2019 Season Preview

National Premier Leagues WA

ARMADALE

State Championships: None
State Cups: 1 (2018)

Top goalscorer in 2018: Chris Jackson 48

2018 Cup: Final – won Grand Final v Gwelup Croatia 2-0

2018 League season: 10th – won 9 – drew 5 – lost 12 – 32 points

Young player to watch - Beau Ramin

Vital player - Billy Quinncroft - The skipper led by example last season and lifted the cup, they need the hard-working defender to be at his best in 2019

Coach - John O'Reilly is in his third year at the Alfred Skeet Reserve, and he has overseen the club’s transition and winning the State League Cup last season and playing in the national stage of the FFA Cup was a great effort by all involved. The former Swan United and Shamrock Rovers coach will be looking for an improvement on last season's tenth spot on the table, and of course hold on to their cup crown.

It was a successful season for Armadale in 2018, winning the State League Cup against Gwelup Croatia and playing in the round of 32 of the FFA Cup in Cairns. In the league it was another season of improvement for O'Reilly's side, but their cup exploits took its toll late, but 32 points was their best return in the top flight and they finished in 10th place one higher than 2017. They struggled in the Night Series this season and didn't win a game and after losing influential striker Chris Jackson and midfielder Ali Ghomai their squad looks light. But the additions of imports Harry Evans and James Haran, Blake Adams, Sam Garces and Friday Zico (who has returned from injury), will bolster the squad, and with the Reds hard to beat at home they will be competitive, but skipper Billy Quinncroft is vital at the back for the Reds, while his centre back partner Nathan Costello and keeper Sam Hutchings will need have a good season if they are to avoid the drop.

Players In - Ali Nazery (Perth SC), Blake Adams (Cockburn), Sam Garces (Murdoch University Melville), James Haran (Eastbourne FC, England), Friday Zico (Return from injury), Josh Cortes (Western Knights), Ishmail Bangura (Ashfield) Adriano Jelenovic (Davenport), Harry Evans (Tiverton Town, England)

BALCATTA

State Championships: None
State Cups: None

Top goalscorer in 2018: Calum O’Connell 16

2018 Cup: Fifth Round - Lost to Armadale (H) - 2-3

2018 League Season: 11th – won 9 – drew 2 – lost 15 – 32 points

Young player to watch - Shubham Mokala

Vital player - Calum O'Connell - Not only was the defender the clubs leading goal scorer he skippered the side, and his all-round game led the side through-out the season, he will be vital again in 2019

Coach - Goran Stajic embarks on his second season at the helm of Balcatta, and he will be hoping they can avoid the relegation scrap, something the club have had to deal with over the past two seasons. He has had to juggle his position at Balcatta with his work with Australian Pararoos, but he has assembled a strong squad for 2019 and they will be looking to move up the table and go in search of the first league title since 2011

For the second season running Balcatta survived relegation on the final day of the 2018 season. Static's side had a good mix of youngsters and experienced players and were really competitive, but some bad luck and silly errors cost them, and he will be looking to continue their improvement in 2019. They have been busy in the transfer market bringing in keepers Yousri Gharsallah and Davie Kennan, Alex Castiello and John Kearney at the back, in midfield they have signed Niels Willems from Dutch side Achilles 29, while up front the lively Callum Stocks and veteran striker Gavin Knight will add to their firepower. The club have big ambitions and in Static have a good coach, will the new signings improve them, only time will tell but we expect them to be big improvers in 2019.

Players In - Yousri Gharsallah (Morley), Davie Keenan (Returns from injury), Alex Castiello (Subiaco), Callum Stocks (Joondalup United), Gavin Knight (Swan United), John Kearney (Bayswater City), Adam Zimarino and Michael Zimarino, Louis Rossi (Perth SC), Niels Willems (Achilles ’29 (Holland), Milan Ognjenovic (Armadale), Adam Falcone (Stirling Lions)

BAYSWATER CITY

State Championships: 4 (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017)
State Cups: 2 (2013, 2014)

Top goalscorer in 2018: Gian Albano and Luka Ninkovic 24

2018 Cup: Fifth Round - Lost to Floreat Athena (H) - 1-2

2018 League season: 4th – won 15 – drew 2 – lost 9 – 47 points

Young player to Watch - Giordano Colli

Vital Player - Daryl Nicol - The speedy winger has been brought in from ECU Joondalup and his pace and guile, plus his form in front of goal, he will be an important cog in Bayswater's title challenge.

Coach - Former Socceroo Chris Coyne has been a fixture at Frank Drago Reserve for a number of seasons and he enters his seventh season as coach at the Black and Blues. Coyne had an illustrious career on the pitch overseas, and he's continued on with that in his coaching career. He has coached the WA State team to success over the years, and has finished top of the league on four occasions in his tenure at the club.

Although Bayswater City reached the Top Four Finals it was a disappointing season for Coyne's side, and I'm sure he will be looking for an improvement in 2019. An early exit from the Cup and a mid-season slump had the Black and Blues in doubt of making the end of season finals, but a late surge secured their spot, but they did go out at the first hurdle at Cockburn City. Coyne has acted quickly to bolster the squad by adding ECU Joondalup duo Gordon Smith and 2018 Gold Medal winner Daryl Nicol, while Adam Tong and Steve Hesketh has given the back four a boost. After a slow start in the Night Series they reached the Final and their form has improved and they will go into the season as one of the favourites for the title.

Players In - Daryl Nicol, Gordon Smith, Adam Tong, Ross Millard (All ECU Joondalup), Steve Hesketh (Rockdale City NSWNPL), Clarke Keltie (Returns from injury), Gustavo Giron-Marulanda (Returns from injury)

COCKBURN CITY

State Championships: 3 (1979, 1982, 1986)
Cup Winners: 3 (1983, 1984, 1985)

Top goalscorer in 2018: Daniel Robinson 38

2018 Cup: Fifth Round - Lost to Gwelup Croatia (A) 1-3)

2018 League Season: 3rd – won 14 – drew 6 – won 6 – 48 points

Young player to Watch: Adam Anfuso

Vital Player - Cameron Edwards - The former Perth Glory midfielder was huge for Cockburn last season, his distribution and set pieces were fantastic, and his influence in the middle of the park will again be important for them.

Coach - Former Perth Glory legend Scott Miller goes into his fourth season has Head Coach at the Cockerels, and he has seen the club improve each season under his control. Last season’s third place was the best position the club has achieved since 2006, and he has added some quality to the line-up this season, and its exciting times ahead for everyone at Dalmatinac Park.

Another good season for Miller's side, a third placed finish and a spot in the top four finals, before eventually losing narrowly to Champions Perth SC in the Preliminary final. Former Perth Glory duo Cameron Edwards and Harry O'Brien were outstanding for the Cockerels last season, while striker Daniel Robinson burst on the scene with a number of important goals during the season. They have added some quality to their squad for this season, with defenders Devon Gibson, Riley Woodcock and Hayden Stevens all coming in while up top Hasani Sinclair and Ashley Rosindale are great pick-ups. Their squad looks strong this season and under the tutelage of Miller, Cockburn will be one of the favourites for the title in 2019.

Players In – Hayden Stevens (Balcatta), Hasani Sinclair (Forrestfield United*), Ashley Rosindale (Inglewood United), Riley Woodcock (Sydney Olympic), Devon Gibson (Bayswater City)

* awaiting clearance from overseas

ECU JOONDALUP

State Championships: 1 (1999)
Cup Winners: 2 (1998, 2002)

Top Goalscorer 2018: Daryl Nicol 48

2018 Cup - Semi-Final - Lost to Armadale (A) 2-3

2018 League Season – 6th – won 13 – drew 5 – lost eight – 44 points

Young player to watch: Tom Hough

Vital Player - Josh Whitmore - The midfielder was outstanding last season and his pressure on the ball and tireless work off the ball is something that the Jacks will need again in 2019.

Coach - Former Jacks skipper Dale McCulloch goes into his seventh season has Head Coach at the club, and has the club on the up, with a top six finish in the last three seasons, as they go in search of their first Premier League title since 1999. The club have a reputation of bringing through talented youngster and McCulloch hasn't been afraid to use them and it bodes well for the club in the years ahead.

It was a disappointing season for ECU Joondalup, missing out on the top four, this after going so close the year before. Daryl Nicol was outstanding, and he became the first ECU player to win the Football West 'Gold Medal', but they lacked consistency and that hurt them late in the season. Head coach McCulloch has been busy in the transfer market bringing in a number of players, to replace some big outs. Former Perth Glory striker Joe Knowles has returned to the club and with new Czech striker Jakub Sklenar and Richard Howles up front they have a potent forward line, while Henry Durr has also returned to the club from NPL Victoria and all have looked impressive in the night series, but once again consistency hit missing out on a semi-final spot. They have a workman like squad which will cause teams problems and should finish in the top half of the table in 2019.

Players In - Jakub Sklenar (Olympia Warriors, Tasmania)), Joe Knowles (Unattached), Luke Palmateer (Olympic Kingsway), Ollie Annis, Bayley Brown-Montgomery (Perth Glory), Henry Durr (Returns from injury), Richard Howles (Perth SC), Scott Wallis (Inglewood)

FLOREAT ATHENA

State Championships: 4 (1977, 1988, 1997, 2007)
State Cups: 5 (1987, 1988, 1989, 1997, 2009)

Top Goalscorer 2018: Dean Evans 24

2018 Cup – Semi-Final – Lost to Gwelup Croatia (A) 4-1

2018 League Season – 7th – won 12 – drew 5 – lost 9 – 41 points

Young player to watch: Tom Jebb

Vital player - Dean Evans - The former Perth Glory midfielder continues to shine, his hold up play is outstanding and his eye for goal, from open play and set pieces, is a huge factor in Floreat's recent good form.

Coach – Garrett McDuling goes into his second season as Head Coach of Floreat Athena and he has made an immediate impact after joining the club from Perth SC last season. He led Perth 20's to the league title in 2017, and his talent was spotted by the E&D Litis Stadium club, and the rest is history as they say. A Night Series Final win and unbeaten in the league since his appointment the club hope he is the one to take them to their first title since 2007.

After a disappointing start to the season, where coach Howard Tweets was released and McDuling replaced him, a fantastic second half of the season saw them go close to a top four finish, and they have continued that form with a successful Night Series campaign beating Bayswater in the final last weekend. Led by inspirational skipper Dean Evans and Ludovic Boi, Floreat have added some quality to there already solid squad, and the inclusion of Perth SC pair Adrian Madaschi and Nick Ambrogio as well as youngsters Luka Ninkovic and Tom Jebb has added depth to the squad. McDuling has got the club up off the floor since his appointment and he has the side playing good football add to that a strong back four and midfield they will be there or there about come season end.

Players In – Adrian Madaschi, Nick Ambrogio (Perth SC), Tom Jebb (Forrestfield United), Ibrahima Soumah (Laos, Thailand), Luka Ninkovic, Tristan Colli (Bayswater City)

INGLEWOOD UNITED

State Championships: 1 (1996)
State Cups: 2 (1977, 1999)

Top Goalscorer 2018: Alex Salmon 34

2018 Cup – Fourth Round – Lost to ECU Joondalup (H) 1-3

2018 League Season – 5th – won 13 – 7 – lost 6 – 46 points

Young player to watch: Sam Riak

Vital player – Jason Barrera - The talented midfielder ran the show in the middle of the park at Inglewood last season, and his eye for goal and defence splitting through balls makes him a dangerous player, and vital if Inglewood are to rise up the table

Coach - Andrea Oliveira goes into his first season as Head Coach at Inglewood United, after being appointed this week after the resignation of Trim Morgan. He had a stellar career on the park, starring for Perth SC and winning five league title, before time at Floreat Athena and South Melbourne. He was assistant coach at the club for the last two seasons and steps up looking to help bring the club its first title since 1996.

It was a disappointing season for Inglewood United, and their fifth place finished signalled the end of Andy Keogh tenure at the club and he was replaced by former Western Knights Coach Trim Morgan. But things didn't work out for him and he left his post prior to the new season and Oliveira has taking over the reins. The Wood were there or there about all season, but only two wins in their last seven games eventually meant they missed out on a place in the end of season finals by only one point. They have also lost a number of players in the off-season, but have added talented defender Mark Barnett, Chok Dor and Sam Riak from Perth Glory, while former Roda JC under 20’s midfielder Antony Bafobusha and Czech striker Zdenek Bezdek will give them more threat up front. It's been a pre-season to forget for the club, but with Oliveira at the helm the club must move forward and the quality they have they will be competitive and in the top half of the league in 2019.

Players In – Mark Barnett (Forrestfield United), Sam Riak and Chok Dau (Perth Glory), Hamza Hina (Floreat Athena), Josiah Godfrey (Balcatta), Steve Sokol (Stirling Lions), Antony Bafobusha (Roda FC, Holland), Zdenek Bezdek (Unattached)

PERTH

State Championships: 22 (1960, 1962, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1981, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016, 2018)
State Cups: 11 (1960, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1981, 1990, 1993, 2001, 2005)

Top Goalscorer 2018: Paul Zimarino 42

2018 Cup – Quarter Final – Lost to Floreat Athena (A) 4-3 on penalties

2018 League Season – Champions – won 17 – drew 4 – lost 59 – 55 points

Young Player to watch – Kristan Santich

Vital Player - - Niccolς Sabatini - The speedy winger was a huge part of the club’s title last season, he his pace to burn and is a dead ball specialist, he will be vital for the Champions in 2019.

Coach - Ramon Falzon is in his fourth season at Dorrien Gardens and has guided Perth SC to two league titles in that time, and last season won the league and the top Four Cup double. The Azzurri have been the benchmark for WA football over the years compiling 22 league titles in their history, and the former Balcatta and WA State Coach will be aiming to make it 23 in 2019.

Perth SC will be searching for their 23rd Premier League title in 2019, and not many people will be backing against them. The club raced home last season to pip Glory in the final game of the season, and went on to beat them in the Top Four Grand Final, to end successful season for Falzon's side. The coach has added some quality to the side, with defenders Tom Southgate and Bojan Radinovic bolstering their backline, while former Perth Glory duo Michael Domfeh and Yacoub Mustafa has added to their strike force. The club still seem to bring on some of their talented youngsters in to the first team and players like Kristan Santich, Matt Milenkovic and Alex Silla shone last season, and Falzon isn't afraid to play them. Add to that the experience of Gustavo Catarcione, Francis Soale and Niccolς Sabatini Perth will be in the race for the title again this time around.

Players In - Tom Southgate (Forrestfield United), Bojan Radinovic (Dianella White Eagles), Jackson Morgan (Sorrento), Michael Domfeh and Yacoub Mustafa (Perth Glory), Luke Garas

PERTH GLORY

State Championships: None
State Cups: None

Top Goalscorer 2018: Michael Domfeh 30

2018 Cup – Did not compete

2018 League Season – 2nd – won 16 – drew 6 – lost 4 – 54 points

Young player to watch: Aiden Edwards

Vital Player – Daniel Stynes - Injury cost the youngster game time in the A-League last season, but his performances in the NPL was outstanding, and he also chimed in with goals, which makes him vital for the young side in 2019.

Coach - Former Hull City and Socceroos striker Richard Garcia goes into his first season as Head Coach of Perth Glory, taking over from John Gibson. They had their best season in the NPL last season and went close to the title and Garcia has a new look side in 2019, a side full of talented youngsters. The club are doing well in the A-League and Garcia is hoping his young side can continue that in the NPL this season.

It was a break out season for Perth Glory and their youngsters were so close to the title but defeat on the final day handed the title to Perth SC, who also beat them in the Top Four Grand Final. The hard work of Head Coach John Gibson can't be forgotten, and the decision to move him on has left some people scratching their heads. The club have appointed Garcia to oversee the squad this season and only time will tell if the decision is the right one. They did have a successful Foxtel Y-League, but a number of those players have moved on and will next generation be competitive? Young Socceroos Callum Timmins and Nick Walsh will be vital for the youngsters, while Daniel Stynes, Luke Bodnar, Liam Murray, Jack Leech and Jayden leader will need to all step up if they are to repeat last season's success. Garcia has a number of players who haven't played at this level before, but they are good young players, but we can see them struggling this time around.

Players In – N/A

ROCKINGHAM CITY

State Championships: None
State Cups: None

Top Goalscorer 2018: James Harmer 15 goals

2018 Cup – Fourth Round – Lost to Armadale (H) 2-3

2018 League Season – Champions in Division One – won 12 – drew 5 – lost 9 – 41 points

Young player to watch: Riley van Dieken

Vital Player - James Harmer - The Welsh striker will make a huge impact in the NPL, his work rate is second to none and his goals were a major factor in their promotion this season, he will cause all teams problems in 2019.

Coach - It's an historic season for Cameron Lord and Rockingham City, their first season in the NPL. They were in the Premier League in 2000, but have struggled since, dropping down to the Second Division in 2014, but they have risen to the top flight under the guidance of Lord. He played for Rockingham and Canning City and has risen up through the coaching ranks at Lark Hill to take the head coaching role last season, and the young coach has his team playing good football and ready for the NPL.

The Lark Hill club return to the top flight of WA football for the first time since 2000 after winning the First Division title last season. They won the league with only three defeat all season and backed by a big home crowd were worthy winners, two points clear of Gwelup Croatia. Lord has built a very competitive side and led by First Division 'Player of the Year' James Harmer, and experienced keeper Cyril Sharrock, plus American import Kody Millard, while new recruits Riley van Dieken, Shaz Ramlee and Victor Brauner have added depth to the squad. After a strong showing in the Night Series, where they reached the Semi-Final, they go into the season as a team full of confidence.

Players In – Mitch Firth (Mandurah City), Riley van Dieken, Harry Collins (Cockburn City), Shaz Ramlee (Sarawak FA, Malaysia), Victor Brauner (Gwelup Croatia), Michael Farmer, Jarred Mort (South West Phoenix), Sam McKearnen (Perth Glory)

SORRENTO

State Championships: 4 (2001, 2006, 2008, 2012)
State Cups: 3 (2011, 2012, 2015)

Top Goalscorer 2018: Jordan Roberts 22

2018 Cup – Quarter Final – Lost to Perth SC (H) 3-4

2018 League Season – 8th – won 10 – drew 4 – lost 92 – 34 points

Young player to watch: Danny Jones

Vital Player – Jordan Roberts - The striker was a threat to all defences last season, and his eye for goal and guile was huge for the Gulls. He also linked up well with his fellow forwards, and found the net 22 times and he will be looking for more of the same in 2019.

Coach - Former Perth Glory defender Jamie Harnwell is in his sixth season at Percy Doyle Reserve, and the Gulls have been there or there about in recent years and won the title in 2012 with Harnwell a big part of that line-up. Harnwell, who played over 250 games for Glory, and coached Perth Glory and Adelaide United Ladies teams as well as the WA State side, will be ready for the challenge in 2019.

Last season saw Sorrento hover around the relegation zone for parts of the season, but Harnwell’s side finished well to finish eighth, with just one defeat in their last seven matches. The Gulls have been one of the most successful side in the NPL over the last 11 seasons, but their finishing position last season was their lowest in the that time, so they will be looking for an improvement in 2019. They have signed talented defenders David Stokoe and Scott Robertson, and Joondalup United duo Elliot Tattersall and Fraser Garnaut. Goalscoring was a problem for the Gulls last season, and they have lost big striker Sean Canham, but if Roberts can continue where he left off last season, they will again be among the front runners this season.

Players in - David Stokoe (Bayswater City), Scott Robertson (Inglewood United), Elliot Tattersall (Joondalup United) , Fraser Garnaut (Joondalup United)

STIRLING LIONS

State Championships: 6 (1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1994, 1995)
State Cups: 6 (1980, 1992, 1996, 2006, 2007, 2010)

Top Goalscorer 2018: Alex Tanevski 24

2018 Cup – Quarter Final – Lost to Subiaco (A) 1-3

2018 League Season – 9th – won 10 – drew 2 – lost 14 – 32 points

Young Player to Watch: Kristian Despotovski

Vital Player - Finn Graham - He may have only just arrived in the country, but the Scottish import will be vital for the Lions in 2019. He works his socks off in midfield, and his leadership on and off the park will be vital for the Lions this season, and he will pop up with a few goals too.

Coach - Keegan Ashley is in his second season at the helm of the Lions, and he will be looking to improve on their ninth-place finish last season. The Lions ended the season well to avoid the relegation fight and the coach has been busy in the transfer market and their squad looks well balance and will cause teams problems in 2019, as the Lions go in search for their first state championship since 1995.

It was a disappointing season for Stirling Lions in 2018, and they hovered around the relegation zone for long periods but wins in their final three games, including a big win in the final game of the season at Forrestfield saw them beat the drop. Head coach Ashley has added to his squad for 2019, in the middle of the park he has brought in former Brechin City and Arbroath midfielder Finn Graham, while experienced keeper Ryan Montgomery has also joined from Subiaco. The fitness of David Micevski is vital for the Lions, the former Perth Glory midfielder missed the Night Series, but his influence along with Graham will help the talented youngsters, the likes of Dhours Chol and David Mollinari. They need a good start to the season they could push for a top five spot.

Players In – Kristian Despotovski (Forrestfield United), Finn Graham (Arbroath, Scotland), Jackson Dongray, Ryan Montgomery (Subiaco), Nelson Tshongo, Mile Petkovski (Balga)

footballwa.net Predictions

"The Insider" Eamon Duffy   Jacob Aufdemkampe Don Evans
         
NPL-WA table NPL-WA table   NPL-WA table NPL-WA table
Bayswater City Bayswater City 1 Bayswater City Floreat Athena
Perth Floreat Athena 2 Perth Bayswater City
Floreat Athena Perth 3 Floreat Athena Perth
Cockburn City Perth Glory 4 Cockburn City Cockburn City
ECU Joondalup Inglewood United 5 ECU Joondalup Perth Glory
Inglewood United ECU Joondalup 6 Sorrento ECU Joondalup
Sorrento Sorrento 7 Perth Glory Inglewood United
Balcatta Rockingham City 8 Rockingham City Sorrento
Stirling Lions Cockburn City 9 Inglewood United Stirling Lions
Perth Glory Stirling Lions 10 Balcatta Balcatta
Armadale Balcatta 11 Stirling Lions Rockingham City
Rockingham City Armadale 12 Armadale Armadale
         
State Cup Winners State Cup Winners   State Cup Winners State Cup Winners
Floreat Athena ECU Joondalup   Floreat Athena Perth
         
Cup Runners-Up Cup Runners-Up   Cup Runners-Up Cup Runners-Up
Bayswater City Inglewood United   Western Knights Cockburn City
         
Top Four Cup Winners Top Four Cup Winners   Top Four Cup Winners Top Four Cup Winners
Bayswater City Bayswater City   Perth Floreat Athena
         
Gold Medal Winner Gold Medal Winner   Gold Medal Winner Gold Medal Winner
Dean Evans (Floreat Athena) Gordon Smith (Bayswater City)   Daryl Nicol (Bayswater City) Cameron Edwards (Cockburn City)
         

State League Division One and Two

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This page was last updated on the 9th November, 2018