ATHENA HOME TO MELBOURNE CITY, COCKBURN AWAY TO MELBOURNE KNIGHTS
Floreat Athena are preparing to take on A-League glamour club Melbourne City in the FFA Cup Round of 32. And the task is no easier for Cockburn City who have been drawn away to former National Soccer League powerhouse Melbourne Knights. Perth Glory, beaten finalists in the first two editions of the competition, are away at Brisbane Roar.
Floreat coach Glen Grostate said his team will be up for the challenge. "It's going to be game on," Grostate said. "There's the hype and the adrenalin. The boys are going to be pumped. It's a one-off thing for us and many a lower league team has beaten a big team in big games, so why not?"
Cockburn captain Euen Grant said Iceland's recent heroics against England had reminded everyone of football's possibilities. "Who knows what will happen in the Cup?" he said. "As we've seen in the Euros, Iceland are on a bit of a run just now, so hopefully we can win a couple of games and see how far we can get." Round of 32 matches will be played between 26 July and 10 August at venues to be determined.
SINGAPORE-BORN EDWARDS DREAMING OF THE SOCCEROOS
Some of Ryan Edwards’ earliest memories are a mixture of images from stops in Australia and Malaysia, a by-product of being the son of a professional footballer. Edwards’ father, one-time Socceroos striker Alistair, is well known in both countries, particularly in Malaysia, where he helped Johor to a famous league and Malaysia Cup double back in 1991.
Alistair’s first stop after he finished playing in Johor was Singapore and that is where Ryan was born, in November 1993. “My dad met my mum in Singapore when he was playing there and floated between Sydney, Singapore and Malaysia playing football,” Ryan explains. “My older brother (Cameron) was born in Sydney, he’s 19 months older than me, and I then happened to be born in Singapore.”
“If you look at my birth certificate, I left Singapore about nine or 10 days after I was born – or as soon as you can leave – and we had time in England and I also went to an international school in Malaysia. That was pre-school, kindergarten, that sort of thing. I don’t really have a lot of memories of it. Then I settled down in Perth when I was five (when his dad joined Perth Glory) and was there until I moved to the Australian Institute of Sport when I was 16.”
Despite such a brief spell in Singapore had a significant influence on Edwards’ life. “When I flew into Singapore, it was literally the first time I’d been back since birth. Twenty-two years,” he said. “I lived in Perth my whole life and never really travelled as a family to go overseas. Then football took me from Perth to Canberra and then I moved to Reading in England when I was 17.
“But Singapore obviously have their National Service rule. I turned 18 and you’re supposed to go when you become 18. Funnily enough dad called up and said ‘my son has never lived in the country, we were told because of this he can be exempt from National Service’. They were like ‘no, you have to come’. This was a couple of months before my 18th birthday and I’d never been in transit in Singapore or anything like that. I thought ‘what are we going to do here?’”
So began a series of discussions between Edwards’ family and the Singapore government. In the end the youngster who had only ever considered Australia his home was left with two choices. “I’m not sure what the conversation was, but we ended up paying some sort of fine,” Edwards explained. “Then a letter turned up stating ‘once it is his 21st birthday, he has to renounce his citizenship or he has to be in Singapore on this date’.
“It was all pretty surreal to see that side of it. Straight away when I turned 21 I renounced my citizenship, I was living in London at the time, and a few months later it was all done. I never had a Singapore passport, I was a baby just travelling on my mum’s passport. I was born there, my mum is from there and her family is from there, but apart from that I don’t have any ties. My first passport was an Australian passport and I consider myself Australian.“
Not surprisingly for the son of a professional footballer, Edwards has played the sport for as long as he can remember, starting off kicking a ball around with my older brother. “One of my earliest football memories was probably when dad played for Perth Glory,” the midfielder continued. “They lost the final to Wollongong at Subiaco (Oval) and we were all crying in the box upstairs, my mum and brother and I.”
That was in 2000, with Edwards’ Glory losing a penalty shootout to the Wolves in the final of the old National Soccer League competition in front of a packed crowd in Perth. The match finished 3-3 and both teams converted their first five spot kicks. Remarkably, there were then four consecutive unsuccessful attempts, which included one from Glory captain Alistair Edwards, with the Wolves eventually prevailing 7-6.
Edwards is only 22 but has already spent time in England, Australia and Scotland, where he has one-year remaining on his contract with Scottish Premier League side Partick Thistle. Also prominent in junior Australian teams, Ryan is more than content with how his career has unfolded to date. “So far there have been a lot of ups and downs, as every footballer goes through, but I’m happy with what I’ve achieved and what I’m doing so far,” he said.
“I’ve captained my country at under-20 and under-23 level, played in the Championship at Reading, made the provisional squad with the Socceroos and I’m now in the Scottish Premier League. It’s every boys dream to play in Europe and play in the best leagues in the world and I’m living it at the moment and hope it continues.”
Edwards is also among the next generation of young Australians aiming to carry the Socceroos into a new era. “I think things are looking really good and there is a good core of boys coming through that could be that next generation,” he stated. “There are a lot of boys playing in Europe, a lot of boys in the A-League that are really playing well, and it’s really broadened the depth in the squad.”
“It’s been great to see. Especially in the most recent squad, there have been a lot of boys being called up for the first time, and it just gives everyone hope. You know that if you’re playing first-team football, you might be in with a sniff.”
MRCELA ON VERGE OF K-LEAGUE MOVE
Australian defender Tomislav Mrcela has secured a lucrative move to an unnamed K-League side after featuring for eight Croatian clubs in seven years. The Perth-born Mrcela, who a year ago was selected by national team coach Ange Postecoclou for the Socceroos squad to face Kyrgyzstan, recently announced his intention to further his career outside of Croatia.
It’s understood Mrcela, a towering centre back, is in South Korea tying up loose ends on his deal after NK Lokomotiva Zagreb agreed to his departure. Adept on the ground and domineering in the air, the 25-year old is hoping the move will not only seal his financial future but bring him back into the attention of Postecoglou. Mrcela has made close to 150 first appearances for Croatian clubs Imotski, Imotski, Mosor, Hrvatski Dragovoljac and Lokomotiva.
ALL WHITES DEFENDER ROUX RETURNS TO TRAINING
Storm Roux has marked a significant milestone on the comeback trail from three horror injuries by returning to training. Roux, who missed New Zealand's OFC Nations Cup triumph, has been out of action since breaking his fibula, damaging ligaments in his ankle and dislocating his shoulder in an unopposed fall during Central Coast Mariners' A-League clash with Melbourne City in February.
23-year old Roux described himself as the "unluckiest guy playing football" after suffering the triple blow of injuries that saw him miss the rest of the season. "Obviously I felt it straight away. I heard this snap in my leg," Roux said. "I pretty much knew I had done something bad. When I went to grab my ankle I felt my shoulder was out of place as well so I was thinking I was the unluckiest guy playing football at the time. It didn't feel too good but that's football and injuries happen."
Roux, a former Sorrento junior, said "hope of a good recovery" was just the motivation he needed to get stuck into his rehab. "Different milestones certainly help out a lot," he commented. "At first it was just getting the (moon)boot off and finally walking, to walking without crutches, to finally doing some weights, and then jogging and now eventually I got the boots on and finally kicking a ball around ... there's still a lot of hard work to go but each milestone really helps out."
MICEVSKI AT THE DOUBLE FOR LIONS
A brace from Stirling Lions midfielder David Micevski has given them a 2-1 win against Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday evening. He had given the visitors the lead at the break, but Gustavo Catarcione leveled for the home side, and Perth also had Rocco Pizzata sent off, but the former Perth Glory midfielder wrapped up all three points with a goal deep into stoppage time. “I thought it was a good team performance everybody worked really hard against a good Perth side,” striker Jamie Gibson said. “It was a big win for us and we got the three points that I thought our performance deserved, and it keeps us in the top four.”
The game was the conclusion of the DT38 Foundation Awareness Round, in memory of former young Socceroo Dylan Tombides, who passed away due to testicular cancer. The round was all about promoting awareness of the disease, and the big crowd stood in a minutes silence prior to kick off and burst into a minute of applause on 38 minutes, in tribute of Tombides.
The visitors were well on top early, new striker Gibson firing over, before Daniel Micevski’s shot on the run flew just over the top. Their pressure was rewarded on 17 minutes with the lead, Teeboy Kamara raced clear and was crudely brought down by Perth keeper Francis Soale outside the area. The keeper only received a yellow card for the offence, but David Micevski took revenge from the resulting free kick, curling home superbly past Soale to give the Lions a well-deserved lead at the break.
Perth began well after half time and Andreas Theodosiades was denied by a superb tackle from David Sesay early. The home side were then reduced to ten men on 75 minutes, when Pizzata received a second yellow card from referee Adam Fielding, and he was sent off. But two minutes later the ten men levelled. Catarcione was brought down in the box by Shane Cassidy and the Brazilian striker picked himself up and sent Lions keeper John Perkins the wrong way to level it up.
The Lions pressed late looking to make their numerical advantage count, and David Micevski’s free kick from the edge of the penalty area shaved the post on 90 minutes. It looked like Perth, would hold out for a share of the spoils, but in the fourth minute of stoppage time the Lions won it. Daniel Micevski threaded a superb through ball for his brother David, who raced in to the box and finish clinically past Soale.
INGLEWOOD TAKE THE GLORY TO RETURN TO THE SUMMIT
Inglewood United return to the top of the PS4NPLWA table after a hard fought 3-2 win against Perth Glory at Inglewood Stadium. Nikola Talimdzioski gave the Glory youngsters the lead early, but goals to John Migas, Josh Pereira and Kenny Keogh, put Inglewood in control, and a late consolation goal from Jack Iredale came too late for the Glory to salvage a point. “We knew the game against Glory was going to be tough, as they drew previous game with Cockburn who are no pushovers,” Inglewood defender Adam Tong said. “I felt we deserved the win and played in the way we wanted too and apart from a free kick and two sloppy goals they didn't really have too many chances. Things are going well again we have had our blip and now it's time to start getting another run going which I'm hoping gives us an opportunity to challenge for silverware, but we will take one game at a time and see but as far as the result goes I’m happy with the three points.”
The home side were out of the blocks early, and Keogh came close after getting on the end of Mark Pritchard’s corner, but Glory keeper Riley Stevenson saved well. Ross Millard then came to his sides rescue, clearing Pritchard’s in-swinging corner off the line as the home side pressed for the opener. But against the run of play the Glory hit the front.
Talimdzioski harassed the Inglewood defender forcing a turn over, and the striker picked his spot and firing into the top corner of the net giving Alex Dunn no chance. A shell-shocked Inglewood looked for the quick response, Keogh was thwarted by Jack Iredale, who got back with a last-ditch tackle. But on the half hour the home side levelled, Migas getting on the end of deep corner to finish at the back post.
Early in the second half the Glory almost regained the lead. Knowles was brought down on the edge of the penalty area, and Talimdzioski’s curling free kick whistled inches past the post.
But on the hour the home side hit the front. Ashley Rosindale raced clear and as Stevenson came out to narrow the angle, he unselfishly played the ball across to Pereira who scored into an empty net.
The Glory almost levelled moments late Dunn produced a stunning save to deny Talimdzioski’s free kick. But on 73 minutes Inglewood added the third, Keogh holding off his marker and finished clinically past Stevenson. To the Glory’s credit they continued to press and were rewarded in the final minute with a consolation goal. Talimdzioski’s corner picked out the unmarked Iredale at the back post and the defender headed home.
BAYSWATER LOSE TOP SPOT AFTER BEING HELD BY COCKBURN
Bayswater City relinquished top spot in the PS4NPLWA table after being held 1-1 by Cockburn City at the Finance 365 Stadium. Liam Murray had given Cockburn the lead early in the second half, but Jamie Coyne equalised 15 minutes from time. Murray was sent off five minutes later, but the Cockerels hung on for a well-earned point. “It was a great result against a very good Bayswater side,” Cockburn midfielder Cameron Edwards said. “We were missing some key attacking players and having a man sent off for the latter part of the game, but the whole squad dug deep and put a great shift in.”
It was a tight first half with chances few and far between, the best falling to the home side, who dominated possession, but they couldn’t find a way past a well-drilled Cockburn back four and keeper Luke Radonich. The same couldn’t be said for the second half with both teams pressing for the three points.
Bayswater went close again five minutes in, after Cockburn failed to clear their lines and in the goalmouth scramble a shot was blocked and cleared. Cockburn lifted and had a sustained period of pressure and they were rewarded with the lead on 68 minutes. Murray, who had only been on the pitch for sixty seconds, found a pocket of space 20meters from goal, but picked his spot and fired home superbly despite Devon Spence getting a hand to it.
But there were celebration was cut short seven minutes later when Bayswater levelled. A corner by Todd Howarth was only cleared to the edge of the penalty area and Coyne’s shot took a deflection off a Cockburn defender and sending it past Radonich. It went from bad to worse for the Cockerels when Murray received a second yellow card from Steven Gregory and was sent off.
Bayswater went for the kill but couldn’t find the winner, and at the final whistle the points were shared. “We’re playing well, we just can’t score at the moment,” Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne said post-match. “I’m not too disheartened, but if we weren’t creating chances I’d start worrying. If we play like we did in the second half next week, I’ve got no issues.”
ECU TOO STRONG FOR SUBIACO
ECU Joondalup moved up to seventh on the table after dominant 3-0 win against Subiaco at Rosalie Park. Gordon Smith bagged a brace, to take his season tally to 11 goals, while new signing Daryl Nicol opened his account, as ECU made it four straight wins. Gordon Smith and Daryl Nicol gave the visitors a two goal lead at the break, before Smith added his second to wrap up the points early in the second half. “It was a very good first half and we killed the game off early in the second half with the third, so it continues our good form, and we are playing with confidence at the moment,” Joondalup Coach Dale McCulloch said post-game. “We moved the ball around really well today, and got into so many good areas, it was really pleasing performance.”
The visitors should have taken the lead after only five minutes, a long throw by Cian Hirrell was flicked on by Shane Pickering to Smith, who blazed over with the goal at his mercy. Subiaco went close themselves moments later, Rory Feely was given far too much room on the edge of the box, but his shot was saved low by Lewis Italiano. But on 27 minutes ECU hit the front, a great run out of his own half by Pickering, ended with a through ball to Smith, and the Scottish striker held off his marker and finished with aplomb past Ryan Montgomery.
Montgomery was keeping his side in the game, firstly saving superbly to deny Nicol on the half hour, before saving low from Tommy Amphlett. Subiaco ended the half well and Dylan Andrews’ shot was well blocked by some desperate ECU defending, before Kevin White fired wide after good work Andrews. But in the shadows of half time ECU doubled their advantage. Henry Durr played in Nicol, and the lively striker finished low past Montgomery.
The points were wrapped up 11 minutes into the second half, when ECU added their third. Pickering picked out Smith, who rolled the last defender, and raced clear and finished clinically past Montgomery. Kevin White, who was playing his last game for the club, did his best to lift the home side, his shot on the turn on the hour whistled just wide. The game lost its intensity late, although Amphlett’s long-range shot flashed over the top for the visitors, but ECU ran out easy winners.
GULLS FLY HOME WTITH THREE MUCH NEEDED POINTS
Sorrento put a poor run of form behind them with a solid 3-0 win against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. First half goals from Sean Canham and Scott Bulloch, put the Gulls in charge, before substitute Alex Morgan added the third after the break. “After last week’s defeat we knew we had to come here and respond,” Gulls new midfielder Matthew Sparrow said post-match. “I thought it was a different team out there. We defended well, we attacked well and we kept the ball a lot better, we have a great bunch here.”
The visitors were off to a perfect start and hit the front on six minutes. Scott Bulloch fed Reece Vittiglia, whose cross was headed home by Canham. It was nearly two moments later, Sparrow’s cross picking out Bulloch, whose shot crashed off the woodwork. Balcatta needed a lift and they went close to levelling when Conor Kavanagh’s effort was well saved by James Morgan, before the Sorrento custodian also denied Kieron Stallard. But after weathered that storm, Sorrento doubled their advantage on the half hour.
Vittiglia, who rejoined the club from Perth SC in the transfer window, sent Bulloch clear, and the winger chipped the on-coming Clint Davies to score, despite the effort of defender Alex Suleski on the line. Vittiglia was replaced due to injury just before half time, but he already caused the damage. But his absence wasn’t missed and on the hour Niccolo Sabattini shot crashed off the post, before Bulloch headed over from close range and Canham forced Davies into a fine reflex save 10 minutes later.
Balcatta huffed and puffed, but failed to find the target. The best effort came from the lively Hanafi Ghazali, whose shot was blocked, before Kavanagh’s header was tipped over by James Morgan. But the decisive third goal came eight minutes from time. Shaun Kilkelly sent Canham clear, his shot was blocked but Alex Morgan was on hand to tap home the rebound, to seal a good performance from Jamie Harnwell’s side.
ATHENA EDGE OUT A GALLANT ARMADALE
Floreat Athena made it five games without defeat after a workman-like 2-0 win against a gallant Armadale at E&D Litis Stadium. Chris Saldaris opened the scoring just before half time, before Nathan Scully made sure of the points late. “Armadale are a hard team to play, you have to battle and you have to fight for the points and that’s what we did today,” Floreat Coach Glen Grostate said post-match. “I thought the defensive line was unbelievable today, the only way I thought we were going to concede was if we made a mistake, and we didn’t make many of them, but instead we worked hard and scored goals at the right time.”
Armadale, who were on four game losing streak, opened the brighter and went close early. Papa Kpatar made space down the flank and crossed to Ellis Healing, but the English midfielder’s volley flashed just over the top. Floreat were struggling in the final third without skipper Ludovic Boi and striker Lewis McMahon. Armadale should have scored on 43 minutes, a cross into the area was superbly chested down by Healing, but Anthony Skorich blazed wide.
That miss came back to haunt the visitors as two minutes later Floreat scored the opener. Phil Arnold was given too much space on the edge of the penalty area and his volley flew past Alex Radonich hit the underside of the bar and Chris Saldaris was quickest to react to score from close-range. Floreat doubled their advantage 20 minutes from time. Kris Gate squared the ball across to Scully, who lost his marker and finished low past Radonich.
It was a bitter blow for Paul Price’s side, who had given as good as they got in the game and to their credit they continued to press forward and they went close to pulling on back five minutes later. Dannie Richman found Danny Hodgson inside the penalty area, his first shot was blocked, but his second flashed wide of the target. It got worse for visitors and they finished the game with ten men when substitute Raveshlan Kuppusamy came off with an injury.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND ELEVEN - REVIEW
Mandurah City moved three points clear at the top of the All Flags State League Division One after a hard fought 1-0 win in the local derby against Rockingham City at Lark Hill Sportsplex on Saturday evening. The only goal of the game came on the hour. Jon Brookes raced down the right cut inside his marker before cutting the ball back to Jordan Rhodes who made no mistake, firing into the roof of the net. “We didn't play to our best by any means, but were still able to create chances and come away from rocky with the points,” Mandurah keeper Brad Eiffe said. “A local derby is always a good win especially when playing a well drilled and determined Rockingham side. We know we can play a lot better, but to be able to grind out a result is a real show of character by all, and to get to the halfway point of the season undefeated and only conceding eight goals now gives a platform to push on for the second half of the season. Since coming into the side Doug, the coaches, the lads and all involved have made me feel at home and I'm really enjoying my football again and look forward to the second part of the season.”
Eiffe’s former club Forrestfield United moved into second spot after a 3-0 win against Gosnells City in their local derby at Walter Padbury Reserve. After a shaky first five minutes the visitors got on top and were ahead on ten minutes. Good lead up play between Mitch Crocker and Ben Rogers ended with a through ball to Liam Merigan, who rode two tackles before firing into the corner of the net past Jack Adams. Sixty seconds later it was 2-0, Rogers again playing in Merigan, who finished clinically. The points were wrapped up ten minutes into the second half a poor back pass from Chris O’Donnell rolled into the unguarded net. “It was a much anticipated local derby, and there was quality football played from both sides and spectator got their money’s worth,” Forrestfield defender Mark Barnett said. “Fantastic support from both sets of supporters made the day an intense and exciting one. Personally the game meant a lot to me and the boys put in an outstanding performance. We defended with heart, and we attacked with pure football freedom.”
Joondalup United lost ground on the leaders after a 2-1 defeat by Western Knights at Forrest Park. It started well for the home side when Jay Marsden’s shot from the edge of the box beat the keeper. The Knights hit back and levelled on the half hour. Adriano Jelenkavic played a one-two with Paul Lloyd and he ran clear and side footed into the corner of the net past James Bosdet. The Knights won it just after the hour. Lloyd raced clear from Ryan Tucker’s chip, and he lobbed the on-coming Bosdet to win it. “I thought we controlled the game and kept Joondalup’s good attacking threat quiet with some solid defending,” Lloyd said. “We showed lots of energy and threatened to score more, big win that shows we can beat anyone in the league.” Shamrock Rovers won for the first time under new coach Rob Richards with a 2-1 win against Canning City at Harold Rossiter Reserve. The home side were ahead when a ball over the top was brought down well by Will Pender and he finished well. The visitors levelled before the break, a neat turn by Callum Roberts on edge of the box and a good finish into the bottom corner. But Canning were reduced to ten men when Charlie Parry was sent off 10 minutes into the second half and Rovers won it Dean Leeper playing in Malek Domkoc, who finished into the corner of the net.
Ashfield retained fifth spot with a hard fought 1-0 win against UWA-Nedlands at the Ashfield Arena. Ashley Corker scored the only goal of the game 13 minutes into the second half, firing home from the edge of the penalty area. “I think a bit of our experience showed out today, in the first half there was opportunities at both ends, our keeper made a couple of good saves and we certainly in the first half had a couple of good chances to score,” Ashfield Coach Paul Dundo said post-match. “We didn’t take those chances and UWA kept going. It was one of those days where the game could’ve been 3-3 at half time. Ashley (Corker) played well, it's his first game in about seven to eight weeks so it’s pleasing to have him back in the side.” In the final game South West Phoenix are back in the winners’ circle after a 2-1 win against Dianella White Eagles at Hay Park. The home side were ahead early, Lee Stewart playing in Jayden Prosser who made no mistake. The home side then had James McCleary sent off and it was backs to the wall for the Phoenix. The Eagles leveled just after half time, Bright Ababio turning a free kick into his own net. But the striker made emends 15 minutes from time. He intercepted a pass on the edge of the penalty area and weaved his way into the box before squaring it to Stewart to score the winner. “It was a hard fought win and a much needed one after a few bad results in the last couple of games,” Ababio said. “We needed something to turn around our season and hopefully with the effort and heart every player put in, this will be that turn around. At the moment we trying to go one game at a time and see where we going to end up at the end of the season.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND ELEVEN - REVIEW
League leaders Fremantle City maintained their lead at the top of the All Flags State League Division Two with 5-1 win against Curtin University at Edinburgh Oval on Friday night. The visitors went ahead when Gareth Hamilton's corner picked out Ben West who rose above everybody to head home. It was 2-0 before the break, Hamilton’s cross was turned in by Alec Robinson. Curtin hit back after the break, Antony Russo heading home unmarked at the back post. But Fremantle took control and after some neat build up play, Robinson scored the third after Curtin didn't deal with the ball in the box. With Curtin pushing players forward they were caught out again, with Robinson scoring his hat-trick after a long ball from keeper Justin Scavaci. Robinson rounded off a great night for himself in scoring his fourth after being set up by some great work by Maddy Holman. “We were glad to get the win as we had to make quite a reshuffle Friday night having players out through sickness and injury,” Fremantle Coach Steve Plucknett said. “The young lads that came in played really well, and I certainly didn’t expect Curtin to concede five.”
Balga kept the pressure on the league leaders after a 2-1 win against Ellenbrook United at Arbor Grove Reserve. It was a tight first half with chances at both ends, but the visitors opened the scoring on 54 minute. A defensive error by an Ellenbrook defender ended with Kyall Osborne, whose half volley flew into the net. Ellenbrook levelled on the hour, and it was another defensive error this time by Balga, when an attempted clearance by Juma Awaka was missed, Curtis Wreglesworth had only the keeper to beat, and he made no mistake. Balga got the lead back five minutes later. Anton DeFrancesch made a darting run into the box, and he was brought down and Dinko Ahmetanovic celebrated his return to Balga by scoring the winner from the penalty spot. In other games Wanneroo City maintained their good form with a 1-0 win against Quinns FC at Gumblossom Reserve. The only goal of the game came from Nathan Grostate on 25 minutes. Melville City returned to the winner’s circle with a 1-0 win against Kingsway Olympic at Len Shearer Reserve. The only goal of the game came from a free kick from Mark Lucas that Logan McIsaac headed against the bar, and Christian Long was quickest to react to prod the ball home. “We played really well first half and were in control, but second half got a bit scrappy as they hit a lot of long balls to try to get back into it,” Melville Coach Gavin Brown said. “But we could have won by more, if not for a great double save from their keeper. We had seven out injured and our captain suspended, so a lot of young Reserves were promoted. I was delighted with their performances, and some of them really grabbed their opportunity, delighted to get a win after so many tight defeats, so onwards and upwards second half of the season.”
Joondalup City kept pace with the top two after a good 3-1 win against Swan United at the Swan Italian Club. The visitors were ahead early Sam Phillips was quickest to react when a Jamie Stewart header hit the post. Luke Wilson scored the second after Swan keeper Matt Battigelli fumbled a cross from Danny Allen. The home side hit back and Hicham Arma scored after a defensive mix up. With Swan pushing forward for an equaliser Joondalup hit on the counter attack, Sam Phillips crossing to Liam McGurk who’s shot was saved by Battigelli, but Tommy Bramley was on hand to slot the ball into the net from just outside the box. “We are very happy to come away with the three points from Swan. It was a difficult pitch to play on which did not suit our passing game,” Joondalup Coach Marco Schisano said. “But the lads rolled their sleeves up and battled away showing tremendous character especially with the number of players we have missing at the moment the boys are determined not to let this affect our results. Swan were dangerous going forward but we defended well and everyone put a huge effort into the match. It was important to win in order to keep up with the top two teams who show no signs of slowing down.”
In the final game Morley Windmills ended Kelmscott Roos recent good form with a 4-1 win at Wotton Reserve. Kelmscott made a perfect start and were ahead early. A ball into the penalty area by Simon Williams wasn’t dealt with and Arthur Gaye pounced to score. But the home hit back immediately, a through ball from Yohanes Tadesse in behind the defence sent Kyle King clear, and he rounded the keeper to finish. It was all square at the break but the home side soon hit the front. A cross from Ben Wantee was volleyed goalwards by King, and the rebound fell to Boas Mtwale to finish. Morley took control and added a third, with King crossing to Yves Mwi;a and he finished from edge of area. The points were made safe late, Matt Dean cut the ball back to edge of area and Tadesse whipped the ball into top right corner of the goal. “We were poor for the first 20-25 minutes, and made some bad decisions in key areas and went one nil down,” King said. “We got our act together after the first goal and had plenty of chances to go in at half time ahead, just unlucky with final balls. But second half we came out and dominated, good performance but we need to find a way to stop conceding early goals as ultimately it will cost us points.”
JOURNEYMAN KEEPER REDDY JOINS GLORY
Perth Glory have strengthened their goalkeeping stocks by securing experienced shot-stopper Liam Reddy for the coming A-League season. Sydney-born Reddy, 34, has tallied up close to 300 national leagues appearances since making his senior debut for Parramatta Power in 2002.
Reddy, who played with Grand Finalists Western Sydney Wanderers last season, said he is looking forward to being part of an exciting and new era at Glory. "The club has assembled a strong squad for the year and I'm really excited to be part of a Perth Glory that is showing it means business on and off the park" he said.
Ironically, Reddy was Glory's foil back in 2009/10 when he saved two penalties in a shoot-out to send Wellington Phoenix in the semi-finals. "That was indeed a pulsating and exciting day for me but that's ancient history. I'm a Glory boy now and I'm coming over to do Perth and Western Australia proud" he commented.
Coach Kenny Lowe is confident there is a healthy mix of youth and experience amongst his goalkeepers. "Jordan Thurtell and Nick Feely have got great potential and we've also got someone like Liam who's played hundreds of games and comes to us with a wealth of experience," Lowe said.
But the Glory boss was quick to quash any suggestions that Reddy would be a walk-up start. "The top spot is open - you have to earn it," Lowe said. "Yes, Liam is a veteran when you look at his stats but it's up to the other lads to push him and keep him honest, so I expect all the guys to fight for their place."
PS4 NPL-WA DT38 FOUNDATION AWARENESS ROUND - PREVIEW
It’s Week 14 of the PS4NPLWA, and the inaugural DT38 Foundation Awareness Round. All NPLWA clubs will be encouraged to promote awareness of testicular cancer, and will also mark the start of a competition between clubs to raise funds for the DT38Foundation in memory of outstanding young footballer Dylan Tombides. The most successful club will receive the DT38 Awareness Award at the WA Football Awards to be held at Crown Perth on October 15.
This weekend the battle at both ends of the table is heating up, and there are a number of games with big bearing in the round. The Footballwa.net Match of the Round takes us to Grindleford Reserve where seventh placed Balcatta entertains sixth placed Sorrento. Both sides have eyes on the top five, and are level on points on the table, and only sit three points adrift of fifth. Both sides are coming off defeats, Sorrento beaten 3-0 at home by Floreat Athena, while Balcatta lost to Inglewood United. Gulls winger Scott Bulloch said they were beaten by the better side on the day. “When the game was there to be won, Floreat took their chances,” he said. “They grew in confidence and were the better team on the day, we had one or two chances that we never took, and it cost us in the end.” Bulloch said the club have been in a dip in form and must get out of it sooner rather than later. “Our results and performances have been sub-par for a while now and we are in a situation the club has not been in for a very long time,” he explained. “We have the players to do it and it starts this week. Marc has done well with his Balcatta side, they are a sharp fit team and know they will be looking to get back in the winner’s circle like us.” In team news Shaun Kilkelly and Darryl Platten will be pushing first team spot after injury. Balcatta defender Jon Corness said their second half performance was good, but they let themselves down in the first. “It was disappointing not to get anything from the game, we didn't show up in the first half and it cost us going two goals down,” he explained. “Our second half was much better and we could have stolen a point in the end, but we will take the loss on the chin and move on.” The sides drew 1-1 in the reverse fixture and Corness said three points are a must. “It's a big game for both sides on Saturday, obviously both of us want to be pushing for a top 5 spot so it's vital to get something out of the game,” he said. “They have some big lads in their side so we have to be switched on defensively, we're hoping for a better display than last week.” In team news Cameron Teece is suspended for two games, while Feisal Zaw is in doubt with injury.
League leaders Bayswater City had their gap at the top of the table reduced to two points after losing 3-0 at home the Stirling Lions last week, and they will look to rebound when they host Cockburn City at the Finance 365 Stadium. Cockburn scored late to draw with Perth Glory, and skipper Euen Grant said it was a fair result. “It was a pretty even game with a couple of good chances for each side, so it could have gone either way,” he said. “It was good for us to reply so quickly after they scored late on, but at the end of the day a draw was probably a fair result.” Grant said the players are up for this game and they enjoy playing against Bayswater. “We always look forward to playing against the top team, and we’re all looking forward to the challenge,” he explained. “We have played them a couple of times this season, they beat us in the league and we beat them in the cup, so Saturday should be another tight game, but we know we will need to be on our best to get anything from the game.” Cockburn striker Andres Angel will miss the game, while keeper Luke Radonich is suspended, but Jesse Lazzaro and Liam Murray come into the squad. For Bayswater Devon Gibson will miss against his old club, while Paul McCarthy and Trent Kay will be pushing for a starting role, after coming off the bench last week.
Subiaco have home ground advantage when they entertain the in-form ECU Joondalup at Rosalie Park. ECU made it three wins straight after a 1-0 win at Armadale last week, while Subiaco were edged out 2-1 by Perth SC. Striker Kevin White said they didn’t take their chances and got what they deserved. “Although we had some isolated chances I feel we didn’t deserve to win the game,” he explained. “It was mixed feelings as we have dramatically improved from an early season crisis, but we’re back to frustrating one-goal defeats, which hampered us throughout much of last season.” It’s the final game for White, who heads to Dubai with work, and he said it’s been a pleasure to play at the club. “Subi are a bit of an unfashionable club in the NPL, with many thinking they don’t belong at the top level, but we are an honest club totally committed to developing young players and not buying success,” he explained. “We’re different, and should be applauded rather than criticized, surviving again this season would be a magnificent achievement given our limited resources, but I’ve loved playing in this league and for Subiaco” White will be hoping to go out with a win, but is expecting another tough game. “Going forward ECU are as good as any team in the league. Being Scottish I’m aware of the track records of Gordon Smith, Daryl Nicol and Kevin Moon – having the luxury of bringing in such quality means ECU should easily be challenging at the top,” he said. “But after our poor start, we’ve become difficult to break down again, and there have defensive weaknesses we can expose. I have four goals in two games against them, so I’m looking to continue that and get one over on my previous boss, David Tough.” In team news Carlin Feely returns to the Subiaco side after injury but they will be missing the suspended Ger Fitzgerald, while ECU will be missing Jayden Drummond, Steven McGarry and Jon Higgins.
Floreat Athena’s good form has continued and they have moved up to fifth spot on the table after a big win on the road at Sorrento, and this week they host Armadale at the E&D Litis Stadium. Armadale were edged out by Joondalup last week and English striker Danny Hodgson, who has returned from a knee injury, said they were unlucky not to take anything from the game. “I thought it was a good game, they (Joondalup) have been playing well this season and getting results, but I thought we battled well, they had the best of the chances if I'm honest and I our keeper kept us in the game,” he explained. “But I thought we did well and I'm sure if we cut out the silly mistakes then we'll start to get results.” Hodgson said Saturday’s opponents are one of the form sides in the competition, but he said they go looking for the three points. “Floreat have been playing well, I think after the win in the FFA cup against Inglewood proved that they are a dangerous team,” he said. “But I'm sure we'll go there and give them a good game. It's tight at the bottom of the table and with relegation every game is vital so hopefully we can pick up a good result from this game on the weekend.” Floreat will be missing striker Lewis McMahan, after he was suspended for five games, while Ludovic Boi will have a late fitness test, but Armadale will be at full strength.
Inglewood United have home ground advantage when they host Perth Glory at the Inglewood Stadium, looking to keep the pressure on Bayswater. United bounced back from three games without a win with a hard fought 2-1 against Balcatta, while the Glory conceded late to draw 1-1 at Cockburn. Glory keeper Jordon Thurtell said they were disappointed to not come home with the three points. “I thought we controlled most of the game and deserved more than the draw,” he said. “It’s been a hectic period for the players, playing three games in a week, so at the end of the day it was a really positive team performance.” The Glory youngsters were edged out 1-0 by Inglewood in their first meeting this season and Thurtell said the players are looking forward to another challenge. “The boys really relish playing against the top sides, and they are looking forward to a big game,” he said. “They beat us in the first round, but on the day I felt we deserved more and we will be looking to even the score on Saturday.” In team news the Glory have a number of first team players coming back injury and also get Calvin Whitney back from suspension, while Inglewood will be without the suspended Scott Blackmore.
On Sunday the inaugural DT38 Foundation Awareness Round culminates when Perth SC host Stirling Lions in the Dylan Tombides Tribute game at Dorrien Gardens (6.00pm). Both sides were winners last week, Stirling stunning league leaders Bayswater, while Perth beat Subiaco. Perth midfielder Dino Topcagic said they were made to work hard for the win, but deserved it. “I think we were good when we had to be, and going to their ground you're never going to play well for 90 minutes,” he explained. “They (Subiaco) are a team who work hard, but we knew if we could just match their energy the rest will be taken care of by the quality we have in our squad, so we were happy to coming home with three points.” Topcagic, who has played in all the clubs games this season, scoring three goals, said Sunday’s opponents will be another huge test but they have played each other a number of times this season. “Stirling will be another difficult test for us, but we should be used to each other as we've faced each other three times already this year, so we're aware of their strengths,” he said. “Both teams boast two of the leading scorers in the competition so I'm sure the neutrals watching will be expecting goals. However, with our defence having conceded the least amount hopefully we can keep them at bay. If we just cut out some of the foolish errors, we can make this game a lot easier for ourselves.” Perth will be without the injured Clark Keltie, while Stirling will be without the suspended Blamo Qua Qua.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND ELEVEN - PREVIEW
The top of the All Flags State League Division One is getting tight, with just three points separating the top three sides. This week’s Footballwa.net Match of the Week sees one of them, Forrestfield United, making the trip to Walter Padbury Reserve to take on Gosnells City in the local derby. Forrestfield have won their last six games, and are the form team of the league, and last week overcame a stubborn South West Phoenix 2-0 at home. Defender Mark Barnett said they were a tough nut to crack but they got the job done in the end. “They (Phoenix) put up a fair fight. They definitely had a few experienced players in their side that would be ready to pounce on any of our mistakes, but I feel the way we played as a unit and how we kept our structure, we were always going to be hard to break down on the day,” he said. “Defensively we were solid and consistent, offensively we were sharp and took our chances, so happy to continue our good form.” A local lad, Barnett has been in stellar form for United, and he is looking forward to the local derby clash. “This week’s game is one I’m really looking forward too,” he said. “A huge derby, and our boys will be raring to go off the back of six straight wins. We have found fantastic form and we have really come together over the past few weeks, and we will be looking to continue it on Saturday. In team news for Forrestfield Ben Rogers returns from suspension, but Kaan Karacan will miss again due to injury. Gosnells edged out Shamrock Rovers last week to win their first game in six weeks, and Jacob Aquino said they weren’t at their best but come home with the points. “To be honest it wasn’t our best game with the ball but we defended well,” he said. “It was good to get the points even though we didn’t play the best, as we have played a lot better this season in games and came away empty handed.” Aquino said the game against Forrestfield is tough, especially with them in good form, but they need to make the most of their home ground advantage. “Forrestfield will be a tough challenge this week as they are the form team of the league at the moment,” he said. “It’s an important game not just because it’s a derby, but because we want to close the gap on the teams above us. We know we will have to be at our best but at home we will be looking for the three points.” Gosnells go in to the game with no team changes.
Joondalup United bounced back from their loss to Mandurah City with a big win at UWA-Nedlands last week and on Saturday they return home, when they entertain Western Knights at Forrest Park. The Knights were held to a scoreless draw by Canning City, but Joondalup Coach Nick Jennings said the big win last week was a really pick me up for the side. “It was a dominant display and we completely controlled the game from the first whistle,” he said. “We spurned numerous easy chances and should have had double figures, also the two goals we conceded were very soft and were down to a lack of concentration. But the quality of our football was of the highest order and was a pleasure to watch.” Saturday’s game is a huge challenge for Joondalup and Jennings said they need to improve their home form. “Our home form this season has been disappointing and we need to put that right starting with this week,” he explained. “All our games against Western Knights have been very close including the last fixture in the night series when we fell over the line in a 3-2 win. They are always a hard team to breakdown but our confidence is sky high and we will prepare properly and be ready for Saturday.”
In other games Ashfield have home ground advantage when they host UWA Nedlands at the Ashfield Arena. Ashfield were edged out at Mandurah, while UWA were well beaten by Joondalup. Only two points separates the sides on the table, and both will be looking to bounce back. Canning City go in to their game against Shamrock Rovers at Harold Rossiter Reserve on the back of three games without defeat, including a point at league leaders Mandurah. Rovers on the other hand haven’t won since round two, and will be disparate to turn their fortunes around as they lose touch with the rest of the teams at the bottom. There is another local derby with time at the Lark Hill Sportsplex, with Rockingham City hosting Mandurah City (7.00pm). The home side sits in ninth spot on the table, but do have a game in hand and a win this week will see jump away from the relegations zone. They face a Mandurah team full of confidence, and currently the only unbeaten side in the top leagues in WA, so Rocky will need to be at their best to end that record.
In the final game bottom of the table Dianella White Eagles make the long trip to the South West to take on the Phoenix at Hay Park. Phoenix are in tenth spot, six points ahead of the Eagles, and the visitors know they need to start to pick up points to keep in sight with them. Last week Dianella were edged out by Rockingham at home and keeper Yousri Gharsallah said they were unlucky not to take anything from the game. “We prepared really well for the game but we had a player sent off after only 20 minutes and all the plans spiraled,” he said. “They were then awarded two penalties, but we kept chasing and trying to get back on the game but we missed a lot of opportunities. We have a good team with some qualities players, but we are struggling in the final third at the moment.” The trip to Bunbury is always difficult, but the keeper said they are going there for the win. “We are going all out for the three points on Saturday, and a loss will make our situation more complicated,” Gharsallah explained. “To do that we need to put more work and discipline in games, and if we do that we start to get the results.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND ELEVEN - PREVIEW
Like Division One, only three points separates the top three sides in the All Flags State League Division Two. This week’s Footballwa.net Match of the Week sees league leaders Fremantle City making the trip to Edinburgh Oval this evening to take on Curtin University (8.30pm) Fremantle got back in the winners’ circle last week with a win against Morley Windmills and Coach Steve Plucknet said it was a good performance. “It was good to get back with a win against one of the favourites for the title this year,” he said. “We got off to a good start with Alec Robinson netting two early goals, but it was a pretty scrappy game from then on in. Defensively the boys did well again as the opposition pressed hard and we were really not comfortable until Alec Robinson got his third mid-way through the second half. Unfortunately there were some pretty bad challenges being thrown in and one had Sean Brown carried off with a really bad tackle from behind which was the only sour note of the weekend.” Plucknett believes Saturday’s opponents are better than their league positions shows, and he’s expecting a tough game. “Curtin this weekend will be a very difficult game for us, I don't believe their position on the table is a true reflection of what they are capable of producing,” he explained. “I’ve seen them play this year and I’m well aware that they are more than capable of beating any team in the division. Our players have trained well this week and are looking forward to the game but anything other than full commitment won’t be enough. Gareth Hamilton and Maddy Holman return for Fremantle, but Sean Brown faces a late fitness Test. Curtin were beaten at Joondalup City last week, and Coach Campbell Ballantyne said they fell away after half time. “Last week defeat was very disappointing, we dominated the first half and Joondalup pounced on a mistake and took the lead from a great strike,” he said. “The other goals were as a result of us chasing the game, but credit to Joondalup for capitalising.” Ballantyne said hosting the league leaders will be a huge test but one he and the players are looking forward too. “We’re looking forward to the game on Friday night, it should be a good game,” said. “We hosted them (Fremantle) in the last game of last season and won it with the last kick of the game, it will be nice if there is a repeat this time around.” Curtin will be without Arijan Stovrag and Luis Downham, who have have finished with the club and returned to Sweden and USA respectively. But Ballantyne will have Olly Robertson back from injury, and will also have Mark Matkovic and Dilip Thapa available for selection.
It’s third v fourth when Swan United host Joondalup City at the Swan Italian Club. Swan were surprisingly beaten by Wanneroo last week, and will want to bounce back and keep their unbeaten run going in the Swan Valley. Joondalup kept in touch with the league leaders with a big win last week against Curtin and Coach Marco Schisano said it was a good win after they had a number of players unavailable. “Unfortunately we have a number of players missing at the moment due to being away and injuries which forced me to change formation. We started the match slowly and Curtin came at us early but we managed to start taking control of the match and picked up a valuable three points,” he said. “It was pleasing to see that 3 players started for the first time this season and slotted in extremely well. We have a group of players who are hungry to succeed and they showed a lot of character following from a very poor performance the week before.” Schisano said Saturday’s trip is a tough challenge, against a side that has started the season well. “Swan are a club which is used to play in higher divisions and they are having a great season so far. They have an experienced group of players and coach and I am sure we will be in for a great battle,” he said. “They have had some mixed results recently which is the same situation we are in at the moment. It is hard to predict outcome of matches in our league as everyone is capable of picking up points from all the other teams.” In team news for City, Joseph McQuade is suspended, while Jamie Kalaher and Joel Skinner are unavailable, but Liam McGurk and Tommy Bramley should return to the squad.
In other games Ellenbrook United entertain Balga at Arbor Grove Reserve. The home side are still looking for their first win of the season, and a local derby win against Balga would be a nice way to do it, but Balga have top spot in their sights and will be into the game as strong favourites. Wanneroo City and Quinns also meet in a local derby at Gumblossom Park. Wanneroo will be looking to make it back-to-back wins after their big win against Swan last week, but Quinns have also hit some good form including last week’s win at Ellenbrook. Melville City and Kingsway Olympic meet at Len Shearer Reserve, both looking to bounce back from defeats last week Melville haven’t won at home this season, and Coach Gavin Brown will be looking to change that sooner rather than later. In the final game Kelmscott Roos travel to Wotton Reserve to take on Morley Windmills. Both sides are level on points on the table, but the Roos are coming off a big win last week at Melville, with striker Owen Curtis on target. “The game was tough for both sides, a bit of a midfield battle that neither side seemed to get the upper hand in,” Curtis said. “They lost a man with 15 to go, but it didn't see them drop their heads. We had to still push hard and finally broke the dead lock with the last kick of the game. Very hard fought victory, very proud of the lads, and full credit to Melville for a valiant performance.” Curtis knows Morley will be looking to bounce back from a loss last week. “This week will be another tough match, all those teams in the middle are scrapping to get clear from each other,” he explained. “I feel our brand of football is good enough to beat any team. So if we come out firing Saturday, the result will take care of itself.”
BAD BREAK FOR ECU NEW SIGNING
New ECU Joondalup signing Jayden Drummond will be out for six to eight weeks after breaking his leg after crude tackle in the 3-0 win against Sorrento two weeks ago. The midfielder returned to the field in the game and trained all week, and played 90 minutes at Armadale on Saturday, but with the pain in his leg not going he went to the doctors and had x-rays and found he had fractured his fibula just above the ankle.
“Still a bit of a shock, it hasn't quite sunk in yet,” Drummond said. “I knew something wasn't right, but I've never been one to sit out just thought it was a really sore bruise so, being stubborn as I am I thought it was nothing but I thought I'd give in and get some piece of mind. “It wasn’t the news I was after, as I’ve really enjoyed it down there and feel like I've fitted in well, just gutted it has been cut short. I’ll go through the rehab and hope to be back before the end of the season and hopefully help the lads to the top five spot we are all aiming for.”
“He’s been a breath of fresh air at the club on match days and training, his enthusiasm and work rate has been second to none and wish him a speedy recovery,” Assistant Coach David Tough said. “We had no idea, he continued the game and played a full game at Armadale, so it just shows the character the lad has playing when in pain.”
WILLIAMS TURNS TO GLORY TO REVIVE CAREER
Forgotten Socceroo Rhys Williams has put his international dreams on the backburner while he attempts to reignite his career at Perth Glory. Williams has been ravaged by injuries over the past three years, with two achilles tendon ruptures cutting short his promising career at English Championship outfit Middlesbrough - a club he once captained.
27-year old Williams still harbours dreams of playing in the English Premier League, and featuring for the Socceroos again. But for the moment, it's all about playing the game he loves on a consistent basis, which he hopes to do during his one-year stint under coach Kenny Lowe at Glory.
"I've never not thought about it," Williams said of his Socceroos dreams. "But it is something in the back of my head for now. I just want to get playing and start performing. I have come back (from England) earlier than I wanted to. I had a plan of playing in the Premier League, and I realised it wasn't meant to be. I need to get myself going again."
A pelvic injury ruled Williams out of the 2010 World Cup, before his achilles issues ruined his World Cup hopes in 2014. A strong season with Perth - and more importantly a season without any major injuries - could thrust Williams back into the national picture in time for the 2018 World Cup.
But first, he'd love to win a title with his hometown club. "I was a season ticket holder when I was a kid," Williams said. "My mum and dad used to take me when Bobby (Despotovski) was playing. We get all the games (televised) in England. I followed it. And just seeing what they did towards the end of last season just makes the decision (to join) feel even better."
Glory will start as one of the favourites to win the next title, with the powerful squad boasting the likes of Williams, Andy Keogh, Diego Castro, Chris Herd, Adam Taggart and Josh Risdon. The club announced earlier in the week they had re-signed coach Kenny Lowe for a further two seasons, taking him through to the end of the 2018/19 campaign.
PERTH CLASH CRITICAL TO WORLD CUP QUALIFICATION: SAINSBURY
Defender Trent Sainsbury says the Socceroos’ upcoming clash with Iraq is the most important game left in their bid to qualify for a fourth successive World Cup. The game on September 1 at Perth Oval signals the start of Australia's final qualification stage for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and is the biggest international ever held in Perth.
Sainsbury said the Iraq game would set the tone for their final qualifying run. “Iraq is a very important game for us to get our qualifiers started off,” he said. “We want to start off with a win, especially on home soil. This is probably the most important game the Socceroos are going to have in a while in terms of tests and the three points needed.”
“They say every first game in a qualifying tournament is the most important. We want to start off positively. Not every team in Asia is going to be a pushover, especially away. Sometimes it’s very hostile. It’ll be second time lucky for me. I can get out there and play in front of friends and family at a packed nib Stadium.”
Sainsbury scored in Australia’s 2-1 loss to Greece in Melbourne earlier this month as he continued to build on his return to the national team. He said moving to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning in January from Dutch club PEC Zwolle had been good for his game.
“Moving to China, there were a lot of questions asked about what my role in the national team was going to be from now on in,” said Sainsbury, who signed off on the transfer after speaking to Tim Cahill about the Socceroos star’s own experience in China. “I’ve got no doubts that I can remain at the top level in the team.”
“Physically my body is in good shape. I’ve played 22 or 23 games in a row now and I’m coming up against good opposition. I’ve spoken to the national fitness coach and I’ve got extra programs off him just so I can keep topped up. I’m doing everything I can to stay ahead of the curve.”
LOWE GIVEN NEW DEAL AT GLORY
Perth Glory have rewarded Kenny Lowe for a successful 2015 A-League season, with a new two-year extension, which will see him become the club's longest-serving coach. Lowe, 54, will remain coach of the club for the next three seasons, the two-year extension means Lowe - who was appointed on a full-time basis at the start of the 2014-15 campaign - is set to be become Glory's longest-serving coach.
Lowe’s new deal will see him through until the end of the 2018-19 season, and he is delighted to stay at the club. “I am humbled, honoured and excited that Tony Sage and Peter Filopoulos have shown trust and faith in me to be here for two more seasons after the current campaign," Lowe said. "I am looking forward to the challenge of developing a long-term strategy of continued growth throughout the club from grassroots all the way up to the first team."
The former Hartlepool, Stoke City and Birmingham City midfielder, guided the club to a third-place finish in his first full season with the club, having served as caretaker boss following Alistair Edwards' departure in 2013, but they were disqualified from the finals series and dropped down to seventh due to salary cap violations. Despite the off-field drama, Lowe took Perth to the finals in the following season, while they also finished runners-up to Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United in the FFA Cup.
Glory CEO Peter Filopoulos said Lowe’s extension was important in building a solid platform to achieve the targets set out in the club's four year plan. “Kenny’s record at Perth Glory speaks for itself with an impressive record during his tenure after taking over the reins in 2013-2014 as interim coach and then officially from 2014-2015," Filopoulos said. “With a clear strategy in place for the club, it was critical we extended Kenny’s contract to provide the environment and opportunity to drive our strategic objectives between now and 2020.”
PROUD GOODMAN REPRESENTS AUSTRALIA (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Inglewood United legend Jamie Goodman says pulling on the green and gold of Australia was the realisation of a long-held dream. Goodman, one of only two players to win back-to-back Inglewood Player of the Year awards, gained his international debut earlier this month by representing Australia at the Seniors World Cup Football Tournament in Thailand.
“It is a lifelong dream of any player to represent their country no matter how old or young,” 44-year old Goodman said. “It was a very special moment and I am very proud to have had the opportunity to represent Australia. There is no greater feeling than putting on the shirt for the first time and singing the national anthem.”
“It was brilliant to get a taste of what it would have been like to be a professional footballer, even if it was only for a week. Getting to rub shoulders with some great West Australian players along with the international players was an experience that I’ll never forget, likewise the coaching day we spent with Thai school kids.”
Goodman, who played six seasons with Inglewood, considers Australia’s placing of fifth a just outcome. “It was probably a fair reflection of where we were at,” the defender said. “You need a little bit of luck and things to go smoothly in any tournament and, unfortunately, we suffered a couple of key injuries in our first game against Scotland.”
Australia went down to the Scots two-nil but earned a share of the points against New Zealand, drawing 2-2. However, a 3-1 loss to hosts Thailand effectively put an end to their hopes of playing off for silverware. “We conceded a couple of goals early from mistakes and it was always going to be difficult to peg those back,” Goodman explained.
To their credit the team bounced back in their final group game, defeating Taiwan 2-0, to set-up a Trans-Tasman showdown with New Zealand in the play-off for fifth and sixth, where the green and gold triumphed 3-1. “It was good to finish the tournament strongly with a couple of convincing wins, over Taiwan and New Zealand,” Goodman said.
A star-studded England side that featured former Premier League players Peter Beagrie and Barry Hayles went on to win the trophy, defeating Thailand 1-0 in the tournament finale. “There was some real quality on show with a lot of players having played at the highest levels of European football,” said Goodman.
“The England squad had over 9,000 professional games between them, and Scotland had a few former Internationals and Premier League players also. A very well-drilled Iran had three or four players that knocked the Socceroos out of the World Cup in 1998 and Thailand also had players with top European league experience.”
Representing Australia at the Seniors World Cup Football Tournament were Rod Hunt, Frederico Navarra, Mel Brown, Paul McVittie, Marc Wingell, Frank Houston, Peter Murphy, Paul Lincoln, Steve Robinson, Jorge Guimaraes, Carlo Scali, Stephen Worton, Nathan Chapman, Rob Markovski, Damien Todorovic, Eugene Dadi, Alan Pottier, Marc Anthony, Gary Lee, Arturo Schmiedgen, Chris McCrone, Dave Evans, Justin Hugo and Jamie Goodman. The team officials were Robbie Dunn (coach), Ross Kelly (assistant coach), Rob Messenger (manager) and Anthony Neary (kit).
PERTH HIT BACK TO BEAT SUBIACO
Perth SC made it five games without defeat after a come-from-behind 2-1 win against Subiaco at Rosalie Park. Kevin White had given the home side the lead early, but Gustavo Catarcione scored twice to earn them the points. Perth coach Ramon Falzon said Subiaco’s goal was a wake-up call. “We reacted well after the shock,” he told the NPLWA website. “But we made life complicated for ourselves. I am not happy with the way we played in the second half. We were too selfish and didn’t get the basics right. Too often, we didn’t stick to the plan.”
Michael Brazil’s side started brightly and almost hit the front early, Jackson Darnell saw his effort pushed around the post by Perth keeper Francis Soale. Then from the resulting corner James Casserly’s header flashed just over the top. Their early dominance was rewarded with the opener on 22 minutes, White found space in the penalty area and volleyed home supplely giving Soale no chance.
The goal was nothing more than they deserved, but their celebrations were short-lived, with Perth levelling three minutes later. Dino Topcagic’s free kick picked out Catarcione and the striker made no mistake. The Perth marksman was on target again seven minutes from half time, latching on to a through ball and scoring past Ryan Montgomery. Subiaco started the second-half like the first, and Darnell was again denied by Soale, before Michael Lawson’s effort also went wide.
The visitors also had chances, as the game opened up, Tom King was denied by Montgomery, before the Subiaco custodian was alert to deny Catarcione his hat-trick. The home side pushed everyone forward, and White’s header was tipped over by Soale, and in the last minute of stoppage time keeper Montgomery raced forward for a corner, and his header sailed inches wide.
TONG AT THE DOUBLE INGLEWOOD
Inglewood United have put a four game streak without a win behind them with a hard fought 2-1 win against Balcatta at Inglewood Stadium. Defender Adam Tong scored a brace to give the home side a 2-0 lead at the break, but a Cameron Teece pulled one back for the visitors in the second half but they couldn’t find the equaliser. “Full credit to our guys, from where we've been the last few weeks - a lot of people have written us off - I think we showed some really good character,” Coach Taki Nicolaidis said. “Every player stood up today, and with the three points, hopefully that gets us back on a winning run.”
It was perfect start to the game for the home side and they were ahead after only two minutes. Tim Robertson’s cross found Tong, whose glancing header beat Clint Davies. Balcatta pressed looking for the equaliser, but they found Tong and his fellow defenders in no mood to concede, and on 37 minutes they doubled their advantage. The visitors failed to deal with a corner and the ball fell to Tong, who showed his strikers skills, be firing home on the turn from the edge of the box.
Tong went in search of his hat trick early in the second half, his long-range free kick whistled just over the top. Balcatta started to take control, with Teece a constant threat, and on 67 minutes the teenager striker reduced the margin. Conor Kavanagh played the ball through to Teece, and the former Perth Glory Youth player volleyed home spectacularly across Alex Dunn and inside the far post. Balcatta pressed for the equaliser, but couldn’t find a way past a tight Inglewood defence, and the home side went close to adding a third late on, but substitute Kenny Keogh’s shot was tipped over the top by Davies.
ATHENA FLY HOME WITH THE POINTS AGAINST THE GULLS
Floreat Athena maintained the pressure on the top four, after a 3-0 win against Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. Skipper Ludovic Boi opened the scoring early, and the points were wrapped up with late goals from Andrew Scaldaferro and Jon Stynes, moving Floreat to within two points of the top four. “I thought all the boys put on a big shift today, there wasn’t one person that stood out above the rest, it was a team effort,” Floreat Coach Glen Grostate said post game. "But after playing four games in 12 days it will be good to take the foot off the pedal, let the boys have a bit of a break and then get back into it next week against Armadale.”
The home side were looking to bounce back from last week’s loss at Joondalup, and they started brightly, but they found themselves behind on 18 minutes. Kris Gate won possession and found Boi, who fired home past James Morgan. The goal gave the visitors confidence and they almost added a second five minutes later, Stynes shot was well saved by James Morgan. Sorrento, who gave a debut to former Brighton and Scunthorpe midfielder Matthew Sparrow, were struggling in the final third and they went into the break one down.
Floreat, who were backing up from a midweek game, looked the livelier, but Sorrento went close to levelling it up eight minutes into the second half. Scott Bulloch’s low cross was only inches away from the sliding Sean Canham at the back post. The home side thought they had a penalty on the hour, when Canham was brought down by Jason Saldaris, and referee Stuart Muldoon pointed to the spot, but after consulting with his assistant the decision was changed, and Canham received a yellow card.
Stynes went close to a second for Floreat after a mix up at the back by Sorrento, but the midfielder blazed over. But that miss was forgotten on 77 minutes, Scaldaferro volleying home superbly from the edge of the box. Sorrento substitute Billy Quinncroft almost pulled on back in the last minute, but his header from Ryan Pearson’s cross was well saved by Jason Saldaris. But with Sorrento pushing men forward Floreat added a third moments later. Boi crossing to Stynes who made no mistake.
LIONS ROAR TO END BAYSWATER’S UNBEATEN RUN
Stirling Lions put an end to league leaders Bayswater City’s seven game winning streak after a stunning 3-0 win at the Finance 365 Stadium. David Micevski gave the visors the lead from the spot in the first half, before skipper Miki Vujacic doubled their lead and an own goal in stoppage time gave them the points. “It was a brilliant team performance, we stuck to the game plan and I think we frustrated them at times,” Lions Coach Rob Milevski told the NPLWA website. “We had a couple of young lads in there, 17-year-old Lukas Da Lima came in on the right side and I thought he worked hard and combined well.”
It was a tight opening with both sides creating half chances, but it was the visitors who hit the front on 16 minutes. David Micevski was brought down in the penalty area by Andy Reale and referee Josh Mannella pointed straight to the spot. Micevski picked himself up to score low past Devon Spence. Lions’ custodian John Perkins was in fine form, producing a number of fine saves to deny Bayswater, and it was the Lions who almost added a second on the half hour.
David Micevski picked up a poor clearance and raced forward and his lob looked goal bound but Spence got back to make an important save. Stirling were hitting well on the counter attack, and went close again on 37 minutes. Mathiang Mathiang crossed from the right and picked out Jamie Gibson, but he fired over with the goal at his mercy. Bayswater’s best chance didn’t come until the 40th minute. Jason Mirco and David Heagney combining to find former Lions striker Lawrence Shuruma at the back post, but his first touch let him down and the chance was gone.
Perkins continued his stellar form after the break and the Lions keeper produced a stunning double save Bayswater just after the hour. First he saved superbly to deny Alex Salmon’s free kick, and he reacted quickly to thwart Heagney’s follow up shot. That save was vital because on 72 minutes the visitors doubled their lead. Vujacic’s in-swinging corner caught Spence out and it ended up in the top corner of the net. The day went from bad to worse for the home side and stoppage time own goal from Sam Mitchinson made the final scored 3-0.
GLORY LET IT SLIP LATE AT COCKBURN
Perth Glory conceded a goal five minutes from time to draw 1-1 with Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Daniel Stynes looked like he had won all three points for the Glory youngsters when he scored on 83 minutes, but Ruben Tristao levelled two minutes later to give both sides a share of the spoils. “It was very hard to take after the game, we completely dominated them for most of the game and had ample chances to kill the game off however we didn't,” Stynes said. “We also did very well defensively against a tough side, but it was a much improved performance than the two previous games so that's a lot better.”
Glory keeper Jordan Thurtell was in action early saving well to deny former Glory youth midfielder Ali Gholami, who was sent clear by Julian Teles. Nikola Talimdzioski’s shot over the top on the quarter hour, as the Glory lifted. Joe Knowles, Stynes and Talimdzioski were causing problems, and they went close to the lead in the shadows of half time. Gian Albano lost his marker on the edge of the penalty area, but his shot on a tight angle flashed past the post.
The Glory opened brightly in the second half and Knowles run and shot flashed over the top, before Stynes was denied by a stunning save from Luke Radonich. Thurtell came to his sides rescue just after the hour, after substitute Aiden De Luz broke through one-on-one with the Glory custodian, but Thurtell was off his line bravely to save at his feet. The Glory were pressing and Knowles’ header on 76 minutes was well saved by Radonich, before the striker raced clear again moments later, but his shot from the angle was over the top.
Then it was Cockburn who went close, with the lively De Luz racing clear, but a superb last ditch tackle from Robertson denied him. But on 83 minutes the Glory’s pressure was rewarded with the opener. Stynes finding the bottom corner after receiving the ball at the edge of the box from Knowles. However the Glory’s celebrations turned to heartbreak after Cockburn equalised two minutes later. Tristao was given too much room and the midfielder fired low past Thurtell, to give both sides a share of the spoils.
ECU DEDICATE WIN TO TEAMMATE
ECU Joondalup good form continued and made it three wins on the bounce after a 1-0 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve. Scottish striker Gordon Smith scored the only goal of the game midway through the second half, but all the thoughts of the ECU Joondalup players were with Scottish midfielder Steven McGarry, whose father passed away last week. “We weren’t at our best today, but we’ll take the three points, and it’s vital to win away from home,” Gordon Smith told the NPLWA website. “I had three good chances today and the one I scored was probably the most difficult, so delighted to score the winner and most importantly get the three points and keep our good form going, and that one is for Steven, were all thinking of you mate.”
Early chances were few and far between, the first real chance fell to the home side on 26 minutes, when Jesse Fuller played in Anthony Skorich, whose shot on the run was saved low by Lewis Italiano. ECU hit back and should have taken the lead four minutes later. Shane Pickering won the ball in the middle of the park and slipped Gordon Smith clear on goal, but Alec Radonich stood tall to deny the Scottish striker.
The visitors lifted after the break and Gordon Smith was again denied superbly by Radonich, and Daryl Nicol was also thwarted by the Armadale custodian. At the other end Italiano then had to be alert to save Fuller’s shot. But on 68 minutes ECU hit the front. Higgins was sent down the left and whipped in a fantastic cross to Smith, who headed home superbly into the top corner of the net, giving Radonich no chance.
The game lifted and it was end to end football, and the home side almost hit back moments later, Healing’s free kick on the edge of the penalty area, whistled past the post. Nicol then went close at the other end, this time sent clear by Kevin Moon’s inch perfect through ball, but Radonich came to his sides rescue spreading himself well to deny the lively striker. Armadale continued to press and in stoppage time almost nicked an equaliser. Healing cross picked out substitute Raveshlan Kuppusamy, whose shot was superbly tipped over the bar by Italiano.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TEN - REVIEW
Mandurah City maintained their lead at the top of the All Flags Division One with a hard fought 1-0 win against Ashfield at the Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium. The only goal of the game came in the first half. A free kick from Jon Brookes on 10 minutes picked out Tom Straker, who got to the ball before the Ashfield keeper to head home. Ashfield went close before the break with Jay Lang’s long-range shot crashing off the crossbar. Both sides had chances in the second half as the game opened up the best fell the visitors with two minutes remaining when they were rewarded a penalty, but Jay Lang, who scored two spot kicks last week, fired wide. The home side thought they had a second in stoppage time when Orelio Fernandez scored a great goal, but the linesman flag was up and the goal was disallowed. Then in final minute Alex Stamatiadis went one-on-one with Mandurah keeper Brad Eiffe, who got done low to save. Mandurah defender Ollie McGee said it was a hard fought game. “We were very well organised all game and gave Ashfield very few clear cut chances,” he said. “They are a good side, so it is a positive win for us to push on from last week’s win at Joondalup.”
Joondalup maintain the pressure on the league leaders with an emphatic 6-2 win against UWA Nedlands at the UWA Sports Park. “It was an important win, to bounce back from last week’s disappointing loss to Mandurah,” midfielder Josh Booysen said. “We needed to make a statement that we mean business and will keep fighting every week, and I think we did.” The visitors were ahead on five minutes, a long throw was flicked on by Ross Edwards and Guy McDonald headed home. It was 2-0 five minutes later, Lee Jones was sent one-on-one with Alex Preece and he finished well, and Edwards headed a third on 35 minutes. United added a fourth just after half time, Jones scoring his second. UWA skipper Marc Zagami was sent off, but the ten men hit back and pulled two quick goals back through Alex Kretowicz and Lloyd Prout. But Joondalup scored two more goals late in the game with Callum Stocks curling home from the edge of the box, and Jacob Shore rounded off the scoring.
Forrestfield United made it six wins from six after a hard fought 2-0 win against South West Phoenix at Hartfield Park. Hasani Sinclair thought he had opened the scoring on the half hour, the American firing home, but his celebrations were short-lived with the offside flag up. But three minutes into the second half the home side hit the front. Jordan Hart made a surging run down the right, and his inch perfect cross was headed home by Sinclair. Lim Merrigan was then denied by Phoenix keeper Adam Guthridge. Phoenix pressed late and Luke Martino denied James McCleary on 84 minutes. Then moments later the home side sealed the points. Sedad Yagli found space on the flan and cut the ball back from the byline, and Hart made no mistake. “The games certainly wasn't our best performance of the season, but we did enough to break down a stubborn Bunbury defence,” Winger Rhys Loxley said. “I thought our defence deserved a lot of credit as well for limiting Bunbury to only a few half chances, especially the centre back pairing of Hayden Dodgson and Mark Barnett (both 19), both showed experience beyond their years. We are really starting to generate some momentum winning six in a row and it looks as though the second half of the season is shaping up to be a really good battle.”
In other games Rockingham City returned to the winner’s circle after a 3-2 win against Dianella White Eagles at Dianella Reserve. Jason Stepanovski gave the home side the lead but Ryan Kennedy levelled from the penalty spot. City then took control with Gersh Rowland scoring from close-range after good work from Christian Hogge, and Rowland’s addeda second penalty after Rowland was brought down in the box. Nasir Komi pulled one back for the home side but it was too little too late. “It was important to get the win, we created lots of good chances which was pleasing, the group can be proud of the performance and their effort,” City coach Rob Crerar said. Gosnells City came away from Harold Rossiter Reserve with a 1-0 win against Shamrock Rovers. The only goal of the game came from a penalty from Jason Pottier just before half time. “It was an ugly performance from us and we really did not play well at all but I thought our defence played solid and really let us scrape though with the win,” Caleb Aquino said. “But in saying that we have played well in many games and still gone on to lose so we will take the ugly win and hopefully play much better next week against Forrestfield.” In the final game at Nash Field Western Knights and Canning City fought out a scoreless draw.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND TEN - REVIEW
In the week ten’s match of the round Balga travelled to Kingsway Reserve and came away with a 2-1 win against Kingsway Olympic. Anton De Francesch scored the opener with basically the last kick of the first half. A great through ball saw him with only the keeper to beat, and he made no mistake. Balga made it to 2-0 three minutes into the second half. De Francesch made a run down the right and picked out Kyall Osborne in the box, and he finished well. Olympic got one back with about five minutes to go, after a great cross found Mark Donnelly in the box, who headed home. It set up a grandstand finish, but Balga held on for the points.
Fremantle City maintained their lead at the top of the table with a 3-1 win against Morley Windmills at Hilton Reserve. The home side opened the scoring when a pin point cross from Liam Farris picked out Alec Robinson to head home from 5meters. They added a second when a through ball from Ben Reynolds sent Robinson clear and he outpaced the defenders and slid the ball pass the keeper. Morley pulled one back on 35 minutes. A long throw was flicked on by Kyle King and the clearance fell to Nicola Gazzola on the edge of the penalty area and he low into the corner of the net. But the result was put out of sight with a third goal to Fremantle. Daniel Glenon sending Robinson clear to complete his hat trick. “A fully deserved win for the lads although Morley looked dangerous on the break they never really had any clear cut chances,” Danny Clapham. “We always looked in control of the game having a goal disallowed and hitting the woodwork. It was a hard worked 3 points for us and we are ready to build on that on Friday against Curtin.”
Joondalup City kept pressure on the league leaders with a 3-0 win against Curtin University at the Iluka Sports Complex. The home side opened the scoring with 35-yard screamer from Joe Smoke. Sam Phillips added the second finishing one-on-one with the keeper, before Smoke added the third with a shot from outside the box. “A great win from the boys after a bad defeat last week,” Joondalup defender Mark Tebbutt said. “We've had a few boys away and injured the past two weeks forcing a reshuffle that ended up going wrong, but back on track now and will be hard to beat from here on in.” Kelmscott Roos came away from the Len Shearer Reserve with a 1-0 win against Melville City. The only goal of the game in the final minute, when Pathy Mpio corner was met by Owen Curtis with an overhead kick to seal the win. Meanwhile Quinns beat Ellenbrook United 3-1 in the local derby at Arbor Grove Reserve.
Wanneroo City resurgence has continued with a 1-0 win against Swan United at Wanneroo Reserve. The only goal of the game came on the half hour, a cross from Godfrey Asimwe crashed off the post, the ball rebounding to Jon McGahern at the back post who volleyed it into the roof of the net. “It was a well fought out battle by the boys to seal the win, and I thought we deserved everything we got as our passion and hunger to win was too much for Swan to handle,” Wanneroo’s Nathan Grostate said. “We owe a lot to our supporters yesterday for being behind us the whole game, and a big thank you to the reserves, who from the first whistle to the last were screaming and cheering us all on which helped us heaps. It was a great day for Wanneroo yesterday with all three team winning, so we now move onto a big game at Quinn's next week.” In the final game Quinns beat Ellenbrook United 3-1 in the local derby at Arbor Grove Reserve.
CASTRO HEADS TO PERTH FOR MORE GLORY
Perth Glory have re-signed Spanish striker Diego Castro for next season, in a massive boost to the clubs A-League title prospects. The reigning Johnny Warren medalist will return to the west for a second season after officially putting pen to paper while holidaying in his native Spain. It was reported that Castro was heading to the Indian Premier League after being offered a $1.6 million deal, but the 33-year-old has decided the A-League is where he wants to be and the Glory are delighted to have him.
Castro’s re-signing is a major coup given Perth initially feared they would lose the talented playmaker after just one A-League season, but a chat with Kenny Lowe in Madris last month convinced the former Sporting Gijon and Getafe player said he’s delighted to be back in the west, and is hoping to bring a title to the club. “After the year we’ve just had, I feel we have a lot of unfinished business at Perth Glory and I want to win a championship,” Castro said. “I’ve seen what it means to the club, the members and the city and I would like to be part of history.”
The Spaniard played a central role in Glory’s resurgence in the second half of the season and finished as the club’s top scorer with 13 goals and four assists, and was awarded the A-League’s best player last season in a remarkable start to his career in Australia. Castro will fill one of the club’s two allocated marquee slots, and the club have surged into $5.50 favoritism for the 2016-17 championship with the TAB on the back of also signing former A-League golden boot winner Adam Taggart and Socceroos pair Rhys Williams and Chris Herd.
The club have also re-signed Richard Garcia. The 34-year-old, who is good friends with Castro, has been retained with his role as player mentor highly valued within the club, although he is expected to be replaced as captain by either Josh Risdon or Shane Lowry. Glory’s final priority remains signing a preferred starting goalkeeper, with the club working towards a deadline of the middle of next month, with a number of quality keepers being linked with the club. They start the season against Central Coast Mariners at nib Stadium on October 8.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND THIRTEEN - PREVIEW
After losing two games on the bounce in the PS4NPLWA, Stirling Lions bounced back last week at Subiaco, and they hit the road again this week, when they head to the Finance 365 Stadium to take on league leaders Bayswater City in the Footballwa Match of the Week. Bayswater moved five points clear at the top of the table with a big win against Perth Glory last week, with new signing Alex Salmon bagging a brace on his debut, and City coach Chris Coyne said it was a clinical team performance. “A good all-round team performance, it wasn’t the best football we’ve played in terms of playing out from the back, but we are adaptable and changed our plan to suit our opposition and the players recognized it and carried out the instruction,” he said. “The football in the final third was excellent and the front 5-6 really gelled really quickly. I thought that Devon Spence was very good again and that is what he is paid for, he is definitely worth a look at A-League level.” The Lions will be looking to close the gap on City, and Coyne said his side need to be on their toes against a talented Stirling outfit. “I’m really looking forward to the game against a very attacking Stirling team,” he explained. “Although they have dropped off the previous weeks they are capable of drowning any team with their pace and flare going forward and we will be mindful of that fact without playing with any fear. We are in good form with goals all over the pitch and will go out and play with confidence and great energy.” In team news Nathan Costello was injured last week, but should be available for selection.
Stirling Coach Rob Milevski said the win at Subiaco was hard fought, but he thought they deserved the win. “We were prepared for a tough game against Subiaco especially after they had their first win against Armadale, and they are always hard to be beat at home,” he said. “It was a solid team performance and we were happy to get the 3 points especially after some costly decisions against us the previous week and it was good to bounce back after Mondays FFA cup loss to Cockburn. A couple of superb set pieces from Miki Vujacic got us off to a good start to lead 2-0 at the half time break and we much better in the attacking third with Teeboy and Daniel Micevski combining well up front with new signing Jamie Gibson.” The Lions lost to Bayswater in the Night Series Final, and in the reverse league meeting this season, and Milevski said it’s a huge challenge, but they are looking forward to it. “It will be a tough game against the leaders who are in good form, but the players are looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “Our previous two encounters this year were both good games and hopefully this will be another entertaining game for the fans.” In team news Michael Pugliese returns from suspension for the Lions.
Inglewood United has had a poor run of form recently, but they produced a good performance last week to draw at Floreat Athena, and they return home this week when they host Balcatta at the Inglewood Stadium. Balcatta stunned Cockburn last week and will be looking to make
In-roads to the six point gap between the two sides on the table. Inglewood defender, come striker, Adam Tong said last week was a tough game but he said the lads were desperate to end their losing streak. “After copping nine goals to Floreat 4 days before, gave an indication that we as a team needed to get back to not conceding again like we were at the beginning of the season,” he explained. “We defended well as a unit and hit them on the counter attack which we worked hard all week prepping on their strengths. Floreat do have an impressive squad and I think a draw was a fair and good result for us. Inglewood have let a five point gap open up with the league leaders, and Tong said Saturday’s game against his former club will be a tough test, but he said they need the win to keep in touch with Bayswater, and keep the other teams off their tails. “Balcatta also have an Impressive young squad and they will be up for it as we have beaten them twice this year, but last game in the Cup was too close for my comfort especially when they had only nine men,” he said. “It’s nice to see a young side doing so well and it adds to an exciting fixture this weekend. If we want to keep up with Bayswater then we want to get a win and a good team performance.”
Armadale will be looking for the points at the other end of the table this week, when they entertain ECU Joondalup at Alfred Skeet Oval. The Reds were beaten by Perth SC last week, this after leading early, while Joondalup beat local neighbours Sorrento. ECU assistant Coach David Tough said last week’s win was well deserved, and ended a six year run without a win against the Gulls at home. “The coaches have all been really happy with the performances from the last couple of weeks, and it was great to get the bragging rights in the derby,” he said. “I thought we dominated the game for long spells and when were required defend we did excellently well. We all know we had a rocky spell in the first half of the season but we knew in that spell we were unable to get enough of the first team player on the park at the same time for varies reason. We worked hard on strengthening the squad in the transfer window and we very happy with the players we've been able to secure for the reminder of the season.” Tough said Armadale will be up for the game and he said the players will need to be switched on from the first whistle, and they will be doing their best to make it three wins on the bounce. “This is a massive game for us as we want to show we can put a run of wins together. Going to Armadale is always a very hard place to go to get a result. Paul Price will have them well organised, they work hard and as all his teams are they'll be hard to break down,” he said. “We’ve got a few players carrying a few knocks after a bruising game against Sorrento, but our physio Regan Arrigoni will work his magic so we'll hopefully have a full squad to choose from.”
Cockburn City came back to earth with a bump last week after their FFA Cup Semi-Final win, when they were beaten 4-2 at Balcatta, and this week they host Perth Glory at Dalmatinac Park, looking to make amends. The Glory was well beaten by Bayswater, but did have chances, which they failed to convert. It was the second game back form injury for Glory defender Jake Iredale, the teenager coming back from a third knee reconstruction, and he said the result didn’t reflect on how the Glory played in the game. “It's always disappointing to lose a game, especially coming off such a good performance last week against Stirling. Bayswater have been the team to beat the last 4 or 5 years and it's always difficult to play against them,” he said. “It was good to gauge ourselves against Bayswater, now we just have to keep moving forward and working hard to continue progressing.” With relegation a possibility for the Glory youngsters this season, Iredale said they need to start picking up points, starting on Saturday, but he said all games are tough in this competition. “Any game in this league is a difficult one for us, there are no easy games but I feel like as a group were starting to turn another corner in our progression and it'll be another great test for the lads on the weekend,” he explained. “I'm really looking forward to the game and hopefully we can get something out of it. Nothing's changed as per the last few weeks. A couple of boys still out with some injuries but their nearing their return now which is good.
Perth SC won their first game under the tenure of Roman Falzon last week against Armadale, and this week they travel to Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco. Subiaco were beaten last time out against Stirling, but will be desperate for the points, to keep in touch with the teams around them at the foot of the table. Perth, on the other hand sits six points off the top, and midfielder Andreas Theodosiades, who scored a contender for goal of the season last week, said it was a hard fought win. “Considering we had key players out on the day we did very well. The younger lads stepped up and we defended exceptionally well,” he said. “We made it much easier for ourselves in the second half with our determination.” Theodosiades knows Subiaco will be fighting for their lives, and is expecting another tough game. “Any game is tough and to be honest in recent years Perth has struggled against Subiaco,” he explained. “Both teams have quite different squads to last year so will definitely be an interesting game and we will be looking for the three points to keep in touch with the leaders.” In team news skipper Clark Keltie is still in doubt due to injury.
In the final game Sorrento will be looking to bounce back from the local derby loss against Joondalup last week, when they entertain Floreat Athena at Percy Doyle Reserve. Floreat drew with Inglewood last week and beat Perth Glory in their midweek catch up game, and will be looking for the three points to keep them in touch with the leaders. That is also the case for the Gulls, and striker Reece Vittiglia said last week loss was hard to take. “It was a very disappointing result last week, of course if we had taken our chances early it could have been a different result,” he said. “However looking back on the whole match the better team won on the day.” Vittiglia knows the task ahead of them, with Floreat in good form. “It’s always a great game when we play Floreat, and they can’t be underestimated, with so many good individuals in their team,” he explained. “Like every team we come up against we will look to play our own game and come away with three points, and it will be the same on Saturday.” In team news Shaun Kilkelly and Daryl Platten returns, while the club hope Matthew Sparrow’s international clearance will be through in time. Bobby Wilson returns to the Floreat side.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TEN - PREVIEW
It’s week ten of the All Flags State League Division One, and this week’s Footballwa Match of the Week takes us to the Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium where league leaders Mandurah City entertain Ashfield. Both sides won 2-0 on the road last week, Mandurah winning the top of the table clash with Joondalup United, while Ashfield beat Rockingham City. Mandurah midfielder Jordan Rhodes said it was a real good game, and said they deserved the win. “Last week was a great win for the club,” he said. “It was a very competitive and open game and both teams played to win, but I thought we were more clinical on the day and deserved the three points.” Rhodes said Saturday’s opponents (Ashfield) are always tough to play, and he’s expecting the same on Saturday. “It will be another tough day at the office again Saturday, as we know Ashfield will be desperate to knock us off,” he said. “For us though we just focus consistently on another three points and keeping our nose out in front. We have a settled line up with Matt Stares and Jack Eades getting 90 minutes under their belt last week since returning from the UK.”
Ashfield’s Jay Lang scored two from the spot last week, and he said it was good win against a strong Rockingham side and bounce back from the loss against Joondalup. “Obviously very disappointing to lose to Joondalup, particularly with how we played in the second half and the chances we created,” he said. “We responded last week at Rockingham with an excellent performance against a very hard working Rockingham side, who made it very difficult for us but fortunately we managed to get the goals at crucial times in the game and that set us up for the win.” Lang said a trip to Mandurah is the biggest test for all teams in the league, but they are confident they can get a result. “We're under no illusions about how difficult the game down in Mandurah will be, our games over the last two seasons have been very close tight games,” he explained. “But as a group were excited about going down to the league leaders and hopefully putting in a good performance.” Ashfield go into the game at full strength.
Forrestfield United are on a five game winning streak and they have home ground advantage this weekend, when they host South West Phoenix at Hartfield Park. They travelled to Dianella last week and come home with the win, while the Phoenix beat Shamrock at home. Forrestfield’s Mitch Crocker said they are playing with a great deal of confidence at the moment, and last week’s win continued it. “I actually thought the win was pretty comfortable. We have been playing with a swagger lately as you could see on the weekend; we looked like scoring every time we went forward,” he said. “Dianella were a bit predictable just throwing long balls into the box which I thought we dealt with very well. It was good to see Rhys (Loxley) get the monkey off his back too because he is full of goals, he just needed that first one.” Crocker said they will not be underestimating Saturday’s opponents, who have a talented squad, and were playing in the top level of WA football only three years ago. “We are confident heading into this weekend because we have been playing so well and everyone is buzzing around the place so keen for the match,” he said. “The feeling around the place is so good at the moment, everyone is happy and it’s starting to show on the pitch. It will be good to see where we are at on Saturday and to see if we can keep this good run going.” Forrestfield have Crocker and Will Tshabangu back from suspension and Scott Barker back from injury, but they will be missing the suspended Ben Rogers and the injured Kaan Karacan.
Canning City will be hoping to continue their good form when they travel to Nash Field to take on Western Knights. The Knights drew 1-1 at Gosnells City last week, while Canning beat UWA Nedlands on the road. Canning Coach Paul Oliver said it was good to back up after a good performance at league leaders Mandurah two weeks ago. “We are pleased with the application shown in the last couple of weeks, given the circumstances with the players we have out at the moment,” he said. “The player who have come in have made it difficult for us to make too many changes with the results the last fortnight being built on discipline and hard work.” Oliver knows the Knights are good at home and have started well this season, and he is expecting a hard game. “They (Knights) have had a good start to the season, so we know we will be in for another tough outing this weekend,” he explained. “To be honest there are no easy games in this league, so you just have to prepare the best we can. We beat them in the cup on their patch earlier in the year, but we know they will be well drilled and we just have to keep the same levels of intensity we have shown recently and hopefully the result will follow.” In team news for Canning, Nathan Hubbard is out and they have a number of players struggling with injury, including Callum Roberts, Tom Gibbins and Joshua Wade.
In other games this weekend Shamrock Rovers have home ground advantage when they host Gosnells City at Harold Rossiter Reserve. It’s been a poor start to the season for Rovers, and they have lost the last five games and conceded 21 goals, so they need to start picking up points and stop the goals, sooner rather than later. After a good start to the season Gosnells have also slipped off the pace, and were held to a draw by the Knights last week. Rockingham City heads to Dianella Reserve to take on Dianella White Eagles in the final game. Dianella were beaten by Forrestfield last week, while Rockingham were beaten by Ashfield. Rockingham coach Rob Crerar’s side have played top four teams in the last three games, and has come out without a point, but the coach said there were some positive sides. “It's been a big test for the group the last few weeks and unfortunately we have come up short,” Crerar said. “We have been slightly naive against these top sides and we need to learn from that for the games ahead.” The trip to Dianella is never easy and Crerar said it will be a huge test. “Dianella is always a tough road trip regardless of how they are performing, and Saturday will be no different,” he said. “I think both sides will want the three points so it should be an exciting game.” In team news Alex Grayson and Sean Brady will miss but they have Matt Brooks, Travis Williams, Abraham Taona and Max Snelson all available.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND TEN - PREVIEW
This weeks All Flags State League Division Two match of the week is at Kingsway reserve where Kingsway Olympic host Balga in a local derby. Both sides sit in the top five on the table separated by three points, and both won on the road last week. Olympic edged out Ellenbrook United, while Balga beat Kelmscott Roos. Kingsway defender Wayne Culverwell said the win at Ellenbrook was hard fought, and they (Ellenbrook) didn’t play like a bottom of the table side. “It was good to keep a clean sheet and get the 3 points,” he said. “But it was a disappointing performance from us, although full credit to Ellenbrook they thought really hard from start to finish and really pushed us to the final whistle.” Culverwell is expecting s typical derby game on Saturday and said Balga had improved this season. “It will be an extremely tough match this week, but we always look forward to playing the teams at the top, and this will be no different,” he said. “They have a lot of good players, so we will have to work hard to nullify them, but we’re all looking forward to it.” In team news for Kingsway Joe Woodin and Ali Elhassan should return this week, but David Gordon will miss due to injury.
Balga midfielder Justin Caratozzolo said last week was an important win, after back-to-back defeats. “The win at Kelmscott was massive for us, especially after losing two games in a row, and we needed the win in order to stay at the top end of the table,” he said. “Our first half performance was very good, but we dropped off in the second and started to feel the pressure, but at the end of the day we got the three points which was what mattered.” Caratozzolo said the league is tight at the moment and every game is close, and he’s expecting the same on Saturday. “Every game is a big game for us this season, and we know they (Kingsway) are only three points behind us on the table, and will be doing all they can to reduce that gap,” he explained. “I’m sure if we play our game, and keep calm under pressure, we will have no problems winning the game, and keep the pressure on the teams above us.” In team news Juma Awaka returns from suspension, and Coach Ljupco Taneski will have a full squad to choose from.
League leaders Fremantle City have home ground advantage when they entertain Morley Windmills at Hilton Park. Fremantle were held to a scoreless draw at Melville City last week, while Morley’s recent good form continued with 6-1 thrashing of Joondalup City. Morley winger Kyle King said the win, their second in a row, was huge. “The win was a massive lift for us all as it's the first time we have put back to back wins together all season,” he said. “However we started slow like every other game and conceded the first goal before we started to get going, we could have been 3-0 down in first 20 minutes before we decided to turn up so as always we are a work in progress and hopefully we can continue to make strides forward.” King said the trip to top of the table side will give them a guide to where they are at. “We approach every game the same and that is to get the three points,” he said. “Yes they are top and yes they have good players, but our focus is all on the way we will play and how we will overturn them. The boys are raring to go and confidence is starting to build within the group.” In team news Gavin Brady is out injured, and David Houston and Igor Novakovic are suspended, but Sasa Slavujevic and new signing Martyn Jones come into the squad.
In other games there is another local northern derby when Ellenbrook United host Quinns at Arbor Grove Reserve. Quinns defeated Swan United at home last week to close the gap to the top five, while Ellenbrook, who are still searching for their first win of the season, were edged out at home by Kingsway, so this one should be another tight game. Curtin University hit the road this week with a trip to the iluka Sports Complex to take on Joondalup City. Curtin’s game last week was abandoned at half time, while Joondalup were hammered 1-6 at Morley. Both sides will be looking for the victory, and this one could go either way. Melville City ended a three game losing streak with a hard fought 0-0 draw last week against league leaders Fremantle City, and this week they host Kelmscott Roos at Len Shearer Reserve. Kelmscott lost narrowly to Balga last week, but Chris Bates has his side playing well and will head into this one full of confident.
In the final game of the round, former Wanneroo City Coach Matt Debarro takes his new side Swan United back to Wanneroo Reserve. The Roos game at Curtin was abandoned at half time last week, but their form has picked up in recent weeks, while Swan was beaten at Quinns. Debarro said it was poor finishing that cost them. “It was disappointing as we had the chances to go well ahead early but failed to finish them,” he said. “Quinns played well and to be fair they deserved it as they took their chances, we need to be more clinical going forward.” Debarro said Saturday’s game will be interesting and is expecting a tight encounter. “I'm sure it will be a tough game, they will be out to try and prove a point, but for myself and the team it is another game to try and win to stay up with the top two,” he explained. “We had a good season there last year football wise, it was behind the scenes where things weren't right, but I have no animosity towards them as a club. Swan was my club for four years and even longer for the four players who have returned with me. We wanted to help Swan get back into Division One and that is what we are playing for.” In team news for Swan Lyon Varney is suspended and Cory Hugo is unavailable, but Debarro has enough depth to cope and they will be eager to bounce back and keep their season on track.”
PEREIRA PLANS FOR A BETTER SECOND HALF (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Josh Pereira is hoping for a good run of form and fitness over the second half of the National Premier Leagues season, beginning the upcoming home game against Balcatta. Pereira came to Inglewood United at the start of the year ready to embrace the challenge offer by a new club, and eager to grow and develop as a player.
However, Pereira's first six months with the club haven't quite gone to plan with the holding midfielder starting less than half of Inglewood's twenty-one league and cup games. "I'm happy with the way the season is going in general, but there have been a few personal frustrations," Pereira explained.
"The main frustration is that whenever I begin to string a few starts together I manage to pick up a niggling injury, which sets me back. I've been addressing that by working on my strength and conditioning. If I continue to train well and with good intensity then the opportunity to start will present itself again."
Pereira has missed Inglewood's last three games - two losses and a draw - but the 23-year old is confident the team are on the verge of a winner's circle return. "Getting a result at Floreat Athena last week was crucial," he said. "We needed to show resilience and have a positive mindset to put the past few games behind us."
"Our drive is stronger than ever and our focus has turned to Balcatta, a team that plays with intensity and can be quick to exploit your mistakes. We've regained our defensive structure and with a few attacking players coming back into the side I feel that we will get back to winning ways on Saturday."
TAGGART PRIMED TO GET CAREER BACK ON TRACK
When he left Perth as a teenager chasing his soccer dream, Adam Taggart had no intention of returning before the twilight of a long professional career. But a testing run of injuries during his stint at English Championship club Fulham led the talented striker to conclude there could be no better place than home to get himself back into peak condition.
The ECU Joondalup product will be back in Perth Glory colours this season where he will be part of one of the A-League's most potent attacking line-ups alongside Irish marksman Andy Keogh and Spanish star Diego Castro. How coach Kenny Lowe will squeeze such riches of firepower into his starting line-up remains a tantalising quandary as the players prepare to start pre-season.
Taggart is considered one of the country's top young strikers and has already notched seven games and three goals for the Socceroos, as well as winning the A-League Golden Boot award with Newcastle United in 2013/14. His transfer to Glory, following a short loan to Scottish Premiership side Dundee United, was sealed in January but FIFA regulations prevented him from playing for his hometown club.
That enforced break has allowed Taggart to freshen up, settle into his new home in Leederville and regain excitement for the game he loves. "To be honest when I was overseas, the plan was not to come back until you're 30 and prolong your career away as much as possible," Taggart said.
"I think going overseas is difficult at the best of times, let alone when you sort of have 12 months out of the game and then try to break into any first team, especially somewhere like Fulham, which is a big club in a big competition. Coming home in the end there was definitely no regrets."
"You've got to look at everything; what's going to be the best thing for my body, not necessarily starting again but to be able to take that approach where it's just a fresh start. I know the head coach, I know the assistant coach, I know the physios, I knew the club really well and it was sort of about just getting back to the right environment to succeed again."
Taggart played juniors at Joondalup and first encountered Lowe in the National Training Centre program. "The older you get the more you realise how important it is to be playing under people you really respect and enjoy playing football for," he said. "Kenny Lowe and (Glory assistant coach) Andy Ord I knew from my younger days so it's been really enjoyable being back."
DE SILVA READY FOR BIG SECOND YEAR AT RODA
Exciting young prospect Daniel De Silva has opened up on the commando-style regimen he hopes can cement him as a regular starting berth at Roda JC. De Silva recently declared his Dutch club would see a different player report for pre-season training next month after spending a four-weeks working with renowned high-performance coach Tim Schleiger in Melbourne.
De Silva made eleven appearances - only one of which was a start - in his debut Dutch campaign after signing from Perth Glory, though he was confident of adding to that in 2016/17. "Physicality is what you can continually work on and growing up I didn't have that side to my game, which is why I didn't play much,'' De Silva said.
"Now I'm working hard and there's no excuses any more, certainly not that (physical) excuse. The main objective is to get myself really strong and fit and build a really solid foundation. I'm 19, but when I get into those physical battles with men or a big centre-half, I need to be able to hold my own in those duels.
"I've always been agile, I'm not coming here to lose that, but so when I get into those battles I can give a bit back and be a harder player. Also repeat efforts. If I can only do, say, five short bursts, now I'm training to do 15 or 20, which makes you more dangerous for longer.''
The tailored De Silva regimen has been masterminded by Schleiger, a guru who works with AFL players and Test cricketers and oversees every session, and former Socceroo and agent Vince Grella. "It's the first time I've done real one on one training like this, it's really specific for me and what I need,'' the attacking midfielder said. "We do different sessions each day. Sometimes on the field, working on physicality, running and trying to be more explosive."
"Then gym work, with weights and a really focus on core with the stomach, glutes and quads. We've had a few sessions in the pool, swimming, which is probably the most difficult. Match fitness is another thing but it's been a hard few weeks, I'm enjoying it and I'm working with a great trainer. I feel way fitter than what I did going into camp three weeks ago and by the end I'll be ready to go.''
DAVIES TARGETS MALAYSIA RETURN BEFORE SUZUKI CUP
Thrust into the captaincy of Pahang at the tender age of 21, Malaysia defender Matthew Davies believes he is ready for the pressure cooker atmosphere of the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup. With his international teammates training in Brisbane on their Oceania tour, Davies is on the comeback trail from injury in Singapore, with Pahang playing three friendly games.
Davies withdrew from the AFC Asian Cup playoff against Timor-Leste earlier this month with a lower back complaint, but hopes that he can still force his way into the squad before November's Suzuki Cup. "It's very disappointing that I've had to pull out of this tour due to injury and I hope it doesn't affect long term selection for the national team," Davies said.
"Playing in the Suzuki Cup is a big goal of mine. I'm focusing on that for this year and for next year it would have to be the SEA Games. It's my target to be selected for the squad, work my way into contention and hopefully play some games."
Western Australia-born Davies, who played 16 games for Perth Glory before moving to Malaysia, got his first taste of international football last year, playing five games for the Under-23s and seven for the senior side. And although he featured several times against LionsXII before they left the Malaysia Super League last year, Davies has never appeared in a cross Causeway battle at international level.
"Being in Singapore for the SEA Games last year, it gave me a hint of what it might be like, but we were in different groups in the football competition so we didn't get to play," said Davies. "So, I've yet to experience a Malaysia-Singapore derby, but have big expectations of what it would be like. It's not an option to lose."
Davies' mother is from the state of Sabah, which allowed him to become a Malaysian citizen last year. Since then it's been a whirlwind ride, culminating in taking over the captaincy of a struggling Pahang side this season. Unfortunately, the Elephants sit in the relegation zone, second from bottom with only two wins in their first dozen games.
"It's a unique position for me, being so young, and being made captain. It was a bit of a shock initially, but I'm doing the best I can and hopefully my performances remain high," he said. "I'm enjoying my time in Malaysia and hopefully I can bring my consistency for my club to international level." Pahang open their Malaysia Cup campaign against Kelantan on 12 July, four days before the resumption of the Malaysian Super League.
BAYSWATER TOO STRONG FOR GLORY
Bayswater City proved too strong for Perth Glory, running out 5-1 winners at the Ashfield Arena, moving them five points clear at the top of the table. Jason Mirco and new signing Alex Salmon both grabbed doubles, with Sam Mitchinson adding the other. Glory’s consolation goal came from Nikola Talimdzioski. “Today I thought some of our finishing was superb and some of our build up play, especially going forward was very pleasing,” Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne said. “I thought all of our boys worked hard today; we are starting to put a really good run together and we are playing some excellent football as well, and hopefully that will continue because I know Inglewood have a tough run of games coming up and we are happy with what we are doing at the moment.”
The visitors were out of the blocks early, and Glory keeper Jordan Thurtell had to be alert on eight minutes to deny Alex Salmon’s cheeky back heel. Their early pressure was rewarded with the lead four minutes later. Sam Mitchinson made space down the left and crossed to Jason Mirco who headed home. Glory settled and Gian Albano tried his luck from long-range put his shot was saved by former Glory keeper Devon Spence. Moment later Joe Knowles’ shot from the edge of the penalty area on 25 minutes was tipped over the top by Spence.
But sixty seconds later Bayswater doubled their advantage. A quick counter attack ended with Salmon, and the English striker, signed from Armadale in the transfer window, fired home from close-range. Spence again denied the Glory before the break, saving superbly to thwart Daniel Stynes. The visitors added to their lead seven minutes into the second half, Salmon picking out Mitchinson who finished with aplomb.
They added a fourth on the hour, another quick counter attack by Devon Gibson, ended with the defender slipping the ball into Salmon who made no mistake. The Glory pulled one back on 77 minutes, Talimdzioski was brought down on the edge of the penalty area, and the youngster picked himself up score from the resulting free kick. But two minutes from time City added a fifth, Mirco lost his marker in the penalty area and finished low past Thurtell from a tight angle.
ALL SQUARE AT LITIS STADIUM
After being thrashed by Floreat Athena in the Cup last week, Inglewood United made emends by taking a point off them in a hard fought 1-1 draw at the E&D Litis Stadium. United, who had been on a three game losing streak, put in a much better performance to maintain second spot on the table, but Scott Blackmore and Lewis McMahon were both sent off. Mark Pritchard gave the visitors an early lead, but that was cancelled out by Jonathon Stynes just before half time. “It’s a great turnaround for us, getting the team spirit back after that result in the cup,” Inglewood skipper David Cyrus said. “The boys did really well to get the point, but it’s great for us. Everyone has a blip in the season and hopefully that was ours. We set the standards high and that point could make a difference coming into the final half of the season.”
Inglewood was out of the blocks early and hit the front on six minutes. Pritchard sent Ashley Rosindale into the penalty area and he was brought down by Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris and referee Josh Mannella pointed straight to the spot. Pritchard stepped up to score from the resulting penalty. Floreat lifted and they went close themselves moments later, McMahon’s long-range free kick hitting the crossbar, while new signing Dean Evans fired wide.
Then Daniel Stynes shot from the edge of the box was blocked. United almost doubled their lead on 40 minutes. A quick counter attack ended with Calum O’Connell whose shot was cleared off the line by Blair Govan. But in the shadows of half time the home side levelled. Phil Arnold’s shot was saved by Alex Dunn, but Stynes was on hand to score from the rebound.
Chances were few and far between in the second half but like the first all the action came late. First United midfielder Scott Blackmore was sent off, and the home side pushed for the winner. Chris Saldaris and McMahon both saw chances fly over the top, before in injury time Ludovic Boi’s shot was cleared off the line by O’Connell to earn a point for United. The drama wasn’t over then, and McMahon was sent off after a melee after the final whistle.
FALZON EARNS FIRST WIN IN PERTH HOT-SEAT
New Perth SC Coach Ramon Falzon has won his first game in charge of the Dorrien Gardens club with a come-from-behind 3-1 home win against Armadale. Danny Hodgson, who was playing his first game of the season after a knee injury, opened the scoring for the visitor’s mid-way through the first half, but Perth hit back with a brace from Dino Topcagic and another from Andreas Theodosiades giving them the points. The win was an important one as we could only manage a draw last week,” Topcagic said. “Armadale are a very physical side who live off second balls and since we were slow in transition in the first 45 minutes they were able to hurt us. However, we managed to turn things around after the break and I'm glad my two goals could help the team do that. We had a very young side again this week and it proved once more that the youth are more than capable of playing in this league.”
Armadale, with new signing David Annall in the side, dominated early and created a number of half chances that they failed to convert. Their dominance was rewarded with the lead on 22 minutes. Ellis Healing’s corner was headed goalwards by Jesse Fuller at the back post, which was cleared off the line, but in the resulting goal mouth scramble Hodgson was on hand to fire home. It was more than the visitors deserved, but Perth lifted and hit back eight minutes before half time, with one of the goals of the season.
Theodosiades picked the ball up in the middle of the park, and moved forward and wasn’t closed down, and the midfielder hit an unstoppable shot from long-range into the top corner of the net, giving Luke Radonich no chance. Armadale were convinced they had a penalty three minutes from half time. Healing was clipped in the box after a mazy run, but referee Tom Glavovic turned down their penalty claims, much to the displeasure of the Armadale players and coaching staff.
After the break Perth looked sharper, and on the hour they hit the front. Striker Gustavo Catarcione sent Topcagic into the penalty area and he finished with aplomb, low past Radonich. The points were sealed when Perth added a third, moments later. Topcagic was on target again, scoring via the crossbar after a quick counter attack. Armadale pressed late looking to get back in the game but they couldn’t find a way past a tight Perth defence.
LIONS BACK IN THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Stirling Lions have bounced back from three consecutive defeats with a convincing 3-1 win against Subiaco at Rosalie Park. Daniel Micevski and Shane Cassidy gave the visitors the lead at the break, but Michael Lawson pulled one back for the home side mid-way through the second half to give them hope, but Teeboy Kamara sealed the three points with a late strike. “I thought we controlled the game for the most part, took us a whole to settle in but once we got the goal we were pretty comfortable,” Lions skipper Miki Vujacic said. “They came out firing second half which led to the goal, and they are a much better team since the last time we played them, that's for sure. It’s good for us to get a win after a few rough weeks, hopefully this is the start of our run into the finals.”
Fresh off their first win of the season, Subiaco looked lively early and Adam White’s shot flashed just wide of the post. But the Lions, who thrashed Subiaco 7-1 in the opening game of the season, hit back and were ahead on 22 minutes. Vujacic’s free kick wasn’t dealt with by Ryan Montgomery, and Daniel Micevski made no mistake from close-range. Subiaco hit back and James Casserly headed wide from a corner, but the visitors did better from their set-piece six minutes from half time. Vujacic was the provider again, finding Cassidy who powered home.
Subiaco were on the back foot again after half time and Mathiang Mathiang wasted a good opportunity to bag his first goal for the club, while Kamara and Jamie Gibson also wasted good chances. The Lions profligacy was punished on 67 minutes when Subiaco pulled one back, Lawson capping off a fine debut by firing home from the edge of the box. It was game on and there were chances at both ends, but in the final minute, and Subiaco pushing men forward looking for the equaliser the Lions scored the decisive third goal. David Micevski picked out Kamara, who finished well past Montgomery, to seal the win.
BALCATTA FIRST HALF BLITZ SEES OFF COCKBURN
Three goals in the space of five first half minutes have helped Balcatta beat Cockburn City 4-2 at Grindleford Reserve. This was after the visitors had taken the lead early through Cameron Edwards. Former Cockburn duo Conor Kavanagh and Alan Carroll put the home side in front, before Cameroon Teece added a third moments later, and Alexs Suleski added a fourth just before half time. Julian Teles scored Cockburn’s second goal in the final minute. “It was a great win for us to redeem ourselves from last week's loss,” Jon Corness said. “We were well on top of the game in the first half and deserved our lead at half time, but the second half was a different story. We dropped off and let Cockburn play more and they grabbed a goal at the end which soured the win slightly, but it's another 3 points on the board and 6 wins from 8 games which is encouraging.”
The visitors, who have been on a good run of form in recent weeks, were ahead on six minutes. Edwards’s in-swinging corner beat everyone and found its way into the net via the post. The home side hit back and levelled on 20 minutes, Corness’ cross picking out Kavanagh who headed past Luke Radonich. The home side hit the front three minutes later, Carroll punishing his former team, firing home in a goalmouth scramble after they failed to clear a corner.
It was 3-1 moments later, when Edwards brought down Teece in the box and referee David Bruce pointed to the spot. Teece picked himself up kept his nerve and stepped up and scored. Balcatta hit a fourth in first half stoppage time. Winger Hanafi Ghazali raced past his marker on the flank, and crossed to Seleski who made no mistake, and Balcatta lift the pitch to a standing ovation from their supporters.
Cockburn improved after the break, with Scott Miller’s half time address sinking in. Second half substitutes Teles and Jesse Lazzaro both firing inches past the post. City then lost Angel Andres with injury, but they did finish well and scored a consolation goal in stoppage time, Teles firing past Clint Davies with a free kick.
ECU TAKES OUT BRAGGING RIGHTS IN NORTHERN DERBY
ECU Joondalup have taken out bragging rights after beating Sorrento 3-0 in the Northern derby at the ECU Joondalup Stadium. It was the first home win for ECU against their near neighbours since round 23 in 2011, with Gordon Smith bagging a brace and Tommy Amphlett adding the other. New signing Rikki Smith said it was a good all-round team display. “It was a great team performance from the lads today, a good three points and a clean sheet as well,” he said. “It was the sort of game I like, to roll up my sleeves and get stuck into it, and I think defensively we were strong today, but like I said a real team effort.”
The visitors went close to the opener after only four minutes, a corner wasn’t dealt with by ECU and the ball fell to Brad McDonald on the edge of the penalty area, but his shot was superbly saved low to his left by Lewis Italiano. Gordon Smith had a perfect opportunity to level on 18 minutes, when he was sent clear by new signing Kevin Moon, he rounded the keeper but took the ball too wide and the chance was gone.
But 11 minutes into the second half the home side found the break through. Moon and Gordon Smith combined to free Amphlett, who finished well past James Morgan. It was 2-0 moments later, Andy Higgins’ corner picked out the unmarked Gordon Smith who headed home from close-range. Sorrento were struggling in the final third, but should have pulled one back on 77 minutes.
Steven McDonald’s header back across goal found Sean Canham, but with the goal at his mercy the big striker blazed over. With Sorrento pressing forward ECU were finding holes at the back. Gordon Smith volleyed over, before Shane Pickering fired inches wide from Paddy Doyle’s cross. Then in stoppage time ECU added a third, when Steven McDonald brought down Gordon Smith, and the Scottish striker picked himself up to score from the resulting penalty.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND NINE - REVIEW
Mandurah City has returned to the top of the All Flags State League Division One with a 2-0 win against Joondalup United in the top of the table clash at Forrest Park. Craig Tone and Oscar Thompson scored in the first half, and despite all Joondalup’s second half efforts they couldn’t get back in the game. “Mick and I are delighted to win away and taking another step to improving our game, we were very good today,” Coach Doug Hesketh said. “We were hungry, determined and very efficient, the traveling support enjoyed a great game and I’m very pleased and proud of the performance.” Joondalup opened the brighter and were calling all the shots, but the visitors steadied and hit the front on the quarter hour. Tom Straker’s cross picked out Tone, who headed home past James Bosdet.
Mandurah had keeper Brad Eiffe to thank for maintaining their lead, the custodian making a fantastic reaction save mid-way through the half. Mandurah hit back and Ollie McGee header crashed off the crossbar, and Andy Brown’s follow up shot was cleared off the line. But in the shadows of half time Mandurah doubled their advantage. Thompson getting on the end of Jon Brookes corner and heading home powerfully. The home side hit back after the break and James Harmer’s shot beat Eiffe but crashed off the crossbar, while down the other end Tone’s free kick hit the post as both sides pressed, but Mandurah held on and left with a points.
Forrestfield United closed the gap on Joondalup to just one point with a 3-1 win against Dianella White Eagles at Dianella Reserve. “It was a tough game as we had no idea what to expect, but we knew that they recruited heavily during the transfer window with some excellent players amongst them,” Forrestfield Coach Rod Banjac said. “We lost a player with injury and had Ben (Rogers) sent off which was the only disappointments on the day.” United lost Kaan Karacan after only ten minutes with a broken collar bone, after a poor tackle. But on 21 minutes the visitors hit the front. Sedad Yagli and Rogers combined the later crossing to Rhys Loxley to score at the back post.
It was 2-0 on the half hour, a free kick was headed against the bar by Jordan Hart, but Milan Vulin was quickest to react to head home the rebound. Rogers then struck the crossbar and Dianella keeper Yousri Gharsallah produced a great save to deny Hart late in the half. It was tight second half with half chances at both ends but all the action came late. Rogers was sent off in the 84th minute for a second yellow card, but the ten men added a third in the final minute. Sani Sinclair sent Loxley clear and he finished with aplomb past Gharsallah. Dianella scored a late consolation goal, with former Forrestfield striker Chris Rizidis firing home after Forrestfield failed to deal with a cross into the box.
In other games Ashfield travelled to the Lark Hill Sportsplex and came away with a 2-0 win against Rockingham City. Jay Lang opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the first half, after Stephen Kirk was brought down, and Lang doubled their advantage also from the penalty spot in the second half, after Jamie Burns was brought down. Shamrock Rovers’ poor season continued with a 4-1 defeat at Hay Park against South West Phoenix, with Ryan Stewart, Martin Ryan, Ryan Francis and Carlo Chiellini on target for the Phoenix, while Gosnells City and Western Knights drew 1-1 at Walter Padbury Reserve. The Knights looked like they would leave with the points after Jeffrey Judge turned home Paul Lloyd’s cross. But with two minutes remaining Gosnells levelled. A free kick was swung in by Dean Aplegren and Adam Blewett headed home to secure a point.
In Sunday’s game Canning City travelled to the UWA Sports Park and came home with a hard fought 1-0 win. In tough weather conditions, the only goal of the game came 15 minutes from time. Charlie Parry closed down the full back on the left and won the ball with a solid tackle. He raced away down the left and into the box and side footed the ball into the far corner. Canning coach Paul Oliver was delighted with win. “It was a gutsy performance from the lads who have put in back to back 90 minute displays. We have showed in patches this year that we can match it with any team in this league but not been consistent enough,” he explained. “The last fortnight the players have done all the right things at training and on a match day and that's starting to pay off, so we just need to keep working and results will follow. The conditions in the second half especially made it hard for both teams to play football and it was a bit of a tussle. I thought our players were just that little bit hungrier and deserved what we got.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND NINE - REVIEW
The top of the All Flags State League Division Two is becoming a log-jam, with only four points separating the top five sides. Balga SC moved to second spot with a hard fought 2-1 win against Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. The visitors were ahead on 21 minutes, Daniel Nalat through ball sent Vlad Naumovski clear and he made no mistake. Naumovski added his and Balga’s second on 35 minutes, Nalat was the supplier again, crossing to Naumovski who fired home from close-range. Kelmscott hit back on the hour, Sulley Rogers scoring, after good work on the flank by Pathy Mpio. “We went into the game determined to get back into winning ways. After two losses in a row, 3 points was a must,” Balga’s Justin Caratozzolo said. “After going 2-0 up in the first half, we were under pressure in the second to hold our lead, but we kept it together as a team to secure the win, which was what we came for.”
Fremantle City increased their lead at the top, but they were held to a 0-0 draw by Melville City at the Len Shearer Reserve. Swan United lost ground on the top two after losing 2-1 against Quinns FC at Gumblossom Park. The visitors opened brightly, but they had keeper Cory Hugo for keeping them level. The veteran custodian pulling off one of the saves of the season to deny Brian Cairney’s header. Nicky Sharples then went close for Quinns, after rounding Hugo, but he took the ball wide and failed to find the target. But on 20 minutes Quinns hit the front, Alex Sallary ball from the right found Craig Tooley, who controlled the ball well and volleyed home from 10meters. Swan went within inches of scoring moments later, Mark McAllister’s shot crashed off the cross bar and away to safety. The home side doubled their advantage on the hour, Tooley and Cairne combined down the right, and the ball found its way to Chris Williams whose long-range shot flew into the top corner of the net, giving Hugo no chance. Swan were back in the game ten minutes later, Tom Black’s cross was headed past Adam Bowers by John Monterosso. Swan pressed looking for the equaliser but they couldn’t find it and Quinns held on for the win.
Joondalup City good form went missing when they were thrashed 6-1 by Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. It started well for the visitors and they were ahead on 10 minutes, with Jamie Stewart scoring, but it went downhill after that. Morley levelled 10 minutes later, after Kyle King cut the ball back to new signing Nicola Gazzola to score. It was 2-1 moments later, Kyle King racing clear and finishing with aplomb. Gazzola added the third from the penalty spot ten minutes later before the midfielder completed his hat-trick on 35 minutes, with King cutting the ball back from the bye-line. King added a fifth just before half time, losing his marker in the box to score, and Gazzola completed the scoring bagging his fourth with a shot from the edge of the box after King held off his marker from laid the ball into his path. “We have had 6-7 players missing in every game this year and most of them have filtered back in the last couple of weeks, and Saturday was the first time we actually started to play to our full potential,” Morley Coach John Castrilli said. “It was a great morale boost for the players and I certainly hope we can continue playing the way we have in the last couple of weeks.”
In the other game on Saturday Kingsway Olympic beat local rivals Ellenbrook United 1-0 at Arbor Grove Reserve. The only goal of the game came on 35 minutes, when Lee Thomas crossed to the back post and Mark Donnelly finished. “We were just happy to walk away with the right result in the end, a couple of enforced changes through the middle of the park meant that we never really found our rhythm against a committed and hardworking Ellenbrook side,” Donnelly said. “It was a result built largely on a solid defensive performance from the back four, but it was good to pop up in the right place at the right time and put away a scrappy chance that made sure we got the points.” In Sunday’s game between Curtin University and Wanneroo City the game was abandoned due to a water logged pitch at half time, and will be rescheduled at a later date. It was 0-0 at the break, and that was thanks to Jack Kenny’s penalty save.
SOCCEROOS TO PLAY WORLD CUP QUALIFIER IN PERTH
Perth has been chosen as host city for the Socceroos crucial World Cup qualifier against Iraq on 1 September. The game will be played at Perth Oval, making it the second time in twelve months Perth has hosted a World Cup qualifier following on from the national teams' 6-0 demolishion of Bangladesh last September. Australia needs to finish in the top two of its six-team group to book its place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Defender Trent Sainsbury is understandably desperate to be involved in the upcoming game after missing the Bangladesh clash through injury. “Perth is my home town and I look forward to wearing the green and gold in front of my family and friends,” said Sainsbury, who scored for the Socceroos in their 2-1 friendly loss to Greece last week. “I’m happy we will be heading back there.”
It was a sentiment echoed by Perth Glory right-back Josh Risdon. “I’m fortunate to play my club football in front of family and friends but it would be an unbelievable experience to be part of a Socceroos squad for the match against Iraq in Perth,” Risdon said. Australia have won their last three games against Iraq, including twice in qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND TWELVE - PREVIEW
We’ve reached the half way mark of the PS4NPLWA season, and after taking over top spot on the table last week, Bayswater City hit the road this weekend when they take on Perth Glory in the Footballwa.net Match of the Week at the Ashfield Arena. City won the Italian Derby last week against Balcatta, while the Glory youngsters also won at Stirling Lions. City winger Jason Mirco said the win was hard fought and it continues their good form. “Three points and a clean sheet away to an inform Balcatta was a huge result for us. It's not an easy place to come as they've really rejuvenated there squad and added some pace, which I'm surely will cause teams a lot of problems,” he said. “Also it moved us on top of the ladder and will give us a heap of confidence going into the second half of the season.” Mirco has been in good form for the Black and Blues, and he said Saturday’s clash will be tough against a talented Glory side. “I think it's important to respect the talent Glory has in there squad and understand their strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “They had a great result on the weekend but it doesn't change how well address this game. The coaching staff have really ramped training up this week and we'll be focused on nothing less than three points.” In team news for Bayswater Hayden Doyle will miss after injuring his knee last week, but Alex Salmon comes into the squad after joining form Armadale in the transfer window.
Last week’s win for the Glory was only their second win of the season and striker Nikola Talimdzioski said it was good to get back in the winner’s circle, after a big loss against Balcatta. “The loss against Balcatta was really tough to take in,” he explained. “But we prepared mentally for the game against Stirling and in the end it fell our way, and it was good to get back in the winner’s circle. The boys that travelled to Malaysia played a massive role in our win, but one person I'd single out would be jack Iredale who made his first appearance for us after his 3rd knee reconstruction he's finally back anxious to play and we’re pleased to have him.” Talimdzioski, who has bagged two goals this season, said they go into Saturday’s game against the best team in the league full of confidence, and they know they pushed them close in the opening game of the season. “Bayswater are always going to be a tough side to break down we've gained some momentum from the Stirling game,” he said. “But considering the reverse fixture against Bayswater, when we were just edged out, we'll definitely be looking to push for the three points.”
After their Cup Semi-Final win, Cockburn City returns to league action this weekend when they travel to Grindleford Reserve to take on Balcatta. City drew 1-1 on the road last week at Floreat Athena, while Balcatta were edged out at home by Bayswater. Defender Josh Kuser said the cup success if great for the club. “Obviously a great achievement reaching the FFA Cup Final, as a team we have all pushed each other to the best of our ability's leaving nothing in the tank,” he said. “It couldn't have been done without the support and confidence of our coaching staff, the club, and all its supporters.” The point at Floreat was well deserved, with debutant keeper Ryan Barker shining, but they had chances to win it. “It was a good game of football last week at Floreat, both teams shown their dominance at different stages of the match,” he said. “With the game at 1-1 Angel (Andres) was unlucky not to have been given a penalty in our favour late in the second half, but some great saves by Ryan (Barker) kept the game level.” Kuser is expecting another tough test at Balcatta, especially with a number of ex-Cockburn players at the club now, including Coach Marc Anthony. “To me we are evenly matched and it won’t be an easy game for either side,” he said. “Hopefully we can continue our run of form heading into the second half of the season and slowly climb the league ladder starting this Saturday.” In team news Cockburn skipper Euen Grant is expected to play, after missing last week with injury.
After last week’s first win of the season Subiaco will be looking to go back-to-back when they host Stirling Lions at Rosalie Park. The Lions have had a bad couple of weeks losing in the league to Perth Glory and the Cup Semi-final against Cockburn, but Subiaco will be buoyed by the win against Armadale. Subiaco Coach Michael Brazil said they have been playing well, and it was just rewards for their performance. “Last week’s win was a superb squad effort, being 1-0 down at half time we knew our season was gone if we did not get something out of game,” he said. “Our instruction was simply continue doing what you are doing, be patient and the opportunity's would come. What the squad did was what they have been doing for a number of weeks now, not to panic and take the opportunities when they arrive and arrive they did with two great goals from Kevin White. There has always been the desire it was just about getting over the final hurdle of a win which has lifted everyone.” Brazil said Saturday’s opponents have some talented players, but he said his players are ready for the challenge. “We are at home again to Stirling who gave us one almighty thrashing at the start of season, I feel we are a lot more settled and structured now than when we last met,” he explained. “We will be positive and upbeat from last week, but as we are well aware Stirling are a quality side and need to be at our best.” In team news Ian McMurray limped off with a knee injury last week and is doubt, but Brazil will have new signings Brian Paterson (Ashfield), Mike Lawson (Shamrock Rovers), Kevin Castle (Mandurah City) and Banin Hasham (Armadale) in the squad.
It’s the Northern Derby at the ECU Football Stadium, when Sorrento travels to take on ECU Joondalup. Sorrento came away with a hard fought point last week against Perth SC, while ECU beat Inglewood United. ECU skipper Ryan Lowry said last week’s win was well deserved and he said it was a solid performance. “It was just what we needed after a few poor performances,” he said. “We played well on the day, but I’ve said all season we can beat any team in the league is we play like we know we can, so everyone was delighted to get back in the winner’s circle and we hope it can continue on Saturday.” Saturday’s game is vital for the home side to push up the table, and Lowry said they need to get some consistency in their game. “Anytime we play we want to win, but especially as it's a local derby, we will be hoping to get one over them,” he said. “If we can gather a few wins together top four is still attainable, but we need to be more consistency, starting on Saturday against our neighbours.” In team news John Higgins should be available this week, while new signings Rikki Smith, Jayden Drummond and Kevin Moon will come into the squad. While former Scunthorpe United midfielder Matt Sparrow is in line for a starting role for the Gulls if his international clearance is received in time.
Inglewood United will be hoping to put the heavy FFA Cup defeat by Floreat Athena behind them when they travel to take them on in the league at the E&D Litis Stadium. United have also lost two league games on the bounce, but they have a talented squad and will be looking to rebound this week. Floreat on the other hand will be buoyed by the big cup win, and have only lost one in the last three games, including a draw last week against Cockburn. Floreat defender Blair Govan said they hope to kick on from their cup success. “Last week was a historic week for the club,” he said. I believe a big club like Athena deserves to be on the national stage, and I'm buzzing to be a part of it.” Govan said they had the chances to win against Cockburn, but a draw was a fair result. “The Cockburn game was a bit of a funny one with both teams resting players with the cup game in mind,” he explained. “Although we got a point it almost felt like a loss as we had a fair few chances to put the game away, but fair play to Cockburn they battled hard and made it very difficult for us.” The Floreat defender said Saturday’s game will be tough with Inglewood looking to bounce back from the two losses last weekend. “We are expecting a really tough game against Inglewood,” he said. “Beating them (Inglewood) 9-2 in the cup was unbelievable but we all know how important it is to back it up this weekend and start climbing our way back up the ladder. I'm sure Taki will have them all fired up and they have a lot of experience in the team but we're full of confidence hoping to pick up from where we left of on Monday.” In team news Clayton Arnez is out with injury, but new signing Dean Evans comes into the squad, while Chris Saldaris returns from injury.”
In the final game Perth SC entertain Armadale at Dorrien Gardens. Perth were held to a home draw by Sorrento last week, while Armadale suffered defeat at Subiaco. Armadale skipper Alex Castiello said last week’s defeat was disappointing, but they should have put the game to bed earlier. “We seemed to have control for most of the game going 1-0 up in the first half, but Subiaco battled hard and took their chances with a few errors on our behalf,” he said. “We are working to get better and fitter every week at training and we are really determined to change the second half of the season around we don't believe we are where we should be so we are determined to get there.” Castiello said the players are looking to bounce back this week, but knows they need to be at their best. “Perth will be a tough game they have some experienced players as well as some young new talent but we have the right personnel to push for a result as well and that's exactly what we aim to do,” he said. “We had a few injuries this week, but I believe they will be right for the weekend.” Perth will be sweating on the fitness of skipper Clark Keltie, who limped off with a knee injury last week, but they have new signings Nathan Diaz, Harley Orr and Alex Jovic available for selection.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND NINE - PREVIEW
It’s week nine of the All Flags State League Division One and this week’s footballwa.net Match of the Week is the top of the table clash, with Joondalup United hosting Mandurah City at Forrest Park. Mandurah lost top spot last week after a 0-0 draw at home against Canning City and Coach Doug Hesketh said they had chances to win it but it wasn’t their day. “I was a bit frustrated we never won last week, but Canning worked for their point, so fair play to them,” he said. “We played well, and the players gave everything Jon Brooks was very unlucky not to score with a volley and Ollie McGee header was cleared of the line, but Mick and I are satisfied with the application of the squad, and on another day things will work for us.”
Hesketh knows Saturday’s game will be their biggest test of the season so far but he said they are looking forward to the challenge. “I understand we are labelled the champions, but that was last year, we are a different team this year,” he explained. “We are improving all the time, and we are looking forward to Saturday as we are playing the 2016 Night Series winners and current league leaders, and they are the form team. We are playing well but I still think are best is yet to come, the lads set high standards and they are very focused, so it should be a good game. We have trained well and up for the challenge, and will try to play good football.” In team news Craig Young needs a late fitness test, while Paul Jackson may need another week.
Joondalup United coach Nick Jennings said last week’s win was a good test and they passed with flying colours. “In the first half we were outstanding and produced some great football, unfortunately we spurned numerous opportunities and went into the break level,” he said. “The second half was a different story and Ashfield dominated possession, to our boys’ credit we were defensively solid and kept any clear cut chances to a minimum and when the defence was breached the outstanding James Bosdet was in fine form. Skipper Arran Maplestone out of nothing, skipped past a couple of players wide right and delivered the perfect cross met by sub Callum Stocks who netted his first goal of the season. As we knew prior to the game it would be a tight, close affair and it was a great result for us with the added bonus of a clean sheet.”
Jennings knows Saturday is their biggest test but he said the lads are up for it. “Mandurah City are the flagship for all teams in Division 1, as the current title holders,” he said. “They have continued this fine form into the current season still being unbeaten. They undoubtedly will be a tough nut to crack, but we are up for the challenge and go into the game full of confidence and will be looking to take the three points.” In team news for United, defender Greg Pellow will miss out with injury.
Forrestfield United moved to third place with a win against Rockingham City last week, their fourth straight win, and this week they travel to Dianella Reserve to take on Dianella White Eagles. The Eagles won their first game of the season last week at Shamrock, and striker and former Forrestfield player Chris Rizidis said it was great to finally get the monkey off their backs. “It was a scrappy game especially in the first half, and to be fair both sides struggled to find rhythm,” he said. “But we moved the ball better in the second half and it was good to get our first win.” Rizidis is looking forward to Saturday’s game and catching up with his old teammates, and he said it will be a tough game but they are determined to get three points. “They (Forrestfield) are in great form and haven’t lost a game for a while, so it will be a good challenge,” he said. ‘It will be good to see the boys, but hopefully we can bring their winning streak to an end. The middle of the park will be important in this game.” In team news for the Eagles Matt Izzo returns to the side, and Coach Vesko Zmukic will have a full squad to choose from.
UWA-Nedlands hit the road on Sunday, when they travel for the local derby against Canning City. UWA produced a stunning performance to thrash Gosnells City last week, while Canning fought out a scoreless draw with the league leaders Mandurah. UWA midfielder Bryce Conway said they were determined to win last week and prove to themselves they can match with the best teams in the league. “We knew we had to win in order to achieve our top four aspirations this season, so it was very pleasing to get the three points in the manner we did,” he said. “To come out and play the way we did was fantastic, we didn't allow them any time to get into the game as we ran to a 3-0 lead within the first 20 minutes. We had six different goal scorers, which shows our attacking depth and the performance just exemplified what we're capable of.” It’s a huge game for UWA this week as they go in search of their first win on the road. “It's such a tight competition this season and we go into every match expecting a tough contest, and that's very much the case for this weekend's game against Canning,” he explained. “We grabbed maximum points in our fixtures against Canning last season and we'll be hoping to continue our rich vein of form with our first away win of the season at City's home ground.”
In other games this weekend Ashfield make the trip to the Lark Hill Sportsplex to take on Rockingham City. Both sides are coming off defeat from last week, Ashfield losing to Joondalup, while Rockingham was edged out at Forrestfield. There is only three points separating the sides on the table, so a win is a must for both. Shamrock Rovers face the long trip down South to take on South West Phoenix at Hay Park. Both sides are at the wrong end of the table, and only won one game each for the season. Rovers do have a game in hand against Rockingham, but John O’Reilly and Tim Slack side’s need to start picking up results sooner rather than later. In the final game Gosnells City will be looking to bounce back from last week’s heavy defeat at UWA when they host Western Knights at Walter Padbury Reserve. Gosnells haven’t won in four games, and will be hoping to end that on their home soils, but they are playing the Knights who have only lost once in their last six.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND NINE - PREVIEW
It’s week nine of the All Flags State League Division two and the Footballwa.net Match of the Round is the local derby clash between Melville City and Fremantle City at Len Shearer Reserve. Fremantle won the top of the table clash against Balga last week, while Melville drew 4-4 with the in-form Joondalup City. Melville Coach Gavin Brown said it was a thriller, but he thought they deserved the win. “I was really disappointed not to win when we were 4-3 up, but we were also 3-1 down so shouldn't grumble,” he said. Brown said Saturday’s game will be another stern test for his side, but they are looking forward to the challenge. “I’m really looking forward to this Saturday, derbies are always good for motivation,” he said. “It’s great to have Simon El Chami scoring regularly again, hopefully he can keep the run going. Lots of boys pushing for selection this week, we've got a great team spirit and training has been good despite league position.”
Fremantle go into the game two points clear at the top of the table, and Coach Steve Plucknett said last week’s win against Balga was a tough game, and was happy to come out on top. “Last week was a hard fought win against a very good Balga side, I really can't see them dropping too many more points if they can put out their strongest side,” he said. “We had to work extremely hard for the result, but defensively over the last four weeks we have been getting better, which coincided with 'keeper Justin Scavaci's arrival from Shamrock, so to be able to keep Balga scoreless was a great confidence boost for us.” Plucknett said Melville are a dangerous side and said they need to be switched on. “After Saturday's game the focus turned straight to the derby this week against Melville who have been scoring freely recently after a bit of a slow start to the season but will have their tails up after putting away four against Joondalup City,” he explained. “Gavin (Brown) has some quality players in his lineup so our work rate and concentration will have to be the same as last week if we are to get anything out of the game.” In team news for Fremantle Ben West and Gareth Hamilton return to the side, while Tom Speziali and Danny Clapham face late fitness tests.
Swan United have moved to third on the table and this week they travel to Gumblossom Park to take on Quinns FC. Swan beat Curtin University last time out, while Quinns were beaten 1-0 at Kingsway. Quinns’ central defender Glen Moore said it was a disappointing result. “It was a close game against a disciplined Kingsway side, we probably had the better of the play for the first half, however after a serious injury to their striker Ryan Frisna it took the sting out of the game,” he said. “Then a lapse in concentration saw them go in one nil up at the break. In the second half Kingsway started the brightest and could've been further in front only for some last ditch defending, as the game went on we played our way back in and pushed for the equaliser. A draw was probably a fair result however fair play to Kingsway, they stood strong and defended their lead.” Moore knows Swan are playing well at the moment, but say’s they are ready to step up. “Swan are going very well at the minute and are one of the favourites for the league, so we expect a very tough game, but again with ourselves we are also very confident in our ability to get results in this league and have been very competitive and hard to beat lately,” he said. “We will go into the game hurting and striving to put things right after last week’s disappointing result, not many teams in the division expect to come to Gumblossom and get an easy day, and long may that continue, the boys will be fired up and ready to step up and match the quality of Swan.” In team news for Quinns, former Swan Craig Tooley returns from suspension, but Chris Williams is struggling with a leg injury.”
Joondalup City hit the road this weekend when they take on Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. Morley returned to the winner’s circle with a come from behind win at Wanneroo, while City shared eight goals in a draw against Melville. Joondalup Coach Marco Schisano, said they need to improve in certain aspects of their game. “Unfortunately last week we had a spell where we lost our concentration, it is not the first time it has happened so we must continue to improve to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said. “We were comfortable in leading 3-1 but this is when we let Melville back in the game and all credit to them for taking advantage of the situation. Once we went behind 4-3 the players started playing again and thankfully we rescued a point from the game.” Schisano is expecting another tough test on Saturday at Morley, who he said are a very good side. “Even though they (Morley) have struggled this season I am well aware that they have been decimated by injuries which have had a major effect on their season so far. At the start of the season they were rightfully tipped to be one of the contenders to win the league and we are looking forward to a very tough match,” he said. “They are slowly getting a lot of players back into their team which makes them a strong team in this league. They will be confident following their win at Wanneroo last week but we want to rectify the mistakes we made against Melville and the players are keen to put on a good performance.” In team news Joondalup will have to shuffle the pack with Mark Tebbutt and Harry Clisby unavailable and they are monitoring the progress of a couple of others.
In other games Kelmscott Roos will be looking for three wins on the bounce when they entertain Balga at Frye Park. Balga have had back-to-back 1-0 defeats, and will be looking for the win to stay in touch with the leaders, while Kelmscott will be looking to continue where they left last week, with a 4-0 win against Ellenbrook. Kingsway Olympic won last week against Quinns and this week they travel to Arbor Grove Reserve to face bottom of the table Ellenbrook, who are still searching for the their first win of the season. The final game is on Sunday, when Curtin University host Wanneroo City at Edinburgh Oval (5pm). Both sides are coming off defeats, Curtin lost narrowly to Swan, while Ellenbrook lost at Kelmscott, so a win is a must for both.
CHINA MAKING SAINSBURY A BETTER DEFENDER
There's never a bad time to get on the scoresheet, especially if you are a defender. But some goals turn out to be more valuable than others. Trent Sainsbury gave Australia a lifeline on Tuesday night when he netted from a corner with more than half-an-hour of the game against Greece remaining, but neither he nor his teammates could come up with an equaliser.
Still, Sainsbury, who plays for Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning, believes that despite the loss the Socceroos are still in a better place than they were even a few months ago when the first phase of World Cup qualifying ended. "It's a friendly, but obviously at the same time we want to win every game, we want to try and play at our level," Sainsbury said.
"It's always nice to get on the scoresheet but it would have felt better if it was a good result," Sainsbury said. "But we are better placed. We have got the focus on the style we want to play and everyone is buying into it and we definitely have a lot more depth in the squad. The younger boys are coming through and stepping up their game."
Sainsbury believes his move to China – he left PEC Zwolle in the Dutch Eredivisie earlier this year – is improving him as a defender even if it is a very different style of game. "It's not as intense as Holland," said the defender, whose career began at Armadale. "Holland is a lot more like we play here (in Australia), with the ball on the deck, playing between lines.
"In China a lot of teams come out very defensive and it's hard to break them down, it's a lot of counter-attack. But at the same time I am marking some of the best strikers in the world so I have to be on my toes. Defensively I am learning a lot more. On the ball, I don't think China has improved me - Holland did that. But as a defender, it's improving me."
PERTH AIM HIGH AHEAD OF ARMADALE CLASH (courtesy perthsc.com.au)
Perth SC will be looking to come away with no less than three points when they host Armadale SC at Dorrien Gardens this weekend. The sides last came face to face in round one of the National Premier Leagues, when Perth claimed a 4-1 win over their hosts thanks to a hat-trick from striker Gustavo Catarcione. Armadale have since dropped to 11th position on the NPL ladder, and have just two wins under their belt to date.
After several changes to the Perth side during the transfer window, goalkeeper Francis Soale said he hoped the current squad would continue to gel and securing a top-four finish. "We are focusing on unity and working hard together as a team, while at the same time all understanding our roles on the pitch," he said. "Being third on the ladder, we're in a decent position now but we need to continue our positive form, maybe score a few more goals at home and maintain that top-four position."
WEMBLEY HERO SPARROW TO FLY WITH GULLS
He has scored goals at Wembley Stadium and now Matt Sparrow is ready to lift Sorrento in the National Premier Leagues. The former English professional, whose career included spells at Scunthorpe United, Brighton and Hove Albion, Cheltenham Town and Lincoln City, is set to make his Sorrento debut against northern rivals ECU Joondalup on Saturday.
With more than 400 Football League appearances and 55 goals during his professional career, 34-year old Sparrow is ready for the challenge on offer at his new club. "Sorrento president Derek Harnwell spoke very highly of the club and it was an easy decision to play for them," Sparrow said.
And the attacker has made a smooth initial transition, training with the club for the first time last week. "A few of the boys are English so that made it easier to fit in with everyone, and the guys seem like a really good bunch of lads," he said. "There is a real sense of camaraderie at the club and the players all act professionally."
Gulls coach Jamie Harnwell is convinced his new signing has plenty to contribute to the NPL. "To be able to sign a player of the calibre of Matt is a real coup for Sorrento," Harnwell said. "Already in training, you can see the quality he has, not just with the ball but also his influence on the players around him."
"Matt was keen right from our first contact and when a player has scored twice at Wembley in a play-off final you don't usually take too long to make up your mind to sign them. It's a good first game for Matt to step into and I am sure he will be a great asset to Sorrento moving forwards."
Sparrow hoped his experience would benefit players around him, not just those from the first team but also younger players at the club. "I want to bring the best out of all the players around me both young and old and if everyone knows their roles we can win games and push into the top four," he said.
Sparrow left school at 17 and signed his first professional contract with Scunthorpe in 1999. Over the course of eleven seasons he made 396 appearances for the Iron, scoring 42 goal which includes a double in an English League One play-off final against Millwall. He gained over 100 additional appearances throughs spells at Brighton, Crawley Town, Cheltenham, Lincoln.
Sorrento, who are fourth on the league ladder, take on ninth-place Joondalup at ECU Football Stadium on Saturday. "I just can't wait to be back on the ball and it is exciting to be debuting in such a big game for the club." Sparrow said. "ECU Joondalup are a strong gritty team from what I've been told, so it should be a good game."
GLORY GET FOURTEEN HOME GAMES
Perth Glory have received a boost to their 2016/17 A-League title hopes with fourteen home matches at Perth Oval after resolving problems that could have forced them to take two games interstate. Two weekends in November and March were initially blocked by tentative concert bookings made by venue operator VenuesWest and turf management in the Christmas-New Year period looked like causing problems.
But while Glory have claimed a win for the coming season, chief executive Peter Filopoulos believes both his club and Western Force should have priority when it comes to future fixtures. "The question we've asked of government is if that venue was built for the purposes of football and rugby then there should be some sort of protection over our season window," Filopoulos said.
"There should be recognition or special treatment for primary tenants for which a stadium like nib was built, Perth Glory and Western Force. We have overcome the problems with a lot of work with the government and VenuesWest. We had some anxious discussions, we've had to concede some ground but we've been able to resolve a lot of the issues. Overall we're pretty happy."
Glory had another victory, hosting eight Saturday night fixtures - six of them with a preferred 7.00pm kick-off - and an experimental Friday night game in round seven when the stadium is booked for another event the following night. Glory had campaigned for the Saturday night slot for several seasons and it only came about after Fox Sports lost broadcast rights to the English Premier League, leaving the television timeslot open.
"We've been fighting hard for that timeslot and to get eight Saturday night games is fantastic," Filopoulos said. "Fox Sports had to be a part of that and they have been pretty supportive of that timeslot for us. It's a great timeslot and we want to maximise that every year. We want to make Saturday night a trademark for Perth Glory."
"We've come a long way from when we were scheduled at 2 and 3 o'clock on Sundays. The last thing we want to see is fixtures kick off in 40 degrees and that's one of the challenges we face in the Perth market. We also saw Friday as an opportunity to experiment. It's prime time, a big stage and we're looking forward to it."
Filopoulos believes Glory can beat the 8,500 membership target set for the coming season with the aim of having 10,000 members in four years. "There's a lot of excitement around our membership. We have had an extraordinary first two days and we are significantly up on last year," he said. "That has come on the back of last year and the squad we are building."
RUKAVYTSYA SIGNS THREE-YEAR DEAL WITH MACCABI HAIFA
Forgotten Socceroo Nikita Rukavytsya has signed a three-year contract with Israeli Premier League club Maccabi Haifa. It is understood the 28-year old attacker has joined Maccabi for approximately AU$610,000 after finishing as the equal second top scorer in the 2015/16 Premier League.
Rukavytsya, whose wife is Israeli, scored 14 goals to guide Beitar Jerusalem to third place last season. "I am very pleased to join a large club in Israel,” Rukavytsya told the Maccabi website. “Maccabi Haifa is a club that I love and have been waiting to join.”
Maccabi manager Danny Levy is delighted to have signed Rukavytsya. “Nikita is an excellent player we have followed for a long time,” Levy said. “We chose him not only because of the skills on the field, but also because of his personality. He wanted very much to play for Maccabi Haifa.”
Rukavytsya, who was born in Ukraine and played locally for Inglewood United and Perth SC as a teenager, has had previously played professionally in Australia, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. He has 13 Socceroos caps to his name but hasn’t featured for the national team since October 2013.
DE VANNA: FROM WILD CHILD TO AUSTRALIAN CAPTAIN
Lisa De Vanna’s ascension from wild child to Matilda’s captain is a tale of persistence. Now 31, the pint-sized De Vanna was once considered bad news in the football world. Her behaviour and training was questioned and on two separate occasions she was removed from national team set-ups. “Obviously I don’t have the perfect reputation,” De Vanna said candidly.
The first incident, in 2002, saw her kicked out of a squad for the Under-19 World Cup for selfishness on the field and causing team disharmony. In 2011, she was sent home from a Matilda’s camp, only allowed to return on the premise she performed “basic obligations”. It is hardly the background of a national team captain but De Vanna says she was simply misunderstood.
“That’s because people don’t understand me. It can be interpreted wrong,” she said. “My intentions are never to hurt anyone and that’s just how I am … passionate and driven as a player. It can come across as wrong but once you get to know me on a personal level, a lot of people tell me I am the most misunderstood person they’ve met.”
De Vanna is a typical heart-on-the-sleeve footballer, but few players possess her breathtaking skill. Those qualities saw Matildas coach Alen Stajcic make the Perth-born attacker co-captain with Claire Polkinghorne last year. It was a big call from Stajcic in a significant year for women’s football in Australia, as a run to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup captured our imagination.
De Vanna admits to crying when she found out she was going to captain her country. It’s her stand-out achievement in a glittering career that has seen her take in stints in England, Sweden, the United States and, of course, Australia. De Vanna reveals that she doesn’t have many friends, but the ones she does have changed her life. Rose Garofano is one of those.
“She is one person I can confide in when things get tough,” De Vanna said of Garofano. “She is honest. That’s what you need with people. That’s what you need in life, to be honest. She saw my potential and how far I could go and how dangerous I was as a player. Ever since then, she has had my back through the good times and the bad times.”
With the help of Garofano, a period of “heavy soul searching” before the 2015 World Cup saw De Vanna lead Australia to the last eight of the tournament. In her country’s tournament opener - and her 100th international appearance - De Vanna scored, making her the first female to score at three consecutive World Cups. It sparked an exciting run at the tournament that included a win over Brazil.
For women’s football, 2015 was exciting. With Rio on the horizon, the hope is that 2016 will be even better. The Matildas breezed through their Olympic qualification tournament earlier this year, with De Vanna playing a key role. So, by featuring in the Olympic Games for the first time in twelve years, the Matildas will carry the can for football following the Olyroos failure to qualify.
Australia are a very real medal chance in Brazil, and De Vanna cannot wait for the opportunity to lead her country on the big stage. “There is no question how passionate I am playing for my country,” she said. “It’s one of the only things that drives me as a character as well. “People can see when I put that jersey on … it’s pure heart and love for the country.”
ATHENA THRASH INGLEWOOD TO EARN FFA CUP BERTH
Floreat Athena produced an amazing FFA Cup Semi-Final performance, by thrashing Inglewood United 9-2, on their home ground to reach the WA Cup Final and qualify for the National FFA Cup round of 32. A hat-trick to Lewis McMahon, and doubles to Kris Gate and Jonathan Stynes, with others to Ludovic Boi and Bobby Wilson ripped the home side apart. This after Tim Robertson had given Inglewood the early lead, while Mark Pritchard scored the other Inglewood goal. “We were up for it today and they weren’t,” Boi told the Football West web site. “We scored the goals when it mattered and took our chances and that was the day for us.”
Midfielder Stynes said they stuck to their game plan despite going down. “We never dropped our heads after conceding the first goal because we knew we had the players to turn the game around. But I don't think anyone imagined we'd score nine goals,” he said. “It just shows what were capable of when we all decide to play.” There wasn’t any glimpse of what was about to happen, when Inglewood opened the scoring in the ninth minute, Robertson slotted home from a Scott Witschge low cross. But their lead lasted only three minutes. Boi raced past his marker and played in McMahon who scored from close-range. Moments later it was 2-1, Floreat won back possession and Boi sent McMahon clear again who finished clinically past Alex Dunn.
Things went from bad to worse for the home side as McMahon completed his hat-trick in the 19th minute. Scott Blackmore header back to his keeper caused confusion, and he was closed down by Gate and McMahon, the later firing home. Mark Pritchard reduced the margin from the penalty spot, after referee David Bruce spotted Blair Govan’s push on Kenny Keogh. But Floreat regained their two goal advantage on the stroke of half time, Stynes running onto a Boi through ball to score.
Floreat added a fifth two minutes into the second half, Gate firing home through a crowded penalty area, and the midfielder added his second and the sixth on the hour. Boi added the seventh, when we was sent clear by McMahon, and rounded Dunn and score into an empty net. It was eight in the 85th minute, with Stynes on hand to score, and the home side then had Keogh sent off for a second booking. The final goal was the best Wilson’s stunning free kick flew into the corner of the net to set off wild celebrations on and off the pitch.
Inglewood United 2 (Robertson 9min, Pritchard 41pen)
Floreat Athena 9 (McMahon 12, 13, 19, Stynes 43, 84, Gate 47, 61, Boi 76, Wilson 86)
Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 3 David CYRUS (c) (21 Slobodan VULIN 69), 4 Scott BLACKMORE, 5 Adam TONG, 6 Callum O’CONNELL, 7 Kenny KEOGH, 8 Jason BARRERA, 11 John MIGAS, 12 Scott WITSCHGE (10 Ashley ROSINDALE 58), 14 Mark PRITCHARD, 17 Tim ROBERTSON (18 Jason COLLI 69)
Subs not used: RGK Mitchell PAPAS, 19 Ryan SARDI
Yellow cards: Keogh 64, 86
Red cards: Keogh 86
Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 3 Blair GOVAN, 5 Bobby WILSON (2 Kye DOUGLAS 87), 8 Jonathan STYNES, 10 Kris GATE, 11 Dennis GALAN, 13 Aaron DELANY, 14 Ludovic BOI (c), 18 Phillip ARNOLD, 19 Lewis MCMAHON (4 Andrew SCALDAFERRO 78), 20 Robert GASPAR (12 Sam KHAWKHALILI 85)
Subs not used: RGK Dejan ALEKSIC
Yellow cards: McMahon 37
Referee: David Bruce
COCKERELS FLY INTO FFA CUP NEST
Cockburn City have earned a spot in the WA Cup Final on July 23 at Dorrien Gardens against Floreat Athena, and a place in the FFA Cup round of 32 after a tough 2-1 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. Two goals from Cockburn’s Spanish striker Angel Andres saw the Cockerels home, this after Graham Doran had equalised for the Lions on the half hour. The Lions had thrashed Cockburn 7-2 in the league earlier in the season, and Coach Scott Miller said it showed the unpredictability of cup football. “It's a fantastic feeling,” Miller told the Football West website. “I thought (playing at Macedonia Park) was going to make it a hard one. But the boys played really well – I thought our defensive work at the back was outstanding.”
Cameron Edwards said it was a great win for the club. “Great effort from all involved at the club to get past a strong Stirling side,” he said. “The win has created a real buzz around the place and the boys are all just waiting and excited to see the outcome of the draw.” The home side went close early, with pacey winger Teeboy Kamara low shot that flashed inches past the far post. But it was the visitors who opened the scoring on 24 minutes. A quick counter attack, started with an early throw from keeper Luke Radonich, and it was ended by Andres, who finished well from the edge of the penalty area. But their celebrations were short lived, with Doran firing home with a superb long-range strike six minutes later.
After the break it was tight affair, but the pitch wasn’t the best and passing football was at a minimum. The decisive moment came 18 minutes from time. Kenal Mouithys was adjudged to have been brought down by Michael Pugliese and referee Steven Gregory pointed to the spot. Andres stepped up to score from the resulting penalty to give Cockburn the lead. Stirling pressed late and Kamara was a constant threat and Doran went closest for the home side, heading just wide, and Cockburn hung on for a big win.
Stirling Lions 1 (Doran 29’)
Cockburn City 2 (Andres 24’, 72’pen)
Stirling Lions: GK John PERKINS, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, (3 Mohamed AWAD), 4 Blama QUAQUA, 5 Graham DORAN, 7 Miki VUJACIC, 8 David SESAY, 9 Jamie GIBSON, 10 Daniel MICEVSKI, 11 David MICEVSKI, 15 Shane CASSIDY, 17 Teeboy KAMARA
Subs not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 12 Jason RUBIDGE, 13 William KESSEL, 16 Lukas DELIMA,
Yellow Cards: Pugliese 79’, Kamara 89’
Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 3 Josh KUSAR, 6 Ruben TRISTAO, 7 Ali GHOLAMI, 8 Cameron EDWARDS, 9 Angel ANDRES, 10 Dane ARRAYA, 11 Harry O'BRIEN, 12 Kenal MOUITHYS, 13 Blake ADAMS, 15 Daniel DOLS
Subs: RGK Ryan BARKER 2 Nathan DE ABREU, 4 Even GRANT, 14 Julian TELES, 17 Jesse LAZZARO
Yellow cards: Tristao 80'
Referee: Steven Gregory
WHITE AT THE DOUBLE FOR SUBIACO
A brace from Kevin White has given Subiaco a 2-1 victory against Armadale at Rosalie Park. They had to come from behind to seal their first win in the PS4NPLWA this season, after skipper Alex Castiello had given the visitors a first half lead, but White’s second half double sealed the win.
“It's fantastic for the club, and to be honest that's been coming for a few weeks now,” Subiaco Coach Michael Brazil said on the NPLWA website. “We've been like that for the best part of two, three, four weeks, but we've had nothing to show for it. They're a young side, and to their credit, they kept plugging away, and they got their rewards.”
Armadale, fresh of a huge win against Stirling Lions last week, hit the front on 26 minutes, against the run of play. A lob into the penalty area fell kindly at the feet of Castiello, and the big defender made no mistake with a well struck half-volley. Subiaco pressed late in the half and James Casserly's header crashed off the post, while Ian McMurray lopping header was well saved by Alec Radonich.
But eight minutes into the second half the home side levelled, with White converting from the penalty spot. Both sides pressed as the game opened up, but the best chance fell to Armadale substitute Issy Bangura, whose shot hit the base of the post. But five minutes from time Subiaco won it. Jackson Darnell picked out White, who clinically finished past Radonich. The only blow for the home side was losing Ian McMurray with what looked a serious knee injury.
SKY BLUES AND GULLS SHARE THE SPOILS
Perth SC and Sorrento have fought out an entertaining 0-0 draw at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday afternoon. Both sides had chances to take the points, but couldn’t convert them, so it gave new Perth Coach Ramon Falzon a point in his first game in charge. “I already knew half of the players so it has been easy for them and for me,” Falzon said on the NPLWA website. “My football philosophy is not that different from Gareth’s so it has been a very smooth transition.”
Going into the game only two points separated the sides on the table, and a win was important to stay in touch with the top sides. But Perth suffered a blow early with influential skipper Clark Keltie limping off with a knee injury on the half hour. But the home side put that disappointment behind them and went close to the opener four minutes later. Dino Topcagic’s free kick was heading for the top corner of the net, but Sorrento keeper James Morgan produced a stunning save to deny him.
Sorrento then went close to the openers just before half time, Niccolo Sabatini’s cross finding Billy Quinncroft, whose effort was well saved by Francis Soale. Former Perth striker Reece Vittiglia, who has re-joined Sorrento, went close to giving the Gulls the lead on the hour. His long-range shot flashed inches over the top. The visitors were on top and Vittiglia was a constant threat and late on his teasing cross was only inches away from Quinncroft in the six-yard box.
BLACK AND BLUES BACK ON TOP
With Inglewood United’s surprise defeat at ECU Joondalup, Bayswater City leapfrogged them to the top of the table after a hard fought 1-0 win against Balcatta in the Italian derby at Grindleford Reserve. The only goal of the came on the half hour through David Heagney, and it was a good defensive display from the Black and Blues as they held out a fast finishing Balcatta side. “I thought the first half team performance was one of the best this year if we had taken are chances we would of had the game won by half time,” Bayswater striker Heagney said. “But all in all a great result against a bright Balcatta team, and for me it was nice to get on the score sheet after working extra hard in training.”
It was a typical start to a derby with challenges flying in, and Kieron Stallard was first in referee’s Steven Gregory’s notebook after only three minutes. The game settled into an entertaining one for the big crowd, but it was the visitors who hit the front on 32 minutes. Todd Howarth and Jason Mirco combined to pick out Heagney at the back post and the striker made no mistake past Clint Davies. Bayswater pressed late in the half but couldn’t convert the chances they created.
Balcatta were out of the blocks early and had the Reigning Champions on the back foot, but Trent Kay and his fellow defenders kept them at bay. But on 73 minutes, Balcatta had their best chance of an equaliser. Teenage striker Cameron Teece made space on the left, raced past his marker, but his teasing low cross couldn’t find a teammate at the back post. Balcatta continued to press, but they couldn’t find an equaliser.
BARKER SHINES AS COCKERELS DRAW AT ATHENA
A man of the match performance from debutant keeper Ryan Barker has seen Cockburn City come away from the E&D Litis Stadium with a 1-1 draw against Floreat Athena. The Cockerels had hit the front late in the first half through Julian Teles, before Bobby Wilson levelled with fifteen minutes remaining, but Barker’s heroics earned his side a point. “Debut for Ryan today, it was his first game for us in the first team and he was outstanding,” Cockburn coach Scott Miller told the NPLWA website.
“I thought we were very good in the first half and then Floreat put us under a massive amount of pressure in the second but I’m really happy that we held on for the point. “Floreat are very good from set pieces so they obviously used that to their advantage but unfortunately we can’t make our boys grow any taller.” The home side looked bright early, and went close when Andrew Scaldaferro’s cross found Phil Arnold who couldn’t find the target when well placed. But it was Cockburn who hit the front in the shadows of half time. Cameron Edwards’ free kick was punched clear by keeper Dejan Aleksic, but only as far as Teles, who fired home.
Floreat almost levelled early in the second half. Clayton Arnez’s corner picked out Arnold, whose shot was well saved by the alert Barker. Then on the hour Arnold went close again, this time his back heel beat Barker, but drifted just wide of the post. But their pressure was rewarded with the equaliser on 75 minutes. Robbie Gasper, who had come off the bench, whipped in a corner and Wilson rose highest to head home. Floreat pressed for the winner, but they found Barker impregnable and Cockburn left with a hard fought point.
KNOWLES STUNS THE LIONS LATE
A penalty two minutes from time from Perth Glory striker Joe Knowles has given them a 1-0 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. It was the second win of the season for the Glory youngster, who bounced back well from last week’s heavy defeat at Balcatta, and Coach John Gibson was full of praise for his players. “What a great performance from the lads today, against a very good Stirling side,” he said. “Today we wanted a positive reaction individually and collectively. The reaction was magnificent and we wanted to play for the full 95 minutes which we did. Post-game the squad was ecstatic with the performance but remained balanced that they have a big few weeks coming up.”
Daniel Micevski went close for the Lions early, but Calvin Whitney got back with good block. The Glory hit back and John Perkins saved low from Nikola Talimdzioski, and the Lions custodian reacted well to save Dejan Spaseski’s follow up shot. Then Daniel Stynes saw a shot from the edge of the penalty area well saved Perkins, but it was scoreless at the break.
Both sides had chances early in the second half. Gian Albano fed Stynes, who couldn’t beat Perkins, then Lions striker Jason Rubidge headed Miki Vujacic’s free kick on the hour. The home side started to get on top and on 71 minute Daniel Micevski’s header crashed off the crossbar. But it was the visitors who took the points on 88 minutes. Sean Troup was deemed to have been broke down by David Micevski, and Nico Hoyle pointed to the spot. Knowles kept his nerve and fired past Perkins to win it.
ECU STUNS LEAGUE LEADERS
League leaders Inglewood United suffered shock 2-0 defeat against ECU Joondalup at the ECU Football Stadium. Gordon Smith gave the home side the lead on the stroke of half time and Ollie Annis added the second, as ECU ended a two game losing streak, while the loss knocked Inglewood from the summit. “The team’s performance today was very positive and we worked hard all over the pitch, and totally deserved the three points,” Annis said. “Beating top of the league is always enjoyable and hopefully we can continue with these positive performances in the second half of the season. On a personal note it was great to get my chance back in the starting side again, and to get a goal capped off a good day for me and the team.”
Inglewood were on the front foot early, but the ECU defence stood firm. Clear cut chances were few and far between, but in the shadows of half time the home side hit the front. Tommy Amphlett and Annis combined to send Smith clear and the Scottish striker finished well past Alex Dunn. The Inglewood custodian kept his side in the game after the break, when Amphlett’s cross field pass found Smith, his shot was tipped over the top by the alert Dunn.
Then from the resulting corner Andy Higgins’ in-swinging cross was tipped over the top by Dunn as ECU began to get on top. Inglewood were then convinced they had a penalty on 75 minutes, when Steven McGarry brought down John Migas, but referee Stuart Muldoon ruled the challenge was outside the area, and awarded a free kick, which Mark Pritchard fired wide. But to rub salt into the wounds the home side scored the sealer two minutes later. Smith found Amphlett, who whipped in a cross and Annis headed home. Calum O’Connell went close to a consolation goal late for Inglewood, but his shot crashed off the crossbar.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND EIGHT - REVIEW
Joondalup United moved to the top of the All Flags State League Division One table after a hard fought 1-0 win against Ashfield at Ashfield Reserve. The win and Mandurah City’s draw against Canning meant United leapfrogged them to pole position. The only goal of the game came from substitute Callum Stocks. A great run from Arran Maplestone down the right ended with a great pass into Stocks, who made mistake from close-range. “We missed a lot of chances in the first half hit the post and a couple of wasted chances,” United keeper James Bosdet said. “They had a few chances as well, and could have snatched a draw in the last minute when the ball fell to their player a yard out centre of the goal, but we managed to block it, so it was great hard fought win.” Mandurah City was held to a 0-0 draw against Canning City at the Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium. Canning Coach Paul Oliver said it was a great performance from his side. “We knew going down to Mandurah would be a big challenge for us but we worked hard through the week and got a good point against the reigning champions,” he said. “It was a real team effort and something the lads can gain confidence from and build on. It will mean very little though if we fail to back it up with the same work rate against UWA next Sunday.”
Forrestfield United’s good form continued with a 3-2 win against Rockingham City at Hartfield Park. The home side were ahead at the break after Milan Vulin’s corner was only cleared to Liam Merigan on the edge of the penalty area, who fired into the top corner of the net. Rockingham went close to an equaliser early in the second half, Christian Hogge’s shot was well saved by Luke Martino. But on the hour the home side doubled their advantage, with a stunning individual goal. Merigan picked the ball up on the half way line and ran at the Rockingham defence, and curled home a superbly, given the keeper no chance. It was 3-0 ten minutes later, Mitch Crocker’s through ball sent Sani Sinclair clear who rounded the keeper and fired home into an empty net. But eight minutes from time the visitors were back in the game, Hogge lobbing Martino to make it 3-1. Forrestfield were then reduced to ten men on 83 minutes, when Will Tshabangu receiving a second yellow card. Rockingham then scored three minutes later, with Calum Rothwell firing home though a crowed penalty box. It set up a frantic finish, but Forrestfield hung on to claim the points. “It was another fantastic display of fast attacking football at Hartfield Park, and it was fitting that there was another huge crowd on hand to witness the long anticipated spectacle,” Forrestfield Coach Rod Banjac said. “We are now starting to control our games for long periods and we did it again against one of the toughest opponents we faced this year. Our boys created enough chances to score three goals against the stingiest defensive unit in the league, and we are pleased about that."
UWA-Nedlands moved up to fifth spot with a stunning 7-2 win against Gosnells City at the UWA Sports Park. The home side made the perfect start and were ahead in the opening minute. Alex Kretowicz picked out Lloyd Prout, who scored from close-range. It was 2-0 moments later, UWA skipper Joshua Marocchi scoring, after reacting the quickest in the penalty area. It was 3-0 on the half hour, Bryce Conway scoring, after his initial shot had been blocked, and it was 4-0 at the break, with Conway feeding Kretowicz, who made no mistake. The home side continued their onslaught after the break, and they made it 5-0, minutes into the second half with Tristan Taylor’s long-range shot flying into the top corner of the net. Gosnells then pulled one back when Marocchi handled the ball in the area and Jason Pottier scored from the resulting penalty. The visitors added a second when Caleb Aquino fired home from the edge of the box, but UWA steadied and Kretowicz added a sixth, before Michael Vlasich produced a stunning free kick from the edge of the box to round of the scoring.
In other games Western Knights carried on from last week’s big win against Dianella White Eagles with a 4-1 win against South West Phoenix at Nash Field. The visitors hit the front early with Ryan Stewart heading home, but Ryan Tucker equalised for the home side with a well-placed shot from the edge of the penalty area. The Knights then took control with Dylan De Silva scoring, and Jeffrey Judge converted penalty to make it 3-1, before Adriano Jelenovic added a fourth with a lob from long-range. In the battle of the basement clubs, Dianella beat Shamrock Rovers 2-0 at Harold Rossiter Reserve. Alex Miladenovic opened the scoring from the penalty spot, while Mwansa Musonda added the second to give them their first win in the league this season.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND EIGHT - REVIEW
Fremantle City moved to the top of the All Flags State League Division Two table after a hard fought 1-0 win in the top of the table clash with against Balga at Hilton Reserve. Balga struggled throughout the game, but should have hit the front early, but Hubert Hakizimana fired over when well placed. They then had keeper Nas Farsalas for keeping them in the game, he made a number of fine saves, but he was beaten in the final minute of the first half. Defender Josh Gardner was given time and space to put a pinpoint diagonal ball to Ben Reynolds who was unmarked at the far post, his shot beat Farsalas, but came off the post, Alec Robinson reacted first and slotted home. “It was a really good game, and it was very even in the first half, Balga are very comfortable on the ball and had chances early,” Fremantle Coach Steve Plucknett said. “In the second half I felt we got stronger and had numerous opportunities to score but didn't take them. It's a recurring theme that we will have to work on. We had a number of players missing so it was encouraging to see the performance of the players that came in. All in all we were elated to get 3 points against the top side, we now have to lift again for the derby against Melville next week.”
Melville City travelled to the Iluka Sports Complex and fought out a thrilling 4-4 draw with Joondalup City. The home side had a helping hand in the opening goal, with Joseph McQuade’s shot turned into his own net by Harry Hosking. But Melville hit back and a quick counter attack ended with Cameron McClaren, who made no mistake. Then just before half time Joondalup regained the lead. Jamie Stewart converting from the penalty spot, after he was brought down. The home side took control and added a third just after the break, a superb overhead kick from Liam McGurk. But Melville steadied and hit back with three quick goals from Hosking, in the right end this time, Simon El Chami and Mark Lucas to turn the game on its head. But Joondalup salvaged a point with a stunning long-range shot from substitute Liam Peacock. “Credit to Melville, they showed great character to hit back and take the lead,” Joondalup Coach Marco Schisano said. “Unfortunately we tend to switch off for periods of our matches this year and we lose focus on playing our style of football. We must improve this aspect of our game and we are hoping to bounce back this week against Morley, however I know my mate Cas (John Castrilli) has a lot of players back from injury which will make Morley a very difficult team to beat for the rest of the season so I am expecting a very tough encounter. But we will be looking to gain three points to keep up with the pacemakers in the league.”
Swan United maintained their good form with a come-from-behind 4-3 win against Curtin University at Francis Street. The home were ahead after only six minutes, Mark Macallister’s cutting the ball back for the right to Zane Loh who finished well. But Curtin hit back and raced to a 3-1 half time lead. Arijan Stovrag converted the first from the penalty spot, and then Dominic Kakszuk scored from a free kick, before Eddie Tikoft headed home at the back post. Swan were back in the game early in the second half, with Macalister’s shot on the run finding the corner of the net. Macallister then had the chance to level moments later but his penalty was well saved by Jack Kenny. Then eight minutes from time Simon Williams pounced to level, before Macallister crossed to John Monterosso to win for the black and whites late on. We were very disappointing in the first half. We looked behind the pace,” Swan Coach Matt Debarro said. “Curtin were excellent at moving the ball around the park, one of the better teams in the league I believe. In the second half when we stepped it up it became interesting. I'm happy to get the win and happier at the great character we showed to come back and win from 3-1 down. To be fair it could have gone either way, they are a very good team credit to the coaches and players.”
Morley Windmills returned to the winners circle with a 3-2 win against Wanneroo City at Wanneroo Reserve. Kyle King opened the scoring for the visitors, racing clear and chipping the keeper, but Wanneroo were level when Morley defender Igor Novakovic mistimed a tackle in the box on Scott Johnstone and Nathan Grostate converted the penalty. Wanneroo hit the front just after half time, Johnston volleying home. Morley then had Novakovic sent off for a second yellow card, but the ten men hit back, with Sasa Slavujevic cross being bundled over the line by Boas Mtwale. But it was Morley who would go on and win it. King was the supplier, he found Slavujevic who in turn picked out Mtwale, who skipped past his defender and buried the winner. “It was a tough game, we dominated the first half but we chose the wrong pass in the final third, but Wanneroo changed it slightly and it caused the defense problems,” King said. “But we didn't give up even after going down to 10 men, we showed we have the fight to win, and we move on to next week and hopefully another positive result with a better performance from the lads.”
In other games Kelmscott Roos thrashed Ellenbrook United 4-0 at Frye Park. The opener was an own goal from Tait Conley’s cross, to send the home side in at the break with the lead. But it was 2-0 early in the second half. Jason Godfrey’s free kick picked out Owen Curtis, whose header was fumbled by keeper Dan Cicchini, and Sully Rogers fired home the rebound. Curtis headed home the third from a Joey Tomelin corner, and Rogers added the fourth late. Kelmscott are now finding some real consistency, winning two in a row without conceding. In the final game Kingsway Olympic bounced back with a 1-0 win against Quinns in the local derby at the Kingsway Reserve. The only goal of the game came from substitute Craig Hollingsworth. “After two very disappointing results over the last two weeks we worked hard on our shape and a new formation that suited the players we had available,” Assistant Coach Mark Culverwell said. “We should have got another couple in the second half, but it’s a great result because Quinn's have been in great form over the last month.”
FFA CUP SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW
The Westfield FFA Cup WA reaches its Semi-Final stage on Monday, and the four teams involved know they are only one win away from reaching the FFA Cup National draw, and a possible opportunity to pit their wits against an A-League club. The first tie is at the Inglewood Stadium, where PS4NPLWA leaders Inglewood United host Floreat Athena. Inglewood last won the cup in 1999, with a win ironically against Floreat, while Floreat last tasted success in 2009, amazingly against Inglewood. Taki Nicolaidis’ side had to go into extra time to beat Balcatta in the Quarter-Final and defender Adam Tong said it was a real fight. “The game against Balcatta was a real dog fight, and fair play to them they took us right to the end,” he said. “We scored late, and without playing our best, moved through, but we’ll take it.” Tong said they will need to be at their best against a good Floreat side. “I believe Monday’s game is going to be extremely difficult, because they (Floreat) have such a talented squad and with Ludo, Gatey and Lewis McMahon all being fit again, it’s going to be a roll up your sleeves game, and whoever wins the battle goes through,” he explained. “The massive incentive of a FFA Cup draw against the top teams in Australia is on the cards, and both teams will be looking for some success on the National scene.”
Floreat skipper Ludovic Boi said it was a great fight back in the Quarter-final, to come from 0-2 down to beat Armadale. They found themselves two goals down just before half time, but two late goals took them into the break level and they went on with it after the break. “It was disappointing to have gone down 2-0, but like I’ve said before, any team can beat anyone this year and it showed if you look at the results this season,” he said. “I wasn’t able to carry on due to a hamstring injury, but the boys fought back and did the job in the end, and we were happy to get away with that one.” Boi, who has been in sparking form this season, knows Inglewood are the top of the table for a reason, and he said the cup is a massive challenge and they will be doing all they can to reach the final. “Inglewood has a great side, with a good mix of experience and youth, as we do,” he explained. “We know how dangerous they can be, but we will just let them worry about us. It’s anyone’s game on the day; it should be a cracking game for the fans, with two big clubs giving it there all to be able to have a taste of playing against an A-League side. Both sides want it, so whoever wants it more on the day will come out on top and we believe that will be us.”
The other Semi-final is at Macedonia Park, with Stirling Lions hosting Cockburn City. Stirling have won the state league cup on six occasions, but Cockburn City are yet to win one, but under the former name of Spearwood Dalmatinac they won it on three occasions. Cockburn eased through against Gosnells City in the last round and keeper Luke Radonich said they took the chances well on the day. “It was a great win for the club, and we were ruthless in front of goal and defended desperately,” he said. “We did concede a sloppy goal, and we really should have had a couple more ourselves, but the Gosnells keeper had a real good game. So to run out 5-1 winners was a good all round team performance for everyone involved.” Radonich has been in great form between the sticks, and he said a good cup run is great for the club, and they will do all they can to reach the final. “Monday’s game is massive and all the boys are pumped for it, with a lot at stake,” he said. “It will be a tough game as they (Stirling) have been playing well this season. But we’ve hit a rich vein of form ourselves, and the motivation and confidence is high and hopefully we can put in in a good performance and come away with the win and move into the Cup Final and the National FFA Cup draw.”
Stirling overcame Division Two side Curtin University in the Quarter-Final, and winger Daniel Micevski said they have had to work hard in their cup run so far, and said that’s what all cup games are like. “Both the Perth SC and Curtin games were typical cup matches, with a lot of bite, but we managed to prevail in both,” he said. “We are looking forward to Monday’s game and the chance to play in the WA Cup Final, and then represent the state in the National FFA Cup competition.” Stirling thrashed Cockburn in the league in round four, and Micevski said this game will be a lot more tighter than that one, but they are looking to get back on track after a couple of defeats, but he is confident they can get the win on Monday. “Recent performances haven’t been the best, and we want to get our season back on track,” he said. “Cockburn are a strong side this season, and Scott Miller has them playing good football and this match will be tighter than the league meeting, but there is a huge prize for the winner of the game and we’ll be doing all we can to get the right result.”
STATE LEAGUE RESERVES CUP SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW
The State League Reserves Cup Semi-Finals will be closely fought contests, with four NPL clubs involved. The first game is between Bayswater City and Floreat Athena at Inglewood Stadium (12.15pm). Floreat were made hard to earn a narrow 4-3 win against Division One outfit Forrestfield United in the last round, while Bayswater edged out Sorrento 3-1. Bayswater are coached by former Floreat Athena first team Coach Chris Barbas, and he said the win against Sorrento was tough, but he wasn’t expecting anything else. “Playing Sorrento at any level is hard, and the quarter-final was no exception,” he said. “The game was played with a lot of passion and desperation; both teams knew it was going to be a battle coming into the game. Our form going into the game was good, especially in our front third, and it was our attacking flare that gave us the edge on the day.” Barbas said it will be tough for both sides, having to back up after a league game on Saturday. “It’s going to be a huge challenge to be honest, planning and preparing for a top of the table clash on Saturday, and then preparing the players for cup semi-final two days later,” he explained. “The team will be self-motivated and do whatever it takes to win and earn the right to play in a Cup Final.”
In the other Semi-Final Stirling Lions host ECU Joondalup at Macedonia Park. The Lions overcame Division Two side Quinns FC 4-2 in the Quarter-Final, while ECU scored a last minute winner to beat Perth Glory. ECU Coach Howard Tweats said the win was a great reward for his players. “We had our backs to the wall, but we had a game plan and it worked a treat against the Glory on the day,” he said. “We’d played them the week before and were well beaten, but we had six players missing and the players that came back in did a superb job to come out on top.” Tweats said the Lions’ position on the table doesn’t matter in a cup tie, and they need to be switched on from the first whistle. “Cup football is a different beast, and they (Stirling) have home ground advantage, and we need to ready for a tough game,” he said. “We beat them 3-1 in the league at the same venue, but it was a tight game, and I believe Monday will be the same. The chance to play in a Cup Final is something every player wants to achieve, and both sides are ninety plus minutes away from that, and we will be doing everything we can to be the one to go through.”
STATE LEAGUE UNDER 18’S CUP SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW
In the Under 18’s State League Cup Semi-Final, there is a repeat of last season’s Cup Final when Subiaco take on Cockburn City at Macedonia Park on Monday (10.15am). Subiaco came out on top last season, winning on penalties and Monday’s game will again be a close encounter. Cockburn edged out Sorrento in the Quarter Finals, while Subiaco beat Wanneroo 4-2 a game Coach Ian McMurray said was a close game. “The Quarter-Final against was a tricky game for us. We found it hard to break them down, but stuck at it and scored our goals at good times in the match,” he said. “They came back at us but we worked hard and got the result.” McMurray said Monday’s tie will be tight, but it’s a chance for his sides to bounce back, after losing to the Cockerels in the league earlier in the season. “We’re under no illusions this will be a very tough game against a very good side,” he said. “They beat us convincingly in the league not long ago, so the boys know they have to be at their best to reach the final. The boys let themselves down in the league fixture, so I was really pleased when we drew Cockburn, as it gives the boys a chance to hopefully ease the disappointment from that game. A spot in the Cup final is all the motivation they should need. It should be a great game between two good sides.”
In the other Under 18’s Semi-Final Inglewood United host Floreat Athena at the Inglewood Stadium. In the quarter final Floreat Athena were made to work hard for a 1-0 win against Division One side Canning City, while Inglewood beat Balcatta 2-0. Inglewood Coach Richard Abrams said the win was well deserved. “I thought we played well against Balcatta, and could have won by more if we had taken our first half chances,” he said. “Luke Garas and Brian Mashingaidze scored very good second half goals to give us the win on the day.” Abrams said the players are looking forward to the game and reaching the Final. “Like any knock-out competition you want to stay in as long as you can and I believe we have the players to win Monday’s game, if the players bring their cup form to the table.” he explained. “We haven’t conceded in the cup as yet, and I’m sure Sam Brennan, Nelson Tshongo and the rest of the back four will be doing what they can to maintain that, while Luke, Brian, Nic Challot, Kieran Patterson will be looking to provide the opportunities at the other end. I guess we go in as underdogs due to our league position, and I’m sure it will be a fantastic game for all those involved.”
O’CONNELL AIMS TO MAKE HISTORY (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Inglewood United will be putting their best foot forward this long weekend in the quest for writing a new chapter in the club's history, according to Calum O'Connell. Victory away at ECU Joondalup on Saturday will keep Inglewood at the top of the National Premier Leagues while another success on Monday - at home to Floreat Athena - will book the team into the FFA Cup final.
It's been over a decade since Inglewood's last trophy win - in the 2005 Night Series - and O'Connell says everyone at the club is keen for that to change. "The lack of silverware obviously hurts a few people at the club, and they want that to change," O'Connell said. "There's no doubt that player group wants to be successful and win trophies - that's been our priority since day one of pre-season and it hasn't changed."
The weekend opens with a tricky trip to the northern suburbs where Inglewood will be without suspended pair Adam Tong and Scott Blackmore. "Losing two of our starting defenders is a big hole to fill, but a slight change to the formation and we'll be fine for the game in Joondalup," said O'Connell.
Inglewood are back on home soil 48-hours later when they host Floreat in semi-finals of the FFA Cup. The teams have met twice already this year, Floreat claiming a 2-1 win in the Night Series before Inglewood turned the tables with a 3-0 win on day one of the league. O'Connell is tipping that another thriller will be on the cards.
"Expect an entertaining game," he said. "Floreat have some quality all over the park and will make it hard - it'll be a battle for the whole 90 minutes. We have worked hard to get here and are well aware that there are no second chances. Every player in an Inglewood shirt will be wanting to be a part of history for the club and get onto that national stage."
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND ELEVEN - PREVIEW
We’ve reached the half way mark of the 2016 PS4NPLWA season, and the league is tight, with only six points separating the top five teams. This week’s Footballwa.net Match of the Week is a clash between two sides fighting to get in the top five, with Floreat Athena hosting Cockburn City at the E&D Litis Stadium. Both had contrasting results last week, Cockburn thrashing ECU Joondalup, while Floreat were beaten narrowly at Bayswater. Floreat defender Blair Govan said it was a poor first half performance, after their good recent run. “It was a disappointing result, we know we didn’t play well in the first half but we pushed them (Bayswater) back after the break and dominated for most of it,” he explained. “At the end we were disappointed not to come away with any points, but the second half showed what we can do and we will be looking for more of the same against Cockburn.” The defender said whenever they play Cockburn it’s a tough game, and he’s expecting the same on Saturday. “It will be a hard game, like it always is against them, they are well organised and have been scoring lots of goals,” he said. “It’s an important game for us and one were looking forward too, and the boys are fired up to get the win and move into the cup game full of confidence.” In team news Chris Saldaris is unavailable, while new signing Dean Evans has trained well and is in line to make his debut, if he is cleared to play.”
Cockburn head into this game unbeaten in their last four league games, and coming off a good performance against ECU, and midfielder Ruben Tristao said the 4-0 win was a good all-round performance. “We played really well against a tough opponent as Joondalup. We were very solid defensively and we took our chances well,” he said. “It's great to see that all the hard working that we've putting on at training every week is now paying off.” Tristao said Saturday’s opponents have a talented squad, but they are looking forward to the challenge, and to continuing their recent good form. “Floreat are a very good team that you always expect will finish in top four. They will be looking to bounce back from last week's loss but, as I said before, we just have to focus on ourselves and the process and consistency that we've been trying to implement,” he explained. “We are looking forward to play Floreat and hopefully extend our six games (including cup) unbeaten run.” In team news Liam Murray is unavailable due to work commitments.
League leaders Inglewood United will be looking bounce back from only their second defeat of the season when they travel to the ECU Football Stadium to take on ECU Joondalup. Both sides conceded four goals last week, with Inglewood losing to Perth, and Joondalup to Cockburn, and both sides need the points at either end of the table. Inglewood Coach Taki Nicolaidis said last week’s loss was disappointing, and he said it was a bad day at the office. “Last week's performance was by far and away our worst for the season, where we were well beaten by the better team on the day,” he said. “Funnily enough we still found ourselves in the game until the late send off and the fourth goal deep into injury time. We are going to put it down as a bad day at the office and look to bounce back on Saturday at Joondalup.” Inglewood has a perfect away record this season, winning all five, but Nicolaidis said they need to improve from last week’s performance, and is expecting a tight game. “They (ECU) are always a tough team to break down and even though their results have been inconsistent this year they will be extremely hard to beat,” he explained. In team news for Inglewood Scott Blackmore and Adam Tong are both serving a one game suspension, while ECU welcomes back Steven McGarry and Gordon Smith.
Balcatta stunned Perth Glory last week, and it has given them real confidence going into Saturday’s Italian derby against Bayswater City at Grindleford Reserve. Balcatta Coach Marc Anthony said last week was a poor half performance, but second half was outstanding. “It was a fantastic result for the football club last week,” he said. “It was classic game of two halves, our first half was awful but we changed our approach after the break and it payed dividends, scoring five goals.” Bayswater, who edged out Floreat last week, are unbeaten in their last five games, and Anthony said it will be a huge test for his side. “It’s another massive test for our boys, they (Bayswater) are in terrific form, but so are we,” he said. “Hopefully our lads can put in a good performance, and if we do we will be looking to stay in touch with the main pack.” In team news for Balcatta Conor Kavanagh returns so they will have a full squad to choose from.
Stirling Lions were surprisingly beaten at Armadale last week, and they hope to rebound when they entertain Perth Glory at Macedonia Park. The loss, was their fourth defeat of the season, and keeper John Perkins said it was a lacklustre performance. “We didn’t show up, it was as simple as that. We created some chances but not as many as we have been and on the day Armadale took their chances and deserved the points,” he explained. “The playing group are disappointed in our performance but it has been put behind us and we are now looking forward to a big weekend and to bounce back.” The Glory, who was thrashed by Balcatta last week, will regain a number of the first players this week, and Perkins is expecting them to be more competitive and is expecting a tough encounter. “If this last month has proved anything it is that everyone is capable of taking points off each other,” he said. “We will be taking this game very seriously and focusing on our performance because we know we will have to work hard to earn the points against a fit and pacey Perth Glory side.”
Subiaco, who were unlucky not to come home with all three points last week from Sorrento, heads home this week, when Armadale visit Rosalie Park. Armadale will be buoyed by their win against Stirling last week, but Subiaco Coach Mick Brazil said they should have won last week. “I thought to go 1-0 down and come back in the manner that we did showed great character from the group,” he said. “We changed the shape of the team from previous week and it seemed to work for us. I thought the back five were a credit to themselves considering how young they are. The whole team played extremely well to the point with a little bit of luck we could have come home with all three points. There are certainly positives to take into this week’s game, we have the belief and hunger and we are at home. Every game now is a cup final for Subiaco as we try to catch the teams above us.” Brazil said they are playing with confidence, and will be doing all they can to open their account on Saturday. “Armadale home or away is never an easy task; Paul and Tony obviously have them well structured as we seen with their result last week,” he said. “Last week’s performance has given everyone at club a huge lift, and if we can match last week’s intensity in a similar style against Armadale hopefully we can come away with something to show in terms of points. We can talk till the cows come home, but the reality is we must start recording points on the board ( wins) to get us off the bottom.”
In the final game of the round Sorrento makes the trip to Dorrien Gardens to take on Perth SC. Sorrento were held to draw by Subiaco last week, while Perth stunned league leaders Inglewood. Gulls’ coach Jamie Harnwell said last week’s performance was disappointing. “It was an extremely disappointing result. Subiaco got everyone behind the ball and it made them difficult to break down,” he said. “But we got the goal, but at the end of the day a couple of defensive mistakes cost us three points.” Saturday’s game will be the last for Perth Coach Gareth Naven, who will join Melbourne Victory as their NYL Coach next season, and Harnwell said Perth will be doing all they can to send him off with a win, so they need to be switched on from the first whistle. “It will be a great occasion, I think the whole football family is happy to see Navesy get a chance to join such a massive club as Victory, and I'm sure the Perth players will want to send him off with a win,” he said. “They have developed as a team over the first half of the season and have some real quality, especially down the spine of the side. Both teams like to try and play football so it should be a great match.” In team news Scott Bulloch and Shaun Kilkelly are out with injury, while Todd Harnwell is also unavailable.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND EIGHT - PREVIEW
The Match of the Week in the All Flags State League Division One takes us to Ashfield Reserve, where third placed Ashfield entertains second placed Joondalup United. Both teams had hard fought wins last week, Joondalup at Rockingham, and Ashfield at Canning, and Ashfield Coach Paul Dundo said it was solid performance and they are starting to hit their straps. “It was a very solid team performance which I thought was well deserved. It also was our first clean sheet of the season, so was very happy with the way we defended, especially in the second half,” he explained. “We started well and controlled the first half, so going in half time 2-0 up was pleasing. We told the boys at half time that the job wasn’t over and Caning are known for their comebacks already this season, so seeing how we defended in the second half, when Canning continually pressed us, was fantastic to see. Credit to Canning for showing their fighting spirit in the 2nd half they never gave in and really made a game of it in the second half.” Dundo believes they (Joondalup) are one of the best sides in the league and Saturday’s clash will show him were his team are at. “This weekend’s game is very important for both clubs, as we both attempt to keep up with title favourites Mandurah. Joondalup are well coached, organised and are a talented side, it’s safe to say it is not going to be an easy game for either club,” he explained. “Since they (Joondalup) came into the First Division they have made a huge impact so credit to all involved at Joondalup. Saturday’s encounter will no doubt again be another highly competitive encounter, so if any neutral Football supporters are looking for an entertaining game this weekend Ashfield is the place to be.” Graham Tough, Ashley Corker and Jamie Burns all side lined with injuries.
Joondalup coach Nick Jennings said they dominated Rockingham, but failed to put the game to bed and had to hold on late on. “From the first whistle the boys were switched on and completely dominated the game, we spurned a number of opportunities to put the game to bed and after conceding a penalty, which was saved by superb James Bosdet (before the rebound was netted) we had a nervy last 10 minutes but held on,” he said. “Rockingham is always a hard place to go, they are decent team full of pace, so it was a professional performance and it was a well-deserved victory.” Jennings knows it will be a tough challenge against Ashfield, and he said they have had some tight games against them over the last two years, and he knows Saturday will be no different. “I always enjoy our games with Ashfield they are always ultra-competitive and very close,” he explained. “We owe them one as they ended our FFA Cup challenge at the first hurdle when I fancied us for a bit of a cup run. We go into the game full of confidence and are looking forward to the challenge on Saturday in another crucial game for both teams.” Joondalup have a full squad to choose from, so Jennings only headache is who to leave out.
Forrestfield United are starting to hit their straps, with three wins on the bounce, and this weekend they take on Rockingham City, in a repeat of last season’s Division Two Championship game. Both sides won promotion, and both have started the season well. Rockingham lost narrowly to Joondalup United last week, while Forrestfield thrashed Shamrock Rovers 5-1. Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said last week was a tough game against the side he believes will go close to the title. “It's always disappointing to lose, but we gave it our all and Joondalup were too good on the day,” he said. “They are a very good side, and credit to our young squad for pushing them until the end.” Crerar said there is a friendly rivalry with Forrestfield, and he said they are looking forward to the challenge on the road. “If our last few games are anything to go by this one will be a cracker, we have developed a great and healthy rivalry over a short period of time which is only good for both clubs and the game,” he said. “We know they play really good attacking football and we need to be at our best on Saturday.” In team news Cyril Sharrock, Matt Brooks and Lydon Hodgkiss will miss the game due to injury.
UWA-Nedlands and Gosnells sit level on points on the table, and the pair met this week at the UWA Sports Park. Gosnells were beaten at home by Mandurah City last week, while UWA came back from South West Phoenix with a hard fought 2-2 draw. UWA coach Michael Janssen said to hit back late for a draw last week showed the character his side has. “We knew that it won't be a cake-walk last week, we were aware of their strength and way they play,” he said. “We dominated the opening 30 minutes, and should have been up by two goals, but they (Phoenix) became better and we gave away the lead before, but we managed the late equaliser, which was well deserved and we also had a great chance in stoppage time to win, but both teams earned the share of the spoils.” Janssen said he’s looking forward to the challenge on Saturday, and no games in this league can be taken lightly. “We watched Gosnells twice this year, and we know what we are expecting and we will be prepared, there are no easy matches in this league,” he explained. “Our focus is always on our style of football, and if we perform our best football, it will be hard for every team to get a good result against UWA, especially at home. We are happy if we entertain the people by winning and this is our aim for Saturday, and the winner will keep contact to the top four.” UWA welcomes back Matthew Steffenson, Marco Warmt-Murray and influential midfielder Andrew Xydas to the squad this week.
In other games League Leaders Mandurah City entertain Canning City at Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium. Canning have lost the last four games, while Doug Hesketh’s outfit are unbeaten this season, so it will be a tough challenge for Paul Oliver’s side. Western Knights hit seven last week to beat Dianella, and this week they host South West Phoenix at Nash Field. The Knights moved to fifth with their big win last week, but the Phoenix only sit four points behind them, so a win is much needed for Tim Slack’s side if they are to push up the table. In the final game, the two bottom sides Shamrock Rovers and Dianella White Eagles meet at Harold Rossiter Reserve. Both sides have conceded plenty of goals this season, and it’s vital they tighten up at the back sooner rather than later. A win is huge for both clubs, with the rest of the league pulling away from them.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND EIGHT - PREVIEW
This round’s Footballwa.net Match of the Week in the All Flags State League Division Two takes us to the Swan Italian Club where Swan United hosts Curtin University. Fourth placed Swan came away from Morley with three points last week, while fifth placed Curtin were beaten at Quinns. Only one point separates the side on the table, so it should be a tight encounter in the Swan Valley. Swan Coach Matt Debarro said the 2-1 win at Morley, that made it six games without defeat, was well-deserved. “I was happy with the result, a win is always nice and even better when it’s a rival club,” he said. “Our first half was superb and we need to work playing two halves like that, as we all know this league is tough, and one bad half can cost you.” Debarro said Cutin will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat and he said they need to be at their best. “We are very weary of Curtin. A team coming off a narrow loss is always a tough opponent,” he explained. “I believe they are the big improvers this year so far, and I was really impressed with them in their cup game against Stirling. We will approach them with caution but without fear. We are playing some good football now ourselves so hopefully we can continue that on Saturday.” In team news keeper Cory Hugo and Simon Williams return to the squad and Debarro has a full squad of players to choose from.
Curtin’s defeat last week was only their second of the season, and Coach Campbell Ballantyne said they had their opportunities, but were beaten by a better team on the day. “We were really disappointed not to convert an injury time penalty, but that would have been robbing Quinn's who were better than us,” he said. “We were disappointed with our performance and we will be looking to bounce back this week.” Ballentyne said Saturday’s game is important for both sides and said they are looking forward to the challenge. “It is a very important game Saturday, and if you look at the table, there is only three points between first and fifth, and we play four of those teams in the next month,” he explained. “Swan seemed to have improved their results in recent weeks, and will no doubt be a challenge, but one we’re all looking forward too.” In team news Eddie Tikoft is back in this week and Jon Krawec should return to the starting side after returning to the bench last week after injury.
Fremantle City host Balga in a top of the table clash at Hilton Reserve Balga slipped up last week at Joondalup City, while Fremantle came home from Ellenbrook with a big win. Fremantle Coach Steve Plucknett said the big win was well-deserved and believes it will give his side a lift. “The 5-1 win was a confidence boost for the players, ahead of our game with league favourites Balga,” he said. “We were out the blocks early and scored four quick goals, after which we tried to then just manage the game, the only downside was conceding a needless penalty.” Plucknett said they (Balga) will be looking to bounce back from last week’s loss, and they will need to be at their best. “This week the challenge goes from playing the last placed side, to playing the first,” he said. “Balga have proved already why they are league favourites even though they dropped points last week, so we will have to raise our game again if we are going to get anything from it.” In team news for Fremantle Daniel Glennon returns to the squad.
The resurgence of Kelmscott Roos continued last week with their first win on the road for over 12 months, with a 1-0 win at Kingsway Olympic. This week they entertain Ellenbrook United at Frye Park. Kelmscott Coach Chris Bates said the new players are gelling together nicely, and the win last week was well-deserved. “Last week’s game was a great result for the club, and I felt the squad managed to put all the hard work together from training, and played some very good football and that’s our focus,” he said. “Kingsway were the best drilled and organised team we have come up against so far this season, so to come away with all three points was a great effort.” Ellenbrook are still searching for their first win of the season, and Bates said they will be desperate, but he is more worried about his team’s performance and not the opposition. “This week’s game against Ellenbrook is like every week we play, a difficult game,” he said. “To be honest I really don’t know anything about them, but we will be working to continue to play the best football we can, and improve our game.” New signing Sam Cole has been a great addition to the Roos side, and the former Armadale striker was outstanding last week.
In other games this week Joondalup City host Melville City at the Iluka Sports Complex. Joondalup beat Balga last week to go level on points at the top of the table, and they go into the game full of confidence. But on the other hand Melville is struggling after four defeats on the bounce. They have won two games this season, both on the road, so that will give them some encouragement. Wanneroo City has won two out of the last three games to move away from the bottom of the table and this week they entertain Morley Windmills at Wanneroo Reserve. The Windmills are on a three game losing streak and will be looking to bounce back. But only one point separates the sides on the table, so this one will be a close game. In the final game it’s a northern derby with Kingsway Olympic hosting Quinns FC at Kingsway Reserve. Both sides are level on points on the table, and only six points off top spot, so a win for both sides is vital to stay in touch of the pack.
GLORY SIGN FFA CUP GOALKEEPING HERO FEELY
Perth Glory has continued their re-build for the up-coming 2016-17 A-League season, with the signing of keeper Nick Feely. The 24-year-old played for the club last season, and starred after coming off the bench in the FFA Cup win at Lions FC, but injured himself after the game and he was out for the rest of the season. The former Celtic Youth keeper is delighted to be back at the club and looking forward to the challenges ahead. “I’m obviously delighted to have signed for what I believe and hope is going to be a very successful season for the Glory,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for me and I can’t imagine the club won’t sign another keeper. Whoever it may be, and regardless, I’m going to have to work hard and do the business to become first choice, but I will be doing all I can to do so.”
The injury in his last stint at the club, sidelined the custodian for the whole season, although his time away from football wasn’t wasted, with Feely completed his Engineering degree. But he is now fit and rearing to go. “It was a frustrating time for me, and tearing the ligament in my elbow was a huge blow for me,” he explained. I re-aggravated it in my return initially after three months, so I had to take some extra time on the second return, and it ended being eight months out of the game which was disappointing. But everything is fine now and I can’t wait to get going again. A big thanks must go to the Glory staff for their help in my re-hab.”
Feely who is the son of former Chelsea, Bournemouth and Sheffield Wednesday striker Peter Feely, played junior and senior football at Cockburn City before joining Scottish football giants Celtic FC as an 18-year old, where he won the Scottish Youth Cup and the U-19 Premiership. He also represented Australia at youth level, something the keeper said was a great experience, and he is hoping for more success at the Glory next season. “I played in the 20’s World Cup squad and 19’s ASEAN cup squads, and won two youth trophies and one in the first team at Celtic, which was one of the major highlights for me,” he said. “But I’m really looking forward to my time at Glory and hopefully we can get some in the trophy cabinet at the club shortly.”
GLORY SIGN FFA CUP GOALKEEPING HERO FEELY
Perth Glory has bolstered its goalkeeping stocks for the 2016/17 campaign by signing talented 24-year old Nick Feely. An Australian youth international, Feely had a short-term contract with Glory last year when he saved a penalty in the FFA Cup round of sixteen clash with Queensland outfit Lions FC.
Feely returned to the sport last year after a three-year hiatus to complete an engineering degree. He initially asked the club for some training time, not expecting to be given a second chance. "Yeah it does (feel like a second chance) because it's three years out of the game and possibly this would be the only club that would give me a second chance," he said.
"I know a lot of the staff and the players here, I picked up the phone and called Kenny (Lowe) and asked 'can I come down and train' initially. One thing led to another, I might not have got that opportunity at another club. I've got good relationships at the club, hopefully they're long relationships and I'm looking forward to having a good time here."
Feely, the son of former Chelsea, Bournemouth and Sheffield Wednesday striker Peter Feely, played youth team football with Scottish giants Celtic as a teenager, winning the Scottish Youth Cup and the Under-19 premiership. He has also played on the local stage for Cockburn City and Subiaco AFC.
RISDON REVELLING IN SOCCEROOS ROLE
Socceroo Josh Risdon believes his game is flourishing at international level, with the defender hopeful of getting another chance to show his wares in this week’s two-game series with Greece. The Perth Glory star earned his third Socceroos cap in last weekend’s loss to England, putting in an assured performance despite not having played a competitive match for over a month.
Risdon, 23, feels his strengths are well suited to Ange Postecoglou’s system as he seeks to become a regular in the Socceroos quest to qualify for a fourth consecutive World Cup. “As a fullback I really enjoy the way the boss likes the fullbacks to be really attacking,” Risdon told FFA TV from the Socceroos Sydney camp.
“I think that’s probably my main strength in my game back at Perth. I really like to get forward and put balls in the box and help out the wingers and strikers. The boss gives us a full license to get forward as much as we can, and I really enjoy that in the set-up.”
Bunbury-born Risdon turned down the chance for a move overseas in the off-season when he signed a one-year contract extension with Glory in March. Having captained the club towards the end of last season, Risdon is confident Glory is the best place for his development and to remain in calculations for the national team.
“Being a regular in this team would be unreal for me, that’s what I want to aim for,” said Risdon. “Playing these games and playing a few more in the coming days would be unreal for me. Hopefully I can keep putting in good performances and keep getting named in these squads.”
Risdon started last week game with England but will have heavy competition on his hands to retain his place for the Greece games. China-based defender Ryan McGowan has joined the squad, while Milos Degenek, who replaced Risdon in the second half at the Stadium of Light, is also in contention.
Risdon welcomed the competition and felt the Socceroos were not rewarded for their dominance against the Three Lions, saying it's something they’d be seeking to remedy on Saturday night. “The performance was good and very pleasing but ultimately the result was disappointing,” said Risdon.
“If we can put those two together against Greece I’m sure we’ll be very happy. The way we played against England was very positive and I think we can be more than happy to do that again against Greece.” Australia play Greece in Sydney on Saturday and in Melbourne on Tuesday.
BIRIGHITTI KEEN TO BUILD ON ENGLAND EXPERIENCE
Mark Birighitti may not have got on the pitch during the Socceroos' friendly with England but that didn't diminish the enjoyment for the West Australian goalkeeper. Birighitti was an unused substitute as Ange Postecoglou's side went down 2-1 to England at Sunderland's Stadium of Light on the weekend.
The Socceroos, including Perth Glory right-back Josh Risdon, are now back in Australia enjoying a couple of days off ahead of a double-header against Greece in Sydney and Melbourne. And Birighitti says they will go into the fixtures on a high despite the narrow loss to England.
"The result didn't go too well but there was a lot we could take from it," Birighitti said. "We dictated the game for large spells and played on our terms. The boys bounced back from conceding an early goal and overall the boss was pretty happy. There's something to build on - hopefully we can do that and get two good results against Greece."
England struck inside three minutes through Marcus Rashford and despite Australia having plenty of the ball, they were given a lesson in taking chances when Rashford's Manchester United teammate Wayne Rooney thundered in a second after the break. "That's the difference, that's where we've got to get to and I believe we will," Birighitti said.
Postecoglou is not expected to name his side for Saturday's opening game with Greece until Friday, with Birighitti competing against Mat Ryan and Adam Federici for the starting spot. "I didn't get on the park (against England) but I still played my part for the team. So when I get an opportunity I'll be ready," he said.
Another positive for Birighitti was getting a close-up look at football in England. The 25-year-old, who was capped by Australia in 2013, is looking to secure a move to Europe on the back of a stand-out A-League season with the Newcastle Jets and he would naturally love it if England was to be his destination.
"It's an amazing experience playing over there, fantastic," he said. "Even now, thinking of when the national anthems were played, I'm getting goosebumps. In the UK people live and breathe football, there are women in the coffee shops reading about football in the papers. You see how much love they have for the game."
WILLIAMS REGRETS NOT PLAYING IN PREMIER LEAGUE
New Perth Glory recruit Rhys Williams admits amongst his biggest regrets is not having played for Middlesbrough in the English Premier League. Williams, 27, made 161 first team appearances during decade long stay at Middlesbrough where a string of injuries have hampered his progress in recent years.
Williams will also missed the club's return to the top-flight after signing on with Perth Glory last month. "The only thing I wish had happened is that I had played in the Premier League," Williams told the Evening Gazette. "I wish I'd been able to help us reach the Premier League, I'm gutted I couldn't help out."
"I had aspirations to play in the Premier League and I feel like I have failed. The club was my family and I will never forget what the players, the chairman, the manager and the medical team have done for me at Middlesbrough. I wish everyone connected with the club the best, I wish all the boys the best, the manager, the staff, the fans. It's been emotional and brilliant.
ALL CHANGE AT DORRIEN GARDENS
Perth Soccer Club coach Gareth Naven has left the club, after being appointed as new coach of the Melbourne Victory National Youth Team. Victory A-League coach Kevin Muscat was pleased with the appointment citing Naven's great experience in the game. "This is a crucial appointment for the club, and we are thrilled to have secured the services of a coach with Gareth's pedigree," Muscat said. "Having played and coached in Australia for 20 years, Gareth has a wealth of experience developing young talent, as well as working with established players at the highest level in the country. We look forward to welcoming him to Melbourne Victory and we're excited about what he has to offer."
Naven, a former Glory captain is looking forward to making his mark on his new surrounds. "I am grateful for the opportunity to join Melbourne Victory and I look forward to complimenting their youth program," Naven said. "I have a passion for working with young players and helping them develop, and I can't wait to work with the exciting talent at Victory. I would like to thank Perth Soccer Club for allowing me to take this chance to further my coaching career."
The Dorrien Gardens club have acted quickly to replace Naven, and this week announced Ramon Falzon as the club’s new head coach. Falzon has significant experience in the PS4NPLWA, where he was head coach at Balcatta for two seasons, leading the club to a preliminary final in 2014, as well as a number of youth coaching roles, including coach of the Malta Under 17 National Team from 2008 to 2010. “On behalf of members, supporters, Senior Football Operations and the Board of Management at Perth SC, I would like to welcome Ramon to the club as Head Coach,” Perth SC President Gary Marocchi said. “The club is confident Ramon will build on the first team’s progress this season, particularly in terms of youth development, and we are all looking forward to working with him.
MAKAROUNAS ADDED TO MELBOURNE DEPARTURES
Melbourne Victory have announced that Jesse Makarounas, Dylan Murnane and Giancarlo Gallifuoco will leave the club after not being offered new contracts. The trio join Archie Thompson (released), Gui Finkler, Kosta Barbarouses (both Wellington Phoenix) and Matthieu Delpierre (retired) in heading for the exit door at Melbourne. Makarounas, an Australian youth international, made 54 appearances for Melbourne across three and a half seasons.
LYDEN TARGETING REGULAR STARTING BERTH IN CHAMPIONSHIP
Aston Villa youngster Jordan Lyden has told the club's official website that he wants to be a key man for the club next season as they embark upon life in the Championship. 20-year old Lyden has been at Villa since the age of 16 and made his breakthrough in the senior set-up at Villa Park this term after a debut appearance as a substitute in the FA Cup third-round tie with Wycombe Wanderers.
Lyden played the full 90 minutes of the replay of that match, and was then handed his Premier League debut from the bench, going on to make four top-flight appearances including two starts in the final weeks of the campaign. Though the midfielder is understandably pleased with his first involvement for the side in 2016, he admitted to the club's website that he has his eyes set on playing a much bigger role in the Championship.
"I am excited for next season," Lyden said. "I want to play a big part for the team. I'd love to maintain a regular spot in the side and be really influential. I will look to show the new manager what I am capable of. We'll be looking for promotion to get Villa back to where we should be - and I want to play a part in that journey we're looking to go on. I am now desperate to help this magnificent club bounce straight back."
Lyden was one of a number of talented youth prospects to play some part in the second half of Villa's campaign, with other academy stars such as Andre Green and Kevin Toner also becoming part of the first-team set-up. With Villa likely to look to cut costs this summer as a consequence of relegation despite their recent takeover, the club's young stars could become more important to their squad than ever before next term.
CATARCIONE’S TRIPLE TREAT
Perth SC striker Gustavo Catarcione scored a hat-trick as Gareth Naven’s side beat league leaders Inglewood United 4-2 at Inglewood Stadium. In the week the former Glory skipper announced he was leaving the club to take up a role at Melbourne Victory, his side put in a fantastic performance, with Jordan De Leo added the other for the sky blues. David Cyrus and Mark Pritchard had scored in the first half to level it up, but Perth stunned them with two more goals to leave with the points.
“From a neutral point of view it must have been a great game to watch. I thought we could have prevented the two goals we conceded, however I always felt we would score goals in the game,” Perth skipper Clark Keltie said. “The game had a bit of everything. The first half being a lot more open than I'd expected it to be. I thought we got our shape and structure right on the day and the players did their individual jobs well. It's put us back in a good position and the group will have taken a lot of confidence from that win. Taki (Nicolaidis) is a very good friend and somebody who I respect from our time together at Perth. So shaking his hand at the end of the game was difficult, as I could see his disappointment.”
The home side opened well and striker Kenny Keogh’s long-range shot flew wide, before Perth lifted and they were ahead on 27 minutes, Catarcione found space at the back post to fire past Alex Dunn. Inglewood hit back nine minutes later, Mark Pritchard’s free kick was headed back across goal by Scott Blackmore, and Cyrus finished from close-range. It was end to end football as both side pressed late and it was Perth who hit the front six minutes before half time.
De Leo found space on the edge of the penalty area, and his shot through a crowded penalty gave Dunn no chance. But their celebrations were short lived, as Inglewood levelled two minutes from the break. A mix up at the back between defender and keeper ended with Soale bringing down Keogh, and Pritchard made no mistake from the resulting penalty. But sensationally Perth hit back sixty seconds later, Catarcione firing home a loose ball to send the visitors in to the sheds with the lead.
Inglewood keeper came to his sides rescue just after half time, Dunn saving superbly low to his right to deny Matthew Milenkovic. Francis Soale did likewise for Perth to thwart Adam Tong’s shot, before the Perth custodian denied Milenkovic again, pushing his shot around the post at full stretch. The home side were down to ten men when Blackmore picked up two quick yellow cards from referee Steven Gregory six minutes from time. The points were made safe deep into stoppage time when Perth added a fourth. De Leo cutting the ball back to Catarcione to complete his hat-trick and win all three points for Perth.
COCKBURN TRUMPS THE JACKS
Cockburn City made it four games without defeat after a comfortable 4-0 win against ECU Joondalup at Dalmatinac Park. A first half strike from Ruben Tristao gave the Cockerels the lead at the break, and second half goals to Aden Da Luz, Harry O’Brien and Spanish striker Angel Andres gave them the points. "It's was a good performance from the lads and a really good team win," Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich said. "I think the last couple weeks for us have been really promising and it was good to get the 3 points. We where clinical in front of goal and defended desperately when we had too and it was also important to keep a clean sheet as well, so all in all it was a good team performance.
The visitors, who were without influential pair Gordon Smith and Steven McGarry due to suspension, were on the back foot early, and Lewis Italiano saved well from O’Brien and Da Luz in quick succession. Italiano then saved well at his near post to thwart O’Brien again on the quarter hour. ECU then went close themselves on the half hour, Bayley Brown-Montgomery header was well saved by Luke Radonich.
But eight minutes later the home sides’ dominance was rewarded with the lead, Tristao raced clear, held off Ryan Lowry and finished low past Italiano. Both sides had late chances, Joseph Jones headed just wide for ECU, before the former Swansea defender got back with a superb last ditch tackle to deny O’Brien, who had raced clear in stoppage time.
ECU opened brightly and Radonich was at full stretch to deny Brown-Montgomery early, before Paddy Doyle’s shot from the edge of the box flashed over the top. Brown-Montgomery then saw a header well saved by Radonich, as the visitors looked for the equaliser, but then just after the hour, and against the run of play, Cockburn added a second. Da Luz found space on the right hand side of the area, and fired home from a tight angle.
Cockburn then went in for the kill and added a third, moments later. A long ball over the top sent O’Brien racing clear and he finished clinically past Italiano. ECU had a chance to get back in the game on 80 minutes when referee Alex Novatsis awarded a penalty, but Doyle spot kick was well saved by Radonich. The scoring was complete two minutes from time, when Andres was brought down and scored from the resulting penalty to make it 4-0.
BAYSWATER PULL LEVEL WITH LEAGUE LEADERS
Bayswater City has moved level on points with Inglewood United at the top of the table after a 3-2 win over Floreat at Finance 365 Stadium. Jason Mirco gave the home side the lead, before Brian Farrell doubled their lead on the half hour. Robbie Gasper pulled one back for Floreat, mid-way through the second half, but an own goal from Clayton Arnez regained the home sides two-goal advantage. A late goal from Jon Stynes gave Floreat hope, but it was too little too late.
“It’s always a big game against Floreat, and we knew they would be right up for it given their position on the table,” Mirco said. “But we went about the game in our way and in the first half we were very dominant and probably should have gone in at half time 3 or 4 up. They came out bright in the second half and caused us problems with the long balls, but in the end our quality came through and we got a deserved three points.
Bayswater, who were unbeaten in their last four games were dominating early, but it was the visitors with the first real chance of the game on 17 minutes. Kris Gate wasn’t closed down on the edge of the penalty area, and his shot flashed just over the top. But eight minutes later the home side opened the scoring. Farrell eased past his marker on the left, and got to the bye line before squaring the ball to Mirco who made no mistake from close-range.
It was 2-0 five minutes later, this time David Heagney darted down the flank and crossed to Farrell who finished past former Bayswater custodian Jason Saldaris. Floreat, who had the weekend off last week, with Perth Glory away in Malaysia, went close to pulling one back moments later. Stynes burst in to the box, but his shot was well saved by Bayswater keeper Devon Spence.
The home side almost added a third early in the second half, Sam Mitchinson’s cross found Heagney, whose good first touch gave him time, but his shot crashed off the woodwork. The visitors were back in the game just after the hour, when half time substitute Gasper’s stunning long-range free kick flew into the net giving Spence no chance. It was game on, but the home fans nerves were settled when Bayswater added a third on 70 minutes. A ball into the box caused a goalmouth scramble and the last touch came from the unfortunate Clayton Arnez for an own goal.
Floreat continued to take the game to City with skipper Boi a constant threat, and he was involved when they pulled one back in the final minute. The lively midfielder burst into the penalty area, and found Stynes, who made mistake. It set up a tense final few minutes, with Floreat pushing for the equaliser, but Bayswater hung on to move equal on points for Inglewood, only off top spot on goal difference.
SUBIACO THWARTED BY MORGAN
Sorrento goalkeeper James Morgan pulled off some stunning saves to give the home side a1-1 draw with Subiaco at Percy Doyle Reserve. The big custodian was determined not to be beaten late and his late heroics saved a point for the Gulls. Alex Morgan had given the home side the lead early, but Kevin White levelled for Subiaco soon after. But Morgan and Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery wouldn’t be beaten and both sides shared the spoils. “The boys have been working really hard at training lately because we all know the standard on Saturday hasn't been good enough and it's finally starting to show on the scoreboard,” Subiaco midfielder Jonas Dorling said.
“Our decision making let us down at times but we've got a lot of younger lads and it's a big step up from reserves so that's expected. We won a lot more of our one on one battles which is massive against a physical side like Sorrento and worked really hard to limit their clear cut chances. Later on the game became pretty end-to-end and could've gone either way. We had a new combo at the back with Stefan Hill and James Casserly and I thought they were rock solid which gave us a lot of confidence. There are a lot of positives for us to take but maybe a draw was a fair result overall. Sorrento's behind us now though and we're 100% focused on getting 3 points against Armadale this weekend.”
The hosts were ahead after only 11 minutes, skipper Daryl Platten finding Alex Morgan on the edge of the penalty area, and he finished low past Montgomery. But the locals’ cheers were short-lived as Subiaco hit back eight minutes later. White raced clear and outpaced two Sorrento defenders before finishing clinically past James Morgan. Sorrento pressed in the second half but Montgomery pulled of a number of good saves. But five minutes from time Subiaco went close to the winner, White’s low header was superbly saved by the Sorrento keeper to give both sides a share of the spoils.
REDS SLAY THE LIONS
A ten man Armadale have beaten Stirling Lions 2-0 at Alfred Skeet Reserve. The Reds were reduced to ten men after 35 minutes when Dyaln White was sent off on 35 minutes, this after an own goal from Lions defender Graham Doran had given them the lead early. Both sides had chances in an entertaining game, but Anthony Skorich scored the sealer mid-way through the second half. . Goals from two Ellis Healing free-kicks were the difference as Armadale ran out 2-0 winners over Stirling Lions at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday.
“Obviously we are very happy with the 2-0 win, and to keep a clean sheet after being down to ten men was a great achievement,” Armadale defender Alex Castiello said. “We played great, we all defended together and kept possession really well, it’s a good victory for our confidence moving forward as we plan to creep up the ladder and a few new additions to the recent weeks have made some great performances for us.”
Armadale, who were languishing at the wrong of the table, started well and midfielder Dannie Richman saw his shot crash off the crossbar after only two minutes, after Stirling failed to clear their lines in a goalmouth scramble. But nine minutes later Armadale’s good start was rewarded with the lead. Alex Healing’s teasing free kick deflected off Doran, sending the ball past John Perkins for the lead. English midfielder Healing was a constant threat, and he went close to doubling the hosts lead on the half hour.
He waltzed past two defenders, before his shot beat Perkins, but the post came to the Stirling keepers’ rescue. But moments later the home side suffered a huge blow when they had White sent off by referee Matthew Southern, after a late tackle on Doran. Stirling looked to make their numerical advantage count, but the home side were defending well, and hitting on the counter attack, and on 64 minutes Armadale doubled their lead.
Healing was again the supplier, this time his free kick picked out Skorich, who headed head, much to the delight of the Armadale faithful. Stirling looked flat and Armadale should have added a third on 79 minutes, Healing was sent clear, one-on-one with Perkins, but the Stirling custodian stood tall to deny him. The visitors had a chance to pull one back late in the game, when Jason Rubidge found space in the box, but his snap shot drifted just past the post, and at the whistle it was Armadale celebrating a good home victory.
GLORY YOUNGSTERS HIT FOR SIX BY BALCATTA
Balcatta produced a five goal second half blitz to see them thrash an undermanned Perth Glory at the Ashfield Arena. Former Glory Youth striker Cameron Teece was the main destroyer, scoring a hat-trick. He opened the scoring early, but Daniel Stynes levelled for the Glory before half time.
But it was downhill from there, and Teece added two more second half goals to with Carlo Coelho, Gomo Dukuly and Steve Sokol also on target to give Balcatta a comprehensive win.
“We weren't at the races in the first half. That's probably as poor as we've played all season, we've got a good bunch of young kids willing to work hard and that's half the battle,” Balcatta Coach Marc Anthony said. “We've done well recently. We went to Stirling last week and beat them, obviously we've got the result today, and we lost the last kick of the ball against Floreat. We had nine men against Inglewood and pushed them to extra time. We're pushing along nicely, but we've got a tough game against Bayswater next week, and we'll just keep going the way we're going.”
Balcatta went close early, when Dukuly made space down the left, but his shot was off target, before Glory skipper Joe Knowles header flashed over the top, from a Stynes’ corner. But on six minutes Balcatta hit the front. A corner wasn’t dealt with, and Teece fired home from close-range. The goal didn’t deter the Glory and they went within inches of levelling on the quarter hour. Stynes drifted past two Balcatta defenders before playing in Knowles, who shot flicked the post.
Knowles was in again moments later, Yacoub Mustafa sent the speedy striker clear, but Clint Davies was out quick to save. Davies was in the action again on 26 minutes, the Balcatta custodian saving well to deny the lively Stynes. But the Glory’s pressure was rewarded with the equaliser four minutes from half time. Talimdzioski played in Stynes, who finished neatly into the bottom corner of the net. The Glory had the opportunity to go into the half time break with the lead, when Mustafa and Stynes combined to find Knowles, but Davies was alert to save.
It was much of the same after the break, with the Glory pressing, and Stynes and Talimdzioski both went close, but on the hour, and against the run of play, Balcatta regained the lead. Coelho was given far too much room on the edge of the penalty area and his shot beat debutant keeper Jackson Lee. Balcatta added a third sixty seconds later, Teece racing clear to score, and a fourth moments later with Dukuly on target. The visitors hit two more goals, firstly Teece completed his hat-trick with the fifth on 73 minutes, before Sokol added a sixth late on.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SEVEN - REVIEW
Mandurah city maintained their lead at the top of the All Flags State League Division One with a hard fought 3-1 win against Gosnells City at Walter Padbury Reserve. Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said it was good win on the road. “It was an excellent win on the road against a good side. We were a bit light on for the game, through injury and travel or work commitments but we produced an impressive performance for sure,” he said. “It was a win against a good organised team that plays good football. I still think our best football is yet to come, but Mick and I have to congratulate the squad the way they adapt and continue to work extremely hard every game.” The visitors hit the front on the half hour, Danny Dyson racing clear from a Jordon Rhodes through ball, and he cut inside the box and finished clinically. But their celebrations were cut short when Gosnells equalised straight from the kick off. Sean Taylor picking out Wade Farmer how fired with aplomb. But the visitors regained their lead just before half time; defender Ollie McGee headed home a corner. Gosnells pressed in the second half looking for the equaliser but Mandurah held firm and added a third on 77 minutes. Craig Tone great turn in the penalty area ended with a shot into the top corner of the net, to secure the result.
Joondalup United continue to keep pressure on Mandurah, but were also made to fight hard for a 2-1 win against Rockingham City at Lark Hill Sportsplex. Keeper James Bosdet said they dominated for large periods of the match, but were made to dig deep, but he thought they deserved the three points. “We scored a couple of quality goals, and to be fair we dominating the whole game and I only had to make one save,” he said. “We gave away a silly penalty late and it made for a nervous last eight minutes, but we held on for a deserved win.” Joondalup were ahead on 15 minutes when Lee Jones flicked the ball through to Ross Edwards, who was still up top from a corner, and the defender fired home. They doubled their lead 20 minutes from time when Arran Maplestone curled a free kick up and over the wall into the top corner, giving Cyril Sharrock no chance. Rockingham continued to push forward and they pulled one back with eight minutes to go. Jonny Araya was brought down and Max Snelson’s penalty was saved by Bosdet, but Snelson was quickest to react to fire home the rebound. It set up a tense finish, but Joondalup came home with the points.
Forrestfield United’s recent good form continued with a 5-1 thrashing of Shamrock Rovers at Hartfield Park. United Coach Rod Banjac was delighted the way his side played, especially in the first half. “ The Forrie Army were in raptures while treated to some of the “goal of the season contenders” and I could not be more proud of all involved, all the way from our ball boys to our hard working and committed executive committee,” Banjac said. “We are now looking forward to, and already preparing for the biggest on field challenge of the season against our arch rivals Rockingham City in front of a capacity crowd this week.” The home side were ahead on the quarter hour, Mitch Crocker’s cross headed home by Ben Rogers. It was 2-0 six minutes later. A short corner by Milan Vulin found Crocker, who picked out Liam Merigan, he made no mistake. It 3-0 on the half hour, Vulin finding Crocker on the edge of the penalty area and the former Bayswater City midfielder fired home superbly. Shamrock were on their knees and the home side made it 4-0 on the stroke of half time, with Hasani Sinclair firing home a penalty. Rovers had a chance to get back in the game early in the second half but Kaja Duji saw his penalty well saved by Luke Martino. But Rovers did pull one back on 50 minutes, a long ball sent Nathan Hibbert clear and he finished low past Martino. But Forrestfield added a fifth six minutes later, Merigan capping off a superb performance by scoring his second.
In other games Ashfield came away from Burrendah Reserve with a 2-0 win against Canning City. Ross Cosgrave gave Ashfield the lead on 23 minutes racing on to a Jay Lang’s through ball, and five minutes later Alex Stamatiadis added the second to seal the points with a cracker. The midfielder picked the ball on the half way line raced forward and hit an unstoppable shot from 25meters giving the Canning keeper no chance. In the traditional derby at Dianella Reserve Western Knights ran out 7-2 winners against Dianella White Eagles. Adriano Jelenovic and Kevin Ashwood both bagged doubles, and Dean Thurston, Jonty Turner 1 and Ryan Tucker added the others for the Knights, while Chris Rizidis scored a brace for the Eagles. In the final game South West Phoenix and UWA-Nedlands fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Hay Park. Alex Kretowicz put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot, but Ryan Francis equalised, after he latched on to ball from Michael Farmer. The home side looked like they had won it when Bright Ababio found Catlo Chiellini to score, after UWA failed to clear a corner. But in stoppage time UWA grabbed a point, a low cross was poked home by Geordie Papathanassiou in the six-yard box.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SEVEN - REVIEW
There is a three way tie at the top of the All Flags State League Division Two table, after another exciting round of fixtures. In the top of the table clash Joondalup City edged out Balga City 1-0 at the Iluka Sports Complex. The only goal of the game came early in the first half, Jamie Stewart was fouled in the box and he picked himself up and converted the penalty, the win moving Joondalup level with Balga on 16 points “I’m delighted with the result, but I think we should have made it a lot easier for ourselves by converting some of the many chances we created,” Joondalup coach Marco Schisano said. “We were very solid defensively which is pleasing as we work on this extensively at training. Balga will definitely be pushing to win the league this year so beating them will give our lads a lot of confidence.” Fremantle City are also on 16 points after thrashing Ellenbrook United 5-1 at Arbor Grove Reserve. Ben Reynolds and Alec Robinson both scored twice, and Anthony Lomma the other in the big win for the harbor side.
Swan United maintained the pressure on the top three with a 2-1 win against Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. “I was pleased with the first half, we were exceptional and we completely outplayed them to the point they were arguing amongst themselves. I was proud of the way we defended as a unit and kept them quiet,” Swan Coach Matt Debarro said. “But in the second half once we scored and they went to 10 men we stopped, which was disappointing as it allowed them back in, we only managed to hold on in the end. Happy with the points and a win over our longtime rivals.” United were ahead on 16 minutes, David Paone ball over the top to Mark Macallister to score. United had plenty of chances to add a second in the first half but they failed to take them. That all changed after half time when Chris Marshall played in John Monterosso who made no mistake. Morley were then reduced to ten men when Josam Muwowo was sent off, but instead of dominating Swan were on the back foot and Morley pulled one back through Ciaran Rogers. It set up a tight finish but Swan hung on for the points.
Quinns FC maintained their recent good form with a hard fought 2-1 win against Curtin University at Gumblossom Park. The home side were out the blocks early, and Brian Cairney went close, and new signing Danny Cain header crashed off the post. But the home sides’ pressure was rewarded with the lead on 15 minutes. Cairney hassled the defender into error, and his Cairney crossed to Craig Tooley, who volleyed home from 10meters. But their lead only lasted ten minutes, a long ball was headed past keeper Adam Bowers by Cain. But Quinns regained the lead just before half time. Alex Sallery linked up with Chris Williams, who crossed to the back post for Jake Benson-Cooper to score. Cairney and Benson-Cooper had chances to increase the home sides’ lead, but failed to convert good opportunities. Late in the game Curtin lifted and put the home side under pressure and in stoppage time they had the opportunity to nick a point when they won a penalty, but Khaled Salhah fired wide. “It was tough game and an exciting game for the neutrals,” said Quinns’ defender Glen Moore. “It keeps are good form going, that four unbeaten now for the side.”
In other games Kelmscott Roos won their first away game of the season after a 1-0 win against Kingsway Olympic at Kingsway Reserve. The only goal of the game came 15 minutes from time. Pathy Mpio’s corner was headed home by Owen Curtis. The big striker said it was a good result for the club. “We changed the formation yesterday, and our issue this season has been not creating enough chances and Saturday was a very encouraging sign,” Curtis said. “To show that we can play good football together as a team, and we created a number of chances and it was a great win for the football club.” Wanneroo City won for the second time this season in a 4-3 thriller against Melville City at Len Shearer Reserve. Simon El Chami gave the hosts the lead, but Jake Makin levelled for Wanneroo before the break. Scott Johnston scored for Wanneroo in the opening minute of the second half, but Mark Lucas levelled from the penalty spot. Johnston added his second to regain the lead for the visitors, but Logan McIsaac made it 3-3, but the winner came from Liam Wales.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND TEN - PREVIEW
It’s week 10 of the PS4 NPLWA and the Footballwa.net Match of the Week takes us to the Finance 365 Stadium where Bayswater City entertain Floreat Athena (3pm). Bayswater came away with a 1-0 win against ECU Joondalup last week, and winger Jason Mirco said it was a hard fought win, but they always are against them. “You always know what you’re going to get from Joondalup away, and that’s a fight,” he said. “But they’ve got a mix of some really good footballers this year, and will defiantly give teams trouble this season. Although the sending off gave us the upper hand, we were always confident of coming away with the result regardless.” Mirco, who’s crossed to Hayden Doyle for the winner last week, said Floreat have improved after a slow start, and will be another huge challenge. “Saturday’s game is a huge one for us,” he said. “They (Floreat) started the season slowly, but they have a good squad down there and have grabbed a couple of key results lately. As always we’ve had a big week on the track and go into the game full of confidence from the game plan Coyney and the Coaches have set up with.” In team news Andy Reale is back in the mix after missing the last two games, so they have a full squad to choose from. Floreat Athena had the week off in the last round, and keeper Jason Saldaris said it was a good time to sort a few niggling injuries out. “I thought the week off was great for the boys, especially in the terrible weather, and there were some teams who slipped up, which motivated the boys,” he said. “Also just to have that little extra time to prepare for the upcoming must win game against Bayswater.” It’s the first return to the club for the former Bayswater custodian, and he said they have improved after a patchy start to the season. “I believe this will be a tough encounter, because I think both teams best football is yet to come,” he explained. “The Floreat boys are up for this game, and I wouldn’t expect any less from the Bayswater players. This game is a real six pointer and I believe it’s a must win game for us to get us back up the table where we belong.” Floreat are at full strength for the clash, although Declan Hargreaves has played his last game of the season for the club, after signing for Hume City in the Victorian NPL.
League leaders Inglewood United entertain Perth SC at the Inglewood Stadium. Perth had to settle for a draw last week against Cockburn City, while United had to work hard for a 2-1 win against Subiaco. Inglewood keeper Alex Dunn said it was a good three points especially in the horrendous conditions. “It was a game of two halves, I thought we dominated with the wind in the first half, but in the second half they (Subiaco) gave it a good crack and put us under a lot of pressure,” he said. “We could have scored a couple more goals to seal it, but the lads held firm to get three points in horrible conditions.” Taki Nicolaidis’ side are the form team of the league, and former Perth keeper Dunn said they are working extremely hard to maintain their improvement, and is expecting a stern test from Perth on Saturday. “There are a few ex-Perth lads at our club, which adds to the excitement of the game,” he explained. “They (Perth) are always going to be well-drilled and by all accounts Gareth (Naven) has got them playing a decent brand of football, so we need to be switched on from start to finish. We just have to continue our good form and to try and pull away from the rest of pack on the ladder.” Inglewood will be without leading scorer Brian Woodall, with Ashley Rosindale pushing for a starting role after injury, and they should have Mark Pritchard and Tim Robertson both available after injury.
Sorrento left it late last week to beat Armadale 1-0, and this week they entertain Subiaco at Percy Doyle Reserve. Sorrento midfielder Tim Hill said last week’s win was fortunate, but he said they’ll take it. “It was a tough game due to the conditions, but we pulled through as we usually do,” he said. “Maybe we didn’t deserve a win, but I don’t think we deserved to lose either, so we’ll take it and move forward.” Subiaco, who are still looking for their first win of the season, put in a good performance last week, before eventually losing to Inglewood United, and Hill said they need to be at their best on Saturday to get the points. “Subiaco are always a tough team no matter their form, so we’ve got to be wary of them,” he explained. “But if we get the ball down and play how we did at the start of the season, we’ve got the ability to get the three points.” In team news Scott Bulloch is out injured, and Todd Harnwell will be pushing for a starting role after scoring the winner off the bench last week at Armadale.
After a hard fought 1-1 draw at Perth SC last week, Cockburn City host ECU Joondalup at Dalmatinac Park. The sides are level on points on the table, but Joondalup will be looking to bounce back after being beaten 1-0 by Bayswater last week, and Coach Dale McCulloch said it was a frustrating defeat. “Last week was a lost opportunity for us, I thought we were on top when we had Gordon Smith sent off, and then it was back to the wall,” he said. “To the lads credit we fought the game out well and I thought we defended superbly, but we came away with nothing which is disappointing.” McCulloch said they head to Cockburn in a confident mood, and will be looking to bounce back. “We’ve worked hard this week on our shape and the lads are looking forward to a stern test at Cockburn,” he said. “Scott (Miller) has them playing some good football, and it will be a good challenge, but we’re all looking forward to it. We know if we play at our best we can beat any team in the league, so the challenge is there for the players to go out and perform.” In team news Smith and Steven McGarry both miss the game due to suspension, and Hayley Orr is out after breaking his hand. Cockburn are at full strength.
Stirling Lions will be looking to bounce back after last week’s defeat against Balcatta, when they travel to Alfred Skeet Reserve to take on Armadale. Lions’ defender Michael Pugliese said it was a game they had chances but didn’t take them. “The whole team was disappointed with the result last week,” he said. “We didn’t play well, but still could have got something from the game, which is the most frustrating part of it. But credit to Balcatta, they took their chances and snatched the win late.” Armadale were beaten by a last minute goal by Sorrento last week, and Pugliese, who is line to return after injury, said they can’t take them lightly. “It’s an important game for us, and no one in the playing group is happy with just being in the top four, we want that top spot,” he explained. “It’s a big game for both sides. We need to win to stay in touch of the top sides, while Armadale are searching for some points to stay away from the other end of the table, so we expecting a tough clash.”
In the final game Balcatta are on the road when they take on an undermanned Perth Glory at Ashfield Arena. The Glory squad has been decimated this week with a number of players away at the Frenz International under 18’s Tournament in Malaysia. A number of the Glory under 20’s side will be pushed up on Saturday, while Jacob Burns will take over the coaching reins from John Gibson, who is also in Malaysia. Balcatta came away with a win in the local derby against Stirling last week and Feisal Zaw said they will be looking to continue their recent good form. “Last week was a great result for the club, Stirling are a good team especially at home and it was great to get the three points there,” he said. “The boys worked hard on the back of the losses to Inglewood and Floreat to get back to winning ways.” The Glory may be undermanned, but Zaw believes it will be a tough game. “Although it's a game we're expected to win the Glory boys are always up for a game. Their defensive record is quite impressive so it might be hard to get on top,” he said. “But if we play like we did last week I think we'll grab the 3 points and continue our good form.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SEVEN - PREVIEW
It’s week seven in the All Flags State League Division One and the Match of the Round is league leaders Mandurah City’s trip to Walter Padbury Reserve to take on Gosnells City (3pm). Both sides will be looking to bounce back from dropping points last week. Gosnells were beaten 1-2 at Ashfield, while Mandurah were held to a 1-1 draw at home by South West Phoenix. Gosnells Coach Wally Aquino said missed chances cost them last week at Ashfield. “I was disappointed with the result, because I thought we played very well in the first half, considering we played into a gale force wind, but I thought we deserved the lead, even though we missed numerous clear cut chances” he explained. “Unfortunately we were asleep at the start of the second half and conceded two sloppy goals, and when chasing the game we had two players sent off. The boys know we have plenty of work to do to become more consistent, and capitalise when we are dominating games.” Aquino said Saturday’s opponents will be their toughest test so far this season, but he said they are looking forward to the challenge. “They (Mandurah) are the benchmark of the competition, and in reality they should have been granted promotion as last season’s Champions,” he said. “They had a minor hiccup last week, but are still unbeaten, so we know it will be a tough task. The players have trained with enthusiasm this week, knowing they have to play at their highest level to give them a game. The good thing it is at home and we hope this will give us a much needed advantage.” The Gosnells side has been hit by injuries but Aquino said they have given opportunities to the reserve players. “Injury and suspension are starting to take their toll, but we will look to push players up from the reserves in the short term,” he said. “But we hope to add a few extra players from other clubs into the squad before the transfer deadline.”
Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said last week’s game was difficult because of the weather, but also they played a good opposition. “I was happy with the result, especially under the circumstances,” he said. “They played well, although we did control plenty of the game and showed character to from behind, and could have sneaked it at the end, so at the end of the day it was a good point.” Hesketh said Gosnells are very difficult to beat on the home patch and said they need to be at their best to come home with the points. “I think they (Gosnells) are going well, and it doesn’t surprise me,” he said. “I saw a couple of their Night Series games and they looked good. We will need to be on our game, but it’s the same situation every week, and I believe everyone wants to beat us, and seem to lift, so we have to be switched on and motivated from the first whistle.” Craig Young is injured and will miss the trip, while Jack Eades and Lance Louive are also unavailable.
There is another massive game in the round and that’s at Dianella Reserve when Dianella White Eagles host traditional rivals Western Knights. Dianella lost 5-3 at UWA Nedlands last week, a game Chris Rizidis said they should have taken something from. “At 2-1 up I thought we had a chance to go on and win the game,” he said. “But we dropped off in the second half and gave them too much space to play, which cost us the game.” Rizidis said the side are improving with every session with new Eagles Coach Vesko Zmukic, and are looking forward to this week big game. “This week is a massive game for the club, as we need the three points to keep in touch with the rest of the league,” he said. “There’s always a big crowd when we play the Knights, and Saturday will be no different, so hopefully we can get the win and kick start our season.” The home side have a full squad to choose from, and new signing Matt Izzo has looked sharp at training, and the Eagles are expecting a big game from him, while the new look side are starting to gel, after a slow start to the season. The Knights will be missing Shaun French due to injury.
Joondalup United hit the road this week when they travel to the Lark Hill Sportsplex to take on Rockingham City. City’s game at Shamrock was postponed last week, but Coach Rob Crerar said the game could have gone on. “It was really disappointing not to play last week, we had prepared well through the week for the challenge of Shamrock,” he said. “I personally felt more could have been done to get the game on, but these things are out of my control.” Crerar said Saturday’s opponents have started the season well, and will be a tough challenge. “They (Joondalup) are a fantastic side with a great club and fan base behind them,” he said. “We had a couple of good battles against them in 2014, so hopefully we can get one over them on Saturday.” In team news for the home side, Alex Grayson will miss the game due to suspended, while Calum Rothwell is struggling with injury. But they are hopeful they will get Matt Brooks, Christian Hogge, Blake Sokolowski and Max Snelson back from injury.
In other games fourth placed Forrestfield United meet Shamrock Rovers at Hartfield Park. United are coming off a solid 3-2 win against the Knights last week, while Shamrock’s game was called off. Rovers have struggled this season and sit in 11th position on the table and they will be desperate to change that, but will need to be at their best to take on a resurgent United. Ashfield travel to Burrendah Reserve to take on Canning City. Ashfield had to come from behind to beat Gosnells last week, while Canning will be looking to bounce back from a 1-5 loss at Joondalup. Canning will be without the suspended Daniel Tevisiol and Nathan Hubbard, while Tom Gibbins and Peter Cartwright come into the squad. In the final game South West Phoenix entertain UWA-Nedlands at Hay Park. The Phoenix drew the South West derby last week at Mandurah, while UWA beat Dianella. UWA Coach Michael Janssen said they will be looking for their first away win of the season but is expecting a tough game. “Saturday will be an interesting challenge, especially looking at their good results over the last few weeks and the way they performed should keep every opponent on their toes,” he said. “Now it is our target to stop their run and bring the three points back home. Our squad is ready and well prepared for the match and we have a few new options in the squad. The hunger of my team is huge and we will put our best quality of football on the Park. It will be a close game and SWP needs to perform their best football to stop us."
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SEVEN - PREVIEW
There’s a top of the table clash in Week seven of the All Flags State League Division Two, with top of the table Balga travelling to the Iluka Sports Complex to take on second placed Joondalup City (3pm). Both sides had hard fought derby wins last week, with Joondalup edging out Ellenbrook United 2-0, while Balga beat Wanneroo City 1-0. Joondalup Coach Marco Schisano said it was good to bounce back last week after the loss at Kingsway Olympic. “Last week’s game was very scrappy due to the weather and the game was close to being called off, like the 18’s and reserves games,” he said. “We played very well in the first half and created numerous chances, but we could only score with the last kick. We controlled the second half but once again we were sloppy and didn’t finish the chances we created. But at the end of the day we were happy to take the points and bounce back from the loss the week before.” The Coach said Balga have been the benchmark so far this season and he says Saturday’s clash should be a good contest. “We need to improve sharply to compete against Balga, they are top of the league for a reason, but we’re looking forward to testing ourselves against them,” Schisano said. “Bobby has assembled a great attacking team, and has made dramatic improvements to his team since he took over. We believe in ourselves and I’m sure we can make it difficult for them. The match has been switched to our ground on Balga’s request, and we pride ourselves on making the home ground advantage count.” City goes into the game without keeper Drew Jenke, who injured his knee last week, but they do have cover, apart from that they are fully fit.
Balga were made to work for the three points last week, and assistant coach Amir Dzamastigic said it could have gone either way. “Wanneroo certainly looked a much different side than last time we've played them,” he said. “It was a game with not many chances by both sides, and was decided by Justin Caratozzolo goal. But to be honest a fair result would have been a draw, however it was a testament to our players to get all three points in the end.” Dzamastigic believes Joondalup are the big improvers this season and is expecting another tough game on Saturday. “We played City in the Night Series and had a taste of their quality. They are well organised, and are certainly well coached,” he said. “However with the importance of the game I’m confident that we will play to our strength and will be looking to continue our journey. The season is still young and there is plenty to play for, so I’m looking forward to a game played in good spirits and many goals, hopefully us scoring more than they do.”
Quinns FC continued their good form with a win at Kelmscott last week and this week they host Curtin University, who continued their good start to the season with a 1-0 win against Morley Windmills, at Gumblossem Park. Quinns’ defender Glen Moore said they had to work hard for the points. “We were very pleased with the win, we are undefeated in three now which is good for the lads morale and confidence after we got off to a shaky start,” he said. “Kelmscott have improved vastly and it could be a hard place to go this season with them being very competitive, so it was nice to get the points in the bank, they have made some very astute signings with one if our own captaining the side in Brandon Del Fabro, the win gives us a lift and confidence going forward.” Moore said Curtin have some quality players and they will be a tough test. “Saturday will be a tough game, they have shown that they are a decent side especially with their recent cup run, however we seem to be starting to gel together at the right time,” he said. “The lads are working hard for each other and we are becoming difficult to beat with our never say die attitude, we are always confident on scoring goals with many threats throughout the side and with the addition of Danny Cain from Sorrento it should give us more quality and experience at the back, Gumblossom can be a bit of a fortress for us so we will be looking to stretch our unbeaten to four games.”
In other games Ellenbrook United hosts Fremantle City at Arbor Grove Reserve, Morley Windmills host Swan United at Wotton Reserve, while Kingsway Olympic host Kelmscott Roos at Kingsway Reserve. In the final game Melville City entertain Wanneroo City at Len Shearer Reserve. Melville Coach Gavin Brown said last week’s defeat at Swan was disappointing, and he thought they had enough chances to take something from the game. “It was an exciting game in terrible conditions, but to lose the game from 1-0 up is hard to take, especially with the run we we’re on,” he said. “Both sides missed chances, but I thought we deserved something from the game. They only scored their third and decisive goal in the last couple of minutes when we were chasing the equaliser.” Brown is well aware of the improvement in Wanneroo after a poor start to the season, but he is hoping to kick start their season with a win. “We’ve got to try to arrest the slide we’re on,” he said. “I know they (Wanneroo) are largely a new team, but we did the double over them last year, and we hope to get a similar result this week.”
ROSINDALE HAPPILY GIVES NICOLAIDIS A HEADACHE
Attacker Ashley Rosindale has no qualms about causing coach Taki Nicolaidis a selection headache after declaring himself fit and ready for action. A hamstring niggle has sideline Rosdindale for the past month but a cameo off the bench against Subiaco AFC has put the 30-year old in the frame for Saturday's game with his former club, Perth SC.
"I've trained well this week so that will give Taki a headache in terms of who starts on Saturday," said Rosindale, who was limited to just a handful of games last year by an on-going foot injury. "I was just starting to get back to full fitness and sharpness when I injured my hamstring, thankfully it's only been a short lay off this time."
Rosindale played the last two seasons at Dorrien Gardens but he'll be putting friendships aside for 90 minutes come Saturday afternoon. "I really enjoyed my time at Perth so I'm looking forward to seeing some old teammates and board members on Saturday," said Rosindale, one of seven former Perth players now at Inglewood.
"They lost a few players over the summer but have put together a new side which has Clarke Keltie and Dean Evans pulling the strings in centre midfield. We will have to be at our best to contain them and for our midfield to run the game. We are taking it one game at a time and, hopefully, come the end of the season we will be fighting for top spot."
GLORY YOUNGSTERS BEATEN LATE BY ARGENTINE GIANTS
Perth Glory Youth side went down to Argentine powerhouse Club Estudiantes de La Plata 2-0 in their second game at the Frenz International Cup at the Pasir Gudang Stadium on Wednesday evening. Two second half goals in as many minutes, by Estudiantes were enough, but the Glory defended well and went close themselves late in the game.
Estudiantes went close early, Rodrigo Marinelli’s header was pushed onto the bar by Riley Stephenson, before Mauro Oses’ follow up shot was blocked. The Glory were on the back foot and Stephenson was in the action against this time saving well to deny Juan Francisco. Estudiantes continued to dictate terms after the break, and Tomas Montiel made space down the right and his low cross was inches away from Facundo Bruera in the six-yard box.
But the pressure finally told on 66 minutes, Bruera picking out Geronimo Carrasco, who’s curling long-range shot flew into the bottom corner of the net giving Stephenson no chance. It was 2-0 moments later, Bruera cross was turned into his own net by Scott Robertson under pressure from Bruera.
The Glory lifted and Ismail Atak’s low cross was fired just wide by substitute Ignacio Domenguez. Then Abias Bukuru raced clear, his shot was blocked by keeper Emilio Gonzalez, and the follow up shot was well saved by the Club Estudiantes de La Plata custodian, but they couldn’t find a consolation goal.
Perth Glory: GK Riley STEPHENSON, 2 Thomas EUGENHUIJSEN, 3 Riley WARLAND, 4 Scott ROBERTSON, 5 Ross MILLARD (C), 6 Sam POLLARD, 8 Jack LEECH, 9 Ismail ATAK, 11 Cameron MURRAY, 17 Adam ZIMARINO, 18 Abias BUKURU
Subs: RGK Stefan KING, 7 Ethan BROOKS, 10 Sam MCKEARNEN, 12 Ignacio DOMENGUEZ Domenguez, 13 Cameron MCLEAN, 14 Zayd FARAH, 15 Harry QUIGLEY
Club Estudiantes de La Plata: GK Emilio GONZALEZ, 4 Damian ADIN, 13 Juan Pablo ROMAGNOLI, 14 Leon PIERGIACOMI, 15 Rodrigo MARINELLI, 16 Matias AQUINO, 17 Juan Francisco CEJAS, 18 Facundo BRUERA, 19 Tomas MONTIEL, 20 Geronimo CARRASCO, 21 Mauro OSES
Subs: RGK Estefano FRANCESCONI, 2 Juan Marcos FOYTH, 3 Juan Ignacio DIAZ, 5 Ivan Gomez, 6 Bruno CABRERA, 7 Acuna AHUMADA, 8 Franco SIVETTI
HOSTS BEAT GLORY IN FRENZ INTERNATIONAL CUP OPENER
Perth Glory youth side have started their Frenz International Cup campaign with a 5-0 defeat against hosts Frenz United at the Pasir Gudang Stadium on Monday evening. The conditions on the night were tough, with the pitch water logged in places. The home side were after only four minutes. The lively Reza Karimi played in Ade Ivan Hafilah, who raced into the box and finished low past Riley Stevenson.
It was 2-0 on the quarter hour, Karimi wasted closed down on the edge of the penalty area and he made the Glory pay, firing low past Stevenson The Glory youngsters were on the back foot, and struggling to come to term with the waterlogged pitch but their defence held firm until the break.
The home side added a third just after half time, Karimi’s speculative cross slide on the wet pitch and under Stevenson. It got worse for the young Glory custodian and Karimi completed his hat-trick, when his free kick slipped through the hands of the keeper to make it 4-0 It was soon 5-0, a corner was headed goalwards by Mauricio Tomazi, but the ball fell kindly to substitute Sharul Akmal who fired home from six meters. To the Glory credit they continued to push forward and Abias Bukuru’s free kick was well saved by Frenz keeper Dylan Wilson. The post then denied the Glory a consolation goal, when Harry Quigley raced into the area and his shot beat the keeper but the post denyed the Glory youngster.
Perth Glory: GK Riley Stevenson, 2 Thomas EUGENHUIJSEN, 4 Scott ROBERTSON, 5 Ross MILLARD (C), 6 Sam POLLARD, 7 Ethan BROOKS, 8 Jack LEECH, 10 Sam MCKEARNEN, 11 Cameron MURRAY, 10 Adam ZIMARINO, 11 Abias BUKURU
Subs: RGK Stefan KING, 3 Riley WARLAND, 9 Ismail ATAK, 12 Ignadio DOMENGUEZ Domenguez, 13 Cameron MCLEAN, 14 Zayd FARAH, 15 Harry QUIGLEY
Frenz United – GK Dylan Andrew WILSON, 3 Ghaffar Abdul RAHMAN, 5 Azrul HAZIO (C), 6 Mauricio TOMAZI, 7 Ade Ivan HAFILAH, 8 Aep MAULANA, 10 Reza KARIMI, 11 Aizat Mukhlis YAZIR, 12 Syafiq Heelmi Zainol FIKRI, 13 Fridolin Kristof YOKU, 23 Izzafiq RUZ
Subs: RGK Adam Zairi Fitri ZAINI, 4 Amirul MUHAMAD, 9 Hadi Fayyadh RAZAK, 16 Akhmar Haiqal AZHAR, 22 Sharul AKMAl, 25 Dandi Maulana ABDULHAK, 26 Reva Adi UTAMA, 29 Amin Rais OHORELLA
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PROVIDES A SKY-BLUE LINING FOR WOODCOCK
Almost to the end he was the forgotten man of Sydney FC's season, but out of the blue Riley Woodcock has become a key part of the Sky Blues quest for Asian Champions League glory. In the week he turns 21, the former Young Socceroos captain will face Shandong Luneng in the second leg of the round of sixteen tie, still slightly bemused by the way he has been thrust into the side at left back.
Woodcock, sidelined for nearly a year by a broken ankle, mustered only 72 minutes of domestic action this season, and even that came in the last game of the campaign. But injuries and player exits forced Graham Arnold to throw Woodcock in against the champions of Asia, Guangzhou Evergrande, three weeks ago and then again in last week's first leg draw with Shandong.
Overcoming a torrid opening, Woodcock set up Sydney's goal against Shandong and is now desperate to make up for lost time after an injury-ravaged first year at the club. "To have ten months on the sidelines was pretty tough, especially as I'd just moved to Sydney when it happened," Woodcock said of the ankle fracture he suffered in pre-season.
"I'd got a few games in pre-season, and it was looking to be a big year for me - so to get a long-term injury like was unbelievably frustrating. It's made it a tough year, but after the way things have gone, for Graham Arnold to show faith in me and use me in the ACL has done wonders for my confidence. To get a draw last week in Shandong was a great result, and to be involved in our goal was a great thing for making me feel like I was contributing to the team."
RISDON HAS HIGH HOPES FOR ENGLAND CLASH
Socceroos right back Josh Risdon says the opportunity to play against England is a dream come true, despite Australia going in as underdogs in the up-coming clash. The Perth Glory defender is part of the Australian squad which will face the Three Lions for the first time since the Socceroos famous 3-1 upset win in London in 2003.
The odds are stacked against the Asian Champions, with world number ten England going in as the red hot favourite to beat the 50th ranked Australia in Sunderland, in the north of England, on Saturday morning Australian time. But Risdon said the Socceroos would go in firmly believing history can repeat itself.
"You don't really want to go in with the mentality that it's going be a hard game and we're going to get thrashed or anything like that, so you want to go in thinking you can win, no matter who the opponent is," Risdon said. "It's going to be a very tough game but I'm sure everyone will be up for it."
But Australia is under no illusions as to how difficult the task is, against a team expected to challenge for the title at Euro 2016, starting next month. "Yeah they're going to be extremely tough, I think they've got a lot of in-form players like Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane, and they're going to be itching to get into that squad for the Euros."
Fellow West Australian Stan Lazaridis was part of the Socceroos squad that stunned England thirteen years ago, and he says it is a different challenge for the current players. "We caught England by surprise that night," Lazaridis said. "We played against the likes of David Beckham, a young Wayne Rooney and players of that calibre. We were red hot that night, we had that feeling going in the bus."
Lazaridis has given Risdon a glowing endorsement as he continues to fight for a place in the Socceroos line-up, with the crucial phase of World Cup Qualifying ahead. He expects Risdon to move to an overseas club in the near future. "He has been probably the best right back in Australia for the last three years," he said. "All in all he's got a really good career ahead of himself."
ZAW STORMS BALCATTA TO DERBY VICTORY
A goal in the final minute of normal time from Balcatta’s lively winger Feisal Zaw has given them a 2-1 win against neighbours Stirling Lions in the local derby at Macedonia Park. An early goal from Gomo Dukully put the visitors in charge, but a late goal from David Micevski looked like it had earned the Lions at point, but Zaw had other ideas and won it late.
“It’s always tough facing Stirling, especially in the form they've been in lately,” Zaw said. “But I think the boys have been unlucky the past few weeks with the cup loss and the Floreat loss, so we kept working hard in training and it paid off on the weekend. Scoring the winner was a great feeling but credit to the guys we kept chipping away even after they equalised, just had to tap it in at the back post.”
Balcatta started the game on the front foot, and were ahead after only six minutes. Teenage striker Cameron Teece wasn’t closed down on the edge of the penalty area, his low shot was well saved by John Perkins, Dukully was on hand to finish the rebound. The visitors hand a great opportunity to double their lead 15 minutes later, but Perkins reacted well to deny Carlo Coelho.
The Lions started to get back into the game and went close to the equaliser five minutes before half time. Blamo Qua Qua’s long-range shot drifting just past the post. The Micevski brothers, Daniel and David, both had chances as the Lions ended the half on top, but both saw their efforts miss the target. After the break it was a typical derby game, with end-to-end football and both sides had half chances, but Clint Davies and Perkins weren’t really troubled. But eight minutes from time the home side levelled. David Micevski curled home a free kick, up over the wall and into the net.
The Lions pressed looking for the winner and they had a strong penalty claim turned down by referee Tom Glavovic, after Daniel Micevski was brought down in the area, but the official waved away their protests. But in the 90th minute, Balcatta won it. Teece cut in from the left and crossed to the back post and Zaw ghosted in to fire home.
SUPER-SUB HARNWELL GIVES SORRENTO THE POINTS
A goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time from substitute Todd Harnwell has given Sorrento a 1-0 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve. The veteran striker, who came out of retirement this season, replaced Billy Quinncroft in the 74th minute and scored the dramatic winner. “It was a very hard fought game in extremely difficult conditions. We found it hard to play our usual style and had to really grind out the win,” goalscorer Harnwell said. “Both sides had a few good chances but thankfully we managed to capitalise in the dying minutes to hopefully get us back on track.”
The home side seemed to settle to the poor playing conditions the better and they had the best chance of the first half. Ellis Healing, who had committed himself to the club in midweek after transfer speculation, was given far too much space in the middle of the park and his long-range effort beat Sorrento custodian James Morgan, but the crossbar came to the keepers rescue.
Healing was outstanding and he was involved again as the home side went close to the lead ten minutes into the second half. His in-swinging corner found Anthony Skorich, whose scissor-kick flashed inches wide of the post. Sorrento were struggling in the final third, but Armadale still looked the most likely to score, and the woodwork prevented them again on 71 minutes.
Jake Sardelic’s cross was caught by the strong wind, and lifted it over James Morgan, but to the dismay of the Armadale supporters the ball crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. Healing then almost won it two minutes from time, the English midfielder found space in the box, but James Morgan stood tall to deny him. It looked like the points would be shared but in the 95th minute the Gulls flew home with the points. Daryl Platten crossed in from the right and Harnwell got a near post flick on header to send past Alfie Brincat.
LEAGUE LEADERS EDGE OUT SUBIACO
League leaders Inglewood United were made to work hard for victory, but came away from a wet and wild Rosalie Park with all three points, after a 2-1 win against Subiaco. The rain lashed down for most of the game, but Jason Colli and Calum O’Connell had given the visitors the lead at the break, but Zac Edwards pulled one back for the winless Subiaco on the hour, but they couldn’t find the equaliser.
“We were cruising in the first half playing with the breeze in our favour, and went in at half time 2-0 up after scoring 2 quality goals, having lots of possession and Subiaco not really having any clear cut chances,” Inglewood striker Ashley Rosindale said. “In the second half they pulled a goal back and then it was backs to the wall for us as they used the breeze to their advantage with long balls and long throws. We held firm and came away with the 3 points. We knew it wasn't going to pretty considering the conditions.”
Both sides struggled early with the wind and rain, but the visitors, who were playing with the wind behind them, began to take control. Adam Tong headed wide when well placed, but on the half hour they hit the front. Kenny Keogh’s shot was well pushed onto the post by Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery, but Colli was quickest to the rebound to fire home from the edge of the penalty area. Then on the stroke of half time, Inglewood doubled their advantage. Colli made space down the right and crossed to O’Connell, who made no mistake, firing into the roof of the net from 6meters.
Subiaco had the winds at their backs in the second half and used it to their advantage just after the hour. Edwards tried his luck from the left, and his long-range effort got caught in the wind and flew over the top of Alex Dunn and into the net. The goal lifted the home side and Kevin White’s effort was blocked in the six-yard box, and in the ensuing scramble, Inglewood cleared. Then Carlin Feely lost his marker, but his shot flashed just wide of the target.
Keogh wasted a great opportunity to regain the two-goal advantage, when the striker shot over the top after rounding Montgomery. The visitors were defending well and hitting on the counter-attack, and the Subiaco custodian was lucky not to be sent off late, when he raced out and brought down Scott Witchge, but referee Nico Hoyle only showed Montgomery a yellow card. The win maintains Inglewood’s three point gap on the chasing pack.
PERTH AND COCKBURN BOTH HAIL A POINT
The points were shared at Dorrien Gardens with former Perth Glory teammates Gareth Navan and Scott Miller’s, Perth SC and Cockburn City, drawing 1-1 in horrendous conditions on Saturday afternoon. With rain, wind and hail storms hitting the ground at times, the game was suspended on a couple of occasions, but it was Angel Andres who put the visitors ahead just before half time, but Gustavo Catarcione levelled for Perth, but on the day the weather won out. “Both teams had chances to win the game,” Perth midfielder Dean Evans said. “But with conditions difficult to play in I think the draw was fair for both clubs.”
The weather was on top in the first half with referee Josh Mannella taking the sides off twice as the inclement weather hit the West Perth area, and the players huddled in the tunnel when a hail storm hit. Both sides went close between the breaks, skipper Clark Keltie and Aden Da Luz both firing wide, before Perth keeper Francis Soale had to be alert to save from Harry O’Brien and Andres.
But in the shadows of half time the Cockerels hit the front. Andres wasn’t picked up on the edge of the penalty area and his shot flew into the corner of the net giving Soale no chance. The Spanish striker had the opportunity to double Cockburn’s lead moments later, after O’Brien was brought down in the box by Matthew Milenkovic, but Soale guessed the right way to save the resulting Andres penalty.
The home side hit back early in the second half. Nicholas Ambrogio’s header was well saved by Luke Radonich, but Catarcione was quickest to react to fire home the rebound. Both sides pressed late looking for the winner. Radonich came to his sides’ rescue, with a great save to deny Ambrogio, before Josh Kusar almost won it for Cockburn late, but he failed to find the target.
DOYLE FIRES BAYSWATER HOME
A first half goal from Bayswater City’s Hayden Doyle was enough to beat a ten men ECU Joondalup 1-0 at blustery ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The home side had Scottish striker Gordon Smith sent off on the half hour, and Bayswater scored the winner eight minutes later, to keep in touch of league leaders Inglewood United. “A well-deserved win, but it didn’t help them having a player sent off early, but a pleasing result for us away from home, although we’re still not ruthful enough in the final third,” City Coach Chris Coyne told the NPLWA website.
“At 1-0 anything can happen, and we created some good chances, but never took them, and took the wrong decision at times, but we’ll work on hopefully get it right next week.” The home side opened brightly and Tommy Amphlett’s shot was saved low by Devon Spence, before Smith’s long-range shot was pushed around the post by Spence at full stretch. The visitors should have opened the scoring on 10 minutes, Jason Mirco’s cross finding Brian Farrell who blazed over from 8meters. Spence then saved Andy Higgins’ curling free kick low at his post, and moments later Higgins’ in-swinging corner was headed off the line by Jack Jones.
But on 31 minutes the home side were reduced to ten men when Smith was given two yellow card in a matter of seconds, for back chatting referee Matthew Southern. Bayswater made their numerical advantage count seven minutes later. Mirco darted down the right and pulled the ball back to Doyle who made no mistake from 6meters.
Both keepers were in the action early in the second half. Lewis Italiano saved well to deny Todd Howarth, before Spence stood tall to deny Amphlett who had raced clear from Steven McGarry’s through ball. Bayswater were finding holes in the ECU defence and Henry Durr got back with a superb last ditch tackle to thwart Mirco on the hour, before Italiano was at his best to stop Brian Farrell on a one-on-one late on to keep the scoreline down.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SIX - REVIEW
Joondalup United closed the gap on league leaders Mandurah City after a 5-1 win against Canning City at Forrest Park. “It was good to return to winning ways, it was a dominant performance and we were great value for the three points today,” Joondalup Coach Nick Jennings said. “In difficult conditions we got the ball down on the deck and played some great stuff and could easily have scored a hatful today.” The home side led 2-0 at the break. First a long throw was flicked on by Ross Edwards and Lee Jones headed home. The second goal was a superb free kick by skipper Arran Maplestone. Canning hit back just after the break with Callum Roberts scoring, but Joondalup added a third, with Edwards curling home another free kick. Canning had the opportunity to pull on back but Roberts penalty was saved by James Bosdet, and Roberts’ follow up shot crashed off the crossbar. Things went from bad to worse for Canning and they then had Daniel Trevisiol sent off. Joondalup pressed and added two more. Guy McDonald’s solo run ended with a clinical finish, before Jones added his second with a volley from a tight angle.
League leaders Mandurah City were held to a 1-1 draw by South west Phoenix in the South West Derby at the Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium. The visitors took the lead late in the first half, Yohanes Tadesse shot fell kindly to Matthew Spurling, who rounded a defender and chipped the keeper. The Phoenix went close to a second in the early stages of the second half hitting the crossbar twice, but it Mandurah who levelled mid-way through the second half. In his first game back Jeff Bright cut in from the left and curled home from 20meters in to the corner of the net. The home side pressed for the winner, the best chance fell to Jordan Rhodes, who shot was superbly saved by Jamie Oakley. “It was a hard earned point in difficult conditions against a good side,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “Mick and I are very proud of the effort displayed and over all happy all things considered I think the big turnout of supporters enjoyed the game.”
Forrestfield United moved up to fourth on the table with a hard fought 3-2 win against Western Knights at Nash Field. The home side were ahead after only six minutes, Paul Lloyd lost his marker and slid the ball into Jonty Turner who fired low past Luke Martino. But Forrestfield hit back and were level on 20 minutes. Hasani Sinclair played in Matt Harold down the right, and the American continued his run and cut the ball back to Liam Merrigan who finished low past Sam Stone from the edge of the penalty area. The visitors hit the front on the hour. Jordan Hart cut the ball back to Merrigan again who finished with aplomb. Forrestfield added a third on 74 minutes, Merrigan was the supplier this time, putting in a slide rule pass to send Sinclair clear, and he finished clinically. The Knights pulled one back two minutes later, when Lloyd converted from the penalty spot after a handball had been spotted by referee Arvin Shan. The home side pressed late but couldn’t find the equaliser, the win the first on the road for the newly promoted side.
Ashfield resurgence continued with a come-from-behind 2-1 win against Gosnells City at the Ashfield Arena. Gosnells had the better of the first half and were ahead on the quarter hour. Caleb Aquino laid the ball back to Tyron Pottier, whose shot from the edge of the penalty area flew into the corner of the net. After the break Ashfield hit back and levelled in the opening minute. Jamie Burns picked the ball up down the flank and eased past his marker and crossing to Alex Stamatiadis, who made no mistake. The winner came on 52 minutes, Burns again was the supplier crossing to Stamatiadis was jogging on the spot to fire home. “This team is getting better every week, we have a lot of injuries and players leaving to go to play NPL so our squad is not settled just yet,” Stamatiadis said. “Our belief is getting stronger by the week we just need to cut out our mistakes because that’s the only way we are conceding goals.”
UWA-Nedlands are back in the winner’s circle after a come-from-behind 5-3 win against Dianella White Eagles at the UWA Sports Park. The home side were ahead on 20 minutes, Conor Devlin playing in Alex Kretowicz who finished well. The visitors levelled soon after, Chris Rizidis’ shot on the turn giving Alex Preece no chance. The Eagles then hit the front, Matt Izzo’s free kick from a tight angle beating Preece. The home side levelled just before half time, Michael Vlasich curling home a superb free kick from 20meters. After the break the home took control and Vlasich scored another trademark free kick to regain the lead. It soon became five, with the league’s top goalscorer Kretowicz added two more to complete his hat-trick. Aleks Miladinovic scored a consolation goal late to make it 5-3. The other game between Shamrock Rovers and Rockingham City was postponed with the pitch at Harold Rossiter Reserve waterlogged.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SIX - REVIEW
Quinns FC won on the road for the first time this season with a hard fought 3-2 win against Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. The visitors opened well and Chris Williams and Brian Cairney went close, but against the run of play Kelmscott opened the scoring. A long ball was chased by Owen Curtis, who put the pressure on the keeper who mis-judged the bounce and his clearance went straight to Sam Cole, who finished into an empty net. Quinns were back on level terms when Cairney beat the offside trap, and squared the ball to Jake Benson-Cooper to score. Then before half time the home side hit the front again. Pathy Mpio played the ball out to Curtis, he crossed to Lyndan Powell, who played in Cole, to score his second, and send the home time into the sheds with the lead. Their lead was cancelled out early in the second half Cairney again the provider crossing to Benson-Cooper who fired home from long-range. Quinns hit the front with 20 minutes remaining. Craig Tooley slipping in Sam Doherty to score from a tight angle. Kelmscott pressed late and Glen Moore had to be alert to clear off his own line late on but Quinns held on for the win. “We had to absorb some late pressure from Kelmscott, and we defended well,” said Moore. “It was a tight game, but I thought we deserved the points in the end.”
League leaders Balga maintained their lead at the top with a tight 1-0 win against Wanneroo City at Wanneroo Reserve. The only goal of the game came from Justin Caratozzolo, Daniel Nalat received the ball on the left, he cut inside his marker and crossed into a crowded penalty area and Caratozzolo scored from close-range. They was another close encounter at Hilton Reserve, with Fremantle City beating Olympic Kingsway 1-0. The home side thought they had the lead in the first half, Daneil Glennon heading Gareth Hamilton’s corner goalwards, but the referee and his assistant said the ball hadn’t crossed the line, much to the displeasure of the Olympic players and coaches. The winner came in the second half, another Hamilton free kick again found Glennon, who made no mistake this time, heading home. “It was miserable conditions for football, and thanks go out to our volunteers who worked through the conditions and made it possible for us to play,” Fremantle Coach Steve Plucknett said. “It was another good performance defensively although to be fair we weren't troubled throughout.” Joondalup City won the local northern derby beating Ellenbrook United at the Iluka Sports Complex. In Sunday’s game Curtin University beat Morley Windmills 1-0 at Edinburgh Oval. The only goal of the game came from Oliver Robertson, who finished coolly through a crowd of players in the box.
In the final game Swan United moved up to fifth place with a 3-1 win against Melville City at the Swan Italian Club. The visitors were first on the board, with former Swan midfielder Scott Campbell playing in Shane Boyle who fired home past Cory Hugo. The home side levelled ten minutes later, a short corner caught Melville napping and Mark Macalister headed home in the box. The home side had the opportunity to take the lead into half time when they were awarded a penalty but Mirko Grgurinovic guessed the right way to save Dom Ando’s spot kick and sent the sides into half time level. The home side lifted after the break and skipper Chris Marshall headed home from a corner to give them the lead. Melville continued to take the game to the home side and Louie Granich hit the post, as the y looked for the equaliser, but the points were made safe when John Monterosso raced clear one-on-one with the keeper to score. Melville should have had a penalty late when Boyle was brought down in the box, but the referee waved away their penalty claims. “It was a tough first half with the weather conditions we were against the breeze and conceding a goal of a defender slipping is unlucky and no one’s fault. But we got level and should have been ahead at the break missing the penalty,” Swan Coach Matt Debarro said. “I thought in the second half we controlled the game without the ball well and created a lot of chances we failed to again capitalise on. But we got the goals we needed and the points. Credit to Gavin Brown and his boys they were really good, and I think they had a bit of bad luck along the way.”
FOOTBALL WEST APPOINT NEW CEO
James Curtis will lead Football West through an exciting period for the sport after being appointed to the position of chief executive. Curtis has spent the past four years in the Western Australian State Government at the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in a variety of roles. He is also a member of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Advisory Council.
Prior to his work at Aboriginal Affairs, Curtis spent time as a Senior Management Consultant for Quantum Consulting Australia providing advice to State and Commonwealth government departments and has worked within the finance sector. Curtis was also the Director of Grasshopper Soccer North West Coast and Operations Manager of Grasshopper Soccer and Hyper Active Sports Australia.
Curtis said this is an exciting time for West Australian football and is delighted to have the opportunity to assist in working towards a bright future. "The sport is thriving internationally, nationally and locally here in WA and I'm sure that together we can realise even more of the game's great unlocked potential," he said.
Football West chairman Liam Twigger said Curtis had been selected from a high-quality field of applicants. "Football is experiencing a period of unprecedented growth, with more players, coaches, officials and volunteers involved in the game than ever," Twigger said. "We have an opportunity to take football to a new level and I am confident that following the appointment of James Curtis, we will have the leadership team in place to achieve all of our strategic goals."
FOOTBALL WEST APPOINT NEW CEO
James Curtis will lead Football West through an exciting period for the sport after being appointed to the position of chief executive. Curtis has spent the past four years in the Western Australian State Government at the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in a variety of roles. He is also a member of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Advisory Council.
Prior to his work at Aboriginal Affairs, Curtis spent time as a Senior Management Consultant for Quantum Consulting Australia providing advice to State and Commonwealth government departments and has worked within the finance sector. Curtis was also the Director of Grasshopper Soccer North West Coast and Operations Manager of Grasshopper Soccer and Hyper Active Sports Australia.
Curtis said this is an exciting time for West Australian football and is delighted to have the opportunity to assist in working towards a bright future. "The sport is thriving internationally, nationally and locally here in WA and I'm sure that together we can realise even more of the game's great unlocked potential," he said.
Football West chairman Liam Twigger said Curtis had been selected from a high-quality field of applicants. "Football is experiencing a period of unprecedented growth, with more players, coaches, officials and volunteers involved in the game than ever," Twigger said. "We have an opportunity to take football to a new level and I am confident that following the appointment of James Curtis, we will have the leadership team in place to achieve all of our strategic goals."
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND NINE - PREVIEW
After the break for the FFA Cup last week, it’s back to PS4NPLWA action this weekend and the Footballwa.net Match of the Week takes us to Dorrien Gardens where Perth SC hosts Cockburn City. It will be a clash between good mates and former Perth Glory players Scott Miller and Gareth Naven sides, and both will be looking to get back in the winner’s circle. Perth were beaten 2-1 in the Italian Derby against Bayswater City last week, and skipper Clark Keltie said it was a tight game and it could have gone either way. “The first half I thought we looked quite comfortable and well-organised, so to concede early after the restart took the wind out of us a little and we didn’t quite recover after that,” he said. “In those big games chances don’t come around often, so when they do, it’s important that we’re ruthless in front of goal, and we simply weren’t. We showed some resilience to keep going to the end, but the damage was done.” Keltie said Saturday is an important game, and they need the win to keep in touch with the league leaders. “It’s a home game Saturday, so regardless who it’s against, I expect three points from the team,” he said. “They (Cockburn) have been unpredictable in the games I’ve seen them, but I think it’s about what we do. If we turn up on the day then we’re capable of beating whatever is put in front of us.” In team news Marco Santa Lucia will miss the rest of the season due to injury, but in better news Andreas Theodosiades came through a scratch match last week and is close to a return to the squad.
Cockburn were held at home 1-1 by Subiaco last week, a game Ruben Tristao said it was a first half to forget. “We didn’t play well against Subiaco,” he said. “They scored early and sat back with ten men behind the ball making it hard for us to create space and deliver a good ball to our strikers. We changed our strategy at half time and ended up scoring, and at least we got away without a defeat. We bounced back in the cup game against Gosnells and we move on.” The trip to Perth is always a tough challenge, but Tristao said they are looking forward to it. “They (Perth) will be a difficult opponent this week. They have started the season well and have good and experienced players,” he said. “But we have to focus on ourselves and the process and consistency that we’ve been trying to implement. Being undefeated for the last four games shows we are on the right track and we’re looking forward to the game, and hope to keep that form going.” Cockburn go into the game at full strength
League leaders Inglewood United make the trip to Rosalie Park, to take on bottom of the table Subiaco. Inglewood thrashed Armadale last week, while Subiaco picked up their first point of the season at Cockburn. Subiaco coach Mike Brazil said it was a well-earned point. “It was a game of two halves,” he said. “We played very well in the first half, scoring and creating chances. But in the second half we rode are luck at times and they (Cockburn) dominated for long periods, but each week we are improving. We have been working hard on seeing out games out and not forcing the play we don’t need too.” Brazil said it’s a huge challenge against the league leaders but he has a great deal of confidence of his players. “If we can play at the same intensity as we have in recent weeks, we will be in the game,” he said. “We know chances will come, and we must be confident and take them. Inglewood are where they are for a reason, we simply must match their intensity and stay with them, so it’s another test for the improving group.” The home side will be without defender Nathan Diaz due to suspension, while Rory Feely is struggling due to injury.
Bayswater City will look to keep in tabs of Inglewood, and hit the road on Saturday when they visit the ECU Football Stadium to take on ECU Joondalup. The home side broke a three game losing streak last week with a win against Perth Glory and striker Bayley Brown-Montgomery said it was a well-deserved win. “Last week was a great three points for us and we were over the moon as we had worked extremely hard on our defensive structure during the week, and we knew how they’d be set up and it worked well,” he said. “Our experienced players stood up on the day, Gordon Smith and Steve McGarry bagged the goals and both were outstanding and it was nice to break our three game losing streak.” The pacey striker knows what to expect from Bayswater, but he said they are determined to get the three points. “They (Bayswater) are one of the toughest teams in WA, but we always give them a run for their money, and Saturday will be no different,” he said. “If everyone in squad gives 100%, and we play how we know we can we will come away with the three points.” Tommy Amphlett returns to the squad after injury, and Coach Dale McCulloch has a full squad to choose from.
The form team of the league is Stirling Lions and this week they entertain Balcatta in the local derby at Macedonia Park. Striker Jason Rubidge, who bagged a hat-trick in the FFA Cup win against Curtin University, said their form is pleasing and last week’s big win at Sorrento was well-deserved. “The win at Sorrento was great for us, obviously going to their home ground and scoring five goals, and keeping a clean sheet, was a brilliant effort from the lads,” he said. “We continued that form in the cup and a personal note it was nice to bag a hat-trick. Credit to Curtin, they defended exceptionally, but luckily for us we were patient enough to get the goals and go through.” Balcatta have a good record against the Lions in recent seasons, and Rubidge said he hopes to take their good form into the game and keep their winning run going. “In previous years we’ve struggled a little against Balcatta, but this year we have a new squad, and so do they, so we will be looking to reverse that on Saturday,” he said. “We’re sitting second on the table and we’ve had a great start to the season, and we will be doing all we can to keep that form going. Having said that they (Balcatta) have had some good results in recent weeks, so we know that we’ll have to show up again this week and perform our best to get the three points.” In team news Robert Petkov, Graham Doran and Johnny Perkins are back in the squad after missing the cup game, while Alex Suleski and Keiron Stallard are both suspended for Balcatta.
Sorrento will be looking to bounce back from their last league game, a heavy lose to Stirling Lions, when they take on Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve. Gulls coach Jamie Harnwell said he didn’t see the result coming but said they have worked hard to rectify some of the mistakes. “It was a strange game, and despite what the score line suggests we did create a number of chances of ourselves, however we can’t defend like that and expect to get a result,” he said. “We’ve worked through the video of the game with the players at training during the week and they have taken on board the key messages and what we need to improve on.” Armadale beat Sorrento in the FFA cup last month and Harnwell said he is expecting another tight game. “We know it will be a difficult game despite Armadale’s struggles in the league,” he explained. “They made it difficult for us to play last time in the cup, and I’m expecting them to do the same again. We have to match their work rate, then hopefully we can play the football we want to, but we know they have players who can hurt us on the counter, so we need to be resilient.”
The final game between Floreat Athena and Perth Glory at the E&D Litis Stadium, has been rescheduled for Tuesday June 14th as the Glory side are in Malaysia in a tournament this weekend.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SIX - PREVIEW
It’s week six in the All Flags State League Division One and the Footballwa.net Match of the Week takes us to Nash Field where Western Knights entertain Forrestfield United. Both side won last time out the Knights beating Shamrock 3-1, while Forrestfield beat UWA Nedlands 5-2. Knights’ Jeffrey Judge said it was a hard fought win but he thought they deserved the points. “It was a tough game, but a game we dominated, this after we gave a way a sloppy goal early,” he said. “We then took control of the game, cored some nice goals and moved the ball around well, and we probably should have scored a couple more late on. But to get a win, against a good Shamrock side, is a confidence boost for us.” Judge said Saturday’s opponents have impressed early and is expecting another tight encounter. “They (Forrestfield) beat us in the Night Series, so the lads are looking forward to reversing that on Saturday,” he said. “It will be a different game this weekend, but we need to give them respect, they are going well in the league so fair play to them, but we are starting to click. We have a new manager and new players, so it was always going to take time to gel, but the last two performances have been really encouraging, so we will go into the game full of confidence that we can get the three points.” In team news Sean French is missing due to work commitments, but apart from that they are at full strength.
Forrestfield winger Rhys Loxley said the win against UWA was a real confidence boost for them. “It was a great win against a tough opposition, and as we’ve seen already this season there is no easy games, so to come away with a big win is credit to our performance,” he explained. “We have a relatively new side, so we should continue to improve as each week goes by.” Loxley, who has been in outstanding form this season, will miss the trip due to study commitments, but he said a trip to the Knights is always tough. “Any game against the Knights is going to be a tricky one, as Nash Field is a hard place to take points from,” he said. “Although the lads will go into the game with a game plan, to get a result a collective effort will certainly be required from the team as whole.” In other team news Nathan Watkins is in line for a return to the side after overcoming ankle problems.
Joondalup United will be looking to get back in the winner’s circle, when they host Canning City at Forrest Park. United drew at Gosnells City last week, and Coach Nick Jennings said they made it hard for themselves. “Gosnells is always a very hard place to get a result, but I thought we were outstanding and created enough chances to win the game,” he said. “But silly defensive lapses continue to haunt us though, so at the end of the day we’ll take the point and move on.” Jennings said the game against Canning last season was a goal fest, and after a week’s break he said they are looking for a response from the players. “Last year’s home game we came out on top in a 7-3 goal fest, despite the outstanding Callum Roberts hitting a first half hat-trick for City,” he said. “We are looking forward to challenge that this much improved Canning will offer, but after a week off we are fully refreshed and raring to get back into action and return to winning ways.” In team news for Joondalup, Greg Pellow is out injured, and Ross Edwards is in line for a recall.
Ashfield have home ground advantage when they host Gosnells City at Ashfield Arena. Gosnells held Joondalup United to a draw last week, while Ashfield midfielder Alex Stamatiadis said the draw at the Phoenix, showed they are on the improve. “The last game showed the huge character we have in the squad,” he explained. “Considering we were 0-2 down at half time, and we then lost it with the last kick of the game. The performances are improving each week and we are looking to maintain that against a good Gosnells side.” Stamatiadis is expecting another tough game on Saturday, and he believes they (Gosnells) have improved this season. “They have hit the ground running and must be respected,” he said. “Over the years we’ve learnt that they are a team that graft to the end, so we must be on our toes from the first to final whistle. In team news for Ashfield Brian Patterson is suspended, while Jamie Burns, Ross Diamond and Graham Tough are in doubt, but Gary Hill returns to the squad.
In other games league leaders Mandurah City head home to the renamed Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium, where they take on South West Phoenix in the South West Derby (8.00pm kick off). The Phoenix scored late to draw 3-3 with Ashfield last week, while Mandurah held off a fast finishing Dianella White Eagles. Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said the game on Saturday will be another huge test for his players, as any local derbies are tight affair. “I’m sure it will be a tight affair and a good game of football, as both teams are in decent form,” he said. “We have a few players missing this week, but we have players chomping at the bit to come into the side, so it will be a good selection headache for me and Mike (Lyons).” The other games this weekend are UWA-Nedlands against Dianella White Eagle at the UWA Sports Park, while Rockingham City hosts Canning City at Lark Hill.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SIX - PREVIEW
We’re off to Hilton Reserve for this weeks’ Footballwa All Flags State League Division Two Match of the week, with Fremantle City hosting Kingsway Olympic. City beat Kelmscott Roos 3-0 last week, while Kingsway beat Joondalup City 2-0. Kingsway striker Ryan Frisina bagged the two goals last week and he said it was a good team performance. “The result against Joondalup was an important one for us. We knew we’d be in for a physical battle and the win was what we needed to keep pace with the top of the league,” he said. “Being victories in a local derby is always a bonus, but the way the team performed defensively and keeping our first clean sheet of the season was more important, and all due to the hard yards put in on the training track.” The trip to Fremantle is another huge challenge, and Frisina said it should be a good game. “They (Fremantle United) have made a good start to the season, and we’re under no illusion that we are in for a battle to secure a vital three points,” he said. With us and Fremantle being almost identical in the league standings, I’m sure both teams will provide a decent spectacle for those in attendance.”
Fremantle striker Danny Clapham said they were made to work hard for the win at Kelmscott. “It was a good result and solid performance against a much improved Kelmscott side,” he said. “We knew what to expect from them though and knew once we had settled the goals would come, so overall we were happy with the outcome especially keeping a clean sheet away from home.” Clapham said Kingsway are another team who have improved, and they will need to be at their best to get the win. “We know it's going to be a tough game, Kingsway are well organised and keep the ball well they've got some experienced lads up there so we know we will have to be at our best,” he said. “But we our prepared as always and know if we play the way we know we can we our capable of beating anyone in the league so we will be looking to take 3 points. We have a few new players training this week to boost the squad, but we are full and we are really looking forward to this one.’
In other game this weekend Quinns FC travel to Frye Park to take on Kelmscott Roos. Quinns continued their good start to the new season with a 3-0 win against Morley Windmills last time, while the Roos were beaten by Fremantle. League leaders Balga travel to Wanneroo Reserves to take on Wanneroo, Morley Windmills take on Curtin University Edinburgh Oval on Sunday (5.00pm), while Joondalup City entertain Ellenbrook United in a local derby at the Iluka Sports Complex. The final game is at the Swan Italian Club, where Swan United host Melville City. United came away from Balga with a point last week, while City were beaten 2-1 at Curtin. United’s Coach Matt Debarro said it will be another stern test for his side. “We’re looking forward to Saturday, Gavin and his boys are good lads, and it’s always nice catching up with them,” he said. “It’s a big game for us coming off two draws, so a win is vital to keep close to the top.” United lost 3-2 to Sorrento last weekend in a scratch match, know Melville are a well-organised side and Debarro said they need to be at their best. “They are always a well-coached and structured side so it will be a tough game, we will have to be at our best to get the result,” he said. “We had a good work out against Sorrento and the lads but in a good shift, so on Saturday I’m positive the boys will be up for it.” Melville Coach Gavin Brown said last week was a disappointing result, but they had chances to take something from the game. “The game was very close, we were frustrated to lose the last two to be honest. We felt we could have had a point in both,” he said. “We know Swan will be tough, but we are positive and we view it as a chance to get back on track.”
VALENTINI SPREADING HIS WINGS IN GERMANY
After bursting onto the football scene with Perth Glory Youth side, teenage striker Stefan Valentini made his senior debut for the club in the Westfield FFA Cup tie last season against Newcastle Jets and scored in the shoot-out win. He then made the move to Europe for trails at a number German clubs, and signed for Bundesliga Division Two side Eintracht Braunschweig. He sat down with Footballwa.net to chat about his time in German football.
The 19-year-old has played a number of reserve games for the club this season and has settled in well. “The club welcomed me and fitting in was not a problem. I am living in an apartment with team mates close to the club, this means football 24/7, and I’m enjoy my football,” Valentini explained. “The team is currently sitting seventh on the Regionalliga Nord table, and I’ve been in the squad for all 11 games and had game time in nine, scoring three goals, and also scored in the cup. I’m working extremely hard on my game and I’m really enjoying me time here.”
The move to Germany has been good for the football development of the teenager, and it has been a great learning experience, especially moving from the heat of Perth to the cold of Germany. “My agent Gerhard Janssen, who is a lawyer in Germany and Perth, organized trials in Germany with a number of Bundesliga clubs, so I headed over in December, from plus 40’C in Perth to minus 10 in Dusseldorf,” Valentini said. “The second trial was with Eintracht and I enjoyed the training from the first minute. Everything is professional at the club, in training the players are focused and you can’t slowdown in any session, because everybody is fighting for a spot in the side.”
The clubs first team keep a close eye on the reserves side, and Valentini is hoping to impress the coaching staff. “Some of our players have been selected for the first team, which is motivating to see, and it shows the coaching team are successful in developing young players to the top,” he said. “The coaches are highly motivated to make you better and correct every small detail which is not going 100%, and communicate well with all the players. The quality in the Bundesliga Two is very high; it’s one of the best leagues in the world – even better than most of the other European First Leagues. “The club are not in the promotion race this season, but still has an average crowd of over 21,000 for their home games, but in some games get 30,000 plus, the atmosphere in the stadium is fantastic, the fans push the team and they are the 12thplayer.”
One of the other problems Valentini had to overcome was the language, but he is working hard on his German. “Like I said the first weeks were very, very cold – minus 10 C, but then the team had a winter camp in Turkey, which helped me to acclimatise and I forgot the weather,” he explained. “My agent told me how important it is to learn the language and German is very difficult. It’s been easy, but many people here helped because they speak English. Although I did not speak a word when I arrived, I can now understand a lot and communicate with the lads, as I received German lessons and I read a lot and watch German TV to learn as quick as possible.”
Valentini’s decision to leave the Glory was somewhat of a surprise, but the teenager said Europe is where he’s always wanted to play, and is doing his best to succeed. “May time at Glory was good, and I made some great friends with the players,” he said. “My target was always to go to Europe and get the chance to be educated in the top academies. I saw this, when I trailed in Nuremberg some years ago. But my aim was always to take a chance in Europe and Germany is known as the best football education country. When you train here you see why, all youth team are training under professional standards.”
So what are the plans for Valentini in his football career? He’s hoping to kick on in Europe, but knows he has to keep working hard every day. “My plan is to establish myself here at Braunschweig. They are a very good club with a great history, which you can feel every day. I want to impress as much as possible, so they retain my services, but I know I must perform in every training session and every game,” he said. “I will put extra shifts in as much as I can to improve my game, and hope the club offer me a new contract. If that arrives I well be ready to pay them back on the pitch with a few goals.”
LYDEN OUT FOR TWO MONTHS
Aston Villa has confirmed Australia youth international Jordan Lyden will be sidelined for up to two months due to a torn quad muscle sustained on the weekend. Lyden, who broke through with first team six appearances in 2015/16, had to be replaced 75 minutes into Villa's final day English Premier League loss to Arsenal.
There were initial fears 20-year old Lyden had suffered a serious knee injury with caretaker boss Eric Black saying he'd "tweaked his meniscus". However, Villa have since confirmed it was a thigh/quad problem. "Our medical team hope to see the young Aussie midfielder out on the fields soon after that, ahead of the August 6 Championship opener," a club statement read.
MILLS HEADS DOWNUNDER LOOKING FOR GLORY
Perth Glory has bolstered its defensive stocks for the next two summers after signing experienced English defender Joseph Mills. The 26-year old attacking full-back is a product of Southampton's academy, representing England at youth levels and playing almost 180 times in the English Championship and League One competitions.
Mills said the excitement of a new challenge and playing in a different country was the lure behind his move to Glory. "I know that it is a tough league, but a very technical game, which is one of the reasons why it attracted me to it," he said. "I've enjoyed playing in England so far and had some very successful moments. This was just an opportunity that is something I couldn't turn down. It's a great club that wants to accomplish things, and I want to be a part of that."
Mills' arrival in Perth will also be something of a family reunion with his older brother, Jonathan, calling Western Australia home, for the past five years. "My brother and his wife and son have lived in Perth, so he has always told me about the city and how it's a great place to live," he said. "I don't know any of the current players, but have played against a few of them in England and have run into Andy Keogh a few times over summer while on holiday."
Mills emerged from Southampton's academy set-up in 2008, making his first team debut as an 18-year old before being loaned to Scunthorpe United and Doncaster Rovers. Over the following eight years he spent time with Reading, Burley, Oldham Athletic and Shrewsbury Town, making 178 league and cup appearances. As a teenager Mills represented England at Under-17 and 18 levels.
Mills' plans for the next two-years are simple. "The goal for next season is to try and be competitive and successful in every area that we compete," he said. "I don't enjoy losing and from seeing the team at the end of last season, there seems to be a good winning mentality within the squad." Mills, Glory's fourth signing for next season, is due to arrive in Perth next month ahead of the team's pre-season campaign.
HARGREAVES AND SAM HEAD TO VICTORIA
The stream of players heading over to the PS4NPLVIC from Perth is growing; the latest players to head over East are Floreat Athena’s Declan Hargreaves and former Perth Glory and Bayswater City winger Borbor Sam. Hargreaves has signed for Hume City, while Sam joins Northcote City.
Hargreaves said the move is a great opportunity for him and he’s looking forward to a new challenge. “I’m really excited and looking forward to play for a big club like Hume,” he said. “The move came out of the blue, they contacted me and spoke to me about the club and where they were heading, and they sold it to me, It didn’t take long to make my mind up, and it is a huge challenge.”
The midfielder, who joined Floreat this season from Bayswater City, said he has enjoyed his time their but is convinced the move is the best for his football. “I was dreading telling Floreat coach Glen Grostate, who has been great since I joined the club,” he explained. “But he was excited for me to try this opportunity, and I can’t thank him enough, and I wish Floreat all the best for the rest of the season.”
Hume City head coach Lou Acevski said he is looking forward to the energy Hargreaves will provide to the Hume City midfield. “Declan is a defensive midfielder who can also play as a box to box midfielder and has a tireless work ethic”, Acevski told the clubs website. “He has plenty of senior experience for a young player and I’m looking forward to helping him reaching the next level of his career at Hume City.”
Raised in Liverpool, Hargreaves moved to Australia as a youngster and played his junior football at ECU Joondalup. He has also enjoyed spells at the NTC and Perth Glory Youth, before joining Bayswater City where he had a successful three year stint. Hargreaves said he wants to play at the highest level he can, and will see what happens over in Victoria. “I’m not getting ahead of myself; my main concern is playing good football for Hume, “he said. “It will be one step at a time, because you never know what around the corner in this game.”
Sam headed to Hobart at the start of the season to join Olympia FC, but he couldn’t settle and the move to the NPLVIC is a great opportunity for him. “The move to Olympia was the wrong one, it just wasn’t me, and I decided to head home,” he said. “A few clubs in Perth spoke to me, about my next move but when Northcote contacted me there was only one place I wanted to go.”
Like Hargreaves, the move to Victoria came out of the blue, but it was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down. “To be honest I was just enjoying not playing football for a while, but they (Northcote) approached my agent, and told us the future they have planned for the club, and I liked what I heard, so I jumped on board, and so far it’s been good.”
Northcote sit on the bottom of the table, but Sam said he can’t wait to get started in the side and help push them up the table. “It’s a big challenge, but it’s not impossible, and right now I think they are good enough to match any of the bottom eight teams,” he said. “They are struggling up front and lacking a little confidence, so we’ve added a few new faces, and hope it will get the team going.”
Sam had a taste of the A-League with Perth Glory and he has ambitions to play at that level in the future and he said all he can do is play well for Northcote and see what happens. “It’s a great opportunity for me to show clubs what I can do, and with us on the bottom of the ladder gives me a chance to shine and perform,” he explained. “I’ll be doing all I can to get them out of relegation, and if that attracts A-League club, then so be it. But my main concern is performing for Northcote and the rest will look after itself.”
GLORY YOUNGSTERS TO TAKE ON THE WORLD IN MALAYSIA
Perth Glory youngster fly out to Malaysia on Saturday morning to take part in the annual Frenz International Cup. The tournament sees some the best youngster from around the world taking part. The Glory along with hosts Frenz United, are joined by Club Estudiantes de La Plata from Argentina, Suwon Samsung Bluewings from South Korea, Kashima Antlers FC from Japan, Besiktas JK from Turkey, Sport Club Internacional from Brazil and Chonburi Football Club from Thailand.
It’s the first time the Glory have been invited to the under 18’s tournament, and while the tournament is aimed at promoting and developing football within Asia, Glory’s youth Coach John Gibson said the experience will be invaluable for Glory's youngsters. “This is a wonderful opportunity to test ourselves against arguably the world’s best” he told the Glory website. “We are taking boys who have started university or are still finishing high school, some of who are as young as 14. For them it will be an amazing experience and one they will never forget.”
Glory has three teams in the PS4NPLWA competition (U-18s U-20s and senior team) but have been able to re-schedule some local fixtures to accommodate the international trip. “We’d like to thank those clubs, who’ve enabled us to take this offer up. To be the only club in Australia participating in this international tournament is a testament to everyone involved at Perth Glory” Gibson said. Glory’s 19-man squad flies out on Saturday morning and will tackle host side Frenz United FC on Monday night at the Pasir Gudang stadium in the southern Malaysian state of Johor.
BIRIGHITTI EARNS DREAM SOCCEROOS RECALL
Mark Birighitti has been rewarded for a fantastic A-League season with the Newcastle Jets by being recalled for the Socceroos high-profile friendlies with England and Greece. The 25-year old goalkeeper replaces injured goalkeeper Mitch Langerak in the squad where he joins fellow West Australian Josh Risdon. Birighitti's only appearance for Australia to date came against China in 2013 but he's hopeful of adding to that against England (27 May) and Greece (4 and 7 June).
"It's amazing, it's a great feeling, when you get a call-up to represent your country at any level, it's a dream come true," said Birighitti, who was part of Australia's preliminary squad for the 2014 World Cup. "Playing against England is massive ... to come up against England who have a lot of world class players - (Wayne) Rooney, (Jamie) Vardy, Harry Kane and these boys - it's going to be a massive opportunity and I'm really looking forward to it."
"England will be heading into the Euros so it's going to be a big game for them as well, and it's going to be a good test for us to see where we come up against the world's best. We showed we could take it to them at the World Cup - Holland, Spain, the likes of them - and I don't see why we can't do the same against England. And then the Greece double-headers, they're going to be massive. Melbourne has a big Greek community. I'm looking forward to getting into camp and really give it a good crack."
A good showing against England or Greece will boost Birighitti's chances of securing a dream move abroad. "Being with the national team and after the year that I've had, now is a perfect time to head back and end up overseas," said Birighitti, who earlier this month knocked back a contract extension at Newcastle. "My agents Frank Trimboli and Vinny Grella are working really hard for me to find the best possible move for me. They've been fantastic. Hopefully in the next few weeks we'll have some good news and they'll fine me a good club in Europe.
"They're speaking to clubs all over the world, they're working hard, they're good people and they've got a lot of good players in big clubs around the world, so I'm definitely in good hands. Australian goalkeepers do have a very good name in Europe. I want to make sure when I go overseas this time I stay over there. You see a lot of Australian players go overseas, they spend two or three years there and then they come back."
"I want to go over there and make sure I stay over there for 10-15 years and not come back to Australia. European football is where it's at. (Mark) Schwarzer is the ultimate professional, he's someone I've looked up to for many years, and look at all the success he's had for the national team and club level, wherever he's gone he's always had success, hopefully I can follow in his footsteps."
Australia's squad to play England (27 May) is Aziz Behich, Mark Birighitti, Milos Degenek , Adam Federici, Craig Goodwin, Chris Ikonomidis, Bradden Inman, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, , Tomi Juric, Robbie Kruse, Massimo Luongo, Matt McKay, Jamie Maclaren, Stefan Mauk, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Josh Risdon, Tom Rogic, Mat Ryan, Brad Smith, Alex Wilkinson and Bailey Wright.
Australia's squad to face Greece (4 and 7 June) is Mark Birighitti, Nathan Burns, Tim Cahill, Adam Federici, Jason Geria, Alex Gersbach, Apostolos Giannou, Chris Ikonomidis, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, Robbie Kruse, Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren, Ryan McGowan, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Josh Risdon, Tom Rogic, Mathew Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith, Matthew Spiranovic and Bailey Wright.
GLORY SING THE BLUES OVER MUSIC CONCERTS
Perth Glory could be forced to play two extra A-League games interstate next season in a major blow to their title hopes, with the club fuming at its home ground being booked out for concerts. The club has been forced to consider alternative locations for at least one home game in both November and March, with Perth Oval unavailable because of tentative bookings made by the State Government's venue operator VenuesWest.
Glory chief executive Peter Filopoulos contacted the WA Football Commission yesterday in a late bid to get the two home matches that are up in the air moved to Subiaco Oval. The club will have to hand over hosting rights to their A-League rivals if a switch is not made. That scenario would force Glory to play outside of Perth for at least three weeks running on two occasions next season.
A decision by VenuesWest to carry out turf maintenance at Perth Oval for three weeks, including Christmas and New Year, has also robbed Glory of a bumper period for home games. "It's bemusing that the Government spent $95 million on a venue primarily for use by Glory and (ruby team Western) Force and we embark on a fixturing process with the venue unavailable for a large portion of dates," Filopoulos said. "I don't think we've been treated with respect."
LYDEN DAMAGES KNEE
Aston Villa midfielder faces an anxious wait to determine the extent of his knee injury sustained in Aston Villa's 4-0 defeat at Arsenal. The youngster was handed only his second Premier League start at the Emirates but was forced off after 75 minutes.
Caretaker boss Eric Black insisted it was too soon to make an accurate assessment on Lyden when he was asked after the game. "He's tweaked his meniscus a little bit I think," he said, which means Lyden will know more in the next 48 hours.
Injury thwarted 20-year old Lyden last year when a hamstring injury halted his first team progress. But after fighting back from the set-back, he went on to be the outstanding performer for the under-21s this season and also break into the senior squad.
LIONS BRING THE CURTIN DOWN ON UNI’S CUP RUN
Stirling Lions were made to work hard to reach the Westfield FFA Cup preliminary round Semi-Final after a 5-2 extra time win against Division Two side Curtin University at Macedonia Park on Saturday evening. Jason Rubidge was the star for the home side bagging a hat-trick, but the Lions were made to work hard for the result. Rubidge opened the scoring, before Arijab Stovrag pulled Curtin level. It looked like Rubidge’s second goal had won it for Stirling but Khaled Salhah scored a stoppage time equaliser. But in extra time Brodie Martin, Rubidge and Blamo Quaqua scored to give Stirling the win. “They scored a very good free kick which put pressure on us and gave them a lot of energy. Curtin's defensive approach worked very well and we found it very difficult finding during the rest of the 90 minutes,” Stirling midfielder Daniel Micevski said. “We picked up our game in extra time and eventually found avenues to goal.”
The home side made the perfect start and they were ahead after only five minutes, Teeboy Kamara finding Rubidge who made no mistake past Jack Kenny. Curtin were under the pump but against the run of play they equalised. The visitors won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area and Stovrag finished superbly past Connor Campbell. Both sides had chances for the rest of the half, but at the break a surprise was on the card.
Curtin were outstanding in defence at the start of the second half as the hosts pressed, and the home side were getting frustrated, but that all changed eleven minutes from time when Rubidge scoring his second. But credit to Curtin they never gave up and in the first minute of stoppage time they scored a dramatic equaliser. A quick counter attack combined a number of crisp passes ended with the ball at the feet of Salhah and he fired home and was mobbed by his teammates.
In extra time the home side took control and five minutes in they regained the lead. David and Daniel Micevski played a short free kick that deflected into the path of Martin, who finished clinically. It was 4-2 in the second period of extra time, Quaqua playing in Rubidge to score and complete his hat-trick. The icing was put on the late in the final minute when after some good build up play Quaqua finished well.
SUPER SUB WITSCHGE SENDS INGLEWOOD INTO SEMI-FINALS
A goal from second half substitute Scott Witschge in extra time has given Inglewood United a narrow 2-1 win against Balcatta in the Westfield FFA Cup preliminary round Quarter-Final at Grindleford Reserve. Mark Pritchard put the visitors ahead early, before teenage striker Cameron Teece levelled for Balcatta. The home side, who had Alex Suleski and skipper Kieron Stallard sent off, forced the game into extra time, but Witschge had the final word, heading Inglewood into the last four.
“It was a typical cup game dogged end to end football and we were made to earn our semi-final place, and credit to Balcatta being down to nine men and still keeping the pressure on us till the end,” said Inglewood midfielder Calum O’Connell. “But I think we showed why we are where we are at the moment. We absorb all the pressure and knew if we got it into extra time we would have the quality and numbers to put it to bed. And that's what we did. But in saying that we had more opportunities to finish the game off in the 90 minutes.”
The visitors, who top the PS4NPLWA table, had a perfect start in this one and were ahead on 14 minutes, and Balcatta were reduced to ten men. Alex Suleski brought down Brian Woodall on the edge of the penalty area, and referee Mathew Southern deemed him as the last man and sent him off. Pritchard stepped up and curled the resulting free kick into the top corner of the net to give Inglewood the lead. It was almost two on the half hour, O’Connell’s curling shot beat Clint Davies, but the post came to the rescue of the Balcatta custodian.
But two minutes later the ten men equalised. Teece wasn’t closed down on the edge of the penalty area and his low shot beat Alex Dunn, and into the bottom corner of the net. Inglewood had the perfect opportunity to regain the lead moments later, when they were awarded a penalty, when Adam Tong was brought down by Stallard. O’Connell stepped up, but Davies guessed the right way to save. Balcatta were convinced they had a penalty of their own just before half time, when it looked like Feisal Zaw was brought down in the penalty area, but a free kick on the edge of the penalty area was awarded instead, much to the frustration of the Balcatta players.
After the break Inglewood looked to make their numerical advantage count, but they found Davies in good form, the keeper saving well to deny Woodall early. The keeper was beaten on 53 minutes, Pritchard’s curling shot crashed off the post, and Tong’s shot from the rebound was well saved by Davies. It looked like it wasn’t going to be Inglewood’s day and Balcatta grew in confidence and Teece’s goal bound shot late on was superbly blocked by Inglewood skipper David Cyrus. But in stoppage time Balcatta were reduced to nine men when Stallard was given his marching orders after a second yellow card.
In extra time and it was end-to-end football, and Inglewood’s Kenny Keogh saw his shot well saved by Davies, before Balcatta’s Zelfy Nazary fired across the face of goal after a quick counter attack. But it was Inglewood who regained the lead on 102 minutes. Jason Barrera’s corner picked out Witschge who rose highest to head home. Davies kept his side in the game producing another stunning save to deny Keogh again in the second period, but at the final whistle it is Inglewood, who will go into the bag for the Semi-Final draw next week.
ANDREA TRIPLE THREAT FOR COCKERELS
Cockburn City put their poor PS4NPLWA form behind them with a 5-1 win against Division One side Gosnells City at Dalmatinac Park, and put them into the final four of the Westfield FFA Cup preliminary round. Spanish striker Angel Andres netted a first half hat trick, before Dean Aplegren pulled one back midway through the second half. But a brace from Liam Murray late in the game gave the home side a comfortable win. “It was a professional performance by the boys,” skipper Euen Grant said. “We took our chances and we won pretty comfortably in the end.”
The home side were ahead after only 16 minutes, Cameron Edwards free kick picked out Andres, who lost his marker and he made no mistake, looping his shot over former Cockburn keeper Jack Adams. Andres, who topped the Division One scoring chart last season at Dianella White Eagles, added his second on the half hour. He was brought down in the box by Trent Blewett and referee David Bruce pointed to the spot. The striker picked himself up sent Adams the wrong way from the resulting penalty.
Then in the shadows of half time Andres added his, and Cockburn’s third. Ruben Tristao broke forward and played in Andres, whose shot on the turn flew into the corner of the net. The visitors were better after the break and Luke Radonich had to be alert to deny Wade Farmer, and Gosnells were rewarded on 66 minutes. Sean Taylor made ground down the right and cut the ball to Aplegren at the near post and he stabbed the ball home from close-range.
It was game on, but sixty seconds later Cockburn restored their three goal advantage. Murray, who had replaced Andrea on the hour, raced between two defenders, and lobbed the on-coming Jack Adams. Gosnells pressed looking to get back into the game but were caught out again nine minutes from time. Harry O’Brien pounced on a loose ball, and found Murray who finished into an empty net to give the Cockerels a comprehensive win.
ATHENA COME FROM BEHIND TO BEAT REDS
Floreat Athena came from 0-2 down to beat Armadale 6-3 at the E&D Litis Stadium, and Lewis McMahon bagged a hat-trick, to lead the club into the Westfield FFA Cup preliminary round Semi-Final. Anthony Skorich and Jackson Bealey had given the visitors a two goal lead in the shadows of half time, but two late goals from McMahon levelled. The English striker completed his hat-trick after the break, while Jon Stynes bagged a brace and Phil Arnold added the sixth, Dylan White scored Armadale’s consolation goal. “It was a strange game, we were lucky to be drawing at half time, but in the second half the lads dug in, and eventually we clicked,” midfielder Declan Hargreaves said. “I’m just happy to move on to the semi-final and hopefully go the whole way.”
It was a tight opening, but the best early chance fell to the visitors on 24 minutes. Ellis Healing’s in-swinging corner was heading for the top corner, but Jason Saldaris got back to touch it over the bar at full stretch. But 15 minutes later Armadale hit the front, Skorich holding off his marker and rounding Jason Saldaris and scored into an empty net. Then four minutes later Armadale doubled their advantage. Bealey was given far too much space in the middle of the park, and he strode forward and curled the ball home superbly, much to the delight of the Armadale faithful.
But their cheers were short lived and McMahon pulled one back sixty seconds later. Armadale failed to clear their lines and the striker made them pay, firing home. Then in stoppage time Floreat levelled, McMahon volleying home superbly, giving Alfie Brincat no chance in the Armadale goal. It was an amazing start to the second half and Floreat hit the front in the opening minute, their third goal in as many minutes. Stynes racing clear, and finishing with aplomb past Brincat.
Armadale pressed for the equaliser but they were picked off again in the 75th minute. McMahon skipped clear of his marker, raced into the box and finished clinically past the keeper. The Armadale heads dropped and they conceded a fifth, four minutes later, Arnold on hand to score from close-range. It was six on 82 minutes, McMahon’s pin point cross picked out Stynes, who lost his marker to score. The goal of the night came two minutes later from Armadale, White’s long-range shot flew into the corner of the net, but it was too little too late.
FFA CUP QUARTER-FINAL - PREVIEW
The PS4 NPLWA takes a break this weekend and the Quarter-Finals of the Westfield FFA Cup takes centre stage. The pick of the games and the Footballwa.net Match of the Week is Division One side Gosnells City’s trip to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City. The Cockerels have struggled recently in the league, but they played well in the last round to beat Champions Bayswater City and Coach Scott Miller said they will be looking for more of the same this week. “It was a really good performance, “he said. “It was a great confidence builder for the boys, especially beating a very good team like Bayswater.” Cockburn last won the state league cup in 1985, then known as Spearwood Dalmatinac, and they will be hoping to add another one to their honour board this season, but Miller said it will be a tough game against Gosnells. “They (Gosnells) have recruited well and have good coaches and a good squad, so we’re not surprised to see them doing so well.” In team news Miller is sweating on the fitness of skipper Euen Grant, David Araya, Angel Andres Luke Radonich and Cameron Edwards.
Gosnells, who won the cup for the only time in 1982, had the long trip to Margaret River in the last round, and ended the cup dream of the minnows, and midfielder Caleb Aquino said the win in the cup games has kick started their season. “It was a good win and a confidence boost for us in front of goal,” he explained. “We failed to convert our chances against Rockingham two days prior to the game, so it was good to get a big win and we’ve kicked on since then.” Aquino knows Saturday’s game will be a huge challenge, but they go there looking for the win. “Cockburn is a challenge the whole team is really pumped for,” he said. “They have some really good players; with the likes of Cameron Edwards and David Araya, and having played in the NPL I know they are going to be a big task. But as a team we just hope to keep progressing and play to our philosophy and if do we are confident we have every chance of causing an upset.” Gosnells head into the game without the long term injured Jacob Aquino, but apart from that they are at full strength.
There is an all NPL clash at Grindleford Reserve, when Balcatta hosts league leaders Inglewood United. Balcatta had to overcome Cup specialists Ashfield in a hard fought 2-1 win in the last round, while Inglewood eased past Dianella White Eagles 7-1. Inglewood coach Taki Nicolaidis said it was a professional performance against the Division One opposition “Those types of games can be tricky and Dianella, who beat ECU Joondalup in the last round, had pushed us well until half time,” he said. “But I felt the experience and fitness was the difference in the second half and I thought the lads put in a good all-round performance.” The coach said Saturday’s game will be a tough one, but he’s hoping his side can continue their good form. “Balcatta will be a very difficult opponent this week. Whilst they have started the league season slowly they have been in very good form of late, hitting the back of the net with ease scoring 12 goals over the last three games,” Nicolaidis explained. “This game is very important to us and we’ll need to make sure we are at our very best if we are to get a win and proceed into the next round.” In team news Ashley Rosindale comes back into the squad after missing last week’s league game with injury, so Nicolaidis has a full squad to choose from.
Balcatta coach Marc Anthony said the win at Ashfield continued their good run, but he said they had to work hard for the win. “It was a very tough and physical game in the last round, but I thought we deserved to win it,” he said. “But if anything it taught our young and inexperienced lads a valuable lesson and we hope they can continue their improvement.” Anthony said home ground advantage is the key on Saturday, and he hopes to make the most of it, but said they will be playing the best side in the league. “In my opinion they (Inglewood) are at the minute the best team in the league, so that tells you how tough this week’s game will be,” he explained. “We do have home ground advantage, and they say football is a funny old game and it’s the magic of cup, so anything is possible.” Balcatta will be without Anthony Baboushka and Conor Kavanagh for the game, but Carlo Coelho and Cameron Teece will replace them.
Curtin University will be flying the flag for Division Two sides when they make the trip to Macedonia Park to take on Stirling Lions (5.30pm) Curtin beat Canning City 2-0 in the last round, while Stirling edged out Perth SC 2-1. Curtin Coach Campbell Ballentyne said the win was built on a strong defence. “I thought we performed very well in the last round, and defensively I thought we were outstanding,” he said. “That effort, led by Mark Matkovic, who was singled out by the Canning officials, saw us home and it was a great performance from the lads.” Ballentyne said he understands they go into the game as underdogs, but he said stranger things have happened in football. “Stirling is a huge challenge for us. They have been the powerhouse of WA football for decades, and we are very much the new boys on the block, in only our third season in the state league,” he explained. “To get a result everything will have to go right for us and perhaps something goes wrong for them, but I think we are probably a bit closer than Leicester City’s 5000 to 1 to win the EPL.” In team news Albert Bucchino played 90 minutes in the reserves last week, after returning from injury, and should be available, while Kristian Beven and Mark Matkovic didn’t play against Melville last week, but are available for selection on Saturday.”
Stirling Lions have won the cup on six occasions, and Coach Rob Milevski said the win against Perth SC was just like a cup final. “It was definitely a hard fought win against a solid Perth side. The game was played at a fast pace, like a cup final, and even though we conceded early in the game, it was a good team performance to come from behind to secure the win,” he said. “It was a good weekend for us having beaten Inglewood on the Saturday and then to knock Perth out of the FFA cup on Monday, was a great result for the club.” Saturday’s game is a real ‘David v Goliath’ clash, but Milevski said his players are focused on reaching the next round. “The team is looking forward to Saturday’s game against Curtin, it’s a great cup tie for the neutrals,” he said. “We will be going into the game with a full strength squad and hopefully make our supporters proud and advance to the semi-finals.” Striker Robert Petkov looks doubtful with injury, but with the Micevski brothers playing well, and Johnny Perkins pinning a tight defence the Lions should be too strong, but you never know in the cup.
The final game of the Quarter-finals takes us to the E&D Litis Stadium when Floreat Athena entertains Armadale. Floreat, who last won the cup in 2009, won 5-1 in the last round; a game English striker Lewis McMahon said could have been a tricky. “It was big win, we were favourites going into the game, but it’s not always an easy game playing teams in lower divisions,” he explained. “But fair play to the boys, as we stuck to our tasks and did a professional job and comfortably won the tie.” McMahon has had success in the UK in Cup games and said he hopes his experience can help the side reach the National part of the draw. “I’ve been fortunate to play in a number of cup competitions back home, and I was involved in Sheffield Wednesday’s play-off winning side which got promoted to the Championship in 2005,” he explained. “I played in numerous FA Cup and League Cup games, and hopefully we can get through the next two cup ties and play in the National Competition and we might draw an A-League club.”
The striker knows Armadale will be tough to beat but he believes they have the players to get the job done. “It will be another tough game against Armadale. They have a couple of good players, who can win matches if we let them play,” McMahon said. “But if we play like we can, I believe we can beat anyone in this league.” Floreat go into the game with a full squad to choose from.
Armadale ended the run of last season’s cup winners Sorrento in the last round, and English midfielder Ellis Healing said it was a typical cup game. “I really enjoyed the game, and it’s probably our best performance of the season,” he said. “It was certainly our best performance as a team and if we play that more often we will start picking up more points.” Healing, who celebrated his birthday in midweek, said he is hoping to reach his first cup final, but has played in many Semi-Finals. “Playing in a Cup Final is one thing I’ve not achieved in the game, so I’ll be doing all I can to do it this season,” he explained. “I’ve played in a couple of big cup games, the best was in the Europa League for Airbus (Welsh Premier League). There is something special about any cup games but against a foreign team in a competition like that was my best footballing experience.” The midfielder said Floreat have been good this season and it will be a tough game, but he said the team are all looking forward to the challenge and getting through to the Semi-Finals. “They (Floreat) are a good team, who we will have to respect and realise it will be a tough game,” he said. “But we know if we perform as we know we can, we can beat anyone on our day.” There is a few injuries Armadale will be sweating on, but they do have Dannie Richman and Anthony Skorich available after both impressing in the reserves.
STATE LEAGUE RESERVES CUP QUARTER-FINAL - PREVIEW
It’s the State League Reserves Cup quarter-finals this weekend and the footballwa.net Match of the Round is Perth Glory’s clash against ECU Joondalup at Grindleford Reserve on Saturday (12.15pm) The Glory were made to fight hard for the 4-3 win against Subiaco in the last round, and Coach Bobby Despotovski said it could have gone either way. “The last round was a really hard game against a good Subiaco side, but we did progress through,” he said. “Sometimes you have to earn your passage to the next round the hard way and that’s what we did in a tight encounter.” The Glory played ECU last week in the league, and they ran out convincing winners, but Despotovski said it will be a different game this week. “We expect this time to be a much harder game, as they (ECU) had a number of players unavailable for the game,” he said. “So we have to be even better than last Saturday to get anything out of the game, if we want to progress further.” Chok Dau has been in fine form in front of goal, scoring seven league goals, while Sam Pollard has bagged five. Ignacio Dominguez scored twice last week against ECU, while keeper Riley Stephenson has also been in good form.
ECU Joondalup won convincingly against Balcatta in the last round a game Coach Howard Tweats said was outstanding. “As a group we were pleased to beat Balcatta and progress to the next round,” he said. “There were many positives to come out of the game, offensively we enjoyed good periods of possession, during which we created numerous chances, and we took five of them. The pleasing factor was the goals were scored by five different players, and we’ve been working on our support play around the ball, and the players got their rewards.” Tweats said Saturday’s thrashing at the Glory in the league will have no bearing on this week’s cup game and they will be doing all they can to progress into the Semi-Final. “Sometimes you have to give credit when it’s due, and the Glory were value for their victory last week. Their approach, structure, ball and player management were excellent on the day,” he said. “But saying that there’s no doubt in my mind that the tie will be a tight affair, regardless of the previous games, the players are confident and eager for the challenge and with the right attitude and application on the day the young Jacks can make the Semi-Finals.” Youngsters Stefan Vranesvic, Keylun Pollard, Paddy Doyle and Coire MGuigan will be vital for the Jacks, and their form has been rewarded in recent weeks with all making their first team debuts this season.
Bayswater City heads to Dalmatinac Park on Saturday to take on fellow NPL side Sorrento. Sorrento beat Western Knights on penalties in the last round, while Bayswater thrashed Kelmscott Roos 11-1. City coach Chris Barbas said the big win was important after a disappointing league game. “We had a disappointing result against Armadale before the last round, and the boys had to front up and play a team we knew nothing about,” he said. “So our focus was on playing the brand of football we knew we can play, and right from the first whistle we turned it on, so it was pleasing to bounce back and win the game with ease.” Bayswater beat the Gulls 3-2 in the league three weeks ago, and Barbas said Sorrento’s league position doesn’t mean anything in a cup game and is expecting another tough game. “Sorrento form doesn’t reflect their position on the table, and since we last played them their form has improved,” he said. “They will come into the game with confidence knowing they could have got a result against us last time out, so we need to be at our best if we are to progress into the semi-finals. “Strikers Taiban Mokoli, who is due to join the Sudan training camp shortly, will be one to watch, while skipper Alex Wild has been outstanding, his form earning home a spot in the first team squad in recent weeks.
In other games Stirling Lions take on Division Two side Quinns FC at Macedonia Park (3pm). Quinns FC beat Rockingham City 2-0 at Gumblossom Park last round, while the Lions beat Perth SC 5-4 on penalties. In the final game Floreat Athena entertains Division One side Forrestfield United. Floreat beat UWA-Nedlands 4-2 in the last round, while Forrestfield were involved in a tight game, and Coach Ian Coffey said they played well to beat Joondalup United. “As always Joondalup once again proved to be tough opponents,” he said. “They were well-organised and played at a high intensity throughout the game, but our superior possession and composure in front of goal proved to be the difference on the day.” Coffey said they go into the game with confidence after a good draw against Mandurah City last week, but said all the teams left in competition can win it. “All teams that have reached this far in the cup deserve to be taken very seriously and no doubt Floreat will be a tough side. We will continue with our style of football and although we play to win, it is not our main objective as we focus on developing players for the first team,” he said. “Our side is fairly young with only a handful of collective games behind them, but improving by the day and we are very much looking forward to the challenge against an NPL side.” Goalkeeper Ben Perry has been outstanding, and in the middle of the park Josh Barnes has been good, while up front Sedad Yagli and Ben Fraser continue to impress.
STATE LEAGUE UNDER 18’S CUP QUARTER-FINAL - PREVIEW
The footballwa.net Match of the Round in the State League under 18’s cup is clash between NPL sides Balcatta and Inglewood United at Grindleford Reserve. Both sides had to work hard to reach this stage, Balcatta winning on penalties against Ashfield, while Inglewood edged out Stirling Lions. Inglewood Coach Richard Abrams said the win made up for a poor performance against the Lions in the league on the Saturday before the cup game. “We came undone against Stirling on the Saturday, and it was a poor performance in a 4-1 loss, so going to Stirling two days later and winning was very nice,” he said. “The lads executed the game plan very well and were in control for the 90 minutes which was very pleasing.” It’s not been the best start to the league season for Inglewood, and they were beaten by Saturday’s opponents in the league in Week 2, but Abrams said it was a tight game and they will be looking to turn it around in the cup. “The game against Balcatta earlier in the season was a cracking game, and it could have gone either way,” he said. “We created enough chances to win two games, however Balcatta held out and credit to them took all three points. Hopefully on Saturday we can turn the tables and reach the Semi-Finals.” Striker Nik Challot has been a handful all season and will need to be watched closely on Saturday, while at the back Nelson Tshongo and keeper Rhys McFarland will need to be solid. Challot will be hoping for some supply from the flank, with Luke Garas also having a good season.
Balcatta Coach Nigel Smith said the win at Ashfield was hard fought but the lads just did enough. “I thought Ashfield played really well, and pushed us all the way to the end, we had a man sent off with 20 minutes remaining, but lads held firm to force a penalty shootout,” he said. “Our keeper JJ (Josiah Godfrey) has been in great form this season and proved to be the difference between the two teams, saving three of the four penalties.” Smith said Saturday’s game will be another tight contest, as they look to end a poor run of results. “Following three losses on the bounce for us, Inglewood will fancy their chances,” he said. “It will be a hard contest, but hopefully we can bounce back from the three narrow defeats we have had and get back to winning ways.” Keeper Godfrey will have a huge bearing on the outcome of this game, he has been outstanding this season. Tim Higgins has been finding the net in recent weeks, while Matt Alessandrino has made the step up from the under 16’s well, but Smith said he is looking for good performances from all his players on Saturday.
Last season’s Cup winners Subiaco take on Division Two side Wanneroo City at Macedonia Park (12.45pm) Subiaco knocked out league leaders Perth Glory 3-1 in the last round, while Wanneroo beat Quinns FC in a local derby also 3-1. Subiaco coach Ian McMurray said the lads were great in the last round, after being beaten well by the Glory the week before in the league. “Yes, we played the Glory two days before, and we were well beaten 4-0 which was extremely disappointing. The lads just never turned up that day, and it was fortunate in a way, that we played them, two days later to put it right. I told the boys I wanted a reaction and to go out and show exactly how good you are,” he said. “We set out to play the same way but the hunger was there. Glory are a very good side and it was good to see the boy’s show how well they can play especially against a very good side.” McMurray said no one gives Wanneroo a chance, but they will be up for the game and in Cup games anything can happen. “I’m sure it will be a tough match against Wanneroo. It doesn't matter what Division they are in, to reach the quarter final shows they will be a good side,” he said. “We know we will have to be disciplined and play as well as we can to win the match.” Goalkeeper Michael Cohen has been in good form for the side and will be important again this week, while midfielder Graeme Stewart and striker Asher Nelson have also been good for Subiaco this season, and both will have a big role to play in the game.
In the other game Floreat Athena entertain Canning City at the E&D Litis Stadium. Floreat beat Gosnells City in the last round, while Canning travelled to Hartfield Park and beat Ellenbrook United 3-0. There is another all NPL game when Cockburn City hosts Sorrento at Dalmatinac Park. Cockburn, who were beaten on penalties in last season’s Final, needed them to beat Bayswater City (4-2 in the shootout) in the last round, while Sorrento overcame Armadale 3-2. Sorrento coach Ryan Jeans said the win at Armadale was fantastic and showed great character from his side. “It was a great result for the boys at Armadale, this after a couple of disappointing results in previous league games,’ he said. “It was more impressive because we had to come back from 0-2 down, which showed great character and hopefully we can show that same level of desire on Saturday.” Both these sides met in the league recently and it ended in a ten goal thriller, but Jeans is hoping for a victory this time around. “It will be another tough test, as all games have been this season, especially away from home. The under 18’s league has proven to be very even this year and we are confident of beating anyone we come against,” he explained. “The last time we played them in the league it was a strange game, which finished 4-6 to Cockburn, so we will be hoping to fix that this time and get ourselves in the Semi-Finals.” Sorrento haven’t been helped by injuries so far this season, especially a couple of strikers. Young Danny Jones returned to the side last weekend after missing a few weeks through injury and will have an impact for the Gulls now he is back. BJ Grant has also been in good form in a different midfield role in recent weeks, while Matt Kelland and Jackson Christie have both scored a few goals each recently, so Jeans hopes they can carry on that form into this important game.
BIRIGHITTI LOOKS SET FOR MOVE TO EUROPE
Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti looks certain to leave the club, having declined a new contract offer. Having made no secret of his desire to have a second shot at securing a career in Europe, Birighitti has politely rebuffed Newcastle’s offer to negotiate a new deal and his management have stepped up their efforts to find a new club overseas. Birighitti, who spent part of last season on loan to Italian side Verona, won both his club’s and Members’ Player of the Year awards.
ZADKOVICH ONE OF FIVE TO LEAVE THE GLORY
Perth Glory have started their clear out for next season, when the club said farewell to five players, including former Socceroos midfielder Ruben Zadkovich. The club announced on Saturday the departure of Hungarian duo Gyorgy Sandor and Krisztian Vadocz along with Diogo Ferreira and Hagi Gligor, while chronic knee injuries forced veteran Zadkovich into early retirement.
It’s reported the club made big efforts to re-sign Sandor, but the midfielder was set on a return to Europe to be closer to his family. Glory Coach Kenny Lowe and owner Tony Sage has been proactive in the transfer window signing Australia players Adam Taggart, Chris Herd and Rhys Williams, while Sage was also in Madrid midweek to negotiate a new contract for Johnny Warren Medal winner Diego Castro.
Perth recognised the efforts of the departing players during their end of season awards night, including a tribute to Zadkovich’s 151 game A-League career. The midfielder, who turns 30 this month, has been assisting Glory Youth team coach John Gibson in the past season and is currently in discussions with the club about the prospect of a coaching career. “It’s been an agonising and frustrating 12 months and it’s a very serious injury which has ended my days as a footballer,” Zadkovich said.
"I'm extremely grateful to have played the game I love most. It has given me everything I dreamed of as a young kid. I've got no regrets. As this next chapter unfolds, I'll be focusing on developing my coaching skills, and give back to the game that served me so well. To the mates I've made in this game, the guys I went into battle with each week, and I’d like to thank them for their comradeship over the years."
LYDEN EYEING FIRST SOCCEROOS CALL-UP
Aston Villa youngster Jordan Lyden is hoping to push his way into the Socceroos after getting his first taste of top flight football. Lyden, who joined Villa from ECU Joondalup in 2012, has risen through the ranks over the past few seasons to establish himself as one of the English Premier League club’s top prospects.
The 20-year old midfielder was involved with the senior team for the first time in early December and has gone on to make five appearances for Villa, including his first start last month against Bournemouth. And he is likely see a lot more playing time next season when already-relegated Villa take their place in the Championship.
In the meantime, Lyden has set his sights on gaining his first senior international call-up. The Socceroos will play England in a friendly later this month and Lyden admits that he would love to be involved in Ange Postecoglou’s squad.
“Australia are playing England on 27 May up at the Stadium of Light, so whether I get a call-up for that I’m not sure,” he said. “Obviously that would be a dream come true to play for your country. It’s every boy’s dream, so finger’s crossed, you never know.”
Lyden, who missed much of last season with a hamstring injury, captained Villa’s Under-21s this season. They are set to face Arsenal in Tuesday’s Premier League Division 2 play-off final and, having beaten the Gunners in their two previous meetings this season, the skipper is confident of getting a positive result.
“We’ve put a lot of work in this season,” Lyden said. “We’ve got one more game now against Arsenal on Tuesday, so hopefully we can win that and progress into the top league. We’ve played them twice already this year and done well against them. They’re a very good footballing side, but I feel we’re more than capable of getting a result.”
LOWE REFLECTS ON THE SEASON THAT WAS
Kenny Lowe is now the Glory’s longest serving head coach in the clubs A-League era, the former Birmingham player sat down and spoke to the Glory website and reflected on what's been a morale boosting 2015/2016 campaign for all involved at the club. The boys from the West ended its eleventh season in the Hyundai A-League in fifth spot, and it gave them a place in the finals for the fourth time in the competition's history.
The English-born 54-year-old admitted even he was somewhat surprised by their season. “We’re in a position where we didn’t think we’d be,” Lowe said. “I thought it would take longer to develop or grow the credibility and trust both on and off the park. We seem to have done it in a short space of time, so from that perspective everyone’s really pleased with how the season’s gone.”
Lowe however maintained the squad was always “very competitive” despite a lack of results early in the season. “I always thought we were close, we were very competitive and organised,” he said. “I think bringing in the experience of Andy Keogh, Christian [Vadocz], of Shane [Lowry] in the window, and then obviously the foreign boys like Castro settling in… it all fell into place,” Lowe said. “The people that came in were of high quality and added value to the team on and off the park.”
The club have added a WA flavor to the squad for next season, with 13 players born or raised in WA, and Lowe said it bodes well for the future of the club. “It’s deliberate, but they’ve got to be good players,” Lowe explained. “The big thing for me is that you don’t cheat the Perth Glory shirt. You’ve got to be of a certain level and standard…and if you happen to be from WA, when you earn it it’ll feel more special."
One WA player that certainly fits the billing is Bunbury-born and Socceroos defender Josh Risdon. Lowe, who gave the Captaincy to the defender, believes Risdon has the potential to reach greater heights on the international stage. “There’s a World Cup coming up, if he really wants it he can go to a World Cup,” he said. “There can’t be any bigger stage in the world, It’s his responsibility now to make sure he goes.”
Another highlight from the Glory’s season was the signing of Spanish Maestro Diego Castro, who took out the A-League’s player of the season collecting both the Alex Tobin award and coveted Johnny Warren medal, as well as the Glory’s best. “He really does add value to the changing room and he really does add value to your team on the pitch,” Lowe said.
Looking to the near future Lowe has been able to attract some big signings, with WA-born Socceroos Rhys Williams, Chris Herd and Adam Taggart adding an improved level of competition and quality to the squad. “Hopefully we the club can be a conduit for Rhys, for Herdy, for Lowry, for Rizzo to go onto the next level,” he said. “Ultimately we need to be successful. If he’s playing well it means we’ve played well as a team, so there’s a knock on effect from a personal level, a professional level and an impact for the club."
SLADE SEEKS AWARENESS
Rick Slade who has coached various clubs at different levels in Perth is urging men to get tested for prostrate cancer. Slade was recently diagnosed with the disease and it was only by chance that he discovered that there was something wrong. "The way I found out was that for the past three years I have had a full blood test every six months, cholesterol, diabetes, liver, kidneys and PSA", Slade said. "In November 2015 the PSA came up as 5.0 so I made an appointment and saw the urologist in February 2016 and had an examination and he said the prostate was enlarged and he wanted to do a biopsy." Slade explained that from the twelve samples taken, six of his came back as tumours.
Doctors have given Slade two options, one being a "Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy" and the other is "Robotic Assisted Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy". The second option is the best of the two, however only three surgeons will do the operation in Western Australia and it is not covered by medicare and can cost a minimum of $25,000. Slade's family have set up a donation page at gofundme.com and are asking the WA football community to help raise the funds.
Slade has stated that he had no symptoms whatsoever and is urging men to get tested. "More men die of prostate cancer than women die of breast cancer so this shows the importance of getting things checked out so please make that doctors appointment today", he said.
BAYSWATER WINS THE ITALIAN DERBY
Bayswater City has continued their domination of traditional rivals Perth SC with a 2-1 in the Italian Derby at the Finance 365 Stadium. A second half double from Jason Mirco saw the Black and Blues home, while Dean Evans’ last minute stunner was merely a consolation goal. The win leapfrogged Bayswater over Perth on the table, and keeps them in touch with the league leaders. “It is a massive win for the club,” striker David Heagney said. “It’s always a big game against are rivals Perth. It was a hard fought first half, but I thought we were the better team by far after the break and deserved the win, and showed a great deal of desire to get the points.”
Perth had to go back to 2011 for their last victory against Bayswater, and it was tight opening with clear cut chances few and far between. Heagney had the best chance for the home side, his shot well saved by the in-form Francis Soale, before former Bayswater striker Gustavo Catarcione saw his shot flash inches wide of Devon Spence’s post just before the break.
But two minutes after the break the home side hit the front. Perth failed to deal with Todd Howarth’s corner, and Mirco was on hand to fire home. Perth hit back and Bayswater custodian Spence had to be alert to deny Recce Vittiglia’s shot, before he saved well to thwart a Catarcione header moments later. Those saves became more important when on the hour Bayswater doubled their advantage.
A free kick on the edge of the penalty area was curled up and over the wall by Mirco, to send the local supporters into raptures. Mirco went close to a hat-trick late on, but Soale stood tall to block the speedy wingers shot. Perth pressed late and Vittiglia should have done better with a free header, but they did find a consolation goal in the fifth minutes of stoppage time, with the goal of the match. Evan’s long-range short flew into the net giving Spence no chance, but it was the last kick of the match.
BBOI HE’S GOOD AS SKIPPER WINS IT FOR ATHENA
A last minute goal from Floreat Athena skipper Ludovic Boi has given them a come-from-behind 3-2 win against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. Jon Stynes gave Floreat the lead early, but goals to Anthony Bafabusha and Alan Carroll gave the hosts the lead at the break. Andrew Scaldaferro levelled with 13 minutes remaining, before Boi won it.
“I think we got what we deserved at the end of the game,” Scaldaferro said. “They (Balcatta) had a bit of luck when Jason Saldaris slipped for their first goal, then at the start the second half, Stynes had a one on one saved, Ludo hit the bar from long range, Lewis McMahon had a shot cleared off the line. But we eventually got the break though and scored two late goals to win it, so we’re all delighted to bounce back from last week’s defeat.”
The home side, that were coming off a big win at ECU Joondalup last week, opened well in this one, but it was the visitors who hit the front on 20 minutes. Blair Govan’s header was saved by Balcatta keeper Clint Davies, but the rebound fell to Stynes who fired home. They didn’t allow conceding the goal to get to them and six minutes before half time they were level, Anthony Bafabusha firing past Jason Saldaris who slipped in the wet penalty area. Then in the shadows of half time the home side hit the front. Zelphy Nazary’s corner was headed home by Carroll
It was end-to-end football in the second half and both Davies and Jason Saldaris were forced into important saves. Floreat Coach Glen Grostate brought on Scaldaferro in the 68th minute, and nine minutes later he levelled. The midfielder pouncing after Balcatta failed to clear a corner. It looked like the points would be share, but Boi had other ideas. With the clock ticking into the final minute, Boi raced forward, playing a one-two and finishing with aplomb past Davies to win it.
LIONS RIP GULLS APART
Stirling Lions good season continued after a dominant 5-0 win over Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday, to make it four straight wins. It was a perfect early mother’s day gift for Mrs. Micevski, with Daniel and David scoring all five goals, with David taking home the match ball with a first half hat-trick. “It was good to get the points to keep up in touch of the top sides,” Daniel Micevski said. “We got an early goal and we didn't stop putting pressure on Sorrento throughout the match, and David and I were lucky the chances fell our way and we were happy to take them.”
It was a perfect start for Stirling and they were ahead after only 12 minutes. Jason Rubidge challenged keeper James Morgan and the ball fell to David Micevski who made no mistake. The visitors doubled their lead six minutes later, Daniel Micevski’s cross was only cleared to David Micevski on the edge the penalty area and his first time shot flew into the net. Sorrento hit back and Sean Canham should have pulled one back on the half hour, but his header from Daryl Platten cross flashed wide.
The miss came back to haunt the Gulls and seven minutes later David Micevski added his and Stirling’s third, firing home to give the visitors a 3-0 lead. Things went from bad to worse and it was 4-0 two minutes later, Daniel Micevski long-range shot flying into the top corner of the net giving James Morgan no chance. Sorrento stopped the bleeding after the break and both sides had chances in typical ‘Windy Hill’ conditions, but the icing was put on the cake on 70 minutes with the fifth, Daniel Micevski scoring to end a great day for the Micevski brothers. It was end-to-end football in the second half and both Davies and Jason Saldaris were forced into important saves. Floreat Coach Glen Grostate brought on Scaldaferro in the 68th minute, and nine minutes later he levelled. The midfielder pouncing after Balcatta failed to clear a corner. It looked like the points would be share, but Boi had other ideas. With the clock ticking into the final minute, Boi raced forward, playing a one-two and finishing with aplomb past Davies to win it.
ANDRES SCORES LATE TO THWART SUBIACO
A goal from Cockburn City’s Spanish striker Angel Andres has denied Subiaco their first win of the season after a 1-1 draw at Dalmatinac Park. Rory Feely had given the visitors the lead early, this after his spot kick was saved by Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich, but Cockburn’s second half pressure was reward with 19 minutes remaining with the equaliser.
“I would have been happy if we had got all three points, but we just lacked a bit of discipline, and inexperience cost us in the end,” Subiaco coach Mike Brazil said. “We have been gradually getting closer to where we want to be and the result today was another progress for us. I thought the whole team did very well and they all had a desire to hang in there and see the game out, but there is still plenty to work on.”
Both sides were desperate for the points, with Subiaco still searching for their first and Cockburn looking for back-to-back wins after their success at Armadale last week. But it was the visitors who opened the scoring after only nine minutes, when Rory Feely was brought down in the box and referee Stuart Muldoon pointed straight to the spot. The striker picked himself up to take the penalty, but Radonich guessed the right way to save, but he couldn’t stop the striker burying the rebound.
Chances were few and far between for the rest of the half and at the break it was Michael Brazil’s side with the lead. They had lead 1-0 at the break in their last away game against the Glory and they were determined to hold on to this one and Diaz and the back four were working overtime as Cockburn lifted. They went close on the hour when Cameron Edwards’ long-range shot was well saved by Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery. It was Cockburn well on top and it wasn’t a surprise when they levelled on 71 minutes.
Harry O’Brien made space down the flank and cut the ball back to Andres, and the former Dianella White Eagles striker made no mistake. Both sides were chasing the win and it was Subiaco who went the closest, Ian McMurray was given far too much space in the box, but his header crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. But in stoppage time Cockburn almost won it. Aden Da Luz found space in the penalty area, after being played in with a quick one-two, but his curling shot flashed inches past the post.
WOOD POLISH OFF THE REDS
Inglewood United continued to lead the PS4NPLWA table after a convincing 5-2 win against Armadale at the Inglewood Stadium. Brian Woodall opened the scoring early, but Dylan White levelled for the visitors on the half hour. Calum O’Connell regained the lead for the home side before the break, and a second half brace from Kenny Keogh and another to John Migas won it for Inglewood, while White bagged a consolation goal for Armadale in the final minute. “Comments’
The home side were out of the blocks early and ahead on six minutes. A quick counter attack from Keogh caught Armadale napping, and his deep cross from the right picked Woodall at the back post who made no mistake. But despite dominating the home side couldn’t find a way through, and on the half hour the Reds levelled. Good work on the flank by Papa Kpatar ended with White who scored past Alex Dunn.
But four minutes later the host regained the lead. A another quick break ended with a one-two that sent Tim Robertson clear and his low cross found O’Connell who finished from close-range. The hosts suffered a blow late in the game losing top goalscorer Woodall due to injury, and he was replaced by Josh Pereira. Both sides had half chances at the start of the second period, but it was Inglewood who increased their lead on the hour.
A cross from the left was only cleared as far as Migas on the edge of the penalty area, whose half volley flew past Alfie Brincat. It was 4-1 five minutes later, Keogh found space in the penalty area to finish from close-range. It was 5-1 ten minutes from time, Migas won possession of an Armadale defender and slide the ball across the box and Keogh finished clinically into the far corner of the net. Armadale pressed late and were rewarded with a consolation goal with White bagging his second, but it was too little too late.
MCGARRY GIVE ECU THE GLORY
Former Perth Glory midfielder Steven McGarry returned to his former club and scored to help ECU Joondalup to a 2-0 win at Ashfield Arena. Gordon Smith had given the visitors the lead on the quarter hour, but ECU had former Glory keeper Lewis Italiano to thank for keeping their lead, the custodian producing a number of fine saves to thwart the home side. “Pollard’s comment”
The Glory went close early; Joe Knowles snap shot was pushed around the post by Italiano. But on 14 minutes it was the visitor who took the lead. Joseph Jones found Smith in the middle of the park, he turned his marker, who slipped and let the Scottish striker clear, and he rounded Jordan Thurtell and fired home. It was nearly two on the half hour, Harley Orr’s header was well saved by Thurtell.
It should have been level at the break, after a poor clearance from Italiano fell straight to Daniel Stynes, his shot was saved low by the ECU custodian, and he recovered superbly to deny Nikola Talimdzioski from close-range. After the break Italiano again denied Talimdzioski, on two occasions, as the Glory pressed for the equaliser. Italiano saved his best save for 72 minutes, when he pushed Kosta Pertratos’ long-range shot around the post at full stretch.
With the home side pushing forward they were leaving holes at the back and from Orr’s cross ten minutes later Scott Robinson’s attempted clearance went inches over his own bar, But on 85 ECU scored the decisive second goal. Bayley Brown-Montgomery was brought down 18 meters from goal and McGarry curled the resulting free kick into the top corner of the net to give ECU Joondalup the three points.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FIVE - REVIEW
Mandurah City maintained their lead at the top of the All Flags State League Division One with a hard fought 3-2 win against Dianella White Eagles at Dianella Reserve. Skipper Jordan Rhodes was the hero bagging a hat-trick, but the home side hit back late to push the league leaders. Rhodes first came on 23 minutes, finishing off after good work from John Brooke’s. He added his second eight minutes later, heading home at the back post. Mandurah were dominating and had another goal disallowed, and had four or five chances to add to their lead but it was only 2-0 at the break. The Dolphins added a third on the hour, Craig Young was brought down in the box, and Rhodes fired home to complete his hat-trick. It looked game over but Dianella hit back and Luca Borsato deflected shot pulled one back, before Jose Zuniga’s long-range shot crashed off the bar and bounced down, and the assistant said the ball had gone over the line. The home side pressed for the equaliser but Mandurah held them out. “It was a good win for us,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “At 3-0 I made some changes, and they fought back, but I thought we deserved the win. It’s never an easy place to come and win; they never gave up so we’re delighted to come home with all three points.”
Joondalup United lost ground on the leaders after being held to a 2-2 draw by Gosnells City at Forrest Park. The home side opened the scoring when a well-rehearsed corner delivered by Guy McDonald was headed home by centre half Greg Pellow. But Gosnells, who have started the season well, levelled before the break. Sean Taylor was brought down in the box and Jason Pottier made no mistake from the resulting penalty. The home side regained the lead just after half time, a sweeping move by United ended with Guy McDonald who finished from close-range. But the points were shared when Pottier slipped a ball into Wade Farmer and he finished well past James Bosdet. “We didn’t play great today, but it’s good to bounce back from behind twice,” midfielder Caleb Aquino said. “It shows the character we have in the side, even when we aren’t playing the way we know we can, which is a positive.”
Forrestfield United are back in the winner’s circle after a 5-2 win against UWA-Nedlands at Hartfield Park. “It was good win, against a determined UWA side,” winger Rhys Loxley said. “We have been playing good football lately but haven't seen the reward so it was good to see us finally capitalise on a good performance. The win will give us confidence going into our next game against Western Knights who will be looking to kick on with their good start.” The home side hit the front early, Jordan Hart bundling home from close-range after a scramble in the box from a corner. It was 2-0 when Liam Merrigan lost his marker and tapped home at the back post, but UWA hit back. They pulled one back when Alex Kretowicz finished off Lloyd Prout’s cross, and they levelled just before half time. A ball over the top by Bryce Conway sent Kretowicz clear, he rounded Luke Martino and rolled the ball home. But the home side took control after the break and they regained their lead, when Sani Sinclair raced clear one-on-one with UWA keeper Ranjeet Sekhon, and he finished clinically. The game was put to bed with two further goals. First Sinclair added his second from the penalty spot, after he was brought down by Sekhon, before Ben Rogers stunning volley wrapped up the 5-2 win.
There was a six goal thriller at Hay Park, where South West Phoenix scored late to draw 3-3 against Ashfield. The home side were good early and raced to a two goal lead. The first came from Lee Stewart, who was picked out on the edge of the box by Ryan Francis, and the striker made no mistake. They doubled their lead before half time, Sam Guthridge’s long-range shot flew into the net. Ashfield hit back and when Alex Stamatiadis’ corner was fumbled by the keeper under pressure from Brett Maguire, Steve Kirk fired home the rebound. The visitors then levelled, Jay Lang’s free kick found the unmarked Maguire who headed home. Ashfield looked like they had secured all three points when Stamatiadis’ shot was deflected up and over the stranded keeper. But in stoppage time the home side snatched a point, Kieran Quinn’s free kick found Michael Farmer who scored from close-range. “We were excellent throughout the whole game, and we deserved to win,” Stamatiadis said. “It hurt not getting the three points, the luck is not with us at the moment but we're getting dangerous and are improving.”
In other games Western Knights won for the second time this season with a 3-1 win against Shamrock Rovers at Nash Field. The visitors took an early lead with Michael Lawson’s corner going straight in. The Knights levelled through Jeffrey Judge, after Paul Lloyd cut the ball back from the bye-line. Lloyd then sent Adrian Jelenovic clear to add a second, before Judge sent Michael Masterson in to add the third. In the final game Rockingham City beat Canning City 1-0 at Lark Hill. The only goal of the game came in the second half when Alex Grayson’s long-range strike flew into the net. Grayson was then sent off late, but the ten men hung on for the points. “It was an important win and even more impressive when I look at the players missing,” Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said. “But credit to the lads they stepped up and worked their socks off.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FIVE - REVIEW
Balga's storming start to the season was halted after they were held to a 3-3 draw by Swan United at Princess Road Reserve. They ended up salvaging a point with a last minutes penalty, but Swan Coach Matt DeBarro said it was probably a fair result. “It was a funny game both Bobby (Taneski) and I felt Swan were better in first half, but went in behind at the break,” he said. “But Balga we’re better for most of the second half, and at the end both teams had chances to steal it but a fair result in the end. I was really proud of the way my boys bounced back after a very disappointing result last week against Ellenbrook and with several players out well done both teams.” The visitors were first on the board after 17 minutes, Dom Ando’s free kick picked out John Monterosso who fired home. Balga were level on the half hour, Hermon Habtegergish curling home superbly from the edge of the box. Just before the break Balga hit the front, Anton DeFrancesch pulled the ball back from the bye-line to Daniel Nalat who scored from close-range. The black and whites equalised on the hour, Mark MaCallister heading home, and MaCallister added his second heading home another Ando free kick. Balga pressed late and the woodwork came to the rescue of Swans three times, and it looked like Swan would leave with the points. But in stoppage time the referee spotted a handball in the box, and Habtegergsih converted the penalty to earn his side a point.
Kingsway Olympic continued their good start to the season with a 2-0 local derby win against Joondalup City at Kingsway Reserve. It was tight tussle with both sides having chances in the first half, and it had 0-0 written all over it, but that wasn’t until the 70th minute when the home side opened the scoring. Luke Courtman cross picked out Ryan Frisina, and the former Ashfield striker headed home at the back post. With City pushing forward looking for the equaliser they conceded another five minutes from time. Frisina sent Ali Elhassan clear, he took the ball wide but laid the ball back off to Frisina, who had continued his run, and he finished low past the keeper from six meters. “It was a very tight game, could have gone either way,” Kingsway Coach Tom Kilkelly said. “They (Joondalup) pressed and had more possession in the first half without creating any goal scoring opportunities. It was a little scrappy at times. But we had two young lads who made their first team debuts Byron de Villiers (18) who started and Kieran Foster (17) who came on towards the of the game both did well. We also had Ryan Frisina who came off the bench as did Joe Woodin that seem to give us the edge on City, but saying that, our keeper Joey Smith pulled of one of the best saves I've seen in a long time. So overall very pleased with three points and the effort the boys put in.”
Fremantle City bounced back from last week’s poor result with a 3-0 win against Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. “It was the response we needed after last week’s draw, and Kelmscott are a stronger side than last year so we knew it would be a tussle and so it proved early on,” Fremantle coach Steve Plucknet said. “We brought young Robert Mariano into goal this week and his first and only action in the first half was to save a penalty. Defensively we were not troubled throughout, and should have added to the tally, but Mark Rockett and I still feel we have not played to our full potential yet.” Owen Curtis’ early penalty miss came back to haunt Kelmscott and City opened the scoring moments later, when Kelmscott keeper gave the ball straight to Danny Clapham, and the striker made no mistake. It was 2-0 before the break; Alec Robinson won the ball on the edge of the box, turned his marker and fired into the corner of the net. The result was made safe with a third goal after the break, a quick release from Mariano sent Robinson clear and he finished clinically.
In other games Wanneroo City won for the first time this season after 4-1 win against Ellenbrook United at Arbor Grove Reserve. Tom Balnaves scored a penalty early, before Sonny Devine doubled their advantage. New signing Nathan Grostate also scored a penalty in the second half, before Dave Whillians added the fourth late. Curtin University beat Melville City 2-1 at Hilton Reserve. Khaled Salhah scored for the visitor’s seconds into the second half, before Cormack Abbott levelled for the hosts, but Arijan Strovrag scored the winner for Curtin. “I think on balance we deserved the points, but to be fair it could have gone either way,” Curtin Coach Campbell Ballantyne said. “We were the stronger team form open play, but they (Melville) were dangerous from set-pieces, especially in the second half when they had the breeze and they throw the kitchen sink at us.” In the final game Quinns FC beat Morley Windmills 3-0 at Gumblossom Park. “It was a well-deserved three points, the lads went into the game as they finished last week,” Coach Mick Bowers said. “It was also our first clean sheet of the season which is very pleasing.” The home side scored early, with former ECU Joondalup midfielder Jake Benson-Cooper on target, and he added a second before half time. The points were wrapped when Nicky Sharples won possession, and his cross was turned into his own net by a Morley defender.
CASTRO SWEEPS GLORY AWARDS NIGHT
Perth Glory’s Spanish striker Diego Castro swept the board and the clubs Most Glorious Awards Night at the Novotel Perth Langley Hotel on Saturday evening. Castro, who is still unsure what his plans are for next season, won five awards on the night, QBE Most Glorious Player, Golden Boot (13-goals), Players’ Player of the Year, The Volunteers’ Player of the Year and the QBE Supporters’ Player of the Year.
It capped off a great two weeks for the 33-year-old, who joined the Glory from Spanish La Liga side Getafe at the start of the season, after being named the Johnny Warren medalist, the highest individual honour in the Hyundai A-League last week. “It’s been a wonderful experience for me and my family and I am truly humbled," Castro said. "Tony Sage, the players, staff and all the members have been exceptional and very hospitable since I first arrived. "It's a season that will always be a highlight for me and an experience I will never forget.”
Socceroo defender Josh Risdon won the “Best Clubman” and “Young Player of the Year” awards, and it capped off a great season for the Bunbury-born defender, with him earning a place in Ange Postecoglou’s side for the last two world cup qualifiers. “I’d like to thank my teammates, coaches and staff for voting for me. It’s always an honour to be valued by your colleagues” Risdon said.
American import Vanessa DiBernardo won the Women's ‘Most Glorious Player’ award, and the ‘Golden Boot’ after starring in the W-League for Bobby Despotovski’s side and bagging six goals. “I am honoured to be the Perth Glory Women’s MGP and I really enjoyed my time in Perth and getting to know the Australian culture” she said. While Shannon May won the Coaches Award.
Glory youth keeper Jordan Thurtell was crowned the ‘National Youth League MVP’ The teenager custodian has been in outstanding form both in the NYL and the PS4NPLWA and said it’s a great honour. “It’s a massive honour to be named MGP” Thurtell said. “The players coming through the ranks, is a testament to the development and coaching at the club and it’s a privilege to be rubbing shoulders with some of the country’s best players.”
Perth Glory FC 2015/16 QBE MGP Awards in Full - QBE Most Glorious Player: Diego Castro, Women's Most Glorious Player: Vanessa DiBernardo, Most Glorious Youth League Player (NYL): Jordan Thurtell, Men's Golden Boot: Diego Castro (13 goals),
Women's Golden Boot: Vanessa DiBernardo (six goals), QBE Supporters’ Player of the Year: Diego Castro, Volunteers’ Player of the Year: Diego Castro, Players’ Player of the Year: Diego Castro, Goal of the Year: Mitch Oxborrow, Women's Coach’s Award: Shannon May, Best Clubman Award: Josh Risdon, Young Player of The Year: Josh Risdon
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND EIGHT - PREVIEW
It’s Week Eight of the PS4 NPL-WA and the Footballwa.net Match of the Round is the Italian Derby, when Bayswater City hosts Perth SC at Finance 365 Stadium. Only one point separates the sides on the league table, with Perth sitting only one point clear of their traditional rivals, and both sides had hard fought wins last weekend against Perth Glory and Subiaco respectively. Perth have had keeper Francis Soale to thank for helping them to wins lately, the custodian has been in fine form and a double save early in the game against the Glory last week kept his side in the game, but he said they were well worth the three points. “It was a non-negotiable three points for us after the loss the week before, and it was a really tough competitive game,” he explained. “We were happy to come away with clean sheet and three points. I thought we were extremely well disciplined and organised without the ball, and that’s really important to how we’re playing at the moment.” Soale, who joined the club from Inglewood In 2013, said Saturday’s game is one the players always look forward too, likewise the supporters. “It’s probably been the number one fixture over the last few seasons, finishing 1st and 2nd the last two seasons and losing the Grand Final in between that, so we know it’s going to be a massive challenge,” he said. “Gareth (Naven) has been drilling into us all year, if we can keep our work rate and effort up for 90 minutes we’re going to be pretty tough to break down, so that’s our challenge again this weekend.” Clarke Keltie returned last week from injury and pulled up well, while Andreas Theo and Anthony Danze have resumed training but will miss again this week, but Matt Milenkovic is in line for a recall this week.
Bayswater keeper Devon Spence has forced his way back into the starting line-up after being overseas and missed the opening rounds. He said the players have rebounded from an indifferent start and last week’s win at Subiaco was there second win on the bounce. “I thought last week was a positive game for us, we did well with the ball going forward and defensively we were quite sound,” he said. “They (Subiaco) fought tooth and nail and made it difficult with the contested ball, but at the end of the day it was a good win for us.” Spence, who left Perth SC in 2011, said it will be a good game and is hoping for a big crowd to get along and watch the traditional rivals go head-to-head. “This game is always marked down on the calendar each year, and it’s always one our supporters look forward too,” he said. “So Saturday we will our game plan, bring our best to the park and hopefully we will run out victors at the end of 90 minutes.” In team news Paul McCarthy is back in training after a long term injury, but he will likely miss out again this week.
League leaders Inglewood United head back home this week, when they host Armadale at Inglewood Stadium. Inglewood bounced back from their first loss of the season at Sorrento last week, while Armadale were beaten at home by Cockburn City. Armadale defender Alex Castiello said last week’s defeat was tough to take after dominating for long periods. “It was a disappointing result for us, we seem to play the ball around alright however some bad defensive mistakes cost us and Cockburn took their chances so credit to them,” he said. “However this hasn't affected our confidence and we look forward to the challenge on Saturday playing the league leaders.” The Reds travelled to Inglewood last season and came home with a 3-1 win, and Castiello said they have recruited well and will be tough challenge, but it’s one they are looking forward too. “We gained a great deal of confidence out of the win against Sorrento and the battle against Bayswater has helped reassure us we are a strong competitor in this league,” he explained. “We look forward to the future challenges starting with the battle against top of the league this Saturday, and we head there with everyone fit and ready to perform.”
Balcatta have been in fantastic form, winning the past three games, and this week they take on Floreat Athena at Grindleford Reserve. Marc Anthony’s side thrashed ECU Joondalup last week, while Floreat Athena were beaten for the first time in six games at Stirling. Balcatta winger Feisal Zaw bagged a brace in the big win, and he said it was a great all-round team performance. “It’s always good to bag a few goals for the new club, but going up to Joondalup and coming back with the three points was most important and we owed them one since the night series loss,” he said. “All round, it was a great team performance and we hope to carry it on against Floreat on Saturday.” Zaw, who joined Balcatta from Cockburn City this season, said Saturday’s opponents will be another huge challenge, and he said they will want to bounce back after losing to Stirling last week. “They (Floreat) always have a solid squad and it'll be a tough game,” he said. “But at home and with the same attitude we've had the past couple of games I don't see why we can't put another win on the board and keep our winning run going.”
Steven McGarry comes up against his former club when ECU Joondalup travel to the Ashfield Sports Club to take on Perth Glory. The midfielder said they need to bounce back from last week’s poor result against Balcatta. “We were all disappointed with the performance last week, and especially the manner in which we conceded so many goals,” he said. “After the break we lost our shape we were very disjointed at times and were second best in most areas, which is something we pride ourselves on and something we have working very hard on, so we must improve. But saying that Balcatta played well and were very dangerous going forward and deserved their win, but we move on and look to improve in all facets of our game.” McGarry, who has natured a number of the Glory youngsters as a coach of the Youth program in recent season’s said they have some very talented players and they will give Joondalup a stern test. “They have a number of good players who are fit and are a team who's going to be well organised, and by all accounts they have played very well but just haven't got the results, but if we can play football the way we can and get back some hunger and desire I'm confident we will come home with the points,” he said. “I’ve had a little bit to do with some of the lads there and it’s great to see them (Glory) be so competitive in the competition this season. We have been playing some excellent football in spells but need a strong 90 minute performance, which we’ve not achieved this season to date. But I’m confident we have the quality in our squad to match it with any team in the league, but we need to start to believe in ourselves, and play as a team more consistently for longer periods of the game.
Sorrento were beaten for the first time this season last week, and they will be looking to rebound this week, but face a tough test when they host Stirling Lions at Percy Doyle Reserve, who are one of the form team in the league at the moment, and will be looking for a fifth win on the bounce. Gulls midfielder Tim Hill said last week’s game was disappointing, but he said they have been in some good form. “I thought we were really poor as a whole, and we didn't even start playing until they were 2-0 up and by that time it was a little too late,” he said. In saying that we had enough good chances to of possibly taken something from the game on another day but they wouldn't go in.” It will be the first time Hill will play against his former club, and he said it will be a good test for the lads to see how they respond to last week’s defeat. “It'll be nice playing against some of my old teammates but that won't get in the way of the significance of the game for me,” he said. “I know we have to come away with the win and we'll be up for it like we are every other game and I'm certain if we play the way we have most of the season we'll come away with the win.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FIVE - PREVIEW
It’s week five of the State League Division One and this week’s Match of the Round takes us to Walter Padbury Reserve where Gosnells City hosts Joondalup United. United were beaten for the first time last week against South West Phoenix, a game Coach Nick Jennings said they had enough chances early to win it. “We didn’t deal with their physical direct play at all, but hats off to them, it worked and they got the points,” he said. “But we did spurn enough chances, particularly early on to have won the game easily, and we are disappointed to lose particularly at home after leading 2-1. But we’ll assess, move on, and look to start another unbeaten run in this highly competitive Division.” The trip to Gosnells will be another tough test for the Northern suburbs club, and Jennings said they need to be at their best. “Gosnells are a good footballing side and last year we shared the spoils, with one win each,” he said. “They are unbeaten so far this season and will be another hard challenge, but one we are looking forward too, and the boys are eager to get back to winning ways, and the game should be cracker.” In team news Jay Marsden returns to the squad after missing last week’s defeat.
Gosnells have been the surprise package of the season to date, and they moved to third place on the table last week with a hard fought 2-1 win at Canning City, and Coach Wally Aquino said it was great win for the club. “I was very pleased to come away with the three points, although we didn't play with the fluency that we expect however, I was happy that the boys tried to stick to the game plan, apart from the last 10 minutes,” he said. “I felt we looked the more likely team to score and it was good to see both our goals came from good attacking football. The only real sour note from the game was a serious knee injury sustained by midfielder Jacob Aquino and unfortunately for us, and will be unavailable for the remainder of the season.” Gosnells beat Joondalup on the road last season, before losing 2-1 at home and Aquino said it will be another tight game on Saturday. “This week's game against a very good Joondalup side will be a huge test for us. Even though it's a very competitive league, we were still surprised that they lost last week but I'm sure they will work hard to bounce back simply because they have been one of the leading teams in the division over the last two years,” he said. “Our weekly focus is to keep working on improving our overall performances, which I know will lead us to give Joondalup a very competitive game. It will be good playing at home again, hoping it will give us some added advantage.” Gosnells return the services of Michael Ellis, Caleb Aquino and Trent Blewett, who are all back from injury or suspension.
League leaders Mandurah City will head up the freeway to Dianella Reserve to take on Dianella White Eagles. The Eagles were well beaten last week, while Mandurah beat Forrestfield, and Coach Doug Hesketh said it was a hard fought win. “We were delighted to get the points in a tough game, and without four regular starters,” he said. “I think we are improving fitness wise too, and we finished the stronger and we utilised a few younger players, which will help us as the season goes on.” Hesketh said although Dianella have had a few poor results they are always dangerous, especially at home. “It’s never easy to play at Dianella, and we are expecting a tough game. They have some excellent players and I think they will put everything on the line and will be playing to win at home,” he said. “We are ready for a tough game and will give them respect, but we are determined to come home with the points.” In team new Ollie McGee returns to the side as the Dolphins look to maintain their lead at the top of the table.
Forrestfield United heads home to Hartfield Park this week with UWA-Nedlands the visitors. Forrestfield were beaten by league leaders Mandurah City last week, and Coach Rod Banjac said he was happy with the performance, but they learnt a valuable lesson. “I was very pleased with the overall performance, and in particular the number of chances we created. The only area that requires improvement is the finishing and we will work on that aspect of our game,” he said. “To dominate against a top side like Mandurah is a big ask for any team, and we did that for long periods, hitting the woodwork on three separate occasions. Our boys are committed, train hard and I do feel for them as they play to win and to get no points out of the game is not a pleasant feeling.” UWA-Nedlands won a nine goal thriller last week in a 5-4 win against Shamrock Rovers, and Banjac is expecting another tough encounter. “We joined this league to enrich it and there is no doubt that we are playing our part in doing so. Our brand of football is entertaining but will take a while to be effective,” the coach said. “We are learning quickly and the biggest lesson is that there are no easy games at this level. Every opposition is unforgiving and has clinical finishers that will punish through most minor of mistakes.” In team news Chris Perrott will miss the rest of the season after injuring a knee last week, but they regain the services of Kaan Karacan from suspension.
In other games this weekend Rockingham City and Canning City will be looking to bounce back from defeats last week when they meet at Lark Hill Sports Complex. After promotion last season Rockingham has been competitive in their games, likewise Canning, so it should be another tight encounter in this one. Western Knights make the trip to Harold Rossiter Reserve to take on Shamrock Rovers. The Rovers lost a nine goal thriller last week, and it was poor first half, when they conceded three goals, that hurt them, and Coach John O’Reilly will be looking for a big game from his chargers this week. The Knights won for the first time last week with a win against Rockingham and need to get a result on Saturday to kick start their season. In the final game South West Phoenix entertains Ashfield at Hay Park. The Phoenix will be buoyed by their win at league leaders Joondalup United last week, but they are still searching for their first home win of the season. Ashfield won their first game of the season a stunning 7-2 win against Dianella White Eagles, so this will be a tight contest as both sides look for back-to-back victories.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FIVE - PREVIEW
Balga SC continues to top the All Flags State League Division Two table, and this week their home match at Princess Road Reserve against Swan United is the Footballwa.net Match of the Round. Balga produced a stunning performance to beat Curtin University 6-0 on the road last Saturday, and coach Ljupco Taneski said they did it with a few players missing. “We played really well against Curtin, a few players were rested as a precaution due to slight niggles, our squad depth allowed us to experiment and provide opportunities to others,” he explained. “Our intensity from the first to last minute was impressive although as ever there were many aspects in the game we must adjust to be better at what we do.” Taneski knows relegated Swan United are re-building, and is expecting a tight contest, but is hoping they can continue their good form. “Swan in our eyes are the favorites, no matter what the ladder suggests. We have had a good start to the season, although Swan have come from a higher division and still have a fantastic squad,” he said. “We look forward to the challenge and will back ourselves to obtain the three points, which is vital as we can build an eight point gap between Swan and ourselves.” Balga will be sweating on the fitness of a couple of their players, but should be at full strength
The Swans are coming off a scoreless draw last week against Ellenbrook United, and Coach Matt Debarro said they were lucky to get a point in the end. “It was disappointing not to score and win last week, but if I’m honest I thought we played terribly and they (Ellenbrook) wanted it more, so at least we got a point and kept a clean sheet,” he said. “Last season we would have lost playing like that, so that’s a bonus, but we need to improve this week against a good Balga outfit.” Debarro said they still have a number of players still unavailable, but is relishing the opportunity to take on the league leaders. “We are really looking forward to the challenge, they (Balga) have had a great start to the season, but we will be doing our best to be the first team to beat them and on their home ground,” he said. “We are still missing Hicham Arma, Zane Loh, David Paone, and have a couple of other players struggling with injury.
Fremantle City let a three goal lead slip last week against Quinns to draw 5-5 and they will be looking to bounce back when they travel to Frye Park to take on Kelmscott Roos. Coach Steve Plucknet said his players need to lift against an improved Kelmscott side. “We were very disappointed with the result last week, however that's taking nothing away from Quinns who stayed focused for 90 minutes and some,” he explained. “The boys are aware and realise they can't switch off for a moment if we want to keep up with the top sides, but the response from the players at training has been first class.” Plucknet said the improvement of Kelmscott is fantastic for the league and he said on home soil they will be a tough opponent. “I've been very impressed with the turnaround at Kelmscott, from all reports they have really improved and good luck to them,” he said. “They've had a couple of tough seasons so to get back winning and being competitive is good for them and the league. We'll be expecting a tough reception on Saturday, but the boys are focused and want to make up for last week's performance.” In team news for City Ty Fenwick is unavailable due to injury, while Nick Lomma is suspended.
There is a local northern derby at Kingsway Reserve when fourth placed Kingsway Olympic entertains second placed Joondalup City. Both sides are coming off good wins, with City beating a resurgent Kelmscott, while Olympic beat Wanneroo City in another local derby. Kingsway will be looking for a better performance from their last home game when they were beaten by Swan, and Wayne Culverwell said they want to make their home ground a fortress. “Last week was an important win for us, we were disappointed with our performance against Swan the week before, so it was important to get a result at Wanneroo,” he explained. “It wasn't pretty but three points are three points at the end of the day. We are looking to make it difficult for teams to come here and roll us, but we need to play better than we did last time on our patch.” Culverwell, who was celebrating in the week with Leicester City winning the English Premier League, said Saturday’s game is their biggest test so far, but it’s one the players are looking forward too. “This week’s match is going to be a massive test for us. They (Joondalup) have had a great start to the season and look to be one of the favourites for the league at this early stage, but we’re confident if we play to our best we can get the right result.” In team news skipper Ian McKean has retired due to work commitments, but they will have Ryan Frisina available. They also have a number of injured players on the sidelines, but they are hopeful in the weeks to come, they can provide a bit of competition.
In other games this weekend Morley Windmills make the trip to Gumblossom Park to take on Quinns FC. Quinns fought back from three goals down to draw 5-5 at Fremantle last week, while Morley won 3-1 win against Melville City. “It was our best performance of the season,” said Coach John Castrilli. “We played some good football and I thought it was a very good result if you consider we had nine players injured on the weekend.” There is another local derby when Ellenbrook United meet Wanneroo City at Arbor Grove Reserve. Both sides will be looking for their first wins of the season, and Wanneroo are coming off a 3-1 loss at home to Kingsway, while Ellenbrook were unlucky not to come home with three points after goalless draw against Swan United. In the final game Melville City entertain Curtin University at the Len Sheaer Reserve. Only one point separates the sides on the table, but both sides need to improve after both lost last week, against Morley and Balga respectively.
BACKLINE UNDERPINS EARLY SUCCESS (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Defender Scott Blackmore is pretty pleased with what Inglewood United’s new-look backline has achieved so far this season. With seven home and away games played the club boasts the second best defensive record in the competition, highlighted by cleans sheets against three-time league champions Bayswater City along with Floreat Athena and Perth Glory.
Blackmore, who is closing in on 50 appearances for Inglewood, has featured prominently at the back alongside club newcomers David Cyrus and Adam Tong. Together the trio form an imposing defensive line which Blackmore says will only get stronger. “Yes, we’ve been pretty solid but it’s still early days,” the 31-year old commented.
“It goes without saying that if you don’t concede goals then you give yourself a good chance of taking out the points, and the number of clean sheets we’ve been able to keep so far has been pleasing. While we haven’t got the pace of some of the younger lads, we’re all experienced campaigners and that’s something you can’t replace.”
“The defensive unit has been strong but it’s been a great whole team effort that has got put us on top of the ladder. The goalkeeper has made a few crucial saves, the midfielders have been making things easier for us by breaking up the play and the boys up top have been doing a good job of creating and scoring goals.”
On Saturday, Blackmore and his teammates will be faced by an Armadale side that has been scoring goals without getting the rewards. “From what I have seen and heard they have been unlucky to have not taken more points,” he said of the eleventh-placed Reds. “The new import players given them something going forward and they’ve already caused teams a fair bit of trouble.”
“Armadale are a gritty team that never lay down. You might feel in control but they can turn things around very quickly and once they get some momentum it is hard to break. They had a great Night Series and, while they haven’t started the season in that same form, we know they’ll be up for the weekend and we won’t be taking them lightly.”
PERTH GLORY'S NIGHT OF NIGHTS
It’s the Perth Glory awards night on Saturday, and over 450 guests will be on show when the club look back on a successful season and award Most Glorious Player Trophy at the Novotel-Perth-Langley Hotel. After last season’s problems, off the field, the club rose from the ashes to push from bottom of the table earlier in the season, to a finals birth at the end. Glory owner Tony Sage and coach Kenny Lowe need to be congratulated on their work, this after many supporters were calling for both of their heads in the aftermath of the salary cap problems, but both stood firm and have delivered on their promises and the clubs future looks rosy. Many expected the club to fail last season, but the character of the whole club shone through, and there is a local club feel again, with a number of former WA players returning last season, and the club have recently signed former ECU Joondalup and Socceroos pair Rhys Williams and Chris Herd, so the future looks bright.
The favorite to take out the major award on the nights is Spanish maestro Diego Castro. The striker bagged 13 goals in his first season at the club and his performances were recognised when he won the ‘Johnny Warren Medal’ as the best player in the A-League. Others who will poll well on the night is new Socceroo defender Josh Risdon and strikers Andy Keogh and Chris Harold. There are a number of awards on the night and the Players’ Player of the Year will also be a close run contest, with Castro, Harold, and Risdon in line for this one, while skipper Richard Garcia and Andy Keogh will come into contention. The Young player of the year, will be a close run award, with Harold, Mitch Oxborrow and Jamel Reiners in contention. Other first team awards on the night are Best Clubman, Golden Boot, the Goal of the Year, the QBE Supporters Player of the Year and the Volunteers Player of the Year. Also the Westfield W-League side will be honoured, with the Most Glorious Women’s’ Player, the Women’s Coaches award and the Golden Boot, while the Most Glorious Youth (NYL) Player of the Year will also be awarded.
JONES IN SIGHT AS GLORY LINE UP NEW RECRUITS
Perth Glory are keen to snare Socceroo Brad Jones and Western Sydney midfielder Andreu to bolster their squad for next season. Glory’s veteran goalkeeper Ante Covic is expected to exit the club, who are understood to have ex-Liverpool and Middlesbrough shot-stopper Jones lined-up as his replacement.
Jones, a former Bayswater City junior, has spent the past 15 years playing in Europe. The 34-year old was released by Liverpool last year and, following a short spell at Bradford City, signed a six-month deal with Dutch club N.E.C. in January. Jones has recorded four cleansheets in 16 appearances in the Eredivisie this season.
It is believed Glory are also after Barcelona product Andreu. The 32-year old is out of contract following the expiration of his one-year deal with Western Sydney Wanderers, where he scored three times in 27 appearances. Andreu’s CV includes spells at Barcelona B, Malaga B, Sporting Gijon, Racing Santander (Spain) Polonia Warsaw, Lechia Gdansk (Poland), Auckland City (New Zealand) and Dinamo Tbilisi (Georgia).
JOONDALUP MIDFIELDER HONOURED BY FFA
New ECU Joondalup midfielder and assistant Coach Steven McGarry has been in outstanding form for the club in the PS4 NPLWA this season, and on Sunday the Scotsman was recognised for his contribution to the Hyundai A-League with a presentation prior to the A-League Grand Final. McGarry, who played 114 games for Perth Glory after moving over from Scotland in 2010, was a special guest of the FFA at Sunday’s Grand Final between Adelaide United and Western Sydney Wanderers, and he was thrilled to be honoured, not just by the league but by the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA).
The 36-year-old said it was honour to receive the award. “I was very honoured to receive recognition for my contribution to the A-League competition, and also recognition from my fellow players,” McGarry explained. “It was fantastic to play a small part on Grand Final day, and we were paraded on the pitch before the game, where I received a plaque from FFA CEO David Gallop in a ceremony before kick-off.” McGarry will be in action again for ECU Joondalup this weekend, when they take on his former club Perth Glory in Week eight of the PS4NPLWA at Ashfield Sports Club.
GLORY KEEP TABS ON BIRIGHITTI AND JONES
Perth-born Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti and former Liverpool keeper Brad Jones could be heading to Perth Glory. Both keepers are out of contract and with Perth’s veteran goalkeeper Ante Covic expected to exit the Glory, the club need an experienced replacement. Jones is from WA and was a junior with Bayswater City, and has spent the past 15 years playing in Europe. The 34-year old was released by the Reds last year and after a short spell at Bradford City, signed a six-month deal with Dutch club N.E.C. in January. Birighitti says he’s not closing the door on the Hyundai A-League, but a return to Europe is his top priority for next season.
Birighitti, who went on-loan to Serie B side Varese last year, is coming off a stellar season between the posts with the Jets. The 25-year-old played 26 games in 2015/16, and his form gained him selection in the Hyundai A-League Team of the Season. But now out-of-contract with the Hunter club, Birighitti said he was hopeful of having his future settled in a couple of weeks, and the Glory could come knocking.
But Birighitti said Europe is where he wants to be, and said he said the A-League is growing. “The A-League is a fantastic league, I’ve been here for eight years now. But every young footballer growing up has ambitions of playing at the top level and in Europe,” Birighitti said. “I managed to get a little taste of that last year when I went over to Italy and after the year I’ve had now I want to taste that again. “I’m not closing the door on the A-league yet. The season’s just finished and I’ll know more on my future in the next few weeks.”
The talented custodian was linked with a potential moves to EPL clubs Newcastle and AFC Bournemouth earlier this season but opted to see out the campaign with the Jets. There are reports of interest from clubs in the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland but, as of yet, there are no concrete offers for the gloveman.
While keen to move back abroad, Birighitti is not against staying in Australia for another year and praised the Jets for helping him develop his game. “I love the Newcastle Jets, it’s a great club, I’ve been there for four years and they are the ones that have given me the opportunity to play regular first team football,” he said. “My agents are based overseas and they are trying very hard to get me over there. “I’m not closing the door on the A-League or the Newcastle Jets or any other A-League club.”
BIRIGHITTI MULLING OVER HIS OPTIONS
Out-of-contract Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti is attracting interest from the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Scandinavia as he chases a second coming to Europe. Birighitti, 25, had a loan spell at Serie B side Varese last year, but only made two appearances before returning to the Jets for a standout 2015/16 season in which he made 26 A-League appearances.
Birighitti, a former Perth SC junior, was linked with English Premier League sides Newcastle United and AFC Bournemouth earlier this year, and is keen to test himself at a higher level after emerging as one of Australia’s most promising shot-stoppers. He has long been on the radar of European clubs and believes he is mentally tougher now than two years back when reports of him being tracked by German giant Bayer Leverkusen led to a drop off in his form.
It’s unlikely that Birighitti’s future will be resolved quickly though, with the clubs in Europe in the process of winding up their seasons and not in an immediate rush to make snap decisions on future signings for at least another m month or two. But with another stellar season behind him after accepting a one-year deal from the Jets on his return from Italy, it seems inevitable that Birighitti will make a move well before the start of the next A-League campaign.
DE VANNA UNSURE OF FUTURE POST-OLYMPICS
There's a chance the Rio Olympics could be Lisa De Vanna's swansong with the Matildas co-captain unsure if she will play on or retire. The mercurial Australian forward is hoping to continue her career after August's Games but admits that will depend on form and fitness. "I'm at that age where anything could happen," 31-year old De Vanna said.
Europe could be an option, with De Vanna harbouring a desire to play in the women's Champions League while she's uncommitted to Melbourne City after leading them to the 2015-16 W/League title. The veteran wants to follow the lead of Socceroos great Tim Cahill, who is still playing at 36. "Most of the key to his success is looking after his body and playing in leagues where it's going to suit him and is not so demanding and that's something I'm doing at the moment," she said.
"I want to leave knowing that it was on my terms and not because I wasn't good enough. (Some players) hang on and hang on and then all the credibility that they've achieved in the last 15 years goes out the window a little bit because people remember what they can do and they can't do it on the field. I don't want that. I want to leave with people going `wow, she can still play on the next couple of years if she wanted to'."
That's part of the reason she has chosen not to go overseas before this year's Olympics in the belief it would help keep her fresh for Rio and prolong her career. "It's a catch-22: stay here and you're not going to have the income that you would overseas but be in a good head space and your body's ready to play in the biggest event in the world," De Vanna said. "You've got to take the good with the bad and for me, personally, winning a medal in Rio is more important than any money."
GLORIOUS HOMECOMING FOR HERD
Perth Glory is proud to announce it has further boosted its playing stocks after signing Western Australian Chris Herd for the 2016/17 A-League campaign. Herd, who played locally for ECU Joondalup and Bayswater City before linking up with English Premier League outfit Aston Villa at the age of 15, has represented Australia on three occasions and was part of the 2015 Asian Cup squad.
“I’m thrilled to be coming home and re-joining some former teammates of old and working with Kenny Lowe,” said an excited Herd. “Pulling on the purple for Perth Glory has been something I’ve contemplated for a while and I’m keen and excited to be part of a club that is definitely on the way up. This is the right move for me, my football and my family”.
Glory coach Kenny Lowe said Herd’s versatility, skill and strong work ethic were the key ingredients in signing the Socceroo. “Good players carry a good work ethic but Chris is also a good person,” Lowe said. “We look at the playing ability but we also look at the person for the job. Chris ticks both boxes and he’s a West Aussie which is a bonus.”
Herd entered Villa's academy system in 2007 and made the first of 42 appearances times for the Birmingham-based club in November 2010. He gained a further 43 outings through loan spells with Port Vale, Wycombe Wanderers, Lincoln City, Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic. Herd played 2015/16 with Chesterfield, where he made 24 appearances.
GLORY PREPARE FOR CASTRO EXIT
Perth Glory have started searching for a replacement for star import Diego Castro in a sign they are increasingly resigned to losing the reigning Johnny Warren medallist. Coach Kenny Lowe will fly to Europe this week, with a visit to Spain in the pipeline to identify a new left-sided player capable of filling Castro’s role and complementing strikers Andy Keogh and Adam Taggart.
Castro, fresh from being named the A-League’s best player, will return to Perth from holidays in the next few days ahead of this weekend’s Most Glorious Player awards. The Spaniard is due to tell Glory officials whether he will accept their offer and sign on for the 2016/17 season. It is understood the 33-year-old has also received a $1.4 million deal to play in India.
Lowe, who accepted the Johnny Warren Medal on behalf of the La Liga winger last week, said Castro had embraced every-thing during his time in Perth, including the travel demands. “It’s a choice him and his family will make,” Lowe said of Castro’s future. “He came for an adventure. He’s had an adventure. Originally we offered him a two-year deal, but he said he just wanted one (year). Now does he want another year’s adventure? That’s the question.”
Glory are also intensifying their efforts to secure another goalkeeper with Ante Covic almost certainly leave the club due to family commitments. Discussions are continuing with former Liverpool and Middlesbrough ’keeper Brad Jones, who is weighing up a move to the A-League with his six-month deal at Dutch club NEC about to end. Newcastle Jets Mark Birighitti is also out of contract and of strong interest to Glory.
WESTERN SYDNEY YET TO LEARN LESSONS: NEVILLE
Dejected Western Sydney Wanderers players are yet to learn any lessons from their latest A-League Grand Final failure, defender Scott Neville says. "I haven't learnt anything yet. It's pretty disappointing and still fresh," said Neville, scorer of his teams' goal in a 3-1 loss. "Once we look at it, we'll realise we could have done better as a collective group. We'll analyse it and next year we'll be back bigger and stronger."
Neville said the pain from Western Sydney's third grand final defeat in four seasons would spur the club, rather than burden it. "The boss (Tony Popovic) ... just said to keep our heads high," he said. "We have been on a journey all year and it's disappointing obviously not to finish the journey the way we wanted to. To make it to a Grand Final is a great achievement but once again we're all disappointed we didn't finish the job off.
"For me personally, that is two Grand Finals now and two losses, so I'm really hoping next year we can kick on with the job. If we can keep everyone together and continue this journey, I think we'll be a stronger force than this year. We were second in the league and got so close in the Grand Final, we have just got fine tune a few things and we'll be better."
Neville lamented his teams' sluggish start against Adelaide, who led two-nil after 34 minutes. "To go two goals down, it was a bit too much to ask to come back from that," he said. "We weren't sharp enough and didn't play our normal game - we went away from the structure we are so used to playing. In the second half we went back to the structure and you could see the strength and the qualities of our team. But it was too little too late."
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This page was last updated on the 4th May, 2016