MACLAREN GRANTED RELEASE
Australian youth international Jamie Maclaren has been successful in being released from the final year of his Perth Glory contract. Maclaren requested an early release six weeks ago on the grounds Glory breached a "material, non-financial" clause in the standard player contract as a result of having been penalised for exceeding the salary cap. The club confirmed late today that the 21-year old striker had been released to allow him to 'pursue alternate football opportunities'.
Maclaren played 38 matches and scored 11 goals for Glory across his two seasons. "I would like to thank the club and all the fans and members for their support over the past two years. I have many fond memories of WA and have enjoyed my time here," Maclaren said. "As far as my future is concerned, I don't have any immediate plans, but I would like to wish the club the best of luck in the forthcoming campaign."
Maclaren's departure is the latest in a mass exodus from Glory following their salary cap breaches. Late last month defender Scott Jamieson secured a release despite having signed a two-year contract extension only four months earlier. Dutch winger Youssouf Hersi also gained a release, while goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has moved to Melbourne Victory. Glory were stripped of their spot in last season's finals and fined $269,000 after being found guilty of systemically rorting the salary cap over the past three seasons.
MATILDAS' WILLIAMS WANTS TO PLAY W-LEAGUE
Australia goalkeeper Lydia Williams has flagged her intentions to return to Australia and play in the W-League. A day after the Matildas' Women's World Cup dream was snuffed out by Japan, Williams said both her body and mind needed a break. "I'm going to have a bit of a holiday to relax and take my mind off football for a little bit," she said. "It's been a hectic 11 months for me, so definitely going to have a little bit of a break. And whatever happens with clubs anywhere we'll see, but right now it's getting my mind all relaxed again."
Williams has signed on for 2015 with National Women's Soccer League side Washington Spirit, but the 27-year old has indicated she'd rather head home. "I'll probably come back home to play in the Australian league," said Williams. "I have opportunities to play in the American league, but as of this moment it's making sure my priorities are right and having a bit of a rest. To come home and see the changes and the support, I think that's going to be quite an accomplishment for us and we're going to feel the love and hopefully get some good support out of it."
JOONDALUP NEARS RECORD
Joondalup United's late equaliser against Mandurah City on Saturday means they have now gone thirty-two State League games without loss. The record in the semi-professional competition is thirty-three league games held by East Fremantle Tricolore between the seasons 1963 to 1965. Joondalup United will equal this long standing record next week if they avoid defeat away to the Western Knights. The last club to come close to the record was Ferndale United during the 1986/1987 seasons, who went thirty-two games without defeat, before losing to Rockingham United in what would have also tied the record.
ATHENA EASE PAST GLORY
Floreat Athena bounced back from defeat against Sorrento with a comprehensive 4-1 win against Perth Glory at Inglewood Stadium. Lewis McMahon bagged a brace, while new signings Phil Arnold and Jon Stynes add the others, while Michael McDougall scored the Glory consolation goal. “We had a blip last week against Floreat, but it was important we stuck to our game plan and got back to winning ways,” McMahon said. “They (Glory) are a good young side and last time we draw with them, so we knew we had to be strong and I thought we let the gaffer down last week against Sorrento, so it’s nice to get the win today.”
The home side was quick out of the blocks, and on two minutes Gian Albano shot flashed over the top, and eight minutes later Glory skipper Jacob Collard saw his free kick crash off the crossbar and away to safety. But two minutes later, in their first real attack Floreat hit the front. Ludovic Boi’s corner found Arnold at the back post, and on his debut for the club, the striker bundled the ball home. Floreat were now on top and Glory keeper Jordan Franken produced a stunning one handed save, to deny Arnold again moments later. TRhe Glory custodian was keeping his side in the game and on the stroke of half time he produced another great save, this time tipping Jon Stynes’ shot on the turn onto the crossbar.
Floreat doubled their advantage six minutes into the second half. Collard and Steve Burton had a push and shove in the penalty area, and referee Daniel Elder pointed to the spot. McMahon stepped up and finished low in the right hand corner of the net, despite Franken guessing right and getting a hand to it. Floreat were now dictating terms and they made it 3-0 on the hour. The Glory failed to clear their lines and McMahon volleyed home from nine meters. The Glory youngsters continued to press and they were back in the game on 82 minutes. Second half substitute McDougall wasn’t closed down, and his long-range shot flew into the bottom corner of the net.
But Floreat restored their three goal advantage three minutes from time, in controversial circumstances. Dennis Galan made space down the right, his cross picked out Jon Stynes, whose superb volley crashed off the crossbar, bounced on the line and back into the hands of Franken, but the assistant said the ball had crossed the line, but it looked like the whole of the ball hadn’t crossed the line. McMahon almost finished the game with a hat-trick, his audacious long-range shot whistled inches past the post.
DE VANNA CONTEMPLATES FUTURE AFTER TOUGH EXIT
Matildas captain Lisa De Vanna may have made her last Women's World Cup appearance. The long-serving striker was left broken-hearted after Australia's 1-0 quarter-final loss to Japan. “It will most likely be my last World Cup,” De Vanna said. “I’m not going to make the decision while I’m emotionally upset. It’s definitely something I’ve been thinking about for a while.”
“It would have been nice to at least get a medal out of it, which I felt that we could potentially do. My personal goal was to make the semi-finals. Even though we’ve done so well, I feel like I failed. It’s disappointing when you think about the last five months we’ve put into the World Cup. I lived for moments like this and today Japan played better. But the prospects for the rest of the girls are big and to see what they’ve done in the tournament, it’s exciting for them.”
De Vanna ended her campaign in the 67th minute and revealed she couldn’t watch Japan’s late corner, which to Mana Iwabuchi’s scrappy goal. “You can’t put more of a bullet hole through that (after Japan scored),” she said. “I knew Japan is good with set pieces, so I didn’t look. By the roar (of the crowd), I just knew the ball went into the back of the net. It was a chain reaction, I didn’t want to watch, it felt like a train wreck.”
The Matildas will leave Canada on Monday with much of the squad returning to Australia while others are taking well deserved holidays. “I don’t know what I’ll do now,” De Vanna said. “I’ve given 110% for this team and now I have to take a step back and think of what I want to do next. The highlight of my career was to lead this country to all those fantastic things like getting out of the Group of Death, the clean sheets and winning our first ever knockout match.”
MATILDAS KNOCKED OUT BY LATE GOAL
Japan has ended the Matildas fairytale in a heartbreaking Women’s World Cup 1-0 loss at Commonwealth Stadium, in Canada. Substitute Mana Iwabuchi sent the Matildas home at the quarter-final stage for the third straight time with a scrappy 87th minute goal. “We had a great World Cup, made it out of the group of death, beat Brazil and really felt we were on a roll and about to create history again,” said a devastated Lydia Williams. “To go out in the last few minutes of normal time was pretty devastating.”
Australia were left in the shade by an energetic Japanese outfit, with centre-backs Laura Alleway and Alanna Kennedy among the Matildas' busiest and best players. Japan's sharp passing game allowed them to dictate terms, with their defensive commitment giving the Matildas no room for creativity. The Matildas were reliant on the dribbling ability of Lisa De Vanna and Sam Kerr to send them forward but the eight-nil corner count told the story. The deciding goal arrived just before the end of regulation time, Australia’s failure to properly defend a corner leading to Iwabuchi’s close-range winner.
MCDONALD HEADS SORRENTO HOME
A double from Sorrento skipper Steven McDonald has given The Gulls a come from behind 2-1 win against Armadale at Percy Doyle Reserve. The visitors dominated the first half and Danny Hodgson gave them the lead at the break from the penalty spot, as former Sorrento Coach Paul Price looked to upset his former club. But two towering headers from the big striker turned the game around after the break. “We just didn’t start today and to be fair Armadale worked hard and got their goal, and then got everything behind the ball,” McDonald said. “We got at them after the break and it was nice to score a couple of headers, I don’t score many with my feet.”
It was a tight opening to the game, but it was the visitors who opened the scoring on 20 minutes. Raveshlan Kuppusamy’s shot from the edge of the penalty area struck the arm of Jack Eades, and referee Tim Mihevc pointed straight to the spot. Hodgson stepped up and coolly finished low to the right of James Morgan. The home side came back into the game late in the first half, Adam Luca’s corner was misjudged by Armadale keeper Dylan Wilson, and the ball was only inches away from Danny Cain at the back post. Then Brad McDonald’s long-range shot was saved by Wilson.
Armadale opened brightly in the second half, and Morgan had to be alert to push Hodgson’s powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area five minutes in. But sixty seconds later Sorrento levelled. Tom Boss’ cross from the right was headed home powerfully by McDonald. The visitors didn’t learn their lesson and five minutes later Sorrento hit the front. Luca’s corner from the left picked out McDonald, who again headed home from five meters.
Armadale looked to hit back and Kuppusamy fired over when well placed, before Sam Cole shot flashed inches past the far post, after good work from Nick Crerand. Morgan then produced a stunning save to deny Kuppusamy, after Sorrento gave the ball away cheaply on the edge of the area. Both sides pressed late but that was the end of the scoring, the win was the first home win of the season for Sorrento.
MICEVSKI COMPLETES INGLEWOOD'S TURNAROUND
Inglewood United moved into the top five for the first time this season with a 2-1 win against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Rory Patterson gave the home side the lead early, but second half goals to David Sesay and David Micevski earned Michael Garcia’s side a fifth straight league win. “The guys performed really well today, created some really good chances and played some really good football and I couldn't be more pleased," Garcia said. "We've closed the chapter from round one. I'd have liked to have won 5-1, we had plenty of opportunities to repay that score but we'll take the three points and I'm very proud of the players.”
The game didn’t start that well for the visitors and they were behind on five minutes. Patterson was given far too much space on the edge of the penalty area and his lob dropped over Aleks Vrteski and into the net. Inglewood pressed for the equaliser, but found Cockburn custodian Curtis Aspden in fine form. Micevski’s shot was straight at the keeper, while Andrija Jukic did likewise moments later.
Next it was striker Kenny Keogh who was thwarted by Aspden, the keeper reacting well to push his shot over the top. Micevski then beat the keeper but his effort was cleared off the line. Cockburn had their chances too, as the game opened up, Vrteski keeping the score line at 1-0 just before the break. Harry O’Brien whipped in a teasing cross and Patterson’s header was superbly tipped over by the Inglewood shot stopper.
The second half opened much like the first, and Vrteski showed great reflexes to keep out Julien Teles’ long-range shot. Inglewood began to take control with Brian Woodall constantly involved on his debut for the club, and on the hour their pressure was rewarded with the equaliser. Jason Colli made space down the right and delivering the ball to the far post, where Sesay made no mistake. Woodall capped off a stellar debut, playing a leading role in the decider on 73 minutes. He found Micevski, who drilled his shot high into the net from 15-metres, giving Aspden no chance.
MARULANDA AT THE DOUBLE FOR LEAGUE LEADERS
Bayswater City bounced back from last week’s FFA Cup exit against Sorrento, with Gustavo Giron Marulanda scoring a brace to give the league leaders a hard fought 2-1 against Subiaco AFC at Rosalie Park. The Columbian striker opened the scoring just after the hour, but Danny White levelled from the penalty spot 20 minutes from time. It looked like it had earn the home side a share of the spoils but a goal four minutes from time from Marulanda gave Bayswater the points. “It was a tough day at the office,” Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne said. “We knew it was going to be tough. It was a small pitch, they’re well organised and it felt like their goalkeeper had five arms. But we’re pleased with the result, not the performance, but we’ll take it. These are the places you have to come to and get three points if you want to win the league.”
The visitors looked hungry from the first whistle and totally dominated. Todd Howarth sent David Heagney one-on-one with keeper Ryan Montgomery, but the Subiaco custodian stood tall to deny him. Moments later Heagney lost his marker again, but his lob drifted inches past the post. Danny Dixon and Bor Bor Sam’s pace were causing problems for the Subiaco defence, but Montgomery was keeping his side in the game. He saved well to deny Marulanda, but he was beaten just before the break, but White cleared the ball off the line, before Dixon’s long-range shot crashed off the upright.
It looked like it wasn’t to be Bayswater’s day, with Subiaco were defending magnificently. Sam saw his shot crash off the woodwork again, his shot took a deflection of a Subiaco defender but Montgomery produced a superb reaction save to push the ball on to the post. But from the resulting corner the visitors broke the deadlock. Howarth’s set piece picked out Marulanda at the back post and the striker did the rest from close-range.
The home side was level five minutes later. Nathan Diaz burst into the area and was brought down by Jamie Coyne and referee Adam Fielding pointed straight to the spot. White stepped up and sent Devon Spence the wrong way to score. But Bayswater weren’t to be outdone and four minutes from time they won it. Howarth made space down the flank and crossed to the back post, where Marulanda nipped in front of his marker and fired home, past a stranded Montgomery.
VITTIGLIA GIVE PERTH A LATER WINNER
Perth SC left the ECU Football Stadium with all three points thanks to a 90th minute goal from striker Reece Vittiglia gave them a 2-1 win against ECU Joondalup. Mark Pritchard had given Perth the lead mid-way through the first half, but Tommy Amphlett levelled for the home side eight minutes from time. It looked like the points would be shared, but Vittiglia had other ideas and won it late. “It’s always pleasing to come away with three points on an away game, but we left it late,” Perth Coach Taki Nicolaidis said. “I felt we had more than enough chances to put them away earlier, but we were too wasteful in front of goal, and also had Jamie Serra in great form.”
The home side regained the services of skipper Jon Higgins, but it was the visitors who began the brighter. Serra produced a stunning reaction save to thwart Pritchard on the quarter hour. But eight minutes later Perth hit the front. Dean Evans picked the ball up wide on the left, and the midfielder delivered a perfect cross into Pritchard, who threw himself at the ball to head home past Serra. Both sides created chances for the rest of the half, but couldn’t find the target.
After the break ECU came out and took the game to Perth and started to get on top, and on 56 minutes Andy Higgins’ shot was tipped over the top by Francis Solae at full stretch. Both keepers were outstanding and Serra was at it again on 70 minutes, denying Pritchard again, before he produced another reflex save to tip over Marco Santalucia’s shot. ECU was looking dangerous on the break and they were rewarded on 82 minutes with the equaliser. New signing Phil O’Callaghan came off the bench and played a great through ball to Amphlett who fired low past Soale. It looked like the home side had earned a point, but Vittiglia spoiled their day in the final minute. A cross from the left was cleared by the ECU defence and Vittiglia brought the ball down and neatly finished from the six meters. ECU pressed late looking for the equaliser, but Perth held firm to take the points.
BALCATTA HIT LIONS FOR SIX
Balcatta got themselves out a poor run of form with a stunning 6-0 win against Stirling Lions in a fiery local derby at Grindleford Reserve with four red cards issued by referee Steven Gregory. First half goals to Gustavo Catarcione, Paddy Quinn and James Sammut, plus the sending off of keeper Lance Alavakis had Balcatta on top. Then second half goals to Quinn, Zelfy Nazary and second half substitute Cameron Teece wrapped up a comprehnesive win. The Lions finished with eight men with Brodie Martin and Michael Pugliese sent off, along with Balcatta’s Jordan Colasante. “We were fortunate they hit the post in the first five minutes, but after that we controlled the midfield and the pace of the game,” Balcatta Coach Roman Falzon said. “Three weeks ago we were four points off third place, so we need to build on the good win and climb back up the table.”
Stirling, who has also had a poor run of results lately, started the game well, but the woodwork came to Balcatta’s rescue early. Teeboy Kamara shot crashing off the post and away to safety, before Lawrence Shuruma should have scored, but Aleks Suleski cleared his shot off the line. That all changed on the quarter hour, when Balcatta opened the scoring, Catarcione scoring, and it from bad to worse for the Lions as the home side added a second three minutes later.
The game took another twist on the half hour when Catarcione raced clear and as Alavaskis came out to clear the ball he caught the striker in the stomach and sent off. He was replaced by Adrian Vacca, and the first thing he did was pick the ball out the back of the net. The resulting free kick was curled into the top corner of the net by Sammut to take them to a three goal lead at the break.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, the visitors started brightly in the second half. Kamara played in Moses Kalau, but the speedy winger fired wide of the target, then Shuruma blazed wide when well place, before Clint Davies was out bravely to save at the feet of Kalau moments later. They were then punished at the other end on the hour as Balcatta added a fourth, defender Quinns’ powerful long-range shot giving Vacca no chance.
The Lions players heads dropped and Nazary put the result beyond doubt a minute later with a cool finish. The game was beginning to boil over and Gregory had to caution a number of players, and he showed Martin a red card five minutes from time. Second half substitute Teece made it 6-0 sixty seconds later, and the tension boiled over again in the last minute. The home side were awarded a penalty, and in the aftermath a scuffle broke out between Colasante and Pugliese and the referee sent both players off. It gave Blamo Quaqua the opportunity to add a seventh, but he hit his penalty over the top.
WILLIAMS MAKES CASE FOR THE DEFENCE
Defences will decide Australia's Women's World Cup quarter-final against Japan, according to Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams. Alen Stajcic's team meet the reigning world champions tonight in a repeat of last year's Asian Cup final. Japan, who like to get numbers behind the ball, have conceded just two goals in four games at the tournament so far.
The Matildas, meanwhile, have only allowed one goal in three games since their 3-1 loss to United States to open the World Cup. And Williams said defences would prove decisive in Edmonton. "I think both teams … we're quite strong in transition, we're playing possession-based football as well as they are," she said. "So I think defensively it's going to be whoever has the best defence and saves will definitely win the game."
Williams said she expected a somewhat familiar outing to the round of sixteen, when the Matildas overcame Brazil 1-0. "They (Japan) are an excellent footballing country," she said. "Obviously they have some quality strikers with their shots so (their long-range shooting) is obviously something that we have to look out for. They're going to shoot, they're going to play intricate passes around the box. I think the defence is going to have a really important role this game."
While Japan have mostly cruised into the last eight, the Matildas were tested in the group of death before the win over Brazil. And those challenging encounters have only made Australia better, according to Williams. "I think it makes us stronger," she said. "As Australians in general, I think the number of big guns that you knock off throughout a tournament or a sporting event I think you grow as a nation and you grow in the Aussie spirit and especially having all the support from home I think is really beneficial for us."
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND TWELVE – PREVIEW
After two dramatic FFA Cup Semi-Finals last week, it’s back to PS4 National Premier League WA action this weekend. The pick of this week’s fixtures is the local derby between Balcatta and Stirling Lions at Grindleford Reserve. Both sides have slipped up in recent weeks and this game is a chance for both to kick start their season. Balcatta defender Kieron Stallard said back-to-back defeats had left them adrift of the top four and he said they need to improve. “We were unlucky against Floreat, considering we had a few young lads thrown into the deep end who handled themselves brilliantly but the Armadale performance and result was absolutely shocking,” he explained. “We just have to put it down having a bad day at the office as we have shown we are far better than that. I think Armadale just wanted it far more than us, which is completely unacceptable.”
A win against local rivals Stirling could be the game that gets their season back on track, but Stallard believes the title race is between the top three at the moment. “To be honest the league is almost wrapped up, it's probably a two horse race now between Floreat and Bayswater, with Perth standing a chance with a good run,” he said. “We just have to concentrate on winning as many games and have a strong second half of the season. Stirling has had a couple of bad results, like us so I'm expecting a gutsy determined performance from both sides.”
The loss of skipper Adam Tong has also been a huge blow for the club, but Stallard says they need to push on. “Tongy wasn't only my centre back partner but he was my housemate and one of my best mates away from football,” he said. “Not having him around at training and the club has been tough for me as we bounced of each other and kept each other going. Hopefully the young guys can stake their claim for the position and fill the void he has left. Even though he is probably the stupidest guy I've ever met his banter and match day shanks kept everyone smiling.” In team news new signings Ross Diamond from Western Knights, and Hasan Elyassiri from Floreat Athena come into the squad.
The Lions began the season well but they have lost the last four games and skipper Miki Vujacic said they need to stop the rot sooner rather than later. “It's been a rough few rounds of football. We've not shown anywhere near the same desire and effort we did in the first 7-8 games. The second half against Perth was the worst performance by a team I have been involved in whilst playing NPL. The performance against Bayswater was a lot better but the score line blew out in the end, but still we were well below par,” he explained. “Our depth has really been tested, whilst the young players coming in have performed well, we can't expect them to come in and carry the team. So our senior players need to really rise up and take charge more, which we haven't done in the last three games.” The midfielder knows Balcatta will be up for the game and believes they need to take the game to them from the first whistle. “Without a doubt this is the biggest game of the season so far for us, and we need to start picking up some points again, as we have some very good teams breathing down our necks,” he said. “Our last game against them was heartbreaking, losing 3-2 in the final seconds of the game, so we definitely want to pay them back for that.” “I honestly feel that the title race is not over, the top four teams will drop points, and so with 33 points left up for grabs, any of the top five can still win it. The next 4-5 rounds will paint a better picture, and with no finals football, it will leave a lot of clubs playing for nothing but pride after that point.” Vujacic will miss the game through suspension along with defender Nathan Bowden-Hasse, but they have Brodie Martin, Lawrence Shuruma, Michael Pugliese and Kyran Nunes back in the squad.
In other Saturday games Perth SC will look to get their league campaign kick started after losing last time out, when they take on the struggling ECU Joondalup at the ECU Football Stadium. Adam Da Luz will miss for the visitors due to injury, while skipper Clark Keltie is suspended. For the home side new signing Phil O’Callaghan comes into the squad. League leaders Bayswater City will want to put the Cup defeat behind them when they visit Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco AFC. Adam Tong will miss his debut for the club due to a spider bite, while Subiaco welcome back Dany Milne and Matt Akehurst. Inglewood United looks to have put their indifferent form behind them and are on a four game winning streak, and this week they head to Dalmatinac Park, where Cockburn City await them. They have lost Ryan Clarke for the rest of the season, but welcome new signing Brian Woodall from Stirling Lions. In the final game on Saturday, Armadale Coach Paul Price returns to the club who he coached to the title in 2012, and he has been delighted with the way his side have lifted in the last month. “We deserved the draw at ECU, and were unlucky to lose in last minute to Inglewood,” he said. “We then came close against Perth SC, then with weak team did well to only lose 3-0 against Bayswater, and with ome players back we were worthy winners at balcatta.” Our problem at the moment is squad depth, and we have been unlucky with injuries and have not played the same team in consecutive games yet. Once again we are two down from the Balcatta game to visit Sorrento. If we can get everybody back from injury and with the addition of a couple of players in transfer window l feel we have a good chance of staying in NPL for next season which is the goal the club gave Tony Castiello and myself. The Reds will be without the suspended Sam Loveless, but the club have made a number of signings including Jesse Fuller, Anthony Skorich, David Price and Alex Castiello. The home side retain the services of Scott Bulloch, but lose Jason Mirco.
On Sunday Perth Glory entertains Floreat Athena at the Inglewood Stadium. Floreat defender Jack Allen said they will be looking to bounce back from last week’s loss to Sorrento. “It's been a great first half to the season for us; we aim to keep chasing the leaders and hopefully close the gap,” he said. “I think we were unlucky against Sorrento, with our goalkeeper being sent off after 30 minutes we had to re-shuffle and they capitalized on the extra man advantage.” Allen, who has been outstanding this season, said Sunday’s opponents have improved greatly from last season and is expecting a tough game. “Perth Glory are a good young side with something to prove, so it will be another tough game this week but with the pressure of keeping up with Bayswater we know a win is a must,” he said. “We have a full squad to choose from for the game the only doubt is Steve Burton, who injured his hamstring last week, but he should be available. New signing Jon Stynes goes into the squad after joining from ECU Joondalup.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TEN – PREVIEW
The All Flags Division One kicks back into life this weekend and the Match of the Week is the top of the table clash between Joondalup United and Mandurah City at Forrest Park. Mandurah sit on top of the table, but coach Doug Hesketh said there is a long way to go in the season. “Robbo and I are very pleased with the squads’ progress this year,” he said. “Our first goal and expectation was to equal performance last year with points and goals then try and improve on it, the points are complete so now we have to improve on it. The quality of our game has been excellent most of the time and we are getting good crowds including juniors from the club coming to watch us, so that has been very pleasing too. There is a very long way to go this season and as they say in the UK, ‘Today's news is tomorrow's fish and chips wrapping’, so we won't get carried away.” Hesketh said Saturday’s game will be a fantastic game and said Joondalup have performed really well in their first season in the competition. “Saturday is the biggest game of our season, and it looks like being a cracker,” he explained. “They (Joondalup) have done a remarkable job progressing through the leagues and I know they are a tight playing group so we know we are in for a big game. Our lads work very hard and the consistent numbers at training is a credit to them and where they have got us to date. They are a solid group also with excellent talent and take pride in playing good football so I’m sure it will be a great game, and we’re up for it.” Mandurah will have to wait on the fitness of Paul Jackson, but go into the game with full squad.
Joondalup are the only team in the league not to have lost this season, but coach John Evans said Saturday’s game is their biggest test so far. “I knew taking on this position would be a hard task, but the lads have been fantastic,” he said. “We are where we are due to the hard work, that we put in each training session and match day games. Like I have said from day one, each game is a cup final for this squad, it's a big learning curve for everyone, and all we can do is keeping on trying our best, each week.” Evans said Mandurah are a strong side, and the game will be another massive test for his side. “Mandurah are a big physical side. They have quality players all around the park and they have invested wisely,” he said. “They responded well after their defeat against Gwelup in the cup, winning against Ashfield, so their confidence will be high like ours going into this game, it should be a great game and we’re hoping for a big crowd to watch it.” New signing James Harmer from Sorrento, Josh Beddis from Wanneroo, and ECU Joondalup pair Guy McDonald and Rowdy Yates come into the Joondalup squad.
In other games Gosnells City entertain UWA-Nedlands at Walter Padbury Reserve, Shamrock Rovers make the trip down to Bunbury to take on South West Phoenix at Payne Park, while Morley Windmills go head-to-head with Dianella White Eagles at Wotton Park. There is a real six pointer when Swan United hosts Canning City at the Swan Italian Club. Canning striker Chris Holland, who scored last week, said it’s a huge game for both sides and they will be looking for the three points, after a disappointing defeat last time out against one of his former clubs. “It’s always nice to score against your old club but it means nothing when the team loses that’s the important part for me” he said. “But overall to be honest Gosnells deserved the win.”
Holland said they know a win is a must on Saturday. “Swan is always a tough place to go and this week will be no different,” he said. “They are in the same place as us in this bad rut so this game will be good for the spectators as both teams must win.”
In the final game Western Knight will look to get back in the winner’s circle when they travel to Ashfield. Luka Jukic should be back from injury for the Knights having pulled out of the Dianella game at the last minute, while new striker Adriano should be OK to start against Ashfield. Jeff Judge is suspended, while the Knights have lost Ben Coulter for the rest of the season and Ivan Zuvela who is off to Brad Jones wedding in Europe. Nathan De Abreau will be ready for selection and hopefully Tommie Southgate will get over his thigh problem to put his hand up also.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND TEN – PREVIEW
The All Flags Division Two ‘Match of the Week’ is the top of the table clash between Rockingham City and Wanneroo City at Lark Hill. Rockingham sit two points clear of Saturday’s opponents and Coach Rob Crerar said they needed the week off after a tight game against Melville last time out. “It was a really tough win against Melville, we started slow, didn't adapt to the conditions or cope with Melville's physical approach, but second half I thought we turned it round and ran out deserving winners in the end,” he said. “We know it will be another tough game this week, Wanneroo are one of favourites for the league and we are just looking to put in a good performance and remain in touch at the top end of the ladder.” The injury crisis at the club looks to be easing, with Captain Sean Brady back, Louie Bake, Ryan Hazlett, Alex Grayson and Blake Sokolowski should also return.
Wanneroo have scored twelve goals in the last two games and Coach Matt Debarro hopes it continues on Saturday. “It's always good as a coach when your team is scoring goals it means you are always a chance of winning and I've found over the years coaching teams to create chances and score goals is much harder than training to stop them, but we have spent a lot of time on it and it's a credit to the players for executing it,” he said. “It's going to be a tough exciting game on Saturday. I feel the pressure is on them being at home and the ones with more expectation. We never set out to be league contenders this season but find ourselves in it at the moment so we will try our best to win the game. We are taking things one game at a time and are not really concerned with the table right now as it is still early. Our focus is to keep building on our performances and play to win week to week.” In team news Wanneroo will be missing Stuart Siddall, but welcome young keeper Joshua Lenzo, who has signed from Perth SC.
In other games Curtin University and Ellenbrook United meet at Edinburgh Oval, while Quinns hosts Fremantle City at Gumblossom Park. New Kelmscott Roos Coach Rob Eldridge takes charge of his first game at the club, for the visit of Kingsway Olympic at Frye Park, while league leaders Forrestfield United visits Princess Road Reserve to take on Balga. The home side welcome back keeper Ollie Rigler, while Forrestfield will be sweating on the fitness of their keeper Brad Eiffe and winger Rhys Loxley, but they will be without Chris Perrott. In the final game Melville City entertain Joondalup City at Len Shearer Reserve. The home side have lost back-to-back games and Coach Gavin Brown said they need to lift for the visit of Joondalup. “We are disappointed to lose the last two games, the whole season has been disappointing to be honest,” he said. “I think we are just a little too young and inexperienced at times and tight games have gone against us. We were well beaten by Fremantle, but our other losses have been tight and could have gone either way, just disappointing we haven't managed to turn tight losses into draws or in our favour. We will give them (Joondalup) a good game, they were good in beating us in the cup, but we think we know their weaknesses and will be looking to exploit them.”
ARMADALE FULLER CONFIDENCE FOR GULLS TEST (courtesy nplwa.com.au)
Armadale coach Paul Price says the whole club got a mokey of its back with their first win of the season. Armadale will travel to Sorrento for their PS4 NPLWA match on Saturday buoyed by the signing of former Gulls player Jesse Fuller. The visitors to Percy Doyle Reserve won their first match this season when they beat Balcatta 3-1 last week, a result that Armadale coach Paul Price described as a massive relief for the whole club. “It was a monkey off everybody’s back at the club, not only the players but I’m sure all the people involved at the club and the spectators,” he said. And Price said the presence of Fuller, who worked with Price during his time as Sorrento coach, would also help the side. “He’s about 90 per cent (fit), but he’ll be a valuable asset to the club,” he said.
Fuller was one of six players, including Price’s son, David, who Armadale acquired during the transfer period. But Price was disappointed not to have signed more. “We spoke to quite a few players (and) we didn’t get some of the players we were after for various reasons,” said Price, who returns to Sorrento for the first time in his stint as Armadale boss having coached the Gulls to the 2012 title. “Certainly we would’ve liked to have signed a couple more players, but we tried our hardest and it didn’t work.”
Despite being unable to secure all transfer targets, Price can look forward to the continued service of Danny Hodgson, who scored twice and provided an assist for Sam Cole in the win over Balcatta. Price said Hodgson had been a great contributor in his short time at the club. “We’ve looked a better team since he’s been back,” Price said of Hodgson, who missed two games through family commitments. “We desperately needed someone with his sort of pace and goalscoring ability.”
Sorrento have been in fine form after consecutive wins over Floreat Athena and Bayswater City. The Gulls also topped up over the transfer period, adding former Perth Glory player Scott Bulloch. Saturday’s match looms as Bulloch’s first NPL game for the season, having appeared as a substitute in last week’s Westfield FFA Cup win at Bayswater. “Scott was with us last year and took some time off to qualify as a fireman,” Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell said. “We’re looking forward to getting him involved in the league and utilising his experience.”
Harnwell said competition for spots in the next round of the FFA Cup would drive his players to perform in the NPL. “If they’re performing poorly in the league then they’re not going to get a chance to play in the cup,” he said.
SPIDER BITE PUTS TONG IN HOSPITAL (courtesy nplwa.com.au)
Adam Tong’s hopes of making his Bayswater City debut this weekend were almost dashed by the most unlikely injury. Tong, who moved from Balcatta recently, had his sights set on a place in the Bayswater side for Saturday’s trip to Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco. But a bite from a white-tailed spider resulted in the 33-year-old defender spending three days in hospital and facing the prospect of plastic surgery.
He will find out tomorrow if he requires another operation after doctors removed a section of his arm to fight the infection caused by the bite. “I was hoping I would be training on Tuesday and Thursday to give myself a chance for Saturday’s starting XI,” Tong said. “I’ve only had one major injury when I broke my tibia and fibula. But, touch wood, I don’t pull hamstrings, I don’t get dead legs and I don’t have bad calves or anything like that."
Tong is likely to be included in coach Chris Coyne's squad but expects only to be on the bench. “There’s always going to be people pushing for spots in the team wherever you are,” Tong said. “Bayswater have conceded seven goals in 11 games so that shows the team as a whole defends very well and I’ve got to work even harder to get in the team.” Tong was grateful to his former club for their support during the five and a half years he spent with the Grindleford Reserve side.
GLORY APPOINTS NEW CEO (courtesy perthglory.com.au)
Perth Glory FC is proud and delighted to announce, it has appointed Peter Filopoulos as the club’s new Chief Executive Officer. Filopoulos, currently the Chief Commercial Officer at Swimming Australia, heads to Perth, as one of the best and most experienced sports administrators in the country. Peter’s passion, skill and knowledge of football can be traced back to the 90s, when he was CEO of National Soccer League powerhouse South Melbourne Football Club. During his reign, the team was coached by current Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou which won back to back championships between 1997 and 1999 and qualified for the FIFA World Football Club championships in Brazil. At the time, South Melbourne was a leading NSL club and was recognised by FIFA as the Oceania Club of the Century.
Filopoulos also held senior roles within AFL ranks, initially at Hawthorn and then at North Melbourne Football clubs, driving the marketing, sales and corporate portfolios. For more than seven years he was a senior leader at the world class Etihad Stadium in Melbourne where he negotiated multi-million dollar sponsorship agreements and successfully oversaw the commercial and marketing activities for the stadium. As Chief Commercial Officer at Swimming Australia, Filopoulos played a key role in securing a major sponsorship deal with WA based Hancock Prospecting and other significant sponsors. He also played a leading role in re-branding the sport, which also included the re-launch of the Australian Swim Team back to the ‘Dolphins’.
Filopoulos, who is currently overseas with his family, said he was excited to be appointed CEO of Perth Glory FC and heads to Western Australia with one goal in mind. “Perth Glory is a gem waiting to be polished. It set the benchmark of what a football club should be during the NSL and now it’s time to get the Glory days back on and off the field, for the benefit of the game the members and the fans” he said. “I want to be part of a Perth Glory that leaves its mark in history for the right reasons, to create an environment where everyone is left scrambling for a ticket at the gate.” “But we also want to instil a set of values and a culture that resonates with the community. If we can do that, then we’ve won half the battle” Filopoulos said.
The 47-year old made the CEO shortlist which included applicants from across Australia, the United States and the Middle-East. Selection committee chairman Michael Brown said Filopoulos stood out from the crowd. “After reviewing the shortlist, Peter was our preferred candidate and I think it’s safe to say that from here on, it will be a Perth Glory you haven’t seen before, for all the right reasons” Brown said.
Club Chairman Tony Sage thanked Brown and the selection committee, which included club Chief Operating Officer John Boardman and newly appointed Chief Financial Officer Melissa Chapman. “It was an independent process where John, Melissa and Michael worked tirelessly for several weeks, before arriving at their recommendation. I had no involvement in the process and I trusted their judgement completely” Sage said. “As for the appointment of Peter Filopoulos, I am very excited he’s joining our family in the West. We have direction, a structure and a vision to take us forward and I think Perth’s football community should be buoyed that we have acted swiftly to try to turn things around,” he said.
Filopoulos will make a short visit to Perth in mid-July to meet staff and players, before returning in early August with his wife Mary and youngest son Jonathon, to start his tenure in Western Australia.
BAYSWATER CUSTODIAN HEADS TO UK
Bayswater City has been the benchmark in WA football for the last two seasons, and their youth development is on the rise. This week it was announced that one of their players has been offered a contract at English Championship club Reading for next season. Teenager keeper Liam Driscoll will head to the UK at the end of July to join up with the Reading Academy to begin a Two-Year scholarship.
The 16-year-old trialled at several English clubs, including Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Reading, and impressed at the Madejski Stadium and will join The Royals under 18’s. Driscoll began his football in a totally different position but turned his hands to goalkeeping later. “I started playing football at the age of five as a striker, however after numerous times filling in as a goalkeeper I decided at the age of 11 to take goalkeeping more seriously,” he said. “I played the majority of my junior football at Balcatta SC, before in 2014 at the age of 15 I headed to Frank Drago Reserve as their under 18’s goalkeeper however I could only participated in training in 2015 due to my frequent travel and pending move.”
Driscoll said the facilities at Reading are really impressive and he is looking forward to using them. “The club has a category one academy, meaning despite their first team not competing in the Premier League, their academy team will compete against other category one academies such as Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur to name a few,” he said. “They are also currently constructing a state of the art training facility worth in excess of 20 million pounds located on a 120 acre site.”
Bayswater vice-President Oriano Colli said it’s a great opportunity for the player. “As a result of Liam's association with Reading, Bayswater hopes other talented junior players at our club will have the opportunity to trial there in the future,” he said. “We have also got our partnership with Italian giants Juventus, who held camps in WA last month, so the club is working hard on their youth development and we are starting to see the rewards.”
RISDON TRANSFER HITS ROADBLOCK
An overseas move for Perth Glory full-back Josh Risdon has stalled over the payment of a transfer fee. An unnamed Belgian club have reportedly refused to pay a fee for the talented young defender, who is under contract with Glory next season. Risdon, 22, enjoyed an outstanding 2014/2015 campaign, making 25 A-League appearances at right-back. He has tallied up close to 100 games for Glory since making his debut in 2010 at the age of 18.
FULLY FIT TAGGART TARGETING BREAKTHROUGH YEAR
Socceroo Adam Taggart has returned to Fulham training a week early and is hoping a full pre-season can kick-start his stalled career. Taggart, 22, didn’t play for the Cottagers last season after a year ruined by a pelvic injury. He made several appearances for the club’s under-21s – and bagged a few goals – after the turn of the year, but was never fully over the injury. He recently spent four weeks in Perth working with a pelvic specialist, building up strength and regaining his muscle memory, power and speed.
Taggart returned to Fulham last week with the aim of impressing manager Kit Symons and winning a first team spot. "I had a chat to Kit the other day to let him know my body is back to full fitness now and I want to be fighting for a position," Taggart said. "I wanted to come back here a week early to get back into the swing of things. I wanted to make sure I was in good stead for pre-season and to make sure people understand I’m taking this year seriously. I’m wanting to do, this year, originally what the club brought me here for and that’s to score goals for Fulham."
Fulham are hoping to return to the Premier League after a disappointing first year back in the second tier, where they finished 17th after an awful start under Felix Magath. The club has allowed several players to leave in the off-season, including first team striker Hugo Rodallega, whose departure could open the door for Taggart. "I don’t see why not," Taggart said. "There’s competition here, they’re good players but I don’t see why I can’t get myself in there and fight for a position."
Earlier this year Taggart was linked with a loan move away from Fulham, something the striker said would be a last resort "At the moment I’m 100 per cent focused on getting myself in at Fulham. I came to this club to play for them . I didn’t come here to go out on loan," he said. "Going on loan is going to be last resort in my eyes. At the moment, there’s an opportunity to fight for a position and that’s my only focus. Until the day where it’s 100 per cent I won’t be playing, then I’ll be fighting every day for that position at Fulham."
TYSON BOOSTS GLORY’S GOALKEEPING STOCKS
Perth Glory have signed former Australia youth goalkeeper Jerrad Tyson on a two-season deal. The 25-year old Tasmanian joins Glory after spending the past season with Sun Pegasus in the Hong Kong Premier League. “I’m very happy to have made the jump across to WA,” Tyson said. “Glory is a great club with lots of talent and excellent coaching staff, so I’m looking forward to the next challenge ahead.”
Tyson has 18 A-League appearances to his credit, with Gold Coast United and Western Sydney Wanderers, and plans to increase that tally substantially next summer. “Regular game time will be my focus but that’s down to me and impressing the coaches at training,” he said. Ironically, it was against Glory that Tyson made his debut for Western Sydney in 2013/14, keeping a clean sheet.
Coach Kenny Lowe said Tyson was a good fit for the club. “Jerrad’s been playing at a competitive level for some time now,” he said. “He’s got the pedigree and massive potential to break out and be a number one goalkeeper. He has played at some of the best clubs in the A-League so he’s going to be a very important player for us.” Tyson will meet his new team mates next week, when the Glory squad re-assembles for their pre-season campaign.
VETERAN MATILDAS CRY WITH RELIEF
The veteran members of the Matildas did not so much celebrate their win over Brazil but cried together in relief as memories of so many painful moments rushed back. Co-captains Lisa De Vanna and Claire Polkinghorne along with evergreen goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri pulled away from the rest of the squad as they sang and danced after their second round victory over the South American powers. Collectively, the trio have taken part in ten World Cup campaigns, with the Matildas failing every time at the first hurdle of the knock-out stages.
After knocking out Brazil and becoming the first senior Australian team to win in a second round World Cup game, De Vanna revealed they couldn't contain their emotions after such a long history of unfulfilled potential. "I was crying, (Barbieri) was crying, Polks as well … we were so emotional," De Vanna said. "Now that it's finally happened I can't describe my emotions about it. I'm just so proud to be an Australian and so proud to lead the country out. This is what the girls have worked so hard for, so the credit is to them."
De Vanna, 30, described the result as the best moment of her career but believes the Matildas can go on and reach the final in Canada. "It's a team effort and you hear the final whistle blow and you're part of history, everyone is so excited," she said. "You think of your whole career and you get so caught up in the emotions of it. Yes, I have goals just like everyone else and my goal is to take this team as far as it can. This is a stepping stone and being a co-captain, to be part of that, that's something nobody can ever take back and that's a lifetime for me."
Having survived the group of death and defeated Brazil, the Matilda’s move into the quarter-finals where they’ll meet Japan. De Vanna has called on all of Australia to get behind the team as they seek to win the Women’s World Cup. "It's something that Australian football has never done before and I think it's very important to get the support and to back us up," De Vanna said. "The more support we hear from home, and the more backing we have, the more confidence and belief it gives us to show the world and take on any country."
De Vanna is continuing to play through pain of an ankle injury and will likely be rested from rigorous training during the build-up for their quarter-final match. The striker says she is unlikely to need surgery but will require an extensive break after the tournament. "It’s (the ankle) not an issue at the moment," she said. "I just need time off. I have goals and my goal is to take this team as far as it can, this is a stepping stone. Being a co-captain and to be part of that no one can take that away."
WILLIAMS' THRILLED BY ‘SAVE OF THE TOURNAMENT’
It was the move Lydia Williams practised throughout her career, but she never expected its first execution would knock Brazil out of the Women’s World Cup. Williams produced one of the saves of the tournament to deny Brazilian star Formiga the sort of spectacular long-range goal that would have gone viral online. The Katanning-born goalkeeper dived to reach the corner of the net before reacting quickly enough to a late swerve to tip the ball over the bar with her trailing right arm.
Struggling to contain her joy after Australia sealed their spot in the tournament quarter-finals, Williams was ecstatic to have executed a save in that style in the biggest game of her career. "I've been training for that all my career and it finally paid off," Williams said after the game. "Honestly, I just knew they were going to shoot so for me it was high-up in the corner of the goal and that time it was more likely that a trailing hand would get to that height."
Williams performance was influential as Australia scored their first win over Brazil at a World Cup, in doing so winning the country's first ever World Cup knock-out stage match. "To get the result that we've got, this World Cup has been a world first for us in football and it's the first time we've progressed in a knock-out stage and the first time we have beaten Brazil," Williams said. "We've got so much talent in this team and it's so cohesive on the field. You can see how we're fighting in the last ten minutes."
FOREST CLOSE TO SIGNING JONES
Championship club Nottingham Forest have emerged as the favourites to sign former Socceroo Brad Jones. The 33-year old goalkeeper was released by Liverpool at the end of last season after making 26 appearances at Anfield, where he was back-up to first Pepe Reina and then Simon Mignolet. Forest boss Dougie Freedman is understood to be in discussion with Jones over a two-year deal, with West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City also showing an interest. Armadale-born Jones has played 142 games in England since entering Middlesbrough’s youth system as a teenager.
BIRIGHITTI RE-COMMITS TO JETS
Newcastle Jets have confirmed goalkeeper Mark Birighitti will re-join the club for the 2015/16 season. Birighitti, who has made over 50 A-League appearances since linking with Newcastle in 2012, will return to the club having spent the second half of last season on loan to Italian side A.S. Varese. The one-time Socceroo and regular former Australian youth international arrived back in Newcastle over the weekend.
Birighitti said that he feels he’s picked the right time to recommit to Newcastle and is excited to work alongside the club’s fresh on and off field personnel. “I believe this is the right move for me to come back to the Newcastle Jets,” Birighitti said. “I believe the appointment of the two new senior coaches, Scott Miller and ‘JP’ (Jean-Paul de Marigny) are good ones.”
“I feel that they (Miller & de Marigny) have the right qualities and the right attributes to get the best out of every player and to make the Jets a real force,” he added. “That’s something that I really want to be a part of. Special mention to the Jets members and passionate fans, they deserve every bit of success in the Hunter. The future looks bright.”
Birighitti said he feels he progressed as a player during his time on loan to Varese, despite featuring in only a handful of matches. “It was a fantastic experience,” Birighitti said of his time in Italy’s second tier. “I was playing and training with some top quality players over there in a fantastic league, so I definitely learnt a lot. The experience has matured me a lot as a person and a player.”
MATILDAS STUN BRAZIL TO MAKE WORLD CUP QUARTER-FINALS
Australia sealed their progression to the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup with one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, a 1-0 win over Brazil. Substitute Kyah Simon struck the only goal of the match that sealed the first ever knockout-stage victory for any senior Australia team at a World Cup. "It's a massively historic moment," coach Alen Stajcic said after the final whistle. "Exhilarating is the word for such a victory against a big powerful football nation. A lot of sacrifice in the last five months and I guess it pays off on days like this."
A tactical first half was devoid of significant chances. Samantha Kerr's sweet volley rippled the side-netting, while at the other end Lydia Williams saved well from Formiga. The match opened up after the break. An unmarked Formiga headed into the upright, and moments later Emily Van Egmond placed wide. Williams stood firm as Brazil attempt to find a way through from distance. The decisive goal arrived ten minutes from the end when Simon side-fotted into an empty net after goalkeeper Luciana fumbled a shot from Lisa De Vanna. Williams, Kerr and De Vanna each played the full game.
GRANT BACK ON HOME SOIL AFTER SEALING GLORY DEAL
Perth Glory has confirmed the capture of young West Australian defender Alex Grant, who was released by Stoke City at the end of the English Premier League season. The 21-year old, who was born in Manchester but moved to Perth with his family as a child, has signed a one-year deal with the option of a second season.
"I’m really thrilled and excited to be heading back to Perth to play in the A-League and it’s only fitting that I do it in my home town” Grant said. “I’ve learnt a lot playing in England for the past five years but it’s time to change direction and push myself in the domestic league. It’s a wonderful opportunity and I’m thankful to the club for believing in me."
Grant learnt his trade with ECU Joondalup and the National Training Centre program, before signing a two-year scholarship with Portsmouth in 2010. He was then signed by Stoke City in 2013 as the last signing of then boss Tony Pulis but did not make a first team appearance under his successor Mark Hughes. During his time abroad, Grant played 44 matches and scored three goals with non-League sides Eastleigh, Havant and Waterlooville and Macclesfield Town.
Glory head coach Kenny Lowe said Grant was fit the mould of the type of players he is looking to recruit after a raft of post-season exits. “Alex is a great young lad, with plenty of potential, he’s a natural left footer, is very flexible in that he can play a number of positions and that suits us for what we want,” Lowe said. “We are injecting new blood into this coming season and there’ll be a few more players to come.”
VITTIGLIA ENDS GWELUP CUP DREAMS
A goal nine minutes from time from Perth SC striker Reece Vittiglia has given them a thrilling 4-3 win against Gwelup Croatia in the FFA Cup preliminary Semi-Final at Dorrien Gardens, to end the giant-killing run of the Sunday Amateur Premier League club. Mark Pritchard opened the scoring for the home side, before Nicolas Tatasciore and Benny Kouakou gave Gwelup a surprise lead, but Dean Evans’ brace before the break gave Perth the lead at the break. Tatasciore added his second early in the second half, before substitute Vittiglia won it late. “It was a great game for the neutrals and full credit to Gwelup for really making us work for it,” Vittiglia said. “Scoring the winning goal was a great feeling, especially after being out for so long with injury. However reaching the round of 32 was the main focus and I’m just happy for everyone involved at the club.”
The striker said it showed the gap between the leagues is closing. “They might be in the Sunday league, but they could easily be part of the NPL set up and be competitive week in and week out,” Vittiglia said. “They brought a huge fan base and it was great occasion for all involved.” Gwelup were magnificent and deserve a great deal of credit for an exciting game and winger Tatasciore said they gave it their all. “It was a tough battle and the lads gave it their all right to the end and with a little bit of luck we could have got a result, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be on the day, but I was very proud of my team,” he said. “Our fans were great today, and the atmosphere was electric, and our club has now shown that we can compete at that level.”
There was rain and strong winds in the metropolitan area, but there was a still big crowd on hand at kick off, and it was the home side that had the perfect start and they were ahead after only four minutes. Aden da Luz and Nick Ambrogio combined to find Pritchard, and the midfielder made no mistake from close-range. But if the crowd thought Gwelup would roll over, they had other ideas and levelled on the quarter hour. Jordan Costanzo’s looping cross from the right wasn’t dealt with by Perth keeper Francis Soale, and the ball fell to the feet of Tatasciore who fired home. It was game on, and Gwelup were giving as good as they got, and on 27 minutes they hit the front.
Tatasciore was having a blinder and his through ball found Kouakou lost his marker on the edge of the penalty area and fired home via a deflection, and raced over to celebrate with the Red Army of Croatia supporters. Perth was not to be outdone and they levelled on 38 minutes. The lively Ambrogio fed Evans, whose volley beat Tom Dixon and flew into the bottom corner of the net. Perth ended the half the better and their pressure was rewarded with the lead in stoppage time. Pritchard made space down the flank, and his deep cross to the back post found Evans who found the net.
The second half was only four minutes old, when Gwelup made it 3-3. Again hesitation in the Perth defence allowed Tatasciore to send a powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area into the top corner of the net. The game was in the balance and it tilted Gwelup’s way on the hour when Perth skipper Clark Keltie was sent off by referee Adam Fielding, for a second yellow card. Perth re-shuffled the pack, but Gwelup pressed for the winner. Jake Verini tested Soale, and the Perth custodian produced a stunning save to deny him, before Tatasciore saw his shot flash wide.
But Perth was still creating chances and on 81 minutes, and somewhat against the run of play, they regained the lead. Vittiglia found space in the penalty area, and his first touch took him away from his marker and he powered home from a tight angle. Gwelup pushed forward looking for the equaliser. Ian O’Sullivan’s header at the back post flashed just wide of the target, before Tatasciore long-range shot drifted wide of the target. Gwelup also had a penalty claim in the final minute, but referee Fielding waved away their protests and moments later the final whistle blew and Perth ran out winners in a fantastic game of football.
Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 2 Josh WILKINS, 4 James MAROCCHI, 5 Dean EVANS, 6 Clarke KELTIE, 8 Aden DA LUZ (17 Reece VITTIGLIA 15’), 11 Julian MADASCHI, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 14 Mark PRITCHARD, 16 Nick AMBROGIO (18 Josh PEREIRA 68’), 20 Laurence GAUGHAN.
Subs not used: RGK Alex DUNN, 7 Carlo COELHO, 12 Marco SANTALUCIA, 18 Josh PEREIRA
Yellow cards: Gaughan, Keltie
Red cards: Keltie
Gwelup Croatia: GK Tom DIXON, 4 Zoran VRTESKI, 6 Ian O’SULLIVAN, 8 Jake VERINI (7 Mwansa MUSONDA 80’), 11 Benjamin KOUAKOU, 13 Anthony MIHALJ, 14 Steven MCGARRY, 17 Sebastian MUNOZ (21 Kross KAMARA 71’), 23 Jordan COSTANZO, 33 David MARTINS (9 John CAFFERKEY 57’), 82 Nicolas TATASCIORE.
Substitutes not used: RGK Michele MESTIERI, 15 Joshua TUMOE
Yellow cards: Ian O’Sullivan
Referee: Adam Fielding
PERTH EASES PAST PLUCKY DOLPHINS
Perth SC moved into the Final of the Cool Ridge State Reserves Cup after a 4-1 win against Division One side Mandurah City at Dorrein Gardens on Sunday morning. The weather wasn’t the best but Perth made the game safe after a stunning first half performance. They were ahead on 20 minutes, when Harley Orr fired home from the penalty spot after a shot hit a stray arm. They doubled their advantage two minutes later, with Adam Carlino on target, after a great team movement.
Carlino added a third before the break, Dino Topcagic broke through and his shot hit the inside of the post and Carlino was there to tap home. But all credit to Mandurah they continued to take the game to their hosts and created a number of chances and were rewarded with a great strike from Jacob Headington to cut the margin. But the game was made safe late when Perth added a fourth, from a good run and finish from Conor Mackay. “I was really pleased with the performance on a wet and stormy day at Dorrien Gardens,” Perth Coach Gavin Tait said. “Both teams started brightly and once we settled and adapted to the conditions we started to get on top, and took our chances well. We are all delighted to be in the final, also congratulations to Joondalup United who also made it through on Saturday.”
SUBIACO UNDER 18'S TOO GOOD FOR FORRESTFIELD
Subiaco AFC has moved into the final of the Cool Ridge Cup after a 4-1 win against Division Two side Forrestfield United in the Semi-Final at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday morning. On target for Subiaco were Chris Massey, Shatoosh Bhat, Darryl Ong and Matthew Clark. Forrestfield drew level just before half time, but Subiaco took their chances in the second half and Forrestfield had their keeper Michael cook sent off for decent, and Ian McMurray’s side ran out comprehensive winners.
“We were not at our best today, but we managed to get the first goal and created a couple more chances which we did not take. We were giving them too much space and the hard work we usually have was not there,” McMurray said. “They (Forrestfield) played very well and scored equaliser just before half time, but we were more disciplined, and it helped when their keeper was sent off for dissent. Then we capitalised on the man less and dominated.”
DE VANNA CHANNELLING HER PASSION
Lisa De Vanna may no longer go to bed every night with a football in her arms, but she still eats, sleeps and breathes the world game. All the Matilda’s veteran thinks about is playing and winning, a mentality that the striker says in part of her DNA. "Football came to me, it found me. My mum is Portuguese, so it's undoubtedly in my blood," she said. "I live every match as if my life depended on it."
The Women’s World Cup in Canada marks De Vanna's third appearance at the tournament, and there’s no sign her passion is diminishing. Two crucial goals from the 30-year old helped the Matildas survive the so-called 'group of death,' yet these were no bolts out of the blue. De Vanna hit the back of the net four times in China in 2007 and added another to her tally four years later in Germany.
"The intensity of scoring a goal is unique. Few people feel that sort of emotion in their lifetimes. Those 20 seconds of joy put me in an indescribable state," she said before adding that the thrill of getting to lift the world crown could be too much for her heart to take. "You'd have to call a doctor to revive me," she said, only half-jokingly.
De Vanna could not, though, be more serious in the way she approaches every game at the Women’s World Cup. "I have to cut myself off. I don't reply to messages; I even avoid talking to my team-mates, that's how big the tension is. I find it hard not to get wrapped up in every possible scenario about the match," she explained.
The streetwise star's early footballing experiences only fuelled her fierce natural competitiveness. "In the past I had to play with the boys and they were rarely nice to me," she said. "I wasn't entitled to any special treatment from them. They never wanted to lose, just like me. That's what led me to develop the persona I have on the pitch."
De Vanna, who surpassed 100 international appearances in Canada, cultivates this win-at-all-costs spirit on the field. However, she knows that there is a price to pay. "When things don't work out, I can't sleep. But it's part of me: I just try to tame the pre-match tension as best I can," she said. "Sometimes I suffer because of the intensity of my emotions. My desire is too strong and it can get the better of me when things go wrong."
De Vanna is enjoying her role as co-captain of Australia and firmly believes the team are capable of beating Brazil, who have defeated the Matilda’s in the last two Women’s World Cups, when they meet in this week’s round of sixteen. "Facing the Brazilians no longer worries me," she said. "We're better prepared than ever and the new generation really does have some extraordinary qualities."
In fact, De Vanna seems to be relishing the impending rematch with Brazil. "They didn't have to get out of as hard a group as we did," she said. "We have the same quick, forward-thinking style of play. It will be decided by details. They have some exceptional players, but we've got weapons too." Australia and Brazil go head-to-head on Monday morning for a place in the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals.
MORGAN THE HERO AS GULLS SWOOP
Sorrento produced a huge boilover in the Semi Final of the FFA Cup, beating current cup holders Bayswater City 4-2 on penalties, after the score was 1-1 after extra time. It was a dramatic finale at Frank Drago Reserve, the visitors hit the front in the first minute through Jack Salter, but Bayswater striker David Heagney equalised midway through the second half. Bayswater dominated in extra time, but couldn’t beat Man of the Match James Morgan and won the shoot out to send The Gulls in the Round of 32. “What a great performance from the lads, we were underdogs going into the game but we were confident we could get a result, and I thought we did the club proud today” Morgan said. “Hopefully in the draw on Wednesday it’s an away game, and the boys get a little bit of reward for all their hard work.”
Sorrento made the perfect start and they were ahead after only 45 seconds. Sean Canham made space down the right and crossed to Salter, and the New Zealand striker made no mistake from six meters. Bayswater looked to hit back immediately, and Declan Hargreaves’ shot from the edge of the penalty area was cleared off the line by Tom Boss. Morgan then produced a save to deny Heagney’s curling shot on the half hour. Jason Mirco fired over the top as chances came and went at both ends.
The Sorrento custodian was in terrific form and he was in the thick of the action again moments later, producing a stunning reaction to thwart Borbor Sam’s deflected shot, the Bayswater winger was causing the Sorrento defence all sorts of problems. Chris Saldaris then headed straight at Morgan, after he was picked out by Todd Howarth’s free kick. Then in first half stoppage time Gustavo Giron-Marulanda made space on the left of the penalty area, but his snap shot was well saved by Morgan low at his near post.
After the break Bayswater carried on where they left off, but Sorrento continued to defend well, but on 67 minutes a lapse of concentration saw Bayswater level. Howarth’s corner picked out the unmarked Heagney at the back post, who headed home from close-range. The home side almost took the lead sixty seconds later, Heagney audacious lob from long-range lob was tipped over the top by Morgan at full stretch. Bayswater continued to dominate, Howarth’s half volley flashed wide of the post, and on 82 minutes they had a penalty claim turned down. Howarth’s shot hit a Sorrento defender, but referee Steven Gregory waved away their handball claims, and it was into extra time.
It was anyone’s game and the big crowd were on the edge of their seats, and both sides had chances. Second half substitute Todd Harnwell’s long range shot was saved low by Jason Saldaris, before Sam’s curling shot whistled wide of the far post. Sorrento were defending deep and Bayswater were well on top, but couldn’t find a way past them, the best chance fell to Marulanda, whose free kick was beaten away by Morgan. In the penalty shoot-out it was Morgan who was the hero, saving low to his left to deny Howarth’s third penalty. Then Phil Arnold saw his spot kick crash off the post, and Steven McDonald stepped up and beat Jason Saldaris to seal the win for Sorrento.
Bayswater City: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Declan HARGRAVES, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 8 Paul McCARTHY (15. Brian FARRELL 58’), 9 Gustavo Giron MARULANDA, 13 Trent KAY, 16 Jamie COYNE, 17 BorBor SAM (19 Phil ARNOLD 103’), 20 Sam MITCHISON, 21 David HEAGNEY (11 Corey BARCLAY 115’), 23 Chris SALDARIS - Subs not used: RGK Devon SPENCE, 4 Patiente IIAHABAYE
Yellow Cards: Marulanda 40’, Hargreaves 82’
Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 2 Danny CAIN, 4 Shaun KILKELLY, 10 Jason MIRCO (15 Scott BULLOCH 90’), 11 Tom BOSS, 12 Jack EADES, 13 Steve MCDONALD, 18 Sean CANHAM, 19 Jack SALTER (9 Todd HARNWELL 63’), 20 Brad MCDONALD (5 Adam LUCA 83’), 22 Lewis HALL - Subs not used: RGK Neil YOUNG, 21 Jordan DODD
Yellow Cards: Cain 46’, McDonald 81’
Referee: Steven Gregory
UNITED WIN THE JOONDALUP RESERVES DERBY
Joondalup United produced a huge upset in the Coolridge Cup Reserves Semi-Final with a 3-2 win against NPL side ECU Joondalup at Frank Drago Reserve. Alex Wild gave United the lead in the first half, before Ben Wantee levelled in the first minute of the second half for ECU. Peter Kenny put United back in front in the 50th minute, but Bayley Montgomery equalised on the hour. Both sides then hit the woodwork. Wild saw his header crash off the bar for United, before Kye Douglas did likewise for ECU. But in stoppage time United won it, with Wild adding his second and setting off wild celebrations in the big Joondalup United following in the stands. “It was a great game to be involved and typical end to end cup tie,” United Coach Stephen McDowell said. “They (ECU) are easily the best team we have come up against this season and you can see why they are up top of their league.”
McDowell was delighted with the commitment of his side and also the big support they had on the day. “Again we showed great character, especially when they scored at the start of the second half when we could have easily crumbled,” he explained. “We’re absolutely delighted for our lads considering we had 7/8 (injuries / holidays) players out, and I’ve got to give a special mention to the two u18 lads who we had to bring in this week Joe Allsopp, who made his first start for us in centre midfield, and Taylor Cooper. Also a big thanks to all the lads that came down to support us on the bus, and made it a great atmosphere.”
COCKBURN EDGE OUT SORRENTO IN 18'S CUP
Cockburn City moved into the final of the Coolridge Under 18's Cup after a hard fought 2-1 win against Sorrento at Frank Drago Reserve. Jordan Burguss gave Sorrento the lead but David dos Santos levelled from a free kick. The winner came from Jacob young, who converted the rebound from his penalty.
“It was a typical semi-final, with both teams looking a little nervous early on,” Cockburn Coach Chris Adams said. “Credit to Sorrento they kept going to the end in search of an equaliser however I felt we just had the edge on them over the course of the game. Their goalkeeper was in terrific form to stop us scoring 3 or 4. The boys managed to hold on to the win and now we look forward to the final.”
KERR FLYING HIGH FOR THE MATILDAS
Flying around the world on a private jet is a dream for any 21-year old, but for Samantha Kerr it has been her passport to what she describes as the biggest game in Australian women’s soccer history. Despite fears she may not play in the Women’s World Cup in Canada after suffering a knee injury while playing for Perth Glory Women, Kerr has starred for the Matildas, who play a quarter-final against Brazil early on Monday morning.
Speaking from the Canadian city of Moncton, Kerr she was proudly writing her own sporting story as the popularity of the women’s game grew. “I’m over the moon just to be here,” Kerr said. “It’s super-important that the girls start getting the recognition they deserve because they’ve put in a lot of work and for us to be seen as a footballing country would be awesome. and well-earned.”
Kerr said it had been a “massive” relief to get through what they were constantly told was the ‘group of death’ and into the final sixteen. She may have joked that flying to Moncton in a private jet would make travelling in economy class difficult in the future, but the attacker was deadly serious about making the most of her opportunity on the world stage. “The women’s game is growing so fast and we don’t want to get left behind,” she said.
WILLIAMS AND MATILDAS PROVE THE EXPERTS WRONG
Many predicted Australia would fail to make the last sixteen at the Women’s World Cup, however, goalkeeper But Lydia Williams knows she wasn't meant to make the plan for Canada at all. Just a few months ago, the veteran shot-stopper was playing for Tuggeranong United in front of a handful of people, desperately trying to prove she was worth the risk to Australia's coaching staff after a second knee reconstruction.
27-year old Williams is aware of the punt that's been taken on her, and after missing the tournament opener against the United States she was superb in a win over Nigeria and a draw with Sweden, which secured passage through the ‘group of death’. Although Australia made the quarter-finals four years ago they've already proven many wrong, and particularly Williams.
Williams admitted the coaching staff could have decided it was a gamble not worth taking after with just 11 months to recover from her injury. "It could have been like that, for sure," Williams said. "There was a lot of risk in me coming back, but I think all of us were ready for it … I had a lot of support from staff and teammates, they had faith in me so I had to have faith in myself too."
Facing the world's best strikers is clearly a big step up from playing in Canberra’s leagues, but Williams said her Tuggeranong gave her belief it wasn't a bridge too far. "I was really happy to get the games in with Tuggeranong, the staff wanted me to get ten games before the World Cup," she said. "If there was anything to tweak we could do it in those games, not in an international. It was more a benefit leading into this more than a detriment."
The brilliance and ad-lib play of Brazil's women's team isn't dissimilar to their male counterparts, but Williams is adamant they are beatable. "They've got a lot of the old Brazilian flair, they're very creative with the flick and all those tricks," Williams said. "They can catch a lot of teams out and play some really entertaining football."
She rates the current Matildas crop the most capable of her three World Cup appearances. "The last couple of World Cups I've been to, this is probably the most talented group of girls we've ever had," he said. "We've achieved so much by really giving the Americans a good run for their money (and) beaten the African champions. We've definitely put our names on the map."
FFA CUP SEMI FINAL PREVIEW - BAYSWATER v SORRENTO
This weekend the FFA Cup Semi-Finals are the main attraction, with not only a spot in the WA FFA Cup Final is up for grabs, but the winners of both games will go into the First Round of the National tournament, which includes A-League sides.
The first tie is at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday, with Bayswater City taking on Sorrento. (2.30pm) Sorrento, who last won the cup in 2012, was made to work hard in the Quarter-Finals, before overcoming Division One side South West Phoenix. “It wasn’t an easy game against the Phoenix, we knew they were going to come out and have a go early on and that was the case,” Sorrento winger Jason Mirco said. “Maybe we were a bit fortunate for the opening goal, but we stuck to our game plan and eventually our quality showed we were the better team on the day.”
The Gulls were written off by many at the start of the season, but Mirco said they have started to gel. “We've been a bit of a work in progress, and the coaching staff wanted a more footballing style of game this year and along with some new faces it's taking some time adapting,” he explained. “Last week’s win at Floreat was a massive confidence boost as we've probably deserved a bit more then we've got in recent weeks but haven't taken our chances.” Mirco, who was overseas and missed the 2012 Cup final, is hoping to put that right this season, but he knows Saturday’s game at Bayswater is a tough one, but said they are ready for it. “They (Bayswater) have set the bar high in recent years and credit to them,” he said. “But we're an anywhere, anytime kind of team, and we're looking forward to this weekend’s clash, and I know Jamie (Harnwell) and Steve (Neville) will have this week planned well for us.”
Sorrento went back-to-back in the cup in 2011 and 2012, while Bayswater have done the same in the last two seasons, but Mirco believes anything can happen in the cup and they head there full of confidence. “We had a lot of success in cup, and were lucky enough to win two years on the bounce, and in recent years so has Bayswater,” he said. “But history doesn't usually count for a lot in the cup. We'll obviously go in as the underdog but with or without that tag we'll stick to our game and do everything possible to reach the final.”
A win on Saturday will give Bayswater the opportunity to get a hat-trick of Cup final wins, and midfielder Todd Howarth said the game will tight, like it was in the quarter-final at Cockburn. “Cockburn tested us towards the end of the game but we managed to hang on,” he said. “We had two hard games that weekend, so I think to get away with a couple of wins was a decent effort considering
The last time they played Sorrento at home they ran out big winners, but Howarth believes it will be a tight encounter this time around. “Saturday will be our biggest test so far this season. Sorrento is always hard to play against and given their win on the weekend, when they did us a favour, they'll be full of confidence,” he explained. “We won't be reading into the result the last time we met, they just had an off day. We'll be prepared on Saturday and approach the game the way we always do. Hopefully there's a good crowd there to support WA football.”
Bayswater are ticking along nicely, but Howarth knows they can’t stand on their laurels and want to test themselves against the best teams in the country, but they need to win Saturday first. “The season is going well so far but anything can happen. Night series didn't end well as we weren't fit enough but getting into the season gradually was always the plan,” he said. “Hopefully we can continue our good form and kick on with the league. We've placed a lot of importance on getting into the FFA cup final which enables us to test ourselves against Australia's best.
“The club has big ambitions, and it will be nice to win the cup again and it will be a great achievement for the club if we manage it but like I said our main priority is to get through to the final by winning on Saturday. I'm sure the boys will be up for it and we're all looking forward to the challenge.”
FFA CUP SEMI FINAL PREVIEW - PERTH SC v GWELUP CROATIA
The second Semi-Final is on Sunday at Dorrien Gardens, and it’s a real ‘David and Goliath’ challenge with Consolidated Energy Amateur League Premier Division side Gwelup Croatia, taking on the 11 times Cup winners Perth SC. (2.30pm)
Gwelup will be flying the flag for the Sunday League, and are clear at the top of the table, and produced a stunning win against All Flags Division One leaders Mandurah City in the last round, a game keeper Tom Dixon said they were up for. “It was massive result for us against Mandurah, we prepared very well, which is a credit to coaches Mike Ford and Mike Leigh,” he said. “Obviously we played very well to be up 3-0 at half time, and I think we have been underestimated being a Sunday league side. The club and background people are doing a tremendous job and because of that we've attracted good young players who are passionate. We've been getting stronger and stronger week by week.”
They warmed up for the cup tie with a sensational 10-0 win against traditional rivals BB United in the league. “They (BB United) were a challenge when we played them early on in the FFA cup, and it was a tight 2-1 win on that day,” Dixon said. “But we were really good last week and the result showed that, but the gap between Sunday Football and Division one and two is now minimal, and we will be ready for the challenge come Sunday.”
The keeper, who played for Floreat and Bayswater, which included winning the league and finish 2nd in the night series with Bayswater 3 years ago, is under no illusions Sunday will be a tough game, but he said they are going there to win it. “The club is excited for Sunday, and again we are underdogs and regardless we are very proud of our achievements,” Dixon said. “We are quietly confident heading into the game. We are all very close and team spirit is unbelievable strong. It’s the biggest game of our season as anything can happen in a final.”
Taki Nicolaidis’ side left it late to beat Subiaco in the Quarter-Final and midfielder Mark Pritchard said they had chances but didn’t take them. “We were made to work hard by Subiaco, they defended deep and put lots of players behind the ball,” he said. “To be honest it wasn't our greatest performance, but I felt on the balance of play and chances created, we deserved to go through.”
Pritchard, who joined the club from Floreat Athena in 2014, said Sunday’s opponents will need to be shown respect and he said they won’t be taking them lightly. “It's not really a surprise to see Gwelup at this stage of the competition. The players they have in their side a lot of them could easily play NPL and a few of them have in the past,” he said. “We are not going to be taking them likely and we realise the importance of the game to the club and also us as players. I'm sure it will be a tough game but I believe we have the quality in our team to reach the final. We just have to focus on ourselves and our own performance.”
Perth have a great reputation in Cup competitions, winning on 11 occasions, but the last one was back in 2008, and Pritchard said they will be looking to put that right this season. “It's something we are focused on. With the added bonus of qualifying for the FFA cup it adds to the prestige,” he said. “The club deserves to be winning trophies and I'm sure each and every one of us will be doing our all to make it happen.”
The Dorrien Gardens clubs form have been up and down in the league, thrashing Stirling, but losing to Subiaco in the last two games, but Pritchard knows they will be in a fight this week with Gwelup looking to cause the biggest upset in the history of the cup “We haven't been as consistent as we would have liked. We produced a great performance against Stirling and then a lacklustre one against Subiaco,” he said. “But credit to them they made it hard for us, but we were by no means at the standard we expect of ourselves. We are the only ones who can put that right now and the lads are desperate to start performing consistently as we know we can, starting Sunday against Gwelup.”
RESERVES CUP SEMI-FINAL - JOONDALUP UNITED V ECU JOONDALUP
Saturday’s State League Reserves Cup Semi-Final is at Frank Drago Reserve, when Joondalup United meet ECU Joondalup in the Joondalup derby. (12.15pm)
United edged out fellow Division One side UWA Nedlands 2-0 in the quarter-finals, and Coach Stephan McDowell said it could have gone either way. “It was a very tough match, and a match of two halves,” he said. “We were very poor first half, but second half was a total different story and we came out firing and it could have ended 5 or 6 to us.”
Cup games can go anyway, and McDowell said the players are looking forward to taking on the NPL side. “The lads are really looking forward to it and hopefully we can go one better than two years ago, when Perth beat us on penalties in the semi-final,” he said. “It also gives it that wee extra bit of spice, with it being a Joondalup derby. We have nothing to lose but we’ll be giving it our best shot, and me and Mark (Cox) will have the players ready, and I'm sure we will have a big support down from everyone involved at the club.”
United have a squad of hard working players, and the coach says they work their backsides off for each other from start to finish. Alex Wild is on fire up front, and he scored both goals in the quarter-final win and also both goals in last week’s league win at UWA Nedlands.
ECU Joondalup were made to work really hard by South West Phoenix in the Quarter Finals, and Coach Mark Windeatt said the score line didn’t reflect the game. “They wouldn’t go away, we had to work our socks off, but in the end we managed to shake them and won comfortably in the end,” he said. “Cup games are a great leveller, and that game showed why, if you don’t show up you will get beaten.”
Windeatt is looking forward to the local derby, and praised Saturday’s opposition. “I’d like to congratulate Mark Cox and Stephan McDowell, for their sides’ successful season, the club is growing rapidly and we know it will be a tight game on Saturday,” he said. “They sit top of the Division One table, and we are joint top in the NPL, so it has all the hallmarks of a great game.”
ECU has always produced talented players, and Windeatt said they are getting better each week. “The lads have played some great football this season, and are continually improving, and a number have pushed up to the first team, which is a great achievement for the young side,” he said. “We are all looking forward to the game on Saturday, and hopefully reach the final.” Ben Wantee and Jake Davies have been outstanding up front this season, while Ollie Annis, Roland Rixer, Harry Bissett and Kye Douglas will have a huge role to play in the game.
RESERVES CUP SEMI-FINAL - PERTH SC V MANDURAH CITY
Sunday’s State League Reserves Cup Semi-Final sees Division One side Mandurah City taking on NPL side Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens. (12.15pm)
Mandurah City won a hard fought Quarter-Final against fellow Division One side Morley Windmills with Joe O’Brien on target in the 1-0 win. Coach Richard Taylor said they knew it would be a tight game. “We had played them in the league a few weeks prior in a 1-1 draw and I set the team up on the day to combat where I thought they might cause us some problems and was really happy that we executed the game plan,” he said. “We played well in the second half and to be honest we could and should have scored a couple more goals on the day.”
The Dolphins head north looking to cause a huge upset, but Taylor said all the pressure will be on the home side. “Saturday’s game is hopefully going to be a good advert for the game as I know Perth like to play football and we like to knock the ball around too,” he explained. “Perth definitely go into the game as favourites just on pedigree and league position alone but this is the cup, a one off game, I would say there is no real pressure on our young squad on Sunday but we are not just going there to make the numbers up and we fully intend to push Perth all the way.”
Mandurah have unearthed some talent this season. Young Struan Herd has been outstanding in goal, the 19-year-old shows maturity beyond his years, Jacob Headington has loads of experience at senior level, and dictates the tempo that they play, while Joe O’Brien is another young prospect, the 17-year-old has a keen eye for goal.
Perth breezed through the Quarter-Final against Subiaco, but had to endure penalties in Round two at Fremantle City. “The game against Subiaco, the players were fantastic from the first whistle to the last and produced one of their best performances of the season so far,” Perth Coach Gavin Tait said. “The game against Fremantle was incredibly close played with a real cup atmosphere down at Hilton Reserve. They got a late equaliser in the last couple of minutes to put the game into a penalty shootout, which was incredibly tense but we managed to win it. All credit to Fremantle who were fantastic on the day.”
Tait knows cup semi-finals are always tense affairs, and knows they will need to be on their game. “We are all looking forward to the game with Mandurah, we know that both teams league form will count for nothing on the day,” he said. “We have the upmost respect for Mandurah who have had to earn their place in the semi-finals, just the same as the other teams involved. The players know from their experience against Fremantle that they need to be ready for the challenge.” Perth has some talented players, the likes of Alex Silla, Kurt Burns, Adam Carlino, Ollie Tate and Brody Walker, have played a major part in their cup run.
UNDER 18'S CUP SEMI-FINAL - COCKBURN CITY v SORRENTO
It’s also the Semi-Finals of the State League Under 18’s Cup, and on Saturday NPL clubs Cockburn City take on Sorrento at Frank Drago Reserve (10.15am)
Cockburn overcame Bayswater City in the quarter finals, in a penalty shoot-out and Coach Chris Adams said his side was fantastic. “It was a very tough game for us, Bayswater are a top side with some good young players,” he said. “We had our backs to the wall when we had a player sent off, but the boys showed a lot of character and desire to win. When it goes to penalties it's always a lottery and credit to our boys we held our nerve and scored all four penalties.”
The Cockerels played Sorrento in the league in round nine, and The Gulls ran out winners, and Adams hopes to reserve that on Saturday. “We won't be taking Sorrento lightly just because of their league position. I'm sure Karl will have the boys ready for the game and have the experience of reaching the final last year under their belt,” he said. “Hopefully we can get revenge after they beat us 1-0 at Dallies earlier in the season.”
Cockburn will look to David Dos Santos in the middle of the park, the youngster has been in fine form after returning from an ACL injury, while James Oldfield and Jacob Young pin at tight defence. “All of us are excited for the semi and just can't wait for kick off,” Adams added.
Sorrento seems to be the cup specialists, after reaching the final last season, before losing to Perth. In the quarter-final they had a hard fought 2-1 win against Division One side Shamrock Rovers, and Coach Karl Cherrie said it was a tight affair. “We knew shamrock would be a good side with some good players and as expected they caused us some problems, particularly on the break,” he said. “We improved our possession and our combination play in the second half and were able to get behind them much more than in the first half and as a consequence we created better chances and eventually got the win. We have a very young group with 7 players on the day against Shamrock that can still play junior football so all in all we were pretty happy with the outcome.”
Cherrie is expecting another tight game on Saturday. “They (Cockburn) are a good side and have been for a few years with a big strong junior base to call upon. There junior setup is good and at a senior level they are doing the right things to ensure good junior development and are supporting the FFA & FW strategic NPL philosophies,” he explained. “They play an attacking possession based style of football with some good impact players in their squad and we will have to be at our best if we are to get a result and play in the Final. Hopefully Cockburn and ourselves can put in a good spectacle for the supporters and showcase some of the very good young talent coming through both our squads.”
UNDER 18'S CUP SEMI-FINAL - SUBIACO AFC v FORRESTFIELD UNITED
Forrestfield United will be flying the flag for the Division Two sides, when they take on NPL side Subiaco AFC at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday (10.15am) United were also forced to penalties in the quarter-final before overcoming Division One side Canning City, and United Coach Andy Bryne said they showed a great deal of character. “We scored early and both teams had opportunities to win the game in normal time. Michael Cook (Cookie) our keeper was eager to take the first penalty which he took and scored,” he said. “This motivated him to save two of Canning City's penalties, and we went on to score three consecutive penalties and win the game.”
Subiaco sit in second spot on the NPL under 18’s table and Bryne knows his side will be underdogs, but said they are looking forward to the challenge. “Subiaco are playing well this year and have a well organised team,” he explained. “We have played well in all three rounds of the cup to progress to this stage, and we will be doing the same on Sunday, and we are looking forward to the challenge of playing against a NPL team.”
Forrestfield have a very young team and are developing some excellent players for the future of our club. Skipper Dan Twamley marshals and holds the defence together, while Mitch Barker and Gerkler Moo (Rooney) are the engine of the team in the middle of the park.
Subiaco edged out Division Two side Fremantle City in the Quarter-final and Coach Ian McMurray said they made it hard for his side. “We finished the match comfortably, but they (Fremantle) played well and we had to keep our concentration as they had some dangerous players in the team,’ he said. “We knew that if we stuck to our game plan and worked hard as a team we would get through, and that was the case.”
McMurray said Sunday’s game is going to be a tight game, and said both sides are playing good football in their respective leagues. “It doesn't bother me what division they are in, al that matters is both teams are doing well in their own leagues and to be in this position in the cup is great for the players and the clubs, and Forrestfield are there because they deserve to be,” he said. “They have played the same rounds as we have so we will respect them as we do every other team we play. Forrestfield, I’m sure, will get the ball down and play as will we so I am sure it will be a good game. I will have the boys prepared the same as always and will make sure they go and enjoy the game.”
Subiaco have been hard to break down this season with a tight defence, midfielders Jordan Scragg and Ross Jarman have been playing well, while Shatoosh Bhat and Darryl Ong have been in good goal scoring form.
DE VANNA CALMED BY NATIONAL ANTHEM
Captain Lisa De Vanna was so nervous before Australia’s Women’s World Cup clash with Sweden that she wanted to vomit. So desperate was De Vanna to gain the vital point that would seal Australia's path to the second round of the tournament that she was riddled with pre-game nerves that made her feel sick. She sought advice from the other senior players in the squad but nothing could calm her down, that is apart from hearing the anthem played over of the speakers at the stadium in Edmonton.
De Vanna appeared stoic and aggressive as she bellowed out the anthem before the final group stage match and says "Advance Australia Fair" erased the potentially performance-crippling jitters. "I've been nervous all day and I've been in these high-tempo, high pressure games," De Vanna said. "I forget that I have been in these games and the feeling, I get sick, I get anxious. Not throwing up but I feel like I wanted to throw up. I just want to win so badly, I want the team to do so well and you sort of have a fight with your head and you probably played about four (mental) games before you've gone out there."
Within a few minutes of singing the anthem and leading her team out of the tunnel, De Vanna showed how quickly she became calm by putting the Matilda’s into a one-nil lead. "When I sing that anthem it takes me away from that feeling," she said. "I just focus on playing for my country and what I'm good at and just that moment for myself when I sing that anthem. So, obviously every game when I do that, I think about that and obviously it worked out well because I got to score in the first five minutes."
De Vanna latched on to a long pass from defender Laura Alleway for the early chance against Sweden. "I just had an eye connection with (Alleway) and she just saw me make a little a dart in behind and she just did a little chip ball over the top," De Vanna said. "It was a great ball and it's all been on the same path, that's what happens together when you played together for four or five months. We're just on par and I saw the ball go over the top, I thought "you beauty," a one-on-one, it was probably the calmest I've ever been."
MATILDAS READY FOR BRAZIL WORLD CUP CLASH
The Matildas are through to the next phase of the Women’s World Cup 2015 after finishing second in their group following a tense 1-1 draw with Sweden. The valuable point ensured Australia would make the knock-out stage for the third consecutive time, teeing up a round of sixteen clash with Brazil next week. "We've already played two former World Cup finalists (Sweden and the United States), so you may as well throw another one in the equation, that makes it three for us," coach Alen Stajcic said.
Lisa De Vanna enhanced her already glowing World Cup standing by giving Australia the lead after only 5 minutes, the striker latching onto a Laura Alleway long-ball and clinically finishing past Hedvig Lindahl. A turnover ten minutes later allowed Sofia Jakobsson to unleashing a low drive that snuck inside Lydia Williams’ near post. From there the game ebbed and flowed with both teams enjoying good patches, but neither able to find the net for a second time. Williams and Samantha Kerr played full games, while De Vanna was replaced after 63 minutes.
SOCCEROOS EDGE KYRGYZSTAN
Tommy Oar came off the bench to rescue the Socceroos from disaster as they defeated an impressive but wasteful Kyrgyzstan 2-1 in their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier. Australia were far from their best in Bishkek and were thankful to Mile Jedinak and Oar after securing the three points. “We knew we were going to be in for a game,” said Jedinak. ““It’s always good to start on the front foot and with a big three points. We’ve got a few months now for everyone to get themselves ready and we’re looking forward to the next (qualifiers) in September.”
Jedinak opened the scoring with his ninth international goal after just 62 seconds, the midfielder's free-kick passing through the defensive wall and bouncing just in front of Valery Kashuba before hitting the net. Rather than going into their shell, the hosts came surging forward with Mirlan Murzaev’s shot which rippled the side netting the closest the came to equalising. Australia went agonisingly close to doubling their lead just after the half hour when James Troisi’s effort from the edge of the penalty area was deflected wide. Kyrgyzstan pulled a goal back in stoppage time when substitute Almazbek Mirzaliev handled the ball before bundling into the net.
GLORY LOOK TO BRING HOME WA YOUNGSTERS
After a season of departures from the club, Perth Glory is looking to bring young Australian defender Alex Grant back to his home state, from English Premier League club Stoke City.
The 21-year-old, who is a product of the ECC Joondalup Academy, which has produced the likes of Socceroos Rhys Williams and Chris Herd, headed over to the UK four years ago, with Portsmouth, where he made one senior appearance in a League Cup tie.
There were loan spells at non-league Eastleigh and Havant and Waterlooville before his departure to the Midlands. He then joined Stoke City, and was Tony Pulis’ final signing at the club, but hasn’t made an appearance in the first team under Mark Hughes at the Britannia Stadium. He spent last season at Conference club Macclesfield Town on loan and news of his release by Stoke prompted Lowe into offering him a return ticket to his roots.
The news of his pending departure from the Potters has set off a frenzy of interest from A-League sides, and Glory coach Kenny Lowe is facing competition from Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United for the 21-yar-old centre-back. Perth, which has been hit by a raft of departures since its salary cap problems, but remains the front-runner, though the Mariners have also jumped into the frame with a late bid.
Grant’s agent, UK-based Gary Williams said the WA-born youngster is looking at his options but a return home is on the cards. "He's a Perth boy and is keen to come home to play regular football and boost his chances of selection for the Olyroos,” he said. “He's been involved with the Under-17s before and is determined to get noticed by the national team again. Perth was certainly the favourite, but the Mariners have also come in and are quite serious. There's been some interest too from Adelaide, so we'll see where that all takes us."
MRCELA PROOF OF ANGE'S GLOBAL SEARCH
New Socceroo Tomislav Mrcela was monitored by Australia’s coaches for more than twelve months but says his call-up was 'the best surprise he’s ever had'. Perth-born Mrcela has never represented Australia at any level and is largely unknown to most Socceroos supporters. However, the 24-year old has earned his call-up on the back of progression in Croatia’s top flight, after first coming to the Socceroos’ coaches attention at Hrvatski Dragovoljac ahead of the World Cup last year.
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has preached since his appointment that he’d scout the entire globe for talent and Mrcela’s call-up is evidence of that. “It did catch me by surprise and I did have some holidays planned, but it’s the best surprise I ever had,” Mrcela said. “(The Socceroos coaches) already knew of me for over a year when I was at Hrvatski Dragovoljac and obviously were looking to see how I’d go at a higher level and a bigger club,”
But it was Mrcela’s good form with top-flight contenders Lokomotiva Zagreb, who he joined last June, which led to his international call-up. “Lokomotiva Zagreb is a club at the top of the league,” he said. “Then the interest got more serious. They watched me a few times on Wyscout and some coaches came and watched me live in Croatia. I knew my time was coming and I was a bit surprised it arrived so soon, but Trent (Sainsbury) got injured and I got the call.”
With Sainsbury out of the squad, Mrcela is one of three contenders to partner Spiranovic in the centre of defence, with Bailey Wright and Alex Wilkinson in the mix too. “I’m not thinking about it too much,” Mrcela said. “I’ll give my best and if the coach decides to put me in the side there’s no one happier than me. I’ll give my best as always. The other three centre-backs are great as well, they’re established, so I’ll give my best and what happens we’ll see.”
Despite playing down his chances of seeing game time this week, Mrcela is clearly boosted by his call-up and wants to take learnings from the camp back to his club form. He’s also confident he belongs at international level. “I’m sure I’ve got what it takes to be here,” he said. “I’m going to improve my playing skills by being here for the ten days. When I go back to my club I’m going to know what I need to improve. I’m looking forward.”
SAINSBURY HAPPY TO GET DOWN AND DIRTY
Trent Sainsbury says his spot in the Socceroos line-up is still far from assured in spite of his Asian Cup final heroics. The 23-year old defender came from the fringes of national team selection to play a vital role in Australia’s breakthrough international title, being named man-of-the-match in January’s 2-1 final victory over South Korea. But Sainsbury says he still has plenty to prove to coach Ange Postecoglou, particularly with a hamstring injury keeping him out of this week’s World Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan.
Sainsbury was mindful of the work needed to regain full fitness and press again for national honours. “Ange says every day you’re never guaranteed another game with the Socceroos,” Sainsbury said. “That Asian Cup team is going to go down in history but at the same time going into it as a youngster and playing only a few games before the Asian Cup, it’s still quite nerve-racking. I’ve definitely put my hand up to be in the squad (but) if I’m not playing for my club and not working hard then I’m not going to get picked.”
Injuries have restricted Sainsbury’s game time for his Dutch club PEC Zwolle since the Asian Cup where he emerged as a potential long-term successor to retired skipper Lucas Neill. Sainsbury, who also missed last year’s World Cup with a knee injury, said he now believed in his ability to perform at the top level after playing ten international games in the past year. “Hopefully I can keep moving forward and get a lot more games under my belt,” he said. Sainsbury is eyeing an international return in time for the Socceroos’ qualifier against Bangladesh at Perth Oval on 3 September, Australia’s first match in Perth in a decade.
DE VANNA LEAVES STADIUM ON CRUTCHES
Matildas captain Lisa De Vanna is unlikely to walk unassisted again until Australia's next World Cup match against Sweden. De Vanna had her ankle iced, strapped heavily and unable to bear any load following another flare-up of an existing injury after Australia’s 2-0 win over Nigeria. The striker overcame the pain barrier to put in a best on ground performance that kept the Matildas' World Cup hopes on track but remains a game-by-game proposition.
De Vanna did not so much as jog lightly once in the three days' rest after the opening group game against the United States. She remained on crutches the whole time in order to reduce the swelling and says this will likely continue in the days before their final group match against Sweden on Wednesday. "It's just an old injury," she said. "Doc's just injected it today so hopefully just a bit of rest and hopefully do the same against Sweden and see what happens from there."
"It's precaution stuff, you've got to look after it as best as I can because if things go our way against Sweden we'll be in a play-off position so that's what's most important," added De Vanna, who hopes playing through injury and pain can inspire her teammates to victory against Sweden. "If I can influence them in wanting to believe and wanting to win and believe to push to the end and being injured and showing what it takes to be a winner."
While Kyah Simon scored both goals against Nigeria, it was the influential and creative performance of De Vanna that was voted the best. "I'm a little bit surprised," De Vanna said. "For me I thought it was a team effort and I'm not just saying that as a corny saying but I thought the girls were really solid when we were under pressure and we kept it together and defended for our lives. It's a nice thing to get but overall it was a great team performance."
KERR KEEPING HER CHIN UP
Striker Sam Kerr has allayed fears she suffered any serious injury from the stray elbow that floored her during the Matildas 2-0 win over Nigeria. The 21-year old required treatment from team medical staff after allegedly hit in the jaw late in the second half by defender Ugo Njoku. Kerr was unsure of the intent of the off-the-ball incident, which looks set to see Njoku retrospectively sanctioned after officials missed the incident during the match.
Kerr said Australia’s caching team were stunned by the unprovoked attack. "My doctor was just saying that it's not on. We've got a badge on our shoulder that says this fair play and it's not really fair play," said Kerr. "I guess it was (deliberate) but I'm not sure what she took from it. We had a bit of a push before but nothing to do that. It's over now, we've got the three points and it's obviously disappointing for that to happen. I was also quite upset because it was quite vicious. It's quite disappointing."
HODGSON AT THE DOUBLE FOR REDS
Armadale won their first game of the season and their first in the Premier League since round two last season, after a 3-1 win against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. English striker Danny Hodgson scored a brace for Paul Price’s side, before Mark Zagami pulled one back for the home side with nine minutes to go. But Sam Cole scored the winner two minutes from time, much to the delight of the visiting supporters. “It was good to finally get our first win,” Armadale defender Darren Francis said. “We were able to put out a more experienced side which helped us a lot. Hopefully now we can use this win to get a bit of confidence and have a real go at the second half of the season.”
It was slow start to proceedings with chances few and far between; the first real chance fell to the home side on the half hour. Gustavo Catarcione lost his marker, his shot beat Dylan Wilson, but the post came to the rescue of the Armadale custodian. The visitors’ best chance fell to lively winger Faustino Machochi, whose long-range shot was well saved by Balcatta keeper Clint Davies. But it was Armadale who opened the scoring in first half stoppage time. Raveshlan Kuppusamy broke, and fed Hodgson, who curled his shot into the net, giving Davies no chance.
The late goal spurred the visitors on after the break and Hodgson’s free kick from the edge of the penalty area whistled inches past the post. But on 54 minutes they doubled their advantage. Hodgson darted into the box, to toe poke home Kuppusamy cross, via the post. Balcatta had a perfect opportunity to get back into the game on 74 minutes when Catarcione was adjudged to have been brought down and referee David Bruce pointed straight to the spot. Steve Sokol stepped up to take the resulting penalty, but Wilson guessed the right way and made a great save.
It looked like it wasn’t going to be Balcatta’s day, but they received a lifeline on 81 minutes. A long ball sent Zagami racing clear of the offside trap, and his clever lob over the oncoming Wilson made it 1-2. Game on, and Blamo QuaQua went close to the equaliser moments later, but his shot crashed off the post and away to safety. But with Balcatta chasing the game, they were caught out two minutes from time, as Armadale sealed the points. Man of the match Hodgson, made space down the flank, got to the bye line and crossed Cole, who headed home to set off wild celebrations from players, coaches and supporters.
COCKBURN HIT LATE TO MAKE THE GLORY
Cockburn City moved up to fourth on the table after a hard fought 2-0 win against Perth Glory at the Inglewood Stadium. A first NPL goal from Jonathan Corness and a late strike from Liam Murray were enough for the Cockerels, although Coach Marc Anthony said they were lucky to still be in the game at the break. “I told the players to go out and try and intimidate them, but the opposite happened and I thought they (Glory) were fantastic,” he said. “They were fighting and winning all the second balls, but I had a go at our lads at the break and I thought our lads were excellent in the second.”
The visitors had the first opportunity on four minutes; Patterson’s shot on the turn was saved low by Jordan Franken. The Glory, who were looking to end a 10 game run without a win, hit back and Michael McDougal tested Cockburn keeper Curtis Aspden with a low shot on 20 minutes. Moments later Daniel Stynes skipped past his marker on the left and rifled a low shot which was well saved by Aspden at his near post. Both sides went close late in the half. Corness’ cross from the right was met by Julian Teles, but Franken made a good reflex save to deny him. Then a free kick from Glory skipper Jacob Collard was palmed away by Aspden.
Aspden was in the action again three minutes into the second half, saving low from Slobodan Vulin’s long-range shot. Patterson was a real handful for the Glory defence, and moments later he held off his marker, but his curling shot drifted inches wide of the post. It was Patterson again on the hour, his snap shot crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. Cockburn were now on top and former Glory midfielder Harry O’Brien saw his shot saved low by Franken, before the Glory custodian produced one of the saves of the season.
Devon Gibson made space down the right, and crossed into the area, and Patterson caught it sweetly on the volley, but a superb reaction save from Franken denied him. But the visitors’ relentless pressure was rewarded with the lead on 79 minutes. Patterson cut across the edge of the area and fed Corness on the right, who’s first time shot took a slight deflection off a Glory defender and hit the back of the net via the post. It was 2-0 three minutes later. A long clearance sent second half substitute Murray racing in on goal; he got to the ball just in front of Franken and finished into an empty net.
SUBIACO STUN PERTH LATE
A goal four minutes into injury time by Kevin White has given Subiaco AFC a 1-0 win against Perth SC at Rosaile Park. It looked like both sides would share the spoils, after an entertaining game, but White popped up with his late, late show. “It was a massive win for us today, and at this point in the league last season we had one point and we have 10 now which is a big improvement,” Subiaco midfielder Ger Fitzgerald said. “We have an unbelievable team spirit and never say die attitude in the club and we have been unlucky in a few games so far this season. We are a hard team to break down because we all work so hard as a team and back each other up, and we hope to kick on for the rest of the season and finish as high as we can up the table.”
It was a lively opening with chances at both ends. Subiaco winger Josh Booysen was denied by a well-timed tackle from a Perth defender early, before Francis Soale had to be alert to save his shot moments later. Perth, who were coming off a 5-0 thrashing of Stirling Lions, went close themselves, Mark Pritchard firing over when well-placed, before Subiaco custodian Ryan Montgomery produced a fantastic double save in a crowded penalty box to deny the visitors. The home side ended the half the better and had the best chance late, White was given far too much space, but his volley flashed wide of the target.
After the break Perth looked a little lethargic, but on the other hand Subiaco looked up for the contest, and thought they had the lead moments in. White found space on the edge of the penalty area, and saw Soale off his line, his cheeky chip looked like it had beaten the Perth keeper, but Soale produced a stunning fingertip save to deny him. Soale was the busiest of the keepers, and he had to be alert to thwart Rory Feely's shot from the edge of the box.
Both keepers were keeping their respective sides in the game, and it looked like they had earned their sides’ a point, but the excitement went into stoppage time. Perth won a corner on 92 minutes, Pritchard’s corner was met by Clark Keltie, whose header beat Montgomery but the ball crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. But Subiaco launched one more attack, and won a free kick on the half way line. The ball was sent in to the mixer, and was flicked on by substitute Ian McMurray, and White’s shot hit the base of the post and into the net to set off wild celebrations on the sidelines.
MARULANDA GETS HIS TEETH INTO THE LIONS
Bayswater City’s Columbian striker Gustavo Giron-Marulanda scored a hat trick as the league leaders eased to a 4-0 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. He gave the visitors the lead at the break, before adding two more, either side of BorBor Sam’s goal, to complete a good all-round team performance. “It was a great win, we played some great football and the team only gets stronger as the season goes on,” said Marulanda. “They (Stirling) caused us a few problems with both of their wingers but certainly you have to be on a great day in order to beat our defence who have been great all season. “I’m very happy to get another hat-trick, and it feels great to score goals and contribute with the team, hard work pays off and hopefully our form takes us to win the title again.”
The Lions, who had beaten City in the Night Series, gave as good, as they got early, but Marulanda looked like he was in set a huge game. First he sent David Heagney clear, who fired wide, before Lions keeper Lance Alavakis had to be alert to save from Marulanda’s shot on the run moments later. Then just before the half hour mark, City hit the front. Sam’s cross was headed home by Marulanda. The Lions almost hit back before the break. They won a free kick on the edge of the box, and Nathan Bowden-Hasse’s free kick took a deflection off the wall but the ball crashed off the post and away to safety.
After the break City continued to press and was rewarded with a second on the hour, Marulanda finishing low past Alavakis. The Lions looked for an immediate response and Teeboy Kamara shot from 10 meters, again crashed off the post. But City added a third to kill off the game on 78 minutes. A punch from Alavakis only fell to Sam on the edge of the penalty area, and the former Perth Glory youth striker fired into the net. But the best was kept to last with Marulanda scoring the fourth and his hat-trick in the final minute. With the Lions pushing men forward they were caught out at the back, with Marulanda racing clear, one-on-one with Alavakis, and he finished with aplomb.
UNITED FLYING HIGH
Inglewood United’s revival continued with a 2-1 win against ECU Joondalup at the ECU Football Stadium. David Micevski and Ryan Clarke both scored for Inglewood in the first half hour, and even though Joe Smith got one back for ECU in the second half it was too little too late. “A couple of mistakes we made put us under a bit of unnecessary pressure,” United Coach Michael Garcia said. “The backline’s been outstanding all season, and I’m glad they didn’t get punished for those errors.”
The home side were out of the blocks early and went close to the opener in the first minute, Josh Tucker crossed to Jon Stynes, but the midfielder’s headed flashed wide of the target. It was the visitors who showed them how to do five minutes later. Jarrad McNally’s cross was headed back across goal by Abdul Sesay, and Micevski fired home from close-range. Inglewood doubled their lead on 26 minutes, with a helping hand from their hosts.
The lively Kenny Keogh pressed ECU defender Charlie Comyn-Platt, and he lost possession, and Clarke unleashed a shot that gave ECU keeper Jamie Serra no chance. ECU was shell-shocked but they still had chances to get back into the game. First Stynes saw his header cleared off the line, before Tommy Amphlett nipped in after some hesitant defending, but Aleks Vrteski stood tall to narrow the angle, and his shot went wide of the target. Inglewood could have added a third just before halftime, but Jason Colli’s shot was well saved by Serra.
But the home side were back in the game six minutes into the second half. Smith capitalized on a mistake in at the back from the visitors, and his shot deflected up and over Vrteski. The Inglewood custodian kept his side in front, with a great save at full stretch to deny Amphlett’s long-range shot on the hour. Jovo Pavlovic should have put the game to bed on 69 minutes, but the defender shot high and wide after ECU failed to deal with a corner. With ECU looking for the equaliser, Inglewood was catching them on the break, and Clarke fired wide, before Serra was out bravely to save at the feet of David Sesay. Micevski and David Sesay both had late chances but failed to convert but the damage had been done early.
GULLS FLY HOME WITH THE POINTS
Sorrento produced an upset to beat a ten man Floreat Athena 3-1 at the E&D Litis Stadium. The hosts were ahead early through skipper Ludovic Boi, but they were then reduced to ten men when Dejan Aleksic was controversially sent off before halftime. Sorrento made their numerical advantage count with Sean Canham, Steve McDonald and Jack Salter giving the Gulls the points. "I was happy with the performance again and this time we got that little bit of luck that we need,” Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell said. “James Morgan stood up when needed and saved the penalty, and when the equaliser went in I felt we were going to go on and win it."
It was Sorrento who opened the brighter, but they found themselves behind on the half hour. Boi’s mazy run ended with a low shot past Morgan. But eight minutes later the game took a huge twist. A though ball sent Canham racing clear, and he was brought down by the Floreat custodian, and referee Michal Jasinski sent Aleksic off. Sorrento then took control and substitute keeper Fraser Greenwood was alert to save Canham’s close-range header, before Salter saw his shot cleared off the line by Aryn Williams.
After the break Sorrento had plenty of possession but couldn’t turn it into clear cut chances, and against the run of play Floreat earned themselves a penalty on 70 minutes. Brad McDonald bundled over Lewis McMahon and the referee pointed straight to the spot. The striker picked himself up, but Morgan guessed the right way and produced a great save. That miss came back to haunt the English striker as Sorrento levelled in their next attack. Diagonal ball from Jack Eades found Canham in behind the Floreat defender, and he slotted the ball under Greenwood on the half volley.
The visitors went in for the kill and hit the front seven minutes from time. Canham mistimed a cross from the right, but he retrieved the ball and crossed perfectly for Steve McDonald, who headed firmly into the bottom corner of the net. The visitors looked comfortable, but in the last minute they had defender Daryl Platten sent off, and Floreat pushed forward looking for the equaliser, but it was Sorrento who added a third in stoppage time. Lewis Hall burst out of the middle of the park and fed Canham, his shot deflected up and over the defender, and Lewis, who had continued his run crossed to Salter who got to the ball before Greenwood and fired home to win it.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND NINE – REVIEW
Mandurah City moved clear at the top of the All Flags Division One table after a late penalty from Jordan Rhodes gave them a 2-1 win against Ashfield at the Hyundai Stadium. “They are a good side well coached, for me it's a massive win,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “All credit to the players they gave everything, and it was backed up by our excellent support, it's great to see so many people watching state league football.” The visitors were ahead on 38 minutes with Alex Stamatiadis scoring, and Paul Dundo’s side were dictating terms and led at the break. City tinkered with their formation at the break and started brightly, and Rhodes should have done better on the hour, blazing over when well positioned. But Mandurah’s pressure was rewarded with the equaliser just after the hour, and Rhodes made up for his earlier miss. His perfectly weighted through ball sent Jon Brookes clear, and he finished clinically past the keeper. Hesketh brought on young striker Joe O’Brien as they pressed for the win, and their cause was helped when Irish striker Ged Burke was sent off and Mandurah pressed late and in the second minute of stoppage time they were awarded a penalty, when Rhodes cross struck Matt Brooks, and the referee pointed to the spot. It looked a little harsh, but Rhodes stepped up and scored to win it.
Dianella White Eagles beat traditional rivals Western Knights 2-0 at Dianella Reserve to keep their fifth spot on the table. The home side started well and Spanish striker Angel Andres forced goalkeeper Sam Hutchings into action before Andres was again denied by the woodwork. But it was Gilmar Giron-Marulanda who broke the deadlock on the half hour, and 16 minutes into the second half the contest was virtually over as Jose Zuniga doubled the lead following a neat exchange of passes on the hour. “For a squad assembled this season, the team is slowly showing that it’s gelling together and is showing quality now,” Dianella coach Mauro Marchione said.
In other games Joondalup United maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 3-1 win against UWA Nedlands at the UWA Sports Park. Callum Stocks, James Harmer and Nicky Sharples were on target for United, while Alex Kred scored for the home side. Morley Windmills drew 1-1 with South West Phoenix, while Shamrock Rovers thrashed Swan United 7-1. Sean Brown scored twice in the first half, before Ryan Treacey pulled one back for the visitors after the break. But Grahm Doran regained their two goal advantage from the penalty spot, before Mark Gillian, a brace from Steve Sheridan and a Paul Concannon added the seventh late. “It was a very good for us,” Rovers Coach John O’Reilly said. “We were very clinical after the break which is very pleasing.” In Sunday’s game Gosnells City new Coach Wally Aquino won in his first game in charge with a 3-1 win against Canning City at Burrendah Reserve. Sean Taylor scored a double, with the other coming from Liam Cave, while Chris Holland scored for Canning. “The players deserve the credit for what turned out to be a very good performance,” Aquino said. “Since I became coach and with Allan Pottier’s assistance, we have tweaked a few things and added three players to the first team squad. Our first half showed that we can play the game with skilful intensity and the second half showed that we have great character which allowed us to record a much needed win. It was a team effort and we expect to build on this result for the remainder of this season.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND NINE – REVIEW
Forrestfield United maintained their lead at the top of the All Flags Division Two table with a 5-2 win against Curtin University at Hartfield Park on Saturday evening. "I have to give credit to Curtin for trying to play a good brand of football and never giving up even when they went down to 10 men. We always knew it was going to be a tough game as we failed to beat them last year, I know they have had a slow start but I can see them taking points off some big sides this year,” Forrestfield winger Rhys Loxley said. “At the moment we are playing consistently good football creating a lot of chances and being stingy in defence but we cannot get ahead of ourselves and get carried away as there are three other sides waiting for us to slip up and pounce, we just have to take each week one game at a time.”
The home side were ahead early, Ben Rogers sending Jordan Hart clear and he finished low past the keeper. It was 2-0 when Loxley crossed to Rogers, who scored from six meters. The visitors pulled one back when Carlo Chiellini scored a stunning free kick giving Brad Effie no chance. Rogers made it 3-1, but Curtin weren’t giving in and reduced the margin again, Dilip Thapa, lobbing Effie from the edge of the penalty area. But they were then reduced to ten men when Chiellini was sent off. Forrestfield made their advantage count, Rogers firing home from close-range, and he completed his hat-trick when he raced on to a sublime through ball from Kaan Karacan to finish low past the keeper.
In other games Rockingham City edged out Melville City 3-2 at the Len Shearer Reserve. Paul Larvin, Calum Rothwell and Shane Boyle were on target for the visitors, while Barry Richards and Mark Lucas both scored from the spot for the home side. “It was a well-deserved win, comfortable in the end,” Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said. “It was tough game and I was really pleased with the commitments of my players.” Fremantle City maintained their push for the title with a 10-0 thrashing of bottom of the table Kelmscott Roos at Hilton Reserve. Danny Clapham scored five, Rhys Plunkett two, with singles to Nicky O’Brien, Andrew Morrow and Maddy Holman. Joondalup City won 2-1 in a hard fought game against Kingsway Olympic, while Quinns beat Ellenbrook United 3-1 at Arbor Grove Reserve. In the final game Wanneroo City won a ten goal thriller after a 7-3 win against Balga at Wanneroo Reserve. “We conceded in the first few minutes and equalised a few minutes after and from then on controlled the game,” Wanneroo Coach Matt Debarro said. “Balga have some good players and coach, Bobby has them playing good football, a late red card didn’t help them but on a whole I think our experience and quality going forward was a bit much on the day. They are a good team though, I can see them as the big improvers this season.” Balga were ahead after only two minutes, Nahom Michael scoring, but the home side were level five minutes later Chris Marshall headed home. The big defender added a second, and further first half goals to Connor Lynch, after a good cut back from John Monterosso, before Monterosso converted from the spot to make it 4-1 at the break. Gareth Crawley was then sent off for Balga, and Monterosso scored from the resulting free kick. Andreas Bouzinekis pulled one back for Balga, but Monterosso completed his hat trick to make it 6-2. Tom Black headed home the seventh for Wanneroo, but Lee James reduced the margin late.
SIMON’S BRACE SEES OFF NIGERIA
Kyah Simon's double has given the Matildas a 2-0 win over Nigeria and opened a route into the Women's World Cup knockout stages. A goal in each half to Simon re-ignited the Matildas' campaign, with the team likely to need just a draw against Sweden in their final group game to qualify for the round of sixteen. "There's still a lot to be played in this group," coach Alen Stajcic said. "Doing the maths we can still finish top of the group if the United States drop some points, we can still finish second, third or fourth if Nigeria beat United States."
Australian captain Lisa De Vanna turned provider for the opening goal after 29 minutes by bustling past two defenders and releasing Simon, who finished cleanly past goalkeeper Precious Dede. The result was sealed midway through the second half, Simon beating the offside trap to volley in a lofted pass from Samantha Kerr. The in the game, Kerr looked to be the victim of a vicious elbow to the face from Nigerian defender Ugo Njoku. The Matilda’s were unlucky not to add a couple more goals with De Vanna’s volley well saved by Dede and Laura Alleway's flick hitting the crossbar.
SYDNEY SIGN YOUNG SOCCEROOS CAPTAIN WOODCOCK
Sydney FC have secured Young Socceroos captain Riley Woodcock on a one-year deal. Woodcock, who plays at left-back, has been a regular fixture of national youth teams over the last four years, representing Australia at the Under-17 World Cup in 2011 and progressing into the Under-23 squad this season. He joins Young Socceroos teammates George Blackwood, Christopher Naumoff and Alex Gersbach, along with fellow recruits Andrew Hoole and Brandon O’Neill at Sydney.
Woodcock, 20, is looking forward to making his mark at Sydney following two campaigns with Perth Glory, where he gained 14 appearances. “I’m very thankful to be given the opportunity to play for a club with the stature of Sydney FC and extremely excited to be playing under Graham Arnold and his coaching staff,” he said. “I know the club has big ambitious plans in the years ahead, particularly in Asia and that was a huge factor in me turning down other offers to sign for Sydney FC.”
Sydney Coach Graham Arnold said he is looking forward to working with Woodcock as he builds a squad capable of success next year and in the years to come. “Riley is another great prospect and a good addition for us,” he said. “He will provide competition for places and it’s a sign that we are building not only for next year but for the future of the club. Moving to a club like Sydney FC will be a challenge for him but one I’m more than confident he can succeed in.”
JOONDALUP YOUNGSTER MOVES TO CHARLTON (courtesy ecujoondalup.com.au)
ECU Joondalup teenage keeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer plays his last game for the club today, before heading to the UK, after signing for English Championship club Charlton Athletic. The 15-year-old has been in good form for the ECU under 20’s and has been on the bench for the first team all season, and he is really looking forward to the new challenge at Charlton. “I think it’ll be a challenge firstly considering how hard it is to make it over there, however I have been given a great opportunity in the two years that I’ve been given and hopefully I can keep pushing so that I can progress through their ranks and hopefully in a few years’ time be pushing first team,” Maynard-Brewer said.
“I was at Fulham, Everton, QPR, and Aston Villa on trial last season, before the ECU goalkeeper coach at the time Andy Petterson, who played at Charlton for five years got into contact with them, and got me a week-long trial. “I had a good trial which led to me coming back. The experience was different as the country itself is entirely different and the football there is taken so much more seriously which leads to the training there being top class, with some of the best coaches in the game.” The custodian have been sparkling form for the under 20’s this season and he leaves with them third on the table, and he said it would be nice to push on and win the league. “It would be great to see us win the league but the top teams in the 20s league are all within a point or two of each other,” he said. “So it could go anyway but the coaches there Mark Windeatt and Danny Stevens have done a great job so I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up having a good season.”
The teenager, who turns 16 at the end of June, said the biggest influence on his keeping is ECU Technical Director of Football Andy Petterson. “Andy has been brilliant for me, and I’ve learnt a great deal from him. He has been coaching me around twice a week since I was about 12 and has helped me out over in the UK with getting me over to Charlton which will benefit me so much in the future.” He started plying his trade at Subiaco at under 9’s and played there for 3 years until he moved to ECU for the start of under 13’s. He has played there for the past two years, and has progressed to the under 20’s. He was quick to thanks his parents for all their encouragement and taxi service. “Mum and dad have really helped out over the years especially with trips up and down to Joondalup, and trips on weekends to places as far away as Bunbury,” he explained. “They’ve helped out a lot and hopefully they are proud of me when I leave next Friday for the next two years in the UK.” ECU first team manager Craig Stephenson said the keeper has been outstanding this season. “At the age 16 Ash has shown the maturity and development to make us think that he will have a very long and successful career,” he said. “Ash is well liked and well respected member of both the first team and the club. He has developed throughout the ECU junior ranks and looks to be another success story for the ECU junior academy.”
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND ELEVEN – PREVIEW
This week’s NPL-WA Match of the Week takes us to Macedonia Park where league leaders Bayswater City take on Stirling Lions. The Lions have dropped off the pace in recent weeks, with back-to-back defeat, including a 0-5 thrashing at Perth on Sunday. Lions’ Coach Rob Milevski believes that loss was difficult to take. “Yes it was a very disappointing result after scoring almost three goals a game before our last two games and then to be kept scoreless and concede seven in our last two games,” he said. “I thought on the weekend we fell apart conceding three goals in a 10 minute spell and we were completely dominated by Perth in the middle of the park.” They will look to get back to form on Saturday, but Milevski said it will be tough against the best side in the league. “A big task this weekend taking on the league leaders and we certainly need to at our best to stop our losing streak,” he said. “Unfortunately we still have Lawrence Shuruma and Brodie Martin away, but we welcome back Moses Kalau.”
Bayswater are ticking over nicely, still unbeaten in the league and midfielder Declan Hargreaves said competition for places has pushed the players to keep the performances high. “We are working well for each other and training is intense as spot in the side are up for grabs and it showed last week at Armadale,” he said. “The damage was done in the first half, although they made it tough in the second half but we still had a lot of chances but didn't finish them off.” Saturday’s game is important, with the cup bye next week, and Hargreaves is expecting a tight encounter against the Lions. “It will be a tough game, they have started the season well and they beat us 3-0 in night series,” he said. “But the lads are training well and ready to go.” New signing Adam Tong is still unavailable, but Brian Farrell returns this week.
Floreat Athena will look to keep the pressure on Bayswater when they meet Sorrento at the E&D Litis Stadium. They had to come from behind last week against Balcatta and skipper Ludovic Boi said they showed great character to fight back. “We missed a few chances in the half and going in 1-0 down at the half time was disappointing,” he said. “We really had to come out and work for the win. The boys worked for each other and we know we have to win each week to stay with Bayswater.” The midfielder said Sorrento is performing well and he knows they will have to be at their best on Saturday. “Sorrento is always a tough side to play. They have beaten us a few times last year and after getting back to winning ways, I'm sure the boys will be up for it as always.” Boi said.
In other games Subiaco AFC entertain Perth SC at Rosalie Park, Balcatta host Armadale at Grindleford Reserve, while Inglewood United make the trip to the ECU Football Stadium to meet ECU Joondalup. United Coach Michael Garcia said last week’s game showed them they could grind out results. “Last week was a hard fought win and I was pleased with the way our guys saw the game out,” explained Garcia. “We’ve played better than that at times in the previous games and lost, so to take the three points against a hungry Subiaco was very pleasing.” Garcia is under no illusions Saturday’s opponents ECU, will be desperate for a win, and is expecting another tight game. “Any team on any given day can beat anyone so we will prepare and approach the game with the same mind-set we’re trying to enter into every game with,” he said. “We know ECU have quality players and are a proud club, so regardless of who’s out and where they’re at on the table, they will be a tough opponent and we will need to be at our best to get anything out of it.” Inglewood has a settled squad, but will be missing the suspended Milan Ogjenovic, while ECU welcome back Josh Tucker from injury, but will be without Paul Miller.
In the final game Cockburn City travels to the Inglewood Stadium to take on Perth Glory. Cockburn moved into fifth place last week with a hard fought win against ECU Joondalup and assistant Coach Cathal Lennon said they will be hoping to build on it this week. “Yes it was a good win for us, especially after dropping two points against Sorrento,” he said, “It was always important to try to get back to winning ways, but we knew they (Joondalup) would be a hard game even with the players they have missing, so it was good to get the three points.” Lennon has been impressed with the Glory this season, and believes they need to be at their best to get the points. “We’re under no illusions Saturday will be a hard game, he said. “They have been improving every week, so we need to be at our best to get something out of the game, but if we play to our best I’m confident we can come home with the win.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND NINE – PREVIEW
All roads lead to the Hyundai Stadium on Saturday, when the top two teams, Mandurah City and Ashfield go head to head in the match of the round in the All Flags Division One. Ashfield hit the top spot last week on goal difference after a stunning 7-1 demolition of UWA-Nedlands. Coach Paul Dundo said it was a great all-round team performance. “Last week’s victory was a good result for the club and was great to see the goals coming from different players,” he said. “Although we scored seven and won the game comfortably, I was very disappointed with the goal we conceded in the first half. I thought we were too relaxed at times and didn’t attack the ball and defend as tightly as I expected, we can’t do that against Mandurah.” Dundo believes Saturday’s game will be tight, but said they go there full of confidence. “The trip to Mandurah promises to be a tough encounter and with both side sitting level we are looking forward to the challenge. They have recruited really well and I believe Mandurah are the favourites for the league and have several players that have played at the highest level in this state,” he said. “They are an experienced side that has several players that can impact and win matches, both clubs will have the three points in mind and an opportunity to become clear league leaders, but it will also give the players a good chance to gage where we are at.” In team news Graham Tough and Ashley Corker are unavailable due to injury and Shane Malcolm is away on International duty with Guam. Chris Thackray comes into the squad.
Mandurah coach Doug Hesketh was happy the side bounced back from the cup defeat, with a hard fought win at western Knights last week. “The cup weekend was very tough one for the players and we were all disappointed going out of the cup, however it is what it is,” he said. “The players where fantastic last week Robbo and I asked for a reaction from the cup exit and they didn’t let us down with a solid controlled performance.” The home side has made great strides this season, and Hesketh said Saturday’s game will see how far they have come. “Ashfield are top now and we are very keen to play them, they have been there for almost two seasons now, so they are obviously a good side and well structured,” he said. “We are showing big improvements on our position last season and go in underdogs again, but confident in our own ability. We play on a very big park ideal for football everyone is fit and we are ready for the game.” Mandurah are at full strength for the game.
The other big game on Saturday is the clash between traditional rivals Dianella White Eagles and Western Knights at Dianella Reserve. A big crowd is expected for the game, with both sides level on points on the table. In other games Shamrock Rovers Coach John O’Reilly comes up against his former club when they entertain Swan United at Grimrey Reserve, Morley Windmills will be looking for their first win of the season when they host South West Phoenix at Wotton Reserve, while Joondalup United travel to UWA Sports Park to take on UWA-Nedlands. The final game of the round is on Sunday at Burrendah Reserve, and it will be new Gosnells City Coach Wally Aquino first game in charge, when they travel to take on Canning City. Canning will regain the services of Josh Wade from suspension, while Simon Elton-Bott may return after missing the last two weeks. But on the downside Ethan Levitt is suspended, while Peter Cartright remains on the sidelines long term.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND NINE – PREVIEW
The pick of the All Flags Division Two fixtures this week is the clash between Wanneroo City and Balga SC at Wanneroo Reserve. Balga have jumped up to fifth on the table after a win against Melville, and keeper Ollie Rigler said last week was a hard fought win. “Last week was a great result for us, which keeps our winning ways intact. Lee James had a blinder with two good goals,” he said. We played well, but there is still room for improvement and we’ve worked hard on the track this week.” Rigler believes Saturday’s clash should be an entertaining game and is expecting a big crowd to be on hand. “It will be a fantastic game to watch, and our supporters will be there in force. They (Wanneroo) are a very good side, but with them being at home all the pressure will be on them,” he said. “We are playing with confidence and we’re enjoying our football, so we will go there looking for the three points.”
Wanneroo sit four points clear of their visitors, and coach Matt Debarro said last week’s big win has given them confidence going forward. “Last week was a great result for us, and gives us a lift going into Saturday’s game against the in-form Balga,” he said. “We played well considering the poor pitch conditions, and played some good football, and scored some good goals.” Saturday’s game should be cracker and Debarro hopes there is a big crowd on hand to watch it. “It will definitely be a tough game, as they (Balga) have won some big games hopefully we can play well and get the win I'm sure people will enjoy watching it,” he said. In team news Spiro Nenadic is suspended, while Daniel Agudelo returns in goal to replace veteran keeper Cory Hugo.
In other games there is a local derby when Ellenbrook United host Quinns FC at Arbor Grove Reserve, league leader Forrestfield United entertain Curtin University at Hartfield Park, while Fremantle City host bottom of the table Kelmscott Roos at Hilton Reserve. In the final game Kingsway Olympic make the trip to the Iluka Sports Complex to meet Joondalup City, looking to bounce back from last week’s home defeat. “Last week the result was disappointing, but we did play well in patches,” team manager Mark Culverwell said. “We made two silly errors early in the game, and made two early in the second half, and you can’t do that if you want to win games of football. We head to Joondalup looking to redeem ourselves and get back to winning ways.” In team news Mark Donnelly is out with a hamstring injury. “
PERTH LOOK TO CONTINUE WINNING FORM (courtesy perthsc.com.au)
Following a superb 5-0 win on Sunday, Perth SC coach Taki Nicolaidis says the boys are in fine form as they prepare to take on Subiaco AFC on Saturday at Rosalie Park. Nicolaidis said Subiaco would be a tough challenge, with the Azzurri having to rely on an 82nd minute strike from Aden Da Luz to dispose of the Lions in the FFA Cup two weeks ago. However, last weekend’s big win against Stirling Lions in the Dylan Tombides Trophy match had the squad brimming with confidence. "Subiaco are a tough team to beat,” Nicolaidis said. "They play a certain system that makes them very hard to break down and we will need to be at our very best if we are to come away with three points. “But, without a doubt, winning last week was a big boost for the boys. "That's now two weeks in a row we have scored five goals, and as they say 'winning form is good form’.”
Almost halfway into their National Premier League campaign, Perth SC sit third on the ladder and Nicolaidis said it was becoming harder to choose the starting 11. "It's not an easy gig to choose a team each week,” he said. "I normally like to reward players that are doing well and are in form, however, sometimes we need to change things if we are playing a different system, depending on our opponents. "The good thing is that all the players are here for the right reasons and see the vision that we are taking and want to play a part in it.”
Perth SC’s stunning performance last week left the fans and members ecstatic and the “extremely pleased” coach said it had been a long time coming. "I've been saying for a while that a big win was just around the corner and on Sunday the boys certainly played a perfect 90 minutes,” Nicolaidis said. "At this stage in the season I think we would have liked to have been a bit closer to the leaders, however we can't look back. “We will continue to move forward to ensure that we get some consistency in our performances and a decent run of results.” After two consecutive high scoring wins at home, the Azzurri aim to extend their winning streak away as they travel to Subiaco’s new home at Rosalie Park. "It will be the first time any of our players have played there and it will be a different experience to what they are used to,” Nicolaidis said. “But I'm sure they will be professional about their approach and treat it like any other game.”
ALBANO READY FOR BATTLE (courtesy perthglory.com.au)
19-year old Gian Albano is bracing for a tough encounter against his old club when Perth Glory face off against Cockburn City at Inglewood Stadium on Saturday. The Round 11 PS4 NPL WA clash comes on the back of a solid 2-2 draw against Sorrento at Percy Doyle Resevre last weekend. Albano has been one of the many young Glory players making strides this season and paid tribute to the coaching staff. “It's been great knowing we can go into a game this season and know we can match it with whoever we are playing and I think the ladder doesn't reflect how we have been playing,” he said. “This has been because of the positive coaching staff and the team has really started to gel together this season, and I’m sure the results will turn soon.”
Albano started playing the game as a six-year-old at East Fremantle Tricolore Soccer Club and then moved to Cockburn City Soccer Club at the age of 12, before joining the Glory this season. Saturday is a huge day as he goes up against his junior club, and one of his old Glory team mates in Harry O’Brien. “This is my old club and I'm looking forward to playing against them, as all players do,” he said. “They are a good team and think Harry scored a couple of goals last week so it looks like he is in a bit of form". “We have been playing very well and if we continue we can come away with the three points, which our performances in recent weeks deserve.”
Glory Coach Jacob Burns is expecting another tough encounter, but couldn’t be more pleased with the side in recent weeks. “Cockburn who are sitting 5th on the ladder have a rich history of talent and have always produced strong well organised teams,” Burns said. “Like every game this season we are expecting another fantastic challenge that myself, Steve McGarry and our players will relish in". “This time last week Steve and I had a hard time getting a team together with many of the 1st team players injured or suspended. With that came a wonderful opportunity to hand out four debuts and promote a total of 6 under 20’s players into our squad. This provided invaluable experience for the young guys and showed that many of them are developing well and have the ability to compete at this level". “A special mention must go out to Daniel Stynes, Michael McDougall, Alex Taneski and Thomas Pope all performing admirably in their first starts with the senior team" Burns added.
O'BRIEN SENSES GOALS AGAINST GLORY (courtesy nplwa.com.au)
When Harry O’Brien last lined up in a fixture between Cockburn City and Perth Glory it was with the badge of the A-League club on his chest. It turned out to be quite a day. Ten goals were scored – two of them by O’Brien – in a frenzied 5-5 draw last season. On Saturday, the 20-year-old will be out to bite the hand that used to feed him as Cockburn aim to extend their unbeaten league streak to five matches. “It’s funny because it doesn’t matter what side I’m playing for, I always seem to get on the scoresheet when Glory play Cockburn,” said O’Brien, who has bounced between the clubs over the past few seasons. “I just seem to pop up in the right place in these games.”
O’Brien’s confidence is soaring ahead of Saturday’s clash against Glory at Inglewood Stadium after he bagged a double in last weekend’s 2-1 win over ECU Joondalup. His growing belief is reflected throughout a Cockburn side that promised plenty in reaching the Night Series final and then beating Inglewood 5-1 on the opening day of the season. Defeats to Floreat, Perth, Bayswater City and Stirling Lions brought City crashing back to earth before they set-off on a four-match unbeaten run O’Brien hopes will be extended on Saturday. “We’ve had a chat as a squad and we are going to take it one game at a time with the aim of being in the top three at the end of the season,” he said. “We think we’re a better side than we’ve shown so far and what it looks like on the table.” Cockburn are in fifth place, four points behind third-placed Perth SC.
WILLIAMS SET TO RETURN FOR MATILDAS
Goalkeeper Lydia Williams will return to the starting line-up if declared fit for the Matildas vital Women’s World Cup clash with Nigeria on Saturday morning. A thigh injury ruled Williams out of the Matildas’ opening game of the tournament, a loss to the United States, and coach Alen Stajcic has declared he is looking to make as many as four changes to his line-up for their next game. "If she's fit, she'll start the game. We'll see how she goes," Stajcic said of Williams inclusion.
Stajcic said there was no need to panic just yet for the Matildas, with four third-placed teams to advance from six groups. "There's plenty of minutes left in this World Cup in the group stages, still 180 and anything can happen," he said. "The fact four third-placed teams go through, I don't think it's make or break on this one game. It's almost like a home-and-away tie in a Champions League. Nothing is done and dusted after 90 minutes and the World Cup is the same. There's three group matches and top two go through and those third-placed teams are crucial as well. Every goal, every minute counts."
DE SILVA EYING SOCCEROOS DEBUTS
He was the second-youngest player in A-league history and recently signed to Italian giants AS Roma, but 18-year old Daniel De Silva says a Socceroos debut would easily trump any other achievement. De Silva is in the frame to play for Australia in their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan next week, after being called into the squad as an injury replacement for Massimo Luongo. "It's been a dream of mine ever since I was a little boy and I started playing," De Silva said. "So for it to come really hopefully soon, it'll be one of the greatest moments of my life."
De Silva, a former Stirling Lions junior, was only 15 when he made his A-League debut for Glory. Since then De Silva's prowess has attracted the interest of the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal, until he was ultimately snapped up by Roma for the next Serie A season. The young attacker is keeping his feet firmly on the ground and taking his cues this week from seasoned Socceroos stalwarts Mile Jedinak and Tim Cahill. "I think I've always been the youngest really anywhere I go, so I'm just going to enjoy this experience and if I get a chance to play that will be fantastic," he said. "But you know, obviously that's up to the boss (Postecoglou) and we'll see what happens."
TONG SIGNS FOR CHAMPIONS
WA State central defender Adam Tong has signed for NPL-WA Champions Bayswater City for the rest of the season. The 33-year-old, spent six happy season’s at Balcatta, but thought the time was right for both the club and himself to move on. “I told the club at the start of the season I was moving on at the end of 2015, and informed them to look for a replacement,” Tong said. “Alex Suleski and Jordan Colosante are the young lads coming through, so I thought I would move on and give the younger players the opportunity to play, and the only way to learn your trade is to be chucked in the mix. Hopefully they both progress and I hope they have learnt off me in some ways.”
The Englishman helped the Grindleford Reserve club to the minor title in 2011 and also guided them to a regular top five position, and said he enjoyed his time there. “I’ve enjoyed my time at the club, but this season I believe we couldn’t have gone on and won the league, and have been knocked out of the cup, so I thought it was time for the club to rebuild and get rid of some of the dead wood,” Tong joked. “I have been in finals games, play offs, and won the league with them in my time at the club. In that time I have won three player of the year awards, a managers player of the year, and a runners up which I'm delighted with. I felt I have taken the club as far as I could go and now it's time to move on to another and have a new chapter with someone else.”
He wished the club all the best for the rest of the season, expect when they take on Bayswater. “I would like to thank Balcatta, as they have bent over backwards for me and everything they promised I received on and off the field,” Tong said. “They made me feel welcome when I first arrived, especially having buckets of cold ice to soak my feet in before the games as the heat was unbearable. I would like to wish the lads all the best for this season and forthcoming seasons ahead, and you never know one day I might be back at the club coaching if a position comes available.”
The defender has been overwhelmed with the amount of clubs chasing his signature, but he believes he has made the right move. “When I made the decision to leave the club, my phone has been running hot from other clubs, which blew me away,” he said. “At 33, I feel I still have a few years left in me, and now it's my job to keep working to get a spot at Bayswater, and keeping that position with the level of competition for places at the club is great,” he said. “It’s a new challenge and a new chapter and I'm hoping I can be as successful at Bayswater as I was at Balcatta.”
Bayswater coach Chris Coyne said Tong is a great signing, both on and off the pitch. “We are very pleased to add Adam to our playing group. He brings a wealth of experience, leadership and a winning mentality that is essential at Bayswater. He will be very influential in our push to achieving success not only this year but moving forward,” Coyne said. “Adam will fit in very well in a dressing room full of characters, and this was also important because we always look at signing good players, but first and foremost good people.”
Tong will be available for selection next week, and is looking forward to the new challenge. “It was nice to get interest from a few top teams in the state league and I'm delighted to have signed for the team that has been dominant for the last three years,” he said. “The training and professionalism when I went down was great, and I can see why they have been dominant on the field as off the field they are ambitious and striving to be the top team year in year out and that's not just the players it’s the board and members as well.”
MRCELA OUT TO IMPRESS
Lokomotiva Zagreb defender Tomislav Mrcela hopes his experience in Croatia's top flight has helped him improve enough to impress Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou. The 24-year old centre-back is eyeing his maiden Australia appearance when the Socceroos take on Kyrgyzstan in a World Cup qualifier on 16 June. "For sure the last two years were fantastic for me," said Mrcela, who has played regularly in the Prva HNL over the past two seasons. "It prepared me very well for the Socceroos and I'll just show my football and I hope it's going to be good for the coaching staff."
Mrcela was born in Western Australia but at the age of six moved to Croatia, where he played for RNK Split, NK Imotski, NK Mosor and NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac before switching to Lokomotiva. "The journey was pretty hard from the bottom leagues of Croatia to the first division so I'm very happy that I've improved my game in these past few years," he said. "I'm working hard, I'm improving my game every year and this is the reward I get."
Mrcela has kept an eye on the Socceroos, and was particularly impressed by their displays in winning the Asian Cup. But he believes Ange Postecoglou's men can get even better. "I watched Australia at the World Cup and the Asian Cup and they did excellent progress," Mrcela said. "World Cup was a pretty tough group but they played good football, especially against the Netherlands. Asian Cup a fantastic achievement – good football, disciplined tactically, and they improved in that view with Ange Postecoglou. There's more to come from the Socceroos."
NEVILLE JOINS WESTERN SYDNEY
Western Sydney Wanderers have confirmed the signing of fullback Scott Neville until the end of the 2016/17 season. Neville, 28, joins fellow recruits Scott Jamieson and Jonathan Aspropotamitis, as the former Asian champions look to improve on last season's disappointing A-League campaign. “I’m really excited and looking forward to the new challenge ahead and can’t wait to meet the boys, get started and improve as a player down at Western Sydney,” said Neville.
“The whole club in general is a massive attraction. Wanderers are one of the biggest clubs in Australia and Tony Popovic is one of the best coaches. He is someone I want to work under,” added Neville. “I love to defend but also love to get forward and create chances. I’m an all-action type of player and every game I’m going to put my heart on my sleeve and give everything I’ve got for the Western Sydney Wanderers.”
Born in England, Neville moved to Australia at the age of 9 and spent his junior years with Sorrento. A spell at the Australian Institute of Sport led him to signing with hometown club Perth Glory, where he made 63 appearances across five seasons in addition to gaining three outings with Australia’s Under-23 side. In mid-2012 he switched to Newcastle Jets, who he played for 43 times.
GOAL MEANS LITTLE TO DE VANNA IN DEFEAT
Captain Lisa De Vanna may have scored one of the goals of her career against the United States but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Matilda’s from suffering a 3-1 loss in their opening game of the Women's World Cup in Canada. Speaking post-game, De Vanna couldn't hide her disappointment with the scoreline. "We might have lost the fight but we haven't lost the battle," she said. "The outcome's a bit disappointing but we've still got two games to get back in it. They're the number one or two country in the world and fight to the end, and that's something we can learn from."
The game may have been De Vanna's 100th for the national team but the striker said she'd happily trade that milestone for a better outcome. "That stuff is not for me, it's about the result and how I can lead on the day," she said. "For me, winning is more than the armband, the 100th cap. It's not a memory I will want to remember but I can make it up in the next two games." The Matildas must win their remaining groups games – against Nigeria (13 June) and Sweden (17 June) – to progress to the knock-out stage.
HERD GIVEN VILLA LIFELINE
Socceroo Chris Herd has received a lifeline at his English Premier League club Aston Villa by avoiding a post-season cull. After barely featuring for Villa last season, the out-of-contract utility was expected to be released to seek new opportunities. But 26-year old Herd will stay on with the FA Cup finalists after manager Tim Sherwood decided to retain him through the summer until he is fully fit. Herd suffered an Achilles injury while in camp with the Socceroos prior to the Asian Cup and on his return to Villa was loaned out to Wigan Athletic, where a knee injury ended his season prematurely.
MATILDAS DOWNED IN WORLD CUP OPENER
The Matildas were outscored but not out-classed as the United States claimed a 3-1 win from their opening game of the Women’s World Cup in Canada. Megan Rapinoe's double and a second-half Christen Press goal gave the tournament favourites victory over Australia. But the scoreline did not tell the full story with Australian captain Lisa De Vanna's goal to equalise in her 100th international showing the Matildas are very much a force to be reckoned with.
Australia started the match sharply but it was the United States that went ahead after 11 minutes through Rapinoe's speculative effort which took a huge deflection off Laura Alleway's knee, leaving Melissa Barbieri stranded in goal. A fine team goal just before the half hour brought the game level, the ball moving through Caitlin Foord, Sam Kerr and Michelle Heyman before De Vanna lashed into the net. After the break, the tournament favourites regained control through further goals from Press and Rapinoe. De Vanna and Kerr played full games.
OXBORROW RE-SIGNS FOR GLORY
Perth Glory have confirmed the re-signing of talented youngster Mitch Oxborrow through to the end of the 2015/16 campaign. The 20-year old midfielder arrived at Glory last season following a two-year spell with Newcastle Jets, who he joined after graduating from the Australian Institute of Sport in 2012. “I’m stoked to be at Perth for at least another season. I didn’t really want to go anywhere else and what’s more, I’ll be playing in front of my home town fans and members,” Oxborrow.
Coach Kenny Lowe said Oxbrorrow had performed well during the National Youth League campaign and showed maturity beyond his years in his two senior appearances for Glory. “Mitch is a gifted young player who applied himself throughout the year and he’s been rewarded for that. He’s got natural ability and we’ll be looking to draw on that coming into the new season” Lowe said. Oxborrow made 6 A-league appearances for Newcastle and has represented Australia at Under-17 and Under-20 levels.
PERTH NPL TEAMS LEAD THE WAY
As the halfway mark approaches in the 2015 NPL-WA season, Perth SC are the strongest performing club when factoring in the league standings in all eight NPL age groups combined. The Azzurri comes ahead by some distance with all their three Saturday teams in the top six in each league and all their juniors teams in the top four. The surprise package in second position is Subiaco AFC who just edge ahead of ECU Joondalup. Subiaco are league leaders in the Under 20's and U15's tables which compensates for their first team in tenth place. Joondalup has slipped down to overall third in the past month but remain just ahead of Perth Glory in fourth. Bayswater City lead the Saturday senior section, however their five junior Sunday teams are languishing near the bottom of the junior table. Bayswater rank in overall eighth position.
PERTH'S SECOND HALF DEMOLITION OF LIONS
Perth SC produced a stunning second half performance to thrash Stirling Lions 5-0 in round’s final game at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday. It was scoreless at the break, but second half goals to Aden Da Luz, Clark Keltie, Dean Evans and a Mark Pritchard brace won the home side the ‘Dylan Tombides Trophy’. Perth coach Taki Nicolaidis said they played well in the first half, but weren’t rewarded on the scoreboard. “We had 14 chances in the first half, but just couldn’t put one away, but credit to Stirling they defended well,” he said. “To score early in the second half took some weight off our shoulders and we went on with it which was pleasing.”
Perth midfielder Dean Evans, had a perfect opportunity to give the home side the lead against his former club after only six minutes, after Pritchard was brought down by Robert Mariano, and referee Adam Fielding pointed to the spot. Evans stepped up and slipped as he was about to strike the ball and it caused him to hit the ball twice and his goal was disallowed by Fielding. Perth was well on top and Lions keeper Lance Alavakis saved well to deny Evans again on the quarter hour, before Keltie headed wide when well-placed moments later.
The visitors awoke from their slumber and Daniel Micevski’s curling shot was saved low by Francis Soale on 20 minutes, and Boas Mtwale’s long-range shot whistled just over the top moments later. In a poignant moment on 38 minutes, the whole ground began a minutes applause in memory of Tombides. It was Alavakis who was keeping Stirling in the game. He again saved superbly to deny Pritchard’s curling shot, but at the break it was scoreless.
Perth started the second half as they finished the first and they were ahead four minutes in, Pritchard firing low past Alavakis after good work from Wilkins. The visitors should have levelled three minutes later. Good work on the right by Teeboy Kamara, ended with a low cross in to the area, where Brian Woodall slide in but sliced the ball wide of the post. Perth then took control and doubled their lead on 55 minutes.
Wilkins again was the provider, pulling the ball back to Pritchard, who made no mistake from five meters. The home side made it 3-0 on 66 minutes, Da Luz firing home after being picked out Wilkins and Perth went in for the kill. Keltie then fired home from the edge of the penalty area to make it 4-0, before Evans capped off a great team performance from Perth, by curling home the fifth two minutes from time.
DE VANNA HITS TON IN MATILDAS OPENER
Australia's leading Women's World Cup goalscorer Lisa De Vanna will notch a new milestone when she leads out the Matildas against the United States. De Vanna will play her 100th international against the American’s on Tuesday morning when Australia kicks off its World Cup campaign. "Every game I play for the Matildas I wear my heart on my sleeve and to finally make it to 100, it's a big milestone," said De Vanna. "It's a great honour and to be co-captain of this team just caps it off. But three points (against the US) is more important than captaincy or the hundred caps."
Da Vanna debuted for the Matildas in 2004 with goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri the only current player whose national team tenure is longer. The 30-year old has played with several of the members of the United States team after several stints with club teams abroad. "I've got to respect who they are and what they've done for their country," she said. "But at the same time I'm not going to fear them." De Vanna, who has been used as a 'super-sub' at previous World Cups, has firmed to start against the US after Claire Polkinghorne suffered a hamstring injury in training his week.
TAGGART FRESH AND FIRED UP FOR FULHAM (courtesy footballwest.com.au)
The frustrations of last season have motivated striker Adam Taggart to prove to English Championship club Fulham that he can be a key player in the 2015/16 campaign. Dogged by groin issues last season, Taggart’s “dream” move to the Cottagers was a nightmare of absence, injury and treatment. It was made worse by the dramatic contrast with the previous 12 months in which he was the A-League’s top scorer, Australia’s Young Player of the Year and represented the Socceroos at the World Cup in Brazil.
“It was the worst 12 months of my life after what had been the best 12 months,” Taggart said matter-of-factly. “I had such a good 12 months, scoring goals and playing so I found it really difficult being injured and being away from the excitement of games. Then when you’re making some ground and you get another setback it’s difficult to be in a positive frame of mind. But I’ve got to take it as a learning curve.”
Although the former Perth Glory striker returned to reserve team action with Fulham in the final two games of last season, he still felt restricted by the lingering injuries. A recent trip back home to Perth and the chance to take a genuine break from football for the first time in three years has been just the tonic. Taggart says he has also benefited from working again with physiotherapist Audrey Ng, who specialises in movement assessment.
“I’m still as motivated and hungry as ever, if not more, and I think I’ve got strength in the right areas,” said Taggart. “I’m not going there to make up the numbers. I want to score goals for the club and I want them to know that. But coming back to Perth was exactly what I needed. I’ve been around family and people who’ve supported me all my life, and it’s really helped.”
While a flying start to pre-season is foremost on his mind, and scoring goals in the Championship is another focus, Taggart has not forgotten about national team representation with the Socceroos and the Olyroos. “You can’t lose focus and look too far ahead because that’s when you get caught out,” he said. “I’ve thought about the Olympics a couple of times and it’s exciting, especially because I’ve been to Brazil before … Once my body is right, I can focus on performances and get the rewards.”
FIRST HALF TREBLE WINS IT FOR BAYSWATER
Bayswater City maintained their lead at the top of the table with a 3-0 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval. Chris Saldaris gave the visitors the lead early, before Gustavo Giron-Marulanda and David Heagney made it 3-0 before the break and the game was over. Armadale held firm after the break but the win maintains City three point lead at the top of the table. “It was an excellent first half performance, we played great football and had the game won by half time,” Heagney said. “We were a little more complacent after the break, but all in all another great result as we are playing great football at the minute, and it's always nice to get on the score sheet on a personal note.”
Armadale, who are still looking for their first win of the season, found themselves behind after only seven minutes. Bayswater won a free kick on the edge of the box and Marulanda’s set piece was saved low by Armadale keeper Dylan Wilson, but Chris Saldaris was quickest to react and fired home the rebound. The home side didn’t let the early goal get to them and they went close to the equaliser moments later.
Jackson Bealey was given far too much space in the middle of the park, and his shot on the run was well saved by Devon Spence. The home side was giving as good, as they got, and Bealey went close again on the quarter hour. The lively Faustino Machochi found space down the flank; he crossed to Bealey, whose snap shot crashed off the post and away to safety.
Bayswater then took control and doubled their lead on 20 minutes. Sam Mitchinson raced down the wing, pulled the ball back from the bye-line and Marulanda made no mistake from four meters. The points were all but made save in the final minute of the first half with Bayswater added a third. Todd Howarth raced forward and fed Heagney, who looked up and sent a stunning long-range curling shot into the top corner of the net giving Wilson no chance.
The second half didn’t live up to the first and clear cut chances were few and far between, but to Armadale’s credit they fought it out and limited Bayswater to a few chances, with Heagney and Marulanda both wasting the best opportunities. Armadale coach Paul Price said they need to get their senior players back sooner rather than later. “We've got to get some of our injured players back. We can't keep playing five 17 year olds and a 16 year old. They can't be doing it week in week out at this level,” he said. "Hopefully we can add to the squad during the (transfer) window and we might have a chance in the second half of the season"
GLORY AND SORRENTO SHARE THE SPOILS
Perth Glory and Sorrento have battled out a hard fought 2-2 draw at Percy Doyle Reserve. Gian Abano had given the Glory youngsters the lead on the half hour, before English striker Sean Canham levelled for Sorrento mid-way through the second half. Nikola Talimdzioski regained the lead for the visitors, but a goal five minutes from time from Jack Salter gave both sides a share of the spoils. “I can’t speak highly enough of the guys we had in there today,” Glory assistant Coach Jacob Burns said. “We had something like 12 players from our first team squad out, so we had some 16-year-olds out there today who were incredible for me.”
It was an even opening to the game, but it was the Glory youngsters who hit the front on 26 minutes, with two of their debutants involved. Daniel Stynes played the ball into the path of Michael McDougal, who was brought down by Sorrento keeper James Morgan, and referee Steve Gregory pointed straight to the spot. Albano stepped up to score from the resulting penalty to give them the lead the break.
The home side pressed early in the second half, and Glory defence was working overtime to thwart their raids. But Sorrento’s pressure was rewarded with the equaliser on 70 minutes. The lively Jason Mirco made space down the flank, and crossed to Canham who headed past Franken. Sorrento were on top but the Glory held firm, and were playing some neat football and on a quick counter attack they regained the lead five minutes later.
Some good lead up play ended with Talimdzioski racing clear, he cut inside his marker and finishing with aplomb past Morgan. It looked like the Glory youngster would take all three points, but Sorrento were really pressing and on 85 minutes they levelled. Salter found space in the area and finished low past Franken. There was still time for both sides to win it and there were chances at both ends, but neither were able to take them and the points were shared.
ATHENA BACK IN THE WINNER'S CIRCLE
Floreat Athena has bounced back from last week’s defeat at Bayswater City, with a come from behind 3-2 win against Balcatta at E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday evening. The hosts took a 1-0 lead into the break with Adrian Caceres on target, but second half goals to Steve Burton, Ludovic Boi and Bobby Wilson put them in control. Caceres added his second late but Floreat held on. “We were disappointed to come in at half time 1-0 especially with the chances we had and had hit the woodwork 3 times,” Floreat striker Steve Burton said. “We reshuffled at the break and come out all guns blazing, with two goals in four minutes and that helped us get hold of the game.”
The home side nearly made the perfect start when Lewis McMahon lost his marker in the penalty area, but could only divert his effort onto a post. That miss came back to haunt Floreat as Balcatta went up the pitch to score, Caceres racing on to a loose ball and firing expertly past Dejan Aleksic. It looked like it wasn’t going to be Floreat’s night; Boi was next to see his shot crash off the post, before Balcatta custodian Clint Davies denied Kris Gate twice before the break.
But after half time the home sides’ luck changed and they were level two minutes in. Boi made space down the flank, got to the bye-line and pulled the ball back to Burton to score his second goal for his new club. The pair combined again for Floreat second five minutes later. This time Burton beat his marker and crossed to Boi, who was jogging on the spot to score from close-range.
Whatever Floreat Coach Glen Grostate said at the break had worked, and Floreat began to dictate the game and it was surprise when they added a third on 72 minutes. Second half substitute Robbie Gasper’s in-swinging corner found Wilson, and the defender headed powerfully past Davies at the back post. Balcatta would not lie down, and they were back in the game seven minutes from time, Caceres capitalising on a mistake at the back to calmly side foot past the Aleksic. It set up a frantic finale but the home side held on for the points.
O'BRIEN AT THE DOUBLE FOR COCKERELS
Cockburn City moved up to fifth place on the table, after a 2-1 win against a young ECU Joondalup side at Dalmatinac Park. Harry O’Brien scored twice for the home side with two well taken goals, either side of Tommy Amphlett’s equaliser for the visitors. “I’ve got a lot of respect for ECU, Dale has had a horrendous run of injuries, but he some good young kids in there, and they showed that today, and on another day they would have got a point,” Cockburn Coach Marc Anthony said. “We made it difficult for ourselves, but we kept at it all game and got the rewards with the late winner.”
ECU gave league starting debuts to teenagers Ollie Annis and Harry Bissett, but the start of the game was lacklustre, with chances few and far between, and the first real opportunity fell to the visitors on 24 minutes. Amphlett raced away down the right, cut inside his marker, his shot was well saved by Curtis Aspden, with Alan Carroll on hand to head away the rebound. The home side went close themselves on 27 minutes. ECU custodian Jamie Serra saving well to deny Cockburn top scorer Rory Patterson. But 10 minutes later the home side hit the front. O’Brien found space on the left, and cut inside Roland Rixer. His shot took a slight deflection and flew low into the corner of the net giving Serra no chance.
The visitors started the second half well and were level on 50 minutes. Amphlett won a tackle on the edge of the box, and he raced into the area and fired clinically past Aspden. Cockburn almost hit back immediately. A poor clearance from Serra turned the ball over and O’Brien raced into the area, but his shot from the angle hit the base of the post and away to safety, much to the relief of Serra.
Serra was keeping his side in the game. The keeper made a great save to deny O’Brien on the hour, and produced an even better one to thwart the same player moments later. O’Brien was on fire, and he should have added a second on 79 minutes. A quick free kick by Julian Teles caught ECU napping, the ball found its way to O’Brien, but his shot flashed inches wide of the target.
But that was all forgotten sixty seconds later when Cockburn regained the lead. Patterson played a good through ball to O’Brien on the left. He cut inside his marker and across the edge of the penalty area, and his shot flew into the corner of the net. ECU pushed men forward looking for the equaliser, and were being caught out at the back. Patterson’s shot from the edge of the penalty area was well saved by Serra. Before Liam Murray was also denied by Serra, who was out bravely to save at the strikers feet in stoppage time.
KEOGH NODS INGLEWOOD HOME
A goal from striker Kenny Keogh has given Inglewood United a 1-0 win against a gutsy Subiaco side at Inglewood Stadium. The second half header was just rewards for United, who had Aleks Vrteski to thank for a penalty save late in the game. “We probably didn’t play our best game today,” Inglewood assistant coach Saul Contera said. “We gave the boys a bit of a rev up at half-time, and we got the goal that we wanted, kept it tight at the back, we lifted the tempo and dictated the game to see it out.”
The first half was dour affair; the visitors had the first real opportunity on the quarter hour. Kevin White, who was fresh off two goals last week against ECU Joondalup, found space in the box, but his header was tipped over the top by the alert Vrteski. The home side also had chances to break the deadlock, Andrija Jukic’s shot on the turn was deflected wide and from distance Tim Gould shot flashed wide of the target.
The second half however sparked into life early. Subiaco’s Ger Fitzgerald headed just wide of the target a minute before Inglewood’s David Micevski’s half-volley flew over the crossbar. Subiaco claims for a penalty in the 55th minute were ignored by referee Mat Southern after Josh Booysen’s shot crashed into the arm of Rikki Smith.
Inglewood, who were looking for their third win on the bounce, were creating more problems for the visitors, and Milan Ognjenovic shot was well saved by Subiaco custodian Ryan Montgomery, but on the hour the home side hit the front. Ryan Clarke found space on the flank, and his cross found Keogh at the far post, who headed home past Montgomery to give the home side the lead. Subiaco looked for an immediate reply, White’s low strike crashed off the post,
Then Scott Witschge was adjudged to have brought down White, the referee pointed straight to the spot, despite the protest from the home side. White picked himself up to take the penalty, but Vrteski guessed the right way to save. Inglewood had plenty of chances late to put the game to bed, but Abdul Sesay and Micevski shots were well saved by Montgomery, who also did well in pushing away Jukic’s fierce drive late on. But the one goal was enough to take the points for Michael Garcia’s side.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND EIGHT – REVIEW
Mandurah City lost their lead at the top of the All Flags Division One, despite a hard fought 2-0 win against Western Knights at Nash Field. Jeff Bright gave the visitors a perfect start scoring in the first minute and the points were wrapped up on the half hour with Oliver McGee on target. “It was good to win away at the Knights which is always a hard place to go and get something,’ said City keeper David Keenan. “The boys were fired up and it was good way for us to bounce back after the FFA Cup loss to Gwelup.”
It was a perfect start for Doug Hesketh’s side and they were ahead in their first attack. Jordan Rhodes picked out Bright to fire home. They almost doubled their advantage moments later, Joe O’Brien’s cross picked out McGee, whose volley flashed wide of the target. But on 33 minutes the visitors did double their lead, McGee held off his marker and headed past Sam Hutchings. The Knights looked to get back into the game and Connor Thurston headed inches wide from a corner moments later, before David Onoforo headed straight at Keenan when well placed. After the break Bright saw his shot flash wide of the target for the visitors, before Knights’ pair Paul Lloyd and Dean Apelgren both drew fingertip saves from Keenan, and Thurston hit the crossbar with a powerful long-range shot, but at the final whistle it was Mandurah heading home with all the points.
Ashfield moved top on goal difference after thrashing UWA Nedlands 7-1 at Ashfield Posts Club. Kyle King gave Ashfield the lead but Kim Mengbom equalised for UWA. But further goals to King, Shane Malcolm, Brett McGuire, Ruben Tristao, and a brace from Jay Lang gave the home side a comfortable win. “We scored in the first two minutes and there was a sense that this was going to be an easy game, but credit to UWA they keep coming at us and got an equaliser,” Ashfield defender Matt Wardle said. “But we managed to get two more before half time and without playing well. We looked comfortable in the second half and we took out chances and had most of the possession, although we didn't play our best, we got the job done.”
ther games Swan United scored late to earn a 1-1 draw against Morley Windmills at the Swan Italian Club. Garin Collins gave the visitors the lead from the spot on 25 minutes, but after a great cross Brennan Borzecki, Nathan Scully equalised five minutes from time. A brace from Spanish striker Angel Andres and another to Jose Zuniga Bonilla gave Dianella White Eagles at 3-1 win against South West Phoenix at Payne Park. Joondalup City beat Canning City 7-3, after the scores were 3-3 at the break. Lee Jones bagged a hat-trick for the home side, while James Harmer and Adam Buckey scored doubles. Callum Roberts also scored a hat trick for the visitors including two penalties. “We had a chat at the break and came out second half and scored 4 goals,” United coach John Evans said. “The reaction second half shows this team can turn things around, could have been double figures at the end.”
In the final game Shamrock Rovers got back in the winner’s circle after a 6-1 win against Gosnells City at Walter Padbury Reserve. Dan Corbett scored a hat-trick, with Mark Gillian scoring a brace and Sean Brown the other. Luke McCord scored from the penalty spot for Gosnells. “They (Gosnells) came out strong and we rode our luck for a while in the first half,” Rovers’ Coach John O’Reilly said. “We stepped up a gear in the second half and our moving and passing became more flowing and we killed the game off before the hour.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND EIGHT – REVIEW
League leaders Forrestfield United kept front spot on the table after a 4-1 win against Quinns FC at Gumblossom Park. “We started off very slow, having to adapt to a very uneven pitch, but once we found our rhythm we started to create a few chances and began to overrun a determined Quinn's outfit,” Forrestfield skipper Trent Wood said. “Overall a 4-1 win at Gumblossom Park is a great result for us and we look to continue our good run of form going into next week’s game against Curtin.” The visitors were ahead early, a poor back pass allowed Rhys Loxley to go one-on-one with the keeper and he finished clinically. Loxley added his second from the penalty spot, after Linden Pywell was brought down in the box. After the break the visitors made it 3-0 when Jordan Hart met Jimmy Duncan’s cross from the left. It was 4-0 on the hour, this time Hart crossed to Ben Rogers who tapped in from inside the six-yard box. Quinns scored a late penalty, but the damage had already been done.
In other games Ellenbrook United won the battle of the cellar dwellers, running out comprehensive 9-0 winners at Frye Park. Fremantle City beat Kingsway Olympic 5-2 at Kingsway Reserve. Danny Clapham scored two, with single to Rhys Plunkett, Nicky O’Brien and a quality own goal. David Gordon and Wayne Culverwell were on target for the home side. Rockingham City bounced back from last week loss to Balga, with a 3-1 win against Joondalup City at Lark Hill. Shane Boyle grabbed two and Maxwell Snelson the other and Coach Rob Creaer said it was vital to bounce back. “It was important to get back to winning ways after last week’s defeat, considering the injury list we have at the moment it was a fantastic win, the boys showed real character today,” he said. In the final game on Saturday Balga beat Melville City 3-1 at Princess Road Reserve. It was the visitors who hit the front early, Balga keeper Gabriel Makouie came out to meet a ball outside of the 18 yard box and the clearance found Arthur Gaye, who fired home from long-range. But on the stroke of half time, Balga levelled. Lee James’ through ball found teenager George Duku, and he fired home. The home side opened brightly, and Jimmy Taneski sent Dinko Ahmetanovic in on goal, but he fired over. Balga hit the front when Lee James fired home after the Meville keeper had saved well from Taneski’s lob. Meville were then reduced to ten men when Gaye was sent off and Balga wrapped up the points late with third. James sweetly struck volley flying into the corner of the net.
In Sunday’s game Wanneroo City ran out 5-1 winners against Curtin University. John Monterosso scored twice, with others to Scott Campbell, Michael Bangurra and an own goal. “We settled well on a difficult pitch, and we were 2-0 up early,” said Wanneroo Coach Matt Debarro. “We defended really well and played quickly on the break to get in behind their defense, and we went in at the break 4-1 up. It was a scrappy game but I think we just had too much for them and got a comfortable result in the end.”
GLORY RE-SIGN YOUNGSTER
After all the news of players leaving Perth Glory, the club today announced they have re-signed talented midfielder Mitch Oxborrow for another year, after he was awarded a Hyundai A-League senior contract for the 2015/16 campaign. The 20-year old left-footed midfielder arrived at Glory last season from Newcastle Jets, on a one year National Youth League deal.
He made his senior debut in Glory’s 3-1 home win over Melbourne City in Round 26 and featured in the starting line-up the following week, in the 2-1 away win, over Western Sydney Wanderers in the last game of the season. He was also a standout in the clubs National Youth League campaign, when they finished third.
Oxborrow, who was born in England but raised in Perth, has represented Australia at U-17 and U-20 level, said he is delighted to sign for the club and is looking forward to the new season. “I’m stoked to be at Perth for at least another season. I didn’t really want to go anywhere else and what’s more, I’ll be playing in front of my home town fans and members” he said. “I’d like to thank the club and particularly coach Kenny Lowe for believing in me and giving me another chance to show my potential” he said.
Lowe said Oxbrorrow had performed well during the Youth League campaign and showed maturity beyond his years in his two senior appearances. “Mitch is a gifted young player who applied himself throughout the year and he’s been rewarded for that. He’s got natural ability and we’ll be looking to draw on that coming into the new season” Lowe said.
SPEED THE KEY FOR MATILDAS
Australia forward Samantha Kerr believes the Matildas' pace up front can trouble United States at the Women's World Cup. The Matildas face the highly rated American’s on Tuesday morning and Kerr feels there are aspects of their opponents game that are ripe for exploiting. "We've got a lot of speed up front, it's no secret," she told reporters. "We're a speedy team, I think everyone knows that. We've got great midfielders. If we stick to our game plan, we think we have the patience and the ability to break any team down."
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND TEN – PREVIEW
It’s round ten of the PS4 National Premier League and our match of the week is Sunday’s blockbuster between Perth SC and Stirling Lions at Dorrien Gardens. Perth midfielder Dean Evans comes up against his former club, as they play for the ‘Dylan Tombides Cup’, and he knows they have to kick on to keep in touch with the league leaders. “I’m really looking forward to the day, and the fact it’s also something special for me and my family, in that it’s in memory of Dylan Tombides,” he said. “Also coming up against some of my old team mates will make it interesting and no doubt for them too. “It’s a massive game, third v fourth and we know we can’t afford to slip up and go further away from the top three. So it’s a must win game for us to stay in touch with the leaders. Robbie (Milevski) and Danny (Vilic) have recruited well over the break and I know they'll have their boys ready for the game.” In team news for the home side David Cyrus should be available, but Reece Vittiglia will face a late fitness test. The Lions went down to Inglewood last week, their first defeat in five games, and assistant Coach Dejan Vilic said they will be looking to bounce back on Sunday. “It’s a huge game for us on Sunday, and we will be heading their looking for the three points and bounce back from last week’s loss,” he said. “It’s a special day on the football calendar with us playing for the ‘Dylan Tombides Cup’ and we will be doing our best to honour the name of a great young lad who lost his life to early.” In team news Brodie Martin and Lawrence Shuruma are both still unavailable while keeper Connor Campbell is out injured.
Cockburn City will be looking to get back in the winner’s circle when they host ECU Joondalup at Dalmatinac Park. ECU has struggled in recent weeks, but Cockburn defender Devon Gibson is still expecting a tight game. “I feel we are lacking a bit of belief due to the good start of the night series and where we are today,” he said. “I hope we can turn it around this week against Joondalup, as they were always a good side but have also had players missing through this season with injuries or other situations. It will be a good contest for the boys to see where we sit half way through the season; anything can happen in football, it’s what team turns up on the day.” The home side will still be without Euen Grant, while Joondalup will hope to have Charlie Comyn-Platt, Jon and Andy Higgins back in the side.
In other games its top v bottom, when league leaders Bayswater City travel to Alfred Skeet Oval to take on the winless Armadale. The home side welcome back Danny Hodgson, but still will be without Darren Francis and skipper Reece Davies, while Bayswater will monitor Brian Farrell, Andy Reale and Hayden Doyle after picking up injuries last week. Inglewood United host Subiaco AFC at the Inglewood Stadium. The home side will have Scott Witschge available but Subiaco will be sweating on a number of injuries, but will hope Ian McMurray is back from injury. On Saturday evening Floreat Athena and Balcatta go head-to-head at the E&D Litis Stadium Balcatta will be without the suspended duo Kieron Stallard and Patrick Sara, while Floreat are at full strength.
In the final game Sorrento host Perth Glory at Percy Doyle Reserve. Sorrento midfielder Adam Luca said they should have won last week at Cockburn, but failed to take their chances. “I thought we played the better football again on Saturday and it was a shame not to get the three points,” he said. “There's nothing that doesn't get addressed and practised at training during the week so I'm confident we'll keep working hard and the points will come. “I haven't seen the Glory play this season, but they seem to hold a close score line each week, so we know we will have to be on our toes.” In team news Todd Harnwell is still struggling with a hamstring, but Scott Bulloch is available after impressing in the reserves, while the Glory will welcome back defender Tom King, but Calvin Whitney is suspended.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND NINE – PREVIEW
The feature game in the All Flags Division One is Shamrock Rovers’ visit to Walter Padbury Reserve to take on Gosnells City. The home side won for the first time this season, with a 4-0 win at Morley last week and Coach Rob Eldridge said it had been coming for a while. “Wade Farmer was outstanding last week with a first half hat-trick and we are looking forward to taking on the Champions,” he said. “Confidence high and we will make things difficult for Shamrock, and were looking forward to our first home game win.” Luke McCord returns to the squad, while James Sharp is in for the injured Aaron Coslani. Rovers have slipped off the pace in recent weeks but still sit in sixth place on the table, but are seven points adrift of the leaders. Midfielder Paul Concannon believes they are not far away and will improve in the coming weeks. “We are without a win in four games, so it’s very important we get back to winning ways this weekend,” he said. “Gosnells away is always a tricky game so we will have to be at our best to get the three points but we’re confident we can.” David Murphy is in doubt with injury, while Paul Curran and Nick Little are unavailable.
Ashfield sit level on points with Mandurah and they host UWA Nedlands at the Ashfield Sports Complex. Kyle King was on the score sheet last week at Canning and he said they are ticking along nicely. “It was a solid victory against Canning, we went into the game full of confidence as we have started to tick and everything seems to be coming together nicely,” he said. “The UWA is a special game for me as they are the team that brought me over from England, and were the first team I played for in Australia,” King said UWA can’t be taken lightly. “It was a shock to see them hit four past Western Knights so we will have to be on guard to not let in any sloppy goals,” he said. “But we are firing in training and coming together in games and we will do what we need to in the game to come away with victory.”
In other games lLeague leaders Mandurah City and Western Knights will both be looking to bounce back disappointing results last week when they meet at Nash Field. Mandurah lost in the FFA Cup, while the Knights lost at UWA Nedlands. Buoyed by a good point in Bunbury last week Swan United will be looking for the three points when they entertain Morley Windmills at the Swan Italian Club. South West Phoenix hosts Dianella White Eagles at Payne Park, while n the final game Canning City make the trip Forrest Park to meet Joondalup United. Canning have been hit been by injury, but Coach Paul Oliver is not making excuses. “Yes we have had an ordinary run of luck with injuries, and that list grew last week when our only defender on the pitch at the time broke his wrist,” he said. “However I’m not one for making excuses as we have a capable squad of players who have the ability to fill the holes caused by injury and suspension.” The trip north is daunting, and Oliver said Joondalup have started life in the division well. “They have made a great start to their maiden campaign in the league, and may have surprised a few but not me,” he said. “They have had an amazing couple of years and have carried that on this season. I am fairly confident going into this game of what to expect from them and then it is just to us as a team to combat their strengths and play the game on our terms. What better motivation for my lads than to be the team to end their 30-odd game unbeaten streak.” The home side are at full strength, but Peter Cartwright and Joshu Wade are out, but Simon Elton-Bott should return from a calf problem, while new signings Ryan Shackleton and Ale Paredes could be in line to make their debuts for the club
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND NINE – PREVIEW
The feature game in the All Flags Division Two this week is Sunday’s game at Edinburgh Oval when Curtin University entertain Wanneroo City (5pm) Curtin were beaten at Melville last week and assistant Coach Campbell Ballantyne said they hope to bounce back. “Last week was clearly disappointed given we missed great chances including missing a penalty,” he said. “We have cost ourselves points at crucial times in games and since spoken as a group about improving.” Campbell has been impressed with Wanneroo this season and is expecting another tough challenge. “They (Wanneroo) have bounced back from a tough season last year, but we look forward to welcoming them on to campus on Sunday,” he said. “With a different kick off to the rest of the league players and officials from all other clubs are able to take in another game if they so choose, so were expecting a good crowd.” In team news Nathan Smith’s season is over, after breaking his leg last week, and we wish him all the best in his re-hab. Wanneroo Coach Matt Debarro believes Curtin are a team on the rise, but is looking to kick on from last week’s win against Quinns. “We are looking to build on our solid defensive effort last week and bring that into this weekend,” he said. “We know we can score goals we are creative in attack, so if we can keep organised and maintain our structure in defenders we are very hard to break down as Quinns found last week. We know it will be a tough game, and despite their position, we won't be taking this game or any game lightly.” In team news for the Roos Tom Black and David Whillians both return to the squad this week.
League leaders Forrestfield United head north to take on Quinns FC at Gumblossom Park. The home side fell to a 3-1 defeat last week while United thrashed Kelmscott. United winger Rhys Loxley said last week they played some good football and are starting to hit their straps. “I thought we played very well in the first half last week and dealt very well with their high pressing game, our link up play between the midfield and attack was exceptional,” he said. “Although credit to Kelmscott for not giving up and limiting us to just two goals in the second half.” Looking ahead to Saturday’s game Loxley said they will need to be at their beat. “Quinns have definitely improved since last year adding a few quality players to their ranks and they are battlers on the park which makes them hard to beat,” he explained. “But we are playing very well at the moment and if we stick to our game plan then we put ourselves in a very good position to get something out of the match.” In team news Davide Ferrante is out, but Jimmy Duncan will return to the starting line-up. Jordan Hart also returns along with Chris Perrot, while Will Tshabangu is pushing for a spot in the starting line-up.
In other games Rockingham City entertains Joondalup City at Lark Hill hoping to bounce back from last week’s first defeat of the season. The home side have a long injury list, with skipper Sean Brady and Calum Rothwell also in doubt. But Rob Crerar is hoping Max Snelson and Fraser Marr will return. “We just can't get any consistency, but we’ve had upwards of five players out each week,” said Crerar. “It’s getting worse, but hopefully it gets better after the bye.” Olympic Kingsway will be without Coach Tom Kilkelly, who is overseas, when they host Fremantle United at Kingsway Reserve, while the bottom two teams Kelmscott Roos and Ellenbrook United meet at Frye Park. In the final game the inform Balga host fifth placed Melville City at Princess Road Reserve. Melville edged out Curtin last week, while Balga stunned league leaders Rockingham City. Striker Jimmy Tansaki was on target last week and he said the side showed Great Spirit to hit back from 0-2 down. ”We went there with a plan from the beginning and were very unfortunate to concede the first half goals, but it sparked us to life,” he said. “I think our two quick goals shocked Rockingham and really showed the potential we have at the club this year. We still have a very young squad and the team as a whole is very different to previous seasons, which is improving each week and has a no stopping attitude.”
Taneski knows they have to become more consistent, but knows Saturday’s opponents will be tough. “Melville are a very organised team under coach Gavin Brown and have been known to produce great upsets over their time, Melville has recruited well this season and I'm sure they will look to improve on their top five position from last year,” he said. “It will be very hard for us this week as they are also coming of a win against Curtin, but we still believe if we stay to the plan that Bobby, Amir and Lindsay set out for us, we are hopeful to come out of this game with a positive result which will hopefully lift us up higher on the ladder come mid-way through the year.” In team news Milos Dubroja and Abbas Sheikh will miss the clash for Balga, but George Kacurkov is back in contention for a starting role, while Cristian Long is back in the squad for Melville.
INGLEWOOD REAPING THE REWARDS (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Goalkeeper Aleks Vrteski believes Inglewood United are set to reap the rewards for all their hard work in training after accounting for National Premier Leagues high-flyers Stirling Lions. David Micevski’s second goal in eight days and Tim Gould’s first in Inglewood colours were amongst the highlights of last weekend’s comprehensive 2-0 win over third-from-top Stirling.
That result takes Inglewood’s points tally to nine from four outings, and moves the club to just two points adrift of fifth on the competition standings. That positive run of results has been a long time coming according to Vrteski, who feels rookie coach Michael Garcia deserves the accolades as much as the player group.
“Michael has had us working pretty hard and the boys have been putting in the effort, so to get a few wins has been a good reward,” commented Vrteski, who joined Inglewood over the summer from Stirling. “To be honest, I don’t think we’ve been far off all season. But, as we all know in football, when you have a new team with new players and coaches it takes a bit of time to click.”
“Saturday was our best performance to date and shows what we are capable of,” added the ‘keeper. “We were clinical in the execution of our plan, pressed extremely well and made life uncomfortable for Stirling, forcing their ball players into decisions they wouldn’t normally make and in turn made it a lot more comfortable for us.”
Inglewood earned not only three points against Stirling, but also their first clean sheet of the league. “We’ve had about five or six players who have played their part in the back four this season, and all have stood up well,” commented Vrteski, who has been a first eleven ever-present alongside captain Jovo Pavlovic and Rikki Smith.
“We are starting to understand that once we defend as a unit from top to bottom we will become a successful team. It’s been a great couple of weeks and we’ve got the results that our performances have warranted. But we aren’t getting carried away, we have stay focused and get something from our next game, and then the one after that and so on.”
Inglewood’s next assignment is on home soil this Saturday to Subiaco AFC, who are fresh from a 2-1 come-from-behind win at ECU Joondalup. “I have to admit I don’t know a lot about the new season Subiaco side, but what I do know is that any team coached by Gerry McEwan will not struggle for motivation,” said Vrteski.
“Every game in this league is risky and you need to be tuned in or could find yourself in trouble,” he added. “If we continue to execute the game plan the coaching team puts in front of us, it will give us every opportunity to achieve the result we need.” Inglewood hosts Subiaco at Inglewood Stadium from 3.00pm this Saturday.
GLORY FOCUSED TO BEAT THE GULLS (courtesy perthglory.com.au)
Perth Glory FC travels to Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday, to take on former Glory legend Jamie Harnwell’s Sorrento side, in week 10 of the PS4 National Premier League. Injuries have hit the Glory youngsters hard in the opening nine rounds, but at the same time it's given opportunities to other players to step up, and one of them is Nikola Talimdzioski. The 18-year-old, has fitted in well and believes the team is getting stronger as a group; And he's delighted to have been able to get on the score sheet in recent weeks as well. “I think personally throughout the time we have all spent together we've gelled and bonded pretty well which reflects on our performance so far this season,” Talimdzioski said. “It's always a good feeling to get a goal or two; it's rewarding for the team after all the hard work we put in.”
Talimdzioski said the side has been matching it against the othe teams in the competition this season, but knows they will face a tough test against a physical side on Saturday. “We can't take Sorrento lightly, we need to maintain our standards which will hopefully bring in another great performance from the boys as it has so far this season,” he said. “We have worked hard on all aspects of our game and the coaches have installed a mentality, and we all know it’s important to have a sense of discipline and maturity within the team which allows us to drive forward to compete at a mature and physical level.”
Assistants Jacob Burns and Steven McGarry will be in charge this week, with head coach John Gibson away. “Nothing really changes for us, week to week we follow our process, and we are playing a real good brand of football,” Burns said. “We are aware of their strengths, but we will worry about ourselves, the development of our players, and they have worked hard this week".
Sorrento Coach Jamie Harnwell, who spent 13 years playing for Glory in the NSL and A-League eras, said he's been impressed with the Glory youngsters this season. “The Glory has developed well over the past couple of years, and it helps that some of the players have been involved in senior football for a couple of years now,” he said. “Gibbo has got them playing some good football, and they have got a more resilient streak to them now.” In team news Tom King returns to the Glory squad after injury, but Calvin Whitney will miss the trip due to suspension.
ASTON VILLA STRENGTHENS LINK WITH JOONDALUP (courtesy www.avfc.co.uk)
Two Villa academy coaches travelled Down Under as the club strengthened its links with Western Australia-based side ECU Joondalup. Since their formation in 1992, ECU have seen a number of professional players pass through their ranks including Villa academy graduates Chris Herd, Shane Lowry and Jordan Lyden. Ben Petty and Tom Evans spent seven days at Joondalup, coaching youngsters aged nine to 18 and delivering coaching education to the local coaches. They also watched a number of junior matches as part of Villa's talent identification process. As well as strengthening ties with ECU, the trip allowed Villa to forge links with Australian rules side West Coast Eagles.
Petty and Evans visited the AFL outfit and the two clubs will now share ideas in analysis, psychology and training programmes across their respective sports. "We hope that Villa can benefit from this trip," said Petty, who coaches Villa's U18 team. "We have had the opportunity to spend some time at a club which has produced some top young players and with whom we already have a relationship through signing Chris, Shane and Jordan. "They are committed to producing young players and have a very professional academy system in place. "Moving forward we hope that we can recruit some more top talent from this area and progress them through our academy ranks."
DOING IT FOR DYLAN (courtesy perthsc.com.au)
Perth SC and Stirling Lions play at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday afternoon in honour of former teammate Dylan Tombides. Both clubs will once again play for the Dylan Tombides Trophy, which was inaugurated last year, when they clash in the National Premier League this season, with the winner to be determined on aggregate on a home and away basis. Dylan represented both clubs at junior level before heading to West Ham and representing the Socceroos at youth level. He passed away from testicular cancer in April 2014 at age 20.
Coach Taki Nicolaidis said it would be a very emotional and challenging game. "It's a very special moment for both sets of clubs for a highly-regarded young man,” he said. "There are a couple of players in our squad who grew up with Dylan and were very close with him. "I'm certain they'll be putting that little bit extra into the game for him this week.”
Stirling, who sit one place above the Azzurri on the NPL ladder, lost to Inglewood United last weekend, but Nicolaidis is confident they will put up a strong fight and be hungry for three points. "This will be another tough game as Stirling have been doing very well, and currently sit above us in third place,” he said. "We can't afford to be dropping games like this, and will be making sure we 'turn up' and put in a good performance. "It's a great opportunity to jump Stirling, however we know that they won't be a push over, anything but our best will be unacceptable if we are to gain the three points.”
The final squad is yet to be named, but Andreas Theodosiades and Reece Vittiglia are still out with injuries. “Our final team selection won't be made until Saturday, we'll just see how the whole group trains during both sessions before announcing our final squad,” Nicolaidis said. The Sunday clash at home gives the Azzurri time to recoup after last week’s two wins, where they defeated Armadale in the league on Saturday and progressed to the state semi finals of the FFA Cup by beating Subiaco on Monday. "It's always tough when we have to play two games in three days, but the group has all pulled up well,” Nicolaidis said. "We have revised our training program this week to prepare for this weekend and playing on the Sunday does help us a lot. "It gives us that extra day of recovery and also allows us to get an extra training session in on Saturday.” The FFA Cup WA semi final will be played on Sunday June 21 at Dorrien Gardens between Perth SC and amateur side Gwelup Croatia SC.
Nicolaidis said there would be no holding back for the final round. "Whilst we are pleased with the draw, having avoided the two other NPL clubs, we are under no illusion that this will be an easy game – it is a potential banana skin for us,” he said. "With so much at stake, we will not be taking this game lightly and are fully focussed on every player 'turning up' on the day and doing their part in what is like a Grand Final.” Perth SC and Stirling Lions battle for the Dylan Tombides Trophy this Sunday June 7 at Dorrien Gardens, with the senior team kicking off at 3pm.
MRCELA HONOURED BY SOCCEROOS CALL-UP
A new face will be part of Ange Postecoglou’s defensive stocks when the Socceroos begin their World Cup qualifying campaign later this month in Kyrgyzstan. 24-year old Tomislav Mrcela has been drafted in for his first national camp, rewarded for consistent form in Croatia for NK Lokomotiva Zagreb. The Perth-born centre-back, who first appeared on the national radar at the start of 2014, has lived overseas since his family moved to Croatia in 1996.
While Australia lost the likes of Josip Simunic, Anthony Seric and Joey Didulica to Croatia last decade, the green and gold have got in first for Mrcela, who says receiving the call-up is a dream. “I’m very happy for the call-up,” Mrcela told foxsports.com.au “It’s a dream come true. It is proof that I’m doing a good job in my club and provides motivation to work even harder in the future.”
At 195cm, and with 30 league appearances under his belt this season for a side that secured Europa League qualification, comes into his first international camp with confidence. “I’ve played at every level of football in Croatia, and every level was good for me and made me a better player. I can say that this year is my best year in my career. We secured Europa League qualification and I got the call for the Socceroos.”
Mrcela spent his younger years at RNK Split, captaining the side, before building his senior reputation through a successful loan stint with NK Imotski and second tier side NK Mosor. He broke into the top flight in 2013 with NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac, playing 27 times for the club, before switching to Lokomotiva last season on a four-year deal with the Zagreb club.
“The Croatian league is a quality league with many quality players,” he explains. “It is not maybe on a level of some other European leagues, especially in financial terms and conditions of the stadiums and facilities, but quality football is played here, and I improved my game a lot in the past two years playing in the top division.”
Mrcela got a sniff that he was being watched by Postecoglou’s scouts early in 2014, and when he saw Ante Milicic at one of his games recently, knew a big opportunity beckoned. “I knew for a while that I was watched by the head coach, but when coach Milicic came to watch me live a few months ago I knew that things are getting serious and that I was close to getting the call,” he said.
Mrcela has had a successful journey through the Croatian ranks, but admits he’d like to make the next step in his career this European summer. “I feel that it is the right time to make a step forward,” he said. “When we talk about my club career, I hope that this summer I will make a good transfer from Nk Lokomotiva to some other stronger club and stronger league. I feel confident and I’m ready to make that step.”
SLEEPLESS KERR DREAMING OF WORLD CUP GLORY
Sam Kerr might possess searing pace, ooze confidence and show maturity beyond her 22 years but getting a good night's sleep is another matter entirely. While she is sure to be a major weapon for the Matildas at this month’s Women’s World Cup, she revealed how much her sleep patterns are out of whack. “I have sleep paralysis. I get up in the middle of the night, I walk around, sleep talk, attack people in my sleep,” she told www.matildas.footballaustralia.com.au
“I’m a terrible sleeper. I have all these weird dreams … it’s just a stress thing,” Kerr continued. “I don’t know why it happens. When I hurt my knee [recently] and I was on crutches for seven weeks I had to sleep with my mum every night just in case I tried to get up. It’s something I’ve learned how to deal with. My room-mate (Caitlin Foord) is used to it now too and just laughs at me.”
You would forgive Kerr a few sleepless nights ahead of the World Cup, especially with the Matildas placed in the ‘group of death’ alongside heavyweights the United States, Sweden and Nigeria. But Kerr knows all about overcoming big hurdles to get what she wants. She has battled serious knee injuries already during her young career and missed the last part of the W-League season with another setback.
Kerr has shown enormous resilience and character to get where she is now, on the cusp of a playing at a World Cup. “You’re always a little worried when you’re injured on how you are going to come back,” she said. “Especially with it being a World Cup year, there’s a thought about whether you can make it back in time but I had great support from the medical staff. I feel good and ready to give my best in Canada.”
Football hasn’t always been in Kerr’s blood, with Aussie Rules her first love growing up in Fremantle. Following in the footsteps of her dad Roger and brother Daniel, who played AFL with the West Coast Eagles, Kerr was happier chasing the Sherrin around until she was given no option but to change codes as a teenager. “My dad and my brother gave me no choice – the boys were getting too rough,” Kerr explained.
“To do something that was a lot less contact, it was tough but I’ve grown to love it and now I wouldn’t go back. I saw the opportunities you have in football and it made the decision for me. For a couple of years I wasn’t really doing it serious. Then someone approached me to try out for the (Western Australia) State team and that’s when I started to get serious … I got called into my first national team when I was 14 for under-17s and haven’t looked back since.”
And how does Kerr feel about Australia taking on powerhouses the United States, Sweden and Nigeria at the World Cup? “We’re going in as the underdogs and Australians normally like that,” she said. “We like that there’s no pressure and we can just go out there and be us. We’ve been training a lot and we’re really confident in our group. We’ve been together a lot more than other nations have over the last four months … we believe we can go as far as we want to at this World Cup.”
DE SILVA HONOURED BY SOCCEROOS CALL-UP
Perth's wonder boy Danny De Silva is only two weeks away from securing his first cap for the Socceroos. 18-year old De Silva, along with Perth-born Croatia-based defender Tomi Mrcela, were called into Australia’s squad for the first time last week ahead of the teams’ World Cup qualifier with Kyrgyzstan. "Obviously I'm very happy, it will be a great opportunity, honour and experience for me" De Silva said. "Just being part of the squad and amongst the changerooms and getting a real vibe for the Socceroos culture, and of course it's a qualifier, so it will be a great experience for me".
De Silva, who will be the youngest player in the squad, said he was relishing the moment to train alongside one of his idols, Tim Cahill. "Growing up he was someone who I watched in the Socceroos especially when I was training at Everton and he was still there so it will be a fantastic opportunity and privilege to be able to train and speak with him,” he said. De Silva, who heads to Europe shortly to link up with Italian giants AS Roma, will join his Socceroos team mates in Dubai for a training camp starting on 8 June.
MATILDAS WILLIAMS AMERICAN LINK
The Matildas opening World Cup match against the United States will hold special significance for Australia goalkeeper Lydia Williams. “A lot of people don’t know this but one side of my family is American,” Williams revealed. “My mum’s American and my dad is indigenous … it’s a bizarre combo I suppose. But it’s great because I’ve had both sides of the spectrum. I get to celebrate American holidays but my life is also in Australia.”
Williams looms as a key player for the Matildas if they are to cause and shock and get off to a winning start against the highly-fancied Americans. Heading into her third World Cup at the age of 27, Williams is likely to be coach Alen Stajcic’s first-choice custodian at the tournament. It’s a remarkable effort given that just ten months ago she was going under the knife for a second knee reconstruction.
It’s taken resilience, hard work and a love for sport for Williams to make it back so quickly, characteristics she learned growing up in the dusty sports fields in Kalgoorlie. “I started sport just kicking it barefoot playing with indigenous kids in the middle of the desert,” Williams explains. “We just loved the game and loved playing all day. I had that growth coming through to just enjoy what I’m doing all the time. I’m really lucky I still enjoy what I do and I give it my 100 percent.”
It was a move across the country to Canberra at 11 years of age where football became more of Williams’ game, becoming a full-time goal-keeper three years later. She idolized Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel, admitting she moulded her game on the Danish gloveman. “Just his presence and everything he did I really loved,” he said. “Once I cross that white line I’m a bit of a different person or character. It’s pretty much life or death when you’re playing, especially as a goalkeeper,” Williams said.
Williams believes this Matildas squad is the strongest they have ever fielded at a World Cup, which gives them a huge chance to go deep into the tournament. “It’s a hard group but what’s the point of playing a World Cup if you’re not against the best countries in the world,” she said. “I think we have a really good chance of getting through and making a difference in football in Australia as well. We have high expectations within the group and we’re looking positive for the (knockout phase).”
JAMIESON OPENS UP ON GLORY EXIT
Scott Jamieson has opened up about his departure from Perth Glory and the impact the salary cap scandal has had on the club’s squad. Jamieson’s Glory contract was terminated by mutual agreement during the week, just a matter of day before it was revealed he’d joined Western Sydney Wanderers on a two-year deal. Goalkeepers Danny Vukovic and Jack Duncan, along with attacker Youssouf Hersi, have also left the Glory in the past fortnight.
“Obviously it’s been well documented that the salary cap kind of brought down the whole club,” Jamieson said. “It happened after the season that every player was told you were in a position you could leave up until May 30. From my position I think, like every player in the current roster, was weighing up what to do. Everyone’s been upset with the whole dealings and this and that.”
“I went away on my holidays, I was thinking about things, and I got a phone call from Perth Glory saying they were giving me permission to talk to other clubs. That’s where it went from. Over the past month that what’s been happening. I spoke to different people and came to the decision where, from Perth's side, they were happy for me to leave so I took it that it was time to leave.”
Jamieson, 26, joined Glory in 2012 and last season played every game bar one for the club. “We had a good season as a back four,” he said. “We were really good. We had a great relationship and we were viewed from the outside as a strong defence. That was very pleasing. On myself, look, I was solid without being spectacular. I guess coming back after a ruptured Achilles, it probably took me a bit longer to get going at the start of the season. I would have loved the opportunity to play finals football but it wasn’t the case either.”
Jamieson describes the moment when the Glory squad was told of the club’s guilt over breaching the cap as “surreal”. “There were so many different rumours that we’d been told or we’d heard leading up to the Friday lunchtime when we got called into a meeting,” he said. “People would say we’ve heard this was happening, we’ve heard that was happening, but it wasn’t until the meeting was called and we sat in the meeting and we were told we’d been found guilty of breaching the salary cap and we weren’t playing finals football.”
“It was probably one of the most surreal moments of my football career knowing that this was a massive scandal and knowing that I was part of it because the club I was with had acted wrong in breaching the salary cap. It was something that most people wouldn’t have to endure in their sporting career. Having worked so hard in the pre-season and during the season to get to a position where we were challenging for the Premier’s Plate and for having the rug taken from underneath you, it is sad and disappointing.”
“But it’s also very sad and disappointing for the great fans the Glory have. I can truly say that, there was about 7,000 or 8,000 that turned up on that Friday night against Sydney FC, it was one of the proudest moments I’ve had in that this club’s gone through so much hurt and devastation and they’re still paying their money to turn up. That says a lot about the Perth Glory fans.”
DE VANNA GOES FROM PROBLEM CHILD TO WORLD CUP LEADER
Many of Lisa De Vanna's coaches must have hated that she was one of the most talented female footballers in the world, such was the difficulty in dealing with her temperamental nature. At one point in her career it would have been easier to drop her from squads had she not been so talented. A self-confessed problem child who had been known in the past to storm off training fields over disagreements due to her confrontational manner, De Vanna was difficult to manage for many.
And, that's exactly why many would have been shocked to have seen her named as co-captain of the Matildas as they prepare for this month’s World Cup in Canada. "In a million years I never thought I'd be in a position to be part of the leadership group," De Vanna said. When Matildas coach Alan Stajcic took over the job last year, one of his first aims was to harness De Vanna's fiery character into a positive force for the team.
"In the past people looked at me as disruptive and it wasn't the right behaviour, but it was because when I put on my shirt I represent everything I love about my country," De Vanna said. "I was just misunderstood. Now it has come to a place where I have to understand my teammates and they have to understand me. Now we have this understanding of how I deal with things and how I deal with situations."
There is a sense of calm as De Vanna speaks and an optimism of the team's chances in Canada. It's part of the new-found maturity Stajcic speaks so fondly about in De Vanna's off-field demeanour that now complements her aggressive style of play and free-scoring ability. "I think 'Staj' gave me that role and trusted how I deal with things. That gave me the confidence to show the team what I'm capable of, and what I want to achieve," De Vanna said.
She was known as the striker who could score the incredible goals, test the durability of opponents shin pads and butt heads with teammates in one game. Only the latter, she says, will change. "I've always been that type of player, it's just that people had this opinion and didn't understand it. To be a good player you need to have passion and you need to be hungry and you need to understand what it means to represent your country. That's what I put in place and that's what 'Staj' put in place," she said.
GWELUP INTO LAST FOUR OF THE FFA CUP
Sunday amateur Premier Division leaders Gwelup Croatia moved into the Semi-Final of the FFA Cup, after a stunning 4-1 win against All Flags Division One league leaders Mandurah City at the Hyundai Stadium. A brace from Benny Kouakou, a Steve McGarry’s penalty and a Nicolas Tatasciore goal gave the visiting fans plenty to cheers about, and send the club into the draw on Tuesday. “Today’s win is one of the biggest wins in the clubs history,” Tatasciore said. “We prepared well for the game and worked really hard leading into it, and were all excited to come away the result. Credit to Mandurah, who fought out the game all the way to the end, but it looked like they underestimated us at the start of the match, and we punished them.”
There was a big crowd on hand at kick off, but it was the visitors who were out of the block early, and Kouakou went close on five minutes. The striker was given far too much room, but his shot was well saved by City keeper David Keenan at full stretch. But Kouakou made amends on the quarter hour, giving Gwelup the lead. His pace was causing all sorts of problems, and his shot on the run deflected off Mandurah skipper Andy Brown, and lobbed over the stranded Keegan.
Gwelup were up for the game and Doug Hesketh’s side was on the back foot, and it wasn’t a surprise when the visitors added a second on 24 minutes. McGarry was upended in the penalty area by Lance Louvie, and referee Nico Hoyle pointed straight to the spot. The former Perth Glory midifler picked himself up and confidently converted the resulting penalty.
Mandurah awoke from their slumber and Gwelup defender Zoran Vrteski cleared the ball off the line, before Anthony Mihalj was fortunate not to be penalised after the home side had a strong penalty claim turned down by the referee. But somewhat against the run of play Gwelup, stunned the home side when they added a third six minutes from half time. Tatascoire’s shot again took a deflection off a defender, the ball lobbing over Keegan, to set off wild celebrations among the travelling supporters.
The home side was back in the game nine minutes after the break, Jordan Rhodes was picked out from a corner and he headed home from close-range. Moments later Gwelup keeper Tom Dixon was penalised for handling outside his area, and from the free kick Paul Jackson saw his curling effort flash inches wide of the target. But the game was put to bed, when Gwelup added a fourth on 82 minutes. Brown was caught in possession by Mwansa Musonda, and he fed Kouakou who tapped home from close-range.
It could have been worse for the home side when Gwelup won a second penalty late in the game, when Kouakou was bundled over in the box, but McGarry’s penalty was well saved by Keegan. It still wasn’t over, and in stoppage time Musonda was brought down in the area and the referee awarded a third penalty. Kouakou stepped up to complete his hat-trick, but again Keegan guessed the right way to save. But the damage had been done early and at the final whistle it was Gwelup celebrating a famous victory.
GULLS FLY INTO THE SEMI-FINALS
Sorrento eased their way in the FFA Cup Semi-Final with an emphatic 4-0 win against First Division side South West Phoenix at Perth Doyle Reserve. English striker Sean Canham scored a second half brace, after Tom Boss had given them the lead at the break, while Jack Salter put the icing on the cake with a late fourth. “I’ve just got back into the team, so it’s nice to score a couple of goals,” Canham said. ““We’ve got some good wide players who put the ball in quickly. That’s what I need and hopefully I can get on the end of them.”
The visitors looked lively early and James Morgan had to be alert to save Ryan Francis’ long-range shot. The Gulls were on the back foot and Phoenix were well on top and on the half hour mark David Murhpy’s free kick picked out Kieran Kanvangh, whose header beat Morgan, but crashed off the crossbar and away to safety.
Sorrento needed a lift and Boss was providing it, his pace was causing the Phoenix defence all sorts of problems and he went close to break the dealock moments later, but he daragged his effort wide of the target. But on 37 minutes Boss opened the scoring. A through ball took a nasty bobble on the pitch, which left Jamie Oakley red faced and Boss raced on to fire home into an empty net.
The home side doubled their lead two minutes into the second half. Boss played a great through ball in the path of Salter, who crossed to Canham, and the big striker made no mistake from close-range. The Gulls were in control from that point, and maintained their pressure and they were rewarded with a third on 70 minutes. Boss was again involved his cross pickeing out Canham who headed home past Oakley. The final nail in the coffin came in stoppage time, when Salter scored from close-range after good work from Jason Mirco
PERTH AND BAYSWATER COMPLETE THE SEMI-FINAL LINE UP
Perth SC and Bayswater City have both made the Semi-Finals of the FFA Cup, after narrow wins in their respective quarter-finals. Perth was made to work hard for their 1-0 win against Subiaco AFC at Dorrien Gardens. Midfielder Aden Da Luz scored the only goal of the game eight minutes from time. Perth opened brightly and Dean Evans volley over the top early, before Nick Ambrogio fired over after good work from Josh Wilkins.
Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery was having a stellar game, and he saved well to deny Carlo Coelho, before he produced a stunner to deny Harley Orr. But the winner came on 82 minutes, Mark Pritchard’s corner wasn’t dealt with by Subiaco and Da Luz powered home. “We were knocked out of the cup in the first round last year,” Coach Taki Nicolaidis said.
“We want to make sure we get into the finals, from the club's point of view, and be amongst the top few in the league, and that’s what the boys are working towards. “I’m so pleased with our win and also for Aden who is on top of the world right now, scoring a winning goal in the quarter final to take the team into the semi-final - which is technically a grand final for us, so yes it’s extremely exciting and we can’t wait for the next round.”
Current cup holders Bayswater City raced into a 2-0 lead with goals from Gustavo Giron-Marulanda against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park, but were made to work hard after Harry O’Brien scored for the home side on the hour. But Bayswater hung on to take their place in the Semi-Final. “I thought we dominated the first half with plenty of possession as Cockburn sat back and we were deservedly 2-0 up at the break,” Bayswater skipper Trent Kay said. “Second half Cockburn stepped it up a level and thought matched us all over the park resulting in them pegging one back. We're very happy to get through to the final four and are looking forward to the task of facing Sorrento in a few weeks’ time.”
In the Semi-Final Bayswater City will host Sorrento at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday June 20, and Perth SC will welcome amateur side Gwelup Croatia to Dorrien Gardens on Sunday June 21. The semi-final winners will be included in the national Round of 32 draw, which will include top teams from other states as well as Hyundai A-League clubs.
CANHAM LATE SHOW AT COCKBURN
Sorrento’s English striker Sean Canham rescued a point for Sorrento with an injury time equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. It looked like they would leave with nothing after defender Alan Carroll had given the home side the lead with ten minutes remaining, but the former Notts County and Exeter City striker scored to take a share of the spoils. “I thought we deserved more from the game we created so many chances and played some great football so it is bitter to be walking away with only one point, to go one down late in the game we’ll take anything,” Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell said. “We controlled the game and won our duels all over the park but our finishing let us down again today.”
It was a sombre start to proceedings with a minute’s silence held after the sad passing of Cockburn major sponsor Peter Mirco. But it was Sorrento who looked lively from the first whistle, and Jordan Dodd blazed over after only five minutes after good work on the right by Jack Salter, before Canham headed wide moments later. Cockburn arose from their slumber and should have taken the lead on the quarter hour. The league’s leading scorer Rory Patterson was sent one-on-one with James Morgan, but the Sorrento custodian produced a great save to deny him.
Both sides had chances early in the second half, Harry O’Brien shot on the run was saved by Morgan, before Jordan Dodd saw his shot saved low by former Gulls custodian Curtis Aspden. The game was up for grabs and it was end-to-end football. Aspden saved well to thwart Brad McDonald, before Cockburn had the ball in the net on the hour, but Patterson’s goal was disallowed with the flag up for offside. Aspden then came to his sides rescue with a stunning double save to deny Salter and McDonald, before Morgan saved well from Devon Gibson’s back post header.
But the deadlock was finally broken ten minutes from time. Second half substitute Julian Teles’ corner picked out Carroll, who headed home powerfully from four meters. Sorrento pressed late and on 87 minutes they went close to the equaliser. Keeper Morgan even went forward, and from Jason Mirco’s corner the keepers’ header beat Aspden but crashed off the crossbar. It looked like that was Sorrento’s last chance but in stoppage time they found a deserved equaliser. Cockburn failed to clear a free kick and Todd Harnwell’s cross was turned home by Canham to earn them a share of the spoils.
PERTH LEAVES IT LATE TO BEAT THE REDS
Perth SC were made to fight for the three points, and relied on two late goals to see off a gutsy Armadale side at Dorrien Gardens. Paul Price’s side showed Great Spirit to fight back from two early goals from Clark Keltie and Aden Da Luz, with Sam Loveless and Jackson Bealey levelling on the hour. But goals from substitutes Carlo Coelho, a brace and Harley Orr gave them the three points. “We were travelling well at the break, but we got sloppy and let them back into the game,” Perth Skipper Keltie said. “In the end we made hard work of it, but credit to Pricey and the young Armadale boys, they kept going right to the end.”
There was a minutes silence before the game, and the home side wore black armbands, to observe the passing of Ernie Hannigan and club member Nino Rutigliani. Perth was out of the blocks early and hit the front on two minutes. Mark Pritchard’s free kick picked out Keltie, who rose highest to head past Dylan Wilson. They doubled their advantage on the quarter hour. Dean Evans’ free kick was too hot to handle for Wilson and Da Luz was quickest to react to score from the rebound. Keltie had the opportunity to make it 3-0 before the break, but the midfielder fired wide when well placed.
Armadale were out of the rooms early after the break, and caught the home side napping three minutes into the second half. Loveless firing home after Perth failed to clear their lines. The goal boosted the visitors and on the hour they equalised. Raveshlan Kuppusamy raced into the area and fell under the challenge of Evans, and referee Michal Jasinski pointed straight to the spot. Bealey kept his nerve and sent Alex Dunn the wrong way to level the scores.
The visitors had the opportunity to take the lead moments later; the lively Faustino Machochi’s shot on the run was straight at Dunn. Perth Coach Taki Nicolaidis made a change of formation bringing on Coelho, and he had only been on the pitch for four minutes when he regained their lead. Pritchard’s cross found the striker in the penalty area, and he fired low past Wilson. The game was still up for grabs and Wilson had to be alert to save well from Orr’s header.
With Armadale chasing the game holes were starting to appear at the back and Perth wrapped up the points with two late goals. First Da Luz made space down the flank on 89 minutes, and whipped in a teasing cross and Orr got across his marker and fired home. Coelho then added his second and the fifth in stoppage time, after a mix up at the back allowed him to slot it low past Wilson and give Perth a hard fought victory.
BALCATTA RUN DOWN A TEN MAN GLORY
Balcatta maintained their push for a top four finish after a second half comeback against a 10-man Perth Glory, to run out 3-2 winners at Grindleford Reserve. The Glory were cruising at the break with goals to Nic Talimdzioski and Slobodan Vulin, but the sending off of Calvin Whitney five minutes into the second half put them on the back foot and a Gustavo Catarcione brace either side of Adrian Caceres goal gave the home side the win. “We were dominated first half by a very organized side but came out after half time and looked to turn our performance around and we did, which showed great character,” Balcatta midfielder Marc de Francesch said. “Now it’s just a matter of playing a full 90 minutes of our best football instead of patches, but too come from behind and win with plenty of chances is a real confidence booster going into a big game against Floreat.”
The home side had the first opportunity to open the scoring early, with Adam Tong rising highest at the back post to head Caceres’ cross against the crossbar. But it was John Gibson’s side who hit the front on the half hour. Talimdzioski found space on the edge of the penalty area, and he lobbed Balcatta keeper Clint Davies. In the shadows of half time the Glory youngsters doubled their lead. Talimdzioski raced into the area and was bundled over by Tong and referee Matt Southern pointed straight to the spot. Vulin stepped up and calmly beat Davies from the resulting penalty.
With Coach Ramon Falzon’s half time address ringing in their ears, Balcatta started the second half well, and they were given a lift early in the second half when Calvin Whitney was given a second yellow card and was sent off. Then on 54 minutes Balcatta reduced the margin. Former Glory midfielder Hanafi Ghezali, came off the bench to deliver a perfect cross for Catarcione who headed home past Jordan Franken.
The home side were now on top and it wasn’t a surprise when they levelled on 74 minutes. Caceres found space outside the penalty area, and curled his shot into the top corner of the net. The Glory was being overrun and five minutes from time their defence was breached again, with Balcatta scoring the winner. Tong’s cross picked out Catarcione, and the former Bayswater striker fired home to give Balcatta a come from behind win.
BAYSWATER WIN TOP OF THE TABLE CLASH
Bayswater City moved three points clear at the top of the table after coming from behind to beat Floreat Athena 3-1 at Frank Drago Reserve. The clash between the two unbeaten sides in the league was a thriller, and Lewis McMahon gave the visitors the lead at the break. But goals to former Floreat striker David Heagney, Danny Dixon and Todd Howarth after the break gave the home side the win. “It was tough first half we didn't get the ball down and play like we normally do, but the second half we did what we do best and got the result that we deserved,” Heagney said. “It's always nice to score against your old team and get the three points in a top of the table clash.”
It was great day for football and the action was fast and furious early. Heagney had the first opportunity after being sent clear, but his low shot drifted the wrong side of the post. Floreat keeper Dejan Aleksic then pulled off a great reaction save from Howarth’s curling shot, which took a wicked deflection of Floreat defender Aryn Williams. Floreat were also creating chances, and Devon Spence had to be alert to save Jack Allen’s long range shot on the half hour.
But five minutes before the break the visitors hit the front. Floreat skipper Ludovic Boi’s shot was adjudged to have been handled in the box by Howarth and referee David Bruce pointed straight to the spot. McMahon stepped up and sent Spence the wrong way to give Floreat the lead at the break.
Bayswater opened the second half well, and the introduction of Borbor Sam and a change of tactics from City Coach Chris Coyne, and it wasn’t long before they levelled. Sam made space down the right just before the hour, outpaced his marker before delivering a perfect cross for Heagney to fire home past Aleksic. The home side hit the front on 62 minutes. Howarth’s corner was cleared and the ball fell to Dixon to score from close-range.
The home side were well in control now, and Floreat had Aleksic to thank for keeping them in the game. The Floreat custodian pulled off a great saved to thwart Gustavo Giron-Marulanda’s long-range shot. But on 72 minutes there was nothing he could do as Bayswater added their third. Howarth was given far too much space in the middle of the park and his deflected long-range shot flew into the net to seal the victory.
SUBIACO WHITE HOST TO TAKE THE POINTS
Subiaco won their first game on the road this season, after a come from behind 2-1 win against a depleted ECU Joondalup at the ECU Football Stadium. Paul Miller had given the home side the lead at the break, but a brace from Kevin White after half time gave the visitors the three points. “I thought we were the better team for the full 90 minutes and deserved the three points,” Subiaco striker Danny Milne said. “They scored against the run of play from a free kick, but the boys showed good fight to come back into the game and a couple great goals from Kevin (White), especially the second, to give us the three points. We have been very close to getting something out of every game we have played this season so hopefully we can kick on from here and start picking up more points.”
ECU went into the game without eight of their first team players, but it was even opening with chances few and far between. But the deadlock was broken on the half hour mark with a stunner. Teenage striker Bayley Montgomery was brought down on the edge of the penalty area, and Miller, the former Heidelberg United midfielder, curled the free kick up and over the wall into the net giving Ryan Montgomery no chance. Subiaco had plenty of possession but lacked the final ball in the final third, and had to settle for long-range shots which didn’t worry Jamie Serra.
But the visitors were out of the blocks early in the second half and were level three minutes in. White, who had been moved up front by Coach Gerry McEwan, was picked out at the back post and he headed home past Serra. Subiaco were now dominating and Joshua Booysen fired wide moments later, before skipper Nathan Diaz tested Serra. But with five minutes remaining the visitors got their reward. ECU was defending in numbers, but they left White on his own and he volleyed into the top corner of the net to win it.
INGLEWOOD TAKE THEIR CHANCES TO BEAT LIONS
Inglewood United continued their recent good form, and took their chances, with a 2-0 win against Stirling Lions at the Inglewood Stadium. A goal in each half from David Micevski and Tim Gould won it for Michael Garcia’s side and moved them up to seventh on the table. “It was potentially our best performance of this season to date,” said Inglewood keeper Aleks Vrteski. “We executed our plan very well and with high pressure forced Stirling into making decisions they wouldn't normally make. It's a good sign when you win a match and every player played their part in the result.”
It was a tight opening with the best chances falling to the visitors. Former Inglewood striker Teeboy Kamara found space in the penalty area, but with the goal at his mercy he dragged his shot wide of the target. The Lions suffered another blow on the quarter hour when keeper Connor Campbell was forced off with a hand injury and was replaced by Luke Radonich, who was making his league debut for the club.
Inglewood looked to take of advantage of this and minutes later Kenny Keogh fired into the side netting. But Stirling were still creating the better chances, and Vrteski had to be alert moments later to save low from Robert Petkov’s low shot. But on 36 minutes it was the home side who hit the front. Keogh’s deep cross floated over Radonich, and David Micevski headed home at the back post. Moments later the Lions had a strong penalty claim turned down by referee Steven Gregory, when Daniel Micevski cross appeared to hit Rikki Smith on the arm. But it was the home side now on top and Keogh and David Sesay went close after good work from the lively Ryan Clarke.
The Lions looked to get back into the game early in the second half, but Kamara wasted a good opportunity early, before Petkov headed over the top moments later. The home side were still creating some good chances, with Keogh’s header crashing off the woodwork. Inglewood continued to press and their pressure paid off and they doubled their advantage on 78 minutes. David Micevski’s corner wasn’t dealt with by the Lions and the ball fell to Gould, whose volley flew into the net.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SEVEN – REVIEW
Mandurah City moved to the top of the All Flags Division One table after a hard fought 2-1 win against Dianella White Eagles at Dianella Reserve. City hit the font on 23 minutes, when Andy Brown’s header was pushed into his own net by Eagles keeper Milos Bajic. But the home side hit back ten minutes before half time with Jason Barrera’s stunning free kick. But the winner came midway through the half, Tom Straker’s cross was fired home by Craig Tone. “It’s a great result for us, they are no easy beats,” City Coach Doug Hesketh said. “The whole side were fantastic and deserve all the credit, but we have no time to enjoy it as we look forward to the cup game on Monday.”
Joondalup United lost top spot after a 0-0 draw against Shamrock Rovers at Grimrey Reserve. The visitors had keeper James Bosdet to thank for the point, after he made a number of stunning saves to thwart the Rovers. “He's the best keeper in the league,” United assistant Coach Nick Jennings said. “We expect that from him... we've got high standards and we expect our best players to perform like that every week.” Even Shamrock coach John O'Reilly was full of praise for the United custodian. “Goalkeepers are going to win you three to 12 points a season and definitely today he won them that point.”
Western Knights lost ground on the leaders after 4-2 loss at UWA Nedlands. The home side were ahead early through Alex Kretowicz, but the Knights levelled from the penalty spot. UWA were back in front when Patrick Morrison scored, and it was 3-1 before half time when Manuel Arapis scored. David Onoforo pulled one back for the Knights, but UWA made sure of the points late when Jacob Flores scored the fourth. “We have a long season still ahead of us and no doubt there will be mores ups and downs but we are taking it one game at a time,” said UWA Coach James Rae, who was celebrating his birthday on the day. “It was no walk in the park for either side with the weather certainly playing its part. I thought we put pressure on them most of the 90 minutes and got our rewards.”
In other games Ashfield beat Canning City at Burrendah Reserve. The home side had Joshua Wade sent off after only 20 minutes, and Ashfield took advantage. Shane Malcolm scored a brace, and Kyle King scored the other for the visitors, while Daniel Trevisiol scored for the home side. Gosnells City won for the first time this season with a 5-0 win against Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. Wade Farmer scored a hat-trick, with Luke McCord and Scott Periera the others. “It’s nice to get a win under our belts, and I thought we played some good football, so it’s onwards and upwards,” said Gosnells coach Rob Eldridge. In the final game Swan United scored a late equaliser to draw 1-1 against South West Phoenix at Payne Park. Lee Stewart had given the home side the lead at the break, but United took the game to them and were rewarded with a later equaliser from Yves Mwilla on his debut for the club. “I’m very pleased for the players. They have been working really hard at training and with circumstances that eventuated from last week’s game could have had a negative impact,” United Coach Salv Todaro said. “However they put in stellar performance against one if the favourites for the title and deserved the result. Actually I'm a little disappointed that we didn't collect all three points as our performance in the second half was excellent.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SEVEN – REVIEW
Rockingham City lost their spot at the top of the All Flags Division Two table after they were beaten 3-2 by Balga at Lark Hill. The home side were ahead 2-0 just after the break with goals from Ryan Kennedy and Gershom Rowland. But Balga later hit back. They pulled one back on 70 minutes, Jimmy Taneski ran clear and finished low past Cyril Sharrock. Then with five minutes remaining Balga levelled. Dinko Ahmetanovic free kick crashed off the cross bar, and from the resulting goalmouth scramble, Lee James fired home. But in the final minute, Balga completed a stunning comeback with the winner. Taneski’s free kick found Ahmetanovic in space, and his neat volley flew into the net to set off wild celebrations form players and supporters alike. “It was a unbelievable performance after a timid first half,” said Balga keeper Ollie Rigler. “The team spirit was something I haven't been involved in since playing in England. On the pitch they are a brilliant team but we had too much fight and found their weakness and exploited them well.”
Forrestfield United moved into top spot on goal difference after thrashing Kelmscott Roos 10-0 at Hartfield Park. Ben Rogers scored four, Rhys Loxley a hat-trick with singles to Nathan Watkins, Scott Barker and Trent Wood. Melville City are back in the winner’s circle after a hard fought 2-1 win against Curtin University at Len Shearer Reserve. The visitors had the chance to take the lead on 11 minutes, but Jon Krawec’s penalty was well saved by Mirko Grgurinovic. But on the half hour Curtin opened the scoring, Robert Keegan getting on the end of Khaled Salhah’s cross. But before the break Melville levelled, Matt Donley was given far too much space and he fired home. The winner for the home side came 10 minutes from time, with Simon El Chami headed home from a corner. “Very pleased to get three points against a team that is better than their results suggest,” said Melville coach Gavin Brown. “After last week's disappointment we needed a big performance and to come back from a goal down showed bottle and fighting spirit.”
In other games Kingsway Olympic beat Ellenbrook United 1-0 at Arbor Grove Reserve, with Nathan Thorpe scoring the winner, while Joondalup City thrashed Fremantle City 5-1 at Iluka Sport Complex. In the final game Wanneroo City won the local derby 3-1 against Quinns at Wanneroo Reserve. The home side were ahead when John Monterosso went through one-on-one with Quinns keeper Adam Bowers and scored. Connor Lynch added a second after a good work from Monterosso on the right, before Scott Campbell played in Lynch to add his second. “We played exceptionally well today. We had a plan and the boys stuck to it for 90 minutes,” Wanneroo Coach Matt Debarro said. “Quinns are a tough team to play against credit to them and there coaching staff they will do well this season but I think today we were focused and to well organised.”
DE SILVA, MRCELA ADDED TO SOCCEROOS SQUAD
Australia coach Ange Postecoglou had brought West Australian pair Daniel De Silva and Tomislav Mrcela into the Socceroos squad for next month’s World Cup qualifier with Kyrgyzstan. De Silva, 18, is an attacking midfielder who is on his way from Perth Glory to As Roma while Mrcela, 24, is a central defender with Croatian club NK Lokomotiva. They replace Asian Cup winners Massimo Luongo and Trent Sainsbury, who were forced out of the squad by injury.
De Silva made 18 appearances last season for Glory with Mrcela turning out 29 times for Lokomotiva. "We have been watching for a while in Tomislav and Daniel," Postecoglou said. "Daniel is a prodigious talent who has been progressing well and after watching him play for the Young Socceroos against the likes of Brazil and Mexico he has earned a chance with the Socceroos. Tomislav has put together two strong seasons in Croatia and he is a big strong central defender we think can add something to the squad."
FFA CUP SIXTH ROUND – PREVIEW
The FFA Cup Sixth Round takes centre stage on Monday, with four games across the state. Gwelup Croatia will be flying the flag for the Sunday Amateur Premier League, when they travel to the Hyundai Stadium to take on Mandurah City. Gwelup are current leaders in their league and striker Steven McGarry said they head south in confident mood after a tough win in the last round at BB United. “That game was very tough and competitive. After missing several good chances we found ourselves down at the break. We were a lot more patient in our play second half and showed great character to come from behind, it was great to see our right back Anthony Mihalj score the winner and get rewarded after some really consistent performances so far this season,” he said.
Gwelup do not have a league game on Sunday, while Mandurah face a tough trip to Dianella White Eagles on Saturday, and McGarry hopes that gives them a slight edge. “It’s hard to tell if it’s going to be an advantage or not, but hopefully it will work in our favour,” he said. “It’s going to be a really tough game, Mandurah are a strong fit team with a mixture of good experience and ability, so we will go into the game as big underdogs. But on the flip side, we are team playing with confidence and have match winners like Benny Kovakou and Nicolas Tatasciore in form and with cup games being a one off anything can happen. We are going into the game with great respect for Mandurah but are also confident we can cause an upset.” Gwelup luckily enough came through Sunday’s top of the table fixture against Wembley Downs unscathed, and have a full squad to choose from apart from long term injuries Gavin Knight and John Cafferkey.
In other ties on Monday Perth SC entertains Subiaco AFC at Dorrien Gardens, while Sorrento host Division One side South West Phoenix at Percy Doyle Reserve. Current cup holders Bayswater City travels to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City. Bayswater striker David Heagney said it will be a tough encounter for both sides, as they play twice in three days. “I feel we are fitter and stronger this season and that will help as we are both have two games over the weekend,” he said. “I feel we will be sharper on the day, although anything can happen in cup ties. I believe it will be more of a challenge then the league game we had against them when we won 4-0 down there.”
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND NINE – PREVIEW
All roads will lead to Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday afternoon when the top two teams in the PS4 National Premier League WA, Bayswater City and Floreat Athena meet. Both sides are unbeaten in the league this season, and Floreat head into the game full of confidence after a thrilling win against Perth SC last week. Skipper Ludovic Boi scored an injury time winner in that game and he said their season to date has been exceptional. “It's a great start to the season; winning the night series and unbeaten in the season, it's a great feeling. We have a great bunch of boys, we work for each other and I think it plays a big part on why we are winning,” he said. The midfielder said they are looking forward to the challenge against the side that was everybody’s favourite’s for the title at the start of the season. “Bayswater have been the team to beat for the last 2 years, every team wants to beat them. They have quality all over the park and we will need to be winning personal battles for the whole 90 minutes,” Boi said. “It's a huge game for both teams to get a lead on the ladder and I'm sure will be an entertaining game for the supporters and fans. With the way we are playing I think we can get the three points but we will have to work for it.” In team news for Floreat Lewis McMahon is back from suspension, but Clayton Arnez will have to pass a fitness test to take his place in the side.
Bayswater had an indifferent Night Series, but have kicked on in the league and skipper Trent Kay believes they are still improving. “We didn't get off to the best start in the night series but we obviously can't complain about the way we have started the league,” Kay said. “Coyne Stu and Doddsy, have us playing some great football but we will know we have to be on our game come this Saturday. “ Kay has been impressed with Floreat this season and said Saturday’s game will be a great advert for football in the state. “We can't quite seem to shake them off and now it's come down to a top of the table clash to decide who's deservedly on top,” he said. “The lads can't wait it should be a great game and we hope there is a big crowd on hand to watch it.” City have a full squad to choose from, but Brian Farrell is nursing an ankle injury.
Cockburn City keeper Curtis Aspden comes up against his former club Sorrento, for the first time in the league, since he left The Gulls last season, when they meet at Dalmatinac Park. City have bounced back in recent weeks after a run of one win in five games, But back-to-back victories has seen them move up the table and Aspden believes they have had to work hard, and are now bearing fruits, and have had a number of players’ return from injury also has helped them. “We have had a shocking start to the season and we knew the first games were against the best four teams, so to not get a point a couple of wins in there was disappointing but now we have a good run of games coming up and there all games we expect to win,” he said. “Injuries don't help but we have a fully fit team now and maybe if we can keep everyone fit we can push on up the table.” The WA State keeper said it will be strange playing against The Gulls, with some of his close friends still at the club. “I keep in touch with most of the boys up there and they are good mates, but I’m sure the fans will be giving me heaps, but at the end of the day it’s just another game I fully expect us to win.” In team news Cockburn will be without Euen Grant and Friday Zico, while Harry O’Brien is in doubt with injury. Sorrento will be without the suspended Danny Cain and Ryan Pearson, while Todd Harnwell is struggling with a hamstring injury.
In other games Perth SC entertain Armadale at Dorrien Gardens. The visitors will be without Reece Davies, Darren Francis and Danny Hodgson, while Perth will be without midfielder Andreas Theodosiades, who has fractured his toe, and Reece Vitigglia is still out, but David Cyrus is fit after picking up a knock last week. Stirling Lions will be looking to make it five straight wins when they travel to Inglewood Stadium to take on Inglewood United. A number of former Lions players are at Inglewood, including David Micevski, Aleks Vrteski, Rikki Smith and Jovo Pavlovic, so they will be looking to get one over their former club. In team news Brodie Martin and Lawrence Shuruma are both unavailable for the Lions while Scott Blackmore is again unavailable for United, but Andrija Jukic should be fit. Two struggling sides meet, when ECU Joondalup entertains Subiaco AFC at the ECU Football Stadium. The home side will be hoping skipper Jon Higgins is fit after missing last week’s loss at Stirling, while Subiaco will be hoping Ian McMurray and Rory Feely can recover from injury. Perth Glory heads to Grindleford Reserve to take on Balcatta, looking for their first win since round two. The home side brought a three game streak without a win last week at Sorrento and they will be looking for all three points to keep in touch of the leaders. Hanafi Ghezali is available this week, but Blamo Quaqua and Paddy Quinn both picked up knocks last week and will be monitored after training.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SEVEN – PREVIEW
All Flags Division One leaders Joondalup United dropped their first points of the season last week when they were surprisingly held to a 0-0 draw by Morley Windmills. This week they head to Grimrey Reserve to take on last season’s Champions Shamrock Rovers in a blockbuster. Joondalup coach John Evans said Saturday’s game is another huge test for his side. “Yes, it another big test for us this week, and from playing Shamrock in the Sunday Premier League, we know it’s going to brutal,” he said. “All at the club are looking forward to this fixture, players and all supporters will be up for it regardless of the outcome.” Joondalup will be at full strength for the trip, and Evans said they were disappointed with the performance against Morley, but is expecting his side to bounce back. “Yes we were disappointed, but things don't go our way, but that’s football,” he said. “The first half was killed by the game not flowing; it was hard to watch what was happening out there. What I will be looking for this week is how they react, time will tell. The players were disappointed, which is a good sign, so look where this club has come from, top of the league six games in, it all comes down to the hard work each player is putting in every game and training session.”
Shamrock was stunned at Ashfield last week, but coach John O’Reilly said is expecting a response this week. “Of course we will be looking to get back in the winner’s circle,” he said. “We go out each week prepared to win, so I expect the players to be up for a tough game against the league leaders.” O’Reilly said he is looking forward to the visit of the league leaders. “I always enjoy the big games, and this one is no exception,” he said. “They (Joondalup) have come up this year and proved so far they are contenders for the title. We relish in causing upsets, so on our patch we look forward to the challenge.” In team news Dan Corbett and Darren O’Riordan will need to pass fitness tests to take their spot in the side, while Graham Caffery is fit and pushing for a starting role.
Second placed Mandurah City faces a tough trip, when they visit Dianella Reserve and a meeting with Dianella White Eagles. “We’re all looking forward to the game this week, the squad worked very hard last week and are training well,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “I don't know much about Dianella to be honest, they have brought new players in and they are going ok and we will have to be at our best.” Hesketh believes the league is stronger this year and all games are tough. “The state league is tough this year for sure, everyone is trying to produce good football as you can see very little between teams’ points,” he said. “We only have control over our squad so we will keep trying to play to the best game we can on the day, and have everyone available for Saturday and looking forward to it.”
In other games Canning City entertain Ashfield at Burrendah Reserve. The home side has Ante Jukic back from suspension, and Callum Roberts should return from injury, but Chris Holland and Simon Elton-Bott are in doubt. Paul Dundo’s side will be missing the injured Gary Hill and Nick Davies. South West Phoenix entertains Swan United at Payne Park, while Western Knights make the trip to the UWA Sports Park to take on UWA Nedlands. The home side has five players under injury clouds, while the Knights welcome back Ross Diamond and Tom Southgate from suspension, but Luca Jukic is struggling with a calf injury. “We have only lost once this year and that was in a game which we totally dominated, when we start taking our chances I think that some poor side will be on the end of a real thumping,” Coach Andy Thorburn said. “We know though that this week UWA are no easy beats and the boys will need to be up for another hard fought game but they are ready and eager for the challenge.” In the final game both sides will be looking for their first victories, when Morley Windmills meet Gosnells City at Wotton Reserve. Gosnells coach Rob Eldridge said they are not far away from a win and will hope their luck turns this week. “We will be going all out to try and secure our first win, but it will be a tightly fought game after Morley secured an unexpected point against Joondalup,” he said. “We have played exceptionally well in all games without luck, but I thought we got back on track last week against South West Phoenix, and hope it continues.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SEVEN – PREVIEW
The match of the round in the All Flags Division Two is Balga’s trip to Lark Hill to take on league leaders Rockingham City. City keeper Cyril Sharrock said they have started the season well but are not getting carried away. “The season so far has been positive, with a few new additions from last year added to the squad which has given us a bit more depth to improve on last year’s runners up spot,” he said. “The last few weeks have shown depth in the squad with tough games against Quinns and Curtin with personnel changes for both games, the need to perform is important as everyone is competing for a first team shirt. No one is getting carried away with the league position as we all know there is a long way to go and hard games to come but be we just need to keep consistency.” Sharrock believes Saturday opponents Balga have really improved this season and is not taking them lightly. “Saturday game against Balga is another tough game as they have been showing they can score goals and have improved on last year’s squad,” he said. “But as we have spoken about this as a team, we have a good bunch of players with quality and team spirit is good so just have to concentrate on are performances and results will follow.”
In other games Forrestfield United entertain Kelmscott Roos at Hartfield Park. United skipper Trent Wood said the side are playing well and need to keep the pressure on the league leaders. “We go into Saturday’s game full of confidence after taking maximum points from our last four games, he said. “We have worked extremely hard this week at training and will carry that into this week’s game. Kelmscott will have a lot to prove on Saturday and will no doubt want to take points from us as we have a few former coaches and players at Forrestfield now.” In team news for Forrestfield Jordan Hart is unavailable, and will be replaced by Ben Fraser. Matt Harold and Rhys Loxley are struggling with injury, but Jason Godfrey is fit again and ready for selection. Fremantle United makes the trip to the Iluka Sports Complex to take on Joondalup City, while Melville City entertains Curtin University at Len Shearer Reserve. Rory Binnie and Jon Krawec both available for Curtin, but will be missing the suspended Robbie Nichols.
Wanneroo City and Quinns meet in a local derby at Wanneroo Reserve, and Wanneroo coach Matt Debarro said it will be a tough game. “We’re expecting a fired up Quinns team to come out after a good result for them last week as well as some history between players,” he said, “If we stay disciplined and keep to playing our football I am confident that we will do the damage in attack and with the work we put in on our defending this week they will find it hard to break us down, but it should make for a very interesting fixture.” The home side will be without Tom Black and David Whillians. In the final game Olympic Kingsway travels to Arbor Grove Reserve to take on Ellenbrook. “We expect a tough game at Ellenbrook, as we have about six players missing for this week with sickness work or holidays,” Kingsway’s Wayne Culverwell said. “It gives a couple of other boys who have been unlucky with the limited game time so far this season to take their chance and do well. I'm sure Ellenbrook will be really up for it as they have quite a few ex Kingsway players who will be all out to make a point.”
MICEVSKI FAMILY AFFAIR
It’s a real family affair on Saturday, with David and Daniel Micevski going head-to-head when Inglewood United hosts Stirling Lions at the Inglewood Stadium. The Lions are on a four game winning streak and Daniel said their new look side has worked hard in the pre-season and they are now reaping the rewards. “We have gelled very quickly and have improved week by week. We have built a good team environment and it's nice to having these results,” he said.
The Lions are on a roll at the moment and Daniel said it will be a huge test at the improving Inglewood, especially with David but in the side. “It's a big game this week for both teams. Inglewood will be desperate to improve on their results, and we will want to continue our good form,” he said. “Playing against my brother will definitely be different, because we played together for a couple of decades. We are best mates, love football and will both want to win, I'm looking forward to the match.”
Inglewood secured a late three points last week at Armadale, and David started his first league game for the club, after overcoming injury. “Definitely has been frustrating being out injured with my calf from the start of the season. I only did a couple sessions before the weekends match so I was happy to get some minutes under my belt although I'm still a few weeks away from full fitness,” he said. “In the end I was happy to get on the score sheet and more importantly happy we got the vital three points,” he said.
Inglewood has had an indifferent start to the season but David believes they are improving each week, but will face a stern test against his former club. “Every game from now till the end of the season is important for us after a slow start,” he said. “Rob Milevski has done extremely well so far with Stirling, after a huge turnover of players from last season, so we will have to be at our best to come away with a positive result. It will be odd lining up against my brother (Daniel), but we are both competitive and will be doing our best to be on the winning team.” In team news Scott Blackmore is again unavailable, but Andrija Jukic should be fit to play.
SKIPPER LEADS FROM THE FRONT FOR GLORY YOUNGSTERS (courtesy perthglory.com.au)
Perth Glory's young guns continue to impress in the PS4 National Premier League but face another tough encounter on Saturday when they take on Balcatta. The youngsters have been led superbly by skipper Jacob Collard. The 20-year-old defender, who sat on the bench for the final Hyundai A-League game of the season, has demonstrated his ability and maturity, as the Glory youngsters go toe to toe with the best sides in the state. Sceptics expected Glory to be the competition's easy beats this year, but their performances have shown they can hold their heads high.
However Collard knows there's much more work to be done. “I believe the boys have performed at a class level this season, proving we can match up with the best,” he said. “Yes there are certain areas we need to improve, just to be a little more clinical in the final third, but when we get that right I truly believe we can climb the table.” WA-Born Collard said defensively the side has worked hard to keep it tight and he said the performances of his fellow defenders have been solid. “We are pretty solid down back, with Gian Albano, Nathan Costello, Tom King and myself working well, we just need to stay strong and try and keep a clean sheet.”
Glory head Coach John Gibson said the improvement in Collard has been outstanding. “Young Jacob has displayed a high level of consistency over the last six to nine months, and he has shown good strong signs of leadership and maturity,” he said. “He is a former midfielder, who is now playing as a central defender. But his composure on the ball is first class, and he can defend well but is easily adept on the ball.” Saturday will be another challenge for the Glory youngsters, but both skipper and Coach are looking forward to the game. “It's going to be a tough fought game as they all are in this league. We just need to compete for everything and work hard for the team. I believe we can take points from this game, as the boys have been outstanding lately not just in the games but in training as well,” Collard said.
PERTH READY FOR DOUBLE HEADER (courtesy perthsc.com.au)
Perth SC will focus on nailing their performance this long weekend when they host Armadale FC and Subiaco AFC in a league-cup double header at Dorrien Gardens. The Azzurri host Armadale on Saturday afternoon in Round 9 of the National Premier League before clashing with Subiaco in the WA quarter finals of the FFA Cup on Monday.
Perth SC assistant coach Daniel Stoitis said the squad had worked on stringing two halves together during the week and would be fit to come out firing from the beginning of the 90 minutes against Armadale. “We always talk about three points, everybody wants to win,” he said. “All 12 teams when they go into each week want to win games, but to do that you have to make sure you perform, that gives you the best chance of getting a positive result and we need to do that consistently. “At the moment we’re doing that in little spells, and when we do have those spells we’re untouchable, we’re a good side. But when we’re not that’s the concerning bit. “On the weekend we were 3-1 down at half-time and we left ourselves a real task to come back. “The big key now, for this week and for the rest of the season, is making sure we put in a performance.”
Perth SC trails joint league leaders Bayswater City and Floreat Athena by eight points after last weekend’s 4-3 loss to Floreat at Litis Stadium. Coach Taki Nicolaidis said while last week’s match was gut wrenching, the side had moved on and were ready for the weekend. “We just need to put the past behind us, learn from our previous errors and put in a solid performance this week and play with the freedom and confidence that every good team has,” Nicolaidis said. “Armadale will come out with a game plan to make sure they are competitive and they have new coaching staff who will structure their game to make things very difficult for us. “We will need to apply ourselves to the task of being more consistent and ruthless over the full 90 minutes.”
After Saturday’s bout with Armadale, Perth SC has less than 48 hours to recoup for Monday’s FFA Cup match with Subiaco. “It's a big game for both clubs,” Nicolaidis said. “Last year they made it to the semi final of the cup and I expect Subiaco to be extremely competitive and hard to break down once again. “There is a lot of pressure for both teams this round, as the ultimate prize of potentially making the last group of 32 is rewarding and just within reach.”
Nicolaidis said while two games in 72 hours would be taxing on the players’ bodies, they know how big an opportunity the challenge presents. “The FFA Cup opens the door for national exposure against possibly some of the best clubs and players in the country, which will be a great experience for both the club and playing group,” he said. “We are going out with our strongest team for both games and we’ll give ourselves every opportunity to win both matches. “We have altered our training a touch over the last two weeks to ensure our playing group is fresh, and we’ll take every step to make certain that the team can recovery quickly enough for Monday.”
ATHENA SET FOR BAYSWATER SHOWDOWN (courtesy nplwa.com.au)
They may have stunned some of the pre-season pundits, who gave them little chance of making a mark on the competition, but Floreat Athena’s sizzling start to the season has come as no surprise to skipper Ludo Boi. The lynchpin of Floreat’s attacking drive was confident of the team’s capabilities even before they kicked a ball in the Night Series competition they went on to win on penalties against Cockburn City. Since then, they have gone eight matches without defeat to sit just goal difference behind league leaders Bayswater City, who they meet at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday. “We know that being undefeated has surprised a few people but we’ve got a strong team and hopefully we can carry on as we are,” he said. “We want to finish on top and this will be a big test.”
Boi looms as a major thorn in Bayswater’s side after a sensational scoring run. The 26-year-old has scored eight goals in seven appearances, equalling his entire tally last season, with the threat of more goals on the horizon. “It comes down to the whole team,” he said. “If the team’s playing well there’s more chances for me to be there to score. I’m normally more of an assists player than a goal scorer but we’re all working hard.” A 2-2 draw against Perth Glory on the opening day of the season has been followed by seven successive victories, including last weekend’s dramatic 4-3 win over Perth.
Floreat looked to be cruising to victory before Perth hit two late goals only for Boi to score an injury-time winner, the importance of which has been amplified given the importance of Saturday’s clash with Bayswater. “We wanted to play Bayswater having the same points as them, so last week was a big game,” he said. “Everyone is going to have to perform again this week. You look at our depth and compare it to their depth and there’s a massive difference. We can match their starting XI and we’ve got quality on the bench but they’ve got experience as well. “They’ve got quality all over the park and they’ve been champions for two years, so we’re going to have to win individual battles to get the result.”
Bayswater, who won all four trophies on offer last season, drew with Inglewood in round three, which was the only occasion they have failed to win this season. Former McInerney Ford Gold Medal winner David Heagney has been in sharp touch recently with five goals to his name, while Bayswater have also benefited from the return of Danny Dixon, who scored twice in a recent 5-0 win over Sorrento. Bayswater coach Chris Coyne has a big weekend ahead with a Westfield FFA Cup preliminary quarter-final clash against Cockburn City on Monday.
HESKETH SWAPS BACK SEAT FOR HOT SEAT (courtesy footballwest.com.au)
When Doug Hesketh watched Stirling Lions take part in an historic Westfield FFA Cup match against Hyundai A-League side Brisbane Roar last season, he did so with mixed emotions. Less than a year previously, Hesketh had been coach of the Lions, steering the club to the 2013 All Flags State League Premier Division title, before deciding to take a break from the game. “I wasn’t involved in the FFA Cup game, other than being there to watch, but I was delighted for Stirling and for the people at the club,” said Hesketh, who has retained an affinity with the Lions. “It was nice of them to invite me to the game and I did feel part of it. I just didn’t have to feel responsible for it.”
These days, Hesketh has plenty of responsibility as coach of Mandurah City, who take on high-flying amateur side Gwelup Croatia in a Westfield FFA Cup preliminary quarter-final at Hyundai Stadium on Saturday. Andy Brown, who captained the Lions against Brisbane, has been reacquainted with his former Stirling boss, while former Perth Glory midfielder Jeff Bright is another of Mandurah’s quality pick ups. Hesketh, who spent some of his time away from the game working on his Heskstat coaching app, has been delighted with both the calibre and attitude of the players, who have steered Mandurah to within a point of All Flags State League Division One leaders Joondalup United. “I think we do have a great squad,” he said. “We can improve but they are a fantastic group to work with. They’ve been getting good crowds. People want to come and see us because we’re playing decent football.”
WA’s two Westfield FFA Cup preliminary finalists will qualify for the national Round of 32, which means quarter-finalists are just two wins away from a potential clash with Hyundai A-League opposition. If Mandurah progress, Hesketh could even find himself up against his son Steven, whose Rockdale City Suns have already qualified from New South Wales for the Round of 32. But Hesketh is taking a pragmatic, one-game-at-a-time approach. “We’re not playing dummies here,” he said of facing Gwelup, who are Consolidated Energy Amateur League Premier Division leaders. “They are a very good team and they’ll get the same respect as any other team we play. This is going to be a tough game for us.” Former Perth Glory midfielder Steven McGarry is crucial to Gwelup’s hopes of progression, while former National Premier Leagues WA attacker Benny Kouakou is another threat for the visitors.
JAMIESON THE LATEST TO LEAVE THE GLORY
The fallout from Perth Glory's salary cap woes continued today, with defender Scott Jamieson the latest player to leave the club. Just four months ago, Jamieson signed a two-year contract extension, with an option of a third, but the 26-year-old secured a release from that deal on Thursday to end his three-year stint at the club.
A host of Glory players were left fuming over the club's activities in the cap problems, where they were stripped of their spot in the season's finals and fined heavily after being found guilty of a salary cap breach. Striker Jamie Maclaren has also issued the Glory with a breach notice in a bid to win an early release from his own deal, but the club will fight to retain Maclaren, but they have allowed to let Jamieson go. Dutch winger Youssouf Hersi secured a release last week, while goalkeeper Danny Vukovic announced earlier this week he would also part ways with the club.
Vukovic claims his decision is based purely on family reasons, with the veteran and his pregnant wife set to move over east so they can be closer to family. Western Sydney and Melbourne Victory are the early frontrunners to nab Vukovic. Jamieson, who could be in the sights of the Wanderers, played a total of 56 A-League games for Glory since arriving in Perth in 2012. Last week, Wanderers defender Antony Golec signed on with Glory on a two-year deal. p> 27.5.2015
MRCELA HOPEFUL OF SOCCEROOS CALL-UP
For Tomi Mrcela his football story has been one more of hard work and graft rather than a meteoric rise many young players are elevated to so often nowadays. The 24-year old served his apprenticeship in the lower leagues of Croatia before moving up to the top flight – first with relegation battlers Hrvatski Dragovoljac and now at NK Locomotiva, where his team is battling for a place in Europe.
A move away from Croatia is inevitable but the real reward for his hard work lies in getting a call up to represent Australia. “I’m very happy with my season so far,” Mrcela told footballcentral.com.au. “Last summer I made a very good transfer to a much stronger club than where I was. It is much easier to play in a team that is fighting for the top rather than for survival.”
A recent horror patch has allowed Hajduk Split to catch and overtake Lokomotiva for third. But thanks to Dinamo’s win on penalties over RNK Split in the Croatian Cup they haven’t lost their European place. “The last month and a half we haven’t been in good shape, mostly because we’ve had a couple of important players injured and we had no real substitute for them,” Mrcela explained. “We have a young team and fluctuations are normal.”
On a personal note things couldn’t be better for the strong centre back who was contacted by Australian assistant coach, Ante Milicic prior to the Germany and Macedonia friendlies in March. He was told he was being monitored and if he continued his form a call-up would not be too far away which would be a “dream come true.” Unfortunately, his name was once again missing when Ange Postecoglou named his squad for Kyrgyzstan this week.
The other day he was contacted again to say he’d be omitted but he holds out hope for debuting in what is a long qualification process for the next World Cup. “I hope I can justify a call and I hope that I will become a standard member of the national side,” revealed Mrcela. “Also it’s a motivation to keep up the good work and to work even harder. I’m very curious what it feels like to be part of the team.”
Mrcela was impressed by the side in the Asian Cup and feels there is a lot of potential going forward which he feels he could add to despite a lack of experience playing against Asian opposition. “I watched the Asian Cup and I saw a good mix of experience and youth. The team had discipline. We have great potential especially up front with Leckie, Oar, Kruse, and Cahill who is fantastic. Jedinak is a great leader.”
“I feel they have a good chemistry in the team and that reflects on the result. Ange is doing a great job so far. I’m sure I’ll fit into his style of play. He wants tactical discipline and I can provide that. I will give my best that’s for sure. So far I have never played against Asian opposition … I look forward to getting to know the guys some day and I’m sure I’ll fit in well and I hope to be useful for the national team.”
The off-season will be another uncertain one for Mrc(ela with clubs from Europe, Asia and Australia looking closely at the defender. “It’s very nice to hear that there is interest in me from Australia,” he said. “I see it as a proof that I play and train well … if an offer arrives that will satisfy my club and me I would not have anything against coming to Australia But currently I am dedicated to the end of the season and then we will think about transfers.”
KERR FITTER, STRONGER FOR WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
Sam Kerr has beaten major injury to get to the Women's World Cup, and what she has been through has made her a mentally stronger and more focused individual. Kerr, 21, underwent a reconstruction of her left knee when she was 17 and then last December she sustained a further injury to the same knee playing for Perth Glory in a W-League match.
The fact the World Cup was only six months away at the time naturally made her nervous. "I had a reconstruction previously, but this time I hurt the cartilage in my knee," Kerr told The World Game. "It's called a chondral defect. It's pretty much a hole in the cartilage and I had to get it fixed up and it's been difficult, but it's come good now. The doctors think maybe there was some connection, but not directly, from the ACL injury.
"What they did with the new injury was try to regenerate cartilage growth. They gave me a micro fracture in the knee - they drilled holes in the knee and broke it a little bit to cause trauma, and then it bleeds and they try to regenerate cartilage that way. It's like a trick of the brain. They try to trick the brain and fix something else in the meantime. It's pretty hard to explain - I don't know too much about it in-depth."
Being immobile over the summer, at a time when the W-League season was ending and Kerr would have obviously been planning on being injury-free and looking towards the World Cup, was very frustrating for her. "I had the operation on December 16," she said. "I was in hospital for two days and then on crutches for seven weeks. I wasn't allowed any weight-bearing for that seven-week period, which was probably the toughest part of the injury."
"It was pretty irritating over the Christmas-New Year break. It was really difficult over that period. It was in the back of my mind that the World Cup wasn't far away. It was definitely the first thing I thought about when I got hurt, but the medical staff assured me straight away that I'd be back in time and that made me feel a bit better about it. I feel pretty lucky that I'm playing again now and ready to go in the tournament."
Asked to describe the effect having to deal with major injuries at a young age has had on her, Kerr replied: "It has made me tougher and also made me grow up a lot. When you're young you kind of think you're invincible and when things like this happen now I know how to react to it and I can support other people through it as well … a lot of people say that sometimes a setback can make you stronger and it has, with me. I've grown as a person."
Alen Stajcic is the coach who will steer the Matildas through the World Cup campaign and Kerr said his influence on the squad had been hugely positive. "Every new coach brings in change, and we're really positive about what 'Staj' is doing," she said. "I think the players have got this inner confidence in each other now that we've never really had before. Everyone is really believing in the system and we've become a tighter group on and off the field and that builds success. "
"You've got to be like a family in a squad like this and that's what we're trying to create. It doesn't change totally over a few months, but the process has begun and the World Cup is a good place for us to see what effect it can have on the field. It's the world stage, the biggest event in women's football, and everyone in the squad is very excited to be taking part. It's going to be massive."
BALCATTA BEAMING AS PLAN COMES TOGETHER (courtesy footballwest.com.au)
A project that was three years in planning and took five months to construct is now the pride of Balcatta, whose new stand was officially opened last week. President Peter Carlino thanked the City of Stirling for assistance in the project that was entirely funded by the club and sponsors. “We may not have the biggest facilities but we have a definite plan to make them the most welcoming,” Carlino said. “Our club, like every other club, exists because of past visions, past efforts of its members, volunteers and the support from our sponsors.”
The club’s former President Pat Luca was a key figure during the development and completion of the project. “It certainly didn’t go through smoothly and we had many hiccups, problems, challenges etc,” Luca said. “But for every one of them, we came up with solutions. “We did what had to be done and worked very hard to come up with this beautiful grandstand that we can all be very proud of.” The 243-seat stand, which was completed through the hard work of Balcatta officials, volunteers and sponsors, is one of several facilities projects taken on by PS4 NPLWA clubs recently.
Perth SC’s Community Playing Fields project took a major step forward in March when it secured $850,000 in State Government funding. Other projects to have been completed or investigated in recent years include:
• Upgraded change rooms at Floreat Athena
• Improved carpark, change rooms and seating at Armadale
• Renovated change rooms at Cockburn City
• Turf renovation at Inglewood United
• New seating at Sorrento
• New perimeter fencing at Stirling Lions
• Completion of new clubrooms at ECU Joondalup
• Improvement of change rooms and car park and investigation of lighting at Bayswater City
• New seating and fencing at Subiaco's Rosalie Park
Perth President Gary Marocchi said the State Government's investment in the Community Playing Fields project would underpin the development at Dorrien Gardens. “The project has now reached a major milestone and we will be working around the clock to ensure we can deliver this project for our members and the community by the start of the 2016 National Premier League season,” he said.
PS4 NPLWA Manager Chris Beech said the endeavours of club officials and volunteers to make improvements on and off the field were a significant boost to the entire sport. “Clubs have been raising the bar on the field with player development and coaching qualifications and it’s fantastic to see them also investing in aspects off the field,” Beech said. “This will ensure clubs have the capacity to continue to grow, which is what the game needs. “It’s great to see so many NPLWA clubs investing in their facilities for the future of football.”
SKY BLUE IS THE COLOUR FOR O’NEILL
Sydney FC have moved to shore up their midfield options with the signing of youngster Brandon O'Neill on a two-year deal. O’Neill is coach Graham Arnold’s second signing of the off-season and will link up with his new team mates next week ahead of Sydney’s glamour friendly with English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur. The 21-year old was released by Glory in March after making 16 appearances for his hometown club.
O’Neill said he was looking forward to prospering at the Sky Blues under Arnold. “I’m humbled and grateful for the opportunity Graham Arnold and Sydney FC have given me,” O’Neill said. “Graham Arnold is a proven first class coach and always gets the best out of his players as well as his belief in youth. I jumped at the chance to work with someone of his coaching ability.”
“To progress in my own career I believe Sydney FC is the club for me,” continued the former ECU Joondalup junior. “I hope under the guidance of Graham Arnold, Andrew Clark and Steve Corica I can become a better player and person and make every training session and match count. I hope not only for me but the team too that we achieve as much success as possible.”
POSTECOGLOU READIES FOR KYRGYZSTAN
Socceroo’s coach Ange Postecoglou has retained the bulk of his Asian Cup champions squad for next month’s World Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan. Tim Cahill, Matthew Spiranovic and Eugene Galekovic return after missing the recent matches against Germany and Macedonia with Postecoglou declaring the group as the "core of the squad that will take us through to the next World Cup". "This is the start of the next chapter in our journey and we are all excited about what lies ahead over the next two years," Postecoglou said.
Australia’s squad to play Kyrgyzstan, in Bishtek on 16 June, is Tarek Elrich, Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United), Mitch Langerak (Borussia Dortmund), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), Mat Ryan (Club Brugge), Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Mathew Leckie (FC Ingolstadt), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Chris Ikonomidis (Lazio), Oliver Bozanic (FC Luzern), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Bailey Wright (Preston North End), Tim Cahill (Shanghai Shenhua), Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town), Tommy Oar (FC Utrecht), Nathan Burns (Wellington Phoenix), Jason Davidson (West Bromwich Albion), Tomi Juric, Matt Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers), James Troisi (Zulte Waregem), Trent Sainsbury (PEC Zwolle) and Ivan Franjic (unattached).
GLORY RELEASE VUKOVIC
Goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has parted ways with Perth Glory, but he insists his departure has nothing to do with the salary cap woes. Vukovic and his wife Kristy are expecting their first child in July, with the pair keen on a move to the east coast. “I approached the club four months ago, about the possibility of moving closer to home to ensure we have the support network we both need from our family as we don’t have any relatives in Perth,” Vukovic explained. “This decision is purely based for family reasons and no other, irrespective of what may have transpired off the field, in recent months."
Vukovic joined Glory in 2011, making 106 appearances for the club including the heart-breaking 2011/12 Grand Final loss to Brisbane Roar. “I have experienced many highs in the past four years while living in WA, especially in the season gone by,” he said. “All the lads showed great character throughout the season, even when the chips were down, to fight back and get results,” he said. Melbourne Victory are frontrunners to pick up Vukovic following the departure of reserve ‘keeper Nathan Coe, however, Western Sydney Wanderers are also believed to be in the running.
BOI THE HERO IN SEVEN GOAL THRILLER
Floreat Athena skipper Ludovic Boi scored a dramatic injury time winner to give them a thrilling 4-3 win against Perth SC on Saturday evening. The home side looked like they were cruising leading 3-1 at the break, with goals from Kris Gate and Boi and Andrew Scaldaferro, while Perth’s goal came from an own goal from Ayrn Williams. But the visitors hit back and it looked like they had won a point with goals from Josh Pereira and Mark Pritchard, but Boi had the final word. “We were five players down today but these boys work so hard for each other,” Floreat coach Glen Grostate said. “"We look to get goals early and have teams chase us and then try and get them on the break. We're eight games unbeaten now and we haven't really had a full squad yet.”
The home side, were joint top at the start of the round, and they were out of the blocks early and had the opportunity to take the lead on five minutes when referee Steven Gregory spotted a handball in the area and awarded Floreat a penalty. Boi stepped up but Alex Dunn guessed the right way to save his spot kick. But they did take the lead on 12 minutes, Gate racing clear of his marker and finishing low across Dunn.
But Perth was level six minutes later. Pritchard’s free kick caused problems in the area and the ball deflected past Dejan Aleksic off the unfortunate Floreat defender Williams. Floreat’s lead was restored on 22 minutes, Boi was found in aches of space and he calmly fired low past Dunn. It got better for the home side and it was 3-1 just before the break, Scaldaferro was quickest to react following a free-kick, and he made no mistake from close-range.
Perth had the opportunity to get back into the game when they were awarded a penalty in the second half, but Perth skipper Clark Keltie spot kick crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. It looked like any hopes of a comeback were gone but Perth pulled one back two minutes from time, with substitute Pereira’s shot took a slight deflection on its way into the net. It was game on and amazingly sixty seconds late Perth levelled, Pritchard wasn’t picked up and the former Floreat midfielder fired home from 10 meters. It looked like they had rescued a point, but they hadn’t reckoned on Boi, who pounced on a mistake from Perth keeper Dunn, to roll the ball into an empty net and set off wild celebrations on and off the pitch.
INGLEWOOD LEAVES IT LATE AT ARMADALE
Inglewood United left it late, but a goal two minutes from time from substitute Davide Panaia earned them a 2-1 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval. David Micevski had given the visitors the lead from the penalty spot late in the first half, but Armadale levelled with a penalty of their own on 70 minutes though Jackson Bealey. But the home side lost skipper Reece Davies and Darren Francis to injuries late in the game and Panaia pounced late to give them all three points. “We deserve the win but we have to start taking our chances,” Inglewood Coach Michael Garcia said. “We played some good football today, but again couldn’t convert, which is a concern, but it’s nice to get the three points.”
The visitors were on the front foot form the first whistle and Ryan Clarke saw a shot fly just wide on five minutes, before Micevski’s free kick on the half hour was pushed around the post by Armadale keeper Dylan Wilson. Armadale hit back, and Bealey long-range shot flashed wide of the target. Inglewood ended the half the better, and Micevski’s curling shot crashed off the post, and on 40 minutes their pressure was rewarded with the lead. Micevski burst into the penalty area and fell under the challenge of Faustino Machochi and referee Stuart Muldoon pointed straight to the spot. Micevski picked himself up scored from the resulting penalty.
The home opened up brightly after the break, and Nick Crerand’s volley was well saved by Aleks Vrteski. Armadale suffered huge blow on the hour when their skipper was carried off with a bad ankle injury, but they have levelled two minutes later. Jamel Yusof was sent clear by a ball over the top, but Vrteski stood tall to save to save. Wilson came to his sides rescue again on 65 minutes, saving superbly to deny Micevski’s hot on the turn. But five minutes later the home side levelled. Machochi cut inside Abdul Sesay, but the midfielder left his leg in and brought the lively winger down and the referee again pointed to the spot, and Bealey sent Vrteski the wrong way to level.
Inglewood went close to the lead again seven minutes later. Jarrod McNally made space down the left, and cut the ball back to Clarke, whose shot crashed off the crossbar and bounced on the line and away to safety. Armadale then lost Francis’ with a head injury, and two minutes from time the visitors pressure was rewarded with the winner. There looked little danger when Milan Ognjenovic sent a long ball over the top, but Armadale keeper Wilson sliced his clearance, the ball went over his head and Panaia raced clear and headed the ball into an empty net.
HOWARTH BACK TO HAUNT THE GLORY
Bayswater City maintained their lead at the top of the table, but was made to work hard for their 1-0 win against Perth Glory at Inglewood Stadium. Former Glory midfielder Todd Howarth scored the winner late in the first half, and despite creating a number of chances they couldn’t break down a Glory defence with keeper Jordan Franken in great form. “I thought the Glory were very impressive on the day and shows they are a match for anyone when they perform like that," City midfielder Paul McCarthy said. “We weren't at our best on the day and didn't make the most of our chances to kill the game off and the longer the game went on the more dangerous they become.”
It was tight opening, but Bayswater were creating the better chances. Former Glory Youth winger Bor Bor Sam was a constant threat. His delivery from the flanks caused problems in the penalty area, but there was no one in the box to get the final touch. The home side were giving as good as they got, and Gian Albano and Slobodan Vulin combined, but the striker fired wide of the target. David Heagney went close to the opener on the quarter hour, he held off his marker, but Franken produced a stunning save to deny him.
But just after the half hour Bayswater pressure was rewarded, and they hit the front. A long clearance from keeper Devon Spence caused hesitation between Franken and his defenders, and Howarth nipped in, to head over the standard keeper. The Glory went close to levelling just before the break; Sam McKearnan’s low cross was only inches away from Stefan Valentini, with the goal at his mercy.
Both sides had chances after the break, Spence had to be alert to save Vulin’s free kick early, before Franken denied Heagney. Michael McDougall, came on at half time to replace Valentini, and the 16-year-old almost levelled late, he was sent clear and was one-on-one with Spence, but the Bayswater custodian stood tall to save.
LIONS HONOUR HANNIGAN IN STYLE
Stirling Lions held a minutes silence to honour the passing of former coach Ernie Hannigan prior to kick off, and they then silenced ECU Joondalup running out 4-2 winners at Macedonia Park. Brian Woodall opened the scoring early, but the visitors levelled soon after through Paul Miller. Robert Petkov and Teeboy Kamara but Rob Milevski side in control, before Steve Purton added a fourth on the hour. Miller added his second late on but the damage had been done. “We played some good football and I think we deserved to win,” Woodall said. “I think we had control of the whole game, and I can’t remember Connor making a save, and he really couldn't do anything about the free kick.”
The visitors went close to the opener on the quarter hour. The lively Tommy Amphlett found space on the edge of the penalty area and his half volley whistled inches past the post. But Stirling showed them how to do it on 27 minutes. Purton hit on a counter attack and pulled the ball back to Woodall who finished past Jamie Serra.
But Dale McCulloch’s side hit back two minutes later, the Lions didn’t clear their lines and Miller toe poked home from close-range. But they were only level for three minutes; Petkov was given far too much space, and fired into the corner of the net. The home side had keeper Connor Campbell to thank for maintaining their lead at the break, Miller’s curling shot from the edge of the penalty area was superbly saved by the Lions custodian.
The home side got on top after the break and they added a third six minutes in. English striker Woodall played in Kamara, and the striker fired home. It was 4-1 on the hour, with Purton racing clear after intercepting a poor ECU pass, his first shot was blocked but the ball found its way back to the defender, who blazed home from the edge of the penalty area. ECU scored a consolation goal 20 minutes from time, with probably the goal of the game. Miller’s free kick went up and over the wall and into the top corner of the net giving Campbell no chance.
O'BRIEN LIFTS COCKERELS TO FIFTH
After a difficult time in May, when they went four games without a win, Cockburn City has won back-to-back games after a hard fought 1-0 win against Subiaco AFC at Rosalie Park. Harry O’Brien scored his second goal in the last two weeks, to win for Marc Anthony’s side the win moving them up to fifth on the table, but the performance of keeper Curtis Aspden was the highlight, the Cockburn custodian made a number of vital saves to keep his side in the contest. “We had plenty of chances in the game but Subiaco did what they do best, and that is frustrate teams that go there,” Cockburn winder Feisal Zaw said. “We'll definitely take the three points, and a clean sheet which is good going forward.”
It was a tight opening, with Subiaco hoping to kick start their season with a win, but it was Cockburn who had more possession, with Zaw and O’Brien caused problems down the flanks. The return of skipper Eamon McNelis was a huge positive for the visitors, but it was the home side were hitting on the counter attack, and Aspden had to be alert to save from Isaac Koomson, Danny Milne and Jonas Dorling before the break.
Gerry McEwan’s side started the better after the break and the lively Josh Booysen fired over the top early, but on the hour Cockburn hit the front. The former Glory winger was sent away after a long clearance from Aspden; his first touch was excellent taking him clear of his marker and he finished clinically past Ryan Montgomery. Cockburn went in search of a second, but they wasted a number of good chances, with Zaw failing to find the target when well placed, while substitute Julian Teles late shot was well saved by Montgomery.
BALCATTA BACK IN THE WINNER'S CIRCLE
Balcatta’s recent form has seen them drop down the table, but two early goals were enough for them to beat Sorrento 2-1 at Percy Doyle Reserve. Balcatta’s Luke Randazzo and James Sammut scored in the first 20 minutes before a magnificent, long range shot from Adam Luca put some fight back into the Gulls in the second half, but despite all their efforts it was Balcatta heading home with the points. “Our last win was over a month ago so we needed to get back to a winning place. It is very important that we start winning to start climbing in the standings,” Balcatta Coach Ramon Falzon said. “Our objective always was to challenge, so to challenge we need to be in those top three or four spots.”
Both teams struggled early in the game, but it was the visitors who opened the scoring on 17 minutes. Midfielder Sammut fired home a free kick from the edge of the penalty area giving James Morgan no chance. Balcatta continued to press and Randazzo doubled their lead three minutes later, running through and firing low past Morgan.
The home side came out firing in the second half but failed to make the most of their opportunities. Brad MacDonald’s long-range shot was well saved by Clint Davies on the hour, but for minutes later they pulled one back. Luca was given far too much space in the middle of the park and we raced forward and unleashed a powerful shot that left Davies clutching at air.
Balcatta custodian Clint Davies was forced into a diving save to keep out a long shot from Brad Macdonald on 62 minutes. Sorrento pressed late for the equaliser but they couldn’t find a way past a Balcatta defence well led by Adam Tong and Keiron Stallard.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SIX – REVIEW
Ashfield maintained their recent good form in the All Flags Division One with a stunning 4-1 win against Shamrock Rovers in the local derby at Ashfield reserve. “It was a great result for the club, beating the League champions,” Ashfield Coach Paul Dundo said. “We played some of our best football this season in patches with Ashley Corker and Jay Lang controlling the midfield. The side was very disciplined and worked hard and our now starting to find some belief in themselves.”
The home side was ahead on the half hour. Matt Wardle free kick from out wide wasn’t dealt with by Rovers’ keeper Justin Scarvaci and Ruben Tristao responded quickest to fire home from four meters. It was 2-0 seven minutes later. Liam Merigan made space down the left, cut inside two players before delivering a low cross, and Brian Patterson fired home at the back post.
The visitors were back in the game six minutes into the second half. Keeper john Perkins was unable to collect a shot and Darren O’Riordan poked home from the resulting scramble. But Ashfield regained their two goal buffer on 70 minutes, Jay Lang’s long-range shot was deflected into the box, and Tristao made no mistake. Ashfield had the opportunity to get back into the game six minutes later, when Graham Tough brought down Paul Concannon and referee Anmar Timour pointed to the spot. But Graham Doran’s stepped up but fired his penalty wide of the target. Second half substitute Kyle King was introduced late in the game, and he added the fourth in the final minute. His header crashed off the crossbar, but the assistant flagged that the ball was over the line and warded the goal, the first for King at his new club.
League leaders Joondalup United dropped their first point of the season, and Morley Windmills won their first of the season after the pair fought out a 0-0 draw at Forrest Park. “It was a good performance from the lads and we deserved something from the game,” Morley’s David Paone said. “I think we finally have a settled squad now so hopefully can push on from here.” In other games South West Phoenix bounced back from last week’s defeat to beat Gosnells City 2-1 at Walter Padbury Reserve. Lee Stewart and Ryan Francis were on target for the Phoenix, while Adam Blewett scored for the home side, who could have taken a point from the game after hitting the bar late.
Mandurah City beat UWA-Nedlands 2-0 at the Hyundai stadium, with goals from Jordan Rhodes (penalty) and Jon Brooks. Dianella White Eagles are looking ominous, after thrashing Swan United 6-1 at the Swan Italian Club. Jose Zuniga, Giullermo Rojas, Cisco Jorquera, Angel Andres and Luka were on target for Mauro Marchione’s side; while in the final game Western Knights beat Canning City 2-0 at Nash Field. The Knights opener came from a long flicked on by Ivan Zuvela, and fired home from close range by Jeffrey Judge. They wrapped up the points when Judge was brought down in the area and Paul Lloyd scored from spot
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SIX – REVIEW
Rockingham City have maintained their lead at the top of the All Flags Division Two table after a 5-1 win against Curtin University at Raphael Park. “Really happy with the three points against quality opposition,” City Coach Rob Crerar said, “We conceded early for the second week in a row which was disappointing but the lads were terrific today.” The home side were ahead after only four minutes, Khaled Salhah heading home Carlo Chiellini’s cross, giving Cyril Sharrock no chance in the Rockingham goal. But the visitors were level moments later Ryan Kennedy’s through ball sent Alex Grayson clear and he finished low past Mackenzie Ferguson. Rockingham were ahead on the half hour, Kennedy’s free kick from the edge of the penalty area flew into the net. The home side then had new signing Robbie Nicholl sent off after receiving his second yellow card, and Rockingham took advantage scoring two more before half time. Rockingham lost Monty Grigo with a bad knee injury midway through the half, but they continued to dominate, and It was Kennedy again; who was the supplier was for the third. His set piece was spilled by Ferguson and Grayson was on hand to add his second from close-range. Then before the break Kennedy’s free kick was volleyed home by Max Snelson from close-range. Curtin regrouped at the break and Nathan Smith went close, before Dilip Thapa fired wide. But Rockingham added their fifth when David Clark was picked out by new signing Calum Rothwell to fire home from the edge of the penalty area.
Wanneroo City won a ten goal thriller against Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. John Monterosso scored a hat trick, with Daniel Coletta, Thomas Black, Connor Lynch and Josh Beddis were on target for City and Coach Matt Debarro said it was a good game and his side had to come from behind early. “We started off a bit unsettled and gifted them a goal in the first five minutes, but that seemed to fire us up,” he said. All the goals were from good passing and build up play, and we created numerous one on ones. Credit to Kelmscott they had some good players and looked to play some good football I think they will get better.”
In other games Joondalup City best Balga 5-3 at Princess Road Reserve. The home side were in the driving seat and led 3-0 at the break. Lee James opened the scoring firing home Nahom Michael’s cut back in the opening minute, and it was 2-0 10 minutes later, with Kyall Osbourne firing home. Jimmy Taneski added the third before the break, finishing clinically after good work from Michael again. But the second half a was a disaster for Balga, with Alex Corner, a Bobby Irving penalty, Ryan Burgess and a brace from Liam Peacock gave City a stunning comeback victory. Forrestfield United beat Kingsway Olympic 2-1 at the Kingsway Reserve. Rhys Loxley scored both United’s goals, while David Gordan scored for Olympic. Fremantle United thrashed bottom of the table Ellenbrook United 5-0 at Hilton Reserve, with Danny Clapham scoring four goals, Andrew Morrow a brace and Domenic Mann added the other on his first start with the senior team. In the final game Quinns Fc got back to winning ways with a 2-1 win against Melville City at Gumblossom Reserve.
FORRESTFIELD GET LATE WINNER (courtesy fusc.org.au)
Forrestfield United travelled to Kingsway Olympic where, in recent years, they have struggled for results, however they came into the game in great form on the back of a comprehensive victory over Fremantle. The game began well for Olympic as an early error from Forrestfield saw a clinical shot and goal scored from the edge of the area after just 5 minutes. This goal seemed to wake Forrestfield up from their sluggish start and after 10 minutes they generated their first opportunity. Keeping possession in the final third, the ball was eventually squared to Chris Perrot who saw his shot go over the crossbar.
On twenty minutes Ben Rogers, who was in the thick of things all game, set up Jordan Hart who’s shot from a tight angle was well saved. However not long after, it was Ben Rogers again who’s great first time touch sent Loxley through to cooly finish to make it 1-1. By this stage Forrestfield hate total dominace over the game with Chris Perrot dominating the midfield and where unlucky not to go into the break leading after a Loxley strike ruled offside and another great counter attack ruled offside from the cross.
The second half began and it was clear from the get go that Kingsway were happy to sit and wait for an opportunity to counter. Forrestfields full-backs, who had previously been great defensively in the first half, were now afforded a license to bomb forward at every opportunity and this created the first opportunity when Trent Wood had a great drive through the middle of the park only to see his shot sail over the crossbar. Just 2 minutes later Loxley, who was again having a very influential game, beat 2 players before seeing his shot crash off the apex of the goal.
On 58 minutes Forrestfield created a fantastic opportunity when Rogers cut the ball back to Hart who’s shot sailed over the bar from just 8 yards. On the hour mark Ben Fraser was bought on to inject some pace into the forward line and within 10 minutes he had nearly scored and had a great cross go begging. Even Nathan Watkins, who typically plays center back, was getting in on the action with a great run down the right wing and cross to the back post most wingers would be pleased with.
After 75 minutes, great player from Fraser, Pywell and Harold saw an opportunity fall to Loxley who’s shot was blocked and it was at the point the game was becoming very physical as Kingsway did all they could to keep Forrestfield at bay. However in the 85th minute it was Loxley who would score the winner. A great driving run in the area saw him tripped and a penalty awared, which he slotted home, to win the game for Forrestfield.
GOLEC GOES FOR GLORY (courtesy perthglory.com.au)
Perth Glory FC is excited to confirm the signing of 24-year old defender Antony Golec. The 194cm Sydney born stopper, heads to Western Australia, after making 17 appearances with Asian Champions Western Sydney Wanderers this season. "I am very excited to be joining Perth Glory for the next two years” Golec said. “Perth is no doubt an attractive city with nice weather and beautiful beaches but I am looking forward to playing good football under coach Kenny Lowe and his assistant Andy Ord. I have been able to get to know them well in recent years, so I'm looking forward to the move" he said.
Golec who made his A-League debut at just 18, said that under Lowe, Glory showed the club was a force to be reckoned with. “This year they were fantastic, they played great football and to finish only three points behind the champions (Melbourne Victory) was a great achievement" he added. Lowe said Golec, who played for the U-20 and U-23 national teams, was a great acquisition for the club. “He’s got a good pedigree, played for two top clubs in Australia, he’s versatile and has played in an Asian Champions League final, so that tells you what kind of player he is”. Golec, is due to arrive in Perth next month, before he joins the team for pre-season training in mid-June.
TRIBUTES TO WA FOOTBALL GREAT HANNIGAN (courtesy thewest.com.au)
WA football is paying tribute to one of its own following the death this week of colourful Scotsman Ernie Hannigan. The 72-year-old Glaswegian - a big mate of former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson - died on Thursday following a battle with cancer. Hannigan played top-flight football in England before moving to Perth in 1973, and was inducted into WA soccer's Hall of Fame three years ago.
Former Everton captain Mike Lyons, who has known Hannigan since moving to Perth nearly 15 years ago, said he was a one-off. “He was a really popular guy, everyone who knew him loved him,” Lyons said. “He just had this infectious laugh, you couldn’t help but like him. “A group of us catch up every Wednesday night at Kulcha (cafe) in Joondalup, just basically to talk about football. He was always there. He was also a regular at the Celtic Supporters Club down at Rosie O’Grady’s in Northbridge. “He’d been ill for a bit but it’s still very, very sad. He’ll be sorely missed by everyone.”
More than 200 people gathered at Rosie O’Grady’s last Saturday for a tribute night for Hannigan, although he was too ill to attend. A winger with Queen of the South in Scotland, and Preston North End and Coventry City in England, Hannigan also had short spells in Hong Kong and with New York Cosmos. In Perth he played for Stirling City and Morley Windmills, where he was player-coach when they won the 1975 D’Orsogna Cup. Hannigan was player-coach at Stirling Macedonia and Spearwood Dalmatinac, too, and briefly coached Inglewood. He played 12 times for the WA State team, making his debut against a touring Aberdeen side in 1974
Former Perth Glory coach Alan Vest was Hannigan’s coach with the WA State side in the mid-1970s. “Ernie was a great player and it was very sad to hear,” Vest said. “He was a typical winger and always played well for the State team.” Vest said Ferguson called Hannigan last week after he learnt how ill his friend was. In 2012, the legendary manager sent a signed shirt and personal message to Hannigan when he was inducted into the WA Hall of Fame. "I had to read it twice as I was thinking it must be the Hall of the Infamous," Ferguson wrote. "No sincerely Ernie, well done. I can go back all those years when we were young scallywags running around the streets of Glasgow and always valued your friendship then, as I do now. "The great constant factor in all the time I've known you is your enthusiasm and love for football. That has never wavered and to me that is special."
Hannigan, who lived with his wife Jenny in Woodlands, said he would regularly cross paths with Ferguson at railway stations when the pair where travelling to their respective games in Scotland. “Fergie never forgets you. I go home every two years and I see him nearly every time,” Hannigan told thewest.com.au three years ago. On a separate occasion he remembered seeing Ferguson in the team hotel in Moscow before United’s 2008 Champions League final triumph over Chelsea. After United’s penalty shoot-out success, Hannigan returned to the hotel where the celebrations were in full swing. Although Ferguson did not stay too long - he told Hannigan he could not be seen partying with the players - that did not stop Hannigan from kicking on and he even recalled dancing with England star Wayne Rooney.
Football West chairman Liam Twigger said Hannigan won admirers both as a player and person. “Ernie was an outstanding winger, who was such an exciting player to watch,” Twigger said. “He made a fabulous contribution to football in WA and will be sadly missed.”
SHOCK RETIREMENT AT PERTH SC
The WA football family was shocked in the week when Perth SC winger Robert Sciascia was forced out of the game due to injury. The 26-year-old received the bad news from the doctors on Monday, and said it was a shock. “I’m devastated, but to honest I suspected I'd hear it from some experts and I'd often joke with many of my ex and current teammates about how I'd have to pack it in soon enough as I'm broken in more places than I can count,” he joked. “However I think it hit me hardest when the X-ray specialist mentioned it to me with no prior knowledge as to who I was or what I did. He found severe arthritis in my ankles and basically said you're at the end of your career as you know it and it's time to start considering other means of fitness. That was quite an unexpected shock.”
The injury came last season in a State Cup game against Port Kennedy and it was a game Sciascia wasn’t supposed to play in. “I was meant to be one of the senior players resting that game to recover for next weekend’s league game,” he explained. “I remember the coaches tossing up whether I should play or not, but in the end the decision was to play me to get some match fitness back after my previous injury which kept me out of a couple games. Unfortunately a late lunged tackle saw my ankle locking at 90 degrees and resulted in torn ligaments and muscles in my left ankle. After countless MRI's, ultra sounds, X-rays and physic visits the conclusion wasn't good and we decided to give last season a complete miss for a hope in full recovery this season. Unfortunately that wasn't to be as during my first full-speed training back with the team I managed to re-injure myself even more.”
He has had many great memories in his time at Dorrien Gardens, but his first game at the famous ground was the stand out for him. “I’ve had so many great memories at the home of Perth Soccer Club, and it's hard to distinguish any title from another,” he said. “But my best memory was my debut for the first team. I remember being captain of the reserves, but spent almost half a season benching for the first team. I was only 16 so you can imagine how impatient I was at times with not being able to get on the pitch. However my time finally came and the thing that hit me the most was how much support and guidance the older lads gave me. There was no pressure and I just slid right into the team and I think that just cemented my spot for the years to come.”
His talent was recognized by overseas clubs and he headed overseas for trials in Italy, and loved every minute of the experience. “Italy was an amazing experience and that goes without saying,” he said. “Unfortunately that's also when I started to get some serious injuries in my career. The highlight without a doubt was trialing at Juventus; it was something I will never forget. Their facilities and their players are just absurd and that really opened my eyes to what you need to aim for and what you should aspire to be.”
Sciascia has played with some fantastic players in his time at the club, and has been coached some of the best coaches in the state, but when asked about the player and coach who had the biggest influence on his football, he was quick to answer. “I think as far as players and coaches go, I've been blessed over my years. I've had nothing but top blokes both on and off the field,” he said. “If I had to choose I'd say that Graham Normanton is the most influential coach I've had at PSC. He picked me out of the reserves and offered me my debut, even though he thought I was 21 at the time. But even more so he was the kind of coach that has the ability to make or break a player. He was very successful as a coach for a reason and I believe that he's made a huge difference to the way I applied myself in games and never gave up.”
“As for players well I have had so many mentors it's hard to pick out a single player. But the ones that have been the most influential are Robbie Puca and Antonio Naglieri. I remember my father always telling me to watch Robbie in games as he was the master of not losing the ball. His commitment to the club and the game was second to none and that's probably the most important thing Pucs taught me. Nags was just a miracle worker in the midfield. We all know his first time balls are phenomenal and I honestly think he's one of the richest (skill) players this league has ever seen. I cannot thank the names above enough for the player they shaped me into.”
Current Perth Coach Taki Nicolaidis said Sciascia will be missed. “Robbie was an amazing player, who had plenty of skill and pace. He was very comfortable on the ball and his pin point crossing was amazing to watch,” he said. “He had a great attitude towards the game and had a strong work ethic. He was also very much a team player and very popular amongst the player group. He will be missed.”
So what is next for Sciascia? “Well I'm already teaching so I guess sooner or later coaching will be knocking at my door,” he said. “I'm definitely going to be showing my face around the club still, it is after all my footballing home. When I eventually recover from injury I presume I'll be playing a bit of Futsal...you know more ball less running wink, wink.”
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND EIGHT – PREVIEW
In week 8 of the PS4 National Premier League WA the match of the round is the evening game between joint league leaders Floreat Athena and fourth placed Perth SC at E&D Litis Stadium (7pm). The home side have started the season well, winning the pre-season competition and are still undefeated in the league, but they will face a huge test with the visit of Taki Nicolaidis’ side. Defender Dennis Galan said the win last week at Inglewood was a huge result, especially with the poor weather. “The conditions were terrible and it was difficult to play our style of football, so we went a bit more direct and we got the result,” he said. “They (Inglewood) played well, and they could say they were a little unlucky, but Dejan Aleksic had a blinder in goal to lead us to the three points.” The visit of Perth is always a big occasion at the club and Galan believes it will be another tough test. “We have played them twice this season and both games have been very intense and fast paced,” he said. “We know what to expect from Perth, they have good ball players through the middle of the park, so we will have to keep an eye on that. But we will go out and keep playing our brand of football and hopefully get the three points.” Floreat will be missing Blair McGowan and Lewis McMahon, while Galan and Clayton Arnez are carrying injuries but should be available.”
Perth Coach Taki Nicolaidis will have striker Ashley Rosindale available, as he makes a return to his former club, and he said it’s a huge game. “It's a very big game for both clubs. Athena have been in great form all season and playing with a lot of confidence and belief, and as I keep saying if we are to finish in the top few we need to be beating teams around and ahead of us,” he said. “They (Athena) beat us fair and square in the NS and we beat them in the FFA cup, so with plenty at stake I'm sure both clubs will be going out to make sure they come away with three points.
Stirling Lions will be hoping for a repeat of their FFA win when ECU Joondalup make the trip to Macedonia Park. The Lions won 2-0 on that occasion, but defender Steve Purton said he expecting a tough game against a strong ECU side, and hoping to carry on their form, and a last gasp win at Subiaco last week. “The performance at Subiaco was great for us, especially conceding a late goal in terrible conditions, and we still had the determination to go on and win the game,” he said. “It was a statement we sent out, yes we are a good footballing side, but we can also grind out a result.” ECU hasn’t won in two games, but Purton said they have plenty of quality in their side. “They are a well organised team that is capable of beating anyone on their day,” he said. “We will approach the game as we have been in recent weeks and we defiantly won’t be taking them for granted.” The Lions will be missing Brodie Martin who is on his honeymoon, and Purton said he has been fined for this, and they will also be without Lawrence Shuruma who is overseas, while ECU will be sweating on the fitness of skipper Jon Higgins.
Paul Price’s first home game in charge of Armadale is the visit of Inglewood United to Alfred Skeet Oval. The Reds are unbeaten in their last two games, including a hard fought 2-2 draw last week at ECU Joondalup, in Price’s first game at the helm. Skipper Reece Davies said the confidence in the side has risen and said they were unlucky not to come away with the victory last week. “The result was good, and we were in the game for the whole 90 minutes and could have come away with the win,” he said. “We’ve shown great fighting spirit in the game after going behind twice, and it shows we are improving.” Davies said they have worked hard on the track with the new coach and is confident they can win their first game of the season against Inglewood. “We played them (Inglewood) in the Night Series and they looked a good side,” he said. “But we just have to focus on our game and make sure we defend well and take our chances when we get them. We’ve drawn our last two games and believe we can get the three points on Saturday.”
In other games Bayswater City travels to the Inglewood Stadium to take on Perth Glory, looking to keep their lead at the top of the table intact. Brian Farrell is in doubt with an ankle injury, while Bor Bor Sam will come up against his former club for the first time, and said they can’t take them lightly. “The game should be interesting because they are always pumped when it comes to playing Bayswater,” he said. “They always lift and treat it like a Cup Final, so we know we have to be on our game.” Balcatta will be looking to turn around a three game losing streak when they travel to Percy Doyle Reserve to meet Sorrento. Alex Caniglia will not be available for Balcatta, after he signed for NPLVIC side Richmond for the rest of the season, but Kieran Colwell, Shazalee Ramlee, Hanafi Ghazali and Blamo Qua Qua are all available. Sorrento will be without Niccolo Sabatini, who has returned to Italy, and Todd Harnwell is struggling with injury, but they do get Lewis Hall back from a hip injury. In the final game Subiaco AFC entertain Cockburn City at Rosalie Park. The home side will still be without the injured Ian McMurray and Rory Feeley, while skipper Nathan Diaz is suspended, but they will be hoping Danny Milne is fit to start. Cockburn will be missing Eamon McNelis and Euen Grant, but Jesse Fuller looks set for a return.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SIX – PREVIEW
The Match of the round in the All Flags Division one is local derby between Ashfield and Shamrock Rovers at the Ashfield Sports Club. Shamrock was leap frogged by Ashfield last week and Coach John O’Reilly is looking for an improvement from his side on Saturday. “I was disappointed with our performance in the first half against the Knights, but we improved in the second, and I think the draw was a fair result on the day,” he said. “Saturday will be another tough game for us, but one we’re looking forward too. We have lost and drawn our last two games so we will be eager to improve on this.” Ashfield coach Paul Dundo said Saturday will be a tight encounter but said they are getting better each week. “Last week was a good away win, in wet and windy conditions. I was very happy with the result and a clean sheet,” he said. “This week’s game is going to be a cracker, two teams who have ambitions of taking out the title, so it’s a chance for both sides to make a statement,” he said. “It’s on our home ground, so I know the players are up for the challenge, and it’s the clubs VIP Day, so that should add to the fixture.” In team news Shamrock are at full strength, but Ashfield will be missing Gary Hill, Nick Davies and Ruben Tristao, but Vice-captain Jay Lang is available for selection.
It’s top v bottom at Forrest Park when the unbeaten Joondalup United host Morley Windmills. United headed South last week and beat South West Phoenix and keeper James Bosdet said it was great performance from the side. “I thought we deserved the win, we wasted many chances In front of goal and could and should have killed the game off in the first half,” he said. “However with the Phoenix being a quality side they pushed us all the way and almost snatched a point in the final moments with two great chances, but a counter attack goal in the final seconds secured the win for us.” Bosdet is expecting a tough game on Saturday, with Morley fighting for their first points of the season. “I don't think there is an easy game in this league. We recently played Gosnells who have not recorded a point so far and was a very difficult game which they would of felt hard done by coming away with nothing from the game,” he said. “We will go into the game like any other and we will know that they will come out firing. Hopefully we can start well which we have been doing so far and continue the run that we are on.” United will have Adam Buckley pushing for a starting spot after returning off the bench last week.
Mandurah City will be looking to keep tabs on the league leaders when they take on UWA Nedlands at the Hyundai Stadium. The Dolphins won on the road last week and midfielder Jordan Rhodes said it was a good team performance. “Canning isn’t an easy place to play, the pitch was small and the conditions weren’t good but to keep in touch with the leaders we need to adapt and keep our consistency,” he said. I have no doubt they (Canning) will take points of other teams at the top over the course of the season s we’re happy to come away with the win.” UWA fought out a 3-3 draw last week at Dianella, and Rhodes said, in this league if you’re not on your game you will pay. “That was an interesting result last week, and they will come to our place looking do the same,” he said. “If we can match their intensity early, I believe our quality will shine through, but we will have to earn it.” Craig Young is still unavailable, while UWA have a number of players under a injury cloud.
In other games Western Knights entertain Canning City at Nash Field, Gosnells City host South West Phoenix at Walter Padbury Reseve, while Swan United goes in search of another three points when they host Dianella White Eagles at the Swan Italian Club. A first up win last week against Gosnells City has given The Swans a boost and defender Fraser Burt said the win has taken the monkey off their backs. “It was great to finally get the first win, and we played really well in the first half and should have gone into the break with more goals,” he said. “The second half was more like an arm wrestle but we worked hard to see it out.” Dianella are a talented side, but Burt said they take confidents into the game. “It’s another key game for us, against a good side, but we will be looking to win it,” he said. “We’ve been playing good football and we will be looking to build on this and get the points to move up the table.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SIX – PREVIEW
League leader Rockingham City makes the trip to Raphael Park to take on Curtin University, in the Match of the Week in Week Six of the All Flags State Division Two. Last week Rocky won the top of the table clash against Quinns and Coach Rob Crerar said they played some good football. “It was a great win against a good Quinns’ side, and we had to work for it,” he said. “We went a goal behind and showed real character to fight back in difficult conditions.” Crerar rates this week’s opponents, and said it will be a tough trip. “I rate Curtin highly, they are still in my eyes one of the favourites for the top two spots,” he said. “I’m sure they will be disappointed with their start and will be doing everything to get the win on Saturday.”
A last minute goal denied Curtin last week at Balga, but Coach Campbell Ballantyne said it was a fair result. “It’s the second week in a row we have conceded an equaliser with the very last kick of the game, which is difficult to swallow, however in this instance it was probably a fair result,” he said. Ballentyne said Rockingham are the team to beat this season, but said Curtin are ready for them. “This week’s game is going to be another tough game. We’ve had two great games against Rockingham last year, and this weekend’s game will be the same,” he said. They have had a cracking start to the season but we have genuine belief that we can beat anyone if we play at our best.” In team news Rockingham regains the services of Matt McDonald, Alex Gayson, David Clark and Papa Kptar, while Curtin has Carlo Chellini and Rory Binnie back in the squad, but Bryce Young is still in doubt.
In other games Kelmscott Roos entertains Wanneroo City at Frye Park, the visitors are at full strength, but Coach Matt Debarro will have to watch from the stands after being sent from the bench last week. Quinns host Melville City at Gumblossom Park; Ellenbrook United makes the trip to Hilton Reserve to meet Fremantle City, while Balga take on Joondalup City at Princess Road Reserve.
The final game sees Olympic Kingsway hosting the in-form Forrestfield United at Kingsway Reserve. Olympic midfielder Andy O’Neill was on target last week in the draw at Wanneroo, and he said the new look side are getting better each week. “Our intensity and fight showed in the second half and we managed to score twice to take a point, and we were happy with our efforts,” he said. “We have a new side and are beginning to gel and we are looking forward to Saturday’s game against Forrestfield, to see how far we have come.” He is expecting another tough game against Rod Banjac’s side, who sit in second spot on the table. “They are definitely one of the teams to beat this season, and have players with the potential to play in higher leagues,” O’Neill said. “If we play and show the determination we’ve shown in the last two weeks I think we can take the points. I think our form has surprised a few people this season and we will be looking to do the same on Saturday.” The home side are at full strength, while Forrestfield are hoping Jimmy Duncan can shake off injury to start.
GLORY TERMINATES HERSI CONTRACT (courtesy perthglory.com.au)
Perth Glory FC can confirm it has mutually agreed to terminate the contract of winger Youssouf Hersi, effective immediately. Hersi made eight appearances for Perth Glory FC, before tearing his right hamstring during the Round eight match against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.
The 32-year old Ethiopian-Dutchman has since flown to Holland during the season break, to be close to family. "I would like to thank the club and the fans who have all been a great support for me this year" Hersi said. Perth Glory FC would like to thank Youssouf for his contribution and wishes him the best of luck in his next football chapter.
TIME FOR BALCATTA TO GET MOVING (courtesy thewest.com.au)
Former Birmingham City goalkeeper Clint Davies has been around the game for long enough to know that Balcatta can climb through the ranks of the PS4 NPLWA. But he also knows that there is no time to waste. After an unbeaten four-match run at the start of the season, Balcatta have lost three in a row heading into Saturday’s match against Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. In seventh place, Balcatta are 11 points off the pace but are capable of closing the gap, according to Davies. “This is a huge game for us and we’ve got to get a result,” he said. “We have to start winning games again. We know we’re underachieving with what we feel we can do and we’re really focused on Saturday.”
Davies, who spent 10 years playing overseas, starting as a youth player with Birmingham and spending time at Bradford City and Bristol City, expects Sorrento to be fired up after last week’s heavy loss to league leaders Bayswater City. Danny Dixon and David Heagney scored two goals each and Brian Farrell was also on target as Bayswater extended their goal-difference lead over second-placed Floreat. “I’m sure Sorrento will react well; most teams do when they’ve been beaten like that,” Davies said. “They’ll be physical and in our faces, which is good because it will make sure we’re up and running. They’re a good side. They’re always in and around the top three or four teams and it will be a test for us.”
Surprisingly, the 32-year-old, who played junior soccer at Whitfords and Kingsway, is in just his second season in WA’s top flight, despite having returned to Perth from England five years ago. At the time, he could not commit to top-flight soccer with his focus on ensuring his English wife Mari-Anne settled in Perth. “My life was football in England and when we came back it was more about setting ourselves up and thinking about a career,” Davies said. He enjoyed his time at then second-tier club Wanneroo City before switching to Balcatta last season. The recent arrival of baby Millie has added another dimension to Davies’ life but he remains committed to Balcatta. “I’m really enjoying it; enjoying the banter and we’re all putting the hard work in,” he said.
GLORY UP FOR BAYSWATER CLASH (courtesy nplwa.com.au)
Perth Glory coach John Gibson says his young side will relish the prospect of taking on the PS4 NPLWA’s benchmark club on Saturday. Glory will again be without promising striker Joe Knowles when they take on high-flying Bayswater City at Inglewood Stadium, but Gibson expects his players to rise to the occasion. “It’s a massive test for the players but it’s also an exciting challenge,” Gibson said. “They are coming up against guys who are previous A-League and NYL players; they’re the best team and have been the benchmark in the competition for a few years now.”
Knowles, who scored 10 goals in the last National Youth League season, has not played since Glory’s ANZAC Day draw against Floreat Athena and is likely to be out for up to six weeks with a foot injury. He has made only three appearances this season and scored a hat-trick against Armadale in Round 2. “It’s a big loss for us because goalscorers are hard to come by and Joe is a typical goalscorer, who’s been progressing really nicely,” Gibson said. “It’s hard on young players when they’re injured because they all want to be out there, but he’s a resilient sort of kid.”
Stefan Valentini, who has scored twice this season, will continue to lead the line. “It’s another opportunity for Stefan, who’s a real handful and has been working really hard,” Gibson said. Former Liverpool junior Tom King is likely to return the Glory squad after recovering from a quad injury, while 16-year-old Michael Mcdougall may again be included after making his debut as a substitute against Perth last week. While Glory’s focus is on the development of young players, results have been hard to come by with a win and a draw from seven matches leaving them second from bottom in the 12-team competition.
Bayswater sit top of the table, ahead of second-placed Floreat Athena on goal difference. Last week’s 5-0 thrashing of Sorrento was an ominous warning with new signing Danny Dixon scoring twice and 2013 McInerney Gold Medal winner David Heagney also helping himself to a double in the win. At Rosalie Park, where Subiaco will host Cockburn City, a moment’s silence will be observed to acknowledge the recent passing of long-time Cockburn supporter and sponsor Peter Mirco.
IMPORTANCE OF ARMADALE CLASH NOT LOST ON PAVLOVIC (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Steely defender Jovo Pavlovic considers this weekend’s clash with bottom-of-the-table Armadale the perfect opportunity to re-launch Inglewood United’s season. Results so far this winter have more often than not gone against Michael Garcia’s team, which is locked in the bottom half of the National Premier Leagues ladder.
Over the past fortnight the player group has taken stock of their position and, together with the coaching team, mapped out a path forward. Pavlovic, who joined Inglewood during the off-season, says it won’t be long before results begin to go in their favour, and what better time to start that than now.
“It’s a must-win game for us,” asserted Pavlovic ahead of Inglewood’s visit to Alfred Skeet Oval on Saturday. “We’ve not had the best of starts to the season and we need to take points where possible, and Armadale is one those games. For us to take anything less than three points this weekend will be unacceptable.”
Armadale may be winless from seven starts but the recent appointment of former Wales defender Paul Price to the head coach role has renewed their enthusiasm. “It would be dangerous for us to underestimate them,” commented Pavlovic, who is tipping a tough 90 minutes. “They will be going out hard to get anything from this game.”
Pavlovic insists Inglewood is much better than their currently ranking of ninth suggests. “We deserve to be at the higher end of the ladder,” he said. “We’ve shown we can match it with the leagues better teams but so far we have nothing to show for it. You look at where we stand on the table and it really frustrates you.”
Despite that frustration, the player group remains upbeat and confident of climbing up the NPL standings. “It should only be a matter of time before we get things rolling,” said Pavlovic. “We haven’t clicked yet in terms of going forward, attacking and scoring goals. That will come in due course, and when it does it could be frightening.”
MATILDA’S THRASH VIETNAM
Australia will head to the upcoming Women’s World Cup with an added dose of self-belief after trouncing Vietnam 11-0 in their final pre-tournament hit-out. The Matilda’s raced out of the blocks by scoring eight times inside the half-hour, including a stunning six-goals in nine minutes at Sydney’s Kogarah Oval. Striker Michelle Heyman snared a hat-trick while there were doubles for Samantha Kerr and Lisa De Vanna. Katrina Gorry, Laura Alleway, Emily van Egmond and Caitlin Foord were also on the scoresheet.
LYONS NAMED EVERTON 'GIANT'
Everton have honoured their Perth-based former captain Mike Lyons overnight at the club's player of the year awards ceremony. The Premier League club named Lyons as their latest "Giant", inducting him into their hall of fame. A fearless centre-half, Liverpool-born Lyons played for the Toffees 390 times during the 1970s and early 1908s, scoring 48 times. Lyons has been in WA for more than a decade and has coached at Stirling Lions and Cockburn City, as well as helping bring through a number of talented youngsters at ECU Joondalup.
DE VANNA NAMED MATILDAS CO-CAPTAIN
Veteran striker Lisa De Vanna has been handed a leadership role for the first time by being named the Matilda’s co-captain for next month's Women's World Cup alongside Clare Polkinghorne. De Vanna, who has enjoyed a distinguished international career since making her Matilda’s debut in 2004, said being given the responsibility of co-captaincy is an honour she admitted brought her to tears. “I was a little bit shocked when I was told I would be a captain, I’ve been in this team for a very long time and a lot of the girls know how passionate I am and how much I go out and play with my heart on my sleeve for this team, so when Staj (coach Alen Stajcic) told me I was going to be a co-captain I cried,” said De Vanna.
De Vanna, 30, said she will draw on all her years of experience in captaining the side. “I’ll be the type of captain that people can rely on when things are down, and when things are great that I’m going to keep pushing them,” she said. “I like to lead by example through my actions on the field so hopefully I can do that for the team at the World Cup. I love what I do and I love playing for my country, and to go out there and lead my country with the talented team we’ve got, I honestly believe this team can go all the way and leave a legacy.”
TOMBIDES CONFIRMS WEST HAM DEPARTURE
The Tombides family will no longer be represented at West Ham United after Taylor Tombides revealed he will be leaving the club at the end of the season. Tombides, 19, made the announcement that he will be looking for a new club next month after being released by the Hammers via twitter. "I'm sad to say I will be leaving West Ham United at the end of the season," he wrote. "It's been a pleasure to play for the Hammers.
Tombides went on to thank the London club for the support it had given his family during the period in which his elder brother Dylan, a fellow Academy member, passed away. "I can't thank everyone at the club enough for giving me the chance to play at such a great club and can't thank the staff and the fans enough for the support you have given me and my family while going through the loss of my brother."
Earlier this year Tombides, who has been representing Hull City's academy in recent weeks as he seeks to earn a contract, launched the DT38 Foundation in memory of his brother. The organisation campaigns to raise awareness and provide support for those suffering from testicular cancer, the disease which cost his brother his life in 2014.
ATHENA EASE PAST INGLEWOOD
Floreat Athena kept pace with league leaders Bayswater City with a 3-1 win against Inglewood United, at Inglewood Stadium on Saturday evening. Skipper Ludovic Boi opened the scoring just after the half hour, but the home side levelled through Kenny Keogh before half time. But Clayton Arnez edged Floreat back in front, before another goal to Boi wrapped up the points. “We have had seven games now and win six of them,” midfielder Kris Gate said. “Glen (Grostate) keeps giving us point targets and so far we have matched them. The next three games will be our toughest run and hopefully we can carry on our goal scoring form into them.”
Fresh off their first win of the season, Inglewood opened brightly but it was Floreat who opened the scoring on 32 minutes. Boi picked the ball up midway into the Inglewood half and skipped through a number of tackles and raced into the penalty area and finished low past Aleks Vrteski. But their lead was short lived as the home side levelled seven minutes later. Ryan Clarke’s through ball sent Keogh clear and he finished clinically past Dejan Aleksic.
Both sides had good chances before the break. First up David Sesay failed to find the target after being picked out by the lively Scott Witschge, before Vrteski had to be alert to save low from Bobby Wilson’s effort.
The home went close to take the lead early in the second half, with Keogh’s back heel saved superbly by Aleksic. But on the hour the visitors regained their advantage. Dennis Galen played a great through ball to Arnez, whose first touch took him clear of his marker and he finished with aplomb past Vrteski. The points were wrapped up 11 minutes from time. A poor clearance from Vrteski went straight to Boi, who raced forward, rounded the keeper and finished into an empty net.
ASPDEN SHINES IN COCKBURN WIN
Cockburn City keeper Curtis Aspden returned to the side and was in great form in the 3-1 win against Balcatta at Dalmatinac Park. The WA State keeper produced a number of saves, while goals from Rory Patterson, Friday Zico and Harry O’Brien saw Cockburn home, while an own goal from Alan Carroll was the only reply for Balcatta. “We had a hard draw at the start of the season, but we have been awful and hopefully this is the kick start for us,” Aspden said. “We have a lot of experience in the spine of the team, but we also have some younger players who are learning their trade, and hopefully they can grow in to it.”
The home side were ahead on 26 minutes, Patterson saw his first shot blocked by Balcatta keeper Clint Davies, but the striker was quickest to the rebound firing home to give Cockburn the lead. However, their lead only lasted for 10 minutes. A short corner caught Cockburn napping, and Adrian Caceres cross into the area flicked off Cockburn defender Alan Carroll to level.
Cockburn came out the better after the break, Carroll heading over early, before Julian Teles blazed over on 56 minutes. Aspden came to his sides rescue on the hour, Gustavo Catarcione crossed to Caceres, whose effort was superbly saved by the Cockburn keeper. That save became more significant when Cockburn regained the lead on 74 minutes. Patterson’s deep cross found second half substitute Zico, who headed home.
Balcatta pressed for the equaliser, and they thought they had found it six minutes later, but Aspden had other ideas. Patrick Quinn’s cross from the right deflected off Devon Gibson, and it was heading for the corner of the net, but Aspden produced a stunning reaction save at his near post. The points were made save for the home side in stoppage time. Zaw fed Patterson’ who unselfishly pulled the ball back to O’Brien who scored from five-meters.
BAYSWATER THUMPS THE GULLS
Bayswater City produced a magnificent performance to thrash Sorrento 5-0 at Frank Drago Reserve. Danny Dixon and David Heagney both scored braces, with Brian Farrell scoring the other, as City maintained their lead at the top of the table. “I thought the first half was pretty even, even though it was 2-0 at half time,” Dixon said. “We changed the formation at half time and in the second half the game opened up a lot for us and I thought we dominated and took our chances well.”
Sorrento opened brightly and had a couple of early chances, but failed to convert. The best fell to Jason Mirco, whose close-range header was well saved by Devon Spence. But their profligacy in front of goal came back to hurt them with City opening the scoring on the quarter hour. Gustavo Giron-Marulanda played a great though ball for Farrell, who slotted the ball home into the bottom corner of the net. Sorrento had chances to level, but Mirco headed wide, and Thomas Boss saw his long-range shot pushed wide by Spence. But again Bayswater produced the goods and doubled their advantage before the break. Borbor Sam made space down the left, and cut the ball back to Dixon who finished low past James Morgan.
The home side took control of the game and added a third six minutes after the break. Sam was the provider again, his cross was deflected onto the post by a Sorrento defender and Heagney was quickest to react to fire home from close-range. Then on the hour it was 4-0. Giron-Marulanda ball fell to Dixon, who fired home from the edge of the penalty area via the post. The scoring was wrapped up eight minutes from time. Heagney was brought down in the area and referee Matt Southern pointed to the spot. Heagney picked himself up and sent Morgan the wrong way from the spot. It could have been worse but Morgan saved twice late to deny Declan Hargreaves and Sam in the closing minutes.
PRICE OPENS WITH A POINT
New Armadale coach Paul Price opened his tenure at the club with a hard fought 2-2 draw against ECU Joondalup at the ECU Football Stadium. Tommy Amphlett had given the home side the lead early, but Danny Hodgson equalised on the half hour. 15-year-old Bayley Montgomery came off the bench to put ECU back in front but a stunning strike from Caleb Dixon shared the spoils. “I thought on the day we could have taken all three points, but everyone was happy with a second draw in two weeks and it's something we can build on,” Hodgson said.
The home side was on top early and should have hit the front on 15 minutes. Paul Miller sent Amphlett racing clear, and was one-on-one with Armadale keeper Dylan Wilson, but the striker fired wide of the target. But seven minutes later he made no mistake as ECU hit the front. Amphlett latching on to a though ball and lobbing the on-coming Wilson. Armadale hit back and were level on 31 minutes. The lively Hodgson burst into the penalty area and was brought down by Ryan Lowry, and referee Josh Mannella pointed straight to the spot. Hodgson picked himself up, but ECU keeper Jamie Serra produced a great save, but Hodgson was quickest to react to the rebound firing home to level.
It was a tight opening to the second half, with chances few and far between, but the home side went close on 69 minutes. Stuart Montgomery had only been on the pitch for a minute, and his header from Joe Smith’s cross was heading for the corner of the net, but a great reaction save from Wilson denied him. Youngster Bayley Montgomery, who had trials with Aston Villa earlier in the year, was a constant threat and the youngster gave ECU the lead with his first NPL goal. Lowry ball found him, and his first touch took him clear and he finished clinically past.
Armadale hit back immediately; Dixon was given far too much space in the middle of the park, and his long-range shot flew into the corner of the net giving Serra no chance. Both sides had chances late. Dixon caught the ECU defence napping, and headed goalwards, but Lowry got back with a last ditch tackle. Then in injury time Stuart Montgomery seized on a mistake from Wilson, but saw his shot cleared off the line.
LIONS LEAVE IT LATE AT SUBIACO
Stirling Lions continued good start to the season after a 3-2 win against Subiaco AFC at Rosalie Park. But they left it very late with the winner coming in the second minute of stoppage time with an own goal from the unfortunate Alex Triglaucania. David Micevski had given the Lions the lead early, but James Oliver levelled before half time. Lawrence Shuruma but the visitors back in front, but Danny Milne looked like he had earned the home side a point late on before the own goal. “It was a scrappy match, but I thought over the course of the 90 minutes we did create more opportunities and deserved the win,” Micevski said. “We showed great character after they equalised, to keep pushing forward to get the late winner.”
The visitors had the great opportunity to take the lead when midfielder Anthony Bafobusha was brought down in the box, and referee Adam Fielding pointed straight to the spot. Robert Petkov stepped up, but saw his penalty crash off the post and away to safety. But that miss was forgotten on 25 minutes when the visitors hit the front. Petkov ran at the Subiaco defence and slid the ball into Micevski, who finished clinically past Ryan Montgomery. The Lions continued to dominate, but couldn’t find the second, and in the shadows of half time the home side levelled. Oliver’s free kick was misjudged by Lions keeper Connor Campbell and the ball went into the net to make it all square at the break.
Subiaco keeper and back four were working overtime as the Lions pressed but there was little they could do five minutes after the break as the Lions regained the lead. Shuruma lost his marker in the penalty area and finished low past Montgomery. But Gerry McEwan’s side hit back and with five minutes remaining they levelled. Import striker Milne finding the net, much to delight of the Subiaco faithful. But their celebrations were cut short in stoppage time, when the Lions won it. There looked little danger when a ball came into the area, but Miki Vujacic’s flick caused problems and Triglaucania headed the ball up and over the keeper and into his own net to give the Lions the points.
ATHENA EASE PAST INGLEWOOD
Floreat Athena kept pace with league leaders Bayswater City with a 3-1 win against Inglewood United, at Inglewood Stadium on Saturday evening. Skipper Ludovic Boi opened the scoring just after the half hour, but the home side levelled through Kenny Keogh before half time. But Clayton Arnez edged Floreat back in front, before another goal to Boi wrapped up the points. “We have had seven games now and win six of them,” midfielder Kris Gate said. “Glen (Grostate) keeps giving us point targets and so far we have matched them. The next three games will be our toughest run and hopefully we can carry on our goal scoring form into them.”
Fresh off their first win of the season, Inglewood opened brightly but it was Floreat who opened the scoring on 32 minutes. Boi picked the ball up midway into the Inglewood half and skipped through a number of tackles and raced into the penalty area and finished low past Aleks Vrteski. But their lead was short lived as the home side levelled seven minutes later. Ryan Clarke’s through ball sent Keogh clear and he finished clinically past Dejan Aleksic.
Both sides had good chances before the break. First up David Sesay failed to find the target after being picked out by the lively Scott Witschge, before Vrteski had to be alert to save low from Bobby Wilson’s effort.
The home went close to take the lead early in the second half, with Keogh’s back heel saved superbly by Aleksic. But on the hour the visitors regained their advantage. Dennis Galen played a great through ball to Arnez, whose first touch took him clear of his marker and he finished with aplomb past Vrteski. The points were wrapped up 11 minutes from time. A poor clearance from Vrteski went straight to Boi, who raced forward, rounded the keeper and finished into an empty net.
PERTH TAKES THE GLORY AT DORRIEN GARDENS
Perth Soccer Club maintained the pressure on the league leaders after a 2-1 win against Perth Glory at Dorrien Gardens. Perth striker Nick Ambrogio gave the home side the lead in the first half, before Carlo Coelho doubled their advantage early in the second half, while Ali Gholami scored the Glory’s consolation goal in stoppage time. “The boys played well against a strong Glory side, but we stuck to the game plan and came up with the win” Ambrogio said. “We managed to make some good chances up front and do enough to hold them off, and it’s good to get back to winning ways after last week’s draw at Sorrento.”
The Glory youngsters went close to the opener on 20 minutes, Jacob Collard’s long-range free kick beat Alex Dunn, but the crossbar came to keepers rescue. Perth settled and was rewarded with the lead on the half hour. Skipper Clark Keltie’s cross picked out Ambrogio at the back post, and the young striker headed home past Jordan Franken. Both sides pressed before half time, but at the break the home side led 1-0
Perth doubled their advantage eight minutes into the second half. Ambrogio was again involved, he picked out Mark Pritchard, the midfielders shot was well saved by Franken, but Coelho was the quickest to react to fire home from close-range. To the Glory’s credit they continued to take the game to their hosts, and Nic Talimdzioski went clear through with only Perth keeper Dunn to beat, but the Perth custodian stood tall to save.
Moments later Stefan Valentini was played through by Slobodan Vulin, but again Dunn was equal to the task and saved well. The Glory was finishing the game well, and Spaseski long-range shot flashed just wide, and in stoppage time they pulled a goal back. Vulin’s free kick wasn’t dealt with by Dunn and Gholami bundled the ball home from close-range.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FIVE – REVIEW
Joondalup United continued their perfect start to the season with a 3-1 win against South West Phoenix at Payne Park. Lee Jones scored a brace for United, with Adam Buckley scoring the other. Phoenix’s goal was scored by Lee Stewart. The visitors had the better opportunities in the first half, but Jamie Oakley in the Phoenix goal was in fine form to deny them. He saved well to thwart Arron Maplestone and Callum Stocks, but he could do little when United hit the front, Jones racing clear and firing clinically past the keeper. The home side levelled on the stroke of half time, a stunning strike from Stewart giving United keeper James Bosdet no chance. After the break the home side were on top, but couldn’t turn their possession in to goals, but United showed them how do it midway through the half. Substitute Adam Buckley, who was back in the squad after breaking his foot in the Night Serie, and with his first touch fired home after good approach work from Nicky Sharples. With the home side chasing the game they were caught out again, with Lee adding his second, much to the delight of the travelling supporters. “It was really a game of two halves,” United Coach John Evans said. “It was a very competitive game, played by two very committed teams, and I thought Phoenix played really well second half, and they were a credit to Trent (Hathaway) and the coaching staff. “
Mandurah City moved up to third on the table after a 4-1 win against Canning City at Burrendah Reserve. The visitors were ahead on the quarter hour, Jordan Rhodes latched on to a chested down ball from Craig Tone, to fire home from long-range. It was 2-0 four minutes later, Abe Tcuono cutting in from the right and fired home from five-meters. Tcuono added his second and City’s third five minutes into the second half, after great though ball from Rhodes. Daniel Trevisiol pulled one back for Canning, but the points were wrapped up late when Jeff Bright scored. “We controlled the game for long periods, although Canning kept playing and pushed us,” said Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh. “They are not an easy team to play against, but I thought our lads really played for each other and the work rate and quality of play was exceptional in challenging conditions we are delighted with the three points.”
UWA-Nedlands came away from Dianella Reserve with a 3-3 draw against Dianella White Eagles. Kim Mengbom gave the visitors a 2-0 early lead at the break, but Andreas Angel levelled midway through the half. Alex Kretowicz put UWA back in front with five minutes remaining, but the visitors were reduced to ten men when Kapembwa Sikazwe received a second yellow card. Then late Dianella equalised through Cesar Gonzales, to take a share of the spoils. “In fair both sides were fairly even, while the weather and pitch did know favours for any team,” UWA Coach James Rae said. “We have to lift now for the away test against Mandurah, which we are looking forward too.”
In other games Swan United won for the first time this season, beating Gosnells City 2-1 at the Swan Italian Club. A brace from Nick Phipps won it for Salv Todaro side, while Luke McCord scored for Gosnells. Ashfield travelled to Wotton reserve and came away with a 2-0 win, with goals either side of half time by Liam Merigan. In the final game Shamrock Rovers and Western Knights fought out a 1-1 draw at Grimley Reserve. The visitors were ahead at the break with C. Thurston scoring, but the home side hit back to level in the second half. Paul Concannon whipped in a corner and Dan Corbett got a slight flick and a Knights defender put it in his own net.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FIVE – REVIEW
Balga continued their resurgence under new coach Bobby Taneski after an entertaining 3-3 draw against Curtin University at Princess Road Reserve. A 94th minute equaliser from Dinko Ahmetanovic rescued the point for the home side that are unbeaten in their last three games. Eddie Tikoft had given Curtin the lead after only 12 minutes, finishing from a corner. Balga pressed hard for the equaliser for the rest of the half, but they found Curtin keeper Ranjeet Sekhon in good form. But there was little the Curtin custodian could do when Balga levelled early in the second half, Dimce Taneski firing home after a goalmouth scramble. The home side were ahead on the hour, with Kye Middleton putting the ball into his own net. But second half substitute Khaled Salhah restored parity with 10 minutes remaining, firing low past Ollie Rigler. The visitors thought they had won it in on 88 minutes, Smith bundling the ball home from close-range. But with the last kick of the match Balga got there deserved point. Ahmetanovic’s free kick beat Sekhon, and crashed off the upright and into the net to set off wild celebrations from the Balga players and supporters alike.
The Northern derby between Wanneroo City and Kingsway Olympic at Wanneroo Reserve also ended in a 3-3 draw. The home side dominated early and Tom Black scored early before Stuart Siddall headed home a second at the near post. Tom Kilkelly’s side was back in the game before half time, with Andy O’Neill scoring. The hosts regained their two goal advantage with Black added his second, before O’Neill scored his second to set up a tense finish. Then late on Kingsway won a penalty for handball and Ian McKean fired low past Cory Hugo to give both sides a share of the spoils.
In other games Forrestfield United beat Fremantle City at Hartfield Park, with Ben Rogers and Chris Perrott on target, while Rockingham City won the top of the table clash against Quinns 3-1 at Lark Hill. The home had to come from behind after Quinns scored early, but an own goal, and others to Shane Boyle and Gersham Rowland gave the home side the points. “I was really pleased with Saturday’s win in really difficult conditions,” Rockingham coach Rob Crerar said. “To come back from a goal down showed the character in our group and that our younger players are maturing.” Melville City thrashed Kelmscott Roos 7-1, with Christian Long bagging a hat-trick, with others from 3, Thomas Jeges, Logan McIsaac, Simon El Chami and Blake Readwin. In the final game Joondalup City beat Ellenbrook United 6-2. Mark Thornton scored a hat trick, Bobby Irving a brace and Danny Welsh the other.
MACLAREN WANTS OUT
Young striker Jamie Maclaren has lodged a formal breach-of-contract notice against Perth Glory as he seeks to leave the embattled A-League club. The 21-year old submitted the notice to the Professional Footballers’ Australia union on Thursday in the latest fallout for Glory following their ban from this season’s finals series due to salary cap breaches. Maclaren, Glory’s second-highest scorer last season with nine goals, is believed to have lost faith in his chances of a regular starting role under coach Kenny Lowe while Irish striker Andy Keogh remains at the club.
RUKAVYTSYA, MADASCHI AND WARD RELEASED AS WESTERN SYDNEY SWING THE AXE
Just three years after they came into existence Western Sydney Wanderers are virtually starting from scratch again after sacking ten players. Socceroos striker Tomi Juric, crowd favourite Kerem Bulut and veteran goalkeeper Ante Covic head the list of departures which includes West Australians Nikita Rukavytsya, Nick Ward and Adrian Madaschi, foundations players Iacopo La Rocca and Jason Trifiro along with Antony Golec and Nick Kalmar. It comes a week after the club re-signed coach Tony Popovic to a three-year contract extension.
GLORY’S DUNCAN OFF TO DENMARK
Perth Glory have confirmed reserve goalkeeper Jack Duncan has signed for Danish club Randers FC. Duncan impressed the Randers coaching staff during January trials sufficiently enough to be offered a two-year contract with the club. “It's a really exciting time for me,” Duncan said. “I feel over the last five years in the A-League I have really developed and been lucky to now have an opportunity to further that development overseas. The Danish league is quite strong and I feel that this move will help me grow as a player.”
Duncan, an Australian youth international, will fly to Denmark early next month to complete a medical with the club before joining the start of the European pre-season in July. The loss of the 22-year old could leave Glory with a massive hole to fill between the posts given the uncertain future of ‘keeper Danny Vukovic. It is understood Vukovic is disgruntled with Glory’s handling of the salary cap scandal and has been targeted by rival A-League franchises in the Eastern States.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND SEVEN – PREVIEW
It’s week seven of the PS4 National Premier League WA and Cockburn City and Balcatta will be looking to kick start their season’s when they meet at Dalmatinac Park. Cockburn looked impressive in the Night Series but have struggled in recent weeks and are coming off back-to-back 4-0 defeats, while Balcatta haven’t won in their last four games. Balcatta midfielder Marc De Francesch said both sides will up for the game and searching for the points. “Both Cockburn and ourselves are coming off two defeats, and will be looking to turn their seasons around, he said. “They (Cockburn) are always a tough game, especially at their place, so we are expecting a hard-fought game.”
The midfielder said Cockburn have quality all over the park and expects them to rebound, but hopefully not this week. “They have had a tough start to the season and know at their best they can beat any side in the league,” he said. “We didn’t come across them in the night series, but they are a well organised side that play the ball well and are very dangerous on the counter with pacey wingers and fullbacks, so we will have to be on our toes from the first whistle.” In team news Adrian Caceres will be putting his hand for a starting role, after coming off the bench last week, while Kieran Colwell is back in training after missing the last three weeks, but Hanafi Ghazali is in doubt with a groin injury. Cockburn City welcome back keeper Curtis Aspden and Jesse Fuller, but will be without Euen Grant and Eamon McNelis due to injury.
Inglewood United won for the first time this season last time out, and this week they entertain joint league leaders Floreat Athena at the Inglewood Stadium. Midfielder, Matt Izzo, believes the win last week will kick start their season but knows Floreat are a good side. “It will be a tough game, but we are growing in confidence and gelling as a team with each game going on, and shouldn't be wrote off just yet,” he said. “Personally I feel good about the way the team and I have been playing lately so if we just keep that up the goals will come.”
Armadale new Coach Paul Price’s first game in charge is a trip to the ECU Sports Stadium to take on ECU Joondalup. The Reds won their first point of the season last week at Subiaco, while ECU was thrashed at Floreat. ECU midfielder Joe Smith is expecting a tough game especially with a new coach joining them. “I believe Armadale will be a tough test for us this week, as we know they are a hard working side, and are still very hungry for their first win,” he said. “The appointment of a new coach will also be a huge boost for them, and after seeing our result last weekend there will come here thinking they have a real chance. Last weekend was pretty shocking. We did have the chances to grab a couple of goals in the first half but the bottom line is if you conceded four goals in the NPL then chances of winning are very slim. Overall it simply wasn’t good enough all over the field as a team and we are more than aware we have got to bounce back and put things right this weekend.” In team Charlie Comyn-Platt pulled up sore from last week, but should be fit, likewise Armadale midfielder Caleb Aquano.
In other games Perth SC entertains Perth Glory at Dorrien Gardens. The visitors will be missing Joe Knowles for the trip; the striker is out for the rest of the season with stress fracture in his foot, while Ashley Rosindale is unavailable for the home side, with Nick Ambrogio coming into the squad. Sorrento defender Ryan Pearson will miss the trip to Frank Drago Reserve to take on Bayswater with a fractured arm, and Danny Cain is suspended, while Bayswater are at full strength. Stirling Lions have a full squad to choose from for their trip to Rosalie Park, while Subiaco welcome back Danny Milne and Rory Feely, but will be without skipper Nathan Diaz, who was sent off last week.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FIVE – PREVIEW
The Match of the Round in Week Five of the All Flags Division One is Shamrock Rovers home game against Western Knights at Grimrey Oval. Rovers were beaten for the first time last week, but midfielder Paul Concannon said they are looking to bounce back. “It’s a very important game for us this week. After a loss it is imperative we bounce back with a positive performance and a good result to get us back on track,” he said. “Every team will lose games throughout the season, but it is how you respond to that loss which will count come September.” The Knights are in good form and level on points with Rovers, and Concannon knows it will be a tough test. “Knights always have a competitive team, with a lot of good players and we are really looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “After a defeat and a long drive home from Mandurah, all you think about is the next game and how you can make amends and improve, and we will be aiming to do that on Saturday.” In team news Will Pender is back after injury, while import Graham Caffrey is available after international clearance came through this week. Knights team news?
League leaders Joondalup United make the long trip down to Bunbury, to meet South West Phoenix at Payne Park. “We are going for a very attacking side this week, looking for goals,” Phoenix Coach Trent Hathaway said. “They (Joondalup) don’t seem to know how to lose, but we need to change that on Saturday and keep in touch with the top sides.” Jordan Prosser and Scott Geare are back in the Phoenix squad, but Ryan Stewart will miss this week. Joondalup Coach John Evans’ side head south and is expecting a tough game. “We go into the game unchanged and looking to continue our good start to the season,” Evans said. “It’s another big test for us, but we are really looking forward to it. They (Phoenix) are a n established team, and have beaten a talented Mandurah City 4-0 a few weeks ago, so we know on their day they are a very good side.”
In other games Mandurah City make the trip to Burrendah Reserve to take on Paul Oliver’s Canning City. “We have a number of injury concerns, that could leave us very short this week,” Oliver said. “Also we have quite a few carrying minor knocks and only training lightly.” Callum Roberts and Chris Holland are in doubt, while Ante Jukic is suspended. Craig Young will be missing from the Dolphins side for the visit and Coach Doug Hesketh knows it will be a tight game. “We’re expecting a tough game on Saturday, and Paul is doing a top job so far, and they have a young side,” he said. UWA-Nedlands entertain Dinaella White Eagles at the UWA Sports Park. Israel Tan is out for the home side, and Coach James Rae has four other squad members struggling with injury. “This will test our depth, especially against a strong Dianella side,” Rae said. “It looks like we will have at least four players unavailable due to injury, which will give other squad members an opportunity to shine.”
Ashfield make the trip to Wotton Reserve to take on Morley Windmills. Ashfield will have Nick Davies back from injury and new signing Ash Corker from Floreat available for selection, but Jay Lang is still out. In the final game two sides still looking for their first points of the season meet, with Swan United hosting Gosnells City at the Swan Italian Club. “City Coach Rob Eldridge said they go there in confidence after a good performance last week against Dianella and the boost of signing Darren Gamble. “We’re looking forward to getting him match fit and back in action, he’s a proven goal scorer that should make the difference for us,” he said. “We gave a great account of ourselves last week, but a dubious first goal after a foul on young Michael Ellis went against us, but with some more clinical finishing could have got a result. Saturday is a vital clash, with both sides looking for our first points of the season, and we hope to leave with all three.” The home side will be without Connor Boland, while Nathan Scully is doubtful.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FIVE – PREVIEW
The Match of the Round in the All Flags Second Division is league leaders Fremantle City trip to Hartfield Park to take on Forrestfield United. Fremantle are the form team in the league but defender Ty Fenwick said it will be a tough game, like all the games have been this season. “I believe all games this year are going to be tough, and Saturday will be no different. Forrestfield have had a good start to the season, but we are looking forward to the challenge, and our main focus will be to continue playing our brand of football,” he said. “We are happy with our start to the season, (except the one game), and the way we are playing football at the moment, so we head there full of confidence. However they are a very strong side and will not be taking anything for granted on the weekend.” In team news Keeper Adam O’Neil is again missing, and a number of players will be facing late fitness tests. Forrestfield striker Ben Rogers has returned to football with a bang, and the former state player scored a hat-trick last week and is enjoying football again. “I’m coming back from a long absence out of the game and I'm starting to find form and fitness again which is great for my confidence, hopefully I can get another hat-trick this weekend, and with our attacking quality the chances will always come, I just have to make sure I'm on the end of them,” he said. “I'm really looking forward to Saturday, it looks like we are starting to find some good form and It should be an exciting attacking game. Playing at home will give us that extra edge and hopefully we come away with the win. In team news United have a full squad to choose from with Will Tshabangu and Jimmy Duncan both returning from injury.
In other games the inform Balga hosts Curtin University at Princess Road Reserve. “We’re at full strength and there's a good feel around the club again and the concentration is all on the next game,” keeper Ollie Rigler said. “We've worked solidly on cutting out the careless mistakes that could cost us points on the weekend and the boys are looking sharp and dangerous in training.” Joondalup City and Ellenbrook United meet in a local derby at the Iluka Sports Complex, Rockingham City entertains Quinns at Lark Hill, while Melville City and Kelmscott Roos meet at Len Shearer Reserve. In the final game Wanneroo City and Kingsway Olympic also meet in a local derby at Wanneroo Reserve. “After a disappointing performance against a very good Fremantle team we are looking to bounce back in our local derby. The team was really disappointed with last week’s performance so I am confident they will be fired up for Saturdays clash against a Kingsway team coming in off a great result against Melville,” Wanneroo Coach Matt Debarro said. “I'm looking to my senior players to step up and take responsibility and lead by example, we need to bounce back with a strong result to stay on track in what is a tight start too the season.”
THE PRICE IS RIGHT FOR ARMADALE
Former Sorrento and Western Knights senior Coach Paul Price has been appointed as Coach for bottom of the table PS4 National Premier League WA side Armadale. Price had successful stints at Percy Doyle Reserve and Nash Field, while coaching in WA, and also played over 400 games for club and country (Wales) between 1971 and 1988 including lifting the FA Cup with Tottenham Hotspur in 1982. Price will be joined at the club by Tony Castiello, who will be his assistant, and Price spoke exclusively to footballwa.net, and said the challenge to lift the Reds was something he couldn’t turn down. “People who know me know I love a challenge, and they don't come bigger than Armadale at the moment,” he said. “The club are struggling at the moment, and the results show that, with one win in last 35 league games. It is going to be tough as Tony and I have to try and change that around to ensure Premier League football for Armadale next season. I watched them last week at Subiaco and they should have won that game, but there are things to work on. I will meet the players tonight (Thursday), and we will be doing our best, and if the players do that as well, we have a chance.”
The club expressed their thanks to interim coach Peter Lord and assistant Kevin Brophy for their work, since Lee Bamber resigned earlier in the season, and in the statement a club spokesman said; “On behalf of the club, committee and its members, we would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to Peter Lord for his hard work recently in an interim player/coach role. He has re-energised the playing group both on and off the pitch, and cemented himself further as a true stalwart and a man who can be relied on and trusted in all things at Armadale. Peter has worked with the committee to plan the new appointment, which will enable him to focus on playing and providing his experience and leadership on the field going forward.” In addition, the club would also like to recognise the efforts of Kevin Brophy (currently Assistant Coach) over the last 4 seasons at Armadale. The committee of Armadale Soccer Club look forward to working with the new coaching team and are confident that members and supporters will get behind the club as always starting with this Saturday’s trek north to play ECU Joondalup.
LIONS IN SAFE HANDS
It’s been a long wait for a spot in the first team, for Stirling Lions’ keeper Connor Campbell. But all his hard work and dedication has been rewarded with the number one jersey at Macedonia Park this season. With the likes of Cory Hugo and Aleks Vrteski between the sticks at the club over the past four years, the 20-year-old custodian has had to bide his time but, after getting the nod this season he has impressed. “I’m pleased that my hard work has paid off,” Campbell said. “I have been with Stirling since Under 15’s, and have being training with the first team squads ever since then. Gaining experience from keepers like Cory and Aleks has definitely helped me get to this level, and I’m pleased with how I‘m playing; I just need to keep improving and become more consistent.”
The Lions have started the season well, and it’s been a new look side on and off the park. Campbell said things are ticking along nicely. “We defiantly have a fresh looking team compared to previous years, and we are gelling both on and off the park well,” he said. “I think we learnt early on in the night series that we could score goals, though we just needed to tighten the defence up, which we have done with the likes of Tim Hill, Nathan Bowden-Hasse and Steve Purton working well together and the new addition of Anthony Bafobusha has fitted in well. I feel like we have surprised a lot of people early in the season which is good, but we need to become more consistent and find the ability to grind out results if we are having an off day, if we are to be real title contenders.”
Lions assistant Coach Dejan Vilic said Campbell has worked hard on his game and deserves his spot in the side. “Young Connor has been great in goals for us this season. He is still young and in the coming years he will only get better and stronger,” he said. “Kid has come through our junior ranks from 15’s all the way to our league side and as a young player it’s great to see, both for him and the club. Robbie and I believe in him, and I can see a bright future for him as long as he keeps working hard.”
Campbell said new coaching duo Robert Mileski and Vilic have been great to work with, and said they are the complete opposites. “What’s the saying, good cop bad cop, that’s them to a tee,” he joked. “Dan is great during games, always making sure we are switched on, keeping the intensity up and he is always good for a spray at half time if we are playing poorly. “I have known Rob for a long time now and he is a great coach, he has always supported and shown faith towards me, so I am pleased that he has been given the opportunity as head coach, and that I have been given the chance to play for him.”
The keeper started football late, when he was 11 years old at Balga SC, and then moved to Stirling at under 15s and been here ever since, and has learnt a great deal while at the Lion’s Den. “While at the club I worked with Paul Turvill, and he has been a great coach and mentor to me, and has had the biggest influence on my keeping, he has basically taught me everything I know,” Campbell said.
This week the Lions travel to Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco AFC, and will be looking to keep their push up the table going. “I hope we can keep this good form going, it’s a crucial game for us to keep the pressure on the top sides,’ he said. “But we can’t be complacent when it comes to Saturdays game, because they are fighting to stay out of relegation, fighting for pride I guess, so the focus for us, which I’m sure Dan and Rob will emphasizes will be mentally preparing, making sure that we ‘turn up’.”
GILL DISAPPOINTED WITH WORLD CUP OMISSION
Perth Glory Women striker Kate Gill has expressed her bitter disappointment at being omitted from the Matildas squad for the next month’s Women’s World Cup in Canada. Gill, who is Australia’s all-time leading goalscorer, was hoping to resurrect her World Cup ambitions after being cruelly denied a place in 2011 when she injured a knee on the eve of the tournament. But the W-League’s Golden Boot award winner was informed on Saturday that she would not be included in coach Alen Stajcic’s 23-player squad, which was announced yesterday.
“It’s deeply upsetting and disappointing to think that I won’t be part of this World Cup,” said Gill. “I’ve worked hard with the squad over the last four months and felt fit and ready to represent my country in Canada. I’m extremely fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity to play for the Matildas for almost 12 years but I dreamt of that fairy tale send off. I wanted to go out winning a World Cup with the Matildas and this would’ve been the last chance for me.”
Gill, who was the AFC Asian Women’s Player of The Year in 2010, said Stajic told her last weekend that she would not be in the squad. “I understand that at every level of the game coaches make decisions they think are right for the team and for the circumstances, and you have to respect those decisions,” Gill said. The Matildas have been drawn in a tough group which includes world number two the United States, fifth-ranked Sweden and African champions Nigeria.
Despite her disappointment, Gill will pay close attention to the progress of the team, which includes Glory teammates Samantha Kerr, Mackenzie Arnold, Caitlin Foord and Alanna Kennedy. “I’ll be watching with interest and hope that the girls can show just how far the women’s game has come,” Gill said. “If the team performs well in Canada it can help inspire more young girls to start playing our game.”
Gill’s 12 goals last season were instrumental in the most successful season in Glory history. The team won the Premiers Plate and were beaten in the Grand Final by Canberra United. The 30-year old, who is also Sponsorship Executive for Football West, is eyeing a future in sports administration, although she has not yet hung up her boots. “There’s a really bright future for the women’s game in Australia and I want to continue to play a part in that, whether on the field, off the field or both,” she said.
MACLAREN IS GLORY FANS FAVOURITE
Perth Glory are proud to announce 21-year old striker Jamie Maclaren as the winner of the 2014/15 Supporters’ Player of the Year Award. Glory fans voted Maclaren as the Supporters’ Man of the Match five times during the A-League season. Maclaren scored nine goals from 20 matches and finished the season on a high, bagging a hat-trick against Melbourne City in round 26 and the following week scoring a stunner Western Sydney Wanderers. "The fans have been awesome this season, and to hear my name chanted by them makes me want to give back" he said.
Maclaren was also the April nominee for the NAB Young Footballer of the Year which was won by Adelaide United's Jimmy Jeggo at the annual Hyundai A-League awards last night. “It’s a humbling experience to be named as one of the best young prospects in the country” he said. “Congratulations to Jimmy Jeggo - he had an outstanding year. I’d also like to thank QBE for its ongoing commitment to the club for another year and helping Glory engage with our fans through the Supporters’ Man of the Match competition”. Maclaren and the rest of the squad are enjoying a month off, before the pre-season begins in mid-June.
KERR AND COMPANY IN WORLD CUP SQUAD
Four Perth Glory Women players along with West Australian-born Lisa De Vanna and Lydia Williams have been included in the Matildas squad for next month’s Women’s World Cup. Striker Samantha Kerr, goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold, defender Alanna Kennedy and midfielder Caitlin Foord make up Glory’s star quartet made Alen Stajcic’s 23-player alongside De Vanna (Melbourne Victory) and Williams (Washington Spirit).
Stajcic believes the team is capable of producing an attacking style of football on the biggest stage in women’s football. “We have selected a positive squad with players that have a strong belief that they can go into any game and win,” Stajcic said. “The emphasis since we came together in January has been on expressing our Australian culture and the things this country is renowned to bring to any sporting contest, things like positivity, backing yourself and really taking it up to the opposition.”
Stajcic believes the squad is more than capable of progressing from a tough group consisting of the United States, Sweden and Nigeria. “Whether it’s keeping possession and playing out from the back and controlling the tempo, to the fire power we have up front, we are confident we have all of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that go into producing the mindset we need when we take the pitch,” Stajcic said.
Australia’s squad for the Women’s World Cup in Canada is Melissa Hudson (Adelaide United), Laura Alleyway, Tameka Butt, Larissa Crummer, Katrina Gorry, Elise Kellond-Knight, Clare Polkinghorne, Hayley Raso (Brisbane Roar), Michelle Heyman, Ashleigh Sykes (Canberra United), Steph Catley, Lisa De Vanna (Melbourne Victory), Emily van Egmond (Newcastle Jets), Mackenzie Arnold, Caitlin Foord, Alanna Kennedy, Samantha Kerr (Perth Glory), Nicola Bolger, Leena Khamis, Teresa Polias, Kyah Simon Servet Uzunlar (Sydney FC) and Lydia Williams (Washington Spirit).
HODGSON READY FOR THE FIGHT AT REDS
It’s been a disappointing start to the 2015 season for Armadale, and the club is still searching for their first win of the season, but new signing Danny Hodgson is looking forward to the fight to keep the Alfred Skeet Oval side in the NPL next season. The English striker or midfielder has started off well at the club and with the arrival of new coach Paul Price, he believes they have the talent to stay up.
Hodgson arrived in WA last season from the UK and after a couple of games in the First Division with Dianella White Eagles, made the move to the Reds. “The move is good for me, and I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “I think the NPL is a good level for me to play, I think that all the lads are determined to win games and I'm sure that we will. The Intensity at training is second to none; hopefully the results in the next few games will show that our hard work will pay off.”
The decision to move from Dianella was a difficult one for Hodgson, but to play in the top flight football in the state was a huge plus for him. “I was settled there, and was enjoying my football, and all the lads were great and easy to get along with, so to leave was a difficult decision for me,” he explained. “But obviously when I came from the UK my main aim was to play at the best level I could. So after training with Armadale for a few weeks, the manager said they'd like to sign me so that was a positive for me and I'm happy that I have a move to Armadale.”
The 19-year-old has played at Carlisle United for all of his football, and also represented Great Britain under 17’s against Malta as a 17-year-old. But the move down under came when he met up with another WA player at the club. “I've played for Carlisle all my life, until last season when I didn't get a new contract,” he said. “I did my scholarship at the club with Bayswater’s Danny Dixon and that's who recommended me to come and play out here, and I’m really enjoying it and looking forward to the up-coming season.”
TAGGART ON GLORY’S EXTENSIVE WISH LIST
Perth Glory have made a recruiting pitch to Socceroo Adam Taggart in a bid to convince the striker to return to his old A-League club next season. Glory boss Kenny Lowe has travelled to Britain as part of an off-season recruiting drive as Glory try to make up for a wasted season ruined by penalties for salary cap breaches. Lowe is understood to have opened discussions with 21-year old Taggart. Glory are keen to lure the goal scorer back to Perth to create a formidable partnership up front with Irish international Andy Keogh.
Taggart signed with Fulham on a three-year contract in June last year. However, he has not made an appearance for the English Championship club and is understood to be open to a return to West Australia. Taggart earned selection in Australia’s World Cup team last year and played in losses to the Netherlands and Spain. He is a proven performer at A-League level, having won the competition’s Golden Boot award after scoring 16 goals in 25 appearances for the Newcastle Jets during 2013/14.
Glory are believed to have also made contact with Socceroos midfielder Scott McDonald. The 31-year old has spent the past decade playing in England and Scotland, including a successful three-year stint with Glasgow giants Celtic where he scored 65 goals. The approaches have been made as Glory prepare to lose several players in the fall-out from being banned from this month’s A-League finals series.
SORRENTO LET IT SLIP LATE
A last minute goal from Perth SC midfielder Andreas Theodosiades has earned Perth SC a 2-2 draw against Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. Todd Harnwell had given the home side the lead before Ashley Rosindale levelled. Jack Salter put the home side back in front, and it looked like the winner until the late strike.
“The point today was good for us,” Sorrento midfielder Jason Mirco said. “They (Perth) are a good side and haven’t given a lot away this season, and we took the game to them from the start. We feel a little bit hard done not too take all three points, but it’s still a positive result and we’ll take confidence from that going forward.”
The home side was still looking for their first home win of the season and they made a perfect start with the opening goal on 14 minutes. Niccolo Sabatini’s low cross picked out Todd Harnwell in the box, and he finished low past Perth keeper Alex Dunn. The home side’s lead lasted for only nine minutes, with Perth hitting back. Rosindale wasn’t closed down and he cut inside the penalty area and fired home clinically past James Morgan.
Then in the shadows of half time Jamie Harnwell’s side regained the lead. Slater found space in the penalty area to fire home. Chances were few and far between after the break, but Sorrento should have extended their lead with three minutes remaining. Sabatatini’s perfectly flighted corner found Steve McDonald, but the big defender’s headed flashed just wide of the post.
It looked like Sorrento would end Perth’s long unbeaten away record, but in in the final minute they found the equaliser. Theodosiades intercepted the ball just outside the penalty area, and the pocket rocket midfielder wasn’t closed down and he strode forward and buried his low shot past Morgan, much to the pleasure of the visiting supporters.
BOI WHAT A GOOD WIN BY ATHENA
A four goal blitz before half time has given Floreat Athena a stunning 5-1 win against ECU Joondalup at the E&D Litis Stadium. A hat trick from skipper Ludovic Boi, including an audacious lob from the half way line, and others to Bobby Wilson and Clayton Arnez saw the home side home, while Tommy Amphlett scored the consolation goal for ECU.
"The boys put in a performance against a very good team,” Floreat coach Glen Grostate said. "What we did was outplay them. They deserved the goal at the beginning, but when we got going we were very good. We're slowly building a decent squad and we're getting a good run going."
Floreat made the perfect start to the game with a goal after only three minutes, and what a goal it was. There looked little danger when Boi picked the ball up on the half way line, but he spotted ECU keeper Jamie Serra off his line and his lob dropped over the custodian’s head and into the net.
It was a huge blow for the visitors but they hit back and levelled six minutes later. Jon Stynes saw his header crash off the crossbar and Amphlett fired home the rebound from close-range. But the home side then went on a goal scoring spree scoring three goals in eight minutes to take total control of the game.
First on 17 minutes Arnez was given far too much space in the area and fired low past Serra. Three minutes later Boi added his second, when he was left all alone from a corner to fire home. Then Wilson added a fourth on 25 minutes, the defender shot on the turn, beat Serra after a free kick was nodded down to him.
A shell shocked ECU coach Dale McCulloch made a triple change at the break and they were more competitive after. They had a couple of half chances but Floreat keeper Dejan Aleksic was up to the task. The scoring was completed two minutes from time, with Boi completing a memorable hat-trick, with a shot that bounced over Serra.
LIONS CONTINUE COCKERELS PAIN
Stirling Lions maintain their recent good form, and added to the pain for Marc Anthony’s side, with a 4-0 win against Cockburn City at Macedonia Park. Teeboy Kamara gave the home side the lead after only nine minutes, before a brace from Daniel Micevski and one from skipper Miki Vujacic wrapped up a comprehensive victory.
“It was one of those games where we all seemed to click at the right time and we scored early which took a lot of the pressure off us and then the two goals just before half time virtually killed the game off,” said midfielder Tim Hill. “They had a few chances but we were very solid all over the park and scored at the right times and probably should of had a few more, but we played really well and everything's coming together nicely at the moment.”
It was a tight opening and the visitors went close on eight minutes, Harry O’Brien weaved his way through a static Lions defence, but keeper Connor Campbell stood tall to deny the winger. That save became more important as in the next attack the home side hit the front. Steve Purton’s ball sent Kamara clear, and he lobbed the ball over Jack Adams and into the net.
Cockburn, who have not won since the opening round, looked to hit back and Conor Kavanagh’s volley was well saved by Campbell. But the Lions took control and scored two goals in three minutes before half time to break the game wide open. First on 38 minutes, Micevski burst clear from Lawrence Shuruma’s through ball and finishing well past Jack Adams. The midfielder added his second three minutes later, lashing home Anthony Bafobusha’s cross.
The home side continued to take the game to Cockburn, and they were rewarded with a fourth on the hour. Describe goal. To Cockburn’s credit they continued in search of a goal and O’Brien, Feisal Zaw and Julian Teles went close, but Jack Adams was working overtime at the other end, the Cockburn custodian made a number of saves to keep the score line respectable.
TEN MAN SUBIACO DENY THE REDS
Armadale have earned their first point of the season, after a 0-0 draw against a ten man Subiaco AFC at Rosalie Park. The Reds were unlucky not to take all three points home, after having the better of the chances, but their profligacy in front of goal let them down.
“For 90 minutes we were the better side, the clean sheet is a lot to build on, we just need to go and put the ball in the back of the net,” Armadale skipper Reece Davies said. “It’s a point on the board, and we have got to push on. We will train Tuesday and Thursday and work on a plan for ECU, and go there with the same attitude and hopefully bring home our first win of the season.”
Armadale were on the front foot early, and after four minutes Celeb Dixon’s cross from the right was headed wide by Darren Francis. Moments later Jackson Bealey sent Faustino Machochi racing down the right, he cut inside his marker and his shot from the edge of the penalty area crashed off the crossbar.
It was one-way traffic, and on 11 minutes Machochi cross picked out Danny Hodgson, whose volley from six-meters, was superbly saved by Ryan Montgomery. In their first real attack on the quarter hour, Subiaco took the lead. Joshua Booysen made space down the left, beat his marker, but his shot was touched onto the post by the alert Dylan Wilson.
The home side made a shocking start to the second half when they were reduced to ten men five minutes in, Nathan Diaz was shown a second yellow card from referee Stephen Gregory, and was sent off. Armadale looked to make their numerical advantage count, and Hodgson’s shot from the edge of the penalty area was saved low by Montgomery, before the Subiaco custodian saved substitute Mitch Castrilli’s deflected shot.
Subiaco looked to hit on the counter attack, and almost nicked the points late. Jonas Dorling’s cross was headed wide Isaac Koomson. But it was the visitors, who pressed late, and Jake Sardelic cross from the left on 90 minutes found the unmarked Machochi at the back post, but his shot from a tight angle flashed wide of the target, and at the final whistle the points were shared.
KAY HEADS BAYSWATER HOME
Bayswater City had to come from behind to maintain their lead at the top of the table, after a 2-1 win against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. Former City striker Gustavo Catarcione had given the home side the lead early, before goals from Todd Howarth and skipper Trent Kay won it for Chris Coyne’s side. “I thought it was a good game, but overall I thought we deserved all three points,” Bayswater’s new signing Danny Dixon said. “We had plenty of chances in both halves, but we just couldn’t find the net in the second half to but the game to bed, and we had to fight to the final whistle to come away with the points.”
The home side made a perfect start against the league leaders, and was ahead on five minutes. Luke Randazzo took on two Bayswater defenders before slipping the ball to Paddy Quinn, whose first time cross was parried by Devon Spence, and Catarcione was on hand to fire home the rebound.
Bayswater upped the tempo and Balcatta keeper Clint Davies had to be alert to tip over Brian Farrell’s effort. Dixon was a constant threat and on the half hour his run and cross found Howarth, but the midfielder failed to hit the target.
But three minutes later there was little the Balcatta custodian could do when Bayswater levelled, Howarth made emends for his early miss firing home after good lead up play. Striker Borbor Sam’s pace was causing the Balcatta defence all sorts of problems, and his run and shot was superbly saved Davies. Then in first half stoppage time the visitors hit the front. Gustavo Giron-Marulanda made space down the left and drove the ball across the six-yard box, and Davies could only palm the ball out, and Kay who was quickest to react to fire home from close-range..
Balcatta pushed men forward looking for the equaliser after the break, and second half substitute Adrian Caceres went close on 71 minutes. The former City midfielder made space in the penalty area but his shot crashed off the post. Bayswater were defending deep and Balcatta could sniff an equaliser, and with five minutes remaining Spence made up for his mistake for the goal, with a great save to deny Adam Tong’s shot.
Striker Gustavo Giron-Marulanda said it wasn’t their best performance but a wins a win. “We started off a little slow and conceded the goal, but it was a wakeup call for us,” he said. “We created a number of chances but couldn’t convert them, but overall we’re happy with the win, we take the positives from the performance and move on to next week.”
UNITED HOME AWAY FROM HOME
Inglewood United has won their first game of the season, after a hard fought 2-1 away win against Perth Glory at their home ground, Inglewood Stadium. The ground is shared by both sides, but goals to Scott Witsche and a stunner from skipper Alex Clarke had Michael Garcia’s side in control, but a late penalty from Stef Valentini made the last ten minutes tense, but United hung on for the points. Inglewood coach Michael Garcia was unimpressed by his side’s sluggish start, and his half time address resulted in a dominant second half. “We were second to every ball in the first half, but in the second half we came out with a bit more drive,” he said. “We’ve played pretty well throughout the season without getting the result, but today we didn’t quite play as well, but came away with the points.”
Both sides had early chances, in an entertaining opening. United defender Scott Blackmore met Matthew Izzo’s corner on the quarter hour, but his effort was blocked by Glory skipper Jacob Collard. Then moments later United defender Jovo Pavlovic slide tackle was enough to deny Stef Valentini as the Glory striker was ready to pounce.
The Glory youngsters were taking the game to United and Collard saw his low shot saved by Aleks Vrteski. But it was Inglewood who went closest to the opener four minutes later. Witschge was left alone in the six yard box, and with the goal at his mercy the youngster side-footed wide. Glory keeper Jordan Franken then thwarted Clarke, before saving low from David Sesay late in the half.
Inglewood thought they had the lead early in the second half, with Abdul Sesay firing home, but his celebrations were cut short with the assistant’s flag was up for offside. But Inglewood’s pressure finally told, just after the hour, Witschge making up for his miss in the first half, cutting in from the right and firing past Franken.
The goal lifted the visitors and Pavlovic’s long-range shot whistled inches over the crossbar, and on 68 minutes they doubled their advantage, with one of the goals of the season. Clarke won possession on the half way line and raced down the right, before cutting in and superbly firing into the top corner of the net from long-range.
To the Glory’s credit they continued to press forward and they got themselves a lifeline on 82 minutes. The lively Valentini raced into the penalty area and fell under the challenge of Pavlovic and referee Josh Mannella pointed straight to the spot. Valentini stepped up to convert the penalty. It set up a tense final eight minutes, as the Glory pushed forward looking for the equaliser but Inglewood hung on for their first win of the season.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FOUR – REVIEW
Joondalup United moved to the top of the All Flags Division One table after a 2-0 win against Swan United at the Swan Italian Club. John Evans’ side, who are in their first ever season in Division One, are the only club with a 100% record in the top three flights of WA football. The visitors opened the scoring on 25 minutes. Arran Maplestone nipped in after a defensive mistake and sent Lee Jones clear, and the English striker calmly fired low past Alfie Brincat. The points were made safe 10 minutes later. Alex Wild worked hard down the left, crossed the ball to Jones in the penalty area through a crowd of players, and Jones’ first touch took him away from his marker and he slotted the ball in the bottom corner. “I was really pleased with the players’ performance as a group yesterday,” United Coach John Evans said. “We took a two goal lead into the second half, but we discussed at the break what we needed to do to keep them out of the game and the players went out and played to the instructions well. Salv (Todaro) has got a very young side there, and to their credit they did not stop working for the 90 minutes.”
Mandurah City moved into joint second spot on the table after a 1-0 win against Shamrock Rovers at the Hyundai Stadium. The only goal of the game came on 64 minutes. Second half substitute Joe O’Brien, who had only been on the pitch for four minutes, played a one-two with Craig Tone, before firing home from 10-yards. It was nearly two moments later, Jordan Rhodes’ 25-yard shot crashed off the crossbar. “Very pleased with the win, and clean sheet against the champions, “Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “Robbo and I are delighted with the intensity we played at and all round quality of play was excellent. We will enjoy today but back to work Tuesday and start again.”
Ashfield scored two late goals to beat South West Phoenix 2-0 at the Ashfield Sports Club. Alex Stamatiadis was the hero, coming off the bench with 25 minutes remaining and he scored the first in 89th minute. Phoenix had a corner and Ashfield keeper Johnny Perkins produced a stunning save and Ashfield hit on a quick counter attack, Kyle King took on two defenders and squared the ball to Stamatiadis who finished low past Jamie Oakley. With the Phoenix chasing the equaliser, the home side added a second in stoppage time. Stamatiadis racing clear of the offside trap and lobbed the ball over the oncoming Oakley to win it for Paul Dundo’s side.
A ten man Canning City beat UWA-Nedlands 3-2 at the UWA Sports Park. The visitors were ahead early, Callum Roberts scoring from the spot after Daniel Trevisiol had been brought down in the box. Roberts scored his second after a great team move, before Daniel Trevisiol made it 3-0 just before half time, after he calmly lifted the ball over the keeper. Dhamon Kalamaras scored two second half goals for UWA, to make it interesting and City had Ante Jukic sent off, but they hung on for the points. “Yes we got the three points which at the end of the day is all that counts but the performance was easily our worst display so far this season,” Canning Coach Paul Oliver said. “I set standards of how we perform on a Saturday and we fell way short of that. We will get back on the training ground, work hard and improve next week.” In other games Western Knights beat Morley Windmills 4-1 at Nash Field, with Ross Cosgrove, Paul Lloyd, Luka Jukic and Jeff Judge on target, while Dianella White Eagles won for the first time this season, with Spansih striker Angel Andres scoring twice in the 2-0 win against Gosnells City at Walter Padbury Reserve.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FOUR – REVIEW
League leaders Quinns suffered their first defeat of the All Flags Division Two season after they were beaten 3-2 by the improving Balga at Gumblossom Park. The visitors were ahead on 20 minutes, with Jimmy Taneski scoring, but Liam McGurk levelled five minutes before the break, tapping home from close-range. The home side hit the front just after half time through Jon McGahern, but they then had Jay Marsden sent off. Then on a quick counter attack Balga equalised through Lee James, and Quinns were then reduced to nine men when Callum Trayner was shown a second yellow card. Balga made their numerical advantage count with the winner with five minutes remaining. James sent clear from a neat through ball and he fired home much to pleasure of the visiting supporters. “It was a massive three points away from home for us,” Balga keeper Ollie Rigler said. “We showed tremendous character, patience, determination and belief that we could come away with the points.” The gaffer has given us the hunger and mind set to know we can put a stamp on the game and has let everyone know we're not here to make up numbers. The score line didn't reflect the way we played, and we should've taken a few more chance, but to come away with the win against a side that's had a very good start is great for us.”
Fremantle City and Rockingham City sit joint top of the table, as they both continued their good starts to the season. Monty Grigo and Shane Boyle were the scorers as Rockingham beat Kelmscott Roos 2-1 at Fyre Park, while Nicky O’Brien, Andrew Morrow and Danny Clapham were on target as Fremantle beat Wanneroo City 3-0 at Hilton Reserve. In other games Ben Rogers scored a hat trick after Forrestfield United beat Ellenbrook United 5-1 at Arbor Grove Reserve. Also on target for Rod Banjac’s side were Rhys Loxley and Jordan Hart. Kingsway Olympic moved up to fifth on the table after a 2-1 win against Melville City, at Kingsway Reserve. Brett Cutting and Ryan Fielder were on target for the home side, while Mark Lucas scored for City. In the final game of the round Curtin University and Joondalup City fought out a 1-1 draw at Raphael Park. It looked like the home side would take the points, after Nathan Smith had given them a first half lead. But in the 93rd minute the visitors snatched a dramatic point, with Rhys Booth scoring from a free kick, which gave keeper Ranjeet Sekhon no chance. “We are furious to have dropped two points with the last kick of the game,” Curtin Assistant Coach Campbell Ballantyne said. “We should have really put the game to bed before then, but that’s football.”
VUKOVIC SET TO LEAVE GLORY
The player exodus following Perth Glory's salary cap saga is set to begin with goalkeeper Danny Vukovic on the cusp of leaving the club. Vukovic, a former Australian youth international, is understood to be close to sealing a move to a rival A-league club with Western Sydney Wanderers among the potential suitors, pending his release by Glory. The 30-year old shot-stopper is one of the many players unhappy with Glory's fall from grace which saw the club expelled from this season's A-League finals as a result of salary cap breaches.
Should Vukovic depart, Glory will have to find a new ‘keeper with promising youngster Jack Duncan likely to move to Europe, Danish club Randers FC his likely suitors. Scott Jamieson is another player in demand, the left-back another player on the radar of Western Sydney. Young striker Jamie Maclaren has asked to be released from his contract, which runs to the end of next season, after being starved of starting opportunities. Glory will be forced to shed players in order to fit into next season's salary cap.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND SIX – PREVIEW
It’s Week 6 of the PS4 National Premier League WA and the pick of the round is league leaders Floreat Athena’s home game against ECU Joondalup at E&D Litis Stadium. Dale McCulloch’s side have a good record at the venue, and are unbeaten in their last three games. Defender Charlie Comyn-Platt believes they go their full of confidence. “Last week’s win against the Glory was a tough scrappy game, but they (Glory) are a fit and well organised side,” he said. “So it was a good win those sorts of game, it gives us confidence going forward, and Higgy’s free kick was quality too.” The veteran said Floreat are the big improvers this season, but he says they are up for the challenge. “Saturday is going to be another tough test for us. Floreat have got off to a great start and Glen (Grostate) has them motivated,” he said. “We have working hard in games and training this week has been up beat, and we go there looking for the three points.” The home side will be without the suspended duo Lewis McMahon and Blair Govan, who were sent off in last week’s win against Subiaco AFC, but will get back Ashley Corker for the game.
In other games Bayswater City takes on Balcatta in the Italian derby, and will travel to Grindleford Reserve looking to maintain their lead at the top. The wheels have fallen off Balcatta in recent weeks, and will need to be at their best to stop the Champions. They will be without the suspended Blamo Quaqua, while Bayswater are at full strength. Perth SC make the trip to Percy Doyle Reserve to take on the rejuvenated Sorrento. The Gulls moved up to fifth with their win at Inglewood United last week, but Perth will be confident, having won all games on the road with season. Reece Vittiglia will miss the return to his former club with injury, and Coach Taki Nicolaidis is expecting a tough game at ‘Windy Hill’. “This will be a tough one for us. Sorrento have been in really good form of late, and generally match up well against us,” he said. “As I keep saying if we are to finish in the top few in the league we need to be beating teams that are positioned around us and above us.”
Armadale will be looking for their first point of the season, when they make the trip to Rosalie Park to play Subiaco AFC. New signing Danny Hodgson was a standout last week, but Peter Lord’s side needs to start converting their chances, if they are to kick start their season. The home side will be without the injured trio, Rory Feely, Danny Milne and Ian McMurray. Perth Glory takes on co-tenants Inglewood United at Inglewood Stadium. The Glory will hopefully regain the services of Joe Knowles, and Henry Durr for the game, while Inglewood midfielder David Micevski is close to a return. The final game of the round is the clash between Stirling Lions and Cockburn City at Macedonia Park. The Lions haven’t won at home this season and skipper Miki Vujacic said they have to turn that around. “I think everyone at the club would like to see that trend reversed, but we have played two very tough teams at home, both of which were very tight derby games,” he said. “However Macedonia Park is our home and we need make sure that it is a tough place to visit and the only way to do that is to ensure we are defensively sound and clinical up top and the rest will take care of itself.” The midfielder said Cockburn are a good side and are not to be underestimated. “Cockburn are a very difficult side to play regardless of what their current form suggests. They've played the three best teams in the competition so far in Floreat, Bayswater and Perth, so you'll see them climb up the ladder over the next couple of months.” he said. “For us we'll be going into the game with the belief that we can get a result. We have a very young talented squad that is really starting to come together quite nicely. We are scoring goals, and creating loads of chances so hopefully we can convert more of them this week and stay within touching distance of the top three.” In team news Michael Pugliese and Kyran Nunes are again unavailable for the Lions, while Cockburn striker Rory Patterson returns from suspension, but skipper Eamon McNelis is still out.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FOUR – PREVIEW
It’s Week 4 of the All Flags State Division One, and the pick of the round is the clash between league leaders Shamrock Rovers and Mandurah City at the Hyundai Stadium, which kicks off at 5pm. The visitors are unbeaten this season and are coming off an 8-1 win last week, while Mandurah lost their only home game this season, 0-4 against South West Phoenix. But Rovers Coach John O’Reilly knows it will be a tough encounter. “I always ask my players to give me their best performance, and if they do that, then we are capable of beating any team on the day,” he said. “Last week was the best all-round performance of the season, and previous results are irrelevant. Mandurah will be looking to make up some ground on us, so we will not be underestimating their capabilities.” In team new Rovers regain the services of Steve Sheraton, but Will Pender and Graham Caffrey are in doubt.
Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh is looking forward to the game, and believes they are the team to beat this season. “We are all looking forward to the game against a good Shamrock side,” he said. “We want to improve on last season’s league position, that’s our main aim, and on the way develop some quality players ourselves. They (Shamrock) are playing some good football and John (O’Reilly) is a good coach. They are the current Champions and league leaders, so we go into the game as underdogs. Although you can’t underestimate anyone in this league as there are some very good teams across all teams. We are all very focused, and are ready for a huge test.”
Joondalup United will look to continue their good start to the season when they take on Swan United at the Swan Italian Club. Swan Coach Salv Todaro said despite the results his young side is heading in the right direction. “Results wise you could say that the start to the season has been disappointing, but we have played three of the favourites for the title this season,” he said. “I have a very young and developing team and have had six players make their senior debuts, with an average age of 21.5. I’m quite pleased with the improvement of the team and the players individually, and I’m confident that we will start getting results soon.” Todaro said the game against Joondalup will be tough, and they have started the season well. “They (Joondalup) have had a great start to life in Division One, and it will be another tough test for us. Their confidence will be high and they have some very good players,” he said. “But the boys have trained well this week and are looking forward to the challenge against the form team of the league.” In team news Conor Boland faces a late fitness test, after scoring twice on his debut last week, Matty Bonasera and Pearse McKee are also in doubt, but they do have Callum Burton pushing for start this week. Joondalup will again be without defenders Ross Edwards and Chris Tate due to injury, but striker Callum Stocks should be back after an ankle injury.
In other games South West Phoenix travels to Ashfield Sports Club to take on Ashfield. Last season they spoiled the party for Ashfield, winning the last game of the season to deny the home side the title, and Paul Dundo’s side will be looking to reverse that result on Saturday. Phoenix striker Bright Ababio is doubt for the clash, and Dillon Dorkin comes into the squad for the first time as cover, after impressing in the reserves and at training. Ashfield welcome back Graham Tough from suspension, however they will be missing Vice-captain Jay Lang.Western Knights host the winless Morley Windmills at Nash Field, while UWA-Nedlands will be looking to bounce back from last week’s heavy defeat when they entertain Canning City at the UWA Sports Park The final game sees Gosnells City hosting Dianella White Eagles at Walter Padbury Reserve. Luke McCord will return to the home side after injury and Coach Rob Eldridge said he is a great inclusion. “Luke came through a reserves game last week and he will add the muscle and firepower we have been looking for,” he said. “We have been competitive in all three games so far this season, and we will be going all out to get the three points on the board this week.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FOUR – PREVIEW
State League Two league leaders Quinns FC will be protecting a 100% home record on Saturday when they host Balga at Gumblossom Park. The visitors won for the first time last time out and Quinns’ midfielder Jay Marsden said they will be looking to continue their good form. “We are happy with how we are playing at the moment, but feel we can always improve,” said Marsden. “All the hard work the lads put in to the pre-season and in training sessions seems to be paying off now.” Marsden believes it will be a tough game, like they all are in the league, and he said they will not be taking Balga lightly. “We must go into every game with the same mentality and that’s play to the best of our ability, no matter who play,” he said. “No game this season will be an easy one, and Balga will be confident after their first win, so we need to be on our toes from the first whistle.” Quinns are at full strength for the game while Balga regain Lee James and keeper Oliver Rigler from suspension, while Abbas Sheikh, Gjorgi Kacurkov and George Duku are in doubt.
Second placed Wanneroo City are on the road this week, when they travel to Hilton Reserve to face Fremantle City. “It’s going to be a tough game as both sides have started the season well,” Wanneroo Coach Matt Debarro said. “All the players seem very focused at training and are ready for the challenge. We will go there and look to play our football on our terms and hopefully come home with the points.” In team news John Monterosso, Scott Campbell and skipper Luke Woodard return to the squad, but Daniel Agudelo and David McNally are unavailable, while Fremantle are at full strength.
In other games Olympic Kingsway host Melville City at Kingsway Reserve. The home side will be missing Ollie Hilton, Thierry Berard and Lee Thomas due to injury, but Coach Tom Kilkelly will regain the services of Garin Collins, Bill Kirkpatrick and Dejan Gurovski. Ellenbrook United host Forrestfield United at Arbor Grove Reserve, while Kelmscott Roos host Rockingham City at Frye Park. The final game sees Curtin University host Joondalup City at Raphael Park. Curtin striker Rory Binnie said they are looking to continue on their good start. “It's been a decent start from us, the playing group and coaches are pleased,” he said. “We are undefeated; however we really want to make sure we get the three points, especially at home. The football has been very pleasing in parts of the game however the team has not been looking after the ball well enough, which is why we have been working very hard in training on maintaining possession whilst bringing the ball out of defence into attack.” The game is too played at the clubs junior ground, and Binnie hopes it helps them on the day. “We have a full squad to choose from, and we are looking forward to the game this week, we are playing at the home base for our junior team, which is a smaller pitch than usual which I personally feel will work to the advantage of us,” he said.
GULLS ADDING FINESSE TO FIGHT (courtesy thewest.com.au)
Former Perth Glory star Jamie Harnwell has no intention of discarding Sorrento soccer club’s traditional battling approach for something less combative in the PS4 NPLWA. But the Gulls coach believes the team is already on the way to adding an attractive thread to the characteristics that have made it one of the competition’s toughest sides. “There’s been a misconception that we don’t play football and we’re trying to change that by getting out there and doing it,” Harnwell said. “We want to keep the fight and the character and we’re adding some good football to it. In the last couple of games, especially, we’ve done that. “We are a strong team and we are physical but we can score goals from anywhere and anyhow.”
Sorrento’s approach will be given a stern test on Saturday when they host Perth SC at Percy Doyle Reserve. Perth sit in third place, just a point above fifth-placed Sorrento five games into the season. “Perth have recruited very well and have a very good squad of players,” Harnwell said. “The likes of Clark Keltie, Mark Pritchard, Ash Rosindale and Reece Vittiglia, if he plays, can all cause problems. They’ll want to monopolise possession and so will we.” Harnwell, who played 256 games for Glory, retired from playing competitive football at state level in 2013 but recently reregistered with Sorrento.
The 37-year-old does not expect to be lacing up his boots any time soon but had been listed in the squad in case of emergency. “At this stage, I don’t expect to be playing,” he said. “I’m happy coaching and joining in training but if circumstances dictate, I may be needed.” Perth have lost just once this season – to champions Bayswater City – while they also dropped points in a 1-1 draw with Inglewood United. But against Balcatta last week they showed glimpses of the form they will need if they are to challenge for the title this season with Keltie, Pritchard and Dean Evans dominating in midfield.
Balcatta’s task gets no easier this week with the visit to Grindleford Reserve of Bayswater, who thrashed Cockburn City 4-0 last week thanks largely to Gustavo Giron Marulanda’s hat-trick. Struggling Armadale, who are rock bottom on the table, will be desperate for three points in their trip to Rosalie Park where they face a Subiaco side with just three points.
JONES SET TO LEAVE LIVERPOOL
Brad Jones is expected to leave Liverpool when his contract expires this summer. Reds manager Brendan Rodgers revealed last week that the club had opened discussions with Jones regarding a contract extension. However, it now seems likely the 33-year old shot-stopper is likely to move on at the end of the season. Liverpool are looking to add to their goalkeeping stocks with Socceroo Matthew Ryan (Club Brugge) and Norberto Neto (Fiorentina) among those linked to the club.
BLACKMORE REVEALS WINNING RUN IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Club captain Scott Blackmore has every confidence his team’s winless run will be ended sooner rather than later. The new season has so far been unkind to Inglewood United with the club taking a miserly three points from five National Premier Leagues outings and making an early exit from the FFA Cup.
Blackmore, who joined the club last year, says it is just a matter of time before Inglewood find their groove and start piling on the points. “We’re not far away from a few wins and a good run of form,” said the commanding centre-half. “Then we’ll start climbing up to a more respectable position on the table.”
“We are a quality side with bags of talent,” Blackmore added. “We just need to stick to our game plan and work harder on what we do off the ball. For the most part we’ve been pretty strong defensively, but with a little bit of luck at the other end we’ll start taking wins.”
Inglewood’s poor start to the league season has been impacted by a tough draw, with the game to date being against five of last year’s top six sides. “We’ve had a difficult and demanding opening,” Blackmore said. “All the teams we’ve played will be at the upper end of the table again this year.”
“We felt we could have taken all three points from the three games we’ve drawn (against Bayswater City, Perth SC and Balcatta). But we need to play like we did against those teams every week, rather than getting up for the big games and not turning up against some of the lower teams.”
Inglewood’s next opponent is Perth Glory, a team Blackmore knows cannot be underestimated. “Glory always produces a good team,” he said. “They like keeping the ball and are reasonably disciplined and that’s earned them some good results so far … we certainly won’t be taking them lightly.”
“I played with a number of their players when they were coming through at ECU Joondalup,” continued Blackmore, who played a dozen seasons with the northern suburbs club. “My little buddy Knowlesy (Joe Knowles) is on fire, so we need to keep him quiet.”
Spirits are high within the Inglewood camp heading into what is shaping up as a must-win game for the club. “We need points – plain and simple – otherwise we start losing touch and the season starts getting away from us, and it’s far too early for that,” Blackmore commented.
“None of us were happy with our performance last week (against Sorrento), we started very slow and played to their strengths,” he said. “We’ve had a good week on the training track, we’ve had a good chat about our direction as a team and we’re buzzing to get back out there to right the wrongs that we made last weekend.”
SAINSBURY SETS SIGHTS ON EUROPA AFTER CUP HEARTBREAK
Socceroo defender Trent Sainsbury has spoken of his heartbreak after his club PEC Zwolle was upset in the final of the Dutch Cup by FC Groningen. Zwolle were the favourites in the decider after winning the 2014 Cup final against Ajax, which Sainsbury missed through injury. But Albert Rusnak scored twice in the second half to seal the 2-0 win and claim FC Groningen’s first-ever piece of silverware.
Sainsbury, who came off the bench in the second half of Sunday’s final, had mixed emotions after the game. “It was a a range of feelings and emotions from emptiness to disbelief and anger,” he said. “It’s hard to describe losing such an important game. After the first half it was 0-0 and pretty even. Then they had a break down the right wing, the cross took a deflection straight to their player who hit a shot which deflected straight into the bottom corner.”
“The second (goal) was pure counter attack as we pressed for the equalizer. Three verses four at the back and they picked out the spare man who finished the move. At the end of the day I don’t think we showed our best. In the games that matter most you must produce your best or face an unhappy final whistle. It was a great opportunity missed personally, as a team and a club.”
Winning the Cup gives Groningen a spot in the Europa League, however, Sainsbury’s club will need to go through a play-off series if they are also to line-up in the competition. “Our focus will be to finish off the season in the highest possible position and set a new club record,” Sainsbury said. “Then we focus on playoff for Europe. It would be a massive achievement for this club and for the players. I hope we make it most of all for the fans because they deserve it.”
Sainsbury, who was a key part of Australia’s 2015 Asian Cup winning campaign, may pull out of the Socceroo’s World Cup qualifiers next month depending on the state of his body. The centre-back has had a busy load with club and country this season. “At the moment my body is screaming for some down time,” he admitted. “My hamstrings haven’t been 100 per cent since before the Asian Cup so I would like to get back to best form physically.”
“On the other hand I’ll always be committed to my country as long as I feel I can benefit the team,” he continued. “It’s a difficult juggling act trying to get optimum rest for your body and mind and also keeping your spot in the national team. I will wait and see how the rest of the season plays out and how my body is feeling and make a judgement call from then on.”
LIVERPOOL OPENS TALKS WITH JONES
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed the club have held talks with second-choice goalkeeper Brad Jones regarding a new contract. Jones, who becomes a free agent at seasons’ end, has not played since suffering a thigh injury late last year and had widely been expected to be released. However, it now seems the 33-year old could be offered to extend his stay at Anfield as back-up for Simon Mignolet. “There have been discussions,” said Rodgers. “Obviously, Brad is in his last year but nothing has been resolved on that.” Jones, has made 25 appearances since his £2.3million move from Middlesbrough five years ago.
GULLS SWOOP TO BEAT THE WOOD
Sorrento moved into fifth place on the table after a 3-1 win against Inglewood United at the Inglewood Stadium. Niccolo Sabatini and Adam Luca gave the visitors a perfect start, but Kenny Keogh pulled one back just after half time. But the home side, who are still looking for their first win of the season, pushed late but couldn’t find the target, and a late goal from Jack Salter gave the Gulls the points.
“It was a good win, and important for us to back up a good performance against Stirling in the cup last week,” said Luca. “We have a few new faces in the team this year and we're starting to gel together, I think that showed yesterday, particularly in the first half. Inglewood were always going to come out of half time and have a go at chasing the game, but I think we absorbed their pressure pretty well and the third goal helped kill the game off.”
It was an even opening with chances at both ends, but it was the visitors who opened the scoring eight minutes from half time. Niccolo Sabatini’s free kick from the edge of the penalty area, took a deflection off the wall, to wrong foot Aleks Vrteski and give the visitors the lead. Things got worse for Michael Garcia’s side three minutes later, when Sorrento doubled their advantage. Luca found space in the penalty box to fire home Todd Harnwell’s cross from the bye-line.
The home side was back in the game seven minutes after the break, Keogh finding the corner of the net giving James Morgan no chance. Inglewood pressed forward looking for the equaliser, but with them pushing men forward they conceded a third. A scramble in the penalty area was only cleared as far as Slater, and the striker fired home to win it for Sorrento.
NINE MAN FLOREAT HANG ON FOR THE POINTS
Floreat Athena kept level with Bayswater City at the top of the table with a hard fought 2-1 win against Subiaco AFC at E&D Litis Stadium. The home side finished the game with only nine men after Blair Govan and Lewis McMahon were sent off, but goals from McMahon and new signing Steve Burton in the last minutes off the first half were enough to seal the points. Jackson Dongrey pulled on back in the last minute to set up a grandstand finish, but they hung on.
“It was a scrappy tough game but we manage to get the result we needed,” Floreat defender Bobby Wilson said. “Some of the decision’s from the official was disappointing, and it spoiled the game too. “It's a good sign that we aren't playing our best football but still getting results, we have a few players on the injury list and it will be good once we have everyone back and a full team.”
The home side was looking to keep their undefeated start to the season, and Jack Allen’s free kick stung the palms of Ryan Montgomery early, while Allen was at it again on the half hour, but his free kick whistled wide of the target. The home side suffered a blow on 39 minutes when Govan was shown a second yellow card by referee Shou Chen and sent off.
But in the last minute of the half, the ten men hit the front. Burton raced into the area and was brought down by George Tchami, and McMahon converted from the spot. There was still time for a second, McMahon’s finding Burton, and the striker capped off a good debut for the club, firing home from close-range.
Despite having the extra player, Subiaco were still under the pump, and Montgomery had to be alert to deny McMahon and Burton, while skipper Ludovic Boi raced half the length of the pitch, but his shot slipped wide of the target. Subiaco were back in the game on 89 minutes, when they pulled a goal back and Floreat had McMahon sent off. Ger Fitzgerald’s header crashed off the crossbar and Dongrey finished from close-range. But the visitors couldn’t find the equaliser and Floreat maintain their good start to the season.
PERTH HAPPY ON THEIR TRAVELS
Perth SC kept the pressure on the league leaders, after a 2-0 win against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. First half goals to Dean Evans and Ashley Rosindale were enough for the visitors to keep their unbeaten run on the road and the win leap-frogged Perth over Balcatta on the table. “It was a good workmanlike performance by the boys,” Evans said. “We controlled the game in the first half, but they (Balcatta) came back into it in the second half, but we managed to stay strong and earn a deserved three points.”
The New signed David Cyrus made his debut for Perth, after joining from Balcatta in the week, and it was his new side that were ahead after only eight minutes. Dean Evans’ crisp volley was deflected past Clint Davies. Carlo Coelho nearly added a second on 17 minute but his curling shot hit the crossbar.
The home side stepped up the pace and went close to the equaliser on 20 minutes, Luke Randazzo’s cross picked out Alex Caniglia, but his shot hit the outside of the post and away to safety. Perth continued to dictate terms, and Mark Pritchard's snapshot tested Davies just on the half-hour. But in the shadows of half time, Perth doubled their advantage, Rosindale firing home from close-range, after Balcatta didn’t clear their lines.
Balcatta were more impressive after the break, and went close to pulling one back when Patrick Sara played the impressive Caniglia in on goal, but Perth keeper Alex Dunn was quickly to deny him. The Perth Custodian was in sparkling form and he saved superbly to thwart Kieran Stallard, and moments later the defender saw his shot smack off the post. Things got worse for Balcatta when Blamo Quaqua was sent off after receiving a second yellow card.
MARULANDA’S TRIPLE THREAT
Bayswater City striker Gustavo Giron-Marulanda put on a goal scoring clinic as they beat Cockburn City 4-0 at Dalmatianc Park on Saturday evening. The Colombian striker bagged a hat trick, while new signed Phil Arnold added the fourth late on. "I'm more than happy to score a hat-trick, but also to help the team to three points,” Marulanda told the NPL-WA web site. “I've been working very hard to get back into form and today everything went well. We played a very good game today and it turned out to be comfortable in the end.”
It was a tight opening with the hosts looking to kick start their season, but the visitors took control and were ahead on 24 minutes. Marulanda was picked out in the box, and he cut inside his marker, before rolling the ball past Curtis Aspden. Bayswater doubled their lead six minutes later, Marulanda racing clear and finishing clinically past Aspden.
Cockburn looked to hit back, but were struggling to break down a Bayswater defence well led by skipper Trent Kay, although Harry O’Brien’s snap shot flashed inches over the top. Cockburn, who were missing striker Rory Patterson continued to press but at the break the visitors led 2-0.
Bayswater started the second half well, and they added a third on the hour, after Borbor Sam was bundled over in the box, and referee Josh Mannella pointed straight to the spot. Marulanda stepped up and sent Aspden the wrong way to convert from the penalty to complete his hat-trick. There was still time for a fourth, when second half substitute shot on the turn beat Aspden, the win keeping Chris Coyne’s side at the top of the table.
SHURUMA AT THE DOUBLE FOR THE LIONS
Stirling Lions moved up to fourth place on the table after a comfortable 3-0 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve. Striker Lawrence Shuruma struck either side of Robert Petkov goal, to give Rob Milevski’s side the points, the defeat leaving Armadale still looking for their first point this campaign. “We started a little shaky, and we had to really on a great save from Connor (Campbell) early,” he said. “But it’s never an easy place to come, so the two goals in the first half calmed us down and we could have scored a few more.”
The home side began the better and should have taken the lead after only three minutes. A long ball over the top sent Nick Crerand clear, but he snatched at his shot and it went wide of the target. Moments later Faustino Machochi’s corner fell to Reds skipper Reece Davies, but his shot was superbly saved by Lions keeper Connor Campbell.
It wasn’t the start the Lions were looking for, but that all changed on 12 minutes when they hit the front. Shuruma made space down the right, cutting into the penalty area with ease, and finishing clinically past Dylan Wilson. The goal settled the Lions and they were handed a second on the half hour. There was little danger in the middle of the park, but a wayward pass went straight to Petkov, and he raced forward unchallenged and fired home.
After the break the home side continued to struggle in the final third, and the Lions had the chance to make it 3-0 when Sam Loveless brought down Petkov on 56 minutes, but Wilson guessed the right way to save Steve Purton’s penalty. But it was 3-0 five minutes later. Shuruma racing clear of his marker and sliding the ball low past Wilson.
To the home sides credit they still pressed forward, with Danny Hodgson looking lively on the left, and his snap shot was superbly saved by Campbell moments later. The woodwork came to the Lions rescue late, Davies’ long-range shot beat Campbell but the ball smacked the crossbar and away to safety. But it was the Lions who walked away with the points to keep them in touch with the leaders. 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 THREE – REVIEW
Shamrock Rovers continued their perfect start to the season with an emphatic 8-1 win against UWA-Nedlands at Grimrey Reserve. The damage was done in a first half blitz, Mike Pritchard, a Nick Little brace, Dan Corbett and Sean Browne, had the home side 5-0 up after only 37 minutes. Dan Corbett added two more early in the second half to complete his hat trick, before Sean Browne and Mark Gillian completed the rout. Jacob Flores added the consolation goal for the visitors. “It was the most Comprehensive team performance I’ve seen from the player so far,” a delighted John O’Reilly said. “Also very pleased for Dan Corbett, who has been out with an ACL injury, coming back and scoring a hat-trick and he also had an assist too.”
South West Phoenix and Western Knights fought out an entertaining game ay Payne Park, with the home side running out 2-1 winners. The visitors went into the break lead 1-0, with Ross Cosgrave on target, but Lee Stewart levelled, and it looked like the game would be drawn but Stewart scored his second to give the home side the points. “We got the points, but they were better side on the day. We had keeper Jamie Oakey to thank for keeping us in the game, but we took our chances,” Phoenix Coach Trent Hathaway said. “The only downside was the punch behind play which felled one of our players, which the referee never saw, so he got away with it. That is something we don’t want in our game, it was a low act and a disgrace.”
In other games Dianella White Eagles won for the first time this season after a tight 3-2 win against Canning City at Dianella Reserve. Joondalup United were victorious on the road after 4-2 win against Gosnells City at Walter Padbury Reserve. Aaron Maplestone scored in the opening minute for John Evans' side, and further goals from Nicky Sharples and a brace from Lee Jones gave them the points. Daniel Paredes and Mohammed Albunajim scored for City. Mandurah City thrashed Morley Windmills 5-1 at Wotton Reserve, with Jordan Rhodes Jon Brooks, Ollie McGee and a brace from Abraham Taona on target. Ashfield ran out 3-2 winners against Swan United at the Swan Italian Club. The visitors were ahead on 20 minutes through Liam Merrigan, and they doubled their advantage on 37 minutes, Ruben Tristao heading home Matthew Brookes cross. United keeper Alfie Brincat was in great form and he made a number of fine saves to keep his side in the game, and they hit back with Connor Boland scoring eight minutes before half time. But three minutes after the break Ashfield regained their two goals lead. Brain Patterson’s corner was flicked on by Brookes and Nick Davies scored at the back post. United hit back with Boland adding his second to set up a tense fifteen minutes. But the visitors hung on for the points. “It was a better team performance and we seem to be finding a way to win without hitting top form,” said Kyle King. “Their keeper had a blinder and it could have been a few more goals, but we gave away two sloppy goals and need to work on taking our chances and stopping the mistakes at the other end.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND THREE – REVIEW
Quinns FC maintained their lead at the top of the table after a 1-1 draw against Curtin University on Friday night at Edinburgh Oval. The home side was ahead on 11 minutes, a through ball from Eddie Tikoft sent Rory Binnie clear and he finished clinically. The visitors went close to the equaliser on the half hour, but Nathan Smith headed wide when well placed. The visitors levelled on the hour, Dave Ashworth heading home powerfully from a free kick. Quinns almost nicked all three points late, but a stunning save from Curtin custodian Ranjeet Sekhon denied them.
Wanneroo City also continued their good start to the campaign with a 4-0 win against Ellenbrook United at the Wanneroo Sporting Complex. The home side dominated possession and a brace from Connor Lynch and singles to Joey Woodin and Josh Beddis were on the score sheet. “I was very pleased with the boys today, they played great football, and it was scary thought to think we are still capable of more,” Roos coach Matt Debarro said. “It was out first clean sheet, another home win and a clean sweep for all 3 teams winning, a great day for the club.”
In other games on Saturday Forrestfield United edged out Joondalup City 2-0 at Iluka Sports Complex, with Ben Rogers and Ben Fraser on target, while Rockingham City eased past Kingsway Olympic 4-0 at Lark Hill, with Monty Grigo, Papa Kaptar and a brace from Ryan Kennedy the scorers. Fremantle City travelled to Len Shearer Reserve and beat Melville City 3-0, with goals from Danny Clapham, Nicky O’Brien and Andrew Morrow, while Balga opened their account for the season with a 2-1 win against Kelmscott Roos at Princess Road Reserve, with goals from Nahom Michael and Dimce Taneski.
LEARNING MORE IMPORTANT THAN EARNING FOR BIRIGHITTI
In the week Mitch Langerak starred in Borussia Dortmund's stunning win over mighty Bayern Munich and Mat Ryan helped Club Brugge take a step nearer the Belgian title, a third Socceroos goalkeeper also had cause to celebrate in Europe. Mark Birighitti, who played juniors at Perth SC, may not have made the same headlines as his two compatriots, but he is feeling equally as proud after playing his first games for Italian second division side AS Varese.
Birighitti joined the Serie B bottom club on loan from Newcastle Jets in January. But it has been far from a fairytale move to the country of his family for the 24-year old. Problems surrounding the relegation-bound club meant wages have been paid late and with no reserve football in Italy, Birighitti’s patience has been tested to the full. His chance finally arrived this week with outings against Vicenza and Vitrus Entella after an injury to regular stopper Filippo Perucchini.
That latter game was Varese’s first win in four months, and their first clean sheet in two months. “It’s always good to keep a clean sheet and hopefully it’s a sign of good things to come,” Birighitti said. “Over here in Italy it’s not like they change the goalkeepers like they do in Australia. You have to be patient. It’s unfortunate for the other goalkeeper ... he’s got a pretty nasty injury. Now it’s time for me to step up and show what I can really do.”
“Our last win was in January, so to come away (from Virtus Entella) this week with three points was a fantastic effort. But it’s been a difficult time, with wages not getting paid on time. It’s affected all the players but full credit to them, they’ve continued to be professional. We got one month’s pay a couple of days ago so that’s something ... and anyway, I’m here to do one thing and that’s to play football and I want to finish off the last four games on a high and take it from there.”
Birighitti says his time in Italy has been “amazing”. “It’s got everything here, culture, nightlife ... and the people have been fantastic. I’ve been very lucky that I’ve got a lot of cousins and relatives here who have helped me a lot and it’s made the transition a lot easier,” he said. “As for the football, they are such top quality players in Serie B, they’ve all got something special. I’m learning a totally different game. Here they are focused more on getting results. Whether you win pretty, whether you win ugly, it’s about getting three points.”
“They’re very defensive, they focus a lot on the defensive structure, on not conceding a lot of goals, which makes the goalkeeper’s job a lot easier,” Birighitti added. “You don’t have many saves to make, you might have to make two, three saves a game. But you have to make those saves, whereas in Australia you can make 10, 11 saves a game but you’re often still going to concede three, four goals. Here it’s totally different.” Birighitti is expected to gain his third appearance for Varese when they face Latina today.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND FIVE – PREVIEW
The PS4 National Premier League WA kicks back into action this week, after the break for the FFA Cup, and the pick of the Week five games is the clash between Cockburn City and Bayswater City at Dalmatinac Park on Saturday evening (5pm) Cockburn winger Feisal Zaw said they are looking forward to taking on the Champions, and hoping for a similar result as they had in the Night Series. “The whole club is looking forward to Saturday evening’s game, and if we play like we did in the Night Series and against Inglewood United we are confident we can get the three points,” he said. The Cockerels have slipped off the pace in recent weeks, but came back from 2-0 down to beat Armadale last week. “It wasn’t our best performance by any means, and we were probably lucky to play an Armadale side lacking confidence at the moment,” Zaw said. “But we showed great character to stay in the game and turn it around in the last part of the game. The win was definitely needed, as a morale boost for us.” Skipper Eamon McNelis is still out injured, but Friday Zico is available for selection. The visitors will be missing Steve Burton, who has signed for Floreat Athena, but they do have new signing Danny Dixon available after his move from ECU Joondalup.
In other games on Saturday Floreat Athena take on Subiaco AFC at E&D Litis Stadium. The visitors have lifted, winning their last two games, and will hopefully get Rory Feely and Ian McMurray back from injury, while Floreat welcome back Aryn Williams and new signing Steve Burton. Inglewood United is still looking for their first win of the season, but they will need to be at their best as Sorrento visit the Inglewood Stadium. Sorrento will regain the services of Danny Cain, but Sean Canham is in doubt, while David Micevski is still unavailable for United. Perth Glory make the trip to ECU Joondalup, with Joe Knowles, Henry Durr, Dejan Spaseski and Sean Troup all in doubt, while the home side welcome back Jon Higgins. Danny Hodgson will make his debut for Armadale when they host Stirling Lions at Alfred Skeet Oval, while Billy Quinncroft and Michael Pugliese are available for the visitors.
Perth SC will be looking to keep the pressure on the leaders when they meet Balcatta at Dorrien Gardens. Perth Coach Taki Nicolaidis said it’s a huge game for both sides. “Even though it's only round five it's a very big game for both clubs,” he said. “After our loss in round four we need to make sure we get back to our winning ways. We are currently sitting 4th and with Balcatta currently sitting above us we need to beat them in order to stay in the mix. They are a very dangerous side who have many match winners. We will need to be at our best if we are going to beat them.” In team news Calum O’Connell will be missing, but Ashley Rosindale, Clark Keltie and Alex Dunn return, while new signing David Cyrus will make his debut for the Perth against his former club.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND THREE – PREVIEW
The pick of the State League Division One fixtures this weekend is the clash between the unbeaten duo South West Phoenix and Western Knights at Payne Park. “We’re expecting a really tough game, as it always hard down there and they are coming off the back of a great win at Mandurah, and a good cup win against Armadale last week,” Knights striker Paul Lloyd said. “So we know their confidence will be really high, but we’re up for the game and have got a lot more fight in us than last season, so we’re looking forward to the battle.” In team news Tommy Southgate will miss the trip due to injury, while the Phoenix will be at full strength.
The surprise team of the league is newly promoted Joondalup United, and they make the trip to Walter Padbury Reserve to take on Gosnells City. The northern suburbs club has also won both their games, and Coach John Evans said they are going along nicely. “Saturday's game is another big test for us, especially away from home against a very young Gosnells team I have been informed,” he said. “They narrowly lost to Ashfield in their last game so we know we have a hard game in front of us. We have the same team as Dianella to call from, so the lads must take the same confidence gained from that game into this game.” Defending Champions Shamrock Rovers are the fourth side with a perfect start to the season and they entertain UWA-Nedlands at Grimrey Oval. “With injuries, this is obviously a real test us,” said UWA Coach James Rae. “As they say you play with what you have got available, but we will go in heads up and positive to get a result,” New Signing Kim Mengbom will make his debut for UWA, but Josh Marocchi is in doubt.
In other games this weekend Swan United will be looking for their first points of the season when they entertain Ashfield at the Swan Italian Club. The home side welcome back Sean Treacy, Matt Bonasera and Connor Boland, but Nathan Scully is in doubt with injury, while Ashfield regain the services of Alex Stamatiadis, Ruben Tristao, and Chris Thackeray. Morley Windmills are also looking for their first points, but will be underdogs as Mandurah City visits Wotton Reserve, looking to bounce back from last week’s heavy defeat. In the final game Canning City are on the road to Dianella Reserve to take on Dianella White Eagles. “We are expecting a tough challenge this week and a very aware of the quality that Dianella possess, even though they are yet to register a point,” Canning Coach Paul Oliver said. “They have some very dangerous attacking options and we will need to be on top of that if we are to get something from the game. I was delighted with my teams display last week despite the scoreline. We played some lovely football; we just need to be more ruthless in the final third.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND THREE – PREVIEW
The State League Division Two kicks off tonight, when Curtin University entertains Quinns at Edinburgh Oval. Quinns sit top of the table and will be looking to keep their 100% start intake, but Campbell Ballantyne’s side will make it hard for them. The home side are sweating on the fitness of Rob Keegan, but they do welcome back Ranjeet Sekhom.
Wanneroo City will look to maintain their good start to the campaign when they host Ellenbrook United at Wanneroo Sports Club. Roos coach Matt Debarro has been happy with the start but knows they can’t take Saturday’s game lightly. “After a strong display against Forrestfield we are looking to consolidate and build on that performance,” he said. “We tried to change the fixture due to a wedding, but the opposition didn’t agree, so it has forced us to make significant changes to our squad but we have good depth, and we will still be fielding a quality side.” The two sides met in the Cup recently and Debarro knows what to expect. “After the cup game we know what to expect with their long ball tactic and speed up front, will allow us to have good possession like last time and dictate the game. It's going to be a tough as they will be looking to get one back on us but I'm confident the boys will come through with the result.” The Roos will have new signing Daniel Coletta available, but will be missing skipper Luke Woodard, Scott Campbell, Daniel Agudelo and David McNally.
In other games Trent Wood makes a return to the Forrestfield United side for the first time this season when they travel to the Iluka Sports Complex to take on Joondalup City, but Davide Ferrante is suspended. Melville City and Fremantle City go head-to-head at Len Shearer Reserve, Balga hosts Kelmscott Roos at Princess Road Reserve, while Kingsway Olympic travel to Lark Hill to take on Rockingham City. “We have quite a few unavailable for selection this week for various reasons, work , injured , holidays and sick, so will have to shuffle the pack big time this week,” Olympic Coach Tom Kilkelly said. “We could have done with not having Rocky, but there again that's what squads are for, so we'll just get on with it.”
VELAPHI OUT TO SET FINALS RECORD STRAIGHT
Melbourne City’s Tando Velaphi has different motivations to his teammates for Sunday’s A-League final with Wellington Phoenix. No player in coach John van’t Schip’s squad is lacking a reason to perform, with the chance to be the first City side to win a final. A potential week two finals match-up with Melbourne Victory makes a win even more enticing. But for Velaphi it's personal, with the luck of the draw throwing up a chance to atone a previous loss.
Velaphi’s sole A-League final outing in nine seasons came with Perth Glory in the New Zealand capital five years ago. After making the long road trip to Wellington, a scoreline of 1-1 after extra time meant a dreaded penalty shoot-out would decide the tie. While Velaphi dived the right way with three of his efforts, it was opposition gloveman Liam Reddy who won the game for Phoenix, saving twice to send Wellington through 4-2 on spot kicks.
Velaphi, now 28, said his enduring memory of the match was the atmosphere. “There was an incredible crowd that day, 25,000,” recalled the former Perth SC junior. “It was a tight contest and I'm sure it will be again, that’s what finals are like. We might have lost on penalties, but now I’m heading back there again and hopefully I can get a better result this time.”
To achieve a first finals win for City, they'll need to reverse back-to-back defeats on the road to Glory and Adelaide United. Velaphi said it would be easy pushing the two rotten results out of his head. “You just have to,” he said. “It’s not what we wanted from the last couple of games but finals is a new ball game. We’ve looked at what we need to improve on and everyone's up for the fight and the challenge.”
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This page was last updated on the 30th April, 2014