PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND FOUR (Cockburn City vs Perth S.C. by Lennie Bavich; Sorrento vs E.C.U. Joondalup by Kerry Slater; Bayswater City vs Stirling Lions courtesy Bayswater City)
Perth S.C. stretched their unbeaten run to four games, and remain top of the Premier League standings, following a hard fought 1-1 draw with Cockburn City at Dorrien Gardens. Neither side gave so much as an inch in a tough opening period which was broken after ten minutes when John Mirco latched on to a pass from Dutch import Jurgen Van Dun but the striker’s soft shot presented goalkeeper Gareth Deeg with an easy grab. A minute later came Perth’s first real opening which ended with Andreas Oliviera’s path to goal being blocked by a defender. The action continued with Gary Faria shooting into the side netting after being forced wide by Deeg in a one-on-one situation, then it was the turn of David Onoforo who flashed a powerful drive wide of the right post on the half hour. The deadlock was broken on 36 minutes when Deeg came out of his area to deal with a ball played over the defence but his attempted clearance fell to the feet of Pereira who gleefully snapped up the chance by dribbling into an empty net. Antonio Naglieri gave his former club an almighty scare two minutes later with a fierce shot that flew just wide. And shortly before the break Deeg made amends for his earlier error by pulling off a fantastic save to deny Mirco. Three minutes into the second half Alan Dunlop battered away a neat chip from Robbie Puca, who’d only come on at the break, but before the Cockburn ‘keeper could get back on his feet Jeff Bright had the ball in the net. The game sea-sawed back and forth for the remainder of the afternoon with Perth edging their hosts in terms of possession as both defences worked hard to ensure no addition to the scoreline.
Northern rivals Sorrento and E.C.U. Joondalup contested a 2-2 draw in front of a big crowd at Percy Doyle Reserve. Pre-match expectations of a classic derby encounter looked like coming true when Peter Stewart produced a wonderful save to keep out Danny Hill's header on 7 minutes only for Todd Harnwell to whip the loose ball over the line and give the hosts the advantage. The margin should have been increased six minutes later when Stewart was caught out of position and Glen Thomas somehow fired wide of an open goal. Joondalup slowly started to find their way back into the game as Garin Collins' shot took a deflection off Steve MacDonald and Neil Young scrambled across his line to keep the ball out of his net. In the 27th minute Joondalup equalised as Kevin Carmona whipped in a cross from the right which Andrew Bowyer had the misfortunate of turning into his own net. Sorrento were lucky not to do down to ten men late in the half when Michael Ord, who had earlier been booked, dragged down Porter as he went past the defence and although the referee agreed it was a foul there was no card shown. The second half started spectacularly as Harnwell raced on to a pass lofted over the defence which he volleyed into the top left corner of Stewart's net. Simon Harland and Hill forced a magnificent double save from the Joondalup custodian as Sorrento looked to go on with the job. In the 55th minute the ledger was evened once again as Carmona drifted in unmarked to loop a deep cross over Young. Collins and Anthony Jones went close for Joondalup while effort from Jared Love and Bowyer were off target as the teams traded attacks over the closing stages. The final whistle brought to a close an entertaining game which, while not quite up to the standard of previous season's meetings, still had its fair share of highlights.
Armadale romped to their third successive win and third place on the table with an emphatic 2-0 victory over Fremantle City at Ken Allen Field. After a scrappy opening Armadale asserted their influence over the game with an endless string of high balls that the visiting defence found difficult to deal with and if not for some sharper finishing the Reds could have opened up a sizeable advantage inside twenty minutes. For their part Fremantle had difficult in retaining possession and with the ball continually turned over in the centre of the park their defence found themselves under increasing pressure. Two minutes from the break that valve was released when Armadale's sixth corner saw Darren Kingston soar above the defence and give Bobson Koroma no chance with a bullet-like header into the top corner. It was more of the same in the second half with Armadale holding sway. A golden opportunity to end the game as a contest went begging when Armadale were awarded a penalty and Jason Goodwin's spot kick was amazingly kept out by Koroma. But it wasn't long before the home fans were cheering once again as Kingston played the ball to the far post where Dennis Lee benefited from defensive hesitancy and blasted into the net from close-range. Fremantle responded by pushing Paul Robinson into midfield and bringing striker Amed Hafiz off the bench. The changes worked a treat and for the port side who dominated the final quarter hour and carved out their best chances of the afternoon. To their credit Armadale knew exactly what they had to do and played it safety first at the back in weathering the storm and claiming maximum points.
Two sensation first half goals from Greg Sharland got Inglewood United over the line by 2-1 against a fast-finishing Western Knights at the Kiev Sports Ground. In a cliched 'game of two halves' the early running came from Inglewood. Jake Harman tested the reflexes of Tommi Tomich twice in six minutes, then a low drive from Louis Parkinson rolled just wide after escaping the goalkeeper's grip. The breakthrough goal arrived on 20 minutes when Sharland's exquisitely struck shot from 19-metres dipped into the far top corner. Eight minutes later Sharland delivered a follow-up blow with a brilliantly taken free-kick which he arrowed over the defensive wall and well beyond Tomich's reach to make it two-nil. Genuine openings were rare for the visiting side who found it difficult to break down the well-organised defence of Shaun Kilkelly, Daniel Stoitis and Danny Kovacevic. And shortly before the interval Tomich again came his teams rescue with a top-draw save to deny Parkinson at point blank range. The tables were turned for the second half as Daniel Trim made his presence felt in the centre of the park. Following a handful of half-chances the visitors were able to peg back the difference on 64 minutes when Barry Wood was allowed to head in unchallenged from only a couple of metres following Stuart Montgomery's cross from the left. Oliver Taseski was at full-stretch in pushing wide an explosive shot from Wood hot from just inside the 18-yard box, and a few minutes later the Inglewood 'keeper made a great save to thwart Montgomery at close-range. With ten minutes remaining Trim evaded four tackles before laying off to Montgomery who swept it past Taseski only for an upraised flag to rule out the goal for offside. The closing stages saw the Knights pepper their opponents goal in search of an equaliser but Inglewood held firm to pick up their second win in as many weeks.
A dominant Floreat Athena line-up eased their way to a 4-0 win over Swan I.C. in a one-sided game at the Swan Italian Club. Floreat settled quickly in the wet conditions which saw Cory Hugo tested early by Branmir Mikulic who, along with strike partner Eugene Singeorzan kept the home defence on high alert. It came as no surprise then when Mikulic surged forward from midfield and slotted to Paul Vlachou who beat the advancing 'keeper with a neatly place low shot. Mikulic had a goal disallowed for offside before Swan briefly flickered to life as Damien Catalano and David Foster both shot wide. Floreat's onslaught continued as efforts from Singeorzan and Craig Simpson flew off-target leading into the interval. This same pattern continued into the new half which opened with a Vlachou shot flashing wide and Mikulic forcing Cory Hugo into a fine save down low. But there was nothing the Swan custodian could do in the 55th minute when Singeorzan won possession and played through to Vlachou whose lob over Cory Hugo ended in the back of the net. Swan substitute Paul Lincoln almost netted with his first touch, a header from Justin Hugo's cross, but Vas Vujacic tipped it over at full stretch. Floreat defence were well marshalled at the back by Adrian Sutton and Craig Simpson and with Bajo Savic pulling the strings in midfield there was just no way back in for Swan. Singeorzan should have increased the gap to three goals but his spot kick was saved by Cory Hugo, and shorlty after Mikulic crashed a shot into the crossbar. A darting run from Smith saw his cross met by Singeorzan who this time made no mistake in hitting the target. Floreat's fourth and final goal arrived eight minutes from the end when Vlachou played a pinpoint cross into the centre where an unmarked Mikulic headed past the 'keeper.
Bayswater City eased themselves away from the foot of the table with a dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 defeat of Stirling Lions at Frank Drago Reserve. The game started at a pedestrian pace with neither side really showing a great deal of initiative. Steve Bozinovski was causing the home defence a few problems with his pace and midway through the period his persistence was rewarded when he collected a miscued clearance by Steve Grant and shrugged off a Matt Wardle challenge before picking his spot in the back of the net. The remainder of the half was a fairly dour affair with the Lions managing a few shots from distance while Bayswater rarely slumbered. The home crowd were given reason to Bayswater cheer two minutes into the new half when Ross Barnes rattled the crossbar from an Andy O'Neill cross. As the half progressed the Lions re-established control with some neat movement both on and off the ball. So it came as no surprise when the visitors increased their advantage on 64 minutes via a powerful header from Darko Ilmanovski at a corner. A few positional changes saw Bayswater finally spark into life, and when Wardle's fortuitous free-kick somehow found its way through a crowded 18-yard box and into the net it was game on. The scores were levelled in the 71st minute as Boima Karpeh met an Andy O'Neill corner from the left which he powered past Jordan Conti. The Lions were content to hold on for a point as Bayswater pressed hard for a winner. With five minutes left on the clock substitute Luke O'Neill embarked on a mazy run down the right wing and, having made his way inside the area, he slid the ball to Cormac Dawson who hammered it past the 'keeper to clinch Bayswater's first win of the campaign.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND FOUR (Canning City vs Wanneroo City by Phil Unsworth; Morley Windmills vs Ashfield courtesy Ashfield; Mandurah City vs Forrestfield United by John Fitzmaurice)
Wet and windy conditions where on offer at Jubilee Reserve where Rockingham City downed host club Bassendean Caledonian 1-0. Rockingham raced out of the blocks early and tested the mettle of the home defence as Glenn Hallums and Rob Crerar tried their luck with shots from distance. However the visitors received a major setback on the quarter hour when Marc Hornby was stretchered from the field with a serious knee injury. The loss of their captain unsettled Rockingham and allowed Bassendean to work their way back into the contest as good opportunities came the way of Ryan Jeans and Scott Cooper. It was against the run of play then that Rockingham went ahead when a long ball wasn't dealt with by the defence and Hallums nipped in to slot it past the goalkeeper. The second half was one way traffic with Bassendean well in control but unable to open up a passage to goal. Tempers boiled over when Cooper's late challenge on goalkeeper Craig Olenjek saw him booked, and in the melee that followed Crerar, Bryan Hastie and Craig Donnell also had their names taken by the referee. Bassendean came close to snatching a point late in the piece through Cooper whose disappointingly shot straight at the 'keeper from close-range.
Canning City slipping to the foot of the table following this afternoon's 0-2 loss to Wanneroo City at the Willetton Sports Club. Despite suffering their fourth successive loss Canning showed plenty of reasons to indicate that they will shortly begin their climb up the First Division standings. The first chance in a physical opening came on 10 minutes when a deflected pass cleared goalkeeper Darren Williams and attacker Simon Versaico was unable to touch the ball into the net. Three minutes later there was better luck at the other end as Scott Bulloch rose to met a cross from the right which he looped over Adam Horsely for the opening goal. Wanneroo were posing the greater attacking threat but failed to add to their tally before the half-time whistle sounded. Canning came out after the break with greater determination and good opportunities presented themselves to Paul Van Dongen and Steven Cole who were unable to find a way past Williams. Some resolute defending and great work by Horsley held the visitors at bay until just before the end when Stuart Collins outpaced the defence to cross to Bulloch who steered his shot past the young 'keeper. Canning's Reserves snatched an exciting 2-1 win, while the Under-18's ended 4-1 in the hosts favour.
In a very tight match at Wotton Reserve Ashfield did enough to claim victory by 1-0 over Morley Windmills. While the majority of the early possession was with Ashfield it was the visitors who looked most threatening as an Adrian McBride free-kick whizzing just wide of the post and David Boffa had a header cleared off the line following a corner. Ashfield's Adam Purcell should have done much better that hit his shot from 9-metres straight at goalkeeper Dusan Martinovic who shortly after made a brilliant save to keep out Will Kirkpatrick's diving header. Ray Rose then went close to putting Windmills ahead but the best chance of the half came at the opposite end of the park where Cairan Allen rounded the 'keeper only to have Christian Kahil clear his shot off the line. The second half was ten minutes old when Wayne Culverwell was judged to have been obstructed inside the penalty area and Allen converted the resultant spot kick in via the inside of the post. Windmills dominated for the remainder of the afternoon with good chances to Rose, Boffa and Scott McIlroy as Ashfield held on take out maximum points. The Reserves ended 2-0 in favour of Ashfield with Windmills winning the Under-18's 3-2.
The points were shared at Kingsway Sporting Complex as Kingsway Olympic and Balcatta ended at 2-2. Adam Rains ensured Balcatta started the game strongly with a commanding display in the centre of the park which threw the early pressure on the hosts. Kingsway responded well but a defensive error by Bobby Irvine on 24 minutes resulted in Balcatta taking the lead through David Moschilla. The match then evened out with promising moves carved out by both sides. With half time looming Balcatta increased their advantage as Moschilla rounded Aidan Hayes before centring to Danny Carlino who tapped in. Hayes pulled off a couple of tremendous saves at the start of the second half as Balcatta came out determined to kill off the match. The introduction of Derek Cooke and Steve Pilcher was the right tonic for Kingsway with the former working some individual magic to reduce the gap on 72 minutes. From here on in it all the running came from the hosts as. Pilcher hit the crossbar and Cooke twice tested the skills of the 'keeper. Their reward when Pilcher raced through to calmly placed his shot past a stranded 'keeper.
Christian Paschewitz was the inspiration behind a late comeback which earned Mandurah City a 3-3 draw with Forrestfield United at Peelwood Parade. The hosts started brightly and made all the early running only to fall a goal behind when a well delivered cross allowed Lucas Whitehouse to send the ball past goalkeeper Michael Green. Mandurah continued to press forward and it wasn't too long before they gained a deserved equalizer via the head of Jake Loreto. A succession of wasted opportunities after the break would prove costly for the home team as Forrestfield took a seemingly unassailable lead. Quenten Sharpe put the visitors ahead after some slick passing, then a Justin Mansfield chip fell perfectly into the path of Whitehouse who lobbed over the stranded 'keeper to increase the margin to two goals. But a never say die attitude keep Mandurah's hopes alive and two goals in the final five minutes from Paschewitz allowed the hosts to steal a share of the points. The Reserves was won 3-0 by Mandurah for whom from Matt O'Brien, Adam Herschel and Jack Kearns scored, with Forrestfield victorious in the Under-18's by 1-0.
South West Phoenix thrashed Gosnells City at the Soccerdrome in Bunbury through goals from Steve Suttie, James Bergin and a Patrick Roberts hat-trick. And Petar Mrdja, Dejan Mlinar and Stefan Smiljanic found the net in Dianella White Eagles 3-0 away win over Queens Park. Further details of both these games weren't forthcoming from any of the participating clubs.
MIXED RESULTS FOR YOUNG SOCCEROOS
The Young Socceroos have produced a mixed bag of results against A-League opposition during an eleven-day training camp on the east coast. The national Under-20 team stunned Newcastle Jets 4-0 before a 1,000-strong crowd on the weekend, and in mid-week held glamour club Sydney F.C. to a 1-1 draw. Adelaide United provided stiffer opposition with the South Australian club running out 2-0 victors in the Young Socceroos final match of the training camp today. The Under-20's fly to the Netherlands in June for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship.
At Adamstown Oval on Sunday the national youth side went ahead against the Jets after just five minutes via Kristian Sarkies' low strike from 15-metres. The Young Socceroos peppered Liam Reddy's but it took a deflection to beat the Jets custodian a second time with the Chris Tadrosse netting eleven minutes from half-time. National team debutant Ruben Zadkovich scored with a spectacular header midway through the second half, and a stunning left-foot strike from 27-metres by Vince Lia completed the scoring. Ryan Townsend played a full game with Nick Ward coming off the bench in the 68th minute.
The Young Socceroos and Sydney both made a positive start to their game at Marconi Stadium on Wednesday. It was Sydney who got the opening goal after 25 minutes when David Carney's goalbound shot was handled over the crossbar by defender Mark Milligan, and Ufuk Talay stepped up to convert the resulting penalty. The start of the second half saw the national youth team storm out of the blocks and within two minutes they were level with new Perth Glory signing Billy Celeski netting from the narrowest of angles. Townsend once again saw out the full 90 minutes with Ward an unused substitute.
A full-strength Adelaide United side inflicted upon the Young Socceroos their first loss in eight games by running out 2-0 winners at Hindmarsh Stadium this evening. The national team twice went close in the opening stages which saw Jay Lucas shoot wide and Chris Tadrosse denied by goalkeeper Daniel Beltrame. The deadlock was broken on 31 minutes when Carl Veart headed past Daniel Vukovic from close-range. Ten minutes later a defensive error resulted in a goalmouth scramble that Ross Aloisi converted. Townsend was replaced with ten minutes remaining, and Ward came off the bench after 56 minutes.
AMBITION STILL STRONG FOR TANA
Perth Glory may have been a major force in the old national league but chairman Nick Tana has warned the club's loyal supporters that a much tougher challenge is in stall when the new A-League kicks off in August. During their eight seasons in the now defunct N.S.L. Glory made the finals on six occasions, played in four grand finals and won two championships. They were a smashing success off the field as well with Glory attracting by far the biggest crowds in the country and, with Tana's backing, were able to attract the best players on the domestic scene.
But having long called for a dramatic overhaul of the national league Tana accepts that the new era will probably bring an end to Glory's dominance. "We were always a large fish in a small bowl, and we were never happy with that," Tana told Michael Cockerill of the "Sydney Morning Herald". "It is far better to be part of a bigger picture, where you're one of eight clubs of equal standing. We are virtually starting all over again, so we've got to build things up, plan for things."
"Are we still ambitious?" queried Tana before answering, "Yes, we are. We're not disappointed with where we are at the moment, we are on target to get where we want to be. Off the field, I still believe we are well above the other clubs in terms of structure and organisation. Our sponsorship will be up on the last year of the NSL. On the field, only time will tell. We will strive to bring finals football to Perth, as we have done every year. Can we win the title in the first season? Maybe that's a big ask. We won't be trying to buy a championship, put it that way."
With the notable exception of Australian international Simon Colosimo Glory have so far been unable to secure any high-profile players. But with just three spots left in their twenty-player roster to fill Tana re-stated that Glory were unlikely to seek a 'marquee' player to match Dwight Yorke (Sydney FC) and Ned Zelic (Newcastle Jets). "I've said in the past that we don't believe we need a marquee player," he commented. "At the moment all we've got - all everybody has got - is a training squad. We are still preparing for the main event, and from my point of view that's the kick-off in August."
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
The deadlock continues at the head of the Premier League table with Perth S.C. and Sorrento each earning a single point from this afternoon's games. Perth S.C. stay top on goal difference following their 1-1 draw with Cockburn City, while in the far north Sorrento were held 2-2 at home by E.C.U. Joondalup. Armadale move into third place after their 2-0 away win over Fremantle City. Greg Sharland scored two of the best goals you are ever going to see as Inglewood United defeated Western Knights 2-1. Floreat Athena registered their first win of the season by hammering Swan I.C. 4-0, and Bayswater did likewise by coming from behind to knock off Stirling Lions 3-2.
Rockingham City and Wanneroo City - who are each yet to drop a point - share the lead in the First Division after four rounds of fixtures. Bassendean Caledonian provided the opposition for Rockingham who emerged 1-0 winners, while Wanneroo claimed a 2-0 victory over Canning City who've slumped to last place. Ashfield downed neighbouring Morley Windmills 1-0 to move level with the leaders. Balcatta played out a 2-2 away draw with Kingsway Olympic, and the points were also shared between Mandurah City and Forrestfield United at 3-3. South West Phoenix thrashed Gosnells City 5-0, and Dianella White Eagles came away from Queens Park with the points by a 3-0 scoreline.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
There are some important games in Round Four of the Premier League season. The pick of the bunch is the northern suburbs derby which pits Sorrento against E.C.U. Joondalup at Percy Doyle Reserve. Perth S.C. and Cockburn City have their sights set on the top spot and their weekend clash promises to be an absolute cracker. Inglewood United host Western Knights in another tantalising match-up, while just down the road Bayswater City and Stirling Lions are both seeking their first win of the new campaign. Fremantle City face an Armadale side coming off successive wins at Ken Allen Field, and Swan I.C. have home ground advantage over Floreat Athena.
Canning City will be disappointed with their start of the season and have the daunting task of hosting title favourite Wanneroo City. Bassendean Caledonian will be looking to rebound from last weekend's loss when they welcome Rockingham City to Jubilee Reserve. Morley Windmills take on neighbouring Ashfield at Wotton Reserve, while Kingsway Olympic and Balcatta face off in another derby clash. Forrestfield United will need to be on top of their game if they plan to take the points over host club Mandurah City. South West Phoenix are home to Gosnells City, at Coker Park it's Queens Park against Dianella White Eagles, and out of action due to the bye are Stirling Suns.
PETKOVIC PUTS HAND UP FOR WORLD CUP BERTH
Turkey-based goalkeeper Michael Petkovic asked Socceroo coach Frank Farina not to forgot him when it comes to selecting Australia's World Cup squad. "My ultimate goal is to play in England but I so desperately want to be part of the Australian squad for the final stage of the World Cup campaign," Petkovic said. Farina has so far preferred Mark Schwarzer and Zeljko Kalac but Petkovic must surely come into contention after a terrific season between the posts for Trabzonspor, who are third behind Fenerbache and Galatasaray.
This weekend Trabzonspor travel to the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium where they face league leader Fenerbahce in what Petkovic rates as a make-or-break game in his club's bid to make the Champions League. "It's a huge derby," he said. "Both clubs are very passionate and there will be a full stadium [55,000] at the ground," said the three-time national keeper of the year. We're six points behind Fenerbache and two behind Galatasaray with five games to go. I still think anyone can win the championship." In three seasons with Trabzonspor Petkovic has made played close to one hundred games, won two Turkish Cups and tasted UEFA and Champions League competition.
OLIVEIRA THE SUMMERS BEST SIGNING
The best signing of the off-season was State striker Andres Oliveira. The nimble footed 23-year old was by far the most popular choice in this weeks www.soccerwwa.com poll which posed the question 'Which summer recruit will have the greatest impact this season?' With close to 300 votes cast, Oliveira ended with a massive 37.0% of the count to be the runaway winner. Western Knights Scottish import Barry Wood and Kevin Griffiths (13.1%) of Inglewood United ended as joint runners-up. Floreat Athena signing Bajo Savic (10.8%), who spent several seasons with Austrian club Rapid Vienna, finished just a handful of votes ahead of Scott Campbell (10.2%) of Swan I.C. And close behind him was E.C.U. Joondalup midfielder Steve Porter (9.1%). Bringing up the rear of the field was one-time State goalkeeper Alan Dunlop (6.7%) who'll this winter wear the colours of Cockburn City.
SCHOOLBOYS COACH SCORES NATIONAL TEAM JOB
Years of hard work have paid for Damon Atthowe whose joined the Australian Schoolboys coaching staff. Atthowe has been involved with the Schoolboys side at State level for a number of years including the past two as coach. Last year he took the side to the silver medal - their best ever placing - at the national championships. "My selection as part of the coaching staff is a great honour and recognition of what we achieved last year," said Atthowe this week. "It's a dream come true."
"I can't wait to work with some of the best young talent in Australia and to test myself at international level," he added. "I'll be the assistant coach when Australia play New Zealand in Sydney this October. We'll be playing two games against the Kiwis hopefully the second international will be at Australia Stadium as a curtinraiser to an A-League match. School Sport Australia have recently confirmed a tour of England and Ireland for the Australian Schoolboys in January 2006 so fingers crossed that I'll also be involved with that."
Atthowe's involvement with the national team means he's had to hand over the coaching reigns of the State side to Stirling Lions attacker Rob Milevski. "Rob Milevski will do an excellent job," Atthowe added. "Selection in this years Schoolboys squad will give players an opportunity to play in two international series. We envisage that the squad for the New Zealand games will form the basis of the side that goes to England and Ireland. The trip to England in particular has enormous potential for the players selection as there will no doubt be scouts in attendance for all our games."
GLORY FINALLY HIT THEIR STRAPS
Perth Glory produced their most impressive display of the pre-season to down Inglewood United 3-0 this evening at the Kiev Sports Ground. Glory created some good chances early on with Neil Teggart and Bobby Despotovski each going close. In the 21st minute a Jamie Coyne throw-in found Despotovski who lashed a vicious volley into the roof of the net from 22-metres. Andre Sarpe tested the reflexes of Glory custodian Milan Jovanic as Inglewood sought to equalise. Five minutes before the break Despotovski doubled the lead when he rose high to head in deep cross from Coyne.
The second half saw Glory made good use of the ball as they retained possession for long periods. Inglewood looked good with Shaun Kilkelly, Dean Apelgren and Greg Sharland featuring in their passages of play. Late in the game Apelgren was forced out of the action with a shoulder injury resulting from a challenge from behind by Steve McMahon junior. Teggart completed the scoreline shortly after by rounding the goalkeeper and stroking the ball into an empty net following a neat through ball from Despotovski. The match is likely to be Glory's final friendly before their Club World Championship qualifier next month.
ON THIS DAY ... 1909 (courtesy "A Soccer Century" By Richard Kreider)
The first interstate trip by a West Australian representative side was in 1909 when the State team journeyed their way around Australia. The squad comprised V. Allan, A. W. Bennett, H. Scott, W. Taylor (City United), Tommy McCreery (Claremont), C. Bogle (Fremantle), team captain Charlie Bodenham, J.McLaughlin, J.O'Neill (Goldfields), George H. Burt, E.S. Robertson, William Roskams (Perth), R.M. Evans (Rangers), J. Booth (Ex-Students) and J. Woods (Training College). The tour manager W.C. Thomas, and six supporters - A.C. Bogle, W.S. Woods, F. McCreery, P.Refold, J. Morrison and A. Evans - also made the trip.
Their first match was in New South Wales where West Australia suffered a 0-4 loss to a combined Newcastle colliers side a day after they disembarked. Their next game, against a combined South Maitland side, they won 2-0 followed by a 2-2 draw with New South Wales, a 1-1 draw with Granville and District on another 'paddock', then a 1-3 loss in the second NSW test in front of 4,000 people at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The 'Swans' - as the State side was known - final two matches in NSW were a 4-0 win against a Metropolitan XI at the Agricultural Showgrounds, and a 2-2 result with the South Coast Association who equalised in the fifth minute of injury time.
Moving on from NSW, the State team confronted Victoria on 2nd June at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground, downing them 3-0 on a pitch that was described as 'thick black soup'. W.A. then twice drew 4-4 against South Australia, while a game against Cambridge AFC was cancelled owing to a spate of injuries, the legacy of an exhausting and bruising tour. In fact the injury situation was so bad that W.A. were forced to use a local player for the second S.A. clash. In that same game, Evans had a chance to snatch victory for the visitors only to squander a final minute penalty.
LIONS INSTALL EVERTON GREAT AS COACH
Stirling Lions have moved quickly by naming former Everton captain Mick Lyons as their new coach. Lyons' appointment comes just days after Tom Leeman's vacated the role due to work and family reasons. "Mick can take the baton and run with it as his technical expertise and youth development skills are second to none in this state," said Lions president Don Evans. "He will be given all the assistance required and should be nicely surprised when he sees the talented juniors coming through the Kings Stirling system and the Lions own juniors who have bloomed in recent seasons." Lyons made 460 appearances, and scored 59 goals, while playing predominantly as a defender for English side Everton during the 1970's. After eleven seasons with the Toffees he signed for Sheffield Wednesday where he played a 135 times over four seasons.
McMAHON LOOKING FOR POSITIVE START
Perth Glory coach Steve McMahon sees next months Club World Championship qualifying tournament as the ideal platform towards a successful A-League competition. McMahon is keen to start his time with the club on the right note as Glory attempt to replicate the successes it enjoyed in the old national league. "It's a huge opportunity," McMahon said. "It's a major opportunity for the club, the players, for everybody involved. We hope to hit the ground running and start off on a positive note."
But the Glory faithful have had little reason for optimism following some lacklustre displays against State League opposition during the past month. The reigning national league champion commenced their pre-season with a shock 0-1 loss to Stirling Lions. Thy bounced back by thrashing E.C.U. Joondalup 6-0, but were fortunate to claim a 2-0 victory over Perth S.C. A 2-2 draw with Sorrento was next with Glory forced to twice come from behind to earn a 3-3 draw with last years First Division champion Armadale in their most recent outing.
As winner of the final National Soccer League season Glory have been given direct entry into the semi-finals of the Australian qualifying tournament for the Club World Championship. The club will face either Sydney F.C. or Queensland Roar at Members Equity Stadium on 11th May in McMahon's first competitive match at the helm. The winner of the series will take their place in the Oceania qualifying series for the championship in which they'll square-off against European glamour clubs Chelsea and AC Milan in Japan this December.
MIDDLESBROUGH BOSS PRAISES JONES (courtesy www.tribalfootball.com)
Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren paid tribute to young shot-stopper Brad Jones after the weekend's 4-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion . "Today was one of those games where we took our chances and they didn't, courtesy of our goalkeeper Brad Jones - I thought he was excellent," observed McLaren. "There was a lot of pressure on the team today after Tuesday's draw. We were apprehensive but, once we went in front, we were excellent. We really had to win that game. And, if we play like that in the next four games, we should get that European spot."
COYNE GIVEN DOUBLE REASON TO CELEBRATE
Chris Coyne was showered with champagne on Saturday after scoring the goal which sealed Luton Town the League One title. Coyne rose highest to head in the winner in a 2-1 victory over Wrexham, sparking jubilant scenes among Hatters players and supporters. "We know we've had a great season but we were weren't happy until we had that 'C' next to our name," said Coyne. "It's an unbelievable feeling to have done that and now we can really start celebrating." Luton went into the break a goal down courtesy of Andrew Holt's 31st minute strike, but after the break rallied with Curtis Davis equalising and Coyne netting the decider after 59 minutes.
Following the win Coyne was named as one of six Luton players in this years PFA League One Team of the Season. Marlon Beresford, Ahmet Brkovic, Coyne, Davies, Steve Howard and team captain Kevin Nicholls all found themselves in annual squad which is voted for by players from other clubs. Coyne joined the Hatters in September 2001 since when he's made over 170 appearances and helped the club twice gain promotion in three seasons. Although regarded as one of the best Australian defenders outside England's top flight the 26-year old defender is yet to receive a call-up to the senior national team.
JOVANIC READY TO STEP UP
There was little fanfare when Perth Glory announced the signing of Milan Jovanic, but the young goalkeeper could be elevated to hero status in West Australia within a month. Jovanic, a Serbia and Montenegro youth international, is Glory's only contracted goalkeeper and with a Club World Championship qualifier just around the corner he'll most likely be the man between the posts. "If Steve McMahon gave me the chance, I would be delighted," Jovanic said. "I wouldn't give one hundred, I would give one thousand per cent."
Jovanic has featured in all five of Glory's warm-up games for the championship qualifier since touching down from a 30-hour flight from Belgrade last month. And while he's yet to be tested by the country's best strikers Jovanic has indicated he's up to the task with lightning reflexes and some neat footwork. "In Serbia you must always pass so I learnt, like a sweeper, you always play a 4-4-2 and I am the sweeper," Jovanic said when asked of his strengths. "I have never commented on myself, never. That is for other people to do; I don't like to do it. I'm still young and my career is ahead of me."
WOMEN'S WRAP (Subiaco United vs Balcatta courtesy Balcatta; Rockingham City vs Mandurah City courtesy Mandurah City; Lynwood Colts vs Murdoch University courtesy Murdoch University; Bassendean Caledonian vs Subiaco United courtesy Subiaco United)
Northern Redbacks went to the top of the women's Premier League table after accounting for Kingsley 3-1 at Rickman Delawney Reserve. The home team went into the break with the slenderest of advantages courtesy of a 32nd minute goal from Ciara Conway. Nine minutes into the second half they were provided some much needed breathing space with Conway added her second, and the points were made safe as Conway completed her hat-trick on 64 minutes. Kingsley weren't to be denied a goal of their own and fifteen minutes from the end Louise Higgins found the target to bring some respectability to the scoreline.
Two second half goals from Laura Turnbull gave Balcatta the points over Subiaco United at Rosalie Park. It was an entertaining opening period in which some good chances were created but the sides went into the break with neither goalkeeper breached. Ten minutes after the re-start the visitors broke through when Brid Dawsons' throw-in found the left foot of Turnbull who drilled it past the Subiaco goalkeeper. Further chances presented themselves to both sides before the result was out beyond doubt on 68 minutes when a surging run by Kylie Chatto draw a foul just outside the 18-yard box which Turnbull superbly curled around the defensive wall and over the head of the 'keeper.
Queens Park remains undefeated and third on goal difference after downing East Fremantle 5-1 at Coker Park. First half goals from Stacey Woodfin and Kylie Woodfin gave the hosts a handy buffer by the break. A.Ashton increased the gap before two goals in three minutes allowed Stacey Woodfin to complete her hat-trick midway through the second half. East Fremantle's goal came via T.Vener. Four teams - the Redbacks, Balcatta, Queens Park and Subiaco - sit level at the head of a congested Premier League table with six points each at the completion of three rounds of fixtures..
Mandurah City out-classed Rockingham City to emerge 4-2 victors from a hard fought First Division derby at Dowling Street Reserve. It took the visitors 15 minutes to find the net for the first time with Jiame Carley the scorer. Their second arrived not long after with Harriet Talbert making the most of a one-on-one with the 'keeper. Casey Herbener opned Rockingham's account for Carley to restore the visitors' two-goal buffer leading into the break. A Hannah Grummett shot which slipped through the hands of the 'keeper resulted in Rockingham's second early in the new half. It wasn't until five minutes from the end that the result was secured by Cairley who chipped the 'keeper following a neat through ball from Sylvia Loreto.
A ten-player Murdoch University side worked hard in defeating Lynwood Colts 3-1 at Hossack Reserve. The home team started brightly and deservedly gained the upper hand via a brilliant long-range shot which cleared the goalkeeper and snuck under the crossbar. But the sides went into the break on level terms with Nic Steer combining with Jo Steer who netted from 19-metres. The pendulum swung in Murdoch's favour early in the second half when confusion in the Lynwood defence saw Hilde Halvorsen's free-kick cross the line off a defender. With Vari Jefferies and Steph Battista pulling the strings Murdoch were now in command and the result was assured by Jo Steer who finished well from close-range with ten minute remaining.
Subiaco took maximum points from Jubilee Reserve courtesy of a 4-1 defeat of Bassendean Caledonian. The visitors were into stride quickly and an early free-kick from distance by Louise Garwood grazed the wrong side of the post. With half an hour played Subiaco go a much deservedly go ahead goal when Cindy Morgan sent the ball beyond the reach of the goalkeeper. The floodgates looked like opening up early in the second half as Morgan added her second, then in the 58th minute Mhairi Angus made it three-nil. Bassendean rallied and pegged back the margin but as the half progressed they were often the side on the defensive. Emma Rose crashed a terrific 83rd minute shot into the post before Morgan completed her hat-trick just before the final whistle.
In other First Division games, Beckenham Angels crushed local rival Gosnells City 6-1. Swan I.C. provided little resistance for University of WA who came away with the points by a 4-2 scoreline. And Balga accounted for the visiting Northern Redbacks 'C' side 4-2.
INJURY RULES OUT TARKA
Injury continues to plague Perth Glory's pre-season with Australian international David Tarka the latest casualty. Tarka limped out of last week's 3-3 friendly draw with Armadale and now looks likely to miss the qualifying series of the Club World Championship due to a hamstring tear. "I've done it three times now and this has been the worst," said Tarka. The strongly built defender first injured his hamstring playing for Australia in June last year, and hurt it again while at Nottingham Forest in November.
The injury to Tarka is the latest of a growing number of complaints to hamper Glory's pre-season. Socceroo Simon Colosimo expects to return to full training next week having spent the past three weeks sidelined with a knee injury, and club veteran Scott Miller joined in full training yesterday for the first time in a month due to a calf problem. Various injuries have also forced Jamie Harnwell, Naum Sekulovski and Stuart Young to miss pre-season games.
Coach Steve McMahon believes an intense pre-season may have caught some players off-guard, particularly those who have been largely inactive since the end of the old National Soccer League last April. "Maybe its because of the long lay-off," theorised McMahon. "They've found it hard training and maybe that's what happens when you haven't done a lot of physical work over a long period." Glory face either Sydney FC or Queensland Roar in the semi-finals of the Club World Championship at Members Equity Stadium on Wednesday 11th May.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Perth S.C. and Sorrento remain as the only undefeated teams after three rounds of Premier League action. Andreas Oliveira scored twice to earn Perth a 2-1 away win at E.C.U. Joondalup, while just down the road Sorrento accounted for Floreat Athena by the same scoreline with goals from Steve MacDonald and Glen Thomas. Inglewood United knocked off Cockburn City 3-1 at Dalmatinac Park, and Western Knights defeated Fremantle City 1-0. Armadale picked up back-to-back wins on home turf by toppling Bayswater City 2-1. Stirling Lions had little to show for their dominance over Swan I.C. for whom David Foster and Tom Shepheard netted in a 2-1 win.
Wanneroo City confirmed their position as First Division title favourite by thrashing Bassendean Caledonian 4-0 in Saturday's round of games. Balcatta picked up the points from their home meeting with Morley Windmills by 2-1, and a gallant Ashfield side went down 2-3 to visiting Mandurah City. Forrestfield United picked up maximum points for the first time this season with a 3-2 defeat of Canning City who are yet to register a point from three games. Gosnells City were held 1-1 by Queens Park, while Kingsway Olympic upset Dianella White Eagles 2-1. South West Phoenix were too strong for Stirling Suns winning 5-0.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND THREE (Bayswater City vs Armadale courtesy Bayswater City; Sorrento vs Floreat Athena by Kerry Slater; Stirling Lions vs Swan I.C. by Peter Simcox)
Inglewood United rekindled the form that won them the pre-season Night Series with a 3-1 defeat of Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Having absorbed the early pressure Cockburn went ahead after 13 minutes when Dean Gartside ghosted in at the back post to knock a deep cross over Oliver Taseski. The difference could have been two goals shortly after as Gartside left the defence in his wake but with just the goalkeeper to beat he lifted the ball high. Midway through the half Cockburn's rhythm was unsettled with ever-reliable defender Dean Wallace forced off by injury. Inglewood regained their composure and got back on level terms via Greg Shalrnad who converted from the penalty spot after Jake Harman was ruled to have been brought down by goalkeeper Jeff Cargill. The visitors continued to apply the pressure sand eight minutes into the second half their perseverance paid off. Kevin Griffiths played a corner to the far post where Shaun Kilkelly nodded it back across the face of goal and Jake Harman kept his composure in nodding is past Cargill. Cockburn responded to going a goal down by upping the tempo. Jason Dos Santos was proving particularly effective with a number of surging runs from midfield which ensured Inglewood's defence was kept on high alert. Taseski was left wringing his hands after blocked a close-range effort from John Mirco, and minutes later kept out a similarly stinging shot by Michael Mirco. Next it was John Mirco who threatened but again Taseski was up to the task and pushed the ball wide. With eleven minutes left on the clock Sharland worked his magic wide on the left to send a cross into the penalty area where Griffiths volleyed in Inglewood's third to put the game beyond their opponents reach.
Andreas Oliviera took his tally to six goals from three games with a double Perth S.C.'s 2-1 away defeat of E.C.U. Joondalup. Possession was evenly shared during the opening spells with neither team able to stamp their authority over the early proceedings. Perth were able to often put the ball at the feet of their forwards only to have the most promising attacks thwarted by a well-sprung offside trap. Joondalup's best moves were originated from a creative midfield but like their opponent could create few openings which troubled Gareth Deeg and the Blues defence. Eight minutes from the interval the visitors opened their account despite the best efforts of Peter Stewart who blocked successive shots from David Micevski and Oliviera before the formers second chance was deflected in by the latter. Perth came out for the second half focused on finishing the job by launching a string of dangerous attacks. Sixteen minutes into the half it looked as though the game was over as a contest when as Jeff Bright's cut back from the left was tucked into an unguarded net by Oliveira. With no option but to attack Joondalup threw everything forward and were the tactic paid off when Garin Collins worked his way inside the penalty box and sidestepped Deeg before slotting in from an acute angle. With Steve Porter, Collins and Ryan Newhill leading the way the hosts upped their workrate in search of a second goal but time and time again met strong resistance from a well-organised Blues rearguard. Content to soak up the pressure, Perth now relied on the counter attack and would have added to their tally if not for the heroics of Stewart in a man-of-the-match performance.
Bayswater City completely dominated their Premier League clash with Armadale but had little to show as the Reds ran out victorious by 2-0 at Alfred Skeet Oval. Armadale had little option but defend for the opening twenty minutes as the visiting side applied relentless pressure. Matt Wardle should have given Bayswater the advantage when he was put through with goalkeeper Nick Stone to beat but blasted high and wide. Cormac Dawson hit the powerful shot from 16-metres straight at Stone, then Ross Barnes laid a neat ball off to Boima Karpeh who failed to prompt a response from the 'keeper despite being well placed. The game was turned on it's head on the half hour when Bayswater were denied a penalty after Karpeh went past the defence only to be hauled down by Craig Anderson. A long ball pumped forward launched an immediate counterattack from Armadale that saw Peter Vukmirovic sidestep two challenges before curling the ball past goalkeeper Steve Grant to score the hosts' opener. Although somewhat deflated, Bayswater continued their onslaught but poor finishing meant they went into the break a goal down. Two minutes after the re-start and Daniel Webb rose above the defence to head against the crossbar from close-range as the Blues maintained the pressure. A left foot strike by Karpeh went wide, then Dawson lingered a moment too on the ball in a goalmouth scramble which was cleared by the defence. A rare Armadale attack in the 59th minute produced their second goal, a cross from the right finding Mo Atak unmarked and the young striker made no mistake with his volley. Karpeh was twice through one-on-one with Stone but failed to hit the target as Bayswater desperately sought for a way back in to the game. With ten minutes go Dawson bagged a consolation goal with a terrific strike from 15-metres, but it was too little too late and Armadale hung on grimly to take the points.
For the third successive week Sorrento came from a goal down at the break to collect maximum points, this week at the expense of home team Floreat Athena by 2-1. Floreat made the best possible start with a stunning strike by Branmir Mikilic from 18-metres giving them the lead with 11 minutes gone. The visitors responded quickly and Vas Vujacic was called upon to keep out shots from Jared Love and Todd Harnwell in the minutes that followed. A fierce drive from Mikulic was parried by Gulls custodian Neil Young shortly after but that would be the last of the hosts chances for some time. Simon Harland nodded over the crossbar, Glen Thomas' goalbound effort was deflected wide, and Todd Harnwell sliced the ball high from close-range. This pattern continued into the second half with Thomas hitting the crossbar and Steve McDonald denied by the sharp reflexes of Vujacic. Sorrento's desire to press forward in numbers almost proved their undoing in the 59th minute when Socratous embarked on a lung-bursting run that took him past three opponents before being hauled down just outside the 18-yard box by Danny Cain who was subsequently booked. Mikilic again stepped up but on this occasion his effort sailed harmlessly over the bar. Two minutes later Sorrento were awarded a dubious free-kick from 18-metres which Thomas brilliantly dispatched into the despite the best efforts of a airborne Vujacic. From there Sorrento buckled down to the task at hand but Thomas and Harland were each thwarted by the Floreat 'keeper. With six minutes to go Sorrento conjured up a second goal when Danny Hill nodded down to McDonald who bundled it over the line. There was still time Floreat to mount a late charge and Young had to be at his best to deny Socratous after he latched onto a through ball from Mikilic.
Western Knights continued their unbeaten start to the new winter season with a 1-0 defeat of Fremantle City at Nash Field. The overcast conditions failed to dampen the spirits of a sizeable crowd who were treated to an entertaining game between two teams whose priority was to play attacking football. The hosts were quick out of the blocks in launching a series of attacking raids which Fremantle did well to repel. Breaking on the counter attack, Tyrone Fenwick ran the ball down the left before crossing to Kevin Correia who steered it past Tommi Tomich only for the goal to be disallowed for an offside call which mystified players on both teams. The frame of the goal frustrated Mark Lee whose close-range effort hit the crossbar, while a sensational strike by Daniel Trim crashed into the upright. Stuart Montgomery had more luck when he knocked a pass from Claus Neilsen into the net but the goal was ruled out by the match officials. The Knights picked up where they left off and six minutes after the re-start Trim unleashed a rasping left-foot shot which gave Bobson Koroma absolutely no chance as it hurtled into the top corner. Play swung from end to end for the remainder of the match with the Knights enjoying the lion's share of opportunities and Fremantle only providing cause of concern with quick breakaways. The port side almost snatched a point at the death with a quickly taken free-kick by Dale Wingell which Correia sent goalward where Tomich proved up to the task. The win keeps the Knights in touch with the league leaders while Fremantle will take comfort from a promising performance against one of the competitions top sides. Knights teenager John Thornley scored a hat-trick in the Reserves 3-3 draw, while the Under-18's clash taken out 3-1 by Fremantle.
Swan I.C. opened their season account with a 3-1 away win over Stirling Lions. The hosts started at a blistering pace and should have gone ahead when Aaron McKee teed up Leo Harman who beat the oncoming goalkeeper only to slide the ball the wrong side of the upright. Swan took some time to settle with their best chance of the half having Damien Catalano head over the crossbar from a Scott Campbell cross. The Lions had the ball in the net on the half hour when McKee beat the 'keeper but the referee's assistant had his flag raised and the goal didn't stand. Cory Hugo made a terrific double save to keep out successive shots from Rob Milevski and Griffiths but the Swan defence was slow to react to a loose ball which the latter netted after 35 minutes. Leading into the break Tom Shepheard was frustrated by the sharp reflexes of Jordan Conti as Swan sought to equalise, while at the opposite end McKee and Muhamed Komaderic went close to adding their sides second. Swans started the new half in dangerous form with Shepheard heading narrowly high and Conti tipping a long-range strike from Catalano over the crossbar. The introduction of Paul Lincoln had almost immediate impact for Swan, the veteran striker combining with Miki Vujacic at a free-kick which was expertly converted by Shepheard in the 61st minute. With ten minutes to go Swan went ahead as Tony Cumace's searching pass was misjudged by Riste Stefoski and David Foster pounced to sweep it under the advancing 'keeper. The Lions were denied a late equaliser by Hugo who thwarted Griffiths and McKee in quick succession, while the late dismissal of Harman for dissent compounded the hosts' loss. In the earlier results the Lions won the Reserves 2-1 with the Under-18's finishing 0-0.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND THREE (Forrestfield United vs Canning City by Phil Unsworth; Balcatta vs Morley Windmills courtesy Balcatta; Gosnells City vs Queens Park courtesy Gosnells City; South West Phoenix vs Stirling Suns courtesy South West Phoenix)
First Division title favourite Wanneroo City brushed aside a hapless Bassendean Caledonian 4-0 at Kingsway Sporting Complex. The home team wasted no time in settling with Stuart Collins firing an early chance wide and goalkeeper Cory Herrington called upon to make saves from Scott Bulloch and Craig Cheesman. Minutes from the break Bassendean should have taken the lead following a rare attack which resulted in a penalty but Ryan Jeans skied the opportunity from the penalty spot. The second half mirrored the first with Wanneroo doing all the attacking. Jon Greenwood fired the hosts into the lead when he angled a low shot from the right past the 'keeper and inside the far post. Bassendean threatened on several occasions with Jeans' header cleared off the line and Rydeen Botha denied by a fingertip save from Darren Williams. But Wanneroo were having none of it denied and shortly after increased their lead through Bulloch who put away a Collins through ball. Bulloch then turned provider when his cross was turned in by Brian Robertson. Cheesman completed the scoring by pouncing on a loose ball and flashing it past the 'keeper from close-range. The win completed a successful day out for Wanneroo with a 5-1 win in the Reserves and their Under-18's triumphant 4-1.
Mandurah City fended off a gallant second half performance from Ashfield to claim victory by 3-2 at Ashfield Reserve. The early running came from the visitors who were rewarded on 21 minutes when Gary Attrill played a terrific cut back to Jordan Rhodes who rifled it through a crowded box and into the far bottom corner. Ashfield now started putting some serious pressure on their opponents defence and within five minutes responded through Ciaran Allen who ran on to a well-weighted pass which he stroked past the oncoming goalkeeper. However, Mandurah had other plans and with 28 minutes gone Christian Paschewitz scrambled the ball over the line after a corner went to feet. Ashfield began the second half positively with Rob Monterosso and Joe Kendall going close to restoring parity before captain Daniel Taylor received his marching orders for a second bookable offence. Even so, the home team continued to fight and in the 69th minute equalised when awarded a penalty that Allen blasted into the left hand corner with Nathan Hodgkinson diving the opposite direction. Again Mandurah hit back swiftly with Attrill whipping in the loose ball after Maekol Taseski spilled Paschewtiz' fierce strike from 18-metres. Attrill should have completed his hat-trick late in the piece but rolled the ball wide with only the 'keeper to beat.
Forrestfield United defeated Canning City 3-2 to record their first win in semi-professional ranks in thirteen years. The match started with the teams evenly matched, Canning's superior corner count showing their determination while it was Forrestfield who created the better chances on goal. It wasn't much of a surprise then that the hosts went ahead in the 20th minute when Quenten Sharp pounced upon an error by Chris Nye which he neatly slotted past goalkeeper Michael Smirelli. Shortly after the margin was increased when Canning were caught short at the back and an unmarked Glenn Noblett placed his shot past the 'keeper. Forrestfield came within inches of putting the match beyond the opponent late in the half when Matt Alcock's free-kick from 20-metres crashed against the crossbar. Canning emerged for the second period a different side and six minutes in Jix Loong's throw-in found Daniel Trevisiol whose half volley crept inside the far post. Seven minutes later it was two-all as Trevisiol turned provider with a cross to Simon Versaico which was headed past the 'keeper. Having spend much of the half on the back foot Forrestfield stole victory when a Noblett cross was headed in at close-range by Roger Miron. Earlier Canning's Reserves won 4-0 with the Under-18's going to Forrestfield 3-0.
Balcatta took the points over a fast finishing Morley Windmills by 2-1 at Graham Burkett Reserve. The hosts dominated first half proceedings with Tony Paolino leading a watertight defence as Adam Rains and David Moschilla linked well through the middle of the park. The opening goal came about when Rains centring pass found Danny Carlino who lashed it past the goalkeeper. Opportunities to add further goals came the way of Joe Cinquina and Moschilla with neither able to capitalise despite being well positioned. Raymond Rose was presenting significant danger at the opposite end but with little support found genuine opening scarce. Balcatta started the second half in an attacking frame of mind and on 58 minutes doubled their advantage through Cinquina neatly put the ball away following a well-worked corner. Throwing caution to the wind Morley now went on the offensive as Ray Rose hit the frame of the goal and Scott Mcilroy forced a great save from Josh Manella. They reduced the margin to a single goal on 80 minutes when McIlroy bent a tremendous free-kick beyond the reach of Manella and into the far corner. Morley went within inches of grabbing a late minute equaliser with Adrian McBride skimming the outside of the post following another set piece play. Balcatta claimed the Reserves 4-1, and the Under-18's 8-2.
At Walter Padbury Reserve eastern corridor rivals Gosnells City and Queens Park played out an uninspired 1-1 draw. The early signs were positive from Gosnells who forced the pace to have the visiting side on the back foot. Their dominance paid off when Ian Maguire pushed he ball past the Queens Park goalkeeper for the afternoon's first goal. Gosnells continued to dictate terms but due to a combination of rusty finishing, good goalkeeping and some a touch of luck Queens Park were still in the game at half-time. It was a more focused Queens Park side that came out for the new half, the visitors showing greater drive when going forward and matching their opponents in the battle for control. Gosnells custodian Jason Mehnert made a world-class save in keeping out a penalty kick midway through the half, but his defence were slow to sufficiently clear the danger and M.Murray stabbed the bobbling ball over the line to level. Following this the game fizzled out into a midfield stalemate with neither side having the passion nor desire to take all three points. The Reserve fixture ended in a 1-1 draw, while the Under-18's ended 4-0 in favour of Queens Park.
Kingsway Olympic earned their first win of the new season by downing Dianella White Eagles 2-1 at Kingsway Sporting Complex. Dianella held sway for the he opening twenty minutes but were denied an early breakthrough by a combination of solid defensive work and poor finishing. Then, just as Kingsway started to come into the game, the visitors found the target when a deep corner was nodded back across goal by Stefan Smiljanic and Dejan Djukanovic did the rest. The goal sparked Kingsway into life and leading into the break John Doherty volleyed wide with an open goal at his mercy and Steve Beasley came out second best in a one-on-one with goalkeeper Anthony Mori. Kingsway picked up where they left off with some free-flowing football forcing Dianella on to the back foot. Neat work by Beasley down the left wing saw him send in a teasing cross which Ryan Lickiss converted from 5-metres to make it one-all after 78 minutes. The hosts squandered a couple of great chances to go ahead, Jason Stern and Beasley the culprits, as the match looked destined to end in a draw. In stoppage time Sota Iwasaki received a pass from midfield which he rifled into the bottom corner to give Kingsway maximum points.
South West Phoenix kick started their campaign with an emphatic 5-0 thrashing of Stirling Suns at Bunbury's Soccerdrome. It took the home side just 12 minute to strike as Steve Suttie forced the Suns into an error at the back which he then capitalised upon. Ten minutes later it was an exquisite series of one-touch passes which lead to their second goal as Greg Hayes threaded the ball to Suttie who made no mistake. Phoenix were on firing on all cylinders and another neat build-up involving David Mayers, James Bergin and Gareth Harker led to Suttie completing his hat-trick. Suttie wasn't yet finished and just before the interval he netted for a fourth time. The Suns packed defence provided more resistance after the interval but the class of Mayers still found a way through courtesy of a the lead-up work of Trent Hathaway and Suttie build-up. "It's been a while coming but the team clicked today," said Phoenix coach Micky Cairns. "The 5-0 score actually flattered the Suns ... had it not been for a heroic game by their goalkeeper and some lacklustre finishing the score would have been double that." The Reserves was won 6-2 by Phoenix who also took out the Under-18's by forfeit.
GLORY COMPLETE CELESKI SIGNING
Australian youth international Billy Celeski has completed a deal which makes him Perth Glory's third under-20 player for the coming A-League season. The 19-year old, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Sport, is currently in camp with the Young Socceroos where he's joined by new Glory teammate Nick Ward. "I am very pleased to confirm Billy Celeski as our third under-20 signing for the inaugural A-League season," said coach Steve McMahon. "Billy is a very talented midfielder and it is great to have another Young Socceroo in the squad. With Milan Jovanic and Nicky Ward already establishing themselves in the squad all of our under-20s at Glory have made an impact for their age group at international level."
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
Dalmatinac Park plays hosts to the Premier League's match of the round between Cockburn City and Inglewood United. Perth S.C. face their stiffest test yet with an away clash with E.C.U. Joondalup, and Armadale can make it back-to-back wins when Bayswater City travel to Alfred Skeet Oval. Sorrento are tipped to take all three points over Floreat Athena, likewise Western Knights who have home ground advantage against Fremantle City. Stirling Lions and Swan I.C., who are yet to register a point between them, meet at Macedonia Park.
Round Three of the First Division season pits title favourite Wanneroo City against Bassendean Caledonian in the northern suburbs. Ashfield will be put to the test by the visitors of Mandurah City, while Canning City are hopeful of kick-starting their campaign at Forrestfield United. Balcatta and Morley Windmills have both made a positive start to the season and meet this weekend at Graham Burkett Reserve. Gosnells City are home to eastern corridor rival Queens Park, and Kingsway Olympic travel to Dianella White Eagles. South West Phoenix play Stirling Suns in Bunbury, and Rockingham City have the bye.
SCHOOLBOYS TRIALS CONTINUE
Time is fast running out for aspiring young players to try-out for the 2005 State Schoolboys. For the past month our best young talent have been put through their paces by the coaching team of Rob Milevski and Neil Alweyn. And while the squad will shortly be trimmed the opportunity still exists for players to trial for the Schoolboys. "We're always looking to add depth and are keen for any quality players join us for trials," Alweyn said this week. The preliminary round of trials conclude this Wednesday (4.30pm-6.00pm) at Parnham Reserve in Carlisle (corner of Oats Street and Mars Street).
Since trials began Milevski and Alweyn have cast an eye over in excess of seventy individuals whose level of skill and application has been high. "We've been very impressed with the quality of players who've so far trialled," said Alweyn, Schoolboys team manager. "Six of the squad which went away last year are re-trialling and have been joined by a number of players who have several seasons of reserve and first team football under their belts. Going on the player's we've already seen, the youth development programmes being employed by local clubs is going to ensure that we have a strong and competitive Schoolboys side once again."
The next step for the coaches is to trim the number of triallists. "A provisional squad of twenty-three players will be named in two weeks, and we're planning to announce the final travelling party of sixteen around the start of June," added Alweyn. "Between now and then we've have a series of trial matches against State League clubs to provide players an opportunity to stake their claim to a spot in the final squad." This years annual School Sport Australia Secondary Soccer Championships are being stage in Queensland this August. The West Australian team will be attempting to emulate the achievements of last years side who returned home as silver medallists.
Schoolboys honours have proven a springboard to bigger and better things for many players over the years. An Australian squad will be named on conclusion of the tournament which will play New Zealand in October and tour the United Kingdom and Eire in early 2006. Anthony Danze, James Hesketh, Gary Faria, Nick Ward and David Tarka are just some of those who've played for the State in the recent past, while Socceroos Craig Moore, Stan Lazaridis, Marco Bresciano, Tony Vidmar, Simon Colosimo, Ahmed Elrich and Ante Milicic all gained Australian Schoolboys selection before forging successful professional careers.
LIONS IN CARETAKER MODE
Stirling Lions are in caretaker mode following the sudden departure of senior coach Tom Leeman. The task of leading the Lions into this weekend's home fixture with Swan I.C. has been handed to Reserve team coach Gary Church and club stalwart Rob Milevski. It is understood a combination of work and family commitments lead to Leeman standing down from coaching duties earlier this week. Leeman's twelve month stay with the club proved fruitful with the one-time Northern Ireland youth international taking the Lions to their first finals appearance in seven years.
WANNEROO IS YOUR PROMOTION TIP
Any doubts over just who is favourite to win promotion to the top flight come seasons end have been put to rest with the results of the latest www.soccerwa.com poll. In excess of 300 responses were received in response to 'Who will take out the 2005 First Division championship?' By far the most popular choice to claim silverware are Wanneroo City, the northern suburbs outfit ending with 16.9% of the vote.
Also rated as a potential championship material are a much improved Rockingham City (11.5%) side who came in narrowly ahead of Dianella White Eagles (10.0%) and Balcatta (8.9%). Mandurah City and Morley Windmills (7.2% each) ended the polling period in joint fifth place. Next was Bassendean Caledonian (6.8%) with Gosnells City and Ashfield (6.4% each) close behind.
In eighth place was Kingsway Olympic (4.7%) followed by Stirling Suns (4.0%). Although they possess a very talented squad Canning City (3.9%) polled poorly. Forrestfield United (2.8%) and Queens Park (2.1%) were given near on no chance of being crowned First Division champion with South West Phoenix (1.3%) considered the team least likely to claim the title.
NEW SHOP OFFERS DISCOUNTS TO FOOTBALL FAMILY
There's a new sports and leisure store in Fremantle offering discounts to members of the football family. Sportz29, located at Shop 6, 23 Collie Street in Fremantle, is owned and operated by former Cockburn City goalkeeper Dino Pacella and stocks all the major sports fashion from Adidas, Everlast, Reebok, Asics and more. Sportz29 is also the official stockists of merchandise for English Premier League leader Chelsea - that's clothing, keyrings, socks, caps and more! In a show of support for players and members of Football West clubs Sportz29 offer a 15% storewide discount on any purchase year round. For more information visit Sportz29 or phone Pacella on 9431 7120.
REDS HOLD GLORY TO THRILLING DRAW
The Premier League's newest team, Armadale, came within minutes of toppling national champions Perth Glory in tonight's friendly at Alfred Skeet Oval. Glory were forced to twice come from behind and earn a 3-3 draw which was only made possible by a late headed goal from local product Jamie Coyne. It took just 3 minutes for Glory to open their account through Hiroyuki Ishida who ran on to a through from Bobby Despotovski and convincingly beat goalkeeper Nick Stone. Despotovski and Jamie Coyne went close to extending Glory's lead before Armadale's Darren Kingston deflected a cross from the left flank over Milan Jovanic to level the match with 19 minutes played.
Armadale went ahead eleven minutes into the second half as Jason Goodwin pounced on a defensive error and knocked the ball past replacement goalkeeper Gareth Deeg. But six minute later Glory conjured up an equaliser with new signing Neil Teggart scoring from the penalty spot after he was brought down. Despotovski was denied a goal due to a dubious linesman's decision before Armadale once again took the lead when substitute Peter Taylor headed past Deeg from 11-metres. Teggart and Stuart Young both had good chances to level the game before Coyne's far post header from an Ishida free kick made it three-all with just minutes remaining. Armadale received a deserved standing ovation from the large crowd as they left playing arena at the final whistle.
LOANS CAFE SNAPS UP NAMING RIGHTS
The Loans Cafe have signed on as naming rights sponsor for this years amateur and masters league competitions. The locally owned and operated loans specialist announced their new partnership initiative with Football West which has flow-on benefits for clubs all levels. "The Loans Cafe decided to sponsor Football West because we believe it important for our company to support this growing community game which is being enjoyed by a rapidly increasing number of families throughout the State," said Murray Brede, general manager of the Loans Cafe.
Earlier this week Brede and Anne Marie Syme, the Loans Cafe managing director, presented Football West with an initial cheque of $5,000 for the amateur and masters league naming rights. All clubs - semi-professional and amateur ; men's, women's and junior - are able to reap the benefits of the Loans Cafe's involvement in the local game with the company donating a $100 sports voucher going to each club for every successful home or investment loan application. Further information on the scheme is available from Nik Silsby on 0402 284 594.
INTENSITY SHOCK FOR GLORY (courtesy www.tribalfootball.com)
Perth Glory striker Stuart Young admits some of his new teammates have been shocked at the intensity demanded by coach Steve McMahon. "It is like a full circle for me because Steve is from the old school, he is very intense so it has been a shock to the system for one or two of the lads, including me," Young told the online newpaper "Scarborough Today". "At the moment I can't see me wanting to return home to England because I am starting to feel Australian now and the way of life here is so relaxed, which is how I like it. I wouldn't mind stepping into coaching in the future, but the opportunities are limited here, as long as I can stay in the game then I will be happy."
"I had five great years at Wollongong, I think that was my most successful period," added Young who scored 12 goals in 43 starts for Scarborough in the mid-1990's. "Last year though I was approached by Perth Glory, who are one of the country's biggest teams, and I decided to join up with them. At 32, I have to think about my future, and Perth gave me the opportunity to work in the club's administrative side, as well as play for their team, so it was perfect for me. We are on the verge of qualifying for the World Club Championship at the moment and it is also an exciting time for the Australian domestic game because the first Hyundai A-League season starts in August."
GLORY GIVES SMOKE A RED CARD (courtesy Perth Glory)
Perth Glory will give smokers the 'red card' this year, reinforcing their efforts to create a clean atmosphere for football fans and welcoming SmokeFree WA as the key health message for the inaugural A-League season. Healthway, in conjunction with the Department of Health, has renewed its sponsorship of Glory for the coming season with players set to wear the SmokeFree WA message on their right sleeve in support of smoke free environments. In addition to the Glory sponsorship, Members Equity Stadium will become a totally smoke free venue for the first time when the Glory kick-off a new era of football in August.
Glory's commercial and marketing manager, Justin Everley, said the club was pleased to continue its' long-standing association with Healthway. "Perth Glory feels it is important as a professional football club to promote healthy environments amongst our supporters and all Western Australians," he said. "The move to make Members Equity Stadium a completely smoke free venue will also enhance the enjoyment of Glory matches for the majority of spectators and improve the excellent atmosphere we already have at the club."
Star midfielder and Socceroo Simon Colosimo will lead Glory's mission to create a smoke free WA having recently kicked his own smoking habit. "Smoke free environments can make it easier for people who have recently quit smoking as they reinforce the fact that the majority of West Australians don't smoke and have the right to clean air," Colosimo said. "The Smokefree WA sponsorship of Glory can reinforce the benefits of smoke free environments for all West Australians." The Smokefree WA sponsorship will begin at the commencement of the A-League season in four months.
PETKOVIC LIKELY TO RETURN
It's looking increasingly likely that Jason Petkovic will be between the posts for Perth Glory when the A-League season kicks-off later this year. Petkovic, who made 146 appearances for Glory between 1999 and 2004, has been playing in Turkey's top flight for Konyaspor but with his contract due to expire next month the former Socceroo is understood to be considering his options. In meantime Glory are considering signing a goalkeeper, possibly local Gareth Deeg, on a short-term deal for their Club World Championship qualifier on 11th May at Members Equity Stadium.
FOOTBALL WEST FINE AMATEURS PAIR
Shamrock Rovers and Colo Colo have been disciplined following the abandonment of their opening round fixture of the amateur Premier League. Late last week Football West fined each club $3,000 over an on-field incident resulted in the referee calling the game off midway through the first half. Both clubs were asked to pay $1,500 immediately with the remaining amount held in suspended sentence and which becomes due if any other serious misconduct incident occurs this season.
WOMEN'S WRAP (East Fremantle vs Northern Redbacks courtesy Northern Redbacks; Subiaco United vs Mandurah city courtesy Mandurah City; Gosnells City vs Northern Redbacks "C" courtesy Gosnells City)
Northern Redbacks accounted for a gallant East Fremantle 6-1 in this afternoon's women's Premier League meeting at Wauhop Park. Lead by Anna De Felice and goalkeeper Lynda Enright, the home team worked tirelessly to restrict the Redbacks to just two first half goals. It was a different story after the break as the visitors awoke from their slumber with Tanya Oxtoby and Sara Gawned turning in inspired performances. Emerging youngsters Rowena Caswell, Lilly Billson and Jackie Nellany each found the target at Redbacks added four second half goals to cruise to their second win in as many weeks. East Fremantle bagged a late consolation goal through Sarah Hughes.
Noranda were little match for Balcatta who triumphed 13-1 at Noranda Sporting Complex. Katy Coghlan opened the visitors account before a vicious strike by Laura Turnball doubled their advantage. Gemma Di Lello rifled in goal number three, flicked in a cross from the left for her second and completed a deserved hat-trick with a simple tap in from close-range. Katy Coghlan scored twice leading into the break to give Balcatta a seven goal lead. In the second half Kylie Chatto and Jessine Bonzas added to the tally before Alyce Maiorana pulled one back for the hosts. But there was no stopping Balcatta whose remaining goals came from Chatto, Domenica Carbone, Amanda Figliomeni and Ashley Kane.
Queens Park, who were out of action last week with the bye, kicked off their Premier League campaign by thumping Subiaco United 6-1 at Coker Park. Lindsay Easton gave the home side the perfect start by scoring their first goal inside the opening minute, and midway through the half Stacey Woodfin doubled their advanatge. The second half was six minutes old when Stacey Woodfin added a third to Queens Park's tally but Subiaco responded quickly with Kerry McGawley netting a matter of minutes later. A 57th minute strike from Kylie Woodhouse restored Queens Park's two-goal buffer, and when Stacey Woodfin completed her hat-trick six minutes later the match was over as a contest. Sixteen minutes from the end Stacey Woodfin put away her fourth, and Queens Park's sixth goal.
Gosnells City moved to the head of the First Division table after downing Northern Redbacks "C" 6-2. Melissa Spillman lead the way by netting all six of the visitors goals to take her season total to nine goals after two outings. The contribution of team captain Kerry Neale was also invaluable in Gosnells win, her distribution from the centre of the park another highlight of the game. Good use of the ball worked in Gosnells' favour with neat movement resulting in each of Spillman's goals. Redbacks two goals resulted from some inexperience in the Gosnells defence which Steph Burrow and Sabine Pollock capitalised upon.
Mandurah City registered back-to-back wins by accounting for Subiaco United 6-3 at Rosalie Park. Subiaco settled the better but it was Mandurah who scored first with 14-year old Jiame Carley netting after a nice move through the middle involving Sylvia Loreto and Laura Parmenter. The floodgates opened up after the break with the two sides sharing a total of eight goals. Carley took her personal tally to four with Harriet Talbert also getting herself on the scorecard, but the pick of Mandurah's goals came from Melanie Loreto who made her way past four opponents before knocking it beyond the reach of the home goalkeeper.
It certainly was a weekend for goals in the First Division with a total of 45 goals distributed amongst the six games. Rockingham City thrashed Bassendean Caledonian 8-2 at Dowling Street to move into second spot, and the honour of the biggest winning margin went to Beckenham Angels who thumped a luckless Lynwood Colts 7-0. Swan I.C. scored their first win of the new campaign by defeating Murdoch University 4-2, while University of WA out-classed Balga 4-1.
AMATEUR PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND TWO
University of WA secured a well earned away draw to Lynwood Colts at Hossack Reserve in the Football West Amateur Premier league football fixture on Sunday. The game was characterised by hard work and tackles from both teams from the very start. Lynwood were the first to score after 30 minutes when a defensive lapse allowed Joey Tamancak to win a 50/50 tackle against UWA's Nick Helm and he finished with a driven low shot into the far left hand corner. UWA's best chance occurred just before half time when Marc D'Ascanio turned and shot from the edge of the box inches past the left hand post. UWA picked up the intensity in the second half and forward Davis Berg picked the ball up from a Lynwood defensive error but his shot was well blocked on the near post by keeper R.Pucovski. After 10 minutes a UWA corner was headed on by Adam Brett to the head of Declan Sharp but his goal bound effort was cleared off the line for a corner. On the 30 minute mark David Berg was put through by Tim Grose but again he was thwarted by the Lynwood keeper on the near post. At the other end Lynwood were denied by a double save from UWA's keeper Ben Rosman. Then with 5 minutes remaining UWA got the equaliser they deserved when Tim Grose crossed from the left flank to David Berg who headed the ball into the right hand corner despite the finger tips of the Lynwood keeper. UWA Reserves were held 2-2 by Lynwood Colts Reserves.
In other games, defending champions Shamrock Rovers proved too strong for CN Canning International, winning 3-0. Spearwood Dalmatinac and Perth Azzurri fought out a 1-1 draw. Colo Colo defeated Kwinana United 3-0, Stirling Panthers won 3-2 over Murdoch University, while Hamersley Rovers were 4-2 winners over South Perth United.
GLORY SWOOP FOR EX-SUNDERLAND STRIKER
Perth Glory has added to its attacking option with the recruitment of former Northern Ireland youth international Neil Teggart. A product of the Sunderland youth academy, Teggart has an impressive scoring record at youth and reserve levels. At club level he bagged 54 goals in 46 games during time with the Sunderland academy which he followed with another 18 goals in 24 reserve team appearances. Teggart gained first team experienced through loan spells at Darlington Town and Scunthorpe United. Additionally, the 20-year old striker found the net nine times in 15 youth team outings for Northern Ireland.
"Neil is a very up and coming young prospect but obviously he still has a lot to learn," said Glory coach Steve McMahon. "He had a number of issues at Sunderland and for personal reasons returned to Northern Ireland whereupon now he is fully focussed and ready to return to top class football." With Sunderland - one of Britain's best-supported clubs - seemingly heading for the heights of the Premiership, the Black Cats felt they could do without the big front man, who was top scorer for their Academy side last season, and recently released him from his contract. "His record speaks for itself in terms of his strike rate, but he is more than a goal scorer with his physique and, hopefully, now he has matured as a person, he will mature as a player," McMahon added.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND TWO (Armadale vs Stirling Lions by Lee Anderson; Sorrento vs Swan I.C. vy Peter Simcox; Cockburn City vs Fremantle City by Lennie Bavich)
Armadale made history by registering their first ever Premier League victory this afternoon, beating Stirling Lions 2-1 in a thrilling contest at Alfred Skeet Oval. It was a memorable day for the home team - their first home game in the top flight heralding their first goals on home soil and the collection of their first ever points in Premier League competition. The first half was an evenly contested affair which saw both teams create some good openings which went unfinished. Darren Kingston put Armadale ahead early in the second period with a great volley from 11-metres following some neat approach play. But it looked as though the Lions would steal a share of the points after a rare lapse saw Armadale fail to close down a four man attacking move that ended with Steven Bozinovski firing past Nick Stone and into the bottom corner. Player/coach Peter Murphy came on with just minutes to go and started the move which lead to the deciding goal scored by Kingston from close-range and sparking wild celebrations from a vocal home crowd. If the Reads are able to produce this sort of performance on a regular basis this season then they are going to be a difficult proposition for many of their top flight opponents, especially at home where they have very passionate support. Despite leading twice Armadale went down 2-4 in the Reserves, while the Lions took out the Under-18's by 3-1.
Sorrento were a class above Swan I.C. in emerging 3-1 winners at Percy Doyle Reserve. Cory Hugo was called upon early to keep out Simon Harland's effort inside the first minute as the Gulls quickly asserted authority over proceedings. It was just the start of what would be a busy afternoon for the Swan shot-stopper who single handedly kept the visitors in the match. Another goalbound effort from Harland was saved by Cory Hugo, and successive shots by Todd Harnwell and Jarred Love met with the same response before Harland got one through only to have it come back off the base of the upright. Harland again put Cory Hugo to the test with a deft header from James Morgan's cross that was brilliantly tipped around the post. Swans first genuine strike on goal came in the 40th minute when Tom Shepheard was denied by Neil Young. Amazingly, Swan went ahead right on the stroke of half-time through David Foster who converted a penalty awarded for Young's indiscretion against Damian Scali. Sorrento continued their offensive after the break and in the 53rd minute were rewarded with Glen Thomas' blistering shot from 20-metres finding the top corner. The pressure was relentless as the best efforts of Harnwell, Danny Hill and Morgan were saved by Cory Hugo. With twenty minutes remaining Sorrento finally went ahead when Andrew Bowyer delivered a pinpoint cross to Love who slotted past the Swan 'keeper at the back post. By this stage there was little chance of Swan finding a way back in as the home side pressed forward en masse. Harnwell, Brodie Martin and Love all went close to adding the Gulls third. It wasn't until the last minute that the points were made safe by Harnwell who reacted quickest from a corner to shoot wide of Hugo.
In a second half goal blitz, Perth S.C. netted four times to Floreat Athena's one to run out comfortable winners at Dorrien Gardens. Floreat would have been pleased with their first half effort which saw them enjoy the majority of play. Their first chance came after 5 minutes when Jarrad Smith headed over from a Bajo Savic free-kick. Peter Coci was twice left frustrated by goalkeeper Gareth Deeg, and Branimir Mikulic drilled high as Floreat sought a breakthrough. Perth carved out their first genuine opportunity on the half hour as a menacing free-kick by Matt Danskin evaded all and whizzed across the face of goal. The home side again went close through Robbie Puca whose header was narrowly high. The introduction Andreas Oliviera for the second half changed the entire complexion of the game. A Jeff Bright corner came off heads to Oliviera whose snap on goal missed the mark, and six minutes in a classy chip by the same player dropped onto the roof of the net. Adam Bachillor forced a fine save from Deeg with a terrific shot from 30-metres as Floreat proved they could match the hosts. The deadlock was broken on the hour when Danskin's deep cross was headed across goal to an unmarked Oliveira who nodded in at close-range. Fifteen minutes later Bright's cross was hammered home by Antonio Naglieri to double Perth's advantage. With nine minutes to go Oliveira effectively sealed victory with some ingenious solo work, throwing off his man and cheekily stroking the ball past an off-guard Vas Vujacic. Floreat were given a glimmer of hope when Savic threaded a pass to Coci who ran between two opponents before rounding Deeg to tap in. But that hope was quickly snuffed out as Oliviera danced past an oncoming opponent and sent an inch perfect ball to David Micevski who made no mistake with two minutes remaining.
Cockburn City took maximum points over Fremantle City by 3-1 in the local derby at Ken Allen Field. The visiting team were quickly into stride and within a minute they had the lead as Anthony Pereira sped away down the right wing and delivered a cross which was met by Gary Faria who placed it low and beyond the reach of goalkeeper Phil Straker. Fremantle weren't to be denied, however, and five minutes later they were back on level terms when Andy Pomfret turned his marker on the top of the 18-yard box and threaded to Kevin Correia who thundered it into the net. A John Mirco corner had Fremantle scrambling not long after which saw Straker somehow keep Michael Mirco's header out of the net. Cockburn should have go into the break in front when awarded a 45th minute penalty which John Mirco hit weakly and wide of the target. Play flowed from end to end in the second period which saw neother team able to get on top and a handful of half chances present themselves at either end of the park. It took until the 67th minute for the deadlock to be broken with Cockburn playing a long ball into attack for which Straker contested possession with Michael Mirco who went past the 'keeper to tap into the net. The sealing goal came not long after as substitute Dean Gartside forced his way towards goal and drew the defence out of position before squaring to Pereira who knocked in the simplest of chances. The Reserve clash ended with honours even at nil-all, while Cockburn claimed victory in the Under0-18's by 1-0.
Bayswater City worked hard to hold current Premier League champion Western Knights to a 1-1 draw at Frank Drago Reserve. The Knights were into attack from the opening kick and were presented a golden opportunity with just 5 minutes gone when Barry Wood disappointingly shot straight at Steve Grant from close-range. Much of the game was played in the centre of the park between a couple of midfields which weren't willing to give the other any breathing space. And when the teams did manage to push into their final third they met strong resistance who ensured genuine goalscoring chances would be a rarity. Bayswater's best chance of the period came via a penetrating run from Boima Karpeh whose centring ball fell to Andrew O'Neill whose mis-timed shot came the way of Ross Barnes but his tamed effort was into the waiting arms of Tommi Tomich. It was more of the same in the second period with neither team able to get on top. Eventually the Knights found a way through as Stuart Montgomery sped away down the right and sent a low cross to the near post which Grant fumbled and Wood was on hand to lift the loose ball over the stranded goalkeeper and into the net. The Knights should have doubled their advantage when another cross caused confusion in the home defence which Wood failed to capitalise upon by lifting his shot over the crossbar. This kicked Bayswater to gear and not long after Cormac Dawson forced a fine save from Tomich. With fifteen minutes left on the clock a quick passage of play caught the Knights off guard at the back as Barnes fed the ball to Karpeh who placed his shot beyond the reach of the Knights custodian to level the game. The Knights came with the points from both the days earlier games, 3-2 in the Reserves and 3-0 in the Under-18's.
E.C.U. Joondalup will look back on their 1-1 draw with Inglewood United as two points lost rather than one gained. The team from the far north dominated their meeting at the Kiev Sports Ground and would have gone home with their first win of the season if not for rusty finishing. Rock-solid defending at both ends of the park meant there were few chances in a free-flowing opening half played at pace. Joondalup should have been awarded a penalty in the 24th minute when Garin Collins went down when contesting a high ball with Michael Baczynski and Shaun Kilkelly but the referee thought otherwise and play continued. Seven minutes later Peter Stewart was forced to come well outside his box and thwart Jason Colli after the visiting defence was caught napping. The second half was six minutes old when Joondalup finally broke the deadlock, Ryan Newhill blasting in from 15-metres following a neat move involving Tom Jones and Collins. A minute later Tom Jones forced a sharp response from Oliver Taseski after he darted between two opponents to go inside the area. Andre Sarpe missed a golden chance to equalise when he raced onto a pass over Joondalup's defensive line which he amazingly steered wide with Stewart out of position. For the second successive week Jake Harman came off the bench to do what his teammates couldn't, the striker sweeping the ball into the net from 6-metres after Greg Sharland had drawn the attention of the opposing defensive. Joondalup came close to regaining the lead with 73 minutes gone when Taseski guided an in-swinging effort from Oliver Hilton over the crossbar. And not long after Taseski was at full-stretch to keep out Collins fierce strike after the visitors turned the ball over in midfield. The Reserve fixture also ended 1-1, and the points were shared in the Under-18's at 2-2.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND TWO (Canning City vs Ashfield by Phil Unsworth; Morley Windmills vs Dianella White Eagles courtesy Morley Windmills)
Rockingham City maintained their perfect start to the new First Division season by downing South West Phoenix 2-0 in Bunbury. It was a positive start from the visitors who could have gone ahead on 2 minutes when Rob Crerar released Luke Morris only for his strike to be saved by the Phoenix goalkeeper. However, Rockingham didn't have to wait too much longer to get the result they were after as Craig Donnell flicked the ball on Glen Hallums who brushed off his opponent and made no mistake in slotting past the 'keeper. This stung Phoenix into action for the remainder of the half they dominated possession only to be forced to shoot from distance as Rockingham's defence held firm. The second half began with Rockingham determined to kill off the game but with only the 'keeper to beat Crerar pulled his shot wide. Next it was the hosts turn to fail to make the most of a golden opportunity when awarded a penalty which was expertly kept out by Craig Olenjek. Crerar made amends for his earlier miss not long after when he burst away from the home defence and sent a low shot into the corner of the net to secure the points for Rockingham.
Canning City's first home game of the season didn't go according to plan with Ashfield running out victors by 2-1. In an even opening spell it took fifteen minutes before either goalkeeper was seriously challenged with Ashfield's Maikol Taseski forced into a diving save from Simon Versaico's header. Two minutes later Canning's Adam Horsley had to make a similarly impressive effort to prevent Ben Harris from netting. Canning went ahead when Mick Van Dongen's shot rebounded to Versaico who lashed it in from 8-metres. Both 'keepers maintained their good form and prevented any further addition to the scoreline before the interval. Barely thirty seconds had elapsed in the second half when a mix-up in the Canning defence between Jamie Bell and Adam Horsley allowed Ciaron Allen to muscle his way through and even the score. Both teams had shots cleared off the line by fortunately placed defenders as the second half progressed. In the final minute of regulation time Harris got the deciding goal by lobbing over Horsley from 28-metres and inside the far post. There was more joy for Canning in the earlier game which saw their Reserves victorious by 5-1, and the Under-18's triumphed 1-0.
Mandurah City opened their season account by defeating Balcatta 1-0 at Peelwood Parade. A muddy playing surface made for difficult conditions as both sides struggled to get their passing out of first gear. The only goal of the game arrived just before half-time when a great pass from Christian Paschewitz found Jordan Rhodes just outside the 18-yard box and the talented midfielder coolly wrong-footed goalkeeper Ken Fytengenious and stroked the ball into the far corner of the net. Five minutes after the break Balcatta struck the crossbar through Keegan Ashley who shortly after was sent off for a very harsh second yellow card. David Moschilla had a great chance to put Balcatta on level terms but failed to hit the target when through with only goalkeeper Michael Green to beat. Other than that genuine opportunities were scarce until the closing stages when the referee awarded Balcatta a penalty for handball but the visitors hopes of snatching a point were dashed by Green who pulled off a fantastic save to deny Mark Wilson. The Reserve meeting was taken out 3-1 by Mandurah whose goals came from Matt O'Brien, Jack Kearns and Micky Sesma. The Under-18's ended in a 1-1 draw.
The home fans were given plenty to cheer about at Jubilee Reserve where Bassendean Caledonian accounted for Forrestfield United 4-2. It took Forrestfield just two minutes to go ahead with striker Steve Roberts sending his shot past the goalkeeper and into the net. With plenty of end to end action keeping the assembled throng on the edge of their seats Bassendean were brought back on level terms by Ryan Jeans who made no mistake from the penalty spot on 39 minutes. Just as it looked as though the teams would go into a hard-earned break with no addition to the score Rydeen Botha popped up to put away the hosts second of the afternoon. Forrestfield started the second half much like the first as the ball had been in motion one minute when summer recruit Quenten Sharp restored parity. Chances came and went at both ends of the park as Bassendean and Forrestfield struggled for control of the game. All that changed midway through the half when the visitors went down to ten men with the red carding of Craig Ruthven who dismissal swing the balance of power in Bassendean's favour. Victory was assured by Jeans who completed his hat-trick with a couple of well-taken goals in the final ten minutes.
Morley Windmills and Dianella White Eagles shared nine goals at Wotton Reserve where the hosts triumphed 6-3. It was an encouraging start by Dianella who retained possession for lengthy periods and stretched their opponent. It was deservedly so then that they took the lead via Stefan Smiljanic on 12 minutes when the towering forward headed in from 5-metres. Stung into action Morley equalised as Adrian McBride's dangerous corner was deflected by a Dianella defender past goalkeeper Anthony Mori for an own goal. It wasn't long before the game had swung well and truly in Morley's favour with McBride slamming a free-kick into the far corner of net. Zoran Barovic converted from the penalty spot to make it two-all, but just before the break the hosts again went ahead as Ray Rose nodded in a cross from David Boffa. Scott McIlroy scored Morley's fourth via a free-kick early in the new half, but again Dianella reeled in the gap as Dragan Njegic tapped in at the far post. Morley given some much needed breathing space by McBride who netted from a tight angle, and when a long-range strike by Boffa flew past Mori it was effectively game over.
At Walter Padbury Reserve it was Gosnells City who emerged as 3-1 victors over Kingsway Olympic. S.Wilson, Adam Bremner and Brian Cairney were on target for Gosnells with Olympic's goal coming from S. Pilcher. Queens Park picked up all three points from their home clash with Stirling Suns by 3-0 with Alex Seed scoring twice and Mick Murray once. Further details of these games weren't forthcoming from any of the participating clubs.
JOEYS INTO OCEANIA FINAL
The Australian youth team is looking the goods to take out the Oceania qualifying tournament for this years FIFA Under-17 World Championship. The Joeys made a clean sweep of the group stage with big wins over Vanuatu, Tahiti and Tonga, eased past the Solomon Islands in the semi-finals before downing Vanuata in yesterday's series decider. Representing Western Australia at the tournament, played in New Caledonia, are Sorrento shot-stopper Aleksander Vrteski and midfielder Rostyn Griffiths who plies his trade in the youth ranks of English club Blackburn Rovers.
The Joeys commenced their campaign on Sunday, 3rd April, by thumping Vanuatu 4-0. The Australia side raced to a three-goal margin half-time lead but could only add one more after the break as heavy rain made for difficult playing conditions. Having dominated the opening stanza the Joeys went ahead on 13 minutes when David Williams outpaced the defence, and quarter of a hour later the attacker doubled the tally. Griffiths add himself to the scoresheet a minute before the interval with a shot that took a deflection on its way past the 'keeper. Williams completed his hat-trick in the 72nd minute with a perfectly placed shot past the advancing keeper. Vrteski played a full game and Griffiths was replaced after 59 minutes.
On Thursday Australia were largely untroubled as they cruised to victory by 5-0 over Tahiti. The games first goal came in the 26th minute when Tahitian defender Tehau Jonathan deflected a ball into his own net as he attempted to cut out a cross by Kaz Patafta. Fifteen minutes later Joel Allwright finishing well to double the margin. Patafta scored three minutes after the interval, but it took until the 86th minute for Australia to net their fourth via Williams' long-range strike. Allwright completed the scoreline in the final minute. Vrteski again saw out the full 90 minutes with Griffiths coming off after 75 minutes.
Australia demolished Tonga 26-0 in their final group match on Monday afternoon. The match was over as a contest inside ten minutes as the Joeys raced to a four-goal advantage. Robbie Kruse lead the way by finding the back of the net on six occasions in the first half with Ben Vidaic and Daniel Visevic each bagging five. David Williams score four times, Scott Gannon snared a hat-trick, Matt Mullen netted twice and Kaz Patafta was the scorer of the Joeys opening goal after 3 minutes. Australia held a fourteen-goal lead by the interval before 'easing off' after the break by adding a further twelve goals. Vrteski and Griffiths were both rested for the game.
A 2-0 defeat of the Solomon Islands in Wednesday's semi-final put the Joeys in the series decider. Both teams created good chances to score in the first half without success. The deadlock was broken in the 65th minute when Joel Allwright put away a pass from Daniel Visevic. Allwright and Brendan Maroney laid the groundwork for the second goal just three minutes later with Robbie Kruse sweeping the ball home. Vrteski played a full game with Griffiths an unused substitute. Australia will meet either Vanuatu or host nation New Caledonia in Friday's final.
The Joeys were forced to dig deep in recording a narrow 1-0 win over Vanuatu in the final of the Oceania qualifying tournament. Australia dominated the game for lengthy periods and were thwarted on numerous occasions by the Vanuatu goalkeeper who pulled off a number of quality saves. On top of that the Joeys had a goal disallowed and hit the frame of the goal in an action-packed second half. The only goal of the match arrived with just eight minutes remaining with David Williams heading home after a superb cross from Matt Mullen. Vrteski played a full game for the Under-17's, keeping his fourth clean sheet of the tournament, while Griffiths was an unused substitute.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Three teams are yet to drop a point after two rounds of the new Premier League season. Perth S.C. continued to be amongst the goals by toppling Floreat Athena 4-1. Cockburn City defeated Fremantle City in the south of the river derby, and Sorrento downed Swan I.C. 3-1 at Percy Doyle Reserve. Armadale's first ever home game in the top flight produced their first ever win in the top flight - 2-1 over Stirling Lions. Bayswater City surprisingly held Western Knights to a 1-1 draw, and also ending level at one apiece was Inglewood United and E.C.U. Joondalup.
Rockingham City made it two wins from as many starts in the First Division by knocking off South West Phoenix 2-0 in Bunbury. Also with a perfect win record is Ashfield who defeated home team Canning City. The honour of the highest scoring team went to Morley Windmills who triumphed 6-3 over Dianella White Eagles. Gosnells City defeated Kingsway Olympic 3-1, and Bassendean Caledonian overcame Forrestfield United by 4-2. Mandurah City downed Balcatta 1-0 in a tight encounter, while Queens Park cruised to a 3-0 home win over Stirling Suns.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
A few local rivalries are rekindled in the second round of Premier League fixtures on Saturday. At Ken Allen Reserve Fremantle City host southern neighbour Cockburn City, while old foes Perth S.C. and Floreat Athena go head-to-head at Dorrien Gardens. The match of the round pits Inglewood United against E.C.U. Joondalup at Kiev Sports Ground. Armadale will be confident of picking up at least a point from the first ever Premier League game at Alfred Skeet Oval against Stirling Lions. Sorrento welcome Swan I.C. to Percy Doyle Reserve, and Bayswater City will be put to the sword by reigning champion Western Knights.
The pick of the First Division action takes place at Peelwood Parade where Mandurah City welcome Balcatta. Last weeks big winner, Rockingham City head south to Bunbury where they meet South West Phoenix. Ashfield travel to the Willetton Sports Club where they face Canning City, while Morley Windmills have home ground for the second successive week as they host Dianella White Eagles. Bassendean Caledonian come up against Forrestfield United, and Gosnells City meet Kingsway Olympic. Queens Park will be looking to open their season account when Stirling Suns visit Coker Park. Out of action due to the bye are Wanneroo City.
INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL ... PART TWO
In the past decade no less than eight different clubs have raised the Premier League trophy come seasons' end. 2005 is the forty-fifth year of semi-professional football in Western Australia but the first under the banner of Football West, the state's new peak body. Western Knights have been widely tipped to claim back-to-back regular season titles but they'll need to be on guard as there are plenty of teams waiting to trip them up. This week Brett Klucznik takes a critical look at the semi-professional game, assess each clubs strengths and weaknesses, and goes out on a limb with a few predictions as to how 2005 will play out ...
TOWNSEND, WARD GET NATIONAL CALL-UP
Burnley defender Ryan Townsend will make his debut for Australia when the national Under-20 go into camp later this month. The towering 19-year old has been on the fringes of first team selection for his English club this year and is a regular fixture at the back for the Clarets second string. Townsend joins Perth Glory midfielder Nick Ward in the Young Socceroo squad which commences and eleven-day training camp in Sydney from 21st April. The national youth team will A-League sides Newcastle Jets, Sydney FC and Adelaide United as they prepare for the FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands this June.
Ward said he was thrilled to be part of the national set-up after being part of the squad which toured South America last year and navigated their way through the Oceania qualifying series. "It's great to be called up again and it is getting close now to the youth World Cup so it is an opportunity for me to establish myself and show Ange (Postecoglou, National Youth Coach) that he should pick me," Ward said. "That's the main aim, it is a really big event and with it being in Holland, there will be a lot of exposure with scouts around so I am really looking forward to it."
The 18-player Young Socceroo squad is Michael Matricciani (Adelaide United), Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Belconnen Blue Devils), Billy Celeski (Bulleen Zebras), Ryan Townsend (Burnley), Danny Vukovic (Central Coast Mariners), James Wesolowski (Leicester City), Jay Lucas (Marconi Stallions), Vince Lia, Kristian Sarkies, Chris Tadrosse (Melbourne Victory),Stuart Musialik, Jobe Wheelhouse (Newcastle Jets), Nick Ward (Perth Glory), David Williams (Queensland Academy of Sport), Jordan Simpson (Queensland Roar), Mark Milligan, Justin Pasfield and Jacob Timpano (Sydney FC).
KNIGHTS TIPPED FOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Western Knights will win back to back regular season titles according to the latest www.soccerwa.com poll. Close to 400 votes were cast during the past ten days in response to the question 'Who will be crowned Premier League champion for 2005?' With 24.1% of the vote reigning champion the Knights were by far the most popular choice. Perth S.C. (17.5%) are tipped to pose the biggest threat to the Knights claiming silverware with Inglewood United (12.3%) also amongst the frontrunners.
Northern suburbs outfit Sorrento (8.9%) came in fourth place and narrowly ahead of newly promoted Armadale (8.6%). A single vote was all that seperated Swan I.C. (6.9%) and Cockburn City (6.6%). Next up were Stirling Lions (4.0%) with Fremantle City (3.4%) hot on their trail. E.C.U. Joondalup and Floreat Athena ended level with 2.6% of the vote. Bayswater City (2.3%) were voted as the team least likely to finish top of the Premier League table.
GLORY "NOT STRONG ENOUGH" - MCMAHON
Perth Glory coach Steve McMahon has conceded the current crop of players at the club would struggle to challenge for top honours in the new A-League competition. "It's not strong enough," was McMahon's blunt assessment. "Going into a domestic season with sixteen players of this quality won't be enough. All I can do is try to get the strongest possible squad and the best possible players to give us a chance. The three signings I do make have got to make an impact straight away because, with respect to the players we've got, I don't think there's enough."
McMahon also acknowledged the pressure was on to strengthen the squad with Glory's first game less than a month away. "I'd be lying if I said it's not an issue. And if things don't develop over the next two weeks or so it will become a problem," he said. "But I'm expecting things to work out. I'm expecting two or three things to come into place and slowly but surely we'll get there." Glory have offered midfielder Billy Celeski a one-year contract and are keen on adding another striker and goalkeeper to their ranks.
FOOTBALL WEST SEEK MARKETING CO-ORDINATOR
Football West require a dedicated individual to become their new Marketing Communications Co-ordinator. This position represents a great opportunity to be part of a vibrant team taking old soccer on the road to new football. Hard copy applications must be received by Friday 22th April, for more information, please click here.
JONES EXTENDS STAY WITH 'BORO
Brad Jones has become the latest Middlesbrough player to commit himself to the Riverside club. With his contract due to expire in a couple of months Jones this week signed a new two-year deal that ties him to the Premier League until the end of the 2006/07 season. The 23-year old found himself in the spotlight on Saturday when he made only his second appearance in the starting line-up after a back injury forced regular custodian Mark Schwarzer onto the sidelines. Jones has tasted first team action in loan spells with Blackpool, Stockport County and Rotherham United.
SWAN IN SAFE HANDS (courtesy www.swanic.com)
Goalkeeping stocks in the Swan Valley have been depleted for the coming season with Chris Ramsey seeking greener pastures and Daniel Agudelo ruled out for an indefinite period with a back injury. Even so, Swan I.C. are confident of a strong showing this year with State custodian Cory Hugo reprising his role between the posts. Hugo's contribution to the black and whites has been invaluable since their top flight return in 2000.
Over the past five seasons Hugo has played an anchoring role for Swan who've twice lifted the association Cup and last month were Night Series finalists. "Winning those back-to-back Cups was a huge highlight and something I'll never forget," said Hugo of his time with the club. "Scoring last year against Joondlaup was also pretty memorable - funny more than anything though. And I'd have to say that every players trip I've been on has been a great experience, we've got a great bunch of players at Swan."
Hugo's shot-stopping abilities brought him to the attention of the state's national league representative, Perth Glory, for he spent a considerable period on trial in 2002. "It was great training full-time with a professional club," he said. "It got a little hard towards the end because I was training so much I wasn't able to work at the time and I wasn't being paid for training. Still, it's one of the best things I have ever done when it comes to football."
Although a playing contract wasn't forthcoming Hugo was asked back for a second bite of the cherry. "I don't think they were really looking for a goalkeeper the second time," added Hugo. "The first time I was with Glory they signed Tommi Tomich after we'd both spent about six months trialling. They enjoyed having extra keepers around to help out at training mainly. My only wish is that I'd had the opportunity to play more friendlies with them, I only played once and that was a pre-season game against Paramatta Power ... I kept a clean sheet that night so I was pretty happy!"
In addition to regular club duties Hugo has been first choice 'keeper for the State team since 1999. "Playing for your state is a great achievement," the 25-year old said. "The most memorable game was against Red Star Belgrade in 2001. We played under lights to a big crowd against a great team - we got pumped but only lost 0-2 which wasn't bad for a team that only trained together twice before the game. I had a great game personally and will be one that I remember for a long time."
When not turning out for Swan Hugo is busy working towards his continuing career outside the world game which, curiously enough, has a strong footballing flavour. "I'm studying to be a Phys Ed teacher," he added. "I'm in the third year of a four-year degree, and when I'm not doing that I work part-time at Altone Park and casually at Rebel Sport in Morley. I would like to get into coaching at a specialist soccer school, and maybe one day coach the state Schoolboys team."
During the summer there were rumours Hugo was the target of Perth S.C., but mention of that is news to the Swan 'keeper. "I have a year left at Swan and I'm looking forward to staying beyond that," he commented. "I love playing here and I know there's not a team atmosphere like the one we have. Even if any team had come for me at the start of the year I wouldn't have left. I'm looking forward to winning some more trophies with Swan, the squad is looking really good and we just need to defend as a whole a little better and things will improve."
GLORY FIND NEW HOME
Perth Glory will move their training base to Balcatta after years of switching between metropolitan venues. Though Glory's official home has been Members Equity Stadium (aka Perth Oval) since the club entered the national competition in 1996, players have unpacked their bags at several training venues around town. The club's technical manager, Mich d'Avray, said the move to the Vasto Club would end the team's nomadic existence. "In the past we've trained all over the place for different reasons and now we're very close to finalising a base at Vasto," he said. "We will continue to train at Members Equity but there will be a lot of times when the stadium is unavailable, whether it's because of concerts, rugby or maybe even turf maintenance. It's important that we have somewhere to go on a regular basis." As part of the agreement with the City of Stirling to use the venue Glory will donate floodlights worth around $30,000.
FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME WA
More of the true greats of Western Australian football will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a gala dinner presentation later this year. It will be the third time that the Hall of Fame, which encompasses the Hall of Champions and the Hall of Recognition, has held an induction ceremony to pay tribute to the major contributors to the State's rich history of the sport. There will be extra glamour and excitement to this year's awards with the introduction of the Hall of Legends for the first time. This will be an exclusive category with certain players, who have already been inducted into the Hall of Champions, being elevated to legendary status.
Western Australia has been the proud pacesetter in Australia in the Hall of Fame concept even beating the national ruling body in setting up such a prestigious affair. A total of 29 players, male and female, were admitted into the Hall of Champions when the history-making enterprise was launched in 1996. And 17 administrators, including coaches and referees, were accepted into the Hall of Recognition at the same time. An additional 11 players, plus 14 administrators, were inducted into the two Halls at a further ceremony in 2002.
Some of the champion players who have already been honoured include former Socceroo stars Robbie Dunn, Gary Marocchi, Ron Adair, David Jones and Ray Ilott and former State greats John McInroy, Len Dundo, John Davidson and Hugh Miller. Several more high-profile performers will be feted this October, although the precise number of 2005 inductees has yet to be determined. The Football Hall of Fame WA committee, which is comprised of former players, coaches, administrators, referees and media men, will not finalise the total until it has received public submissions, which close on 31st May.
The public, plus clubs and associations, are being invited to make nominations in both categories. To qualify for the Hall of Champions, players must have achieved a distinguished level of performance and must have retired from playing at a high level for at least five years. For admittance to the Hall of Recognition, the nominated administrators, coaches or referees must have shown a dedication to service or have achieved considerable success. They can still be active in their chosen field.
The Football Hall of Fame WA Committee has other exciting projects in the offing, and a further major announcement will be made at the 2005 induction being held at the Novotel Langley Hotel on Saturday, 29th October. Tickets for the Football Hall of Fame WA event will cost $100 and will be available soon. The cost includes a three-course dinner, plus beer, wine and soft drinks, entertainment - and the opportunity to meet and mingle with the true greats of the WA game and celebrity guests. For further information please contact the Football Hall of Fame WA chairman, Louis Prospero, on 0413 041942.
FFA PLAN NATIONAL CUP
The cream of the Premier League clubs will pit skills against the nations best teams in an FA Cup style competition revealed yesterday by Football Federation Australia. John O'Neill, FFA chief executive officer, said the knock-out tournament is likely to be introduced in the second A-League season and would feature at least twelve clubs from state competition along with the eight A-League sides. It is understood the stronger states, such as New South Wales, Victoria and West Australia, would have two representatives, while Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory would have one each.
"If you use as a pilot the seven or eight A-League teams and could do arithmetic and come up with another twelve to make twenty, that would be an ideal number," O'Neill said. "I believe it's lucrative in terms of giving exposure and profile (for the state league clubs) to a bigger audience around Australia and with gate revenue and sponsorship opportunities. Given the availability of grounds, it would probably be concurrent with the A-League season, similar to the FA Cup, with the climax and the whole competition being sudden death. So there is the opportunity for a battler to be playing against Australia's best."
JONES GETS LATE CALL-UP
Armadale born goalkeeper Brad Jones was thrown into the firing line at late notice when Middlesbrough faced Arsenal in the English Premier League on Saturday. The 23-year old was a surprise addition to Boro's starting eleven following a back injury to regular shot-stopper Mark Schwarzer in the pre-game warm-up. "Mark fell on his back in the warm-up and felt he wasn't capable of playing to his full ability for the match," explained Jones. "Just after the warm-up had finished I was told it was me who playing and to get ready. To be honest that wasn't a problem because that's all part of the warm-up procedure, you have to prepare as if it you who is going to play."
In a way it may have helped that Jones didn't have enough time to think about the game and allow nerves to creep in. "There was probably a thousand things going through my head when I was walking out," he admits. "I'm not someone who gets nervous, but there were a few butterflies, it was nice to get the first touch." Jones believes a loan spell at Blackpool earlier in the season put him in good stead for Saturday's outing. "It was a good experience at Blackpool, it shows you the pressure you have to deal with, sometimes it's pressure you don't get with in Premiership," he said. "In the Premiership you have to be a bit more wary, you stay focussed a bit more, but the job's the same, you have to do what you can."
Jones looked set to earn a memorable clean sheet until Robert Pires pounced on a loose ball to score the games only goal in the 73rd minute. "Our objective this season has been to compete with teams at every level." Jones explained. "Sometimes it hasn't worked out because of the injuries we've had, but with people like George Boateng coming back we have to believe we now need to push on and work harder to get where we want to be. We gave Arsenal a run for their money and at times they didn't like it. If we can turn in performances like that for the remainder of the season we should be capable of finishing where we want to finish." 'Boro are currently placed seventh in England's top flight.
WOMEN'S WRAP (Subiaco United vs East Fremantle courtesy Subiaco United; Gosnells City vs Swan I.C. courtesy Gosnells City)
Northern Redbacks started their defence of the women's Premier League title by thrashing Noranda 13-1 at Noranda Sporting Complex this afternoon. As the final margin suggests, the game was very much a one-sided affair with the home team finding the going tough against the best women's team in the state. Redbacks, who kicked off the year by taking out the Night Series, are undisputed favourite to make it a hat-trick of regular season crowns this year.
Subiaco United ran out 2-0 winners over East Fremantle when they visited Rosalie Park this afternoon. While the home team were quick to assert their authority it wasn't until a minute from half-time that they broke through via Lydia Tomlins. The second half mirrored the first with Subiaco on top and the port side forced to defend for long periods. East Fremantle showed great determination in not letting their hosts run away with the game but with ten minutes remaining the match was put beyond their reach as Shannon May added a second to Subiaco's tally following a goalmouth scramble.
Balcatta took maximum points from an under-strength Kingsley by 4-1. The games opening goal came after 22 minutes when Lindsey Jobling's corner went to feet and Jenny Poehl scrambled it past goalkeeper Ashley Dodgin. Kingsley hit back eight minutes later via a stunning free-kick from 18-metres by Sally Sanigare. Balcatta upped the tempo in the second half and reclaimed the lead as teenager Katy Coghlan found the net. A fine pass from Jessine Bonzas set-up Laura Turnball for the hosts third, and Elisa D'Ovidio sealed the win following a darting run down the flank.
Gosnells City made a flying start to the new First Division season by thumping Swan I.C. 6-0 at Walter Padbury Reserve. Playing with the benefit of the breeze, Swan enjoyed the better of first half attacks but were unable to open up a passage to goal as Gosnells, lead at the back by Jess Sanderson, soaked up the pressure. As it was the hosts went into the break with the advantage courtesy of a Melissa Spillman strike. Gosnells started the second period slowly but as the minutes ticked by the took control of the game with Spillman completing a deserved hat-trick as Elaine Doherty, Sian Nicholas and an own goal filled out the scoreline.
There was also a big opening round win for Bassendean Caledonian who took maximum points by 5-1 over Balga. Rockingham City brushed aside home team Murdoch University 5-2, while University of WA accounted for Subiaco United 4-2. Mandurah City were 3-1 too good for Lynwood Colts. Beckenham Angels worked hard in defeating Northern Redbacks C 0-1 in the remaining First Division fixture.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
There was a lot of goal on offer in the opening round of the new Premier League season this afternoon. David Onoforo bagged his second hat-trick in as many weeks to help Perth S.C. take maximum points over Swan I.C. by 5-3. Cockburn City downed Bayswater City 3-1 on home soil, and Western Knights won by the same margin against Armadale. Danny Hill, Todd Harnwell and James Morgan were the scorers in Sorrento's 3-1 defeat of Stirling Lions. Floreat Athena held Inglewood United 1-1, and Fremantle City came home from the afar north with a point courtesy of a 1-1 draw with E.C.U. Joondalup.
Rockingham City made a blistering start to the new First Division season by thrashing Queens Park 7-2. Balcatta proved 3-1 too strong for Canning City, and Wanneroo City emerged 2-0 victors over South West Phoenix. Dragan Njegic, Petar Mrdja and Mario Lucic found the net in Dianella White Eagles 3-1 home win over Mandurah City. A best on ground performance by goalkeeper Maikol Taseski enabled Ashfield to beat Bassendean Caledonian 2-1. Morley Windmills and Gosnells City drew 2-2, and the points were also shared between Stirling Suns and Olympic Kingsway where it ended 1-1.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND ONE (Cockburn City vs Bayswater City by Lennie Bavich; Swan I.C. vs Perth S.C. by Peter Simcox)
Cockburn City started the new Premier League season strongly with a 3-1 defeat of Bayswater City 3-1 at Dalmatinac Park. The game was less than a minute old when Jason Dos Santos' shot cannoned into Steve Grant and rebounded to Abdul Kamara whose goalbound strike was amazingly kept out by the desperate goalkeeper. At the opposite end Jeff Cargill was called into early action when Boima Karpeh combined with Ross Barnes for Cormac Dawson to rifle off a shot. The game's next chance presented itself to Dos Santos who shot wide as the hosts began to stamp their authority over proceedings. Midway through the period John Mirco sliced a free-kick high and wide. The deadlock was finally broken in the 37th minute as Kamara transferred possession to Faria who in turn laid the ball off to Dos Santos and the attacker made no mistake in beating the 'keeper. Grant launched a rare Bayswater attack minutes from the break which ended with Cormac Dawson firing off-target. As though their task wasn't already hard enough, Bayswater went down to ten men four minutes after the re-start when Igor Novakovic was issued his second yellow card for a foul on John Mirco. But the visitors weren't about to give up and two minutes later Dawson rose highest to meet a corner which he headed past Dunlop for the equaliser. It took Cockburn until the 68th minute to hit back through Mario De Felice whose stunning shot from 20-metres crashed into the underside of the crossbar and ricocheted over the line. The game was over eight minute later when Michael Kovacevic brought John Mirco down inside the 18-yard box, the ippy striker picking himself up to convert his sides third of the afternoon. The reserve match was taken out 4-2 by Bayswater, while Cockburn claimed maximum points in the Under-18's by 4-1.
Floreat Athena and Inglewood United played out a 1-1 draw in pleasant conditions at Litis Stadium. The home side got off to a flying start as Bajo Savic delivered a low cross into the penalty area where Peter Coci squeezed between two defenders to tap in with just 2 minutes gone. In an effort to equalise Inglewood pushed forward at every opportunity but it took until the 29th minute for them to genuinely threaten via Greg Sharland who placed wide from 18-metres. A fierce volley by Jason Colli shortly after rose over the crossbar, then appeals for a penalty were denied by the referee. Leading into the break Savic and Albert Osei-Tutu shot high at opposite ends of the ground. Five minutes after the break Eugene Singeorzan failed to put away what appeared to be an easy tap in for the hosts. The introduction of Louis Parkinson, Michael Baczynski and Jake Harman allowed Inglewood to take the game by the scruff of the neck. The visitors should have levelled in the 63rd minute after Coci impeded Jason Colli inside the area, but Vujacic guessed right to frustrate Harman from the spot. Four minutes later Floreat were awarded a penalty of their own for Danny Kovacevic's push on Coci and this time Mikulic missed the target having sent Oliver Taseski the wrong way. But before the penalty was taken Floreat went down to ten men with Singeorzan issued for a second yellow card offence. The pressure on the hosts defence from this point was relentless as Inglewood pushed in search of that elusive goal. Finally, in the 81st minute, an air-borne Harman somehow tapped in the equaliser following a cross from the left. In the closing minutes Baczynski and Steven Guest were presented with good chances to snatch maximum points but the former headed wide and the latter was denied by the sharp reflexes of Taseski. Inglewood won the reserve clash 3-1 with Floreat victorious in the Under-18’s by 2-1.
The points were shared in the northern suburbs as E.C.U. Joondalup and Fremantle City draw 1-1. It was a familiar story for Joondalup who settled quickly and dominated the opening exchanges through some good movement of the ball. However, all their possession accounted for nothing when, in the 12th minute, Fremantle went ahead through Kevin Correia who finished a flowing move down the right orchestrated by Andy Pomfret. Unperturbed at going a goal down, Joondalup continued their offensive upon the re-start but as was the case earlier could find few ways past the visiting defence. That was until the 28th minute when Oliver Hilton's cross into the area was spilled by goalkeeper Phil Straker, the ball falling at the feet of Kevin Carmona who whipped it into an empty net. The pattern of the second half mirrored the first with Joondalup well on top but unable to create much in the way of goalscoring opportunities. While unable to assert themselves to the same degree, it was Fremantle who looked the more likely to score on the counter attack only to be thwarted in one-on-one situations on three occasions by goalkeeper Peter Stewart. Joondalup were presented with a golden chance to steal the game in the closing minutes when awarded a penalty for Craig Surtees foul on John Morton, but Straker made amends for this earlier error by keeping out Tom Jones spot kick and Steve Porter crashed the rebound against the crossbar. A disappointing start to the new season for Joondalup who really must make more of their chances if they expect to be challenging for top honours this year. The Reserve fixture was won 4-1 by Fremantle with Joondalup triumphing in the Under-18's by 4-3.
Stirling Lions began the new campaign by suffering a 1-3 loss to Sorrento at Macedonia Park. The Gulls settled quickly with both Jared Love and James Morgan shooting wide when well placed. Danny Hill was next to spurn an opportunity when, with 16 minutes elapsed, he rounded goalkeeper Jordon Conti only to have shot from an angle cleared off the line by Paul Dickson. It seemed only a matter of time before Sorrento would score, however, the Lions had other plans and in the 35th minute they claimed the lead. A swift counterattack put Aaron McKee down the left flank from where he delivered a low ball to the near post where Leo Harman slotted past Neil Young for the game's opener. And it was very nearly two-nil not long after but Muhamed Komaderic mis-hit a cross by Steven Hicks and Young gathered comfortably. Sorrento came out for the second half with renewed enthusiasm and within five minutes had restored parity through Hill who fended off a challenge from Riste Stefoski to lob Conti from 22-metres. Conti palmed a header from Hill onto the crossbar from a Stuart Banks corner, then Thomas fired wide of the post with only Conti to beat. The pressure was getting to the Lions and in the 75th minute they were breached for a second time as Todd Harnwell's cross was cruelly defected in off Alex Smith for an own goal. This prompted the home side to upped their workrate and when Hicks was brought down in side the area it appeared they'd have a penalty but referee Steve Muldoon thought otherwise and waved play on. The result was put beyond doubt two minutes into stoppage time when Simon Harland's cross was slammed home by Morgan from 9-metres. The Reserves match was won 7-1 by Sorrento, while the Under-8's ended 2-1 in favour of the Lions.
The big crowd at the Swan Italian Club were given plenty to cheer about as Perth S.C. ran out 5-3 winners over traditional rival Swan I.C. It took Perth just 5 minutes to open their account through Andreas Oliveira who scored from the spot after Tony Cumace had brought down Daniel Micevski. Within a minute the hosts were level as Miki Vujacic's curling free-kick from the right was glanced in by David Foster. Perth went back in front in the 8th minute when Jeff Bright's corner was flicked on by Aaron Cole and David Onoforo nodded in from close-range. The drama continued with an in-swinging corner from Vujacic that Gianni Papalia failed to hold and the ball dropped over the line with just 13 minutes gone. Once again Perth hit back, this time it was Onoforo who beat two defenders before delivering a perfect cross to an unmarked Oliverira who headed beyond the reach of Cory Hugo to make it three-two. A penetrating run from Matt Danskin in the 29th minute ended with Onoforo's shot from the top of the box deflecting off a defender to loop over Cory Hugo for Perth's fourth of the day. Swan were unlucky not to peg back the gap leading into the break with Damien Catalano's shot on the turn narrowly off-target. The start of the second half was all Perth and six minutes in Oliveira knocked a clever pass to Onoforo who completed his hat-trick with a low shot past the goalkeeper. The black and whites were back in the game after 67 minutes as Scott Campbell threaded possession to Catalano who swept it past Papalia from 12-metres. With ten minutes to go Cory Hugo produced a world-class save to keep out Matt Danskin's header. Swan went close on several occasions during the final minutes but Perth held form to make a perfect start to their new season.
Reigning Premier League champion Western Knights rarely looked troubled as they swept aside Armadale 3-1 at Nash Field. The game started at a blistering pace with the home side doing much of the attacking without ever really testing goalkeeper Nick Stone. But on the quarter hour all that changed as Stuart Montgomery and Andrija Jukic combined to tee-up Barry Wood whose curling shot from 15-metres came to nestle in the back of the net despite Stone getting a hand to it. Armadale's first genuine chance on goal arrived via a set piece that saw the ball floated into the 18-yard box where Richard Lacey was presented with a free header which he sent disappointingly wide. It was a miss the visitors would rue. Another Knights attack was lead by David Annall who clipped the ball into the area where Montgomery, back to goal, volleyed an unbelievable shot into the top corner with Stone rooted to the spot. Three minutes from the break and Armadale got themselves back in the game through Darren Kingston whose shot from 18-metres bounced awkwardly in front of Tommi Tomich and crept in at the far post. The second half saw Armadale work hard to create a handful of half chances that saw John Dixon forced a good save from Tomich while Jason Goodwin fired past the 'keeper and just wide of the upright. At the opposite end Jon Higgins and Barry Wood both squandered guilt-edged chances to seal victory for the Knights, while Stone saved well to thwart the former as well as Scott Devine and Alex Christie. The sealer arrived with fifteen minutes remaining as Josh Kamasz played a fine pass into the path of Montgomery whose sweetly struck volley flew past Stone and into the top corner.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND ONE (Balcatta vs Canning City by Phil Unsworth; Morley Windmills vs Gosnells City courtesy Gosnells City)
Rockingham City made a superb start to the new First Division season by thumping Queens Park 7-2 at Dowling Street Reserve. Having gone close on several occasions the hosts got a well-earned breakthrough on 12 minutes following good work on the left by Luke Morris which led to Craig Donnell rounding the goalkeeper. However, Queens Park hit back and some sloppy defending led to the visitors scoring twice in quick succession through James Turbitt and Vince Grooby. Rockingham responded well and equalised via Rob Crerar's volley from the edge of the 18-yard box on 35 minutes. With half-time approaching Glen Hallums extended the home team's with a great header and shortly after Donnell grabbed his second with a well placed effort. Rockingham came out for the new half full of life and it wasn't long before a great solo effort from Luke Morris resulted in their fifth goal. It could have been much worse for Queens Park as Bryan Hastie failed to convert from the penalty spot. The goal of the day was next as Crerar threaded to Hallums who took one touch before blasting past the 'keeper. Rockingham's day was made complete by Morris who converted from close-range to make it 7-2.
Wanneroo City took all three points from their home clash with South West Phoenix by a 2-0 scoreline. Within minutes of kick-off the hosts had taken the lead through Phil O'Callaghan who raced through the middle to knock it past the goalkeeper. New signing Phil Bell came close to adding to Wanneroo's tally shortly after, as did another summer recruit Paul Byrne. Darren Williams produced a tremendous reflex save from close-range to prevent Phoenix from going into the break on level terms. The start of the new half was much like the first with Wanneroo pressing hard and Phoenix with little option but to soak up the pressure. Within minutes of eachother Jon Greenwood and Byrne put the ball in the net but on each occasion their efforts were ruled out by for offside. Stuart Collins was proving troublesome down the right and he had a goalbound effort cleared off the line midway through the period. Williams was once again called upon to keep Wanneroo's head in front before the hosts scored for a second time via a well-worked set-piece. Wanneroo eased to a 9-0 win in the Reserves, while the Under-18 game was locked a 2-2.
Canning City poor showing at Graham Burkett Reserve continued with a 1-3 to Balcatta in their opening round fixture. In their four years in the First Division Canning are yet to win come away with a win from Balcatta's home ground. From the opening minutes it was evident that the match was going to be a tight and physical contest with both teams applying pressure in midfield. Balcatta, however, looked the more likely to get the breakthrough and on 22 minutes that's what happened as Adam Raines netted after Canning's defence failed to effectively clear the danger. The afternoon got tougher for the visitors just two minutes later as David Moschilla, who'd been troubling the Canning defence, scored his teams second goal. After the break Canning seized the initiative and were deserved rewarded in the 55th minute when Ken Fytengenious spilled Mick Van Dongen's shot and Stephen Cole drove the loose ball in from short range. Balcatta were able to secure victory with ten minutes remaining when a long throw-in sailed over the defence to Moscilla who volleyed past the 'keeper. Earlier in the day Balcatta took out the Reserve team meeting by 4-0, with the Under-18's won 2-1 by Canning.
Although minus four first team regulars, Dianella White Eagle continued their fine pre-season form into the new campaign by toppling Mandurah City 3-1 Dianella Reserve. The visitors made a positive start and on 10 minutes Alex Agnew delivered a great cross into the area which was blasted over the cross by Michael Bobridge. Dianella slowly came into the game with some exquisite one touch football and on more than one occasion called goalkeeper Michael Green to keep his side on level terms. In the 31st minute Dianella got the breakthrough they were looking for as the ball slipped from Green's grasp and Dragan Njegic responded sharply by stroking it into the net. The second half went much the same way with the home side doubling their advantage via a superbly struck free-kick from 18-metres by Petar Mrdja after 63 minutes. Mandurah worked hard to remain in the hunt as chances came the way of Bobridge, Jake Loreto and Jordan Rhodes none of whom were able to convert. A quick counter attack sealed the game for Dianella as Dragan Radojevic and Mario Lucic exchanged passes with the latter angling a fierce shot past Green from 16-metres. It wasn't until the closing minutes that Mandurah scored their consolation goal through Bobridge.
Ashfield claimed a 2-1 victory over neighbouring Bassendean Caledonian at Ashfield Reserve. The home side completely dominated the opening twenty minutes before gaining a deserved lead through Cairan Allen who leapt highest to nod in Mark Purcell's fine cross to the back post. The same pattern continued as Ashfield's central midfield pairing of Ben Harris and English import Carl Chaney dictated terms. Bassendean managed the occasional attack, the best of which saw Maikol Taseski produce a world-class save to deny Dom Ando from 10-metres. Three minutes from the break Bassendean were able to conjure an equaliser through a superbly struck free-kick from Ryan Jeans which had Taseski grasping at air. Ashfield wasted no time in finding a response as Purcell's shot from 17-metres soared into the top corner for this side's second of the day. The introduction of Craig Wells evened the ledger in the centre of the park but the closest they came to leveling was when the midfielder beat two opponents and whipped in a cross which narrowly evaded Jeans. Some stubborn defending in combination with great 'keeping from Taseski enabled Ashfield to hold on and record a first up victory.
The points were shared at Wotton Reserve where Morley Windmills and Gosnells City played out a 2-2 draw. Although by far the dominant side, the opening period yielded several good openings for the hosts who would have been somewhat disillusioned as they headed into the break a goal behind. Goalkeeper Jason Mehnert was kept on high alert as Gosnells dealt well with the pressure, and midway through the half their cause suffered a setback with captain Sean Cowman forced to leave the park with a calf strain. Morley's first goal came not long after via a well crafted move down the left which was met by an unstoppable header from Ray Rose. Against the run of play Gosnells hit back to two rapid goals of their own from Darren Ingham and Mark Ronald. The second half proved to be slightly more open as the visitors went in search of a third goal to kill the game off as Morley sought a way back into it. Morley's chances of sneaking even a point appeared dashed with the dismissal of Stephen Waycott for a challenge on Mehnert after 59 minutes. But close to the end Rose made the most of some defensive hesitancy put away the equaliser.
Honours were shared at the Cracovia Club where Stirling Suns were held to a 1-1 draw by the visiting team from Kingsway Olympic. Desimir Tosevski was the scorer for the hosts with Kingsway's goal coming from Steven Beasley. Neither club was able to provide further details of this game.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The Premier League kicks-off this Saturday with several intriguing match-ups. The pick of action is undoubtedly the traditional derby between Swan I.C. and Perth S.C. in the Swan Valley. Armadale's first game in the top flight pits them against the might of reigning title holder Western Knights at Nash Field. Floreat Athena will be put to the test on home soil by an Inglewood United side for whom goals flowed freely in pre-season. E.C.U. Joondalup meet Fremantle City in the far north, while Stirling Lions have home ground advantage over Sorrento. Cockburn City are tipped to take the points over Bayswater City when they visit Dalmatinac Park.
Also taking place this tomorrow is Round One of the new First Division season. Balcatta and Canning City are amongst the frontrunners for promotion and they meet at Graham Burkett Reserve. At Dianella Reserve it's Dianella White Eagles against Mandurah City, and a much improved Morley Windmills are home to Gosnells City. Rockingham City should account for Queens Park at Dowling Street Reserve, while Wanneroo City is expected to take maximum points at the expense of the visitors of South West Phoenix. Ashfield meet near-neighbour Bassendean Caledonian at Ashfield Reserve, and Stirling Suns come up against Kingsway Olympic. Out of action with the bye are Forrestfield United.
INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL ... PART ONE
The new season kicks-off this weekend with games as far north as Joondalup and south as Rockingham, not to mention almost everywhere in-between. Western Knights are firmly entrenched to win back-to-back Premier League titles, while the race for promotion from the First Division is already being tipped a two-horse race between Balcatta and Wanneroo City. But a seven-month campaign will test even the strongest of squads and there are a plenty of challengers waiting to pounce should the favourites slip up. This week website administrator Jacob Aufdemkampe looks at each of the clubs and makes a few bold predictions as to how season 2005 will pan out ...
IS YOUR CLUB NAMED HERE?
To assist with our annual season preview we call upon representatives of Dianella White Eagles, Forrestfield United, Queens Park, Rockingham City and Stirling Suns to contact us. All that's required from these clubs are to provide us with details of their player movements (ie signings and departures) since the end of last season. Anyone willing to supply this information is asked to send it to Brett (firstname.lastname@example.org) for inclusion in next week's website update.
MILEVSKI TAKES OVER SCHOOLBOYS REIGNS
Stirling Lions club legend Rob Milevski has been appointed coach of the State Schoolboys for 2005. The veteran striker, who represented the Schoolboys in 1990, has been playing in the State’s top flight for the past fifteen years and helped the Lions to numerous trophies during their glory days of the mid-1990’s. As well as enjoying a successful career Milevski has been the soccer program coordinator at Balga Senior High School and spent time as a youth development coach with Perth Glory.
Trials for the 2005 Schoolboys squad continue over the next couple of weeks at Parnham Park at the corner of Oates Street and Mars Street in Carlisle. Players who believe they have what it takes to represent the State are invited to join the squad on Wednesday’s 13th and 20th April for a two-hour session commencing 4.30pm. For further information contact team manager Neil Alweyn on 0413 523 281. This years national championships are taking place in Queensland between 13th and 19th August.
CACERES WANTS LONG-TERM CONTRACT (courtesy www.tribalfootball.com)
West Australian forward Adrian Caceres is in no rush to return home to play in the A-League after announcing on Wycombe Wanderers's website that he would like to extend his stay beyond this season. "I'd be delighted if I could get a contract for next season," said the 23-year old. "I think Wycombe can play higher than this and I'd like to be part of it." Caceres was brought to Wycombe by current boss John Gorman on a non-contract basis. The pair had previously worked together several years ago during Caceres' stint with top flight outfit Southampton.
COLANGELO CALLS TIME
Western Waves vice-captain Luciana Colangelo has brought the final curtain down on a lengthy and successful career. As one of the West Australia’s most respected and accomplished players Colangelo spent eighteen years with Morley Windmills, Stirling Reds, Northern Redbacks and the Waves. “My decision to retire was a difficult one to make after playing the game I love for so many years,” said the veteran defender. “The fact that I made the Waves inaugural team was the icing on the cake so to speak and a fantastic way bow out of the game.”
During her time on the local scene Colangelo has seen the women’s game come on in leaps and bounds. “I think the biggest change has been that people are now aware women take the sport very seriously and can play it at an elite level,” she said. “And the fact that we are now attracting quality coaches willing to become involved with the women’s game is testament to that. The women’s game has struggled to be recognised over the years through the scholarship and elite training programs new career pathways have been opened up for players.”
It was as a teenager in 1987 that Colangelo first pulled on her playing boots at senior level for Morley Windmills. Over the next eight years she earned several awards and honours as her reputation as a reliable, hard-working defender become firmly entrenched. Colangelo joined Stirling Reds in 1995 and in an eight year spell captained the club to numerous trophies. For the past two seasons the veteran defender has worn the captain's armband for the all-conquering Northern Redbacks.
And it’s not just been at club level that Colangelo has shone. She made her senior State debut in 1989 and would go on to represent West Australia for the next sixteen years, eight of those as captain. Colangelo gained Australian All-Stars selection following the National Championships in 1998, and twelve months later was awarded the Most Valuable Player award at the Australasian tournament in Kuala Lumpar. Aged 36, Colangelo was named vice-captain for the Western Waves debut Women’s National Soccer League campaign in which she played ever minute for the fledgling team.
ROUND TWO OF CUP DRAWN
The draw for the Second Round of the association Cup was made live-to-air last night 6PR's new 'Soccer Scene' program hosted by Peter Vlahos. Reigning state champion Western Knights have home ground advantage over northern suburbs giant E.C.U. Joondalup. Perth S.C. are drawn at home to Cup holder Swan I.C., and at Frank Drago Reserve near neighbours Bayswater City and Inglewood United go head-to-head.
Cannning City make the short journey to Dalmatanic Park where they'll encounter Cockburn City. The only all First Division clash has Mandurah City with hosting rights over Kingsway Olympic, while Balcatta are on the road to Floreat Athena. Sorrento welcome Gosnells City to the northern suburbs, and Fremantle City are home to Stirling Suns. Round two of the association Cup will take place on Monday 6th June.
GULLS COME FROM BEHIND TO HOLD GLORY
An injury ravaged Perth Glory have been held 2-2 by Premier League side Sorrento in this evenings friendly at Percy Doyle Reserve. Steve McMahon was forced to field an experimental line-up with Jamie Harnwell (thigh), David Tarka (knee), Scott Miller (groin), Naum Sekulovski (groin) and Stuart Young (illness) all absent. Glory enjoyed the better of early possession but it wasn’t until the 38th minute that they were able to breach the hosts defensive lines when Nick Ward’s cross from the left was flicked on by Henry Fa’Arodo and Bobby Despotovski put it away at the far post.
The second half was brought to life when Simon Harland forced the ball past replacement goalkeeper Gareth Deeg at the second opportunity to put Sorrento back on level terms with 62 minutes gone. Glory continued to press forward and regained the lead in the 72nd minute with Despotovski steering in his second after Hiroyuki Ishida’s close-range effort came back off the crossbar. With two minutes remaining 17-year old Brodie Martin raced clear and drilled in the equaliser from the top of the 18-yard box. However, there was still enough time left for Despotovski to crash a free-kick into the frame of the goal for the evenings final play.
KEEPER SHORTAGE AT SWAN
Boral Cup holder Swan I.C. have been dealt a cruel blow just days out from the start of the new home-and-away season. Confirmation of a serious back injury has ruled 17-year old goalkeeper Daniel Agudelo out for the entire season to leave the Swan Valley club with only two recognised shot-stoppers - Cory Hugo and James Schmiedte. Gary Marocchi and his coaching team have begun the search for replacement ‘keepers eligible to play for Swan’s Under-21 side and provide cover for State custodian Cory Hugo. Players interested in the role are asked to contact the club via email@example.com
UMBRO CEMENTS NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH FOOTBALL
Umbro International is one of world’s leading suppliers of football apparel. They are associated with some of the world’s best known teams, amongst the England national side, and today Umbro cemented their 30-year association with the game in West Australia by forging a new partnership with Football West. The agreement will see Umbro match balls used in all men’s Saturday Premier League and First Division games and recommended for use during training. And in line with a long commitment to junior football, they'll also be sponsor of the new Super 4x4 Youth Competition.
Nick McCallum, state distributor for Umbro, said that the new consolidation of football was great for the future of the game and also provides solid marketing opportunities for those with a little foresight. “Football West is taking old soccer on the path to new football, and with 30,000 playing the game in WA this season participation is solid at all levels and across youth, men and women,” said MacCallum. “It’s an exciting time of change and growth for football and while Umbro continues its historic support for juniors, we have ventured confidently into the men’s divisions as well.”
The world game has come on in leaps and bounds right across the nation over the past ten months. Football West chief executive officer Michelle Phillips acknowledged Umbro’s support for Football West and the surge in interest at all levels of the game across the State, and nationally. “I am delighted that Umbro has taken another step and extended their support to partner the men in their competitions,” commented Phillips. “Right now, the growth and excitement surrounding the game is attracting solid interest that will benefit our profile, help grow participation and attract new corporate investors such as Umbro.”
BEST DAY EVER!
A new record for the number of visitors in a single day period were registered on www.soccerwa.com today. The website received a grand total of 1,442 hits for the twenty-four hours of Monday 4th April, 2005, to eclipse the previous record of 1,349 hits which were recorded on Monday 31st May, 2004. And the signs are good that further records will tumble for www.soccerwa.com over the course of this year.
Already in the three months of 2005 an impressive 58,862 hits have been received on the website, a tally way in excess of the 36,237 registered for the January to March period last year. In total 224,418 hits were received on the website late year to make it by far our most successful yet. The most successful month was May 2004 when www.soccerwa.com scored 27,737 hits. The honour of the popular seven-day period belongs to the week ending Sunday 13th June 2004 when we had 6,933 hits.
TOP FIVE SERIES AXED
Football West have dropped finals football from this years calendar. The purpose of and need for an end-of-season top five series has been questioned on almost an annual basis. As the state's new peak body, Football West have responded to the local community and dropped the play-offs for the time being. The decision is backed by the results of a www.soccerwa.com poll conducted last November in which 55.3% of the respondants were in favour of doing away with the finals.
"The Football West league competition is conducted over six months from April through to September," explained Michelle phillips, Football Wests' chief executive officer. "It's a solid season and the structure of the competitions enables the best teams to stand out in their particular competition and division. The league fixtures are punctuated by the Midland Brick Cup, which is a popular knock-out competition that adds another dimension and some additional spice and excitement to the season."
"It seems that the league competition, and the Midland Brick Cup currently provide a good balance of fixtures and games for the players over a six month period - and then the Cup finals will be played in October," Phillips added. "The notion of a top five play-off doesn't seem to add a great deal at this time, so we have put it aside for the approaching season."
It'll be just the fourth time since 1961 that the local season won't conclude with a finals series. They were first cut in 1973 on grounds that they'd become 'unfashionable' with the clubs who placed little prestige in the play-off concept. A lack of interest from the clubs lead to their scrapping for seasons 1985 and 1987. The expansion of the top flight from ten to fourteen teams, which extended the season by eight games, was the reason behind the disappearance of the finals in 1997.
ON THIS DAY … 1981
When Perth Azzurri’s players took to the field on Saturday 4th April 1981 for the opening game of the State League season they had no idea that they were taking the first steps to immortality. Azzurri became the first team of the modern era to go the season undefeated, winners of sixteen of their eighteen games to take out the regular season trophy by a massive thirteen points from Forrestfield United. Of course going a season without defeat had been done before, but with improved coaching techniques and an increase in the level of professionalism in the State League an undefeated season looked to like a thing of the past … then along came Azzurri’s star-studded side of 1981.
Goals from team captain Eric Marocchi and Ronnie Campbell gave Azzurri victory over Stirling Cracovia in their opening fixture of the season. Seven days later Willie Kelly was sent off, but not before scoring in the 3-1 defeat of West Perth Macedonia against whom Campbell and Paul Tombides also get on the scoresheet. Successive 2-1 wins over Morley Windmills and East Fremantle Tricolore precede a controversial scoreless draw with Forrestfield. The crowd spills on to the playing arena at Dorrien Gardens after Kelly is red carded for a tackle on David Brookes. A hat-trick from Paul Tombides and two goals by Tony Trinca see Azzurri trounce Gosnells City 5-2, and a week later Paul Tombides scores the only goal of the match away to Inglewood Kiev who have former England international Bobby Moore in their playing ranks.
At the start of June Federation referees refuse to officiate Azzurri games at Dorrien Gardens. Although qualified match officials are provided by the Federation, Kingsway Olympic refuse to take to the field and therefore forfeit their meeting with Azzurri. Paul Tombides finds the net twice and Campbell once in the Round Nine victory over Spearwood Dalmatinac which extends the sides winning streak to nine games. The second half of the season begins on June 27th with Tony Trinca scoring the only goal of the match with Cracovia, and a week later Kelly and Campbell net in the 2-1 win over Macedonia. As the pressure begins to mount Azzurri get home by 2-1 over a struggling Windmills side thanks to a Paul Tombides double. The big striker takes his season tally to twelve with another two goals against Tricolore with Brent Atherton and Kelly also amongst the goals.
Kelly again gets on the scoresheet the following week as Azzurri defeat Forrestfield one-nil to claim the regular season title with four games remaining. Away at Gosnells Tony Trinca finds the net as Azzurri scrap to a 1-1 draw. Campbell, Atherton and Alan Pye find the target in the 3-0 home win over near neighbours Kiev. Victory against Olympic comes via Paul Tombides who scores against his former club. A large crowd turned out for the final game of the season in which Azzurri produced their best form of the season to thump six goals - two each from Atherton and Paul Tombides and singles by Campbell and Pye - past Dalmatinac without reply. Azzurri ended the season on 34 points, well ahead of Forrestfield (21) and Olympic (20).
The championship winning Azzuri squad of 1981 consisted of Saverio Madaschi, Willie McNally, Tony Falcone, Sauro Iozzelli, Aldo Trinca, Steve Tombides, Harry Long, Brent Atherton, Tony Trinca, Alan Pye, Eric Marocchi, Willie Kelly, Paul Tombides, Ronnie Campbell, John Cain, Frank Malone and Bruno Tatasciore. The team was coached by Gordon Ferguson with John O’Connell as his assistant.
WOKING SNAP UP COONEY
Coventry City have loaned defender Sean Cooney to non-league Woking until season’s end. The Sky Blues last week informed Cooney that his contract will not be extended beyond the current campaign. The loan spell at Woking give the 21-year-old the opportunity to further his career in the English game. Cooney made his Nationwide Conference debut in yesterday’s 2-4 home loss to Dagenham and Redbridge.
CELESKI LINED UP FOR GLORY (courtesy Perth Glory)
Young midfielder Billy Celeski will be hoping to impress Steve McMahon when Perth Glory take on Sorrento this Wednesday evening. The Australia Under-20 international is currently trialling with Glory in a bid to win a contract ahead of the up-coming A-League season. The 19-year old flew in from Melbourne late last week having progressed through the Victorian Institute of Sport and the Australian Institute of Sport. “He is an exciting attacking midfield player who is here to impress and earn a contract with Perth Glory,” said McMahon. “If he is successful he would make up our quota of under-20 players for the A-League squad.” Celeski, whose most recently been playing for Bulleen Zebra’s in the Victorian State League, was part of the national youth squad alongside Glory midfielder Nick Ward.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Round One of the association Cup went pretty much as expected although a number of top flight clubs were put to the test by opponents from the second tier. Goals from Eugene Singeorzan and Branimir Mikulic got Floreat Athena over the line 2-1 against a determined Forrestfield United, and E.C.U. Joondalup were made to work hard in downing Dianella White Eagles 3-2. The only surprise of the weekend was how easily Mandurah City accounted for Armadale, by 4-1, at Peelwood Parade.
There were 3-0 wins for Perth S.C. and Bayswater City over Bassendean Caledonian and Morley Windmills respectively. Inglewood United toppled Stirling Lions 3-1, Canning City defeated Rockingham City 1-0, and Gosnells City were 3-1 too good for South West Phoenix. Queens Park provided little resistance for Swan I.C. who ran out 5-0 winners, Ashfield were on the receiving of a 6-1 hammering from Western Knights, and Cockburn City left Wanneroo City winners by 5-1.
ASSOCIATION CUP, ROUND ONE (Canning City vs Rockingham City by Phil Unsworth; Gosnells City vs South West Phoenix courtesy Gosnells City; E.C.U. Joondalup vs Dianella White Eagles courtesy E.C.U. Joondalup; Mandurah City vs Armadale by John Fitzmaurice; Queens Park vs Swan I.C by Peter Simcox; Wanneroo City vs Cockburn City by Lennie Bavich)
Western Knights conceded an early goal to Ashfield before overpowering their hosts 6-1 in the First Round association Cup clash at Ashfield Reserve. It was against the run of play that Ashfield went ahead early as Wayne Culverwell orchestrated the move which led to Cairan Allen lashing the ball past Tommi Tomich. Although shocked by this turn of events the Knights continued to attack with a vengeance and midway through the half parity was restored as Stuart Montgomery converted a contentious penalty. With both teams looking forward to a deserved half-time break David Annall latched on to a loose ball which he brilliantly volleyed into the top corner to put the Knights in front. End-to-end action kept the small but appreciative crowd entertained at the start of the second half as both teams went in search of goals. But it didn’t taken long for the Knights to put the game beyond doubt as Daniel Trim beat Maikol Taseski at the near post to bag the visitors third. Substitute Josh Kamasz got in on the act before veteran Alex Christie, who’d also come off the bench, made it five-one. The honour of the games final goal went to Ashfield defender Joe Kendall who had the misfortune of deflecting the ball past his own ‘keeper after Kamasz’s shot came back off the upright.
Perth S.C. are through to the next stage of the knock-out competition courtesy of a 3-0 win over Bassendean Caledonian in glorious conditions at Jubilee Reserve. Perth were quick to establish control courtesy of a hard-working midfield which rarely allowed their opponent into the game. Striker David Onoforo was the scorer of all three goal for the visiting side. Neither Bassendean nor Perth was able to provide further details of this game.
Bayswater City navigated their way into the next round of the association Cup by going past Morley Windmills 3-0 in picturesque conditions at Frank Drago Reserve. The opening twenty minutes very even with neither side able to really threaten on goal. As the minutes ticked by Bayswater gradually gained the upper hand and twice Boima Karpeh looked set to open their account but on each occasion was denied by the safe hands of Dusan Martinovic. Windmills supporters had good reason to feel aggrieved when Ray Rose was brought by the last defender and the referee chose to issue the offender with a caution when a red card would have been more fitting. Igor Novakovic was presented with a golden opportunity for Bayswater when put through with only the goalkeeper to beat but his initial shot was brilliantly blocked by Martinovic and with the follow-up he blasted over the crossbar with an open goal begging. The new half was five minutes old when Bayswater finally broke through with Scottish import Ross Barnes curling a terrific shot past the 'keeper. Much of the rest of the half was played in midfield with both teams creating what could only be described as a series of half chances, the best of which came the way of Karpeh who failed to convert a sitter from close-range. With Windmills pushing forward in number they were caught short at the back as substitute Sal Marrapodi raced through to double Bayswater's lead. Ten minutes from full-time the hosts went down to ten men after Daniel Naumovski was red carded for lashing out at an opponent. With just a handful of minutes left on the clock youngster Matt Wardle expertly weaved between two defenders and beat the on-coming 'keeper to put away Bayswater's third and final goal.
After a brief sojourn into the Night Series, Canning City got their season proper underway with a 1-0 Cup defeat of Rockingham City at Willetton Sports Club. Both squads have seen change over the summer months and not surprisingly made a tentative start to the game in warm, sunny conditions. In fact it wasn’t until the quarter hour mark that either goalkeeper was tested as Canning striker Simon Versaico had his shot pushed onto the base of the post by Craig Olenjik. Two minutes later a quick break by Rockingham saw Luke Morris unleash from 20-metres and catch Adam Horsley off guard but the 18-year old shot-stopper recovered in time to parry the ball wide of the target. For much of the half Canning patiently probed the opposing defence as Rockingham make sure they had plenty of players behind the ball. This pattern continued well into the second half and it took until the 72nd minute for either team to really threaten on goal with Morris again testing Horsley. Five minutes later Versaico again called the Rockingham ‘keeper into action when he rose high to meet a cross from the right and once again Olenjik paddled the downward header away. The match looked destined for stoppage time, however, with five minutes to go Mick Van Dongen drove in a low cross which was deflected across the face of goal to Nick MacLean who rammed an angled shot inside the far post to secure Canning’s safe passage into the next round. Although the result didn’t go in their favour Rockingham showed the sort of spirit and determination that should see them improve on last season’s disappointing placing. The Reserve team meeting between the two clubs was won 6-0 by Canning, while the Under-18 match also went to the hosts but by a 3-0 scoreline.
Floreat Athena survived a late scare before emerging 2-1 victors over Forrestfield United at Litis Stadium. The game was only 4 minutes old when Forrestfield goalkeeper Scott Radford brilliantly turned Branimir Mukilic’s powerful header from close-range over the crossbar. It was a warning the visitors failed to heed and two minutes later John Carbone’s low strike from an angle was too hot for Radford to hold and an unmarked Mikulic pounced to tap the loose ball in from a couple of metres. Eager to capitalise on their positive start, Floreat went in search of a second goal with Adam Bachillor and Jarred Smith running the rule down their respective flanks. Limited to playing on the counter-attack Forrestfield equalised in the 31st minute as Keith Byrne’s pinpoint cross from the left was met unchallenged by Steve Roberts who nodded past Vas Vujacic from 5-metres. This took much of the heat out of Floreat’s attacking game and for the minutes leading into the break they showed little which gave the home fans hope. The second half started in much the same fashion with neither side able to penetrate the opposing defence. That was until on the hour when Smith and Mikulic combined to put the ball at the feet of Eugene Singeorzan who danced his around the oncoming ‘keeper to slot into an open goal. A double substitution enabled Forrestfield to up their workrate as a near post header by Byrne flashed wide after 76 minutes. Down the other end Smith and Mikulic spurned opportunities to put the game beyond the visitor reach. The afternoon’s drama was played out two minutes into stoppage time when a Forrestfield corner went to feet and in the scramble which followed Byrne’s rasping shot was amazingly saved by Vujacic and from the follow-up Radford’s blast through a crowded area was somehow cleared off the line.
Darren Ingham was the two goal hero in Gosnells City’s 3-1 defeat of South West Phoenix at Walter Padbury Reserve. The Blues started like a house on fire and on 10 minutes their attacking attitude was rewarded when Ingham tapped in at the back post after some neat approach work. From there Gosnells took the game by the scruff of the neck but despite creating a slew of opportunities they were unable to add to the tally. As the half progressed Phoenix worked their way back into the match until they were the team winning the battles and dominating possession. But with the half-time whistle just moments away and Phoenix looking forward to a hard-earned break, the visitors were dealt a further blow as Ingham put away his second goal of the afternoon. The opening phase of the second half was a scrappy affair which saw the ball turned over with regularity and neither side able to control play for very long. It came as something of a surprise then when Gosnells lead blew out to three goals as Mark Edwards swept the ball past the goalkeeper after Phoenix failed to efficiently clear their lines. With ten minutes to go Phoenix were presented with a lifeline when Tony Lang and Sam Maguire combined to bring down an opponent inside the penalty area, but Jason Mehnert pulled off a fantastic save to keep out the resultant spot kick. But Phoenix have never been a team to give up until the final whistle has sounded and with just minutes remaining Armadale finally one past the Gosnells custodian to bring some respectability to the scoreline.
In near perfect conditions Inglewood United came from behind to knock Stirling Lions out of this year’s cup by a 3-1 scoreline at Kiev Sports ground. The Lions settled quickly and an early piece of individual magic by Dennis McRoberts took him around two defenders before blasting past goalkeeper Oliver Taseski to give the visitors an unexpected lead. The twenty minutes saw the two sides wrestle for control of play. The visitors twice went close to adding to their tally through Leo Harman and David Murphy while at the other end Rory Mouttet hit the post. Through some crisp movement of the ball from the likes of Kevin Griffiths, Andre Sarpe and Albert Osei-Tutu Inglewood began to get on top. In the 28th minute the hosts drew level as Osei-Tut beat 18-year old goalkeeper Mark Bentley from the penalty spot after the attacker was brought down by Luke Pavlos. The end to end action continued with Leo Harman and McRoberts in menacing form for the Lions while Jason Colli’s strike on goal was cleared off the line by Pavlos. Inglewood emerged for the second half determined to put the game beyond doubt, and within five minutes they’d gone ahead. Daniel Stoitis, who’d taken on the captain’s armband after Shaun Kilkelly was replaced late in the first half due to injury, surged down the right flank to send a pinpoint cross on to the head of Osei-Tutu who made no mistake. On his first team debut Bentley made a succession of quality saves to deny the home side but there was little he could do in the 70th minute when Inglewood substitute Jake Harman turned sharply on top of the box and drilled in a superb shot. Inglewood won the Reserves 7-2, while the Under-18’s was taken out by the Lions by 2-1.
E.C.U. Joondalup ran out 3-2 winners despite completely dominating over Dianella White Eagles on a well manicured surface at Dianella Reserve. With Steve Porter pulling the strings in the centre of the park the visitors were able to establish early dominance and it seemed only a matter of time before they’d go ahead. And that’s exactly what happened in the 21st minute when a cross from the right was dummied by young gun Tom Jones and Oliver Hilton’s first-time shot swung into the top corner leaving Dianella custodian Anthony Mori with no chance. On a rare Dianella attack forced an error from Martin Ashworth and Stefan Smiljanic raced through to level the game. But Dianella’s joy was cut short by the referee who dismissed Smiljanic for a second bookable offence after removing his shirt during goal celebrations. Joondalup searched desperately to go back in front before the break but it wasn’t to be as the hosts rode their luck. The second half started in much the same fashion that the first had ended as Joondalup made superb use of the ball when going forward. In the 65th minute the visitors suffered a setback of their own with Garin Collins sent off for a late tackle. However, just a matter of minutes later Porter played Ashworth down the left channel and after beating one opponent delivered a thunderous cross to the front post where Tom Jones crashed in a diving header. Ten minutes later it was Jones again who ran on to a perfect through ball from Porter to crack a stinging shot past Mori to make it three-one. Ryan Newhill, Ashworth and Porter all had chances to increase the margin without success before Dianella bagged a late minute consolation via Zoran Barovic.
Four goals from star striker Christian Paschewitz saw Mandurah City into the next round of Cup competition courtesy of a 4-1 win over Armadale at Peelwood Parade. A lot was expected from Armadale who’d won last years First Division title in a canter to earn their place in the state’s top flight. The match started at a lively pace with the visitors living up to their reputation but once Mandurah found their rhythm and began to assert themselves the complexion of the game was changed forever. Stuart Francis was superb on his return from long-term injury while in the centre of the park Jordan Rhodes was at his creative best. All was all happening up-front where the attacking trio of Paschewitz, Gary Atrill and Jake Loreto continually tormented the Armadale backline. The breakthrough arrived via the hard work of Atrill who robbed an opponent of possession before crossing to Paschewitz to make no mistake in finding the net. Just before the break Armadale were able to pull level following a defensive mistake which lead to a simple chance on goal. Mandurah lifted the tempo for the new half and left neutral observers in doubt about who was in charge. Another great pass from Atrill to Paschewitz saw the latter up-ended inside the penalty area and from the spot the big striker blasted past goalkeeper Nick Stone to restore the hosts lead. The Reds hit back but couldn’t find an avenue to goal, and with ten minutes to go Paschewitz put the result beyond doubt by slammed home a cross from wide. With literally seconds remaining a long throw by John Tranfield saw Paschewitz climb above the defence to head home his fourth and final goal of the day. The two early games both ended in wins to Armadale, the Reserves by 3-1 and the Under-18’s by the same score.
Swan I.C. began their defence of the association Cup by easily accounting for First Division opponent Queens Park 5-0 at Coker Park this afternoon. The match was effectively over inside four minutes as the black and whites seized the advantage with a couple of rapid fire goals. Damian Scali was the first to get on the scoresheet by nodding in a corner from Miki Vujacic. And a couple of minutes later Vujacic was again the provider when he released David Foster who rounded the goalkeeper before tucking the ball away for Swan's second. It was one-way traffic with Phil DeSousa twice saving well to thwart Tom Shepheard in quick succession. Queen Park slowly regained their composure and a searching pass by Fredriko Navarra caused problems as Mohamed Elsyd beat Cory Hugo to the ball only for Danyal Bennett to sweep in and negate the danger. Shepheard, Foster and Scott Campbell all went close for Swan before their advantage was increased to three goals. Campbell started a neat move by playing wide to Justin Hugo whose cross from the right was punched clear by DeSousa only to have Vujacic volley it back past him from just outside the 18-yard box. DeSousa was called up to work overtime after the break as he thwarted Campbell, Michael Bushby and Foster. The hosts went close on the hour following good lead-up work from Elsyd but Perrott's effort was held by Cory Hugo. Six minutes later Swan found a way through for the fourth time when Shepheard directed Tony Cumace's free-kick low and top the left of DeSousa. The game's final goal arrived two minutes from the end when Damian Catalano started and finished a great move, passing to Shepheard wide on the right and getting on the end of strikers cross by squeezing his shot under the advancing 'keeper.
Wanneroo City were given a footballing lesson by Cockburn City who emerged 5-1 winners from their Cup meeting at Kingsway Sporting Complex. It was an all-action start to the tie with the visitors' Anthony Pereira forcing Gary Kent into a good save, while down the opposite end Paul Byrne’s explosive strike was just over the crossbar of Alan Dunlop. With 13 minutes gone Cockburn got the breakthrough as Pereira played through to Gary Faria who lured Kent off his line before clipping his shot inside the upright. Four minutes later Faria turned provider with a cross to Pereira who re-directed the ball past Kent for Cockburn's second. With this Wanneroo kicked up a gear, Byrne's having a shot blocked desperately by Dean Wallace and just seconds latter Dunlop was called on to keep out Robertson's shot strike. The second half was underway 4 minutes when Jason Dos Santos' shot hit the post and rebounded to Abdul Kamara who pushed the loose ball over line to increase Cockburn's advantage. The introduction of the fresh legs of Phil O’Callaghan, Craig Cheeseman and Jon Greenwood had the desire effect for Wanneroo with the latter making the most of hesitanrt defending to thrash home a shot from 15-metres just before the hour. But hopes of a Wanneroo comeback were dashed just two monuttes later as Shane McNally threaded the ball to John Mirco who drilled it through a crowded penalty area and past an unsighted 'keeper. Cockburn's final goal came from John Mirco who advanced on goal after receiving a throw-in and unleashed an unstoppable shot from the edge of the area. Cockburn made a clean sweep of the day with their Reserves triumphing 4-2 through doubles from Michael Draper and Simon El Chami, while in the Under-18's Aaron Dos Santos and Michael Bilcich for a 2-1 win.
FRIENDLY FIRE (Sorrento vs Fremantle City by Kerry Slater)
Sorrento and Fremantle City made the most of their bye from Cup duty with a friendly this afternoon at Percy Doyle Reserve. It took the home side just 6 minutes to go ahead with Jared Love converting from the penalty spot after a foul on Steve McDonald. Fremantle equalised sixteen minutes into the second half when David Rodgers beat two defenders and slotted past an exposed Neil Young. Eighteen minutes later Glen Thomas' near post corner was flicked on by MacDonald for Simon Harland to head in at close-range. In the final minute of play Luke Eoannidis robbed Andrew Bowyer and calmly placed it beyond the reach of Young to level the game.
Kingsway Olympic turned on the style with a 5-2 friendly win over a highly rated Balcatta line-up. Sota Iwasaki, Derek Cooke and Steve Beasley were quickly into stride and causing Balcatta's rearguard no end of trouble. Great work on the right flank by Beasley set-up Cooke for the game’s first goal. Cooke then earned a penalty which was converted by Steve Dimitorvich, and the margin became three goals when Beasley prodded in from close-range. Balcatta converted a penalty of their own early in the second half only for Kingsway to respond swiftly as Hill Regan restored the buffer. A fine individual goal by Iwasaki took the gap to four goals before Balcatta netted a late consolation.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Round One of the association Cup went pretty much as expected although a number of top flight clubs were put to the test by opponents from the second tier. Goals from Eugene Singeorzan and Branimir Mikulic got Floreat Athena over the line 2-1 against a determined Forrestfield United, and E.C.U. Joondalup were made to work hard in downing Dianella White Eagles 3-2. The only surprise of the weekend was how easily Mandurah City accounted for Armadale, by 4-1, at Peelwood Parade.
There were 3-0 wins for Perth S.C. and Bayswater City over Bassendean Caledonian and Morley Windmills respectively. Inglewood United toppled Stirling Lions 3-1, Canning City defeated Rockingham City 1-0, and Gosnells City were 3-1 too good for South West Phoenix. Queens Park provided little resistance for Swan I.C. who ran out 5-0 winners, Ashfield were on the receiving of a 6-1 hammering from Western Knights, and Cockburn City left Wanneroo City winners by 5-1.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The opening round of the association Cup takes place on Saturday, 2nd April, with games at venues spanning the length and breadth of the metropolitan area. The pick of the action takes place at the National Stadium where Night Series winner Inglewood United take on top flight rival Stirling Lions. Mandurah City against First Division champion Armadale should also be a cracker, likewise Bayswater City's home clash with neighbour Morley Windmills. E.C.U. Joondalup have a difficult away meeting with a Dianella White Eagles side which more than held their own during the Night Series.
Swan I.C. start their defence of the Cup by travelling to Coker Park where they play Queens Park. Forrestfield United come up against Floreat Athena at Litis Stadium, and Wanneroo City have been drawn to host Cockburn City. Bassendean Caledonian welcome Perth S.C. to Jubilee Reserve, while Canning City are home to Rockingham City. South West Phoenix travel to Gosnells City, and Ashfield have the daunting task of hosting Premier League champion Western Knights. Balcatta, Fremantle City, Kingsway Olympic, Sorrento and Stirling Suns each have a bye into the second round.
TESTIMONIAL TO REMEMBER ALAN HENDERSON
The West Australian football family remembers the late Alan Henderson on Sunday when his former clubs take part in a testimonial match. Kingsway Olympic and E.C.U. Joondalup players past and present honour their fallen colleague from 1.00pm on Sunday at the Edith Cowan University campus in Joondalup. Henderson, 23, passed away following a jetski accident late last year while on holiday in Bali with close friends and teammates Dale McCulloch, Jamie Trandos and Michael Setcoff.
Following Sunday's testimonial game will be an auction of football memorabilia of which the proceeds will go to the Henderson family. Amongst the items on offer is a Manchester United shirt signed by England international striker Wayne Rooney. Also going under the hammer is an Everton home shirt signed by the entire senior squad, and a football signed by musician Rod Stewart. "Alan was held in high regard throughout football in WA and I ask followers of the game to give up a few hours and attend on Sunday," urged Joondalup coach Paul Simmons.
Strutting their stuff for Kingsway are Steve Beasley, Gary Bird, Richard Broxton, Danny Dimitrovich, Peter Dimitrovich, Steven Dimitrovich, Scott Evans, Shaun Kilelly, Ryan Lickiss, Ronnie Moore, Stuart Montgomery, Ryan Newhill, Andy Rowlands, Craig Stephenson, Danny Trandos and Jamie Trandos. Donning Joondalup colours will be David Annall, Martin Ashworth, Andy Brown, Keith Brown, Darren Broxton, Garin Collins, Hugh Henderson (Alan's father), Jon Higgins, Tom Jones, Jamie Kuzmanovich, James Morgan, George Ramm, Stuart Robertson, Paul Simmons and Peter Stewart.
Henderson honed his skills in a talented Kingsway Olympic squad which included McCulloch, Jamie Kuzmanovich and Andreas Oliviera. Possessing a strong work ethic he stepped up to senior ranks before the age of twenty, while off the field his bubbly personality made him popular with teammates and opponents alike. With several top flight clubs aware of his abilities Henderson last year signed with Joondalup for whom he was a regular part of the starting eleven.
GLORY EDGE OUT FIERY PERTH
Australian youth international Nick Ward again showed his potential with a staring role in Perth Glory's 2-0 friendly defeat of Perth S.C. last night at Dorrien Gardens. The local Premier League side started with all guns ablaze and were unfortunate not to score three times in the opening spell. Antonio Naglieri sent a neat pass into the path of Andres Oliveira whose shot beat Milan Jovanic but rebounded to safety off the inside the post. Naglieri then tried a first-time effort that flew just wide, and a few minutes later Oliveira and Naglieri linked up for David Onoforo whose shot was off-target.
Glory's first goal arrived nine minutes from the break when Ward rose above the defence to nod in Hiroyuki Ishida's superb cross from the right. in the second half Bobby Despotovski played Henry Fa'arodo through but his effort was hit straight at goalkeeper Alan Matteucci. Despotovski was involved again when he clipped a ball to Naum Sekulovski but the defender blasted the opportunity across the face of goal. The sealing goal was orchestrated by Ward, the midfielder surging into attack before laying off to substitute Stuart Young who angled it past the 'keeper with 71 minutes expired.
6PR GETS BEHIND FOOTBALL
Local authority Football West, radio station 882 6PR and BGC Construction have formed a tripartite partnership with the potential to elevate the game to new heights in Western Australia. 6PR, the state's leading sports broadcaster, have signed on as sponsor of the Saturday competitions for Premier League and First Division semi-professionals football. And as of 9th April the round ball code of football returns to Perth's mainstream airwaves on 6PR with a new radio show co-sponsored by BGC Construction.
Football West chief executive officer Michelle Phillips believes the time is ripe to form partnerships with the corporate and community sector which can capitalise upon increased interest in the game at State and national levels. "Clearly, 882 6PR and BGC Construction recognise that we are taking old soccer on the path to new football and working together for the good of the game, and all that it has to offer," said Phillips. "This growth will be reflected in an enhanced profile through media including 882 6PR, through growing numbers of players and clubs; and, through new investment by the corporate sector, such as BGC Construction."
Declan Kelly, general manager of 6PR, said that the station had many football followers and was committed to providing them comprehensive coverage. "New football is played by up to 30,000 people in WA, and then add in the thousands of volunteer administrators and club officials," he said. "Our new football coverage will see a results service and overview of the games played. We will also sponsor a player of the year award, as well as several shields and cups. I am delighted we've taken the step to partner Football West and BGC Construction in this venture and look to further expanding our partnership in the future."
POOR CROWD HAS FFA LOOKING FOR ANSWERS
Football Federation Australia will look into the reasons for a poor turn out on Tuesday for the Socceroos friendly with Indonesia at Subiaco Oval. Officials had hoped for a turnout of around 25,000 but just 13,719 showed for Australia's first senior appearance in Perth since 1995. Despite the large number of empty seats in the 43,000-capacity venue, FFA chief executive officer John O'Neill said Perth was still a chance to host future games. "We are committed to bringing big matches to Perth with the national team but obviously we've got to make it work better," O'Neill said. "It's up to us and the local community to make sure we've learnt our lessons from this exercise. We won't duck responsibility for those things we could've done a lot better."
There were several contributing factors which led to weak support for the game. The decision to play the game at Subiaco Oval, rather than the football-friendly Members Equity Stadium, was widely criticised by supporters. And although the game was a tsunami fundraiser, Indonesia are not of high enough standing to draw the thousands organisers had hoped for. The scheduling the game after the Easter break has also been cited as a reason for the poor turnout, likewise the decision to show the match live on SBS TV. O'Neill said the FFA's marketing strategy had also been late to kick-in, while communication and co-operation with local governing body Football West and A-League club Perth Glory could have been better.
CLUBS VOTE UNANIMOUSLY TO DISSOLVE SWC
The winding up of the Professional Soccer Federation, along with affiliate Soccer West Coast, moved a step closer last night. A meeting of the member clubs' last night voted unanimously to dissolve the two bodies who until this year administered the semi-professional game in West Australia. It was also passed by majority that the SWC players provident fund be dissolved and, on finalisation of PSF/SWC debts, surplus funds be forwarded to Football West with the recommendation that a new players provident fund be established. The meeting, held at Dorrien Gardens, was well attended with twenty-three of the twenty-seven SWC clubs represented.
COYNE EXPECTING TOUGH TEST (courtesy Perth Glory)
Perth Glory's next pre-season friendly will see Jamie Coyne return to his former club and the young defender is looking forward to the occasion. Glory has strong ties with Perth S.C. with former captain Gareth Naven an assistant coach and Coyne's father, John, coach of the Reserves. "I am looking forward to it, I always go down to watch during the season to see how they are doing," said Coyne. "I have fond memories of my time at Perth. I was there for three years and I think we won the league twice and won the cup once in that time."
Having come through the local ranks himself, Coyne knows the match will be important for his former side who are looking to impress ahead of the new season. "Everyone sees the local league as a stepping stone to a chance at the Glory and if you play well at that level you know the Glory will look at you and may give you a chance," the 24-year old insisted. "Nick Ward did very well last year and Glory have signed him up so it shows the local leagues are very important here."
While the match is a friendly in name, Coyne says it's the perfect opportunity for players from the Premier League club to make a mark on Glory's coaching staff. "I played for the state team against Glory when I was younger and these games are very important to the teams involved. There will probably be a couple of Perth players who have trained with the Glory and on the day they will probably look to show they are as good as us and that they have the potential to make it."
And Jamie's father, former Australia international, John, has told his son that the Glory should not take its opponents lightly on Thursday. "He has told me they are taking the game pretty seriously," the defender revealed. "They have been doing extra training and they want to come and beat us so he has been reminding me to take the game seriously." Glory and Perth clash from 6.30pm at Dorrien Gardens on Thursday 31st March.
EVEN STEVENS IN LATEST ROUND OF FRIENDLIES (Fremantle City vs Bayswater City by Adam Rucci)
Honours were shared between Bayswater City and Fremantle City at 1-1 last night at Beeliar Oval. The first half was very tight and physical with few clear-cut openings on goal, the best of which came the way of Dale Wingell whose strike was brilliantly saved by Francis Allen. It was more of the same after the break and on the hour Fremantle found a way through via David Rodgers who converted an easy header at the back post. Bayswater upped their workrate and equalised with fourteen minutes remaining when Igor Novakovic scored his first goal for Bayswater. Ross Barnes had a great chance to win the game for the visitors in the final few minutes but his effort was paddled over the crossbar by the Fremantle goalkeeper.
At Alfred Skeet Oval, Armadale and Kingsway Olympic played out an entertaining 3-3 draw to a small but appreciative crowd. John Dixon was first to score when he volleyed in a cross from the left at close-range to put the hosts ahead, but Olympic responded swiftly with Brett Colombera spearing his shot into the top corner from 18-metres. Dixon netted his second of the night when he headed past the 'keeper, and once again Olympic equalised as Steve Beesley tucked the ball away from 5-metres. The see-sawing nature of the game continued when Darren Kingston finished off a neat move, but with fifteen minutes to go Derek Cooke earned Olympic a penalty which Steve Dimitovich converted for the games sixth and final goal.
EASY WIN FOR SOCCEROOS
Australia ground down a young and inexperienced Indonesian side to run out 3-0 victors in front of a crowd of 13,719 at Subiaco Oval tonight. The Asian nation came close to grabbing the early advantage but Zelko Kalac made a smart save to deny Jaya Kesuma who then lashed the follow-up wide. Australia's opener arrived in the 24th minute when Stan Lazaridis whipped a cross in from the left and Ante Milicic rose above a stagnant defence to loop his header into the top corner. Three minutes from the break Tony Vidmar pumped the ball into attack where Mile Sterjovski showed fantastic before having his volley beaten away by Hendro Kartiko in the Indonesian goal.
Indonesia lifted for the second half and pushed the hosts on to the defensive with some neat movement on and off the ball. All that changed in the 57th minute when a corner went to feet on top of the 6-yard box and Hamka Hamzah steered the ball into his own net under pressure from Milicic. Substitute Ahmed Elrich provided the ammunition for the Socceroos third goal after racing down the left and delivering the ball to David Zrdilic who drilled it past the 'keeper from close-range with six minutes to go. Lazaridis, the only West Australian in the squad, was replaced to rapturous applause after 61 minutes.
MATILDAS BOUNCE BACK TO DEFEAT JAPAN
The Matildas bounced back the weekend loss to Japan by recording a morale-boosting 2-1 win at Seymour Shaw Park, in Sydney, this afternoon. Joanne Peters was first to find the net when she blasted a low shot into the bottom corner after Heather Garriock rolled a short free-kick to her in the 20th minute. Maintainig the pressure, the margin was doubled in the 31st minute as Selin Kurulay glanced a header inside the far post from Sally Shipard's cross. On the back of numerous second half changes, Japan threw everything they had at the Australian defence which looked comfortable in absorbing the pressure. But with nine minutes to go it was all too much and Miyama reduced the deficit with a perfectly executed free-kick from just outside the 18-yard box.
Tom Sermanni, coach of the Matildas, was pleased with his teams' efforts over the two-match series. "Japan are a very polished and professional team and we can only learn from playing more games against them," he said. "What pleased me most was the way we bounced back from Saturday's defeat and win the game. In the first half, we played very well and deserved our lead. In the second half, Japan put us under a lot of pressure, but the girls were able to handle it and battled very hard. They showed great determination to hang in there and win." Lisa De Vanna was introduced in the 64th minute this evening while fellow West Australian Collette McCallum was an unused substitute.
FRIENDLY FIRE (Cockburn City vs Canning City courtesy Canning City)
Despite the absence of several first team regulars, Bassendean Caledonian thrashed Stirling Suns 5-0 in balmy conditions at the Cracovia Club this evening. The visitors soaked up the early pressure before taking control of the game through a dominant midfield which made up of Jason Van Rooy, Joel Powell, Deany Botha and Dom Ando. Powell opened the scoring on the half hour by tapping in a Craig Wells cross at close-range, and Scott Cooper doubled their advantage just before the interval. Ryan Jeans got on the scoresheet with an excellent volley, and Van Rooy added one of his own with a free-kick from distance. Ando wrapped up proceedings with a terrific left-foot strike from outside the area that left the Suns goalkeeper with no chance.
Inglewood United continued their excellent pre-season form with a 5-0 thumping of Wanneroo City on Thursday evening. The win left coach Eddy Hodgkinson with plenty to think about as his so-called 'fringe' players turned on the style just two weeks out from the start of the regular season. Inglewood dominated play from early on and summer signing Jake Harman made his mark by bagging a deserved hat-trick. Also getting on the scoresheet with a goal apiece were Greg Sharland and Andre Sarpe. With twenty minutes remaining and the game well beyond their reach Wanneroo were called from the field by their coaching staff, much to the disbelief of the opposing team.
There was a big for also for E.C.U. Joondalup who hammered seven goals without reply past a luckless Balcatta side. A neat move down the right between Garin Collins and Oliver Hilton resulted in the northerner's first goal which was headed in by Ryan Newhill. Another neat exchange on the same flank led to Collins crossing to the near post where Tom Jones converted at close-range. Collins and Hilton were denied by the goalkeeper before Joondalup added their third via Jones. Minutes later the young attacker completed his hat-trick by lobbing the on-coming 'keeper after being set-up by Collins. Five minutes into the second half Martin Ashworth's strike from 18-metres found the target, with further goals from Newhill and Kevin Coroma completing the scoreline.
Western Knights went on a second half goal-scoring spree to thump Floreat Athena 5-1 under lights at Litis Stadium. Barry Wood volleyed in the Knights opener from close-range following a greay attacking move which featured Jason Williams and Seb Trim. But the score was level at the break with John Carbone's searching pass pounced upon by Peter Coci who rounded the goalkeeper before netting. Stuart Montgomery scored twice after the break to put the Knights back in the box seat, then teenager Andrew Jennings bagged his first goal at senior level to effectively end the game as a contest. Jon Higgins rifled home his sides' fifth goal late in the piece following neat footwork by Josh Kamasz.
Cockburn City emerged 4-1 victors over Canning City on Thursday. Following an even opening thirty minutes it was Cockburn who got the go ahead goal when Simon El Chami tucked into an open net after an error by goalkeeper Adam Horsley. Shortly after Gary Faria increased the lead by robbing Paul Van Dongen of possession and netting from 15-metres. Triallist Abdul Kamara then got in on the act by taking Cockburn's tally to three goals right on the stroke of half time. Jason Dos Santos ran through a static defence to put away his sides final goal early in the second period. Canning were rewarded for their hard work when Daniel Butler scored a consolation goal.
JONES MOVES UP PECKING ORDER
Australian youth international Brad Jones has become the second choice shot-stopper at Middlesbrough following Carlo Nash's move to Preston North End last week. Nash's departure means Jones, who's only recently returned from a successful loan spell at Blackpool, will deputise for 'Boro and Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. England under-21 international Ross Turnbull is expected to challenge Jones for the number two position when he returns from a hand injury.
SOCCEROOS COME FROM BEHIND TO DEFEAT IRAQ
Australia battled their way to a 2-1 win over a rugged Iraqi side in front of 30,258 spectators at Telstra Stadium in Sydney this evening. It was a far from impressive performance from the Socceroos whose unbeaten run stretched to ten games. Iraq took a shock lead with their first attack in the 11th minute as a long through ball from through caught the Australian defence napping and debutant Mohammad Nasir nipped in to lob over on-coming goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. Home fans didn't have to wait too long for the equaliser with Marco Bresciano's dipping free-kick from 20-metres deceiving goalkeeper Sarmad Rasheed just twelve minutes later. There were further chances at both ends of which neither side was able to capitalise on leading into the break.
The second half started much like the first with Australia in charge but susceptible on the counter attack. Seen minutes had gone when Hawar Mohamed threaded an exquisite pass to Nasir had who slotted it narrowly wide with only Schwarzer to beat. Australia continued their search for a second goal which finally arrived with seventeen minutes remaining as substitute Ahmad Elrich raced down the right and from an acute angle drilled the ball low and inside the far upright. "If we're all honest with ourselves, the players included, we were a bit disappointing," said coach Frank Farina. Wearing the green and gold for the 55th time in 'A' competition, Stan Lazaridis was replaced at half-time.
MATILDA'S CRASH TO JAPAN
There was a reality check for the Australian women's team who went down 0-2 to Japan at Telstra Stadium in Sydney. Japan showed more urgency from the opening whistle to continually force the Matilda's to conceded possession in dangerous positions. Melissa Barbieri was called into action for the first time in the 2nd minute to keep out an Ando strike, and ten minutes later Nagasato waltzed through the defence but shot directly at the Australian custodian. Lisa De Vanna was causing problems at the other end and went agonisingly close to giving the hosts the advantage when she slotted past the 'keeper but the shot came back off the upright. However, that was one of few first half highlights for Australia who spent much of the time performing defensive duties.
The break did little to stem the flow of Japan's attacks and within a couple of minutes of the restart they'd gained the lead through Ando who had plenty of time to pick her spot past a badly exposed Barbieri. Lead by Collette McCallum and substitute Kelly Golebiowski, Australia now sparked into life but could find few holes in a well-organised Japan rearguard. But Australia's hopes were crushed in the 62nd minute after loose marking at the far post allowed Yanagita to put away Japan's second goal at close range. Kate Gill and Heather Garriock both went close to bagging Australia a late consolation goal. McCallum played a full game in midfield while De Vanna was replaced in the 71st minute.
GLORY HIT JOONDALUP FOR SIX
Perth Glory brushed aside suggestions of a goal-scoring problems by knocking six without reply past .C.U. Joondalup in this afternoon's friendly in the northern suburbs. It took Glory just 14 minutes to do open their account with Bobby Despotovski calmly converting from the penalty spot after he was brought down by goalkeeper Peter Stewart. Despotovski doubled the gap after 36 minutes when Nick Ward and Hiroyuki Ishida combined to release the striker who finished with a superb shot from 15-metres. The game was over as a contest three minutes from the break as Jamie Harnwell headed in unchallenged at close-range following a Naum Sekulovski free-kick.
Henry Fa'Arodo beat the offside trap when he raced on to Matt Horsley's header after 63 minutes and the Soloman Islander rounded the 'keeper to increase the margin to four goals. There was no respite for the host club and seven minutes later Ishida delivered possession to substitute Stuart Young who tapped in from an acute angle. The route was completed shortly before the final whistle by Fa'Arodo who netted from the spot after being brought down for a penalty by youngster Ashwin Nair. "It was another good hit out for them and the coaching staff were able to experiment with a couple of things," said Glory technical manager Mich d'Avray after the game.
WORLD CUP RIGHTS FOR PERTH
Perth will benefit significantly from Australia's acceptance into the Asian Football Confederation with local officials anticipating the state capital to become a regular host of World Cup qualifying matches. John O'Neill, chief executive officer of Football Federation Australia, says Perth would be 'on the radar' to host matches every year once the switch to Asia had been finalised. "I think Perth becomes a more vital gateway into our Asian future than ever before," O'Neill said. "Perth is very accessible. It's a great sporting city, which supports two AFL teams, cricket and rugby Tests and Perth Glory. And now it is capable of supporting the national football team and we want it to be hosting more games in future."
Perth Glory chairman Nick Tana said the effects of the move into Asia would be felt right through the West Australian sporting community as Australia moved to even greater respectability in the world soccer community. "Any extra exposure that the Socceroos bring to Perth is going to have an enormous impact on the growth of the game," Tana said. "One of the things we haven't had in the past is contact (with the Socceroos) and the ability to touch the green and gold - the players at the elite level of the game." Australia's switch from Oceania into the AFC should be made official on January 1st, 2006.
GARCIA BACK FOR COLCHESTER
Colchester United's Richard Garcia was all smiles after making his comeback in the mid-week Reserves meeting with Luton Town. The Perth-born attacker, who has been absent for two months with a hip and groin problems, played the closing half hour of the friendly. "The reserve match was good for getting the cobwebs out of my system and to start playing football again," said the 23-year old. "My injury was something you couldn't really see - it wasn't like a pulled thigh or something like that where you're going to be in constant pain. Once I had stopped playing for maybe a week the pain had gone and I felt brand new. I was doing my rehab and there was no pain so at times it has been a long tedious wait really. But overall it has been something of a mini-break which has got my hunger for the game really high again and I'm 300% ready and buzzing to get out there and playing. I can't wait."
LAZARIDIS LOOKS FORWARD TO HOMETOWN RETURN
Stan Lazaridis, arguably the state's greatest ever footballing export, can't wait to play for the Socceroo's in front of his hometown fans next Tuesday. "This game is massive for me and the only time I have played here before was eleven years ago," said the Birmingham City defender. "I have been saying to John O'Neill and Frank Lowy for a while that we need to get a game in Perth, they assured me it would happen and the moment I heard the game against Indonesia would be played here I was really excited."
Lazaridis urged Perth fans to flock to Subiaco Oval in number for next week's friendly. "It is very important to get a good crowd on Tuesday in securing future games here in Perth," Lazaridis continued. "If we do get a good turnout Perth will be a strong option for other international games. Perth Glory have been one of the best supported teams in Australia since they have been in existence and I am sure the city can show that they will get behind the national team too."
It's a busy long weekend for the national team. On Saturday in Sydney they take on an Iraqi side featuring several graduates of their Olympic team which defeated Australia in the quarter-finals of last years Athens Games. At Subiaco Oval on Tuesday (7.00pm kick-off) the Socceroo's play Indonesia. Tickets for the Perth game are still available via TicketMaster7 or by telephoning 136 100. Ticket prices commence at $25.00 for individuals with a family of four (two adults, two children) able to gain entry from $50.00.
The Australian squad for both games is Scott Chipperfield, Mile Sterjovski (Basel), Stan Lazaridis (Birmingham City), Brett Emerton, Lucas Neill (Blackburn Rovers), Craig Moore (Borussia Monchengladbach), Luke Wilkshire (Bristol City), Ahmad Elrich (Busan I Cons), Tony Vidmar (Cardiff City), Tony Popovic (Crystal Palace), Paul Agostino (1860 Munich), Tim Cahill (Everton), Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough), Josip Skoko (Genclerbirligi), Jon McKain (National Bucuresti), Ante Milicic, Jade North (Newcastle Jets), John Aloisi (Osasuna), Marco Bresciano (Parma), Simon Colosimo (Perth Glory), Zeljko Kalac (Perugia), Clint Bolton, David Zdrilic (Sydney FC), Ljubo Milicevic (FC Thun) and Jason Culina (FC Twente).
MEET THE SOCCEROOS
Local supporters of the world game have the unique opportunity to meet their Socceroo heroes ahead of next week's friendly international between Australia and Indonesia. In honour of the Socceroos first senior appearance in Perth in close to a decade, coach Frank Farina and the Australian players will be in attendance at Members Equity Stadium on Easter Monday, 28th March, to meet the football fanatics of Western Australia. The Socceroos Fan Day will involve an two-hour Perth Glory training session from 10.00am followed by introductions to the crowd of the Australia squad which includes Stan Lazaridis, Tim Cahill, Brett Emerton and Mark Schwarzer.
"This event provides a wonderful opportunity for children and adults alike to meet with the country's top footballers ahead of the match against Indonesia," said Glory chief executive officer Jeff Dennis. "The Easter weekend will provide the people of Western Australia with a chance to see some top quality football and Perth Glory is delighted to be able to introduce the local football family to our country's top players." Entry to Members Equity Stadium is free so grab your football and autograph book and head down to the ground on this long weekend to meet the stars of the Australian national team.
SCHOOLIES TRIALS FAST APPROACHING
Trials for the West Australian Schoolboys squad are being conducted early next month at venues north and south of the river. Last year the Schoolboys came home with the silver medal and their best ever placing, and in 2004 team manager Neil Alweyn says they'll have their sights on going one better. The 2005 national championships are being held in Cairns between 13th and 19th August. To be eligible for the Schoolboys squad players need to be nineteen or under and either enrolled in full-time study at high school or TAFE.
Trials are being held at the Vasto Club in Balcatta on Wednesday 30th March and Thursday 7th April between 5.30pm and 6.45pm. For players south of the river trials will take place at : John Curtin College of the Arts in Fremantle on Thursday 31st March and Wednesday 6th April between 5.30pm and 6.45pm. For further information of what to bring to trials and nomination details visit the School Sport WA website and follow the links from Sports and Nominations.
WYCOMBE WANDERERS DEAL FOR CACERES (courtesy www.tribalfootball.com)
Adrian Caceres has moved from non-league Aldershot Town to League Two club Wycombe Wanderers. The West Australian forward came to Aldershot via Yeovil Town, and the move to Wanderers elevates Caceres back into league football. Wycombe will travel to Spain for a three-day break to prepare for the closing stages of the English season.
WFEATHERS RUFFLED IN FOOTBALLS NAME GAME
Local association football officials have delivered a stinging blow in Perth's simmering battle of the codes. The decision by association football authorities to register the name Football Hall of Fame Western Australia has left Australian Rules administrators red-faced by the prospect of being prevented from using the title as their own.
Louis Prospero, chairman of Football Hall of Fame WA, said moves to recognise association football as 'football', rather than soccer, brings Australian into line with the rest of the world. "Football is accepted as the world game and is played in 205 countries," he said. "Our code purists have known the game as 'football' and we have now formalised our organisation in joining the worldwide football family."
The former national body, Australian Soccer Association, became known as Football Federation Australia on 1st January of this year. And on the local front the game is now administered by Football West who left behind their previous moniker, Western Australian Soccer Association, early last month. "It's great that the FFA has taken the initiative and changed from soccer to football and we are all falling into line," Prospero said. "Even Perth Glory has done it."
Local Australian Rules officials expected they will not be prevented from referring to its own hall of fame. "We will await advice from soccer to find out their position before we can really advance it further," Wayne Bradshaw, chief executive officer of the West Australian Football Commission, told the "West Australian" newspaper. "But we would expect to continue to be able to use the hall of fame name."
West Australian football authorities, who will soon be faced with a new rival with the inclusion of a Perth team in rugby's Super 14 competition from next season, have consistently rejected effort by the association football (nee soccer) community to become known as football. When the FFA confirmed its intention to change their name last year, Australian Rules officials said they did not expect it to have an impact on the broader community.
JOONDALUP NEXT UP FOR GLORY
Perth Glory continue preparations for their inaugural A-League campaign with a friendly against E.C.U. Joondalup on Saturday, 26th March. The national league club have had mixed results in the two pre-season games to date, dumping Fremantle City 4-0 before going down 0-1 to Stirling Lions last weekend. Saturday's game, which kick-off at 3.00pm, will be played at the Edith Cowan University campus in Joondalup with admission priced at $5.00 for adults, and with free for children under the age of 16 and for those concession card holders.
VRTESKI AND GRIFFITHS NAMED IN JOEYS SQUAD
The next step in the fledgling careers of Rostyn Griffiths and Aleksander Vrteski will be to wear the green and gold of Australia. The local duo were this week named in the national Under-17 squad for the World Youth Championship qualifiers which commence on 3rd April in New Caledonia. Griffiths joined Blackburn Rovers last year and has cemented his place in the starting eleven for the English club's youth side. Vrteski made his first team debut for Sorrento last year and recently agreed terms with English side Wolverhampton Wanderers whom he link up with mid-year.
The Joeys have been grouped with Vanuatu, Tahiti and Tonga for the preliminary stage of the Oceania qualifiers with the top two nations progressing to the semi-finals. The winner of the tournament, decided on 15th April, will represent Oceania at the 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championship in Peru this September. Prior to the qualifying series Australia will spend five days in Japan where they'll take part in the Sanix Cup, a sixteen-team tournament featuring the youth teams of A.C. Milan, Japan, China, South Korea along with a host of local College sides.
The 20-player Australian Under-17 squad is Scott Weidenbach (Adelaide City), Kaz Patafta (Australian Institute of Sport), Royston Griffiths (Blackburn Rovers), Brendan Maroney (Blacktown City), David D'Apuzzo, Ben Vidaic (New South Wales Institute of Sport), Matt Dobbin, Elliot Jones, Robbie Kruse, David Williams, Morgan Zeeno (Queensland Academy of Sport), Aleksander Vrteski (Sorrento), Joel Allwright, Scott Gannon, Matt Mullen (South Australian Sports Institute), Wade Oostendorp (Sydney FC), Leigh Broxham, Jamie Cumming, Matt Spiranovic, Daniel Visevic (Victorian Institute of Sport).
DRAW MADE FOR ASSOCIATION CUP
The draw for the First Round of the association Cup was made last night at the Subiaco headquarter of tournament sponsor Midland Brick. More than one hundred members of the local football family attended the draw for the knock-out competition which kicks-off on Saturday 2nd April. The association Cup is open to all senior teams in men's and women's categories.
The opening round has thrown together a number of intriguing match-ups. Newly crowned Night Series winner Inglewood United have a home date with top flight rival Stirling Lions. Mandurah City host First Division champion Armadale, while Bayswater City have home ground advantage over neighbouring Morley Windmills. E.C.U. Joondalup are away to First Division outfit Dianella White Eagles who've already been touted as potential championship material.
Cup holder Swan I.C. will make the trip to Coker Park where they meet a Queens Park side which has seen the departure of a lot of their star players over the summer months. Forrestfield United's first Saturday game in over a decade will be against Floreat Athena at Litis Stadium. Wanneroo City were allocated a meeting on home soil with Cockburn City, and Bassendean Caledonian welcome Perth S.C. to Jubilee Reserve.
Canning City are at home to Rockingham City in one of only two all First Division clashes, the other being Gosnells City against South West Phoenix. Minnow Ashfield have the daunting task of hosting Premier League champion Western Knights. Balcatta, Fremantle City, Kingsway Olympic, Sorrento and Stirling Suns were each granted a bye into the second round which will be played on Monday 6th June. The draw for the amateurs and women's Cup competitions can be found in the Football West website.
COACHES CONSIDER NIGHT SERIES PROS AND CONS
This year's Night Series was used by Football West to trial a number of variations on the traditional format of the pre-season competition. The codes new controlling body chose to move the series away from a single centrally located venue and take it to all corners of the metropolitan area. Football West also opened the tournament up to clubs from outside the top flight for the first time. These experiments received a mixed reception from the Premier League coaches we polled this week ...
Paul Simmons, coach of E.C.U. Joondalup, rated the decision to spread games over a number of venues as a winner. "I thought it was a great idea having the four venues," said Simmons, one of the local scene's longest serving coaches. "It took the game out of the city and exposed people who may not usually go to local football to get out and experience what our best players and teams have to offer." This years tournament was distributed amongst seven venues - Dalmatinac Park, Percy Doyle Reserve, Frank Drago Reserve, Dorrien Gardens, Litis Stadium, Edith Cowan University campus in Joondalup and Alfred Skeet Oval.
However, for Swan I.C. coach Gary Marocchi there are both pluses and minuses to the format. "I believe playing all games at the same time on a Sunday night was a mistake as coaches and players were unable to see other teams in action," he said. "There were some benefits to be had - several venues shortened the length of the competition from ten weeks to five, and it gave other clubs the opportunity to make extra revenue. But overall I feel the negatives outweigh the positives." Many coaches agreed with Marocchi and felt it more beneficial to split the series over Friday and Sunday evenings at two, or four, venues.
For the first time ever Premier League clubs were joined by those form the First Division and amateur ranks in the Night Series. And although the concept was generally well-received its acceptance was far from universal. "I don't think having First Division and amateur teams in the Night Series added anything to the competition," commented Western Knights championship winning coach Ronnie Campbell. "I have no doubt that these clubs should take their place in the knock-out Cup whey they add flavour and excitement to the State's most prestigious competition. But I really have to question the value of having them line-up in the Night Series."
The Night Series has been used to herald in the new season since 1961. However, with a new national league just around the corner and numerous trophies on offer each year to local clubs, Steve Parkinson questions the Night Series' place in the modern era. "The Night Series is always a good competition but it needs an overhaul to move forward," said the Fremantle City boss. "If pre-season games are the objective then the groups should be larger and teams play more games. If its crowds, then maybe the pools need to be grouped geographically. Whatever it is, Football West need to workshop now what is the best format for 2006."
MCCALLUM AND DE VANNA CALLED UP FOR HISTORIC FRIENDLY
Local stars Collette McCallum and Lisa De Vanna have been called into camp by national women's team coach Tom Sermanni. The attacking duo are two of twenty-five players who'll spend six days in Sydney over Easter which will be highlighted by Saturday's historic match against Japan at Telstra Stadium. The match, Sermanni's first at home since commencing his second stint as national team coach in December, will be played as the curtain raiser to the Socceroos clash with Iraq. The Matilda's are also scheduled to meet Japan at Seymour Shaw Park on Tuesday 29th March.
Called into camp for the Matildas are Collette McCallum, Emma Wirkus (Adelaide Sensation), Rhian Davies, Caitlin Munoz, Amy Taylor, Lydia Williams (Canberra Eclipse), Leah Blayney, Joanne Burgess, Dimitra Poulos, Thea Slatyer, Sally Shipard (New South Wales Sapphires), Kate Gill, Joanne Peters, Cheryl Salisbury (Northern New South Wales Pride), Kim Carroll, Alicia Ferguson, Heather Garriock, Lana Harch, Selin Kuralay, Kate McShea, Jessica Mitchell, Sarah Walsh (Queensland Sting), Melissa Barbieri (Victoria Vision), Lisa De Vanna (Western Waves) and Kelly Golebiowski.
SHAMROCK LOSE CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING TEAM
Shamrock Rovers have parted company with their entire coaching staff less than six months after winning the amateur league championship. Nik Silsby and Wattie Young, who lead the first and reserve teams to silverware respectively in 2004, last week tendered their resignations from the club. The pair have agreed to continue on in caretaker mode until permanent replacements are appointed next month.
For Silsby it brings to a close a lengthy and successful association with the club. "I've been with Shamrock for six seasons - three as reserve team coach and three as head coach," he explained. "In my final three years the club has won four trophies, we've been reserve league champions for the past two years and won the reserves Cup the season prior, and last year the first team took out the the league title."
It was that championship win that Silsby rates as the highlight of his time with Shamrock. "After winning the league once and then having points deducted, for the boys to turn around and win their final four games to claim the trophy was an outstanding achievement," he said. "We had to win the final game of the season against Hamersley Rovers and came back from two down to run out 3-2 winners ... it would be without doubt one of the best days of my life."
Silsby says he feels honoured to have had the opportunity to coach a group of players with such a professional attitude. "I'd like to publicly thank the supporters and committee but most importantly the players for their dedication and efforts over the years," commented the out-going coach. "It's been great to work with the likes of Sean Brooks, Glen Brooks, Stephen Roche, Mick Murray and many others and see them progress from young reserve team players to established regulars with the first team."
SWAN GET THEIR MAN (courtesy www.swanic.com)
Swan I.C. has completed the transfer of hard-working midfielder Damien Catalano from Perth S.C. The club made initial inquires about Catalano early last year but had their offer turned down and the 20-year old instead spent the year on loan to Bayswater City. "Damien's opportunities at Perth were going to be limited after they added five midfielders over the summer," said black and whites coach Gary Marocchi. "I believe Damien will develop into a top line player for Swan once given the opportunity to play on a regular basis. He recently played for Apia Leichardt against Juventus and Partizan Belgrade in the Viareggio Under-19 tournament in Italy which is the best youth tournament in the world."
Catalano admits the decision to move on from Perth was not an easy one to make. "It was a huge decision to leave, he said. "I've been at Perth since I was twelve and during that time established strong friendships within the club. However, not being a regular in the first team, I had to move on to better myself as a footballer. I believe Swan is a great option for me and I'm looking forward to the challenge of establishing myself as a first eleven player. I hope to bring a more attacking option to the squad, as I prefer playing more of an attacking role in midfield, but as I have said first I must establish myself in the starting eleven. Gary has told me what is required and I'm looking forward to working with the rest of the 1st team squad and the coach."
COONEY TRANSFER LISTED
Former Inglewood United defender Sean Cooney has been handed a free transfer by Coventry City. The 21-year old is out of contract come the end of the season and, with no offer of an extension, the club have agreed to release the centre back. Cooney has made only a single first team appearance for the Sky Blues - as a substitute in the 2002/2003 season - but is a reserve team regular when fit. Although an ankle injury kept him on the sidelines for much of 2004 Cooney has returned to action recently and played the last six second string fixtures.
NIGHT SERIES, FINAL (Inglewood United vs Swan I.C. by Peter Simcox)
Inglewood United claimed just their second ever Night Series title by trouncing Swan I.C. 3-0 in this evenings Final at Litis Stadium. Play had been underway just 3 minutes when Michael Baczyinski played a well weighted through ball into the path of Jason Colli who slipped the ball under the on-coming Cory Hugo to give Inglewood the upper hand. Kevin Griffiths made his way down the right flank not long after and crossed low into the area where Andre Sarpe slammed his shot just the wrong side of the upright. Swan were doing well to absorb the near constant pressure but on 14 minutes there was no stopping Inglewood as Trevor Hatton halted Baczynski's run only to have Dean Apelgren storm through and send the sweetest of chips over Cory Hugo and into the net. It took until midway through the half for Swan to muster their first genuine attack which ended with Scott Campbell's low effort being scooped up by Oliver Taseski. It was very nearly three-nil on the half hour when a free-kick from Sarpe looped over the defensive wall and was spectacularly kept out of the top corner by Cory Hugo at full stretch. The last play of the half was a Miki Vujacic free-kick hit low through a crowded area to Taseski on the line.
The half-time address of Gary Marocchi had the desired effect and Swan began the new second period a much stronger proposition. Tom Shepheard got on the end of a Mathers cross from the left but his header was brilliantly tipped over by Taseski, and from the resulting corner Tony Cumace nodded narrowly over the crossbar. In an attempt to shake things up Marocchi made a triple substitution in the 55th minute which brought Paul Lincoln, Damien Catalano and Danyal Bennet into the game. But within minutes Inglewood almost increased their lead through some individual brilliance from Baczynski whose dipping shot from distance cannoned back off the bar. Inglewood were limiting the effectiveness of Swans attacks by restricting the supply lines coming through the centre of the park. Even so, the black and whites found space down the flanks and in the 71st minute Bennett delivered the ball to Shepheard who slid his shot wide after beating an opponent. And in the minutes that followed Lincoln hit the bar, then Catalano blazed high from close-range as Swan sought a way back into the game. But Inglewood weren't about to let the game slip and with two minutes remaining Rory Mouttet put the icing on the cake by tapping in unmarked from 2-metres following terrific lead-up work by Greg Sharland and Colli.
Inglewood United : Oliver Taseski, Daniel Stoitis, Shaun Kilkelly, Danny
Kovacevic, Jason Colli (Scott Blackmore 80), Kevin Griffiths, Dean
Apelgren, Michael Baczynski (Darren Broxton 79), Andre Sarpe, Greg
Sharland, Albert Osei-Tutu (Rory Mouttet 61)
Swan I.C. : Cory Hugo, Trevor Hatton, Tony Cumace (Danyal Bennett 55), Damien Scali, Jonathon Mathers, Justin Hugo (Damien Catalano 55), Michael Busbhy, Scott Campbell (Paul Lincoln 55), Miki Vujacic, Tom Shepheard, David Foster
Referee : Hugh Best
Bookings : J.Hugo (34), Baczynski (39), Sharland (40), Kilkelly (63), Hatton (65)
Dismissals : Nil
Cockburn City ended the pre-season tournament in third place after defeating Sorrento 2-1 in the play-off for minor places. The opening exchanges were all one-way traffic with Cockburn on the attack and the Gulls rearguard under siege. John Mirco was the first to threaten with a powerful shot that ended narrowly high and a few minutes later it was Simon El Chami who looped a header past Neil Young but just beyond the top corner. An powerful strike by Michael Mirco forced a sharp response from the Gulls custodian, while Anthony Periera's driving run ended with him skidding the ball across the face of goal. It wasn't until the 24th minute that Sorrento managed a shot on target with Todd Harnwell's venomous strike from 10-metres brilliantly pushed wide by Alan Dunlop. Following that the Gulls came into the game more and on 33 minutes Glen Thomas pounced on a flat-footed defence to go one-on-one with the 'keeper but the midfielder's chip from 14-metres drifted wide of the far post. The half finished as it started and following Gary Faria's good lead-up John Mirco rifled wide from just inside the 18-yard box.
The second half started with Cockburn in an attacking frame of mind and within three minutes of the re-start they'd gone ahead. Shane McNally took possession near the halfway line and immediately headed goalward, playing a neat one-two with El Chami before unleashing a blistering shot past the despairing 'keeper. Young need to be at his best to keep another McNally thunderbolt out not long after, then recovered in time to prevent El Chami from converting with the follow-up. Sorrento were limited to only the occasional counter-attack and David Houston was sent clear midway through the period but was thwarted by Dunlop who made a courageous smothering save at the youngsters feet. In the 68th minute Cockburn struck their second as John Mirco beat the offside trap and pulled the defence wide before centring to substitute Marko Aleksic who showed great composure in flicking the ball past the on-coming 'keeper. Possessing a never-say-die attitude Sorrento continued to press and Dunlop had his reflexes tested at close-range by Carlos Vega. The Gulls persistence was rewarded four minutes from the end as Brodie Martin's inch-perfect cross from deep on the right was nodded in by Harland.
Women's Night Series winners for 2005, Northern Redbacks (courtesy Northern Redbacks)
WOMEN'S NIGHT SERIES, FINAL (Northern Redbacks vs Queens Park courtesy Northern Redbacks; Balcatta vs Subiaco United courtesy Balcatta; East Fremantle vs Kingsley courtesy Kingsley)
Northern Redbacks made it back to back Night Series titles by downing arch rival Queens Park 7-0 in this evenings Women's Night Series Final at George Burnett Park. A crowd of several hundred were treated to a masterful display by a star-studded Redbacks line-up who ran rampant from the opening minutes. Lisa Devanna lead the way by twice dancing her way past the Queens Park defence to put the Redbacks in a commanding position. Teenager Lilly Billson also found the back of the net twice with the remaining goals shared between Lisa De Laurentis, Jessica Pilcher and Carys Hawkins. Queens Park were given a glimmer of hope when Redbacks custodian Ashley Bennett was forced off by injury in the second half but stand-in 'keeper Nicola Williams proved up to the task with several fine saves of her own.
Balcatta hit six goals past Subiaco United without reply to take out third place on the final standings. It took Balcatta only three minutes to gain the advantage as a superb exchange between Katy Coghlan to Kylie Chatto ended with Lindsey Jobling firing past the goalkeeper. Four minutes later Jobling converted from the penalty spot to double the lead, and on the half hour an own goal saw the margin become three goals. A great solo run from midfield by Chatto produced Balcatta's fourth goal of the half. It was more of the same after the break with Laura Turnball and Chatto rounding out the scoreline. Chatto, who ended the series with ten goals, was named Player of the Tournament.
Kingsley ran out 3-0 victors over East Fremantle to claim fifth place. As was the case when the two teams met in the group stage, Kingsley quickly asserted their authority but a well organised defence and inaccurate finishing prevented them from converting chances into goals. For their part East Fremantle were able to produce few genuine openings which in effect reduced Kingsley custodian Kate Burns to little more than a spectator. The deadlock was broken early in the second half when Jo Oliver combined with Kristina Oxley who bagged her third goal of the tournament. Sally Sanigar then doubled Kingsley's advantage before Lisa Higgins put the game beyond the reach of the port side.
Mandurah City dug deep to down Murdoch 4-2 in one of Sunday's curtain raisers. The game was ten minutes old when Jo Steer made the most of a defensive mix-up to put Murdoch ahead from close-range. A cross from the right by Harriet Talbert found Melanie Loreto who netted the equaliser with a perfectly struck volley. Another defensive error allowed Tash Darlow to restore Murdoch's lead, but shortly before the break things were level as Loreto again found the target. Emily Bateman put away Mandurah's third goal following a corner and from their the southerners never looked back. Loreto completed the scoreline by intercepting the ball in midfield and hitting a stunning shot from distance past the goalkeeper.
Northern Redbacks did the double with their reserve side claiming top honours in the Friday Night Series Final with a 2-0 win over Ballajurra. 15-year old sensation Rowena Caswell capped a string of memorable performances for the Redbacks when named the Player of the Tournament. Caswell's distribution and goal scoring touch have marked her as a potential star of the future. Beckenham Angels ended the series in third spot courtesy of a 4-1 win over Swan I.C. in the minor place play-off. The new women's season gets in full swing on Sunday 10th April with the opening round of regular season fixtures.
LIONS STUN GLORY
Stirling Lions pulled off a major surprise by defeating Perth Glory 1-0 in this afternoon's friendly at Macedonia Park. Glory looked anything but national league champions as they failed to find the net against a Premier League side that ended last season mid-table. Although they created a host of opportunities Glory were left wanting when it came to clinical finishing. Naum Sekulovski was at the heart of their best chances, the midfielder lashing an early free-kick against the crossbar and on the half hour the providing the ammunition for Jamie Harnwell who headed past the post from close-range.
It was more of the same after the break as Matt Horsley and Bobby Despotovski were each denied by Ken Ftyongiannis. The Lions first chance came in the 65th minute when Dennis McRoberts' tame shot was straight at Milan Jovanic. The breakthrough came ten minutes from the end as Aaron McKee whipped the ball into the dangerzone where Alex Smith rose highest to head past Jovanic. It was nearly two-nil shortly after with Leo Harman's cracking drive tipped over by the Glory 'keeper. Argentine triallist Matias Di Paolo squandered a golden opportunity to equalise in the closing minutes when he skied Despotovski's cross from only a few metres.
INGLEWOOD TIPPED FOR PRE-SEASON SUCCESS
Inglewood United have been installed as red-hot favourite to take out tomorrow's Night Series Final over Swan I.C. 55.6% of those who took part in last week's www.soccerwa.com poll, which asked 'What will be the outcome of Sunday's Night Series Final?', cast their vote in favour of an Inglewood win. by comparison just 44.4 of respondants tipped Swan for victory.
Interestingly, the most popular poll answer was for Swan to win by one goal which picked up 30.5% of the vote. Inglewood by one goal garnered 27.3%, with Inglewood by two or mor goals (25.8%) in third place. With 10.9% of the count was a Swan triumph by two or more goals. Swan in a penalty shoot-out polled 3.1%, with Inglewood in a penalty shootout on 2.4%.
FRIENDLY FIRE (Morley Windmills vs Western Knights courtesy Morley Windmills; Bayswater City vs Balcatta courtesy Bayswater City; Ashfield vs Floreat Athena courtesy Ashfield; Canning City vs Forrestfield United courtesy Canning City)
A superb second half allowed Western Knights to crush Morley Windmills 7-1 in their weekend friendly. The opening half hour had the Knights on top but unable to find a way through a resolute defence. The deadlock was eventually broken by Barry Wood who half volleyed in from the top of the 18-yard box, and minutes later Mark Lee's long range effort doubled the Knights lead. Not to be outdone, Ray Rose pulled one back for Windmills just before the break. The Knights ran away with the game in the second half as Wood completed his tat-trick, Lee bagged his second, and Stuart Montgomery and Josh Kamasz also added to the tally.
Bayswater City were held to a 1-1 draw by Balcatta when they met this afternoon. Bayswater were on the attack right from start and should have gained the early advantage but Luke O'Neill placed wide and Ross Barnes also failed to hit the target with an easy chance. Matt Wardle hit the crossbar and Andy O'Neill the upright as Balcatta scrambled to the break without conceding. Balcatta came into the game in the second half and against the run of play took the lead through Mark Wilson who toe-poked past goalkeeper Steve Grant. A sharp shot on the turn by Ross Barnes restored parity not long after. Boima Karpeh, Cormac Dawson and Luke O'Neill squandered good opportunities to give Bayswater victory in the closing stages.
Ashfield held top flight outfit Floreat Athena 1-1 in a scrappy match at Ashfield Reserve. Eugene Singeorzan was prevented from giving Floreat the lead by Makiol Taseski, while down the opposite end Adam Purcell had a fine chip pushed wide by Vas Vujacic and Peter Noizsewski rounded the 'keeper only to have a defender clear his shot off the line. Fifteen minutes from full-time Floreat went ahead as Bajo Savic turned sharply inside the box and slipped his shot past Taseski. But within minutes Ashfield were level as Noiszweski ran onto John Monterosso's pass which he placed past the on-coming 'keeper.
Armadale and Wanneroo City played out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Alfred Skeet Oval. The host club opened their account inside ten minutes as a result of poor defending. Ten minutes later it was two-nil following a neat move down the right, and late in the half goal number three after a reds attacker beat stand-in goalkeeper Alan Young to a through ball. Scott Bulloch reduced the deficit soon after via an indirect free-kick, and a few minutes minutes elapsed before Bulloch added a second from the penalty spot. Phil Bell evaded several tackles to tee-up Bulloch who completed his hat-trick after the break.
Kingsway Olympic romped home 8-1 over their Kingsway Olympic amateurs on Sunday at Kingsway Sporting Complex. As suggested by the scoreline, the saturday team dominated from the outset by playing some exquisition free-flowing football that continually forced their opponent on to the back foot. Derek Cooke and Jason Stern were the stars of the show with two goals apiece, while John Doherty, Steven Beasley, Scott Evan and Sota Iwasaki also got on the scoresheet. The final margin could have been much greater with Iwasaki and Steve Dimitrovich both rattling the woodwork in the second half.
Canning City overcame a determined Forrestfield United side 3-2 under lights at Hartfield Park on Thursday evening. Canning opened up a two goal buffer via 17-year old striker Daniel Trevisiol who made the most of a couple of early opportunities. The match continued to be dominated by Canning who were prevented from extending the margin by a combination of poor finishing and excellent goalkeeping from the home custodian. The second half had only just got underway when Glen Noblet reduced the deficit, and the same player brought the game back on level terms shortly after. The deciding goal came late when a Forrestfield player turned the ball into his own net.
MILAN FLIES IN FOR GLORY (courtesy Perth Glory)
Young goalkeeper Milan Jovanic is eager to make a name for himself after touching down in Perth yesterday. Perth Glory secured the services of the Serbia and Montenegro youth international following a recommendation from former Australian coach Frank Arok. Jovanic played two season with Second Division side Veternik and has been back-up 'keeper for First Division club Obilic. He has played twenty games for Serbia and Montenegro's national Under-17 and Under-19 teams.
"We have taken Milan on the recommendation of Frank Arok," said Glory's technical director Mich d'Avray. "Some people may say it is difficult taking on someone we have not seen play but Frank is obviously someone whose judgement you have to respect. We are looking forward to meeting Milan, he is only nineteen and he will be our number two goalkeeper. Milan is not coming here to sit on the substitutes' bench but to force his way into the first team and show us he is a good goalkeeper. He is someone we believe is capable of taking on the number one shirt in the near future."
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The first piece of silverware for 2005 is on offer on Sunday when Inglewood United and Swan I.C. fight it out for the Night Series crown at Litis Stadium from 8.00pm. Inglewood have been the competitions form side and are understandably being tipped to add to their trophy cabinet. Coach Eddy Hodgkinson has assembled a well-balanced squad which features an abundance of players who know how to find the target. A non-stop work ethic, as displayed by Shaun Kilkelly, Daniel Kovacevic and Kevin Griffiths, is a key ingredient in Inglewood's game and will go a long way to determining their fate this weekend.
Swan, written off by many prior to the tournament, have already claimed the scalps of Premier League champion Western Knights and high flying Cockburn City and now have their sights set on adding Inglewood. Deadball specialist Miki Vujacic has been in sensational form during the qualifying rounds and is sure to figure prominently for the Swan Valley side on Sunday along with long-serving State custodian Cory Hugo and star striker David Foster. The feature match is preceded by the play-off for minor places between Cockburn City and Sorrento at 6.15pm.
Also taking place this weekend is the women's Night Series Final between Northern Redbacks and Queens Park. Having scored twenty-six goals and conceded none in four Night Series outings the Redbacks go into the decider as red-hot favourite. But Queens Park would be happy with the underdogs tag and no doubt have a surprise or two up their sleeve to unsettle their more fancied opponent. The two sides go head-to-head from 8.15pm at George Burnett Park. The curtain raiser is the play-off for third and fourth between Balcatta and Subiaco United which starts at 6.45pm.
FINALISTS RECORD IS ONE FROM FOUR
It'll be history in the making on Sunday as Inglewood United and Swan I.C. compete for the 2005 Night Series title. Both clubs have made way to the deciding game of the annual season opener with their perfect win record in tact, but for one club their luck is about to run out. Between them Inglewood and Swan have featured in a combined total of four previous Night Series deciders, but if you're looking to history to guide you on the weekend then you just might want to think again ...
Inglewood found themselves faced with the daunting task of toppling tournament favourite Spearwood Dalmatinac in the penultimate game of the 1979 Night Series. Spearwood were brimming with confidence as their took to the field and immediately took the game up to their opponent. An exciting match ended 4-2 in favour of Spearwood for whom Dave Fidoe netted twice with Frank Smerilli and Stephen Snell also getting on the scoresheet. For Inglewood it was D.Ripley and John Davidson who sent the ball past the goalkeeper.
Four years later Inglewood went home with the trophy by defeating West Perth Macedonia 1-0. The final began slowly enough with both teams probing for openings and very few opportunities at either end in a goalless first half. It was after the break that the game sparked into life with end to end action, but with neither side able to get the breakthrough it was into extra-time. By this stage West Perth were a player down as Jim Davies had been dismissed for a second bookable offence. Their opponents capitalised and when Paddy Morris scored in the first period of extra-time the game was as good as over.
Eighteen months after gaining promotion from the First Division Swan found themselves making their first ever appearance in a major final. The year was 1995 and the opposition a star-studded Stirling Macedonia side then at the peak of their powers. Unfortunately for Swan coach Michael Cairns there would be no fairytale finish to the tournament as Stirling strode home 3-0 with diminutive striker Norrie Sutton bagging a double. A fresh-faced youngster by the name of Paul Lincoln was the scorer of the night's third goal and ten years on the striker finds himself wearing black and white and dreaming of a Swan win.
Inglewood's most recent Night Series final outing was in 2000 when they were humbled 0-6 by Floreat Athena. The game could not have started much worse for Inglewood who were a goal down after 7 minutes as Vas Kalogeracos started Floreat's party. An own goal after 18 minutes doubled the margin, and two minutes later it was over as a contest when Peter Coci put away goal number three. Former Inglewood player Scott Daley scored each side of the break and the route was completed by Troy Bernard who pushed forward to score in the 68th minute.
LIONS MAKE PLAY FOR GLORY (courtesy Stirling Lions)
Premier League outfit Stirling Lions provide the opposition for Perth Glory's second pre-season outing which takes place at Macedonia Park tomorrow, Saturday 19th March, from 4.00pm. The friendly provides new Glory coach Steve McMahon the opportunity to show off the clubs new signings, amongst them former Lions star midfielder Nick Ward and Socceroo Simon Colosimo. The Lions three Irish imports - Aaron McKee, Paul Dickson and David Murphy - will be unveiled while 16-year old Sudanese sensation Dennis McRoberts makes his first appearance of the year.
"It's a big day for football and the Stirling/Balcatta region," said Lions president Don Evans. "This match gives our local supporters a chance to see their Glory heroes before the A-League season kicks-off as well as the opportunity to sample the new-look Lions team for 2005." in a display of the new united direction adopted in West Australia, the Lions have invited neighbouring clubs Balcatta, Northern Redbacks, Stirling Panthers, Stirling Suns and Tuart Hill to join in the festivities. Preceding the feature game is a friendly between the Lions and Balcatta Under-18 teams from 2.00pm. Entry is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for pensioners and those with student concession, and free for children under the age of sixteen.
QUALITY IMPORT ARRIVES AT FREMANTLE
Paul Robinson has quickly settled into life with Fremantle City who expect big things from the 22-year old central defender. "Paul has already proven to be a great pick-up for us," commented coach Steve Parkinson this week. "He will very likely be one of the Premier League's stand-out defenders this year and he's already attracted attention from several A-League clubs, so keeping him may be my biggest problem! He's very good on the ground, reads the play well and demonstrates a good understanding of the game which has come from being on the books at two professional clubs."
Robinson played his junior years with Nottingham Forest and in 1999 joined the youth ranks at Doncaster Rovers where he was an integral part of the side that won back-to-back league titles. After two seasons in Yorkshire he headed to the United States for study purposes and linked up with the University of Portland. In four seasons with the club Robinson twice gained selection in the West Coast Conference all-Academic squad and for the past two years captained the side which included new Sydney F.C. signing Alejandro Salazar.
ERGIC ENDURES TRIP TO HELL AND BACK (by Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian")
Former Perth Glory sensation Ivan Ergic has fought off a serious bout of depression in top-level European soccer to resurrect a career that had come to a shattering halt. Ergic, whose $1.6 million move from Glory to Italian giant Juventus made headlines in 2000, is again pressing for a place in the starting line-up of Swiss club FC Basel after more than two years fighting off injury, sickness and a deep mental low.
The 24-year-old spent four months at a Basel psychiatric clinic last year where he was treated for depression after being sidelined with a groin injury and glandular fever. "Through all my experiences, mentally it was really hard to cope with and in the end I couldn't see a way out," Ergic said from Switzerland. "I've had it really tough but at the moment I'm much more positive. Things are looking good. I don't want to be too positive but things are looking much better than before."
In 2000, after helping Perth Glory to the National Soccer League grand final, Ergic seemed destined for star status. He was signed by Juventus and was immediately farmed out to Basel where he was soon competing against some of the world's best players. Just two years after his move to Europe, he stepped into the prestigious Champions League to take on the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Celtic and Valencia before he was forced to have what should have been a routine groin operation.
He picked up an infection and was later flattened by glandular fever before depression struck after a prolonged attempt to return to training. But the affable Ergic, whose parents Mitch and Vere have supported him through his trials, is now on the mend after rejoining Basel training last November. He returned to the team as a substitute in a 3-1 loss to St Gallen last month, and on Sunday was up against former Glory teammate and good friend Ljubo Milicevic when FC Thun scored a 3-0 victory.
Ergic concedes that he still has a long way to climb before he can consider himself at his best but hopes he is now back on the ladder to success. "Hopefully, by next season I will be fully ready," he said. He is keen to remain in Europe with Basel, though during his illness he had considered returning to Perth, where his family has property, to recuperate. "My aim is to stay here because Europe is football. (But) I can't exclude that option in Australia. Who knows?" he said.
The talented midfielder shot to prominence in Perth with an exhilarating 1999-2000 season with Glory, which culminated in a dramatic penalty shoot-out grand final loss to Wollongong Wolves. Ergic had almost single-handedly dragged Glory into the season finale, coming off the bench in the semifinal to first earn a penalty and then fire home the golden goal extra time winner.
Raised in Belgrade, he moved with his family to Carnarvon in 1997 before his burgeoning talent was quickly spotted and he had no hesitation taking up a scholarship with the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. Glory swooped in June 1999 and he was an instant hit, scoring 10 goals in his one and only season with the club under former East German national team coach Bernd Stange. His performances that season earned him the NSL's Under-21 Player of the Year award but greater stages beckoned.
The teenage sensation was linked to a string of clubs, including German outfit Hertha Berlin and Spain's Valencia before Juventus won the race to sign him. Ergic was tipped to play for Australia's Olympic team in Sydney 2000 but turned down an offer from then coach Raul Blanco to pursue his overseas move. He went on to play at youth international level for Yugoslavia, which ended speculation that he would one day pull on the green and gold jersey for Australia.
WOMEN'S LEAGUE TAKES SHAPE
The 2005 women's league season has taken shape with Football West confirming the make-up of the various divisions last week. As was the case last season, seven teams will take part in the women's Premier League with clubs allocated a bye once every seven weeks. The number of teams in the remaining leagues has been upped from nine last year to twelve for 2005.
Northern Redbacks, whose senior list includes numerous Western Waves players, have already been installed as red-hot favourite to take out the Premier league crown for a third successive time. Queens Park and Balcatta are expected to provide their stiffest opposition in a league which also includes East Fremantle, Kinglsey, First Division champion Noranda and Subiaco United. All teams will also field sides in the Reserves competition.
Lynwood drop down from the top flight to join Beckenham Angels, Murdoch University, Northern Redbacks C, Rockingham City, Subiaco, Swan I.C. and University of WA in the First Division. Bassendean and Balga are promoted from the Second Division as champion and runner-up respectively. Also stepping up are Gosnells City, runaway winner of the Fourth Division, while Mandurah City make their debut in the metropolitan leagues.
Dianella White Eagles, Fremantle United, Nedlands, Northern Redbacks D, Shamrock Rovers and Subiaco United make up the bulk of the Second Division. They are joined by Cockburn City, who drop down from the First Division, while coming up from the Third Division are champions Ballajura, runner-up Armadale and Beckenham Angels B. Newcomers East Fremantle C and Forrestfield United complete the twelve-team competition. Further details of the women's leagues can be found by visiting the Football West website.
ARMADALE CONFIRM RECORD SPONSORSHIP (courtesy Armadale)
First Division champion Armadale have received a major boost on the eve of their debut season in the state's top flight. The eastern corridor club is pleased to announce record sponsorship donations for the coming season. "The support this season as been fantastic especially from local businesses, including Harvey Norman, and is well above our budgeted target," commented club spokesman Anton Coates. "However, the main contributions have been made by our members who want to ensure that the club succeeds in its first season as a premier league team." BGC Blockpave will for the third successive year be the clubs major sponsor, while the Reserves will be sponsored by Challis Liquor, Collex and Ikal Kitchens. The Reds' Under-18 side are being sponsored this year by Totally Surf and Sport, Boden Painting Services and Westralian.
GLORY NO CERTAINTY TO LAND LAZARIDIS
The State's greatest player, Stan Lazaridis, will be torn between two cities when he eventually returns to finish his career in the new Australian A-League. Lazaridis has always maintained he'd see out his playing days in Australia as a mark of appreciation to the fans who had followed his career. But Perth Glory fans hoping to see the Socceroo wearing the purple and orange of his howmetown club might be disappointed because of the midfielder's strong links to Adelaide. Lazaridis' wife, Mary, is from the city of churches and his career blossomed when he joined West Adelaide in the National Soccer League.
Lazaridis admitted it would not be easy choosing a port of call when his time in England was at an end. "I've got a strong pull towards Adelaide and the people there see me as an Adelaide boy," he said. "But I would love to play in front of the Perth crowd. We'll just have to wait and see who's in charge at the time and what players the managers want. It will be close between the two." The 32-year old, voted WA's greatest player by a panel of judges last week, will return to Perth at the end of the month as part of the Australian squad to play Indonesia on 29th March at Subiaco Oval.
IRISH YOUTH JOIN LIONS PRIDE
The addition of three former Northern Ireland youth internationals have significantly boosted the propsects of Stirling Lions for the coming Premier League season. Aaron McKee, Paul Dickson and David Murphy touched down in Perth recently and have already left a positive impression on coach Tomm Leeman. "Any manager would be glad to strengthen his squad with additions such as these," commented the Lions boss.
"Our new additions are settling in well but it'll take a couple of weeks for them to really adapt to the climate and the like," added Leeman. "The three lads have been warmly received by our club and the Stirling community and I'm confident their feet will do the talking on the pitch. They've had experience at a higher level, which includes representing their country at junior and youth levels, and are eager to try their hand in Australia."
It's the second time down under for McKee who was part of the Northern Ireland Schoolboys side which visited Australia in 2001. The 21-year old striker spent last season with Irish League outfit Crusaders whom he joined following a lengthy period at Linfield. Dickson, 21, played the past few seasons with Crusaders and is best suited to a defensive or midfield role on right. 20-year old Murphy, who played youth team football at Wimbledon, has been a regular at the back for Ards during the past three seasons.
NIGHT SERIES, SEMI-FINALS (Cockburn City vs Swan I.C. courtesy Swan I.C.)
Inglewood United made they way through to the decider of the 2005 Night Series by thumping Sorrento 4-1 in this evenings opening semi-final at Litis Stadium. It was a bright start by the Gulls whose early pressure was rewarded with the games first goal, Todd Harnwell seizing upon a defensive mishap to slot past by goalkeeper Oliver Taseski from close-range. Going a goal down proved the catalyst for Inglewood to step up a gear and midway through the half they drew level through Andre Sarpe who waltzed the ball past the goalkeeper before slotting in from an acute angle. Just before the break Sarpe turned provider with a precise cross into the 18-yard box where Greg Sharland's diving header hit the net before the 'keeper could react. The second half was less than a minute old when the gap was increased to two goals, Albert Osei-Tutu threading a terrific pass to the feet of Sharland who finished coolly after racing through a disorganised defence. Sorrento threw everything forward in the hope of reducing the deficit but their hopes were dashed as Sharland played through to Sarpe who, one-on-one with the 'keeper, made no mistake in putting away Inglewood's fourth and final goal.
Swan I.C. qualified for their second ever Night Series final be defeating Cockburn City 2-1 in this evenings late fixture. The black and whites made a positive start with Jonathon Mathers sending David Foster down the left and his cross into the area found Tom Shepheard who slid his shot only the wrong side of the upright. Not to be outdone, Dean Gartside was denied minutes later by Cory Hugo and from the follow-up Anthony Pereira blasted high. John Mirco penetrated the Swan rearguard minutes later but his explosive shot flashed wide. The deadlock was broken in the 21st minute when Miki Vujacic's in-swinging corner was superbly headed in at the near post by Tom Shepheard. The goal sparked Swan into life and within minutes they went close to increasing their advantage as Mathers headed wide from Justin Hugo's pinpoint delivery. Cockburn went looking for a response as half-time approached. Shane McNally embarked on a lung-bursting run which took him inside the 18-yard box where he laid the ball off to Pereira whose shot was blocked. And minutes from the break Dean Wallace made his way down the right only to be dispossessed by Trevor Hatton's well-executed tackle.
Cockburn were out of the blocks quickly for the second half and within a minute Gartside had the ball in the net but the goal was disallowed for offside. Cory Hugo came to Swan's rescue not long after by producing a terrific reflex save to keep out Michael Mirco's goalbound effort. Cockburn were well on top by this stage and great work in the build-up by Gary Faria amounted to nothing as Marko Aleksic shot wide. The pressure was relentless and on the hour Cockburn's persistence paid off. Faria played a free-kick from distance into the heart of the penalty area where Cory Hugo parried Michael Mirco's header and Gartside reacted quickest to tuck away the loose ball. Moments later Cockburn would have been ahead if not for the heroics of Cory Hugo who spectacularly kept out Wallace's powerful header. Swan worked their way back into the game and looked like adding to their tally when Shepheard sent substitute Paul Lincoln but the veteran striker couldn't get his shot in after rounding Cockburn shot-stopper Alan Dunlop. The game appeared destined for extra-time when Vujacic netted a dramatic final minute winner by expertly clipping a free-kick over the defensive wall and into the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar.
WOMEN'S NIGHT SERIES, SEMI-FINALS (Balcatta vs Northern Redbacks courtesy Northern Redbacks; Queens Park vs Subiaco United courtesy Subiaco United)
Northern Redbacks progressed to final of the women's Night Series courtesy of a 3-1 defeat of Balcatta at George Burnett Park this evening. In a tight match between two of the local scene best sides, it was Balcatta who drew first flood after the half hour via Debbie Gorton following a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box. However, their lead was short-lived and just a minute later Lisa De Vanna curled a similarly placed free-kick around the defensive wall and past the goalkeeper. Ten minutes into the second half the Redbacks went ahead through Ciara Conway, and shortly after Marion Leitch gave the northern suburbs side the breathing space they needed. Balcatta worked hard to get back in the match but despite numerous shots could not make up the deficit.
Queens Park booked their spot in the series decider by sweeping aside Subiaco United 4-0. Queens Park made their intentions clear from the opening whistle and on 15 minutes opened their account after the Subiaco defence failed to clear the danger at a corner. Six minutes later the margin was doubled via a long-range bomb which flew past the goalkeeper and came to nestle in the back of the net. Subiaco showed more focus and determination after the break but couldn't open up a passage to goal. Queens Park's third goal was scrambled over the line from close-range, and with thirteen minutes remaining victory was secured when a Queens Park attacker made the most of some hesitant defending.
Kingsley went on a goalscoring spree as they ran out 5-2 victors over Mandurah City. Already missing four players due to other committments, Kingsley suffered the early setback of losing defender Sarah Sibald to a hamstring injury. Having re-settled, Kingsley made good good use of the ball and could have gone ahead in the 9th minute but Lisa Higgins spot kick came back off the crossbar. The first of Kristina Oxleys two first half goals wsa the result of a terrific through ball by Sally Sanigar who also found the net either side of the break. Higgins later amends for her earlier miss with a well-worked goal inspired by Adele Coxall. East Fremantle were awarded the remaining match 3-0 over Murdoch on a forfeit.
FRIENDLY FIRE (E.C.U. Joondalup vs Morley Windmills courtesy Morley Windmills; Stirling Lions vs Rockingham City courtesy Stirling Lions; Canning City vs CN Canning International courtesy Canning City)
Floreat Athena ran out comfortable 5-1 winners over Balcatta in their friendly meeting at Graham Burkett Reserve. With the heat stifling both teams' energy levels, Eugene Singeorzan opened Floreat's account by converting a dubious penalty awarded for handball. Within seconds of the restart Saul Contera found himself at the top of the box from where he drilled a wonderful left foot shot past a despairing goalkeeper. Early in the second half Fernando Coran's deep cross was tapped in by Adam Bachiller, but soon after Balcatta reduced the deficit when Carmelo Gumina lashed the ball home from 15-metres. James Vasilou sent a superb header past his own 'keeper for Floreat's fourth goal, while late on Contera netted his second to complete the scoreline.
In scorching conditions the Western Knights beat Bassendean Caledonian 4-2 in an entertaining friendly at Jubilee Oval this afternoon. Both sides were guilty of wasting chances in a first half that ended level at one-all. The hosts went ahead through a well-worked goal by Scott Cooper only to have Barry Wood cancel it out a few minutes later via an excellent corner by Andrija Jukic. The new half started at a frantic pace which saw Caledonian regain the lead with Lucas Whitehouse the scorer. Wood restored parity for a second time as the Knights finally kicked into gear. Josh Kamasz set-up Mark Lee for the teams third, but the best was saved for last as Lee combined with John Higgins who lofted a terrific shot over the oncoming goalkeeper.
Despite some poor finishing Bayswater City defeated neighbouring Ashfield 2-1. Bayswater were soon on the attack and should have scored gone ahead in the 2nd minute but Ross Barnes failed to convert from close-range. However, it wasn't long before Bobby Klenkoski volleyed in a deep corner at the back to open Bayswater's account. Midway through the half Sal Marrapodi doubled the margin by weaving past a defender and rifling beyond the reach of goalkeeper Maikol Taseski. Ashfield increased their possession after the break but it wasn't until late that Wayne Culverwell capitalised on some hesitant defending. Marrapodi and Andy O'Neill should have secured the game for Bayswater but both squandered good opportunities before the final whistle.
E.C.U. Joondalup were held to a thrilling 3-3 draw with Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. Played in energy sapping heat, Joondalup coach Paul Simmons fielded a young side which dominated possession for lengthy periods. Ryan Newhill bagged the opener despite calls for offside, and a goalkeeping error allowed Ray Rose in to equalise. Windmills held the advantage at half-time after Rose netted following good lead-up work from Steve Waycott and Phil Russie. Joondalup reclaimed the lead as Newhill scored twice to complete his hat-trick, and with five minutes to go Rose netted for a third time to complete an entertaining tussle. The Reserve teams also drew 3-3, while Joondalup took out the Under-18's fixture 13-2.
Irish imports Aaron McKee, Paul Dickson and David Murphy made their debuts in Stirling Lions' 4-0 defeat of Rockingham City at Dowling Street Reserve this afternoon. The Lions made all the early running the quickly established control over the match that was played in stifling heat. Mohammad Komaderic was the benefactor the Lions best first half chances but on each occasion he was denied by the goalkeeper. It was different story after the break as Ross Tsounis bagged himself a hat-trick - the pick of which was a spectacular bicycle kick - with Steve Bozinovski also getting on the scoresheet. "All round it was a good team performance," said Lions coach Tom Leeman.
An under strength Shamrock Rovers side went down 2-4 to host club Mandurah City in controversial circumstances. Although without seven first team regulars, Shamrock gained the early advantage when lively attacker Flavio L'Abbate found the back of the net. The visiting team were then dealt a cruel blow as L'Abbate was 'sin binned' for dissent after being brought down inside the penalty area by the Mandurah goalkeeper who somehow escaped unpunished. With this the complexion of the game changed, Mandurah seizing the initiative and piling on four goals to run away with the game. Shamrock's second goal came from defender Keith Roche.
Canning City made the short journey to Weir Park where they triumphed 6-2 over amateur outfit CN Canning International. International were quick out of the blocks and by half-time had opened up a two-goal buffer over their neighbour. Upon the recommencement of play Canning reduced the deficit through Daniel Butler, then Daniel Laing restored parity with a great solo effort. With the wind in their sails Canning upped the workrate and talented midfielder Paul Oliver went past two defenders before slipping the ball under the advancing goalkeeper to put Canning ahead. From there they never looked back as further goals from Daniel Laing, Mick Van Dongen and Butler eased them to victory.
WARD STAKES CLAIM FOR STARTING SPOT
Local product Nick Ward was the star performer in Perth Glory's first competitive outing of the pre-season. Although rusty, Glory were rarely troubled by a young Fremantle City line-up which succumbed 4-0 at Beeliar Oval this afternoon. Ward, an Australian youth international, scored twice and was the driving force behind a third goal converted by Bobby Despotovski who also ended the day with a double. "Nicky Ward had a lot of energy in the middle of the park," said Glory assistant coach Alan Vest. "He's been training out of his skin ... he could be a big player for us this year."
Glory's accounted was opened after 18 minutes when Ward put away a cross from Naum Sekulovski. Despotovski doubled the lead in the 32nd minute following a hopeful ball into attack by Simon Colosimo, and shortly before the break the striker made it three-nil by converting from the penalty spot. A surging run into attack by Matt Horsley, playing for the first time since a knee reconstruction twelve months ago, provided the ammunition for Ward to net his second of the day. Fremantle's best chance came via a defensive mix-up which teenager Luke Eaonnidis which unable to capitalise upon. Colosimo came close to adding a fifth to Glory's tally late in the piece but his blistering strike was kept out by Bobson Koroma.
LAZARIDIS NAMED OUR GREATEST EVER
Stan Lazaridis has been honoured with the title of Western Australia's greatest ever footballer. The Socceroo veteran was named our best player at black-tie event celebrating the State's best sportsmen, women, coaches and teams at the Perth Convention Centre on Thursday evening. Also nominated for the award were Robbie Dunn, capped 44 times by Australia, one-time Socceroo captain Gary Marocchi, the Matilda's long-serving goalkeeper Tracey Wheeler and Robert Zabica who played for Australia on 42 occasions.
Born in Perth, Lazaridis played his development years at Kingsway Olympic and Floreat Athena form whom his superb ball control and extraordinary change of pace intimidated many a defender. His representative career began in 1989 when he turned out for the Australia Under-17's World Youth Championship qualifiers. His senior State debut followed the following years against Moscow Torpedo but it was after playing against touring German side Werder Bremen in 1992 that his career really took off.
That same year Lazaridis stepped up to the ranks of the National Soccer League with a move to West Adelaide. He made what would be the first of many appearances for the senior national team in early 1993 when the Socceroos downed Kuwait 1-0. At club level, Lazaridis played 73 times for West Adelaide over three seasons before taking up an offer to play in England with London club West Ham United. Between 1995 and 1999 the left-sided midfielder established himself as a favourite with the Hammers faithful in making 69 appearances.
A move to First Division club Birmingham City in 1999 breathed new life into his career, and once again he became an instant crowd favourite with his exciting runs into attack. A key member of the national set-up, Lazaridis was part of Australia's 1998 and 2002 World Cup campaigns as well as their appearance at the 2000 Olympic Games. With 65 outings for Australia - 54 those 'A' internationals - Lazaridis is West Australia's most capped player. Additionally, he's represented the State on ten occasions and scored three goals.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The Night Series field will be slimmed to two following Sunday's semi-finals at Litis Stadium. Getting things are Inglewood United and Sorrento who go head-to-head from 6.15pm. Inglewood's superb group stage record was underpinned by a rock-solid defence marshalled by goalkeeper Oliver Taseski. With Danny Hill and captain Andrew Bowyer absent through injury the Gulls will need to be firing on all cylinders to open up a path to goal. Cockburn City and Swan I.C. have both shown a burning desire to play entertaining, attacking football and their 8.00pm showdown promises to be a cracker. The key match-up takes place in the centre of the park where Michael Mirco and Domenic De Felice pit creative skills with Miki Vujacic and Scott Campbell.
PLEASE SIR, CAN I HAVE MY BALL BACK?
A game of football may well have saved the life of Ashley Morrison. Ten years ago Morrison was keeping goal for amateur side Subiaco United when an on-field incident lead to the discovery that he had testicular cancer. Wanting to raise awareness of testicular cancer among the male population, Morrison wrote of his experiences which have recently been put into print by Hybrid Publishers under the witty title “Please Sir, Can I Have My Ball Back?” (ISBN 1876462345).
Morrison has a very clear recollection of the incident that lead to his diagnosis. “It was the last game of the season against Beechboro White Eagles and their centre forward was put through,” he explained. “I came off of my line and smothered the shot which hit me in the groin region. As one would expect I felt a little sore, but after a few deep breaths managed to continue. The next day one of my testicles had swollen up to a very uncomfortable size, so I went to the hospital and they advised that they thought it was a torsion - a twisting of the tubes - and if it did not go down in twenty-four hours to return.”
“The swelling went down but a fortnight passed and I was still not convinced that things had gone back to normal,” he continued. “I went to see my GP who advised it was either a tumour or a haemorrhage, and sent me off for an ultrasound which revealed the former to be the problem. I checked straight into hospital they operated the next day. The key thing is I’m glad that I followed up on the nagging feeling I had that something was not right. It’s possible that had I not done something about it then the cancer could have spread much further without detection.”
“When I started chemotherapy I wanted to try and find something about guys going through a similar experience but there was nothing,” Morrison added. “Then when I was getting counselling I was told guys never go to counselling, that they seem to think that they can handle it or society determines that they should have this view - that was when I decided that there was a need for such a book. As you can probably tell from the title this is not a ‘woe is me’ type of book, it’s frank and honest and there is humour in there as there were some amusing things that happened throughout the whole journey. Hopefully that is the impression that the cover and the title give.”
Born in England, Morrison moved to Perth in 1987 and shortly after linked up with Subiaco. “I then ended up playing for Subiaco for ten years and made over 300 appearances for them,” he said. “After my cancer scare I played one more season with Subiaco and then went down to the Western Knights where Ronnie Campbell and Willie Kelly had established a great atmosphere. I was fortunate enough to assist both Willie Herd and Jamie McGettrick with the Under-21’s and be their back-up ‘keeper when required. Last season I was given the opportunity to coach the goalkeepers at Bassendean Caledonian, but I ended up taking up the reigns with the Reserves after their coach broke his leg.”
“Please Sir, Can I Have My Ball Back?” is the second book authored by Morrison who, as well as playing the game, is a commentator for Perth Glory home games. “I wrote and self published a book called “Headingley Remembered - A Century of Ashes Cricket” and I have plans another book,” Morrison said. “I am currently working with former Socceroo David Mitchell on the story of his career. Few people realise that he was the first Australian to play in the Scottish Premier League, the Dutch First Division and the German First Division.”
STRONG LOCAL FLAVOUR TO SOCCEROO SQUAD
Four players with ties to Perth have been named in the Australian squad for the up-coming friendlies against Iraq and Indonesia. Local product Stan Lazaridis, Perth Glory midfielder Simon Colosimo along with former Glory boys Jade North and Ljubo Milicevic are part of the twenty-nine man Socceroo squad to face Iraq (Telstra Stadium, 26th March) and Indonesia (Subiaco Oval, 29th March). "These games are very important to us in terms of World Cup qualifying preparation," said national coach Frank Farina. "We're urging the Australian sports fans to come out and support the team while they are here. It's such a big year with the Confederations Cup and the World Cup qualifiers on so come along and show your support.”
The complete twenty-nine man Australian squad is Scott Chipperfield, Mile Sterjovski (Basel), Stan Lazaridis (Birmingham City), Brett Emerton, Lucas Neill (Blackburn Rovers), Craig Moore (Borussia Monchengladbach), Luke Wilkshire (Bristol City), Ahmad Elrich (Busan I Cons), Tony Vidmar (Cardiff City), Tony Popovic (Crystal Palace), Paul Agostino (1860 Munich), Tim Cahill (Everton), Steve Laybutt (KAA Ghent), Danny Tiatto (Leicester City), Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough), Kevin Muscat (Millwall), Josip Skoko (Genclerbirligi), Jon McKain (National Bucuresti), Ante Milicic, Jade North (Newcastle Jets), John Aloisi (Osasuna), Marco Bresciano, Vince Grella (Parma), Simon Colosimo (Perth Glory), Zeljko Kalac (Perugia), Clint Bolton, David Zdrilic (Sydney FC), Ljubo Milicevic (FC Thun) and Jason Culina (FC Twente
TESTIMONIAL PLANNED FOR ALAN HENDERSON
E.C.U. Joondalup and Kingsway Olympic are to remember the late Alan Henderson by playing a testimonial game in his honour early next month. The former clubs of Henderson, who was tragically killed in November while holidaying in Bali, will meet at the Edith Cowan University campus in Joondalup on Sunday 3rd April from 1.00pm. Preceding the feature game is a juniors friendly involving players from the Whitfords, Kingsway and Joondalup clubs which starts at 11.00am. Food and drink will be available and the day concludes with an auction of which all proceeds go to the Henderson family.
COYNE BACK WITH GLORY
Jamie Coyne returned to Members Equity Stadium yesterday to confirm his commitment to Perth Glory following a six-month stint in Europe. Although a regular in the match day squad, Coyne made only one first team appearance for Dutch side ADO Den Haag. The versatile left-sided player has agreed to a one-year deal with Glory, becoming the sixteenth of twenty players the club is entitled to sign under A-League regulations.
Den Haag agreed to cut short Coyne's contract and allow him to return for the build-up to Australia's new domestic competition, which officially kicks off in August. "Once I told them I wasn't happy sitting on the bench they were great. They knew the situation over here with the new league starting," he said. First team opportunities were limited for Coyne following the signing of Gill Swerts from PSV Eindhoven. "I didn't make a quick decision because I wanted to give it a go, but I wasn't playing and the manager was happy with the starting eleven," Coyne said.
CREWS TO EASE GLORY’S GOALKEEPING CONCERNS
Perth Glory moved a step closer to finalising their goalkeeping stocks with the arrival of Andrew Crews today. The former Wollongong Wolves and Parramatta Power player is expected to become the clubs first choice 'keeper after they were thwarted in attempts to secure Jason Petkovic from Turkish side Konyaspor and Michael Turnbull from Belgium's Standard Liege. Glory already have Milan Jovanic on their books but the Serbia and Montenegro youth international is yet to join the club's pre-season due to delays in obtaining the appropriate visa.
Argentinian striker Matias Di Paolo began trialling with Glory yesterday. The 19-year old counts Boca Juniors and River Plate amongst his former clubs and last year spent time in Italy with Genzano. Australian youth international Matt Danskin has not been offered a Glory contract following his two-week trial. Glory's pre-season gets in full swing next weekend when they meet local Premier League side Fremantle City in a friendly at Beeliar Oval on Saturday 19th March (kick-off 4.00pm).
BORO RECALL JONES FOR SPORTING LISBON CLASH (courtesy www.tribalfootball.com)
Middlesbrough have recalled Armadale-born Brad Jones from his loan spell at Blackpool. Jones had been on a season-long deal at Bloomfield Road, but 'Boro are facing an injury crisis in the goalkeeping department. Jones, who has some limited first team experience at 'Boro, could now be in line to play - but he too is struggling with injury as he sustained a shoulder problem whilst at Blackpool last month. "We are going to assess the position with all goalkeepers when the results of tests and scans are known," revealed 'Boro boss Steve McClaren. "I know I said on Saturday that we may have to park a bus in front of our goal, but we're hopeful it may not come to that! We think there is an improvement with a couple of the players. Mark could make it, but Carlo and Ross definitely won't and we'll have to see about Brad."
VUJACIC HAPPY TO STAY WITH SWAN (courtesy www.swanic.com)
State midfielder Miki Vujacic has extended his stay in the Swan Valley until 2007. The exciting 20-year old had a marked effect in his debut season for Swan I.C last year when he played a leading role in the club’s back-to-back Boral Cup success. “I'm happy to be staying at the club, we have a good group of players who are now really starting to take their football seriously whilst still keeping it enjoyable,” explained Vujacic who was on the wanted list of several top flight clubs. “I was tempted to accept good offers from other clubs but in the end I think Swan have the ability to be amongst the best clubs in the state. With a lot of hard work and co-operation the club is becoming a more professional outfit both on and off the field.”
The black and whites qualified for the last four of the Night Series without dropping a point. “We have had three good performances so far and are in the semi-finals,” Vujacic commented. “The win against the Knights was a good measure of where we are at, and most importantly proved to ourselves that we can play good, structured football. I wouldn’t have re-signed with Swan if I didn’t think we are a great chance of making the top five. Swan desperately needs to play finals football in order to prove to the rest of the League that we are genuine title contenders, if we manage to keep improving and stay relatively injury free then we are certain to be amongst the top three or four clubs.”
Swan coach Gary Marocchi has been impressed with the midfield efforts of Vujacic during the pre-season tournament. “Miki continues to impress with his skill, vision and passing ability,” said the former Socceroo captain. “Miki has formed a good understanding with Scott Campbell and Michael Bushby to create a solid midfield line. We are working on trying to improve the defensive side of our midfielders game - we have an excellent attacking mind-set in our team which needs supplementing with an overall improvement of our play when the opposition is in possession. Miki has improved his consistency level with his first three performances in the Night Series as well as scoring two important goals for the team”
FRANKEN SETS HIS GOALS FOR WORLD CUP (by Jonathon Cook of the “West Australian”)
An ultimatum from his former employer put Tony Franken on a full-time quest he hopes will lead to next year's World Cup finals in Germany. For four years the former Perth Glory goalkeeper had been mixing coaching Australia's elite players with teaching at Prendiville Catholic College before he was put on the spot. Enough is enough, he was politely told by the school bosses, who needed to know that he would no longer be flying to the other side of the world to help the nation's goalkeepers prepare for yet another international tournament. "They were fantastic," Franken said of the school. "They gave me the opportunity to combine the two and I'm very appreciative of that. But after being on and off at school for four years it was one or the other."
He quickly put together a proposal to Football Federation Australia and was given a two-year full-time contract to help in the Socceroos' bid to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1974. "It was a pipedream in away," Franken, who played 39 games for Glory, said of his desire to commit fully to coaching Australia's elite goalkeepers. "But the new regime under (high performance director) John Boultbee keep saying that they will leave no stone unturned in preparing for the World Cup and they could see there was a need for this."
As national goalkeeping coach, Franken's priority is with the senior national side but he also helps out with the underage teams and looks closely at the national training centre programs around the country. The commitment is such that Franken, a father of two boys, Jordan, 9, and Matthew, 7, and a daughter, Isobel, 6, will be away from home for about eight months of the year. "I have a very understanding wife, who gives me total support in doing what I love," he said of wife Megan.
And though Franken is enjoying working with the likes of Middlesbrough's Mark Schwarzer and Perugia's Zeljko Kalac, the pressure is mounting on the entire national team structure to ensure a successful passage to Germany. The Socceroos' busy match pro- gram is testament to the determination of those associated with the national team to end the World Cup drought. "I've got a two-year deal but it all comes down to two days in November. That's what we will all be judged on, and that's fair enough," said Franken of the Socceroos' anticipated two-legged clash with South America's fifth-placed team for a spot in Germany.
But Franken's role, though specifically linked to the nation's elite goalkeepers and the high performance program, is not entirely related to the Socceroos World Cup journey. His job is also to ensure that a remarkable talent pool of goalkeepers continues for years to come by developing a world-class coaching structure. "At anyone time there are probably eight goalkeepers we could choose to play for Australia," Franken said. "But we need to know where the next Schwarzer or Kalac is coming from."
GLORY OPTION OPENS UP FOR LAZARIDIS
Stan Lazaridis could be playing for Perth Glory if the Football Federation of Australia has its way. The nation’s governing body unveiled an ambitious plan to subsidise the return of several Australian’s currently plying their trade overseas, amongst them Lazaridis, to play in the A-League. The plan would see seven or eight European-based Socceroos and spread them evenly among the clubs in the second season of the new national competition. A 2006/07 season return would suit Lazaridis whose contract with English Premier League club Birmingham City expires in mid-2006.
Glory chief executive Jeff Dennis was pleasantly surprised when told about the idea. “We would be very supportive of the principle - it sounds tremendous,” Dennis said. “We have not spoken to him (Lazaridis) because we’re aware that he’s in his prime, playing premiership football, so now is not the right time to come back. But any time he would like to we would be very interested. He would clearly fit in and be an ideal role model.”
John O'Neill, FFA chief executive officer, said the concept would see the overseas-based stars return preferably to their hometown team. “There are many natural connections - Stan Lazaridis with Perth Glory and Craig Moore is a Brisbane boy originally - they’re the sort of specific placements we would be looking to make,” O’Neill said. “It’s not dissimilar to a rugby union model that I used where essentially this group of players has two employers - FFA and their A-League club.”
NIGHT SERIES, WEEKEND THREE (Perth S.C. vs Sorrento courtesy Sorrento; Stirling Lions vs Wanneroo City courtesy Stirling Lions; Bayswater City vs Dianella White Eagles courtesy Bayswater City; Cockburn City vs Fremantle City courtesy Cockburn City; by Armadale vs Swan I.C. courtesy Swan I.C.)
Sorrento swept aside Perth S.C. 3-1 in the winner take all Group A fixture at Dorrien Gardens this evening. The Gulls were quick out of the blocks and in the 5th minute Simon Harland’s first time strike was straight at goalkeeper Gianni Papalia. However, there was no such luck two minutes later when Stuart Banks corner was tucked away by Jared Love from 4 metres to put Sorrento ahead. On the quarter hour James Morgan’s cross from the left was judged to have struck the hand of a defender, referee Jeremy Oliphant pointed to the spot and Love stroked past Papalia to double the margin. Ord played a perfect ball into the path of Love but a hat-trick eluded the attacker when his curling shot was saved by the Perth ‘keeper. The hosts first genuine chance came after 27 minutes, Robbie Puca escaping down the left to cross to Andreas Oliveira who should have done better than head over when unmarked. The last attack of the period came from Perth, a booming clearance by Papalia found Oliveira and on this occasion his superb first time strike was kept out by Neil Young. Eight minutes after the re-start Young nipped in ahead of Puca and Antonio Naglieri to snaffle a loose ball, and shortly after Oliveira was again left frustrated as Young courageously smothered at his feet. Perth’s chances were dented when Puca was given his marching orders for dissent, but with 76 minutes gone they reduced the deficit through Oliveira who benefited from the good work of Naglieri. David Micevski’s cross from the left was met by Oliveira who was unable to steer the ball past Young from close-range. Sorrento sealed the win in stoppage time when Todd Harnwell combined with Simon Harland who screwed his shot low past replacement ‘’keeper Alan Mattecucci.
Stirling Lions ended their Night Series campaign with an impressive 5-2 win over Wanneroo City at Dorrien Gardens. In a fact paced opening half both sides carved out some good opportunities. Wanneroo were the first to threatened with Scott Bulloch's effort saved by Jordan Conti, then Lions striker Steven Bozinovski was put through on goal only to have his shot deflected wide. The breakthrough didn;t arrive until the 25th minute when Ross Tsounis won possession in the centre of the park and slotted to Muhamed Komandaric who made no mistake in beating Wanneroo custodian goalkeeper Gary Kent. Ten minutes later Komandaric bagged his second by expertly going past two defenders and drawing Kent off his line before clipping a neat shot into the 'keepers net. The Lion’s dominance continued into the second half. Steven Hicks sent a dangerous ball in from the right to Tsounis whose perfectly struck volley from 18-metres soared in for goal number three. Wanneroo’s frustrations boiled over shortly afterwards when Alex Smith brought down Kent and from the melee which resulted both teams should consider themselves fortunate not to have had anyone booked. With ten minutes to go the game sparked into life. Leo Harman set-up Komaderic who completed his hat-trick as the margin became four goals. The hard work of Max Percy allowed John Greenwood to net Wanneroo's first, and just a few minutes later Percy's quick thinking put the ball at the feet of Stuart Collins who fired in their sides second. However, the Lions weren't entirely finished and Komandaric stole possession from Chris Currie to again make the most of a one-on-one with Kent to cap a memorable performance for the young striker.
Inglewood United ended the group stage with three wins from as many starts after downing Floreat Athena 1-0 at Litis Stadium. The games only goal came late in the first half when Albert Osei-Tutu went down inside the penalty area under a soft challenge from Paul Vlachou, Osei-Tutu picking himself up to convert from the spot.
First Division club Dianella White Eagles ended their fine Night Series campaign by holding top flight outfit Bayswater City to a 1-1 draw under lights at Litis Stadium. Bayswater started in a positive frame of mind and continually applied pressure to the Dianella defence who responded by locking down the game inside their 18-yard box. In the 23rd minute Dianella received a potentially fatal blow when Djukan Tesic received his marching orders for a second bookable offence. Not surprisingly, Bayswater would dominate the rest of the half but could only manage a couple of genuine goalscoring opportunities. The first of these came the way of Boima Karpeh who was put through but with only the goalkeeper to beat his shot was directed straight at Anthony Mori. Later in the half Mori did well to keep out a fierce free-kick from Bobby Klenkoski, the follow-up of which fell to Karpeh who on this occasion ballooned his shot over the crossbar. Dianella took the game up to their top flight opponent after the break with young attacker Stefan Smiljanic causing no end of problems for the Bayswater defence. While Dianella were proving a handful with several dangerous counterattacks, Andrew O'Neill squandered a great chance which he sent high at the opposite end. Ten minutes from the end Mori quickly launched Dianella into attack and Mario Lucic evaded the defence to place the ball past Steve Grant for what appeared to be the match winner. But Bayswater had other plans and with just a couple of minutes remaining Matt Wardle sped down the left to deliver a cross to Karpeh who finally beat Mori with a smart shot on the turn.
The early Group C fixture was awarded 3-0 to E.C.U. Joondalup after Bassendean Caledonian forfeited on Friday morning, just three days before the game. “This is very disappointing to say the least,” said Joondalup coach Paul Simmons upon confirmation of the result. “There was speculation all week that Callies may not be able to field a team but Football West had not received an official withdrawal notification until Friday. This should have been done on Monday to give us time to organise another game, and it’s too much to ask Cockburn and Fremantle to contact all their players and bring that game forward to 6.15pm.” It is understood Bassendean were unable to field a competitive side as the majority of their first team was unavailable due to other commitments.
A last gasp goal from Dean Wallace gained Cockburn City a share of the points from their Group C clash with Fremantle City at the Edith Cowan University campus in Joondalup. The game was 10 minutes old when Kevin Corriea was brought down for a penalty by Wallace, but the Fremantle strikers spot-kick was kept out by Alan Dunlop who dived to his right to block the shot. Two minutes later Cockburn were awarded a free-kick some 25-metres from goal which John Mirco crashed low through a crowded area and forced Phil Straker to react sharply. Cockburn were on top by this stage and with 17 minutes expired Michael Mirco opened his sides account with a low drive that had Straker unsighted. The Fremantle custodian had to be on top of his game in turning Domenic De Felice's shot around the post, and not long after Dean Wallace's header came back off the bar to De Felice whose effort was high. Fremantle's best chances were coming on the counterattack and in the 35th minute a long-range strike from Luke Eoanidis beat Dunlop but rebounded back into play off the base of the post. Right on the stroke of half-time Fremantle were level as Correia ghosted in behind the defence to meet a free-kick which he drilled in at the back post. The port side gained the advantage midway through the second half when Eoanidis pounced on a defensive error and netted after going past Dunlop. Cockburn threw everything forward in an attempt to get back on level terms in the closing stages which saw Michael Mirco hit the crossbar. With the game seemingly over Cockburn earned a final minute corner which Wallace converted, but only after his initial effort was blocked on the line.
Western Knights dipped out of the Night Series despite thumping First Division opponent Balcatta 5-0 in the early Group D fixture at Alfred Skeet Oval. From early on Balcatta found themselves under the hammer and, although their rearguard did well to absorb the pressure, it was always going to be only a matter of time before their defences were breached. In the 34th minute Mark Lee drove a corner to the near post where Stuart Montgomery flicked it goalward only for Carmelo Gumina to handle it on the line - Gumina was red carded for his indisgression and from the spot Montgomery sent goalkeeper Ken Fytengenious the wrong way. Although well in control of the match, it took the Knights until just before the break to extend their advantage when Montgomery played the ball back to Jon Higgins who scuffed his shot across the face of goal where Barry Wood tapped in from close-range. Fired up by the words of coaches Ronnie Campbell and Willie Kelly the Knights emerged for the new half determined to make more of their numerous chances. The difference blew out to three goals when Montgomery sent Wood through one-on-one with Fytengenious who became the second Armadale player red carded after fouling his opponent, and with the resultant penalty Montgomery made no mistake. Josh Kamasz retrieved an over hit cross midway through the period and laid the ball off to Andrija Jukic who gave the replacement 'keeper no chance with a rasping shot from the top of the 18-yard box on 66 minutes. The Knights fifth and final goal resulted from Greg Montenegro's cross from the right which Kamasz powerfully headed past the 'keeper and into the top corner. Further opportunities presented themselves to Montgomery, Kamasz and David Annall before the referee brought the game to a close.
Swan I.C. remained undefeated and top of Group D after downing Armadale 3-1 in the late game at Alfred Skeet Oval. Armadale gained the initiative just 3 minutes after kick-off when poor marking at a Mo Atak corner gave Craig Anderson a free header which he confidently put past Cory Hugo. A few minutes later Swan were lucky not to find themselves two down as Dennis Lee pushed forward only to drill his shot narrowly wide. Although slow to settle, Swan eventually found their rhythm and almost found an equalizer as David Foster and Tom Shepheard both headed over when in a good positions. Having established control of the game, Swan continued to squander goalscoring opportunities. Great approach work from Miki Vujacic set-up Justin Hugo who fired high from close-range, and Michael Bushby pushed the ball wide not long after. Their best move of the half came just before the break when Bushby sent Shepheard clear and the striker’s shot beat Nick Stone but hit the base of the upright. With the words of coach Gary Marocchi still ringing in their ears Swan continued their offensive into the second half. Their reward came via a Jonathon Mathers’ cross from the left which was flicked on by Shepheard and Foster neatly finished off the move. Shortly after Stone kept Armadale on level terms with a fine save top deny Justin Hugo, while down the other end shots from Jason Goodwin and Billy Kirkpatrick whizzed wide. Both sides were working hard to get the breakthrough which came the way of Swan when Shepheard stroked the ball past the oncoming ‘keeper after he robbed Peter Vukmirovic of possession. The points were made safe minutes later as Paul Lincoln delivered a brilliant cross in from the right for Foster to nodded in his second of the night.
WOMEN'S NIGHT SERIES, WEEKEND THREE (Subiaco United vs Murdoch courtesy Subiaco United; Balcatta vs Queens Park courtesy Balcatta)
Subiaco United bounced back from a heavy loss last week by defeating Murdoch 4-1 and qualify for the semi-finals of the Women's Night Series as runner-up in Group A. Things started as planned for Subiaco who dominated the opening exchanges but were held at bay by a resilient Murdoch defence. Completely against the run of play Murdoch went ahead when the ball was drilled past a diving goalkeeper on 25 minutes. Some stern words from their coaching staff had Subiaco fired up for the second half. The equalizer came via a spectacular aerial effort by Olivia Probst, and not long after Meg Nikoloski put Subiaco in front with a blistering strike from just inside the 18-yard box. The win was secured by two goals in three minutes by Lydia Tomlins.
Current Premier League champion Northern Redbacks took out Group A by thumping Mandurah 7-0 at George Burnett Park. Inspired by the excellent distribution of Australian international Lisa De Vanna, the Redbacks were rarely troubled as they swept aside the top flight's newest addition. 14-year old Lilly Bilson ended the game with several goals while there was also stand out performances from Stephanie Grant, Ciara Conway and Carys Hawkins. Although out-played, Mandurah showed great fighting spirit and remained competitive right up until the final whistle. The win sets-up a showdown with northern suburbs rival Balcatta in the round of four for the Redbacks.
A tough Group B clash between Balcatta and Queens Park saw the latter emerge victors by a 2-1 scoreline. Both sides went into the game undefeated and with top spot on offer for the winner. Balcatta carved out a succession of chances over the opening period before being rewarded in the 16th minute when an inch-perfect cross from Jenny Poehl was into the path of Kylie Chatto who made no mistake in beating the goalkeeper. Fifteen minutes into the second half Queens Park drew level following a corner. Opportunities to go ahead presented themselves at both ends as the crowd was treated to some great football. With ten minutes to go a defensive error allowed Queens Park in to bag their second, and the deciding goal.
The points were shared by East Fremantle and Kingsley who drew 1-1 in the other group B fixture. Although they enjoyed the better of first half possession, Kingsley were unable to get the go-ahead goal as Sally Sanigar shot overt the crossbar and Katie McGrath found the side netting. After the break the story was much the same as Kingsley continually pushed forward without success. It was against the run of play then that East Fremantle took the lead through agreat solo effort from Katerina Jukic. Kinglsey weren't about to be denied, however, and close to the end Lisa Higgins put away the equaliser following a corner from Sanigar. Despite several close calls a deciding goal eluded Kingsley who were let down by some poor finishing.
It was a comfortable 4-1 win for E.C.U. Joondalup over Canning City when they met in the northern suburbs on Sunday evening. After a couple of near misses Joondalup went ahead through the hard work of Garin Collins and Oliver Hilton with the latter delivering the ball for Ryan Newhill to net from close-range. Collins, Tom Jones and Steve Porter all went close to extending the hosts lead before the break without success. Early in the second half Porter whipped in a cross which Anthony Jones headed past the goalkeeper. Ten minutes later Hilton and Matt Donlevy combining well for Tom Jones to knock in goal number three. Canning pegged one back only to have an own goal in the final minute complete the scoreline.
In an entertaining game at Wotton Reserve, Morley Windmills defeated Inglewood United 2-0. With several new signings on show Windmills took the lead when Steve Waycott volley home a well-directed free-kick from Scott McIlroy. The hosts were then denied two strong penalty claims, and had two further goals disallowed for marginal offside decisions. Eventually Windmills broke through for a second time with Ray Rose netting after being put through by Waycott. Several changes to the windmills line-up at the break opened the game up for a second half in which both teams created several chances with neither side able to put them away.
GASPAR RETURNS TO ASIA
Fremantle City’s hopes of signing Robbie Gaspar have been dashed with the midfielder accepting an offer to play in Indonesia. The port side was hopeful of adding Gaspar to their squad after spending the pre-season with Fremantle. But a one-year contract with Indonesian National League side Persita was enough to have Gaspar heading back to Asia. “We always knew that he really wanted to go overseas,” said Fremantle coach Steve Parkinson. “I believe he would have done a good job for us but he leaves on amicable terms. We wish Robbie well and will welcome him back at the club any time.” Gaspar is expected to feature in Persita’s opening game of the 2005 campaign this weekend.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
There are some interesting match-ups in the final round of Night Series group stage fixtures this weekend. The pick of the bunch is undoubtedly Perth S.C. verses Sorrento (6.15pm) at Dorrien Gardens with a place in the semi-finals guaranteed for the winner. The late Group A games pits Stirling Lions against Wanneroo City (8.00pm). Inglewood United need only a single point from their clash with Floreat Athena (6.15pm) to take out Group B. Bayswater City and Dianella White Eagles (8.00pm) go head-to-head in the final Group B match.
At the Edith Cowan University campus in Joondalup, host club E.C.U. Joondalup have been handed a 3-0 win after Bassendean Caledonian forfeited their meeting at late notice. The result leaves Cockburn City needing only a draw with Fremantle City (8.00pm) to claim first place in Group C. Western Knights need a big win over Balcatta (6.15pm) to remain in the hunt for the semi-finals, however, a draw will be enough for Swan I.C., who take on Armadale (8.00pm), to take out Group D which is based at Alfred Skeet Oval.
PETTERSON AN OPTION FOR GLORY
Fremantle-born Andy Petterson has put his hand up to be Perth Glory's first choice goalkeeper for the coming A-League season. Petterson, who'se most recently been on a short term contract with Notts County, has played in England for sixteen years and is keen to end his playing days in Australia's new league. In a nomadic career the 35-year old can count Charlton Athletic, Ipswich Town, Portsmouth, Luton Town and Swindon Town amongst his clubs.
Petterson is confident he could effectively fill the position as Glory's number one keeper. Ideally, that's what I'd like to do, Petterson said of his desire to return to Perth. For the last two or three years I've been looking that way, but with (Jason) Petkovic there it's been a closed shop. I still think I've got a good three years in me. I haven't played a great deal over the last three years so I'm pretty fresh.
Glory technical manager Mich d'Avray said Petterson was one of several options under consideration. He goes into the mix with a couple of other keepers, d'Avray said. Glory's only contracted goalkeeper is Serbia and Montenegro youth international Milan Jovanic who's still awaiting visa approval before arriving in Australia. It is understood former Parramatta Power goalkeeper Andrew Crews is also in Glory's sights.
HATTON BOLSTERS SWAN DEFENCE (courtesy www.swanic.com)
There were plenty of smiles in the Swan I.C. camp following the weekend Night Series defeat of Western Knights, but no one was happier than defender Trevor Hatton. The match signalled the end of a frustrating two years for Hatton whose been forced by injury to watch from the sidelines. "I seem to have gotten over the osteitis pubis that has plagued me, I still have a few niggles but I'm sure it's just my age, and with the right treatment and increasing my fitness I should be able to shake them,” said Hatton.
One of the black and whites longest-serving players, Hatton is looking forward to getting the new season underway and believes Swan have recruited well over the summer. "There’s a good bunch of lads at Swan this year,” he commented. “It's great to see Scott Campbell at the club, he’ll be a big asset for us in midfield, and along with Miki Vujacic and Michael Bushby we are looking good. We’ve some speed down the left flank with newcomer Jonathon Mathers, once he gets more games under his belt he will gain more confidence. Tommy Shepheard will be great for us and if David Foster can continue on from last year there will be a few worried defenders out there.”
Hatton was particularly pleased with how Swan kept their focus to come from behind and defeat the Knights. After suffering the setback of conceding an early goal from Stuart Montgomery, the black and whites regrouped and struck back with Tom Shepheard equalising just before the break with Campbell bagging the late winner. "We can take a lot from the game,” he said. “It showed that if we work hard and keep our concentration we can beat the top sides. Our problem is maintaining that intensity week in week out, if we can do this we will be a better team."
WASA CONFIRM LEAGUES FOR 2005
Football West have announced the make-up of their inaugural men's league competitions. Many of the leagues are as expected with the semi-professional First Division where Forrestfield United and Stirling Suns are in, and Leeming Strikers out. Forrestfield make their return to the semi-professional ranks after a twelve year absence, while the Suns are included despite their application for entry being received late. It's understood Leeming Strikers did not apply for entry to semi-professional ranks.
The semi-professional Premier League is as expected. The twelve team competition consists of 2004 First Division winner Armadale, Bayswater City, Cockburn City, Floreat Athena, Fremantle City, Inglewood United, E.C.U. Joondalup, Perth S.C., Sorrento, Stirling Lions, Swan I.C. and reigning champion Western Knights. All games are scheduled for Saturday afternoons.
The fifteen team semi-professional First Division features Ashfield, Balcatta, Bassendean Caledonian, Canning City, Dianella White Eagles, Forrestfield United, Gosnells City, Mandurah City, Morley Windmills, Olympic Kingsway, Queens Park, Rockingham City, South West Phoenix, Stirling Suns and Wanneroo City.
Twelve teams make up the amateur Premier League to be played on Sunday. The participants are reigning champion Shamrock Rovers, CN International, Colo Colo, Forrestfield United Amateurs, Hamersley Rovers, Murdoch University, Perth Azzurri, amateur Cup holder Spearwood Dalmatinac, Stirling Panthers and University of W.A. along with runaway First Division winner Lynwood Colts and runner-up South Perth United.
The twelve team amateur First Division consists of Ballajura, BB United, Belmont Villa, Fremantle United, Kingsley, Kwinana United, Joondalup United, WA Maccabi, Morley Windmills Amateurs, North Perth United, Suburbs United and Subiaco United. Fremantle and Kwinana drop down from the top flight while BB United and Joondalup move up from the Second Division. For a more comprehensive look at the make-up of the various men's leagues for the up-coming season visit the Football West website.
MILLER SEES A-LEAGUE AS GAMES SAVIOUR
Perth Glory defender Scott Miller is convinced the A-League will soon be the competition of choice for the nation's young stars. Although the trend has been for young players to seek out a professional career abroad, Miller believes that could soon be a thing of the past going on the calibre of people now being attracted to the new competition. "Within five years, we will be watching some fantastic football here and the young guys won't have to go overseas," said Miller, a former Australian international and one of Glory's most experienced players. The recent appointment of Steve McMahon as coach of Glory and the appointment of World Cup winner Pierre Littbarski to the helm of Sydney FC, has helped generate interest and excitement in the new domestic league.
ALDERSHOT LAND CACERES
Adrian Caceres has signed a week-by-week deal with English Conference outfit Aldershot Town. Recently released by Yeovil Town, Caceres said he was pleased with his debut outing for the Shots in Saturday's 1-2 loss to Barnet. "I haven’t played 90 minutes in a League game for quite a while, so I had to get used to the pace of the game, and hopefully I didn’t show that I was a bit too sluggish," Caceres commented. "Hopefully I gave a decent performance."
The attack-minded midfielder chose to settle at Aldershot after sounding out other possibilities since being released by Yeovil. "I had arrangements to go to a couple of different clubs and I came down on Thursday to train with the (Aldershot) team. I went over to Boston United on Thursday and had a look around, but I didn’t want to make a decision too soon. I wanted to keep my options open, so in the meantime I’m here trying to do a job for Aldershot."
Caceres is the first to admit that Aldershot is a world away from where he was this time last year when part of Perth Glory's national league set-up. "Sometimes you wonder what you’re doing," he said. "But obviously you’ve got to be professional and you want to make the best of it. So that’s why I’m here, to show that I’m professional and can still play, and hopefully somebody can see that. The Australian League at the moment is getting better and better, and it continues to grow, so at the moment it’s fairly strong."
KNIGHTS TIPPED FOR NIGHT SERIES GLORY
Western Knights are the popular choice lift the 2005 Night Series trophy according to the latest www.soccera.com poll. In excess of 300 votes were received during the past fortnight in response to the question 'Who will emerge as winner of the 2005 Night Series?' The Knights, reigning Premier League titleholder and Champion of Champions, collected 25.1% of the vote to finish well ahead of second-place getter Perth S.C. on 12.8%. Inglewood United (9.4%) ended the polling period in third place followed by First Division outfit Dianella White Eagles (6.8%). Fremantle City and Swan I.C. (5.5%) shared fifth spot with Cockburn City (5.2% close behind.
TICKETS GO ON SALE FOR TSUNAMI FUNDRAISER
Tickets for Australia's international friendly with Indonesia at Subiaco Oval on 29th March are now on sale. John O’Neill, chief executive officer of Football Federation Australia, said Subiaco Oval would be an ideal venue for the match. "Subiaco Oval has hosted some very significant events in recent times and we are delighted to be able to play this international match there," said O'Neill. "Perth Glory has shown by hosting grand finals there that the ground can generate a terrific atmosphere for football. It's a very special occasion with the proceeds going to a great cause.”
Bob Kucera, Minister for Sport and Recreation, said West Australians had already shown their strong support for Indonesia following the Bali bombing and the Boxing Day tsunami. “Visitors to Western Australia from Asia are growing and this match will be another opportunity to show the region we are not just a tourist venue, but generous friends helping neighbours at a time of need.” The State Government will be showing its support by chipping $250,000 to meet some of the event costs.
All proceeds from the match will go will go into the FIFA/AFC solidarity fund established to aid victims of the Asian tsunami. The fund was created to concentrate on reconstructing the footballing infrastructure in the affected areas including the rebuilding of pitches and supply of equipment. Tickets are available in three categories starting from $25 for an adult, $12.50 for a concession and $50 for a family of four (plus transaction fee). For further details on tickets contact Ticketmaster7 on 13 6177 or
MIDDLESBROUGH ON CARDS FOR GLORY
English Premier League club Middlesbrough could feature in Perth Glory’s pre-season plans if an ambitious plan hatched by Steve McMahon pans out. The coach, a former England international, has put out feelers to bring ‘Boro to Perth for a glamour friendly with Glory in July. And so far the English clubs’ response has been favourable according to McMahon. "I've been working hard on that and hopefully it will come to fruition," he said. "It's not 100 per cent sure by any means but it's got a decent chance of happening if they qualify for Europe."
McMahon is hoping Middlesbrough, whose squad includes England starlet Stewart Downing, Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and Dutch striker Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink, can maintain place towards the top of the English Premier League table. Should ‘Boro finish in the top six and qualify for the UEFA Cup they will be available to travel ‘down under’. However, a place outside the top six would mean Middlesbrough’s pre-season will be spend competing in the Intertoto Cup.
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This page was last updated on the 30th April, 2005