PATERSON EARNS NATIONAL SCHOOLBOYS SELECTION (by Peter Simcox)
Armadale Soccer Club youngster Scott Paterson has been selected for the Australian Schoolboys squad for the second successive year. After a stand out performance in the recent Nationals Schoolboys Championships in Cairns, Paterson was delighted with his selection but the tournament ended in disappointment when WA missed out on the gold medal. “Yes the boy's and I were disappointed to miss out on the gold, the whole squad performed well in the tournament, but we were unlucky on the last day. We only needed a draw to win gold but lost 1-0 to NSW"
Paterson, who skippered the WA side in the tournament was also voted third best player of the tournament, after all participating states coaches voted after each game. “I was shocked when it was announced, but it’s a huge honour for me personally but it was the whole squad that won the silver medal and I was happy to play my part” Paterson added, “It’s fantastic to play for your Country and again I was shocked when I was selected in the squad. But it’s great for the state that we had five boys selected in the squad too”
The WA Schoolboys team manager Neil Alweyn was delighted for Paterson, "Scotty is an outstanding young player. He was our captain at nationals this year and to be honest was one of the players we built the side around. His aerial ability is outstanding, is strong in the challenge and his work rate is second to none. You will struggle to find a more aggressive young player in the Premier League. Being picked in the Australian Schoolboys team for a second successive year is testament to that, and I personally wish Scotty all the best for Sydney and the UK"
Paterson has become a regular in the Armadale 1st team, and he’s enjoying it at Alfred Skeet Oval. “It’s been brilliant this year, the guys have been great and Peter Murphy has done a great job. The main aim at the start of the season was to stay in the Premier League, and I believe we’ll do that”. Armadale coach Peter Murphy was pleased with Scott’s effort, but said he could do a lot better. “Scott’s a terrific lad, and he’s been consistent this season, but what I’ve seen of him I believe he has a lot more to offer than what he’s producing at the moment. He needs to realise that’s the standard he need to go to too play at the highest level in the game.”
Paterson, who went overseas for trials at Premier League side Chelsea and a number of Scottish sides has ambitions to go back and trial again, but he has goals closer to home. “I’m staying focused for the Australian School boy’s tour in January. We’re playing against England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland Schoolboys sides, and also the Chelsea and Everton academy teams”
LIONS TURN SEASON AROUND (by Peter Simcox)
Stirling Lions have turned their season around and with Mike Lyons at the helm the club has gone on a run of five undefeated games out of six, and the only loss was a close 2-1 defeat at joint leaders Sorrento.“They are a great bunch of lads at Stirling who have turned things around, and they should take a great deal of credit for that” said Lyons. “A number of the players were playing reserves when I arrived and they have stepped up and we‘ve only conceded 4 goals in the last 6 games”. When asked about the clubs up turn in form Mike was quick with a response. “We had Riste Stefoski who left for Macedonian to get married and since he left we haven’t lost. Me and the guys have nicknamed him “Jinks”, but he’s back in few weeks. Lyons who had a successful spell coaching in Brunei enjoyed the experience “Yes it was great to have the opportunity to coach there. It was different culture, although there are plenty of ex-pats over there. The game in Brunei is different and the players seem to run the game, which I don’t agree with, but it was a great time and I made lots of friends and have some good memories
GLORY SUNK BY SPENCER STUNNER (by Peter Simcox)
After all the razzmatazz and fanfare the Perth Glory turned in a fizzer, and they didn’t get off to the start they would have hoped for in their opening match of the Hyundai A-League when they were beaten by Central Coast Mariners 1-0 at Members Equity Stadium on Friday night in front of 11,113 supporters. The gun Glory signing Brian Dean made his club debut only a week after arriving from the UK, and started up front alongside Bobby Despotovski and surprise choice Henry Fa’arodo in an attacking 4-3-3 formation, with the Mariners missing star striker Nick Mrdja. It was a quiet opening with the Glory guilty of using the long ball tactic to Dean too often, and not having other avenues of attack. The Mariners looked a very compact unit and looked dangerous on the counter attack with Andre Gumprecht pulling the strings in midfield and the lively Tom Pondeljak and Stewart Petrie causing the Glory defence problems. The Glory needed to lift and youngster Billy Celeski was involved in a number of their moves. He crossed in the 12th minute to the unmarked Fa’arodo who fired wide, his cross shot missing everyone and it only needed a touch to score. The Glory should have scored in the 18th minute when Celeski was brought down for a free kick mid way in to the Mariners half. The quick thinking Simon Colosimo fired in his free kick early to the unmarked Dean who headed back into the path of Despotovski at the far post, but some how Despotovski missed from close range with the goal open. The Mariners dominated the rest of the half and Pondeljak was in the thick of the action and was guilty of missing three chances, the best after a corner from Damien Brown found the former Glory star, and his shot was only inches over the bar. Then Matthew Osman was played by Pondeljak and was one on one with Jason Petkovic, who was out quick to block his shot and the ball deflected agonisingly past the post. The Mariners thought they had the lead late in the first half, when Petkovic was lucky to get away with a blunder at his near post when he punched the ball into his own net. However referee Ben Williams ruled Petkovic was impeded and the goal was disallowed. The Glory made a change at the break with Adrian Caceres replacing Fa’arodo and they reshufflled the side.
The second half was a more even affair with the lively Caceres causing problems down the left and Colosimo began to lift in midfield, but they couldn’t break down the Mariners defence, and the crowd was getting restless. Dean seemed to tire as the game went on but he showed he will be a great asset to the Glory. The Mariners looked more determined and battled in numbers closing down the Glory’s space on every occasion. The game looked destined for a 0-0 draw, and it looked like it would need something special to change things. Enter Noel Spencer, he cut inside on the 66th minute and from 20 meters hit a stunning long-range strike which flew back Petkovic into the top right hand corner of the net. It was what the visitors deserved but the Glory still had time to salvage something from the match if they were good enough, and the second half substitute Hiroyuki Ishida began to cause trouble down the right. In the 74th minute great work from Caceres played in Despotovski, his pull back found the unmarked Ishida who looped his shot well over the bar from close range. Glory went close again moments later but Jamie Harnwell’s follow-up effort from a rebounded Deane header was deflected over the bar. A disappointing result for the Glory, but on tonight’s performance the Mariners look very impressive, but its only early days and there’s a long season ahead.
Glory coach Steve McMahon has a lot of work to do with the team and he was disappointed after. “"We didn’t perform as a team…I was very disappointed," he said. "I was disappointed with the way we started. If you start in second gear, it’s difficult to get out of it. I was worried about our team performance and we can play a lot better." But he had some positive words for Deane. "I was pleased with Brian. It was very difficult for him coming off the plane a week ago he battled on and so all credit to him. Now we can say there’s always next week." Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna was obviously delighted at the post match press conference."We were always confident after winning last week (final of Pre-Season Cup against Perth), and I thought we deserved to win tonight," McKinna said, realising the countless near-chances his team created before Spencer netting his peach of a strike. "To come here and get three points is fantastic." "It was a great, overall, team performance, everybody did their part tonight," McKinna enthused. "It could have been two or three nil and needless to say we're pleased to be coming home with three points."
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY (by Peter Simcox)
It’s as you were in the Premier league after both Perth S.C. and Sorrento continued their winning ways. Perth traveled to Ken Allen Field to face Fremantle City and came away with a 4-1 victory with goals from David Onoforo 2 and Andres Oliveira 2, with Kevin Correia on target for the port side. Sorrento left Frank Drago Reserve with a 2-0 win against a determined Bayswater City, goal scorers for the Gulls were Glen Thomas and Scottish import David McGeown. Western Knights moved into third place with a hard fought 3-2 win at Nash Field against Floreat Athena. On target for the Knights were John Thornley, Claus Nielson and Daniel Trim, and for Athena Eugene Singeorzan, and Branimir Mikulic. Stirling Lions continued their good form under coach Mike Lyons with a 2-1 win against Inglewood United at Macedonia Park. On target for the Lions were Mark Donnelly and Jake Harman, and for United Michael Baczyinski. United had a chance to earn a point late on but Baczyinski missed from the penalty spot. In the relegation battle Armadale proved too good for Swan IC with a 3-0 victory at Alfred Skeet Oval, goals from Sasa Killbarda, Ben Rogers and a Danyal Bennett own goal and ECU Joondalup traveled to Dalmatinac Park and went down 2-1 to Cockburn City. On target for the home side were John Mirco and Joseph Brunetto, Tom Jones netted for Joondaluo.
It’s congratulations to Stuart Currie and Wanneroo City who, after beating South West Phoenix 4-0 in Bunbury, are crowned First Division Champions. The race for second spot took a twist with Balcatta losing 2-0 at Forrestfield, while Mandurah City beat Bassendean Caledonian 3-1. The other game in the top half of the table saw Dianella White Eagles beat Rockingham 4-1. Morley Windmills eased their relegation worries with a 1-0 win over Canning City, Ashfield earned a point in a 1-1 draw at Kingsway Olympic, while Queens Park's 5-1 loss to Stirling Suns means amateur football next season.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW (by Peter Simcox)
Joint leaders Perth S.C. and Sorrento are on their travels in Round Nineteen of Premier League fixtures. Perth are away to bottom of the table Fremantle City, while Sorrento are off to Frank Drago Reserve where they face Bayswater City. The relegation dog-fight continues at Alfred Skeet Oval as Armadale welcome Swan I.C. in a match crucial to both clubs chances of top flight survival. E.C.U. Joondalup, who parted company with coach Paul Simmons in mid-week, head to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City. A rejuvenated Stirling Lions host association Cup finalists Inglewood United. And it's fourth verses fifth at Nash Field where Western Knights meet Floreat Athena.
An away win for Wanneroo City over South West Phoenix will give them the First Division title and a place in next years top flight. Balcatta need to take all three points in order to keep their slender title hopes alive when they visit Forrestfiled United. Mandurah City welcome Bassendean Caledonian to Peelwood Parade. Dianella White Eagles will be looking to bounce back from last week's thrashing when they host Rockingham City. The bottom two meet at Coker Park where Queens Park welcome Stirling Suns, and Kingsway Olympic will be desperate for the points at home to Ashfield. Morley Windmills are home to Canning City, and out of action due to the bye are Gosnells City.
GLORY SUNK BY SPENCER STUNNER (by Peter Simcox)
Perth Glory didn't make the A-League start they would have liked after being beaten 0-1 by Central Coast Mariners at Members Equity Stadium in front of 11,113 supporters this evening. There wasn't a great deal to excite the home crowd during the opening stages in which Glory's reliance on playing the long ball game failed time and time again. The Mariners looked dangerous going forward with Andre Gumprecht pulling the strings from midfield and Tom Pondeljak and Stewart Petrie keeping the opposing defence on high alert. Bobby Despotovski squandered a golden chance to put Glory ahead in the 18th minute by heading wide from close-range. But other than that it was all one-way traffic with the Mariners dictating the flow of play. Pondeljak fired narrowly high from a corner, and shortly after was thwarted in a one-on-one with Jason Petkovic. A rare error by the Glory custodian just before the break saw him punch the ball into his own net, however, referee Ben Williams came to the rescue by ruling Petkovic had been impeded and disallowed the goal.
The home team came into the game more in the second half with Adrian Caceres causing problems down the left and Colosimo having more influence in the centre of the park. But clear cut chances still eluded Glory as the visiting defence quickly shut down their attacks. It appeared a draw would be the mostly likely outcome when Noel Spencer cut inside slammed a superb drive from 20-metres into the top corner on 66 minutes. Glory almost levelled eight minutes later as Caceres played in Despotovski who pulled the ball back to Hiroyuki Ishida but his close-range effort was disappointing high. Not long after a Brian Deane header was blocked and Jamie Harnwell's follow-up effort was deflected over the crossbar. Post-match, coach Steve McMahon admitted he still a had a lot of work to do to get Glory up to standard. "We didn't perform as a team," he said. "I was disappointed with the way we started. If you start in second gear, it's difficult to get out of it. I'm worried about our overall performance and know we can play a lot better."
INJURY SETBACK FOR MRDJA
Central Coast have suffered a setback ahead of their A-League season opener against Perth Glory with key player Nick Mrdja ruled out by injury. The 16-year old striker, who starred on the local scene in spells at Bayswater City and Perth S.C., has succumbed to a knee injury sustained in his side's pre-season Cup final over Glory last weekend. Mariner's coach Lawrie McKinna admitted the loss of Mrdja was a disappointment. "Nick is obviously important to us, and it's a blow to lose him, but how often will you get what is supposed to be your perfect eleven? You just have to make do."
SIMMONS SHOWN DOOR BY JOONDALUP (by Peter Simcox)
E.C.U. Joondalup has parted company with Paul Simmons just hours after the clubs 0-2 home loss to Stirling Lions. The loss was Joondalup's tenth of the season and saw the club slip to within three points of the relegation zone. "In football it has been, and always will be the same, that when a team is playing well it's the players but when a team is doing bad it's the coach," Simmons said this week. "These are the simple facts. My team performed terrible this season irrespective of the exceptional circumstances that have prevailed from probably Round Five. I was disappointed to have had my contract terminated as it came at a bad time with only four games to go. I have no doubt that the lads, no matter who steers them, will get the four points needed to stay in the top flight."
Simmons has experienced difficult times previously at Joondalup but, by his own assessment, they just don't compare with the problems thrown his way this year. "The season we have had has been the worst I have ever experienced as a player or as a coach, and I firmly believe that even the big man upstairs couldn't have done much," he commented. "For a period of six weeks we had between four and nine first team players missing, and no side in this league can counter that. I wouldn't wish this sort of season on any coach - it was unmanageable." Following Simmons' departure, former State team boss Eric Williams has been handed the coaching reigns until the end of the season.
Joondalup president Steve Wheatley thanked Simmons for all his hard work over the years. "The club would like to put on record their thanks to 'Geordie' for all his years of work and commitment to the club. Unfortunately results this season have not met the clubs expectations and we now find ourselves in a relegation battle. The club felt that with four games left to secure our Premier league status something needed to be done and as is the way with football the coach usually carries the can. I have spoken to Paul and expressed my wish for him to remain involved with Joondalup in an administrative capacity, to use his football knowledge to forward this great club that he was a catalyst in building."
Simmons bring to a close his thirteen year association with the club which he took from playing amateur football to being one of the State's top clubs. His first major trophy capture was the 1996 First Division title, and just two short years later Joondalup were crowned association Cup winners. "But the lasting memory I'll have was when we won the Premier League in 1999," he explained. "It was the last game of the season at Sorrento and we won 2-1 with Carl McDarby and Scott Halpin scoring. It was a day I will never forget." In 2002 Simmons lead the club to a second association Cup, defeating Future Glory 2-1 in the final at Dorrien Gardens.
Simmon's has no immediate plans within the game and will be heading overseas for a well-earned break. "I'm going to Malaysia to meet up with my wife who has been on holiday there for six weeks, she is my soul mate and I have been lost without her," he said. "Who knows what next season has to offer. I have a lot to offer a club and can guarantee the same determination, passion and enthusiasm I have given to Joondalup but we will have to wait and see. I'd like to give a big 'thank you' to a couple of unsung heroes at Joondalup - my assistant Graham Wilson has been a good mate who's looked after the players for as long as I have been there, and also to team manager/physio Willy Hunter."
WANNEROO ON THE VERGE OF PROMOTION (by Peter Simcox)
Wanneroo City's 9-0 away thrashing of Dianella White Eagles last weekend put the club a matter of points away from claiming a spot in next seasons top flight. The club, who merged with Perth City three years ago, have gone from strength to strength under coach Stuart Currie. While an away win at South West Phoenix on the weekend will all but assure them of the championship Currie asserts that his players' feet remain firmly on the ground. "We have installed a great will to win in the squad this season and having a large squad all the boys are kept on their toes," said the coach. "I have refused to talk about winning the League until it's mathematically possible for us to win it, so perhaps this weekend might just be our day."
"Up until now we are unbeaten away from home in two seasons of First Division football so the chances are pretty good of us getting the result we require this Saturday," Currie added. During the past few seasons Currie has lured some of the state's best young talent to Wanneroo, including State representatives Scott Bulloch and Chris Currie, as well as seasoned campaigners such as Gerry McEwan and Darren Williams to form the backbone of an imposing squad. "Obviously I'm very pleased so far," he said of the season to date. "We were a little unlucky last year to finish second and we really got focused this year. We knew we were good enough but had to find the right blend of youth and experience. The attitude of the boys has been first class, and they have been a pleasure to coach."
21-year old Bulloch was appointed Wanneroo captain for his second season with the club and has repaid the faith placed in him by Currie with an outstanding season. With a handful of games to be played the left sided attacker is amongst the league's leading goalscorer and one of the frontrunners for the First Division Player of the Year award. "The boy has a great attitude and his desire to succeed is amazing for a boy so young," said Currie of his captain. "He has a wealth of experience, hence the reason he is captain when we have a few older players in the squad. Obviously he had a lot of offers other clubs but he made a commitment to Wanneroo and has stuck by his word. Nothing would please me more than to see Scott lift the league winner's trophy this season."
"We've had a number of players who have stood up this season, including Darren Williams, Chris Currie, Phil Bell, Craig Cheesman, Gerry Mcewan, Ben Yates and Phil O'Callaghan. However, this is probably a bit unfair on the rest of the boys as everybody has contributed along the way and given 100%." With promotion only a matter of time, Currie feels Wanneroo will compete strongly in the top flight next year. "The club is on the right track. We have a very healthy junior set up and our youth and reserve teams are both very young. We realise if we get promoted we will need to strengthen the senior squad but we'll worry about that when it happens. We have a great committee at the moment and everybody is really working hard so I'm sure we will have what it takes to stay in the Premier League."
DESPOTOVSKI RE-ENERGISED BY BONNYRIGG EXPERIENCE (courtesy wwww.a-league.com.au)
Perth Glory should send a thank-you card to New South Wales Premier League side Bonnyrigg White Eagles. Glory's star striker Bobby Despotovski played there during the eighteen-month hiatus of domestic football and it was at Bonnyrigg where he rediscovered the desire to play for Glory once again, this time in the A-League. Following the N.S.L. Championship triumph over Parramatta Power, Despotovski called it quits on national league football. It turned out to be premature though, as Despotovski heeded the pleas from the Glory front office to strut his stuff once again on the hallowed Members Equity Stadium turf.
"When I decided to go to Bonnyrigg, it was up to me to decide (whether to return to Glory) as Glory wanted me back," Despotovski told www.a-league.com.au. "I could stay retired or play, but once I went to Bonnyrigg, that's when I decided to go play for Glory again." Despotovski said that being "match-fit" from his stint in New South Wales put him in good stead for the long pre-season that lay ahead and believes it will extend his career by a "year or two."
Ever since Glory's inaugural season back in 1996, Despotovski has had the envious knack of rattling the back of the net on a consistent basis. Despotovski has been satisfied with his form of late, which included three goals in the pre-season Cup, and again puts it down to his Bonnyrigg experience. "I never let myself go, even in the off-season. I played about seven or eight games for Bonnyrigg and we finished first or second. I was always in touch and practically match fit," Despotovski said. "(After) eighteen months off, I had the advantage on some of the players fitness-wise. (At Glory) I was given different roles than I'm used to (and now) I play more up front. (Coach Steve McMahon) wants me more in the box and on the finishing end."
Despotovski may have been close to his peak during the pre-season, but the same couldn't have been said for most of his teammates when the Glory took on local Premier League sides early on in the training campaign. "We started very slowly, we were not up to scratch fitness wise, we didn't have that many games and we started very slowly against the Premier League teams," he said. "We (also) started a bit slow in the Cup but we picked up our performances later in the tournament. It was a good indication of where we want to be."
Glory have made a couple of important signings during the close season, with central defender David Tarka, right back Jamie Coyne and goalkeeper Jason Petkovic all returning home, but one player who has stood out is left winger Naum Sekulovski. "Naum is such a fine player," said Despotovski. "I really don't understand why he's still in Australia. He's good enough to play overseas but he obviously prefers to play here. He has a good shot and cross as well as good vision. He's one player to watch and will be a good asset to the club."
Despotovski says that you have to get everything right in defence before thinking about the engine room, and he is pleased with the depth and mix of age in a midfield that includes Simon Colosimo, Nick Ward and Billy Celeski as well as Englishman Steve McMahon Jnr and Daniel Vasilevski. "The engine room has to be filled in with quality players, some young and experienced," he said. "Colosimo will run the shop and whoever else plays, will play to their best. Celeski and Ward are similar players who like scoring goals and getting in the box while McMahon and Colosimo can play the holding role. It's a good mixture of youth and experience in midfield."
Northern Ireland youth international Neil Teggart returned back to the United Kingdom just last week after feeling homesick. He was out injured and felt alone in Perth. Although Despotovski was "a little bit surprised" with his decision, he feels for the youngster. "I rate him as a player. He had some other agendas overseas and was a bit lonely, probably homesick. I don't blame him, it is such a long way to come, he was out for a long period and had no support from his family. He is such a young boy, only 20, so it was very difficult."
Finally, Despotovski cast his attention to Friday night's A-League opener against Central Coast Mariners in Perth. The Mariners beat the Glory 1-0 in Gosford last Saturday to win the pre-season Cup but Despotovski believes it will count for nothing come Friday. "They have no mental advantage over us and we now know what we have to do to stop their scoring," he said. "If anything, I think I can say we have the advantage of playing at home, but it will be a tough game and we'll know what we have to do."
HIDDINK NAMES FULL STRENGTH SQUAD FOR SOLOMON ISLANDS
Socceroos coach Guus Hiddink has named a full-strength squad for Australia's two-game series against the Solomon Islands next month. With a chance to progress to the next round of FIFA World Cup 2006 qualification at stake, Hiddink has taken no chances. "We have picked our strongest squad, and all the players are desperate to play, play well, and stake their claim for November and beyond," said the coach. "It is vital that we defeat the Solomon Islands because otherwise our world cup dreams will be over." The winner of the home-and away series will earn the right to face the fifth-placed South American nation in November for the final place at Germany 2006.
The Australian squad consists of John Aloisi (Alaves), Scott Chipperfield (Basel), Stan Lazaridis (Birmingham City), Brett Emerton, Lucas Neill (Blackburn Rovers), Tony Vidmar (NAC Breda), Luke Wilkshire (Bristol City), Tony Popovic (Crystal Palace), Tim Cahill (Everton), Ahmad Elrich (Fulham), Harry Kewell (Liverpool), Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), Mark Schwarzer, Mark Viduka (Middlesbrough), Zeljko Kalac (AC Milan), Craig Moore (Newcastle United), Marco Bresciano, Vince Grella (Parma), Jon McKain (Politechnica AEK Timisoara), Sasho Petrovski (Sydney FC), Jason Culina (Twente Enschede) and Josip Skoko (Wigan Athletic).
WA SCHOOLBOYS EARN SILVER MEDAL IN CAIRNS (by Peter Simcox)
For the second successive year the State Schoolboys have returned from the National Schools Championships with a deserved silver medal. The side went into their final match needing victory over New South Wales to claim top honours, but a 0-1 loss meant the boys from the west coast had top settle for second place. "The boys as a squad were fantastic and we genuinely got top class performances them during the tournament," said team manager Neil Alweyn. "We were in the hunt for the gold medal all week and were only overtaken on the last day. Looking back to the draw with Queensland, we were three minutes away from a gold medal. Unfortunately we couldn't get the result against them and had to face a determined New South Wales side who we needed to beat."
West Australia's strong showing at the tournament also reflected in the selection of several players for the Australian Schoolboy's squad to play New Zealand for the Trans-Tasman Cup. "We were lucky enough to have five boys make the Australian team to play New Zealand in Sydney this October, then tour the United Kingdom in next year," Alweyn added. "Goce Dilevski, Andrew Pomfret, Wesley Ryder, Brendan Ross and Scott Paterson were named in the national squad at the end of the tournament, and Paterson was voted third best player of the tournament by the coaches of participating states. We also had three boys in the Australian shadow squad, namely, Tim De Souza, Lewis Flatt and David Houston."
MCMAHON BANKING ON FANS' BACKING
With the kick-off to the A-League drawing nearer, Steve McMahon is expecting a bumper home crowd will help give Perth Glory the edge in Friday's opening round fixture against Central Coast Mariners. Throughout the club's history Glory has enjoyed the biggest average attendances and loudest crowds in Australia. McMahon has been in charge for just two games at Members Equity Stadium but he is more than aware that the passionate support in Perth can be a major factor in his team's success.
"Everywhere I have been in Australia, people have spoken about how important the crowd is in Perth," McMahon commented. "We know what the crowds are going to be like here for the Glory games and The Shed in particular will give us a major boost this season. We have the best fans in the country here and the players know just how important that is."
While the opposition Glory will encounter in the new A-League is sure to be much stronger than those in the old national league, McMahon is confident his team will be in contention for the top honours in 2005/06. "Some people seem to have low expectations of us but what they base such opinions on I really don't know," he said. "Perth Glory won the last N.S.L. Championship, we have kept most of the key players from that squad, added some top class footballers and we have just been in the final of the pre-season Cup.
7-A-SIDE UNDER LIGHTS AT ATHENA (by Peter Simcox)
The Floreat Athena Soccer Club has been granted approval from Football West to hold a 7-a-side soccer tournament UNDER LIGHTS inside the Litis stadium. At this stage, and this is dependant on the number of applications, they have scheduled games for Wednesday nights. They have catered for 12 teams per day but if they get a large number of applications then they would extend to 2 nights a week, probably Tues and Thurs. Playing times will be 6pm, 7pm and 8pm. The season will kick off the week beginning 26 September 2005 and run to the week ending 23 December 2005. There will be a once off registration fee of $40 per team and thereafter each game will cost $50 per team. Each team will consist of a maximum 10 players (7 playing and 3 subs) so costs per player would be $9 for the first week and $5 per player thereafter, assuming that you have 10 registered players. Costs are quite reasonable when compared to the indoor soccer code. Games will be officiated by Football West referees and will consist of 2 x 20 minute halves with a 5 minute half time break. To date the interest has been remarkably strong so they expect quite a few teams to be involved and with such great facilities augers well to a successful event. Bar and catering facilities will also be made available. Please contact the Floreat Athena Soccer Club for further details.
HISTORY IS NOT A THING OF THE PAST
Western Australian football is not protecting its past, regardless of how good or bad it has been according to Perth freelance writer Richard Kreider. With the A-League hopeful of taking Australian soccer (or new football as it is now called) to greater heights, we must also be wary not to lose sight of the history of the game. "It's all very well planning a future for the game, we must also make sure we chronicle by-gone seasons," said Kreider, a committee member of the WA Football Hall of Fame. "With the increasing use of computers this is especially as associations are becoming increasingly unwilling to print seasonal publications."
"I've even heard about people throwing certain items of interest onto rubbish tips that would make any historian cringe," Kreider added. "The old adage, what is one mans trash is another mans treasure is so true when it comes to sporting artefacts like old newspapers, official correspondence, photographs, programmes and the like. Then there's the incomplete recording of significant events which come back to haunt you in later years. For example, in 1992, German champion side Werder Bremen visited Perth to play a friendly game against the Western Australian State team. Since then there have been people in Germany wanting the match statistics, but it seems they are lost forever, regardless of it happening just thirteen years ago. The printed media report was deficient in that regard."
Kreider has just released his second book, "The Soccerites", which chronicles a raw band of Western Australian footballers (soccer) experiencing an adventure of a lifetime in the winter of 1909. "Fifteen players, together with an officious tour manager and four supporters were the first to take part in a senior Western Australian tour outside of the State at a time when the only mechanical means in or out of WA was by ship," said Kreider. "Their journey took them to New South Wales, Victoria and finally South Australia."
The 256-page publication, the culmination of just under four painstaking years of research and composition, describes the tour in meticulous detail. From the frustrations the British Football Association of Western Australia endured to organise such a trip through to their exhaustive return to Fremantle - some ten games in three States over a 49-day period. "The Soccerites" will officially be launched next Thursday (27th August) at Mount Eliza House in Kings Park. Kreider's first book, "A Soccer Century", is a comprehensive history of association football in Western Australia.
Star striker Brian Deane was unveiled as Perth Glory's major signing this morning, just days out from their opening A-League fixture with Central Coast Mariners. The experienced forward is looking forward to a great new challenge with the Glory and should is sure to prove a massive boost for Steve McMahon's team as they look to start a new era of football in Australia with a bang. "We're pleased he is here, it gives everyone a boost straight away, just his presence alone - as he walks in people see that he is a big lad," McMahon said. "He is a big guy and he is going to cause problems, he's here to do a job, he's not here for a jolly-up, which many people might think is the case, it's not. He is a good pro and has been for many years. He's got a good reputation and he's not going to let that fall by the wayside."
Prior to his first training session at Members Equity Stadium, Deane spoke of his excitement at joining Glory for the A-League kick-off. "For me it's a new challenge, I suppose me and Dwight Yorke are quite well known in the U.K. so from that point of view it will be a good bit of profile for the new league," Deane said. "I have played a lot of high profile games but I am not really sure what to expect from the other teams here so from that point of view it is a challenge, I had other options but I wanted to sample the culture here as well." Glory wil be out to avenge the 0-1 pre-season Cup final loss suffered at the hands of the Mariners when the two sides go head-to-head on Friday.
GLORY AIM FOR THE TOP (by Peter Simcox)
With the new Hyundai A-League beginning on Fridau, Perth Glory’s head coach Steve McMahon is expecting a bumper home crowd will help give his team the edge in the opening match against the Central Coast Mariners. Throughout the club’s history, the Glory has enjoyed the biggest average attendances and loudest crowds at football matches in Australia. McMahon has been in charge for just two games at Members Equity Stadium in his six months in charge of the Glory but he is more than aware that the passionate support in Perth can be a major factor in his team’s success. "In the Pre-Season Cup we played five games and four of them were away from home. We reached the final and lost by the narrowest of margins. But we will have some big players coming into the team for Friday’s game and we know we can be formidable in front of our home supporters," the former Liverpool and England midfielder said. "Everywhere I have been in Australia, people have spoken about how important the crowd is in Perth. We know what the crowds are going to be like here for the Glory games and The Shed in particular will give us a major boost this season. We have the best fans in the country here and the players know just how important that is."
While the opposition Glory will encounter in the new Hyundai A-League is sure to be much stronger than the teams they faced in the old NSL, McMahon is confident his team will be in contention for the top honours in 2005-2006. Some pundits and commentators (Mr Awaritefe) on the game have suggested that Glory will finish in the lower echelons of the Hyundai A-League but McMahon is not prepared to accept second best. "Some people seem to have low expectations of us but what they base such opinions on I really don’t know," he said. "Perth Glory won the last NSL Championship, we have kept most of the key players from that squad, added some top class footballers and we have just been in the final of the Pre-Season Cup. "After having to deal with numerous injuries in pre-season, the only player we are likely to be missing for the first A-League game is David Tarka, so we have a squad that I believe will be highly competitive this season."
Club top scorer Bobby Despotovski and midfielder Steve McMahon (jnr) will return from suspension on Friday night while club captain Jamie Harnwell has resumed training this week after illness and star striker Brian Deane has also arrived. "With Jamie returning to training and Brian Deane here now everyone is excited about the start of the season and we can’t wait for the kick off against Central Coast on Friday," McMahon added. Perth Glory’s first match in the Hyundai A-League takes place on Friday night at Members Equity Stadium (8pm kick-off). Tickets are available from Ticketmaster on 136 100 or at www.ticketmaster.com.au.
PATIENCE THE KEY TO A-LEAGUE SUCCESS
Perth Glory chairman Nick Tana is eagerly anticipating the new age in Australian football which kicks-off this Friday with his club's home clash against Central Coast Mariners. Tana has been a driving force behind Glory since their acceptance into the national league in 1995, and has been instrumental in the games' reformation which resulted in the new A-League under the guidance of Football Federation Australia. "When you consider where we've come from, what we've gone through and where we're at now, to say it's exciting would be an understatement," said a clearly enthused Tana. "As Perth Glory we fought hard, and as an individual I've obviously stuck it out longer than others. I believe (the A-League) has taken longer than it should have for a number of political reasons, which I won't go into, but it's here."
Tana might even see some fresh faces in the crowd, courtesy of the A-League's funky new marketing campaign. But would the A-League be happening had it not been for Tana's unprecedented patience, generosity and thick skin? Glory entered the NSL in 1996, about the time crowds began slumping on the back of a mass European exodus of local stars such as Mark Viduka, Zeljko Kalac, Josip Simunic and Craig Foster. Soccer was entering uncharted waters and Glory's success demonstrated that all-encompassing, multicultural clubs could draw and sustain crowds. Had Tana not bankrolled the haemorrhaging Glory, it was doubtful the scattered chain of events leading to the government backed reform process would have unfolded.
"What Perth Glory had created for the previous eight years, everybody in the A-League was fully aware of an in part has either adopted, changed or developed a by-product what we've done," Tana said. "Had we not shown that it can be done, maybe we wouldn't be where we're at now." Tana belives his Glory use-by date has been and gone - and he makes no secret of a desire to sell his 75% share in the club and join the yet-to-be-formed A-League board. There has been little interest, but he is confident things will heat up once the on-field action gets underway. After years of dogfighting with national league heavy hitters, some with their fingers in that many pies it was hard to keep count, Tana does not want to be perceived as having a conflict of interest.
While confident the A-League will succeed, Tana admits to having some concerns. "I don't have concerns with any clubs because, by and large, it's geographical," he said. "Gosford is a strategic location. I think Central Coast can work, but it's probably the most difficult one. My biggest concern is that the football family responds, the football family gives it enough time to make it work. I'd like to think they would give it a season, eleven games. It's not a lot to ask of the football fraternity. At the end of that they have every right to say, 'Unless you change it, we won't return', or 'Yep, you've got us - we'll be there next season'. We've put the framework in place to have a commercially viable national competition and we've got a management structure - both at Glory and the FFA - and a process that will foster confidence. It's now time to come and support. Persevere and bear with us, and if we don't attend to the issue, fine, crucify us. But give every club a chance to get it right."
FANS SHOULDN'T EXPECT TOO MUCH : TANA
Nick Tana has warned Perth Glory fans to lower their expectations with the new A-League. Tana said Glory's loyal supporters must accept a top-four finish, but promised to make changes should the team fail to make the finals in the inaugural season. "There's got to be a realistic approach to it and in my mind we picture ourselves playing finals football. That is my commitment and from there anything can happen," Tana said. "Will the fans accept anything but a first finish? I'd like to think that they would, providing we deliver quality football."
"While there will be a percentage of fans that only want wins, I believe our approach is realistic and finals football should be sufficient, but obviously we'll always be striving for first position," Tana continued. "If we fail we have to address it, simple as that. If we miss out on finals football then we as Perth Glory have failed, or the league has substantially improved because we've pitched our squad to be in there."
Glory does not have a marquee player, having put together their squad within the $1.5 million salary cap. That's well down on last season's $1.8 million and the astronomical $2.2 million wage bill of 2001/02 - Bernd Stange's last year in charge - when Glory was bundled out of the finals by Melbourne Knights. Tana said Glory might require salary-cap concessions further down the track, along the lines of those of AFL clubs Brisbane Lions and Sydney Swans who are permitted to pay 10% above the $6.3 million cap.
MARINERS TOO GOOD FOR GLORY IN PRE-SEASON FINAL
Central Coast Mariners have taken out the first silverware of the new age in Australian football by defeating Perth Glory 1-0 in the final of the pre-season Cup this afternoon in Gosford. The early tempo was quick with the Mariners carving out the first opportunity through Damien Brown who threaded a neat pass to Nick Mrdja only to have Jason Petkovic come quickly off his line and smother the danger after 10 minutes. Matt Horsley opened up the home side in the 28th minute with a fine run down the right but Henry Fa'arodo was unable to connect with the cross. With 37 minutes played the Mariners snatched the lead after Glory failed to deal with the danger posed by a Tom Pondeljak corner and Stewart Petrie forced the ball over the line in the ensuing scramble. Shortly after Petkovic did well to keep out a Pondeljak thunderbolt, while down the other end Nick Ward crashed a curling shot into the crossbar.
Glory piled on the pressure after the interval with Fa'arodo shooting high, then Billy Celeski and Horsley combined well to get behind the defence only to have Alex Wilkinson clear. Noel Spencer tested Petkovic with a header which was destined for the top corner before the 'keeper plucked the ball out of the air. In an effort to crack the game open Steve McMahon introduced Hiroyuki Ishida with little effect. The Mariner's continued their search for further goals Wilkinson who worked his way to the byeline but his cutback was pushed out for a corner. The game ended in little joy for Glory as Bobby Despotovski's speculative effort from 25-metres not causing concern for goalkeeper John Crawley in the closing minutes.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY (by Peter Simcox)
It’s as you were in the Premier League with the top two sides Perth S.C. and Sorrento both recording convincing victories in round 18. Perth beat traditional rivals Bayswater City 7-2 at Dorrien Gardens, Onoforo 3, Icanovski, Djulbic, Naglieri, and Puca on target for Perth and Fraser and Klenkoski for Bayswater. Sorrento kept pace with Perth with a 4-1 victory against relegation threatened Armadale at Percy Dolye Reserve, Harland 3, Harnwell on target for the Gulls and Rogers on target for Armadale. There were more twists in the battle for Premier League survival with both Swan IC and Stirling Lions earning vital victories. Swans jumped out to a 3-0 lead with goals from Scali, Catalano, and Foster, but the Knights hit back with a brace from Thornley, but the Swans hung on to take the points. Stirling Lions won the relegation “six pointer” against ECU Joondalup at the ECU Arena, with goals from Harman and Griffiths enough for the Lions to pull 4 points clear of the relegation zone. Bottom of the table Fremantle City were defeated 4-1 by Inglewood United at the Kiev Sports Ground, Broxton, Kilkelly, Osei-Tutu, Dendle on target for United and Barrera scoring Fremantle’s consolation goal. The final game saw Floreat Athena beat Cockburn City 1-0, Mikulic the scorer
First Division leader Wanneroo City thrashed Dianella White Eagles away from home 9-0 to move nine points clear, while Balcatta scored late to earn a 2-2 draw at Bassendean Caledonian. Mandurah City won in a high scoring game against Forrestfield United 4-3 at Peelwood Parade, and Rockingham City won 3-2 at home against South West Phoenix. Gosnells City left the Willeton Sportsman Club with the points after a 4-2 victory against Canning City, and Morley Windmills beat Queens Park 3-1 at Coker Park. The Stirling Suns home clash with Kingsway Olympic was postponed and Ashfield had the bye.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
It seems Perth S.C. and Sorrento will go game-for-game in the race to be crowned 2005 Premier League champion. Perth should take maximum points when traditional rival Bayswater City call by Dorrien Gardens, while Sorrento are tipped to defeat Armadale at Percy Doyle Reserve. Floreat Athena play Cockburn City at Litis Stadium in a game which has very little riding on the outcome for either club.
Kiev Sports Ground is the venue for the second meeting in seven days between Inglewood United and bottom side Fremantle City. E.C.U. Joondalup welcome Stirling Lions to the far north for a game crucial to both clubs chances of top flight survival. Swan I.C. will find it very difficult to break down the Western Knights defences when they call by the Swan Valley.
The pick of the First Division action takes place at Peelwood Parade where Mandurah City are challenged by Forrestfield United. Rockingham City have slipped off the pace over past months and on Saturday they have home round advantage over South West Phoenix. Title favourite Wanneroo City and second-placed Balcatta are expected to register victories over Dianella White Eagles and Bassendean Caledonian respectively.
Two of the First Division's in-form sides, Canning City and Gosnells City, go head-to-head at Willetton Sportsman Club. Queens Park is expected to provided little resistance for a Morley Windmills side desperately trying to crawl clear of the drop zone. Stirling Suns home clash with Kingsway Olympic has been postponed due to the Suns failure to attend a tribunal hearing during the week. Ashfield will be eagerly watching from the sidelines and hoping results go in their favour.
TEGGART RELEASED BY GLORY (courtesy Perth Glory)
Former Northern Ireland youth international Neil Teggart has had his contract with Perth Glory terminated by mutual consent. Teggart, who was signed by the club in April, made two pre-season appearances against State League opposition and started in Glory’s 1-2 defeat at the hands of Sydney in May. The striker suffered a thigh injury on returning to training at the beginning of June and decided to return home for rest and recuperation the following month ahead of an expected return to Perth to start rehabilitation.
However, 20-year-old Teggart has decided to stay closer to his family rather than resume his footballing career with Perth Glory. “Neil has told the club that he does not want to return to Perth Glory, and we would not stand in the way of any player who is in that situation,” said coach Steve McMahon. “Obviously, he is a young lad and being so far away from home can be difficult. Since his arrival early this year, the club have tried to support Neil in whatever way we can but it appears that he wants to remain closer to his family and I wish him all the best for the future.” Teggart’s departure leaves the Glory with 19 players
HALL OF FAME HONOUR FOR LENNIE
Western Australia's high-profile referee, Eddie Lennie, is to be included in the Football Hall of Fame. Lennie, who was the first West Australian to officiate at both the finals of the Olympic Games (1996) and the World Cup (1998), will be honoured at a lavish ceremony at the Novotel Langley Hotel on Saturday, 29th October. The 45-year old retired from refereeing at international level last year but he is still an important cog in Oceania region where he's the FIFA referees' instructor.
Lennie will be one of 26 new inductees into the Football Hall of Fame WA which will also make history at this year's function by including a Hall of Legends category for the first time. Four players who have already been inducted into the Hall of Champions will be elevated to legendary status. They will be the first anywhere in Australia to receive such an honour. This will be the third Football Hall of Fame ceremony since its creation in 1996, WA being the first State in Australia to hold such an event for the sport.
Tickets for the prestigious function, sponsored by Reinforced Concrete Pipes, will cost $100. For that attendees receive a three-course dinner, drinks, entertainment, a highly-prized programme and the chance to obtain some valuable international football memorabilia. Tickets are available be contacting Hall of Fame committee members John O'Connell on 0413 973846 or Barbara Gibson via 0429 943830.
SCHOOLBOYS IN LINE FOR MEDAL (by Peter Simcox)
The West Australian Schoolboys will return home from the 2006 School Sport Australia Secondary Soccer Championships in Cairns, Queensland, with a medal - the only question is which one? Heading into the final day of competition the State side are locked in the three-way tussle for line honours with New South Wales and Queensland. It just who takes out the gold medal is likely to do down to the wire with West Australia meeting New South Wales in tomorrow's final game of the tournament. "The lads have been great," said manager Neil Alweyn. "We've been creating chances as a team and will need to keep our discipline and focus to beat New South Wales."
West Australia got off to a bright start in the opening days' fixture with South Australia. Their sustained pressure on the opposing defence paid off when Andy Pomfret curled a superb free-kick around the wall and into the top right hand corner on the half hour. The lead was doubled in the 46th minute through Brendan Ross who netted from long-range after good work on the left by Stuart Hesketh. South Australia were back in the match two minutes later via George Paspaliaris from the penalty spot, but resolute defending ensured the west started their campaign with a 2-1 victory. In the days others games, New South Wales defeated the Australian Capital Territory 3-1, and Queensland were 3-1 too good for Victoria.
Day Two of competition pitted the boys from the west coast against the Australian Capital Territory. In hot and humid conditions both sides missed some good early chances before the Territorians punished a poor back pass and Ian Graham lobbed over the advancing goalkeeper Luke Hudson to sent his side into the break with the lead. West Australian came out for the second half with renewed enthusiasm and on the hour equalised after Goce Dilevski's cross from the left was misjudged by the 'keeper and the ball looped into the top corner of the net. Five minutes later Dilevski was dismissed for a second yellow card offence to which West Australia responded by upping their workrate. Ten minutes from the end substitute Wesley Ryder was brought down inside the area and Andy Pomfret netted the decisive goal from the spot. New South Wales and Queensland drew 2-2, and Victoria defeated South Australia 4-2 in the late game.
West Australia remained undefeated after drawing 2-2 with Queensland on Tuesday. Queensland went ahead on 20 minutes when Ramone Close slotted the ball low past Jason O'Byrne. Parity was restored fifteen minutes later as Scott Patterson laid a high ball down to Ryder whose superb volley gave the 'keeper no chance. West Australia thought they had the lead in the 39th minute when David Houston headed in only to have his effort disallowed for a foul on the 'keeper. The intensity lifted after the break and midway through the period the west went ahead after Bettella's shot was parried by the 'keeper and Ryder put away the loose ball from close-range. With three minutes left on the clock Anton Gabath snatched Queensland a share of the points with a well taken goal. In other Day Three games, New South Wales downed Victoria 2-0, and South Australia claimed victory by 2-1 over the Australian Capital Territory.
A 2-0 defeat of Victoria on Day Five put West Australia in the frame to finish the tournament with a deserved medal. The strong Victorian side settled quickly and applied the early pressure only find O'Byrne in superb form between the posts, the young 'keeper producing a string of saves to leave the opposing forwards frustrated. So it was against the run of play that the west took the lead in the 35th minute when Dilevski delivered a pinpoint cross on to the head of Houston who made the most of his opportunity. The second half was much a different story as West Australia kicked into top gear and dominated play. The reward for some excellent football arrived midway through the period when Pomfret converted from the penalty spot for his third goal of the tournament. South Australia beat New South Wales 2-0, and the Australian Capital Territory went down 0-3 to Queensland in the days other games.
DEPLETED GLORY PREPARE FOR CUP FINAL
Perth Glory are down to the bare bones for this weekend's pre-season Cup final with Central Coast Mariners. Suspension, injury and illness has left coach Steve McMahon with only fifteen players available for the match in Gosford on Sunday. Bobby Despotovski and Steven McMahon junior are out through suspension, captain Jamie Harnwell has chicken pox, while injury has claimed David Tarka (hamstring) and Neil Teggart (thigh).
The trip east gives Daniel Vasilevski and Stuart Young the opportunity to come into the squad after recovering from thigh and heel problems respectively. McMahon is well aware of the task facing his side this weekend and is confident he'll field a stronger line-up when Glory face the Mariners next Friday in the opening round of the A-League season. "Although we are in the final of the pre-season cup and we want to win it the most important thing for Perth Glory is that we have everything right for our first match of the Hyundai A-League on August 26," McMahon said.
"The fact that we play the final against Central Coast Mariners and then host them here is another issue that both clubs could have done without," McMahon added. "But we are not going to be able to field our full-strength team in the final because of injuries and suspensions. We certainly won't be giving any secrets away we will have a totally different set-up when the first game comes about." Regular updates on the pre-season Cup final will be broadcast by 990 Information Radio from 3.30pm (Perth time) on Sunday.
FOOTBALL RETURNS TO RADIO FREMANTLE
Radio Fremantle's World Football Programme kicks off its' new season this Saturday, 20th August, at 10.00am. The programme, which airs on 107.9fm, will run continue through the summer months and right up to the 2006 World Cup Finals next June. Presenters Penny Tanner-Hoath, Martyn Wells, Albert Nascimento and Mark Caplin share football news, views and interviews from around the globe in a one hour show covering local news and women's football as well as the European and English leagues. Special guest for the World Football Programme first show of the season is Young Matildas and Western Waves coach Alistair Edwards.
RELEGATION BATTLE HEATS UP
The closing weeks of the Premier League season will decide the fate of a clutch of clubs. With a handful of games to be played five clubs - Fremantle City, Stirling Lions, E.C.U. Joondalup, Armadale and Swan I.C. - find themselves separated by just four points at the foot of the table. This sets the scene for an intense final five rounds of fixtures in which any slip-up could prove fatal as the clubs battle it out to avoid relegation.
There is little doubt the two clubs in the most precarious position are Fremantle City and Stirling Lions who each face sides currently placed in the top half of the table. Fremantle have difficult games against Inglewood United (A), Perth S.C. (H) and Sorrento (A) against whom taking even a single point would be cause for celebration. The outcome of their home meeting with Swan looms as the key to their immediate future before ending the campaign away at Floreat Athena (A).
Stirling's hopes of remaining in the top flight hinge on this weekend's away trip to Joondalup where anything less than victory could spell disaster. After that the road gets extremely bumpy for Stirling whose season ends with a run of four very difficult games against Inglewood (H), Cockburn City (A), Perth (H) and Western Knights (H). A draw from any of those should be considered a bonus with Stirling's best chance of sneaking points being the Round Twenty clash with Cockburn.
Although their schedule is comparatively easier Swan is by no means out of the woods. The black and whites will have to collect points against Armadale (A), Bayswater (H) and Fremantle (A) to remain a fighting chance for top flight football in 2006. These three games are bookended by tough home meetings with the Knights and Inglewood. It's quite probably the Round Twenty-one clash between Swan and Fremantle will go a long way to deciding who will drop down to the First Division.
Unless they have final round stutters, Joondalup and Armadale should be able to pull themselves clear of the drop zone. This weekend the side from the far north are home to Stirling in what really is a 'six pointer' for both clubs. Joondalup are then away to a Cockburn side down on luck and form before challenging the Knights on home soil. There are a few more points up for grabs from their final two games of the winter against Armadale (A) and Bayswater (H).
Armadale will find the going difficult this weekend when they travel to Sorrento but after that the run home is comparatively easier. If they can claim the points over Swan (H) then the outcome of games against Floreat (A), Joondalup (H) and Cockburn may not be so important. While there is no doubting the ability of the Reds squad the question does remain just how will such an inexperienced group of young players will respond to the pressure.
LAZARIDIS WARNS OF SOCCEROO OVERHAUL
Stan Lazaridis has warned all players in the frame for national team selection need to be "on our toes" with new coach Guus Hiddink. As the Socceroos prepared for their second training session under the Dutch master, Lazaridis acknowledged the national team was on the verge of a major shift in playing style and personnel. "It is very clear what Guus is thinking," Lazaridis said from the team's training camp in the Netherlands. "There are a lot of new, younger faces in the squad. They are very keen to impress the new boss and that has increased the competition for all the players."
Hiddink invited thirty players to attend the Socceroo's training after forgoing the chance to play a friendly against Colombia. It's a move endorsed by the experienced Lazaridis. "I really think it was the best move he could make," the Birmingham City defender said. "I don't think there would have been anything to gain by playing in a friendly, to be honest. Guus and the players will get more from the camp than anything else. It has already shown some benefits. We had a good session the other day with Guus working on our defence, certain drills and patterns of play."
Lazaridis believes the more people keep writing off the Socceroos hopes of qualifying for the 2006 World Cup finals tournament then the better it will be for the team. "I actually think that is not a bad thing," replying to a question that there is an air of doom and gloom about the the teams chances of qualifying for the Germany. "The reason I say that, is we may have been a little bit over confident in the last campaign, maybe we felt we just had to turn up and we would qualify. I think we play better when there is that pressure and that little bit of doubt about us."
WAVES IN TRAINING
The squad for Western Waves second season in the national league is taking shape under coach Alistair Edwards. For the past three months Edwards has put twenty-four of the state's best female players through their paces four times week for the opportunity to gain selection in the Waves 18-players squad. The absence of Collette McCallum, Lisa DeVanna, Tal Karp, Hayley Crawford and Sarah Cunningham opens the door for a number of younger players to stake claim in the squad. In related news, the State team will travel to Canberra in late September for the annual National Championship where they'll be captained by Waves defender Tanya Oxtoby.
ONOFORO SNATCHES LEAD
David Onoforo has come from nowhere to emerge as front-runner for the Golden Boot. Six goals in his past three outings have allowed the Perth S.C. striker to leapfrog Stuart Montgomery and teammate Andreas Oliviera in the race for the leading goalscorer award. Onoforo's golden run has made him clear favourite to take out the annual Golden Boot award. A serious ankle injury has ruled Western Knights marksman Montgomery out of contention, while Oliviera has found goals hard to come by in recent times.
With five games to be played Onoforo leads the way with sixteen goals, just one more than Montomgery and Oliveira. Sorrento attacker Todd Harnwell has eleven goals to his credit and will have to get cracking in order to catch the leaders. Branimir Mikulic (Floreat Athena) and Kevin Correia (Fremantle City) have nine goals each with Jared Love (Sorrento) one behind. A large group of players are gathered on seven goals, namely, Darren Kingston (Armadale), Andrew O'Neill (Bayswater City), Eugene Singeorzan (Floreat), Andre Sarpe (Inglewood United) and Steve McDonald (Sorrento).
The race for the First Division's leading goalscorer trophy is also tight with three players separated by only a few goals. Twenty goals has South West Phoenix striker Steve Suttie three ahead of Scott Bulloch (Wanneroo City) with Christian Paschewitz (Mandurah City) also within striking distance on fifteen goals. Rydeen Botha (Bassendean Caledonian) has so far netted on 13 occasions, David Moschilla (Balcatta) has twelve goals which is one more than teammate Adam Raines. Glenn Hallums (Rockingham City) has ten goals and is followed by Stefan Smiljanic (Dianella White Eagles) and Ryan Jeans (Bassendean) with eight apiece.
LET'S ALL 'PLAY BY THE RULES' (courtesy Football West)
A fantastic new website has been launched nationally to encourage everyone involved in sport to 'Play by the Rules'. Play by the Rules is a partnership between the Australian Sports Commission and all State and Territory sport/recreation and anti-discrimination agencies. The website www.playbytherules.net.au is full of information that endorses fair and safe play. The WA Football Family recognises that the majority of people involved in sport are ethically responsible but we all need to watch out for the unacceptable behaviour of a few and this website provides a great resource to help us all support fair and safely-run football clubs and associations.
GLORY SEND S.O.S. FOR DEANE
Perth Glory are hoping Brian Deane will arrive from England in time to join them for Saturday's pre-season Cup final with Central Coast Mariners. The big striker is scheduled to arrive in Perth on Saturday, but coach Steve McMahon remains hopeful Deane can get on an earlier flight and travel with the team to New South Wales. "If he can make it here 24 hours earlier, I'm hopeful, but we shall see what happens," McMahon said.
The Glory coach will be forced to re-shuffle his line-up for the final after suspension claimed two of his number. Although the absence of star striker Bobby Despotovski and midfielder Steve McMahon junior is a setback, McMahon is confident of a strong showing in the series decider. "We've been doing that all season - putting square pegs in round holes and chopping and changing because of injuries and suspensions," he said. "So it's no big deal, we'll have to deal with it."
INJURY AGAIN CUTS SHORT MONTGOMERY'S SEASON
For the third successive time, Stuart Montgomery's season has come to a premature end because of injury. The Western Knights striker, a front runner for the Golden Boot award, will miss the remainder of the season after snapping ankle ligaments in his club's recent Premier League match with Perth S.C. It's the latest in a series of injuries to plague 27-year old Montgomery who missed seven weeks last year due to a groin problem while a broken leg accounted for his absence at the business end of the 2003 campaign.
"I have been told that it will take six weeks before I can run in a straight line, and another six weeks after that until I can kick a ball," Montgomery explained. "Robbie Puca was ushering the ball out for a throw-in when I jumped up to head the ball back in to play. Unfortunately, I landed in a hole that was off the pitch and rolled my ankle. I had to come off straight away as I knew I'd done some real damage." Montgomery's fifteen goals this season has him level with Andreas Oliviera and just a single goal behind the Premier League's leading scorer David Onoforo, both of Perth.
SWAN JUNIORS CLAIM FOURTH AT INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT
Swan I.C. Under-12's finished fourth at last weekend's 3rd Royal Selangor Tiger Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Playing against an international field, Swan were recognised as one of the tournament's best teams after strong performances against two national sides, two national academy teams and a national champion. They showed themselves as being not only a quality team but also great representatives for their club and the wider West Australian football community.
The black-and-whites were unlucky to go down to Royal Selangor in the opening fixture of the tournament. Although Swan dominated the game Selangor bagged the deciding goal with their only meaningful attack for 0-1 scoreline. A Brent Korver header was the only goal in Swan win over Singapore. Requiring just a single point from their final group fixture to qualify for the second phase, Swan held Brazil to a scoreless draw.
The second day's competition kicked off with Swan triumphing 1-0 over Sri Marawa. The only goal of the game came from Nick Olsen in a goalmouth scramble. The Football Academy of Malaysia defeated the back-and-whites 1-0 in a competitive and entertaining game that same day. And a scoreless draw with Bedup, whose team included several players from the Malaysian national youth squad, earned Swan a berth in the semi-finals.
During the course of the tournament Swan's players formed strong friendships with current Malaysian Under-12 champions Bangsar and, as fate would have it, these two sides were pitted against eachother in the round of four. The match was a tough and skilful affair and rated by many as one of the tournament highlights. With the score locked at 0-0 Bangsar eventually went through to the decider courtesy of a penalty shoot-out win.
Penalties were also required in the play-off for third and fourth between Swan and RSL Hautia after neither side was able to breakthrough in regulation time. Hautia claimed third place by out-shooting their opponent from the spot. At the conclusion of the tournament Mong Joon Chung, FIFA vice-president, and Mohamed Bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation, personally congratulated Swan youngster on the quality of their play and their conduct during the tournament.
The Swan Under-12 squad that made the trip to Malaysia was Chris Ambrose, Tait Comley, Jordan Howell (captain), Aaron Kolamandsamy, Brent Korver, Chris Nolan, Nick Olssen, John Ralph and Josh Wheeler. The side was coached by Alan Wheeler with Hugh Korver as team manager. The players and coaching staff would like to thank Ganesh Kolamandsamy for organising the trip and taking on the role of tour manager.
GIRLS EAR-MARKED AT NATIONALS
The emerging football talents of five West Australian girls were recognised during last month's National Youth Championships in Sydney. Katy Coghlan (Balcatta), Lorian Woolgar (Kingsley), Lillie Billson (Northern Redbacks), Leigh Kelly (Queens Park) and Alycia Panayotou (Subiaco United) were identified as potential future internationals by Football Federation Australia. The quintet were all members of the State Under-16 squad which finished the tournament in seventh place.
WARD SENDS GLORY INTO CUP FINAL
Perth Glory snapped Sydney FC's eighteen-game unbeaten run to book their place in the final of the pre-season Cup. A stunning stoppage time goal from Nick Ward was all that separated the two sides in an uninspired match at Aussie Stadium this evening. Glory looked marginally the better side in the first half and on 14 minutes Adrian Caceres crossed for Bobby Despotovski who headed disappointingly wide. Three minutes later Terry McFlynn fouled Caceres just outside the box and, after an excellent variation, Hiroyuki Ishida was denied by an excellent tackle from Iain Fyfe. Sydney's only decent opening came on the half hour when Steve Corica turned Simon Colosimo but fired his shot straight at goalkeeper Jason Petkovic. But otherwise there was little for the paltry crowd of 3,423 to get excited about from a game bogged down by tactics, and blighted by sloppy passing, poor touches and a lack of creativity in attack.
This same pattern continued into the second half and it wasn't until the final twenty minutes that the game sparked into life. The introduction of Mark Rudan and David Zdrilic saw Sydney go forward with added impetus with the latter and poking the ball just wide of the post. It was then the turn of Glory substitute Henry Fa'arodo who combined with Naum Sekulovski before forcing a good low save out of Clint Bolton. The deadlock was finally broken in the 91st minute when Ward received the ball from Fa'arodo and went past one defender to drilled an unstoppable shot beyond Bolton's reach. Sydney bombarded their opponents' goal for the remaining four minutes and David Carney almost sent the game into extra time but his touch was not strong enough to beat Petkovic. Glory will meet Central Cost Mariners, who upset Melbourne Victory 3-1 in the other semi-final, in the decider of the official pre-season tournament next weekend.
WOMEN'S WRAP (Balcatta vs East Fremantle courtesy Balcatta)
Balcatta are though to the final of the association Women's Cup after defeating East Fremantle 2-0 at Graham Burkett Reserve. The home side came out firing on all cylinders and with only 9 minutes played Katy Coghlan laid the ball at the feet of Kylie Chatto who made no mistake in firing it past the goalkeeper. From here on Balcatta dominated through crisp passing which lead to numerous goalscoring opportunities but no further addition to the scoreline. For their part East Fremantle held together well under pressure with their only attempt at goal being saved by the 'keeper. The second half was similar to the first with Balcatta continually threatening when going forward. However, it wasn't until close to the final whistle that their place in the decider was assured when substitute Jeneil D'Annunzio snaring Balcatta's second.
A narrow defeat of Subiaco United at Coker Park earned Queens Park their spot in the final of the association Women's Cup. The games only goal arrived four minutes from half-time when Stacey Woodfin sent the ball past the goalkeeper. Further details of this game weren't forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
ASSOCIATION CUP, SEMI-FINALS (Fremantle City vs Inglewood United by Peter Simcox)
Inglewood United are through to the association Cup final after a hard fought 1-0 victory over Fremantle City at Ken Allen Field. There were nervous moments in both defences early on as Andre Sarpe went close to putting Inglewood ahead while at the opposite end Rob Colalillo fired wide of the target. Dale Wingell was pulling the strings in midfield for the port side and his superb through ball found Colalillo whose shot could only be parried by Oliver Taseski, and the goalkeeper had to be at his sharpest to keep out Jason Barrera's follow-up shot. The poor condition of the pitch made it difficult for Inglewood to play their usual passing game as moves continually broke down. Fremantle on the other hand looked dangerous going forward and when Barrera darted past a static visiting defence Taseski had to be quick off his line to smother the danger. As the half wore on Inglewood began to get more involved and in the 40th minute were denied strong claims for a penalty by referee Jeremy Oliphant after Greg Sharland was sent tumbling by 'keeper Bobson Kororma. In quick succession Sarpe and Kevin Griffiths went close before a foul on Albert Osei-Tutu did result in a penalty which Louis Parkinson unfortunately sent wide seven minutes from the break.
Fired up by the words of coach Eddy Hodgkinson, Inglewood made a positive start to the new half with Sharland's glancing header flashed narrowly the wrong side of the post. The visiting side didn't have to wait too much longer before hitting the front as a perfectly weighted through ball from Darren Broxton played in Sarpe who slotted past the advancing 'keeper. The momentum was with Inglewood and minutes later Shaun Kilkelly should have done better than fire wide when well position, then Osei-Tutu's shot was cleared off the line by the ever-vigilant Shane Nunes. The port side were presented with a great chacne to get back on level terms when Colalillo seized upon a poor back pass but having rounded Taseski the striker could only shoot in to the side netting from a narrowing angle. The decision to push Jason Godfrey into attack almost paid off immediately with the versatile defender sending a rising shot narrowly high after being sent through by Tom Straker. Fremantle's search for an equaliser was tireless as the minutes ticked down but they could find few ways past Danny Kovacevic and Danny Stoitis who were outstanding at the heart of Inglewood's defence. The final whistle was greeted with loud cheers from the Inglewood quarter who'll make their first Cup final appearance since 1999.
A superb first half performance earned Perth S.C. a 2-0 defeat of Mandurah City and their spot in the final of this year's association Cup. It was a match of contrasting halves at Dorrien Gardens where Perth dominated the opening period while after the break a re-energised Mandurah took the game up to their top flight opponent. Perth made an uneasy start but looked to be finding rhythm when David Onoforo hit the post on 10 minutes. Home nerves were settled just two minutes later as Matt Danksin's cross was flicked on by Robbie Puca to an unmarked Onoforo who picked his spot past goalkeeper Mike Green from 12-metres. Having found top gear Perth strengthened their grip on the game through Mark Pottier whose terrific pass carved open the defence and allowed Antonio Naglieri to crash his first-time shot into the roof of the net after 24 minutes. Naglieri then hit the crossbar after dancing past several challenges and chipping the 'keeper. Up until now there had been little for the large contingent of travelling supporters to get excited about but as the half came to a close Mandurah began to see more of the ball. Their best chance came about from a neat exchange which culminated in Damien Rhodes blazing well over the bar.
Victory could have been secured shortly after the re-start when Danskin won Perth a soft penalty but Onoforo shot low and wide from the spot. Mandurah gained confidence from the miss and were unlucky not to peg a goal back through Gary Attrill who was denied at close-range by Gareth Deeg. Shortly after Michael Bobridge's fierce strike was deflected wide by Michael Icanovski, and from the resultant corner Christian Paschewitz nodded over the bar. The move of the match arrived on 67 minutes when Rhodes and Jake Loreto combined down the left with the latter's brilliant through ball into the path of Bobridge who's goalbound effort was somehow pushed wide by Deeg. The momentum was very much with Mandurah and Deeg again proved the visitors foil with a stunning save which kept Bobridge's curling free-kick out of the top corner. Tempers boiled over eleven minutes from the end following an altercation between Jeff Bright and David Dawson which left referee Steven Gregory with little option but to send off both players. This took the wind out of Mandurah's sails and enabled Perth to re-establish control across the centre of the park. A fierce dipping strike from Gianfranco Circati was well held by Green, while in the final minute desperate defending thwarted Naglieri's attempt to score his side's third goal.
ASSOCIATION RESERVE AND YOUTH CUP, SEMI-FINALS (Inglewood United vs Sorrento by Kerry Slater; Floreat Athena vs Western Knights courtesy Floreat Athena; Swan I.C. vs Armadale by Peter Simcox; Cockburn City vs Sorrento by Kerry Slater)
Sorrento swept into the final of the association Reserves Cup with a convincing 4-2 defeat of Inglewood United at Ken Allen Reserve. The poor condition of the pitch made life difficult for both sides with the opening stages locked in an arm wrestle for control of midfield. The opening goal arrived in the 25th minute Craig Lewis' volley found the target. Eight minutes into the second half Danny Cain headed in a Dejan Gurovski corner as Sorrento increased their lead. The game was effectively over when Farrell Hedges netted from close-range, and in the 83rd minute David Wimbridge added the Gulls fourth. Inglewood grabbed a couple of consolation goals in the 88th and 90th minutes through Thomas Ions and Morgan Dendle respectively but the result was by this stage already beyond doubt.
Floreat Athena edged Western Knights out of the association Reserves Cup 6-5 on penalties. With the game deadlocked at 1-1 after regulation time Floreat out-shot their opponent to win through the final of the knock-out competition. Floreat enjoyed the better of possession in tight opening half that saw Steven Guest rattled the crossbar from distance, but otherwise there were very few genuine opening created by either team in the opening half. Chris Socratous gave Floreat the upper hand ten minutes after the interval and it looked as his goal would be all that separated the team. But with only minutes remaining the Knights clinched an equaliser after Alex Christie's clever cut back was put away at close-range by John Thornley. The match was then sent into a shoot-out with Peter Sheahan tucking away the decisive spot kick.
Swan I.C. qualified for the final of the association Youth Cup by downing Armadale 2-1 in a tight encounter at Dorrien Gardens. Armadale may have started the day as favourite but quickly found themselves under pressure as the black and whites sought the early advantage. Swan's persistence paid off in the 49th minute when Daniel Grosso scored from the penalty spot following a foul on John Mansarey. Three minutes later Mansarey's shot deflected in off a defender and past goalkeeper Michael Johnson to seemingly booked Swan's place in the final. However, Armadale had other ideas and Tom Kelly set up a tense final few minutes by shooting past Daniel Agudelo in the 76th minute. Armadale worked hard to find a late equaliser but solid defending and the occasional piece of luck allowed Swan to hold on.
A 2-0 defeat of Cockburn City at Ken Allen Reserve booked Sorrento's place in the final of the association Youth Cup. A fired up Sorrento dominated the early exchanges in which Guy McDonald's shot crashed into both posts before being gathered by goalkeeper Tom Langley. The northerners increased possession was rewarded on the half hour when Tony Davies' launched a quick counterattack by releasing Michael Johnson who fed a pass to David Wimbridge who went past three opponents before firing into the net from 14-metres. Sorrento were quickly reminded the game was far from over as Cockburn searched for an equaliser. The new half commenced with Cockburn on the offensive and determined to get back on level terms, but with 73 minutes played the game was out beyond their reach by Tom Cann who tapped in from close-range.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Inner city neighbours Inglewood United and Perth S.C. will meet in September’s final of the association Cup. A second half goal from Andre Sarpe secured Inglewood a 1-0 win over home team Fremantle City and booked their place in the season finale. Perth defeated a determined Mandurah City outfit 2-0 at Dorrien Gardens where David Onoforo and Antonio Naglieri scored early in the first half.
As curtain raisers to the main games are the semi-finals of the reserve and Youth association Cups. Floreat Athena take on the Western Knights in the Reserves clash at Dorrien Gardens with Swan I.C. up against Armadale in the Youths. At Ken Allen Reserve, Sorrento meet Inglewood United in the Reserves while Sorrento go head-to-head with high-flying Cockburn City inthe Youths. The kick-off times for all games is First team 3.00pm; Reserves 12.30pm; and Youths 11.00am.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW (by Peter Simcox)
It's semi-final time in the 2005 association Cup this Sunday. Knock-out competitions the world wide provide an avenue for minnows to become giant killers as spectators are left riveted to their seats as the on-field drama unfolds. This weekend's encounters have all the hallmarks of classic Cup ties with both games featuring a very clear favourite and an underdog waiting to cause a 'Cupset'.
First Division outfit Mandurah City, who've already claimed the scalps of the Western Knights and Armadale, are pitted against the might of Perth S.C. at Dorrien Gardens. It'll require a rock solid defensive performance from the likes of Steven Rhodes, Stewart Francis and goalkeeper Mike Green for Mandurah to keep the local scene's most lethal strikeforce at bay. Jordan Rhodes will be pulling the strings from midfield with the duty of banging in the goals falling to Christian Paschewitz and Graeme Matthews, who each netted in the win over the Knights.
Perth snuck into the round of four courtesy of a stoppage time winner over First Division side Balcatta 2-1. Since struggling to victory that afternoon Perth have been in red-hot form and hit fifteen goals in the the past three weeks. The Blues boast a star-studded line-up which includes State representatives Aaron Cole, Antonio Naglieri and Andreas Oliveria, talented youngster David Micevski along with David Onforo, the Premier League's leading goalscorer. The fact Perth are the top flights highest scorers and possess the best defensive record doesn't bode well for Mandurah.
Fremantle City, who currently stump up the Premier League table, host fourth place Inglewood United at Ken Allen Field. Fremantle have shown great improvement since Mark Wingell took over the coaching reigns and booked their place in the semi-final by defeating joint Premier league leader Sorrento. Andy Pomfret, Tim De Souza and and Jason Barrera are rated as among the state's best teenage talent and form the backbone of the side along with seasoned campaigners Craig Surtees, Kevin Correia and Jason Godfrey. Fremantle surprised many by making the Cup final last year and for them to qualify for the deciding again they'll have to be on top of their game come Sunday afternoon.
Few would argue that Inglewood possess one of the league's strongest squads, and a place in the Cup final would be a fitting reward for their efforts this winter. Providing the ammunition from out wide are Kevin Griffiths and Louis Parkinson while up-front Andre Sarpe has been in sensational form of late. Goalkeeper Oliver Taseski underpins a rock solid backline which boasts the considerable talents of Daniel Kovacevic and team captain Shaun Kilkelly. Cup fixtures are a great leveller and should Inglewood let their guard down for even a moment then they expect Fremantle to make them pay.
As curtain raisers to the main games are the semi-finals of the reserve and Youth association Cups. Floreat Athena take on the Western Knights in the Reserves clash at Dorrien Gardens with Swan I.C. up against Armadale in the Youths. At Ken Allen Reserve, Sorrento meet First Division pacesetter Canning City in the Reserves while Sorrento go head-to-head with high-flying Cockburn City inthe Youths. The kick-off times for all games is First team 3.00pm; Reserves 12.30pm; and Youths 11.00am.
GLORY UNCHANGED FOR SYDNEY
Perth Glory will take an unchanged squad into Sunday's pre-season Cup semi-final with Sydney FC. Coach Steve McMahon has chosen to stay with the same line-up that defeated Newcastle United Jets 2-1 last weekend. Glory will be confident when they take on Sydney who'll be without Dwight Yorke and Sasho Petrovski through international duty while striker David Zdrilic is doubtful due to a back problem. "It should help us that Sydney have a few injuries but we have had four or five injuries most of this year so far," he said. "We have had to put square pegs in round holes but the team have performed well and the win against Newcastle was important for confidence." Glory kick-off against Sydney at 5.00pm (EST) on Sunday at Aussie Stadium.
RYDER ADDED TO SCHOOLBOYS
Fremantle City's Wesley Ryder has been called up to the State Schoolboys. The lively striker was added to the squad just days before they fly to Queensland and following the withdrawal of Rodrigo Aguirre due to a hamstring injury. "Wesley played for the Schoolboys last year and was a member of the Australian shadow team picked at the end of the tournament," commented team manager Neil Alweyn. "We're very lucky to pick up a player of Wesley's ability at such short notice, he's a proven goalscorer and has the ability to change a game very quickly."
Alweyn feels the current crop of players will do the State proud in Queensland. "Age and leadership are the strengths of this years squad," explained commented. "We're taking a much older team this year in comparison to the last few years, and we're lucky enough to be taking six players who played Schoolboys last year and that will give us a distinct advantage in Cairns. Many of the boys are also playing first team football with all the others regulars for their clubs reserves. Rob Milevski has brought a high level of tactical understanding to the side and there is a real feeling of camaraderie amongst the group.
The 2005 State Schoolboys travel to Cairns this weekend for the School Sport Australia Secondary Soccer Championships. The complete squad is Scott Patterson (Armadale), Jason O'Bryne (Floreat Athena), Tim de Souza, Steve Hesketh, Andrew Pomfret, Wesley Ryder (Fremantle City), Stuart Hartmann, Luke Hudston (E.C.U. Joondalup), Stephen Bettella, Brendan Ross (Perth S.C.), Lewis Flatt, Jesse Higgins, David Houston (Sorrento), Steve Bozinovski, Goce Dilevski (Stirling Lions) and Daniel Simcox (Swan I.C.). The side is coached by Rob Milevski with Neil Alweyn as team manager.
PERTH AND INGLEWOOD TIPPED FOR CUP GLORY
Perth S.C. will meet Inglewood United in September's association Cup final according to the results of this week's footballwa.net polls. In a landslide result, Perth registered 78.8% of the vote cast in response to 'What will be the outcome of the Cup semi-final at Dorrien Gardens?' And it seems the win will be a comfortable one for the Blues with 66.4% of voters going for Perth to win the game by two goals or more. It was a similar result in our second website poll which asked 'What will be the outcome of the Cup semi-final at Ken Allen Field?' with Inglewood romping home with 74.6% of the count. The most popular scoreline was an Inglewood win by two goals or more which accumulated 36.5%.
COERVER COACHING ARRIVES IN THE WEST
The world's premier youth coaching program, Coerver Coaching, is now available in Western Australia. Coerver is a coaching program for all levels of youth players (boys and girls) aged 6-16 years which is designed and developed to improve individual players in small-sided groups and games. Through a systematic program Coerver combines a step-by-step coaching techniques with the 'moves' of the world's greatest players to create a unique coaching experience for players and coaches involved in youth football.
Recognised by FIFA, Coerver exposes players to a wide variety of moves and encourages the individual to find those that best work for them to increase ball control and confidence. Coerver's WA coaching programs will include skills clinics and school holiday camps along with a variety of elite squads. Trials will be held in October 2006 for all Coerver programs with school holiday camps north and south of Perth commencing next month. For more information telephone Manny Camara on (08) 9414 3133 or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
DAVIES SNAPPED UP BY WOKING (courtesy www.tribalfootball.com)
West Australian goalkeeper Clint Davies has signed a one-year deal with Conference outfit Woking. The former Birmingham City apprentice had a loan spell with the Cards in 2003 when he made two appearances. After a successful trial spell at Kingfield, the 22-year old has now agreed terms with the Conference club. Davies, who has also played for Tamworth, Nuneaton and Halifax Town, will compete with former Tottenham Hotspur shot-stopper Shwan Jalal for a first-team place.
LOWY URGES FANS TO EMBRACE A-LEAGUE
Football Federation of Australia chairman Frank Lowy is imploring the country's sporting public to get behind the new A-League competition. "The success of Australian football will depend on the clubs and the support of the clubs," said Lowy at yesterday's official launch of the new competition. "Because no matter what we do or what we did, without it, it just isn't going to work ... We need bumper crowds otherwise what we have done is just not going to work. It's a very crucial time for us, this first season."
FFA chief executive John O'Neill believes the ingredient mix is right for the A-League to succeed. "We were missing financial resources and capital, we've largely overcome that," he said in reference to the old national league. "We were missing the quality of football and you can see from the eight franchises, they have put together extremely good teams and good coaching. We were missing television exposure and we now have Fox Sports as an exclusive and live broadcaster. We were very keen to play in good stadia and right across the eight cities we are playing in very good quality stadia."
FOXTEL BOOST GLORY JUNIOR PROGRAM
Perth Glory have announced Foxtel Digital as an executive level sponsor for the inaugural A-League season in a deal which will also help local young footballers improve their talent. The broadcaster's sponsorship will see the introduction of Glory's 2005 Foxtel Digital Super Skills Competition, a major initiative which mirrors Glory's commitment to the community.
"We are delighted to welcome Foxtel Digital as executive level sponsors for the coming season," said Glory's commercial manager, Justin Everley. "The Foxtel Digital Super Skills Competition shows that our new partners are committed to the game at grassroots level and hundreds of children in Perth will find this scheme a fun way to improve their talents."
Over the next two weeks Glory players will coach young players from all junior clubs in the Perth metropolitan area in a set of drills to enhance their game. Youngsters from six to fourteen years of age will benefit from the program and clubs will receive an information pack including a poster, scoring sheet, letter and all details needed to complete the competition.
Junior players will be required to practice five set skills - the Bobby 10 Super Shot, the Hiro Speed Juggle, the Colosimo Lofted Pass, the Horsley Speed Dribble and the Harnwell Defensive Header. After practising the skills each club will submit score sheets and five players will be invited to competition in the Grand Final at Members Equity Stadium prior to Glory's home match against Melbourne Victory on 23rd October.
WIN GIVES SWAN A BOOST
Swan I.C. gave their chances of Premier League survival a major boost by claiming all three points at the expense of E.C.U. Joondalup on the weekend. The importance of the win was self-evident as news filtered through that Stirling Lions and Fremantle City, who are also in contention for the drop, also picked up maximum points. "It was a good win and a very important one as both the teams below us also had a win," said coach Carlo Scali. "That puts us in a better position as we jumped forward two places, even though we are still only four points from the bottom."
Following the 3-0 win over Joondalup the Swan coach had nothing but praise for the defensive quartet of Paul Baczynski, Jonathan Mathers, Danyal Bennett and Trevor Hatton. "Defensively we also all did our jobs and for the second week in a row kept a clean sheet which was very pleasing as this has been one of our weakest areas this year," commented Scali. "It is a shame we have a bye this week as we are playing better than we have for a while, but it does give some of the guys with niggling injuries to recover for the next five weeks. Every game is very important for us now and we must achieve good results to stay up."
It's been a torrid winter for Swan who were hopeful of a strong showing after making the final of the Night Series in pre-season. Inconsistency at both ends of the park has stifled their campaign with the clubs from the Swan Valley registering only five wins from seventeen starts. With five games remaining Fremantle City, Stirling Lions, Joondalup, Armadale and Swan find themselves separated by four points at the foot of the table and locked in a desperate scramble to stay in the top flight.
ISHIDA TAKES ON AMBASSADOR ROLE (courtesy Perth Glory)
Perth Glory midfielder Hiroyuki Ishida will be helping students in Western Australia fulfil their potential, having taken up the role of Mentor and Ambassador for Murdoch College. Ishida was first involved with Murdoch College through the Glory In The Community scheme when he undertook a coaching session with around thirty students in March. Staff at Murdoch were so impressed with the Japanese star that they invited him to take up the prestigious role of Mentor and Ambassador.
"I am honoured to be asked to represent Murdoch College as a Mentor and Ambassador, " said Ishida of his appointment. "Living in a different country is often a challenge in many ways and hopefully, through my experience of living in different cultures I can help the students at Murdoch College in a variety of ways." The Murdoch Integrated Learning Experiences program is designed to develop self-esteem, confidence, initiative and leadership qualities. The college looks to promote these qualities by engaging students in tasks, activities and clubs which will allow them to develop specific skills under expert guidance.
"As Principal of Murdoch College, I am so delighted to have Hiroyuki Ishida, an outstanding international football player, as a Mentor and Ambassador for Murdoch College," Alan Meney said. "As a genuine International College, committed to enabling the growth of world citizens, it is significant that Hiroyuki and Perth Glory can be so supportive of our students and our College goals. Our students are indeed privileged to be guided by such a talented young man who is a wonderful role model of persistence, perseverance, commitment and success."
WOMEN'S WRAP (Bassendean Caledonian vs Swan I.C. courtesy Swan I.C.)
A 6-3 defeat of East Fremantle has all but secured a third successive women's Premier League title for Northern Redbacks. With five rounds of fixtures remaining the Redbaks have opened up a nine point lead over second placed Balcatta. Kamilla Ambrozewics gave East Fremantle the perfect start by netting after just 2 minutes, but goals from Tanya Oxtoby, Stephanie Grant and Mickey Lawton saw the visitors go into the break with the upper hand. Within six minute of the restart East Fremantle were back on level terms after rapid-fire goals from Cait Burke and Ambrozewics. Nicola Williams restored the Redbacks lead with victory only assured late in the game after Lawton and Stephanie Grant found the target.
Subiaco United proved little match for Queens Park who ran out 4-1 winners in summery conditions at Rosalie Park. Queens Park dominated the opening exchanges but not matter how hard they tried were unable to find an avenue to goal. All that changed midway through the first half when in a devastating six minute spell they found the net on three occasions. The opener came after 24 minutes and via Stacey Woodfin, the margin was doubled by Amy Thorpe and when A.Ashton added to the scoreline the only question being asked was 'how many?'. Subiaco rallied and it wasn't until four minutes into the second half that Stacey Woodfin added her teams fourth goal. With thirteen minutes left Lauren McCreary bagged what amounted to a consolation goal for the hosts.
Balcatta collected maximum points from their away fixture with Noranda who conceded a 3-0 defeat on forfeit. Having lead the competition at one stage, Balcatta will now fight it out for the runners-up position with Queens Park who are six points behind but with two games in hand.
Mandurah City thumped a ten-player Gosnells City 6-2 when they met at Bortolo Park. It took Mandurah just ten minutes to take full advantage of the extra player as Harriet Talbert's cross was put away by Jiame Carley. The hosts continued to pile on the pressure and found the net a further three times to seemingly put the game beyond doubt before the break. However, Gosnells hit back just before the break with Melissa Spillman netting from a tight angle after going past three defenders, then Jess Sardi brought the gap back to two goals. A surging run down the flank by Talbert saw her zero in on goal and chip to goalkeeper midway through the second half, and a defensive error produced Manurah's six and final goal.
Rosalie Park played host to a 1-1 draw between Subiaco United and Murdoch University. The visiting team began what proved to be an entertaining game positively with Petrina Brewer and Mhairi Jefferies creating some good opportunities from midfield. Hilde Halvorsen and Tash Darlow hit the crossbar for Mandurah while Subiaco's best move saw their striker force an excellent save from Donna Symes. Murdoch twice hit the frame of the goal in the second half before going ahead through Jefferies who made the most of a Halvorsen corner. However, Subiaco equalised with fifteen minutes to go when E.Rose netted from close-range on the counter-attack.
Although depleted by injury, Swan I.C. still had enough in reserve to defeat Bassendean Caledonian 2-1 at Jubilee Reserve. An even opening period was punctuated by Swan going ahead on 20 minutes when Chez Murray converted from the penalty spot after a handball offence. Minutes later Jamie Blake hit the cross bar, then Mel Gardiner's header flashed narrowly high as Swan sought to increase their advantage. The visitors had more luck five minutes from the break as Tarnea Johnson found the target with a fine shot on the turn. Not to be outdone, Bassendean equalised shortly after in a goalmouth scramble. But with neither side able to break through after the break Swan ran out winners by the narrowest of margins.
Beckenham Angels stay six points behind competition leader Mandurah following their 2-0 defeat of Balga at Mills Park Sports Complex. G.Sprong and S.Ronles were Beckenham's scorers. Two goals from M.Norrish and a single by earned University of WA a 3-0 win over Northern Redbacks when they met at McGillivray Oval. And Lynwood Colts went down 1-2 to Rockingham City at Hossack Reserve. Further details of these games weren't forthcoming from any of the participating clubs.
DESPOTOVSKI SENDS GLORY IN TO LAST FOUR
A goal in each half from Bobby Despotovski secured Perth Glory a 2-1 win against Newcastle United Jets this evening at Member Equity Stadium. The small crowd of 7,098 were given reason for celebration after 11 minutes when Billy Celeski was brought down inside the penalty area by Allan Picken, and Despotovski made no mistake in beating goalkeeper Liam Reddy from the spot. Newcastle went close to equalising but Guy Bates' shot was deflected wide and from the resulting corner Ned Zelic's downward header was held by Jason Petkovic. With 30 minutes played the visitors drew level as Matthew Thompson seized upon a failed clearance by Jamie Coyne which he coolly slide past the advancing 'keeper.
The game took on a more entertaining front in the second half as both sides managed to find more space in their attacking halves. Naum Sekulovski almost put Glory ahead but his dipping free-kick was tipped over the crossbar by Reddy. The deciding goal arrived on 62 minutes and via a stunning Despotovski free-kick from just outside the area that gave the 'keeper no chance. Newcastle created a couple of openings late in the piece to snatch a point through Franco Parisi whose first effort was just wide, and five minutes from the end the substitute had a goalbound effort cleared off the lineby Scott Miller. Glory will meet Sydney F.C. in the semi-finals of the pre-season Cup next weekend.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND SEVENTEEN (Sorrento vs Cockburn City by Kery Slater; Swan I.C. vs E.C.U. Joondalup by Peter Simcox; Floreat Athena vs Stirling Lions by Elliott Leonard)
Perth S.C. took their goal tally to 15 in three games by defeating Western Knights 4-2 at Dorrien Gardens. The game very much lived up to pre-match hype with both teams turning on the style to produce another memorable showdown between two old foes. The home crowd only had to wait 10 minutes before bing given reason to celebrate as Michael Icanovski's volley crashed into the back of the net after ricocheting off the a defender. Five minutes later the margin became two goals as a quickly taken free-kick by Robbie Puca picked out an unmarked David Onoforo who had no problems in slotting past goalkeeper Tommi Tomich. The Knights threatened to get back on level terms on 18 minutes through Stuart Montgomery whose close-range effort was blocked by Gareth Deeg. A great exchange between Antonio Naglieri sends and Andreas Oliveira allowed Puca to play a low cross across the face of goal to Onoforo who neatly tucked it past the 'keeper for Perth's third goal. The match was effectively over as a contest on the half hour when David Micevski sent a high ball to Naglieri who blasted an unstoppable volley over Tomich as the margin threatened to really blow out. Although stunned, the Knights continued to plug away and just before the break Montgomery pegged back a goal by running on to a neat pass from Luka Jukic and lobbing over the advancing 'keeper. The second half was a much more even affair with both defences having to be on top of their game to keep the opposing forwards at bay. While chances were plentiful it took until the 75th minute for David Annal to breach the Perth rearguard with a blistering strike after playing a one-two with John Thornley to open up the defence. This gave the visitors a glimmer hope but despite late chances for Thornley and Andrew Jennings they were unable to further reduce the deficit.
Sorrento kept pace with Perth after a comfortable 3-1 victory over Cockburn City at Percy Doyle Reserve. With the two sides level on points Perth occupy top position courtesy of a superior goal difference over the Gulls with five games left in the regular season. Sorrento have made a habit of starting strongly and this week was no exception as Alan Dunlop was called upon to thwart Todd Harnwell, Simon Harland and Glen Thomas over the opening exchanges. However, there was little the Cockburn custodian could do on the quarter hour when Paul McMullan combined with Danny Cain whose cross from the left found the net via the head of Harnwell. This appeared to shake the complacency out of Cockburn who played themselves back into the game as Gary Faria went close to levelling twice in the space of a minute. As the half came to a close Sorrento re-asserted themselves with McMullan shooting high and Cockburn debutant Stephen Cole clearing a dangerous cross from Jared Love. The second half took some time to get going but once it did it was Sorrento that was doing all the attacking. Love volleyed wide, Harland's shot was blocked by Dunlop and Michael Ord nodded a free-kick high of the crossbar. Sorrento's persistence was rewarded in the 62nd minute when Dave McGeown showed his class with great ball control before firing it into the top corner from 14-metres. Two minutes later it was three-nil as Ord's cross from the right was tapped in by Harnwell. The margin could have been greater as Harnwell placed wide from a McMullan cross, and Harland volleyed high shortly after. With the points safe Sorrento eased off over the closing stages which allowed Liam Lilly to bag a late consolation goal with a terrific low drive from just outside the penalty area in the 87th minute.
Inglewood United defeated a spirited Armadale 5-2 in a highly entertaining match the Kiev Sports Ground. Andre Sarpe, Albert Osei-Tutu and Greg Sharland each tested the reflexes of goalkeeper Nick Stone as the home side settled quickly and went in search of goals. Armadale crafted out several promising moves over the opening exchanges, the best of which required a flying save from Oliver Taseski to keep out Ben Howe's vicious strike. The visitors patience finally paid off on 29 minutes when Ben Rogers received the ball on top of the 18-yard box and danced between two defenders before slotting past Taseski. Parity was restored nine minutes later when Shaun Kilkelly's bullet-like header flashed past the 'keeper from a Sarpe corner. Inglewood could have gone into the break with the advantage but Sharland blasted wide from the penalty spot after Matt Bennion's foul on Sarpe, and a minute from the interval Stone was at full-stretch in keeping out and explosive strike from distance by Daniel Kovacevic. A 66th minute mix-up between Stone and defender Craig Anderson resulted in the latter heading Kevin Griffiths cross into the net to put Inglewood ahead. Within four minutes the margin had increased through Osei-Tutu who edged in front of a defender to slide Griffiths' low cross into the net. And the game was ended as a contest on 77 minutes when Sarpe sent a low, hard shot beyond Stone's reach. Armadale pulled on back through Scott Blackmore who converted from the spot after Dean Apelgren was ruled to have impeded Rogers. Minutes later Blackmore crashed the ball into the post from 17-metres then Christian Alvarez was denied with the follow-up by Taseski. Griffiths snuck in between three defenders and the 'keeper in the final minute to put away Inglewood's fifth of the afternoon from a Sharland through ball.
Swan I.C. earned themselves three valuable points courtesy of a 3-0 defeat of E.C.U. Joondalup at the Swan Italian Club. The black and whites were given the perfect start when, inside the opening minute, a Rob Monterosso delivered an in-swinging cross that was headed in by Tom Shepheard. Tom Jones twice went within inches of restoring parity, initially with a header that flashed just wide and a few minutes Cory Hugo proved his foil following Scott Bushby's through ball. Good opportunities on goal were created by both teams as play flowed from one end of the park to the other. David Foster crashed the ball into the upright before Joondalup scrambled it to safety, and a powerful low strike by John Morton was kept out by Hugo. Peter Stewart produced a fantastic flying save to push Scott Campbell's explosive drive over the crossbar, and in quick succession Morton was denied by the 'keeper and Oliver Hilton blazed high. On the stroke of half-time Swan got the breakthrough they were seeking when Stewart parried Foster's close-range effort and Damian Scali netted the loose ball. Swan came out determined to kill the game off after the break. Scali hit the post and Foster's follow-up was blocked on the line by Jamie Kuzmanovich, then an error by John Morton allowed Scali in only to be thwarted by the 'keeper. The hosts persistence paid dividends on the hour as Jonathan Mathers combined with Foster who whose cross into the area was headed in at close-range by Scali. To their credit Joondalup refused to give up the chase and Anthony Jones would have pegged a goal back if not for the agility of Hugo, while close to the final whistle the Swan 'keeper had to be at his best to keep out a curling Steve Porter free-kick.
Stirling Lions picked up maximum points for the third time in four weeks by toppling Floreat Athena 2-1 at Litis Stadium. The win maintains Stirling's slender advantage over Fremantle City as the two clubs slug it out to stay in the Premier League. The match kicked off with Stirling determined to be the first on the scoreboard and although Daniel Brown found the target after 13 minutes his effort was ruled out for offside. The visitors were quick to get over this setback and minutes later Paul Dickson pumped a long free-kick into the 18-yard box where Aaron McKee flicked the ball on to the back post and Brown fired his side ahead from close-range. That lead was to last just five minutes, however, as Adam Bachiller's cross from the left was brilliantly met by Craig Simpson who volleyed past Aleksander Vrteski from 13-metres. The second half saw Stirling work hard to regain their lead and that's exactly what they did nine minutes after the restart when debutant Craig Aldridge played a long ball over the top of the defence that allowed Leo Harman to race through and power low past goalkeeper Vas Vujacic. A golden opportunity to put the result beyond doubt went begging later in the half when Aldridge paid the ball on for Jake Harman whose cut back from the right picked out Brown but the big attacker could only direct his effort wide of the target. Floreat too created a number of good openings which would levelled the game but a failure to make the most of their chances allowed Stirling to claim a much needed victory.
A 2-1 defeat of Bayswater City allowed Fremantle City to keep pace with those side above them in the battle to avoid relegation. Bayswater were full of confidence as they strolled out on to the park and with just 2 minutes gone Stuart Fraser left the home crowd stunned by powering his header past the goalkeeper form a Mark Lee free-kick. The game quickly settled down and developed into an arm wrestle for control with Dom De Felice and Dale Wingell pitting their wits and skills against Francis and Lee. The hosts first clear-cut opportunity was created by Boima Karpeh who expertly shrugged off his marker to sent a dangerous cross in from the left that Bayswater managed to hack to safety. The equaliser came shortly after via a superb Shane Nune free-kick which thundered into the crossbar and midfeilder Dom De Felice was on cue to net from close-range. Fremantle went ahead in the final minute of the half through Roberto Colalillo who dispensed a neat lob over goalkeeper Francis Allen after Jason Barrera's cross took a deflection off a defender. The second half started with Bayswater taking the game up to the home side who stood tall under pressure at the back. Karpeh was heavily involved in Fremantle's most promising attacking moves and looked eager to score against his former club. The port side's best chacne resulted form a Wingell through ball which was expertly control by Karpeh whose superb shot on the turn was somehow kept out by Francis. With ten minutes to go Bayswater were reduced to ten men after Fraser was issued his second yellow card of the afternoon. It wasn't long after that the visitors should have levelled the game through Ross Barnes who amazingly failed to make the most of a simple opportunity at close-range.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND SEVENTEEN (Balcatta vs South West Phoenix by Martin Swann; Mandurah City vs Dianella White Eagles courtesy Mandurah City; Gosnells City vs Stirling Suns courtesy Gosnells City; Canning City vs Queens Park by Phil Unsworth; Morley Windmills vs Ashfield courtesy Ashfield)
Going the First Division season without loss remains a very real possibility for Wanneroo City who thumped Forrestfield United 6-1 at Kingsway Sporting Complex. The home side could not have asked for a better start as they raced to a three goals lead inside quarter of an hour. Chris Currie was allowed time and space in which to press forward down the left before unleashing a superb shot that curled into the top corner to make it one-nil. Soon after Craig Cheesman's jinxing run into the 18-yard box drew a foul from the visiting defence and from the spot Scott Bulloch made no mistake. And the margin became three goals with the very next attack in which Scott Radford paddled a Phil O'Callaghan cross into the path of Bulloch who drilled in his second of the day. Forrestfield pulled one back through Glen Noblett who volleyed a fine ball over the defence into the back of the net. But Wanneroo hit back not long after when Ben Yates helped the ball onto Stuart Collins who netted. In the 76th minute Collins set up O'Callaghan who showed great composure in beating the 'keeper for the hosts fifth. And late in the game O'Callaghan completed his sides haul with a fine individual goal.
Balcatta kept the pressure on Wanneroo by defeating a gallant South West Phoenix 3-1 at Graham Burkett Reserve. It took the home team just 5 minutes to get the go ahead goal via an indirect free-kick which Adrian Caloiero touched to Keegan Ashley whose low, hard shot skidded into the net. Phoenix responded by seizing control of the match but despite their increased possession the visitors were unable to open up a passage to goal of their own. Things swung back in Balcatta's favour after the break but they weren't fairing much better than their opponent as David Moschilla twice squandered great chances with only the 'keeper to beat. Phoenix slowly worked their way back into the game and it appeared they'd salvage a draw after Gary Mayers found the target on 73 minutes. Then, against the run of play and just six minutes later, Balcatta regained the upper hand through Toby Wright who scrambled the ball over the line following Alley Di Nuzzo's long throw-in. Phoenix suffered a devastating blow minutes later when Trent Hathway was red carded following a melee. The result was put beyond doubt by Wright who cheekily back-heeled in a pass from Joe Cinquina.
Mandurah City moved into third place by defeating Dianella White Eagles 2-0 at Peelwood Parade. The home team went into this match looking to extend their good home record and came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders. Graeme Matthews almost gave them a dream start but sent the ball narrowly wide of the target with only a few minutes gone. It was a pattern that would continue throughout the half with Mandurah continually on the offensive and Dianella limited to only the occasional counter-attack. Just as it appeared the half would end scoreless up stepped Christian Paschewitz to a free-kick which he drilled through the defensive wall and beyond the flaying arms of the goalkeeper from 21-metres. Mandurah, who clearly had one eye on next weekend's Cup semi-final clash with Perth S.C., were so confident of going on with the job that Paschewitz was rested for the second half. The big striker's absence made not one iota difference as the home side continued to dictate terms to a Dianella side that has won just once in the past five weeks. Victory was assured on early in the second half by Gary Attrill who slotted in Mandurah's second of the day following neat work in the build-up by Jordan Rhodes.
A goal in the dying minutes earned Gosnells City a 4-3 win over Stirling Suns at Walter Padbury Reserve. The hosts were quick out of the blocks as debutant Francis Odong put the ball at the feet of John Cassidy who bagged the opening goal with a fine strike from the top of the 18-yard box. On the half hour Stirling drew level via B.Bozinovski, and just eight minutes later they had the lead after a neat exchange of passes sliced through the defence for Gino Comito to tap in. The second half started with Gosnells full of running and again Odong set up Cassidy to score. The game verged on farcical ten minutes in when Stirling were awarded a penalty, but before the spot kick was taken S.Velkovski was dismissed for a second yellow card after abusing a match official, then Bozinovski failed to convert from the spot. Some slick movement of the ball allowed Cassidy to complete his hat-trick with a simple header. Poor defending at a throw-in put the game back on level terms as Tony Lang sent the ball past his own 'keeper. The decider came on 88 minutes via Andy Daffin's deep cross which was poked in from close-range by Ian Maguire.
Canning City extended their late season revival by beating Queens Park 4-0 at Willetton Sports Club. In the past four weeks Canning have scored an amazing sixteen goals while conceding just once to claim maximum points all each occasion. Although by far the dominant side over the opening half, Canning were guilty of failing to capitalise on their chances and the two teams went into the break still on level terms. It wasn't until fifteen minutes after the restart that Canning finally broke through via Simon Versaico who rose highest to nod Mick Van Dongen's corner beyond the goalkeeper. Another perfectly delivered corner fifteen minutes later was laid off by Paul Oliver into the path of Versaico whose deflected shot found the target. Canning were on fire as Oliver delivered a pinpoint free-kick to Mick Van Dongen who slipped a low drive to the right of Jakub Chudy for his teams third goal. The tireless Oliver completed the scoring with a blistering free-kick from 20-metres which he bent around the defensive wall and inside the far post right on the stroke of full-time. Canning's place in next seasons First Division now looks assured with the club in tenth place and five points clear of the drop zone.
Morley Windmills and Ashfield played out a tough, physical 3-3 draw at Wotton Reserve. It was Ashfield who applied much of the early pressure with Muhamed Komaderic headed narrowly over the bar and Wayne Culverwell's goalbound shot seemingly blocked by the hand of a defender. However, Morley were the first on the scoreboard via a speedy counterattack which ended with Scott McIlroy finding the net. But the hosts lead was to be short-lived with the referee awarding a soft penalty for a shirt tug on Culverwell, and Paddy O'Boyle's spot kick ricocheted in off the upright. Shortly before the break Morley went down to ten men after Paul Dundo received his second yellow card in the space of a few minutes. Early in the second half Morley went ahead when Simon Messenger converted from the penalty spot. Ten minutes later Adam Purcell delivered a perfect corner which O'Boyle headed in to bring the side back on level terms. Ashfield looked to have found the winner when Komaderic half-volleyed past the goalkeeper. But with three minutes to go Morley snatched a point through an Adrian McBride free-kick which crashed into defender Kevin Munro and ballooned over Elhossian Etthekis and into the net.
Rockingham City played out a 0-0 draw with Bassendean Caledonian at Dowling Street Reserve. Further details of this match weren't forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
DEANS GIVES NEW LEAGUE THE THUMBS UP
Former State defender Craig Deans has seen enough of Australian soccer's future to back claims the A-League will be a far superior competition to its predecessor. After many attempts to revitalise the ailing domestic game there were concerns the new eight-team competition would be little more than a rehashed National Soccer League, which had many problems before being wound up last year. But Deans has been impressed with the quality of matches during Newcastle United Jet's pre-season campaign and is inclined to agree with supporters of the A-League concept that it will be a vast improvement on the previous national competition. "Over the last couple of years, the NSL was going backwards pretty rapidly. I think the standard now is heaps better than it was," said Deans. "In the past the there were maybe five or six games that you had to play at your absolute best but I think now it's a case of having to do that every week."
JOEYS UNDEFEATED IN SOUTH AMERICA
The nation's most talented young players have once again shown they're capable of matching it with South America's finest. A recent trip to Peru by the Australian youth squad produced some encouraging results ahead of the FIFA Under-17 World Championship next month. The Joeys narrowly missing out winning a four-nations tournament against Peru and Ecuador after all six games amazingly ended drawn. Keeping goal for two of the Joeys three games in Peru was West Australian Aleksander Vrteski, who plies his trade locally for Stirling Lions.
The Joeys opened their tour with a scoreless draw against Ecuador on the evening of Sunday 24th July. Although they took the field with just one full day's rest following a 30-hour flight, Australia competed strongly with David Williams and Robbie Kruse going close to scoring in the first half. Ecuador came into the game more after the break as Australia dropped off but, even so, it wasn't until the closing stages that Vrteski, who saw out the full 90 muinutes, was called into action.
Two days later Australia played out a thrilling 2-2 draw with Peru, host-nation for the upcoming World Championship. Peru opened the scoring after 37 minutes through Ricardo Campos only to have the Joeys reply within five minutes when Kaz Patafta's free-kick was nodded in by Jamie Cumming. The hosts reclaimed the lead after Javier Carnero's shot from 16-metres deceived Vrteski just before the break. Fifteen minutes from the end Australia scored a deserved equaliser through Matthew Spiranovic's header.
The late withdrawal of Costa Rica from the tournament meant Australia faced Peru for a second time on Thursday, and once again there was nothing to separate the teams with the game ending at 1-1. Peru got off to a flying start as Gianfranco Espejo shot past debutant goalkeeper Daniel Ireland in just the 4th minute. Australia slowly got into rhythm and just before the break Daniel Miller equalised from close-range. Chances came Australia's way to win the game and claim the tournament in the closing stages but they were unable to turn that dominance into a deciding goal.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
There was a new twist in the battle for Premier League survival with the bottom three clubs all winning this afternoon. Roberto Colalillo and Dom De Felice earned Fremantle City a 2-1 home win over Bayswater City, while Stirling Lions defeated Floreat Athena 2-1 through goals from Daniel Brown and Leo Harman. E.C.U. Joondalup were sucked into the relegation battle after going down 0-3 at Swan I.C. for whom Damian Scali bagged a double. With five regular season games remaining, five clubs are now separated by just four points near the foot of the table.
The alarm bells are also sounding loud at Armadale who slipped into the drop zone following a 2-5 loss away to Inglewood United. At the opposite end of the table Perth S.C. and Sorrento continued to go game-for-game. David Onoforo took his season tally to sixteen goals with a double in Perth's 4-2 defeat of Western Knights. Two goals from Todd Harnwell helped Sorrento to their thirteenth win of the campaign by a 3-1 scoreline against Cockburn City.
First Division leader Wanneroo City thrashed Forrestfield United 6-1, while Balcatta registered a solid 3-1 home win against South West Phoenix. Mandurah City took the points over Dianella White Eagles by 2-0, and Rockingham City played out a 0-0 draw with Bassendean Caledonian. Gosnells City were pushed all the way before emerging 4-3 winners at home against Stirling Suns who now look like being relegated. Also going down are Queens Park who were thumped 0-4 away at Canning City. Morley Windmills and Ashfield will both be disappointed that their meeting ended level at 3-3.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
There are some important games in tomorrow's round of Premier League fixtures. Clashes between Perth S.C. and the Western Knights are a highlight of every season and, with both near the head of the table, this weekend's encounter at Dorrien Gardens won't be for the faint-hearted. Cockburn City will be attempting to upset Sorrento's apple cart when they venture to Percy Doyle Reserve. Inglewood United should respond to last week's shock loss by claiming victory over Armadale.
At the other end of the table, Stirling Lions will have their work cut out in trying to keep pace with Floreat Athena when they visit Litis Stadium. The outcome of Fremantle City's home meeting with Bayswater City will prove crucial to their hopes of remaining in the top flight beyond this winter. E.C.U. Joondalup are widely tipped to claim maximum points over Swan I.C. and heighten the relegation fears of the Swan Valley club.
The pick of the First Division action takes place at Graham Burkett Reserve where second-placed Balcatta take on a South West Phoenix side which is currently third on the table. Title favourite Wanneroo City have a home date with Forrestfield United, while Mandurah City square off with Dianella White Eagles. Rockingham City welcome Bassendean Caledonian to Dowling Street Reserve.
Gosnells City are expected to claim all three points from their home fixture with Stirling Suns who are fighting for the semi-professional life. Canning City can put daylight between themselves and the drop zone when they host relegation bound Queens Park. Anything less than victory could spell disaster for Morley Windmills and Ashfield who meet at Wotton Reserve. Kingsway Olympic have the bye.
COLOSIMO TAKES CAPTAIN'S ARMBAND
Simon Colosimo will put the disappointment of missing out on the Socceroo's training squad behind him when he leads Perth Glory into tomorrow night's clash with Newcastle United Jets. "It is an honour to be named as captain of the Glory," Colosimo said. "Most importantly we need a win on Saturday to reach the semi-final of the pre-season Cup. Although I wasn't selected in the Socceroos training squad this week I am sure I will get the chance and being based in Australia, playing in the A-League will be good for me."
Glory must win tomorrow night's clash with Newcastle at Members Equity Stadium (kick-off 7.00pm) to hold any hope of progressing to the last four of the official pre-season tournament. The club is yet to taste success against A-League opposition and coach Steve McMahon admits they need a win. "Yeah, we do," he said today. "I'd be lying if I said it doesn't matter but it does matter. It matters if a few different ways because we need another game or possibly two games to help our progress."
COONEY LANDS BOHEMIANS DEAL
It's been an eventful few weeks for one-time State youth representative Sean Cooney. Just twenty-four hours after signing for Irish outfit Bohemians the towering defender Cooney was in the starting line-up for his sides' 3-1 defeat of Finn Harps. The following weekend he made his first appearance on home soil as Bohemians triumphed 3-2 over Drogheda United. Cooney was replaced 70 minutes into the 1-1 draw with UCD, while a head injury forced him out of Tuesday's 1-3 away loss to Derry City in the 28th minute. Eighteen games into the Eircom season and Bohemians are placed fourth on the table but a considerable distance behind leader Cork City.
COONEY LANDS BOHEMIANS DEAL
It's been an eventful few weeks for one-time State youth representative Sean Cooney. Just twenty-four hours after signing for Irish outfit Bohemians the towering defender Cooney was in the starting line-up for his sides' 3-1 defeat of Finn Harps. The following weekend he made his first appearance on home soil as Bohemians triumphed 3-2 over Drogheda United. Cooney was replaced 70 minutes into the 1-1 draw with UCD, while a head injury forced him out of Tuesday's 1-3 away loss to Derry City in the 28th minute. Eighteen games into the Eircom season and Bohemians are placed fourth on the table but a considerable distance behind leader Cork City.
ARMADALE WEATHER TOUGH TIMES
A solid start to their debut Premier League campaign will assure Armadale's top flight status continues into 2006. The eastern corridor club, last year's First Division champion, produced a number of impressive performances during the first half of the winter which has allowed them to remain well clear of the drop zone as the business end of the season approaches. Wins in the first five weeks of the campaign against Stirling Lions, Bayswater City and Fremantle City laid the foundations for Armadale's survival that was assured following mid-season defeats of E.C.U. Joondalup and Cockburn City.
In more recent times Armadale have fund themselves stretched to the limit by a lengthy list of absentees. Injury has sidelined Jason Goodwin, Billy Kirkpatrick and Sasha Kilabrada, work commitments has prevented John Dixon and Darren Kingston from featuring while Darryl Platten has been out of action due to suspension. On top of that Mo Atak is overseas and the club recently parted company with long-serving midfielder Dennis Lee and experienced campaigner Peter Vukmirovic.
With so much change, coach Peter Murphy has drawn heavily on the club's youth ranks to complete the senior line-up. While a lack of experience at first team level has been evident, the opportunities afforded to their youngsters should serve Armadale well as planning commences for next season and beyond. For Murphy and the Armadale coaching staff there were several positives to be taken from recent losses to Western Knights and Perth S.C., two of the local scenes strongest sides. With six games to play the Reds are out to collect a few more points and work towards future success.
GLORY GIVE YOUTH A CHANCE (Courtesy Perth Glory)
Some of Western Australia's best young footballers are set to be given a chance to improve their chances in the game thanks to the new Pathway To Glory training programme. The scheme, a joint initiative between Perth Glory and Football West, aims to provide a pathway for young players to make it to the standard required for the A-League.
The Pathway To Glory will officially start within the next couple of weeks and will provide the best young players from each Premier League club, who would be eligible to play in the A-League as under-20's in the future, with extra training. Although the players who enter the Pathway will not be guaranteed of a place in Glory's first team squad at the end of the scheme, those who show enough promise will be considered ahead of other possible signings from outside of WA.
Players will be nominated by the individual state league clubs to take part in the Pathway, and will receive an extra training session each week from coaches including Glory's technical manager, Mich d'Avray. "We want to give the best young players in WA an opportunity to improve and, if a player is good enough, it should enable us to offer a professional contract to a local footballer to play in the A-League next season," d'Avray said.
"The players' programmes will be tailored to make sure that the Pathway enhances what these players are already doing with their clubs rather than hindering it," d'Avray continued. "Most of these young players will already be training twice a week and playing once a week so we are mindful to avoid clashes with club commitments. Obviously we can't guarantee any player a long-term place at Perth Glory but, at worst, these youngsters should return to their clubs as improved players and the Pathway will help their development."
COMFORTABLE WIN FOR SCHOOLBOYS (by Peter Simcox)
The West Australian Schoolboys have completed preparations for the 2006 Schools National Championship with an impressive 4-0 defeat of the State Under-16's. "It was a perfect hit-out for us before the opening game of the tournament in Cairns," said Schoolboys manager Neil Alweyn. "We had contributors the full length and width of the park. Going forward we looked very dangerous while defensively the side was tight. Now the goal is to carry on this form into Nationals next week."
The Schoolboys made a strong start to their final warm-up game with Steve Bozinovski forced a fine save from Eddie Pley early on. But there was little the 'keeper could do moments later when good work on the left saw Stephen Bettella's cross pick out David Houston who blasted the ball low into the net. Further opportunities came the way of Houston and Bozinovski before Bettella again delivered the ball into the area for Houston to net.
Missing several players through injury, the Under-16's offered little resistance as their opponent piled on the pressure. Andrew Pomfret directed a solid shot straight at the 'keeper with Bozinovski and Brendan Ross also going close. The margin became three goals right on the stroke of half-time when Stuart Hartman's corner was powerfully headed in by Scott Paterson.
This same pattern of play continued into the new half. So it came as no surprise when the margin increased to four goals with Pomfret converting from the penalty spot following a foul on Ross. The Schoolboys carved out numerous chances to add to their tally but despite the best efforts of Houston, Louis Flatt, Bettella and Ross there would be no addition to the scoreline. For their part, the Under-16's battled right up to the final whistle with Scott Neville unfortunate not to get on the scoreboard.
MCMAHON CONCERNED ABOUT SQUAD LIMITS
Perth Glory coach Steve McMahon will be forced to fit at least one "square peg in a round hole" when his side takes on Newcastle United Jets at Members Equity Stadium on Saturday. McMahon reiterated his concerns over Football Federation Australia's limit of twenty-player squads as he contemplated having only one recognised centre-back for this weekend's clash which Glory must win in order to remain in the pre-season Cup. "We have to put square pegs in round holes," said McMahon, who felt clubs should be allowed twenty-four man squads. "If you have three or four injuries, you're struggling."
Glory captain Jamie Harnwell is unlikely to play any further part in the official pre-season competition due to a hamstring injury while David Tarka is on the road to recovery from a hamstring operation. Their absence leaves McMahon with only one natural central defender, Ante Kovacevic, in a squad that is also without Neil Teggart (thigh), Daniel Vasilevski (thigh) and Brian Deane who is yet to arrive from England. McMahon said it was important FFA listened to club concerns to ensure the A-League was not guilty of treading water. "They've done a tremendous job in getting this far, but we can't stand still," McMahon commented.
SOCCEROO'S GO INTO CAMP
The Australian national squad continue their preparations for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers with an intense training camp in Hoenderloo, the Netherlands, between 14th and 18th August. It'll be new coach Guus Hiddink's first look at many of the twenty-eight player squad announced today by Football Federation Australia. "I've watched Australia's recent matches and in consultation with Graham Arnold and Ron Smith we have put together a squad which gives us an opportunity to do some intense training," said Hiddink. "I want to make it clear that players that were not included in this camp are in the running for a spot in future squads as we will have a busy schedule over the next few months."
Left-sided Birmingham City player Stan Lazaridis comes back into contention having been absent from Australia's Confederations Cup campaign due to injury. Goalkeeper Michael Petkovic, who kept goal in Australia's most recent outing against Tunisia, has been ruled out with a back injury that could sideline him for as long as three months. Australia will play the Solomon Islands over two legs early next month with the winner going on to play the fifth ranked South American nation for a berth at next years World Cup Finals in Germany.
The complete Australian squad is John Aloisi (Alaves), Scott Chipperfield (FC Basel), Stan Lazaridis (Birmingham City), Brett Emerton, Luca Neill (Blackburn Rovers), Tony Vidmar (NAC Breda), Luke Wilkshire (Bristol City), Tony Popovic (Crystal Palace), Tim Cahill (Everton), Ahmad Elrich (Fulham), Steve Laybutt (KAA Gent), Josip Skoko (Genclerbirligi), Harry Kewell (Liverpool), Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), Mark Schwarzer, Mark Viduka (Middlesbrough), Michael Thwaite (National Bucuresti), Joel Griffiths (Neuchatel Xamax), Craig Moore (Newcastle United), Jade North (Newcastle United Jets), Marco Bresciano, Vince Grella (Parma), Zeljko Kalac (Perugia), Jon McKain (Politechnica AEK Timisoara), Saso Petrovski (Sydney FC), Ljubo Milicevic (FC Thun) and Jason Culina (Twente Enschede).
FOOTBALL MARATHON A WINNER (courtesy Perth Glory)
Nick Tana couldn't be more pleased with how Perth Glory's mammoth 48-hour World Record breaking five-a-side match in the city centre panned out. Western Australian Premier Geoff Gallop may have kicked off the match alongside Tana and Glory coach Steve McMahon, but it was Perth Lord Mayor Peter Nattrass who scored the first goal of the Glory Football Marathon. The three-day football frenzy smashed the previous record for a football marathon of 25 hours and 35 minutes set in Reading, England.
"The Glory Football Marathon was a great success and it was fantastic to see so many people enjoying themselves and playing a part in this Guinness World Record attempt," beamed Tana. "One of the greatest things about this sport is that it brings people together and Perth's whole community certainly came out to make this event so colourful and entertaining for the city. I would like to congratulate the organisers and participants who made this record breaking game such a proud achievement."
From Friday lunchtime, into Friday night, through the early hours of Saturday, during every minute of daylight Saturday presented, into darkness again and right up to noon on Sunday there were ten players on the Forrest Place pitch playing for the glory of being a world record breaker. That incredible dedication from the people of Perth, with players from each of the planet's five continents taking part, rewarded the hundreds involved with an event they will probably never forget.
Homeless charity, The Big Issue magazine, also benefited enormously from the weekend's impressive event. "The vendors had a fantastic experience which they will all remember for a very long time," said The Big Issue business manager Jim Petrie. "The exposure we have gained through this event means that The Big Issue will be much better known to the public of Perth and of course this translates into more sales and income for the homeless and unemployed people who are our Big Issue vendors."
Perth Glory would like to thank the club's main sponsors, Western QBE insurance, for helping to make the event possible. The club will now submit all recorded information from the Football Marathon such as photographs, team sheets and video footage to the Guinness World Records in London to secure formal approval. For the record, the scoreline after 48-hours play read The Big Issue 1,137 - Perth Glory 1,119.
LAZARIDIS ON COMEBACK TRAIL
Stan Lazaridis made his first pre-season appearance for Birmingham City in this evening's 2-1 away defeat of Conference North outfit Kettering Town. It was the Australian international's first competitive outing since a minor thigh operation at the end of last season. Although he's only just returned to match action, Lazaridis is hopeful of being invited to attend Australia's upcoming training camp in the Netherlands.
INJURY SIDELINES GLORY CAPTAIN
A hamstring injury will keep Perth Glory captain Jamie Harnwell out of this weekend's pre-season Cup clash with Newcastle United Jets. Harnwell limped off late in saturday's loss to Melbourne Victory and is expected to be sidelined for up to a fortnight. "They don't think there's much damage. It's a strain rather than a tear," Harnwell said after being assessed by club physiotherapists. The injury to Harnwell highlights the problems that could arise with A-League squads being restricted to only twenty players. Although the season proper is yet to start, Glory have only one recognised central defender, Ante Kovacevic, currently available with David Tarka and Harnwell both suffering from injury.
WOMEN'S WRAP (Northern Redbacks vs Noranda courtesy Northern Redbacks; Balcatta vs Kingsley courtesy Balcatta; Gosnells City vs Balga courtesy Gosnells City)
Northern Redbacks continued their march towards the women's Premier league title by thrashing Noranda 13-0 at Noranda Sporting Complex. The visitors were rarely troubled as their slick passing game continually opening up the Noranda backline. Leading the charge from up-front for the Redbacks were Stephanie Grant and Tanya Oxtoby who both ended the afternoon with four goal hauls. Nicola Williams and Carys Hawkins bagged two apiece with Micky Lawton also on the scoresheet. The Redbacks are currently six points clear of second-placed Balcatta with both clubs having seven games left to play.
Balcatta's dominance over Kingsley was converted into a 3-0 win at Graham Burkett Reserve. The opening half was all one-way traffic with Balcatta creating a bucketload of opportunities all of which went unconverted. The breakthrough finally arrived 23 minutes into the second half when Katy Coghlan slotted a pass between two defenders to Domenica Carbone who crashed the ball home. Twelve minutes later the Kingsley goalkeeper spilled a shot by Lindsay Jobling and Kylie Chatto pounced to notch her first of the afternoon. The final goal arrived three minutes from the end as Brid Dawson's corner was put away by Jenny Poehl.
East Fremantle scored a 2-0 win over Subiaco United when they meet in sunny conditions at Wauhop Park. B.Pallett put the hosts ahead in the 4th minute with the sealer arriving via T.Markovic three minutes into stoppage time. The result all but assures East Fremantle of their place in next season's top flight while condemning Noranda to the drop. Further details of this match weren't forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
Beckenham Angels moved to outright second on the women's First Division table after a 5-0 defeat of host club Murdoch University. Having started slowly Beckenham grabbed control via a weaving run that ended with a neat strike from a tight angle. Ten minutes later the margin doubled after Murdoch failed to clear a dangerous cross and a simple goal at close-range resulted. Murdoch found it difficult to create genuine opportunities and their best chances came after the break through Mhairi Jefferies and Tash Darlow who both shot wide. Beckenham went on to add a further three goals to emerge as comfortable winners.
Balga proved no match for a free-scoring Gosnells City line-up that triumphed 6-0 at Walter Padbury Reserve. It was clear from the opening exchanges that Gosnells were in a goalscoring mood as the visiting defence were continually put under the hammer. The game was pretty much over the break after Jessica Sardi, Jess Sanderson, Lisa Tomnay and Mel Spillman each found a way past the goalkeeper. Although the second half was much more balanced Gosnells added two further goals through Sardi and Tomnay to take out maximum points. There were several second half chances created by Balga but rock-solid defending ensured they amounted to nothing.
Mandurah City remain on course to end the season unbeaten after being awarded a 3-0 forfeit win over Northern Redbacks. Rockingham City took the points 4-3 over University of WA when they met at Paul Garnett Reserve. Lynwood Colts showed no mercy in thumping Bassendean Caledonian 8-1 at Hossack Reserve. Honours were even at the Swan Italian Club where Swan I.C. were held to a 2-2 draw by Subiaco United.
MELBOURNE CLAIM VICTORY OVER GLORY
Poor finishing proved costly for Perth Glory who went down 0-1 to Melbourne Victory in this evening's pre-season Cup clash at Olympic Park. The win gives Victory requiring only a single point from their final group phase fixture whereas Glory need to beat Newcastle United Jets next weekend in order to make the semi-finals. Victory had the better of first half chances and were unlucky not to open their account through Richard Kitzbichler who linked well with Michael Ferrante but shot over the crossbar. Later on Daniel Allsop delivered a low ball into the area which skidded across goal before anyone could make contact.
Archie Thompson set off a warning bell in the Glory defence when he hit the post early in the second half. The games only goal arrived on the hour as Kitzbichler released Thompson whose delicate lob over the advancing Jason Petkovic ended up in the back of the net. Three minutes later Scott Miller kept Glory in the hunt by heading a goalbound effort from Geoffrey Claeys off the line. Glory twice went close to grabbing a point in the time remaining but Bobby Despotovski and Henry Fa'Arodo were both denied in one-on-one's with Michael Theoklitos.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND SIXTEEN (Bayswater City vs Inglewood United courtesy Bayswater City; E.C.U. Joondalup vs Floreat Athena courtesy Floreat Athena; Cockburn City vs Swan I.C. by Peter Simcox; Stirling Lions vs Fremantle City by Elliott Leonard)
Western Knights title hopes suffered a major setback when Sorrento claimed a 2-1 victory from a pulsating match at Nash Field. Sorrento hit the ground running and within minutes David McGeown, Glen Thomas and James Morgan had control of midfield. McGeown forced Tommi Tomich into a fine save, then Todd Harnwell's glancing header was just wide of the far post. The Knights paid the price for ball watching in the 16th minute when Harnwell nipped in to slot past Tomich following a Thomas corner. Harnwell was very nearly increased the gap but half-volleyed wide with the defence again stagnant. Play continued in the same vein as Thomas tested Tomich, Harnwell's low strike flew across the face of goal, and shots in quick succession from Danny Cain and Jared Love were blocked by the defence. The Knights best move came a minute from the break when John Thornley rifled narrowly wide of the past having held his marker at bay. It was a much different story in the second half which was just a minute old when Stuart Montgomery threaded the ball between 'keeper and near post from an incredibly tight angle to level the game. Minutes later David Annall delivered a great cross into the penalty area which Barry Wood headed powerfully but just wide. Sorrento were fortunate not to be reduced to ten men on the hour after Morgan's shocking tackle on Montgomery which referee Hugh Best amazingly deemed only a yellow card. Daniel Trim found the net four minutes later but had his effort ruled out for offside, and Wood again headed the wrong side of the post. The decider came with six minutes left when Paul McMullan jinxed his way past two defenders and centred to Farrell Hedges who scrambled it in from close-range. The game's final drama unfolded shortly after with Trim dismissed for a second bookable offence.
For the third week running Armadale were kept scoreless as Perth S.C. strolled to victory by 5-0 at Alfred Skeet Oval. The Blues goalfest began with just 4 minutes gone as David Micevski steered a corner on to the head of Dino Djulbic who nodded it down and David Onoforo was positioned to knock it over the line. Andreas Oliveira extended Perth's advantage by latching on to a pass from Antonio Naglieri which the striker fired beyond Nick Stone's reach from just outside the 18-yard box. Robbie Puca was instrumental in Perth's attacks and midway through the half set-up Onoforo who shot wide, and minutes later Naglieri's effort was also off-target after good work on the right by David Micevski. Armadale were provided with a golden opportunity to equalise when awarded a penalty but Peter Taylor's powerful spot kick was kept out by Gareth Deeg. Perth continued to dominate play as Onoforo and Naglieri spurned chances to increase their tally. Armadale began the second half enthusiastically but found it difficult to penetrate their opponents' ever reliable backline. Their best chance came via Ben Rogers whose goalbound effort was cleared off the line by Michael Icanovski. But the game was ended as a contest in the 54th minute when Oliveira and Pottier combined with the former's cross being turned in by an unfortunate defender. Perth's fourth arrived not long after when Naglieri's explosive drive into a crowded goalmnouth was parried by the 'keeper and Oliveira stuck the ball in the net. With the final whistle looming, Oliveira played a long ball down the left and from 18-metres Onoforo slammed a brilliant half volley over the 'keeper and into the far top corner.
Bayswater City and Inglewood United shared eight goals with the former running out deserved 5-3 winners at Frank Drago Reserve. For the second successive week Bayswater were quick to assert influence over play with the midfield combination of Mark Lee and Stuart Fraser causing the opposing defence more than a few moments of concern. The hosts pressure was rewarded in the 15th minute when Lee's blistering free-kick from 25-metres caught Oliver Taseski off-guard for the game's opening goal. Following this Inglewood came into the game a little more but were unable to prise open a defence in which Michael Fillipou and Jason Lawton were faultless. On 31 minutes Bayswater were awarded a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box and this time Ross Barnes lofted it into the top corner and well beyond the reach of the goalkeeper. The introduction of Darren Broxton and Jason Colli at the break breathed new life into the Inglewood line-up and after a period of prolonged pressure Andre Sarpe's shot on the turn found the target to reduce the deficit after 61 minutes. The teams were level just two minutes later as Sarpe beat Francis Allen with a well placed shot from 13-metres. Bayswater's response was swift and decisive. Barnes was quick to seize upon a mix-up between Kevin Henderson and Taseski, and although his shot wasn't the greatest the ball still had the momentum to carry over the line. Bayswater's fourth arrived in the 66th minute when Igor Novakovic darted down the right before crossing to Andy O'Neill who made no mistake from close-range. The icing was put on Bayswater's cake with four minutes left as a header from man of the match Fraser came back off the upright and Cormac Dawson was positioned to put away the follow-up. The final goal arrived in stoppage with Sarpe cutting the ball back for Albert Osei-Tutu to net.
An impressive team effort earned Floreat Athena a 3-1 away win at the expense of E.C.U. Joondalup. Both sides started the game enthusiastically as play swung quickly from end to end. Not surprisingly it took only 12 minutes for the opening goal to arrive through Anthony Jones who powered his shot from 12-metres into the top corner following a fine cut back from brother Tom Jones. But the lead was to be short lived and just five minutes later John Mills timed his run to perfection by latching on to Jamie Trandos' pass which he coolly slid into the far corner from just inside the 18-yard box. Determined to go on with the job, Floreat struck again after 22 minutes when Stuart Banks miscued an attempt to clear John Migas' diagonal cross which then fell to Craig Simpson who beat goalkeeper Peter Stewart at the second attempt. Joondalup worked hard in their search for an equaliser but it was all to no avail as the visiting defence battened down the hatches. The tempo increased for the second half with Floreat dominating proceedings across the centre of the park. A great opportunity to kill of the game presented itself to Chris Socratous in the 54th minute but the youngster scuff his effort. However, seven minutes later the result was put beyond doubt after Costa Socratous cleverly switched play to Branimir Mikulic whose first time blast gave Stewart no chance at the near post. A constant menace wide on the right, Mikulic was denied ending the day with at least a couple more goals by some resolute defending and the frame of the goal. Defensively, the efforts of Adrian Sutton and Julian Madaschi made sure Joondalup's chances were kept to a minimum.
Swan I.C. left Dalmatinac Park with a hard-fought point after a 0-0 draw against Cockburn City. The return from injury of Trevor Hatton and Tony Cumace strengthened a visiting defence which spent much of the afternoon under the hammer. Both sides made a tentative start with Cockburn settling the better as Jason Dos Santos shot wide and John Mirco denied by a superb last ditch tackle from Danyal Bennett. The home team also had claims for a penalty waved away by referee Tom Klaver after Bennett seemingly brought Mirco down inside in the penalty area. Jeremy Chiron tested goalkeeper Cory Hugo from long-range as Cockburn's dominance continued, then a marginal offside call halted Mirco as latched on to a Chiron pass and headed goalward. Swan didn't venture forward with any conviction until midway through the period when Scott Campbell's free-kick was headed narrowly high by Damian Scali. But it was the hosts who were the more dangerous and Hugo saved well from Mirco and Chiron to keep things scoreless at the break. The dismissal of captain Shane McNally ten minutes into the second half would have damped most teams spirits, but not Cockburn as Mirco tried his luck from distance. Playing with an extra man, it was only now that Swan began to get into the game as Damien Catalano called Alan Dunlop into action, and Paul Baczynski's searching pass put Paul Lincoln through only for Dean Wallace's well executed challenge to save the day for Cockburn. The game was now end-to-end as both teams sought the advantage. Chances came the way of Mark Pagiarulo and Gary Faria for Cockburn while at the other end Lincoln, David Perich and Catalano went close for the visitors before the final whistle.
Stirling Lions moved off the foot of the Premier League table after beating fellow strugglers Fremantle City 2-0 at Macedonia Park. It was a tentative start by both teams who were out to strengthen their bid to remain in the top flight. The first genuine chance came the way of Fremantle on the half hour when Kevin Correia broke free of Mark Donnelly but sent his shot wide. The deadlock wasn't broken until just before half-time when Daniel Brown played the ball down the left for Jake Harman who fended off Craig Surtees as he raced through and knocked the ball past goalkeeper Bobson Koroma. Fremantle began the search for an equaliser in the second half with Peter Vukmirovich walking his way through the home defence and shooting past Ken Ftynogiannis only to have Donnelly clear the danger off the line. Minutes later Vukmirovich tried a shot from outside the 18-yard box which Ftynogiannis did well to keep out. Boima Karpeh wrong-footed Donnelly wide on the right to send a tantalising in which somehow eluded all inside the area. The margin was very nearly doubled via an Aaron McKee free-kick from just outside the box which flew under the defensive wall and narrowly wide on 68 minutes. Fremantle were determined to get back on level terms and in the 82nd minute when Correia turned provider with a cross from the right which found Jason Barrera who slid the ball wide of the upright. The result was put beyond doubt in the 87th minute via a neat exchange between McKee and Leo Harman in which the former slotted the ball through the Fremantle defence and Jake Harman did the rest by calmly sending it underneath Koroma.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND SIXTEEN (Balcatta vs Dianella White Eagles by Martin Swann; South West Phoenix vs Mandurah City courtesy South West Phoenix; Gosnells City vs Queens Park courtesy Gosnells City)
Wanneroo City moved another step closer towards securing the First Division title after defeating Bassendean Caledonian 2-1 at Kingsway Sporting Complex. Bassendean made it clear from the outset that they meant business by getting quickly into stride and mounting a number of promising early attacks. By contrast it took Wanneroo until the 29th minute to threaten through Craig Cheesman who placed wide from close-range. With that chance the hosts sparked into life and shortly after Phil O'Callaghan headed down to Ben Yates who was allowed the time and space to place his shot wide of Kevin Miller for the opening goal. Stuart Collins and Andy Brown went close to doubling the margin before the break and the pressure continued into the new half as Scott Bulloch and Cheesman were denied. However, the game was far from over as Rydeen Botha forced a fine save from Darren Williams and Jason Van Rooy crashed the follow-up into the post. With six minutes left the visitors broke through via a terrific free-kick from 16-metres by substitute Matt Novatsis. There more than a touch of luck in the deciding goal which arrived shortly after when Stuart Collins' cross took a deflection off a defender and landed perfectly for Andy Brown to ram it over the line from 2-metres.
Seven points behind Wanneroo are Balcatta who ran out 3-0 winners over Dianella White Eagles at Graham Burkett Reserve. There were good opportunities created at both ends of the park in the opening ten minutes with Dianella looking the more likely to score. The visitors did find the back of the net early through Stefan Smiljanic but his effort was disallowed for a teammates' transgression at a free-kick. Balcatta fired up and within five minutes of each other Adrian Caloiero and David Moschilla failed to convert one-on-one's with the goalkeeper. The game swung Balcatta's way when Dejan Djukanovic retaliated to a challenge from Daniel Carlino and was subsequently shown a red card. The deadlock was broken on 52 minutes when a Carlino corner picked out Adam Rains whose thunderous header crashed into the net. Before Dianella could respond Moschilla played through to Rains who made no mistake with only Anthony Mori to beat. With twelve minutes left Dianella went close via a long-range strike from Dragan Njegic that hit the post. Then it was Balcatta's turn to go down to ten men with Carlino dismissed for a second yellow card. Four minutes from the end Tony Paolino's long ball found Moschilla who chipped the 'keeper and secured the points.
Mandurah City defeated South West Phoenix 4-2 at Bunbury's Soccerdrome in the second meeting between the club in eight days. Spectators had hardly time to settle into their seats when Christian Paschewitz shot past goalkeeper Reece Braithwaite from 8-metres amid appeals for handball. Not to be outdone, Phoenix responded within four minutes as James Anderson's low cross into the area was half-volleyed in by Paddy Quinn. This sparked the hosts into life and they would have increased their advantage if not for the shot-stopping abilities of Mike Green. A neat move down the right which opened up the Mandurah defence on 25 minutes brought greater reward as youngster James Monks slotted in from 10-metres. It was all square again seven minutes from the interval as Paschewitz seized upon confusion in the defence to beat Braithwaite from close-range. The second half was a dour affair with plenty of endeavour shown by both sides but few genuine chances created. Mandurah got the vital go-ahead goal in 73rd minutes through Graeme Matthews who toe-poked in after collecting a clever back-heel from Michael Bobridge. And five minutes later the game was put beyond the hosts reach as Matthews fired a low shot past Braithwaite.
Rockingham City's second trip to Hartfield Park this year produced a 3-2 win over Forrestfield United. The early signs were encouraging for the visiting team with an early Alex Smith header coming back off the post. Rob Crerar squandered a great chance to put Rockingham ahead via the penalty spot, but shortly after he made amends by combining with Glen Hallums whose cut back was converted at close-range by Craig Donelle. Forrestfield responded by holding court for an extended period and late in the half conjured up an equalising goal as Roger Miron's cut back was met by Dennis Lee whose first time strike flashed past Craig Olenjik. The second half commenced with Rockingham back in control and they deserved went ahead through Paul Colkin who slotted into an empty net from an acute angle. Once again Forrestfield's never say die attitude came to the fore and a well worked free-kick was lashed in from the edge of the 18-yard box by Craig Ruthven. The game threatened to boil over following some over zealous challenges from both teams. This served to fire Rockingham up and with eight minutes remaining Glen Hallums made the most of a one-on-one with the 'keeper to secure victory for the away team.
Gosnells City fended off a resilient Queens Park 4-2 at Walter Padbury Reserve. The hosts were quickly on to the front foot with Adam Bremner hitting the frame of the goal inside a minute and several good chances came the way of Andy Daffin. The referee hesitated not a moment in pointing to spot on 20 minutes when Ian Maguire was sent crashing to the turf, and Andy Giles made no mistake with the resultant penalty. It was two-nil just four minutes later as Adam Bremner whipped in an inch perfect cross for Brian Cairney who volleyed past the goalkeeper. Queens Park reduced the deficit before the break via a penalty awarded for handball. And parity was restored early in the second half when the home defence failed to clear a deep cross which was scrambled over the line. Gosnells were lucky to keep all eleven men on the field after 'keeper Jayson Mehnert brought down the Queens Park striker. This served as a wake-up call for the home side and in the best move of the game Ian Maguire delivered a great cross that Cairney headed in with twenty minutes to go. Victory wasn't secured until late in the game when Giles put away his second spot kick of the afternoon.
Kingsway Olympic bounced back from last weekend's big loss by defeating Morley Windmills 3-1 at Kingsway Sporting Complex. The home team made their intentions clear with a concerted focus on attack during a first half which they dominated. A well-weighted pass from Andy Stefanovski set-up Scott Evans to fire past the goalkeeper with 32 minutes played. Six minutes later it was Evans again, this time with a right-foot effort from 25-metres that dipped into the bottom corner of the goal. The win was secured five minutes into the second half via Steve Dimitrovich's dipping free-kick struck from outside the 18-yard box. With half an hour to play Morley brought Ryan Fitzgerald off the bench with great effect. The match swung in the visitors favour as they mounted wave after wave of attack and increasingly forced Kingsway on to the defensive. Shortly after his introduction Fitzgerald showed great composure in slotting the ball past the goalkeeper to give his side a glimmer of hope. And although several opportunities were presented for Morley to further reduce the deficit but it wasn't to be and Kingsway took out three valuable points in the battle to avoid relegation.
Canning City ran out 2-0 winners over home team Ashfield. Ross Posthuma gave Canning the advantage after 27 minutes with Paul Oliver netted their second in the 62nd minute. Further details of this match weren't forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
MATILDA'S BACK FROM ASIAN ADVENTURE
The Australian women's team has returned home from a whirlwind visit to Asia. The Matilda's hectic schedule saw them play six games against the likes of China, Japan and Korea in the space of fourteen days. The tour served as preparation for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup and 2008 Olympic Games, both of which will be held in China. Flying the flag for Western Australia were Collette McCallum and Lisa De Vanna who featured in each of the sides' six outings.
The national team commenced their trip with a 1-2 friendly loss to club side Tianjin F.C. whose line-up included whose side included five internationals. Although both sides created some good first half opportunities, it wasn't until the 65th minute that the deadlock was broken via substitute Leah Blayney with a superb shot from the edge of the 18-yard box. Ten minutes later Tianjin struck an equaliser after goalkeeper Lydie Williams fumbled a high-ball which was then knocked in from close-range. The home team found the lead just two minutes later when a breakaway attack was slotted past Williams from the edge of the box. McCallum came on at half-time with De Vanna introduced on 66 minutes.
A last gasp goal gave the Matildas a historic 2-1 win over China in the first competitive match on Saturday 16th July. A superb cross by McCallum allowed Kate Gill to open the scoring from close-range in the 27th minute. De Vanna, Leah Blayney and Jo Peters all had attempts on goal blocked before China equalised on the hour through a near post header by T.Ji. The match appeared destined for a draw until Peters' free-kick from 20-metres flew inside the far post three minutes into stoppage time. De Vanna and McCallum were both in the started line-up and replaced in the 60th and 76th minutes respectively.
China avenged that loss three days later with a 2-0 defeat of the Matildas at the Tianjin Minyuan Stadium. Played in humid and wet conditions, Australia was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet with Alicia Ferguson and Peters both hitting the bar in the first half. China scoring their first goal late in the opening period when Y.Zhang fired in from the edge of the penalty area. The margin was increased eleven minutes after the interval when D.Han scored with a close-range header. McCallum played a full game with De Vanna coming off with twenty minutes remaining.
The Matildas forfeited a two-goal lead in losing 2-4 to Japan in Tokyo on Saturday 23rd July. Australia made a bright start with De Vanna putting away their first goal on 14 minutes, and nine minutes later Peters converted from the penalty spot after a foul on De Vanna. Japan struck back almost immediately with Yuki Nagasato nodding home a close-range header. Two minutes from the break Japan equalised through Shinobu Ohno, and sixty seconds later Nagasato grabbed her second. The sealer arrived on 67 minutes with Tomoe Sakai the scorer. De Vanna played the opening 67 minutes while McCallum was replaced on 83 minutes.
A scoreless draw with Korea was the outcome of Australia's fifth game in twelve days. The Matilda's made a positive start to the two-game series with Sarah Walsh and Peters sending shots narrowly wide of the target during the first half. Australia's best chance came three minutes after the interval when Peters' shot hit the upright, while down the opposite end Melissa Barbieri tipped a long-range strike onto the crossbar. McCallum saw out the full 90 minutes in midfield, while De Vanna came on in the 62nd minute as replacement for Walsh.
Australia's final game of the tour ended in a 0-3 loss to Korea in Jeonju. In slippery conditions Korea opened the scoring after 56 minutes courtesy of a close-range header. Two further goals in quick succession seemingly put the game beyond Australia's reach. However, the Matildas refused to give up and were twice denied goals by the offside flag with De Vanna and Gill the unlucky players. De Vanna was introduced in the 53rd minute, and McCallum came off the bench five minutes later.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
With six games remaining the title race is down to two - Perth S.C. and Sorrento. Armadale were on the receiving end of a 0-5 thrashing from Perth who head the table on goal difference. Sorrento scored a late decider to take out a spiteful clash with Western Knights by 2-1. Ross Barnes netted twice as Bayswater City toppled an inconsistent Inglewood United 5-3. Floreat Athena did their hopes of a top four finish the world of good by defeating E.C.U. Joondalup 3-1. Cockburn City and Swan I.C. played out a scoreless draw at Dalmatinac Park. Two goals from Jake Harman earned Stirling Lions a 2-2 win over Fremantle City who slipped to last place on the table.
In the First Division, Wanneroo City took another step towards promotion when they beat Bassendean Caledonian 2-1. Balcatta's 3-0 home defeat of Dianella White Eagles keeps them second but still seven points adrift of the leader. South West Phoenix went down 2-4 at home to Mandurah City for whom Graeme Matthews and Christian Paschewitz each scored twice. Forrestfield United lost 2-3 on home soil to Rockingham City. Gosnells City's 4-2 win over Queens Park pretty much assures their place in next season's First Division. Canning City picked up their third successive win by defeating Ashfield 2-0. And there's still life in Kingsway Olympic who scored a 3-1 win over Morley Windmills.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
There are some important match-ups in tomorrow’s round of Premier League fixtures with the biggest being Western Knights against Sorrento at Nash Field. The pair battling it out for the title with Perth S.C. and the result of this match could go a long way to deciding who lifts the trophy come September. The pressure is equally on Perth who are looking to put some inconsistent results behind them when they play Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval.
It’s make or break time for Stirling Lions and Fremantle City who meet at Macedonia Park. The sides are locked together at the foot of the table and victory tomorrow could provide one with the psychological edge needed to pull clear. Cockburn City host Swan I.C. who are perilously close to getting sucked into that relegation battle. E.C.U. Joondalup are home to Floreat Athena, while Bayswater City welcome Inglewood United to Frank Drago Reserve.
First Division leader Wanneroo City are expected to stretch their unbeaten run to fifteen games with a home victory against Bassendean Caledonian. And anything less than maximum points for Balcatta over Dianella White Eagles could end their slim title hopes. Going to battle for the second time in eight days are South West Phoenix and Mandurah City who meet at Bunbury's Soccerdrome. Forrestfield United play Rockingham City at Hartfield Park.
Gosnells City can go a long way to ensuring their place in next season's second tier by claiming a home win over Queens Park who look certain to be relegated. Olympic Kingsway have slipped into the drop zone and host a Morley Windmills side that's hit unanswered nine goals in the past couple of weeks. Ashfield and Canning City are both coming off morale boosting wins and go head-to-head at Ashfield Reserve. Stirling Suns have the bye.
FOOTBALL WEST COMPETITION REVIEW
Football West would like to hear from you. The local governing body is conducting a review of their league and cup structures and are actively seeking the feedback of all who involved in the game. A number of documents have been posted to the Football West website with the aim of eliciting discussion in this area. We encourage all players, coaches, administrators and supporters of the local game to visit the Competition Review for 2006 Season and contact the association with your thoughts and ideas. Football West require written feedback be received by 5.00pm on Friday 12th August, 2005.
FOOTBALL EMBRACES NAIDOC WEEK
NAIDOC Week was celebrated with a day-long tournament at Forrest Park in Mount Lawley yesterday. The National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Celebration aims to promote a greater understanding of Australia’s Indigenous peoples and their cultures. “The idea to include football in this year’s program was to give the Indigenous kids a chance to embrace the world game,” explained John O’Connell, who was assisted in organising the tournament by Joe Collard and Jeremy Garlett.
“We had kids from primary and secondary schools participating from Kent Street, Bentley, Hamilton Hill, South Fremantle, Kensington, Lynwood, Forrestfield and a few others,” continued O’Connell. “Hopefully we created opportunities for Indigenous kids to continue playing the game, and maybe even open the door on a future career path if they’re good enough. The day was run in conjunction with Aboriginal community groups and had the support of the Town of Vincent and Perth S.C.”
GLORY GIVE CHANCE TO LOCAL GUNS
A new a training program for the state's brightest prospects should enable Perth Glory to increase their quote of local talent. The A-League club have asked State League coaches to put forward the names of their best young players who'll be invited to join a Glory training program in an effort to boost WA representation in the squad. Just eight of Glory's current twenty players have played in the local competition. But Glory technical manager Mich d'Avray acknowledged the club's need to build a better relationship with local clubs and hoped the latest initiative would be a step in the right direction.
The plan is for the young players, who must be under the age of twenty, to train with Glory at least once a week. "Mich has contacted the Football West clubs requesting they nominate players to join him for weekly training," explained Glory's chief executive officer Jeff Dennis. "Our intention is to assist the development of young players and enable them to step up to A-League standard. We are required to have three players under twenty on our roster and our preference is to develop local players." Players who prove to be good enough could be signed by the club for next season.
Four of the State League's most talented youngsters - David Micevski (Perth S.C.), Darryl Platten (Armadale), Tim de Souza (Fremantle City) and Brodie Martin (Sorrento) - were the first to test the scheme yesterday. Sorrento coach Trevor Morgan said it was not easy to recommend players because of the subjective nature of the game. "Football is a game of opinions and the best way for Perth Glory to identify the players suitable for them is to come out and watch the local games," Morgan said. Graham Normanton, coach of Perth, believed several local players were capable of playing at A-League level.
THE BEST FOOD IS AT DORRIEN GARDENS
The football family has given a big tick of approval to Perth S.C. for the refreshments on offer at Dorrien Gardens. Over 350 votes were cast in last weeks footballwa.net poll that questioned 'Which club has the best snacks?' Perth emerged as the most popular choice with an impressive 19.6% of the count, and were followed closely by recently promoted Armadale who came in with 15.4%. Competition for third spot was red hot as Floreat Athena (9.9%) edged out Western Knights (9.5%) and Sorrento (9.3%).
HALL OF FAME TICKETS ON SALE
Tickets are now available for the Football Hall of Fame WA's gala induction ceremony being held at the Novotel Langley Hotel on Saturday 29th October. This prestigious event promises to be one of the highlights of the footballing year in WA and will honour some of the major contributors to the State's rich history of the game. The $100 ticket price includes a sumptuous three-course dinner, a lavish collector's item programme, entertainment and the opportunity to mingle with some of football's greats and celebrity guests. There will also be the chance to purchase some highly-prized memorabilia at an auction.
Over twenty former players, coaches, administrator and referees will be inducted into the Football Hall of Fame WA, which changed its name from the WA Soccer Hall of Fame in order to join the Australia-wide switch to using the world-wide name of football to describe the code in this country. This will be the third induction ceremony into the Hall of Fame, which became the first to be established in Australia in 1996. It encompasses the Hall of Champions for players and the Hall of Recognition for coaches, administrators, referees and others.
Adding to an historic night will be the first induction into the newly-formed Hall of Legends, an exclusive category which will celebrate the achievements of some of WA's remarkable champion players by elevating them to legendary status. It promises to be a memorable and exciting evening ‹ and tickets will be much in demand. Tickets are available by contacting either John O'Connell on 0413 973846 (email email@example.com) or Barbara Gibson on 0429 943830 (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
A-LEAGUE EXCITES TARKA
Australian international David Tarka is more determined than ever to take part in Perth Glory's first A-League match after being caught up in the hype of yesterday's kit unveiling in Sydney. Tarka, who is in rehabilitation after hamstring surgery, said it was impossible to escape a feeling that the A-League will take the game to new heights. "There was a huge response and heaps of hype. It was awesome," said Tarka, who returned from England to be part of a new era for the game in Australia.
"Football Australia have done everything they can," he added. "They've put a lot of money into this and it's basically up to the fans now, and how the clubs get the fans to the games. Obviously, the league used to be in a bad state and you can understand people not coming out to watch the games. But this is going to be much better. It's going to be faster, more exciting. It's going to be a different game, almost. There's no excuses now."
Although he'll play not part in Glory's pre-season Cup campaign, Tarka remains optimistic that he could yet be available for the round one A-League home clash against Central Coast Mariner on 26th August. "I'm hoping I can play in the first game but I've got to be realistic," he said. "I see the surgeon on the 6th of August, so I'll know a bit more after that." Tarka's pre-season was curtailed in April when he suffered a knee injury during a friendly with Armadale.
SCHOOLBOYS ON THE MARK (by Peter Simcox)
Everything is on track for a successful national championship by the State Schoolboys. The squad defeated a Stirling Lions youth combination 3-2 this evening at Macedonia Park much to the delight of the coaching staff. “This was our best performance to date,” said team manger Neil Alweyn. “The squad is gelling together well both on and off the pitch. We created plenty of chances tonight, which is a major positive, and we controlled play for about 90% of the game. The only down side was that we conceded two soft goals. All in all, it was a good lead-up performance with Cairns now just three weeks away.”
The Schoolboys were quick out of the blocks with Steve Hesketh and Goce Dilevski firing wide and Andy Pomfret denied by Mark Bentley inside ten minutes. Goce Dilevski was causing all sorts of problems down the left with his pace and a fine cross to David Houston saw him shoot wide. Their persistence was rewarded on the half hour when Pomfret netted from the penalty spot after Houston’s shot was handled on the line by a defender. The one-sided nature of the match continued with Houston, Stuart Hartman and Dilevski all going close for the representative team. It was against the run of play that the Lions equaised three minutes from the break through Ludovic Boi’s shot on the run.
Minutes into the second half Dilevski fired low past Bentley to put the Schoolboys back in front. Brendan Ross increased that lead not long after by pouncing on a poor back pass and beating the goalkeeper. Further opportunities came the way of Ross, Pomfret and Houston all of which failed to trouble Bentley. A good move involving Scott Paterson and Daniel Simcox down the right saw the latter’s cross turned narrowly wide by Ross. With seven minutes remaining the Lions pegged back the margin when good work from Ricky Filicamo saw him swerve past a defender and squirt a low shot under goalkeeper Jason O’Bryne which Matthew Italiano tapped in at the back post.
GLORY UNVEIL NEW KIT (courtesy Perth Glory)
Perth Glory’s playing kit for the inaugural A-League season was unveiled today and the first recipient of the new shirt was young fan, Brodie Reeves. Defender David Tarka travelled to Sydney for the national launch of the A-League kits, appearing alongside representatives from all of the other clubs in the new competition. Glory will don their new playing kit for the first time when they kick-off the new domestic season against Central Coast Mariners on 26th August.
Closer to home, the first Glory shirt of the new era was presented to young Reeves by one of his favourite players, Scott Miller. Reeves tragically lost his mother in a car accident last month and Miller had since visited the 5-year old in hospital. "Brodie and his family have been big supporters of the Glory for a long time and obviously we were very sad to hear about what they have all gone through recently," Miller said. "The new shirt certainly looks very smart and Brodie seemed really pleased with it so it was good for us to be able to put a smile on his face."
GOALS! GOALS! GOALS!
Competition is intense for the 2005 Golden Boot award. Currently going goal for goal in the Premier League are Andreas Oliveira (Perth S.C.) and Stuart Montgomery (Western Knights) who’ve netted 13 goals each. And hot on their heels is David Onoforo (Perth) whose found the target 11 times so far this winter. Kevin Correia (Fremantle City) has 9 goals to his credit, one more than Branimir Mikulic (Floreat Athena) and Sorrento teammates Jared Love and Todd Harnwell. Completing the front-runners for the annual award with 7 goals are Eugene Singeorzan (Floreat), Steve McDonald (Sorrento) and Darren Kingston (Armadale).
A goalscoring purple patch has allowed South West Phoenix striker Steve Suttie to break away in the race for the First Division’s leading scorer award. Suttie’s 20 goals has him out in front of Wanneroo City’s Scott Bulloch whose tally stands at 15 goals. Rydeen Botha (Bassendean Caledonain) is placed third with 13 goals which is one more than Christian Paschewitz of Mandurah City. On 11 goals is David Moschilla (Balcatta), while Glen Hallums (Rockingham City) and Adam Rains (Balcatta) have 9 goals apiece. Ryan Jeans (Bassendean) and Stefan Smiljanic (Dianella White Eagles) have each netted 8 goals so far this season.
HOLMES SCORES STAMFORD SILVERWARE (courtesy Swan I.C.)
Former Swan I.C. attacker Elton Holmes has made a flying start to his time with English non-League outfit Stamford Town. The 27-year old scored the deciding penalty in the Daniels 3-1 shoot-out win over local rival Grantham to claim the Marge Freeston Memorial Trophy on Tuesday evening. The game was just Holmes’ third appearance for the club and the trophy their first under newly appointed coach Graham Drury.
Holmes is hopeful of earning a regular spot in the Stamford side who’ll spent the coming season in the Southern League Division One East. “I’ve signed on and are battling it out for a place in a squad of about twenty-four at the moment,” he said. “The club was relegated from the Premier League last season and are optimistic of returning to that level. The manager from last season left after the club was relegated and his replacement, Graham Drury, has totally changed the side with only three or four players left from last season.”
While he admits there’s still some way to go, Holmes feels he’s adjusting to the pace of the game in England. “Train as you play is the motto over here,” he said. “Our trainer, Andy Drummond, is a fully qualified coach and his sessions are brilliant, all ball work and no running. The first touch has to be good - I’ve had to improve in that department - and speed of thought must be quick - and I’m still working on that. The manager has confidence in me and people are quick to let you know if you’re slacking off.”
Holmes, who’s already landed the nickname ‘Ozzie’, says he’s settling comfortably into life in England with wife Amy and son Rhys. However, there are a few things he’s already missing about living in Perth. “As it’s summer here now and it’s fairly warm I would have to say I miss the beaches and definitely air conditioning. Also, not seeing friends and family hurts a bit, and the ice cold beer after a hard game.”
FRESH START FOR PETKOVIC
Australian international Michael Petkovic has signed a two-year contract with Turkish Super League newcomer Sivasspor. The move brings to a close a highly successful stint with Trabzonspor where he carved out a reputation as one of Turkey’s best shot-stoppers. Petkovic made close to one hundred appearances over three seasons in which Trabzonspor won two Turkish Cups and were twice runner-up in the Super League.
MRDJA WOULD LIKE HAT-TRICK “EVERYGAME”
A Nick Mrdja hat-trick was the cornerstone for Central Coast Mariners 3-1 defeat of Queensland Roar in their opening pre-season Cup fixture yesterday. Two first half goals and another in the second from the former Perth Glory striker sealed victory for the Mariners. “I wish I could do that every game,” said Mrdja following the final whistle. “The important thing is that the team is winning games. At the end of the day, it’ll say on the scoresheet that I scored three goals, but you have to look at how everyone contributed to them as well.”
Mrdja’s spree began in the 22nd minute when he swept home a loose ball from a John Hutchinson corner. Eighteen minutes later Mrdja doubled his sides lead with a neat right foot tap in at the near post from a Tom Pondeljak. The second half began much like the first for the Mariners and Mrdja completed his haul fourteen minutes after the break by putting away a delightful through ball from Pondeljak. It’s Mrdja’s second hat-trick since joining the Mariners, his other three-goal haul being against Adelaide United in May’s semi-finals of the Club World Championship.
WOMEN'S WRAP (Queens Park vs Northern Redbacks courtesy Northern Redbacks; Balcattavs East Fremantle courtesy Balcatta; Noranda vs Kingsley courtesy Kingsley; Mandurah City vs Rockingham City courtesy Mandurah City; Beckenham Angels vs Gosnells City courtesy Gosnells City; Subiaco United vs Bassendean Caledonian courtesy Subiaco United; University of WA vs Swan I.C. courtesy Swan I.C.)
A 4-0 win to Northern Redbacks was a fair indication of their dominance over Queens Park in the top of the table clash at Coker park. It was a frenetic opening to a physical game in which the visitors bagged three first half goals. Jessica Pilcher put away the Redbacks first, Candice Townsend increased the difference with thunderbolt from 35-metres, and Nicola Williams was presented with a simple tap in effectively secure victory. The pace didn't alter after the break as both sides created some good goalscoring opportunities with Queens Park having a shot cleared off the line. However, the only goal of the period came via Tanya Oxtoby who headed in following a corner.
Balcatta moved into second place, six points adrift of the Redbacks, after thumping East Fremantle 5-0 at Graham Burkett Reserve. From the start it was clear that Balcatta meant business and within a minute of the opening whistle Gemma Langley had them in front. Several chances went begging before a searching pass from Elisa D'Ovidio found Katy Coglan who made no mistake in netted after 22 minutes. Langley headed in a corner from Lindsey Jobling three minutes later to, and in the 29th minute a surging run from midfield by D'Ovidio saw her notch up Balcatta's fourth goal. The sides' fifth and final goal arrived shortly after when Langley completed her hat-trick with a perfectly placed header.
Fresh from a 4-0 mid-week defeat of Subiaco United, Kingsley stormed home 6-0 over Noranda at Noranda Sporting Complex. After failing to convert a handful of early opportunities Kingsley finally broke through via Jo Oliver who was on hand to tap in a cross from Maria Turner. A Sally Saniger corner was headed down by Katie McGrath to Adele Coxall who calmly slotted in the visitors second goal. Sanigar further widened the gap following a neat exchange with Lisa Higgins through midfield. A trademark Sanigar free-kick from distance midway through the second half was followed by Audrey Williams' powerful left-foot drive from just inside the penalty area. The scoring was made complete by Sanigar's third goal five minutes from full-time.
Mandurah City took out a spiteful derby clash 1-0 at Bortolo Park which was shortened to 70 minutes at the 'request' of Rockingham City. Rockingham's rough house tactics made it clear exactly what their intentions were from the outset. To their credit Mandurah rose above the physical nature of the game by playing some good football which had their opponents chasing shadows. The only goal scored was by Melanie Loreto who weaved her way past a couple of defenders before spearing her shot through the goalkeeper's hands. Mandurah were unfortunate not to double their lead in the second half when Loreto was through with only the 'keeper to beat but crashed her shot into the post.
Beckenham Angels were 3-1 too strong for Gosnells City at Mills Park Sports Complex where all four goals were scored in the second half. While Gosnells made a promising start, Beckenham's greater mobility and experience proved to be the major difference between these local rivals on the day. Much of the home teams attacking drive came from wide on the left from where Lizzy Scott provided an endless supply of ammunition for her teammates. Melissa Spillman worked hard in setting up opportunities for Gosnells whose sole goal was a penalty converted by Lisa Tomnay close to the final whistle.
In cool conditions at Rosalie Park, Subiaco United's first half dominance earned a 4-0 win over Bassendean Caledonian. Leading the way in attack for the hosts was Cindy Morgan who bagged her third hat-trick of the season with some slick finishing. Rhiannon Furr was the scorer of Subiaco's other goal when she was presented with an open goal and the ball at her feet. Having adjusted their defence at the break, Bassendean came into the game more in a second half that produced limited opportunities for either side. Subiaco's sixth win of the campaign puts them in contention for a finish in the top half of the table.
Murdoch University went down 1-3 to visiting Lynwood Colts. Lynwood opened the scoring after 20 minutes when Danielle Brown's shot was blocked by the goalkeeper and another Lynwood player was there to put away the follow-up. The Murdoch defence found themselves under all the pressure but terrific work from Petrina Brewer and Hilde Halvorsen prevented any further scoring before the break. Murdoch struck back early in the second half when Tash Darlow's header was blocked by the 'keeper and Jo Steer poked in at close-range. Just as Murdoch were looking to get the go ahead goal Lynwood struck their second very much against the run of play. Murdoch sealed the win five minutes from the end through a fantastic solo goal.
In a match much closer than the scoreline suggests, University of WA defeated the visitors of Swan I.C. 6-3. Swan twice went close to going ahead early on through Jamie Blake before UWA bagged the opener via a lethal counter-attack. The margin was increased on 19 minutes when a UWA attacker rifled a long-range shot over the goalkeeper. It wasn't long after that Swan pulled a goal back through Blake, and seven minutes from the break Tania Bonser levelled the game. Goals either side of the break gave UWA a handy buffer before Blake flashed in Swan's third. The final margin blew out courtesy of two late UWA goals.
Northern Redbacks beat Balga 1-0 at Rickman Delawney Reserve. Further details of this game wasn't forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND FIFTEEN (Perth S.C. vs Swan I.C. by Peter Simcox; Sorrento vs Stirling Lions by Elliott Leonard; Bayswater City vs Cockburn City courtesy Bayswater City)
Swan I.C. had few answers as Perth S.C. stormed to a 6-0 victory in the traditional derby at Dorrien Gardens. An even spell saw Jeff Bright's long-range effort tipped over the crossbar by Cory Hugo, while down the opposite end a Tom Shepheard header was kept out by Gareth Deeg. Perth opened their account in the 13th minute after great approach work from Robbie Puca and David Onoforo which allowed Andreas Oliveira to tuck his low shot past Hugo. Swan then spurned two good chances to equalise as David Foster shot wide when well placed and Damien Catalano found space in the box but couldn't sent the ball past Deeg. Through superb movement of the ball Perth were able to up the tempo as Oliveira, David Micevski and Onoforo all went close to adding a second to their sides tally. Perth coach Graham Normanton earned the wrath of Jeremy Oliphant in the 37th minute when he was 'sent off' following a heated exchange with one of the assistant referee's. This made little difference to the home side and minutes later Dino Djulbic headed in a Micevski corner to double their advantage. Perth continued on to carve open the visitors after the break with Jeff Bright and Micevski combining eight minutes in for Onoforo to bag goal number three. The defensive wall did it's job in the 62nd minute by blocking Antonio Naglieri's free-kick, but Puca was on to the rebound in an instant to further increased the gap. The result was beyond doubt by this stage and the only question remaining was how many would Perth score. In 68th minute Puca cut in from the left to slam a low shot under the body of Hugo at the near post. Onoforo and Oliveira each went close before Puca beat two defenders then laying the ball off to Onoforo net the sides sixth and final goal.
Sorrento continue to share top spot with Perth following a hard-fought 2-1 defeat of Stirling Lions at Percy Doyle Reserve. Although this game pitted top against bottom, it was far from the one-sided affair many had expected with both teams turning in solid performances. The Lions wasted no time in hitting top gear and with less than a minute played had the lead as Goce Dilevski laid the ball off to Ian Griffiths who rocketed it past Neil Young from the top of the 18-yard box. Sorrento twice went close to levelling in quick succession as Jared Love's chip over goalkeeper Ken Ftynogiannis hit the crossbar, and David McGeown's powerful drive from just outside the area ended narrowly wide of the upright. Stefan Stoleski should have increased the hosts advantage in the 34th minute but he failed to connect with an inch-perfect Griffiths cross, while desperate defending denied both Stoleski and Steven Hicks in the minutes before half-time. A revitalised Sorrento came out for the new half and immediately set about taking the game up to their opponent. It took just ten minutes for the equaliser to arrive through Danny Cain's long ball into the area where Steven McDonald headed down to Glen Thomas who blasted the ball past Ftynogiannis. Sorrento continued to pile on the pressure with Simon Harland sending a header wide and Love's neat flick met with the same result. On 74 minutes a goalline clearance by Paul Dickson prevented Love from getting the go-ahead goal. However, the hosts weren't about to give up and a few minutes later Simon Harland seized upon a poor clearance and crossed to the back post where Love slammed the ball into the back of the net to decide the game.
Inglewood United made the most of their chances to take out an error-riddled match with Floreat Athena 3-0 at the Kiev Sports Ground. The home team opened their account ten minutes after the opening whistle when Kevin Griffiths burst down the right and centred to Andre Sarpe whose superb lay-off was flashed across goalkeeper Vas Vujacic and inside the far past by Albert Osei-Tutu. Six minutes Vujacic prevented the gap from widening by keeping out an explosive drive by Louis Parkinson. Floreat took a long time to get into gear and the early loss of Bajo Savic only made matters worse. Their first opening presented on 31 minutes but Adam Bachillor's rasping effort didn't trouble Oliver Taseski, and shortly after Eugene Singeorzan should have done better than shoot wide from the top of the 18-yard box. These misses would prove costly as six minutes from the break Parkinson rifled into the net from 5-metres after good work from Osei-Tutu which opened up the Floreat defence and left Vujacic exposed. Attacks that broke down within sight of goal characterised a second half in which neither team was able to assert much influence over the pattern of play. Things looked on the up midway through the period when Sarpe hit the post and Inglewood were denied what appeared a clear penalty for Jamie Trandos' push on Shaun Kilkelly, but just as quickly as the spark appeared, it disappeared. The result was put beyond doubt with ten minutes to go by Sarpe who cleverly flicked the ball the last defender which he then slotted past the 'keeper. The nearest Floreat came to scoring was a minute later when Rory Mouttet's attempted clearance from a speculative Stephen Guest shot hit the crossbar. Osei-Tutu should have taken the hosts tally to four goals but having gone past the 'keeper he mis-kicked with an open goal at his mercy.
Bayswater City ensured their position in the top flight beyond this season with a 4-1 defeat of Cockburn City at Frank Drago Reserve. The ball had been in motion just 2 minutes when the home side made their intentions clear through Mark Lee whose blistering shot from 25-metres hit the inside of the post and crossed the line after ricocheting off the diving body of Alan Dunlop. Determined to gone on with the job Bayswater pressed forward in numbers only to be let down by some less than average finishing. They were made it pay in the 20th minute when Liam Lilly brought Cockburn back into the contest with a stunning volley from the top of the 18-yard box. Bayswater could have reclaimed the upper hand before the lead when Ross Barnes sent Andy O'Neill through on goal but the lively attacker shot wide much to the disappointment of the home supporters. In the period immediately after the break Bayswater played some of their best football of the season as they piled on three goals in twenty minutes to kill off the game. An in-swinging corner by Lee from the right was met by Stuart Fraser whose powerful header from distance arrowed into the top corner. Lee's surging run down the right culminated in a deep cross to Igor Novakovic whose centring header found Ross Barnes who confidently nodded it past the Cockburn custodian. The margin blew out to three goals in the 64th minute as O'Neill's header squeezed between Dunlop and his near post following a fine delivery by Barnes. With the points safe, Bayswater eased off the pace and allowed the visitors back into the game but if truth be told Cockburn rarely troubled the home defence over the closing stages.
E.C.U. Joondalup scored a dramatic late equaliser to snatch a 3-3 draw with Fremantle City at Ken Allen Reserve. The games first real opening arrived on 11 minutes when Boima Karpeh jinxed his way into attack before firing agonisingly wide of the target. Joondalup's ability to utilise the full wide of the park was certainly paying off as a string of promising crosses into the 18-yard box caused all sorts of problems for the home defence. Even so, genuine chances were kept to a minimum courtesy of resolute defending by Fremantle. The breakthrough arrived just after the half hour and via a long throw-in from Shane Nunes which Karpeh helped on to Roberto Colalillo who flicked the ball past goalkeeper Peter Stewart from 10-metres. The second half began with Joondalup on the offensive but still unable to find many holes in their opponents defence. The pressure finally paid off in the 56th minute when a flowing move down the right which involved Tom Jones, Ryan Newhill and Anthony Jones culminated in a terrific cross being delivered to the back post where Oliver Hilton made no mistake. Slack defending cost Fremantle just minutes later as the visitors went ahead - Tom Jones and Newhill combining with the latter firing low past Bobson Koroma. Fremantle wasted no time in responding with Dale Wingell threading an excellent through ball to Colalillo who calmly clipped his shot over the advancing 'keeper to bring the game level. It looked as though Fremantle would claim victory when, in the 85th minute, Colalillo played through to Kevin Correia who drilled a fierce left-footer into the net. However Joondalup had other ideas and Dale McCulloch converted a dubious injury time penalty to earn his side a share of the spoils.
Western Knights took maximum points over Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval courtesy of a 2-0 scoreline. Claus Nielsen put the visitors ahead on 52nd minutes with Stuart Montgomery sealing the win twelve minutes later. Further details of this game weren't forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND FIFTEEN (Rockingham City vs Ashfield courtesy Ashfield; Stirling Suns vs Gosnells City courtesy Gosnells City; Morley Windmills vs Kingsway Olympic courtesy Morley Windmills)
Mandurah City were comprehensively beaten 4-3 by a more composed and purposeful South West Phoenix line-up at Peelwood Parade. The game started in great style for Mandurah who went ahead after just twenty second as a searching pass from Christian Paschkewitz deceived the defence but not Gary Attrill who coolly stroked it into the back of the net. The visitors joy was short-lived, however, as within a minute as Gary Mayers' shot was parried by Mike Green and Steve Suttie rifled in from close-range. Mandurah lifted their work rate but without the vision and drive of Jordan Rhodes never seemed to get out of first gear. Phoenix's second goal came via a counter-attack launched by goalkeeper Reece Braithwaite and neatly finished off by 16-year old Paddy Quinn. Ten minutes from the break Suttie made it three-one after Mayers thundering shot came back off the crossbar. Mandurah forced their way back into the game in the second half with Graeme Matthews reducing the deficit after 65 minutes. However, Phoenix had other plans and a searching ball from sweeper Andy Cowley found Suttie who stroked it between 'keeper and post. Michael Bobridge scored a spectacular volley for Mandurah's third goal which arrived too late to influence the outcome.
Wanneroo City swept aside Dianella White Eagles 5-1 at Kingsway Sporting Complex. It was a positive start from the visiting team who dominated the early proceedings through some excellent movement and slick passing. However, Wanneroo gained the advantage after 11 minutes via a booming clearance by goalkeeper Darren Williams which was brought under control by Phil O'Callaghan who tapped it past Anthony Mori. As the half progressed Wanneroo slowed worked their way into the game and close to the half hour increased the gap through Scott Bulloch who converted from the spot following a foul on Phil Bell. Dianella were unfortunate not to open their account as Darren Williams denied Dejan Djukanovic, while a shot from David Rodgers clipped the crossbar. Two minutes into the new half Dianella's persistence paid off with Rodgers nodding in a near post cross. However, the visitors hopes of going on with the job was extinguished when Wanneroo struck twice in quick succession through Bulloch and Stuart Collins. The final goal was scored by Bulloch who was the beneficiary of a fine lay-off by O'Callghan. The win keeps Wanneroo at the head of the First Division table and on track to gain promotion at seasons' end.
Second-placed Balcatta headed home from Hartfield Park with an entertaining yet narrow 1-0 defeat of Forrestfield United. Injury to Forrestfield's regular goalkeeper opened the door for 17-year old Matthew Zappacosta to step up to senior ranks, and the youngster was tested early on by Adrian Caloieri's long-range effort which he pushed around the post. The hosts then created a couple of good chances with John Carling's dangerous cross into the 18-yard hacked to safety, and an unmarked Glenn Noblet headed weakly at Jordan Conti. Zappacosta called upon once again just before the break to keep out David Moschilla's powerful shot which came on the end of a penetrating run. The second half saw a more concerted effort from Forrestfield with Dennis Lee's weaving run deserving of a better finish, and Noblet glanced the ball just wide from a Joe Healy cross. The move of Keegan Ashley into a more attacking role swung play back in Balcatta's favour as he linked to greater effect with Adam Rains and Caloiero. The deciding goal arrived with five minutes remaining when Carlo Di Toro was ruled to have handled the ball inside the penalty area, and with the resultant spot kick Daniel Carlino gave the visitors maximum points.
At Dowling Street Reserve, Rockingham City crashed 1-2 to Ashfield who picked up just their fourth win of the season. Ashfield settled quickly and had their hosts on the back foot from early on. A smart save by the Rockingham goalkeeper kept out Muhamad Komadaric's spot kick, and a few minutes later the Rockingham custodian tipped Ben Harris' long-range effort over the crossbar. The visitors attack continued through Paddy O'Boyle whose shot was deflected onto the upright before being cleared by the defence. For their part Rockingham threatened on the odd occasion but could find no way past youngster Elhossain Atthekis. The deadlock was finally broken two minutes iunto the second half when John Monterosso forward pass was flicked on by Wayne Culverwell to Komadaric who brilliantly held off two opponents before blasting past the 'keeper. Ashfield were firing on all cylinders and in the 51st minute Harris played through to Komadaric who worked his way into the penalty area where he turned his marker and sent the ball into the net for a second time. After that the visitors eased off the pace and Rockingham responded by seizing control for the closing stages. With three minutes to go Glenn Hallums flicked the ball on to A. Aravelo who powered in the hosts' consolation goal.
Gosnells City eased their relegation concerns by defeating Stirling Suns 3-1 at the Cracovia Club. The game failed to ignite until the 20th minute when John Cassidy struck a sweet left-foot shot from 19-metres which found the top corner. Five minutes later Gosnells were awarded a penalty for hand ball but Darren Ingham was denied the visitors second goal by the home goalkeeper. This spurred the Suns on to their best period of the afternoon which culminated in a penalty of their own that saw B.Bozinovski's effort brilliantly saved by Jayson Mehnert. Breaking quickly on the counter-attack, John Cassidy ran the full length of the pitch by exchanging passes with Ingham before doubling Gosnells' advantage from close-range. The Suns made a great start to the second half with Nigel Comito netting after 49 minute, but the hosts quickly shut up shop following that with Tony Lang and Rob Thorogood outstanding in defence. At the other end Cairney and Adam Bremner both failed to put away chances which would have killed off the game. It was left to substitute Spencer Wilson to close out the game on 85 minutes with a swerving free-kick from 27-metres which gave the 'keeper with no chance.
Morley Windmills edged away from the drop zone after this afternoon's 5-0 thrashing of Kingsway Olympic at Wotton Reserve. With both clubs languishing near the foot of the table and desperate for points, it was the hosts who took the initiative and went ahead through Danny Evans who tapped in from 5-metres. In the 40th minute Morley received their first penalty kick of the season following a handball decision and from the spot Simon Messenger made no mistake in doubling their advantage. It wasn't long after that Kingsway gained a penalty of their own but Steve Dimitrovich wasted the chance by blasting over the crossbar. Just prior to half-time Morley increased the gap as Adrian McBride's free-kick from out wide found Grant Learmont who flicked it past the goalkeeper at the near post. Both teams had their chances in the second half with Morley taking full advantage as Michael Murray put away goal number four. The rout was completed close to the final whistle by McBride whose explosive shot hit the underside of the crossbar before crossing the goal line.
Canning City showed no mercy in crushing long-time rival Queens Park 7-0 at John Connell Reserve. Daniel Laing and and Paul Van Dongen each netted twice for the hosts with Paul Oliver, Ross Postuma and Simon Versiaco also on the scoresheet. Further details of this game weren't forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
GLORY THROW AWAY TWO-GOAL LEAD
Adelaide United came from behind to secure a 2-2 with Perth Glory in a hard-fought opening round pre-season Cup match at Hindmarsh Stadium. Glory coach Steve McMahon will be fuming his side threw away a two-goal lead, although the reality is they were lucky to hold on for a point following the late dismissal of Steve McMahon Jnr. The visitors were first to threaten via a 24th minute cross by Naum Sekulovski which Bobby Despotovski headed just over the crossbar. Five minutes later the same Sekulovski drilled a low cross through the Adelaide defence which Michael Valkanis, under pressure from Despotovski, had the misfortune of deflecting past his goalkeeper and into the net.
Seven minutes after the break Sekulovski managed again found space down the left and from his cutback an unmarked Despotovski doubled the visitors lead. But the home side weren't finished and just two minutes later good lead-up play from Travis Dodd saw him thread an incisive pass through to Ross Aloisi who gave Milan Jovanic no chance. Adelaide equalised in the 62nd minute when Valkanis scramble the ball over the line from an Angelo Costanzo free-kick. Six minute later Glory were down to ten men with the red carding of substitute Steve McMahon Jnr for a seemingly innocent challenge on Costanzo. But Adelaide failed to take advantage of the extra player despite a late effort by Matthew Kemp that had Jovanic at full-stretch.
AUSTRALIA NAME UNDER-17 SQUAD
Australia's Under-17 squad will commence their final preparations for the World Championship by competing in a four nations tournament in Peru next week. Aleksander Vrteski, who's kept goal for Stirling Lions over the winter, is the only West Australia in the twenty-player travelling party. However, another local product, Blackburn Rovers midfielder Rostyn Griffiths, has been named amongst the four stand-by players. The Australian youth team will face Costa Rica, Peru and Ecuador in the tournament before a final tour match against Peru.
The squad to tour Peru consists of Scott Weidenbach (Adelaide City), Kaz Patafta (Australian Institute of Sport), Brendan Maroney (Blacktown City), David D'Apuzzo, Daniel Miller, Ben Vidaic (NSW Institute of Sport), Omar Hamid, Robbie Kruse, Corey Slevin, David Williams, Michael Zullo (Queensland Academy of Sport), Joel Allwright, Scott Gannon, Matt Mullen (SA Sports Institute), Alex Vrteski (Stirling Lions), Wade Oostendorp (Sydney FC), Leigh Broxham, Jamie Cumming, Matt Spiranovic (Victorian Institute of Sport) and Daniel Ireland (club unknown). The stand-by quartet are Rostyn Griffiths (Blackburn Rovers), Jason Naidovski (NSWIS), Shanon Lancini (QAS) and Daniel Visevic (VIS).
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Perth S.C. returned to the head of the Premier League table courtesy of a 6-0 thrashing of Swan I.C. Level on points are Sorrento for whom Jared Love and David McGeown scored in their 2-1 win over Stirling Lions. Western Knights' 2-0 away defeat of Armadale keeps them in third place and well within reach of the joint leaders. Inglewood United defeated Floreat Athena 3-0. Mark Lee, Stuart Fraser, Ross Barnes and Andy O'Neill found the target in Bayswater City's 4-1 mauling of Cockburn City. One point went to each Fremantle City and E.C.U. Joondalup who drew 3-3.
A comfortable 5-1 defeat of Dianella White Eagles keeps Wanneroo City at the top of the First Division standings after fifteen rounds. Seven points behind are Balcatta who edged out Forrestfield United 1-0, and close behind in third place are South West Phoenix courtesy of a thrilling 4-3 away win at Mandurah City. The surprise result came from Dowling Street Reserve where Rockingham City went down 1-2 to Ashfield. A 3-1 away win at Stirling Suns gave Gosnells City three valuable points. Canning City eased their relegation fears with a 7-0 thrashing of Queens Park, likewise Morley Windmills who hit Kingsway Olympic 5-0.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The race for the Premier League title has received a new lease on life in the past few weeks with Sorrento, Perth S.C. and Western Knights separated by just two points. Sorrento are tipped to take maximum points from tomorrow's home clash with Stirling Lions who've spent much of the winter languishing near the foot of the table. Dorrien Gardens is the venue for the traditional derby between Perth and Swan I.C. The Knights head to Alfred Skeet Oval where Armadale provide the opposition.
The match of the round takes place at the Kiev Sports Ground where fourth-placed Inglewood United square off with fifth-placed Floreat Athena. Bayswater City can secure their top flight status for 2006 with victory over a hit-and-miss Cockburn City at Frank Drago Reserve. Making a long journey south are E.C.U. Joondalup make the long journey south to Ken Allen Reserve where Fremantle City provide the opposition.
Wanneroo City, who've opened up a seven point gap at the head of the First Division standings, are home to Dianella White Eagles. Balcatta will have their work cut out in keeping pace with the leaders when they travel to Forrestfield United. South West Phoenix have been in devastating form of late and they'll be disappointed with anything other than maximum points from their away clash with Mandurah City.
Rockingham City can arrest their slide down the table with a home win over Ashfield. The battle to avoid the drop is intensifying with six points separating seven teams. Canning City will be looking to record back-to-back wins when Queens Park visit John Connell Reserve. Stirling Suns are home to Gosnells City, and Morley Windmills square off with Kingsway Olympic. Bassendean Caledonian have the bye.
CARDS STACKED AGAINST GLORY
The wait is over for the eight A-League teams who'll step up a level this weekend with the commencement of the pre-season Cup. The tournament kicks-off tonight at Energy Australia Stadium where Newcastle Jets play Melbourne Victory, while Adelaide United host Perth Glory at Hindmarsh Stadium. The remaining two games take place tomorrow night with Central Coast at home to Queensland Roar, and Sydney FC against New Zealand Knights at Aussie Stadium.
The Adelaide-Glory clash brings together two benchmark clubs from the previous national competition. Backed by huge followings, Adelaide just missed out on a spot in the last ever National Soccer League Grand Final which was won by Glory. However, after being granted entry into the A-League both have approached the rebuilding of their teams in very different ways. The Adelaide hierarchy kept faith with coach John Kosmina who in turn rewarded the majority of the players who did so well in the NSL with new contracts.
At Glory, Mich d'Avray moved up to a football director's role and former Liverpool great Steve McMahon came in as head coach. The club recruited a host of players, amongst them former England international Brian Deane and Socceroo Simon Colosimo, while retaining just a handful of their more experienced players. The biggest hurdle they face is a lack of practice games against sides of the calibre they'll face in the pre-season Cup. Glory need as many games in this tournament as possible and will be happy to come away with a draw.
Adelaide, on the other hand, are looking good after lead-up games against Melbourne Victory (twice), Queensland Roar and Newcastle United in the past month. Their confidence will be sky high following last week's defeat of Roar, and hometown fans will be keen to see former Chinese international Shengqing Qu assert his influence. The fact that Adelaide has played several tough matches in the past week should be a huge advantage and Kosmina will be disappointed if they don't claim victory.
FIRST DIVISION 'SPLIT'
The First Division will split in two with the completion of the fifteenth round of fixtures this weekend. The top eight teams will meet over the final months of the season to determine who gains promotion to the top flight for 2006, with the remaining seven teams battling it out to avoid relegation. In order to possibly facilitate a twelve team First Division in 2006, it's understood as many as four teams could drop down from Saturday competition with promotion offered to the Sunday amateur Premier League champions.
The decision to split the league for the final seven weeks of the season has come about due to the semi-professional First Division consisting of fifteen teams. "The format was one originally decided upon by the clubs whilst still under the Soccer West Coast banner," explained Football West official Richard Scott. "The problems provided to us, by the clubs, with running an extended First Division season centre around two main issues."
"Firstly, the availability of facilities from local governments didn't cover the length of a 28-game home and away season for all clubs," continued Scott. "Secondly, some clubs complained about the financial pressure that an extended season would put upon them. Taking these issues into account, the feedback given prior to the season by the First Division clubs was that - although they did not like the format - it was the only viable option."
"Another contributing factor was the competition review that is taking place," Scott added. "Football West always maintained there would be minimal change this season to allow things to settle down and give the stakeholders time to consider formats. Most clubs believe a maximum of twelve teams per division (some think less) should form the Saturday competitions and it was impossible to deal with this prior to the season. The Saturday clubs have already started talking about what they think in meetings and Football West are keen to bring these discussions into the open."
"One factor that we may need to look at when the feedback from the review starts being collated is what happens if the consensus of league format for the Saturday Divisions involves less clubs than are currently participating," said Scott. "This potentially has a cascading effect into the Sunday leagues and obviously that needs to be well thought out. We have previously flagged the concept of a Sunday State League or Second Division (as others describe it) which we envision would be a pathway between Saturday and Sunday competition. This will form an important part of the review. Our objectives are to have a short, sharp review with an objective of presenting to clubs and the football family formats by end of October."
All points and goal differences accumulated from the first half of the First Division season will carry over into the split round at senior level. Clubs are currently providing feedback as to whether Reserve and Youth teams should revert back to a zero point 'clean' ladder. The make-up of the Reserve and Youth leagues will mirror those at first team level following the split
Battling it out for the title - and promotion - will be Balcatta, Bassendean Caledonian, Dianella White Eagles, Forrestfield United, Mandurah City, Rockingham City, South West Phoenix and Wanneroo City. The seven remaining teams - Ashfield, Canning City, Gosnells City, Kingsway Olympic, Morley Windmills, Queens Park and Stirling Suns - will fight to avoid possible relegation.
PETKOVIC IN LATE BID TO PLAY
Jason Petkovic flies to Melbourne today in a desperate bid to be cleared in time for Perth Glory's pre-season Cup clash with Adelaide United tomorrow night. In a bizarre twist to Petkovic's transfer saga from Turkish club Konyaspor, the goalkeeper is required to visit the Turkish consul general in Melbourne to speed up his international clearance being granted. The former Socceroo's international clearance has been delayed by club officials in Turkey, and members of the local Turkish community yesterday helped Glory determine that Petkovic's clearance would be accelerated if he completed paperwork at the consulate before heading to Adelaide.
Coach Steve McMahon is yet to see Petkovic in action after the goalkeeper missed Glory's recent friendlies with Floreat Athena and Perth S.C. because of a back problem. "As far as we're concerned, we've done all we can," McMahon said. "The aim is to play Jason because he needs games." If Petkovic is unavailable, 19-year old Milan Jovanic will take the position between the posts. Glory are guaranteed further pre-season Cup matches against Melbourne Victory on 30th July 30 and Newcastle United Jets on 6th August and will progress to the semifinals if they finish in the top two of the pool.
CUP ROUND OF FOUR DRAWN
The drawing of the association Cup semi-finals last week has produced some intriguing match-ups. Perth S.C. will get to pit their skills against First Division outfit Mandurah City who've already claimed the scalps of two top flight opponents in the Western Knights and Armadale. The other round of four meeting has Fremantle City firmly entrenched as the underdog against Inglewood United. Both games will take place on Sunday 14th August at venues yet to be confirmed.
In the Reserves Cup, Premier League leader Sorrento come up against First Division pacesetter Canning City. Floreat Athena take on the Western Knights in the other semi-final. Both games kick-off at 12.30pm. Swan I.C. face Youth Cup holder E.C.U. Joondalup, while Sorrento go head-to-head with high-flying Cockburn City. The under-18 games are scheduled for a 11.00am start.
CACERES RETURNS TO GLORY FOLD
The state's representative in the A-League, Perth Glory, have re-signed attacker Adrian Caceres. The lively 23-year old agreed terms a short-term contract with Glory as cover for injured striker Neil Teggart who is expected to be sidelined for at least another two months. Glory play their first match of the pre-season Cup this Friday night against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium and Caceres' return will give coach Steve McMahon added options up front.
The Argentine-born forward was a member of Glory's back-to-back championship-winning squads of 2003/03 and 2003/04 and has been training with the club since returning from a stint in England. Under A-League regulations, a club can sign a temporary replacement for any player who is set to be sidelined through injury for more than four weeks. Although Teggart's injury is healing quicker than initially expected, Caceres will be available to Glory until the beginning of October in the Northern Irish striker's absence.
JONES EYES BORO'S NO.1 SHIRT
Brad Jones has his sights set on become the first choice goalkeeper at English Premier League club Middlesbrough. With time on his side, the former State junior representative feels confident of being able to replace Australian international Mark Schwarzer from the 'Boro line-up. "Schwarzy has signed for three years and my goalkeeping coach (Paul Barron) said by the end of my (two-year) contract I've got to be looking to push him. He's going to be 35 and I'm going to be 25," Jones said while on holiday in Perth.
"Eventually there is going to be a time when something's going to have to happen," continued Jones, who played locally for Sutherlands Park, Lynwood and Bayswater City as a junior. "Whether he decides he's had enough and moves on or whether it comes to the point where I can actually get him out of the team. But that's further down the line. I'm not that desperate for it all to happen in the next six months or anything like that."
Instead of standing in Schwarzer's shadow, Jones found himself thrust into the spotlight last season with first team appearances against Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle United amongst others - and now he wants more. "I played one game before and I did quite well, but it could've just been a one-off," Jones explained. "Everybody was still unsure. I've played some games now and I want to play all the time. When you're playing all the time you want to be the best, it just keeps going up and up. You want to become a big name player and be able to have a good life and all that sort of stuff - and one day come back to Perth and retire."
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS FOR MONTEROSS (courtesy Swan I.C.)
Robert Monterosso is determined to make the most of his chances to play regular first team football in the Swan valley. The versatile 22-year old joined Swan I.C. over the off-season but until this month he has had to be content with only infrequent appearances in the senior line-up. Even so, Monterosso isn't complaining. "It's a great atmosphere at the club and the lads are absolutely fantastic - it couldn't be better," he said recently. "It was difficult at the start as there are a lot of good players in the first team, and just as many more in the reserves pushing for first team spots."
The pay-off for a string of impressive performances in the reserves arrived a fortnight ago for Monterosso in the form of promotion to Swan's senior line-up. "I just did my job in the reserves and got my opportunity the week before last which I took with both hands," he said. "My ambitions at Swan are to secure a spot in the starting eleven and maintain it. Too do that I've got to be consistent." Monterosso was rated one of his clubs best on ground in the 3-2 win over Stirling Lions, while last weekend he was kept busy trying to keep tabs on Sorrento's forwards.
Comfortable playing in attack or defence, Monterosso attributes his versatility to time spent under former Australian coach Frank Arok. "Future Glory was definitely a highlight of my career, I improved a lot during that year," he said. "Frank was one of a kind. He encouraged us to take players on all the time, and his explanation of some things was a little unorthodox, he constantly told us that his Grandma was officially better than the whole team!" Amongst the other high points of Monterosso's young career have been State representative honours at two National Talent Identification Championships.
GULLS LOOK AT SCOTTISH OPTION
Sorrento are poised to forge formal links with Scottish Premier League outfit Motherwell. Terry Butcher, who manager of Motherwell, and former Scotland defender Dave McPherson spent the weekend in Perth discussing a potential deal with the northern suburbs club. Under the agreement Sorrento would become a feeder club for Motherwell who'd provide technical assistance in return as well as opportunities for some of the state's best youngsters. "I think it's an excellent starting place for us," Butcher told Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian" newspaper.
"Hopefully, we can open a route or avenue that can allow players to come over," added the Motherwell boss. "If we can form good friendships, which we are already doing, then hopefully everyone can be a winner." Butcher headed down under on the recommendation of McPherson who played a couple of seasons in Australia for Carlton. Butcher and McPherson, who now works in sports management, played along side eachother at Galsgow Rangers during the 1980's. "I think there's a lot of players going missing because of a lack of opportunities in Perth and Motherwell can capitalise on that," said McPherson.
WOMEN'S WRAP (Northern Redbacks vs Subiaco United courtesy Northern Redbacks; Kingsley vs Queens Park courtesy Kingsley; Mandurah City vs Subiaco United courtesy Mandurah City; Gosnells City vs Northern Redbacks courtesy Gosnells City)
Women's Premier League leader Northern Redbacks romped their way to a 5-0 win over Subiaco United at Rickman Delawney Reserve. It was a frustrating first half for the Redbacks who strung together numerous promising moves but were unable to capitalise on their chances. The breakthrough finally arrived via a neat exchange between Micky Lawton and Sarah Gawned with the latter sending the ball past the goalkeeper. Subiaco reacted by upped their workrate and leading into the break were unlucky not to equalise. It was pretty much one-way traffic in the second half as the Stephanie Grant found the target four times to secure what was in the end a comfortable win.
Although on the back foot for much of the afternoon, Queens Park escaped from Chichester Park with a 2-1 win over Kingsley. The home team's search for the opening goal proved fruitless as Sally Sanigar's long-range strike was tipped over the crossbar, Lisa Higgins hit the post, a rising shot from Sarah Sibbald ended high, and Kelly Player shot narrowly wide. The games' turning point arrived early in the second half when Kingsley lost defenders Katie McGrath and Lorian Woolgar to injury. A long ball into attack was put away by Stacy Woodfin midway through the half, and not long after Amy Thorpe added a second from close-range. Higgins scored a late consolation goal for Kingsley from the penalty spot.
East Fremantle collected maximum points for just the second time this season courtesy of a 1-0 defeat of Noranda. The only goal of the game, played at Wauhop Park, was score in the 66th minute by E.Williams. Further details of this game weren't forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
Mandurah City thumped Subiaco United 4-0 when they met at Bortolo Park. The absence of three first team regulars opened the door for Esther Dawe and Caris Rhodes who held their own and toiled hard all afternoon for the home side. The only goal of the opening half came from another newcomer, Hayley Barclay, who scored her first goal of the winter by heading in an in-swining corner from Jiame Carley. After the break Mandurah piled on the pressure and ran away with the match as Melanie Loreto, Carley and Emily Bateman added to the hosts tally. The wins keeps Mandurah at the top of the women's First Division table, six points clear of their nearest rival.
Gosnells City emerged 4-1 winners over Northern Redbacks at Walter Padbury Reserve. Much of the first period was played in Gosnells attacking half but for all their possession the home team were limited to just a single goal scored by Lisa Tomnay. Melissa Spillman was lively in attack after the break with Kerry Neale and Jess Sanderson providing an endless supply of ammunition from the flanks. A sweet volley bought Tomnay her second goal before a Redbacks striker nipped in ahead of goalkeeper Doris Odong to reduce the deficit. This only lead Gosnells to step it up a notch and further goals by Spillman and Jessica Sardi made the three points safe.
The points were shared at Murdoch University Sports Ground where it ended 1-1 between Murdoch University and Swan I.C. Murdoch started the game well but it was Swan who went closest to taking the early lead through a long-range shot that goalkeeper Donna Symes managed to pluck from just under the crossbar. The opening goal would come from the hosts as Petrina Brewer's shot was parried by the 'keeper and Katya Fitzgerald netted from close-range. Murdoch's lack of fitness proved their undoing in the second half and Swan grabbed a deserved equaliser via a superbly struck free-kick from just outside the 18-yard box.
Beckenham Angels, who are placed second behind Mandurah, hit four goals without reply against Lynwood Colts at Hossack Reserve. University of WA inflicted a 6-1 thrashing on Balga when they met at Brian Burke Reserve. Bassendean Caledonian went down 2-3 on home soil to Rockingham City. Further details of these game weren't forthcoming from any of the participating clubs.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND FOURTEEN (Western Knights vs Bayswater City courtesy Bayswater City; Stirling Lions vs Armadale by Elliott Leonard; Cockburn City vs Fremantle City courtesy Fremantle City)
Sorrento moved to the top of the Premier League table for the first time this year courtesy of a 6-1 thrashing of Swan I.C. at the Swan Italian Club. The hosts were given the perfect start when, 39 seconds after kick-off, Miki Vujacic's free-kick from the left was somehow missed by the Sorrento defence and came to nestle in the back of Neil Young's net. That was as good as it got for the hosts who, for the remainder of the afternoon, struggled to control Sorrento's three-pronged attack of Todd Harnwell, Simon Harland and Jared Love. By the 9th minute parity had been restored as Steve McDonald make the most of some poor marking to tap in from a metre after Cory Hugo parried an in-swinging Glen Thomas free-kick. David McGeown fended off Damian Scali to force his way inside the 18-yard box where Danyal Bennett's attempted clearance slammed into the Sorrento midfielder and looped over Hugo to put the visitors ahead. Paul McMullan was the architect of Sorrento's third goal which arrived right on the stroke of half-time, the Scottish import charging down the left before sending a low cross to the top of the 6-yard box where Love nipped in ahead of his marker to glanced home. Any hopes Swan held of a second half comeback were extinguished five minutes after the re-start as Chris Smith ran the ball into attack before laying it off to Harnwell whose centring pass was put away at close-range by Love. In the 57th minute Love turned provider with a fine cross from the right which evaded Harland but not Harnwell who blasted it in at the far post. Swan showed a little more spirit following the introduction of Paul Lincoln but by that stage the horse had already bolted. The afternoon's final goal came after Harnwell went down under an innocuous challenge from Danyal Bennett which resulted in a penalty that Love stroked in to complete his hat-trick.
Perth S.C. were fortunate to come away from Litis Stadium with a 1-1 draw after being out-played by host club Floreat Athena. It was clear from the opening exchanges that Perth, who started the day as competition leader, were in for a tough afternoon as Floreat quickly stifled the creativity of Robbie Puca and Antonio Naglieri. Although Floreat continually applied pressure to their opponents defence it wasn;t until the 41st minute that they found a way through as Adam Bachiller delivered a magnificent far post cross which debutant striker Chris Socratous blasted past the goalkeeper from 6-metres. Confidence was sky high in the Floreat camp as they emerged for the second half to pick up exactly where they'd left off. A fine cross from Bajo Savic found Socratous who headed wide at close-range, then a defensive lapse allowed Branimir Mikulic in but he was unable to beat a alert Gareth Deeg. With Savic and PJ Mills directing the flow of play it seemed only a matter of time before Floreat would increased their advantage. Socratous was played through with just the 'keeper to beat but he let the visitors off the hook by failing to hit the target. Perth slowly worked their way back into the game and with 70 minutes played a fantastic solo run from Naglieri took him past a handful of defenders before despatching the ball into the bottom corner of Vas Vujacic's net to level the game. For the next ten minutes it seemed as though Perth would add a second goal to their tally but strong defending forced Naglieri and Daniel Micevski into shooting from distance. Floreat ended the afternoon with a flurry of activity that resulted in chances on goal for Steven Guest, Mills and Mikulic who were all denied the deciding goal by some very average finishing.
Western Knights were surprisingly held to a 1-1 draw by visiting Bayswater City at Nash Field. But the end result could have been so much different had Bayswater not squandered numerous early chances on goal. The visitors made a flying start with Stuart Fraser thumping a long-range bomb just beyond the post of on-loan goalkeeper Phil Straker. Andy O'Neill was next to threaten by latching on to a through ball which he lobbed over the oncoming 'keeper and narrowly the wrong side of the target. A goal bound header by Cormac Dawson was kept out of the net by defender Alex Christie, and Igor Novakovic rose highest at a corner to send the ball goalward only for Scott Devine to clear it off the line. Bayswater's poor finishing was punished midway through the half when Claus Nielsen pounced on a defensive error and was brought down inside the 18-yard box by Dawson, and from the spot Stuart Montgomery made no mistake. The margin was very nearly doubled via a corner which was tucked away by Barry Wood but referee Steve Muldoon disallowed the goal for a push on Francis Allen. And a powerfully struck free-kick from Montgomery had the Bayswater 'keeper at full-stretch not long later. Five minutes after missing an open goal at close-range, Dawson drilled the ball past Straker from 12-metres to level the game. The pace dropped off after the break which began with Straker plucking the ball off O'Neill's boot at close-range. Wood fired wide and Montgomery volleyed straight at the 'keeper before Daniel Trim tested Allen with a fine effort from distance. Montgomery lost his marker to go one-on-one with Allen who came out on top in the challenge. Bayswater almost snatched the game at the death when Dinko Ahmetanovic was on the end of a cross but guided the ball into the arms of the Knights custodian.
The season of E.C.U. Joondalup is well and truly back on track following their 2-0 home defeat of Inglewood United. The win signalled, loud and clear, the return to form of the northern suburbs side who've now defeated Perth S.C. and Inglewood in successive outings. However, Joondalup were incredibly lucky to go into the break still on level terms after Inglewood completely dominated the first half but failed to find the target. Good chances came the way of Albert Osei-Tutu and Andre Sarpe in the opening few minutes which were both squandered. Further first half opportunities came the way of Sarpe, Louis Parkinson, Rory Moutett, Osei-Tutu, Kevin Henderson and Jason Colli all of which went unconvertd. With the words of coach Paul Simmons still ringing in their ears Joondalup came out for the new half a different team. Within ten minutes of the restart the hosts were ahead after Garin Collins and Andy Mason combine for Dale McCulloch to rifle past the goalkeeper from just inside the 18-yard box. Inglewood hit back with a vengeance, embarking on wave after wave of attack but despite their best efforts they were still unable to find a way past Peter Stewart. Victory was secured five minutes from the end when Steve Porter's through ball found Tom Jones turned his marker only to be brought down for a penalty that was duly sent past Oliver Taseski by Collins.
Three much needed points came the way of Stirling Lions this afternoon courtesy of a 2-0 defeat of Armadale at Macedonia Park. The match commenced with Armadale seeking the early advantage and a defensive mistake from Paul Dickson allowed Ben Howe in but the youngster placed the ball wide of the target. Eleven minutes had gone by when the hosts took the lead through Daniel Brown who, having taken possession of a Leo Harman pass, zeroed in on goal from the left and curled his shot around goalkeeper Nick Stone. A few minutes later Armadale carved out a good opportunity to equalise through the combined efforts of Ben Rogers and Sasa Kilibarda which resulted in Scott Paterson hitting the up-right with a terrific strike from the edge of the 18-yard box. The crowd was kept entertained as the two sides went in search of the next goal. A continual threat down the left flank, Howe fired just beyond the post while down the opposite end a Jake Harman shot met with the same result. Aleksandar Vrteski ensured the Lions went into the break with the upper hand after Rogers picked out Paterson whose shot was kept out by the legs of the young 'keeper. Armadale continued their search for an equalising goal in the second half which began with Rogers laying the ball off to Kilibarda whose shot was blocked, and Paterson was denied with the loose ball by the quick-thinking of defender Darko Ilomanoski. Chances to put the game beyond the visitors reach came thew way of Leo Harman, Ian Griffiths and Jake Harman all of whom failed to hit the target. This was until the 76th minute when Leo Harman sent in an inviting ball into the area which was met by Griffiths whose shot was parried by Stone and Jake Harman buried the follow-up shot to secure a home victory.
Cockburn City picked up their first point in over a month by drawing 1-1 with Fremantle City at Dalmatinac Park. The shared points also proved handy for the Fremantle on a weekend in which Stirling Lions, their opponent in a battle to avoid relegation, defeated Armadale. The home side came out firing on all cylinders and quickly pegged Fremantle back in their defensive half of the pitch. With 6 minutes gone Jason Dos Santos sent the ball towards the top corner only for goalkeeper Bobson Koroma tip it over the crossbar. A couple of good opportunities came the way of John Mirco and which the nippy striker was unable to make the most of. The Fremantle defensive was working overtime in negate their opponents attacking desires with youngster Shane Nunes and Michael Cutri always in the thick of the action. Cockburn finally carved out an avenue to goal through a stunning left-foot volley by John Mirco that flew through a crowded penalty area and had Koroma unsighted as it crashed into the back of his net. Up until now Fremantle weren't having a great deal of success in breaking down the hosts' rearguard but just six minutes after going behind that changed. A neat flick on by Boima Karpeh sprung Cockburn's offside trap and allowed Roberto Colalillo to dance past Dusan Macura and draw Alan Dunlop off his line before lobbing the equaliser over the now stranded 'keeper. Genuine chances for either team to add to their tally were far and few between in the second half. Cockburn continued to dominate possession but poor passing in the final third all too often proved their undoing with Fremantle limited to playing on the counter-attack. Colalillo went agonisingly close to snatching victory in the dying minutes with a fine shot smacked into upright.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND FOURTEEN (Balcatta vs Stirling Suns by Martin Swann; South West Phoenix vs Bassendean Caledonian courtesy South West Phoenix; Kingsway Olympic vs Canning City by Phil Unsworth)
Gosnells City pushed First Division leader Wanneroo City all the way only to go down 0-1 at Walter Padbury Reserve. The early signs were positive from Wanneroo who went close to grabbing the lead through Phil O'Callaghan whose header flashed just the wrong side of the post. Gosnells proved they weren't there just to make up the numbers by carving out several penetrating attacks which lead to Darren Ingham and Brian Cairney testing Darren Williams. The Wanneroo goalkeeper continued the heroics by saving a penalty taken by Cairney midway through the half. As the period came to a close Wanneroo re-established authority with Scott Bulloch shooting narrowly wide and a goal line clearance kept out Andy Brown's header. The sides traded shots early in the second half as an explosive effort by Phil Bell was blocked by defender Andy Giles while down the opposite end Cairney's rising shot cleared the crossbar. The turning point came in the 65th minute when Gosnells were reduced to ten men after a second yellow card offence by Ian Ingham. The afternoon's solitary goal arrived five minutes later when Craig Cheesman timed his run to perfection and headed in at the near post from a Bell corner.
It was raining goals at Graham Burkett Reserve where Balcatta ran out 5-3 victors over Stirling Suns. Balcatta were first to get on the scoreboard after 20 minutes when Adam Rains won possession in midfield and threaded a through ball to David Moschilla who didn't hesitate in blasting past the goalkeeper. Just before the interval Balcatta bagged a second goal through Rains who tapped in at close-range after Christian Melo's effort came back off the 'keeper. Ten minutes into the second half Moschilla headed in his second of the afternoon, but shortly after the Suns pegged back the margin as Zoran Petrevski shot past Jordan Conti. Not to be outdone, Melo whipped in a cross to Rains which the attacking midfielder headed in to make it four-one. Conti was quick off his line in an effort to cut out a long through ball which B.Bozinovski lifted over the advancing 'keeper for the Suns second. An inch-perfect cross by Keegan Ashley allowed Moschilla to complete his hat-trick with a spectacular volley into the roof of the net. Bozinovski converted a late penalty which reduced the margin, but the Suns ended the game with nine players following the dismissals of Desimir Tosevski and B.Ristevski.
South West Phoenix and Bassendean Caledonian served up an exciting match in Bunbury where the home team emerged victorious by 3-2. The action was non-stop from start to finish with Phoenix missing early opportunities to go ahead before Dom Ando's half-volley through a crowded area gave Bassendean the upper hand with just 8 minutes played. Stand-in goalkeeper Aaron Moschopolous continued to find himself under siege as Phoenix stepped up a level. The pressure valve was temporarily released in the 25th minute when Steve Suttie's surging run was ended with a neat shot that beat the goalkeeper. Phoenix continued their offensive in the second half as Moschopolous pulled off a world-class save to keep out a Suttie header. Good lead-up work down the right ended with Gary Mayers unselfishly laying the ball off to Shawn O'Gorman whose low shot from 10 metres flash past the 'keeper in the 55th minute. A defensive mix-up ten minutes later allowed Rydeen Botha to make it 2-2, and Caledonian would have claimed the lead late in the half if not for the reflexes of Reece Braithwaite. The deciding goal arrived with a minute remaining as O'Gorman headed James Bergin's cross into the crossbar and Mayers reacted quickest to send the ball over the line.
A controversial sending off allowed Dianella White Eagles to claim a 2-1 victory over Rockingham City at Dianella Reserve. All the early momentum was with the Dianella but for their increased possession the hosts had little to show in the way of chances on goal. Then, with 21 minutes played, a free-kick floated to the back post went to feet and Miladin Gurovski reacted promptly by bundling the ball over the line much to the delight of the home supporters. Rockingham's frustration at being unable to influence the flow of the game took it's toll on Bryan Hastie was booked for late tackle and minutes later was replaced by coach Billy Russell. The visitors only opportunities were coming through set pieces and the closest they came to scoring was a Luke Rennie head directed straight at the goalkeeper. A much hungrier Rockingham side emerged for the second half and their reward came on 48 minutes when Glen Hallums headed down to Morris who netted from close-range. It appeared as if Rockingham were about to run away with the game when Morris was issued a straight red card for an innocuous 62nd minute challenge. Dianella quickly made the most of the situation with Gurovski calmly lobbing the ball over the head of goalkeeper to decide the outcome.
The points were shared at Ashfield Reserve where Ashfield and Forrestfield United played out a scoreless draw. Forrestfield were first to take aim through Dennis Lee whose goalbound strike was kept out by 17-year old debutant Hussien Atthekis. Shortly after it was Forrestfield's shot-stopper, Scott Radford, who ensure the game stayed on level terms by producing a fine save to deny Muhamed Komaderic. As the half progressed tempers became a little frayed and some over the top challenges resulted in a number of yellow cards being issued. The second half was a carbon copy of the first as both 'keepers proving up to the task. Craig Ruthven found Lee who beat his marker only to have Atthekis pluck the ball out of the air. Ashfield sprung the offside trap but Adam Purcell was thwarted as he lined up the target by a last ditch tackle from Carlo Di Toro, while Komaderic was thwarted by the never say die attitude of John Carling. The introduction of Matt Alcock injected new life into the Forrestfield side but he too was denied by Atthekis who tipped a fine shot over the bar. The visitors were reduced to ten men in the closing minutes after Kayne Gordon-Davidson received his second booking of the match.
Canning City continued to climb away from the drop zone with a convincing 3-1 win over Kingsway Olympic at Kingsway Sporting Complex. The match started scrappily with neither side able to string to many passes together. However, Canning got the all important breakthrough when Ross Postuma spotted 16-year old Lee MacKie off his goal line and clipped a sensational shot from 25-metres over the goalkeeper and into the top corner. The disjointed nature of the game continued through to the break with few genuine chances on goal. Canning started the new half confidently and eleven minutes in added to their tally when Harin Rajeswaran and Paul Van Dongen exchanged passes on top of the 18-yard box before the latter unleashed a fierce shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle. Ten minutes later Canning got their third as Patrick Fitzgerald outpaced the defence and delivered a pin-point cross to Paul Van Dongen who neatly deflected it in at the far post. Adam Horsley refused Kingsway their opening goal with a spectacular save to deny Dave Cook. But a few minutes later Cook did find a way through by dribbling past two defenders before converting from close-range.
Morley Windmills took the points over home side Queens Park by a 4-0 scoreline. Further details of this game weren't forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
FRESH CHALLENGE APPEALS TO DEANE
After over 700 appearances in the English leagues, Brian Deane is looking forward to the challenge of playing in the fledgling A-League. The powerfully built striker doesn't arrive in Perth until early next month but has stressed he is not heading down under for a holiday. "I am coming over there to do a job and I am sure it is going to be a nice experience, but when you have played as many games as I have, you want to do something meaningful," said Deane.
The 37-year old striker said the opportunity to try something new was one of the most appealing aspects about linking with Perth Glory. "The thing that appeals to me is that it is completely new, I don't quite know what to expect because of that but I am certainly excited about it," Deane said. "It is a new league and it is going to be a fantastic experience from my point of view and a good way to embrace another culture."
"I have had a good career here in England and to have something like this fresh challenge is very appealing to me," the big striker added. "I have heard a lot of good things about Perth, it is supposed to be a fantastic place. The last time I was in Australia was with the England squad a long time ago and I can't remember exactly when that was but I am looking forward to coming back."
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
A barnstorming 6-1 win at Swan I.C. has allowed Sorrento to take poll position on the Premier League at the completion of the fourteenth round of games. Level on points with the Gulls are Perth S.C. who relied on a late goal to snatched a point with Floreat Athena. In third place are and still challenging for top honours are Western Knights who were surprisingly held 1-1 at home by Bayswater City. Garin Collins and Dale McCulloch were E.C.U. Joondalup’s scorers in the 2-0 defeat of Inglewood United. Honours were even at Dalmatinac Park where Cockburn City and Fremantle City ended 1-1. Stirling Lions picked up just their second win of the campaign by 2-0 against Armadale.
Wanneroo City remain odds-on favourite to gain promotion from the First Division following a tight 1-0 defeat of Gosnells City at Walter Padbury Reserve. Seven points adrift of the leader are Balcatta who racked up a 5-3 home win over a gallant Stirling Suns line-up. South West Phoenix claimed third place after a 3-2 win over Bassendean Caledonian in Bunbury. Two goals by Miladin Gurovski earned Dianella White Eagles a 2-1 home win over Rockingham City, while Ashfield and Forrestfield United played out a scoreless draw. Kingsway Olympic went down 1-3 to Canning City, and Morley Windmills collected their second win of the season by defeating Queens Park 4-0.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The pick of this weekend's Premier league action takes place at Litis Stadium where inner city neighbours Floreat Athena and Perth S.C. go head-to-head. E.C.U. Joondalup against Inglewood United promises to be a cracking match in the northern suburbs. Fremantle City will be in high spirits for their local derby with Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Sorrento are expected to cruise to victory away at Swan I.C., likewise Western Knights when Bayswater City venture to Nash Field. Bottom team Stirling Lions play host to Armadale.
Gosnells City welcome runaway First Division leader Wanneroo City to Walter Padbury Reserve. With Mandurah City out of action due to the bye, a home win for Balcatta over Stirling Suns will allow them to leapfrog into second place. South West Phoenix square off with Bassendean Caledonian in Bunbury, while Rockingham City are on the road to Dianella White Eagles. Although they have home ground advantage, Ashfield are expected to struggle against Forrestfield United. Kingsway Olympic are home to Canning City, and Queens Park play cellar-dweller Morley Windmills at Coker Park.
REFEREE'S GET TOUGH ON LANGUAGE
It appears local referees are cracking down on foul and abusive language. In the past few weeks an increasing number of players have been cautioned - and in some cases sent off - for remonstrating with the match referee. There is little room for interpretation when it comes to foul and abusive language in FIFA's 'Laws of the Game' (July 2005). 'Law 12, Fouls and Misconduct' requires "A player is sent off and shown the red card if he ... uses offensive or insulting or abusive language and/or gestures." Similarly, under 'Additional instructions for referees, assistant referees and fourth officials' the rules state "A player who assaults a referee or who is guilty of using offensive, insulting or abusive language or gestures must be sent off."
GLORY SEE OFF PERTH WITH SECOND HALF GOAL BLITZ
Perth Glory turned in one of their most impressive performances of their pre-season to defeat Perth S.C. 5-2 under lights at Dorrien Gardens this evening. The opening half was dominated by the host club who continually pressured the Glory rearguard. A cross from the left in the 9th minute made it's way to Andreas Oliveira who's goalbound effort was superbly blocked by Milan Jovanic. Minutes later Antonio Naglieri had the ball in the back of the net only for his effort to be disallowed for offside. Perth's positive approach was rewarded on 23 minutes when Oliveira robbed Harnwell of the ball which he laid off to Naglieri who fired past the 'keeper from 14-metres.
Parity was restored ten minutes into the second half as Jamie Coyne's cross from the right was headed over Gareth Deeg by Bobby Despotovski. The introduction of Hiroyuki Ishida and Nick Ward on the hour had immediate effect with Despotovski putting Glory in front in the 63rd minute. Naum Sekulovski rifled in goal number three after 78 minutes, and shortly after the midfielder added to his and the teams tally by converting a neat pass from Ward. Perth pulled one back in the 86th minute when defender Aaron Cole headed home a free-kick from Robbie Puca. Stuart Young completed the scoring a couple of minutes later when he netted from the penalty spot.
SCHOOLBOYS, UNDER-16'S END LEVEL (by Peter Simcox)
Honours were shared last night at Coker Park as the State Schoolboy and Under-16 squads played out an entertaining 1-1 draw. The Under-16's adapted better to the wet conditions with good early chances coming the way of Phil Arnold and Aaron Dos Santos. Luke Woodward's superbly delivered cross found the head of Arnold who was denied by the thickness of the post midway through the half. The Schoolboys eventually got into stride with Stuart Hartmann and Lewis Flatt both going close to scoring in the lead-up to the break.
Goce Dilevski was the inspiration behind good chances for Hartmann and Steve Bozinoski as the Schoolboys continued to work for the opener. Their reward arrived midway through the period when Hartmann's pin point cross was put away by David Houston. The Under-16's were kept in the game by Matt Johnson who made fine saves to prevent Dilevski and Stephen Bettella from widening the gap. The hard work of Bobby Gulub produced a late equaliser for the Under-16's with James Summit the scorer.
Although the Schoolboys were unable to make more of their second half dominance team manager Neil Alweyn said he was pleased with the progress being made by the squad. "It was a much improved performance tonight, and the back four looked very comfortable," he commented. "We dominated the second half and could have won the game quite comfortably. We created a number of opportunities which we didn't convert but overall the signs are looking good."
DEANE COMPLETES GLORY SQUAD
One of English football's most successful strikers in recent years, Brian Deane, will play for Perth Glory in the inaugural A-League season. Steve McMahon has been in talks with Deane for a number of weeks and is delighted to get his man. McMahon held talks with 37-year old Deane in England last week and the striker has now agreed to spend the 2005/06 season with Glory.
"Brian's record speaks for itself and his size and power will prove formidable for defences throughout the A-League," said McMahon. "He is an experienced, skilful striker and I believe that he will not only score but create goals for the players around him. I have always said that the striker we signed would be a vital part of the team and I could not be more happy to have secured the services of one of our main targets."
The imposing centre forward played much of career in the top flights of English football. In total Deane made 733 League and Cup appearances - scoring 223 goals - for Doncaster Rovers, Sheffield United, Leeds United, Middlesbrough, Leicester City, West Ham United and Sunderland. He also spent a year in Portugal with Benfica, and earned three full international caps for England.
GLORY IGNORE HOMEGROWN TALENT
Perth Glory have delivered another slap in the face of West Australia's homegrown talent by signing Englishman Brian Deane. While there's no questioning the credentials of Deane, you have to wonder what benefits are to be had by importing a 37-year old player on a single season contract. Surely the better long-term option - for both Glory and the wider game - would have been to look to the local scene for a player with the potential of stepping up to the next level.
Glory's need for a strongly built attacker capable of creating as well as scoring goals could just as easily have been resolved by going local. 22-year old Greg Sharland, one of the most naturally gifted players in the state, fits the bill perfectly. If it's someone a little more mobile Glory were seeking then perhaps they could be pointed in the direction of Andreas Oliviera (23) and David Foster (21).
Football Federation Australia's ruling that all A-League squads had to include at least three players under the age of 20 was viewed as a means by which clubs would nurture homegrown talent. But rather than looking in their own backyard Glory opted to fill two of these development positions with players from interstate/abroad. And this at a time when Jon Higgins (19), John Thornley (18), Mo Atak (18) and Aleksander Vrteski (17) are all being courted by European clubs.
There are quite a few other youngsters currently making their mark in the local competition. Amongst them are Dean Apelgren (20), Matt Danskin (20), Liam Lilly (19), Michael Baczynski (18), David Micevski (18) and Andrija Jukic (17). No one is suggesting these players would slot straight into Glory's starting eleven. However, given the right coaching in a full-time environment and all possess the ability to be national league players.
During the past few years Glory have increasingly developed the habit of over-looking those in their own backyard and recruited players from interstate and overseas. Sadly, the end result of this is that of Glory's twenty man squad for the A-League season there are just seven players - Jamie Coyne, Bobby Despotovski, Jamie Harnwell, Scott Miller, Jason Petkovic, David Tarka and Nick Ward - who've come up through the local system.
KEEPER REQUIRED BY KNIGHTS
Reigning champion the Western Knights would like to hear from young goalkeepers looking to play Premier League football. An eye injury to Etienne Rodriguez, the Under-18's regular shot-stopper, will keep him sidelined for the better part of six weeks. The club's only other eligible 'keeper is Ante Ramic who's featured regularly for the Reserves this season. Teenage goalkeeper's who fit the bill are asked to contact club president Jack Grego on 0418 910 855 for their opportunity to represent the Knights.
MOTHERWELL SCOUT OUT LOCAL OPTION (courtesy www.tribalfootball.com)
Motherwell manager Terry Butcher is flying to Perth today with his former Glasgow Rangers teammate Dave McPherson. The pair are set to meet with West Australian football officials to discuss developing a partnership with Scottish Premier League club Motherwell. McPherson is convinced WA has the structure and talent coming through to benefit clubs such as Motherwell's, and Butcher will be casting his eye over the state's game. McPherson and Butcher will be in Perth for five days during which time the Motherwell boss is also likely to catch up with former England teammate, Steve McMahon, who is now in charge of Perth Glory.
EARLY RETURN FOR TARKA AND TEGGART
Perth Glory have received good news just days out from the official A-League pre-season competition. Local product David Tarka and Irish import Neil Teggart have made speedy recoveries from injury and should return to action earlier than initially expected. "Obviously it is good news for both players and the news has given the whole squad a lift," said coach Steve McMahon.
Teggart, currently on holiday in Northern Ireland, tore his thigh muscle six weeks ago and was expected to be out of action for much of the coming season. But a smile is back on the striker's face with the news he could be playing for Glory within months. "I was delighted to find out that I should be able to start rehab when I come back from Northern Ireland," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting back on the training pitch and hopefully scoring some goals for Perth Glory."
Tarka, who ruptured his hamstring playing against Armadale three months ago, will also be back in action earlier than expected. The initial prognosis was the defender would miss the first month of the new domestic league, but he now looks likely to return to full training at the beginning of next month. The Australian Institute of Sport graduate and former member of the Australian Olympic squad could even be available for the second round clash with Melbourne Victory at the beginning of September.
MCMAHON SAYS UNHAPPY CAMPERS ARE FREE TO LEAVE
Steve McMahon has left his players in no doubt as to who is in charge. The Perth Glory coach says he is prepared to rip up the contracts of disgruntled players as the side prepares for the coming A-League season. "If they are unhappy and they've got a problem with me or they've got a problem with the club on a personal point of view, then they're free to leave," McMahon said. "We're not going to hold them to ransom, we're not going to hold their contracts - they can go. We can rip up the contracts up today and we can start again." McMahon's comments came in the wake of player concerns at the coach's hardline approach.
PLAYERS BACK MCMAHON (courtesy Perth Glory)
Perth Glory's playing squad have pledged their continued support of coach Steve McMahon, insisting everyone at the club is striving for success in the inaugural A-League season. Recent media reports have suggested problems within the Glory camp but two of the club's most senior players, speaking on behalf of the whole squad, insisted that there was never any question about the direction that the club is moving in.
"All of the players had a meeting with the full coaching staff this morning to air a few issues that we thought would give us the best possible chance of doing well in the league this season," said Jamie Harnwell. "Contrary to media reports the meeting was never intended to be critical about Steve's management style at all and it was merely to discuss issues in order to make improvements in the way we do things as players."
"Sometimes the perception from the outside of what goes on in the changing rooms is quite different from the reality," the Glory captain continued. "But as a group of players we are all confident that Steve can lead us to success in the A-League this season. The Perth Glory players want to show the coach that we are worthy of pulling on the shirt of this club and we all want to be winners together."
Simon Colosimo echoed his captain's sentiments. "Reports in the media in the last couple of days seem to have been misguided. There was never an issue with Steve as our coach. We had a very positive meeting this morning and Steve, along with all the other staff behind the scenes at Glory, continue to be very supportive of us as a group of players. We all want to work together with the ambition of bringing success to Perth Glory and the players are fully behind Steve's leadership in achieving those goals."
NEWCASTLE LAND PETTERSON
Journeyman goalkeeper Andy Petterson is set to sign a two-year deal with the Newcastle United Jets. 35-year old Petterson, who played sixteen seasons in England, has agreed to a deal which will see him double as the clubs goalkeeping coach. Petterson is expected to arrive in Newcastle next week and will rival first choice 'keeper Liam Reddy for a starting place in the Jets starting line up.
Fremantle-born Petterson enjoyed a nomadic professional career in England which took him to eighteen different clubs - often on loan deals. The high point of his time in England was season 1998-99 which he spent with Charlton Atheltic in the Premier League. His record includes stints at Ipswich Town, Portsmouth, Luton Town and Swindon Town amongst others.
WOMEN'S WRAP (Queens Park vs Mandurah City courtesy Mandurah City)
Queens Park swept aside Mandurah City 6-0 at Coker Park to earn their spot in the last four of the association women's Cup. Much of first half possession was evenly shared with neither side was able to dictate play. Ten minutes from the interval Queens Park went ahead when an attacker capitalised on a defensive error. The gap was widened shortly after when a shot was deflected into the net off a defender. Second half errors by Mandurah allowed the hosts to add four more goals to their tally and run out comfortable winners.
Rockingham City found themselves on the receiving end of an 0-8 thrashing from Balcatta at Graham Burkett Reserve. The goals started to flow as early as the 7th minute for the home side as Katy Coglhan found the back of the net. A.Figlomeni doubled the margin and Coglhan added a third to Balcatta's tally after 13 minutes. The game was put well beyond the visitors grasp leading into the break as Brid Dawson got in on the act with two goals of her own. Figlomeni bagged her second six minutes into the new half, and late goals from J.Poehl and Gemma Langley completed the route.
East Fremantle booked their place in the semi-finals by scoring twice in the closing stages to overcame a determined Beckenham Angels 3-1 at Gilbert Fraser Reserve. There was little difference between the two sides in a first half that saw chances go begging at both ends of the park. The deadlock was finally broken two minutes from the break when I.Salgado put the port side in front. Beckenham responded seven minutes into the new half with an equaliser from M.Newton. S.Hughes restored the hosts advantage with eighteen minutes to go, and the result was put beyond doubt shortly after by Salgado.
Noranda made their exit from the knock-out competition when beaten 0-1 by Subiaco United at Noranda Sporting Complex.
FLOREAT HOLD GLORY TO DRAW
Perth Glory's first competitive outing for two months ended in a 1-1 draw with Floreat Athena this afternoon at Litis Stadium. Bobby Despotovski gave Glory took the lead just before the half-hour mark by latching on to a bouncing through-ball which he lobbed over an on-coming Vas Vujacic. Within ten minutes Floreat had equalised through Adrian Sutton who netted following a corner. Trialist Adrian Caceres should have added Glory's second after neat footwork on the right by Hiroyuki Ishida but the score remained one-all at the break.
Glory sought to crack the game open in the second half with the introduction of attack-minded trio Matt Horsley, Billy Celeski and Henry Fa'arodo. However, the national league outfit were unable break down a resolute Floreat defence which was marshalled superbly by one-time New Zealand international Sutton. With ten minutes to go another Glory substitute, Stuart Young, came closest to netting the decider with a goalbound header which Vujacic pushed over the crossbar.
ASSOCIATION CUP, QUARTER-FINALS (Mandurah City vs Western Knights by John Fitzmaurice; Fremantle City vs Sorrento courtesy Fremantle City; Balcatta vs Perth S.C. by Martin Swann)
Another chapter was written in the history of Mandurah City when they eliminated the Western Knights from the 2005 association Cup this afternoon. Written off by many prior to the game, Mandurah produced a spirited team performance to topple the Knights 3-1 on a day they'll long remember at Peelwood Parade. The visitors came out firing on all cylinders and a created a slew of opportunities inside the opening ten minutes with Barry Wood twice failing to hit the target from close-range in quick success. Mandurah began to get into stride and were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty midway through the half after Michael Bobridge was brought down by Tommi Tomich, who was then forced from the field with an ankle injury. The Knights continued to push forward after the break with Mandurah forced to play chiefly on the counter-attack. The 68th minute dismissal of David Annall took some of the wind out of the visitors sails, and it took Mandurah just two minutes to captailise as Jordan Rhodes' swung a corner into the area where Christian Paschewitz rose unchallenged to powerfully head past replacement goalkeeper Ante Ramic. Five minutes later the margin was doubled through Graeme Matthews who nodded in another in-swinging corner from Jordan Rhodes. With no option but to press forward the visitors were handed a lifeline in the form of a penalty awarded for handball which Stuart Montgomery tucked away with just ten minutes left on the clock. But Mandurah were not yet finished and a jinxing run down the right by Matthews took him past two opponents before slotting to Jordan Rhodes who drew his marker then delivered the ball to Bobridge who knocked in the sealing goal from close-range. Underpinning the result for Mandurah was a rock-solid performance from sweeper Steven Rhodes and fellow defenders Stewart Francis and John Tranfield.
There was also a 'Cupset' at Nash Field where Fremantle City came from behind to book their place in the last four by defeating Sorrento 2-1. Making the win all the more memorable was the fact Fremantle went into the game minus Kevin Corriea (injury), Dale Wingell (work commitments), Dom De Felice, Mario De Felice, Boima Karpeh (Cup-tied) and Peter Vukmirovic (suspended). The game started at a frantic pace with Sorrento well on top and Todd Harnwell proving a constant menace in attack. Glen Thomas was the first to threatened but shot weakly at the goalkeeper, and an excellent exchange of passes put Harnwell through he failed to elicit a response from Bobson Koroma. Workman-like contributions from Shane Nunes and Craig Surtees ensured Sorrento's forwards had little time on the ball but even so Koroma was kept busy between the posts. The breakthrough came on 28 minutes when Jared Love was brought down inside the penalty area, the lively striker picking himself up to convert from the spot. The dynamics of the game changed dramatically just before the break when referee Tom Klaver issued Sorrento defender Michael Ord to yellow card in quick succession. Fremantle came out for the second half determined to get back on level terms with Roberto Colalillo and Ben Kelly leading the way. The port side finally met with success in the 80th minute when Jason Godfrey reacted quickest to an unusual mix-up in the Sorrento defence and powered the ball past goalkeeper Neil Young. Immediately Fremantle stepped up a gear and Jason Barrera and Andy Pomfret began to create a bit more space in their final third. With five minutes left on the clock Fremantle grabbed the lead via Pomfret who netted from the penalty spot after Kelly was fouled by Danny Hill. The closing stages saw Sorrento mount an all-out assault on their opponents goal but Fremantle buckled down to hold on for victory.
Balcatta's Cup dream came to a shattering end when a goal in stoppage time saw Perth S.C. squeeze into the last four courtesy of a 2-1 at Graham Burkett Reserve. It was far from the comfortable win that many had expected for Perth with Balcatta stifling the Premier League leaders' creativity for much of the afternoon. The opening exchanges were fast and furious with both sides committing men forward in the hope of grabbing the early advantage. With 11 minute played Perth snatched the lead through a classy finish by David Micevski who, after flicking the ball past an opponent, sent a sizzling volley across into the far corner of the net from the top corner of the 18-yard box. But any hopes Perth held of running away with the game were quickly put on hold as Balcatta, cheered on by a big home crowd, rallied. Adam Rains headed just wide of the angle as the hosts began to put some pressure on Perth's backline, and shortly after an apparent handball in the box was dismissed by the referee despite loud appeals from the Balcatta players. Eight minutes into the second half Balcatta got the break they were after when a dreadful mix-up between Gareth Deeg and Aaron Cole put the ball at the feet of Adrian Caloiero who stroked into an empty net from 18-metres. The game then flowed from end to end with Balcatta unable to penetrate their opponents defence while at the opposite end Perth were uncharacteristically wasteful in front of goal with David Onoforo, Antonio Naglieri, Andreas Oliveira and David Micevski the guilty parties. With extra-time looking Daniel Micevski played the ball into the path of Mark Pottier who got in ahead of two defenders to poked his shot under the oncoming 'keeper to snatch a fortunate victory.
Inglewood United make up the semi-final field of the association Cup after this afternoon's 3-0 defeat of Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. But the three-goal margin greatly flattered Inglewood who were matched for much of the ninety minutes by a Cockburn side who were forced to play the second half with ten men. The spell was tight with both teams striving hard to gain the ascendency in midfield. With 11 minutes played Inglewood grabbed the lead through Kevin Griffiths who was allowed the time pick his spot in the back of Alan Dunlop's net. Gary Faria went close to equalising with a powerful low strike which Oliver Taseski dove spectacularly to his left to push past the post, then it was the turn of John Mirco to be denied by the Inglewood custodian. Shane McNally delivered a fine cross into the dangerzone and which Anthony Perriera flashed just high of the crossbar. An all-in melee two minutes from the break saw a lot of posturing from players on both teams, so it was surprising when Perriera was singled out for punishment by the referee and issued his marching orders for a second yellow card. Cockburn began the second half at full pace and dominated play only to be thwarted in their attempts to level the game by some desperate defending and the reflexes of Taseski. As the hosts continued to commit players forward they increasingly ran the risk be being caught out on the counter-attack. And it was via such a move that Inglewood increased their advantage in the 88th minute as Greg Sharland knocked the ball through to Albert Osei-Tutu who fended off Dusan Macura before stroking it past Dunlop. The result was put beyond doubt two minutes later when Dunlop was again left exposed by his defence and Osei-Tutu made the most of his second one-on-one.
GLORY PLAYERS IN REVOLT
With their coach out of the country, Perth Glory's players have called crisis talks with technical chief Mich d'Avray over the management style of Steve McMahon. D'Avray confirmed yesterday he had received a telephone call from a senior player calling for an urgent meeting, but said he was unaware of the exact nature of the players' concerns. "Hopefully, it's just a minor issue and I'm expecting it to blow over ... I'm expecting it to be resolved. I don't think anything is unsolvable," d'Avray said.
Glory's players were first to come under fire when McMahon claimed they were not up to scratch before blasting their performance in a 2-1 loss to Sydney FC in an Australian qualifier for the Club World Championship. McMahon's public pasting of the players stirred some sections of Glory supporters and disappointed some players but had the backing of chairman Nick Tana. "Is he a hard task master? - Yes. Am I pleased with that? - Yes," Glory chairman Nick Tana said in May. "I think all the fans will warm to the fact that this guy sets a high standard for himself and for his players. That's the nature of the guy. He's as forthright and as up front as you want."
POOR SHOWING BY GIRLS AT NATIONALS
Australia's best young female players have been in the spotlight this week at the Women's National Talent Identification Championship. Taking their place at the annual event were the West Australian Under-16 and Under-18 squads who both struggled at the week-long championships staged at Valentine Park in Sydney's west. The two squads are representative of the whole of the state with players drawn from the northernmost suburbs of the metropolitan area to as far south as Albany.
The State Under-16's made a flying start to the 2005 nationals by triumphing 3-1 over the Capital Football Academy last Saturday. But their hopes of returning home with a medal were snuffed out by successive losses to Northern New South Wales (0-5) and New South Wales Country (0-2). The Under-16's completed their group A commitments early on Thursday morning with a 1-1 draw against Queensland. The State junior team finished the tournament in seventh place courtesy of a 5-3 play-off win over South Australia.
The State Under-16's squad consists of Lauren Bushby, Domenica Carbone, Chloe Coghlan, Katy Coghlan, Janeil D'Annunzio, Gemma Di Lello (Balcatta), Elise O'Sullivan, Emily Wiliams (East Fremantle), Katie McGrath, Lorian Woolgar (Kingsley), Lillie Billson, Jennifer Jobling (Northern Redbacks), Leigh Kelly (Queens Park), Flo Tawns, Shannon May and Alycia Panayotou (Subiaco United). Team officials are Tony Carvajal (coach), Alison O'Sullivan (manager) and Lydia Hirst (physiotherapist).
The going wasn't quite as smooth for the Under-18's who kicked-off their campaign with a narrow 0-1 loss to New South Wales Country on Saturday. The following day the State youth team held Victoria to a scoreless draw, while back-to-back losses to Queensland (1-5) and New South Wales Metropolitan (0-2) ended their medal chances. The Under18's ended the tournament in last place after going down to South Australia (0-4), the Capital Football Academy (0-3) and Northern New South Wales (2-3).
The West Australian Under-18 squad features the talents of Sarah Wilson (Albany), Brid Dawson, Laura Turnbull (Balcatta), Adele Coxall, Joanne Oliver, Kristina Oxley, Kelly Player (Kingsley), Jenny Holmes (Melville), Stephanie Grant, Carys Hawkins (Northern Redbacks), Helen Bremer, Peta Kelly, Janine Haxton, Julia McInerney, Amy Thorpe (Queens Park) and Kelly Brooker (Rockingham City). The side is coached by Ron Tindall who's assisted by Jessine Bonzas with Tara Coffey as team manager.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
It was a day of upsets as Mandurah City and Fremantle made their way into the last four of the association Cup at the expense of more fancied opponents. Christian Paschkewitz, Graeme Matthews and Michael Bobridge found the net for Mandurah who toppled Western Knights 3-1. Sorrento were sent crashing out of the Cup by Fremantle whose 2-1 win came courtesy of goals from Jason Godfrey and Andy Pomfret. Mark Pottier struck a 92nd minute winner to sent Perth S.C. through 2-1 against a resilient Balcatta. Inglewood United made the most of their chances in winning 3-0 at Cockburn City who played the second half with ten men.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
All the glitz and the glamour of knock-out football returns this weekend with the playing of the association Cup quarter-finals. Cockburn City are out to avenge last weeks league loss to Inglewood United when they meet at Dalmatinac Park. The unavailability of Fremantle City's home ground has necessitated their fixture with Sorrento to be switched to Nash Field.
Balcatta and Mandurah City are seeking to become giant killers as they encounter top flight opposition. At Graham Burkett Reserve, Balcatta take on Perth S.C. whose season is at the crossroads following two losses in three weeks. Mandurah may have home ground advantage but that'll count for little against a Western Knights side firing on all cylinders.
COUNTRY SQUADS FLY THE FLAG
Four West Australian Country representative teams did the state proud when they lined-up at the fifth Kanga Cup tournament in Canberra this week. The Country Under-13 and Under-16 boys squad each qualified for the semi-finals, while the Under-15's finished the group stage in third place and the Under-16 girls in fourth. The Kanga Cup is the largest youth tournament of its kind in the southern hemisphere, and one of the biggest in the world.
The West Australian Country Under-13's made a tentative start in Pool B by holding Eurobodalla to a scoreless draw in their opening fixture. On Monday they went down 2-3 loss to Newington College, which was followed on Tuesday morning by a 1-1 draw with Radford College. Sizeable wins over Canberra Deakin Majura (5-1), Majura (4-0) and Marist College (4-1) saw the State team end the group stage in second place. The Under-13's were tipped out in the semi-finals 1-2 by Modbury Jets.
The West Australian Country Under-13 squad featured Matthew Bicker, Phillip Brady, Matthew Braham, Albert Buchino, Mitchell Cullen, Ryan Fish, Ben Greaves, Aaron Hewitt, Blake Horton, Guy Langdon, Matthew Librizzi, Tom Longbottom, Jackson Lynch, Matthew Spurling and Ashlee Winch. David Brady was coach of the Under-13's.
The going was tough for the West Australian Country Under-14 squad who took their place in Pool B. Their campaign kicked-off with a 1-3 loss to Belsouth on Monday morning, and 24-hours later the Under-14's suffered a 1-4 loss to AC United. West Australia kicked-off a busy Wednesday by defeating Tuggeranong United 2-1, and that afternoon they were held 1-1 by Warilla Wanderers. The Under-13's ended the tournament on a high by defeating Griffiths Entertainment 2-1 to claim third place.
The Country Under-14 squad was made up of Thomas Arthurs, Baden Cummins-Green, Carlo Cuzzola, Steven Forbes, Destiny Gartner, Devon Gibson, Scott Jumeaux, Shani Lynch, Jarrad Mort, Jamie Oakey, Owain Portman, Kieran Rogers, Casey Webb, Jacob Whiteaker and Nathan Woods. The Under-14's were coached by Stuart Cardy.
Grouped in Pool A, the West Australian Country Under-16's were quickly into stride by recording a 2-0 win over STFA Spirit. On Monday morning the side thumped Woden Wild Boys 5-0, which was followed by a narrow 0-1 loss to Griffith Yellow Tails the following day. The points were shared at 2-2 with Belwest Foxes on Wednesday morning, and it was the same story later in the day when they were held 2-2 by Belnorth. A hard-fought 3-2 win over Belnorth Shellharbour on Thursday saw the Under-16's into the semi-final's where they were edged out 0-2 by Chatswood Rangers.
The Country Under-16's consisted of Patrick Anderson, Ty Campbell-Salmon, Daniel Delcanho, Sam Foster, Guy Gisborn, Matt Kowalewycz, Scott McCormack, Ryan Montgomery, Karimi Moreza, Nick Osborne, Curtis Ransfield, Andrew Reale, Robert Shaw, Todd Soulas and Cameron Spence. Coach of the Under-16's was David Butterfield.
The West Australian Country Under-16 Girls experienced the highs and lows of state-based competition inside the opening two days. A 6-0 thrashing of STFA Bundies kicked-off their tournament on Monday, and less than 24-hours later they were humbled 0-4 by Queensland Quality. They bounced back by hammering Weston Creek 5-0 on Wednesday morning, and that afternoon were held to a scoreless draw by SA Soccer. The squad went down 3-5 to Adelaide City on Thursday and ended in fourth place after being held 1-1 by Majura Eagles in their final group fixture.
The Country Under-16 girls were Jessica Bennett, Emma Brady, Samantha Forbes, Callie Harris, Kerry Harris, Amy Hetherington, Erin Hetherington, Tana Kickett, Halina Kolatowicz, Martika Morcom, Natalie Prerad, Renae Rendell, Ella Scrimgeour, Elle Semmens and Bianca Turfrey. The Under-16 girls were coached by John Warrington. Also part of the travelling contingent were sports trainer Garry Burnett and team officials Anita Brady, Marilyn Mullally and Fred Webb.
SCOTS HELP SORRENTO TO TOP
The arrival of two former Scottish professionals has boosted Sorrento's chances of capturing their second regular season title. Paul McMullan and David McGeown joined the northern suburbs club recently and have been instrumental in their pursuit of Premier League leader Perth S.C. Sorrento, whose only other title success was in 2001, are one of the competitions form sides and recently narrowed the gap on the leader to just two points.
McMullan made 11 appearances for Scottish First Division club Raith Rovers before linking up with Sorrento in May. The 21-year old midfielder has also played first team football with Heart of Midlothian and Queen of the South. McGeown, also 21, made his Sorrento debut in the weekend defeat of Floreat Athena. The midfielder was one of a handful of players released by Hearts at the end of the recent Scottish season. A product of Hearts youth system, McGeown counts Stirling Albion amongst his former clubs.
UNDER-13'S SHINE AT CAPITAL CUP
The future looks bright for West Australian football following strong showings at this week's Capital Cup. The State was represented at annual tournament by the Under-13 North and South Development squads who each chalked up some impressive results during their week on the eastern seaboard. Played in Canberra, the Capital Cup is in it's second year and is a subsection of the Kanga Cup for state development teams.
A 9-1 trashing of South Australia B got the Under-13 North campaign off to a blistering start on Monday morning. But playing twice in the space of a few hours proved too much for the WA youngsters who bowed 2-3 to the Australian Capital Territory later in the day. The North squad bounced back the following day with a 2-1 win over South Australia A. The Australian Capital Territory were onthe receiving end of a 6-0 drubbing on Thursday morning, while in the afternoon West Australia were held 1-1 by South Australia A. The Under-13 North squad drew 2-2 with South Australia B on Friday, and take on South Australia A on Saturday.
The Under-13 North squad consisted of Mathew Hill (Floreat Athena), Mathew Blaker (Heathridge), Francis Baptist, Kaiden Boksich, Jason Busacca, Cameron Sutton (Inglewood United), Adam Bowers (The Jacks), Jack Cattrall (E.C.U. Joondalup), Jack Clisby (Sorrento), Claydon Arnez, Eli Balbalj, Tyron Herbert, Kegan Loraine (Stirling Lions), Sam Mitchison (Subiaco), Ashley Burns and Tom Lawrence (Wanneroo City). Chris Barbas was coach of the Under-13 South squad who had Andy Ross as team manager.
The Under-13 South squad also made the best possible start to the tournament when they defeated South Australia A 2-0 on Monday. The following morning they were held 2-2 by the Australian Capital Territory, while that afternoon the West Australian side downed South Australia B 3-0. Wednesday morning's 5-0 thrashing of South Australia A was followed the next day by a 6-3 win over South Australia B. The Under-13 South squad suffered their first loss of Friday when defeated 0-3 by the Australian Capital Territory, and face South Australia B on Saturday.
The West Australian Under-13 South squad featured the talents of Trent Sainsbury (Armadale), Brandon Catchpole, Cameron Edwards, Ryan Edwards, Andrew Emsavana, David Johnstone, Ben Nicken-Long, Alex Pearson, Ashton Turner (Cockburn City), Joshua Risdon (Country Coastal), Rhys Loxley (Floreat Athena), Lachlan McFarlane (Fremantle City), Josh Hewins (Mandurah City), Joshua Pereira (Perth S.C.), Mitchell Wosenski (Stirling Lions) and Juma Mascall (Western Knights). The side was coached by former Perth Glory captain Gareth Naven with Andy Wragg as team manager.
ASIAN ADVENTURE FOR DE VANNA AND MCCALLUM
Local products Lisa De Vanna and Collette McCallum were today named in the Matilda's squad to Asia later this month. The squad depart on Monday for an eighteen-day tour that will incorporate two internationals against China plus one-off fixtures against both Japan and Korea. The tour will provide important preparation as Australia commences it's build-up towards the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China.
"This is a vitally important tour for the team on several fronts," said national coach Tom Sermanni. "We will be playing our major Asian competitors in an environment similar to what we will face in our World Cup qualifiers, and indeed, the 2007 Women's World Cup should we qualify. It is also a rare opportunity to play a number of extremely competitive matches over a short space of time."
The complete twenty-player Australia squad is Dianne Alagich, Melissa Barbieri, Leah Blayney, Kim Carroll, Rhian Davies, Lisa De Vanna, Alicia Ferguson, Heather Garriock, Kate Gill, Lana Harch, Collette McCallum, Kate McShea, Jessica Mitchell, Caitlin Munoz, Joanne Peters, Karla Reuter, Cheryl Salisbury, Sally Shipard, Sarah Walsh and Lydia Williams.
GLORY BACK IN ACTION
With Perth Glory's playing squad near to completion the club have arranged a couple of friendlies for next week against local opposition. This Sunday - 10th July - Glory square off with one of the Premier League outfit Floreat Athena from 3.00pm at Litis Stadium (entry is free). They follow this with an evening showdown against top flight pacesetter Perth S.C. at Dorrien Gardens on Thursday 14th July (kick-off 7.00pm). Following these Glory look forward to taking on A-League opposition in the pre-season Cup. They travel to Adelaide United on 22nd July and Melbourne Victory on 30th July, before returning to Members Equity Stadium to face Newcastle United Jets on 6th August.
GIRLS DIP OUT OF NATIONALS
Australia's best young female players have been in the spotlight this week at the Women's National Talent Identification Championship. Taking their place at the annual event were the West Australian Under-16 and Under-18 squads who met with mixed fortunes over the week-long championships staged at Valentine Park in Sydney's west. The two squads are representative of the whole of the state with players drawn from the northernmost suburbs of the metropolitan area to as far south as Albany.
The State Under-16's made a flying start to the 2005 nationals by triumphing 3-1 over the Capital Football Academy last Saturday. But their hopes of returning home with a medal were snuffed out by successive losses to Northern New South Wales (0-5) and New South Wales Country (0-2). The Under-16's completed their group A commitments early on Thursday morning when they met Queensland.
The State Under-16's squad consists of Lauren Bushby, Domenica Carbone, Chloe Coghlan, Katy Coghlan, Janeil D'Annunzio, Gemma Di Lello (Balcatta), Elise O'Sullivan, Emily Wiliams (East Fremantle), Katie McGrath, Lorian Woolgar (Kingsley), Lillie Billson, Jennifer Jobling (Northern Redbacks), Leigh Kelly (Queens Park), Flo Tawns, Shannon May and Alycia Panayotou (Subiaco United). Team officials are Tony Carvajal (coach), Alison O'Sullivan (manager) and Lydia Hirst (physiotherapist).
The going wasn't quite as smooth for the Under-18's who kicked-off their campaign with a narrow 0-1 loss to New South Wales Country on Saturday. The following day the State youth team held Victoria to a scoreless draw, while back-to-back losses to Queensland (1-5) and New South Wales Metropolitan (0-2) ended their medal chances. The Under18's were scheduled to play South Australia on Thursday, and meetings with the Capital Football Academy and Northern New South Wales complete their schedule today.
The West Australian Under-18 squad features the talents of Sarah Wilson (Albany), Brid Dawson, Laura Turnbull (Balcatta), Adele Coxall, Joanne Oliver, Kristina Oxley, Kelly Player (Kingsley), Jenny Holmes (Melville), Stephanie Grant, Carys Hawkins (Northern Redbacks), Helen Bremer, Peta Kelly, Janine Haxton, Julia McInerney, Amy Thorpe (Queens Park) and Kelly Brooker (Rockingham City). The side is coached by Ron Tindall who's assisted by Jessine Bonzas with Tara Coffey as team manager.
SCHOOLBOYS PIPPED BY KNIGHTS (by Peter Simcox)
The State Schoolboys went down 1-3 to a strong Western Knights under-21 side last night at Beale Park. It was a hectic opening to the game with chances at both ends, Andrija Jukic firing wide for the Knights and David Houston narrowly missing the target for the Schoolboys. The opening goal came after 20 minutes through a cracking volley from the edge of the 18-yard box by Aaron Bhadori. The Knights went into the break holding a two-goal advantage after a long ball into attack caused confusion in the Schoolboys defence and Jukic headed in the back post.
The State representative side worked their way back into the match following the break. The teams were back on level terms through Andy Pomfret who converted a penalty awarded for an infringement on Steve Bozinovski. Both sides created good chances to add to their respective tallies. Stephen Bettella's shot on the turn cannoned back of the upright while at the opposite end Luke Hudston made numerous a saves to keep a rampaging Knights at bay. But there was little the goalkeeper could do as Seb Trim unleashed a screaming drive which rocketed into the top corner and secure victory for the Knights.
CACERES POISED FOR GLORY RETURN
An injury to former Northern Ireland youth international Neil Teggart could open the door for Adrian Caceras to rejoin Perth Glory as a short-term replacement. Teggart, who returned to Britain today for a three-week break, will spend at least the next three months on the sidelines after rupturing thigh muscles during training last month. The injury has put Caceres in prime position to land a short-term deal with Glory and make a fresh start in Australia.
Glory's technical manager Mich d'Avray confirmed the club was looking to fill the gap left by Teggart. "We will be in a position to sign someone on a short-term contract," he said. "At the end of that we will assess where Neil is. If he's ready he can come back in, if not we can roll it over." Caceres helped Glory win the 2002/03 and 2003/04 national league titles and spent the last season playing in England for Yeovil Town, Wycombe Wanderers and Aldershot Town. He returned to Perth in the hoping of clinching a spot in the A-League and has been training with Glory for the past month.
Teggart's injury is just one of several in the Glory squad. Oeteitis pubis has led midfielder Steve McMahon to miss a number of recent training sessions, while Daniel Vasilevski has been absent due to a thigh complaint. Australian international David Tarka has not featured since suffering a hamstring injury during a friendly against local club Armadale in late April.
PETKOVIC BELIEVES CHANGE WILL DO SOCCEROO'S GOOD
The departure of Frank Farina will rejuvenate Australia's prospects of qualifying for next years World Cup finals according to Michael Petkovic. The Perth-born goalkeeper revealed the feeling in the Socceroo's camp reached rock bottom at the recent Confederations Cup with players feeling a World Cup berth was simply beyond them. "I think Farina's done the right thing and although it's not great timing he saw it in the players," explained Petkovic. "The players want to qualify [but] they weren't getting anywhere. They had a good look at themselves and said 'I'm doing my best but I've got no answers', and the person who has to find the answers is the coach."
Petkovic was one of many Australian players to suffer from Farina's reluctance to explore options outside the confines of the English game. Rated amongst the best goalkeepers in Turkey and preparing for an assault on the European Champions League with Trabzonspor, Petkovic is now looking forward to the opportunity of challenging Mark Schwarzer and Zeljko Kalac for the position between the posts. "Frank has his best eleven and he wasn't going to budge," he commented. "Let's hope the new coach looks outside England. And not just a myself but players like John Aloisi who sometimes got overlooked despite playing in Spain which is one of the best leagues in the world."
UNDER-14'S COMPETE IN THE NAME OF FRIENDSHIP
Thirty-two of the State's brightest young prospects head east this coming weekend to pit their skills against the nations best at the 2005 Friendship Games. Hosted by Soccer New South Wales, the tournament will be played at Valentine Park and features Under-14 representative teams from the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and, of course, West Australia. The Under-14 North and Under-14 South squads will be proudly flying State colours at the event.
The Under-14 North squad consists of Jack Watts (Bassendean Caledonian), Felix Burrows (Floreat Athena), Jake Geddes (Inglewood United), Jarrad Bracewell, Declin Sutton (E.C.U. Joondalup), Daniel Bradshaw, Brynn Hindley, Chris Quinn, John Tancredi (Kings Academy), Mark Birighitti, Anes Kururic, David Screaigh (Perth S.C.), Yasuhito Nakajima, Reece Vittiglia (Sorrento), Paul Rechichi (Stirling Lions) and Michael Currie (Wanneroo City). Mike Brazil is coach of the Under-14's North and is assisted by team manager Steve Hallam.
The Under-14 South coaching staff have left no stone unturned with players drawn from as away as Bunbury and Mandurah. The State Under-14 South squad is Liam Harvey (Armadale), Rory Binnie (Bunbury), Johnathon Krawec, Jack Langley, James McCleary, Michael Stulic (Cockburn City), Dejan Aleksic, Jesse Fuller, Matthew McDonald, Josip Peran, Craig Smith, Sam Smith, Mathew Wells (Fremantle City), Brodie Leeman (Mandurah), Blake Kelly (Perth S.C.) and Karl Breen (Stirling Lions). The Under-14's South are coached by Glen Leckenby with Marin Vlasich as team manager.
WOMEN'S WRAP (Lynwood Colts vs Mandurah City courtesy Mandurah City; Swan I.C. vs Gosnells City courtesy Gosnells City)
With the top flight in hiatus, it was time for the women's First Division to take centre stage. Mandurah City stretched their superb season to twelve straight wins with a 5-1 defeat of Lynwood Colts at Hossack Reserve. The first half was dominated by Lynwood who were playing with the aid of a stiff brreeze. Even so, Mandurah went into the break 2-1 up courtesy of a Melanie Loreto double. The visitors emerged for the second half eager to steer back control of the game. And this they did with Loreto netting two further goals with Laura Parmenter also finding the net. The final score could have been much greater had luck been on the side of Jiame Carley who were close on several occasions.
Swan I.C. and Gosnells City shared the points at Jack Mann Oval where it ended 1-1. The opening goal came late in the first half when Swan, who'd been the dominant team, controversially found the net after the referee failed to notice a player in a clear offside position. Gosnells went on the rampage after the break as shots whizzed wide, came back off the frame of the goal or were saved by the goalkeeper. They eventually found a way through via Lisa Tomnay who scrambled the ball home in a crowded 6-yard box. The visitors continued their offensive but with Swan defending in numbers the game stayed at one-each.
The upset of Round Twelve occurred at Mills Park Sports Complex where Northern Redbacks 'C' scored their second win of the season by toppling second-placed Beckenham Angels 3-1. Cindy Morgan and Sam Anderson were on target for Subiaco United when they lost 2-4 to University of WA at Rosalie Park. Rockingham City defeated Murdoch University 6-3 at Paul Garnett Reserve, while Bassendean Caledonian moved away from the foot of the table with a 2-0 away win at Balga.
EDWARDS APPOINTED YOUNG MATILDAS COACH
The appointment of Alistair Edwards as coach of the Young Matilda's makes him the first West Australian to be put in charge of a national team. The former Perth Glory striker has been installed as coach of the women's youth team who he'll lead into the qualifying series for the 2006 Women's Youth World Championship in Russia. Edwards last year coached the Western Waves in their debut Women's National Soccer League season and was assistant coach of the Australian team that competed at the FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship.
"I'm very honoured to be chosen for this position and am looking forward to helping to develop our elite young players and hopefully taking them to next year's world championship," said the 37-year old. "It is an exciting time for the game in this country with participation rapidly increasing and some great young talent coming through the ranks." Edwards made 19 senior appearances for Australia in a successful professional playing career that took him to Australia, England and Malaysia.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND THIRTEEN (Perth S.C. vs E.C.U. Joondalup courtesy E.C.U. Joondalup; Sorrento vs Floreat Athena by Kerry Slater; Inglewood United vs Cockburn City by Lennie Bavich; Swan I.C. vs Stirling Lions by Elliott Leonard)
E.C.U. Joondalup produced one of the upsets of 2005 by defeating Premier League leader Perth S.C. 3-1 at Dorrien Gardens. The northerners started at full pace and making good use of the full flanks which produced a couple of very good early chances. Their opening goal arrived after just 4 minutes of play as Scott Bushby pulled the ball back to Anthony Jones whose first time shot was deflected past Gareth Deeg by Andy Mason. The game soon turned into a battle of the midfields with Antonio Naglieri involved in Perth's best attacks while Steve Porter was pulling the strings for Joondalup. Garin Collins was twice thwarted in his attempts to bag the visitors second, and right on the stroke of half-time Mason connected sweetly but sent his shot straight at the goalkeeper. Perth began the new half with more focus and asserted their authority over proceedings without carving out any real chances on goal. The introduction ofOliver Hilton and Tom Jones swung the game back in Joondalup's favour, and minutes after coming off the bench the pair combined to set up Collins who whipped the ball past Deeg to double the margin. Perth upped the tempo and Andreas Oliviera was denied by a superb save from Peter Stewart. A few minutes later David Onoforo ran on to a ball over the Joondalup defence and with two opponents giving chase he half-volleyed across Stewart and into the opposite corner to set up a tense final quarter hour. Both sides created chances over the closing stages with Jamie Kuzmanovich saving Joondalup with two goalline clearances while down the opposite end it was Aaron Cole who kept Perth in the hunt. The final goal arrived in the 88th minute as Porter's corner found Tom Jones who delicately lob to the far post where an unmarked Kevin Carmona headed in.
Sorrento made up ground on Perth S.C. courtesy of a comprehensive 4-0 drubbing of Floreat Athena at Percy Doyle Reserve. The opening quarter hour produced little in the way of goalscoring chances as the respective defences worked tirelessly to negate their opponents attacking thrusts. Sorrento finally prised open the visitors rearguard on 17 minutes through Glen Thomas whose cross to the near post was flicked on by Danny Hill and Steve McDonald placed his header past Vas Vujacic and into the top corner. Floreat came close to restoring parity eight minutes later when Adam Bachiller's shot tested teenage goalkeeper Chris Ramsey. With both defences on top it took until the 37th minute for the games second goal to arrive as Todd Harnwell lobbed over Vujacic who'd been caught off his line following a defensive error. The half-time margin would have been greater if not for the agility of Vujacic who made a fantastic save to keep out a Simon Harland header. David McGeown orchestrated the hosts third goal on 51 minutes by crossing into the area where Jared Love headed the ball down to Harland who fended off his marker and picked his moment before slotting past a wrong-footed 'keeper. Eight minutes later Paul McMullan delivered a cross to McGeown who played it back to Harnwell but his header looped over the crossbar. For their part, Floreat found the going tough in their final third where Branimir Mikulic and Eugene Singeorzan failed to have much impact, while in a broader sense the side struggled to keep pace with their opponents. The pick of the goals came in the 78th minute as Harland's vicious shot on the turn cannoned back off the bar to Thomas whose spectacular volley from the top of the 18-yard box flashed low into the net.
Western Knights remain on level points with Sorrento following a 3-1 defeat of Fremantel City at Ken Allen Reserve. The port side found themselves behind the eight ball as early as the 8th minute when Peter Vukmirovic was red carded for an off the ball incident involving Doug Ithier while awaiting a free-kick. It took the Knights just another ten minutes to take the lead as Paul Cooke surged down the right and crossed to the near post where Barry Wood tamed the ball but shot across the face of goal and Stuart Montgomery found himself in the right place at the right time to net from 5-metres. Midway through the half David Annall kept the visitors ahead by sliding on to clear Jason Barrera's shot off the line after he'd beaten Tommi Tomich to a through ball. The Knights looked to have doubled their lead when Montgomery again found the target but his effort was disallowed for offside, while shortly before the break Boima Karpeh squandered a great chance to equalise by blasting high with only Tomich to beat. The pace was frenetic in the second half as the visiting team sought to make the most of their extra player. And that's exactly what they did on the hour as Leon Russell sent a delightful ball into the path of Montgomery who, spotting the 'keeper off his line, clipped his shot into an empty net from 15-metres. Play flowed from end to end with the Knights well on top and Fremantle limited to attacks on the break. With ten minutes to go the result was put beyond doubt following a terrific move which featured Luka Jukic, Josh Kamasz and Andrija Jukic whose cross into the area allowed Montgomery to head in his third of the day. Fremantle bagged a late consolation goal via a quickly taken Dale Wingell free-kick which was finished brilliantly by Karpeh.
Cockburn City slumped to their fourth successive loss when defeated 2-1 by Inglewood United at the Kiev Sports Ground. The home supporters had to wait only 11 minutes before their side went ahead, Shaun Kilkelly's throw-in finding Greg Sharland who created space for himself to cross into the area where Louis Parkinson was afforded time to pick his place beyond the reach of goalkeeper Alan Dunlop. Cockburn slowly worked their way back into the game with midfielder's Gary Faria and Dean Wallace playing key roles as the visitors sought to equalise. Lead by Kilkelly and the livewire attacker Andre Sarpe, Inglewood were content to soak up the pressure and play on the break but could find few ways through a well-drilled backline. That was until two minutes before the interval when Sharland received the ball some 20-metres from goal and in one fluent move sent a blistering volley over a sea of players and into the top corner to extended the hosts lead. Cockburn continued to force the pace in the second half but resolute defending resulted in their best moves being snuffed out. Throwing caution to the wind, Cockburn coach Kevin Elliott added a third striker to his attack with the introduction of Peter Petkovich on the hour. This brought about immediate change and Cockburn began to have more success in prising open the home defence. The margin was brought back to a single goal by Michael Mirco in the 67th minute when he pushed the ball into the net from close-range following good work in the build-up by Faria and Jason Dos Santos on the right. The closing stages were tight and on several occasions it looked as though Cockburn would snatch a late leveller only to be denied by last gasp defending.
One point went to each Bayswater City and Armadale who drew 2-2 in glorious conditions at Frank Drago Reserve. The opening goal of a lively opening half came after 20 minutes when Gary Murdoch's perfectly weighted pass put Ben Rogers in behind the defence and the Armadale striker made no mistake in stroking the ball past Francis Allen in a one-on-one situation. The day got worse for Bayswater four minutes later when Bobby Klenkovski was needlessly sent off after receiving two yellow cards for dissent in quick succession. Nick Stone was called upon twice in as many minutes to keep out goalbound shots from Andy O'Neill as Bayswater began to hit their straps. However, with 31 minutes played, Armadale doubled their advantage as a low cross was whipped in from the left by Ben Howe which Rogers rammed home from 5-metres after making the most of some hesitant defending. Bayswater hit back through Ross Barnes who brilliantly flicking the ball over his marker and sent a blistering volley from 17-metres into the top corner with 35 minutes gone. Eight minutes later parity was restored when Mark Lee's deep free-kick was nodded back by across goal Stuart Fraser and Igor Novakovic headed unchallenged into the top corner. Chances to win the game presented themselves at both ends in the second half. Rogers rose high to crash a header past Allen which came back off the crossbar, and within a minute Stone was at full-stretch to push wide a ferocious strike from O'Neill. Sasa Kilibarda deflected a low shot over the crossbar, then Novakovic found the target from close-range but referee correctly disallowed it for offside. Allen came to Bayswater's rescue in the 87th minute by smothering at the feet of Rogers, while in stoppage time Stone made sure the game would end level by denying Barnes from only a couple of metres.
Stirling Lions blew a two-goal lead to go down 2-3 to Swan I.C. at the Swan Italian Club. The Lions failure to go on with the job once again proved their undoing as the club's top flight status beyond this season remains uncertain. The early signs were positive from the visiting side for whom Riste Stefoski brushed the outside of the post with a powerful free-kick. With 13 minutes played Ian Griffiths picked up ball up wide on the right and drove a low cross into the dangerzone where an unmarked Leo Harman slammed it in from 5-metres. Nineteen minutes later the margin began two goals when Griffiths' free-kick to the far post was headed back toward goal by Aaron McKee and Harman grabbed his second by tapping in from a couple of metres. Stefan Stoleski was unlucky not to add the Lions third shortly after but having held off a challenge from Trevor Hatton his shot was deflected just wide. Swan responded seven minutes from the break when Rob Monterosso's cross was met by a powerful header from Damien Scli which struck the post and came to rest in the net after ricocheting off an unfortunate Aleksandar Vrteski. The second half saw both sides attempt to gain control with efforts from Griffiths and Miki Vujacic missing their targets by the narrowest of margins. The match was back on level terms in the 65th minute when Tony Cumace curled a free-kick around the defensive wall and inside the near post. Shortly after David Foster steered his way around Vrteski only to put his shot from an angle over the crossbar. The deciding goal came six minutes from the end as Foster poked the ball over the line from close-range after Scott Campbell's cross went to feet. The Lions threw everything forward in an effort to salvage a point but it was to no avail as Swan held out for victory.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND THIRTEEN (Wanneroo City vs Balcatta by Martin Swann; Kingsway Olympic vs Mandurah City courtesy Mandurah City; South West Phoenix vs Canning City by Phil Unsworth)
Balcatta pushed First Division leader Wanneroo City all the way only to go down 0-1 when they meet at Kingsway Sporting Complex. Although missing key duo David Moschilla and Adam Raines thorugh injury, Balcatta carved out the games first opportunity with Danny Carlino's searing volley from 16-metres flashing just above the crossbar. The pace was frantic during the opening twenty minutes as both sides sought the upper hand. The games first - and only - goal arrived ten minutes from the interval when Scott Bullock's free-kick took several deflections before ending up in the back of the net. Just six minutes later Balcatta went agonisingly close to equalising through Adrian Caloiero whose header struck the underside of the bar before being gathered by a grateful Darren Williams. Balcatta took the game up to their opponents in the second half with Joe Cinquina and Caloiero leading the way. Home defender Stuart Collins cleared a shot off the line following a corner, while appeals for a penalty were turned down after Carlino was brought down inside the box. Playing mostly on the counterattack, Wanneroo went close to sealing the game through Bulloch who was thwarted in a one-on-one with Jordan Conti close to the final whistle.
Mandurah City got their season back on track by beating Kingsway Olympic 3-2 at Kingsway Sporting Complex. In fielding an experimental side Mandurah coach Sean Kearns handed starting berths to David Dawson and Clint Brown while there was place on the bench for 16-year old Daniel Dyson. Kingsway came out with all guns ablaze and after 10 minutes went ahead when Steve Pilcher was set through after good work in the build from Jason Stern and Sota Iwasaki. However, Mandurah kept their focus and were soon back on level terms with Christian Paschkewitz scoring a contentious penalty. The second half saw Mandurah start well but it was Kingsway who'd regain their lead through a penalty from Steve Dimitrovich. This seemed to fire up the visiting team and a series of attacks produced further goals for Michael Bobridge and lively attacker Gary Attrill that guided Mandurah to victory. All the while Kingsway continued to press and the outcome could have been very different had Pilcher been able to convert a couple of late chances. Underpinning Mandurah's successful day out were stand-out performances from central defender Stuart Francis, tireless midfielder Jordan Rhodes and star striker Paschkewitz. The win, Mandurah's fifth in six weeks, elevates them to second place on the table.
Rockingham City got back in the winners circle by thumping Gosnells City 4-0 at Dowling Street Reserve. Gosnells made a positive start as their wide players sent a stream of crosses into the area which caused the home defence all kids of trouble. However, Rockingham slowly got into top gear and gained control of the match through the hard work of Luke Morris and Bryan Hastie. The opening goal arrived after 28 minutes when Hastie surged into attack and laid the ball on a plate for Glenn Hallums to slot past the oncoming goalkeeper. Within minutes the margin had been doubled as a cross floated to the back post was volleyed in by an unmarked Hallums. Gosnells pushed forward in number after the break as they sought for a way back into the game, but scoring opportunities for the visitors were scarce against a well-organised defence. The win was made safe in the 61st minute when Hastie headed powerfully past the 'keeper following a perfectly timed run into the box. Rockingham added a fourth not long after through a close-range finish from Craig Donelle. Gosnells came close to bagging a late consolation goal through Darren Ingham whose shot crashed into the upright.
Canning City had little to show for the long journey to Bunbury where South West Phoenix ran out 2-1 winners. The home team were quickly into rhythm and went ahead after 17 minutes through Steve Suttie who converted from the penalty spot after a handball infringement. Just before half-time the margin became two-goals as Canning failed to effectively clear the danger and Suttie drove his shot low and to the right of goalkeeper Adam Horsley. A much more composed and determined Canning side emerged for the second half and Harrin Rajeswaran sounded a warning shot when his brilliant shot on the turn crashed into the angle of the goal. A few minutes later Paul Oliver reduced the deficit by gaining possession on the top edge of the 18-yard box and slamming the ball across Reece Braithwaite and inside the far post. Late in the half Ross Posthuma was sent off for a second yellow card offence leaving Canning to see out the game with ten men. However, the visitors continued to pressure the Phoenix backline who stood tall in earning their team a fourth win in as many weeks. If Canning can maintain the intensity shown in the second half today then they should be able to pull away from the foot of the league table.
Forrestfield United took a huge step towards a top eight finish after defeating Dianella White Eagles 2-1 in an entertaining match at Hartfield Park. The visitors looked dangerous early on courtesy of some neat one-touch exchanges which took them into attack but there was little which caused real concern for Forrestfield custodian Scott Radford. As the half progressed the home team worked their way back into the match but, like their opponent, shots on goal was scarce. Forrestfield sounded a warning at the start of the second half that they meant business as a drive from long-range by Kayne Gordon-Davidson smashed into the post. Glenn Noblet was twice through one-on-one with Anthony Mori who made a couple of brilliant saves to keep the game scoreless. The breakthrough came with eleven minutes remaining when Roger Miron sprung the offside trap to blast Forrestfield into the lead. That joy was short-lived, however, as three minutes later substitute Zelko Savic restored parity following some fine work down the left. Mori and Radford were each put to the test as the two sides went in search of the deciding goal which arrived in the 87th minute when Joe Healy delivered the ball in from the right to Noblet who netted at the second attempt.
Bassendean Caledonian mauled Queens Park 6-0 when they meet at Coker Park. The talking point of the first half was the 26th minute dismissal of Ben Anderton which put Queens Park behind the eight ball, and three minutes later their task made all the harder as Rydeen Botha put away the visitors opener. But it was after the break that the floodgates opened as goals from Ryan Jeans, Phil Russie, Botha, Matt Gow and Jason Van Rooy allowed Bassendean to run away with the game. Stirling Suns moved away from the foot of the table by defeating Ashfield 3-2 at the Cracovia Club. Billy Bozinovski, Danko Jovanoski and Billy Ristevski were on target for the Suns while Ashfield's goals came via Mohammed Komadaric and David Gordon. Further details of this game weren't forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
New life has been breathed into the race for the Premier League title with three teams are separated by as many points at the completion of Round Thirteen. Leader Perth S.C. were upset 3-1 by E.C.U. Joondalup for whom John Morton, Garin Collins and Kevin Caroma found the net. Sorrento thumped Floreat Athena 4-0 to remain in second place and level on points with Western Knights who downed Fremantle City 3-1 with Stuart Montgomery bagging a hat-trick. Inglewood United defeated Cockburn City 2-1, while the points were shared at 2-2 by Bayswater City and Armadale. Swan I.C. eased their relegation concerns with a 3-2 win over Stirling Lions.
Wanneroo City increased their strangehold over the First Division to six points after edging out Balcatta 1-0 in their top of the table meeting at Kingsway Sporting Complex. Mandurah City took second place courtesy of a 3-2 away win over Kingsway Olympic at the same venue. South West Phoenix defeated Canning City 2-1, and Forrestfield United scored victory over Dianella White Eagles by the same scoreline. Rockingham City humbled the visitors of Gosnells City 4-0, while Queens Park were thrashed 0-6 by Bassendean Caledonian. Stirling Suns eased themselves away from last place by defeating Ashfield 3-2.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
There are several intriguing match-ups in the thirteeth round of Premier League action. Two of the competitions in-form sides, Sorrento and Floreat Athena, go head-to-head in the northern suburbs. Cockburn City will be out to arrest three successive losses when they travel to Inglewood United. The points could go either way when Bayswater City and Armadale meet at Frank Drago Reserve.
Stirling Lions have a great chance to pick up some much needed points when they take on a Swan I.C. side who've leaked goals in recent weeks. E.C.U. Joondalup are back to full strength and have their sights on upsetting Perth S.C. on home soil. Western Knights make the short trip to Ken Allen Reserve where the opposition is provided by Fremantle City whose confidence has grown with recent outings.
The time has come for Balcatta to show what they are made of and on Saturday they travel to Kingsway Sporting Complex to take on First Division leader Wanneroo City. Rockingham City can get their season back on track with victory over Gosnells City who are sure to have other ideas. There will be little between Forrestfield United and Dianella White Eagles when they clash at Hartfield Park.
South West Phoenix are on a roll at the moment and should take the points over Canning City. Kingsway Olympic have home ground advantage against a Mandurah City line-up smarting from last weeks disappointing result. Bassendean Caledonian head to Coker Park to play struggling Queens Park, and last placed Stirling Suns welcome Ashfield to the Cracovia Club. Second from last Morley Windmills will be glad to have the bye.
LIONS FOR THE DROP?
Stirling Lions have been voted the team most likely to end the regular season in last place. In excess of 350 people responded to last week's poll question 'Which club will be relegated from the top flight come seasons' end?' The Lions, who have won just once from twelve starts, were by far the most 'popular' option and garnered 42.5% of the count. But by no means out of the woods are Fremantle City whose share of the vote was 25.2%. It seems the local community expect Swan I.C. (12.7%), Bayswater City (9.9%) and E.C.U. Joondalup (9.7%) to retain their Premier League status into 2006.
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This page was last updated on the 31st August, 2005