LOWRY LEAVES ORIENT
Defender Shane Lowry has walked out on English League Two side Leyton Orient. Lowry joined the O’s last summer but had been looking to exit Brisbane Road since they suffered relegation from League One last season. “Leyton Orient FC can confirm today that defender Shane Lowry has exercised the right in his contract to leave the club” read a statement on the club website. It brings an end to Lowry’s time with the club, for who he made 40 appearances across all competitions.
KINGSTON POINTS ARMY IN RIGHT DIRECTION (by Tommy Doleman, nplwa.com.au)
Darren Kingston scored within four minutes of coming off the bench to earn Armadale a 1-1 draw at champions-elect Bayswater City. Kingston’s header came six minutes from time after Adam Tong looked to have nodded the hosts towards a 19th win of the campaign. Bayswater could not find the winner but managed to maintain an unbeaten season that will be rubber-stamped next week if they avoid defeat to Stirling.
It was a credible performance from Armadale, though, and coach Paul Price believed his side was rewarded for their endeavor. “Today was an even game, both sides created chances and I think it was a fair result,” he said. “I’d have been disappointed if we lost. We played well, showed a lot of character, got players forward and defended well. “The team talk was about believing and the question we asked was ‘are we good enough to compete with Bayswater’ and I think we showed that.”
Price has offered Armadale stability this season despite their league position and with a group of good young players he hopes to be involved at the club again next season. “I’d like to do it (coach) again,” he said. “Armadale have spoken to us and they have a committee meeting again on Monday, but hopefully things can be resolved and I can be coaching there next year.”
Bayswater started the game well with Sam Mitchinson’s marauding runs down the left a feature, but David Heagney was unable to capitalise from the full back’s cross. Armadale had their moments with Jesse Fuller weaving through two defenders before firing at Devon Spence. But the hosts gained control as the half wore on with Heagney again curling wide, before feeding Brian Farrell, who saw his effort blocked by Luke Radonich. Mitchinson then tested Radonich early in the second period, before Spence denied Raveshlan Kuppusamy on two occasions to preserve the hosts hopes of an unbeaten season.
Bayswater then threw Tong up front in pursuit of a winner and he nearly made an immediate impact as Radonich tipped a deflected effort wide. The hosts took the lead from the resulting corner as Tong met Todd Howarth’s swinging ball into the back post with 12 minutes to play. Price then made a tactical move of his own, bringing on Kingston for Kuppusamy, and it only took him four minutes to make an impact. Darren Francis floated in a cross and an unmarked Kingston beat Spence to the ball to nod into an unguarded net. Tong had a chance to win it late when he planted a header wide but Armadale earned a deserved point and Bayswater edged closer to a near-flawless campaign.
TOMBIDES HONOURED AS PERTH BEAT LIONS (by Josh Chiat, nplwa.com.au)
Perth Soccer Club beat Stirling Lions 1-0 at Macedonia Park in a fixture dedicated to the former West Ham striker Dylan Tombides. The match was part of the DT38 foundation's Australian launch this week with Perth-born Tombides playing as junior at both clubs. The result meant the visitors maintained their hopes of finishing second as both coaches paid tribute to Tombides. “The only good thing that has come out of the tragic loss of young Dylan is the start of the foundation, which has brought awareness to youth testicular cancer,” said Perth coach Taki Nicolaidis. “This [game] is special for a lot of people from both clubs and to come out on top was important.” “It was definitely a special occasion,” added Lions coach Rob Milevski.
A round of applause from the stands in the 38th minute was the highlight of the occasion, but the telling moment of the match came within 60 seconds. A mix-up between Lions defender’s Michael Pugliese and Liam Wood from Clark Keltie’s through ballleaving Perth's Reece Vittiglia free to score from six yards out. Stirling struggled to put passes together in the first half and were lucky not to be further behind as Andreas Theodosiades hit the post, before Clark Keltie had his volley cleared off the line.
Stirling's stagnant first half gave way to counter-attacking brilliance after half time. Perth goalkeeper Francis Soale and the post stood between the home side and an equaliser when Daniel Micevski broke away on 52 minutes. Soale came off his line sharply to deny Teeboy Kamara moments later as the pressure rose from the hosts. Perth had more possession but lacked composure in front of goal. Keltie missed another good opportunity before Nick Ambrogio hit the woodwork as Perth pressed for a second. Stirling almost levelled from a corner deep into injury time, but Soale was again on hand to save Micevski's well-struck volley.
Despite the win, Nicolaidis lamented poor finishing that almost let Stirling back in the game. “It felt like our guys were still in first gear,” he said. “We scored early and you think it's going to be a good day out but we squandered a lot of chances, and, in fairness to Stirling, on a better day they could have hit the back of the net.”
ATHENA MARCH ONTO SECOND PLACE (by Colin Outhwaite, nplwa.com.au)
Floreat Athena put in a solid performance to beat a young Balcatta side 3-0 at Grindleford Reserve in their PS4 National Premier Leagues WA fixture. An own goal followed by a goal from Gate a minute later put the visitors two-up, before Gate’s second completed the win and denied Balcatta any chance of taking fifth place. Athena couldn't afford to drop points as they remain one point clear in second place, but coach Glen Grostate says he's not worried about what Perth are doing below them. "We've just got to do what we've done for the other 20 games and try and win," he said. "The boys want that second place and they deserve it."
Athena pressed early and forced Carmelo Guiffre to direct a cross into his own net in the 12th minute. Immediately after they pounced with a fluid attack. Ludo Boi and Steve Burton moved quickly down the pitch and Gates sent the ball into the back of the net. Balcatta failed to produce any highlights in the game with Slade Rule's shot over the bar on the brink of half time being their only attempt.
Balcatta captain James Sammut said it was never going to be easy with a team lacking in experience. "We had a lot of players out and 2-0 down against a quality side is tough to come back from," he said. In the 18th minute Balcatta keeper Clint Davies fumbled a catch that resulted in Phil Arnold hitting the inside of the post. Davies made up for his mistake with a fast reaction save to keep out Jack Allen's turning volley from Jonathan Stynes' cross in the 34th minute. He did well to keep out further efforts from Arnold and Stynes in the second half, but could do nothing about Gates' cracking strike from the edge of the penalty area in the 84th minute.
Balcatta are still searching for a high point to end the season on and Sammut hopes it will come in the final game against Armadale. "Three weeks ago we were pushing for fourth, but now fifth has gone,” he said. "We need to put that behind us, focus on the positives and get a good result in the last game."
PATTERSON SCORES FOUR FOR COCKBURN (by Aisling Lawless, nplwa.com.au)
Rory Patterson joined Gustavo Marulanda at the top of the goal-scoring charts; scoring four in Cockburn City’s 5-2 win at ECU Joondalup. The Northern Ireland International scored a free kick in the first half, before converting two penalties and scoring another when the score was locked at 2-2. Stuart Montgomery and Tommy Amphlett both scored early in the second half to bring ECU level, but their efforts were futile after they were reduced to 10 men.
Patterson said Cockburn’s focus was to maintain fifth position, but his teammates were supportive of his chance to finish as top goal scorer. “The lads were the ones who reminded me today and there was a few times the boys could have shot themselves, but they were trying to give me the chances,” he said. “If the results had gone against us we could have dropped to eighth and we knew we were better than that.” Losses from Stirling, Balcatta and nearest rival Inglewood put Cockburn three points and goal difference clear with one game remaining.
The opening goal in the 17th minute was a soft one. Feisal Zaw hit the ball towards the far post and Araya knocked it into the net without any real challenge from the defence. But Patterson’s unstoppable free kick from range eight minutes later was anything but soft, flying past goalkeeper Jamie Serra, who could do nothing to prevent it. Cockburn City coach Marc Anthony said Patterson has been a real asset to the side this season and his goals have been invaluable. “As long as you’ve got Rory [Patterson] in your side you know if you can create chances he’s going to score them,” he said.
Father and son duo Stuart and Bayley Montgomery combined to pull one back on the stroke of half time with the former knocking home a rebound from Bayley’s shot. ECU Joondalup were keen to celebrate their last home game of the season with a win and six minutes into the second half Amphlett lobbed the ball over Jack Adams to equalise. But the visitors had a different result in mind and in the 78th minute Patterson turned sharply on the right wing and confidently struck the ball off the far post and into the net. Six minutes later, Charlie Comyn-Platt brought him down in the box, and after deliberation with the linesman the referee called a penalty. Last defender Comyn-Platt was red carded and Patterson stepped up to double Cockburn’s lead.
ECU coach Dale McCulloch was unhappy with the decision and said they had an equal penalty claim earlier that went unrewarded. “It’s the decision that killed us in the end today,” he said. “Once we had a man sent off the game was dead and buried. It’s heartbreaking for the boys because it should have been a penalty for us and that could have changed the game – I’ll stand by that.” But a hat trick wasn’t enough for Patterson and in the 91st minute he drew Serra into a challenge and won another penalty, which he confidently converted to seal the score line.
NO GLORY FOR SORRENTO (by Kelechi Osunwa, nplwa.com.au)
Perth Glory put on a solid second half performance to defeat Sorrento 1-0 in their PS4 National Premier Leagues WA fixture at Inglewood Stadium. The victory was the Glory’s second in a row and provided a contrast to the attacking masterclass they displayed in last week’s 3-2 win over Balcatta. The Glory dominated large spells of possession in the first half and created nervy moments for Sorrento with their enthusiastic pressing, while Sorrento always looked dangerous from set pieces.
Slobodan Vulin gave Glory the lead just before half time with a well-taken penalty after referee David Bruce adjudged Steve McDonald to have handled the ball in the area. Sorrento made a late surge for an equaliser in the second half with McDonald causing chaos after a tactical switch to centre forward, but a determined Glory side kept Sorrento’s chances to a minimum and ran out deserved winners. Glory captain Jacob Collard was pleased to finally see his side reap the rewards of some harsh lessons. “I’m just so happy for the boys,” he said. “We came out defensive (in the second half) but all the boys did a massive shift today and I’m very happy with the performance. “It’s been a long time coming and all season we’ve been very unlucky. We’ve lost by a goal in many games and winning (games like this) is part of improving.”
The Glory spent much of the first half playing in the Sorrento half but found great joy on the counter. Gian Albano shot over the bar after surging past several defenders from a deep run that started in his own penalty area. Scott Bulloch had a great chance for Sorrento when the winger danced past two Glory defenders, cutting inside from the left, but only mustering a tame effort straight at Jordan Franken. The Glory managed to convert their high pressing and ball possession into a goal when McDonald handled a quick throw as he attempted to slide in. Vulin stepped up with confidence and sent James Morgan the wrong way with a low effort into the bottom right corner.
The second half brought a change in tactics as the Glory defended deep and looked to catch Sorrento on the counter. With 15 minutes to play, Sorrento coach Steve Neville sent McDonald up front and he caused problems with his aerial prowess. McDonald created two half chances when he flicked on to Jack Slater and James Morgan who both provided tame finishes. Salter then swivelled and volleyed over the bar with the goal at his mercy as Sorrento ran out of time.
Neville was disappointed with the result and reminded his players that they had plenty to play for. “First half we were dreadful, we couldn’t even pass the ball. Glory made it difficult for us but we seemed very flat,” he said. “There are places up for grabs for the cup final and no one is guaranteed a spot.”
Nathan Costello led the Glory defence and he was happy to see his side put a week of training into practice. “We’ve been working on set pieces, long balls (challenging) and winning headers and it paid off today,” he said. “Obviously Sorrento play a different style, but we’ve had to adapt and deal with that. “We certainly have been improving throughout the year. At the end of the season the table doesn’t lie, (but) we’re making up for dropped points.”
BOOYSEN BOUNCES BACK TO SINK INGLEWOOD (by Jonathan Cook, nplwa.com.au)
Josh Booysen missed an early penalty and then scored two second-half goals as a determined Subiaco claimed a 3-1 win over Inglewood United at Rosalie Park. The game was only three minutes old when Booysen blazed his penalty over the bar but he need not have worried as his contribution after the break was the key to hard-working Subiaco’s sixth win of the season.
David Sesay had opened the scoring for the visitors in the 22nd minute before Ger Fitzgerald equalised on the half hour. Booysen made amends for his early penalty miss with a fine header in the 59th minute before lashing a shot in off a post in the 73rd minute. “I thought it was a good performance and we deserved to win,” Booysen said. “It was a bit scrappy in the first half but in the second half we tightened up and deserved to take the victory. “The penalty was terrible but I had to get over it and get back into the game and luckily made up for it with the two goals. It’s very satisfying.”
Chances came thick and fast in an even first half as Subiaco’s Kevin White hooked wide an early opportunity and Kenny Keogh rattled a post for Inglewood. Keogh then turned provider with a cross from the right that Andrija Jukic headed over. Irishman Keogh was causing havoc and his next contribution allowed Sesay to crash the ball home from close range. But the goal only served to spark Subiaco into action and Fitzgerald accepted the invitation to head home the equaliser. Rory Feely, who was introduced for Kevin White after 36 minutes, almost had Subiaco in front on the stroke of half time but after wriggling his way into a shooting position his powerful shot was off target.
Youngster Paul Zimarino, who is heading to Spain next week for a trial with Real Valladolid, had an appeal for a penalty turned down early in the second half before firing off target following Keogh’s cross. But Subiaco hit the front when Booysen’s header found the net from Rory Feely’s cross and the home side would have extended their lead but for Aleks Vrteski’s save to deny Matt Akehurst and Jovo Pavlovic’s timely challenge to thwart Booysen. The third Subiaco goal owed much to Akehurst’s trickery in beating Pavlovic and then picking out Booysen, whose shot crashed off the inside of the left post before nestling in the net.
Jukic was disappointed that Inglewood had been unable to seize the initiative after taking the lead. “We didn’t really have much to play for but we wanted to show a bit of pride and win for ourselves,” he said. “We had a good win against Stirling last week and everyone was buzzing for it. We wanted to finish as high as we can, so it’s not the best feeling to lose like that.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND NINETEEN - REVIEW
Morley-Windmills kept their hopes alive of staying in Division One next year when they beat Swan United 1-0 at Wotton Reserve. It was their first league win against Swan in twenty-two years. Windmills were down to ten men due to a send off, but it was the home side who got the winner after Brian Crellin lobbed the Swan keeper from near the half-way line. Windmills are now one point behind Swan, with three league games to go.
In other games, Joondalup United beat Canning City 2-1 with Ross Edwards and Nicky Sharples scoring the goals. Shamrock Rovers Perth thrashed Gosnells City 6-1, Mandurah City dropped points in their 2-2 draw to Western Knights at Hyundai Stadium, while Ashfield's 1-0 win over UWA-Nedlands FC meant they stay in the title race, only three points behind Mandurah. Dianella White Eagles stayed in fourth place when they defeated South West Phoenix 4-2.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND NINETEEN - REVIEW
Curtin University caused the upset of the round, after their away win at Wanneroo City. It was the roos that put on the pressure at the start, with Blake Wright giving Wanneroo the chance to go one up, but his opportunity was pushed onto the bar by Mackenzie Ferguson. Blake had another chance soon after, but his chance was just wide of the post. Curtin slowly got into the game, and it was Carlo Chiellini that should have put the southern suburbs side in front, but he fired wide. In the second half, but both teams had their chances, but it was Eddie Tikoft that was the hero for Curtin late in the game. He found Wanneroo keeper Daniel Agudelo off his line, and lobbed the ball over him and into an empty net from 30 metres out.
Balga moved into fourth place after a 2-1 win against Melville City at Len Shearer Reserve. Balga had their first chance in the 3rd minute, when Jonathan McGahern came close to scoring. Melville then had two corners in a row in the sixth minute, the second one was crossed and headed towards goal, however McGahern was in action again and cleared it. Balga almost took the lead soon after, a great pass from McGahern found Nahom Michael, who's shot was saved by the Melville keeper. This was followed by a quick Melville counter attack, who would have scored on a tight angle if it wasn't for Balga keeper Oli Rigler, who saved with his legs. Balga went 1-0 up after fifteen minutes, a Michael corner found McGahern who headed straight in. Sammy French almost equalised for Melville in the 37th minute, his powerful shot from outside the box dipped just under the bar before Rigler pushed it over with his fingertips. Both sides had chances in the second half, but it was Balga who took theirs, after a patient build up, George Duku on the right wing crossed into the box, and it was McGahern who once again headed into the net. Melville got back into the game after Rigler fouled just inside the box in the 89th minute, and it was Mark Lucus who scored from the spot. Balga held on to win 2-1.
In other games, Rockingham City maintained their lead at the top of the pile in a 2-0 win away to Joondalup City, with both goals coming in the second half. Forrestfield United put out a title statement following their 10-1 thrashing over Quinns FC at Hartfield Park. Ellenbrook United had only their third win of the season after beating bottom side Kelmscott Roos 3-0, while at Hilton Reserve, Fremantle City and Kingsway Olympic shared the points in a 2-2 draw.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND TWENTY ONE - PREVIEW (courtesy thewest.com.au)
Schoolteacher James Sammut believes Balcatta’s crop of youngsters can learn important lessons against Floreat Athena on Saturday. Sammut said Balcatta, who finished second last season but are currently eighth in the PS4 NPLWA, had slipped off the pace in 2015 partly due to player departures, injuries and suspensions. Despite their being little to play for – Bayswater City have wrapped up the league title and there is no finals series this season – Sammut expects players from both sides will be out to make a point at at Grindleford Reserve. He was particularly hopeful that Balcatta’s young guns - such as Zelfy Nazar, Carmelo Giuffre, Jackson Amosa and Slade Rule – would press their case for first-team action.
“I think Floreat be at full strength and they are a quality side,” Sammut said of the second-placed team. “There are no finals to play for but players are playing for a spot for next season. We’re going to see whether these youngsters we’re bringing in can do a job. It’s their chance for them to show now that they can step up next season.” On a personal level, Sammut has been hindered by adductor problems that started last season and resurfaced in 2015. But it was not enough to prevent the 25-year-old from being selected for the WA State team in their recent match against Perth Glory.
“I think every game I’ve played I’ve brought something in terms of scoring or setting up goals but for me it’s more about the team success and wanting to give it a crack,” he said. “It’s disappointing that we’re not up there. “But to get in the State team was a bonus for me. I’ve been involved before but I didn’t play so that was my first time kitted out and getting some minutes. “It was a privilege to walk onto the pitch with those players and be part of it.”
In other games, champions Bayswater, who are eleven points clear at the top, will aim to extend their unbeaten season when they meet Armadale at Frank Drago Reserve. ECU Joondalup host Cockburn City, while Sorrento should get the win away to Perth Glory. Perth will need to beat Stirling Lions at Macedonian Park to keep their chances of finishing runners-up alive, while at Rosalie Park it's Subiaco AFC up against Inglewood United.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND NINETEEN - PREVIEW
The pick of round nineteen in the All Flags Division One is the vital relegation match between Morley-Windmills and Swan United at Wotton Reserve. Swan moved four points away from the automatic relegation spot in their shock win over South West Phoenix last week, and will all but guarantee avoiding bottom spot if they beat Windmills on Saturday. Swan have Mike Lawson back in contention for a starting spot after missing last week, however Pearse McKee might miss due to an ankle injury. Others that could miss the game due to minor injuries is Ebe Cowbrough, Fraser Burt, Nic Phipps and Callum Burt, while Blair Kapurtin is away overseas. Swan Coach Salv Todaro understands the importance of the match. "It's a massive game this weekend, both teams desperate for the win, suppose this is a mini final. Boys have been putting in great effort at training and now need to carry this into the games. I expect the boys to keep on giving their 100% and work their socks off for each other and the club." There should be no change to the Windmills squad after their 4-0 loss to Gosnells City last Saturday, coach Jason Van Rooy was straight to the point about the importance of the fixture, "It will be a big game for the club to try and avoid relegation.".
Canning City will meet Joondalup United at Burrendah Reserve as both clubs will be hoping to bounce back after losses a week ago. Canning will be missing Josh Findlater and Vish Kannu through injury, while Daniel Trevisiol and Ante Jukic will be having late fitness tests. Simon Elton-Bott will be out suspended. Simon Correia returns from a week out and will be challenging for a spot while Charlie Parry is back to full fitness and is likely to be included from the start this week. Joondalup also have players out, with Josh Whitmore suspended and James Harmer needing to be rested. Stuart Hartmann and Guy McDonald will step into their positions. The northern suburbs boss, John Evans, knows Canning will not be an easy side to play against. "Canning gave us a good test at home so nothing will be taken for granted, each game is a physical and mental challenge. JUFC have enjoyed their first season in Division One, and with four games left we will be trying to finish as high as we can".
In other games, Dianella White Eagles are home to South West Phoenix, while Shamrock Rovers should be too good against Gosnells City at Grimley Oval. UWA-Nedlands FC will need to be at their best when they host Ashfield, while on Sunday at 5pm, it's top of the table Mandurah City up against Western Knights. City.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND NINETEEN - PREVIEW
The match of round in the All Flags Division Two is Forrestfield United's crucial home fixture against Quinns FC. Forrestfield are one point behind league leaders Rockingham City, and must win to keep their hopes of an automatic promotion spot alive. Quinns will be no pushovers but have a few injuries that they are sweating on. Paul Daly is struggling with his back, Gareth Davis has a hip injury while Danny Marsden could miss the game due to work commitments. Coming into the squad should be Callum Trayner and Chris Williams. Coach Glen Moore knows it will be a difficult match, "We are looking forward to the game, we've had a good last couple of weeks and go into the game under no pressure and to enjoy it, Forrestfield are in the top two for a reason, the league table doesn't lie. We are under no illusions that it'll be a tough game but as you know most teams are capable of beating each other in this division, we are looking forward to their facilities, to show we are also a side that likes to play good football if given the chance."
Forrestfield should have Jimmy Duncan and keeper Brad Eiffe back in the starting line-up, however Ben Rogers is likely to be a week away from returning to the side. Striker Rhys Loxley expects a tough match. "The game against Quinns is going to be a battle as they are a hard side to break down and are always up for the physical challenge, they will go into the game without any pressure on them which can be beneficial." Loxley went on to say how crucial the game is this weekend, "For us, it is extremely important that we remain focused for the full 90 minutes in each of our final four games of the season to give ourselves the best possible opportunity to finish as champions. I think an early goal for us will be important in settling the nerves and allowing us to play to our strengths and to play our style of football".
Rockingham City will want to continue their lead at the top of Division Two in their game against Joondalup City at the Iluka Sports Complex. Bobby Irving was back in the Joondalup squad last week, and his experience should help the blue and whites. Joe Mcquade returns from suspension, while Danny Beattie also is back. It will however be Danny Allens last game of the season due to travel. For Rockingham, Papa Kpatar, Alexander Grayson and keeper Cyril Sharrock is out suspended. Coach Rob Crerar said about the upcoming game, "It's always a difficult game against Joondalup City, they are one of the best sides we have faced this year. Our group is in good form and we go into the game confident that our best can get us something from the game".
In other games, it's the battle of the cellar dwellers, as bottom side Kelmscott Roos travel to take on second bottom Ellenbrook United. Balga will be hoping to end a two game losing streak as they meet Melville City and Len Shearer Reserve, while Fremantle City will be confident in beating Kingsway Olympic at Hilton Reserve. The last game has Wanneroo City at home against the improving Curtin University.
TWIGGER APPEALS FOR FUNDING HELP (courtesy thewest.com.au)
Football West chairman Liam Twigger has written to stakeholders in the sport as he pushes for local soccer to develop its own headquarters. Twigger emailed more than 40,000 players, officials and the parents to ask for their support in the push for facility funding. A statement released by Football West says that 11 years after the body united soccer’s various groups, it is yet to receive a funding commitment from government. It said Twigger has been disappointed that "WA’s most played team sport, according to independent figures, has been overlooked, while most other major sports have benefited from major facilities funding". “It’s fantastic to see the wonderful projects that have benefited other sports but soccer’s turn is long overdue and we must pull together to ensure that we are next in line,” he said.
Twigger said stakeholders in the Canning electorate, which is to hold a key Federal by-election, should let candidates hear their voice. “We have 42,000 registered players, over 3800 teams, more than 250 clubs and an inclusive reach deep into the heart of our communities, including the lives of those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds as well as those managing disabilities,” Twigger said.
VALE PETER DIMOPOULOS (courtesy footballwest.com.au)
WA football has lost one of its most prominent figures with the sad passing of Peter Dimopoulos at the weekend. Dimopoulos, 90, was involved in the WA game for around 70 years, initially as a player and later as a coach and administrator. Although he first arrived in WA in 1941, he joined the army and left to serve in World War Two before returning to Perth in 1947. He coached the WA Women’s Soccer Association to the 1975 national championship before his election as president of the new body the following year.
Dimopoulos was among the original inductees of the WA Football Hall of Fame in 1996 and served as a committee member. Football West extends its deepest sympathies to his wife, Barbara, family and friends. A funeral service will be held at Fremantle Cemetery on Monday at 10am.
HAROLD STEALS TEN-MAN GLORY VICTORY
A ten-man Perth Glory have avoided a huge FFA Cup boilover against third-tier Queensland outfit Lions FC, escaping with a 1-0 win after extra-time in front of more than 2,500 fans at Perry Park. Just when it looked like the match was headed to penalties, Chris Harold slammed in at the second attempt after a great run by Gygory Sandor. It was a cruel end for the Lions, who pushed their A-League opponents all the way after Glory goalkeeper Jerrad Tyson was sent off just minutes after the opening whistle.
Referee Peter Green had little option but to issue Tyson a red card after hauling down Shoheel Khan in the 6th minute. Substitute ‘keeper Nick Feely spared Tyson’s blushes, acrobatically diving to his right to keep out Andre Bonotto’s spot kick. Despite being a man down, Glory went on to dominated the first half. Richard Garcia had a header cleared off the line while long-range efforts by Sidnei Sciola and Nebojsa Marinkovic weren’t too far off the mark.
Chances came thick and fast after the turnaround. Only Gyorgy Sandor’s last-ditch block prevented Kado Aoci from giving the hosts the lead, while Harold and Marinkovic both forced saves from Phil Zabaks down the other end. It was thrilling, end-to-end stuff. Feely denied Alex Janovsky at close-range soon before Sidnei wasted two glorious headed chances. Regulation time ended with Feely again in the thick of the action, pushing two shots over the top.
With neither team able to find the net the game progressed to extra-time. Harold fired an early warning shot when his vicious strike from the edge of the box rattled the crossbar. Glory continued to battle in spite of the numerical disadvantage, and with just three minutes left to play they were rewarded for their efforts, Sandor sliding the ball into the path of Harold who bundled the ball in after Phillip Zabak blocked his initial attempt.
DE SILVA JOINS RODA AFTER ROMA DEAL COLLAPSES
Danny De Silva’s dream move to Serie A giants Roma has fallen through, however, the teenage sensation will still play in Europe after agreeing a two-year loan to Dutch side Roda JC. The 18-year old Socceroo looked set to join Roma in June after a deal had been agreed in principal the year before. He was farewelled by Perth Glory in July with the A-League club reaping a substantial transfer fee, believed to be in excess of $2.5 million, to be paid in instalments.
Today though it was revealed the Roma deal had been abandoned and instead De Silva had been re-signed by Glory for a further two years. And the teenager was immediately dispatched to Roda under the exact same terms, conditions and price that were agreed with the Italian club. Glory owner Tony Sage confirmed the teenager’s move to Italy collapsed because Roma were in breach of foreign player rules in the Serie A, which he said barred them from registering the player.
“We’ve got our money - $1.8 million in the end,” Sage said. “Nothing changed for us except we did a deal with that club (Roda) instead of Roma. All I can say is (Roma) really want him, they’re forced under their rules that they can’t have him this year so they had to find another solution. All we got told is ’you have to sign this piece of paper with that club but you get the same money’. “It’s fine, it doesn’t worry me, as long as Danny’s happy - and he’s very, very happy.”
Roma had included De Silva in their training squads for the recent International Champions Cup tournament in Melbourne. Sage is adamant the club are still keen on De Silva, saying he still could end up there when his two-year stint with Roda eventually expires. “I presume Danny’s going to go straight there (after the loan) but you’d have to ask them,” Sage said. “Any deal between Roma and that club, you’re going to have to ring them to ask them what the arrangement is.”
SIX SANDGROPERS GAIN OLYROOS SELECTION
Aurelio Vidmar’s national Under-23 squad for next month’s games against Turkey and Macedonia has a strong West Australian flavour with six Sandgropers gaining selection. Defensive trio Cameron Burgess, Riley Woodcock and Scott Galloway along with attack-minded Ryan Edwards, Daniel De Silva and Adam Taggart are amongst 23 players called up for duty by Vidmar.
The Australia Under-23 squad to place Turkey (4 September) and Macedonia (7 September) is John Hall (Adelaide United), Brandon Borrello, James Donachie, Jamie Maclaren(Brisbane Roar), Paul Izzo (Central Coast Mariners), Joshua Brillante (Empoli), Cameron Burgess, Adam Taggart (Fulham), Chris Ikonomidis (Lazio), Scott Galloway, Jason Geria, Connor Pain (Melbourne Victory), Milos Degenek (1860 Munich), Steven Ugarkovic (NK Osijek), Terry Antonis (PAOK FC), Mustafa Amini, Jack Duncan (Randers), Daniel De Silva (Roda JC Kerkrade), Giancarlo Gallifuoco (Swansea), Andrew Hoole, Riley Woodcock(Sydney FC) and uncontracted pair Ryan Edwards and Brad Smith.
GRIFFITHS USING SECOND CHANCE TO SMASH STEREOTYPES
Rostyn Griffiths has noticed a greater appreciation for Australian footballers' hard work from the Europeans but he wants them to know that there's more to Aussie players than simply getting stuck in. Griffiths, 27, left Perth Glory at the end of the last A-League season to link up with Eredivisie club Roda JC to realise is childhood dream of playing in Europe.
“The two things I've noticed is that people over here expect Australians to provide a good attitude and a hard-work ethic,” Griffiths said. “For me that's great and something I feel I can definitely bring to the team but I also want to be able to change their opinions a little bit and make them realise that we also have good tactical and technical qualities as a nation. I want them to know we can play football as well.”
Griffiths, who played locally for ECU Joondalup, has started in all three of Roda's league games, which have yielded six points and fifth spot on the ladder. He was promised a starting spot and so far he has met his coach Darije Kalezic's expectations. “I've been fortunate to play in all the games so far which has been great,” Griffiths said.
“When I spoke to the coach on the phone before I signed he made his intention clear that he wouldn't bring someone in who was going to be just a squad player. He wanted someone to be able to come in and play straight away. We have quite a young team so he wanted me to use the experience I've gained so far and keep this team in the top division where it belongs.”
Griffiths feels he has settled well into his new environment. “Everyone has been really friendly and accommodating,” he said. “But most importantly it's great to be playing at a professional club with ambition in a league that is of a high standard. I don't live in Kerkrade which is where the stadium is. I actually live in Maastricht, which is a really cool city, so outside of football I'm also enjoying it.”
Roda is forever living in the shadow of the Eredivisie's big three Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven, but it has turned a few heads in its first season back with the big boys. “The club's first target is to remain in the Eredivisie,” Griffiths said. “However with the quality of the squad and the tactical and technical qualities of our head coach I think the club is aiming for a lot higher than it initially expected to.”
Griffiths is realising his dream of playing in Europe after, by his own admission, leaving Britain too soon as an ambitious 20-year old Blackburn Rovers player. “From the moment I left England I regretted my decision because I knew that I always wanted to play at the highest level I could in Europe,” he said. “At the time I thought I wanted to come back to Australia (where he grew up).”
“But looking back I just wanted to have a change of scene after having been at Blackburn for five years. Pretty much ever since then I've always been wanting to come back to Europe but for one reason or another there was always something that stopped it. That's why I decided it was really now or never when the opportunity arose early this year. Roda needed a defensive midfielder so it has worked out well for me.”
LOWE ON A HIGH WITH LIFE AT GLORY
Kenny Lowe has labelled the past month as the most enjoyable stint in his time as Perth Glory’s head coach. Glory’s squad flew out to Brisbane this afternoon for tomorrow night’s FFA Cup clash against outsiders Lions FC. And Lowe said he was loving his role at the helm of the club more than ever after an off-season where Glory have experienced significant player turnover following last year’s penalties for salary cap breaches. “This month is the most I’ve enjoyed being in the job,” Lowe said.
“There’s been difficult times over the last 18 months, but I’m actually thinking I’m starting to enjoy this. People who have come in have been great, the mood's good, we’ve just got to win games, which is the age-old thing in football, isn’t it? Maybe I’ve had a bit more longer in it and I don’t go looking for fires. They come looking for me. Before, maybe you start (fighting). Now I just sit there because I know there’s one going to come and I don’t get too upset.”
Former captain Michael Thwaite will return to the line-up for tomorrow night’s knockout clash after missing the thrilling penalty shoot-out win over Newcastle Jets in the previous round due to gastro. Lowe confirmed reports of last week that Thwaite, who had explored options of a move overseas, was committed to Glory for this season. “A few things popped up for him, but he decided to stay,” Lowe said. “He looked at it and thought ‘it’s probably best for my family and me to stay’. I’m over the moon that he’s staying.”
CARROLL JOINS GLORY WOMEN
Perth Glory Women have completed the signing of Australia defender Kim Carroll on a one-year-deal. Carroll, 27, joins Glory Women for the coming W-League where she’s looking forward to working with new coach Bobby Despotovski. “I couldn’t resist the opportunity for a fresh start and a new challenge,” Carroll said. “I want to win the Premiership and Championship as a Perth Glory player. I’ve heard good things about Bobby (Despotovski) as a player, coach and person. I’m hoping he can challenge me as a player to push me to another level.”
Carroll has an impressive pedigree in the women’s game. For the past six season she has worn Brisbane Roar colours in the W-League, making 52 appearances and collecting Premiership (2008/09) and Championship (2008/09, 2010/11) winners medals. That run was interrupted only by a season with Danish side Fortuna Hjørring. Carroll has been capped 54 times by Australia, a tally which includes all four of the Matildas game at the 2011 Women’s World Cup.
GLORY READY TO ROAR AGAINST LIONS
A tricky assignment awaits Perth Glory when they take on Brisbane Premier League champions Lions FC in Wednesday’s FFA Cup round of sixteen clash at Perry Park. Lions ran away with the BPL crown this year, finishing six points clear of their nearest rival at the top of the table. That form was carried over into the national Cup competition with an upset 2-1 win over South Australian side Croydon Kings in round one courtesy of goals from Shoheel Khan and Andre Bonotto.
Lions, founded in 1957 as Hollandia-Inala Soccer Club, are determined to cause another surprise and prevent Glory from progressing to the FFA Cup quarter-finals for the second successive year. Player/coach Warren Moon is thrilled to be taking on an A-League opponent in the next stage, saying his players are ready to step in the intensity. “We’re certainly looking forward to playing an A-League side,” Moon said. “It’s going to be a huge challenge for our boys to try to get a result.”
It was a youthful Glory side that edged Newcastle Jets out of the knock-out competition earlier this month by way of a 4-3 win on penalties. “We’ve got Jakey Collard, young Steph Valentini who came on and got us the penalty and Hagi Gligor came on and did really, really well so really happy for the kids,” coach Kenny Lowe said. “It’s (the FFA Cup) massive for us, it sets us up for the season. Our focus is to hang in there for as long as we can.”
WORLD CUP HERO FOORD RETURNS TO GLORY WOMEN
Matildas star Caitlin Foord has signed a one-year contract with Perth Glory Women. Foord signs on after her highly impressive showing in the Women’s World Cup, including her highly-praised performance against Brazil. The 20-year-old’s defensive performance against five-time World Women’s Player of the Year Marta received high accolades, as Australia consigned Brazil to a round of sixteen World Cup exit for the first time in 19 years.
Glory Women’s coach Bobby Despotovski was thrilled to have Foord’s services for the summer of 2015/16. “This was an easy decision to make,” Despotovski said. “She is an extremely valuable member of the team and last season, she was exceptional on the wing. She brings the whole lot to the club, she’s played for the national team in the World Cup and brings direction, leadership, and skills that will separate Glory from losing games and winning games this year.”
Foord was also excited to re-join the team for another season. “After the amazing season and the time I had with the club last year, it was hard to not want to come back,” says Foord. “It was such a fun group of girls on and off the field. I haven’t met Bobby Despotovski yet, but I’m looking forward to working with someone new and learning new things. I’m really looking forward to trying to go one step further than we did last year, and that would be winning the championship.”
Although only 20, Ford brings a wealth of experience to the Glory Women squad. Foord was handed her national league debut five years ago and has gone on to make 60 appearances for Sydney FC and Glory Women, plus a further 39 in the United States with Sky Blue FC. She scored on debut for Australia, against New Zealand in May 2011 and that year was named the Women's World Cup Best Young Player, Asian Young Footballer of the Year and Australia’s Under-20 Footballer of the Year. Foord has 34 caps for the Matilda’s to her credit.
ATHENA BATTLE OUT A DRAW WITH CHAMPIONS (by Jonathan Cook, nplwa.com.au)
Champions Bayswater City preserved their unbeaten league record in 2015 but only after surviving a scare in their 2-2 draw against fired-up Floreat Athena at E&D Litis Stadium today. City have now won 18 and drawn two of their 20 games after goals from Gustavo Giron Marulanda and David Heagney earned a point against the second-placed side. Athena had threatened to spoil the party when Jon Stynes cancelled out Marulanda’s opening goal and Lewis McMahon scored a penalty but Heagney had the final say two minutes before half-time.
City coach Chris Coyne was unhappy with the first-half performance used his half-time talk to remind his players of their opportunity to achieve a rare feat. “I said ‘you can have a real serious crack here at going a whole season undefeated, so don’t throw it away when you are so close to the finish line,’” he said. “I’m pleased with the response and the fact that they dug in because it was a tough game.”
Just a week after Bayswater had wrapped up their third successive championship and Floreat were resigned to missing out on the coveted trophy, neither side took a backward step in a match packed with incident. A see-sawing affair had started well for Bayswater when Marulanda benefitted from Heagney’s break down the right to fire home from close range after 17 minutes. But rather than wilt, Floreat came firing back and Stynes drew the home side level before referee Josh Mannella awarded Athena a penalty after Phil Arnold had gone to ground in the box. Bayswater protested the decision but McMahon held his nerve to score from the spot with 41 minutes gone.
Floreat’s new electronic scoreboard showed the home side leading for just two minutes before Danny Dixon set up Heagney. Athena coach Glen Grostate, whose team recognised the champions with a pre-game guard of honour, praised his side for taking the game to Bayswater. “The boys accepted that Bayswater were the champions but it was all about the reaction after that,” he said. “I thought we performed really well. It wasn’t a one-off. The boys are second on the ladder for a reason. We showed them we can compete with the best team in the league.”
The match had threatened to boil over in the second half when Marulanda was booked for simulation and then, after he had been substituted, was sent from the bench. Marulanda’s anger served as a prelude to more fireworks when former Bayswater striker Steve Burton was booked for clattering into Dixon as he surged towards goal. “That niggle and that fire is why they are up at the top of the league as well,” Coyne said of a feisty second half. “They’ve got winners and they’re not used to getting beaten too often either.” Ludo Boi went close to breaking the deadlock late in the second half but his shot fizzed just over.
JOONDALUP SURIVES LATE RALLY TO GET THE WIN (by Tommy Doleman, nplwa.com.au)
ECU Joondalup stretched their unbeaten away run to four games with a 2-1 win against Subiaco at Rosalie Park on Saturday. All the goals were scored in the first half as Harry Bissett and Tommy Amphlett set the visitors cruising, before Josh Booysen pulled one back before the break. ECU survived a late rally from the home team but held firm to grind out a victory, which coach Dale McCulloch hopes will give momentum to his youthful team looking forward. “It’s important as a young side (to gain that winning mentality),” he said. “The young players are used to winning in the academy but this league is harder and tougher. “We’ve been scoring goals and haven’t been wining games, but to win today and see the change room as it is, it’s good for their development and teaches them good habits.”
McCulloch, though, believed his side could have wrapped up the game earlier. “I thought we were comfortable for long periods of the game but conceding that goal made things a bit harder,” he said. “It’s about having that concentration. Defending doesn’t just come from the back four, it starts up front and we haven’t been resolute enough to keep the goals out. “We got into some good areas on the break and didn’t quite have the quality to get the third goal but overall it was a scrappy second half from both sides."
ECU Joondalup started the game sharply and took a deserved lead inside 20 minutes. Bayley Montgomery kept Amphlett’s cross to the back post alive and the ball was eventually bundled in with the last touch coming off Bissett. Buoyed by the opener, the away side doubled their lead four minutes later, as a corner was not properly cleared and Amphlett struck crisply into the far corner for 2-0. Subiaco responded quickly, though, and pulled one back when Booysen drove down the left, cut inside and scored to cap a fine solo effort.
A scrappy second half followed, but as the game wore on, the hosts mounted late pressure on the ECU goal. First, substitute Kevin White found a yard of space on the edge of the area, before clipping the base of the post. Matt Akehurst then fired dangerous beyond Jamie Serra’s back post, but ECU stayed resolute on this occasion to take the three points back up north.
SESAY HELPS INGLEWOOD GET THE WIN (by Alasdair Beer, nplwa.com.au)
David Sesay had a hand in both goals as Inglewood United beat Stirling Lions 2-1 at Macedonia Park in their PS4 National Premier Leagues WA clash. The winger scored the game’s opening goal after a minute before providing the assist for Andrija Jukic’s decisive strike. Inglewood coach Michael Garcia was pleased with Sesay’s return to form. “Dave’s a quality player – he’s probably been a little below what he considers to be his best, so I’m glad for him that he got a chance to show his potential,” he said.
Sesay opened Inglewood’s account in the first minute of play, running onto a lofted diagonal ball before beating his man and firing a powerful strike past Stirling keeper Joel Driscoll. The visitors nearly doubled their lead eight minutes later, when Tim Gould got a foot to Kenny Keogh’s shot, only to see the deflection flash just wide. Teeboy Kamara created Stirling’s first major chance, when he broke down the left flank before squaring for Shane Malcolm, whose wild effort went well high.
Inglewood goalkeeper Aleks Vrteski spared embarrassment for Ryan Sardi in the 21st minute, rushing out to take the ball off Malcom’s toes after he had dispossessed the Inglewood defender. He then denied Kamara four minutes later as he kept out a stinging effort from Robert Petkov, before Jovo Pavlovic cleared the danger. Jukic should have had Inglewood’s second on the half-hour mark, firing high over an open goal after Driscoll had saved David Micevski’s effort. Vrteski tipped over a dipping Steve Purton shot from outside the area four minutes before half time, as both sides continued to mount dangerous attacks.
Inglewood doubled their tally eight minutes into the second half, as Sesay skillfully surged down the left wing before delivering a low cross for Jukic to put away from the middle of the penalty area. However, Stirling had a response three minutes later, as Guam international Malcolm got a boot to Lawrence Shuruma’s header across goal and the ball hit Vrteski before trickling over the line. The game continued to be an end-to-end affair as Sesay forced Driscoll into a diving save with a swerving shot from outside the box in the 70th minute. Centre-back Pavlovic then found himself in unfamiliar territory two minutes later, skipping past two Lions defenders before drawing a save from Driscoll when clean through. Stirling nearly found an equaliser four minutes from time, as Kamara intercepted a Jason Colli back pass, only for Vrteski to again come to the rescue as he charged out and smother the forward’s shot.
With the win, Inglewood moved past Stirling to claim sixth position on the table and Garcia said he would play out the remaining matches with a view to 2016. “The goal is to blood a few young players and look to next season at which players are doing the team thing for Inglewood, so next year we can hit the ground running,” he said
SORRENTO BEAT COCKBURN TO SEAL FOURTH (by Colin Outhwaite, nplwa.com.au)
Sorrento have sealed fourth place in the PS4 National Premier League with a 2-1 win over Cockburn City at Percy Doyle Reserve. Ryan Pearson put the Gulls in front before Harry O’Brien equalised, but Sean Canham earned them the three points with a goal on the brink of half time. In turn, Sorrento ruined Cockburn’s hopes of a top-four finish with coach Jamie Harnwell seeing his side clinch it again for his second year in charge.
Harnwell said while it wasn’t the most entertaining game they accomplished what they set out to do. “Considering the turnover of players we had from last season and what people thought we’d achieve, it’s quite satisfying to be up there again,” he said. Harnwell is now looking ahead to their September 12th Cup Final against Perth SC. “It’s great motivation for the players and something to look forward to with there being no finals this year.”
It was a tame opening 10 minutes before Pearson provided the game’s first highlight on 13 minutes with a shot from the left that hit the net. Cockburn then levelled six minutes later when O’Brien deflected Rory Patterson’s strike into the goal. Conor Kavanagh caught the Sorrento defence napping in the 32nd minute and put through Patterson with a ball over the top, but he skied his shot to the relief of the back four. Jonathan Corness then hit the underside of the crossbar in the 44th minute but the ball didn’t cross the line and Pearson cleared the danger. Two minutes later Canham added to Cockburn’s frustrations, taking advantage of a defensive error and firing into the far right corner to put the Gulls in front for the second time.
Chances were few and far between in the second half with substitute Julian Teles’ shot over the bar in injury time being the most threatening effort. Cockburn coach Marc Anthony thought his side was excellent in the first half despite the score line. “We should have scored two or three but that’s been the story of our season,” he said. Cockburn still have fifth place to play for with Inglewood, Stirling and Balcatta all in the running and are looking ahead to next week’s game against ECU Joondalup. “It’s never easy playing at ECU, they’ve got a few good players that could cause us problems so we need to make sure we’re up for the game,” Anthony said.
VITTIGLIA GOAL GIVES AZZURRI THE POINTS (by Daryn McCleave, nplwa.com.au)
Reece Vittiglia's 63rd minute tap-in was enough to secure Perth’s fifth consecutive National Premier Leagues WA victory against a gritty Armadale side at Alfred Skeet Reserve. But the home side put up a fight and had they found an equaliser through Jackson Bealey's free kick at the death, it would have been no more than they deserved. Instead, Azzurri shot stopper Francis Soale pushed away the low strike at full stretch and Armadale's barren run at home throughout 2015 continued. The main talking point of the game arrived in the 49th minute as Perth defender Aleksander Susnjar should perhaps have received a second yellow card for halting Faustinho Machochi in a promising attacking position. Referee David Bruce waved away Army's protests and instead just awarded a free kick.
Moments later Perth coach Taki Nicolaidis hauled off Susnjar and later admitted they were a touch lucky. "He (Susnjar) was riding his luck and we didn't want to take any chances and end up with ten men," he said. "We knew it was going to be difficult to break them down, their work rate was top notch. “Had we put away some of our chances in the first half, it may have been a different story but I'm pleased at our end we've been able to grind out a 1-0 win."
Nicolaidis also praised his goalkeeper Soale who had a solid game and kept out efforts from Jesse Fuller, Raveshlan Kuppusamy and Sam Cole before his last gasp stop from Bealey. The visitors, too, had chances before the goal, as Mark Pritchard hit the bar and Josh Wilkins smacked the near post from the edge of the area. But the winner came from great wing play by Dean Evans, who zipped in a low cross with Vittiglia the man in the right place to direct the ball past a helpless Luke Radonich. Armadale pressed hard for a point and perhaps should have had one, as Fuller wasted a gilt-edged chance with a side-footed shot wide with seven minutes left on the clock.
Coach Paul Price felt the game could have gone either way, but was frustrated that Perth were not reduced to ten men for what he described as a "rugby tackle with his arms." "I was upset with the referee. Within minutes they've substituted him, so that was a bit of a game changer." "They're a good side. We created chances, so did they, but unfortunately on the day it went to them."
MCDOUGALL GETS THE GLORY HOME (by Kelechi Osunwa, nplwa.com.au)
Perth Glory produced a brilliant second half display to come from behind and beat Balcatta 3-2 in their PS4 National Premier League match at Inglewood Stadium. The Glory found themselves down 1-0 after 25 minutes when Steve Sokol confidently finished past goalkeeper Jordan Franken. But a stunning free kick from Nikola Talmindzioski and a Michael McDougall brace either side of a fine effort from Balcatta skipper James Sammut proved to be enough.
Perth Glory Assistant Coach Jacob Burns was content with the result but was equally quick to call for improvement. “We still want to improve. It’s not only about the result, but it’s to do with our performance and there are a lot of areas that we need to be better in,” he said. “We couldn’t be happier but there is still areas we need to improve on.”
The story of the first half seemed to echo the Glory’s season with dominance of possession and probing passes failing to result in any goals. The Glory were punished when Gustavo Catarcione rode a challenge in the midfield before playing strike partner Steve Sokol through on goal to give Balcatta a goal against the run.
The half-time team talk must have done the trick for the Glory, as they increased the tempo, attacked with purpose and found themselves level in the 54th minute. A clumsy tackle just outside area presented Talmindzioski with a fantastic opportunity to level. It was an opportunity that the Glory would take as the in-form striker wrapped an effort over and around the wall and into the top corner. The goal confirmed the shift in momentum and minutes later Michael McDougall took full advantage. The young striker who had been promoted from the U20’s squad picked the ball up around the halfway line and waltzed his way past three Balcatta defenders before stroking home with aplomb.
Glory’s lead was short lived as Catarcione was afforded too much room in the midfield again. His pass to release an onrushing Sammut was exceptional and was met by a calm finish from the captain. Sammut’s equaliser caused another momentum shift as Balcatta looked to push on with Catarcione proving to be a nuisance. Balcatta would be undone by a defensive error that proved crucial as their defence failed to clear their lines. McDougall took one touch to control and his second was a precise finish into the bottom corner, much to the delight of Burns. “His (McDougall) opportunity has come not only through his hard work and endeavour but we’ve had a hell of a lot of injuries,” he said. “There are opportunities there for the guys to come in and he’s taken his opportunity well. “He’s come in and scored goals and effected games and he’s just one of a number of guys who have come in and done really well.”
The Glory held on for a tense final 15 minutes that saw Balcatta spurn chances with errant final passes. Balcatta had a late penalty appeal when Catarcione's flick looked to strike the hand of a Glory defender only for a well-placed Matt Southern to wave away appeals. Balcatta captain James Sammut was left to rue errors, which he felt were crucial. “They were a bit sharper and they took their chances very well,” he said. “But (we had) too many errors and it cost us in the end.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND EIGHTEEN - REVIEW
Joondalup United are all but out of the Division One championship race after their home loss to Shamrock Rovers. Shamrock's Will Pender got the only goal of the game late in the second half. Joondalup coach John Evans admits that it will be difficult to now challenge for the title, "At the end of the day you've got to perform week in, week out, and today we haven't", Evans said. “Everyone's disappointed but the reality check is we're just not good enough.”.
In other games, Mandurah City continued their march to the title after a 5-2 win over Dianella White Eagles. Ashfield proved too strong for Canning City, winning 3-1, while Western Knights were too strong for UWA-Nedlands FC, after their 4-1 victory at Nash Field. Swan United shocked South West Phoenix, winning 2-1, and now have moved four points clear of the automatic relegation spot, while bottom side Morley-Windmills are getting closer to the drop after their 4-0 loss away to Gosnells City.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND EIGHTEEN - REVIEW
Rockingham City continued their march to the Division Two title after a 3-0 win over top four contenders Balga at Princess Road Reserve. Balga's Kyall Osborne had the first chance of the game, a pass from Ajri Taela found Osborne at the top of the box, and his shot hit the post after leaving Rockingham's keeper Cyril Sharrock stranded. Rockingham almost hit the lead, a glancing header from a corner was saved on the goal line by the Balga defence. Nahom Michael then used his pace to run past the Rockingham defenders, with only Sharrock to beat, his shot went over the bar. Michael soon after had another one on one with Sharrock, but this time the Rockingham custodian came off his line well to hold the ball.
Rockingham then went 1-0 up, after Shayne Boyle made a great run past the Balga defence, and scored with only Balga keeper Ollie Rigler to beat after fifteen minutes. Midway through the half, Rockingham were two up after a quick counter attack found Alex Grayson, who's powerful shot from just outside the box gave Rigler no chance. Both sides battled hard in the second half, but it was Rockingham who made sure of the win in the 85th minute, when Gersholm Rowland scored at close range.
Forrestfield United kept the pressure on Rockingham with an easy 6-0 win over Kelmscott Roos are Frye Park. Fremantle City continued in third place after a strong 3-0 win at home against Joondalup City, while Kingsway Olympic beat Ellenbrook United 2-1. Quinns FC and Wanneroo City battled out a 2-2 and in the Sunday night game, Curtin University welcomed back several players in their 4-0 thrashing of Melville City.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND TWENTY - PREVIEW (with Jonathan Cook, nplwa.com.au)
The PS4 NPL-WA title is in the bag but Bayswater City defender Trent Kay insists there will be plenty at stake when his side takes on second-placed Floreat Athena at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday. Bayswater wrapped up top spot last weekend with an emphatic 4-1 win over Perth Glory, while Athena’s already slim hopes of winning the title evaporated in a 5-2 defeat to Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens. But a third successive Bayswater title has not satisfied City’s appetite for more success as the club aims to finish the season unbeaten. “A few years back Floreat were undefeated and we want to do the same thing,” said Kay after playing for WA in Wednesday night’s 1-0 loss to Perth Glory. “We’re all about breaking records at Bayswater, so we’ll definitely be looking to get one over them.”
Floreat clinched top spot in 2007 with 18 wins, four draws and no losses. Bayswater have won all but one of their 19 matches with three to play. In 1990, Athena finished top of the table with a record that would have been perfect but for a solitary draw, although they played just 18 matches. However, they failed to take out the championship due to a play-off system that took place that season. Aside from gunning for history, Bayswater are also aiming to continue momentum into the NPL National Finals Series. They will kick-off their campaign away to West Adelaide on September 20, aiming to improve on last year’s performance when they exited the competition at the first hurdle against eventual winners MetroStars. “It was disappointing last year and we definitely want to at least go one step further or even win the competition this time,”Kay said. “Momentum is definitely the key to achieving that and the boys want to win the rest of the games this season.”
Despite the disappointment of defeat last week, Floreat will have something to prove on Sunday, according to Athena defender Aryn Williams. “All we’re playing for now is pride and we won’t go out there and roll over,” Williams said. “We’ve got to go out there and show everyone we’re just as good as Bayswater.”
In other games, Armadale will hope to dent Perth's hopes of finishing runners-up at Alfred Skeet Reserve, while at Inglewood Stadium the Perth Glory will hope to get something out of thier game against the hot and cold Balcatta side. Inglewood United will be desperate to end their three game losing streak when they meet the Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. Subiaco AFC are at home against ECU Joondalup, and fourth place Sorrento will want to extend their six point lead over fifth place Cockburn City at Percy Doyle Reserve.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND EIGHTEEN - PREVIEW
The All Flags Division One "Match of the Round" is at Hyundai Stadium, where Mandurah City play the inform Dianella White Eagles. Mandurah put four past UWA-Nedlands FC last week, and will be looking at increasing their five point lead at the top of the table. Dianella have not lost in the league since they last met Mandurah in the first half of the season, and a win against the black and whites will keep them in the title race.
Ashfield will take nothing for granted in their game against Canning City. The reds came away with the points in a tough encounter against Shamrock last week, and will need to win to keep the pressure on league leaders Mandurah. Ashfield's horror run of injuries continues, with Jay Lang, Gary Hill, Nick Davies, Ash Corker, Mark Walsh and Matt Warton all out, however Dan Corbett will be back and is available for selection. Coach Paul Dundo expects Canning to be no pushover, "This weeks game will be tough as Canning beat Western Knights comfortably last week, so they will be full of confidence. I am expecting Canning to really test us, so we will need to be top of our game if are to get anything from it". Canning's captain Josh Findlater looks set to miss the game due to injury, while Simon Correia is away in Melbourne for work. However, Simon Elton-Bott and Daniel Trevisiol will be back into the line-up. Coach Paul Oliver was proud of last week's 3-0 win against Western Knights, but knows they will have to play well to win on Saturday. "We are obviously very encouraged by the performance and result last weekend but are more than aware that if we don't show up with the same level of commitment against Ashfield they will punish us. Ashfield are a quality side who still have ambitions of winning the league so we know that we have to be at our best to match it with them. Like last week the pressure is off us and we can go into this with nothing to lose".
Both Western Knights and UWA-Nedlands FC will be hoping to get back in the winners circle when they clash at Nash Field. UWA coach James Rae says that confidence in the playing group is strong, and they are determined to get the three points. "We don't think Western Knights will be easy as they are capable of mixing it with the big boys, but the squad has set some goals and it starts this week. We have had mixed feelings with our results but believe we are playing good football just need to take those opportunities we are missing". Rae went on to say that some in his squad have minor injuries that are likely to miss the game. "We have a few players struggling at present with little niggles and with only five games left we have to manage them well so a few changes look imminent this weekend which we hope will keep the group tight. Overall this weekend will definitely see some good football played from both sides and we believe we are ready to move on."
In other games, Joondalup United will need to take home the points if they are to stay in championship contention against Shamrock Rovers at Forrest Park, while Swan United are at home to South West Phoenix. Morley-Windmills will consider themselves a chance to get their first win of the season in their game away to Gosnells City.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND EIGHTEEN - PREVIEW
The game to watch in the All Flags Division Two this round will be Balga against Rockingham City at Princess Road Reserve. Rockingham continue their slender lead at the top, and can not afford to drop any points. Coach Rob Crerar sees Balga as a strong opponent, "We are well aware this will be a very tough game, we seen first hand how dangerous Balga are when fighting back from 2-0 down to knock us off 3-2 earlier in the season. They are on everyone's radar now as a top four contender and we will need to be at our best to take something from the game". Balga welcome back a host of players who missed last week's 4-0 loss to Joondalup City, they include Kyall Osborne, Andreas Bouzinekis, Adrian Toland, Tahir Kulelija, Vlad Naumovski and Dimce Taneski. However, Gareth Crawley is set to miss the game due to injury.
Wanneroo City travel to Quinns FC, and the Roos will possibly be without Scott Campbell, however Chris Marshall, Tom Balnaves and Daniel Coletta look all set to come back. Wanneroo coach Matt Debarro expects a hard match on the weekend. "It's going to be a tough game, Quinns are no pushovers, especially after a good win at Melville. We played really well to beat them last time. On saying that, a good performance and strong win last week restored a lot if confidence in our team and we are gunning to finish in third spot so hopefully we can get the result and keep moving forward".
In other games, Fremantle City meet Joondalup City at Hilton Reserve, Kingsway Olympic should get the points against an improving Ellenbrook United, while Forrestfield United are expected to win big against bottom side Kelmscott Roos. On Sunday at 5pm, Curtin University are at home to Melville City. Eddie Tikoft and Carlo Chiellinni should both be back in the squad for Curtin, while Kristian Beven's availability will be dependent on a fitness test.
JUKIC EYEING A BIG FINISH (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Andrija Jukic readily concedes Inglewood United have under-achieved this year. But before the final whistle blows on the season he intends to right a few wrongs and get the club to more respectable position on the National Premier Leagues ladder.
Jukic, like his teammates, entered the season with plans to take Inglewood into the top four, however, with three games to play they are placed lowly in eighth. The former Perth Glory player emphasised that the squad is determined to give everything they can in the remaining fixtures to move a few rungs higher.
“We’ve definitely under-achieved,” said Jukic, now in his third season with the club. “The team we have is better than where we sit on the ladder. I have believed in this team from the beginning but we have let ourselves down by making errors in defence and not taking our chances in attack.”
“We go out there every week to play some good football and get the three points. Results haven’t been going our way but nothing changes. We have to finish off the season positively. We have three more opportunities to show what we are capable of when all do our jobs and we work together.”
The first of those opportunities presents on Saturday, when Jukic and his teammates travel to Macedonia Park to play sixth-placed Stirling Lions. Inglewood goes into the game with the unenviable record of winning just once in seven games, but that’s not to say spirits aren’t high within the camp.
“There has not been a game this season that we’ve gone into and not been confident of getting a result from,” said Jukic. “If we minimise our errors and take full advantage of our possession we will definitely come away with the three points. All I’m asking of the boys is we go out there, work hard together and finish this season off winning.”
PERTH COMMUNITY PLAYING FIELDS REACHES IMPORTANT MILESTONE
The Perth Community Playing Fields Project has reached another important milestone with the calling for tenders for the construction of the new synthetic sporting fields at Dorrien Gardens. The Project is a proposal by Perth SC to convert natural turf at its home ground to three new synthetic community playing fields. The three new fields will cater for soccer, touch football, gridiron and several other sports, along with creating a new facility for community groups and local schools to utilise.
Club president Gary Marocchi said the Project will transform Dorrien Gardens into one of the State’s premier community playing fields. “We are very excited to be progressing this project,” Marocchi said. “It will revitalise an under-utilised asset and attract new sports, competitions and other structured physical activities for the community to enjoy, and provide a solution to the lack of inner-city playing and training venues for community sporting teams.”
Perth’s Board of Management has decided to stage the development of the project over two financial years, to ensure it progresses sustainably and with the least disruption to club members and existing programs. Stage One, which commences later this year, includes resurfacing the back pitches at Dorrien Gardens, construction of a carpark, fencing and netting, lighting upgrades and change room additions. Stage Two, which will take place in 2016/17, includes the resurfacing of the main pitch and construction of a second carpark.
The Perth Community Playing Fields Project is being supported by the State Government through the Department of Sport and Recreation who are a major supporter of community sport and recreation facilities in Western Australia. Sport and recreation builds stronger, healthier, happier and safer communities. When we play sport our whole community wins. The City of Vincent is also providing financial support to the project, contributing to the new change rooms and lighting upgrade as part of its 2015/16 Budget.
WORLD CUP HERO FOORD RETURNS TO GLORY WOMEN
Matildas star Caitlin Foord has signed a one-year contract with Perth Glory Women. Foord signs on after her highly impressive showing in the Women’s World Cup, including her highly-praised performance against Brazil. The 20-year-old’s defensive performance against five-time World Women’s Player of the Year Marta received high accolades, as Australia consigned Brazil to a round of sixteen World Cup exit for the first time in 19 years.
Glory Women’s coach Bobby Despotovski was thrilled to have Foord’s services for the summer of 2015/16. “This was an easy decision to make,” Despotovski said. “She is an extremely valuable member of the team and last season, she was exceptional on the wing. She brings the whole lot to the club, she’s played for the national team in the World Cup and brings direction, leadership, and skills that will separate Glory from losing games and winning games this year.”
Foord is excited to re-join the team for another season. “After the amazing season and the time I had with the club last year, it was hard to not want to come back,” says Foord. “It was such a fun group of girls on and off the field. I haven’t met Bobby Despotovski yet, but I’m looking forward to working with someone new and learning new things. I’m really looking forward to trying to go one step further than we did last year, and that would be winning the championship.”
MARINKOVIC THE DIFFERENCE AS GLORY EDGE STATE
Nebojsa Marinkovic scored the only goal of the game as West Australia lost 1-0 to Perth Glory in the Call to Arms Cup at Dorrien Gardens tonight. Glory goalkeeper Nick Feely saved Clark Keltie’s penalty before Teeboy Kamara rattled the crossbar as the State sought a second half equaliser. The annual fixture, played between a selection of National Premier Leagues players and Glory as part of their pre-season preparations, is contested in aid of the Cancer Council of WA.
State Cris Ola felt his players provided a good test for Glory and he hoped there would be more opportunities to put together a representative team. “We matched them reasonably well in the first half and I was happy to control the game and create a number of chances in the second half,” he said. “There is plenty of quality out there. All the players did well to step up to that level and they’re happy to represent the State if there is any other opportunities.”
Glory came close to taking the lead in the early stages as Dino Djulbic headed over a corner, before Marc Warren’s cross nearly caught out James Morgan, who kept the ball out. The State’s first moment came in the 10th minute when Ludovic Boi’s dangerous cross narrowly evaded David Heagney and Gustavo Giron Marulanda. The latter then let fly from distance with a powerful effort which was gathered by Feely at the second attempt.
It was the A-League side that took the lead on 27 minutes, though, as Marinkovic intercepted Trent Kay’s wayward pass and slid the ball past the goalkeeper. Glory could have led 2-0 heading into half-time as Sidnei Sciola poked over from close-range before Morgan did well to block young substitute Stefan Valentini’s header. Wholesale changes were made by the Glory at the break, with nine of the club’s youth team taking to the field.
Marulanda came close again at the start of the second half as his free-kick deflected just wide of the target. The State should have drawn level on 68 minutes when substitute James Sammut was fouled in the area, but Feely saved well to his right to deny Keltie from the spot. Keltie headed over from 5-metres after meeting Mark Pritchard’s cross, and with five minutes to go Kamara found the woodwork.
Perth Glory: Nick Feely, Marc Warren (Nathan Costello 46), Antony Golec (Gian Albano 46), Dino Djulbic (Ali Gholami 46), Michael Thwaite (Mitchell Oxborrow 46), Gyorgy Sandor (Hagi Gligor 46), Nebojsa Marinkovic (Calvin Whitney 46), Richard Garcia (Slobodan Vulin 46), Diogo Ferreira (Jacob Collard 34 (Ross Millard 65)), Chris Harold (Nick Talimdzioski 46), Sidnei Sciola (Stefan Valentini 34 (Dejan Spasevski 72))
West Australia: James Morgan (Francis Soale 46), Devon Gibson (James Sammut 65), Trent Kay, Sam Mitchinson, Clark Keltie, Ludovic Boi (Teeboy Kamara 65), Gustavo Marulanda (Rory Patterson 65), David Micevski (Reece Vittiglia 46), David Heagney (Bor Bor Sam 46), Aryn Williams, Dean Evans (Mark Pritchard 65)
Bookings: Soale (58)
STATE PRIDE DRIVES MATILDA KERR FOR MORE GLORY
West Australian star Samantha Kerr has committed to a new one-year contract with Perth Glory Women. Kerr, who signs on after representing Australia at the Women’s World Cup in June, is looking forward to representing her home city in the upcoming W-League season. “I really enjoyed last season as it was a great season, but mostly I just love being able to play at home and play for the city where I grew up.” says Kerr. “It’s just different playing for your home state and I like that.”
Kerr’s decision to re-sign for the club comes on the back of an incredible Women’s World Cup, and the 22-year old is determined to maintain that level of achievement. “The next goal personally for me is just to have a good season with Glory, to stay fit and healthy,” Kerr said. “Hopefully in the long run, we can win the premiership as a team and have the Matildas qualify for the Olympics.”
Coach Bobby Despotovski was full of praise for Kerr and the important role she plays in inspiring the next generation of young female footballers. “Sam is a local girl, and we all know the Kerr family and their prominence in sporting circles,” said Despotovski. “Every aspiring, young, female West Australian footballer is looking up to Sam as a hero. She brings speed, skill and leadership to the Perth Glory squad. She’s a current Matilda, she’s played in the World Cup and she’s enjoying life. She is the ultimate role model.”
Kerr’s pace, technical ability and experience will no doubt prove a valuable asset in Glory Women’s attempt to claim the 2015/16 W-League crown. A championship winner with Sydney FC (2012/13) and Western New York Flash (2013), she’s played 56 W-League games through spells with Glory Women and Sydney, and 44 times for Western New York Flash and Sky Blue in the United States. Additionally, Kerr has made 42 appearances for Australia since debuting at the age of 16 in 2008.
EVANS TO WEAR NO.38 IN HONOUR OF TOMBIDES
Dean Evans will never forget his mate, Dylan Tombides, who died last year after a battle against cancer. But the Perth SC midfielder wants more than that, he wants everyone who was touched by the story of the West Ham United starlet and former Australian youth international to remember too. Evans, whose family has close ties with the Tombides’, will wear the No.38 shirt for the State team in tonight’s Call To Arms Cup match against Perth Glory as a poignant reminder of a talent lost.
Tombides wore the No.38 shirt at West Ham before he passed away at just 20 years of age when the Hammers retired the number in his honour. “It’s really a blessing and a great honour for me to be able to wear the No.38 for the State team,” Evans said. “I know there are other players at different clubs, who knew Dylan very well, who are wearing the number for the same reason. It’s important that people remember Dylan and I want to do everything I can do to make sure people don’t forget him and what he went through.”
BANTAMS EYEING FIRST VICTORY AS JONES MAKES HIS ARRIVAL
Phil Parkinson has revealed how Bradford City had to be patient in their attempts to sign goalkeeper Brad Jones. The former Liverpool and Middlesbrough player has signed a one-year deal at Valley Parade and goes straight into the squad to face Gillingham. "We are very pleased to get this signing done,” said Parkinson. "Sometimes, patience pays off and it has in this case."
"Of all the goalkeepers that have been out there this summer, we have got one of the very best. It is a big thing for us. I spoke to Brad’s agent early in the summer. We had a chat and I sounded him out. It was clear we’d have to be patient, which we have been. Then, over the last few days, we had another chat and we got a deal agreed."
Jones spent nine years at Boro after moving to England in 2001 before moving to Anfield in a £2.3million move. Most of his time with the Reds was spent as back-up but Jones did make 25 appearances and was last season brought in for Simon Mignolet after the latter had lost form. "Brad is a good age for a goalkeeper and he is also very ambitious, which fits in with the club," commented Parkinson.
SOCCEROO STARS CALLED UP FOR PERTH
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has welcomed back Asian Cup heroes Robbie Kruse and Massimo Luongo as well as attacking midfielder Tom Rogic for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Bangladesh and Tajikistan. All three strike weapons make a return to the Socceroos from injury and add significant weight to Postecoglou’s squad for the games with Bangladesh in Perth (3 September) and Tajikistan in Dushanbe (8 September).
Postecoglou has also drafted Aaron Mooy, Adam Federici, Jackson Irvine, Ryan McGowan and uncapped goalkeeper Alex Cisak into the Socceroo squad, which will return to Perth for the first time since 2005. They replace Oliver Bozanic, Chris Ikonimidis, Daniel de Silva, Ivan Franjic, Eugene Galekovic, Mitch Langerak, Tomislav Mrcela and James Troisi. “The players we have brought into the squad have all started their respective seasons with some good performances and will get an opportunity to impress while they are in good form and fitness,” Postecoglou said.
Australia’s squad to play Bangladesh and Tajikistan is Tarek Elrich (Adelaide United), Mark Milligan (Baniyas), Robbie Kruse (TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Adam Federici (Bournemouth), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), Aziz Behich (Bursaspor),Tom Rogic (Celtic), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Ryan McGowan (Dundee United), Matthew Spiranovic (Hangzhou Greentown), Jason Davidson (Huddersfield Town), Mathew Leckie (FC Ingolstadt 04), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Alex Cisak (Leyton Orient), Aaron Mooy (Melbourne City), Bailey Wright (Preston North End), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers), Tomi Juric (Roda JC), Jackson Irvine (Ross County), Tim Cahill (Shanghai Greenland Shenhua), Nathan Burns (FC Tokyo), Mat Ryan (Valencia) and unattached striker Tommy Oar.
CHARLTON SNAP UP MAYNARD-BREWER
West Australian teenager Ashley Maynard-Brewer has been snapped up by English Championship side Charlton Athletic. Maynard-Brewer, 16, came through the ranks of ECU Joondalup, playing regularly for the club’s Under-20s this year, joins the Addicks academy on a two-year deal. He is one of a number of Joondalup juniors now plying their trade in England, that list including Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough), Ryan Williams (Barnsley), Shane Lowry (Leyton Orient), Jordan Lyden (Asston Villa), Adam Taggart (Fulham) and uncontract Chris Herd.
KELTIE NAMED STATE CAPTAIN
Perth SC’s Clark Keltie has been appointed captain of the State team for tomorrow night’s Call To Arms Cup clash with Perth Glory at Dorrien Gardens. It is the third successive year Keltie has lead western Australia into battle against Glory. “You’ve always got to push to play at the highest level you can and to be named captain three years in a row is a privilege for me,” said Keltie. “Perth Glory are in full-time football and they’ve got some good technical players. But every game you play you want to win, otherwise there’s no point being out there.”
State coach Cris Ola said Keltie had shown great leadership qualities at club level and for the State. “Clark has a great attitude on and off the field and shows commitment to all aspects of training and playing,” Ola said. “Of course, me, assistant coach Gareth Naven and goalkeeper coach Jason Petkovic have been pleased with the attitude and commitment of all players in the squad, who are looking forward to testing themselves against Glory. We would have liked more time to work with the players but I’m grateful they have made themselves available in recent weeks to prepare for the Call To Arms Cup.”
TAGGART STICKING WITH FULHAM
Socceroos striker Adam Taggart says he’s not currently entertaining a move away from Fulham despite reported interest from other clubs. A-League clubs as well as Dutch side Roda JC have allegedly made enquiries about the 22-year old in recent weeks. After a promising pre-season where he scored against Hertha Berlin and set up another against Aston Villa, Taggart is pressing for a Fulham competitive debut.
However, a minor hamstring niggle forced Taggart out of Fulham’s opening two games of the Championship. Now fully fit, the former ECU Joondalup junior is thinking only about breaking through at Fulham amid the transfer speculation. “There’s always going to be a bit of talk here and there - for me, all my focus is on Fulham,” Taggart said. “The circumstances haven’t changed, if anything they’ve got better after this pre-season. Now I’m back fit, I’m ready to roll again.”
Taggart’s pre-season form in Portugal and Austria, where Fulham faced the likes of Hertha, Villa and Eintracht Frankfurt, allowed him to push his case for inclusion in manager Kit Symons’ side. “Playing competitive games again against top opposition was nice to experience,” Taggart said. “It felt like it’d been a long time, but in those games it all came back pretty quickly. It was nothing but positive to be able to play in those games and get into the groove of playing quality opposition.”
Fulham are ambitious about winning promotion to the Premier League, after ending last season well down the Championship table. “Last year collectively we didn’t achieve anywhere near what we were hoping to,” Taggart said. “Everyone is starting at a clean slate this season, everyone has had to fight for their position and that was exactly what I wanted to hear. I just hope I get given a fair chance against everybody else.”
JONES JOINS BRADFORD CITY
Socceroos goalkeeper Brad Jones has joined Bradford City. The 33-year old, capped four times by Australia, has signed a one-year deal with 2012/13 League Cup runners-up Bradford, where he will join fellow Australian James Meredith. He'll be the fourth West Australian `keeper to wear Bradford’s number one shirt, after Andy Petterson, Robbie Zabica and Clint Davies, and the seventh Australian in total. Jones, who is available for the League One club's match at home to Gillingham on Tuesday, will compete with 32-year old Englishman Ben Williams for the position between the posts.
WORLD CUP ALL-STARS HONOUR FOR DE VANNA
Matildas veteran Lisa De Vanna has been named in the Women's World Cup All-Star squad alongside teammate Elise Kellond-Knight. De Vanna and Kellond-Knight were standouts as Australia produced their best ever performance at a World Cup, earning a maiden quarter-final berth in Canada. The squad, announced on Monday, is made up of 23 players who impressed FIFAs Technical Study Group experts during the June tournament.
RODA COACH EXCITED BY AUSSIE TRIO
Roda JC coach Darije Kalezic could not be happier about having three Australians at his disposal after signing of Daniel De Silva, Tomi Juric and Rostyn Griffiths. Kalezic will lean heavily on the goal power and presence of Juric, the grit of Griffiths and the technical adroitness of De Silva as he crafts a team which he believes can finish in the top ten of the Eredivisie.
Former Perth Glory midfielder Griffiths, 27, has started the first two games of the season and Kalezic is keen to utilise his experience in the heart of what is a young team. “I was looking for a defensive midfielder with good experience because my team is very young and most of them have not played at this level before,” Kalezic said. “He has leadership qualities and we have seen that already.”
He has a strong presence, which we need because Dutch players often lack that physicality. I like his mentality and his work rate, he is smart and intelligent and his technical skills are good enough for the level of Roda JC. He also needs time to adapt to a new competition which is very technical where attractive football and skill are very important.”
Emerging playmaker De Silva, 18, has arrived on loan from AS Roma, who he joined on a five-year contract from Glory. “We are glad to have the opportunity to sign the biggest young talent of Australia,” he said. “We believe he can fulfil his potential here and his style of game and technical skill and that is very good for the Dutch competition.”
“Like the others, he will need time also because he has never played at this level before. We want to give him every possibility to reach the next step and I am looking forward to working with him and giving him a chance in the first team. But of course, in the beginning it will be good for him to play some games for the second team while training with the first.”
Kalezic believes Juric has arrived at the right club at the right time in his career. “He had a great season last year with Western Sydney and is also an AFC Champions League winner,” Kalezic said. “He has developed himself in the last two or three years to a level where he can make a difference in this competition. In this period of his career, this club and this league is a good choice for him, and also for us.”
HAMSTRUNG SAINSBURY IN DOUBT
Trent Sainsbury’s bid to reclaim his starting spot for Australia is on ice, with the defender battling to overcome a hamstring injury. It appears the Netherlands-based defender will be ruled out of next month's World Cup qualifiers against Bangladesh and Tajikistan. Sainsbury, an imposing and impressive ever-present in the Socceroos' run to glory at January’s Asian Cup, was aiming to be back in the frame for Australia’s upcoming games.
Sainsbury missed June’s opening qualifier against Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek with injury, and the same hamstring problem has flared again, this time in his other leg. As a result, the 23-year old is at long odds to prove his fitness for his club PEC Zwolle over the next two rounds of the Eredivisie, let alone for his country. “My left hamstring is fine now but there’s been a problem with the other one,” Sainsbury said. “I’m not too focused on that (Socceroos selection) right now.”
“I am working on getting a few games for my club first and we’ll see what happens after that. At the end of the day, it’s not the worst thing in the world to miss these games, although of course it’s not ideal. I wish the boys all the best and hopefully they will take maximum points. Obviously if I am not in the squad I would be devastated but I also have to get myself right for the games after that.”
Sainsbury, who joined from the Central Coast Mariners in January last year, is entering the final year of his contract. And he knows an impressive season is paramount if he’s to take the next step in his career. “I need to have a good year and to put in a big shift, if I do that hopefully I will be in a position to move on to bigger and better things,” he said. “I would like to progress my career at a bigger club in a bigger league. But I am not making any assumptions. I need to start playing some games first.”
“I’d love to have a crack at the (English) Premier League, but at the same time I have to ready mentally and physically and have a full season in Holland first and see where that can take me. I am open to anything really. Holland has made me a better player overall and for Australia Ange Postecoglou has put the pressure on, which makes you perform. He has a presence about him which makes you want to give our all for your country.”
Zwolle surprised everyone last season, beating Ajax in both the KNVB Cup and Dutch Supercup, but this season is looking decidedly tougher. “Everybody has written us off a little bit at the moment and are expecting us to finish 12th or 13th,” he said. “We are a very young and inexperienced squad, but are only going to get better as the season goes on. We lost several players who were the spine of the team but we are happy with the players who have been brought in.”
MRCELA DIGGING DEEP TO STAY IN SOCCEROOS FRAME
Uncapped defender Tomislav Mrcela vowed to add a new level of intensity to his game, as he chases a call-up for Australia's World Cup qualifiers against Bangladesh and Tajikistan. Croatia-based Mrcela left Australia for the land of his ancestry at the age of six, and has yet to represent the green and gold at any level. He was taken aback by the fervour and ferocity of life under Ange Postecoglou during his maiden camp, before the 2-1 qualifying win over Kyrgyzstan, in June.
Now Mrcela wants to take his game to a higher plain, as Postecoglou plans to unveil his squad next week for the matches at Perth Oval 3 September, and in Tajikistan five days later. "I am training hard. I got back to Croatia with a lot of information on the things I have to improve on in my game from my first call up," Mrcela said. "I am working on my conditioning, my body and the intensity I train at and play at to make it a higher level than you see in Croatia, which means I am working that bit harder than players do here."
Mrcela, 24, plays his club football for NK Lokomotiva Zagreb. He signed a four-year deal there after his previous club, Krvatski Dragovolijac was relegated from the Croatian top division. His performances were good enough to earn the move which kept him in the top division, and ultimately impressed Ange Postecoglou enough to integrate him into the Socceroos set up. "It was a big experience for me," he said. "I hope it's not the last time for me. I want to be involved every time."
Perth-born but Croatia raised, Mrcela has played for six clubs and is looking to take the next step in his career, eyeing a move in the final weeks of the transfer window. He made 20 appearances last season for NK Lokomotiva Zagreb, but this is a man in a hurry. "There's a possibility I could move, even though I am focused very much on my club. We will see what happens," Mrcela said. "There may be some chance of going to Turkey but nothing is concrete yet. That would interest me for sure."
BAYSWATER MAKE IT THREE TITLES IN A ROW (with Alasdair Beer, nplwa.com.au)
Bayswater City was crowned state champions for the third successive season after overwhelming Perth Glory 4-1 at Frank Drago Reserve. Perth’s 5-2 victory over Floreat Athena gave Chris Coyne’s undefeated side a decisive 11 point lead at the summit with three games remaining and a deserved 2015 title. “They’re hungry, they’re driven, the way the boys have worked since January has been fantastic,” Coyne said of his players. “The determination (and) the effort every single Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday is second to none, and you add a bit of quality to a good work ethic and a good group of boys and you get results. “I’m proud of the boys and everyone at the club.”
Bayswater’s celebrations began in earnest at the final whistle as the champions donned commemorative t-shirts and sung the club song in the centre of the pitch. Despite the scoreline, victory didn’t come easily for Coyne’s men. The hosts took time to break down a plucky Glory, but went ahead in the 37th minute after some good work from Gustavo Giron Marulanda, who crossed from the left for David Heagney to finish via the underside of the bar. However, the visitors had an immediate riposte a minute later, as Nikola Talimdzioski got down the left flank before finding Michael McDougall unmarked at the top of the box to hit a low finish past Devon Spence.
The hosts took time to find their rhythm in the second half and lost Heagney to injury after a robust Calvin Whitney challenge in the 66th minute. Todd Howarth took the resultant free kick just inside Bayswater’s half, and in a scramble following his long ball into the area, Maralunda was able to head across goal for defender Adam Tong to nod in. Fittingly, it was the competition’s leading scorer Maralunda who assured Bayswater victory in the 74th minute, finishing Sam Mitchinson’s good work on the wing with a cool finish from the middle of the area. The Colombian striker doubled his tally ten minutes later, finishing Todd Howarth’s through-ball with a low strike into the bottom left corner. He could have completed his hat trick after being awarded a penalty a minute from time, but his attempt to chip Jordan Franken went high.
Glory coach John Gibson said the result was part of his side’s learning curve. “Our ethos for the whole year has been to be seriously competitive – we’ve done that for 67 minutes today,” he said. “We had a bit of a fade-out, but we don’t look for excuses and today was a good challenge against a very, very good side.
Coyne said Bayswater’s focus would remain on finishing the season undefeated and continuing to build on their winning form. “There’s no way I’ll be letting the boys have a jolly up in the next two or three weeks – we owe it to ourselves and to the integrity of the game to go and win,” he said. “I think we’ve already got four or five more points than we did last year, so let’s go for the whole lot.”
PERTH END ATHENA'S TITLE HOPES (by Tommy Doleman, nplwa.com.au)
Five second half goals for Perth boosted their chances of a top two finish in an entertaining 5-2 win over Floreat Athena at Dorrien Gardens. The visitors, who had only lost twice this season prior to this clash, took a deserved lead into the break as Lewis McMahon nodded home on the half hour. But Perth found an extra gear after the break, and despite trailing for a second time after Steve Burton’s goal, Mark Pritchard and Frank Furfaro put them in a commanding position.
Dean Evans scored a fifth late on as Perth coach Taki Nicolaidis reflected on a more fluid performance after halftime. “We worked harder in the second half, got the ball to feet and got the runners going forward,” he said. “We were a bit wasteful in the midfield third going forward and tried to force things too much. “But our shape was good, we fine-tuned a few things with pushing Mark (Pritchard) forward and getting Reece (Vittiglia) in behind more.”
Nicolaidis also emphasised the importance of keeping Perth’s season alive with a top two finish and a cup final still in sight. “Had we lost today it (the league) would have been all over, but now three points behind and three games to go, we’ve got to win to keep the pressure on Floreat,” he said. “We’ve still got a cup final to play at the end of the season and every player who comes to Perth wants to win trophies."
Perth’s best moment of the first half came on the quarter-hour mark as Clark Keltie’s drive tested Fraser Greenwood after an initial set piece from Evans hit the wall. But Athena settled better and should have led when Ludo Boi found McMahon, only for the former Sheffield Wednesday forward to shoot wide. He would not be denied a second time, though, as Francis Soale’s punch went straight up in the air and landed on McMahon’s head for a 1-0 lead at the break. Both keepers were busy at the start of the second half as Soale made amends by tipping over Bobby Wilson’s header before Greenwood palmed Vittiglia’s volley away.
Perth’s leveler arrived nine minutes into the second half when Andreas Theodosiades capitalised on a fumble from Greenwood to tap in and start a run of five goals in 16 minutes. Burton poked past Soale two minutes later to restore Floreat’s lead, but the hosts equalised for a second time when Pritchard raced clear to slot past an onrushing Greenwood. Momentum swung back to the hosts, who led when Furfaro cut in from the left and fired a pile-driver into the far corner, before Pritchard scored his second after good initial work from the former down the right. Josh Wilkins then fed Evans with five minutes remaining to cap off a fine second half performance from Perth with a tidy finish.
PATTERSON GETS A LATER WINNER FOR COCKBURN (by Josh Chiat, nplwa.com.au)
Rory Patterson's injury time winner handed Cockburn a thrilling 3-2 victory over Subiaco at Dalmatinac Park in the PS4 National Premier Leagues WA. Locked at 2-2 with neither side looking likely, Cockburn winger Devon Gibson collected the ball deep in the Subiaco box and cut it back for Patterson, who squeezed it in at the far post to send the home fans into raptures. Cockburn's top scorer Patterson sat out last week's demoralising 7-1 loss to Balcatta with injury, but scored a brace on his return to the team to help them taste victory again. “Being a winner it was really important,” Patterson said of his late strike. “We played nowhere near where we can play, but the main thing is the points in the bag, especially after last week's embarrassing result.”
Patterson's goal had added meaning for the Northern Irish International, getting to celebrate for his daughter who was attending from the UK. “My little girl's over from England. She was there dancing. She told me I had to do a little dance [when I scored],” he said. It was the climax of a game with many twists. Subiaco started the better of the two sides and went ahead after only eight minutes, when Cockburn's goalkeeper Jack Adams dropped a high ball at the feet of Ian McMurray, who tapped into the unguarded net.
Subiaco continued to press but conceded an equaliser against the run of play. A marauding Jonathan Corness caught the visitors on the break and while Patterson's resulting effort was well saved by stopper Ryan Montgomery, Harry O'Brien was on hand to smash home the rebound. Subiaco continued to be the dominant team and could have gone ahead again through McMurray, but his header not been ruled out for a alleged push on his marker. This left the door open for Cockburn, who took a 2-1 lead on the stroke of half-time, when Patterson capitalised on Devon Gibson's cross to send a deflected strike into the net.
Subiaco started strong again after half time and deservedly equalised with half an hour to play. Cockburn failed to clear a corner and winger Matthew Akehurst drove to the byline, crossing to the back post for Owen Coates to score past Adams. Both teams had chances to score in the final 30 minutes as the game looked set to end as a draw, before Patterson's winner took the game away from a spirited Subiaco side.
SORRENTO TOO GOOD FOR BALCATTA (by Colin Outhwaite, nplwa.com.au)
Balcatta were beaten 4-1 by ten-man Sorrento to lose all hopes of a top four finish in the PS4 National Premier Leagues WA in 2015. Todd Harnwell scored either side of James Sammut’s equaliser before Sean Canham and Jack Salter put the game out of Balcatta’s grasp. Balcatta dropped to seventh place with the loss that saw them miss a penalty and fail to capitalise on the numerical advantage.
“We didn’t take our chances and when you do that you can’t expect to win points,” said Balcatta coach Ramon Falzon. “We knew Sorrento had a lot of aerial quality, but we still gave away silly free-kicks and failed to close them down outside the box.” Sorrento started the game strongly with Harnwell finishing Canham’s header from a free kick in the 10th minute. But Balcatta piled on the pressure and levelled when Steve Sokol gathered a wayward pass, skipped past keeper James Morgan and handed Sammut an open goal to score on 25 minutes Canham and Harnwell combined again on 54 minutes as the latter tapped in his second from Jack Eade free kick.
Captain Daryl Platten set up Sorrento’s third goal 13 minutes later with a deep cross into the box, which the towering Canham converted with a leaping header. Five minutes later Balcatta had a chance to get back into the game, when Danny Cain was sent off for bringing down substitute Gustavo Catarcione in the box, but Stallard hit the post with the resulting penalty. Salter then sealed the win in the 86th minute, following a clash involving himself, keeper Clint Davies and defender Hanafi Ghezali, which resulted in the ball rolling over the goal line.
Jamie Harnwell said he was pleased to get the win, given that his side hasn’t had a lot of joy at Grindleford Reserve, with one win in their last six meetings there. “I thought we deserved it but we made it hard for ourselves,” Harnwell said. “We gave them a goal and a penalty and for a while tried doing things that were too difficult for us rather than keeping it simple and moving the ball around. “But once we got back to basics we started scoring from it.”
Balcatta have dropped off Sorrento’s tail but Harnwell knows it’s still mathematically possible for them to lose fourth spot. “Winning games is a good habit to get into wherever you are in the league. “We had a good run at the start of the season so we want to get back into that before the end.”
LIONS TAKE THE POINTS IN NINE GOAL THRILLER (by Aisling Lawless, nplwa.com.au)
Stirling Lions ended their four game winless run in the PS4 National Premier Leagues WA with a 5-4 win at ECU Joondalup. It was raining goals as Bayley Montgomery, Alen Patarov, Billy Quinncroft and Tommy Amphlett all scored in the first half. After the restart Shane Malcolm scored two goals in three minutes before Keylon Pollard pulled one back for ECU. But Nathan Bowden-Hasse sealed the win for Stirling in the 86th minute before Ollie Annis’ consolation goal in added time.
Stirling captain Miki Vujacic said it was the first time his side were able to sing their team song in a while, joking that they had almost forgotten the words. But with their sights firmly set on ending the season in fifth position he said they need to improve on their consistency in defence. “It’s been a problem of ours all season where we do so well going forward and then get sloppy in defence and make a few silly mistakes,” he said. “Luckily it didn’t cost us the game today.”
It was the ideal start for ECU when Montgomery beat two defenders on the left wing and rolled the ball into the net 13 minutes in. But seven minutes later Patarov coolly took a shot from the middle of the box, before Quinncroft headed in Vujacic’s cross in the 41st minute to give the visitors the lead. A minute later Amphlett equalised with a stunner of a goal, curling the ball into the top left corner of the net from distance. The heat had prompted the early replacement of an assistant referee, resulting in a late end to the first half.
Vujacic said no one was really prepared for the unseasonable hot day. “A few of our English boys aren’t really used to it and it did take a toll, especially towards the end where it was a bit like walking pace,” he said. ECU switched off after the restart and Malcolm took advantage, netting twice in three minutes, assisted by Steve Purton’s stellar run up the field. Pollard then prompted an own goal with his first touch for the first team, his shot knocking off a defender and into the net.
To the dismay of the home crowd, Jon Higgins had his free kick bounce off the underside of the crossbar, before Bowden-Hasse’s powerful header from a corner put game out of reach in the 86th minute. Annis scored a fantastic goal from outside the box five minutes later, but it proved too little too late. McCulloch said they’ve got to keep working harder on their defensive qualities. “When you score four goals you expect to win a game of soccer and we gave them too many easy goals while having to work hard for ours,” he said. “I thought if you look at the play overall, we were probably the better side with the consistency. “But it just kills us when we have an off ten minutes and we concede too many goals in a cluster.”
ARMADALE WIN ON THE ROAD (by Kelechi Osunwa, nplwa.com.au)
Armadale ran out 3-1 winners over Inglewood United in their PS4 National Premier Leagues WA fixture at Inglewood Stadium. The visitors had the better of an end-to-end first half and took the lead when Jackson Bealey curled a delightful free kick around the wall. Inglewood hit back through a solo-effort from Kenny Keogh, as the striker latched onto a long ball and deftly flicked past a defender before slotting past Luke Radonich. But Armadale limited Inglewood from there with Jesse Fuller latching onto a long throw for the lead before Darren Kingston sealed the game with practically the last kick of the game.
Armadale coach Paul Price was pleased with the performance of his depleted side. “I’m delighted for them,” he said. “We were poor last week against ECU. We didn’t play well and I told the players to forget about the result and move onto this week. “I made five positional changes and the players have put in a complete performance.”
Bealey’s early free kick gave Armadale a great platform to build upon and the midfield combination of Darren Francis, Fuller and Bealey were compact and nullified Inglewood. A frustrated Inglewood was limited to long balls and Keogh displayed a moment of individual brilliance to equalise and open the game up. Both sides created half chances before the break, but the best opportunity fell to Armadale wide man Faustino Machochi, when he latched onto a loose ball in the Inglewood penalty area and fired straight at the onrushing Aleks Vrteski. But the Armadale faithful did not have to wait long to reclaim the lead as Fuller caught the Inglewood defence napping with a powerful header from a long throw.
Inglewood pushed forward but could not get past the Armadale defence with Alexander Castiello putting in a stand out performance, while the pace Machochi and Sam Cole caused problems on the counter. As Inglewood pushed forward deep into stoppage time, Machochi intercepted an errant pass before finding Fuller, who had the presence of mind to set up Kingston to seal the win.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SEVENTEEN - REVIEW
Ashfield kept the pressure on Division One league leaders Mandurah City, with a 3-2 win against Shamrock Rovers in the local derby at Grimrey Reserve in Lockridge. Alex Stamatiadis put the reds in front after 21 minutes, with Liam Merigan doubling the margin just before half-time. Steve O’Leary then got a goal back for the hoops and put them back into the game early in the second half. Both sides then had a number of chances, before Lucas Whiteside's volley made sure of an Ashfield win in the 89th minute. Leigh Doherty hit back for Shamrock in injury time, but it was far too late for any comeback.
In other games, Mandurah City continued their dominance in Division one, with a 4-0 win over UWA-Nedlands FC. Andy Brown, Ged Burke, Craig Tone and John Brooks were all on the score sheet. Joondalup United kept Morley-Windmills winless this season in their 2-0 victory at Wotton Reserve, while Canning City had a strong 3-0 win over Western Knights. Gosnells City drifted further away from the relegation zone in their 1-1 draw against South West Phoenix and Dianella White Eagles got the points at home after beating Swan United 2-0.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SEVENTEEN - REVIEW
Joondalup City ended Balga's undefeated streak of six games on Saturday in their win at the Iluka Sports Complex. Joondalup opened the scoring in the first 15 minutes and doubled their advantage midway through the half. Balga had a claim for a penalty, when Jonathan McGahern was racing towards goal before being tackled in the box. It was all Joondalup in the second half, who deservedly came away 4-0 winners. In other games, Rockingham City stayed on top of the league with a 3-0 win against Curtin University, while Forrestfield United won 5-3 at home in an eight goal thriller against Kingsway Olympic. There was a similar score line at Len Shearer Reserve, however this time it was the home side Melville City who lost 5-3 to Quinns FC. Ellenbrook United could not make it two wins in a row, after they lost at home against Fremantle City, who moved back into third place.
Wanneroo City made hard work in the first half of their game against bottom side Kelmscott Roos. Wanneroo were kept scoreless until just before half time, when Scott Campbell gave them a 1-0 lead. Wanneroo's pressure in the second half was then rewarded, after Matt Hatton and John Monterosso made it 3-0 to the reds. Kelmscott pulled one back midway through the half, before John Monterosso scored two more goals to complete his hat-trick and won the game 5-1.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND NINETEEN – PREVIEW (courtesy thewest.com.au)
The odds might be stacked against them but Floreat Athena remain focused on the slim prospect of overhauling Bayswater City in the PS4 NPL-WA title chase. Goals have been flying in for second-placed Athena, who trail Bayswater by eight points with four matches to play, and coach Glen Grostate says his side will continue to attack when they take on Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday. Defeat to Perth, coupled with a Bayswater victory against Perth Glory’s youth team, will wrap up top spot for City. But a Floreat win against Perth would set up a showdown against Bayswater on August 23 at Litis Stadium. “If we are going to go down, we’re going down swinging,” Grostate said. “The boys understand that you never give up. When it’s not possible we’ll say ‘we’re done’. “But at the moment there’s no reason why we can’t have a good game against Perth and then take on Bayswater the following week. We’re pretty confident that can be a massive game for us. “We’ve just got to keep winning and what will be, will be.”
Although Ludo Boi (13 goals) and Lewis McMahon (12) have led the way in the goal-scoring stakes, Grostate said his side’s success was due to an all-round contribution. “If you look at the stats you might think it’s the Lewis and Ludo show but goals are coming from everywhere for us,” he said. “We might concede goals because of the style of football we play. It just means the opposition have to score more than two to beat us.”
Perth coach Taki Nicolaidis says catching Floreat and claiming second place was his side’s focus for the remainder of the season. A win would leave Perth within three points of Floreat with three matches left. “They’ve got a tough run home,” Nicolaidis said of Floreat. “On paper, we have an easier one, but that doesn’t mean the three points will be given to you.”
Athena, who are on a seven-game winning streak, are the league’s top scorerse with 54 goals and will go into the game having scored 10 goals in the past two weeks. Nicolaidis said his side would adapt to try to thwart a Floreat attack featuring noted goal scorers like Boi, McMahon and Steve Burton. “We don’t go out there and play the same style and system every week – we need to adapt to our opponents every week,” he said. Nicolaidis said the prolonged absence of key players Reece Vittigilia, Ash Rosindale and Andreas Theodosiades had affected his side.
In other games, Cockburn City will be hoping to bounce back when they meet Subiaco AFC at Dalmatinac Park, ECU Joondalup are looking for two wins in a row in their home fixture to Stirling Lions. Balcatta will need to be at their best against Sorrento at Grindleford Reserve, while Inglewood United are home against Armadale. Bayswater City will be one step closer to the championship if they beat Perth Glory at Frank Drago Reserve.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SEVENTEEN - PREVIEW
The pick of round seventeen in the All Flags Division One is Shamrock Rovers home fixture against Ashfield. Ashfield are coming off a big win against Morley-Windmills last week, and will need the three points on Saturday to keep in touch with league leaders Mandurah City. Matt Wardle is suspended, however Brian Patterson should come back into the squad.
Canning City face a tough home fixture against the Western Knights. Canning are likely to miss Charlie Parry (knee), Daniel Paredes (ankle), and Simon Elton-Bott (calf) while Daniel Trevisiol is unavailable. Coming into the squad will be Peter Cartright who has played the last two weeks in the reserves after missing seven weeks due to a broken arm and Laurence Cheyne who was away last week. Coach Paul Oliver admits that no many will be giving his side a chance, but that could benefit his team, "That could work in our favour. We know when we play football well we are a good side and we just have to go in positive from the start and know that we are capable of taking something from the game", he said.
In other games, Dianella White Eagles are at home against relegation threatened Swan United, Gosnells City take the long journey to Bunbury to take on South West Phoenix, UWA-Nedlands FC hope for an upset against championship chasing Mandurah City, while at Wotton Reserve, bottom side Morley-Windmills will be looking for an upset against Joondalup United.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SEVENTEEN - PREVIEW
The All Flags Division Two "Match of the Round" is at Hartfield Park, where Forrestfield United will take on the in form Kingsway Olympic. Forrestfield need to keep the pressure on top of the table Rockingham City, but Olympic's big win last week against Wanneroo City will mean it wont be an easy for the southern suburbs outfit. Olympic coach Tom Kilkelly said, "Forrestfield are desperate for the three points, they looked a very good side when we last met, full credit to the coaching staff led by Rod Banjac, they have good players all over the park, that could be our down fall". However Kilkelly has confidence in his side. "In saying that that we have put a few good results together over the last few weeks and in this league it's all on the day and who's available".
Third placed Balga will travel to Iluka Sports Complex when they take on Joondalup City. Last time out, the black and green's lost 5-3 after leading 3-0 at half-time and will be hoping for a better outcome this time. Balga welcome the return of Lyon Varney, however Adrian Toland will be suspended. Keeper Olli Rigler said, "We're looking forward to game after showing great professionalism against Curtin to see the game out. We're growing as a unit and look forward to each game. We're confident we can take the points. Under no pressure now and with all eyes watching the top two we're enjoying our football more then ever". Joondalup City have Danny Welsh out injured, but captain Mark Thornton should be back in the squad. Defender Bobby Irving said, "It will be a tough ask against an inform Balga. Coming off a poor result and performance last week, we'll be looking for a much better performance from everyone. Obviously looking to tighten up defensively and take our chances in front of goal. If we're switched on, and work hard, we should take all three points.".
In other games, Ellenbrook United will be full of confidence after their shock win last week when they are at home to Fremantle City, Rockingham City should take the points at Lark Hill against Curtin University, while Melville City welcome back Mark Lucas from suspension when thbey meet Quinns FC at Len Shearer Reserve. Wanneroo City will be massive favourites at home against bottom side Kelmscott Roos. Kelmscott have conceded twenty-three goals in their past three matches.
CHARLTON MOVE FOR JONES
English Championship club Charlton Athletic appears set to sign former Liverpool player Brad Jones. The 33-year old goalkeeper has been training with the Addicks ahead of a proposed move to the South London club, where first-choice Stephen Henderson is working his way back from shoulder surgery. Jones, capped four times by Australia, has spent the past fifteen years on the books of Middlesbrough and Liverpool prior to being released by the latter at the end of last season.
SIX WA OFFICIALS ON TOP PANELS (courtesy footballwest.com.au)
Referee Development Manager Eddie Lennie has congratulated the six WA match officials appointed to officiate in this season’s Hyundai A-League and Foxtel National Youth League. Shoalwater resident Adam Fielding is one of 11 referees appointed to control A-League matches, while Mathew Cheeseman, from Bennett Springs, and Josh Manella, who lives in Darch, are in the 29-member team of assistant referees for Australia’s top-tier competition. Joshua Nixon (Waterford), Tom Dowle (Woodvale) and Zach Piccicacco (Waterford) have been appointed to the NYL Panel list.
Former FIFA World Cup referee Lennie said the appointments were reward for the great work WA’s top officials were doing on a weekly basis in local competitions. “Adam is consistently performing at the highest level here in the PS4 NPLWA and is an excellent role model for all aspiring match officials,” Lennie said. “Mat and Josh have gained valuable experience during their time in the A-League and have been more than happy to pass this on to our younger referees. “It’s also a great test for Joshua, Tom and Zach, to continue with their development having shown a lot of promise last season. “
Lennie was pleased with the overall increase in the number of match officials across Football West competitions but emphasised the need for more. “We have over 600 competitive games throughout the metropolitan area on any one weekend and recruiting additional match officials to cope with this demand will remain a focus in 2016.”
DE SILVA SET TO JOIN DUTCH CLUB
Young attacker Danny De Silva is believed to be on the verge of signing with Eredivisie club Roda JC Kerkrade. According to reports in the Dutch media, De Silva and fellow Socceroo Tomi Juric have travelled to Roda where they only need to pass medical examinations to complete their respective deals. It is expected that they will sign their contracts mid next week.
Last month Roda signed former Perth Glory midfielder Rostyn Griffiths, who played the full 90 minutes in their opening match of the season, a 3-1 win over Heracles. De Silva, 18, has been linked with a loan move away from Italian powerhouse AS Roma whom he joined from Glory during the off-season. Juric has been a free agent since opting to walk away from Western Sydney Wanderers earlier in the off-season to chase a European switch.
TYSON SAVES HIS BEST FOR GLORY
Jerrad Tyson approached his debut appearance for Perth Glory with the desire to become the club’s number one goalkeeper. Now he has the confidence to match his ambition. The 25-year old arrived at his new A-League club over the off-season knowing he would face competition from veteran Ante Covic for a starting berth. Three saves later in a penalty shoot-out that decided Tuesday night’s FFA Cup win over the Newcastle Jets and Tyson has struck the first blow in the race to replace Danny Vukovic.
Tyson, a former Western Sydney Wanderers player, blocked Newcastle’s first spot kick to give Glory the upper hand after the teams finished extra-time locked at 2-2. But it was his third save that was more impressive, diving to his right to stop a shot from Newcastle’s Enver Alivodic after several Glory misses from the spot had left the result hanging on sudden-death penalties. “I knew where they would go with their penalties and I was able to make one of those saves,” he said.
“Just for my own confidence I think it will do a lot of good,” Tyson said. “Obviously it’s the first competitive game that we’ve had. We’ve still got a long way to go in pre-season and a lot more games and I’ll have to continue to prove myself every day at training. But I was given the opportunity to start last night and hopefully the coaching staff will see that I’ve taken it.” Glory has drawn Brisbane’s Lions FC for an away clash in the next round of the Cup.
NEW BADGE FOR STATE TEAM
Western Australia’s official bird emblem, the black swan, will be reintroduced to the State team shirt for next week’s Call to Arms Cup friendly with Perth Glory. The black swan, prominent on the State’s coat of arms, has featured regularly on the State team shirt throughout its 113-year history. It was also used by football bodies prior to the formation of Football West who, in 2004, adopted a ‘peeling ball’ logo similar to that of Football Federation Australia.
Chief executive Peter Hugg said the new State badge made clear to those who pulled on the shirt that they were representing WA football, and not simply the administrative body. “The WA State team players represent themselves and their club first and foremost, but there should also be a sense of pride in being identified as among the very best players in the State,” Hugg said.
“Indeed, I hope everyone involved in the local game can be proud of the players selected, particularly those from our clubs who continue to provide an environment in which players can excel. The game against Glory gives the WA players an opportunity to test themselves against players of A-League calibre and, if recent history is anything to go by, this will be a closely contested match.”
The new State team badge incorporates a black swan emblem and acknowledges the date of WA’s first representative match in 1902, when they played a touring English Cricket XI. Since that first game the State team has been involved in more than 250 games, including against Manchester United, AC Milan, Red Star Belgrade, Chelsea, Rangers and Manchester City. The new badge will also be used by the State teams for women, juniors, masters and amateurs.
LOWE PRAISES HIS NEW CUP STARS
Coach Kenny Lowe hailed his new players in a remodelled Perth Glory squad following last night’s exhilarating penalty shoot-out win against Newcastle Jets. Scores were locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes and 2-2 at the end of extra-time, new recruit Gyorgy Sandor converted the decisive spot-kick to hand Glory a 4-3 win in the shoot-out. Three missed spot kicks in the shootout proved costly for the hosts as the Glory advance to the round of sixteen.
Sandor and other new Glory faces come in for high praise from Lowe after the game. “First half they (Newcastle) were the better side. But in the second half we changed the shape a little bit and we were in the game,” said Lowe. “We’ve got Jakey Collard, young Steph Valentini who came on and got us the penalty and Hagi Gligor came on and did really, really well so really happy for the kids. And Gyorgy the Hungarian boy I thought was magnificent.”
Lowe added the FFA Cup was especially important for Glory. “It’s massive for us because it sets us up for the season,” said Lowe, who is hoping Glory are drawn at home in the next round after numerous trips to the eastern seaboard in last season's FFA Cup. “We find it difficult to get pre-season games over West. So if we can hang in there with the Cup and get a couple of A-League teams you get a good pre-season. So that’s the focus for us, to hang in there for as long as we can.”
GALLANT GLORY SHOOT DOWN JETS
Perth Glory are through to the last sixteen of the FFA Cup following a penalty shoot-out win over Newcastle Jets at Magic Park. Glory came from behind and looked destined for an extra-time win with goals from Nebojsa Marinkovic and Sidnei Sciola, however, the hosts equalised late to send the game to penalties. New signing Jerrad Tyson emerged as Glory’s hero with a trio of remarkable saves to ensure Glory’s progression to the next stage of the knock-out tournament.
Newcastle were first to threaten with Labinot Haliti bringing a strong save from Tyson after 7 minutes. The game then developed into something of an arm wrestle with both teams keeping their cards close to their chest. However that all changed in the 24th minute when David Carney pounced on some loose defending and buried his shot past a helpless ‘keeper. Tyson again denied Haliti before Dino Djulbic rattled the Newcastle crossbar in the shadows of half-time.
Glory came out after the break showing greater urgency when in possession. Tyson continued to impress in between the sticks with brace of strong saves in the 84th minute, which would prove incredibly value. Glory’s determination was undeniable and eventually they were able to bring the tie back to level pegging in the 87th minute when Marinkovic found Sidnei Sciola, who made no mistake in tapping the ball in from close-range.
The next twist came a minute into extra-time, Marinkovic converting a penalty awarded for a foul on debutant Stefan Valentini. With five minutes remaining Haliti sent the game to the spot following a sustained period of pressure by Newcastle. Both teams converted three of their five penalties in a thrilling finale. Tyson then kept out Enver Alivodic’s attempt before Sandor fired past Birighitti to secure a 4-3 win.
GLORY GO DUTCH WITH FERNANDEZ
Perth Glory have signed Eredivisie veteran Guyon Fernandez for the 2014/15 season. Fernandez, scorer of two goals in PEC Zwolle’s 5-1 2014 Dutch Cup Final demolition of Ajax, found the back of the net at a rate of once every three games across eight seasons in the Netherlands, where he played professionally for ADO Den Haag, Excelsior, Feyenoord, Zwolle and, most recently, NAC Breda.
Coach Kenny Lowe is delighted with Fernandez signing. “I’m sure he will come in and inject some real quality into our final third – that’s why we’ve signed him,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing him link up with Diego (Castro) when he comes in. It’s exciting times for everyone at the club as we build towards what’ll hopefully be a great season.”
Fernandez started his professional career at Den Haag but it was a three-season spell with Excelsior that things began to take off, the 29-year old scoring 28 times in 67 appearances. His two seasons with Feyenoord (28 games, 7 goals) was overshadowed by a six-game ban for striking an opponent, Fernandez claiming he was racially abused by an opponent. A season on loan to Zwolle (24 games, 10 goals) preceded his move to Breda (15 games, 2 goals) for 2014/15.
GLORY-NEWCASTLE CUP CLASH AN UNKNOWN QUANTITY
Perth Glory defensive stalwart Dino Djulbic says tomorrow’s FFA Cup clash with Newcastle Jets is a game full of unknowns. The past few months have been a difficult period for both clubs with Newcastle experiencing a change of owner, coach and players, while Glory were left cleaning up the mess from their salary cap scandal which led to a number of squad departures.
The two clubs faced off in the same city at the same stage in last year’s FFA Cup, with Glory progressing 2-0, but both will field vastly different sides from twelve months ago. “We don’t know what to expect,” Djulbic said. “They had eight or nine players that they’ve replaced as well, so it’ll be really interesting. Everyone is still in pre-season, it’s still early, so I don’t think anyone can be judged on these games but we still want to win.”
Djulbic confirmed new recruits Antony Golec and Jerrad Tyson will partner him in the centre of defence. “We all know we lost heaps of players last year but we’ve got some new signings and this game gives a few players the opportunity to show that they want to be here,” Djulbic said. “We’ve got a few younger players on this trip too and it’s a chance to fight for their spots.”
SAINSBURY NEARING FULL FITNESS
Socceroo Trent Sainsbury concedes inexperience led to his latest injury setback which has heavily disrupted his pre-season with PEC Zwolle. Sainsbury only joined in full training at Zwolle last week due to an ongoing back/hamstring issue. The 23-year old had to manage the complaint last season but conceded selection for January’s Asian Cup played a part in restricting him to just 18 league appearances last term.
Zwolle’s scheduled season opener was postponed due to police strikes allowing Sainsbury extra time to get fit. Although he will miss their midweek opener, the defender is targeting game time in Saturday’s clash with De Graafschap. “It’s a whole body thing going on,” Sainsbury said. “It’s all going pretty well at the moment. I didn’t really have a finish date to when I’d be back but now we’re close."
Sainsbury was unavailable for selection at the 2014 World Cup due to a knee injury sustained on his Zwolle debut. His latest problem ensured he had learnt some lessons about managing his international commitments. “I think it was a bit of inexperience with travelling with the national team and coming back and training on the astro pitch,” he said.
“It’s all taken it’s toll on me. I went into the Asian Cup and that didn’t help it at all. I’d been trying to manage until the off-season came. When I broke my kneecap I thought was going to be pretty long term. It took me a while to get over it and this is going to be the same. It’s all about strengthening and maintaining my hours on the pitch … I need to rest up the day after travel and not try to be too ambitious and get back on the pitch straight away.”.
Sainsbury has been involved in a programme aimed at strengthening his core, back and glute areas in order to avoid further issues. “I haven’t had a recurrence of the actual injury, just a few niggles which is to be expected with pre-season training,” he said. The defender is also eyeing off next month’s qualifier against Bangladesh in his home city of Perth. “That’s one of the ones I’ve had on my calendar for quite a while now.”
STATE PRIDE BEHIND NEW GLORY KIT
Perth Glory has unveiled a new black and gold playing strip to be worn throughout their 2015 FFA Cup campaign. Defender Josh Risdon, born and bred in Western Australia, said he took great pride in wearing any Glory shirt but singled out the FFA Cup one for special praise. “Obviously wearing the Glory purple is special, it’s my club and I’m proud to consider myself a part of it but this kit represents more than just Perth Glory,” he said. “It represents WA as a whole, its people, its towns and city – everything that makes this state great and makes it our home.”
New signing Anthony Golec said he was looking forward to donning the kit in this year’s FFA Cup. “I’m not from Perth or WA, but when you get here you realise that it is a special place full of special people like our members,” he said. “To pull the shirt on and see that pride on display, that’s something I am really looking forward to.” The Glory, who were Cup finalists last season, will wear the new FFA Cup kit for the first time next Tuesday night away at Newcastle Jets.
LOWRY CLOSER TO ORIENT EXIT
Defender Shane Lowry’s club future is still up in the air after completing a trial with Championship outfit Birmingham City. Lowry, 26, is currently contracted at Leyton Orient but is free to walk out on the club thanks to a clause in his contract following the club’s relegation to League Two. He has been trialling with Birmingham but a deal is yet to be struck, with a number of other English clubs reportedly in the mix to sign the Perth-born defender.
However, a return to Leyton Orient is still a slight possibility, a situation that frustrates manager Ian Hendon. “I can’t take a chance on Shane in respect of the fact that he can walk out anytime. If a club makes an offer on Monday then he is gone on Tuesday,” Hendon said. “I need to build a squad that is going to be here for the season, I want players that are on board and if he can’t commit to staying with us, he won’t be kicking a ball for Orient.” Lowry joined Orient last season after two years at Millwall but has been intent on seeking a move away.
LIONS AND SUBIACO SHARE THE SPOILS
Stirling Lions had to come from behind to earn a 1-1 draw against Subiaco AFC at Macedonia Park. 15-year-old Ignacio Dominguez gave the visitors the lead after only four minutes, but Teeboy Kamara levelled moments later. Both sides had chances to take the points, but at the end both sides shared the spoils. “It's a disappointing result for us. It was an opportunity to put ourselves into the top five and we couldn't capitalize,” Stirling midfielder Brodie Martin said. “Credit to Subiaco they made things difficult for us and unfortunately we were unable to take our chances and get the winner we needed.”
It was a lively opening and the home side went close in the opening minute. A long ball over the top from Nathan Bowden-Hasse sent Shane Malcolm racing clear, but Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery came to his sides rescue saving well from his low shot. But it was the visitors who hit the front on four minutes. Owen Coates cross from the left picked out Ian McMurray, whose effort crashed off the crossbar but Dominguez was quickest to react firing home the rebound.
But their lead lasted only three minutes. Some hesitant defending allowed Kamara to race on to the loose ball and fire home. The visitors hit back and began to get on top and Stirling had Joel Driscoll to thank for keeping them level at the break. The keeper, who starred last week at Cockburn, was alert to save well from Coates’ shot and the sides went in level at the break.
Driscoll was at it again just after the break, this time the Stirling custodian denied Josh Booysen’s shot. Stirling steadied and Montgomery produced the save of the day on 72 minutes. Martin found space on the edge of the penalty and his shot was heading goalwards, but it was superbly tipped over by Montgomery at full stretch.
Then from the resulting corner Montgomery was beaten, but Lawrence Shuruma’s header was cleared off the line by Coates. Both sides had late chances to take the three points, the best falling to Shane Malcolm, who blazed over from close-range, with the goal at his mercy, after being picked out by Shuruma, but both sides had to share the spoils.
BAYSWATER GIVEN A HELPING HAND BY SORRENTO
Bayswater City march to the title continued on Saturday after a 2-1 win against Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. But they were given a huge helping hand with two Sorrento own goals from keeper James Morgan and Steven McDonald, either side of Ryan Pearson’s equaliser. “Sorrento is always a tough place to go and get a result and with the added weather conditions it made it more satisfying to come away with the win,” Bayswater midfielder Paul McCarthy said. “But overall it was a good performance from all the boys, and it takes us three points closer to sealing the title.”
It was a typical day at ‘Windy Hill’ with conditions difficult for both sides, and chances were few and far between. The temperature rose on 34 minutes, when Gustavo Giron-Marulanda challenge on Lewis Hall, ended in a melee, which the referee stepping in quick before the situation got out of hand. The best chance of the half fell to Marulanda five minutes before half time, the Colombian striker burst into the area, but Steve McDonald got back with a last ditch tackle.
Bayswater lifted after the break and with a slight change of formation and they went ahead early. David Heagney volley hit the post before going in off the unfortunate Sorrento keeper James Morgan. Sorrento hit back and pressed the reigning Champions and they were rewarded on 71 minutes with the equaliser. A ball into the box found Thomas Boss, whose shot was blocked and Pearson pounced and fired the rebound low past Devon Spence.
The visitors’ unbeaten season looked in jeopardy, but like the Champions they are, Bayswater regained the lead with ten minutes remaining. A Todd Howarth free kick deflected off Steven McDonald and wrong-footed keeper James Morgan, the ball rolling into the net. The home side’ keeper kept them in the game, saving well to deny Sam Mitchinson moments later, and at the final whistle it was Bayswater with the points.
FIVE STAR SHOW FROM SOKOL
Balcatta striker Steve Sokol scored five times as they thrashed Cockburn City 7-1 at Grindleford Reserve. Also on target were Kieran Colwell and former Cockburn defender Kieron Stallard, while Liam Murray scored Cockburn consolation goal. “It was a very strong and hard fought win especially with the conditions and I think we all wanted to show that we are strong unit and by working as a team we all did our part to contribute to the win,” said Balcata defender Marc Zagami. “Steve (Sokol) was brilliant today, couldn't fault anything and deservedly he earned himself five goals. It shows we have a bit of depth all around the park, and we need to bring this into next week’s game against Sorrento and keep our heads on and work together as a unit again.”
The visitors lost top goalscorer Rory Patterson in the warm up, and it was the home side that made a fantastic start to the game, and they were ahead in the opening minute. Hasan El Yassiri played in Sokol in on goal and he fired low past Jack Adams. Cockburn hit back and Clint Davies had to be alert to deny Harry O’Brien, but on 21 minutes Balcatta doubled their advantage. Paddy Quinn playing in Sokol, who made no mistake. Cockburn were back in the game two minutes later, Murray finishing well past Davies. But on the half hour Balcatta regained their two goal buffer, with Colwell heading home at the back post.
Things went from bad to worse after the break for Cockburn, when Sokol completed his hat-trick, firing home after Cockburn failed to clear their lines. Any hopes of a surprise comeback by Cockburn was dented when defender Alan Carroll was sent off, after receiving a second yellow card from Tim Mihevc. The home side made their numerical advantage count and Sokol added his fourth and fifth to make it 6-1, with the Cockburn defence looking all at sea. But the best was kept for last, Stallard putting the knife in deeper of his former club, with a stunning free kick which gave Jack Adams no chance.
JOONDALUP SHOW GREAT RESOLVE TO BEAT THE REDS
ECU Joondalup produced a performance full of guts and determination to beat Armadale 3-1 at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday. Fresh off a thrashing at the hands of Floreat Athena last week, Dale McCulloch’s side hit the front mid-way through the first half with Harry Bissett on target. But two goals in two minutes early in the second half from Bayley Montgomery and Tommy Amphlett gave them the points, while Darren Francis scored the consolation goal for the home side. “We knew travelling down to Armadale was going to be a battle for 90 minutes, even with everything that's been going on there was a massive buzz leading into this game,” ECU defender Josh Tucker said. “Armadale are a spirited side who work there socks off and we matched it all over the park, created lots of chances and defended very well and our quality shown threw. I thought the senior players really took control and drove the team; it's just great to get the 3 points on the table.”
The home side, who like their visitors has been hit hard by injuries, opened the brighter. Raveshlan Kuppusamy went close to the opener after he reacted quicker to Andy Banks punch, but the striker’s lob was superbly saved by the ECU custodian. Amphlett then went one-on-one with Wilson, but his shot hit the post. But on the half hour the visitors hit the front. Bissett, who had replaced Stuart Montgomery on 14 minutes, controlled Amphlett’s cross cross superbly on his chest and finished clinically past Dylan Wilson. Both sides pressed for the rest of the half but chances were few and far between.
ECU had the perfect opportunity to double their advantage when they were awarded a penalty, after Bissett was brought down, but Amphlett spot kick sailed over the top. But that miss was forgotten four minutes later when they did double their lead. A mix up between keeper and defender allowed Bayley Montgomery to nip and round the keeper to score from close-range.
The result was put beyond the home side moments later, Amphlett making up for his penalty miss firing home from the edge of the box. They continued to press and Ollie Annis’ long-range shot whistled wide of the target, before Bayley Montgomery fired wide after a great build up. Armadale scored their consolation goal in the third minute of stoppage time, but Francis’ looping header was too little too late.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SIXTEEN – REVIEW
Mandurah City continues to lead the All Flags Division One table after a 5-1 win against Canning City at the Hyundai Stadium. Coach Doug Hesketh was delighted with his sides’ performance in wet and windy conditions. “It was a good result in difficult conditions, but I always thought we had the edge,” he said. “But Paul (Oliver’s) lads never gave up and really battled and made it tough, so to get the points Robbo and I think it was a great achievement on the day, and were both very pleased with the squad, and once again we got some great support from our supporters.” The home side went close early, with Jordan Rhodes’ shot crashing off the post, but on 25 minutes they hit the front. Jeff Bright’s overlapping run ended with a cross to Ged Burk who fired home. It was 2-0 moments later, when the keeper failed to hold a shot and Rhodes nipped in to score from the rebound. Then Rhodes converted a penalty to make it 3-0, his 22nd goal in all competition this season. The home side peppered the Canning goal, and they hit the bar twice, but added a fourth on 72 minutes, skipper Andy Brown volleying home after Rhodes’ penalty had come back off the upright. Canning reduced the margin with five minutes remaining, with Chris Holland scoring from the penalty spot. But Mandurah completed the scoring with a good finish from Abi Tcuono after good work from Lance Louvie.
Ashfield bounced back from last week’s loss in Bunbury, with a 7-0 thrashing of bottom of the table Morley Windmills at the Ashfield Sport Park. On target for Paul Dundo’s side were Brett McGuire (3), Dan Corbett, Josh Cortes, Lucas Whitehouse and Chris Thackery. Joondalup United were in good form and beat South West Phoenix 5-0 at Forrest Park. The home side were ahead at the break with Lee Jones’ first time shot from close range, after good work down the right from Callum Stocks. United hit two goals in close succession with fifteen minutes remaining to take control of the game. The first saw Aaron Maplestone cutting in from the left and firing home. The winger did the same three minutes later to make it 3-0, curling home after another good run. It was four moments later, Maplestone deep cross picked out Peter Kenny to head home, and Josh Whitmore added the fifth, scoring his first goal after the season, from Man of the Match Maplestone’s low cross.
In other games Gosnells City beat relegation threatened Swan United 3-0 at Walter Padbury Reserve. The first goal came from the penalty spot, after Aaron Coslani was brought down by Alfie Brincatt after a good through ball from Trent Blewett. Blewett stepped up but saw his spot kick crash off the woodwork, but Caleb Aquino fired home the rebound. They doubled their advantage when Caleb Aquino’s in-swinging corner was headed against the post by Wade Farmer, but Tyron Pottier was the quickest to react to score from close-range. The points were wrapped up when Sean Taylor was played through by Tony Ton, and he cut the ball back to Liam Cave to finish into an empty net. Dianella White Eagles continued their good form with a 2-1 win against UWA-Nedlands at the UWA Sports Park. Angel Andres and Jose Zuniga Bonilla were on target for the Eagles, while Ben Reynolds scored for UWA. In the final game Western Knights and Shamrock Rovers fought out a scoreless draw at Nash Field. Knights coach Andy Thorburn believed they were the better team, but need to more ruthless in front of goal. “I thought we dominated the game and created some good chances, but didn’t take them, but overall I was happy with the performance,” he said. Both sides had chances in the first half. Paul Lloyd made space down the right and pulled the ball back from the bye-line, but Jeff Judge fired wide. Shamrock went close themselves on 22 minutes. Paul Concannon played a slide rule pass through to Alec Robinson, but his shot crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. After the break the home side dominated. Andreas Jelenovic, shot was superbly saved by Justin Scarvaci. The Rovers’ custodian then produced another stunning save to thwart Bromwell, as the Knights pressed. It was one-way traffic and Jelenovic and Judge combined to send Lloyd clear, but the English midfielder fired wide, but at the final whistle both shared had a share of the spoils.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SIXTEEN – REVIEW
The Match of the Week in the All Flags Division Two saw Forrestfield United beat Fremantle City 2-0 at Hilton Reserve. The home side was ahead on the half hour. Trent Wood and Ben Rogers combined to set up Scott Barker, who fired home. The points were wrapped on 55 minutes, when Jordan Hart was brought down in the penalty area and Rhys Loxley converted from the spot. “This game was always going to be a tough one especially with the bad weather setting in, however I thought we dominated possession and adapted to the conditions quite well. Fremantle battled hard all day, but just lacked that finishing quality,” Forrestfield skipper Trent Wood said. “The football we are currently playing at the moment is fantastic and we hope to carry this for the remainder of the season. It now appears to be a two horse race between us and Rocky for the title.” League leader Rockingham City maintained their slender lead at the top of the table after a 4-0 win against Quinns at Gumblossom Park. Shane Boyle opened the scoring, after taking on two Quinns defenders and firing low into the corner of the net. Alex Grayson added the second, after good work from David Clark and Ryan Kennedy, the midfielder then firing home from the edge of the box. Clark made it 3-0, after Papa Kpatar cross was only parried by the keeper and he scored from close-range. Grayson added his second late, heading home Kpatar cross. “I was really pleased at how our young side stood up today,” Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said. “It was tough conditions and a poor pitch made it difficult, but like all year the lads were great.”
In other games Josh Lister scored the only goal in local derby, as Ellenbrook United beat Joondalup City 1-0 at Arbor Grove Reserve, while Melville City got back in the winner’s circle after a 6-1 win against Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. Simon El Chami scored four goals, with Salsa Slavujevic and Blake Readwin scoring the others, while William Nguyen and Cameron McLaren both impressed on their 1st team debuts. Balga came from 1-0 down to beat Curtin University at Edinburgh Oval. Dilip Thapa gave the home side the lead, but goals from Jonathan McGahern and George Duku gave the visitors the points.
In the final game Kingsway Olympic beat local rivals Wanneroo City 4-0 at Kingsway Reserve. The home side hit the front five minutes before half time, Ryan Fielder scoring. Fielder added his second when he was found by Nathan Thorpe, before Joe Woodin’s long range shot slipped under the body of Wanneroo keeper Ramiro Lescano to make it 3-0. The visitors had a chance to pull one back when they were awarded a penalty, but John Monterosso’s spot kick was well saved by Sam Herbison. Fielder completed his hat trick late again after being set up by Thorpe. Wanneroo had a chance for a consolation goal when they were awarded another penalty, but Conor Lynch missed. “We defended strong against the wind in the first half and played some football after the break and got the early goal,” Kingsway Coach Tom Kilkelly said. “It was a great performance by the boys in the local derby and it’s nice to show our near neighbours we can play a bit.”
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND EIGHTEEN – PREVIEW
It’s been a huge week in WA football with the FFA Cup on a national scene, but this weekend it’s back to local league action and the ‘Match of the Round’ is at the E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday, where Floreat Athena hosts Inglewood United (3pm). Floreat are coming off a stunning performance last week, when they thrashed ECU Joondalup 7-2, the win kept them in touch with the league leaders. Floreat defender Blair Govan said it was good team performance and also boosted their goal difference. “It was great for us to score seven last week, but it could have been more but the ECU keeper made some great saves,” he said. “We're playing with lots of confidence at the minute and we hope to keep that up this week and heading into games with Perth and Bayswater.” Govan said Sunday’s opponents have some quality players, and now they need to be at their best to take the points. “Inglewood games are always tough game, and I’m expecting nothing less on Sunday,” he said. “They have dangerous players which we will be aware of, but we will just be looking to carry on from last few weeks and keep the pressure on Bayswater, that's all we can do.” In team news for Floreat Jack Allen and Steve Burton return from suspension, while Robbie Gasper is close to full fitness.
Inglewood will be buoyed by last week’s win, their first in five games last week, but they left it late to beat Perth Glory. Midfielder David Micevski said the win will hopefully kick start their season. “The weekends win was vital for us considering our recent results haven't gone our way. I thought the boys showed great character to keep pushing for the win and in the end I thought we deserved the three points,” he said. “We have been playing some good football but for whatever reason haven't been able to do it for the full 90 minutes and as a result we've been punished for it.” Inglewood’s problem has been in front of goal, and they have scored the least goals in the NPL along with ECU Joondalup, but Micevski said they are creating the chances, and he hopes they can make them count this weekend. “We are creating some good chances but we need to be more clinical in front of goals especially if we want to come away with a positive result against Floreat,” he explained. “Having said that we need to be solid defensively, as Floreat is free scoring at the moment so we need to put together a solid game this week at both ends of the field.” In team news Brian Woodall is out due to injury, while Abdul Sesay is suspended. In other Sunday games Perth Glory entertains Perth SC, fresh off their FFA Cup defeat against Rockdale City Suns in midweek. In team news David Cyrus returns to the side after missing the cup game, while James Marocchi will be available. The Glory welcome back Slobodan Vulin from suspension, but will be sweating on the fitness of Nathan Costello, Tom King and Jordan Thurtell.
The round kicks off on Saturday with Balcatta hosting Cockburn City at Grindleford Reserve. Balcatta’s Marc Zagami said they have to improve from last week’s loss at Bayswater, but decisions didn’t go their way on the day. “Decisions weren't in our favour and when the penalty was given it killed our momentum and morale as a team because I believe we still could have been able to grab some points from the game, but credit to Bayswater on the win however,” he explained. “Then the third goal, another poor decision, cost us, so it was disappointing to see the game ruined so quickly but it was a hard fought effort from the boys and we will hold our heads up. We had our fair share of chances as well and we didn't give up even after we conceded the penalty, so we move on to the next game.” The defender knows a win will take them above Cockburn on the table, but is expecting a tough game. “It won't be an easy game as it proved last time down at their place when we lost 3-1,” he said. “But we are looking forward to the challenge, and wanting to get a good win bounce back and get as high up the table as we can.” In team news for Balcatta, Cameron Teece is suspended, but James Sammut should return from injury, while Liam Murray and Feisal Zaw will be pushing for a starting spot after missing out last week, while Rory Patterson is in doubt after limping off last week in the draw against Stirling.
In other games Sorrento will be looking to get back in the winner’s circle, after pushing A-League side Sydney FC all the way in the FFA Cup, when they entertain Bayswater City at Percy Doyle Reserve. The Gulls lost at Perth SC last round, which was their first defeat in nine games, but they must take confidence in their performance against Graham Arnold’s side. Bayswater are ticking along nicely and sit eight points clear of the chasing pack, but Chris Coyne’s side don’t look like giving up their lead. They head north knowing a win would almost wrap up back-to-back title’s but Sorrento will have other ideas, and the Gulls beat them at the same venue in 2013, and draw there last season. Jamie Coyne and the Coach are both suspended, but Todd Howarth should return to the starting line-up. Both Armadale and ECU Joondalup are coming off heavy defeats last week, and the pair meets at Alfred Skeet Reserve. The visitors will be without the suspended Jon Higgins and Paul Miller, but they hope to have Charlie Comyn-Platt available, while the home side will be without skipper Mitch Castrilli.
In the final game Subiaco AFC make the trip to Macedonia Park to take on Stirling Lions. The Lions dominated for large period’s last week at Cockburn, but only left with a point. Laurence Shuruma and Teeboy Kamara continue to cause defence problems, and defender Steve Purton said the side needs to start converting their chances. “We were happy with a point away from home, I feel we defended really well, a few weeks ago I believe in that circumstance we may of lost the game but it shows that our training has started to pay off. Joel (Driscoll) made some excellent saves and I think we owe the point to him,” he explained. “In order to push our season on we need to be more clinical in front of goal. We have some of the best attacking players in the league, but they are also playing their first or second NPL season so it is a learning curve for them as they gain more experience which will help with their confidence and make them more clinical.” Purton said Subiaco have picked up form in recent weeks and knows it will be a tough game. “We beat Subiaco 3-2 last time round by scoring a goal in the final minutes, so we know they're not going to be easy,” he said. “We believe our big pitch will benefit us but we also have to focus on our strengths and implement what we've been doing at training. We have our goals which we are on course for and Subiaco want to secure their NPL status so it should be a good game.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SIXTEEN – PREVIEW
The All Flags Division One relegation fight is hotting up, and this week’s ‘Match of the week’ is the vital trip of Swan United to Walter Padbury Reserve to take on Gosnells City. Swan has been decimated with injuries and players unavailable, but Coach Salv Todaro has had some good news in the last week, with a number of players returning. One of them is youngster Reegan Borzecki, and he said they were really unlucky not to get anything out of last week’s game at Joondalup United. “We have had a few disappointing results the last few week, but it hasn't helped having so many major absentees,” he said. “The game against Joondalup was one of the best we've played this season and we are looking to only go forward from there, taking that same desire and football into the coming weeks.” The defender say’s Saturday’s game is vital and said the players are ready for the challenge. “This weekend’s game is like a Grand Final for us and it is vital we drag them closer to us,” he said. “They have been improving but we are confident we can do the job this weekend as long as all the lads pull together fight hard for the result we are desperate for.” In team news for Swan, Brennan Borzecki and Fraser Burt are available for selection again this week and Jordan Rossetto returns after injury. Gosnells have been on a good run of form, but slipped up last week at Dianella, but Celeb Aquino said the home side was too good on the day. “Last week was a tough game and they (Dianella) controlled the game and I’d say they were the toughest side we have played this season,” he said. “But to the boys credit we stuck around and worked hard, but conceded two late goals, which was disappointing. I think Dianella, with Jason Barrera in form would have to be one of the favorites to win the league.” The midfielder knows Saturday will be a hard fight, with Swan desperate for the points. “Swan will definitely be a hard test, and the gaffer will be looking for a reaction from the player group and come away with the points,” he said. “The bottom of the table is tight so we will be looking for the three points to put us further away from the relegation zone.”
In other games league leaders Mandurah City host Canning City ay the Hyundai Stadium, while second placed Ashfield, who lost ground on the leaders last week, will look to bounce back when they host bottom of the table Morley Windmills at Ashfield Sports Club. South West Phoenix head north to take on Joondalup United at Forrest Park, and the home side welcome back keeper James Bosdet, while the form team of the league is Dianella White Eagles and they go in search of their fourth straight win when they take on UWA-Nedlands at the UWA Sports Park. UWA coach James Rae said they will be looking for three points after a hard fought win at Canning last week. “Well it was not our best performance but we were pleased with the three points,” he said. “Obviously with a lot of our squad just recovering from the flu there were some promising signs and to be clear of the pack is better, but we were never worried about position, it’s about our game plan and growth.” UWA where beaten in the last minute last time the sides met, and Rae said they will be looking to change that on Saturday. “Well after having the three points snatched away in the dying seconds from us, this game has more meaning to it and with Dianella in form and on a winning streak we will need to select well,” he said. “But with some good performances from recent weeks it will be especially hard to get the mix right, and we are looking for the twin, so I can see a hard 90 minutes ahead.” In team news Robbie Black returns to the UWA squad, so they are at full strength for the game.
The final game of the round is at Nash Field, with Western Knights hosting Shamrock Rovers. Shamrock heads into the game after an entertaining 2-2 draw against league leaders Mandurah City, and midfielder Paul Concannon said both sides had chances to win it. “It was an action packed game, which could have gone either way,” he said. “We outplayed them in the first half, but only went in at 1-0 at the break. They got two early goals which put us on the back foot, but we did really well to battle back for a draw, but we were disappointed not to get all three, which would have put us back in contention.” Rovers haven’t lost in their last two visits to Nash Field, but Concannon said it will be another huge challenge. “It’s always a tough game against the Knights, especially at Nash Field. We were lucky to get a draw at our place earlier in the season so we will be well prepared for another tough battle, which will be massive for both teams,” he explained. “Both of us need a win if we want to be involved come the end of the season, so it’s a must win game which should be entertaining for the crowd.” In team news for Shamrock, Graham Doran and Graham Caffrey are both unavailable, while David Murphy is struggling with a knee injury.
The Knights beat Morley last time out and Coach Andy Thorburn said it was a tough game. “It was good to see the boys carry on with their winning ways and a good 4-1 result against Morley last week. I thought we looked lively from the start and we played some attractive football,” he said. “It was also good to see some of the younger boys like Connor Thurston and Ryan Tucker step up and start to show their potential. Also young Jamie Bromell, who with his first touch, scored his debut goal with the club and looks to be something for the future.” Thorburn knows Shamrock will be up for the game and believes it will be a tight encounter. “Shamrock are always a hard team to play against and they have had a good spell lately as well. We know what we are in for and I expect it will be a very physical encounter,” he said. “They are a very hard working team and they have a lot of quality boys in their line up as they showed against Mandurah last week. They can mix it with the best but I believe if we can carry on the way we have been playing I fancy our chances of getting the result.” Injuries are still a problem for the Knights with three key players out; Craig Riley, Ben Coulter and Nathan De Abreu will miss the Shamrock game, but they do regain the services of Jeff Judge from suspension.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SIXTEEN – PREVIEW
The pick of Week 16 All Flags Division Two fixtures, takes us to Hilton Reserve where Fremantle City entertain Forrestfield United. Fremantle has been impressive this season, and has a good home record, but Forrestfield continue to keep the pressure on the league leaders, and beat Ellenbrook last week, a game skipper Trent Wood said was a closer than score line suggests. “Last week’s game against Ellenbrook was real quality from both sides, and they have certainly improved from last time we played them and were unlucky not to grab a goal or two from our poor mistakes at the back,” he said. “But credit to us though, we dominated possession and created numerous amount of chances which was pleasing.” Wood is expecting another tough game this week, and he said they (Fremantle) are a good side. “Saturday’s game is a massive game for both clubs. They are in my opinion one of the best footballing sides in the league with some great talent through their ranks,” he explained. “They will be disappointed after losing to Wanneroo last week and will not want to drop any points at home. I'm sure if we play our brand of football and stick to our game plan we will walk away with the 3 valuable points and keep the pressure on Rockingham.” In team news Jason Godfrey returns to the squad, Matt Harold is fighting for a starting spot after coming off the bench last week, but Keeper Brad Eiffe is facing a late fitness test. In other games league leaders Rockingham City travel to Gumblossom Park to take on Quinns, Ellenbrook hosts Joondalup City in a local derby at Arbor Grove Reserve, Kelmscott and Melville City meet at Frye Park, while Curtin University host Balga at Edinburgh Oval.
In the final game there is another local derby, when Kingsway Olympic entertain Wanneroo City at Kingsway Reserve. Kingsway fought back from 0-2 down last week to earn a point at Melville and Wayne Culverwell said they deserved something from the match, despite a poor start. “We didn't turn up from the first whistle, and you can’t do that in this league, and we deservedly went down 2-0,” he said. “But I thought we showed great character in the second half and got back into the game, and in the end we should have won it.” The last time the two sides meet it was a thrilling 3-3 draw, and Culverwell said it will be more of the same on Saturday. “That game was end-to-end football and I’m sure it will be the same Saturday, it’s a local derby,” he said. “Wanneroo are a very good side and it will be a tough match, and they are coming off a good win against Fremantle. But we are unbeaten in three matches, and it's important we keep that run going.” In team news Ian McKean returns to the squad this week, but Chad dos Santos is in doubt. “It a shame Chad has been playing well, so it may mean a bit of a re shuffle at the back, but we have the depth and quality to deal with it,” Culverwell added. Wanneroo will be looking to keep up with the leaders, and Coach Matt Debarro said the local derby is always a tight affair. “It’s another big game this weekend against our neighbours who have strung together some good results against some tough opponents,” he said. “However after our performance last week I am confident that a repeat display should see us go one better than the 3-3 draw in round five. We have found our spark in front of goal again and have continued a good defensive display. The boys have really come into there own, and I'm sure we can get the result.” In team news for Wanneroo, defender Chris Marshall and keeper Daniel Agudelo will face late fitness tests.
TOUGH SCHEDULE FOR SORRENTO
Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell knows his side will face a stern test against National Premier Leagues leaders Bayswater City this weekend. The Gulls lost 2-0 to A-League side Sydney FC in the FFA Cup on Wednesday night and face the prospect of three games in eight days after playing their most recent league match against Perth SC last Friday night.
Harnwell said it was difficult to know how his players would respond after the excitement of their successful Cup run. “I woke up (after the Sydney game) feeling exhausted and drained after all the build-up, and I wasn’t even playing the game,” he said. “It’s hard to gauge how the players are feeling, because they’re the ones who have to go out there and they put themselves through a tremendous amount of work last night.”
Harnwell said the prospect of beating Bayswater, who are undefeated in the league, would be great motivation for his players on Saturday. “We had the wood over them over a period of years, and they sorted us out pretty comfortably 5-0 at their place earlier in the year,” he said. “There’s a great focus there to try to knock them off and stop their unbeaten run.”
And, while respectful of Bayswater’s “fantastic” season to date, Harnwell said there was no reason his side couldn’t produce an upset. “They have been shown to be vulnerable at the back at times and they have conceded goals, if you have that bit of luck and defend well, you’ll have chances,” he said. Sorrento and Bayswater meet from 3:00pm tomorrow at Percy Doyle Reserve.
GLORY READY TO BOUNCE BACK AGAINST PERTH (courtesy perthglory.com.au)
Perth Glory returns home on Sunday when they take on Perth Soccer Club in Week 18 of the PS4 National Premier League WA at Inglewood Stadium (3pm). Perth SC did WA proud in the FFA Cup on Wednesday night, and Coach John Gibson said they performed well. “Hat’s off to Taki (Nicolaidis) and the players, they did well against Rockdale City Suns, but unfortunately the home was just too good on the night,” he said. “Sorrento competed really well against A-League side Sydney FC for periods of their game, which shows the standard of the PS4 NPLWA has improved. “The young lads within our program are competing in the league, and holding their own, even though they have performed well – they haven’t been rewarded for their performance. “But we always want to become better and the finer details and processes is the key to the individuals and groups success.”
Gibson said Perth will be a huge test for his young side, but said they are looking forward to the challenge. “Perth have been super this season and will be good challenge for the lads, but we don’t fear nobody and go into the game looking for a good performance,” he said. “We learnt a harsh lesson in football last week, conceding late and the result hurt the lads, but they have been fantastic this week at training and are ready for the big challenge. “They (Perth) have been the benchmark in WA football for the last 20 years and continue to succeed, but we will go in with our game plan, like we have all season, and will be looking for the points. “It’s a home game and we’ve performed extremely well, and we will be looking to continue with that on Sunday.”
Gibson said the club’s NPL program is continuing to evolve and the work all the coaches are implementing bodes well for the future. “For Bobby (Despotovski), Steven (McGarry) Callum (Salmon), Dan (Milosevic), David (Butterfield), Jacob (Burns) and I, is to challenge and prepare the players to play at the highest level they can, and if the individuals improve to the required level, opportunities may arise,” he explained. “A majority of the first team squad has worked really hard through the Foxtel National Youth League season, and the coaching staff is constantly praising the group on their performances, work rate, attitude and character on their improvement during the NPL season, and all three teams continue to do so.” Midfielder Slobodan Vulin returns to the squad this week after suspension and said he was disappointed to miss last week’s game and felt for his team mates after they let a late goal slip to lose at Inglewood United. “I was really disappointed I couldn't play the game, but that’s football,” he said. “It was hard watching from the stands and all the lads were all upset after the game after letting a point slip at the death, especially after creating a number of good chances. “But we’ve put that behind us, and we’ve got a great team spirit within the group and we’ve worked hard at training this week, and will look to get back in the winner’s circle on Sunday.”
With their opponents coming off a flight to the east coast in the FFA Cup, Vulin believes they could be fatigued in the game and they can cause an upset and beat the third placed Perth side. “They have had a big game in the cup and flying back, so we'll be looking to take full advantage,” he said. “We can't wait to play the game at home and there will be no doubt Perth will be feeling a bit of fatigue from their cup game in Sydney, so if we play how we have in recent weeks, we’re confident we can take the points.”
KEOGH PLOTS REVENGE (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Inglewood United won’t be lacking motivation when they encounter Floreat Athena this weekend according to striker Kenny Keogh. The last time the two teams met it was Floreat that came away with all the points courtesy of a 3-1 scoreline, a result that still haunts Keogh and which the Irishman is determined to reverse.
“Floreat didn’t deserve to win that game,” said Keogh, scorer of Inglewood’s solitary goal in that mid-May game. “They didn’t out play us – it was our own mistakes that cost us. We’ve learnt a lot about ourselves since that game and in recent weeks we have cut out those mistakes. Needless to say we’ll be looking to make things level this Sunday.”
Keogh warmed up for the impending clash with Floreat by grabbing Inglewood’s dramatic stoppage time winner against Perth Glory last weekend. “It was a good time to score, I’ve been creating a lot of chances recently but just didn’t get them to go in,” said the 27-year old finisher, who had gone eight weeks without hitting the back of the net.
“I thought we dominated the game, Glory resorted in long balls and trying to feed of our mistakes. The second half we pressed well, didn’t give them any chances and it showed good character to get the goal in the last minute. It was an important win, its gets us back to winning ways and allows us to move into the next game with more confidence.”
That game is against second-from-top Floreat. “It’s going to be a tough, intense game,” Keogh said. “Floreat are a good side, they’re not second in the league for nothing, but with the players we have there is no reason why we should not also be up there … I’m very confident we’ll get the result we want.” Inglewood takes on Floreat from 3:00pm on Sunday at Litis Stadium.
MARULANDA SHOOTING FOR GOLD (courtesy nplwa.com.au)
Bayswater City will look to compound Sorrento’s Westfield FFA Cup disappointment when normal service is resumed in the PS4 NPLWA at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday. Sorrento held their own for periods of their cup clash with Sydney FC at nib Stadium on Wednesday but were dumped from the national knockout competition by goals from Shane Smeltz and Max Burgess. Jamie Harnwell’s side can expect little sympathy from league leaders Bayswater City, who lost to Sorrento in the previous cup round to miss out on a second successive year in the Round of 32 of the nation’s new knockout competition.
Bayswater have been ruthless in the league, establishing an eight-point lead over second-placed Floreat Athena, with Colombian striker Gustavo Giron Marulanda in a rich vein of form. The 29-year-old has rocketed to the top of the scoring charts with a 17-goal haul that has put him three ahead of Cockburn City’s Rory Patterson, whose team take on Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. Giron Marulanda has already surpassed the 14 goals David Micevski scored to win last season’s Golden Boot. Incredibly, the Bayswater marksman has scored in his side’s previous eight matches, including netting five goals in the past two games.
Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell, who has accepted a position with the Adelaide United Lady Reds for the coming W-League season, is focused on the remainder of the NPLWA season after the Gulls’ recent FFA Cup effort. “I’m not going to wish the season away by any means,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge of Adelaide, but Sorrento is a great club and I have great rapport with the people down there. I’ll be making the most of my time while I’m still here. “You don’t want the season to peter out in terms of the league. There’s a great focus there to try to knock (Bayswater) off and stop their unbeaten run.” “Knowing (coach) Chris (Coyne) and the Bayswater players and club, they won’t see us as a special threat – what’s happened in the (FFA) cup is a one-off,” he said.
Floreat will have their fingers crossed that Sorrento can do what no other club has managed this season – inflict defeat on Chris Coyne’s side – to keep alive Athena’s slim hopes of catching the top team. If Bayswater do slip up, Floreat will get their opportunity to narrow the eight-point gap when they take on Inglewood United at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday. Perth SC, who lost 3-1 in their FFA Cup encounter against Rockdale City Suns in Sydney, will also play on Sunday when they take on the Perth Glory youth team at Inglewood Stadium.
BURGESS OUT TO FLY WITH FULHAM
Teenage defender Cameron Burgess is out to cement a spot in Fulham’s first team squad as the English Championship kicks off this weekend. The 19-year old centre-back has been with Fulham for the past four years and last season made his Cottagers debut. After receiving more game time in pre-season, the youth international says he ready to go for the new campaign, which commences away at Cardiff City on Saturday.
“Pre-season has gone great so far,” Burgess told FourFourTwo. “I’ve been playing a good amount in pre-season and played quite well, so far I’ve been very happy. I’m not sure of the squad yet (for Cardiff), I’ll just have to wait and see. I’m still just taking it one day at a time and doing the best I can. I haven’t had any conversations (with the manager)] as of yet but I’m happy with my involvement so far.”
Fulham had a difficult first season after being relegated from the Premier League, finishing 17th out of 24 teams. “Promotion is the aim one hundred per cent,” he said. “It will be extremely tough – it’s up there with the hardest leagues to get promoted from. Anyone can beat anyone and there are always points dropped. There are a lot of quality teams this year and I couldn’t limit it to any danger teams to a few because there are many of them.”
Burgess made four appearances for Fulham in 2014/2015 before joining Scottish side Ross County on loan in January. The defender did not make an appearance with the Staggies before returning to Craven Cottage at the end of the season. “It wasn’t a great experience footballing-wise, but I learned a lot for myself,” Burgess admits. “I didn’t play much football there but I learned how it all works at that level.”
Born in Scotland but raised in Perth’s northern suburbs, Burgess was linked with a loan move into the A-League over the off-season, however, it’s all news to him. “I haven’t heard anything about that,” he said. “Honestly I haven’t heard anything from any A-League clubs. I’m going to wait and see what happens, but I want to be playing games this season and if that’s on loan, then I’m very happy with that.”
DIEGO CASTRO JOINS PERTH GLORY
Perth Glory are one step closer to completing their squad for next season with the signing of Spanish winger Diego Castro. And coach Kenny Lowe has hinted the club is near to securing a replacement for Andy Keogh and centre-forward. Castro joins the Glory as the club's international marquee signing from La Liga club Getafe CF, where he has spent the past four seasons.
Castro joins Glory with over 450 Spanish league appearances to his credit. The 33-year old started his career at third tier side Pontevedra and slowly rose up the ranks through spells with Malaga and Sporting Gijon. He played 170 times for Sporting across six seasons and, between 2001 and 2015, represented Getafe on 129 occasions.
Castro said the he was looking forward to his latest football chapter. “I arrive in Australia still hungry for success and with hopes of challenging for trophies with my new team mates,” he said. “The A-League is a competition that is gaining respect in Europe and I am excited to be involved with Perth Glory for the coming season.”
Glory coach Kenny Lowe said Castro was an exciting acquisition for the club. “Diego has played in the highest leagues of Spanish football for a long period of time playing nearly 300 games (in La Liga) and scoring around 60 goals, so there is no doubting his quality,” he said. “He gives us another option in attack, and really enhances the squad for both the coming season.”
HARNWELL PROUD AFTER SORRENTO'S BIG NIGHT
Emotional Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell has praised the efforts of his team despite their elimination from the FFA Cup. The Gulls were defeated 2-0 by last season’s A-League grand finalist’s Sydney FC at Perth Oval last night, but the former Perth Glory player said the players would walk away with their heads held high. “They’re exhausted. They’ve worked so hard,” Harnwell said. “There’s disappointment. We’ve been beaten and we don’t go through to the next round. But there’s a real sense of accomplishment of how we represented ourselves and showing what a club is all about and what it means going forward.”
Harnwell, who spent his junior years with Sorrento and returned to finish his playing days with the Gulls, was proud to lead the club through the cup run and was humbled by the support he and his side had received. “I’ve got so much emotion tied up in this club with the players,” he said. “It’s a really proud moment to see the fans and receive the support from everyone. It’s reward for work we’ve been doing in the past year and a half and it’s something we’ve built towards. Now we’ve got to build towards something bigger and better next year.”
PERTH LEARN FROM CUP EXPERIENCE
Perth SC will learn from the lessons of their first experience of the FFA Cup after being beaten by Rockdale City Suns in Sydney. That was the message from coach Taki Nicolaidis, who acknowledged that the unfamiliar surroundings of the Ilinden Sports Centre and the big occasion had impacted on his side’s performance in last night’s 3-1 loss. “It was an eye-opener and we’ll be better for the experience,” Nicolaidis said.
“We probably took a little bit too long to believe in ourselves. In the second half the boys did roll up their sleeves to finish the game strongly,” the coach continued. “We’ll benefit a lot from it, especially the young guys coming through. The guys have enjoyed the experience and I know they’ll be taking what they’ve learnt into the last five games and a Cup final against Sorrento.”
Perth fell behind in the 21st minute when Toufic Alameddine found the net following good approach work by player-coach Paul Reid. The visitors pressed for an equaliser when Aden Da Luz crossed for Nic Ambrogio, whose header was off-target. The home crowd of almost 2,000 were on their feet again just before half-time when Dylan Macallister doubled the hosts’ advantage by heading in an Alameddine cross.
“The second goal just before half-time hurt us,” Nicolaidis said. “If it was only 1-0 at half-time we could’ve regrouped and it might’ve been a different story. The encouraging thing from my point of view was that we didn’t throw the towel in even though they got the second goal. And then they caught us on the counter for the third goal.”
The game effectively put beyond Perth on 57 minutes when Marko Jesic worked his magic in the box to slot in goal number three. Dean Evans headed just over the bar and Laurence Gaughan had a header saved by goalkeeper Ivan Necevski as Perth sought a way back into the game. But the 71st minute penalty, awarded for handball and scored by Perth skipper Clark Keltie, turned out to be little more than a consolation.
WARREN LOOKS FOR MORE GLORY AT PERTH
Perth Glory FC has completed the signing of left-back Marc Warren on a one-year deal. The former Sheffield United defender Warren joins Kenny Lowe’s squad after a successful three-week trial, which included two pre-season friendlies against Cockburn City and Inglewood United.
Warren said he is excited to have another chance in the A-League, after stints at Central Coast Mariners and most recently Sydney FC, and he’s looking forward to the new challenge. “I’m grateful to get another chance to play football on the biggest stage in Australia, especially considering the proud history of the Club,” he said. “I’ll be doing whatever I can to help bring success to Glory because the fans and the people at the Club deserve it.”
The 23-year-old is a product of the Australian Institute of Sport, and played for the Australian under 17’s, and 20’s and was part of the FIFA under 20 World Cup Squad. He then headed to the UK and signed for the then League One club Sheffield United, before leaving Bramell Lane and having a stint at Scottish side Airdrie United.
Glory Coach Kenny Lowe said Warren’s experience was a major factor in his signing. “He’s very experienced for someone of such a young age,” Lowe said. “He’s played in the UK, played in Scotland and he’s played in the A-League. He’s hungry – he’s shown that he’s got good qualities. Hopefully he kicks on and fulfils his potential.”
BRAVE SORRENTO BEATEN BY SYDNEY
Sorrento were denied but not embarrassed in their FFA Cup debut last night against A-League side Sydney FC, who moved into the last sixteen of the competition with a 2-0 win at Perth Oval. A 2nd minute penalty converted by Shane Smeltz dealt the Gulls hopes of an upset a major blow with youngster Max Burgess sealing the win with fifteen minutes remaining, much to the disappointment of the 3,484 strong crowd.
“We obviously thought we’d get a result but being 1-0 down after two minutes gave us a mountain to climb,” midfielder James Morgan said. “I thought we matched them for a good period of the second half, were unlucky not to score and they’ve just got that but of quality that hurts you in the end. But this is why we play football. We’ve got tradies, school teachers (in our side). For us it was a dream.”
Sydney made the best possible start with Smeltz expertly sending goalkeeper James Morgan the wrong way from the penalty spot after defender Lewis Hall chopped down Robert Stambolziev. Only the woodwork saved Sorrento from falling further behind before the break. Matt Jurman saw his header tipped onto the post from Chris Naumoff’s free-kick, while ‘keeper Morgan also pulled out a good save to push O’Neill’s curling strike against the bar.
The second half started much like the first, Todd Harnwell bringing Stambolziev down inside the box but this time ‘keeper Morgan dived to his right to push away Smetlz’s penalty. Sorrento almost levelled the game midway through the period when substitute Jack Salter was played through but his shot was straight at Vedran Janjetovic. That miss would prove costly as Sydney substitute Burgess made the game safe soon after with a fine finish from a tight angle to send the Sky Blues through.
Sorrento: GK James Morgan, 6 Daryl Platten, 7 James A Morgan (4 Shaun Kilkelly 78’), 8 Ryan Pearson, 9 Todd Pearson, 11 Thomas Boss, 12 Jack Eades (19 Jack Salter 60’), 15 Scott Bulloch, 18 Sean Canham, 20 Brad McDonald (2 Danny Cain 83’), 22 Lewis Hall.
Subs not used: RGK Neil Young, 24 Scott Hoyle
Sydney FC: GK Vedran Janjetovic, 2 Seb Ryall, 5 Matt Jurman, 6 Robert Stambolziev (26 Max Burgess 68’), 7 Andrew Hoole (14 Alex Brosque 64’), 9 Shane Smeltz (18 Matt Simon 72’), 11 Chris Naumoff, 13 Brandon O’Neill, 15 Riley Woodcock, 23 Rhyan Grant, 25 Aaron Calver.
Subs not used: RGK Anthony Bouzanis, 28 Lachlan Hughes
SUNS TOO HOT FOR PERTH
Perth Soccer Club FFA Cup campaign came to an end after a 3-1 defeat against NPLNSW side Rockdale City Suns at Ilinden Sports Complex. Toufic Alameddine gave the home side the lead early, before former Melbourne Heart and Central Coast Mariners striker Dyan Macallister added a second just before the break. The result was but beyond doubt when former Australian under-23 winger Marko Jesic added a third. Perth skipper Clark Keltie pulled one back from the penalty spot with 20 minutes remaining, but the damage had already been done. “I felt we started very slowly in the first 45 minutes and it wasn't until the second half that we were able to settle and play our game,” Perth coach Taki Nicolaidis said. “Unfortunately you can't give teams a head start like that and expect to win. Whilst we are disappointed our FFA Cup dream has come to an end we are better for the experience and will be back, better stronger and better next year.”
The home side opened the brighter, on a poor surface, and they were ahead on 21 minutes. Player-coach Paul Reid picked out Toufic Alameddine, who fired home the opener. Rockdale were on top and should have added second moments later, Mccallister was given far too much room in the box, but he fired wide when well placed.
Perth was struggling to get into the game but they went close to levelling on 40 minutes, Nick Ambrogio’s header flashing wide of the target. But in the final minute of the half, Rockdale added their second. Alameddine was the provider this time, his deep cross picked out Macallister who headed past Francis Soale.
Perth opened brightly in the second half and Frank Furfaro’s low cross was inches away from Reece Vittiglia in the box. But on the hour Rockdale added a third, Jesic firing home after good work from Reid. Perth continued to press and Dean Evans headed inches over the top before Laurence Gaughan saw a header well saved by Ivan Necevski.
The visitors found a life line on 75 minutes when Evans was brought down in the area and Keltie made no mistake from spot sending Necevski the wrong way. Perth pressed late and created a few half chances, but they couldn’t break through and at the final whistle it was the 1,857 home supporters celebrating.
Rockdale: GK Ivan Necevski, 4 Hristijan Tanoski, 5 Paul Reid, 6 Takuya Murayama, 7 Alec Urosevski (20 Mitsuhiro Iwamoto 18’), 9 Dylan Macallister (32 Matteo Pandolfo 93’), 10 Marko Jesic, 12 Idriss El Hafine, 15 Nic Petrillo, 17 Toufic Alameddine, 19 Patrick Savor.
Subs not used: RGK David Bradasevic, 29 Isaac Savor, 36 Stefan Dubocanin
Perth SC: Francis Soale, 2 Josh Wilkins, 3 Aleksander Susnjar, 5 Dean Evans, 6 Clark Keltie, 8 Aden da Luz, 14 Mark Pritchard (19 Andreas Theodosiades 66’), 15 Laurence Gaughan, 16 Nicholas Ambrogio (11 Frank Furfaro 53’), 17 Reece Vittiglia, 22 Julian Madaschi (13 Rocco Pizzata 46’).
Subs not used: RGK Alex Dunn, 18 Josh Pereira
PERTH PLOT TO STOP SUNS RISE
Tonight sees Perth SC emulating their A-League big brother as they fly the flag for Western Australian football against the more fancied Rockdale City Suns in the FFA Cup. After being knocked in last year’s first round by Cockburn City – a game coach Taki Nicolaidis called “our worst performance of the season” – the Azzurri are glad to be back in the national football spotlight. “A lot of the time we are the forgotten state being so far away from the major states in Australia,” Nicolaidis said.
“From my point of view, we’re not only just representing Perth Soccer Club but we’re also representing WA,” he added. “To be able to possibly get a win in the round of 32 and get into the last 16 will be good from the club’s point of view and also from the State’s point of view. Perth SC are the most successful club and biggest club here in Perth.
“To get back to the national stage and get that national exposure is good from a club point of view and also from a player point of view. I’m happy for the boys to be able to get this opportunity to come up against a fellow NPL team in Rockdale. Just to be able to go like for like and have that comparison with the two states and we’ll be having a good crack at that.”
Nicolaidis has called in a few favours in preparing his side to cause an upset against a Suns outfit brimming with former A-League talent. “One of our players Callum O’Connell used to play for Sydney United two years ago and he’s still got some friends over east,” he said. “I’ve also got a couple of contacts over there who have seen them play weekly and I have been going through the highlights that we see on the websites.
“I know they’re mid-table at the moment in the league and that’s probably not a true indication of their late form. They had a poor start but they’re form has improved recently. They’ve got a bit of A-League experience in Paul Reid, Dylan Macallister, Ivan Necesvski, plus Marco Jesic and Alec Urosevskii have been scoring the goals for them.”
Nicolaidis’ team also has players with European and A-League experience and he will look to them to cause problems for the Suns. “We’ve got a few players that have more profile,” he said. “Clark Keltie, who’s our club captain, has played 300 plus games in the lower leagues in England. He’s the current first and best winner for the whole competition last year.”
“We’ve also got Dean Evans who has had a spell in Hong Kong and also with Perth Glory. Two years ago he played in a game against Chelsea up in Hong Kong and a year and bit ago he was with Perth Glory. There is also Reece Vittaglia, he’s also had a spell with Perth Glory. He’s an outstanding talent and for me he should be playing at the A-League level.”
“Mark Pritchard is a Welsh under-21 player, played four times for his country and was at Swansea when he came over. One of our defenders Lawrence Gaughan was on the books at Liverpool, Celtic and Oxford before coming out to Australia. And we also have one of our local boys in Josh Wilkins who’s been with our Perth juniors since the age of seven or eight and (although) only 22 is into his fifth season now playing National Premier Leagues.”
SOCCEROOS DEFENDER WILLIAMS VOWS TO REBUILD HIS STALLED CAREER
Australia defender Rhys Williams is close to returning to full training as he battles to put a double Achilles rupture behind him and pick up the pieces of his frozen career. The luckless Middlesbrough defender – limited to just 60 seconds of senior football in the last 19 months – hopes to be match-ready by mid-September, but revealed he may have to go out on loan to prove his fitness to coach Aitor Karanka.
Ruled out of Australia’s squad for the 2010 and World Cups, Williams is hoping his injury curse has finally been lifted. “It’s all looking really positive … I am feeling stronger and getting fitter with work in the gym and I am certainly mentally stronger,” Williams said. “I am looking to be back in full training in four to six weeks. When I get fit we’ll have a look at a few things and I am open to a loan move. I am sure the gaffer will agree to that and let me go and get some games before I come back and challenge for a spot.”
“I’ve had a lot of injuries and I understand that I have to rebuild my reputation again. But I have faith in my ability and once I get back playing stain I am sure I can pick up where I left off. I will keep working hard and I haven’t given up hope yet of achieving my goals in the game. I have a lot of good people around me, especially my wife Sas and my new born son Arden and that has helped me get through this. It puts it all into perspective when you have children and family to look after and to go home to.”
With his contract due to expire at the end of the 2015-2016 campaign, it’s a pivotal season for Williams. “I need to get things right for sure now,” added the recently turned 27-year old. “With it being my last year, come January I will need to be weighing up my options. I was due to start training in two weeks but a couple of things came up in and around the Achilles but not directly to do with it and I shouldn’t be far away now. The main thing is to get fit … I am in the gym every day … I am doing all I can do to get back to where I want to be.”
DE VANNA FULL OF PRAISE FOR HER NEW CLUB
Melbourne City’s inaugural W-League signing Lisa De Vanna is chomping at the bit to play for her new club. Coming off the back of a fantastic third World Cup appearance for the Matildas, 30-year old De Vanna is eyeing further glory for her new club. “It’s a great opportunity,” De Vanna said. “The whole of what Man City brings to Melbourne City is just phenomenal with the whole set up. I’m quite honoured to be a part of that.”
After being approached by former coach Joe Montemurro to come and have a look at the facilities at Melbourne City’s training ground at La Trobe University, De Vanna says she was sold within ten minutes of walking around. “After ten minutes of being here, I was sold to the idea of playing for Melbourne City.” she said. “Its (the facilities) are what a women’s league needs. Now hopefully it’s a stepping-stone for other W-League sides to do.”
Coming off an impressive World Cup run in Canada, De Vanna believes that women’s football is only going to grow in Australia with the upcoming W-League. “Whilst we were in Canada we had a lot of media printed on the walls for all us to see,” the veteran finisher explained. “It felt so great to that finally we got the exposure and the attention we needed.”
As Melbourne City are the newest side to join the W-League competition, De Vanna acknowledged that they are a targeted side this season. “People are going to be aware of Melbourne City because it’s such a powerful club,” she said. “With the core players that we have it’s going to be a great season. I want to develop this club and hopefully we can win a title first-year round like no other club has done before.”
SORRENTO DREAMING OF FFA CUP GLORY
Jamie Harnwell can lay as many tactical traps for Sydney FC as he likes, but there are also plenty of things he can’t control. The Sorrento coach knows his semi-professional players are dreaming of an FFA Cup upset in this week’s Round of 32 clash, but the timing of those dreams is problematic when some players are on the night shift in their “regular” jobs.
For others the dream is turning into nerves as the reality of the game is brought home by a pre-match photoshoot at a bigger stadium than their norm, and for Harnwell the man-management is as important as the tactics. He’s been there too, for his record stint of more than 250 games at Perth Glory was book-ended by playing spells with Sorrento before stepping into the coaching role.
Harnwell has at his disposal a mix of veterans such as Sean Canham, a striker with experience of English league football, Kiwi imports and young local talent. It’s worked well this season, with Sorrento rising to fourth in the National Premier Leagues on the back of a 10-game unbeaten run prior to Friday’s loss at Perth SC. But while Sydney will be super-wary of falling victim to a cup upset, Harnwell is still well aware of the obstacles in his team’s path.
“It’s very difficult, the standard of players is vastly different but of course we’re planning as best we can to cause an upset,” Harnwell said. “Two of my lads have been on the night shift the past two months, sparkies working until 6am before heading home to sleep. So training has been very hard for them, we’ve put on extra sessions and we’re trying to get the fitness levels of all the players up because it is a big occasion for them.
Harnwell does have the element of surprise in his favour, with Sydney forced to send assistant coach Steve Corica to last Friday’s game to compile a scouting report. “It’ll be interesting to see how a few of the things we’ve worked on to face Sydney turn out, and it’s a great opportunity for me to test myself against one of the best coaches in Australia,” Harnwell said.
“It’s true you’ll struggle to find out too much about some of my players, but they’re good honest lads who work very hard. Equally though Sydney are a different proposition to last season, with no Marc Janko and I doubt any of their foreign boys will be playing so I think they’ll be relying on some of their younger players.” Sorrento and Sydney square off at Perth Oval on Wednesday evening, kick-off is at 6:30pm.
A MESSAGE FROM FOOTBALL WEST CEO PETER HUGG
Dear Football Fan,
FFA Cup action returns to WA this Wednesday (August 5) when Sorrento take on 2014-15 Hyundai A-League grand finalist Sydney FC at nib Stadium. At the same time, on the other side of the country, Perth Soccer Club will go head to head with NSW side Rockdale City Suns in an all PS4 NPL affair. Once again, the draw has thrown up special challenges for our teams, who will be giving their all to keep alive their Cup dreams.
The latest FFA Cup round also provides our local supporters with a particularly mouth-watering match – this time at our very own nib Stadium. We were fortunate last year when Bayswater City and Stirling Lions performed admirably against A-League heavyweights Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar. This year, Football West, Sorrento and Venues West have worked together to bring WA’s first FFA Cup match of the season to nib Stadium, the state’s premier rectangular stadium.
This will be the very first time that a local-level club has played a competitive game at the newly renovated nib Stadium, which will offer an outstanding football atmosphere and a wonderful advertisement for the local game. All that is needed now are loyal fans of the game to come along, lend your voice, show your passion and support the occasion.
This game should not just excite fans of Sorrento and Sydney but the entire WA football community and I would urge everyone to rally behind the event and show a united WA spirit for this great game. Tickets are available online or you can buy them on the night at Gate 3. The match kicks off at 6.30pm - be there early so you don’t miss a minute. We wish both clubs, as well as Perth Glory, every success in their respective 2015 Westfield FFA Cup campaigns. I look forward to seeing you all there.
Regards - Peter Hugg - Chief Executive, Football West
GRIFFITHS OUT FOR DUTCH DELIGHT
Rostyn Griffiths says he is looking forward to a big season with new Dutch club Roda JC Kerkrade after an eight-year absence from European football. Griffiths came through the academy at English side Blackburn Rovers, spending time on loan at Gretna and Accrington Stanley, before moving to the A-League in 2009. Several Australians have played at Roda in the past, including former Socceroos Zeljko Kalac at the turn of the century, and Graham Arnold and Gary van Egmond in the early 1990s.
“When I decided about six months ago that I wanted to go back to Europe I looked at a couple of countries that I thought would be beneficial to me,” Griffiths said. “And it pretty much went in the order of Germany, Holland and England. Fortunately Roda showed interest early on and obviously they needed somebody in my position so it worked out well. I knew a little bit about the Dutch Eredivisie as Australians have gone there and done well in the past.”
Griffiths had spent some time on trial at Birmingham City in the past few weeks, making two appearances for the Championship club, but was not offered a contract. “I had a lot of interest from the UK because I had been there previously,” he said. “I flew into the UK and started training with Birmingham. It was a good experience. They’re obviously a massive club but the biggest thing I’ll take out of it was number one, fitness, and number two just confidence that I can sort of play back at the senior European level.”
Roda has just been promoted back into the Eredivisie and appointed Darije Kalezic as its new manager last month. “Last year apparently it was the first time in the club’s history that they had been relegated,” Griffiths said. “So it’s not good enough from the club’s point of view and the fan’s point of view. This season they’re looking to make the team a bit stronger, they’ve brought a new coach to try and survive in the Eredivise because, by all accounts, the club’s got a pretty good history in the league.”
Griffiths made 25 appearances for Perth Glory last season, scoring three goals. “It’s a shame,” he said of Glory being stripped of a finals berth due to salary cap infringements. “From a player’s point of view how it ended last season was disappointing, but I’m sure the club will want to move on from that and for the players to build for this season. With salary cap restrictions and things like that it’s going to be difficult to attract players to Perth at the moment. So the types of players they’re bringing in are young players that want to try and prove themselves in the league.”
Regular game-time in Holland could put the central midfielder in the frame for national team selection, but Griffiths is not focused on that. “The Socceroos is always an ambition but I was at that crossroads on whether to go to Europe to try and get that highest level I possibly can or stay in Australia or go to Asia and get as much cash as I possibly could,” he said. “I chose the first option because I think I’m a bit better than that at the moment. I wanted to get back to Europe and see the highest level I could get to. I believe Holland is the best, if not one of the best, places for me to do that.”
BABALJ HAPPY TO DEFY TREND AWAY FROM THE A-LEAGUE
At a time when the movement of talented Australian players is away from the A-League, Eli Babalj is happy to be one of a few exceptions. The former Socceroo is not afraid to admit he has returned home in a bid to rejuvenate his career, officially signing with Adelaide United last week for the coming A-League season. He is new coach Guillermo Amor’s first recruit since the Spaniard took over from Josep Gombau last week.
A tall, strong striker who has been capped twice for the Socceroos, Babalj will spearhead the Adelaide attack after joining on a loan deal from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar. The 23-year old found if difficult to break into Alkmaar’s first team set-up in the two seasons he spent there. Injuries had a big effect, though he managed four games for fellow Socceroo Trent Sainsbury's club PEC Zwolle when he went on loan there in February.
“I want to play games and be successful with the team and that’s the main reason I decided to come to Adelaide,” Babalj said. “I am very excited to join the club and when they contacted me I knew it was something I wanted to do. The fact that a legend like Guillermo Amor will be coach is something special. I am very excited and can’t wait to get going.”
Babalj, who played juniors for Perth SC, has maintained his fitness levels with Alkmaar and with a personal trainer and is confident of being up to speed fairly quickly. But he is unlikely to be available for Adelaide’s round of 16 FFA Cup match against Darwin Olympic in Darwin on Tuesday. “I had my first training session today and now it’s up to the coaching staff to see if they think I’m ready to play,” he said.
Amor said he was delighted to have a player of Babalj’s quality at the club. “He is a very important player and can be used in many different places during games,” the Spaniard said. “He is the exact type of player that the club was looking for to help us improve. We will see about Darwin. We are looking forward to travelling there and we are focused on preparing for our first match in the FFA Cup. Right now we’re focusing on our tactics and the players were fantastic in training today. We have a group of winners here.”
SUBIACO BACK IN THE WINNER'S CIRCLE
Subiaco AFC won for the first time in four games, after a 4-2 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve. They had to come from behind to take the points, after Raveshlan Kuppusamy gave the home side the led early, but Ian McMurray levelled, before and own goal gave the visitors the lead at the break. Another own goal stretched they lead early in the second half, and Josh Booysen added the fourth, while Mitch Castrilli scored Armadale’s second goal. “It was a scrappy game, but we had a game plan which we stuck to,” McMurray said. “We worked hard as usual and got the result, but it wasn’t the best game of football but both teams were determined and fought for everything, thankfully it was us that got the result.”
The home side made a bright start and was ahead on 10 minutes. Kuppusamy found space in the box, and fired home low past Ryan Montgomery from a tight angle. But their lead only lasted five minutes. A long ball was flicked on by Danny Milne, to McMurray, and the big striker fired across Armadale keeper Dylan Wilson, and in off the post. The visitors then hit the front on the half hour. A free kick into the area was turned into his own net by Castrilli.
Subiaco took control after half time and they added a third five minutes in, and it was in comical circumstances. Josh Booysen was sent down the left, and his cross found McMurray, whose shot was blocked on the line and in the goalmouth scramble, the ball bounced off two Armadale player and rolled into the net. The result was put beyond doubt with fifteen minutes remaining, when Subiaco added a fourth.
Milne played in Booysen, who was brought down in the box and referee Michal Jasinski pointed straight to the spot. Booysen picked himself up and scored the resulting penalty. Armadale continued to press and scored a consolation goal two minutes later. Castrilli’s in-swinging corner curled over Montgomery. Armadale pressed late but it was too little too late, and Subiaco walked away with all three points.
MARULANDA KEEPS BAYSWATER ON TARGET FOR TITLE
PS4 National Premier League top goalscorer Gustavo Giron-Marulanda scored a brace as Bayswater beat Balcatta 4-1 in a fiercely fought contested Italian derby at Frank Drago Reserve, that saw both coaches sent to the stands. The Colombian striker opened the scoring in the seventh minute, but Balcatta youngster Cameron Teece levelled three minutes later. But Marulanda took his season tally to 17 for the season just after the break, before Danny Dixon and Bor Bor Sam added the others late in the game, while Teece was sent off in stoppage time. “It was a good game, and were happy to continue our winning form,” Dixon said. “We started well but got a bit sloppy towards the end of the first half and were told so by Coyney at the break, but everyone dug deep in second half and I thought we ran out worthy winners in the end.”
The home side dominated the early stages and hit the front after only seven minutes, losing his marker and firing home into the bottom corner of the net. But Balcatta hit back immediately, a long ball over the top sent Teece racing clear, and he rounded Devon Spence and rolled the ball into an empty net. Bayswater dominated for the rest of the half and David Heagney had two good chances to give the hosts the lead, but failed to hit the target, and Balcatta held firm.
But four minutes into the second half the home side regained the lead. Heagney was brought down in the box and referee David Bruce pointed straight to the spot despite the protestation from the Balcatta players. But Marulanda kept his nerve and stepped up and sent Clint Davies the wrong way. Bayswater looked dangerous every time they went forward but couldn’t get the third. Balcatta almost levelled on 72 minutes, Steve Sokol’s shot flashed over the top. That miss came back to haunt Balcatta, and sixty seconds later Bayswater added a third. Dixon was sent clear, and he finished with aplomb past Davies.
Balcatta pressed as Bayswater sat back, but they couldn’t find a way past Jamie Coyne and former Balcatta skipper Adam Tong. Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne was sent to the stands midway through the half after a brief chat with the referee. He was joined in the stands by Balcatta coach Ramon Falzon, when he disagreed with the referee’s decision to send Teece in the second minute of stoppage time. Bayswater then added a fourth two minutes later, after substitute Sam cut in from the right and firing into the top corner of the net.
KEOGH NETS LATE TO STEAL THE GLORY
Inglewood United striker Kenny Keogh scored a stoppage time winner, to beat Perth Glory 2-1 at the Inglewood Stadium, to break the clubs four game losing streak. David Sesay gave the home side the lead, but the Glory youngsters hit back moments later through Dejan Spaseski. It looked the points would be shared, but Keogh had other ideas to score from close range. “We’ve started a lot of games well but we haven’t got the result,” Keogh said. “Michael (Garcia) is a great guy and so is the coaching staff here, so it’s good to give them the reward.”
The first half was an arm wrestle with both sets of defenders in command. David Micevski went the closest, his curling free kick crashing off the crossbar and away to safety. But that all changed when the home side hit the front five minutes before the break. David Sesay made space on the edge of the box, held off his marker and fired home superbly past Jordan Franken.
But the Glory hit back immediately, Spaseski found a pocket of space on the edge of the penalty area and played a one-two with Nikola Talimdzioski, and he finished clinically past Aleks Vrteski. The Glory was now on top and could have gone into the break ahead. Stefan Valentini header was goal bound, but Vrteski was alert to fingertip the ball over the top.
Both sides had early chances after the break. Micevski’s shot on the run was saved by Franken, while Jacob Collard’s free kick whistled over the top. The Glory lost Nathan Costello with an injury on 65 minutes and while the Glory re-shaped, Inglewood almost hit the front two minutes later. Keogh burst into the area, one-on-one with Franken, but the Glory custodian stood tall to deny him.
Micevski thought he had scored late on, his header lobbed over Franken, but Gian Albano was alert to clear the ball off the line. It looked like the point would be shared but with the clock ticking to 93 minutes, Inglewood scored the winner. Glory midfielder Calvin Whitney failed to clear, and Keogh pounced. He played a one-two with Micevski and fired home, much to the delight of the Inglewood faithful.
ATHENA THRASH AN ILL-DISCIPLINED JOONDALUP
Floreat Athena boosted their goal difference after thrashing a nine men ECU Joondalup 7-2 at the ECU Football Stadium. Five second-half goals helped visitors to a comprehensive win, and it if it wasn’t for ECU keeper Jamie Serra it could have been double figures. The hosts had taken the lead early through Ollie Annis, but former ECU midfield Jon Stynes levelled, before Lewis McMahon gave them the lead at the break. Stynes and McMahon added another after the break, with other goals to Bobby Wilson, Kris Gate and Aryn Williams, while ECU skipper Jon Higgins and Paul Miller were both sent off. “To be honest the 7-2 scoreline was a let off for them. If we could have finished our chances it could very easily have been double figures,” McMahon said. “They are young team and to be honest I felt sorry for them getting two players sent off but that's Football.”
The visitors opened brightly, but couldn’t find an avenue to goal, and on it was the home side that opened the scoring on 22 minutes. A long ball over the top sent Annis clear, and he fired home clinically past Fraser Greenwood. Floreat looked to hit back, Williams’ shot crashed off the post, and they found Serra in fine form. The ECU custodian was at full stretch to keep out Bobby Wilson’s free kick.
But the keeper couldn’t do anything when Floreat levelled. ECU didn’t clear their line and Stynes volley flew into the net. Serra was working overtime, and he saved superbly from Stynes’ long-range shot on the half hour, but Floreat’s pressure was rewarded with the lead in the last minute of the half. McMahon brought the ball down on his chest, before beating Serra with a deft chip.
The visitors made the perfect start to the second half and made it 3-1 in the first minute. Ludovic Boi intercepted a poor clearance out of defense from ECU, to cross to McMahon who tapped in from close-range. It was 4-1, four minutes later, Boi again supplying the assist, his corner picking out Wilson, who headed home at the far post. The home side was caving in and Gate made it 5-1 on 52 minutes.
ECU’s problems became worse when skipper Higgins was sent off by referee Josh Mannella on 57 minutes, after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession, and Stynes rubbed salt in the wounds by adding a sixth on the hour, turning home Boi’s cross. Tommy Amphlett pulled one back for ECU on 73 minutes, the striker racing clear from Miller’s through ball to finish low past Greenwood.
But Miller’s afternoon ended six minutes later, when he brought down Boi, and was given a second yellow card and sent off. Floreat continued to press and scored a seventh in the final minute, William’s volleying home after Serra could only parry Boi’s shot, and the win keeps them hot on the heels of leaders Bayswater at the top of the table.
LIONS AND COCKERELS SHARE THE SPOILS
Stirling Lions and Cockburn City fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Dalmatinac Park. Lawrence Shuruma had given the Lions the lead early, but a double from David Araya, either side of half time gave the home side the lead. But Daniel Micevski levelled for the visitors, but with Cockburn pressing, teenage keeper Joel Driscoll made two stunning reaction saves late in the game to keep Cockburn at bay. “It’s a good point for us away from home, as results haven’t been going our way recently,” Driscoll said. “We started really well and should have wrapped the points up earlier, but we had to hold them off late, and I was happy to help with a couple of saves late.”
It was the home side that opened the brighter and went close after only three minutes. Darren Gibson’s deep cross to the back post was met by Julian Teles, but his header was saved by Driscoll. But Stirling settled and they were ahead on 18 minutes. A long ball over the top caused panic in the Cockburn defence, and keeper Jack Adams raced out of his area to clear the ball, but the ball fell to Shuruma who scored.
They nearly doubled their lead two minutes later, Shuruma eased past Blake Adams on the right, but his shot was well saved by Jack Adams. Cockburn hit back and were level on 34 minutes. Gibson was having a great game, and his mazy run took him past four Lions players, before a cheeky back heel found Araya, who fired home via the post. The Lions thought they had the lead at half time. Micevski’s long-range shot was tipped on to the bar by Jack Adams, and Robert Petkov goal was ruled offside.
The home side dominated the early exchanges after the break, and Driscoll was alert to keep out Araya’s long-range shot, but there was nothing he could do when Cockburn hit the front on 56 minutes. It was Gibson again, who was the provider. He cut the ball back to Patterson, who in turn fed Araya, whose low shot nestled in the bottom corner of the net. But the Lions levelled on the hour. Shuruma sent Micevski racing clear. His first shot was blocked by Jack Adams, but he followed up to fire home the rebound.
The Lions were convinced they should have had a penalty, when Martin was brought down by Josh Kuser, but referee Steven Gregory waved away their protests. Both sides had chances as the game opened up. Alan Carroll headed over for Cockburn when well placed, before Shane Malcolm was denied by Jack Adams for the Lions.
But late on it was the home side pressing for the winner, but Driscoll stood tall. First on 85 minutes he reacted well to save Ayara’s deflected shot, before in final minute he produced a stunning one handed save to deny Harry O’Brien.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FIFTEEN – REVIEW
League leaders Mandurah City were held to a 2-2 draw by Shamrock Rovers in an entertaining game at Grimrey Reserve on Saturday afternoon. The home side earned their point, with a late penalty from Alec Robinson, in stoppage time. “It was hard fought game between two physical teams and I thought it was an entertaining game,” Shamrock Coach John O’Reilly said. “Both sides worked hard and both had chances, but at the end of the day a draw was a fair result.” It was an even opening to the game with chances at both ends. Mandurah’s Jordan Rhodes saw a shot cleared off the line, before Mandurah keeper Dave Keenan saved well to deny Sean Browne’s long-range shot. But it was the home side who hit the front on the half hour, Charlie Kenna beat two defenders and slipped ball in for Alec Robinson who put ball under Keenan. The home side were well on top and Mandurah were on the back foot, but held on till half time. The visitors hit back five minutes into the second half. Tom Straker’s cross picked out Abi Tcuono who brought the ball down superbly and fired low past Justin Scarvaci. It was game on but it was the leaders who hit the front on 64 minutes. Rhodes’ free kick curled around the wall and flew past Scarvaci into the top corner of the net. City looked for a third and Jon Brookes’ shot was superbly saved by Scarvaci, before the Shamrock custodian again denied Tcuono. Shamrock pressed late looking for the equaliser, and Will Pender fired wide at the back post. It looked like Mandurah would leave with the points but in stoppage time Shamrock levelled. A corner into the area saw Keenan collide with Ronan Roarty, and the referee pointed to spot, despite the Mandurah players’ protests. Robinson stepped up and fired straight down the middle to equaliser. “It’s a decent point away from home, and I thought our lads did a solid job,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “It is difficult place to win and they are the current champions, so Robbo and I are happy with the performance.”
In other games Ashfield lost ground on the leaders after losing 2-1 against South West Phoenix at Payne Park. Jayden Prosser and Ryan Francis were on target for the home side while Dan Corbett scored for Ashfield. Joondalup United were made to work hard for their 2-1 win against Swan United at Forrest Park. Lee Jones gave the home side the lead on the half hour, and Aaron Maplestone doubled their advantage five minutes later. Swan hit back just before half time, when Yves Mwila shot struck the arm of a defender and Sean Treacey scored from the resulting penalty. Both sides had chances in the second hal but couldn’t take them. The home side should have wrapped up the points with fifteen minutes remaining, but James Harmer missed from the penalty spot. Dianella White Eagles beat Gosnells City 4-1 at Dianella Reserve. Angel Andres scored twice, with Jason Barrera and Guillermo Gomez Rojas also on target for the home side, while Liam Cave scored Gosnells consolation goal. UWA-Nedlands left Burrendah Reserve with all three points after a 3-2 win against Canning City. Canning was ahead early through Chris Holland, before Ben Reynolds levelled. The lively Reynolds added his second moments later to send the visitors in with the lead. Holland added his second to bring the sides’ level but UWA won it when Kim Mengbom headed home Ryan Ince’s corner.
In the final game Western Knights continued their recent good form with a 4-1 win against Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. The visitors looked lively early and Ross Cosgrave’s sublime through ball found Dean Aplegren who finished low past Anthony Salpietro. The Knights dominated and added a second just before the break. Salpietro missed a back pass and Paul Lloyd fired home into an empty net. The home side was back in the game early in the second half, David Houston racing clear, before finishing low past Sam Hutchinson. The Knights brought on teenage striker Jamie Bromell and he had an immediate impact scoring with his first touch. The Knights were now in control and the points were wrapped up when Lloyd’s stunning long-range shot flew into the top corner of the net.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FIFTEEN – REVIEW
It was top v bottom in the All Flags Division Two, but there wasn’t any upsets, with Rockingham City trashing Kelmscott Roos 9-0 at Lark Hill. Shane Boyle bagged four goals, with the others Christian Hogge, Ryan Kennedy, Gersh Rowland, Sean Brady and David Clark. The match of the round was at Wanneroo Sports Complex, with Wanneroo City running out 2-1 winners against Fremantle City. The visitors opened well but Daniel Agudelo saved a one-on-one early, but there was little he could do when Fremantle opened the scoring. A quick counter attack saw Anthony Iloma race clear and fired home after some sloppy defending from the home side. Connor Lynch hit the bar moments later, before firing wide when well-placed just before the break. The home side was back in the contest on 70 minutes. John Monterosso played in Daniel Coletta, who picked his spot and fired into the top corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area. Fremantle were reduced to ten men when Lynch was brought down by Ben West, and he was sent off. The home side they took control and ten minutes from time they scored the winner. Tommy Black’s ball picked out Monterosso who raced into the area and fired home his 15th goal of the season. “It was a huge result for us as we have come up just short against our top four rivals, and they (Fremantle) beat us well last time, so it's good to see our improvements what was a very tight contested game,” Wanneroo coach Matt Debarro said. “I still believe Fremantle are up there with Forrestfield as the two best footballing teams we've played. They are a well-coached team and an all-round nice club to host I wish them well. For us I feel our belief and confidence is back and our football was at its best, so fingers crossed we roll on from here.”
In other games Melville City and Kingsway Olympic fought out a 2-2 draw at Len Shearer Reserve. Simon El Chami and Matt Donley had given the home side a 2-0 lead, but Nathan Thorpe pulled one back with a stunning free kick. But a mistake from Melville keeper Mirko Grgurinovic was pounced upon by Joe Woodin to give Kingsway a share of the spoils. Balga ran out 2-0 winners against Quinns FC in the local derby at Princess Road Reserve. Ali Elhassan scored a penalty after 35 minutes and Jonathan McGahern scored in the 90th minute, both players were former Quinns player that joined them before the transfer deadline. Meanwhile goals to Danny Welsh and Liam McGurk gave Joondalup City a 2-0 win against Curtin University at the Iluka Sports Complex.
In the final game of the round Forrestfield United maintained the pressure on Rockingham, with a 4-0 win against Ellenbrook United at Hartfield Park on Saturday evening. The home side hit the front on 25 minutes; Will Tshabangu made space down the right and squared it across for Rhys Loxley for an easy tap in at the back post. The home side had to wait till 65 minutes to add their second. Trent Wood was brought down on the edge of the penalty area and Loxley stepped up to fire home the free kick. Loxley completed his hat-trick on 75 minutes. Matt Harold was on the end of a good team move, and he sent Loxley clear and he finished clinically. The scoring was complete with five minutes remaining. Ben Rogers turned his marker on the edge of the penalty area and fired home powerfully.
PERTH STOP THE GULLS WINNING STREAK
Perth SC consolidated third spot on the table after a 2-0 victory against Sorrento at Dorrien Gardens on Friday evening. Skipper Clark Keltie gave the home side the lead, before Dean Evans doubled their advantage just before the break to end Sorrento six game winning run. “We controlled the game from the get go and controlled possession, and we knew we had to patient, but the gaps appeared and we took our chances,” Evans said. “This win closes the gap on Floreat for second spot and gives us some impetus going into the Rockdale FFA cup game.”
It was a lively opening and Sorrento were the first to threaten, Brad McDonald sent Todd Harnwell into the area, but new Perth Serbian defender Aleksander Susnjar got back with a timely last ditch tackle. The home side began to take control of the game and on 22 minutes they hit the front. Josh Wilkins pulling the ball back to Keltie on the edge of the penalty area, and his shot flew into the corner of the net.
Sorrento had the perfect opportunity to level 12 minutes later. Good work on the right by Harnwell took him clear of his marker, his cross picked out the unmarked Sean Canham, who headed wide of the target from six meters. It was the best period of the match for the visitors, and they then had the ball in the net, five minutes later, but Scott Bulloch’s effort was ruled offside.
Perth were on the back foot and keeper Francis Soale had to be alert to push Bulloch’s shot around the post, before Bulloch’s deep cross landed on top of the net moments later. But in the shadows of the half time break all their hard work was undone, when Perth doubled their advantage, Evans’ free kick curled around the wall, and low past James Morgan to give them a 2-0 lead at the break.
Both sides had chances early in the second half. Ambrogio shot was well saved by James Morgan, before in a goalmouth scramble, Shaun Kilkelly’s shot was blocked by some desperate Perth defending. Perth almost added a third on 69 minutes. Rocco Pizzata’s surging run ended with a great ball into the path of Mark Pritchard, who was in on goal, but the midfielder shot flashed inches wide of the target.
Sorrento ended the game well, as they prepare for their FFA Cup clash with A-League side Sydney FC on Wednesday at nib Stadium. Thomas Boss had two late chances but he failed to beat Soale, but it was too little too late for the visitors and it was Perth who took the points.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND SEVENTEEN – PREVIEW
It’s a massive week for WA football, with Sorrento and Perth SC both involved in the last 32 of the FFA Cup next Wednesday. But before then the pair meet in the opening game of Week 17 of the PS4 National Premier League on Friday night at Dorrien Gardens. Sorrento head into the game on the back of a ten game undefeated run and Coach Jamie Harnwell said he is really pleased with the way players have lifted, after being written off by some pundits this season. “In football you quickly learn not to pay too much attention to what goes on outside your circle of control. We had players from last season leave, and we had to regenerate the squad that had been so successful over the past 4 or 5 years,” he explained. “We were confident coming into the season that we had enough quality to be a competitive side and in the transformation of how we wanted to play football. It took some time to bed that down, but we are now seeing the benefits and the players deserve the credit for that.” Harnwell has had to keep his players mind on the job at hand, and he knows Friday’s game will be a tough one. “It’s easy to forget such a big game when the FFA Cup is on the horizon, but we go into their full of confidence,” he said. “Our recent form has been superb and we want to keep that run going and keep nipping at the heels of the top three. However we also realize Perth is a good side with quality all over the park, so it should be a great game.” In team news Jack Salter limped off last week and is under an injury cloud, likewise Darryl Platten, Brad McDonald and Tom Boss, but all should be fit to play.
The home side bounced back from defeat against Bayswater in week 15, to beat Balcatta last week, and Coach Taki Nicolaidis said it was a pleasing performance. “Without a doubt, we were terrible against Baysie, but responded very well last week against Balcatta,” he said. “We have reset our targets for the remainder of the season and want to finish as high up as we can hence a win against Sorrento is vital.” The Coach is well aware of Sorrento’s recent form and said it should be a great encounter. “With both teams preparing for next week’s FFA Cup game and some people thinking that both teams will go into this game easy I can assure you that we will be taking this game very serious and will be going all out to take the three points,” he explained. “I'm pretty confident that Jamie Harnwell will be of the same mind set and would be expecting a very close game.” In team news for the home side James Marocchi will miss another game with a leg injury, while Andreas Theodosiades is fit again and after playing the last two weeks in the 20’s will be putting his hand up for first team action. They are also waiting tomorrow for ITC clearance for defender Aleksander Susnjar who last played in the Lithuanian Premier League.
League leaders Bayswater City take on Balcatta in an Italian derby at Frank Drago Reserve. City was made to work hard for the points last week, and defender Adam Tong said Cockburn really took the game to them. “It was a game of two halves, we went two up and they didn’t create too many chances and we should have put the game to bed,” he said. “But in the second half they came out firing, and deservedly hit the front, mainly due to our mistakes. But we hit back and in the end got the three points, but they defiantly made it hard for us.” The defender comes up against his former club for the first time since he left last month, and said it will be another tough game. “It’s going to another interesting game this week, as from day one this season they (Balcatta) have either turned up for 90 minutes or just 45, and allowed teams back in the game,” he explained. “They have a great young squad and have a lot of quality going forward, and since I left Alex Suleski has come into the back four and I hope he doesn’t learn to many bad habits from Kieran Stallard. We need to focus for the whole game and if we do I’m confident we will come out on top and take another step towards the title.” In team news Chris Saldaris and Andy Reale are still unavailable, while Todd Howarth is under an injury cloud, but Jamie Coyne will return.
In other games the co-tenants at Inglewood Stadium meet, with Inglewood United taking on Perth Glory. It’s an Inglewood home game and they will be looking to turn around a poor run of form, but Coach Michael Garcia said he is happy with the way they are playing. “Despite my frustration and disappointment in the results recently, I’m extremely proud of the players,” he told the Inglewood web site. “The brand of football the boys are playing is good and I can’t fault the way they continue to try to apply what we are preaching to them … I just feel bad that they’re not seeing any rewards for it.” Inglewood have scored the least goals in the league, and Garcia believes the teams’ inability to finish their opportunities is a major reason why they have lost their last four games. “It’s hard to pinpoint the reason behind it. We work on our finishing every night at training, and as a coaching group we talk constantly about how we can rectify it,” he said. “We will be work hard over the next the next few weeks to ensure we fix things up.”
Floreat Athena makes the trip to ECU Football Stadium to take on ECU Joondalup. Floreat need to keep picking up three points to keep tabs on Bayswater and have only lost once on the road this season, while ECU have dropped five games at home, so Floreat will fancy their chances. Floreat welcome back striker Lewis McMahon from suspension, and Aryn Williams from his trial at Newcastle Jets, but Steve Burton and Jack Allen will miss, while ECU will hope defender Charlie Comyn-Platt and Stuart Montgomery can return from injury. Both sides will look to bounce back from defeats last weekend, when Cockburn City entertain Stirling Lions at Dalmatinac Park. The home side will be without keeper Curtis Aspden, who is overseas, but Liam Murray returns, while Harry O’Brien and Euen Grant are hoping to be fit for the clash, while Teeboy Kamara returns for the Lions. In the final game Armadale host Subiaco AFC at Alfred Skeet Oval. The home side moved off the bottom of the table with a win at Stirling and Coach Paul Price is looking for the same on Saturday. “I think everybody knows now that there will be no relegation this year so for the rest of this season it's about improving and planning for next season,” he said. “The lads were great last week and we now have to start making sure we win games at home, starting Saturday.” The home side will be missing Nick Crerand, Danny Hodgson and skipper Reece Davies for the rest of the season, but the form of striker Tonci Skorich has been great and he will be hoping to add to his two goals from last week.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FIFTEEN – PREVIEW
The match of the round in the All Flags Division One is league leaders Mandurah City visit to last season’s Champions Shamrock Rovers at Grimley Reserve. Rovers have struggled in recent weeks with injuries and players unavailable, but Coach John O’Reilly said they are now getting back to their best side and was happy with the win at UWA-Nedlands last week. “They (UWA) have really improved, and yes we won the game but they pushed us to the end. We played some good football and did enough as a team to get over the line,” he said. “We’re on a good run at the moment and have only lost once in the last eight games, but it will be a huge test for us on Saturday.” The visit of the league leaders is one O’Reilly and the players are looking forward to. “Mandurah are the bench mark this year, and we had a very narrow loss early in the season,” he said. “We had a great record at home last season, and we are yet to be beat this season, so we believe we can turn that around this time.” In team news, Dave Murphy (Knee) and Darren O'Riordan (ankle) are unavailable, but Steve Sheridan will return to the squad.
Mandurah hold a four point lead on the table and Coach Doug Hesketh said every game in the league is difficult and they found that out last week against second bottom Morley Windmills. “I was delighted to keep a clean sheet against Morley and three points, we had a lot of chances but their keeper was excellent,” he said. “We’re ticking along nicely, but Morley showed they are a good side and I believe they will beat a few teams still.” The Dolphins travel north in a confident mood, but Hesketh knows Shamrock will make it tough for them. “Playing the current champions is a challenge, John (O’Reilly) is a good coach, they are a solid unit, and it's another test for our squad,” he said. “We have a great group of players, they are solid and support each other with a determined mindset, and Robbo and I are really looking forward to the test and I know the players are too.” In team news Craig Young is in doubt with injury, but Tom Straker returns from suspension.
Joondalup United lost ground on the leaders last week after losing to Gosnells, and they will be looking to bounce back when they host struggling Swan United at Forrest Park. “It was a disappointing result last week, but we need to turn up for 90 minutes, not 70 minutes,” Joondalup Coach John Evans said. “They (Gosnells) showed in the first 20 minutes they wanted it more than us, and we were still in the changing rooms. I’ve said all season there is no easy games in this league, and if you don’t turn up to play you will get beat.” Evans will be looking for a response from his players on Saturday, but is well aware Swan will be desperate for the points in the relegation fight. “Hopefully we can put last week behind us, and learn from it and move on,” he said. “Swan will be fighting for survival, and I’m sure Salv Todaro will have them up for the game, so we must start from the first whistle.” In team news for the home side Joe Stocker picked up and injury last week and will face a late fitness test.
In other games Morley Windmills will go in search of their first win of the season, when they entertain Western Knights at Nash Field. The in-form Gosnells City travels to Dianella Reserve, with Tom Allen and Liam Cave both back in the squad, to take on Dianella White Eagles. UWA-Nedlands, who still have a number of players with the flu, travel to Burrendah Reserve to take on Canning City, who will be without the suspended Simon Elton-Bott and Ethan Levitt, but they do regain the services of Joshua Wade, and Mark and Daniel Trevisiol.
In the final game South West Phoenix welcome second placed Ashfield to Payne Park. Phoenix earned a 1-1 draw at Western Knights last week, with Lee Stewart on target, and the striker said it was a good result. “It's always a tough game against the Knights and they started well, and Jamie Oakey made a fantastic couple saves before we went in front. It was frustrating to concede straight away but I thought the boys at the back were fantastic again and for a young bunch they are starting to gel and give us a good platform,” he explained. “We had a couple chances in the second half to steal points but it's never a bad result to leave there with a point and we remain on our unbeaten run so that's good for our confidence.” Ashfield will be looking to keep the pressure on Mandurah, and will want some revenge for the Phoenix beating them at the end of last season, which cost them the title, but Stewart, who will miss the big game as he is in Darwin for a wedding, said it will be a cracking game. “It was great to stop them winning the league last year as it's never nice to see someone else win it against you,” he said. “I’m gutted to be missing the game, as they are one of the form team of the league. They have got stronger as the season’s gone on and they will be a tough task this week. Hopefully we can put in another good performance and get a result.” In team news Ryan Risdon will miss again for the home side, while Ashfield head south at full strength.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FIFTEEN – PREVIEW
It’s week 15 of the All Flags Division Two, and the pick of this week’s games is Wanneroo City’s clash against Fremantle City at Kingsway Sports Complex. Fremantle overcame Melville last week, but Coach Steve Plucknett said the score line wasn’t a reflection of the game. “Although we were pleased with the result, the 4-0 score line certainly didn’t reflect the closeness of the game. We knew Gavin (Brown) would have his side prepared for the local derby and it was a hard fought contest. In the end it came down to chances that both sides had, and luckily we took ours on the day,” he explained. “It was a great day and we were able to hand a full debut to 17-year-old Anthony Lomma, who has come up through our under 18’s. He showed ample evidence of his tremendous promise in scoring two goals in his first full game for the seniors.” Plucknett said the visit to Wanneroo will be another tough assignment, but it’s one they are looking forward too.” It will be another hard test against Wanneroo, the previous result means nothing now, as they are a strong side who played well against us earlier in the season,” he said. “A win is important for both sides to keep in contention, so we will have to prepare for a tight encounter.” In team news Nicky O’Brien, Rory Kiely and Andrew Morrow return to the squad, but Danny Clapham and Nathan Findlater are out. Wanneroo sit four points behind Saturday’s opponents, in fourth place on the table and Coach Matt Debarro said it was fantastic to get back in the winner’s circle last week. “It was a good game to watch, and the lads looked determined and played good football,” he said. “We looked lively in attack and very strong defensively, so it was good to get back on track.” Debarro said that Fremantle were outstanding in their first meeting, and he is hoping they can turn the result around on Saturday. “It’s an opportunity to close the gap on third place, but it’s also a chance to show how far we’ve come,” he said. “They (Fremantle) are a good side, and they deserved the 3-0 win last time. But my lads have really grown since round four and I know we have the quality to return the result around.” In team news Connor Lynch returns to the squad this week, but Chris Rizidis is still struggling with injury.
In other games it’s top against bottom, when league leaders Rockingham City entertains Kelmscott Roos at Lark Hill. City coach Rob Crerar was away last week and missed the 0-0 draw at Kingsway, and he said he won’t be doing it again. “I’ll never go on holiday during the season again,” he said. “I knew we would drop points last week, but that’s behind us now. We have struggled against Kelmscott previously, but I’d like to think we will bounce back strongly after a real poor showing last week, but we need to be switched on from the first whistle.” In team news Christian Hogge and Shane Boyle are back in the squad this week, but Fraser Marr is unavailable. Forrestfield host Ellenbrook at Hartfield Park on Saturday evening (7pm). Jason Godfrey is still out with a head injury, but Matt Harold is back from holidays, but will have to come off the bench. Ben Fraser has returned from a lengthy holiday and is pushing for a spot in the first team, but Ben Rogers is struggling to be fit after the flu. Balga meet Quinns at Princess Road Reserve. Ollie Rigler returns in goal for the home side, and Vlad Naumvski and Jonathan McGahern also return to the squad, Melville City entertain Kingsway Olympic at Len Shearer Reserve, while Curtin University travel to the Iluka Sports Complex to take on Joondalup City.
ARMADALE HUNT HOME WIN (courtesy nplwa.com.au)
Armadale coach Paul Price is desperate for his side to record its first home win of the year when it hosts Subiaco in Saturday’s PS4 National Premier Leagues WA clash. Price, who has led the club off the bottom of the table since taking over in May, said Armadale needed to build on its three away wins by claiming points at Alfred Skeet Reserve. “The team has played and lost seven games at home,” he said. “Whether there’s a mental block at home, I don’t know – if your home form isn’t good, you put yourself under a lot of pressure.”
Armadale enter the game on the back of a 4-1 drubbing of Stirling Lions, a result which highlighted the club’s progress. “They’re doing really well and they’re playing with some confidence now,” Price said of his players. “Each week we’ve been doing really well, but we need to get four or five games together with one team and no injuries.”
Armadale have only been able to play the same starting 11 twice in 10 games, and will lose Nick Crerand and Reece Davies this week, both of whom have returned home to England. And, in worse news for the club, another Englishman – leading scorer Danny Hodgson – has been ruled out for the season after scans confirmed a serious knee injury. Hodgson sustained torn lateral and anterior cruciate ligaments and a fractured kneecap in the Round 14 clash with Floreat Athena. “It’s a really bad injury for the kid – whether he plays again for Armadale or not, we wish him all the best for his recovery,” Price said. “He’s only 19, so he’s got a great future ahead of him.”
Armadale currently sit two points behind ninth-placed Subiaco, and Price said the prospect of his side overtaking the visitors would be in both clubs’ thoughts. “Perth Glory Youth, or Subiaco, or ECU – none of them want to finish on the bottom of the table, so that’s the motivation for all the four teams at the bottom,” he said. “Subiaco have some young players in, they’re only two points ahead of us, so there’s no reason why we can’t get a result if we play well.”
KELTIE READY TO LEAD PERTH TO SUCCESS
Perth Soccer Club have a great tradition in local football, winning the WA Premier League title on 20 occasions, and the Cup 11 times, but on Wednesday they will hit the national stage when they take on NSWNPL side Rockdale City Suns in the round of 32 of the Westfield FFA Cup. Perth skipper Clark Keltie said the competition is great for the game in Australia and said they are looking forward to the challenge. “Our club has been very successful in WA over the years and its reputation speaks for itself,” he said. “So the next step is obviously to move onto the national stage and the FFA Cup is a great place to showpiece that. It gives the smaller teams around the country a crack at making a name for them self, and everyone at Perth Soccer Club believe we can do so.”
The first games in the round of 32 were shown live on Fox Sports on Wednesday, and you could see what it meant to the winners on the night, and the Presidents of the clubs hoping for an A-League club in the next round. “The financial gains from a good cup run are massive, but we can’t look any further than Wednesday night in Sydney,” Keltie said. “I’m sure Gary (Marocchi) has his eye on a big home game in the next round, but for me and the players it’s about one game at a time.”
The draw was made live on Fox Sports and when it was drawn Keltie had to ask were and which state Rockdale was. But despite this the club has done their homework on them and how they play ahead of the big clash. “Yes, my first reaction to the draw was ‘Where is Rockdale’, so that tells you how much I knew about them initially,” he joked. “But since then Taki and the coaching staff have been gathering as much info on them as possible, even down to the finest detail of the size of the pitch and the surface, so we will be going there as prepared as we can.”
The squad is at full strength at the moment and the skipper said it will be a difficult decision for the coaches on the travelling party, but they have an important league game before they leave. “The playing group at the club is an honest hard working bunch in general, so in that respect nothing has changed, but unfortunately we can only take 16 players, but that’s football. The squad that travels will have earned their spot,” Keltie said. “We can’t look any further as a team, to the game against Sorrento tonight. They have had a good run lately, unbeaten in ten games, so we know they will turn up and give us a good game. I think we’ve played some our best football at home, so the boys will go into the game full of confidence, and so will they, so it should be great game.”
Keltie has played in many big cup games in his time in the UK, but one when he was at Darlington comes to mind. “I was fortunate enough to play in some good FA Cup / League Cup games in the UK, and a National Cup Final in Scandinavia,” he explained. “The one that stands out would be when I was at Darlington and we played Leeds United in the FA Cup 4th Round at Elland Road. Playing in front of a huge crowd in a stadium that is steeped in history was a great occasion. I somehow managed to get on the scoresheet too so it’s one to remember. Hopefully I can help the Perth boys make some memories they won’t forget here in Australia.”
Perth Coach Taki Nicolaidis says the club will head to Sydney to represent WA and believes they will give a good account of themselves. “It’s a huge opportunity for the playing group to showcase their ability against a fellow NPL club in Rockdale,” he said. “From a club point of view it's great for our profile to be on the national stage again. Everyone involved with the club are buzzing at the moment and really looking forward to putting on a good show in Sydney not just for themselves and our club but also for football in WA.”
HARNWELL HOPING TO GO OUT WITH CUP SUCCESS
Sorrento goes into next week’s Round of 32 Westfield FFA Cup looking to become the first NPLWA side to win at the stage in the competition. They face a tough challenge taking on A-League powerhouse Sydney FC at the nib Stadium, but a win would cap off the fantastic football career of Gulls striker Todd Harnwell. The 35-year old, who is the brother of Sorrento head Coach Jamie, has played over 400 games for the club, and will hang up the boots at the end of the season, so it would be a fairy-tale end if they can knock off the Sky Blues, and go on to have a good cup run.
The striker was to retire last season, but said he would go on for one more season, but he said this year is definitely the last. “Whatever happens on Wednesday it is like a fairytale finish for me. This will definitely be my last season, as my wife Liv and I will have a new addition to family come December,” Harnwell said. “Obviously it would be a dream come true to win the game and progress a little further in the cup, but to be able to cap off my career with an A-League experience in the FFA Cup will be something I will not forget, regardless of the outcome of Wednesday’s game.”
Harnwell said the Sydney game has been on the minds of the whole squad, and they will go out and enjoy it. “Everyone at the club is thrilled to have the chance to be viewed on the National stage, the players, coaches, the committee and supporters are really looking forward to Wednesday game and we will all be doing our utmost to ensure it will be a successful event,” he said. “It certainly means a lot to the club to show the country we are professional in what we do, and how we go about our business, but unfortunately, due to the change of venue, it will not be financial windfall for the club that everyone may think, and a large cost is associated with playing at the nib Stadium.”
The Gulls are on a ten game unbeaten run in the PS4 National Premier League WA, and Harnwell said training has been upbeat as everyone is hoping to get in the squad for the Sydney clash. “Yes training has been intense as all the boys are pushing for a starting spot in the team. We have increased our schedule to three nights a week in preparation,” he said. “They (Sydney) are still in pre-season mode, so we want to make full advantage of the match fitness we have on our side going into the game.”
Sorrento take on Perth SC tonight in the NPLWA and Harnwell said it’s a great chance to close the gap on them, and is grateful the game has been brought forward. “It was a mutual decision by both clubs to play the game earlier to give all a greater recovery time before the cup game, especially some old timers like myself,” he joked. “I think the game will still be fiercely competitive as league standings are still up for grabs and we are now breathing down their necks on the table.
Coach Jamie Harnwell is looking to forward the game and says they will be going for it. “It's a fantastic showpiece for the players and the club. We have worked very hard over the past few weeks ensuring we will go into the game well organized and prepared,” he said. “What happens once that first whistle goes comes down to those players on the park and I am confident they will give a good account of themselves regardless of the result. When you play a team of Sydney's quality you need that little bit of luck as well so hopefully that is on our side as well.”
Get along and support Sorrento against Sydney FC – you can get yours tickets from Ticketmaster.com.au
HESKETH READY TO TAKE ON A FAMILIAR FOE
Rockdale City Suns defender Steven Hesketh will come against some familiar faces when they meet PS4 National Premier League side Perth SC in the round of 32 of the Westfield FFA Cup at the Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre on Wednesday evening. When the WA-born defender watched the draw live on Fox Sports News, he was delighted when they were paired with Perth, for who mates Dean Evans and Reece Vittiglia play. “I was made up when I saw the draw, but it would have been better if it was in WA, and I would have had a free trip back,” he joked. “It will be great to catch up with Dean and Reece, who I played for at Perth Glory and Stirling Lions. It was great playing with them, and I’m sure it will be fun to play against them as well. Perth is having a good season and they always play good football, so it should make for an interesting fixture. We have had some big games in recent week, and take on South Coast Wolves on Sunday, as we push for a top five finish, so our focus has been on the league games, but I would be lying if I wasn’t excited about the FFA Cup tie, but not that much about chasing Reece and Dean all afternoon.”
Hesketh joined the Suns last season from NPL-NSW Champions Bonnyrigg White Eagles, and he has settled in well and has helped the club consolidate their Premier League status, after an indifferent start to the season. “We’ve had an interesting season, but we are hitting some good form at an important time. We have a great group of lads and a passionate club all around,” he said. “We had a slow start with things not gelling initially and unfortunately in football the coach is the first to go and it was shame Branko Culina was let go. He was great to work for but that’s football. Paul Reid has taken over the coaching role and has definitely brought new life into our season.”
Hesketh left Bonnyrigg to join Rockdale, when the travel commitments became too much, and said the move has worked out well. “It was a hard decision to leave Bonnyrigg, especially after winning the league, but it was just too far to travel three nights a week,” he said. “Rocky has been a great move for me. We made the top five play-offs and we won the pre-season Cup competition this season, and I’m really enjoying my football at the moment and we’re hoping to reach the play-offs again this season.”
The 26-year-old started his senior football at Stirling Lions in the West Australian Premier League, before joining Perth Glory, were he helped the youth side to the Grand Final of the Foxtel National Youth League Final in 2010, before losing 2-1 in the final to Gold Coast United. He then headed to the Indonesian Super League, with a season at Deltras Sidoarjo, and one with Arema Indonesia, before heading home to the Victorian Premier League with Hume City, and then to Bonnyrigg White Eagles in the NSWNPL, before joining Rockdale City Suns.
His two years in Indonesia was a real eye opener, but he loved his time in the country. “My time in Indonesia was a great experience, both on and off the pitch. I had a great time with both clubs and have met some great football people,” he explained. “I keep in touch of Robbie Gasper, who is involved with the PFA over there, and it will be people like Robbie and the PFA who will help improve football standards and professionalism and create more opportunities in countries like Indonesia.”
Steve’s father is Doug Hesketh, who led Stirling Lions to the NPLWA title two seasons ago, and he said his dad has been a huge part of his football development. “Dad is coming over for the game, and he has been a huge influence for me in the game, and he still does” he said. “It will be great to catch up with him and talk football.” Hesketh senior believes Steve has worked hard on his game and he is getting the rewards. “Stevie has done really well in the NWSNPL, and has gained notable recognition there,” he said. “He had a solid education in the game, starting at John Curtin and including Perth Glory and the Indonesian Super League. To travel and consistently prove and establish himself at high level everywhere he has been on merit, takes a bit of character, and I take my hat off to him.”
Hesketh, whose All Flags Division One side Mandurah City sits on top of the table, said the FFA Cup will be a great occasion in WA football. “It’s a great opportunity for the WA sides, and to have a WA lad in the opposition adds to the occasion,” he said. “It should be a great spectacle, and I wish both sides all the best, but I will be cheering on Steve on from the stands.”
SWITCH GIVES SMITH A NEW PERSPECTIVE (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Defender Rikki Smith believes his view from the bench has provided a valuable insight into Inglewood United’s inner workings. One of the clubs’ most experienced players, Smith’s cool demeanour and talent for breaking up opposition attacks made him an automatic selection in an anchoring role across the opening half of the season.
However, back-to-back losses at the start of this month led to a defensive reshuffle that has had Smith in the unfamiliar and unwanted role of substitute for the last fortnight. It’s a switch the 28-year old has turned into a positive. “I hate missing games and watching from the sideline but it certainly opens your eyes to things you may not have noticed when playing,” he said.
“There has been a pattern developing recently which starts with us playing some great football at a very high intensity for the first 25 minutes without taking our chances. But whether you take your chances or not becomes irrelevant if you can’t keep clean sheets. The best sides in the world are built on defensive stability and pride themselves on having a measly goals against figure.”
“We’ve been playing some great football going forward but that’s no good if you don’t have the discipline and work rate, as a team, to dig your heels in and defend. We haven’t had the work rate as a team and I believe it’s played a part in our recent results. Hopefully my experience of the last couple of weeks can help get us a win this week.”
Smith has been doing all he can on the training track to convince coach Michael Garcia that its time he be restored to the starting line-up. “Arriving to a game and hearing your name read out on the list of substitutes is not a nice feeling, and one that I have no intention of getting used to,” he said.
“All you can do is take a step back, not worry about what other players are doing and work out what improvements you need to make to get back into the line-up. Work rate has always been one of my best qualities and I’m confident that if I keep working hard the gaffer will have no choice but to put me back in.”
Inglewood’s next assignment is on home soil to Perth Glory who, although bottom of the National Premier Leagues, have taken points from their last two games. “They’ve been unlucky in quite a few games this year, dropping points to late equalisers,” Smith said. “That may be down to a lack of experience but you can guarantee they will make up for it with energy.”
“We were composed and professional in this fixture earlier in the season and that will be a key ingredient to coming away with the three points again. The club is working extremely hard to develop off the field, and we have to keep the development going on the field. The top four is still our target and the recovery starts this weekend.”
“We are working hard on the training track and the gaffer has been sending clear messages in regards to the good behaviours he expects. Everyone is on notice and the pressure is on to get a result. We need to deliver a disciplined performance on Saturday and secure the win.” Inglewood and Glory pit skills on Saturday from 3:00pm at Inglewood Stadium.
TOMBIDES TO HONOUR HIS BROTHER'S MEMORY
Young striker Taylor Tombides revealed the extra motivation driving him to crack the big time in English football – the inspiring legacy of older brother Dylan, who died of cancer in 2014. Taylor, 19, has signed a one-year deal with Championship club Hull City after being released by West Ham United, where he spent five years at the Upton Park Academy following in the footsteps of fellow striker Dylan.
When he reflects on what's required to make the grade in a country where many audition but few succeed, he has only to think of Dylan, the Australia youth international whose burgeoning career with West Ham was cut short 15 months ago when he lost a courageous three-year battle with testicular cancer. A winger with an eye for goal, Taylor has already scored twice in the pre-season for Hull's Academy side and acknowledges the all-pervading essence of his sibling as a driver of his own career.
“Dylan is a massive inspiration to me, absolutely huge," he said. "He was a quality player and a fantastic character and somebody I always looked up to. He was the person I wanted to aim to be like and, of course, I still do more than ever. Dylan was destined for the top, there’s no doubt in my mind about that. He had all the attributes needed to be a top player in the Premier League and also for Australia.”
The sublimely gifted Dylan, who died aged 20, joined West Ham as a 15 year-old striker and made his senior debut in the League Cup against Wigan in September 2012. “As kids back in Perth growing up we played a lot of one-on-one together though at West Ham we were kept apart because he was in an older age group,” Taylor said. “He gave me a lot of encouragement and belief in my own ability and wouldn’t let me give up when things maybe weren’t going so well."
"He was determined to make sure that everybody he was ever involved with reached their potential. Probably back in the day we were quite similar players but we became quite different as we matured a bit. He was more a hold-up player who would then turn a defender and get a shot away on goal, whereas I am more of winger and I love to use my pace to get down the flank and get in a cross or cut in and have a crack at goal.”
Taylor trained with Hull, the one-time home of Richard Garcia, for the final two months of last season and is determined to force his way into manager Steve Bruce’s plans as the Tigers bid to bounce straight back to the Premier league in 2015-2016. “I think the chance is there to break into the senior squad this season," Tombides said. "I just need to keep working on a few things and get a little bit sharper and a little bit better. This is a very important year for me ... the chance to show myself and hopefully land a long-term contract."
Taylor, who arrived at Upton Park as a 14 year-old was philosophical about his exit. “It was a upsetting to have to move on but my career wasn’t going anywhere there so it was time to move on and it's worked out perfectly getting another club so soon," he said. “I thank West Ham for everything they did for me, but it was time to go. I have definitely progressed since coming here and I think I’m a lot more of a player than I was a year or so ago.”
BABALJ: 'EASY DECISION' TO JOIN ADELAIDE UNITED
Eli Babalj says leaving Eredivisie club AZ Alkmaar for A-League title challengers Adelaide United was "an easy decision". The 23-year old centre-forward has been loaned to Adelaide for the 2015/16 campaign after struggling to make an impression in Holland. Capped twice by the Socceroos, Babalj is yet to make a first-team appearance for AZ in the Dutch top flight, although he did manage four games on loan to PEC Zwolle last term.
Babalj, who has endured hernia and adductor injuries during his time in the Netherlands, believes he is now physically equipped to play regularly for the Reds in the A-League. "I have been doing a lot of training with AZ and also with a personal trainer as well," he said. "I played a game with AZ about two weeks ago but I decided to come here because Adelaide is a club that plays good football and was challenging for the title last year. They have good coaching staff and good players and it was a pretty easy decision."
Babalj's first task will be to convince new coach Guillermo Amor, a former Barcelona player, he deserves a place in the line-up ahead of Bruce Djite, Pablo Sanchez and Sergio Cirio. "My aim is to play regularly. I want to get stronger and fitter," Babalj said. "I've been a striker since I started playing football. It's the most difficult position. If you don't score everyone thinks you've had a bad game. There's more to my game than being just a target man. I like linking up and setting up goals."
HARNWELL APPOINTED LADY REDS COACH
Football Federation South Australia has signed Jamie Harnwell as coach of the Lady Reds for the 2015/16 W-League season. Harnwell, who guided Glory Women to the Premiers’ Plate last term, steps into the role following Ross Aloisi’s departure for A-League side Brisbane Roar. Under the direction of Harnwell, Glory Women set a new mark for the biggest number of league points earned in a season and also became the first team to win the first six games of a season.
Harnwell said he is excited to be joining the Lady Reds and believes the move from Perth will be a positive challenge. “I am looking forward to a new challenge, moving out of my comfort zone after living, playing and coaching in Perth for a number of years," said Harnwell, who played a club record 256 times for Glory. “The Lady Reds and Michael Carter have been welcoming and I feel this will be a positive move for me.”
FFSA chief executive Michael Carter welcomed the appointment of Harnwell to the Lady Reds. “Having Jamie lead the Lady Reds this season is an excellent result," Carter said. "Jamie is a proven W-League coach and we are looking forward to him joining the team and not only coaching the Lady Reds but reviewing our current programs for girls in the State.” Harnwell commences his role in South Australia on 14 September with the W-League commencing on 17 October.
WA STATE TEAM PREPARE FOR GLORY (courtesy footballwest.com.au)
Football West Technical Director Cris Ola has taken charge of the WA State team for matches against the WA Amateur team and Hyundai A-League outfit Perth Glory. An extended squad of players from the PS4 National Premier Leagues WA competition took part in their first training session last night in preparation for an August 19 match against Glory at Dorrien Gardens. The WA Amateur team, coached by Rob Pagnoni, will also take on Glory after the Cool Ridge Cup Final on September 12 at a venue to be confirmed. A third match will take place between the WA State and WA Amateur teams, which is provisionally scheduled for October 10.
Glory are in training for the 2015-16 Hyundai A-League season, which kicks off for the WA side away to Central Coast Mariners on October 10. The games against both State teams will provide Kenny Lowe’s team with important preparation for the new campaign. Ola, who was honoured to take the State team reins, expected WA to provide Glory with a searching test on August 19. “I’m looking forward to working with some of the best players in the PS4 NPLWA,” Ola said. “It won’t be easy against Glory and, as has been the case for some years, there will be only limited time for us to get together for training. “But we’ll try to maximise the time we have to make sure the team is well prepared for the game.” Extended squad: James Sammut, Gustavo Catarcione, Hanafi Ghazali (Balcatta); Sam Mitchinson, Gustavo Giron Marulanda, David Heagney, Borbor Sam, Trent Kay, Devon Spence (Bayswater City); Devon Gibson (Cockburn City); Ludo Boi, Bobby Wilson, Aryn Williams (Floreat Athena); Jovo Pavlovic, David Micevski, David Sesay (Inglewood United); Francis Soale, Clark Keltie, Dean Evans, Reece Vittiglia, Mark Pritchard (Perth SC); James Morgan, Jack Salter (Sorrento); Teeboy Kamara (Stirling Lions); Nathan Diaz, Ryan Montgomery (Subiaco).
JUNIOR CUP FINALS SET FOR CELEBRATION PARK (courtesy footballwest.com.au)
Some of WA’s best young players will compete in the Junior Cup Finals at Celebration Park, Balga, on August 8 in an exciting conclusion to the 2015 knockout competitions. Twenty teams from U12 to U18 have earned the right to play for cup glory after matches across the metropolitan area involving almost 400 teams.
Junior Football Coordinator Daniel Giannasi said the Junior Cup Final day always offered excitement for the teams involved. “Celebration Park is an excellent venue for the Junior Cup Final day, which throws up plenty of surprises every year,” Giannasi said. “We’ve had hundreds of matches since the competition kicked off and the final day shouldn’t only be seen as a celebration for the winning teams. “Parents and guardians, brothers and sisters, uncles, aunts and grandparents make such a huge contribution to ensure players get to matches on time and the competition runs smoothly. “They should be congratulated for their commitment, as should all match officials who have played such an important part in the competition.” Football West would like to thank Northern Redbacks for hosting the Junior Cup Final Day.
U12: Sorrento (NPL) v Perth SC (DV2) or Ellenbrook (DV1)
U13: Perth SC (NPL) v Sorrento (NPL)
U14: Subiaco (NPL) or Perth SC (NPL) v Bayswater City (NPL)
U15: ECU Joondalup (NPL) or Subiaco AFC (NPL) v Stirling Lions (NPL)
U16: Cockburn City (NPL) v Inglewood United (NPL)
U18: Dianella SC (DV1) v Whitford City (DV1)
Girls U13: Melville City (DV1) v Quinns FC (DV1)
Girls U14: Hamersley Rovers A (DV1) v Sorrento (DV1)
Girls U15: Perth SC (DV1) v Sorrento (DV1)
Girls U17: UWA Nedlands (DV1) v Sorrento (DV1)
GLORY FINALISE KEOGH EXIT
Perth Glory have confirmed the termination of star striker Andy Keogh’s contract. It is understood the Irish international has signed with Thai Premier League outfit Ratchaburi, which finished fourth in the nation's top-flight last season. Keogh had one year remaining on his deal, with a one year option, and was expected to return to training last Monday, after being granted extended leave. But last week Glory revealed the 29-year old had been offered an overseas offer which the club could not compete with.
Chairman Tony Sage said Keogh and Glory had parted ways amicably. “We’re sad to see Andy go and he isn’t happy he’s going either," Sage said. "I know he is going to miss Perth a lot but I’m confident this isn’t the last time we see him in a Perth Glory jersey. We wish him well on his next football adventure." Payments to Keogh were at the centre of last season's salary cap scandal which saw Glory dumped out of the finals and fined $269,000 by Football Federation Australia. There was no suggestion the player was aware of any irregularity.
WILLIAMS JOINS BARNSLEY
Winger Ryan Williams has re-joined League One side Barnsley on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee from Fulham. The 21-year-old, who made six appearances for the Tykes on loan last season, also has the option of a third year on his contract at Oakwell. "I have admired Ryan Williams for a long time," Barnsley manager Lee Johnson said. "Ryan Williams signing brings to the conclusion one of the irons in the fire that we currently have when it comes to recruitment for next season." Williams played three times for Fulham following his arrival from Portsmouth in 2012.
GLORY PLOTTING SWOOP FOR JURIC AND RUKAVYTSYA
Free agents Tomi Juric and Nikita Rukavytsya have been targeted by Perth Glory as the club seeks to add much needed firepower to a squad decimated by departures. Former Glory captain turned general manager of football Jacob Burns is collaborating with coach Kenny Lowe to restore some of the lost lustre as last season's beaten finalist prepares for its FFA Cup tie against Newcastle Jets on 11 August.
While conceding Glory has more chance of recapturing the signature of former Socceroos winger Rukavytsya than Juric, Burns confirmed that both were on Glory’s radar after being released by Western Sydney Wanderers. “We are definitely on the lookout for players of their calibre and we are obviously actively in the market on that front,” said Burns. “When you talk about these two they tick a lot of boxes.”
GRIFFITHS JOINS DUTCH CLUB RODA
Former Perth Glory player Rostyn Griffiths has secured his desired move to Europe, joining newly-promoted Eredivisie club Roda JC. The 27-year old midfielder inked a two-year deal with the Dutch side hot on the heels of a strong A-League season with Glory. Griffiths joins Roda after a trial with English Championship club Birmingham City failed to result in a contract. The club has a strong tradition of Australian players with Sydney FC boss Graham Arnold, former Socceroos goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac and Gary van Egmond all having spent time at the club.
GLORY TOO STRONG FOR INGLEWOOD
Perth Glory continued their A-League pre-season with a 4-0 win against NPL side Inglewood United at Dalmatinac Park on Tuesday night. It was the final run out for Kenny Lowe’s side, before the Westfield FFA Cup game against Newcastle Jets next week, and first half goals to midfielder Mitch Oxborrow and striker Chris Harold had them in control, before a brace from youngster Stefan Valentini after the break sealed the win.
The starting line-up was similar to that which defeated Cockburn last week, however Michael Thwaite lined up in midfield with Dino Djulbic returning to the starting side to partner Antony Golec in the heart of defence. Inglewood opened brightly and Kenny Keogh fired wide earlier after a quick break, before Mohamed Awad fired straight at Jarred Tyson. The lively Awad was causing the Glory defence problems, but his crosses into the penalty area were well dealt with by Dujlbic and Golec.
But the Glory settled and began to get on top and Nebosja Marinkovic rattled the post from a trademark free kick, and it wasn’t a surprise when they hit the front. Marinkovic played a slide rule ball through to Oxborrow who made no mistake, firing low past Jordan Howell. The Glory was playing some neat football, and they doubled their lead before the break. Harold was given far too much space on the edge of the penalty area and he fired home into the top corner giving Howell’s no chance.
After the break trialist Nick Feely replaced Jerrad Tyson in goal and the Glory continued to dominate, and on the hour the Glory’s NPL side took the field, and they added a third. Nikola Talimdzioski shot was parried by the Inglewood keeper, but Valentini was the quickest to react to head home. Valentini was in the action again when he added the fourth. The 19-year-old was found by Slobodan Vulin’s through ball; he held off his marker and fired home into the top corner of the net.
BABALJ COMPLETES ADELAIDE LOAN SWITCH
Adelaide United has strengthened its attacking options with Australian international Eli Babalj joining the Reds on loan from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar. Babalj, 23, joins Adelaide until the end of the 2015/2016 season. "I'm really looking forward to spending the season at Adelaide United working with Guillermo Amor, the coaching staff and players," Babalj said. "I've always admired the way Adelaide plays football and (am) excited for the challenge this opportunity presents."
Adelaide chief executive Michael Petrillo was delighted to have signed Babalj, who has two Australia caps. "Eli was one of the first players we put on our list when we started our search for an attacking player so to have been able to secure him is terrific," said Petrillo. "He will fit well into our style of play and has had a great preparation having been in Holland for the last season or two. He's young, hungry to keep developing and was keen to join us. He will provide a different dimension to our attacking play."
GLORY EYE SWOOP FOR WANDERERS DUO
With the departure of Irish striker Andy Keogh, Perth Glory are in search for a replacement and it’s been reported they have former Glory striker Nikita Rukavysya and Socceroo striker Tomi Juric on their radar, who were both cut from the Western Sydney Wanderers at the end of last season. With both of them now free agents, and with Glory Coach Kenny Lowe needing another striker to fill the void left by Keogh, who was the clubs top goalscorer last season, he is keen to bring one or both in before the clubs first competitive game, when they take on Newcastle Jets in the FFA Cup on August 11.
It looks more likely they have more of a chance of recapturing the one-time Perth sharpshooter Rukavytsya than Juric, but Glory’s General Manager of Football Jacob Burns confirmed they are interested in the pair. “We are definitely on the lookout for players of their calibre and we are obviously actively in the market on that front,” said Burns. “There aren’t too many Australian-born players out there who are available for those positions, and everybody is looking for the best possible deal they can get. When you talk about these two they tick a lot of boxes.”
Ukraine-born speedster Rukavytsya scored 16 goals in 42 appearances for Glory between 2007 and 2009, before heading to Dutch side Twente, and then German clubs Hertha and Mainz, before returning to the A-League with the Wanderers last season. “With Nikita there’s obviously that relationship from the past," Burns said. “He still has family here and there is a genuine interest there for him. But we are also looking at a whole lot of other options. One thing is apparent; we need a marksman to replace Keogh but are of course dictated to by the funds available. Any club would love both these boys, Tommy playing down the middle and Nikita on the wing. Have that in your team and you are in a pretty good spot.”
The Glory will be looking to bounce from last season’s salary cap problems, which saw them miss out on the finals and fined heavily, and they have lost goalkeeper Danny Vukovic, striker’s Keogh and Jamie Maclaren, Danny De Silva, defender Scott Jamieson, winger Youssouf Hersi and midfielder Rostyn Griffiths. They have recruited well with keeper Ante Covic, defender Antony Golec, Hungarian midfielder Gyorgy Sandor and Sydney FC youngster Hagi Gligor, among the new signings as the club continues its rebuilding phase,
Burns believes the club can rise again and be competitive next season. “We are probably not in a dissimilar position to the year before when we lost eight or nine players with guys retiring, seeking other opportunities or going overseas,” he said. “But we have brought in a few and I am really looking forward to seeing Sandor play because he’s an exciting talent while Golec will fill a good spot for us. “It’s piece by piece and I think with a couple more to come in before the season starts we will be stronger and ready when the time comes. “There’s huge hunger here for success from the players who have stayed and those we have brought in.”
WARREN IN AUDITION TO FULFIL POTENTIAL AT GLORY
Former Sydney FC defender Marc Warren is on trial at Perth Glory trying to revive his career. Warren, 23, has spent the past year playing for New South Wales club APIA Leichhardt in a fall from grace after being an Australia youth international. Two seasons with English club Sheffield United and one at Scottish side Airdrie United preceded his joining Sydney, where he made just 8 appearances last season before being released. Warren started for Glory in last week’s pre-season friendly with Cockburn City, delivering some precise balls into the box in a solid showing.
GULLS MAKE IT TEN WITHOUT DEFEAT
Sorrento maintained their ten game unbeaten run, after a 3-0 win against Inglewood United at Percy Doyle Reserve. Todd Harnwell gave the home side the lead at the break, before second half goals to Jack Eades and Ryan Pearson gave them a comfortable win, although Inglewood did have chances but failed to convert them. “It was another big win for us and to keep our unbeaten run going,” Sorrento midfielder Scott Bulloch said. “To be fair we started off slow, but by the second half we were the better team, and again we were defensively solid and was good to score a few at the other end.”
With regular Inglewood keeper Aleks Vrteski unavailable, reserve keeper Jordan Howell made his club debut, and they started the game well and went close to the opener in the first minute. The lively Scott Witschge shot bringing out the best of Sorrento keeper James Morgan. Witschge was causing the home defence all sorts of problems and his shot across goal four minutes later flashed just wide of the target.
Inglewood were bossing the early part of the game, but with James A Morgan returning to the middle of the Sorrento midfield, the home side lifted and started to take control. Then seven minutes before the break they made the break through. Todd Harnwell made space down the right, cut inside and his shot from distance flew past Howell into the top corner of the net. The home suffered a blow at the break when Jack Salter was forced off; he was replaced by Thomas Boss.
The game was still up for grabs, and the next goal would be crucial and it went to the home side on 65 minutes. The Gulls won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area, and Eades stepped up and curled the ball into the top corner, giving Howell no chance. The visitors went close to pulling one back 10 minutes later. David Micevski’s free kick was only parried by James Morgan, but the Sorrento custodian was quick to react to superbly save the follow up shot. The game was made safe eight minutes from time, when Pearson was given far too much space 18 meters from goal and he fired home.
ATHENA MADE TO WORK FOR WIN AT SUBIACO
Floreat Athena kept the league leader Bayswater City in their sights after a hard fought 3-1 win against Subiaco AFC at Rosalie Park. Jon Stynes opened the scoring early, before Kris Gate doubled their lead before the break. Danny Milne pulled one back for the gutsy Subiaco side, but a goal four minutes from time from skipper Ludovic Boi wrapped up the points. “We knew they (Subiaco) were going to be hard to break down, but if we kept to our game plan we would get the three points. They made it hard for us but we managed to keep our shape and ran out deserved winners I thought,” Stynes said. “Since moving clubs I've enjoyed the football that we've been playing which is very attacking so I feel I've fitted in quite well with the style of play.”
Floreat, in the first game without defender Aryn Williams, started tentatively and Subiaco were well in the game. Both sides had early half chances, but it was Floreat who opened the scoring on the quarter hour. Gate was picked out in the penalty area, he held off his marker and crossed, it wasn’t cleared by the Subiaco defence and Stynes was on hand to score from close-range.
Subiaco, whose squad were decimated by injuries and suspensions, almost levelled moments later. Clayton Arnez’s back pass was under hit, and Ian McMurray nipped in and went one-on-one with Floreat keeper Fraser Greenwood. The veteran striker rounded the keeper, but took the ball wide and his shot from the angle crashed off the post and away to safety.
It was the best period of the match for the home side, but they couldn’t turn their possession into goals, but on 36 minutes Floreat showed them how to do it. Floreat skipper Ludovic Boi was a constant threat and it was his run and cross that picked out Gate, and he made no mistake at the back post.
The home side could feel aggrieved to be behind and on the hour they should have pulled one back. Teenage winger Ignacio Dominguez was picked out by a cross, but the debutant fired over from point-blank range. That miss was forgotten six minutes later, when Subiaco reduced the margin. English stiker Milne rising highest to home a powerful header giving Greenwood no chance.
It was game on and the home side through everything at Floreat, but they couldn’t find the equaliser. Their cause was helped on 83 minutes, when Floreat defender Jack Allen was shown a red card by referee Shin Chen. Gerry McEwan’s side were pushing men forward in search of a goal and three minutes later Floreat hit on the counter attack and added their third. Boi latched on to a long-ball over the top and he lobbed the on-coming Ryan Montgomery to seal victory.
MARULANDA SEES BAYSWATER HOME IN THE END
Bayswater City, were made to work hard for the points after a thrilling 4-3 win against Cockburn City at Frank Drago Reserve. Gustavo Giron-Marulanda gave them a two goal lead early, before Conor Kavanagh pulled one back just after the break. Irish striker Rory Patterson put the visitors ahead with two quick goals, before Bor Bor Sam levelled moments later. The Colombian striker won it with a late penalty, to maintain their eight point lead at the top of the table. “I think we have played the worse game of the season so far, and we have got away with a win, which shows the capability of our team, and we have got great individuals that can make things happen at any time,” Marulanda said. “Unfortunately our defence had one of those days, but you’ve got to just shake it off and go on, as they’ve been the best by far in the league this season. Personally I’m very happy to have scored another hat-trick this season, but also to put my contribution to the team when needed, it’s always good for a striker to bang in goals.”
It was an even opening to the game and the first real chance fell to the home side on 16 minutes. Marulanda’s pace took him clear of the Cockburn defence, his shot beat Curtis Aspden, but the post came to the Cockerels rescue. Marulanda then found the net moments later, but his celebrations were cut short with the flag up for offside. But on 20 minutes he did find the target. He was sent clear again by David Heagney’s through ball and this time he finished clinically past Aspden.
The home side doubled their lead seven minutes later. Marulanda capitalising on a poor defence header, to race in goal and fire low past Aspden. Bayswater skipper Trent Kay then had a goal disallowed for offside, as it looked like being a long day at the office for the visitors. They should have reduced the margin in first half stoppage time, Patterson picking out Kavanagh, whose header, with the goal at his mercy, flashed wide of the target.
The visitors needed a good start after the break, and two minutes in, they did. Bayswater failed to clear their lines and the ball was fired home by Kavanagh from eight meters. It was now Cockburn on the front foot and Patterson’s shot was well saved by Devon Spence, and on 58 minutes he levelled. The Irish marksman turned his marker on the edge of the penalty area, and finished with aplomb past Spence.
Then two minutes later, Cockburn hit the front. Patterson was on the end of a move, and he rocketed home his shot into the roof of the net, giving Spence no chance. But the Champions showed their credentials and hit back moments later. Sam skipped past his marker and fired low across Aspden from a tight angle, to make it 3-3.
It was anyone’s game, but the decisive moment came with twenty minutes remaining. Marulanda was brought down in the penalty area and referee Steven Gregory pointed straight to the spot. The striker picked himself up and sent Aspden the wrong way to score and put the home side back in control. Julian Teles had the opportunity to earn the visitors a point late on, but his header was straight at Spence.
PERTH HIT BACK IN ITALIAN DERBY
Perth SC bounced back from last week’s defeat against Bayswater City to beat Balcatta 3-1 in the Italian derby at Dorrien Gardens. All the damage was done in the first half, with Mark Pritchard, Reece Vittiglia and Dean Evans all on target. The home side struggled to break down a tight Perth defence, their only goal coming late in the game through substitute Hasan El Yassiri. “It was a good result for us coming of the back of a loss against the league leaders Bayswater. The boys showed great character in the first half, putting away our chances and keeping a clean sheet,” said Perth defender David Cyrus. “Going into the second half I think we eased of the gas a little and unfortunately conceded one in the later stages of the game. But overall our performance was excellent and we’re looking forward to our Friday night game against Sorrento this coming week.”
The home side was out of the blocks early, and they were ahead on six minutes. The lively Aden Da Luz eased past his marker and delivered a great cross to Pritchard, who made no mistake from close-range. They weren’t finished there, and on the quarter hour they added a second. Vittiglia picked the ball up in the middle of the park and wasn’t closed down, and he unleashed an unstoppable long-range shot which gave Clint Davies no chance.
Balcatta were shell-shocked, but went close to pulling one back on the half hour. Francis Soale superbly saving Cameron Teece shot, before the Perth custodian denied the league’s top goalscorer Gustavo Catarcione three minutes later. But on 37 minutes it was 3-0. Evans was brought down by Kieran Colwell on the edge of the penalty area, and Evans picked himself up and curled the free kick into the corner of the net.
Perth sat back after the break, but Balcatta couldn’t find a way through with former Balcatta duo Cyrus and Julian Madaschi outstanding. But with three minutes remaining the home side scored a consolation goal. El Yassiri found space in the area, and side foot past Soale. But the day got worse for Balcatta when James Sammut was shown a red card by the referee and sent off.
SKORICH AT THE DOUBLE FOR ARMADALE
Armadale moved off the bottom of the table after a stunning 4-1 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. Anthony Skorich bagged a brace for the visitors, with Faustino Machochi and Darren Francis scoring the others, while Lawrence Shuruma scored for the Lions. “It was an amazing performance from the team today, we played some good football and took our chances,” Armadale defender Sam Loveless said. “You can see the impact that Pricey has had on the side and the club and we played to a game play today and it paid off, and we look forward to next week’s game against Subiaco.”
The home side had the first opportunity, when new signing Shane Malcolm raced clear, but Armadale keeper Dylan Wilson narrowed the angle, and he fired wide of the target. But on three minutes Armadale hit the front. Jesse Fuller made room on the flank and crossed to Skorich, whose diving header gave Lance Alavakis no chance.
Skorich was causing all sorts of problems to the Lions back four and he should have doubled their lead on the half hour, but failed to convert after Alavakis had fumbled a shot. Then in the shadows of half time the former Perth Glory striker was thwarted by Alavakis, who produced a stunning save to deny him.
Stirling began well after the break and Daniel Micevski and Malcolm went close, but their pressure was rewarded on 51 minutes with the equaliser. Micevski’s pace took him clear down the left, he cut inside the area and picked out Shuruma at the back post, and he made no mistake from close-range. It looked like Stirling would go on and win it, but Paul Price’s side had other ideas, and ten minutes later the visitors regained the lead.
The pacey Machochi was given far too much space in the area and he finished low past Alavakis from a tight angle. The visitors were now dominating and it wasn’t a surprise when they added a third ten minutes from time. Second half substitute Sam Khankilily crossed and Francis caught it sweetly on the half volley and hit the back of the net. They wanted more and Khankilily saw a shot crash off the woodwork, before in stoppage time Skorich added his second to give them a much needed victory.
JOONDALUP HIT BACK LATE TO EARN POINT
ECU Joondalup hit back from two goals down with nine minutes remaining to draw 2-2 with Perth Glory at Inglewood Stadium. The home side looked on course for back-to-back wins, for the first time this season, after a Slobodan Vulin’s penalty and Stefan Valentini strike, either side of half time had given them a two goal lead. But substitute Paddy Doyle pulled one back for the visitors, before Tommy Amphlett stuck late to earn his side a share of the spoils. “To concede two late goals is very disappointing, and in my opinion we should have gone home with the three points, but that’s football,” Glory striker Valentini said. “We have to keep our heads high, as we playing some good football and we look forward to next week.”
The visitors went close early, Jon Higgins played in Amphlett, whose shot was saved low by Jordan Thurtell. The Glory youngsters hit back and ECU keeper Jamie Serra saved superbly to save Dejan Spaseski’s header on the half hour. The ECU custodian was keeping his side in the game, and he reacted well to save Jacob Collard’s free kick moments later. But three minutes before the break the Glory hit the front. Slobodan Vulin converting from the penalty spot after Nikola Talimdzioski was brought down in the area by Kye Douglas.
Both sides had chances early in the second half; Higgins’ header was well saved by Thurtell, before Waliedin Ismail fired straight at Serra. But as ECU looked like they were getting back into the game, the Glory doubled their advantage. Collard’s free kick was headed back to him, and his deep cross from the left picked out the unmarked Valentini at the back post, who fired home. ECU changed their formation as they looked to get back in the game and Higgins moved forward, and his first time shot was well saved by Thurtell. Then on 81 minutes ECU reduced the margin. The lively Josh Tucker crossed to Higgins, were flicked the ball on to Doyle, who bundled the ball over the line at the second attempt.
It was game on, and four minutes later the visitors levelled. Joe Smith played in Amphlett, and the striker raced into the area and finished clinically past Thurtell. It was a frantic end to the game and both sides had late chances to win it. Tucker fired wide after cutting inside the penalty area in stoppage time, and with the last kick of the day Collard’s powerful free kick was saved by Serra. But they both had to settle for a point. The action still wasn’t over, and after the final whistle Glory midfielder Vulin was shown a second yellow card by the referee and was sent from the field
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FOURTEEN – REVIEW
All Flags Division One leaders Mandurah City were made to work hard for their 2-0 win against bottom of the table Morley Windmills at the Hyundai Stadium. “It was a great win, and they (Morley) were very tough to break down,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “We had to match them all over the park and both sides played some excellent football, but we had to stay patient, and we got our rewards at the end.” Morley was competitive in the first half and Mandurah were struggling to break them down. It looked like it was going to be one of those days for the Dolphins, but with fifteen minutes remaining they found the opener. Second half substitute Joe O’Brien finding space in the area and coolly lobbed the keeper. The points were wrapped up six minutes later. Jordan Rhodes picked out Abe Tcuono who played a one-two with O’Brien, and fired low into the net.
Gosnells City produced a great away performance, when they inflicted Joondalup United’s first home defeat of the season in 2-1 win at Forrest Park. The visitors raced into a two goal led early in the first half. Jason Pottier opening the scoring from the penalty spot after Wade Farmer was brought down in the box, and they doubled their lead moments later. Jacob Aquino played a diagonal ball through to Farmer who made no mistake at the near post. United hit back in the second half, and Rowdy Yates’ corner caused a scramble in the box and Lee Jones fired home from close-range. United went search of the equaliser but Gosnells defended well to deny them. “It was a well-deserved win that showcased a first half of play that reinforced our possession and tempo game plan which gave us a deserved 2 – 0 half time lead,” Gosnells Coach Wally Aquino said. “In the second half we should have killed the game off in the first 10 minutes but could not convert a couple of well-made chances and then as per previous recent weeks we had to defend to protect a lead. I’m pleased to say that the boys played like ‘Giants’ and defended a flurry of long balls and intense pressure to secure a much needed win. It was a whole team effort and everyone should be very proud of their performance.”
In other games Western Knights had to settle for a 1-1 draw against South West Phoenix at Nash Field. Lee Stewart was on target for the visitors, while Nathan de Abreu fired home Paul Lloyd’s cross for the Knights to give both sides a share of the spoils. Shamrock Rovers travelled to the UWA Sports Park and came away with a 3-1 win against UWA-Nedlands. They hit the front early, Paul Concannon turning home Charlie Keena’s cross from the bye-line. Alec Robinson added a second, before Will Pender curled home from the edge of the box to make it 3-0. UWA scored a late consolation goal through Ben Reynolds.
Second placed Ashfield kept pace with Mandurah after a 6-0 win against Swan United at the Ashfield Sports Club. “It was solid team performance, and dominate a game with 10 men for 50 minutes,” Ashfield Coach Paul Dundo said. “Swan tried hard all day but no reward, but I was impressed with our shape and the way we controlled the game and at times looked like we had the extra player.” The home side was ahead early, Dan Corbett firing low past Alfie Brincat, and it was 2-0 on ten minute through Brian Patterson. The home side then lost Matt Brooks to injury and brought on 17-year-old Justin Onek to make his state league debut. They continued to press and made it 3-0 on the half hour, Corbett flicked the ball on and Liam Merigan fired home. Ashfield were then down to 10 men on 40 minutes when Brett McGuire was sent off. But the ten men continued to threaten after the break and Ruben Tristao eased past his marker and squared the ball back to Merigan to add his second. Merigan completed his hat-trick ten minutes from time before Alex Stamatiadis added the sixth in stoppage time. In Sunday’s game Dianella White Eagles beat Canning City at Burrendah Reserve. Jose Bonilla bagged two for the visitors with Hasan El Yassiri the other and Callum Roberts scored for Canning.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FOURTEEN – REVIEW
Forrestfield United kept the pressure on the league leaders, but were made to work for it, after a 2-0 win against Joondalup City at Hartfield Park. The home side dominated early and opened the scoring on 20 minutes. Jimmy Duncan turned his marker on the edge of the penalty area, before pulling the ball back to Rhys Loxley, who played in Sedad, who fired home from close-range. They doubled their lead ten minutes later. Lynden Powell beat two players before picking out Loxley, who fired home from 12 meters, to keep them only one point behind Rockingham City. City had their lead cut to just one point, after they dropped two points after being held 0-0 by Kingsway Olympic at Kingsway Reserve.
Wanneroo City returned the winners circle after a 4-1 win against Ellenbrook United in the local derby at Arbor Grove Reserve. “It was a really confident display of football, and we said we wanted to control the game and we did,” Wanneroo Coach Matt Debarro said. “We knew the first 15 they'd come at us, but we soaked up the pressure and controlled them well. Once we got our first goal we never looked in doubt. It should have been more than four, we created a lot of chances, that's no disrespect to Ellenbrook unfortunately for them they got us on a day where the frustration from a few quiet weeks in front of goal all came to the surface today. Proud of the boys I think we can roll on from here and finish the season strong.” The visitors were ahead on the quarter hour. Scott Campbell played Wayne Yang down the right, and crossed in to Daniel Coletta who played in Campbell, who had continued his run, and he made no mistake. It was 2-0 before half time, Spiro Nenadic picking out Coletta, who volleyed home from the edge of the penalty area. It was 3-0 early in the second half, Campbell playing in John Monterosso who finished clinically. Ellenbrook pulled on back with fifteen minutes remaining, but Yang added his second to give Wanneroo a comfortable victory.
In other games Quinns made it three games undefeated, after a hard fought 2-1 win against Curtin University at Gumblossom Park. Fremantle City were too good for Melville City, and ran out 4-0 winners at Hilton Reserve. On target for the home side were Anthony 'Junior' Llomar, who bagged a brace, with Maddy Holman and Connor Shaw adding the others, with Ty Fenwick, who was celebrating his birthday, laying on the third. In the final game Balga ran out 8-3 winners against Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. The visitors made the perfect start and Ajri Taela put them ahead in the opening minute. It was 2-0 on six minutes, Kyall Osborne firing home, before a double from Andreas Bouzinekis made it 4-0 in the first half hour. But the home side hit back and scored from close-range on 35 minutes, and added another late from the penalty spot. But Balga hit back early in the second half and Bouzinekis completed his hat trick and Osborne added the sixth. Lyon Varney then saw his penalty saved by the Kelmscott keeper, before the home side added a third on 70 minutes. But late goals from Sahr Konomaid and Varney gave Balga a very comfortable win.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND SIXTEEN – PREVIEW
It’s week 16 of the PS4 National Premier League, and Footballwa.net ‘Match of the Week’, is Inglewood United trip to Percy Doyle reserve to take on Sorrento. The Gulls are one of the form sides in the league, unbeaten in their last seven games, and won the local derby against ECU Joondalup last week. Midfielder Scott Bulloch, who has returned to the club recently after work commitments said they are playing well at the minute. “It was good to come away with a win in a tricky fixture, they (ECU) have a very young team, who battled hard all day, but experience counted on the day and we got the job done,” he said. “It wasn’t our best performance, but it kept our winning run going.” Bulloch said he is getting closer to full fitness, but said it’s been a good transaction back to the NPL. “It’s not been easy getting my fitness and touch back to where I want it to be, but with more game time I believe I’ll be able to play a big part in the rest of the season for the club,” he explained. “It’s been easy slipping back in with the player group, as they are a quality group of lads.” The former Perth Glory midfielder said Saturday’s opponents have a quality side and knows Sorrento will need to be at their best to take the points. “They have some great players in their squad, the likes of Andrija Jukic, David Micevski and Aleks Vrteski, players who can win them games, so we know we are in for a very tough game,” Bulloch said. “We also seem to have tight games against them, and I expect this to be no different on Saturday.” In team news Danny Cain returns to the squad, after missing last week, while midfielder James Morgan has impressed in the reserves in recent weeks and is pushing for a first team call-up.
After a five game winning streak early in the season which moved them into the top five, Inglewood has lost the last three. Assistant coach Saul Contera said they need to stay focused, and get back to the form that brought them success earlier in the season. “A good run of form can change quickly, which we have experienced. For us this season, with no finals and the league looking like being a one horse race, we are looking at the bigger picture, which is maintaining high training standards, developing our systems of play and trying to find consistency, which is needed to be a top four side, which we are aiming to be,” he explained. “In recent weeks we have performed well in large chunks of games, without capitalising on our play, and in turn being punished for our lack of concentration at the other end. This is something we are working hard on to rectify.” After only scoring 20 goals in the league this season, Inglewood need to start converting the chances they are creating, but Contera said they have improved from last season, but knows they need to continue on with it. “We have missed a lot of golden opportunities to capitalise on dominant spells in matches, and in turn have been punished heavily for lapses,” he said. “We are a club that finished ninth last season and it is about progression on and off the park, and we are heading in the right direction.” Inglewood will have a full squad to choice from this week, including Coach Michael Garcia, who has served his two game touchline ban.
League leaders Bayswater City welcome Cockburn City to Frank Drago Reserve, and Cockburn young defender Jonathan Corness said they head into the game with confidence after a solid win last week against an improved Armadale. “We’ve had mixed results recently, so to do the double over our local rivals was important,” he explained. “I thought we thoroughly deserved the win, and scored some good goals, so we head into this week’s game looking to cause an upset.” Corness, who joined Cockburn from Ashfield at the start of the season, has been a shining light in the side, and said it’s helped to have some experience in the side. “It’s always good for us younger players to have an experienced bunch of lads to give you advice on those one per centres, like positioning, and to give you confidence if you’re doing the right things,” he explained. “When I joined the club I was hoping to push into the first team squad when I got the opportunity, but Marc (Anthony) has been great and has made it a smooth transition into NPL football for me.” The young defender say’s the table doesn’t lie, and Bayswater are a quality side, but they are looking forward to taking them on. “They (Bayswater) are top of the table for a reason, they are a good side, and they’ve beaten us twice this season,” he said. “If we can produce the same intensity we showed against them in the second half of the FFA Cup loss, then I believe it may be third time lucky for us.”
In other games Stirling Lions host Armadale at Macedonia Park, with both sides looking to bounce back after defeats last week. Armadale welcome back Jackson Bealey, and it will be Nick Crerand’s last game for the club, before he returns to the UK, while Lions striker Million Butshiire is unavailable. Second placed Floreat Athena travel to Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco AFC, knowing a win is vital to keep tabs on the league leaders. The home side welcome back skipper Nathan Diaz, while Steve Burton and Bobby Wilson are pressing for a starting role, after coming off the bench last week. But they will be without Lewis McMahon, who is suspended, and Aryn Williams, who has joined A-League side Newcastle Jets. Perth Glory will look for back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they host ECU Joondalup at Inglewood Stadium. The Glory youngsters will fancy their chances with ECU having not won since round five, when they beat the Glory 1-0. The Glory at full strength, while keeper Jamie Serra returns for ECU.
In the final game of the round, it’s the Italian derby with Balcatta entertaining Perth SC at Grindleford Reserve. Balcatta bounced back to beat Inglewood last week, and striker Steve Sokol said they deserved the points. “We worked hard all game and more importantly we worked well as a team,” he said. “We needed the win after recent results, so it a step in the right direction for us.” Sokol is one of the younger players that have pushed into the first team this season for Balcatta, and he is enjoying the challenge. “It’s great to be playing more regularly in the first team this season,” he explained. “It’s good to see more talented young players getting their opportunity in the league this season, and we have a few here who have made the step up, or are pushing for a first team spot, which bodes well for the club.” The striker is looking forward to the big game on Saturday, but knows it will be a huge challenge. “We’re all looking forward about facing Perth, and looking to get another win,” he said. “When we played them earlier in the season we weren’t at our best, but we have stepped it up and it shows in our results and performances. We have only conceded three goals and scored ten in the last four games, so things are looking up, and we will be looking to carry that on this week.” Balcatta will be hoping skipper James Sammut can shake of injury, while Perth will be without defender James Marocchi due to injury.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FOURTEEN – PREVIEW
The top of the table is getting tight in the All Flags Division One, and this week both the top two sides take on the bottom two sides. The pick of this weekend’s games is Ashfield home game against Swan United at the Ashfield Sports Club. Paul Dundo’s side knows nothing more than three points will do, to keep the pressure on Mandurah. They came back from 2-0 down last week at Gosnells, and keeper John Perkins said they were fortunate to take all three points. “Last week was a real roller coaster. We found ourselves two goals down, in a game we had plenty of possession and relative control, but sometimes that happens in football,” he said. “The important thing was that we came away with the points with a scrappy performance, and whenever you play Gosnells at their place you know you are going to have to earn the points, because they are a hard working side.” Ashfield have the best defence in the league, while Swan has the worst, but Perkins said they are continuing to improve but need to be better. “Funnily enough as a team we are not all that happy with the number of goals we’ve conceded, even though it is the lowest in the league at this stage,” he explained. “It’s a nice accolade as a keeper to keep tally of but to be honest we conceded the least goals last season and didn’t win the league, so I would happily trade defensive merit for wins on the board.” The keeper said they won’t be taking Saturday’s visitors lightly, and said they had to work hard to beat them in the first game of the season. “We defiantly won’t be going into this game thinking they (Swan) will roll over and hand us the points,” he said. “They have some very good young players that will cause teams problems and we had to fight for our win at their place earlier in the season. We will be focusing on implementing our game plan and thinking with that and hard work we have the capabilities to win the game.” In team news Ashfield will be missing Nick Davies for the rest of the season after breaking his wrist last week.
Swan keeper Alfie Brincat returned to the side last week, and he said they were unfortunate not to take anything out of the game against Western Knights, which put the thrashing at Mandurah behind them. “The defeat to Mandurah was very disappointing and really hit us hard, it didn't help that a poor refereeing decision killed us and the game after just 10 minutes then after that they just punished us,” he said. “If I'm honest I think we deserved at least a point in the Knights game last week. For 30 minutes off that second half we created so many chances and had them on the back foot, just a lack of concentration which hurt us for the third goal. If we tighten a few screws I know we will be ok and survive the drop.” The English keeper has been out for seven weeks, and during that time the club has slipped down the table, but the custodian has kept himself fit. “The last seven weeks for me have been very frustrating, but I’ve been training, and been to all the games, but I'm just glad to be back playing and to get the club away from the relegation zone,” he explained. “There are a lot of younger boys with a lot of talent in the squad who are more than capable to do the job, but it's been a tough few weeks with injuries, suspensions and absentees so hopefully with all the boys back in the next couple of weeks we can pull ourselves away.” Brincat is well aware Ashfield are playing well this season, but said they head there looking for a result. “This weekend’s game will be very tough for our young squad, if we play to our strengths I sure feel we can get a result, he said. “Salv (Todaro) will make sure everyone is up for it as every game till the end of the season is very important for us.” In team news for United Nathan Scully and Reegan Borzecki return to the squad, but Nick Phipps is struggling and will face a late fitness test
In other games league leaders Mandurah City host Morley Windmills at the Hyundai stadium. The home side will be without Craig Tone, who is overseas, but they welcome back Craig Young and Paul Jackson from injury, while Morley will be without keeper Luke Martino, who is overseas. Joondalup United will be looking to bounce back from last week’s draw, when they entertain Gosnells City at Forrest Park, the visitors welcome back Sean Taylor to the squad, while South West Phoenix make the trip north to take on Western Knights at Nash Field. In the final Saturday game UWA-Nedlands host Shamrock Rovers at the UWA Sports Park. The visitors will be desperate for the points to keep in touch with the leaders, and they will be sweating on the fitness of Shane Cassidy and David Murphy. UWA coach said it is a big game for his side. “We have had a bug go through the squad this week, and the make-up of the side is still up in the air,” said Coach James Rae. “This is a very important game for us, and we know we will have to be at our best and can’t underestimate Shamrock, and I’m sure John (O’Reilly) will have his lads firing.” On Sunday Canning City host Dianella White Eagles at Burrendah Reserve. The home side regain the services of Chris Holland and Simon Correia, but will be without Ryan Shackleton, Daniel Trevisiol, Joshua Wade, Tom Gibbins and Mark Trevisiol, while Dianella will be missing the suspended Angel Andres, but Goran Radinovic returns
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FOURTEEN – PREVIEW
It’s also tight in the All Flags Division Two, with Rockingham City, Forrestfield United battling for the title, while Fremantle City is pushing them all the way. This week’s feature game is Melville City’s trip to Hilton Reserve to take on Fremantle. Melville skipper Matt Donley returns from suspension for the trip and he is expecting another tough game, and he hopes they can bounce back from last week’s 1-1 draw against Ellenbrook, where they conceded a stoppage time equaliser. “Last week was a very disappointing result, to take the lead late in the game only to concede in the dying minutes was frustrating, but that’s gone know,” he said. “Fremantle were the best team we played in the first half of the season, so it’s going to be a very difficult game to earn something, but we’ll have a go, and if play to our ability we can get something from the game.” In team news Tom Grant also returns from suspension. Fremantle’s Ty Fenwick said they were unlucky not to come home with something last week at the league leaders, and they will be looking to bounce back on Saturday. “We haven’t really played the way we would like over the past few weeks for various reasons which cost us, and unfortunately going down to ten men towards the end of the first half last week didn’t help us out at all either,” he said. “Melville will be a tough challenge as always but hopefully we will see a return to form this week and have a good win at home and keep the pressure on the top two.”
League leaders Rockingham City travel to the Kingsway Reserve to take on Kingsway Olympic. They head into the game still without Paul Larvin and Blake Sokoloski, while the home side will be without Brett Cutting and Dejan Gurovski, while Ryan Fielding and Ian McKean are in doubt. Forrestfield United entertains Joondalup City at Hartfield Park. The home side will be without the injured Jason Godfrey, and Matt Harold is unavailable, while Lydon Pywell and Jordan Hart return to the squad. Quinns entertain Curtin University at Gumblossom Park, and they go into the game with Callum Trayner back in the side after serving a suspension. Curtin welcome back skipper Kye Middleton, Rory Binnie, Dilip Thapa and Ranjeet Sekhon for the game, but will be missing the injured Eddie Tikoft, while Albert Bucchino will face a late fitness test. Kelmscott Roos host Balga at Frye Park, and the visitors welcome back Ahmed Nour and Denis Fekovic from suspension, while Gareth Crawley, Nahom Michael and Andreas Bouzinekis should all return to the squad.
In the final game Ellenbrook United host Wanneroo City at Arbor Grove Reserve. Wanneroo were edged out 1-0 in a close encounter against Forrestfield last week, and Scott Campbell said they deserved something from the game. “Last week was a tough loss, but I think they (Forrestfield) are the best side this year and to compete against them so well and come so close only to lose with a late penalty was disappointing,” he said. “They had the better of the first half and had us pinned back in our own half for extended periods. But we defended well as a group and despite their possession and territorial dominance we limited their chances and felt comfortable coming in at half time. In the second half we played better and started to come into the game going forward, countered well and created some really good chances that we just didn't finish and those misses before and after the penalty ultimately cost us the points.” The midfielder said they need to get back in the winner’s circle and will be looking for a repeat of the first time they met this season when they ran out 4-0 winners. “We haven't won in a few weeks, despite some good and encouraging displays the last couple weeks,” he said. “We have dropped away from the top couple to the middle of the pack so three points is really important this week, and a similar result from last time would do nicely.” In team news Conor Lynch unavailable while Chris Rizidis is in doubt. But in better news Dave Colleta returns after three weeks out, and Matt Hattan and Steve Wright are in line to make their first starts for the season.
GLORY NAME FORMER LEGENDS AS NEW W-LEAGUE COACHES
Perth Glory has announced that former striker and club legend Bobby Despotovski will be their head coach in Westfield W-League next season, and former Glory Women’s skipper Collette McCallum will be his assistant. Despotovski, who played 241 games for the club, and is the clubs’ all-time leading goal scorer. He has been appointed to the role after taking the helm of the Perth Glory under 20’s team in the PS4 National Premier League, which currently sits at the top of the ladder.
The 44-year old and former Socceroo is looking forward to the new challenge and coaching on the national stage. “I’ve had great times at Perth Glory, from scoring goals to winning trophies, now I’m determined for silverware as a coach. I know we have the passion and determination to claim the highest honour in Australian women's football,” he said. “I’d also like to acknowledge my predecessor and former teammate Jamie Harnwell who led the Women's team to the Grand Final last season. He had a stellar season and achieved a lot. Hopefully this year we can go one step further”.
Despotovski will be joined in the dugout by former Matilda’s midfielder, Collette McCallum, who has been named assistant coach. McCallum played 50 W-League games for the Glory Women and made 81 appearances for Australia, scoring 11 goals for the Matildas. "I'm thankful to still be involved with the team and I am looking forward to learning as much as I can from Bobby and Kenny," the former midfielder said.
Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe said he had been impressed by Despotovski’s effort with the NPL side. “Bobby’s obviously been a fantastic servant to the club, who has done a great job with the NPL lads and watching on as a fellow coach, and I think he has what it takes,” he said. “As for Collette, she’s a fantastic person, a great player and has the right qualities to complement Bobby. I think it will be a great team”.
KEOGH'S EARLY EXIT DEPENDENT ON COMPENSATION: GLORY
Perth Glory will not stand in the way of star striker Andy Keogh's early exit provided the club is compensated. The A-League outfit said they are already in talks with a number of strikers after confirming the imminent departure of the Irish international. Keogh has one year remaining on his deal, with a one year option, and was expected to return to training on Monday following extended leave, however, that didn’t eventuate.
“Upon his return to Perth late last week, Keogh received an offer from an overseas club which Perth Glory could not compete with,” read a club statement. “Perth Glory exhausted every avenue to resolve certain terms and conditions relating to Keogh's contract from last year and offered him a new and transparent deal that did not breach the salary cap. After several talks with Keogh and his management the club decided not to stand in his way, subject to Perth Glory being compensated.”
Payments to Keogh were at the centre of last season's salary cap scandal which saw Glory dumped from the finals and fined $269,000 by Football Federation Australia. Keogh’s departure robs the club of significant firepower, the striker hitting the back of the net a dozen times during Glory’s ill-fated 2014/15 campaign. His departure is another blow to the club who has already lost young gun Jamie Maclaren, experienced goalkeeper Danny Vukovic and Scott Jamieson among others.
RISDON WANTS GLORY UP AND RUNNING
Star defender Josh Risdon says a fast start to the coming A-League season will quickly erase Perth Glory’s off-field woes which ruined their bid for the 2014/15 title. Glory were found guilty of salary cap breaches, fined $269,000 and kicked out of the finals series by Football Federation Australia whilst sitting second on the ladder in April. The club had started last season brilliantly, spending a lengthy period of time at the top of the ladder and making the final of the FFA Cup.
Risdon said Glory’s focus was on making a winning start once again, beginning with next month’s away FFA Cup fixture with Newcastle Jets. “Hopefully it’s a good season and not only that just the team with what happened on the back end of last season,” Risdon said. “Hopefully we can get back to playing good soccer and kick start our season with a few good wins and I’m sure the end of last season will forget itself if we are playing good.”
Several players have departed Glory since last season ended but Risdon said he’s happy to remain with the club that gave him his professional start. “I love Perth, I love living there and I didn’t really want to leave,” the 22-year-old said. “The club, the players are good and the coach is good so for me I didn’t really want to look elsewhere. Hopefully this season is a different season off the field and hopefully we can just do the same things as last season on the field.”
KEOGH WALKS OUT ON GLORY
Star striker Andy Keogh Is set to walk out on Perth Glory as the fall-out from the A-League club’s salary cap scandal continues. Keogh still has one more season remaining on his existing Glory deal, but it’s understood he will leave the club in order to take up a lucrative contract overseas. The club tried their best to keep the former Irish international, however, they were unable to match the overseas offer.
Keogh, who scored 12 league goals last season, is likely to be of interest to rival A-League clubs, with Asia also a possibility for the former Republic of Ireland international. The loss of Keogh is another blow for Glory coach Kenny Lowe, who has lost first-choice keeper Danny Vukovic, Scott Jamieson, Youssouf Hersi and Jamie Maclaren since the end of last season.
GARCIA SEES GLORY HOME
Perth Glory opened their 2015/16 A-League season campaign with a 1-0 win against PS4 National Premier League side Cockburn City in a pre-season at Dalmatinac Park on Tuesday evening. A first half goal from Richard Garcia gave them the win, on a sad night, with both sides standing for a minutes silence prior to the game in memory of Esad Djulbic, father of Glory defender Dino who passed away in the week. "We moved the ball into different positions well and we created some havoc up front. For us really tonight was a chance to play as a team against another 11. It was a great opportunity to get some fitness and play as a unit,” Glory assistant coach Andy Ord said.
Glory coach Kenny Lowe gave club debuts to Jerrad Tyson, Anthony Golec, Hagi Gligor, and it was an even opening the game with Cockburn looking bright, as they prepare for Saturday’s league clash with league leaders Bayswater. But the Glory were playing the ball around well and they hit the front on five minutes, Garcia finding room in the penalty area to fire low past Jordan Franken, the Glory youth keeper who was guesting for Cockburn.
Cockburn went close moments later. Devon Gibson and Conor Kavanagh combined down the left, and Gibson cut inside his marker, but his shot was saved by Tyson. Glory trialist Marc Warren was given the opportunity by Lowe, and the former Sydney FC midfielder looked impressive. The Glory was creating a number of chances. Chris Harold made space down the flank, but his dangerous cross was well claimed by Franken.
The Glory went close again moments later, Golec crossed into the penalty area, but Harold’s goal bound shot was cleared. Sidnei Sciola and Harold were causing the Cockburn defence problems, and on the half hour, Harold’s shot on the turn, was well saved low by Franken, before Mitch Oxborrow’s free kick flashed over the top. At the break it was 1-0 to the Glory.
Both sides made wholesale changes at the break, with a Glory NPL side taking over, and the lively Stefan Valentini fired wide midway through the half. Both sides had second half chances but there was no more scoring, but it was a good first up workout for the Glory side.
HERD HUNTS FOR A NEW CLUB
Australia defender Chris Herd is on the lookout for a new club after rejecting a short-term deal to remain at Aston Villa. On the brink of full fitness after suffering a knee ligament injury while on loan at Wigan Athletic in February, Herd is aiming to return to the English Premier League, even if it means joining a Championship or League One club to regain lost momentum.
Father and mentor Willie Herd, who spent 13 seasons in Scotland’s top flight with Falkirk and Partick Thistle, said there has been some interest from second and third tier English clubs for the versatile defender, whose career has been hindered by a succession of injury setbacks. With 36 senior appearances in five seasons at Villa Park, the 26 year old didn't feature for the first team last season and was ruled out of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup by an Achilles injury.
“Chris’s contract has been officially terminated at Villa and while there have been some sniffs, there is nothing concrete on the table just yet from elsewhere,” Herd senior said. “Two years ago he was playing in the Premier League but last year he played only a handful of games (on loan) for Bolton and Wigan. Villa offered him a three-month contract because (coach) Tim Sherwood wanted to have a look at him, but Chris said no to that.”
No matter what, the A-League is far from his radar, with Willie Herd insisting: “Chris really isn't interested in that at all. We have spoken about it and there was interest from Newcastle Jets last season but Chris just still has aspirations and the desire to get back to playing in the Premier League again. He feels he has another six to eight years to offer, and that’s what he's focusing on.”
Herd, who was seeking a season-long extension, has been continuing his rehab at Villa and is close to regaining full fitness as he seeks to pick up the threads of his career. “He’s a free agent right now but of course had he been fit and playing he wouldn’t be in this position," Herd senior added. “You would like to think that a player with Premier League experience who is available on a free transfer, if he is fully fit, would be a good pick up for a lot of teams.”
"He can do a job for a coach, that's for sure. It’s now just a waiting game … he’s feeling very positive and believes something is going to happen and hopefully people will still remember what he can do when he is fully fit. It just needs somebody to take a chance on him. He’s close to full fitness now and he hasn’t given up all hope at Villa just yet. The boss has been away with the team and when he returns perhaps he may reconsider - but as things stand he is no longer a Villa player.”
DE SILVA TO BE LOANED TO BELGIAN CLUB
AS Roma may have paid an A-League transfer record to land Daniel De Silva, but the young attacker looks set to be loaned out this season. Belgium appears to be the most likely destination for De Silva, who joined the Roma squad for the first time at the weekend International Champions Cup clash with Real Madrid.
The Italian giants have signed 18-year old De Silva, who played 35 times for Perth Glory across two seasons, on a five-year deal. It is believed Roma agreed to a $1.5 million transfer fee with Glory, however, that fee will rise to $1.8m with add-ons, attached to first-team appearances with Roma.
De Silva, who got a maiden Socceroos call-up last month, said he was excited to be part of Roma’s squad in Melbourne. “The coach has spoken with me a bit, it’s good to know what’s going on with me,’’ De Silva said. “Moving forward with the plans I’ll be in and around the squad.”
“It’s been fantastic so far, all the boys have been really welcoming and everything. I’m really enjoying my time here. A little bit longer to go, but I’m having a fantastic time, just soaking up the experience and training with some of the greats.’’
De Silva didn’t featured against Real Madrid but was thrilled to be among the substitutes on Saturday night. “I just went out there and soaked it all in, it’s not every day you get to sit on the bench against Real Madrid,’’ he said. “It was a fantastic experience for me and now I’m looking forward to Man City.’’
BAYSWATER EASE PAST PERTH
Bayswater City continued their lead at the top of the table, after a convincing 2-0 win against local rivals Perth SC in the Italian derby at Frank Drago Reserve on Sunday. First half goals to Gustavo Giron-Marulanda and Todd Howarth won it for the home and although Perth had plenty of second half possession they couldn’t find the breakthrough. Bayswater skipper, and former Perth SC defender Trent Kay, said they deserved the points. “We dominated the first half and should have put the game to bed, but the post came to their rescue,” he said. “These games are always one we look forward too, and both sets of supporters are passionate about their club, so we are happy to take the points.”
Perth knew three points were vital if they we’re to keep in touch of the league leaders, but they found themselves behind after only 19 minutes. David Heagney played the ball over the top for Marulanda, and the Columbian striker, made no mistake, firing low past Francis Soale. Things went from bad to worse for the visitors, when Bayswater doubled their lead on 28 minutes. Marulanda was brought down 18 meters from goal by Dean Evans, and Howarth curled the resulting free kick up and over the wall and into top corner of the net.
Perth was giving the ball away cheaply, and Bayswater should have added another two minutes later. Danny Dixon played Marulanda in on goal, but Soale stood tall to thwart him. The woodwork then came to Perth’s rescue four minutes from half time, and it was that man Marulanda again. He outpaced his marker, rounded the keeper, but his shot hit the post and away to safety. But on the stroke of half time Perth should have pulled one back. Mark Pritchard played the ball over the top to Nicholas Ambrogio, who raced in on goal, but his lob over the on-coming Devon Spence drifted the wrong side of the upright. Then straight down the other end Bayswater almost nicked a third, Heagney crossing to Dixon, whose shot hit the base of the post and away to safety.
After the break Dixon fired over from the edge of the penalty area, before Howarth’s in-swinging corner was punched clear by Soale. Perth, were having plenty of possession, and Bayswater were happy to sit back and hit them on the break. But Perth did have a number of chances. Pritchard’s close-range header was saved by Spence, before he saw another shot from the edge of the box saved low by the Bayswater custodian. To Perth’s credit they continued to press, but lacked the final ball in the last third of the pitch, and at the whistle it was Bayswater celebrating another ‘Rivalry Round’ victory.
LOWRY IMPRESSES IN BIRMINGHAM TRIALS
Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett admits he’s been impressed with Shane Lowry as the defender strives to earn a deal at the club. Lowry scored the Blues' equaliser in a 1-1 friendly draw at Kidderminster Harriers over the weekend, a game which also featured fellow West Australian triallist Rostyn Griffiths. Rowett had identified 26-year old Lowry as a possible contender to strengthen the left side of his defence but stressed the club were not yet ready to offer him a contract.
Lowry is a free agent after gaining his release from Leyton Orient following their relegation from League One. “Shane came in having done no training, in has been in a gym for a month because he hasn’t been training at Leyton Orient," said Rowett. “He has headed everything, he has been very aggressive, he has got up from a set-piece. There’s that gap of left-side centre back/left back we can see if we can look at something different. There’s nothing definitive.”
Rowett was also pleased with what he’s so far seen of Griffiths. “I thought Rostyn looked better as the game went on and hit some lovely cross-field passes,” he said. “We are just looking at certain little areas where we might be able to improve, alongside the two or three we still want to bring in.” Griffiths, who opted to leave Perth Glory at the end of the 2014/15 season, also featured in Birmingham’s mid-week friendly win over Nuneaton Town.
COCKBURN HOME WITH PATTERSON'S BRACE
Cockburn City maintained their fifth spot on the table after a 3-1 win against local rivals Armadale, in their ‘Rivalry Round’ clash at Dalmatinac Park. Cockburn striker Rory Patterson was outstanding, bagging a brace, with Conor Kavanagh adding the other, while Darren Francis, who was a stand out for the visitors, scored Armadale’s consolation goal. “We created a lot of opportunities today, and I was really pleased with the attitude of the players,” Cockburn Coach Marc Anthony said. “On another day we could have scored six or seven, just a little disappointed to concede a sloppy goal late. We now look forward to taking on the league leaders Bayswater City next week.”
It was an even opening to the game, and new Armadale signing Anthony Skorich tested Cockburn keeper Curtis Aspden early, before David Araya fired over for the home side. But on 13 minutes the home side hit the front. A quick throw out from Aspden sent Julian Teles away and he fed Patterson, who rolled off his marker and fired home clinically past Luke Radonich. It should have been 2-0 moments later, Feisal Zaw sent Patterson clear, but Radonich narrowed the angle and the striker fired wide. The home side were well on top, and Armadale were hanging on. Patterson headed wide at the near post, before Teles shot was well saved by Radonich. It looked like the Reds had held on until the break, but in stoppage time Cockburn doubled their advantage. Teles played the ball in to Patterson, who raced into the area. His shot was saved by Radonich, but the ball rebounded of Kavanagh into the net, despite Passalacqua goal line clearance.
The visitors opened brightly after the break, and Aspden had to be alert to deny Skorich early, before Francis’ long-range shot flashed inches over the bar. But Cockburn settled and on the hour they added a third. A ball over the top by Conor Kavanagh sent Patterson racing into the area. He held off Sam Loveless before finishing with aplomb. Armadale continued to take the game to Cockburn, and Skorich was sent clear by Jesse Fuller, but Aspden stood tall to deny him. But the visitors were back in the game on 79 minutes, Francis rising highest to head home Loveless’ free kick. Both sides had late chances. Patterson was a denied a fourth on 89 minutes; his shot superbly saved by Radonich, before Mick Crerand’s shot was saved low by Aspden.
SORRENTO TAKES OUT THE NORTHERN DERBY
Sorrento have won the ‘Northern derby’ after a 3-1 win against local rivals ECU Joondalup at the ECU Football Stadium. Teenage striker Bayley Montgomery put the host ahead early, but Shaun Kilkelly levelled soon after. The visitors took the lead fifteen minutes from time through Brad McDonald, and three minutes later the points were made safe when Cian Hirrell scored into his own net.
The young ECU side started the game well and were ahead on 11 minutes. Bayley Montgomery slid in to finish Joe Smith’s low cross from close-range. But their lead didn’t last long and eight minutes later Sorrento levelled. Jack Eades’ free kick picked out Kilkelly, who headed home at the back post. Both sides pressed and James Morgan and Andy Banks kept their sides in the game and it was all level at the break.
The home side lost experienced defender Charlie Comyn-Platt at the break, and he was replaced by Ben Wantee, and they had to rearrange the back line. Sorrento began to take control and Banks was again in fine form. The veteran keeper, who retiring last season, has returned to replace the suspended Jamie Serra, saved well to deny Jack Salter, and moments later Thomas Boss’ cross picked out Salter again, but this time his half-volley flashed inches past the post.
But on 75 minutes Sorrento’s pressure was rewarded with the lead. This time Salter was the provider, his pass picked out Brad McDonald on the edge of the penalty area, and his shot flew past Banks. The ECU custodian was keeping his side in the game with a couple of good saves, but there was little he could do when Sorrento added a third three minutes later. Boss made space down the left, and his cross was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Hirrell.
BALCATTA HIT BACK TO KNOCK OFF WOOD
Balcatta will hope to have kick started their season after a come-from-behind 3-1 win against Inglewood United at Grindleford Reserve. David Micevski gave the visitors the lead after only ten minutes, but Cameron Teece levelled before the break. Then second half goals to Steve Sokol, and a late strike from Gustavo Catarcione made sure of the three points. “I thought they (Inglewood) were the better team in the first half had many chances to put the game to bed, but we rode our luck and I managed to score and we went in level at the break,” Balcatta’s Cameron Teece said. “But we hit back after the break and we dominated and we're clinical in front of goal, and I thought we deserved the win.”
The home side went close to the opener after only five minutes; Paddy Quinn’s volley was well saved by Aleks Vrteski. But Inglewood, who were looking to end a two game losing streak, hit the front on 19 minutes. Micevski was sent racing into the area, and he finished clinically past Clint Davies. Both sides pressed, and the football was end to end, but on the half hour the home side levelled, debutant Teece rising highest to head home Catarcione’s cross. Both sides had chances to regain the lead late the first half. First Catarcione’s lob dropped inches over the top for the home side, before Andrija Jukic’s free kick was only inches away from Scott Witschge in the six-yard box.
The home side were again out of the blocks quickly after the break and on the hour Catarcione’s free kick crashed off the post, and Vrteski was alert to save Sokol’s follow up shot. But six minutes later they did take the lead. Sokol brought the ball down on his chest, lost his marker and his shot on the turn flew past Vrteski. Inglewood then had a penalty claim turned down by referee Matthew Southern, after Mohamed Awad was bundled down in the area. They went close again three minutes from time. Witschge made space down the flank, his shot was deflected into the area, and Brian Woodall was quickest to react, but his shot was straight at Davies, who saved. They then earned a corner and even Vrteski came up for it, but when the ball was cleared Catarcione raced clear, and rolled the ball into an empty net to seal the points.
TALIMDZIOSKI DOUBLE GETS THE GLORY
Perth Glory have won for the first time since round two, after a 3-0 win against Subiaco AFC at Inglewood Stadium. A goal in last minute of first half by Nikola Talimdzioski put the Glory youngsters on track, before after the break Slobodan Vulin added a second and Talimdzioski the third to give them a confidence boosting victory. “It was a great win for us today, and it has been a long time coming to grab our second win,” Glory defender Nathan Costello said. “We put in a complete performance, and hopefully it will kick start a strong run of form as we head towards the end of the season and we can finish higher up on the table, to match how well we've played all year.”
The home side were on the front foot early, and they started like they finished last week at Stirling, and Subiaco were defending deep and hitting on the counter attack. The first real chance fell to the home side, Calvin Whitney’s long-range shot beat Ryan Montgomery, but the crossbar came to the keeper’s rescue. Subiaco have improved as the season has gone on, and they almost took the lead on the half hour. Costello was caught in possession on the half way line by Josh Booysen, and the winger raced clear, but Glory keeper Jordan Thurtell stood tall and saved his shot. But in the shadows of half time the home side hit the front. Waliedin Ismail played in Dejan Spaseski, whose cross was turned home by Valentini, his fifth goal of the season.
The visitors opened the second half brightly and the Glory was defending stoutly, but Subiaco couldn’t turn their half chances into goals. Subiaco thought they had a penalty on the hour, when Danny Milne was bundled over in the penalty area by Gian Albano, but referee David Bruce waved away their protests, much to the displeasure of the Subiaco players and coach. With Subiaco pushing men forward looking for the equaliser, the Glory were finding gaps behind them, and on 71 minutes they doubled their lead. Tom King made space down the left, and played in Vulin, who fired home from a tight angle. Valentini had a chance to make it 3-0 moments later, when the lively Nikola Talimdzioski played him in on goal, but he saw his shot crash off the post and away to safety. But the teenage striker made emends for that miss eight minutes before full time. Spaseski was given far too much space, and sent Valentini clear and he finished with aplomb past Montgomery.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND THIRTEEN – REVIEW
All Flags Division One leaders Mandurah City had to settle for a point after a thrilling 3-3 draw against South West Phoenix at Payne Park. Jordan Rhodes gave the visitors the lead on 25 minutes, the midfielder was sent clear of the offside trap, and made no mistake. But the Phoenix were level soon after, Mandurah didn’t clear their lines and referee Alex Best spotted a handball, and Lee Stewart converted from the resulting penalty. The home side soon hit the front, when the referee awarded another penalty when Andy Brown brought down Stewart, and he picked himself up to score from the spot. Then three minutes before half time the visitors levelled, from another penalty. This time Abe Tcuono was brought down, and Rhodes made no mistake from the spot, to end an enthralling 45 minutes of football. The action continued after the break and there were chances at both ends, but it looked like Mandurah had won the points, when amazingly the referee awarded another penalty, after substitute Santos was brought down on 83 minutes. Rhodes stepped up to score and complete his hat-trick. But in the shadows of the final whistle the home side earned themselves a point, Stewart firing home to complete his hat-trick and give both sides a share of the spoils. “It is a good point in the end for us,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “Four penalties in a pretty clean derby, was amazing, but it’s a tough place to go and win, so a point is good result. I thought we started well and missed a few good chances early, then took the lead, but after that it was a slog. “To concede a late goal is disappointing, but full marks to both sides. We got ourselves into a winning position twice, but they dragged themselves back.”
Ashfield moved into second place after a come-from-behind 3-2 win against Gosnells City at Walter Padbury Reserve. The home side opened the scoring on ten minutes, a corner wasn’t cleared properly by the Ashfield defence, and a shot from the edge of the penalty area, was turned home by Tyron Pottier from close-range. Ashfield squandered a number of first half chances but they went to the break down. Gosnells opened the second half well and increased their lead five minutes in. Ashfield gave the ball away in the middle of the park, and a through ball sent Wade Farmer in on goal and he chipped John Perkins to score. It looked like it wasn’t going to be Ashfield’s day, but they pulled one back on the hour, Dan Corbett scoring after a Gosnells keeper Adriano D’Alo failed to hold a long-range shot. Ashfield we’re now in control and they levelled moments later, Brian Patterson’s bicycle kick from a corner, gave D’Alo no chance. Ashfield hit the front on 75 minutes, Alex Stamatiadis shot from the edge of the area beat D’Alo, and in a poignant moment Stamatiadis pointed to the sky, to honour his best mate who passed away last week. The visitors then lost Nick Davies with a nasty wrist injury, and they were holding on late as Gosnells pushed for the equaliser, and they went close in the final minute, Farmer raced into the area one-on-one with Perkins, but the Ashfield custodian stood tall to deny him. “It wasn’t our best performance, but I’m really proud of the character the players showed to come back and win,” Ashfield coach Paul Dundo said. “All players gave their all in the last 30 minutes, and in the end got the result they deserved.”
In other games Joondalup United let a two goal lead slip to draw 2-2 with Dianella White Eagles at Forrest Park. Arran Maplestone scored the opener for the home side after only 30 seconds, cutting in from the left and firing low past keeper Yousri Gharsallah at his near post. It was 2-0 on three minutes, Maplestone was brought down in the box by Goran Radinovic, and referee Alex Novatsis pointed straight to the spot. James Harmer converted the resulting penalty. Dianella were back in the game on 37 minutes, when Gilmar Marulanda fired home superbly from the edge of the penalty area. They were level sixty seconds later, Ali Safak scoring from close-range, after Joondalup keeper could only parry Marulanda’s shot. Both sides had chances after the break but couldn’t convert them. The visitors ended with ten men when Radinovic was shown a second yellow card. Shamrock Rovers returned to the winners circle after a 2-1 win against Canning City at Grimrey Reserve. Sean Browne and Charlie Kenna were on target for Rovers, while Charlie Parry scored for City. “I felt we dominated the first half, but Canning put in a strong effort after scoring,” Rovers’ Coach John O’Reilly said. “It was a scrappy last ten minutes but we got the job down and it’s nice to be back in the winner’s circle.” UWA-Nedlands left Wotton Reserve with all three points after a 2-1 win against Morley Windmills. Steve Shaw ws on target for the home side, but a brace from Ben Reynolds saw UWA home.
In the final game Western Knights beat Swan United 4-2 at the Swan Italian Club. United custodian Alfie Brincat was in fine form, and he made a number of great saves to deny his former club. But there was little he could do when the Knights hit the front midway through the first half. Luka Jukic’s free kick picked out Connor Thurston who headed home. The Knights doubled their lead on the stroke of half time, Joel Parker’s shot on the turn gave Brincat no chance. After the break the young Swan side lifted and pulled one back on the hour, Ryan Treacey’s long-range free kick was curled into the net. The home sidewere well on top and it was no surprise when they levelled, Brennan Borzecki firing home after a fumble from the Knights keeper. But the Knights hit back, when the unfortunate Anthony Papalia headed past his own keeper. The Knights wrapped up the points late with substitute Nathan DeAbreau finding the target. “Swan showed that they can play and whilst the result wasn’t what coach Sal Todoro would have wanted his team showed some real grit to bounce back well after the previous weeks thumping,” Knights coach Andy Thorburn said. “We’re happy with the win lads’ effort but we would definitely do some shooting practice during the week on the training track.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND THIRTEEN – REVIEW
League leaders Rockingham City kept their place at the top of the table after a hard fought 2-0 win against third placed Fremantle City at Lark Hill. The home side hit the front five minutes before the break. Some neat lead up play from Snelson, Kpatar and Hissey end with Grayson who made no mistake. The points were made safe just after the hour. A corner was flicked on by Grayson, and Rowland scored from close-range at the back post. “It was a fantastic performance, everyone stepped up again and I couldn’t be happier with the attitude and work rate,” Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said. “We controlled the game from start to finish and to come away with six points against Forrestfield and Fremantle in consecutive weeks is really pleasing.”
Kelmscott Roos earned their first point of the season after a 0-0 draw against Curtin University at Raphael Park. They needed a late penalty save from Roos’ keeper Kristian Usedo to do so, but coach Rob Eldridge was really pleased with his sides’ effort. “I’m absolutely stoked for the lads, they deserved the point, and both sides had opportunities to win it,” he said. “Curtin had long periods of possession but we defended stoutly led by our captain Aaron Hardy. Overall a gritty and determined performance by all the lads, but we needed a late penalty save from Kristian to give us the point but I think we deserved it. We’re getting closer to that elusive first win of the season.”
In other games Melville City and Ellenbrook United fought out a 1-1 draw at Len Shearer Reserve. Both goals came late, and it looked like the home side had nicked all three points, when Blake Readwin scored. But deep in stoppage time Liam Hurley levelled to earn his side a point. A second half penalty from Rhys Loxley gave Forrestfield United a 1-0 win against Wanneroo City at the Wanneroo Sports Complex. Quinns FC and Joondalup City fought out a 1-1 draw in their local derby at Gumblossom Park. The visitors were ahead in the first half when Danny Allen scored into his own net, but a Luke Serra goal after the break earned the home side a point. In the final game Balga and Kingsway Olympic played out an entertaining 0-0 draw. Both sides had good chances to win it. Nathan Thorpe’s free kick crashed off the post early, before Chad Dos Snatos hit the bar, while Jonathan McGahern fired wide when well-placed for the home side. After the break Balga keeper Ollie Rigler produced a stunning save to deny Wayne Culverwell, and Vlad Naumovski wasted a good opportunity for the home side, but they had to settle for a share the spoils.
PS4 NPL-WA ‘RIVALRY ROUND – PREVIEW
It’s the fourth PS4 National Premier League WA ‘Rivalry Round’ this weekend, and the pick of the game is the ‘El Classico’ when league leaders Bayswater City entertain Perth SC at Frank Drago Reserve on Sunday afternoon. The home side hold an 11 point lead on their visitors, and they know a win will hinder their title push. New signing Adam Tong will play in his first Italian derby for the club and said it’s a huge game and he’s looking forward to it. “I think it’s do or die for Perth, if they have any chance of catching us for the title,” he said. “I watched the last game where Bayswater beat Perth 3-1 and I could see the passion within the teams and supporters as its one of the games of the season by far.” The big defender knows the quality in the Perth side but he is confident they can take the points and believes it will be a great game for the WA public. “A win for us will give us a bit more breathing space between the two teams, but we know Perth have a great squad and plenty of match winners so we need a positive start and be on guard from the start to the end, and hopefully we will keep wheels rolling for the title,” he explained. “We know the next four games are massive and we need maximum points and then see where we are at then, but as they say, we’re taking it one game at a time.” In team news Devon Spence is available after suspension, but they will be missing Sam Mitchinson and Chris Saldaris.
Perth has a huge couple of weeks, with their FFA Cup tie in NSW, but skipper Clark Keltie said they can’t worry about that game yet, and Saturday’s game is their biggest of the season, “Obviously it’s the first time the club is taking part in the FFA cup, so yes it's a big occasion for all that is part of it,” he explained. “But I’m not looking past one league game at a time. I'll leave that in the more than capable hands of our coaching staff but for me, it's all about the next game, which happens to be against Bayswater.” Keltie said he hopes the flu bug has gone from the squad, which hit him and a number of teammates last week against Cockburn. “It knocked us around a bit, but it looks like it’s all cleared now,” he said. “We’re all looking forward to this weekend, and we're going into it on the back of some very good performances. If we are to have any chance of winning this league then we have to go there on Sunday and get three points. I feel we're a different side to the one that lost against them earlier in the season so it will be interesting to see the outcome this time round. In team news Reece Vittiglia, James Marocchi, Rocco Pizzata, will all be looking to get back into the starting side, after all missed last week, but Ashley Rosindale will miss again.
The round begins on Saturday afternoon, with Sorrento making the trip to the ECU Football Stadium to take on ECU Joondalup in the ‘Northern Derby’. Sorrento also have the FFA Cup tie against A-League side Sydney FC in the back of their minds, but defender Steve McDonald said that Saturday’s game is the one they need to concentrate on. “It’s a great time to be around the club, with a massive game against Sydney to be played at NIB stadium in the FFA cup, the intensity at training has been tremendous,” he said. “We have been on a decent run in the league, and it’s important that we keep that going, leading up to that cup game. Winning is a good habit, but we can't look to far ahead of ourselves, and just take it one week at a time and concentrate on finishing as high up the league as we can.” The big defender is looking forward the local derby, and he hopes they can get a better result from the first time they played this season. “Games are always tough against Joondalup, especially at their ground,” he said. “They left our place with the points and bragging rights early in the first half of the season, so it will be up to us to take the game to them and hopefully come away with the points.” In team news Sorrento will be at full strength for the trip, while for ECU Andy Higgins faces a fitness test to see if he can retake his place in the side, Jamie Serra will again miss, with Andy Banks taking his place between the sticks, while Paul Miller is also suspended.
Cockburn City entertains Armadale at Dalmatinac Park. The visitors have been on the improve in recent weeks and head into the game looking for their first ever win in the rivalry round, but they will have to do it without leading scorer Danny Hodgson who is out injured. Cockburn have lost two of their last three NPL games and will look to bounce back this week, and Rory Patterson will be looking to add to his 10 goals this season. “It’s going to be a tough game this weekend, I know Armadale have been playing well and have also signed some ex Cockburn players which will give it an extra edge,” Cockburn defender Devon Gibson said. In team news for the Cockerels, Harry O’Brien is still out with a shoulder injury and centre back Alan Carroll is suspended. Also on Saturday Balcatta and Inglewood United meet at Grindleford Reserve. Balcatta have been through an indifferent patch of form, and will be hoping they can start to get some consistency, while Inglewood lost for the first time in six games last week. Kenny Keogh and Scott Witschge are pushing for a starting spot after coming off the bench last week, but they will again be without Coach Michael Garcia who will sit out his second week of his touchline ban.
One of the biggest rivals in WA football is the one between Floreat Athena and Stirling Lions, and the pair met at E&D Litis Stadium. Lions’ defender Steve Purton said last week’s win against Perth Glory, their first in six games, will give them some much need confidence going into this week’s game. “It was a great win and a much needed confidence boast going into the second part of the season,” he said. “We've been unlucky in the last few games but that hasn't hidden the facts of how many goals we've conceded. It’s something the management staff and players have discussed and we are all working extremely hard to get back to winning ways.” Purton is expecting a tough game against Floreat and said it will bring the best out of the players. “I think this rivalry Round has come at a perfect time, and previous form doesn't come into the equation on predicting an outcome, we are aware of Floreat’s quality and confidence going into the game but as a squad we are also very confident that on our day we can beat anyone,” he said. “Floreat can’t afford to drop any more points if they want to stay in touch with Bayswater, so they may start feeling the pressure but that could be seen as a good thing or bad depends on how they deal with it, but it should be a great match for WA football locals.” In team news Floreat will be missing Bobby Wilson who is overseas, but Calum Fransz will be pushing for a starting spot after coming off the bench last week. The Lions welcome back Brodie Martin and Michael Pugliese from suspension, as they look to turn around the result from their first meeting this season, where Floreat won 1-0.
In the final game bottom of the table Perth Glory host Subiaco AFC at Inglewood Stadium. Glory defender Nathan Costello comes back into the side after suspension and coach, John Gibson is hoping for an improved performance from his young side. “We are all looking forward to this week’s game, and there is a spring in the step of the players this week, the game against Subiaco is like our local derby,” he said. “It’s a great initiative from the league to add these games to the fixtures, and it’s always a competitive game when we play them, and I’m sure Saturday will be no different. Subiaco striker Danny Milne will need a late fitness test, while Ian McMurray looks likely to start, but Nathan Diaz is away.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND THIRTEEN – PREVIEW
This week’s Match of the Round, in the All Flags Division One is south west derby when South West Phoenix entertains league leaders Mandurah City at Payne Park. Mandurah thrashed Swan United last week, and midfielder Craig Tone, who will miss this week’s game, said they played some good football, and were due a big win. “It was a good win for the club, and was very good for our goal difference, but we knew we were due to beat a team significantly as we have been excellent in training,” he said. Tone, who re-joined the club from Cockburn City mid-season, said Saturday’s game will be a cracker, and he said the boys head there looking for the three points. “All games are big games for us now, and Doug and Robbo make sure we remember that every session,” he said. “I’m gutted to miss this one as it will be fantastic game, but we do welcome back Ollie McGee and Paul Jackson, but Craig Young is in doubt.”
The Phoenix beat Mandurah 4-0 in their first meeting this season, but hasn’t won at home in their last four games. Striker Lee Stewart said they need to start winning at home and last week’s win at UWA was a better performance. “It was nice to get a win last week and hopefully it's a turning point for us in regards to good performances leading to wins again,” he said. “Players are starting to come back in to the squads and hopefully it will strengthen us and give us some depth for the rest of the season.” Stewart is well aware the strong squad Mandurah have assembled this season, but he said they will be up for it. “Mandurah have bought in a lot of talent and have great depth and I believe that's been vital to the great run they are having, but last time we played I believe we wanted it more and that caught them off guard,” he explained. “But this week will be a completely different game. They are the league leaders and the pressure is on them to come and get a result, and hopefully that will give us the freedom to play to our strengths and I'm sure it will be a fantastic game to be a part of.” In team news for the home side Ryan Risdon will miss, while a couple of players have niggling injuries but should play.
In other games Joondalup United welcome Dianella White Eagles to Forrest Park and both sides will be missing their top goalscorer. Lee Jones misses for the home side, while Angel Andres misses for the visitors. Canning City makes the trip to Grimrey Reserve to take on Shamrock Rovers. Rovers’ midfielder Paul Concannon returns for the game, while Canning City will be missing the suspended Daniel Trevisiol, while Chris Holland and Ryan Shackleton are both unavailable. Swan United host Western Knights at the Swan Italian Club, hoping to put last week’s thrashing behind them, while the Knights will hope to continue their good form. Ashfield slipped up last week and lost ground on the leaders, and this week they travel to Walter Padbury Reserve to take on Gosnells City, knowing a win is a must. But Gosnells will be lookingto continue their improved form and midfielder is looking forward to taking on the second placed side. “It’s definitely going to be another tough game against an Ashfield team on the rise and on a great run of form, but it is a challenge we are looking forward to,” he said. “Our boys have been working hard and playing some nice football without reward. we are hoping that the results will soon follow and start putting more points on the board and rise up the table”.
The final match of the round is at Wotton Reserve, with UWA Nedlands and Morley Windmills going head-to-head. Morley, were beaten by a ten man Canning City last week, and Garin Collins said they should have taken something from the game. “Last week was disappointing. We had a great chance to jump two spots and we got caught early by Canning, who come flying out the blocks,” he said. “The boys put in a massive effort to get the points in the second half, but it just wasn't our day.” He knows UWA will be a tough game but is confident they can get the points. “UWA will be a tough task. They've picked up a few wins recently and will be feeling confident of getting a result at our place,” he said. “We've definitely improved our performances but that doesn't get you points, winning does and if we are going to start climbing the table, we need to start getting results.” In team news UWA will be without Kevin Punselie, Richard Olsen and Sam Stone, but Bryce Conway returns, while defender Terry Berard returns for the home side. .
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND THIRTEEN – PREVIEW
The pick of the week 12 All Flags Division Two fixtures is the top of the table clash between Rockingham City and Fremantle City at Lark Hill. Fremantle striker Danny Clapham said they are looking to bounce back from last week’s loss to Balga. “It was a very disappointing result, and we had more than enough chances to take the three points, but it was just one of those days, it happens in football,” he said. The last time the sides met it ended in a 1-1 draw, but Clapham said they head into the game looking for all three points. “Saturday will give us the opportunity to bounce back, and we know what they have got, and we will be more than ready to take the points and close the gap,” he said. “We draw at our place earlier in the season and it was a tight game. But we know on our day we are capable of beating anyone in this league, and we head there looking for the win.”
Rockingham striker Alex Grayson bagged hat-trick last week against Ellenbrook and he said after their last result they had against them, they had to be switched on from the first whistle. Last time we played away to Ellenbrook we were 0-4 down after half an hour,” he explained. “A huge dose of complacency let us down that day but we approached last week with the right attitude and managed to get the result. With how close the table is, scoring six is definitely a boost for us and I was just happy to add to that.” Grayson is under no illusions Saturday’s clash against the third place Fremantle will be a tough game. “We all know this game will be another test completely. We have always had tough games against them with plenty of draws during the season and night series,” he said. “There's a different feel about the club at the moment, we are confident in our ability but there's a real drive about us which is admirable for a young squad. We've put ourselves into a great position and hopefully week by week we can consolidate the hard work we have put in. These are the games you play for and I'm sure we will rise to the occasion at home. There result last week will not change our game plan, but it adds an extra bit of spice so hopefully it will be a great day of football for everyone.”
In other games Melville City entertain Ellenbrook United at Len Shearer Reserve, Quinns and Joondalup City meet in a local derby at Gumblossom Park, while Balga host Kingsway Olympic at Princess Road Reserve. Balga will be without Lee James for the rest of the season due to work commitments, while Ahmed Nour and Denis Fekovic are suspended. Brett Cutting is missing for the visitors. Bottom of the table Kelmscott Roos will go in search of their first point of the season when they travel to Raphael Park to take on Curtin University. New Kelmscott Coach Rob Eldridge said they are improving and will be hoping to get a result on Saturday. “We have a long way to go, but we have gone back to basics and are playing with heart,” Eldridge said. “Aaron Hardy has made a big difference in tightening up our back line and we head to Curtin looking for our first win. They have had a few players out in recent weeks, but they still have some good players, so we know we will have to be at our best on the day to get the result.” In team news for Kelmscott Michael Schalk returns after suspension, while 17-year-old Michael Tucci, who impressed last week will retain his place in the side. Curtin will be missing Dilap Thapa, Rory Binnie, Mohammed Noor, Albert Bucchino and Francesco Gerace for the game, but they regain Calum McMulkin, Robbie Nichol and Bryce Young, while Dominic Jakszuk, who impressed off the bench on his debut last week, is pushing for a starting spot.
In the final Wanneroo City host second placed Forrestfield United at Wanneroo Reserve. The visitors will be sweating on the fitness of skipper Trent Wood, but Rhys Loxley should return to the starting side, after coming off the bench last week. The ome side are at full strength and Coach Matt Debarro is expecting a tight contest. “It’s a massive big game for us this week, even more so after a late penalty cost us the points last week,” Debarro said. “They (Forrestfield) are the best team we have played this season, so we know it will take our best football to win, and hopefully our home ground advantage can give us the edge.”
GLORY SIGN HUNGARIAN INTERNATIONAL SANDOR
Perth Glory has boosted its line-up for the coming A-League season with the addition of Hungarian international Gyorgy Sandor on a two-year contract. Sandor joins the club fresh from lifting the Hungarian championship with Videoton, where he made 169 appearances across six seasons and played the last three and a half years as team captain. Sandor was also member of Litex Lovech’s 2009 Bulgarian Cup winning side, and four years later collected a Kings Cup winners’ medal while on loan to Al-Ittihad (Saudi Arabia).
Sandor, who has represented Hungary nine times, arrived in Perth earlier this week. “I am thrilled to be in Western Australia and excited to be part of a new look Perth Glory this season,” he said. “Australia has always been on my travel plans and my wife and I are looking forward to experiencing what Perth has to offer. More importantly I am looking forward to being part of a team that I know will be pushing for finals this season.”
Glory coach Kenny Lowe said Sandor had the right mix of quality and experience to be a real asset to the squad. “Juri is a proven leader and winner and has played for his country so that shows the high esteem he is held in,” Lowe said. “He will bolster the team in the middle of the park and his quality and experience will hopefully allow the team to control games.” Sandor is expected to join the squad at training tomorrow.
BIRMINGHAM TAKES GRIFFITHS ON TRIAL
Former Perth Glory midfielder Rostyn Griffiths was in action overnight for Birmingham City after going on trial with the English Championship club. Griffiths, 27, opted to leave Glory at the end of the 2014/15 season and last night played the second half of Birmingham’s 3-0 friendly win over Nuneaton Town. Griffiths, who played juniors for ECU Joondalup and youth team football at Blackburn Rovers, is understood to also be on the radar of Ipswich Town and Millwall.
EX-READING MIDFIELDER EDWARDS TRIALS AT GILLINGHAM
Midfielder Ryan Edwards has caught the eye of Gillingham manager Justin Edinburgh. Edwards played 90 minutes in the Gills 2-1 pre-season friendly win over Tonbridge Angels and Edinburgh must now decide whether to give the 21-year old another chance. “There will be discussions between myself and the player and we will see where we go,” said Edinburgh. “He is someone who has played a few games in the Championship for Reading and was recommended to us. Edwards, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Sport, made seven appearances last season for Reading.
DE SILVA HEADS TOWARD NEW HORIZON
Danny De Silva says the reality of his move to Italy to join prestigious club AS Roma is finally starting to hit home. The 18-year old was given a special send-off by his former Perth Glory teammates this morning, with De Silva presented with a framed strip. He now flies to Melbourne on Wednesday to unite with the Serie A giants for the first time, with a potential debut on the cards in Saturday night’s one-off clash with Real Madrid.
De Silva will train as part of Roma’s squad and said he was hopeful of a dream debut against one of the world’s best soccer teams boasting star striker Cristiano Ronaldo. “As it gets closer and closer, it starts to become more of a reality for me,” De Silva said. “It’s been a long time coming, but now it’s very close and only a couple of weeks before I leave. It’s starting to really hit home, but I’m really excited and really looking forward to what the future has in store.”
De Silva will head to the Italian capital at the end of this month, completing a move announced in June last year. He said the chance to reunite with Glory’s squad one last time had been special. The talented striker first made his A-League debut with Perth at the age of 15. “Coming back down to where it all began for me and seeing all the boys again and obviously getting a beautiful send-off from all the lads, it’s a little special moment for me,” De Silva said. “It just prepares me for the next adventure ahead.”
TAGGART IN GREAT SHAPE
After a deeply frustrating 2014/15 season, Adam Taggart is ready and raring to go for the new campaign. A persistent groin injury meant Taggart didn’t play one minute of first team football for Fulham last term following his move from Newcastle Jets in the summer of 2014. But the forward has enjoyed a productive pre-season thus far and hopes he can finally play a part for the Whites when the new term gets under way in August.
“A lot of people dread all the running of pre-season but it’s been fantastic for me, which sounds a bit weird,” he said. “I was obviously struggling last season with my groin but now I’m in the best condition I’ve been in for a long time. Mentally and physically, I’m in great shape. It’s a progression I’m hoping to continue. My body is 100 per cent now and I can progress and develop, get the shooting boots back on and contribute for Fulham this season.”
Taggart featured as Fulham played a practice match with Millwall earlier this week in Portugal, a game that ended in a 0-0 draw. “It was good to get back into the rhythm of a match and put all of our hard work of the last few weeks into a game scenario,” continued Taggart. “It was hard work in the heat but it was important to get that under our belts and back into the swing of things.”
“It reminds me a bit of Australia because most of our season is played in the summer. I enjoy being out in the sun and it’s nice for pre-season. It’s a little bit harder than being in the cool air so in the end it will be good for us. I’ve got used to the fresh air in London but definitely out here it brings back memories of playing in Australia so it’s probably a bit easier for me to adapt.”
LOWRY SET TO LEAVE LEYTON
Leyton Orient coach Ian Hendon has confirmed defender Shane Lowry intends to leave the club. Lowry has one year left on his contract but has a release clause which was activated following the O's relegation from League One. "Shane's got a clause in his contract that if we got relegated he could leave on a free transfer," explained Hendon. "That was done before I came. Sadly I wasn't aware of that initially to be honest. His agent informed he would be leaving 100%."
Lowry, who played 40 games for Leyton last season, is played little part in the clubs' preparation for the coming season. "There's no point Shane being out on the training ground because if he gets injured we've got an injured player for a year," Hendon said. "Even though he's got a year left he's free to go. I'd like to keep him (but) he won't be going to Spain with us. If he gets sorted out he does. If he doesn't we'll have a chat when we get back. But we can't afford for him to be injured because he wants to find another club."
DE VANNA FROM CROSS-TOWN RIVAL MELBOURNE VICTORY
Melbourne City has made its W-League ambitions abundantly clear, audaciously plucking Matildas captain Lisa De Vanna from cross-town rival Melbourne Victory for its inaugural season. De Vanna will play for the Manchester City-owned club after signing a one-year deal on Friday, becoming the first player to join Australia's ninth women's professional club.
De Vanna said she was relishing the prospect of an exciting new challenge. “(Coach) Joe (Montemurro) approached me a few months ago about playing for City and he invited me to come and visit the City Football Academy,” she revealed. “After ten minutes of being there I was sold to the idea of playing for City; it’s a great opportunity and I’m quite honoured to be part of it.”
Although restrained by a $150,000 salary cap, City is hell-bent on exploiting its global network of scouts and contacts to instantly compile a championship-contending squad. The English women's season finishes in September and it's understood that as many as three of Manchester City's stars who played for semi-finalists England at the Women's World Cup could make their way into the W-League season, which is likely to kick-off in November.
LIONS HOLD ON FOR GLORY
Stirling Lions returned to the winners’ circle, after a 4-2 win against Perth Glory at Macedonia Park. First half goals to Teeboy Kamara, Daniel Micevski and Nathan Bowden-Hasse, and an early second half goal to Lawrence Shuruma had the home side in total control. But the Glory hit back with a brace from striker Stefan Valentini to set a few nervous moments late in the game but the home side held on and moved back into the top five. “A win’s a win, and it’s nice to score four goals, but as a defender we’re not happy to concede a couple of sloppy goals,” Lions’ Steve Purton said. ““We got complacent after we scored the fourth, we should have kicked on, but we stopped doing the basic’s and let them back in. But we held on and we hope this can restart our season.”
It was a perfect start for the home side and they were ahead after only three minutes. Shuruma found Kamara on the left, and he cut inside his marker before curling the ball home from the edge of the penalty area. The home side were well on top and it was no surprise when they doubled their lead on 32 minutes. Shuruma made space down the left, and found Micevski on the right; he slipped away from his marker and fired home, despite keeper Jordan Franken getting a hand to it.
The Glory, were hanging on, but their resistance was finally broken nine minutes before the break, when the Lions added a third. Miki Vujacic’s corner was only half cleared by the Glory, and the Lions skipper whipped a teasing cross into the penalty area and Bowden-Hasse rose highest to head home from five meters. It could have been worse for the Glory. Micevski’s shot in stoppage time whistled inches past the post, but at the break the home side were in total control.
The Glory needed a good start to get back into the game, but four minutes in they conceded a fourth. Purton found space down the left and cut inside the penalty area, his shot was parried by Franken and Shuruma fired home the rebound from five meters. It looked like it was going to be a long day for the Glory youngsters, but on 56 minutes they pulled a goal back. Valentini won a tackle on the edge of the penalty area, raced into the box and fired low past Joel Driscoll.
Now it was the Glory who was on top, and they added another on 67 minutes. Nikola Talimdzioski won a strong tackle on the right of the penalty area and crossed to Valentini who made no mistake from six meters. It was game on and the Glory went close to a third three minutes later. King crossed to Dejan Spaseski, who fed Talimdzioski in on goal, but Driscoll was out bravely to save at the strikers’ feet. But time ran out and the Lions celebrated a win for the first time in six weeks.
ARNOLD'S BRACE PUTS ATHENA BACK ON TRACK
Floreat Athena bounced back from last week’s draw against Cockburn City with a 3-0 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve. New signings Jonathan Stynes and Phil Arnold, who added a brace, were on target for the visitors, while the home side lost in-form striker Danny Hodgson early with a bad leg injury. “It's good to get the win and keep pushing my former club,” former Bayswater striker Arnold said. “We have good players at the club, the likes of Lewis McMahon, Ludo Boi and Steve Burton, and we’re always going to create chances, and it's good to put them away.”
The home side, who were on their best run of form for the season, started brightly and midfielder Jesse Fuller fired over early, before Floreat keeper Fraser Greenwood was alert to save the lively Faustinho Machochi shot. Floreat settled and went close when Dennis Galen was denied by Armadale keeper Dylan Wilson, and moments later the Armadale custodian produced a great save to deny Floreat skipper Ludovic Boi.
But on 20 minutes Hodgson was carried off on a stretcher after he fell awkwardly after he took on Blair Govan, and he was replaced by Jamal Yusof. From then on the home side lost their way, and on the half hour Floreat hit the front. A free kick into the area found Stynes, who rose highest to head home past Wilson. Floreat were dominating and Armadale’s goal was living a charmed life, with Steve Burton and Jack Allen, both seeing their shots crash off the woodwork.
Armadale started the second half well, but were struggling in the final third, and they found themselves two down on the hour. Burton made space down the flank, and pulled the ball back to Arnold, who made no mistake. Floreat brought on former skipper Callum Fransz on 75 minutes, for his first game of the season since injury, and they added a third seven minutes later. A poor clearance from Wilson went straight to Arnold, who sent the ball back over the keepers head from distance.
BANKS EARNS JOONDALUP A VITAL POINT
Veteran keeper Andy Banks’ came out of retirement on Saturday and earned ECU Joondalup a vital point after a 1-1 draw with Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. The visitors who have dropped into the relegation zone in recent weeks took the lead on the hour through Stuart Montgomery, but skipper James Sammut levelled for the home side ten minutes later. But Banks produced a couple of great saves to give his side a point. “We had a lot of pressure against us in the first half and we really had to get stuck in and dig deep to hold on,” Banks said. “A draw was probably a fair result in the end and after what we’ve been through in recent weeks we’re happy with it.”
Balcatta’s form has been up and down in recent weeks, but they opened brightly and Banks was called into action early. Hanafi Ghezali’s cross picked out Patrick Quinn, whose volley was well saved by the ECU custodian. The home side went close again on ten minutes, Gustavo Catarcione played an inch perfect through ball for Quinn, but Banks stood tall to deny him.
Tommy Amphlett had the first chance for the visitors on the half hour, the striker weaved his way into the area, but his shot was straight at Clint Davies. Father and son, Stuart and Bayley Montgomery were causing problems for the Balcatta defence, along with Joe Smith, but it was the home that went close to the opener on the stroke of half time. Catarcione was a constant threat to the ECU defence and he burst his way into the area and crossed from the bye-line to pick out Sammut, whose first time shot flashed just over the top.
The visitors went close early in the second half, Jon Higgins’ free kick was deflected into the area and in the goalmouth scramble, Amphlett’s shot straight at Davies. But on the hour ECU hit the front. Bayley Montgomery found space on the edge of the area and threaded the ball to the back post, where his dad Stuart fired home from close-range.
But their lead lasted for only 10 minutes, Sammut wasn’t closed down and his powerful shot beat Banks, despite the keeper getting a hand to it. Balcatta took a firm grip on the game and youngster Coire McGuigan twice made vital tackles to Holt the lively Catarcione. It was one-way traffic as Balcatta pressed for the winner, Steve Sokol shot deflected off the crossbar, before Zelfy Nazary’s shot was parried away, by man of the match Banks.
CANHAM HAS THE GULLS FLYING
Sorrento continued their unbeaten run in the league, after Sean Canham’s goal earned them a hard fought 1-0 win against Subiaco AFC at Percy Doyle Reserve to make it six games without defeat. “I thought in the first half we played some nice football and looked confident knocking the ball around, and created a number of good opportunities and should have gone in a goal or two up at the half,” Sorrento defender Tom Boss said. “After the break we played well in patches but it became scrappy, but we finally capitalized and scored and showed we can scrape out a win when we need to, and I thought we got the result we deserved.”
Sorrento have been on a high in recent weeks, and are looking forward to taking on A-League side Sydney FC in the FFA Cup next month, and they were first to go close in this one. Jack Salter’s snap shot on five minutes flashed wide of the target, before the New Zealand striker saw a second attempt blocked by the alert Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery.
The home side was well on top, and Canham and Todd Harnwell were a constant threat, and just before the break they should have taken the lead. A cross picked out Canham, and the big striker headed down to Harnwell, who failed to find the target. The pair was involved again moments later, but Harnwell’s shot couldn’t find a way past Montgomery.
Subiaco started the second half well and went close to the lead early. Kevin White was given far too much space on the edge of the penalty area and his long-range shot beat James Morgan but crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. But on 65 minutes the Gulls hit the front, and it was the Harnwell and Canham partnership again. This time Harnwell crossed to Canham and he made mistake, heading past Montgomery.
Despite going behind Subiaco almost levelled six minutes later. White lost his marker in the penalty area, but his header was cleared off the line by the alert Brad McDonald. Then down the other end Harnwell scuffed his shot with the goal at his mercy. The visitors had a late chance to grab a point, but second half substitute Ian McMurray saw his shot well saved by Morgan.
AMBROGIO AT THE DOUBLE FOR PERTH
Perth SC maintained the pressure on the top two after a 3-1 win against Cockburn City at Dorrien Gardens. Teenage striker Nicholas Ambrogio continued his recent goal scoring form, bagging a brace, and Mark Pritchard added the third from the spot, while Rory Patterson scored Cockburn’s consolation goal, his 10th of the season late on. Perth had been struggling with a flu bug in the camp, and had a number of players struggling during the week, and Marco Santalucia said they had to dig deep. “Obviously we were hit pretty hard with the flu this week and more than half of the team were sick,” he said. “As a result a few of us had to play a slightly different role for the team, myself included from centre back to right back. I think we defended well particularly in the first 15 minutes when they came at us, but we caught them on the break and took our chances and I think that was the difference. “Recently we have all been playing with confidence and that continues to increase alongside our building momentum. I think it’s partially due to every player at the club wanting to be on that plane to Sydney in a few weeks for the FFA Cup tie.”
Cockburn, who took a point of second placed Floreat last week, started the better in this one, and created a number of half chances, but failed to convert them, and against the run of play it was the home side who took the lead on the quarter hour. Perth skipper Clark Keltie’s slide rule pass sent Ambrogio clear, and he finished with aplomb past the on-coming Curtis Aspden.
Perth went close to a second on 38 minutes, but Josh Perriera’s shot crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. The visitors, with Conor Kavanagh and returning skipper Eamon McNelis influential, started to find space behind the Perth backline, and just before the break they went close to levelling. The lively Feisal Zaw whipped a great cross into the penalty area to Liam Murray, but his first time lob went the wrong side of the crossbar.
Perth looked sharper after the break, and Cockburn custodian Aspden was at his best to deny them twice, as they pushed for the equaliser. But again against the run of play Perth doubled their advantage. Second half substitute Frank Furfaro held off his marker and played the ball into Ambrogio, who back heeled into the net, giving Aspden no chance.
The result was put beyond doubt on 74 minutes when Perth added a third. Referee Tim Mihevc spotted a handball on McNelis and after consulting with his assistant he awarded a penalty, and Pritchard stepped up to convert the spot kick. Cockburn found a late consolation goal six minutes later, Paterson make no mistake from inside the penalty area, but it was too little too late for Marc Anthony’s side.
BAYSWATER ROLL ON AT INGLEWOOD
The Bayswater City juggernaut rolled on Saturday, and their title defence marched on, after a 4-2 win against Inglewood United at Inglewood Stadium on Saturday. They had to come from behind in this one, Mohamed Awad giving the home side the lead early. But City hit back with Brian Farrell levelling, before Gustavo Giron-Marulanda and a brace from David Heagney made it 4-1 at half time. Substitute Scott Witschge scored a consolation for the home side two minutes from time, but it was too little too late. “ “It was a good show of character from the boys to go from 1-0 down and show the quality they did to go 4-1 up by half time, was fantastic and shows what belief we have in the camp,” Bayswater keeper Jason Saldaris said. “It was an important win for us to keep us clear of Floreat and also going into a massive Sunday’s night game against Perth SC in the rivalry Round."
Before kick-off there was a minute’s silence, on the first anniversary of the passing of former Inglewood President Ziggy Kramer. But when the game started it was end-to-end football. The lively Awad’s shot crashed against the woodwork for the home side, before Heagney shot was well saved by Aleks Vrteski. But it was the home side that hit the front on the quarter hour, Awad wasn’t closed down and he curled home his shot home, giving Saldaris no chance. But the visitors were level two minutes later, Heagney’s header turned home by Farrell from close-range.
Inglewood hit the woodwork again, with Brian Woodall’s header glancing off the crossbar, but Bayswater went down the other end and hit the front. Marulanda raced clear of his marker, and finishing clinically past Vrteski, for his eleventh goal of the season. It was 3-1 on the half hour; Heagney fell under the challenge of Jovo Pavlovic and referee Steven Gregory pointed to the spot.
It looked a little harsh, but Heagney picked himself, but Vrteski guessed the right way to save, but Heagney was quickest to react and fired home the rebound. The home side still pressed and Jason Colli fired over when well placed, after good approach work from David Seasy, but on the stroke of half time it was Bayswater that added a fourth. Heagney again found himself in space to head home from close-range, to send the visitors into the shed well on top.
After the break the game lost its intensity, but there were still chances at both ends. Woodall and Witschge went close for the home side, while Marulanda and Heagney had half chances for the visitors. All credit to Inglewood they ended the game the better, and they reduced the margin two minutes from time. Witschge was sent in on goal and he finished low past Saldaris.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TWELVE – REVIEW
Mandurah City showed their NPL credentials, after an 11-1 win against a young Swan United side at the Hyundai Stadium. The win increased Doug Hesketh’s sides’ lead at the top of the table, but the coach had sympathy for United Coach Salv Todaro. “Obviously delighted with the three points and improved goal difference, But I thought Swan were unfortunate to lose keeper so early and it's difficult. To Salv’s sides credit I thought they never stopped trying to play football and never gave up which is a quality which I admire in those circumstances especially,” he said. “But I thought we played very well, we controlled possession played at high tempo and looked very sharp. The squad are working very hard every session to improve and Robbo and I are delighted for them and the supporters who have been fantastic all year.”
The visitors were on the back foot after only ten minutes when keeper Daniel Morgan-Herman was sent off, a decision that left everyone scratching their heads. He punched the ball outside of the area and despite the fact there were three defenders surrounding the striker he was given his marching orders for denying a goal scoring opportunity. The home side made their numerical advantage count and was ahead 5-0 at the break, with Jordan Rhodes and Craig Tone grabbing a brace, with the other coming from Abi Tcuono. Rhodes completed his hat trick just after half time, and Tone did likewise from the penalty spot. The other scorers were Simon Bell, Luke Johnstone, Santos and an own goal. Nathan Sulley scored United’s consolation goal.
Ashfield lost ground on the leaders after losing 2-1 to Joondalup United at The Ashfield Sports Complex. James Hamer and Lee Jones had the visitors in control, and Ashfield midfielder Ashley Corker was then sent off, before Alex Stamatiadis scored a late consolation goal for the home side. Dianella White Eagles reduced the gap between fourth placed Shamrock Rovers to one point after beating them 1-0 at Dianella Reserve, the only goal of the game coming from Fabio Renna. South West Phoenix beat UWA Nedlands at UWA Sports Park. Bright Ababio, Kiran Kavanagh and Lee Stewart were on target for the visitors, while Ben Reynolds and Jacob Flores scored for UWA.
In the final Saturday game Western Knights edged out Gosnells City 2-0 at Nash Field. The home side had the perfect opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty in the first half when Luka Jukic was brought down by Tyrone Pottier. But keeper Adriano D’Alo guessed the right way to save Paul Lloyd’s spot kick. But the home side was ahead on the hour; Nathan De Abreu was on the end of a quick counter attack and fired low past D’Alo. The points were made safe 15 minutes later, with Connor Thurston calmly slotting home from the edge of the penalty area. The Knights stayed in control of the rest of the game even after going down to 10 men when Jeff Judge was sent off. “I thought our game plan worked well today,” Knights coach Andy Thorburn said. “We kept pressing and getting our players forward and got the goals that we deserved. They (Gosnells) were well organised today and pushed the ball around well but I never felt at any time that we weren’t going to win the game.”
In Sunday’s game a ten man Canning City beat Morley Windmills 3-2 at Burrendah Reserve. “We played with 10 men from the 14th minute and battled really well for the three points,” Canning Coach Paul Oliver said. “We knew, given the circumstances it wasn't a day to go out and play football the way we want to so we had to adjust and win ugly, it showed great character and I thought it was a deserved three points.” All goals came in an action packed first half. The home side were ahead early; Callum Roberts was played in down the left and he raced on to beat the keeper at the far post. But then Daniel Trevisiol was shown a straight red card, after retaliating in an off the ball incident. But the ten men doubled their lead on 22 minutes. Roberts again beat the offside trap this time on the right, finishing superbly with the outside of his foot. Morley were back in the game on the half hour, when Garin Collins fired home a free kick from the edge of the penalty area, and the visitors levelled from the penalty spot five minutes later, Yohanes Tadesse firing home past Luke Stonebridge. But Canning scored the winner five minutes from half time. Charlie Parry and Daniel Paredes combined to tee up Roberts, who scored from close-range to complete his hat trick.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND TWELVE – REVIEW
All Flags Division Two leaders Rockingham City maintained their lead at the top of the table with a comfortable 6-2 win against Ellenbrook United at Arbor Grove Reserve. On target for Rob Crerar’s side where Ryan Kennedy, Roy Hissey, Christian Hogge and a Alex Grayson hat trick. Forrestfield United kept tabs on the leaders with a 7-1 win against Melville City at Hartfield Park on Saturday evening. City arrived on the night with a good record against United, but the home side dominated early and Scott Barker headed home Trent Wood’s free kick to give them the lead. They doubled their lead on the stroke of half time, Barker again on hand to head home Ben Rogers cross. It was 3-0 ten minutes into the second half, with Barker converting his hat trick from the penalty spot, after Rogers had been brought down in the area. On the hour Matt Harold made it 4-0, before Rogers scored a second penalty to make it 5-0. Melville pulled one back with a penalty of their own. Christian Long was brought down and Mark Lucas fired home from the spot. Substitute Rhys Loxley added the other two goals to give Rod Banjac’s side a comprehensive victory.
In other games Balga produced another good away performance to beat Fremantle City 1-0 at Hilton Reserve. The only goal of the game came on 75 minutes from Kyall Osborne. But Fremantle had the opportunity to share the spoils in the last minute when they won a penalty. But Balga keeper Oliver Rigler saved Danny Clapham’s penalty, but it had to be re-taken as the keeper had come off his line. Clapham stepped again, but Rigler guessed the right way again to save, to win it for Balga, and inflicting Fremantle’s first defeat at home this season. Joondalup United and Wanneroo City fought out a 1-1 draw at the Iluka Sports Complex. Chris Marshall scored a header from a Connor Lynch corner to give Wanneroo the lead, but Bobby Irvine levelled for the home side from the penalty spot with ten minutes remaining. “It was a better performance than the last two weeks, and we played to our strengths, and was unfortunate to concede a late penalty to tie the game,” Wanneroo Coach Matt Debarro said. “We defended well, and they didn't create any clear cut opportunities sadly we failed to capitalise on some of ours, but credit to Joondalup who played well and kept coming at us.”
Quinns came away from Frye Park with a 4-1 win against bottom of the table Kelmscott Roos, while Curtin University got back to winning ways with a 6-2 win against Kingsway Olympic at Kingsway Reserve. Carlo Chiellini put the visitors ahead early, but keeper Ranjeet Sekhon had to be alert to keep Nathan Thurp’s close-range shot moments later. But Curtin doubled their advantage before the break, Dilip Thapa firing home from long-range. The home side pulled one back early in the second half through Nathan Thorpe, but two quick goals from Thapa and Rory Binnie put the visitors in control. It was soon 5-1, Khaled Salhah on target, before Joe Woodin pulled another one back for Kingsway. But the icing was put on the cake late when Mahamud Noor scored the goal of the game, his volley giving Kingsway keeper Sam Hebison no chance.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND FOURTEEN – PREVIEW
The pick of the week 14 PS4 National Premier League fixtures is Floreat Athena’s trip to Alfred Skeet Oval to take on the inform Armadale (3pm) The home side have picked up since the appointment of Paul Price and defender Nick Crerand said they head into the game full of confidence after two wins in the past three games. “Yes, there is a lot more confidence in the team at the moment, Danny (Hodgson) is scoring goals, and we are looking like a much steadier side. Coming back from 2-0 down to win last weekend has given everyone a massive boost,” he said. Crerand, who is the grandson of former Manchester United defender Pat Crerand, said Floreat have been one of the bench marks this season and is expecting a tight game, but said the players are looking to win for the first time at home this season. “Floreat have looked good this season, and we all know it’s going to be a tough game, but hopefully if we have another good performance we might be able to get a good result from it,” he explained. “It would be nice to enjoy a win at home for a change, so I’m sure all the lads will be up for it.” In team news Sam Cole limped off last week against the Glory and will face a late fitness test, but they will be without Alex Castiello who is overseas. Floreat lost ground on leaders Bayswater City last week, dropping points against Cockburn City, but City found City keeper Curtis Aspden in fine form. They will be well aware of the improvement of Armadale in recent weeks and Saturday will be a tough game.
League leaders Bayswater City take their unbeaten start to the season to the much improved Inglewood United on Saturday. Bayswater left it late last week to beat ECU Joondalup, while United lost for the first time in six games at Perth. City winger Borbor Sam said the coaching staff should take a lot of the credit. “ECU made it hard for us, but the lads stuck to it and our fitness showed at the end, “he said. “But I would have to its credit to Chris Coyne and the coaching staff who change tactics in the last five minutes and it paid off.” The former Glory winger is expecting a tough game against an improved Inglewood side. “It will be a difficult game for us because the two times we’ve played them they were hard to beat, so we need to come with our A game.” In team news for the game Devon Spence and Chris Saldaris miss due to suspension
In other games Perth SC entertain Cockburn City at Dorrien Gardens. Cockburn fought out a draw last week against Floreat, and will be looking to go one better this week. Curtis Aspden has been in outstanding form this season, despite his slice last week, and he holds the key to the Cockerels chances. Conor Kavanagh is vital in the middle of the park and his dual with Clark Keltie will go a long way to see who wins this one. Aden Da Luz comes back into the Perth squad after injury, while Friday Zico will be hoping to push his way into the starting side against his former club, after coming off the bench last week. Subiaco AFC continued to move clear of the drop zone with a hard fought win last week, and they travel to Percy Doyle Reserve to take on Sorrento. The home side made it five games without defeat with their win at Stirling last week, and Steve McDonald has been in good goal scoring touch. Josh Booysen and Danny Milne have been impressive for Subiaco, while keeper Ryan Montgomery continues to impress. Balcatta and ECU Joondalup will be looking to kick start their seasons when the pair meet at Grindleford Reserve. ECU was left stunned when they conceded late at Bayswater to lose 2-1 last week, while Balcatta lost on the road at Subiaco. Jon Higgins returned to action last week and is vital for the visitor’s, while Joe Smith and Paul Miller need to boss the midfield. Balcatta will look to Kieron Stallard and skipper James Sammut to bounce back from last week’s defeat, while Gustavo Catercione will be looking to add to his six league goals this season. Jamie Serra is suspended for the visitors, with Andy Banks in line to come out of retirement to replace him, while Dale McCulloch will have to watch from the stands after receiving a two game touchline ban.
In the final game Stirling Lions host Perth Glory at Macedonia Park. The Lions have dropped off the pace in recent weeks, but will look to put that right on Saturday. Billy Quinncroft started his first game for the club last week, and scored, but he will have his hands full this week with lively striker Nikola Talimdzioski impressing and scoring a brace last week. It’s a return home for Glory defender Ali Gholami, he made his senior debut for the Lions in 2014 under the tutelage of Gary Williams, and he’s looking forward to the return and helping the Glory out of their slump. “It’s a big game for us, especially after letting a two goal led slip last week,” he said. “We have been competitive throughout the season, but results haven't gone our way. But we are going to stick to our plan and hopefully we will start to get some well-deserved results.” In team news keeper Lance Alavakis is available again, but Brodie Martin and Michael Pugliese are still out suspended, while Nathan Costello is suspended for the Glory.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TWELVE – PREVIEW
It’s week 12 in the All Flags Division One, and out ‘Match of the Week’ is the game between UWA-Nedlands and South West Phoenix at the UWA Sports Park. After a poor run of form UWA have lifted in recent weeks and are coming off back-to-back wins. Clive Stopper was on target last week against Swan United and said the win was a hard fought encounter. “It's definitely been a case of "work In progress" so far this season. The squad is largely made up of young players, and therefore inevitably lack some of the experience required in some of the tougher games,” he said. “However, despite being on the end of some heavy defeats, team morale and hunger has not deflated, and that can only be a credit to the players and staff. The last two games we certainly haven't played anywhere near our potential, but we have dug in, tried to do the right things and pushed on until we got the result we desired.” The midfielder believes Saturday’s opponents will be desperate to get back in the winner’s circle after a recent blip. “To be honest, their recent form won't concern us, at the end of the day it will be down to how we perform on the day that will decide the outcome of the match,” Stopper said. “We will take confidence from our previous encounter knowing that we pushed them all the way and perhaps, if our fitness had not flared towards the end we may have come away with some points.”
The Phoenix hasn’t won since Round 7, but striker Lee Stewart said they showed great character to fight back and score late at Canning last week, but thought they should have won it. “Despite equalising late it still felt like two points dropped, as we played well for most of the game but unfortunately we just aren't getting the rub of the green at the moment,” he said. “We've been playing well over the last month but have nothing to show for it so as a playing group we will have to keep together and have faith we can start winning again.” Stewart is expecting a tough game at UWA, with only two points separate the sides on the table, but he believes they have turned the corner. “UWA are a handy side and their results aren't really a surprise. They pushed us in the last meeting but luckily we were able to come from behind with a very good second half,” he explained. “Trent (Hathaway) will be looking to get us starting brightly this week and hopefully get on top early. We've had to adjust to a lot of injuries in the past month and we've changed our structure to adapt to the players we have available. All the boys have been buzzing around at training this week and it shows the hunger is still there to get back to winning ways.” In team news Bright Ababio has returned to training after missing the last month with injury, while James McCleary returns to the squad after work commitments.
League leaders Mandurah City entertain Swan United, in the battle of the stripes at the Hyundai Stadium. The home side needed a brace from Jordan Rhodes to overcome Gosnells last week, while United let a lead slip at UWA Nedlands, and both sides need points at the top and bottom of the table. The home side welcome back skipper Andy Brown, while United will be without keeper Alfie Brincatt, Fraser Burt and Reegan Borzecki. Ashfield will be without the injury Jay Lang for the visit of Joondalup United at Ashfield Reserve. The defender broke his leg in two places in last week’s abandoned game against Dianella White Eagles, while United will look to rebound after losing their first game of the season last week at Western Knights. In other Saturday games Shamrock Rovers makes the trip to Dianella Reserve to take on Dianella White Eagles, who will be without striker Angel Andres due to suspension, while Gosnells City visits Nash Field to take on Western Knights. It’s a return to the Knights for Jacob Aquino, and he said they are looking forward to the challenge after pushing the league leaders all the way last week. “We played well as a team, and created a lot of chances but when you are near the bottom it’s hard to get that luck,” he said. “Mandurah are top of the table for a reason and they created plenty of chances too, so it was a good game we were just disappointed to come away empty handed.” The midfielder returns to his former club this week, he spent four years at Nash Field and there is a huge connection with the Knights at Gosnells this season, and Aquino said they will be upbeat after last week’s win. “They had a great result last week in ending Joondalup’s unbeaten streak, so I’m sure they will be full of confidence this weekend,” he said. “It’s a big game for us this weekend as we have been playing some good football just haven't been getting the points. I spent a good 4 seasons there, and it’s a club that I really enjoyed being at. There are a few of us at Gosnells now who were at knights last year, Jason Pottier, Tyron Pottier, and Caleb Aquino as well as our coaches. It will be good to see some old faces but we will be focussed on putting the football into points this week.” In team news, Gosnells have Scott Periera, Luke McCord and Tyron Pottier all pushing for selection. The round is completed on Sunday with Canning City hosting Morley Windmills at Burrandah Reserve. The home side regain the services of skipper Tom Gibbins
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND TWELVE – PREVIEW
The game of the round in the All Flags Division Two is the meeting of Fremantle City and Balga at Hilton Reserve. Fremantle kept in touch with the leaders last week with a good 5-1 win against Curtin University, while Balga got back to winning ways with a 6-0 win at Ellenbrook. Fremantle striker Robbie Phelan bagged a brace last week in the win but said the goals are important for their goal difference. “We played well last week, and to get early goal was ideal, and set the tone for the game,” Phelan said. “It was good for the team to get a few goals as it might come down to goal difference at the end of the season.” The striker knows Balga will be a tough challenge and believes they are one of the most improved sides in the league. “We will need to be up for the game and put in a good performance and get the three points, as we have Rockingham next week,” he said. “I’m sure they (Balga) will have something to say about that, they have done well this season, but we need to keep out good run going, and we can’t take them lightly.” In team news Mick de Souza and Rory Kiely are both unavailable. Balga keeper Ollie Rigler said last weeks big win came at the right time for the side. “There is no better way to get back on track than scoring six away from home and keep a clean sheet,” he said. “Everyone wanted the ball and wanted to get involved, and in recent weeks it hasn’t been going our way but we put that behind us.” Rigler is looking forward to the game, as it’s just around the corner from him. “I’ve been looking forward to the fixture all season, as it’s less of a drive for me,” he joked. “We’re going into the game on a high, and everyone is fighting fit, but we know there needs to be a lot of hard work to be done on Saturday, to come away with the points.”
Rockingham will be looking to keep their lead at the top of the table when they visit Arbor Grove Reserve to take on Ellenbrook United. Christian Hogge’s first goal for the club gave them the win at Forrestfield, and they will go into the game as heavy favourites, with United losing their last three games, and conceding six last week against Balga. Rockingham welcomes back Louie Bake, David Clark and Blake Sokolowski to the squad, but will be without the suspended Max Snelson. Kingsway Olympic host Curtin University at Kingsway Reserve, Wanneroo City visits the Iluka Sports Complex for a local derby against Joondalup City, while bottom of the table Kelmscott Roos host Quinns FC at Frye Park. The final game sees Forrestfield United entertaining Melville City at Hartfield Park. Melville stunned Wanneroo last week, while United lost the top of the table clash against Rockingham. United skipper Trent Wood said they had the chances to win it last week, but keeper Cyril Sharrock was in sparkling form. “Rockingham are a well-structured team, there is a reason they are currently top of the table. They work hard as a unit and fight till the very end which is quite evident in some of their previous games this season,” he said. “Cyril had an outstanding game in goals and in my opinion won the game for Rockingham. We had several chances to get a result out of the game, but were unable to finish.”
He said that is now forgotten and they are looking forward to get back to winning ways on Saturday, but is expecting a tough game against Melville. “Melville seems to be our bogey team, we have not beaten them in two seasons now and will be looking to change that come Saturday night,” Wood said. “I haven't had the chance to play against them at all, but from what I've seen they have a few exciting young players that can cause some damage.” The home side will be hoping Nathan Watkins, Matt Harold and Jordan Hart are fit for the game as they are all carrying minor injuries, but City will be missing Captain Matt Donlevy, who is suspended.
GLORY SIGNS VETERAN KEEPER COVIC
Veteran goalkeeper Ante Covic says he's still got plenty to offer the A-League after signing for Perth Glory for the upcoming A-League season. The 40-year-old, long-rumoured to be headed west after being cut by Western Sydney Wanderers, has signed a one-year deal with Glory. He joins the club after 156 A-League appearances with Newcastle Jets, Melbourne Victory and the Wanderers.
Covic, a former Socceroo, was the hero of the Wanderers’ 2014 Asian Champions League title win, being named player of the tournament. “I’ve got plenty of gas in the tank and I still have a lot to give back to the game” he said about his move west. “I’ve thought long and hard about this and the opportunity to extend my career ticks off some personal goals. The chance to play for Perth Glory and win something with a different club, is exciting and that’s what’s most appealing to me.”
Coach Kenny Lowe was pleased with Covic’s recruitment. “It’s fantastic for us and for him,” he said. “He gets to play for at least another year and we’ve got a quality ‘keeper who’s played at the highest level, domestically and overseas. We’ve got three good ‘keepers, including youngster Jordan Thurtell, so I expect all of them to be pushing each other to play.” Covic is Glory’s fifth signing of the off-season, joining Antony Golec, Jerrad Tyson, Alex Grant and Hagi Gligor at the club.
HARNWELL UNLOADS ON CLUB HE ONCE ADORED
Perth Glory legend Jamie Harnwell has launched a stinging attack on the club after it refused to guarantee him a coaching extension for the women’s team after this year’s record-breaking season. Harnwell, a two-times championship winner with the club, revealed he would not take up an offer to re-apply for the job he has held for the past four years.
“I’m not going to apply, I’ve had enough of being treated like this, really,” a furious Harnwell said after Football West management of the women’s team to Glory last week. “As much as I’m disappointed to leave the girls and not be involved again, I’ve got too much pride and professionalism to do something like that.”
“It’s been 17 years that I’ve been involved with the club in some capacity or another and to be treated like this, I’ve had enough,” added Harnwell. “I’ve got no real feeling or passion for the club at all now. It’s all sort of wiped away, which is a shame given the history I’ve got with it.”
Harnwell had orchestrated a stunning transformation for Glory Women, who won the W-League Premiers’ Plate last season but lost the Grand Final. The team set a new mark for the biggest number of league points earnt in a single season and also became the first team to win the first six games of a season.
Harnwell had asked the club to decide by last Monday night whether he would be granted an extension and when he did not receive a reply, he knew his time was up. He said receiving an email early last week from Glory inviting him to reapply for his job as a “kick in the guts”.
“From the age of 21, the club has pretty much consumed me,” he said. “It was incredible what we achieved on the park last season and it has been a really good bunch of girls who I’ve really enjoyed working with. It’s the best group I’ve been involved with and it’s a shame to lose that. It’s bit of a numb feeling.”
MELBOURNE CITY REWARD VELAPHI WITH NEW DEAL
A superb season for Tando Velaphi has earned the goalkeeper a new two-year deal with Melbourne City. Velaphi was in career-best form during the summer of 2014/15 when he amassed nine clean sheets from 19 appearances, after taking over the number one mantle from Andrew Redmayne. "It's great to have signed on for another couple of seasons at the club,” said Velaphi, who played juniors at Perth SC.
“It’s a great feeling to be back in pre-season with all the boys and we're working hard to build on what we were able to achieve last season,” added the 28-year old, whose A-League career includes spells at Brisbane Roar, Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory. “I'll be doing everything I can to get the best out of myself and help the team to be successful this season.”
City coach John van't Schip hailed the professionalism of Velaphi. "Tando was a vital contributor for us last season and his record was a reflection of his hard work and positive attitude,” van’t Schip said. “He is a quality player and a great character around the group and we are glad to have him with us heading into next season and beyond.”
MAKAROUNAS RE-SIGNS FOR VICTORY
Melbourne Victory is excited to announce midfielder Jesse Makarounas has agreed to a one-year contract extension. Makarounas, 21, has made a total of 28 first team appearances for the club, including 11 last season, since moving to Melbourne in early 2013. “The opportunity to continue my career at Melbourne Victory was really important to me and I’m thrilled to be staying,” he said. “The club has been fantastic to me since I arrived and I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time here so far and I’m looking forward to another successful campaign.”
NO CAP HANGOVER FOR GLORY
Ever the optimist, Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe has rejected the notion that last season’s salary cap scandal would continue to affect the A-League club going into next season. Glory returned to training yesterday three months out from the start of the coming season, with an FFA Cup match against Newcastle Jets looming next month. Recruits Hagi Gligor, Jerrad Tyson, Alex Grant and Antony Golec joined their new teammates with Lowe declaring there were at least three more signings to come.
Lowe said his second pre-season at the helm was more taxing than last year, but the mood was generally upbeat. “I think the same as last year, we came in with a new wave of optimism and this year you are hoping just to build on what we did last year,” he said. “Unfortunately maybe we slip back a little bit, we have to maybe take a couple of steps back and then we'll move forward again. Boys coming in, they have a smile on their face. They're hungry, they're keen, so we are very much where we were last year.”
Lowe said the lingering effects of last year’s dramas would not have an impact on preparations for next season. “You can't affect it. If you've got no control over it, why do you worry about it?” he said. “What we can control, we can control. And I said it last year - it's going to be boring, and it's going to be mundane for you guys, because you're going to get the same answers to the same questions. There's no pressure. There's no stress. There's no foggy cloud. It's fantastic we're back into training. We've got a good group of people who are hungry and want to do well. That's a recipe for success.”
TIGERS SNAP UP TOMBIDES
Taylor Tombides has signed a one-year deal to become part of Hull City’s Under-21 squad. Tombides, who can operate out wide or in a central striking role, came through West Ham United’s youth system and joins the Tigers after an impressive trial period towards the end of the 2014/15 campaign. “Taylor is a player I identified via contact with West Ham,” said academy manager Tony Pennock. “He came on trial with us towards the end of last season, during which he scored two goals in six appearances, and impressed us.”
SAINSBURY THANKS GLORY FOR GETTING HIM BACK IN SHAPE
Australia defender Trent Sainsbury could not be thankful enough of the Perth Glory medical team for beating a nagging hamstring injury that forced him to miss the Socceroos' first qualifier for the 2018 World Cup. While the Socceroos went about beating Kyrgyzstan last month in Bishkek, Sainbury was undergoing his rehabilitation from an injury suffered soon after representing Australia against Japan in November.
Sainsbury, who plies his trade with Dutch club PEC Zwolle, is well on the road to recovery and has earmarked the opening game of the Eredivisie season as his return to first-team action. "The boys at Perth Glory did an extremely thorough and amazing job and helped me get back on track," Sainsbury said. "They pointed out in which areas I was lacking strength and then provided me with a program to follow and so far so good."
"We started pre-season last week but I'm not training fully. I feel a lot stronger and my mind is set on an end date. Zwolle were always supportive of me getting myself fit again for the start of the season. I am grateful to Perth. They did not have to do anything for me but they are genuine good blokes. I definitely owe them a carton or some tickets for the Socceroos' next World Cup qualifier versus Bangladesh in Perth in September."
Sainsbury revealed how he played for more than six months with the hamstring injury to help Zwolle's bid to qualify for Europe. "There were a few occasions when I was not quite right and called upon but at the same time I knew even if I was not 100% I would do my best for the team," he explained. "At the end of the day if I feel I can compete and complement the team, I will put my hand up to play."
The worst part of the hamstring problem is behind Sainsbury now and he is looking forward to the forthcoming World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh. "I want to be part of the Socceroos squad again especially since the game is going to be in my home town," Sainsbury said. "The Socceroos are looking good after tackling the first challenge but Bangladesh is another challenge they have to meet … I'll do anything to be fit for the game."
YOUNG SOCCEROO GLIGOR JOINS GLORY
Perth Glory have signed Australian youth international Hagi Gligor on a one-year deal. 20-year old Gligor came up through the youth ranks at Sydney FC and in 2012 stepped into the national league arena. He featured in the recent friendly matches against Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur and was a substitute for Sydney in this year's A-League Grand Final.
“It’s been a great few years in my career so far and I am looking forward to capitalising on that experience with my move to Perth,” said Gligor, who has represented Australia at Under-20 and 23 levels. “It’s a new and exciting chapter for me and I’ll be doing my best to impress Kenny Lowe and the coaching staff to get as many starts as I possibly can.”
Coach Kenny Lowe said Gligor is a young and dynamic player who’s sure to impress when given the chance. “He is another young player with a good pedigree and great potential, and we’re delighted he’s made the move here,” he said. “He’s represented the Olyroos and Young Socceroos so that indicates the calibre of player he is.” Gligor, who has Romanian and Filipino heritage, will join the rest of his teammates this week for the first official day of the 2015/16 pre-season.
MCCALLUM DIGS IN FOR GIRLS
Former Matildas midfielder Collette McCallum will assist her ex-Perth Glory Women teammate Elisa D’Ovidio at the Football Federation Australia National Championships in Coffs Harbour this week. It is McCallum’s first State coaching role since hanging up her playing boots in April. “It’s great for the girls to have someone like Collette around,” D’Ovidio said. “I had the pleasure of playing in the same team as her with Perth Glory and obviously we all saw how good she was on the international stage for the Matildas. Collette has a lot to offer and the girls have responded very well so far.”
D’Ovidio steered the State Girls Under-15s to Group B success at the tournament last year and knows the team faces a tougher task in Group A this season. “I’ve been involved in coaching girls’ football in WA for the past eight years and during that time the game has taken great strides,” D’Ovidio said. “It’s been fantastic to see the improvement in technical ability, attitude and enthusiasm towards the game. The National Championships obviously give the girls an opportunity to see how they match up against other states. The girls have trained well, they’re excited about the challenge and we hope they’ll perform very well over there.”
The Under-15 team takes on New South Wales Country, New South Wales Metropolitan, South Australia and Victoria in Group A matches as well as a crossover game against Group B team Tasmania. The Under-13 side, coached by Darren Young, take on Group B opponents Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, New South Wales Country and Tasmania along with a crossover match against Group A side New South Wales Metropolitan. The tournament runs through to 10 July.
The West Australian Girls Under-13 squad features Tanessha Baker, Siobhan Connolly, Yasmin Furse, Abbey Green, Jade Inskster, Annabelle Leek, Leticia McKenna, Emma McMurdo, Grace Mitchell, Mia Njirich, Thalia Organ, Ashleigh Santich, Eden-Lee Schaffer, Danielle Suckling, Nicole Tjahyadi and Isabella Wallhead, The team officials are Darrn Young (coach), Faye Chambers (assistant coach), Salv Todaro (manager).
The West Australian Under-15 squad is Morgan Aquino, Rosie Lehane, Ashling Devitt, Cheyenne Wise-Jarvis, Tessa De Leo , Sofie Osborne, Georgia Cawley, Isabella Foletta, Katie Grayson, Kizanne Mulder, Bianca Webb, Georgie Ireland, Lauren DeGaye, Tia Bergin, Sasha Edwards and Tylah Nation. Travelling with the side are Elisa D’Ovidio (coach), Collette McCallum (assistant coach), Donna Harris (manager) and Lauren McCreay (physiotherapist).
ROUX COMFORTABLE WITH FAVOURITES TAG
The tag of tournament favourites sits comfortably with the New Zealand Under-23 team ahead of their Olympic football qualifying campaign in Papua New Guinea. The winners of the eight-nation Pacific Games will book a spot in Rio next year and New Zealand aren't shying away from their status as the team to beat according to defender Storm Roux. "We're taking pride in the fact that we should be winning these games," he said. "I think not going in as an underdog is an advantage for us. The boys are confident in themselves and ready to do the job."
Roux, who has seven All Whites caps to his name, knows it will be tough going in the heat of Port Moresby. But he said the conditions, with temperatures in the high 20s, were one reason the New Zealanders wouldn't be taking anything likely. "It's really hot over here and it's been hard work trying to adjust to the heat," said Roux. "For some of the other lads who play in New Zealand, it might be a bit of a shock to them playing in that heat but the boys are all ready for it."
BOOYSEN SPOT ON FOR SUBIACO
Subiaco AFC moved clear of the bottom three with a hard fought 1-0 win against Balcatta at Rosalie Park. The home side produced a great defensive display to thwart the visitors who had come into the game fall of confidence after a 6-0 win against Stirling Lions last week. The only goal of the game came from the penalty spot just after the hour from Josh Booysen, this after Danny Milne saw his earlier spot kick saved by Clint Davies. “The boys did very well and dug deep for the result, and we owe a lot of credit to our back four who were outstanding, “skipper Nathan Diaz said. “It’s a great result for the club and everyone showed great commitment.”
The visitors were on top early, and they went close to the opener when Steve Sokol’s volley crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. Subiaco were defending well with George Tchami and the back five stopping everything Balcatta throw at them. The home side had the best opportunity to take the lead on 37 minutes. A long throw into the penalty area saw Balcatta defender Kieron Stallard climb all over Ger Fitzgerald, and referee Ammar Timour pointed straight to the spot. Milne stepped up, but Davies guessed the right way to save the striker’s poor penalty.
Balcatta looked lively after the break and Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery had to be alert to save Patrick Quinn’s low shot. But Ramon Falzon’s side were struggling to break down the home side defence, while Subiaco were hitting on the counter attack. The winner came on 64 minutes. Booysen raced into the area and fell under the challenge of Zelfy Nazary and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot again. Booysen picked himself up and buried the penalty to give them the three points.
GULLS PICK THE PIECES OUT OF LIONS
Sorrento moved into fourth place on the table after a 4-2 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. After last week’s thrashing at Balcatta the Lions found themselves 2-0 down after half an hour, with goals to Brad McDonald and Steve McDonald. But just before the break Steve Purton pulled one back and Billy Quinncroft levelled midway through the second half. But Brad McDonald added a second and Adam Luca wrapped up the points in stoppage time. “We started the game off well and got the two goal lead but let them back into the game with conceding two very poor goals and end up being quite a scrappy game,” Sorrento keeper James Morgan said. “Thankfully we dug deep and managed to get the result we needed with help from Brad’s worldie goal.”
The home side looked up for it early, but against the run of play Sorrento hit the front on 14 minutes. The Lions failed to clear their lines and Brad McDonald fired home past debutant keeper Joel Driscoll, who signed from Bayswater City in midweek. The visitors doubled their advantage just after the half hour, Steve McDonald scoring, again after the Lions failed to clear a free kick. The home side looked down and out, but they received a lifeline five minutes before the break. A corner was only cleared as far as Purton on the edge of the box, and his low shot went through a crowd of players and into the corner of the net.
That late goal gave the Lions confident and they dictated terms after the break and were rewarded with the equaliser on 64 minutes. Another set piece undid the Gulls again, and Quinncroft rose highest to head home. It looked like the luck had changed for the home side but Sorrento had some of their on 71 minutes later. Tim Hill found space in the area, and his shot was cleared off the line by Tom Boss. Then moments later, down the other end of the park, Sorrento regained the lead.
There looked little danger when Brad McDonald picked the ball up, but he wasn’t closed down and he unleashed and unstoppable shot that gave Driscoll no chance. Stirling pushed forward, and was throwing everything at Sorrento, but couldn’t find a way past James Morgan, and with the Lions pushing men forward looking for the equaliser Sorrento were finding holes in the Lions defence. Then two minutes into stoppage time Sorrento sealed the points, second half substitute Luca racing clear and firing home.
PERTH ENDS INGLEWOOD'S GOOD RUN
Perth SC kept the pressure on the top two after a comprehensive 3-0 win against Inglewood United at Dorrien Gardens. The visitors arrived on a five game winning streak, but skipper Clark Keltie put the home side ahead early, before Nick Ambrogio doubled their advantage before half time. The third came from the penalty spot late on from Mark Pritchard, and to make matter’s worse Inglewood had Abdul Sesay sent off after the final whistle. I think collectively it was one of our better performances of the season, against an inform Inglewood side,” Keltie said. “I have to praise the back four, I thought they held us together very well and with the players we have going forward, we're always going to score goals. Obviously nice to get on the score sheet myself with another header, but 1 to 11 did their jobs very well on the day.”
The home side were a head after only 14 minutes. Dean Evans free kick picked out Keltie, and the skipper, who returned to the side after suspension rose the highest to head past Aleks Vrteski. Perth made it 2-0 just after the half hour, after good lead up play. The move started in the own half, before it was played out to Rocco Pizzata, his cross found Ambrogio who made no mistake, headed past Vrteski.
Inglewood lifted in the second half and put the home side under pressure, but struggled to create any clear cut chances. But that all changed on the hour when English striker Brian Woodall raced clear from a Mohamed Awad through ball, rounded keeper Francis Soale, but the angle was to tight and he fired wide of the target. Keogh then headed wide when well placed, before David Micevski shot straight at Soale.
The visitors were pushing men forward looking to get back in the game and they conceded a third in stoppage time. Second half substitute Matt Milenkovic found space and was hauled down in the area and referee Josh Mannella pointed straight to the spot. Pritchard stepped up and fired home from the penalty, with virtually the last kick of the match. The action hadn’t finished there with Abdul Sesay shown a straight red card by the referee after the final whistle.
WASTEFUL ATHENA HELD BY COCKBURN
Floreat Athena lost ground on the league leaders after they were held to 3-3 draw by Cockburn City at the E&D Litis Stadium. Rory Patterson had given the hosts the lead from the penalty spot early, before Phil Arnold and Lewis McMahon but the hosts ahead at the break. Conor Kavanagh level just half time and McMahon added his second to regain the lead for Floreat, before Liam Murray earned his side a point fifteen minutes from time. "We knew it was going to be a hard game but anything less than getting three points would be disappointing," Floreat midfielder Jon Stynes said. "Too many missed chances and conceding scrappy goals cost us today."
The home side was out of the blocks early, and Cockerels keeper Curtis Aspden was kept busy. New signing Jon Stynes, who was making his home debut for the club, saw his shot saved by the keeper on 20 minutes, before he thwarted Ludovic Boi and Steve Burton. But against the run of play the visitors hit the front. Patterson was brought down in the area by keeper Fraser Greenwood, and referee Adam Fielding pointed straight to the spot.
Patterson picked himself up to fire Cockburn into the lead with his ninth goal of the season, from the resulting penalty. Their lead lasted only two minutes. Arnold was given far too much space in the box and his shot on the turn flew past Aspden. Then two minutes before the break Floreat took the lead. Boi, who was involved in everything, played in McMahon, and the striker finished with aplomb past Aspden.
Cockburn were back level seven minutes after the break, Harry O’Brien’s deep cross headed home by Kavanagh at the back post. It was end-to-end football, but it was Floreat who restored their lead on the hour. Burton was the provider this time feeding McMahon, who fired home. But Cockburn were determined to take something from the game and dually came 16 minutes from time. Second half substitute Friday Zico cross picked out Patterson, whose shot was blocked by Greenwood, Murray was alert to fire home the rebound.
ARMADALE HIT BACK TO BEAT TEN MEN GLORY
Armadale’s revival continued under new coach Paul Price, when they came from behind to beat ten men Perth Glory at Inglewood Stadium. Nikola Talimdzioski scored in the opening minute for the Glory, and he added a second on the quarter hour. But the sending off of defender Nathan Costello changed the game. Armadale striker Danny Hodgson bagged two before the break, before the unfortunate Talimdzioski scored an own goal. Glory custodian Jordan Franken did his best to keep his side in the game, saving Hodgson’s penalty in the second half, but Jackson Bealey won it for the visitors with a fourth goal eight minutes from time. “We've been improving over the last few weeks and the results are starting to reflect that. To come back from going 2-0 down early was a great team effort and the confidence is high within the playing group,” Armadale midfielder Bealey said. “Playing against 10 men for a large part of the game allowed us to play a more attacking style and it paid off.”
The Glory made a perfect start and they were ahead in the opening minute, Tom King crossing to Talimdzioski, who’s first time shot crashed off the bar and in to the net. Armadale went in search of a reply immediately, and Hodgson was sent one-on-one with Franken, who stood tall to deny him. But on the quarter hour mark the Glory doubled their advantage. Slobodan Vulin slide a perfectly weighted through ball to Talimdzioski, and the striker held off his marker and finished clinically past Dylan Wilson. The game then took a massive twist when Costello was sent off by referee Steven Gregory after he brought down Hodgson. To make matters worse Hodgson curled the ball home from the resulting free kick via the post. Then in the shadows of half time Armadale levelled, Hodgson was brought down by Dejan Spaseski, and Gregory pointed straight to the spot. Hodgson picked himself up and fired low past Franken. But there was still time for Armadale to take the lead. A corner from the right by Mitch Castrilli deflected into the net off the unfortunate Talimdzioski, to send them into the break 3-2 to the good.
Both sides had chances early in the second half Wilson pushed substitute Stefan Valentini’s shot around the post, before Darren Francis’ shot from the edge of the box flashed over the top. The Glory was defending well but Armadale looked more likely to score, and Alex Castiello headed over the top on the hour. Armadale had the perfect opportunity to wrap up the points on 80 minutes when Faustino Machochi was brought in the area by Spaseski and they were rewarded another penalty. Hodgson stepped up but his spot kick was superbly saved by Franken low to his right. But from the resulting corner they did put the game to bed. Castiello’s header was superbly tipped on to the bar by Franken, but the Glory couldn’t clear their lines and Bealey fired home the rebound from five meters.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND ELEVEN – REVIEW
Western Knights have become the first club to beat Joondalup United in the league in the past 32 games after they won 2-1 at Nash Field in week 11 of the All Flags Division One. The home side was on course for a record of their own, the club was on the worst run of defeats since being relegated from the top division, and it was the visitors who opened brightly. Lee Jones raced clear of Craig Riley early, but Knights keeper Sam Hutchings was quick bravely to save at the big strikers’ feet. Then on seven minutes the home side hit the front. Connor Thurston and Nathan de Abreu combined, and De Abreu’s cross was unfortunately turned into his own net by Joey Stocker. James Hamer and Josh Whitmore were causing all sorts of problems for the Knights back four, and it wasn’t a surprise when they levelled. A long throw by Josh Beddis was flicked on by Ross Edwards, and Jones darted in to scoop the ball past Hutchings. The Knights had the best opportunity to regain the lead before the break, Adriano Jelenovic made space in the penalty area, but with the goal at his mercy his shot hit the post and away to safety, much to the relief of the Joondalup players and their large travelling supporters. The Knights thought they had taken the lead again after the break, when second half substitute Ross Cosgrave’s long-range shot was ruled out, when the assistants’ flag was raised. But with seven minutes remaining the Knights scored the winner. Jelenovic made up for his miss earlier, curling in a corner which went straight into the net. Joondalup pressed men forward looking for the equaliser and the home side was finding holes in their defence, and they should have added a third late. Cosgrave’s cross picked out Jelenovic, but he failed to find the target when well placed.
Mandurah City maintained their lead at the top of the table after a hard fought 2-1 win against Gosnells City at the Hyundai Stadium. The visitors took the lead early, with a superb long-range shot from Liam Cave. It was nearly 2-0 moments later, James Sharpe’s effort crashing off the crossbar. The home side hit back before the break, with Jordan Rhodes converting from the penalty spot. It was a great second half with both sides playing attacking football and there were chances at both ends, but it was the home side that won it, Rhodes firing home a free kick. “It was an entertaining game, end to end. Gosnells got an early goal and their tails were up. We took a while to settle, but created some really good chances without being able to apply a finish in the first half,” Rhodes said. “Once we got the equaliser we were confident that the winner would come, but fair play to Gosnells, they made it hard and were still dangerous at 2-1. We have been able to get ahead and grind these results out all season and it puts us in really good shape at the halfway point.”
In other games Ashfield’s game against Dianella White Eagles at Dianella Reserve was abandoned, after Ashfield defender was badly injured after a tackle from Angel Andreas, who was sent off. UWA Nedlands continued their revival after a hard fought 3-2 win against a young Swan United side. Clive Stopper, Ben Reynolds, Jacob Flores scored for UWA, while Nathan Scully and Brennan Borzecki were on target for United. “To be honest we certainly were not at our best but it was great to see a few good performances from Ryan Ince and Stopper,” said UWA coach James Rae. “The slippery pitch hampered both sides and Swans young chargers were persistent but our defence and midfield stood tall. Obviously we are happy to have two wins in a row but we need to work hard at training this week to prepare for Bunbury next week. The turn of the season is about to start and we will see if we can now stand up and be counted and get our season on track.” Shamrock Rovers lost ground on the top three after they drew 1-1 with Morley Windmills at Grimrey Reserve. Graham Doran scored from the penalty spot for Rovers, while Yohanes Tadesse levelled for Morley also from the spot, although the foul looked outside the penalty area. His initial spot kick was saved by Justin Scarvaci, but Tadesse fired home the rebound. South West Phoenix left it late to draw 2-2 with Canning City at Burrandah Reserve. Lee Stewart gave the visitors side the lead, before Laurence Cheyne levelled. Emlyn Whetnall gave the home side the lead and it looked like they would take the three points, by Stewart scored in stoppage time to give both sides a share of the spoils. “It was disappointing to concede such a late goal and to only take a point from the game it feels like a loss” City Coach Paul Oliver said. “We had our chances to finish the game off throughout the second half but paid the price for not being ruthless enough.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND ELEVEN – REVIEW
The top of the table clash between Forrestfield United and Rockingham city didn’t disappoint. It was a great game of attacking football, with keepers Brad Eiffe and Cyril Sharrock in good form. The only goal of the game came on 40 minutes. Neat play on the left between Ryan Kennedy and Shane Boyle ended with a ball into the path of Christian Hogge, whose long-range shot snuck under Eiffe, for the winner and his first goal for the club. “We are delighted with the win, it was a hard fought game,” said Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar. “All credit to Forrestfield, I thought they were fantastic first half, but we responded well to the challenge and if we had a bit more composure could have scored a couple more late on.”
Melville City won for the first time in four weeks with a surprise 3-1 win against Wanneroo City at the Wanneroo Sporting Club. Wanneroo new signing Chris Rizidis opened the scoring, and they lead 1-0 at the break, but second half goals to Blake Readwin, Christian Long and Simon El Chami gave Melville the points. The only downside to the game for Melville came late when Matt Donlevy was sent off. “I was delighted to come from 1-0 down. We've been on the wrong side of a few tight ones this year, but today we played well and created a number of chances,” said Melville Coach Gavin Brown. “Our intensity was excellent all game and we put them under a lot of pressure right from the start. The only disappointment was to have our captain sent off for a second booking that was laughable.”
In other games Balga got back in the winner’s circle after a 6-0 win against Ellenbrook United at Arbor Grove Reserve. Lee James opened the scoring early, before Jimmy Taneski added the second on the quarter hour, finishing a great cross from James. Taneski double his account with the third on the half hour. Jonathan McGahern added the fourth just after the break, before James completed his hat-trick with two late goals. Fremantle City kept in touch with the leaders with a 5-1 win against understrength Curtin University at Hilton Reserve. Danny Clapham scored a hat-trick, while Robbie Phelan bagged a brace. Kingsway Olympic ran out 4-2 winners against Quinns FC at Kingsway ReserveOn target for the home side was Ian McKean with a hat-trick and one from Wayne Culverwell. “It was good to get the three points and make it two wins on the bounce,” Culverwell said. “We took a gamble with playing Keano up front and it paid off with him scoring three, which we will not hear, the end of for a while. It wasn't our best performance of the year but we did what we had to and we look forward to playing Curtin next week at home.” In the final game Joondalup City’s good form continued with a 8-0 win against bottom of the table Kelmscott Roos.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND THIRTEEN – PREVIEW
The Footballwa ‘Match of the Week’ sees the inform Inglewood United make the trip to Dorrien Gardens to take on Perth SC in week 13 of the PS4 National Premier League WA. Michael Garcia’s side are on a five winning streak and he said after a stuttering start to the season they are now hitting their straps. “I have been pleased with the performances of late. We have been able to combine good performances with results,” he said. “We have always looked for continuous improvement as a group and every week we get a little better.” The Coach is looking forward to Saturday’s big game, and it will give him a guide to where they are at. “We are very much looking forward to playing Perth. They sit one position ahead of us on the ladder and it gives us an opportunity to continue to climb the ladder as well as the chance to see how we stand against one of the benchmark teams of this league,” Garcia explained. “Perth has quality players, they’re a big club, and are very well coached by Taki Nicolaidis. We will need to be at our absolute best to get anything out of this, but at the same time are excited and confident we can do well.”
Perth left it late last week to overcome ECU Joondalup, but Coach Taki Nicolaidis said it showed great character from his side. “Last week has been similar to most of our season where we have controlled large parts of the game but wasteful in front of goal and then copping one against the run of play,” he said. “But I was very pleased with the character the boys showed in finding that little bit extra to come away with the three points.” Perth will regain skipper Clark Kelkie for the big game and Nicolaidis said he will be vital against a good Inglewood side. “Saturday will be a very tough game against one of the inform teams in the league, and naturally we are also wanting to improve our league form and will be going all out to win this game,” he said. “Clark has been there and done that with his career and obviously is a person that leads by example. He demands high standards and doesn't let complacency creep in, so it’s good to have him back.” In other team news Aden Da Luz and Julian Madaschi will be available after missing last week’s game through injury.
League leaders Bayswater City head back to Frank Drago Reserve to take on ECU Joondalup. The northern suburbs club has spiralled down the table, but they are beginning to get back a number of their experienced players. Jon and Andy Higgins both returned last week against Perth, and new signing Phil O’Callaghan came off the bench, while they will hope central defender Charlie Comyn-Platt will return this week too. Bayswater City new signing Adam Tong will be looking for a starting spot in the side, after coming off the bench last week. But ECU will have to keep a close eye on Gustavo Giron-Marulanda, who is in a rich vein of goal scoring, and their former player Danny Dixon, who is causing all sides problems down the flanks.
Second placed Floreat Athena will be looking to keep in touch with the league leaders, when they take on Cockburn City at the E&D Litis Stadium. They will hope for a better result than their last home game, when they lost to Sorrento. Dejan Aleksic will miss against his former club, due to suspension, with Fraser Greenwood replacing him. They also regain the services of Jack Allen and Robbie Gasper, so competition for places will be hot. Cockburn lost for the first time in six games last week and Marc Anthony will be looking for a response this week. Skipper Euen Grant is still unavailable, but Conor Kavanagh returns after missing last week due to injury. “I’m looking forward to get back in the side, and if all goes well, for the rest of the week I’ll be available for selection,” said Kavanagh. “We’ve been boosted by the return of Friday Zico, and we’ve trained well this week and we are looking to start getting a run of good performances together in the second half of the season, and look to get back to winning ways after a disappointing loss last week.”
In other games Balcatta make the trip to Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco AFC. The visitors broke their poor form with a stunning 6-0 win in the local derby against Stirling Lions last week. They will be without Jordan Colasante who was sent off in the game, but they do welcome back Marc Zagami. Subiaco defended stoutly last week and were four minutes away from a draw with the league leaders, but it showed on their day they can compete with the best. Skipper Nathan Diaz will play despite a facial injury last week, and Danny Milne should be back in the starting line-up, but James Oliver is out with a foot injury.
Stirling Lions will head home to Macedonia Park to lick their wounds after last week’s thrashing at Balcatta, when they entertain Sorrento. They will be hit hard this week with three players suspended after being sent off last week. Keeper Lance Alavakis, Brodie Martin and Michael Pugliese will be on the sidelines, but they do welcome back Steve Purton, Miki Vujacic and Nathan Bowden-Haase. Sorrento season continues to improve, and Jamie Harnwell’s side, who were written off by certain quarters, are in the last 32 of the FFA Cup and sitting sixth on the table. Daryl Platten returns from suspension, and Ryan Pearson will be pushing for a spot in the first team after impressing in the reserves last week, but James Morgan will have to wait another week before returning to the middle of the park.
The bottom two sides meet, with Perth Glory hosting Armadale at Inglewood Stadium. Armadale have improved big time, since Paul Price and Tony Castiello joined the club. They were edged out at Sorrento last week, but showed against Balcatta they can’t be taken lightly. “We played well last week and I thought we deserved something from the game,” Armadale striker Danny Hodgson said. “Alex (Castiello) at the back was great and Jesse (Fuller) in midfield played well, and I think defensively we look strong now and everyone has gelled, and it was nice to score again.” The English striker knows Saturday’s game is vital. “The game against Perth Glory is massive game for us and I'm confident that we can get the 3 points mate. The teams coming together for a strong finish now, we're hoping to get from the bottom and get some points in this second half of the season.” In team news Anthony Skorich is close to selection, after joining the club in the transfer window, but skipper Reece Davies is still injured. The Glory beat Armadale in the reverse fixture, but that has been the only three points of the season for John Gibson’s youngster. They have been competitive in all their games this season, but need to turn that into wins. Nathan Costello returns to the squad for the game
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND ELEVEN – PREVIEW
The pick of the Week 11 All Flags Division One fixtures is Joondalup United’s trip to Nash Field to take on Western Knights. United are still unbeaten in the league, after new signing James Harmer penalty gave them a 1-1 draw against Mandurah City last week. Joondalup keeper James Bosdat is expecting another tough game against the Knights on Saturday, and if they don’t lose they will equal the record for the longest streak without a defeat in the history of the local game. “This week is a massive game for everyone involved at the club, there is no hiding that,” he said. “Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of talk in regards to the record and how long this record has stood for. So we know if we can get a positive result this weekend it will be a great achievement for a club of our size. “But we are under no illusions the game against the Knights will be a tough game. They have a good side, and top quality players and were playing them on their patch, so we will have to be at our best to come away with the result.”
The keeper said last week’s game was poor and they were grateful to new signing Harmer to salvage a point. “James’ a quality player, and were happy he signed on after his initial loan spell. It just goes to show how close of a group we are at here, when you can attract players of his calibre,” he said. “The game itself was a strange one. It was by far our worst display of the season, but we still came away with a point against the league leaders. We were disappointed with the result and performance, which shows how far we have come as a club.” The home side are on four game losing streak, and Coach Andy Thorburn is working hard to try and arrest the horrible slump which his team finds itself in. “The players are working very hard at training and aren’t shirking their responsibilities,” said Thorburn. “With the decimation of our usual midfield due to injuries, suspensions and players joining NPL clubs it has been a hard task to keep the team competitive. But the team knows that Joondalup will be another tough one for them, but they are hurting and they will give everything they have to try and turn our results around.”
In other games league leaders Mandurah City entertains Gosnells City at the Hyundai Stadium on Saturday evening (5pm). New Gosnells coach Wally Aquino, has added a number of new faces and they head down south full of confidence. In team news the home side will be without Paul Jackson and the suspended Craig Tone, while Gosnells go in without Tom Allan and the suspended Scott Peirera. There is another huge clash at Dianella Reserve, when Dianella White Eagles host Ashfield. Both sides are coming off big wins, and Ashfield will be hoping to keep the pressure on the league leaders, while the home side needs the points to keep in the promotion race, while Shamrock Rovers hosts Morley Windmills at Grimrey Reserve. Canning City will be looking to build on last week’s away win at Swan United when they host South West Phoenix at Burrendah Reserve. Tom Gibbins, Ethan Levitt and Simon Elton-Bott return to City’s squad, but Ryan Shackleton is out. Swan head to UWA-Nedlands, desperately in need of a lift. They sit second bottom of the table, and have lost a number of players with injury and overseas travel, but in Salv Todaro they have a coach who can work with the youngsters at the club and turn their fortunes around. UWA bounced back to form with a strong 3-2 win at Gosnells City last week, and Coach James Rae will be looking for consistency from his chargers. UWA welcome new signing Liam Collins from the UK, but will be without Bryce Conway, Lloyd Prout and Kevin Punselie.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND ELEVEN – PREVIEW
It’s week 11 of the All Flags Division Two, and the top of the table clash between Forrestfield United and Rockingham City is the standout fixture. Both sides sit on 25 points, and are both coming off big victories. Rockingham held off a fast finishing Wanneroo City last week, and Coach Rob Crerar said they had to dig deep. “It was a real brave win. We looked to be cruising at 2-0, but we switched off and all credit to Wanneroo they challenged us,” he said, “But credit to the lads they fought it out till the end and we got the late winner that I think we just about deserved.” Crerar believes Saturday will be their biggest test of the season but he is looking forward to the game. “It’s a huge test away to the league leaders. They are a fantastic side with great individuals and probably the best player in the league at the moment in Rhys Loxley,” he said. “We go into the game confident that our best we will be good enough, and we take confidence that we beat them home and away last season.” In team news Cyril Sharrock, Ryan Kennedy and Papa Kpatar will face late fitness tests, but they do get back Fraser Marr.
Forrestfield travelled to Balga last week, a team who have been in good form and came home with the points after a 6-0 win. Coach Rod Banjac said it was a great victory and continues their progress this season. “A lot of work has gone into re-establishing ourselves as a major football club, and this will be a fantastic opportunity for the coaching staff to assess how far we progressed after competing against quality opposition who took all six points from us last year,” he said. “Last week was a good win against a very good side, and Balga certainly looked the part for most of first half. Our squad is coming together and the highlight for us was when Ben Rogers had a clear cut opportunity for a hat trick but chose to reward Trent Wood for an outstanding work rate by serving the ball on a platter for the simplest of tap in. This clearly highlighted the FUSC philosophy where “no individual is bigger than the team and no team is bigger than the club”. The home side will be at full strength for the game and Banjac believes the home ground advantage will help them. “Actually the whole club is buzzing and three points would be a nice reward for all the hardworking volunteers behind the scenes who create the stage for our players to perform on week in week out,” he explained. “And they might just prove to be the difference between the two sides on home soil.”
In other games Wanneroo City will look to bounce back from last week narrow loss at Rockingham when they host Melville City at the Wanneroo Sporting Club. Melville have lost the last three games and Coach Gavin Brown is looking to turn that around sooner, rather than later. Ellenbrook United and Balga do battle at Arbor Grove Resereve, while Fremantle City hosts a depleted Curtin University at Hilton Reserve. The visitors have Antony Russo, who re-broke his leg in his first game back last week, Eddie Tikoft, Mark Matkovic, Jon Krawec and Daniel Young all out injured, while Carlo Chellini is still suspended. Kingsway Olympic and Quinns FC meet at the Kingsway Reserve, while new Coach Rob Eldridge takes Kelmscott Roos to the Iluka Sports Complex to take on Joondalup City, still looking for their first point of the season
KING LOOKING FOR THE DOUBLE FOR GLORY YOUNGSTERS (courtesy perthglory.com.au)
Perth Glory will be looking to repeat its performance against Armadale earlier this year, when they clash this weekend in Round 13 of the PS4 National Premier League WA at Inglewood Stadium. A Joe Knowles hat-trick in that game saw the Glory run out 4-1 winners and on that day Tom King made his debut for the club. King joined the club from Melbourne City in the summer, after a stint in the UK with the Liverpool Academy, but has struggled with injury. But he is now ready to get some much needed game time under his belt. “The injuries are improving, and I feel I’ve had a bad run in the past couple of seasons, but I’ve worked hard and I feel I’m past that now,” he said. “I’m at the stage where I need to condition myself so I’m able to play 90 minutes, week in and week out.”
King played for an hour last week against Floreat Athena, and is ready for the Armadale game. He he said it would be nice for a repeat of the last games score line. “We got off to a great start winning on the road, so hopefully we’ll show enough quality to do it again,” King said. “Every game we go in with the mentality we want to take three points from it, and Saturday will be no different.” The 20-year-old said he learnt a great deal in the UK, and hopes to use that to push on and play at the next level. “It was an incredible experience playing in the UK, especially at such a prestigious club, and I felt I grew as a person, just as much as I did as a player, it’s a fantastic learning environment,” he said. “Every player in the youth team has the goal of stepping up into the first team and that’s no different for me. I’m focused on getting as fit and as sharp as possible, so when there is an opportunity, I’m ready to take it.”
Glory Coach John Gibson said while the team's performances have improved this season, they haven’t translated into victories. “Like most NPL sides we’ve been hit be injuries, but we can’t use that as an excuse, and we don’t - it's given opportunities to players which has been refreshing,” he explained. “We have three squads of talented players here, and they are all improving. The under 18’s and under 20’s both sit on top of their respective tables, which bodes well for the future of this program. “But we do need to start to turn our good performances into points, because the boys thoroughly deserve it. Our goal at the start of the season was to be seriously competitive - and we are overachieving in that category - but the group has set high standards and expectations"
The Glory youngsters conceded four last week against Floreat Athena, and Gibson said the group was disappointed to concede three from set pieces. “We opened really brightly and hit the woodwork, and then we were undone from a corner, and then conceded two more from set-pieces. Every session the group is challenging itself to be better and they boys have been working hard to fix minor details but we are seeking improvement daily". The match against Armadale kicks-off at 3pm at Inglewood Stadium.
LEAGUE BACK IN FOCUS FOR PERTH (courtesy perthsc.com.au)
Perth SC has all eyes on three points this weekend when they take on Inglewood United in a thrilling third verses fourth bout at Dorrien Gardens. Despite the excitement of yesterday’s FFA Cup Round of 32 draw, Perth SC coach Taki Nicolaidis said it was back to the business of winning National Premier League games for the Azzurri. “Inglewood will be a tough team to beat,” Nicolaidis said. “They have been in fine form winning the last five games, and are a solid defensive unit with a few match winners that we will need to keep an eye on. “Like us they like playing an attacking brand of football and I'm expecting a very tight contest.”
Perth SC recorded a 2-1 away win against ECU Joondalup last week, with Reece Vittiglia slamming home the winner at the death, just when it looked likely that the Azzurri had squandered a 1-0 lead. Nicolaidis said having players who thrived under pressure was crucial and would help them tackle Inglewood on Saturday. “The boys are very much motivated to perform every week and having players with that winning mentality obviously helps,” he said. “But we will be looking to tweak a couple of things in our system to give us the best chance at winning the game against Inglewood on Saturday.”
The Azzurri have battled with injury so far this season, but Vittiglia was back in the mix for selection after completing a full 90 minutes last week. “Reece is one of the best attacking players in the league and we have missed him for over half the season,” Nicolaidis said. “He has a knack of being in the right place at the right time and being a real match winner.” Captain Clark Keltie also returns to the field after a red card against Gwelup Croatia in the FFA Cup semi-final round two weeks ago.
As they head into this weekend’s clash, Nicolaidis said they would be using the announcement of the Round of 32 FFA Cup clash with Rockdale City Suns in Sydney as motivation to perform. “With us still in the FFA Cup it has given the group an extra incentive to make sure we don't become complacent in the league,” he said. “They all want to be performing at their best leading into the FFA Cup game, as we only have 16 travelling spots to fill.”
LOWE RELISHES EARLY SHOT AT LEAGUE RIVALS
Coach Kenny Lowe’s quest to bounce back from a ruined season in which Perth Glory were relegated to seventh position on the back of salary cap breaches will start against the rebranded Newcastle Jets. Glory were drawn away yesterday to play last season’s A-League cellar dweller in the knockout competition’s round of 32, which will be played as early as the end of this month.
Newcastle will remain an unknown quantity until closer to the match, with a squad still being assembled after Football Federation Australia stripped businessman Nathan Tinkler of the club’s licence and took control of the troubled franchise. Glory were at their peak in qualifying for last year’s FFA Cup final, only to lose the decider 1-0 to Adelaide United.
Lowe said the Glory players would try to replicate that success knowing how much their involvement kick-started a strong A-League season. “We had a good run last year,” Lowe said. “We knew how it all made us feel last year, so hopefully we can embrace it even more. We said last year that we were really focused about the competition and that really gave us a bit of impetus going into the league. Hopefully we can do that again this year.”
Eight players have departed Glory over the off-season, including first-choice goalkeeper Danny Vukovic, winger Youssouf Hersi and midfield enforcer Rostyn Griffiths. But Lowe said the club was no worse off than the same time last year when he was preparing for his first full A-League season as senior coach. “It’s exactly the same turnover as when I came in last year,” Lowe said.
WOODALL FIT AND READY TO LIFT INGLEWOOD
Inglewood United new signing Brian Woodall’s start in WA football has been disrupted with injuries and lack of fitness, but he hopes that’s all behind him now. The 27-year-old joined Stirling Lions at the start of the season from English club Dagenham and Redbridge, but struggled with niggling injuries and that affected his match fitness and his game time at Macedonia Park.
The striker hopes that’s all behind him now, and he is looking forward to a new life in WA, and the new challenge at the Inglewood Stadium. “The move to Perth was something I was really looking forward to, both on and off the pitch, but I couldn’t get on the pitch on a regular basis which was really disappointing,” he said. “Perth is a lovely place, small compared to London, but I love the beaches, weather and the lifestyle and I hope I can give something back to the club, and help them push for the title.”
Woodall was born in Germany and lived there for 18-years, before heading to the UK and signed professional terms with ‘The Daggers’, before moving out on-loan at Dover Athletic and Bishop Stortford in the English Conference, before heading out to Australia.
When he got the call from Inglewood, he thought long and hard about moving on, but he believes he has made the right decision. “Assistant Coach Saul Contera gave me a call and said they were interested in signing me, and the rest is history as they say,” he explained. “To be honest I was a little disappointed when I left the Lions. I couldn’t really complain about getting more game time because I was not fit enough, but I’m determined to put that right at Inglewood.”
Inglewood Coach Michael Garcia said Woodall will add more depth to his squad and was really pleased with his debut last week. “Brian was very good for his first hit out considering he hadn't played alongside any of the players. He was a key make up of our offence and I believe as he becomes more familiar with his new team mates he will thrive and start knocking the goals in,” Garcia said. “We rate him highly and believe he will add value to our team and we’re very happy to have him at Inglewood.”
A number of clubs chased the striker in the transfer window, but he’s happy with the choice he has made. Inglewood is a five game winning streak and Woodall is hoping to help them reach their goal. “I’ve settled in really well at the club. The coaching staff and the player group are top blokes, and we have quality players in the squad, and I will have to be at my best to keep my spot in the side,” he said. “The club has a great set up and the atmosphere around the club is very positive and I’m happy to be a part of it and be part of a successful season.”
BAYSWATER YOUNGSTERS HEAD TO KANGA CUP
Bayswater City under 13’s will be heading off to the Kanga Cup this weekend, which is the most prestigious youth tournament of its kind to be currently operating within Australia. It’s also the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere and one of the biggest tournaments in the world. Winning a Kanga Cup is the most coveted prize in Australian youth football. The tournament is open to club, school, association or community based teams that are part of the International Football Family. It caters for male and female youth ranging from 9 years to 18 years of age.
City NPL 13’s Coach Paul Lincoln believes the opportunity for his side to take on some of the best sides in the world in their age group is fantastic. “The Kanga Cup is celebrating its 25th year and it is the biggest tournament of its nature in the southern hemisphere so having the opportunity to be part of it is fantastic and it will be a terrific experience for the kids,” he said. “The experience to play other teams from around the world is priceless. The kids will get an opportunity to see what standard of football there is from other nations. They also can cage their own ability which can only enhance their development.”
Bayswater City Soccer Club is growing rapidly. The senior side have won the league for the last two seasons and the junior ranks at the club are growing strongly, and Lincoln believes the clubs development programme is second to none. “The senior side under the tutorage of Chris Coyne have been the benchmark for the past two years, and it will take a few more years for the juniors to be in that category,” explained Lincoln. “A lot of work is being done behind the scenes to improve our juniors but it takes time. We recently ran a ‘Juventus Soccer Camp’ which was successful. We are the first team from our club going to the Kanga Cup, and things like these will improve our brand and hopefully we can attract more players to the club.”
The Kanga Cup is hosted by Capital Football and sanctioned by Football Federation of Australia and the Asian Football Confederation, and it provides an opportunity for participants to meet players from all over Australia as well as the world. Past participants have been from Australia, Chinese Taipei, Denmark, England, East Timor, Fiji, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, People's Republic of China, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, the United States and others. Social and cultural exchange is encouraged between competitors throughout the tournament, with a wide range of social activities available for participants and officials making the tournament a "cultural festival of football".
Bayswater Vice President Oriano Colli wished the players and coaching staff all the best. “The Kanga Cup represents an excellent opportunity for our young boys to compete against some of the best talent from around the country and the world,” he said. “These experiences will give our boys a glimpse into the life of a professional footballer, playing games daily and training daily. All whilst being in a travelling club environment, we hope they have a great time and we know they will represent the Bayswater City Soccer club with distinction.”
The Bayswater City Under 13’s Squad for the Kanga Cup Tournament is: 1 Vincent Agnello, 2 Joshua Ban, 3 Alex Granato, 4 Rowan Steed, 5 Matthew Divirgilio, 6 Harry Moses, 7 Harry Roscoe, 8 Sebastian Hooshangian, 9 Jacob Lincoln, 10 Max Vlachy, 11 Sebastian Ienco, 12 Hamza Belhassan, 13 Khiano Maccarthy, 14 Nicholas Burmej - Coach - Paul Lincoln, Assistant Coach - John Burmej – Team Manager - Kayvon Hooshangian
PERTH AND SORRENTO DRAW BIG FFA CUP GAMES
Perth SC and Sorrento will relish their chance to take on New South Wales sides of very different stature in the FFA Cup Round of 32. While Perth faces a testing trip east to take on National Premier Leagues NSW side Rockdale City Suns, the task is even greater for Sorrento who have been drawn at home to A-League heavyweights Sydney FC.
Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell was thrilled at the opportunity to take on Sydney. “It’s a tough draw by no stretch of the imagination,” Harnwell said. “To have an A-League grand finalist coming over to Perth to play us here is the stuff dreams are made of and obviously depending on the game it will still be a dream or a bit of a nightmare.”
Perth boss Taki Nicolaidis said his side would be well prepared for the task. “We’ll be doing our homework pretty diligently and make sure we prepare ourselves for a tough game,” he said. “We need to make sure we go over there and do ourselves proud. If we do everything right and come away with a win we might get a home game next round.”
WOMEN JOIN GLORY FAMILY
Football West has relinquished management of the Perth Glory Women team to its A-League equivalent. The move comes on the back of the Women’s best season, which was the culmination of seven years under Football West management. Australia international Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord, Alanna Kennedy and Mackenzie Arnold were key figures in Glory Women winning the Premier’s Plate and reaching the Grand Final in 2014.
Football West chief executive Peter Hugg hoped Glory Women would continue to thrive. “Last season was the most successful for Glory Women,” he said. “I hope that achievement can provide the platform for the team to go one step further by winning the Grand Final in the near future. The synergies and economies of scale that can be achieved through the Perth Glory alignment can only be good for the team and women’s football.”
Glory owner and chairman Tony Sage said it was a fitting time for the women’s team to join the Glory family. “This is an exciting and promising day for football across the state,” Sage said. “It means from today, we have three teams under the one Glory umbrella. The A-League, Youth League and W-League teams will spread the Glory brand and each team will fly the flag for Western Australia on the national front.”
Back to the www.footballwa.net Archived News Index
This page was last updated on the 2nd July, 2015