WA'S GOOD DISPLAY
The highlight of any W.A. soccer year in the past has been the visit of an overseas team, usually from England. On odd occasions teams from other parts of Europe have toured Australia. Hence a State team has been gathered together for three months training for one big moment. However, 1970 produced a radical change in our international relations and from the start of the year W.A. was embroiled in State matches the like of which we had never seen before.
No longer could our State players relax with time to think of their one big moment to come. A State squad quickly became a permanent item and along with it came many problems, least of which was the availability of time and players. Our players are by necessity amateurs, though we tend to call them semi-professional because they receive certain amounts for the efforts if they are deemed good enough. Consequently they work for a living devoting their spare time to soccer.
Last year, we had seven visiting teams in Perth and we competed in two overseas tournaments - the Merdeka tournament and the new Indonesian Anniversary Tournament played in Djakarta. State authorities were faced with a problem - how to select and maintain our strongest State side. This proved impossible, especially when it came to sending teams overseas within the space of three months. Players were either not prepared to sacrifice wages (and who can blame them) or employers were not prepared to co-operate by releasing players from their employment. Without the support of the business community there is little hope of producing a permanent squad of our elite that can be welded into an understanding, disciplined force.
Despite this problem. W.A. had its best year against overseas teams and a foundation that promises to provide better years. W.A. recorded four draws and three losses - a record that few would have thought possible when the year began.
W.A. 2 (Van Oosten 2) Hertha 03 Zehlendorf 2 (Koppe, Suhnholz)
Our first success came with the appointment of former Australia and State player Doug Stewart as State coach. With his terms of reference allowing him a free hand to select as he wished. Stewart selected radically and departed from the squad that played in the 1969 Merdeka tournament. With only two weeks in which to prepare a side he selected Owen Nuttridge, Tommy Carruthers, Alex Senjushenko, John Miller, Richard Kusimski, Mike McKinley, Alfred Debono, Peter Holt, George Holzrnan. John Van Oosten and Zyggie Olzchok with reserves being Stan Bartley, Gary Mateljan, Tony Eikhoudt and Archie Van Dongen.
It came as a pleasant surprise when in the 3Oth minute Van Oosten gave W.A. the lead with a well-placed shot under the falling body of goalkeeper Michael Kellner. W.A. made the normal amount of mistakes but as confidence grew so they assumed a stature not normally associated with under-dogs. Hertha tried to establish their superiority in the second-half and snatched the lead with goals by Klaus Koppe and Wolfgang Suhnholz in the 57th and 6Oth minutes. Most people would have been happy with such a score. W.A. having satisfied honour, but in the 67th minute the crowd came roaring on their feet as Van Oosten accepted a perfect pass from winger Peter Holt to slam a powerful shot past Kellner for the equaliser.
TEAM : Owen Nuttridge, Tommy Carruthers, Alex Senjushenko, John Miller, Richard Kusimski, Mike McKinley, Alfred Debono, Peter Holt, George Holzman. John Van Oosten, Zyggie Olzchok. RESERVES: Stan Bartley, Gary Mateljan, Tony Eikhoudt, Archie Van Dongen
Inter-Bratislava 4 (Sykora 2, Oblonzinsky, Krnac) beat W.A. 0
The heady feeling of success against Hertha 03 evaporated against the class of the Czechoslavakian first division masters Inter-Bratislava as W.A. crashed to a 4-0 defeat. Already the problems associated with semi-professional soccer in W.A. made themselves felt and Stewart was forced to made a number of changes because of injuries and other reasons. Without making too many excuses, W.A. was just not good enough. They provided a timid approach in midfield and attack with only the defence once again able to keep the score down with some magnificent checking.
TEAM: Pipa Crifa, Senjushenka, Kusimski, McKinley, Denis Yeomans, Carruthers, Jim Logan, Holt, Van Dongen, Debono, Van Oosten. RESERVES: Peter Mitchell, Mateljan, Bruno Moracchi, Bartley.
Moscow Dynamo 5 (Everushkin 2, Semin, Eshtrekov, Anichkin) beat W.A. 0
The criticism of timidity against the Czechs resolved itself into a fighting performance against the surprise visit of the Russian first division side Moscow Dynamo. For the first time business concerns had involved themselves in bringing out soccer teams and TVW 7 and His Majesty's Theatre had a hand in proceedings. Never before has soccer in W.A. received such publicity as the match was blared at us from the silver screen. A total of 12,000 people turned up to see battle and the ledgendary figure of Soviet sport goalkeeper Lev Yashin. Dynamo proved an unimaginative side and despite their 5-0 victory lacked true penetration in attack.
W.A. contributed at least two goals to the visitors, one through full-back Kusimski and a second from a bad goal kick by Mitchell. One goal from Victor Anichkin, who came from deep in defence to score, was a thunderbolt that no-one could have stopped. The other two were the results of fine team work that split the W.A. defence and were scored from point-blank range.
For two thirds of the game, W.A. held their own with first,time tackling, accurate passing and fine teamwork, proving that W.A. has the ability to produce quality football if they put their minds to it. W.A. was far from disgraced, but never again should a match of this calibre be played at the Claremont show grounds where spectators have difficulty in seeing. The pitch was invaded by thousands of spectators before the game started and it was played with crowds breathing down the players necks.
TEAM: Mitchell, Carruthers, Senjushenko, Kusimski, Eric Edmonds, McKinley, Mateljan, Yeomans, Logan, Van Oosten, Holt, Olschok. RESERVES: Marocchi, Crifo, Van Dongen, John Miller.
Australia 6 (Alston, Armstrong, Votjek, Warren, Manuel, Quested) beat W.A. 2 (Van Oosten, O'Callaghan).
The on-again, off-again temperament of W.A.'s displays was once again shown to disastrous effect and this time against the national side, who had just finished a tour in Asia, winning the Friendship Cup in South Vietnam. This was an important match for W.A. players if they wanted to press their claims for a chance in the Australian sides of the future. But from the start it appeared that W.A. was not interested in national selection or the match. Back came their inferiority complex and Australia strolled through the match.
When Van Oosten rose high to nod home a corner from Peter Holt in the 10th minute to equalise, after Adrian Alston had opened the scoring one would have been excused for thinking that W.A. was now ready for the match of their lives. But W.A. looked inept in midfield and hopeless in attack. For Australia the match became a formality, though in the second-half substitute Alfred Debono forced Manfred Schaeffer to back away from him with hisskit1 with the ball. The match was 3-1 at half-time and though winger Dave a.Callaghan scored against the run of play in the second half Australia piled on another three and if the truth were known a few more could have gilded the lily.
TEAM: Mitchell, Kusimski, Alan Cooney, Roger Dale, Paul Leber, Carruthers, Alan Pendleton, Brian Newell, Holt, Van Oosten, O'Callaghan. RESERVES: Eric Edmonds, Hugh Miller, Van Dongen, Debono, Marocchi.
W.A. 1 (Hynd) drew with Manchester City 1 (Owen)
Still W.A.'s inconsistency continued. What chance would they have against one of England's top professional sides in Manchester City if Australia could carve up W.A. like the proverbial hot knife through warm butter? However, when the final whistle blew, 12,000 people sat stunned as W.A. walked off Perry Lakes Stadium having forced a draw 1-1. In fact, many thought that Manchester was lucky to come away from the encounter with a draw.
It must be taken into consideration that Manchester City arrived without Francis Lee and Colin Bell, who were in Mexico City with the England side for the World Cup series. England winger Mike Summerbee had a cracked bone in a leg and didn't play on tour. Before the match started Alan Oakes, Mike Doyle, Ian Bowyer and Joe Corrigan were declared unfit. A big hole in any side, but still Manchester is a professional team and the other players are supposedly of a calibre to which W.A. couldn't compare.
It was W.A's best day in soccer history and one that goalkeeper Owen Nuttridge will remember all his life as he rescued W.A. time and again with with some tremendous saves from shots that should have been gools. His only blemish came in the 9th minute when he failed to gather a hard, low shot. It bounced out of his hands and defender Alan Cooney standing nearby failed to clear, allowing the alert Bobby Owen to nip in and shoot into an empty net. W.A. did not become rattled and displayed coolness under pressure with Mateljan, Miller, Edmonds and Cooney superb in front of Nuttridge.
Coming out of defence, intelligent passing was used and though we fared badly in midfield W.A. frustrated such stars as Neil Young. In attack, W.A. found themselves constantly caught in the offside trap, but this finally proved Manchester's undoing. With only seconds of the first-half remaining, a through pass from midfield found three W.A. men offside just inside the Manchester half, however, linesman Dave Ferguson vigorously shook his head against any suggestion of offside. Manchester's defence, caught upfield, were in a helpless position as W.A. streamed goalwards, Alfred Debono cut down the line and passed back to striker Bobby Hynd who slid the ball into an open net, the pass having eluded goalkeeper Harry Dowd. Hynd, the State's top goalscorer, had been brought into the side after pressure.
Though it was an easy goal, he justified his inclusion with the goal. In the second half it was W.A. who had the opportunities to score and twice it was harder to miss than score as first Van Oosten and then Hynd missed golden opportunities.
TEAM : Nuttridge, Carruthers, Miller, Dale, Cooney, Edmonds, Mateljan, Debono, Holt, O'Callaghan, Van Oosten, Hynd. RESERVES : Leber, Mitchell, Van Dongen, Newell, Pendleton.
W.A. 1 (Cooney) drew with F.C. Zurich 1 (Volkert penalty)
Few matches in W.A.'s history have produced such bad manners and incidents as did this draw against one of Switzerland's leading clubs, F.C. Zurich. After a tame first half in which pleasantries and explorations were attempted, the second period exploded into an ugly affair in which playing the man instead of the ball seemed all that mattered to the opposition. For coach Dick Jones, who had the reins for this match, the result was proof of his abilities as a coach. He took over at short notice, but was lucky enough to have almost the top squad at his disposal. Jones included veteran midfielder Graham Oughton, who last played for W.A. against Manchester United in 1967.
>From the start of the second half W.A. had four simple chances to register a score, but each was squandered. Then Zurich piled on the pressure and in the 59th minute were awarded a penalty. It was an unneccessary foul that produced the penlaty for the danger that threatened had passed quickly. Winger Georg Volkert sent goalkeeper Owen Nuttridge the wrong way to give Zurich the lead. For an unaccountable reason the Zurich players resorted to playing the man soon after this success and the game gradually deteriorated.
Towards the end goalkeeper Karl Grob hit Peter Holt after clearing the ball out of play and when referee JOhn ALlen indicated Grob's marching orders five minutes were wasted as Swiss players remonstrated with him and even threatened to walk off. Rediced to ten men it became only a matter of time before W.A. equalised and this they did when Alan Cooney headed in a high corner.
W.A. deserved to win this match, if not for their finesse at which they were second best, but for the tenancity and courage displayed. Allen, after the match, was struck by substitute Heinz Kissling who was reported to F.I.F.A., as were Grob and midfielder Jakob Kuhn.
TEAM : Nuttridge, Carruthers, Leber, Cooney, Kusminski, Debono, Newell, Oughton, Holt, Hynd, Van Oosten
W.A. 0 drew with Combined Indonesian Universities 0
Little can be said for this game except that W.A. had the physical size to overpower the small Indonesians, but the visitors were too skillful for the home side on the large-size Perry Lakes stadium. Most of W.A.'s best players were in Malaysia for the Merdeka tournament but those who were left wasted too many chances to score.
The final 20 minutes saw W.A. in complete control but one always had the feeling that a goalless draw was going to be the only possible result. In the 78th minute striker Johnny Van Oosten had the ball in the net but was ruled offside. The Indonesians hit the post and bar twice in the closing minutes.
W.A. MUFFS LAST CHANCE
The 1970 Merdeka tournament will not be remembered as a vintage performance by W.A. And yet, for an unexpected 0-2 loss to India, W.A. would have qualified for the semi-finals. But the glories of 1968 were beyond our grasp as W.A. struggled to find some semblance of balance. State coach Doug Stewart, who had taken the State side through their most hectic home programme in history, could not go on the tour. The job of guiding the side was left to Graham Oughton who tried his best, but was unable to pick up the strings at such short notice.
W.A. had the players who were capable of producing results, but they found if difficult to combine at the right time. Burma, one of the hot favourites, could only subdue W.A. 1-0 and India, a poor side who lost 0-1 to one of the worst touring sides, surprisingly beat the State side 2-0. The general comment was that the Asian teams had improved considerably while W.A. remained at the same standard. W.A. is well known for bad luck and the number of shots that hit posts and bars. This continued last year and a different story may have been told if some of these chances had gone in.
The question is asked if W.A. would have performed better with Stewart controlling their destinies. A coach playing on the field in this standard of competition is at a decided disadvantage in that he cannot see the other team's full intentions. A big question that many are asking in W.A., is it worth all this expense to take a team to Malaysia if we appear to learn nothing from our previous experiences there? In four years we have had a different coach on each occasion, virtually a different team and different managers. Consequently each year our State touring side has to learn from scratch all the problems of playing in Asia against Asian teams.
There is no doubt that in 1968 W.A. established the credibility to perform as well as our opponents when we finished a strong third. From this foundation it should have been a relatively simple step to consolidate this start by employing the same coach, manager and, apart from some players, the body of the squad that competed then. But somehow we failed in this simple requirement. Will we learn this year if we have the chance to complete in the Merdeka again?
Burmese Blast Aussie Hopes : Burma 1 W.A. O
The West Australians came to Kuala Lumpur with a pocketful of hopes and proud words of "We will win". But they crashed against the Burmese side which possessed a far superior weapon - good football. But the match was not a rout though W.A. made some bad mistakes of which the Burmese soccer machine took advantage. The Aussies were chunks of muscle and energy running everywhere except where they should have been. The Burmese, with territorial advantage, played at a casual pace making W.A. work hard. A team with less mobility and fitness would have worn themselves to a frazzle, but W.A. covered up their lack of tactical deficiencies with hard running and grit.
The only successful breakthrough came in the 26th minute after Burma's decoys Ye Nyunt and Maung Tin had softened their opponents resistance. The two swept their way into the Australian defence and presented Hla Htya with his first goal as he dummied his way in to claim his goal from five yards. W.A. quickly changed their tactics to long and high passes which opened up the Burmese flanks and a number of attacks throughout the rest of the match just failed as Hynd, Holt, Newell and Dundo tested the opposition with stinging drives.
TEAM: Owen Nuttridge, Tommy Carruthers, Alan Pendleton, Hugh Miller, Eric Edmonds, Peter Holt, Brian Newell, Graham Oughton, Len Dundo, Bob Hynd, David O'Callaghan
Aussies Eclipse South Vietnam : W.A. 3 South Vietnam 1
West Australia won back the hearts of many with a vastly improved performance to eclipse South Vietnam in their second match of the tournament. They were smoother and more calculating than in their match against Burma. W.A. opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Dundo accepted a high lob that dropped between him and Hynd and sent in a fierce header that left the puzzled Vietnamese defence distraught. For the rest of the half W.A. continued to dominate the game though Vietnam were forced to replace players through injury.
A nasty shock awaited W.A. within the first minute of the second half as South Vietnam equalised. From a midfield tussle Do Thoi Vinh sent through a long raking shot which goalkeeper Owen Nuttridge allowed to slip through his fingers after he had run to the edge of the penalty box to gather. It was simple matter then for Van Em who had backed up superbly to level accounts. This lucky break inspired Van Em who immediately ran down the pitdl to find the net again, but he was well offside and earned a caution from Indonesian referee Hatta for playing the ball long after the whilstle had blown. This little amusing sidelight put behind them, the Australian's proceeded to bombard the Vietnamese goal with shots being saved almost on the iine or just in front of it. Pressure finally told in the 5Oth minute when a shot by Hynd was parried, but Hynd followed up and slammed the ball home. With four minutes left, Dundo got the third goal after a series of weak clearances.
Defence Fizzles Out : India 2 W.A. O
After 45 minutes of valiant effort, W.A. fizzled out like a damp squib and collapsed as India called in little known centre-forward Maga Singh. He replaced the luckless Bhowmick and ran the Australians into the ground. He scored two goals to give India a fighting chance for a place in the competition's semi-finals. Both sides opened cautiously testing the respective defences with speculative raids along the wings. But the first-half was one of patient sapping lacklustre soccer with India having little luck. The W.A. defence was quick to dispell any danger after a dangerous incident in the 7th minute in which a badly angled shot from Bhowmick kept the game scoreless.
The substitution of Maga Singh in the second-half acted like a tonic to the Indians who, within three minutes of the restart, took the lead. Magan brought the ball down with fine control beat Oughton and Miller to slip the ball past Nuttridge with a low shot. From this moment the game took on a more technical approach and for twenty minutes W.A. resisted the pressure applied by India. But in the 7Oth minute a free-kick bounced off the chest of Nuttridge and Magan took the opportunity to add to his country's score. With only a handful of supporters trying to cheer them on, W.A. were on this occasion unequal to the task of rescue for which they have become so well known in the Merdeka.
W.A. Destroyed by Shah : Malaysia 4 W.A. 1
W.A's last chance to make the semi-finals of the 1970 Merdeka tournament stumbled and broke because of the brilliance of one player - Malaysia's Shaharuddin 'Shah' Abdullah. In 12 minutes of bustling football, Shaharuddin burst the confines of the restrictive W.A. shield and broke his opponents' resistance with three goals.
It was the fine midfield work of Chandran and Namat that led up to Shaharuddin's glory. Ten minutes into the game and Malaysia were one up after a lethal header by 'Shah'. With plenty of room given to the Malaysian rampaging attack another goal flashed on to the scoreboard five minutes later when the ball jumped out of a goalmouth scrimmage and Zulkifla Norbit went airborne with jubilation.
Two goals ahead so early was heady inspiration to the Malaysians, who threw even their half-back line into the front line of attack. Such tactics naturally led to danger against sudden counter-attacks, which came in the 2Oth minute as Oughton sent a long high clearance up field for winger O'Callaghan to collect and beat Chee Keong in goal with a low shot. But Malaysia recovered almost instantly and maintained their two goal lead when Namat lofted the ball high over the Aussie box for Zulkfli to flip it to 'Shah', who relayed the pass into the net.
The second-half became an anti climax. W.A. had some bad luck. Once a lofted ball from Len Dundo bounced into an open goal only for a defender to sweep it off the line at the last second. However, the last 15 minutes of play was all W .A., as Malaysia looked a spent force. It was unfortunate that Bobby Hynd had his name taken for an infringement at this moment. Malaysia then made a change, bringing on Yong Chong whose freshness immediately produced dividends and, with only a minute to go, Ali Bakar took advantage of the increased pressure to intercept a badly-placed back pass to score.
W.A. Tames Taiwan : W.A. 3 Taiwan 1
Taiwan were poised to enter the semi-finals of the tournament with an expected win over W.A., whose form had been so bad. Taiwan had stood out as one of the stronger teams of the competition and when they opened the scoring in the second minute through Ho Sun Wah, predictions seemed right on the nose. W.A. recovered in the eighth minute when Richard Kuzimski out-paced the defence to equalise. W.A. had bad luck as shots hit the bar and posts. Len Dundo hit a screaming 20 yard shot that crashed into the bar and out of play. With time running out and neither team likely to gain the satisfaction of two points, Bob Hynd scored from a goal mouth melee in the 88th minute. One minute later Dundo accepted a pass from O'Callaghan and scored.
Thailand Wade In : Thailand 2 W.A. 0
W.A. had a taste of what a monsoon is like when they met Thailand to play off for a minor ninth placing. Water was ankle deep for most of the second-half and throughout the game the rain poured down. Good soccer was hard to find. While W.A. had most of the play, it was Thailand who were able to surface as winners. In the 48th minute Thailand gained a lucky break as Niwatana Sriswasadi took a throw in and slipped into the W.A. penalty box past floundering defenders to score. After this incident three changes were made within four minutes.
For W.A. Van Dongen replaced Pendleton in the 64th minute. Three minutes later Kuzimski came on for O'Callaghan. In the 75th minute. Tatri Songrna came on as a substitute and one minute later took a shot at goal, the shot stopped dead in a puddle of water. In the unexpected circumstances, the entire W.A. defence was caught out of position, including goalkeeper Owen Nuttridge, and Niwatana scored Thailand's second goal. It was a match in which W.A. had chances and held territorial advantage for long periods to the extent of dominating the opposition, but was unable to translate the position into victory.
TEAM: Nuttridge, Carruthers, Pendleton (Van Dongen), Miller, Edmonds, Alfred Debono, Newell, O'Callaghan (Kuzimski), Dundo, Hynd, Oughton.
It was a puzzling paradox that a tired W.A. side on the way home met the national team of Singapore in Singapore and thrashed them 8-1 in an awe-inspiring power display. "If we had played like that in the Merdeka tournament we would have been finalists," said team manager Barry Greenwood. Is it that our team took so long to settle down before they found a pattern of play among themselves? If so, should the team have gone away earlier or undergone continuous training and match play here in Perth? W.A. has the ability, but obviously still lacks the hard constant competition to bring out the best at short notice. Maybe this aspect can be changed in the future, because our continued appearance in Asia will only be welcomed while we can provide the possibility of remaining a draw card.
W.A.'s INDONESIAN SOJOURN WAS NOT SUCCESSFUL
In 1970, W.A. expanded their sphere of influence in Asia to Indonesia, where they took part by invitation in the inaugural Indonesia Anniversary Cup. It was in inauspicious occasion for W.A. and a warning of what was to happen in the Merdeka tournament a few weeks later. Seven teams competed in the tournament and W.A. was drawn against Indonesia, the 1969 Merdeka winners, and Hong Kong.
W.A. lost 3-1 to Hong Kong, after winning a friendly encounter with Bogor, of West Java, 3-1 before the competition started. Federation president Julius Re said on his return to Perth that he was sure W.A. would have won the tournament with a full contingent. The feat could be accomplished in 1971 if W.A. finds the strongest side. Mr. Re named Alan Pendleton and Len Dundo as the best players on tour, the latter scoring four goals.
Because of business commitments, many players could not make both the Anniversary and Merdeka tournaments. Most players preferred to play in the prestigious Merdeka, where there were more games. Consequently the team that left for Indonesia was without such stars as Johnny Van Oosten and Bobby Hynd in attack, and goalkeeper Owen Nuttridge. Look at the other players who couldn't make that tour - Alan Cooney, Brian Newell, Archie Van Dongen and Peter Holt.
Back to the www.footballwa.net Past Seasons Index
This page was last updated on the 24th February 2006