught when putting the ball through and he couldn’t shake it off and was replaced by Adam Taggart on 16 minutes.

The Mariners were causing problems down the flanks with Conor Pain and Trent Buhagiar’s dangerous and on 29 minutes they went close to the opener. Pain raced clear down the left, and Liam Reddy raced out to clear, but the keepers attempted clearance fell to Pain, who raced towards goal but his low shot was cleared off the line by the alert Joe Mills. But from the resulting corner the home side hit the front. Nick Montgomery’s corner fell to Ashcroft, and the big defender fired low past Reddy, to send the home side into the break with the lead.

The Glory opened the second half well and had the home side on the back foot, but lacked the quality ball into the final third. Chris Harold did go close five minutes in, but his shot from the edge of the box flashed just over the top. But against the run of play the Mariners doubled their advantage just after the hour. A miscued strike by Montgomery, fell kindly to O’Donovan, who was in the right place at the right time and calmly finished passed Reddy.

It was nearly 3-0 two minutes later, Adam Berry’s snap shot was well saved by Reddy. The Glory needed a lifeline and they almost received one on 71 minutes, Nebojsa Marinkovic’s curling shot was heading for the top corner, but Izzo produced a good save to deny him. From the resulting corner Rostyn Griffiths headed just wide, before Harold curling effort flashed narrowly wide moments later. But they couldn’t find a way back into the game and it was the Mariners taking the points.



Perth Glory will be sweating on scans to key players Diego Castro and Josh Risdon over the next 48 hours after the pair picked up injuries in last night's 2-0 loss at Central Coast Mariners. Castro lasted just 16 minutes before limping off with a hamstring strain, while Risdon didn't even make it onto the park in Gosford after picking up a quad issue in the warm-up.

Coach Kenny Lowe said scans will determine how long, if at all, either player will be out for. "We'll know more in the next couple of days. We'll just ice it now and see how it goes," he said. After picking up a strong win against defending champions Adelaide United last time out, Glory struggled against a Central Coast line-up that ran them ragged from start to finish.

Lowe refused to use the early setbacks of losing Castro and Risdon as an excuse for a poor performance, and admitted Central Coast deserved the full three points. "I thought we came out a bit sluggish, but you've still got to cope with those things," he said. "I thought there was nothing in the game but at the end of the day, I think they deserved it."

Lowe conceded the only bright points were the extended minutes handed to Shane Lowry and Adam Taggart after recently returning from respective hip and calf injuries. Lowry deputised at left back, while Taggart came on for Castro. "It's good we get Shane back, we get 90 minutes into him... both of them have got through the game, so out of the dark clouds is a summer cloud," Lowe said.



Perth Glory striker Andy Keogh says the right decision was made to allow his first goal against Adelaide United in Friday night’s 3-1 win at Perth Oval. Keogh defended teammate Rostyn Griffiths’ aerial challenge against Eugene Galekovic that knocked the opposition ’keeper to the ground and allowed Keogh to pounce on the match-winning goal.

Griffiths won a clean header in the collision in the 67th minute, with Keogh tapping the loose ball into the open net. The decision by referee Jarred Gillett not to award a foul prompted an outburst from Adelaide coach Guillermo Amor that led to the manager being expelled to the stands and charged with violent conduct.

Keogh acknowledged the decision could have gone either way, but said ’keepers shouldn’t always be regarded as protected species. “You see these decisions every week,” Keogh said. “Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t. There’s no written rule that the goalkeepers need all this protection. If he’s going to come outside the 6-yard box to try and claim a ball, he’s got to make sure he’s going to claim it. It’s a fair challenge in my eyes.”

Keogh capped off a strong individual performance with a second goal from a diving header in the final minute of stoppage time. Glory’s principal scorer has six goals already this season, but said the return of Adam Taggart from injury was a major plus for the team. Taggart, who missed the previous five games with bleeding on his left calf, played the final 15 minutes against Adelaide after starting on the bench.

24-year old Taggart trained yesterday and appears set to back up by flying east for Thursday night’s match against Central Coast Mariners. “He’s had a weird injury really,” Keogh said of Taggart. “The calf wasn’t reacting well to treatment. It’s great to have him back, more options in the starting line-up and off the bench.”

“If you want to win championships and the league, you’ve got to have more than one player capable of scoring goals, tackling. You’ve got to have players that can fill in and complement each other. We’ve got a good blend here.”

Glory finished the round in fourth spot, with their triumph over the reigning A-League champions ended a run of three matches without a victory. “We needed that,” Keogh admitted of the win. “We’ve been playing some good football, but we hadn’t been getting the results.

“We deserved it ... to get the three points on the board, it’s important for confidence and for morale.”



Goalkeeper Brad Jones is desperate to make up for lost time and isn’t ruling out an English Premier League return. The former Liverpool and Middlesbrough shot-stopper endured personal heartbreak five years ago when his five-year old son Luca died following a brave battle against leukaemia.

Understandably, the Jones’ career had to take a back seat at the time but he’s now enjoying a successful spell in goal for Dutch league leaders Feyenoord. His current deal lapses at the end of the season and the 34-year old is keeping his options open. “First and foremost I would like to make up for lost time,” Jones said.

“This year we’ve got a massive chance to put Feyenoord on the top of Dutch football and after that we will have to see. I think the Premier League is the pinnacle, like most players that’s where you want to be and in football you never know so I’ll try to make the most of whatever comes.”

Jones was in camp with the Socceroos preparing for the 2010 World Cup when he learnt his son was seriously ill. “It’s like a day that never leaves you,” he said. “It was sat there and I got a phonecall and it was Luca’s mum. My world literally crumbled from underneath me. “The word leukeamia, cancer, it’s the worst possible thing you can hear.”

Later that summer Jones was told by Middlesbrough that the club had received an offer from Liverpool for his services. It was, it’s fair to say, a turbulent time in his life. “I was in a hotel in the south of France where he (Luca) was living with his mum,” he recalled.

“I got a phone call to say there’s a chance that Liverpool are interested. To get that phonecall at that stage in your life was, yes, crazy. At that time there was a lot of me that was just going through life on a professional level ... I turned up and went home again.”

Jones’s Liverpool contract lapsed last year and, following a short stint with Bradford City, he signed with Dutch club NEC. “I was never at the time going to be a big enough name to walk in and command Liverpool’s No.1 jersey, sometimes that dream ends and you have to move on and look for something new,” he said.

“I had options in Holland because the six months at NEC had gone so well. In the meantime I had gone back to train at Liverpool and I got a phone call to say Feyenoord were interested and within two days I was over here doing a medical and signing ... it’s been a fantastic move for me.”



Tando Velaphi has suffered relegation and struggled to get regular game-time in his first season in Japan - but the Australian goalkeeper is not ready to give up on his overseas dream just yet. Velaphi left the A-League at the start of 2016 when he swapped Melbourne City for Shonan Bellmare, who at the time had just been promoted into the J1, Japan’s top flight.

But it has been a difficult campaign for the 29-year old, making only nine first-team appearances as his club managed only three wins all season and finished in 17th place in the 18-team competition to be relegated early. "In terms of football it’s been a bit mixed with our club,” Velaphi admits.

"Relegation is not ideal but it’s been a learning experience. I think I’ve grown as a footballer and as a person. We look at results, which obviously haven’t been great for us, but there’s other aspects of football and my personality that have grown. It’s been a good experience."

Velaphi admitted the transition from the A-League to Japan wasn't easy. “I obviously wanted to play more and cement my position here. But it hasn’t happened, but sometimes you have to be patient," he said. "This league takes a bit of adapting to. It’s not an easy prospect, but I know if I bide my time and keep working hard I’ll establish myself over here."

Velaphi spent nine years in the A-League after making his debut for Brisbane Roar in 2007. The former Perth SC junior, who has a Japanese mother, has had spells at Perth Glory, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City. Velaphi has found the J1 to be technically stronger compared to the A-League, but believes many Australian players could make the switch successfully.

"The style of play is a little bit different,” he admitted. "Both leagues are very strong but in Japan there’s a lot of influence from futsal, they practice from an early age and their technique, they work on it a lot here. They're different styles of leagues but both very competitive, both hard to play in. It’s a good challenge."

"There’s some quality players here from the Brazilians who are established here and a lot of the Japanese national team play here. Week-in-week-out you’re up against top players and that’s what you’re after as a footballer, and Australia’s no different. I definitely think a lot of Australian players could come over here and do well."

Velaphi is contracted to Shonan Bellmare for another season. And while he wants to stay with the Hiratsuka-based side and help them earn a place back in the top flight he also acknowledges that nothing in football is guaranteed. "They put a lot of faith in me as an Australian bringing me over here and I’d like to show what I can produce," he said. "But then in football you never know. We’ll sit down at the end of the season and see where it’s all at.”



Ryan Edwards got the perfect birthday present this week with a new extended deal at Partick Thistle, and he intends to celebrate in style with a win over Motherwell this afternoon. It may seem a long time ago now as the midfielder picked up his second club player of the month award in a row a couple of weeks ago, but his career in Scotland didn’t get off to the most auspicious of starts.

Already behind on his fitness after missing pre-season with Thistle, frequent trips away with Australia’s Under-23 side didn’t help Edwards’ cause as he looked to establish himself at Firhill. He has set about that task with relish so far this campaign though, with his energetic displays in the middle of the park a standout feature of Thistle’s recent upturn in fortunes.

And although he found himself on the substitutes’ bench more than he would have liked last season, Edwards was never in any doubt that he would cement his place as one of the first names on manager Alan Archibald’s teamsheet. Indeed, he has made as many appearances for the club already this season - featuring in all 17 games Thistle have played in all competitions - than he managed in the whole of his debut campaign.

“Everything has gone as well as I’d hoped this season,” Edwards said. “It was all very stop-start for me last year. I was forever coming and going due to my international commitments with the Under-23 side. Thistle were also playing some good stuff at the time so it was difficult to break into the team. However, I got a run of games towards the end of the last campaign and I’ve carried that on.”

“I made sure that I had a good break and came back sharp for pre-season training. I was ready to go and I’ve featured in every game so far and started the last eight. It’s been a good start and I’m really happy. There was never a time when I thought it wouldn’t work out. I was always confident that I would get a chance and that I would take it when it came.”

“I’m not one to go knocking on manager’s doors – I prefer to do my talking on the pitch and I made sure to put in maximum effort on the training ground every day because I’ve also believed that, if you work hard, you’ll get your reward. That was my mindset and it’s worked out. We’ve had a lot of injuries and my versatility has helped a bit because we’ve played in quite a few formations since I’ve been in the side.”

Although he is currently enjoying his most sustained run in the Thistle starting eleven, Edwards isn’t one to rest on his laurels. With just three goals in his 34 appearances for the club to date, he recognises that his strike ratio has to improve considerably. “It’s definitely something I would like to add to my game,” he said.

“I don’t think I have been at my best in front of goal and it is something that I can be better at. I always want to improve and in the final third getting more goals and more assists is something that I really want to do. I’ve scored two headers and a tap in from about two-yards since coming here, but as long as they go in they all count.”

To round off a perfect week, Edwards will have to help Thistle do something that they haven’t managed in almost 21 years, beat Motherwell at Fir Park. “That would be nice,” he said. “We’ve been using a really positive formation recently and, bar the defeat against Aberdeen, that’s seen us rack up consistently good performances and pick up results, too.”

“Hopefully, we can go to Motherwell and force them to react to us and what we’re doing as opposed to the other way round. I didn’t know about not winning at Motherwell in so long but it’s not something we think about as players. We just go out and do our jobs and the best team will win on the day.”

While international exertions were partly responsible to the slow start Edwards made to life as a Thistle player, he still harbours ambitions to represent his country at full international level. A dire display in the recent 2-2 draw in Thailand has led to many Socceroo fans calling for the introduction of fresh blood, and Edwards would be only too happy to come to the aid of his country in their quest to reach the World Cup in Russia in 2018.

“Thailand’s king passed away and there was a massive crowd there who were really up for it,” Edwards offered by way of explanation for the Aussie’s below-par performance. “Apparently we were off the pace and we are now third in our group so next year will be huge in trying to qualify for the World Cup.”

“You want the team to do well so they qualify for Russia, because you want to be knocking on the door for the team when the time comes. When they aren’t doing well you sometimes think it is a good opportunity for boys like myself to get a look in. What I need to do is keep playing well for Partick Thistle and hopefully come March I am knocking on the door. My last involvement in the squad was January and it’s my dream to be involved again.”



Perth Glory’s only championship-winning coach, Mich D’Avray, expects Western Australia to get a second A-League team, saying a derby rivalry would drive his old side to again become a national force. One of Glory’s most famous figures, D’Avray also spelled out his ambition to take up a high-level soccer role in Perth after a decade back in his native South Africa.

D’Avray opened up on Glory’s prospects as he prepared to return to Perth Oval as guest speaker at a club function before tonight’s clash with reigning champions Adelaide United. The coach of Glory’s league title wins in 2003 and 2004 said another WA A-League club was needed to push Glory to greater heights in the mould of the western derby rivalry between West Coast and Fremantle.

“The population could support two teams, and rather than weaken Glory, I think it’ll make Glory stronger,” D’Avray said. “When you’re a one-town team, a little bit of competition with those derbies gets people interested again and it gets the juices flowing. If I look around the league and the league is going to expand, then I think WA is a certainty.”

D’Avray predicted success was not far away for Glory and backed Kenny Lowe as the man to lead them to championship glory. “If you stick with a good coach, he’ll get things right,” D’Avray said. “I think staying with Kenny has been a wise move by Glory. You can be the best coach in the world, but if you haven’t got the players you’re always going to have an uphill battle. I think Glory have got the players now.”

D’Avray, 54, revealed he was keen to return to Perth in a coaching role, but not necessarily as a head coach. “My family are in Perth and my heart is in Perth,” he said. “If there was a role that became available, I would seriously look at it.” D’Avray, who made over 200 appearances for English club Ipswich Town, has spent the past decade coaching at South African clubs Bloemfontein Celtic and Ajax Cape Town.



Perth Glory’s Foxtel National Youth League campaign got off to the worst possible start after they were thrashed 6-0 by a slick Brisbane Roar side at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday morning. The Glory took the field with a strong line-up, included Shane Lowry, the defender looking for game time after hip surgery, while other first team players Nick Feely, Joe Knowles, Aryn Williams, Mitch Oxborrow, Jamal Reiners, Brandon Wilson and Costa Petratos also selected, but it was the Roar going home with the points.

The visitors were up by three at half time with goals from Mark Rodic, Joseph Katebian and Shannon Brady, and things went from bad to worse when Brandon Wilson was sent off for a second yellow card on the hour. Further goals in the second half from Katebian, Nicolas Panetta and Joseph Champness wrapped up a comprehensive win for the visitors.

Glory Coach John Gibson said they just didn’t turn up. “Very disappointing performance from the boys today, we weren’t switched on and you can’t do that in this competition,” he said. “We conceded some real sloppy goals, and we didn’t have the right attitude, and that’s a non-negotiable for us and it was really poor today.”

It was a bright start for the home side and Lowry went close to giving them the lead early, heading inches over the top from skipper Knowles’ corner after only five minutes. Roar keeper Tomislav Bilic was in good form, first denying Oxborrow’s long-range shot, before saving well to thwart Knowles moments later. The visitors starting to get into the game, and they hit the front on 16 minutes. The Glory failed to clear a corner and the ball fell to Rodic, who made no mistake at the back post.

Feely then saved well to deny Brady, and on the half hour he produced a stunning save from Nathan Konstanopoulos’ low shot. But four minutes later there was little he could do as the Roar doubled their advantage. Again the Glory failed to clear their lines, but the finish from Katebian from the edge of the penalty area was unstoppable.

The Glory looked to hit back and Petratos stung the palms of Bilic on 37 minutes, but three minutes later the Roar struck again, Connor O’Toole crossing to Brady who made it 3-0. Both sides had late chances, first Williams’ long-range shot whistled inches past the post for the Glory, while for the Roar Brady’s shot crashed off the crossbar, and Feely saved Panetta’ follow up shot.

The Glory thought they had a penalty early in the second half when Knowles was brought down in the box, but referee Tom Dowle waved away their protests. It was a positive start to the second half for the Glory, but all their hard work was undone on 58 minutes when Wilson received a second yellow card and was sent off.

The Roar made their numerical advantage count and extended their lead on 61 minutes, Brady cutting the ball back to Katebian to score. The Roar added a fifth six minutes later with Panetta finishing low past Feely, and a sixth fifteen minutes from time through second half substitute Champness.

Roar Coach James Robinson, who played 21 games for the Glory between 2007 and 2009, said they thoroughly-deserved their win. “It was a continuation of last week’s second half performance and full credit to the players for the continual improvement,” Robinson said. “We executed our plan and were relentless in our approach to keep a clean sheet as a team.”

Match Details

Perth Glory 0 v Brisbane Roar 6 (Rodic 16’, Katebian 34’, 61’, Brady 40’, Panetta 67’, Champness 75’)

Perth Glory: GK Nick FEELY, 2 Aryn WILLIAMS, 3 Ross MILLARD, 4 Shane LOWRY (15 Jackson MORGAN 60’), 5 Jack IREDALE, 6 Mitch OXBORROW (16 Calvin WHITNEY 65’), 7 Jamal REINERS (10 Daniel STYNES 65’), 8 Brandon WILSON, 9 Joe KNOWLES, 11 Kosta PETRATOS, 18 Gian ALBANO - Subs not used: RGK Stefan KING - Yellow Cards: Wilson 45’, 58, Oxborrow 63’, Morgan 74’ - Red Cards: Wilson 58’

Brisbane Roar: GK Tomislav BILIC, 2 Mark RODIC, 4 Aaron REARDON, 5 Cameron CRESTANI, 6 Joe CALETTI (16 Daniel DRIVER 71’), 8 Nathan KONSTANOPOULOS, 10 Nicolas PANETTA, 13 Connor O’TOOLE (9 Harrison SAWYER 82’), 14 Dane INGHAM, 15 Shannon BRADY (7 Joseph CHAMPNESS 65’), 22 Joseph KATEBIAN - Subs not used: RGK Andre JANNESE - Yellow Card: Katebian 50’ - Referee: Tom Dowle



Perth Glory’s unbeaten start to the Westfield W-League came to an end after a penalty just after half time from Newcastle Jets import Jennifer Hoy has given them a 1-0 win in Week three at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The loss, the first of the season for Bobby Despotovski’s side, was disappointing, but they did have chances to at least share the spoils, but couldn’t convert.

The Glory went close after only two minutes, American import Vanesa DiBernardo’s long-range shot beat Kelsey Wys, but the crossbar came to the Jets’ custodians’ rescue. Wys injured a knee moments later and she was replaced Claire Coelho. It didn’t seem to affect the Jets though, as Jenna Kingsley raced down the right side of the box and fired a shot back across goal, which seemed to strike Glory defender Patricia Charalambous on the arm, but referee Lara Lee waved the penalty appeals away.

Sam Kerr was a constant threat and she went close again on 22 minutes, but her header was blocked and cleared by Jets midfielder Clare Wheeler. The Jets went close themselves on the stroke of half-time, as Arin Gilliland found space down the left side. The US import cut the ball back from the bye-line, but unfortunately it went inches behind Kingsley in the box, and the sides went into the break all-square.

The home side made the perfect start to the second half and took the lead three minutes in. Kingsley raced down the right and played in Cassidy Davies, who crossed to Hoy who was brought down in the box by Glory defender Arianna Romero and referee Lara Lee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Hoy stepped up to score from the resulting penalty, her first Westfield W-League goal.

Sophie Nenadovic went close to a second for the home side on 54 minutes, but her free kick from outside skimmed off the crossbar and behind. The Glory pressed looking for the equaliser and Kerr raced clear again on 74 minutes, but Coelho stood tall to deny her. The Jets were still dangerous going forward, Nenadovic put her shot wide from long-range, before substitute Rhali Dobson found space down the right, and her cross was only inches away from Jenna Kingsley in the box.

Glory were on top late and Alyssa Mautz fired narrowly wide, before she turned provider in the final minute, her cross picking out Kerr, whose header flashed inches past the post. The win puts the Jets on top of the table for now at least, while Glory drop down to fourth place.

Match Details

Newcastle Jets 1 (Hoy 48’) v Perth Glory 0

Newcastle Jets: GK Kelsey WYS (RGK Claire COELHO 13’), 2 Sophie NENADOVIC, 3 Elizabeth O’REILLY, 4 Megan OYSTER, 5 Arin GILLILAND, 6 Cassidy DAVIS, 7 Gema SIMON (C), 8 Emma STANBURY, 9 Jennifer HOY (10 Rhali DOBSON 65’), 17 Jenna KINGSLEY, 18 Clare WHEELER (13 Grace MCINTYRE 77’) – Subs not used: 9 Ashlee BRODIGAN - Yellow cards: nil

Perth Glory: GK Melissa MAIZELS, 2 Sarah CARROLL, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Alyssa MAUTZ, 5 Patricia CHARALAMBOUS (17 Natasha RIGBY 65’), 7 Nicole STANTON, 9 Rosie SUTTON, 10 Vanessa DIBERNARDO (8 Shawn BILLAM 73’), 13 JAYMEE GIBBONS (14 Caitlin DOEGLAS 51’), 20 Sam KERR (C), 22 Arianna ROMERO – Subs not used: RGK Gabby DAL BUSCO - Yellow cards: Stanton 71’ – Referee: Lara Lee



Perth Glory bounced back from last week’s heavy defeat against Sydney FC to beat Adelaide United 3-1 in week seven of the Hyundai A-League at nib Stadium on Friday evening. They had to come from behind to take the points after an own goal from Josh Risdon put the visitors ahead early, but Royston Griffiths levelled before half time. Andy Keogh gave the Glory the lead controversially, after referee Jared Gillett saw nothing wrong with Griffiths’ challenge on keeper Eugene Galekovic, and Reds Coach Guillermo Amor and midfielder Jordan O'Doherty were then sent off, as the Reds lost the plot. The points were made safe in stoppage time with Keogh bagging his sixth goal of the season, leaving the Reds still winless and bottom of the table.

“We needed to make sure we got the win tonight because it was important to get us back on track,” Glory skipper Rostyn Griffiths said. “The one thing we talked about as a playing group was we’ve got five games before Christmas and three of them at home. “We need to get maximum points out of these to keep us in contention for where we want to be this season. We’ve got high goals with the squad we’ve got. It’s a good start tonight and especially against a good team.”

In the first Friday evening home game of the season, it was a real arm-wrestle early. Reds Spanish striker Sergei Guardiola went close to the opener on 13 minutes, racing forward and his long-range shot whistled just past the post. Rhys Williams then went close for the Glory, the defender getting on the end of Nebojsa Marinkovic free kick, but the unmarked former Middlesbrough defender headed over from six meters. The visitors were creating the better chances, and Risdon had to be alert to sprint back to deny O’Doherty on 20 minutes, but two minutes later the Socceroo defender’s own goal gave Adelaide the lead.

Isaias found space in the middle of the park and slipped through Tarek Elrich down the right-hand-side, who whip in a low cross which deflected off Rhys Williams and the unfortunate Risdon poked the ball into the net. Their lead only lasted three minutes with Glory’s skipper Griffiths responding. A poor clearance from Elrich fell to Griffiths on the edge of the penalty area and he made no mistake, finishing low past Galekovic and in to the bottom-left-corner of the net, despite the Reds keeper getting a hand to it.

Adelaide had the ball in the net again on the half hour, Guardiola finishing past Liam Reddy from Ryan Kitto’s cross, but the flag was up for offside. Both sides had late chances as the game opened up. Diego Castro and Griffiths both fired just wide for the home side, while James Holland and the lively Guardiola saw his late shot saved low by Reddy, but at the break it was all-square.

Adelaide, who still looking for their first win of the season went close again early in the second half, Elrich picking out Guardiola, whose weak effort was saved low by Reddy. But it was the Glory who hit the front on 67 minutes. Marinkovic’s curling free kick into the area was spilled by Galekovic, under pressure from Griffiths, and Keogh was first to react, firing home from five meters to score. The Reds were left fuming that a free kick wasn’t awarded for the challenge on the keeper, and coach Amor was sent from the stands after an altercation with fourth official Adam Fielding.

It went from bad to worse for the visitors when a crude lunge from O’Doherty on Chris Harold meant he received a second yellow card from Gillett and was sent off. The ten men lifted and the Glory were now on the back foot, with Isaias bossing the middle of the park, but the Glory stood firm. With Adelaide pushing men forward looking for the equaliser the Glory hit on the counter attack and Marinkovic’s shot flashed over the top.

Adelaide continued to press and second half substitute Nikola Mileusnic went close with three minutes remaining, after good approach work from Kitto. Adelaide defender Iacoppo La Rocca was then lucky not to see red, after a stray elbow split Keogh’s lip, but the Irish striker had the last laugh bagging the sealer in stoppage time. After holding out three consecutive Adelaide corners the Glory broke quickly with Castro feeding Marinkovic on the right, and the Serbian’s pin-point cross picked out Keogh, whose diving header flew past Galekovic to send the 10,011 home supporters into raptures.

Match Details

Perth Glory 3 (Griffiths 25', Keogh 67', 90+4') v Adelaide United 1 (O’G Risdon 22')

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, 2 Alex GRANT, 5 Rhys WILLIAMS (4 Shane LOWRY 80'), 8 Rostyn GRIFFITHS (C), 9 Andy Keogh, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 14 Chris HAROLD (22 Adam Taggart 80'), 16 Joseph MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 19 Josh RISDON, 24 Milan SMILJANIC – Subs not used: RGK Nick FEELY, 23 Kosta PETRATOS - Yellow cards: Mills 3', Williams 51', Risdon 86'

Adelaide United: GK Eugene GALEKOVIC (C), 3 Iacoppo LA ROCCA, 4 Dylan MCGOWAN, 8 ISAIAS, 9 Sergei GUARDIOLA (Nikola MILEUSNIC 58'), 10 Marcelo Carrusca (Riley MCGREE 76'), 19 Benjamin GARUCCIO, 21 Tarek ELRICH, 22 Ryan KITTO, 24 Jordan O'DOHERTY, 25 James HOLLAND – Subs not used: RGK John HALL, 5 Taylor REGAN, 16 Jesse MAKAROUNAS - Yellow cards: Garuccio 15', O'Doherty 24' & 71', Carrusca 38' - Red cards: O'Doherty 71' - Referee: Jared Gillett



Perth Glory host Adelaide United in Week 7 of the Hyundai A-League tonight under lights at nib Stadium. (7.00pm) The Glory are on a three game run without a win, the latest a 1-4 loss against league leaders Sydney FC, but skipper Rostyn Griffiths is adamant they will bounce back when the winless Reds come to town. The reigning Champions arrive at the foot of the table sitting in last position on the table.

Griffiths, who returned to the side in last week’s 4-1 loss to runaway leaders Sydney FC, said they need to stay focused and not become complacent, to get their season back on track. “That's the beauty of the A-League you know,” he said. "I think that's the whole point of the salary cap, it keeps everything pretty tight and you know, like you say, one week you can be playing top and the next week you are playing the bottom but it doesn't really mean too much because it's pretty close."

The Reds started the season the same last year, but came home strongly to take out the title, and Griffiths hopes the Glory faithful get out and support them on Friday. “I think every squad has got the ability to beat the opposite team on the day and you know they've got some quality players. Carrusca's back this weekend and he played last weekend as well and he's a good quality player for them but we're pretty confident at home,” he explained. “I think, hopefully if our fans turn up and make that 12th man for us, which they've been great so far this season, I just think it could be another kick for us to get back on track and get a result."

Last week’s heavy defeat wasn’t ideal, but Griffiths said they had their chances early, and if they had been taken the result might have been different. “The score line reflects the poor result and a poor performance but when you look at the game back, and I've watched the game back twice now, we had our moments in the game, and we started like a house on fire,” he said. “We could have gone up early and possibly changed the game and then obviously before you know it, we make a little bit of an error and then we are down 1-0 away from home and it's always going to be difficult but like any positive person, there's things that you can take out of the game and work on for next week especially at home to Adelaide, which is going to be another tough contest, but you now they're a team that's obviously struggling a little bit as well so hopefully we can pick up some valuable points.”

In team news Josh Risdon is available after missing last week on international duty, but Coach Kenny Lowe might not rush him back, with the defender not getting back to Perth till Wednesday. But he might gamble, especially after the selection of Dino Djulbic didn’t work in Sydney. Adam Taggart looks set to miss another week; the former Socceroo can’t take a trick at the moment and can’t shrug of his calf injury, while Shane Lowry will be putting his hand up for a start after coming off the bench last week.

Adelaide United earned just their second point of the season last week, with a 1-1 draw against Brisbane Roar, but with injuries hitting the side hard they have struggled, but it will only be a matter of time before the results turn. They travel to the west with a good record, having only lost once against the Glory since 2012. One of those players is Marcelo Carrusca, who returned last week against Brisbane and will be better for the run. The Argentine is the playmaker in the middle of the park for Guillermo Amor’s side, and his partnership with Spanish striker Sergi Guardiola, who continues to improve with every game, will be something the Glory need to stop.

The 25-year-old has scored half of Adelaide’s total goals so far this season and is beginning to show his qualities, and if the Glory play like they did last week he will have a field day. It’s a vital game for both sides, and could be a defining moment of the season. The Glory are difficult to beat at home, but do seem to lack a little bit of confidence at the moment, but a win will change that, but I’m sure the Reds will have other ideas.

Perth Glory squad: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY 2 Alex GRANT, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Rhys WILLIAMS, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 8 Rostyn GRIFFITHS (C), 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 14 Chris HAROLD, 16 Joe MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 18 Mitch OXBORROW, 19 Josh RISDON, 20 Aryn WILLIAMS, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Kosta PETRATOS, 24 Milan SMILJANIC - *two to be omitted* - Ins: OXBORROW (promoted), RISDON (return from international duty), TAGGART (promoted) - Outs: 7.Joel CHIANESE (omitted)

Adelaide United squad: GK Eugene GALEKOVIC (C), GK John HALL, 3 Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4 Dylan MCGOWAN, 5 Taylor REGAN, 8 ISAÍAS, 9 Sergi GUARDIOLA, 10 Marcelo CARRUSCA, 14 George MELLS, 15 Ben WARLAND, 16 Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 17 Nikola MILEUSNIC, 18 Riley McGREE, 19 Ben GARUCCIO, 21Tarek ELRICH, 22 Ryan KITTO, 24 Jordan O’DOHERTY, 25 James HOLLAND - *two to be omitted* - Ins: REGAN (promoted), MELLS (promoted) - Outs: Nil



Perth Glory Westfield W-League campaign continues this weekend when they take on Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday, the game will be aired live on Fox Sports. (11.30pm WA Time) It’s the first road trip for Bobby Despotovski’s side and after a win and a draw in their first two home games gave them confidence going forward. “We are now starting to believe in our own ability as a team and we are all pulling in the same direction,” Despotovski said. “We believe in our system of play and we are all very driven to succeed.”

Last week’s scoreless draw against Brisbane Roar was a hard fought game and the Coach said both goalkeepers were outstanding. “It was a great contest and it was a good match for the supporters, and both keepers were outstanding on the day,” Despotovski said. “We know Macca (Makenzie Arnold) is a quality keeper, and we needed something special to beat her, while Melissa Maizels was also outstanding. It was really pleasing to see her doing so well, and all her hard work with goalkeeping coach Andy Petterson is paying off.”

Maizels, who joined the club from Canberra United this season said it was a great game to be involved in. “It was a great battle with both teams wanting the three points, and that was clear from the first whistle, and they’re the types of games I love to play,” she said. “The work we’ve been putting in on the training track is really starting to show on game day, and I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved so far. But we all know it’s only the beginning and we know every week we will be chasing better performances.”

The keeper said Saturday will be another tight encounter, with the Jets thrashing Victory last week, but she said every team can beat each other on the day. “To be honest I don’t think that results bother us much, because every team has the ability to pull off a result like the Jets did, so we are just going to focus on our game,” she said. “Under Bobby and Jessine’s guidance we plan to execute our game plan to the best of our ability and we do that no team can touch us.”

Carla Bennett will miss the trip to Newcastle, but Despotovski said they are looking forward to the challenge. “They (Newcastle) are coming off a big win last week against the Victory, so they will be confident and will a very hard opponent for us,” he explained. “We have a game plan and will try to execute it on the day, but knowing Jet’s Coach Craig Deans they will be well organised with some international flavour in their team. It’s a long trip but we will try everything to come home with a result.”



Former Perth Glory defender Jacob Collard will have a busy 2017, after signing for former Champions Bayswater City and also joining the WA police force. The 21-year-old will start his training with the police later this month and has already started pre-season training with Bayswater, and he said to join City is a great move for him. “Growing up in the state Bayswater City has always been a great team, so to get the opportunity to be signed and play for this fantastic club and players is a great thrill,” he said. “I’m excited for the season ahead and everything that comes with it and my drive is to help the club back to winning trophies.”

Collard, who was courted by a number of clubs in WA and interstate, is looking forward to working with former Socceroo defender and City coach Chris Coyne, and he believes he will improve his game. “Chris has played at the highest level in football, and is a coach who expects a lot from himself and his players,” he said. “I believe working alongside such a prestigious player and now coach is really going to improve my game immensely.”

City have also recruited Declan Hargreaves, Bor Bor Sam and have Jack Allen back in the frame after missing most of last season with a knee injury, but Coyne said bringing in Collard is massive both on and off the pitch. “It’s a great signing for us, both on and off the park,” he explained. “He is a very impressive young man who displays great leadership qualities and has a very good head on such young shoulders.

“His playing ability is second to none and he can play a various number of positions, a great reader of the game and will suit our passing game with the range of passing he possesses. He will lead by example, he is very hungry to resurrect his career and get back to at least A-League and hopefully beyond. It will suit the expansive game that we like to play and with the change in the way we will set up this year, Jacob is a perfect fit.”

Joining the WA police force is something Collard has been working towards and he said he looking forward to both new challenges. “I’ve always had a passion for the criminal justice system, so landing this job was an absolute goal of mine,” he said. “I was ecstatic getting the news and I commence late November. I have the opportunity to do great by people and that is all I have ever wanted, and it’s a huge challenge with me also signing for Bayswater, but I’m excited about the new challenges ahead.”

The defender headed east last season joined Hobart side Olympia, before heading to Melbourne based Oakleigh Cannons, and he enjoyed the challenge and seeing more of the Country. “My time at both clubs was short lived, although I did enjoy playing in both states,” he explained. “It was an adventure I can always look back on and say I have lived and explored there, and that is priceless.”

Collard made two A-League appearances for Perth Glory and won the Glory Youth MVP in his two seasons in the side, and was bitterly disappointed not to be signed on by the club, but he said that’s in the past and he is looking forward to playing for Bayswater next season. “I have been disappointed all year, but recently I’ve let it go and want to get back playing,” he said. “I’ve moved on with my life and working in the community and joining the police and Bayswater has me back on track. Although I can’t wait to meet them this season to show them what they are missing.”

Off the pitch Collard has been doing some great work with Perth’s indigenous children, and he said to help talking to them and helping them was a real eye opener. “Mentoring has been so good for my heart, it’s really opened my eyes and taught me that there is always someone worse off,” he said. “I’m just blessed that a little input in their lives can help, something they truly need, and if I’ve helped them just a little then I feel it was all worth it.”



Jordan Lyden could hand Aston Villa a timely boost by returning to first team action for the hectic Christmas period. The promising young midfielder has been hit by injuries in the past six months but is now edging closer towards a return to training.

Providing there are no further set-backs and the final stages of his rehabilitation programme go to plan, Lyden could be in contention for next month’s festive fixtures. His return will be welcomed by new boss Steve Bruce who wants added competition for places in the centre of midfield and has already been told promising things about the 20-year old.

Villa rate Lyden highly and were pleased to tie him down to a long-term contract earlier this season. After impressing as captain of the development team, he stepped up to the senior side last season with six first team appearances to earn an improved deal. But a quad injury, suffered on the final day of last season, has thwarted his recent progress.

Lyden appeared to have recovered from that setback when he broke down again in September. He’s now close to returning to outdoor training after working on his conditioning and recovery in the swimming pool and gym at Bodymoor Heath. When fully fit he will compete with Mile Jedinak, Gary Gardner, Ashley Westwood and Aaron Tshibola for a place in the heart of midfield.



Defender Scott Neville believes Western Sydney Wanderers needs to urgently rectify the mistakes that he says are “killing us”. Faced with an unwelcome record - the most goals Western Sydney have conceded at this stage of any season - and the arrival on Friday of Melbourne City’s potent attack, Neville said his team needed to address both their goals for and against tallies.

Neville has only missed one game, left out through soreness from last Saturday’s loss at Melbourne Victory, and is the only regular member of the back four left from last season. But as Western Sydney launched their kit on Wednesday for the Asian Champions League later in the season, Neville refused to blame the churn in defensive faces.

“Apart from probably the Sydney FC game, when we just capitulated as a team in the second half, every goal has been avoidable - not just as a team but individual errors are killing us,” Neville said. “We’re getting punished for things that other teams don’t seem to.”

“When a team then scores against us it becomes a big negative for the player who’s made the error. So as a team we have to defend better from front to back. That includes putting our chances away, putting pressure on teams and not being vulnerable to counter attacks. As a whole team we need to do the defensive stuff properly.”

Neville emphasised he was not apportioning blame further up the pitch, but trying to return the team to its previously successful team structures. “We attack as a team and we defend as a team,” he said. “As fullbacks we get up in the box, we have shots and chances too.”

“So as a collective unit we have to do better in both boxes. In the middle part of the field we’re doing very well and we’re dominating teams. But if we don’t score then we’re always vulnerable to the counterattack, and copping goals on the break. We need to take chances and put games to bed when we do take the lead as well.”

The exit of Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Alberto and Scott Jamieson since last season have led to inevitable claims of confusion in Western Sydney’s back four, but Neville said that was too easy an excuse. “We know the structures that we have to do in every individual role,” he said. “Suspensions you can’t do anything about, Nikolai (Topor-Stanley) leaving you can’t do anything about.”

“Everyone just has to do their job, and we have to do better as a back four and a back six a lot better than we have been. City have two very good players upfront, but then Melbourne Victory had four or five good players and another in Rojas who didn’t even play. It doesn’t matter who we play we just have to do better, and hopefully we can start this weekend by eliminating sloppy 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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