Lisa De Vanna will captain Australia at next month’s Women’s World Cup

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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 is hosting with studio guest Don Evans. With the A-league concluded, a new coach at Armadale and Bayswater city sitting on top of the NPL, plus the women’s state league heating up there’s plenty to chat about. Guests include Chris Coyne, Paul Price, Chad Bennett and Kaley Cornell.

22.5.2015

TRIBUTES TO WA FOOTBALL GREAT HANNIGAN (courtesy thewest.com.au)

WA football is paying tribute to one of its own following the death this week of colourful Scotsman Ernie Hannigan. The 72-year-old Glaswegian - a big mate of former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson - died on Thursday following a battle with cancer. Hannigan played top-flight football in England before moving to Perth in 1973, and was inducted into WA soccer's Hall of Fame three years ago.

Former Everton captain Mike Lyons, who has known Hannigan since moving to Perth nearly 15 years ago, said he was a one-off. “He was a really popular guy, everyone who knew him loved him,” Lyons said. “He just had this infectious laugh, you couldn’t help but like him. “A group of us catch up every Wednesday night at Kulcha (cafe) in Joondalup, just basically to talk about football. He was always there. He was also a regular at the Celtic Supporters Club down at Rosie O’Grady’s in Northbridge. “He’d been ill for a bit but it’s still very, very sad. He’ll be sorely missed by everyone.”

More than 200 people gathered at Rosie O’Grady’s last Saturday for a tribute night for Hannigan, although he was too ill to attend. A winger with Queen of the South in Scotland, and Preston North End and Coventry City in England, Hannigan also had short spells in Hong Kong and with New York Cosmos. In Perth he played for Stirling City and Morley Windmills, where he was player-coach when they won the 1975 D’Orsogna Cup. Hannigan was player-coach at Stirling Macedonia and Spearwood Dalmatinac, too, and briefly coached Inglewood. He played 12 times for the WA State team, making his debut against a touring Aberdeen side in 1974

Former Perth Glory coach Alan Vest was Hannigan’s coach with the WA State side in the mid-1970s. “Ernie was a great player and it was very sad to hear,” Vest said. “He was a typical winger and always played well for the State team.” Vest said Ferguson called Hannigan last week after he learnt how ill his friend was. In 2012, the legendary manager sent a signed shirt and personal message to Hannigan when he was inducted into the WA Hall of Fame. "I had to read it twice as I was thinking it must be the Hall of the Infamous," Ferguson wrote. "No sincerely Ernie, well done. I can go back all those years when we were young scallywags running around the streets of Glasgow and always valued your friendship then, as I do now. "The great constant factor in all the time I've known you is your enthusiasm and love for football. That has never wavered and to me that is special."

Hannigan, who lived with his wife Jenny in Woodlands, said he would regularly cross paths with Ferguson at railway stations when the pair where travelling to their respective games in Scotland. “Fergie never forgets you. I go home every two years and I see him nearly every time,” Hannigan told thewest.com.au three years ago. On a separate occasion he remembered seeing Ferguson in the team hotel in Moscow before United’s 2008 Champions League final triumph over Chelsea. After United’s penalty shoot-out success, Hannigan returned to the hotel where the celebrations were in full swing. Although Ferguson did not stay too long - he told Hannigan he could not be seen partying with the players - that did not stop Hannigan from kicking on and he even recalled dancing with England star Wayne Rooney.

Football West chairman Liam Twigger said Hannigan won admirers both as a player and person. “Ernie was an outstanding winger, who was such an exciting player to watch,” Twigger said. “He made a fabulous contribution to football in WA and will be sadly missed.”

22.5.2015

SHOCK RETIREMENT AT PERTH SC

The WA football family was shocked in the week when Perth SC winger Robert Sciascia was forced out of the game due to injury. The 26-year-old received the bad news from the doctors on Monday, and said it was a shock. “I’m devastated, but to honest I suspected I'd hear it from some experts and I'd often joke with many of my ex and current teammates about how I'd have to pack it in soon enough as I'm broken in more places than I can count,” he joked. “However I think it hit me hardest when the X-ray specialist mentioned it to me with no prior knowledge as to who I was or what I did. He found severe arthritis in my ankles and basically said you're at the end of your career as you know it and it's time to start considering other means of fitness. That was quite an unexpected shock.”

The injury came last season in a State Cup game against Port Kennedy and it was a game Sciascia wasn’t supposed to play in. “I was meant to be one of the senior players resting that game to recover for next weekend’s league game,” he explained. “I remember the coaches tossing up whether I should play or not, but in the end the decision was to play me to get some match fitness back after my previous injury which kept me out of a couple games. Unfortunately a late lunged tackle saw my ankle locking at 90 degrees and resulted in torn ligaments and muscles in my left ankle. After countless MRI's, ultra sounds, X-rays and physic visits the conclusion wasn't good and we decided to give last season a complete miss for a hope in full recovery this season. Unfortunately that wasn't to be as during my first full-speed training back with the team I managed to re-injure myself even more.”

He has had many great memories in his time at Dorrien Gardens, but his first game at the famous ground was the stand out for him. “I’ve had so many great memories at the home of Perth Soccer Club, and it's hard to distinguish any title from another,” he said. “But my best memory was my debut for the first team. I remember being captain of the reserves, but spent almost half a season benching for the first team. I was only 16 so you can imagine how impatient I was at times with not being able to get on the pitch. However my time finally came and the thing that hit me the most was how much support and guidance the older lads gave me. There was no pressure and I just slid right into the team and I think that just cemented my spot for the years to come.”

His talent was recognized by overseas clubs and he headed overseas for trials in Italy, and loved every minute of the experience. “Italy was an amazing experience and that goes without saying,” he said. “Unfortunately that's also when I started to get some serious injuries in my career. The highlight without a doubt was trialing at Juventus; it was something I will never forget. Their facilities and their players are just absurd and that really opened my eyes to what you need to aim for and what you should aspire to be.”

Sciascia has played with some fantastic players in his time at the club, and has been coached some of the best coaches in the state, but when asked about the player and coach who had the biggest influence on his football, he was quick to answer. “I think as far as players and coaches go, I've been blessed over my years. I've had nothing but top blokes both on and off the field,” he said. “If I had to choose I'd say that Graham Normanton is the most influential coach I've had at PSC. He picked me out of the reserves and offered me my debut, even though he thought I was 21 at the time. But even more so he was the kind of coach that has the ability to make or break a player. He was very successful as a coach for a reason and I believe that he's made a huge difference to the way I applied myself in games and never gave up.”

“As for players well I have had so many mentors it's hard to pick out a single player. But the ones that have been the most influential are Robbie Puca and Antonio Naglieri. I remember my father always telling me to watch Robbie in games as he was the master of not losing the ball. His commitment to the club and the game was second to none and that's probably the most important thing Pucs taught me. Nags was just a miracle worker in the midfield. We all know his first time balls are phenomenal and I honestly think he's one of the richest (skill) players this league has ever seen. I cannot thank the names above enough for the player they shaped me into.”

Current Perth Coach Taki Nicolaidis said Sciascia will be missed. “Robbie was an amazing player, who had plenty of skill and pace. He was very comfortable on the ball and his pin point crossing was amazing to watch,” he said. “He had a great attitude towards the game and had a strong work ethic. He was also very much a team player and very popular amongst the player group. He will be missed.”

So what is next for Sciascia? “Well I'm already teaching so I guess sooner or later coaching will be knocking at my door,” he said. “I'm definitely going to be showing my face around the club still, it is after all my footballing home. When I eventually recover from injury I presume I'll be playing a bit of Futsal...you know more ball less running wink, wink.”

22.5.2015

PS4 NPL-WA ROUND EIGHT – PREVIEW

In week 8 of the PS4 National Premier League WA the match of the round is the evening game between joint league leaders Floreat Athena and fourth placed Perth SC at E&D Litis Stadium (7pm). The home side have started the season well, winning the pre-season competition and are still undefeated in the league, but they will face a huge test with the visit of Taki Nicolaidis’ side. Defender Dennis Galan said the win last week at Inglewood was a huge result, especially with the poor weather. “The conditions were terrible and it was difficult to play our style of football, so we went a bit more direct and we got the result,” he said. “They (Inglewood) played well, and they could say they were a little unlucky, but Dejan Aleksic had a blinder in goal to lead us to the three points.” The visit of Perth is always a big occasion at the club and Galan believes it will be another tough test. “We have played them twice this season and both games have been very intense and fast paced,” he said. “We know what to expect from Perth, they have good ball players through the middle of the park, so we will have to keep an eye on that. But we will go out and keep playing our brand of football and hopefully get the three points.” Floreat will be missing Blair McGowan and Lewis McMahon, while Galan and Clayton Arnez are carrying injuries but should be available.”

Perth Coach Taki Nicolaidis will have striker Ashley Rosindale available, as he makes a return to his former club, and he said it’s a huge game. “It's a very big game for both clubs. Athena have been in great form all season and playing with a lot of confidence and belief, and as I keep saying if we are to finish in the top few we need to be beating teams around and ahead of us,” he said. “They (Athena) beat us fair and square in the NS and we beat them in the FFA cup, so with plenty at stake I'm sure both clubs will be going out to make sure they come away with three points.

Stirling Lions will be hoping for a repeat of their FFA win when ECU Joondalup make the trip to Macedonia Park. The Lions won 2-0 on that occasion, but defender Steve Purton said he expecting a tough game against a strong ECU side, and hoping to carry on their form, and a last gasp win at Subiaco last week. “The performance at Subiaco was great for us, especially conceding a late goal in terrible conditions, and we still had the determination to go on and win the game,” he said. “It was a statement we sent out, yes we are a good footballing side, but we can also grind out a result.” ECU hasn’t won in two games, but Purton said they have plenty of quality in their side. “They are a well organised team that is capable of beating anyone on their day,” he said. “We will approach the game as we have been in recent weeks and we defiantly won’t be taking them for granted.” The Lions will be missing Brodie Martin who is on his honeymoon, and Purton said he has been fined for this, and they will also be without Lawrence Shuruma who is overseas, while ECU will be sweating on the fitness of skipper Jon Higgins.

Paul Price’s first home game in charge of Armadale is the visit of Inglewood United to Alfred Skeet Oval. The Reds are unbeaten in their last two games, including a hard fought 2-2 draw last week at ECU Joondalup, in Price’s first game at the helm. Skipper Reece Davies said the confidence in the side has risen and said they were unlucky not to come away with the victory last week. “The result was good, and we were in the game for the whole 90 minutes and could have come away with the win,” he said. “We’ve shown great fighting spirit in the game after going behind twice, and it shows we are improving.” Davies said they have worked hard on the track with the new coach and is confident they can win their first game of the season against Inglewood. “We played them (Inglewood) in the Night Series and they looked a good side,” he said. “But we just have to focus on our game and make sure we defend well and take our chances when we get them. We’ve drawn our last two games and believe we can get the three points on Saturday.”

In other games Bayswater City travels to the Inglewood Stadium to take on Perth Glory, looking to keep their lead at the top of the table intact. Brian Farrell is in doubt with an ankle injury, while Bor Bor Sam will come up against his former club for the first time, and said they can’t take them lightly. “The game should be interesting because they are always pumped when it comes to playing Bayswater,” he said. “They always lift and treat it like a Cup Final, so we know we have to be on our game.” Balcatta will be looking to turn around a three game losing streak when they travel to Percy Doyle Reserve to meet Sorrento. Alex Caniglia will not be available for Balcatta, after he signed for NPLVIC side Richmond for the rest of the season, but Kieran Colwell, Shazalee Ramlee, Hanafi Ghazali and Blamo Qua Qua are all available. Sorrento will be without Niccolo Sabatini, who has returned to Italy, and Todd Harnwell is struggling with injury, but they do get Lewis Hall back from a hip injury. In the final game Subiaco AFC entertain Cockburn City at Rosalie Park. The home side will still be without the injured Ian McMurray and Rory Feeley, while skipper Nathan Diaz is suspended, but they will be hoping Danny Milne is fit to start. Cockburn will be missing Eamon McNelis and Euen Grant, but Jesse Fuller looks set for a return.

22.5.2015

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SIX – PREVIEW

The Match of the round in the All Flags Division one is local derby between Ashfield and Shamrock Rovers at the Ashfield Sports Club. Shamrock was leap frogged by Ashfield last week and Coach John O’Reilly is looking for an improvement from his side on Saturday. “I was disappointed with our performance in the first half against the Knights, but we improved in the second, and I think the draw was a fair result on the day,” he said. “Saturday will be another tough game for us, but one we’re looking forward too. We have lost and drawn our last two games so we will be eager to improve on this.” Ashfield coach Paul Dundo said Saturday will be a tight encounter but said they are getting better each week. “Last week was a good away win, in wet and windy conditions. I was very happy with the result and a clean sheet,” he said. “This week’s game is going to be a cracker, two teams who have ambitions of taking out the title, so it’s a chance for both sides to make a statement,” he said. “It’s on our home ground, so I know the players are up for the challenge, and it’s the clubs VIP Day, so that should add to the fixture.” In team news Shamrock are at full strength, but Ashfield will be missing Gary Hill, Nick Davies and Ruben Tristao, but Vice-captain Jay Lang is available for selection.

It’s top v bottom at Forrest Park when the unbeaten Joondalup United host Morley Windmills. United headed South last week and beat South West Phoenix and keeper James Bosdet said it was great performance from the side. “I thought we deserved the win, we wasted many chances In front of goal and could and should have killed the game off in the first half,” he said. “However with the Phoenix being a quality side they pushed us all the way and almost snatched a point in the final moments with two great chances, but a counter attack goal in the final seconds secured the win for us.” Bosdet is expecting a tough game on Saturday, with Morley fighting for their first points of the season. “I don't think there is an easy game in this league. We recently played Gosnells who have not recorded a point so far and was a very difficult game which they would of felt hard done by coming away with nothing from the game,” he said. “We will go into the game like any other and we will know that they will come out firing. Hopefully we can start well which we have been doing so far and continue the run that we are on.” United will have Adam Buckley pushing for a starting spot after returning off the bench last week.

Mandurah City will be looking to keep tabs on the league leaders when they take on UWA Nedlands at the Hyundai Stadium. The Dolphins won on the road last week and midfielder Jordan Rhodes said it was a good team performance. “Canning isn’t an easy place to play, the pitch was small and the conditions weren’t good but to keep in touch with the leaders we need to adapt and keep our consistency,” he said. I have no doubt they (Canning) will take points of other teams at the top over the course of the season s we’re happy to come away with the win.” UWA fought out a 3-3 draw last week at Dianella, and Rhodes said, in this league if you’re not on your game you will pay. “That was an interesting result last week, and they will come to our place looking do the same,” he said. “If we can match their intensity early, I believe our quality will shine through, but we will have to earn it.” Craig Young is still unavailable, while UWA have a number of players under a injury cloud.

In other games Western Knights entertain Canning City at Nash Field, Gosnells City host South West Phoenix at Walter Padbury Reseve, while Swan United goes in search of another three points when they host Dianella White Eagles at the Swan Italian Club. A first up win last week against Gosnells City has given The Swans a boost and defender Fraser Burt said the win has taken the monkey off their backs. “It was great to finally get the first win, and we played really well in the first half and should have gone into the break with more goals,” he said. “The second half was more like an arm wrestle but we worked hard to see it out.” Dianella are a talented side, but Burt said they take confidents into the game. “It’s another key game for us, against a good side, but we will be looking to win it,” he said. “We’ve been playing good football and we will be looking to build on this and get the points to move up the table.”

22.5.2015

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SIX – PREVIEW

League leader Rockingham City makes the trip to Raphael Park to take on Curtin University, in the Match of the Week in Week Six of the All Flags State Division Two. Last week Rocky won the top of the table clash against Quinns and Coach Rob Crerar said they played some good football. “It was a great win against a good Quinns’ side, and we had to work for it,” he said. “We went a goal behind and showed real character to fight back in difficult conditions.” Crerar rates this week’s opponents, and said it will be a tough trip. “I rate Curtin highly, they are still in my eyes one of the favourites for the top two spots,” he said. “I’m sure they will be disappointed with their start and will be doing everything to get the win on Saturday.”

A last minute goal denied Curtin last week at Balga, but Coach Campbell Ballantyne said it was a fair result. “It’s the second week in a row we have conceded an equaliser with the very last kick of the game, which is difficult to swallow, however in this instance it was probably a fair result,” he said. Ballentyne said Rockingham are the team to beat this season, but said Curtin are ready for them. “This week’s game is going to be another tough game. We’ve had two great games against Rockingham last year, and this weekend’s game will be the same,” he said. They have had a cracking start to the season but we have genuine belief that we can beat anyone if we play at our best.” In team news Rockingham regains the services of Matt McDonald, Alex Gayson, David Clark and Papa Kptar, while Curtin has Carlo Chellini and Rory Binnie back in the squad, but Bryce Young is still in doubt.

In other games Kelmscott Roos entertains Wanneroo City at Frye Park, the visitors are at full strength, but Coach Matt Debarro will have to watch from the stands after being sent from the bench last week. Quinns host Melville City at Gumblossom Park; Ellenbrook United makes the trip to Hilton Reserve to meet Fremantle City, while Balga take on Joondalup City at Princess Road Reserve.

The final game sees Olympic Kingsway hosting the in-form Forrestfield United at Kingsway Reserve. Olympic midfielder Andy O’Neill was on target last week in the draw at Wanneroo, and he said the new look side are getting better each week. “Our intensity and fight showed in the second half and we managed to score twice to take a point, and we were happy with our efforts,” he said. “We have a new side and are beginning to gel and we are looking forward to Saturday’s game against Forrestfield, to see how far we have come.” He is expecting another tough game against Rod Banjac’s side, who sit in second spot on the table. “They are definitely one of the teams to beat this season, and have players with the potential to play in higher leagues,” O’Neill said. “If we play and show the determination we’ve shown in the last two weeks I think we can take the points. I think our form has surprised a few people this season and we will be looking to do the same on Saturday.” The home side are at full strength, while Forrestfield are hoping Jimmy Duncan can shake off injury to start.

22.5.2015

TIME FOR BALCATTA TO GET MOVING (courtesy thewest.com.au)

Former Birmingham City goalkeeper Clint Davies has been around the game for long enough to know that Balcatta can climb through the ranks of the PS4 NPLWA. But he also knows that there is no time to waste. After an unbeaten four-match run at the start of the season, Balcatta have lost three in a row heading into Saturday’s match against Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. In seventh place, Balcatta are 11 points off the pace but are capable of closing the gap, according to Davies. “This is a huge game for us and we’ve got to get a result,” he said. “We have to start winning games again. We know we’re underachieving with what we feel we can do and we’re really focused on Saturday.”

Davies, who spent 10 years playing overseas, starting as a youth player with Birmingham and spending time at Bradford City and Bristol City, expects Sorrento to be fired up after last week’s heavy loss to league leaders Bayswater City. Danny Dixon and David Heagney scored two goals each and Brian Farrell was also on target as Bayswater extended their goal-difference lead over second-placed Floreat. “I’m sure Sorrento will react well; most teams do when they’ve been beaten like that,” Davies said. “They’ll be physical and in our faces, which is good because it will make sure we’re up and running. They’re a good side. They’re always in and around the top three or four teams and it will be a test for us.”

Surprisingly, the 32-year-old, who played junior soccer at Whitfords and Kingsway, is in just his second season in WA’s top flight, despite having returned to Perth from England five years ago. At the time, he could not commit to top-flight soccer with his focus on ensuring his English wife Mari-Anne settled in Perth. “My life was football in England and when we came back it was more about setting ourselves up and thinking about a career,” Davies said. He enjoyed his time at then second-tier club Wanneroo City before switching to Balcatta last season. The recent arrival of baby Millie has added another dimension to Davies’ life but he remains committed to Balcatta. “I’m really enjoying it; enjoying the banter and we’re all putting the hard work in,” he said.

22.5.2015

GLORY UP FOR BAYSWATER CLASH (courtesy nplwa.com.au)

Perth Glory coach John Gibson says his young side will relish the prospect of taking on the PS4 NPLWA’s benchmark club on Saturday. Glory will again be without promising striker Joe Knowles when they take on high-flying Bayswater City at Inglewood Stadium, but Gibson expects his players to rise to the occasion. “It’s a massive test for the players but it’s also an exciting challenge,” Gibson said. “They are coming up against guys who are previous A-League and NYL players; they’re the best team and have been the benchmark in the competition for a few years now.”

Knowles, who scored 10 goals in the last National Youth League season, has not played since Glory’s ANZAC Day draw against Floreat Athena and is likely to be out for up to six weeks with a foot injury. He has made only three appearances this season and scored a hat-trick against Armadale in Round 2. “It’s a big loss for us because goalscorers are hard to come by and Joe is a typical goalscorer, who’s been progressing really nicely,” Gibson said. “It’s hard on young players when they’re injured because they all want to be out there, but he’s a resilient sort of kid.”

Stefan Valentini, who has scored twice this season, will continue to lead the line. “It’s another opportunity for Stefan, who’s a real handful and has been working really hard,” Gibson said. Former Liverpool junior Tom King is likely to return the Glory squad after recovering from a quad injury, while 16-year-old Michael Mcdougall may again be included after making his debut as a substitute against Perth last week. While Glory’s focus is on the development of young players, results have been hard to come by with a win and a draw from seven matches leaving them second from bottom in the 12-team competition.

Bayswater sit top of the table, ahead of second-placed Floreat Athena on goal difference. Last week’s 5-0 thrashing of Sorrento was an ominous warning with new signing Danny Dixon scoring twice and 2013 McInerney Gold Medal winner David Heagney also helping himself to a double in the win. At Rosalie Park, where Subiaco will host Cockburn City, a moment’s silence will be observed to acknowledge the recent passing of long-time Cockburn supporter and sponsor Peter Mirco.

21.5.2015

IMPORTANCE OF ARMADALE CLASH NOT LOST ON PAVLOVIC (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)

Steely defender Jovo Pavlovic considers this weekend’s clash with bottom-of-the-table Armadale the perfect opportunity to re-launch Inglewood United’s season. Results so far this winter have more often than not gone against Michael Garcia’s team, which is locked in the bottom half of the National Premier Leagues ladder.

Over the past fortnight the player group has taken stock of their position and, together with the coaching team, mapped out a path forward. Pavlovic, who joined Inglewood during the off-season, says it won’t be long before results begin to go in their favour, and what better time to start that than now.

“It’s a must-win game for us,” asserted Pavlovic ahead of Inglewood’s visit to Alfred Skeet Oval on Saturday. “We’ve not had the best of starts to the season and we need to take points where possible, and Armadale is one those games. For us to take anything less than three points this weekend will be unacceptable.”

Armadale may be winless from seven starts but the recent appointment of former Wales defender Paul Price to the head coach role has renewed their enthusiasm. “It would be dangerous for us to underestimate them,” commented Pavlovic, who is tipping a tough 90 minutes. “They will be going out hard to get anything from this game.”

Pavlovic insists Inglewood is much better than their currently ranking of ninth suggests. “We deserve to be at the higher end of the ladder,” he said. “We’ve shown we can match it with the leagues better teams but so far we have nothing to show for it. You look at where we stand on the table and it really frustrates you.”

Despite that frustration, the player group remains upbeat and confident of climbing up the NPL standings. “It should only be a matter of time before we get things rolling,” said Pavlovic. “We haven’t clicked yet in terms of going forward, attacking and scoring goals. That will come in due course, and when it does it could be frightening.”

21.5.2015

MATILDA’S THRASH VIETNAM

Australia will head to the upcoming Women’s World Cup with an added dose of self-belief after trouncing Vietnam 11-0 in their final pre-tournament hit-out. The Matilda’s raced out of the blocks by scoring eight times inside the half-hour, including a stunning six-goals in nine minutes at Sydney’s Kogarah Oval. Striker Michelle Heyman snared a hat-trick while there were doubles for Samantha Kerr and Lisa De Vanna. Katrina Gorry, Laura Alleway, Emily van Egmond and Caitlin Foord were also on the scoresheet.

21.5.2015

LYONS NAMED EVERTON 'GIANT'

Everton have honoured their Perth-based former captain Mike Lyons overnight at the club's player of the year awards ceremony. The Premier League club named Lyons as their latest "Giant", inducting him into their hall of fame. A fearless centre-half, Liverpool-born Lyons played for the Toffees 390 times during the 1970s and early 1908s, scoring 48 times. Lyons has been in WA for more than a decade and has coached at Stirling Lions and Cockburn City, as well as helping bring through a number of talented youngsters at ECU Joondalup.

18.5.2015

DE VANNA NAMED MATILDAS CO-CAPTAIN

Veteran striker Lisa De Vanna has been handed a leadership role for the first time by being named the Matilda’s co-captain for next month's Women's World Cup alongside Clare Polkinghorne. De Vanna, who has enjoyed a distinguished international career since making her Matilda’s debut in 2004, said being given the responsibility of co-captaincy is an honour she admitted brought her to tears. “I was a little bit shocked when I was told I would be a captain, I’ve been in this team for a very long time and a lot of the girls know how passionate I am and how much I go out and play with my heart on my sleeve for this team, so when Staj (coach Alen Stajcic) told me I was going to be a co-captain I cried,” said De Vanna.

De Vanna, 30, said she will draw on all her years of experience in captaining the side. “I’ll be the type of captain that people can rely on when things are down, and when things are great that I’m going to keep pushing them,” she said. “I like to lead by example through my actions on the field so hopefully I can do that for the team at the World Cup. I love what I do and I love playing for my country, and to go out there and lead my country with the talented team we’ve got, I honestly believe this team can go all the way and leave a legacy.”

18.5.2015

TOMBIDES CONFIRMS WEST HAM DEPARTURE

The Tombides family will no longer be represented at West Ham United after Taylor Tombides revealed he will be leaving the club at the end of the season. Tombides, 19, made the announcement that he will be looking for a new club next month after being released by the Hammers via twitter. "I'm sad to say I will be leaving West Ham United at the end of the season," he wrote. "It's been a pleasure to play for the Hammers.

Tombides went on to thank the London club for the support it had given his family during the period in which his elder brother Dylan, a fellow Academy member, passed away. "I can't thank everyone at the club enough for giving me the chance to play at such a great club and can't thank the staff and the fans enough for the support you have given me and my family while going through the loss of my brother."

Earlier this year Tombides, who has been representing Hull City's academy in recent weeks as he seeks to earn a contract, launched the DT38 Foundation in memory of his brother. The organisation campaigns to raise awareness and provide support for those suffering from testicular cancer, the disease which cost his brother his life in 2014.

16.5.2015

ATHENA EASE PAST INGLEWOOD

Floreat Athena kept pace with league leaders Bayswater City with a 3-1 win against Inglewood United, at Inglewood Stadium on Saturday evening. Skipper Ludovic Boi opened the scoring just after the half hour, but the home side levelled through Kenny Keogh before half time. But Clayton Arnez edged Floreat back in front, before another goal to Boi wrapped up the points. “We have had seven games now and win six of them,” midfielder Kris Gate said. “Glen (Grostate) keeps giving us point targets and so far we have matched them. The next three games will be our toughest run and hopefully we can carry on our goal scoring form into them.”

Fresh off their first win of the season, Inglewood opened brightly but it was Floreat who opened the scoring on 32 minutes. Boi picked the ball up midway into the Inglewood half and skipped through a number of tackles and raced into the penalty area and finished low past Aleks Vrteski. But their lead was short lived as the home side levelled seven minutes later. Ryan Clarke’s through ball sent Keogh clear and he finished clinically past Dejan Aleksic.

Both sides had good chances before the break. First up David Sesay failed to find the target after being picked out by the lively Scott Witschge, before Vrteski had to be alert to save low from Bobby Wilson’s effort.

The home went close to take the lead early in the second half, with Keogh’s back heel saved superbly by Aleksic. But on the hour the visitors regained their advantage. Dennis Galen played a great through ball to Arnez, whose first touch took him clear of his marker and he finished with aplomb past Vrteski. The points were wrapped up 11 minutes from time. A poor clearance from Vrteski went straight to Boi, who raced forward, rounded the keeper and finished into an empty net.

16.5.2015

ASPDEN SHINES IN COCKBURN WIN

Cockburn City keeper Curtis Aspden returned to the side and was in great form in the 3-1 win against Balcatta at Dalmatinac Park. The WA State keeper produced a number of saves, while goals from Rory Patterson, Friday Zico and Harry O’Brien saw Cockburn home, while an own goal from Alan Carroll was the only reply for Balcatta. “We had a hard draw at the start of the season, but we have been awful and hopefully this is the kick start for us,” Aspden said. “We have a lot of experience in the spine of the team, but we also have some younger players who are learning their trade, and hopefully they can grow in to it.”

The home side were ahead on 26 minutes, Patterson saw his first shot blocked by Balcatta keeper Clint Davies, but the striker was quickest to the rebound firing home to give Cockburn the lead. However, their lead only lasted for 10 minutes. A short corner caught Cockburn napping, and Adrian Caceres cross into the area flicked off Cockburn defender Alan Carroll to level.

Cockburn came out the better after the break, Carroll heading over early, before Julian Teles blazed over on 56 minutes. Aspden came to his sides rescue on the hour, Gustavo Catarcione crossed to Caceres, whose effort was superbly saved by the Cockburn keeper. That save became more significant when Cockburn regained the lead on 74 minutes. Patterson’s deep cross found second half substitute Zico, who headed home.

Balcatta pressed for the equaliser, and they thought they had found it six minutes later, but Aspden had other ideas. Patrick Quinn’s cross from the right deflected off Devon Gibson, and it was heading for the corner of the net, but Aspden produced a stunning reaction save at his near post. The points were made save for the home side in stoppage time. Zaw fed Patterson’ who unselfishly pulled the ball back to O’Brien who scored from five-meters.

16.5.2015

BAYSWATER THUMPS THE GULLS

Bayswater City produced a magnificent performance to thrash Sorrento 5-0 at Frank Drago Reserve. Danny Dixon and David Heagney both scored braces, with Brian Farrell scoring the other, as City maintained their lead at the top of the table. “I thought the first half was pretty even, even though it was 2-0 at half time,” Dixon said. “We changed the formation at half time and in the second half the game opened up a lot for us and I thought we dominated and took our chances well.”

Sorrento opened brightly and had a couple of early chances, but failed to convert. The best fell to Jason Mirco, whose close-range header was well saved by Devon Spence. But their profligacy in front of goal came back to hurt them with City opening the scoring on the quarter hour. Gustavo Giron-Marulanda played a great though ball for Farrell, who slotted the ball home into the bottom corner of the net. Sorrento had chances to level, but Mirco headed wide, and Thomas Boss saw his long-range shot pushed wide by Spence. But again Bayswater produced the goods and doubled their advantage before the break. Borbor Sam made space down the left, and cut the ball back to Dixon who finished low past James Morgan.

The home side took control of the game and added a third six minutes after the break. Sam was the provider again, his cross was deflected onto the post by a Sorrento defender and Heagney was quickest to react to fire home from close-range. Then on the hour it was 4-0. Giron-Marulanda ball fell to Dixon, who fired home from the edge of the penalty area via the post. The scoring was wrapped up eight minutes from time. Heagney was brought down in the area and referee Matt Southern pointed to the spot. Heagney picked himself up and sent Morgan the wrong way from the spot. It could have been worse but Morgan saved twice late to deny Declan Hargreaves and Sam in the closing minutes.

16.5.2015

PRICE OPENS WITH A POINT

New Armadale coach Paul Price opened his tenure at the club with a hard fought 2-2 draw against ECU Joondalup at the ECU Football Stadium. Tommy Amphlett had given the home side the lead early, but Danny Hodgson equalised on the half hour. 15-year-old Bayley Montgomery came off the bench to put ECU back in front but a stunning strike from Caleb Dixon shared the spoils. “I thought on the day we could have taken all three points, but everyone was happy with a second draw in two weeks and it's something we can build on,” Hodgson said.

The home side was on top early and should have hit the front on 15 minutes. Paul Miller sent Amphlett racing clear, and was one-on-one with Armadale keeper Dylan Wilson, but the striker fired wide of the target. But seven minutes later he made no mistake as ECU hit the front. Amphlett latching on to a though ball and lobbing the on-coming Wilson. Armadale hit back and were level on 31 minutes. The lively Hodgson burst into the penalty area and was brought down by Ryan Lowry, and referee Josh Mannella pointed straight to the spot. Hodgson picked himself up, but ECU keeper Jamie Serra produced a great save, but Hodgson was quickest to react to the rebound firing home to level.

It was a tight opening to the second half, with chances few and far between, but the home side went close on 69 minutes. Stuart Montgomery had only been on the pitch for a minute, and his header from Joe Smith’s cross was heading for the corner of the net, but a great reaction save from Wilson denied him. Youngster Bayley Montgomery, who had trials with Aston Villa earlier in the year, was a constant threat and the youngster gave ECU the lead with his first NPL goal. Lowry ball found him, and his first touch took him clear and he finished clinically past.

Armadale hit back immediately; Dixon was given far too much space in the middle of the park, and his long-range shot flew into the corner of the net giving Serra no chance. Both sides had chances late. Dixon caught the ECU defence napping, and headed goalwards, but Lowry got back with a last ditch tackle. Then in injury time Stuart Montgomery seized on a mistake from Wilson, but saw his shot cleared off the line.

16.5.2015

LIONS LEAVE IT LATE AT SUBIACO

Stirling Lions continued good start to the season after a 3-2 win against Subiaco AFC at Rosalie Park. But they left it very late with the winner coming in the second minute of stoppage time with an own goal from the unfortunate Alex Triglaucania. David Micevski had given the Lions the lead early, but James Oliver levelled before half time. Lawrence Shuruma but the visitors back in front, but Danny Milne looked like he had earned the home side a point late on before the own goal. “It was a scrappy match, but I thought over the course of the 90 minutes we did create more opportunities and deserved the win,” Micevski said. “We showed great character after they equalised, to keep pushing forward to get the late winner.”

The visitors had the great opportunity to take the lead when midfielder Anthony Bafobusha was brought down in the box, and referee Adam Fielding pointed straight to the spot. Robert Petkov stepped up, but saw his penalty crash off the post and away to safety. But that miss was forgotten on 25 minutes when the visitors hit the front. Petkov ran at the Subiaco defence and slid the ball into Micevski, who finished clinically past Ryan Montgomery. The Lions continued to dominate, but couldn’t find the second, and in the shadows of half time the home side levelled. Oliver’s free kick was misjudged by Lions keeper Connor Campbell and the ball went into the net to make it all square at the break.

Subiaco keeper and back four were working overtime as the Lions pressed but there was little they could do five minutes after the break as the Lions regained the lead. Shuruma lost his marker in the penalty area and finished low past Montgomery. But Gerry McEwan’s side hit back and with five minutes remaining they levelled. Import striker Milne finding the net, much to delight of the Subiaco faithful. But their celebrations were cut short in stoppage time, when the Lions won it. There looked little danger when a ball came into the area, but Miki Vujacic’s flick caused problems and Triglaucania headed the ball up and over the keeper and into his own net to give the Lions the points.

16.5.2015

ATHENA EASE PAST INGLEWOOD

Floreat Athena kept pace with league leaders Bayswater City with a 3-1 win against Inglewood United, at Inglewood Stadium on Saturday evening. Skipper Ludovic Boi opened the scoring just after the half hour, but the home side levelled through Kenny Keogh before half time. But Clayton Arnez edged Floreat back in front, before another goal to Boi wrapped up the points. “We have had seven games now and win six of them,” midfielder Kris Gate said. “Glen (Grostate) keeps giving us point targets and so far we have matched them. The next three games will be our toughest run and hopefully we can carry on our goal scoring form into them.”

Fresh off their first win of the season, Inglewood opened brightly but it was Floreat who opened the scoring on 32 minutes. Boi picked the ball up midway into the Inglewood half and skipped through a number of tackles and raced into the penalty area and finished low past Aleks Vrteski. But their lead was short lived as the home side levelled seven minutes later. Ryan Clarke’s through ball sent Keogh clear and he finished clinically past Dejan Aleksic.

Both sides had good chances before the break. First up David Sesay failed to find the target after being picked out by the lively Scott Witschge, before Vrteski had to be alert to save low from Bobby Wilson’s effort.

The home went close to take the lead early in the second half, with Keogh’s back heel saved superbly by Aleksic. But on the hour the visitors regained their advantage. Dennis Galen played a great through ball to Arnez, whose first touch took him clear of his marker and he finished with aplomb past Vrteski. The points were wrapped up 11 minutes from time. A poor clearance from Vrteski went straight to Boi, who raced forward, rounded the keeper and finished into an empty net.

16.5.2015

PERTH TAKES THE GLORY AT DORRIEN GARDENS

Perth Soccer Club maintained the pressure on the league leaders after a 2-1 win against Perth Glory at Dorrien Gardens. Perth striker Nick Ambrogio gave the home side the lead in the first half, before Carlo Coelho doubled their advantage early in the second half, while Ali Gholami scored the Glory’s consolation goal in stoppage time. “The boys played well against a strong Glory side, but we stuck to the game plan and came up with the win” Ambrogio said. “We managed to make some good chances up front and do enough to hold them off, and it’s good to get back to winning ways after last week’s draw at Sorrento.”

The Glory youngsters went close to the opener on 20 minutes, Jacob Collard’s long-range free kick beat Alex Dunn, but the crossbar came to keepers rescue. Perth settled and was rewarded with the lead on the half hour. Skipper Clark Keltie’s cross picked out Ambrogio at the back post, and the young striker headed home past Jordan Franken. Both sides pressed before half time, but at the break the home side led 1-0

Perth doubled their advantage eight minutes into the second half. Ambrogio was again involved, he picked out Mark Pritchard, the midfielders shot was well saved by Franken, but Coelho was the quickest to react to fire home from close-range. To the Glory’s credit they continued to take the game to their hosts, and Nic Talimdzioski went clear through with only Perth keeper Dunn to beat, but the Perth custodian stood tall to save.

Moments later Stefan Valentini was played through by Slobodan Vulin, but again Dunn was equal to the task and saved well. The Glory was finishing the game well, and Spaseski long-range shot flashed just wide, and in stoppage time they pulled a goal back. Vulin’s free kick wasn’t dealt with by Dunn and Gholami bundled the ball home from close-range.

16.5.2015

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FIVE – REVIEW

Joondalup United continued their perfect start to the season with a 3-1 win against South West Phoenix at Payne Park. Lee Jones scored a brace for United, with Adam Buckley scoring the other. Phoenix’s goal was scored by Lee Stewart. The visitors had the better opportunities in the first half, but Jamie Oakley in the Phoenix goal was in fine form to deny them. He saved well to thwart Arron Maplestone and Callum Stocks, but he could do little when United hit the front, Jones racing clear and firing clinically past the keeper. The home side levelled on the stroke of half time, a stunning strike from Stewart giving United keeper James Bosdet no chance. After the break the home side were on top, but couldn’t turn their possession in to goals, but United showed them how do it midway through the half. Substitute Adam Buckley, who was back in the squad after breaking his foot in the Night Serie, and with his first touch fired home after good approach work from Nicky Sharples. With the home side chasing the game they were caught out again, with Lee adding his second, much to the delight of the travelling supporters. “It was really a game of two halves,” United Coach John Evans said. “It was a very competitive game, played by two very committed teams, and I thought Phoenix played really well second half, and they were a credit to Trent (Hathaway) and the coaching staff. “

Mandurah City moved up to third on the table after a 4-1 win against Canning City at Burrendah Reserve. The visitors were ahead on the quarter hour, Jordan Rhodes latched on to a chested down ball from Craig Tone, to fire home from long-range. It was 2-0 four minutes later, Abe Tcuono cutting in from the right and fired home from five-meters. Tcuono added his second and City’s third five minutes into the second half, after great though ball from Rhodes. Daniel Trevisiol pulled one back for Canning, but the points were wrapped up late when Jeff Bright scored. “We controlled the game for long periods, although Canning kept playing and pushed us,” said Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh. “They are not an easy team to play against, but I thought our lads really played for each other and the work rate and quality of play was exceptional in challenging conditions we are delighted with the three points.”

UWA-Nedlands came away from Dianella Reserve with a 3-3 draw against Dianella White Eagles. Kim Mengbom gave the visitors a 2-0 early lead at the break, but Andreas Angel levelled midway through the half. Alex Kretowicz put UWA back in front with five minutes remaining, but the visitors were reduced to ten men when Kapembwa Sikazwe received a second yellow card. Then late Dianella equalised through Cesar Gonzales, to take a share of the spoils. “In fair both sides were fairly even, while the weather and pitch did know favours for any team,” UWA Coach James Rae said. “We have to lift now for the away test against Mandurah, which we are looking forward too.”

In other games Swan United won for the first time this season, beating Gosnells City 2-1 at the Swan Italian Club. A brace from Nick Phipps won it for Salv Todaro side, while Luke McCord scored for Gosnells. Ashfield travelled to Wotton reserve and came away with a 2-0 win, with goals either side of half time by Liam Merigan. In the final game Shamrock Rovers and Western Knights fought out a 1-1 draw at Grimley Reserve. The visitors were ahead at the break with C. Thurston scoring, but the home side hit back to level in the second half. Paul Concannon whipped in a corner and Dan Corbett got a slight flick and a Knights defender put it in his own net.

16.5.2015

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FIVE – REVIEW

Balga continued their resurgence under new coach Bobby Taneski after an entertaining 3-3 draw against Curtin University at Princess Road Reserve. A 94th minute equaliser from Dinko Ahmetanovic rescued the point for the home side that are unbeaten in their last three games. Eddie Tikoft had given Curtin the lead after only 12 minutes, finishing from a corner. Balga pressed hard for the equaliser for the rest of the half, but they found Curtin keeper Ranjeet Sekhon in good form. But there was little the Curtin custodian could do when Balga levelled early in the second half, Dimce Taneski firing home after a goalmouth scramble. The home side were ahead on the hour, with Kye Middleton putting the ball into his own net. But second half substitute Khaled Salhah restored parity with 10 minutes remaining, firing low past Ollie Rigler. The visitors thought they had won it in on 88 minutes, Smith bundling the ball home from close-range. But with the last kick of the match Balga got there deserved point. Ahmetanovic’s free kick beat Sekhon, and crashed off the upright and into the net to set off wild celebrations from the Balga players and supporters alike.

The Northern derby between Wanneroo City and Kingsway Olympic at Wanneroo Reserve also ended in a 3-3 draw. The home side dominated early and Tom Black scored early before Stuart Siddall headed home a second at the near post. Tom Kilkelly’s side was back in the game before half time, with Andy O’Neill scoring. The hosts regained their two goal advantage with Black added his second, before O’Neill scored his second to set up a tense finish. Then late on Kingsway won a penalty for handball and Ian McKean fired low past Cory Hugo to give both sides a share of the spoils.

In other games Forrestfield United beat Fremantle City at Hartfield Park, with Ben Rogers and Chris Perrott on target, while Rockingham City won the top of the table clash against Quinns 3-1 at Lark Hill. The home had to come from behind after Quinns scored early, but an own goal, and others to Shane Boyle and Gersham Rowland gave the home side the points. “I was really pleased with Saturday’s win in really difficult conditions,” Rockingham coach Rob Crerar said. “To come back from a goal down showed the character in our group and that our younger players are maturing.” Melville City thrashed Kelmscott Roos 7-1, with Christian Long bagging a hat-trick, with others from 3, Thomas Jeges, Logan McIsaac, Simon El Chami and Blake Readwin. In the final game Joondalup City beat Ellenbrook United 6-2. Mark Thornton scored a hat trick, Bobby Irving a brace and Danny Welsh the other.

17.5.2015

MACLAREN WANTS OUT

Young striker Jamie Maclaren has lodged a formal breach-of-contract notice against Perth Glory as he seeks to leave the embattled A-League club. The 21-year old submitted the notice to the Professional Footballers’ Australia union on Thursday in the latest fallout for Glory following their ban from this season’s finals series due to salary cap breaches. Maclaren, Glory’s second-highest scorer last season with nine goals, is believed to have lost faith in his chances of a regular starting role under coach Kenny Lowe while Irish striker Andy Keogh remains at the club.

16.5.2015

RUKAVYTSYA, MADASCHI AND WARD RELEASED AS WESTERN SYDNEY SWING THE AXE

Just three years after they came into existence Western Sydney Wanderers are virtually starting from scratch again after sacking ten players. Socceroos striker Tomi Juric, crowd favourite Kerem Bulut and veteran goalkeeper Ante Covic head the list of departures which includes West Australians Nikita Rukavytsya, Nick Ward and Adrian Madaschi, foundations players Iacopo La Rocca and Jason Trifiro along with Antony Golec and Nick Kalmar. It comes a week after the club re-signed coach Tony Popovic to a three-year contract extension.

16.5.2015

GLORY’S DUNCAN OFF TO DENMARK

Perth Glory have confirmed reserve goalkeeper Jack Duncan has signed for Danish club Randers FC. Duncan impressed the Randers coaching staff during January trials sufficiently enough to be offered a two-year contract with the club. “It's a really exciting time for me,” Duncan said. “I feel over the last five years in the A-League I have really developed and been lucky to now have an opportunity to further that development overseas. The Danish league is quite strong and I feel that this move will help me grow as a player.”

Duncan, an Australian youth international, will fly to Denmark early next month to complete a medical with the club before joining the start of the European pre-season in July. The loss of the 22-year old could leave Glory with a massive hole to fill between the posts given the uncertain future of ‘keeper Danny Vukovic. It is understood Vukovic is disgruntled with Glory’s handling of the salary cap scandal and has been targeted by rival A-League franchises in the Eastern States.




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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