SPOT ON FOSTER GETS JOONDALUP THE POINTS
Relegation-threatened ECU Joondalup pulled of the surprise of the round by beating Premier Division leaders Bayswater City 1-0 at the Edith Cowan University campus. A drama-filled final ten minutes saw both sides reduced to ten players before newly introduced substitute David Foster decided the game from the penalty spot. “I’m extremely proud of the players. They showed great character to put in such a fabulous effort,” said Joondalup coach Salv Todaro, whose team remain in the drop spot but are now within touching distance of Western Knights, Armadale and Bunbury Forum Force.
Expectations of a one-sided game in which Bayswater would be a class above their hosts were far off the mark with Joondalup proving more than a match throughout the afternoon. The midfield tussle between Dale McCulloch and Paul McCarthy was alone worth the price of admission in a first half of very few genuine opportunities. Joondalup custodian Andy Banks made two crucial saves to keep his side in the game, both from Gustavo Giron-Marulanda. Tommy Amphlett and John Thornley were lively going in the other direction but struggled to break down a solid defensive line in which John Kearney and Andy Reale shone.
The second was end-to-end with both teams fashioning some promising openings. On the hour Mike Adamcewicz crossed in the direction of Shaun Timmins, who shot wide of the mark after the ball bounced awkwardly in front of him. Bayswater were threatening on the break but with Giron-Marulanda closely watched by Tommy Jones the visitors struggled in the final third. Amphlett tried his luck from long-range but it didn’t trouble Gianni Papalia. Then it was Bayswater’s turn, Cisco Jorquera releasing Gustavo Catarcione but he was thwarted by Scott Blackmore’s last gasp tackle.
Joondalup’s day took a turn for the worse when Jon Higgins was issued a second yellow card by referee Hugh Best with ten minutes to go. Seven minutes later Bayswater went down a man after Giron-Marulanda collected his second booking. With the ledger now even, Amphlett forced a smart save from Papilla in a seemingly last ditch attempt to steal victory. Foster had beenon the park two minutes when he was bundled over by Kearney, leading the referee to point to the spot from where the striker drilled into Papalia’s net to give Joondalup three vital points.
WILSON SPEARHEADS FLOREAT TO VICTORY
A couple of towering headers by Bobby Wilson secured Floreat Athena a 3-1 win over a spirited Western Knights outfit at Wauhop Park. After a scoreless it was left to Floreat captain Mark Pritchard to break the deadlock after which Wilson made the most of some poor defending to blow the difference out to three goals. “It’s been a good couple of weeks for me, scoring three goals,” said Wilson before stressing there is still a long way to go before trophies are won. “We can not get carried away or complacent. It’s a long, long season and we have a lot to do to win this league and show what we are made of.”
Floreat may have held the better of early possession but it was the hosts Jake Mann who fired the first shot in anger after 7 minutes, unfortunately, it was straight at goalkeeper Brad Eiffe. It was safety first a couple of minutes later when Knights veteran Ivan Zuvela’s conceded a corner by putting behind a dangerous cross from Mickey Roberts. The Knights grew in confidence as the half progressed. A Jesse Fuller corner was flicked on by captain David Annall for Rory Grant, who really should have done better than volley high. Grant went close again late in the half while Floreat’s best openings came the way of David Heagney and Jarrad Smith.
The second half was only minutes old when Grant again wasted a guilt-edged chance, heading straight at Eiffe from Mann’s pin-point delivery. Teenage substitute Jackson Turner out-muscled two Floreat opponents before steadying only to see his shot rebound off the post. Those misses were punished in the 59th minute when Wilson’s long throw-in evaded everybody except for an unmarked Pritchard, who headed powerfully into the net. To rub sault into the wound Floreat waited just six minutes before adding a second goal with Pritchard’s accurate corner finding the head of Wilson, who nodded in as Annall lay injured on the goal line.
The loss of Annall had a devastating effect on a largely inexperienced Knights defence which conceded for a third time 12 minutes later. Pritchard was again the provider for Wilson, who was allowed to rise unchallenged and head into Kevin Miller’s net much to the frustration of the Knights’ coaching staff. Referee Craig Cheeseman dismissed a penalty appeal for the home side after Fuller went to ground. However, with full-time just three minutes Mann scrambled the ball past Eiffe for the Knights consolation. The win keeps Floreat joint top of the Premier Division with Inglewood United while the Knights slip to tenth and perilously close to the drop zone.
INGLEWOOD SEE RED BUT WIN THE DAY
Inglewood United came away from Alfred Skeet Oval with all there points courtesy of a 3-1 win over Armadale. Michael Baczynski had the visitors in front at the break only for Wilf Dinsdale to level early in the second period. Inglewood regained the upper hand through James Sammut before Alex Caniglia sealed the win. “We knew it would be a tough game and it was,” said Sammut, whose side played close to have an hour a man down after Baczynski was sent off. “Credit to the boys, we had to do it with ten men for most of the second half. So we’re delighted with the three points and to keep our seven game unbeaten run intact too.”
Goalkeepers Cyril Sharrock and Devon Spence were called into action early, the former to tip over a Caniglia cross while the latter thwarted Ravi Kuppusamy. Sammut orchestrated Inglewood’s opening goal on 16 minutes by picking out Aleks Jovic whose superb cross from the left was nodded in by Baczynski from 7-metres. Armadale wanted a quick reply and almost had one when Joey Tavernese played in Kuppusamy but the striker’s shot flashed wide. Inglewood threatened again on the half hour, Dannie Richman crossing for Sammut whose close-range attempt was brilliantly saved by Sharrock. Spence ensured the visitors entered the break in front by saving from Alan Darlington and Tavernese.
Following the turnaround Armadale continued in much the same vein. Their efforts paid dividends in the 50th minute when captain Nick Viaggio sent a diagonal ball to Darlington, he transferred possession to Dinsdale who from the edge of the 18-yard box unleashed a low shot that flashed past Spence and into the net. Despite conceding Inglewood were soon back on the attack, and on 58 minutes reclaimed the lead. Jack Clisby surged forward to release Baczynski whose shot had the pace taken off it by Sharrock, who was helpless as Sammut rammed into the loose ball at close-range.
But Inglewood’s joy was short-lived as six minutes later Baczynski inexplicably lashed out at an opponent and referee Tim Mihevc had no hesitation in sending him off. This didn’t made no difference to the visitors who clearly wanted a third goal with Jovic’s curling effort saved by Sharrock. The result was made safe in the 69th minute when Sammut won possession and fed Caniglia, who challenged the Armadale defence before unleashing a powerful shot that burst Sharrock’s net. Inglewood almost added a fourth in stoppage time but a curling shot from David Perich was narrowly over the crossbar.
SHARLAND STARS AS PERTH THRASH SORRENTO
Perth SC picked up their first win in a month by whipping Sorrento 4-0 in a one-sided affair at Dorrien Gardens. Greg Sharland was the star of the show, scoring twice and setting up Andreas Oliveira to send the home side into the break with a three-goal buffer. Perth’s dominance flowed through into the second half but the only other goal came via the penalty spot from debutant Liam Boland. “After we scored the first goal you could see the relief and we then begun to play with a lot more freedom,” Sharland commented. “And once we play like that we can really control the game.”
Perth was on the attack from the outset but found it difficult to break down their opponents defences early on. That changed in the 18th minute when a brilliant free-kick by Sharland swung past the defensive wall and entered the net via the post with goalkeeper Curtis Aspden rooted to his line. Josh Pereira went close to increasing the hosts’ lead with a vicious swerving strike that rose over the crossbar. On the half hour Sharland made space on the left to send in a low cross which had the visiting defence ball watching as an unmarked Oliveira slammed into the net at close-range.
Sorrento were struggled to make an impact on the game so much so that it wasn’t until the 34th minute that Luke Martino was required to make a response, and a comfortable one at that from Ryan Pearson’s low strike. Sharland nearly added a third to Perth’s tally via another dead ball, however, on this occasion his shot was just off-target. Sorrento failed to heed that warning and on 36 minutes Sharland again stepped up to free-kick which from the top corner of the 18-yard box he placed firmly inside the near post to make it three-nil.
Boland’s first goal for Perth should have come shortly after the interval but the striker blazed high after meeting a Sharland centre. Todd Harnwell was presented a great opportunity to cut the difference on 54 minutes but shot into the side netting from James Morgan’s low delivery. Eleven minutes later Perth struck for a fourth time with Boland tucking in from the penalty spot after being tripped by Steve McDonald. A demoralised Sorrento was lucky not to concede again to Oliveira, whose glancing header from a Boland cross was just wide.
Perth was now in full flight and sensing further goals. Josh Wilkins cut past his marker to unleash a powerful strike which flashed over the bar. Oliveira cut the ball back into the path of Boland who was about to shoot when Daryl Platten intervened. Pereira charged out of midfield but his effort from distance was off-target, while substitute David Onoforo was thwarted by a smart save by Aspden. Sorrento mustered a few late half-chances, the best of which had Martino need two goes before taking possession of an angled strike from substitute Gavin Knight.
MATTHEWS SENDS MANDURAH TO THE TOP
Mandurah City claimed leadership of Division One with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Swan United at Hyundai Stadium. Graeme Matthews played the starring role with a second half double which came after Craig Tone fired the hosts ahead from the penalty spot. An attacking start produced some promising openings at both ends of the park before Mandurah claimed a 19th minute lead through Tone, who tucked in from the spot after Matthews was taken down inside the 18-yard box. The hosts were unlucky not to add to their tally before the break with Michael Grigo denied by Daniel Agudelo, and Tone volleyed agonisingly wide.
The second half was ten minutes old when Mandurah’s lead was increased, Grigo turning the ball over in midfield and feeding Matthews who shrugged off his marker to curl into the top corner. Any hope Swan had of getting back in the game were dashed when Matthews brilliantly volleyed past Agudelo after flicking up a throw-in from Ryan Townsend. Grigo’s afternoon came to a premature end soon after when was issued his marching orders for retaliation. Swan went one better by having John O’Reilly sent to the stands for dissent before Trent Wood joined his coach following a needless foul on Jay Bonser.
SMASH AND GRAB COCKBURN ROB ROCKINGHAM
Two goals in the final quarter hour saw Cockburn City come from behind to earn a point from an entertaining 2-2 draw with Rockingham City at Dalmatinac Park. Rockingham found their rhythm quickly and for the majority of the opening 45 minutes had their hosts holed up in defence. Lane Louvie appeared set to convert his teams’ dominance via a dead ball when Dejan Aleksic reacted brilliantly to keep the shot out of his net. It wasn’t until late in the half that the deadlock was broken through Papa Kpatar’s stinging shot from the edge of the 18-yard box which this time eluded Aleksic but not his net.
Rockingham opened the second on the attack and in search of a second goal. But they had to wait until the 74th minute for it to arrive with Wes Britz rising unchallenged to head in and seemingly seal victory. It was only now that Cockburn sparked into action and within 30 seconds John Hunter cut the deficit by lashing in after ‘keeper Matt Hamnett could only parry a Paul Lloyd shot. Parity was restored with five minutes to go through Lloyd, who made the most of a penalty awarded for a push on Hunter. Cockburn were now flying but a winning goal evaded them, despite hitting the woodwork four times over the closing stages.
DIANELLA BEGIN TO SOAR
Wanneroo City was sent tumbling from the top of the table by Dianella White Eagles, who claimed the spoils from this afternoon’s game at Dianella Reserve by a 4-1 scoreline. Dianella’s second win in eight day came courtesy of goals from Andrew Kiir, Andreas Theodosiades, Damon Kalamaras and Brendan Craig, leapfrogging them over Swan United and into fifth place. Wanneroo made a dream start with Garin Collins slipping the ball under goalkeeper Nas Farsalas after being played in behind the defence by Guy McDonald.
The day could have turned out so very differently for Wanneroo had McDonald’s shot not hit the base of the upright, or Darren Broxton been able to make something of a one-on-one with Farasala. Dianella coach Vesko Zmukic responded by injecting Kiir into his attack, with near immediate effect. Kiir hadn’t been on the park long when he restored parity by putting away a Craig cross from 6-metres. Craig was the provider again soon after, cutting the ball back for Theodosiades to unleash a scorching drive from the top of the 18-yard box which nestled in the top corner.
Dianella came out from the break to stroke the ball around confidently as Wanneroo tried to figure out how to get back on level terms. That task was made all the more harder by the control Simon Barber, Theodosiades and Craig had in the middle of the park. Kalamaras delivered the knock-out blow by motoring onto a long ball from Bojan Radinovic and rounding the ‘keeper to roll the ball into an empty net. Further gloss was added to Dianella’s performance when Craig got the goal he deserved, tucking in from close-range after Kiir beat two defenders and squared.
HOUSTON JUMPS MORLEY CLEAR
A superb strike by David Houston gave Morley Windmills their second win in as many weeks with a 1-0 upset of promotion contenders Ashfield at Wotton Reserve. The result is a giant step towards securing Morley’s Division One status next season, moving the club seven points clear of relegation threatened Fremantle Spirit and Forrestfield United. “It’s a fantastic result for us and a reward for the hard work that’s gone in over the last while,” said Morley captain Mark Grant. “We had the majority of the chances, hitting the woodwork on three or four occasions, and pressured Ashfield into playing to our strengths.”
Morley set their sail early with Houston lifting over the crossbar and Simon Wilson blasting wide from distance inside 10 minutes. Andy O’Neill twice threatened to break through, flashing one shot past the post after meeting a cross from Luke O’Neill before drilling another just high after dancing past a trio of opponents. It took until the 35th minute for Ashfield to scrape together their first opening but Ryan Frisina’s long-range effort was high. Houston ventured inside the 18-yard box by waltzing past a couple of defenders but Todd Bushby had his shot covered.
Young goalkeeper Michael Dudek was called into action for the first time soon after the break, saving from Mladen Kovacevic. Play soon returned to the opposite end where Andy O’Neill was denied by Bushby and then the post show in the space of a few minutes. Ashfield’s Karl O’Reilly lifted high a golden opportunity before man-of-the-moment Andy O’Neill slammed into the crossbar. Morley’s persistence was rewarded on 73 minutes when Houston got his angles right to head in at the back post from a Pygrum free-kick. Ashfield responded with some intense pressure but Dudek secured the home side would claim victory with a stunning save from Alex Stamatiadis.
SHAMROCK HAVE ENERGY TO BYRNE
An early second half double by Ciaran Byrne has stretched Shamrock Rovers unbeaten run to four games with a 2-1 defeat of Canning City at Hossack Reserve. Shamrock maintained the majority of first half possession but failed to convert a succession of chances which could have put them in a strong position by the break. A sweeping move ended with Byrne forcing a fine save from Steve Grant, whose reflexes were tested by Alan O’Mahoney’s excellent downward header. Canning’s best chance was on the counterattack but Michael Van Dongen was denied by the goalkeeper and Michael Lawson’s follow-up was cleared off the line. Just before the break O’Mahoney managed to get the ball past Grant but his header crashed into the crossbar.
Shamrock’s nerves were settled five minutes after the break when Byrne’s glancing header found the net from Barry Mulligan’s excellent delivery. With Brian Farrell running rampant in midfield, the visitors wasted no time in pressed on for a second goal. It arrived on the hour with Mulligan again providing a cross which Byrne stooped low to head in at near post. Canning now threw caution to the wind and looked to be gaining some momentum when Mark Trevisiol was issued his marching orders. Undeterred, the home team pegged a goal back through a spectacular solo effort by Daniel Trevisiol, who used his pace to hold off one defender before arrowing into the net from an acute angle with ten minutes to go.
GOSNELLS GET BACK IN THE WINNERS’ CIRCLE
Gosnells City’s five-game winless run has come to an end with today’s 5-0 trouncing of neighbouring Forrestfield United at Walter Padbury Reserve. A couple of corners from Paul Carlin laid on the opening two goals headed in by Liam Cave and Graham Tough. Gosnells added a third before the interval when Darren Gamble did all the hard work and Tiernan McMullen pushed into the net from only a few metres. A slick exchange of passes straight after the break was rewarded with McTiernan firing into the top corner after meeting Alan Carroll’s cutback. McTiernan then turned provider with his cross from the right volleyed in by Kynon Melling.
FEELY PUTS UWA IN THE CLEAR
UWA-Nedlands extended their lead at the top of Division Two with a 2-0 win over Joondalup City at McGilvray Oval. A goal early in each half by Rory Feely secured victory for UWA, who move eight points clear of nearest rivals Subiaco AFC and Fremantle United. “It was important to maintain our momentum and just get the points,” said UWA coach Kevin Burton. “We only look at one game at a time and today results elsewhere helped our cause. Overall we did what we needed to get the required outcome.”
The home side needed just 8 minutes to take the lead through Feely, who drilled into the net after getting on the end of Rob Spence’s flighted ball over the defence. Going a goal down had a galvanising effect on Joondalup but with Lucais King often left alone by himself in attack there were very few opportunities for the visitors to equalise. Joondalup’s decision to focus their defensive attentions on James Plowman kept him out of the game, however, they were fortunate not to conceded a second goal to Feely who put a couple of good chances wide of the mark.
A strong start to the second half by UWA reaped further rewards on 53 minutes when Brad Skea’s deep corner was headed back across the face of goal by Plowman for Feely to lash in his second goal at close-range. Joondalup worked tirelessly to cut the deficit but Steve Lane had one shot deflected wide and another save by the goalkeeper. New recruit Tom Wood shot into the post in the 75th minute as UWA kept pushing for further goals. The final chance came the way of Lane whose late header was tipped over by the ‘keeper.
PLUCKY FREMANTLE SEE OFF SUBIACO
Fremantle United moved to joint second in Division Two with a hard fought 1-0 win over Subiaco AFC at Rosalie Park. Andrew Morrow’s goal midway through the first half was all that separated the sides after 90 minutes and put Fremantle level with Subiaco. “Another one that got away,” commented Subiaco coach Ian Cowan, whose team have lost ground on leaders UWA-Nedlands with a trio of losses. “We played the better football, had by far the greater possession and created more chances but just could not put one away today.”
Subiaco had no problem getting deep inside the opponents 18-yard box throughout the first half. Their best opening had Frank Galvin brilliantly denied by goalkeeper Carlos Bervenotti after driving out of defence and playing a tidy one-two with Jordan Rhodes. But it was Fremantle that took the lead on 23 minutes when Darren Monaghan’s in-swinging free-kick was met by a towering header by Andrew Morrow. Tom Barrett made sure there was no addition to the scoreline before the break by saving well a strike by Morrow.
The second half followed much the same pattern as the first with Subiaco enjoying some good possession but unable to capitalise on their chances. Fremantle spent much of the period playing on the counter attack and felt aggrieved when the referee turned down appeals for a penalty for what was a blatant handball inside the 18-yard box. Subiaco attacked right up to the final minute when a nice ball to the back post was met by Niall Torpey whose header was superb kept out of the net by Bervenotti.
SANCHEZ DOUBLE LAYS FOUNDATIONS FOR MELVILLE WIN
Melville City inflicted more misery to cellar dwellers Quinns with a resounding 5-1 win at Gumblossum Reserve. A brace to Paul Sanchez and singles to Kudzi Chigwanda, James Castiello and Sasa Slavujevic ensured the long journey was worth it. Melville started strongly by controlling the tempo of play with John Brennan creating havoc down the right wing. But it wasn’t until the 35th minute that their efforts were rewarded with Sanchez on the end of some slick passing to slot past Quinns’ goalkeeper Anthony Cochrane. The home side looked to hit back straight away but while they strung together several promising moves Stewart Dalgarno remained untested between the posts.
PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
This week’s footballwa.net match of the week brings together Premier Division leaders Floreat Athena and an improving Western Knights at Wauhop Park. The Knights may be sitting well down the standings but Floreat custodian Brad Eiffe says that is no reason for complacency. “We will prepare for this game as if we were playing one of the teams at the top,” Eiffe commented. “The Knights seem to have improved over the last couple of games and will come out fighting. We will have to be at our best to see them off, which I think we are capable of doing.”
The Knights gave a good account of themselves last time out against Inglewood United and defender Ivan Zuvela believes his team have the ability to bring down Floreat. “It’s a big game for us this week, but the way our season is going every game is a big game,” he said. “We’re confident of getting a result, especially after the way we played Inglewood United where I thought we were the better team and deserved something from the game.” The Knights have been bolstered this week by the addition of German import Nils Mondre and former Gosnells City striker Jamie Burns.
Armadale and Inglewood United both welcome back players for their meeting at Alfred Skeet Oval. Mark McClements and Josh Maddison are in contention for the home side while for Inglewood it’s Michael Baczynski who is in for a return. Bunbury Forum Force knows anything less than three points at home to the National Training Centre will have a major bearing on which division they like up in next season. Scott Bushby and Nick Tatasciore are absent when relegation candidates ECU Joondalup host an in-form Bayswater City. The Balcatta-Stirling Lions fixture has been postponed until later in the season.
Sorrento will fancy their chances when they venture to Dorrien Gardens to play an out of sorts Perth SC. “A win would really help us cement our spot around the top of the table,” said Gulls defender Daryl Platten. “Perth haven’t been getting the results they want but we know how good they can be – the results of our last two meetings says it all.” Andreas Oliveira and Rob Sciascia are closing in on a return for the home side as Sorrento welcome back Danny Cain following suspension. All five Premier Division games – be they Saturday or Sunday – kick-off at 3.00pm.
DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
The pick of the games this weekend pits Mandurah City against Swan United at Hyundai Stadium. The Dolphins have won their last three games under new coach Billy Russell and another three points will keep the pressure on leaders Wanneroo City. “Swan are a good side, this is an important clash for us as we need to keep winning to get to the top of the table,” Dolphins defender Danny Dyson said. Although injury will prevent Swan captain Rob Montorosso and Rory Hollingum on the sidelines you can assured the black and whites will fight all the way up to the final whistle.
Leaders Wanneroo City will be without Jason Marsden and Craig Bowman for their trip to Dianella White Eagles. Cockburn City will be looking to build on the impressive form that’s taken back into the top three when they take on Rockingham City at Dalmatinac Park. Morley Windmills take an unchanged squad into their game with Ashfield at Wotton Reserve. There won’t be too much separating Canning City and Shamrock Rovers at the end of 90 minutes at Hossack Reserve. Gosnells City should take maximum points over neighbouring Forrestfield United at Walter Padbury Reserve. All six Division One games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION TWO PREVIEW
The pick of the Division Two action is the second verses third showdown between Subiaco AFC and Fremantle United at Rosalie Park. Subiaco have lost their last two games and a win here will keep them within reach of top spot, however, that won’t be an easy task with Fremantle also hoping to breath new life into their promotion hopes. Competition leaders UWA-Nedlands are expected to take the points over the visitors from Joondalup City. Quinns are back on home soil and full of confidence for their meeting with a depleted Melville City, whose absences include Simon El Chami, Mark Kendell and Michael Jennings. All three Division Two games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
NTC CLOSING IN ON WIN NUMBER ONE: ROUX
The National Training Centre have done it tough over the opening half of 2012 but defender Storm Roux isn’t about to complain. Roux, who spent his summer as a Perth Glory Youth player, believes his young team mates have held their own this year despite being winless after 13 games. “Although results haven’t gone our way we have played really good football and deserved to get more out of the games this season,” said the 19-year old starlet. “We have a team of young players and physically it has been tough but we try to stick to how we have been taught to play.”
Roux played junior football in his homeland of New Zealand prior to moving to Perth’s northern suburbs five years ago. After turning out for Sorrento and representing the State at Under-14 and 15 levels he entered the NTC program. Some strong performances on the local scene were rewarded with selection by Glory Youth. “The National Youth League is great. It gives players a chance to compete against the best young players from around Australia and show themselves off,” said the teenager. “It showed me what it takes to play at the highest level and it’s definitely my aim to play professionally, whether it’s in Australia or overseas.”
Roux is grateful for the guidance offered by coaches Kenny Lowe and Gareth Naven. “Kenny and Gareth both have different styles of coaching but both have the same aim to get their players playing a good style of football,” said Roux, who has been in the NTC program since 2009 and member of the Glory Youth squad for the past two summers. “I was coached by Kenny from an early age and I could not have asked for a better coach. It’s also been great working with Gareth, he is a very passionate coach and brings out the best in his players.”
Although winless, the NTC are safe from being relegated from the Premier Division on account of being a development squad for Western Australia’s future stars. That decision doesn’t sit well with many in the local football community but Roux says where his team is playing for points is irrelevant come kick-off. “To me playing for points is not really a big issue because it won’t change our attitude. Every week the boys go out there to play great football and always want to win games,” he explained. “Kenny Lowe, Gareth Naven and all the other coaches at the NTC have made a very professional environment for players to improve.”
The NTC make the long journey south on Saturday afternoon to take on Bunbury Forum Force. The teams last meet in April with Bunbury triumphing 2-1, however, the NTC have learnt a lot since then and Roux views this weekend’s encounter and a great opportunity for his team to score their first. “We are confident going up against Bunbury,” he said. “Our last game was very close and as the season has gone on we have gelled as a team … each week we feel like we are getting closer to a win.” The NTC take on Bunbury from 3.00pm this Saturday at Payne Park.
WE’RE STARTING TO CLICK SAYS QUINNS’ WHITLOCK
Stuart Whitlock is hopeful Quinns big win over Subiaco AFC will be the catalyst for a change in the fortunes of the club from the northern suburbs. Quinns had few rewards to show from their first 10 games in the State League before slamming four unanswered goals past Subiaco on Saturday. “It was good to get our first win in the State League,” said Whitlock, who has been with Quinns since his junior days. “We have been more than competitive in a lot of our games this year so it was good to finally get off the mark. I wouldn’t be surprised if it will be the start of many.”
It had looked like the writing was on the wall for Quinns when Gareth Hamilton was issued his marching orders after 15 minutes at Subiaco. However, captain Arran Maplestone provided the inspiration for a second half revival by scoring twice alongside goals by Adam Buckley and Rudi Coetzer. “After going down to ten men we all knew we had to put in a big shift,” 22-year old Whitlock said. “Some of the boys played out of their skin. To see some of our younger players lift to the level of State League, led by some of the older heads in the team makes for an exciting future for Quinns.”
The opening stage of the season has been tough for Quinns who, prior to Saturday, had collected just three points from ten games. “We always knew it was going to be a tough year. With new coaches and a completely new list of players it was always going to take us a while to gel,” Whitlock explained. “We have been more than competitive in the majority of our games but have failed to put together a full 90 minutes. It has taken a while to find out our best line-up and for our coaching staff to get us playing our best football but we are starting to click.”
A lot has been learnt from Quinns first six months in the State League according to Whitlock. “You have to earn your points in this league. If you’re not willing to put in a 90-minute performance then you shouldn’t expect to take anything away from the afternoon,” said the defender. “We have had a huge emphasis on developing team moral with every player needing to work for one another to get something out of the game. Any team that comes up against us now will see a much stronger team than they had before, that it should make for some interesting football.”
Quinns will attempt to make it back-t-back wins when they welcome Melville City to Gumblossum Reserve this Saturday. “There was obviously relief at getting our first win under our belts but it will be all for nothing if we don’t back it up this weekend,” Whitlock said. “Melville are a very good outfit, they seemed to play with ease against us last time when they had ten men so we have to make sure we don’t give them the same amount of room this time around. Our home crowd is due for a good performance, so hopefully this weekend will see us provide them with something to cheer about.”
TAGGART KICKS OFF NEW ERA WITH A DOUBLE
Teenage sensation Adam Taggart scored a first half brace to guide Newcastle Jets to a 3-1 victory in their first competitive hit-out of the A-League pre-season. Taggart, who was named in Australia’s Under-20 squad earlier this week, netted twice with James Virgili adding a third against Broadmeadow Magic, who grabbed a late consolation goal. “‘One of the better things tonight was how sharp young Taggart was,” coach Gary Van Egmond commented. “‘He got himself on the scoresheet a couple of times, created a few chances for others and could have scored a couple more himself. That was good.” Taggart and fellow West Australians Scott Neville and Mark Birighitti were amongst a host of fresh faces to catch the eye for Newcastle.
FLOREAT IN SAFE HANDS WITH EIFFE
Brad Eiffe has sent an ominous warning to the Premier Division field by stating Floreat Athena are only just beginning to hit their straps. A five-game unbeaten run has propelled Floreat alongside Bayswater City and Inglewood United at the top of the table with Eiffe promising their best is yet to come. “We have been playing really well over the last month and have again started to string a good run together,” said the goalkeeper. “We now have a great playing squad and competition for places has really hotted up. At the start of the season we had a good first 11 but now we have a great 20-man squad.”
The key to Floreat’s recent successes – which includes an emphatic 3-1 win at Perth SC and last week’s 9-1 mauling of ECU Joondalup – has been a rock solid defensive line anchored by summer recruits Bobby Wilson and Spencer Harris. “Bobby and Spencer have been outstanding,” commented Eiffe, who is himself new to the club this year. “They come with huge experience and are a calming influence in front of me. They don’t only have a huge input on the park but also off it, they’re easy to approach if any of the players have any problems and are really team orientated.”
Although Wilson and Harris have been standout players for Floreat this year, Eiffe says the big win over Joondalup was achieved only through the efforts of all eleven players on the park. “It was a great team effort,” said Eiffe, who was called into the action early. “Joondalup started well enough, forcing a smart reflex save from me and then I was fortunate enough to get a finger to another shot that went onto the bar. After that we dominated play and took our chances well. It was disappointing to concede, we switched off for a moment at the back and they took advantage of that.”
Last summer was one of significant change at Litis Stadium where youth team coach Chris Barbas was promoted to the senior post. Eiffe, who was one of over a dozen players recruited by Barbas, can’t help but be impressed by his clubs’ coaching team. “Chris and (assistant coach) Glen Grostate have been fantastic, they have a great work ethic and man management,” said 28-year old Eiffe. “There is nothing that you can’t approach them about, and with Chris being a fellow ‘keeper he had a great influence on me and has really put me on the right track.”
MATILDAS GET THE HOP ON FOOTBALL FERNS
A Sarah Walsh scored twice for an experimental Australian line-up which defeated New Zealand 2-0 in their friendly at WIN Stadium in Wollongong. Walsh netted in each half to return to the international scoresheet for the first time in two years following persistent knee troubles. “It was good to get back on the score sheet again … To be able to score two goals, especially in a match like this, was a huge relief,” said the striker, whose international goal tally now stands at 31 from 67 outings. The loss was far from ideal for the Football Ferns with the Olympic Games just a month away.
New Zealand paid the price for a string of wasted opportunities, which included Amber Hearn and Sarah Gregorious hitting the crossbar during a dominant opening for the visitors. A Matilda’s counterattack on the half hour broke the deadlock, Ellyse Perry delivering a perfect cross for Walsh to head in at close-range. There was a renewed confidence within Australia’s rabnks after the turnaround and on 57 minutes Walsh blasted into the top corner from 16-metres. Some penetrating runs by Stephanie Catley and Ashley Brown had New Zealand on the back for the rest of the game.
NATIONAL CALL-UP FOR YOUNG GUNS
A quartet of Western Australian teenagers have been selected in Australia’s 23-player squad for next month’s AFC Under-22 Championship qualifiers in Indonesia. Perth Glory pair Jesse Makarounas and Brandon O’Neill along with youth team defender Riley Woodcock and Newcastle Jets striker Adam Taggart will fly to Indonesia for the tournament at the start of next month. The Young Socceroos are scheduled to play five games in ten days – Indonesia (5 July), Macau (7 July), Singapore (10 July), Timor Leste (12 July) and Japan (15 July) – with the top two teams qualifying for the Under-22 Championship next January.
O’Neill’s section is the culmination of a memorable six months for the 18-year old, who only made his A-League debut in March and two months later signed his first professional deal with Glory. “I’m really humbled to be named,” said O’Neill on being named in a national squad for the first time. “Now I hope I can contribute to the squad and do my best for my country. I’d really like to thank all my coaches who have helped my along the way and my family for the endless and wonderful support.”
The Australia squad for the AFC Under-22 Championship qualifiers is Jake Barker-Daish (Adelaide United), Ben Garuccio (Australian Institute of Sport), Yianni Perkatis (Blacktown City), Corey Brown, James Donachie, Nicholas Fitzgerald, Jason Geria, Anthony Proia (Brisbane Roar), Nick Munro (Croydon Kings), Curtis Good (Melbourne Heart), Josh Brillante, Reece Caira, Connor Chapman, Mitch Cooper, Jack Duncan, Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets), Jesse Makarounas, Brandon O’Neill, Riley Woodcock (Perth Glory), Aaron Lennox (Queen’s Park Rangers), Terry Antonis, Daniel Petkovski (Sydney FC) and Giancarlo Gallifuoco (Tottenham Hotspur).
GOALS! GOALS! GOALS!
Bayswater City striker Gustavo Giron-Marulanda has back-to-back Golden Boots in his sights. Giron-Marulanda topped the goal scorer charts last year with 18 goals, a tally he is set to exceed having bagged that number of goals already despite the completion of only 13 rounds of fixtures. A rich vein in front of goal has taken Balcatta marksman Daniel Micevski to 12 goals, one more than David Onoforo (Perth SC), David Heagney (Floreat Athena), and Gustavo Catarcione (Bayswater). John Thornley netted 10 times for Balcatta prior to moving to ECU Joondalup. Sitting level with nine goals are Daniel Neiderberger (Perth), Aleks Jovic (Inglewood United), and David Foster (Joondalup).
Things are certainly heating up the race for the Division One Top Goal Scorer trophy. A weekend hat-trick has taken Mandurah’s Craig Tone to pole position with 11 goals after 13 games. In hot pursuit with nine goals are Ryan Frisina (Ashfield), John Monterosso (Swan United) and Brian Farrell, who scored a stunner on Saturday for Shamrock Rovers. John Hunter is without a doubt the competition’s form goal scorer, the Cockburn City player netting six times in his last four outings to move to eight goals. Joining Hunter are Adrian McBride (Gosnells City) and Josh Booysen, who snared a hat-trick on the weekend for Wanneroo City.
The Division Two Top Goal Scorer trophy is very much a two-horse race between James Purton of UWA-Nedlands and Joondalup City’s Lucais King. Purton has led the way since early in the season and a recent four-goal haul against Kingsway Olympic has kept him on top with 16 goals. But keeping pace over the past three months is King who has moved to 14 goals thanks to finishes in his last two outings. UWA’s Rory Feely is third with 10 goals to be one ahead of Andrew Morrow (Fremantle United) and Josh Rolls, the latter bagging a double on the weekend for Kingsway Olympic.
BUNBURY THE WINNER FROM HAY PARK UPGRADE
Football in the south west is the big winner with confirmation of funding for the long-awaited upgrade of Hay Park. The Hay Park South Multi-Sports Pavilion, home of Bunbury Forum Force, has been granted a $4.5 million upgrade which will include a clubroom, toilets and change room facilities, referee’s rooms, a meeting/training room, kiosk facilities, a first aid room and storage for several sports. The majority of the funding comes from the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program ($2.8 million) with the City of Bunbury ($1.3 million) and the Department of Sport and Recreation ($335,000) also contributing.
Bunbury president Albert Nascimento said the announcement was reward for years of hard work on and off the field. “It has been a long time coming and a lot of hard work has gone into it by a lot of people even before I was on the scene,” said Nascimento, whose club moved to Payne Park this year to meet Premier Division ground criteria. “It’s not only something for the Bunbury Forum Force, I think the whole South West community will benefit from the upgrade.” Nascimento is hopeful the pavilion to be ready for the start of the 2013 State League season.
BAYSWATER STAY ON TOP
Bayswater City made clear their Premier Division title aspirations by whipping traditional rivals Perth SC on a sunny afternoon at Frank Drago Reserve. Much of the damage was done in the first half with Gustavo Catarcione and Francisco Jorquera putting the hosts into a comfortable position before Perth had Sebit Oyet dismissed as the sides headed in for half time. Catarcione grabbed a second goal after the interval with substitute David Sesay wrapping up the points. “We worked hard at training all week and we put in a great performance,” Bayswater captain Gianni Papalia said. “We knew if we won it would give us a five point break on them and keep us top of the table.”
Perth were quickly into rhythm with their first chance on goal coming after only 4 minutes, Josh Pereira’s shot was deflected wide and from the resulting corner James Isaia headed past the target. Oyet then found space deliver a superb cross to Antonio Naglieri whose shot was pushed around the post by Papalia. With their first attack Bayswater took the lead, Ross Cosgrave getting clear down the right to send in a delightful cross which Catarcione netted from close-range in the 11th minute. Perth hardly had time to catch their breath when their situation worsened with Jorquera sending the ball past Alex Dunn after being found by Catarcione’s centre.
Now two goals down, Perth re-established control and enjoyed plenty of possession but found the going tough in the final third. Naglieri and Pereira tried their luck from distance, however, neither shot required a response from Papalia. Gustavo Giron-Marulanda almost added a third Bayswater goal in the shadows of half-time, the striker spotting Dunn off his line and from long-range attempted to lob over the ‘keeper who back-tracked quickly to capture the ball. As the teams were heading towards the changerooms for half-time referee Michal Jasinski showed Oyet a straight red card for lashing out at an opponent.
The addition of David Onoforo and Josh Wilkins looked likely to pay dividends for Perth on the resumption of play. Wilkins sped away down the right and picked out Onoforo but his goalbound strike was deflected wide by Andy Reale. Bayswater made the most of the extra player on 57 minutes when Catarcione’s low shot entered the net via the upright after being set-up by Giron-Marulanda. The visitors were still searching for a way back into the game but with John Kearney and Reale outstanding at the back there was simply no way through. The icing was put on Bayswater’s cake in the 89th minute, a quickly taken Kearney free kick releasing Sesay who finished clinically past Dunn from 10-metres.
VALE LOU RICCI
The football family is mourning the loss of Lou Ricci, who passed away peacefully on Thursday, 21 June. Ricci’s 40 years of service to the local game commenced with East Fremantle Tricolore where he was a committee member, vice-president and president. During the 1980’s he turned his attention to State administration, rising to the position of president with the Soccer Administration of WA and later was a key figure in Soccer Australia granting WA a place in the National Soccer League. Ricci’s contribution to the game was acknowledged with induction into the Hall of Recognition of the Football Hall of Fame WA in 2002.
INEXPERIENCED MATILDAS DRAW WITH NEW ZEALAND
Matildas coach Tom Sermanni praised his players’ fighting spirit after earning a last-gasp 1-1 draw with Olympic-bound New Zealand at WIN Stadium in Wollongong. An early second half goal from Hayley Moorwood was a just reward for New Zealand’s dominance but with full-time approaching Thea Slatyer robbed the Football Ferns’ of what would have been their first win over the Matilda’s since 1994. “There’s a great deal of character (in the squad),” said coach Tom Sermanni, who was missing wealth of international players currently involved in overseas club campaigns. “We’ve got a lot of debutants and inexperience in the team. We’ve got a bright future ahead. Given the circumstances, I was pleased with the number of chances we created.”
The closest either side came to scoring in a tight first half was an Amber Hearn chip which sailed over an out of position Melissa Barbieri, who breathed a sigh of relief when the shot hit the post. New Zealand stepped up after the break but Hayley Moorwood directed her shot straight at Barbieri. The visitors were rewarded in the 50th minute when Moorwood headed back at the near post, leaving Barbieri a helpless spectator. New Zealand goalkeeper Jenny Bindon was forced to make two brilliant one-handed saves to deny Laura Alleway and Hayley Raso as Australia sought to equalise. That didn’t happen until the 93rd minute when Slatyer’s header found the net.
FLOREAT SCORE NINE OUT OF TEN (with Kalon Harrison, Football West)
A seven-goal first half laid the foundations for Floreat Athena’s 9-1 thrashing of ECU Joondalup at Litis Stadium. Ludovic Boi netted twice in quick succession in the first half along with Bobby Wilson, Spencer Harris, David Heagney, captain Mark Pritchard and Mickey Roberts to have the visitors cruising. And while Scott Bushby pulled one back early in the second period there was no stopping a rampage Floreat as Heagney and Pritchard each snared second goals. “It’s absolutely massive, we’ve managed to pull off an absolutely amazing result today and it puts us top,” said Heagney, whose double takes him to eleven goals for the season.
A positive start by Joondalup gave way just after the quarter hour when Floreat piled on three goals in the space of five minutes. A partially cleared corner was retrieved and crossed by Boi for Wilson to head in after 17 minutes. Wilson turned provider by nodding the ball back across the face of goal for Harris to poke in from a couple of metres. Boi then unleashed a precision shot from just outside the 18-yard box across goalkeeper Andy Banks and inside the far post. Joondalup were twice denied a reply, Tommy Amphlett crashing into the crossbar and a few minutes later Dave Calder’s shot brought a superb reflex save from Brad Eiffe.
An unmarked Boi punished those misses in the 27th minute by tucking into the net the rebound from a Pritchard shot which cannoned back off the bar. Floreat’s fifth goal came just three minutes later, Heagney applying a low finish which gave Banks no chance of saving. Joondalup coach responded by bringing on Nick Tatasciore but just six minutes later he was harshly red carded by referee Tim Mihevc for bringing Heagney down inside the 18-yard box. And to rub salt into the wound Pritchard converted from the spot to make it six-nil. The half had just ticked into stoppage time when Roberts calmly netted from a Boi cross.
Joondalup managed to find an avenue to goal ten minutes into the second half through Bushby. But two minutes later a reckless challenge by the goal score left Mihevc no choice but to red card the goal scorer, leaving Joondalup to see out the game with nine men. The remainder of the afternoon was not surprisingly little more than a training session for Floreat. Their eighth goal came after 75 minutes with Heagney nodding in a fine cross to the far post by substitute Jarrad Smith. A minute later Pritchard converted his second penalty, this one awarded after a cross out of the air by Nick Davies, who was lucky not to also be issued his marching orders.
INGLEWOOD HOLD OUT TO PLUCKY KNIGHTS (with Ilija Mihalj, Football West)
Inglewood United fended off a strong finish by Western Knights to record a 2-1 win at Wauhop Park. Young attacker Aleks Jovic continued his goalscoring run by giving Inglewood an early lead to which Jack Clisby added midway through the first half with a stunning chip from long-range. The Knights worked their way back into the contest after the turnaround and were eventually rewarded with a goal to Jesse Fuller. And although the Knights dominated the latter stages they were unable to find the second goal they so desperately sought at their new home ground.
The ball had been in motion just 9 minutes when David Perich switched play to the left from where Ryan Clarke teed-up an unmarked Jovic for the visitors opening goal. Parity should have been restored seven minutes later when Ivan Zuvela’s lofted free kick found the head of Rory Grant, who nodded straight at goalkeeper Francis Soale. It was a miss that would prove costly as, in the 25th minute, the impressive Clisby was afforded far too much time to send an exquisite lob over the head of ‘keeper Kevin Miller, who was only marginally off his line but couldn’t prevent the ball from entering his net.
The Knights came out from the break full of attacking intent. Captain David Annall had a goal disallowed while Grant headed wide from Fuller’s inviting cross. Fuller turned the game on its head in the 71st minute when Soale was unable to keep out his thumping half-volley which found the top corner. James Sammut should have restored Inglewood’s two-goal buffer but shot too close to Miler in a one-on-one. That sparked the Knights back into action but the closest they came to equalising was in the 87th minute when Zuvela’s shot on the turn was met by the commanding figure of Soale.
ARMADALE TAKE HOME A POINT FROM BALCATTA
Armadale again showed their fighting spirit to earn a 1-1 draw with Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. The home team took the lead soon after half-time through Moe Atak but midway through the half American import Joe Tavernese brought the sides level. “With a depleted squad the boys showed plenty of desire and character and stuck to the game plan to come away with a point,” said Armadale coach Lee Bamber, whose team moved a little further clear of the relegation zone. “We could have come away with all three points if we’d been more composed in the final third.”
Balcatta settled quickly to dominate the early exchanges. Daniel Micevski fashioned their first opening on 10 minutes by finding David Micevski, he beat defender Mitch Castrilli only to shoot past the target. It was pretty much one-way traffic with the home team piling on the pressure, however, Castrilli, Nick Viaggio and Nathan Costello worked tirelessly to keep the side level. Daniel Micevski was at the heart of Balcatta’s better attacking moves and only a last ditch tackle by Castrilli prevented the striker from getting off a shot after being played clear by Jason Barrera.
Having weather the storm, Armadale started to get more involved after the quarter hour. Alan Darlington and Darren Francis combined but the latter shot wide of the target, then Bobson Koroma’s ill-directed goal kick went straight to Ravi Kuppusamy whose crisp strike was brilliantly saved by the Balcatta goalkeeper. As half-time neared the momentum swung back to the home side. A David Micevski free-kick was parried by Cyril Sharrock and cleared by his defence, while Adam Tong went close with a header just moments before the whistle blew.
The second half was seven minutes old when Balcatta finally found a way through, Barrera playing the ball out wide to Shane Nunes whose cross was fired into the net by Atak. Armadale weren’t to be outdone and on 69 minutes Tavernese tapped into an empty net after Koroma lost his footing and spilled a Kuppusamy cross. Balcatta pressed late but a lack of cohesion robbed the home side of any meaningful chances on goal. Castrilli almost nicked the points for Armadale but after exchanging passes with Francis to go clear he placed just wide with just Koroma to beat.
LYONS ROARS IN BUNBURY
Stirling Lions struck twice in the last four minutes to come from behind and down Bunbury Forum Force 3-2 at Payne Park. New recruit Matt Lock put Bunbury in front only to have Anthony Lyons equalise within minutes. The home side regained the lead through Steve Howson and it looked like staying that way until Kyran Nunes and Lyons netted late to steal victory. “It’s a big win for our club and I’m delighted to have scored the winner,” commented Lyons. “We dominated the first half had a number of good chances, but to be fair the home side stuck in there (but) I always believed we would get the victory.”
Genuine chances on goal were few and far between in a tight first half. Bright Ababio’s volley in the half hour was well saved by Stirling’s 18-year old goalkeeper Drew Jenke. Play quickly moved to the opposite end where Andy Brown sent clear Lyons, who rounded home custodian Ryan Montgomery but hit his shot wide of the target. As the half came to a close it was Stirling whose desire for a goal was greater. Montgomery kept the teams level with a brilliant save that thwarted Adam Luca, and soon after Brown’s shot from 18-metres crash off the crossbar to further frustrate the visitors.
Bunbury came out firing after the break with Howson and Aiden Savory both looking dangerous. On the hour a long throw by David Winskill caught the home defence at sea but not Lock, who headed into Jenke’s net. That lead last all of five minutes before former Bunbury player Jamie Tandy found space down the left and picked out Lyons, who made no mistake beating Montgomery at close-range. Bunbury responded to this setback in the 75th minute when Savory flicked a long ball on to Howson whose low shot was too good for the ‘keeper.
At this stage Bunbury appeared to have the game sewn up, however, Stirling had much different ideas. With four minutes of regulation time remaining Jamie De Abreu skipped past one defender to crossed in the direction of Nunes whose headed finished up in Montgomery’s net. Two minutes later Jason Gavin’s through ball caught the home defence square as Lyons nipped in to lob over Montgomery and give Stirling all three points, much to the delight of the travelling supporters. The win keeps Stirling in seventh place, three points outside the top five, while Bunbury remain as many points above the drop zone.
SORRENTO DEFEAT SPIRITED NTC (with Tommy Doleman, Football West)
Sorrento took maximum points over the National Training Centre for the second time this year, downing the youngsters 3-1 at Percy Doyle Reserve. The last time the sides met Sorrento chalked up eight unanswered goals and it looked as though a similar scoreline was in the offing when Gavin Knight posted the Gulls early opener. However, the NTC rallied and after some tidy possession Sahr Musa brought the sides level. Brodie Martin restored the Gulls deep in stoppage time before Reece Vittiglia sealed the win with a stunning strike after the turnaround.
It took Knight just 3 minutes to open his account by lobbing into the unguarded net from 25-metres after a defensive mix-up saw Jordan Franken’s poor clearance gift possession to the Sorrento striker. The NTC responded with a series of attacks, the best of which had Moses Kalau force a good save from goalkeeper James Morgan after a marauding run down the left. Their reward arrived on 23 minutes when Musa tucked into the net after Slobodan Vulin’s spot kick was blocked by Morgan.
Sorrento immediately set about wrestling back the lead. Jason Mirco got free out wide to cross for Stuart Montgomery but his finish brought a superb low save out of Franken. The NTC were just as keen to post their second goal. Some tidy movement through the midfield football produced openings for Borbor Sambindi and Musa but neither player was able to get the better of Morgan. The half was four minutes into stoppage time when Sorrento regained the upper hand with Martin side-footing in from 5-metres after Michael Aspin’s cross was headed back across goal by Johny Mirco.
The second half was controlled by Sorrento. Todd Harnwell should have done better than shoot straight at Franken, who later breathed a sigh of relieve when Montgomery crashed the ball into the side netting. The result was spectacularly put beyond doubt in the 70th minute, Johny Mirco’s pass was dummied by Steve McDonald for Vittiglia to hammer into the top corner from 23-metres. The final margin would have been even greater had Vittiglia and Todd Harnwell been able to make more of late chances.
O’NEILL GIVES MORLEY SOME BREATHING SPACE
Morley Windmills gave their chances of remaining in Division One a massive boost with a 1-0 win over relegation rivals Forrestfield United at Wotton Reserve. The home side started at full pace with good chances coming the way of Mark Grant, Kris Dennis and David Houston inside the quarter hour. The inevitable breakthrough arrived on 21 minutes when Grant lofted over the defence for Andy O’Neill to slot in, despite the raising of an offside flag. James Monks let fly from distance in an attempt to spark some life into Forrestfield. However, much of the action was taking place at the opposite end where Luke O’Neill and Robbie Ftynogiannis stung Luke Woodfin’s gloves before Andy Griffiths placed narrowly wide.
Forrestfield returned from half-time fired up and immediately set about taking the game up to their hosts. A clipped pass over the defence by Wade Farmer landed at the feet of Ben Fraser but he blazed over the crossbar, while Chris Perrott and Shannon Benniston also went close to equalising after getting in good positions. With 20 minutes to go Morley started to come back into the game. Substitute Michael La Cava squandered a golden opportunity to seal the win before Simon Wilson hit the net only to have it disallowed for offside. James Harold put wide an chance to equalise at the opposite end, while in stoppage time Luke O’Neill placed wide.
SHAMROCK HOLD WANNEROO TO A POINT
A stunning late strike by Brian Farrell has earned Shamrock Rovers a 3-3 draw with Wanneroo City from an entertaining tussle at Ashfield Reserve. The game was end-to-end from the opening whistle with an organised Wanneroo side working hard for their possession and spirited Shamrock side competing just as strongly. The deadlock was broken after 16 minutes when Guy McDonald’s cross from the right was brilliantly headed in by Josh Booysen. Wanneroo’s lead was doubled soon after with Booysen’s shot from distance slipping through the gloves of goalkeeper Phillip Shiel. Shamrock refused to lie down and a sharp left-foot effort by Ciaran Byrne went in off the post to make it two-one at the break.
Shamrock took their game up a notch for the second half. Barry Mulligan deservedly brought the sides with a finish of the highest calibre, the striker volleying into the top corner after Nathan Diaz sliced an attempt to clear. Against the run of play Wanneroo regained the lead with Booysen completing his hat-trick from the spot following a soft penalty call by the referee. The visitors could have wrapped the game at this point but Brad McDonald shot past the post and Booysen scooped over the crossbar from a Chris Pugh cross. Those misses were punished in the 83rd minute when Farrell surged forward from the halfway line to blast a rising shot from 25-metres into Clint Davies’ net.
MANDURAH SLAM EIGHT PAST LUCKLESS FREMANTLE
Six different players contributed to Mandurah City’s 8-1 humbling of Fremantle Spirit at the Hyundai Stadium. Mandurah’s third win in a row keeps them hot on the heels of Wanneroo City, albeit it having played one game more than the Division One leaders. The home side’s account was opened early by Michael Grigo who, after a short corner routine with Jeff Bright, burst into the 18-yard box to put away a pass from Robbie Hamm. Bright played another corner to Hamm whose cross was headed into the crossbar by Oliver McGee with Craig Tone threading in the loose ball.
Graeme Matthews was the architect of Mandurah’s third goal by sending an inch-perfect through ball to Grigo whose first time cross was clinically finished by an unmarked Tone. Fremantle’s day took a dramatic turn for the worse on the half hour when goalkeeper Daniel Morgan exited the game with concussion resulting from a collision with Bright. The visitors’ didn’t threaten until shortly before the break when Lam Gai sent through Josh Auguste, who was brilliantly denied by Phil Straker in a one-on-one.
A positive start to the second half by Fremantle culminated in Gai reducing the deficit after some tidy combination play by Sean Treacey and Auguste. In the space of ten minutes Fremantle’s game then fell apart. Ruben Manyang came off the bench to collect two quick yellow cards then injury forced Kross Kamara out of the action, and having used their three substitutes Fremantle played out the final 20 minutes with nine men. So it came as little surprise when Mandurah further extended their lead through Matthews, who shrugged off his marker to fire beyond the ‘keeper and into the roof of the net.
Sam Thommason scored his first goal as a Mandurah player with a fine shot from the edge of the 18-yard box that bobbled past the ‘keeper. Another of the Dolphins new recruits Craig Simms honoured his first team debut by lashing into the bottom corner of the net from 22-metres to bring up the hosts sixth goal. Fremantle were working overtime to stem the flow but a sloppy challenge on Bright resulted in a penalty kick which Tone despatched into the net. The scoring was completed when Bright fired in from the edge of the area after getting on the end of a flick by Tone.
COCKERELS WIN BATTLE OF THE BIRDS
Cockburn City consolidated their place amongst Division One’s leading pack with a comfortable 3-1 defeat of Swan United on a chilly afternoon at the Swan Italian Club. Pre-match expectations of a tight game were put to bed after just 10 minutes when Paul Lloyd beat two defenders and squeezed the ball past Daniel Agudelo to put the Cockerels one-nil up. From that point on it became a one-sided affair with Matt Salmon, Marc Anthony, Lloyd and Devon Gibson ensuring it was Cockburn that was on top. The highlight of the day came on the half hour when Euan Grant drove out of defence and played a tidy one-two with Gibson before rifling into the back of the net.
The second half was in much the same fashion with Swan under pressure at the back for lengthy periods with relief coming in the form of the occasional counterattack. The home teams’ failure to properly clear from a corner was punished by John Hunter, who rammed the ball into Agudelo’s net. With a three-nil lead Cockburn now eased off, allowing coach Mike Lyons to make full use of his bench. The final whistle was near when Michael Tronchin grabbed Swan a consolation, the midfielder racing a loose ball out of midfield which he sent past visiting goalkeeper Dejan Aleksic. The win puts Cockburn just one point off top spot whereas Swan remain fifth and with their hopes of promotion fading fast.
CANNING SNEAK WIN
Josh Findlater popped up late to snatch Canning City a 1-0 from their meeting with Gosnells City at Walter Padbury Reserve. Canning looked the goods early and twice went close to taking the lead through Findlater. Allan Creer was at his best keeping out Findlater near post effort and soon after the striker headed high of the target. Gosnells then came into the game but the closest they came to finding an avenue to goal was a Tom Kennedy header which went over the crossbar. A vicious Michael Lawson free-kick forced another fine save from Creer but the teams remained level at the break.
The second half opened with Jamie Burns shooting the wrong side of the upright. Gosnells were now in control and although there were several attempts on goal from distance Steve Grant remained untroubled. The momentum swung in Canning’s favour midway through the period but shots by Findlater, Lawson, Michael Van Dongen and Garth Lecky all eluded the back of the net. The dismissal of a player late on only turned the screws on a Gosnells defence already working overtime. And with just three minutes of regulation time to go Anthony Campbell and Lawson combined for Findlater to send the game’s solitary goal into Creer’s net.
DEBUTANT CRAIG LEADS TEN-MAN DIANELLA TO VICTORY
Dianella White Eagles survived the first half dismissal of their goalkeeper to defeat Rockingham City 6-4 at Dianella Reserve. Brendan Craig bagged a hat-trick on debut with Spiro Nenadic, Andreas Theodosiades and Bojan Radinovic also on target for the home team. “This result speaks volumes of the character and potential of the young guys in our side. To say everyone at the club is proud of the team would be an understatement,” said Dianella captain Matt Battigelli, who was harshly sent off midway through the first half.
Ten minutes was all that Dianella needed to assert themselves on the game via Simon Barber’s quick free-kick which released Craig who made no mistake in a one-on-one with the ‘keeper. Rockingham drew level ten minutes later with Darren Clark scoring a penalty at the second opportunity after Trevor Laure was felled by Battigelli, who was harshly issued his marching orders by the referee. Almost immediately Dianella reclaimed the lead, Theodosiades’ corner travelling to the far post where the ball deflected off Nenadic’s and into the back of the net.
The second half was only a few minutes old when Craig played through to Barber, who cut the ball back for Theodosiades to place into the bottom corner. Substitute Rafael Insaurralde should have reduced the deficit but failed to finish his chance, then replacement ‘keeper Nas Farasalas pulled off a great save to deny Laure. But Rockingham’s hopes of a late comeback were dealt a blow when a seemingly legitimate tackle on Craig saw the referee award a penalty to the visitors which Radinovic converted past Matt Hamnett.
With fifteen minutes to go Rockingham did pull a goal back via Lance Louvie’s free-kick, however, Craig soon restored his teams’ three-goal buffer by beating two defenders and tucking past the ‘keeper. It looked as though that would be the end of the scoring but both teams felt there were more goals in the offering. Rockingham’s third goal arrived when Roy Hissey teed-up fellow substitute Insaurralde. But it was Craig who would have the final say by netting from a narrowing angle arrowing after a mix-up in the home defence.
PURTON KEEPS UWA IN THE LEAD
UWA-Nedlands extended their lead at the top of Division Two following a 2-1 win over Melville City at Len Shearer Reserve. The opening goal by Roberto Lujan was cancelled out by Mark Kendall only for Steve Purton to determine the outcome late. UWA put their hosts on notice after 4 minutes when Purton’s long-range drive clipped the outside of the upright. James Plowman was unlucky not to break the deadlock midway through the first period when his far post header trickled along the goal line before being cleared by Kudzi Chigwanda. For their part Melville were content to soak up the pressure and play on the counterattack, an approach which produced very few genuine openings.
Melville came to life following the turnaround and grew on confidence as the minutes ticked by. This momentum was interrupted in the 70th minute when Lujan seized upon a poor throw and streamed down the wing before cutting inside to side-foot past exposed goalkeeper Stewart Dalgarno. Things got worse for Melville with midfielder Michael Jennings issued a straight red card after an altercation with ‘keeper Gavin Doran. Although a man down, the hosts restored parity through a Graham Herd free-kick which Mark Kendall headed in. This sparked UWA into a flurry of late attacks before a cross to the far post by Guy Clark was met by Purton, who had plenty of time to place his header beyond the dive of Dalgarno.
QUINNS MAKE HISTORY AT SUBIACO
A ten-man Quinns produced one of the upsets of 2012 by bringing down Division Two high-flyers Subiaco AFC 4-0 at Rosalie Park. A brace from Aaran Maplestone was followed by singles to Adam Buckley and Rudi Coetzer as Quinns registered their inaugural win as a State League club. But the day didn’t begin quiet so positively for the northern suburbs outfit who, with 15 minutes gone, had young gun Gareth Hamilton red cared for a raised elbow. This should have tipped the balance of play in Subiaco’s favour but Quinns showed they are made of sterner stuff by matching in every department their opponents from the opposite end of the table.
Quinns came out for the second half looking anything but a team winless from their previous ten games. Some penetrating runs by Maplestone eventually saw him rewarded with the go-ahead goal, and shortly after the midfielder really threw Subiaco onto the ropes by converting from the penalty spot. Buckley came off the bench to put away the visitors’ fourth goal after which Coetzer sealed the win. Subiaco threw every at their opponents in an attempt to salvage the afternoon but found few ways past the safe hands of Anthony Cochrane and twin defensive towers Shane McEntaggert and Stuart Whitlock.
KINGSWAY WIN COMES AT A COST
Kingsway Olympic collected their fourth win of the campaign by out-shooting Joondalup City 5-3 in an action-packed encounter at Iluka Sports Complex. Wayne Culverwell and Josh Rolls grabbing a brace each with Elliott Rose getting the remainder, however, not all the news was good for Kingsway as injury forced Andy Bowyer, Rose and Glen Thomas to leave the action early. “Although we were delighted with the win the score line should have been even more in our favour,” said winning coach Stuart Banks. “We were disappointed with the injuries we picked up but luckily we have the bye next week so we should have everyone back for our next game.”
Kingsway’s early initiative was rewarded when Culverwell found the corner of the net after being played through by Farrell Hedges. The margin was soon doubled by Rose, who reacted quickest to lash in after goalkeeper Matt Hill could only palm away Hedges’ shot from outside the 18-yard box. Culverwell spotted the ‘keeper off his line and with a tidy first time shot lobbed into the net his second goal. Joondalup had few answers as Kingsway heaped on the pressure. An insightful pass by Hedges sliced open the home defence and put the ball at the feet of Rolls, who make no mistake with the one-on-one opportunity.
As half-time approached Joondalup came back into the game. Mark Thornton sent an explosive shot past Ben Towers whose defence failed to properly clear a 32nd minute cross by Steve Lane. Rubbing rub salt into the wound Bowyer was forced to leave the field after suffering a hamstring injury in the lead-up to that goal. Joondalup were now flying and a handball call against Joe Armitage allowed Lucais King to further reduce the deficit, albeit after his initial effort was saved by Towers who was judged to have moved off his line prematurely. The pressure was now on Kingsway and the loss of Rose to an ankle injury make matters only worse.
Banks was forced into making another change at half-time with an ankle complaint leading Thomas to become the third player to succumb to injury. Having re-grouped during the break, Kingsway were quick to resume the attack and in the 56 minutes a good run by Rolls ended with him fending off a defender and putting goal number five past Hill. The visitors’ dominance of possession led to numerous other second half raids on their opponents goal but on each occasion they were held out by Hill. In the final minute of play Jodie Thomson converted a second Joondalup penalty after being fouled by Armitage
PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
Frank Drago Reserve is the place to be on Sunday for the blockbuster showdown between Premier Division leaders Bayswater City and reining State League champions Perth SC. “It’s a huge derby against Perth, who have taken only one point from their last four games,” said Bayswater coach Mauro Marchione, who does not expect the game to have a major bearing on which team will finish the season at the top of the table. “It will be hard for everyone to predict who will win the regular season, the league is wide open with at least seven teams able to win it.” Bayswater are at full-strength for the game following the return of Cisco Jorquera, Steve Turnbull and Paul McCarthy.
It may have been a tough month for Perth but Basil Lenzo says a derby win can breathe new life into their season. “Whilst disappointed with results, we have been playing well and maintaining a standard that makes us more than competitive,” said the assistant coach. “We are up for a great challenge on Sunday and what better occasion for us to rise than against an in-form Bayswater. Our goal is to get the win and affirm our belief in our ability … I hope the football community turns out in numbers for what will be a great game.” Matt Danskin, Daniel Niederberger and Josh Wilkins have put their hands up for first eleven spots after strong performances off the bench last week.
Saturday’s action has joint leaders Floreat Athena, who have taken points from their last four outings, on home soil to an ECU Joondalup side which is without John Thornley (back), Matt Italiano (hamstring), Fraser Maguire and Billy Quinncroft (neck). Armadale will be missing Tom Biss, who has returned to New Zealand, along with Mark McClements and Josh Maddison (both suspended) when they travel to Balcatta. Stirling Lions are hopeful of ending a three-game losing streak away at Bunbury Forum Force. Defenders Jamie Harnwell and Danny Cain will be absent when Sorrento takes on the National Training Centre at Percy Doyle Reserve.
Inglewood United, who share top spot with Bayswater and Floreat, travel to Wauhop Park where they face a Western Knights side fresh from collecting their first win in eight league and cup outings. “The Knights are going to be very tough, as are all games in the league this year,” said Inglewood’s Alex Caniglia. “I’m looking forward to the game and hoping that we can reproduce a performance like we did last week when we beat Joondalup 6-0. The football we played was excellent and the structure Graham Normanton has put in place is working.” All six Premier Division games – be they Saturday or Sunday – kick-off at 3.00pm.
DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
The relegation six-pointer between Morley Windmills and Forrestfield United at Wotton Reserve is the pick of tomorrow’s action from the second tier. These two sides – along with Fremantle Spirit – have struggled through the opening months of the season and a win here will go a long way to ensuring their Division One status in 2013, as Phil Butler acknowledged. “This game will have a major bearing on both teams for the rest of the season,” the Forrestfield coach said. “I hope my lads can put up a good performance and take the next step in this re-building phase for the club.”
On the other side of the fence sits Jason Van Rooy who has full confidence in his side. “This game is very important to us,” said Van Rooy. “We have quality all over the park but at the moment we need to have a bit more belief in our ability and play for 90 minutes rather than 50 or 60 minutes. If we can do this the results will start to go our way.” Van Rooy’s options have been boosted with this week’s return of Andy O’Neill and veteran goalkeeper Grant Heard to the club, however, Chris Bradley remains sidelined by injury.
Swan United and Cockburn City both want maximum points from their meeting at the Swan Italian club to stay in touch with the leaders. Shamrock Rovers have a tough home encounter with top of the table Wanneroo City, who’ve gone four games since conceding a goal. Rockingham City are tipped to claim victory from their trip to Dianella White Eagles, but Fremantle Spirit are likely to leave Mandurah City empty handed. Gosnells City are confident of collecting their first win in a month when Canning City drops in at Walter Padbury Reserve. All six Division One games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION TWO PREVIEW
Subiaco AFC coach Ian Cowan will expect a much improved performance from his player when they meet as an as-yet-winless Quinns at Rosalie Park. Jordan Rhodes, Ger Fitzgerald and Joe Kresling have important roles to play for the home side, who slipped from top spot following last week’s surprise loss at Melville City. Nick Mapletsone will need to prove his fitness if he is to come into the first eleven for Quinns, whose playing stocks have been left decidedly thin by the recent departures of Adam Buckley and Todd Hoyle.
Joondalup City will need to be on top of their game if they are to get the better of Kingsway Olympic SC at Iluka Sports Complex. Matt Hill and Lucais King will be vital to the visitors hopes while for Kingsway it’s Farrell Hedges and Glen Thomas who will determine how their afternoon pans out. A minutes’ silence will precede Melville City’s home clash with high flying UWA-Nedlands. Melville’s Keith Nolan will miss the game after his cousin, James Nolan, passed away during the week while in Poland at the European Championship. All three Division Two games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
KEARNEY LEADS BAYSWATER BY EXAMPLE
The on-field leadership of John Kearney has been instrumental in Bayswater City’s move to the top of the Premier Division table. Kearney, one of the top flights standout players, has been pleased with what his team have achieved so far this year and is confident that momentum can be carried through to remainder of the year. “Things are going very well this season,” said the Bayswater captain. “We set out at the start to fight for the top spots and at the moment we are doing that so hopefully we can keep that form going right until the end.”
Bayswater claimed leadership of the Premier Division on the weekend by seeing off the National Training Centre 2-1. It’s a just reward for the club whose successes so far were inspired by a pre-season Night Series final loss to Perth SC according to Kearney. “We were really disappointed not to win the Night Series, but after that loss we regrouped, trained hard and stayed focus,” he said. In keeping their focus Bayswater avenged that loss to Perth before defeating Inglewood United and Floreat Athena, amongst others, to sit on top of the pile.
Kearney, 27, moved to Perth last year from his homeland of Ireland, where he wore the club colours of Cork City, Cobh Ramblers and Waterford United. “I’m really enjoying my time in Western Australia. Obviously the weather and beaches and the lifestyle out here are a lot better than Ireland,” he said. “My girlfriend, Lorraine, wanted to come to Australia and do a bit of traveling. The current economic situation in Ireland isn’t great so when the opportunity came about I jumped at the chance.”
First port of call in Perth for Kearney was Division One side Shamrock Rovers. “I really enjoyed my time at Shamrock and made some really good friends there,” said Kearney, who appearances in the second tier brought him to the attention of Bayswater twelve months ago. “We were fighting with Bunbury Forum Force and Wanneroo City for the title but were not able to keep the run going through to the end of the season. Shamrock is a great club and I’m sure in the next year or two they will be fighting to win Division One again.”
Leaving Shamrock may have been difficult but Kearney is certain he made the right decision. “We were fighting for the title and I didn’t want to let people at the club down but once I had spoken with Mauro Marchione and Gerry Maio I knew I was making the right decision,” he explained. “Mauro is someone I respect very much. He is always honest and open with his players and also demands 100% from you week in, week out. Mauro is also very thorough in his preparation for training and games which he makes very enjoyable.”
Since linking up with Bayswater Kearney has been filled a number of roles for Marchione, who had no hesitation handing him the captain’s armband this year. “John is a great player and a very professional one,” said the Bayswater coach, who utilised Kearney in the middle of the park last year while this term he’s operated in the centre of defence. “Wherever I play him he always performs at the highest level possible. He’s a great leader too and he leads by example on the pitch.”
Bayswater come up against Perth for the third time this year on Sunday when the sides meet at Frank Drago Reserve at 3.00pm. “We, as a team, are really looking forward to the Perth game,” said Kearney. “We respect them very much as they have dominated football here for the last ten years and are a very tough side to beat. But we believe that we have some of the best players in this league and can beat anyone in this competition. So it’s up to us on Sunday and for the rest of the season to prove that.”
VICTORIA BECKONS FOR MITCHINSON
Perth Glory Youth captain Sam Mitchinson will open a new chapter in his career next week when he joins Victoria Premier League club Oakleigh Cannons. Mitchinson, 19, has signed with Oakleigh until the end of the current season but is hoping his time with the club can lead to another opportunity in the national league. “I’m very excited to be heading over to Oakleigh,” said Mitchinson, who made his A-League debut for Perth Glory towards the end of last season. “Hopefully playing in Victoria will give me the opportunity to put myself in the shop window with A-League clubs from the east.”
Mitchinson was with English club Walsall before moving to Perth with his family in 2004. After representing the State at junior level as a Subiaco AFC and Cockburn City player he entered the National Training Centre program. “My first season with NTC I spent warming the bench,” explained Mitchinson. “I knew I had to work hard and the next season I captained the team and ended up being selected for Glory Youth when I was 16. We made it to the Grand Final that year, losing 2-1 to Gold Coast United but playing at Etihad Stadium was a great experience.”
Kenny Lowe and Gareth Naven, coaches of the NTC and Glory Youth respectively, have had a huge bearing on Mitchinson being the player he is today. “Kenny and Gareth are two of the best coaches I have played under. I have learned a lot from them, they have had a massive influence on my development,” said Mitchinson, who played four winters under Lowe and three summers with Naven. “I hadn’t played centre half until I joined the NTC so the challenge of a new position changed my career.”
There has been and continues to be resistance to the NTC playing in the Premier Division, but Mitchinson says playing at that level as a teenager was vital to his development. “Playing against bigger and stronger opposition is challenging for younger players but it’s an important part of your development,” commented Mitchinson, who says comes kick-off its eleven verses eleven out on the park, irrespective of your opponents age. “There is a lot of resistance but there is a lot of respect shown from both sides on match days.”
As a Glory Youth player Mitchinson rubbed shoulders with the senior squad on the training track where his efforts were rewarded by coach Ian Ferguson with an A-League debut against Melbourne Victory in mid-March. “It was the best moment of my footballing career so far,” said Mitchinson, who replaced Brandon O’Neill late in the game. “The initial plan was to replace Scotty Neville however I ended up taking Branno’s place as he came down with cramp. The atmosphere was electric and I thought I did well in the 15 minutes I had on the pitch.”
Mitchinson leaves his home of the past eight years next week. The defender says he didn’t have to think twice when the offer to join Oakleigh came about. “Since I was a kid I have always wanted to be a footballer so the decision to leave was fairly easy. My parents have always supported my dream but telling my girlfriend I was leaving was difficult,” said Mitchinson, who intends making an immediate impact at his new club. “I want to become a regular in the team and help them achieve success, all the way through to the Grand Final.”
SCHOOLBOYS HAVE MEDAL POTENTIAL SAYS CAMPBELL
The State Schoolboys are a medal chance at this year’s School Sport Australia National Championships according to team manager Tony Campbell. The squad has been honing their skills under the watchful eyes of coach Alf Debono and Campbell for the past few months in preparation for the tournament in Townsville which kicks off at the start of August. “It’s a good strong squad that we hope will bring a medal home this year,” said Campbell, who is preparing for this third Schoolboys tournament.
Campbell considers this year’s squad as better than that which finished fourth in 2011. “We have a solid squad, one that is potentially better than last year,” the team manager said. “The key factor is that we depth in experience for the first time in three years with six players returning from last year’s squad. All of those boys had a good tournament last year with Friday Zico and Scott Witschge making the national team, so they all know what to expect and there’s the added bonus they can pass this knowledge onto the new players.”
Initial tryouts for the Schoolboys were held in mid-March when close to 100 players attended trials north and south of the river. Within seven weeks that number had been cut to 22 players with the final squad selected after a series of friendlies against local clubs. “There was a decent standard (of players) at the trials and it was great to see some National Training Centre boys try out for the first time in a few years,” Campbell said. “However, there were a lot eligible players who didn’t try out which is a bit disappointing.”
Campbell admits he is at a loss as to why interest in the Schoolboys is not greater. “It’s a high standard competition and another way players can get noticed,” he said. “Last year the Australian Schoolboys team were undefeated against Schoolboy teams in England and Ireland with a few of the lads getting trials at clubs. And yet there seems to be the perception that the Schoolboys are a second rate State team. I’ve been involved with both Football West State teams and the Schoolboys there is little difference in the standard of the competitions.”
The Schoolboys have a hectic scheduled with the nationals now just over a month away. “We have a game verses Ashfield this week and another with Stirling Lions next week. From there we have three training sessions to work on a few specifics, and there is also a camp in the first week of the school holidays,” said Campbell who is quietly confident of his teams’ chances in Townsville. “New South Wales will again be the favourite but with a bit of luck and some good conditions I think we are in with a shot at a medal.”
The 2012 State Schoolboys squad is Jordan Mirco (Balcatta), Jake Luik (Bayswater City), Corey Utterson (Bunbury United), Shannon Beniston (Forrestfield United), Ioaisa Saemo (Floreat Athena), Scott Witschge (Inglewood United), Declan Hargreaves, Jordan Miller (ECU Joondalup), Gabriel Kieswetter, Mohamed Mansaray, Marco Santaluca (Perth SC), Dhuor Chol, Friday Zico (National Training Centre), Masresha Beyene (Shamrock Rovers), Razack Geloo (Sorrento) and Ryan Tucker (club unknown).
BIRIGHITTI AIMS TO BE NUMBER ONE AT NEWCASTLE
Newcastle Jets recruit Mark Birghitti is ready to become a regular A-League starter after playing second fiddle for the past four years. in the A-League with the Jets next season. Birighitti was understudy to Eugene Galekovic for much of his stay at Adelaide United but following his move to Newcastle has made it his goal to unseat regular custodian Ben Kennedy. “I want to get that number one spot,” Birighitti said. “To do that I have to work hard and prove myself in training and when I do get an opportunity do well. Ben is a good goalkeeper and he had a great year last year. I’m looking forward to the challenge we’ll have for each other in training.”
Newcastle goalkeeper coach Bob Catlin said the competition for places is likely to bring out the best in Birighitti and Kennedy. “That’s why we signed Mark. We want a real contest for that number one position and obviously the one that has the spot needs to be playing well to keep the other one out and that’s a bonus for the club,” said Catlin, before adding Birighitti’s composure on the ball and ability to play out from the back are what made him attractive to Newcastle. “He’s teriffic with his feet and has really good depth perception as well, so he fits the mould of exactly what we were looking for.”
Birighitti, 21, said the decision to join Newcastle was made easier by the fact he had prior dealings with coach Gary Van Egmond as well as other members of the squad. “I heard it was a good club and I’ve got some mates here,” Birighitti said. “I’ve had Gary at the AIS and he’s a great coach and it made my decision to leave Adelaide a lot easier, knowing that he was here. I found it difficult not knowing anyone when I first moved out of Canberra to go to Adelaide to my first professional club. Coming to a club where you’ve played with players in the national teams does make it a lot easier.”
2012/13 FIXTURES TO FERGUSON’S LIKING
Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson has welcomed a Grand Final re-match with Brisbane Roar on the opening day of the 2012/13 A-League season. Ferguson is keen to get another crack at the champions, this time at Subiaco Oval, after Glory controversially went down in stoppage time at Suncorp Stadium in April. “I’m really looking forward to it,” said Ferguson following today’s release of the coming season fixtures. “Every game is a tough game but to get the champions - and the manner we lost the Grand Final – I’m sure there’ll be a little bit of spice there.”
Ferguson said he was happy with the overall balance of the draw, which includes a single trip to New Zealand. “I’m reasonable pleased with the way the draws went,” the Glory coach said. “Last year we had a lot of games away from home and at certain times we had some road trips as well which was really bad from when we started up until Christmas. There are two games at most that we are away from home, and then two at home, so it sort of evens itself up.”
KNIGHTS BRING BOSNICH WEST
Mark Bosnich, arguably Australia’s greatest ever goalkeeper, is heading to Perth as a guest of Western Knights. Bosnich made 272 appearances for English clubs Manchester United, Aston Villa and Chelsea plus another 17 with the Socceroos before his stellar career came crashing down at the age of 30 after failing a drugs test. The former Socceroo will be the guest speaker at a fundraising lunch for the Knights on 27 July at the Croatian Community Centre in North Fremantle. For the opportunity to hear Bosnich speak his mind on all things football, and maybe ask the great a question or two, contact email@example.com
PRE-SEASON OFFICIALLY UNDERWAY FOR GLORY
Perth Glory’s preparations for the coming summer campaign kicked off with their first pre-season hit-out today at AK Reserve. It’s been an off-season of significant change for Glory with five new faces in the squad, amongst them experienced defenders Scott Jamieson and Michael Thwaite. Coach Ian Ferguson is excited with the potential that lies within his teams' playing ranks. "Last year we had a really good, strong squad and I do believe again the squad is not as strong but what we have brought in is energy and mobility and potential for next season," said Ferguson.
There may still be two spots available in the Glory squad but Ferguson has no immediate plans to fill them. "With the budget where it's at there is basically no more cash at this moment. Where we are with squads and personnel is where we'll stay until I'm told otherwise," commented Ferguson. "It's going to be a difficult task (to win the championship) but we've got some very good experienced players that we've been able to hang onto and with that blend I'm hoping that we can push for the finals."
Ferguson said he hoped his players would learn the lesson from his time working with Central Coast Mariners, who qualified for the inaugural A-League Grand Final but twelve months later missed the play-offs. "The next season we came back I felt as though a lot of boys had taken it easy," he said. "That's got to be a learning lesson for these boys. A lot of people will be wanting to beat them and a lot of people will be wanting to take Perth Glory's scalp this year. We've got to be ready for that challenge when it comes."
BOLAND PUTS PERTH ON THE ROPES
A second half revival has seen Floreat Athena trump inner-city rivals Perth SC 3-1 on a sunny afternoon at Dorrien Gardens. Perth’s first half dominance counted for nothing after two quick goals from Liam Boland and another by Jon Brooks swung the game in the visitors favour. “It was a really intense game and we got the result we wanted the end,” said Floreat coach Chris Barbas. “We changed a few things around at half-time and made sure we were all defending behind the ball and not just groups of us so that obviously helped, it changed the game and it paid dividends as we scored twice in the first five minutes.”
Perth started strongly and could have been a few goals the better had Robert Sciascia, Greg Sharland and David Onoforo been able to make more of their numerous chances. With Antonio Naglieri dictating play from the centre it seemed only a matter of time before the hosts relentless attack paid dividends. But Spencer Harris and Bobby Wilson confidently dealt the danger and on the few occasions they were breached Brad Eiffe was on hand to ensure the teams remained deadlocked. Floreat didn’t really look like scoring until the 41st minute when Mickey Roberts shot was saved by an alert Alex Dunn.
The game was turned on its’ head in the second half with Floreat piling on three unanswered goals. The breakthrough came in the 48th minute when Boland stabbed in from close-range after Dunn failed to capture the loose ball created by Roberts’ shot which came down off the crossbar. Two minutes later Boland struck again, beating two opponents to go one-on-one with Dunn who was helpless as the ball was lifted over him and into the net. Lodovic Boi was the architect of Floreat’s third goal in the 63rd minute, the midfielder streaking past a couple of opponents before flicking into the path of Brooks, who confidently slipped the ball into the net.
Although shell-shocked, Perth hit back a few minutes later when Onoforo’s shot had enough run on it to sneak over the line with Floreat caught napping at the back. Onoforo could have brought his side back into the game but his 69th minute penalty miss pretty much summed up their afternoon. Even so, the home team continued to search for a way back in but a combination of poor delivery into the final third and some no-nonsense defence from the Floreat rear guard kept the score as it was. When “Athena, Athena” chants began ringing around the stadium it dawned on the Floreat players that they had no only done enough to seal victory but also to propel their team to joint top spot of the Premier Division.
PADDOCKS TO PITCHES
Football historian Richard Kreider’s upcoming book, ‘Paddocks to Pitches’, promises to be the most comprehensive history of the world game in Western Australia. Scheduled for publication this coming September ‘Paddocks to Pitches’ spans 120 years of football heritage in our State, from the scratchy beginnings of 1892 through to the modern day success story that is Perth Glory. Across a mammoth 800 pages Kreider delves into the evolution of the local game, along the way profiling key players and administrators, presenting a mountain of statistics and figures illustrated by in excess of 600 images.
Researched and compiled over a four-year period, ‘Paddocks to Pitches’ is the third football book by Kreider, who is without a doubt one of the most experienced, knowledgeable and respected football historians in the country. With a print run of just 1,500 ‘Paddocks to Pitches’ is expected to sell out, so to secure yourself a copy you need to act fast. ‘Paddocks to Pitches’ can be ordered through paddockstopitches.com, with those who pre-pay before 30 June 2012 having their names entered into an exclusive subscribers’ page in the book.
TURNER AT THE DOUBLE IN VITAL KNIGHTS WIN (with Ilija Mihalj, Football West)
A quick-fire double from young striker Jackson Turner helped Western Knights to a crucial 3-2 win over Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve. Turner honoured his first start for the Knights by scoring twice in the opening quarter hour to put his team in command. Joey Tavernese pulled a goal back soon after but Ivan Zuvela restored the visitors two-goal buffer by converting from the penalty spot just before the break. Ravi Kuppusamy gave Armadale a glimmer of hope only for that to be snuffed out by the late dismissal of defender Mark McClements.
It took Turner only 3 minutes to make his mark on the game, the youngster slotting past goalkeeper Cyril Sharrock after receiving a Rory Grant flick on. Eleven minutes later Turner made it two-nil with a clever finish past the ‘keeper following a period of intense pressure from the visiting attack. Some of the Knights hard work was undone 90 seconds later when a dreadful error by custodian Alfie Brincat gifted Armadale Tavernese a free shot at goal which the midfielder duly converted.
Despite this setback the Knights continued to dominate. Turner was through on goal when McClements took action by pulling back the attacker, referee Paul Anderson initially awarding a penalty but changing his decision to a free-kick on top of the 18-yard box after consulting his assistant on the line. Anderson’s decision not to send off McClements outraged Knights boss Willie Kelly, whose mood lighted when Zuvela lashed in from the spot after David Caine’s 41st minute shot hit the arm of a defender.
Armadale displayed greater composure after the turnaround and Kuppusamy should have done better than place wide in the 63rd minute. Kuppusamy redeemed himself two minutes later by tucking into the net on the end of a terrific team move. Turner squandered a chance to seal the game – and a hat-trick on debut - by hitting the bar at close-range. Armadale hopes of salvaging a point were crushed with the 90th minute red carding of McClements for his cynical trip on Turner, who had again managed to evade the defence and charge down on goal.
JOONDALUP LEFT HUMBLED BY MASTERFUL INGLEWOOD (with Tommy Doleman, Football West)
Young gun Aleks Jovic bagged a hat-trick to guide Inglewood United to joint top in the Premier Division with an emphatic 6-0 win over ECU Joondalup at the Edith Cowan University campus. The visitors were a class above throughout the afternoon with James Sammut, Jovic and Ryan Clarke on target inside 25 minutes to all but secure the points for Inglewood before the interval. Dannie Richman joined his team mates on the scoresheet ten minutes after the turnaround before Jovic added gloss to a stand-out performance with another two goals.
The early signs were ominous for Joondalup with Clarke and Sammut forced a couple of brilliant saves from Andy Banks. There were only 8 minutes on the clock when the breakthrough arrived, Richman playing into the path of Sammut who crisp strike from the edge of the 18-yard box hit the back of the net. Inglewood continued to heap pressure on their hosts defence and on 22 minutes they were again rewarded, Alex Caniglia getting the better of Cameron Burgess before crossing low for Jovic, who turned the ball in with his knee. Sixty seconds later Clarke tried his luck with a powerful shot from the left which came to rest in Banks’ net.
Inglewood found their attacking verve very quickly in the second half with Jack Clisby bringing the best out of Banks on more than one occasion. The gap blew out to four goals in the 55th minute when Caniglia’s threaded a delightful ball through to Richman, who didn’t break stride in going clear and rounding the ‘keeper before tucking into the net. Ten minutes later a defensive error was punished by Jovic, who bagged goal number five with a crisp drive from the edge of the area. Inglewood’s afternoon was made complete with seven minutes left, Caniglia again the architect by providing the ball for Jovic to hook in his third goal.
SORRENTO HOLD ON FOR VICTORY
Sorrento bounced back into the winner circle with a confident-boosting 3-1 defeat of Stirling Lions on an overcast afternoon at Macedonia Park. The visitors’ early pressure led Michael Pugliese putting the ball into his own net before Jason Mirco increased the difference to two-goals at the break. Andy Brown brought Stirling back into the game only for Todd Harnwell to seal the win in stoppage time. “I thought we bossed the first half and deservedly went in two goals to the good, but they came back at us in the second half,” said Sorrento coach Paul Price. “We made a few changes late to try and hold on to the points and nicked a third goal late, but overall I thought we deserved the three points.”
A fast opening produced chances at both ends of the park, Jason Gavin having a close-range header saved by goalkeeper James Morgan before Johnny Mirco’s shot from an acute angle hit the side netting. The deadlock was broken in the 7th minute when Ryan Pearson’s deep cross struck the far post and was deflected into the net by an unfortunate Pugliese. Reece Vittiglia almost double Sorrento’s lead but his long-range strike dipped just the wrong side of the cross bar. Goal number two did arrive in the 31st minute when a poor clearance by Hugo went straight to Jason Mirco, who had the simple task of firing into an empty net from 18-metres. Jamie Harnwell looked to have scored Sorrento’s third on the stroke of half-time but his header from a James Morgan free-kick was disallowed for a push on Gavin.
Stirling opened the second half well but Jamie De Abreu’s long-range attempt whistled past the post. Soon after substitute Matt Harold watched as his curling shot was captured by ‘keeper Morgan. All the pressure was now on Sorrento, who finally cracked in the 65th minute when Kyron Nunes’ pin-point cross found the head of Brown, who powerfully nodded in from 7-metres. The hosts stepped up their search for a second goal, Phil O’Callaghan heading narrowly wide before De Abreu’s shot met with the same fate. With the game in stoppage time and Stirling committing players forward Stuart Montgomery fended off two challenges before pulling the ball back for Todd Harnwell to send the ball past Hugo for a third time and secure Sorrento all the points.
MICEVSKI BOYS TIE BUNBURY UP IN KNOTS
Brothers Daniel and David Micevski shared all five goals when Balcatta handed out a 5-0 thrashing to Bunbury Forum Force at Grindleford Reserve. David Micevski got the ball rolling with Balcatta’s opening goal but after that it was Daniel Micevski who played the starring role with the four remaining goals to secure a deserved victory. “I enjoy going forward creating and scoring goals,” commented Daniel Micevski, who played as a striker in his junior days. “It’s great to have Dave back from injury, his inclusion has given us a much-needed boost. Every game from now on is very important, there is no room for error.”
Tidy movement on and off the ball had Balcatta on top from the opening exchanges of the contest. It took just 15 minutes for Bunbury’s rear guard to be breached for the first time with David Micevski gliding past two defenders and drilling the ball into the top corner from 17-metres. Although the hosts continued to dictate play, it wasn’t until the 38th minute that the lead was increased with Daniel Micevski slotting in after latching onto a long ball from Adam Tong. Goal number three arrived only three minutes later, Tong again releasing Daniel Micevski to convert past Ryan Montgomery.
Although three goals the good at half-time, Balcatta returned to the park hungry to score again. However, Bunbury were also desperate to find the back of the net and on 50 minutes winger Jayden Prosser sent wide their best chance of the afternoon. Fourteen minutes later Prosser was on the attack again until a sudden change in direction saw him drop to the ground with an ankle injury that led to his exit from the action. It took until the 83rd minute for Daniel Micevski to again slice his way through the defence and tuck into Montgomery’s net to complete his hat-trick. But the Balcatta striker was not yet finished and five minutes later converted from the penalty spot to take the score to five-nil.
FIRST HALF STRIKES PUT BAYSWATER OVER THE LINE
Bayswater City joined Inglewood United at the top of the Premier Division after grinding out a 2-1 victory over the Football West National Talent Centre at Frank Drago Reserve. Gustavo Giron-Marulanda gave the home side the lead early with captain John Kearney increasing the difference shortly before half-time. Although two-goals down the NTC refused to concede defeat and with the final whistle approaching Moses Kalau cut the deficit. Kenny Lowe’s teenage side pressed hard for a late equaliser but were held out by a resolute Bayswater defence.
Borbor Sambindi should have given the NTC a dream start but the attacker failed to hit the target with an open goal at his mercy. That miss came back to haunt the youngsters on the quarter hour when Giron-Marulanda picked the ball up in the middle of the park, beat two defenders then Jordan Franken to fire into an empty net. Kalau’s long-range attempt forced a good save from Tom Dixon as the NTC went in search of a quick reply. Unfortunately, their efforts went without reward and on 38 minutes Kearney sent a free-kick past Franken after Giron-Marulanda was felled on top of the 18-yard box.
Bayswater seemed content to sit back and soak up some pressure as the NTC chased the game in the second half. Kalau, Slobodan Vulin and Jordan Dodd were instrumental as the visitors mounted attacks, all of which fell apart in the final third of the park. The result was very nearly put beyond doubt when Marulanda stormed past a trio of opponents and crossed to the top of the 6-yard box where the ball narrowly evaded Patrick Quinn. The NTC’s persistence was finally rewarded in the 85th minute when Kalau blasted a free-kick from 19-metres into the top corner, giving Dixon no chance of making a save.
COLLINS EARNS WANNEROO TO POLE POSITION
Wanneroo City climbed back on top of Division One by eking out a 1-0 win over Gosnells City on home soil. Garin Collins was the scorer of the games’ only goal but the single-goal margin by no means reflected the extent for Wanneroo’s dominance. It took only 5 minutes for the home side to threaten through Brian Cairney whose powerful shot smashed against the post. This set the stage for a luckless first half for Wanneroo in which Cairney, Guy McDonald and new signing Kevin Heuvelink rained shots down on the goalkeeper. Gosnells didn’t really come to life until close to the break when Jamie Burns forced a good save from Clint Davies.
A controversial start to the second half saw Gosnells find the net via a free-kick, however, the goal was not allowed to stand for reasons shrouded in mystery to all other than the referee. This decision seemed to take the wind out of the visitors sails and for the remainder of the afternoon it was Wanneroo that did all the attacking but could not find a way past the ‘keeper. In fact it was looking as though this would not to be Wanneroo’s day when ‘keeper saved a Josh Booysen spot kick. However, with the clock ticking down Heuvelink slipped the ball through to Guy McDonald whose cross to the far post was volleyed in by Collins from close-range to settle the encounter.
MANDURAH ARE BACK IN BUSINESS
Mandurah City kept their title hopes alive with a 2-1 win over Ashfield at Ashfield Reserve. Craig Tone and Graeme Matthew put the visitors in a commanding position before Ryan Frisina struck with just minutes to go to ensure a tense finish. “I could not be more happy with the commitment the players showed against a very good Ashfield side,” said Billy Russell after just his second game in charge of Mandurah. “The players have responded to a different style of coaching from two old dinosaurs (Russell and his assistant Tom Kilkelly) with lots of passion.”
Possession was fairly evenly shared early on with Ashfield seeing slightly more of the ball. But it was Mandurah that opened their account first with 21 minutes gone, Craig Tone sending John Perkins the wrong way from the penalty spot. It didn’t take Ashfield long to resume the attack but Mladen Kovacevic’s shot was blocked by goalkeeper Phil Straker, who also thwarted Frisina with the follow-up. Mandurah could have increased their lead late in the half when Michael Grigo’s cross picked out an unmarked Tone but the striker’s header was misdirected.
Ashfield continued their search for an equaliser after the break but Matt Wardle’s long-range thunderbolt yards was off-target, an Alex Stamatiadis effort was blocked and Frisina was again denied by Straker. A 65th minute Mandurah counterattack was centred to Matthews who made no mistake with the close-range opportunity, although it did take two attempts to hit the net. Ashfield refused to give up the chance and had what appeared a legitimate Darryl Warren goal disallowed for a dubious offside call. There was better luck for the hosts on 88 minutes when Kovacevic’s chipped cross was headed in at point-blank range by Frisina.
DIANELLA LEFT SHELL-SHOCKED BY FIVE-STAR COCKBURN
A sizzling display by Cockburn City was handsomely rewarded with a 5-0 mauling of Dianella White Eagles at Dalmatinac Park. The visitors made a promising start with Simon Barber and Andreas Theodosiades calling the goalkeeper into action. But Cockburn turned the game on its head by scoring three times in ten minutes midway through the half. The first arrived on 25 minutes when Paul Lloyd cross somehow found Matt Salmon whose perfectly executed scissor kick gave Matt Battigelli no chance. Another break down the right had Lloyd again as provider with an unmarked Nick Carroll flicking into the net. Cockburn tightened their grip on the game when Paul Natale’s throw made its way to the free Marc Anthony, who released John Hunter to slip in goal number three.
It didn’t get any better for Dianella after the break with some insightful works by Anthony slicing open the defence almost at will. Had it not been for Battigelli the final margin would have been much greater, the ‘keeper spoiling a succession breakaways by Hunter and Salmon. But the tidal wave was just too great to hold back and it wasn’t long before Devon Gibson raced clear of the defence to score goal number four. Cockburn then won a series of corners, the third of which Hunter nodded just past the outstretched fingers of Battigelli from Gibson’s delivery. The win consolidates fourth on the table for Cockburn, who find themselves just three points off top spot, while Dianella remains mid-table.
TEN-MAN SHAMROCK GET A POINT AT ROCKINGHAM
Rockingham City squandered three valuable points by allowing a ten-man Shamrock Rovers to come from behind and steal a 1-1 draw at Lark Hill Sportsplex. The visitors were thrown onto the back foot early with the red carding of Barry Triggs, and when Trevor Laure headed in just before the break it seemed the writing was on the wall. However, Shamrock showed they are made of stern stuff and midway through the second period Ciaran Byrne netted to grab a share of the points. “We’re disappointed not to have taken three points today,” said Rockingham captain lance Louvie. “Credit to Shamrock, they worked really hard to make up for having a man less and a draw was probably fair in the end.”
Barely 90 seconds had passed when the game erupted in controversy with Triggs issued a very harsh straight red card for a seemingly innocuous tackle on Darren Lawlor. Rockingham almost capitalised within minutes, Papa Kpatar getting in behind the defence to cross for Laure who was denied a finishing touch by a defender. The visiting side returned fire and should have gone ahead but Damien Smyth placed wide of Matt Hamnett’s near post. Although slow to make the most of the extra player, Rockingham did eventually go ahead on 37 minutes when Louvie switched play to Wes Britz whose cross from the left was powerfully headed in by Laure.
Shamrock gave a much better account of themselves after the break. Parity was restored in the 55th minute when the home side failed to clear at a set piece and Byrne lashed in after being teed up by Brian Farrell. Rockingham’s response was swift but Britz’s shot rebounded off the post and away to safety. Shamrock custodian Philip Shiel was at his best in keeping out another Laure header with Britz again the provider. With fifteen minutes to go Byrne hit the upright with the ‘keeper well beaten, and soon after a penalty appeal for what appeared a clear handball was turned down by the referee. Lawlor could have made himself a hero but another fine save by Shiel saw that the points were shared.
FREMANTLE’s SPIRIT IS STRONG BUT IT’S SWAN THAT TAKES THE POINTS
Swan United struck a late winner to see off a ten-man Fremantle Spirit 2-1 at Nikola Tesla Reserve. Fremantle were first on the board through Lam Gai but were soon reduced to ten men with the dismissal of Michael Coyle. John Monterosso brought Swan level just before the break and it wasn’t until the 86 minute that Lucas Whitehouse stole victory for the visiting team. “There were a lot of positives for us from this game,” Fremantle coach Moe Atekhis said. “We showed great character playing with ten men for over 70 minutes against a good side and there were a couple of outstanding performances, namely Nagi Kodi and Elliott Williams.”
Fremantle needed just 14 minutes to go ahead with Gai making the most of the space afforded to him by lashing in from distance. The game was turned on its head eight minutes later when referee Taz Paraskevas issued Coyle his marching orders for two quick yellow cards. With this Swan lifted the tempo and on 29 minutes Monterosso seized upon a partial clearance to fire in. Fremantle goalkeeper Kodi denied Whitehouse, Trent Wood and Ando to keep the game level as Swan pushed for the win. Just as it was looking like the points would be shared Whitehouse netted from an 87th minute corner to decide the outcome.
SURVIVAL A STEP CLOSER FOR CANNING
Canning City collected their first home win of the campaign by out-gunning Morley Windmills 3-1 at Hossack Reserve. Goals by Michael Lawson, Joe Ives and Danny Trevisiol gave Canning not only the points but also widened the gap between themselves and the relegation zone. “We were very proud of the boys today,” said winning coach Paul Van Dongen. “Injuries have meant we have not been able to play the same eleven players two weeks in a row but the boys did everything we asked of them today. We are hoping the win gives us the platform to climb up the table and achieve objective number one for this year – survival.”
The day started out well enough for Morley but despite some promising moves they were unable to penetrate far into their hosts 18-yard box. A sloppy challenge at the opposite end of the ground gave Canning a free-kick which Lawson expertly sent past the defensive wall and into the bottom corner of Michael Dudek’s net. Morley did all they could to get back on level terms other than trouble goalkeeper Steve Grant, who watched as long-range efforts from David Houston and Luke O’Neill past the target. Ives tapped in Canning’s second goal after an error by Dudek saw him put the ball at his opponents’ feet inside the 6-yard box.
It took Canning just ten minutes of the second half to make the game safe, Trevisiol making no mistake from close-range after being found unmarked by a cross from the right. Like earlier, Morley wasted little time in fashioning a chance of their own but Adam Pygrum’s low shot from the top of the area was kept out by Grant. The introduction of Simon Wilson on the hour had the desired effect on Morley, who fifteen minutes later had Andy Griffiths denied a goal for offside. Full time was two minutes away when Griffiths shot hit the post and ricocheted into the net off a defender.
PLOWMAN HITS FOUR AS UWA ROUT KINGSWAY
UWA-Nedlands climbed back to the summit of Division Two with an 8-0 demolition of Kingsway Olympic on a gloomy afternoon at Kingsway Reserve. James Plowman led the way with four goals with Franny Du Plessis, Brad Skea, Roberto Lujan and Rory Feely also on-target. “We knew a result like this was coming, we just had to keep doing the easy things right and goals an clean sheets will come,” Skea commented. “It’s good to get back to winning ways, we worked hard all over the pitch. The result was crucial as it puts us hot on the heels of Subiaco, who have a game in hand.”
The game started ominously for Kingsway with UWA posting their first goal after only 4 minutes, Plowman turned his marker to place his shot across the goalkeeper and inside the far post. Eleven minutes the gap was widened with Steve Purton crossing for Du Plessis to convert at close-range. With this Kingsway sparked into life and started to see more of the ball, however, in all honesty the hosts rarely looked like scoring. That wasn’t the case at the other end where in the 45th minute Skea’s shot from distance deflected off a defender and into the goalkeeper’s net.
It was more of the same after the restart, Plowman helping the ball on to Lujan who coolly made his way past the ‘keeper to slot into an unguarded net. Kingsway toiled hard to find a response but debutant ‘keeper Gavin Doran remained unbeaten. Tidy work out wide by Skea saw led to him crossing for Feely to drill in, and shortly after Plowman headed in from a well-flighted Purton free-kick. Plowman wrapped up his hat-trick after being played in behind the defence then with full-time on the horizon Feely set up the striker for his fourth goal of the afternoon.
MELVILLE BRING DOWN SUBIACO
Subiaco AFC were sent tumbling from the top of Division Two after being surprised 2-1 by Melville City on a wet afternoon at Len Shearer Reserve. Goals by Mark Kendall and Simon El Chami did the damage but both teams would have felt unlucky not to have troubled the scorers further. First half chances were at a premium as the two sets of players struggled to adapt to a pitch that had copped its fair share of rain throughout the week. The best opportunity came the way of the hosts but Kudzi Chigwanda was unable to convert with the goal at his mercy after meeting a low cross from Michael Jennings.
The second half was only a few minutes old when Subiaco went ahead, some good movement down the left resulted in a Scott Wrightson cross which was Joe Kresling headed beyond Stuart Dalgarno. Melville now began picking holes in the opposing defence and via a Sasa Slavujevic corner to the back post Kendall headed in the equaliser. Subiaco should have regained the lead shortly after when a striker cut past two opponents only to have Dalgarno brilliantly keep out his explosive finish. Keith Nolan then had a chance to get Melville’s nose in front but put his shot too close to ‘keeper Tom Barrett in a one-on-one situation.
That miss was forgotten moments later when El Chami struck a fine shot on the turn which soared into the roof of the net to put Melville in front. The final ten minutes were frantic with both sides going all out to score. Melville twice spurned golden opportunities to make the game safe. Jennings should have done better than hit the crossbar while El Chami had too much time to weigh up his options and ended up shooting wide of the target. The three points consolidate fourth spot for Melville whereas Subiaco’s first loss in eight games drops them two points behind new leaders UWA-Nedlands.
MORROW KEEPS FREMANTLE IN THE RACE
Fremantle United stayed within reach of the leaders by defeating a spirited Joondalup City side 3-2 at Hilton Reserve. Andrew Morrow hit a hat-trick to secure all the points for third-placed Fremantle, who endured a tense finish after Jodie Thomson netted late to add to Lucias King’s first half strike. “The result was well deserved. We are finally playing how we know we can and getting results we need,” Morrow said. “It’s a long season and we are hoping to continue playing good football to try and close the gap on UWA and Subiaco.” At the completion of the round Fremantle are positioned third, trailing leaders UWA-Nedlands by five points and three behind second-placed Subiaco AFC.
Morrow opened the scoring by lashing in at close-range following a free flowing move down the right. That good work was undone when King punished some sloppy defending to send the teams into the break on level terms. Joondalup were unlocked again when Morrow raced onto a Cameron Hayes through ball which he sent into the far corner of the net. Morrow sealed his hat-trick soon after by again showing a clean pair of heels to the defence and firing past goalkeeper Matt Hill. Sam Smith should have made the game safe by placed wide from a couple of metres while Morrow was denied a fourth goal by the post. Thomson ensured the closing minutes would be tense by scrambling the ball over the line.
PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
The footballwa.net match of the week takes us to Alfred Skeet Oval where Armadale hosts Western Knights in a real six-pointer. Assistant coach Kevin Brophy is confident Armadale’s rich vein of form which has seen them lose once in five games, can continue. “It is a game both sides will be desperate to win,” Brophy said. “We lost 4-1 on the opening day of the season to the Knights but have improved since then so hopefully we can turn that result around on Saturday.” Sean Nicholls misses out through suspension but Wilf Dinsdale, formerly of English club Scarborough Athletic, may get a look in.
The past month has been hard on the Knights but striker Rory Grant says they are close to getting their season back on course. “It’s not just injuries that have taken its toll but also the loss of some quality, experienced players. It’s been a steep learning curve for the young players that have come in, some have the potential to be good State League players,” commented Grant. “Away to Armadale is always a tough fixture. Lee Bamber and Kevin Brophy will have them well-organised and fit, so we will need to be at our best to come away with a positive result.”
An away win for Inglewood United against ECU Joondalup could well propel Graham Normanton’s side to the top of the Premier Division come Saturday night. Both teams are hopeful of welcoming back key players, namely Jack Clisby and David Foster. Balcatta are without several important figures for the visit of Bunbury Forum Force. Steve Burton and Mark Walsh have left the club while injury keeps Jovo Pavlovic and Neil Young on the sidelines. Captain Andy Brown returns from suspension for Stirling Lions’ home clash with Sorrento. Bayswater City are without Paul McCarthy (suspension) when they host the National Training Centre.
The round concludes with a Sunday blockbuster between Perth SC and Floreat Athena at Dorrien Gardens. It’s been almost a month since Perth last won in the league and Floreat custodian Brad Eiffe is hopeful of extending that run. “This week is a real big game, both teams sitting at the top of the table,” commented Eiffe. “We will be seeking to turn the result around from round one, and coming off on the back of a good month are confident heading into Sunday.” All six Premier Division games – be they Saturday or Sunday – kick-off at 3.00pm.
DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
The pick of the Division One action takes place at Ashfield Reserve where leaders Ashfield come up against third-placed Mandurah City. Ashfield have been very impressive so far this season and coach Matt Carruthers knows the significance of this game. “It’s a real six pointer. We can open up a gap between us and Mandurah, or we can let them back in the title race,” declared Carruthers. Mandurah, who last week installed Billy Russell as coach, will need big efforts from Jeff Bright and Michael Grigo if they are to come away with so much as a point.
Wanneroo City may have some key players absent but still should have enough quality on display to get the better of Gosnells City at Kingsway Reserve. Missing for the home side will Anthony Jones, Ross Edwards and Jason Marsden, all through injury but coach David Tough is expected to hand new signing Jared Love his Wanneroo debut. Cockburn City and Dianella White Eagles lock horns at Dalmatinac Park in an important fixture for both clubs. The home side runs the risk of losing touch with the leaders should they fail to take maximum points whilst the same outcome could see lose touch with the top six.
Lark Hill Sportsplex is the venue for Rockingham City verses Shamrock Rovers with both sides eager to build on fantastic wins last time out. Canning City will be without Sam Carrello and possibly Paul Oliver when they welcome Morley Windmills to Hossack Reserve. Fremantle Spirit faces the difficult task of hosting Swan United at Nikola Tesla Reserve. The black and whites will be keen to keep the pressure on the top sides, but Fremantle Spirit has shown improvement in recent weeks and won’t go down without a fight. All six Division One games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION TWO PREVIEW
Melville City welcomes back Keith Nolan and Lee McKay in the midfield as they attempt to end an eight-game winning run by Division Two leaders Subiaco AFC at Len Shearer Reserve. Kingsway Olympic host UWA-Nedlands in what should be a thrilling contest at Kingsway Reserve. UWA need the points to keep the pressure on Subiaco whilst Kingsway can jump into the tophalf of the table should weekend results go their way. Fremantle United need big efforts from Andrew Morrow and Michael De Souza when they welcome a dangerous Joondalup City outfit to Hilton Reserve. All three Division Two games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
THE HEART AND SOALE OF INGLEWOOD
A best on ground display last weekend against Perth SC performance has given the strongest possible indication just how much goalkeeper Francis Soale is enjoying playing for Inglewood United. For the last three years Soale has honed his skills year round with the National Training Centre and Perth Glory Youth and is relishing the fresh challenge with Inglewood. “I’ve loved every minute of being at the club so far, they are a great bunch of lads,” said Soale. “I already knew a few of the boys which made it easy settling in, and we’re playing really good football at the moment.”
Soale, 19, joined Inglewood two months ago after then ‘keeper Devon Spence was forced out by injury. “It was four weeks into the season when Jack Clisby asked if I’d be interested in coming over as Devon had injured his shoulder pretty badly,” Soale explained. “I told him I’d think about it, then Graham (Normanton) rang me to formally ask me to move to Inglewood which was a hard decision as I was enjoying my time with Stirling. I feel I made the right decision and hopefully I can keep my spot for the next few weeks at least.”
Soale caught the eye against Perth, displaying a maturity beyond his year in commanding the 18-yard box and pulling off some stunning saves. “It was good to be able to have an influence on the game and help us get a result we deserved,’ he said. “Anyone who saw the game will tell you it was a fantastic display of attacking football from both teams. Like Normo said, a great advertisement for the local game and it was a privilege to be involved in. Our defence was great, not only Jack (Clisby) and Rikki Smith but the whole team.”
Normanton has nothing but praise for the ‘keeper. “He came to us unseen but highly recommended. It was a bit of a gamble for us to sign him but, as time has proven, it was a risk worth taking,” said the Inglewood coach. “He has good handling skills, is strong in the air, has great reflexes and has given our back four renewed confidence. Francis is only 19 and I’m looking forward to him realising his potential. It is really exciting seeing young players like him step up and show that they can perform at the required level once given the opportunity.”
Having first played football at the age of five for Melville City Soale’s progression took him through Fremantle Spirit and Cockburn City, for whom he represented the State at Under-14 and 15 levels. He first entered the NTC in 2008 and has gained a smattering of National Youth League outings with Glory. “I’ve had the privilege of working under some fantastic coaches over my career so far – Kenny Lowe, Gareth Naven, Alistair Edwards as well as Graham and Bobby Despotovski. They’ve been really good encouraging us to play the game the right way and to enjoy ourselves,” he said.
Having performed heroics against one of the Premier Division’s top dogs last weekend, Soale expects to be in the thick of the action again this Saturday when Inglewood travels to bottom-of-the-table ECU Joondalup. “I haven’t seen them play as of yet but we will treat them the same as every other team,” Soale commented. “Ladder positions are not important. As long as we play our game I’m confident we can get a result, regardless of who the opposition is.” Inglewood pit skills against Joondalup from 3.00pm on Saturday at the Edith Cowan University campus.
THE KNIGHTS ARE HERE TO STAY
Forget what you may have heard – Western Knights are staying in the Premier League. For the best part of the last six months rumours have been circulating that the Knights, one of the powerhouse clubs of the past fifteen years, were on the verge of dropping out of the Premier League. However, club secretary Alan Pecotic has set the record straight by making it clear the Knights are going nowhere. “We are committed to remaining in the top flight, the Premier Division,” Pecotic stated. “We remain a proud club, run by proud people and supported by one of the largest and most loyal supporter bases in the competition.”
For the Knights membership, staying in the Premier Division is the number one priority. “The Board has been given the support of the members to do whatever it takes to remain in the Premier Division, and we have the relevant financial and volunteer support to back this,” Pecotic added. “We have been very proactive in securing a long term base for the club. There have been delays with this – the club will not take on a home ground that is a financial burden – but we have made significant inroads and expect to make an announcement in the next two weeks.”
Success is no stranger to the Knights but in 2012 they are doing things tough. The departure of over a dozen of last years’ squad has seen the club pick up only three wins from eleven starts to sit just above the relegation zone at the seasons’ mid-point. “We lost some key players from last season and this has forced the club into a transition period where we are focusing on development within our youth system,” Pecotic explained. “Additionally, coaches Willie Kelly and Willie McNally came in late in pre-season and didn’t have appropriate time to work with the squad.”
Pecotic is disappointed attempts to strengthen the Knights playing stocks have been hampered by gossip and hearsay. “The WA football community is small and rumours can spread quickly. Unfortunately, some players have taken to believing these rumours and have gone elsewhere. As a club we hold no ill feeling towards any player who chooses not to come to the Knights,” he commented. “Yes we have had a disappointing twelve weeks of football, but we have a reputation of being a financially secure, successful and strong club in the 44 years since our inception.”
Pecotic says his club have the quality and depth to get clear of the drop zone in coming months. “We have already secured the services of a couple of key players and seen the return of some injured players, so we are positive that we will be staying up,” said Pecotic, who also has one eye on the clubs’ youth system. “Over the years the Knights have produced some exceptional talent who have gone on to great things, both at our club and beyond. In recent times we’ve had many young players move into the first team, Ryan Shackleton and Ethan Levitt are two but there are many more which will follow.”
According to Pecotic it is only a matter of time before the Knights are again competing for silverware. “Off the pitch we have the resources and support that are the envy of many clubs in the league but the reality is we are probably three good players short of pushing for title honours,” said the Knights secretary. “We have an experienced board running the operations of the club, the financial backing of many sponsors is secured, our junior system is running very well and the ground situation will be rectified shortly … we are on the right track to returning to the pinnacle of State League football once again.”
RISDON’S HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Bunbury Forum Force defender Ryan Risdon could not have wished for a better 21st birthday present that Saturday’s upset win over Sorrento. Bunbury turned in arguably their best performance of the campaign to defeat the high flying Gulls 2-1, with Risdon playing a key role in the result. “It was a really good feeling to get a win on the board after struggling in the last couple of weeks,” Risdon told the ‘South Western Times’. “That was probably the best we have played in the last month and our defence held up extremely well under pressure.”
Risdon made his first team debut for the south west club in 2006 as a fresh-faced 15-year old. But the pacy defender has endured a tough start to his time in the Premier League with injuries a string of injuries limiting him over the opening part of the season. “I broke my arm and a bone in my hand at the start of the season so that has resulted in me missing a lot of the season so far,” Risdon commented. “But it has been good to get back into the senior side over the past month and play consistent first team football.”
The Bunbury youngster has speaks with great pride about his younger brothers, Perth Glory’s Josh Risdon. “He had a really good season with the Glory and I felt really proud watching him come up against some of the best players in the country, especially in the A-League Grand Final,” he said. “He made the big move from Bunbury to Perth in his early teens and that’s all paying off for him now. He recently signed a two-year deal to stay at Perth but hopefully he gets the chance to go overseas and make his mark over there in the future.”
Bunbury makes the trip to Balcatta this Saturday with Risdon hopeful of building on last weekend’s stirring success. “I think we can take a lot of confidence out of the win against Sorrento on Saturday, all the boys are pretty pumped and it’s good to get back into the winning ways,” the defender said. The only previous meeting of the clubs was on the opening day of the current campaign when Bunbury went down 3-2, however, Balcatta’s strike force has been blunted in recent times with the departures of John Thornley (to ECU Joondalup) and Steve Burton (eastern states).
GILL BACK IN MATILDAS FRAME
Matildas coach Tom Sermanni has selected his 23-player squad for this months’ friendly with Trans-Tasman rival New Zealand. The squad is drawn largely from players who have proved their value in the W-League and includes Perth Glory striker Kate Gill, who sit out the past year with a knee injury. “Having Kate back in the side is fantastic for the younger players as she is an ultimate professional and brings a very good attitude to the entire squad,” said Sermanni. Collette McCallum (Lincoln Ladies) and Lisa De Vanna (Linköping) were not considered due to club commitments while knee injuries ruled out Lydia Williams and Sam Kerr.
The Matildas squad to play New Zealand on 24 June in Wollongong is Emma Checker (Adelaide United), Laura Alleway, Catherine Cannuli, Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar), Ellie Brush, Caitlin Cooper, Hayley Raso, Georgia Yeoman-Dale (Canberra United), Ashley Brown, Stephanie Catley, Brianna Davey (Melbourne Victory), Melissa Barbieri, Nicola Bolger, Alanna Kennedy (Newcastle Jets), Kate Gill (Perth Glory), Teigen Allen, Danielle Brogan, Caitlin Foord, Teresa Polias, Renee Rollason, Thea Slatyer, Sarah Walsh (Sydney FC) and uncontracted midfielder Ellyse Perry.
BRAZIL AXED FOR DROPPING PLAYERS
Mike Brazil says he is has moved on after being sacked as coach of Division One side Mandurah City. Brazil and his assistant Ron Harrison were removed from their posts last week in response to dropping players whose performances they deemed to be below par. “I’m over it now but at the time I was extremely angry with the unprofessional manner by which Mandurah acted,” commented Brazil. “Ron and I were well on track and in a good league position, especially when you look at the number of injured players we had. But this was not a football issue.”
Brazil learnt his fate after taking a telephone call from the Mandurah president. “I received a call last Wednesday requesting that Ron and myself to come down for a meeting. Within 10 seconds I was then told ‘As you live north of the river you can save yourself a journey’,” explained Brazil. “The president told me some players were not happy at being left out of the side and that they could not afford to lose the players, so I had to go. Ron went down to the club and was told he had not been sacked but he decided to leave.”
News of his axing came as a totally out of leftfield to Brazil. “I had no idea at all. Leaving players out of the starting eleven is part and parcel of football,” he said. “I played professionally in Ireland and Hong Kong and I certainly knew when I was about to be left out because I hadn’t been playing well enough. What makes this even more bizarre is that the players who were left out came on in the second half. To be honest I did not think this sort of thing – players complain and carry on to the point where the coach gets the sack – still existed in sport.”
Brazil isn’t one to sit still for too long and intends to jump back into the coaching ring, albeit when the timing is right. “I am off to Asia later in year to participate in the ‘A’ Licence coaching course, which I have been putting off for some time,” he commented. “I have lost a lot of trust in people (at Mandurah) that I was fully behind and that will take time to heal. I’ve been coaching for over twenty years and you get to know when your time is up based on results and league position … on this occasion Ron and I were short changed.”
NICOLAIDIS HAS PLENTY IN RESERVE
New coach of Perth SC reserves is delighted with how his chargers have performed over the first half of the season. The Blues youngsters not only sit top of the table but are the only State League team with a 100% win record after eleven games. “I did feel before the season started that I had a very competitive squad but to have won our first eleven games and be in the Cup semi-finals certainly has surpassed my expectations,” said Nicolaidis.
Perth stamped themselves as title favourites last weekend by making light work of Inglewood United, despatching their previous unbeaten opponent 5-0. “I don't ever recall at any level seeing two undefeated teams facing off at round eleven,” commented Nicolaidis. “Michael Garcia has assembled a good squad at Inglewood and they are playing some good football. It was a game both teams were looking forward to and I was very pleased that my team was up for the challenge and put in a great performance to win the game and remain undefeated.”
Nicolaidis says there are a number of players in his squad capable of moving into the senior side before seasons’ end. “Some players have been exposed to first team football already this year and if they continue to work at their game and be patient I’m sure they will gain more opportunities before the season is out,” said the coach. “Gianfranco Circati has showed he isn't afraid of blooding good young players with Josh Pereira and Josh Wilkins both playing in the last year’s Grand Final after playing under-18’s.”
After being dumped by Floreat Athena at the end of last season, Nicolaidis had planned to take time away from the game but found the chance to Perth too good to refuse. “I have always admired and respected Perth SC for its professional set-up and their facilities so it really was a ‘no brainer’ when I was approached by their Football Operations to join them,” explained Nicolaidis. “It’s not every day that you are given the opportunity to join a successful club like Perth and there was no way I was going to say no.”
Nicolaidis is looking forward to this weekends’ round in which Perth hosts mid-table Floreat on Sunday. “This will be the second time I’ll be facing my former club,” Nicolaidis commented. “It will be tough with Floreat picking up many new players since the last time we met (in Round One). Even though our start has been great I’m a realist and know that things can change very quickly so I will need to make sure my boys are focused and up for the challenge.”
COACH HAILS TEN-MAN SOCCEROOS AFTER DRAWING WITH JAPAN
Australian survived playing much of the second half a man down to bravely earn a 1-1 draw in their World Cup qualifier against a highly fancied Japan at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. The dismissal of Mark Milligan early in the second half was compounded when Yuzo Kurihara put the visiting nation ahead. But Luke Wilkshire restored parity from the penalty spot soon after to secure Holger Osieck’s side a vital point. “What they showed today with one man down is hard to describe,” the coach said. “The team had to overcome all sorts of adversity. It sends a message not just to Japan but the other nations.”
It took Tim Cahill only 5 minutes to make his presence felt, the striker expertly taming long clearance and dancing between two defenders only to have Eiji Kawashima block the shot. However, the danger wasn’t over Australia were quickly back on the attack with Brett Emerton’s fierce first time strike pushed wide by the goalkeeper. Cahill created the Socceroos best chance of the half on 19 minutes by glancing on another long ball which Lucas Neill flicked over the ‘keeper but Alex Brosque’s close-range attempt was somehow blocked on the line. Japan rallied strongly late in the half but Atsuto Uchida’s strike went well wide of the target.
The second half was ten minutes old when Milligan was harshly sent off following a seemingly innocuous challenge with Atsuto Uchida. Socceroos boss Osieck was still seething when Japan took a 65th minute lead, an unmarked Yuzo Kurihara tapping in at close-range from Keisuke Honda‘s low centre. But the game was levelled just four minutes later with Wilkshire converting a penalty awarded for Atsuto Uchida’s foul on Alex Brosque. The 40,189-strong crowd rose as one again the 77th minute when Sasa Ognenovski's angled strike came back off the crossbar. Japan went down a man with Kurihara collecting his second yellow card in the 89th minute, and from the resulting free-kick Wilkshire’s curling effort stretched Kawashima.
LOOK IN YOUR SHOE, SON (by Ashley Morrison, Not the Footy Show")
Once upon a time amateur sport was fiercely regulated and players were not allowed to receive any financial reward for their performances. However, it was not uncommon after a game for players to find money rolled up in their shoes from their club board or sponsors. It would appear that here in Western Australia we are heading back down that path. Currently on the table is a plan for no Premier Division club to pay any player more than $200 per game, and for those clubs outside the top flight to not pay their players at all.
The idea of trying to prevent State League clubs sending each other to the wall is an honourable one, yet the current proposal is doomed for failure. For over 100 years sport has found ways in which players and clubs can by-pass rules on payments in order to gain an advantage over their rivals – and no salary-cap style rule will change that. The current proposal may include club presidents signing a Statutory Declarations stating they will abide by the rules. But if a sponsor decides to reward a player with some cash there is nothing the club or the president can do to stop it.
The only way that you can possibly hope to monitor or control player payments is with the help of the Tax Office. There has long been a threshold at which ‘amateur athletes’ are allowed to earn money tax-free as reasonable expenses incurred to play to the level they have reached. Players them have the option to remain as amateur or sign with their club as a semi-professional player. If they opt for the later payment is recorded and is taxable. The benefit to the club with this is should another club wishes to sign that player they are within their rights to ask a transfer fee. With an amateur status that right is waved goodbye.
What we have in Western Australia at the moment is amateur players being paid above the amateur threshold, and clubs having no right to compensation should a player move on unless they have helped develop him. By having a more open payment system and one that is done in co-operation with or policed by the Tax Office, clubs would have to cut back on currently over-inflated match payments with the added benefit of prolonging their own life. But there is no fool-proof method to fix this as someone will always find a loophole by which they can entice a player to their club.
Some clubs are paying close to $100k a year on players wages to win a prize worth just $15k – that does not make sense. This is a situation that the clubs themselves have brought upon themselves and is one that that they must sort out. The biggest problem is the age old one of trust. The clubs do not trust each other to comply, and what is going to happen when two clubs refuse to sign the Statutory Declarations? This issue is being discussed at State League Standing Committee level, yet not every club attends this meeting. So having all agree to such a proposal and adhere to it is going to be tough.
PREMIER LEAGUE WAS WASTED ON HULL: GARCIA
Richard Garcia witnessed Hull City’s meteoric rise and dramatic fall during his five years with the club. Within a year of joining the Tigers had ended a 104-year wait for top flight football with an iconic promotion through the Championship play-offs. But just two short years later that good work had unravelled as the club teetered on the precipice of financial oblivion. According to Garcia the clubs’ short-term gains were undermined by the absence of a long-term strategy which could have ensured their Premier League survival.
Released last week by Hull, Garcia has spoken for the first time about the clubs’ lack of understanding for what it takes to compete in England’s top flight. “I tend to look back on the two years as a wasted opportunity,” Garcia told the ‘Hull Daily Mail’. “There was a lot of disruption and we were maybe guilty of going for quantity over quality. There were big changes in both summers before the Premier League years and we never quite got the chance to gel. It was never quite cohesive on the park. In the Premier League you have to all be on the same page and pulling in the same direction.”
Garcia feels the team spirit that had driven the Tigers into the Premier League was too easily sacrificed in the pursuit of fool’s gold. “Did we really have any star names? Maybe we settled for anything,” he added. “I don’t mean to be disrespectful to the lads who came in but did they enhance the squad or were they Premier League ready? … You’d have to say a lot of them didn’t work out and by the end it was the same group of players who’d been playing in the Championship anyway. Then you’re left with a big squad and a lot of financial commitments.”
Garcia did his bit in picking up the pieces. As Hull’s representative to the Professional Footballer’s Association he helped organise wage deferrals within the camp in a bid to ease the tightening constraints during 2010. On the pitch he was a dependable figure during the early months of Nigel Pearson’s managerial reign and did enough to be offered a new contract once new owner Assem Allam had steadied the ship. However, Garcia’s initial decision not to sign that contract came back to haunt him when he suffered knee ligament damage in the final game of 2010/11. .
The events that followed ultimately led to Garcia’s departure after 128 outings for Hull. “I struggled to get my contract re-approved, even after Nigel had made it clear I’d be offered a contract regardless,” he explained. “They didn’t want to pay me because I was injured and not a part of it. That left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth and I thought regardless of what would happen, it could be my last year. It had become clear that the owners didn’t think highly of me. They’re the guys who put the money in and if you don’t win them over, it’s going to be a struggle.”
GLORY SEEK GOVERNMENT COMPENSATION
Perth Glory will lodge a $1.5 million compensation claim with the Western Australian Government for lost revenue the club believes it will suffer next season. The Government have committed $95 million to the redevelopment of Perth Oval for a new covered eastern grandstand, a permanent southern stand, new food and toilets facilities, two video screens, improved lighting, new corporate boxes and a re-laid playing surface. Works will commence next month, effectively reducing the venue’s capacity to under 10,500 for the 2012/13 A-League season. Glory had been budgeting on average crowds of 12,000 for coming summer campaign.
Paul Kelly, Glory chief executive, acknowledged Perth Oval would be a “world class venue” once the redevelopment was complete, raising the venue’s capacity to around 20,500. However, club owner Tony Sage was “being forced to put his hand in his pocket” in the interim. The ‘West Australian’ have obtained correspondence between Kelly and the Department of Sport and Recreation which breaks down the clubs claim and includes $780,000 for the reduced capacity, $60,000 for loss of advertising, $50,000-$100,000 for displaced members and $100,000 for reduced corporate hospitality. Sports Minister Terry Waldron says the Government is open to negotiating with Glory over the matter.
RED STAR MAKE BABALJ AN OFFER TOO GOOD TO REFUSE
Melbourne Heart striker Eli Babalj has been snapped up by Serbian giants Red Star Belgrade on a two-year deal. The talented 20-year old, whose career started on the local stage with Perth SC, enjoyed a breakthrough 2011/12 season, netting nine goals in 22 games to be Melbourne’s top scorer and guide the club to a debut A-League finals appearance. Red Star coach Robert Prosinecki is understood to have tracked Babalj throughout the campaign and a fortnight ago formalised his interest by contacting the Young Socceroo direct.
It was only after taking a telephone call from Prosinecki that Babalj became aware rumours of Red Star interest was more than hearsay. “When someone like Robert Prosinecki calls, you can’t say no and I supported them as a kid,” said Babalj, who made a total of 34 appearances and scored 11 goals in his two A-League seasons. “I didn’t expect it but I got a heads-up a few minutes before he called. He rang me and said, ‘I really want you here’, and told me about the club and his plans … but I know I’m not guaranteed a spot in the squad.”
Babalj views his move to Red Star as a stepping stone to a career in Germany’s Bundesliga. “My ambition is to go to one of the big four leagues. But as a 20-year old coming from the A-League no-one sees you as a complete player,” Babalj said. “A lot of players go to Europe and don’t play but while Red Star is a big club, you have a better chance of playing there than, say, a Borussia Dortmund. If you play for a year or two you’re in the shop window to bigger European clubs and the national team.”
Born in Sarajevo but raised in Perth, Babalj first stepped into the spotlight by gaining selection for the Australian Under-17 side in 2007. Time with Perth Glory and the Australia Institute of Sport in the National Youth League led to a spot on Melbourne’s roster for the young striker. “I’d like to thank Melbourne Heart for the opportunity they have given me to play professional football and develop as a player over the last two years,” he said. “Hopefully, one day after my European adventure, I’ll be able to return to Melbourne and once again play for the Heart.”
SAMMUT SALVAGES INGLEWOOD A POINT AT PERTH
A last minute penalty converted by James Sammut has earned Inglewood United a 1-1 draw with Perth SC from a pulsating Premier Division encounter at Dorrien Gardens. It looked as though Perth snatched a late victory after Nathan Rawes turned the ball into his own net, however, Sammut kept his cool to score deep in stoppage time to salvage a point. “I thought we deserved something from the game. We played our part in a great advert for local football here today,” said Inglewood coach Graham Normanton. “It was disappointing to concede the late goal but we hit back straight away and James kept his nerve to score from the spot.”
A bright start by Inglewood led to the game’s first opening after just 5 minutes, Michael Baczynski pouncing on a poor back header by James Isaia but his lob from 15-metres was just high of the crossbar. Perth went close themselves seven minutes later when Rob Sciascia’s corner made its way to Isaia, who sent the chance wide at the back post. The visiting team looked particularly threatening on the counter attack, Alex Caniglia finding Dannie Richman whose first time shot was saved low by Alex Dunn. Francis Soale then came to Inglewood’s rescue with a couple of stunning saves which denied Daniel Niederberger and Sciascia leading into the break.
Perth began the second half strongly. Antonio Naglieri’s shot from the top of the 18-yard box was saved by Soale, who few minutes later was grateful to see David Onoforo’s effort slam into the base of the post. Caniglia returned fire with a powerful strike that crashed off the bar after cutting in from the right flank. Perth clearly wanted to the lead and in the 64th minute Onoforo got around Soale but after being forced wide pulled the ball back for Sciascia, who laid it off for Naglieri to let fly with a first time shot that Soale tipped over brilliantly at full-stretch.
The game seemed destined to end without score when Perth took the lead, Sciascia’s dangerous corner went to feet and into the ensuing scramble the ball deflected into the net via Rawes. It may have been a bitter blow for a spirited Inglewood outfit but the visitors were determined not to leave Dorrien Gardens empty handed. Their equaliser arrived two minutes into stoppage time when Sammut’s flick struck Howarth on the arm, leaving referee Paul Anderson no option but to point to the spot. Up stepped up Sammut, who sent Dunn the wrong way to give the away team a deserved share of the spoil from an thoroughly entertaining encounter.
BAYSWATER LATE SHOW TAMES THE LIONS (with Bianca Redding, Football West)
Gustavo Giron-Marulanda scored twice to orchestrate Bayswater City a 4-2 come-from-behind win over Stirling Lions on an overcast afternoon at Macedonia Park. Paul McCarthy and Gustavo Catarcione were also on target for visiting team who fought back to cancel out another Anthony Lyons’ brace. “Today was a very tough game. Both teams played well, both had chances, but I think we deserved to win,” said Bayswater coach Mauro Marchione. “After we went 2-1 down, we had a very big reaction to turn things around. I’m very proud of that because it’s not easy to come here to Stirling and win.”
Jamie Tandy and Gareth McGlynn had early chances as Stirling started in a positive frame of mind. But those misses were punished in the 25th minute when Ross Cosgrove skipped past Clayton Arnez and crossed for McCarthy whose shot came to rest in the back of goalkeeper Cory Hugo’s net. Stirling were not to be outdone and four minutes later hit back through a McGlynn free-kick which picked out Lyons, who headed past Gianni Papalia from close-range. Both teams continued to press for a second goal and with a little more sharpness in the final third department either would have gone into the interval with the lead.
Stirling got the goal they sought three minutes after the re-start. A slip by Bayswater captain John Kearney let on Phil O’Callaghan, who unselfishly crossed for an unmarked Lyons to tap past exposed ‘keeper Papalia. The home side could have tightened their hold on the game but Jamie De Abreu, McGlynn and Tandy each failed to make the most of opportunities when they presented. Those wasted chances were almost punished on 57 minutes when Cosgrove was sent clear only to hit his shot into the upright, the rebound falling to Giron-Marulanda but the Colombian striker uncharacteristically lifted high.
Giron-Marulanda made amends eleven minutes later by skipped past two opponents and sliding the ball into Hugo’s net, albeit at the second attempt. Bayswater were now in the ascendency and in the 77th minute Giron-Marulanda rounded the Stirling ‘keeper to tuck into an empty net, much to the delight of the travelling supporters. The comeback was made complete six minutes later when Patrick Quinn and Cosgrove combined to send Catarcione on his way to put goal number four into Stirling’s net. But not all the news was good for Bayswater with McCarthy issued his marching order late after collecting a second yellow card.
KNIGHTS NO MATCH FOR BALCATTA (with Ilija Mihalj, Football West)
Daniel Micevski scored twice to guide Balcatta to a resounding 4-0 win over his former club Western Knights on a bitterly cold winter’s afternoon at Grindleford Reserve. A lacklustre game was effectively over by the break thanks to Daniel Micevski, Steve Burton and Adam Tong with the former icing the cake with a late second goal. “It was good to get my first league goal and end on a high,” said Burton after his final outing with Balcatta. “I have spoken to three or four clubs (in Victoria) and hope to continue my career over there.”
Balcatta twice threatened to breakthrough in a flat opening spell but neither Daniel Micevski nor Callum Roberts were able to capitalise. Rory Grant should have done better than shoot straight at goalkeeper Bobson Koroma after seizing on a poor 13th minute back pass as the Knights began to spark. The home side responded to this scare by taking their game up a notch. Their reward arrived in the form of a 32nd minute goal to Daniel Micevski, the mnidfielder converting from the penalty spot after his run into the 18-yard box was illegally halted by Julian Teles.
The momentum was now well and truly with Balcatta, who sealed victory leading into half-time. In the 41st minute Burton added his name to the score sheet by neatly finishing a half-volley on the turn past Kevin Miller following great lead-up work by the brothers Micevski, Daniel and David. It seemed at this point the half wouldn’t get any worse for the Knights but it did four minutes into stoppage time when Tong turned the ball in at close-range after the visiting defence failed to deal with a seemingly innocuous corner.
To their credit the young Knights outfit continued to search for a way back in after the turnaround. Their best opening again came the way of Grant when he was played through one-on-one with Koroma only to buckle under the pressure and spray wide of the target. Daniel Micevski completed the scoring on 84 minutes with a fierce low strike after latched on to Moe Atak’s ball over the top of the Knights defensive line. The win moves Balcatta to within four points of league leaders Perth SC, whereas the Knights slip to within just two points of the drop zone.
SAVORY ADDS FLAVOUR TO BUNBURY
Bunbury Forum Force put a disappointing month behind them with a confidence-boosting 2-1 victory over Sorrento at Payne Park. Import striker Aiden Savory bagged both goals for the home side before Jamie Harnwell grabbed Sorrento a late consolation. “It was a great feeling to score the two goals but more importantly to get the three points,” commented Savory, whose haul snapped Bunbury’s four-game losing streak. “It was massive result for the team and an excellent team performance which will give the lads confidence going into the second half of the season.”
An energetic start by Bunbury had them in control of the early passages without really putting goalkeeper Curtis Aspden to the test. Sorrento didn’t come to life until midway through the half, and although they rained shots down on Ryan Montgomery the home custodian proved up to the task with several crucial saves to keep the score level. The momentum eventually swung back to Bunbury and twice Savory threatened to break the deadlock, chipping narrowly high of the target before meeting a Michael Farmer cross which he was unable to keep down. The half ended on a sour note for the home side with defender Karl Boulton stretchered off with a serious leg injury.
It took Bunbury just four minutes of the second half to find the back of the net, Savory cleverly clipping over Aspden. Savory was rewarded with a second goal in the 63rd minute, the Englishman lashing in at close-range after Aspden parried a stinging shot from Aaron Brittain. Jamie Harnwell grabbed the visitors side a lifeline twelve minutes later by stabbing the ball into the net during a goalmouth scramble. The game was deep in stoppage time when Brodie Martin headed in what appeared to be an equalising goal, however, a raised flag disallowed the midfielder’s effort.
NO GOALS BETWEEN JOONDALUP AND ARMADALE
Armadale continued to put distance between themselves and the foot of the Premier Division by drawing 0-0 away at ECU Joondalup. It was very much a game to two contrasting halves with Armadale displaying the greater enterprise throughout the opening stanza while after the turnaround the run of play with Joondalup. “We weren’t at our best today,” said Armadale coach Lee bamber. “Credit to Joondalup, they were well organised and made it difficult for us to break them down. But we are happy with a clean sheet and a draw was a fair result.”
In a physical opening it was Armadale that settled the better with Alan Darlington and Joey Tavernese delivering a stream of balls into the 18-yard box where the home defence was under some intense pressure. Tavernese was the architect of his teams’ best chance on the half hour, the attacker surging down the right to deliver the ball to Sam Loveless who sliced just wide of the target. Joondalup attacks were few and far between although just before the break they almost found a way through, new signing John Thornley heading wide from a Tommy Amphlett cross.
The second half opened with a last gasp Nick Viaggio tackle which prevented Tommy Jones from getting off a shot as he bore down on goal. Amphlett raced past two defenders before cutting back for Thornley whose first time shot was saved low by Cyril Sharrock. Matt Italiano’s shot on the turn whistled past the upright, Sharrock saved from Amphlett and Jones’ volley was blocked by Mark McClements. Tavernese and Viaggio each put headers high as Armadale came back into contention. Scott Bushby and Blake Adams could have snatched their respective teams’ a late winner but both lifted over the bar.
HEAGNEY HAT-TRICK SINKS NTC (with George Tsadilas, Football West)
Floreat Athena moved into joint second spot by inflicting a 6-0 hiding on the National Training Centre in a one-sided affair at Litis Stadium. David Heagney lead the way with a hat-trick as Ludovic Boi, recent signing Jon Brooks and Spencer Harris also found the back of the net. “After battling a few niggles the last few weeks, it felt good to get a solid a 90 minutes under my belt. I’m absolutely delighted with bagging a hat-trick today," said Heagney post-game. “The NTC were very quick and good on the ball. They made us work for every opportunity, so it’s a credit to our lads to produce such a great result.”
Floreat came out full of attacking intent but were well held by a young defence under the command of Sam Mitchinson. However, it was inevitable that the home side would break through and in the 20th minute Heagney pounced on a loose ball which he lobbed over goalkeeper Jordan Franken. It wasn’t until five minutes from the break that the lead was doubled, Boi latching onto another loose ball to drive low into Franken’s net. Brad Eiffe ensured the gap would be two-goals at the break by diving full stretch to push away a fierce Slobodan Vulin volley.
The second half was pretty much one-way traffic. Boi forced a hurried clearance from Franken which fell to Mickey Roberts, who teed-up Heagney for his second on 58 minutes. Mark Pritchard’s superb through ball nine minutes later saw Heagney centre the ball for Brooks to tap-in at the far post. Boi again picked the pocket of the defence and while Franken parried his shot Heagney was placed to completed his hat-trick on 73 minutes. Harris got in on the act six minutes later with a powerful header into the top corner following Pritchard’s well flighted free-kick.
LUCKLESS FREMANTLE SURRENDER AT ASHFIELD
Fremantle Spirit was left to rue missed opportunities as Ashfield struck a trio of late goals to claim a 3-0 win from their Division One meeting at Nikola Tesla Reserve. Although the teams sit at opposite ends of the table the early play was evenly distributed. The first chance on goal came the way of Jason Feathers whose effort was well saved by visiting goalkeeper Nagi Kodi on the quarter hour. Fremantle had by this stage found their rhythm and Tyrone Fenwick really should have done better than place wide after meeting a Tsinast Tamaert cutback. Fenwick was presented a chance to make amends ten minutes later but his finish was again wayward after being sent through with only the ‘keeper to beat by Sean Treacey.
Ashfield didn’t get into gear until the second half, but while the hosts enjoyed the lions’ share of possession they were unable to convert chances into goals. The pressure on Fremantle’s backline intensified with the 74th minute introduction of Ryan Frisina, and shortly after a second yellow card for substitute Saah Tamba spelled the beginning of the end for the visitors. Ashfield got the goal they were after on 81 minutes with Karl O’Reilly touching into the net a shot by Frisina. With Fremantle running out of legs O’Reilly twice set up Branimir Mikulic in the space of five minutes to keep Ashfield on top of the table.
CAIRNEY HAT-TRICK INSPIRES WANNEROO
Wanneroo City kept their third successive clean sheet by downing Morley Windmills 4-0 in an entertaining tussle at Wotton Reserve. Garin Collins put the visiting side in front before Brian Cairney helped himself to a hat-trick to seal victory inside 45 minutes. Unfortunately not all the news was good for Wanneroo whose captain Anthony Jones was stretchered off in the first half with a broken ankle. Morley opened brightly with David Houston hitting the upright and Gavin Brady steering wide at the follow-up. There was no such wastefulness at the other end where Collins intercepted a defensive pass and waltzed around goalkeeper Michael Dudek to open the scoring.
Wanneroo’s lead was doubled soon enough with Guy McDonald hitting a diagonal pass to Collins, who crossed for an unmarked Cairney to head in. Jones’ season came crashing down on the half hour when he broke his ankle blocking a shot by Robbie Ftynogiannis. After a 45 minute delay play resumed with Wanneroo again on the attack, Brad McDonald driving forward to slip the ball through for Cairney to side-foot passed the oncoming ‘keeper. Clint Davies wasn’t called into action until the 40th minute when he pushed away Luke O’Neill’s low shot from 20-metres. Soon after Cairney completed his hat-trick by converting a penalty awarded for Chris Bradley’s rash challenge on Josh Booysen.
Dudek prevented the margin from really blowing out after the turnaround. The Morley custodian guessed correctly to keep out a second penalty kick by Cairney and came up with the good again to prevent Collins from netting the follow-up. Guy McDonald burst out of midfield on the hour to go one-on-one Dudek but the Wanneroo’s players chip 25-metres drifted just wide of the post. The remainder of the game following much the same pattern, Wanneroo enjoying the by far the better of play and continually threatening to add to their tally whereas Morley’s broke only occasionally on the counterattack.
FARRELL MAKES COCKBURN PAY THE PENALTY
A late penalty converted by Brian Farrell has seen Shamrock Rovers collect maximum points for the first time in a month, downing Cockburn City 3-2 at Ashfield Reserve. Shamrock responded to coach Andy Dickinson’s pleas for a return to form by taking the game by the scruff of the neck from the get go. Some excellent work out wide by Damien Smyth paved the way for the visitors to take a deserved lead with Ciaran Byrne sending his team mates pull back into the net. Cockburn raised their game in response and after several close calls conjured an equalising goal Nick Carroll, who benefitted a deflection off the referee to beat the goalkeeper with a low shot.
The second half was barely two minutes old when some clever lead-up play from Cockburn was finished by John Hunter curling a shot around the ‘keeper. It took Shamrock a good ten minutes to fully come to terms with going a goal down but once they did the home players enthusiastically took the game back up to Cockburn. With the final whistle not far away Byrne struck a deserved equaliser from another Smyth assist. The drama was by no means over as with just minutes to go Smyth was taken down by the ‘keeper to leave the referee little option but to award a penalty which Farrell despatched into the net to decide the outcome.
SWAN, DIANELLA SHARE THE SPOILS
The points were shared at the Swan Italian Club where Swan United and Dianella White Eagles played out a pulsating 0-0 score under leaden skies. Swan opened at breakneck pace, forcing their visitors into conceding possession regularly and heaping pressure on their defence. Chris Atkinson and Chihiro Noda each played through John Monterosso both on both occasions the striker was thwarted by goalkeeper Anastasis Farsalas. Swan veteran defender Dom Ando also went agonisingly close to scoring with a free-kick which whistled the wrong side of the post. For their part Dianella were limited to shots from distance by a well-organised home defence.
The roles were reversed in the second half with Dianella applying greater purpose when going forward. Andreas Theodosiades’ silky skills were causing the home side all sorts of problems as Dianella sought to break the deadlock. Swan custodian Daniel Agudelo kept his team in the game with a stunning triple save with which he denied Dimce Taneski, Simon Barber and Dhamon Kalamaris. As the minutes ticked down the game opened with both sides fashioning some promising moves. The best of these came the way of Swan with Atkinson’s cross to the far post met by John Monterosso whose header came back off the crossbar.
BRITZ STARS AS ROCKINGHAM SLAM IN FIVE (courtesy Rockingham City)
Rockingham City got back to winning ways with a resounding 5-2 victory over Gosnells City at Walter Padbury Park. Wesley Britz marked his return to Rockingham’s first eleven by scoring once and having a hand in both goals scored by Trevor Laure along with those from Papa Kpatar and David Clark. “That’s a really big win for us,” said Rockingham coach Steve Robinson. “We were level with Gosnells before today and it’s known as a difficult place to go to so we can take a lot of confidence from our performance. There’s a lot of talent in this team and when they click like they did today they are very enjoyable to watch.”
There was little sign of things to come when Gosnells opened the scoring after just 3 minutes through Jamie Burns’ free header. The visitors went close to doubling their lead but Ian Maguire’s shot was deflected onto the crossbar by Oscar Thompson, the rebound fell to Alan Carroll but his effort was tipped onto the post by goalkeeper Matti Hamnett. Parity was restored on 25 minutes when Britz’ partially cleared corner sat nicely for Laure to curl in from 15-metres. Rockingham needed only a few minutes before taking the lead with Kpatar expertly side-footing in a Britz cross. Clark further increased the gap by converting from the penalty spot after Britz was felled inside the 18-yard box.
A change of formation worked a treat for Gosnells when Burns unleashed a blistering shot which gave Hamnett no chance on the hour. But not even this could ruffle the feathers of Rockingham whose self-confidence quickly saw their two-goal buffer restored. Britz was again the provider, beating his man down the right and squaring for Laure to tap-in his seventh goals in six starts. Gosnells should have returned fire two minutes later when awarded a dubious penalty but justice was seen to be done when Adrian McBride blazed well high of the target. Britz capped a nest on ground performance with the final goal, drilling into the bottom corner after latching onto Marco Dos Santos’s clipped ball over the defence on 83 minutes.
FREMANTLE PREVENT UWA FROM RISING TO THE TOP
UWA-Nedlands were denied top spot in Division Two by a resilient Fremantle United, who twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw at McGilvray Oval. Fremantle were out of the blocks quickly with Andrew Morrow and Sam Smith proving a real handful for the home defence. So it was against the run of play that UWA took a 24th minute lead through captain Steve Purton, who was on hand to smash in the loose ball from Carlos Bervenotti’s parry to a James Plowman shot. Fremantle hit back soon after via Iain McKinnes’ free-kick which Morrow headed over a stranded goalkeeper.
The second half continued much the same fashion with Fremantle in the ascendancy. A Michael De Souza shot crashed into the frame of the goal before Morrow placed narrowly wide on the end of a flowing move. UWA went close themselves before regaining the lead on 74 minutes when Rory Feely netted at close-range from a goalmouth scramble. Like earlier Fremantle were quick to return fire through short corner, De Souza playing to Monaghan whose cross was spilled by the ‘keeper and Nathan Findlater made no mistake with his back post header. UWA had their chances to score a third goal but Bervenotti stood tall to get Fremantle a point.
MELVILLE TRIUMPH IN EPIC ENCOUNTER WITH KINGSWAY
Two goals from each Simon El Chami and John Brennan saw Melville City claim a 4-3 win from a seesawing meeting with Kingsway Olympic at Len Shearer Reserve. Kingsway were on the board early, Aaron Platten stealing possession from Paul Sanchez and steering his 15-metre shot past goalkeeper Stewart Dalgarno. The ascendancy was short lived, however, El Chami blasting into the top corner after meeting Michael Jennings’ lay off from a Kudzi Chigwanda cross. Kingsway were further unsettled when defender Aaron Lickiss’ afternoon was brought to an early end by injury.
Brennan got his first goal of the afternoon by touching a long ball past the goalkeeper before knocking into an empty net to make it advantage Melville. But the sides were soon back on level terms, a quickly taken free-kick by Joe Woodin catching the home side by surprise but not Farrell Hedges whose clipped shot was beyond the reach of Dalgarno. A thrilling first half closed out with Melville’s third goal, Brennan again tapping the ball past the oncoming ‘keeper to curl into the net.
Kingsway opened the second half strongly only to concede against the run of play, Sasa Slavujevic delivering a corner to the far post where Mark Kendall nodded back across the face of goal for El Chami to side-foot in. Although two goals down, Kingsway refused to concede defeat with Josh Rolls and Elliot Rose working tirelessly in their teams quest for a way back in. That approach paid off when Hedges opportunistically poked in at close-range after a deflected shot came his way. Rose went agonisingly close to snatching a point with a last minute strike that struck the crossbar.
DERBY HONOURS GO TO JOONDALUP
Joondalup City registered their second win of the season by out-shooting Quinns 2-1 in a fiercely contested derby at Iluka Sports Complex. The opening passages were scrappy with the first shot on goal not arriving until the 21st minute when Lucais King’s effort crashed into the crossbar from the top of the 18-yard box. King put Joondalup in front just five minutes later by converting from the penalty spot after the referee controversially ruled Shane McEntaggart to have handled. Quinns immediately set about find an equaliser which eventually arrived ten minutes from the break when Gareth Hamilton unleashed a long-range rocket into the far top corner.
Joondalup and Quinns came out firing in the second half, both as eager as the other to get the next goal. It looked as though Quinns would get that reward when a centring ball found Aaron Maplestone but his shot was captured by goalkeeper Matt Hill. As legs tired and tackles became sloppy the referee maintained control by issuing a smattering of yellow cards to players wearing both colours. There were only ten minutes left when Joondalup grabbed the lead, Nicholas King delivering the ball from the left for midfielder Steve Slaughter to fire in the decider from 12-metres. Quinns pushed hard to salvage their afternoon but Joondalup held on to claim all the points.
SOCCEROOS TAKE A POINT IN OMAN
Australia has made a sluggish start to the final round of qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup with a 0-0 draw away to Oman. Given the thermometer topped 41 degrees at kick-off, Socceroos coach Holger Osieck had no complaints about his teams’ performance at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex. “I’m comfortable with the draw looking at the conditions and the hot weather which we played the match in,” Osieck said. “Our players were good and they managed to have a good match against a team with young players who run a lot.”
In a first half lacking rhythm it was hosts Oman who settled the quickest but Amad Al Nosni directed his 10 minute header straight at goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. But as the half wore on the Socceroos began to hit their stride. David Carney registered Australia's first shot on target after 20 minutes with a fierce left-footed strike from outside the 18-yard box which goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi tipped away for a corner. Mark Bresciano and Carl Valeri started to enjoy more time on the ball and the latter was twice denied by Al-Habsi in the space of three minutes.
Oman held the advantage in the second half, forcing Australia deep into their defensive half for prolonged periods. The hosts' dominance was almost rewarded on 57 minutes when an Al Hosni header seemed destined for the net before Schwarzer pulled off a remarkable save to keep the game level. The Socceroos rarely threatened but substitute Archie Thompson wasted a chance to snatch all three points after finding himself one-on-one with Al-Habsi in the 82nd minute. Australia now returns to Australia with plenty of work to do ahead of Tuesday’s clash against Japan, who sits on top of the table after thrashing Jordan 6-0.
PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
The footballwa.net 'Match of the week' in round 11 is the much anticipated clash between Perth SC and Inglewood United at Dorrien Gardens. It will be Graham Normanton's first return for a league game to Perth, where he had a successful 12 years as Coach, and Alex Caniglia is looking forward to the clash after a four game unbeaten run. “It is great to be winning again considering we went through a phase of losing a few games. Our last two games against NTC and Wanneroo were both hard fought games but we deservedly won them both,” said Caniglia. “This Saturday will be one of the toughest games we play this season as Perth is a very experienced and well put together team. It will be interesting to see if our style of football will be able to match Perth’s style and hopefully we leave the game with some points. The team has bonded very well and we hope to maintain a top four finish for the end of the season.”
Perth goes into the game without the suspended Daniel Coletta, and after back-to-back defeats midfielder Rob Sciascia is expecting another tough game on Saturday. "It’s been a disappointing week for the club with defeats at Armadale and Balcatta, but that’s the beauty about football I guess, anything can happen,” said Sciascia. “Saturday will be a big game for us and for the league in general. Very important for us to get back to winning ways and what better way to do it than against your former coach. We'll be treating it just like any other match however and will be going out there to play some good football and hopefully have a win.”
Sorrento makes the long trip down South to take on Bunbury Forum Force at Payne Park, while Stirling Lions entertain Bayswater City at Macedonia Park without the suspended Andy Brown. Jovo Pavlovic and David Micevski will be pushing for a starting role as Balcatta look to kick start their league campaign when Western Knights visit Grindleford Reserve, while Floreat Athena host the Football West NTC side at Litis Stadium.
There is another important game on Saturday when ECU Joondalup host Armadale at the Edith Cowen University Campus. The Reds stunned Perth last week and Joondalup thrashed The Knights, so Saturday's game is vital for both sides. “It’s a huge game for both teams were a win would go a long way in securing Premier League status,” said Armadale coach Lee Bamber. “Joondalup look like they've been in the same situation that we've been in this season, taking time to gel after a rebuilding process, so we know what they're going through. They've made some great signings recently which will make them stronger in the long run but hopefully we can go there with our confidence high and get something from the game." All six Premier Division games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday
DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
Mandurah City will be hoping to stay in touch with the top sides when they take on Forrestfield United at Hyundai Stadium on Saturday. Forrestfield won their first game of the season last week to keep their hopes of staying in the division alive. Meanwhile Mandurah City comes off a good win away to Canning, but Mandurah know this game isn’t going to be a walk in the park. “We know this isn’t going to be an easy game, every game is a hard game in this division and we need to be up for the challenge every week, this week is no different, “said Dolphins striker Michael Grigo. Forrestfield welcome back Rob Perrott and Shannon Benniston from suspension, which gives Coach Phil Butler some selection headaches.
Shamrock Rovers face an in-form Cockburn City team at Ashfield Reserve in a must win game for The Cockerels if they are to keep the pressure on top of the table Ashfield. Swan United are in danger of losing touch with the top sides and nothing less than win in their home match is needed against Dianella White Eagles at the Swan Italian Club. The mid-table clash of Gosnells City and Rockingham City will surely be a great spectacle at Walter Padbury Reserve. Gosnells will be without a host of players including, Alan Carroll (Suspended), Paul Carlin, Ian Maguire and Tommy Murphy (injured) for their mid-table clash with Rockingham City at Walter Padbury Reserve, but do welcome back Graham Tough.
Fremantle Spirit will try to put last week’s defeat to Forrestfield behind them as they host high flying Ashfield at Nikola Tesla Reserve. Ashfield will be without Mladen Kovacevic (suspended) but welcome back Ryan Frisina and Ian Griffiths into the squad. Morley-Windmills will need to be on top of their game if they expect to take anything from visitors Wanneroo City at Wotton Reserve. Morley-Windmills coach Jason Van Rooy has an unchanged squad from last week’s away draw at Rockingham. All six Division One games kick off at 3:00pm Saturday.
DIVISION TWO PREVIEW
Joondalup City host Quinns FC at Iluka sports complex. Quinns have Nick Maplestone returning from injury to help boost the side as they look to get their first win of the season. This game promises to be massive with Joondalup only three points ahead of Quinns, in what is a match that is likely to shape who finishes bottom of the division. At Len Shearer Park, Melville City face Olympic Kingsway in a mid-table clash which can see Melville jump ahead of Kingsway if the home side win. They will need to look to Danielle D’Ulisse to lead the line well if they are to take the three points. UWA-Nedlands have the chance to go top if they beat Fremantle United at UWA Sport Park. Subiaco AFC have the bye and UWA-Nedlands will be looking to their forward line and in particular Rory Feely to fire them to the top of the table. All three Division Two games kick off at 3:00pm Saturday.
STADIUM UPGRADE HAS SAGE SEETHING
Perth Glory owner Tony Sage says the $95.14 million redevelopment of Perth Oval could force his club to find somewhere else to play because the upgrade is due to almost halve the facility’s capacity. Glory are considering playing next season indoors at Burswood Dome after being told of plans for the redevelopment of Perth Oval. “They’re telling us now that we’re only going to have 9000 (capacity), of which only four and a half or 5000 are seated,” Sage said. “That means 5000 have got to stand up. There is the alternative – we’ll never play there again.”
Stage one of the Perth Oval upgrade includes replacing all temporary sections of the facility, increasing capacity to around 20,500 from its current 18,000. But during the 2012/13 A-League season it will operate with a reduced capacity of about 9,500 people due to construction. Sage said work at the venue should have begun months ago, or have been left until the end of the season. “We’ve been the anchor tenant there since 1996,” Sage said. “For them to come and destroy our entire season, and not impact on rugby who only play seven games a year there, is just an absolute farce.”
The upgrade will include a covered eastern grandstand, a new uncovered southern stand, new food and beverage and toilet facilities, a 250-seat barbecue terrace and seating for about 420 patrons in open corporate boxes. The stadium will also get two large video replay boards, a new PA system, a CCTV surveillance system and new pitch lighting. Major construction works commence early next month and are expected to be completed in March next year. A new playing surface is to be installed between July and October next year.
JOONDALUP TEENAGER HEADS TO FULHAM
ECU Joondalup teenager defender Cameron Burgess will head to Premier League side Fulham at the end of the month, after a successful trail at the Craven Cottage club in March. The 16-year-old, who has starred in Joondalup's senior side in recent weeks, is looking forward to the new challenge. "I leave at the end of this month after I received a three year contract at Fulham, after my trials. I’m definitely looking forward to the opportunity and it will be a great experience for me to hopefully develop as a player," said Burgess.
The talented defender, who played for the Joondalup Academy, has made the step up to senior football at the club after returning from his trials, and he's fitted in really well. "I’m enjoying playing at ECU, they have a good set up and made me really welcome when I arrived. It has been frustrating time for the team this season, although every game we feel like we probably deserved more than we were getting and we were doing everything except getting the desired results. We had a great win on the weekend and hopefully we can go and build on that," explained Burgess.
That 5-1 win against Western Knights gave Joondalup a much needed three points and Burgess believes with the new signings gelling together under new Coach Salv Todaro, things are looking bright for the rest of the season. "Salv is the type of coach the team needs right now. He always seems to pick out the positives from the weekend’s games and this motivates the team to put the effort in that it takes to get results. We are starting to work to his style of play, zipping the ball around and it beginning to work nicely for us," said Burgess.
"We are definitely playing some nice football and things are looking up for us. I think the additions to the squad will get us the results we need to lift the club to where it should be in the league. There is some great talent at ECU and its starting to show on game day."
The teenager began his football in Scotland, coming through the Glasgow Celtic FC development squad, before moving to Aberdeen and playing in the Scottish Premier Youth League, before heading down under. He played for Sorrento, ECU Academy, The Football West NTC squad and Perth Glory Youth side, which he really enjoyed. "The Glory Youth team was a great experience for me and I learnt a lot under the coaches and experienced players there. I enjoyed every minute of my time there, but my highlight would have to be winning 2-1 against Sydney in a curtain raiser to the A-League game at The Sydney Football Stadium," said Burgess.
AMERICAN AT HOME AT ARMADALE
Armadale's new American import Nick Viaggio has fitted nicely into the Alfred Skeet Oval side, and has played a pivotal role in the clubs recent good form. The defender headed down under after finishing his studies at Siena College and he is enjoying every minute. “In December last year I finished my collegiate playing career at Siena College in Albany, New York and was looking to continue playing at a high level and the opportunity to play in Australia came about. My current teammate and ex Siena teammate Joey Tavernese and I got into contact with an agent that had contacts here. He put us into contact with Armadale Coach Lee Bamber, and within a couple weeks we were on a plane to Perth," explained Viaggio.
A chance to play overseas was something Viaggio couldn't turn down, and when he arrived at Armadale he didn't know what to expect. "It’s been a great couple months for me here in Perth, and playing for Armadale has been enjoyable and hopefully it will continue. When I first arrived here I wasn’t sure what to expect, I had watched some YouTube clips of league highlights before I arrived, but it’s sometimes hard to tell how good competition truly is until you’re playing against it. I think the standard of the league is pretty high with a good mix of older players and talented youth, overall I would say the league is very physical" explained Viaggio.
"As a centre-back, I personally think the strikers I’ve played against here are more clever and technical than in the US, with American strikers basing their game more off of their pace. I enjoy the challenge of playing against players week in and week out that have made a name for themselves in the league and others that have previously played at higher levels than this one."
The 22-year-old started playing football in New York as a junior and he worked his way through the college system. "I started playing for a local club in New York City called BW Gottschee when I was five years old and remained at the club until I went away to play at college. The club is nationally renowned in the states and I was fortunate enough to have great coaches throughout my youth career, including current well-known college coaches and MLS coaches. Playing at the club helped me to receive a scholarship to play for Siena College, which competes in Division 1 of the NCAA, the highest level of college football ," said Viaggio.
"While I was there I was also very fortunate to have great coaching in a professional atmosphere where we trained every day. Playing in college helped me develop into a better all-round player, forcing myself to adapt to the physicality of the college game while playing centre-back and defensive midfield against top competition. The highlight for my career at Siena would probably be captaining our side in an away win at Ohio State University, one of the country’s top college programs. "
Bamber has been delighted with the big central defender, after a slow start. “When Nick first arrived he struggled to deal with the different style of playing compared to the game in the USA. The physical side and the high pressure defenders were put under, but he’s adjusted extremely well which is pleasing and with his confidence growing he's become a leader on and off the park, so much so that we've made him Captain,” said Bamber.
“He's just an all-round good bloke to have around the club who’s well respected by both his team mates and coaching staff and someone who we are very happy to have at the club.”
Armadale upset league leaders Perth SC, making it four wins from the last five league games and Viaggio has brought some experience to a young Reds outfit and he's enjoying being there. "I think it took some time for our squad to adapt to each other’s strengths and weaknesses on the pitch early on, but in the past few weeks we’ve hit good form and are playing up to our potential. Beating Perth was a big win for us and probably our best performance of the season so far. We just want to build off that performance and play the way we did on a consistent basis and the results will come. Hopefully we get enough results to make our way higher up the table, but we have to take it one game at a time," said Viaggio.
"This week we face another tough game at Joondalup. It seems they’ve strengthened their squad recently so it will be a big test for us. We’ll get a good week of training in leading up to the game and be up for it at the weekend. "
WA QUARTET CALLED UP FOR YOUNG SOCCEROOS
National youth coach Paul Okon has invited four West Australians into camp ahead of the Under-19 Asian Championship. Perth Glory players Jesse Makarounas, Brandon O’Neill and Riley Woodcock along with Adam Taggart, who recently signed with Newcastle Jets, were amongst the 23 players Okon called up for a seven-day training camp in Brisbane commencing this Friday. The squad will represent Australia at the AFC Under-22 Qualification Tournament in Indonesia during July, and will continue their campaign in November at the AFC Under-19 Championship in the United Arab Emirate.
The Young Socceroos going into camp are Jake Barker-Daish (Adelaide United), Ben Garuccio (Australian Institute of Sport), Yianni Perkatis (Blacktown City), David Vrankovic (Bonnyrigg White Eagles), Corey Brown, James Donachie, Nicholas Fitzgerald, Jason Geria, Anthony Proia (Brisbane Roar), Nick Munro (Croydon Kings), Curtis Good (Melbourne Heart), Jesse Makarounas, Brandon O’Neill, Riley Woodcock (Perth Glory), Josh Brillante, Connor Chapman, Mitch Cooper, Jack Duncan, Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets), Terry Antonis, Daniel Petkovski (Sydney FC), Giancarlo Gallifuoco (Tottenham Hotspur) and uncontracted Reece Caira.
HERD PLAYS THE WAITING GAME
Chris Herd has revealed the ankle injury that ruled him out of this month’s World Cup qualifiers is an on-going problem that without a complete break could require surgery. But while the emerging midfielder is confident a special strengthening program devised by Aston Villa’s medical staff will negate the need for an arthroscopic clean-out of his left ankle, he is taking no chances to build on his breakthrough Premier League campaign. “I actually felt the ankle troubling me in the last four games of the season so the decision was made to take a bit of a break to give it a chance to heal properly for next season," Herd said.
Herd, 23, made 20 appearances last season for Villa and is doing everything in his power to make sure he is in the best possible shape to better that tally when 2012/13 swings around. “I’m following a pretty strict program to try and strengthen it up because otherwise I might need an operation. Hopefully that won’t be the case,” said Herd, who is resting up with family and friends in Perth. “It’s a ligament problem and it needs time to get right. The program lasts six weeks and the idea is to make sure that I don’t miss any more football than I already have.”
The injury is the same one which forced Herd out of the Socceroos squad for last November’s World Cup qualifiers against Oman and Thailand. “It was disappointing to have to pull out again especially with so much at stake in the games against Oman and Japan coming up after the friendly against Denmark,” he said. “But it would have been a risk to keep stressing the ankle. I just hope now that if I keep playing well for Villa in Premier League another call up the will come my way. My ultimate goal is to be involved in helping Australia qualify for Brazil and I am just going to have to be patient.”
Though he recently signed an upgraded four-year deal at Villa Park, Herd knows that he has everything to prove to his new manager, whoever that may be. “Alex McLeish was good to me, he gave me my chance to play a lot of games and I was sad to see him go but that’s the club’s decision,” said Herd, whose team narrowly escaped relegation last season. “Whoever comes in will want to see for themselves what sort of squad we have and in pre-season every player will have it try and impress again … Villa is a big club and really should be at the other end of the league challenging for a place in Europe.”
GLORY WOMEN ATTEMPT TO BRING PERRY WEST
Football West has launched an audacious bid to lure dual Australian sporting international Ellyse Perry to Perth for the 2012/13 W-League season. Perry, who has played football and cricket for Australia, was recently given an ultimatum by Canberra United to quit cricket. But the 21-year old is keen to continue juggling her sporting commitments and is weighing up an offer from Football West. “She was taken aback by our interest and our enthusiasm to have her as part of the team,” the association’s chief executive Peter Hugg said. “She was pleasantly surprised and interested in talking further.”
While W-League champions Canberra have taken an all-or-nothing view with their players, Glory’s women’s team are prepared to take a chance on Perry’s part-time approach because of her potential value to the struggling team. “I understand what Canberra are trying to do but we are not in that position,” Hugg commented. “We are prepared to be pragmatic and say this would be a win for us and it can be a win for Ellyse and the game.” Perry would be allowed to remain resident in Sydney where she could continue her cricket commitments and would fly to Perth for specific matches.
FLOREAT TOO GOOD FOR ROVERS
Floreat Athena booked their place in the State Cup semi-finals with a comfortable 4-1 win against Sunday League side Hamersley Rovers at Litis Stadium. Mickey Roberts opened the scoring for the hosts on 21 minutes, before skipper Mark Pritchard doubled the advantage from the spot a minute later. Liam Boland blasted his header past Hamersley custodian Haig Kingston on 39 minutes and grabbed another goal on 72 minutes to give Athena a 4-0 lead. Rovers battled to the end and they were rewarded with a consolation goal on 78 minutes through Steve Kruit. "Two games in three days was always going to be a tough ask for the lads and we wanted to put the game to bed early," said Athena assistant coach Glen Grostate.
The home side came out strong and were rewarded on 21 minutes when Roberts combined with Pritchard to find space on the edge of the box and curl a lovely shot into inside the far upright. Almost immediately Liam Boland was fouled inside the box and Pritchard converted from the spot. Roberts was in the thick of the action again and picked out Boland with a fine cross to the far post and the big striker buried the header to give the home a 3-0 lead at the break.
Hamersley came out in the second half with great endeavour and despite the score, still showed belief. Steve Kruit wriggled his way past the Athena defence and managed to squeeze off a shot that forced Brad Effie into a full stretch save. But, with Rovers continuing to push, Pritchard caught their defence out when he put Boland through for a one-on- one with Kingston; he made hard work of the opportunity but fired his shot into the roof of the net to extend Floreat's lead. Hamersley got reward for their efforts on 78 minutes when Ryan Sochanick wrong footed the Athena defence with a cute ball into the box for Kruit to collect and drill his low shot past Effie, but it was too little too late.
INGLEWOOD SEES OFF THE ROOS
Inglewood United progressed to the semi-final stage of the State Cup after defeating a gritty Wanneroo City 3-0 at Kingsway Reserve. First half goals from Alex Caniglia and Ryan Clarke set Graham Normanton’s side on their way to victory, and Michael Baczynski wrapped the tie with 11 minutes remaining. ”I think all the boys were feeling pretty fatigued from Saturday and it took us a while to get going, but once we got going I thought the quality showed through, although they battled to the end though showed a lot of fight an heart,” said United midfielder Dannie Richman.
Both sides had early chances in a fast paced opened, Brad McDonald's diving head from a Rowdy Yates cross couldn't test Francis Soale in the Inglewood goal, while up the other end an effort from Clarke was well held by Clint Davies. The opening goal arrived just before the half-hour mark, Caniglia firing home into the far corner with the help of the post. The second goal arrived on the stroke of half time though and again it came from a wide area, as Jason Colli crossed for Clarke to rise highest and head powerfully beyond Davies.
Wanneroo opened the second half well, but Brian Cairney couldn't keep his effort under the bar after good work down the left by Rowdy Yates. Sammut went close to a third on the hour but he curled his shot onto the post, before Guy McDonald shot off target for the hosts after making space on the edge of the penalty.
The decisive third came on 79 minutes, Baczynski steer home Ryan Clarke's cross from the left, which took a slight deflection on its way through. Soale was called into action in the dying stages when he had to be alert to tip over Josh Booysen's cross, but the consolation wouldn't arrive as Inglewood United eased through to the final four.
MELVILLE HIT FOR SIX BY GULLS
Sorrento continued their quest for back-to-back State Cup final wins, when they easily account for Division Two side Melville City in their quarter-final clash at Percy Doyle Reserve. Six different players were on the scoresheet for Sorrento, Jason Mirco and Ryan Pearson gave them a 2-0 lead at the break, with further goals to Brad Burguss, Mike Aspin, Dejan Gurovski and James Morgan. Jamie Harnwell will be wondering how he failed to join them after missing a series of presentable chances.
The home side got off to a slow start, with Melville threatening early. Innocent Zico, John Brennan and Simon El Chami combined to release Gary McVicker on the left, but he dragged his shot wide of the target. Sorrento eventually started to hit their stride, with Aspin and Jason Mirco giving Melville headaches down their left side.
But Melville were almost gifted a goal when a Mirco slip let in Lee McKay, his shot was blocked by Curtis Aspden and the follow up was cleared off the line by Aspin. The miss would be made all the more costly when Sorrento opened the scoring shortly afterwards. A punt up field was misjudged by McKay, allowing Jason Mirco through on goal, who finished clinically past Stewart Dalgarno. Ryan Pearson made it two nil just before half time, tucking the ball in after following up a ferocious Reece Vittiglia shot that Dalgarno failed to hold.
Sorrento opened the second half on fire and it wasn't long before they made it three. Jason Mirco picked up possession on the right; his shot was tipped on to the post by Dalgarno, the rebound falling to Burgess, who volleyed home. It went from bad to worse for the visitors in the 72nd minute when Aspin's cross snuck under the Melville custodian, before Dejan Gurovski made it five in the 82nd. It was six in stoppage time; Morgan’s shot from the edge of the penalty area flew into the top corner after good work from Vittiglia.
PERTH'S CUP CAMPAIN GOES FOR A BURTON
Balcatta came from behind to knock Perth SC out of the State Cup Final 2-1 in extra time after a thrilling quarter final tie at Grindleford Reserve on Monday afternoon. It looked like the visitors would take out the game when Andreas Oliveira scored five minutes into the second half, but a thunder bolt from substitute David Micevski in stoppage-time sent the game into extra time, where Steve Burton popped up with the winner in the first period. “The boy’s worked extremely hard today, backing up from a tough game at Sorrento on Saturday and they delivered a solid game today against a strong Perth side,” said Balcatta Coach Michael Roki.
It was the home side that opened the brighter and they went close to the opener on 14 minutes. Jason Barrera sent Mustafa Atak racing down the left, he cut inside Todd Howarth but Alex Dunn was out quick to save bravely at his feet. Moments later John Migas fed Callum Roberts down the right, but his shot was well saved by Dunn. Perth began to get into the game and on 18 minutes Howarth’s run and shot flashed inches past the post, and then moments later the former Perth Glory midfielder’s long-range shot dipped over the top.
But it was Balcatta who were creating the better chances and they went close again on 24 minutes, Daniel Micevski teeing up Barrera whose shot from 12-yards was well saved by Dunn. In the shadows of half time both sides had chances to open the scoring, first on 44 minutes Daniel Micevski’s shot from 18-yards was well saved by Dunn, the rebound falling to Roberts who headed over the top from close-range. Then in stoppage-time Howarth made space on the edge of the penalty area and his powerful shot went inches wide and into the side netting.
Perth opened the second half on the front foot and they were ahead five minutes in. Sciascia was the provider sending Oliveira in on goal and he finished clinically past Bobson Koroma. It was nearly 2-0 six minutes later; Sharland’s pace took him clear down the right and his pin-point cross picked out Sciascia whose first time volley was saved low by Koroma. Balcatta made a change on the hour bringing on David Micevski and they began to take control of the game. On 70 minutes Atak’s cross from the right was met by Roberts at the back post, but his header was tipped around the post by Dunn.
With Balcatta pushing forward Perth almost added a second on 85 minutes, but Oliveira’s low shot was well saved by Koroma. The home side had a strong penalty claim turned down by referee David Costello when Kilkelly brought down Daniel Micevski four minutes later and it looked like time would run out for the home side, but David Micevski had other ideas. In the third minute of stoppage time Burton’s shot crashed off the crossbar and the ball was cleared to the edge of the penalty, where David Micevski shot flew into the top corner of the net to level the score, sending the home supporters into raptures and the game into extra time.
It was end-to-end in extra time, Sharland blazed over when well placed two minutes in for Perth, while four minutes later Chris Thackray’s flick from Migas’ cross, was well saved by Dunn. But in the 101st minute the deadlock was broken. A free kick from David Micevski was fumbled by Dunn and Burton was on hand to fire home from close-range. Perth pressed in the second half of extra time, Naglieri’s free kick was pushed around the post by Koroma, and Howarth’s cross shot was tipped over by the Balcatta custodian. Perth forced three late corners but to no avail and it was Balcatta celebrating at the final whistle and they will go into the hat for the semi-final draw.
JOONDALUP DO AUSTRALIA PROUD
An outstanding performance from ECU Joondalup under 13’s at the Junior World Masters in Warsaw, Poland, saw them qualify for the quarter finals after finishing second in their group. The Australian team emerged from the tournament with huge credit in the knowledge that having played six matches they only lost to the two teams that competed in the final - Germany and day one opponents Italy.
In the opening game of the tournament they drew 1-1 with Kazakhstan. After going 1-0 down ECU hit back and the referee gave a penalty kick after Bayley Brown-Montgomery was fouled in the box and midfielder Sven Begiecevic stepped up to coolly slot the ball home off the underside of the crossbar and secure a point. Next up it was Russia. They looked like a tough opponent on paper although they were coming off a 2-0 opening loss to Italy. Strong performances at the back from Ashwin Jayakumar and Stefan Vranesevic kept the talented Russian attack at bay and James Owen was able to score a goal in the second half for the win.
The third game against one of the pre-tournament favourites, Italy, was an experience the ECU Joondalup boys will never forget against a true powerhouse in world football. They matched Italy across the park and were unfortunate to go down 1-0. They went into day two knowing that two wins in the final two group matches would secure a quarter final place, and that is exactly what they achieved. A 2-1 win against Mexico was followed by a nail biting 1-0 win against Sweden to book a quarter final place against tournament favourites Germany
Australia kicked off day two against Mexico and took an early 2-0 lead thanks to two goals from forward Ryan Charles. A swirling wind was causing both teams problems, and in the second half the Mexicans got a deserved goal back but Australia had too much for them and held out for a 2-1 win.
That meant it all came down to the final group game against Sweden. Anything other than a win would see Russia progress to the quarter finals with group winners Italy. The tension on the sidelines from ECU Joondalup's loyal and vocal band of supporters was huge. The match was poised at 0-0 and in spite of having chances Australia weren't able to make the break through until a goal from Ayden Dragun with just two minutes to go sent the crowd and the players into ecstasy. They were able to hold on for a 1-0 win which secured a quarter final spot and qualification from a very tough group.
The draw couldn't have been tougher with a quarter final spot against an undefeated and well fancied German team, whose academy team from Bundesliga giants Hertha Berlin, had previously beaten the likes of Argentina 5-0. They scored three goals in the first half however a strong second half fight back and a conciliation goal by midfielder Sven Begiecevic meant that Australia could hold their heads high with a 3-1 defeat.
Germany went on to beat Switzerland in the semi-finals and line up a final against Italy who had beaten Brazil in a tense penalty shoot-out in the other semi-final.. In a one sided final Germany deservedly took the crown of Volkswagen Junior World Masters champions with a 5-0 win. The Volkswagen Junior Masters experience is one which the boys from ECU Joondalup will never forget and as Australia's first ever representatives in the tournament they have set the bar high for all teams that follow in the biggest youth football tournament in the world.
BAYSWATER BRUSH ASIDE FORCE (with Bianca Redding, Football West)
Bayswater City returned to form with a comfortable 4-0 victory over visiting Bunbury Forum Force at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday afternoon. Goals from Gustavo Catarcione, Gustavo Giron Marulanda and John Kearney ensured a convincing win for the home side. Bayswater coach Mauro Marchione was clearly pleased with the result, commenting "we're happy with the way we played today, we got the result and we're back in business"
On the ten minute mark the first breakthrough came, with a ball from Paul McCarthy finding the feet of Marulanda who then found Catarcione who drove the ball past a helpless Ryan Montgomery in goals. Not long later, both Marulanda and McCarthy had chances saved by Montgomery. Bunbury then showed some promise with strong play from Bright Ababio but they couldn't split open the home defence. Bayswater were looking comfortable and took a 1-0 lead into the half time break.
Shortly after the second half started, Bunbury had a free kick that saw a header from Michael Harmer go harmlessly wide. Cisco Jorquera and Catarcione were bossing the game and were the catalysts of many home side attacks. In the 56th minute Larry Miller had his chance but Montgomery did outstanding to block the effort.
Catarcione then showed amazing composure and skill in the 66th minute when he played a intelligent ball into the clever run of Giron Marulanda who then directed a wonderful striker past Montgomery, who had no chance of saving such an effort.Not long later, a penalty was awarded to the homes ide after an incident involving jayden prosser and Larry Miller went fortuitously in the favour of Bayswater. Giron Marulanda converted the penalty with ease Bunbury had chances through Ababio and substitute Lee Stewart but Bayswater were completely on top. A great freekick in the 85th minute delivered by Ross Cossgrove found Kearney who managed to put it into the back of the net for Bayswater's fourth.
VITTIGLIA'S STRIKE STUNS BALCATTA (with Andrew Ellis, Football West)
Sorrento FC scored a valuable win with a 3-2 victory over Balcatta SC at Percy Doyle Reserve. A crazy finale to the game resulted in four late goals which left the fans full of excitement - and disappointment. Former Perth Glory star Jamie Harrnwell scored twice and Reece Vittiglia once for the home side whilst Balcatta's young gun Callum Roberts bagged a late brace. The first half was low key with Jamie Harnwell scoring the games opener and that was about as good as it got from both sides. Sorrento had opportunities with crosses that were either not accurate or under hit. Meanwhile at the other end Balcatta clicked into gear once or twice but could only produce long range shots from the ever impressive Daniel Micevski.
However, the second half was a completely different story. Balcatta came out with intention and seemed apparent in order to get themselves back into the match. Steve McDonald had a chance for Sorrento but other than that Balcatta had Sorrento very much at bay. Smart build play saw Mustafa Atak curl in a dangerous cross which was dealt very well by the Sorrento backline. Balcatta coach Michael Roki decided to bring on David Micevski and Steve Burton in place of Mark Walsh and Simon Elton-Bott. Shortly after clever play from Atak saw Daniel Micevski break free down the middle but Curtis Aspden's legs saved the day. Minutes later brother David Micevski had a shot denied by Apsden. Balcatta then came close to an equaliser when Steve Burton brilliantly held up play to slip Daniel Micevski through who then laid it off to David. Unfortunately his quick shot was fantastically saved by Aspden.
On the 80th minute mark, Balcatta's pressure finally paid off. It looked like a harmless attempt from Christopher Thackray but the Sorrento defence seemed to switch off which allowed Callum Roberts to sneak in and send the ball into the back of the net. Just three minutes later Balcatta were ahead. More great hold up play on the left from Steve Burton resulted in a ball to Roberts who skipped past three Sorrento defenders and bent in a shot into the bottom right corner which left Curtis Aspden with no option but to watch the ball sail in. Sorrento picked up the ball minutes later on the right wing, and whipped in a cross that was expertly put in from Jamie Harnwell to bring the game level. The game was now swinging in Sorrento's favour and Jason Mirco took on the Balcatta defence somehow unbalanced yet gliding past two defenders and passing to Vittiglia who sent the crowd into raptures with a clinical finish into the top corner. Sorrento's great run continues with four impressive wins on the trot.
INGLEWOOD BATTLE PAST NTC (with James Mooney, Football West)
Inglewood United were too clinical for the National Traning Centre, with a double from James Sammut helping them to a 3-1 win over the NTC at 6PR Stadium. Inglewood United controlled the first half but took the foot off the pedal in the second half which didn't please coach Normanton. The Inglewood boss was impressed by the visitors and had this to say, "We got a win, but we didn't play that well, to be fair NTC had some good kids in there". Inglewood could arguably count themselves a bit fortunate to come away with a two goal win.
The NTC started the game at a fast pace but once Inglewood got into the game it was always going to be a tough ask from the young side to get anything from the match. A corner early on, was left by everyone but Jack Clisby who managed to get the ball into the net to give the hosts an early lead. Storm Roux responded by taking on three Inglewood players which lead to a chance for Sahr Musa who unluckily hit the woodwork. Musa then missed another chance which fortunately lead to Nick Ambrogio being able to rifle in a shot past Francis Soale in the Inglewood goal. Inglewood hit back immediately when captain Sammut chipped Jordan Franken to restore Inglewood's lead. A lead which they carried into the break.
After half time, NTC started well by playing the ball around nicely but they were finding it hard to breakdown the Inglewood backline. This was to be costly as one attack lead to a quick Inglewood counter attack and James Sammut scored a low shot into the corner which Franken couldn't stop. Australian youth international and Perth Glory player Jesse Makarounas came on and showed his talent immediately by picking up the ball and smashing a 20 yard shot that hit the inside of the post which unfortunately came back out. Both teams had chances but on the day, the NTC were made to pay for their lacklustre performance in the final third which allowed Inglewood to continue on their winning way.
KNIGHTS TAUGHT A LESSON AT JOONDALUP (with Tommy Doleman, Football West)
ECU Joondalup returned to the winners circle with a morale boasting 5-1 win against Western Knights at The Edith Cowen University Campus. David Foster scored twice for the home side, but the damage was done in the first half when Joondalup raced to a 4-1 lead, with goals from Matt Italiano, Foster, Tommy Jones and Scott Bushby. Foster added his second four minutes into the second half, while the Knights’ consolation came from Ryan Shackleton. "The result today has been coming for the last couple of weeks, and it's just reward for all the hard work the boys have been putting in at training," said Todaro.
Joondalup, who had not won in the league since round three, went close early; Shaun Timmins’ cross looped up over Knights keeper Kevin Miller, but luckily for the Knights custodian the crossbar came to his rescue. The Knights also threatened and after Thomas Gasser found space on the edge of the penalty area his curling shot was well saved by Andy Banks. It was the home side that struck the first blow on 17 minutes, Italiano firing home from seven metres, after great approach work from Tommy Amphlett. The home fans only had to wait two more minutes to double their advantage, Jones squaring to Foster to side foot past Miller.
The Knights looked to hit back immediately but Rory Grant couldn't test Banks, when he headed over from David Annall's flick-on. Joondalup were playing some great football and they were rewarded again on 38 minutes. Defender Cameron Burgess delivered an inviting cross from the left and Jones headed into the bottom corner. There was time for another before half time, as Foster found Bushby, and the former Knights midfielder slotted home a fourth before half time, to the joy of the home faithful.
It didn't look as though it was getting any better for the Knights after the break, when a mix up in defence after only five minutes allowed Foster to nip in and fire a 22-metre volley that flew over Millers head. Joondalup had let a lead slip by last week at Balcatta, and they may have felt slightly concerned as Shackleton's pulled one back for the Knights on 53 minutes. The visitors had chances to cut the margin even more, but Jackson Turner and Shackleton missed late chances, while Italiano could have added a sixth in stoppage time, but the midfielder fired wide after beating the offside trap, but it didn't matter as the Joondalup side one for the first time under their new coach.
LYONS GIVES LIONS A POINT (With George Tsasilas, Football West)
A goal on the hour by Stirling Lions striker Anthony Lyons gave the visitors a hard fought 1-1 draw against traditional rivals Floreat Athena at The Litis Stadium. The home side had taken the lead in the first minute of the second half when Liam Boland fired home from Jon Brooks cross. Both sides pushed for a winning goal, but had to settle for a point. “We are very pleased with the display the lads put on, the supporters saw us play good football and create chances. The lads gave everything and I think the Floreat lads did to and a draw was probably a fair result in the end,’ said Lions Coach Doug Hesketh.
An opening period was void of chances, but it came to life on 26 minutes. Ludo Boi volley from the edge of the box rebounded to Henrick Dhale, whose header was superbly cleared off the line by Clayton Arnez. The Lions defence were working overtime and on 40 minutes Mikey Roberts raced clear, but his shot into an open goal was cleared off the line by Dennis Galan. A minute later a rare Lions forward trust ended with Lyons pouncing on a Matt Spurling miss-kick and side stepped and advancing keeper Brad Effie but rushed his shot and pushed his shot wide of the upright.
Directly from the re-start of the second half, Boi raced forward and found Jon Brooks wide, his pinpoint cross from the right found Boland, who headed past Hugo at the far post to give Athena the lead. The early setback only sparked the Lions into action and Jamie De Abreu shot from 27 metres flashed inches over the bar. The Lions were taking control of the game and they levelled on the hour. Gareth McGlynn found Lyons, who finished with aplomb past Effie. Moments later it was Lyons again; he ran onto McGlynn’s through ball but fired wide.
Athena lifted the tempo and went close to the lead on 65 minutes. A clever dummy from Callum Roberts sent Boland in on goal, but his shot flashed inches wide with Hugo beaten. Phil O’Callaghan had a chance to win it for the Lions on 75 minutes, a great move involving Andy Harold and McGlynn ended with a cross into the box, but the ball skidded away from the striker in the penalty area and the chance was gone. Both sides had late chances but couldn’t convert, with both sides walking away with a well-earned point.
KUPPUSAMY DOUBLE SINKS PERTH
A double from striker Raveshlan Kuppusamy has helped Armadale to a 3-1 win against Perth SC at Alfred Skeet Oval. The striker struck twice either side of the break with Joey Tavernese added the other, while James Isaia scored the consolation goal for the visitors, who had midfielder Daniel Coletta sent off late. “The game plan worked a treat, all the players did their job and we took our chances today, which we haven’t been doing recently. We defended well and everyone worked their socks off and I think we deserved the points on the day,” said Armadale Coach Lee Bamber.
Perth had plenty of possession early but it was the hosts who had the first opportunity on 16 minutes. Kuppusamy’s shot from the edge of the box went wide. Their early pressure was rewarded on 24 minutes, a long throw in by Tavernese was flicked on by Viaggio, too Kuppusamy, who scored from close-range. Perth’s first opportunity didn’t arrive until 36 minutes; Howarth’s playing in Niederberger, whose low shot flashed inches past the post. It was the visitors on top as the half ended, and in stoppage time Danskin cut in from the right and his powerful shot was well saved by Cyril Sharrock.
At the break Perth made a double change, bringing on David Onoforo and Greg Sharland and the change almost had an immediate impact, Sharland’s shot on the turn four minutes in was saved low by Sharrock. But it was the home side that doubled their lead on 52 minutes. Tavernese’s cross picked out Biss whose volley flew into the top corner of the net. That goal woke Perth from their slumber and on 58 minutes they went close to reducing the lead. Wilkins’ cross from the right found Kay, whose header was tipped around the post by Sharrock, and from the resulting corner Oliviera’s header crashed off the post.
With Perth pushing men forward they were caught out again on 66 minutes. A long clearance by Sharrock was flicked on by Darren Francis sending Kuppusamy in on goal, and he was brought down by Dunn for a penalty, the striker picked himself up to score. Perth pulled one back two minutes later, Kay’s flick on from a corner was fired home by Isaia. The home side should have regained their three goal lead seven minutes later, when they were awarded another penalty but Castrilli’s spot kick was well saved by Dunn. Things went from bad to worse for Perth when Coletta was given a straight red card in the last minute, but it was Armadale’s day and they ran out 3-1 winners.
STATE CUP QUARTER-FINAL PREVIEW
The State Cup field will be cut to four teams following Monday’s quarter-final round. Hamersley Rovers coach Craig Doble is realistic about his teams’ chances ahead of their trip to Floreat Athena. “We’re looking forward to the game but we would be kidding ourselves if we thought we could outplay them,” said Doble, who rates Liam Boland, Mark Pritchard and Spencer Harris the players to watch. “We’re going to have to be disciplined in defence, keep a few players behind the ball and make sure we do the Sunday League justice.”
The only all Premier Division encounter amongst Monday’s four games has traditional rivals Balcatta and Perth SC coming together at Grindleford Reserve. The teams squared off only a few weeks ago at the same venue with Perth cruising to a 3-1 victory on that occasion, however, Balcatta will be pulling out all the stops to turn that result around. The odds are stacked against Division Two side Melville City when they travel north to face Sorrento. Stewart Dalgarno and Simon El Chami will have big roles to play if Melville are to stand any chance to eliminating the Cup holders from this years competition.
David Tough, coach of Wanneroo City, says all the pressure is on Inglewood United ahead of their encounter at Kingsway Reserve. “I feel we’ve already over-achieved in the Cup this year so we’re going into the game with no fear or pressure whereas Inglewood need to avoid slipping up against a team from Division One,” commented Tough. “We know it is going to be a large task for us to get the victory on Monday. But we’ll be prepared and you never know what can happen in Cup football.” All four State League Cup quarter-finals kick-off at 2.30pm on Monday, 3 June.
PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
This week’s footballwa.net match of the week is the relegation six-pointer between ECU Joondalup and Western Knights in the northern suburbs. Joondalup goalkeeper Andy Banks knows the importance of getting a result on Saturday with his team sitting at the bottom of the Premier Division pile, four points adrift of their nearest rival. “The Knights game can’t come quick enough for us,” Banks said. “Training has been very intense and it’s only a matter of time before results start to turn for us.” Joondalup’s hopes of getting something from the afternoon have been boosted with the signing of striker John Thornley.
The Knights have run hot and cold so far this season to place eighth after nine games. Last weekend a very young and inexperienced line-up was dumped 5-1 by Perth SC but goalkeeper Kevin Miller expects his team to bounce back on Saturday. “The club is going through a transition stage and we had a lot of inexperienced players playing. That said, Perth are a quality team and we were outplayed,” said Miller. “Joondalup is a massive game and I think we will take the points. We all have to do our individual jobs and we will get a result.”
Trent Kay and Todd Howarth will be knocking on the door of first eleven selection when Premier Division leaders Perth SC make the trip at Armadale. Balcatta have their sights set on taking all the points from their meeting with Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. The home side are without midfielder James Morgan (suspension) whereas Balcatta are hopeful of regaining the services of captain Steve Burton and goalkeeper Neil Young. Bayswater City takes on Bunbury Forum Force at Frank Drago Reserve. Another long afternoon awaits the National Training Centre who ventures to Inglewood United.
Liam Boland is one of several Floreat Athena players who come up against their former club, Stirling Lions, at Litis Stadium. “It’s a massive game for the whole team, but especially Ludovic Boi and Bobby Wilson who both came from Stirling this year, commented Boland whose team sits in fourth spot, two ahead of Stirling. “We need the three points to stay clear of them and keep pushing up the ladder.” Stirling captain Andy Brown misses the game through suspension, likewise Floreat defender Spencer Harris. All six Premier Division games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
Forrestfield United go hunting their first points of the season when Fremantle Spirit visits Hartfield Park. Home coach Phil Butler is without Robbie Perrot (suspended) but the return of Chris Perrot and Peter Cartwright from injury have boosted his options. “Our aim is to stay in this division and if we don’t beat Fremantle than that task becomes that little bit harder,” said Butler. Fremantle are similarly in needing of all three points, as midfielder Andy Alvarez explained, “We are in a rebuilding process but our aim is to be competitive. Fremantle needs to get maximum points in this game if we are to stay up.”
Ashfield coach Matt Carruthers has a few selection headaches ahead of a home date with Swan United. Star striker Ryan Frisina is unavailable but in come the similarly attack-minded trio of Branimir Mikulic, Ian Griffiths and Mladen Kovacevic. Morley Windmills are expected to go into their clash with Rockingham City at Lark Hill Sportsplex with an unchanged line-up. Canning City will be without Ante Kovacevic (overseas) for their game with Mandurah City at Hossack Reserve. At Dalmatinac Park its Cockburn City verses Gosnells City, while Dianella White Eagles meets Shamrock Rovers at Dianella Reserve. All six Division One games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION TWO PREVIEW
Subiaco AFC will be looking to make it eight wins in a row when they come up against Joondalup City at Rosalie Park. The loss of Simon Ralph (shin) has been offset by Simon Edwards return from injury for the home team. Kingsway Olympic will line-up the same as they did last week as they tackle Fremantle United side at Hilton Reserve. The home team will look for inspiration from Andrew Morrow as they press towards the top of the table. Young gun Gareth Hamilton is likely to start when Quinns meet competition pacesetter UWA-Nedlands at Gumblossom Park. All three Division Two games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
KINGSWAY BANKS ON STUART
Former State defender Stuart Banks is excited about the role he has to play in Kingsway Olympic’s revival. Installed as coach of Kingsway last week, Banks is understandably thrilled with his first senior appointment and has already started plotting the Division Two clubs rise. “Kingsway has a great tradition and was once a power club in WA football,” said Banks, who helped Sorrento capture numerous trophies in a lengthy playing career. “They have a long term plan to get back playing in the Premier Division again and it's an exciting challenge to try and help Kingsway achieve that goal.”
The opportunity to coach Kingsway came about following Steve Dimitrovich’s departure of earlier this month for work reasons. “I had a few years at the club previously and was providing input to the coaches with regards to players and training sessions. When Steve left I was contacted by (club president) John Ward with a view to coming in as full-time coach,” explained Banks, who will be assisted by former Sorrento team mate Glen Thomas. “I had been coaching Sorrento reserves alongside Mike Ford, but when the opportunity to coach at first team level came along it was something I didn’t want to pass up.”
Initial impressions are often lasting and Banks’ has no complaints with the calibre of players he currently at his disposal. “The squad is a very good one although Kingsway has been weakened by a few departures over the last month or so,” commented 36-year old Banks, who has already identified a few areas he would like to further develop. “The main issue is depth so we need to add a few players, particularly at the back. But it is a challenge to do that when the season is already seven games old.”
The going has been tough for Kingsway so far this season but Banks believes all they need to turn things around is a sharpening of skills, upping the fitness levels and getting back a bit of confidence. “We are already seeing a huge improvement in these areas. Training has been sharp and hard work and it will continue to be,” said Banks. “The main thing that Glen and I want to introduce is a professional mentality within the team and the club in everything we do. We feel as though this is important if the club wish to attract the right players and achieve their goal of winning promotion.”
Kingsway took a point from Banks’ first game in charge, a 1-1 draw with bottom-of-the-table Quinns. “It was a hard fought game by both sides. Whilst I feel as though the result was fair I think both teams would be disappointed at not winning given we both had enough chances to do so,” the coach commented. “I was definitely happy with our performance. The really pleasing thing was the attitude of the boys and the hard work they put in. There are still a lot of things for us to work on but we are heading in the right direction.”
It’s not been the best of starts to the season for Kingsway and things don’t get any easier this weekend when they travel to third-from-top Fremantle United. “Looking at the league Fremantle has a great defensive record so I can only assume they are disciplined and tough to break down, which is the basis of a strong team,” said Banks, who feels his team are very much in with a chance. “With the players we have got we are good enough to beat anyone in this league. We have to prepare well, stick to our game plan and continue with the hard work.”
EVANS A HIT IN HONG KONG
The opportunity to extend his professional career led Dean Evans to Hong Kong, where the 22-year old has just completed his first season with First Division side Sham Shui Po. Evans, who collected the Most Glorious Youth Player in both his seasons with Perth Glory, signed for Sham Shui Po in January and very quickly settled into his new surrounds to become established in the clubs starting line-up. “I felt I adjusted quite well so are happy with my first season,” commented the former Stirling Lions captain. “It was a really good experience and something I really enjoyed.”
Evans rates highly to the quality of football he experienced in Hong Kong. “The league is of a high standard. There are a lot of technically gifted players so it made the competition strong,” said Evans, who admits football life in Hong Kong wasn’t without its challenges. “It was quite hard to deal with the referees. One little touch or scream and it was a foul, but I guess that’s what comes with professional football. Also the humidity was really bad towards the end of the season, but overall it was a great experience.”
Turning out against Chelsea in pre-season for Hong Kong champions Kitchee was the undoubted highlight of Evans time abroad. “That has been my best experience so far. To play against the best players in the world – Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres, John Terry – really was a dream come true,” said Evans who moved on from Kitchee after a full-time contract was not forthcoming. “The highlight with Sham Shui Po was definitely scoring the winner in the quarter-final of the Cup against Hong Kong Sapling. It was a really good feeling but we got knocked out of the semi-final by Citizen AA after extra-time, which was a bit disappointing.”
To play professionally is the dream all young footballers chase and after getting a taste with Sham Shui Po Evans is understandably excited about what the future holds. “My dream since I was young was to play professional football but this is just a start for me, I’m hoping it will continue for many years,” said Evans, who is unsure where he will be playing next season. “There has been a bit of interest around but at the moment I can’t say where I will play next. I’m going to enjoy the holidays with the family and friends and decide after that.”
DYLAN RELIVES HIS CANCER NIGHTMARE
Young Socceroo Dylan Tombides has spoken of his battle to beat cancer and revealed the agony when he discovered it had spread elsewhere in his body despite weeks of chemotherapy. The teenage West Ham United striker was diagnosed with testicular cancer last June while away with the national team at the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico. After having the affected testicle removed, Tombides endured weeks of chemotherapy to prevent the cancer returning. Unfortunately that was unsuccessful and in January Tombides had extensive surgery to remove cancer from his abdomen and lymph nodes.
Tombides was relaxing on holiday with his father, Jim, in Mexico after the Under-17World Cup when he was first diagnosed with cancer. “I was 17, a young man and I had never come across cancer. All I was thinking about was getting in the West Ham team and taking my driving test,” Tombides told dailymail.co.uk. “I didn’t really understand what was going on at the time … It was only when I took the phone call in Cancun that I realised just how serious the condition was. I had the blood tests and CT scans when I got back to England and they told me I needed to have a testicle removed immediately.”
Gruelling sessions of chemotherapy took their toll on the 18-year old, who was left dazed and confused for days on end. “I’d wake up for 15 minutes and I would be exhausted,” he reflected. “They would give me anti-sickness tablets and I would think I’d only been sick a couple of times in the night. Then Mum would look at me and put me right — it was more like seven or eight. There were times when I would just look at Mum and tell her, ‘I don’t want the chemo any more, I will live with the cancer’. That’s how I felt at times.”
Tombides’ recovery suffered a major setback in January with the discovery of a four-inch blood clot on his abdomen and cancer cells on his lymph nodes. “I spent eleven days in hospital after that and it wasn’t pleasant,” Tombides added. “I woke up to a huge scar and couldn’t use my core muscles for weeks. I had to work out how to roll in and out of bed because it was so painful and it was weeks before I was allowed to do any exercise. I just wanted to play football again, but there was so much scar tissue I had to be careful.”
Although Tombides returned to training this week he still faces another nine monthly blood tests before he can be given the all-clear. West Ham physio Jon Urwin has been with Tombides throughout the ordeal, talking to him about his future and his plans for the summer, which he will spend training at Chadwell Heath as he targets a squad number under Sam Allardyce next season. “It has been a long process, but all I ever wanted to do was play football again,” he said. After ten months out of action, Tombides is determined to take his second chance.
HERD WITHDRAWS FROM SOCCEROOS SQUAD
For the second time in six months injury has robbed Chris Herd of his Socceroos debut. Herd rolled his ankle in Aston Villa’s final game of the English Premier League season, an injury will has forced the midfielder to withdraw from Australia’s squad for this weekend’s friendly with Denmark in Copenhagen. Herd is one of a host of players to pull out of the game with Adam Federici (injury), Brett Holman (family), Carl Valeri (club commitments) and Josh Kennedy (club commitments) also unavailable. The Socceroos play world number ten Denmark on Saturday before World Cup qualifiers against Oman (8 June) and arch rivals Japan (12 June).
INEXPERIENCED KNIGHTS NO MATCH FOR RAMPANT PERTH (with Ilija Mihalj, Football West)
Perth SC made light work of a youthful Western Knights for the second time in a fortnight, the team in blue triumphing 5-1 at Dorrien Gardens. First half finishes from Andreas Oliveira, Greg Sharland and Adam Bachiller had Perth well in control by the break before Rory Grant gave the visitors a glimmer of hope. Unfortunately that was all it was as Perth captain David Onoforo and substitute Daniel Niederberger put the result beyond a shadow of a doubt. It was the second time this month Perth had convincingly got the better of their long-time foe, having beaten them 4-1 in the Cup just two weeks earlier.
The writing was on the wall early for the Knights as Antonio Naglieri volleyed wide with just 5 minutes on the clock. Onoforo really should have put the hosts in front on 12 minutes but his touch on Robert Sciascia’s vicious cross wasn’t enough to turn the ball in. So it was no surprise when, 60 seconds later, Greg Sharland’s clever reverse-ball found Oliveira, who took a few steps and unleashed an unstoppable shot that flashed into Kevin Miller’s net. The Knights had few answers to a slick Perth outfit whose desired for a second goal was quenched in the 27th minute through Sharland’s blistering left-foot volley that Miller had no chance of saving.
The Knights responded with a superb move which was deserving of a much better outcome. Midfielder David Caine evading his marker on the left before whipping in a cross for Grant, who could only steer his header straight at goalkeeper Alex Dunn. The visitors continued to prod and probe in an attempt to find a way through but managed to open up very few holes in the home defence anchored by Shaun Kilkelly and Craig Simpson. Half-time was looming when Perth struck for the third time, left-back Adam Bachiller linking well with Onoforo before coolly slotting past Miller.
The Knights started the second period strongly and on 54 minutes an unmarked Grant volleyed in from Caine’s pin-point cross. That was as good as it got for the visitors though, with Perth taking things up a notch. Onoforo stamped his mark on the game with a goal of his own after 67 minutes, dispatching a penalty low and hard to Miller’s right following a contentious handball decision against David Annall. And with 11 minutes of regulation time remaining Niederberger completed the rout with a delicate finish after getting in behind the Knights’ defensive trap. The win keep Perth on top of the table, four points clear of their nearest rival.
TEN-MAN SORRENTO WEATHER THE BAYSWATER STORM (with Andrew Ellis, Football West)
Sorrento continued their impressive start to the season with a hard fought 2-0 victory over visiting Bayswater City at Percy Doyle Reserve. Brodie Martin and Todd Harnwell were the goal heroes for a home side whose achievement was made all the more impressive by the fact the played over an hour with ten men after the red carding of midfielder James Morgan. "We knew it was going to be a difficult game 11 v 11, and when we went down to 10 it was even harder,” said Gulls assistant coach Steve Neville. “But full credit to the lads, they were tremendous … I thought it was the best we’ve played all season.”
The vocal home crowd was given something to shout about in the 7th minute when Luka Nijegic appeared to handle Todd Harnwell’s shot, however, referee Michel Jasinski signalled for play to continue. The referee took centre stage again soon after by dismissing another handball before play moved to the opposite end where Gustavo Catarcione fired into the side netting. It was only now that Jasinski consulted his assistant and after a lengthy consultation he belatedly awarded the Gulls a penalty which Jason Mirco took and Tom Dixon saved. After this Sorrento laid siege on their opponents goal and with 14 minutes gone Martin’s header dipped over the goalkeeper to break the deadlock.
The game was then turned on its head with Morgan collecting a couple of quick yellow cards for dissent to lead Sorrento a man down with only 24 minutes on the clock. Catarcione almost brought the visitors level by shaking off Steve McDonald an unleashing a low shot which Curtis Aspden managed to keep out with is feet. Bayswater went even closer when John Kearney lobbed to the far post where Gustavo Giron-Marulanda volleyed into the upright. Catarcione and Giron-Marulanda combined late in the half, unlocking the defence with a neat one-two but the formers shot was blocked by Daryl Platten’s last-ditch tackle.
Bayswater came out lively in the second half. Catarcione and Marulanda both looked to drag their side back into the game but their best efforts were often halted outside the 18-yard box by a composed backline. There was no such wasteful at the other end on 71 minutes when Todd Harnwell’s sweet volley snuck in at the near post despite Dixon getting a glove on the shot. A handful of free-kicks and shots from distance were the all Bayswater could muster as Sorrento locked the game down in the closing stages. The win sees Sorrento move into second spot, ahead of Inglewood United and Floreat Athena only on goal difference.
INGLEWOOD PREVAIL AGAINST STIRLING ONSLAUGHT
Teenage attacker Aleks Jovic has propelled Inglewood United back into the top three with a 1-0 win over Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. The early dismissal of Stirling captain Andy Brown put Inglewood in the ascendency with Jovic’s strike separating the teams after 45 minutes. And while Stirling worked tirelessly after the turnaround they were unable to find the equaliser they deserved. “In recent weeks we’ve played well but got nothing from games so it was nice to have a result go our way when we probably didn’t deserve it,” said Inglewood’s David Perich. “We spent too much of it defending against ten men, it was disappointing we didn’t control the game better.”
It took only 30 seconds for Stirling to be thrown onto the back foot with midfield general Brown collecting a straight red card for his bone-jarring tackle from behind on James Sammut. Inglewood wasted no time in taking control, their fluid movement of the ball and utilisation of the full width of the park stretching the home side. The only surprise was it took 20 minutes for Inglewood to create their first shot, and with it came the games’ solitary goal. After cutting in from the right Alex Caniglia drove across the top of the 18-yard box to slot to Jovic whose measured chip crept in under the crossbar.
Inglewood resumed the attack soon after with shot’s in quick succession from Jovic and Caniglia blocked by the defence before Koji Yamada’s long-range attempt was taken low by goalkeeper Corey Hugo. His opposite number, Francis Soale, was ca lled into action a few minutes later, plucking a Jamie Tandy cross off Anthony Lyons’ head. But that was about as good as it got for Stirling in the first 45 minutes. Perich looked to have doubled the visitors lead but Phil O’Callaghan deflected away his back post header from a Sammut corner.
It was a far better composed Stirling side that emerged from the break. A defensive error let Lyons go past the defence but the striker was unable to keep his hurried shot down. Gareth McGlynn lifted disappointingly high shortly after from 16-metres as the home side began to find their rhythm. Play was at the other end in the 63rd minute when Caniglia was allowed to advance unchallenged out of midfield and unleash a fierce strike which Hugo acrobatically pushed over. Hugo came to the rescue again seven minutes later by blocked substitute Karl O’Reilly’s low effort.
O’Callaghan re-joined Lyons in attack for the final fifteen minutes with McGlynn pulling the strong in midfield. O’Callaghan shaved the top of the crossbar with a rising shot. Jamie De Abreu got himself in a good position only to have Jack Clisby block the shot. Inglewood countered through with O’Reilly clipping to the far post where Jovic’s close-range header was taken by Hugo. The game had just ticked into stoppage time when Soale was forced to come out of his are to clear a poor back pass under pressure from O’Callaghan, robbing Stirling of one final chance to salvage something from the afternoon.
BALCATTA TIP THEIR HAT TO MICEVSKI (with Tommy Doleman, Football West)
A Daniel Micevski hat-trick has seen Balcatta come-from-behind to dump ECU Joondalup 3-2 in a pulsating encounter at Grindleford Reserve. Joondalup entered the afternoon as underdogs but looked set to cause a major upset after Tommy Amphlett and David Foster put them two-nil up. Micevski pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time then restored parity on the hour to set up an interesting finish. From there it was all one-way traffic with Balcatta the dominant side, however, it took until the closing stages for Micevski to seal the points with a deserved hat-trick.
Joondalup’s early endeavours were rewarded on the quarter hour, Cameron Burgess surging down the left before playing to the feet of Amphlett whose crisp shot from the edge of the 18-yard box was too good for Bobson Koroma. Billy Quincroft could have doubled the visitors lead but his free header from Burgess’ delivery was beyond the target. A clumsy foul by Mo Atak on Fraser McGuire resulted in a Joondalup penalty after 34 minutes which Foster dispatched expertly into the bottom corner to make it two-nil. Ten minutes later John Thornley embarked on a strong run down the left before cutting the ball back for Micevski to head into the bottom corner.
The second half opened with Balcatta again on the attack where Thornley dragged Adam Tong’s lay-off wide of the target. The goal they sought arrived on 63 minutes when Micevski’s shot defelcted off a defender and looped over the head of a helpless Andy Banks in goal. Shane Nunes, Jason Barrera and Migas all then had chances to put the home side in front without success. Joondalup had a brilliant opportunity of their own but Quinncroft’s blistering volley was narrowly over the crossbar. The deciding goal came with two minutes left, Thornley pressuring the defence into conceding possession with Micevski pouncing on the loose ball and rounding the goalkeeper to tuck onto an empty net.
PRITCHARD GIVES FLOREAT VALUABLE AWAY WIN
The long trip south proved worthwhile for Floreat Athena who came from behind to defeat Bunbury Forum Force 2-1 at Payne Park. Bright Ababio scored the game’s opening goal only to have Ludovic Boi restore parity before the interval. Floreat captain Mark Pritchard converted a second half penalty to secure the points and move his team level on points with Sorrento and Inglewood United in the top four. But the news is not so rosy for Bunbury who have now taken one point from their last four outings to dangle just above the drop zone.
The ball had been in motion just 9 minutes when Bunbury claimed the lead, new signing David Winskill bending a free-kick in the direction of Bright Ababio whose blast gave goalkeeper Brad Eiffe no chance. Floreat responded by heaping on the pressure with Boi and Liam Bolond looking particularly dangerous in the final third of the park. Ryan Mongomery was in fine form between the hosts for the home side but it was only going to be a matter of time before the more experienced players of Floreat levelled the game. And that’s what happened in the 37th minute when Boi applied a great left-foot finish.
Floreat lost playmaker Boi to a leg injury early in the second half but not even that tamed the visitors attacking instincts. Montgomery was a man under fire as Boland, substitute David Heagney and Pritchard Floreat rained shots down on his goal. Bunbury’s day took a turn for the worse on 73 minutes when Montgomery brought substitute Mickey Roberts down inside the 18-yard box, and from the penalty spot Pritchard calmly sent the ball into the top corner for a two-one lead. Ababio featured prominently as Bunbury mounted a late charge but Floreat hung on for a deserved victory.
TAVERNESE STEERS ARMADALE HOME
Armadale brushed aside the National Training Centre 3-0 at Alfred Skeet Reserve. Joey Tavernese scored twice and Tom Biss once to give Armadale a much-needed win in their attempt to climb clear of the relegation zone. A disjointed start to the game included a smattering of strikes on both goal but neither Cyril Sharrock nor Jordan Franken were troubled. The first clear cut opening came the way of Ravi Kuppusamy whose header hit the crossbar, and soon after Storm Roux tested Sharrock for the first time. There was a fair slice of luck involved when Armadale broke through in the 41th minute, an attempt to clear ricocheting off Joey Tavernese and into the net.
After the break the NTC came out firing but Slobodan Vulin blasted high with the goal at his mercy and Lawrence Shuruma’s shot was blocked by Mark McClements. Those misses should have been punished in on the hour when a shirt pull by Shuruma left referee Phil Traianedes no option but to point to the spot, however, Biss sent his spot kick high. Biss made amends in the 77th minute by heading in a cross from Kuppusamy. For minutes later Sean Nichols was felled by Rocco Pizzato, who was duly issued his marching orders. And although Franken blocked Tavernese’s spot kick there was little he could do to prevent the Armadale player for converting the follow-up.
WANNEROO CONTINUE TO SET THE PACE
Division One leaders Wanneroo City returned from their weekend road trip with will all the points courtesy of a 3-0 win over Mandurah City at Hyundai Stadium. Brad McDonald, Brian Cairney and Rowdy Yates each hit the back of the net in the second half to keep Wanneroo one point ahead of second-placed Ashfield after nine rounds of fixtures. “We’ve now played all the top five teams away from home so were delighted with our start of the season,” said Wanneroo coach David Tough. “I thought we were good value for the three points today. We dominated possession for long periods and when Mandurah had us under pressure we defended well as a team.”
Wanneroo asserted themselves on the game from the outset with some tidy movement of the ball. And although Craig Bowman and Cairney came close to breaking through genuine chances on goal were few and far between. Mandurah looked the goods after the break but Michael Grigo’s blistering shot was pushed over by goalkeeper Clint Davies. It was following this that Wanneroo resumed control of the game and Brad McDonald punished a defensive error by firing into the net from 16-metres. Five minutes later Yates’ cross from the left was headed back across the goal by Guy McDonald and finished into the net by Cairney at the second attempt. Yates sealed the win with a brilliant free-kick into the top corner from 22-metres.
FRISINA BAGS THREE AS ASHFIELD KEEP PACE
Ashfield kept the pressure on pacesetters Wanneroo City by thrashing bottom-of-the-table Forrestfield United 8-0 on a sunny afternoon at Ashfield Reserve. A Ryan Frisina hat-trick and singles from Darren Warren and Steve O’Mahoney had the game decided by half-time but that didn’t prevent substitutes Jason Feather (2) and Mladen Kovacevic finding adding further goals. “It was a great performance, certainly the biggest win in the clubs most recent history,” said coach Matt Carruthers. “I was pleased to see Ryan get his hat-trick and equally happy to see Jason make his return to first team action.”
Forrestfield opening positively only to have their match plans fall into disarray with the dismissal of defender Rob Perrott for a foul on Frisina after 12 minutes. Salt was rubbed into the wound when the resulting spot kick was converted by Frisina, who not long doubled Ashfield’s advantage. Warren and O’Mahoney sent the ball into the back of the net before Frisina completed his hat-trick shortly before the interval. Feather came on for the second half to score twice with Kovacevic also putting the ball past Luke Woodfin before the 90 minutes were out.
SALMON, ANTHONY STAR IN COCKBURN REVIVAL
Morley Windmills remain rooted at the foot of Division One after surrendering a half-time lead to go down 3-1 Cockburn City at Wotton Reserve. All the early play came from the visiting team with Matt Salmon hitting the upright after just 4 minutes. Devon Gibson and Nick Carroll were sent through with only the goalkeeper to beat but on each occasion Michael Dudek came up trumps. Morley began to find their rhythm midway through the half, which was when Chris Bradley blasted in the opening goal after meeting a superb cross from David Houston. Although Marc Anthony and Salmon provided an endless supply out of midfield a combination of wayward finishing and ‘keeper Dudek left Cockburn scoreless at the break.
Cockburn’s plight appeared to worsen with the 52nd minute dismissal of Paul Lloyd following a spiteful clash with Luke O’Neill. Anthony stepped up to the challenge by seizing control in the middle of the park to orchestrate wave after wave of attacks. Salmon’s efforts were rewarded with the equalising goal on 65 minutes as the scales tilted in Cockburn’s favour. Soon after Gibson crashed the ball past Dudek following a corner and with 70 minute on the clock Salmon put away his second goal to complete a remarkable spell by the visiting side. Dejan Aleksic didn’t touch the ball until the 85th minute when his stunning reflex save denied Houston at point blank range.
TEN-MAN SHAMROCK TAKE A LATE POINT AT SWAN
Shamrock Rovers came from behind with ten men to earn a 1-1 draw with Swan United at the Swan Italian Club. The early exchanges were swift with both teams quick to push into attack but neither able to hold possession for long. John Hogan was first to find the net after 20 minutes with a crisp shot from the top of the 18-yard box after the home side only partially cleared a corner. The black and whites hit back in the 33rd minute, Tom Shepheard heading across the face of goal for Aaron Colli to nod in the equaliser. Half-time was just minutes away when Shamrock regained the lead through Ciaran Byrne, who chipped expertly over advancing goalkeeper Daniel Agudelo.
The second half was just a few minutes minute old when Swan drew level, Adam Stilitano’s angled strike hitting the foot of the post and ricocheting across for Trent Wood to side-foot in from close-range. The home side went in front for the first when John Monterosso took possession on top of the 18-yard box, pushed past a defender and blasted a low shot inside the near post. It looked as though Shamrock were dead and buried when Sean Taylor collected a second yellow card, leaving the visitors a man down with twenty minutes still to play. However, Brian Farrell ensured the points would be shared when his quickly taken free-kick hit the back of the net with Agudelo unsighted.
LUCKLESS DIANELLA SETTLE FOR A DRAW AT GOSNELLS
Dianella White Eagles were left to rue missed opportunities after drawing 2-2 with Gosnells City at Walter Padbury Reserve. The visiting team continually picked holes in the Gosnells defence only to go a goal down when a long ball released Tommy Murphy whose half-volley was well beyond the reach of Matt Battigelli. Parity was soon restored through Andrew Kiir, who was presented with the simple task of tapping into an empty net after Andreas Theodosiades toyed with the defence. But Gosnells wuld enter the break two-one up after Tiernan McMullen snuck the ball into the bottom corner in a one-on-one with Battigelli.
Brothers Sotiris Theodosiades and Andreas Theodosiades figured prominently as Dianella stepped up to dominate the second half. But while the visitors enjoyed by majority of possession and territory they were limited to only the occasional shot on goal by a stubborn and at times physical Gosnells rearguard. The sides were eventually brought level when Simon Barber coolly sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the penalty spot after Kiir’s drive inside the 18-yard box was illegally halted. Dianella worked tirelessly to conjure what would have been a deserved third goal. The day ended on a sour note with Sotiris Theodosiades suffering a broken wrist five minutes from full-time.
SPIRITED FIRST HALF GETS CANNING THE POINTS
A barnstorming first half display laid the foundations for Canning City to chalk up their third win of the season, 2-0 against Fremantle Spirit at Nikola Tesla Reserve. Canning started the game full of purpose and Paul Oliver should have opened their account in the first few minutes. Danny Trevisiol was a constant threat for the home side and midway through the half the livewire winger’s shot spilled from the grip of goalkeeper Elhossain Atekhis for Josh Findlater to tap into the net. Canning’s ceaseless bombardment was rewarded with a second goal, Trevisol, Simon Correia and Steven Kane combining for Ante Kovacevic to slam in at close-range.
The second half was a different story with Fremantle getting more involved in the game. Several promising moves made their way through to David Gee but despite his best efforts the striker was unable to get the better of a well-organised defence. Canning had their opportunities to kill the game off but Garth Lecky headed off-target from a Sam Carrello free-kick while Trevisiol and Blake Readwin sent shots high. A swift Fremantle counter saw Sean Treacey’s scorching volley from 18-metres flash just high. The final opening came the way of visiting midfielder Michael Lawson who sent a free-kick into the upright.
SUBIACO GO TOP OF DIVISION TWO
A trio of second half goals propelled Subiaco AFC to the top of Division Two with a 3-1 defeat of UWA-Nedlands at Rosalie Park. Rory Feely put the visitors in front but Jordan Rhodes levelled soon after the break before Joe Kresling struck twice to leapfrog Subiaco over UWA and into first place. A cautious start was punctuated when Steve Purton danced around four opponents and squared for Feely, who poked the ball into the bottom corner through a sea of bodies. The home side took their time to settle but once they did UWA custodian Daniel Roberts found himself in the thick of the action, making several telling saves to ensure his team entered the break in front.
The second half went the same way with Subiaco stringing together some good moves going forward, and stifling the opponents attacking instincts at the other end. Rhodes deservedly brought the sides level by sending a dead ball into Roberts’ net. Kresling had luck on his side when he put the home side ahead by kneeing the ball in after Roberts failed to take cleanly a Danny Malcolm shot. UWA’s long ball approach failed to pay dividends against a defence under the command of Frank Galvin and Ger Fitzgerald. Subiaco sealed the result with another well-worked move, Kresling cutting in from the right to poke the ball in from close-range.
MELVILLE UNDONE BY FAST-BREAKING FREMANTLE
Fremantle United came from behind to snatch a 2-1 victory over Melville City at Hilton Reserve. All the early play was with Melville but a golden opportunity to go ahead was lost when Simon El Chami scuffed wide a penalty kick awarded for Fletcher Tracy’s push on Michael Jennings. That miss was forgotten soon after when John Brennan shot calmly past goalkeeper Peter Wile as his defence backed off. A quick counterattack allowed Andrew Morrow to send the sides into the break on level terms after running onto a Darren Monaghan through ball and poking past ‘keeper Stewart Dalgarno.
Danny Evans made it clear what he thought during his half-time address, and with the coaches words still ringing in their ears Melville started the second period strongly. The visitors were quick to gain a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box but Sasa Slavujevic’s effort struck the defensive wall. The loose ball spilled to Morrow and in an instant he’d transferred play to Joe Harvey whose pass to an unmarked Sam Smith saw that letter fire past an exposed ‘keeper to put Fremantle in front for the first time. The remainder of the game was a tight, physical affair with both ‘keepers called upon to prevent further addition to the scoreline.
PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
The Round Nine footballwa.net match of the week takes place at Percy Doyle Reserve where Sorrento has home ground advantage against Bayswater City. Home goalkeeper Curtis Aspden says his team will require little motivation to perform to their best this weekend. “Saturday is probably the biggest game of our season so far. If we win then it puts us in the top three, there is no more incentive than that,” he stated. “We have a full squad to choose from and have competition for places all over the park, that’s very healthy and keeping everyone on their toes.”
Bayswater coach Mauro Marchione also has a full complement of players to select from. “The boys are all good, we have no major injuries,” he said. “It’s a big game against Sorrento, as every game is this year. Almost every team we’ve played this year has started very defensive against us and I’ll be surprised if Sorrento are any different. We know exactly how they play and what they are dangerous at, but they also know us as well. We are ready for another battle and this time we hope we can get the three points.”
Premier Division leaders Perth SC welcome long-time rivals Western Knights to Dorrien Gardens. Floreat are likely to be without Vincent Sweeney, Jake Geddes, David Heagney, Bobbie Wilson, Jarred smith and Liam Boland due to injury for the trip to Bunbury Forum Force. Injury has also taken its toll on both ECU Joondalup and Balcatta, who meet at Grindleford Reserve. The home team have Neil Young, John Mills, Jovo Pavlovic and David Micevski under clouds whereas Joondalup are likely to be minus Tanner Selyer and Dale McCulloch. Armadale have home ground advantage against the National Training Centre.
Inglewood United has set their sights on ending Stirling Lions five-game unbeaten run when they visit Macedonia Park. “Stirling will be a big test, they’ve got a strong squad and we will have to be at our best to get a result,” said midfielder Dannie Richman. “Normo (Graham Normanton) has got us playing a good brand of football which has got all the boys buzzing.” Defender Michael Pugliese returns from suspension for the home side while John Stripe is pushing for a recall. All six Premier Division games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
Division One pacesetters Wanneroo City heads south for a top-of-the-table clash with Mandurah City on Saturday afternoon. “It’s a massive game for us – if we win we go into next week’s bye six points clear of one of our man rivals to get promotion,” said Wanneroo’s Guy McDonald. “But it’s not going to be easy, Mandurah have a very strong squad with experienced players that have played in these big games many times before.” Mandurah are likely to be without captain Ryan Townsend (knee) and Chris Wylie (calf) while missing for Wanneroo captain are Anthony Jones (suspension) and Ross Edwards (rib).
Cellar dwellers Fremantle Spirit fill fancy their chances against a depleted Canning City side at Nikola Tesla Reserve. Absent for the visiting team this weekend are Emlyn Whetnall (suspension), Richard Burton (hernia), Michael Van Dongen (broken toe) and Paul Van Dongen (broken leg). Two hat-tricks in the past couple of games by Jason Feather is likely to see him promoted to Ashfield’s eleven for the game at Forrestfield United, who welcome back Jonathan Cole. Swan United are home to Shamrock Rovers, Gosnells City welcome Dianella White Eagles to Walter Padbury Reserve and Cockburn City travels to Morley Windmills. All six Division One games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION TWO PREVIEW
All eyes will be on McGilvray Oval tomorrow for Subiaco AFC’s encounter with UWA-Nedlands. Jordan Rhodes, Joe Kresling, Steve Purton and Rory Feely will have a big say in where the points go and who ends the afternoon on top of the league. Goalkeeper Carlos Bervenotti returns from suspension for Fremantle United’s home game with Melville City, who will be without Adam Sparks (injury) and Keith Nolan (suspension). Aaron Maplestone and Michael Mellon can back in for Quinns’ botton-of-the-table meeting with Kingsway Olympic at Kingsway Reserve. All three Division Two games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
INGLEWOOD WILL ONLY GET BETTER: COLLI
Inglewood United veteran Jason Colli knows his team are on their way up. Colli, now in his ninth year with the inner city club, is the first to admit Inglewood’s form has been a little inconsistent so far this season. But the defender knows these are just minor glitches in what is shaping up to be a very successful winter for his club. “Yes, the results have shown we have been up and down. But each week we are improving and we know that if we keep playing football the results will come,” said 28-year old Colli.
Inglewood opened their league campaign in brilliant fashion, winning the first four games sit at the head of the Premier Division. But a trio of losses saw them slide down the standings to out of the top five. “In those three games we missed a lot of opportunities in front of goal which cost us from getting something out of the games,” commented Colli. “The positive sign though is that we are playing some good football and creating a lot of chances, so it was only a matter of time before we scored a few goals.”
Those goals arrived last weekend when Inglewood dumped Bunbury Form Force 4-1 thanks to Michael Baczynski, James Sammut, Aleks Jovic and Scott Witschge. “That was an important win for us, it got us back to winning ways and it kept us in touch with the leaders,” Colli said. “Everyone in the team worked for each other on the day and we never stopped playing. You can see that everyone is beginning to understand how Normo (coach Graham Normanton) wants us to play, and last weekend it showed in how we knocked the ball around.”
Colli believes Normanton, who captured a staggering 22 trophies during 12 years at the helm of Perth SC, has had a massive effect on his game. “Normo is a great coach, he has taught me a lot in the last five months and I have become a better player for it,” said the defender, who has also seem some positive changes with his club. “There’s more of a professional atmosphere around the club, and a positive attitude throughout it. He demands more from every player, whether it making a pass or running 20-metres to support a teammate, he always wants 100%”
Stirling Lions have won their last three games and it’s to Macedonia Park that Inglewood venture on Saturday afternoon. “Stirling are always a hard opposition and they will have a lot of confidence seeing as though they are on a winning streak,” commented Colli, who has every confidence in his teams’ ability to take maximum points for the second time in eight days. “But if we keep improving and playing the football we have been in the last few weeks then I’m sure we can come away with a result.”
GREEN LIGHT GIVEN TO GLORY YOUTH, WOMEN STUCK ON AMBER
Perth Glory owner Tony Sage is committed to fielding a team in the National Youth League, but the future of the women’s team isn’t quite so rosy with Football West struggling to find sponsors to offset a funding shortfall. Sage was prepared to dump Glory Youth because of the high costs associated with running the team, but he has changed his mind after Football Federation Australia confirmed it would provide financial assistance. “The compensation will give us now an extra $200,000 or $300,000, which basically covers the cost of the youth team,” Sage said. “If they (FFA) didn’t come up with the compensation I couldn’t afford to keep the team in.”
The news is not so good for Glory Women with Sage saying he is no longer willing to provide financial assistance to the W-League team. “It’s about $100,000 and that’s an extra player for us and it’s going to be a tough year,” said Sage, who estimates he has spent more than $14 million on the club since taking ownership in 2007. The women’s team is run by Football West whose executive Peter Hugg said yesterday the organisation was working hard to generate financial support. “We are currently exploring funding opportunities to ensure a team. But that can’t be guaranteed at this point in time,” Hugg commented.
I HAD TO GET OUT OF PERTH SAYS NEWCASTLE’S TAGGART
Newcastle Jets recruit Adam Taggart says leaving Perth was difficult but is the best decision for his future in football. Taggart, 19, commenced a two-year contract with Newcastle this week by joining his club for pre-season training. He said getting out of the comfort zone of his hometown will allow him to concentrate on making an impact in the A-League next season. “Perth was my hometown but I had to do what was best for me and coming here was my best decision,” Taggart said. “When at home you have things like family and friends that you get involved in, it is hard to leave home but it is something I needed to do.”
Taggart played the last two season with Perth Glory, where he gleamed some invaluable skills from the like of Robbie Fowler and Shane Smeltz. But the teenage striker also knows it was those same players that restricted him to just ten A-League outings. “With a young squad the opportunity to play might be more than at other clubs,” he said of joining Newcastle. “The whole club and atmosphere at Perth was great and with people like Robbie Fowler and Smeltz it was great to get experience and work my way through my first contract. But with people like that and Billy (Mehmet) it was hard for me to play.”
Another major reason for heading to Newcastle was the presence of coach Gary Van Egmond, who had previously mentored Taggart at the Australian Institute of Sport. “Having him at the AIS I really liked it and all the young boys really liked that high-tempo style of game,” Taggart said. “Gary being here and trying to improve my game and under people like him and Deansy (assistant coach Craig Deans) was important. Given the opportunity you wouldn’t turn it down to come to a team with so many young players and with Gary being good with young players – that was a big plus.”
JOONDALUP READY TO TAKE ON THE WORLD
Twelve months of dedication by ECU Joondalup’s under-13 footballers culminates at the end of the month with a trip to the Junior World Masters in Warsaw, Poland. The Joondalup youngsters will represent Australia at the only world football tournament of its kind where they’ll mix it with teams from 20 other nations, including Germany, Brazil and Spain. “I’d like to keep away from the European teams; hopefully we can get USA and Mexico (in the group stage),” coach John Brown said. “We don’t know what the opposition’s like but I think we’ll do all right.”
Joondalup goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer expects to have the pressure on him in Poland. “There’s going to be a lot of pressure especially with the Poland tournament, I just hope I’ll play at the top of my game,” said 12-year old Maynard-Brewer, who feels his team’s enthusiasm will carry them through. “We just can’t wait to get on the plane and play some top quality football.” The Junior World Masters takes place between 30 May and 3 June amidst preparations for the 2012 European Championship.
FENLON GOES PROFESSIONAL WITH WIMBLEDON
Teenage defender Jim Fenlon has signed his first professional contact by putting pen to paper with English club AFC Wimbledon. Fenlon turned out on the local scene for Stirling Lions as a junior before heading back to Wimbledon where he played youth team football. “It is great to sign my first professional contract at AFC Wimbledon,” the 18-year old said. “I lived in Australia for six years and played for my state Western Australia and Stirling Lions, but Wimbledon is my first English club. The standard in Australia was quite good, but it is a lot quicker here.”
Fenlon, sister of Doncaster Rovers Belles attacker Lillie Bilson, says his game has come a long way lining up with Wimbledon. “Since joining Wimbledon Under-16s, (youth team manager) Mark Robinson, has helped me a lot with my tackling and heading and to make me a better player over the past two years,” he explained. “Right-back is my preferred position, but I can also play on the left and I have always tried to play with both feet since I was younger. Hopefully, I can do well in training with the first-team and get a chance next season to show what I can do.”
WA QUARTET NAMED IN JOEYS SQUAD
Joeys coach Alistair Edwards has included four of Western Australia’s brightest young prospects in his 20-player selection for the upcoming ASEAN Football Federation Under-16 Preparatory Tournament in Laos. National Training Centre pair Daniel De Silva and Jack Iredale along with Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holders Matthew Ntoumenopoulos and Jeremy Tshongo go into camp with the squad this weekend before lining up against Japan (2 June), Laos (4 June) and Thailand (6 June) at the four-nation tournament.
Edwards is looking forward to his players picking up some international experience from a variety of opponents. “I have always admired the way in which Japan approach the game and Laos and Thailand have improved greatly in the past few years at youth level,” he said. “We have a twelve game international program leading up to Iran (AFC U-16 Championship) and the experience gained in Laos, Saudi Arabia and Bolivia will provide an excellent platform for the players to develop.”
Australia’s squad for the ASEAN Football Federation U-16 Preparatory Tournament in Laos is Bright Appiah, Brendan Gonano, Steve Kuzmanovski, Darcy Madden, Matthew Ntoumenopoulos, Dylan Picker, Matthew Schmidt, Lucas Spinella, Jordan Thurtell, Jeremy Tshongo, Benjamin Warland (Australian Institute of Sport), Daniel De Silva, Jack Iredale (Football West National Training Centre), Aaron Calver, Alex Gersbach, Kevin Ly, Joshua MacDonald, Liam Rose (New South Wales Institute of Sport), Lawrence Hanna (Parramatta) and Lukas Stergiou (Sutherland Sharks).
NEWCASTLE MAKES A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION ON NEVILLE
It’s taken Scott Neville only two days to fall in love with Newcastle. Neville, 23, took part in his first pre-season session with Newcastle Jets on Monday having arrived in the city on Saturday. By his own admission the defender had previously seen little outside the team hotel and stadium during road trips with Perth Glory. “‘Until you get here you don’t realise how lovely a place it is to live,” Neville told theherald.com.au. “I wanted a change in lifestyle and to get out of my comfort zone and am really looking forward to the new environment. There are a lot of young boys here, a good mentality, a good (football) philosophy and hopefully we play some attractive football.”
MIDDLESBROUGH BOSS NOT HAPPY WITH WILLIAMS’ CALL-UP
Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray has once again bemoaned Rhys Williams’ international call-up. Williams will spend three weeks on duty with the Socceroos after being named in the squad for next months’ friendly with Denmark which is followed by World Cup qualifiers against Oman and Japan. Mowbray would much prefer the versatile 24-year old take a break from competitive football and report back fit and raring to go for pre-season training on 5 July. “It’s not ideal,” Mowbray told gazettelive.co.uk. “Rhys has a long-term (pelvic) problem that we’ve been carefully managing for a good while.”
But given Williams made 41 appearances for Middlesbrough last season before missing the tail end of his club’s campaign Mowbray recognises he really doesn’t have reason to complain. “These games are World Cup qualifiers, not meaningless friendlies, so there is something at stake for Australia. They’ll be aiming to qualify for the next World Cup in 2014 and I’m sure Rhys will be keen to represent his country,” said the manager. “It’s the price you pay for having good players, I guess you can’t have it both ways … we’ll give him an extra week or so to recharge his batteries and he’ll come back after the other players.”
INJURY HURTS HERD’S HOPES
Rising midfielder Chris Herd looks like waiting a little longer for his Socceroos debut after being felled by an ankle injury. Selected by Socceroos coach Holger Osieck for next month’s games with Denmark, Oman and Japan, Herd rolled his ankle in the final game of the English Premier League season and is almost certain to withdraw from the squad. It’s the second time in six months the 23-year old’s hopes of a Socceroos debut have been dashed after he was ruled out of the November’s World Cup qualifiers against Thailand and Oman, again with an ankle injury sustained playing for his club.
STIRLING ON THE PROWL AT ARMADALE
Stirling Lions leapt into third in the Premier Division with this afternoon’s 2-0 defeat of Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval. Andy Brown’s thunderbolt on the stroke of half-time sent the visitors on their way before Irish import Gareth McGlynn sealed victory. “It was paramount we did something after the loss in the Cup last week,” said Stirling captain Brown. “We’ve worked hard on the track and come out with a game plan and really we should have won by more. Armadale battled all day and it’s never an easy place to come to and get three points, we’re happy to get the win.”
It was an even opening with both sides going close to taking an early lead. Dennis Galan sent clear Anthony Lyons but he fired wide from 10-metres, and soon after at the other end Darren Francis’ close-range header was straight at Cory Hugo. Jack Adams’ reflexes were tested by Phil O’Callaghan as Stirling stepped up the pace leading into half-time. Lyons played through for Brown but he too was denied by Adams, while Jamie Tandy’s free-kick crashed into the crossbar. The goal Stirling sought finally arrived in the 44th minute, Galan’s cross was flicked on by O’Callaghan and at the back post Brown lashed into the top corner.
After the interval Stirling resumed the attack with Tandy shooting side from 16-metres before O’Callaghan’s curling shot was well saved by Adams. The pressure valve was released in the 57th minute, Tandy through ball sending clear McGlynn whose cool composure was matched by a clinical finish which made it two-nil. With the game fast slipping away, Armadale finally woke up. Joshua Maddison found Tom Bliss but his shot from the edge of the 18-yard box was claimed by Hugo. Alan Darlington played in Francis whose long-range strike curled past the post. Then in stoppage time Francis stretched Hugo with a fine attempt from the top of the area.
RED STAR TABLE OFFER FOR BABALJ
Melbourne Heart officials are weighing up whether to accept a bid from Serbia’s biggest club, Red Star Belgrade, for exciting young striker Eli Babalj. 20-year old Babalj was his club’s top goal scorer last season so to lose him would leave a huge hole in the Melbourne attack. But the offer – believed to be in the vicinity of $500,000 – is likely to prove attractive to Sarajevo-born Babalj, who was raised Perth. An Australian youth international, Babalj is regarded as the nation’s brightest attacking talent to emerge since Mark Viduka whose glittering career took in time with Croatia Zagreb, Celtic, Leeds United, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United.
BRENTNALL MAKES HISTORY
Sandra Brentnall has become the first female player in the world to be inducted into a Football Hall of Legends. 49-year old Brentnall wrote herself into sporting history by being elevated to legend status with the Football Hall of Fame WA at last night’s induction ceremony. Brentnall, who was an ever-present for Australian between 1979 and 1983, was welcomed into the Hall of Legends along with one-time Socceroos goalkeeper Robert Zabica. The pair became the fifth and sixth entrants into the Hall of Legends after inaugural members Gary Marocchi, Ron Adair, Robbie Dunn and John McInroy.
England-born Brentnall has the honour of scoring Australia’s first ever goal in ‘A’ international competition, against New Zealand in 1979. Over the four years which followed she made 11 ‘A’ appearances for the Matilda’s and scored eight goals – including a hat-trick in a 3-2 win over New Zealand in 1980 – at the highest level of women’s football. Her achievements flowed through to the local scene where Brentnall has been voted the league's Fairest and Best ten times in a remarkable 36-season career. Her club career took in spells with Girrawheen, Olympic Kingsway, Kiev, Ashfield, Gosnells City, Beeliar and Leeming Strikers.
One of WA’s greatest ever home grown talents, Zabica played a total of 27 ‘A’ appearances for Australia in a glittering senior career. After playing locally for Spearwood Dalmatinac, Cockburn United and Stirling Macedonia, Zabica sampled all the games highs and lows during a seven-season speel in the national league with Adelaide City, winning two National Soccer League titles and named the competitions’ Goalkeeper of the Year in 1992. After a brief spell with Perth Glory and a season in England with Bradford City he finished his playing days with Bayswater City, Inglewood United and Fremantle City.
Nine players were inducted into the Hall of Champions, headed by the state’s most-capped international Stan Lazaridis. Former Socceroos Tony Franken, Bobby Despotovski and Scott Miller also gained entry along with stars of the women’s game Julie Gorton and Judy Pettitt, who played many times for the Matilda’s. Wally Gardner was one of the finest ‘between the wars’ footballers, playing for the State on numerous occasions and representing Australia against the English FA in 1925. Willie McNally played with Adelaide City and gained 19 outings with the State team, while Allan Pottier turned out for St George and played for WA 25 times.
Hall of Merit for Players honours were bestowed on former Australia youth internationals Frank Faraone and Paul Tombides plus State representatives Peter Atkinson, Troy Bernard, Alf De Bono, Edmundo Faletti, Glenn Giudici, Ernie Hannigan, Steve Martin, Peter Murphy, Brian Newell, Mike Smith, Steve Stacey and Steve Tombides. Added to the Hall of Recognition were former referees Andy Gorton and Frank Moretti, coaches John Birighitti, Peter Faulks, Doug Stewart, stars of the southwest Giuliano Cantoni and Jimmy Mayers, and sports doctors Ken Fitch and Ken Maguire.
PERTH GO CLEAR AT THE TOP
Perth SC claimed outright leadership of the Premier Division after grinding out a 2-1 win over ECU Joondalup at the Edith Cowan University campus. David Onoforo and Dom De Felice put the visiting side in a comfortable position before team mate Craig Simpson had the misfortune of turning the ball into his own net for Joondalup’s late consolation. “We’re very happy to come away with the three points today. Joondalup are no easy beats, we had to work for the full 90 minutes,” said Perth defender James Isaia. “The win puts us clear at the top but there is still a long way to go. We need to be on our game each week to make sure we are there at the end of the season.”
It was Joondalup that were quickly into stride with David Foster in the thick of the action. An early goalbound shot by Foster was blocked by Shaun Kilkelly and a couple of minutes later Adam Bachiller prevented the striker from getting on the end of a Scott Bushby through ball. Perth found their rhythm soon after but while Onoforo’s shot was too good for Andy Banks he was denied by the post. Bachiller finished into the net but was pulled up for offside and two minutes later Tanner Selyer’s low shot was tipped away by visiting ‘keeper Alex Dunn. It took until the 43rd minute for the deadlock to be broken, Isaia delivering a pin-point cross which Onoforo converted at the back post.
The second half opened with Joondalup again on the attack. Selyer picked out Busby but he blazed high before Foster’s long-range shot bounced awkwardly in front of Dunn, who regained possession as Selyer closed in. Having soaked up the pressure, Perth pounced in the 69th minute with De Felice volleying in a perfectly weighted ball from Natonio Naglieri. The gap should have been further increased but Onoforo blazed wide after being sent through by Isaia. Dunn somehow kept out Foster’s close-range effort from a Dale McCulloch free-kick. But there was little the Perth custodian could do in stoppage time when Simpson’s back pass looped over his head and into the net.
BALCATTA STAY IN TOUCH WITH TOP FIVE
Balcatta halted their slide down the Premier Division table with a classy 3-1 win over Bayswater City at Frank Drago Reserve. Shane Nunes, Daniel Micevski and John Thornley were on target for Michael Roki’s side, which hovers just two points outside the top five. “We’ve had a pretty tough trot with a few early losses which really knocked our confidence and, hopefully today, we’ve seen a turning point,” Roki commented. “We still have a lot of ground to make up, but we’ve been working really hard and the performance today certainly reflected that … It was a solid team effort.”
The teams spent much of the opening exchanges sizing each other up. Gustavo Giron-Marulanda was a constant threat in the final third for Bayswater, ensuring the visiting defence remained on high alert. But it was Balcatta that went ahead after 14 minutes when Steve Burton’s free-kick dropped invitingly for Nunes, who slid the ball past surprised goalkeeper Tom Dixon. With this Balcatta sparked into life, Moe Atak providing some good width when going as Chris Thackray toiled away relentlessly in the engine room. Giron-Marulanda and Gustavo Catarcione maintained the pressure going in the other direction but neither player was able to find a way past ‘keeper Bobson Koroma.
A tame start to the second half was punctuated on 59 minutes when Burton and Atak combined to get the ball to Micevski whose close-range finish was too good for Dixon. Giron-Marulanda seemed destined to reduce the gap via a dead ball until Bobson tipped his shot away from the top corner. Although lacking their usual fluency, Bayswater did pull a goal back in the 69th minute when substitute Joe Yoffe caught Koroma off-balanced by firing into the corner of his goal. But the home teams’ hopes of a comeback were ended eight minutes later when Thornley showed great composure in stepping around two defenders before angling in goal number three for Balcatta.
SECOND HALF REVIVAL GETS SORRENTO THREE MUCH-NEEDED POINTS
Sorrento arrested their form slump by coming from behind to beat Floreat Athena 3-2 on a warm afternoon at Litis Stadium. Second half goals from Johnny Mirco and Mikey Aspin complimented Jason Mirco’s early penalty conversion and cancelled out a brace by Liam Boland. “The win puts us back in the mix for the title, especially with two big games coming up against teams around us,” said Gulls custodian Curtis Aspden, prefacing upcoming fixtures with Bayswater City and Balcatta. “It was a fairly even game. Floreat had chances and we had chances but overall we did just enough for the three points … we’re stoked with the result.”
Sorrento were out of the blocks quick to take a 6th minute lead, Jason Mirco blasting in from the penalty spot after Todd Harnwell was taken down by goalkeeper Brad Eiffe. Not to be outdone, Liam Boland restored parity just five minutes later by meeting a deep Jarred Smith cross which he expertly headed across Apsden. After this initial flurry genuine chances became scarce with neither defence letting their opponents within sight of goal. Smith looked like breaking the deadlock but his attempt was smothered off the boot by Aspden, who nine minutes later came off his line to thwart Boland after he latched onto a Jack Allen through ball.
The second half opened with Floreat again on the attack but Boland’s shot on the turn was too close to Apsden. But there was little the Sorrento custodian could do on 52 minutes when Boland angled into the far bottom corner following a fine counterattack that featured Mark Pritchard and Spencer Harris. Sorrento now came to life, Stuart Montgomery’s clipped effort was taken under the crossbar by Eiffe, who soon after courageously took the ball off Johny Mirco’s boot. The Gulls were put back on level terms by Aspin’s first time strike which rocketed into Eiffe’s net in the 68th minute after a Jason Mirco corner was cleared to the top of the 18-yard box.
It took Sorrento only a further six minutes before regaining the lead with Johny Mirco threading a low shot under the ‘keeper’s body after taking Ryan Pearson’s through ball in his stride. David Heagney had been on the park just two minutes when he provided the ball to Boland but the striker this time placed wide of the target. But the visiting side was by no means finished. A rasping drive by Johny Mirco was just inches over the bar before Todd Harnwell’s glancing header from a Jason Mirco corner met with the same end result. Floreat went agonisingly close to grabbing a point deep in stoppage time with an unmarked Harris heading against the upright from a corner.
INGLEWOOD STEADY THE SHIP (with James Mooney, Football West)
Inglewood United put a stop to their three-game losing streak by downing Bunbury Forum Force 4-1 at 6PR Stadium. Michael Baczynski set the home side on their way with second half finishes by Aleks Jovic, James Sammut and substitute Scott Witschge sealing the points. “We needed the three points, we lost our last three league matches so it was vital that we got three points to stay close to the leaders,” Sammut said. “The goal just before half-time helped ... coming out in the second half one-nil down Bunbury had to chase the game, and we started breaking their lines.”
The day could have had a much different ending had Bunbury striker Aiden Downes been able to make more of a 1st minute one-on-one with goalkeeper Francis Soale, who stood tall to save at his opponents’ feet. Inglewood settled soon enough and threatened for the first time on 10 minutes, Dannie Richman’s shot on the run flashing the wrong side of the post. Jovic picked out Sammut with a cross but the Inglewood captain’s glancing header was saved by Ryan Montgomery, who later held a long-range attempt from David Perich. Half-time was looming when finally Inglewood broke through with Baczynski heading in a Sammut corner.
The second half was given a crackerjack start, Alex Caniglia’s shooting just wide before Downes’ called into action Soale. Inglewood then stepped up the game but Sammut was foiled by an offside flag and Jack Clisby the crossbar. Their pressure finally paid off on 55 minutes, Clisby crossing for Jovic to head in at the back post. Goal number three arrived ten minutes later as Baczynski released Sammut, who rounded Montgomery and tucked into the net. Bunbury gave themselves some hope on 75 minutes when Downes’ free-kick beat Soale. But this was Inglewood’s day and in the final minute debutant Witschge fired in from a scramble produced by Clisby’s free-kick.
CAINE, FULLER SAVE THE KNIGHTS
A couple of stunning finishes from David Caine and Jesse Fuller earned Western Knights all the points by 2-0 over the National Training Centre at Nash Field. It took the hosts side just 4 minutes to open their account, Caine seizing on a loose ball which he drove into the top corner of Luke Radonich’s net. Chances on goal were few and far between in a tight game with Caine and Matthew Allen going close for the Knights lead before Riley Woodcock’s rasping strike clipped the crossbar. Fuller added to the hosts tally in stoppage time by volleying in a delightful cross from substitute Kyle King.
The NTC started the second half at full pace, Borbor Sambindi displaying great skill in beating several opponents only to pull his shot wide of the target. Sahr Musa missed to make the most of another great opportunity, the young attacker charging down the left wing before shooting straight at ‘keeper Kevin Miller. Jesse Makarounas was brought off the bench to hopefully inspire the NTC but that too proved fruitless with Miller keeping out his late attempt literally just moments after turning away a Jordan Dodd effort. The result puts some much-needed distance between the Knights and the drop zone, whereas the NTC remain winless after their first eight games.
BOWMAN PROPELS WANNEROO BACK TO THE TOP (courtesy Wanneroo City)
Wanneroo City moved back to the Division One summit with this afternoon’s 6-0 thrashing of Fremantle Spirit at Kingsway Reserve. Craig Bowman lead the way with a hat-trick on a day when Brian Cairney, Rowdy Yates and Jay Marsden also found the net. “Our performance was very professional but there are lots of areas we can improve on,” Wanneroo captain Anthony Jones said. “We scored five of our goals from set pieces which was exceptional, but our final ball and crossing from open play left a lot to be desired. The clean sheet was very pleasing as they have some good attacking options and created some good chances.”
Much of the early running was in Fremantle’s direction and had it not been for a couple of last ditch tackles by Jay McDonald and Bowman then the visitors would have gone ahead. However, Wanneroo soon took control and from a Rowdy Yates corner Bowman turned in the opening goal. Five minutes later Cairney doubled their lead by rising unchallenged to head into the net at close-range. Fremantle goalkeeper Daniel Morgan turned away several shots before being breached for a third time, Bowman powering in a header from Yates’ lofted cross.
The goal of the game arrived on the hour, a lightning break by Josh Booysen leading to a cross-field to Guy McDonald whose lay-off was sent soaring into the far top corner by Yates from 20-metres. A crude tackle on Booysen gave the home side a free-kick just outside the box, Guy McDonald squaring the ball for Marsden whose miscued effort wrong-footed the ‘keeper to find the back of the net. With only a few minutes left on the clock Bowman sealed his hat-trick by nodding in a fine Andy O’Neill free-kick. There was still enough time for Sahar Konomanyi to break through but his shot crashed against the crossbar.
SUPER SUB NARONGPHUNT LEADS ASHFIELD TO VICTORY
Ashfield kept the pressure on at the top of Division One by returning from Burrendah Reserve with a 2-0 win over Canning City. Second half goals by Reuben Tristao and Mladen Kovacevic, both laid on by substitute Nattapong Narongphunt, put Ashfield into second place, only one point behind leaders Wanneroo City. “We didn’t play to our best but we weren’t about to leave Canning without the three points,” said Ashfield attacker Karl O’Reilly. “Okwy Diamondstar and Brian Maybin made a big difference on the day, and our super sub (Narongphunt) changed the game by setting up both goals.”
Both teams enjoyed spells in control throughout the first half but with neither able to convert the score remained nil-all at the end of 45 minutes. Canning threatened to break through after the break, Josh Findlater placing wide from distance before Sam Carrello’s curling effort was saved by John Perkins. The game changed with the introduction of Narongphunt, who on 73 minutes cut the ball back for Tristao to break the deadlock. Nine minutes later Narongphunt again tormented the home defence, this time setting up Kovacevic to seal the win. Canning’s woes were compounded with the late red carding of Emlyn Whetnall following a clash with man of the moment Narongphunt.
HIGH FLYING SWAN ON THE RISE (courtesy Swan United)
Swan United moved up to third in Division One with this afternoon’s comfortable 4-0 win over Forrestfield United at Hartfield Park. Trent Wood opened the scoring against his former club before Tom Shepheard, Lucas Whitehouse and John Monterosso wrapped up the three points. “We were frustrated in the first half and couldn’t put three passes together but once we scored we relaxed and it all seemed to click in place,” said Swan coach John O’Reilly. “It could have been a few more today but Luke (Woodfin) was great for them today, he made some excellent saves.”
Forrestfield opened brightly with Francis Tindo converting a 3rd minute cross from Ben Fraser, however, the assistant referee deemed the latter’s delivery cross had gone out of play. Swan didn’t spark until the 23rd minute when Aaron Colli threaded into the path of Whitehouse but his shot from 10-metres was saved by Woodfin. The Forrestfield custodian twice denied Shepheard as Swan lifted the pace. Their persistence was rewarded on 35 minutes, Wood surged down the left before cutting into the 18-yard box, playing a one-two with Monterosso and scoring from a tight angle.
The second half was only a few minutes old when Brendan Knox’s corner was met by Whitehouse whose header was cleared off the line by Wade Fraser. Sixty seconds later Colli’s cross from the right was side-footed in by Shepheard from 5-metres. It difference became three goals in the 55th minute, Chris Atkinson’s long throw was helped on by Shepheard for Whitehouse to poke in at close-range. It was all one-way traffic but Woodfin stood tall to thwart Shepheard. Swan found a way through again in the 70th minute with Wood and Shepheard combining to release Monterosso, who slotted in goal number four.
BRADY STUNNER GIVES MORLEY A MUCH-NEEDED BOOST
A stunning second half strike from Gavin Brady allowed Morley Windmills victory to a flat Dianella White Eagles 1-0 at Dianella Reserve. The home side dominated a frantic opening and should have gone ahead in the 4th minute but Andrew Kirr shot wide of the mark. With this the tone was set for the remainder of the half, Dianella enjoying by far the better of possession and territory as Morley defended doggedly. Michael Dudek was superb between the posts for the visiting side, keeping out shots from Damon Kalamaras and Simon Barber as the pressure mounted. Morley’s solitary advance on goal came from Adam Pygrum whose effort was comfortable saved by Matt Battigelli
Whatever Jason Van Rooy said to his players at the break clearly worked a treat. With Adam Pygrum and Simon Wilson anchoring the midfield, Morley gained to gain some traction with David Houston, Mark Grant, Chris Bradley and Luke O’Neill all going close to breaking through. The goal Morley deserved finally arrived in the 78th minute, Brady finding space inside the 18-yard box to curl past a diving Battigelli. The Dianella custodian ensured the gap didn’t blow out by saving from O’Neill, Houston and Bradley in the minutes later that followed. Dianella almost snuck a late equaliser but Dudek brilliantly pushed away a when Kris Spasesk shot from 15-metres.
SUBIACO ZERO IN ON TOP SPOT (courtesy Subiaco AFC)
The gap at the top of Division Two has been cut to a single point following Subiaco AFC’s 4-0 thrashing of Kingsway Olympic at Rosalie Park. Goals from Joe Kresling, Jordan Rhodes, Ger Fitzgerald and Richard Astley puts Subiaco within touching distance of leaders UWA-Nedlands, who they face next weekend. “We scored four goals but we are capable of better,” Fitzgerald said. “We have to learn to be more potent in front of goal and finish our chances but overall it was pleasing result. We have been playing well as a team lately and we are all looking forward to playing UWA.”
Having controlled the game from early, Subiaco’s opening goal came about when Kresling poked in from close-range after the goalkeeper failed to take the ball cleanly. The margin was doubled via an indirect free-kick which Scott Wrightson touched to Rhodes whose superb curling shot was into the far top corner. Kingsway mustered very little in the way of a response with Frank Galvin’s marshalling of the home defence foiling the best attempts. The game was effectively ended as a contest before the break when Fitzgerald rose strongly to head in at close-range from a corner.
Kingsway gave a much better account of themselves after the break. And although the game developed into a between the boxes tussle it was Subiaco that looked the more likely to score thanks to the central influence of Rhodes and Simon Ralphs. A sustained period of pressure lead to their fourth goal, Kresling delivering the ball in from right for substitute Astley, who headed in powerfully after drifting in at the back post. There were plenty of further opportunities for Subiaco to add a few more goals but at the end of the day they would have been happy enough with the four-goal margin.
POINTS SPLIT BETWEEN QUINNS AND FREMANTLE
George Mills netted late to salvage Quinns a 2-2 draw from their encounter with a depleted Fremantle United at Gumblossom Park. The port side looked set to claim victory after Levi Reichelt and Sam Ambrogio scored within minutes of each other before Mills opportunistic finish complimented Adam Buckley’s opener and earn the home side a point. Fremantle enjoyed the better of a tight first half in which Darren Monaghan, Joseph Harvey and Kurt De Souza squandered good chance to put them in front. An unfortunate clash of heads saw Taran Richmond leave the field early with a fractured eye socket, adding to to Fremantle’s injury woes.
Quinns got their noses in front just after the hour with Buckley’s flick from a Mills corner deflecting off defender Nathan Findlater on its way into the net. The game didn’t really come to life again until the 74th minute when Harvey’s shot came back off the crossbar and Reichelt was positioned to head in the equaliser. Five minutes later Fremantle had the lead, a sublime mazy run from the halfway line by Ambrogio being finished into the corner of the net. It was now Quinns turn to fight back and with just minutes left Mills tapped in at close-range after goalkeeper Peter Wile could only parry a powerful drive by Buckley.
TEN-MAN MELVILLE GET THE BETTER OF JOONDALUP
Melville survived playing the closing stages a man down to triumph 1-0 over Joondalup City at Iluka Sports Ground. There was no real flow to an opening half hour in which both teams lacked cohension in the third of the pitch. Melville looked to have gone ahead through Kudzi Chigwanda’s header but Sasa Slavujevic’s corner was judged to have gone out before being met at the near post. The visitors went close again in the 28th minute with Slavujevic’s free-kick crashing into the crossbar. Joondalup found some rhythm late in the half but Mark Thornton’s effort was straight at Stewart Dalgarno. The half was drawing to a close when an assistant referee flagged for handball against a Joondalup defender and Simon El Chami made no mistake from the penalty spot.
Play ebbed and flowed from one end to the other in an entertaining start to the second half but, like earlier, the finishing touch was absent from both attacks. The game was turned on its head with twenty minutes to go the game, Melville’s Keith Nolan issued his marching orders for a dubious second yellow card. With this Joondalup seized control, pushing players forward in numbers to have Dalgarno and his defence under some intense pressure. A golden opportunity to restore parity was wasted when Steve Lane failed to hit the target from a few metres after a corner eluded all inside a crowded goalmouth. A minute from the end Lucais King latched onto through ball but Clayton Kendall’s timely challenge deflected the shot onto the bar.
GLORY COMPLETE THWAITE SIGNING
Perth Glory has snapped up one the A-League’s most sought after defenders, Michael Thwaite, on a two-year contract. Thwaite, who has played professionally in Romania, Poland and Norway as well as Australia, is considered one of the competition’s best central defenders and was reportedly also being chased by Melbourne Victory. “It’s a fantastic coup to bring a quality player like Michael across to Western Australia,” Glory coach Ian Ferguson said. “He’s very comfortable in possession, he can switch the play, breaks the lines also can drive through the middle.”
Thwaite, who has six caps for Australia to his name, is delighted to be heading west following the demise of his former club, Gold Coast. “I’m relieved to finally know where I am heading,” 29-year old Thwaite said. “Within the Perth Glory squad I have previously played with eight or so of the boys and that was a big factor in my decision. “I also spent two years together with the captain Jacob (Burns) in Poland so it’s nice to have these combinations. It’s great to be heading to Perth.”
Thwaite represented Australia at youth level before embarking on a five-year European adventure in 2004. His two seasons with National Bucuresti in Romania included a loan to Polish club Wisla Krakow and a Socceroos debut against Jamaica in October 2005. The defender joined Norwegian club SK Brann in 2008 but six months later returned to Australia on a loan arrangement with Melbourne Victory. In 2009 Thwaite signed for Gold Coast, making 82 appearances over three seasons and winning his clubs’ Player's Player of the Year in 2009/10.
HALL OF FAME HONOUR FOR LAZARIDIS (by Jonathan Cook, the 'West Australian')
Stan Lazaridis struggles to single out the most memorable moment of his glittering career. His Socceroos debut against Kuwait in 1993 still sticks in the mind as does Australia's qualification for the 2006 World Cup. Then there are the moments from a club career that started with Kingsway Olympic and took him to the English Premier League with West Ham United and Birmingham City. "It's difficult to pinpoint one highlight because there have been quite a few but Australia making the World Cup was massive," Lazaridis told the 'West Australian'. "For me, after four World Cup campaigns, that night was very special."
Four years after he played his last competitive game for Perth Glory in 2008, Lazaridis will tonight add another scene to his personal highlights reel with induction into the Football Hall of Fame. He is one of nine players being granted Hall of Champions status at a ceremony that recognised the contribution of 32 West Australian greats, including former Glory stars Bobby Despotovski and Scott Miller. "When you get acknowledged with something like this it's special," said Lazaridis, who was inducted into the Football Federation Australia Hall of Fame in 2010. "This is the place I love, it's where I live and I'm a very proud West Australian, so I'm honoured to be in the Hall of Fame."
A career which started in the local competition with Kingsway, Floreat Athena and Stirling Macedonia took off after Lazaridis' performances for the State team. Almost 20 years ago he played for WA in a thrilling 3-2 win over visiting German team Werder Bremen and just a few months later signed for National Soccer League side West Adelaide. "It was fantastic to play for WA," said Lazaridis, who donned State colours on ten occasions, twice as team captain. "It wasn't representing Australia but it had that sort of feel. You played because you loved it, you wanted to do well and you wanted to win."
That attitude earned Lazaridis a move to West Ham in 1995 and four years later he joined Birmingham City. "I remember playing for Birmingham against Liverpool and I was walking to take a corner and the fans were singing," said Lazaridis. "I remember saying to myself 'don't ever, ever forget this moment'. It was amazing. I played with my heart and the Birmingham fans could see that." Lazaridis made a total of 395 league and cup appearances during his clubs career with West Adelaide, West Ham, Birmingham and Glory. At international level he made 60 'A' appearances for Australia after representing the nation at under-17 and under-20 levels.
PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
Alfred Skeet Oval is the place to be on Sunday for the footballwa.net match of the week between form teams Armadale and Stirling Lion. Back-to-back wins have instilled confidence in the home team but goalkeeper Cyril Sharrock knows it won’t be easy making it three on the trot. “Our season seems to have turned around. The team has been working on being hard to break down and that worked well against Sorrento and Bunbury Forum Force,” Sharrock said. “Stirling will be a tough game but if Army shows as much fight and desire as we did in Bunbury then I’m sure we will take the three points.”
Stirling captain Andy Brown says last month’s thrashing at the hands of Perth SC has had a positive effect on his team. “The Perth game was a harsh lesson that has actually been beneficial for the team. Credit has got to be given to management for making positive adjustments following this game and the players have responded in the best possible way,” said Brown. “Sunday is a pretty critical game for both teams. Our full attention is on the league and to keep pushing for the finals berth that we are capable of.” Defender Michael Pugliese remains suspended but Irish imports Gareth McGlynn and Jason Gavin are back in contention.
Round seven commences on Saturday with a depleted Inglewood United at home to Bunbury Forum Force. The home side will be missing Kyle Fowler (knee) while there’s a good chance Ryan Clark (knee), Jon Devite (hamstring) and James Sammut (groin) will also be watching from the stands. ECU Joondalup are without Tommy Amphlett, Matt Italiano and Dave Calder for the visit of Perth SC, who has Greg Sharland out due to illness. Western Knights are confident of taking out all the points when the National Training Centre travels to Nash Field.
The pick of the Saturday action has Bayswater City at home to Balcatta. The past month has been tough on the visiting team and defender Jovo Pavlovic is well aware Balcatta need to start picking up points sooner rather than later. “This is our most important match of the season so far. Bayswater are a quality side, are in top form and fresh from not playing last weekend,” said Pavlovic. “We are starting to get players back on the track, David Micevski and Jason Barrera are back in training and pushing for a spot in the starting eleven.” All six Premier Division games – be they Saturday or Sunday - kick-off at 3.00pm.
DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
Mike Brazil could be without a host of key players when Mandurah City takes on Rockingham City in tomorrow’s twilight fixture at Lark Hill Sportsplex (6.00pm). “Jeff Bright (shoulder), Craig Tone (ribs) and Ryan Townsend (knee) will be assessed by our physio before we make a decision on who plays,” said Mandurah coach Brazil, who is also without defender Jay Bonser due to suspension. “Our squad will certainly be tested in coming weeks but that opens the door for our youth players like Adam Evans, who has come off the bench in recent weeks and has not looked out of place.”
Three very important points are up for grabs at Ashfield Reserve when Shamrock Rovers lock horns with Gosnells City. Dianella White Eagles captain Matt Battigelli (ankle) and playmaker Andreas Theodosiades (back) could miss may the home fixture with Morley Windmills. The coaching staff at Canning City and Ashfield have a few decisions to make ahead of their meeting at Hossack Reserve. Simon Correia, Richard Burton and Daniel McCurdy are pushing to start for the home side, while for the visitors its attackers Jason Feathers and Alex Stamatiadis that are knocking on the door. Swan United welcome back David McNally, Chris Atkinson and Trent Wood for their trip to Forrestfield United.
Fremantle Spirit coach Moe Atekhis is looking to cause an upset when his team travels to competition leaders Wanneroo City. “Wanneroo will be on a high after their big win in the Cup, however, our boys won’t be holding back and will go out there and give it everything,” said Atekhis. “Every game is a big game for us, and we are confident we’ll put in good performance.” The port side have been bolstered by the return from injury of Tyrone Fenwick, Daniel Morgan and captain Kross Kamara plus the signing of Eddie Walsh and Andy Alvarez. The five afternoon Division One games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION TWO PREVIEW
Subiaco AFC should continue their fine run of form by taking all the points over Kingsway Olympic at Rosalie Park. The home side will miss the influence of defender Richard Astley (suspended) but are nonetheless expected to stretch their winning run to six games. Joondalup City will be out to make the most of their home ground advantage when Melville City drops in at Iluka Sports Complex. Quinns will fancy their chances at Gumblossom Park against a Fremantle United line-up missing goalkeeper Francisco Bervenott, Tim De Souza (both suspended), David Caputi (injured) and Paul Neff. All three Division Two games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
IT’S TIME WE APPLIED OURSELVES SAYS BALCATTA’S ROKI
Michael Roki is not entirely happy. After guiding Balcatta to the top of the Premier Division last year Roki had high expectations of another solid performance this term. And it was looking as though that would be achieved until a month ago when a run of poor results sent Balcatta tumbling down the standings. “Our lack of form to date and a dash of misfortune has put us well off the pace,” commented Roki, whose team is positioned seventh after as many games. “We could be closer than six points off the league leaders if we had applied ourselves a bit more.”
It’s been slim pickings of late for Roki’s team who’ve scrapped together just four points – by holding Stirling Lions to a draw and defeating the National Training Centre – from five league outings. “We have conceded four relatively soft penalties in three of those games, against Stirling, Floreat Athena and Inglewood United, which has been unfortunate and left us with a huge mountain to climb,” said Roki. “On top of that we have just haven’t been able to find our rhythm due to a string of injuries to players, including Jason Barrera, Ash Rosindale and John Migas.”
In terms players, Roki considers his current squad pretty much on par with that of last season when Balcatta ended the regular season at the top of the Premier Division table. “We have a similar squad to last year and are capable of challenging the top couple of spots,” the coach said. “We are certainly still in the running but it will obviously now require a solid application to the second half of the season with minimal room for error. We have some problems to iron out but there is a lot of football yet to play this year and some key players to return to soon.”
The early form of Bayswater City and Floreat Athena has propelled them into the top three alongside perennial favourites Perth SC after a couple of months of competition. Few would have predicted such a strong start by Bayswater or Floreat, but Roki isn’t at all surprised. “Bayswater improved vastly last year under Mauro Marchione and he’s built on that squad,” Roki commented. “Floreat have lured a number of players from various teams to form a very effective attacking side. But whether they can be consistent over the 22 home and away games will determine if either side can be crowned Premiers.”
Balcatta, who beat Shamrock Rovers in the State League Cup last weekend, come up against Bayswater on Saturday. “They seem to be a fit, quick and confident team these days under Mauro and the new foreign players certainly boost the quality at the club,” commented Roki, who feels there are two players in particular capable of winning the game for Bayswater off their own boot. “Gustavo Giron-Maralunda is always a threat with his explosive pace and range of shooting, but Cisco Jorquera is an important playmaker for their team and maybe the key player for them when on song.”
Roki knows the relevance of Balcatta getting the win at Frank Drago Reserve this weekend. “Three points will obviously keep us in immediate contact with the top four, but just as importantly it will send a message that we are not going to relinquish the challenge for the title easily,” the coach said. “There is a big expectation that every Balcatta player will leave everything they have on the park this week in an effort to close the ground on any sides that stumble.” Balcatta go for broke against Bayswater from 3.00pm this Saturday at Frank Drago Reserve.
AMPHLETT WANTS ANOTHER GO AT THE A-LEAGUE
Attacking midfielder Tommy Amphlett is determined he will play professionally again after being released by Perth Glory. Amphlett was used sparingly last season by Glory so was hardly surprised when told his services were no longer required by the A-League club. But the 23-year old says his passion isn’t diminished and he still has plenty to offer the game. “Yes I’m disappointed, but that’s football,” he commented. “I thought I started the season really well but then never got a look in the team. Now I’ve just got to look to the future. I believe I can make a real impact at that level, and I’m looking for an opportunity to show I can.”
Amphlett, who came up through the ranks of ECU Joondalup, joined Glory in November 2009 and just a few days later made his first A-League appearance against Sydney FC. “Your debut is always special,” he said when asked for the highlights of his three seasons with Glory. “Playing in front of big crowds every week, and training and playing with top players was great. I’ve learnt a lot from some experienced players, which I’ll never forget.” In total Amphlett played 27 times and ranks the 2011/12 Grand Final, which Glory lost 2-1 to Brisbane Roar, as an amazing experience. “It was fantastic, Suncorp was packed, and the atmosphere was unbelievable.”
After being released by Glory, Amphlett found himself courted by a couple of local clubs. In the end he opted for to Joondalup and made his return appearance in the club’s 3-3 draw with the National Training Centre earlier this month. “It’s great to back at ECU, and it’s nice to be straight back on the pitch playing,” he said. “Salv (Todaro) has bought some quality in since he’s been here as coach. It always takes a few games to get used to each other and also play to the system he has put into place. The training has been fantastic and really intense, so it’s looking good.”
Although he is enjoying being back in the State League Amphlett does not intend sticking around for too long. “I’m only playing for two months,” the former State team player said. “The plan is to keep fit at Joondalup and if nothing comes about in the A-League then I’ll head overseas at the end of June. There has been interest but no offer on the table yet, but I’m determined to keep going. I have the ability, I just have to go out there and prove it.” In the meantime be sure to catch Amphlett giving his all to pull Joondalup away from the bottom of the Premier Division.
JAMIESON JOINS GLORY
Perth Glory has confirmed the recruitment of Australian international Scott Jamieson. The left-sided defender, who played the two most recent seasons with Sydney FC, is looking forward to opening a new chapter in his career in Perth. “I’m very excited to be heading to Perth,” 23-year old Jamieson said. “From the first time I had contact with Perth Glory it felt like a good fit. Now I’m looking forward to playing with a group of talented players and developing my game with an astute coaching staff."
Sydney-born Jamieson honed in skills with three seasons in the academy system at English club Bolton Wanderers before making his mark in Australia. His first port of call was Adelaide United where over two seasons he made 65 league and cup appearances, was awarded the A-League Young Player of the Year and made his Socceroos debut against Indonesia. In mid-2010 he was on the move again, this time linking up with Sydney where he gained 51 first team outings over two seasons.
Jamieson is the fifth player under the age of 23 to sign on the dotted line with Glory in recent weeks, following Brandon O’Neill (18), Chris Harold (19), Ndumba Makeche (20) and Adrian Zahra (21). “Scott is a player I have admired over the years,” coach Ian Ferguson said. “He’s a great addition to our squad and will make us stronger. We were very keen to add youth to our squad and it’s great we’ve now added five players under 23 who have A-League experience."
Nikita Rukavytsya’s Hertha Berlin has been relegated from the Bundesliga following a dramatic play-off game with Fortuna Dusseldorf. The promotion-relegation match had to be stopped twice, the second time due to a pitch invasion, before a 2-2 draw sealed Dusseldorf’s return to Germany’s top flight after a 15-year absence with a 4-3 win on aggregate. Rukavytsya played 72 minutes for Hertha but will spend the final year of his three-season contract back in the second tier after Hertha were relegated just a year after gaining promotion. The attacker, who was yesterday named in the Socceroos for three games next month, made 25 league and cup appearances this season.
SUBIACO GO ON THE RAMPAGE (courtesy Subiaco AFC)
Subiaco AFC have narrowed the gap on Division Two leaders UWA-Nedlands to four points with this evening’s 5-2 thrashing of Melville City at Rosalie Park. Jordan Rhodes masterful display in the centre of the park was rewarded with a couple of second half goals before Joe Kresling, Ger Fitzgerald and Danny Malcolm blew the margin out. Subiaco started at full pace with the creativity and drive of Rhodes and Simon Ralphs opening the visiting side up on numerous occasions. However, it was Melville that was on the scoreboard first thanks to Simon El Chami, who tucked the ball in very much against the run of play. This only spurred Subiaco on further but despite several near misses they entered the break one goal behind.
This same pattern flowed into the second half, Subiaco’s tidy passing and quick movement piling pressure on a visiting defence in which goalkeeper Stewart Dalgarno was a man under siege. The inevitable equaliser arrived through another swift exchange, Malcolm playing a delightful pass into the path of Rhodes whose first touch allowed him to slot low into the bottom corner. With this the floodgates opened and not long after an opportunistic finish by Rhodes made it advantage Subiaco. Kresling and Fitzgerald then added themselves to the scoresheet before a stunning strike from Malcolm made it five-one. Subiaco emptied their bench soon after and it was only now that Melville were allowed back into the game with Lee McKay grabbing a late consolation.
CANNING HAVE TURNED A CORNER SAYS WHETNALL
Emlyn Whetnall can’t hide his disappointment with Canning City’s slide down the Division One table. Canning started the season strongly, taking points from their first two outings before then slip off the pace with four straight losses. “We are very disappointed about those losses,” said Whetnall, who feels his team were unlucky not to get anything out of all four games. “We’ve played fairly well and not been outplayed by anyone in those games – with possibly the exception of Rockingham – and on a different day the results might have gone our way, but that’s football.”
Canning, who came within days of withdrawing from the State League during the summer, have been behind the eight ball since day one according to Whetnall. “When the season started we were already playing catch up. We had new coaches and several new players came on board only three weeks or so before the first game,” the defender said. “It was always going to take some time for everyone to get up to speed and gel. And our overall fitness wasn’t as good as other teams, conceding goals in the last ten minutes of games tend to support that.”
Whetnall believes Canning’s big win over Forrestfield United could be the catalyst for a change in their fortunes. “We’ve turned a corner with our fitness as a group as we’ve finished the last couple of games stronger,” he said. “The performances of the younger players was outstanding, guys like Steve Kane, Sam Carrello and Josh Findlater really stood out. But we aren’t getting ahead of ourselves, after last season the goal for the club was to be well clear of the relegation zone and anything above that will be a bonus this year.”
Only a handful of points separate positions one through six in Division One with Rockingham City and Cockburn City the teams that have particularly impressed Whetnall. “Cockburn are big, strong, fit and very well organised side, for me they’d be the early favourites for winning the league although we haven’t come up against Mandurah City or Ashfield yet,” he said. “Rockingham looked good the day we played them, but their results have been a bit up and down. I’m not sure if we just got them on a good day but they are certainly seemed capable of causing anyone in the league a problem.”
Canning’s next assignment has them on home soil this Saturday to third-placed Ashfield. “It’s going to be another tough game for us,” said Whetnall. “We will be missing Paul Van Dongen (broken leg) and Mick Van Dongen (broken foot) but that gives other players the opportunity to came in and impress. Going on results so far, not many people would give us a chance against Ashfield. But it’s eleven verses eleven on the day and I have every confidence in our group of players. It would be a great result to knock off one the competitions top sides.”
BAYSWATER NOT GETTING CARRIED AWAY WITH EARLY SUCCESS: MARCHIONE
Mauro Marchione isn’t getting too excited about Bayswater City’s superb start to the home and away series. Bayswater share top spot in the Premier Division with arch-rivals Perth SC after two months of competition but coach Marchione knows there is still a long way to go if his team is to achieve their goal of a tip five placing. “We went through a hard pre-season to be competitive this year,” said Marchione. “Where we are at the moment tells us nothing special. The players and I are not excited. Actually we are training even harder to make sure we finish where we belong.”
The highlights of Bayswater’s first seven league outings have included claiming victory over Perth on their turf, and a six-goal demolition of then leaders Floreat Athena. “The fact that we beat Perth at Dorrien Gardens is a great thing for Bayswater and its supporters. But for me doesn’t really make any difference if we beat Perth or the NTC – all I look at is the three points,” Marchione said. “Against Floreat we wanted the win to go on top and we got it, mission accomplished. If it was any other team the approach would be the same.”
Wise off-season recruitment is certainly paying off Bayswater with the likes of Tom Dixon, Patrick Quinn Paul McCarthy and Gustavo Catarcione making an early impression. “The team is playing very well and the new players have gelled with the others in a fantastic way,” Marchione commented. “But I’m not surprised. I recruited professional minded men who are good players. The quality we have at the club now stems from where I took over at Bayswater. The goal has always been to play entertaining, attacking football, I knew that sooner or later that approach would bring us results”
Gustavo Giron-Marulanda has been nothing less than sensational for Bayswater this year and Marchione acknowledges he may not have the Colombian striker for the duration of the winter. “Gustavo is a complete player now. He has worked hard in the last two years on the tactical aspect of the game and today he works for the team,” said the coach. “Gustavo is ready to go professional and I’m helping him to go sooner rather than later, even though it will be a huge loss for us. We have a great squad and have players who can do the job if Gustavo leaves before the end of the season.”
On Saturday afternoon Bayswater, who defeated Dianella White Eagles in a friendly last weekend, square off with a Balcatta side that has won just once in their last five league outings. “The bad run they’ve had will end sooner or later and every game from now could be the one they collect all three points from, I just hope that happens after our game,” said Marchione. “At the moment we are playing good football, we are very fit and injury-free. So we’ve got no excuses – if we don’t beat Balcatta it will be because they have played better than us.”
SOCCEROOS COACH SEES WILLIAMS IN DEFENCE
Socceroos coach Holger Osieck wants Rhys Williams to establish himself as a first-choice right back for the national team. The 23-year old Middlesbrough player has been called on by club manager Tony Mowbray to fill a number of roles this season but Osieck is adamant he is best suited to playing at full-back in the green and gold. "He's a very versatile player and versatility can kill a player as well," Osieck said. "I think he needs a certain position and right now I see him in the right full-back position in our team. I think he can do it best. But on the other hand he can also be an alternative in the central defence."
POINTS SHARED BETWEEN FREMANTLE AND JOONDALUP
Fremantle United robbed Joondalup United of victory by scoring late to grab a 1-1 draw from this evening’s Division Two contest at Dalmatinac Park. Andrew Morrow popped up deep in stoppage time to cancel out Lucias King’s opening goal, however, the result was overshadowed by a broken leg sustained by Fremantle striker Dave Caputi late in the game. The port side looked like opening their account through a tight first half but could find no way past Matt Hill, who kept out shot from Angelo Canzurlo, Darren Monaghan, Michael DeSouza and Morrow. Joondalup weren’t without their chances, the best of which had Steve Lane’s explosive drive crash into the upright.
Joondalup gave a much better account of themselves after the break and on 63 minutes Lucais King’s glancing header from a Mark Thornton cross put the visitors in front. Fremantle were clearly stunned but slowly worked their way back into the game. With fifteen minutes to go a collision between Caputi and Hill while contesting a 50-50 ball left the Fremantle player with a broken leg. After a delay, Fremantle resumed the attack by pushing men forward in increasing numbers. The game was well into stoppage time when Morrow headed in the equaliser after Canzurlo nodded Joe Harvey’s far post delivery back across the face of goal.
FEELY KEEPS UWA UNBEATEN
UWA-Nedlands extended their superb start in Division Two by edging out Kingsway Olympic 2-1 on a chilly evening at Kingsway Reserve. The hosts had Ben Towers to thank for keeping the game on an even footing with a couple of sensational saves, much to the frustration of James Plowman and Steve Purton. But UWA’s relentless pressure paid off when Rory Feely opportunistically lashed into the net from inside the 18-yard box. Kingsway fought back to equalise through Farrell Hedges powerful header from a Josh Rolls corner. However, Feely would have the last word when his shot on the turn evaded Towers to stretch UWA’s unbeaten run To seven games.
THREE LOCALS IN LINE FOR GREEN AND GOLD HONOURS
Chris Herd is in line for his Socceroos debut after being called up for next month’s friendly with Denmark and the World Cup qualifiers against Oman and Japan which follow. Herd, 23, impressed for Aston Villa in the English Premier League this season and was in line for his first international cap last November before being struck down by injury. Hertha Berlin striker Nikita Rukavytsya makes his long awaited return to the squad after last being involved against Germany in March 2011, while Middlesbrough utility Rhys Williams also returns to the fold having been rested for February’s outing with Saudi Arabia.
The 26-player Socceroos to play Denmark (2 June), Oman (8 June) and Japan (12 June) is Mark Bresciano, Alex Brosque, Tim Cahill, David Carney, Nathan Coe, Adam Federici, Chris Herd, Brett Holman, Mile Jedinak, Joshua Kennedy, Harry Kewell, Neil Kilkenny, Robbie Kruse, Matt McKay, Mark Milligan, Lucas Neill, Jade North, Sasa Ognenovski, Nikita Rukavytsya, Mark Schwarzer, Matt Spiranovic, Archie Thompson, Carl Valeri, Luke Wilkshire, Rhys Williams, Michael Zullo. All players will be considered for the June friendly against Denmark, before the squad is reduced to 23 for the World Cup qualifiers against Oman and Japan.
MORLEY STAND TO LOSE POINTS
Morley Windmills’ woes have been compounded by the deduction of three-points for a breach of competition rules. The Division One strugglers have been found to have played an unregistered player in the first two games of the season. Morley went down to Ashfield on the opening day of competition but seven days later claimed a 1-0 win over Fremantle Spirit. Pending an appeal by Morley, the result of the latter game will be overturned and the three points awarded to the port side. That will leave Morley pointless and bottom of the table, the position currently occupied by Fremantle.
WATTS SIGNS ON WITH ILKESTON
Ilkeston manager Kevin Wilson has praised Jack Watts for his contribution to the clubs’ promotion push after announcing the attacker is to stay at the New Manor Ground. Watts, who will be 21 next month, has put pen to paper on a new deal, a move Robins’ boss Wilson views as significant for the club. “Jack has an excellent work ethic, certainly has a goal in him and his ability to adapt to a variety of positions was a big asset to us,” Wilson said. “Having him in the side enables us to change things if we want to and whatever role we give him, he’s always likely to pop up with a goal.”
Watts wore Wanneroo City colours on the local scene before taking up an offer to join Barnsley’s academy system in 2008. He joined Ilkeston Town for the 2009/10 campaign but when the club went into liquidation he had brief spells with Worksop Town, Buxton and Frickley Athletic. When Ilkeston re-emerged in mid-2011 Watts was one of the first player’s former Northern Ireland international Wilson wanted back to the club. “I obviously knew all about his potential from his spell with Ilkeston Town,” commented Wilson. “But he’s now bigger and stronger, learning all the time. He proved himself to be a real handful for defenders in the second half of last season.
Wilson believes Watts has the potential to play well above the Northern Premier League Premier Division, which is where Ilkeston will be next season. “Jack is one of a number of players who improved out of all recognition during the course of last season and if they stay together and keep working hard, there’s no telling what they could achieve as a group,” added Wilson. “I certainly wouldn’t rule out the possibility of them following Tyrell Waite by moving into the League (with Notts County) - if that’s what they want - and Jack certainly comes into the category.”
GARCIA SYMPATHISES WITH SACKED MANAGER
Hull City’s dismissal of Nick Barmby has stripped the Tigers of a manager who had the club “in his heart” according to Socceroo attacker Richard Garcia. Just ten days after guiding Hull to a final standing of eighth in the Championship, Barmby’s short reign as manager was cut short early last week with the club board citing an erosion of “trust and confidence” as the primary cause for the sacking. Having been a team mate and player under Barmby throughout five years at the KC Stadium, Garcia admits the last few days has been difficult to comprehend.
Garcia, who is considering his playing options 128 appearance for Hull, is sorry to see the club discard one of their most passionate supporters. “I definitely feel sympathy for Nick because he loved the club,” the club veteran told the ‘Hull Daily Mail’. “He wouldn’t have come back at the age he did if he didn’t. He’s always had the city and the club in his mind and in his heart. That’s the sad thing, he’d have probably died for the club. To see someone with so much passion for the club have to leave must be very hard on him.”
Garcia says Barmby’s sacking is difficult to understand considering the rollercoaster season Hull endured. “The way we finished the season with a fairly young squad, it’s surprising,” Garcia added. “To get to where we did with a fairly small squad was an achievement in itself. There was the upheaval with a manager leaving in the middle of the season, which can ruffle a few feathers, but we kicked on. A month like March was tough and especially with the size of squad we had, it was always going to be hard. For where we finished the season I felt we’d done extremely well and things were looking positive.”
STIRLING BOUNCED OUT BY WANNEROO
Division One club Wanneroo City are through to the State League Cup quarter-finals after toppling Stirling Lions 3-1 at Kingsway Reserve. Jason Marsden scored twice and Brian Cairney once as Wanneroo claimed their second top flight scalp, having eliminated Bunbury Forum Force in round one. “We’re delighted to still be in the Cup … I’m surprised there aren't more Division One sides still involved as the league is a decent standard,” said Wanneroo coach David Tough. “The most pleasing thing today was we tried to play football from start to finish - no one hid when Stirling put us under pressure.”
The first attempt on goal came from the visitors after only a few minutes via an Adam Luca free-kick that drew a diving save from Clint Davies. Wanneroo responded through Cairney but his shot was saved by Cory Hugo, who on 23 minutes was required to keep out Josh Booysen’s attempt. With the very next attack Stirling took the lead, Jamie De Abreu’s shot on the run was parried by Davies and O’Callaghan was placed to head in at close-range. But that lead lasted just eleven minutes before Guy McDonald swung a corner to the far post where Jay McDonald headed back across goal and Cairney was on hand to bundle into the net.
Chances on goal were few and far between in a cagey start to the second period. The all-important next goal came from Wanneroo on 62 minutes, Anthony Jones releasing Booysen whose cross was headed down by Guy McDonald for Marsden to finish low past Hugo. Any hopes Stirling held of getting back in the game were snuffed out when Michael Pugliese was given his marching orders in the 75th minute for a second yellow card. The game was made safe in stoppage time when Nick Timmings played clear Booysen, who rounded the oncoming ‘keeper and centred for Marsden to knock into the net.
EL CHAMI STEERS MELVILLE TO VICTORY
Melville City marched into the State League Cup quarter-finals with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Armadale at Len Shearer Reserve. Striker Simon El Chami scored twice against his former club with Gary McVicker getting the remainder on a memorable day for the Division Two club. “We have been working hard to improve our game and now we are starting to see the results,” said Melville’s Clayton Kendall. “The guys responded well to the pressure after giving up a two-goal advantage to a team two division higher than ourselves. This result will give us more belief and builds momentum as we look to overcome a slow start in the league.”
Genuine goalscoring opportunities were scare throughout a tight first half in which Melville had perhaps the better of possession. But the first opening came the way of the home side with Blake Adams beating the offside trap and chipping oncoming goalkeeper Stewart Dalgarno, however, Kendall got back in time to prevent the ball entering the net. Melville looked the more likely team to score and that they did on 32 minutes, McVicker’s corner leading to a goalmouth scrambled in which El Chami struck into the roof of the net. That lead was almost added to late in the half when Kudzi Chigwanda swept the ball into the post on the end of a tidy counter attack.
Melville picked up the second half where they left off and on the hour John Brennan whipped a cross in behind the defence for McVicker to tuck into the net. It took only two minutes for Armadale to reply through Adams, who sent a low centre past Dalgarno. The Reds were quick to resume the attack, heaping pressure on the home side. They were rewarded for a second time in the 75th minute when Mark McClements’ thundering volley from 16-metres brought the teams level. The deciding goal arrived with twelve minutes to go, El Chami putting away his second goal on the counter attack. El Chami could have finished with a hat-trick but was denied in a late one-on-one with ‘keeper Jack Adams.
FLOREAT SURVIVE A ROCKY ROAD
Floreat Athena were pushed all the way in seeing off a resilient Rockingham City 3-2 at Lark Hill Sportsplex. Rockingham took an early lead through Rafael Insaurralde but the teams entered the break level thanks to Jarrad Smith. Vincent Sweeney and substitute David Heagney put Floreat in a seemingly safe position before Papa Kpatar netted to set up a tense final few minutes. “It was a hard fought win. We made it harder than what it needed to be, but credit to Rockingham who battled for the full 90 minute,” said Smith after the game.
Rockingham’s attacking approach reaped rewards after only 10 minutes when Kpater found space on the left to cross for Insaurralde, who cheeky back heel beat Brad Eiffe. The margin was very nearly doubled a couple of minutes later with Kpater sent through one-on-one with Eiffe who stood tall to deny the livewire winger. Having weathered the early storm Floreat started to get more involved but had their best moves repelled by the home backline. That was until the 45th minute when Sweeney’s clipped ball over the defence was finished low into the net by Smith.
Heagney entered the action at half-time and within two minutes ran the ball deep before pulling back to Sweeney, who blasted in at close-range. The game looked to have been made safe in the 81st minute when Heagney finished clinically past goalkeeper Dave Keenan after being released by Sweeney’s inch perfect through ball. Unfortunately for Floreat, Kpatar hadn’t read that script and five minutes later he found space on top of the box to curl a fantastic shot beyond the gloves of Eiffe. Rockingham pressed hard in the remaining minutes but couldn’t find a way past a solid Floreat defence.
HAMERSLEY THROUGH IN EXTRA-TIME
A couple of goals in extra-time earned Hamersley Rovers 1 5-3 win over Kingsley from a pulsating State League Cup encounter at Chichester Park. Two goals apiece by James Young and Logan Crawford plus an own goal sent Hamersley into the last eight for the second time in five years. “To be in the quarter finals is a real credit to the boys and we look forward to a day out against one of the big guns,” said Hamersley boss Craig Doble. “We dominated (the game) but couldn’t put our chances away. Every goal we conceded was an error on our behalf - if we want to go any further we will have to put that right”
A catastrophic start by Kingsley had them a goal down after only 9 seconds, a defensive mix-up leading defender G.Wyles to lob the ball over goalkeeper Kevan Towers and into his own net. Not to be outdone, Hamersley were guilty of poor defending in the 4th minute, gifting the ball to an opposing winger whose tidy cut back was sent into the net by Matt Gardner to make it one-one. As play ebbed and flowed from end to end it was Hamersley that enjoyed the better of possession, however, some threatening counter attacks kept Kingsley very much in the game. Although chances were plentiful, a combination of weak finishing, resolute defending and great goalkeeping meant the sides went into the break on level pegging.
The second half followed much the same pattern, Hamersley probing to get in behind a deep sitting defence whereas Kingsley’s main avenue to attack was on the break. It was Kingsley that got what they wanted in the 70th minute when C.Cunningham got to the ball slightly ahead of ‘keeper Haig Kingston to stroke into the bottom corner. As Kingsley looked to defend their lead Hamersley rained shots down on Towers, the State amateur ‘keeper frustrating the visiting forwards on several occasions. Only a coat of paint denied Kingsley a third goal, Jayden Drummond’s effort hitting the upright and deflecting away from the net.
Young, who had spurned a series of earlier chances, made it two-all with an acrobatic finish after connecting with a corner whipped in from the right. Two minutes later Hamersley hit the lead from another corner, this one from the left with Young’s dead ball sneaking into the net despite a desperate attempt to clear off the line. Dave Howell could have put the game to bed soon after but failed to convert after being found by Crawford. That miss would come back to haunt the visitors as in the final minute of regulation time Gardner slotted past Kingston from the penalty spot following a crude tackle on Drummond.
Extra-time was pretty much a one-sided affair as Hamersley’s superior fitness came to the fore. The visitors were increasingly picking gaps in their opponent’s defences and when livewire Crawford broke through to finish across ‘keeper the game was as good as over. Sloppy tackling began to creep into the second period and after a rash of bookings Hamersley were reduced to ten men with Sam Long issued his marching orders following a disagreement with assistant referee David Currie. Crawford sealed victory when he broke the offside trap and out-paced the defence before slotting under the on-coming ‘keeper.
LATE GOALS GET SORRENTO OVER THE LINE (with Nathan Drudi, Football West)
Sorrento dream up back-to-back State League Cups remains alive following their narrow 2-0 victory over ECU Joondalup at Percy Doyle Reserve. The game provided plenty of chances, including a missed penalty by the visitors, but it wasn’t until the final ten minutes that the outcome was decided by Todd Harnwell and Ryan Pearson. “To be fair to them, I thought ECU Joondalup played well, they got the penalty, but Curtis did well and saved it,” said Sorrento boss Paul Price. “If the penalty had have gone it, it would have been a different game.”
Joondalup did most of the early attacking early but could find few ways past their hosts solid defensive line. Sorrento almost went ahead against the run of play in the 20th minute, Stuart Montgomery stealing possession and dashing down the flank but the veteran’s shot was a tad wide. With this the home team came to life and Michael Aspin, Jason Mirco and Pearson each had chances to break the deadlock but placed wide. Joondalup had a couple of chances of their own just before the interval with attempts by Matt Italiano and David Foster travelling just past the target.
A positive start to the second half had Montgomery twice denied by Andy Banks in the Joondalup goal. The visitors were presented a great chance to edge in front when a rash tackle lead referee Matthew Cheeseman to point to the penalty spot, however, Tommy Amphlett’s effort was battered away by Aspden. The teams continued to trade blows until, with 81 minutes gone, James Morgan’s brilliant cross allowed Harnwell to slot in the opening goal. The result was put beyond doubt six minutes later when Pearson played a one-two with Morgan and lashed into the net from the edge of the 18-yard box.
BALCATTA PROGRESS WITH EASE (with Tommy Doleman, Football West)
Doubles to John Thornley and Callum Roberts ensured Balcatta’s safe passage through to the next round of the State League Cup with a 5-1 win against Shamrock Rovers at Grindleford Reserve. Thornley scored twice and Roberts once in the first half to send the home side into the break three-one up, Alan O’Mahoney getting Shamrock’s reply. Balcatta’s class shone through in the second half with Roberts grabbing his second before Daniel Micevski added his name to the scoresheet. “We have aspirations to play good, attacking football and to score five and create many other opportunities was a good sign,” said Micevski post-game.
The writing was on the wall for Shamrock as early as the 7th minute when Thornley rounded off a good team move with a cool finish to open the scoring. But the visitors returned fire soon after, O’Mahoney heading in from a John Hogan free-kick. Neil Young ensured Balcatta remained in front by blocking Barry Triggs’ shot after he linked with Brian Farrell. It proved an important save as on the quarter hour Roberts curled brilliantly past Eamon Barnes after being afforded far too space inside the area. Balcatta were now beginning to control play and on the half hour Thornley picked himself up to send Barnes the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Farrell was presented a great chance to reduce the gap early in the second half but Young brilliantly blocked his spot kick as well as the follow-up. From this point on there was only one team in the game and on 54 minutes Roberts twisted and turned inside the area before firing in at the second attempt after his initial shot was blocked by a defender. Shane Nunes nearly added his name to the scoresheet but was thwarted by an acrobatic save from Barnes, who later prevented Thornley from completing his hat-trick. The icing on Balcatta’s cake in the 75th minute when Steve Burton’s cut back was met firmly by Micevski, who lifted his shot high into the net.
ONOFORO PLAYS THE CAPTAIN’S KNOCK (with Ilija Mihalj, Football West)
A classy brace from captain David Onoforo sent Perth SC into the quarter-finals of the State League Cup at the expense of Western Knights, who went down 4-1 at Dorrien Gardens. Trent Kay got the ball rolling for the team in blue with Onoforo doubling their advantage before the break. Rapid fire goals by Robbie Scaiscia and Onoforo further increased the gap before David Caine grabbed the Knights a late consolation. “Even though we appeared a little fatigued, it was satisfying to see how many chances we created and put away,” Sciascia commented. “It was a good performance overall, and important for us to reach the quarters.”
The Knights made a positive start but found it difficult to pick holes in a water-tight home backline. By contrast, it took only 16 minutes for the visitors to be breached as a totally unmarked Kay headed past goalkeeper Kevin Miller after being the recipient of a delightful Antonio Naglieri free-kick into the 18-yard box. Perth continued to open up their opponents and had it not been for Miller the scoreline would have really blown out, the ‘keeper producing a pair of stunning saves to deny Onoforo. But there was little Miller could in the 32nd minute when Josh Wilkins made space to cut the ball back for Onoforo to score at the near post.
Daniel Trim went close to reeling in the gap soon after the break but his looping close-range header was just over Alex Dunn’s crossbar. There was no such wasteful at the other end of the park where in the 55th minute Sciascia cleverly finished off a move that involved Daniel Niederberger and Onoforo to make it three-nil. The home side were celebrating again three minutes later after Onoforo’s powerful shot from 15-metres found the target despite Miller’s best efforts. Wilkins should have added another but somehow turned Sciascia’s cross over at point-blank range. The Knights sole reply came in stoppage time when Caine’s sweetly struck effort from the edge of the area flew into Dunn’s net.
FIRST HALF BLITZ PUTS INGLEWOOD INTO LAST EIGHT
Inglewood United came away from the Swan Italian Club with a 5-1 victory over Swan United from their second round State league Cup encounter. The visitors turned on the style with Dannie Richman netting twice amid goals by team mates Michael Baczynski, Aleks Jovic and Alex Caniglia to seal the win inside 30 minutes. “It came together for us today,” said winning captain Baczynski. “We’ve worked hard on keeping possession and being patient and when the opportunity arises we can create chances, like we did in the first half. We had the job done by half-time and didn’t want any injuries so we did what we needed to do in the second half.”
The visitors got off to the best possible start with Baczynski volleying into the top corner from a 1st minute centre by Richman. Swan regrouped and in the 10th minute Tom Shepheard headed in the equaliser after meeting a Rhys Loxley free-kick. But that was as good as it got for the home side. A minute later Jovic’s cross from the right was headed in at the back post by Richman. Goal number three arrived in the 21st minute, David Perich playing down the right to Caniglia whose cross was blasted in at the far post by Jovic. Richman released Caniglia to finish past Daniel Agudelo on 32 minutes. Shortly after Richman side-footed in unmarked from 7-metres after being found by Caniglia.
A shell-shocked Swan emerged from the break focused on clawing their way back into the game. In the 52nd minute Aaron Colli’s cross picked out Lucas Whitehouse whose goalbound effort was taken by Francis Soale. Jason Colli took Inglewood into attack in the 65th minute by crossing for Jovic, who volleyed narrowly wide. A Swan counter attack had Shepheard relay the ball to John Monterosso but his low shot from 11-metres was saved by Soale. Although the game was well and truly safe, Inglewood almost added a sixth goal when Scott Witschge raced down the right and pulled the ball back to Baczynski whose first time strike was wide.
STATE LEAGUE CUP PREVIEW
The State League Cup takes centre stage this weekend with the footballwa.net match of the week being Wanneroo City’s home date with Stirling Lions. Wanneroo are riding high in Division One and coach David Tough is looking forward to seeing how his side measures up against top flight opposition. “Stirling Lions are one of the strongest teams in the state. It will be a great gauge of where we are at as a club,” he said. “We’ve had a great start to season but underperformed in the last 30 minutes last week against Ashfield so I’m looking for a reaction from our first defeat.”
Back-to-back wins may have jumped Stirling into fourth place but Doug Hesketh knows Cup football is a totally different kettle of fish. “It will be a very tough game for us this week, Gary (Williams) and I have only heard positive things about Wanneroo,” commented the Stirling coach. “Garin Collins is a good player with a lot of experience and Anthony Jones is solid and reliable at the back. They are up the top end of the league so we have to be on our game. We are still working on things week in week out, the lads train hard and they want to improve on every game they play.”
Percy Doyle Reserve hosts Sorrento and ECU Joondalup, while Perth SC takes on Western Knights at Dorrien Gardens. Balcatta have injury clouds over John Mills, Adam Tong and Julian Madaschi ahead of the Grindleford Reserve meeting with Shamrock Rovers. Floreat Athena will be without suspended duo Ludovic Boi and Ryan Pretorius for their trip to Rockingham City. Sunday League teams Kingsley and Hamersley Rovers lock horns at Chichester Park. Ali Paredes and Alan Darlington come back into contention for an Armadale side looking for a fourth straight wins away at Melville City (3.30pm).
Inglewood United heads to Swan United, who are brimming with confidence after four straight league wins. “The lads are really looking forward to Saturday’s game, with a number of players having played for both clubs,” said coach John O’Reilly. “Graham (Normanton) will have them well drilled, but they will be hurting after back-to-back losses. We are in good form and coming off five wins in all competitions. It will be a tough test but we will enjoy the experience of playing one of the Premier League’s top teams.” Unless indicated otherwise, all second round State League Cup games kick-off at 2.30pm on Saturday.
FLOREAT WILL BOUNCE BACK: EIFFE
Floreat Athena biggest loss of the year has been consigned to history according to Brad Eiffe. The inner city club were humbled last weekend to the tune of 6-0 by Bayswater City, a result which saw them relinquish top spot in the Premier Division. Goalkeeper Eiffe says the lessons of that afternoon have been learnt and a return to the form which sent Floreat on a six-game winning streak is very much back on the agenda. “We aren’t dwelling on the Bayswater result, we’re looking forward and I’m confident we will bounce back,” Eiffe commented. “There’s a great group of guys at Floreat who have the ability and are willing to work for one another.”
Floreat were riding the crest of a wave prior to last weekend, when they were brought crashing back down to earth by the spanking at Bayswater. “It was pretty sombre in the change rooms afterwards,” Eiffe said. “We edged it in the opening 20 minutes, hitting the post and limiting them to long-range efforts. They scored with a fast break and got two more just after half-time, leaving us with a mountain to climb with only nine men. We have had a great start to the season – we’re still only one point off top spot – but the result at Bayswater shows we still have some hard work to do.”
Born in New Zealand, Eiffe first played football at the age of 4 with Forrestfield United. His career has taken in two seasons with English club Droitwich Spa and spells at Queens Park and Ashfield. In fact he was preparing for his second season with the later when the chance to join Floreat came along. “I must admit it was hard to leave Ashfield but when Chris Barbas called and asked me to join Floreat I couldn’t say no,” he explained. “Everyone at the club has made me feel right at home, the lads have been really supportive and that’s made the move a lot easier.”
Having played the past five seasons in the second tier, Eiffe is thoroughly enjoying the challenge of coming face to face with some of the best footballers the local scene has to offer on a weekly basis. “It is a big step up but I feel I’ve settled in pretty well,” he said. “The main differences I’m finding is the extra 10-20% sharpness players have in the Premier Division. Coming up against some really good strikers in Gustavo Giron-Maralunda, David Onoforo and Todd Harnwell is a real test, but as a player you want to play at the highest level and I have loved it every minute.”
According to Eiffe, the State League has not yet seen the best of a Floreat side that has been re-modelled by coach Barbas. “We have shown glimpses in what we can do but I don’t think we have played a full 90 minutes yet,” he said. “The squad is only now starting to really gel. Bobby Wilson, Spencer Harris, Jake Geddes and Ludovic Boi have been top signings as has David Heagney, and Mark Pritchard, Liam Boland Callum Fransz have been around the club for the last couple seasons. We have a really good blend at the club and you should start to see the best of us pretty soon.”
Eiffe will be hoping “pretty soon” means this weekend to his team mates as Floreat head to Rockingham City in the second round of the State League Cup minus suspended trio Liam Boland, Ludovic Boi and Ryan Pretorius. The Division One side are unbeaten in the last month, have home ground advantage and absolutely nothing to lose from the encounter. “Rockingham are in some real good form so it will be a tough game. They will be physical and up for pulling off a Cup shock,” said Eiffe. “But we have experience and quality, and I have no doubt we will get the job done against a well-drilled Rockingham side.”
COLLI READIES FOR RETURN TO INGLEWOOD
Swan United midfielder Aaron Colli has come back into contention just in time to take on former club Inglewood United in the second round of the State League Cup. 26-year old Colli, who played six seasons with Inglewood prior to joining to Swan last year, returned from an ankle injury in last week’s win over Gosnells City and is confident of a similar result on Saturday. “I’m looking forward to the game this weekend, it will be a good test for us,” said Colli. “Inglewood are a strong side and have been performing well in Premier Division. In saying that, I have full confidence in the guys and hopefully we can come away with a win.”
Colli played many a game alongside elder sibling Jason during his Inglewood days but never before have the brothers been on opposite sides of the fence. “This will be the first time that I’ve played against Jason in a first team game and I will be treating it like any other game against any other opponent. Jason is tough competitor and I wish him all the best, but I want to win,” said Colli, who has fond memories of the time he spend at Inglewood. “I enjoyed my time there, it’s a good club to play for. I played alongside a great group of players and won a trophy with the Reserves, against Swan.”
Swan sputtered through the early stages of the season before coming into some form over the past month. “We didn’t get off to the start we were hoping for. The team worked hard during the pre-season and to come into the season and lose two out of our first three games was pretty disappointing,” admitted Colli, whose team head to Inglewood seeking their fifth win in a row. “Both our goalkeepers, Daniel (Agudelo) and Jordan (Howell), went down injured, which didn't help, but we’ve managed to turn things around and build up some momentum which we’ll take into Saturdays game.”
MELVILLE “TURNING THINGS ROUND” SAYS DALGARNO
Division Two outfit Melville City are on their way up according to goalkeeper Stewart Dalgarno. A sparkling pre-season had the State League newcomers pegged as one of the teams to watch this year. Unfortunately, they were unable to carry that early momentum into the season proper and after six starts have just two wins to their credit. But a recent return to form has Dalgarno tipping Melville’s resurgence. “We started probably too well, if that’s possible,” said the ‘keeper. “We’ve had a couple of bad results but a win in the Cup, a couple of clean sheets and a win in the league suggests we’re rapidly turning things round.”
Melville kick started their season with a State League Cup win over then Division Two leaders Fremantle United, a result they followed days later with a narrow loss to an unbeaten UWA-Nedlands. They collected three more points on the weekend the hard way, going down a man early and relaying on late strikes by Simon El Chami and Kudzi Chigwanda to see off Quinns. “That was a tough game, Quinns are a direct side and going down to ten men after 10 minutes made it that much harder,” commented Dalgarno. “It wasn’t pretty at times but we dug out a result, I think that shows the character within the team.”
Dalgarno, 30, has played the past few seasons in Division One but didn’t think twice when the chance to be part of Melville’s State League debut came along. “Going back to Melville was an easy decision,” said Dalgarno, who played semi-professionally in Scotland before moving to Perth in 2008. “The guys at Melville helped me settle when I first came to Australia and it’s like I haven’t been away. There’s a real family feeling around the club and a lot of that is down to the work the Kendall brothers, Mark and Clayton. I think it speaks volumes for the club that I have come back, as have some other established Saturday players.”
Melville’s next assignment is a home Cup date with Premier League side Armadale, who are unbeaten in their last three games, this Saturday. “Armadale have just hit a bit of form in time for us to welcome them,” commented Dalgarno. “We played them in pre-season and faired well, but I expect a very hard game this weekend. They’re an established Premier League side and that doesn’t happen by accident. We’re very much the underdog but we’ve played below our potential a bit this year … there is plenty more to come from Melville and we certainly have the ability to cause an upset.”
BIRIGHITTI KEPT IN THE LOOP BY NEWCASTLE COACH
Coach Gary Van Egmond convinced Mark Birighitti not to turn tail and run from Newcastle Jets. Birighitti signed a two-year deal with Newcastle in March but was left wondering where his future lay after the club’s owner Nathan Tinkler declared last month he was handing his licence back to Football Federation Australia. “Gary kept calling me and reassuring me all the time,” the goalkeeper said. “He was talking me through everything, telling me to be patient over the phone. He was telling me don’t be in a rush to sign for other clubs – we’re still in meetings and we’re trying to work it out.”
21-year old Birighitti, who was courted by Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory before Tinkler decided to commit to Newcastle for the long haul last week, was impressed with Van Egmond’s commitment during the club’s month in limbo. “I signed initially because Gary told me Newcastle had a big future and a lot of good things would happen with the club,” the Australian youth international said. “I know Gary really well. I rate him really well but I was really upset when Nathan Tinkler handed the licence back. But it was happy days when they worked it all out.”
MCGARRY COMMITS TO GLORY
Perth Glory have confirmed the re-signing of Scotsman Steven McGarry. The attacking midfielder, who originally joined Glory in January 2010 and has played 59 times, is pleased to remain with the West Australian club. “I am delighted to sign a contract extension,” 32-year old McGarry said. “The possible prospect of playing in the Asian Champions League is exciting and a big step forward for the club. My preference was always to stay with Perth Glory in a city that has made me and my family extremely welcome." McGarry made just under 400 appearances for Scottish clubs St Mirren, Ross County and Motherwell prior to joining Glory.
NASCIMENTO TAKES UP BUNBURY’S PRESIDENCY
Bunbury Forum Force are ready to move on from a turbulent couple of months with Albert Nascimento’s appointment as club president. Nascimento was voted in unopposed at last week’s extraordinary general meeting which was called in light of James Turbitt move to step down in March. “I’m looking forward to getting on with running the club,” Nascimento told the ‘South Western Times’. “There’s a lot to do and we need to get on with the job.” Also voted in on the night were John McCleary as vice-president and Maggie Newton as treasurer.
EDWARDS CLOSES IN ON PREMIER LEAGUE DREAM
Teenage midfielder Ryan Edwards is one step closer to achieving his life-long ambition of playing in the English Premier League. Edwards, the son of one-time Socceroo Alistair Edwards, is looking forward to what the next twelve months holds after his club, Reading, won promotion to England’s top flight for just the second time in their 141-year history. “It feels pretty special. It’s every footballers dream to be playing in the Premier League,” Edwards said. “It’s arguably the best league in the world so to have the opportunity to play and become a Premier League player is something I’m striving towards.”
The rewards for a remarkable season at Reading came last month when the club secured top spot in the Championship with three games to play. “The buzz around the place is amazing! There is such a good feel and atmosphere around the club,” Edwards added. “Credit to the gaffa, the staff, the players and the of course the fans, they were all amazing and had a big part in all the success this season. We have a saying of ‘win the next game’ and that was the main focus throughout the campaign and the first team boys did that, they knew how to win games.”
Edwards, 18, arrived at Reading little under a year ago with older brother Cameron, 20, and was immediately struck by the clubs’ high level of professionalism. “My first impression of Reading was that it was a very professional club, (there was a) great feeling about the place, everyone was so friendly and helpful – it was just like a second family,” the teenager said. “The set-up is great with all ages training at the same venue, cafeteria open for breakfast and lunch, quality facilities in change rooms, training pitches and the gym and the coaching staff are world class.”
The Edwards boys transition to life in England has been helped by fellow Australian Adam Federici, who just so happens to keep goal for reading. “People don’t realize how hard it actually is to pack up and move so far away from your friends and family at a young age, and especially for football … Cam and I get along really well, we’ve always been close, and we’re great friends as well as brothers,” said Edwards. “Having another Aussie apart from my brother I find really helpful. Feds is such a class ‘keeper and definitely will be one of the best in the Premiership next season.”
Edwards has no doubt he has taken his game to the next level over the past year. “I have definitely developed further since moving to Reading, and are still learning!,” he said. “The English game is so much quicker, intense and stronger which helps you technically because you have to be spot on otherwise you get caught out. This season I’ve trained with the 18s, reserves and first team and each step up is to another level and you have to be ready. It has prepared me for first team football, I believe I am ready but I still have to get stronger in some areas.”
Being the son of a former Socceroo could be seen as a burden but Edwards says he is blessed to have a father who achieved so much as a player, and now as a coach. “I feel no pressure whatsoever having the title ‘Alistair Edwards’ son’ … my dad is one of my biggest idols, he’s such an inspiration,” he said. “The knowledge and experience I’ve gained, and continue to gain is quite special and I’ll forever thank him for that. He knows so much, has seen so much and played so much and I think I’m quite lucky to have him, firstly, as my dad and secondly, as a mentor and coach.”
With the 2011/12 season now over, Edwards has quickly turned his attention to the coming campaign. “This season I was in the reserves and 18s but next season I want to break in the first team, I know it will be tough but I believe I can do it,” commented Edwards, whose other goal is to wear the green and gold of Australia. “Internationally, I am looking forward to hopefully being a part of the Under-20 set-up. We’ve got many camps and tournaments coming up, including the World Cup qualifiers towards the end of this year.”
HALL OF FAME RECOGNITION FOR LAZARIDIS
Western Australia's most capped footballer, Stan Lazaridis, is to be will be inducted into the Football Hall of Fame WA later this month. Lazaridis, who played 60 'A' internationals for Australia, will be one of 32 newcomers welcomed into the Football Hall of Fame when the Fifth Induction ceremony is held at the Novotel Langley Hotel on Saturday 19 May. Lazaridis, who retired from football in 2008, played at the highest levels in England with West Ham United and Birmingham City while on the domestic stage he turned out for Perth Glory and West Adelaide.
Joining Lazaridis in the latest batch of inductions are former players Bobby Despotovski, Allan Pottier, Judy Pettitt and Julie Gorton, and former State League coaches John Birighitti and Doug Stewart. Tickets to the Fifth Induction ceremony are selling fast and include a three-course meal, drinks, top-class entertainment and a lavish collector’s programme which highlights the achievements of all the inductees. There will also be a chance to obtain some prized memorabilia. Tickets to the ceremony on 19 May are priced at $150 and can be obtained by contacting Hall of Fame secretary Barbara Gibson (9526 0330) or treasurer Bob Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org).
WILLIAMS TURNS PROFESSSIONAL WITH BURNLEY
Defender Aryn Williams is one of six members of Burnley’s squad which reached the last four of the FA Youth Cup to be rewarded with their first professional contracts. Williams, 18, put pen to paper on a one-year deal this week with the Clarets along with Jack Errington, Cameron Howieson and Luke Conlan while Stevie Hewitt recently agreed to a two-year deal. The former ECU Joondalup featured last season at right-back for the Clarets’ youth and reserve teams but has shown he is more than capable of playing anywhere along the back four.
NEVILLE WALKS OUT ON GLORY
Newcastle United have snared the services of Perth Glory defender Scott Neville for the next two seasons. Neville, 23, rejected a reduced two-year offer to stay with his hometown club but Newcastle boss Gary Van Egmond indicated the former Sorrento player had made the switch for reasons other than finances. “It is a courageous move to come over here because he could have stayed in his hometown, where he has been captain of Perth Glory,” said the coach. “For his development, he felt coming to the Jets was the best option.” Neville played 63 times for Glory since making his debut in December 2008.
BUNDESLIGA PLAY-OFF FOR RUKAVYTSYA’S HERTHA
Nikita Rukavytsya's chances of playing in the Bundesliga next season have been boosted by Hertha Berlin's 3-1 victory over Hoffenheim on the last day of the campaign. The result combined with FC Cologne's loss to Bayern Munich handed Hertha a spot in the relegation play-offs with the third-placed side from Germany’s second division. Rukavytsya’s 25th appearance of the season was off the bench in Saturday's tension-filled affair in which Anis Ben-Hatira scored twice before Raffael sealed victory in the final minute. 24-year old Rukavytsya shot to prominence with Perth Glory before heading to Europe where he played for FC Twente (the Netherlands) and Roseleare (Belgium) before joining Hertha in mid-2010.
MAKECHE DREAMS OF A-LEAGUE GLORY (by Jonathon Cook, the ‘West Australian’)
Six years after arriving in Perth from Zambia, striker Ndumba Makeche is living a dream. The 20-year old signed a two-year deal with Perth Glory last week after a season in which he was stepped up from the National Youth League to A-League football. Makeche, who played locally for Stirling Lions and Inglewood United, managed just a handful of minutes against Gold Coast United in his only A-League appearance and now he has an appetite for more. “It’s a dream come true,” he said of signing a professional contract with Glory. “When you are growing up you look up to great players and then to become a professional footballer, it’s something to treasure.”
Makeche was born in the Zambian capital Lusaka where occasional games for the school team were complemented by the spontaneous matches played on the streets. “In Zambia, football is the number one sport. Wherever you turn, to TV and newspapers, it’s all football,” he said. “For me, growing up and watching great players, I always wanted to be a footballer.” The exciting attacker will juggle his Glory commitments next season with a business and marketing degree at Murdoch University. “When I was in Zambia I couldn’t even picture myself being in Australia so I just thank God for this opportunity.
PERTH GIVE BALCATTA A FINISHING LESSON
Perth SC powered their way to the top of the Premier Division with a 3-1 defeat of reigning premiers Balcatta on a gloomy afternoon at Grindleford Reserve. Daniel Niederberger struck early with Trent Kay and Rob Sciascia wrapping up the points after the break to send Perth level with Bayswater City at the top of the table after seven games. “It’s a difficult place to come and get a win so we’re delighted,” said Perth assistant coach Richard Abrahams. “We were strong at the back and it was great to see Greg Sharland back to his best.”
The visiting team made a dream start with Niederberger netting after only 3 minutes, the striker firing in from 10-metres after the opposing defence failed to respond to a Sharland cross from the left. Balcatta replied by heaping on the pressure and John Thornley was denied an equalising goal twice in ten minutes, first by Alex Dunn and then by Kay. Daniel Micevski’s blast was deflected high off the boot and Callum Roberts drilled into the side netting while several other promising moves were negated by Kay, Craig Simpson and James Isaia. The half ended with Steve Burton playing through Thornley whose fierce strike was touched over the crossbar by Dunn.
Balcatta resumed the attack after the resumption, Roberts placing just wide before Mo Atak had Dunn at full stretch. But against the run of play it was Perth who found the net on 54 minutes, Kay rising to head powerfully into the top corner from an Antonio Naglieri corner. The visitors tightened their hold on the game a minute later when Sharland raced onto a ball over the defence, lured ‘keeper Neil Young off his line then threaded to the far post for an unmarked Sciascia to side-foot in. A defensive mix-up almost gifted Perth a fourth goal on the hour but Sharland’s shot from 14-metres was a little too high.
Micevski gave Balcatta a glimmer of hope with a superb finish in the 63rd minute, Atak picking out the midfielder who elegant strike swung away from Dunn and into the top corner. But when Burton pulled wide after meeting a Roberts centre it was clear this was not going to be the home teams’ day. Having sat back and dealt with their opponents attacks, Perth sprang back to the life in the final ten minutes with a series of raids. David Onoforo lifted the ball over the defence for substitute Josh Wilkins who was denied in a one-on-one situation by Young. The new Balcatta custodian was on his toes again in the 87 minutes to batter away Onoforo’s close-range effort after an error by Adam Tong.
WARD WISER FOR TIME AWAY
New Perth Glory recruit Nick Ward is glad to be home. Ward, 27, recently put a difficult spell at Wellington Phoenix behind him by signing a one-year contract with his home town club. “It’s been a tough two years and that’s why I saw coming back here as a good opportunity,” he said. “It’s a good time for me to come back home. I’ve got the support of my family and I will be in a good frame of mind so I can focus purely on football. I’ve got a one-year deal and I’ve got to prove my worth. My body feels good and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about the game since I was here.”
Ward played locally for ECU Joondalup and Stirling Lions before making 21 appearances for Glory. In mid-2006 he signed for English club Queens Park Rangers, but things didn’t quite turn out how he had planned. “I was a bit naive,” he said. “I went to a club that had a lot going on and still has a lot going on.” The sacking of manager Gary Waddock soon after saw the then 21-year old loaned out to Brighton and Hove Albion before his English sojourn came to an end. “I don’t regret going to England because I came back (to the A-League in 2007) and went into a Melbourne Victory side that played in two Grand Finals and won one.”
But he does regret making a hasty decision to cut short his stay with Melbourne, who he helped achieve the Championship/Premiership double in 2008/09, to join Wellington in September 2010. “I went to Wellington to play more games and to get back overseas,” he said. “I was chasing this dream that wasn’t there. There’s a great group of lads (at Wellington) and I really enjoyed being with them but with the lifestyle and that sort of thing, I wasn’t the happiest. I should’ve played out the rest of the season with Victory.” Ward is confident Glory can maintain the high standard set this season when it reached the A-League Grand Final for the first time.
HERD APOLOGISES FOR LATE-NIGHT BRAWL
Aston Villa’s Chris Herd has been fined and disciplined for his part in a nightclub brawl. Herd, 23, was caught on video kicking out several times and needing to be restrained after he and teammates James Collins and Fabian Delph were ejected from a Birmingham club on Tuesday morning following Villa’s player of the year awards. “It was no one’s intention to get involved in any trouble but I realise that my actions on the night were not acceptable,” Herd said. “Even if I felt at the time that the prior situation inside the nightclub had not been dealt with properly, I still should not have acted in the manner in which I did.”
Herd, who joined Villa as a 15-year old, made his English Premier League debut in 2010 and has become a regular starter for the Birmingham club this campaign. Despite missing two and a half months with an ankle, he has 18 times this season as a defensive midfielder and in December signed a new deal that will keep him at Villa Park until 2015. Herd is expected to be considered when Socceroos coach Holger Osieck selects his squad for June’s friendly with Denmark in Copenhagen which is followed by a World Cup qualifier in Oman six days later.
SIX OF THE BEST PUTS BAYSWATER ON TOP
Bayswater City lived up to their billing as the new season’s team to watch by romping past a previously unbeaten Floreat Athena 6-0 at Frank Drago Reserve. A bumper crowd of over 600 witnessed Cisco Jorquera, Gustavo Giron-Marulanda, Larry Miller, Gustavo Catarcione (2) and Paul McCarthy net to propel Bayswater to the top of the Premier Division. “We have a long way to go,” said Mauro Marchione, who feels Bayswater are still to find top gear. “There are teams that are ahead of us in terms of experience and even quality, and we know that. We take one game at the time and at the end we will see where we will be.”
All the early play was with Floreat, who were denied an 11th minutes lead when Tom Dixon brilliantly kept David Heagney’s shot out of the bottom corner. Three minutes later Mark Pritchard rifled against the upright from 15-metres, while a succession of set pieces were repelled an alert defence. Bayswater didn’t get into gear until midway through the period when Giron-Marulanda volleyed just off-target. A terrific 27th minute move had the desired effect for the home side. Paul McCarthy won the ball in defence and sent away Catarcione, he transferred possession to Giron-Marulanda, who attracted the defence before squaring for an unmarked Cisco Jorquera to control and beat the advancing goalkeeper.
Giron-Marulanda doubled his teams lead by converting a 57th minute penalty awarded for a foul on Miller by Ryan Pretorious, who was dismissed for a second bookable offence. Three minutes later Giron-Marulanda forced the home side to concede the ball deep inside their defensive zone before setting up Miller for a tap-in. There was no respite for Floreat as Catarcione rounded ‘keeper Brad Eiffe in one-on-one situations to tuck into an empty net in the 75th and 78th minutes. Ludovic Boi became the second Floreat player to see red when issued his marching orders for a dangerous tackle on Luka Njegic. McCarthy put the icing on the cake with an assured strike into the bottom corner from 16-metres.
PLATTEN GETS SORRENTO THE JUMP ON INGLEWOOD (with Nathan Drudi, Football West)
Defender Daryl Platten put Sorrento back into the winners circle by scoring twice in his teams’ 2-1 defeat of Inglewood United at Percy Doyle Reserve. Sorrento entered the break one-nil up thanks to Platten, who doubled his teams’ lead early in the second half. Alex Caniglia grabbed a goal back for Inglewood whose coach, Graham Normanton, was frustrated by his team inability to convert chances into goals. “"We totally outplayed them in every department,” said Normanton. “We hit the post and bar about five times and created numerous opportunities and their goalkeeper made about four saves … it was not our day in front of goals.”
The first chance of the afternoon came the way of the visiting side with Michael Baczynski’s rocket bouncing down off the crossbar after 10 minutes. Sorrento fashioned an opening of their own soon after through Glen Thomas whose effort was pushed around the post by diving goalkeeper Francis Soale. The resulting corner was swung into the danger zone where Steve McDonald rose well but was unable to get his header on target. Inglewood then seized control and Jack Clisby twice went close to putting them in front. So it was against the run if play that Platten headed in from a corner to give Sorrento a 37th minute lead.
Knowing the next goal would be vital in determining the outcome, the teams continued to trade attacks following the turnaround. It was Platten who would score that goal on 50 minutes, the defender getting on the end of another set piece to head past Soale for the second time. Inglewood responded four minutes later when Caniglia capped off a flowing exchange that saw the ball moved amongst most of his team. Dannie Richman, James Sammutt and Caniglia orchestrated wave after wave of attack as the visiting team sought to equalise, however, what would have been much deserved second goal was on this occasion to evade them.
BROWN RUNS THROUGH THE KNIGHTS (with James Mooney, Football West)
Stirling Lions moved up to fourth on the Premier Division table with a 4-2 defeat of Western Knights at Macedonia Park. Jamie De Abreu opening the scoring only to have Rory Grant put the sides level by half-time. A brace from Andy Brown put Stirling back in front with Anthony Lyons securing the points before Grant grabbed a consolation second goal. “It’s great to see Brownie back to his old self, he was excellent today,” said Stirling boss Doug Hesketh. “We’re playing good football for longer periods in the game which is pleasing going forward.”
A bright start by Stirling had Phil O’Callaghan head narrowly high from a De Abreu cross after only 5 minutes. The hosts maintained the pressure and five minutes later De Abreu dashed past three opponents to finish with aplomb past goalkeeper Kevin Miller for the opening goal. A booming clearance by Miller soon after caught the home defence flat-footed but not Jesse Fuller whose chip drifted agonisingly wide of the target. Parity was restored in the 35th minute when Grant was allowed far too much space on the edge of the 18-yard box to lob over Hugo.
The first chance of the second half saw Knights’ youngster Ethan Levitt blast into the side netting. Stirling heeded that warning and on 55 minutes Jamie Tandy cut in from the right before laying the ball into the path of Brown whose fierce shot flew past Miller. Brown made it three-one five minutes later with a bullet-like header after being picked out by De Abreu’s pin-point cross. The points were made safe on 75 minutes with Brown’s through ball releasing Lyons to stroke past the ‘keeper. Grant headed in at the back post to give the Knights a glimmer of hope but a resolute defence prevented further addition to the score line.
ARMADALE START TO CLIMB
Armadale collected their second win in eight days with a convincing 3-0 win over Bunbury Forum Force at Payne Park. A tight game was decided after the break when Joey Tavernese, Tom Biss and Ravi Kuppusamy netted in the space of a dozen minutes to have the home team reeling. The win moves Armadale off the bottom of the Premier Division table for the first time this year.
Bunbury looked the more likely team to score in the first half but would rue an inability to stick the back of the net. Jon Brooks, Martin Ryan and Aidan Downs each put themselves in good scoring positions but each was guilty of failing to convert. The best chance of the period came the way of Ryan whose blistering strike was met by a sensational diving save by Cyril Sharrock just moments before the break. Armadale substitute Jack Bamber was bizarrely booked as the teams headed into the break for abuse towards referee Hugh Best.
It was more of the same after the turn around with Danny Kane placing wide of the target. The game was turned on its head after 60 minutes when Tavernese shot beyond the reach of Ryan Mongomery to put Armadale in front. This breathed life into the visitors and five minutes later Kuppusamy’s played a delightful pass in to Biss whose sweetly struck shot came to rest in the net. Kuppusamy sealed the win on 72 minutes by lashing in after Sam Loveless had driven straight down the middle of the park.
FOSTER SAVES JOONDALUP’S BLUSHES
The National Training Centre were denied their first win of the season by a late David Foster goal which snatched ECU Joondalup a 3-3 draw at the Edith Cowan University campus. The NTC looked on course for victory when Foster headed in his second goal of the afternoon to salvage his team a point. “I was very disappointed with our first half performance, but full credit to the boys whose reaction in the second half was fantastic,” said Joondalup coach Salv Todaro. “In the end we’re happy with a point after being 2-0 down at the break, but at the same time disappointed we didn’t get all three points with the way we finished the game.”
Joondalup thought they’d taken an early lead when Foster tucked in after goalkeeper Luke Radonich spilled a Tommy Amphlett shot, but celebrations were cut short by an offside flag. The NTC wasted little time in returning fire, Moses Kalau’s long-range shot called Andy Banks into action before Borbor Sambindi was also denied by the Joondalup custodian. All the pressure was on the home side who were eventually unlocked on 28 minutes by Kalau’s shot from distance which ricocheted into the net off an opponent, wrong-footing Banks. Four minutes later the margin was doubled as Blamo QuaQua was allowed time on top of the 18-yard box to steer his shot into the net.
The second half opened with Joondalup on the attack and on 51 minutes Jones tore away down the right and cut in before finished low past Radonich. Amphlett was featuring prominently on his State League return, placing just wide with one shot and having another saved by the ‘keeper. On 66 minutes Amphlett threaded a pass through for Jones whose cross from the right was send into the net by Foster to level the game. The NTC needed just two minutes to reply, Jordan Dodd going past a couple of defenders before finishing low into Banks’ net.
Joondalup returned to the attack son enough and Radonich had to be alert to keep out Fraser McGuire’s long-range attempt. The NTC were hitting on the counter attack and Slobodan Vulic should have done better than blaze wide after skipping clear of Nick Davies. Radonich came to his sides rescue again with a stunning save to deny Scott Bushby. It appeared the NTC would hang on for the points when, with 83 minutes played, Bushby’s cross from the left picked out Foster who headed in at the back post. Joondalup could have won it late but Jones stabbed agonisingly wide after Foster flicked on Amphlett’s ball.
MCMURRAY SENDS COCKBURN TO THE TOP
Cockburn City moved to the top of Division One by out-gunning Mandurah City 1-0 in a tight encounter under lights at the Hyundai Stadium. Ian McMurray’s seventh goal of the campaign sealed Cockburn their fourth successive win, putting the Cockerels level on points with Wanneroo City. “Everyone at Cockburn is confident we can continue on this same path and stay at the top of the table,” said defender Jason Godfrey. “We have a big squad and a lot of talented players, any team that goes out onto the park representing Cockburn is capable of winning on the day.”
Mandurah started the game strongly only to suffer a double blow when captain Ryan Townsend was forced out by injury and Jay Bonser was red carded for a studs-up challenge on Paul Lloyd. With this the momentum swung in Cockburn’s favour and although they created some good openings the teams entered the break nil-nil. The second half had been underway less than a minute when McMurray tapped into the net after Devon Gibson’s shot was parried by Phil Straker. The remainder of the game was littered was chances for both teams but when the final whistle sounded it was Cockburn who’d reaped the rewards.
O’REILLY BRINGS DOWN THE LEADERS
Ashfield moved to within touching distance of the Division One summit by edging out Wanneroo City 1-0 at Ashfield Reserve. A goal early in the second period by Karl O’Reilly was enough to send Ashfield to third on the table, just a point behind joint leaders Cockburn City and Wanneroo. “I was really proud of the boys today, the guys worked very hard against a good Wanneroo outfit who worked equally as hard,” said winning coach Matt Carruthers. “The game was a real arm wrestle with both teams creating chances, we felt after 90 minutes we had created a few more and that the three points were deserved.”
Wanneroo entered the afternoon as the only team with a perfect win record and it looked as though it would remain that way with the visitors attacking from the outset. Sahar Konomanyi should have done better than send his header straight at goalkeeper John Perkins while Guy McDonald wasted another golden chance by shooting past the target. Ashfield came out firing in the second half and five minutes in O’Reilly broke the deadlock by finishing high into the top corner after meeting a cutback from Daryl Warren. With this Wanneroo snapped back into action and although both teams looked dangerous going forward neither ‘keeper would be breached, leaving Ashfield to collect a much-needed win.
SHAMROCK’S FIRST HALF BLITZES MORLEY (courtesy Morley Windmills)
A four-goal first half laid the foundations for Shamrock Rovers to take the points 4-2 over Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. It took the visiting team just 6 minutes to open their account through Shaun Taylor, who latched onto a long ball down and waltzed through the defence before scoring past Michael Dudek. Eleven minutes later Mark Grant had the misfortune of deflecting a corner into his own net, and soon after Brian Farrell tucked in goal number three from the penalty spot. Morley then came into the game but on 37 minutes they again with Taylor tapping in from close-range after Dudek failed to take a high ball cleanly.
Some positional and tactical changes at the break by Jason Van Rooy had the desired effect after the break for the home team. Luke O’Neill and Niall Murphy were providing plenty of forward momentum with Adam Pygrum anchoring the side. Their new-found confidence was rewarded on 63 minutes when substitute Daniel Lombardi clawed a goal back. Calls for a 78th minute penalty for a shirt pull on David Houston were dismissed, while Lombardi’s opportunist strike soon after was touched over the crossbar. It was in the final minute of regulation time that Morley’s second goal arrived, Grant heading across the face of goal for Houston to slam in from close-range.
SWAN TAKE FLIGHT OVER GOSNELLS
John Monterosso scored twice to lead Swan United to a 5-2 victory over Gosnells City at the Swan Italian Club. Adam Stillitano got the black and whites show on the road after 18 minutes by netting a one-on-one with goalkeeper Allan Creer. The margin very quickly blew out to three goals with John Monterosso stabbing in during a goal mouth scramble and Rory Hollingham netting from 25-metres. Adrian McBride pulled a goal back for the visitors from the penalty spot following a Robert Monterosso’s soft foul on Jamie Burns. The difference was returned to three goals just before the break by Miki Vujacic’s free-kick into the bottom corner.
Gosnells showed a lot more composure after the break, stringing together some promising moves and putting the home side under pressure. This approach was rewarded midway through the half when a corner fell to McBride, who threaded his shot through a sea of bodies to make it four-two. Gosnells glimmer of hope was unfortunately snuffed out just minutes later with Graham Tough issued his marching orders for a couple of very quick yellow cards. The final whistle was only minutes away when Dom Ando’s long-range effort was parried by Creer into the path of John Monterosso, who made no mistake from 5-metres.
SPIRITED FREMANTLE UNDONE BY ROCKINGHAM
Rockingham City collected maximum points by 2-1 over Fremantle Spirit at Nikola Telsa Reserve. New signing Rafael Insaurralde settled the game in the second half after David Clark’s early opener was cancelled out by Joshua Auguste. “We were very unlucky not to get something out of the game,” said Moe Atekhis, whose Fremantle side remains winless after seven games. “We are improving every week, we’re competitive and I’m confident we will start to pick up points soon. It’s going to be a tough and close season but with our new signings we have the quality to avoid relegation.”
A bright start by the visiting team paid dividends after just 5 minutes when Clark slotted in from the penalty spot after Roy Hissey’s run had been illegally halted by goalkeeper Nassa Atekhis. Rockingham were unlucky not to double their lead through Insaurralde and Oscar Thompson, who both headed over the crossbar. Fremantle substitute Lam Gai had been on the park just a few minutes when he sent the ball to an unmarked Auguste, who calmly slotted in the equaliser via the upright. The port side were unlucky not to go ahead through Elliott Williams but he was unable to get the better of Dave Keenan in a one-on-one.
An end-to-end second half had the small crowd on the edges of their seats. Sean Treacey sent a long-range shot just high before the referee waved away Fremantle’s appeals for a penalty after Williams was taken down from behind. Insaurralde forced a brilliant save from Atekhis and Hissey hit the post with a fierce drive from 18-metres. It was clear the next goal would be decisive and on 83 minutes Ryan Kennedy’s cross caused confusion in the home defence but not with Insaurralde, who lashed the ball into the net. Fremantle pushed hard to snatch a point but Auguste was thwarted by Keenan and Gai’s stoppage time effort was into the post.
CAMPBELL, KOVACEVIC STAR AS CANNING WIN BIG (courtesy Canning City)
Canning City snapped a four-game losing streak in emphatic style, lashing in six second half goals to triumph 7-1 over Forrestfield United at Hartfield Park. The game got off to a pulsating start with Anthony Campbell tapping in a Josh Findlater cut back with only a few minutes on the clock. Forrestfield replied almost immediately through a free-kick which came off several heads, the of which was Andy Griffiths’ before it entered the net. Findlater could have had Canning in front by the break but goalkeeper Luke Woodfin saved his header before the attacker sent another attempt onto the upright.
Ante Kovacevic was in the thick of the early second half action, supplying the corner from which Campbell restored Canning’s lead before volleying in himself from the edge of the 18-yard box. Campbell completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot following a foul on Daniel Trevisiol, then Kovacevic unleashed a 30-metre pile driver which soared into the top corner. Kovacevic was denied a third goal when Woodfin blocked his spot kick. Richard Burton converted a cross from Michael Van Dongen to make is six-one before Simon Correia put the icing on the cake with a wonderful curling finish from the edge of the box.
UWA’S WINNING RUN ENDS AT JOONDALUP
Lucais King struck late to earn Joondalup City a deserved 2-2 draw with Division Two leaders UWA-Nedlands at the Iluka Sports Complex. The home side would have had the lead early had Lucais King’s spot kick not been into the post. After this UWA slowly gained the upper hand and on 18 minutes Joey Tadesse, Brad Skea and Aaron Barnett combined to send through Steve Purton, who rifled past goalkeeper Matt Hill. Joondalup’s day went from bad to worse when centre-back Sam Hall was forced out of the game by injury ten minutes later. His absence was felt ten minutes before the break when Skea’s free-kick fell to Rory Feely who lashed in from 12-metres.
The break gave Joondalup the opportunity to regroup and within minutes of the re-start Lucais King drilled just high of the crossbar after dancing past the defence. The deficit was eventually cut midway through the half when some neat work by Ben Yates saw him deliver the ball through for Lucias King to send past ‘keeper Danny Roberts. James Plowman could have put UWA back in front but his shot from 16-metres had the pace taken off it by Jamie Kalaher, while Feely slammed into the crossbar from inside the area. The 90th minute had just ticked by when the ball fell to Lucais King whose shot on the turn from 17-metres took a wild deflection off team mate Yates and fell into the net.
KRESLING STUNNER GETS SUBIACO THE POINTS (courtesy Subiaco AFC)
Subiaco AFC jumped into joint-second spot in Division Two with a dominant performance which saw off Fremantle United 1-0 at Hilton Reserve. All the first half pressure was on Fremantle who were grateful the visiting attack was unable to make more of a series of dangerous crosses from the right by Joe Kresling. A corner swung in by Scott Wrightson somehow evaded everyone before bouncing off the shin of Simon Edwards and going past the post. With Jordan Rhodes pulling the strong in midfield, Subiaco continued to create chances but time and time again they went unconverted.
It took a touch of brilliance from Kresling to break the deadlock, the midfielder clipping into the net from 35-metres after spotting goalkeeper Francisco Bervenotti off his line. Subiaco continued to attack and not long after Ger Fitzgerald’s challenge on Bervenotti elicited a push from the ‘keeper, who was issued a straight red card by the referee. Fremantle’s hopes of getting back on level terms relied on hitting the ball long for Paul Neff, an approach which was comfortably dealt with by the visiting defence. With ten minutes to go Subiaco went down to ten men when Richard Astley was harshly sent off for his part in a 50-50 challenge.
LATE GOALS GET MELVILLE HOME
A ten-man Melville City left it late before seeing off Quinns 2-0 in their encounter at Len Shearer Reserve. The game could not have got off to a worse start for the home side with Lee McKay earning a 10th minute shower having collected two yellow cards. Despite being a man down Melville controlled play for most of first half without creating a lot in the way of genuine goal scoring opportunities. Their first opening came when Michael Jennings intercepted a poor back pass to go one-on-one with goalkeeper Todd Hoyle, who came out on top. Simon El Chami turned his man inside the 18-yard box only to lift narrowly over the crossbar, while the home side had a penalty shout turned down shortly before the break.
A tongue lashing from coach John Evans had the desired effect on Quinns, who controlled the early part of the second half. Adam Buckley was twice denied the breakthrough by goal line clearances while efforts from his teammates were met by goalkeeper Stewart Delgarno. With both teams going to their bench for inspiration, it was Melville that claimed back the momentum and in the 78th minute Gary McVicker’s corner to the near post was met by Simon El Chami, who headed past Doyle. The game was made safe in the 85th minute when Will Kinsley cut the ball back for Kudzi Chigwanda, who took one touch before slotting into the bottom corner.
HEFFERNAN, PANTELIDIS STAY WITH GLORY
Two of the cornerstones of Perth Glory’s late season surge, backline veterans Steve Pantelidis and Dean Heffernan, have signed new deals with the club. Pantelidis was an integral part of the Glory defence alongside Bas Van Den Brink while Heffernan, who joined the club in January following a spell in China, featured regularly at left back. “Steve was fantastic for us, he filled a variety of gaps especially at centre back,” said coach Ian Ferguson. “We still haven’t seen the best of Dean Heffernan.”
Pantelidis, 28, missed the opening rounds of last season through injury before establishing himself in the first eleven. “I’d like to thank Ian Ferguson and Perth Glory,” Pantelidis said. “When I returned from Indonesia I wasn’t sure if I’d return to the Hyundai A-League and I am very thankful Ian gave me that chance. I thoroughly enjoyed my football and my first season with Perth Glory and the aim is now to build on this year’s campaign.”
31-year old Heffernan echoed his team mates sentiments, saying the focus is to make sure Glory remain a force in the A-League. “Losing the Grand Final was a massive disappointment but now we need to make sure we can improve so that we challenge again next season,” said Heffernan, who made 11 appearances last season. “All the players are determined to go one step better.” Perth Glory has 18 contracted players for the 2012/13 season.
PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
The seventh footballwa.net match of the week for 2012 has an in-form Bayswater City up against Premier Division leaders Floreat Athena at Frank Drago Reserve. Colombian striker Gustavo Giron-Marulanda rates the game as probably Bayswater’s biggest test so far this year. “They are a very strong team that has recruited some important players this year, and they have already shown how good they can perform,” he said. “In saying that, we are ready for the challenge. The guys are confident and we can take the three points if we play our game, it’s all about keeping the focus and playing the ball as we’re used to.”
Floreat may head the leader board after six games but breathing down their necks only a couple of points off the pace are Bayswater and Perth SC. “It’s another big challenge for us,” said Floreat’s David Heagney, who will be without strike partner Liam Boland this weekend due to suspension. “There is no doubt it will be a tough test, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Bayswater this season. But the way we have being performing and the way we know we can perform it’s just another game, hopefully we can get something from the game.”
Sorrento and Inglewood United can halt their slide down the table by claiming all the points on offer at Percy Doyle Reserve. Jamie Harnwell, James Morgan and Johny Mirco have key roles to play for the home side, while Inglewood’s hopes for success hinge on Jack Clisby, Dannie Richman and Aleks Jovic. There won’t be a lot separating Stirling Lions and Western Knights at the end of 90 minutes at Macedonia Park. ECU Joondalup are expected to account for the National Training Centre when they visit the Edith Cowan University campus.
Armadale collected their first points of the season last time out so will be full of confidence for their trip south to Bunbury Forum Force. “After the win (against Sorrento) we are all looking forward to this game,” said Reds assistant coach Kevin Brophy. “It is going to be very difficult to get a result, however, if we can continue to improve, as we have been doing the last few weeks, then we are in with a chance.” Tom Biss is back into contention for the travelling side but Alan Darlington remains sidelined by a knee problem. All five Saturday Premier Division games kick-off at 3.00pm.
Round Seven of the Premier Division ends with Sunday’s showdown of Balcatta and Perth SC. What influence Steve Burton, Mo Atak and John Migas can assert over proceedings will go a long way towards Balcatta snapping a two-game losing streak, a result which will keep them in the top five. Perth are unbeaten in their last four league outings and if David Onforo, Rob Sciascia and Greg Sharland are firing on all cylinders from the opening whistle then they will extend that run. Balcatta verses Perth kicks off at 3.00pm on Sunday at Grindleford Reserve.
DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
It’s hard to go back the second verses third encounter between Mandurah City and Cockburn City when looking at tomorrow’s second tier action. Mike Brazil, coach of Mandurah, says it’s absolutely vital that his team take all the points after coming home empty handed last weekend. “Our goal is to be placed in the top three at the seasons’ halfway point and with minimum points between us and the league leaders, whoever that may be,” said Brazil. “I am aware of the quality Mick Lyons’ team brings to Mandurah and we look forward to the contest, as I am sure they do.” Mandurah-Cockburn kicks off at 7.00pm at Hyundai Stadium.
The return of Branimir Mikulic, Alex Stamatiadis and several others has given Ashfield a timely boost ahead of their home encounter with Division One leaders Wanneroo City. Swan United have gathered some good momentum leading into their home game with Gosnells City. Forrestfield United are on home soil to Canning City, who will miss the influence of player-coach Paul Van Dongen (broken leg). Rockingham City are expected to get the win over Fremantle Spirit at Nikola Telsa Reserve, while Morley Windmills will need to dig deep if they’re to take so much as a point at home to Shamrock Rovers. The five afternoon Division One games kick-off at 3.00pm tomorrow.
DIVISION TWO PREVIEW
The pick of the Division Two action takes place at Hilton Reserve between second-placed Fremantle United and third-placed Subiaco AFC. Fremantle are at full-strength and coming off the bye but will need to be in peak form to get the better of a Subiaco side that has won its’ last three games. There’s interest at the other end of the table also with Melville City taking on Quinns at Len Shearer Reserve. The competition’s two top marksman, James Plowman and Lucais King, will be in action when pacesetters UWA-Nedlands travel to Joondalup City. All three Division Two games commence at 3.00pm on Saturday.
LYONS SPIES SILVERWARE FOR STIRLING
Liverpool-born striker Anthony Lyons is tipping big things for Stirling Lions. Signed over the summer from Forrestfield United, 23-year old Lyons has settled in quickly to his new surrounds at Macedonia Park where Doug Hesketh’s new-look side are beginning to hit their straps. “I feel like we have now found ourselves as a team,” commented Lyons following Saturday’s 4-2 defeat of ECU Joondalup, which moves Stirling to sixth in the Premier Division. “The lads are all committed to the cause and give everything for one another … I’m convinced that there is silverware on the horizon.”
Lyons, who played with success for Liverpool College and Old Xaverians in his home town, has been particularly impressed by the quality of the Stirling’s squad. “We are here to win and we won’t stop until we do … winning the League and Cup is totally achievable for us,” he commented. “We have a good squad with good depth, you could make changes to the team and it wouldn’t weaken us at all. With Doug and Gaz (Gary Williams) leading us we are in a strong position, their knowledge and experience gives us the edge over the opposition before a ball is even kicked.”
Stirling collected their third win of the season with Saturday’s defeat of ECU Joondalup, against whom Lyons scored twice before gaining the penalty with which Phil O’Callaghan made the game safe. “It was the sharpest I’ve felt for a while, it feels good to get a run of games and doing what I do best,” said Lyons of his contribution. “Joondalup had some decent players on show so we really had to perform in order to get the three points. The first half was quite competitive, the only difference being Matty Harold’s strike but we then took control in the second half.”
Lyons has effortlessly transitioned into the top flight after making a name for himself with Forrestfield United last year. “I’ve found stepping up to the Premier Division quite easy to be honest,” said the striker, who scored 18 goals in eleven games for Forrestfield. “The gap (between the leagues) isn’t huge, but it is noticeable. In the Premier Division there is no ‘weak links’, every team has eleven strong players on the park whereas in Division One you might have a strong backbone. It’s also evident the fitness levels required are higher in the Premier League.”
Western Knights visit Stirling on Saturday in what’s shaping up to be a must-win game for both clubs. Victory by home side could send them into the top five, however, the Knights have taken points from their last two outings and are eager for that run to continue. “We’ve got off to a decent start and it’s time for another performance on Saturday,” Lyons commented. “If we go into the match well-prepared – which we will – and give everything out on the pitch, our success is inevitable.” Stirling verses the Knights kicks-off at 3.00pm on Saturday at Macedonia Park.
KUPPUSAMY HELPS REDS GET BACK ON TRACK
Summer signing Ravi Kuppusamy played a leading hand in Armadale opening their Premier Division account last week, the striker scoring once and setting the other up for Blake Adams in a 2-0 win over Sorrento. It was a strong all round performance by the Reds, and one Kuppssamy says was a long time coming. “It’s always nice to get on the scoresheet, but credit has to go to the team,” he said. “We worked hard and pressed Sorrento’s backline well early on and got the rewards. The result was credit to (coach) Lee Bamber, who kept encouraging us to pressure Sorrento but also still play football.”
Bamber has been instrumental in rebuilding Armadale’s senior list after the departure of almost all of last years’ squad. “Losing players is always difficult but we have had many new players, myself included, who have come in and are looking to prove that we are good enough to be in the Premier Division,” commented Kuppusamy, who is one of over a dozen newcomers at the club. “The squad we have is very young and I believe the more we play together the more we will become a unit and put together performances like we did against Sorrento.”
Kuppusamy, whose goal against Sorrento was his second of the campaign, has a key role to play this year as Bamber re-models the Armadale squad. “Rav has settled in well as he knew some of the boys from previous clubs he’d been involved in,” commented the Reds coach. “When Rav is on song he is very dynamic, workman-like and will score goals. He has to work on his fitness and consistency to be able to perform week in week out, but those are things he is addressing.”
Although only 24, Kuppusamy’s career has so far been somewhat nomadic. Having starting out with Suburbs United, he played three years with Fremantle Spirit before single season stays with each Dianella White Eagles and Gosnells City, scoring 14 goals for the latter last year, before arriving at Armadale. “I feel I have settled in quickly at club and I’ve got to know everyone from the coaches, players and staff really well,” he said. “Coming to a new team is always a bit difficult but everyone has been great both on and off the pitch.”
Armadale heads to Bunbury Forum Force on Saturday with Kuppusamy looking forward to the trip. “Bunbury have shown they are capable of playing and getting results in the Premier Division so it will be a great game,” he said. “The result last weekend has instilled confidence in the team and we will take that into the game against Bunbury. All the boys have been working really hard in training and Lee has been pushing us. I believe with hard work and the right mentality we can achieve the result we want on the weekend.”
O’NEILL AND MAKECHE SECURE A-LEAGUE DEALS
Young West Australians Brandon O’Neill and Ndumba Makeche will be Perth Glory players for the next two seasons after signing professional papers with the A-League club. O’Neill, 18, and Makeche , 20, started last season with the Glory Youth team but stepped up to the senior side towards the end of the campaign. “Both Brandon and Ndumba have been excellent and took their chance at the end of the season,” coach Ian Ferguson said. “Getting some young local talent into the squad was always a priority and we are happy to have both players at Perth Glory.”
O’Neill, who represented the State as a junior with ECU Joondalup, made three A-League appearances last season and even got a taste of finals football when he came off the bench late against Melbourne Heart. “Absolutely delighted,” said O’Neill of last season. “To go into last season as a Youth team player and then get my debut in the starting line-up for the senior squad was incredible.” A centre midfielder, O’Neill says the chance to now train full-time alongside former internationals Jacob Burns and Liam Miller will play a big role in his development as a player.
Born in Zambia, Makeche is also coming off a stellar season with Glory Youth. The former Stirling Lions and Inglewood United striker scored 8 goals in his first year with the youth team and like O’Neill is looking forward to the next challenge. “Firstly, I am really proud to sign for Perth Glory,” Makeche said. “To play football with this club means a lot to me and I’m keen to do my best. “We have great strikers at Perth Glory with Shane Smeltz and Billy Mehmet and I’m excited by the challenges ahead.”
JOONDALUP TO “GIVE THE LEAGUE ITS FIRST REAL SHOCK”: KING
State League newcomers Joondalup City are preparing to buck the odds when they face UWA-Nedlands this Saturday. Defender Nicholas King says the Division Two leaders are firmly in the sights of a Joondalup side keen to build on last week’s historic win over Kingsway Olympic, their first as a State League club. “We are very confident that we can take all three points this weekend,” said King. “No one expects us to win against UWA, and we are not afraid to give the league its first real shock result.”
King, who joined Joondalup three seasons ago, was proud to be part of his club’s inaugural State League victory, out-shooting Kingsway 5-1 courtesy of two goals from each Lucais King and Steve Lane with Ben Yates grabbing the remainder. “A few players have been at the club for a few years so it was good to see Joondalup finally break through,” said 24-year old King. “The team performance was almost complete, baring the goal conceded. Every player knew their role and stuck to the task which was given to them.”
It had been evident for several weeks that Joondalup were close to ending their winless run. “All the boys knew the win was coming, but first we had to fix our defensive errors,” said left back King. “Against Subiaco AFC and Quinns we were having no problems scoring due to the good form of Lucais King and Steve Lane, but we were conceding goals too easily. Playing Fremantle United was the turning point, we tried our new formation and when the boys saw it could work it built the teams’ confidence.”
King has heard enough of his teams’ next opponent to know Joondalup’s mettle is about to be seriously tested. “All the talk around the Division Two has UWA as the team to beat,” he commented. “We know they have a few players which we are going to have to stick to and give no space, such as their captain Steve Purton. They will play the ball around and try and run us off our feet but we will bring our own style and make them play at our home on our terms.”
ACL INJURY ENDS WILLIAMS SWEDISH ODYSSEY
Australia goalkeeper Lydia Williams has suffered a suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury just two games into her first season with Swedish club Pitea IF. Williams, who was instrumental in Canberra United winning the 2011/12 W-League title, will undergo under the surgeon’s next week in Adelaide before commencing a nine-month rehabilitation period. “There’s no rush getting back for any international competition, and playing for Australia is my main priority so I’ll do the hamstring graft,” Williams said. “Sweden has expressed interest for me to go back and do rehab there, and that’s been cleared by the Matildas.”
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS FOR GARCIA (courtesy the 'West Australian')
Richard Garcia's search for a new challenge could lead him home after 15 years overseas. The Socceroos attacker is out of contract at English Championship club Hull City and is considering returning to play in the A-League. "I'd love to come back home and play," Garcia told Jonathan Cook of the 'West Australian' newspaper. "I think it's most players' ambition to play for their hometown club, so if that's an option then you never know. I've just got to keep my mind open."
Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson said the versatile Garcia would be an excellent addition to the WA side but emphasised the club had not yet been in touch with the 30-year-old, whose brother Michael is a Glory community development officer. "He's the sort of quality player we'd be very interested in," Ferguson said. Although Glory have embarked on cost-cutting measures for next season, club owner Tony Sage said he would be "more than happy" to consider making a move for Garcia.
A knee injury kept Garcia out of action at the start of the recent season but he returned to the Hull line-up in December before finding himself on the outer again. He forced his way back into the team last month to play all but 15 minutes of the Tigers' final six games of the campaign. "Normally it takes you a good three of four games to get back into it," he said. "But I was quite surprised because the first game I played I felt really good. I played three games in eight days and I felt comfortable."
The timing could not have been better for Garcia, whose form has alerted potential suitors of his readiness to continue at the top level. "I'm only 30 so I've still got five or six years in me. I feel like I'm wiser, I'm fitter and I'm hitting a peak now," said Garcia, whose 14 caps for Australia includes three games at the 2010 World Cup in Germany. "The season's just finished so I'm just going to have to wait and see what happens and what options are available to me."
Garcia, a Kingsway Olympic junior, headed to England in 1997 and spent seven years at West Ham before transferring to Colchester United in 2004. His move to Hull three years later was followed by promotion to the English Premier League and two seasons in the world's most watched soccer competition. "I've been in the UK for 15 years and I think I need a fresh challenge," said Garcia, who has played 270 games in England. "It's about what I want out of my career and what I want out of my life."
MORLEY WILL TURN THINGS AROUND: WILSON
Patience will be of the essence if Morley Windmills are to end a horror run and get their season back on track according to team captain Simon Wilson. Not a lot has gone right in the past month for Morley, who’ve plummeted to third from bottom in Division One and been tipped out of the State League Cup by amateur side Kingsley. The clubs’ plight hasn’t been helped by a change of coach and the the departure of several senior players, amongst them former captain Nick Davies, Fraser Maguire, Andy O’Neill and goalkeeper Steve Grant.
Even though Morley have been forced to go back to square one Wilson is confident the club is heading in the right direction. “There is definite potential and growth within the team, as a squad we have great talent all over the park,” the midfielder said. “This is a new team, under new guidance and playing to a new system … it all takes time. At the moment we are finding where we fit, finding how each other work and having our strengths and weaknesses tested. We’re being patient and I’m confident we are turning things around for the better.”
Jason Van Rooy, who took over the coaching reins three weeks ago following Salv Todaro’s move to ECU Joondalup, has wasted little in stamping his mark on Morley. “We have been working extremely hard and I believe the results are just around the corner for us,” commented Wilson, who has given his new boss the thumbs up. “Under the new system we’re working on Jason has got us playing well in patches and we’re creating some great scoring opportunities … and each week we are looking better and better.”
The odds will be stacked firmly against Morley this weekend when they host Shamrock Rovers, who are coming off the bye, but Wilson says his team would be more than happy to cause an upset. “Shamrock are a hard working team who battle right up to the final whistle. Their endeavour is top notch and we need to match them, it will be a hard fought battle,” said Wilson. “But we are playing some great team football, we’ve been out-playing teams and keeping the ball extremely well. If we can put in a whole 90-minute ‘team’ performance then we might just nick a result.”
GLORY LOOK FURTHER AFIELD
Perth Glory will consider playing away from their traditional home of Perth Oval next summer as the venue prepares to be refurbished. The clubs’ chief executive Paul Kelly said some A-League games could be taken to a larger venue, possibly Subiaco Oval, during the period in which the capacity of Perth Oval is reduced to around 9,500. “If they are blockbuster matches and we think the appetite is there for 15,000 to 20,000, we won’t hesitate (to move the game),” Kelly told Jonathon Cook of the ‘West Australian’ newspaper.
Kelly is hopeful Glory’s first A-League Grand Final appearance will have a significant impact at the turnstiles in 2011/12. “You would envisage, given the season we’ve had, that our membership and crowds will increase,” said Kelly, whose club has requested next season kick-off with a Grand Final re-match against Brisbane Roar in Perth. “Traditionally the Grand Final replay is played at the home of the winning team … There’s no guarantee but we’ve made FFA aware we’d like to do it and it would be great for football.”
LONG WAIT IS ALMOST OVER FOR STAMATIADI
Alex Stamatiadis can’t wait to get back out on the park and end a torturous spell on the sidelines. The Ashfield midfielder hasn’t play since being diagnosed with osteitis pubis last September, but after a lengthy rehabilitation program he’s is champing at the bit for a return to action. “I can’t explain how frustrated I have been over the last eight months,” Stamatiadis said. “I have been to every single training session, if it wasn’t to train it was to help out at the club in some way. I’m now back in full training, I’ve never felt so much relief at being able to kick a ball.”
Although he’s feeling ell enough to play, Stamatiadis knows he must manage himself to ensure there’s not a recurrence of osteitis pubis. “I feel the injury every second of the day, but the only way I can beat it is if I look after myself all the time and build myself up again,” he explained. “Ashfield have the best physio I have every come across in Mateusz Nowacki. He organises my treatment, books me in with rehab specialists and trains me, so without him I wouldn’t have recovered so quickly and for this I thank him.”
Matt Carruthers has assembled a squad at Ashfield which Stamatiadis rates as genuine promotion candidates. “The team is doing really well. Even though in the last couple of weeks we’ve had poor results, we are playing really good football,” said the midfielder, who sees his clubs’ strong camaraderie as their key strength. “Ashfield as a club is like one big family, everyone not just the players but all the oldies in the club mingle with each other and creates this atmosphere that no one could imagine … it’s the most enjoyable place to come and play football.”
Stamatiadis may have his hand up for selection this weekend against Wanneroo City but will leave it up to his coach as to whether he takes to the field. “I have spoken to Matt ‘Bombay’ Carruthers and the decision is his, he will speak to our physio and see what I’m able to do,” Stamatiadis commented. “It’s real a six pointer for us against Wanneroo. There are five or six clubs that will challenge this year for the league and take points off each other, so this is a must-win game to put us back up the table.”
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This page was last updated on the 3rd May, 2012