2007 Premier League All-Star Squad


Dino PACELLA
(Cockburn City)

Michael ICANOVSKI
(Perth S.C.)

Ante KOVACEVIC
(Floreat Athena)

Shane NUNES
(Cockburn City)

John MIGAS
(Floreat Athena)

Andrija JUKIC
(Western Knights)

Marc ANTHONY
(E.C.U. Joondalup)

Josip MAGDIC
(Floreat Athena)

Johnny MIRCO
(Cockburn City)

Boima KARPEH
(Floreat Athena)

Nikita RUKAVYTSYA
(Perth S.C.)

"The 2007 Premier League All-Stars is based upon player nominations submitted
by representatives of the twelve Premier League clubs."
- Brett Klucznik

The Starting Eleven

Dino PACELLA (Goalkeeper) - A couple of years out of the game pursuing business interests did nothing to dull Dino Pacellaís passion for the game. The 30-year old returned to Cockburn City on the eve of the regular season and remained Scott Millerís preferred goalkeeper until the final day of the campaign. His vast experience and knowledge of the game was put to great use behind a young, mobile defence while Pacellaís cat-like reflexes and agility left many an opponent frustrated. Amongst the highlights of a sensational season were particularly impressive performances against Stirling Lions (R6), Western Knights (R10), E.C.U. Joondalup (R19) and the Cup semi-final defeat of Swan I.C. A popular figure at Dalmatinac Park, Pacella ended the year with seven clean sheets to his credit and his clubs Playersí Player of the Year award.

Michael ICANOVSKI (Right Back) - A no-nonsense attitude and neat distribution from the back have made long-serving defender Michael Icanovski one of the most respected figures at Perth S.C. Icanovski laid the foundations for another sterling season with a string of impressive Night Series performances that aided his club to claim the pre-season trophy for a fifth time in seven seasons. The 27-year old started the home and away campaign with commanding displays against Armadale (R1) and Swan I.C. (R3) and carried that form throughout the remainder of the year. But the highlights of Icanovskiís season came late and in the form of a best on ground display in the defeat of Armadale (R20) which was followed shortly after by his selection in the Football West Select XI against visiting Malaysian team Selangor.

Ante KOVACEVIC (Centre Back) - Floreat Athenaís year would have turned out a whole lot different if not for the efforts of veteran defender Ante Kovacevic. With over a decades experience at the highest level under his belt, the 33-year old provided leadership and muscle to a young Floreat side in early defeats of Cockburn City (R3) and Perth S.C. (R6). As the inner city club closed in on their first championship in a decade Kovacevic produced gritty performances against Stirling Lions (R14), Inglewood United (R16) and E.C.U. Joondalup (R17) before turning in a best on ground in the late season triumph over Western Knights (R21). Joint fifth on Gold Medal night and a short-term deal with Perth Glory, during which he took his career tally to 279 national league games, were the perfect end to Kovacevicís debut season in West Australia.

Shane NUNES (Centre Back) - Shane Nunes has developed into one of the State Leagueís most accomplished defenders. Time at Rockingham City and Fremantle City gave Nunes a solid grounding but itís been the past couple of seasons with Cockburn City where the elegant 23-year old has learnt the games finer points. This year he rated highly in both outings with Sorrento (R1 and R20) as well as games against Inglewood United (R4) and Wanneroo City (R13) before turning in a masterful display in the final round clash with Western Knights (R22). Itís rare that Nunes, always cool under pressure, emerges from a tackle without the ball at his feet while his driving runs through midfield are a pleasure to watch. Few would disagree that Nunes, Cockburnís Fairest and Best in 2007, deserves to be showcasing his wares on a higher platform.

John MIGAS (Left Back) - Hard-working John Migas was influential in Floreat Athenaís unbeaten championship winning campaign. Having initially made his mark as a teenager with Fremantle Citry, the versatile now 22-year year old has come really come of age since switching to Litis Stadium three years ago. Migasí on the ball strength, thoughtful distribution and positional awareness make him one of the most reliable defenders in the competition, while his overlapping runs down the left provides Floreat another avenue to goal. The highlights of a memorable season came late for Migas who followed an eye-catching display against Sorrento (R19) with a best on ground in the dramatic defeat of Swan I.C. (R20). Given the opportunity, there is little doubt Migas would thrive in a full-time environment such as that offered by the A-League.

Andrija JUKIC (Right Midfield) - Excitement machine Andrija Jukic signalled his intentions of playing national league football with arguably the best season of his young career. Jukic, 20, burst onto the scene as a teenager with Western Knights and returned to the club with a few more strings to his bow following a season in Croatian with NK Posusje. Blessed with pace, terrific control and top-notch distribution, he started the regular season with an eye-catching display in the away win at Inglewood United (R1). He went on to play the starring role in defeats of Wanneroo City (R5), Armadale (R6) and Sorrento (R9 and R12), and worked tirelessly in the away draw at Perth S.C. (R19). Come seasonsí end Jukic was rewarded with joint third in the Gold Medal count and a place in the Football West Select XI for the friendly against Selangor.

Marc ANTHONY (Midfield) - E.C.U. Joondalup would have been rubbing their hands with glee when 29-year old Marc Anthony to put pen to paper on the eve of the home and away series. Within days the Edinburgh-born attacker was tormenting defences with his creativity, vision and non-stop work ethic. Anthony, who played professionally with Glasgow Celtic, Berwick Rangers and Forfar Athletic in his homeland, was the architect of Joondalupís five-goal mauling of Inglewood United (R6) and the mid-season triumph over northern neighbour Sorrento (R11). He hit peak form during the second half of the season with eye-catching displays against Perth S.C. (R13), Inglewood United (15), Armadale (R16), Cockburn City (R19) and Fremantle Spirit (R20). Capable of playing as an attacking midfielder or striker, Anthony completed a memorable State League debut by finishing joint third on the Gold Medal night.

Josip MAGDIC (Midfield) - The influence of 22-year old Josip Magdic can not be under-estimated in Floreat Athena completing the home and away series without defeat. Possessing a tremendous workrate, great technique and a strong desire to get past opponents, Madgic can turn a game in the blink of an eye. He joined Floreat fresh from a season with Perth Glory and stamped his authority in early defeats of Swan I.C. (R1), Sorrento (R2) and Inglewood United (R5). A classy display in the mid-season thrashing of Perth S.C. (R15) was arguably his best of the year, while Magdic showed his goalscoring prowess by scoring twice against Western Knights (R21) followed by a match-winning hat-trick in the final round clash with Armadale (R22). Joint third in the Gold Medal, itís surely only a matter of time before Magdic returns to the national league arena.

Johnnny MIRCO (Left Midfield) - The sight of Johnny Mirco bearing down on goal with the ball at his feet is sure to start heart palpitations in even the most battle hardened coach. The lively 30-year old showed his versatility in 2007 by occupying both goalscorer and provider roles. Starring roles in Cockburn Cityís early defeats of Sorrento (R1) and E.C.U. Joondalup (R2) gave Mirco a perfect start to the home and away series. A sensational hat-trick in the six-goal thrashing of Wanneroo City (R8) paved the way for his starring role in the home away over Western Knights (R10), and a match-winning effort against Perth S.C. (R16). A player that keeps opposing defences on high alert right up to the final whistle, Mircoís all competition tally stood at 18 goals when the season came to a close.

Boima KARPEH (Forward) - A rich vein of form singled Boima ĎJerryí Karpeh out as the stand out goalscorer of 2007. Five goals in six Night Series outings only hinted at what was to come from the 23-year old in his second season with Floreat Athena. He took things up a notch in mid-season by slamming in 16 goals in just eight games, and included hat-tricks against Wanneroo City (R9 and R12), Western Knights (R11) and Stirling Lions (R14). Karpeh complemented these with two-goal hauls in the late season defeats of Sorrento (R19) and Swan I.C.(R20) to take his tally for the year to 33 goals, 25 of which were in league competition. With the Golden Boot in his possession, Karpeh ended the year by stepping up to national league football with Perth Glory.

Nikita RUKAVYTSYA (Forward) - Australian Institute of Sport graduate Nikita Rukavytsya has a very big future in football. His year commenced with a brief three-game spell at Perth Glory which lead the Ukraine-born striker to agreeing a two-year deal with the A-League club. Rukavytsya returned to local ranks on loan to Perth S.C. where he warmed up for the season proper by playing an important role in the blues Night Series triumph. An opening day double against Armadale (R1) heralded a remarkable run in which the 20-year old netted nine times in five games with further two-goal hauls against Western Knights (R2), Swan I.C. (R3) and Sorrento (R4). Rukavytsya put away another double against Stirling Lions (R9) to take his league tally to 12 goals, plus another five in other competitions, by the time he was recalled by Glory.

The Shadow Squad

Phil STRAKER (Goalkeeper) - Stirling Lions shot-stopper Phil Straker will long remember his achievements of 2007. 24-year old Straker was a popular choice for the Goalkeeper of the Year after guiding Stirling to their second successive Cup and helping the club to third on the league table. Quick to close down opponents, strong in the air and possessing razor sharp reflexes, Straker, a former Sunderland youth player, was a pillar of strength in amassing nine clean sheets during the winter months. His contributions were never more important than against Cockburn City (R6), E.C.U. Joondalup (R10), Perth S.C (R12) and Western Knights (R18) as well as the Cup quarter-final defeat of Perth S.C. Straker ended the year by playing the starring role in Stirlingís dramatic penalty shoot-out Cup final win over Cockburn City.

Julian MADASCHI (Right Back) - The tireless efforts of Julian Madaschi are all too often overlooked when the plaudits are being awarded at Floreat Athena. A product of his clubs youth system, Madaschi cemented his place in the senior line-up three years ago and has gone on to establish himself as one of the most reliable and consistent defenders in the top flight. His excellent reading of play and intelligent use of the ball allows the 22-year old to turn the ball over with a minimum of fuss and quickly launch Floreat into attack. Amongst the highlights of a memorable season for Madaschi were a starring role in the home mauling of Armadale (R10) and the late season victory at Sorrento (R19). Madaschi got the nod over Cockburn Cityís Paul Natale for a place in the squad.

Aaron COLE (Centre Back) - Aaron Cole gave himself a new lease on life by leaving his long-time home of Dorrien Gardens to join Swan I.C. last summer. The move provided Cole, 27, exactly the challenge he was seeking after winning every trophy available and gaining State representative honours during his eight seasons with Perth S.C. He former a terrific partnership with up-and-coming defender David McNally and can count performances against E.C.U. Joondalup (R9), Armadale (R14), Fremantle Spirit (R16) and Floreat Athena (R20) amongst his best of the year. The Swan backline found themselves under pressure more often than not during the winter months and if it wasnít for the leadership and experience Cole brought to the side then their season would have panned out a while lot differently.

Kevin HENDERSON (Centre Back) - If consistency is what you want then Kevin Henderson is your man. 29-year old Henderson ended a nomadic existence two years ago by joining Stirling Lions and has subsequently carved out a reputation as an effective and uncompromising defender. The club captain lead by example as Stirling overcame E.C.U. Joondalup (R8) and Swan I.C. (R10), however, his crowning glory was a mid-season purple patch in which he starred against Perth S.C. (R12), Inglewood (R13), Floreat Athena (R14) and Cockburn City (R15). A second successive club Player of the Year award was worthy recognition of Hendersonís talents while a 12-goal winter earned him the trophy as Stirlingís highest goalscorer in 2007. Henderson made the squad ahead of young Armadale backman Darryl Platten.

Liam LILLY (Left Back) - Itís surely only a matter of time before Liam Lilly takes the next step in his career by joining national league ranks. The 22-year old underlined his quality with a solid year in the Cockburn City defence to consign a 2006 ruined by serious injury to the pages of history. Lilly heralded his return to action with a commanding performance in the early win over E.C.U. Joondalup (R2) and turned in a best on ground in Cockburnís home defeat of Western Knights (R10). These laid the foundations for similar starring roles against Wanneroo City (R13), Fremantle Spirit (R14) and Floreat Athena (R18). Lilly, a former Australian youth international, has shown the local supporters what heís capable of - letís hope that a national league club or two now take notice.

Matt DANSKIN (Right Midfield) - Another superb year on the right side of the park has enhanced Matt Danskinís already glowing reputation. As a teenager Danskin played first team for Fremantle City before spending a couple of years in Germany with Werder Bremen. Heís consistently come up with the good since moving to Perth at the start of 2005 with this seasonís efforts against Western Knights (R19) and Armadale (R20) rating particularly highly. Terrific pace and exquisite ball control allows Danskin to dominate the right flank from where his delivery into the 18-yard box causes no end of problems for defenders. The 22-year old complements his attacking instincts with an eagerness to play a defensive role when called upon. Danskin squeezed into the squad ahead of Cockburn City livewire Jason Dos Santos.

Robbie PUCA (Midfield) - Whether operating in the centre of midfield, down the left flank or as a striker, Robbie Puca makes sure thereís not a moments rest for the opposition. A player of tremendous skill and flair, the Perth S.C. captain started the year by netting his sides fourth and final goal in the Night Series final win over E.C.U. Joondalup. The 28-year old was instrumental in the six-goal mauling of traditional rival Swan I.C. (R3) which he followed with top-notch displays against Sorrento (R4) and Cockburn City (R5). Contributions against Fremantle Spirit (R10), Sorrento (R17) and Swan (R18) took Puca to fourth place in the Gold Medal count and played a big part in capturing his second club Fairest and Best award in three years. Puca beat English import Steve Porter (Stirling Lions) for a spot in the squad.

Dale WINGELL (Midfield) - Winning the 2007 Gold Medal was a dream come true for 32-year old Dale Wingell. The veteran midfielder worked tirelessly in the Fremantle Spirit engine room alongside rising star Jason Barerra on the clubs top flight return. Solid contributions against Wanneroo City (R2), Western Knights (R4), Swan I.C. (R5), Sorrento (R6) and Cockburn City (R7) made for a perfect start to the home and away series. The highpoint of his year was a best on ground at home to Stirling Lions (R11) and laid the foundations for similarly eye-catching displays against Sorrento (R15), Swan (R16), the Knights (R17) and Armadale (R18). Wingell was influential in late season wins over Stirling (R21) and Perth S.C. (R22) to claim the prestigious honour of being Western Australiaís best and fairest player.

Adam BACHILLOR (Left Midfield) - 22-year old Adam Bachillor truly is one of Floreat Athenaís quiet achievers. Blessed with pace, terrific ball control and energy to burn, Bachillorís mazy runs down the left invariably lead to a goalscoring opportunity for his team. And itís not just when pushing forward that he shines with Bachillor quick to get back and play his part in ending opposition forays. The skilful midfielder time and time again came up with the goods in his third season at Floreat Athena with efforts against Sorrento (R2), Perth S.C. (R6) and Stirling Lions (R7) and Cockburn City (R18) rating particularly highly. A player that covers a remarkable amount of territory over 90 minutes, Bachillor would walk into the starting eleven of any State League club.

Andreas OLIVEIRA (Forward) - Chilean-raised striker Andreas Oliveira hasnít looked back since exploding onto the local scene with Perth S.C. in 2001. The creative 23-year old heralded his return from a championship winning season at South Melbourne with a bagful of goals as Perth stormed their way to Night Series victory. A series of hamstring and ankle niggling injuries forced him to miss the opening half of the regular season but once back to full fitness Oliveira quickly rediscovered his goalscoring touch. His season account was opened with successive strikes against Wanneroo City (R11) and Stirling Lions (R12) before bagging a hat-trick in the six-goal thrashing of Inglewood United (R14). From there he netted with regularity to complete the year with 15 goals and place in the Football West Select XI line-up against Selangor.

Ian McMURRAY (Forward) - E.C.U. Joondalup captain Ian McMurray has marked himself as a striker of great quality and depth since emerging from seemingly nowhere last year. In 2007 McMurray spearheaded the Joondalup attack with 14 goals but itsí his ability to create opportunities by bringing others into the game that is the towering strikers greatest asset. A superb performance in the home defeat of Armadale (R5) was the highlight of a season that included eye-catching displays against Fremantle Spirit (R1), Inglewood United (R6), Armadale (R16), Floreat Athena (R17) and Stirling Lions (R22). Come seasonsí end McMurray was named his clubsí Fairest and Best player and a spot in the Football West Select XI against Selangor followed soon after.

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This page was last updated on the 28th December, 2007