SAINTS' ACADEMY PRODUCES THE GOODS
Former Everton player and Canberra Cosmos coach moved to W.A. a few years ago and has been enjoying his time in charge of the ECU Joondalup Saints' Academy. "The facilities out here are second to none, the conditions for playing football are ideal and I think we've got lot of young players who have got dreams of going on to become good players."
Working with some of the state's best young footballers, Lyons believes there are several at the club right now that are ready to step up to the next level. "Out of all the players that have been playing Under-21's, and they've all been doing quite well, at the moment I think that about four or five of them have played in the first team already," Lyons said. "I think that the likes of young Anthony Danze, who is 16 and a good player, (and) Shaun Kilkelly, he done very well and will be going over the Southampton later in the year. Also, Darren Broxton, he'll be going over to Southampton this Wednesday and hae's signed a three year contract with Southampton. Ryan Fredericks is a great athlete and he's doing very well. I mean, out of our squad four of them have reached the Joeys squad (and) I think we have about ten players in the Under-16 State squad. I think our Academny produces - we work very hard with them, and in the school holidays they come in and train every morning."
BORAL CUP SEMI-FINAL DRAW
With only four teams left in the Boral Cup, the semi-final draw was made this week with Sorrento facing Fremantle City and Western Knights pitted against Ashfield/Bunbury. Both games will be contested on Saturday 9th September.
RICHARD GARCIA ON VACATION
West Ham United's Richard Garcia has returned to Perth for the off-season where he's catching up with family and friends. The former Kingsway Olympic junior was questioned recently by Channel 31's Paul Tombides and he started by asking how the set-up at the London club compared to what he experienced in WA. "It's a bit different over there, you're training every day and it takes a bit to get used to, but you do get used to it. It's really good now, it's like having a full-time job ... I'm really enjoying it."
West Ham has been the launching pad for a number of players from down under over the past few years, including current national team players Stan Lazaridis and Chris Coyne, and Garcia isn't the only one hoping that this trend continues. "There's a few other boys there, Michael Ferrante and Steve Laurie, both Melbourne boys. They're doing quite well as well so there's a strong Australian base at West Ham." At one stage Garcia was one of three West Australian's at the club, along with Lazaridis and Coyne, and when he arrived in London it was the latter that took him under his wing. "It was good having Chris here, he showed me the ropes when I first got there and it's good to see he's getting a chance in the first team at Dundee."
As for his own first team aspirations, Garcia is more than willing to bide his time. "I think that he (coach Harry Redknapp) is trying to move all of the young players in because we really do have a good youth team over there. I mean, we won the FA Youth Cup last season and the Under-19 Cup (this year) so it's just a matter of waiting and milking the boys in slowly ... At the moment I think I'm still too young to be thinking about a move. I'm really happy at West Ham and I'll see how we go in the next year or so and hopefully stick it out and make the first team."
FOUR OFF TO U.K.
Four West Australian youngsters headed overseas during the week in search of that elusive, lucrative English contract. Inglewood United's Brad North has an open ticket with trails lined up at Watford, Crystal Palace and a couple of other clubs. Former State junior player and United teammate Sean Cooney (17) spent time at Coventry City last month and has made it to the next stage by being invited back for the pre-season.
Perth have lost the services of two of their more consistent performers with 19-year old David Onoforo making his way to Middlesborough for the pre-season. Originally from Fremantle City, he was part of the AIS set-up a couple of years ago and is one of the first one his club's teamsheet at the moment. Also U.K. bound is Onoforo's attacking partner Adrian Caceres, who has been tracked by several NSL clubs including Perth Glory and Parramatta Power, where he has trials at Southampton amongst others lined up.
INGLEWOOD UNITED vs PERTH
On a dreadfully gloomy day where the threat of rain hung heavy, Inglewood United played host to Perth in this battle between two of the League's longest serving clubs. Fielding a pretty much unchanged side for the majority of the season, United today welcomed return of Taki Nicolaides and Vinko Buljubasic. Perth on the other hand were forced into making several changes to the side that faced Swan I.C. just seven days earlier at Dorrien Gardens. A variety of reasons saw the visitors without Adrian Caceres, Boni Botha, Gary Upton and Chris Coyne from that starting line-up, plus dangerous forward Nick Mrjda who has been severely missed in recent weeks, out injured. As a consequence they promoted several reserve and fringe players to the starting eleven
It was a slow opening on a heavy pitch with Perth running the game early on and after 13 minutes they create the best chance of the period. Stephen Willey played a long ball up field which Christian Marocchi brought it under control before knocking through to U.K.-bound David Onoforo. He outmaneuvered Jamie Goodman and headed goalward only to be thwarted by quick thinking 'keeper Robert Zabica who dived courageously at the feet of the Perth striker to cut out the threat.
United came into the game with some good use of the ball, their distribution from the centre of the park was excellent as was the movement off the ball. In midfield, Vinko Buljubasic was showing that he is ready to return to NSL action with a solid display which included several trademark surging runs to take his side into attack. Once their defence found their rhythm, Perth hardly had a sniff of goal for the remainder of the half. Experienced campaigner Alex Cummings had little trouble in containing Perth newcomer Dario Pellicciotti, while Onoforo was being kept in check by towering defender Steve MacDonald. They - along with Jamie Goodman - eliminated any threat Perth could muster with confidence and ease, knocking the ball between themselves before an opening appeared further up-field.
MacDonald was also getting forward with alarming regularity and provided the target at deadball situations. In the 23rd minute an Alex Josifovski corner to far post picked put the defender and his powerful header was blocked on the line by a stunned Willey. Two minutes later Buljubasic floated a free-kick into the area from the right and MacDonald again jumped highest to re-directed the ball centimetres wide of the post with Robert Scarparolo well beaten.
The game was being played a lightning pace with players on both side taking their time to receive the ball in order to catch their breath. In the 36th minute, this speed lead to a defensive error minute by Mark Pottier and a great chance for United to break the deadlock. Pottier attempted to hoist the ball to safety from just in the area but amazingly ended up swiping at fresh air, allowing Ryan Newhill to take possession. But Scarparolo read the play well and was quickly diving at the feet of the midfielder to keep the 0-0 scoreline in tact.
With the first half coming to a close, Todd Howarth lifted the ball over the United midfield and Pellicciotti out paced Cummings to be first to it. In two minds as to race out and narrow the angle or not, Zabica need to have been worried as reserves striker Pellicciotti lifted his shot over the bar much to the frustration of the Perth bench.
Graham Normanton obviously had some savage words for his players at the break and Perth stepped up the pressure on United's defence in the second half by challenging whole-heartedly for every ball in their half. Four minutes after the re-start and after a great lead up from his teammates, Onoforo found himself in a one-on-one situation with Zabica. The striker hit a strong shot towards the near post which, showing he's lost none of his agility despite his advancing years, Zabica saved with a thrust of his foot. Perth were catching their opponents with a quick interchange of passes in midfield but could find no way past the United custodian. In the 59th minute Onoforo faced Zabica in another one-on-one that had the same outcome as the first.
It wasn't all one way traffic though with Taki Nicolaides hitting a speculative shot from the corner of the box that curled around the far post. Not long after Crosby flicked a corner wide. Then, in the 73rd minute, United were rewarded for their first half dominance. Another Josifovski corner was poorly defended and the ball fell to the edge of the area where Nicolaides hit the sweetest of volleys which sailed diagnally across the area and tucked inside the far top corner. With his assistant flagging for an infringement against the home side, referee Frank Moretti waved away the controversial passive off-side decision and allowed the goal to stand.
Both side had great chances to add to the tally in the minutes that followed. Josifovski should have secured the points two minutes later when MacDonald nodded the ball into his path but the former Carlton striker shot weakly from 14 metres and didn't trouble Scarparolo. Perth had nothing to lose and attacked relentlessly which saw Cole come close in the 76th minute. Having had a great game keeping Josifovski quiet, the Perth defender raced into the area on the blind side of the United defence to meet an Onoforo flick-on but put his shot from close range the wrong side of the post when he really should have found the target.
With time running out and tempers reaching boiling point, Normanton and his coaching staff were spoken to by the referee after a stream of abuse was levelled at the assistant on that side of the pitch. Out on the pitch Perth started to resort to the hopeful long ball from the back, which did eventually pay off. With four minutes of normal time left, Onoforo somehow evaded a lunging tackle from Cummings before pulling the ball back to Pottier who had little trouble in blasting it beyond the reach of Zabica to equalise. It was poor marking from the home side who had allowed the Perth midfielder to tracked the ball unmarked from the centre of the pitch.
There were a few late chances to snatch a winner from United but they were unable to make anything of them. The 1-all scoreline was a just result at the end of the day with a number of players on both sides standing-out. For United, MacDonald showed a maturity beyond his years and managed to charge forward on a number of occasions, while Buljubasic and Nicolaides showed their value with some penetrating runs. Pottier was always dangerous when in possession for the visitors, experienced defender Willey never stopped running in a man of the match effort and teenager Cole kept Josifovski out of the game and was always cool under pressure.
Inglewood United : Robert Zabica, Jamie Goodman, Alex Cummings, Steve MacDonald, Taki Nicolaides,
Grant Learmont (Daniel Harrop 53), Vinko Buljubasic, Lee Crosby, Ryan Newhill, Paul Lincoln
(Jamie D'Arcy 77), Alex Josifovski
Perth : Robert Scarparolo, Craig Naven, Stephen Willey, Aaron Cole, Todd Howarth, Vince Tana, Robert Giorgi, Christian Marocchi, Mark Pottier, Dario Pellicciotti (Adam Bunce 84), David Onoforo
Referee : Frank Moretti
Cautions : Buljubasic (24), MacDonald (73), Crosby (85)
Dismissals : None
Attendance : 400 (approx.)
WA PREMIER LEAGUE
Overall, it was a low scoring round with just 12 goals shared between the 12 Premier League clubs. Peter Petkovic scored his fifth goal in three games in the south of the river derby between Cockburn City and Rockingham City. Petkovic, who scored twice when on loan to Rockingham a fortnight ago, found the back of the net in the opening half to secure the points for Cockburn as the club shape up to challenge for a Top 5 spot. Also playing his part in Cockburn's resurgence in recent times is one-time Socceroo goalkeeper Michael Petkovic who has been in outstanding form since joining the club three weeks ago. Ashfield/Bunbury hosted the Bayswater City Panthers where second half goals from David Mayers and Alan MacKenzie for their respective teams saw the ledger square at the end of 90 minutes.
The Western Knights continued on their winning way of late as they brushed aside a depleted ECU Joondalup outfit 3-0 at the Joondalup Arena. The visitors looked the more determined side from the opening kick and took the lead when midfielder Joe Vaz dispossessed Peter Vukmirovic before making his way past the home defence. Joondalup's days got worse when talented defender Scott Broadley came off second best in a collision with an opponent and was forced to leave the pitch for treatment. The Knights stepped up the pressure after the interval and effectively erased any hopes Joondalup have of retaining the title this season with second half goals from the boots of Ray Marinovic and John Nicoloau putting the result beyond doubt. The result leaves Joondalup sitting dangerously close to the third relegation spot as others in that region of the table pulled clear.
Fremantle City went top of the ladder thanks to a 25metre bomb from midfielder Paul McVittie. The first half goal enabled City to go two points clear at the top as Swan I.C. stumbled at home in the Sunday fixture with Sorrento. The shock 2-1 win allowed Sorrento to pull clear of the bottom three as Swan I.C. who fell to third place. It was a bad day at the office for Swan who struggled to hit their straps and were further hampered by some very ordinary refereeing. Having taken the lead through Elton Holmes, Swan I.C. played out the final half hour with 10 men after the sending off of Darren Freeman which was when Sorrento sprung into action and Ross Greer and Elton Holmes found the back of the net to steal the points for the visitors
Celular One Premier League Leading Scorers 10 Nigel Aubin (Swan I.C.) 8 Hamilton Thorp (Sorrento) 7 Adrian Caceras (Perth) 7 Savo Garic (Ashfield/Bunbury) 7 Eugene Singeorzan (Western Knights)23.6.2000
JOONDALUP FEELING THE STRAIN
Defending W.A. premiers ECU Joondalup have been finding the going tough this season and coach Paul Simmons is looking forward to the next time he'll be able to field a full strength side. The club have had several key players out through injury since the winter season kicked-off and that trend doesn't look like holding up any time soon.
Last year Joondalup called upon just 19 players for it's first team fixtures. But in a horror 2000 campaign they have used 35 players and we're only 11 games into a 22 games season. "Six of my players are still injured," Simmons said on Thursday. "We are relying on youth and there is still a good atmosphere at the club. We have had four losses in a row. My players had a good week at training and hopefully we will turn the corner this week."
KNIGHTS THE SIDE TO WATCH
Over the past eight weeks the Western Knights have emerged as a power to be reckoned with in the W.A. State League. Chalking up losses in the opening first rounds of the season, the club have bounced back and managed seven wins and a draw from their last nine outings. The Knights have as a result climbed the ladder and were sitting in third position, just two points behind joint leader Swan I.C. and Fremantle City, before the weekends round of games.
"Obviously we had a bad start," Knights coach Ronnie Campbell said late last week. "The main reason is that we had so many new players - nine - at the start of the season. We needed to give them time to settle in. However, there has been a marked improvement in our performances [and] we have had a very settled team for the last four matches."
KOROKNAI FULL OF PRAISE
Cockburn City caretaker coach Laslo Koroknai has been singing the praises of striker Peter Petkovic. He was recently loaned out to bottom side Rockingham City and scored twice in their 3-2 win over Sorrento, and last week repeated the feat on his return to Cockburn colours. "He was very impressive," Koroknai said of the forwards recent efforts. "He came down to training on Tuesday and Thursday and I have a good talk with him. Because we loan him to Rockingham, and the last couple of weeks we were really struggling up front, I decided to get Peter back. Peter responded well, he come back and bagged two goals and it was really good for us."
With Cockburn sitting mid-table at the halfway stage, Koroknai believes it will take a lot to knock League leaders Swan I.C. from their perch. "Swan is not a team to be pushed over because they are not the sort of team that are full of stars, but are full of youngsters who can be stars and they are doing a good job for (coach) Eric (Williams). They are still top on the ladder, that means not too many can say that's a fluke down there. I think they are playing attractive football and that's why they are on top of the ladder."
PERTH PAIR SEEK COMMON GOAL
Perth defender's Craig Naven and Aaron Cole are at different stages in their careers - Naven is in the twilight of his time as a player while Cole is just starting out - but both have the best interests of their club at heart.
Naven, a former Australian youth international and part of the Perth Glory set-up for three years, is these days the captain of a young Perth outfit that are finally displaying the sort of form they've been promising all season. "We've sort of had an up and down season so far but we're climbing the ladder and I think the boys are starting to realise the kind of potential we do have, so hopefully we can make a go of it". With so many players in the early stages of their career at Perth, Naven knows it's up to him to get the right kinds of performances from players out on the park. "We got a little bit of inexperience in some areas and we hope that they can step up and get some consistency in their game. At one stage I was the youngest player down here and now I'm the bloody oldest so I s'pose I've got to set some kind of example."
One of those youngsters is teenager Cole who has been training with Glory since signing apprentice papers six months ago. With the NSL in recess, he's planning to stay in peak condition over the winter in the State League, "At the moment all the boys have six weeks off so I'm looking to keep playing here, keep my fitness up and have a good pre-season. And hopefully establish myself as a player mid-year or late-year." While seeking a full-time contract with Glory is his aim, Cole - who last season took out both the State League's Fairest & Best and Rookie of the Year awards - also wants to pay back Perth with a full season before starting his NSL career. "I've signed a contract with down here and they've looked after me so I at least owe them the gratitude of playing at least a full year with them. Even though it's a big commitment playing for both teams, they've given me a lot so I'm happy to keep playing."
PETTERSON NOT WANTED
Fremantle-born goalkeeper Andy Petterson has been told by English club Portsmouth that his services are no longer required and it's time to start looking for a new club. Petterson signed with Pompey early in the 1999/2000 season but spent the latter part of that campaign on loan to Wolverhampton Wanderers where he didn't see first team action. Informed that he is to be released on his return to Portsmouth, the bad news for the 31-year old is that at this stage no club has shown interest in taking him on for next season.
Petterson has had a chequered career since leaving W.A. State League side East Fremantle Tricolore for the lure of the big-time in the U.K. He signed with Luton Town in December 1998 and spent much of the next seven struggling to command a spot in the first team, making only 19 appearances during that time. He spent a brief period on loan to Ipswich Town (1 game) at the tail end of the 1992/93 campaign while contracted to the Hatters.
With his career effectively going nowhere, Petterson jumped at the chance to join First Division Charlton Athletic in July 1994 for £85,000, going on to play 83 times for the club which would include their time in the Premier League. The first two years at Charlton were the hardest, seeing only occasional First Division action with the Londoners and farmed out for further spells with Bradford City (3 games), Ipswich Town (1 game), Plymouth Argle (6 games) and Colchester United (5 games). Injuries to the side's No.1 and No.2 'keepers at the end of 1995/96 allowed Petterson a run of 9 League games to prove himself in which he conceded only five goals and, despite the side's subsequent defeat in the promotion play-offs, it was enough to earn him a further year's contract.
It was the 1996/97 and 1997/98 seasons that finally saw the 'keeper's abilities acknowledged, and the turning point can be pinned down to 1st January 1997. It was the home fixture with Ipswich Town that allowed Petterson to grab the opportunity of regular first team football and he never looked back. Over coming months he made several important saves which included one against Crystal Palace in March that Charlton fans still remember as one of the best ever seen in SE7. Such was his form that he motored past favorite Mark Kinsella as the Supporters' Club Player of the Year and secured a long-term contract in the process. He began the 1997/8 season as first choice and remained ever-present until displaced in December, but was shortly after out in the cold following the signing of fellow Australian Sasa Ilic who kept Petterson out of the side.
By February 1999 he found himself on loan once again, this time to First Division Portsmouth. Here he once again performed heroics, pulling off some magnificent saves and earning the admiration of supporters and management alike. With his Charlton contract expired, his career looked on the up when Alan Ball made the Australian his first signing under new Portsmouth owner Milan Mandaric in July 1999. His time with the club began promisingly and for the first four months Petterson was their No.1 choice goalkeeper. But after 30 games for the club, a change of management saw him fall from favour and he was forced watch from the sidelines as Aaron Flahaven was handed the goalkeeping duties. Eventually Petterson was sent on loan to Wolves for three months but saw out the 1999/2000 campaign without making a first team appearance at the Midlands club.
SUMMER YOUTH LEAGUE IN DOUBT
The Junior Soccer Association of W.A.'s elite youth summer development league, as proposed by Glory co-owner Nick Tana, is in danger of folding even before a ball is kicked. Tana announced last week that the summer competition was slated to get underway later in the year, but that looks like coming crashing down with the realisation that the league may put in doubt the future of those very players who it aims to benefit.
Earlier this year, the JSA ended it's membership with the state's controlling body - the Soccer Administration of W.A. - without consulting any of it's member clubs. At a meeting of State and Territory President's in Sydney last weekend, Soccer Australia declared it's full support for SAWA and called upon the JSA to reapply for it's membership.
Soccer West Coast general manager Paul Tombides suspects that the ultimate aim of Tana's decision to launch an elite summer youth league was to thwart the imminent arrival of a second NSL license out of Perth. "I think Mr Tana is getting desperate to stop a second license in W.A.," he said. "Soccer West Coast can not allow it's clubs and players to participate in any competition that has not been sanctioned by SAWA or any competition that has not been approved by FIFA. Any under-14, 15 or 16 player will jeopardise their selection chances in the Olyroo and Socceroo teams because they won't be allowed to represent junior W.A. teams."
PERTH vs SWAN I.C.
This hard fought Italian derby was a game that - depending on other results - could have seen either club go to the head of the W.A. Premier League ladder. But Perth had troubles before the game even kicked-off with dynamic striker Nick Mrdja ruled out through injury and their cause was further hampered by the puzzling decision of coach Graham Normanton to start leading scorer Adrian Caceres on the bench. Swan I.C. were at full strength bar for the absence of coach Eric Williams who on his way back to the U.K. after the death of his mother, Ian Buckley filling in for him.
The opening half of this match was a terribly dull affair with play bottled up in the central third of the pitch where Perth had the better of possession but could do nothing constructive with the ball. After 18 minutes Swan I.C. winger Rory Mouttet had the first attempt on goal - albeit by mistake - when he hit a cross from deep on the left which deceived Robert Scarparolo in goal and dropped just the wrong side of the back-post with the 'keeper struggling to make up ground.
But it wasn't until the 31st minute that we finally saw a real shot on goal. Boni Botha outwitted the Swan I.C. defence in springing their off-side trap and raced down the touchline. His cross was met by Mark Pottier who drove the ball strongly but saw it deflected wide of the target. The resulting corner was played short to Botha, he knocked it into the path of Robert Giorgi who was streaming into the area and his shot beat Corey Hugo but not defender Chris Perks on the line who blocked and cleared the danger.
With Perth beginning to assert their dominance on the game, Swan I.C. found the back of the net totally against the run of play with their first attack in the 36th minute. The home side allowed Perks to advance half the length of the pitch with the ball before laying it off to Elton Holmes on the flank. He pumped a high ball into the area which saw Justin Hugo out-jump experienced campaigner Stephen Willey and direct the ball past Scarparolo to make it 1-nil.
To say that the first half was uneventful would be an understatement and the only other shot of the period came deep in injury time when Jamie Coyne almost found a reply when he expertly volleyed from 22 metres only for the ball to crash into the crossbar.
The second half was a different game with the home side taking control of the contest with the introduction of Caceres. Five minutes after the re-start he forced Corey Hugo into making his first save of the afternoon after the attacking midfielder twisted past three opponents on the corner of the box and sent a grass-cutting shot at goal. Two minutes later David Onoforo floated a free-kick to the back post where Aaron Cole was lurking, he sent his header towards the far top corner but Corey Hugo was alert and dived to knock it back into open play. The ball rolled dangerously towards the penalty spot where Pottier hammered what looked to be a definite goal with Corey Hugo still on the ground, only for the young 'keeper to bounce to his feet and make the save. And shortly after Corey Hugo again came to his sides rescue, this time denying Botha with a fantastic diving save.
Swan I.C. looked ready to lay down and die and only managed two chances in the second half, both coming in quick succession. The 54th minute saw Mouttet fly down the wing, beating Cole in the process, then looping the ball to veteran striker Nigel Aubin. Eight metres from goal and with time to pick his spot, Aubin didn't trouble the 'keeper by sending his header well wide of the target. Sixty seconds later Aubin seized upon some slack defending and thundered the ball past Scarparolo but onto the crossbar.
The visiting defence were under the hammer and found the most effective to halt Perth's charge was through some crunching tackles with Perks, Everley and Anthony Jones the main offenders. This didn't go unnoticed by referee Lou Prospero and in the 65th minute Swan I.C. were reduced to 10 men when Jones received his second yellow card in the space of seven minutes for a dreadful hacking challenge on Pottier . who had earlier come in for some punishing treatment. A man down, Swan I.C. closed up shop after the incident and seemed content to hold onto the ball and try and play the clock down.
Perth's attacks were relentless. First Coyne shot well over the bar after some skillful work by Botha. Then, in the 76th minute, the home side missed a golden chance to equalise when Caceres missed what can only be termed a sitter. Gary Upton played it to Caceres who cleverly used his outstep to flick the bouncing ball over his marker and sprint free inside the box. But with only Corey Hugo between him and the goal, Caceres completely mis-timed his shot and the ball dribbled past the outside of he far post.
Inside the final 10 minutes it looked only a matter of time before the home side would score. Pottier blasted narrowly over after some good lead-up work from Caceres, Botha and Onoforo. Two minutes after Perth lined up three chances in quick succession but the ball refused top go in. From a narrow angle Coyne beat Corey Hugo with a rising shot which crashed into the upright. The rebound came to Caceres who quickly turned his man but had his shot blocked by another defender in a crowded six yard box. It then flew to Vince Tana who hit it over the bar from 16 metres. And it was a similar situation in the dying seconds with desperate defending from Swan I.C. allowing them hold on for victory. With the entire Perth side pressing forward, Tana swung in a cross from the right which Cole stooped to head goalward. It was luckily blocked on the line and both Caceres and Coyne then had shots smothered off the boot by Swan I.C. players before it was hoofed to safety.
The Perth players were shattered when the final whistle brought to a close a game that was theirs for the taking. The loss marked the sides first loss in over a month and also the first time azzurri had gone down at home this winter. But at the end of the day it was Swan I.C. 'keeper Corey Hugo that proved to be difference - he time after time denied the side they goal they so rightfully deserved. Only in his early 20's, he was fantastic late in the game when Swan I.C. were under red-hot pressure from Perth and not for the first time this season kept his team at the top of the ladder. There were other strong performances from flanker Mouttet, and defenders Everley and James Dimmock. For Perth, Caceres revitalised the side when he came on at half-time, while Onoforo and Coyne also played important roles in trying to keep their side alive.
Perth : Robert Scarparolo, Stephen Willey, Craig Naven, Aaron Cole, Todd Howarth (Adrian Caceres 46),
Gary Upton (Christian Marocchi 84), Jamie Coyne, Robert Giorgi (Vince Tana 60), Boni Botha, David
Onoforo, Mark Pottier
Swan I.C. : Corey Hugo, Chris Perks, Justin Everley, James Dimmock, Rory Mouttet, Anthony Jones, Justin Hugo, Damian Scali (Gareth Healy 79), Darren Freeman, Elton Holmes (Daniel Shepheard 81), Nigel Aubin
Referee : Lou Prospero
Cautions : Perks (28), Jones (57), C.Hugo (63), Coyne (79), Aubin (82), Upton (83)
Dismissals : Jones (64)
Attendance : 300 (approx.)
CELULAR ONE PREMIER LEAGUE
Fremantle City continued their form of late with a commanding 4-nil triumph over ECU Joondalup. Former state player Paul McVittie was the driving force behind City's win, showing that he's still a quality player in midfield to launch many of his sides attacks. What McVittie lacked in pace he more than made up for with pin-point distribution of the ball and a never-say-die approach to the game. On-loan attacking midfielder Kevin Correia, in his first full game for City, was another to show dazzling skills and ended the day by netting two spectacular goals. 20-year old 'keeper Alan Dunlop continued his development by putting in some fine saves for the visiting City side and was ably assisted at the back by Evan Wallace. City's other goals came from Trim Morgan, his sixth of the winter, and defender Dave Evans. For Joondalup, Sandy Robertson was again the outstanding player with other admirably efforts from centre-back Scott Broadley and teenage goalkeeper Peter Stewart.
Elsewhere, the Knights were the only home side to take full points from the round in defeating Ashfield/Bunbury 2-1. Inglewood United had experienced defender Alex Cummings to thank for their lucky 1-0 win over second bottom side the Bayswater City Panthers, while Floreat Athena stumbled in drawing with 12th placed Rockingham City who recorded their fourth point of the winter. And Cockburn City's Peter Petkovic scored his second double in successive weeks as his club defeated struggling Sorrento 2-1.
JUNIOR SOCCER TO BENEFIT FROM GLORY'S CRACKS
What should have been a sweet moment for W.A. junior soccer turned sour on Thursday as an argument broke out between Perth Glory co-owners Paul Afkos and Nick Tana during the press conference to announce a new youth initiative.
After announcing the signing of Damian Mori, Tana and Junior Soccer Association of W.A. president Bill Oddy revealed details of an initial three-year scheme to develop a youth summer development league which they hope to have up and running by October. The league will consist of eight regionally-based teams of 16 players drawn initially from the under-14 and under-16 ages groups.
The scheme was met with instant criticisms from Soccer Administration of W.A. president Afkos, also Glory's deputy chairman, who said he did not expect the league to go ahead and expected there to be a backlash from the local soccer community. "First and foremost they have not discussed any of the items with SAWA," Afkos said. "Any development of the game has got to be done collectively with the stakeholders, which include Soccer West Coast (the professional body), WAASSA (amateur body) and affiliates."
Tana, who plans to underwrite the league to the tune of $100,000 a year, said he had discussed the idea privately with a number of stakeholders. He said the competition would allow the cream of Perth's teenage players to develop their skills during the summer off-season. Tana was disappointed with the negative reaction but said it would not prevent the program from going ahead. "This program has only one objective and that's to improve the standard of young players."
Soccer West Coast general manager Paul Tombides also expressed concerns over the league, saying that children who played soccer throughout the year could suffer burn-out and fade away from the game.
Tana's relationship with his board - and especially Afkos - has been strained for some time now and came to a head when Tana opted not to renew coach Bernd Stange's contract in March. Afkos rallied public support to retain the popular German, and although the decision was reversed by Tana after pubic outcry, the tensions remain. "There is no secret or surprise that I have some strained relations in terms of my board," Tana said when revealing details of the planned youth league. "I wanted this (the league) to stay separate until such time that these relations are resolved."
2000 LION CITY CUP
The West Australian state Under-16 side recently returned from Singapore where they participated in the 17th annual Lion City Cup tournament, competing against similar junior sides from China, Denmark, Japan, Ghana and Singapore. The state team has a proud history at the youth competition, last winning the title in 1994 but making the final in their last three attempts in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
Christened Perth F.C. by the Singaporean press, preparations got under way with a commanding 2-0 win over Indonesia's Under-19 team in a pre-tournament warm-up match. Chinese outfit Beijing Guoan were the 1st Round opponents and both teams came away happy with one point apiece after an entertaining 2-all draw with captain Shaun Kilkelly and Damian Delaurentis finding the net for the West Australian side. Wakayama F.A. of Japan were next on the agenda, Shaun Kilkelly bagging another two goals, Scott Matthews also getting a double and Chad Barton rounded out the 5-2 scoreline to keep the side in the running for a Final spot. Spirits took a dive after the third game though, a surprise 1-all draw with Denmark's Lyngby, leaving the W.A. side requiring victory in each of their final two games to play-off in the decider.
With the undefeated Olympia Athletic of Ghana already guaranteed a place in the Final, the remaining spot was up for grabs in the 4th Round clash between Perth and Singapore's Young Lions. Both sides needed a win to secure a spot in the decider and the visitors almost took an early lead through Shaun Kilkelly after 9 minutes when his header from a well-taken corner rattled back off the crossbar. The Lions simply were not in the contest in the opening half with several golden chances falling to the Australians. Twice Chad Barton found himself in front of goal but his 14th-minute strike and 15th-minute header both missed the mark. Michael Bushby should have done better in the 32nd minute when a Scott Matthew's cross found him unmarked at the far-post, but the 16-year-old volleyed wide. The game was turned on it's head 40 seconds after the break when a great one-two between Mohammad Shahril Ishak and Mohd Ridhuan Muhammad saw the latter slot home past advancing W.A. 'keeper Giovanni Papalia. The home side continued to push forward in search of a second but a determined Perth outfit fought their way back into the game. The equaliser came in the 71st minute, the Lions' inadequately defended a corner and substitute Joseph Reale was given the task of a simple tap-in. With the Lions still reeling, Perth substitute Peter Koidis sped past a fast-tiring defence to score a great match-winning goal two minutes later and put his side into the Final. Pleased with the result, Perth coach Ron Tindall believed his side still had room for improvement, " I was relieved that it was 0-0 at half-time as Singapore looked the better side. I was telling my players at the break to pass the ball around more and control the possession. I'm very proud of the way the team fought back, but we still have a long way to go."
The win meant that Perth and Olympia Athletic would face eachother twice in the space of three days. The first encounter was the final group match for both sides and the Africans opted to field a largely reserve team and rest many of their better players for the Final. Perth won the game by the only goal of the match and went into the decider with a psychological advantage over their opponents. It was the fourth time in as many years that the West Australian side had reached the final match of the tournament.
But Olympia overturned the previous result as they cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory in the Final. The Africans dominated from the outset and after just 8 minutes Tanko Abubakari opened the account when he collected a low centre from captain Ganiyu Mohammed, turned his man and despatched the ball past W.A. custodian Michael Cross. Stung into action, Perth came back charging and they sought to claw their way back into the game, only to find Olympia's defence superbly marshalled by Edward Atiapa. In the 27th minute Cross spilt a cross which fell to striker Emmanuel Dogbe and he calmly guided it into the net to make it 2-0. A combination of near misses by the Ghanaians and the steely West Australian defence prevented the margin from increasing before the break. But just a minute after the restart Dogbe netted his second when he took advantage of some hesitancy in the opposing defence to burst through unchallenged before slotting the ball home to kill-off what hopes Perth had left of victory.
Singapore's Young Lions finished in third spot after defeating China's Beijing Guoan 2-1 in the 3rd/4th Place Play-Off match. Mohd Ridhuan of Singapore was voted by the media as the Player of the Tournament.
Lion City Cup Matches 3 June Olympia Athletic (Ghana) 0-3 1 June Olympia Athletic (Ghana) 1-0 (scorer not recorded) 31 May Young Lions (Singapore) 2-1 Reale, Koidis 29 May Lyngby (Denmark) 1-1 (scorer not recorded) 28 May Wakayama FA (Japan) 5-2 Kilkelly 2, Matthews 2, Barton 27 May Beijing Guoan (China) 2-2 Kilkelly, Delaurentis Pre-Tournament Friendly ?? May Indonesia U-19 2-0 (scorers not recorded)Touring Party
GAZZA STAYING AT HOME
Middlesbrough this week confirmed that midfielder Paul Gascoigne will not be going anywhere over the English off-season. The former England player was last month linked with a move to W.A. State League side ECU Joondalup and recently to Finnish side F.C. Jokerit. A spokesman for the club said, "We have not offered Paul Gascoigne on loan to any Finnish side, in fact, Paul will not be going on loan to any club this summer. We expect him to be returning for pre-season training with the rest of the players in early July."
W.A. RIVAL FOR GLORY
It seems certain that Perth Glory will have a W.A. rival in the NSL within a few years. General manager Stefan Kamasz confirmed the day after a record attendance witnessed the Grand Final that the league was considering two bids for a second licence in Perth.
This comes as no surprise to Glory co-owner Paul Afkos, who founded the club in partnership with Nick Tana in 1996. And while he backs the idea that W.A. could support a second franchise, Afkos warned against introducing it so soon after Glory's formation. "I think while Soccer Australia witnessed over the last fortnight the success that soccer has in Western Australia, I believe it is inevitable a second team will come to WA," he said. "I would say not quite at the moment, but when the new stadium is finished would be good timing if Soccer Australia is to make a decision. At the moment I would say no, in about three years time I would say Soccer Australia will make that decision because the success of soccer has been pushed from W.A., there's no doubt."
Speaking on Perth radio, Kamasz said that Glory had agreed to a five year exclusivity deal upon entering the competition and that that deal expires in 2001. "Next year will be the final year in which the Glory has this exclusivity," he said. "The organisations that are seeking to become involved are looking to be involved from the year 2001. That's not out of the question. I wouldn't say it's inevitable at this stage but down the track I think it's likely that we get a second team in Perth. Glory fans have demonstrated that there is a need for quality soccer over there and I'm sure that with a new stadium being built that there would be some sort of pressures put on Soccer Australia to make sure we get more games over there."
Kamasz said that consideration would be given to any impact a second team might have on Glory before accepting any bid. "I think before we determine whether they should be there, regardless of the merits of what they have put up to us, we need to make sure that the impact that it has on Perth Glory is not such that it's going to create problems for Glory themselves," he said. "So we need to undertake an impact study on a second licence in W.A. and that's the important thing to do in the first instance."
CELULAR ONE PREMIER LEAGUE
There were a few surprises sprung on a weekend that saw the bottom two teams get points from more fancied rivals. At Bayswater Oval, League leaders Swan I.C. were held 1-1 by the struggling Bayswater City Panthers from whom Dom Ando netted for the fifth game in succession to give his side the lead going into the break. But Damian Scali, who has a knack of scoring vital goals when needed, equalised in the second half to keep Swan at the top of the table on goal difference. Fellow cellar-dwellers Rockingham City pulled off their first win of the winter when they triumphed 3-2 over Sorrento who are finding it hard to string together anything meaningful of late. First half goals from Hamilton Thorp and Stuart Banks looked to have put Sorrento on the right path and canceled out Peter Petkovic's early strike, only after the break further goals from Petkovic and Robert Crerer ensured full points for the home side.
Floreat Athena have come charging up the ladder in the past month and moved into contention for a Top 5 place with a 2-1 win over an injury hit ECU Joondalup at the Arena. One-time State team member Scott Daley set the visiting side on their way to victory after some quality work by midfielder Scott Clissold set him up with a chance that he made no mistake with. Athena pressed forward and should have had a second but squandered a string of golden opportunities until Peter Coci volleyed home from close range. Joondalup were lead after the break by former Glasgow rangers midfielder Sandy Robertson, making his debut for the Jacks, and he showed his class with a fantastic chip over John Xigas which the 'keeper somehow tipped over the bar. Xigas later came injured and was replaced by Anthony Mori who did well to keep the scoreline at 2-nil. But a late surge by Joondalup saw defender Jamie Kuzmanovic pull one back and make the scoreline a little more respectable.
Cockburn City kept quite Perth's otherwise dangerous forward line which features last weeks four goal hero Adrian Caceres and Nick Mrjda. Former Socceroo 'keeper Jason Petkovic made his debut for Cockburn and pulled off some breath-taking saves, but the side suffered the a blow when defender Aaron Moschopoulos was sent off minutes before half-time. With their usual goalscorers effectively kept out of the game, Perth showed that they have players all over the park that can find the net with David Onoforo and Todd Howarth scoring either side of the break.
Club leading scorer Trim Morgan got Fremantle's vital goal against Ashfield/Bunbury to move his side into second place. At the end of the day a diving Morgan header minutes after the interval would prove to be the difference between the two sides. But it was an uninspired victory by City, they spent much of the second half under the hammer and more lethal finishing from the visitors would have seen Ashfield/Bunbury snatch at least one point of this contest. Western Knights continued the form which has seen them win four games on the trot to move into third place on the ladder. The Knights relied on two second half goals from Eugene Singeorzan who earlier in the campaign was transfer listed for disciplinary reasons.
STANGE TURNS ATTENTION TO LOCAL COMPETITION
Glory coach Bernd Stange was interviewed at Kiev Sports Ground recently while about his thoughts on the standard of competition in the W.A. State League. "I think that local soccer is a good base for professional soccer and especially here our league in W.A. - we have all the time fine weather, good facilities like here at Inglewood, a perfect surface, the clubs are well organised. Of course there is not enough money for big soccer but I like to stay here and every week if I have the time watch local soccer. I think here are a lot of talent and that's why Jamie Harnwell or Craig Deans or Gary Faria played here in the local competition and it was a good base."
Stange has already strengthened his squad with several new signing for the 2000/2001 season, but is also on the look-out for youngsters that can be developed at Glory by himself and Mich D'Avray. "We should find some high profile players here in Australian and a couple of youngsters from the local league," he said. Some of those believed to have been short-listed by the Glory coaching staff are Fremantle City midfielders Michael Mirco and Gary Faria, who was with Glory for a one month loan period last January, Inglewood United pair Steve McDonald and Alex Josifovski (ex-Carlton) and winger Todd Harnwell of Sorrento.
CORREIA BACK IN PERTH
Back in Perth after a season in Portugal with 1st Division outfit Maritimo, Kevin Correia has linked up with his former club Fremantle City for the European off-season. The 21-year old is at the half way stage of a two year contract contract and will play for the next two months in the W.A. State League before heading back to Portugal where he hopes to finally hold down a regular spot in his club's senior side. "It's very hard over there with so many top players, but I did manage to play for the first team in quite a few friendly games and scored four goals. It's even tough in the reserves. Two of my teammates in the reserves are Portuguese national youth team players, so the competition is pretty hot for places." Another indication of the depth at Maritimo is Correia's squad number - No. 55 - where the club have 72 players on their books.
PUCA HEADS TO ITALY
Gippsland Falcons Perth-born winger Robbie Puca this week flew to Italy where he's got trials lined up with A.S. Roma and is looking forward to a reunion of sorts with Gabriel Batistuta. Puca was on trial at Fiorentina three years ago where Batistuta, who recently signed with A.S. Roma, was part of the set-up. "Batistuta was great the last time we met, telling me how much he loved Australia and the beaches," the 21-year old Puca said before departing these shores.
Puca is planning to be overseas for about a month, during which time he hopes to realise his dream of playing in Italy. "I'll be playing in a series of games that are put on specifically for young players like myself who hope to catch the eye of Roma, or some other clubs. They always attract a lot of scouts from around Italy and other European countries. So even if I don't crack it with A.S. Roma other doors might open for me." Italy isn't his only option however with further trials on offer in England, "The Falcons have been great, they've arranged an agent for me in Europe and organised various trials, but I'll only go to England if nothing happens in Italy." If Puca isn't picked up overseas, he'll return to Gippsland where he still has he year to run on his current contract.
Having been spotted by the Falcons while playing for Perth, Puca made a dynamic start to his NSL career two years ago and always has his own personal cheer squad when the club travels to Perth. On of his clubs most influential players early in the season, Puca's formed slumped around December last year and after various tests he was diagnosed with diabetes. "I was tired all the time, very lethargic, run down and started losing weight," he said of the illness. "It took me three or four weeks to get it under control. But now I watch my diet, take my injections and I'm feeling really great again. And I'm looking forward to the challenge of doing well in Italy."
Perth have over the years seen a number of talented youngsters rise through their junior and youth teams to move onto bigger and better things. Amongst these are former Young Socceroo captain Tony Carbone (now with Marine Castle United, Singapore), one-time Joey and Young Socceroo striker Vas Kalogeracos (Hamarkameratene, Norway), current Olyroo Chris Coyne (West Ham United, England) and national youth team defender Adrian Madaschi (Atalanta, Italy), not to mention the dozens who have passed through NSL ranks.
VAS FINDS THE NET
Former Perth Glory striker Vas Kalogeracos has settled in well at Norwegian First Division outfit Hamarkameratene whom he joined for a two month trial period in early May from W.A. State League side Floreat Athena.
Having been in Norway little over a week, Kalogeracos made his debut coming off the bench in the 3-0 away loss to Lyn. Wearing his favoured number 13 shirt, it didn't take Vas long to find the back of the net when, in only his third appearance, he scored the only goal of the game in the 17th minute against Lillehammer in the 2nd Round of the Cup. Within the space of three days he repeated that feat, this time bagging the opening goal in a 3-nil over Tromsdalen. Vas's golden Cup run continued in the away win over Hønefoss, scoring his sides third and final goal with a 16 metre drive to take them through to the next stage.
Already a favourite with the fans, sources in Norway believe that in all likelihood Kalogeracos' contract will not be extended beyond it's current term. The former Young Socceroo was signed to cover for injured striker Chris Twiddy who is well on the road to recovery and club management are said to be considering their options. Kalogeracos himself has stated that he is enjoying his time in Norway and is hopeful of staying longer in the country.
BORAL CHALLENGE CUP
Making his debut appearance in Ashfield/Bunbury's first team, Robbie Colollilo had a day to remember in the 3rd Round of the Boral Cup on Monday. He came on late in injury time against his former club Perth and scored a sensational winner after some hesitancy in the visiting defence allowed him time to strike the ball goalward. Missing key players Mark Pottier and Craig Naven through suspension, Perth were unlucky to lose after dominating for much of the game and hitting the post on four occasions. "Had it been a boxing match it would have been stopped and Perth would have been given the decision. We rode our luck well, our deputy 'keeper Pedro Pavez was great and the players fought well," said Ashfield coach Tom Kilkelly after the game. Big striker Savo Garic gave the home team the lead against the run of play in the 75th minute with a cracking volley that was negated two minutes before time by Perth defender Aaron Cole. But Colollilo popped up when it counted most to net the decider and keep Kilkelly's side into the last four of the prestigious competition. "Just call it an inspired substitution," said Kilkelly, "Robbie had been on the bench once before, but we never used him. It just goes to show what you can do when given the opportunity."
Elsewhere, Sorrento and Fremantle City easily accounted for First Division opponents. Sorrento were slow to hit their stride against Balcatta and it was shortly before the break when Leo Harman scored the first of the game. But after the break it was all systems go with Ross Greer bagging a double, while Ryan Jeans, Tony Cumace and Sean Bowyer made it 6-nil to the home side. Down Fremantle way, Bassendean Caledonian's Cup campaign came to an end thanks to strikes from Paul McVittie, Steve Bourne and Gary Faria. And Western Knights had little difficulty in downing Inglewood United 4-2 where John Nicolaou brought his tally to four goals in three games.
INGLEWOOD UNITED v FREMANTLE CITY
On a cold, overcast, windy afternoon Inglewood United goalkeeper Robert Zabica was his teams saviour in a 1-nil win over high flying Fremantle City. The former Socceroo was one of few highlights in the home sides otherwise dull performance as United failed to hit their straps over the 90 minutes.
It was the visiting side that grabbed the initiative early on and within minutes of the kick-off they had their opponents backline under the hammer. City were well served by their midfield of Gary Faria, who was again influential on the right, Paul McVittie, John and Michael Mirco who pumped their side into attack time and time again but came away at the end of the day with little to show for their efforts. The City midfield dominated and intercepted everything that came their way before running it forward.
But it wasn't just City that were causing problems - the normally composed United defence panicked in the face of Trim Morgan and Steve Bourne who chased for every ball, often resorting to playing it back to the relative safety of Zabica. Only they then pressured their own 'keeper by not moving into space to receive the ball and Zabica was forced to hoof it over the sideline on a number of occasions. After this happened three times within the space of seven minutes, Zabica had had enough and he finally unleashed a torrent of abuse at his teammates which seemed to do the job.
The first true chance of the match came after 25 minutes when John Mirco ran onto a diagonal cross inside the United area and volleyed strongly, forcing Zabica to dive full-length and make the first of what would be many saves for the day. Six minutes later it was Morgan's turn as he found space amongst a crowd of United players and curled the ball towards the far bottom corner of the goal, but again Zabica flung himself full-stretch to tip the shot around the post. The resulting corner was half-heartedly cleared and John Mirco trapped it 20 metres out and hit a dipping shot that, to Zabica, was going well over but ended up brushing the outside of the bar.
United were not even in the contest and coach John Hunter tried desperately for his players to keep their formation and find some sort of rhythm by barking instructions from the sideline. But the truth was that the longer the game went on the less his side featured in the contest. Dulio Xavier got down the left flank in the 37th minute and floated the ball into the middle to Steve Bourne who's difficult volley on the jump flew narrowly over the top. A minute before the break Morgan skinned lanky United captain Steve MacDonald and sprinted towards the edge of the box, his cross looked to have found Bourne at the far post but a determined Drew Carruthers threw himself at the ball and conceded the corner.
Within a minute of the re-start the visitors would rue a momentary dropping of their guard that would prove costly at the end of the day. Stocky striker Paul Lincoln beat his man deep in the 18 yard box before pulling the ball back to Alex Josifovski who, unmarked, had no trouble in placing it beyond the reach of City 'keeper Alan Dunlop whose defence was caught ball-watching.
United defender Alex Cummings found himself getting forward with regularity and provided several penetrating crosses from the left. In the 54th minute he caused some panic in the City defence and almost doubled his sides lead when a mis-hit cross deceived Dunlop, looping over the 'keeper and crashing into the base of the far up-right before being scrambled to safety. The City custodian was rarely called into action for the remainder of the match, and only twice was he required to cut-out some threatening high balls and the odd corner until the final minutes of the encounter.
It was all one way traffic as City asserted their dominance, looking most dangerous when they knocked the ball to feet with a string of inch-perfect first time passes. After such a move involving three players, Bourne made his way between three United opponents but was forced to shoot from a tight angle and ended up splaying it across the face of goal. And in the 62nd minute Michael Mirco lifted ball over bar from close range when he should have done much better. Most of the play was taking part in City's attacking half but they were unable to equalise thanks to a several fine saves by the in-form Zabica who, with MacDonald, did their best to stablise the United defence. Their only other performer today was the lively Josifovski who had a great game up front but had very little support.
In contrast, City had players all over the park that contributed. Striker Morgan never stopped running and, if not for Zabica, could well have finished the day with a hat-trick. John Mirco dominated the right side and consistency found the feet of his teammates, while Paul McVittie did the bulk of the nitty-gritty in midfield. Towering defender Dave Evans commanded the backline masterfully and was ably supported by Craig Surtees who kept Paul Lincoln quiet. Gary Faria and later Abdul Kamara (who replaced the injured Faria after 66 minutes) used their speed to outpace their United opponents, racing the ball forward as City searched for the equaliser.
The final stages of the game were overshadowed by the controversial expulsion of City's Michael Mirco when he received his second yellow card for diving in the space of ten minutes from referee Frank Moretti. In the 81st minute the skillful winger beat two men on the edge before twisting past Zabica, only to be pulled down as he was about to shoot. It looked certain that Zabica would be heading for an early shower but amazingly Moretti opted to punish the Mirco and in the process earn the wrath of the City faithful.
The visitors final attacking play came through substitute Anthony Pereira who sprinted down the right before spearing the ball to the feet of Morgan, his quick-thinking flick brining out the best in Zabica as he made the save at ankle height. United were afforded the luxury of a late resurgence as their opponents heads dropped and they accepted that it was not to be their day. Josifovski turned his marker and hits strong shot but found Dunlop well positioned, and a minute later a thundering drive by Cummings was simply too hot for Dunlop to hold, the ball being knocked out for a corner by an alert teammate. The home side ran down the clock with three late substitutions and every other legal option available to them to hold on for an undeserved victory.
Inglewood United : Robert Zabica, Jamie Goodman, Alex Cummings, Steve McDonald, Drew Carruthers
(Grant Learmont 88), Jamie D'Arcy, Lee Crosby, Vince Tana, Ryan Newhill (Ross Donnelly 89),
Alex Josifivski, Paul Lincoln (Taki Nicolaides 89)
Fremantle City : Alan Dunlop, Craig Surtees, Dave Evans, Evan Wallace, Dulio Xavier (Anthony Pereira 73), John Mirco, Michael Mirco, Paul McVittie, Gary Faria (Abdul Kamara 66), Steve Bourne (Dean Wallace 86), Trim Morgan
Referee : Frank Moretti
Cautions : D'Arcy (40), M.Mirco (71)
Dismissals : M.Mirco (81)
Attendance : 200 (approx.)
CELULAR ONE PREMIER LEAGUE
Promising Perth attacking midfielder Adrian Caceres did his chances of getting an call-up to the National Soccer League next season no harm with a four goal haul on the road haul against Rockgham City. The teenager trailled with Perth Glory and Parramatta Power earlier in the year and it is believed that both clubs are keeping tabs on his progress. Perth coach Graham Normanton described two of Caceres' goals as simple tap-ins, but he said that the other were outstanding solo efforts, "He twice ran onto through balls, beat defenders and drilled shots past the 'keeper." Normanton said that while Caceres set up the 5-0 hammering of Rockingham, it was his side's fifth by Nick Mrdja from 20 metres that got his vote for goal of the season. "It was the sort of goal, if it had been on television, that would be replayed for years. Nick clipped it with the outside of his left foot and it must have bent about three metres and flew into the top right corner."
That win saw Perth jump two places up the ladder as the pack quickly closes in on leaders Swan I.C. who were held to 2-all by Western Knights. With first half goals from Joe Vaz and James Dimmock for Fremantle and Swan respectively cancelling eachother out, John Nicholaou gave the Knights the advantage after the interval. But a late penalty converted by the League's leading scorer Nigel Aubin salvaged a point for the visitors. Floreat Athena moved back into contention for a top five place with a 2-0 win over Sorrento thanks to goals from Robin Dyers and Scott Daley. Similarly, Cockburn City pulled well clear of the bottom two with a 3-1 triumph over struggling Bayswater City - goals from Jason Faria, Branimir Mikulic and an own goal made sure that Dom Ando's fourth goal in as many weeks accounted for little.
ECU Joondalup went into their game with Ashfield/Bunbury with a severe shortage of players. With only eleven fit men at his disposal - including reserve goalkeeper Peter Stewart - coach Paul Simmons was giving careful consideration to the 18-year old a run in the outfield. "At this stage Peter can pick his spot, as long as it's not in goal," Simmons said the day before the clash. Joondalup have had several key players missing throughout season due to injury and this week saw new signing Jason Hardie, Tony Danze and Gary Murray added to the list, while defenders Jamie Kuzmanovic and Dale McCulloch were out of the weekend game through suspension. Midfielder Steve Goff gave Ashfield/Bunbury a lead which they carried into the break, Carl McDarby drew the home side level before visiting captain David Mayers secured the points. But Joondalup's woes continued when 'keeper Gareth Deeg was sent off for the second time this season late in the game.
KNIGHTS ON THE IMPROVE
Crowned W.A. State League Champions in 1998, last season saw the side struggle to repeat those feats, their only notable achievement was making the Top Five Final where they crashed 5-1 Sorrento. Coach Ronnie Campbell believes that, despite his sides poor early form this winter, the Knights have what it takes to make the Top Five play-offs once again. "Last season we under-achieved but we made the Grand Final. This year we've got nine new players and obviously it's taken time for everyone to gel. But we've seen good signs in the last month, I think we've won five out of our last six - obviously a disappointing result against Sorrento. I'm happy with the way things are going and I think we'll be up there at the end of the season."
This week the Knights take on League leaders Swan I.C. at Perry Lakes Stadium and Campbell is confident of toppling the club for only the second time this season. "They're a good side, they play as a team. They haven't got any real stars in the side, I think they've got a lot of team spirit and they'll be very tough to beat ... We're looking to win next week and hopefully get a top two position."
PETKOVIC AT A STALEMATE
One of Australia's most talented goalkeeper's, one-time Socceroo Michael Petkovic, is still out of the game over 12 months after his last appearance for South Melbourne. The younger brother of Glory's Jason Petkovic, Michael is currently in Perth where he's working with his father Anjeklo.
Petkovic joined Strasbourg last October after five years with South, but has been prevented from playing for the French side because of a wrangle over compensation. South knocked back Strasbourg's offer of $60,000, claiming that under the guidelines and regulations set down by UEFA, the governing body of European football, they were entitled to something more in the vacinity of $1.1 million. The French club then threatened to send Petkovic back to Melbourne at which stage South asked for the world's governing body FIFA to step in and investigate.
Sick of the hug-of-war between the two clubs, Petkovic returned to Perth earlier in the year in the hope of linking up with W.A. State League outfit Cockburn City. "He is about to sign transfer forms for us. Michael is fed up with all the carry on and hasn't been drawing any wages while he's been in France," Anjeklo, joint president of Cockburn, said at the time. Once back in his hometown, did Petkovic commence training with Cockburn City but to date has not made an appearance for the club. It is believed contractual issues related to the stalement between Strasbourg and South Melbourne are the reason for this.
PERTH CELEBRATE 50
Perth Soccer Club celebrated it's 50th birthday in 1998 and as a memento of the occasion they have just released a book titled "Azzurri - 50 Golden Years". Written by respected W.A. soccer journalist David Andrews with the close assistance of Aldo Guzzi, it traces the history of the club founded by Frank Re in 1948 and originally known as Azzurri. The book documents W.A.'s most successful club through the decades as they claimed 16 Championships, 14 Knock-Out cups, 15 Top Four cups, 11 Nights Series cups not to mention the countless reserves, youth and junior trophies.
Priced at just $20.00, "Azzurri - 50 Golden Years" is available from the Perth Soccer Club. Copies can be obtained by contacting Neil Cole (Secretary) in writing c/- Dorrien Gardens, 3 Lawley Street, West Perth. Alternately, phone (08) 9328 2474 - Fax (08) 9227 5670 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
CELULAR ONE PREMIER LEAGUE
Perth came back from two goals down at Dorrien Gardens to grab a point from their clash with Sorrento. The visitors drew first blood after 8 minutes when utility player Jared Love, called up from the reserves for this game, sprinted onto a pass from veteren Ross Greer and hammered a low shot beyond Robert Scaraparolo. The Perth 'keeper was at fault for Sorrento's second goal which came shortly after, a corner was swung in and Scarparolo allowed Greer a free header inside the six yard box and he made no mistake in his placement. Never a side to lie down and die, Perth fought back and in the 25th minute an Adrian Caceres cross picked out Nick Mrdja, his header was kept out by Mike Harkness but Vince Tana was on hand to poke the ball over the line. The home side came out in the second half determined to equalise and went close on several occasions before Mark Pottier thundered home a volley from the edge of the area. Perth continued to apply the pressure and searched for a winner but in the end had to be content with just the one point from this fixture.
Floreat Athena knocked off Ashfield/Bunbury in a shock result by a 3-nil margin at Litis Stadium. Athena have had a terrible season by their lofty standards and were in the very real danger of seeing their campaign all over bar the shouting should they not have come away with maximum points in this match. But two goals from Robin Dyers, who has recently re-discovered his goalscoring touch, and another from Andrew Afkos saw them pull clear of the bottom two and keep alive their slim hopes of an end of season top five berth.
Gary Faria provided the inspiration for Fremantle City as they toppled Swan I.C. for the first time this season. Faria, who is hotly tipped to join Perth Glory over the winter, drove his side into the lead in the 20th minute before Damian Scali hit back with the goal of the match - a dipping long-range volley after a clever one-two with Nigel Aubin. But the hard-working Faria took advantage of some lack defending just after half-time to score what was to be the winner.
Dom Ando netted for the third time in as many games as the Bayswater City Panthers recorded their first win of 2000 in their battle of the cellar dwellers with Rockingham City. Sal Marrapodi hit the winner for Bayswater late in the second half after Rockingham had taken the lead before the break. And ECU Joondalup travelled to take on Inglewood United without five regulars - Peter Vukmirovic, Scott Halpin, Darren Broxton, Mark Tunnicliffe and Joel Peacock - who were absent through either injury or suspension. The side was further unsettled with Michael Garcia, back from a spell in Singapore, and winger Jason Hardie, who recently completed a transfer from Rockingham City, making their debuts in club colours. Inglewood showed that they would be a force come finals time with a convincing 3-nil win thanks to goals from Paul Lincoln, Lee Crosby and Alex Josifovski.
In the lone Sunday fixture, Western Knights winger Dean Nicolaou orchestrated his sides 5-nil demolition of Cockburn City at Perry lakes Stadium. Despite missing four regulars of their own, the Knights dominated the first half and Dean Nicolaou sneaked his first goal of the day after 10 minutes when he reacted smartly to a cross from the right and flicked the ball in off the shin of City 'keeper Tommy Tomich. It was a sensational end of the half when in the 38th minute John Nicolaou stabbed the ball over the line after a goalmouth scramble . Two minutes later an in-swinging free-kick from Dean Nicolaou rocketed in off the head off Andy Wright, and shortly after a lucky deflection from a Joe Vaz shot landed at the feet of Dean Nicolaou who lobbed it over Tomich. Eleven minutes after the re-start Dean Nicolaou capped off a great game by providing a cross to Euegen Singeorzan who was afforded time and space to control the ball before rifling home. It was a completely baffling performance from City who had just a week before defeated second placed Fremantle City 3-2.
GARCIA HOPES FOR OLYROOS SPOT
Former Perth Glory midfielder Michael Garcia has returned to Perth after a three month stay with Marine Castle United in Singapore. He had a successful stay with the S-League club, scoring twice in eleven outings and partnering ex-Glory teammate Tony Carbone in the centre of the park.
Garcia has signed with W.A. State league club ECU Joondalup in an effort to resurrect his career and hopefully fulfil his desire to represent Australia at the up-coming Sydney Olympic Games. The talented midfielder will play for Joondalup over the next six weeks during which time he hopes to attract the attention of Olyroos coach Raul Blanco. After his stint in Perth, Garcia is planning to head to England where he has been invited to attend pre-season training with First Division Barnsley.
NEW COACH AT COCKBURN
Cockburn City have appointed Laslo Koroknai as caretaker. Formerly the club's reserves team boss, Koroknai stepped up on a temporary basis a few weeks ago following the departure of Gerry Christie and has taken the side to two wins and a draw in four outings.
MRDJA AND BERNARD GET THE THUMBS UP
Currently chairman of the Perth Soccer Academy, former Perth Glory coach Gary Marocchi, is a regular at Dorrien Gardens where he "likes to see a few games and see if I can see if there is any talent around." Interviewed by Paul Tombides for Channel 31, he was asked if he'd seen any potential NSL stars during the weekend's Perth vs Floreat Athena clash and was quick to point out two players in particular. "Perth signed Nick Mrdja (from Canberra Cosmos), he's certainly done very well for them and he scored two goals today. And I'm still impressed by Troy Bernard at Floreat, I think he's certainly a player who should be playing in a higher competition." Marocchi has been a long time supporter of Bernard and came close to signing the sweeper-come-midfielder for Glory in mid-1997.
With Perth surprisingly languishing in the bottom half of the table, Marocchi believes they have what it takes to turn their season around. "Perth's not really performed to their level, I think they've got some very good young players in their side and they really should be up a lot higher, but full credit to the other sides. Swan I.C. haven't lost a game so far and they're the surprise packet. It's good to see some of the lesser lights doing so well."
ROBERTSON FOR PERTH?
Former Glasgow Rangers and Gippsland Falcons player Sandy Robertson is currently in Perth where he's visiting family and holding talks with a couple of State League clubs concerning his future. The midfielder is also being courted by an un-specified NSL side but he's very guarded on this option, confirming only that he's involved in discussions with one club but answering more probing questions with "I can't comment on that at the moment."
With over 10 years experience in Britain with Glasgow Rangers, Coventry City and Dundee United, the 29-year old is impressed with the quality of play he's seen in Perth. "The standard of the league is quite good and obviously I think I could go out there and do quite well at this standard." Robertson feels he has a good chance of picking up a contract in Perth which is where he hopes to continue his career after a spell with Gippsland Falcons "hopefully it (his career) lies here in Perth ... that's what I'm here for anyway." His father, Malcolm Robertson was a professional player in the U.K. during the 1970's and 1980's and the family came to Perth in 1980 when Malcolm had a guest spell.
CELULAR ONE PREMIER LEAGUE
A controversial penalty robbed newly-promoted Swan I.C. of their 100% record but they still remain undefeated after a 1-all draw with ECU Joondalup. A degree of luck saw Swan survive the opening stages of this match unscathed, taking the advantage after 20 minutes when Nigel Aubin made no mistake from a James Dimmock cross. Joondalup strikers Carl McDarby and Peter Vukmirovic threw everything they could muster at their opponents but there was no way past Corey Hugo in goal. With 17 minutes remaining, Hugo took exception to having his shirt pulled by 15- year old Sean Kilkelly and reacted by pushing over the youngster, referee Frank Moretti was on hand and immediately pointed to the spot where McDarby drew his side level. A few minutes later KilKelly set up McDarby for what should have been the winner for Joondalup but the striker fired wide. With 10 minutes left on the clock, Vukmirovic received his marching orders for his second yellow card offence. Swan coach Eric Williams that every point is a bonus for his side and that they are still focusing on staying in the Premier League rather than taking out the crown. "Every game's like a cup final to us and we'll be happy at the end of the season to be in the top six," he said. In a bizarre twist of fate, despite dropping two points, Swan actually increased their lead at the top of the ladder after other results went in their favour.
Cockburn City caused the upset of the round in defeating second placed Fremantle City 3-2. The home side took the lead via a penalty converted by Steve Bourne but Cockburn fought back and took take the initiative. Cockburn then netted twice before the break through Antonio Naglieri and an own goal which flew in off the leg of defender Evan Wallace. Teenager Jodi Prat added a third after the re-start before winger Gary Faria reduced the margin late in the game.
Sorrento continued their climb up the ladder with a convincing 3-1 win over second bottom club the Bayswater City Panthers. Perth Glory loan player Hamilton Thorp's amazing goal scoring run continued, his seventh goal in four outings for the club, with veteren striker Trevor Morgan hitting the two others. City midfielder Dom Ando got the lone reply. Sorrento's win was achieved with amatuer 'keeper Phil David, on loan from WAASSA league team WA Maccabi, between the posts after Mike Harkness and Neil Young were ruled out through suspension after both were sent off last weekend. "Phil played several games for us in the Night Series a few years ago and he's happy to help out," said assistant coach Morgan prior to the match.
Rockingham City travelled to Perry Lakes Stadium where they faced the might of Western Knights for whom striker Joe Vaz hit a hat-trick. Eugene Singeorzan scored the side's other goal while Stephen Stewart bagged Rockingham's consolation.
Striker Nick Mrdja kept his club in touch with the leading pack on Saturday as Perth demolished struggling Floreat Athena at Dorrien Gardens. Mrdja ended the day with two goal but realistically it could well have been a hat-trick for the former Canberra Cosmos forward. A penetrating cross from Mark Pottier set-up Mrdja with his first goal, and the second came via a simple tap-in after midfielder Boni Botha did all the hard work. The second goal finally sparked life into a lacklustre Athena side and Robin Dyers reduced the deficit before the break when he knocked in a goalmouth scaramble. Mrdja should have had his third after Adrian Caceres streamed down the left wing and drew the Athena 'keeper before passing to Mrdja unmarked in the middle, but he hit his shot over from close range. Caceres eventually delivered the killer blow himself and sealed the fixture at 3-1.
INGLEWOOD UNITED vs ASHFIELD/BUNBURY
Inglewood United hosted Ashfield/Bunbury in this Saturday fixture and both sides were looking to establish themselves in the top half of the ladder. The home side was first to settle, quickly establishing control of the middle of the park from where they broke quickly and knocked the ball into space to effectively catch their opponents out of position. In the 13th minute Ryan Newhill tumbled over Gene Wyllie who, in all honesty, was only standing his ground inside the area and referee Lou Prospero somewhat harshly pointed to the spot citing obstruction. Lee Crosby stepped up to send Phil Jackson the wrong way and give United the lead.
United were in total control and their backline of Alex Cummings, Jamie Goodman and Steve McDonald oozed confidence which flowed right through the side. Their influence saw Zabica venture well outside his area on several occasions, the most adventurous seeing him run the ball to just short of the half-way line - rounding Savo Garic and Brett Norrie in the process - before pumping it into the United attacking area.
Completely against the flow of play, Ashfield/Bunbury equalised deep in first half injury time. Zabica was judged to have brought down Garic as he was charging into the area and for the second time today the referee awarded a spot-kick. Without so much as a word to the United custodian from referee Lou Prospero - surprising given Zabica was the last man - Garic took the penalty himself and made no mistake from that range.
The home were once again the more dominant after the re-start and Ashfield/Bunbury were very lucky to get away unpunished in the 64th minute when Jackson spilt a in-swinging corner, the ball landing at the feet of McDonald. But the 'keeper quickly recovered, diving onto the boot of the United defender before he had time to comprehend what had happened.
As the half wore on Ashfield/Bunbury battled their way back into the game by opting for the direct route to goal - the long-ball played over the top of midfield and onto which their strikers and flank players would race. Gyula Konscek was in great form down the right where he teamed well with Garic who was slowly finding himself with more room to manouver as the United defence began to relax. The Ashfield/Bunbury staff called upon their players to lift for the final 20 minutes and they responded brilliantly by running the closing stages of the game. Steve Goff, Garic and Steve Rogers all went close in quick succession. With 12 minutes to go, Norrie sped down the right wing, beat his man and guided a low to Goff who nailed it from 11 metres. A furious Zabica berated his defence who were caught ball watching with Goff steaming in unmarked right in front of their eyes.
Fired up, the visitors searched for their third but Zabica was in fine form to deny them. Overall, it wasn't a pretty Ashfield/Bunbury performance that saw them re-claim second spot on the State League ladder. But everyone of their players showed determination and team unity to rally against the odds to come back into this match and snatch maximum points.
Inglewood United : Robert Zabica, Alex Cummings, Jamie Goodman, Steve
McDonald, Grant Learmont, Gary Andrews, Michael Di Fulvio, Lee Crosby,
Ryan Newhill (Gary Jamieson 85), Alex Josifovski, Paul Lincoln
Ashfield/Bunbury : Phil Jackson, Gene Wyllie, Daniel Trim, Adrian Spinelli, Gyula Konscek, Shane Fuhr (Joe Comitto 46), Damien Trim (Steve Rogers 24), David Mayers, Steve Goff, Savo Garic, Brett Norrie (Andrew Cornelly 88)
Referee: Lou Prospero
Cautions: Norrie (33), Mayers (54), Garic (87)
Attendance: 200 (approx.)
PREMIER LEAGUE LEADING SCORERS (AFTER 7 ROUNDS)
Club Goals Nigel Aubin Swan I.C. 9 Hamilton Thorp Sorrento 7 Savo Garic Ashfield/Bunbury 6 Elton Holmes Swan I.C. 5 Todd Harnwell Sorrento 4 Carl McDarby ECU Joondalup 4 Paul McVittie Fremantle City 4 Trevor Morgan Sorrento 4 Trim Morgan Fremantle City 4 Nick Mrdja Perth 4 Brett Norrie Ashfield/Bunbury 4 Joe Vaz Fremantle City 4
The Stirling Lions Amateurs have been removed from the WAASSA competition, after the team failed to have enough players in recent weeks. It's believed many of the players went on to play in the Lions' Soccer West Coast reserves team who have been struggling to get players after relegation from the SWC Premier League last year. All previous games that the Stirling Lions Amateurs have been involved in will be reduced to a 2-0 win to their opponents, as will all games from now on. The club also continues to be unable to field an Under 18's team due to lack of players.
Meanwhile, the ECU Joondalup Amateurs lead the WAASSA Premier Division with 10 points on goal difference from Fremantle United. Last year's champions, Murdoch University, who lost two of their better players to Soccer West Coast clubs are in 7th position. South Perth United are struggling at the bottom of the table without a point.
Carlisle are the surprise packets in the WAASSA First Division with four wins out of four, they lead the table by three points behind the two promotion favourites Balga and the Cockburn City Amateurs. Balga, which has many former Soccer West Coast players, have scored sixteen goals from four games. Cloverdale Chindits are on the bottom without a win.
Canning Suleymaniye lead the WAASSA Second Division, Stirling Pelister are on top of the WAASSA Third Division and Vietnam United are the WAASSA Fourth Division Leaders.
A SECOND WA SIDE?
According to the "West Australian" newspaper, Perth is almost certain to have a second team in the NSL come the season after next. To date two organisations - Soccer WestCoast and Fremantle City - are believed to involved in bidding for the second licence in W.A., but expect a couple more interested parties to raise their hands as the time approaches. NSL general manager Stefan Kamasz has made it clear that decisions on the 2001/2002 season will not be made until December.
Soccer West Coast (SWC), the local governing body, in partnership with a group of Perth businessmen, has already lodged a submission to the NSL. While SWC have bathed in the success of Perth Glory, the body has also been critical that the club do not do their part in promoting soccer in general in Perth. One particular sticking point has been Glory's willingness to sign players from interstate and/or overseas rather than picking from the talent playing in the State League. David Schrandt, President of SWC, has said that he is confident his association's bid would stand up. "It is a very good submission, a lot of hard work has gone into it, and we are optimistic about its chances of being accepted," he said. While Schrandt refused to reveal details of the bid, it is believed SWC will have a 20% share with the remainder being covered by some prominent Perth businessmen. He said the stakeholders of the game in W.A. deserved a presence in the national competition and that the consortium would lean heavily on using local players and developing talented youngsters.
Fremantle City have been one of the states most consistent sides over the past few years but are yet to win a major trophy in W.A. They have built up a strong squad under the guidance of coach Stuart Kamasz which combines the experience of Dave Evans, Paul McVittie and Trim Morgan with the youthful exuberance of Gary Faria, Christian Pascherwitz and Michael Lipman. Currently sitting in second place in the State League after six games, it is expected that a syndicate representing the club will also bid on entry into the NSL. City president John Da Luz would not comment on his club's proposed move for the licence.
Part of Glory's entry into the League in 1996 was a 5-year moratorium on the granting of the second W.A. license. That agreement expires at the end of next season and the Australian soccer hierarchy are known to be keen to admit another team from Perth to take advantage of the growing following the sport has in the west. With the league set to undergo a major re-structure for the 2001/2002 season, the emphasis looks like being on offering team places to franchises. And the interested W.A. parties will have to be cashed up in order to meet the NSL's new criteria. It's already been made clear to sides that come the re-structure applicants will be required to have a working capital of at least $3 million, and will need to generate an additional minimum revenue of $1.5 million in the first season. There is also need for club's to have full-time staff in the areas of general manager, financial controller, media/public relations, and marketing, a playing venue of accepted NSL standard and a minimum of $750,000 in the sponsorship coffers.
But allowing a second W.A. team into the NSL for season 2001/2002 would be ill-timed according to many in Perths' soccer circles. While Glory are averaging home gates of around 12,000 - and look like attracting around 43,000 to the this weeks Finals game - the overall support for soccer simply isn't big enough to support two NSL teams at the current time. In fact many State League teams, including Fremantle City who are themselves one of the bigger clubs, rarely draw crowds over 300.
The most widely espoused senario sees the new club crippled by the financial burdens of the NSL after only a season or two. Simply by being the new kids on the block, their profile would not be as great as Glory's and with that comes smaller crowds and fewer sponsorship dollars to play with. It would not be unreasonable to think they would also have a weaker squad than Glory and it is widely believed that a new club would struggle to build a core following of die-hard supporters after Glory's recent successes. It should be pointed out that the Fremantle Dockers are still considered the poorer cousins of the West Coast Eagles in the AFL - a second Perth side would suffer the same fate only on a much larger scale as soccer has nowhere near the following of that sport in W.A. And what happens if the club goes through a prolonged period of poor performances on the park, how long could a second NSL side based in Perth survive with plummeting attendances?
Glory are well and truly established as Perth's premier soccer club but the introduction of a new team could have dire consequences for the minor premier also. There have been concerns expressed that Glory's current fanbase would be split down the middle, half staying with the club and the rest following the new side in backlash to the general ill-feeling towards Glory co-owner Nick Tana. As is the case with all sporting teams based in W.A., their transportation and accommodation costs are far greater than their eastern states counter-parts and the question is would Glory, with an annual operating budget of around $4.5 million, etc be able to survive on crowds of 6,000-8,000?
On a brighter note, the W.A. State Government look set to finally move on the construction of the purpose-built rectangular stadium for soccer they have promised for the better part of four years. The new venue would be used by Perth Glory as their permanent home ground, and should a second Perth-based side be permitted entry into the League, it is envisioned they too would utilise the ground. With several inner city locations already ear-marked as potential sites for the development, an official announcement is expected within the month. Glory hope to be playing their home games at the new stadium in time for the 2001/2002 season.
MORE FROM JOONDALUP WAY
ECU Joondalup have had a good start to the season, sitting in fourth place having won four out of their opening six games. Coach Paul Simmons is happy with the results to date, but he says it could have been much better had he had more his full compliment of players available. "After the first two games we lost seven first team players through injury and it was that bad at one stage that we signed three lads from our Sunday amateurs side."
As a result, Simmons has been forced to call upon several young players - some of which were not quite ready for senior action - a move that has at times worked against Joondalup. "It certainly did against Perth," Simmons said when reminded of the 3-1 thrashing. "But I don't know how you could be critical, against Perth we started off with only two of the lads playing in Danze and Broxton but after 15 minutes we'd lost both of our strikers. Joel Peacock with a knee injury and Peter Vukmirovic with a groin strain. So having guys on the bench - I think it was Derek Cooke and Louis Parkinson, and they're two 15 year old kids - I thought we did quite well."
Two other youngsters at the club who have come of age this season are new signings Jamie Kuzmanovic and Steve White. "Kaz has been outstanding, for a guy of that height he rarely losses in the air. A totally 100% committed player, excellent at training and a great attitude," Simmons said. "Stevie White, again another young lad, absolutely phenomenal footwork ... probably the best left sided player in the League."
Simmons' preparation for this week's home clash with League leaders Swan I.C. has been disrupted with the quartet of Darren Broxton, Anthony Danze, Louis Parkinson and Ryan Fredericks all absent from training due to a national Under-17's camp in the east. It was the Joeys first training run under newly appointed coach Ange Postecoglou as the team prepares for the qualification rounds of the 2001 World Under-17 Championship to be held in Trinidad and Tobago during April/May 2001.
GAZZA MAY STILL BE ON HIS WAY
ECU Joondalup coach Paul Simmons says don't write off the chances of former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne making a couple of appearances for his club next month. "I can't make any further comment at the moment except to say that discussions are still being had," Simmons said. "But if there were seven pieces of a jigsaw, then five pieces area already in place."
Simmons refuted claims that the proposed signing of Gascoigne was a media stunt. "Absolutely not," he said before going on to explain that only three people in W.A. knew Joondalup had made a play for Gascoigne and that "the story actually broke in England .... I got the first phone call at 1 o'clock Thursday morning from a reporter from the Daily Mail in London and his first words were 'Congratulations on the coup of the century, the signing of Paul Gascoigne on loan for three months'. Obviously I denied any knowledge of it, I couldn't make a commitment to him. Before 1.30am that morning I had another six calls, turned the phone off, got up the next morning at 6.30am and I had another 18 messages from America, England, Sydney, Melbourne."
Middlebrough manager Bryan Robson late last week claimed that a potential loan deal with Joondalup was news to him but did not entirely rule out the temporary move over the English off-season. "The main thing for Gazza at the moment is to actually get fit," he said via the club's web site. Middlebrough head to Libya this week and when they return Robson plans to sit down with Gazza and try and map out a summer for him where, whether it's playing football or just getting back to full fitness, we have a program which will suit us and him."
With more details coming to light with each day, there is now no doubt Joondalup and Gascoigne's agent Mel Stein were discussing a deal which would see the midfielder make two appearances in the W.A. State League come late June. The problem was that Stein had not informed Middlesbrough, whose club policy stipulates that there must be interclub dialogue before any negotiations are started or made with a player or his agent. A furious Robson challenged Stein who in turn denied talking with Joondalup, claiming he knew nothing about the deal (which was not believed by the English club) and Stein was subsequently repremanded. 'Boro then went into damage control and refused to give to credence to the story, brushing it off as pure speculation.
Joondalup have since been informed that the deal is still an option and they, in conjunction with World Sports Management, have approached Middlesbrough through the correct channels in order to get Gascoigne over to Perth and to smooth over any wounds. But they will have to keep their lips tightly buttoned until the details have been finalised, which won't be until 'Boro return from a short tour of Libya. The Premier League club have also told Joondalup they want certain unspecified guarantees met about Gascoigne's stay in Perth. Interestingly, Boro's attempts to send Gascoigne to a Norwegian club on loan last month found no takers, even from teams at the bottom of the league.
GLORY GET THREE NOMINATIONS
Perth Glory have received three nominations in the end of season NSL awards to be held at the ANA Hotel in Sydney on Friday 16th June 2000. Coach Bernd Stange, one-time Socceroo goalkeeper Jason Petkovic and exciting teenager Ivan Ergic are all in the running to scoop major NSL honours.
Stange is in one of three nominees for the Coach of the Year. "It's great news for the club - I am very proud," said Stange, who led the club to its first trophy two weeks ago when they clinching the minor premiership. Surprisingly, the former East German national team coach has never won a coaching award. "They never had such a thing in East German," he said. "It is good to be nominated. It means my way has been accepted in Australia by my colleagues. To do this after only two years here makes me proud." The other nominees are boss Nick Theodorakopoulos (Wollongong Wolves) and Lee Sterrey (Newcastle Breakers). With the award voted on by the NSL coaches, Stange has revealed he had put forward Theodorakopoulos' name. "What Nick has done is amazing with limited resources, and he's only part-time," said Stange.
Petkovic is in the running for the Goalkeeper of the Year. He joined Glory late in November after spending five years with Adelaide City and has had a superb season. He is the frontrunner to take out the award, which he also landed in the 1997-98 season, in a field which features Clint Bolton (Brisbane Strikers) and veteran Bobby Catlin (Newcastle Breakers).
Ergic has the chance to cap a stunning rookie season in the competition by lifting the Under-21 Player of the Year trophy. The 19-year old was working his way through a soccer scholarship at the A.I.S. this time last year and was surprised by the news that he could land a personal award in his break-through season. "That's made my day," said Ergic, who has bagged nine goals and chalked up a string of impressive efforts this season. His rivals for the award are Olyroo captain Brett Emerton of Sydney Olympic and Carlton striker Archie Thompson.
Of the four categories, the only one in which Glory failed to gain a nomination is the Players' Player of the Year where the contenders are John Buonavoglia (Newcastle Breakers), Pablo Cardozo (Sydney Olympic), Scott Chipperfield (Wollongong Wolves), Gabriel Mendez (Sydney Olympic) and Damian Mori (Adelaide City Force). Glory captain Gareth Naven has been outstanding and there have already been questions from many quarters as to why he has been overlooked.
CELULAR ONE PREMIER LEAGUE
One played two on Saturday as undefeated League leaders Swan I.C. travelled to face second placed Ashfield/Bunbury at Ashfield Reserve where a soft pitch lead to some sloppy play. The visitors were the first to feel the pressure with their backline forced to belt the ball hopefully out of their goalmouth on a couple of occasions. After 15 minutes, Savo Garic ran onto a long clearance but couldn't find his way past Justin Everley and knocked the ball to David Mayers who was running into the area. Mayers drew Swan 'keeper Corey Hugo before squaring to Norrie who tucked the ball into an empty net with the Swan defence all at sea.
Swan I.C. pulled together to focus in the task at hand and played their way back into this match. They got forward with frequency and at the 34 minute mark it finally paid off when Rory Mouttet twisted his way past Adrian Spinelli and sent a centring cross to the feet of Nigel Aubin. His first time shot hit the base of the up-right then the back of the net with 'keeper Phil Jackson well beaten. The visitors took hold of the game and were unlucky not to be ahead at the break. Aubin shot into Jackson from close range, Holmes drove narrowly wide from 20 metres, and Daniel Trim headed a Holmes shot from a tight angle off the line.
The second half belonged to Swan I.C, who were relying on Mouttet and Carlo Scali to break down the flanks before knocking the ball into the middle and Holmes, Aubin and Evereley all had chances but couldn't find a way past Jackson. Finally it was left to Damian Scali whose speculative shot from the edge of the area sailed well beyond the home 'keeper and snuck in at the far bottom corner. The Swan I.C. players and staff were over-joyed when the final whistle blew, they'd held on for a well deserved victory and extended their undefeated run to stay three points clear at the head of the ladder.
Ashfield/Bunbury : Phil Jackson, Gene Wyllie, Daniel Trim, Damian Trim, Adrian Spinelli
(Andrew Cornmilly 74), Shane Fuhr (Gyula Konscek 79), David Mayers, Steve Rogers, Steve Goff Kim Sue 82),
Brett Norrie, Savo Garic
Swan I.C. : Corey Hugo, Carlo Scali, Justin Everley, Darren Freeman, Justin Hugo (Eddie Mura 19), Rory Mouttet (Anthony Jones 79), Chris Perks (Trevor Hatton 79), Damian Scali, James Dimmock, Nigel Aubin, Elton Holmes
Referee: Angelo Nardi
Cautions: Mouttet (53)
Attendance: 100 (approx.)
At Litis Stadium, it was a re-match of the Night Series finals with Floreat Athena playing hosts to Inglewood United. United opening the scoring in the 19th minute when young midfielder Grant Learmont set up Paul Lincoln. Learmont was involved in the second goal also, crossing to former Carlton striker Alex Josifovski whose superb diving header left John Xigas grasping thin air. Second half Athena substitute Andrew Afkos helped reduce the deficit when his low cross was met by Peter Coci who tapped the ball over the line. But United weren't finished as Josifovski grabbed his second from 20 metres, and Lincoln netted three minutes from the end to make it a 4-1 scoreline. The game ended on a bang when, with full-time approaching, referee Dave Mortimer was called upon to defuse a potentially explosive situation after Athena forward Robin Dyers put a late challenge on Robert Zabica.
Despite missing key defender Dave Evans with a fractured cheek-bone suffered, Fremantle City continued their fine form of late with a 3-1 win over bottom side Rockingham City. The title favourites had the enterprising Gary Faria to thank for the win, laying on the passes which allowed Paul McVittie, Michael Mirco and Trim Morgan to score. Fremantle 'keeper Craig Shanko denied Rockingham's strikers with a string of fine saves, and one the few occasions he was beaten the ball luckily crashed into the up-rights. Eventually though Rockingham found the back of the net through Peter Petkovic who scored for the second time in as many weeks.
ECU Joondalup fell behind to an early goal from Cockburn City's Daniel Beard but after the break it was all one-way traffic. Two goals from last season's leading scorer Carl McDarby and another from Peter Vukmirovic ensured Joondalup stay within striking distance of the top three. In the final Saturday game, the Bayswater City Panthers earned their first point of the season in a one-all home draw with an erratic Perth outfit.
In the Sunday fixture, out of favour Perth Glory defender Hamilton Thorp was the hero as Sorrento dumped Western Knights 5-1. Playing as a striker for Sorrento, Thorp added to his State League tally when he burst clear after just two minutes to slot past the Knights 'keeper. He made his way past three defenders in the 30th minute to snare his second, then expertly nodded in a header after 41 minutes to complete his hat-trick. And Todd Harnwell made it 4-nil a few minutes before the break. Both sides were reduced to ten men in the 67th minute when Sorrento's Kevin Murphy and the home side's Shane McNally clashed after a byline tussle. Scott Devine pulled a goal back for the Knights after tall defender Ivan Ljubicic headed down a corner in the 78th minute. With the game pretty much over as a contest, Sorrento went down to nine men with six minutes left after 'keeper Mike Harkness handballed outside his area. But the visitors were not finished and Thorp grabbed his fourth goal in injury time when he pounced from close range.
GASCOIGNE - YES OR NO?
Reports emanating from the west late last week claimed that former England international Paul Gascoigne was heading to Perth in late June for two guest appearances with ECU Joondalup. But less than 12 hours after the story broke, the midfielder's English club Middlesbrough poured cold water on the loan deal.
In a career that has seen the midfielder play for some of the biggest clubs in Europe, it was claimed that Gascoigne would fly to Australia at the end of the month to spend the summer in Perth on loan with Joondalup. Gary Williams of World Sports Management said Middlesbrough had agreed the deal with the State League club in the hope that a change of scenery will help 32-year-old bounce back from a miserable season. It was believed that Joondalup would pay Gascoigne's living expenses while in W.A. with the Premier League outfit picking up his wages of more than $34,500 a week.
Joondalup coach Paul Simmons is confident the midfielder will play for his club. "We are still sorting out the contract details," he said. "We are towards the end of negotiations. How big is this for Australian soccer? One of the biggest names in the world game is coming to play for the Western Australian State champions ... You bring a guy like Gascoigne over Western Australia and he'll be the biggest player to have graced these shores, not just of Western Australia but Australia in general. Our football is heading in the right direction and it helps bringing over big names." Simmons said Joondalup had been able to get Gascoigne to the negotiating table through former Sheffield Wednesday and Everton player Mick Lyons, who is the Director of Coaching at the club's Youth Development Academy.
With Gascoigne known to be a keen angler, Joondalup looked to have beaten off interest from the United States as well as several other Australian sides with the tempting offer of some of the best fishing in the world. The club are banking on Gazza's pulling power to cover their investment and will make the transition easier by reuniting him with his old Tottenham and England team-mate Chris Waddle who has been confirmed to play a number of games for the Perth side.
But Gascoigne's adviser in the U.K. Mel Stein has described the move as "premature". "There is a bit of smoke but no fire. There has been an initial approach but no-one has spoken to me. For anything to occur three things have to happen. Middlesbrough have to agree to any move, Paul has to agree to go and I have to be contacted about terms. That has not happened." Stein, speaking on Sky Sports.com, added: "I am amazed. All I know is there has been an indication and we have heard on the grapevine about this but it is absolutely premature. Paul has a holiday lined up but that is the same for any other Premiership player. At the end of the day Paul is a player with Middlesbrough, they pay his wages. It is all racing ahead of itself. I have never spoken to anyone from Joondalup."
Middlesbrough boss Bryan Robson has described the deal as "way over the top speculation." Having viewed the television interview with Joondalup officials he said: "I was amazed and surprised when I watched the television interview today. The quotes from the Joondalup manager were astonishing. No agreement has been reached with any club over a loan move for Gazza. After next week I will sit down with him and decide whether he should play football abroad or stay with us to build up his fitness."
Should the deal proceed as hoped and Gazza does make his way to Perth, it wouldn't be the first time that the city has seen some of the world's greats playing in the local League. England's World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore spent time with Inglewood Kiev in the early 1980's and following in his footsteps were Bobby Charlton (Perth Azzurri), Allan Ball (Floreat Athena), Trevor Brooking (Kelmscott Roos), George Best (Osborne Park Galeb), Mike Channon (Gosnells City) and Jimmy Case (Waneroo British) make appearances in Perth.
Gascoigne has kept a low profile since breaking his arm against Aston Villa in mid-February. He was immediately taken to hospital amid fears that his playing time in the Premier League was over, concerns that were heightened when a succession of injuries hampered hopes of an early return. Both Boro and Gascoigne feel it is in his best interests to escape from the glare of the English scene in an attempt to repair a career which has looked in terminal decline.
FINALS TICKETS SELL LIKE HOTCAKES
The rush for the hottest sports ticket in Perth lasted just four days as Glory's historic leap into the NSL record books as minor premiers saw finals fever sweep the city. Queues formed quickly at the various outlets around the city - and phones were running hot at Ticketmaster - when tickets went on sale on Monday morning for the 2nd leg clash with Wollongong Wolves. The game is to be held under lights at Subiaco Oval on Saturday, May 27.
Sales were restricted to the club's Golden Members and Season Ticket Holders on the first day of sales with more than 5,000 sold in the first three hours, rising to over 14,000 by 5.00pm. Members and Official Supporters Club members got their chance on Tuesday and by day's end 28,352 tickets had been snapped up in total. That left just 14,648 tickets for the general public who were allowed to purchase on Wednesday. It was obvious these wouldn't last long and with the telephone call centre working at full capacity with over 100 people taking calls, 4,000 seats were sold in the first hour. Demand was so great that the club put on sale an addition 3,200 restricted viewing seats at discounted prices.
A full house come match day should see a new NSL attendance record set, not just for the finals series, but for the competition as a whole. Glory established a Minor Semi-Final record of 27,548 when they downed Marconi 1-nil at the WACA Ground last May. But the largest crowd was three years ago when 40,446 turned up to watch the Grand Final between Brisbane Strikers and Sydney United at Suncorp Stadium.
And that may not be the only record broken by Glory. West Coast Eagles have the ground attendance record of 42,209 set in June 1991 against St Kilda, but indications are that Glory will pass that mark with ease, a fact which pleases Glory general manager Roger Lefort no end. "At this stage we are looking at a full house at Subiaco Oval, something around 43,000," he said. "If we can sell almost 43,000 tickets in three days then we are talking about enormous potential. I say to the AFL watch out."
Teenage sensation Ivan Ergic was also thrilled at the propsect of playing in front of such as huge crowd. "42,000 is a big, big crowd, it's like a European crowd. We're all looking forward to playing here (Subiaco Oval) and we shouldn't lose with that crowd behind us."
At this stage, the May 27th game will not be shown live on TV in Perth despite being sold out well in advance, but there is the possibility that local ABC programmers may consider a delayed telecast. "I've asked them about it and they are looking into it," Lefort said.
STANGE AND ARNOLD AGREE - GLORY ARE THE CHAMPIONS
There were plenty of celebrations and champagne corks popping long into the night after Perth Glory clinched their first minor premiership on Sunday. But like it or not, the only team who is really remembered in years to come is the one that makes it through the play-offs and wins the Grand Final.
However, like so many others, both Bernd Stange and Graham Arnold agreed at the post-match press conference that the team that finishes on top after the home and away series should be rightfully crowned N.S.L. champions. "For me personally, the next four weeks are not necessary," Stange said. "At the end of the season, the champion is the champion. Now it's a little bit lottery." With Glory the most consistent side in the competition over the past seven months, the Glory coach believes that there are too many outside influences which could now decide the championship including "the referee, injuries, suspension - so many factors - bad luck, rain, thunderstorms".
Arnold concurred, saying: "I agree totally. If you play 34 games and you're on top of the ladder after 34 games, you're the most consistent side in the league so it should be over." Former Socceroo Robbie Slater said he expected Glory to go on and be crowned champions in front of a full house at Subiaco Oval on June 11th. "Over 34 games they've finished top of the pile and for me they are the best team in the country," he said before adding "[But] we're in Australia and the big one is the Grand Final."
KALOGERACOS GETS THE CALL-UP
Floreat Athena have lost the services of diminiative forward Vas Kalogeracos to European interests. Kalogeracos has spent the past couple of months in Perth waiting to hear from several clubs with whom he trialled earlier in the year, and the call finally came last week from Norwegian outfit HamKam. He will sign with the club initially for a two month period, but should things work out well between the two parties that is expected to be extended. Kalogeracos flew out of Perth on Sunday morning.
BAYSWATER CITY PANTHERS vs FLOREAT ATHENA
With both sides languishing in the bottom half of the table, the Bayswater City Panthers hosted Floreat Athena on Saturday and were out for revenge after suffering a 5-1 thrashing to their cross-town rival in the pre-season Night Series. Athena were missing several players with Vas Kalogeracos busy preparing to head to Norway the following day where he's linking up with Hamarkameratene, while player-coach Michael Roki and influential midfielder Doug Ithier were both out through injury. Not to be outdone, City are still feeling the effects of a change of coach with new-comer Jimmy Pearson in charge for only the second time. He surprisingly dropped nippy striker Sal Marrapodi to the reserves and experienced Alan Pottier found himself with a spot on the bench. In addition, City were without promising forward Albert Osei Tutu through injury.
The opening 20 minutes belonged to Athena and they showed their intentions early on. With the game only a few minutes old Peter Coci raced the ball to the by-line and pulled it back to Robin Dyers who hammered his shot over bar with Simon Madaschi well out of position. Not long after Jason Smith tried a long range drive which Madaschi padded down, but he got an awkward bounce which allowed Coci to race in and pressure the 'keeper as he struggled to control it.
City were finding it difficult to adjust to life without the pace of Marrapodi up front, Marc Wingell being thrust into the position in his place. He looked unsettled as a striker, a position he is still obviously getting used to, and was often caught in possession by the Athena defence. The home side were restricted to shooting from 20 plus metres and only Alan MacKenzie and Charles Condipodero managed anything approximating a shot on goal, both ending up well wide of the target. It wasn't until the 24th minute that Athena 'keeper John Xigas was tested, Dale Wingell hitting a 25 metre swinging volley that had Xigas in a minor panic but the ball dipped early and sailed safely into his arms.
Much of the half was a scrappy affair with play bogged down between the two penalty areas. Both sides made their fair share of mistakes with passes being either hit short, intercepted by outstretched legs or going astray as the ball was turned over with ease. City for their part showed little desire to score and rarely got forward in sufficient numbers to mount a serious threat. And resolute defending from Athena's backline of Troy Bernard, Boza Eracovic and Hugh Miller made sure that the home team weren't afforded the luxury of having time to line up their shots.
The City midfield, in particular MacKenzie, Condipodero and Dale Wingell, slowly began to come into the match and managed to limit the usefulness of their opposing numbers. But with an inexperienced attacking partnership, goalscoring chances were few and far between for the home team. They were further restricted in their unwillingness to use the full width of the pitch, instead content to play the ball through the congested middle section of the park where possession was frequently lost. Athena for some reason also adopted this option which stifled the effectiveness of their usual ball players and they struggled to get forward with any conviction. On the few occasions they did get forward, City young guns Paul DaSun Martino and Michael Icanovski were on hand to make sure Athena's efforts amounted to nothing by clearing the ball to safety.
While Athena were getting forward with less frequency than their opponents, they were the ones looking more likely to trouble the scorers. After 34 minutes a Scott Daley cross was almost turned in by defender Paul DaSun Martino. From the resulting corner Adrian Sutton rose alone and directed his header to the top corner but Madaschi was well positioned to capture the ball. A minute later it was Sutton again when he got on the end of a deep cross from a poorly defended corner and hammered this header at Madaschi's feet but the 'keeper was again alert and got down low.
A quick break into the City area by Costa Socratous after 40 minutes saw the midfielder illegally halted in his tracks by Condipodero. Coci stepped up and slotted home the penalty to give Athena a deserved lead going into the break. And it was almost 2-nil on the stroke of half-time but Madaschi plucked ball off the head of Coci as he raced in to met a lobbing Dyers' cross.
Apart from the final few minutes, the first half was an uninspiring affair, but after the interval the game cranked up a notch and produced a further six goals. And we didn't have to wait long before the first, just a minute after the re-start Clissold dummied his way around an opponent deep on the left before hitting the ball into the area. The cross found tall forward Dyers who expertly re-directed the ball past the diving Madaschi. Athena wasted no time in taking the game by the scruff of the neck and utilised possession with some quick moves to get it into their attacking third. Nine minutes into the half and Smith floated a free-kick from 35 metres into the area which Dyers positioned himself underneath. With Madaschi advancing as the ball dropped, Dyers caught the 'keeper in no-man's-land to cleverly flick it over him and into the top corner for his second goal of the afternoon.
However, the margin was lead short-lived as two minutes City pulled a goal back. Dale Wingell was awarded a free-kick after being tripped on the top corner of the box, and, taking the kick himself, sent it curling through a disintegrating Athena wall. Let down by his defence, Xigas was unsighted until the last moment and dived in vain to knock the shot into the side netting.
Despite clawing a goal back and the best efforts of MacKenzie and Dale Wingell to inspire their team, definite cracks began to show in City's armor. Not long after the goal team dis-harmony became most evident as Marc Wingell and Condipodero argued a point which culminated in a shoving match between the teammates. Referee Derek Minet was forced to step in and separate the two before having words with the pair. A few minutes later and the usually settling influence of MacKenzie lost his rag to give his teammates a verbal bashing after Athena carved out a goalscoring chance with little effort shown by his side's defence.
But all this verbal abuse from their teammates seemed to work wonders for City and they steadied the ship to come back into the match. Looking more comfortable in his position the longer the game went, Marc Wingell steamed forward in the 67th minute to slip past a couple of opponents and back-heeled into the path of the charging Bobby Klenkovski who drove strongly but Xigas was positioned to save. Two minutes later Marc and Dale Wingell combined to get the ball into the attacking zone where Dale weaved past three defenders only to have the advancing Xigas smothered his shot off the boot. The loose ball rolled across the box to Klenkovski who rammed it into the exposed goal to make to 3-2 from 8 metres.
Having watched their three goal advantage slowly get withered away, Athena's midfield decided they'd had enough and it was time to take the game to their opponents. In the 82nd minute Clissold collected the ball in defence and set off on a spirited run which took him through the centre circle before laying off a defence splitting pass to Smith. His low cross into the area was expertly volleyed by Coci into the back of the net to complete a fantastic display of teamwork and fluent ballwork. The demolition of City was completed three minutes from time with a brilliant solo goal from Socratous. The young midfielder raced away after a City attack broke down on a lung-bursting run that saw him ride several tackles before selling Madaschi a dummy and finally hammer the ball into an empty net.
Bayswater City : Simon Madaschi, Dom Ando, Michael Ivacovski, Dom Giorgi, Dale Wingell, Jason Van Rooy,
Paul DaSun Martino, Alan MacKenzie (Alan Pottier 69), Charles Condipodero, Marc Wingell, Bobby Klenkovski
(Jamie Kunkar 82)
Floreat Athena :John Xigas, Troy Bernard, Boza Eracovic (Andrew Afkos 62), Hugh Miller, Scott Clissold (Chris Georganis 82), Costa Socratous, Adrian Sutton, Jason Smith, Scott Daley, Peter Coci, Robin Dyers
Referee: Derek Minet(?)
Cautions: Miller (37)
Attendance: 250 (approx.)
CELULAR ONE PREMIER LEAGUE
Fremantle City welcomed back Dave Evans at the heart of their defence and rebounded from a 4-nil thrashing last week to overcome a determined Sorrento side. Sorrento created all the moves in the early stages with player-coach Trevor Morgan, Hamilton Thorp and veteren Ross Greer making life difficult for the City defence. They were rewarded for their enterprise after 13 minutes when a Morgan cross picked out Thorp and he sent his header whizzing past visiting 'keeper Craig Shanko. City slowly came into the game and drew level with 32 minutes expired - hard-working flank player Gary Faria cleverly chipping the ball over opposing 'keeper Mike Harkness. The second half started controversially with Sorrento's Andy Chapman and City midfielder Abdul Kamara sent off after an on-park scrap. Sorrento then had a goal disallowed ten minutes into the half, and within five minutes were out of the contest as City adjusted better to be a man short. In the 57th minute midfielder Paul McVittie found the net with a volley from 18 metres, and three minutes later Morgan wrapped up the points for the away team.
Cockburn City bounced back from the mid-week departure of coach Gerry Christie to chalk up their second win when they downed the previously undefeated Ashfield/Bunbury. City were in control throughout the match thanks largely to the non-stop playing style of skillful midfielder Paul Cooke and wing-back Garry Numan. The only goal of the game came in the 75th minute when Christian Alvarez spotted Antonio Naglieri lingering just outside the penalty area and clipped his corner to him. Naglieri sent his powerful shot flying through a crowded box and past 'keeper Phil Jackson before he had time to react. Stand-in coach Laslo Koroknai was full of praise for 17-year old goal scoring hero Naglieri after the game, "Antonio is a fine talent - I think Glory should be taking a close look at him." Koroknai, who has been the under-21's coach at City for the past few years and has been responsible for many of the club's younger players rising through the ranks, would he happy to take on the first team role but only on his terms. "They know what I can do," he said. "I won't apply for the job but if it's offered I will consider it." Unfortunately for City they stay in the bottom three courtesy of a very poor goal difference.
Ashfield/Bunbury's defeat means that Swan I.C. are now outright leaders and the only side still with a 100% record after five rounds. Strengthened by the return of Carlos Scali and Ray Mouttet, Swan found few ways through the strong Inglewood United defence and had to wait until three minutes before full-time for the winner. A goalmouth scramble was finally hit goalward by Nigel Aubin, Robert Zabica parried the shot only as far as Elton Holmes who knocked it past Zabica for the only goal of the clash. ECU Joondalup made sure the woes at Rockingham City continued with a 4-1 thumping, and Western Knights ran out victors over the visiting Perth by a 2-1 margin.
CELULAR ONE PREMIER LEAGUE LEADING SCORERS
Club Goals Nigel Aubin Swan I.C. 7 Savo Garic Ashfield/Bunbury 5 Elton Holmes Swan I.C. 5 Scott Daley Floreat Athena 3 Todd Harnwell Sorrento 3 Paul McVittie Fremantle City 3 John Mirco Western Knights 3 Gary Murray ECU Joondalup 3 Brett Norrie Ashfield/Bunbury 3 Joshua Pescud Cockburn City 3 Mark Pottier Perth 3
THE LEAGUE'S NEW SPONSOR
The W.A. Premier League has announced a new sponsor in Celular One who are part of the A.A.P.T. SmartChat group. They take over from McInerny Ford who have shifted their focus to the 1st Division. Celular One has signed a three year contract with the League worth $25,000 a season.
SWAN I.C. TRANSFORMED
After a disappointing Night Series which saw Swan I.C. chart only two points from five games, coach Eric Williams has turned the team around with astonishing success in the Premier League. After four rounds, the club are sitting on top of the ladder and are yet to drop a point. "We're pleasantly surprised with how it's turned out," Williams said. "The acquisition of Corey Hugo at the back, in the goalkeeping terms, has made it a lot safer for us. In the Night Series we were trialling a few players and trying to get the balance. And it seems like it's come together."
PERTH FINDING THEIR FEET
Undefeated in the preliminary rounds of the Night Series, it looked as though Perth S.C. were in for a barnstorming season but they stumbled at the semi-final stage to Inglewood United and have been patchy in the League. "I think it was good luck more than good management or good form early in the Night Series," coach Graham Normanton explained. "It's been a building process for me. We've signed quite a few players and it's a question of getting it together. I think now we're starting to really gel as a team," he said prior to Perth's recent 4-nil hammering of Fremantle City.
SECOND COACH GOES WITHIN A WEEK
With Cockburn City sitting towards the foot of the table after four rounds with just one win to their credit, well-respected coach Gerry Christie has had enough and resigned from his position with the club. It came after his team put in a depressing display against Inglewood United last week, eventually going down 2-0.
GOING TOUGH AT JOONDALUP
With his side having an indifferent start to the season, ECU Joondalup Coach Paul Simmons has already conceded that this campaign is going to be a long one for the club. "We've had a big change in staff from last year, we've got probably seven or eight kids who are under the age of 21. And in the four games that have already gone in the Premier League we've had six first team players missing from the team that won the championship last year." And the club will lose two of those players still in their teens to English club Southampton early in June as midfielders Darren Broxton and Anthony Danze head off to sign apprenticeship papers.
As for who's in the running for this year's trophy, "I think it's going to be a lot wider open than it has been in other seasons," Simmons said recently. "If you look at the results that have already gone, Sorrento have conceded eleven goals in three games then beat us 4-1 last week. Fremantle City have been down one week and up the next, and again they have a lot of stars down at Fremantle, but it's questionable about their depth. Eric Wiliams is a fine coach and he's certainly turned Swan I.C. around but again it's a question of the depth that they have."
"Last season when we won the championship we had a first team squad of 18. Some have moved on and some have stayed but we've been plagued by injury. In the first four games of the season we've managed to probably only field half the side. But we'll be back to full strength in the next couple of weeks and if you look at the table it's wide open," Simmons said somewhat optimistically.
BORAL CUP THIRD ROUND DRAW
The draw for the 3rd Round of the Boral Challenge Cup was made on Wednesday night. Monday 5th June will see Ashfield/Bunbury take on Perth, while Fremantle City play hosts to Bassendean Caledonian. Sorrento are at home to First Division Balcatta, and Inglewood United vs Western Knights looks to be the pick of the round.
LIGHT AT THE END OF THORP'S TUNNEL
Perth Glory defender Hamilton Thorp has had a rough month. Two weeks ago he was disciplined and dropped by the NSL side after a public display of insubordination, and last week his drafted State League club Perth informed him that his services were not required. During the week he transferred to Sorrento and on the weekend made his debut against ECU Joondalup. There was finally some joy in Thorp's otherwise bleak month, playing the match up-front where he scored his side's second goal as they marched to a 4-1 victory.
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This page was last updated on the 30th June, 2000