QUINNCROFT TO MAKE HIS LIONS DEBUT AT FORMER CLUB
New Stirling Lions defender Billy Quinncroft will make his league debut for the club, as they travel to his former club, Armadale on Saturday. The big defender left Alfred Skeet Oval at the end of last season, and looked like he was heading to Bayswater City, but he made the move to Macedonia Park before the transfer deadline.
He is looking forward to get his Lions league debut out of the way, but was hoping it wasn’t against his former club. “ It's a tough start for me, as I was the former captain of Armadale, but soon as the whistle blows I will have to forget that for 90minutes,” Quinncroft said. “Armadale are always a tough team and have that fight to the end attitude which I'm sure Pete Lord will be drumming into the lads even more so. So we are going to have to be up for it because there are no easy games in the NPL and it will be a battle.”
The 23-year-old believes the Lions have a good young squad and after missing the start of the season he is hoping to help them climb the table. “There is a good bunch of lads and a great mix, with your experienced players and young players so we will be a tough side to beat,” he said. “So far this season we have had a few good results, but I've had to watch from the sidelines for the first four games, because of the new rule with team sheets being handed in. But what I have watched, there is some great football being played. We just can't get complacent and need to keep the foot on the accelerator all the time.”
ECU READY TO KICK ON SAYS SERRA
ECU Joondalup keeper Jamie Serra says the win against Sorrento in the Rivalry Round has kicked started their season, and they will be looking to continue with their climb up the table when they meet Perth Glory on Saturday
The 2-1 win at Percy Doyle Reserve was the first for the club this season, but Serra said they have had a tough start to the season playing the top three sides, but the squad is gelling nicely. “It has taken us a little while to find our feet this season after a very demanding first few weeks,” he said. “The win at Sorrento was a major lift for our team and reignited the belief that we are very capable of taking maximum points from each game and has certainly lifted the spirits amongst the boys. Hopefully we can use this lift to go on and continue to take maximum points from each game.”
The side has had a break since the last game and Serra said a number of players with niggling injuries have had time to recover. “It was disappointing to be knocked out of the cup, but the two week break has given us some time to rejuvenate our bodies after the demanding start to the season,” he said. “Although our squad is yet to be determined, training has been high tempo and places are up for grabs, and I'm sure most of the boys are ready to go and will be fighting for a spot in the starting line-up.”
Serra believes the Glory youngsters have improved this season and the draw at Floreat Athena last week showed they are really competitive. “The results so far show that no team is to be underestimated this season and Perth Glory Youth proved that by pinching a late point in their 2-2 draw with a strong Floreat side in the ANZAC clash,” he said. “That being said, no doubt we will be ready to go come Saturday and try to take all three points.”
DIXON RETURNS HOME TO BAYSWATER
Talented winger Danny Dixon has left ECU Joondalup and headed back to his former club Bayswater City for the rest of the season. The 19-year-old has been outstanding for ECU this season and really enjoyed his time there, but when he got the call from Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne he know it was the right move.
Dixon moved to ECU last season and was happy at the club, so the decision to move on was a tough one. “The decision to leave ECU was a hard one, It wasn't such a straight forward decision after everything the club has done for me over the past year, but you have to do what you think is right for you and I think rejoining Bayswater was the right decision,” he explained. “When I got a phone call from Bayswater last week, we spoke and I wasn't too sure what I wanted to do, but after having time to think about it I decided it would be a good move, and I'm happy with my decision.”
ECU Coach Dale McCulloch was disappointed to lose Dixon. “The loss of Danny is a bitter blow for the club, but we will not stand in his way if he wants to leave,” McCulloch said. “He has had a great start to the season and we thought he was happy at the club, but these things happen in football and we both move on. It will give someone else the opportunity to play and hold down a spot for the season.”
Dixon said his time at ECU was fantastic and wished them well for the rest of the season. “I really enjoyed my time at ECU, from when I got there last year to now, I never had any problems,” he said. “The committee and coaching staff have done a lot for me and all the lads were spot on, I’d like to wish them all the best for the season.”
Bayswater sit top of the table and into the FFA Cup last eight, although Dixon is Cup Tied, but he knows what to expect and is looking forward to pushing for a starting role at the club. “It will be a good new challenge for me this season, it feels good to be back down at Bayswater,” he said. “They had a good season last season winning everything possible in WA, so hopefully I can contribute to do the same this season.” Dixon will go into the Bayswater squad for Saturday’s blockbuster against Cockburn City.
BURTON LEAVES THE CHAMPIONS
Steve Burton will play in stripes again in 2015, but it will be the blue and whites ones, after moving from Bayswater City to Floreat Athena this week. The 31-year-old said the decision to move on from the Champions was a difficult one, but one he’s sure is right. “ It was a tough decision to leave Frank Drago Reserve, but in turn it was the right time to leave,” he said. “The way they (Bayswater) are playing doesn’t really require my services and strengths moving forward, and this was leaving me frustrated on the field. So I spoke with Chris Coyne and we left on good terms, it just happens sometimes in footy when teams develop.”
The former Ipswich Town, Doncaster Rover and Scarborough striker was close to calling it a day on the game, but is happy with the move and new challenge. “I was actually going to call it a day for the year, as I have lost a bit of love for the game, but when Glen (Grostate) gave me a call and convinced me to come and help Floreat push for the title this year. They're in a great position at the moment with a small squad so we'll just have to see how we go, but I’ll be doing my best to help them.”
Burton really enjoyed his time at Bayswater and said he would love to return one day, if required. “I’ve enjoyed every minute at Bayswater, won all trophies that could be won and a few individual awards also along the way,” he said. “The whole staff and players down at the club are fantastic, the way the club is run, the coaches are great, and even better blokes. But most of all the lads, they are the best group of lads I’ve played with by a long way and that’s saying something, as this is my 16th year in the game as a pro and an amateur, you never know I may be back at Bayswater one day as a coach or maybe a player.”
The chance to continue in the NPL is something Burton is looking forward to but hopes he can stay on the park. “I have no cartilage in my left knee, so its chronic, but manageable, so that’s the only injury to date, I have a few niggles but so does every player in the league I’m sure,” he said. “The move for me will be a tough challenge, but one I’m excited about. They have got a good group of young eager lads who want to achieve so hopefully I can help us do that.”
BIRIGHITTI IMPRESSES IN ITALY
Goalkeeper Mark Birighitti has helped AS Varese chalk up their first win for three months in only his second outing for the Italian club. The 24-year old also ensured the bottom side in Italy’s second tier kept a clean sheet for the just first time since the end of February with a 1-0 away win at Vitrus Entella. Birighitti joined Varese from Newcastle Jets in January on a six-month loan deal but only made his debut last Sunday in a 1-0 loss to Vicenza. The former Perth SC junior is hoping to enhance his prospects of remaining in Europe by featuring in Varese’s final four games of the season.
READING SHOW EDWARDS THE DOOR
Ryan Edwards has become the first casualty of Reading’s expected summer cull after he revealed he will not be offered a new contract. Having spent the 2013/14 season on loan with Perth Glory, the 21-year old returned to England and enjoyed a fine pre-season under then manager Nigel Adkins. Edwards made ten appearances for the Championship club before falling down the pecking order as the season progressed, his last outing being against Brentford in October.
Williams, whose current deal expires in a couple of months time, has never featured under Steve Clarke and has now revealed he has been told his future lies elsewhere. “My main goal is to play first team football,” he said. “Where that takes me I’m not sure. I’d love to stay in Europe. I’m in England now, so I may as well stay here and stick it out. My next move is so important. I’m 21, turning 22 in late November. I can’t be treated as a reserve player or a squad player. I need to be in that squad of 16 where I’m going to be in the team every week.”
Edwards' sudden breakthrough last summer took everyone by surprise, including the player himself. “I came back on loan from Perth and Adkins threw me straight in,” he said. “I started every pre-season game and then a week later he started me in the first game of the season in the Championship and I was absolutely buzzing. I came back from the loan with a goal to make it into the first team, I didn’t know how soon it was going to happen. Then it happened straight away, I was happy, I kept working hard and I ended up playing a few games.”
“I walked out on the pitch at Wigan and the first 20 minutes was probably the quickest game of football that I’ve ever been a part of, but you get that first touch, that first pass off and you settle as the game goes on,” Williams added. “I kind of just suited it straight away, I felt really comfortable and really confident. It’s always nice when the manager starts you in the first game of the season. It gives you that confidence and belief to go out there and play your own game. It was really enjoyable and I loved it.”
MATILDAS’ WILLIAMS FINDING FITNESS WITH TUGGERANONG
A decade after she last pulled on the Tuggeranong United jersey, Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams is back at her junior club to continue her recovery ahead of the Women's World Cup. The 26-year old has made a low-key return to the playing field from her second knee reconstruction in the Capital Football Women's Premier League over the past fortnight. Williams made her return by keeping a clean sheet in a scoreless draw with Belconnen United, and was untroubled again in the weekend 6-0 defeat of Woden-Weston.
Williams travelled with the Matildas squad during its recent tour of Europe and will go into camp with the national team at the AIS from Tuesday. "I'm just trying to get some games under my belt," Katanning-born Williams said. "The last time I played in that competition (the women's Premier League) was 2005 or something. It's been a while since I played, but I played with Tuggeranong at youth level. We do play games in camp, but it's more team-based stuff, while with Tuggeranong I can fix what I need to do as a goalkeeper."
Williams spent three seasons with Tuggeranong in the juniors and two years at Woden before debuting with the Matildas in 2005. She was Australia's first-choice goalkeeper last year before her left knee gave way while playing for the Western New York Flash in the United States’ National Women's Soccer League. Williams had previously torn her anterior cruciate ligament while playing in Sweden in 2012, but fought back to be Australia's best shot-stopper.
Williams will play as many games as she can for Tuggeranong before the Matildas depart for the Women's World Cup, hosted by Canada in June. "I was thinking of playing with the Matildas in Europe, but I didn't want to push it a little bit early," she said. "I didn't end up getting to play in Europe, but I completed all my rehab and testing and I keep improving every time … If the physio says (the knee) is all right (for the World Cup), I will go in 100%. It's the second time, but the first (knee reconstruction) taught me a lot."
FFA CUP FIFTH ROUND REVIEW
Perth Soccer Club was made to work hard, before eventually beating State League Two side Fremantle City 2-0 at Hilton Reserve on Monday afternoon in the FFA Cup Fifth Round. A second half brace from striker Carlo Coelho won it for Taki Nicolaidis’ side, but not after they were pushed all the way by City, who had keeper Adam O’Neil in good form. O’Neil pulled off a fantastic penalty save to deny Mark Pritchard before the break, and the City custodian was alert to deny Pritchard and Josh Wilkins long-range shots too. But there was little O’Neill could do on 50 minutes when Coelho was on the end of a well worked move from the visitors. Fremantle did their best to haul themselves back into the game, with Ty Fenwick going close with a cross-shot which flashed narrowly wide, but the visitors wrapped up the points ten minutes from time, Coelho turning home Harley Orr’s low cross. The biggest shock in the round came at Payne Park where State First Division side South West Phoenix beating NPL Armadale 4-1. It was all square at the break with Bright Ababio on target for the Phoenix, while Nick Crerand scored for Armadale. But second half goals to Lee Stewart, Kieran Kavanagh and another for Ababio won it for Trent Hathaway’s side.
Sorrento moved into the last eight after a stunning 5-1 win against Stirling Lions at Percy Doyle Reserve. Jack Salter scored a brace, against his former club, with Jordan Dodd and Jason Mirco adding the others, Steve Purton scored the consolation goal for the Lions. There will be a Sunday Premier League side still in the competition after Gwelup United came back from 1-0 down to beat BB United 2-1 at the Bosnian and Herzegovian Cultural and Recreation Centre. Fatlind Ferati had given the home side the lead, before Anthony Mihalj levelled, and former Perth Glory midfielder Steven McGarry scored the winner for Gwelup. Bayswater City overcame Inglewood United at the Inglewood Stadium, with Gustavo Giron-Marulanda and Andy Reale on target, while Alan Carroll, Craig Tone and Harry O’Brien scored as Cockburn City beat Ashfield 3-0.
Mandurah City and Joondalup City have fought out a ten goal thriller at the Hyundai Stadium, with the home side running out 6-4 winners. Midfielder Jordan Rhodes was the hero bagging a hat-trick including a contender for goal of the season with a long-range lob. In the other games Subiaco AFC came away from Grindleford Reserve with a 2-0 win against Balcatta. Nathan Diaz scored the first goal with a great finish after a lay back by Matt Akehurst, and Kevin White scored the second, firing home after a header from Ger Fitzgerald. The visitors could have won by more, hitting the crossbar on three occasions. In the draw for the Sixth round, current holders Bayswater City will travel to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City, Subiaco AFC meet Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens, and South West Phoenix’s reward for beating Armadale is a trip to Percy Doyle Reserve to face Sorrento. In the final game, Sunday Amateur side Gwelup Croatia does battle with Mandurah City at the Hyundai Stadium. All games will be played on Monday June 1st.
HENRY OPENS THE DURR FOR GLORY
A goal from midfielder Henry Durr has given Perth Glory a hard fought 2-2 draw against Floreat Athena in the Anzac Day PS4 National Premier League WA game at E&D Litis Stadium. English striker Lewis McMahon had given the home side the lead before half time, but Nick Talimdzioski levelled just after the hour mark. Bobby Wilson restored the lead for Athena, but deep into stoppage time second half substitute Durr struck to give the Glory a share of the spoils. “What a great performance from the lads tonight,” said Glory Coach John Gibson. “They are a good side and hadn’t dropped any points this season in the league, so to come here and take home a point is fantastic effort.”
It was a special night, and it began with a memorial service to remember the ANZAC’s on the 100th anniversary, and both sides and supporters stood as one to observe a minutes silence to honour the fallen soldiers, with flags at half mask. Floreat, who were the only team in the league with a 100% record, were on the front foot early and McMahon fed Blair Goven, who was in on goal, but Jordan Franken was alert to deny him. Their early pressure was rewarded with the opening goal on 37 minutes. Skipper Ludovic Boi played the ball wide to Kris Gate on the right and his low cross picked out McMahon, and the striker fired home from six-yards. The visitors went close to levelling before the break, Knowles lost his marker on the left hand side of the penalty area, but his shot from a tight angle was well saved by Dejan Aleksic. Moments later Slobodan Vulin was free in the penalty area, but his snap shot was again well saved by Aleksic
In the second half it was a closer affair, with the Glory troubling the Floreat defence and they were level on 64 minutes. Stef Valentini picked the ball up on the half way line and he threaded a through ball into the path of Talimdzioski who raced clear of the Floreat defence, and finished clinically past Aleksic. The Glory youngsters almost hit the front moments late, Talimdzioski was sent one-on-one with Aleksic again, but the Floreat custodian stood tall to save. But seven minutes later Floreat were back in front. Jack Allen’s free kick found Wilson, who headed home from eight-yards. Conceding was a huge blow for the Glory youngsters, who were holding their own, and Jordan Franken kept them in the game with a good low save from Wilson’s free kick from the edge of the penalty area.
But the Glory youngsters pulled up their sleeves and went in search of the equaliser and ten minutes before full time Knowles raced clear with just Aleksic to beat, but a great last ditch challenge made the striker fire over the top. It looked like the Glory would go home with no points, but in the third minute of stoppage time they levelled. Durr, who had come off the bench with three minutes of normal time remaining, made space down the right, and his cross shot curled into the top corner of the net giving Aleksic no chance to earn the Glory youngsters a point.
FFA CUP FIFTH ROUND PREVIEW
The Westfield FFA Cup fifth round takes centre stage this week, and the pick of the tie’s sees First Division side Ashfield make the trip to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City. Ashfield edged out Joondalup United in the last round, while Cockburn thrashed North Lake. Ashfield midfielder Kyle King said they are looking forward to the challenge of taking on an NPL side. “It is a tough game for us, but we haven't hit our top form yet and struggled past the line on Saturday,” said King, who is on-loan from Bayswater City for the season. “For me personally it’s all about getting to know how the players around you play and the same for them getting to know how you play.” Ashfield bounced back from an opening day defeat in the league and King said the cup game is a great opportunity for them to see where they are at. “It was great to bounce back from the defeat against newly promoted Joondalup, but we struggled to get going against Gosnells, especially going down to 10 men again didn't help, but the character of the lads was there for all to see and it was a totally deserved three points,” he said. “Monday we can test ourselves against an NPL club, and it will be a nice change to have a game where you can play with freedom and the result takes care of itself.” In team news Graham Tough is suspended, but Ashfield do get Alex Stamitidias and Jamie Burns back. Friday Zico and Devon Gibson should be back for the Cockerels, but skipper Eamon McNelis is out injured.
There is another ‘David v Goliath’ game, when State League Division Two side, Fremantle City entertains Perth SC at Hilton Reserve. Fremantle defender Ty Fenwick said the whole club is looking forward to the day. “It’s a massive game for our football club, and one we are all looking forward too,” he said. “Whilst the ultimate goal is to walk away with a win, I think the main focus will be to continue to focus on our structures and develop our new way playing this season,” he said. Fremantle are undefeated in the league this season and Fenwick said they will need to step up to take on Perth. “Being a cup game and the fact we are playing what are meant to be one of the best sides in the state, our recent results are irrelevant,” he said. “However if we play our best football then we will definitely be competitive, and we hope we catch them on a bad day.” Fremantle are at full strength, likewise Perth, with keeper Francis Soale fit again and pushing for a spot in the side.
South West Phoenix will fancy their chances of an upset, when they host NPL side Armadale at Payne Park. “We are in a good position at the moment and coming off a good win at Mandurah last week and after some squad rotations and formation changes, we are working hard for each other,” Phoenix striker Bright Ababio said. “We always said we deserved to play in the NPL and we’re looking forward to taking on Armadale in the cup and test ourselves.” Phoenix coach Trent Hathaway has his side playing some good football at both ends of the park and Ababio said they can’t wait for Monday’s clash. “The coach always tells us to work hard and trust each other and that’s what we are going to continue to do,” he said. “We will be ready for a big game, we will need to play well, but we’re confident we can get into the next round.”
There are three all NPL ties. First up Balcatta entertains Subiaco AFC at Grindleford Reserve. Subiaco won for the first time in the league on Saturday and keeper Ryan Montgomery said they are looking for a good cup run. “As a group we all knew how big the Glory game was and how important it was to get points on the board,” he said. “It was the first time that we've put two decent halves of football together and as a young team it's good to get a taste of that wining feeling and also try and in still a winning mentality around the group. “Monday is a massive game for us. Last time we played them they were probably on top for most of the first half but we worked our way into the game after half time and were unlucky not to get something out of it. The good thing is its still fresh in our mind and I'm sure the boys will use that as motivation come kick-off on Monday.” In team news Josh Booysen returns from suspension, but Ian McMurray is in doubt with a knee injury. For Balcatta Adrian Caceres and Paddy Quinn are still unavailable.
Last season’s Cup winners Bayswater City, travel to Inglewood Stadium to take on Inglewood United. “It’s a big game, and a good cup run is great for the club and something we are looking to do,” Inglewood midfielder Matt Izzo said. “We have been improving each week and if we continue on with the form we believe we can get the win.” United pushed Bayswater close in the league two weeks ago and Izzo believes they go into the game knowing they can match it with them. “Yes we pushed them the last game, but we have to concentrate for the whole 90 minutes, which we haven’t done so far,” he said. “If we don’t do that they have players that can turn it on at any time.” David Micevski is still unavailable for the home side, and they have a few niggling injuries but Michael Garcia will have a strong squad to choose from. Bayswater will have Phil Arnold, Steve Burton and Brian Farrell pushing for a starting role.
The 2012 Cup winners Sorrento host the 2010 Cup winners Stirling Lions at Percy Doyle Reserve. The Lions welcome back Billy Quinncroft, and have a full squad to choose from and midfielder Tim Hill said it’s a huge game for the club after doing so well in the competition last season. “We're all looking forward to the cup game and after playing A-League side Brisbane Roar last season we want to reach that stage again,” he said. “They're always competitive and intense as it’s a one off fixture and we know Sorrento will but out to get revenge as we've already played them and beat them. It's always going to be tough no matter the circumstances and we'll just keep doing what we've been doing and try to progress to the next round.” Sorrento will have Steve McDonald, Lewis Hall and Greg Hart pushing for a spot in the starting line-up. In other games BB United and Gwelup Croatia meet at the Bosnian and Herzegovian Cultural and Recreation Centre in Beechboro. Gwelup new signing Mitchell Crocker is in line to make his debut in the game, while Mandurah City entertains Joondalup City at the Hyundai Stadium.
ATHENA AND GLORY MEET ON ANZAC DAY
The Traditional Anzac Day clash between Floreat Athena is the only game in the PS4 National Premier League WA game this weekend. The fixture is the rescheduled Round One game and will be played on Saturday evening with a 6pm kick off. Floreat are the only side in the league to have a 100% record in the competition but defender Blair Govan said they will need to improve on last week’s performance. “We didn't play to our best last week or the week before, so we will be looking to put that right,” he said. “But the main thing for us is to keep on winning, confidence is high in the group after fighting hard to get the three points against Stirling.”
Saturday is a massive occasion and Govan and the Floreat players are looking forward to it. “We know it won't be an easy game against Glory, they've got a lot of talent and there well drilled,” he explained. “We have our game plan and if we can go out and play to it I'm confident we can get a good result. We're ready to go and looking forward to the game with it being on such a big day in Australian history.” Floreat will be without influential defender Aryn Williams, and Clayton Arnez is also in doubt, but they do regain the services of Ashley Corker.
Glory will be looking to break a two game losing streak and will have top goalscorer Joe Knowles back from suspension and Jacob Collard from first team duties for the game. Midfielder Calvin Whitney said they are ready for a big game. “This week’s game is a big test for us, but we will be doing our best to get a result,” he said. “It’s a huge day on the Australian calendar and we will be doing our bit to honour the diggers. They (Floreat) are a very strong and physical team, so we just need to play to our strengths and get the three points that we need.”
DERBY DAYS REKINDLED IN FFA CUP (courtesy of Football West)
There was a time, some years ago, when a match between the Italian communities of Perth and Fremantle was eagerly anticipated and hotly contested. In the days before a merger brought together Perth Azzurri and East Fremantle Tricolore as Perth Italia in 1988, the suburban grounds of the rival clubs buzzed on derby day.
But, thanks to the Westfield FFA Cup, fans around the port city are again excited about that rivalry after Fremantle City were drawn at home to the old Italia, now known as Perth SC, in WA’s preliminary fifth round at Hilton Reserve on Monday. City is a new club with a complex history that is rooted in the Italian fabric of both Tricolore and Fremantle United. Needless to say, those attached to the club have been unable to resist the thrill of nostalgia evoked by the draw.
Fremantle City president Maurice Oteri said the club had ordered Italian bread, sausage and arancini to cater for an anticipated bumper crowd on a day that was not just about the on-field action. “We’ve had sponsors, who haven’t been at the club for 20 years, come forward and ask us what we need,” Oteri said of the excitement the match has generated. “And really the best way is for them to spread the message and to help get as many people as possible down to the game to support either team.”
There will be no shortage of former Tricolore players, fans and officials at the ground with a reunion also planned for July 5. Those with Azzurri connections will be just as eager to swap old tales at Monday’s match. John O’Connell, who for many years has been the voice of soccer on Perth radio, is a former player with particularly fond memories of Tricolore-Azzurri derbies. “It was a great rivalry and there was nothing to match the atmosphere and the passion of the players and the fans,” O’Connell said.
He joined Tricolore from Morley Windmills in 1972 and in his first season was a key figure in one of WA soccer’s most famous matches in front of 6000 people at Wauhop Park. With Coach John Adshead – long before he took New Zealand to the 1982 World Cup – in charge, Tricolore were 4-1 down at half-time and staring down the barrel of an embarrassing defeat.
“We came out in the second half and scored one, then it was 4-3, 4-4 and it was electric,” said O’Connell, who scored the last goal to make it 5-4 to Tricolore. “After the game, just about every Italian from Fremantle was in the changing room.”
It might not mean quite so much if City can pull off a fairy tale victory on Monday, but there will be no shortage of passion from the old guard on the sidelines. On the field, the odds are stacked in favour of Perth, who compete in WA’s top-flight PS4 National Premier Leagues competition, while City are unbeaten in their two matches in the State’s third-tier this season.
The anticipated outcome should not deter Coach Steve Plucknett’s Fremantle, who might benefit from a brief history lesson to boost their spirits. There will be no shortage of story tellers capable of providing a detailed narrative. “The FFA Cup is bringing those magic moments back to local football,” O’Connell said. “And it’s bringing Perth back into Fremantle, which is fantastic for the game.”
GLORY FACE LOSING STARS
Perth Glory are facing a raid on their squad from other A-League clubs, after accepting their finals ban for salary cap breaches, with at least three first-choice players on the radar of rival clubs. Players’ union Professional Footballers Australia confirmed it was ready to provide advice to Glory players on a case-by-case basis over their right to pursue a potential termination of contract linked to the club’s breach of the A-League cap by $400,000 this season.
It’s understood the club’s competitors are preparing to pounce, with contracted trio Danny Vukovic, Josh Risdon and Dino Djulbic all set to be approached about switching clubs. Central Coast Mariners are among three clubs looking for an experienced goalkeeper. Vukovic, who started his career with the Mariners, holds the record for A-League appearances with 226 matches.
The Glory custodian was understood to have been particularly vocal at a crisis team meeting held at the club last Monday. The 30-year-old has been an integral part of Glory’s form on the pitch this season that has the club third on the ladder, but that will all change on the weekend when they will demoted to seventh. Bunbury-born Risdon, 22, was considered for Socceroos selection leading into the AFC Asian Cup and would be hot property if he explored a break of contract, while Djulbic penned a two-year deal in February until the end of 2016-17.
Striker Andy Keogh is tipped to remain at Perth given his strong family connections in WA. But defensive midfielder Rostyn Griffiths is coming out of contract and is believed to have made his mind up to leave Glory at the end of the season, while last Sunday’s hat-trick hero Jamie Maclaren is contracted for next season and will assess his future after Saturday’s final away clash against Western Sydney Wanderers.
MACLAREN’S TRIPLE TREAT
Perth Glory finished their final home game of the season on a high, beating a 10-man Melbourne City 3-1 at nib Stadium, thanks to a Jamie Maclaren hat-trick. With the Glory barred from the finals for breaching the salary cap and City to finish fifth no matter the result, neither side reached any great heights but the Maclaren hat-trick gave the loyal home fans something to cheer about. “It's always good to score goals and when you have three chances and score three goals you'll take that all day,” Maclaren said. “It's been very tough, probably one of the toughest weeks of my career so far but we've got a strong group of boys and we'll pull through it and it showed tonight.”
If was a subdued atmosphere at the ground, and in the first half, it was Danny Vukovic who kept his side in the game. The Glory custodian was forced to make a double save to deny City striker Harry Novillo in the 10th minute, and he went on to make another four clutch saves in the first half that well and truly kept Glory in the contest. But on 42 minutes it was the home side who hit the front. Danny De Silva chipped the ball over the City defence for Maclaren to run on to, and the Young Socceroo fired low past Tando Velaphi. It got worse for the visitors when Paulo Retre was shown a second yellow card by Chris Beath and was sent off.
But seven minutes into the second half City were level. They were awarded a free-kick just outside the penalty area after Richard Garcia fouled Novillo, and Aaron Mooy stepped up to the mark and brilliantly curled the ball into the top left corner despite the best efforts of Vukovic. The Glory battled back and retook the lead just after the hour. De Silva chased down a ball that was played to him in the box, and the Roma bound midfielder put enough pressure on Velaphi for the City goalkeeper to spill the ball, and Maclaren fired home from a tight angle. The points were wrapped up three minutes from time, and the 5,821 loyal supporters celebrated. Glory substitute Chris Harold made space down the right and whipped in a low cross and Maclaren steered the ball low past Velaphi to complete his hat-trick and give the Glory the win, if not the points.
HEAGNEY AT THE DOUBLE FOR BAYSWATER
Bayswater City striker David Heagney scored a brace to earn his side the points after a thrilling 3-2 win against Perth SC in the ‘Italian derby’ at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday night. The English striker scored early before new signing Borbor Sam doubled the advantage on the half hour. Ashley Rosindale pulled one back for the hosts on the hour, but Heagney put the result beyond doubt with his second. Harley Orr scored with three minutes remaining to set up a grandstand finish, but Bayswater held on for the points. “It was the best team performance of the year, and we proved again that we are the best team in the league,” Heagney said. “We’ve taken time to gel, but we’re hitting our straps now, and on a personal level it’s always nice to get on the score sheet.”
It was an even opening under the lights the first opportunity fell to the visitors on 20 minutes. Former Perth midfielder Todd Howarth’s long-range shot crashed off the crossbar. But their pressure was rewarded with the opening goal five minutes later. Heagney lost his marker at the back post to fire home Sam’s cross.
Perth pressed and Aden Da Luz’s back heel sent Carlo Coelho in on goal, but City keeper Devon Spence stood tall to save. But on the half hour it was Bayswater who doubled their lead. Andrew Reale made space down the right, and his cross picked out Sam who finished clinically past Alex Dunn. Perth went in search for a goal to get them back in the game, and in the shadows of half time Rosindale fired inches wide.
Perth was back in the game on the hour. Half time substitute Callum O’Connell was found on the left, and his low cross across the face of goal was flicked on by Reece Vittiglia, and Rosindale slid in at the back post to score. Bayswater should have added to their lead moments later, when Howarth lost his marker in the penalty area, but headed over the top, before Dunn denied Heagney low shot
But that miss was forgotten on 73 minutes when Bayswater increased their lead. Heagney was in the right place at the right time to fire home from close-range, after Perth didn’t clear their lines. Perth got themselves a lifeline with three to go. Josh Pereira won a tackle in midfield and the ball fell to Rosindale, who drove at the heart of the defence, and slipped the ball into second half substitute Orr and he finished low past the advancing Spence. But Bayswater hung on to take the points and maintain their lead at the top of the table.
MCMAHON SPOT ON FOR ATHENA
Floreat Athena made it three wins from three, after a hard fought 1-0 victory over Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. The only goal of the game came early, with Lewis McMahon converting from the spot. But Floreat Coach Glen Grostate said they should have been well ahead at the break. "We could have been up 3-0 in the first half but couldn’t convert all of our chances,” he said. “The boys have really bonded. They spend time together on and off the pitch and that showed in their performance. We had to show our depth today with several injuries, but we worked hard and got the result.”
The visitors were out of the blocks early, and Kris Gate came close to the opener on six minutes. He found himself one-on-one with Lions’ keeper Connor Campbell, but the Lions custodian saved. But Floreat hit the front on 12 minutes. Blair Govan made space down the left and played the ball into McMahon and Lions midfielder Boas MtWale brought down the English striker and referee David Bruce pointed to the spot. McMahon picked himself up and made no mistake from the resulting penalty. Floreat went close to a second just before the break, McMahon blazing over after good hold up play in the area, before skipper Ludovic Boi fired over from close-range.
Stirling lifted in the second half, but continued to struggle in the final third. McMahon was a constant threat, but the Lions began to take control. Robbie Petkov tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area, but Dejan Aleksic saved. Lawrence Shuruma and Mosses Kalau’s pace was causing Floreat problems, but with Aryn Williams and former Lions defender Bobby Wilson outstanding at the back the Lions couldn’t find the equaliser and Floreat held on for the points.
MILNE GIVES SUBIACO THE POINTS
Subiaco AFC earned their first points of the season after a 3-1 win against Perth Glory on their return to Rosalie Park. Jonas Dorling gave the home side the lead early, before Nathan Costello levelled for the Glory on the half hour. But Subiaco reclaimed the lead sixty seconds later with the first to Danny Milne. The English striker scored his second to wrap up the points and he said it’s a relief to get their first win. “We stuck to our game plan well by limiting the options for the man on the ball. We caused them problems when we went forward and took our chances at important stages in the game,” Milne said. “It was a good team performance and work rate in hot conditions. We have been narrowly beaten in the other games at the start of the season so hopefully this will kick start our season and we can start to rack up more points.”
It was huge game for Subiaco, having lost the first games of the season, and returning to their spiritual home, and they made a perfect start and were ahead on 17 minutes. Nathan Diaz’s free kick was headed down by Ger Fitzgerald, Glory keeper Jordan Franken fumbled the effort but Dorling was on hand to lob the ball home. But the Glory hit back and they were level on the half hour, in similar circumstances. A free kick into the box was only cleared as far as Costello who fired home. But straight from the kick off the home side regained the lead. A long throw caused problems in the Glory box, and Rory Feely headed it down to Milne who finished off at the near post.
The home side continued to dominate and added a third five minutes after the break. Matthew Akehurst made space down the right, and he slipped the ball into the path of Diaz, who was brought down by Nic Talimozioski and referee Michal Jasinski pointed straight to the spot. Milnes stepped up fired home the resulting penalty. The Glory pressed late, but Stef Valentini and Sam McKearnin couldn’t find the target and at the final whistle it was the home fans celebrating the win. .
COCKBURN HIT BACK TO NICK THE POINTS
Cockburn City ended a two game losing streak after coming from two goals down to beat Armadale 3-2 at Alfred Skeet Oval on Saturday evening. The home side were in control with Nick Crerand and Jackson Bealey on target, but Alan Carroll pulled one back on 56 minutes, before Rory Patterson and Julian Teles won it for Marc Anthony’s side. They had to hold on grimly late when Patterson was sent off, but the Reds couldn’t find the equaliser. “We knew it was going to be a tough game as Armadale would be searching for their first win of the season under their new manager,” Cockburn skipper Eamon McNelis said. “They took the game to us and got their rewards by going 2-0 up, but great character to our boys for pulling it back, something we have missed the past couple of weeks. We're now looking to get our season back on track after a disappointing couple of weeks and next up in the league is Bayswater, we'll have to get back to our best.”
The home side made all the early running and Bealey’s shot was palmed onto the post by Curtis Aspden. But roared on by the locals, Armadale hit the front on 16 minutes. Creland pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area, before firing past Aspden from close-range. Aspden was keeping his side in the contest, the Cockburn custodian saving well to deny Caleb Dixon. At the other end Reds keeper Dylan Wilson kept his side in front at the break with a stunning one-handed save to deny Teles.
Armadale continued to take the game to Cockburn after half time and they doubled their lead on 52 minutes. Bealey picked the ball on the left, cut inside his marker and fired home from the edge of the penalty area. But Cockburn were back in the game four minutes later, with big defender Carroll seeing his glanzing header from Harry O’Brien’s corner beat Wilson, it was game on.
Cockburn were now on top and Wilson had to be alert to deny Patterson, but the striker had the last laugh on 69 minutes when he equalised. A ball into the area wasn’t dealt with by the Armadale defence, and Patterson fired home from close-range. The visitors had all the momentum now and they hit the front two minutes later. Liam Murray’s cross found Teles, who was given far too much space in the box, and he poked it home underneath Wilson from six-yards. The game ended on a sour note for Cockburn when striker Patterson was given a second yellow card by referee Adam Fielding and was sent off, but they held on to take home the points.
TONG EARNS BALCATTA A POINT
A goal from skipper Adam Tong 11 minutes from time has given Balcatta a 1-1 draw against Inglewood United at Inglewood Stadium. Matthew Izzo gave the home side the lead just before half time. With Balcatta chasing the game they moved Tong up front and he duly equalised. “We came out second half and we said we would get in their faces and the goal would come, and finally it came and we take a point out of it,” Tong said. “‘It’s not gelling upfront for us at the moment, we’re getting into good positions but not converting, so it’s something we’ve got to work on at training.”
Balcatta midfielder Luke Randazzo went close early, but United’s keeper Aleks Vrteski saved low. Moments later Ryan Clarke headed wide for Inglewood after good work on the left by Jarrod McNally. Chances were few and far between, but it was the United who ended the half the better and Scott Witsche’s shot was well saved by Clint Davies. But on the stroke of half time the home side made the breakthrough.
Kenny Keogh was brought down on the edge of the penalty area by Tong, and Izzo curled his free kick up and over the wall and into the top corner of the net.
It was the home side that opened the brighter after the break, Clarke fired wide early, before Keogh headed back across goal, but no Inglewood player could get on the end of it. Then with 15 minutes remaining Tong moved up front and Balcatta went to a back three, and it had an immediate effect. David Cyrus played the ball to Randazzo, who fed the ball into Tong, who raced into the penalty area and finished clinically past Vrteski. Balcatta almost won it in the last minute. Tong’s free kick from the edge of the penalty area deflected off the wall, but Vrteski produced a stunning reaction save to deny him and earn his side a share of the spoils.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TWO – REVIEW
South West Phoenix has taken out the ‘South West Derby’ beating Mandurah City 4-0 at the Hyundai Stadium. The visitors were ahead on the quarter hour, Kieran Kavanagh flicking on to Lee Stewart, who scored at the back post. They doubled their advantage midway through the half, Ryan Francis’ shot was blocked, but Kavanagh was on hand to bundle the ball over the line. Stewart added his second, before Bright Ababio chipped in the fourth, to round off a great team performance from Trent Hathaway’s side. “The whole team played as a unit and to the system the coaching staff had put in place, and it was a great result for the club,” Hathaway said. “We’ve still got things to work on but the process is coming along nicely. It was hard to pick out our best player this week because they all did their jobs on the day.” Western Knights continued their good start to the season with a 3-1 win against Swan United at Nash Field. David Onoforo but the home side the lead, before Nathan Sculley levelled. But goals from former Swan midfielder Ross Cosgrove and Thomas Southgate gave the Knights all three points.
Joondalup United showed they will be very competitive in this league, after they beat Dianella White Eagles 3-2 at Dianella Reserve. Arran Maplestone gave United the lead early, but Dianella hit back with goals from Danny Hodgson and Ali Husseini to give them the lead at the break. But a second half brace from United’s striker Lee Jones, gave John Evans’ side the points. “It was a great win again, against a hard working well organised Dianella team,” Evans said. “We lost to them in the night series so we knew we had to work together as a squad not just the 11 starting. We have had a great start to the season, but I keep on reminding the lads, you don't get anything in this league unless you battle for 90 minutes. Credit to lads, they are all working hard and we will take each game at a time.” Shamrock Rovers moved clear at the top of the table after a 3-0 win against Canning City at the Willetton Sports Club. Sean Browne opened the scoring, firing home Nick Little’s cross. Will Pender added the second with a clever lob, before Darren O Riordan added the third.
Ashfield kick started their season with a hard fought 2-1 win against Gosnells City at the Ashfield Sports Club. Liam Merigan opened the scoring for Paul Dundo’s side, firing home after being sent clear by Kyle King’s through ball. But on the half hour Gosnells levelled with Sean Taylor on target. The home side was reduced to ten men just after half time when Graham Tough was shown a straight red card and sent off. But the ten men hit back with Matt Brooks scoring the winner. “I was very happy with the character of the side,” said Dundo. “To go on and win it with ten men was a great effort, and it’s nice to get the first win on the board.” In other result on Saturday UWA-Nedlands beat Morley Windmills 4-2. Ben Reynold scored a brace, with 2 Richard Olsen and Bryce Conway also on target for the home side, while Daniel Lombardi and Alistair Blair were on target for the visitors.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND TWO – REVIEW
The round begun on Friday night with Forrestfield United and Wanneroo City fighting out a 2-2 draw at Hartfield Park. The visitors took the lead early from the penalty spot, John Monterosso making it two goals in as many matches for his new club. But both keepers were the stars on the night. Daniel Agudelo and Brad Eiffie were outstanding between the sticks, but Forrestfield were wasteful in front of goal too. But after the break Rhys Loxley levelled for the host’s midway through the second half. Scott Campbell then put the Roos back in front and it looked like they would go home with the points, but deep into stoppage time David Ferrante equalised. “I want to thank Forrestfield for helping us out with a fixture change and we are happy to return the favour anytime,” Wanneroo coach Matt Debarro said. “It was heartbreaking to not take all three points, but I think a fair result between two very good footballing teams. Well done to my boys and well done to Rod Banjac and his team, the crowd was all entertained by the spectacle, it was a great night.”
In Saturday’s game Melville City made it back-to-back wins with 3-0 victory against Ellenbrook United at Arbor Grove Reserve. Christian Long gave City the lead, before Mitch Barrington added the second, and Barry Richards the third. Curtin University were made to fight hard for their 2-1 win against Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. Keeper Sam Cogle was outstanding for the home side, but he could do nothing when Dilip Thapa opened the scoring in the first half. The home side levelled through Jon Ingram just after half time. Curtin had the chance to retake the lead in the 70th minute when Robert Keegan was brought down in the box, but Carlo Chiellini penalty hit the post. But the visitors got their reward late with Nathan Smith scoring.
Fremantle City and Rockingham City shared the spoils in 1-1 draw at Hilton Reserve Monty Grigo gave Rockingham the lead, but Sam Smith levelled for Fremantle. Kingsway Olympic scored their first win with 4-2 win against a nine man Balga at Kingsway Reserve. Oliver Hilton scored twice for the home side, while Dejan Gurovski and Andy O’Neill added the others. Kyall Osbourne and Lee James scored for Balga, but James was later sent off along with keeper Olie Rigler. In other games Quinns won the local derby against Joondalup City 2-0 at Illuka Sports Complex.
ECU PREVAIL IN LOCAL DERBY
ECU Joondalup have beaten Sorrento 2-1 in a hard fought local derby at Percy Doyle Reserve on Friday night. Danny Dixon gave ECU the lead early, before Sorrento defender Shaun Kilkelly levelled for the home side. There were chances at both ends but Jon Stynes popped up with the winner four minutes from time. “I’m really happy to get a win on the board and to start accumulating some points,” a happy ECU Coach Dale McCulloch said after the win. “I felt we were the better side and deserved our win but in saying that they do put you under pressure when they go direct so it was a nervous last few minutes. The whole side worked so hard and got there rewards at the end, so I’m really happy for the club to get all three wins away to a strong club like Sorrento.”
It was the start of Football West’s ‘Rivalry Round’ and it didn’t disappoint with a big crowd on hand under lights to watch the local rivals do battle and it was ECU made the break through on 22 minutes. Joe Smith made space on the edge of the penalty area and played in Dixon who fired low past James Morgan. But the home side hit back eight minutes later. A free kick into the penalty area from Jason Mirco wasn’t dealt with and Kilkelly fired home from close-range. ECU finished the half well on top, and seven minutes before the break, Dixon whipped in a great cross to Tommy Amphlett who side footed into the net, but the flag was up for offside. Moments later Dixon’s free kick from the edge of the penalty area was superbly saved by Morgan at full stretch. But at the break it was all-square.
Chances were few and far between after the break and both sides wasted opportunities. Sorrento forced a number of corners but didn’t really test Jamie Serra. ECU looked the more threatening and Stynes saw his header well saved by Morgan, before Amphlett beat the offside trap rounded the keeper but he couldn’t find Stynes at the back post. It looked like it the points would be shared but on 86 minutes ECU scored the winner. A great cross by Ryan Lowry picked out Stynes and the midfielder fired home much to the delight of the travelling supporters.
SAGE APOLOGIES TO GLORY SUPPORTERS
Perth Glory FC chairman Tony Sage issued a statement today apologising to members and fans and outlined some immediate measures going forward for the club. He said – “To say that it’s been a difficult few weeks in football is an understatement. The events during this time have left us all feeling shocked, sad, angry and very disappointed.
Like you, I am gutted that our club has been eliminated from the finals campaign and would like to take this opportunity to apologise to all our members, fans, and sponsors for the situation the club finds itself in. Unfortunately I can’t undo what has been done, however, the club has already taken steps to ensure this never happens again.
Last night Perth Glory accepted Football Federation of Australia’s sanctions and discontinued all court action against the FFA. Overnight, I also accepted the resignation of Jason Brewer who has stepped down as the club’s Chief Executive and I have also engaged the services of an independent auditor. That means, a line in the sand has now been drawn and the club will work with the FFA to improve Glory’s administration processes and protocols and hopefully our systems will be the benchmark of the Hyundai A-league.
I must stress that while the club has accepted the FFA’s sanctions and fines, the club does NOT have a culture of systemic rorting. We reiterate that all payments were made from the club's bank account. It is important to note that for seasons 2012/13 and 2013/14 the club failed to report benefits, in relation to accommodation and vehicles but it did NOT exceed the salary cap for those respective seasons.
From this point on, our focus must be on taking the positive performances on and off the field this season, and preparing for 2015/16. This process starts this Sunday when the boys take on Melbourne City in what will be the team’s last home game of the season. I know some of you are still hurting and may not want to come to the game, but Kenny and the boys need you now more than ever.
This is a situation that has rocked me but it has made me more resolved than ever, to see Perth Glory FC fulfil its true potential. I hope we can all continue the journey forward, together.”
A SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS AT PERTH GLORY (by Peter Simcox)
Before I start, I will tell you I’m a Perth Glory member and have been since the club was formed. The club has seen the highs, and now the lows, in Australian football but the salary problems has brought a once great club to its knees.
The final act was performed in the salary cap debacle on Thursday evening, with the club excepting the findings from the Football Federation Australia disciplinary board, and after a successful season on the pitch, and the side pushing for the Minor Premiership, they will not be playing in the A-League Finals this season.
It’s a bitter blow for Coach Kenny Lowe, and his players, but the rules are in place and having broken them, they have to pay the penalty. But the depth of the investigation was like something off CSI. Computer forensics was used to expose the payments, after being tipped off by a disgruntled former staff member.
Jason Brewer has been the only casualty, the CEO falling on his sword after Chairman, Tony Sage, said if the findings were correct he would sack him anyway. Brewer was still convinced at his press conference, to announce his resignation and that the clubs finances were correct and had gone through the auditors, and it had been ticked off by FFA for the last two seasons, when some of the breaches were supposed to have occurred.
All clubs send their yearly finances to the governing body to be checked and all, except Sydney FC in 2006, have come back all clear. The salary cap, like it or not, has been implemented to have a level playing field, and the Glory have been caught exceeding that. But let’s get back to the ‘level playing field’ question. There is no question the Glory have done wrong and have been punished, but why don’t the FFA audit every club the way they have the Glory?
The coaches from other clubs were quick to jump on the band wagon condemning the Glory and said they should have the book thrown at them, and that was all good and correct. But when Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick came out and said at a recent press conference that FFA should do the same investigation that the Glory has had, to all clubs in the competition, the silence from the other clubs on the situation was deafening. If the governing body want a ‘Level Playing Field’, then that should occur. I’m not saying that all clubs are doing wrong, but if they have nothing to hide why not?
Glory Chairman Tony Sage has done wonders for the Football Club, but he has been on a collision course with FFA for the last couple of years, and the loss of the hosting of the FFA Cup Final against Adelaide cut deep. It is to be seen if Sage walks away from the club, and once the dust settles that will be decided. He’s not in it for the money, he’s lost millions over his tenure, he actually loves the club.
We are hearing supporters, well so called supporters, saying he should leave, but I’m afraid if Mr. Sage walks away, the club might not survive. We hear of protests from supporters at the final home game of the season against Melbourne City to demand the whole board resign. Without Tony Sage there wouldn’t be a Perth Glory, and then we will not have any A-League football in our state. It’s a tough time for the club at the moment, and we should all stick together through this difficult time, and remember ‘No Guts No Glory’
PS4 NPL-WA ‘RIVALRY ROUND’ – PREVIEW
It’s ‘Rivalry Round’ in Week 4 of the PS4 National Premier League WA and it all kicks off tonight at Percy Doyle Reserve with the Northern Derby between Sorrento and ECU Joondalup. (7pm) It’s been a difficult start to the season for ECU, with games against the top three teams from last season, but Coach Dale McCulloch believes there have been some good signs. “Last week’s performance against Balcatta was very positive, especially the first half and it really hurt us only going into the break only scoring one goal,” he said. “We then showed great commitment to come back from 2-1 down late in the game and could have won it late.” McCulloch is hoping to regain the services of skipper Jon Higgins and Paul Miller for the game, but knows what to expect on Friday. “It will be a tough game, as all games against Sorrento are,” he said. “We go there with confidence and will be looking to come home with the three points.”
Sorrento came away from Subiaco with all the points last week, but Jamie Harnwell said they should have wrapped it up earlier. “I thought we thoroughly deserved the three points, but we made hard work out of it in the end,” he said. “They were difficult conditions at the Athletic Stadium, so at the end of the day I was happy to walk away with the win.” The visit of ECU Joondalup for the local derby is always a game the Gulls look forward too, and tonight will be no different. “The games against ECU are always enjoyable, and form doesn’t count for much in all games, as both sides want to have the bragging rights, so it should be a cracking game.” In team news for Sorrento James Morgan will miss again after injuring himself in the reserves last week, while Daryl Platten, Steve McDonald and Jordan Dodds are all pushing for selection.
In Saturday afternoon games, Subiaco AFC will return to their home ground at Rosalie Park when they host Perth Glory. The Glory lost for the first time last week and will be looking to bounce back. They will have to do it without top goalscorer Joe Knowles, who is suspended after being sent off last week, but they do welcome back Dejan Spaseski to the squad, after he missed last week with injury. Subiaco will be looking for their first point of the season, and will be sweating on the fitness of Ian McMurray, who injured a knee last week. Balcatta make the trip to Inglewood Stadium to meet Inglewood United, who are coming off of a good performance against the Champions last week. The home side is at full strength, but Balcatta will be without the injured Gustavo Catarcione and Paddy Quinn for the trip. In the final game, Stirling Lions hosts Floreat Athena at Macedonia Park. The visitors are the only team in the league with a 100% record and they will welcome back skipper Ludovic Boi, and defender Aryn Williams for the big match, but they will be without Clayton Arnez and Robbie Gasper due to injury. The Lions are at full strength and Rob Milevski will have a few selection headaches ahead of the game.
There is a late Saturday afternoon game, when Armadale entertains Cockburn City at Alfred Skeet Oval (5pm). The Reds will be looking to open their account for the season, while the Cockerels will be hoping to break a two game losing streak. Armadale assistant Coach Kevin Brophy said they were unlucky not to get something from their last game at Floreat. “We should have got something out of the game. We had plenty of opportunities to get back in the game, and played well enough to win it,” he said. “But goals win games and we fell short in that department on Saturday.” It will be a good test for the young Armadale side under lights. “It’s another tough game on Saturday night, and Cockburn will be firm favourites, but we’ll give it a go and if start converting we’ll spring a few surprises.” In team news for the Reds Dylan Eastough will have a late fitness test and is in doubt for the clash. After a good start to the season Cockburn have lost back-to-back games and Coach Marc Anthony is looking for an improvement against Armadale. “It has been very disappointing results in the last two weeks, not just the score line but the overall performances,” he said. “They were not good enough, for the standards we’ve set ourselves, and the best way to get these games out of you system is preparing for the next one.” They have had a good record at Armadale in recent seasons, and head there looking to get back on track. “We will threat them with the upmost respect, and I know Lordy and Kevin will do well with the lads there,” he said. “So we have to lift our performance if we are to get the three points, and we are expecting another tough encounter.” Euen Grant and Friday Zico are in doubt for the game, while Devon Gibson will miss again due to injury.
To finish the round, it’s a Saturday evening blockbuster at Dorrien Gardens, in the Italian derby when Perth SC hosts Bayswater City (7pm). It’s a repeat of last season’s Top four Grand Final, and Perth will be hoping to turn that result around. They go into the with defender Calum Connell back in the squad, but Nick Ambrogio is unavailable. Bayswater coach Chris Coyne returns to the dugout after missing last week due to family commitments, and Borbor Sam will be pushing for a starting spot after coming off the bench last week.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TWO – PREVIEW
It’s week two of the State Division One and Ashfield will be hoping to kick start their season when they host Gosnells City at Ashfield Sporting Complex. Gosnells pushed Western Knights close last week and Coach Rob Eldridge thought they hit back after gifting them two early goals. “I was very proud of the lads the way they fought back after gifting them two early goals,” he said. “It showed we can match with the best sides in the league. Wade Farmer scored twice against the Knights and Eldridge said he was outstanding. “It was a great performance from Wade,” he said. “But collectively we showed great team spirit, and we will only be better for it, and we’re looking forward on taking on Ashfield this week.” Ashfield Coach Paul Dundo said going down to ten men just before half time last week hurt them. “It was always going to be a struggle down to ten men against a well organised Joondalup side, but despite the lads best efforts it wasn’t our day, and they run out deserved winners on the day,” he said. Ashfield will be looking to open their home season with a win, but Dundo said it will be a tough game. “Gosnells will be a hard contest, as they are always hard to beat,” he said. “We’re back at home though, so I’m expecting a better performance, and the three points are a must for us.” Jamie Burns and Ruben Tristao return to the Ashfield squad this week, but Gary Hill is in doubt, while Alex Stamatiadis is suspended.
Shamrock Rovers make the trip to the Burrendah Reserve to take on Canning City. New City coach Paul Oliver got off to a winning start last week at Morley, but he knows his side will have to be at their best against last season’s Champions. Rovers got their title defence off to a winning start against Dianella, but will be missing the suspended Alec Robinson, who was sent off last week. Dan Corbett is in doubt with injury, but Rovers’ coach John O’Reilly will welcome back Graham Caffrey and Darren O’Riordan to the squad. In other games Dianella White Eagles entertains Joondalup United at Dianella Reserve, while Swan United head to Nash Field to take on Western Knights. Salv Todaro will have a number of players available who missed their opening game defeat, Anthony Papalia returns from suspension, Connor Boland, Sean Treacey and Nathan Sculley back from injury, and new signing Michael Lawson comes into the squad after signing from NPL side Armadale, while Ivan Zuvela, Ross Cosgrave and Luka Jukic return for the Knights, but Shaun French is in doubt with injury.
UWA Nedlands entertain Morley Windmills at the UWA Sports Park, and Coach James Rae said despite the result last week at South West Phoenix the performance was pleasing. “The final score was disappointing but we were leading with 20 minutes remaining, so the result obviously didn’t portray the game. They were a well drilled side, so to push them, I was fairly pleased with the performance from the players, and I’m sure the results will come,” he said. “Morley, like us, will be looking to kick start their season with a win, so it will be a more intense game, and were expecting that on Saturday, but we are prepared for it.”
The final game of the round is the South West Derby, with Mandurah City hosting South West Phoenix at the Hyundai Stadium. City Coach Doug Hesketh was delighted with his chargers last week at Swan and said they showed some good signs. “We were pleased to get the three points and I thought we worked really hard and took our chances,” he said. “We still have a few injuries and the younger players who stepped up on the day were great for us.”
Hesketh believes the South West derby against the Phoenix will be a great game and is hoping a big crowd is on hand to watch. “It will be a tough game, they had a win last week and after watching them in the Night Series they are very committed and press well, so we will need to be on our toes,” he said. “But saying that we are playing some good football, and the new squad is gelling well, so we’re ready for the game, and it should be a cracker and there should be a crowd on hand to watch.” Lance Louvie and Paul Jackson will have late fitness tests for Mandurah, but should take their place in the squad, while
South West Phoenix coach Trent Hathaway said Saturday’s game is a tough one for his side. “It will be a big test for us this week, playing against the league favourites,” he said. “But we’re looking forward to the challenge of the derby, and I’m expecting a huge effort for the lads.” Hathaway has been really happy with his chargers this season and said they have stepped it up. “The whole side is working really hard to have a successful season,” he said. “Ryan Risdon is looking fitter then he has for a few years and he is leading a great example for the young side we have this year.” In team new Jayden Prosser is in doubt with injury, but they get David Murphy and James McCleary back after injury, and they will be looking to Lee Stewart to get his scoring boots on this week.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND TWO – PREVIEW
After knocking off title favourites Forrestfield United last week, Melville City travel to Arbor Grove Reserve to take on Ellenbrook United. City Coach Gavin Brown said the win last week was well deserved. “I thought we fully deserved the win. Yes it was close but on chances created we could have won by two or three,’ he said. “Our younger players were magnificent; we had a 17-year-old and two 18-year-olds in the back four which bodes well for the club.” Brown is expecting a tough game at and said they will have to be at their best to get the points. “They (Ellenbrook) have a completely new squad from last year, and so it is a wee step into the unknown for us,” he said. “We certainly won’t be taking them lightly, and we want to back up a great performance last week with a second win on Saturday.” City has a full squad to choose from. Curtin University travel to Frye Park to meet Kelmscott Roos, and will have Carlo Chellini and Mark Matkovic returning to the squad, while Shaun Reynoldson, who put in a strong performance between the sticks last week for the reserves, after his international clearance came through, he will be pushing for a starting role this week.
In other games Joondalup City entertain Quinns Fc at the Iluka Sports Complex, Balga makes the trip to take on Kingsway Olympic, while Forrestfield United host Wanneroo City at Hartfield Park. The home side has Matt Harold, Kaan Karakan, Ben Rogers, Jordan Hart and Nathan Watkins all available after missing last week with injury, while Chris Perrot returns from suspension. The Roos welcome back David McNallly, Daniel Agudelo, Scott Campbell and Chris Marshall but skipper Luke Woodard is out with injury. In the final game of the round Fremantle City host Rockingham City at Hilton Reserve. Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said last week’s win against Ellenbrook was a good start to their campaign but knows they have to improve. “It was pleasing to get the three points and a clean sheet. I thought we controlled the game and created a number of clear cut chances, however we will need to improve this week,” he said. “I’ve seen Fremantle first hand and they are one of the favourites for the title this year. We lost to them in the Night Series, a game they won comfortably. We will go into the game as underdogs and will need to be at our best to get a result.” In team news Rockingham will have Sean Brady, Fraser Marr, Ian Ng and Roy Hissey are all pushing for selection, but Blade Atkinson is in doubt.
AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION, ROUND TWO – PREVIEW
North Perth United began the defence of their title with an emphatic 7-0 win on the road against Fremantle Croatia. This week they host newly promoted Wembley Downs at Woodville Reserve, the visitors beating Queens Park 3-1 in their opening game. United Coach Alex Carter said the big win was a good start, but knows Sunday’s opponents will be up for the game. “We are obviously very pleased with the start to the season, and it couldn’t have gone any better,” he said. “We are under no illusions that Wembley will prove a tough opponent, and any club that wins both their firsts and reserves titles the previous year are doing something right. “They had a great start to the season, and confidence will be high. We understand we are the hunted this season so it’s our challenge to be consistent each week and deal with the situation.” In team news for United Eamon Kelly is in doubt with injury, while Jason Winter and Paddy Monty are unavailable.
In other games on Sunday BB United host Fremantle Croatia at the Bosnian and Herzegovian Cultural and Recreation Centre, Port Kennedy make the trip to Coker Park to take on Queens Park, Gwelup Croatia entertain Hamersley Rovers at the Croatian Sporting Complex, while Perth Royals and Kwinana United go head-to-head at the JA Lee Reserve. Southern Spirit started their season with a 0-2 defeat at Hamersley Rovers, and coach Jack Monaco said they should have taken something from the match. “It was a disappointing result, but it was an even game and we had chances to get back into it but didn’t take them,” he said. “We conceded an own goal and quickly taken re-taken free kick, but we hope to turn that around this week.” Kingsley make the trip to Watsons Reserve, and Monaco said it will be a tough game. “From what I’ve seen of Kingsley they appear much improved and will be hard to break down, and Kevin Towers has them playing well,” he said. “We get back Royce Heaperman this week to bolster our squad and we will find out on Sunday if we are up to it.”
CLARKE EARNS UNITED A POINT
Inglewood United showed a great deal of character to fight back from behind, in their 1-1 draw with league leaders Bayswater City at Frank Drago Reserve. The home side were ahead early; with defender Jason Colli scoring in his own net. But they battled it out in the second half and were rewarded when Ryan Clarke levelled. “We’re disappointed not to come away with all three points, I thought we created enough chances,” said United midfielder Andrija Jukic. “But to get a point away from home against the team that won everything last year is still a good result.”
The Champions were on the front foot early, and were handed the lead on ten minutes. There looked little danger when Declan Hargreaves sent a long ball over the top, but there was some indecision between Colli and Aleks Vrteski and unfortunately the defender headed into his own net.
It was a huge blow for United, but Michael Garcia’s side responded well and former Bayswater winger David Sesay went close, before Jukic forced City keeper Devon Spence into a good block. Clarke was a constant threat for the visitors, but they couldn’t find a way past a tight Bayswater defence. Vrteski had to be alert to deny David Heagney on the half hour, but it was the home side in control at the break.
Chris Coyne brought on new signing Borbor Sam at the break, but it was Inglewood who levelled on 68 minutes. Matt Izzo played the ball wide to Sesay, who eased past his marker and cut the ball back for Clarke, who was unmarked in the box and had an easy tap in. Scott Witsche and substitute Kenny Keogh could have capitalised on Inglewood’s momentum, but Spence saved well on both occasions to deny the pair.
Vrteski was again called into action, the former Perth Glory custodian denying both Todd Howarth and Paul McCarthy in quick succession, as Inglewood pressed for the winner. But it was Bayswater who went the closest to win it in stoppage time. Gustavo Giron-Marulanda shot was cleared off the line by the alert Jarrod McNally, and the points were shared.
PERTH SHINE UNDER LIGHTS
Perth SC maintained their good start to the new season with a 2-0 win over Cockburn City, under lights at Dalmatinac Park on Saturday evening. First half goals from Nick Ambrogio and Josh Wilkins were enough for the visitors, but it could have been worse for the Cockerels, but keeper Curtis Aspden made a number of fine saves. “It was another first class performance where every player executed the game plan perfectly,” Perth Coach Taki Nicolaidis said. “We were very strong in every department and felt that we are improving all the time. It was a very important win as it has kept us in the mix with the leading ground at this early stage of the season.”
Perth was defiantly up for the game, after losing to Cockburn in the Night Series, and they showed their intent early. Aspden saved well to deny Wilkins, before Ambrogio was sent in on goal by a great through ball from Carlo Coelho, but the crossbar came to the rescue of Cockburn. The home side settled, but were struggling in the final third, and on 22 minutes it was Perth who hit the front. Dean Evans broke up a Cockburn attack and found Mark Pritchard. The midfielders’ first time pass picked out Ambrogio, who beat the offside trap and finished clinically past Aspden.
Cockburn were struggling to cope with Perth, and Rocco Pizzata’s shot on the run whistled just wide of the target. But in the shadows of home time Perth doubled their advantage. Wilkins started the move, racing from his own half and playing the ball out wide to Aden da Luz. Wilkins continued his run, and Da Luz found the defender again in the box, and he finished low past Aspden.
It was Cockburn who began the second half the better with Feisal Zaw and Harry O’Brien in the thick of their attack moves. But it was Perth who creating the better chances, and they almost made it 3-0 on 75 minutes. A long ball over the top sent Ashley Rosindale clear, he rounded Aspden, but took the ball wide and it allowed the Cockburn custodian to get back and save on the line.
Rosindale then had another opportunity moment later. He was given far too much time and space on the edge of the penalty area, but Aspden produced a great save to deny him. Cockburn pressed late and second half substitute Liam Murray headed wide when well placed, before the league top goalscorer Rory Patterson failed to add to his five, doing likewise.
CANHAM SPOT ON FOR SORRENTO
Sorrento won their second game of the new season in controversial circumstances, after Sean Canham scored a hotly disputed late penalty to beat Subiaco AFC 2-1 at the WA Athletic Stadium. Todd Harnwell had given the visitors the lead after only two minutes, before Danny Milne levelled five minutes into the second half, but they then had Josh Booysen sent off, and the late spot kick gave Sorrento the three points. “We all think the penalty was very soft, but you’ve seen them given before,” Subiaco’s Matthew Akehurst said. “We showed a lot of character after the red card and the penalty and we need to keep that going into next week. We just need to put together a 90 minute performance and the results will come.”
Subiaco move back to their home ground of Rosalie Park was put in hold, and some of their defenders thought they were at their new home, when Sorrento opened the scoring two minutes in. English striker Canham’s header was well saved by Ryan Montgomery, but no one picked up Jamie Harnwell, who tapped home from close-range. The Gulls were dominating, and created a number of chances but they weren’t ruthful enough in front of goal and Subiaco were still in the game, but Sorrento went to the break only one to the good.
Whatever Coach Gerry McEwen said at half time worked as the home side levelled early. A long clearance by Montgomery was flicked on by Ian McMurray and Milne nipped in before keeper James Morgan to score. It was the home side now dictating terms and they pressed for the second, but the momentum changed on 55 minutes when Booysen was sent off. The midfielder was given two yellow cards in three minutes by referee Walter Cuotti.
Sorrento went in for the kill but Subiaco keeper Montgomery was in fine form to deny them, and it looked like the Gulls profligacy would come back to haunt them. But with six minutes remaining they won all three points. Nathan Diaz was adjudged to have brought down second half substitute Ryan Pearson in the area, and much to the amazement of the Subiaco players and coach a penalty was awarded. Canham kept his nerve to score from the spot and win it for Jamie Harnwell’s side.
LIONS RIP GLORY APART
Stirling Lions moved into fourth place on the NPL table after a 4-0 win against a ten man Perth Glory at Inglewood Stadium. Joe Knowles missed an early penalty and was then shown a red card by referee Matt Southern, and the Lions took control. Miki Vujacic and Brodie Martin were on target in the first half, with Lawrence Shuruma and Rob Petkov doubling their lead after the break. “I thought the game could have been different if they had scored their penalty,” Lions midfielder Daniel Micevski said. “But once we got the first and they got their red card the match opened up for us to extend on our lead and we totally dominated.”
It was the home side who opened the better and had the perfect opportunity to open the scoring when they won a penalty, when Nathan Bowden-Hasse was adjudged to have brought down Slobodan Vulin on 22 minutes. Knowles stepped up, but Connor Campbell guessed the right way to make a superb save. That miss came back to haunt them when Stirling hit the front three minutes later.
A long ball into Brian Woodall was touched on to Vujacic, whose long-range shot flew into the top corner of the net. The visitors then doubled their lead on the half hour, Vujacic’s in-swinging corner picked out Martin at the back post, who fired home from close-range. Things went from bad to worse for John Gibson’s side when Knowles was sent off for a poor challenge.
After the break Stirling kept their shape well and punished the Glory again on the hour. Teeboy Kamara played the ball out to Shuruma, who had one touch before firing through a crowded penalty area and into the bottom corner of the net. Glory didn’t lie down and pressed looking for a goal to get back in the game but they were hit again six minutes from time. Tim Hill played the ball into Petkov, whose shot on the run from 20-yards flew into the corner of the net giving Jordan Franken no chance.
AMPHLETT DOUBLE EARNS ECU A POINT
A goal four minutes from time from ECU Joondalup striker Tommy Amphlett has earned them a point, after a 2-2 draw with Balcatta at the ECU Sports Stadium. The speedy striker had given the home side the lead on the half hour, but Alex Caniglia levelled early in the second half. It looked like Balcatta had won it when Shazalee Ramlee scored with seven minutes remaining, but Amphlett had other ideas to earn a point. “We deserved something from the game, and dominated the first half but failed to convert our chances,” ECU Joondalup Coach Dale McCulloch said. “We gave a way a sloppy goal just after half time and we looked down and out when they scored their second, but we kept fighting and got a point in the end.”
The home side forced four corners early and had Balcatta on the back foot, and Joe Smith and Andy Higgins were causing problems. On 18 minutes Higgins whipped in a great corner, and Jon Stynes headed wide from six-yards. Moments later a superb through ball from Smith found Danny Dixon racing down the left, he cut the ball back to Amphlett who fired just over the top.
Joondalup were well on top and Clint Davies had to be alert to save Amphlett’s low drive from the edge of the penalty area moments later. But on 28 minutes the home sides’ pressure was rewarded with the lead. Amphlett picked the ball up in the middle of the park, and ran at the Balcatta defence before unleashing an unstoppable shot from 25-yards, giving Davies no chance.
With Coach Ramon Falzon’s half time address still ringing in their ears Balcatta opened the second half well and were level two minutes in. Adam Tong played the ball out to Paddy Quinn on the right, he whipped in a cross to the back post and Caniglia headed home. Both sides had chances as the game opened up, Stynes fired wide on the hour, before Gustavo Catarcione fired wide moments later.
But with seven minutes remaining Balcatta hit the front. Ramlee picked the ball, and he wasn’t closed down and his long-range shot flew into the corner of the net giving Jamie Serra no chance. It looked like the points were heading south, but Amphlett had other ideas and he levelled three minutes later. The midfielder found space on the edge of the penalty area, and finished with aplomb, to give his side a share of the spoils.
FLOREAT EDGE OUT THE REDS
Without four influential players, Floreat Athena still had enough to beat a plucky Armadale side 2-0 at E&D Litis Stadium, and maintain their unbeaten start to the season. With skipper Ludovic Boi, Clayton Arnez, Callum Franz and Aryn Williams unavailable, Lewis McMahon led from the front scoring along with Blair Govan. “It was good to get the three points considering we were missing a lot of important players,” Govan said. “We're just happy to get the win, but credit to Armadale they made it really hard for us, and if it wasn't for Dejan in goals it could have been a different result.”
The Reds arrived looking to build on their FFA Cup win against Shamrock Rovers and went close to the lead early. English import Nick Crerand, grandson of former Manchester United midfielder Paddy, saw his shot whistle inches over the top. But the home side showed them how to do it on five minutes. Govan scoring his second goal of the season, rising highest to head home Kris Gate’s cross. It was nearly 2-0 mid-way through the half and it was Govan who set up Gate this time, but his shot was well saved by Reds keeper Dylan Wilson.
Armadale lifted after the break, but were struggling in the final third; the best opportunity fell to Jackson Beale, whose long-range shot was straight at Dejan Aleksic. The Floreat custodian came to his sides rescue again on the hour. The lively Bealey was sent one on one with Aleksic, but the keeper stood tall and saved. Crerand then saw his snap shot saved by Aleksic, but Floreat pounced, and they scored the decisive second goal on 76 minutes. McMahon found space on the edge of the penalty area and fired low past Wilson to win it.
ROVERS OFF TO FLYER AGAINST THE EAGLES
Shamrock Rovers started the defence of the Division One title with a hard fought 3-2 win against Dianella White Eagles at Grimrey Oval, in the Division one Match of the Day. Nick Little gave the home side the lead early before Angel Andres levelled before the break. But goals from skipper Will Pender and second half substitute Mike Pritchard put the home side in control. Andres scored a second in the last minute, but the home side held on for the win. “They are a good side and like I’ve stated, they will be there or there about at the end of the season,” Rovers Coach John O’Reilly said. “But you don’t have to have possession for the whole game to be controlling it. They had the ball a lot but didn’t create that many chances and we did and took our chances.”
The visitors arrived as one of the title favourites, but coach Mauro Marchione’s plans went out the window in the opening minute, when a lunging tackle from Cesar Gonzales on Paul Concannon, gave referee Stephen Knight no other decision but to send the defender off. The home side took advantage and were ahead on 10 minutes. Stephen O’Leary sent Stephen Sheridan racing down the right, and his low cross was turned home by Little from five meters.
Despite losing a man, and an early goal, Dianella hit back on 38 minutes. Igor Novakovic’s cross found Henock Butshiire at the back post, his effort crashed off the crossbar, but Andres was quickest to react to head home from close-range. The home side regained the lead on the hour. A poor clearance from the back went straight to Paul Concannon, who slide the ball into Pinder, who finished low past Milos Bajic.
It was 3-1 ten minutes later. A gut busting run by Stephen O’Leary ended with a cross to Pender, his shot wasn’t held by Bajic, and Pritchard fired home from a tight angle at the back post. The game looked over, but the sending off of Robinson gave Dianella a sniff and Andres fired home in the final minute and the home side were hanging on. Dianella pressed but couldn’t find the equaliser.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE REVIEW
In other Division One games Joondalup United began life in the Division with a 2-0 win against Ashfield at Beldon Park. Connor Southern’s long-range shot gave them the lead just after halftime, before new import Callum Stocks scored a neat close-range finish to seal the win against the much fancied visitors. Paul Oliver won his first match in charge of Canning City, as they came away from Wotton Reserve with a 4-0 win against Morley Windmills. Josh Findlater gave City the lead in the first half, getting on the end of a Tom Gibbins cross and headed low and hard past Luke Martino. Callum Roberts was introduced on the hour and his first input was a low drive that was parried by Martino, but the ball spilled to the feet of Daniel Trevisiol who couldn't miss. It was 3-0 five minutes later Roberts had one of his own, after he latched onto a through ball and finished clinically into the far corner. Findlater added his second and Canning's fourth after another sublime cross, this time from Laurence Cheyne and again the striker made no mistake with the headed finish. “It was a solid performance to start the season. We controlled the game and stayed disciplined throughout,” Oliver said. “We know we have a difficult couple of games coming up, so we will knuckle down and start preparing on Tuesday.”
Mandurah City sits on top of the table after thumping Swan United 6-1 at the Swan Italian Club. The Dolphins were 4-0 up at half time, With Tom Straker, Michael Stares, Abraham Tcuona and Jon Brookes on target. Swan pulled one back, early in the second half through Ryan Tracey, but a late double from Jordan Rhodes gave them a comfortable win. Paul Lloyd scored a hat-trick as Western Knights started their campaign with a 3-2 win against Gosnells City at Walter Padbury Reserve. The English striker scored from the penalty spot early and added two more to give the Knights a 3-0 lead. Gosnells hit back with a brace from Wade Farmer, but the Knights held on for the win. South West Phoenix beat UWA Nedlands 4-2 at Payne Park. Ryan Francis, who has returned to the club from NPL side Inglewood United, scored a brace, with Josh Harvey and Ryan Stewart on target for the home side, while Jacob Flores and Patrick Morrison scored for the visitors.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO REVIEW
Curtin University and Olympic Kingsway opened the season on Friday night at Edinburgh Oval, with both sides sharing the spoils after a 1-1 draw. The visitors were ahead after only five minutes, when they won a penalty. Wayne Culverwood saw his spot kick well saved by Mackenzie Ferguson, but Culverwood was quickest to react and fired the rebound home. The home side pressed but Rory Binnie, Jon Krawec and Eddie Tikoft couldn’t convert their chances.
But five minutes into the second half Curtin’s pressure finally paid dividends. Nathan Smith’s cross was turned home by Binnie. Kingsway keeper Jonstone Walker made a number of fine saves to deny Curtin and moments before the final whistle Jordan Parr cleared the ball off the line, to earn a hard fought point for Tom Kilkelly’s side.
Rockingham City started the season with a 2-0 win against Ellenbrook United at Lark Hill, with goals from Blad Atkinson and Paul Larvin. New Balga coach Bobby Taneski got off to a great start when Kyall Osbourne opened the scoring at Princess Road Reserve, against Fremantle City. But the visitors hit back with a free-kick from Mick D’Souza five minutes before half time that left Balga keeper Oli Rigler with no chance. Only two minutes later Fremantle found themselves in front, a missed penalty shot rebounded from Rigler's save that resulted in an own goal from Gary Shorto. In the closing minutes Balga desperately tried for the equaliser, but it was Cameron McTear on the counter-attack who scored to make sure Fremantle got the points.
Wanneroo new coach Matt Debarro won his first game in charge, after coming from 0-2 down to beat Joondalup City at Kingsway Reserve. Connor Lynch brought them back into the game, while skipper Luke Woodard, John Monterosso and own goal win it for The Roos. In the final game Quinns beat Kelmscott Roos 6-1 at Gumblossom Park.
MELVILLE SHOCK LEAGUE FAVOURITES (with Ash Fahey, www.fusc.org.au)
Melville City defeated a strong Forrestfield United outfit by 2-1 at Len Shearer Reserve. The game didn’t start well at all for Forrestfield when in just the 4th minute, Forrestfield failed to clear a corner allowing Simon El-Chami to turn and shoot from all of six yards to give Melville the lead. Just a few minutes later Forrestfield's Mitch Barker was caught on the ball inside the final third allowing Melville to get a shot away which, to Brad Eiffe’s relief, went sailing over the bar.
Forrestfield were then very lucky not to go 2-0 down after a Melville winger was played through down the line and every one of Forresfield’s defenders stood their with their hands up looking for offside. The ball was crossed to an unmarked Melville striker whose shot was brilliantly saved by Brad Eiffe low to his right. Forrestfield definitely got away with one there. Melville were made to pay, as from the resulting play, Malcom Tshuma turned a Melville defender on the goal line and cut back for Scott Barker to coolly slot home and make it 1-1.
The winner came late for Melville, when Blake Readwin was left un-marked and converted from Simon El Chami's diagonal ball. “It was a great win against one of the top teams in the league,” Melville coach Gavin Brown said. “It was a tough match, very competitive and nerve wracking right to the end. They had good spells, but on chances created we definitely edged it and could have put the game to bed earlier.”
INTO THE LOOKING GLASS: STATE LEAGUE PREVIEW
The State League season kicks off this weekend in what should be another exciting year. Reigning State League champions Shamrock Rovers Perth are looking to make it two championships in a row, and now with possible promotion to the NPL on the agenda, makes this year's State League Division One season that more important.
Division Two also sees the chance of two teams getting promoted this season, with the second placed team taking on the second bottom club of the First Division in a promotion/relegation play-off. This week the footballwa.net team takes a look at the twelve clubs, and are joined by Richard Kreider, author of the spendliferous ‘Paddocks to Pitches’, and Eamon Duffy, host of "Let's talk Football", in offering their thoughts on how season 2015 will pan out...
NPL-WA ROUND THREE – PREVIEW
Its round three of the PS4 National Premier League and this weeks ‘Match of the Week’ takes us to the Inglewood Stadium with Perth Glory entertaining Stirling Lions. Both sides had big wins on the road last week, the Glory beating Armadale 4-1, while the Lions beat Sorrento 3-1. It’s the first home of the season for the Glory and striker Joe Knowles, who bagged a hat-trick last week, said they are hoping to continue their good start. “We played well at Armadale. Gibbo gave us a game plan and we nailed it, and took our chances,” he said. “To be honest at 1-1 it was a good game, and either team could have won it, but we set the tempo and scored at crucial times of the game.” The 19-year-old isn’t getting carried away with the good start and knows they will need to be at their best on Saturday. “Every game in the NPL is going to be tough, but we need to continue on from Saturday, keep to our structures and improve as a team,” he said. In team news the home side is almost at full strength the only player out is Jesse Lazzaro who is injured. Lions’ striker Teeboy Kamara has fitted in well since his move from Inglewood and after a disappointing first game of the season he was on target in their win last week. “It was good to get the maximum points against a well drilled Sorrento side,” he said. “Scoring was a bonus for me, and hopefully there’s more to come.” The former Adelaide United striker said they will be looking to take maximum points against the Glory. “They (Glory) had a good NYL season so we know it will be tough test. They will be well drilled and organized, but we have some good momentum going into the game,” he said. “It will be good to play against some of my old team mate, and we will be looking to come home with the points.” The Lions played in the Cup on Monday and they have a few sore bodies, but they should be fit for the game, and they have Brodie Martin and Lawrence Shuruma back from suspension, and also new signing Billy Quinncroft for the game.
Bayswater City is sitting on top of the table and they are ticking over nicely. This week they take on Inglewood United at Frank Drago Reserve. United have stuttered in the opening two rounds of the season, but fought back to take a point against Perth SC last week, and Aleks Vrteski said they are improving with every game. “I was a horrible start to the season from us, but the biggest positive was its round one and teams couldn't get too far ahead, and Perth was a huge bounce back for us,” he said. The keeper knows Bayswater’s strength, but believes they can match them. “Bayswater is the benchmark, I've said it publicly before they set the standard that the rest of us need to catch up too,” he said. “I think it'll be another huge test for our new look side, but we'll be looking to progress from the Perth game and continue to improve.” In team news David Micevski will miss the game, while Matthew Izzo is in doubt, but they do regain the services of Kenny Keogh. Bayswater made the long trip to Bussleton for the cup on Monday, with skipper Trent Kay starting his first game of the season. The defender is expecting a tough game against an Inglewood side “We have got off to a perfect start in the league and cup. If we can keep up performances like that, we’ll be very hard to beat,” he said. The skipper pulled up well from his first start, and he is expecting a tough game against United, who have brought in some quality players. “I’ll be putting my hand for selection on Saturday, but the side is playing well so that’s up to Chris (Coyne),” he said. “It will be a difficult game, results haven’t gone their way but they have the players that are more than capable of producing results. The lads are looking forward to the game and we’ll have to be at very best on the day.”
In other games Cockburn City will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat, when they entertain Perth SC at Dalmatinac Park on Saturday evening (7pm). Armadale interim coach Peter Lord won his first game in charge of the club in the Cup on Monday, and they will be looking to kick start their season, when they travel to the E&D Litis Stadium to take on Floreat Athena, who will be without defender Aryn Williams. Balcatta are joint top of the table and will fancy their chances of making three from three when they make the trip to the ECU Sports Stadium to play the winless ECU Joondalup, while Subiaco AFC return to their original home ground, Rosalie Park, and they host Sorrento.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND ONE – PREVIEW
The State League First Division kicks off this weekend, and the prize for the champions in 2015 is promotion to the NPL. Last season’s Champions, Shamrock Rovers, began their campaign, with a home game against Dianella White Eagles at Grimrey Oval. Rovers Coach John O’Reilly said they are well prepared for the season, but is expecting Dianella to be the big improvers. “We can’t wait for the season to start and up against the league favorites couldn’t be a better test for us,” he said. “We have a strong squad unity between the players already this year, and that has given us the edge in the past.” Newly promoted Joondalup United begin life in the division with another title favorites Ashfield heading to Beldon Park. The pair met last week in the FFA Cup with Ashfield running out 2-0 winners. New United coach John Evans has brought in some experience players and are ready for a big season. There is a repeat of last week thrilling cup tie, with Swan United entertaining Mandurah city at the Swan Italian Club, while UWA-Nedlands makes the trip down south to take on South West Phoenix at Payne Park.
Night Series winners Western Knights make the trip to Walter Padbury Reserve and a meeting with Gosnells City, while new Canning City Coach Paul Oliver takes his chargers to Wotton Reserve to take on Morley Windmills. “There are no easy games in Division one and Saturday will be no different,” Oliver said. “Like Morley we want to start on a positive note and I think with the existing players and the lads that I have brought in, we have a young and hungry group who will give everything to get the three points.” City will be missing first choice Keeper Luke Stonebridge, and he replaced by Bobson Koroma, while defender Mark Trevisiol is also out for the opener.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND ONE – PREVIEW
All the talk is over and the Division Two season kicks off tonight, with Curtin University entertaining Kingsway Olympic at Edinburgh Oval. Olympic, with Tom Kilkelly in charge will be looking for an improvement from last season, and Curtin Coach Campbell Ballentye is expecting a tough first up encounter. “It will be a new look Kingsway side so we can only go on the results we’ve seen in the Night Series,” he said. “They beat us at our place last season, so we know it will be a tough game but we will be hoping to start the season with three points.”
In Saturday games title Favourites Forrestfield United make the trip to Len Shearer Reserve to take on Melville City, Quinns and Kelmscott Roos go head to head at Gumblossom Park, Blaga entertains Fremantle City at Princess Road Reserve, while Ellenbrook United make the trip to Lark Hill to meet Rockingham City. Wanneroo City starts life in the Second Division with a local derby against Joondalup City at Kingsway Sporting Complex. New Roos coach Matt Debarro has been happy with the way his side is gelling, but he knows Joondalup will be a tough first up challenge. “It’s a local derby and very tough fixture for us, considering the short preparation we’ve had,” he said. “There is a great team spirit here, and confidence is high, and we have the belief to go out and get the right result.”
AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIRE DIVISION ROUND ONE – PREVIEW
The Consolidated Energy Amateur League Premier Division also kicks off this weekend, as team’s battle it out for promotion to the Saturday competition. Last season Champions North Perth United declined promotion, but will again be strong, and first up they travel to Len Packham reserve to take on Fremantle Croatia. One of the surprise teams last season was Queens Park, and the Coker Park club start their season with a trip to Butlers Reserve to meet Wembley Downs. Coach Kenny Jarvis said they are looking forward to the season, and hope to start with a win in the opener. “It will be a tough opening game against a very competitive team, that has achieved so much in the last couple of seasons,” he said. “We have lost a few players this season so it’s a rebuilding time at Coker Park, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
In other games Kingsley SC, who almost pulled off a huge Cup upset last week, letting it slip late against Balcatta, host Perth Royals at Chichester Park, Kwinana United entertain BB United at Kelly Park, while Hamersley Rovers and Southern Spirit meet at Carine Open Space. Tile favourites Gwelup Croatia head to Koorana Reserve to meet new Premier League side Port Kennedy. Gwelup skipper Sebastian Munoz said a good start to the season is important, but he is expecting a tough game. “Everyone is ready to get the new season started, and it will be a tough opening game,” he said. “We just have to be aware that they will be just as hungry to win the opening game, so we can’t be complacent. The lads will be eager to get a good start to the season after a good night series campaign.”
FFA CUP FOURTH ROUND REVIEW
The fourth round of the FFA Cup saw some classic ties, and PS4 NPLWA side Subiaco AFC scored twice in the final two minutes to beat Sunday amateur side Kingsley SC 4-3 in the best tie at Chichester Park. The home side were leading 3-2 with five minutes remaining. Luke Dove scored twice with Michael Carrick the other for Kingsley, while Danny Milne and James Oliver were on target for Subiaco. It looked like begin a real boil over but Nathan Diaz levelled with two minutes remaining, and in stoppage time Milne added his second to win it. “Progressing was the aim and we did that eventually after making life very hard for ourselves,” Milne said. “They took their chances and scored some good goals on the counter attack, where as we created a lot but struggled to find the net at times, especially in the second half. It wasn't pretty, but in the end we showed good character to score a couple of late goals after being 3-2 down very late in the game.”
Bayswater City won the ‘David v Goliath’ tie, beating Bussleton SC 5-0 at Sir Stewart Bovell Park. Gustavo Giron-Marulanda scored a hat-trick, with David Heagney and Phil Arnold, his first goal for the club, scored the others. Perth SC beat a ten man Floreat Athena 3-0 at E&D Litis Stadium. Reece Vittiglia missed a penalty on the half hour, but made up for it, edging the visitors in front eight minutes later. The Home side had Aryn Williams sent off early in the second half and Vittiglia added two more to complete his hat-trick. “We started off brightly and dominated the first half, and could have gone in 2-0, but Reece missed the penalty,” Perth keeper Alex Dunn said. “Floreat came out firing after the break and we were on the back foot and I had to make a couple of saves, but when Williams got his second yellow, we went on to control the game and scored two goals late on to win it.”
Cockburn City put Saturday’s league defeat behind them thrashing North Lake 11-1 at Beale Park. Liam Murray scoring four, Craig Tone 2, Conor Kavanagh, Rory Patterson, David Araya, Harry O’Brien and an own goal the others. Stirling Lions beat fellow NPL side ECU Joondalup 2-0, with goals to Teeboy Kamara and Lawrence Shuruma. Armadale won for the first time under interim coach Peter Lord, with a 2-1 win against Shamrock Rovers. Steve Sheridan had given Rovers the lead early, but two goals in two minutes from Nick Crerand gave them the win. “Today's game was important for the fact that they are the best team in the next division and with relegation in place this year it was a moral victory,” Lord said. “It was a collective team effort, and it’s what was expected given the circumstances and that's what we got. I'm extremely proud of every single one of them and they deserve to be in the next round.”
Balcatta had to work hard for their 2-1 win against Rockingham City at Grindleford Reserve. Dejan Andric gave the home side the lead from the spot midway through the first half, but Rockingham hit back before half time with Monty Grigo levelling. Balcatta left it late to win it, skipper Adam Tong scoring with ten minutes remaining. Inglewood United beat UWA-Nedlands 3-0 with Scott Blackmore, Scott Witsche and Shane Pickering on target. It was an eight goal thriller at the Swan Italian Club with Mandurah City beating Swan United 4-2 after it ended 4-4 after extra time. The home side had to fight back from behind all day. Jordan Rhodes and Abraham Tcuona gave Mandurah a 2-0 lead at the break, before Nathan Scully pulled one back for the Swans. Joe O’Brien made it 3-1, but goals to Cameron Anderson and a last minute strike from Callum Burton sent it to extra time. The home side hit the front with Fraser Burt scoring, but a late goal from Jeff Bright sent it to extra time, and Jon Brooks converted the winning penalty in the shoot-out.
In other results Ashfield beat Joondalup United 2-0 at Beldon Park, with goals to Sean Browne and an own goal, Gwelup Croatia beat Cracovia SC 6-0 at the Croatian Sporting Complex. Benny Kovadio scored a hat trick, with Jake Verni, David Martins and Steven McGarry also on target. Fremantle City beat Curtin University 3-1 at Hilton Reserve. Nathan Findlater, Andrew Morrow and Ty Fenwick were on target for City while Nathan Smith scored Curtin’s consolation goal. Joondalup City beat Melville City 3-1 at the Iluka Sports Complex, BB United edged out Fremantle Croatia 3-2 at Len Packham Reserve, and South West Phoenix beat Wanneroo City 2-0 at Kingsway Reserve, with Lee Stewart scoring a brace.
GLORY LET THE FOOTBALL DO THE TALKING
Perth Glory put their off field problems behind them to beat Newcastle Jets 2-0 at Hunters Stadium on Sunday. The game was played in driving rain, and the win moved Kenny Lowe’s side level on points at the top of the table with Melbourne Victory. Andy Keogh, who is at the centre of the club being issued with a second show-cause notice over alleged salary cap breaches, headed them in front in the 50th minute, before second half substitute Nebojsa Marinkovic scored late to wrap up the points. “It was a big win for us. Newcastle was on top early but we defended very well and then punished them,” Glory defender Dino Djulbic said. “It was good; we’re equal top now with [Melbourne] Victory…we just want to win the next three games.”
Jamie Maclaren was given the nod by Lowe and the Olyroos striker was causing problems to the Jets defence early, but the weather was also causing problems and chances were few and far between. The first real chance fell to the home side; Edson Montano was thwarted by a smart save from Danny Vukovic. The Jets were getting on top, and when Enver Alivodic wriggled clear in the box, he was one-on-one with Vukovic, but the Glory custodian saved low with his legs. The Glory’s best chance fell to Keogh just before the break. Josh Risdon and Sidnei Sciola combined, the Brazilian chested the ball into the path of the Irish striker, but his first time shot flew over the top.
The Jets opened well in the second half and Andrew Hoole was a constant threat, and his shot was superbly blocked by Djulbic. Moments later Alivodic broke down the right, flank and crossed the ball into Mitch Cooper in the penalty area, but his diving header flashed inches wide of the target. But on 50 minutes the Glory hit the front. Sidnei stung the palms of Jets ‘keeper Ben Kennedy with a long-range shot, the rebounded falling to Maclaren, who whipped in a delightful cross to Keogh who made no mistake with a thumping close-range header.
With the rain getting heavier the Jets pressed and on the hour skipper Taylor Regan’s header beat Vukovic but the crossbar came to the Glory keeper’s rescue. The Jets almost levelled in the 70th minute, but were frustrated by more desperate defending, this time by man of the match Djulbic and goal line clearance from ex-Socceroo Richard Garcia. With the Jets pushing forward the Glory punished them with a second on 85 minutes. A long ball out of defence from Djulbic found the head of Keogh, who flicked it into the path of Marinkovic. The Serbian controlled the ball before unleashing a shot from the edge of the penalty area giving Kennedy no chance.
KNOWLES' TRIPLE THREAT FOR GLORY
Perth Glory started their PS4 National Premier League WA season on a high, after a 4-1 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval. Joe Knowles was the star, the striker continuing his form from the Foxtel National Youth League, bagging a hat-trick, and Stefan Valentini adding the other, while Faustino Machochi scored the home sides’ goal. “I think we matched them physically which allowed us to play our own game,” said Glory midfielder Dejan Spaseski. “We let them back into the game with the equaliser but we showed great resolve to push on, and I am happy to get the 3 points in my NPL debut for the club.”
Armadale, with interim coach Peter Lord in charge, after Lee Bamber left the club in the week, were on the back foot early, with John Gibson’s side on top, and they were rewarded with the lead on 17 minutes. A clearance from defence was seized upon by Spaseski, and he played a great through ball into Knowles, one-on-one with former Glory Youth keeper Luke Radonich, and the striker finished clinically. But on the half hour the home side scored their first goal of the season, Machochi losing his marker and firing low past Jordan Franklin. Both sides had chances for the rest of the half, but Radonich and Franklin kept the scores level at the break.
After the break the Glory took control and they hit the front again eight minutes in. Skipper Jacob Collard pass found Knowles, and he skipped past three defenders before firing past Radonich. The home side weren’t happy with the goal, as they thought the striker was offside. Armadale were still in the game but with Collard and former Reds defender Nathan Costello outstanding, they couldn’t find a way back into the game and nine minutes from time the Glory added a third. Radonich’s clearance only fell to Valentini, who sent it back over the keepers head from 30-yards, for a sensational finish. Then in the last minute Knowles completed his hat-trick. Collard found Waliedin Ismail who raced into the area and slid the ball into Knowles, who was brought down, but found the back of the net, but referee David Bruce pointed to the spot. Knowles had to pick himself up and converted past Radonich from the resulting penalty to make it 4-1 and complete a well-earned hat-trick.
FLOREAT TOO GOOD FOR COCKBURN
Floreat Athena began their PS4 NPLWA season with a dominate 3-1 win against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. The visitors showed why they will be in contention for the title with an excellent all-round team performance. Rory Patterson had put Cockburn in front early, but second half goals from Blair Govan, Ludovic Boi and Kris Gate gave Floreat the victory. “We were unlucky in the first half and dominated the game, but that football. But what I’m proud of is the way the boys stuck to our game plan after the break and we got the rewards,” Floreat Coach Glen Grostate said. “We scored some great goals in the second half, and they (Cockburn) have been some great form, so to come here and take the points is massive.”
The visitors, who had new signing Dejan Aleksic in goal against his former club, were on top early, with Jack Allen and Dennis Galan going close, but they lost midfielder Robbie Gasper to injury after only five minutes. They then conceded a goal on 17 minutes, in the home sides’ first attack, Patterson steering home Friday Zico’s low cross from the left. Despite going behind Floreat continued to take the game to Cockburn and Williams’ shot from the edge of the penalty area was superbly saved by Curtis Aspden three minutes later. There were chances at both ends as the game opened up. First Bobby Wilson saw his header cleared off the line by Blake Adams, before on the half hour Williams did likewise to thwart Patterson.
Floreat were back on level terms 12 minutes into the second half. Lewis McMahon’s cross picking out the unmarked Govan who fired low past Aspden. They doubled their advantage two minutes later, Boi burst into the penalty area and the skippers shot was deflected past Aspden. Boi should have added a third on 71 minutes, when he was on-on-one with Aspden, but the Floreat skipper fired straight at Aspden. The points were wrapped up four minutes later; Boi’s cross from the left was turned home by Gate in the six yard box to make it 3-1. It could have been worse for the home side, Boi’s curling free kick crashed off the post late on, but at the final whistle it was Floreat who took the point’s home.
MARTIN RETURNS TO DOWN THE GULLS
Stirling Lions kick started their season with a 3-1 win against Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. After throwing away a two goal lead last week the Lions raced to a 3-0 led in this one, with goals from Daniel Micevski, former Gulls midfielder Brodie Martin and Teeboy Kamara. Jason Mirco pulled one back, before Martin spoiled his return to the club, getting sent off with ten minutes remaining, but they held on for the win. “It was important that we bounced back after last week’s disappointment,” Martin said. "The boys were tremendous today and the most pleasing aspect was how we are able to see out the result,”
The home side were on the front foot early and Mirco’s curling shot after only three minutes crashed off the crossbar. But the Lions began to get into the game and were ahead on 24 minutes. Micevski found space on the left, before cutting in and firing into the top corner of the net giving Gulls keeper James Morgan no chance.
Things got worse for the home side eight minutes later when the Lions doubled their lead. Steve Purton’s diagonal ball sent Kamara racing down the right, his cut back picked out Martin whose shot on the edge of the penalty area flew past Morgan, and the midfielder muted his celebration against his former club.
Sorrento needed a good start to the second half to get back in the game but it was the Lions who increased their lead in the opening minute. Micevski, who had been a constant threat all game, raced past his marker on the left and whipped in a perfect cross to the back post and Kamara was on hand to score from close-range.
It looked all over but Sorrento pulled on back five minutes later. Mirco’s free kick was fumbled by Connor Campbell and over the line, and the home side had some hope. They pressed late and Sean Canham saw his effort crash off the bar, and then Lewis Hall saw his effort cleared off the line, but the Gulls couldn’t reduce the margin.
SHARLAND SIGNS OFF IN STYLE
Greg Sharland signed off from football in the state by scoring a late equaliser as Inglewood United earned a 1-1 draw against his former club Perth SC at Inglewood Stadium on Saturday. Andreas Theodosaides had given Perth the lead just after the break, but Sharland, who announced his retirement during the week, stepped up and fired home the late penalty. “There’s a lot of emotion after that,” he told the Football West website. “I would have loved to go out with a win today, but I wouldn’t have it any other way really. It was really special out there.”
Perth looked the brighter, with Ashley Rosindale a constant threat. The striker looked lively and he thought he had scored early, but a desperate block by Scott Blackmore denied him. Moments later he was thwarted again, by a good save from Aleks Vrteski. Inglewood settled and they almost hit the front in the shadows of half time, David Micevski racing clear on-on-one with Alex Dunn, but the Perth custodian stood tall to block his shot. Then in stoppage time Reece Vittiglia was given far too much space in the penalty area, but his shot was well saved by Vrteski at full stretch.
The visitors made a great start to the second half and were ahead in the first minute. Theodosaides won the ball in the middle of the park, and the former Dianells White Eagles midfielder raced unchallenged to the edge of the penalty area, before unleashing an unstoppable shot that flew past Vrteski. Perth, were well on top and substitute Carlo Coelho almost doubled their advantage on 73 minutes, but his shot hit the base of the post and away to safety.
Inglewood upped the tempo and Abdul Sesay raced clear, but Perth young defender Rocco Pizzata got back, with a last ditch tackle. But in the fourth minute of stoppage time the home side found the equaliser, Sesay fell under the challenge of Marco Santalucia, and referee Mathew Cheeseman pointed to the spot. Sharland kept his nerve to fire home the penalty to give his side a share of the spoils.
BAYSWATER SHOW THEIR CLASS AT ECU
Bayswater City continued their solid start to the new season, with a comfortable 3-1 win against ECU Joondalup at the ECU Sports Arena. The game was over as a contest in the first half with Hayden Doyle, Todd Howarth and David Heagney all on target. The home side were reduced to ten men late with Stuart Montgomery sent off, and their consolation goal came from Tommy Amphlett in stoppage time. “It was a solid performance from the boys today, we out played them in the 1st half and are playing some very good football at the moment,” striker Heagney said. “It could have been more but we let them back in the game after the break, but it’s always good to win your first game on the road.”
It was a perfect start for the visitors and they were ahead in the third minute. Howarth’s free kick beat keeper Jamie Serra and crashed off the crossbar and into the net. Things got worse for ECU and Bayswater doubled their lead on the quarter hour. Gustavo Giron-Marulanda played in Heagney, who held of his marker and finished clinically, curling the ball into the top corner of the net
Bayswater were going in for the kill, and Serra saved superbly to deny Heagney again moments later. But on 21 minutes they had the perfect opportunity to make it three when Heagney was brought down by Josh Tucker, and referee Adam Fielding pointed straight to the spot. Giron-Marulanda stepped up but saw his penalty superbly saved by Serra.
The home side pressed forward, and just before the break they had the chance to pull one back. Amphlett was presented the chance, after a poor clearance fell to him, but the former Perth Glory midfielder’s volley whistled the wrong side of the upright. Then to make matters worse, Bayswater went up the other end and added a third. Heagney’s ball in to the box was brought down by Marulanda and in the goalmouth scramble that ensued Doyle fired home.
Whatever ECU coach Dale McCulloch said at the break worked, as his side were better in the second half and pressed the tight Bayswater defence, but they couldn’t break down Andy Reale, Chris Saldaris and Jamie Coyne. Just as they were getting back into the game they were reduced to ten men when Montgomery received his second yellow card, and was sent off, only three minutes after coming on.
Bayswater looked to bolster their goal difference, but Serra stood tall to pull off a string of fine saves to keep them at bay, the best a superb fingertip save to deny Heagney. The home side second half performance was rewarded with a consolation goal in stoppage time. Amphlett’s shot from the edge of the penalty area, giving Devon Spence no chance.
BALCATTA EDGE A GALLANT SUBIACO
Balcatta made it two wins from two after a hard fought 2-1 win against Subiaco AFC at Grindleford Reserve. The home side raced to a 2-0 lead in the opening half hour, with goals to Patrick Quinn and Gustavo Catarcione. Ian McMurray pulled one back for the visitors with fifteen minutes remaining, and despite pressing late they couldn’t find the equaliser. “It was a scrappy game but we took our chances and I thought we deserved the win,” winger Alex Caniglia said. “We were ahead early and doubled the advantage, but we switched off and let them into the game, and we will have to work on that in games to come.”
Balcatta started the game the way they finished last week at Stirling, scoring in the second minute. A long ball over the top from Adam Tong found Quinn, who lobbed the on-coming Ryan Montgomery. It was almost two on 25 minutes; Shaz Ramlee’s long-range shot was tipped over the bar by Montgomery. But the home side did add to their total ten minutes later. Caniglia and James Sammut combined well down the left hand side and Caniglia whipped in a cross for Catarcione, whose first time shot flashed into the bottom corner of the net.
Subiaco began the second half well and started to get behind the Balcatta defence and they were rewarded on 75 minutes. Nathan Diaz’s cross from the right picked out Danny Milne, whose volley was saved by Clint Davies, but McMurray was quickest to react to fire home from four-yards. It was game on, but Subiaco couldn’t find break down a solid Balcatta defence, and they conceded a penalty late on when Kevin White brought down Kieran Colwell. Catarcione stepped up, but Subiaco keeper Montgomery guessed the right way to save.
NPL-WA ROUND TWO – PREVIEW
It’s week two of the PS4 NPLWA and the Match of the Round takes us to Dalmatinac Park, for a repeat of the Night Series Final when Cockburn City meet Floreat Athena. Floreat, who won that game on penalties, weren’t in action last week, while Cockburn thrashed Inglewood United 5-1. New Floreat defender Dennis Galan said they will be hoping to start the season with a win, but is expecting a tough game. “We know it's going to be another hard game for us. As you could tell from the night series, Cockburn are no easy team to play, and they will be up there this season as a team to contend for the title,” he said. “However, we will go out and keep doing what we have been practicing in training and in night series. It has worked for us so far, so don't think there is any need to change our style of play and hopefully start the season with the three points.” In team news new signing Dejan Aleksic will come straight into the side to face his former club, after regular keeper Fraser Greenwood broke his finger. Cockburn’s Irish midfielder Conor Kavanagh missed a number of games last season, but he is now injury free, and was a standout in the big win last week. “It was important we got a good result last week, as we were really disappointed in losing the Night Series Final,” he said. “It was just the result that was pleasing, but the manner which we won, we dominated from start to finish.” Kavanagh said Floreat will be a big challenge, but he hopes they can reverse the Night Series Final result. “It will be another great challenge for us, but were looking forward to having another crack at Floreat, and hopefully be on the right end of the result this time,” he explained. “We’re just looking to carry on the momentum from last week, and making it two from two to start the season.” In team news Devon Gibson picked up an injury last week, but should be available for selection.
Balcatta left it late last week, scoring three goals in the last nine minutes, and with ten men, to beat the Lions, and they entertain Subiaco AFC at Grindleford Reserve. Defender, come striker, Kieron Stallard said they were fortunate to win the game. “I said to the coach and the players after the game, how we win that, I’ll never know. We played shocking, but the turning point was Gustavo Catacione’s free kick,” he said. “We then had the momentum and the team character shone through to get the points.” This week they take on Subiaco, and Stallard said they are expecting a tough game. “Everybody wrote them off last season, and they are again this season. We played them in the Night Series and they were tough, fit and very hard working,” he explained. “I’m good mates with Ian McMurray and I know how hard he works and how good his attitude is, so that will be rubbing off on their younger player.” In team news, new signing Adrian Caceres is in doubt again with a calf injury. Subiaco’s new Scottish striker Danny Milne said they were disappointed not to take something from last week’s game at Bayswater. “We were left a little disappointed not taking something from the game, as although they had a lot of possession, we still created a number of good chances, and had we taken one of them a little earlier it could have been a different story,” he said. ‘We have a very young side, so to play one of the best teams in the league will give them confidence to kick on, as we have shown we can compete at that level.” The former Cove Rangers striker said Saturday’s game against Balcatta will again be a good test, but they are all looking forward too. “It will be another tough test, and we had a good game against them in pre-season. We will have to be patient and keep our shape,” he said. “We scored three goals against them in that game, so there is no reason why we can’t go there and give them a game, albeit they will be favourites.” In team news striker Rory Feely is expected to play, after missing last week with injury.
In other games this weekend Perth Glory open their season with a trip to Alfred Skeet and a meeting with Armadale. The young Glory side struggled last season but will have happy memories the last time they played at the venue, coming away with a 1-1 draw, but The Reds, under caretaker coach Peter Lord will be looking to kick start their season. Inglewood United started the season in disappointing circumstances, with a big home defeat last weekend, and Coach Michael Garcia will be looking for a big improvement when Perth SC visits the Intiga Stadium. Sorrento began the season with a big win at Armadale last week, and this week they entertain Stirling Lions at Percy Doyle Reserve. The Visitors throw away a two goal lead in the last nine minutes to lose against Balcatta last week, and they will be without Lawrence Shuruma who is suspended after the striker was sent off in last week’s game.
FFA CUP FOURTH ROUND PREVIEW
The FFA Cup fourth round takes place on Easter Monday and there are some intriguing ties taking place. The real ‘Davd v Goliath’ tie is in the South West, when PS4 NPL-WA Champions Bayswater City travels to Churchill Park, to take on South West side Bussleton Soccer Club. The home side beat Ballajura 4-1 on the road in the last round, and President Paul Coshott said the opportunity to play the best side in the state is a huge challenge, but it’s one they are looking forward too. “We are very excited to have drawn such a quality team as Bayswater, and to be able to play them in Busselton,” he said. “Our boys played extremely well last week in round three, and are now looking forward to Monday’s challenge.”
Coshott said the tie is one of the biggest games in the history of the club. “It is a massive game for our club, and it’s not only exciting for us, but for all soccer lovers in our region, as we don’t often get teams of this quality playing down here. He explained.” Bussleton striker Marty Ryan scored a hat trick against Ballajura and will have to be watched closely by the visitors, while Irish midfielder Dany Keogh has been in good form. At the back Mark McLaren is vital, along with keeper Adam Guthridge, has made a welcome return to the club this season.” Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne said they will show them respect and is taking a full squad for the game.
There are two all Premier League ties, with Floreat Athena entertaining Perth SC at E&D Litis Stadium, while there is a replay of last season’s Semi-Final, when Stirling Lions host ECU Joondalup at Macedonia Park. First Division Champions Shamrock Rovers will fancy their chances when they travel to Alfred Skeet Oval to meet NPL-WA side Armadale. Rovers Coach John O’Reilly said they have nothing to lose and will be looking to cause an upset. “We are excited by this draw,” he said. “They (Armadale) are in a transition period and there is a real opportunity for us to cause an upset. But saying that I’m sure they will be equally up for this encounter, so we will have to make sure we are focused.”
Rockingham City also travels to an NPL-WA side when they take on Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. City beat Maccabi 7-1 in the last round and Coach Rob Crerar said his players will enjoy the challenge. “It will be huge challenge for us, but one we are all looking forward too,” he said. “Taking on of the state’s top NPL clubs is a great opportunity for us, and for the players to go up against quality players, so we’ll go there and give it our best.”
In other ties involving NPL-WA clubs, Inglewood United entertains UWA Nedlands at Intiga Stadium, while Subiaco meet Kingsley SC at Rosalie Park, and Cockburn City entertains North Lake at Dalmatinac Park. Sunday Premier League Champions North Perth United make the trip to Percy Doyle Reserve to take on Sorrento. “They have had a good start to the season, which I’m sure they would like to continue in the FFA Cup,” North Perth United Coach Alex Carter said. “We know they will be a well organised team defensively, but we are under no illusions of their attacking strengths. “We are trying to settle on a balanced line up, which will take time with a lot of new faces, but I’m sure we will be competitive and I’m sure they won’t be underestimating us.” In other games, Joondalup United host Ashfield at Beldon Park, Gwelup Croatia and Cracovia SC meet at the Croatian Sporting Complex. Fremantle City take on Curtin University at Hilton Reserve, Joondalup City host Melville City at Illuka Sports Complex, Fremantle Croatia play BB United at Len Packham Reserve, Swan United and Mandurah City meet at the Swan Italian Club, while South West Phoenix make the trip to Kingsway Reserve to take on Wanneroo City
GLORY GUNNING FOR THE JETS
Perth Glory will put their off-field problems behind them on Monday, when they take on Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium in Week 24 of the Hyundai A-League (3pm) Kenny Lowe’s side sits in joint second place on the table and if results go their way this weekend, they could end up at the top of the table. Lowe said the drought breaking win against Western Sydney Wanderers means nothing if they fail to carry the winning momentum into the final four games of the season. He said the players were relieved to have finally taken three points, but warned his chargers it mattered little if his side slips up against the Jets. “Probably when you look back after 27 games, if we do anything, then I think there may be some context in it,” Lowe said. “But if you don’t do anything, there’s no context in it. It’s just another win.”
Josh Risdon’s late goal won the game against the Wanderers, after they had conceded an equaliser from Kerem Bulut. “It would have been so easy to roll over after drawing so many games as we have and not having as many wins as we wanted in the last 10,” Lowe said. “I’ve said it all along we’ve had a great year, but what we didn’t want to do was for it to peter out and maybe after a result like the Wanderers game, hopefully it won’t. We’re in the mix.” “We’ve had a fantastic season from where we were last year – an unbelievable year – and it’s a credit to those people in the changing room. Now we’ve got the opportunity to really kick on and get some momentum, starting on Monday.” Glory will regain youngsters Jamie Maclaren, Danny de Silva and Jack Duncan from Olyroos duty, but Lowe has hinted all three may me held back another week after their busy schedule. Ruben Zadkovich will be monitored this week, after missing the Wanderers clash with a knee injury, while Youssouf Hersi could make a surprise return after his hamstring injury.
The Jets have also had their problems off the pitch, but assistant Coach James Pascoe said that despite Glory being set to arrive in Newcastle under FFA investigation for alleged salary cap breaches, the Jets would continue to focus on their game and not worry about whether the ongoing investigation would act as a distraction or prove to be a motivating factor for their rivals. “I think our focus has to remain on ourselves, we can’t control anything that’s happening over there in Perth,” he said. “It would be nice if it did affect their performance, but we expect a fully professional [Perth] group to turn up, one that is still in with a fight of trying to gain the minor premiership, we’ll be prepared for a very good Perth team.”. The Jets will be without former Glory defender Scott Neville due to injury, but do welcome back Andrew Hoole form international duty. There is a doubt over Ben Kantarovski, but Pascoe said he is expected to be back involved with full team training on Saturday and Sunday and be available for selection.
BAYSWATER SNAP UP GLORY YOUNGSTER
Perth Glory Youth striker Borbor Sam has joined PS4 NPLWA Champions Bayswater City for 2015. The 20-year-old was a standout in the Glory Youth’s push for the Foxtel National Youth League title last season, and he is looking forward to working with City Coach Chris Coyne and the players they have at the club. “Bayswater to me is a perfect match in my eyes, you've got players who can hit the ball to you from anywhere, you've got play makers, you've got players with flair and players who can score,” he said. “I've only worked with Chris on a few occasions, and spoke to him a couple of times and he's an understanding guy and I’m starting to like him a lot as a coach, and a person. He reminds me of a coach I used to have when I was young, he name was frank Femia such a top guy one of the best coaches I’ve played under.”
The talented striker started playing football at Greyhounds which was in a Christian league, but when he 13 he moved Noranda Wolves, and was there for two years, under the tutelage of Femia, before moving onto the NTC, which was coached by Kenny Lowe and Gareth Naven, before moving to Perth Glory Youth.
Sam was left devastated on the final day of the NYL, when a last day defeat against Brisbane Roar lost the title for the Glory youngsters, but he said it was great to be a part of. “Honestly that was one of the best seasons I’ve ever had in my three years in the NYL and probably the best bunch of players too,” he explained. “We were top of the table for more than half of the season and we slacked off at the last four games so we can only take blame for that, but then again if you look at where we were last year it's a massive improvement.”
Sam enjoyed working with Glory youth Coach John Gibson, and he said the decision to leave the club was really difficult, but he thought it was time to Part Company. “He's a great coach and a great person, very understanding to the players, but was also a cranky lad most of the time, but that’s because he saw what each of us could do and only wanted the best from everyone,” he said. “The decision to leave was really hard, because I'm leaving great friends who are basically a second family to me.”
A lack of opportunity at the A-League club forced the youngster’s hand to leave, but he has no regrets. “I’ve been in that system for five years now, and I’ve seen so many people come in and out. I’ve played with players who are now professionals, but for me I can't stay in the youth side forever and opportunities seemed very limited at a senior level at the club,” he said. “At the end of the day only 2 or 3 players will get a contract the rest are just followers, and if you follow a group you only get as far as the group, I’m going out there and getting it myself, and joining Bayswater is the first step for me, that's how I see it.”
COSTELLO HEADS HOME FOR NPL-WA OPENER (courtesy Perth Glory)
Perth Glory opens their 2015 PS4 National Premier League WA season with an away trip to Alfred Skeet Oval to take on Armadale. It will be home game of sorts for Glory defender Nathan Costello, who came up through the ranks of the Eastern suburbs club.
The 20-year-old, who was outstanding in the Glory defence in their push for a Foxtel National Youth League title, said it will be strange playing against the Reds. “It won’t feel like an away game for me, as I’ve been at the club for the last nine years, and only live ten minutes away from the ground. So I’m looking forward to the game against a club I still have a lot of passion for,” Costello explained.
“I still have a lot of good mates at the club, so it will be interesting being on the other side, but of course we will be looking to get three points on the board in the first game of the season.”
Costello said his time at Alfred Skeet Oval was real important in his football development. He started his football at Kelmscott, but moved to the Armadale Academy and played through the juniors, to eventually play Under 18’s, reserves and then first team. “I loved my time at Armadale, and got two and half years of games under my belt in the state league and NPL, so for that I’m grateful,” he said. But on Saturday once I cross that white line I’ll be doing all I can to get the points and get our season started with a win.”
Glory head Coach John Gibson has a good squad going into the season, and Costello said the mix looks right. “The squad is looking good, and there are quite a few changes from the NPL last year, so I think other clubs will have to be more cautious with us,” he said. “We’re are hungry to get back into it and win games after the way the NYL finished for us, and the last time the lads played at Armadale they won, so we will be looking for a repeat.”
It’s been a hectic week at Armadale, with Coach Lee Bamber leaving the club. The former Perth Glory goalkeeping coach gave Costello his first team debut, and the defender said it was a surprise him leaving. “It’s a shame that he left, but football is ever changing and I’m sure he will still remain in the game,” he said. “Lee gave me my debut for the club in the senior side and he was real loyal to me in the three seasons, so I’m grateful for him having persisted with me at such a young age.”
MILNE HOPES TO LIFT SUBIACO
New Subiaco AFC striker Danny Milne is hoping to lift the club in 2015. The 29-year-old, who moved to WA two years ago, has settled well in at the club and Perth, “I came over to Perth a couple of years, and settled in nicely now, and I’m about 18 months into a 457 visa,” he said. “It’s a lovely place, especially the weather, as we don’t get too much sun in Scotland.”
Subiaco kicked off their season with a 1-3 loss at Bayswater City last week, but Milne believes they will improve and he believes the young group can match it with all the sides in league. “We have a lot of young boys who have stepped up and competed with experienced, good players in recent weeks, and we have a bit to go yet,” he explained. “All the boys put in 100% each game, and I'm sure we will reap the rewards of that soon. We pushed the League Champions last week and if we had taken our early chances it could have been a different outcome.”
Milne played for Peterhead as a youngster in the Scottish third division, before moving onto the highland league with Inverurie locos and Cove Rangers. He was lucky enough to always play for teams challenging for league titles and cup success, and had some good memories. “The highlights would probably be winning the league in my final season with Cove and a couple of good Scottish cup runs eventually being narrowly beaten by Motherwell and Partick Thistle, and in that game I scored a late goal, but we couldn’t find the equaliser and went down 2-1,” Milne said.
After playing for Wanneroo City and Stirling Lions, he had to head back to the UK, so when the chance came up to join the NPL-Wa side he jumped at the chance. “I had been back and forth to the UK in my early days in Perth, in between playing games for Wanneroo and Stirling, and when a couple of boys I played with headed to Subiaco I was introduced to Gerry (McEwan) through them and the rest is history,” Milne said. “The heat is a massive challenge for me, but I seem to be getting used to it and ensuring that I am fully hydrated helps a lot.” Subiaco travels to Balcatta on Saturday, in week two of the PS4 NPL-WA.
EVANS READY FOR DIVISION ONE CAMPAIGN
Joondalup United began their first ever season in the Football West First Division next weekend, when they take on pre-season favourites Ashfield at Beldon Park. New coach John Evans believes that a good preseason has his side well prepared for season. Having come through Division Two unbeaten last season, Evans knows that WA’s second tier will be a much more difficult challenge as they go head-to-head with clubs harbouring ambitions of promotion to the PS4 National Premier League WA. “It’s a massive step for the club, and it’s a massive step for the group,” he said. “We’ve got to go out there week in, week out working hard as a group and get the most we can out of every game.”
On Monday, United also take on Paul Dundo’s Ashfield side in the fourth round of the FFA Cup, after a solid win in the last round against Olympic Heat. Callum Stocks scored a hat-trick to help the side to the big win, and despite the one sided scoreboard, Evans was impressed with what he saw from the Heat. “It was good against Olympic Heat, that side showed a lot of character,” he said. “Whether it was 1-0 or 7-0 they got on with their task, they didn’t argue with each other, and showed our boys that no matter what the score is if we play as a group and work hard, that’s what counts in the end.”
Evans believes that the team has had a good build up to the State League season, and benefited massively from playing in the Night Series, and they were they were eventually beaten in the Semi-Final. “Competitive games is the best way forward, it’s good what Football West have done this year making the Night Series a Division One and Division Two competition,” he said. “We won all five of our games in the group stages, scoring 23 goals in the process, but came unstuck in the semi-finals against Dianella White Eagles. “The boys realised that evening that we’ve made a big step up, and we’ve had a good response.”
There have been plenty of new faces at the club this year, with a number joining from local rivals Quinns FC, making the fight for places a very competitive one. “Our preparation has been good, we’ve had plenty of numbers in preseason,” Evans said. “We used 22 players through the Night Series so we had a good look at everyone, everyone’s had a fair chance, and winning the five games in the group was an achievement. The squad is made up of 16, so six players have gone down to the reserve team, but have stayed at the club, which is a good sign. They’re all fighting for positions and any injuries, suspensions; I can call on those six and even the whole reserve squad.” The season kicks off on Saturday, April 12 when Joondalup United play host to Ashfield Soccer Club at Beldon Park.
BAMBER LEAVES THE REDS
Armadale Soccer Club has parted company with head coach Lee Bamber effectively immediately. The Reds haven’t started the season well, losing all their games in the Night Series, and they were well beaten at home to Sorrento in the opening game of the PS4 National Premier League.
The club released the following statement and wished Bamber all the best in his future endeavours. “The Armadale Soccer Club would like to advise that head coach Lee Bamber made the decision to step down from his role with the club on Saturday, 28 March 2015. His decision to step down was an amicable one, with Lee advising that he felt the time was right for him to step aside, focus on his business and family, and enable the club to take a new fresh approach to the head coaching position.
On behalf of the club, committee and its members, we would like to express our gratitude to Lee for the hard work and dedication that he has put into our club in his role of head coach during the last 3 seasons, including our inaugural season 2014 in the National Premier League WA. The club has made significant progress in that time in terms of our professional approach and attitude both on and off the pitch, and Lee has been instrumental to many of these changes in particular with regards to the playing and coaching staff. Off the park, the club has invested heavily in key infrastructure including new floodlights, car park, seating and change rooms.”
The club has moved quickly to make interim appointments from within the current coaching team. Peter Lord (current under 20s coach and previous State League winner with Perth Soccer Club) steps up into a caretaker role for the first team assisted by Kevin Brophy, whilst Warren Smith takes control of his under 20s again as in season 2014. There are no changes for the under 18s which continue to be coached by Jon Manganaro and Chris Finlayson. The committee of Armadale Soccer Club look forward to working with this new coaching team and are confident that members and supporters will get behind the club as always starting with this weekend’s double header at Alfred Skeet Reserve with Perth Glory in Round 2 of the PS4 NPLWA on Saturday, followed by Shamrock Rovers in Round 4 of the FFA Cup on Easter Monday.
FFA CUP THIRD ROUND REVIEW
Mandurah City moved into the Fourth round of the FFA Cup after a 6-0 win against fellow Division One side Gosnells City at the Hyundai Stadium on Saturday. “We’re extremely pleased with the application of the whole squad,” he said. “We knew it would be tough and the result is a little unfair on Gosnells, but the lads took every chance.” The home side dominated and Luke Johnston fired over from close range early. But it wasn’t long before they hit the front; a quality ball from Jordan Rhodes found the overlapping Mark McGlaughlin, who finished clinically. It was 2-0 before the break, Johnstone finishing off after a great team move. After the break they added four more, O’Brien shot on the turn on 53 minutes made it 3-0, before Rhodes added the fourth from the spot. O’Brien added his second, before youngsters Michael Fleming and Dylan Risk combined for Abe Tucoma for the sixth.
Curtin University ended Port Kennedy cup run, running out 4-1 winners. Jon Krawec, Nathan Smith and Khaled Salhah as well as an own goal, were enough to get the job done for the home side against a gallant Port Kennedy side. Wanneroo City new coach Matt Debarro won his first match in charge, after a 5-4 penalty shootout win against Ellenbrook United. The Roos were down to ten men after 30 minutes, when Lyon Varney was sent off. Ellenbrook scorers were Nathan Hibbert and an own goal, while John Monterosso and Joey Woodin for the Roos. David McNally was the hero converting the winning penalty. “It was a great performance to dominate majority of the game with 10 men we still had control and was a very good performance for only 3 training sessions,” Debarro said. “Things are coming together nicely and the future is looking bright for the team and the club, a special thanks to the people who came down and supported us today.”
In other results on Saturday Ashfield beat Hamersley Rovers 4-0, with goals from Liam Merigan 2, Sean Byrne and great solo goal from Alex Stamatiadis. Joondalup United beat Olympic Heat 9-0, Callum Stocks scoring five, Josh Whitmore and Lee Jones 2 and an own goal. Sunday amateur side Gwelup Croatia caused the biggest upset on Saturday, thrashing Kelmscott Roos 11-1. Former Perth Glory midfielder Steven McGarry scored four, Mwansa Musonda a hat-trick, John Cafferkey a brace and singles to Jordan Constanza and Benny Kovadio. Swan United beat Kingsway Olympic 2-1. Former Swan midfielder Andy O’Neill scored for Olympic, while Callum Burton and Anthony Papalia were on target for Swan. Melville City beat Twin City 7-1, Christian Long scoring a hat-trick, with Mark Lucas, Simon El Chami, Barry Richards and Sasa Slavujevic on target. Josh Harvey, Lee Stewart, Ryan Francis and Ryan Risdon scored in South West Phoenix’s 4-0 win against Bunbury Dynamos. Other results Kingsley beat Balga 2-1, UWA-Nedland overcame Eaton Dardanup 5-0, while North Lake beat Chapman Athletic 5-0. In Sunday’s games North Perth United beat East Fremantle Tricolore 4-1, with Ray Maloney scoring a brace. Goals from David Johnstone, Branimir Mikulic , Adam Kostrencic and Hussein Naser gave Freemantle Croatia a 4-1 win against Jaguar FC, while Fremantle City beat beat Kwinana United 2-1, with Nicky O’Brien scoring both. In other games Rockingham City beat Whitfords City 10-1, BB United beat Backpackers FC 3-1, while Cracovia FC beat Emerald FC 5-4 0n penalties, after the game ended 2-2 at normal time. Other results are not available at this time.
BAYSWATER OPEN TITLE DEFENCE WITH A WIN
Bayswater City started their title defence with a 3-1 win against Subiaco AFC at Frank Drago Reserve. The home side were leading 3-0, with first half goals to new signing Hayden Doyle, Damian Catalano, and a second half header from Chris Saldaris, but they gifted Subiaco a goal just after the hour, with Matt Akehurst scoring, and Coach Chris Coyne said they were sloppy at the back, and he said they have to improve. “We got sloppy in the second half, tired legs, tired minds, I will watch the tape and we’ll go from there, but we need to do better,” he said. “The pitch is spongy and we tried near the end, and we made some poor decisions, and if they had scored again it would have been a close finish, so a good result but a disappointing performance” he said. “
Both sides had early chances, Subiaco striker Jackson Darnell was thwarted early by Devon Spence after only three minutes, before Saldaris and Jamie Coyne both hit the woodwork for Bayswater. But on ten minutes the home side made the break through, Doyle racing clear from Paul McCarthy’s through ball, and the former Stirling Lions midfielder fired low past Ryan Montgomery.
The home side continued to press and Saldaris headed over five minutes later, before Montgomery saved well to deny Sam Mitchinson. Bayswater’s dominance was rewarded in first half stoppage time with a second. Doyle burst down the right and pulled the ball back to Catalano who fired home from the edge of the penalty area.
Bayswater opened the second half well and made it 3-0 ten minutes into the second half, Saldaris rising high at the back post to head home David Heagney’s corner. After conceding Subiaco changed their formation and they were back in the game on 66 minutes. Danny Miller and Josh Booysen combined to feed Akehurst who fired low past Spence.
Subiaco were now in the game and holes began to appear at the back for Bayswater, and Spence was called into action on a number of occasions, and James Oliver headed over when unmarked in the box. Bayswater continued to look dangerous on the attack and they hit the woodwork again on 80 minutes, Doyle was on the end of a superb team move, but his shot on the run crashed off the post.
VITTIGLIA HEADS PERTH HOME
Perth Soccer Club opened their season with a hard fought 1-0 win against ECU Joondalup at Dorien Gardens. A Reece Vittiglia’s header midway through the second half won it for Taki Nicolaidis’ side but the game could have gone either way. Perth skipper Ashley Rosindale said they deserved the victory against a good ECU outfit “I was very pleased to get the points, and I felt that we had plenty of possession and control of the game,” he said. “ECU did very well defensively, but we kept our shape well, and it’s always nice to win the opening game of the season, so I’m delighted.”
The home side had plenty of possession early, Carlo Coelho forced ECU goalkeeper Jamie Serra into a good save, before Vittiglia headed wide from Calum O’Connell’s cross. The visitors went close moments later, Danny Dixon picked out new signing Josh Tucker, but his long-range shot flew inches past the post. Then on the half hour ECU had the ball in the net, Scott Bushby made space on the edge of the penalty area, his shot was saved by Alex Dunn, and the rebound fell to Dixon who fired home, but the flag was up for offside. It was a tight affair but Perth went in level at half time.
After the break the lively Tommy Amphlett then found himself through on goal on the hour mark, but could not hit the target. Perth responded by having their best spell of the second half, Rosindale and Vittiglia both forced Serra into fine saves from long range, before the pair combined on 67 minutes for the decisive goal. Rosindale cross found Vittiglia at the back post and the former Sorrento striker headed home past Serra. ECU pressed late but they couldn’t find the equaliser and it was Perth who began the season with the victory.
BALCATTA STUNS LIONS WITH LATE BURST
Balcatta produced a stunning fight back in the final nine minutes of the game to beat a ten man Stirling Lions 3-2 in the local derby at Macedonia Park. The home side were cruising at 2-0, with goals to Daniel Micevski and Robert Petkov, but Gustavo Catarcione pulled one back, and the home side had former Balcatta striker Lawrence Shuruma sent off for a second yellow card. Then two goals in the final two minutes from Kieron Colwell and David Cyrus won it for Balcatta. “We showed great character it's always a big game in the derby,” Tong said. “We found our backs to the wall and the gaffer sent me and Kieron up front and it worked, I don't think we will ever do that in any other games in our careers.”
The first half was a tight affair with chances few and far between, but the second half was a classic. The Lions hit the front on the hour, Teeboy Kamara made space down the flank, and crossed into the penalty area, where Micevski held off his marker and firing low past Clint Davies from eight-yards. They doubled their advantage eight minutes later, Tim Hill finding Shuruma, who played in Petkov and he finished with aplomb.
It looked game over, but Balcatta Coach Ramon Falzon moved skipper Adam Tong and Kieran Stallard up front and they pulled a goal back on 81 minutes, substitute Catarcione curling home a free kick from the edge of the penalty area. The Lions were then reduced to ten men and Balcatta equalised two minutes from time, Stallard played in Colwell who buried his shot low past Connor Campbell.
Then sixty seconds later Balcatta won it. Lions were caught in possession straight from the kick off, and Cyrus surged forward and fed substitute Luke Randazzo on the wing. Cyrus continued his run, and when Randazzo cut the ball back the defender burst into the box, and finished low past Campbell at the second attempt, much to the delight of the travelling supporters.
GULLS FLY HOME WITH THE POINTS
Sorrento began their new season with a 4-0 win on the road against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval. The Gulls led at the break with a goal from Niccolo Sabatini, before English striker Sean Canham, Todd Harnwell and Jack Salter gave them a comprehensive victory. “We played well and created some good clear opportunities in the first half, unfortunately couldn't put them away and only went into the break 1-0 up,” Sorrento defender Danny Cain said. “They lifted after the break and they came out strong for the first 15 minutes of the second half, but once we got our second goal we were able to settle and control the game. “
The two teams had met recently in the Night Series, the Gulls coming out on top and they hit the front in this one on seven minutes. Sabatini raced forward, and wasn’t closed down and long-range shot flew past Luke Radonich. The Armadale custodian was in for a busy afternoon, as the Gulls pressed for a second, but at the break the Gulls led.
Armadale began the second half well and had Sorrento on the back foot. They went close to the equaliser when striker Raveshlan Kuppusamy’s shot from the edge of the box was saved low by James Morgan, at the second attempt. Moments later the home supporters thought they had levelled when Darren Francis’ header looked destined for the net, but new signing Brad McDonald cleared superbly off the line.
The home fans were right behind their side and substitute Thomas Covell then tried his luck, but his shot flashed inches past the post. But against the run of play Sorrento made it 2-0 on 73 minutes. Canham was brought down in the area by Mitch Castrilli and referee Shuo Chen pointed to the penalty spot, and Canham picked himself up to score from the spot. The Gulls went in for the kill and four minutes later they added a third. Harnwell wasn’t picked up at the back post and he scored low past Radonich.
With Armadale pushing men forward Sorrento began to open them up, and Radonich saved well on two occasions to deny them. But there was little he could do in the third minutes of stoppage time when Sorrento added a fourth. Canham was given far too much time on the flank and his deep cross picked out Salter at the back post, and the former Stirling Lions striker headed home.
COCKBURN THRASH INGLEWOOD IN OPENER
Cockburn City continued their good pre-season form after thrashing Inglewood United at Intiga Stadium on Saturday evening. Irish import Rory Patterson scored four goals on his league debut for the club, while midfielder Conor Kavanagh added the fifth. Inglewood’s consolation came from John Thornley in stoppage time. “We scored some good goals today and we were well on top, but we were disappointed not to clean sheet, but obviously the three points is what matters most,” Patterson said
The visitors were ahead after only 11 minutes, Friday Zico found Kavanagh who crossed to the back post and Paterson headed past Aleks Vrteski. Then three minutes later the visitors doubled their lead, Kavanagh sending Patterson clear and he lobbed the on-coming Vrteski to give them a two goal buffer at the break.
Cockburn continued their domination after the break and added a third on the hour. Former Perth Glory midfielder Harry O’Brien ran at the Inglewood defence and slipped the ball through to Patterson who went one-on-one with Vrteski, and finished clinically for his hat-trick. Kavanagh got in on the act five minutes later, racing clear after a clever back heel from Patterson, and he fired home from six-yards.
They weren’t finished yet and with 15 minutes remaining they added a fifth. O’Brien again was the provider, his run and pass found Patterson again one-on-one with Vrteski, and the outcome was the same. Inglewood’s consolation came in stoppage time, Thornley header crashed off the bar and the ball rebounded into the net of Cockburn keeper Curtis Aspden.
MACLAREN'S TRIPLE TREAT FOR OLYROOS
Perth Glory striker Jamie Maclaren bagged a hat-trick as the Olyroos began their road to the Rio Olympics with a comprehensive 6-0 win against Hong Kong in their opening AFC U-23 Championship qualifier on Friday night. Going into the game there were concerns of injuries to a number of Aurelio Vidmar’s squad, but they totally dominated a spirited Hong Kong with Melbourne Victory midfielder Connor Pain scoring a brace, while German-based Mustafa Amini was the other goal scorer.
Glory custodian Jack Duncan began between the sticks, while Danny De Silva was on the bench, but WA-born Adam Taggart was not risked as he seeks to return from injury. The Olyroos were ahead after only 13 minutes, Amini’s stunning long-range shot gave the Hong Kong keeper no chance. Jackson Irvine almost made it 2-0 moments later, but the Ross County midfielder’s shot was well saved.
But on 20 minutes the Olyroos did double their advantage, a solo run from Pain ended with the Victory star firing home. The hosts began to get back into the game but didn’t test Glory custodian Duncan, and at the break the Olyroos led 2-0.
WA-Born Ryan Williams was replaced early in the second half by Steven Ugarkovic, while De Silva and Jaushua Sotirio also made appearances off the bench. But it was Maclaren, who shone in the second half. He added his first and Olyroos third, before Pain added his second to make it 4-0.
The Glory striker added his second and the fifth for his side, but he kept the best till last. In stoppage time the Glory sharpshooter juggling effort in the box was finished with aplomb, to complete his hat-trick,
The Olyroos will next take on tournament hosts Chinese Taipei on Sunday before their final match against Myanmar on 31 March. The AFC U-23 Championship, which will be played in Qatar in 2016, doubles as the qualification tournament for the 2016 Olympic Games, with the top three ranked teams stamping their ticket for Brazil. To progress to the AFC U-23 Championship the Olyroos need to top their Group F or be one of the best five second place teams.
Olyroos starting Line-up: GK Duncan, Geria, Donachie, Irvine, Smith, Brillante (De Silva), Edwards, Amini, Williams (Ugarkovic), Pain (Sotirio), Maclaren
NPL-WA ROUND ONE – PREVIEW
The 2015 PS4 National Premier League WA bursts into action this weekend, and this season its first past the post who takes out the title. The match of the round is the local derby between Stirling Lions and Balcatta at Macedonia Park. The pair drew in the Night Series and this should be another tight encounter. Lions’ midfielder Tim Hill said it’s always a tough game in the local derby. “The game in the Night Series was a really tough game, but we know it would be as it was a derby,” he said. “They have picked up some good players but we prefer to focus on ourselves more than the opposition.”
The Lions lost a number of players in the off-season but Hill send the new lads have fitted in really well. “I thought the Night Series went quite well for us, considering the huge amount of players we've had leave us and all the new players we've had join as its progressed,” he explained. “We also picked up some good wins and only just missed out in the semi-finals, which was really good considering we had been written off by a lot of people.” The Lions have a full squad to choose from and will only be missing Michael Pugliese and Kryon Nunes through injury.
Balcatta had a good night series and have a good record at the venue, and midfielder Alex Caniglia said they hope to continue that on Saturday. “Stirling proved to be a difficult opponent in the night series so all that we can do is learn from that game,” he said. “The night series highlighted a lot of positives for our team as well as a few things that need to be worked on. It was unfortunate that we were knocked out during the group stage since we were leading the group for most of it but it allowed us to get to know the new players and how they will fit into the team and how we can use their strengths to help us win games, and we will be looking for all three points on Saturday.” In team news Adrian Caceres is carrying an injury and has been monitored all week, but apart from that Balcatta have a full squad to choose from.
Perth SC was edged out of the title last season and they began the 2015 campaign against ECU Joondalup at Dorrien Gardens. Perth skipper Clark Keltie, who misses Saturday’s game due to suspension, said they are expecting a tough game against Joondalup. “Having already had a look at Joondalup in the group stages I think it will be a good test on the opening day for us,” he said. “But it’s always important to open the season with a win and the boys have to be confident of getting the points regardless of who we play.” The former Darlington midfielder said they were disappointed not to have advanced further in the pre-season competition, but said there were some good signs. “I thought we could have and should have done better, but I was impressed with the amount of goals we scored, something we’ve improved on from last season,” Keltie explained. “We hope to continue that on Saturday and start the season on a high.” The home side will also be without Luka Njegich, who was injured in the Night Series, and he will be out for the season. We all wish him well on a speedy recovery.
ECU Joondalup skipper Jon Higgins, who missed part of the pre-season to get married, said the intensity at training has lifted this season. “I’m not sure if it’s me getting slower, but the training has been hectic since I returned,” he said. “The pace and intensity is the best I’ve seen at the club since I started, which bodes well for the season.” The midfielder believes Perth will be there or there about come the end of the season, so Saturday will be a good first up test. “They (Perth) have signed some quality players, so it always good to have a tough game first up and see where we are at,” he said. “We played them in the Night Series and it was a close game so we know what to expect. Then looking forward we’ve got Bayswater next week, so I’m sure all the questions should have been answered by then.”
In other games on Saturday, Bayswater City begins their defence of the title when they take on Subiaco AFC at Frank Drago Reserve. Chris Coyne’s side stuttered through the Night Series, but they go into this one as strong favourites, although Subiaco will have other ideas. Sorrento makes the trip to Alfred Skeet Oval to meet Armadale. Both sides struggled in the Night Series, and both will hope to get off to a good start, while new Inglewood United Coach Michael Garcia opens his tenure at the club with a home game against Cockburn City at Intiga Stadium. The final game of the round, between Perth Glory and Floreat Athena, has been re-scheduled for Anzac Day.
INTO THE LOOKING GLASS: THE NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON-WA PREVIEW
The NPL-WA season kicks off this weekend in what should be another exciting year. Reigning State champions Bayswater City are looking to make it three titles in a row, and are widely expected to led the race for top honours alongside Perth SC, however, it would take a brave person to write off Cockburn City and Floreat Athena. The battle at the other end of the table is likely to be just as tight, and with relegation back on the agenda, the likes of Subiaco AFC, Armadale and Perth Glory will be doing their best to avoid the dreaded drop..
The team which finishes top of the regular season table will represent West Australia in the national NPL play-off series, and for the first time since 2008 will also be champions, with the finals series being axed. This week the footballwa.net team takes a look at the twelve clubs, and are joined by Richard Kreider, author of the spendliferous ‘Paddocks to Pitches’, and Eamon Duffy, host of "Let's talk Football", in offering their thoughts on how season 2015 will pan out...
FFA CUP THIRD ROUND – PREVIEW
The FFA Cup reaches the metropolitan area, and this weekend there will be 21 third round ties. The pick of Saturday’s game pits Division one sides Gosnells City and Mandurah City at the Hyundai Stadium. The pair met in the recent State League Night Series, with Mandurah running out winners and Gosnells coach Rob Eldridge will be looking to reserve that result on Saturday. “Mandurah are an extremely good footballing side but our youthful team are excited by the prospect of taking them on again on Saturday,” he said. “The lads have been training the house down and we played some great football against Wanneroo in a pleasing 2 nil victory last weekend. Everybody knows anything can happen in cup games and we know our army of Gosnells fans will be there to support the lads.”
Mandurah will travel north in a confident mood, but Coach Doug Hesketh knows cup games can go either way. “The FFA Cup is a great concept and we are hoping to progress in the competition, but we know it will be a tough game” he said. “The lads are keen to prove themselves and this cup game will give us the chance to mix a few of our younger squad members in the squad, so they Cn experience the occasion in the first team.” Jon Brooks will miss the game, while there are three players carrying niggling injuries and they may not be risked.
The Cup is all about upsets, and Port Kennedy will looking to cause on when they travel to Edinburgh Oval to take on Curtin University. Port coach Kris Donnell said they will be looking for the win. “It’s a game we have all been looking forward too, and we have prepared ourselves very well,” he said. “It’s always good to go up against a Saturday side to test ourselves, and we believe we can cause an upset if we do as planned. We won’t be sitting back put it that way.” New signings Chris Hanson, Simon Kelly, Gary Lunt and former Cockburn City striker Oscar Thompson, have settled in well and will give the visitors a boost in the game. Curtin coach Campbell Ballantyne said it should be a great day. “We’re really looking forward to the tie and the occasion,” he said. “We had some great battles with them in 2013 and they have a great travelling support. They won promotion last year so have clearly strengthened. We will have to be at our best.” Carlo Chiellini is doubt for the clash after suffering concussion last Friday. Other games on Saturday are: Ellenbrook United - Wanneroo City, Ashfield - Hamersley Rovers, Joondalup United - Olympic Heat, Kelmscott Roos - Gwelup Croatia, Kingsway Olympic - Swan United, Melville City - Twin City, South West Phoenix - Bunbury Dynamos, Balga – Kingsley, UWA-Nedlands FC - Eaton Dardanup.
On Sunday the pick of the games sees Shamrock Rovers making the trip to Tompkins Park where Perth Saints will be waiting. Saints coach Ben Fitzpatrick believes the national competition is great for the social football clubs. “The FFA Cup is a great addition to the national football calendar and we are delighted to take part and represent social football. To be honest I think we have drawn the toughest team possible at this stage of the Cup, in last season’s State League Division One Champions, but I am sure that they won’t enjoy coming to take us on,” he said. “They will undoubtedly be the favourites and will be expecting to rack up an easy win, but we have a very skilled side that wouldn’t look out of place in much higher levels of football in WA, so we hope to play our part in an entertaining game for those coming to watch. It’s a classic David & Goliath battle and who knows what can happen in the Cup. New signings Steven Green will play a huge role in the game along with last season’s golden boot winner Stuart Harris, while keeper Sam Collins will no doubt have his work cut out. Rovers’ coach John O’Reilly said they have nothing to lose and they will have to be at their best. “We are looking forward to the game and ready for a tough challenge,” he said. “It’s great to see the lower league teams in the competition, and it makes it exciting in the early rounds as the social and amateur teams looking to cause an upset.” “We will threat this game as per normal and the players are up for the challenge.” – In team news Dave Murphy is out injured, but they do retain the services of Dan Corbett.
The other games on Sunday are: Chapman Athletic - North Lake, BB United - Backpackers FC, Emerald – Cracovia, Kwinana United - Fremantle City, Ballajura – Busselton, Fremantle Croatia – Jaguar, Maccabi - Rockingham City, Whitford City - Joondalup City, North Perth United - East Fremantle Tricolore
GLORY SKIPPER UNDER AN INJURY CLOUD
Perth Glory will need to end their nine games without a win, sooner rather than later, if they want to reclaim top spot in the A-League, but of more immediate concern is the fitness of skipper Michael Thwaite. The big defender left the training track early on Wednesday, after feeling tightness in his leg.
Glory officials were optimistic Thwaite will be fit to play in Saturday night's crunch clash with Western Sydney Wanderers at nib Stadium, but the 31-year-old will have to pass a fitness test later in the week before he is given the green light. "To see him go off is a bit concerning," defender Scott Jamieson said. "But I had a quick chat and he said it's just tightness. A massage or two before Saturday, and he'll be fine."
The form of Kenny Lowe’s side is worrying, and they were flying high and were seven points clear in first spot in January but, with a nine-match winless run, they have slumped to fourth. Keeper Danny Vukovic returns for the Wanderers clash and he said they are desperate to reclaim top spot. “At the start of the season, we said top four was our goal, but you reassess as the season goes. We still want top spot," Vukovic said. "We had a wonderful season up until we stopped winning games, but we're still in amongst it. Confidence is obviously a little bit down. When you haven't won for so long, it happens. But that can change in one game."
Vukovic missed his first game of the season in last week's 1-1 draw with Central Coast due to a hip injury, but the veteran goalkeeper declared himself fit to return against the Wanderers. Olyroos keeper Jack Duncan performed well in Vukovic's absence last week, but a stoppage-time thunderbolt from Mariners midfielder Nick Montgomery changed all that. "Even if me and Jack were in the goal together, I don't think we could have saved it," Vukovic said. "It was a wonderful strike and worthy to draw the game for them."
The Glory will enter Saturday's match without young gun Danny De Silva, Duncan and striker Jamie Maclaren, with the trio called up for Olyroos duties. Rostyn Griffiths should be available after a slight injury last week, while Mitch Nichols will be monitored during the week after coming off injured against the Mariners.
But the Wanderers have even more personnel issues, with a host of players unavailable or in doubt, and Tomi Juric is with the Socceroos. Matthew Spiranovic (hamstring), Brendon Santalab (shoulder), Shannon Cole (collarbone), Brendan Hamill (quad), Mark Bridge (groin), Mateo Poljak (calf) and Nick Ward (knee) are all injured, and added to the Wanderers' woes is their hectic schedule, with the team to fly to Perth after Wednesday night's clash with Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium. "We're hoping they come over a little bit tired and depleted," Vukovic said. "It's a good opportunity to play them. They've got a lot of first-teamers out. So really it's a game we should be dominating."
SOCCEROOS STUN THE GERMANS
Australia has built on their historic Asian Cup triumph by holding world champions Germany to a thrilling 2-2 draw in an international friendly in Kaiserslautern. Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus had opened the scoring early for the hosts, before James Troisi levelled before half time, and skipper Mile Jedinak put the Socceroos ahead with a stunning free kick just after break. But substitute Lukas Podolski struck against a tiring Australian defence in the 81st minute to spare the home side's blushes at a packed Walter Fritz Stadium.
Already missing first team regulars Tim Cahill and Matthew Spiranovic, Ange Postecoglou was also missing Massimo Luongo (groin) and Trent Sainsbury (knee). The coach handed a surprise international debut to 25-year-old Brisbane Roar defender Luke DeVere, who partnered Alex Wilkinson in central defence, while Matt McKay was preferred to Tommy Oar in midfield.
The Socceroos looked sharp early, and could have been two in front had they been sharper in front of goal, with Mathew Leckie and Nathan Burns causing Joachim Loew's side plenty of headaches. Leckie, who plays for German Bundesliga Division Two side FCIngolstadt 04, was causing problems with his pace to Germany's back three, and with Matt McKay and Mark Milligan pulling the strings in midfield, Australia had the best early chances and should have scored first.
Leckie wasted a great one-on-one opportunity in the ninth minute before Burns missed a free header from a superb McKay cross five minutes later. The hosts, who were tinkering with a new formation, looked vulnerable in the defence, but the Socceroos were equally shaky at times, and Germany hit the front on 17 minutes. Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira glided through a gap and found Reus, who finished with a glancing shot that gave Mat Ryan no chance.
The goal didn't force the Socceroos into a shell, with Jedinak forcing a great save out of Ron-Robert Zieler with a speculative long-range effort. But the Socceroos excellent first half performance was rewarded with the equaliser five minutes before the break. Burns made space down the left and his cross picked out Troisi who headed home past Zieler from eight-yards.
The game continued in end-to-end fashion after the break and the Socceroos took a surprise lead through their skipper Jedinak. Troisi was fouled on the edge of the penalty box and the Crystal Palace midfielder, brilliantly curled his free kick past Zieler at his near post. Germany started to mount heavy pressure on the Australian goal, and Ryan forced into several great saves to deny them and Alex Wilkinson producing some brilliant scrambling defence.
Tommy Oar, Aaron Mooy, Bailey Wright, Oliver Bozanic and Tomi Juric all came off the bench, but the home side were dictating terms and with nine minutes remaining and the Socceroos tiring, the German side levelled. Substitutes Andrew Schurrle and Podolski combined for the equaliser, but the Socceroos hung on for a well-deserved draw.
JAMIESON 150 NOT OUT IN A-LEAGUE
This weekend, Perth Glory FC defender Scott Jamieson, will play his 150th A-League match against the Asian Champions, Western Sydney Wanderers at nib Stadium. The 26-year-old, who joined from Sydney FC in 2012, said the time has flown by. “It’s amazing how time flies isn’t it” he said. “I still remember playing my first match for Adelaide, so to have played such a number of games at a relatively young age, yeah I guess I do pinch myself.”
Jamieson was signed by English Premier League club Bolton Wanderer as an 18-year-old, and he spent three seasons at The Trotters, before returning to the A-League with Adelaide United in 2008, and that season at the Reds he won the Young Player of the Year award. His good form for Adelaide was rewarded with a Socceroos call-up, under then coach, Pim Verbeek, playing four caps including an Asian Cup qualifier.
He then returned home to New South Wales and signed for Sydney FC, playing for the Sky Blues for two years before heading west to Glory, at the start of the 2012/13 season. “Moving to Perth has been great. I’m very happy here, and the aim for all the boys now is to be part of history and win some silverware for the club” he said.
If not for an Achilles injury which ruled him out for most of last season, Jamieson probably would have notched up his 150th milestone already. But now he is injury free he is really enjoying his football at the moment. “Getting injured made me realise how much I missed playing week-in week-out and I was hungry to get back out there this season. It certainly motivated me to play and play well,” he explained.
In January, Jamieson re-signed with Kenny Lowe’s side for a further two years with the possibility of a third, meaning he could be wearing purple until 2018. Next up he comes up against Western Sydney Wanderers, and he has special memories of the last time the two sides met when his curling free kick won the points, with a contender for ‘Goal of the Season’. “It would be nice to score against them this weekend but I’ll take the three points first in front of our home crowd any time” he said.
GLORY LET IT SLIP LATE IN GOSFORD
Perth Glory’s form slump continued, when they conceded a stoppage-time goal to miss the chance to break their winless run after a 1-1 draw with Central Coast in Gosford on Sunday. Kenny Lowe’s side looked on track for their first win in nine games when super-sub Jamie MacLaren headed them in front with just 11 minutes left. But Nick Montgomery had the final say in the second minute of stoppage time, hitting a powerful shot from 25-yards, which flew into the top corner of the net.
In wet conditions the Glory opened brightly and went close to the opener after only seven minutes. Nebo Marinkvic’s powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area was touched on the bar by Liam Reddy, and Andy Keogh’s follow up shot was over the top. The Mariners, who were still in the hunt for a finals spot, went close moments later, Dino Djublic was caught in possession and Fitzgerald nipped in, but James Duncan was out quick and did enough to put the midfielder off, whose shot hit the post and rolled out safely.
Both sides were creating chances, but it was the Glory with the best off them, Scott Jamieson and Marinkovic’s long-range shots whistled wide. Then just before first half Keogh made space down the right, held off his marker, but his low cross into the penalty area was inches away from Mitch Nichols at the back post.
On the hour Maclaren came on for Danny De Silva, and on 79 minutes the Olyroos striker gave the Glory the lead. Marinkovic’s teasing corner picked out Maclaren, and his glanzing header flew past Reddy and into the corner of the net, and Glory travelling fans, on their Tour of Duty, celebrated. It looked like their first win in nine games has been heard, but the Mariners nicked a point in stoppage time.
A corner wasn’t dealt with and Michael Twaite’s scuffed clearance went straight to Montgomery, and the English midfielders shot flew into the top corner of the net giving Duncan no chance. It was no less than the Mariners deserved in an encouraging display but Glory’s Premiers’ Plate hopes have taken a hit, still without a win since January 2.
ATHENA SPOT ON IN NIGHT SERIES DECIDER
Floreat Athena has won the 2015 PS4 National Premier League WA Night Series Final after a 5-4 penalty shoot-out win against Cockburn City at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday evening. Lewis McMahon had given Floreat the lead midway through the second half, and it looked like they would win in normal time, but Rory Paterson equalised for Cockburn in stoppage time. But the Cockburn striker went from hero to villain, as it was his penalty that was saved by substitute keeper Nicholas Felekis to win the shoot-out for Athena. Floreat skipper Ludovic Boi was presented with the ‘Robbie Dunn Medal’ as the best player on the ground. “We struggled in the first half but all credit to Glen and the boys we came out in the second half and got the goal, and on the night I thought we created the better clear cut chances and could have nicked a few more,” Floreat striker McMahon said. “It was a good game I thought both sides had a fair crack at it, and were happy to come out on top.”
There was a big crowd on hand at kick off and it was Cockburn who dominated the early exchanges. Conor Kavanagh and Devon Gibson firing wide, before on 20 minutes Williams got back with a last ditch tackle to deny Cockburn striker Liam Murray. After the early onslaught Floreat steadied and on the half hour they had a strong penalty claim turned down by referee David Bruce, after Ludovic Boi was bundled down in the box by Euen Grant. Floreat ended the half the better and Gibson had to be alert to get back to deny Kris Gate, before Blair Govan’s curling shot flashed just wide of the post, but at the break it was scoreless.
A double change was made at the break by Floreat, with injured keeper Greenwood replaced by Felekis, while Bobby Wilson replaced the injured Gate. They started the second half as they finished the first, and were rewarded with the opener on 56 minutes. Robert Gasper began the move playing Govan down the left hand channel, and his low cross was turned home by McMahon from eight-yards. After dominating, Cockburn were now chasing the game but Floreat were in no mood to let it slip, and Felekis saved well to deny Paterson’s glancing header on 79 minutes. With Cockburn pushing men forward they almost conceded a second on 86 minutes, but Curtis Aspden saved low from Boi’s shot. The Cockburn custodian then saved Tom Allen’s shot from the edge of the penalty area.
It looked all over, but in the second minute of stoppage time Cockburn found the equaliser. Kavanagh’s free kick fell to Gibson, whose shot was well saved by Felekis, but Paterson was quickest to react to fire home the rebound from close-range. There was still time for Floreat to win it, and Clayton Arnez’s deep cross picked out McMahon at the back post, his header beat Aspden but Jonathan Corness cleared the ball off the line, and it was off to the penalty shoot-out. All players converted their spot kicks but with the 10th penalty Felekis saved to win it for Floreat.
KNIGHTS EDGE OUT EAGLES
A ten-man Western Knights has beaten tradition rivals Dianella White Eagles 4 -3 in a penalty shoot-out to win the State League Night Series, in front of a big crowd at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday evening. After normal time the score was 1-1, but Knights goalkeeper Scott Rowe was the hero, saving two penalties in the shootout before Tom Southgate scored the Knights’ winning spot kick. “I thought we controlled the first half, but the sending off changed things,” Knights skipper Ben Coulter said. “The lads battled hard after the break and we kept our shape well and they really didn’t create too many opportunities, and we held our nerves in the shoot-out, so we’re delighted.”
It was a tight opening, but the Knights capitalised on the quarter hour, when Ross Cosgrove slotted home past keeper Yousri Gharsallah after a great build up. Eagles’ winger Jose Zuniga showed his pace out wide, but their long balls failed to find their mark, while the Knights looked sharper in midfield. But on the stroke of half time the Eagles were gifted a penalty, Shaun French bringing down Angel Andres Ribeira and referee Tom Glavovic pointed to the spot and sent the defender off. Ribeira kept his nerve to score from the spot to send the sides to the break level.
Despite being a man down, Western Knights continued to push forward, allowing Dianella to find gaps in the defence, but a great defensive display held them out. The Knights missed an opportunity to nick it late when Yves Mwila mistimed a pass across goal caused problems, but Gharsallah was alert to save. The Knights prevailing in a tense shoot-out, and coach Andy Thorburn said they deserved it. “We kept our defensive and midfield shape and we knew it was going to be hard to get possession high in the park,” he said. “But we’ve got a lot of experience in our team, we’ve tried to set ourselves up with the right boys for the way we want to play this year, and I think it paid off tonight.”
GWELUP TAKE OUT AMATEUR NIGHT SERIES FINAL
Gwelup Croatia won a pulsating Amateur Night Series Final after a 6-5 penalty shootout win against Fremantle Croatia at Intiga Stadium on Friday evening. The game had everything, both sides were reduced to ten men, and after the game had ended 4-4, Gwelup held their nerve in the shoot-out. Skipper Ian O’Sullivan, who was carried off late in the game with an ankle injury, said they knew Fremantle would fight to the end. “We knew coming into the game it would be a tough test and they (Fremantle) never gave in, and after last week coming back from 0-3 down, we thought they would come at us, but we dug deep and I thought we deserved the win,” he said. “The sending off was a turning point, but it’s a derby and emotions run high, it spurred both sides on, but luckily we won it in the end.”
It looked like Gwelup were cruising at 3-0 up at half time, with a brace from Mwansa Musonda, and a stunner from Nicolas Tatasciore. But like last week Fremantle hit back with goals from Kevin Carmona and David Johnstone, before Jordan Costanzo made it 4-2. Johnstone’s second gave Fremantle hope and in the last minute Alen Galic levelled thing up, but Gwelup prevailed in a dramatic shoot-out.
Gwelup made a great start to the game and they were ahead after only nine minutes, Tatasciore cross from the right was headed home by Musonda at the back post. They were well on top and moments later Vincent Longo’s long-range shot was superbly saved by David Gasper. But on 20 minutes Gwelup doubled their advantage. Steven McGarry fed the lively Musonda on the left, he found Tatasciore, who long-range shot flew into the top corner of the net giving Gasper no chance.
Fremantle needed a quick response, and they were almost gifted a goal four minutes later. Kevin Carmona’s free kick was dropped by Gwelup custodian Francesco Capra, but Branimir Mikulic couldn’t convert the rebound, blazing over from eight-yards. It was the best period of the game for Fremantle and Troy Sillis’ header at the back post flashed wide. But three minutes before the break Gwelup made it 3-0. Musonda racing down the left, he cut inside his marker and fired home from the edge of the penalty area.
Fremantle began the second half well and reduced the margin on 53 minutes, Mikulic’s header was cleared off the line by O’Sullivan but Carmona fired home the rebound. Both sides were then reduced to ten men, with Fremantle’s Daan Francis and Gwelup’s Tatasciore both shown red cards after an altercation.
But on 62 minutes Fremantle scored again to reduce the margin, second half substitute Johnstone running clear from a Banin Hashem through ball, and lobbing the on-coming keeper. It was game on with both sets of supporters in the large crowd urging their sides on.
Gwelup steadied and increased their lead on 74 minutes, Sebastian Munoz crossing to Constanzo, who rounded keeper David Gasper and fired home. It looked like it was all over, but Fremantle had other ideas. First on 81 minutes Johnstone was sent clear again, and he repeated his last effort lobbing Capra. With time running out, Fremantle pushed men forward and were rewarded in the last minute, Galic scoring to send the game to penalties.
In the shoot-out both sides missed one each, and in sudden death the unfortunate Greg Montenegro saw his spot kick saved by Capra to give Gwelup the victory. In the third and fourth play-off Shamrock Rovers beat Joondalup United 3-1. Cathal O’Kane, Declan Murphy and Peter Smith were on target for Rovers, while Jordan Spencer scored Joondalup’s consolation.
NPL-WA NIGHT SERIES FINAL PREVIEW
The first piece of silverware is up for grabs this weekend, when Cockburn City and Floreat Athena meet in the PS4 National Premier League WA Night Series Final at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday evening. Cockburn came from behind to beat Stirling Lions last week and young defender Jonathan Corness said they needed to lift after an indifferent first half performance. “I thought we deserved the victory, but a poor first half cost us,” he said. “But credit to the lads we all pulled together and played with that confidence and belief we’ve shown all through our previous matches to prevail deserved winners.” Cockburn City will be looking for their first ever Night Series victory, the only other pre-season success came in 1993, when the club was known as Spearwood Dalmatinac. But whatever happens on Saturday Corness, who joined the club from Ashfield this season, said the players are going to enjoy the night. “It’s always a great occasion when you make it into a Final,” he said. “We know Floreat are going to have a lot of quality in their side, so we have to on top of our game. We have been slow starters for the past couple of game so if we can rectify that I believe we can cause them some problems.”
City Coach Marc Anthony said Floreat are a strong side and it should be a cracking final. “I watched them against a good Perth side and they were very impressive,” he said. “They looked strong all over the park and they like to play a bit, and we like to get the ball down and play it around, so it should be a great final.” In team news for City, Harry O’Brien has trained with the club all this week after leaving Perth Glory, and will be available, if selected.
Floreat Athena overcame Perth SC last week, and midfielder Kris Gate said they totally dominated the game and thoroughly deserved the win and a spot in the Final. “I thought we were the better team from the first whistle, and it looked like we wanted it more,” he said. “We went in with a game plan and we nailed it on the night and we could have added a few more if we had taken our chances.” Gate, who joined the club from Balcatta this season, said the two best teams in the Night Series are meeting in the Final and it should be an exciting contest. “Cockburn are a very good side this season, and from what I’ve seen it will be our toughest test of the competition, but we go into the game full of confidence,” Gate said. “Both teams deserve to be in the final, and it should be a great game and hopefully there is a big crowd to watch, and we will come out on top.”
Floreat Coach Glen Grostate said he was delighted the way his side took the game to Perth last week. “We played some good football against Perth and it showed how tight our player group is,” he said. “They have a good bond on the pitch, and off it, and it showed, and we will go into the game with confidence, but know it will be a tough encounter.” He believes both sides on Saturday will get the ball down and play good football, but he has been pleased the way his side have performed against the big teams in the group stage, and say’s the game will be a good test, as the two meet in the league early in the season. “We have played some good sides in the early part of the competition and that will help us on Saturday, because Cockburn will be tough challenge,” he said. “Marc has done a great job at the club and like us, he has them playing good football, it will give us a good guide to see where we are at as meet them in the NPL in round two.” In team news for Floreat, Bobby Wilson returns to the squad after missing last week’s win, and Coach Glen Grostate will have a full squad to choose from.
STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES FINAL PREVIEW
The State League Night Series Final will see traditional rivals Western Knights take on Dianella White Eagles at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday afternoon (6pm). The last time the two sides met a big crowd was on hand and it should be more of the same on Saturday in the Final. Knights had to overcome a strong Mandurah City side in the semi-final and midfielder John Migas said their win will give them a huge boost going into Saturday’s game. “We played really well in the semi-final, and they were the best opposition we have played in the competition so far,” he said. “They dominated possession at times but we took our chances, and it great having David Onoforo up top, who has added another dimension to our play.” Migas, who played in the Premier League with Floreat Athena and Balcatta, believes the Eagles have recruited well and will be a tough opposition. “It couldn’t really be set up any better, with the history between the two clubs,” he said. “We know it’s going to be a tough game, as they have made some quality signings, but we’re confident in the ability of our players that we can win. I’ve never won a Night Series Grand Final so I’m looking forward to the opportunity to change that on the weekend.”
Dianella under new coach Mauro Marchione have been impressive in the Group stage and totally dominated a brave Joondalup United in their Semi-Final, but keeper Yousri Gharsallah said they took their foot of the gas in the second half. “We played well in the first half, but we let them back into the game after half time, and we dropped our standards,” he said. “That’s something we can’t do on Saturday as the Knights have some good players and they will punish us.” The former Floreat Athena custodian said the Final will be a tight affair, but is confident they can win the clubs first Night Series title. “It will be a tight game, and we will have to be on our game for the whole 90 minutes,” he said. “Both sides have quality, and I believe it will be decided on a set piece or a defensive mistake on the night, and hopefully it’s us hold the cup up at the end of the match.”
AMATEUR NIGHT SERIES FINAL PREVIEW
The Amateur Night Series Final takes place tonight with a Croatian derby, when Fremantle Croatia take on Gwelup Croatia at Intiga Stadium (8.30pm) Both sides won hard fought semi-finals, with Gwelup edging out Shamrock Rovers on penalties, after the game had finished 1-1, while Fremantle won a nine goal thriller after a 5-4 win against Joondalup United. Gwelup assistant Coach Gavin Knight said the semi-final win was tough and is expecting the same tonight. “It was a great game and a good win for us against a good Shamrock side, and to win on penalties isn’t the best way to win a game, but we’ll take it,” he said. Knight, who is out for the rest of the season after knee surgery, believes the local derby will be a great game and is expecting a good crowd. “The Croatian derby is always a good game to be involved in, and it will be very close, and I’m sure there will be a good turn out,” he said. “They have been playing well in the competition, but anything can happen in a final, so we will need to be on our toes and we’re confident we can get the right result.”
Like Gwelup, Fremantle topped their Group, going through undefeated, and Greg Montenegro said the game in the semi-final was a classic, with them coming from 3-0 down to win. “It was defiantly a game of two half’s, we were caught out on quick counter attacks and found ourselves three down, but we changed formation at the break and got on top and scored five goals,” he said. “The fire to win a trophy, after going so close last season, has us more hungry and determined and everyone in the side played for the shirt with pride and we were relieved once the final whistle blew.” The midfielder said tonight’s game is huge, and both sides are well matched. “The Croatian derby is always great to be a part of, and the crowds get involved by the numbers and I’m sure it will live up to everyone’s expectations,” he said. “Both teams have new players with a lot to prove, and it will be definitely be a game not to be missed. It’s going to be great for football in WA and for the Croatian community.” Paulo Coelho returns to the Fremantle squad after missing the Semi-Final, and they have a full squad to choose from.
MADASCHI FORMALLY LEAVES NEWCASTLE
Newcastle Jets have confirmed the mutually agreed release of 'sacked' duo Adrian Madaschi and Billy Celeski. The experienced pair were brought into the squad for the summer season by coach Phil Stubbins only to be axed by the club in January. Madaschi, a former Perth SC junior, made ten first team appearances for Newcastle and is understood to be close to signing an injury replacement deal with Western Sydney Wanderers.
INGLEWOOD SIGN COMEBACK KID KEOGH (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Irish attacker Kenny Keogh plans to re-ignite his football career with Inglewood United. Keogh, younger sibling of Perth Glory marksman Andy Keogh, has been out of the game for the past few years but after a couple of Night Series hit-outs with Inglewood the 27-year old is determined to make his mark in this year’s National Premier Leagues.
“I’m very happy to join Inglewood United, I’ll wear the club shirt with pride,” said Keogh upon signing up to play under Michael Garcia. “I haven’t played for quite a few years - since I moved to Perth in fact - so I’m very keen to get back into playing football. I’ve been working hard to get my fitness back and I look forward to enjoying the season ahead.”
Keogh, formerly of Dublin-based Wayside Celtic, relocated to Perth four years ago with his family. “When I came here I wanted to concentrate on work and that meant taking a break from football,” he explained. “But I’m ready to start playing again. A friend of mine, James Steedman, was training with Inglewood and asked me down so I gave it a shot and now I’m signed up.”
“All the boys have been welcoming, which has made it easy to fit in,” he added. “There’s a real focus on being a team and what Michael (Garcia) has done is very professional. We’re still gelling as a team, still figuring out how each other plays. It might take some time, but we’ve got a good group of players and I’m confident we can do well.”
Keogh will be in contention to make his NPL debut when Inglewood open their season with a twilight game against Cockburn City on Saturday 28 March. Fellow summer signings Aleks Vrteski, Jovo Pavlovic and David Micevski are also likely to make their appearances at Inglewood Stadium on that date, while defender Rikki Smith returns to the venue after a year’s absence.
VUKOVIC IN DOUBT FOR MARINERS CLASH
Perth Glory FC will be looking to return to winning ways in the Hyundai A-League, when they travel to the Central Coast to face the Mariners in Gosford on Sunday, but they could be without record games holder Danny Vukovic. The Glory custodian is in doubt after injuring his quad following last week’s clash against Wellington Phoenix, with Olyroos keeper Jack Duncan in line to replace him. Kenny Lowe’s side have struggled against the Mariners, but last time the sides met in Gosford the Glory claimed its first away victory over the Mariners.
The Glory are on an eight game streak without a win, but in round 5 a sublime free kick, from Nebo Marinkovic gave them victory, before they thrashed them 4-1 with Chris Harold scoring a brace and an audacious strike from Danny De Silva. Glory will welcome back Socceroos midfielder Mitch Nichols, who has served a one match ban after picking up two yellow cards against Melbourne Victory in Round 20, and he’s happy to be back. “It’s good to be back this week and hopefully I can contribute. We need to be back to winning ways if we want to be pushing for the championship” he said. “I think you can tell by training everyone’s raring to go and ready to give a 100-percent and I think people know what they want now and hopefully we can go to Central Coast and get a good result and get the three points and really give it a good shot”.
Glory coach Kenny Lowe will be left with a few tough decisions when picking his starting eleven. Ruben Zadkovich made the most of his starting chance in midfield last weekend, scoring a cracking goal, and he also has Sidnei Sciola back from injury. They will be looking to compound the Mariners woeful home form, after losing six home matches this season – the most of any Hyundai A-League club. Perth will also want to maintain its impressive defensive record on the road, having conceded just nine away goals this season which is the least of the 10 Hyundai A-League clubs.
With six games remaining in the regular season Kenny Lowe said the task from here on, is simple. “Finish high up the League as you possibly can and have some momentum rolling into finals that is utopia really,” he said. “If we’ve had a bit of a dip and we’re two points off the top and there’s five of us in the run there must be a few other people who’ve had dips as well, that’s the nature of the league….everybody can beat everybody”. The game at Gosford kicks off at 3pm WA time.
WILLIAMS ITCHING TO RETURN TO FOOTBALL
Gary Williams will be watching from the stands for the first time in a number of years, when the PS4 National Premier League WA kicks off next weekend. The former Stirling Lions Coach said it’s really strange not being involved with the game, after departing the Macedonia Park club at the end of last season. “I have been involved at various levels of football at the club for the last eight-years, so for the season to start without having any involvement is a new thing for me,” he said. “I enjoy watching games, which I have been doing regularly during the Night Series; however it is a poor substitute for standing on the side line with your team.”
Williams led the Lions to the Cup Final and just short of the end of season finals, and thought with his assistant Danny Stoitis they would have made the finals but for a long injury list. “We weren’t far off the mark, despite an horrendous injury list at the beginning of the season, but our form during the latter part of the season when we had a full squad to choose from improved greatly,” he said. “The low for me was the performance in the Cup Final, as the team didn’t do themselves justice and those opportunities don’t come along every year.”
The opportunity to take on A-League side Brisbane Roar in last season’s FFA Cup was something that Williams and the players enjoyed. “The game was a momentous occasion for all involved at Stirling Lions. Playing against the Premier team in the country at the time was an opportunity for the players to benchmark themselves against the best players in the land and also provided an opportunity for Daniel and I to meet and talk to Mike Mulvey who was very informative and very helpful,” he explained. “I was also pleased to see Daniel offered a role at Perth SC with Taki and Ante after deciding to leave Stirling, he is a very good young and upcoming coach who will be an asset to the club.”
The 45-year-old dropped down from coaching at the end of the season to take up a new role at the club, but unfortunately things didn’t work out. “I moved to take over the role vacated by Don Evans as Football Operations Manager, but unfortunately things did not work out so I formed the view it was in the clubs best interests for me to leave,” Williams said. “I have many good friends at Stirling Lions and still enjoy my visits to Macedonia Park, and I wish them every success this year and was really pleased to see them reach the semi-finals of the night series.”
He also has had the opportunity to coach in the NPL Academy, and he believes there are some good players coming through the system. “I coached Stirling Lions juniors for 4 years, with the under 11’s through to Under 14’s, and to see a number of those players playing at senior level now if great,” he said. “I enjoy watching players develop and assisting them in achieving their goals. It is a huge reward as a coach to see young players develop into senior players, mature as people and achieve success. I also coached at ECU Joondalup for a year with Dale McCulloch, who was great person to work with and was somebody the young players related to.”
The 2013 Premier League win, by the Lions was a standout for Williams and the character in the side and the camaraderie in the coaching staff made it a special occasions for Williams. “I was assisting Doug Hesketh at the time and to win the league was a great achievement for the club after failing to win the league for several years,” he said. “The team was full of good players and characters and to be a part of the club at such a time was great. The title winning year was the culmination of two and a half years of hard work during which Dougie and I formed a very good working relationship and still speak regularly now.”
Williams believes there is still some unfinished business for him in WA football, and is hoping to back in the game soon. “I’ve still got that urge to coach and I’m looking to get back into the game at a good progressive club “Whilst I completed a season as the Head Coach at Stirling Lions I am not averse to assisting somebody as I did Doug Hesketh and Mick Lyons previously,” he explained. “I worked my way through the various levels which in hindsight was of great benefit It enabled a broader understanding of the issues that present themselves to clubs, coaches and staff at all levels, so in the meantime I’ll be watching from the stands but will be striving to get back in the coaches box sooner rather than later.”
GLORY DUO HAVE CHARGES DROPPED
Perth Glory duo Andy Keogh and Josh Risdon have escaped further penalties for their boozy night out in Adelaide after South Australian police dropped its charges against the pair. Risdon and Keogh were due to appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court this month after the pair was arrested outside of an Adelaide night spot in February. They were both charged with disorderly behaviour after twice causing a disturbance, while Risdon got into strife after failing to adhere to a move-on notice from police.
But those charges were officially dropped yesterday, and unlike the day they were charged the media in Perth weren’t interested because the story wasn’t going to be sensationalised. The Glory did imposed financial sanctions on both players at the time; Keogh was fined half of a week's salary, while Risdon received a suspended fine. Both Keogh and Risdon will be back in action on Sunday when they face Central Coast in Gosford.
TIME FOR GLORY TO CASH IN SAYS ZADKOVICH
Perth Glory must make the most of their easier run into the finals to push back towards the top of the ladder, according to midfielder Ruben Zadkovich. Glory’s home loss to Wellington Phoenix on Saturday saw the club fall to fourth place and extend their winless streak to eight matches. Glory were seven points clear on top after beating Melbourne Victory on 2 January but have since lost three matches and drawn the other five.
Just three points separates top-of-the-table Wellington from fifth-placed Adelaide. The log-jam places pressure on all the clubs as they battle for a top two finish. Six of Glory’s last eight matches have been against top five teams but their next three are against eighth-placed Central Coast Mariners, ninth placed Western Sydney Wanderers and bottom of the ladder Newcastle Jets. The other top five teams have two matches against each other.
“There isn’t an easy run in but we’ve got a good run in,” Zadkovich said. “We play some teams that we’re confident we can beat. I like to have a little look ahead. I don’t look at what we’ve done behind us, I just keep looking forward and how we can improve. I’m looking at those games and I’m looking at getting maximum points. We’ve got six games left and we aim for three points this week.”
Zadkovich blamed basic errors for the team’s dry run. “The recipe for success is just pure hard work, sticking to the game plan and being disciplined,” he said. “We’ve made mistakes and teams have capitalised on that. But I think that’s the pleasing thing for us - they’re mistakes that we’ve made and we can rectify them. If it was just that we were totally outplayed and we didn’t know how we were losing, that would be different.”
OLYROOS SWEAT ON TAGGART'S FITNESS
Australian Under-23 coach Aurelio Vidmar admits he’s sweating on the fitness of striker Adam Taggart as qualifiers for next year’s Olympic Games draw near. Taggart was named in a 23-man squad for this month’s AFC Under-23 Championships in Taiwan, where the Aussies will face the hosts as well as Hong Kong and Myanmar in Group F. The Fulham striker has battled a groin problem since last year’s World Cup but returned to the Cottagers youth team last month and was among the goals.
Vidmar revealed the 21-year old Taggart is no certainty to be fit. “He’s got a couple of issues and we’ll have to wait and see how he pulls up,” Vidmar said. “All reports are he’s okay but we’re mindful we may lose him at the end of the week. He’s had issues post World Cup and while he’s had some good games for four or five weeks now he has some soft tissue issues. We’ll have to wait and see.” Australia’s AFC Under-23 Championships campaign beings against Hong Kong on 27 March followed by Taiwan two days later and finishing with Myanmar on 31 March 31.
GLORY SHED BOYS ON TOUR OF DUTY
It's an annual tradition which stems back to the National Soccer League days, but it's an event dozens of die-hard Glory fans, refuse to give up on. So when the Glory take on Central Coast Mariners at Gosford on Sunday, Glory will be supported by an army of more than 70 "Shed" fans who've made the long trek across the Nullarbor for this year's "Tour of Duty".
The pilgrimage started more than 15 years ago, against Sydney Olympic, and has grown year after year, and previous tours have taken the supporters to Sydney, Parramatta, Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne. "It's our way of being an extra man on the pitch, when the boys are playing away" said Glory Shed Supporters Committee spokesperson Sharon Tyson. "It's a lot of fun for us, and it's an excuse to get out of the shed, and show our support for the boys when they're on the road" she said.
The trip will be marked with a football game amongst the group pitting the TOD Veterans (those who've been on every tour) against the TOD Virgins (those on their first tour). The winning team will receive a boot, as a tribute to former Glory player Kasey Wehrman, who threw a boot into the crowd one time after a match. Glory coach Kenny Lowe only had praise for the fans that were making the effort for the long distance trip. "It's always good to have a bit of vocal support I’m sure the lads will appreciate that and I'm sure the guys going over there will enjoy themselves as well, it's sure to be good". Next year the fans hope to go to Wellington as part of their Tour of Duty.
GLORY RELEASE O'BRIEN
Perth Glory have terminated the contract of young midfielder Harry O’Brien by mutually consent. O’Brien joined Glory in August 2013, after playing locally for Cockburn City, but a lack of first team opportunities have left the talented 20-year old without an A-League appearance to his name. “I’d like to thank the playing group, coaches and the club for its help over the past two years,” said O’Brien, who is expected to return to Cockburn for the coming winter. “It’s been a great learning experience and I’m now looking forward to my next football chapter.” O’Brien is the third local youngster to be cast aside by Glory in the last month, following Jack Clisby and Brandon O’Neill.
SIX OF THE BEST FROM THE WEST
The Olyroos will have a distinctly West Australian flavour when they step out at the AFC Under-23 Championship later this month with six local talents gaining selection in Aurelio Vidmar's squad. Fulham striker Adam Taggart and Perth Glory starlet Daniel De Silva head the list which also features Scott Galloway (Melbourne Victory), Cameron Burgess (Ross County), Ryan Edwards (Reading) and Ryan Williams (Fulham).
Taggart is one of a number of inclusions with recent experience of the full Socceroos set-up. Brad Smith (Liverpool), Terry Antonis (sydney FC) and Josh Brillante (Empoli) have all featured in the senior squad in the last 12 months, while Jackson Irvine was capped at full international level in 2013. There are eleven representatives of the A-League, including the Glory trio of De Silva, goalkeeper Jack Duncan and attacker Jamie Maclaren.
Australia’s squad for the AFC Under-23 Championship in Taiwan is Mustafa Amini (Borussia Dortmund), Terry Antonis (Sydney FC), Josh Brillante (Empoli), Corey Brown (Brisbane Roar), Cameron Burgess (Ross County), Daniel De Silva (Perth Glory), James Donachie (Brisbane Roar), Jack Duncan (Perth Glory), Ryan Edwards (Reading), Giancarlo Gallifuoco (Swansea), Scott Galloway (Melbourne Victory), Jason Geria (Melbourne Victory), John Hall (Adelaide United), Andrew Hoole (Newcastle Jets), Jackson Irvine (Ross County), Aaron Lennox (Queens Park Rangers), Jamie MacLaren (Perth Glory), Connor Pain (Melbourne Victory), Brad Smith (Liverpool), Adam Taggart (Fulham), Steven Ugarkovic (NK Osijek), Ryan Williams (Fulham), Kwame Yeboah (Borussia Monchengladbach)
FFA CUP REACHES IT’S THIRD ROUND
The WA stage of the FFA Cup has reached its 3rd round, with the draw made at Football West headquarters today. Last season’s competition was the first in Australia and there was a number of giant killers in the eastern states, while NPL-WA sides Stirling Lions and Bayswater City went head-to-head with A-League opposition, in Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory respectively. Perth Glory reached the Final of the inaugural competition only to lose 1-0 to Adelaide United at Cooper Stadium.
This round see’s the State League First Division sides come into the competition and the pick of the round sees Amateur Premier League side Gwelup Croatia traveling to Division Two side Kelmscott Roos, while Goldfields club Twin City Saints travel to Melville City, Rockingham City make the trip to the Maccabean Memorial Oval to take on Maccabi, while there is a South West derby when Bunbury Diamonds visit Payne Park to take on South West Phoenix.
Games are to be played on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th March. Full list of fixtures: Ellenbrook United v Wanneroo City, Ashfield v Hamersley Rovers, Curtin University v Port Kennedy, Joondalup United v Olympic Heat FC (Midwest Soccer Association), Kelmscott Roos v Gwelup Croatia, Olympic Kingsway v Swan United, Melville City v Twin City Saints SC (Goldfields), South West Phoenix v Bunbury Dynamos, Balga v Kingsley, UWA Nedlands v Eaton Dardanup FC (South West Soccer Association), Gosnells City v Mandurah City, BB United SC v Backpackers FC, Chapman Athletic (Geraldton) v North Lake, Emerald FC v Cracovia FC, Kwinana United v Fremantle City, Ballajura AFC v Busselton SC, Fremantle Coatia v Jaguar FC, Maccabi SC v Rockingham City, Perth Saints v Shamrock Rovers, Whitford City v Joondalup City, North Perth United v East Fremantle SC
GLORY TO WITHDRAW FROM NATIONAL YOUTH LEAGUE
The National Youth League could be on the brink of folding with Perth Glory amongst three teams set to pull out of the competition next season. Glory, Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners have put Football Federation Australia on notice of their intention to withdraw from the ten-team league, with Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets believed to pondering whether to follow suit. Glory owner Tony Sage claimed his club will save as much as $450,000 in travel and accommodation costs by withdrawing while continuing to play its development team in the National Premier Leagues.
“It’s not as if we are walking away,” said Sage. "We are just looking at ending flying teenagers around the country at huge cost to everybody. It was pre-ordained that once the National Premier Leagues structure was in place the NYL would all disappear and everybody expects that. Every club now has a team competing in the NPL, except Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers. Our kids have already had two years in NPL and have been playing all year round and finished third in NYL last season.”
Sage plans to inform FFA of his decision at a 9 April meeting with club owners in Sydney. He is convinced the West Australian talent factory which has produced the likes of Stan Lazaridis, Richard Garcia, Rhys Williams, Chis Herd and Trent Sainsbury won’t be adversely affected. “When I bought the licence I didn't know I had to fund a women’s and an NYL team … it was imposed on all the cubs," he said. "If you didn’t do it your licence would be taken away. That’s how harsh it was. Running those teams is where a lot of our losses come from."
MICEVSKI PACKS HIS BOOTS FOR INGLEWOOD (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
National Premier Leagues Golden Boot winner David Micevski has become Inglewood United’s latest signing after agreeing terms with the club. A former Australian youth international with professional experience in Australia and Indonesia, Micevski adds quality and depth in the final third as coach Michael Garcia puts the finishing touches on his squad for the coming winter.
“I’m very happy to be signing for Inglewood, it’ll be an honour to pull on the Gold and Blue,” said Micevski, who snared 16 goals last year for Stirling Lions. “I’m excited to get to work with Michael and to start training with the squad. They say things change quickly in football and having some close friends at Inglewood helped with my decision to join the club.”
Micevski admits leaving Macedonia Park, where he played alongside his brother Daniel, was something he thought long and hard about. “Making the move was extremely difficult,” he commented. “I have a lot of respect for Stirling coach Rob Milevski and I wish him, the players and the club all the best for the coming season.”
“Inglewood is a club heading in the right direction,” the 29-year old added. “Club president Luke Martin and coach Michael Garcia have both expressed their desire in making the club successful both on and off the field. I’m looking forward to the season starting. I’m confident we can do well and, hopefully, I can help the team push their way up the table.”
Micevski is firmly established himself as one of Western Australia’s scene’s premier ball players. Spells with Perth SC, Western Knights, Balcatta and Stirling reaped him four league Champions medals along with four Fairest and Best prizes. However, the crowning achievement was without a doubt winning in the 2009 Gold Medal as a Knights player.
And it’s not only on the local stage that Micevski’s talents have also been recognised. He wore Perth Glory colours for two seasons, gaining 25 A-League appearances, and represented Australia at Under-23 level. “Helping Australia qualify for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games is something I’m very proud of,” said Micevski, who played one season for Indonesian side Solo prior to a short stay with Myanmar champions Yangon United.
Micevski intends to continue that success into 2015. “The top four should be our ambition and I feel we have the player to achieve that,” he stated. “There’s a lot of quality and experience in the Inglewood team, which is needed for a successful season. I’m hoping to pass on my experience and knowledge, especially to the younger boys, to help achieve the clubs’ goals.”
GLORY TO REGROUP AFTER LOSING TOP SPOT
If Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe is concerned about his side losing top spot on the A-League table, he’s not showing it. Glory conceded pole position for the first time in 16 rounds to Wellington Phoenix after a 2-1 loss to the New Zealand based club last night at Perth Oval. It extended Glory’s winless run to eight matches and the club could slip as low as fourth should fellow title contenders Sydney FC collect the maximum three points against Brisbane Roar today.
But Lowe isn’t prepared to hit the panic button despite his team’s worrying form slump. “We’ve always said we’re not focused on league tables, so (after) 27 games we’ll look where we finish and assess ourselves then,” Lowe said. “We’ve already exceeded our expectations, we just now need to regroup, refocus and kick on again. There’s no problem in that and I don’t see any reason why we can’t do that. It doesn’t concern me. I think we’ve got enough people in the changerooms that care about it (to) grind through it and come out there other side.”
Lowe rejected claims the pressure was now off Glory because they had conceded top spot after such a long reign at the summit of the competition. “We’ve been up there for, what, 17 weeks or whatever it was, so people have had opportunities to go above us and haven’t taken them,” Lowe said. “There’s no pressure because we’re not bothered about it. We just do what we do and we’ll end up where we end up and assess where we finish.”
Lowe expects Glory to bounce back to form over the next six weeks before the start of the A-League finals. “We’ve got a good set of guys who are really focused, really committed and I’m sure they’ll come out the other side after a little bit of pain,” Lowe said. “There’s nothing wrong with a bit of pain. It’s how you react to it and I’m sure we’ve got enough people in that group to react to it and who want to kick and do well.” Versatile winger Mitch Nichols will be available for next Sunday’s away clash with Central Coast after serving a one-game suspension.
CRAIG SETS THE TONE FOR COCKBURN
Cockburn City set up a NPL-WA Night Series Final with Floreat Athena, after they came from behind to beat Stirling Lions 2-1 at Percy Doyle Reserve. Striker Robert Petkov had given the Lions the lead midway through the first half, and Lions keeper Connor Campbell then saved Conor Kavanagh’s penalty in first half stoppage time. But after a stern half time address from Coach Marc Anthony the Cockerels showed their claws, and Liam Murray equalised early, before Craig Tone’s stunning volley won it. “We were pretty sloppy in the first half and I let the players know about it at half time,” Anthony said. “We pushed forward and got in behind them and got the rewards. I thought we gave them too much respect in the first half, and it wasn’t to the standards we’ve set in this tournament, but in the second half they did just that, which is pleasing.”
Cockburn began well against a new look Stirling Lions, and Murray went close early after being sent clear by skipper Eamon McNelis, but Campbell came to his sides rescue with a smart save. But against the run of play the Lions hit the front. Benny Kouakou made space down the flank, and his cross into the penalty area found Petkov, who made no mistake from close-range. After dominating early Cockburn were now on the back foot, and they were struggling to break down the Lions defence. Although Cockburn winger Friday Zico was a constant threat, and in the shadows of half time his surging run down the left ended with a cross into the penalty area which struck the arm of Loic Anga, and referee Michal Jasinski pointed straight to the spot. Kavanagh stepped up to take the resulting spot kick but Campbell guessed the right way to save.
Whatever Anthony said at half time seemed to work, as Cockburn equalised on 56 minutes. It was Zico again who began the move, the former Perth SC winger crossed to Murray, who bundled the ball home from close-range. It was game on and Cockburn keeper Curtis Aspden had to be alert to tip over Miki Vujacic’s corner on the hour, before Zico fired into the side netting moments later for Cockburn. But on 67 minutes Cockburn hit the front, Kavanagh’s deep cross picked out Tone, and his volley from the edge of the penalty area flew into the net, and gave Campbell no chance. The Lions never dropped their heads, and Aspden had to save smartly from Petkov, before the Cockburn custodian pulled of a stunning one handed save to deny Kouakou. But at the final whistle it was Cockburn celebrating, and they will be looking for their first Night Series Final success, since winning the competition in 2003.
Cockburn City: GK Curtis ASPDEN, 3 Jonathan CORNESS, 4 Euen GRANT, 5 Alan CARROLL, 6 Craig TONE, 7 Friday ZICO, 9 Liam MURRAY (10 Rory PATERSON 68’), 12 Fiesal ZAW, 13 Blake ADAMS (11 Devon GIBSON 79’), 14 Conor KAVANAGH (16 Julian TELES 71), 17 Eamon MCNELIS (C) - Subs not used: RGK Dejan ALEKSIC, 15 Monty GRIGO
Stirling Lions: GK Connor CAMPBELL, 3 Brodie MARTIN, 5 Viktor ATANASOVSKI, 7 Miki VUJACIC (C), 8 Tim HILL, 9 Robert PETKOV (12 Teeboy KAMARA 84), 10 Daniel MICEVSKI, 13 Benny KOUAKOU, 14 Lawrence SHURUMA, 16 Loic ANGA, 18 Nathan BOWDEN-HASSE - Subs not used: RGK Lance ALAVAKIS, 4 Boas MTWALE, 11 Brian WOODALL, 15 Vlad NAUMOVSKI
BLAIR AT THE DOUBLE FOR FLOREAT
Floreat Athena reached the PS4 NPL-WA Night Series Final after a 3-1 against Perth SC at Percy Doyle Reserve. A brace from Blair Govan had put Floreat in control, before Ashley Rosindale shot deflected off Clayton Arnez to get Perth back into the game. But the sending off of Perth skipper Clark Keltie dented their hopes and Ludovic Boi added a third to win it for Floreat. “It was a great performance from the lads, we really stuck together against a strong Perth side, and deserved the win,” Govan said. “We’re all looking forward to the final next week, and are hoping we can go all the way and win it.”
It was a tight opening with chances few and far between, with both sides trying their luck from long-range, but it was Floreat who opened the scoring just before the half hour. Jack Allen shot deflected off Govan wrong footing Alex Dunn and into the net. Perth were struggling to break down a tight Floreat defence and almost added a second before the break, the impressive Kris Gate shot was cleared off the line by Dean Evans
It was fantastic start to the second half and Floreat doubled their advantage six minutes in. A short corner caught Perth napping; Gate fed Boi, whose cross was headed home by Govan. But Perth hit back sixty seconds later, with Dean Evans picking out Rosindale, whose shot deflected off Arnez and past Fraser Greenwood. The drama wasn’t over there, and two minutes later Jack Allen raced towards goal and was pulled back by Keltie, and referee Steven Gregory showed the defender a second yellow card and he was sent off. From the resulting free kick Lewis McMahon’s shot flashed inches past the post.
Floreat were well on top and Goven almost completed his hat-trick, his shot from the edge of the penalty area beat Alex Dunn, but the post came to the Perth custodian’s rescue. But on the hour Floreat added a third, Ashley Corker and McMahon combined on the left the ball finding Clayton Arnez, who played Boi, and the lively midfielder finished low past Dunn. There were chances at both ends as the game opened up. First on 80 minutes Reece Vittiglia’s cross picked out Carlo Coelho at the back post, but his header was saved by Greenwood. Then two minutes later Floreat winger Ashley Corker raced clear, but Dunn stood tall to deny him, but it was Floreat who prevailed to take their spot in next week’s final against Cockburn City.
Floreat Athena: GK Fraser GREENWOOD, 2 Blair GOVAN, 3 Jack ALLEN, 4 Aryn WILLIAMS, 6 Clayton ARNEZ (15 Anthony BAFOBUSHA 66’), 8 Robbie GASPER, 11 Dennis GALAN, 12 Kris GATE, 14 Ludovic BOI, 16 Ashley CORKER, 20 Lewis MCMAHON - Subs not used: RGK Andrew SCALDFERRO, 9 Ryan PRETORIUS, 23 Nicholas FELEKIS
Perth SC: GK Alex DUNN, 3 Luka NJEGICH (2 Alex CASTEILLO 1’), 4 Calum O’CONNELL, 5 Dean EVANS, 6 Clark KELTIE, 8 Aden DA LUZ (12 Marco SANALUCIA 76’), 10 Ashley ROSINDALE, 11 Josh WILKINS, 14 Mark PRITCHARD (7 Carlo COELHO 69’), 17 Reece VITTIGLIA, 19 Andreas THEODOSIADES - Subs not used: RGK Dom SAVOLDELLI, 9 Harley ORR
KNIGHTS AND EAGLES TO MEET IN FINAL
Western Knights set up a mouth-watering State League Night Series Final against traditional rivals Dianella White Eagles, after a 3-1 win against Mandurah City at Wotton Reserve on Sunday. Former Perth SC striker David Onoforo opened the scoring for the Knights, before Jeff Judge added second before the break. Mandurah City were back in the game just after half time when Abe Touoma pulled one back, and the Dolphins were well on top but they couldn’t take their chances. But the result was made safe when Paul Lloyd converted a penalty late on. Mandurah ended the game with 10 men when Craig Young was shown a second yellow card and sent off.
In the early game Dianella beat newly promoted Joondalup United 3-0 with a hat trick from Angel Annis. The Eagles were ahead early, Cesar won possession in his own half and sent Annis in on goal, and he cheekily chipped on-coming Joondalup keeper James Bosdet to score. It was 2-0 before half time, Cisco Jorquera was brought down by Bosdet and Annis sent the keeper the wrong way to give them the lead. The Eagles striker completed his hat-trick after the break, a ball over the top sent him racing clear and his first touch took him clear of his marker and he finished low past Bosdet.
PHOENIX RISE ABOVE THE GLORY
Perth Glory poor run of form continued after they were beaten 2-1 by Wellington Phoenix at nib Stadium on Saturday evening. A brace from Roy Krishna either side of a stunning strike from Ruben Zadkovich gave the visitors the win sending them to the top of the table, and making it eight games without a victory for Kenny Lowe’s side. The coach was left to rue his sides’ costly errors, but was not convinced the result was a fair reflection of play but was confident the side had what it took to return to the top of the Hyundai A-League. “We got hurt by two bad errors, but we were more in the game in the second half,” he said. “We were in the ascendancy, and it was a very tight game. Everybody has beaten everybody. There are more twists and turns to come. We're only one point off the top, we just need to regroup and refocus."
In the opening minutes of the game Phoenix were gifted the opportunity to take the lead, when Krishna nipped in on an under-hit back pass, but Danny Vukovic came to the rescue saving well low to his left. But on 23 minutes the visitors hit the front, with another helping hand from the Glory. Louis Fenton got the better of Scott Jamieson and whipped in a low cross and there looked little danger with Josh Risdon on the ball, but his attempted clearance hit Krishna and rebounded past Vukovic and into the net.
It was bitter blow for the home side but they hit back five minutes later with one of the goals of the season. Dragan Paljic picked out the midfielder; whose first time shot from 25-yards flew into the net via the post, to have the Glory faithful in raptures. The Glory ended the half the better and went close to the lead just before the break. Glory skipper Michael Thwaite raced forward and wasn’t closed down and the central defender played in Paljic, whose shot was blocked by some desperate Phoenix defending.
The Phoenix looked lively after the break, and former Socceroo Joel Griffiths raced into the penalty area, but Thwaite was alert and got back to thwart his run. Lowe went to his bench and brought on the lively Jamie Maclaren, and he almost had an immediate impact. He was given far too much space on the edge of the penalty area and his curling shot went inches past the far post. But on 77 minutes the Glory had the best opportunity to take the lead. Andy Keogh, who had been held well by Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante, skipped past Phoenix pair Ben Sigmund and Michael Boxall, with only Glen Moss in his path, but the Phoenix custodian stood tall to save. That miss came back to haunt the Glory and moments later the Phoenix scored the winner.
Krishna found space down the right, and the Fijian-born winger held up Jamieson on the corner of the penalty area, before turning him inside out and threading his second of the match with a low shot that beat Vukovic at his near post. The Glory pressed looking for the equaliser, but with them pushing men forward the Phoenix almost added a third six minutes from time. Substitute Jason Hicks’ shot beat Vukovic, but flicked off the post and away to safety. The Glory forced a number of corners in stoppage time, and even Vukovic went forward but it wasn’t to be and the Phoenix held on to take the points.
NPL-WA NIGHT SERIES SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW
All roads will lead to Perth Doyle Reserve in Duncraig on Sunday, as the PS4 NPL-WA Night Series Semi-Finals kicks off, and in the opening game Group A winners Floreat Athena take on Group B runners-up Perth SC (5pm). Floreat needed to beat Balcatta to go through and a Jack Allen double saw them home. New signing Clayton Arnez believes that win has given them confidence for Sunday’s big clash. “The boys put in a good shift on Sunday to get up and win after getting off to a great start, but we let Balcatta back into it with some sloppy defending, but we fought it out and won it,” he said. “But we know on Sunday it will be another tough challenge. Perth is a great side full of some of the best players in the state but we have confidence in the way we play and believe we have the right balance of experience and youth to overcome them. We get Lewis McMahon back after suspension this week which is great for us because he's crucial to the way we setup and play our football, so it should be a great encounter.”
Perth will regain the services of skipper Clark Keltie for the game, and the midfielder said there is no need to panic after last week’s defeat. “I thought Cockburn were a well drilled side and will be in the mix this season, however we are not reading too much into the loss, as we did rest players in preparation for the Semi-finals,” he said. In the game this week Keltie will come up against a few of his house mates, and he is looking forward to it. ‘It’s the game I was hoping for as Lewis McMahon and Ashley Corker are my roommates and Kris Gate is a close friend, so it will be an interesting game,” he said. “Floreat are quite unpredictable, and I’ve watched them three times during the competition and have seen three different performances. But we know we’re down to the business end now, and we’ve trained well this week and we are nearing fielding our strongest 11 on the pitch, and looking to reach another Night series Final.” In team news Keltie will be joined back in the squad by Ashley Rosindale and Luka Njegich, but they lose the suspended Rocco Pizzata.
In the late game Group B winners Cockburn City go head to head with Group A runners up Stirling Lions (7.15pm). It will be a homecoming of sorts for Cockerels keeper Curtis Aspden, having left Sorrento in the summer, and he is hoping they can continue their perfect start to the pre-season. “Our win against Perth was a good performance, and we’re all pleased, but it means nothing if we don’t go and beat Stirling this week,” he said. “They (Stirling) have completely changed their whole side so we don’t really know too much about them, but if we stick to our game plan, and play to how we have been playing we should be progressing to the Final.” In team news for Cockburn Devon Gibson and David Araya will have fitness tests after injuries last week.
Stirling Lions made hard work of qualification, needing a last minute goal by Moses Kalau to go through. Another former Sorrento player Brodie Martin will return to his former club, and the new Lions midfielder said they need to but in a 90 minute performance against a good Cockburn side. “It’s always nice to get the three points, but we were disappointed with our overall performance,” he said. “To be in the position we were and to let Shamrock back into the game was not good enough, and something we will have to address.” Martin believes Cockburn have been the form team of the tournament and is expecting a tough encounter. “They (Cockburn) have been on fire, so it will be a good test for us. We need to put together a consistent and disciplined 90 minutes performance, otherwise we will come unstuck.” The Lions welcome back Nathan Bowden-Haase from suspension to strengthen their squad.
STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW
It’s Semi-Final time in the State League Night Series, and both games will be played at Wotton reserve, the home of Morley Windmills. In the first game newly promoted Joondalup United take on Dianella White Eagles (5pm) Mauro Marchione’s side eased through the round robin stage, and defender Igor Novakovic said they have improved with every game. “I thought we played really well especially in the first half last week, scored four goals and played really well especially in the last third. We let them into the game after the break; however I thought we deserved the win, and we’re getting stronger each game,” he said. “We know it will be a big test for us this week, they topped their group in great fashion and are really hard working side, but Mauro has prepared us well and were looking forward to it.” Joondalup have been outstanding, and had a perfect run in the Group but Garin Collins knows they need to lift against a good Dianella side. “We dominated last week’s game but let ourselves down with a poor second half performance, and I’m sure that’s something that will be addressed this week by Coach John Evans,” he said. “I have no doubts that this will be a very hard game and our biggest so far. They have brought in some quality players and have a very good coach in Mauro, who will have them playing the right way, but on the night it will come down to who takes more of the chances.” Both sides have full squad to choose from.
In the late game Mandurah City and Western Knights go head-to-head (7.15pm). Knights’ midfielder Paul Lloyd thought last week’s big win was a great way to enter the semi-finals. “Sunday's win was comfortably our best performance so far, going forward we were a threat all over and could have made it a few more as well, He said. He knows Sunday’s game will be another lift in intensity, but it’s one he’s looking forward too. “Mandurah have recruited well and also kept there better players from last season,” he said. “I know Doug (Hesketh) will have them right up for it and so will we, should be a lively battle. We’re at full strength and the lads who came off the bench, performed well, and will want a start, which is good at this time of the year.” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh is hoping they can cut out a few mistakes that cost them last week. “Me and Robbo are pleased with the way our squad is working hard to improve and produce consistent performances, so apart from a couple of mistakes I thought we controlled the game and got the result.” City has a full squad to choose from, but Hesketh believes the Knights are looking strong and will probably go into the game as favourites. “We are looking forward to the test this week against a good Knights side, and the way they have been playing I think they are favourites for sure,” he said. “They play good football and they have recruited well, with ex-professional from the UK and multiple state league and cup winners, so we will need to be at our best, but we are looking forward to the challenge.”
LOWE PREPARES GLORY FOR SEVEN CUP FINALS
Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe says the final seven games of the regular season will be akin to seven cup finals as the club attempts to claim their maiden A-League premiership. League leaders Glory go into tomorrow night’s top-of-the-table clash at home to second-placed Wellington Phoenix one point clear, despite not having registered a win in their past seven games.
An indication of how tight it is at the top is that fifth-placed Melbourne Victory will reach the summit if they win at Western Sydney tonight, if only for 24 hours. “There’s no easy games left in this league now. There’s seven cup finals for us and this is the first cup final,” Lowe said. “We’re ready for a win. If we’re going to do anything we need to win games like this.”
Lowe said his players remained upbeat despite not having won since early January and didn’t need to be reminded of what was on the line over the next seven games. “They’re not daft, they’ve been around the park,” he said. “Everyone’s got an aspiration no matter what you do in life, you want to do well. For us to do well, we’ve got to win games. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand what’s required.”
Lowe admitted to being slightly surprised the club had maintained top spot on the ladder despite recent results, which he maintained should turn in the Glory’s favour sooner rather than later. “Maybe we’re due one then, if we haven’t won, we’re due one,” he said. “But bloody hell, what’s everyone doing below us? We’re giving everybody loads of opportunities.”
PRICE SPURRED ON BY UK TRIP
Former Western Knights and Sorrento Premier League Coach Paul Price has been on an eight months sabbatical in the UK, but his time away from WA football has given the 60-year-old a re-energized passion to get back into coaching, sooner rather than later. The former Tottenham Hotspur and Wales international defender spent time at Luton Town and White Hart Lane while he was back in the UK and played, and won the London Master’s Legion Cup for Spurs.
Price, who lead the Knights to runners-up spot in in 2009, before winning the double for the Gulls in 2012, said he is has a good break from the game but is back and hopes to get back into coaching. “I missed last season with a trip back to the UK, I’d not been back for 10 years, so when I parted company with Sorrento I took the opportunity to have a great holiday and catch up with friends.” he said. “Now I’m back it would be nice to get back into the game after having a good break.”
While in England Price returned to his former clubs and said it was great to catch up with former players and get back on the park with some of them. “It was great to play for Spurs in a legions tournament against West Ham United, Chelsea and Arsenal at Leyton Orient’s Ground,” he explained. “Argentine great Ozzie Ardiles was the coach, and we went on to win it. Luckily the games only lasted for 10 minutes each way, and it was good to have some younger players on the team like Darren Anderton, Ruel Fox and Teddy Sheringham to compliment the oldies like Graham Roberts, Paul Miller, Micky Hazard, Ricky Villa and myself.”
Price, who holds a FA Preliminary coaching license in the UK and C Badge in Australia, enjoyed his time coaching in WA, and had some great memories. “Every club I’ve coached at I’ve had good moments, on and off the pitch,” he said. “At the Knights I coached the under 18’s to the league title and cup double, and it was rewarding in trying to prepare players to make the step up to senior football. I then took over as the first team coach at Nash Field, and winning two league titles, but missed out in the Grand Finals on both occasions, which was really disappointed.”
He then headed to Percy Doyle Reserve and he said it was great for him and the club when they won the State League Cup for the first time in 2011. “It was a fantastic night at the club when we won the cup for the first time in their history,” Price said. “Then we went on to win the Grand Final to do the double the following season, and it was a great moment for me, and a memorable season for the club as we also won the Charity Shield and the Interstate Cup in the same season.”
LIONS READY FOR FINALS PUSH SAYS NEW RECRUIT
Stirling Lions will meet Cockburn City in Sunday’s PS4 NPL-WA Night Series Semi-Final and new signing Nathan Bowden-Haase said it’s a reward for all their hard work in the pre-season. The defender, who has played for a number of clubs in the UK, and most recently for Hakoah Sydney City East in the NPL-NWS 2, said he has settled in well since his move. “The club have made me really welcome and Perth is a lovely place and easy to get around,” he said. “We’ve worked hard in the pre-season and the new look squad is gelling well.”
The move to Macedonia Park came by chance, but the 30-year-old said it’s a great move for him on and off the park. “My move came about due to a promotion with the company I work for, a great opportunity came up here and they offered it me,” Bowden-Haase explained. “My mate Lloyd Owusu, who I've played with for the last few years in Sydney, Adelaide and England, knew a few of the back room staff at Stirling and gave them the heads up I was on my way to Perth, and the rest history as they say.”
Work has seen Bowden-Haase travel all round Australia, so the warm weather in the pre-season wasn’t a problem. “I was in Sydney for 8 months after leaving Adelaide, and all my moves were work related and it's allowed me to see a bit of Australia and meet lots of new people,” he said. “The weather over here is a similar heat environment to South Australia where I was for 15 months, so it's nothing new and something everyone, even the locals, has had to learn to deal with.”
The Lions have had a huger turnover of players in the off-season, but Bowden-Haase say’s they have performed well in the Night Series, except for a slip up in one game. “The team is shaping up nicely, a lot of gelling to be done and working out how to play best together, which is what Coach Rob Milevic has been working hard on in the pre-season,” he said. “The team certainly has the Individuals to have a successful year, and Rob seems like he will be a good coach to work with as his philosophies are correct and he is a good guy who players want to play for.”
Bowden Haase began playing semi-professional football in the UK as an 18-year-old, and has played for Chesham United, Yeading, Histon, Slough Town, Hemel Hempstead, Aston Clinton, where he started his football, and Slough Town, who he left in 2013 to head downunder. While in Australia he has played for White City Woodville in SA, and then in Australia he played for White City Beograd in Adelaide and Hakoah FC in Sydney.
The concept of intense games in pre-season is something Nathen Haase is enjoying, and he has been pleasantly surprised with the standard of the football. “Over here the night series is a first for me, and is a welcome competition,” he said. “Normal preseason friendlies or trial games are slow paced and with no true desire or need to win. However the night series is taken very seriously and also gets a lot of people down to watch and there has been good football played.”
The Lions will be looking to reach the Night Series final for the first time since 1995, and Bowden-Haase said they are ready for it. “We are in the semis and have an opportunity to reward the hard work that's been put in with a bit of success,” he said. “Also it gives the younger players a taste of a more pressurised game situation. It's also given me personally the opportunity to see the standard here in the league, which has been an eye opener especially with some good wins and also with a heavy loss it helps to know who and what we are dealing with.”
JOONDALUP IN GOOD NICK SAY’S JENNINGS (courtesy Joondalup United)
Joondalup United are gearing up for their first ever season in the State First Division, and have also qualified for the State League Night Series Semi-Final on Sunday when they take on Dianella White Eagles. Assistant Coach Nick Jennings said they have recruited well and are looking to kick on from last season’s undefeated Second Division Champions run. “The core of the team will be made up of last year’s squad, although we have much more strength and depth and have cover in all positions,” he said. “Obviously losing Adam Buckley, last year’s Football West Division Two Gold Medalist and top goal scorer due to injury is a blow, but I’m sure someone else will step into his boots.”
New Senior Coach John Evans has taken over the reins, but Jennings said its business as usual. “Obviously everyone knows how close myself and former coach Daniel Smith were as a management team, but to be fair John made it clear he wouldn’t be making sweeping changes and like all managers he has his own ways, which we’ve adapted too and the transition has been seamless as possible, so its handy we all had a basic knowledge of Welsh,” he joked.
Jennings knows it’s a huge step up to the First Division, but he is confident they can hold their own. “When you go a whole season unbeaten and win the league by a country mile, you have to look to continue the success,” he said. “As a team we have a group of very young players, who are just going to continue to improve. Added to that the experience of the two or three older heads we have will have to aspire to be successful.”
They go into Sunday’s Semi-final well prepared and Jennings said competition for places is high. “I think the new set-up for the Night Series is excellent as it provides all teams with a minimum of five competitive matches, which are far more beneficial than mean less friendly games,” he said. “We’ve used 22 players in the five qualifying games, which has given all the players the opportunity to shine. Though in pre-season no points are on offer, but winning is a habit, a nice one at that. “Our performances have been scratchy at times and not up the standards we aspire too, but we’ve scored plenty of goals, and are looking forward to the game.”
RUKAVYTSYA FIRES WANDERERS OFF THE BOTTOM
Western Sydney Wanderers have moved off the bottom of the A-League ladder for the first time this season after Nikita Rukavytsya’s stoppage time finish gave them a 3-2 win over Melbourne City. Western Sydney showed great resolve to twice come from behind and snatch just their second win of a difficult season. "We played better in the second half and started controlling more of the game and in the end it's nice to get the three points," said Rukavytsya. "For me it's most important that the team won, it's good for our belief and now we'll concentrate on the next game."
SOCCEROOS WRONG TO OVERLOOK RISDON, SAYS KEOGH
Perth Glory striker Andy Keogh has put last month's arrest in Adelaide behind him, and he hopes teammate Josh Risdon won't be held back over the incident. Keogh was charged with disorderly behaviour after a big night out in Adelaide on 16 February, while Risdon was also caught up in the drama when he failed to adhere to a move-on notice by police. The incident didn't go unnoticed by Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou, who said any off-field issues would be taken into account when choosing his squads.
Risdon has been in hot form this season, but he was overlooked for Socceroos selection on Wednesday for friendlies against Germany and Macedonia in Europe later this month. "I was surprised Rizzo wasn't in there to be honest," Keogh said. "He's one of the best right backs I've come across in my time playing. Given his age and development opportunities, I'm sure it won't be long before he's in that squad because he's got great potential. If he keeps playing the way he is, a coach like Ange Postecoglou won't be able to ignore him for that much longer."
UNCAPPED TRIO, MOOY INTO SOCCEROOS SQUAD
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou says his Asian Cup winners will have a fantastic test when they play world champions Germany in their own backyard later this month. All but five of Australia’s victorious Asian Cup squad have been retained for the upcoming friendlies against Germany and Macedonia. "This squad is a combination of rewarding players who were successful during the Asian Cup but also having a little bit of an eye to the future and rewarding good form in the A-League," said Postecoglou.
Luke DeVere, Chris Ikonomidis and Tarek Elrich have the opportunity to earn their first caps, while Aaron Mooy and goalkeeper Adam Federici also join the squad. Missing from the Asian Cup campaign are Mark Bresciano (retired), Chris Herd, Robbie Kruse (both injured), Eugene Galekovic (omitted) and Terry Antonis (under-23’s duty). The Socceroos take on World Cup holders Germany in Kaiserslautern on 25 March, with their visit to the Macedonian capital five days later.
Australia’s squad to play Germany and Macedonia is Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Nathan Burns (Wellington Phoenix), Tim Cahill (Shanghai Greenland Shenhua), Jason Davidson (West Bromwich Albion), Luke DeVere (Brisbane Roar), Tarek Elrich (Adelaide United), Adam Federici (Reading), Ivan Franjic (Torpedo Moskva), Chris Ikonomidis (Lazio), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Tomi Juric (Western Sydney Wanderers), Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund), Mathew Leckie (Ingolstadt), Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Aaron Mooy (Melbourne City), Tommy Oar (Utrecht), Mat Ryan (Club Brugge), Trent Sainsbury (PEC Zwolle), Matthew Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers), James Troisi (Zulte Waregem) and Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai Republic).
TUCKER RETURNS HOME (courtesy ECU Joondalup)
ECU Joondalup academy product Josh Tucker has returned to the club after two season with Perth Glory Youth in the NPL-WA. The 18-year-old, who was courted by Bayswater City after leaving the Glory, made the decision to head back to his former club. “I had made up my mind to leave Perth Glory youth to concentrate on work and building something for myself, but still wanted to play in the NPL,” he explained. ‘Bayswater approached me and I spent a few months there training and played a few Night series games but didn't follow threw as it wasn't what I was after, and Dale was aware and got in contact with me and were able to come to an agreement which suited both parties, which fitted in with what I wanted and I'm delighted to be back.”
The move home is a good one for the defender, but he said the decision to leave Perth Glory was tough. “It was tough, in the sense leaving the boys I have grown up with and played with for the last 4-5 years, but that's just football, from a personal point of view I needed change,” Tucker said. “I wasn't enjoying my football as much so in order to perform and be the best I can be I needed to be in an environment where I’m enjoying myself and playing with loads of confidence because that's when I'm at my peak and I feel I've found that at ECU.”
ECU senior Coach Dale McCulloch coached Tucker as a youngster in the Academy and is happy he decided to come home. “Josh is a player I have been after for a while. I coached him as a kid before he went to the NTC and the Glory. He’s not only a very good player, he is a great kid who I’m looking forward to coach again,” he said. “He fits into the player I’m looking for, very good on the ball, and can work up and down the right flank, and is defensively strong. We are all about bringing in the right people to put pressure in all positions and I feel we have done that well this season.”
Tucker said with McCulloch in charge of the club, it made his decision to head back an easy one, and he hopes to help them push up the table. “My football at the club hit new heights when I was selected in the Under 14’s with Dale and Andy Brown,” he said. “Now I want to bring something different to the side, and play to my strengths which is getting stuck in and playing on the front foot, to link up and be effective, just to leave everything out on the pitch each week.”
The academy at the Northern Suburbs club is second to none and has been the breeding ground of a number of players who have gone overseas to ply their trade, and Tucker believes there are more to come. “It's good that the club maintains the reputation they have for producing young players because at the end of the day these players are the future of the club and I think ECU do a great job in that area,” he said. “I think ECU is a big club and deserves success so hopefully this season with the squad Dale has assembled we can make a real impact on the league and hurt teams each week.”
The defender, who was born in Newtongrange, a village outside of Edinburgh in Scotland, headed to Perth in 2007, and has been fortunate to have been a part of the Football West National Training Centre, and the experience he has gained through the program has helped him to be a better player. “I started off my first season in Australia at Wanneroo 13’s then the following year I came to ECU,” he explained. “I then went through the NTC system competing in National Championships at the AIS and travelling to Korea to play against the likes of Barcelona and Bolton Wanderers, and in the tournament I was selected for the Australia All-stars team and was invited to a Young Socceroo camp, which was a fantastic.”
GLORY LOOKING TO BRING THE NSL TROPHY BACK TO PERTH
Perth Glory, who won the last National Soccer League title, is looking to bring the trophy back to WA for permanent display, and have asked the governing body to loan the silverware for the rest of this season. The current A-League leaders have submitted an official request to Football Federation Australia asking to become the full-time stewards of the trophy.
The club won the final two NSL titles in 2003 and 2004 before the competition was disbanded and the A-League formed, and Glory chief executive Jason Brewer discovered the trophy sitting in a back office at the Sydney headquarters of the national sport's governing body last month. A loan period until at least the end of finals in May has already been ticked off by the FFA. Glory will present the trophy to fans as early as Saturday night's top-of-the-table clash with Wellington Phoenix at nib Stadium.
Club officials hope having the silverware in WA will inspire the team, which is one point clear of second-placed Phoenix. Brewer said the club wanted to put the trophy on permanent display at nib Stadium or somewhere nearby. The Perth franchise is looking for a home for a WA soccer hall of fame that would include a museum space to display such memorabilia. "As the last holders of the trophy, we thought it was quite fitting," Brewer said. "We've put in a formal request at the beginning of this week. They've agreed for us to have it in the run-up to the finals, including the finals, which is great. There's no display of that trophy even in Sydney at the moment. It's just tucked away in somebody's office.
The club will be celebrating their 20 year anniversary next season and Brewer believes it will be a great thing to have. “To have something like this on display at the ground, fans that have been with us not just for the A-League but also the NSL can actually come up and have their photograph taken with it,” he said. “It may also bring us a bit of good luck just having it here."
WARD NEVER GAVE UP HOPE OF A-LEAGUE RETURN
New Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder Nick Ward says he never lost belief in his abilities during almost two seasons in the A-League wilderness. Ward was released by his hometown club Perth Glory at the end of the 2012/13 season and, apart from six games with the Newcastle Jets on an injury-replacement contract last term, has not had an employer since.
After eight consecutive years of professional football, Ward acknowledged it was tough having that security "taken away" and feels that without considerable reserves of self-belief and dedication, he probably would have given up on the game. "If you didn't feel that you had anything to offer or you felt you were past it, or your body wasn't up to it, then of course I would have gone into something else ... but I watch a lot of the A-League and I know I'm good enough to play in the A-League," Ward said.
With limited professional football opportunities in Australia across just ten A-League clubs, players like Ward have tough choices to make if they drop out of the system. The semi-professional state leagues are the only other option in Australia, while many players discarded by the A-League choose to continue their careers in various leagues around Asia.
But Ward was not willing to settle for what he considered second-rate options. "You get games under (your belt) and it shows that you're keen', but I didn't really feel like I wanted to do that," he said. "It affects you if you want to go and play in Asia. So I didn't want to lose that opportunity … I was being a bit selective, just because I'm only 29, I felt that once you go to the lower leagues of Asia, you've kind of written your script."
Those decisions have meant Ward has had to essentially look after himself, although he paid tribute to both Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold and Glory's Kenny Lowe, who have let him train with their squads at different periods this season. "I've done a lot of training on my own, a lot of hard days. And I've had help from a lot of different people but a lot of it's been off my own back," Ward said.
It has been a tough 18 months. "It's not enjoyable, I would definitely say that. It's tough in a lot of ways because you're so used to going in (to the club) everyday and then that's taken away from you," commented the former ECU Joondalup and Stirling Lions player said. "Not only just being around the boys and the enjoyment factor of it but it's also your livelihood."
"I was lucky enough that I'd played overseas and I managed to invest, so that kept me afloat but it's tough times," he added. "But I wouldn't be the first and I'm not going to be the last footballer who's out of work. So it's just one of those things." Ward hopes he can put that period behind him after signing for Western Sydney, and start to demonstrate why it was worth waiting for another chance.
SAINSBURY ALWAYS BELIEVED SOCCEROOS WOULD SUCCEED
Australia's rising star Trent Sainsbury was sure the Socceroos would win the 2015 Asian Cup after their unfortunate defeat to Korea Republic in the group stage of the competition. The Socceroos finished second in Group A following a 1-0 loss to the Koreans in their third game. Australia played some of its best football in the tournament on a hot and humid night in Brisbane and did not deserve to go home empty-handed.
The positives of that performance were not lost on Sainsbury. "After the 1-0 loss to Korea I said to myself this team is going to win the Cup," said Sainsbury. "Even though we did not score we had enough opportunities to win two games. The game gave us the belief that this team could do something special." Australia went on to win its first major men's international honour by turning the tables on the Koreans and win the trophy with a stirring 2-1 victory in the final.
Sainsbury always had confidence in the 'cultural revolution' Australia underwent following Ange Postecoglou's coaching appointment in late 2013. "We never lost the belief in what we were trying to achieve," the defender said. "Ange is a very good motivational speaker. He always believed in his methods and he carried this on to the players whenever we got into camp. I don't think we ever had any doubts that we were not going to be successful in what we did … Rome was not built in a day, after all."
23-year old Sainsbury can look forward to a rewarding future with the national team now that he has established himself in the Dutch Eredivisie. "Zwolle is going well and we are chasing a spot in Europe even though we have hit a bad patch and lost four in a row," he said. "Personally it's been a bit of a mixed bag. I have a good game then I get injured, that sort of thing. It can be frustrating but I'm playing in central defence which is where I prefer to play."
LOWE EAGER TO END WINLESS RUN
Kenny Lowe says he wants to see Perth Glory get back to winning ways as the A-League season nears a dramatic conclusion. Glory returned to top spot courtesy of a 1-1 draw away to fellow title-challengers Melbourne Victory on Saturday. But Lowe's men have now gone seven consecutive games without tasting victory, drawing their last four in succession. "Obviously we'd like wins, because we haven't won in a few," he said. "We seem to be very competitive and very well organised. And make it difficult for people. Just got to keep banging away."
Glory produced a typically physical performance at AAMI Park, with eight different players from the visiting team entering the referee's book and Mitch Nichols receiving his marching orders in injury time when he committed a second bookable offence. Lowe though made no apologies for his team's uncompromising approach. "We're coming to a cauldron with 20,000 people, to the best team in the league," he said. "We're not going to wear pink tutus and walk around letting them have their own way. It's a competitive game and that's the make-up of our team."
Star striker Andy Keogh broke his goal drought on Saturday to score for the first time since January, although Lowe knows it will take more than that for Glory to retain their spot at the top of the table. "If we want to win the league, we've got to get wins," he said. "We're not stupid. And if we want to win, we've got to score goals. We've had very tough games, we've done really well. I think we've lost three games all year. We've just to got to find that little knack of maybe scoring goals. And if we do that, bloody hell, we might do OK this year.
NPL-WA NIGHT SERIES REVIEW - WEEK FIVE
The final round of fixtures in the PS4 NPL WA Night Series began on Friday night and defending Champions Bayswater City bowed out of this year’s tournament after a 1-1 draw in a thrilling game against Subiaco AFC in the late game at Macedonia Park. It looked like Chris Coyne’s side would have the upper hand after Subiaco defender George Tchami was sent off on the stroke of half time, for his second yellow card after he brought down Steve Burton giving City a penalty. Burton picked himself up to take the spot kick, but Ryan Montgomery guessed the right way to save. Bayswater made their numerical advantage count on 71 minutes, when Todd Howarth’s curling corner was headed into his own net by Jackson Dongray. It looked like that would be the end of the scoring but in stoppage time Subiaco found the equaliser. Jackson Darnell’s first shot was saved by Devon Spence, but the rebound fell to Darnell, who made no mistake from close-range.
In the early game it was a nine goal thriller, with Stirling Lions beating Shamrock Rovers 5-4 to clinch a Semi-Final spot. “It was always going to be an open game because we knew we had to win and with goal difference possibly coming into play,” David Micevski said. “We made hard work of it although credit to Shamrock they never gave in, but in the end the three points were good enough to see us through to the semi-final which is a great achievement considering the majority of our starting 11 has moved on since last season.” It was Rovers who opened the scoring on the quarter hour. Will Pender cut in from the left and hit a low shot which was well saved by Connor Campbell, but Pender was quickest to react, cutting the ball back to Nick Little to score. But on 28 minutes the Lions drew level, Robert Petkov’s shot was blocked, but Daniel Micevski scored from the rebound. The home side were ahead four minutes later. A short corner by Daniel Micevski caught Rovers napping, and Moses Kalau curled in a superb shot from the edge of the penalty area. It looked game over when the Lions added two more midway through the second half, with Petkov and David Micevski on target. But the Rovers had other ideas, and produced a stunning fight back. First on 69 minutes Pender was brought down in the area and Graham Doran converted from the spot. With five minutes remaining they pulled another goal back, with Little curling home from outside the box. Then three minutes later they equalised. Steve Sheridan burst into the penalty area, and fed Little to fire home across Campbell to complete his hat-trick. But the drama wasn’t over there, and in the final minute the Lions won it. A free kick on the edge of the penalty area was superbly curled into the corner of the net by Kalau.
In Saturday’s top of the table Group B game Cockburn City beat Perth SC 4-2 at Dorrien Gardens. “The boys were brilliant tonight, but we are really disappointed to give away two bad goals,” Cockburn keeper Curtis Aspden said. “But our attacking play was another level and on a different day we could have a hat full.” Both sides had already qualified for the next stage, but it was Cockburn who hit the front on 10 minutes Former Perth striker Friday Zico made space down the left and crossed to Liam Murray, who headed home. The home side levelled six minutes later, Reeve Vittiglia was brought down in the penalty area and he converted from the spot. Cockburn were not to be outdone and regained the lead on 21 minutes, with Murray added his second. The Cockerels added a third nine minutes into the second half, Craig Tone finding Connor Kavanagh, and his long-range shot flew into the corner of the net giving Dunn no chance. It was 4-1 on 68 minutes, Kavanagh netting his second with a shot from 10-yards, after a goal mouth scramble hadn’t been dealt with by Perth. The home side scored a consolation goal five minutes from time, with Vittiglia adding his second. “This has been coming for a couple of weeks and Cockburn proved to be the better team, punishing us for our mistakes,” a disappointed Perth Coach Taki Nicolaidis said. “We had a few good chances in the first half and that came back and bit us on the bum. We copped four goals and if it wasn’t for Alex Dunn, our goalkeeper, we probably would have copped another two or three as well, it wasn’t acceptable.”
In the late game Sorrento ended the tournament with a solid 4-0 win against Armadale. The Gulls were ahead on 20 minutes, Jack Salter finding Brad McDonald down the left, he cut inside and fired home. They doubled their advantage four minutes later, Salter was brought down in the penalty area and Ryan Pearson converted from the resulting penalty. They added their third 15 minutes from time, Thomas Boss sending Zack Edwards one-on-one with Luke Radonich, and he slotted it home. In the final minute they added a fourth, Edwards cutting the ball back to Salter, who’s first shot was saved Radonich, but he fired home the rebound.
In Sunday’s PS4 NPL-WA Night Series Floreat Athena became the last club to qualify for the Semi-Final after a 3-2 win against Balcatta at E&D Litis Stadium in Group A. Balcatta only needed a point to go through but were behind after only three minutes, Ludovic Boi intercepted a poor back pass to fire across Dom Savoldelli and into the bottom corner of the net. Things got better for the home side when they doubled their lead on the hour, Jack Allen finishing well after good approach work. Balcatta pulled one back four minutes before half time, Adam Tong sent Paddy Quinn down the flank, he cut inside his marker, his low shot was saved by Fraser Greenwood, but Darcy Cosgrove fired home the rebound. Then 10 minutes after half time Balcatta were level, Marc de Francesch slide rule pass sent Quinn in on goal, and fired home from an acute angle. But Floreat were not going to lie down and regained the lead on the hour. Good work on the left by Ashley Corker ended with a cross to Boi, whose shot was saved by Savoldelli, but Allen was quickest to react to the rebound and scored. In the late Group C game ECU Joondalup beat Inglewood United 2-0, to finish the group in third spot. Dale McCulloch’s side were ahead on 14 minutes; Danny Dixon made space down the left, cut inside and fired home an unstoppable shot from 20-yards. Then on the stroke of half time they doubled their lead. Dixon was the supplier this time, his pass sent Tommy Amphlett racing clear and he finished clinically past Aleks Vrteski. Inglewood pressed late, but Jamie Serra was in great form to deny them. In next week’s Semi-Finals Floreat Athena will meet Perth SC at Percy Doyle Reserve (5pm), while Cockburn City takes on Stirling Lions at 7pm.
STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES REVIEW - WEEK FIVE
Mandurah City booked a spot in the Semi-Finals after a hard fought 4-2 win against Gosnells City at the Hyundai Stadium. “It was a tough game and Gosnells really gave it to us, but were happy to continue in the competition,” said Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh. “I thought Matthew Stares and Jordan Rhodes were outstanding for us, and I’m really pleased for the club and its supporters after getting behind us tonight when we were behind.” It was winner takes all in this contest and the home side were ahead early. A corner picked out skipper Andy Brown, and his volley flew into the net. But Gosnells hit back a mistake by defender Craig Young let in Wade Farmer, who lobbed David Keenan to level. Then moments later Gosnells hit the front, a mix-up between Young and Keenan, gave the ball on a plate to Sean Taylor, who rolled the ball into an empty net. Then Gosnells were reduced to 10 men when Scott Pereira was given a straight red card, and Mandurah levelled, Abe Tcuoho curling home superbly from a tight angle. After the break Mandurah were on top and Jon Brooks rattled the crossbar, before they hit the front through a second to Tcuoho, before Brown played a one-two with Lance Louvie and drilled it home from 12-yards to make it 4-2. Gosnells City Coach Rob Eldridge thought the sending off changed the game. “I’m very proud of the lads tonight, we were 2-1 up and then we were reduced to 10 men, which I thought was a little harsh, and it spoilt a great game,” he said. “But lads fought it out to the end, and we had chances but couldn’t convert them, but the lads did the club proud.”
In the late game Fremantle City beat Rockingham City 2-1. Maddy Holman scored a brace for Fremantle, while Ian Ng was on target for Rockingham. Joondalup United maintained their 100% record in the competition after a 6-1 win against Balga at the Wanneroo Sports Complex. A brace to Connor Southern, with Alex Wild, Nick Sharples, Gareth Hamilton and Callum Stocks also on target for United, while Ben Wantee was on target for Balga. In the late game hosts Wanneroo City were beaten 5-2 by Quinns FC.
In Saturday night’s double header at Kingsway Reserve, Ashfield kept the pressure on Dianella White Eagles in Group D with a 4-0 win against Ellenbrook United. With Ashfield Coach Paul Dundo still overseas, Ian McKean and Terry Goddard were in charge and a brace from Jamie Burns, and singles to Emmanuel Wordu and Matt Wardle moved then to the top of the table, and they must wait on Sunday’s results to see if they go through. In the earlier Group A game Kingsway Olympic drew 1-1 with UWA-Nedlands. Komando Sikazwe gave UWA the lead just before half time, but Wayne Culverwood’s cross midway through the second half was headed into his own net by a UWA defender to give both sides a share of the spoils.
In Sunday’s State League Night Series games, the final two spots in the semi-finals were taken, with both Western Knights and Dianella White Eagles winning their respective groups. In Group D, Dianella White Eagles needed to win to pip Ashfield for the spot and they did so beating North Perth United 4-1 in the early game at Wotton Reserve. Goals from Jose Zuniga, Danny Hodgson and a brace from Angel Ribeira gave the Eagles a 4-0 half time lead, while Michael English scored for North Perth after the break. In the late game Morley Windmills edged out Joondalup City 2-1. Alistair Blair and Daniel Lombardi were on target for the hosts, while Luke Serra scored for City. Western Knights won Group B after a 6-3 win against Curtin University at Hartfield Park. Doubles from Paul Lloyd, Ross Diamond and David Onoforo were the scorers for the Knights, while a brace from Rory Binnie and one from Carlo Cheillini scored for Curtin. In other Group B games on Sunday Rhys Loxley’s penalty gave Forrestfield United a 1-0 win against Swan United, while Melville City beat Canning City 5-2. City’s Blake Readwin scored a hat trick, with the others to Sasa Slavujevic and Christian Long, while Dane Navarro and Daniel Trvisiol scored for Canning. Finally in Group C South West Phoenix beat Kelmscott Roos 3-0 with goals to Ryan Stewart, Scott Geare and Keiran Kavanagh. That sets up next weekend’s Semi-Finals, which are to be held at Wotton Reserve on Sunday. First at 5pm Joondalup United take on Dianella White Eagles, while at 7.15pm Western Knights go head-head with Mandurah City
FORRESTFIELD TOO GOOD FOR SWAN (courtesy Forrestfield United)
With bragging rights to dominance of the Eastern Corridor at stake, both teams had their share of play with Forrestfield the first to get out of the blocks. Trent Wood overlapped with Rhys Loxley and sent a cross in from the left that was just wide of the on rushing Malcom Tshuma and across the face of goal. Shortly after in some fine lead up play involving a string of passes, Day Day Poe was put through down the right and cut the ball back for Malcom Tshuma who this time blazed his shot wide to the left.
Forrestfield was dominating the play but on 25 minutes had a forced substitution with Kaan Karacan coming off with a hamstring twinge. This seemed to have unsettled Forrestfield allowing Swan to take control. Their most promising play saw Cam Anderson knock the ball past Phil Donachie and his cross picked out the unmarked Swan striker who shot on goal but in the way was the ever reliable Brad Eiffe who somehow saved with his legs when all the Swan supporters were looking for the ball to hit the back of the net. Soon after a long range drive looked like it was heading in but Eiffe was again at his best and tipped the ball over the crossbar.
The second half was a closer affair with both teams threatening but it was Swan that had the better chances to score early. Swan were given a free kick just outside the penalty area and a stinging shot was initially only parried by Eiffe and somehow fell at the feet of a Swan player who prodded the ball towards goal only to see it cleared off the lone by the Forrestfield defence.
Half way through the half Rhys Loxley was released down the left for Forrestfield by a superb through ball from Trent Wood, and as he rounded the defender he was tripped and the referee pointed straight to the penalty spot, Wood made no mistake from the spot to win the game for Forrestfield.
GLORY DROUGHT NEEDS TO END SAYS LOWE
Kenny Lowe says he wants to see his side get back to winning ways as the Hyundai A-League season nears a dramatic conclusion. The Glory returned to top spot courtesy of a 1-1 draw away to fellow title-challengers Melbourne Victory on Saturday. But Lowe's men have now gone seven consecutive games without tasting victory, drawing their last four in succession, and the coach say’s that has got to change as they head into the final run in to the finals. “Obviously we'd like wins, because we haven't won in a few," he said. "We seem to be very competitive and very well organised. And make it difficult for people. Just got to keep banging away, get another seven games out the way and see where we end up."
The Glory had to be resilient on Saturday in a hostile environment at AAMI Park, but fought fire with fire with eight different players entering the referee's notebook and Mitch Nichols receiving his marching orders in injury time when he committed a second bookable offence. Lowe though made no apologies for his team's uncompromising approach. "We're coming to a cauldron with 20,000 people, to the best team in the league," he said. "We're not going to wear pink tutus and walk around letting them have their own way. It's a competitive game and that's the make-up of our team."
Star striker Andy Keogh broke his goal drought on Saturday to score the first time since January, although Lowe knows it will take more than that for the nib Stadium outfit to retain their spot at the top of the table. "If we want to win the league, we've got to get wins," he said. "We're not stupid. And if we want to win, we've got to score goals. We've had very tough games, we've done really well. I think we've lost three games all year. We've just got to find that little knack of maybe scoring goals. And if we do that, bloody hell, we might do ok this year."
MACCLESFIELD DREAMING OF FOOTBALL LEAGUE RETURN: GRANT
Defender Alex Grant admits Macclesfield Town can’t help but dream about winning England’s Conference Premier. Although the Silkmen’s promotion challenge was dented by a four-goal loss at Eastleigh last Saturday, they hit back in mid-week by downing Braintree Town 1-0. Grant, who has loaned to Macclesfield from Premier League club Stoke City this season, scored the only game to send his club back into third place.
Macclesfield are now just six points off leaders Bristol Rovers with a game in hand and on home soil today against lowly Aldershot Town. “We needed to bounce back after Saturday,” said Grant. “Getting the result on Tuesday night couldn’t have been better really. The spirit is great. It’s not changed since I’ve come here. All season it’s been class and the lads are upbeat. I think we all think we can win the league but it’s going to take a lot of hard work still so we’ve got to keep putting it in.”
TEN MEN GLORY HOLD ON IN MELBOURNE
Perth Glory has maintained their lead at the top of the Hyundai A-League table after an action packed 1-1 draw with Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Saturday afternoon. Irish striker Andy Keogh broke his goal drought, giving the Glory the lead just before the break, before a stunning strike from Macedonian international defender Daniel Georgievski earned the home side a share of the spoils. The Glory finished the game with ten men when Mitch Nichols was sent off for a second yellow card "We’ve been grinding out results even though we haven’t been playing as well as we had been but we got a good point here today against a very good Victory team,” Keogh said.
The Victory began brightly and Kosta Barbarouses, Besart Berisha and Fahid Ben Khalfallah all troubled the Glory defence in the opening 20 minutes, but they couldn’t find the break through and the Glory almost took the lead on the half hour. A brain fade from goalkeeper Nathan Coe nearly cost Victory, his weak clearance went straight to Keogh, but defender Matthieu Delpierre was alert to block the Irishman’s shot. But two minutes from half time the Glory hit the front. A ball over the top found Dino Djulbic, who looked in an offside position, and the ball was won in the tackle by Scott Jamieson, who fed Michael Thwaite, whose ball into the area found Keogh, who fired home past Coe and dispite Mark Milligan’s attempted clearance the ball nestled in the back of the net and Keogh headed towards the big Glory contingent in the crowd to celebrate.
But it wasn’t over there with Victory players, coaches and fans showing their displeasure as on TV replays it looked like Keogh had strayed offside before scoring, and water bottles were thrown at the assistant in ugly scenes. Their annoyance didn’t stop there and in stoppage Barbarouses’ shot hit Josh Risdon’s arm in the penalty area, but referee Kris Griffiths-Jones waved away their protests. The half-time whistle was met with a cacophony of shouting but brought respite to the tension.
After the break, it was on again, with Daniel De Silva and Thwaite joined Mitch Nichols and Djulbic as Glory players in the book in the first ten minutes after the break as Victory surged forward. Then just after the hour the Glory were breached, and what a goal it was. Georgievski was fed by Ben Khalfallah on the left, and the Macedonian international defender curled home superbly from the edge of the penalty area. The Victory were finding pockets of space behind the Glory midfielders, something they failed to do in the first half, and Khalfallah twice tested Vukovic with shots, before heading Carl Valeri’s cross inches wide.
The Glory had a penalty claim downed down when Keogh’s shot deflected off Delpierre with six minutes remaining, and they were then reduced to ten men when Nicols was shown a second yellow card. Vukovic then denied Khalfallah’s run and shot in stoppage time, but the Glory hung on for the point, and keep the wood on Kevin Muscat’s side.
BAYSWATER BRING IN DODD
Former Perth Glory and Socceroo midfielder Travis Dodd has joined PS4 NPL-WA side Bayswater City as an assistant coach for the new season. The Frank Drago Reserve club took all before them last season, and the recruitment of Dodd will go a long way in helping the club to achieve back-to-back league titles. “It’s great to be back in the game,” Dodd said. “I thank the club and (Bayswater coach) Chris Coyne for the opportunity and hope to share my experience and knowledge to take the club to the next level.”
The 35-year-old who joined the Glory from Adelaide in 2011, after playing over 130 games for the South Australia outfit, had a brief spell as teammates of Coyne in his first season, and Bayswater Coach is looking forward to working with Dodd as the club looks for more silverware this season. “To have someone of Travis’ calibre as both a coach and a person is essential in moving the club forward,” Coyne said. “He has all the tools to coach at the highest level and I look forward to working with Travis as do all the staff and players at Bayswater.”
Dodd, whose A-League career ended last season, when he tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament, believes football in the state is growing and he hopes to help the club on and off the field. “The game is growing here in WA and the clubs are professional outfits and you can clearly see that with Bayswater City,” he said. “From the President, to the members, the objectives and football philosophy is well structured and managed and I see this club growing positively. I want to be part of it and its development.”
NPL-WA NIGHT SERIES PREVIEW - WEEK FIVE
National Premier League WA Night series Semi-Final spots are on the line tonight in Group A, with Bayswater City and Stirling Lions still in the hunt. Macedonia Park is the venue, and in the early game the Lions host Shamrock Rovers (6.30pm). The hosts must win and hope Bayswater City slip up, when they take on Subiaco AFC in the late game (8.30pm) Bayswater midfielder Todd Howarth said they have slowly been improving after a disastrous start. “It wasn’t ideal to lose our first game and it's fair to say we've started a bit slower than previous years,” he said. “The coaches have a slightly different philosophy this year to try and avoid a mid-season dip as we have experienced the past couple of seasons. Our fitness is slowly improving week by week and we're happy with the progress.” He also knows they will need to win well, as goal difference will come into play to decide the group, but he is expecting a tough game. “Subiaco will be up for the game, so we need to be on our toes. It’s important we win, and goal difference could determine who goes through but weren't not going anywhere without the points in the bag,” Howarth said. “Obviously we'd like to go on and win the thing, mainly because we hate losing, but it's not the end of the world if we don't, getting prepped for round one is the most important thing and if getting into the semi’s, and final means more games and opportunities to improve then that's what we'll be aiming for.”
On Saturday night in Group B the two unbeaten sides in the group meet, with Perth SC hosting Cockburn City (6pm) Both sides have qualified for the next stage but Cockerels Coach Marc Anthony believes the winner will give themselves an edge in the Semi-Final “I’ve been happy with our start to the Night Series, and so far we’ve managed to play a lot of player’s to give them experience. We will be missing a few players this week, but our squad is pretty deep and it gives the lads the chance to play against one of the strongest teams in the league,” he said. “Perth has been very impressive so far, scoring freely and defensively looking sound. This will be another step up for our boys so it will be interesting to see how we fair.” Perth defender Alex Castiello comes up against his former club, and despite both sides already qualified for the final, says they will be looking to go undefeated in the group stage. “We have had some really good wins scoring lots of goals and managing to keep some solid clean sheets, we still need to improve in certain areas and we are all aware of that,” he said. “We have a few injury's and a few players away so you may see some new faces for the game but it all comes down to the decisions of the coaching staff.” Castiello left Dalmatinac Park to join the Perth Glory Youth side, before heading to Dorrien Gardens, but he still has fond memories of his time at the Cockerels, but is determined to get the three points on Saturday. “Cockburn are a great club, I watched them a few times this tournament, with some familiar faces as well as some new and they look like they are going to be true competitors this year,” he explained. “But i am very confident in our ability and the talent and depth we have in our squad so I have all confidents in progressing all the way.” In the late game Armadale go head-to-head with Sorrento (8pm)
On Sunday in Group B Floreat Athena and Balcatta will know the results from Friday’s games when they meet at E&D Litis Stadium (5pm) If results have gone their way both could still qualify, and both sides will be doing their best to reach the last eight, and skipper Adam Tong knows they will be in for a tough game. “From what I have seen of Floreat they are a solid outfit they have recruited well and the battle will be in midfield and keeping Kris Gate and Ludovic Boi quiet, and if we succeed with doing that then we have a chance of making the final four,” he said. “It's going to be a battle and an entertaining one for all to see, we are the only team in our group not to lose so far so hopefully we can continue that form and get the result we need to get through.” In the late game Inglewood United take on ECU Joondalup in Group B (7pm)
STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES PREVIEW - WEEK FIVE
Its winner takes all tonight in the State League Group C, when Mandurah City hosts Gosnells City at the Hyundai Stadium (6.30pm) in the final round robin games. Gosnells City have been impressive in the competition to date and go into tonight’s game undefeated, and striker Caleb Aquino, who bagged a brace last week, said their young side have worked really hard, and have got their rewards. “The night Series has definitely shown a lot of character from our young squad and it’s rewarding to see all the hard work from our pre-season is paying off,” he said. “We are getting better as each game goes, and it’s exciting to hopefully take this form into the 2015 season.” Tonight is a big test, and a win will see them reach the Semi-Final, and Aquino is looking forward to the challenge. “They (Mandurah) are going to be up there competing for the title and have quality players in every position,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough test for our squad, but we heading into the match with confidence and we will be looking for the three points and progress to the next stage.”
Mandurah skipper Andy Brown said their squad is looking strong and the coaching staff at the club deserve a lot of the credit. “Doug (Hesketh) and Steve (Robinson) should be commended for putting together a very balanced squad, it’s been a great start for us, but it’s only early days but the signs are positive,” he said. “The experienced players are setting the standard and the younger players are taking heed. We have managed to rotate the players throughout the series, without an issue, and maintaining high standards, and this bodes well for the season ahead.” Brown, who joined the Dolphins from Stirling Lions this season, said tonight’s game will be a good contest, and they have done their homework on their opponents. “Gosnells have had an equally good start to the campaign, and we can’t approach this game lightly. We have watched them and we will be looking to exploit their weaknesses,’ Brown said. “In saying that we will prepare for the game as we do any other, focusing more on our preparation and style of play, than trying to combat theirs. It should be a blockbuster, with a semi-finals spot up for grabs. It would be great to get the local footballing community to get behind us, and it would be great to see a big crowd on hand tonight.” In the late game in Group C Fremantle City take on Rockingham City (8.30pm) Also tonight in Group A, Wanneroo City hosts Quinns FC at the Wanneroo Sports Complex, while in the late game Joondalup United, who have already qualified for the Semi-Finals, meet Balga.
On Saturday evening there is a double header at Kingsway Reserve, and first up hosts Kingsway Olympic entertain UWA-Nedlands in Group A (6.30pm), while in the late game Ashfield take on Ellenbrook United in Group D, needing to win and hoping Dianella White Eagles slip up tomorrow to move through. There are four matches on Sunday at Hartfield Park. First up in Group B, hosts Forrestfield United entertain Swan United (5pm) Former Swan midfielder Trent Wood believes the club has used the competition to blood some of their younger squad players, and will be hoping they can win and the leaders in the Group Western Knights slip up. “We go out to win every game we play, but this night series has been about youth development for us, and we are not getting carried away with the chance of progressing to the next stage, if it comes it would be nice,” he said. “The coaching staff has played players as young as 15 in the games and they more than held their own, which will be a huge boost, during the league campaign.” Sunday will be the first time Wood comes up against his former club, and he still has a lot of mates at the club. “It’s the first competitive fixture against my old club, so it will be interesting to say the least,” he said. “I still hold the club in high regard, and respect a lot of the current boys that are still playing there. I will however be out to beat them and hopefully we can finish on a high.”
The Group C game between Kelmscott Roos and South West Pheonix will also take place at Hartfield Park at 5pm and an adjacent pitch. In the other Group B games on the night Melville City and Canning City meet, at 7pm, while at the same time on an adjacent pitch Western Knights take on Curtin University and a win will see the Knights progress to the Semi-Finals. In the final Group D games Wotton Park is the venue, and first hosts Morley Windmills will look to end the series on a high when they meet Joondalup City (5pm), while in the late game Mauro Machione’s Dianella White Eagles know a win against North Perth United will see them reach the Semi-Final, and defender Igor Novakovic says it’s been a good tournament for the club. “We have played well so far, however the team has a long way to go, and we are getting better every game,” he said. “We knew a win will take us to the semi-final, and we will do what we have practiced this week at training, and I’m sure if we stick to Mauro’s instructions we will get the job done.” Sunday Premier League Champions North Perth United has impressed, and Novakovic said they will need to be on their toes. “We are not taking this game lightly; they pushed Ashfield all the way,” he said. “They are a physical team, but they are also a hardworking and disciplined side, so we need to stay focused, and make sure we stick to the game plan.”
TOP OF THE TABLE CLASH FOR GLORY
League leaders Perth Glory go head-to-head with second placed Melbourne Victory at AMMI Park in Week 20 of the Hyundai A-League on Saturday (2.30pm) The Glory will be looking to break a six game run without a win, which has seen their lead at the top of the ladder cut to just three points. Victory haven’t beaten the Glory this season, and the last time they met in Victoria, the Glory left with a 2-1 win, with Andy Keogh scoring a late winner. The Irish striker has been off the score sheet in recent weeks, and he will be hoping to end that on Saturday. Perhaps summing up the mood in the table-topping squad and the strength of Keogh's character, the 28-year-old's team-mates are reminding him of his four-game goalless run. "He's a confident type of player," skipper Michael Thwaite said. “The boys are giving him a bit of stick about not scoring, but it's more jovial. He's a confident person, and I'm sure it's only going to be a matter of time before he scores again."
Thwaite was understandably pleased that his team's nearest rivals – Victory, Adelaide United and Wellington Phoenix – had failed to pounce on the Glory's winless run, and the 31-year-old said Lowe's men simply needed to make a couple of small changes. "I think the evidence is clear that we're making our own errors and creating goals against," Thwaite said. "Our structure needs to be improved in order to stop their goals because the teams aren't creating really good goals against us; it's our own balance in the system which is causing us a bit of a problem, but they're minor adjustments. The good thing is we're still getting results and the teams around us are not. They haven't taken advantage of our draws and that's good for us."
Ruben Zadkovich returns to the squad, and Brandon O’Neill is out, after leaving the club by mutual consent today. Kevin Muscat’s side missed the opportunity to leap frog Kenny Lowe’s side last week, going down 3-2 to Wellington Phoenix, who is also in the mix for the title. They have made two additions to an extended squad for Saturday's blockbuster with forwards Connor Pain and Andrew Nabbout both promoted to an 18-man squad, with two to be omitted before kick-off. Melbourne Victory has a full squad to choose from after French defender Matthieu Delpierre made his return from injury in last week's loss.
PERTH BATTLE COCKBURN FOR TOP SPOT (courtesy Perth SC)
Perth SC will settle for nothing less than a win against Cockburn City on Saturday night, despite already qualifying for the semi finals and only needing a draw to top the group. The Azzurri move into the final round of the Night Series ahead of Cockburn City in Group B on goal difference, and midfielder Mark Pritchard said the team would be pushing hard for a win.
"Watching Cockburn a couple of times, you can see they look like a very good team," Pritchard said."They have won four out of four as well, so you know it's going to be a tough game."But obviously we want to finish top of the group and that's the most important thing going into the semis, so it will be good to win on Saturday."
Coach Taki Nicolaidis said the Azzurri faced a big challenge against an equally matched team in Cockburn and would be looking for an improved performance from Perth SC's last outing against Inglewood."Cockburn are a very good team and Marc Anthony has them playing a good brand of football," he said."They are strong all over the park and will be a very good test for us."
Nicolaidis has close to a full strength squad to choose from this week with midfielder Dean Evans coming back from overseas. However, goalkeeper Francis Soale will miss again with a hamstring injury. Pritchard scored his first goal of the Night Series campaign in last week's injury time win over Inglewood, and Perth SC fans will hope it was the first of many more. "To be honest, it was our first and only chance to score in the first half [against Inglewood} after not playing very well," he said. "But it was a lovely cut-back by Reece and I just managed to get the right peg on it, lucky enough it went in."
Pritchard said the Azzurri did well to win despite starting slow and were glad to have maintained their 100 per cent winning streak."I think we could have played better, but we showed good character coming from behind twice," he said. "I wouldn't say we've been firing on all cylinders in every game but to be winning games and not be playing overly well in some of them is a good sign leading into the season."
Cockburn won 4-3 against Sorrento last Sunday and Pritchard said both teams would be focused on finishing top of the Group B table. Perth SC takes on Cockburn City this Saturday at Dorrien Gardens. Kick-off is 6pm.
VUKOVIC REACHES A MILESTONE
Perth Glory keeper Danny Vukovic will equal a Hyundai A-League record, for the most appearances when the Glory takes on Melbourne Victory this weekend. The Glory custodian will equal Matt Thompson’s 221 haul when he takes the field in Saturday’s top of the table blockbuster against the Victory at AAMI Park.
The 29-year-old has been in sparkling form over the last two seasons, and the milestones don’t stop there, and this weekend will mark his 100th A-League game for the Glory. “I was a big decision for me and my family to head west, but one I’m glad I took,” said Vukovic, who joined the Glory from Wellington Phoenix in 2011. “That was a year when we made the Grand Final and there have been a lot of similarities going into this year,” he said. “I thought we had what it took to win it and it’s now up to us, to turn around and make the most of it and win the next couple of games.”
Vukovic, who has represented Australia at under 20’s and 23’s, turns 30 this month, but he is planning to play on for a while to come. “It only feels like yesterday, when I played my first game in the A-League, it’s gone that quick, but I’m really proud of the way the game has come on in the last 10-years and to have been part of the league in that time and to see how far it’s come, it’s been amazing.”
Time will tell how the talented keeper juggles life and football. Vukovic, arguably in the best form of his career, will become a father for the first time later this year. “Yeah it’s a massive change in my life for me and my wife Kristy. They say life changes when you have kids I’m sure it will we both can’t wait, we’ve got about four months to go”. But between now and then, football comes first. “Taking out the minor premiership has to be our goal, we’ve been on top for so long now and we need to keep going and hopefully we can cap off this year with a Grand Final victory, and then a baby after that” he said.
O’NEILL LEAVES THE GLORY
Brandon O’Neill has left the Perth Glory, after they mutually agreed to terminate the defensive-midfielder’s contract immediately, to allow the 20-year old to pursue other football opportunities. O’Neill joined the Hyundai A-League leaders in 2011, appearing 16 times for his home town club, but has had little game time over recent weeks in the senior side, but he has been outstanding in the Glory Youth sides push towards the title.
He looks set to sign for another A-League club, but he believes it’s the right time to move on. “I’d like to thank the club, the members and people of Perth. It’s a difficult decision with the club having such a strong team and doing so well and also being at the top of the Hyundai A-League. However, I believe the time is right for me to accept a new challenge in my career away from my home town,” he said.
In 2010 O’Neill signed a youth contract with the Glory and then re-signed again in 2011. He made his professional debut in the 2011-12 A-League season, in the round 26 clash against Gold Coast United at the Robina Stadium. He then signed a two year senior contract with Perth Glory, in May 2012.
He thanked the clubs players and coaching staff, former and present for their contribution while he was at the club. “I’d also like to thank all the players at the club from Thwaitey (Captain Michael Thwaite) at the top and down to the younger players. I would also like to thank former coach Ian Ferguson, who gave me my first professional contract and I’d also like to thank all the coaches during my time at Glory.”
SUBIACO AFC TO CALL ROSALIE PARK HOME
It was a successful season for Subiaco AFC in the inaugural NPLWA, but after playing their home games at the WA Athletics Stadium, they will return to their original home of Rosalie Park for 2015. The clubs addition to the top flight last season had a few eye brows raised in the WA football circles, but on the park they showed many they deserved to be there. Off the field they struggled and they lost their identity moving grounds, but that was part of the criteria put in place by the governing body.
That being said the club will have to completely abide by the competition rules, and the governing body has the right to switch games if they do not comply. The club sent out a statement which said. “Subiaco AFC has been in discussion with council staff regarding playing our senior NPL games at Rosalie Park. Our NPL license requires us to play those games on a pitch that is suitably fenced, and to meet those requirements we played our home games at the WA Athletics Stadium. Whilst the venue provides a first class facility, it is not our home, and playing at a separate venue makes it difficult for our elite senior teams to connect with our grassroots junior community. So returning these teams to Rosalie Park, is an important step in building a stronger, more cohesive club.”
Football West PS4 NPLWA Manager Chris Beech said the club would have to meet certain criteria and believes they will. “All NPLWA clubs are required to meet certain standards, which includes venue requirements,’ he said. “Clubs are entitled to move ground between seasons but the venue to which they determine to play their home games, must meet the requirements of the competition. If the club can meet the requirements we set out in the NPLWA compliance By-Law for a particular venue, they are entitled to play their home matches there.”
Beech said Subiaco AFC had showed they were a club that deserved to be in the competition on the pitch, and hopes they can get it right of the pitch too. “The National Premier League WA was established with a view to improving standards across the board,” he explained. “At the heart of the NPL, is the desire to improve the development of players, which is best done through improvement of coaching standards and increasing the number of people in our game. “Subiaco is a big club that made an on-field leap into the NPLWA, but they held their own and I’m sure Gerry (McEwen) and the players have many highlights form 2014. Off the field, the club had a strong group of hardworking volunteers and is run well, like many other WA clubs.”
The inaugural season of the NPLWA was a roaring success, and Beech is hoping to continue that in 2015. “The NPL WA was never going to be a giant leap forward in season one and it was also not going to be the end point for the game. It was always about small steps towards a bigger and better future and on the whole, the inaugural season of the NPLWA went well,” he explained. “There were some fantastic matches, great goals – all of which were captured by Football West cameras – and a lot of kids were exposed to good coaching. This will continue to get better into the future.”
He also acknowledged that not everyone was happy, but overall it was a successful season. “As governing body, we accept that some people will not be happy with everything we do but we firmly believe the sport is on a very good footing with the establishment of the NPLWA,” Beech said. “We have had great feedback from many people involved in the NPLWA and Football Federation Australia has been delighted with our contribution to the overall National Premier Leagues competition. Based on early NPL Night Series form the 2015 season promises to be another exciting year on and off the field. If we can continue improving in all areas, over the coming seasons we will see more and more WA players going to do great things in football.”
GRIFFITHS CASTS HIS GAZE ABROAD
Rostyn Griffiths says he wants to play overseas before his career is over and will leave Perth Glory at the end of this season if he gets the right offer. The defensive midfielder has been one of Glory's most consistent players this campaign, starting in all but one match when he was missing through suspension. Griffiths has proven a sound signing since joining Glory during last year's mid-season transfer window after past stints with A-League rivals Central Coast Mariners, Adelaide United and North Queensland Fury. However, his 18-month contract is due to end after the finals.
26-year old Griffiths has not ruled out joining teammates Scott Jamieson, Dino Djulbic and Nebojsa Marinkovic in re-signing with Glory, but he said an ambition to play outside Australia had been a driving force behind one of his best seasons. "I've been speaking with the club and keeping dialogue going," Griffiths said. "I've had a few offers in Asia and places like that. I'm just sort of really weighing up what I want to do. I'm coming to that sort of time in my career where I'm turning 27. I think it (the decision) is really imperative."
"What I decide next is going to pretty much define where I'm going to go for the rest of my career," added Griffiths who, as a teenager, spent two years at English club Blackburn Rovers. "I've been taking my time … it'd have to be really right (to go) in the sense that it's not just about money, it's really about a footballing decision. In terms of the A-League, I've got no interest in swapping clubs. I'm really happy here. But before I hang my boots up again I'd really like to play overseas."
The absence of Ruben Zadkovich through injury opened the door for Dragan Paljic and Danny De Silva to take on starting roles in last weekend's home game with Brisbane Roar. Griffiths said he wouldn't be surprised if there were more changes to the starting line-up before coach Kenny Lowe settled on a team for the finals. "The good thing about Kenny is he's probably shown that if you train well enough and play well enough, you'll keep your spot," Griffiths said. "It shows with people like Danny De Silva. He's 17 and starting every week when he's fit. It's good to have that. It keeps people on their toes."
PERCH INJURY BLOW FOR INGLEWOOD (courtesy Inglewood United)
Inglewood United midfielder David Perich is resigned to missing the National Premier Leagues season after being diagnosed with osteitis pubis. Perich’s worse nightmare was realised little over a month ago with confirmation he was suffering the injury, a painful groin complaint, brought on by inflammation of the pelvis. The 27-year old told the Inglewood web site his season might be over, before it began. “I’ve pretty much ruled out playing this year as I’ve only recently started treatment,” commented Perich, who has made 94 appearances for Inglewood since joining the club in 2011. “It’s been pretty tough coming down to the Night Series and watching the boys as I’d had been looking forward to an injury-free year and working with (new coach) Michael Garcia.”
Perich has put up with niggling groin pain for some time but had hoped that by carefully managing the problem he’d be able to continue playing. “I played most of the past two years with some sort of groin pain,” he said. “I thought it was just a persistent injury but I now know it was most likely the early signs of osteitis pubis. “Towards the end of last season it was extremely bad,” he added. “I was super-cautious and diligent in the off-season about recovery and yet it wasn’t getting any better. In January I finally saw a specialist, got an MRI and had it confirmed. I was pretty devastated that first week as I thought I’d been doing all the right things for four months.”
Perich has wasted no time in dealing with the problem. “I’m on some old lady drugs, the same they give you for osteoporosis,” he said. “I had an injection into my pubis symphysis last week. Now it’s a bit of a waiting game to see what impact that injection has. It can be anything from extremely positive to having no impact at all. If it goes well I’ll have to wait for the area to settle down and then start physio, stabilising exercises and posture readjustment work,” Perich continued. “If it doesn’t go well after a couple of months then the specialist has suggested I speak to a surgeon.”
GILL RETURNS AS MATILDAS BEAT THE DUTCH
Perth Glory’s Kate Gill made her international return with a cameo appearance in the Westfield Matildas’ 1-0 win over the Netherlands in their first match of the 2015 Cyprus Cup. The striker, who missed Australia’s recent matches against New Zealand and North Korea due to a knee injury, came off the bench in the final few minutes of a match settled by Larissa Crummer’s goal. Gill’s Glory teammate Alanna Kennedy also made a second-half appearance, while Mackenzie Arnold, Caitlin Foord and Collette McCallum watched from the bench.
WA’s Lisa De Vanna played a crucial role in the win, setting up Crummer for her first international goal, and Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic was delighted that Crummer had provided the cutting edge. “She has been doing really well in camps and probably the only thing missing so far has been that execution in the final third of the field so it’s great for her to come on and score her first international goal and for it to be the winner makes it all the more special,” he said.
Stajcic was proud of the way his team went about it and the progress he has seen since the squad’s first camp in preparation for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015. “It was a tough game. We played against a world class team today, they (the Netherlands) have improved a lot over the past 12 months,” Stajcic said.
“We had good patches during the game as did they, the difference was we took one of our six or seven chances and managed to keep them out. “Generally it was a pretty pleasing performance but the biggest thing was winning against some world class opposition knowing there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
In her 50th international appearance, Elise Kellond-Knight led out the Westfield Matildas against a country they had met just four times previously, the most recent occasion being at last year’s Cyprus Cup in a game that ended 2-2. The Netherlands’ best chance of the first half came in the 20th minute when Kirsten van de Ven skied her effort over the bar. Seven minutes later, at the other end, the Westfield Matildas had claims for a penalty waved away by the referee after Emily van Egmond went down in the penalty area, neither team able to lead going into the break.
Stajcic made his first substitution just after the hour mark bringing Crummer on for Kyah Simon, the deciding moment of the match coming ten minutes later as De Vanna slid a through ball through to Crummer who snuck her shot in at the far post. De Vanna then very nearly doubled the Westfield Matildas’ advantage shortly after only for her effort to go just wide of the target but Crummer’s strike was enough as the Westfield Matildas absorbed some late Netherlands pressure to be in front at the final whistle.
WE WON'T LET TOP SPOT SLIP AWAY, SAYS DJULBIC
Dino Djulbic says Perth Glory won't be content with anything less than retaining top spot for finals as the league leaders prepare for a dogfight in the A-League's remaining eight rounds. Only four points separate the top five clubs in one of the most evenly contested competitions in league history. Recent stumbles by nearest rivals Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United have played into the hands of Glory, who remain in top spot despite a six-match winless streak.
But Perth will need to be in peak form for Saturday's clutch match away at Victory. Djulbic said his goal was to maintain Glory's ladder position and win the minor premiership. "We've been now 16 rounds at the top," he said. "I want to finish top. I've spoken to all the players, the coaching (staff), everyone wants to do the same. We don't want to give it up now, so we'll just continue fighting and hope for more wins."
The Glory defender lamented the lapses that cost his team two goals in Saturday night's draw with Brisbane Roar. He said the team had been working on solutions to its defensive mistakes and said a match-up against an attacking Victory held no fears. "We've beaten them once and we've drawn at home," Djulbic said. "We've beaten them over there, (so) we know we can beat them. We'll go out there with confidence."
Glory have one of the best platforms of any team to shore up their position in the run home, with games against bottom-three sides Central Coast Mariners, Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers. The improving fitness of creative midfielders Chris Harold and Mitch Nichols is another plus. "Slowly everyone's getting fitter and fitter," Djulbic said. "We're playing better football compared to the last couple of weeks. We're coming towards the finals, we're picking up more and more."
NPL-WA NIGHT SERIES REVIEW - WEEK FOUR
Perth SC continued their unbeaten start to the PS4 NPLWA Night Series after a hard fought 3-2 win against Inglewood United in Group A at Dorrien Gardens on Friday evening. The visitors were ahead on the quarter hour. Former Perth midfielder Matt Izzo playing in Andrija Jukic, who slipped away from his marker and finishing low past Alex Dunn. It looked like United would go into the break with the lead, but in first half stoppage time Perth levelled. Harley Orr sent Reece Vittiglia out wide and he cut the ball back from the by line, and Mark Pritchard fired home from four meters. United were ahead again on 66 minutes, Jukic was the provider this time, picking out Ryan Clarke, who finished well from an acute angle. Perth hit back 12 minutes from time, Carlo Coelho was brought down in the penalty area and Vittiglia converted from the spot. It looked like the points would be shard but Perth won it three minutes into stoppage time, Pritchard’s free kick was glanced home by skipper Clark Keltie. “Inglewood gave us our toughest test of the night series so far; they started the game well and pressed us high up the park,” Keltie said. “We are experimenting with different players and tactics so it was a good test for our young boys. I thought we showed great character in the second half to take the game to them. With the quality we have going forward we're always going to cause teams problems and score goals. Another win and another step forward, so as captain of the team, I'll take that.”
In the early Group B game Bayswater City beat a ten man Floreat Athena 4-1. The home side were ahead after only 12 minutes. A one-two on the edge of the penalty area by Lewis McMahon and Kris Gate, sent the latter in on goal and he finished clinically past Jason Saldaris. But City hit back ten minutes later. Todd Howarth’s shot was only parried by Fraser Greenwood, and Hayden Doyle fired home the rebound. Then on the stroke of half time City hit the front. Steve Burton made space down the left, his cross found David Heagney, who turned his marker and laid the ball off to Doyle who finished with aplomb. It got a lot harder for the home side when Lewis McMahon was sent off on the hour, and nine minutes later City added a third. Gustavo Giron-Marulanda’s long-range free kick was deflected off the wall wrong footing Greenwood and into the net. City rounded off the scoring on 74 minutes, Burton was played down the left, and he turned his marker and slipped the ball to Paul McCarthy, whose shot from the edge of the box found the corner of the net.
On Sunday night, Dalmatinac Park was the venue in Group B. In the early game ECU Joondalup edged out Armadale 1-0. Danny Dixon gave ECU the lead on the half hour, and they went close to doubling their lead, Scott Bushby’s drive crashing off the crossbar. After the break Armadale began to get on top and Michael Lawson’s long-range shot hit the woodcock on the hour, before Jamie Serra saved well to deny Faustinho Machochi. Then in the last minutes Serra brought down Jackson Bealey and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Bealey stepped up, but Serra guessed the right way to save his spot kick and give the points to his side. In the late game Cockburn City came back from 2-0 down, to beat Sorrento 4-3. Jack Salter gave the visitors the lead after only ten minutes, and Nicco Sabatini doubled their advantage five minutes later. But goals either side of the half time break from Liam Murray levelled it up, and David Arraya added a third on the hour, before Murray completed his hat trick. Nicco Sabatini scored The Gulls third deep into stoppage time, but the win leaves the Cockerels unbeaten in the competition.
In Monday’s early Group A game at Macedonia Park, Stirling Lions beat Subiaco AFC 3-1. The visitors were ahead after only 10 minutes, Matt Akehurst free kick picked out Nathan Diaz, who flicked the ball over Lions keeper Lance Alavakis and into the net. The Lions hit back with two goals before half time. First on 36 minutes David and Daniel Micevski combined to set Benny Kouakou down the left, his cross found Robert Petkov who finished well. They hit the front four minutes before the break, Daniel Micevski sent Moses Kalau overlapping down the flank, and his shot went in off the post. The points were made safe on 73 minutes, Kouakou’s free kick crashed off the crossbar, but Daniel Micevski was quickest to react to head home the rebound. In the late game Balcatta moved to second in the group, after a hard fought 3-2 win against Shamrock Rovers. Balcatta were ahead on the half hour, Alex Caniglia made space down the left, and his cross was turned in by Dejan Andric. The First Division Champions hit back on 55 minutes with the equaliser with a well-constructed goal. Graham Caffrey played the ball to Sean Browne, who in turn played Nick Little out wide, who squared the ball to Will Pender to score. But on the hour Balcatta regained the lead. A short corner from Patrick Quinn caught Shamrock napping; Shazlee Ramlee played the ball to the edge of the penalty area and skipper Adam Tong fired home powerfully. Rovers again fought back and levelled on 74 minutes. Pender found Little on the right, and he chipped the ball over the stranded Ryan Barker in the Balcatta goal. But the winner came on 80 minutes. Caniglia raced past his marker on the right, and his low shot was saved by Justin Scarvaci, but Patrick Sara scored from the rebound. Both sides ended the game with ten men, when Balcatta’s Hanafi Ghazali and Rovers’ Dave Murphy was sent off late.
STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES REVIEW - WEEK FOUR
In Friday Night’s State League Night Series South West Phoenix good form continued with a 5-2 win against Fremantle City in Group C. A brace from Lee Stewart, with singles to Bright Ababio, Ryan Francis and Matthew Spurling were on target for Trent Hathaway’s side, while Maddy Holman scored a double for Fremantle City. In the earlier game Gosnells City moved to the top of the Group after a 3-2 win against Rockingham City. Caleb Aquino scored a brace for Gosnells, with Wade Farmer adding the other, while Llewellyn Bake scored both Rockingham’s goals. In Group A Joondalup United continued their winning start to the competition with a hard fought 5-3 win against Kingsway Olympic at Kingsway Reserve. The hosts took the lead early though a Wayne Culverwell penalty, before Lee Jones and Callum Stokes put United ahead. Culverwell added his second to level things up, but Jones added his second, and Stuart Hartmann put Joondalup back in control. Lee Thomas pulled a goal back for the home side, but the points were made safe when Gareth Hamilton added the fifth. In the late game UWA Nedlands took the lead through Patrick Morrison, but Quinns hit back, with a goal from Liam McGurk to take a share of the spoils.
On Sunday in Group B Western Knights edged out Canning City 2-1 at Hartfield Park. Yohann Crampon gave Canning the lead, but Sean French levelled. It looked it was the end of the scoring, but in the 90th minute Ben Coulter gave the Knights the lead. Canning almost levelled it in injury time, but Daniel Trevisiol’s shot crashed off the post. In the late game Swan United bounced back from last week’s heavy defeat to beat Curtin University 4-1. Nathan Sully was the hero, the young striker scoring four gaols, with the other coming from Connor Boland. “It was good win from the side, especially after last week,” said United Coach Salv Todaro. “It was great performance, especially with five regulars not available, and we had two 17 year olds make their senior debut, so it was a good night for the club.” In the early game at Wanneroo Sporting Complex Ashfield beat Joondalup City 6-1. City were ahead 1-0 at half time, with a goal from Lucas King, but Ashfield recovered after the break and a brace from Parviz Gucht, and singles to Chris Holland, Alex Stamatiadis, Callum Phillipot and Sean Byrne saw them run out convincing winners. In the late game Wanneroo City and Balga fought out a 2-2 draw. Noham Michael and Kyall Osborne scored for Balga, while Connor Lynch and Brandon Prince scored for Wanneroo.
In Monday’s State League Night Series Group B game, Mandurah City ran out 10-0 winners against Kelmscott Roos at Hartfield Park. Doubles from Jordan Rhodes, Jon Brooks and Luke Johnston, and singles to Ollie McGee, Andy Brown, Mark McGlaghlin and Joe O’Brien, gave Doug Hesketh’s side a comprehensive victory. In the late game Melville City beat hosts Forrestfield United 2-1. Barry Richards and Christian Long were on target for City, while Mitch Brown scored for United. In Group D, North Perth United edged out Ellenbrook United 3-2 at Wotton Reserve. Dave Morris, Adrian Rockett and Stuart Aitken scored for North Perth, while Saad Al-Jabiry and Nathan Hibbert for Ellenbrook. In the late game Dianella White Eagles beat hosts Morley Windmills 4-1.
LOWE BACKS HIS STRIKER
Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe has denied that Andy Keogh is battling confidence issues as the Irishman’s goal-scoring drought continues. Keogh sits second on the A-League goal-scoring table, but has found the back of the net just once in his last six matches, but in his defence he hasn’t had the service in recent weeks. Keogh looked sharp around goal in Glory’s 2-2 draw with Brisbane Roar at nib Stadium on Saturday night, but could not convert any of the multiple chances presented to him, but Lowe leapt to Keogh’s defence when asked post-match if the 28-year-old was lacking confidence around goal.
“He’s a pro,” Lowe said. “There’s more to his game than just goals. He contributes in so many ways for him to have a good game. He’s happy and he’s in a good spot. You saw what he was like out there tonight and he was fantastic. The beautiful thing is he is going to score goals, so maybe he might save them up for next week.”
The Coach was equally unconcerned by his team’s fall from grace, they have collected just four points from their last six games but other teams are not capitalizing. “We’re in a comfortable spot, we’re enjoying ourselves, we’re playing some good stuff, we’re getting some lads back fit, so we’re ticking along nicely,” Lowe said.
Lowe also heaped praise on Dragan Paljic, Chris Harold, Jamie Maclaren, Mitch Nichols and first-half goal scorer Daniel De Silva for leading Glory’s fight back. “We were comfortable at half-time, but obviously you can’t give goals away like that and then expect to carry the momentum,” he said. “They were poor goals to concede, but we showed great character again to come back.”
HEARTBREAK FOR GLORY YOUNGSTERS
Perth Glory missed the opportunity to win its first Foxtel National Youth League title, after they were beaten 2-1 by Brisbane Roar at the Ashfield Sports Club on Sunday morning. Mitchell Oxborrow has given them a perfect start scoring early, and Roar keeper Fraser Chalmers made a number of fine saves to thwart the home side. But a stunning strike on the half hour by Daniel Bowles levelled, and the winner came early in the second half through Devante Clut, and despite pressing late the youngsters couldn’t get back into the game.
The side had been cellar dwellers last season, but under the guidance of John Gibson they have gone within one point of the title, and he was full of praise for his young chargers. “It was a magnificent season, and we’ve probably already won with what we have achieved, however for us it’s not good enough, being so close, you don’t many of those opportunities to win the league,” Gibson said. “Yes it’s disappointing to lose our first home game of the season, but we had our chances, but their keeper was outstanding today. We didn’t make the most of our chances but they did on the day, and that’s football. We have to start being more clinical in the final third, but overall it just wasn’t our day. All the players gave it their all but it wasn’t to be.”
Going into the final round there were three teams still in line to win the title, but after news filtered through that Melbourne City had drawn 2-2 against Newcastle Jets, the Glory youngsters knew a win and they would be Champions, and they had a perfect start. Oxborrow’s long-range shot was tipped around the post by Chalmers on 12 minutes, but moments later the midfielder found the target. A short corner caught the Roar napping, and Oxborrow shot from the edge of the penalty area flew into the corner of the net, much to the pleasure of the home supporters. Brisbane looked for an instant reply, and when Clut found space in the penalty area on 22 minutes, it looked they would, but Collard got back with a vital last ditch tackle. But seven minutes later they did equalise, and what a stunner. Clut played the ball wide to Bowles on the right, whose long-range shot flew into the top corner of the net giving Jack Duncan no chance.
The home side continued to take the game to the Roar and O’Neill’s long-range shot whistled inches past the post, before Joe Knowles’ shot was deflected just wide moments later. The home side were well on top and Chalmers produced a stunning save to deny the Glory on 37 minutes, the Roar custodian superbly pushing around O’Neill’s free kick. It was end-to-end football with good chances at both ends. Kofi Danning found space on the right and fed Clut, whose shot flashed over the top, before Shelford Dais played in Clut, one-on-one with Duncan, but the Glory keeper saved low. Then in stoppage time the Glory went close to regaining the lead, Matthew Davies cross picked out Jamie Maclaren, whose header was well saved by Chalmers.
Brisbane made a perfect start to the second half and they were ahead three minutes in. A quick break down the right and the ball was played into Danning, who dummied leaving Clut to fire home from the edge of the penalty area. The Glory looked for a response, and Maclaren shot into the side netting moments later, before the Glory striker tested Chalmers from 12-yards, but again the Roar custodian couldn’t be beaten.
It wasn’t for the lack of trying as the Glory constantly threatened, and on 67 minutes Oxborrow’s free kick picked out Harry O’Brien, whose header beat Chalmers but the post came to the rescue of the Roar. O’Neill’s then saw his long-range shot clip off the top of the crossbar, and moments later O’Neill shot whistled inches over the top. With the Glory pushing men forward looking for the goals, they lost Oxborrow and Knowles with injury, and were being caught out by Brisbane’s counter attack. Clut and Abraham Yango were a constant threat, but good defending kept the pair at bay. But time ran out and despite a great effort from the whole side it was Brisbane who took the points, and they leap frogged the Glory into second, with Melbourne City crowed 2015 Foxtel National League Champions.
GLORY ROAR BACK TO EARN A POINTS
A goal from defender Dino Djulbic six minutes from time has earned Perth Glory a 2-2 draw with Brisbane Roar at nib Stadium on Saturday evening. It looked like the home side were coasting, after Daniel De Silva had given the ladder leaders the lead midway through the first half, but two goals in in two minutes from Jean Carlos Solorzano and Matt McKay on the hour put them in control. But the sending off of defender Corey Brown, turned the game in the Glory’s favour, and after Djulbic’s equaliser they laid siege on the Roar goal, but couldn’t find the winner. Glory Coach Kenny Lowe said he'll worry about where they are in the standings once the regular season is completed. “After 27 (games) is when you look at the league," he said. "There will be more twists and turns before the end of the season and I think it's fantastic. We are playing some good stuff, we are getting lads back and we're ticking along nicely."
Lowe made two changes, bringing in De Silva for Sidnei Sciola, while Dragan Paljic replaced Denis Kramar, and the German midfielder was in the action early, his low shot well saved by Michael Theo. Henrique wasted a great opportunity for the visitors on the quarter hour, the Brazilian blazed over after being picked out by Thomas Broich. But on 26 minutes the Glory unlocked the Roar defence. Andy Keogh hard work ended with Scott Jamieson’s deep cross from the left, which was headed back across goal by Chris Harold, and De Silva fired home from six-yards. Keogh was leading the line well, and the Irish striker tested Theo again moments later, but the Roar hit back and Broich’s long-range shot on the stroke of half time flashed inches over the top.
The Glory opened the second brightly and Keogh raced clear after James Donachie misjudged a header, but the strikers low shot was straight at Theo. Danny Vukovic came to sides rescue on 55 minutes, superbly saving McKay’s shot from the edge of the penalty area. But all the Glory hard work was undone on the hour. Brandon Borrello crossing from the right and second half substitute Solorzano finished well from six-yards. Moments later they hit the front. McKay racing into the area, and the Socceroos midfielder hammered home from 12-yards.
Lowe brought on Mitch Nichols, and he starting to pull the strings, as the home supporters lifted the volume, and the game took another twist on 76 minutes. Jamie Maclaren was sent clear by a superb through ball from Nichols, and he was impeded by Brown, and being the last man, referee Ben Williams showed the defender a straight red card. The home side were now in total control and Paljic and Jamieson were having plenty of success down the left and on 84 minutes they were rewarded with the equaliser. Paljic, who was having his best game for the club, found space on the left, and his curling shot beat Theo, the ball crashing off the upright, the rebound falling to Djulbic, and the big defender fired home much to the pleasure of the 10,422 home supporters.
The Glory continued to press, looking for the winner, and in the 90th minute Nebojsa Marinkovic’s corner found its way to Keogh, whose shot was deflected wide by Thro, although the referee gave a goal kick, much to the displeasure of the Shed. It was one-way traffic and in stoppage time they almost won it. Again Paljic was the supplier, the German racing down the left; his cross was only cleared as far as Marinkovic on the edge of the penalty area, and his stunning volley was well saved by Theo. A brave fight back by Kenny Lowe’s side, and next week they head to Melbourne Victory for a top of the table clash at AAMI Park on Saturday afternoon.
LOWE BACKS KEOGH TO RESPOND
Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe has denied star striker Andy Keogh is battling confidence issues as the Irishman’s goal-scoring drought continues. Keogh sits second on the A-League goal-scoring table, but has found the back of the net just once in his last six matches. That goal was a penalty against Melbourne Victory on 25 January. Keogh looked sharp around goal in Glory’s weekend draw with Brisbane Roar but could not convert any of the multiple chances presented to him.
Lowe leaped to Keogh’s defence when it was asked post-match if the 28-year old was lacking confidence around goal. “He’s a pro,” Lowe said. “There’s more to his game than just goals. He contributes in so many ways for him to have a good game. He’s happy and he’s in a good spot. You saw what he was like out there tonight and he was fantastic. The beautiful thing is he is going to score goals, so maybe he might save them up for next week.”
Lowe was equally unconcerned by his team’s fall from grace. Glory has collected just four points from their last six games and could lose top spot on Sunday if Victory beats Wellington Phoenix. “After 27 games we’ll find out if we’ve fallen over,” Lowe said. “We’re in a comfortable spot, we’re enjoying ourselves, we’re playing some good stuff, we’re getting some lads back fit, so we’re ticking along nicely.”
WANDERERS PICK UP WARD
Western Sydney Wanderers have made added journeyman midfielder Nick Ward to their playing roster. With over 140 A-League appearances to his name, Ward will add depth and an attacking threat to Western Sydney. “Nick was a late inclusion into the squad following these injuries (to Brendon Santalab, shoulder, and Shannon Cole, collar bone) and brings a wealth of A-League experience. He has won both the National Soccer League and A-League and his winning mentality will be a benefit to the squad.”
A product of ECU Joondalup and Stirling Lions, Ward started his senior career with Perth Glory where he won the A-League’s inaugural Rising Star Award. An eleven-month spell with English clubs Queens Park Rangers and Brighton and Hove Albion reaped 28 outings before heading back to Australia. Stints at Melbourne Victory, Wellington Phoenix and Glory preceded his signing a short-term deal with Newcastle Jets. It was almost twelve months ago that Ward made his most recent professional appearance, for Newcastle.
TOMBIDES REMEMBERED IN EPL
Talented West Australian Dylan Tombides, who died almost a year ago from testicular cancer, has been remembered by his English Premier League club West Ham United with the launch of a foundation in his name. Players, officials and Tombides' family members lined up at Upton Park before West Ham's 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace for the launch of the DT38 Foundation in memory of the youngster, who died after a three-year battle aged just 20.
Fans also remembered the striker with a minute's applause after 38 minutes of the game - his squad number at West Ham. "Dylan’s considerable legacy is now to be channelled through DT38, a new foundation which is setting out to provide testicular cancer support and awareness through education and opportunity," a statement from West Ham read. "DT38 becomes the club’s second official charity for the 2014/15 campaign, alongside the West Ham United Moore Family Foundation."
Hammers vice-chairman Karren Brady said the club was proud to get behind the foundation. “Dylan was a very special young man who had a profound effect on those around him at the club,” she said. “His fortitude in the face of the illness that ultimately took his life was amazing and we’re humbled to be working with DT38 in this way. It’s astonishing what the Tombides family have achieved in so little time and I’m sure the fans, as they always do, will get right behind what is a truly worthy cause.”
Tombides' mother Tracy spoke of her anguish that her son's death could have been prevented, especially as he was initially misdiagnosed in 2011. “I’d like to pay a heartfelt thanks to all those at West Ham and the club’s foundation who have offered their time and support to help make this a reality," she said. "Dylan will forever be at the forefront of our thoughts and so we were determined to honour his memory in a positive, proactive fashion. We really believe that DT38 will save lives.”
“It breaks our heart to think that this could have been prevented,” she continued. “Had we known about testicular cancer we would have insisted on an ultrasound when we went to the GP. Dylan was robbed of a future that he dreamed of as a young boy. It robbed Taylor of a brother and it robbed my husband and I of watching our beautiful son grow and fulfil his dreams. Please do not let this happen to your son, brother, friend or father.”
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This page was last updated on the 26th February, 2015