ECU Joondalup midfielder Henry Durr is confident of getting the points against Perth SC this week.

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THIS WEEK ON THE WORLD FOOTBALL PROGRAMME

This Saturday on The World Football Programme on Radio Fremantle 107.9FM at 10am, Jason Washington-King will be hosting with Don Evans. Guests will be Dale Mculloch (ECU Joondalup), David Micevski (Stirling Lions), Chad Bennett (Fox Sports) and Andy Arena (Victoria Park SC). The agenda includes a full rundown of the NPL-WA, Euro 2016, FFA Cup draw and Women's Cup and news from around the leagues. Join the conversation Saturday from 10am on talk back via 9494 2100 or text in your comments to 0408 921 832.

1.7.2016

PS4 NPL-WA ROUND FIFTEEN - PREVIEW

It’s week 15 of the PS4 National Premier League WA and the top two teams Inglewood United and Bayswater City meet in the Footballwa.net Match of the Week. Inglewood leapfrogged Bayswater on the table after their 3-2 win against Perth Glory last week, while Bayswater slipped up at home to Cockburn City. Despite the 1-1 draw Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne was happy with the performance, and he said they will play worse than that and win this season. “It was a good result and we were unlucky not to convert the amount of chances that we created, that said Cockburn fought very hard,” he said. “The last two weeks we have had around 20 clear chances so it is only a matter of time before we convert as the buildup play is good. We also should have been given a stonewall penalty in the last couple of minutes Saturday, how we didn’t get the decision god only knows. It was clear as day there and then and even clearer on the NPL highlights show, but that is done now and we can’t change it.” Coyne said Saturday’s game is a huge test for his side, but he is confident they can get the result. “Yes they beat us early on at our place, and that is never good but we are a much better team now and we have got a lot of the players back that we were missing at the start of the year,” he explained. “They will play a direct style of football and we will be more patient and move them around so it should be an even contest. The biggest positive for Bayswater is that we have played top of the table battles for the last four years, this is new territory for Inglewood, so them going in as favorites at the top of the league means the pressure is on them to win the game. We can just go and play and enjoy the experience and know that we have been in this position and enjoyed the challenge in the past.” In team news Paul McCarthy returns to a full strength squad.

Inglewood Coach Taki Nicolaidis said they were pushed all the way last week by Glory, but they were well worth the win. “It was an important three points for us last week as it not only enabled us to be on equal points with Bayswater, but also build on our confidence,” he said. “It gave us back to back wins after a poor month previously, so we are in good form moving forward.” Nicolaidis said Bayswater have been the benchmark for a number of years, and he is expecting them to bounce back from disappointing results in their last two games. “It’s a top of the table clash so we know it will be a big game, and with the league so tight every game for the remainder of the season will be a cup final,” he said. “Whilst Bayswater haven't picked up maximum points in the last two games, this is probably when they're the most dangerous as they will want to bounce back, and I'm sure Chris (Coyne) will have them ready for Saturday and we will need to be at our very best to beat them.” Inglewood welcome back Scott Blackmore, Calum O'Connell and Jason Barrera to their squad, and they will be at full strength for the game.

Floreat Athena travels Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco looking to keep their good form going. Subiaco were beaten by Joondalup at home last weekend, while Floreat beat Armadale to make it five games without defeat. Athena midfielder Kris Gate said last week’s win was difficult one on a difficult pitch. “Last week’s game wasn’t pretty, but the pitch was heavy and to be honest it was close to being called off,” he explained. “It wasn’t going to be a game to be full of football but we battled hard and got the three points, which at this stage of the season is all we are bothered about.” Gate knows Saturday’s game against the bottom of the table Subiaco is going to be tough. “Everyone is expecting us to go there and win easy,” he said. “But they (Subiaco) are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table and will be a tough opponent, as they always battle and will be looking to upset us.” Ludovic Boi is expected to return to the Floreat starting line-up after missing last week with injury, but they will still be without striker Lewis McMahan due to suspension. Subiaco skipper Kevin White has left the club, due to work commitments, but Ger Fitzgerald will return from suspension.

Sorrento got back into the winner’s circle last week at Balcatta, and they will be looking to continue on with it when they host Perth Glory at Percy Doyle Reserve. The Glory were beaten at league leaders Inglewood United last week, but with relegation a possibility this season, they need to start to pick up points, sooner rather than later. Gulls defender Shaun Kilkelly said it was vital to get the win last week, after a five game run without a win. “Last week’s win was a great result for us, especially after the run we have had, so to score three goals and keep a clean sheet was perfect,” he said. “They (Balcatta) have some decent players and on their day they can produce some good football, but I thought we controlled the game from start to finish and on another day could have had a couple more goals.” Kilkelly, who is in doubt for the game due to injury, said Saturday’s opponents have looked good this season. “Any game in this league is difficult and Saturday will be no different,” he explained. “The Glory has improved a great deal and have a couple of players who have had a taste of the A-League. Last time we played them it was a tough game and we managed to get the win late, and we’ll be looking for a repeat of the result on Saturday. “The Gulls have a trio of players under an injury cloud, Kilkelly, Ryan Pearson and Reece Vittiglia, while Scott Bulloch is unavailable. But Jamie Harnwell has Billy Quinncroft and Daryl Platten up for selection, while the Glory welcome back keeper and skipper Jordan Thurtell, but Scott Robertson is suspended..

Armadale will be desperate for the points in their relegation battle when they host Balcatta at Alfred Skeet Reserve. Both sides were beaten last week, Balcatta at home to Sorrento, while Armadale were beaten at Floreat Athena. Armadale midfielder Ellis Healing said last week’s loss was disappointing but they had chances to get something from the game. “It was a disappointing result, because we created some good chances,” he said. “But ultimately if our finishing and our defending is equally as poor each week as it has been, we will continue to struggle. But I believe we need a bit of luck to get us going in a game for once and hopefully it comes Saturday.” The Reds beat Balcatta in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, and Healing said they will be doing all they can to get the same result. “We beat them (Balcatta), earlier in the season, and we’ll be looking for a repeat on Saturday, but we will approach this game as we do any other,” he explained. “We have to keep believing we will get a result in every game we play in and we’ll be doing all we can to get the three points.” In team news for Armadale, Antony Skorich and Danny Hodgson have both been playing while not fully fit but both look set to start on Saturday, but Alex Castiello is suspended while for Balcatta Cameron Teece and Scott Newland and Zelfy Nazary are all suspended.

ECU Joondalup will be looking for five straight wins when they travel to Dorrien Gardens to take on Perth SC. Joondalup beat Subiaco last week, while Perth were edged out by Stirling Lions, and Joondalup midfielder Henry Durr said confidence is high and they put in a clinically performance last week. “It was a solid team performance, where everyone had a good game and we played to our strengths, and moved the ball forward quickly, winning first and second balls throughout the game,” he explained. “Another clean sheet was a nice bonus for us, and it’s good for confidence getting on this good run of wins, and we can show the rest of the league what we are capable of.” Durr knows it’s a huge challenge on Saturday, but he is confident if they continue playing how they are they can get a result. “We’re very confident of getting a result on Saturday, if we play to our strengths and keep to our game plan, we feel we can beat anyone in the league,” he explained. “We were very unlucky in the reverse fixture, so everyone will be looking to get the win at the weekend. “ECU will be without Steven McGarry, Jon Higgins and Jayden Drummond, while Kevin Moon is in doubt due to injury. Perth will be hoping to have Clark Keltie back from injury, but they will be without Rocco Pizzata who was sent off last week, Adrian Madaschi who is suspended, while Andreas Theodosiades is struggling with injury.

In the final game it’s a repeat of the FFA Cup Semi-Final when Stirling Lions hosts Cockburn City at Macedonia Park. Cockburn earned a point at Bayswater last week, while Stirling left it late to beat Perth SC, with David Micevski’s stoppage time winner. “We did leave it late,” Micevski said. “I thought we had the better chances in the first half and deservedly went in front at half time, but credit to Perth they came out bright in the second half and drew level via a penalty. After conceding I thought our boys showed great character not to settle for a draw and pushed right up until the last minute to find the winner.” Micevski is expecting another stern test against the Cockerels, as the Lions look to improve their in-different home form. “Cockburn will provide another tough test, especially after they took points off Bayswater last week,” he said. “We had a big result the first time we played Cockburn away winning 7-2, although they beat us 2-1 in the cup semi-final. We'll go into this game full of confidence and try keep the pressure on the top couple sides.” In team news Michael Pugliese is a chance to come back from injury while Blamo Quaqua comes back in from suspension, while for Cockburn Liam Murray is suspended.

1.7.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TWELVE - PREVIEW

The All Flags State League Division One reaches the half way point of the season, and this week’s Match of the Round takes us to the Ashfield Arena where Ashfield entertain Western Knights. Ashfield held off a determined UWA-Nedlands last week, while the Knight travelled to Joondalup and came home with a 2-1 win. Knights’ winger Paul Lloyd said it was their best performance of the season. “I thought we controlled the game and attacked with pace, we created chances and probably should have scored more,” he said. “We defended well from set pieces really well, dealing with Joondalup’s strong aerial presence, so all in all it was one of our best performances of the season.” Lloyd knows Saturday will be another tough test but they go there with confidence after a five game unbeaten run. “Ashfield is always a tough game, both teams are in decent form, we're going there with confidence after a good win,” he said. “But we know how much of a battle it's going to be and we’re all looking forward to the challenge.” In team news Adriano Jelenkavic is suspended, but Kevin Ashwood and Jeffrey Judge are back in the squad after injuries.

Ashfield Coach Paul Dundo said it was good to get back in the winners’ circle but said they wasted a number of good chances. “We didn’t capitalise on early chances in the game and made it hard for ourselves by presenting UWA with a few chances of their own,” he explained. “Overall I’m happy with the three points, but on another day with more clinical finishing the game could have been over at half time. Credit to UWA they never gave up and came at us for the entire 90 minutes, however feel our experience was the difference on the day.” Ashfield and the Knights drew 2-2 in the opening game of the season and Dundo said they always match up well and Saturday’s game will no different. “This weekend game should be a cracker as the past seasons against the Knights have always drawn a good crowd, with usually a very competitive game on display,” he said. “The Knights appear to be far more organised this year under Trim Morgan and their recent results speak for themselves. I’m looking forward to another competitive game on Saturday, and it will be another very competitive game, as each side needs the points to close the gap on the sides above, and also claim bragging rights this season, following our first round draw.” In team news for Ashfield Graham Tough and Alex Stamatiadis are suspended, Steve Kirk and Jay Lang are both unavailable and Ross Diamond is injured.

Canning City recent good form left them last week with a 2-1 loss at Shamrock Rovers and this week they host the league’s in-form side Forrestfield United at Burrendah Reserve. United are the form team of the league, winning their last six games, including last week’s local derby against Gosnells City, while Canning are coming off a disappointing defeat at Shamrock Rovers last week. Canning coach Paul Oliver said it was a poor game on a difficult pitch, and he thought they got what they deserved. “A very ordinary performance all round, and the less said about it the better,” he said. “Neither team showed too much quality on the day, but maybe on another day it may have gone our way. We played the entire second half with 10 men, and too be honest probably better football in that half. Even with 10 men we were the more attacking side, but ultimately didn’t do enough to get anything out of the game.” Canning beat Forrestfield in the opening game of the season, but Oliver said they are a different team from that match. “They (Forrestfield) are a good side, in great form, so it will be a big test for us,” he explained. “I have no doubt they will be well up for it, given the way we won at their place earlier in the season. We will still go into this game very confident of getting a positive result and we look forward to put last week’s disappointment behind us.” Canning welcomes back Ante Jukic and Simon Elton-Bott, while Ethan Leaving is in doubt. They will also be missing the suspended Charlie Parry, while Peter Cartright is also unavailable.

In other games leaders Mandurah City host UWA-Nedlands at the Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium. The Dolphins hold a three point lead at the top of the table, and are still to lose this season and are coming off a win in the local derby against Rockingham last week. On the other hand UWA have lost the last three games, including last week’s defeat at Ashfield, and are still to win on the road this season. Joondalup United will look to bounce back from defeat when they host Shamrock Rovers at Forrest Park. Rovers won for the first time since round two last week with a win against Canning City, but they take on a Joondalup side hurting from last week’s loss against The Knights, which meant they lost ground on Mandurah and were overtaken by Forrestfield. Bottom of the table Dianella White Eagles make the trip to Walter Padbury Reserve to take on Gosnells City. The Eagles were beaten by the Phoenix last week, while Gosnells lost the local derby to Forrestfield. Both sides need a pick up and this will be a tight contest.

In the final game Rockingham City host South West Phoenix at Lark Hill Sportsplex. The Phoenix have moved quietly up to sixth on the table and Tim Slack has then playing some good football, and last week they beat The Eagles, but Rockingham were edged out in a closely fought local derby against Mandurah City, and City Coach Rob Crerar said they had chances to take something from the game. “I was very disappointed not to take something from the game,” he said. “I felt we held our own against the league leaders and with the chances we created should have taken something from the game, but that’s football.” Crerar said Saturday’s opponents have been impressive this season and he said they will be tough. “I’m expecting a really tough game this week, I was really impressed with the Phoenix,” he said. “They have some exceptional individuals and you can see they are starting to creep up the ladder after a slow start, so we need to be on our toes from the first whistle.” In team news Matt Brooks is unavailable, but they regain the services of Alex Grayson and will have Monty Grigo and David Clark pushing for selection after lengthy absences.

1.7.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND TWELVE - PREVIEW

The All Flag State League Division Two Match of the Week takes us to the Swan Valley where Swan United hosts league leaders Fremantle City at the Swan Italian Club. Fremantle are coming off a big win against Curtin University, while Swan lost ground on the league leaders with 3-1 loss against Joondalup City. Swan Coach Matt Debarro said the result could have been different if they took their chances early. “The result was disappointing as it was clear in the first half we outplayed Joondalup and created an abundance of chances, and we should have gone in 2/3 up at the break but yet again we let ourselves down in front of goal,” he said. “But credit to Joondalup there strength at set pieces put them up 2-0 early in the second half, football is a game of chances and they were better at taking there's, but we were the better team everywhere else.” Debarro said this week’s game is important to keep in touch of the top sides. “There is a bit of pressure to get a result on Saturday if we are serious about pushing for a top two spot, but there is even more pressure on them to keep winning,” he said. “Steve and the boys are a good bunch of lads and are a very good team, but so are we and we will be out to play our best and give them a good game, then enjoy a few with them all after in the club.”

Fremantle Coach Steve Plucknett said the win at Curtin was good, but they have played better this season. “Yes it was good to pick up the three points away from home, as Curtin is never an easy place to get a result,” he explained. “I thought our finishing to get five goals was good and the performance solid, but without being spectacular.” Plucknett believes Swan will want to bounce back after losing at home for the first time this season last week. “We face a lot harder opposition on Saturday in Swan, we got off to a good start against them in the first round but that was a long time ago,” he said. “They will be raring to get back to winning ways which I'm sure Matt will have worked on this week. We are expecting a backlash after their loss last week, so it will be important to try and pick up something from the game to try and keep up with Balga and Joondalup City who Mark Rockett and I believe are the standout teams for the league this year. In team news for Fremantle Daniel Glennon and Josh Gardner return to the squad.

Kingsway Olympic will be looking to bounce back from last week’s loss at Melville City, when they travel to Wotton Reserve to take on Morley Windmills. Morley won convincingly last week at home against Kelmscott, and they are getting players back from injury and their squad is getting stronger. Only one point separates the sides on the table, and Kingsway’s Wayne Culverwell said they need to improve. “It was just a disappointing performances all round,” he said. “We didn't turn up on the day and Melville wanted it more than we did, we need to improve and it starts this week at Morley.” Kingsway beat Morley in the opening game of the season in an eight goal thriller and Culverwell said it will be nice to get a similar result on Saturday. “This week could see a few changes, especially after last week’s performance, and by all accounts Morley have made a few new signings and players returning from injuries and are one of the form sides of the league,” he said. “It's going to be a tough battle but we need to bounce back after two losses on the spin.”

In other games bottom of the table Ellenbrook United head to the John Connell Reserve to take on Melville City. The home side got back to winning ways last week against Kingsway, while Ellenbrook lost narrowly to Balga, in a much improved performance. Curtin University entertains Kelmscott Roos at Edinburgh Oval. Both sides lost heavily last weekend, and with only three points between them on the table, a win is vital to stay clear of the foot of the table. Quinns host Balga in a local derby at Gumblossom Park. Quinns good form came to an end last week, losing to Wanneroo, while Balga kept the pressure on the league leaders with a hard fought win at Ellenbrook. The middle of the table of tight and a win against their local rivals will give Quinns hope of pushing into the top four, but Balga need the points to stay in the title race, it should be a cracker in the northern suburbs. The final game takes us to Wanneroo Reserve, where Wanneroo City host Joondalup City. Joondalup won well at Swan last week, while Wanneroo’s good form continued with a win at Quinns.

1.7.2016

WILSON COMES HOME FOR GLORY

Another Western Australian talent has been added to Perth Glory's 2016/17 line-up following the signing of 19-year old central midfielder Brandon Wilson. Born in Botswana, Wilson has spent the past three years at English Championship club Burnley where he's featured for the Clarets Under-21s and represented Australia at Under-20 level.

Wilson is looking forward to returning to Perth and working with Kenny Lowe, his former National Training Centre coach. "Playing in England was a tremendous opportunity to hone my skills, but being back in WA and working under Kenny is what I need to make that next step and hopefully play first team football" Wilson commented.

"I've known Kenny for many years, he was instrumental in getting me to Burnley and I will never forget what he has done for me. I'm ready to give back to the coach and to this city. Being around Jamal (Reiners) and Mitch (Oxborrow) who I've grown up with, gives me a great sense of drive to do my bit for the boys in what's set to be a big year for the club."

Wilson, who played three years in the National Training Centre, was a member of Leeds United's academy prior to moving to Perth at the age of 10. He becomes the fourteenth West Australian born or raised player contracted to Glory for the 2016/17 A-League season and will be joining his new teammates at training next week.

1.7.2016

WOODALL RELISHING DERBY DAY CHALLENGE

Former Dagenham and Redbridge finisher Brian Woodall is determined to mark the special occasion of a derby showdown with Bayswater City by finding the back of the net for Inglewood United. Woodall has fond memories of his two previous meetings with our nearest neighbour having scored in both the Night Series and National Premier Leagues wins earlier this year.

Woodall is hopeful of continuing that scoring run and orchestrating another three points when joint NPL leaders Inglewood and Bayswater go head-to-head at Inglewood Stadium this weekend. "As a striker my job is to score goals and I have to make sure that when chances come my way on Saturday that I make the most of them," 28-year old Woodall said.

"It's a very important game for the club and the league - it's one verses two and games don't come much bigger than that. I'd like to score in every game I play but it doesn't work like that, although I do seem to score in big games. But to be honest, whether I score or not on Saturday doesn't matter, what is important is we get the three points."

Inglewood heads into the fifteenth round of the league in a positive frame of mind following successive wins over Balcatta and Perth Glory. "We're back in winning ways and have a full squad available with players coming back from injury and suspension," commented Woodall. "Bayswater have quality throughout their team so I expect it will be a close and intense game."

"There are only eight rounds left in the season and every game is a final for us. We have a great squad, great coaching and support staff and a great club. We've worked hard to this year to get to where we are, which is the top of the ladder, and will be doing everything to stay there and create history for Inglewood."

30.6.2016

ATHENA HOME TO MELBOURNE CITY, COCKBURN AWAY TO MELBOURNE KNIGHTS

Floreat Athena are preparing to take on A-League glamour club Melbourne City in the FFA Cup Round of 32. And the task is no easier for Cockburn City who have been drawn away to former National Soccer League powerhouse Melbourne Knights. Perth Glory, beaten finalists in the first two editions of the competition, are away at Brisbane Roar.

Floreat coach Glen Grostate said his team will be up for the challenge. "It's going to be game on," Grostate said. "There's the hype and the adrenalin. The boys are going to be pumped. It's a one-off thing for us and many a lower league team has beaten a big team in big games, so why not?"

Cockburn captain Euen Grant said Iceland's recent heroics against England had reminded everyone of football's possibilities. "Who knows what will happen in the Cup?" he said. "As we've seen in the Euros, Iceland are on a bit of a run just now, so hopefully we can win a couple of games and see how far we can get." Round of 32 matches will be played between 26 July and 10 August at venues to be determined.

30.6.2016

SINGAPORE-BORN EDWARDS DREAMING OF THE SOCCEROOS

Some of Ryan Edwards’ earliest memories are a mixture of images from stops in Australia and Malaysia, a by-product of being the son of a professional footballer. Edwards’ father, one-time Socceroos striker Alistair, is well known in both countries, particularly in Malaysia, where he helped Johor to a famous league and Malaysia Cup double back in 1991.

Alistair’s first stop after he finished playing in Johor was Singapore and that is where Ryan was born, in November 1993. “My dad met my mum in Singapore when he was playing there and floated between Sydney, Singapore and Malaysia playing football,” Ryan explains. “My older brother (Cameron) was born in Sydney, he’s 19 months older than me, and I then happened to be born in Singapore.”

“If you look at my birth certificate, I left Singapore about nine or 10 days after I was born – or as soon as you can leave – and we had time in England and I also went to an international school in Malaysia. That was pre-school, kindergarten, that sort of thing. I don’t really have a lot of memories of it. Then I settled down in Perth when I was five (when his dad joined Perth Glory) and was there until I moved to the Australian Institute of Sport when I was 16.”

Despite such a brief spell in Singapore had a significant influence on Edwards’ life. “When I flew into Singapore, it was literally the first time I’d been back since birth. Twenty-two years,” he said. “I lived in Perth my whole life and never really travelled as a family to go overseas. Then football took me from Perth to Canberra and then I moved to Reading in England when I was 17.

“But Singapore obviously have their National Service rule. I turned 18 and you’re supposed to go when you become 18. Funnily enough dad called up and said ‘my son has never lived in the country, we were told because of this he can be exempt from National Service’. They were like ‘no, you have to come’. This was a couple of months before my 18th birthday and I’d never been in transit in Singapore or anything like that. I thought ‘what are we going to do here?’”

So began a series of discussions between Edwards’ family and the Singapore government. In the end the youngster who had only ever considered Australia his home was left with two choices. “I’m not sure what the conversation was, but we ended up paying some sort of fine,” Edwards explained. “Then a letter turned up stating ‘once it is his 21st birthday, he has to renounce his citizenship or he has to be in Singapore on this date’.

“It was all pretty surreal to see that side of it. Straight away when I turned 21 I renounced my citizenship, I was living in London at the time, and a few months later it was all done. I never had a Singapore passport, I was a baby just travelling on my mum’s passport. I was born there, my mum is from there and her family is from there, but apart from that I don’t have any ties. My first passport was an Australian passport and I consider myself Australian.“

Not surprisingly for the son of a professional footballer, Edwards has played the sport for as long as he can remember, starting off kicking a ball around with my older brother. “One of my earliest football memories was probably when dad played for Perth Glory,” the midfielder continued. “They lost the final to Wollongong at Subiaco (Oval) and we were all crying in the box upstairs, my mum and brother and I.”

That was in 2000, with Edwards’ Glory losing a penalty shootout to the Wolves in the final of the old National Soccer League competition in front of a packed crowd in Perth. The match finished 3-3 and both teams converted their first five spot kicks. Remarkably, there were then four consecutive unsuccessful attempts, which included one from Glory captain Alistair Edwards, with the Wolves eventually prevailing 7-6.

Edwards is only 22 but has already spent time in England, Australia and Scotland, where he has one-year remaining on his contract with Scottish Premier League side Partick Thistle. Also prominent in junior Australian teams, Ryan is more than content with how his career has unfolded to date. “So far there have been a lot of ups and downs, as every footballer goes through, but I’m happy with what I’ve achieved and what I’m doing so far,” he said.

“I’ve captained my country at under-20 and under-23 level, played in the Championship at Reading, made the provisional squad with the Socceroos and I’m now in the Scottish Premier League. It’s every boys dream to play in Europe and play in the best leagues in the world and I’m living it at the moment and hope it continues.”

Edwards is also among the next generation of young Australians aiming to carry the Socceroos into a new era. “I think things are looking really good and there is a good core of boys coming through that could be that next generation,” he stated. “There are a lot of boys playing in Europe, a lot of boys in the A-League that are really playing well, and it’s really broadened the depth in the squad.”

“It’s been great to see. Especially in the most recent squad, there have been a lot of boys being called up for the first time, and it just gives everyone hope. You know that if you’re playing first-team football, you might be in with a sniff.”

28.6.2016

MRCELA ON VERGE OF K-LEAGUE MOVE

Australian defender Tomislav Mrcela has secured a lucrative move to an unnamed K-League side after featuring for eight Croatian clubs in seven years. The Perth-born Mrcela, who a year ago was selected by national team coach Ange Postecoclou for the Socceroos squad to face Kyrgyzstan, recently announced his intention to further his career outside of Croatia.

It’s understood Mrcela, a towering centre back, is in South Korea tying up loose ends on his deal after NK Lokomotiva Zagreb agreed to his departure. Adept on the ground and domineering in the air, the 25-year old is hoping the move will not only seal his financial future but bring him back into the attention of Postecoglou. Mrcela has made close to 150 first appearances for Croatian clubs Imotski, Imotski, Mosor, Hrvatski Dragovoljac and Lokomotiva.

27.6.2016

ALL WHITES DEFENDER ROUX RETURNS TO TRAINING

Storm Roux has marked a significant milestone on the comeback trail from three horror injuries by returning to training. Roux, who missed New Zealand's OFC Nations Cup triumph, has been out of action since breaking his fibula, damaging ligaments in his ankle and dislocating his shoulder in an unopposed fall during Central Coast Mariners' A-League clash with Melbourne City in February.

23-year old Roux described himself as the "unluckiest guy playing football" after suffering the triple blow of injuries that saw him miss the rest of the season. "Obviously I felt it straight away. I heard this snap in my leg," Roux said. "I pretty much knew I had done something bad. When I went to grab my ankle I felt my shoulder was out of place as well so I was thinking I was the unluckiest guy playing football at the time. It didn't feel too good but that's football and injuries happen."

Roux, a former Sorrento junior, said "hope of a good recovery" was just the motivation he needed to get stuck into his rehab. "Different milestones certainly help out a lot," he commented. "At first it was just getting the (moon)boot off and finally walking, to walking without crutches, to finally doing some weights, and then jogging and now eventually I got the boots on and finally kicking a ball around ... there's still a lot of hard work to go but each milestone really helps out."

26.6.2016

MICEVSKI AT THE DOUBLE FOR LIONS

A brace from Stirling Lions midfielder David Micevski has given them a 2-1 win against Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday evening. He had given the visitors the lead at the break, but Gustavo Catarcione leveled for the home side, and Perth also had Rocco Pizzata sent off, but the former Perth Glory midfielder wrapped up all three points with a goal deep into stoppage time. “I thought it was a good team performance everybody worked really hard against a good Perth side,” striker Jamie Gibson said. “It was a big win for us and we got the three points that I thought our performance deserved, and it keeps us in the top four.”

The game was the conclusion of the DT38 Foundation Awareness Round, in memory of former young Socceroo Dylan Tombides, who passed away due to testicular cancer. The round was all about promoting awareness of the disease, and the big crowd stood in a minutes silence prior to kick off and burst into a minute of applause on 38 minutes, in tribute of Tombides.

The visitors were well on top early, new striker Gibson firing over, before Daniel Micevski’s shot on the run flew just over the top. Their pressure was rewarded on 17 minutes with the lead, Teeboy Kamara raced clear and was crudely brought down by Perth keeper Francis Soale outside the area. The keeper only received a yellow card for the offence, but David Micevski took revenge from the resulting free kick, curling home superbly past Soale to give the Lions a well-deserved lead at the break.

Perth began well after half time and Andreas Theodosiades was denied by a superb tackle from David Sesay early. The home side were then reduced to ten men on 75 minutes, when Pizzata received a second yellow card from referee Adam Fielding, and he was sent off. But two minutes later the ten men levelled. Catarcione was brought down in the box by Shane Cassidy and the Brazilian striker picked himself up and sent Lions keeper John Perkins the wrong way to level it up.

The Lions pressed late looking to make their numerical advantage count, and David Micevski’s free kick from the edge of the penalty area shaved the post on 90 minutes. It looked like Perth, would hold out for a share of the spoils, but in the fourth minute of stoppage time the Lions won it. Daniel Micevski threaded a superb through ball for his brother David, who raced in to the box and finish clinically past Soale.

25.6.2016

INGLEWOOD TAKE THE GLORY TO RETURN TO THE SUMMIT

Inglewood United return to the top of the PS4NPLWA table after a hard fought 3-2 win against Perth Glory at Inglewood Stadium. Nikola Talimdzioski gave the Glory youngsters the lead early, but goals to John Migas, Josh Pereira and Kenny Keogh, put Inglewood in control, and a late consolation goal from Jack Iredale came too late for the Glory to salvage a point. “We knew the game against Glory was going to be tough, as they drew previous game with Cockburn who are no pushovers,” Inglewood defender Adam Tong said. “I felt we deserved the win and played in the way we wanted too and apart from a free kick and two sloppy goals they didn't really have too many chances. Things are going well again we have had our blip and now it's time to start getting another run going which I'm hoping gives us an opportunity to challenge for silverware, but we will take one game at a time and see but as far as the result goes I’m happy with the three points.”

The home side were out of the blocks early, and Keogh came close after getting on the end of Mark Pritchard’s corner, but Glory keeper Riley Stevenson saved well. Ross Millard then came to his sides rescue, clearing Pritchard’s in-swinging corner off the line as the home side pressed for the opener. But against the run of play the Glory hit the front.

Talimdzioski harassed the Inglewood defender forcing a turn over, and the striker picked his spot and firing into the top corner of the net giving Alex Dunn no chance. A shell-shocked Inglewood looked for the quick response, Keogh was thwarted by Jack Iredale, who got back with a last-ditch tackle. But on the half hour the home side levelled, Migas getting on the end of deep corner to finish at the back post.

Early in the second half the Glory almost regained the lead. Knowles was brought down on the edge of the penalty area, and Talimdzioski’s curling free kick whistled inches past the post.

But on the hour the home side hit the front. Ashley Rosindale raced clear and as Stevenson came out to narrow the angle, he unselfishly played the ball across to Pereira who scored into an empty net.

The Glory almost levelled moments late Dunn produced a stunning save to deny Talimdzioski’s free kick. But on 73 minutes Inglewood added the third, Keogh holding off his marker and finished clinically past Stevenson. To the Glory’s credit they continued to press and were rewarded in the final minute with a consolation goal. Talimdzioski’s corner picked out the unmarked Iredale at the back post and the defender headed home.

25.6.2016

BAYSWATER LOSE TOP SPOT AFTER BEING HELD BY COCKBURN

Bayswater City relinquished top spot in the PS4NPLWA table after being held 1-1 by Cockburn City at the Finance 365 Stadium. Liam Murray had given Cockburn the lead early in the second half, but Jamie Coyne equalised 15 minutes from time. Murray was sent off five minutes later, but the Cockerels hung on for a well-earned point. “It was a great result against a very good Bayswater side,” Cockburn midfielder Cameron Edwards said. “We were missing some key attacking players and having a man sent off for the latter part of the game, but the whole squad dug deep and put a great shift in.”

It was a tight first half with chances few and far between, the best falling to the home side, who dominated possession, but they couldn’t find a way past a well-drilled Cockburn back four and keeper Luke Radonich. The same couldn’t be said for the second half with both teams pressing for the three points.

Bayswater went close again five minutes in, after Cockburn failed to clear their lines and in the goalmouth scramble a shot was blocked and cleared. Cockburn lifted and had a sustained period of pressure and they were rewarded with the lead on 68 minutes. Murray, who had only been on the pitch for sixty seconds, found a pocket of space 20meters from goal, but picked his spot and fired home superbly despite Devon Spence getting a hand to it.

But there were celebration was cut short seven minutes later when Bayswater levelled. A corner by Todd Howarth was only cleared to the edge of the penalty area and Coyne’s shot took a deflection off a Cockburn defender and sending it past Radonich. It went from bad to worse for the Cockerels when Murray received a second yellow card from Steven Gregory and was sent off.

Bayswater went for the kill but couldn’t find the winner, and at the final whistle the points were shared. “We’re playing well, we just can’t score at the moment,” Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne said post-match. “I’m not too disheartened, but if we weren’t creating chances I’d start worrying. If we play like we did in the second half next week, I’ve got no issues.”

25.6.2016

ECU TOO STRONG FOR SUBIACO

ECU Joondalup moved up to seventh on the table after dominant 3-0 win against Subiaco at Rosalie Park. Gordon Smith bagged a brace, to take his season tally to 11 goals, while new signing Daryl Nicol opened his account, as ECU made it four straight wins. Gordon Smith and Daryl Nicol gave the visitors a two goal lead at the break, before Smith added his second to wrap up the points early in the second half. “It was a very good first half and we killed the game off early in the second half with the third, so it continues our good form, and we are playing with confidence at the moment,” Joondalup Coach Dale McCulloch said post-game. “We moved the ball around really well today, and got into so many good areas, it was really pleasing performance.”

The visitors should have taken the lead after only five minutes, a long throw by Cian Hirrell was flicked on by Shane Pickering to Smith, who blazed over with the goal at his mercy. Subiaco went close themselves moments later, Rory Feely was given far too much room on the edge of the box, but his shot was saved low by Lewis Italiano. But on 27 minutes ECU hit the front, a great run out of his own half by Pickering, ended with a through ball to Smith, and the Scottish striker held off his marker and finished with aplomb past Ryan Montgomery.

Montgomery was keeping his side in the game, firstly saving superbly to deny Nicol on the half hour, before saving low from Tommy Amphlett. Subiaco ended the half well and Dylan Andrews’ shot was well blocked by some desperate ECU defending, before Kevin White fired wide after good work Andrews. But in the shadows of half time ECU doubled their advantage. Henry Durr played in Nicol, and the lively striker finished low past Montgomery.

The points were wrapped up 11 minutes into the second half, when ECU added their third. Pickering picked out Smith, who rolled the last defender, and raced clear and finished clinically past Montgomery. Kevin White, who was playing his last game for the club, did his best to lift the home side, his shot on the turn on the hour whistled just wide. The game lost its intensity late, although Amphlett’s long-range shot flashed over the top for the visitors, but ECU ran out easy winners.

25.6.2016

GULLS FLY HOME WTITH THREE MUCH NEEDED POINTS

Sorrento put a poor run of form behind them with a solid 3-0 win against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. First half goals from Sean Canham and Scott Bulloch, put the Gulls in charge, before substitute Alex Morgan added the third after the break. “After last week’s defeat we knew we had to come here and respond,” Gulls new midfielder Matthew Sparrow said post-match. “I thought it was a different team out there. We defended well, we attacked well and we kept the ball a lot better, we have a great bunch here.”

The visitors were off to a perfect start and hit the front on six minutes. Scott Bulloch fed Reece Vittiglia, whose cross was headed home by Canham. It was nearly two moments later, Sparrow’s cross picking out Bulloch, whose shot crashed off the woodwork. Balcatta needed a lift and they went close to levelling when Conor Kavanagh’s effort was well saved by James Morgan, before the Sorrento custodian also denied Kieron Stallard. But after weathered that storm, Sorrento doubled their advantage on the half hour.

Vittiglia, who rejoined the club from Perth SC in the transfer window, sent Bulloch clear, and the winger chipped the on-coming Clint Davies to score, despite the effort of defender Alex Suleski on the line. Vittiglia was replaced due to injury just before half time, but he already caused the damage. But his absence wasn’t missed and on the hour Niccolo Sabattini shot crashed off the post, before Bulloch headed over from close range and Canham forced Davies into a fine reflex save 10 minutes later.

Balcatta huffed and puffed, but failed to find the target. The best effort came from the lively Hanafi Ghazali, whose shot was blocked, before Kavanagh’s header was tipped over by James Morgan. But the decisive third goal came eight minutes from time. Shaun Kilkelly sent Canham clear, his shot was blocked but Alex Morgan was on hand to tap home the rebound, to seal a good performance from Jamie Harnwell’s side.

25.6.2016

ATHENA EDGE OUT A GALLANT ARMADALE

Floreat Athena made it five games without defeat after a workman-like 2-0 win against a gallant Armadale at E&D Litis Stadium. Chris Saldaris opened the scoring just before half time, before Nathan Scully made sure of the points late. “Armadale are a hard team to play, you have to battle and you have to fight for the points and that’s what we did today,” Floreat Coach Glen Grostate said post-match. “I thought the defensive line was unbelievable today, the only way I thought we were going to concede was if we made a mistake, and we didn’t make many of them, but instead we worked hard and scored goals at the right time.”

Armadale, who were on four game losing streak, opened the brighter and went close early. Papa Kpatar made space down the flank and crossed to Ellis Healing, but the English midfielder’s volley flashed just over the top. Floreat were struggling in the final third without skipper Ludovic Boi and striker Lewis McMahon. Armadale should have scored on 43 minutes, a cross into the area was superbly chested down by Healing, but Anthony Skorich blazed wide.

That miss came back to haunt the visitors as two minutes later Floreat scored the opener. Phil Arnold was given too much space on the edge of the penalty area and his volley flew past Alex Radonich hit the underside of the bar and Chris Saldaris was quickest to react to score from close-range. Floreat doubled their advantage 20 minutes from time. Kris Gate squared the ball across to Scully, who lost his marker and finished low past Radonich.

It was a bitter blow for Paul Price’s side, who had given as good as they got in the game and to their credit they continued to press forward and they went close to pulling on back five minutes later. Dannie Richman found Danny Hodgson inside the penalty area, his first shot was blocked, but his second flashed wide of the target. It got worse for visitors and they finished the game with ten men when substitute Raveshlan Kuppusamy came off with an injury.

25.6.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND ELEVEN - REVIEW

Mandurah City moved three points clear at the top of the All Flags State League Division One after a hard fought 1-0 win in the local derby against Rockingham City at Lark Hill Sportsplex on Saturday evening. The only goal of the game came on the hour. Jon Brookes raced down the right cut inside his marker before cutting the ball back to Jordan Rhodes who made no mistake, firing into the roof of the net. “We didn't play to our best by any means, but were still able to create chances and come away from rocky with the points,” Mandurah keeper Brad Eiffe said. “A local derby is always a good win especially when playing a well drilled and determined Rockingham side. We know we can play a lot better, but to be able to grind out a result is a real show of character by all, and to get to the halfway point of the season undefeated and only conceding eight goals now gives a platform to push on for the second half of the season. Since coming into the side Doug, the coaches, the lads and all involved have made me feel at home and I'm really enjoying my football again and look forward to the second part of the season.”

Eiffe’s former club Forrestfield United moved into second spot after a 3-0 win against Gosnells City in their local derby at Walter Padbury Reserve. After a shaky first five minutes the visitors got on top and were ahead on ten minutes. Good lead up play between Mitch Crocker and Ben Rogers ended with a through ball to Liam Merigan, who rode two tackles before firing into the corner of the net past Jack Adams. Sixty seconds later it was 2-0, Rogers again playing in Merigan, who finished clinically. The points were wrapped up ten minutes into the second half a poor back pass from Chris O’Donnell rolled into the unguarded net. “It was a much anticipated local derby, and there was quality football played from both sides and spectator got their money’s worth,” Forrestfield defender Mark Barnett said. “Fantastic support from both sets of supporters made the day an intense and exciting one. Personally the game meant a lot to me and the boys put in an outstanding performance. We defended with heart, and we attacked with pure football freedom.”

Joondalup United lost ground on the leaders after a 2-1 defeat by Western Knights at Forrest Park. It started well for the home side when Jay Marsden’s shot from the edge of the box beat the keeper. The Knights hit back and levelled on the half hour. Adriano Jelenkavic played a one-two with Paul Lloyd and he ran clear and side footed into the corner of the net past James Bosdet. The Knights won it just after the hour. Lloyd raced clear from Ryan Tucker’s chip, and he lobbed the on-coming Bosdet to win it. “I thought we controlled the game and kept Joondalup’s good attacking threat quiet with some solid defending,” Lloyd said. “We showed lots of energy and threatened to score more, big win that shows we can beat anyone in the league.” Shamrock Rovers won for the first time under new coach Rob Richards with a 2-1 win against Canning City at Harold Rossiter Reserve. The home side were ahead when a ball over the top was brought down well by Will Pender and he finished well. The visitors levelled before the break, a neat turn by Callum Roberts on edge of the box and a good finish into the bottom corner. But Canning were reduced to ten men when Charlie Parry was sent off 10 minutes into the second half and Rovers won it Dean Leeper playing in Malek Domkoc, who finished into the corner of the net.

Ashfield retained fifth spot with a hard fought 1-0 win against UWA-Nedlands at the Ashfield Arena. Ashley Corker scored the only goal of the game 13 minutes into the second half, firing home from the edge of the penalty area. “I think a bit of our experience showed out today, in the first half there was opportunities at both ends, our keeper made a couple of good saves and we certainly in the first half had a couple of good chances to score,” Ashfield Coach Paul Dundo said post-match. “We didn’t take those chances and UWA kept going. It was one of those days where the game could’ve been 3-3 at half time. Ashley (Corker) played well, it's his first game in about seven to eight weeks so it’s pleasing to have him back in the side.” In the final game South West Phoenix are back in the winners’ circle after a 2-1 win against Dianella White Eagles at Hay Park. The home side were ahead early, Lee Stewart playing in Jayden Prosser who made no mistake. The home side then had James McCleary sent off and it was backs to the wall for the Phoenix. The Eagles leveled just after half time, Bright Ababio turning a free kick into his own net. But the striker made emends 15 minutes from time. He intercepted a pass on the edge of the penalty area and weaved his way into the box before squaring it to Stewart to score the winner. “It was a hard fought win and a much needed one after a few bad results in the last couple of games,” Ababio said. “We needed something to turn around our season and hopefully with the effort and heart every player put in, this will be that turn around. At the moment we trying to go one game at a time and see where we going to end up at the end of the season.”

25.6.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND ELEVEN - REVIEW

League leaders Fremantle City maintained their lead at the top of the All Flags State League Division Two with 5-1 win against Curtin University at Edinburgh Oval on Friday night. The visitors went ahead when Gareth Hamilton's corner picked out Ben West who rose above everybody to head home. It was 2-0 before the break, Hamilton’s cross was turned in by Alec Robinson. Curtin hit back after the break, Antony Russo heading home unmarked at the back post. But Fremantle took control and after some neat build up play, Robinson scored the third after Curtin didn't deal with the ball in the box. With Curtin pushing players forward they were caught out again, with Robinson scoring his hat-trick after a long ball from keeper Justin Scavaci. Robinson rounded off a great night for himself in scoring his fourth after being set up by some great work by Maddy Holman. “We were glad to get the win as we had to make quite a reshuffle Friday night having players out through sickness and injury,” Fremantle Coach Steve Plucknett said. “The young lads that came in played really well, and I certainly didn’t expect Curtin to concede five.”

Balga kept the pressure on the league leaders after a 2-1 win against Ellenbrook United at Arbor Grove Reserve. It was a tight first half with chances at both ends, but the visitors opened the scoring on 54 minute. A defensive error by an Ellenbrook defender ended with Kyall Osborne, whose half volley flew into the net. Ellenbrook levelled on the hour, and it was another defensive error this time by Balga, when an attempted clearance by Juma Awaka was missed, Curtis Wreglesworth had only the keeper to beat, and he made no mistake. Balga got the lead back five minutes later. Anton DeFrancesch made a darting run into the box, and he was brought down and Dinko Ahmetanovic celebrated his return to Balga by scoring the winner from the penalty spot. In other games Wanneroo City maintained their good form with a 1-0 win against Quinns FC at Gumblossom Reserve. The only goal of the game came from Nathan Grostate on 25 minutes. Melville City returned to the winner’s circle with a 1-0 win against Kingsway Olympic at Len Shearer Reserve. The only goal of the game came from a free kick from Mark Lucas that Logan McIsaac headed against the bar, and Christian Long was quickest to react to prod the ball home. “We played really well first half and were in control, but second half got a bit scrappy as they hit a lot of long balls to try to get back into it,” Melville Coach Gavin Brown said. “But we could have won by more, if not for a great double save from their keeper. We had seven out injured and our captain suspended, so a lot of young Reserves were promoted. I was delighted with their performances, and some of them really grabbed their opportunity, delighted to get a win after so many tight defeats, so onwards and upwards second half of the season.”

Joondalup City kept pace with the top two after a good 3-1 win against Swan United at the Swan Italian Club. The visitors were ahead early Sam Phillips was quickest to react when a Jamie Stewart header hit the post. Luke Wilson scored the second after Swan keeper Matt Battigelli fumbled a cross from Danny Allen. The home side hit back and Hicham Arma scored after a defensive mix up. With Swan pushing forward for an equaliser Joondalup hit on the counter attack, Sam Phillips crossing to Liam McGurk who’s shot was saved by Battigelli, but Tommy Bramley was on hand to slot the ball into the net from just outside the box. “We are very happy to come away with the three points from Swan. It was a difficult pitch to play on which did not suit our passing game,” Joondalup Coach Marco Schisano said. “But the lads rolled their sleeves up and battled away showing tremendous character especially with the number of players we have missing at the moment the boys are determined not to let this affect our results. Swan were dangerous going forward but we defended well and everyone put a huge effort into the match. It was important to win in order to keep up with the top two teams who show no signs of slowing down.”

In the final game Morley Windmills ended Kelmscott Roos recent good form with a 4-1 win at Wotton Reserve. Kelmscott made a perfect start and were ahead early. A ball into the penalty area by Simon Williams wasn’t dealt with and Arthur Gaye pounced to score. But the home hit back immediately, a through ball from Yohanes Tadesse in behind the defence sent Kyle King clear, and he rounded the keeper to finish. It was all square at the break but the home side soon hit the front. A cross from Ben Wantee was volleyed goalwards by King, and the rebound fell to Boas Mtwale to finish. Morley took control and added a third, with King crossing to Yves Mwi;a and he finished from edge of area. The points were made safe late, Matt Dean cut the ball back to edge of area and Tadesse whipped the ball into top right corner of the goal. “We were poor for the first 20-25 minutes, and made some bad decisions in key areas and went one nil down,” King said. “We got our act together after the first goal and had plenty of chances to go in at half time ahead, just unlucky with final balls. But second half we came out and dominated, good performance but we need to find a way to stop conceding early goals as ultimately it will cost us points.”

24.6.2016

JOURNEYMAN KEEPER REDDY JOINS GLORY

Perth Glory have strengthened their goalkeeping stocks by securing experienced shot-stopper Liam Reddy for the coming A-League season. Sydney-born Reddy, 34, has tallied up close to 300 national leagues appearances since making his senior debut for Parramatta Power in 2002.

Reddy, who played with Grand Finalists Western Sydney Wanderers last season, said he is looking forward to being part of an exciting and new era at Glory. "The club has assembled a strong squad for the year and I'm really excited to be part of a Perth Glory that is showing it means business on and off the park" he said.

Ironically, Reddy was Glory's foil back in 2009/10 when he saved two penalties in a shoot-out to send Wellington Phoenix in the semi-finals. "That was indeed a pulsating and exciting day for me but that's ancient history. I'm a Glory boy now and I'm coming over to do Perth and Western Australia proud" he commented.

Coach Kenny Lowe is confident there is a healthy mix of youth and experience amongst his goalkeepers. "Jordan Thurtell and Nick Feely have got great potential and we've also got someone like Liam who's played hundreds of games and comes to us with a wealth of experience," Lowe said.

But the Glory boss was quick to quash any suggestions that Reddy would be a walk-up start. "The top spot is open - you have to earn it," Lowe said. "Yes, Liam is a veteran when you look at his stats but it's up to the other lads to push him and keep him honest, so I expect all the guys to fight for their place."




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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