YOUNG ON SHOW AT CREWE (reproduced with permission from www.teamtalk.com)
Young goalkeeper Neil Young gets another chance to impress for Crewe Alexandra's reserves when they take on Rushden and Diamonds tonight (Wednesday). The trialist, who has already played one game for the second-string against Wolves, will start the game after impressing in recent training sessions. Young is currently on the books of Premier League side Sorrento and has already had trials with Stockport County and Bournemouth.
SWC EXTEND DEADLINE FOR BOARD POSITIONS
Soccer West Coast has extended the application deadline for the three Board positions advertised recently. The positions - for president and two directors - are honorary and interests persons must have no affiliation with any soccer club or organisation with the exception of life membership. Applications must be received by 5.00pm on Friday 2nd November and should be addressed to Paul Tombides, General Manager, Soccer West Coast, PO Box 188, Jolimont, Western Australia 6014.
TARKA ENTERS NSL RANKS
It was a dream come true for former Cockburn City defender David Tarka when he finally made his Perth Glory debut against Kingz F.C. last week, coming on to replace Craig Deans in the 81st minute of the 7-2 victory. "It was awesome - all the hard work paid off," the solidly built 18-year old told Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian" during the week. "When I went on there was no pressure. I just had to keep it simple * I think I had about four touches."
While the game was all but over but the time of his introduction, Tarka said it was a thrill to play for the club that he watched from the stands at Perth Oval and dreamt of one day representing. Tarka, who just weeks ago was considering a return to the Australian Institute of Sport to complete his scholarship, was signed by Glory in July but was not expected to play much of a role during the 2001/02 campaign. However, injuries to defensive players Gareth Naven and Ljubo Milicevic saw the teenager a surprise inclusion in the travelling squad after some impressive performances in the pre-season.
KALOGERACOS WANTS TO RETURN HOME
One-time Floreat Athena forward Vas Kalogeracos has signalled his desire to return west and kick-start his career with National Soccer League outfit Perth Glory. However, Glory officials are believed to have indicated to the well-travelled striker that they are not interest in obtaining his goal scoring services. Kalogeracos, who made 60 appearances for Glory between 1996 and 1999, recently left Kingz FC after little over a month with the club.
INGLEWOOD'S SHARLAND SNAPPED UP BY WOLVES
One of the state's hottest young talents, Inglewood United teenager Greg Sharland, has agreed terms with back-to-back National Soccer League champions Wollongong Wolves. The attacking midfielder headed east for trials with the Wolves shortly after the end of the local season and was thrilled to finally sign on the dotted line with the club over the weekend. "This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I don't mind going to the other side of the country to get a shot at playing in the NSL," he said. "It would have been nice to have been able to stay in Perth but the Wolves have made me an offer that was too good to turn down."
While United coach Steve Parkinson, there is a touch of sadness in Sharland's departure. "I've been involved with Greg since he was 14-years old, when he broke his leg as a junior, and now he has the sort of opportunity that he has worked hard for," Parkinson said this week. "I must say I have been a supporter of Greg since his West Ham academy days which is why I have always included him in my long term plans, and if he gets lucky may surprise a few people. I would have preferred that he stayed in W.A. but to be fair to Glory they just have no place for developing full-time players of Greg's age, particularly at this stage of the club's development. We all wish Greg the best and will chart his future with interest."
Sharland, who joined United close to 12-months ago from ECU Joondalup, was part of the Western Australian Under-19 side that caught many eyes in at the Tournai De Croix in France earlier this year. The 18-year old is expected to be feature initially in the Wolves reserve side that plays in the NSL youth league, but there is a chance that his first team debut might come sooner than expected. Having lost several key players over the off-season, the Wolves are struggling with just one point from four outings this term and coach Ron Corry is keen to infuse his team with new blood. Sharland impressed Corry during his trial period which included a run in the friendly against NSL rivals Parramatta Power six weeks ago.
Danny Kuzmanovic, a director with Sports Group Australia, which negotiated Sharland's contract, said the Wolves were keen on another three players from the west coast. "They are so excited about Greg's potential that they reckon Perth could turn out to be a goldmine of young talent for them," Kuzmanovic said. Perth Glory's abilities to sign youngsters from the local competition is somewhat hampered at the current time due to the club having no avenue to provide players with regular games.
KAMASZ IN THE DARK
Fremantle City coach Stuart Kamasz, who celebrated his 50th birthday on the weekend, is still in the dark as to his future with the port side. "No one at the club has explained what's going on," he said recently in reference to the club reviewing all coaching positions. It has been reported that City have received several applications for the position of head coach although they are yet to outline to Kamasz, who lead the club to their first Premier League title last year, where or if he will fit into the set-up.
MURPHY - WE NEED AUSTRALIA BEHIND US (reproduced with permission from tribalfootball.com)
tribalfootball.com correspondant Jeremy Lowe caught up with Sheffield United defender Shaun Murphy last week and asked the Australian international about next month's internationals, his time in England and the possibility of returning to Australia before retirement.
What is the feeling inside the recent Socceroo camps that you have been involved in, when players such as yourself have put your hand up to play for your country yet Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka turned down the opportunity?
I have a certain amount of sympathy for Mark and Harry because they have had long hard seasons in England and Europe and they need a rest. They are also in a different 'ballpark', they play for a huge club where a lot of money and pressure is on the club and their club expects a lot of their players. I have been through two long seasons without a break and niggling injuries start coming up which could do with a rest, so I can see their point of view but on the other hand it is a great honour to play for your country. It's a bit different for me too, I'm a relative newcomer to the national team and coming towards the end of my career whilst Harry and Mark are still young. I can't speak for the rest of the lads but I don't hold any resentment towards Harry and Mark.
Who do you think Australia will be up against in the up and coming World Cup qualifiers?
After Brazil beat Chile recently, I would have to say Uruguay.
How do you rate Australia's chances of qualifying for the 2002 World Cup?
Quite good really. I think that we have the best squad ever and with the recent results we've had we have the confidence to win. With the tournament we played in against Chile, Colombia and Paraguay earlier this year we did quite well so we have the confidence to win against the South American teams also.
Do you think that the recent cancellation of friendlies in Europe will harm Australia's preparation for the World Cup qualifiers?
Most definitely, it's not an ideal situation. It is always good to get the lads together as often as possible and considering the proposed games were on designated international weekends it's a shame, but the lads will be together for a few weeks with the France game which should make up for it.
After the recent victories over Scotland, Mexico, France and Brazil has Australia's reputation improved in Europe?
I think, definitely. Even in the dressing rooms at Sheffield the lads think that we have a great chance of qualifying even against the fifth placed South American side. When you have players like Kewell, Viduka, Okon etc plus the experience we've got, we have a class team.
Considering your good form for club and country why did it take so long for you to be called up to the national team?
Whilst Terry Venables was coach I was asked to go to a training camp, but my good form for my club coincided with my form for Australia. At West Bromwich Albion my form wasn't really good plus I had a lot of injuries so I wasn't playing often which limits your progress. I was lucky enough that certain players were injured and got a call up for the tournament in Chile. Which, luckily, I did well in.
So the Chile tournament was important to you?
Yeah, it's like so many things in football you have to be in the right place at the right time and you will get selected. That's why I tell the young kids not to lose heart if you fail in trials etc.
You have played for a few English clubs now including Notts County, West Brom and Sheffield United, what club have you enjoyed playing for the most?
Notts County was good because it was my first club and it was a big deal when I was young. But I would have to say that Sheffield United has been my favourite so far due to the professionalism, the quality of the facilities and the people behind the scenes really makes United my favourite and I'm happy living where I am. Plus it seems to be bringing the best out in me.
Do you still harbour the ambition of playing in the Premier League or a European equivalent competition?
I think every player does, obviously time is not on my side but I think that I could cope in the Premier League, but again it's someone seeing you at the right time. I'm hoping that if we qualify for the World Cup then it will increase my profile. If we do well and I don't sort something out with Sheffield then maybe I could move onto the Premier League.
Will you finish your footballing career in Australia and if so where would you like to end up?
Yes, I will be finishing my footballing career in Australia and hopefully it will be with Perth Glory.
What does the N.S.L. have to do to be able to keep players such as yourself in Australia rather then going overseas?
I think it is good that the young players are starting to go full time, the money level is getting where good players can earn decent money and it obviously gives the kids something to aim for. Before it would get to a level where a good young player would have to choose to keep playing part time and not making the money they could maybe get in Europe or, choosing to work for a living. If the N.S.L. can keep paying the good young players decent money it's going to help.
Have you ever been forced to choose between club and country?
No, not yet. I have been really lucky there. I have talked about it a lot of times with Sheffield and they know how important playing for Australia is to me and they know that if we qualify for the World Cup the game in Australia will get a big boost. I haven't really missed that many games either, I think with the Chile tournament I only missed one game and the rest have been on an international weekend. Frank Farina has been really good that way to try and limit the damage to the clubs.
What are your plans for when your playing career is over?
I have thought about that a lot and obviously most players would like to have a bit of money behind them so they can start up some sort of business and I think I would like to do something like that.
What about getting into the coaching scene?
I would like to get into coaching but not anything where I'm going to make a lot of money. Maybe just at amateur level or even just coaching kids. I don't think I would like the pressure of being a manager for any team straight away anyway but I can't say down the track if I was missing the game that I wouldn't do it.
Since you attended the Australian Institute of Sport, how does it compare to the youth academies in Britain?
I think that the A.I.S. is a totally professional organisation. Even though they are improving in England they are only just doing things that I was doing at the A.I.S. ten years ago such as having Sports scientists, Sports psychologists etc.
And finally, what message have you got for the long-suffering Socceroo fans?
Be patient! If we can put out the best team we possibly can, I think we can beat most teams. The players talk about it all the time and they know how much it means to the fans and themselves. They also know that if we do qualify, then the game in Australia will get a huge boost. I think that the Australian public and not just the soccer public back winners and considering that the World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world the whole of Australia will really get behind us.
HILL WANTED IN SINGAPORE
Premier League champions Sorrento are in danger of losing star import Danny Hill who has been approached by Singapore club Marine Castle United. The 26-year old central defender is wanted by the S-League outfit who are coached by former Sorrento player Trevor Morgan who left the club late in the recent winter season. Hill joined the seagulls at the start of the 2001 campaign from Welsh side Newport County and ended it by winning the club's Fairest and Best trophy.
Sorrento also stand to lose goalkeeper Neil Young who has impress coach Dario Gradi in trials with English side Crewe Alexandra. State Under-16 representative Fred Wilson might be another on his way out of the club, the teenager expected to head to England for a third trial spell with Chelsea early in the New Year.
NEW MEETING CALLED FOR GLORY PROPOSAL
A special meeting, to be held on 13th November, has been called by Soccer West Coast of its clubs to reconsider an application by Perth Glory to enter an Under-19 team in the Premier League competition. Glory had their original submission rejected last month but a softening of attitudes by the SWC board has seen the National Soccer League giants been invited to re-apply.
HIGGINS LEAVES FOR BIRIMGHAM
Former State junior representative John Higgins left for England on Monday to commence a three-year scholarship with First Division club Birmingham City. Higgins, who bowed out of the local game with Joondalup's Under-18 Champion of Champions Final triumph over Fremantle City, will become the third West Australian on the Blues' books where he'll join Socceroo Stan Lazaridis and young goalkeeper Clint Davies.
"I was spotted playing here in Perth and was invited for a four-week trial at Birmingham earlier in the year," the 15-year old midfielder said on the eve of his departure. Prior to trying-out at St Andrews, Higgins spent time at Southampton which, as it turned out, worked in his favour. "I think being at Southampton helped out when it came to Birmingham because I knew what kind of level they were already on, whereas when I arrived at Southampton I didn't really know what to expect."
"The trials themselves were very difficult due to the fact that I was being watched all the time and it wasn't just my football they were looking at, it was also my attitude towards the game itself," he added. In order to hit the ground running when he arrives in England, Higgins has taken part in some intensive sessions with the Lyons and Jamal Aamri in recent weeks. And while Higgins is looking forward to focusing his energies on playing the game he loves full-time, there is a touch of sadness about him leaving Perth. "I will miss all my mates - Turvs, Ricki, Ian, Nick, Liam and Jake - as well as and my good buddy Tom Jones who is over in England right now ... I hope he does well in his trials with Bolton Wanderers."
YOUNG IMPRESSES CREWE COACH
Sorrento custodian Neil Young is currently trialling with English First Division club Crewe Alexandra where he has caught the eye of long-serving manager Dario Gradi. According to a club source, Young turned in an impressive display for Crewe's reserves last week, resulting in Gradi requesting that the 21-year old extend his stay at the club. Young, who was recently named runner-up W.A. Goalkeeper of the Year, is expected to feature again in the reserves next week.
DE VANNA READY FOR NATIONAL CHALLENGE
17-year old striker Lisa De Vanna can in part thank her older brother and the boys in her neighbourhood for her inclusion in the National Youth Squad for next year's inaugural Women's World Youth Championship which will be staged in Canada. "When I was little my brother taught me the sport's basics and I became very competitive," the Spearwood teenager told the "West Australian" this week. "I always wanted to beat him. I played against every boy in Spearwood and became a better player because of them."
De Vanna was recently named as Western Australia's only representative in the 22-player national training squad. Next month she'll take part in a series of trial matches in South Australia with and against other squad members and players from the Matilda's, the national senior women's team. The Under-19 squad will next get together in January when their numbers will be pruned at a training camp ahead of April's Oceania qualifiers in Tonga. De Vanna said she would be a bit nervous playing against Matilda players but was determined to show her skills.
The young striker has been in the eye of national selectors for some time. De Vanna was a stand-out performer for the State Schoolgirls side at the recent national championship where she topped the scoring tally for the third year running. From six outings she found the net 10 times as the W.A. side finished runner-up, also for the third year in a row, going down to New South Wales 1-0 in the final. Wayne Baseden, coach of the Schoolgirls team, said De Vanna was one of the better finishers that he'd seen play for W.A. over the past five years. "She has very close ball dribbling skills - fast feet, we call it," the coach said. "She can shoot and score from everywhere and has a very natural instinct as a striker. She is worth a goal or two in any given game."
TWO MAKE SOCCEROOS SQUAD
W.A. will be well represented by Stan Lazardis and Shaun Murphy when the Socceroos resume their campaign to make the 2002 World Cup Finals next month. Both have been named in coach Frank Farina's 22-man squad that will take on reigning world champions France on 11th November, and shortly after play-off with the fifth ranked South American nation for a berth at the Finals tournament.
For 29-year old Lazaridis it will be his third World Cup campaign following the Socceroos unsuccessful attempts to reach the Finals in 1994 and 1998. While the Birmingham City winger is still waiting to score for the national team, he has racked up 41 'A' appearances and represented Australia at the 2000 Olympic Games. Murphy has made 15 'A' appearances since his senior debut against Chile in February of 2000, finding the target on three occasions. The 30-year old Sheffield United defender has relished his return to national colours after spending the eight years since the 1992 Olympic Games out of the international spotlight.
BORO'S JONES LEAVES COLERAINE
Goalkeeper Brad Jones has seen his time with Shelbourne come to an abrupt end after a falling out between the Republic of Ireland club and Jones' contracted English club Middlesbrough. The Young Socceroo hopeful went on loan to Shelbourne just a fortnight ago to fill in for regular custodian Steve Williams who was said to have fractured his ankle. But Williams made an amazing recovery and returned to the side on the weekend, leading the English Premier League side to pull the plug on Jones' loan after just two appearances.
SWC TO RE-CONSIDER GLORY OFFER
Soccer West Coast will re-visit the prospect of admitting a Perth Glory Under-19 team to the W.A. Premier League at a board meeting this Tuesday. It is believed there has been a softening of attitudes since Glory's original proposal was rejected by the SWC clubs.
ELECTIONS AT SWC
Soccer West Coast president David Schrandt is one of three independent directors whose terms expire next month. The local professional body have already has received many expressions of interest since advertising the positions with more expected before the 31st October application deadline. Also up for re-election are vice-president Tom Mijatovic and treasurer Liam Twigger.
AWARDS AT CLUB LEVEL
The past month and a half has seen all Premier League clubs hand out their end-of-season trophies. At treble winners there were few surprises when the club's top individual prize, the Fairest and Best was shared between sweeper Perry Ielati and young gun Andres Oliveira with captain Stephen Willey coming in runner-up. Oliveira was also the recipient of the Peter Giorgi Memorial Trophy which goes to the most outstanding young player, while Perth's Development Player of the Year was Scott White. Although there was no trophy for the leading scorer, that honour also went to Oliveira who bagged 19 goals in all competitions. The reserves Fairest and Best was picked up by White with Jason Colli as runner-up, while in the State junior representative Damir Kuduzovic won the Under-18's Fairest and Best, Robert Icanovski the runner-up.
Sorrento held their presentation night last Friday when the clubs' most prestigious award, the first team Best and Fairest, was taken out by defender Danny Hill who has just completed his first season with the club. Recent Perth Glory recruit Michael Garcia was runner-up while Kevin Murphy came in third place. Former Sorrento president Michael Mackie spoke for all members and committee members, past and present, when he praised the 2001 team for lifting the club's first Premier League championship in their 29-year history. With a combined 27-goal tally for the reserves and Under-18's, Jake Harman was the named Sorrento's Most Improved Young Player for 2001. Richard Mills was the recipient of the reserves top honour with Adam Kiley runner-up, while in the Under-18's it was Gareth Phillips that won the Fairest and Best ahead of Liam Hill.
For the second successive year Floreat Athena's New Zealand international Adrian Sutton was voted as the club's Fairest and Best by his teammates, fellow-defender Troy Bernard finished runner-up. The Coaches Award went to big striker Ryan Newhill, who also finished the season as the first team leading scorer. Fernando Coron was named reserves Fairest and Best ahead of Andrew Afkos, Manuel Arapis taking home the Coaches Award. In the Under-18's it was Renato Rechichi that won the Fairest and Best with Joseph Madgic finishing in second place.
State player Paul Cooke and striker Branimir Mikulic dominated the awards at Cockburn City. Cooke walked away with the Players' Player of the Year and came in second in the Fairest and Best which was taken out by Mikulic. The young striker also won the senior teams Leading Scorer along with the inaugural Alan Beale Memorial Shield that goes to the club's highest scorer. Roberto Colalillo dominated the reserves honours, runner-up in the Fairest and Best, and winner of the Players' Player and Leading Scorer trophies. Domenic De Felice was the recipient of the Fairest and Best award. Paul Natale took out the Under-18's Fairest and Best ahead of Greg Montenegro with Colin Copperwaite the Leading Scorer.
The Western Knights last weekend held their 33rd annual trophy presentation evening with young defender David Annall winning the Fairest and Best ahead of Danish import Claus Nielsen. Annall also picked up the trophy for Most Improved at the club while Alex Christie was the recipient of the Clubman Award. With a 12-goal League haul, Eugene Singeorzan was the Leading Scorer. Goalkeeper Pedro Pavez capped a fine debut season for the club by taking out the Under-21's Fairest and Best with Mark Donnelly runner-up, while Luke Buktenica was the recipient of the age groups Most Improved. Former State Schoolboys goalkeeper Robert Pedri won the Under-18's top honour, Luka Jukic came in second with Andrew McGettrick the Most Improved.
Andy Mason won ECU Joondalup's big one, the club Fairest and Best, ahead of defender Richard Watson. Gerry McEwan finished polling in third place with Sean Fallon and Sandy Robertson tying for fourth. Mason also picked up the Leading Scorer trophy and finished runner-up to McEwan in the Players Player of the Year. Dwayne Sadja won both the Under-21's Players Player and Leading Scorer awards, the runners-up being Scott Bulloch (Players Player) and Ben Yates (Leading Scorer). The Under-18's Players Player went to Mark Ristofski with defender John Morton second, while the Leading Scorer trophy was picked up by Tom Jones with Brian Hedges runner-up.
Former State player Scott Clissold capped a fine season for Fremantle City by being named their Fairest and Best. In his debut season for the port side, Daniel Trim finished runner-up to Clissold and won the Players' Player of the Year. Rookie of the Year went to defender Cesare De Bartolo with Trim Morgan the Leading Goalscorer. In the Under-21 Fairest and Best, Ricardo Reynaga pipped the highly rated Cisco Jorqueira for top honours, while Joe Liguan was named Leading Scorer. Defender Simon Eltin-Bott won the Under-18 Fairest and Best, Josh Kamasz came in runner-up and also won the Leading Scorer trophy with 28 goals over the winter.
Former national coach Rale Rasic was the guest of honour at Inglewood United where hard-working sweeper Jamie Goodman was named Player of the Year with second place shared by State Under-19 representative Jason Godfrey and the experienced Alex Cummings. Journeyman Paul Lincoln was awarded Top Goalscorer while the Rising Star trophy went to talented midfielder Scott Campbell. In the reserves it was Daniel Arias that took out top honours, Mark Craft came in as runner-up and Brad North Top Goalscorer. Harvey Vasques was the Under-18's Player of the Year ahead of Michael Baczynski with Top Goalscorer going to Alan Fitzpatrick. Soccer West Coast presented goalkeeper Oliver Taseski with the Player of Tournament for the State Under-19's trip to France in May.
At Bassendean Caledonian defender George Ramm picked up the Fairest and Best award for the second consecutive year. The Player's Player of the Year was Mark Lennon with fellow import Lee Burns runner-up. Although there wasn't a trophy for the club's leading goalscorer, that honour was shared between Gary James and Lennon. Kevin Smith was awarded the reserves Fairest and Best and Leighton Smith collected their Players' Player. David Gilks made a clean sweep in the Under-18's category when he won both the Fairest and Best and Players' Player trophies.
Strongly-built sweeper Dean Mlinar won the Fairest and Best trophy at Swan I.C, closely followed by State representative Corey Hugo and long-serving defender Justin Everley. The Leading Scorer award went to Damian Scali who bagged six goals over the winter months. Mark Fetticia went home with the reserves Fairest and Best, Alan Campher coming in runner-up and Zoran Mlinar their Leading Scorer. Tom Shepheard dominated the Under-18 where he won both the Leading Scorer and Fairest and Best awards with Joe Kendall in the Fairest and Best runner-up spot.
TRIALLIST JONES MAKES BENCH AT BOLTON
15-year old ECU Joondalup forward Tom Jones, who ended the recent season as the leading scorer for the club's Under-18 side, is happy with the way his trial at English Premier League club Bolton Wanderers is progressing. "I've been training with the 17's and 19's and I'm doing well," Jones said this week. "The sessions are pretty intense, very quick paced and much faster than at home, but I am adapting and things are going smoothly." On the weekend the teenager was part of the Wanderers' Under-17 side that defeated Coventry City 1-0 at home.
Two of Jones' Joondalup teammates, Nicholas Ward and Bryan Hedges, are also in England hoping to secure a long-term deal. Recipient of the Under-18's Fairest and Best award this year, Ward has spent time at Southampton, Notts County and Stoke City over the past few months and was most recently trying his luck at Sheffield Wednesday. Attacking midfielder Hedges was last heard of at Birmingham City following spells at Notts County and Southampton.
ROBERTSON SIGNS WITH SCOTLAND'S BERWICK
ECU Joondalup midfielder Sandy Robertson, who finished runner-up to Carlo Scali in the recent Gold Medal count, has signed with Scottish Second Division club Berwick Rangers. Robertson returned to Scotland shortly after the end of the W.A. Premier League season and initially trialled with Cowdenbeath before being snapped up by Berwick (for the trivia buffs out there, while Berwick play in the Scottish League they are in fact based in Berwick-upon-Tweed which is in England).
Having signed with the club early in September, Robertson made his debut in the 0-3 CIS Insurance Cup loss to Partick Thistle. Since then he's seen out full games against Stranraer, Queen of the South and Forfar, when he was named of the Berwick's best on field. In his most recent outing, the 2-2 home draw with Alloa Athletic, Robertson bagged his club's second of the afternoon in the 15th minute, was booked for dissent in the 59th minute and was substituted four minutes later.
Robertson started his career in Scotland playing for Glasgow giants Rangers, arriving in Australia mid-1998 when he linked up with National Soccer League outfit Gippsland Falcons. After two seasons with the club, he headed west and spent the 2000 and 2001 Premier League seasons with Joondalup. A member of the State squad, Robertson is expected to return to Perth in time for the 2002 winter season.
Robertson in action for Berwick Rangers against Stranraer. Photograph used with permission, Copyright 2001 Kevin McCormick - www.theducket.com.
LILLESTROM TURN AWAY PETKOVIC
Former Spearwood Dalmatinac goalkeeper Michael Petkovic is expected to return to South Melbourne by the weekend after spending the past three months with Norwegian club Lillestrom. After 132 games for South, the Australian international left the club after last season's Grand Final loss to Wollongong Wolves but, despite making the bench on several occasions, was unable to break into the starting eleven at Lillestrom.
The stint with Lillestrom was Petkovic's second attempt to move his career overseas. In 1999 he joined Strasbourg in France but immediately ran into problems getting a work permit as the First Division club already had its quota of three non-European Union players. Petkovic spent the following 10 months kicking his heels on the Strasbourg training ground, making scattered appearances for the club in practice and friendly games.
GLORY MAY STILL ENTER LOCAL COMPETITION
The chances of Perth Glory entering an Under-19 side in the next season's Premier League received a major boost this week when one of the local games most influential figures, Siggy Kramer, backed the admission of the NSL side into the League. Kramer, president of Inglewood United and a member of the Soccer West Coast board of directors, added that his club had knocked back an offer to become aligned with Glory.
"These are my personal views and I feel that having a Glory team in the Premier League can only be good for the profile of the competition and for local soccer in general," he said. "We turned down the alignment opportunity because it was felt we would lose the soul of a club that has taken so long to build up. The feeling was that, if the Glory pulled out after what would have been an initial two-year agreement, we would have been left with a shell. But having the Glory in the league on its own right is different altogether. I believe more sponsors would want to come on board with SWC if we had a Glory team in our competition. Let's face it, it is the team with the profile and the team that everyone talks about."
Glory's initial request for inclusion in the local competition was rejected by SWC last month when the majority of the First Division clubs raised their objections. But it appears that stance has softened recently with Glory chairman Nick Tana saying he had be approached informally by the local professional body to take another look at the proposal. "There's a bit of a push all right for us to be included in our own right but I'd want to know on what terms before saying anything further," Tana told the "West Australian's" Mel Moffat. SWC recently suggested they would consider a revised offer on the proviso the body received a small shareholding in the club, plus $50,000 a year. "If those terms haven't changed, then we wouldn't be interested," Tana added.
OLDFIELD KEEN TO STAY WITH PETERBROUGH
David Oldfield is very keen to extend his contract with Peterborough United when his current contract expires at the end of this season. "I very much want to stay here," said the midfielder who doubles as a member of the clubs coaching staff. "It's a club on the up. I enjoy the coaching role, but I feel I've still got a lot to offer as a player."
The 33-year old made his return to action this week after a lengthy lay-off due to a hamstring injury. Turning out for the Posh reserves, Oldfield scored 14 minutes into the 4-1 win over Brentford before coming off at half-time. He suffered no adverse reaction to the injury and was delighted to get back on to the park. "I was very pleased with the way I came through it, and I feel fine," he said. Oldfield is expected to take part in a reserve team friendly against Ipswich Town next Monday after which the injury will be assessed.
The Perth-born attacking midfielder ventured to England mid-1986 when he signed apprentice papers with Luton Town. Since then he's chalked up close to 500 first team appearances, not to mention being just shy of 100 goals, in a career which has seen him play for the Hatters, Manchester City, Leicester City, Millwall, Stoke City and Peterborough, whom he joined in March 2000 on a free transfer.
BLOW TO FREMANTLE'S NSL BID?
Fremantle City's bid for the second NSL license from Perth appears to have suffered a set-back with the announcement that financial backer David Rodwell has purchased a 16.6% share in Perth Glory and, in the process, become a director at the club. The former South African businessman is the former owner of top South African club Cape Town Spurs who were at one stage coached by Glory's Mich d'Avray. It's been reported that Rodwell tried to buy into Glory five years ago but his offer was rejected by Nick Tana at the time. Tana has retained his 75% stake in the club following the introduction of the new shares while co-owner Paul Afkos has seen his holding drop to less than 9%.
MATASSA'S COMING HOME
Former Young Socceroo goalkeeper Vince Matassa has re-signed with National Soccer League club Perth Glory following a successful spell in England with non-League club Woking. In an open letter to the club's supporters that appeared on the clubs' on-line message board, Matassa explained his situation. "I can confirm that I have agreed to sign a two year full-time contract with Perth Glory in the Australian National League, and will be returning to Perth at the beginning of November."
"I have always made clear to Woking the strong possibility of me returning home in 2002, and I have recently learnt that Perth Glory were looking to sign another squad 'keeper as soon as possible - an opportunity which would not be available the following year had I waited," Matassa added. "I have decided that the opportunity of returning to play in my home city with the biggest and, in my opinion, best club in Australia would have been foolish to ignore, particularly given that there are currently no other major Perth-based soccer teams, severely limiting my options had I returned home next year as planned."
The one-time Perth Italia custodian made 11 appearances for Glory during the 1996/97 season but departed the club to go travelling around the world. After over a year out of the game, he joined non-League side Basingstoke and later spent time on loan to Salisbury City. Matassa moved to Woking prior to the 2000/01 season kicking-off and shortly after was named in the England amateur's squad. Come season's end he won four of the club's five trophy's and recently made contact with Glory to let them know he was interested in returning to Perth.
PERTH ACE SET FOR UK TRIAL (reproduced with permission from www.teamtalk.com)
Perth coach Graham Normanton has confirmed that young striker Andres Oliviera is to have trials with Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United. However, Normanton revealed that the club only heard that the talented youngster was heading over to England after international news website TEAMtalk had spoken to him this week.
Speaking exclusively to TEAMtalk, Normanton said: "The news came as a bit of a surprise to us. Earlier in the week we didn't know anything about him going to England for a trial. I am the coach, I am supposed to know what is going on, but the first I heard about it was when I spoke to you. His manager has been arranging things without us giving him permission to do so, and it has caused a bit of a stir. But it is true Andres will be going to Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers for trials - nothing is definite we don't have any definite dates as we are still trying to sort things out. But we won't stand in his way."
Normanton obviously rates Oliviera very highly indeed, but he still has reservations about whether the youngster could make an impact in England. "It is hard to say whether he would make it in England. He would probably struggle early on, but if a club were willing to give him time he could be a success. He has immense ability. The kids in Australia are just as talented as those in England. But there attitude is different - they are not as aggressive as English players - the English are also more determined."
Oliviera may have to work on the mental side of his game, but as Normanton revealed, the striker does not have any problems finding the back of the net. "Andreas would need time to adjust, but he knows where the goal is and if he gets a chance inside the box he will stick it away. He only has a slight build but he is very strong. He scored 17 goals in 20 games for us last season, and I'd be very disappointed to see him go." If Oliviera does impress in England, it is thought that a club could pick him up for 70 or 80,000 Australian dollars, which would equate to what your average Premiership player earns in a week!
2001 ALL-STARS TEAM ANNOUNCED
Soccer West Coast have handed out their annual awards, and as have most of the Premier League clubs (full details on who won what next week). Now it's the turn of the Western Australian Soccer Website to honour those players that consistently turned on the style over the winter months with the announcement of the unofficial 2001 Premier League All-Stars team and shadow squad.
KALOGERACOS SLAM-DUNKS KINGZ
Former Floreat Athena and Perth Glory striker Vas Kalogeracos has hit out against National Soccer League side the Football Kingz over his treatment by the club during the winter months. Kalogeracos signed for the Kingz at the end of the 2000/01 season but was released before the start of the new campaign with the New Zealand club claiming the forward was unable to settle. Speaking to Peter Desira of the "Herald Sun", Kalogeracos set the record straight and said that his career was now at the crossroads because of the Kingz widely-reported version of events.
"I've gone from a South Melbourne grand final player to one who can't find a team, because I've been branded a troublemaker," he said. "The truth is I had five injuries in three weeks, all related to training. They thought I was making it up and said I needed a psychiatrist not a physiotherapist. I asked for a release from the contract. They agreed to give me the release but they didn't want to lose face and that's why they went out saying I was having personal problems. They've been rubbishing me and that's why it has become important for me to speak out."
Since leaving the Auckland-based club Kalogeracos has had time to recover from the soft-tissue injuries that hampered his time at the club and has trialled with Sydney clubs but is yet to secure a contract for the new season. "No one wants to touch me. They think I'm a troublemaker," he said. "I've never caused trouble. Last year I knocked back an offer from Parramatta because I wanted to stay loyal. I made a mistake leaving South - I'd be prepared to go back and play for nothing."
FREMANTLE TO REVIEW COACHING STAFF
Last years Premier League champions Fremantle City are calling for expressions of interest for all their coaching positions, including that of senior coach Stuart Kamasz, after the club finished a disappointing seventh in 2001. "We're reviewing the seniors, Under-21's, Under-18's and our development coaching roles," club president John Da Luz told Mel Moffat of the "West Australian" this week. "It doesn't mean we're changing - it's part of a review process after five years. Some coaches, like Stuart, have been here five years and we just want to have a hard look at things."
Kamasz is undoubtedly the most successful coach in the state over the past decade, leading City and his previous club Stirling Macedonia to ten trophies since 1994. The coach was known to be under pressure this year as his team struggled to lift themselves out of the bottom half of the table, while the City's unsuccessful push to gain the second N.S.L. licence out in Perth also factors into the equation. "I think the N.S.L. setback has had a few people making reassessments," said Kamasz. "I've been thinking for a while about re-focusing my coaching commitments. I'm also the club's director of youth coaching. We're developing some great young talent and I might want to spend more time being involved at that level." Four members of City's Under-18 team have been invited to try-out at the Australian Institute of Sport and with overseas clubs following last weeks National Talent Identification Championship in New South Wales.
SIX TEENAGERS ASKED FOR TRIALS
Following Western Australia's successful National Talent Identification Championship campaign in New South Wales, six local teenagers have been invited to trial either overseas or interstate. 15-year old Fremantle City striker Josh Kamasz has been offered a month's trial with English Premier League club Bolton Wanderers. Kamasz finished the Under-18 season as the competitions Leading Scorer with 24 goals and came in runner-up in the age groups fairest and best count. Three other players from the club have also been offered trials, 16-year old midfielder Matthew Danskin will leave Perth shortly to try out for German side Werder Bremen, while John Migas and Dean Apelgren are currently on trial at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. Two other members of the State Under-16 side, Cockburn City defender Jeffrey Bright and Liam Lilly of Canning City, are also trying their luck at the AIS.
ASHFIELD COACH REFLECTS ON CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON
Ashfield put a turbulent summer behind them to claim the First Division Play-off title for the second time in four years to and win their place back in the Premier League. Senior coach Tom Kilkelly approached the 2001 season just wanting his side to stay competitive in the north of the river competition, but Ashfield did more than that and after six games were undefeated and sitting pretty at the top of the ladder. "I feel that our good start to the season was down to the hard pre-season and the quality of our opponents in those matches," he said this week. "We took a few beatings from Premier League clubs and this ensured that the players would not take the coming season lightly and, as our results showed, we did not."
But in the weeks that followed their fortunes took a dive, Ashfield picking up just five points from six outings and fighting to hold on to a place in the top four. "Basically, our mid-season form dropped due to a lack of availability of players. We had three to four players injured each week over a period of five to six weeks and with yellow cards taking effect, plus a few silly reds, it all really hit us hard. The young boys that filled in over this period will only benefit from the experience in the long run. But it was the return of the players from the treatment table and the grandstand that helped us gain the points that we need to turn things around and make the play-offs."
Come the business end of the First Division season Ashfield turned on the style once again, wrapping up the play-off series before the final round to bounce straight back into the Premier League and exceed their coaches pre-season aims. "As a club starting fresh, so to speak, our main pre-season target was to finish in the top four so as to ensure that we played First Division football next season," Kilkelly explained. "The players wanted to go for the title, so after we reached the play-offs it was down to their commitment and attitude that won us the championship."
While acknowledging that Ashfield's triumph was every bit a team effort over a long, 23-week campaign, Kilkelly said several players deserved singling out for their efforts over the winter months. "There were a few players that were just a touch more consistent than the rest over the season, namely Phil Jackson, Gene Wyllie, Steve Goff, Gary Spinks and Karl Atley. And there are a few other players that will cause problems for our opposition next season, but they'll have to wait until then to see who they are" Kilkelly added with a wry smile.
CACERAS SET FOR SAINTS RETURN
Adrian Caceras is expected to return to Premier League side Southampton after a one-month loan spell at Brentford. The former Perth S.C. star did well in his opening games for the Bees playing as a winger, and while senior coach Steve Coppell was impressed by Caceras' abilities, the 19-year old found it difficult to adapt to the physical approach to life in the Second Division. It is believed that Coppell will keep tabs on the progress of Caceras over the next few months.
CHARLTON SCOUTS LOCAL POOL
Mick Brown, the director of youth development with English Premier League side Charlton Athletic, was in town this week to check out the talent coming up through the local ranks. Brown was the guest of honour at Kiev Sports Ground where several games were staged to highlight some of the best young players in the state. The Addicks currently have one Perth youngster on their books, teenager Jordan Rhodes who is part of the clubs youth squad. Rhodes played locally for Mandurah City, Kingsway Hammers and ECU Joondalup before heading to England a few years ago.
Perth attacker Andres Oliveira is expected to travel to England before the month is out for trials with Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers. The teenager, who was recently named his club's joint Fairest and Best player for 2001, has spent the past few weeks training with Perth Glory where he impressed coach Mich d'Avray with his skill and pace. Oliveira's trails come little over twelve months after another Perth attacker, Adrian Caceras, signed professional papers with Southampton. Prior to that Caceras had trialled unsuccessfully with Glory and National Soccer League rivals Parramatta Power.
JUNIORS DO WELL AT NATIONALS
The National Talent Identification Championships were held during the week under the sunny skies of Valentine Sports Park in Glenwood, New South Wales. For the first time in the history of the event an outside nation was invited to participate with Tonga fielding a side in the Under-16 category.
Western Australia’s Under-15’s got off to a flying start by thumping eight goals past the Northern Territory without reply. Inglewood United’s Michael Baczynski scored the first hat-trick of the tournament, Josh Kamasz bagged a double with the other goals coming from Adam Gangemi, Benjamin Rogers and Clive Fondyke. In other opening round Group A matches, Queensland opened brightly with a 4-1 win over the Australian Capital Territory, while South Australia were too strong for Country Victoria 2-1. In Group B New South Wales downed Country New South Wales 2-0, Victoria defeated Country Queensland 4-2, and Northern New South Wales came away 3-0 winners over Tasmania.
In Sunday’s second round of matches, Western Australia maintained their 100% win record by downing Soccer Canberra 3-1. Baczynski opened the scoring after 17 minutes but shortly after the interval Canberra were back on level terms when Adam Kasey netted. A 60th minute strike from Fondyke restored Western Australia’s lead and six minutes later Baczynski’s second of the day put the result beyond doubt. Queensland kept the pressure on their rivals from the west by beating South Australia 3-0, while Country Victoria got off the mark with a 2-1 win over the Northern Territory. New South Wales and Victoria both made it two out of two with wins over Northern New South Wales (3-1) and Tasmania (1-0) respectively, while Country Queensland defeated Country New South Wales 1-0.
Monday saw Queensland go two points clear at the top of Group A after they thrashed the Northern Territory 10-0. After two convincing victories, Western Australia were held to a surprising nil-all draw by Country Victoria, with South Australia hot on their heels after eclipsing the Australian Capital Territory 4-3 in an exciting match. In the other group New South Wales and Victoria continue to lock horns with both recording their third win from as many outings. New South Wales comfortable in beating Tasmania 3-0, and Victoria triumphant 2-0 over Country New South Wales. Northern New South Wales overcame Country Queensland 1-0 in the day’s other fixture.
The following day saw Queensland’s Under-15’s again show their class with a 5-1 victory over Country Victoria. In the days other big meeting, Western Australia confirmed their place in the semi-finals courtesy of a 1-0 win over South Australia courtesy of Rogers’ 65th minute goal. Who tops the group will be decided in the final round when the top two - Queensland and Western Australia - meet. Soccer Canberra beat the Northern Territory 4-0 in the days other fixture. Group B saw New South Wales book their place in the last four with a convincing 4-0 win over second-placed Victoria. Country New South Wales beat Northern New South Wales 1-0, and Country Queensland thumped Tasmania 4-0.
Day Five of the Championships saw Queensland produce a shock 4-0 win over Western Australia, all the goals coming inside the opening 32 minutes. South Australia finished the group phase in third place after trouncing the Northern Territory 8-0, with Country Victoria’s 2-2 draw with Soccer Canberra lifting them into fourth. There was also a surprise in Group B where Country Queensland downed New South Wales 2-1 to earn their place in the-semi finals on goal difference over Victoria and Northern New South Wales. Country New South Wales beat Tasmania 1-0 and Northern New South Wales outclassed Victoria 2-1.
The semi-finals were contested on Friday with Queensland triumphing over their Country counterparts, and New South Wales out scoring Western Australia to go through to the big one. New South Wales found the net twice in the first three minutes of play and from there Western Australia were always going to be on the back foot. In the minor placing play-offs, South Australia’s 3-2 defeat of Northern New South Wales saw them take fifth place, while seventh went to Victoria who downed their Country rivals 1-0. Country New South Wales were too strong for Soccer Canberra 2-0, while the Northern Territory and Tasmania shared eleventh after a scoreless draw.
The Under-15 Final was always going to a close match between two very good teams, and so it proved with scores finishing level at 0-0 at the end of regulation time. New South Wales came out on top in a tense penalty shoot-out 5-4 to be crowned National champions over Queensland. In the play-off for third and fourth, Western Australia proved too good for Country Queensland by 4-2. Jonathon Mathers gave the west coast side the lead after 7 minutes but quick goals from Tim Standley and Joel Torrisi gave their opponents a 2-1 lead with just 14 minutes gone. Baczynski equalised in the 35th minute and two minutes later Rogers restored Western Australia’s lead. Alex Crookes sealed the win early in the second half.
The 2001 West Australian Under-15 squad for the National Talent Identification Championship was Michael Smerilli (Cockburn City), Michael Filippou (Stirling Lions), Adam Gangemi, Jake Lennox, Daniel Hendley, Scott Blackmore, Clive Fondyke, John Morton, Daryl Platten, Michael Lawson (E.C.U. Joondalup), Alex Crookes (Forrestfield United), Benjamin Rogers (Swan I.C.), Michael Baczynski (Inglewood United), Johnathon Mathers (Balcatta), Carmelo Genovese (Perth S.C.) and Joshua Kamasz (Fremantle City). The team was coached by Frank Longstaff.
In the Under-16 category, Western Australia were forced to make a couple of late squad changes when Nicholas Ward and Bryan Hedges opted to continue trialling in England, their places being taken by Wayne ‘Fred’ Wilson and Dominic Allen. The side started strongly with an impressive 3-1 defeat of South Australia with goals from Liam Lilly, Wilson and Scott Royal. Traditional rivals New South Wales and Victoria saw the host go down 2-1, while Country Victoria defeated Queensland 1-0 in the other Group A meeting. The Northern Territory were the biggest Day One winners, over-powering Tonga 5-0 in Group B. Northern New South Wales defeated Country New South Wales 2-0, and Tasmania beat the Australian Capital Territory with the only goal of the game.
Like their counterparts in the younger age-group, Western Australia continued their winning way into Day Two when they held off Queensland 3-1. Paul Oliver started the ball rolling when he netted after 15 minutes and Jeffrey Bright doubled the margin four minutes later. Dean Apelgren made it 3-0 after 71 minutes but just 60 seconds later Queensland bagged a late consolation goal via Russell Woodruffe. In other Group A matches, South Australia beat Victoria 2-1, while New South Wales and Country Victoria drew 2-2. Tonga were on the end of another hiding in the other group, this time 7-0 at the hands of Country New South Wales. Northern New South Wales downed Tasmania 2-1, and Soccer Canberra accounted for the Northern Territory 3-1.
With Group A looking set for a tight finish, Western Australia put themselves in the box seat when they made it three wins on the trot by beating Country Victoria 4-2. After a scoreless first half, Chris Zarricueta put the boys from the west in front a minute into the second half only to see Andrew Lawless equalise almost immediately. Vince Lia sent Country Victoria a goal up, but late strikes from Apelgren (70), Scott Migas (76) and Royal (80) gave maximum points to Western Australia. Three points behind the leaders are Victoria who looked solid in their 2-0 win over Queensland, while New South Wales came back into contention with a 1-0 win over South Australia. At the end of the third day’s play, Northern New South Wales wrapped up a semi-final spot with their 5-0 victory over Tonga, opening up a five point gap between themselves and the chasing pack in Group B. The Northern Territory upset Tasmania 2-1, with honours shared between Soccer Canberra and Country New South Wales who drew 1-1.
After Day Four of competition, Group A of the 16’s was still very much up for grabs with five teams in with a chance of progressing into the semi-finals. New South Wales defeated the previously unbeaten Western Australia 4-0 to rocket into second spot, Country Victoria defeated their city counterparts 2-1, and South Australia defeated Queensland 1-0. In Group B, the points allocated for the Tonga fixtures were removed as they can not progress any further in the tournament. Northern New South Wales remain unbeaten and are assured of a place in the last four after downing the Northern Territory 2-0. Soccer Canberra beat Tonga 8-0, and Tasmania moved into second spot with a 2-1 win over Country New South Wales.
Western Australia confirmed their booking in the last four on Wednesday with a 2-0 victory over Victoria, Matthew Danskin and Migas getting the goals. Joining them were New South Wales who accounted for Queensland 5-1, while Country Victoria’s 2-1 win over South Australia saw them take third place. Needing a win to progress to the semi-finals, Soccer Canberra overcame Group B leaders Northern New South Wales 3-2 to go through as runners-up. Tasmania thrashed Tonga 14-0, and Country New South Wales defeated Northern Territory 4-0.
With everyone enjoying a well-earned rest on Thursday, it was semi-finals and the minor placing play-offs the following day. After a scoreless first half, goals by Wilson and Zarricueta in the space of 17 minutes proved the death knell of Soccer Canberra as Western Australia progressed to the decider. Northern New South Wales overcame a strong New South Wales line-up in the other semi. South Australia took out fifth place by thrashing the Northern Territory 10-0, and Victoria’s 6-4 defeat of Country New South Wales saw they end in seventh. Tasmania took ninth courtesy of a 4-0 win over Country Victoria, and Tonga scored the first goal of their visit in the 1-9 loss to Queensland.
Northern New South Wales were crowned Under-16 champions by defeating Western Australia 1-0 in Saturday’s Final, a Bradley Hicks goal in the 44th minute eventually separating the sides. Third place was shared by New South Wales and Soccer Canberra who drew 1-1 earlier in the day.
The 2001 West Australian Under-16 squad for the National Talent Identification Championship was Alan Matteucci (Bassendean Caledonian), Liam Lilly, Paul Oliver (Canning City), Jeffrey Bright (Cockburn City), Blake Greathead (Rockingham City), Dean Apelgren, John Migas, Matthew Danskin, Chris Zarricueta (Fremantle City), Fred Wilson (Sorrento), Scott Royal, Damir Kuduzovic, Jan Zablocki (Perth S.C.), Paul Wright (Morley Windmills), Jordan Conti (Inglewood United) and Dominic Allen (club unknown). The team was coached by Ron Tindall.
JOONDALUP WIN AMATEUR'S CUP
ECU Joondalup stormed their way to the 2001 Mitre Cup with a resounding 4-1 victory over Spearwood Dalmatinac at the Litis Stadium. The northerners looked the better side from the opening minutes with some creative passages of play, but the 20th minute loss their goalkeeper to injury appeared to be a potentially devastating blow. However, replacement 'keeper Grant Heard stepped in to fill the breech and confidently maintained stability at the back. Five minutes from half-time Joondalup's dominance was rewarded when Ben Yates broke the deadlock with a scorching left-footer to give his side the advantage going into the break.
Dalmatinac came out after the break sluggish and in the 60th minute found themselves two goals down after James Boag found the target. The match was over as a contest four minutes later when Boag netted his second and Joondalup's third of the afternoon. A cricket score was on the cards when Scott Bulloch made it 4-0 in the 66th minute, but Joondalup eased off over the closing stages when their opponents scored a 73rd minute consolation goal through Martin Mirco who converted from the spot.
Fremantle United took out the reserves Cup final 2-1 over Hamersley Rovers, the deciding goal coming in the 85th minute courtesy of man-of-the-match Danny Collova. The Youth Cup Final was won by Kelmscott Roos (right) when the defeated Kingsley 2-1 with goals from Steve barker and Adam Bremner. The win saw the Roos complete the League and Cup double in season 2001 after going through the home-and-away season undefeated.
SCALI ENDS 2001 A WINNER
Long-serving Swan I.C. midfielder Carlo Scali has gone one better than last year by claiming the McInerney Ford Gold Medal for the Premier League's fairest and best player. Twelve months ago the Swan captain was runner-up to Bayswater City midfielder Alan MacKenzie by one vote, which was the margin when Scali held off ECU Joondalup's Sandy Robertson to take out top honours. "I am still in a bit of a shock after winning the award," said Scali several days after collecting the medal and $1,000 in prize money. "It was a surprise."
Hotly tipped to finish amongst the front-runners pre-count, Scali ended the season with 18 votes, narrowly ahead of Robertson, to claim the prize which is voted upon by match referees. Young Perth S.C. forward Andres Oliveira came in third place on 15 with Dusan Macura (Cockburn City) and Scott Campbell (Inglewood United) close behind on 14. A point adrift of them was State representative Paul Cooke (Cockburn), followed by Ryan Newhill (Floreat Athena), Ross Greer (Sorrento) and Richard Watson (Joondalup) on 12. Cockburn's Antonio Naglieri rounded out the top ten with 11 votes.
18-year old Inglewood custodian Oliver Taseski was the recipient of the Goalkeeper of the Year award ahead of Sorrento's Neil Young. Taseski was part of the W.A. Under-19 team that competed in France mid-year, while Young is currently on trial in England. The Rookie of the Year trophy went to 16-year old Scott Bulloch (Joondalup), himself a member of the W.A. Schoolboys team. The other nominees for the award were Cisco Jorquiera (Fremantle City), Garin Collins (Joondalup) and Rhys Graham (Perth).
Cockburn forward Branimir Mikulic won the Golden Boot for the competition's leading scorer with 18 goals, finishing well clear of runner-up Newhill on 13. It was a two-way tie for third place with Oliveira and Eugene Singeorzan (Western Knights) both netting 12 times, and Ryan Jeans (Sorrento) was a goal behind them. Sony Under-23 Player of the Month awards went to Todd Howarth (Perth, March), Jared Love (Sorrento, April), W.A. Under-19 captain Dale McCulloch (Joondalup, May), David Annall (Western Knights, June), Cooke (June), Campbell (August) and Jamie Coyne (Perth, September).
While there was no mention of the reserves competition, Cockburn's Roberto Colalillo topped the leaderboard with 17 goals. Jake Harman (Sorrento) came in second on 13, while Rhys Graham (Perth), David Foster (Sorrento) shared third with 11 goals apiece.
The Under-18's Fairest and Best was taken out by Joondalup's Nick Ward, currently overseas on trial with Sheffield Wednesday. Ward polled 16 votes, one more that strikers Josh Kamasz (Fremantle) and Colin Copperwaite (Cockburn). Athena's Renato Rechichi finished third on 12. Kamasz took home the Leading Scorer trophy for his 24 goal haul. Copperwaite finished a distant second with 16 goals, while Swan's Tom Shepheard (12) and Perth attacker Peter Petkov (11) took out the minor placings.
State Under-19 player Daniel Stoitis of Kingsway Olympic won the First Division Player of the Year. Others in the running for the award were, in no particular order, Savo Garic (South West Phoenix), Gareth Healey (Morley Windmills), Luke Morris (Rockingham City), Peter Murphy (Leeming Strikers) and Andy Wright (Stirling Lions). With 16 goals, Armadale's Jason Goodwin took home the First Division Leading Scorer award. Second was shared between Kevin Morris (Kingsway Olympic) and Graham Matthews (Rockingham) who both ended the season with 13 goals, while on 12 were Garic and Ashley Keegan (Lions). The Under-18's Fairest and Best award went to Phoenix youngster Francis Allen, with Paul Griffiths of Kingsway Olympic named Leading Scorer on 20 goals.
Perth were clear winners of the W.A. Champion Club after strong performances at senior, reserves and Under-18 levels this year. In the seniors, Sorrento were crowned Premier League champions while Perth claimed the three remaining trophies - Champion of Champions, Boral Cup and Night Series winners. The Premier League's other club awards went to Fremantle (reserves champions and Under-18 Boral Cup winners), Perth (reserves Boral Cup winners and Under-18 champions), Joondalup (Under-18 Champion of Champions).
First Division Major Series champions were Ashfield, with Kingsway Olympic picking up the Minor Series crown. The First Division (South) champions were Rockingham City, with Queens Park and South West Phoenix named the reserves and Under-18 champions respectively. Stirling Lions was the First Division (North) competition, while the reserves and Under-18 championships both went to Kingsway Olympic.
2002 FRANCE TOUR GETS GO-AHEAD
Soccer West Coast is busy working towards sending the Western Australian Under-19 side to France to participate in the Tournai de Croix mid-2002. In their first appearance at the event, the State side finished in eleventh place this year with Inglewood United goalkeeper picking up the Goalkeeper of the Tournament trophy.
STATE'S TOP PLAYER ANNOUNCED TONIGHT
The State League season in the west officially comes to a close tonight when Soccer West Coast hand out the trophies at their annual presentation night. In what is expected to be another gala event, several players are shaping up to fight it out for the top individual honour, the Gold Medal for the Premier League's fairest and best player of 2001. Sorrento midfielder Michael Garcia and English import Danny Hill should both poll strongly, as will Floreat Athena debutant Ryan Newhill and the competitions leading scorer Branimir Mikulic. Robbie Gaspar and Perry Ielati will represent triple winners Perth. Others tipped to rack up the votes include Gerry McEwan (ECU Joondalup), Scott Clissold (Fremantle City), Carlo Scali (Swan I.C.), George Ramm (Bassendean Caledonian) and Western Knights captain Scott Devine.
Having already captured the "the Sunday Times"/Oceanus Player of the Year award, Perth's Oliviera is the hot favourite to go home with the Rookie of the Year trophy. But he'll be pushed all the way by Inglewood United midfielder Scott Campbell along with David Annall of Western Knights. The Goalkeeper of the Year award is wide open this year with four players - Corey Hugo (Swan I.C), NeilYoung (Sorrento), Oliver Taseski (Inglewood United) and Robert Scarparolo (Perth) - all very much in the running.
AMATEURS CUP FINAL PREVIEW
Spearwood Dalmatinac and ECU Joondalup meet in the WAASSA Mitre Cup Final this Sunday at the Litis Stadium in Mount Hawthorn, kick-off 2.45pm. The two Premier League meetings between these clubs produced 12 goals this season and another high scoring affair looks to be on the cards this weekend.
Dalmatinac go into the match as favourites courtesy of the 8-0 thrashing they handed out to Joondalup just three weeks ago. Having ended the season in third place, they will be looking for big games from Martin Mirco and Simon Lewis who both polled well in the League's Fairest and Best award. Although Joondalup finished towards the bottom of the ladder, they are not a team to be underestimated as is evidenced by the 3-0 Cup victory over League champions Hamersley Rovers. They'll be buoyed by their 4-0 victory over Dalmatinac achieved earlier in the season, not to mention the fact that James Boag and Steve McCabe have netted close to 30 goals between them in 2001.
In the Reserves Cup Final, which gets underway at 12.30pm, it's Premier League Reserves champions Hamersley Rovers against third-place getters Fremantle United. Paul Keen and Joseph Wright are the ones to watch for Rovers, while for the black and whites it's attackers Danny Collova and Alessandro Carciotto. Preceding this will be the Youth Cup Final between Kelmscott Roos, who went through the League season without losing once, and Kingsley with kick-off at 10.30am.
SORRENTO 'KEEPER TRIALS IN ENGLAND
Sorrento goalkeeper Neil Young wasn't concerned that he'd be miss last weekend's friendly with Perth Glory when he set out for England recently. Instead, Young was trialling with English club Stockport County after Sorrento teammate Peter Butler alerted agent David Robinson to the 'keeper's potential. Having made his own way to England in the hope of securing a professional contract, the 21-year old Young turned out for County's reserves last Wednesday when they defeated Chesterfield 2-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly. Although he impressed coach reserves coach Craig Madden, Young has since moved on and was last seen training with Second Division Bournemouth.
CURTIN IMPROVE ON LAST YEARS GAMES OUTING
In the wake of the Ansett airlines collapse, Murdoch University were forced to pull out of last week's Australian University Games which were held in Sydney. However, Western Australia was still represented by the lads from Curtin University whose squad featured the talents of Premier League players Daniel Trim (Fremantle City, right), Kevin Murphy (Sorrento), Roberto Colalillo and Cris Morenco (both Cockburn City). Of the 12-player travelling party, four were fortunate enough to fly to Sydney with Qantas while the remainder had the unforgettable experience of driving across the Nullarbor Plain.
Match Day One saw Curtin pitted against reigning champions Southern Cross University on what turned out to be a very warm day. Forced to field injured coach Ruffy Moreno in goal, Curtin were unlucky when they went a goal down, but Southern Cross' lead was short-lived as Colalillo converted from the penalty spot a few minutes later. Both sides squandered their chances after the interval and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
The second day of activities saw Curtin involved in two Pool D fixtures. Feeling the heat of another very hot day, and without a recognised 'keeper in the team, Curtin went down 0-2 to eventual finalists Australian National University with both goals the result of inexperienced goalkeeping. That afternoon Curtin needed to take full points from their clash with La Trobe University to progress to the next stage. Thankfully conditions were more favourable by the time kick-off arrived and the team from the west turned on their best performance of the tournament as two goals from Tony Nguke-Uno got them the result they were after.
Their Second Round opponents were Monash University in what proved to be a tight game with neither side able to claim any real dominance. Monash went one-up after a rare lapse of concentration in their opponents defence and the West Australian side responded on the only way they knew, continually bombarding their opponents goal only to find luck was against them as two clear penalties were turned down the by referee. In the Repechage Round later that same day, Curtin and the Sydney University of Technology agreed to stage a penalty shoot-out instead of a real game as all that was on offer was a spot in the minor placing play-offs. Curtin started poorly, missing their first two spot-kicks but came back into the game through a combination of their opponents sloppy shooting and some good goalkeeping by Cris Moreno. Colalillo, Trim and Obe Nguke-Uno converted Curtin's final three attempts to lead the side to a 3-1 victory.
Their reward was a showdown with Southern Cross University to see who would finish the tourmnament in places nine and ten. Eager to finish above their Pool D rivals, the game kick-off in near perfect conditions and, after some great passages of play, Curtin took the lead midway through the first half when Colalillo bagged his third goal of the week. After the break a penalty converted by Tony Nguke-Uno gave Curtin a 2-0 win, ending the tournament on a high and much higher than last years 14th.
In the Championship final, the University of Newcastle triumphed 3-1 over the Australian National University. University of Sydney came in third after defeating the University of Western Sydney 3-0 in the play-off for the minor spots. Curtin were later up-graded to seventh place when three teams - Monash, Victoria University and the University of Western Sydney - were relegated to joint 14th after they forfeit a finals match. The other great news for Curtin was that defender Trim, who was recently named Fremantle City's Players' Player of the Year, was included in the Australian University Sport Green and Gold team.
For the record, the Curtin University squad that took part in the 2001 Australian University Games was Ruffy Moreno (player/coach), Marcel Steingesser, Florian Radu, Kevin Murphy, Daniel Trim, Jonathon Steingesser, Roberto Colalillo, Tony Nguke-Uno, Cris Moreno, Obe Nguke-Uno, Dirk McKormick, Campbell Ballantyne and Carl Carcione.
THINGS ARE KEWELL FOR STOCKPORT'S HILTON
Life is treating Oliver Hilton well at Stockport County. After three years on the books of Crewe Alexandra as a junior, Hilton jumped at the chance to join the First Division club on a two-year contract over the off-season and has never looked back. "Training is going very well for me and I'm enjoying every minute," the teenager said this week. "So far I've been limited to substitute appearances for the Under-19 team but I've played several full games for the Under-17 side. The 19's are through to the next round of the Youth Alliance Cup after beating Rochdale something like 6-1 - we've only lost one game in our League so far."
Off the park, there have been plenty of highlights for Hilton also, the most memorable being his recent meeting of Leeds United and Australian attacker Harry Kewell. "Me and another youth player were asked to take part in a Sky Sports TV program called Soccer AM with Harry Kewell. Harry was showing the viewers how he does certain tricks on the Adidas advert and I, unfortunately, had to role-play the player he skinned. It was a good day, got to chat with him and get his autograph and then watched it all on television later on!"
2001 OUR BIGGEST YET!
A big thank-you to the readers of the Western Australian Soccer Website for making 2001 our biggest year to date. Up until the end of September we'd registered a staggering 35,278 hits on the site - which dwarf's last years 12-month tally of 22,302 - to make us the second largest soccer-specific website in the state, bettered only by Perth Glory's official home on the 'net. The biggest month of the year, in fact of the past 24 months, was May when our pages were visited some 5,946 times! By comparison, September saw 3,506 hits registered which was slightly down in the previous month, but the drop in figures was hardly a surprise considering the season came to a close mid-month. The biggest single day of the month was Friday 21st September when 189 visitors logged on to read our Champion of Champions final preview amongst other articles.
'KEEPER JONES LOANED TO SHELBOURNE
19-year old Brad Jones, who is currently contracted to Middlesbrough, will spend the next three months on loan to Irish outfit Shelbourne after their first choice goalkeeper, Steve Williams, fractured an ankle playing against Shamrock Rovers towards the end of September. Having graduated to Middlesbrough's reserves squad recently, Jones will continue to train with the English club and fly to the Republic of Ireland each week to participate in League of Ireland fixtures.
DANZE WANTS TO STEP UP
A week ago Perth Glory's Anthony Danze was at the centre of the world's soccer stage, representing Australia at the Under-17 World Championships in Trinidad and Tobago. Next week he looks likely to return to the Australian Institute of Sport where he'll play in the National Soccer League's youth competition as part of his soccer scholarship. However, the former Cockburn City youngster is hopeful that Glory will give him the option of staying in Perth by taking up a full-time contract with the NSL side.
The classy midfielder was one of the big hits of the Under-17 tournament, scoring twice in the 4-0 win over Croatia and being one of three players singled out by coach Ange Postecoglou as having a big future. It's that sort of tribute that has brought the 17-year to the attention of several overseas clubs, including Southampton whom Danze turned down in order to sign with Glory a year ago. "I'm aware of some interest, but I'm in no hurry to go overseas," Danze told "West Australian" reporter Mel Moffat this week. "I'd like to get at least one NSL season under my belt before I consider moving on."
But Danze chances of staying in Perth, and cutting short by three months his stay at the AIS, look slim. Glory already have an abundance of midfield players in their 23-man squad, although coach Mich d'Avray acknowledges Danze is a player of vast potential. "Ideally, I'd like Anthony to stay here, but what's the point if he's just sitting on the sideline with nothing to do," d'Avray said. "If we had a young team in the local league, as we've requested, it would be the perfect outlet for players like Anthony. But, so far, that's not the case, so it's probably best that he go back to Canberra where at least he's getting regular games."
GLORY THUMP SEVEN PAST CHAMPS
Striker Bobby Despotovski netted a hat-trick as Perth Glory completed it's pre-season with a 7-0 mauling of Premier League champions Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve on Sunday. In their defence, Sorrento, who had not played for almost a month, were a much different side that took out the Premier League trophy with several key players absent for a variety of reasons. The Seagulls took the opportunity to give their full match-day squad a run, including veteran 'keeper Willie McNally who replaced triallist Nick Stone late in the game. The day was a huge success off the field also with over 2,000 people turning up despite the inclement weather which organisers hope will see around $7,000 raised for Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
On the park, Sorrento were also found to be in a charitable mood. Despotovski opened the floodgates after 10 minutes when he reacted quickly to a bouncing ball on the edge of the box and smashed it into the bottom right corner of Stone's net. The striker doubled the lead nine minutes later with a fine header from Scott Miller's corner, and three minutes after that teed-up Damian Mori who made it 3-0. Matt Horsley scored his first Glory goal three minutes before half-time. Five minutes into the new half Despotovski completed his hat-trick with a ferocious shot. Coming off the bench, veteran striker Alistair Edwards chimed in with two goals of his own within 19 minute of being introduced to the game. In the early game Sorrento Past Players ran out 3-1 winners over the Media and Friends All Stars side.
BIG DAY OF FUN AND GAMES PLANNED AT SORRENTO
Sorrento take on National Soccer League outfit Perth Glory at Percy Doyle Reserve on Sunday in the latter's final pre-season fixture before they commence the 2001/02 season proper. Gates open at 11.30am for what is shaping up to be a big day for both clubs. Entry to the ground is by donation with the suggested amount being $5.00 per family/individual with all moneys collected going towards Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital's Asthma and Allergic Research Institute. Locals referees are kindly donating their services free of charge for the afternoon.
The Premier League champions have been hit hard by injury leading up to the game with captain Stuart Banks (groin), Richard Turnbull (back) and David Foster (knee) all expected to miss the game. They will be further weaken by the absence of goalkeeper Neil Young (overseas) and defender Kevin Murphy (interstate). On the flip side of the coin the seagulls will welcome the return Simon Harland who has been playing with English non-League side Welling United. Former Bournemouth junior Nick Stone, who is on-trial at the club, is expected to take his position between the posts, while young defenders Adam Kiley and David Colegate will be given some valuable first team exposure alongside experienced centre backs Scott McLeod and Danny Hill.
Missing from the Glory line-up will be one-time Sorrento defender Jamie Harnwell, the big defender still suffering the effects of damaging shoulder ligaments in the 6-0 win over Inglewood United two weeks ago. Also out of action will be fellow-defenders Gareth Naven and Ljubo Milicevic. The NSL side will use Sunday's fixtures to take another look at 22-year old Brazilian Miro who has been on trial for the past fortnight. Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holder David Tarka will be another under the Glory microscope, likewise young Perth striker Andreas Oliviera. Michael Garcia, who spent the winter months with Sorrento, will make his first appearance for Glory since agreeing terms on a one-year contract earlier in the week.
There will be plenty of activity off the pitch also. Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital will be providing sausage sizzles and soft drink facilities throughout the day, while the northern suburbs club is organising the sale of alcoholic refreshments. Glory Gorilla and the characters from MacDonalds restaurants will be there for the kids who will also have the opportunity to have a kick-about on the warm-up pitches and participate in tug-of-wars.
Prior to the main game, spectators will be "treated" to a match between Sorrento Past Players and what has been dubbed the Media and Friends All Stars, this match kicking-off at 12.30pm. The Sorrento squad is Derek Harnwell, Neil McLennan, Peter Butler, Steve Kiley, Bert Kirkpatrick, Keith Williams, Ian Kenyon, Peter MacDonald, Graham Wilson, Lee Bolam, Steve Wentworth, David Brookes, Colin Lester, Frank Donlevy, Dave O'Callaghan, Duncan Hill, Charlie Kenyon, John Walsh, Pine Clarke, Gordon Ferguson and Steve Neville. The side is being coached by Russell Grant.
Lining up for the All Stars are Bob Figg (staff, Perth Glory), Ernie Hannigan (ex-Preston North End and Coventry City), Bill Murray (ex-Everton), Jamie McGettrick (ex-St Mirren), Mark Caplin (Information Radio), Dave Roxby (ex-Sunderland), Jonathon Cook (the West Australian), Eric Willliams (ex-Queens Park Rangers), Paul Wozny (ex-Bradford City), Steve Parkinson (ex-Blackburn Rovers), John O'Connell (Information Radio), Daron Elliot (ex-Plymouth Argyle), Ashely Morrison (Radio 6PR), Willie Herd (ex-Dumfermline Athletic), Graham Whyche (Access 31), Willie Kelly (ex-Alloa and Meadowbank), Clint Wheeldon (Channel 10), Ronnie Campbell (coach, Western Knights), Jim Glennie (ex-Aberdeen) and Joe Carbone (Information Radio). In charge of the All Stars team will be John Sydenham (ex-Southampton) and Colin Irwin (ex-Liverpool).
MCCALLUM PRAISED BY NATIONAL COACH (with the assistance of the New South Wales Soccer Federation)
In an interview that appeared on the New South Wales Soccer Federation's website this week, Allan Bourke, coach of Women's Soccer at the N.S.W. Institute of Sport, sung the praises of one-time Joondalup junior Collette McCallum. The 15-year old midfielder took out the Most Valuable Player award at this months National Youth Championship and was also one of five N.S.W. players named in the Young Matilda's training squad.
"Collette McCallum is an outstanding talent," said Bourke. "In the words of Mike Mulvey (national youth coach), she is the 'face of Australian soccer for many years to come'. Collette has an incredible ability to read the game well above her years and has skill, vision, the attitude and dedication to match. She has a great future if she continues to develop at this rate. It will be great to see her on the world stage in next year's World Youth Cup."
PETKOVIC TO RETURN TO SOUTH MELBOURNE? (reproduced with permission from www.tribalfootball.com)
Michael Petkovic could be heading back to South Melbourne very soon after stalling in his attempt to win a contract in Norway. The brilliant South Melbourne and Australian international keeper has been trialling with high flying Lillestrom in Norway. But he has been unable to convince Lillestrom so far enough for them to finalise an offer. South Melbourne's patience seems to be running out and according to sources at the club they look likely to call him back in the coming days, thereby forcing Lillestrom to either let him go or to sign him.
INJURY KEEPS DAVIES OUT OF ACTION
Former State junior representative Clint Davies fractured his left arm during a Birmingham City training session last week, the injury expected to sideline the young goalkeeper for the next month. Just a few days earlier Davies chose to keep his international options open by turning down an invitation to join the Northern Ireland youth squad ahead of qualifiers for the UEFA European Under-19 Championship which is being held in Norway next May.
Davies, who has been a regular feature of the Under-19 side this season as well as making several appearances on the bench for the reserves, is determined to stay focused despite the injury set-back. "I'm not going to let the injury get to me," he said this week. "I've seen other players that have stayed positive while injured and how that sort of attitude helps the recovery process and I intend to follow their lead." With plans to fill in his day by working on his overall fitness and ball control, Davies will travel to London with the Under-19 squad this weekend to lend support to his teammates against Crystal Palace.
NO WORD ON 2002
There is still no word on what format the 2002 Soccer West Coast season will take. It is believed the local body were in favour of retaining the current 10-team Premier League with the same number of clubs in the First and the new Second Division. But those plans were thrown into turmoil with the mid-season 'visa scandal' which affected several clubs. While that matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of SWC and some of it's clubs, we understand that Swan I.C. are in the process of mounting a challenge to the ruling which would see them spend next year in the First Division. Our efforts to elicit a response from SWC this week went unrecognised.
GLORY DIP INTO LOCAL MARKET
For those critics of Perth Glory always complaining the club are constantly over-looking the talent available in their own backyard, the time has come to re-consider your thinking. Glory will commence their sixth National Soccer League season in little over a week's time with their largest contingent of homegrown players in the starting squad.
Of the current 23 man squad, 15 are either locally produced or have been signed from the ranks of the W.A. Premier League. Glory captain Gareth Naven and Socceroo's Scott Miller, Jason Petkovic and Alistair Edwards are joined by Bobby Despotovski, Gary Faria, Jamie Harnwell and Craig Deans amongst those jostling for a place in the starting eleven - injury permitting - from week one of the new campaign. Waiting in the wings will be youngsters Nick Mrdja, Antonio Naglieri, Todd Harnwell, Anthony Danze and David Tarka, along with veteran goalkeeper Tony Franken and new-signing Michael Garcia.
And with the exception of Brazilian triallist Miro and off-season purchase Matt Horsley, Glory have focused their attentions on the local league over the winter months with a number of players offered trials with the club in recent times. Amongst those invited to try-out for the club have been Perth pair Andreas Oliviera and Todd Howarth, Branimir Mikulic (Cockburn City), State goalkeeper Corey Hugo (Swan I.C.), Gareth Deeg (ECU Joondalup), Neil Young and, of course, Garcia (both Sorrento).
STANGE FOR SWC POST?
One-time coach of Perth Glory, Bernd Stange looks likely to return to Perth after a brief but lucrative stint in charge of the Oman national team. And Soccer West Coast are said to be ready to strike with indications they may offer Stange the position of State coach. "We have left our options open regarding Bernd," SWC chairman David Schrandt told the "Sunday Times". "We have spoken to him on numerous occasions and now the Oman situation has gone cold, we'll probably talk again soon. Bernd is someone we would like involved in soccer in this state," Schrandt added. The general concensus in the west is that, should SWC be successful in gaining the second National Soccer League license out of Perth, Stange would be put in charge of the side.
DANZE SHINES FOR JOEYS
Perth Glory midfielder Anthony Danze was one of Australia's shining lights at the FIFA Under-17 World Championships in Trinidad and Tobago this month where he was a regular starter for coach Ange Postecoglou. The former ECU Joondalup player came off 84 minutes into the Joeys opening group match with reigning champions Brazil who won 0-1. Two days later Danze saw out the full 90 minutesof the 1-0 victory over host nation Trinidad and Tobago before following it up with two goals in the 4-0 thumping of Croatia as Australia finished runners-up in Group A.
The Joeys bowed out to Nigeria in the quarter-finals, the disappointing 1-5 scoreline only blowing out in the final 11 minutes when Nigeria found the net three times. Post-match Postecoglou praised the efforts of Danze and Joeys captain Carl Valeri during the tournament. "Danze and Valeri are the two who have been very consistent," he said, "I expect big things from them both in a couple of years." Another West Australian, defender Darren Broxton, was on the bench for all four of the Joeys games.
OLIVIERA TURNS ON THE STYLE IN GLORY TRIALS
State Under-19 representative Andreas Oliviera looks the most likely of Perth Glory's current batch of triallists to win a full-time contract with the club. The 19-year old Perth striker has impressed coach Mich D'Avray in Glory's two friendlies with Northern Spirit, getting a 20 minute run in last week's opening match and a further 80 minutes in Kalgoorlie on Saturday. "He's found the pace more demanding than he's used to, but he's a thinking player," D'Avray told the "West Australian". "He makes intelligent runs and has a knack of scoring goals, which is a great habit. I like that." Also on trial are Oliviera's clubmate Todd Howarth and Brazilian sweeper Miro.
CALIES NEED COACH
Bassendean Caledonian are seeking the services of an Under-18's coach for the 2002 Premier League season. Interested persons are requested to submit their application in writing to the Bassendean Caledonian Soccer Club, PO Box 1101, Morley 6062
GARCIA JOINS GLORY
Sorrento midfielder Michael Garcia is hoping to make up for lost time after agreeing terms with Perth glory this week. Describing the past two years as "trials with other clubs, injuries and bad decision making", Garcia is now champing at the bit to make his return to the National Soccer League. The 24-year old was a guiding force at the local club this winter where he caught the eye of Glory coach Mich D'Avray and was invited for trials. "I was reasonably confident I could impress," said Garcia. "Now I want to make the starting line-up and play in every game possible."
Garcia started out with Kingway Olympic whom he left mid-1995 to spend two years with NSL side Canberra Cosmos where he made 27 appearances. At the end of his contract he returned west to link up with Glory during which time he was called into the national Under-23 side. But after 30 games for the club, circumstances and injury conspired against Garcia. An ankle injury cut short trials with English side Barnsley and, after a lengthy lay-off, he returned to the game at Marine Castle United in Singapore. A brief spell with ECU Joondalup was next up, and this season the midfielder signed on with northern suburbs rival Sorrento whom he helped to the Premier League championship.
SWC READY TO STEP IN
Soccer West Coast have said they are willing to step into the hole left by Canberra Cosmos in the National Soccer League after the club failed to make good a $44,000 affiliation fee by Monday's deadline. However, the local body stressed that they would not be willing to do so until next season. "There is no way ourselves, or anyone else, could put together a team in less than three weeks to make up the shortfall in the NSL," SWC president David Schrandt told Mel Moffat of the "West Australian" recently. "But if we were given an indication that we would be included next year, we could be working towards that. We've been working on gaining a second licence in Perth for some time and a lot of the infrastructure is already in place."
Hamersley Rovers have powered their way to the WAASSA Premier Division championship by ending the season six points clear of runners-up Murdoch University. They capped a fine season with a 3-1 home win over Spearwood Dalmatinac. Murdoch, who defeated Forrestfield United 3-2 on Sunday, claimed second on goal difference from Spearwood. Fremantle United were big 6-2 winners over Balga, while strugglers ECU Joondalup and Perth Azzurri battled out a tough 2-2 draw. Entrenched in the relegation spot for much of the season, Morley Windmills were thrashed 1-8 by Shamrock Rovers in the final round. The result from the Kwinana United-Mandurah City clash is currently unknown.
The Premier League's Fairest and Best award for 2001 went to Jason Dixon (Murdoch) with 23 votes, one ahead of Wayne Brooks (Forrestfield) and Christopher Atkins (Kwinana). Close behind was Ronald Marcus (Morley) on 20, with teammate Paul Allen polling 17. The top five was rounded out by Mark Kelly (Shamrock) and Gary Elwell (Hamersley) who ended the season with 15 votes apiece. Flavio L'Abbata (Hamersley) won the Golden Boot with 20 goals, three more than runner-up William Lyall (Balga). It was a four-way tie for third between Christian Paschkewitz (Murdoch), James Boag (Joondalup), Alex Seed (Kwinana) and Steve McCabe (Kwinana) who all found the net 12 times over the winter. Forrestfield's Richard Fox bagged 11, while a goal behind him were Damien Pescud (Spearwood) and Andrew Rennie (Mandurah).
Subiaco wrapped up the First Division title several weeks ago and on Saturday night defeated Geraldton La Fiamma 1-0 on the road to end the season 10 points clear of their nearest rivals, the University of WA, and with a mammoth +52 goal difference. The team from UWA ended their campaign with a 3-0 home win over Colo Colo to leapfrog La Fiamma who came in third. Belmont Villa downed North Perth United by the odd goal in a seven-goal thriller, while Carlisle were too strong for WA Maccabi by 4-1. Cloverdale Chindits hit three past Canning/Langford without reply, and relegated South Perth United ended the winter with a spirited 2-2 draw with Cockburn City.
Maxwell Wright of Subiaco took out the Fairest and Best trophy with 22 votes, two more than runner-up La Fiamma striker Patrick O'Boyle. Jeffery Drury (North Perth) and Phillip Weall (Belmont) both polled 15 with Belmont pair Scott Chambers (12 votes) and Darren Blankley (11 votes) taking out the minor placings. O'Boyle ended 2001 as the First Division's leading scorer with 29 goals, overhauling early pace-setter Alastair Page (Subiaco) by three. Fidel Rodriguez of Colo Colo came in third with 16 goals, John Alavakis (Subiaco) finished with 15 and Luke Myburg (Canning Langford) 14.
Lynwood Chile ran away with the Second Division championship, winning promotion by 15 points and with a remarkable +68 goal difference! They ended the winter with a 2-0 win over relegated Canning Suleymaniye. Calcio Rebels took out the Third Division crown, pipping Joondalup United by two points. Gwelup Croatia ended three points ahead of Burswood United to win the Fourth Division title.
FIRST DIVISION ROUND-UP (Armadale vs Southside United report provided by Michael Di Pietro, Steve Gillibrand photo by Craig Culverwell)
Ashfield captain Steve Gillibrand lifted the First Division Major Play-off trophy as the club earnt their place back in the top flight, this despite being beaten by 0-3 on the road to Stirling Lions who finished the series three points off the pace. Queens Park's 1-1 draw in Bunbury with South West Phoenix saw them capture third place with Perth City, who picked up three automatic points from their fixture with Dianella White Eagles, finished fourth. After winning the First Division (South) championship, Rockingham City's season ended on a downer then they were defeated 1-2 by Leeming Strikers.
Armadale's final match of the First Division Minor Play-offs was the local derby with Southside United. Out was Jason Goodwin due to an accumulation of yellow cards, but on the up side the reds welcomed back defender Chris Woodrow after a recent injury. United took the lead after 15 minutes when 'keeper Maikol Taseski failed to hold a shot and the ball re-bounded into the back of the net. Armadale looked a little flat in the first half, maybe due to them having reached their goal of staying in the First Division last week, but it was still of concern as their opponents raced to a three goal led by the break. The second half started better for the home side when Emlyn Whitnall converted from the spot in the 48th minute. Armadale continued to press forward and in the 63rd minute Whitnall brought the crowd alive when he pulled the margin back to 2-3 with the home supporters sensing a fight-back on the cards. But United killed off those hopes nine minutes later, the final score being 2-4 in favour of the visitors.
Kingsway Olympic completed the First Division Minor Play-off series without losing a game, defeating Waneroo City 2-0 at home on Saturday. Armadale came in second, while Balcatta's 4-0 thumping of Bayswater City secured them third place. Morley Windmills were held 3-3 at home by a young Canning City side.
TARKA WANTS NSL ACTION
Former Cockburn City player David Tarka has just over two weeks in which to convince Perth Glory coach Mich D'Avray that his immediate future is with the National Soccer League club. The young defender agreed terms with Glory earlier in the year but returned to the Australian Institute of Sport to complete a scholarship that runs until December. But he wants to cut his stay at the AIS short and make the switch to full-time training with the Glory immediately.
"It's been great but I think I've learnt all I can and I want to take the next step," said the 18-year old of the AIS "If I play well for Perth, hopefully they'll keep me here." Tarka is hoping to do enough in this weeks friendlies against Spirit and State League champions Sorrento to prove himself. He is due back at the AIS on 7th October.
DEEG GOES FOR GLORY
ECU Joondalup goalkeeper Gareth Deeg will be hoping to make an impression on Perth Glory coach Mich D'Avray this weekend when he lines up for the N.S.L. club in their friendly against Northern Spirit at Kalgoorlie's Oasis Sports Ground. The 22-year old has been training with Glory since the end of the Premier League season, along with Swan I.C. custodian Corey Hugo and Sorrento's Neil Young, as the club search for an understudy to Socceroo Jason Petkovic and veteran Tony Franken. Mid-week, Hugo featured in the last half-hour of Glory's 1-0 win over Spirit at Coker Park.
Deeg, who has not played for two months, is delighted at the opportunity to feature as a guest player for Glory. "I thought I might get a game against Inglewood, Swan or Sorrento, so this is great to be playing against an N.S.L. side," he told Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian". "Obviously, I am not Jason Petkovic and I hope the boys understand that because he's the best goalkeeper in Australia. I just hope I can do a good job and that coach Mich D'Avray is happy."
If Deeg is successful in gaining a contract with Glory it will be his second spell in the NSL. After representing Australia at Schoolboys level, he joined Newcastle Breakers for the 1997/98 season but was forced out of the game for a year after breaking his jaw. Deeg relocated to Perth shortly after and has been playing for Joondalup since.
DE VANNA IN NATIONAL SQUAD
Lisa De Vanna is Western Australia's sole representative to make the 20-player Young Matilda's squad after last week's National Youth Championship. De Vanna is joined in the squad by Perth-born Collete McCallum who played for New South Wales in the tournament. The Young Matildas will come together in January for a training camp ahead of April's qualifiers for the World Youth Championship. No players from the west were selected in the Junior Matilda's squad.
JONES PREPARED FOR ENGLISH TRIALS
15-year old Tom Jones will next week become the latest in a long line of youngsters to make the trip to England for trials from ECU Joondalup's Saints Academy. It will be the talented striker's second journey to the UK inside 12 months and comes after a week spell with Southampton last year. "I was going on holiday to England so Mike Lyons and Gary Williams of the Academy arranged for me to train with the Southampton Under-17 and 19 teams. It was a great learning experience," he said of the previous visit.
"I'm heading back on the 27th of September to go to Bolton Wanderers where I'm hoping to get a contract, like my mate John Higgins who has just joined Birmingham City. If they don't like me then I'll trial at other clubs. I left school in May when I turned 15 and I wanted to train full-time because all I want to do is to play football in England. I train with Jamel Aamri from Cockburn City's Under-18's, and Mike (Lyons) has taken us for the past three months and he has really worked me hard on my fitness, my touch, my finishing, everything!"
The Saints Academy has proved a roaring success since it moved to Joondalup little over two years ago. 12-year old Chris Herd has recently agreed to train with Southampton for one month every year until he is 16 after which time he hopes to earn an apprenticeship, while 15-year old John Higgins has this month agreed terms on a three-year contract with Birmingham City. Nicholas Ward and Brian Hedges are currently on trial with Stoke City and Birmingham respectively, while two of last years crop - Darren Broxton and Anthony Danze - are in Trinidad and Tobago representing Australia in the FIFA Under-17 World Championship.
Last Sunday Jones was part of the Joondalup team that took out the Under-18's Champion of Champions series by defeating Fremantle City 3-2. "Fremantle played very well and so nearly sent them game into penalties when Josh Kamasz' created something from nothing, hitting the bar from 20-metres right at the end of the game," he said. "But we also played well. All our goals came from set pieces which we're good at, we spend a lot of time on them and it paid off for us. Goalkeeper Michael Lawson was superb and saved us several times, and Mark Ristovski ran his socks off in the middle of the park. Our crowd was brilliant chanting and cheering us on in the game and made it a great day for us players. We all went out after the game, and had a good night!"
"I think we have proved a lot of people wrong this year," Jones said of Joondalup's Under-18's. "Everyone knows we have a very young team and that we can play very good football at times. To finish fourth in the League, reach the semi-final of the Boral Cup and win the Final of the Top Five with three players overseas is a great achievement. And I feel we could have finished higher than fourth if we didn't have such a bad start to the season."
Like his club, Jones' started 2001 slowly but hit his straps as the the business end of the season approached. "The first half of the season I played alright but didn't score as many goals as I would have liked, but I was pretty pleased with the second half when I scored a lot more goals and I felt that I was playing much better. I scored 20 goals this season and would have loved to get one against Fremantle City in the Final, but I never even had a attempt!"
MATASSA CLOSE TO GETTING SEASON BACK ON TRACK
Woking goalkeeper Vince Matassa hasn't had the greatest of starts to the 2001/02 Nationwide Conference season. During his clubs pre-season, the former Australian Under-20 representative required surgery on a snapped finger tendon and he's been out of action since the mid-July operation. But the recovery process is coming along nicely according to Matassa. "My finger is getting stronger slowly but surely. The specialist's initial recommendation was a mid-October return but I'm hoping I can start a few weeks earlier, maybe within the next fortnight," the 'keeper said this week. "As it is only my finger, I have been able to train quite effectively as a 'player' so my fitness is not a problem, I just need some intense goalkeeping work to get back to normal."
Matassa scoffed at suggestions doing the rounds last month that he'd be heading back 'down under' to link up with Adelaide City Force for the 2001/02 National Soccer League season. "That's the first I had heard about the Adelaide City rumour," he said when it was mentioned to him. "At this stage I am still planning to come back to Perth early in 2002, and when I enquired via Scott Miller about the situation at Perth Glory I found out they were needing someone in place by November, so my timing is a bit off unfortunately. But in saying that I would be silly not to carefully consider any possibility of returning to Glory as they are the biggest and best club in Australia - plus they are in Perth!"
GLORY PROPOSAL REJECTED
Soccer West Coast has knocked back Perth Glory's proposal to enter a team in the local competition after the local body received a negative response from its member clubs. The National Soccer League team had requested the entry of Under-19, 17 and 15 teams in the local senior, Under-21 and 18 Premier League competition to assist with the club's academy set-up and act as a stepping stone to the NSL for young players.
SWC president David Schrandt, who sent a letter to Glory on Monday detailing their response, said the majority of its clubs were in opposition to the terms put froward by Glory because they were inadequate and divisive. He added that the clubs were not satisfied that the competition would benefit from the introduction of the Glory side. "We are protecting our members and we are being very reasonable," Schrandt said. "Some of the clubs have said 'why should Perth Glory have the right to join the Premier League?' when they've all had to go through the normal process."
However, the local body is willing to consider a revised proposal should Glory allow SWC a "modest shareholding" in the club and agreed to provide an annual contribution of $50,000. The board of SWC also suggested that Glory apply for membership through the usual application process that, if successful, would see the Under-19 side enter the First Division rather than Premier League. The NSL side had offered to pay $1,000 to each local club in order for Glory's home games to be played at their opponents ground. They were also willing to forfeit any prize moneys won, and offered to pay in the vacinity of $20,000 per season to advertise State League fixtures.
Despite the rejection, Glory still expect to have a presence in the local competition next season by aligning themselves with an existing club. "We believe the offer was generous and for the benefit of the whole of soccer. We have now reluctantly decided to align with a Soccer West Coast club," said acting chief executive officer Jeff Dennis. "We have begun discussions with several Premier League and Division One clubs that have expressed an interest." Dennis added that Glory planned to make more details available early next week in regards to their plans.
PERTH YOUNGSTERS SPREAD THEIR WINGS
Perth stand to lose up to six players who were part of the squad that took out the 2001 Champion of Champions, Boral Cup and Night Series trophies. 19-year old attacker Andreas Oliviera capped a fantastic season by being invited to trial with Perth Glory for the next three weeks. It comes hot on the heels of Italian trials for Robbie Gaspar, Giannia Papalia and Jamie Coyne, the latter also hoping to head to England next month for try-outs with several clubs. Centre half Aaron Cole could be on his way to Parramatta Power who are showing strong interest in the 20-year-old, while left wing-back Todd Howarth is also being monitored by a number of NSL clubs including Glory.
2001 NATIONAL WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIPS
Nine teams made their way to Coffs Harbour in northern New South Wales last week to take part in the 2001 Women's Soccer Association's National Youth and Junior Championships' which were held together as a combined event. Fielding teams in both age groups, the West Australia girls experienced mixed results at the tournament.
The West Australian Girls Junior side started off their campaign with a fighting 0-1 loss to Queensland on Monday morning, Sasha McDonnell scoring the only goal of the match. The tournament opener saw an early goal to South Australia enough to get them across the line 1-0 over New South Wales. In the days other games, the Australian Capital Territory dumped Northern New South Wales 2-0, New South Wales Country hammered eleven past Tasmania without reply, and New South Wales were too strong for Victoria 5-1 courtesy of three late goals.
Day Two of competition saw the Australian Capital Territory race to two goal lead within eight minutes of kick-off against West Australia's Under-14's. But the girls from the west refused to give up and they were rewarded for their persistence when forward Sarah Rose found the target early in the second half. Despite a courageous second half performance from the West Australian's, the Territorians ran away with the match, netting two late goals to make the final score 1-4. Elsewhere, Northern New South Wales downed Tasmania 3-1, Queensland beat Victoria 3-0 and New South Wales Country thrashed South Australia 5-0.
Western Australia celebrated their first win of the tournament with a solid 3-1 result against hosts Northern New South Wales on Wednesday. The W.A. girls were forced to come from behind after Kirsty Palmer gave the opposition the lead after just four minutes, Laura Turnbull produced the equaliser after 23 minutes, Carys Hawkins gave W.A. the lead a minute after half-time and Helen Bremer sealed the win six minutes from full-time. In other Day Three games Queensland beat New South Wales 4-0, the Australian Capital Territory downed South Australia 1-0, New South Wales Country were too strong for Victoria 3-0 and Queensland defeated Tasmania 2-0.
Day Four saw Western Australia held scoreless over the opening half against a spirited Tasmanian outfit, but after the interval goals from Carys Hawkins and Carmen Mutton saw the girls from the west nail their second consecutive victory. Northern New South Wales recorded a 5-2 win over South Australia, New South Wales Country proved too strong for New South Wales 4-1, and the Australian Capital Territory triumphed 4-0 over Victoria.
New South Wales Country secured their place in the final of the National Junior Championship with their 4-0 win over Western Australia on Day Five of competition. Earlier in the day the Country side lost 3-4 to Queensland. Elsewhere Northern New South Wales cruised to victory 4-0 over Victoria, South Australia downed Tasmania 2-0 and the Australian Capital Territory drew 1-1 against New South Wales.
The Western Australia Junior side ended their tournament with a courageous 1-1 draw against South Australia. Hannah Vogt put the South Australian's ahead after 45 minutes but that lead lasted only three minutes before Carmen Mutton equalised. Queensland set-up a Final showdown with New South Wales Country after emerging victorious over the fellow-contenders Australian Capital Territory 1-0. Tasmania drew 0-0 with Victoria, while Northern New South Wales were held 0-0 by New South Wales.
New South Wales Country took out the National Junior Champions by steam-rolling Queensland 7-0 in the Final. The Australian Capital Territory came third, Northern New South Wales fourth and Western Australia fifth. The Association Trophy went to Queensland, while the Fair Play Award was given to Tasmania. Sally Shipard, of New South Wales Country, was named the Under-14's Most Valuable Player.
The 2001 West Australian Women's Junior (Under-14) squad was Julia McInerney (Noranda), Carys Hawkins (Sorrento), Janine Haxton (Forrestfield United), Amy Thorpe (Sutherland Park), Lorian Woolgar (Heathridge), Linda Ostrick, Carmen Mutton, Laura Turnbull (Inglewood), Sarah Sibbald (Joondalup Jacks), Sarah Rose (Lynwood), Kirsty McCarthy (Kalamunda), Elizabeth Reppion, Helen Bremer (East Fremantle), Hannah Newton (Beckenham Angels), Brid Dawson (University of W.A.) and Megan Jenyns (Queens Park Thunder). Ream officials were Leo Kearley (coach) and Barbara Gibson (manager).
Despite holding Queensland scoreless for the first 30 minutes, the West Australian Youth team ended up on the wrong side of a 0-5 hiding in their opening round fixture. South Australia were too strong for Victoria 1-0, Northern New South Wales defeated the Australian Capital Territory 4-0, New South Wales drew 1-1 with New South Wales Country, and Tasmania proved no match for South Australia who triumphed 4-0.
Things only got worse on Day Two for the West Australia Under-17's, thumped 1-12 by equal favourites New South Wales. The Blues twelve goals were shared between nine different players, including two by former E.C.U. Joondalup player Collette McCallum. Midfielder Stacey Woodfin bagged West Australia's consolation goal after 56 minutes. The day's other games saw the Australian Capital Territory defeat New South Wales Country 2-1, Northern New South Wales thrashed Tasmania 11-0 and Victoria downed Queensland 2-0.
The following afternoon Northern New South Wales ran away with a 6-0 victory over the underdogs from the west. Earlier in the day Northern New South Wales thumped South Australia 5-0. Victoria held New South Wales Country 1-1, Queensland hammered Tasmania 8-1 and New South Wales comfortably accounted for the Australian Capital Territory 6-0
Western Australia caused a major upset on Day Four after being on the wrong end of three big scorelines by recording a spirited 1-1 draw against the Australian Capital Territory. Fighting back after conceding a 6th minute goal, Lucy Millar was successful from the penalty spot ten minutes before half-time to draw level and earn her side their first point. New South Wales kicked off the day with a 3-0 win over Victoria, Queensland defeated South Australia by the same margin, and New South Wales Country thrashed Tasmania 6-0.
A strong Victorian side were the opponents the following afternoon, Western Australia doing well to hold them scoreless at half-time. But after the break the floodgates opened with Victoria posting four second half goals without reply. Northern New South Wales and New South Wales booked their places in the Saturday's final with wins over Queensland (5-2) and Tasmania (8-0) respectively. New South Wales Country defeated South Australia 3-1 and the Australian Capital Territory came away 2-1 over Queensland in their second game of the day.
With the two finalists already confirmed, the final round of preliminary matches left the remainder of the field to jostle for the minor placings. Tasmania earnt their first point of the week when they drew 0-0 with Western Australia, while the points were also shared between Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory which ended 1-1. Northern New South Wales defeated New South Wales Country 2-1, while New South Wales continued on their goalscoring ways with a 7-0 victory over South Australia.
New South Wales were crowned National Youth Champions after defeating fierce rivals Northern New South Wales 5-3 in the Final. In third were Queensland with New South Wales Country taking fourth on goal difference. Western Australia finished eighth. Northern New South Wales were awarded the Association Trophy with the Fair Play Award going to Tasmania. Perth-born midfielder Collette McCallum, who now plays for New South Wales, was named the Youth sections Most Valuable Player.
The 2001 West Australian Women's Youth (Under-17) squad was Ashley Bennett (Sorrento), Diane Murray, Tasha Vener, Erin Stinton, Anna Sweetingham (Murdoch), Lindsay Easton, Kylie Woodfin, Stacey Woodfin, Lydia Hirst (Queens Park Thunder), Catherine Gooding, Dom Dos Santos, Natalie Ferraz (Lynwood), Franceszka Laurence (Joondalup Jags), Lucy Millar, Emily Bettella and Jenna Nattolotto (Noranda Wolves). Team officials were Salv Todaro (coach) and Lina Merlacco (manager).
HUNTER HAPPY WITH ATHENA'S SUCCESS
Floreat Athena may have stumbled at the final hurdle in their effort to win both the Boral Cup and Champion of Champions series, but coach John Hunter is more than happy with the way his side performed over the winter months. "We have actually gone beyond our expectations," Hunter said recently on Radio Fremantle. "At the end of last season Athena were fighting relegation, so when we started this season we sat down and made the realistic target of making the five and anything after that was a bonus. To turn the club around and go from battling relegation to making the Grand Final, the Cup Final, the Night Series Final and finish third in the League has been an exceptional achievement and all credit to the players. There are a lot of positives there, especially as we had basically the same squad as last season."
On the subject of the 2001 Premier League season, Hunter was glad to see that that championship was still being hotly contested well into the final rounds of the campaign. "It was a balanced season. Sorrento had a good run, Perth had a good run and we had a good run so it came down to the last three or four weeks of the season. Normally you get two teams that break away early and stay away." As for loss of young talent away from the local sides, Hunter coach said there was little that could be done to prevent the flow from increasing. "The State League is a feeder league because any player that shows potential either goes into the national league with Glory of over east, or they go overseas with all these academies that are set-up. So it's actually becoming a feeder league or a league where players who have played at their highest level are coming back to and trying to put something back into the game."
As a result, Hunter is of the firm belief that Perth Glory's entry into the local competition can only be of benefit to the game and it's clubs. "Everybody's saying Glory will take the elite players out of the League and rape the local clubs, but there's only a few players that will be good enough to go to the next level with Glory or clubs in the east," the Athena coach said. "So if Glory bring in an academy, they'll only be one academy the same as Perth or Joondalup or Fremantle that is going to help produce the game and make it better. If Glory take one or two from their academy, and one or two from the other academies, then there's going to be a lot more kids available up to the standard for the local league in the long term."
CACERAS WANTED BY BRENTFORD (by Jeremy Lowe - reproduced with permission from tribalfootball.com)
Former Perth attacker Adrian Caceres has made a such great start to his recent loan move from Southampton to Brentford that he and the club want to extend the deal. Caceres, who has dropped down the pecking order at Southampton following the promotion of fellow countryman Scott McDonald, was keen to get some first team experience so he decided to join the Second Division club along with former Northern Spirit forward Ben Burgess.
"It has all been a bit hectic recently because I heard I was wanted at Brentford and then the same day I had to pack my mum off to Australia," Caceras said. "I trained with the lads here for the morning and the next time I met them was before the game. I was happy with how it went and glad we got a great result. For the next month I will be giving my all for Brentford. I wouldn't mind extending it because it's a good way for me to learn, but it's not for me to say."
COYNE DEAL GOES THROUGH
Luton Town have signed centre-back Chris Coyne on a three-year contract for close to AU$150,000 from Scottish club Dundee. The Australian Under-223 representative has been given the No.12 shirt at Town and is expected to make his debut for the club in Tuesday night's home clash Lincoln City. The move comes just days after the young defender came off the bench for Dundee against Glasgow Celtic in the Scottish Premier League.
"I just can't wait to pull the shirt on and get out and play," Coyne said on Monday. "I got everything signed and sealed this morning and then went down to training with the lads, which was good. I got a good reception and I enjoyed it." Town boss Joe Kinnear was glad to have signed the defender after what turned out to be prolonged negotiations. "I wanted him ever since I saw him in pre-season and heard he was going to be available," Kinnear said. "He's got all the attributes of a quality centre-back and he could go on and become a better player. The only minus is the Australian squad but when he's here he'll prove his worth - he's strong in the air, a good organiser and he's got personality, which is good in the dressing room."
Coyne started out playing in New South Wales and re-located to Western Australia at the age of 15 with his family. After playing locally with Sorrento, Kingsway Olympic and Perth, he was included in the Australian Under-17 squad which competed in 1995's World Championship in Ecuador where he featured in all four of the Joeys matches. Early the next year Coyne signed with West Ham United where he won an F.A. Youth Cup winners medal in front of 20,000 people at Anfield. Loan periods at Brentford and Southend United followed before joining Dundee in March 2000.
MIXED FEELINGS FOR GARCIA ON HAMMERS DEBUT
Coming on five minutes from the end of regulation time against Reading was a proud moment for one-time Perth S.C. attacker Richard Garcia, but he would have preferred the circumstances be better for his senior debut for West Ham United. "It was nice to make the debut but it would have been better if we'd got the win," he told the official West Ham website. "I played against Reading when I went on loan to Orient so it wasn't that much different. Glenn Roeder (West Ham manager) just said 'go on and try your best to create something.' We just couldn't get the ball in the back of the net," he said of the game that ended 0-0 and was eventually settled on penalties.
CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS FINAL
Perth went into Sunday's Champion of Champions Grand Final with Floreat Athena tipped to go home with their third trophy of the year. Seven days earlier Perth completely destroyed today's opponents in a one-sided Boral Cup Final and, utilising the very same starting line-up, the general consensus was that the only thing worth wagering a bet on was what the final margin would be. Athena coach John Hunter expressed pre-match concerns over the number of key players carrying injuries into the game, the coach making several tactical and positional changes as a result to accommodate those players. Leading goal scorer Ryan Newhill shifted out to the left wing, Doug Ithier taking his place in attack, while the talented Costa Socratous came into the team for Jamie D'Arcy who was sent off last week.
With a point to prove after last week's thrashing, Athena started with a bluster and inside the 1st minute Jason Smith's rising shot from 16-metres grazed the wrong side of the crossbar. With Socratous and Newhill working hard on their respective flanks, Athena dominated the opening 20 minutes. But for all their possession and enterprise, Athena would find few holes in a well-organised defence that was quick to close down and forced their opponents into shooting largely from distance. Robyn Dyers had a great chance to give his side the lead when he met Miguel Ortin's cross but the big striker flicked the ball just wide of the mark. Another golden chance went begging in the 19th minute when Socratous' low ball into the area narrowly evaded the out-stretched leg of Ithier.
Yet to rattle off anything even resembling a shot on goal, Perth dealt their cross-town rivals a cruel blow in the 27th minute after striker Boni Botha was brought down inside the area by Ortin. Referee Steve Muldoon immediately pointed to the spot and, while goalkeeper Anthony Mori guessed the right way, Mark Pottier placed his penalty beyond the 'keeper's reach to hand Perth the lead. The goal seemed to spark Perth into life and just three minutes later it was very nearly 2-0, Vince Tana's cross to the far side was expertly met by Jamie Coyne who forced Mori into a desperate save on the line.
The remainder of the half saw some good chances come at both ends as the sides slugged out what was becoming a very tight match. Socratous turned on the skill in the 33rd minute to go past two opponents before centring to Ithier who was notably frustrated with his poor finish. Wing-back Todd Howarth was featuring heavily in play for Perth and his Botha-bound cross was punched into the up-right by Mori, who breathed a sigh of relief when it rebounded back into play. Shortly after Perth custodian Robert Scarparolo made sure his team stayed in front with two tremendous reflex saves, first denying Adrian Sutton and then Newhill within seconds of eachother. And right on the stroke of half-time a dipping free-kick from 18-metres by Robbie Gaspar ended just the wrong side of the bar.
Two minutes into the second half and another dangerous Howarth cross landed on the head of Botha who'd drifted in behind the defence unchecked, but his header was comfortably saved by Mori. Athena pushed regular sweeper Troy Bernard into midfield at the break, and in the 52nd minute he sprinted the ball forward only to slam it well over the bar. With the very next play, Perth went forward through Howarth who skillfully threw off his marker, stepped past another opponent and knocked it to the feet of Oliviera, he also wriggled between two defenders before thundering the ball past Mori from outside the area. 2-0!
Not to be outdone, Ithier and Socratous combined in the 54th minute to slice open the defence, Socratous slotting the ball under the advancing Scarparolo only for his shot to cannon back off the base of the up-right. Shortly after, Newhill was lucky to stay on the park after a dreadful challenge on Botha that went largely unpunished. Desperately in need of a goal to keep alive their hopes, Athena threw everything into going forward but found time and space limited in their final third. A 65th minute shot by Socratous called Scarparolo into play, the 'keeper tipping the speculative effort over the bar.
It was all one-way traffic over the final 20 minutes as Perth really hit their straps. With their midfielders stringing together some very impressive moves, and Howarth and Tana working tirelessly up and down the park, Perth continually opened up the Athena defence with ease. In the 71st minute Coyne's tremendous shot from the top of the 18-yard box crashed into the side netting. A few minutes later substitute David Onoforo showed some flashy footwork to go inside the area, Botha dummied his centring ball and Howarth slammed the shot narrowly wide. Perth captain Stephen Willey seized upon some hesitancy in the Athena defence with eight minutes remaining but was denied by an alert Mori. A minute later Onoforo blazed high from 14-metres.
Shortly after Mori was again Athena's saviour, this time keeping out Botha's close range effort. Oliviera finally put the icing on the cake on the four minutes from full-time. The teenager delicately clipped a well-taken free-kick from 20-metres over the defensive wall, the ball kissing the underside the bar as it crossed the line. A few minutes later Onoforo manoeuvred his way past a defender to hit a cracking shot which slammed into the angle and came back into play. It wasn't long after that the referee's whistle signalled not only the end of proceedings, but also that Perth has captured their third trophy of the season.
Few would disagree that Athena had looked the better side over the opening 45 minute period but their inability to break down a stubborn defence would prove fateful. Midfielder Socratous was the stand-out performer for the runners-up with a solid effort in the middle, but otherwise Athena had too many players unable to maintain a presence in the game. Perth didn't come into the game until they'd scored, but once they'd got their nose in front there was no looking back and the side ran out deserved winners. With their midfielders unable to assert their usual influence, Tana and Howarth stepped in to fill the breech and orchestrate the victory from out wide with a couple of all-class showings. Two top-draw goals from Oliviera capped a fine performance from the youngster, while between the posts Scarparolo made some vital saves which enabled him to keep his third successive clean sheet.
Floreat Athena : Anthony Mori, Troy Bernard, Hugh Miller, Peter Nikoloski, Costa Socratous, Ryan Newhill
(Manuel Arapis 65), Adrian Sutton, Miguel Ortin, Jason Smith, Robyn Dyers, Doug Ithier
Perth : Robert Scarparolo, Stephen Willey, Aaron Cole, Michael Icanovski, Todd Howarth, Vince Tana (Jason Colli 88), Mark Pottier, Jamie Coyne, Robbie Gaspar (David Onoforo 70), Boni Botha, Andreas Oliviera (Scott White 87)
Referee : Steve Muldoon
Cautions : Newhill (56), Smith (58), Dyers (68), Miller (86)
Dismissals : None
Attendance : 1,500 (approx.)
UNDER-18's CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS FINAL
Fremantle City went into the Grand Final of the Under-18's Champion of Champions series against ECU Joondalup as favourites having defeated the northern suburbs side twice in the 2001 home-and-away season. After some early jitters, City were the quickest to settle and came close to opening the scoring in the 5th minute when Josh Kamasz' long-range effort was tipped around the post by goalkeeper Michael Lawson. Kamasz has more success six minutes later with a stinging drive from 12-metres which left the 'keeper grasping at air. But the port side's lead was short-lived, their defence failed to deal with an in-swinging corner and John Morton put his side back on a level footing when he found the net after a goalmouth scramble in the 12th minute.
Joondalup settled with the equaliser and the pendulum swung their way courtesy of hard working flank players Craig Simpson and Craig Cheesman. In the 16th minute Simpson's powerful header bounced over City custodian Michael Basilio only to be cleared off the line by Simon Eltin-Bott. Three minutes later Morton was allowed to rise unchallenged at another corner, this time placing his header narrowly high from point-blank range. Shortly after Basilio spectacularly kept out a glancing header from Mark Ristovski as Joondalup piled on the pressure. Simpson doubled the margin after 29 minutes by nodding in a John Higgins corner with the City defence again caught ball-watching. With the half close to an end, attacker Matt Collova forced Lawson into a great reflex save to give City some hope going into the interval.
Six minutes into the new half and Adam Gangemi made it 3-1, the goal again coming from a Joondalup corner. But from here on City would dominate proceedings as their midfield stepped up a gear to control the flow of play. Dean Apelgren saw his volley kept out by the agile Lawson. A few minutes later Matt Danskin was put through with only the 'keeper to beat, and again Lawson was Joondalup's saviour with a diving save at the midfielder's feet. Jordan Andrews tried his luck from distant, his shot skidding narrowly wide of the up-right. City got the goal they deserved in the 68th minute, Apelgren heading a free-kick past the 'keeper and over the line to set-up a dramatic finish.
The final ten minutes saw Joondalup's defence under immense pressure as their opponents took up camp in their attacking half. In the 73rd minute Kamasz bustled his way between three opponents but his shot scuttled the wrong side of Lawson's right post. Three minutes later John Migas went on a jinxing run but was denied by a fine save down low by the Joondalup 'keeper. And three minutes from full-time, Kamasz stepped past one opponent before unleashing an wicked drive from 17-metres which crashed into the underside of the crossbar and came back into play. Shortly after, the champagne corks were popping in the Joondalup camp as referee Michael Frost blew his whistle for the last time. Joondalup can thank goalkeeper Lawson, who made some vital second half saves, for the victory along with sweeper Morton. For City Kamasz was lively in attack from the opening kick while Basilio also impressed between posts.
Fremantle City : Michael Basilio, Simon Eltin-Bott, Matt Hensen, David Jackson, Dean Apelgren, Matt
Danskin, Cisco Jorqueira, Carlos Martinez (Jordan Andrews 40), John Migas, Josh Kamasz, Matt Collova
ECU Joondalup : Michael Lawson, John Morton, Daniel Hendley, Daryle Platten, Craig Simpson, Craig Cheesman, Brian Hedges, John Higgins (Clive Fondyke 74), Tom Jones, Adam Gangemi, Mark Ristovski
Referee : Michael Frost
Cautions : Jones (31), Ristovski (39), Gangemi (42)
Dismissals : None
FIRST DIVISION ROUND-UP (Bayswater City vs Armadale report provided by Michael Di Pietro)
Ashfield clinched promotion to the top flight in 2002 by defeating Perth City 4-3 to win the First Division Major Play-off series on Saturday. Matt Pochroj was the hero with two goals, Karl Atley also found the target with the fourth an own goal. The Stirling Lions retain second place after picking up three points from their 'fixture' with the Dianella White Eagles, while a point behind them sit Queens Park who accounted for the Leeming Strikers 3-1. In Bunbury, South West Phoenix were 2-1 winners over Rockingham City.
With one match remaining in the First Division Minor Play-off series, Armadale sit comfortably in second spot on the ladder, assured of retaining their First Division status in season 2002. The team has certainly come good at the right time of the season, losing only one of their past six matches. On Saturday they traveled to Frank Drago Reserve to face Bayswater City, an unknown quantity to the Reds, and, as it turned out a very good workout for the team. Dennis Lee gave the visitors the lead in the 28th minute, receiving the ball near the penalty area before beating his opponent and the oncoming 'keeper to send Armadale's supporters into a chorus of singing. The home side had some chances but found young 'keeper Justin Peroni in fine form between the posts. Bayswater came out in the second half and grabbed an equaliser within sixty seconds after some loose defending in the middle allowed a Bayswater player a clear run down the left wing. The game was in the balance until a Jason Goodwin free-kick in the 62nd minute found Lee whose perfect run allowed him to glance the ball past the 'keeper.
Kingsway Olympic remain on top after six games, keeping their undefeated record in tact by downing Southside United 1-0 at home. Balcatta overcame Canning City 3-2, and Waneroo City chalked up a 2-0 win over Morley Windmills.
GLORY DEFEAT YOUNG INGLEWOOD SIDE
Perth Glory proved too strong for Premier League side Inglewood United on Friday night, coming away with a comfortable 6-0 win at the Kiev Sports Ground. Left wing-back Scott Miller gave the NSL side the lead after 33 minutes when he headed in a Michael Garcia cross. Brazilian Edgar doubled the margin in the 43rd minute after goalkeeper Oliver Taseski spilled his speculative shot from 20-metres, and Bobby Despotovski made it 3-0 on the stroke of half-time.
Striker Damian Mori added his sides fourth after 61 minutes and second half substitute Alistair Edwards knocked in goal number five four minutes later. Glory finished the match with 10 men after defender Jamie Harnwell left the field of play injured in the 66th minute after colliding with Taseski. Miller completed the route with his second of the night 15 minutes from the final whistle. Glory youngsters Todd Harnwell and Antonio Naglieri, who spent the winter with Sorrento and Cockburn City respectively, did their reputations no harm with hard working performances.
Post-match, Inglewood coach Steve Parkinson said he was disappointed by the six-goal margin but happy with the way his young side performed against one of the NSL's top club's. "If you consider that we used twenty players who had not played for four weeks, we left out a couple of senior players and it was the wrong end of our season, then I think we did okay," Parkinson said. "I thought Scott Campbell looked the part, while Matt Aitken had our best chance which was well saved by Tony Franken. My agenda was to give all my young players a run and was a great experience for many of them. The whole event was a success - the Starlight Foundation benefited by $582 and a very ill child went home happy after he started the game with the toss of the coin and ended up with a signed shirt. The way the Glory players conducted themselves was great and I hope that with the Starlight Foundation Challenge Cup now a regular event we will not lose by six next year!"
CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS FINAL (IN BRIEF)
Two spectacular goals from teenage sensation Andreas Oliviera helped Perth lift their third trophy of the season as they defeated Floreat Athena to take out the Champion of Champions series on Sunday afternoon. Against the run of play, Mark Pottier game Perth the lead when he converted a penalty after 27 minutes. Oliviera doubled the margin in the 53rd minute, and capped an impressive display with his second four minutes from full-time.
In the Under-18's Grand Final, ECU Joondalup fended off a second half Fremantle City revival to take out the trophy 3-2. Josh Kamasz gave City the lead early in the first half, but first half replies from John Morton and Craig Simpson, plus a Daniel Hendley goal shortly after the break gave Joondalup a two goal buffer. Dean Apelgren pulled one back for the port side 12 minutes from the end to set up a tense finish.
NORMANTON CONFIDENT OF TROPHY NUMBER THREE
The folks from Radio Fremantle (107.9FM) also caught up with Perth coach Graham Normanton on the eve of the biggest game on the local calendar. Last week Normanton lead Perth to their second trophy of the season with a performance that devastated Athena. “I thought we dominated from start to finish and 2-0 didn’t really reflect that domination,” he said. “We had a lot of chances that didn’t go converted for one reason or another and I reckon a fairer result would have been four or five, and that’s without being conceited about it.”
One of the key’s to Perth’s success this year has been their midfield where youngsters Robbie Gaspar and Jamie Coyne (right) have been outstanding. But Normanton was quick to play down suggestions that, should Athena take the dynamic duo out of the game, then the pendulum would swing in their favour. “The way we’ve been playing it’s going to be hard to nullify anybody because we work our whole structure around mobility. If you’re mobile enough and you move the ball around enough the opposition can’t stop you,” Normanton said. “It’s all about getting to the drop of the ball, supporting the ball and getting it quickly to another part of the park. The way we’re structured, and the way we’re playing, we are pretty hard to stop. And that’s why teams in the last six or seven weeks have found it so difficult to play against us … we’re mobile, we’ve got a bit of pace in the team and we use the ball really well.”
Normanton said that he’d be going with the starting line-up that won last week, adding that he did have some problems with his bench. “We had three players sent off in the reserves Final and all three were on the bench for me, so they’ve all had to be replaced. And Rob Giorgi got injured in training so he’s also out.” The Perth coach is not expecting an easy game against Athena and has warned his troops against complacency on Sunday. “John Hunter’s players have got to improve by twenty or thirty percent just to compete in the game, I fully expect them to do that and it’s something that we’ve got to guard against. I think the difference in attitude rather than in the system of player will be the big decider.”
ATHENA TO TAKE DIFFERENT APPROACH SAYS HUNTER
Interviewed on Radio Fremantle (107.9FM) this morning, Floreat Athena coach John Hunter said he is confident his side have put last Sunday’s Boral Cup Final thrashing at the hands of Perth behind them ahead of tomorrow’s Champion of Champions decider with the same club. “We’ve had a chat about what happened last week and we’ve really no interest in it now, it’s gone, it’s finished and we’re focusing on this Sunday’s game,” he said.
“To be honest we never really played last week at all, we were very disappointing. Some of the players really froze, it was just a bad day at the office for us,” the former Athena striker added. “We’re going to change a few things this week. Perth totally overran us last week, and we have to be honest and realistic and say we can’t go out and play the same system and expect to match them man for man because they are too good for us. We’ve got to adjust a few things, the boys are keen for it and hopefully it will work for us.”
Hunter’s preparations for Sunday’s Grand Final have been hampered with up to six of his first eleven unavailable due to injury and illness, leading to Friday evening’s training session to be called off. “When we’ve got the first eleven fit we are an exceptionally good side, but when we get players injured and the like then we really start to struggle,” Hunter said. “Tomorrow we’re actually going to have to start players who, if we had a big enough squad, would not be playing. Doug Ithier still isn’t 100% fit but will be starting, Troy Bernard also isn’t 100% fit, and there’s one or two other in that category. Unfortunately the season has taken it’s toll on the players.”
CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS PREVIEW
The Kiev Sports Ground is the venue for Sunday’s 2001 Champion of Champions series Grand Final between arch-rivals Floreat Athena and Perth. It will be the seventh meeting between the two club’s this year, and the third occasion on which a trophy is up for grabs. Perth took home the spoils with a golden-goal victory in the pre-season Night Series, while last Sunday they won the Boral Cup in convincing style 2-0.
Athena’s hopes to avenge both these results has been dampened this week with several key players absent from the week’s training sessions due t illness and injury. With injury clouds hanging heavy over Doug Ithier, Andrew Afkos, Troy Bernard and Peter Coci, coach John Hunter has the additional problem of being without defensive midfielder Jamie D’Arcy who was red carded in last week’s game. Perth have some concerns of their own, midfielder Rob Giorgi will be sidelined with a knee complaint while Gianni Papalia, Dino Djulbic and Rhys Graham are all been ruled out through suspension.
PERTH SET TO DO IT AGAIN
Last week our we previewed the Boral Cup Final by getting the opinions of several members of the local football community, who proved right in tipping that Perth would be too strong for Floreat Athena. This week we look at Sunday’s Champion of Champions Grand Final with the assistance of Steve Parkinson, coach of Inglewood United, ECU Joondalup coach Paul ‘Geordie’ Simmons and young Bassendean Caledonian defender Anthony Jones.
Parkinson believes the game will be won and lost in midfield. “The individual match ups are important and I think that Perth just have too much class and mobility on the one-on-one match ups with Gaspar, Tana, and Coyne as the middle three of five being better than Ithier, Smith and Socratous,” he said. “If Perths’ midfield fire then they will bring Botha and Oliveria into the game and create many chances, the only way Floreat can complete will be to hit the front two of Dyers and Newhill quickly or bombard the penalty box with high balls. Last Sunday the conditions suited Floreats’ high direct long ball game, but they were neither good enough or tactically able to provide this service to the big front players. I suggest Perth will win and make it a hat-trick of trophies, and I think they’ll do so by three clear goals.”
Simmons agreed with his counter-part from Inglewood. “The game will be won in the midfield without a doubt. The focal players for Perth will be Gaspar and Coyne, their class in midfield and up-and-down work is far superior to Floreat’s. Having said that, I believe if Doug Ithier can put in a big game, then his physical prowess may be too much for the young guns of Perth.” When pressed on who would take home the trophy, Simmons pondered the point and looked back at how his side performed against the two club during the year. “We beat Floreat twice this season and took a point from Perth. In my opinion they were the best side in the competition … Perth to win 3-1. But I wish them both luck and hope it is an enjoyable day for both teams.”
Going against the coaches was Jones who tipped Athena to get revenge for last Sunday’s loss. “I think Floreat will be fired up and that last weeks embarrassment will urge them to take this one out. Plus I think the pitch at Inglewood favours Floreats’ long ball game, they’ll win 2-1 with a late goal,” the young defender said. “Midfield is where most games are won and lost and this will be no exception. Athena’s target man is Dyers, and while he wasn’t in the game on Sunday, if he can lose his marker he will score given half a chance. Bernard is another key player, he was Floreat’s only shining light on the weekend with a classy performance, while Smith and Sutton are very capable and experienced performers. But Perth are a quality team with very few weaknesses. Howarth has been very consistent this year and is great at running at and troubling defenders. Coyne and Gaspar run tirelessly and will also be important players on the day.”
INGLEWOOD READY FOR GLORY
Premier League outfit Inglewood United provide the opposition for Perth Glory tonight (14th September) when the two sides meet at the Kiev Sports Ground, kick-off slated for 7.00pm. The friendly is being played for the Starlight Foundation Challenge Cup with organisers hoping that it will become an annual event between the two clubs.
For United coach Steve Parkinson, the game will provide his young guns with the perfect opportunity to impress the Glory coaching staff. "All the players are expecting to show there best," Parkinson told us this week. "We have been training twice a week for the last couple of weeks and this is the one time when Glory will take notice of good performances. I have told the players that the game is for them and it's important that they play to their full capabilities. With a large squad all our players can go full out for the whole time that they are on the field."
But Parkinson is under no illusions that this will be a stroll I the park for his side. "I am expecting Glory to field all their squad," he added. "If I was their coach then the game would be all about work-rate for individuals - keep the ball and work the opposition rather than score lots of goals." Fresh from a two game series in Adelaide last weekend, Glory will use the game to assess the abilities of Brazilian triallist Claudemiro Vargas Coelho, better known as Miro.
United will close to full-strength for the clash. "We will have a full squad although two of our more experienced players will be absent in Alex Cummings, who is on honeymoon, while Paul Lincoln is recovering from injury and needs the rest. And Glory won't get the chance to look at one of our best young defenders, 17-year old Sean Kilkelly who is trialling with Sheffield Wednesday." The coach stated that he is already planning towards next season and this game will be used as a sounding board for 2002. "The intention is to give all our younger players a run on the night, eleven of our 20-man squad is under 18 years of age. I'll also have Christian Marrochi trying out for next season, this game gives me the opportunity to see him play now rather than wait until the Night Series in January."
REFORM IN WEST ON SOCCER AUSTRALIA'S AGENDA
It appears that Soccer Australia are getting ready to launch an investigation into the state of the game in Western Australia. Speaking on John O'Connell's International Football Show on Saturday night, deputy chairman Greg Woods said the national body are in the process of organising a forum whose primary aim will be to oversee the implementation of the findings of the Fielding Report. As they say, stay tuned for further developments.
PERTH TRIO BOUND FOR ITALIAN TRIAL
Three members of Perth's Boral Cup winning squad - Robbie Gaspar, Jamie Coyne and Gianni Papalia - will fly to Europe this Monday for a month long spell during which they'll trial with Italian clubs Empoli (Serie B), Pisa (Serie C) and Sienna (Serie C). The trip, organised by Perth, will come just 24 hours after the Champion of Champions series Grand Final showdown with local rivals Floreat Athena.
For 20-year old Gaspar, it will be his second attempt to break into the European market place. "I had a brief spell with Hadjuk Split in Croatia when I was 16 and I think playing in Europe will suit my style," the midfielder said recently. Gaspar first rose to prominence when he was included in the Australian Schoolboys squad which toured the United Kingdom and Ireland in December 1999. The youngster spent the 1999/2000 N.S.L. season with Sydney Olympic after spending time in Cockburn City's junior ranks. He returned to Western Australia in April to link up with Perth after being unable to break into Olympic's first team.
Coyne took out the man-of-the-match award in Sunday's Boral Cup Final against Athena. The midfielder started out with Kingsway Olympic and represented the State at junior level before taking up an offer to join English Premier League club West Ham United as an apprentice for the 1998/99 season. On returned to W.A. he trialled with Perth Glory and saw out the 1999 local season with Olympic. Over the past two Coyne has established himself as a key fixture of Perth's senior side.
Papalia is the only member of the three-man party who is yet to cement his place in Perth's starting eleven. But the young goalkeeper comes highly rated by the coaching staff at Perth. Just 18 months ago he was a member of the club's Under-18 squad - this season Papalia was first choice custodian for the reserves and enjoyed a lengthy spell in the first team when injury ruled out Robert Scarparolo. His talents saw him on the short-list for State Under-19 squad that went to France mid-year, while last month Papalia was a member of the State Schoolboys side that competed at the national championships in New South Wales.
ACADEMIES LEAGUE READY FOR SEASON KICK-OFF
The Junior Soccer Association of W.A. will be running its inaugural Academies League season this year. The competition has been formed as a result of the successful trial Academy season during the recent winter. The League will commence on the 21st October and run through to the 17th March with an eight week break over Christmas. It aims to provide players the opportunity to be identified by the junior body for selection in State and representative squads. The League caters for players aged between 11 and 15, providing a soccer competition of the highest calibre for those involved.
Academies confirmed to be taking part in the coming season include Sorrento, Kings, Forrestfield, Fremantle, Lynwood, Cockburn and Southern Districts. They cover the metropolitan area from as far north as Kingsley and reaching south to Rockingham. Currently these Academies are trialling for places in their teams, so if you believe you have the expertise to play at the elite level contact the JSA office on 9271 7677 for further details.
TRAGEDY STRIKES THE USA
On behalf of the staff of the Western Australian Soccer Website, our thoughts are with the people of the United States who have been killed, injured or who have lost family members as a result of the terrorist actions in New York and Washington today.
KILKELLY TRIALS AT SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY
One of the State's brightest young talents, teenage defender Shaun Kilkelly, is currently part way through a three month trial period with English First Division club Sheffield Wednesday. The former State Under-16 captain was on the bench for the club's Under-19 side on the weekend for the Owls 2-1 home win over Manchester City. Kilkelly spent a lengthy period in England last year on trial with several clubs before returning to Perth to see out the 2001 season with Inglewood United.
CACERAS JOINS BRENTFORD
Brentford have completed the signing of former Perth striker Adrian Caceras for a month from English Premier League side Southampton. Caceras joined the Saints last August and, while he has been a regular for the reserves side, the attacker is still waiting to make his debut for the first team. It is believed he has taken the opportunity to join Brentford in an effort to gain valuable experience at first team level.
The 19-year old has wasted no time in getting into the thick of things at his new club, named in the starting eleven for Saturday's 4-0 thrashing of Tramnere Rovers when he was replaced 12 minutes from full-time. The win shoots Brentford to the top of the English Second Division ladder, undefeated after five outings and on equal points with Colchester United and Huddersfield Town who have both played one game more.
KALOGERACOS LEAVES KINGZ
One-time Floreat Athena striker Vas Kalogeracos has parted company with Kingz FC after less than three months with the New Zealand-based club. A club media release said Kalogeracos had not been able to settle in the country, but Kingz football manager Mike Petersen hinted the former South Melbourne player had had discipline problems. "I've been told just to wait until Chris Turner (director) makes an announcement," said Petersen when asked about the departure. "What I will say is that anyone who wears the Kingz jumper has earned it. We're setting a pretty high standard to wearing the shirt morally." It is expected the former Australian junior international will return to Melbourne or Sydney and link up with another NSL club.
WOLVES MOVE IN ON INGLEWOOD YOUNGSTERS
National Soccer League club Wollongong Wolves have made a play for two of Western Australia's brightest young talent in Inglewood United's Oliver Taseski and Greg Sharland. The pair leave for the rural New South Wales city on Saturday to join the club for trials ahead of the NSL season which starts in little over a months time.
Taseski first came to prominence last season when he was understudy to Robert Zabica at the club, this year replacing the former Socceroo between the posts and an ever-present in Steve Parkinson's team. The goalkeeper was part of the West Australian Under-19 side that competed in June's Tournai De Croix in France where he took out the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award. Sharland was also part of that State squad and, at club level, quickly established himself as a regular fixture after being signed from ECU Joondalup last summer.
SWC PRESIDENT DISCUSSES THE SEASON THAT WAS
With the local season fast coming to a close, the folks from Radio Fremantle (107.9FM) took time on Saturday to catch up with Soccer West Coast president David Schrandt and discuss the year to date. And it hasn't always been a smooth ride for the local body, as Schrandt admitted. "It's been one that started with a lot of indecision and some problems early on. But I think we've weathered the storm and we'll finish up with a very positive season."
One of those hiccups was the scandal dealing with player registrations, an issue that has now been dealt with to the satisfaction of SWC. "A decision was made in January which was agreed to by all the clubs in reference to visa players and that was followed down the line. There were some discrepancies but it's a bit like if something's working you don't really need to fix it, if it's not working then you must fix it - we fixed it halfway through the year and I think that everybody now knows where we stand on this point."
Putting off-field matters aside, Schrandt said one indicator that it had been a successful season was an increase in crowd sizes. "The Night Series was up about 5% in revenue which means more people came," he said. "And all we need at the Grand Final of the top five next week is to get around 60 people and we've made budget, and we'll certainly get a lot more than 60 turn up. So in those terms I think people are coming to watch the games because we are starting to offer quality rather than quantity, people want to go and watch good football and I can tell you that I've seen some great matches this year."
As for his opinion on who the stand-out teams have been in 2001? "You can't go past the front-runners - Sorrento for their consistency throughout, Perth who I thought were the more exciting side, and Floreat have been a hard-working, solid team," Schrandt said before moving on to discuss Sorrento's disappointing finals appearances. "I thought they were a bit tired at the end. The two finals in which they got beaten Sorrento played okay in midfield but they certainly lacked firepower, and in our game if you don't score goals you're not going to win games. They just seemed to lose their goal scoring touch towards the end."
As well as acknowledging the achievements of the top three, Schrandt also praised the performances of Cockburn City and Fremantle City who both blooded a lot of youth players this season. "I think those guys did superbly down there," he said. "It's a pretty good breeding ground down that area, I mean just look at the Petkovic's and the sprinkling of players throughout the State League, you'll find that a good percentage of them were at one time Cockburn- or Fremantle-based. I take my hat off to them both, their policy at the moment with the infusion of youth is working wonders."
BORAL CUP FINAL
Perth and arch-rivals Floreat Athena met at Dorrien Gardens to decide the winner of this year's Boral Cup in front of the biggest crowd seen at a local game this year. Perth coach Graham Normanton was relieved when Michael Ivanovski, Jamie Coyne, Mark Pottier and David Onoforo all came through late fitness tests with flying colours. In the other camp, Athena were at full-strength with captain Jason Smith and midfielder Doug Ithier both recovered from injury. After some heavy rains earlier in the day, the sun was beaming down by the time the senior Cup Final kicked-off at 3.00pm.
With a strong breeze at their back, Perth seized the initiative early on and created the better chances. In the 9th minute Andreas Oliviera got on the end of an inch-perfect Robbie Gaspar cross but the young striker was unable to test goalkeeper Anthony Mori with his header. Not long after it was Coyne that sent the ball in Oliviera's direction, this time Mori was quickly off his line to intercept the high ball. But it wasn't until the 16th minute that Mori was truly tested, Coyne evading the challenges of three defenders as he cut inside the 18-yard box to smash his low shot on target, the Athena 'keeper diving full-length to deny Coyne.
The flow of action of was being dictated by Perth's central core of Gaspar, Pottier and Coyne. The trio sprayed the ball all over the park, each time finding a teammate and pulling Athena out of position with regularity. While, out wide, Tana and Todd Howarth continually posed a threat to the opposition defence. For their part, Athena were rarely in the action other than to their defensive unit of Troy Bernard, Adrian Sutton and Hugh Miller who were under all the pressure as their opponents came forward en masse. In midfield they were forced to do a lot of running just to stay in the game, while strikers Robyn Dyers and Ryan Newhill were simply nowhere in sight.
Pottier and Oliviera combined in the centre circle to sent Vince Tana away down the right after 23 minutes, but he finished the fine move blasting off-target. Two minutes later the Athena defence were slow to react to a dangerous Tana corner and Pottier's audacious bicycle kick whizzed narrowly wide of the up-right. The bombardment was ceaseless. A long ball thumped out of defence by Howarth saw Boni Botha speed away down the left flank but his searing low shot from 13-metres ended in the side netting. A quick exchange between Pottier and Tana put Oliviera through, he clipped it over the advancing 'keeper only to also find the netting.
Referee Angelo Nardi was quick to take players' names, handing out no less than five yellow cards in the opening 36 minutes. But Nardi's attempt to clamp down was very much an over-reaction, those booked in the first half were done so over minor incidents that really would have been better dealt with by a stern talking too. At the same time there were a couple of reckless challenges that were allowed to go unpunished, other than the awarding of a free-kick.
As the half-time whistle approached Perth stepped the pace. In the 40th minute Aaron Cole found Howarth on the left whose deep cross was brought under control by Oliviera whose shot was deflected for a corner. Tana knocked it back into the dangerzone and Sutton again came to Athena's rescue, clearing Pottier's header off the line. A few minutes later Coyne drilled a free-kick through the defensive wall, Mori parried his low shot and Sutton again prevented Pottier's reflex snap from crossing the line. Two minutes into stoppage time Tana found Oliviera with a quickly taken corner, he was unable to penetrate the crowd of players inside the area and the ball bobbled off legs to Cole who showed great composure to step past two defenders and ram it across the line. One-nil.
There was only one team in the game over the opening 45 minutes, and that pattern continued after the break as Perth continued where they left off. A dangerous Coyne cross from the left was intercepted by Sutton just as Oliviera was lining up to strike first-time from 12-metres. Eight minutes into the half Athena conceded a free-kick just outside the area when Stephen Willey was brought down in a quick counter-attacking move. Coyne confidently stepped-up to hammer it low through the wall and into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal with Mori rooted to his line.
While Perth pressed forward seemingly at will, mention must be made of their backline who efficiently kept Dyers and Newhill quiet all afternoon. Cole and Icanovski were 100% committed to their cause, while behind them captain Willey confidently mopped up anything that slipped through the cracks. Goalkeeper Robert Scarparolo was yet to make a save, in fact Athena didn't win their first corner until the 51st minute. Seven minutes later Doug Ithier bundled 'keeper and ball into the net and there were no complaints when Nardi disallowed the goal. Athena's task was made all the more difficult with the 63rd minute dismissal of midfielder Jamie D'Arcy, who collected his second yellow card in as many minutes.
Making the most of the player advantage and a two-goal lead, Perth went in search of a third. Gaspar found another hole in Athena's wall in the 65th minute but this time Mori was well positioned to save. Shortly after Tana centred to Oliviera and again the Athena custodian prevented the margin from being extended, scooping up the forwards low drive. Mori mis-punched a Tana corner straight to the feet of Cole whose first-time shot was blocked on the line, Pottier reacted quickest to loose ball but his close-range blast was deflected wide.
A flowing counter-attacking move in the 78th minute saw Oliviera release Coyne down the left, the midfielder looped it to the far post where Pottier volleyed wide. Botha very nearly made it three-nil two minutes later. From wide on the right, Coyne slid the ball across the area, Pottier threw the defence off the scent by dummying to shoot and Botha's explosive effort from 7-metres was amazingly kept out by Mori who produced a fantastic reflex save.
The fate of the Boral Cup was now all but assured, as Perth well knew when they began to ease off. It was at this stage that Athena mounted a very late play to get back in the game. In the 87th minute they tested Scarparolo for the first time, Socratous' superb drive from 16-metres forcing the 'keeper to dive full-length across the face of goal to tip it around the post. Two minutes later Jason Smith ran the ball into attack and slotted to Sutton who shot weakly from 15-metres. And with the last play of the game Ithier chipped it over the 'keeper but it also cleared the crossbar.
Perth deservedly won the trophy with what can only be described as a true team effort. Every player contributed to the outcome and at the end of 90 minutes it was a difficult task to single out individual performances. Ultimately though the victory was orchestrated in the middle where Gaspar, Pottier and man-of-the-match Coyne put on a near faultless display. The trio kept their opponents out of the game and sent the side into attack with a never-ending drive. Sutton was without a doubt Athena's best player with some crucial interceptions and 'saves', while Miller and Bernard worked diligently despite mounting odds.
Floreat Athena : Anthony Mori, Troy Bernard, Hugh Miller, Adrian Sutton, Peter Nikoloski
(Costa Socratous 53), Miguel Ortin (Andrew Afkos 67), Jamie D'Arcy, Jason Smith, Doug Ithier,
Robyn Dyers, Ryan Newhill (Manolas Arapis 82)
Perth : Robert Scarparolo, Stephen Wiley, Aaron Cole, Michael Icanovski, Todd Howarth, Vince Tana, Mark Pottier, Jamie Coyne, Robbie Gaspar, Andreas Oliviera, Boni Botha (David Onoforo 82)
Referee : Angelo Nardi
Cautions : Ithier (14), Smith (25), Dyers (27), Pottier (31), Ortin (36), Newhill (54), D'Arcy (62), Socratous (71), Coyne (86)
Dismissals : D'Arcy (63)
Attendance : 1,100 (approx.)
Earlier in the day, Perth took out the reserves Cup Final by defeating Fremantle City 3-0 courtesy of two goals from Albert Osei-Tutu and Rhys Graham netting their third goal. Four players dismissed in an action-packed packed second half, Dino Djulbic, Gianni Papalia and Graham dismissed for Perth while City's Anthony Pereira also received his marching orders. The Under-18's Final between the same two clubs was decided on penalties after they were deadlocked at 3-3 after regulation time. City's youngsters took home the trophy, winning the shoot-out 8-7.
BORAL CUP FINAL (IN BRIEF)
Perth have trounced local rivals Floreat Athena to take out this years Boral Cup Final. Aaron Cole gave the home side the lead seconds before the interval, and eight minutes into the second half man-of-the-match Jamie Coyne doubled the margin. Athena's chances vanished with the 63rd minute dismissal of Jamie D'Arcy for his second yellow card offence.
Boral Cup Final
Floreat Athena 0 vs Perth 2
FIRST DIVISION ROUND-UP (Armadale vs Canning City report provided by Michael Di Pietro)
Ashfield have broken away at the top of the First Division Major Play-off ladder after recording a resounding 3-0 victory over arch-rivals South West Phoenix. With several players unavailable, Phoenix fielded a much changed team and found themselves a goal down after just 3 minutes when some sloppy defending allowed Matt Pochroj to find the net after the ball was played in from the left. The home side were well in control of the game and doubled the margin in the 34th minute when goalkeeper Phil Jackson tucked away a penalty. Stephen Suttie had the visitors best chance of the half but his shot was well saved by the Ashfield custodian. Phoenix stepped up the pace after the break but were unable to find a way through an experienced Ashfield defence. Breaking on the counter-attack, Karl Atley killed off Phoenix' chances 4 minutes from full-time. The win sees Ashfield go four points clear at the top of the Major Play-off series table and in poll position to win promotion to the top flight with two games remaining.
The Stirling Lions are the only club that can catch Ashfield after the weekend's action, but they did themselves no favour by being held 1-1 away to Rockingham City. The Lions must win both their remaining games to maintain any hope of closing the four point gap which has opened up. Queens Park defeated Perth City 3-0 at home, while Leeming Strikers picked up three points as a result of the Dianella White Eagles' recent removal from the competition.
In the First Division Minor Play-off series, Armadale hosted Canning City with the intention of cementing second spot on the ladder. Warnings from coach Billy Russell rang loud and clear not to underestimate the visiting team as Armadale took tot he pitch. The Reds never looked in danger of losing this match, but on the other hand didn't force their ascendancy on the visitors. In the 21st minute a cross to the far post was knocked back into the goalmouth by Nick Twyman, with striker Jason Goodwin easily placing the ball in the back of the net. In the 29th minute midfielder James Braid was carried off on a stretcher with a presumed ankle injury, which meant Peter Lord moved into midfield and Billy Russell brought himself on in the sweeper's role. Lord put a through ball in the 32nd minute which Goodwin easily knocked past the on-coming 'keeper. The second half saw much of the same, no real pressure mounted by the Canning side who allowed the Reds to move the ball around comfortably. Goodwin reached his second hat-trick in as many weeks in the 58th minute, while Dennis Lee rounded out the score-line in the 65th minute with an easy tap-in from a swift cross by Goodwin.
A win on Saturday to Kingsway Olympic would have seen them secure the Minor Play-off title, but they'll now have to wait another week after being held 1-1 at home by Morley Windmills. Armadale stay second and Windmills third. Balcatta chalked up their first win of series when they knocked off fourth-placed Wanneroo City 2-1, and Bayswater proved too strong for Southside United 2-1.
BORAL CUP FINAL PREVIEW
The Boral Cup Final is being played out this Sunday between cross-town rivals Perth and Floreat Athena. The clubs have met five times this season with Athena holding the upper hand 3-2, although Perth have been the ones on top in the games that really matter, taking out April's Night Series Final and more recently triumphant in the Champion of Champions Qualifying Final just two weeks ago. That occasion saw a seven-goal thriller decided in golden-goal extra-time and it is expected that a similar game will be witnessed on Sunday.
Perth coach Graham Normanton has had a restless week with several first team players under injury clouds. Four of his squad have been unable to train this week, defender Michael Ivanovski (groin), influential midfielder Jamie Coyne (ankle) and attacker David Onoforo (groin) have been absent with injury while no-nonsense utility player Mark Pottier has been out with the flu. Athena on the other hand should be at full-strength with captain Jason Smith expected to overcome a calf injury by kick-off time. Their only other concern for John Hunter is midfield strongman Doug Ithier who has been hampered by an ankle problem in recent weeks, although he too is expected to be in the starting line-up after a solid work-out on the training track this week.
PERTH TIPPED FOR CUP GLORY
If the thoughts of those in the local football community are anything to gauge things by, Perth should be lifting the Boral Cup come 4.45pm on Sunday at Dorrien Gardens. This week we caught up with Sorrento captain Stuart Banks, Inglewood United midfielder Elton Holmes, Radio Fremantle commentator Dennis Gedling and brothers Michael and Johnny Mirco, who both spent the winter at Fremantle City, to get their thoughts how the Cup final will pan out.
Banks knows better than many what sort of form the teams are in at the moment, Sorrento having faced both Perth and Athena in the past fortnight. "I feel that Perth have hit their purple patch of the season at the right time and will be too good for Athena on the day. However, Athena are a very disciplined side and will not give Perth an inch," the midfielder said. "The game will be won in the middle where Athena will need to control Gaspar, Coyne and Oliviera when he drops off the defenders. Both teams have solid defences and their forward lines are both effective in their own way - Athena for their height and Perth for their speed and skill."
"It'll be 3-1 to Perth, they'll be too good on the day," predicted a bold Gedling. "Perth have got great depth and an impressive striking partnership, Oliviera and Botha really ran rings around their opponents in the latter part of this season. Others that will be crucial to their success include Willey and Howarth." But Gedling added that you really can not rule out Athena springing a surprise or two. "Athena are very good on the break and with Perth seemingly so attack-orientated this may have some bearing on the outcome. Newhill has been impressive this season and is their focal player, not only to score goals but also to set-up the likes of Dyers and Ithier. Goalkeeper Mori is another to watch, he's been a star between the sticks in the Top Five series and will have to be in top form to keep out Perth's attackers."
Holmes was also going for a Perth victory. "They will be a hard side to beat. In my opinion they've been the best side this year, they're a young team and the level of professionalism that they show really made a big difference this season," the attacker said. "Their front two have been brilliant, particularly Oliviera. As a team they knock the ball around really well and if Pottier gets going in the middle, along with Coyne and Gaspar, then Athena will be in big trouble. But, to give Athena their dues, they've over-powered a lot of sides this season. Ithier needs to be 100% fit for them to have any chance, and they'll also be relying on big games from Bernard, Miller and Sutton who are all capable of greatness on their day."
The Mirco brothers were the only ones to go against the majority, tipping Athena to take out Sunday's Cup Final. "Both teams deserve to be in the Final but Athena should have the edge being the in-form team at the moment. Expect a close game with Athena winning 1-0," said Johnny. Both agreed that Bernard, Miller and Newhill would play a big part in the outcome and should do enough to get Athena over the line. The biggest danger was posed by Perth's central players, particularly tough-tackling Pottier and young Giorgi who will be returning from a lengthy injury. "Whoever dominates the midfield will decide the game," said Michael. "Both sides play good defensively and up-front there isn't really that much between them."
GLORY CHAIRMAN REQUESTS SWIFT RESPONSE
Nick Tana, chairman of Perth Glory, has announced his intention to enter into negotiations to align the NSL club with an existing Soccer West Coast club as early as next week should news on his proposal to enter a team in the local competition not be favourable. In an open letter to the SWC clubs, Nick Tana has asked for a response by Monday to his club's bid to enter an Under-19 team in the local senior competition, and Under-17 and Under-15 teams in the Under-21 and Under-18 Leagues. The letter requests each club to signal whether it would accept the proposal via a returnable advice slip.
SWC president David Schrandt said the matter would be raised at a board meeting on 17th September. But that could be too late with Tana promising to move as Tuesday next week with at least two clubs understood to be interested in becoming aligned with the NSL side. The Glory chairman believes he had waited long enough for a decision from the local body, who were informed of his plan in late June, and he was not prepared to hold off beyond Monday.
Schrandt stressed the need to discuss Tana's proposition in depth before a decision is made. "It's imperative that all the board members are at these meetings but people who run their own businesses are not always available," Schrandt told Jonathan Cook of the "West Australian". "We are volunteers and we do this because we love the game. But it's too important to make a loose-cannon decision which may fire back at all of us down the track." The SWC representative added that they were powerless to prevent Glory aligning itself to an individual club. "If Tana decides to strategically align with one particular club, while that club is a member of SWC we have no opposition. The club would still have one vote in our organisation," he said.
It has been suggested that some clubs are already proposing to boycott games against the club with which Glory chooses to align. There have also been concerns raised that the NSL club will attract the State's best young players, thus draining the pool available to the local sides. To help balance the ledger, Tana has offered to give the local competition an unprecedented level of publicity, vowing to spend around $20,000 a year to advertise all SWC games during the regular season. As Glory still do not have a permanent home ground, their youth team would play all games on the road with the host club paid $1,000 to cover associated costs.
SPORT FROM THE PORT
Start your weekend off on the right foot by tuning into Radio Fremantle - 107.9FM - from 10.00am for another all-action Saturday Morning Soccer Program. This week Soccer West Coast president David Schrandt will be joining the regular cast of characters to discuss the 2001 State League season and preview of Sunday's Boral Cup Final. Next Saturday (15th September) they'll be looking at the Champion of Champions series Final between Floreat Athena and Perth when both coaches, John Hunter and Graham Normanton, will be interviewed.
BUSY TIMES IN GERALDTON
Joseph Italiano, the Junior Soccer Association's Regional Development Officer for the Geraldton area, has been keeping busy by travelling around the north of the state doing his bit to further the game. "I've been going around the mid-west region promoting soccer. I've been to areas like Three Springs, Carnamah, Coorow, Morawa, Northampton, Walkaway and Chapman Valley. I took some primary school students from Chapman Valley (right) for a two week soccer clinic where they played different types of games that involved soccer skills. At the end of the two week period the kids had a good idea of how the game of soccer is actually played, the skills involved and the rules. I've also been going to all the schools in the local Geraldton area, taking different age groups to do fun activities which suited their age level and which will develop their soccer skills."
There is plenty planned over coming months for the teams and players in the north of the state. "Country Week is all most here and Geraldton will be taking four teams down to Perth, includeing a women's team. The other three sides will be Under-12's, Under-14's and Under-16's which have all come from the local teams in the Geraldton area," said an excited Italiano. "A player from Perth Glory will be visiting Geraldton on November 23rd, I'm not too sure exactly which player that will be yet. He'll be going to schools around Geraldton and hopefully do a training session with the Under-21 development team. And the local season has come to a close with the knock-out Cup being the final junior and women's competition of the year. Saints came out on top in the women's, followed by La Fiamma, Chapman, Rovers and in fifth place Marconi. The juniors was won by La Fiamma Green, with Rovers in second, then came La Fiamma Red, Strathalbyn 1 and Strathalbyn 2."
GIRLS NATIONALS' SQUADS ANNOUNCED
The West Australian Under-14 and 17 Girls teams head east to New South Wales this weekend to take part in the nine-State 2001 Womens' Soccer Association National Junior and Youth Championships. The tournament's are scheduled to take place between 9th and 15th September in the northern town of Coffs Harbour at the Coffs Harbour International Sports Stadium.
Coached by Salv Todaro, the Under-17 squad is Ashley Bennett (Sorrento), Anna Sweetingham, Diane Murray, Tasha Vener, Erin Stinton (Murdoch), Catherine Gooding, Dom Dos Santos, Nathalie Ferraz (Lynwood), Lucy Millar, Jenna Natalotto, Emily Bettella (Noranda), Francezska Laurence (Joondalup), Lindsay Easton, Lydia Hirst, Kylie Woodfin and Stacey Woodfin (Queens Park). Lina Merlacco is the team manager.
The Under-14 squad is Julia McInerney (Noranda), Carys Hawkins (Sorrento), Janine Haxton (Forrestfield United), Amy Thorpe (Sutherland Park), Lorian Woolgar (Heathridge), Carmen Mutton, Linda Ostrick, Laura Turnbull (Inglewood United), Sarah Sibbald (Joondalup Jacks), Sarah Rose (Lynwood), Kirsty McCarthy (Kalamunda), Elizabeth Reppion, Helen Bremer (East Fremantle), Hannah Newton (Beckenham Angels), Brid Dawson (University of W.A.), Megan Jenyns (Queens Park Thunder). Leo Kearley is coach with Barbara Gibson manager.
HIGGINS SIGNS WITH BIRMINGHAM
John Higgins is the latest youngster from the ECU Joondalup camp to sign up with an overseas club, the teenager this week agreeing to a three-year deal with English First Division club Birmingham City. The talented left wingback was initially spotted by the academy staff from Southampton when they visited Perth in April, but the Saints turned down the opportunity to sign Higgins and Birmingham wasted no time in making their move to secure his services. The teenager joins fellow West Australians Stan Lazaridis and Clint Davies at the club.
LA FIAMMA HAVE BIG PLANS
There's been a lot happening at Geraldton-based La Fiamma Soccer Club who have several projects in the pipeline at the moment. First cab off the rank will be the club's very own junior academy. La Fiamma, who play in the WAASSA First Division, are looking to get things off the ground in the next few of weeks to enable them to field a side in the 15-17 age group of the Mid-West Soccer Association's summer league which starts in October.
La Fiamma are also looking to establish relationships with clubs in Perth with the view of playing several friendly games in the north of the state. In addition to this, the club is organising a weekend carnival to be staged in Geraldton which is open to clubs with similar academies in the Perth metropolitan area. For more information, interested parties are asked to email Jason via email@example.com or check out the La Fiamma website which can be found at http://www.modnet.com.au/~mglynn/
FREMANTLE PAIR ARE ONES TO WATCH
Gary Faria is probably the best known talent to emerge from Fremantle City in recent times, but over the past few years they club have produced a seemingly never-ending stream of young players. And 2001 has been no different with the emergence of teenager stars Cisco Jorquiera and Joe Liguan who both came to the port side under scholarship deals.
Jorquiera, who recently turned 16, has been a relevation. After some impressive performances in the pre-season Night Series, senior coach Stuart Kamasz monitored his progress in the juniors before giving the striker his Premier League debut as a 15-year old. By the end of the season Jorquiera was a regular feature in the City first team. "Cisco is just coming on in leaps and bounds," said Under-21's coach Joe Pereira this week. "He started early on with the Under-21's and he was really dynamite, then the last few games he played in the League. He's only a little fellow but he's got big heart and skill-wise he's just excellent - typical South American skills and he's brilliant to watch."
Starting out last season in City's Under-18 side, Liguan's potential was spotted early by Kamasz who included the attacking midfielder in the senior squad for the Champions of Champions series. But Liguan has had something of an interrupted 2001 campaign according to Pereira. "I think the way it's panned out for him hasn't helped," he told Radio Fremantle's Saturday Morning Soccer Show. "He's been playing in the Under-21's and the first team and getting half games here and there, that sort of thing." While he has been in and out of the first team with frequency this season, the teenager has shown enough to suggest he'll play a big part in the future success of his club.
EVANS CALLS IT A DAY
Floreat Athena's Dave Evans looks to have played his last game in the State League after succumbing to a hamstring injury which has plagued him for the past two years. The 37-year old signalled earlier in the year that this would be his final season at this level but was hoping to take part in Athena's charge towards the Boral Cup and Champion of Champions trophies. Unfortunately, the towering central defender was forced out of the club's play-off fixture with Sorrento on the weekend and things are not looking good according to coach John Hunter. "Dave's hamstring problem has reached the point of no return and he won't play again his season," he told Mel Moffat of the "West Australian" newspaper.
Evans has had a long and distinguished career both locally and abroad. Playing for Perth Italia, Evans was part of the squad which ran rampant during the 1989 and 1990 seasons, picking up two Night Series winners medals, a D'Orsogna Cup winners and runners-up medal and two Super League championship winners medals. It was during this period that he was called up to represent the State in their meetings with touring club sides Millwall and Moscow Torpedo, and the Singaporean national team.
With that under his belt, Evans decided a change of scenery was in order and he signed with Malaysia League side Sarawak where he became the longest serving foreigner in the competition. The tall defender helped the club to the F.A. Cup in 1992 and the Malaysian League title five years later when he played alongside fellow-West Australian Alistair Edwards. Evans returned to Perth last year, spending the winter with Fremantle City, playing a vital role in the club winning the Premier League championship and polling strongly to finish equal third place in the Siena Cafe/"Sunday Times" Player of the Year and level fifth in the McInerney Ford Gold Medal. But, hampered by injury, and with first team opportunities chances limited Evans joined Athena early this season where former Sarawak teammate Hunter was at the helm.
COYNE TRANSFER OFF?
Dundee defender Chris Coyne has been snubbed by English Third Division side Luton Town who have reportedly refused to meet his wage demands. "The deal is well out of proportion. They are looking for double bubble," said first team coach Joe Kinnear this week. "His agent would like him to have a bit more financial stability if he is to drop down the divisions but I have to stay within our wage structure. I have offered him a contract and he is away thinking about it."
Earlier reports indicated Coyne had been kept in the dark about his transfer, the young defender saying that he only heard about the news via his mum. "I am completely in the dark about this," Coyne told the umbro.com news site. "I've even had my mum on the phone from Australia wondering what's happening after she read about Luton agreeing a fee with Dundee on the internet - but I had to tell her I didn't know."
SORRENTO'S FUTURE WITH JUNIORS
Sorrento have their eyes fixed firmly on future of soccer in this state through their youth development program which is being spearheaded by first team midfielder Peter Butler. The club's youth program director is of the belief that Western Australia has an abundance of talent just waiting to be tapped. "The raw ingredients are here for football to be huge - the kids, the weather, the facilities," Butler said this week. "The kids, technically, are as good as in England but they fall by the wayside."
"But coaching at the moment is not of a good standard," the midfielder added. "This needs to be addressed quickly and radically to take the game forward. If you look at England, there they are reaping the benefits of years of development. I'm a big believer in coach education, we are running coaching sessions for our coaches in the club. This is a five-year program, it's not going to change things overnight, it's a long term solution."
Butler is hoping to use the experience and knowledge gained overseas to help develop the game locally. He enjoyed a 17-year career in the England where he played in every in every division, including a three-year spell with West Ham United, and earned himself an UEFA A-grade coaching license. "I have the experience, I am very fortunate, and I want to pass that on to the people out here," he said. "We have got a lot of experience here and it's up to us to use it."
ACADEMIES LEAGUE FORMAT MODIFIED FOR SUMMER
The Academies League, which was trialled last summer, will again be run over the local off-season under the guidance of the Junior Soccer Association of W.A. The competition will start in October and run until December before going into a six-week recess over the Christmas period. It will re-commence in February and run until March for Under-11 to Under-15 teams. "Last year, the league was played at start of the junior season, there were overlap problems and hopefully these are ironed out," said Perth Soccer Academy chairman Gary Marocchi this week. "It can start afresh and be very good for the kids. It is encouragement for the kids to better themselves, it's a chance for them to train and play with the best."
UNDER 18's ROUND-UP
Perth's Under-18 team went into Sunday's Champion of Champions Preliminary Final with ECU Joondalup as favourites having gone through the regular season by losing just one of eighteen games. But that loss was suffered in the final weekend of the home-and-away series to Joondalup who were without four regulars through illness or overseas trials for this clash. Perth got off on the right foot when, after 6 minutes, Alen Zilic gave them in the lead, only for the same player to turn villain 17 minutes later when he put the ball past his own 'keeper to level the scores. The 28th minute dismissal of Joondalup goalkeeper Paul Larkin for handball looked to have swung things back in Perth's favour going into the interval.
A speculative shot from out wide by Nick Paone sailed over replacement 'keeper Michael Lawson to restore Perth's lead in the 48th minute. But that would proved to be short-lived, striker Tom Jones pouncing on an error by Perth custodian Joseph Princi five minutes later to bring Joondalup back into the game. Not long after Peter Koidis' low shot flew past Lawson who was rescued by John Morton's clearance off the line. The deciding goal came ten minutes from full-time, Clive Fondike knocking home a loose ball in the goalmouth. The goal really knocked the stuffing out of Perth who desperately sought thier third of the afternoon, but it was Joondalup that came closest to scoring when Adam Gangemi fed it to Jones whose side-foot rocketed narrowly wide of the up-right. Joondalup now take on Fremantle City in the series Final on 17th September at Kiev Sports Ground.
CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS, WEEKEND THREE
A place in the Champion of Champions Final was the prize when Floreat Athena and Sorrento faced off at the Kiev Sports Ground in the Preliminary Final on Sunday. Clear pre-match favourites after twice defeating their northern rivals in the home-and-away season, Athena, wearing an unfamiliar yellow change strip, gambled by including captain Jason Smith in the starting eleven after only recently returning from injury. But coach John Hunter was taking no such risks with Doug Ithier and Andrew Afkos who were both included on the bench. In the Sorrento camp Steve Neville had personnel problems of his own, on-field leader Stuart Banks sidelined with a hamstring complaint and defender Richard Turnbull was out with a back injury.
The opening quarter of an hour saw both sides ease their way into this do-or-die fixture with the respective game plans pretty clear from early on. Athena opted to knock it long, virtually eliminating those players in the middle of the park as the ball was pumped deep from the back for strikers Robyn Dyers and Ryan Newhill to run on to. Their opponents choose to use the flanks where the pace and skill of Michael Garcia and Jared Love caused Athena's defence some early headaches. But generally there was little to get excited about with both back lines dominant as the two teams sounded eachother out.
Playing the more attractive football, Sorrento had the first couple of chances. A 13th minute Garcia corner saw big Danny Hill rise high and send the ball goal bound but Adrian Sutton desperately knocked it to safety a metre from the line. Two minutes later Garcia made a dashing run down the flank and cut inside the box, his powerful drive skidding the wrong side of the up-right. Athena were forced to wait until the 24th minute before their first shot on goal, Jason Smith's half-hearted effort from 25-metres deceived goalkeeper Neil Young but ended well wide of the post.
With genuine goalscoring opportunities few and far between, Newhill created a great goal out of nothing after 32 minutes to give Athena a surprise lead. Coming out of defence, Smith released it long through the middle to open up the Sorrento defence, Newhill did well to keep control while holding off an opponent as he went forward before flicking it over the head of Young. One-nil. Shortly after young midfielder Costa Socratous made a break from the centre circle but his hopeful shot from distance didn't troubled the Sorrento custodian.
Sorrento came to life in the closing stages of the half as Shaun Bowyer and Glenn Thomas got a grip on the midfield. Strong running by Garcia and Love injected some much needed urgency into the Seagulls game, but once the side got into their attacking third they found very few holes in a well-drilled defence. Troy Bernard was, as usual, at the heart of Athena's backline with the tall-timber of Hugh Miller and Adrian Sutton keeping Sorrento's attacking players quiet.
The second half saw Sorrento push Ryan Jeans into a wide role on the right with Love taking his place in attack alongside Ross Greer. The impact was immediate, Jeans having a much bigger impact on proceedings as Sorrento pushed forward with renewed vigour. Ten minutes after the interval a deep cross by Jeans was chested down by Garcia but rather than have a go himself he squared the ball to Greer who mis-fired. Getting the ball into their attacking area with frequency, Sorrento stifled themselves all too frequently by being second to the ball, giving the opposition time to clear any danger.
Still playing the long ball game, many of Athena's chances were snuffed out by Young who was quick to race off his line and beat the likes of Dyers and Newhill to the ball. Perhaps in response to this, Newhill dropped back into an slightly deeper position, and in the 64th minute he launched a scorching 25-metre rocket which was too hot for Young to hold, the ball slipping through the 'keeper's hands and clipping the wrong side of the crossbar.
Two minutes later, and at the opposite end, a goal mouth scramble saw Greer's shot on the turn blocked before Kevin Murphy's close-range effort was knocked out for a corner. Garcia floated it into the dangerzone and Greer flicked it past Anthony Mori only to see Sutton head it to safety on the line. With just over 20 minutes remaining, Sorrento went forward in waves to have their opponents under some intense, red-hot pressure at the back. But, as was the case late in the first half, Athena's defence met the challenge head on and limited the number of shots which came in. On the only occasion that the back line was breeched Mori came to his side's rescue, punching a superb Peter Butler cross clear of Greer.
After a lengthy period on the back foot, Athena delivered the knock-out blow after 72 minutes. Breaking quickly on the counter-attack, Newhill ran the ball deep down the right flank before pulling it back into the area where Sorrento were caught ball-watching as Dyers nodded it back across the face of goal and inside the far up-right to rapturous applause from the assembly of Athena supporters. Eight minutes later Peter Nikoloski opened up a path to goal but his shot from 20-metres never looked like causing the Sorrento 'keeper any trouble. And Young spectacularly denied Dyers in the 81st minute after his defence gifted the lethal striker a free shot from close-range.
Two goals down, stunned and with time running out, Sorrento refused to consider that their season was quickly coming to a close. Greer headed a David Colegate cross into the path Thomas, his explosive drive taking a deflection off the boot and grazing the wrong side of the bar. Garcia pumped the resulting corner into the 6-yard box, Murphy rose high in front of the Athena 'keeper but his thumping header went inches too high. The remaining minutes saw play bottled up in Sorrento's attacking half but no matter how hard they tried this game was not going to produce a goal for them.
Sorrento deserved at least a consolation goal against Athena this afternoon. They dominated play after the turnaround when midfielders Bowyer and Thomas strove hard to inspire the team to greatness, but there was that something special missing once Sorrento got into attack. While they may not have played the most attractive of games, Athena carved out the desired result through gritty determination. Smith and Socratous were vital cogs in the middle of the park, Newhill was always a danger in attack, while at the back Athena's defence stood firm no matter how many times Sorrento came at them. While Sorrento's shirts now go into storage, Athena will play-off with Perth in the series final at the Kiev Sports Ground on 17th September.
Floreat Athena : Anthony Mori, Troy Bernard, Hugh Miller, Adrian Sutton, Peter Nikolski, Miguel
Ortin (Andrew Afkos 87), Jamie D'Arcy (Manolis Arapis 87), Jason Smith, Costa Socratous (Doug Ithier 73),
Ryan Newhill, Robyn Dyers
Sorrento : Neil Young, Danny Hill, Scott McLeod, Kevin Murphy, Jared Love, Michael Garcia, Peter Butler (David Colegate 76), Shaun Bowyer, Glenn Thomas, Ryan Jeans (Jake Harman 83), Ross Greer
Referee : Eddie Lennie
Cautions : Dyers (15), Hill (36), Young (68)
Dismissals : None
Attendance : 450 (approx.)
Hamersley Rovers have opened up a five point gap at the top of the WAASSA Premier League after defeating Murdoch University 2-0 away from home on Sunday. A 3-1 win by Spearwood Dalmatinac over Perth Azzurri sees them leapfrog Murdoch and move into second place with three games remaining.
Forrestfield United were made to work hard to overcome Shamrock Rovers 4-3, while Balga swept aside ECU Joondalup 3-1. Bottom side Morley Windmills won for just the second time this season when they shocked Kwinana United. The meeting between Fremantle United and Mandurah City was abandoned.
Hamersley's Flavio L'Abbate leads the way in terms of goals scored in the Premier League with 18, three ahead of Balga's William Lyall. On 14 goals is Christian Paschkewitz (Murdoch) who is followed closely by James Boag (Joondalup) on 12. Jason Dixon of Murdoch tops the Fairest and Best tally with three rounds remaining on 20 votes, four ahead of Wayne Brooks (Forrestfield). Close behind is Ronald Marcus (Windmills) with 15, and Mark Kelly (Shamrock) and Christopher Atkins (Kwinana) are level on 14 votes.
Subiaco kept their dream of the First Division championship on course with a commanding 4-1 win over North Perth United. Three points behind Subiaco are La Fiamma who defeated Maccabi 1-0 on the road over the weekend. Third placed Canning/Langford lost ground on the leaders when they were thumped 1-5 by Colo Colo, the win lifting that club off the bottom of the ladder. Carlisle went down 0-5 to the side from University of W.A, and Belmont Villa proved too strong for Cockburn City 3-1. The result of the South Perth United-Cloverdale Chindits clash is unknown.
Subiaco forward Alastair Page, 26 goals, has lead the First Division scoring charts since early in the season but Patrick O'Boyle of La Fiamma is closing in, now just one goal behind Page. A distant third is Tino Bruzzese (Maccabi) on 13, while John Alavakis (Subiaco), Luke Mybury (Canning/Langford) and Christopher Stevenson (Cockburn) in joint fourth place with 12 goals each. Maxwell Wright (Subiaco) leads the way in the Fairest and Best poll with 17 votes, three more than Patrick O'Boyle. North Perth's Jeffery Drury is on 13 and Scott Chambers (Belmont) is fourth with 12.
SWAN NO MATCH FOR GLORY
Former Perth player Nick Mrdja was the star of the show at the Swan Italian Club today when he helped NSL club Perth Glory to victory over Swan I.C. in a friendly. Played out in front of a crowd numbering in the vacinity of 1,600, the N.S.L. side took the lead after just 7 minutes when Damian Mori converted from the penalty spot. Shortly after big striker Mrdja doubled the margin, but Swan pulled a goal back seven minutes from half time after a lapse in the Glory defence via Brian Robertson. Five minutes after the interval Mrdja bagged his second of the day, combining with Bobby Despotovski with go past the defence before knocking it past goalkeeper Corey Hugo. A last minute striker by Despotovski rounded the final margin out to 4-1.
FIRST DIVISION ROUND-UP (Armadale vs Balcatta report provided by Michael Di Pietro)
South West Phoenix failed to say good-bye to coach Joe Kelly with a win, losing 6-4 to the Leeming Strikers on Saturday. However, the Phoenix boys displayed the fighting qualities that Kelly demands of them, never giving up until the end. The Strikers side were vastly more experienced, with man-of-the-match Peter Murphy displaying his play-making skills and scoring three of his sides six goals. The sides were even after 30 minutes until Leeming went ahead after 30 minutes with a well taken goal by Plumber. Five minutes later it was all square after great work up the right wing ended up with David Suttie sending over a great cross which was duly converted by Steve Rogers. A minute later Murphy broke free of his marker to put a first time shot onto the bottom corner. Half-time 2-1. Stephen Suttie had the Phoenix supporters on their feet just after half time when he beat three defenders and put his shot past the goalkeeper only to see his shot just slip past the post. >From the kickout Leeming scored with a virtual carbon copy of their second goal when Murphy repeated the medicine. At 3-1 down, it looked all over but from the kick-off Phoenix went through without Leeming touching the ball with Greg Hayes sticking one in to again close the gap to 3-2 at the 60 minute mark. On the 66 minute mark Leeming went further ahead when striker Herbert made it 4-2, then amazingly within a minute David Suttie repeated his earlier service to Steve Rogers who again bulleted a header to make it 4-3. On the 72minute mark a lapse in concentration by the Phoenix keeper ended up with a bad turnover and the score was 5-3 and all uphill for Phoenix. Darren Yates of Leeming made it 6-3 and in a rousing finish Steve Rogers dispatched another header to end the game at 6-4.
Ashfield were out of action on the weekend but opened up a two point gap at the top of the First Division major Play-offs courtesy of a 3-0 'victory' over the Dianella White Eagles who have been removed from the competition. The Stirling Lions moved into third after accounting for Perth City 2-1, while Rockingham City's 1-0 triumph over Queens Park lifts them into fourth place.
Armadale is well placed to finish in the top two of the First Division Minor Play-offs and retain their place in the competition for season 2002. This week coach Billy Russell had a headache most coaches don't mind having, with an abundance of players to pick from returning into the squad after injury and suspension. Newcomers to the squad, Michael O'Neill and Under-18 player Daryl Perrella were retained for their contributions last week. From the start of their clash with Balcatta, it was obvious Armadale were going to win. Peter Lord had a new role as sweeper, showing good organization and communication at the back, being well supported by Nick Twyman. The Reds found the opening goal came when a through ball for Jason Goodwin was well finished by the striker in the 26th minute. In the 38th minute the Balcatta 'keeper was sent off for handling the ball outside the penalty area, the resulting free-kick superbly struck by Goodwin to double the Reds lead. Goodwin wrapped up his hat-trick after 50 minutes and Dennis Lee made it 4-0 three minutes later. The goal feast continued with Emlyn Whetnall drilling home a shot from 35-metres after 57 minutes. Armadale's high work rate continued and in the 65th minute Goodwin had his fourth of the afternoon. In the 70th minute Perrella was fouled inside the penalty area, the youngster picking himself up to convert from the spot. Lee got his second two minutes later, and defender Stave Cann concluded the festivities when he ventured forward and found the back of the net in the 79th minute to make the final scoreline an amazing 9-0! Now the reds have their destiny in their own hands, they have built up a good goal difference, all they need to do now is win the remaining three games.
Kingsway Olympic retained top spot, and extended their unbeaten run to four games, with a 3-1 triumph over Bayswater City at Frank Drago Reserve. Armadale are joint-second with Morley Windmills who thumped Southside United 4-0, Steve Keady bagging a double. Wanneroo City's second win - 4-0 over Canning City - in as many weeks lifts them into the top half of the table.
MIXED RESPONSE TO GLORY PROPOSAL
After meeting with the clubs of Soccer West Coast on Friday morning, David Schrandt, president of the local body, believes decision will be forthcoming within the next fortnight on Perth Glory's proposal to enter a youth team in the W.A. Premier League. The plan was met with mixed response according to Schrandt, adding that the local clubs could not be rushed into making a decision on such an important issue.
"I thought the meeting was positive and some of the clubs had very good points," Schrandt told "West Australian" journalist Jonathan Cook. "It was a very good discussion. If we are going to accept a Perth Glory club in the competition then the clubs have to vote for it."
One of the concerns raised was that Glory could use their inclusion in the local competition to lure the pick of the State's best young players to the NSL club. The local First Division sides will be given the opportunity to express their views on the matter at a meeting expected to be held this week. There have been suggestions that should Glory's bid be rejected, it may consider taking over an existing SWC club.
CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS WEEKEND THREE (IN BRIEF)
Floreat Athena brought to a crashing halt the season of Premier League champions Sorrento by knocking them out of the Champion of Champions series in the Preliminary Final on Sunday. Athena went into the break ahead courtesy of Ryan Newhill's 32nd minute strike in an otherwise uninspiring first half. The northern suburbs side dominated after the interval but it wasn't to be their day when Robyn Dyers made it 2-0 mid-way through the half to sent Athena into the decider where they'll meet Perth.
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This page was last updated on the 31st October, 2001