FUNDRAISER FOR PERTH CITY PLAYERS
First Division club Perth City are holding a fund-raising night to aid Aaron Cowdrey and David Fyfe who were both badly injured in the recent Bali bomb blasts. The charity auction will take place on Monday 25th November at the Old Bailey Tavern in Joondalup with the $35.00 entry fee including a roast dinner, beer, wine and soft drinks. Tables of eight are available by phoning Stuart Currie on 041 894 2443. "Both lads are doing much better and are both able to talk now," Currie said this week. "They have both been moved from intensive care to the burns unit which is a good sign that they are beginning their recovery. We'd like to thank Perth Glory and everybody who so kindly donated money on Sunday at the Glory match, we collected $9840.50 which is a a credit to the people of Perth."
FUTURE TRIALS COMMENCE THIS WEEKEND
Trials for the Future Glory Under-16, Under-17 and Under-19 programs are being held over the next few weeks at the Vasto Club in Balcatta. For players born in November 1986 and before, trials will be held on Saturdays 2nd, 9th and 16th November. For players born in and prior to November 1985, trials will be held on Sundays 10th and 17th November. Registration for all sessions is at 4.00pm.
ATHENA CLEAN SWEEP WOMEN'S COMPETITIONS
The local women's season has officially come to a close with Floreat Athena emerging as the dominant side by claiming all three major competitions. With the pre-season Night Series trophy already in their possession, Athena added to their list of honours by ending the Premier League season four points clear of runners-up Stirling Reds. And, earlier this month, Athena completed the treble by defeating the Reds 2-0 in the Final of the Anna Senjuschenko Memorial Shield. After a scoreless first half, State Under-17 captain Ashley Kane broke the deadlock after 60 minutes and Swedish import Sandra Falk out the icing on the cake fifteen minutes from full-time.
Athena (51 points) finished the 21 round home-and-away season with 96 goals to their credit while conceding just 14. The Reds (47) came in second having kept pace with the champions for much of the season and were themselves hotly pursued by Queens Park Thunder (46). The luckless Murdoch Lightning stumped up the Premier League having taken just two points from their home-and-away schedule. Thunder attacker Nadia Poulsen, who has played at Schoolgirls level for Australian, took out the top flight's Golden Boot award ahead of Lisa Devanna (Reds), Mia Walker (Athena) and Kylie Woodhouse (Murdoch Warriors).
University of Western Australia (46) ran away with the First Division trophy, ending seven points clear of Ballajura (39) and Noranda (37). R.Davey scored 42 of University's 106 goals over the regular season to take out the competitions leading scorer award. Sorrento Joeys won the Second Division championship on goal difference after finishing level on 44 points with Subiaco United, Beckenham Angels (40) coming in third place for whom L.Tomnay bagged 27 goals to take out the leading scorer award. Belmont Villa (48) took out top honours in the Third Division with K.Krepold scoring 45 or their 135 goals to claim the trophy as the division's leading scorer. Lynwood B (40) and Bassendean (35) claimed the minor placings.
COYNE CLOSES IN ON FULL-TIME GLORY DEAL
The career of Perth S.C. midfielder Jamie Coyne could be about to take a turn for the better following his debut appearance in the National Soccer League on the weekend for Perth Glory. After a sensational season in the middle of the park for Perth, the 21-year old took up a two-month loan deal with Glory six weeks ago. But that looks set to become a permanent arrangement with Glory offering to buy Coyne outright from the local Premier League champions. Perth would initially receive $5,000 for the State representative, and a further $2,500 should he played 10 matches, and again if he reached 20 games, for Glory. There would also be a clause to ensure Perth got a cut of any sell-on fee.
Not that such matters concern the gritty midfielder who has learnt adjusted his game to play in the heart of the defence as well as his natural position. After his surprise inclusion on the bench, Coyne saw out the closing stages of Glory's 2-0 home win over Sydney United against whom he played on the right side of midfield. "Since I went down there my aim has just been to get in the squad," Coyne told Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian" this week. "I found out I was in just before the game and I was pretty pleased." With Jamie Harnwell looking likely to miss Friday's clash with Northern Spirit through injury, Coyne is in contention for his first outing in Glory's starting eleven.
PETTERSON TO STAY A SEAGULL
Brighton and Hove Albion manager Steve Coppell is set to extend the contract of Fremantle-born Andy Petterson. The shot-stopper joined the Seagulls on a short-term deal from West Bromwich Albion over the summer and has turned out on eight occasions for the club so far this season. Coppell is poised to re-sign the 33-year old on a month-long contract this week as cover for first choice custodian Michel Kuipers.
TANA REMAINS OPTIMISTIC
Perth Glory chairman Nick Tana believes that despite the factions within the new Soccer Australia board, the elected representatives will endeavour to do what is best for the game. Speaking on S.B.S. TV over the weekend, Tana insisted that the game in this country can move forward if the board of the ruling body got its act together and began to make a difference. "I think they will (make a difference) on the basis that I believe that the stakeholders at the meeting voted, overwhelmingly, for that particular board, so I believe that it will make a difference," he said.
Although S.A.chairman Ian Knop is hanging on to his job by a thread, Tana feels confident that the good of the game is everyone's main objective. "Let me put it this way - there is no question that different people got up in respect of different stake holders and I am not saying for one minute that (when) they go into that room, the first meeting they have, that they are going to be united. But I believe that if they go in there on the premise that they are put in there and that is that they genuinely believe in the benefit of the game, it's time people started to look forward rather than looking behind all the time - and that's where this game has been. And I'm confident that Ian is capable of doing that with his present board."
Perth Glory, and Tana in particular, has been pressing hard for the reform of the National Soccer League. "Reform has always been at the forefront of everything we have done over here in Perth and we stand by the fact that the National League, the premier national league, has to be an autonomous league here in Australia," Tana said. "Until that objective is achieved I am stuck in a time warp and I have to get out of it on the basis that I will force reform and autonomy as much as I can for as long as I can," he added.
BIG THINGS TIPPED FOR JOONDALUP TEENAGER (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
E.C.U. Joondalup youth team coach John Brown is tipping big things for one of the players in his Under-18 team. Brown, who played with Hearts in Scotland, reckons that 14-year old Rostyn Griffiths has the talent to go all the way and make the big step into British football. "Rostyn is a huge talent - I consider him to be the best central midfielder coming through the ranks in Perth," said Brown. Griffiths has already had trials with English sides Southampton and Ipswich Town. It is believed that Ipswich want to have another look at the youngster over the Christmas period.
CALL FOR RETURN OF VISA PLAYERS (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
One of Western Australia's greatest goalscorers, Peter Murphy, would like to see the return to the visa player system that was so successful for soccer in this state during the 1980's. Murphy arrived from Scotland in 1984 and then had a stint in the National Soccer League before returning to Perth. "There were a lot of quality players who came out at that time and really lifted the standard of the league and brought a lot of excitement to the competition," said Murphy, 41, who is now player-coach with First Division side Canning City. Among the players who called W.A. home during that golden spell were the likes of Gerry Christie, Norrie Sutton, Ronnie Campbell, Jeff Curran, John Hunter, Frank Cole, Willie Herd, Paul Donnelly, Kenny Lowe, Kevan Elliott, Ross McGinn, Ricky Davis, David Walker and Jim Davis. "There's a lot of quality in that bunch - and it would be important that visa players of the future be of a certain standard. If that can be achieved I would certainly welcome the return of the visa player," said Murphy.
NIELSEN ADDED TO STATE SQUAD (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
State coach Gary Marocchi has added Western Knights versatile performer Claus Nielsen to the squad for the glamour challenge game against Perth Glory at Perth Oval on Sunday, 10th November (4.00pm kick-off). Nielsen has been drafted in to cover the loss of Floreat Athena defender Adrian Sutton who is currently on holiday on New Zealand and won't be back in time for the clash. Marocchi may also have to call up other players with the possibility that Jamie Coyne and Shaun Kilkelly may be withdrawn from the squad and, instead, be part of the Glory squad.
Coyne joined the Glory on loan from Perth S.C. a few weeks ago and is now poised to sign permanently for the National Soccer League club. He made his debut when coming on as a late sub in last Sunday's 2-0 win over Sydney United. Perth and the Glory are in negotiations. "We believe Jamie is an N.S.L. player and think he's worth a decent N.S.L. fee," said Perth coach Graham Normanton. Meanwhile, Marocchi is likely to add two more players to the State squad after this Sunday's Champion of Champions series Final between Perth and Athena. The State side will train on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week at Dorrien Gardens.
BRAZIL TO COACH QUEENS PARK (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
Mike Brazil, who took over the reigns at First Division Queens Park midway through the season, has been re-appointed coach for next season. Queens Park finished third on the ladder and Brazil has high hopes of giving promotion a real shake next campaign. "There is a lot of exciting young talent at the club and we are looking at adding some experience to the squad next season," said Brazil. Brazil's brother, former Scotland international Alan Brazil, is due in Australia in the next few weeks and he hopes to spend a few days in Perth - possibly catching up with Perth Glory coach Mich d'Avray, who was a team-mate of Brazil's at Ipswich Town. Alan Brazil now hosts his own sports radio show in the Yorkshire region and is coming to Australia to report on England's cricket Ashes series with Australia.
SUTTON MISSES PLAY-OFF DECIDER
State representative Adrian Sutton was not sure how to feel after Floreat Athena's 1-0 defeat of Western Knights on Saturday which set-up a Champion of Champions Final showdown with neighbours Perth S.C. The big defender was the guiding force at the back for Athena and had good reason to be delighted with the part he played, but Sutton will miss the season decider on Sunday as he'll be holidaying in New Zealand. Having booked his trip well in advance, Sutton had expected the season - which has stretched eight months since the Night Series in February - to have finished before his flight to New Zealand on the weekend. "I'm a bit gutted at the moment," said Sutton, who will also miss the Gold Medal night and his club's end of season function. But he said Troy Bernard would be a solid replacement in the heart of Athena's defence when they aim to avenge last season's cup final loss to Perth. "Troy will do a job for us. Perth have been our nemesis and we owe them one," Sutton added.
FUTURE GLORY TESTING UNDER WAY (reproduced with permission from the Perth Glory matchday programme)
Testing is under way for the 160 players aged mostly between 11 and 14 years of age involved in the Future Glory Development Program. The program, which is in its second year of operation, is managed by Perth Glory youth development manager Frank Arok. There are ten groups involved in the program that covers the central, east, west and north metropolitan regions of Perth. Three of the groups have already been tested while the final group will be put through their paces this weekend.
Young hopefuls - some as young as eight years of age - are put through a series of eleven tests including height, flexibility, kicking with preferred and non-preferred feet, upper body strength, vertical leaps, sprints, shuttle runs and runs through shalom gates with and without a soccer ball. Arok said height was becoming increasingly more important in soccer, while the tests are a tell-tale sign of someone's power, strength, agility and fitness.
Training once a week for 46 weeks of the year, it is a thorough program that Arok hopes will one day be introduced into country regions of the state. "I wanted a long program so our players could concentrate on soccer for the whole year and not turn their attention to other sports," he said. The program continues to expand with 200 players expected to take part next year.
But for now Arok and his team have the task of assessing the quality and potential of the players in their current program. Players will be assessed for re-selection into next year's program and others for their potential in progression through to the Under-16, Under-17 and Under-19 Future Glory teams. "We take the data from these comprehensive tests and feed them into a computer," Arok said. "From there the computer can compare things such as skills and flexibility for an 11-year old to an 18-year old. It allows us to forecast whether or not a player has what it takes to proceed to the next level."
The end of a long season culminates in a Future Glory Carnival on Saturday 7th December at Perth Oval. At the Carnival each of the 10 teams will play in a round-robin series. There will be plenty of other competitions on the day including sprinting and dribbling. Arok said the event is a fun way to end the season. The players have a six-week rest period before many of them come back for more specialised tuition next season.
AFKOS VOTED ON SOCCER AUSTRALIA BOARD
Former Perth Glory deputy chairman Paul Afkos was appointed to the board of Soccer Australia at the governing body's annual general meeting on Saturday. Also voted onto the board of the national body were I.E.C. managing director Dominic Galati and Sydney United vice-president Robert Sestan who join incumbent directors Ian Knop, Les Avory, Graeme Bowker and Bill Walker. In a public display of unity the board said it would work with Knop in the interests of the game. It was previously feared that the new directors would call for Knop to be removed from the board.
GLORY RETURN TO WINNING WAYS
Perth Glory recorded a deserved 2-0 win over Sydney United this afternoon in front of the second smallest home crowd in the clubs history. Nick Mrdja (right) found the side netting after 7 minutes, but three minutes later Damian Mori had better luck when he converted a Brad Hassell corner. The Puma's best first-half chance came the way of Brendan Santalab who, after 16 minutes, brought the best out of goalkeeper Jason Petkovic. Four minutes later Glory had the ball in the net again but Gary Faria's looping header was ruled out for off-side. With Glory dominating proceedings, it wasn't until the 75th minute that they sealed victory when Edgar was brought down inside the box and Mori made no mistake from the penalty spot. While it was a convincing display by Glory, concerns were raised over the size of the crowd which numbered just 7,595, well short of last seasons' average of just under 13,000 per game.
CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS, WEEKEND THREE (by Christian Galapolous)
Floreat Athena have advanced to their second consecutive Champion Of Champions Grand Final after achieving a hard-fought victory over the Western Knights in front of a vocal crowd at National Stadium. The match got off to a busy start with the two teams eager to get an early break. Both sides' key players showed their class in the early proceedings, for Athena James Afkos was a constant menace for the opposing defense while Stuart Montgomery twice had shots that narrowly missed their mark. With one team's season only 45-minutes from ending, it was no surprise that there was a tight start to the second half. As the period wore on Athena gained the upper hand through the agency of Afkos and striker Robyn Dyers. In the 68th minute some brilliant work by Afkos left Kosta Kalavrouziotis with only Knights goalkeeper Tom Tomich to beat but the young wingback hit his shot wide from close range. Soon after a pinpoint Dyers cross found Costas Socratous unmarked in the box but the alert Tomich was quick of his line to make a match saving stop. Athena's constant pressure was rewarded in 81st minute when Ryan Newhill broke the deadlock, the big striker lashed home the loose ball to send the traveling support into raptures. Athena's depth came to the fore minutes later when State representative Afkos was replaced by another in Troy Bernard. The match reached a controversial climax when, deep into injury time, referee Patrick McCaffery awarded the Knights a soft free-kick at the edge of the penalty area. But just moments after Eugene Singeorzan's shot cannoned off the defensive wall, the final whistle signaled Athena's safe passage into the play-off decider next Sunday against Premier League champions Perth S.C. There were outstanding displays for Athena by Adrian Sutton and the very much in-form attacking combination of James Afkos, Robin Dyers and goal hero Ryan Newhill.
In the Under-18's, three late goals from E.C.U. Joondalup has given them a spot in the courtesy of an astonishing 3-1 victory over the highly-fancied Perth S.C. The Blues led from the 13th minute when Oriano La Palombara found the net and looked set to advance to the final until Joondalup made a late charge. Two goals from Daniel De Fazio and an own goal in the closing ten minutes clinched victory for Joondalup, a result which even coach John Brown admitted was somewhat fortunate. "Luck was on our side, for Perth missed a lot of chances early on," said Brown. But he was delighted with the efforts of a Joondlaup team that contains two players who are only 14 and six that are a year older.
YOUR PLAYER OF THE SEASON IS ...
Perth S.C. midfielder Jamie Coyne has taken out the second annual W.A. Soccer Website Player of the Year poll by a landslide margin. Coyne ended the voting period, in which our readers were asked to nominate their top three performers from the 2002 season, with close to double the number of votes received by his nearest rival. Having developed his game as a junior with Kingsway Olympic, Coyne spent 14 months on the books of English club West Ham United as an apprentice before returning down under. He joined Perth for the 2000 season and, under coach Graham Normanton, has gone from strength-to-strength to recently earnt himself a short-term contract with National Soccer League club Perth Glory.
In a year that also saw him gain State representative honours, Coyne accumulated 60 votes to finish well clear of runner-up Carl Medica (Western Knights) on 36. Competition for the minor placings was tight with the top flight's leading goalscorer Branimir Mikulic (Cockburn City) coming third on 31 hotly pursued by Floreat Athena ever-present Adrian Sutton (30), who was last weekend named the Siena Cafe/"Sunday Times" Player of the Year. A further vote off the pace was highly-rated teenager Shaun Kilkelly (29) of Future Glory. Sixth spot was taken out by Perth midfielder Robbie Gaspar (16) who finished two votes ahead of Bassendean Caledonian goalkeeper Alan Dunlop (14). Perth's Andreas Oliveira (13) and Athena midfielder Jamie Trandos (12) rounded out the leaderboard. The W.A. Soccer Website recieved an unprecedented response from players, coaches and supporters of the local game who submitted votes over the past four weeks.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
This Saturday is the Preliminary Final of the Champion of Champions series between Western Knights and Floreat Athena at the National Stadium (kick-off 3.00pm). The sides have met already on three occasions this season in which the Knights have twice recorded victory with the remaining clash ending in a draw. A fortnight ago the Knights defeated Athena 2-0 but with a place in the Final against Perth S.C on offer you can be assured this will be a no-holds barred clash between two of the local games heavyweights. In the Under-18's fixture, which kicks-off at 1.00pm, E.C.U. Joondalup come up against a Perth S.C. side on the rebound after last weeks 5-0 mauling at the hands of Fremantle City.
Sydney United visit Perth Oval on Sunday when they take on Perth Glory from 4.00pm in Round Six of the National Soccer League season. The two clubs have previously met at the venue on six occasions with Glory claiming victory five times to the Puma's one. Third-placed Glory will be out to erase the memory of last week's 0-2 loss at South Melbourne while United, currently seventh on the standings, are looking to get over be held 1-1 at home by Northern Spirit.
POLITICKING HEATS UP FOR S.A. BOARD POSITIONS
Embattled Socer Australia chairman Ian Knop is likely to survive tomorrow's annual general meeting meeting but it's not looking good for Knop whose opponents now appear to have the numbers to win elections for four positions on the S.A. board. Knop has alienated the games' stakeholders by instigating a Federal Government inquiry into the sport, and by negotiating a new television rights deal has has come under heavy criticism from the players' union, the National Soccer League clubs and the State federations.
There are a total of 61 votes to be cast by the State federations, the N.S.L. clubs and the referees. The strongest anti-Knop sentiment has come from Victoria (7 votes), New South Wales (7) and Northern New South Wales (5) who have formed an alliance with Western Australia (5) by putting up Soccer Association of Western Australia director Paul Afkos to oppose Knop for one of the board spots. Knop has support from Tasmania (5), the Australian Capiotal Territory (3) and Queensland (5). It is expected that the swinging voters - South Australia (5), the Northern Territory (2), the Referees Association (1) and about seven of the N.S.L. clubs - will decide the issue.
THUMBS UP FOR NEW YOUTH LEAGUE
The board of Soccer West Coast last week gave the go-ahead for the commencement of the Junior Champions League, which will be a joint initiative with the Junior Soccer Association of W.A., for 2003. The move marks a new era in relations between the two local organisations who have put past differences behind them and are now working towards the common goal of assisting the development of young players and providing them with a career path within the local game.
The new youth competition will see all Premier League clubs field teams in five age groups - Under-11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 - every Sunday in fixtures which mirror those of the senior sides. The First Division clubs will compete in a separate youth league next season with their participation in the Junior Champions League coming on-stream for the 2004 season. All games will be played in accordance with the rules and by-laws of the J.S.A. who will look after the administration of the competition.
All S.W.C. clubs will be required to participate in the Junior Champions League and have been encouraged to form alliances with their local J.S.A. clubs. To provide the highest possible quality of coaching, clubs have been asked to implement their youth development policy that is to be headed by fully accredited coaches and development officers who will oversee all aspects of youth development. It is expected that senior players from each Premier League club will undertake major roles in their club's youth program.
SAVE OUR SOCCER SAYS LAZARIDIS (by Frank Praverman)
Stan Lazaridis is one man who would like to see the state of the game turned on its head. After witnessing Australian soccer fluff its lines at key moments, the Birmingham City star and long-time Socceroo has a few notions of his own on how to clean up the mess. Frank Praverman, London correspondent for new soccer magazine "Golden Goal", recently got in touch to hear Lazaridis sound off on a few topics close to his heart.
Lazaridis started by calling for a moneyman to save the Australian game. The Birmingham City ace fears that failure to qualify for last summer' World Cup will have a devastating effect on the international side. And unless someone stumps up the cash soon, the Socceroos could be in the doldrums for years to come. "There's no money in the Australian Soccer Federation, in fact they are about $1 million in debt," 30-year old Lazaridis said. "The situation is desperate. What we need is a Rupert Murdoch-type character to raise the profile and pay the wages which would attract top players to come to the National League. Kerry Packer tried it with rugby union and, although it didn't work, it was the right idea. We need to get somewhere like America are now so that big names will come out to play in the Australia National League and get people interested."
"We don't want it to become a retirement home, but if there was cash injection then some players might feel they could go over to Australia for the final couple of years in their career, enjoy a beautiful lifestyle and earn enough to support their family. That would hopefully have a snowball effect and encourage younger stars to give it a go. The country has so much money owing to various players that nothing is available to fly anyone over for the important games."
This problem stopped Australia fielding their strongest side for the Oceania Football Confederation Nations Cup, which they embarrassingly lost 1-0 to New Zealand. That defeat cost Australia a place in next year' Confederations Cup - and the windfall that goes with it. Lazaridis added, "We lost in the Oceania Cup which in turn meant we could not qualify for the Confederations Cup. That could have been worth up to $1 million to us but we are forced to pick the young, inexperienced players because Soccer Australia cannot afford to fly over their big stars. It's a catch-22 and there's no other solution than someone making an investment and stumping up the cash."
If the Aussies had made it to Japan and Korea for last summer's World Cup then it would have been a completely different story. The money from qualification plus the worldwide exposure would have comfortably set up Soccer Australia to payoff its shortfall. But the loss to Uruguay in the play-offs was a bitter pill to swallow. Not only missing out on the World Cup, but the ground that could have been made on the other competing codes. "The timing of the last World Cup was perfect for Australia and we have to feel that this was a chance missed," added the former West Ham United star. "There was a lot of interest back home because of the times of the kick-off. Normally, the games are in the middle of the night but because of the time difference in Korea and Japan people were able to get home from work, crack open a beer and watch the footie."
"There will be a number of changes made to the Australian set-up for the next World Cup. The players have already been told we'll have to play for nothing even if we are successful, and that is hard to take. We don't play for the money but we want some reward for playing continually over twelve months of the year. If we know that there's no point in us playing then we would rather have a few weeks' break after the long, hard domestic season. Some of the senior players discussed paying their own way to get out to the New Zealand game but you have to ask when do we get a break? I've played continuously for twelve years - when can I rest?"
"Everyone acknowledges that we don't play for our country for the money. In fact, we sacrifice money by leaving our clubs to go," Lazaridis said. "Sometimes we are away for up to a month and that means we lose all sorts of bonuses. Then we have to consider that if the person who replaced us does well while we're away, we might lose our place for good. It seems all professionals are up for having a break during the season which would help the international sides enormously, but where would they put it?"
"When playing for Australia while based in Europe, another big factor is the length of the flights and the recovery time. It's not like we need a day off and then we're fine - sometimes it can take five days to re-acclimatise and get over the jet lag. There have been a lot of times when Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell have had to fly to the other side of the world and their clubs have hit the roof. Don't get me wrong, I'm desperate to see Australia play in the World Cup, but there's a lot of changes needed. The immediate future of the A.S.F. looks bleak and it will not get much better over the next year. But the new team are looking at the options and I'm sure they will get it sorted out in the end."
"During the World Cup, viewing figures were higher for the football than the Test cricket," said Lazaridis, who hopes that bubble won't burst. "There has been a massive upsurge of interest in Australia since Terry Venables took charge of the national team. Loads of top players are in the Premiership, La Liga and Serie A which are prestigious leagues and once Venables gave up coaching Australia he brought over a few more Aussies to England. People started to wake up and take notice of players like Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell and we stunned a lot of top sides in friendlies like Brazil, France ... and Scotland! Under Venables we didn't lose a game so to not qualify for the World Cup in 1998 was unbelievable."
"Everything looked good for us in the run-up to this year's tournament with the way we were playing, but then the qualification process worked against us. It was awfully harsh on us to win our division of the qualifiers and then be put up against a South American team which has already won the World Cup. Perhaps we should have been put into the Asian league after winning ours, that might have been fairer."
"In the play-off against Uruguay the viewers saw what we were up against. It was very volatile out there and nothing went our way. On the day there were no excuses - Uruguay were better than us. But we flew in, had no warm-up games and just went out and played after a very long flight. As soon as we landed things seemed to conspire against us. We got held up in customs for hours for no particular reason. They made us empty out all our bags for a thorough search and even made us shake our boots in front of them to make sure we hadn't hidden anything in there."
"Then there was the injury situation. I've heard onlookers say that the boss, Frank Farina, got the tactics wrong but in reality he had no choice. We had a number of key injuries and Viduka was one of them but we had to go with who was available. The tactics were picked for us, the manager had no versatility in the squad. Once the game kicked off it always looked like it would be one of those matches. We hoped for an early goal but were unable to get it and we just weren't good enough on the day. I still believe that had we played under different circumstances we might have done it. In a group situation with home-and-away games we would have felt it was fairer. Now the opportunity for us to make the World Cup seems to have gone."
Away from the international scene, Lazaridis has a huge year ahead of him. Birmingham are back in the top flight for the first time in eighteen years. They finished fifth last season, fighting out the final promotion spot with sixth-placed Norwich. And Perth-born Lazaridis is desperate to keep the Blues in the Premier League. "We've got a big season at Birmingham. My first priority is to make the team and then to help us do well in the league. I realise I wasn't a full-time regular last season but I still played 37 games. Towards the end of the year I didn't play as much as I would have liked but we made it into the Premiership so I can't complain too much."
Regardless, Lazaridis is keen to cement a permanent spot in Birmingham's starting eleven and believes he isn't that far off from achieving this goal. "I feel that when I played I did well, so now it's up to me to force myself back into the side on a regular basis. It's frustrating but I know I've got to deliver the goods when I play. It's all about taking the opportunity when you get it. No players are guaranteed a place, not even the new arrivals. But I've played four years in the Premiership and I'm looking forward to it again."
Lazaridis knows raw talent isn't always enough to get you through at the top level. "At this level it's all about who has the temperament and can handle the nerves. I was playing Grimsby Town in front of 3,000 people last year whereas I've also faced Manchester United in front of 60,000 with another 60-million watching on television around the world." The difference, in terms of tensions, between the two scenarios cannot be overestated. "It's a completely different story. At Old Trafford you are aware that the world's eyes are on you and it's how you deal with that pressure."
Because the position of winger is such a specialised role, Lazaridis' place in the first team is sometimes threatened by factors that are completely beyond his control. "I know that my selection can also depend upon who we are playing. As a winger it's difficult because sometimes the manager picks the team according to the opposition. For example, against Manchester United he may opt to field a more defensive line-up with five strung across the midfield to protect the defence. If that's the case he may want to dispense with an attacking winger."
This has happened on more than one occasion during Lazaridis' time in both the Premiersip and Nationwide League and many West Ham fans feel he should have been utilised more often during his time at Upton Park. A hit with the supporters who imaginatively nicknamed him 'Skippy', Lazaridis' crossing, free-kicks and willingness to run at defenders made him a coveted player. Yet he has often been left in the wilderness for 'tactical' reasons. "That can be hard to take if you know you have done nothing wrong and played very well in the previous match. This is a squad game though, and the manager must do what he believes is right for the team." Here's hoping that involves a lot more time on the pitch for a player who thrives on every second out there.
ERGIC STARS FOR BASEL
West Australian junior representative Ivan Ergic has played the starring in F.C. Basel's last-gasp draw with Valencia in Europe's Champions League. The young midfielder opened the scoring for Basel by firing home from the edge of the area after 33 minutes to snare the 2,500th scored in the competitions' history. The lead last just three minutes before Ruben Baraja equalised, and a 72nd minute strike by Curro Torres put the Spaniards in front. But a minute from full-time Ergic scored his second of the night via a free-kick to earn the Swiss side a vital point and keep alive their hopes of making the next phase of the competition. Plagued in recent times by a persistent groin injury, the 21-year old said he may be absent from this weekend's domestic clash with Servette. "It's not a bad injury but I must have it looked at. Maybe I'll have to have it operated on in the winter."
CALL TO AID INJURED PERTH CITY PAIR (reproduced with premission from the West Coast Bugle)
Perth City players will go on a fund-raising mission at Perth Oval on Sunday during Perth Glory's National Soccer League fixture against Sydney United. The players will don club colours in a bid to raise funds to assist teammates Aaron Cowdrey and David Fyfe who were badly injured in the Bali bomb blasts last week. Cowdrey received burns to 60 per cent of his body and has shrapnel injuries, and Fyfe received burns, shrapnel injuries and perforated eardrums. Both are still seriously ill in Royal Perth hospital.
Twelve players from the First Division club went to Bali to celebrate the end of the 2002 season. Ten of them had left the Sari Club to change money when the bombs went off. Cowdrey and Fyfe were in the nightclub at the time of the explosion. Due to the terrible injuries inflicted on the two players and the extent of ongoing surgery, physio and rehabilitation that will be necessary, Perth City are appealing to club members, local businesses and soccer supporters in general to support the two lads and their families through financially difficult and emotional times.
MAROCCHI ADDS TO STATE SQUAD (reproduced with premission from the West Coast Bugle)
State team coach Gary Marocchi will rely heavily on the squad that held Perth Glory to a 1-1 draw in the Charity Shield in September for the up-coming glamour challenge on 10th November (kick-off 4.00pm). However, Marocchi has had to add two new players to his squad in Western Knights tall defender Dean Johnson and Sorrento full-back Stuart Banks following the withdrawal of Ivan Zuvela, Aaron Cole and Adrian Sutton to injury. Marocchi iskeen to add two more players to his squad following this weekend's round of the top five play-off series.
Former Perth Glory captain Gareth Naven has been appointed assistant State team coach to Marocchi. Naven was released by Glory at the end of last season and played a number of games locally for Perth S.C. in the Premier League before injury cut short his season. "Gareth has tremendous experience and determination and is an example of the type of player all the State team members should aspire to be," said Marocchi.
The West Australian squad to face Glory is Branimir Mikulic (Cockburn City), James Afkos, Troy Bernard (Floreat Athena), Shaun Kilkelly, Miki Vujacic (Future Glory), Scott Campbell, Oliver Taseski (Inglewood United), Jamie Coyne, Andres Oliveira, Todd Howarth (Perth S.C.), Stuart Banks (Sorrento), Corey Hugo (Swan I.C.), Carl Medica, Stuart Montgomery and Dean Johnson (Western Knights). The State squad will train every Wednesday night at Dorrien Gardens, starting at 6.30pm.
Soccer West Coast will make a generous contribution to the Perth City fund-raising activities by donating $2.00 from every entry fee for the State team's clash with Glory. Tickets cost $8.00 for adults and $5.00 concession with children under the age of twelve free. As part of what promises to be a glamour occasion, a Perth City select will take on the West Australian amateur State team in a curtain raiser at 1.45 (30 minutes each way). This will be followed by what should be another crowd-pleaser when a Media XI tackles a Celebrity All-Stars side from 2.45pm.
SUTTON TAKES OUT SIENA CAFE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Floreat Athena defender Adrian Sutton has taken out the coveted Siena's Cafe-"Sunday Times" Player of the Year award courtesy of a strong finish to the home-and-away season. The former New Zealand international surged home in the final two rounds to clinch the trophy by a single vote from early pace-setter Jamie Coyne (Perth S.C.) who missed the closing stages of the local season having signed for Perth Glory. "Winning the award is a fantastic honour and combined with selection for the State team it has been a great year personally. But I would throw it all away to win the league title with my teammates," the 29-year old said this week. After playing in New Zealand with Manawatu, Nelson and Mirimar, Sutton arrived in Perth mid-1998 and immediately joined Athena who were then under former All Whites boss John Adshead. The following year Sutton became established as a first team regular and has won Athena's Fairest and Best award for the past two years.
Sutton ended the season with 22 votes, one more than runner-up Coyne and three ahead of Western Knights captain Carl Medica. State striker Andres Oliveira (Perth) came in fourth spot with 16 votes with teammate Robbie Gaspar, Athena's Jamie Trandos and the Knights Evan Wallace a further vote behind. On 14 votes were talented youngster Aaron Cole (Perth), Richard Watson (E.C.U. Joondalup), Damien Scali (Swan I.C.) and the Premier League's leading goalscorer Branimir Mikulic (Cockburn City). Robin Dyers, Ryan Newhill (both Athena), Claus Nielsen (Knights), Mark Pottier (Perth), Dale McCulloch, Garin Colins (both Joondalup) and Craig Surtees (Fremantle City) finished with 12 votes each. They were followed by Elton Holmes (Inglewood United) and Andy Mason (Joondalup) on 11, and Ivan Zuvela (Knights) and Lee Burns (Sorrento) with 10 votes
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Perth S.C. secured their place in the 2002 Champion of Champions Final with a convincing 2-1 victory over the Western Knights in sunny conditions at the National Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Mark Pottier got the blues off to a perfect start by finding the net after 5 minutes, and three minutes into the second half Adam Bunce put the result beyond doubt in an at-times spiteful clash. The Knights pulled a goal back late in the game via captain Carl Medica who converted from the penalty spot. On Saturday, Floreat Athena ended Inglewood United's season with James Afkos scoring after 27 minutes and an own goal sealing the win fifteen minutes from full-time. Athena will meet the Knights next Saturday for the right to play Perth for the top five series title.
SOUTH CLAIM POINTS OVER GLORY
South Melbourne prevented Perth Glory from going top of the National Soccer League table by taking maximum from today's Round Five clash at Bob Jane Stadium. With star striker Damian Mori ansent through injury, Glory looked out of sorts and failed to make the most of some shakey defending by the home side. While South dominated the opening half, Glory's were the first to find the back of the net via Matt Horsley whose effort shortly before the interval was ruled out for an off-the-ball foul. Former Glory player Peter Buljan opened the scoring after 61 minutes by converting a Vince Lia cross from the right and, five minutes later, Jason Petkovic saved a penalty from Buljan only for Michael Baird to pounce on the rebound and increase South's lead. Michael Garcia came closest to pulling a goal back for Glory, heading wide just moments after coming off the bench and, later in the period, a fine shot by the midfielder was tipped around the up-right by goalkeeper Dean Anastasiadis.
CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS, WEEKEND TWO (Floreat Athena vs Inglewood United by Christian Galapolous)
The National Stadium was the venue for Sunday's Second Semi-Final Champion of Champions clash between Premier League champions Perth S.C. and the Western Knights. The weekend off afforded Perth's Aaron Cole (knee), Andreas Oliveria (ankle), Rhys Graham (heel) and Dino Djulbic (back) the opportunity to get over their niggling injuries. But their opponents were not quite so lucky and had to go without defender Evan Wallace (ankle), Leon Russell is still getting over the effects of a broken ankle suffered mid-season, while sweeper Ivan Zuvela has recently undergone surgery on a serious knee injury.
Perth got proceedings underway and in no uncertain terms made their intentions clear. Oliveira played the ball across the top of the 6-yard box after 2 minutes to Adam Bunce whose shot was superbly saved by Knights custodian Tommi Tomich. A minute later Michael Icanovski sent a long clearance to the opposite end of the park where David Onoforo out-paced the defence only to be nudged in the back as he was about to shoot by Dean Johnson who should consider himself fortunate not to have conceded a penalty. Perth's persistence was rewarded in the 5th minute as Todd Howarth swung a free-kick dangerously to the far post and Mark Pottier reacted smartly to knock the ball into the back of the net against a flat-footed Knights defence.
After taking the lead, Perth eased off the pace and set about establishing control of the game with some slick movement of the ball. While their opponents were stunned at going down a goal so early, the Knights responded with a series of sweeping moves that took them well into their attacking half only to find few holes in the rock-solid defensive combination of Stephen Willey, Perry Ielati and Cole. In fact it wasn't until the 21st minute that the Knights managed to conjure up something for their fans to get excited about. A darting run by Ray Marinovic down the left saw him send the ball high into the area, but Cole headed it to safety as Stuart Montgomery lined up the target. And two minutes later Eugene Singeorzan produced their first real shot on goal but his effort whizzed inches over the crossbar.
While Perth's forwards also met strong resistance from a well-organised defence, it was the Blues that created the better of scoring opportunities as half-time approached courtesy of the hard work of flank players Howarth and Bunce. Mid-way through the half Bunce created space for himself to cross from the right in the direction of Oliveira who had the ball taken off his lead by an alert Tomich. Ten minutes from the break a defence-splitting pass from Oliveira sent Pottier through on goal but the attacker was stopped dead in his tracks by a desperate Claus Nielsen. The final chance of the opening half resulted from a Marinovic corner as Johnson's downward header was scrambled wide despite the best efforts of Montgomery to get a decisive touch.
The new half was just three minutes old when Perth extended their lead. Breaking on the counter-attack, David Onoforo slipped the ball inside the area to Bunce who held off challenges from three opponents before slamming it into the roof of Tomich's net from 7-metres. The goal rocked the Knights camp, and it could have been much worse had the referee taken action against Alex Christie whose late tackle brought down Cole after he skipped clear of the last defender wide on the left flank. It was very nearly three-nil after 61 minutes when Howarth played a low free-kick to the near post and Onoforo steered the ball just the wrong side of the up-right.
Sensing a change was needed if his side were to stand any chance of reeling in the two-goal deficit, Knights coach Ronnie Campbell introduced John Nicolaou and Luka Jukic after 67 minutes. Seven minutes later Campebll's side won a penalty after Michael Icanovski was judged to have brought down Carl Medica, referee Steve Muldoon pointing immediately to the spot. After dusting himself off Medica confidently stroked the ball into the back of the net, sending goalkeeper Robert Scarparolo the wrong way, and reduce the margin. The goal breathed new life in the Knights as they sought to level the game. With his side mounting wave after wave of attack, Jukic caught Scarparolo flat-footed in the 79th minute but crashed his shot from 16-metres into the side netting. With the Knights situation becoming increasingly desperate, Johnson tried his luck from the top of the 18-yard box with a fierce drive that Scarparolo dived full-stretch to tip around the post.
After a frantic six minutes of stoppage the final whistle signaled Perth's safe passage in the top five series Final - much to the relief of their coach. "That was a really tough match," said Normanton after the game. "It wasn't pretty or a classic and they are tough to beat." Howarth was the star performer for Perth with his tight ball control and clever footwork causing plenty of problems for the opposing defence. In what was a true team performance, Willey did a sterling job at the heart of the Blues backline and Bunce impressed on the right flank. Disappointed with his sides performance, Knights coach Campbell said he would be looking for a more committed effort next weekend against Floreat Athena. "We didn't seem to have the desire against Perth, who were the better team," he said. "We now have to regroup and have the right attitude next week." For the Knights, Marinovic proved to be a constant menace wide on the right while Nielsen and Montgomery worked tirelessly for the duration.
Perth S.C. : Robert Scarparolo, Stephen Willey, Aaron Cole, Perry Ielati,
Todd Howarth, Adam Bunce (Jason Colli 90), Michael Icanovski, Rob Giorgi
(Dino Djulbic 86), Mark Pottier, David Onoforo (Rhys Graham 72), Andreas
Western Knights : Tommi Tomich, Alex Christie, Dean Johnson, David Annall, Dean Nicolaou (Luka Jukic 67), Ray Marinovic, Claus Nielsen, Paul McVittie, Stuart Montgomery, Carl Medica, Eugene Singeorzan (John Nicolaou 67) Referee : Steve Muldoon
Cautions : Montgomery (14), Oliveira (32), Nielsen (35), Willey (73)
Dismissals : None
Attendance : 600 (approx.)
Floreat Athena have advanced to their second consecutive Champion of Champions Preliminary Final after defeating a gallant Inglewood United 2-0 at National Stadium on Saturday. Inglewood were behind the eight-ball from the start, commencing the match without last weeks hero's Andy Cormwell and Ryan Fredericks who were absent through injury. Once the match settled down it was Athena that gained the advantage with State defender Adrian Sutton forcing a fine save from in-form goalkeeper Oliver Taseski after 21 minutes. Six minutes later Athena took the lead when clever midfielder James Afkos waltzed through a stagnant Inglewood defence before shooting the ball past a diving Taseski. Just before half-time veteran striker Paul Lincoln squandered a golden opportunity to level the scores as fellow attacker Elton Holmes sent a dangerous ball across face of goal but the outstretched Lincoln failed to make contact with the goal at his mercy. A resurgent Inglewood came out from the interval but unfortunately for the home side the linesman's offside flag thwarted their well-worked play. Athena, sensing a win was on the cards, regained their composure and began to threaten their opponents goal but couldn't find a way past the outstanding Taseski. In the 62nd minute the Inglewood custodian saved at the feet of Ryan Newhill, then ten minutes later made another breathtaking save from Robin Dyers who was set-up by Afkos. Athena finally doubled their lead fifteen minutes from full-time courtesy of an unlucky own goal from Inglewood defender Scott Mison. Two goals down, Inglewood went on the attack as they searched for a way back into this game with Alan McKenzie replacing a tiring Lincoln, but even the veteran playmaker couldn't conjure up the goal the home side were so desperately after. Despite finishing their season with a loss, the young Inglewood have a lot to look forward to next season.
Fremantle City's youth side booked their place in the Under-18s play-off final with a convincing 5-0 thrashing of Perth S.C. in Sunday afternoon' Second semi-Final. In a match that was a true testament to youth development in Western Australia, the two teams slugged out a tight opening half full of passion, desire and commitment. The deadlock was broken after 20 minutes when exquisite movement of the ball down the left flank ended with John Migas' left-foot drive hitting the target to give Fremantle the lead. The port side continued to attack and were prevented from extending their lead before the break by a fine display from Perth custodian Ivan Rudinoski. The start of the second half produced some great end-to-end action with a blistering drive from Perth forward Cosi Cavalaro kissing the wrong side of the crossbar moments before Paul Oliver's free-kick was tipped wide by a full stretch Rudinoski down the opposite end. Fremantle doubled their lead in the 67th minute when Dean Apelgren found 15-year old Mo Atak who made no mistake from close-range. With referee Steve Frogbrooke working overtime to keep tempers from reaching boiling point, the port side upped the pace and were rewarded with another three goals in quick succession. In the 70th minute Oliver swung another superbly struck free-kick into the area where Atak headed it into the net. Two minutes later Migas bagged his second of the game by poking the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble. And Marc Sim completed the 5-0 scoreline close to full-time. Fremantle captain Oliver and midfielder partner Apelgren were inspirational in leading their side to victory, while 14-year old defender Chris Smith chimed in with a classy performance after coming off the bench at half-time. "I was really pleased the way my team stayed focused for the full 80 minutes," said a pleased Fremantle coach Mike Tetlow after the game.
Perth will meet E.C.U. Joondalup in next weekend's Under-18 Preliminary Final after they knocked out northern suburbs rivals Sorrento 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out. Farrell Hedges and Bryan Hedges were on target for Sorrento, although Farrell didn't get a chance to have an input in the shoot-out after being sent off in the 86th minute. Scott Blackmore gave Joondalup the lead after 27 minutes with hot-shot left back John Higgins scoring a controversial late equaliser from a free-kick four minutes from full-time.
LOUIS PROSPERO, LOOKING FORWARD
Currently running a place on the board of Soccer Australia, former National Soccer League referee Louis Prospero believes he can offer the game in Australia a way forward. The Soccer Association of Western Australia chairman has built his election campaign on promising to put what is good for the game ahead of any personal or political issues in offering a strong voice for the State federations. He also offers to work towards a consultative and effective process to change the way soccer is run in Australia, and to establish a national competition that gives - rather than takes - from the millions of Australians who play, watch or just love the world game.
"The N.S.L. is the key to increasing interest in soccer in Australia and a fully independent competition, run on a proper business footing with specific marketing and business plans is the way forward," said Prospero recently. "An independent and properly run N.S.L. should be a financial contributor to all levels of the game, not a drain on the resources of those who play the game for fun. In addition, all national teams are a promotional vehicle for the game, and we should be employing the nations finest players in a manner that makes them accessible as role models and an inspiration to players at all levels, especially young players."
"I promise to at all times put the good of the game ahead of personal or political argument or gain. I also promise to, at all times, be an independent voice for the federations and for all stakeholders in the game be they supporters, players, administrators or officials. As chairman of S.A.W.A. I have played a key role in bringing the State Government and the various soccer bodies in Perth together in a consultative process of identifying opportunities to improve the administration of the game in this state. This process has shown what a committed and united approach can achieve. The time for positive change on a national level is now, and this must be achieved in a consultative and representative way."
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The National Stadium is the venue on Saturday afternoon for the First Semi-Final of the 2002 Champion of Champions series. Proceedings get underway at 1.00pm with the Under-18 meeting between northern suburbs rivals E.C.U. Joondalup and Sorrento in what is expected to be a tight match. From 3.00pm Inglewood United are expected to find the going tough against a full-strength Floreat Athena side who are keen to make amends for last week's lose to the Western Knights. The following afternoon in the Under-18's Second Semi-Final, champions Fremantle City are up against the only team to have defeated them in the regular season in Perth S.C. In first team action, a place in the top five series final is up for grabs when Perth S.C. make their return after a weeks break against an in-form Western Knights team.
DI PIETRO RETURNS WITH GOLD MEDAL
Armadale's Michael Di Pietro has returned from the World Masters Games in Melbourne with a unique souvenir - a gold medal hanging proudly around his neck! Playing for the Tassie Wizards in the A grade 30-35 age group, Di Pietro's side started their campaign last Monday with two games against Victoria opponents which ended in 4-0 and 8-0 victories respectively over the Knights and Heaven's Eleven. The following day saw the Wizards defeat highly-rated Uruguayan side Deportivo Vieja Era 1-0 courtesy of a 34th minute goal from Di Pietro. On Wednesday the Wizards had little troubled in thrashing Ota United 10-0 before completing the preliminary rounds by accounting for Melbourne Bayside Hammerheads 2-1.
The Wizards meet the undefeated Victorian Police side in the Final of their category and, despite dominating proceedings, trailed 1-0 at half-time due to a dubious penalty decision. But seven minutes after the re-start the Wizards were put back on level terms by John Compagne before Andy Fraser put them in front in the 67th minute to seal victory. "When the whistle went, none of us could believe that we had just won a gold medal," said a still elated Di Pietro this week. With celebrations continuing well into the night at the teams unofficial watering hole, The Duke of Wellington, Di Pietro said the Wizards had plans to defend their crown. "The whole team is very keen to defend the title in Edmonton, Canada, in 2005. Obviously the main problem is going to be funding, so if there is any perspective sponsor out there who would like to help the team go for gold again I'd he happy to discuss any favourable options any sponsor would like to put forward." Di Pietro can be contact on 9399 3139.
FUTURE LOOKING SAFE
It's looking more and more likely that Perth Glory's youth development team - Future Glory - will be involved in the local game next season following a meeting late last week of representatives from Soccer West Coast clubs. Having been initially granted permission to join the local professional ranks for just a single year, S.W.C. and Glory recently struck a deal that will allow Future to compete in the ranks of S.W.C. for the 2003 season. It is expected that Future's entry into next season will be confirmed shortly by the board of S.W.C.
DIFFICULT ON GLORY FRINGE
At the conclusion of the opening month of the 2002/03 National Soccer League season, Perth Glory sit in second place having fielded an unchanged starting line-up in their four games to date. While that's good news for the club and it's fans, things aren't quite so rosy for those players that are yet to feature in the first eleven. "It's not an easy situation because we have eleven players starting every week and thirteen who aren't," said assistant coach Alan Vest this week. "Those who aren't playing have just got to keep a positive attitude and be ready when they get the chance."
Part of Vests' brief with Glory is to make sure the fringe players remain sharp and hungry enough to make an impression when their chance arrives. But, other than maintaining intensity at training, there is little the coaching staff can do. "There's no substitute for playing. You can train until the cows come home but it gets difficult from a motivational point of view when you're not playing," Vest commented. "The reaction from the players so far has been all right but it's obviously going to get more difficult as the season goes on and they haven't had a crack," the assistant coach added.
Local product Gary Faria is one player that has experienced first-hand the frustrations of sitting on the sidelines - despite rarely putting a foot wrong in his two seasons with the club. Last season, Faria was considered important backup in the centre of the park but had few opportunities to break into the starting line-up. "You lose a bit of fitness but when your chance comes you've got to be switched on," Faria said. Glory is planning to provide it's fringe players with some much needed match practice with regular games against it's development team Future Glory. In addition, Glory will take on the State team on 10th November at Perth Oval.
TWO NOMINATED FOR SOCCER AUSTRALIA BOARD
Former Perth Glory co-owner Paul Afkos and current Soccer Administration of W.A. president Louis Prospero have both been nominated for the four spots up for grabs on Soccer Australia's board of commissioners which is being voted upon at next Saturday's Annual General Meeting. It is understood that others in the running for the positions are the International Entertainment Corporation's Dominic Galati, Brisbane Strikers chairman Ross Melville, Soccer Canberra president Steve Doszpot, National Soccer League Commission chairman Remo Nogarotto, Sydney United vice-president Robert Sestin, and Northern New South Wales president and current Soccer Australia board member Bill Walker.
Speaking with Ray Gatt of "the Australian" newspaper, Afkos confirmed he had accepted a nomination to stand for the board, though he was reluctant to become involved in talk concerning the chairmanship. "I was approached by the Victoria Soccer Federation, the New South Wales Soccer Federation and the Northern New South Wales Soccer Federation about standing and I jumped at the opportunity," he told Gatt. "Apart from being in the game for 31 years, I believe I have the business acumen to make a good fist of being on the board. But, as far as the chairmanship of SA is concerned, that is not for me to discuss." It is believed that Afkos has the support of N.S.W.S.F., V.S.F. , N.N.S.W.S.F. and S.A.W.A. who, between them, hold 23 of the 61 votes.
DE VANNA, KARP START NEW SEASON IN STYLE
The new Women's National Soccer League season kicked-off on the weekend with Western Australia's two representatives both getting on the scoresheet. Playing for Adelaide Sensation, a stunning 30-metre strike by Lisa De Vanna after just 8 minutes opened the attackers account for the new season against Victoria Vision. Stacey Stocco made it 2-0 to the Adelaide-based club shortly before half-time, and De Vanna made sure her side would take out maximum points when she netted her second of the game before Sensation bagged a late consolation goal. It was a brilliant to the W.N.S.L. for De Vanna who underwent surgery on a calf injury over the winter but still managed to finish the local season with 21 goals for Stirling Reds.
Canberra Eclipse, home for Australian international Tal Karp, got their defence of the W.N.S.L. crown underway with a rousing 4-0 win over Northern New South Wales Pride on Sunday. Amy Taylor gave Eclipse the lead after 9 minutes but for all their possession they were unable to add to their tally until sixteen minutes into the second half when Amy Wilson doubled the margin. Dominant in the middle of the park, Karp scored her teams third in the 70th minute with a sweet strike which swerved into the net from 25 metres before a hail storm stopped play for eight minutes. After the re-start Kristyn Swaffer slotted home Eclipse's fourth and final goal.
SILVER FOR WOMENS' STRIKERS
The Perth Strikers are back from Melbourne with a silver medal after reaching the final of the over-30 age group at the 2002 World Masters Games. The women's team went undefeated in their five group stage games that included a 3-0 defeat of Canberra Creakers and a 9-0 thrashing of Epping Shooters. The Strikers swept aside Tiwiwarrin 3-0 in the quarter-finals, following it up with a hard-fought 2-1 semi-final defeat of New South Wales Ladies to earn their place in the Final. But the hectic schedule took it's toll on the Strikers as they went down to Canadian side Vancouver Meralomas 5-0 to end the tournament as runners-up.
Jill Mateljan finished the event with the Female Golden Boot courtesy of a 10-goal haul, while Maggie Newton was also singled out for praise by coach Albert Nasimento on their return to Perth. "The Masters again showed why they are the most decorated State women's team by winning a silver medal at the World Masters games," said Nasimento . "The Canadian team that won gold were deserved winners but one can not detract from the efforts of the W.A. side. The girls are a tight knit team who very much rely on teamwork rather than individual efforts to achieve their results ... maybe the youth teams can learn from this. With six group games, quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final, it was truly a hectic program but the girls certainly rose to the occasion."
BASEL "THE PERTH GLORY OF SWITZERLAND" SAYS ERGIC (by Richard Kreider)
Former Perth Glory midfielder Ivan Ergic, who is now with Swiss champions F.C. Basel, says he still retains many pleasant memories of his short time in a Glory shirt - apart from 'that' Grand Final a few years back. Richard Kreider spoke to the talented midfielder in Switzerland not long after Basel had brushed Celtic aside to secure a place in Europe's most celebrated competition.
How has Ivan Ergic changed since your playing days in Australia?
I think in many ways I have improved, especially in the way of experience and maturity. I spent only one year in Perth and apart from 'that' Grand Final' when we lost to Wollongong, everything was perfect. Scott Chipperfield is also here at Basel and loves to remind me of it every now and then. Mind you, he also can't believe how they ended up winning that game. Anyway, as consolation, we were the Premiers for the season. It was my first year as a professional player and I certainly have many great memories to go with it.
What have been your highlights so far at FC Basel?
Beating Celtic for a place in the European Champions League is obviously up there, but winning the double with the club last season, namely the championship and cup was brilliant. Especially after 27 years - it means a lot to the city. Basel is a football city with great fans where we can often get 25-28 thousand to a game. I think those three things are the highlights to far.
Now that you know you're Champions League group, which includes Liverpool, Valencia and Spartek Moscow, it's certainly a far cry from your National Soccer League days ...
What I noticed in Australia is that there is enough talent but what Australia lacks is a more professional approach to the game. Talent-wise, it's not that much different to say here in Switzerland. And as for the Champions League, it will be a great experience for me. It means a lot not just to me but to all the Basel players and if you can play regularly it will be a good shop-window.
Do the players get a special bonus for participating in the Champions League?
We each got 50,000 francs just for qualifying but then it depends on how far we progress for any further bonuses.
What is the set up and support at Basel like?
I can honestly say we are the 'Perth Glory' of Switzerland. While the other clubs get five or six thousand to a game, we can average 26-28,000. And the three Champion League games are already sold out, so that just shows how keen the people here are about their football.
Has Juventus given you any hint when they might want you for the Serie A?
Because we had a good last season, there was a possibility of me going back to Juventus; or to be loaned out to another Italian club. But I decided to stay and as we know, the decision has paid off. I knew there was a possibility we could play in the Champions League and this is where I can play as a regular player. Being just 21 years old and playing in such a competition is going to be great.
Ljubo Milicevic timed it right to sign on for Basel ... you must be thrilled to have one your mates at the club?
Of course! He had a lot of trouble at F.C. Zurich with the club itself and injuries - and because of that, I think it will take time for him to settle in. However, I am 100 per cent sure that when he is fully fit, he'll be challenging for a place in the team.
Who will he be competing against, to get a place in the side?
Murat Yakin is the national and club captain, so it is going to be a while before that defender position becomes vacant. But there is a possibility Ljubo might play in the number six role as a defensive midfielder. I think he can play there as well as centre-half. Ljubo is good at going forward from that position and we need a player like that.
How is Christian Gross treating you and are you learning much from him?
It was pretty tough going at the start with him to be honest, I had learnt the hard way and learnt you have to train hard every day to prove yourself. I think with his experience he's the best coach in Switzerland for sure. He once coached Tottenham and now the Swiss national team want him as well as a number of other European clubs, no doubt because of the success of the club last season and now that the club made the Champions League. So yes, we can learn a lot from him, plus he's a great motivator. He can be hard at times, but if he wasn't, there wouldn't be the discipline in the team.
F.C. Basel might be considered the minnow of the Champions League especially with the calibre of competition you have in your group but on the other hand you have an opportunity to make a name for yourself ...
I think we have to be realistic here. Your Valencia's and Liverpool's are the group favourites, so we will simply go out there do our best and get as many points as possible. Mind you, qualifying in itself is a pretty big achievement. Not just for the club or city, but for Switzerland in general. In the past, it's only been Grasshoppers who have previously participated, twice in just ten or twelve years.
What is Scott Chipperfield doing while he is injured?
Scott has got a lot of problems with a knee at the moment - ligaments I think it is. He will be out until at least winter - January or February, when we start the second half of the season - and that means missing out on the Champions League. There were a lot of offers from Germany and even England but I think he'd like to stay here now.
Are Basel favourites to retain the Swiss championship and who will be your main threats?
I think we are, along with Grasshoppers. That's the thing you know, we also have to stay focused on the local championship, because we may not go past the first round of the Champions League. There is quite a good rivalry between us and Grasshoppers - especially now that we beat them in the Cup and championship last season. We already have the upper hand this season, since we have already beaten them at their ground.
STATE TEAM TO PLAY GLORY (reproduced with premission from the West Coast Bugle)
Subject to the approval of the Soccer West Coast Board, the West Australian State team will take on Perth Glory in an exhibition game on Sunday 10th November at Perth Oval, kick-off at 4.00pm. The contest is part of an agreement, which involves the continuation of Perth Glory's second team - Future Glory - in the S.W.C. Premier League next season. All net proceeds from the game will be distributed amongst S.W.C. clubs. The organisations general manager, Paul Tombides, has urged all clubs to support the venture. The deal with Perth Glory will involve a second game against the State side on 9th February when Glory has their second scheduled bye from National Soccer League action. Interestingly, the State team will be coached by Gary Marocchi, Glory's inaugural coach.
S.W.C. CONFIRM YOUTH TOURNAMENT (reproduced with premission from the West Coast Bugle)
Soccer West Coast's new youth tournament will be held at Frank Drago Reserve in Bayswater over the weekend of 26th and 27th October. Sixteen teams will take part in the Under-18's competition that will be split into four groups of four. Each game will be played with 30 minutes each way with two games on the Saturday and the following morning. The top team in each group will advance to the semi finals which will be contested on Sunday afternoon. The Grand Final will most likely take place as the curtain-raiser to the West Australia-Perth Glory friendly at Perth Oval on 10th November.
LOCALS COLLECT GOLD AT MASTERS GAMES (reproduced with premission from the West Coast Bugle)
West Australia has two world champion soccer teams following the World Masters Games in Melbourne last week. The Perth Masters beat Queensland side Wynnum Wolves 3-0 in the Final of the A Grade Title in the 35-plus section with goals from Norrie Sutton, Colin Lester and Nicky Dyer. The side played seven games on the eastern seaboard, winning six and drawing once while scoring 21 goals and conceding only one. Captained by former Perth City coach Stuart Currie, the team included John Saunders, John Walsh, Joe Sweeney, David Phillips, Frank Malone, John Beattie, Brian Sweeney, Paul Appleby, Craig Bassett, Chris Bishop and Charlie Kenyon. Also successful in the tournament were the Oldaroos who struck gold in the over-35's Premier Final with Canning City's Peter Murphy scoring a spectacular winner in the 1-0 triumph over New Zealand outfit Capital Soccer 2002. The Oldaroos' were captained by Robbie Dunn and also featured the talents of Fremantle City goalkeeper Robbie Zabica.
KNIGHTS GET PSYCHOLOGICAL
Western Knights will consult a sports psychologist as part of their preparations for next weekend's Champion of Champions clash with Premier League winners Perth S.C. Having lead the club to their sixth successive final series, coach Ronnie Campbell is desperate to take the team all the way to decider in three weeks. While his players' attitude and commitment has been first class, Campbell said the club would do everything possible to ensure players remained focused on the task at hand and that a sports psychologists had proved useful to the team in the past. "We just feel it gives us a bit of an edge," Campbell said. "It will actually help reinforce the right attitude."
FORMER JOONDALUP JUNIOR IMPRESSES IN ADELAIDE
National Soccer League club Adelaide City have long benefitted from goalkeeping talent out of the west. First to prove his worth was Perth Azzurri custodian Willie McNally who joined the Zebra's in the early 1980's and went on to make in excess of 150 appearances for the club. Next up was Robert Zabica, rated as one of the goalkeepers to ever appear in the national competition, who played 195 times for the Zebra's, 172 of those in succession. Zabica's departure in 1994 opened the door for Jason Petkovic who'd play 155 games over the next five seasons. After a three-year absence, the west will once again be represented in Adelaide with former E.C.U. Joondalup junior Ian Martin joining their ranks for the 2002/03 season.
Martin has played well in his three appearances for the Zebra's so far this season and coach Charlie Villani says he is happy with Martin's progress, but the young goalkeeper will have to work heard to keep his place ahead of Daniel Godley and David Scarsella. "We've been a bit spoilt over the years with the experience and quality of goalkeepers we've had," Villani said recently. "We've had goalkeepers who played for the Socceroos and it's not easy to replace people like that. Ian and Daniel are good goalkeepers with a similar level of ability and I suppose it's one of the selection decisions which is in doubt until our final training session."
The talented 21-year old goalkeeper joined Adelaide at the recommendation of McNally after a five year stay in the United Kingdom. Martin spent three years with Newcastle United (England) and a further two seasons in Northern Ireland with Coleraine. He had been back in Australia for only a few months when McNally, who had coached him as a youngster, helped arrange a trial with Force. "City has given me a chance to play in the N.S.L. and it has been a good experience so far," Martin said. "Training has been very lively and competitive with Daniel and David, who are also mates. As a team we haven't played as well as we can but the win in Sydney (against Marconi) was great."
HOME VICTORY FOR GLORY
Perth Glory have gained full points at Perth Oval for the first time this season courtesy of a 1-0 win over Newcastle United. In an entertaining the match , Joel Griffiths' header brought a fine save from Glory goalkeeper Jason Petkovic early on, and shortly after Scott Miller thwarted Griffiths after he raced through them middle of the home defence. Glory broke through in the 27th minute when German midfielder Andre Gumprecht released Damian Mori who coolly rounded the visiting 'keeper to slot home. Defender Shane Pryce came close to doubling Glory's lead but his header flew just over the crossbar. The second half saw Mori twice set-up strike partner Bobby Despotovski who squandered both chances. Newcastle dominated the latter stages but were unable to penetrate the solid Glory defence. The visitors best chance came via an Alex Moreira free-kick which Petkovic spectacularly tipped over the bar late in the game.
CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS, WEEKEND ONE (by Christian Galapolous)
Carl Medica's sixteenth goal of the years proved to be the difference as the Western Knights defeated Floreat Athena 2-0 in the Top Five Qualifying Final at the National Stadium this afternoon. A depleted Athena were forced to make several tactical changes before kick-off which saw Robin Dyers push back into midfield and the pacy Dejan Djukanovic replacing Dyers in attack, but despite the changes it was the Knights who got of to a strong start. First Stuart Montgomery hit the upright, then in the 12th minute fellow striker Eugene Singeorzan mis-kicked from close-range with the goal at his mercy. Three minutes the deadlock was broken by Knights captain Carl Medica whose powerful strike found the back of the net. Athena's first meaningful chance came after 24 minutes when Troy Bernard blazed over the bar, and his side were dealt a further blow when an ankle injury forced Bernard from the ground only minutes later. The Knights went into half-time unlucky not have been further ahead, but they emerged from the break comparatively flat to allow their opponents back into the match. Largely through the urgency of Djukanovic, Athena continually went on the attack only to find few holes in a stubborn Knights defence. After returning to his more natural position in attack, Dyers squandered a golden chance to level the scores in the 83rd minute by heading over the bar from close-range. Deep into injury time Stuart Montgomery sealed the match after some poor Athena defending to tee-up a meeting next weekend with Perth S.C. for a place in the Champion of Champions series Final. Post-match, Athena coach Taki Lambetsos said it was always going to be tough without a full squad available. "In the second half we came back and pressurised them but we couldn't score," he said. "Hopefully we'll have a full squad to choose from next week."
Earlier in the day, Inglewood United's caretaker coach Jimmy Pearson led his side to a 1-0 victory over Bassendean Calledonian in the Elimination Final. Pearson, who returned from Asia only a matter of weeks ago, masterminded his team's solid display that has surely elevated them into genuine title contenders. The tightly fought match got off to a busy start with neither side able to get a decisive break. Dean Gartside's header forced Inglewood goalkeeper Oliver Taseski into a top draw save in the 34th minute, and minutes later at the opposite end Andy Cornmell had his shot turned away by Alan Dunlop. Just before half-time the industrious Cornmwell broke the deadlock when he send a looping header over Dunlop and into the back of the net. Caledonian started the second half well only to be denied by Taseski who saved at the feet of Jason Van Rooy to keep Inglewood in front. As the match wore on Inglewood's superior fitness took its toll on their opponents who struggled to keep possession. Caledonian were dealt a body blow when substitute striker Ramon Westerberger was forced off with a leg injury only minutes after coming on following a clash with tough defender Jamie Goodman. Dunlop prolonged Caledonian's stay in the competition with a fantastic save that prevented Cornmell what appeared to be a certain second goal. While they bowed out of the play-offs, Caledonian have by far exceeded expectations and can't be disappointed with their performance over the course of the winter season. Inglewood now move into the next phase of the competition where they'll meet Floreat Athena next weekend.
In the Under-18's finals series, E.C.U. Joondalup needed penalties to edge past a determined Floreat Athena outfit after the scores were tied at 3-3 after 90 minutes. Jarred Campher gave Athena the lead after just 4 minutes, but the game was put back on a level footing in the 33rd minute when 15-year old Rostyn Griffiths found the net for Joondalup. Athena regained the lead five minutes into the second half via Sean Rose but the northern suburbs again pegged them back as Daryl Platten scored with a stunning long-range effort. Griffiths gave Joondalup a short-lived lead in the 75th minute as Campher equalised two minutes later. Joondalup took out the penalty shoot-out which followed 8-6. Earlier in the day, Sorrento's season came to a halt when they went down 1-0 to Perth S.C. The only goal of a nail-biting affair arrived after 21 minutes via youngster Cosi Cavalaro.
KOROMA STILL HOPEFUL OF POWER DEAL
Parramatta Power will continue to monitor the progress of Fremantle City goalkeeper Bobson Koroma. The Sierra Leone international is current on trial with Power this week but is unlikely to be offered a deal with coach Nick Theodorakopoulos saying he's after for a more experienced shot-stopper. "I was looking for someone who could take over immediately," Theodorakopoulos said. But all is not lost for Koroma who could yet make his way into the Power squad. "We are going to look at it," the club coach added.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The top five Champion of Champions series gets underway on Saturday with a full day of fixtures at the National Stadium. Things start at 9.15am with the Under-18's Qualifying Final between Perth S.C. and Sorrento, followed by the Elimination Final at 11.00am when the season's on the line for both E.C.U. Joondalup and Floreat Athena.
At 12.30pm the action switches to the first teams' with the Elimination Final between Bassendean Caledonian and Inglewood United when the season will come to a close for the loser. The winner will next weekend play the loser of the Qualifying Final which pits Floreat Athena with Western Knights from 3.00pm, the winner of that game to play newly crowned Premier League champions Perth S.C.
On Sunday afternoon at Perth Oval, Perth Glory and Newcastle United go head-to-head in Round Four of the National Soccer League season. Bouyed by last week's away win over Kingz F.C., Glory will be looking to pick up their first home points of the new season, but they shouldn't expect any favours from a Newcastle side coming off a 5-0 mauling of Northern Spirit. The action starts at 4.00pm.
CUP WIN LIFTS JONES' SPIRITS
More than an interested spectator at the Boral Cup Final was young gun Tom Jones whose season came to a tragic end when he broke his leg while training with the State Under-16 team last month, an injury which forced him out of the recent National Talent Identification Championships. But the teenagers spirited were bouyed when his club, E.C.U. Joondalup, claimed the prestigious local Cup competition over Future Glory on Sunday.
"It was a great win for the club but it was hard watch from the stands," said Jones this week. "Future battered us in the first ten minutes but, once we found our feet, there was only going to be one winner. It was great to see some of our young players really playing to their potential on Sunday, Scott Bulloch's work rate was tremendous and Scott Blackmore slotted in well on the right. It was a good overall performance and the celebrations went on well into the night!"
For Jones, 2002 will be remembered for both its highs and lows. "I was pretty pleased with my first team debut against Inglewood United, especially considering I scored in that game. I would like to have started a few more games for the first team but I'm still young and have got time on my side," he said. Another highlight of the year for Jones was the tour of the United Kingdom with the Joondalup youth side which saw them win both the St. Andrews Tournament in Scotland and the Ian Rush Tournament in Wales. "The tour was a once in a life time opportunity and I think we all benefited greatly from the trip. We played very well in the two tournaments and, to be honest, I was surprised that we did as well as we did."
On the opposite end of the ledger was Jones' season ending injury. "It was a huge blow. I broke my leg playing in a friendly against Future Glory a week before we were due to go away, it went one-on-one with the goalkeeper and as I shot he and a defender followed through. I knew it was broken straight away but it didn't really sink in until the boys went to Sydney and I realised I wasn't going to be part of the squad. But the doctors are pleased with my progress and I hope to be training by early next year at the latest."
NORMANTON AIMS FOR TROPHY NUMBER EIGHT
Recently crowned Premier League champions Perth S.C. have wasted no time in planning for season 2003 with the re-appointment of Graham Normanton as senior coach. Normanton took over the reigns midway through 1999 with the club languishing second from bottom in the top flight to revitalise the side which ended in mid-table. In the three years since he has lead Perth to no less than seven trophies and has his sights set on adding to that tally with this seasons Champion Of Champions still up for grabs.
Perth go into the top five play-offs as clear favourites with the Night Series, Premier League championship and E.C.U. Centenary Cup already residing at Dorrien Gardens. While confident his side can make it a quartet of trophies, Normanton is already making plans for next season. "We've got some good young players coming through but I reckon we need a big target man up front to round off our squad," he said this week. "I'm already scouting for that sort of player and I have my eye on three possibles." One of those is Cockburn City's Branimir Mikulic who ended the season as the top flight's leading scorer with 20 goals, one ahead of State teammate Andreas Oliveira.
KARP COLLECTS MORE CAPS
Perth-born Tal Karp has added to her international experience with another three appearances for the Australian women's team in the recent Nike U.S. Women's Cup. The young midfielder played the opening 83 minutes of the Matilda's opening clash with the host nation, the match marking the 100th 'A' international for Australian defender Anissa Tann. Unfortunately the occasion ended in a 0-4 loss to the dominant United States side whose goals arrived via Brandi Chastain, Cindy Parlow (2) and substitute Shannon MacMillan. On Monday, Karp was involved in the opening hour of the clash with Russia which saw Australia run out victors 2-0 courtesy of goals from Kelly Golebiowski after 12 minutes and Joanne Peters two minutes from half-time. Karp completed her hat-trick of appearances in the starting eleven but was substituted off in the 77th minute against Italy who netted the only goal of the match through Elisa Camporese on the stroke of full-time. The Matildas finishing second on the final standings to record their highest ever placing in the prestigious tournament.
FUTURE END ON HIGH
Future Glory's Under-18 side has ended their inaugural season on a high by notching up a 2-0 win over E.C.U. Joondalup on Wednesday evening. Striker Wesley Ryder continued his fine form in front of goal by adding two more to his season tally. The opening goal didn't arrive until the 80th minute and came about a defence splitting pass by Alex Crookes that allowed Ryder to coolly round the goalkeeper before knocking it in the exposed net. The sealing goal came with a minute remaining on the clock, Ashley Otte's cross causing panic in the Joondalup defence before Sebastian Trim cut it back from the bye line and Ryder did the rest. The win caps off an excellent first season for the Future youngsters who narrowly missed out on place in the top five series. Nine members of the Future squad - Alex Vrteski, Sebastian Trim, Wesley Ryder, Marlon Ramirez, Daniel Simcox, Ben Rogers, Jonathon Mathers, Ashley Otte and Michael Smerilli - featured for the various West Australian junior State teams this year.
CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS PREVIEW
Recently crowned Premier League champions Perth S.C. are the red hot favourites to complete a hat-trick of top five crowns when the 2002 Champion of Champions series kicks-off this weekend at the National Stadium in Inglewood. Coach Graham Normanton has assembled a young and vastly talented squad which is rooted at the back by goalkeeper Robert Scaraparolo whose enjoyed one of his best season since joining Perth five years ago. Experienced campaigner Stephen Willey has been as solid as a rock in his role at the heart of the Perth defence. The recent loss of key midfielders Jamie Coyne and Robbie Gaspar has been off-set by the return from injury of the hard-working Rob Giorgi while Todd Howarth has been in sparkling form out wide on the left. The goals have flowed for Perth this year with strike partners Andreas Oliveira and Mark Pottier finding the net in excess of 40 times, leaving opposing sides with plenty to be concerned about.
After a disappointing 2001 and three changes of coach in quick succession at the start of the current campaign, little was expected from Floreat Athena this year. But the players have pulled together to prove their critics wrong, pushing Perth all the way in the League to finish in second place and runners-up in last weekend's E.C.U. Centenary Cup Final. With 17 goals in his last 13 games, the fortunes of Ryan Newhill will definitely play a big role in how far Athena progress in the play-offs. The addition of James Afkos shorty before the transfer deadline has given coach Taki Lambetsos with extra options in midfield where summer recruits Jamie Trandos and Kosta Kalavroutziotis have been nothing less than sensational. And the form of sweeper Adrian Sutton this years resulted in him not only win selection for the State team but has made him one of the favourites for the Gold Medal.
Western Knights go into the play-offs as the only a series threat to Perth and Athena. After a mid-year slump which saw them collect just a single point from five games, the Knights recovered to end the regular season in third place, undefeated in their last eleven outings. Carl Medica has blossomed in his role as an out-and-out striker, while attacking midfielder Stuart Montgomery has been impressive in his first season with the club. In the middle of the park Ray Marinovic and Paul McVittie have provided the team with the forward thrust that turned around their season. With nine clean sheets to his credit, goalkeeper Tommi Tomich can lay claim to having the safest hands in the local competition. Unfortunately the Knights will feel the absence of young sweeper Ivan Zuvela who recently went under the sugeon's knife for a serious knee injury.
The surprise packet of 2002 was undoubtedly Bassendean Caledonian who ended the regular with a six games undefeated run. The secret of coach Allan Weir's success has been a stable line-up. After a years' absence due to injury, goalkeeper Alan Dunlop has displayed the sort of form which saw him in the State squad a couple of years ago. The big game experience of former Perth Glory players Craig Naven and Paul Strudwick will play a big role in how far the club go in the top five series. And influential midfielders Jimmy Merkouris and Jason Van Rooy will be wanting to continue the high level of consistency they've displayed this year. Caledonian's biggest problem all year has come in the goalscoring department with just 37 goals in 22 League games and, faced with some of the strongest defences in the local game, they'll find the going tough over the next few weeks.
Blighted by injury and plagued by off-field problems that culminated in the departure of coach Steve Parkinson, the finals series will be a daunting task for Inglewood United. To say the club have been inconsistent this year would be an understatement, and newly appointed coach Jimmy Pearson will have his work cut out in getting the team beyond the first weekend of competition when they face a Caledonian side that have already beaten them twice this season. For Inglewood to progress young attacker Louis Parkinson, who has hit six goals in his last four appearances, will have to be on top of his game. The early season signing of Alan MacKenzie proved an inspired move and he's been the perfect foil to creative State representative Scott Campbell in the middle of the park. Out wide on the left, Andy Cornmell has enjoyed another fantastic season, while Jamie Goodman has been a beacon of light in a defence that has, at times, leaked goals.
CLUBS TO VOTE ON GLORY OFFER
Under a proposal to be considered by Soccer West Coast clubs tonight, Perth Glory will take on the West Australian State team in two challenge matches each season in exchange for Future Glory's continuance in the Premier League. Future's one-year agreement to play in the local competition came to an end with Sunday's Boral Cup Final loss to E.C.U., but Glory are keen to keen their youth scheme going. It is believed Future's participation cost the parent club somewhere in the vacinity of $50,000, but Glory are not prepared to provide a direct cash injection for the next campaign. Instead, they are hopeful the S.W.C. clubs will agree to accept the financial rewards of a two game series against the State side which would be played at Perth Oval on the weeks ending 10th November and 9th February, when Glory has been scheduled byes from N.S.L. activity.
Glory's initially proposed that they pay no more than any other clubs to play in the league. That proposal was turned down but S.W.C. president David Schrandt said the latest offer was much more attractive to the local game. "The board will recommend to the clubs that this offer be accepted," Schrandt told Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian" newspaper. "We are very happy to accept it but it's up to the clubs." The president added that the two games would provide ideal preparation for the State teams friendly with visiting Macedonian side Vardar Skopje on 7th December, and for the State Under-20's participation in an international tournament in Italy that starts on 17th February. Glory chief executive Jeff Dennis hoped the local clubs would accept the latest proposal. "We would work with Soccer West Coast and help promote the games from our end but they would run it and keep all the money," he said. "However, there are alternatives for the Glory should the clubs reject the Future application. We would explore other options, including setting up a new first division team or merging with another club," Dennis added.
GASPAR TO JOIN JOONDALUP? (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
Boral Cup winner E.C.U. Joondalup are believed to be hot in the running to sign State team midfield star Robbie Gaspar for next season. Gaspar left his previous club Perth S.C. last month to have a spell in Malaysia with Brunei and it is understood that he may opt not return to Perth. Joondalup president Tom McCrisken has revealed that he spoke with Gaspar when Joondalup were recently in Brunei competing in an international competition. "If Robbie becomes available we will be interested in signing him," said McCrisken.
GOLD MEDAL NIGHT NEARS (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
Who will win the 2002 McInerney Ford Gold Medal Award? Find out by attending what will be an event to remember at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Friday 8th November. Tickets, which cost $80.00, are available from Soccer West Coast. Among those hotly fancied to land the Gold Medal are leading goalscorer Branimir Mikulic (Cockburn City), State midfielder Jamie Coyne (Perth S.C.) and defender Richard Watson (E.C.U. Joondalup). Also in the hunt include Aaron Cole (Perth), Ryan Newhill, Jamie Trandos (Floreat Athena), Carl Medica, Claus Nielsen (Western Knights), Damian Scali, Justin Everley (Swan I.C.), Shaun Kilkelly (Future Glory), Alan MacKenzie (Inglewood United), Alex Cummings (Fremantle City) and Ross Greer (Sorrento).
Also announced on the night will be the winner of the First Division Gold Medal which is also expected to be a close race. Former Premier League Gold Medal winner Andy Wright is one of the hot favourites after an outstanding season with champions Stirling Lions, along with teammate Toby Wright. Others in the running for the First Division's top individual honour are Andrew Rennie (Mandurah City), Gareth Healy (Morley Windmills), Glen Noblett (Queens Park), Aaron Beattie and Alan Pottier (Armadale).
FREMANTLE CHASE GERMAN CONNECTION (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
Premier League side Fremantle City are taking steps to form an international alliance with German Bundesliga giant Werder Bremen. The port side recently transferred young star Matt Danskin to the German club and it is hoped that another Fremantle youngster, 17-year old Dean Apelgren, will also be invited to Bremen for trials. Danskin's father, Andrew, is Fremantle's Football Director and set off this week to Germany to begin negotiations with Werder Bremen to establish an formal link between the clubs.
INGLEWOOD GET NEW COACH
Jimmy Pearson has taken over the reigns at Inglewood United and will be in charge of the club when they begin their Champion of Champions campaign on Saturday with the do-or-die clash against Bassendean Caledonian at the National Stadium. Pearson becomes the clubs third coach in quick succession following the late season departure of Steve Parkinson and, more recently, caretaker coach Bob Braid.
KOROMA READY FOR NEXT STEP
Fremantle City goalkeeper Bobson Koroma has responded immediately to an urgent call from Parramatta Power and today headed east in the hope of securing a contract with the National Soccer League club. "I am very excited," the 22-year old told Len Findlay of the "West Australian" prior to departure. "Fremantle is the best club in Western Australia but I think I will be signing if all works out." Koroma's cross-country dash comes after a frosting of relations between Power coach Nick Theodorakopoulous and regular custodian Liam Reddy who was send off for punching an opponent in Monday's 1-2 loss to Olympic Sharks. A political refugee from Sierra Leone, Koroma has played eighteen times at international level for the African national including some games in the African Nations Cup.
ERGIC BACK FOR BASEL
Former West Australian Under-16 representative Ivan Ergic made his return to the starting line-up for Swiss club F.C. Basel in their 2-1 home defeat of S.R. Delemont on the weekend. Ergic, who was catapulted to international prominence while playing for Perth Glory a few years ago, has spent close to a month watching from the sidelines due to injury before coming off the bench in the club's last two fixtures. Last weekend the midfielder came on with 60 minutes gone in Basel's 2-1 Swiss League defeat of B.S.C. Young Boys, and in mid-week was introduced in the 62nd minute as Spanish giants Valencia waltzed to a 2-6 victory in the Champions League. Ergic was a key member of the side which last season won the Swiss League and Cup double, and was joined at the club this year by Australian internationals Scott Chipperfield and Ljubo Milicevic.
MORGAN LEADS SENGKANG TO BEST EVER FINISH
The season is almost over for the enclave of former Sorrento players playing in Singapore with Sengkang Marine. The club, coached by Trevor Morgan, finished the 2002 S-League campaign in eighth place to record their highest ever placing in the end-of-season standings. With 19-goals to his credit, Simon Harland ended as the Dolphins leading goalscoring ahead of Danny Hill on 15 goals. Harland and Hill are just two of four regulars at the club this year that have played locally with Sorrento, the others being club captained Tony Carbone and young attacker James Morgan. Two other former Sorrento players - midfielder Todd Harnwell and English-born Grant Holt - also spend short periods on loan to Sengkang during season.
Sengkang officially end their season this Sunday (13th October) when they meet Geylang United in the 3rd/4th place play-off of the Singapore Cup competition. The annual S-League Awards Night is being held two days later at the Singapore Expo Hall Next with Sengkang represented in three categories. Hill, who recently agreed terms on a new contract with the club, is one of five players nominated for the Player of the Year award. Trevor Morgan is up for the Coach of the Year, and Sengkang are one of a quartet of clubs in the running for the Fair Play Award.
HIGGINS IN NATIONAL SQUAD
Tall E.C.U. Joondalup defender John Higgins is the only West Australian to have been included in the Australian Under-17 squad which was announced at the completion of the National Talent Identification Championship in Sydney over the weekend. The 23-player squad went into a week-long camp immediately after the tournament in what national youth coach Ange Postecoglou sees as the first stage of preparations for next February's Under-17 World Championship qualifiers. While in camp the players will be involved in training matches against the Marconi Stallions and Parramatta Power youth teams.
The qualifying stage for the 2003 Under-17 World Championships are scheduled for February with the finals tournament being held in Finland next August. Australia have had significant success at this level, most notably finishing runners-up to Brazil in 1999. The 23-player training squad as selected by Postecoglou is Adam Casey (Australian Capital Territory), Richie Cardozo, Stefan Delzio, Nathan Hughes, Glenn Littlebury, Lachlan Cahill, Angelo Martino, Eric Paartalu, Chris Theodosiou, Keegan Wolfenden (New South Wales), Nigel Boogard (Northern New South Wales), Mario Aparicio, Ben Griffin, Daniel Leach, Dane Richardson, Tim Smits (Queensland), Matthew Deegan, Keegan Nash, Yianni Sarris, Oliver Totani (South Australia), Kristian Sarkies (Victoria) and John Higgins (Western Australia).
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
A controversial late penalty converted by Mark Pottier has seen Perth S.C. defeat local rivals Floreat Athena to lift the E.C.U. Centenary Cup at Dorrien Gardens. Athena took the lead through Ryan Newhill after 17 minutes, but Perth drew after the break when Andreas Oliveira found the net. The visitors were reduced to ten men with the dismissal of defender Anthony Jones, and Jamie Trandos followed his teammate after bringing down David Onoforo inside the area before Pottier sealed victory for the Blues.
Sunday's Boral Cup Final was won by E.C.U. Joondalup who bravely held off a strong finishing Future Glory outfit 2-1. Scott Bulloch gave Joondalup the lead before teammate Andy Brown was dismissed in the 58th minute. Dale McCulloch doubled the margin eleven minutes from full-time, but a Shaun Kilkelly scored a consolation goal for Future after 89 minutes. Kevin Griffiths (Joondalup) and Miki Vujacic (Future) were both sent off after receiving their second yellow cards shortly before the final whistle. Perth S.C. took out the reserves Cup 4-0 over Mandurah City, and Floreat Athena won the Under-18's trophy with a 1-0 victory against Sorrento.
BORAL CUP FINAL
In wintry conditions, E.C.U. Joondalup and Future Glory contested an incident-packed Boral Cup Final at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday. The late withdrawal of John Higgins, who was called into camp with the Australian Under-17 team, forced Joondalup coach Paul Simmons into re-shuffling his line-up which benefitted teenager Scott Blackmore who was promoted to the starting line-up. Simmons' opposing number Frank Arok called up Perth Glory players Michael Garcia and Antonio Naglieri for the clash along with Shaun Kilkelly who has only recently agreed terms on a one-year contract with the National Soccer League club.
Getting underway with a strong wind blowing across that pitch, not to mention intermittent rain, Future dominated the opening exchanges but could find few holes in the opposing backline. But on the one occasion they did open up the Joondalup defence Future should have taken the lead as Robert Cibesku's cross into the 6-yard box was puled wide by the unmarked Naglieri. Joondalup eventually settled and began to take control of proceedings. In the 12th minute Garin Collins was permitted to advance on goal before goalkeeper Michael Basilio smothered at his feet, Andy Mason pounced on the loose ball but his shot was stopped on the goal line by James Hesketh. Four minutes later Collins darted from the middle of the park but this time shot disappointingly wide from 15-metres. Andy Brown was presented with a golden opportunity to open the scoring after Basilio spilled a 23rd minute corner, but he too was denied by some alert defending, this time by Naglieri.
The pendulum had by this stage swung well and truly in Joondalup's favour as they peppered the goal with shots. In quick succession Basilio kept out goal-bound shots from Mason and Collins, and in the 28th minute the Future custodian had to be at his sharpest to block Kevin Griffiths shot from 8-metres after he was teed-up by Blackmore. With much of the play taking place in their defensive half, Future managed a quick counter-attack which ended with Miki Vujacic's curling shot sailing in the arms of Peter Stewart. The northern suburbs side finished the half strongly as Dale McCulloch's rasping drive flew just wide of the top corner after 38 minutes. Shortly after Scott Bulloch did all the hard work on the left before sending his cross to the far post where Griffiths' weak header failed to trouble Basilio.
The first chance of the new half came the way of Future's Mileta Miletic who burst into the 18-yard box only to have Stewart turn his explosive shot around the post. Joondalup finally got the result they were after in the 49th minute when Griffiths beat Admir Mehic to a long ball and flicked it over the advancing 'keeper as Bulloch raced in to nod in the first goal of the afternoon. Spurred into action, Future launched wave after wave of attack to have the Joondalup backline under all the pressure. Two minutes after the opener Cibesku's cross into the area was flicked on at the near post by Mehic and Nick Ward's header narrowly cleared the bar. Miletic showed great skill and determination as he took on the opposing defence but in the end couldn't make the most of his run. And in the 57th minute Mehic was frustrated by the out-stretched legs of Stewart after he broke clear.
Joondalup were put under even more pressure when Brown received his second yellow card after a late tackle on Naglieri who had been on the wrong end of several heavy challenges. A goal up and a man down, the northern suburbs side re-grouped to focus on holding onto their lead while breaking only occasionally on the counter-attack. A powerful shot from Miletic was blocked by Richard Watson who calmly played the ball long to Bulloch who was dispossessed by Ward as he lined up the target. With a similar move, Joondalup won themselves a corner in the 79th minute which Griffiths sent to the back post where McCulloch's bullet-like header rippled the back of the net before the Future defence had time to react. Two goals down, Future refused to concede defeat and ten minutes later Shaun Kilkelly kept them in the game with a fine run which took him past the defence, Stewart parrying his low shot but Kilkelly heading the loose ball over the line to make it 2-1. In a tense finish, Griffiths and Vujacic were dismissed after an altercation in front of the stand as the nine-man Joondalup held on to record a deserved Cup victory.
After a sound debut season in the local League, Future were hoping to go out with bang by claiming the knock-out competition but at the end of the day it wasn't to be. The Under-19 side had Basilio to thank that they weren't a couple of goals down by the interval after producing a fine display between the posts, while Kilkelly and Ward also worked hard to keep their side in the game. For Joondalup it was their second Boral Cup triumph in five years, and coach Simmons was over the moon with the result. "The club, university and players are elated with the win and it just adds to the fairytale for Joondalup. Our season hasn't really received the recognition it deserves after winning two trophies - the pre-season B.G.C. Cup and now the Boral Cup - and playing with a side that, in the main, is the youngest in the Premier League." In a solid Joondalup team performance Mason won the man-of-the-match award, but he was no doubt pushed all the way by another non-stop performance from teenager Bulloch and experienced central defender Watson.
Future Glory : Michael Basilio, Shaun Kilkelly, Admir Mehic, James
Hesketh, Robert Cibesku (Peter Lord 59), Miki Vujacic, Antonio Naglieri
(Chris Ritson 82), Nick Ward, Robert Montereso (Daniel Arias 63),
Michael Garcia, Mileta Miletic
E.C.U. Joondalup : Peter Stewart, Richard Watson, Jamie Kuzmanovich, Andy Brown, Scott Blackmore (Craig Cheesman 62), Scott Bulloch, Kevin Griffiths, Mark Ristofski (Gary Murray 90), Dale McCulloch, Garin Collins, Andy Mason
Referee : Michael Klaver
Cautions : Brown (56), McCulloch (62), Griffiths (75), Vujacic (86), Kuzmanovich (86)
Dismissals : Brown (65), Griffiths (90), Vujacic (90)
Attendance : 600 (approx.)
Perth S.C. took out the reserves Boral Cup with a convincing 4-0 victory over Mandurah City in the Final. State Schoolboy Igor Arsovski got Perth off to the perfect start when he found the net after 5 minutes, and when Vlad Milasinovic added the Blues second eight minutes later it was evident that things were not going to Mandurah's way. Six minutes into the second half Milasinovic all but wrapped up the game with his second goal of the day before defender Daniel Kovacevic completed the scoreline in the 75th minute. Referee Michael Klaver was kept busy in the latter stages of the game by booking a total of five players - Mikel Sesma, Steven Adams, Jordan Kissane (Mandurah), Damien Catalano and Kovacevic (Perth).
In the Under-18's Boral Cup Final, Floreat Athena left it until late before hitting the deciding goal to claim the trophy over Sorrento. After a scoreless first half, the second period began with referee Leon Markich brandishing three yellow cards in the space of four minutes as the two teams attempted to assert some sort of control over proceedings. In the 70th minute Athena midfielder Jarryd Campher popped up to score what would be the only goal of the game and send the trophy to Litis Stadium for the first time since 1987.
GLORY BOUNCE KINGZ
Perth Glory have returned from the world's longest domestic road trip with all three points after beating Kingz F.C. 1-0 in New Zealand. After last week's disappointing performance against Brisbane Strikers, Glory's defence stood firm in Auckland to give the home side little hope. The best chance of the opening half came after 24 minute when an Andre Gumprecht volley produced a fine reflex save from Kingz goalkeeper Michael Utting. Shortly after the break Damian Mori was denied by Utting, but in the 58th minute the Glory striker had the last laugh when he beating the offside trap and skinned Johnny Foundoulakis to score what would be the winner. Stung into action, the home side pushed forward with Patricio Almendra's free-kick well saved by Jason Petkovic. Just a minute later at the other end, Utting made a brilliant double save to prevent Mori and then Brad Hassell from making it two-nil. "We needed to bounce back after last week's loss,"said Glory assistant coach Alan Vest after the game. "We were 100% better defensively this week."
E.C.U. CENTENARY CUP FINAL (by Christian Galapolous)
In a match dominated by some controversial refereeing decisions, Perth S.C. have lifted the E.C.U. Centenary Cup after defeating local rivals Floreat Athena 2-1 in blustery conditions at Dorrien Gardens. For Athena it was their fourth consecutive Final loss to Perth after being beaten in last seasons' Night Series, Boral Cup and Champion of Champions competitions. Big striker Ryan Newhill got Athena off to the perfect start when he headed home Kosta Kalavrouziotis corner after 17 minutes. Twenty minutes later the referee earned the ire of the home fans when Rhys Graham was sent through on goal only to be tackled to the ground by Jamie Trandos - the last defender - on the edge of the penalty area but astonishingly the Athena player received only a yellow card. Justice was nearly done from the resulting free-kick with Andreas Oliveira's shot cannoning back off the base of the upright.
Athena started the second half the stronger and forced Perth's young reserve goalkeeper Gianni Pappillia into a fine save to deny Newhill a second goal from close range. Sensing the game was slipping from his sides' grasp, Perth coach Graham Normanton opted for the tactical switch of replacing defender Michael Icanovski with striker David Onoforo in the 59th minute. And the move paid off almost immediately as Oliveira beat the offside trap to level the scores just minutes later. In the 67th minute another refereeing decision angered the fans, this time it was the Athena supporters that were left dissatisfied after Papalia up-ended Trandos inside the box. Things only got worse for the visitors as six minutes later defender Anthony Jones was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence, and five minutes after that classy James Afkos was forced off with an ankle injury. The game came to a controversial finish in the 88th minute when Perth were awarded a penalty after David Onoforo went down under pressure from Trandos just inside the 18-yard box and steely midfielder Mark Pottier confidently stroked the resulting spot kick past goalkeeper John Xigas for the match winner.
E.C.U. CENTENARY CUP FINAL PREVIEW
In a big weekend on the local scene, Perth S.C. and Floreat Athena meet in the Final of the E.C.U. Centenary Cup Final at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday afternoon from 3.00pm. Recently crowned as Premier League champions, Perth go into the match with the enviable of having scored the most, and conceded the least, goals over the home-and-away campaign. But that will count for little against Athena who are yet to lose this year to their inner city neighbours.
Robert Scarparolo has enjoyed one of his best seasons to date between the posts for Perth whose defence has been rock solid courtesy of the efforts of Stephen Willey and Aaron Cole. Robert Giorgi's recent return from injury, and the silky skills of left wing-back Todd Howarth will cause their opponents more than a few headaches on Saturday, while up-front Andreas Oliveira and Mark Pottier have in combination hit the net 33 times this year.
In what is expected to be a tight match, Athena will be at full-strength with their defensive combination of captain Adrian Sutton, Anthony Jones and Troy Bernard always a difficult nut to crack. Jamie Trandos has been a key component of their hard-working midfield, while the mid-season capture of James Afkos has added and extra dimension to the side. Undoubtedly the local games' in-form striker at the moment is Ryan Newhill and along with partner-in-crime Robyn Dyers will be sure to keep Perth's backline on their toes.
BORAL CUP FINAL PREVIEW
Dorrien Gardens is the venue on Sunday for the 2002 Boral Cup Final between Future Glory and E.C.U. Joondalup. And both sides will be eager to take out the prestigious trophy for very different reasons - Future are seeking to become the first club to win the local knock-out competition in their debut season, while Joondalup will be aiming to erase the memory of their frustrating visit to Brunei.
Future have done tremendously well since coming together at the start of this year, and a spot in the Cup Final is evidence enough that Western Australia is continuing to produce quality young players. Former State youth captain Shaun Kilkelly and fellow defenders Admir Mehic and Daniel Arias have formed a solid understanding at the back for the under-19 side over the winter. In the centre of the park the hard-working Nick Ward will be joined by Perth Glory squad member Antonio Naglieri with Miki Vujacic hoping to add to his seasons tally from his position behind the front two. In attack a big effort is expected from Mileta Miletic who finished the regular season as the fledgling club's leading goalscorer.
Joondalup have always been a tough, no-nonsense side and this season has been no exception. On their day Richard Watson, Jamie Kuzmanovich and teenager John Higgins form a near-impregnable defensive barrier while having the handy habit of popping up at the opposite end to score some vital goals for the northern suburbs club. Andy Mason and Garin Collins haven't had too many problems in finding the net this year, sharing 28 goals between them. But Joondalup' biggest threat will come from our wide where State-19 teammates Scott Bulloch and Mark Ristofski will keep the Future defence busy for the full 90 minutes.
Prior to the main match, Perth meet competition new-comers Mandurah City in the reserves Cup Final which kicks-off at 12.30pm. Perth go into the match as favourites after sweeping aside Fremantle City 3-0 last weekend while the First Division side needed penalties before knocking out the top flight's Inglewood United. The Under-18's Cup Final gets underway from 10.30pm and pits Floreat Athena against Sorrento.
RADIO FREMANTLE CONTINUE LOCAL COVERAGE
Radio Fremantle will be previewing this Sunday's Boral Cup Final as part of the Saturday Morning Soccer Show. Going to air from 10.00am on 107.9 FM, this weekend's episode will feature interviews with coaches Frank Arok (Future Glory) and Paul Simmons (E.C.U. Joondalup) as well as all the latest local, national and international news from the world game. On Sunday from 11.00am, Radio Fremantle will broadcast Perth Glory's away clash with New Zealand-based club Kingz F.C. Special in the studio guest for the occasion will be former Glory and Australian striker Alistair Edwards.
STATE UNDER-13'S TO MEET IN SEMI
The West Australian Under-13 North and South Development squads will meet today (Friday) in one semi-final of the Gold Coast Champions Cup currently being held in Queensland. The other semi-final pits run-away Group A winners Rochedale Rovers against high-scoring Reservior United who took out Group B. The W.A. Under-13 North side topped the Group C table after defeating Maroochydore (3-0), Green Gully (2-0), Nerang (5-0) and Brisbane Queensland Lions (5-0) in their group matches. The Under-13 South squad also finished the group stage without dropping a point with wins over John Paul College (2-0), Surfers Apollo (6-0), Pine River Rapids (4-1) and Rockville Rovers (3-0) to claim top spot in Group D.
2002 NATIONAL TALENT IDENTIFICATION CHAMPSIONSHIPS
The National Talent Identification Championship was played during the week at Valentine Park in Glenwood, New South Wales with Western Australia represented in both the Under-15 and Under-16 age groups. The annual event, widely regarded as the first major step on the road to potential national stardom, saw the cream of Australia's teenage talent come together to fight it out for the silverware. Twelve teams, split into two groups ahead of the finals series, were in competition at this year's championship which commenced on Saturday 28th September and ran through to Saturday 5th October.
The opening day of competition for the West Australian Under-15 saw them face off against a strong Country Victoria side who took the lead after 22 minutes. Future Glory striker Welsey Ryder levelled the scores in the 51st minute and, with neither side able to add to their tally, the points were shared. In other games, New South Wales recorded a 2-0 win over the Northern Territory, and Northern New South Wales battled out a scoreless draw with Country New South Wales.
Sunday opened up with Country New South Wales registering their first win of the tournament courtesy of a 2-1 scoreline against Country Victoria. Western Australia fell behind to a goal in the 6th minute against New South Wales later that day, but Mo Atak got his side back on track when he levelled the scores after 31 minutes only for the host state to maintained their 100% win record with a goal in the 46th minute. Northern New South Wales defeated the Northern Territory 3-0 in the days other match.
The early game on Day Three of competition saw Country New South Wales and New South Wales battle out a tight scoreless draw. Western Australia raced to a quick three-goal lead against the Northern Territory after Wesley Ryder (7th minute), Sebastian Trim (9) and Michael Bate (20) set the side on the road to victory. There was plenty more to come after the interval as Ryder completed his hat-trick (44, 48), Leigh Perry made it 6-0 after 55 minutes, Andrew Brand converted from the penalty spot nine minutes later, and Daniel Waind (80) rounded out the 8-0 win. Country Victoria went down 0-3 to Northern New South Wales later in the day. At the end of the day New South Wales and Northern New South Wales sat at the top of the table on 7 points, with Western Australia and Country New South Wales two points behind in joint third spot.
Northern New South Wales continued on their winning day on Tuesday with a 4-0 demolition of Western Australia. Ben Ahern opened the scoring after 8 minutes before Troy Hearfield put the game out of Western Australia's reaches with strikes in the 9th and 12th minutes. Hearfeild completed his hat-trick two minutes from full-time. New South Wales cruised to a 3-0 victory over Country Victoria, and Country New South Wales kept pace with fellow Statesmen courtesy of a 6-0 hammering of the Northern Territory.
Pool B's decider came on Wednesday with the top-of-the-table clash between Northern New South Wales and New South Wales, the match ending in a thrilling 3-3 draw to leave the two sides level on points after five games with the Northerners taking out the group on goal difference. Country New South Wales held Western Australia scoreless in the opening half of their clash before Perry (52) and Andrew Pomfret (60) ensured the west maximum points and third place in the final group standings. The Northern Territory went down 0-2 to Country Victoria in the other game.
Western Australia ended the Championships in sixth place after going down 0-1 to Country Queensland on Friday afternoon, the only goal of the game coming from Alex Laird after 6 minutes. South Australia had no troubled in sweeping aside Northern New South Wales in the semi-final with a 6-0 victory, while New South Wales went through to the decider courtesy of a 4-2 win over Queensland. The Under-15's Final was taken out by New South Wales 4-0 with the goals coming from Breagan O'Connor (11), Bradley Porter (15), Ben Gough (44), and Joel Vasquez (61). Sorrento left-back Andrew Brand was named the Under-15's player of the tournament by coach Ron Tindall on their arrival back in Perth.
The 2002 West Australian Under-15 squad was Jakub Chudy, Daniel Waind, Leigh Perry, Daniel DeFazio (E.C.U. Joondalup), Daniel Simcox, Marlon Ramirez, Sebastian Trim, Wesley Ryder (Future Glory), Ben Coppack, Andrew Brand, Brodie Martin, Michael Bate (Sorrento), Jason Barrera, Mustafa Atak (Fremantle City), Andrew Pomfret (Gosnells City) and Tae Phillips (Perth S.C.). The team was coached by Ron Tindall.
Western Australia's Under-16's started on a bright note with Michael Bascynski opening the scoring 17 minutes into their meeting with New South Wales. But the strong host state refused to lie down and equalised after 33 minutes before Glenn Littlebury sealed victory in the final minute of the match. South Australia showed they would be the team to watch with a convincing 4-0 result against Victoria, and a first half goal enabled Tasmania to defeat Country New South Wales 1-0.
South Australia recorded a 2-1 win over Country New South Wales on Day Two of the Under-16 competition. Western Australia got themselves on the board courtesy of a goal from John Higgins on the hour which resulted in a 1-0 afternoon victory over Tasmania. And New South Wales accounted for Victoria 3-1 late in the day.
Victoria made it two wins on the trot with a 4-0 thumping of Country New South Wales in Monday's opening Pool A fixture. New South Wales thrashed Tasmania 8-0, and three late very goals to South Australia enabled them to knock off Western Australia 0-3. After three days of competition New South Wales and South Australia sit undefeated at the top of the table on 9 points with Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania in joint-third place, three points off the pace.
New South Wales and South Australia maintained their 100% win records on Day Four to secure their places in the semi-finals stage of the tournament. New South Wales had a comfortable 3-0 win over Country New South Wales, while South Australia fell over the line 2-1 against Tasmania. After a scoreless first half, a 53rd minute goal from Australian youth international Josh Kamasz was enough to give Western Australia a 1-0 win against Victoria.
The Under-16's Pool A was decided on the final day of group competition with joint leaders New South Wales and South Australia meeting, the match going to the southerners 2-1 with the winner coming two minutes from full-time via Matthew Deegan. Western Australia finished in fourth place after a 0-1 to Country New South Wales for whom Scott Evennett scored after 22 minutes, while Victoria leapfrog into third courtesy of a 3-1 win over bottom side Tasmania.
Western Australia met Northern New South Wales in the play-off for 7th/8th place on Friday afternnon. Kamasz gave the side from the west the lead after 31 minutes, but Nathan Morris earned his side equal seventh spot with a goal in the 49th minute. In the semi-finals that same day, South Australia accounted for the Australian Capital Territory 2-1 with the winner coming after 107 minutes, while New South Wales lost 0-1 to Queensland. In a tense Final played on Saturday afternoon, Queensland came away with the spoils by defeating South Australia 1-0 with a goal from Tim Smits two minutes from full-time.
Upon arriving back in Perth, Under-16 coach Frank Longstaff said he was happy with how his side had played in the week-long event. "I think we played as well as we could in the tournament. Conceding a last minute goal against New South Wales from a corner when we probably deserved a draw, and some strange refereeing decisions cost us a draw against South Australia, but overall I think finishing seventh was about right. But with a little bit of luck we could have made the semi-finals. This tournament was one of the most even I have seen with any one of the top teams capable of beating each other on their day."
"John Higgins had an outstanding tournament for us and was rewarded by being selected in the Joeys training squad," Longstaff added. "Other stand out players where Marc Sim, Daryl Platten, Michael Smerilli, Chris Ramsay and Jon Mathers. The teams we played against where all institute of sport teams who had been together for a long time and so were a lot fitter and worked more cohesively as a team than our boys."
The 2002 West Australian Under-16 squad was Chris Ramsey (Swan I.C.), Carmelo Genovese, Adam Gamgemi, Daniel Hendley, Scott Blackmore, John Higgins, Darryl Platten (E.C.U. Joondalup), Robbie McCann (Sorrento), Michael Bacynski (Inglewood United), Ben Rogers, Jonathon Mathers, Ashley Otte, Michael Smerilli (Future Glory), Josh Kamasz, Marc Sim (Fremantle City) and Greg Montenegro (Cockburn City). The team was coached by Frank Longstaff.
A 53rd minute goal from Josh Kamasz handed Western Australia a 1-0 victory over Victoria on Tuesday, but the following afternoon the westerners lost by the same margin to Country New South Wales to end the group stage in fourth place in Pool A. The State Under-16 side completed their campaign on Friday with the play-off for 7th/8th against Northern New South Wales, Kamasz giving Western Australia the lead after 31 minutes only for the host state to share the spoils courtesy of a 49th minute equaliser. South Australia and Queensland meet in the Final on Saturday morning.
LAZARIDIS AT HIS BEST FOR BIRMINGHAM
Stan Lazaridis has marked his first appearance in Birmingham City's starting line-up this season by laying on all three goals in the clubs 3-2 Worthington Cup defeat of Leyton Orient. The Australia international played in teammate Stern John after 15 minutes for the opening goal, and ten minutes later sparked an intricate move which also involved Geoff Horsfield before John finished superbly for his second of the night. The former Floreat Athena player teed-up the winner 14 minutes from the final whistle, latching onto a spilled save from Orient goalkeeper Glenn Morris to square to John who completed his hat-trick.
PETKOVIC THE SAFEST HANDS IN TURKEY
Former State goalkeeper Michael Petkovic is earning himself rave reviews in Turkey where he's playing for top flight club Trabzonspor. In recent weeks the 26-year old shot-stopper has done his reputation no end of good with outstanding performances against Genclerbirlioi, Besiktas and most recently Samsunspor, which has left the Australian international with the enviable record of the competitions best goalkeeper having conceded just four goals in seven outings. But Petkovic's may find his time with Tranzonspor cut short with rumours indicating he has attracted the attention of some of Europe's bigger clubs.
JOONDALUP BACK FROM BRUNEI
E.C.U. Joondalup have returned from south-east Asia after being controversially tipped out of the Brunei Invitational Cup. A 3-2 win over Persita Tangerang (Indonesia) in their opening group match was followed by a 1-2 loss to Bec-Tero Sasana (Thailand) to leave the local club needing victory against the Brunei Amateur Football Association XI to progress to the semi-final stage. Unfortunately that match ended in a 0-1 defeat courtesy of a late own goal from Danny Wilson, but coach Paul Simmons said that before the game he was told Joondalup would find it almost impossible make the next phase of the competition. The local referee yellow carded eight Joondalup players and sent off Garin Collins, Jamie Kuzmanovich and Doug Ithier while allowing the home side to get away with a number of clear violations of the laws. "I have a video of it," Simmons said. "You would not believe it if you had not seen it. We absolutely battered them but the referee was disgraceful. We were being pulled up for offside even when four metres onside!"
After taking the lead the B.A.F.A. XI focused on running down the clock using any strategy available to them. "The stretcher was on seven times in the second half," Simmons fumed. "Whenever the player reached the touch line, he jumped back up and went on again. They were punching, kicking and slapping our players." But despite his complaints Simmons said he and Joondalup would return if invited to the tournament next year. "But I would take 18 or so players to allow guys a rest - the humidity was awful." Joondalup president Tom McCrisken said the chance to play in the tournament was great for both the club and the local game. "It was tremendous exposure for West Australian soccer - we were on television most nights and got great coverage in the local press," he said. "I was proud of what we achieved. We weren't disgraced when you consider we were playing against teams made up of full time professionals." D.P.M.M. claimed the trophy in Monday night's final by edging out Bec-Tero Sasana 1-0 courtesy of a 42nd minute goal from import Nicholas Hyde.
DI PIETRO TO COMPETE ON WORLD STAGE
A phone call three months ago has given Armadale player Michael Di Pietro a chance to participate in the World Masters Games in Melbourne which kick-off on 6th October and run until the 13th October. "I received a phone call from a friend in Tasmania asking me if I wanted to be part of a soccer team he was putting together to participate in the Masters", Di Pietro said. To qualify to play in the tournament players need to be over the age of 30 with teams split into two division - Premier for those with international, national or state experience, and A Grade for those who play in their local competition. Di Pietro will represent the Tassie Wizards in the A Grade event. "I'm just looking at it as a chance of a lifetime, to go out there and play and enjoy it. The tournament will see over 25,000 competitors from 95 countries landing in Melbourne to take part in over 25 sports. Further information about the World Masters Games can be found online at http://www.2002worldmasters.org/
FUTURE TALKS CONTINUE (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
The future of the continuation of Future Glory in Soccer West Coast's Premier League will be the subject of negotiations over the next few weeks. The fledgling club, which has reached the final of the Boral Cup and finished seventh in the Premier League, is believed to be unwilling to continue making its considerable financial contribution to Soccer West Coast. This season that financial commitment meant that each top flight club received $1,000 for the two games they played against Future, which also bore the cost of advertising local fixtures. S.W.C. said it is willing to contribute towards next season's advertising costs, but felt it was essential that Future should maintain the $1,000 payment to each club.
HAT-TRICK MARKS GIORGI'S RETURN (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
Pocket-sized midfielder Rob Giorgi completed a stirring comeback with a hat-trick in Perth S.C.'s 5-2 semi-final victory over Cockburn City in the E.C.U. Centenary Cup on Saturday. Giorgi, who played a major part in Perth's success in landing three trophies last season, was side-lined for a long spell this year after being suspended for two matches which was followed by an injury sustained on the training ground which caused him to be absent for a further seven weeks. His return to form couldn't have come at a better time for Perth who recently lost influential midfielders Robbie Gaspar, who has gone to play in Malaysia, and Jamie Coyne, who has joined Perth Glory on a two-month contract. In other club news, coach Graham Normanton has praised the decision to switch this Saturdays E.C.U. Centenary Cup Final with Floreat Athena from the Edith Cowan University campus in Joondalup to Dorrien Gardens. "It's much better for both teams to decide this one at a better venue and I'm sure we will attract a lot more people that watch the semi finals", said Normanton.
PHOENIX UNDER-18'S GO UNDEFEATED
It's not often than a team start a season and emerge at the other end undefeated, but that's exactly what the Under-18 side from South West Phoenix have done this year. The youngsters ended the season a massive 16 points clear of second-placed Rockingham City after completing the 24 games home-and-away campaign with 23 victories and a single draw. Along the way they amassed 115 goals while at the other end 10 clean sheets meant that a paltry 22 goals were conceded to finish with the amazing goal difference of +93.
There were some very big wins over the course of the winter for the Phoenix side - 10-0 and 9-2 thrashings of Kingsway Olympic, a barnstorming 9-0 triumph over Queens Park, and 8-1 drubbing's handed out to both Armadale and Morley Windmills. The goals flowed all season long for Chris Norminton who bagged 29 to take out the competitions Golden Boot award, while there was also considerable hauls from Gino Comito (14) and Michael Jennings (13). Players that turned out for Phoenix' successful Under-18 side this year include Rick Affonso, Dominic Allen, James Anderson, James Bergin, Terence Cain, Adam Cole, Gino Comito, Daniel Curnow, Joel Dyett, Matthew Dunlop, Damian Jago-Banks, Michael Jennings, Colin Kavanagh, Kane McMurray, Houston Mustard, Chris Norminton, Nick Pain, Richard Palumbo, Shane Russell and James Turbitt.
The Bunbury region is fast developing a reputation for producing exciting players. Former Perth Glory and State defender Doug Ithier, whose career took him overseas to play for Sarawak (Malaysia) and Marine Castle United (Singapore), hails from the area. Premier League outfit Fremantle City this season had three players from Bunbury on their books in David Rodgers, Damian Trim and brother Daniel Trim, who had his debut for the State team earlier this year. Another Trim brother, Sebastian, spent 2002 with Future Glory and is currently in the eastern states where he's playing for the West Australian Under-15 side at the National Talent Identification Championships.
Richard Garcia says he will wait patiently for his first taste of senior football with West Ham United this season. "I am just biding my time and hopefully I will get my chance," he told the Hammers official website (www.whufc.co.uk) recently. "Edouard Cisse has come along and has played really well, and Don Hutchison is coming back soon. But even just training with the players you are improving every day, and as long as that is happening, I am happy; the main thing is not to get frustrated." With West Ham languishing at the foot of the English Premier League table, Garcia says that just one game could turn around their campaign. "We have had slow starts over the past three seasons, but I think the players are still really positive, and it is just finding that performance that will get the season started I'm sure we will."
A regular fixtures in his club's reserves outfit, the young attacker was also part of the Australian Under-23 squad that recently spend ten-days in camp in Germany where he showed his quality by scoring a brace against last season's Champions' League finalists. "We had a good time against Bayer Leverkusen, and the whole team played well. Then we played a German first division club, winning 1-0, but I can't remember their name. To score against such a good side was a nice feeling. I think the Australian football people wanted to give us a bit of stiff opposition, and we got it. Now I just have to keep working hard at West Ham, which is the priority."
KARP MAKES SENIOR DEBUT
Midfielder Tal Karp has become the latest local product to make he senior international debut for Australia. The 20-year old was one of three new faces in the Matilda's side that went down 0-2 to Canada in Vancouver on Friday. With debutants Karp and Olivia Hohnke in the starting eleven, Australia created numerous openings throughout the match but were unable to convert them into goals in a testing, physical encounter. Canada held the upper hand for much of the first half, while Australia started the second period determined to break the deadlock before Isabelle Morneau scored twice to give the home nation victory. In Sunday's return leg, Karp saw out the full 90 minutes as Australia levelled the series with a 1-0 win courtesy of Kelly Golebiowski's 64th minute strike.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Perth S.C. qualified for the final of the E.C.U. Centenary Cup with a convincing 5-2 win over Cockburn City in warm conditions at Edith Cowan University on Saturday. Floreat Athena will be Perth's opponents in the Final after defeating Sorrento 3-1 in the days other clash. Perth Glory crashed to their first defeat at Perth Oval in 17-months when they went down 3-4 to Brisbane Strikers in the National Soccer League on Sunday afternoon. In Monday's Boral Cup semi-final, Future Glory defeated Inglewood United 4-0 at the National Stadium to tee up a meeting with E.C.U. Joondalup in next Sunday's Final.
BORAL CUP, SEMI-FINALS (Canning City vs Floreat Athena by Phil Unsworth)
Future Glory have kept their season alive with a 4-0 drubbing of Inglewood United in the semi-final of the Boral Cup at the National Stadium today. Although boosted by the inclusion of Perth Glory quartet Antonio Naglieri, Vince Matassa, Michael Garcia and Nick Mrdja, Future needed a fair degree of good luck during the early exchanges as Inglewood took the game up to their opponents. Inglewood were unlucky not to take the lead after 14 minutes when Louis Parkinson was denied by Matassa, but Future responded immediately with a swift attack that saw Mrdja's cross put away by Admir Mehic to open the scoring. Luck was simply against the home side when, just before the half-time break, Elton Holmes' shot was knocked wide by Matassa. The contest was more even after the break as Mileta Miletic and Robert Cibesku went close for the Future, while Parkinson hit the side-netting at the other end. But again Future attacked on the counter with Miletic slotting home in the 69th minute. Inglewood substitute Paul Lincoln almost made a dream entrance but poked the ball just wide seconds after coming on. The match was ended as a contest by Naglieri whose in-swinging corner found the net after 76 minute. Midfielder Miki Vujacic added his sides' fourth goal in the 83rd. Future will now meet E.C.U. Joondalup in the Final at Dorrien Gardens next Sunday amid growing speculation that this could be their last match in the league as their inclusion in next seasons competition has not yet been guaranteed.
In the early reserves semi-final Perth S.C. cruised to victory over Fremantle City to seal their place in next Sunday's Final at Dorrien Gardens. Damien Catalano, Jason Colli and an own goal completed the 3-0 margin in favour of the Blues. Their opponents will be First Division club Mandurah City who progressed to the decider courtesy of a 4-1 penalty shoot-out win over the top flights Inglewood United. The Under-18's semi-final between Sorrento and Fremantle City started at the ultra-early time of 9.00pm and it was the port side that drew first blood with Dean Apelgren giving them the lead after 35 minutes. But the Seagulls are never ones to under-estimate with Bryan Hedges levelling the scores in the 58th minute. With no further addition to the scores in regulation time, the game went straight to a penalty shoot-out which Sorrento emerged from as 5-3 victors. Successful from the spot for the northern suburbs side were William Kirkpatrick, Joseph Woodin, Bryan Hedges, Farrell Hedges and Daniel Cain, while Simon Elton-Bott, Dean Apelgren and Chris Zarricueta netted for Fremantle.
A doubled from Brisbane Strikers forward Fernando Rech sent Perth Glory tumbling to their first loss at Perth Oval in 17-months in Round Two of the National Soccer League on Sunday. Glory looked far from comfortable as the Brazilian-born Rech tormented the home defence, opening the scoring after 9 minutes, and four minutes later Peter Grierson doubled the margin from close-range. Brad Hassell brought Glory back into the game in the 57th minute, but any sense of comeback were out on hold when Rech restored the two-goal buffer after 68 minutes. Anthony Roche made it 1-4 to the Strikers before Danian Mori converted two late penalties to make the final score look more respectable for Glory. "We'll see who is brave enough to come and do that to us again this season," said coach Mich d'Avray of the Strikers attacking approach to the game. "I don't think too many teams will come here and do that. If they do, we've got to be able to cope with them at the back and we'll then create chances and score goals like we've always done."
E.C.U. CENTENARY CUP SEMI-FINALS (by Christian Galapolous)
Perth S.C. qualified for the final of the E.C.U. Centenary Cup with a convincing 5-2 win over Cockburn City in warm conditions at Edith Cowan University on Saturday. The Blues dominated the early stages of the match but failed to find the net until midway through the period when they struck a purple patch with no-nonsense midfielder Rob Giorgi scoring twice in as many minutes to give his side a 2-0 lead. After the half-time break Perth picked up where they lead off as dynamic striker Andreas Oliveira put the Premier League champions on the road to victory with well taken goals in 54th and 60th minutes. Cockburn youngster Colin Copperwaite kept alive his sides slim hopes when he chipped goalkeeper Rob Scarparolo for his side's first goal. Giorgi completed his hat-trick three minutes from full-time to seal a berth in the decider for Perth, and deep into injury time Peter Petkovich bagged a late consolation for Cockburn.
Floreat Athena will be Perth's opponents in the Final after they accounted for Sorrento 3-1 in the days other clash. State Under-23 and Athena teammate Adrian Sutton and James Afkos showed they will be ones to watch in next weeks Final after solid performances in a match that saw all the goal arrive in the opening 45-minutes. Big striker Ryan Newhill opened the scoring with a scorcher from 22-metres, but the lead was short-lived with Sorrento youngster Farrell Hedges equalising from Staurt Banks cross. Afkos put his side back in front when he rounded stranded Sorrento goalkeeper Gareth Deeg, and minutes half-time Costa Socratous curled home Athena's third goal from edge of penalty area. Despite a lack of goals, scoring opportunities were plentiful in the second half with both teams guilty of missing easy chances and Athena goalkeeper Vas Vujacic pulled off a string of adventurous saves as the Segulls searched for a way back into the match.
FIRST DIVISION WRAP
The final round of the First Division Bottom Nine series has been played with Balcatta finishing top of the heap after they registered a convincing 4-2 home win over Wanneroo City. Kingsway Olympic finished just behind on goal difference after a 0-2 away loss to Leeming Strikers, while Canning City - who had the bye - came in fourth place. Elsewhere, Perth City drew 1-1 with Southside United, and Rockingham City completed a disappointing season by defeating South West Phoenix 3-1 at Dowling Street Reserve.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The semi-finals of the Centenary Cup take place at the Edith Cowan University campus in Joondalup on Saturday. At the early time of 10.30am, Cockburn City go head-to-head with Perth S.C. while later in the day Sorrento play Floreat Athena from 3.00pm. In between those games is the Under-18 Boral Cup semi-final clash between Canning City and Floreat Athena, kick-off at 12.30pm. That same afternoon in the final round of the First Division season, Leeming Strikers host Kingsway Olympic and Rockingham City play South West Phoenix. Balcatta have home ground advantage over Wanneroo City, and Perth City take on Southside United at Kingsway Sporting Complex.
National Soccer League action returns to Perth on Sunday when reigning premiers Perth Glory host Brisbane Strikers at Perth Oval from 4.00pm. Former Floreat Athena and Glory midfielder John Carbone will be making the trip across the Nullabor with the Strikers, while Glory boast no less than local nine players - Jason Petkovic, Scott Horsley, David Tarka, Todd Harwell, Nick Mrdja, Bobby Despotovski, Anthony Danze, Gary Faria and Vince Matassa - in this week's matchday squad.
The Boral Cup semi-finals are played at the National Stadium in Inglewood on Monday, the opening match pitting the Under-18 sides from Fremantle City and Sorrento against eachother from 9.00am. This is followed by reserves meetings between Fremantle City and Perth S.C. (10.40am), then Mandurah City square off with Inglewood United (12.30pm). The final game of a long day is the senior showdown between Future Glory and Inglewood United which is scheduled to kick-off at 3.00pm.
GOLD COAST THE DESTINATION FOR STATE UNDER-13'S
The Junior Soccer Association of W.A. are sending two State Under-13 squads to Queensland to take part in the largest international youth tournament in Australia - the Gold Coast Champions Cup - which is being staged next week. The tournament is conducted under F.I.F.A. rules and is sanctioned by Soccer Australia and the Oceania Football Confederation. First held in 1997 and hosted by the Mudgeeraba Soccer Club, the aim of the Gold Coast Champions Cup is to provide young players with an opportunity to develop soccer skills, cultural understanding and friendship through sport.
Coached by Paul Wozny, the Under-13 North squad is Jason Trpevski (Floreat Athena), Jack Rocchi (Inglewood United), Phillip Arnold, Shane Lowry, Christopher Pugh, Troy Tobin (E.C.U. Joondalup), Rory Hollingum, Andrew Kendrick, Tom Quinn, Stephen Whitehead (Kings Academy), Peja Kalezic, Jovo Pavlovich, Nicolas Tatasciore (Perth S.C.), Anthony Davies, Scott Neville (Sorrento) and James Perry (Swan Districts).
The Under-13 South squad will be under the watchful eye of coach Steve Duckworth and features Andrew Reale (Australind), Aaron DosSantos, Ivan Gavranic, Matthew Johnson (Cockburn City), Andrew Morrow (Fremantle City), Kim Campos (E.C.U. Joondalup), Carlos Portillo, Glen Smith (Kwinana), Kurt De Souza, Cameron Hayes, Ryan Pearson, Cory Shotter, Stephen Skilandis, Luke Woodard (Lynwood), Robert Figg (Perth S.C.) and Sam Keary (Rockingham City).
STATE UNDER-15'S PRIMED FOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
The West Australian Under-15 team will depart Perth this Friday to represent the State at the National Talent Identification Championships that are being held in New South Wales next week. The annual youth event will once again being staged at Valentine Sports Park in Glenwood, Sydney, with the West Australian side aiming to go one better than last year when they finished in third place. The teams in competition this time round are the Australian Capital Territory, Northern New South Wales, South Australia, Country New South Wales, Queensland, New South Wales, Country Queensland, the Northern Territory, Victoria, Tasmania, Country Victoria and, of course, Western Australia..
With in excess of 80 players having trialled for selection over a period of several months, coach Ron Tindall said getting the right blend of players was by no means an easy task. "Some of the final decisions have been very difficult, but I believe I have picked the best players for the squad." Junior Soccer Association president Steve Coppack praised the boys on being picked for the side, saying "Their selection is an appropriate reward for their hard work and dedication to improving their game, and the coaches that have worked with them over the years will be proud of them. Their selection is not just a personal reward as it is shared by their parents who have supported them, in a range of ways along the way."
Drawn largely from the successful youth teams of Sorrento, E.C.U. Joondalup and Future Glory, the State Under-15 squad which travels east today is Mustafa Atak, Jason Barrera (Fremantle City), Marlon Ramirez, Wesley Ryder, Daniel Simcox, Sebastian Trim (Future Glory), Jakub Chudy, Daniel DeFazio, Leigh Perry, Daniel Waind (E.C.U. Joondalup), Andrew Pomfret (Gosnells City), Tae Phillips (Perth S.C.), Michael Bate, Andrew Brand, Ben Coppack and Brodie Martin (Sorrento).
BLUES MUST STRING TOGETHER RESULTS SAYS LAZARIDIS
Stan Lazaridis believes Birmingham City can continue their climb up the English Premier League table after a good start to the new season, but the onus is on the Blues to string together some results. "There are games coming up that we have got to be looking to take a lot of points from," said the Australian midfielder whose club face West Ham United, West Bromwich Albion, Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers in coming weeks. "Of course, they are all hard in the Premiership but there are some you can pinpoint that you know will do you a lot of good if you win them. With eight points after seven matches we are reasonably happy. We had some difficult fixtures and places to go early on. Saying that, we were disappointed with the defeat at Middlesbrough on Saturday."
So far this season Lazaridis has had to be content with a spot on the bench for the first team. "I'd love to get a start. It's difficult when you come on and get ten or fifteen minutes to try and do something. I didn't manage to do a lot for the team at Middlesbrough and that was disappointing ... at least we were a bit more attacking. I'm not complaining about not being in the team," Lazaridis insisted. "The boys have been getting results and you can't have any arguments. I'm just keeping myself right for when a chance does come. It's a long season and there are going to be injuries along the way."
REFEREE RUINS JOONDALUP'S HOPES
E.C.U. Joondalup have bowed out of the Brunei Invitational Cup at the group stage following an ill-tempered 0-1 loss to the Brunei Amateur Football Association XI on Tuesday evening. The only goal of the match arrived in the 73rd minute when Joondalup defender Danny Wilson put the ball past his own goalkeeper. But the game will be remembered more for the sub-standard performance of referee Hsu Chao Lo who failed to control the match, resulting in the ejection of Joondalup's Jamie Kuzmanovich, Doug Ithier and Garin Collins as the West Australian side ended with just eight players on the field of play. It was the second time in three days that Joondalup, who will now catch an earlier than planned flight back to Perth, were on the receiving end of some poor refereeing. The B.A.F.A. XI progress to the semi-final stages along with Group A winners Bec-Tero Sasana who fought out a dull scoreless draw with Indonesia's Persita Tangerang in the early game.
Joondalup started their stay in south-east Asia with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Indonesia's Persita Tangerang last Friday. Tony Ellis gave the West Australian side the lead after 4 minutes at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium, but a 27th minute strike from Firman Utina saw the two teams go into the interval on level terms. Ten minutes after the re-start the Indonesian side took the lead via Zaenal Arif and, with the clock ticking down, they looked set for victory. That was until Joondalup striker Andy Mason found the target in the 72nd and 86th minutes to ensure that his side kicked-off their campaign in the best possible way. In the earlier game reigning Thai League champions play Bec-Tero Sasana got a late equaliser to salvage a 2-2 draw with the Brunei Amateur Football Association XI in the tournament opener.
On Sunday evening Joondalup came up against an on-song Bec-Tero Sasana side who recorded a 2-0 victory to leave Group A wide open heading in to the final round of qualifiers. With Joondalup having lost striker Ellis with a possible cartilage injury sustained in their opening fixture, it was the Thai's that started brightly by taking the early lead through Khwanchai Phuandprakob who netted in the 4th minute after goalkeeper Peter Stewart failed to hold on to a low cross. With some dubious offside calls going against the West Australian side, Stewart was otherwise in sensational form and kept his side in the hunt on several occasions with a series of heroic saves. The game was ended as a contest when Therdsak Chaiman put Bec-Tero Sasana 2-0 up, but Joondalup were unlucky not be awarded a penalty after Dale McCulloch was hauled down inside the box shortly after. Adding salt to the wound, Joondalup were reduced to ten men with the 75th minute dismissal of midfielder Kevin Griffiths. The night's other match saw the Brunei Amateur Football Association XI and Persita Tangerang draw 1-1.
BALGA SEARCH FOR NEW COACH
Balga Soccer Club invites applications for the position of senior coach for the 2003 season. Applicants should register their interest by contacting the President, Ken Shorto, by phone 93426824 or visit the club's website at http://balgasc.tripod.com and register your interest by email. Applications close by 30th October, 2002.
STATE RECALL FOR KAMASZ
Fremantle City's hot-shot striker Josh Kamasz has been given a second bite of the cherry by being recalled to the State Under-16 squad that will take part in the National Talent Identification Championship next week in New South Wales. The teenager comes into the squad to replace E.C.U. Joondalup's Tom Jones who was forced to withdraw after breaking a bone in his leg in last week's friendly with a Perth Glory youth combination. Kamasz was named in the original travelling party but dropped out after taking up trial offers from English clubs Manchester City and Preston North End.
MIKULIC CLAIMS GOLDEN BOOT (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
No one is hotter at the moment than Branimir Mikulic who scored a 90th minute penalty for Cockburn City in the 2-1 win over Sorrento to clinch the 2002 Golden Boot Award as the Premier League's top goal scorer for the second season on the trot. Mikulic's 20-goal haul was two more than when he claimed the award last season, and is the first player since Frank Bate to win successive Golden Boots.
"I was so relieved when we got that late penalty for I didn't think it was going to be my day after hitting the post earlier in the game and then Sorrento's goalkeeper making some great saves to also thwart me", said the 22-year old. Mikulic is hoping his goal scoring achievements will be a stepping-stone towards a career in the National Soccer League. " That's my ultimate aim and I'd love to play for Perth Glory", he said. "But I believe in fate and whatever happens happens. I'm doing the hard work, training five days a week and I just hope that it's enough to realise my dream." Mikulic said his one regret this season was his inconsistency - just think what he might have achieved had he been hitting the target as regularly as he would have liked!
Mikulic ended the season with 20 goals, one more than early pace-setter Andreas Oliveira of Perth S.C. who dropped off the pace over the second half of the winter. Andy Mason (E.C.U. Joondalup) and Ryan Newhill (Floreat Athena) finished level in third place with 17 goals each, while Swan I.C. midfielder Damien Scali came in two behind them. On 14 goals was Perth attacker Mark Pottier who was hotly pursued by Western Knights' marksman Carl Medica (13). Other that reached doubled figures over the course of the home-and-away campaign were Perth midfielder Jamie Coyne (11), Joondalup's Garin Collins (10) and the Knights Eugene Singeorzan (10).
SORRENTO CONTINUE TO UNEARTH TALENTS (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
Sorrento defender Kevin Murphy seems almost certain to be given a contract by English First Division club Sheffield United. Murphy, whose brother Shaun also plays for the Blades, has been on trial with the club for close to two months. He has been registered by United in order to beat the closure of the transfer window and is reported to be training regularly with the first team squad. The Seagulls may have unearthed another couple of players with enormous potential in teenagers Farrell Hedges and Mark Walsh, the pair making their first team debuts on the weekend. Hedges, who is an attacking mid-fielder, arrived in Australia from England at the start of the year and has made rapid progress through the ranks. The 17-year old capped his senior debut by scoring Sorrento's goal in the 2-1 loss to Cockburn City. Walsh, who is a left back, is the son of John Walsh who played for ten years in the left-back position with Sorrento and is the only player to have been granted a testimonial by the Seagulls.
OLDFIELD REVITALISES CAREER WITH OXFORD
The experience of off-season signing David Oldfield has been one of the key reasons that Oxford United have turned around their season after an indifferent start. After six games in Oxford were languishing in 17th place on the English Third Division table, but a four game undefeated run has lifted the club's spirits as well as their position. "We've been a little bit mixed, but we're getting better ... I could do with a goal personally! The boys around me are playing very well and the last couple of results have gone very well," Oldfield told his club's official website (www.oufc.co.uk) this week.
"We've got some good young players here and hopefully we can gel as a squad, which I think is the most important thing in view of injuries. If we stick together as a squad, as a club and with the fans, who have been fantastic, then we can certainly have success, I'm sure," the veteran attacker added. "We won't be far away (from promotion). There's some good sides in this league and its going to be a battle but if we work hard and take our chances, defend well as a team, then we have a chance. It's important to keep the crowd onboard for us, and they've been great so far. We must do better at home and if we all stay together then we can have a good season."
At 34, Oldfield is making plans for a life in football after his time as a player comes to a close, most likely with a move into the coaching arena. "I can learn a lot from (manager) Ian Atkins, and I have done already since I've been here. It's been interesting in pre-season and the way he handled different things. I also learnt a lot from Barry Fry at Peterborough - he does things differently, but Ian's sort of similar in the way he does things he wants to do and he's got his conviction and how he wants to do so. If I can have any sort of input then that will be great but the boys have been good and they're working hard and that's what we've got to do and hopefully we can do well."
University of W.A. finished their W.A.A.S.S.A. Premier League campaign with a 4-2 win over Balga at McGillivray Oval on Sunday. With University needing victory to have any chance of ending the season in second place and Balga desperate for points to avoid relegation, there was plenty on the line as the match got underway. The first opportunity of the game fell to Anthony Banham who snatched at a chance as the ball fell at the edge of the area but was unlucky to see the ball clear the bar by only centimetres. Balga were attacking through both flanks at this stage and chances fell to Kevin Pope, Willie Lyall and Steve Hill before Banham again saw a magnificent effort somehow saved by Shyam Young, whose superb reflex actions managed to tip the ball over for a corner. The home side took the early lead when Robert Benkovic's header saw Marc D'Asconio bury the ball in the back of the net. Balga were unlucky not to go into the break on level terms after striker Willie Lyall hit the crossbar with a header, then watched on as goalkeeper Shyam Young kept out another shot with his legs. The second half saw University in a more determined mood but it was Balga who had the best of the early chances with a well struck shot that Young did well to keep out. On the hour David Berg and Matt Hill combined with the former's cross tucked away by Daniel Forbes to double the home team's lead. Balga then lost the influential Nigel Marshall to an ankle injury and shortly after midfielder Max Percy sent a 30-metre pass over the Balga defence to D'Asconio who lobbed the goalkeeper to make it 3-0. But any thoughts that the game was over were quickly dispelled when Balga were awarded a penalty that was converted by Lyall. Darren McNally then got behind the defence to cross and Lyall was on hand to make it 3-2. With three minutes remaining Benkovic set-up D'Asconio for his hat-trick and a final 4-2 result. "Balga gave us a good game today and perhaps with more fortune could have gone in ahead at half time," said University coach Kevin Burton after the game. "However, the second half saw use our pace and fitness and the three goals we scored were all very good. It's been an outstanding season for U.W.A. and by finishing third at both first team and reserve levels with such a young squad we have surpassed our expectations in the Premier League." University were victorious in the reserves 4-1 courtesy of goals by Tim Grose (2) and Mark Adam plus a own goal.
After securing the title last weekend, Hamersley Rovers ended their winter on a high with a 3-1 away win over Murdoch University. Hamersley's success this season comes as no surprise considering strike-partners Flavio L'Abbate and Neil Birkinshaw ended well clear as the Premier League's top two goalscorers. Five points off the pace were Forrestfield United who claimed the runners-up spot with a 4-1 final round home win over E.C.U. Joondalup, and just a point behind them in third was University. Spearwood Dalmatinac made fourth their's with a 5-0 away thrashing of Subiaco United. Shamrock Rovers defeated Fremantle United 3-0, while Kwinana United avoided relegation on goal difference despite going down 2-3 to Perth Azzurri. Making the drop are Balga and Subiaco.
CN Canning International, who secured promotion to the top flight weeks ago, ended their 2002 winter campaign by hitting eight past Cockburn City without reply to finish six points clear at the top of the table. It's been a sensational season for Canning striker Pablo Caceres whose 29-goal haul played a large part in his teams success. Also going up will be Suburbs United, who have been lead from the front by Luke Myburg, after they wrapped up second place with a 5-0 thrashing of Morley Windmills. Two points behind them were Colo Colo and North Perth United who finished on level points after final rounds wins over Belmont Villa (4-2) and Cloverdale Chindits (3-2) respectively. Between them, Fidel Rodriguez and Jaime Jorquera bagged in excess of 50 goals for Colo Colo this season, while Jeremy Fontanille ended as the leading scorer at North Perth United. W.A. Maccabi edged into fifth place courtesy of a 3-2 home defeat of Geraldton La Fiamma, tipping out Carlisle who went down 1-5 away to North Beach. Cockburn and Cloverdale will spend next year in the Second Division after finishing in eleventh and twelfth places respectively.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
The final Saturday round of the home-and-away season saw Floreat Athena over-power Fremantle City 2-1 courtesy of first half goals from James Afkos and Ryan Newhill. A Graeme Matthews goal six minutes from the end enabled Bassendean Caledonian to defeat Ashfield in a dour struggle at Jubilee Reserve, and Cockburn City ended on a bright note with a 2-1 home defeat of Sorrento. On Sunday, Inglewood United snuck into the final series at the expense of E.C.U. Joondlaup with a come from behind, 4-3 win over Future Glory. And at Dorrien Gardens, champions Perth S.C. ended the regular season with a 3-1 defeat of Swan I.C. to take out the Spring In The Valley Cup.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND TWENTY TWO (Floreat Athena vs Fremantle City by Christian Galapolous; Cockburn City vs Sorrento by Lennie Bavich; Perth S.C. vs Swan I.C. by Mike Hennessey)
Already assured of a place in the Top Five finals series, Bassendean Caledonian took the opportunity to rest several first team regulars when they hosted bottom side Ashfield on Saturday afternoon. With nothing to lose, the visitors started in blistering form with a series of attacks that forced Caledonian back into their defensive half. But for all their dominance of the early play, Ashfield's only clear-cu opportunity came in the 4th minute when young Matt Pochroj skinned sweeper Paul Strudwick only to see the advancing Alan Dunlop block his shot with an out-stretched leg. Having weathered the early onslaught, Caledonian slowly began to find their rhythm that resulted in Jimmy Merkouris' threading a pass to Ramon Westerberger whose shot from an angle was comfortably by Phil Jackson after 17 minutes.
The home team grew in confidence and composure as the half progressed but lacked any sort of potency in their final third. To add to their woes, Caledonian's suffered a cruel blow when talented teenager Glen McCormick suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury in the 27th minute, his place on the left flank taken by 19-year old Joel Powell. Shots on either goal were few and far between over the closing stages of the opening half with some sloppy passing by both teams resulting in the ball being continuously turned over outside the respective 18-yard boxes. It wasn't until the 45th minute that a clear strike on goal presented itself, Merkouris being allowed time to advance on goal only for his low drive from 14-metres to be deflected narrowly wide. Westerberger did well to meet the resulting corner at the near post but his glancing header was kept out on the line by an alert Adam Kiley.
The second period got underway with some bruising tackles coming in from both teams as they attempted to assert some sort of control over proceedings. Referee Wayne Oldham, who worked hard to control an at times ill-tempered clash, was finally forced to issue his first bookings after Pochroj and Kevin Smith came close to exchanging blows. Nine minutes into the period Ian Griffiths went on a weaving run which took him inside the penalty area where Jackson made a fine sprawling save to deny. Caledonian created another good scoring opportunity in the 56th minute when Simon Henderson's clever flick struck the base of the up-right, then moments later Griffiths had a shot cleared off the line before the Ashfield defence scrambled the ball to safety. But the home fans cheering didn't last long as the pattern established in the first half return and goalmouth action began scarcer the more the minutes ticked by.
With the game seemingly destined to end in a dull scoreless draw, the home side pulled rabbit out of the bag six minutes from full-time when Powell's cross skimmed the head of Matthews and caught Jackson flat-footed for the goals first goal. Ashfield pressed forward at every opportunity in the minutes that remained but were unable to penetrate a stubborn defence that had experienced campaigner Strudwick at its heart. There was also important contributions from Dean Gartside and Westerberger. For the visitors it was Jamie D'Arcy who was the stand-out performer with a solid display, while Scott Bailey worked tirelessly for little reward up-front.
Bassendean Caledonian : Alan Dunlop, Paul Strudwick, Kevin Smith, Raph
Mahoney, Glenn McCormick (Joel Powell 27), Ian Griffiths, Jimmy Merkouris,
Dean Gartside, Simon Henderson, Ramon Westerberger, Graeme Matthews
Ashfield : Phil Jackson, David Mayers, Martin Sherwin, Tom Gaca, Mark Donelly, Adam Kiley (Dinko Ahmetanovic 76), Jamie D'Arcy, Nathan Salisbury, Karl Atley, Scott Bailey, Matt Pochroj
Referee : Wayne Oldham
Cautions : Pochroj (51), Smith (51), Ahmetanovic (84), Mahoney (86)
Dismissals : None
Attendance : 150 (approx.)
Floreat Athena secured second place on the Premier League table with a 2-1 victory over Fremantle City in sunny conditions at Litis Stadium. Influential midfielder James Afkos has formed a lethal combination with Athena forwards Robyn Dyers and Ryan Newhill since joining the club mid-season, while at the back the club have been well-served by Troy Bernard, Anthony Jones and Adrian Sutton who form one of the strongest defences in the competition. Athena came out firing with Newhill twice squandered golden opportunities to score in the opening 20 minutes. It was left to Afkos to open the scoring when he weaved past a stagnant Fremantle defence to net on the half-hour. A confident Athena capitalised on their dominance to double their lead through Newhill in a goalmouth scramble just before the interval. The second half saw Vas Vujacic replace the injured John Xigas in goal for the home side as Fremantle introduced exciting young striker Josh Kamasz to add some bite to their forward line. Five minutes into the period Vujacic was beaten by a rasping shot from Fremantle's Daniel Trim, the goal reviving the port side's flagging fortunes. Mid-way through the half the visitors would have scored a scored if not for Vujacic and Bernard who combined to clear a goal bound strike from Kamasz. Athena coach Taki Lambetsos countered Fremantle's resurgence by replacing Andreas Pantelias with defender Eugene Tan, the move proving decisive as the home side finished the stronger team.
Cockburn City have ended their 2002 campaign on a high season with a 2-1 win over Sorrento at Dalmatinac Park to claim eighth place on the end-of-season Premier League table. A good cross from the right wing was met by 17-year old Farrell Hedges who headed the ball past the home goalkeeper to give Sorrento the lead after 26 minutes. Cockburn equalised twelve minutes later when Joshua Pescud took the corner from the left and big Peter Vukmirovic headed it home at the far post. The winner came in the 45th minute of the second half when State Schoolboy Jeff Bright was sent sprawling to the ground for the second time in a matter of minutes to earn Cockburn a penalty which Branimir Mikulic converted for his twentieth goal of the winter season. The goal enabled Mikulic to end the regular season on top of the leading scorers table for the season year running, this time finishing one goal ahead of Andreas Oliveira of Perth S.C.
Inglewood United left it late to clinch their place in the end-of-season play-offs with a dramatic 4-3 defeat of Future Glory at the National Stadium on Sunday. Things started badly for the home team who went a goal down in the opening minute following a terrible mix-up between goalkeeper Oliver Taseski and Jamie Goodman that resulted in a corner to Future which an unmarked Anthony Danze headed home. A sweeping move in the 15th minute saw Inglewood conjure up an equaliser via captain Daniel Harrop who got the last touch in a goalmouth scramble. But Future responded swiftly and raced away to a two-goal lead within fifteen minutes, Danze's scoring his second with another well-placed header before Adrian Caceras prodded in their third from close-range. In a see-sawing battle, Inglewood pulled a goal back seven minutes from the interval through Louis Parkinson who made no mistake in converting Scott Campbell's low cross. Inglewood took control after the break, Parkinson levelling the score when he headed truly another cross from Campbell. The home crowd may have been small but they showed they were in fine voice when substitute Michael Baczynski side-footed the ball past the Future 'keeper to make it 4-3 in Inglewood's favour. The final scoreline could have been much greater as the home team finished strongly, Parkinson and Baczynski both squandering good opportunities to extend the margin while Andy Cornmell saw his shot cleared off the line.
The Spring In The Valley Cup and three Premier League points went to Perth S.C. when they defeated Swan I.C. 3-1 at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday afternoon. The final match of the 2002 home-and-away season never reached any great heights, but Perth did enough to add yet another trophy to their collection. The home side spent much of the first 30 minutes in attack only to be thwarted by the Swan defence who held together to make sure goalkeeper Corey Hugo was seldom threatened. Andreas Oliveira's header from a Michael Icanovski cross was deflected wide but otherwise there was little else to get excited about for the home fans. At the other end Perth captain Steve Willey very nearly opened the scoring in his own goal in the 29th minute when his deflection just went wide, and from the resulting corner Swan did score when Carlos Echeverria headed home to give the visitors the lead. For a while Swan looked good value for their lead but in the 42nd minute Todd Howarth's cross was headed in by Mark Pottier to ensure the teams went into half-time level at 1-1. The game had barely restarted for the second half when Swan went down to ten men with the dismissal of Echeverria. To their credit Swan pulled together and fought hard to hold Perth for twenty minutes without Hugo being put under any pressure. All that ended with an 68th minute corner that bounced around the area before David Onoforo hooked the ball high into the net to put Perth into the lead. Two minutes later a long ball to Onoforo enabled him to volley home from just outside the 18-yard box to extend the home teams lead to 3-1. Despite having the extra man Perth were unable to make that decisive final pass and for all their fine play Hugo was not troubled again. The closest Swan came to pegging a goal back was when Eddie Mura broke through to go one-on-one with Perth custodian Robert Scarporolo who pulled off his one fine save of the match. Perth showed that even when not at their best they are still better than any other side, while Swan will take heart from the quality performances of a number of their young players.
RESERVES AND UNDER-18'S ROUND-UP
The fate of the reserves title was decided last weekend when E.C.U. Joondalup recorded a 4-2 away victory over the Western Knights. On Saturday Fremantle City claimed the runners-up spot - three points behind the champions - courtesy of a 2-0 away result over Floreat Athena. State Schoolboy Igor Arsovski hit a double and Vlad Milasinovic bagged the third goal for Perth S.C. when they accounted for Swan I.C. 3-1 to end the season in third place, Steve Tierney the visitors' scorer. Future Glory defeated Inglewood United 3-1 through goals from Kevin Sica (2) and Stjephan Beretovac, Gary Friedman replying for Inglewood. Cockburn City went down 0-2 at home to Sorrento whose goals came from Bryan Hedges and Shaun Fallon. Bassendean Caledonian went into the break a goal up against Ashfield, only for the visitors to edge in front after Scott Brisley and Ben Kelly found the net. But a goal close to the end from 15-year old Ian Robertson ensured Caledonian a share of the points in a tight match.
Fremantle City's Under-18 side needed to take all three points from their away meeting with Floreat Athena to claim the their first ever championship at that level. Unbeaten in their past ten starts, Athena found themselves a goal down just 7 seconds after kick-off when a smart set-piece lead to the competitions leading scorer Marc Sim finding the net. The port side increased their lead in the 25th minute once again via Sim who converted after a flowing move down the right flank. The second half saw Athena take the game up to their opponents but a solid midfield and some sterling defensive work saw Fremantle hold out to record a 2-0 win to take out the title. Coach Mike Tetlow praised his entire squad for their efforts over the course of the winter campaign. "We scored 91 goals and conceded only 14. Along the way we kept 14 clean sheets, and the second half of the season was especially pleasing as we only conceded 3 goals. There are some excellent young players at Fremantle and hopefully over the next few years they will go on to bigger and better things."
Perth S.C. ended the season on level points with Fremantle only to be pipped at the post on goal difference. On the weekend Perth cruised to a 5-0 win over Swan I.C. when Cosi Calavaro, Zlatko Babac, Daniel Michevski, Adam Zilic were amongst the goals. Joseph Woodin netted twice for Sorrento when they knocked off Cockburn City 3-2, Aleksander Stojanovic and Daniel Collins on target for the home side. Bassendean Caledonian's Under-18 team recorded their second win of the year with a 2-1 home defeat of Ashfield. Alex Tharby and Phil Lunt were the scorers for Caledonian while Ozer Cukcun bagged the visitors' consolation. Future Glory finished their debut season in a credible sixth place after going down in their final fixture 1-2 to Inglewood United. Last weekend Western Knights pulled off something of a surprise by defeating E.C.U. Joondalup 3-2 at Nash Field.
FIRST DIVISION WRAP (Canning City vs Kingsway Olympic by Phil Unsworth)
Canning City completed their First Division schedule with a home clash against Kingsway Olympic on Saturday afternoon. From the start Kingsway played with greater fluency and just three minutes into the match Rob Jakubowski was sent clear on goal only to pull his shot wide of the up-right. On 14 minutes Queens park created their first clear-cut chance of the game when Mick Van Dongen was put through by brother Paul but he also shot wide. A minute later, a nice exchange of passes between Mick Van Dongen and Gerald O'Brien saw the latter dribbled into the opposing area only to have the ball taken from his feet by advancing goalkeeper Ken Tanakov. From this point on it was all Kingsway and the visitors eventually took the lead five minutes before half-time when John Doherty's angled pass into the 18-yard box was collected by Rob Jakubowski who bundled the ball over the line from close-range. The second half continued in much the same vein as the first with Kingsway providing the greater pressure on goal. Although their were further scoring opportunities the match ended as a 1-0 win to Kingsway whose dominance was better reflected in the corner tally which ended 10-0 in the visitors favour. While the season ended on a low note for Canning, their mid-table finish to 2002 was a significant improvement on the previous season when they stumped up the First Division table. The improved result, even though several influential players left at the end of last season, reflects well on the players and coaching staff.
Elsewhere there were some big scores as Brian Cairney hit a hat-trick for Southside United in their 5-0 demolition of cellar-dwellers Wanneroo City. Teenagers Chris Norminton (2) and James Bergin were on target, along with Gary Mayers (2), as South West Phoenix surprised the visitors from Balcatta 5-2, Hadi Polozani and Aleandro Di Nuzzo their scorers. Rockingham City were the day's highest scorers in recording an 8-1 win over Perth City. Richard Lacey (2), Peter Kuzet (2), Alex Smith, Marko Aleksic, Miki Mrzic and Glen Hallums found the net for Rockingham while David Fyfe scored the visitors lone goal.
DIANELLA WIN FRIENDLY CARNIVAL
Dianella Reserve was the venue for a four-way carnival on Saturday between host club Dianella White Eagles, First Division champions Stirling Lions, local rivals Stirling Suns and League new-comers Mandurah City. With a large and festive crowd in attendance, the tournament was staged on a knock-out format with the winner of the Lions and the Suns meeting the winner of Dianella and Mandurah. It was a day of united support for co-operation between four clubs in an effort to promote and foster goodwill in the soccer community. The event was enthusiastically supported by all four club president's who endorsed the carnival as an annual event.
The opening match saw the Lions take the opportunity to give first team experience to no less than six players under the age of seventeen who have risen up through their Youth Development Program, while the Suns opted for a similar approach with no more than five first team regulars taking to the field. The game opened with a free flowing spirit as Lions' midfielders Victor Bogos and Tomo Nishizawa took control and brought the silky skills of Alexander Veljanoski into play with regularity. Club stalwart Riste Stefoski found himself in unusual territory when he was asked to play an attacking role, and true to form this unorthodox move paid dividend when the left-footer unleashed an explosive shot that rocketed into the top corner to give the Lions the lead with fifteen minutes remaining. The Suns threw everything at their opponents defence which stood firm thanks to polished performances from Michael Fillipou and Joe Pugliese who played with a maturity beyond their years. 17-year old goalkeeper Ken Ftynogiannis kept a clean sheet and helped the Lions make it into the Final.
The second contest between a full strength Dianella and the young and exciting Mandurah City promised to be a cracker - and the big crowd was not let down. Played at break-neck speed, the early chances flowed with neither side able to make the most of what came their way. Mandurah looked to have the better of their hosts but couldn't find the back of the net with several shots missing the target. Top Dianella striker Boima Karpeh was well held by the tight knit Mandurah defence as the likelihood of a penalty shoot-out loomed. It was not until extra-time that the deadlock was broken by a clever piece of wizardry from the golden boot of Karpeh which sent Dianella into the decider.
The tournament final was to be a real test for the young Lions side who faced an experienced host team. The opening period found the Lions defence under all the pressure as Dianella looked to take the early lead, but sweeper Fillipou and full back Pugliese held firm while Ftynogiannis made some fine savs between the posts. The cunning of the Dianella midfield was to prove a real test for the Lions but some good attacking runs from Christian Debarro had Dianella quickly on the back foot. 16-year old striker Anthony Macri had a series of guilt-edged chances for the Lions only to be thwarted by a desperate Dianella defence. The host team eventually grabbed the lead courtesy of some fine lead-up play that resulted in Karpeh tucking away the match opener. The Lions responded by going on the attack and hit the frame of the goal on several occasions, but time would be against them as Dianella came out worthy winners. The third versus fourth play-off saw a convincing win to the Suns with ace striker Dimce scoring a hat-trick.
GLORY POWER TO VICTORY
Perth Glory have kicked-off their seventh season in the National Soccer League with an impressive 2-0 away win over big spending Sydney-siders Parramatta Power. The home team looked the more enterprising team over the first half but created few chances for their possession. Parramatta's best opening of the match came midway through the first period when Royce Brownlie - who rejected an off-season offer to join Glory - headed Pablo Cardozo's cross against the base of the up-right. With German import Andre Gumprecht slotting comfortably into the Glory midfield, the visitors took control of the game after the interval. Matt Horsley broke the deadlock in the 59th minute after Damien Mori's initial effort was denied, and five minutes later homegrown star Bobby Despotovski made sure the points headed west with a curling shot from 20-metres that found the back of the net. Coach Mich D'Avray was delighted with his side's defensive efforts and happy to pick up maximum points after some ordinary pre-season form. "It's always nice to win the first game of the season and especially when it's away from home and against one of the favourites," the coach said. "I thought to go away from home, to create the number of chances we did and keep a clean sheet was very good."
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The final round of the Premier League's home-and-away season takes place this weekend with five games spread over two days. On Saturday second-placed Floreat Athena host a young Fremantle City side, Cockburn City are home to Sorrento, and Bassendean Caledonian meet Ashfield at Jubilee Reserve. The following afternoon at Dorrien Gardens, Perth S.C. will receive the Premier League trophy prior to their clash with Swan I.C. Just down the road Inglewood United, who parted company with coach Steve Parkinson during the week, take on Future Glory.
There are still a handful of games remaining in the Bottom Nine series of the First Division, the pick of this weekend's action being Canning City against Kingsway Olympic at John Connell Reserve. Elsehwere, Southside United host Wanneroo City, Balcatta make the trip to Bunbury to meet South West Phoenix, and Rockingham City are home to Perth City.
KINGS OF THE STATE (by Mitch Doherty)
Four members of the Kings Soccer Academy's Under-13 side have been selected to represent the State team on the Gold Coast at the end of the month. The quartet - Rory Hollingum, Tom Quinn, Steve Whitehead and Andrew Kendrick (right) - have benefited from the Kings' specialised training, including a dedicated goalkeeper program, during the 2002 season. "All of the Kings players have followed a specific training program, designed to develop the individual," the academy's director of coaching Mitch Doherty. "On top of this we are fortunate to have one of the best goalkeeping programs in W.A., designed and delivered by our own goalkeeping coach, Paul Turvill. The four players named in the State squad are confirmation that the programs in place are already having the desired effect."
JONES A LATE WITHDRAWAL FROM STATE UNDER-16'S
The State Under-16 team have been dealt a cruel blow just a week out from their trip to New South Wales for the National Talent Identification Championship with the late withdrawal of striker Tom Jones through injury. Jones will be in plaster for three months after suffering a broken shin bone in Wednesday night's pre-tournament friendly with a Perth Glory under-21 side. "Tom's withdrawal is a huge blow to the squad as he's a valued member both on and off the field, and I am sure everyone in the game wishes him a speedy and healthy recovery," said coach Frank Longstaff after the 5-0 win that was tempered by Jones' injury.
Western Australia will send Under-15 and 16 teams to the eastern seaboard later next week to participate in the Nationals which are being held at Valentine Sports Park in Glenwood, New South Wales. Longstaff, coach of the Under-16 side, has had a difficult preparation for the tournament with the bulk of his squad being involved in the successful tour of the United Kingdom by E.C.U. Joondalup's youth team. "The Joondalup trip in itself was a major disruption and as a consequence we have had only seven weeks together as a squad. But I think we have enough character and quality in the squad to overcome this and do well in the east and the boys are confident we can improve on last years' third placing achieved as the Under-15 side."
The Under-16's started their preparation for the annual event with a 4-3 win over Swan I.C., Michael Bacynski scoring a hat-trick with Jones getting the fourth. A 6-1 win against Queens Park followed, Bacynski and Jones again sharing the goals, before losses to Kingsway Olympic, the State Schoolboys side, (0-1) and the W.A.A.S.S.A.State team (0-2). This week's clash with the Glory youth team ended in a 5-0 victory with Jones (2), Robbie McCann (2) and Bacynski the scorers. The full Under-16 squad is Greg Montenegro (Cockburn City), Mark Sim (Fremantle City), Jonathon Mathers, Ashley Otte, Ben Rogers, Michael Smerilli (Future Glory), Bacynski (Inglewood United), Scott Blackmore, Adam Gamgemi, Carmelo Genovese, Daniel Hendley, John Higgins, Jones, McCann, Darryl Platten (E.C.U. Joondalup) and Chris Ramsey (Swan I.C.). Josh Kamasz (Fremantle) and John Morton (Joondalup) were both part of the initial squad but withdrew to take up trial offers in the U.K.
PETTERSON STAYS PUT
Fremantle-born Andy Petterson is staying at Brighton and Hove Albion - for the time being at least. The goalkeeper has agreed terms on a new short-term contract with the English club after the recent expiration of his previous deal. Petterson's new contract will run until 8th October. With regular custodian Michel Kuipers still recovering from injury, Petterson has proved more than ample cover for the Dutchman in the Seagulls past four outings.
KNIGHTS TOO STRONG FOR INGLEWOOD (by Mike Hennessey)
Inglewood United's play-off hopes suffered a minor blow tonight at the National Stadium where they went down 0-3 to the visiting Western Knights. With high hopes of clinching a spot in the Top Five series, Inglewood's chances were soon dashed as their opponents scored after 9 minutes through Stuart Montgomery who was left unmarked and rifled home his shot. The home side fought back strongly with Paul Lincoln going close in the 29th minute, while Louis Parkinson had his effort cleared off the line in the 42nd. But it was the lively Knights outfit that had looked the better side over the opening half and deserved went into the break with the lead. Inglewood enjoyed a good period early on in the second half but it was the Knights that scored following a quick break against the run of play in which Eugene Singeorzan knocked the ball over the line after a teammates' shot came back off the crossbar. The match was finally put beyond the home team when Carl Medica made the most of a defensive error to make the final scoreline 3-0.
JOONDALUP TAKE STRONG SQUAD TO BRUNEI
E.C.U. Joondalup left today for south-east Asia where they'll be representing Western Australia in the Brunei Invitational Cup. Although confident of doing well, coach Paul Simmons is under no illusions as to what his side's potential stumbling block will be. "The biggest factor that will be against us is the humidity. Mick Lyons, who used to be with our academy and is now coaching in Brunei, says the humidity is unbelievable and very hard to get used to. We will have to adjust our method of play and rotate players in key 'working' areas of the park. We've got a game plan worked out and I feel we will do quite well in Brunei."
The northern suburbs club will take a 15-man squad overseas for the ten-day event which has prize money of US$30,000 for the winning team. Those players making the trip are Peter Stewart, Ronnie More, Jamie Kuzmanovich, Andy Brown, Dale McCulloch, Kevin Griffiths, Andy Mason, Scott Bulloch, Craig Cheesman, Garrin Collins, Tony Ellis, Carl McDarby, Mark Ristovski, Danny Wilson and Doug Ithier who is making a guest appearance courtesy of Floreat Athena. Also heading to Brunei are club president Tom McCrisken, Paul Simmons (coach/manager), Willy Hunter (physiotherapist), and Martin Cheesman (tour manager). The will return to Perth on 1st October.
The late withdrawal of Persita and Osotspa from the Brunei Invitational Cup has been off-set by the addition of Persita Tangerang (Indonesia) and Osothsapa (Thailand), both who finished runners-up in their respective domestic league. The event kicks-off on Friday (20th September) with the meeting between the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam XI and Bec-Tero Sasana (Thailand), followed by Persita and E.C.U. Joondalup. The West Australian side is next in action on Sunday evening when they play Bec-Tero Sasana, and two days later Joondalup face the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam XI. The top two teams from each group then progress to Saturday's round of semi-finals before the tournament decider on Monday (30th September). All games will be played under lights at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
FUTURE TOPPLE SWAN
Swan I.C. slumped to their second loss in the space of four days when defeated 3-1 by Future Glory under lights in the deferred Round Nineteen Premier League clash tonight. Robert Cibesku converted a dubious penalty after 7 minutes to give Future the lead but Swan fought their way back into the match and were unlucky not to equalise through Eddie Mura and young striker Dave Hunt who both hit the frame of the goal. Two minutes into the second half and Swan's persistence paid off when a surging run from Justin Hugo resulted in the games second penalty being awarded, Damian Scali making not mistake in levelling the score. In an open period Swan could have nosed in front had they had luck on their side before two late goals from senior Glory players Todd Harnwell and Anthony Danze sealed victory for the visitors.
ASHFIELD TRIO HEADED FOR IRELAND
Ashfield are set to lose three of their most experienced players - Steve Gillibrand, Martin Sherwin and Karl Atley - who are off soon to the United Kingdom and Ireland in pursuit of work, and possibly also to expand their experience playing the world game. It is believed that League of Ireland teams Sligo Rovers and Galway have already shown an interest in the trio.
GLORY SIGN LOCAL PLAYERS ON SHORT-TERM DEALS
On the eve of the transfer deadline, Perth Glory have strengthened their playing stocks with the capture of three players - including two up-and-coming locals. The National Soccer League club moved quickly following last week's friendly with the State Under-23 side to secure the services of defender Shaun Kilkelly and midfielder Jamie Coyne on short-terms contract, while former Wollongong Wolves defender Ben Blake has agreed to a one-year deal.
"Perth Glory has had a proud history of recruiting local players and this continues the trend," said coach Mich d'Avray. "In my time at the club local players like Jamie Harnwell, Nick Mrdja, Antonio Naglieri, Todd Harnwell, Gary Faria, Michael Garcia, Craig Deans, Anthony Danze and David Tarka have been given their N.S.L. chance and I am delighted to offer a similar opportunity to these local players. We must not expect too much too soon because these are signings with an eye to development not instant results," added the Glory coach.
A former State junior captain, Kilkelly spent the past nine months as part of the Future Glory set-up and has taken up a three-month offer with the senior team. Jamie Coyne, the younger brother of Australian youth international Chris Coyne, is currently in his third year with Perth S.C. and has agreed terms on a two-month contract. Both could be offered a longer commitment if they impress during their initial stay.
STATE GIRLS BACK FROM NATIONALS (with the assistance of Leo Kearley)
The National Women's Youth and Junior Championships were staged in the northern New South Wales port of Coffs Harbour last week with Western Australia represented at both levels. The host state was well represented in the Under-14 and Under-17 competitions with New South Wales, New South Wales Country and Northern New South Wales in competition along side teams from the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. Country New South Wales were victorious in last year's Junior event, while the Youth title also didn't stray far with New South Wales claiming top honours.
The 2002 National Junior Championship was spilt into two groups. In the opening Pool A match, Queensland handed rivals New South Wales a 4-1 rollicking, the Australian Capital Territory joined them at the top of the table after knocking over Tasmania 2-0, and Western Australia had the bye. Hosts Northern New South Wales 'welcomed' Northern Territory back from absence last year with a 7-0 hammering, and New South Wales Country also secured three points with a 1-0 win over Victoria. South Australia, the other team in Pool B, had the bye.
Western Australia came out firing in their opening match of the tournament against Queensland only to go down 0-4 on Day Two. "We attacked well in both halves and consistently made chances for ourselves throughout the game," said coach Leo Kearley on arriving back in Perth. "Two of these chances - one in each half - were pure gold but sadly both went begging and competent counter-attacks by Queensland through eventual Player of the Tournament Alannah Reed punished our lack of concentration. The encouraging thing was the total contrast between this and the corresponding fixture last year where we lost 0-1 but hardly got out of our own half let, alone made a chance on goal." The result would put Queensland three points clear at the top of Pool A at days' end. New South Wales bounced back from the previous days' loss by defeating South Australia 1-0. In Pool B, New South Wales Country moved to outright first place after knocking off the Australian Capital Terrtitory 1-0. Victoria moved up the ladder with a 2-1 win over Northern New South Wales.
Day Three produced another loss for the Western Australian girls, this time 0-6 at the hands of New South Wales whose goals came from Servet Uzunlar (3), Christine Collinson (2) and Katherine Cavanagh. "This game was a big disappointment from start to finish, especially after such a good performance the day before," said Kearley. "Many players performed well below par and New South Wales jumped on any error we made without mercy. For all the recriminations, the W.A. girls still played some good soccer but it was very patchy, and whilst chances were created the pressure just couldn't be sustained to make them count. We also lost one of our key defenders to a serious ankle injury and we later that night found out that she would not play again in the tournament - a tough set of circumstances that was to test the strength of the squad and their resolve." Queensland notched up their third successive win with a big 5-0 result against Tasmania. New South Wales created themselves a six-point buffer at the top of the Pool B table when they thumped the Northern Territory 7-0, while South Australia scored their first win with a 2-0 result against Victoria.
Tasmania were Western Australia's opponent on Wednesday when everything went right for the Perth girls who came away with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Carys Hawkins and Elisa D'Ovidio. "Our third game was always going to be mentally tough after the previous days effort. Tasmania put up some surprisingly strong resistance but the patient approach work by W.A. earned them a goal in each half to run out easy winners," said Kearley. "The girls didn't take any risks in this match and worked hard to put together some excellent structure into their game. Sure, the score could have been more, but after the previous days mauling three points and a clean sheet was far more important for the girls and their confidence." Queensland cemented a spot in the last four with a 1-0 triumph against the Australian Capital Territory. Pool B saw Northern New South Wales run out 2-0 victors over the previously unbeaten New South Wales Country side, and South Australia kept their finals hopes alive with a 3-0 win over the Northern Territory.
In the final day of group action, Marlee Jones was on target for Western Australia as they went down 1-3 the Australian Capital Territory whose goals came from Ellie Brush and Jessica Radstaak (2). "This was another tough game against an A.C.T. side who'd only lost by the odd goal to both Queensland and New South Wales. This was a top game by our girls but a combination of poor finishing by us and a harsh penalty decision in favour of the A.C.T. saw us fall behind 1-2 at half time," said the State Under-14 coach. "We continued to dominate after the break by keeping possession and playing by far the better soccer but could only finish off one of the six or seven excellent opportunities created throughout the game. The third A.C.T. goal came five minutes from full-time as we were throwing everything at our opponents to try and level the score. This is the type of result you have to take on the chin when you play soccer and simply roll up your sleeves and come out fighting for the next one." Tasmania celebrated their first goal of the tournament in the 1-9 loss to New South Wales who claimed second place on the table and a spot in the semi-finals. South Australia's emerged on top in a dramatic, make-or-break clash with Northern New South Wales by 3-2 to also move into the last four at the expense of New South Wales Country who had the bye. Victoria thrashed the Northern Territory 12-0 in the days' final clash.
Western Australia claimed seventh on Friday as goals from Carys Hawkins and Marlee Jones got them over the line 2-1 against Northern New South Wales. "Our opponents were aggrieved to have finished so low in their group and were out to show us who were the best. You could see in the body language of our girls that they were disappointed to not be playing off for fifth, but after a little bit of chat and reassurance their spirits lifted and they were ready for battle," said Kearley. "But some poor sportsmanship and refereeing spoilt the game as the W.A. girls put the ball out of play on two key occasions when Northern New South Wales players were injured only to see them not give the ball back and go on the attack on both occasions. The second time this happened they won a corner from which they pulled us back to one-all! To say the W.A. girls dominated in this game would be an understatement and outside the odd flank incursion in the second half the result was never in doubt as the W.A. girls scored a second and made many more chances to add to this score."
Queensland and New South Wales teed-up a meeting in the Final after cruising to victory over South Australia (5-1) and New South Wales Country (4-1) respectively in Friday's semi-final's. Victoria finished in fifth spot courtesy of a 3-2 win over the Northern Territory, and Tasmania came in ninth following their 2-0 defeat of the Northern Territory. After comfortable semi-final wins, Queensland went into the Under-14 final against New South Wales as favourites after recording a 4-1 in the opening Pool A match. And the Maroons didn't let down their fans, notching up their sixth successive victory a 3-1 result courtesy of a hat-trick by Alannah Reed, following up her four-goal haul in the semi-final against New South Wales Country. Servet Uzunlar was the scorer for New South Wales.
"It was very pleasing to see that the standards of the eastern states teams was as high as ever and our girls had to compete long and hard to gain any success," Kearley commented after the tournament. "The Under-14 squad were hoping to build on their fifth placing of last year but ended in seventh, a disappointment in terms of results maybe but from a playing perspective there was some quality soccer which saw the girls competitive against the other states. On reflection, we know that in 2000 we competed little, in 2001 we got the breaks against the lesser teams and finished mid-table, and this year we were able to compete with every team bar one and that was down to our poor performance on the day. Next year, with the continuing efforts of the coaches dedicated to the girls game and of course the continuing efforts and improvement of the girls themselves, Western Australia should take that all important step up to be alongside the 'big states'."
The 2002 West Australian Junior (Under-14) squad was Gabriella Kist, Claire Wragg (Armadale), Janine Haxton, Kirsty McCarthy, Marlee Jones, Laura Turnbull, Alex Kearley, Hannah Newton, Linda Ostrick (Lynwood), Carys Hawkins, Christine Frey, Carmen Mutton (Sorrento), Kelly Jay, Ashley Dodgin (Joondalup), Laura Higgins (Heathridge) and Elisa D’Ovidio (Murdoch). The coach was Leo Kearley.
The 2002 Youth tournament started last Sunday (8th September) with Western Australia suffering a 1-3 opening round loss to Queensland. Hosts Northern New South Wales kicked off their campaign with Day One victories over the Australian Capital Territory (4-0) and Tasmania (3-1) to sure up as favourites. New South Wales and their Country counterparts also ended the day as winners with both registering 4-0 scorelines over South Australia and Victoria respectively.
Western Australia came up against New South Wales Country on Day Two of competition. Amy Chapman gave Country an early lead, Kylie Woodfin found the net after 27 minutes to put the two side back on level terms before Chapman popped up in the 62nd minute to snatch victory. Northern New South Wales lead was trimmed after New South Wales and Queensland also recorded their second victories, defeating Tasmania (8-0) and the Australian Capital Territory (2-1) respectively. South Australia and Victoria fought out a 1-1 draw in the days other match. Four teams - New South Wales Country, New South Wales, Queensland and Northern New South Wales - sat level on six points at the top of the table after the opening two days.
Tuesday pitted Western Australia against the mighty New South Wales team who were playing their second match of the day. But, for those from the west, it wasn’t a game to remember as Aysha Adalis scored five and Hailey Kerrigan and Julia Bazi once each in the 7-0 mauling. That morning New South Wales accounted for their Northern counterparts 2-0, while Victoria recorded their first win by knocking off the Australian Capital Territory 3-2. Queensland (5-0 over Tasmania) and New South Wales Country (3-1 against South Australia) both secured their third victory from as many starts to stay well on track for a finals berth.
Nadia Poulsen gave Western Australia the lead after 34 minutes against South Australia, and Stacey Woodfin made it two-nil eight minutes later on Day Three of the Youth tournament. But the southerners came roaring back after the break to record a 3-2 win after goals from Courtney Jaensch and Chris Papageorgiou put them on level terms before the latter hit a last-minute winner. Queensland maintained their prefect win record with a 2-0 defeat of Northern New South Wales, while New South Wales Country also notched up another victory after accounting for the Australian Capital Territory 2-1. Victoria had a 2-0 win over Tasmania in the days other fixture.
Not even goals from Stacey Woodfin and Gemma Langley could lead Western Australia to their first win of the tournament in Thursday’s clash with the Australian Capital Territory who claimed the points after Nicole Somi, Rochelle Borucinski and Korri Chaivannacoopt netted. New South Wales won the day’s crunch match, defeating fellow finals contender Queensland 1-0. New South Wales Country also racked up their fifth successive win courtesy of a 4-1 scoreline against Tasmania. Northern New South Wales beat Victoria 2-0, while Queensland’s second match of the day saw them held to a 1-1 draw by a spirited South Australian side.
The previous days’ results meant, regardless of the Friday games, New South Wales and New South Wales Country would play-off for the trophy on Saturday morning. Western Australia finally got themselves in the board with a 3-1 win over Tasmania through goals by Kylie Woodfin (2) and Melissa Spillman, Kendell Brazendale the scorer for Tasmania. New South Wales sealed first place on the final table after defeating Victoria 3-1, and New South Wales Country dropped their first points of the week by going down 1-4 to Northern New South Wales. The Australian Capital Territory and South Australia battle out an entertaining 1-1 draw. The final table standings were New South Wales (1st), New South Wales Country (2nd), Queensland (3rd), Northern New South Wales (4th), Victoria (5th), South Australia (6th), the Australian Capital Territory (7th), Western Australia (8th) and Tasmania (9th).
New South Wales went into what promised to be an enthralling Final clash as favourites with the majority of their team drawn from the strong New South Wales Academy Squad, but they were pushed all the way by their Country opponents. With scores level at 2-2 after extra-time - Julia Bazi, Aysha Adalis (New South Wales), Amy Chapman and Kate Lawson (Country New South Wales the scorers - New South Wales emerged as the National Youth Champions with a 4-2 margin after a penalty shoot-out.
The 2002 West Australian Youth (Under-17) squad Ashley Bennett (Sorrento), Stacey Woodfin, Nadia Poulsen, Catherine Gooding, Lindsey Jobling, Ashley Kane, Kylie Woodfin (Queens Park), Gemma Langley (Floreat), Lil Reppion, Joanne Allan, Emily Bettella, Helen Bremer, Amy Thorpe (Lynwood), Jessica Valvasori (Noranda), Melissa Arif (Rockingham), Melissa Spillman (Subiaco) and Brid Dawson (Murdoch). The team was coached by Albert Nascimento.
The University of W.A. suffered a 3-0 in their top-of-the-table W.A.A.S.S.S.A. Premier League clash with Hamersley Rovers on Sunday afternoon. Needing full points to force the race for the title down to the final game of the season, University were put on the back foot when Flavio L'Abbatte escaped his marker and he drilled the ball into the roof of the net after 2 minutes. In trying conditions, University fought hard to retain possession against a strong opponent who doubled their lead in the 24th minute via L'Abbatte who netted from a free-kick. The sun emerged from behind the cloud for the second half as Hamersley killed the game as a contest on the hour when L'Abbatte tucked away an excellent near post cross to record a fine hat-trick. The visitors continued to plug away with their best opportunity coming from Robert Benkovic whose strong run from the middle ended with a shot that whistled just the wrong side of the up-right. "We give full credit to Hamersley in that they took the game to us and thoroughly deserved to take the title this season as they have some very experienced players. Clearly coach Mickey Brenan has done a fantastic job in delivering Hamersley another title," said University coach Kevin Burton after the game. "Whilst we are disappointed that we did not give Hamersley more of a contest it is interesting to note that we had eight first team players who were only 20 years of age on the pitch plus two subs, and this bodes very well for the future." Goals from Stefan Masur and Daniel Forbes enabled University's reserves to win their meeting 2-1, and followed up the mid-week 2-1 Mitre Reserves Cup defeat of E.C.U. Joondalup.
Balga shared the points with Shamrock Rovers in the final game of the season at Brian Burke Reserve, but only after the visitors scrambled a late equaliser. The game started at a furious pace in windy conditions with both sides creating some good early openings without success. With more than an ounce of luck, Rovers broke the deadlock when a high ball looped over Balga's stranded defence top prevent the Rovers forward an easy shot from point-blank range. The second half started similarly to the first with neither side able to get the decisive shot on goal. The visitors were reduced to ten men midway through the period, and to rub salt into the would the resulting free-kick was deflected to Balga's Ken Smith who made no mistake in levelling the score. The goal lifted Balga's spirits and with eight minutes remaining Anthony Banham's cross into the area caused panic at the back for the visiting team as Scott Wilson slid the ball past the goalkeeper for what seemed would be the winner. Rovers response was to mount a series of attacks and, has been the case so often this year, Balga failed to hold their lead and the visitors equalised with a dubious goal only seconds from full-time.
While Hamersley were clinching their second successive championship, Murdoch University managed to reach double figures by thrashing E.C.U. Joondalup 10-3 in the northern suburbs. Forrestfield United leapfrogged University into third spot courtesy of a 3-1 away win over Perth Azzurri. Spearwood Dalmatinac thumped four past Kwinana United without reply. And Fremantle United struggled before eventually getting over the line 1-0 against bottom side Subiaco United. The struggle to avoid joining Subiaco in the First Division next season is still alive and well going into the last round of the season with three clubs - Balga, Kwinana and Joondalup - separated by a single point in the drop zone.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
With one round of fixtures remaining, Perth S.C. have clinched the Premier League championship after their 2-0 away defeat of Fremantle City puts them in an unbeatable position. Floreat Athena are favoured to end the winter as runners-up following a 2-1 away win over Sorrento, but they can be overhauled by Western Knights whose game with Inglewood United was postponed due to the stormy conditions at the National Stadium. An Ian Griffiths hat-trick has lead Bassendean Caledonian to a 5-2 victory at Swan I.C., while E.C.U. Joondalup notched up a 3-1 home result against Cockburn City. On Sunday, Ashfield went down 1-3 to Future Glory while Western Knights proved too strong for E.C.U. Joondalup by 4-2 in a match brought forward from next weekend.
Stirling Lions, one of the state's powerhouse clubs in the 1980's and 1990's, will return to the top flight next season after taking out the 2002 First Division title. The Lions finished the season with a tight nil-all away draw with Morley Windmills to claim the trophy courtesy of a superior goal difference over early leaders Armadale who defeated Dianella White Eagles 2-1. The two clubs ended level with 52 points after 23 games. Four points off the pace were Queens Park who downed Bayswater City 2-1, and debutants Mandurah City thumped Stirling Suns 5-1 to take out fourth spot. After a poor start to their campaign, Dianella ended fifth, and Bayswater sixth.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND TWENTY ONE (Fremantle City vs Perth S.C. by Christian Galapolous; Swan I.C. vs Bassendean Caledonian by Bill McAllister; Cockburn City vs E.C.U. Joondalup by Lennie Bavich)
Perth S.C. clinched their first Premier League championship since 1993 with a 2-0 victory over Fremantle City in difficult conditions at Ken Allen Field on Saturday. Although Perth have dominated both Cup and Finals competitions in recent times, success in the League has been hard to come by for the state's most successful club side. After a dominant start to the 2002 campaign, a mid-season slump meant Perth had to do it the hard and come from behind to claim the title from arch rivals Floreat Athena. Perth got off to the perfect start against Fremantle when midfielder Rob Giorgi earned his side a penalty after 15 minutes, Mark Pottier sending goalkeeper Rob Zabica the wrong way to put the visitors on the road to victory. Despite conceding the early goal, the port side didn't give up without a fight and in the 35th minute veteran defender Alex Cummings was only inches from equalising in a goalmouth scramble. Former Australian international Zabica kept his side in the match when he produced a fingertip save to deny former Fremantle striker David Onoforo from close range after 38 minutes. The wet and windy conditions made scoring difficult after the break but that didn't prevent Perth from trying. In the 59th minute Zabica did well to stop Aaron Cole's powerful header from an Adam Bunce corner, and soon after David Onoforo squandered a gilt-edged chance to double the visitors' lead. But with five minutes remaining Onoforo made amends by lashing home a loose ball from close-range following some good lead-up work from Albert Osei-Tutu and Giorgi. With midfielders Giorgi, Pottier, Bunce and Todd Howarth all impressing, it'll take a mighty effort for Perth to be toppled in the up-coming play-off series.
One-time Perth Glory midfielder James Afkos got both goals for Floreat Athena in the 2-1 win over Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. Afkos has been in sensational form since returning to his former club a matter of weeks ago, and on Saturday send Athena on the road to victory with a goal inside the opening minute. With the wild weather making it difficult for both sides to play attractive football, Athena doubled their lead on the half hour via Afkos. Four minutes from the break the Seagulls reeled in the gap through veteran striker Ross Greer who netted his fifth of the season. Both sides searched hard for further goals after the break but it wasn't to be, the 2-1 scorline in Athena's favour all but assuring them of second place in the final Premier League standings.
Bassendean Caledonian defied the elements and home team Swan I.C. to record a resounding 5-2 victory and keep them on track for a spot in the play-offs. Swan's Damian Scalie opened the scoring after 3 minute when he rifled an unstoppable shot past goalkeeper Alan Dunlop from 12-metres. The visitors search for an equaliser looked to be over shortly after when awarded a penalty which the usually reliable Paul Strudwick failed to convert. A penetrating run by Kevin Smith saw him lay the ball off to Strudwick whose inch perfect cross was hammered home by Dean Gartside to level the score. Despite the atrocious weather, an entertaining game saw Caledonian go 2-1 up when Ian Griffiths beat Corey Hugo to a Ramon Westerberger and bundled the ball over the line. Teenager Tom Shepheard hit the up-right as Swan upped the pressure, but a determined visiting team extended their lead through 18-year old Glen McCormick whose splendid shot from 18-metres dipped over the head of Corey Hugo. Swan finally pulled a goal back as Damian Scali again found the net after 69 minutes, however, the resurgence was short-lived as Griffiths added his sides fourth of the afternoon from a Jason Van Rooy cross. Minutes later, man-of-the-match Griffiths completed his hat-trick with another fine goal to make the final scoreline 5-2.
E.C.U. Joondalup snuffed out Cockburn City 3-1 in their Round Twenty-One Premier League clash at the Edith Cowan University campus on the weekend. The visitors scored first through midfielder Joshua Pescud who slammed his free-kick from 18-metres past the Joondalup goalkeeper who was unable to get a hand to the ball. But the lead lasted bearing two minutes before Joondalup responded, Andy Mason surged into the push where he was brought down, the striker taking the spot kick himself to level the scores. Another two elapsed before the home team took the lead, Mason putting away a well executed corner for his second goal of the afternoon as Joondalup hit cruise control. Both teams created some good chances in the second half without success, and just a matter of minutes from the full-time whistle Joondalup wrapped up maximum points when Garin Collins converted their second penalty of the day to make the final score 3-1.
The fifth Saturday fixture, between Inglewood United and Western Knights, was abandoned without a ball being kicked due to a waterlogged pitch. With howling winds and riving rains battering the National Stadium, an inspection of the playing surface by coaches Steve Parkinson and Ronnie Campbell saw them call the game off at 2.20am.
In the first of the two Sunday fixtures, Future Glory eased themselves away from the Premier League's nether regions with a 3-1 win over relegation doomed Ashfield at Ashfield Reserve. With several their ranks swelled by the addition of several players from their senior ranks, Future took the lead after 17 minutes through Nick Ward, and when Ashfield defender Mark Donnelly put the ball in his own net it was difficult to see the home side coming back. However, 20-year old attacker Matt Pochroj did mange to reduce the deficit in the 72nd minute but midfielder Miki Vujacic sealed three points for Future in the dying minutes.
Western Knights dealt E.C.U. Joondalup's play-off hopes a blow by defeating the northern suburbs side 4-2 at Nash Field. Fans had to wait until the 36th minute before seeing the opening goal, then were treated to three in quick succession. Defender David Annall gave the home side the lead, a minute later talented 16-year old Tom Jones levelled the scores, but the Knights went into the break a goal up courtesy of Claus Nielsen's 39th minute effort. Ray Marinovic made it 3-1 twenty 65 minutes into the second half and when Stuart Montgomery added the Knights fourth in the 85th minute the game was well and truly over as a contest. Shortly after Andy Mason scored a late consolation from the penalty spot to round out the final scoreline.
RESERVES AND UNDER-18'S ROUND-UP
Gary Murray, John Greenwood, Adam Bachiller shared the goals as E.C.U. Joondalup wrapped up the reserves championship with a 5-2 home defeat of Cockburn City, Simon Jonas and Fabio Fusari the visitors scorers. At Ken Allen Reserve, Johnny Ferreira, Dean Apelgren, Llewelyn Bake and Matthew Hansen got on the scoresheet for Fremantle City in their 4-2 defeat of Perth S.C., Damian Catalano and Marko Rodwell the Blues scorers. Steve Tierney and Damian Coniglio were on target for Swan I.C. as they notched up their fourth win of the winter, a 2-1 home result over Bassendean Caledonian for whom Michael McGrath scored. Future Glory slammed home team Ashfield 6-1 on Sunday, big striker Sasa Kilibarda leading the way with a double while Stjepan Beretovac, Saul Contera, Jarrad Smith and Lyndon Powell also netted for Future, Allen Havic Ashfield's lone scorer. On Tuesday evening, Inglewood United whipped Western Knights 4-1 under lights at the National Stadium after the original fixture was postponed due to a waterlogged surface. The Sorrento-Floreat Athena game was also postponed.
Interest in the Under-18's competition has been brought back to life after Perth S.C. defeated Lague leaders Fremantle City 1-0 at Ken Allen Field, the only goal of the game coming from attacker Cosi Cavalaro. The result leaves the two clubs locked together at the top of the table on level points ahead of the final round of competition. Third-placed Sorrento went down 0-1 at home to Floreat Athena in a tight match, while goals from Daniel DeFazio and Daryl Platten helped E.C.U. Joondalup to a 2-1 home win over Cockburn City, Jason Dos Santos their scorer. Future Glory and Ashfield drew 1-1, Ben Rogers (Future) and Dinko Ahmetanovic (Ashfield) hitting the back of the net. At the Swan Italian Club, the only goal of the game came from Rhys Brittin as the home side proved too strong for Bassendean Caledonian 1-0. Daniel Evans scored for Inglewood United in their 1-4 loss to Western Knights, the visitors goals coming from Andrew Jennings, Stuart Purvis, Paolo Jardim and Luke Biancotti.
FIRST DIVISION WRAP (Morley Windmills vs Stirling Lions by Don Evans; Armadale by Michael Di Pietro; Leeming Strikers vs Canning City by Phil Unsworth)
Stirling Lions are the 2002 First Division champions and have earned themselves a spot in the top flight for next season after a scoreless draw with Morley Windmills on Saturday. Not even cyclonic weather could keep away the Lions partisan supporters who were bused in to cheer their side to the title. Although a draw would be enough to win the title, the Lions came out roaring as Adam Rains' rose to met Danny Carlino's only to be foiled by a sensational finger tip save by the Morley goalkeeper. Visiting forwards Rob Milevski and Bobbi Klenkovski were at their menacing best with some piercing runs and in the 18th minute a poor back pass was intercepted by Milevski who darted towards goal only to be denied by the advancing 'keeper. It was all one-way traffic as Lions captain Rob Pucovski was yet to have a touch in goal. Toby Wright and Keegan Ashley supplied the forwards with a stream of crosses that were within a whisker short of being put away, the closest when Milevski ended up in the net but the ball stayed out. A stern half-time talk from coached Wayne Thorpe and Basil Lenzo saw the Lions emerge charged up for the second period. Two minutes after the re-start the Lions looked certain to take the lead after Milevski was brought down in the penalty area but, with the Lions fans on the edge of their seats, Ashley blasted wide from the spot. Undeterred by the miss, the Lions into an attacking frenzy with Toby Wright and Klencovski going agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock. The frustration of missed chances was to stay with the Lions up until the final whistle, but for the travelling supporters the end of the match set off wild celebrations with champagne being showered over the players and support staff. The First Division shield was presented by Soccer West Coast president David Schrandt to Lions president Don Evans who proudly displayed the trophy to his club's loyal fans.
Another season may have come to an end, but for Armadale there is plenty to think about ahead of their 2003 campaign. On Saturday the reds played host to Dianella White Eagles and their already slim chance of clinching the title took a nose-dive after just 12 minutes when the visitors scored through Dragan Radojevic. With coach Billy Russell forced to re-shape his line-up due to injury and suspensions, Greg Newcombe brought the home team back into the game with the equaliser after 22 minutes. As news filtered through that Morley Windmills were holding Stirling Lions scoreless north of the river, Newcombe finally gave the home crowd something to cheer about in the 89th minute by giving Armadale the lead. But any title hopes were iced minutes later as the Lions nil-all draw was enough for them to clinch the trophy, Armadale ending the season level on points with the champions only to luck out on goal difference. The reserves meeting was all one-way traffic with young striker Darren Kingston scoring twice to give the home side a 2-0 half-time lead. Oliver Crockford scored a hat-trick after coming off the bench, and Danny Turner and coach Byron Wood also contributed to the 7-0margin. A good team performance in the Under-18's saw Armadale over the line 4-0 through goals from Oliver Crockford and Peter Taylor (2).
Bayswater City went into their final game of the season with Queens Park close to full strength following the return of Gareth Healy and Andrew O'Neill. Things started well for the visiting Bayswater side who controlled the play, but the best of the early chances came the way of Queens Park when defender Nathan Watkins was found unmarked in the box but could not get his shot past goalkeeper Joe Princi. The game swung in Bayswater's favour in the 36th minute when home defender Grant Learmont was sent off for a foul on Willie Herd. Queens Park responded by going on the defensive until the half-time break. Ten minutes into the second half and Bayswater took the lead via in-form midfielder Dario Pellicciotti following a superb free-kick from Willie Herd. The visitors started to knock the ball around with more confidence only for Queens Park to get back on level terms when Glen Noblett's long-range free-kick deflected off Daniel Naumovski and into the net. The home side then launched an all-out assault on the Bayswater defence and with fifteen minutes remaining took the lead through Gary Abrahams who converted an easy finish. Bayswater still had a chance to get back into the match when Jodi Henderson was sent off for a late challenge. Sal Marrapodi had Bayswater's best opportunity to equalise late int he game but his close-range header went straight into the hands of the home goalkeeper as the match ended in Queens Park's favour 2-1. In the reserves, Bayswater went down 1-5 with Anatoli Hainko the visitors scorer, while the Under-18's lost to an eight-man Queens Park side 1-2 with Dario Neri getting Bayswater's lone goal.
Mandurah City played their final game of home-and-away season against Stirling Suns. In conditions that could only be classed as appalling, Mandurah were determined to finish the season on a high note after a couple of recent poor performances. The home side started in promising fashion but it was the Suns that scored first, the goal coming against the run of play after 19 minutes. From there Mandurah picked up the pace and it came as no surprise when Gary Collins levelled the score with a fine curling shot. As the half progressed the home team began to run away with the game, Andrew Rennie giving them the lead with his eighteenth goal of the campaign. The second half was a case of more of the same, Mandurah extending their lead in the 55th minute when Michael Bobridge netted with a fine solo effort. John Tranfield scored City's fourth ten minutes later after some good build up work by the home midfield before coach Paul O'Brien made several changes to the line-up which saw goalkeeper Paul Dixon given the unfamiliar task of playing in attack. The crowd were then treated to something special as Dixon was released with a superb through ball that saw him calmly slot through the legs of the visiting goalkeepers to score his debut goal for Mandurah after twenty years with the club. The final 5-1 scoreline meant Mandurah finish their first season in the professional ranks in fourth place. Mandurah's reserves record a comfortable 8-0 victory, while in the Under-18's the Suns came up winners 3-2 with Alex Agnew and Jake Loreto scoring for the home team.
Leeming Strikers and Canning City contested their second local derby of the 2002 season at John Connell Reserve where the home side over-turning the 0-2loss suffered earlier in the year. Played in wet and very windy conditions, Canning were first to get a shot on target after 20 minutes when Mick Van Dongen met Ryan Allomes' free-kick but didn't trouble Leeming custodian Mark Wiseman. Two minutes later Leeming's Gary Reading fired a shot just wide of the Canning goal after some good lead-up work on the right flank by Tony Hunt. However, shots on goal in the difficult conditions were a rarity and the first half ended scoreless. Leeming looked more comfortable in the second half and in the 55th minute Canning goalkeeper Darren Williams made a diving save to push wide a fiercely struck shot by Lucas Whitehouse. Five minutes later Gary Reading put the home side in front, making no mistake as he lobbed the ball over Williams and into the net. Shortly after Williams was called into action again, this time smothering at the feet of Whitehouse as Leeming looked to extend the margin. It wasn't until the last ten minutes that Canning began to show any sort of real commitment to gain anything from the match. However, as they pushed for an equaliser Mick Van Dongen and Daniel Laing failed to capitalise on the opportunities created and instead conceded possession inside the 18-yard box. Canning should be very disappointed with their lack-lustre performance today, while Leeming's first win after several losses will serve them well ahead of final games of the winter.
Kingsway Olympic continued their recent good form with a 3-0 away win over South West Phoenix, and bottom team Wanneroo City enjoyed a 2-1 home win against Rockingham City. The Perth City-Balcatta fixture was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch, and Southside United had the bye.
GLORY OWNERSHIP DISPUTE SETTLED
The bitter boardroom dispute between Perth Glory co-owners Nick Tana and Paul Afkos has finally been put to rest. Afkos has agreed to sell his 25% shareholding in the club, which has been valued at $307,000 by an independent assessor, and will resign from his position on the board to end the dispute which has been running for close to three years. Glory chairman Nick Tana's company, North East Equity, is contracted to buy Afkos' slice. "It's been the worst experience of my life - simply because I have been unable to achieve what we set out to do," Tana told Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian" late last week. "We can now focus on Perth Glory, the National League and soccer in Australia and that's where we should've been two and a half years ago."
Afkos said he was pleased with the outcome, especially in light of the fact he was initially offered $125,000 for his share in the National Soccer League's biggest club. However, he did feel his share was worth more. "Whilst I welcome the outcome from the independent valuer, I'm disappointed that Mr Tana chose to make these matters public," he said. "My involvement with Perth Glory has finally come to an end and I certainly wish the team all the very best. My involvement with soccer does not end there. It will continue for many years to come."
It is believed Tana, who already holds 75% of Glory, will sell Afkos' share to businessman David Rodwell. Despite the long-running dispute, Tana said he did not have any animosity towards Afkos and hoped he would re-invest the money in another aspect of soccer. "Seven years ago (when Glory was formed) we made a commitment to the game," Tana said. "We did this for the benefit of the game. The passion drove us forward. Now I hope he will be putting his profits back into the game. Whilst the profit hasn't come directly out of the game it has been generated by it." Tana said the resolution would allow him to focus on assisting with reform of the N.S.L. following his appointed to a four-man working party which, with the endorsement of Soccer Australia, will look at ways to run the competition.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
Perth S.C. can wrap-up the Premier league crown a week before the end of the season by claiming all three points from their away clash at Fremantle City. But Floreat Athena will be hoping that result goes the other way, and that they defeat Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve to keep their title aspirations on track. Inglewood United need a home victory over Western Knights to stay in the running for a spot in the finals' series, likewise E.C.U. Joondalup who host Cockburn City up north. Bassendean Caledonian are tipped to seal a spot in the play-offs with victory away at Swan I.C.
The first of two games this Sunday takes place at Ashfield Reserve where Ashfield take on the visitors from Future Glory. South of the river at Nash Field, the Western Knights and E.C.U. Joondalup are in action for the second time in 24-hours when they meet in a fixture brought forward from next weekend due to Joondalup's involvement in the Brunei Invitational Cup.
Stirling Lions will win promotion to the top flight next should they defeat Morley Windmills at Wootton reserve on Saturday. Second-placed Armadale are still in with a chance to take out the championship and must take all three points from their clash with Dianella White Eagles while hoping Windmills can topple the Lions. There's still some jostling for the minor placings although Queens Park have third wrapped up regardless of the outcome of the home meeting with Bayswater City clash. Mandurah City host Stirling Suns, Perth City have home ground advantage over Balcatta, and Wanneroo City welcome the visitors from Rockingham City. Kingsway Olympic make the trip to Bunbury to meet South West Phoenix, Leeming Strikers play Canning City, and Southside United have the bye.
HISTORIC FINALS BERTH LOOMS FOR CALEDONIAN
They may not be the most prolific of goalscorers, but Bassendean Caledonian are on the cusp of making a historic debut appearance in the top flight's finals series. As the Premier League season rapidly comes to a close, Caledonian are well placed to claim one of the two play-off berths yet to be decided with final round fixtures against the competitions' bottom two clubs - Swan I.C. and Ashfield. The remaining Champion of Champions spot is expected to be taken out by either Inglewood United or E.C.U. Joondalup who both have tough games over the next fortnight.
A key ingredient in Caledonian's successful 2002 campaign has been a stable playing roster which has seen nine players feature in sixteen or more of the twenty games played to date. Former State representative Alan Dunlop, who recently trialled with Olympic Sharks and Marconi Stallions, has been in fine form between the posts while in front of him talented sweeper Kevin Smith and the experienced head of Craig Naven have served the club well. Ever-present Jimmy Merkouris has been solid as a rock in midfield where he's been assisted by the likes of Aaron Moschopoulos, Ian Griffiths, Paul Strudwick and Dean Gartside. Jason Van Rooy has enjoyed one of the best winters of his career out wide on the right, while on the opposite side of the park 18-year old Glen McCormick is undoubtedly one of the Premier League's stars of the future. And up front the goals have been shared between Ramon Westerberger and Graeme Matthews.
JOONDALUP FACE ASIA'S BEST
Late next week E.C.U. Joondalup depart for Brunei where they'll take part in the 2002 Brunei Invitational Cup which is being held at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium between 20th and 30th September. The best club sides from the region will take part in the annual tournament, including defending champions Persija (Indonesia) and Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua who reportedly have two of their nations World Cup players amongst their ranks. Joondalup have been placed in Group B where they'll come up against a Football Association of Brunei Darussalam XI, Persija and Bec-Tero Sasana from Thailand. Group A features Petrokimia Putra (Indonesia), Sabah (Malaysia), Shanghai Shenhua and highly rated B-League outfit D.P.M.M.
The top two teams from each group at the completion of the round robin stage will progress to the semi-finals. The finalists will play-off for $30,000 in prize money along with winners medals and a trophy, while the runners-up will go home with prize money worth $15,000 plus medals. The aims of the tournament, co-organised by the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam and Pronine Marketing Communications, is to foster and promote goodwill, friendship and sportsmanship within the football fraternity of the Asian region.
KARP NAMED IN MATILDA'S SQUAD FOR U.S. TOUR
Perth-born Tal Karp has been selected to make her senior Australian debut in the up-coming Nike U.S. Women's Cup in America. The midfielder is one of four new faces in the 18-player Matildas squad named today, the others being goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri, midfielders Olivia Hohnke and defender Thea Slatyer. 20-year old Karp played locally for Maccabi and represented Australia at Schoolgirls level in 1997 when part of the squad that played in New Zealand and the U.S. The following year Karp was poart of the Australian Under-19 side which toured the Netherlands. Since 1999 the midfielder has been playing for Canberra Eclipse in the Womens' National Soccer League.
The Matildas will play two pre-tournament friendlies in Canada later this month before travelling south where they'll meet the United States, Russia and Italy in the ninth annual coming Nike U.S. Women's Cup. The full Australian squad heading overseas is Melissa Barbieri, Cassandra Kell, Dianne Alagich, Rhian Davies, Thea Slayter, Cheryl Salisbury, Anissa Tann, Sacha Wainwright, Amy Wilson, Heather Garriock, Peita-Claire Hepperlin, Olivia Hohnke, Tal Karp, Joanne Peters, Natalie Thomas, Gill Thomson, Kelly Golebiowski and April
JOONDALUP INTO CUP FINAL (by Kerry Slater)
E.C.U. Joondalup have progressed to the Final of this year's Boral Cup after defeating northern rivals Sorrento 1-0 under lights at Litis Stadium tonight. Both side may have been weakened by suspension and injury, but the quality of play was never an issue in a very open and entertaining match. Sorrento's Jared Love had a chance to open the scoring after 2 minutes but scuffed his shot across the face of goal, and nine minutes later teammate Stuart Banks' free-kick curled around the wall but was kept out by the diving Peter Stewart. Sorrento custodian Gareth Deeg was kept busy leading up to the break which started with a sharp block to keep out a powerful strike by Tom Jones. Minutes later Deeg produced a good save to prevent Mark Ristofski's header from a Scott Bulloch cross going in, then the goalkeeper held a long-range thunder bolt from Dale McCulloch to see the sides went into the interval on level terms.
Three minutes into the new half, Jones found himself one-on-one with Deeg but the young striker's attempted chip bounced the wrong side of the up-right. On 50 minutes a Ryan Jeans corner was just headed over by Steve McDonald, and three minutes later in a carbon-copy move the big defender saw his header cleared off the line by Craig Cheeseman. Following a 62nd minute corner, Peter Butler fed a pass to David Colegate who cross was nodded high by Glen Thomas. Sorrento continued to attack with little success as Love shooting wide and and Jeans' 69th minute effort saved by Stewart. The goal that settled this sudden death match arrived in the 72nd minute when Sorrento three times failed to clear the danger before Ristofski was presented with the simplest of headers. Knowing their Cup campaign was slipping away, the Seagulls went in search of an equaliser over the remaining minutes which produced nothing other than frustration as good attacking moves all failed to come up with the desired result that would send the match into extra-time.
HONOURS EVEN IN SHEILD CLASH
The West Australian Under-23 team has held National Soccer League giants Perth Glory to a credible 1-1 draw in the 2002 Charity Shield match held at Litis Stadium tonight. An action-packed opening spell produced good goalscoring opportunities at both ends of the park. Branimir Mikulic and Carl Medica combined well for the State side after 2 minutes only for the latter's close-range shot to be turned around the post by Glory goalkeeper Vince Matassa. Shortly after Glory's new German signing Andre Gumprecht had an explosive shot from 12-metres saved by Corey Hugo, and minutes later Bobby Despotovski's goalbound shot was deflected wide by a defender. A corner to the State team on the quarter-hour wasn't properly dealt with by Glory's defence who collective breathed a sigh of relief when Mikulic's shot was blocked on the line before Adrian Sutton knocked the follow-up narrowly wide.
A clever exchange in midfield resulted in Glory taking the lead after 21 minutes as Damian Mori dummying Brad Hassell's pass through the State defence and Gumprecht slammed the ball past Hugo and into the net. But Glory would hold that lead for less than 60-seconds - Branimir Mukulic's low ball into the heart of the 18-yard box saw Andreas Oliveria flick it first time beyond the reach of Matassa and into the top corner of his goal. Either team could have gone into the break had luck been on their side. A darting break down the right by Jamie Coyne saw him find Oliveria whose curling shot flew just over the crossbar after 33 minutes. And six minutes later Gumprecht showed his class with a surging run through the middle which ended with is diagonal shot roll inches wide of Hugo's left post.
The match continued in the same vein after the interval. After 50 minutes, Mori threaded a pass to Despotovski whose side-foot from 6-metres saw prevented form crossing the line by Hugo. A fantastic shot by Coyne from just inside the area five minutes later dipped just the wrong side of the bar. And shortly after Howarth's rasping long-range effort went narrowly high as the State side took the match up to their more fancied opponents. There were few genuine shots on goal during the middle stages of the half as the two teams struggle to take control of proceedings with much of the play taking place in the middle third of the park.
Glory finished by far the stronger team but were unable to break down the well-drilled State defence until six minutes from full-time when Gary Faria's through ball into the path of Nick Mrdja saw Hugo race off his line to prevent the big striker from rattling off a shot. Two minutes later Garcia and Mori exchanged passes to set-up Mrdja who was this time denied from close-range by the sharp reflexes of Hugo. For the State team it the defensive combination of Ivan Zuvela, Adrian Sutton and Shaun Kilkelly that impressed most, while Gumprecht, Matassa and Despotovski were the pick of the Glory side.
Perth Glory : Vince Matassa, Jamie Harnwell, Mile Medjedovic (Michael
Garcia 45), Shane Pryce, Matt Horsley, Scott Miller (Nick Mrdja 45),
Edgar, Brad Hassell (Gary Faria 45), Andre Gumprecht (Sebastian Petrovic
67), Bobby Despotovski (Royce Brownlie 67), Damian Mori
West Australia Under-23 : Corey Hugo, Ivan Zuvela, Adrian Sutton, Shaun Kilkelly, James Afkos (Miki Vujacic 80), Todd Howarth, Jamie Coyne, Scott Campbell (Stuart Montgomery 71), Carl Medica, Branimir Mikulic, Andreas Oliveira
Referee : Eddie Lennie
Cautions : None
Dismissals : None
Attendance : 1,500 (approx.)
INJURY AND SUSPENSION HITS CUP SEMI
Both Sorrento and E.C.U. Joondalup go into tonight's Boral Cup semi-final under-strength following the weekend's round of Premier League action. Seagulls' coach Steve Neville has lost the majority of his midfield after Sunday's controversial clash with Perth S.C. in which his side were reduced to nine men. Red cards issued to Michael Ord and Gareth Phillips were compounded by the news that Lee Burns was also given a second yellow for leaving the field without the referee's permission. Midfielder Glen Thomas is also in doubt after picking up a heavy knock in that same game. "I've barely got a side," Neville said, "Without Burnsy, Ord and Thommo we've lost three of our five midfielders." State defender Jamie Kuzmanovich will be absent for Joondalup due to suspension, while fellow-defender Richard Watson is currently overseas. But despite the losses, Joondalup coach Paul 'Geordie' Simmons expects a difficult match. "We just hope it's a good game, and they usually are against Sorrento."
LIONS SET TO TRUMP (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
Stirling Lions, one of the most successful teams of the 1990's when known as Stirling Macedonia, hope to be back in the big time after this weekend. The Lions are hotly fancied to win the top eight play-offs this Saturday to clinch the First Division title and gain promotion to the Premier League. If they do it will be a case of third lucky after twice just missing out on promotion in as many years. They were pipped by Bassendean Caledonian in the final day of the 2000 season and 12-months later lost out by a single point to Ashfield. "We're not going to let it happen a third time," said Lions president Don Evans. "We're determined to do it in style with a victory." The Lions need only a draw against Morley Windmills to take the title.
The proposed merger between First Division clubs Leeming Strikers and Canning City will not be going ahead following a recent meeting of the Leeming board who voted unanimously to turn knock back the offer. The decision came after a series of meetings involving both parties.
GASPAR HITS THREE ON DEBUT
If recently departed Perth S.C. midfielder Robbie Gaspar is concerned by the comments of club coach Graham Normanton then he certainly isn't showing it. The former Australian Schoolboys international responded to criticism from Normanton by scoring a stunning hat-trick on debut in Brunei after being given the green light to continue his career in the middle east late week. The pick of Gaspar's goals, which helped his side to a 4-1 victory, was undoubtedly a sensational free-kick which left the goalkeeper grasping at thin air.
Speaking with the "West Australian" on Friday, Normanton stated that Gaspars' days with Perth were over. "We always want to help our players better themselves, but Robbie is not welcome back," he said. Gaspar is hopeful of landing an overseas contract while on duty for Brunei in the up-coming Brunei Invitational Cup tournament, but if unsuccessful he is expected to return to Perth where he'll be on the look-out for a new club. The midfielder spent his junior years with Western Knights and Cockburn City and spent two seasons in Sydney Olympic's youth set-up before joining Perth for the 2001 winter season.
The University of W.A. continue to keep the pressure on W.A.A.S.S.A. Premier League leaders Hamersley Rovers after recording a 3-1 home win over Murdoch University on Sunday. Murdoch found themselves on the back foot from early on after their opponents won a penalty for handball which University's Tom Muirhead coolly converted to give his side the lead. With the Murdoch midfield working overtime to come up with an equaliser, University goalkeeper Shyam Young produced a fine save after 41 minutes to concede a corner, but there was little he could as the ball was swung in and defender Sasa Gojic levelled the scores. Both teams upped the pace in an effort to go into the break with the lead with Muirhead shooting wide for University while Jason Dixon's low effort was tipped wide by Young. The first decent opening of the second half came after 67 minutes when University substitute Josh Davenport picked up a loose ball but sent his shot narrowly high. Murdoch also had their chances, Malcolm Lewington clearing a powerful drive off the line and, shortly after, the visitor's centre-forward spurned a great opportunity by hitting the ball wide of the far post. The deadlock was broken after 85 minutes by Marc D'Asconio whose surging run from the halfway line ended with him slipping the ball past the 'keeper from an acute angle. Three minutes later the game was over as a contest as Benkovic hooked the ball into the net from the edge of the 18-yard box. "Murdoch will probably consider themselves a bit unfortunate to lose after competing very well," said University coach Kevin Burton. "However, soccer is about taking your chances and we did that well at the end. It's all set up for an exciting finish to the season - we could still finish first or fourth, it's just that tight." University took out the reserves clash 5-1 with goals from Tom Banyard, Stefan Masur, Gareth Briggs, Daniel Forbes and Lewis McDonald while Matt Griffiths was on target for the visitors.
Subiaco United netted a late equaliser to stun Balga just as it appeared they'd claim three very valuable points from their Premier League clash on Sunday. Although already relegated, Subiaco put up a brave performance to gain only their second draw of the season as the visitors to Rosalie Park struggled to find their rhythm. Balga began nervously as Subiaco pushed forward only for a lack of confidence in front of goal to prevent them from taking an early lead. But their persistence paid off and Subiaco finally moved in front following some shaky defensive work from Balga which paved the way for an easy finish inside the box. With nothing to lose, the visitors now went in search of goals as both Willy Lyall and Scott Wilson went close to levelling the score before Gary Shorto's cross found the head of Lyall whose downward header spun the outstretched arms of the goalkeeper. With the two teams struggling to gain the upper hand, it wasn't until the second half that either side was able to create any decent openings. Balga went ahead midway through the period via Lyall who was successful from the penalty spot. 2-1 up, the visitors looked set to cruise to victory as further chances to increase the tally came their way. But, with minutes remaining, Subiaco threw players forward and amid the chaos in the Balga rearguard the home side found their equaliser after Balga's goalkeeper spilled a weakly hit shot. There was little chance of any further action with the referee blowing for full-time shortly after much to the disappointment of the travelling players and supporters who are now facing the reality of spending next season in the First Division.
Shamrock Rovers held League leaders Hamersley Rovers to a 3-3 draw to renew interest in the Premier League competition with two games remaining. Hamersley currently sit on top of the table with 42 points, three ahead of second-placed University and five more than Forrestfield United, who had a 3-1 home win over Spearwood Dalmatinac. The struggle to avoid relegation is open with Balga (18 points) just ahead of Kwinana United (19 points) who suffered narrow 1-2 home loss to Fremantle United, and E.C.U. Joondalup (20) went down by the same score to the visitors from Perth Azzurri.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Floreat Athena have kept alive their slim hopes of taking out the home-and-away season trophy with a commanding 7-2 home win over E.C.U. Joondalup whose chances of participating in the end of season play-offs have plummeted in recent weeks. Dean Gartside and Ian Griffiths were on-target for an under-strength Bassendean Caledonian team that moved up to fourth place courtesy of a 2-0 home win over Fremantle City. Cockburn City's finals dream was left in tatters by a Louis Parkinson hat-trick as Inglewood United triumphed 3-0. And Swan I.C. ensured themselves a place in the top flight next season with a 3-2 away win over Ashfield. On Sunday, Western Knights defeated Future Glory 2-1, and Perth S.C. accounted for Sorrento 2-0.
Stirling Lions established a two point lead at the top of the First Division table after Armadale slipped up on the road. The Lions proved too strong for Bayswater City at Macedonia Park where goals by Rob Milevski, Keegan Ashley and Toby Wright gave them maximum points, while just down the road at Wootton Reserve Morley Windmills held Armadale to a 1-1 draw. Queens Park stay in third place after sharing the points with Stirling Suns 2-2, and Mandurah City were surprised by the visitors from Dianella White Eagles 3-5.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND TWENTY (Floreat Athena vs E.C.U. Joondalup by Christian Galapolous; Cockburn City vs Inglewood United and Ashfield vs Swan I.C. by Mike Hennessey; Perth S.C. vs Sorrento by Kerry Slater)
It was an under-strength Bassendean Caledonian which faced Fremantle City in the Round Twenty Premier League fixture at Jubilee Reserve. Out for the home side were reliable sweeper Kevin Smith due to suspension, Mark Lennon has recently returned to Dubai, while the club's leading scorer Graeme Matthews found himself on the bench after a late injury test. While Caledonian have been the surpirse packet of 2002, Fremantle are yet to reap the full potential from a talented, youth squad. Coming off a seven-goal mauling of Ashfield seven days earlier, the port side also had some notable absentees including experienced duo Dale Wingell and Alex Cummings (suspended), as well as with teenage goal machine Josh Kamasz who has been trialling in the U.K.
Caledonian goalkeeper Alan Dunlop was in the thick of the early action and in the 3rd minute was quick off his line following a defensive blunder to smother at the feet of Anthony Pereira. Caledonian's response was swift - a speedy counter attacking move which ended with midfielder Dean Gartside drawing Robert Zabica out of position before calmly slotting between goalkeeper and post to open the scoring as referee Jeremy Oliphant over-ruled his assistants offside flag. The goal immediately settled the two sides who made good use of the full width of the park in an even period. Fremantle were unfortunate not to level the scores after 13 minutes when David Rodgers chested down a high ball before stretching Dunlop with a volley destined for the top corner. But, just as they were starting to look dangerous, the visitors went a further goal behind as Ian Griffiths' perfectly timed volley from a Ramon Westerberger cross wrong-footed Zabica and slammed into the back of the net with 18 minutes elapsed.
With Fremantle beginning to enjoy the better of possession but unable to break down the home defence, the port side suffered a major blow on the half hour when club captain Craig Surtees went down injured after clashing with Dunlop for a high ball. Shortly after the visitors created their best opening so far, John Migas getting free down the right to cross to the far post cross where Pereira's splendid first-time shot from rocketed not far wide of the top corner. Caledonian came back into the game as the break approached and in the 38th minute Simon Henderson squandered a golden opportunity to add to the tally by lifting the ball over the bar after some good lead-up work from Westerberger and Jason Van Rooy. With their midfield effortlessly restricting the supply line to Fremantle's forwards, the home team continually surged into attack only to be let down by some poor finishing on more than one occasion.
After the break it was a far more confident composed Fremantle side that emerged and took the game by the scruff of the neck. In the 47th minute Migas fired on target only to his shot desperately deflected wide by stand-in sweeper Paul Strudwick. With all the play taking place in Fremantle's attacking half, it seemed only a matter of time before they would equalise, but a well-drilled home defence - that consisted of Strudwick, Craig Naven, Raph Mahoney - had other ideas and very few genuine chances on goal came as a result. Rodgers skipped away down the right after 59 minutes and pulled the ball back to the top of the 18-yard box where Pereira shot on the turn to force a sharp save from Dunlop. Six minutes later a Fremantle corner was not properly dealt with by the home side and Damian Trim shot over the bar from an angle after beating an opponent. With some brutal tackles going in from players on both sides, Gartside was very lucky not to be sent off following a hacking challenge on Jorquiera after 68 minutes that left the teenager needing treatment on the sidelines.
One-way traffic it might have been but Fremantle could find no way through Caldeonian's defence who relieved the pressure by pumping the ball into midfield only to see it come back just as quick. It wasn't until the introduction of Aaron Moschopoulos that the home team started to get into attack themselves but Griffiths and Westerberger were well and truly out-manoeuvered by the likes of Damian Trim and Dale Wingell. With time fast running out Fremantle mounted one final all-out assault only to again come up empty handed as Dunlop made a brilliant diving save to keep out a bullet-like Pereira shot from 14-metres. With news of other results filtering through, the referee's final whistle set off some wild celebrations from the home fans who are looking forward to a historic berth in the top flight finals series. Craig Naven was once again faultless in defence for the home team, while there were also impressive performances by Griffiths and 18-year old McCormick. On a day that luck was simply against him, Pereira shone for Fremantle along with hard-working midfielders Jorquiera and Daniel Trim.
Bassendean Caledonian : Alan Dunlop, Paul Strudwick, Craig Naven, Raph
Mahoney, Glenn McCormick (Graeme Matthews 79), Jason Van Rooy, Jimmy
Merkouris, Dean Gartside, Simon Henderson (Aaron Moschopoulos 65), Ramon
Westerberger, Ian Griffiths
Fremantle City : Robert Zabica, Craig Surtees (Cesare De Bartolo 33), Dale Wingell, Damian Trim, Dom Ando, Michael Mirco (Llewellyn Bake 56), Cisco Jorquiera, Daniel Trim, John Migas, David Rodgers (Michael Vaz 78), Anthony Pereira
Referee : Jeremy Oliphant
Cautions : Mirco (45), Gartside (68), McCormick (75), Strudwick (84)
Dismissals : None
Attendance : 275 (approx.)
Floreat Athena kept their slim title hopes alive with a 7-2 trouncing of E.C.U. Joondalup under sunny skies at Litis Stadium. The high scoring match was all but over after an eventful first half that produced five goals, one red card and numerous bookings. The home team took the lead after 9 minutes courtesy of an own goal by Joondalup defender Jamie Kuzmanovich. But just two minutes later the visitors were level after Andy Mason equalized from the penalty spot after defender Eugene Tan's foul inside the area. Soon after Garin Collins failed to hit the target for Joondalup following good work from Mark Ristofski which set the striker up with an open goal. The miss would hurt the visitors when Kosta Kalavrouziotis scored from distance after a superb solo run after 24 minutes. Nine minutes later referee Michael Klaver denied Athena a definite goal scoring opportunity when he failed to play the advantage and called up play to give Kuzmanovich his marching orders after an off the ball incident. The industrious James Afkos gave the home side a 3-1 lead when he superbly volleyed home the rebound from Jamie Trandos long-range effort. Afkos was again in the thick of the action just before half-time, sending a delightful cross to striker Ryan Newhill who made no mistake with his close-range header. Down by three goals, the ten man Joondalup side had a lot ahead of them in the second half to get back into this game. Prolific goalscorer Mason bobbed up in the 65th minute to bag his second goal of the afternoon and give his side a glimmer of hope. However three quick goals late in the match from Robyn Dyers, Andreas Pantelias and Dejan Djukanovic sealed the visitors fate. Athena's win keeps the pressure on League leaders Perth S.C. as Joondalup slip outside the top five, one point behind Inglewood United who they meet next Saturday.
Inglewood United striker Louis Parkinson continued his good recent form in front of goal by scoring a hat-trick in his sides 3-0 win over Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. The visiting side went into attack from the opening kick with Scott Campbell twice through on goal inside the first ten minutes but both chances went begging, and in the 16th minute goalkeeper Dino Pacella produced a fine save to deny Parkinson. Paul Lincoln broke through shortly after only for Pacella to parry his shot, the loose ball running to Parkinson who slotted home to give Inglewood the lead. The goal stirred Cockburn into life and Christian Paschkewitz fired twice over the bar as they sought an equaliser. However, Inglewood soon regained the upper hand and Pacella was forced to make quality saves from Daniel Harrop and Parkinson. As half-time approached, a fine run by Harrop enabled him to centre for Parkinson to score his second and give Inglewood a two-goal buffer at the break. The second half saw Inglewood dominate. The visitors continuously threatened their opponents goal while Cockburn could only muster the occasional break which more often than not resulted in shooting from long distance. An Elton Holmes header was brilliantly saved by Pacella when it seemed certain the striker would score. With Inglewood well on top, frustrations took hold in the Cockburn camp as Dusan Macura was sent off for pulling his opponent down in order to prevent another goal. But Inglewood's third arrived after 82 minutes when another fine move enabled Parkinson to complete his hat-trick. It was all too much for Cockburn who then had leading scorer Branimir Mikulic sent off for serious foul play. Inglewood simply cruised home to gain vital three points and keep alive their chances of making the top five play-offs.
Swan I.C. ensured that the Swan Italian Club will see Premier League action next season with a 3-2 win over bottom side Ashfield at Ashfield Reserve on Saturday. The black and whites took an early lead when the persistent Robert Shepheard won the ball and fired goalward from an acute angle, his shot taking a deflection off a defender before ending up in the back of the net. Tom Shepheard then added a second before Swan's leading sorer Damian Scali hammered home a Robert Shepheard cross from the left to put the visiting team into a 3-0 lead. Three goals up, Swan eased off the pace and allowed Ashfield back into the game, Scott Brisley reducing the deficit before the break with a well-placed header. Ashfield came a step closer to getting back on level terms when Martin Sherwin scored in a goalmouth scramble early in the second half, but after than the visitors tightened up in defence and were not seriously threatened for the remainder of the afternoon to record a 3-2 away win.
Sorrento not only had to content with a difficult away clash with Premier League leaders Perth S.C., but they also had an overly fervent referee in Tom Klaver on Sunday afternoon. Klaver issued eight cautions and sent off two players in a match that certainly wasn't as physical a battle that warranted that number of cards. The two red were directed at players from the visiting team and, whilst both seemed very harsh decisions, the circumstances surrounding Michael Ord's departure was bizarre to say the least. A linesman appeared to give Ord permission to come on as a 6th replacement for Lee Burns who came off injured, but Klaver had another opinion and issued the substitute with a caution. Late in the first half, Ord was shown his second yellow card after pulling his shorts down to tuck in his shirt as directed by the referee. Gareth Phillips was the other Sorrento player to leave the contest early after two second half bookings, the first may have been with reason but the second was a total misinterpretation by the match official as Phillips clearly won the ball with a tackle that was not from behind. The match - if left to function by the players - had all the makings of a great contest, but it was pulled down into a stop-start affair that drew the supporters' ire. The only bright spot of the first half was Jamie Coyne's opening goal after 35 minutes from a fine free-kick conceded by Shaun Bowyer. Perth sealed all three points eight minutes from the end of regulation time when central defender Aaron Cole came in late behind the opposing defence to head in a deep cross.
Western Knights have taken a giant step to ensuring their participation in this year's Champion of Champions series by defeating Future Glory 2-1 at Nash Field on Sunday. Club captain Carl Medica got the home side off on the right foot when he scored from the penalty spot with just 14 minutes gone on the clock. That margin blew out to two-nil in the 27th minute after defender Evan Wallace tapped in from close range. It was a much stronger Future performance after the break with Antonio Naglieri bringing his side back into the match in the 62 minute. But the Future youngsters were unable to add to their tally as the final 2-1 scoreline ended their chances of making the end-of-season finals.
RESERVES AND UNDER-18'S ROUND-UP
Fremantle City have moved level on points with E.C.U. Joondalup at the top of the reserves table after Round Twenty of competition. A four goal first half set the port side on their way to a comfortable 4-1 away win over Bassendean Caledonian as Floreat Athena held E.C.U. Joondalup 1-1 at Litis Stadium. But playing in Joondalup's favour is that they have a game in hand over Fremantle, that the postponed Round Sixteen clash with eleventh-placed Swan I.C. The other Saturday games saw Bryn Griffiths on target for Cockburn City in their 1-1 draw with Inglewood United, which was the same scoreline when Ashfield played Swan. The following afternoon Perth S.C. were awarded a 3-0 forfeit win over Sorrento, and Future Glory whalloped Western Knights 6-2 at Nash Field.
Fremantle City have firmed up as favourites to take out the Under-18's championship after defeating Bassendean Caledonian 4-0 at Jubilee Reserve. Perth S.C., who started the weekend level with the port side, lost valuable ground after Joe Woodin and Farrell Hedges found the net for third-placed Sorrento at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday. Floreat Athena defeated E.C.U. Joondalup 1-0 to hold on to fourth spot. Two goals from Justin De Abreu enabled Cockburn City to record a 2-0 win over the visitors from Inglewood United, Ashfield accounted for Swan I.C. 2-1, and Future Glory had little trouble in defeating Western Knights 3-1 in the second Sunday fixture.
FIRST DIVISION WRAP (Stirling Lions vs Bayswater City by Don Evans; Morley Windmills vs Armadale by Michael Di Pietro; South West Phoenix vs Canning City by Phil Unsworth)
Stirling Lions have one hand placed firmly on the First Division championship after recording a 3-0 home win over a young and inexperienced Bayswater City side while Armadale stumbled to a 1-1 draw with Morley Windmills in the second-to-last round of the season. The silky skills of midfielder combination Toby Wright, Adam Rains, Tony Paolino and Victor Bogos saw the Lions establish control of the contest from the kick-off with an early Rains header going close to opening the scoring. A sweet 22nd minute move set the home side on the road to victory as Keegan Ashley and Toby Wright with the latter's cross being volley in by Rob Milevski. The Bayswater defence were the ones under all the pressure with 19-year old goalkeeper Joseph Princi working overtime to keeping his side in the game. Some fine one-touch football on the half-hour between Milevski and Bobbi Klenkoski resulted in Ashley bagging a confidence boosting goal from the edge of the 18-yard box to double the margin. The second half saw the home side take up camp in their opponents half as shots flew thick and fast, and a long-range bomb from Toby Wright after 69 minutes finally put the result beyond a shadow of a doubt. The Lions continued to sparkle with Riste Stefoski, Toby Wright and Milevski the pick of the bunch, while praise must be heaped on visiting custodian Princi who was simply superb. The reserves clash ended in a convincing 7-1 Lion win, while the Under-18's match ended 0-2 in favour of the visitors.
It' always the same story for Armadale - the games that should be formalities turn out to be nightmares. The Reds made the away journey to Morley Windmills for what should have been three easy points which would have kept the pressure on First Division leaders Stirling Lions, but instead the match ended in a one-all draw which effectively knocked the club out of the title hunt. Armadale dominated the clash but unfortunately could not put away their numerous chances. The game should have been all over by half time, but the home side remained on level terms after 45-minutes. Greg Newcombe finally gave Armadale the lead in the 63rd minute, and that should have been enough for the Reds, but just seven minutes later Windmills equalised to shatter their top flight hopes. With one round to go Armadale's Premier League dream hinges on Windmills pulling off an unlikely win over the Lions next weekend, while the Reds must defeat Dianella White Eagles. It was a more successful day for Armadale's reserves who hit four without reply to extend their undefeated run to seven games. Young striker Darren Kingston lead the way with a classy hat-trick while Steve Tsalis chipped in for his sides fourth. Armadale's Under-18's also had a comfortable win, the 6-2 scoreline flattering Windmills who were lucky not to concede double that number of goals. Steve Flynn, Oliver Crockford (3), Steven Hanley and Peter Taylor finding the net for the reds.
Dianella White Eagles came away from their clash at Mandurah City with maximum points after the home side turned in one of their worst halves of football since joining the ranks of Soccer West Coast. The game started in the worst possible way for Mandurah as the visitors found the net inside the opening minute via Dragan Njegic. Things went from bad to worse for Mandurah when Njegic doubled the margin after some hesitant defending in the 9th minute. Six minutes later Dianella added their third of the afternoon through Dragan Radojevic to leave the home side stunned. Mandurah tried desperately to get back into the game and appeared to be given a lifeline after 37 minutes when Andrew Rennie won his side a penalty, the attacker taking the spot-kick himself which was comfortably saved by the Dianella goalkeeper. It was a much more composed Mandurah side that emerged for the second half, and which pegged a goal back when Michael Bobridge calmly flicked the ball past the visiting defence. Dianella didn't wait long before responding, Zelko Savic scoring from the penalty spot to restore his sides' three-goal buffer. Andrew Rennie reduced the deficit but Dianella added their fifth via a fine individual effort by Boima Karpeh. With eight minutes remaining, Mandurah substitute Barry Neylon netted his teams' third to still give them slim hope of salvaging something from the match, but the visitors defence out until the final whistle. The reserves match was taken out 6-1 by Mandurah, Carlos Almieda (3), Steve Choate (2) and Nick Archer the scorers. The Under-18 clash ended 4-2 in favour of the home side.
Canning City made the long journey south to Bunbury where they faced South West Phoenix on Saturday in a tightly contested encounter. Half time arrived with very little to report in terms of goalmouth activity other than a handful of long-range efforts which didn't trouble either goalkeeper. The second period began in a more open fashion and in the 48th minute Phoenix came close to breaking the deadlock when Kurt Green conceded possession but David Murphy fired across goal the face of goal, narrowly wide of the up-right. Ten minutes later Canning snatched the lead after Christain Dolva's powerful headed from a Mick Van Dongen corner found the back of the net. Daniel Laing added some comfort to Canning's position twenty minutes into the half when he took control of the ball on the edge of the penalty area before blasting home a fierce shot to the left of Phoenix 'keeper Reece Braithwaite. Murphy came close to replying for Phoenix a few minutes later but again his effort went just wide of the target, and shortly after Jason Jing forced a good save from Canning 'keeper Darren Williams. Phoenix got on the score sheet with fifteen minutes remaining when Andrew Cowley forced the ball into Canning's goal from close range after some confusion in the visiting defence. Finishing strongly, Phoenix tested Williams numerous times over the closing stages only to find the Canning 'keeper in sensational form as he produced a spectacular save to deny midfielder Dominic Allen. The visitors, however, hung on for a valuable win and a further three points that elevates Canning to tenth position on the league table.
In other First Division fixtures, Queens Park and Stirling Suns fought out a 2-2 draw, which was the samce score when Southside United hosted Balcatta. Kingsway Olympic recorded a 1-0 win at home over Wanneroo City, Rockingham City defeated Leeming Strikers 3-1, and Perth City had the bye.
OLYROOS DEFEAT GERMANS
The Australian Under-23 team have recorded a 1-0 win in the second and final game of their European camp against German First Division club Waldhof Mannheim. Showing a marked improvement on their opening match, which ended in a 3-5 loss to Bayer Leverkusen, the Olyroos created numerous scoring opportunities before getting the breakthrough ten minutes from the end via Nick Carle. Western Australia had three representative in the Under-23 side, Richard Garica and Adrian Madaschi both saw out the full 90 minutes against Waldhof Mannheim while goalkeeper Clint Davies remained on the bench.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Floreat Athena have kept alive their slim hopes of taking out the home-and-away season trophy with a commanding 7-2 home win over E.C.U. Joondalup whose chances of participating in the end of season play-offs have plummeted in recent weeks. Dean Gartside and Ian Griffiths were on-target for an under-strength Bassendean Caledonian team that moved up to fourth place courtesy of a 2-0 home win over Fremantle City. Cockburn City's finals dream was left in tatters by a Louis Parkinson hat-trick as Inglewood United triumphed 3-0. And Swan I.C. ensured themselves a place in the top flight next season with a 3-2 away win over Ashfield. On Sunday, Western Knights defeated Future Glory 2-1, and Perth S.C. accounted for Sorrento 2-0.
Stirling Lions established a two point lead at the top of the First Division table after Armadale slipped up on the road. The Lions proved too strong for Bayswater City at Macedonia Park where goals by Rob Milevski, Keegan Ashley and Toby Wright gave them maximum points, while just down the road at Wootton Reserve Morley Windmills held Armadale to a 1-1 draw. Queens Park stay in third place after sharing the points with Stirling Suns 2-2, and Mandurah City were surprised by the visitors from Dianella White Eagles 3-5.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
Bassendean Caledonian will be looking to take out maximum points - and sure up a place in the top five - when they meet Fremantle City at home in Round Twenty of the Premier League season on Saturday afternoon. At Litis Stadium, both Floreat Athena and E.C.U. Joondalup will be aiming to return to the winners' circle after slipping up last weekend. Anything less than a win to either Cockburn City or Inglewood United at Dalmatinac Park will severely damage their chances of participating in this years finals series. And a stretched Ashfield outfit have home ground advantage against Swan I.C. in Saturday's other fixture. The following day at Dorrien Gardens, Perth S.C. can pretty much wrap-up the championship with victory over Sorrento, while in the southern suburbs Western Knights go to battle with the youngsters from Future Glory.
The First Division is theoretically down to two and it's difficult to see either Stirling Lions or Armadale dropping points at this stage to Bayswater City or Morley Windmills respectively. In third place are Queens Park who must defeat Stirling Suns in order to stay in with an outside chance of lifting the trophy. Mandurah City has home ground advantage over Dianella White Eagles, and Balcatta return to action with an away meeting at Southside United. Canning City make the long trip to Bunbury to play South West Phoenix, Kingsway Olympic meet Wanneroo City in the local derby, and Rockingham City entertain the visitors from Perth City. Leeming Strikers have been drawn the bye.
STATE TEAM IN MID-WEEK FRIENDLY
Some of the Western Australia' top players will get the opportunity to strut their stuff in front of the Perth Glory coaching staff on Wednesday evening when a very young State side takes on the National Soccer League minor premiers under lights at Litis Stadium from 6.15pm. The last time the two sides met was in October 2000 when Glory came from behind to run out 3-2 winners. The friendly will be followed at 8.00pm by the do-or-die Boral Cup semi-final meeting between northern rivals E.C.U. Joondalup and Sorrento.
State coach Gary Marocchi, who spent two eyars in charge of Glory, has selected what amounts to an Under-23 side for the Charity Shield with just two players - Adrian Sutton and Carl Medica - over that age. "If some of them think they are good enough to play at national league level, then this is a chance to show it," Marocchi said recently. Hot-shot strikers Andreas Oliveira and Branimir Mikulic, who have 38 goals between them so far this winter, are expected to partner eachother in attack. Support from the middle will come from the likes of Medica, Jamie Coyne, Miki Vujacic, Scott Campbell and Todd Howarth. At the back Marocchi will select from Sutton, Troy Bernard (injury permitting), Shaun Kilkelly, Ivan Zuvela and Aaron Cole.
Fresh from a three-match tour of Malaysia where they won the inaugural Curtin University Challenge Cup, the match will be Glory's final friendly hit-out before the 2002/03 N.S.L. season kicks-off. On show for the competitions' glamour club will be a host of homegrown stars, amongst them Jason Petkovic, Scott Miller, Bobby Despotovski, Jamie Harnwell and Gary Faria. After several years in England with Southampton, Adrian Caceras is another local product expected to turn out for Glory while youngsters Anthony Danze and David Tarka will get another opportunity to impress in the lead-up to the summer campaign. New German import Andre Gumprecht will also be on show, as will Australia's all-time leading scorer Damian Mori and reliable Brazilian midfielder Edgar.
THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME!
A handful of Perth teenagers will depart for Italy early next year for a once in a lifetime opportunity to train with Serie A glamour club Juventus. Organised by State coach Gary Marocchi and the International Academy in conjunction with the Juventus Supporters Club of W.A, the 15-player squad will participate in a F.I.F.A. endorsed, nine-day training program. These tailor-designed coaching sessions will be taken by an experienced coach from the Turin-based club and will include match practice against European players in the 16-18 age bracket. The touring party will also get to experience all the colour and passion of the world game first hand when they travel to the 69,000 capacity Stadio Delle Alpi to watch Juventus play Reggina on 12th January 2003. For more details on the trip contact Gary Marocchi on 0411 644 821 or Seb van der Vliet, manager of the International Academy, on 0415 891 753.
HAMERSLEY FIRM AS TITLE FAVOURITES
As the W.A.A.S.S.A. Premier League season fast comes to a close, Hamersley Rovers haved shaped up as odds-on favourite to add to the trophy cabinet with their second championship in as many years. With three games remaining in the home-and-away season, Hamersley have opened up a five point gap at the top of the table as strike-partners Neil Birkinshaw and Flavio L'Abbate continue to hammer in the goals. While it is mathematically possible that the club will be overhauled in the final weeks of the campaign, in reality it's difficult to see that becoming reality. Last winter Hamersley wrapped up the title well in advance and 2002 looks like being no difference, three points away to Shamrock Rovers on Sunday will be enough to secure them the silverware.
It's in the race for the minor placings that things are really hotting up. Some fine recent performances from Finish import Teemu Sihvola and goalkeeper Shayam Young have lifted the University of W.A. (36 points) into second place, one ahead of Shamrock Rovers (35) who've relied largely on Mark Kelly for their goals. Traditional powers Forrestfield United (34) and Spearwood Dalmatinac (33) are also in the hunt for the runners-up spot, but Murdoch University (31) look to have missed the boat. Relegation for Subiaco United - First Division champions twelve-months ago - from the Premier League was sealed some time ago, but the second drop spot is still up for grabs. Balga (17) are favoured to also go down, although Kwinana United (19) and reigning Mitre Cup holders E.C.U. Joondalup (20) are by no means out of the woods.
Runaway First Division leaders CN Canning International have won themselves a place in the top flight for season 2003 - no matter how the remaining three rounds pan out. Former State amateur striker Pablo Caceres has scored over half Canning's goal in a season that has them currently undefeated on home turf. Competition for the remaining promotion spot is tight. North Perth United (37) are in second place thanks to the goalscoring prowess of Jeremy Fontanille, but they are being closely pursued by Suburbs United (36), Carlisle (36) and Colo Colo (34) as the season comes down to the wire. At the other end of the table, Cockburn City and Cloverdale Chindits look like making the drop.
HILL IN RUNNING FOR S-LEAGUE AWARD
Former Sorrento big man Danny Hill is one of five players nominated for August's Straits Times/Tiger Beer Footballer of the Month in Singapore. Although he played for the Seagulls in defence, Hill has been utilised to great effect by Sengkang Marine coach Trevor Morgan in attack, producing five goals in recent outings to double his season tally. Simon Harland, another Sorrento old boy, leads the clubs' scoring chart with 15 goals. Hill joined Sorrento prior to the 2001 winter and was an integral member of the squad which took out the clubs first Premier League title before capping his season by claiming the Seagulls' Fairest and Best award. He previously played non-League football in England with Cinderford Town and Newport County.
GARCIA STARS FOR OLYROOS
Richard Garcia has shown that he is well and truly over the knee injury suffered late last year by scoring twice and setting up a third goal for the Australian Under-23 side in tonight's friendly with German Bundesliga club outfit Bayer Leverkusen in Bitburg. Despite the heroics of the 21-year old former Perth S.C. junior, who plies his trade in England for West Ham United, the Olyroos went down 3-5 in their first hit-out under the watchful eye of national coach Frank Farina. Garcia was one of two West Australian's in Farina's starting eleven, the other being Atalanta defender Adrian Madaschi - both players coming off after 70 minutes for a well-earnt rest. A third West Australia, one-time Kingsway Olympic and Inglewood United junior Clint Davies, came off the bench in the 63rd minute for his debut appearance in national colours.
Early goals by Thomas Brdaric and Anel Dzaka saw Bayer race to a two-goal lead, but the margin was slimmed by Garcia when he found the target in the 19th minute. The young Australian team then enjoyed the better of play, creating numerous scoring opportunities only to be thwarted by the opposition defence. The leveller came three minutes from the break after Garcia skillfully made his way past several defenders and cross to Nick Carle who slotted home from 12-metres. Bayer started the new half the strong and added another three goals to their tally via Huezeyfe Dogan, Sebastian Schoof and Thomas Brdaric to effectively end the game as a contest. Garcia struck his second of the night in the 67th minute by volleying in a low Shane Cansdell-Sheriff cross. Farina made several changes to the Australian line-up over the closing stages with no further addition to the scoreline.
GOLDEN BOOT A THREE WAY BATTLE
Cockburn City's Branimir Mikulic has received a timely reminder call that his quest to become the first player to win back-to-back Golden Boots in nearly a decade is far from a done deal after his two nearest rivals narrowed the gap over the weekend. While the 22-year old striker failed to find the net against the Western Knights on Sunday, it was a much different story for Andreas Oliveira (Perth S.C.) and Ryan Newhill (Floreat Athena) who both scored twice to turn up the heat on Mikulic. Over the years numerous players have taken out the top flight's leading scorer award in consecutive seasons, but the last player do the double was Perth Italia and State striker Frank Bate who recorded hauls of 15 and 28 goals in 1992 and 1993 respectively.
With three games to go in the 2002 regular season, Mikulic and Oliveira sit atop of the leading scorers table with 19 goals apiece. But just three goals off the pace and breathing down their neck is Athena marksman Newhill who has scored in each of his club's past eight outings. Oliveira started 2002 with a flurry and by the season's half way stage had opened up a sizable lead courtesy of 12 goals in seven outings. It wasn't until Round Fifteen that Mikulic drew level with the nippy Perth attacker when he snared a hat-trick at Ashfield, and a fortnight later the 22-year old pulled clear after bagging four against Athena. In recent week Oliveria has re-discovered his touch in front of goal and the pair go into the tail end of the winter neck-and-neck. But, just in case anyone thought it was a two-horse race, Newhill is undoubtedly the League's in-form striker with 14 goals in his last nine appearances. Needless to say, a closer finish could not have been predicted.
UP CLOSE WITH GARETH DEEG (reproduced with permission from "Onside")
As reigning Premier League champions, Sorrento would no doubt have set their sights on at least making the top five and competing in the play-offs again at the start of this season. They may still do that but they'll have to really go some. It's been a funny old season for the Seagulls with a real mixture of results in which the only consistent thing about them has been their inconsistency. All this has left the team with a mountain to climb to reach the finals and, with a handful of games remaining, the Seagulls would probably need to win all of them to extend their season past Round 22. But, as goalkeeper Gareth Deeg told Tim Lefort recently, they certainly haven't given up hope.
"It will be tough and we've only got ourselves to blame for that", he said, "but we can still do it possibly. If we didn't aim for that, there'd be no point in putting it in week-in, week-out. We aim to make the top five and we are trying our best to do it." If Sorrento are able to make a successful late charge, chances are that Deeg will need to make a significant contribution, and as far as he's concerned the timing couldn't be better. "I've personally been doing a lot of work the last five or six weeks to get myself sharper and fitter and I think the results are starting to show with a couple of clean sheets. I had a big year training with Perth Glory and I didn't really have any time off. So when I got to Sorrento and the season started I just trained two nights a week and that was it. I did lose a lot of fitness and sharpness but now it's starting to come back."
A 1-0 victory at home to struggling Swan I.C. followed by a 3-0 defeat of bottom side Ashfield may not be the most reliable barometer of improvement but Deeg pointed out the importance of not underestimating those results. "It's always going to be a battle coming to these types of games," he said. "Nev (coach Steve Neville) made a good point about four or five weeks ago that we haven't scraped a result all year. Every scrape we've had we've either ended up on the losing end or had a draw. So the Swan game was what we really needed and we really had to battle for the win and we got it. This season hasn't gone as planned for everyone at the club but hopefully we've turned the corner."
However, regardless of when Sorrento's season ends, Deeg would love nothing more than to keep putting in the hours on the training track and in the process re-establish his relationship with Glory's 'keepers. "Working with Willie McNally and Tony Franken was ... I mean you can't get two better coaches in the game. Technically, physically, mentally, every part of my game improved working with those guys and I couldn't have enough nicer words to say about them and what they've done for me. I would love to be invited back down by Mich (d'Avray) and Alan (Vest). Hopefully I do get that chance - I'm busting my balls to get that opportunity to be honest with you."
Ironically, Deeg actually had a link of sorts with Western Australia's N.S.L. side before either d'Avray or Vest were associated with the club. Originally from Newcastle, he was brought across the Nullarbor four and a half years ago by former Glory brothers Troy and Scott Halpin, and ended up playing for E.C.U. Joondalup. Now, with the retirement of Franken, the Glory have only two keepers in their squad - Jason Petkovic and Vince Matassa - and that could just leave the door open for the Sorrento custodian.
"I have spoken on a very, very casual basis with Mich," Deeg said. "Nothing of any promises or definites or anything like that but yes, if the third 'keeper position is available and they want somebody, I'd certainly like to throw my hat in the ring and really try to give it a go. Again, working with them full-time or even part-time would be a great asset to myself and hopefully I could help the club out in whatever way they need. To play full-time football is everybody's dream and if there was any chance of me doing that, I'd do anything possible to make it happen."
Balga kept alive their slim hope of remaining in W.A.A.S.S.A.'s top flight next season with a last gasp win over fellow strugglers Kwinana United on Sunday. Playing with a strong wind at their back for the opening half, Kwinana went in search of goals only to meet strong resistance from the home defence which was strengthen by the return of Gannon Jones. Balga slowly began to find their rhythm and shortly before half time got their reward when a swift move down the left resulted in a goalmouth scramble from which Scott Wilson's poke at goal looped over the goalkeeper off the leg of a defender to make it 1-0. The second half saw a more confident Balga side produce some lovely flowing football that caused the visiting defence no end of problems. But Balga were unable to finish off their opponents and midway through the period were made to pay the price when a shot form long-range was parried by goalkeeper Paul Harnett and Kwinana wasted no time to ram home the loose ball. With the game seconds away from ending in a draw, Justin Jensen's defence-splitting pass found Gary Shorto who sprinted forward before knocking the ball past the visiting 'keeper to send the home crowd into raptures.
Hamersley Rovers stay on course to make it back-to-back Premier League titles after condemning Subiaco United to a 6-0 hammering. The University of W.A. collected three valuable points to move into second spot, five points behind the leaders, after being awarded a 2-0 result over E.C.U. Joondalup who were forced to forfeit the game. Third-placed Shamrock Rovers were held to a 2-2 draw by home team Murdoch University, while Forrestfield United missed the opportunity to move up the table when they played out a scoreless draw at Fremantle United. Honours were also shared between Spearwood Dalmatinac and Perth Azzurri where the final score was 2-2.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Inglewood United dealt Floreat Athena's championship hopes a devastating blow when they won their meeting 3-2 at the National Stadium. With the three points looking safe for Athena, Inglewood substitutes Louis Parkinson (84th minute) and Paul Lincoln (86th minute) stole victory for the home team. Perth S.C. have moved four points clear at the top of the table after a 3-1 away win over E.C.U. Joondalup where Andreas Oliveira scored twice. Sorrento held Bassendean Caledonian to a 1-1 draw, and Fremantle City hammered seven without reply past bottom side Ashfield. On Sunday at Nash Field, Western Knights demolished Cockburn City 5-0, while the game at the Swan Italian Club between Swan I.C and Future Glory is believed to have been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
The race for promotion to the top flight has been narrowed to two - Stirling Lions and Armadale - after Round Twenty One of the First Division. The Lions 1-0 win over Stirling Suns keeps them on top of the table but ahead of Armadale only on goal difference after they knocked Queens Park out of contention with a 3-1 home win. Mandurah City were held to a 1-1 draw by a Morley Windmills side who are struggling with a lengthy injury and illness list. Dianella White Eagles defeated Bayswater City 3-2.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND NINETEEN (E.C.U. Joondalup vs Perth S.C. by Christian Galapolous; Sorrento vs Bassendean Caledonian by Kerry Slater; Western Knights vs Cockburn City by Lennie Bavich)
There was everything on the line for both Inglewood United and Floreat Athena when they met at the National Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The home side were desperate to end a five game streak from which they'd collected just a single point as their play-off dream began to fade, while Athena needed full points in order to stay in touch with leaders Perth S.C. and keep alive their championship hopes. The skies opened up and the rain came bucketing down as the match kicked-off and the two teams attempted to find some sort of rhythm on what very quickly began a very heavy playing surface.
The opening period was an even-handed affair in which half chances came the way of Ryan Newhill and Elton Holmes, but neither forced a response from the respective goalkeepers. Athena took the lead in style after 10 minutes, Jamie Trandos floating a free-kick into the area which Adrian Sutton nodded on to Newhill who, in one fluent move, brilliantly brought the ball under control before turning his marker and rocketing the ball beyond the reach of Oliver Taseski. Four minutes later Inglewood should have been back on level terms after John Xigas clattered into Alan MacKenzie leaving referee Eddie Lennie no option but to point to the penalty spot, but Andy Cornmell crashed his spot-kick the wrong side of the up-right. In the 21st minute Scott Campbell skipped away down the left before his low centring ball had the pace taken off it by Xigas and club captain Daniel Harrop was well-placed to bundle the ball over the line from close-range for the equaliser.
With no end in sight as the torrential downpour continued, both sides struggled to come to grips with the wet and windy conditions and to ensure a dour match. A 28th minute goalmouth scramble saw Inglewood twice have strikes on goal blocked on the line before the loose ball rolled to Campbell whose rasping drive from 14-metres was spectacularly tipped over by Xigas. Athena won a corner two minutes later which saw Sutton's downward header came back into play off the post and, in the ensuing scramble for possession, Newhill nipped in to re-store his sides lead. Shots on goal over the latter stages of the half were rare with the less-than-desirable conditions making it difficult for either team to string together more than a few passes. The only chance of note came the way of Athena right on the stroke of half-time, Andreas Pantelis' corner from the left met by Anthony Jones who rose unchallenged only to head narrowly over the bar.
Athena started the second period by far the stronger team and it seemed only a matter of time before the visitors would increase their margin. But some dogged defending by the home back-three, who were ably supported by midfielders Ryan Fredericks and Alan MacKenzie, saw Inglewood weather the onslaught before slowly working their way back into the game. In the 58th minute Jamie Goodman pushed forward to lift the ball over the opposing defence which was run onto by Harrop who was robbed of possession by an ever-alert Sutton as he lined up the target. Shortly after coach Steve Parkinson made what would proved to be an inspired double substitution, Paul Lincoln and Louis Parkinson coming on to add some bite to Inglewood's forwardline. Campbell's dangerous low shot from 16-metres was well saved by Xigas after 63 minutes, while wide on the right Fredericks began to get forward and deliver a string of crosses into the dangerzone as the momentum shifted in favour of the home side.
But, for all their endevours, Inglewood were unable to find a way past a well-drilled Athena defence. With the clock fast ticking down, defender Jamie Godfrey was sacrificed for young attacker Michael Baczynski, leaving Goodman and Michael DiFulvio one-on-one at the back with Athena's lethal duo of Newhill and Robyn Dyers. Although this left the home side potentially exposed at the back, the gamble paid off six minutes from full-time when Louis Parkinson's speculative shot from just some 30-metres drifted high over Xigas before dropping inside his far post to make it two-all. Sensing the game was there for the taking, the home side continued to go on the attack and in the 86th minute took the lead for the first time today. Slipping clear down the right, Louis Parkinson slid the ball to the near post where Athena's defence failed to deal with the danger and Paul Lincoln scramble the ball home for the winner.
While the inclement weather meant this was not a very attractive game to watch, there were some good showings from players in both colours. Jamie Trandos was lively in midfield for Athena while Newhill was unfortunate not to come away with more than two goals. Although on the back foot for long period, the home side never gave up and their late comeback was orchestrated Fredericks on the right flank and MacKenzie contributed another workman-like performance. "We set ourselves the goal of three wins from the last four games and going into Saturdays match not many would have given us a chance," said a pleased Steve Parkinson after the game. "But I think we deserved the win and a little of our luck returned that has been missing in the last six weeks. A team effort is now what is required for the last three games and, as I said to the team before the game, 'its in our hands'."
Inglewood United : Oliver Taseski, Jamie Goodman, Jason Godfrey
(Michael Baczynski 74), Michael DiFulvio, Ryan Fredericks, Andy
Cornmell, Daniel Harrop (Paul Lincoln 59), Rory Mouttet (Louis Parkinson
59), Alan MacKenzie, Scott Campbell, Elton Holmes
Floreat Athena : John Xigas, Troy Bernard (Eugene Tan 48), Anthony Jones, Adrian Sutton, Dejan Djukanovic (Peter Coci 86), Andreas Pantelis, Jamie Trandos, Kosta Kalavroutziotis, James Afkos, Robin Dyers, Ryan Newhill
Referee : Eddie Lennie
Cautions : None
Dismissals : None
Attendance : 150 (approx.)
Andreas Oliveira was the hero for Perth S.C. by scoring twice in their 3-1 victory at E.C.U. Joondalup to put the club in the box seat to take out the Premier League title with three games remaining. The home side got off to the perfect start when John Higgins opened the scoring only minutes after kick-off when he rose above a dormant Perth defence to head home from a corner. Explosive young striker Tom Jones and the experienced Abdul Kamara proved a formidable opponent to the Perth backline but were the pair unable to get the decisive break. But it was Joondalup's inability to convert which allowed Perth back into the game as minutes before the break Jamie Coyne's cross saw Oliveira level the score. Both sides lifted the tempo in the second half and in the 68th minute Perth won a dubious corner, home custodian goalkeeper Peter Stewart misread the flight of the ball and Coyne was on hand at far past to tap home his sides second of the match. Perth lost inspirational sweeper Stephen Willey to injury after 77 minutes, and moments later referee Wayne Oldham found himself again in the thick of things by sending off Kevin Griffiths (Joondalup) and Rob Giorgi (Perth) after they tangled in the middle of the park. Late in the match Oliveira sealed the three points when he headed home Todd Howarth's far post cross.
Bassendean Caledonian and Sorrento played out a thrilling 1-1 draw in windy conditions at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday afternoon. It was the visiting team that tried to make the first impression when Ramon Westerberger attempted to score from the kick off but Seagulls custodian Gareth Deeg wasn't troubled by the shot. A Stuart Banks free-kick cannoned back off the wall after 9 minutes to signal a punchy Caledonian counter-attack in which Dean Gartside set-up Ian Griffiths he screwed his shot wide of the post. Midway through the half Ryan Jeans played the ball over the opposing backline for Jared Love who knocked his shot over the advancing Alan Dunlop but also the crossbar. After several near-misses at both ends, Sorrento looked to have broken the deadlock a minute from half-time when Ross Greer slid the ball home only to have his effort ruled out for a surprising call of handball. Six minutes after the restart Sorrento got their reward via a stunning, wind-assisted free-kick by midfielder Peter Butler that curled out of Dunlop's reach and into the back of his net. It was very nearly two-nil four minutes later when Glen Thomas had the frustration of seeing his rising shot rebound off the upright with Dunlop grounded. On 61 minutes Thomas won a free-kick on the right which Banks floated to the far post for Steve MacDonald whose downward header was tipped over the Dunlop. Shortly after a Gartside cross saw Westerberger come close to turning it in at the near post, Tony Cumace well-placed to clear off the line. Caledonian's clearest opportunity came in the 65th minute, Jimmy Merkouris' ball into the area was missed by all and except the unmarked Westerberger who somehow contrived to shot wide from 6-metres. With fifteen minutes remaining Glen McCormick made way for Aaron Moschopoulos and within six minutes the visitors had their equaliser, Moschopolous stretching to reach Jason Van Rooy's corner to stun the Seagulls. Love could have earnt his side maximum points minutes later but he scooped his effort over the bar after beating Dunlop to a loose ball.
Western Knight's crushed Cockburn City in Sunday's Round Nineteen meeting at Nash Field. Minutes after kick-off, poor defensive back header fell to Knights dangerman Eugene Singeorzan who slotted the ball under Dino Pacella for his first of the afternoon. Another defensive error, this one by Bozo Erakovic, left Carl Medica with just the 'keeper to beat, the Knights forward holding his nerve before knocking the ball past the advancing Pacella to make it 2-0. And in first half stoppage time Singeorzan, who appeared to be in an offside position, got away from the visiting defence to clip the ball over Pacella who was left badly exposed by his teammates. The Knights increased their lead after being awarded a free-kick for a back-pass a metre from the goal line, Paul McVittie heading the ball over the line with 67 minutes gone. There was further punishment to come Cockburn's way when Dean Wallace was deemed to have handled the ball inside the penalty and Singeorzan stepped up to complete his hat-trick and a 5-0 win for his side.
Fremantle City continued their late season revival by recording their second win in as many weeks, this time trashing bottom side Ashfield 7-0. 17-year old John Migas lead the way for the port side with a double, while Anthony Perreira, Dale Wingell, Michael Mirco and Daniel Trim also got themselves on the scoresheet. The second Sunday game between Swan I.C. and Future Glory was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at the Swan Italian Club.
RESERVES AND UNDER-18'S ROUND-UP (Sorrento vs Bassendean Caledonian by Kerry Slater)
A single goal from striker Michael Baczynski was all Inglewood United's reserves had to show for their complete domination of the opening 45 minutes of the clash with Floreat Athena at the National Stadium. Stefan Stoleski and Michael Baczynski both had good opportunities to extend the margin before a flat-footed defence allowed one-time State Schoolboy Peter Koidis to level the scores after 70 minutes. Inspired by the goal, Athena upped the pace and went in search of a match winner. Twice in as many minutes Inglewood goalkeeper Luke Hennessey came to his sides rescue with some sharp reflexes, and five minutes from the end the young custodian denied Josip Magdic after he made the most of a defensive error. The full-time whistle signaled the end of a frustrating match for the home side who would rue a string of missed first half chances.
Percy Doyle Reserve was the venue for Saturday's mid-table reserves clash between Bassendean Caledonian and Sorrento. In his first outing in Sorrento colours, Steve White showed his skill in creating an opening before expertly knocking the ball past Dusan Martinovic at his near post to put the visitors one-nil up. After a season-long lay-off due to injury, White's match fitness was lacking and after 29 minutes he was substituted with Andrew Chapman taking his spot. After the break Sorrento won awarded a penalty when Will Kirkpatrick was taken down from behind and Jake Harman slammed the spot kick home. State Schoolboys striker Peter Noiszewski rounded out the comfortable 3-0 scoreline which keeps Sorrento in the running for a top five finish.
E.C.U. Joondalup's 4-2 home win over Perth S.C. keeps them at the top of the reserves table, two points ahead of Fremantle City who downed bottom side Ashfield 3-0. Goals have been hard to come by for Western Knights' reserves this season but on Saturday they hit the jackpot with a 7-3 triumph over Cockburn City, Simon Jonas, Leroy Goodwin and Milan Lojanica their scorers. The fixture between Future Glory and Swan I.C. was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Sorrento's Under-18 side continued their fine season with a resounding 8-0 home win over the visitors from Bassendean Caledonian. It was another very good overall display by the young Seagulls side who were lead by the in-form Peter Noiszewski who netted twice in the opening half. Noiszewski completed his hat-trick shortly after the break before Farrell Hedges tucked home Sorrento's fourth. Noiszewski further extended the margin, Dejan Gurovski made it 6-0, but there was more to come from Noiszewski who rounded off the scoring with two additional goal to complete a hapless day for the visitors.
It's neck and neck at the head of the Under-18's table with just a handful of games to go in the home-and-away season. Fremantle City, who have a massive +72 goal difference, picked up maximum points courtesy of a 3-0 forfeit win over Ashfield. A 3-1 away win by Perth S.C. against E.C.U. Joondalup keeps them level on points with the port side. Sorrento stay third, and Floreat Athena's 2-1 win at Inglewood United sees them jump into fourth place. Jason da Santos (2), Daniel Palimo and Omar Lemzouri were on target for Cockburn City in the 4-0 thumping of home team Western Knights. Future Glory verses Swan I.C. was postponed.
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This page was last updated on the 31st October, 2001