STATE LEAGUE : A BIG BOOST FOR W.A. SOCCER, WINDMILLS WIN
Soccer received one of the biggest boosts in the history of the game when Philip Morris sponsored the federation's leagues competitions. In conjunction with the federation, Marlboro introduced the $4,000 Marlboro Shield, with $2,000 going to the winner of the first division competition. The winning side also received a magnificent shield valued at $500 and designed by a federation's executive member, Denis Silver, while each player was presented with medallions of their club's successful year. In the years to come soccer historians may well call the 1973 season a major watershed in the progress of the game.
It may come to be regarded as the turning point in which the complete domination of the league in W.A. by Azzurri and East Fremantle-Tricolore was broken. In the 1973 Soccer Annual it was stated that the 1972 season was the tightest competition for many years with three clubs holding the top position at various stages throughout the season. Whatever 1972 produced, the 1973 season completed eclipsed with no less than six clubs holding the limelight at the top. 1973 was the clearest indication yet that soccer is developing on a much broader front than experienced in the past, with no club able to lay claim to complete dominance.
In fact when only three rounds of the Marlboro shield competition were left, any one of five clubs could have taken the title. But in the end it was Morley-Windmills who snatched their first league championship since 1961 by beating Ascot with a slim superior goal average, both clubs having gained 24 points. It was only the third time since the formation of the federation in 1960 that the championship had gone to any other club but Tricolore and Azzurri. Those two clubs have each won the first division five times. For much of the season it was anyone's race, with only Stirling City, newcomers to the first division, out of the running and sitting in last place right from the start.
Windmills, Olympic-Kingsway, Kwinana United, Inglewood-Kiev, Azzurri the Ascot, in that order took the lead, before it swapped hands between them over the final stages. With three matches to go Ascot held a two point lead over Kiev and Windmills. Ascot then beat Kwinana United, Kiev faltered in a 2-0 loss to Cracovia, and Windmills won two fortunate points with a 1-0 victory over Olympic. As coincidence would have it Ascot, with a two point lead over Windmills, found themselves, in their last match of the season, opposed by Windmills. Windmills still had a postponed match against Tricolore to play after the clash with Ascot, but if they lost to Ascot, then the race would be allover and Windmills would have to settle for second position.
In one of the most devastating exhibitions of power soccer seen in 1974, Windmills crushed any opposition by Ascot with a magnificent 4-1 victory at Bayswater Oval. The brilliance of midfield player Archie Van Dongen was never shown to better effect as he sparked Windmills to their best performance of the season. Ascot, who started the match with one hand on the Marlboro Shield, ended with only a slim hope that East Fremantle-Tricolore could score enough goals to let them take the shield with a superior goal average. They were, asking for miracles, because Tricolore had to record a 4-0 victory to rob Windmills, and Tricolore had scored four goals in a match only three times during the competitiion. This feat had been accomplished against the three lowest teams on the league table-Stirling City, Bayswater United and Olympic-Kingsway.
Windmills dynamic secretary, Steve Spanbrook, with the backing from his committee, was determined to end the season on a clear cut victory. To this end he repeated his psychological efforts so successfully before the Ascot game, by providing the whole team with a relaxing pre-match 24 hours. Dinner at the Chateau Commodore, rooms for the night there, followed by a lecture by Mal Atwell, of Australian Rules fame, after a leisurely breakfast the following day. A light lunch then a river trip down the Swan from Barrack Street to Fremantle and the game.
But within 30 minutes two quick Tricolore goals had Windmills in a panic as they saw all their ambitious plans slipping away. Only a spectacular goal from striker Bob Lee from 20 metres, one minute after Tricolore had scored their second through Bobby Hynd, managed to settle Windmills down. In fact two shots from Archie Van Dongen and John Van Oosten just before half-time could have given Windmills the lead but they clipped the bar to rebound back into play. Despite the effort of Windmills equalising in the second-half, a Jeff Williams goal late in the game gave Tricolore a well-deserved victory, and allowed the port club to maintain their remarkable string of league successes over Windmills. Windmills have not beaten Tricolore in a league competition for 12 years. Failure at the last hurdle, but the battle was won, and Windmills happily walked out of the dressing rooms, each player dressed in new outfits with badges on the jacket pockets proclaiming "Morley-Windmills 1973 Premiers".
It was an audacious gamble that paid off. Windmills victory was achieved over the toughest opposition ever mounted in a W.A. league season. They started the year in spectacular fashion when they gained the services of State striker John Van Oosten as coach. A few weeks later a W.A. record fee of $4,000 was paid to Azzurri to release Van Oosten as a player to Windmills. With Van Oosten, the return of Bob Lee from England, and the acquisition of George Holzman from Bayswater and Peter Johnston from Swan Valley, Windmills had a powerful forward line. Archie Van Dongen came from Croatia North Perth, while Ken Maguire returned from Cracovia. But in the end it was the magnificent defensive record that really won the Marlboro shield for Windmills. In the first half of the season they conceded 22 goals, then tightened up to allow only nine in the next nine matches. A remarkable achievement.
But while Windmills was winning the shield, Ascot had taken the competition by storm under the guidance of Reg Davies, the former Welsh international and member of the English first division side Newcastle United. Relying mainly on amateurs, most of them young, Davies inspired an unswerving loyalty to his ideas. Davies is a brilliant tactician and at 44 years of age plays superbly with accurate passing his main weapon. Twice he took the gamble of naming himself substitute and Ascot suffered two disastrous losses against Inglewood-Kiev and Morley-Windmills in the final run for the championship. If he had played, who knows, maybe Ascot would have been 1973 Marlboro Shield victors.
Azzurri was always near the top and twice took the lead. An unexpected 2-1 loss to struggling Bayswater United at Bayswater Oval in their third last match, could have robbed them of the shield by goal average. While their 44 goals was the best in the competition, it was below what one normally expects from Azzurri. But their attack never had the potency of the past and only Eric Marocchi could truly lay claim to the name striker. Still it was a worthy performance under new coach Mal Brown, and in conjunction with the successes in the Ampol and D'Orsogna Cups, was a good year for Azzurri.
Cracovia's performance was a solid one, with the championship always beckoning, but seemingly just out of reach. Relying mainly on youth and the old guard such as Peter Mitchell, Mike Quayle and Paul Hajnisz, with the return of Richard Kuzimski from England to help out, Cracovia was entirely predictable. Water-tight defence waiting to mount a breakaway. After a slow start, in which they conceded 17 goals in nine matches, they recovered to allow only seven more goals in nine matches. In one six match period opponents could only find the Cracovia net on three occasions. Then Ascot hammered three goals past them at Perry Lakes stadium in the third last match and the championship chance passed.
It will always remain a question unanswered. What would have happened to Inglewood-Kiev had powerful striker Jeff Ruellan not broken a leg in a match against Azzurri at Dorrien Gardens five matches from the end of the league competition. At that stage Kiev were driving hard at the top with a superior goal average over Ascot with five other clubs within three points of them. Though they came back from 1-3 down to draw 3-3 with Azzurri, Ruellan was carried off with a serious double break of the leg that has almost certainly ended his career. Though they beat Bayswater 1-0 in the next match to stay on top, they crashed to three ignominious defeats in their last three matches with only one more goal being added to their score. It can only be a matter of conjecture as to their end had Ruellan been there, but it is obvious that his absence robbed the attack of tremendous power, leaving top goalscorer Len Dundo to fight alone up front.
East Fremantle-Tricolore, champions of 1972, never really got into the Marlboro Shield race. In the second week of competition they held second position, but after that they dropped to eighth position quickly and then struggled around sixth place from then on. Once again their defence was the major weakness, negating all the good work done in attack where 42 goals, the second best of the competition, were scored. But Bobby Hynd was not the striker of the past, even though he scored regularly and shared the season's goalscoring honours with Dundo.
Kwinana United finished in seventh position, but this in no way mirrored the surprise performances they put up, and the improvement they made over the 1972 season. For two weeks they held the heady top place, and for a long time were in touch with the leaders and never far away from the top four. They upset many a team in the process, beating such sides as Windmills, Cracovia, Tricolore and Kiev. Only one team managed to beat them twice and that was Azzurri in consecutive weeks in the middle of the season.
Bayswater United possibly made the biggest drop from grace. Twice runners up in the league competition, they just managed to stay in eighth position to qualify for the 1974 Ampol night series. Apart from an early fifth placing they never got themselves away from the dangerous relegation zone. The loss of Davies to Ascot must have priority in the reasons for their collapse. And yet they beat Windmills and then Azzurri twice in their meagre five victories. So the skill was there, but apparently not the total dedication.
Olympic-Kingsway for half the season looked a prime contender for championship honors, but in the final analysis couldn't find the points. In fact they were lucky that they had got nine early points, otherwise they would surely have battled with Stirling for relegation. In their last 12 matches, Olympic managed only one point from a 2-2 draw with Ascot on their own ground at the Kingsway Reserve.
Finally we are left with Stirling City who right from the start filled tenth position, a rung of the league ladder from which they never escaped. With the new rule restricting relegation to only one club, Stirling always looked the prime candidate. Even a mid-season desperate bid to stave off the inevitable by sending coach Frank Schaper to Sydney to pick up two class players in Ernie Hannigen and Peter Clarke failed to halt the downward trend. The one consolation came with the success of utility player Ken Hordell in winning the Rothmans Gold medal for the season's fairest and best player.
The 1973 season saw a big improvement in many of the individual skills, with a greater amount of thought going into each game. However, there was a tendency towards negative tactics with a concentration on prevention to restrict scoring, while goalscoring was of secondary consideration. Consequently the winning sides goal tally was drastically down on 1972, when Tricolore recorded 63 goals while conceding only 29. This compares with Windmills 40 goals for and 31 against. The top goalscoring side in 1973 was Azzurri with 44 goals compared with Azzurri's top record of 76 in 1972. Windmills winning tally of 24 points would not have been good enough to qualify them for the top four in 1972. Still it was a vintage year in almost every way, and there is every indication that 1974 will continue to be tough for every club with ultimate victory likely to be decided in the final round.
The second division became a two-team race long before the season ended, but it was not till the second last match that Floreat Athena clinched the title. Athena's closest rival all through the competition was Croatia-North Perth, and these two met in the penultimate game of the competition with Athena holding a two point lead. However, Croatia's goal average was superior, and victory to them would have given them the lead and a good chance to snatch promotion. But two goals in'the final few minutes of play gave Athena two points, an unbeatable lead on the league table and promotion to the first division.
The third division, where the first two teams earned promotion, Rockingham United pipped Queens Park by one point in the last round of the season to record 23 points. Dropping to the third division will be Swan Valley and Subiaco City, who in 1972 were still competing in the first division.
ASSOCIATION CUP : AZZURRI STILL TO BE BEATEN IN CUP FINAL
Azzurri has yet to lose a D'Orsogna Cup final. It is a fact that whenever Azzurri qualifies for the final of WA's glamourous knockout competition they have always come away with the money. In 1973 they entered the final against Cracovia who were the powerful favourites to take away their sixth cup. The type of record Azzurri had established is psychologically difficult to overcome and Cracovia found the job impossible, going down to a 3-0 defeat.
In recent years the competition has been run after the competition of the league season. The federation altered the 1973 tournament slightly playing the first two rounds in June, halting the federation's league competitions at the same time. The final three rounds were then completed at the end of the league season. For the first time the federation introduced two Sunday amateur clubs into the competition and this obviated the need to give other clubs byes. As coincidence would have it the two amateur clubs were drawn out of the hat to play each other in the first round. So while Neerlandia progressed, Graylands was eliminated when they lost 1-0.
The first round found only one match in which first division clubs were opposed. Olympic-Kingsway, a shock first round elimination to second division South Perth in 1972, missed out again when they were beaten 2-0 by Kwinana United in extra time. There were no real surprises for first division clubs in the first round, though Cracovia were held to a 1-1 draw by third division Queens Park, and Ascot had to be satisfied with a 2-2 draw with second division Macedonia United. However, in the replays, both first division sides made amends with victories to qualify for the second round.
It was at this stage in the second round that the first upset of the competition occurred when second division Alemannia-Melvilie knocked out first division Stirling City with a 2-1 win at Memorial Park, Stirling's home ground. There were one or two major clashes in this round. Cracovia, the under dogs, eliminated hot favourites Morley-Windmills with a 1-0 win in a dull encounter at Wauhop Park.
Azzurri and Bayswater United, two of the better soccer sides in the state, were involved in a highly entertaining contest in which Azzurri midfield player Brian Newell sparked an Azzuri 3-2 victory. Ascot found amateurs Neerlandia a handful before triumphing 3-0, East Fremnantle-Tricolore struggled to overcome second division Floreat Athena, while Kwinana United, before a crowd of more than 3,000, needed two periods of extra time to beat neighbours third division Rockingham United 3-2 at the Rockingham Oval.
When the quarter-finals come round Inglewood-Kiev had been reduced by four major injuries and were given no chance against Ascot, who were still waiting to find out whether Tricolore could beat Windmills in a postponed league match 4-0 to give them the first division championship. But when the round finished it was Kiev who went into the hat for the draw for the semi-finals, having taken care of Ascot with a 2-0 victory.
Cracovia powered their way to an 2-0 win over Alemannia, but it required two penalties by defender Richard Kuzimski to secure their semi-final berth. Azzurri found lowly second division side Subiaco City, who had already been relegated to the third division for 1974, a tough opponent and didn't gain superiority till late in the game for a 3-1 win. Kwinana's hopes for a second successive final vanished when Tricolore managed a 2-1 victory at Medina Oval.
The semi-finals saw East Fremantle-Tricolore aiming to stop a strange hoodoo that Cracovia had established over them in 1973. In four encounters in various competition for the year Cracovia had won everyone. This semi-final match proved no exception as Cracovia ran out 2-1 victors. But it turned out a titanic struggle entering extra time to find a winner. This was a match where Tricolore had the misfortune of seeing four shots hit posts and bar after devastating the Cracovia defence. But matches are made of goals and not near misses in the final analysis, and Tricolore's inability to take full advantage of their opportunities, and the superb Cracovia defence in which goalkeeper Peter Mitchell made one of the most spectacular saves of the year in extra time, provided the key to Cracovia's success.
Cracovia had opened the scoring through Trevor Watkins, only for Bobby Hynd to equalise with a brilliant header. With tension mounting in extra time, the match seemed certain to go to a complete replay at a future date, but a Cracovia attack let Wally Migas score the winner with only two minutes of play remaining. In the other semi, Azzurri cruised to a 3-0 over Kiev, whose depletion of talent through injury proved too much.
So to the final. And one can only wonder at the poor form shown by goalkeeper Peter Mitchell. Opinions strongly favoured Azzurri but almost everyone pointed out that the key to the match could well be Mitchell whose brilliance kept Cracovia in the tournament in the semi-final. Well the key was Mitchell but in reverse. It was a poor match with little to recommend it to even the ardent fan, with the wet miserable conditions making matters worse. Azzurri's 3-0 victory was not so much through their initiatives as by Cracovia's faults, and Mitchell had to take the blame for every goal. Was the pressure placed on Mitchell too much? Maybe, but it is something he and other players will have to learn to live with in the future.
The game is gaining more media coverage, and the spotlight will focus more on individuals as the answers to certain problems. The spotlight fell on midfield player Brian Newell, one of Azzurri's greatest players of all time, and his success in winning the D'Drsogna Medal for the best player in the final was a fitting tribute to his contribution to Azzurri over the years. For Azzurri it was a great end to a good year. East Fremantle- Tricolore, who for the first time failed to pick up one major trophy, found consolation, if only small, by winning the Reserve Knockout Cup, beating Gosnells 1-0 in the final.
NIGHT SERIES : A REVITALISED FORMAT DRAWS RECORD CROWDS
The W.A. Soccer Federation, searching to revitalise the Ampol Cup, changed the entire format of the competition in 1973. Taking the successful South Australian tournament of running just one league in which each team meets the other on a round robin bases as a guide, the federation threw out the old group format.
Previously the eight clubs in the night series were divided into two groups of four with the top two from each group qualifying for the semi-finals. In the past each club played once a fortnight, with matches being played on only one night a week. The single league round robin concept meant that more than double the number of preliminary matches would be required to determine the top four for the semi-finals.
Obviously the length of the competition couldn't go much beyond the first or second week of March. Also March nights start to draw in and become cold and this would affect attendances. There was only one alternative - to play two nights a week in the summer months. The whole idea of change brought much soul searching in the executive council of the federation, but the suggestion was finally accepted.
With matches being played on Tuesdays and Thursdays the 1973 Ampol Cup proved to be the most successful in the history of the competition. Financially it was a blockbuster with the federation's financial return jumping from the usual $3,000 per night series to well over $10,000.
The format also allowed for greater interest in the competition with the battle for a place in the semi-finals not jeopardized by one loss as would have been the case in the old group system. It allowed for clubs to work on their styles and fitness over a longer period and recover from a bad start. Players gained more by regular weekly competition, rather than resting every other week. There was also the advantage that clubs were better prepared for the really important competition the winter league.
The 1973 Ampol provided some outstanding performances, with Azzurri making a fine recovery from a patchy start. Against all predictions they won the grand-final by beating Bayswater United 1-0 to add to their glorious night series record. It was their sixth victory in the tournament, a record no other club can even come near to matching. East Fremantle-Tricolore and the now-defunct North Perth club have managed only two cups.
Under the single league format it was difficult to forecast the outcome, and the closeness of the competition was a foretaste of what was to come later in the year during the Marlboro Shield first division tournament. In the first round all the favourites started in fine fettle, Bayswater, Tricolore, Kiev and Azzurri winning. But then Azzurri stumbled to a 1-0 loss against Cracovia and Ascot showed what they were to become by downing Kiev 2-1.
In the third round Tricolore battled to a goalless draw against Olympic-Kingsway, and then suffered a 2-1 loss against Cracovia in the fourth. In the latter match the performance of midfield player Bill Hicks brought a new star into the W.A. scene. Azzurri also crashed to defeat in the fourth round losing 3-2 to Ascot. Cracovia, looking a strong candidate for the top four, suddenly lost two valuable points with a 3-1 loss against Windmills in the fifth round.
Azzurri and Bayswater then were involved in a tough 1-1 draw giving the public a dress rehearsal of what to expect in the grand-final. But Bayswater's unbeaten record ended when Ascot, rapidly developing into the unexpected challengers of the series, won 3-2 in the sixth round. The traditional clashes between Azzurri and Tricolore continued with Azzurri yet again coming out on top with a 3-1 victory.
In the final preliminary round Bayswater took top position on the ladder with 11 points by thrashing Tricolore 4-0. Ascot, with an infinitely inferior goal average, ended up in second place also with 11 points, by beating Cracovia 3-1, ending Cracovia's top four hopes.
The stage was set for the semi-finals and the second semi saw the clash of Azzurri and Tricolore once again. As with all matches between these two titans of WA soccer, it was a no-holds-barred contest with Tricolore holding the edge till the 7Oth min when Gus Formato scored the first of his three goals for Azzurri. The match was forced to extra time when the regulation 80 minutes ended with the scores locked together 2-2. But Azzurri proved too strong in extra time coming back, once again from a goal down, to score twice in the second period of extra time. Bayswater simply crushed Ascot 5-0 in the first semi-final, even after they were reduced to ten men when winger Alex Genovese had been sent off the field.
The preliminary final once again saw Azzurri taken to extra time after Ascot had fought tenaciously to hold a superior opponent. While Ascot held the territorial initiative in the first-half with Ray Ilott in devastating form, Azzurri always looked the more likely side in the second-half to break the deadlock. An amazing 30 metre shot from Gary Marocchi did the job, and winger Peter Holt sealed the issue for an Azzurri grand-final appearance.
Hardly a critic selected Azzurri to beat the rampant Bayswater who had cruised though the competition, specially in the latter stages. After all hadn't Azzurri lived with luck and survived by the skin of their teeth. But Azzurri is, if anything, a grand-final side, experienced in the pressures such matches bring. More than 5,000 people saw a two-part match with Azzurri dominant in the first half, forcing seven corners to Bayswater's three. But the second-half belonged to Bayswater as they slowed the match down to suit themselves. With only 15 seconds of play remaining the match seemed certain to go into extra time with Bayswater in command. But a corner to Azzurri at this moment saw Bruno Marocchi drop his shot short on the near post and Gus Formato somehow found space to head the ball directly down inside the post for a stunning goal. There was little in the game, and the competition in general, and the slim victory in the grand-final was a fitting reflection of how close the 1973 Ampol Cup had been.
Bayswater United 1 (Plumley) Morley-Windmills 0
East Fremantle-Tricolore 3 (Aldridge, Hynd, O'Connell) Ascot 1 (Davidson)
Inglewood-Kiev 3 (Dundo 3) Cracovia 1 (Kingsley)
Azzurrl 4 (B. Marocchi, E. Marocchi, Halliday, own goal) Olympic-Kingsway 3 (Boston, Cutts, Cairnduff)
Bayswater United 2 (Debono, Hallam) Olympic-Kingsway 1 (Dali Omar)
East Fremantle-Tricolore 3 (Hynd. Oughton, Williams) Morley-Windmills 1 (Leber)
Ascot 2 (Davidson, Ilott) Inglewood-Kiev 1 (Dundo)
Cracovia 2 (Piniera, Migas) Azzurri 0
Ascot 2 (Davies, Thomas) Morley-Windmills 2 (Leber, Lee)
Azzurri 4 (B. Marocchi 2, E Marocchi 2) Inglewood-Kiev 1 (Dundo)
Bayswater United 2 (Plumley, Genovese) Cracovia 0
East Fremantle-Tricolore 0 Olympic-Kingsway 0
Cracovia 2 (Migas, Hicks) East Fremantle-Tricolore 1 (Oughton)
Bayswater United 3 (Debono 2, Hallam) Inglewood-Kiev 0
Olympic-Kingsway 2 (Dali Omar 2) Morley-Windmills 1 (Lee)
Ascot 3 (llott 2, Davidson) Azzurri 2 (Holt, G Marocchi)
East Fremantle-Tricolore 4 (Hynd 2, Williams, O'Connell) Inglewood-Kiev 0
Ascot 3 (Davidson 2, Davies) Olympic-Kingsway 1 (Dali Omar)
Morley Windmills 3 (Johnston 2, Witschge) Cracovia 1 (Pearce)
Azzurri 1 (Cooney) Bayswater United 1 (Genovese)
Cracovia 2 (Kingsley, Piniera) Olympic-Kingsway 0
Azzurri 3 (Cooney, Brady, G Marocchi) East Fremantle-Tricolore 1 (Williams)
Morley-Windmills 3 (Johnston 2, own goal) Inglewood-Kiev 3 (Crone, Dundo, own goal)
Ascot 3 (Ilott, Buckley, Eldridge) Bayswater United 2 (Debono 2)
Ascot 3 (llott 3) Cracovla 1 (own goal)
Azzurri 1 (B Marocchi) Morley-Windmills 0
Bayswater United 4 (Hallam 2, Messer, Debono) East Fremantle-Tricolore 0
Inglewood-Kiev 4 (Ruellan 3, Crone) Olympic-Kingsway 3 (Dali Omar 2, Thomson)
Azzurri 4 (Formato 3, G Marocchi) East Fremantle-Tricolore 3 (Williams 2, Hynd (after extra time)
Bayswater United 5 (Hallam 2, Tofler, Genovese, Alfieri) Ascot 0
Azzurri 2 (B Marocchi, Holt) b Ascot 0 (after extra time)
Azzurri 1 (Formato) Bayswater United 0
GOLD MEDAL : KEN HORDELL, A NEW NAME IN W.A. SOCCER
Till 1973 the name Ken Hordell meant very little to W.A. soccer. After October 6, most sports followers, even those not connected with the game, knew who Hordell was. He became the winner of the third Rothmans Gold Medal award for the season's fairest and best player. Hordell, a utility player for Stirling City, was not even in the betting to take out a medal. But he came out of nowhere to beat Cracovia's Mike Quayle, a red hot favourite for the award, by three votes on the last count of the evening.
Once again Rothmans and Channel Nine combined to present live on TV to the general public of W.A. the last section of the counting. During a special dinner held in the television studios a progressive count had been presented to many invited guests. At no stage could anyone say with confidence who would take out the coveted medal. But towards the end it became a battle in three with Morley-Windmills fine defender Denis Barstow joining in as a potential winner.
Whereas the 1972 tally count was a runaway for another outsider, Martin Redpath of Kwinana United, 1973 kept all eyes glued to the board, and ears tuned to the count being given by the president of the Soccer Federation of W.A., Mr John Venn. With only a few matches to be tallied, it was obvious that the battle had become a two-way affair with both Quayle and Hordell locked together on 21 points with one vote slip to go. When it was discovered that Stirling City playing Olympic-Kingsway was the last count, everyone waited in anticipation to hear Hordell's name for at least one point. When Mr Venn called three, the maximum for each match, to Hordell, a spontaneous burst of applause greeted the victory.
While Ken Hordell may not have been the favourite, or even the best player in W.A. everyone recognised that in a struggling Stirling City, who eventually earned relegation to the second division for 1974, he had been a tireless worker, endeavouring to raise the spirit and ability of the team around him in the hope of a miracle recovery. Mike Quayle's strong polling underlined his contribution to Cracovia's superb defence that conceded only 26 goals, the least number in the first division competition.
Denis Barstow's great run in also mirrored the strength of Morley-Windmills's defence. Windmills can thank their defence, led by Barstow, for winning the 1973 premiership, because in the final nine matches they conceded only a remarkable nine goals. One of the motivating forces in the Ascot side is striker Ray Ilott, and his fourth placing with 15 points highlighted the value of this devastating player.
Once again, the wisdom of leaving the voting in the hands of the referees, who have enough to do without gauging each players performance, must be questioned. Far too many top-class players failed to gain votes comparative to their standing in the game. Referees are prey to stresses and strains of the personalities around them in the heat of battle; while observers off the field are less emotionally involved.
The leading vote getters in the Rothmans Gold Medal were:
Ken Hordell (Stirling City) 24
Mike Quayle (Cracovia) 21
Denis Barstow (Morley-Windmills) 16
Ray Ilott (Ascot) 15
John Van Dosten (Morley-Windmills), Paul Messer (Bayswater United), Mike Ireson (Olympic-Kingsway) 14
Geoff Cole (Kwinana Utd) 13
Stephen Sceats (Ascot), Wally Migas (Cracovia) 12
Peter Holt (Azzurri) 11
Alfred Debono (Bayswater United), Alan Pendleton (Inglewood-Kiev), Bill Hicks (Tricolore) 9
LEADING GOALSCORER : A STUNNING 1973 IN MANY RESPECTS
The 1973 Ken George-Yamaha goalscoring award for the season's top goalscorer in the first division will be remembered for three major events. First - it was the first time two players had tied for the award under federation competition. Second - the sponsor Ken George increased the cash incentives from $3 a goal to $5 a goal, and then demonstrated further generosity by announcing that because there had been a tie, both players would be given $5 a goal. Third - the stunning rejection by Dundo of his award after charging that he had been robbed a goal during the season.
Since the federation started in 1960, after breaking away from the old amateur association, there has always been a clear-cut winner in the goalscoring competition. But 1973 saw the first tied scoring award when both Len Dundo (Inglewood-Kiev) and Bobby Hynd (East Fremantle'Tricolore) scored 19 goals. This total was the lowest ever achieved by a top gaolscorer in one league season, and speaks volumes for the vastly improved tactics employed by more knowledgeable coaches to snuff out attacking dangers by the oppostion. A quick look at the record later in this annual will show that the previous lowest total was scored by the great Tricolore forward Johnny Mclnroy who notched 20 goals in 1969.
How did each player record his tally? Dundo, who won the award easily last year with 34 goals, missed the net completely in seven matches out of the 18 played. He opened his account with a hat-trick against Cracovia in the second match of the season, and got two more hat-tricks in the competition. Starting with three against Cracovia his tally was made up as follows: 3-2-1-3-3-1-1-1-2-1-1.
Hynd, who took the title in 1970 with 33 goals, could only manage two hat-tricks. He started the season with one against Bayswater United,then like Dundo managed one against Cracovia halfway through the season. His goal accumulation was made up as follows 3-2-2-1-1-3-1-1-2-1-1. Both were hotly pressed by Morley-Windmills John Van Oosten who scored 17, one of his lowest efforts. Once again the federation expresses thanks to Ken George for his support for providing the cash incentive to players to strive to make the game more attractive to the spectator. His gesture to give both players the same amount rather than split the award was a great boost to the competition.
However, it is impossible to draw a balanced account of the goalscorers competition without making reference to Dundo's refusal to accept his part of the award. His rejection of a cheque from Ken George was made in the full glare of publicity and reported widely in the press. His reason was based on the charge that he was credited with one less goal than he scored, the missing goal being scored against Stirling City on the 28th of July. Dundo contends that he scored two goals, while the referee was adamant, even during an official investigation at the end of the season, that he had scored only one.
However, it would appear almost certain that Dundo's claim was correct in the light of overwhelming evidence gathered from officials from both clubs involved, numerous spectators beyond reproach and federation officials at the scene. But it is a maxim of soccer that the referees word is final, and despite the evidence to the contrary the referee refused to bend and amend his verdict. The federation, therefore, had no alternative but to accept the referee's judgment as per the rules governing soccer throughout the world. But the incident is yet again a warning to officials that records of WA soccer must be meticulously kept, preferably on a week by week basis where any deviation will show up immediately and can be corrected without too much trouble. Finally players must learn to accept decisions, even if incorrect.
The following were the top scorers in first division:
Len Dundo (Kiev), Bobby Hynd (Tricolore) 19
John Van Dosten (Windmills) 17
Keith Evans (Kwinana Utd) 12
Peter Garnham (Bayswater Utd), Eric Marocchi (Azzurri) 11
Wally Migas (Cracovia), Ray Ilott (Ascot) 10
Ken Hordell (Stirling City), Chris Lovatsis, Dali Omar (Olympic), Bob Lee (Windmills), Gus Formato (Azzurri), Jeff Ruellan (Kiev) 8
Once again the name of Mike Hallam came forward as the winner of the second division goaI scorers award, where Mead Johnston provided $1 a goal, His 24 goals topped the best any division could record in 1973 repeating a similar feat he achieved in 1972. Hallam was well clear of the next best, his brother Paul Hallam, of Croatia-North Perth, who scored 15 goals. The following are the top goal scorers in each club:
M. Hallam (Floreat Athena) 24
Paul Hallam (Croatia N .P.) 15
C Hayes (Alemannia-Melville), A. Halliday (Cockburn Utd) 9
D. Clarkson (Perth City) 8
J. Jurjevich (Swan Valley), N. Fudlovski (Macedonia Utd) 7
A Moore (Subiaco City), G. Oldman (Gosnells), B. Taylor (Fremantle Dalmatinacs) 6
The second top scorer in the federation was Ross Kelly of Rockingham, a player who did much to raise his team to finish top of the third division to earn promotion to the second division for 1974. Top club scorers in this division were:
R. Kelly (Rockingham Utd) 20
A. Byrne (Queens Park) 12
P. Saunders (Sorrento) 9
R. Rucci (Lathlain Meazza), T. Leckenby (Caledonians), S. Sibson (University) 8
P. Rakich (Swan Athletic) 6
A. Bate (Canning Corinthians) 5
M. Norris (Kelmscott), T . Reynolds (Kelmscott), T. Papalia (Kelmscott) 3
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