WA KEEPER SIGNS NEW CONTRACT AT CHARLTON ATHLETIC
Former ECU Joondalup keeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer has signed a new contract with English Championship club Charlton Athletic, committing his future to the Addicks until at least 2023. The 21-year-old goalkeeper has impressed the Charlton coaching staff with his continued improvement including his penalty shootout heroics in the Addicks’ EFL Trophy win over Brighton U21s.
Maynard-Brewer, who joined Charlton from the Jacks in 2015, was delighted to sign his new contract for the club. “I’m very happy. I’m glad that the club has put faith in me and I’m looking forward to pushing on. The last few years I have been in and around the first team but to be involved on the bench this year and to get those cup games has been great,” he said. “I’m just training hard and making sure when that chance comes, I’m prepared for it and I can take it. Ben Amos is a great role model to work under. He’s a great professional and good to learn from in the gym and also for advice on the pitch.”
Maynard-Brewer was also complimentary of goalkeeping coach Andy Marshall. “He has developed my game over the years,” he said. “You look at what he has done with Dills [Dillon Phillips] last year and Ben this year, he’s a good goalie coach and a good guy.” The Australian becomes the latest academy graduate to commit his future to Charlton following Thomas Sandgaard’s takeover, after Charlie Barker and Aaron Henry signed contract extensions earlier this month.
“I’ve said it quite a few times now but the academy was a big reason we were interested in taking over Charlton, you just have to look at some of the special players to come through at the club to see the potential,” Sandgaard said. “We have a long-term strategy in place to get us where we want to go and keeping hold of a player of Ashley’s ability is an important part of that strategy. Everyone at the club speaks very highly of him, both as a player and as a person, so I’m very pleased he’ll be with us for the foreseeable future.”
Charlton Manager Lee Bowyer rates the young goalkeeper and was pleased to see him signing a new contract. “It’s great’s news. I don’t want to speak too highly of him too soon but all I will say is that I have played with some top, top goalies and what Ashley is doing now, today, he’s going to be a top, top goalie,” he said. “I’m over the moon to get him tied down to the club.”
GLORY MEMBERS STILL UNSURE OF WATCHING FROM THE STANDS THIS SEASON
Perth Glory have been busy I’m the transfer market in October, adding five new faces, which has given the Glory members and supporters some cheer, but many of them are still unsure if they will be cheering from the stands this season. The closed borders on WA has stopped all sport heading to the west, and this week WA missed out on a lucrative cricket test match against India, due to the closure. Many Glory faithful are having second thoughts about taking up a membership this season as it could turn out to be waste of money.
The club had over 10,000 A League members last season, and a number also signed up to support the club in the Asian Champions League, but it looks like they will not be heading to Perth. So where does it leave the supporters, and with the ACL starting next month and the A-League in December it’s about time we had some firm answers not only from Glory but from FFA, who have been slow to confirm anything, all we want is answers not hearsay and excuses.
The A-League is set to get underway on December 27th and Glory Chief Executive Officer Tony Pignata is delighted at the prospect of Glory hitting the pitch once more, but he didn’t mention where. "It’s very exciting to now have a date set for the start of both the A-League and Westfield W-League Season and our teams returning to action," he said. "I’d like to thank our Members and fans for their ongoing support and we look forward to the Glory Family being reunited when the 2020/21 Season gets underway."
The new calendar means that the majority of the season will be played concurrently with the grassroots football season and Head of Leagues Greg O'Rourke believes that the timing is ideal for a number of reasons. "This year’s calendar sees us kicking off two seasons of Australia’s best football on the same day, right in the middle of summer," he said. "The men’s competition now features 12 teams, including three in Sydney and three in Melbourne, meaning more derbies, more intensity and more fans. With families at home together during the holiday season, great weather and games broadcast live on multiple platforms, there are so many ways for fans to be close to the action, at home or in the stadium."
What do we know – 1. A-League regular season to finish at the end of May, with the Finals Series to then begin in June, 2. Westfield W-League Finals Series to be completed in April, 3. Both leagues will feature midweek football as part of condensed fixturing, 4. A-League Structure - 12 teams and 26 Rounds, 5. Westfield W-League Structure - 9 teams and 14 Rounds, 6. The 161 men’s matches will be played over 23 weeks, with the Grand Final set for June and the women’s 57 games will finish with a Grand Final in April, 7. Matches will be broadcast live on the My Football Live App, FOX SPORTS and Kayo, with selected matches on ABC TV. The full fixture schedule for both leagues, including broadcast details, will be released in early November While there is still plenty to be clarified, we can confirm that all clubs are in preparation for this start date. Stay tuned for more details...
CASSIDY TAKES OUT CHAMPIONS F&B
ECU Joondalup defender Shame Cassidy was the toast of the night after taking out the clubs Fairest and Best Award at their 2020 Presentation Night at the Joondalup Resort on Saturday evening. The 33-year-old had an outstanding season, helping the Jacks to their first Premier League title since 1999, and he finished ahead of Andy Higgins, Ryan Lowry and Danny Hodgson. The Irish defender, who joined from Stirling Lions, said it caps of a fantastic third season at the Campus.
“I’m humbled to win the award and it really does cap off a great season for me and the club,” Cassidy said. “I joined the club three years ago and have enjoyed every minute, and to win the league, with a great bunch of players, and to also win this award is something I’ll treasure. “To be voted Player of the Year by my team mate is unbelievable, but we had a great team camaraderie this season and I was happy to just play my role in that.”
Jacks Head Coach Kenny Lowe said he was thrilled for Cassidy. “I’m delighted for Shane, he had a great season for the club and played a huge part in our title winning success,” he said. “His experience at the back, along with Johnny Perkins and Ryan Lowry, was invaluable for our young group of players. But our success was built on a team work ethic, and to be crowned Champions was a great reward for everyone, and I couldn’t be happier for the group, and for Shane to be rewarded by his fellow players on an outstanding season.”
In other awards Andy Higgins won the coaches Player of the Year, Ryan Lowry won the Credential Player of the Year, while Danny Hodgson won the Golden Boot. Luke Davis won the under 20s Players Player of the Year, with Sonny O’Shea and Kisesa Rene joint winners of the Coaches Player of the Year, with Dor Jok the top goal scorer. In the 18s Massimo Bresciani won the Players Player of the Year and Nele Weale winning the Coaches Player of the Year, while Laat Mathiang was the top goal scorer.
In the Masters Karl Chrimes won the Players Player of the Year, Luke Croxall the coaches Player of the Year and the top goal scorer. It was a clean sweep in the Women’s awards, with Frankie Murray taking out all three trophies on the night, as the side celebrated their third-place finish in their inaugural season. There were two life members awarded on the night with Diane Amphlett and Henry Rhodes recognised for their work at the club, while Nathan Rhodes, Andy Higgins and Tommy Amphlett were recognised for ten years’ service at the club.
MANDURAH TEENAGER TAKES OUT CLUB’S F&B AND SKIPPER WINS STATE LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
It was an impressive season for Mandurah City, the club reaching the Top six and missed out on Final Series Grand Final on the final day after a 0-0 draw at eventually Champions Olympic Kingsway. A player who stood out and made great strides, was teenager Jake Shaked who made it a clean sweep at the club’s Presentation Night at the MUFC Clubrooms last weekend. The 16-year-old’s stellar season was rewarded by winning the Fairest and Best, Players Player and Coach’s Award, with Joe O’Brien taking out the Golden Boot.
The young defender said it was a huge surprise to win all three awards, but thanked his team mates and coaches for their hard work during his first season at the club. “It was a huge honour to win the fairest and best award, and with it being a predominantly new team, I think we progressed really well throughout the season thanks to some great coaching from Pete and Kris,” he explained. “The team also benefited a lot from our supporters who were fantastic throughout the whole year, so on the whole it’s been a great season for the team and I’m looking forward to us doing even better next season.”
Mandurah Coaches Pete Taylor and Kris Donnell were both full of praise for the youngsters’ season. “Jakes been an ever present all season and at the tender age of 16 he’s excelled in every area,” Taylor said. “He’s been so consistent this year and the F&B is reward for his efforts.” Donnell echoed Taylor’s comments. “Pete and I have been absolutely delighted with young Jake this season. To come in as a 16-year-old kid and perform week in week out to the level he has done has been unbelievable,” he said. “His attitude in training and application is always such a high standard. We are proud of Jake and look forward to seeing the young fella develop even more in the coming years.”
There was more good news for the club this week with skipper Oscar Thompson being named the State League Division One Player of the Year by Football West. The central defender said he is delighted to win the award and is hoping for more next season. “I’m thrilled to be named player of the year, it’s an absolute honour, and I want to thank everyone at Mandurah city, coaches and team mates for an enjoyable season together,” he said.
“I’ll enjoy it the best I can for a while and then focus on becoming better again next season. Lastly, I’d like to dedicate this award to my late nan who passed during the season.” Donnell said Thompson has led by example on the pitch and deserves the award. “I’m delighted to see Oscar win player of the year it’s well deserved,” he explained. “We made him captain this season and he was a leader for us on the park with some really good performances.”
WHITMORE VOTED JOONDALUP UNITED PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Joondalup United were one of the big improvers in 2020, after a ninth-place finish in 2019, they finished sixth, to take part in the upper table fixtures, and midfielder Josh Whitmore was a major part in that. He was rewarded for his good season by being voted the club’s Players Player of the Year at the clubs Presentation Night at the Currambine Bar and Bistro, edging out Neil Gillies to the top award.
The 27-year-old returned to the club after two-years at ECU Joondalup, and he was obviously delighted to win the award. “It’s always nice to pick up a personal award at the end of the season, but the lads have been great to play with this season and we fully deserved to be in the top six,” Whitmore explained. “We were unlucky in the final games not pick up more points, but now we’ve set the foundations for us to go on and improve again next season.”
United Head coach Nick Jennings was delighted to get Whitmore back to Forrest Park and said he was a worthy winner. “It was great to welcome Josh back to the club, and I know he felt disappointed with some of his early season games, but having had virtually no pre-season due to injury and the birth of his first child, to me he still set standards for the younger boys to aspire,” he said. “His attitude and work ethic are always second to none and the longer the season went on the better he got. For his peers to vote him their player of the year was a great reward and I’m confident that the 2021 season will really see Josh step up and show the league what a great player he is.”
Gary Hill won the First Team Coach’s Player of the Year, while Lyn Bartlett won the Clubman of the Year. Sean Kalaher won the Reserves Players Player of the Year, ahead of Devon Rindel, with Conor Lyons taking home the Coach’s Player, Owain Thomas won the 18s Players Player of the Year and the Coach’s Player, he edged out Joel Sollitt for the top award.
In the Amateur first team Adam Buckley stole the show bagging the Coach’s Player of the Year and the Coach’s Player, with Tony Taylor the runner-up. Buckley said it capped off a great season for him. “I feel honoured to receive these awards it’s been a tough strange season not knowing if we would even have a season at all,” he said. “My own personal goals which I set myself was to play every game like it was my last and give everything I’ve got, so for me to be recognised for this is truly a honour thank you to everyone for a great season.”
First Team Coach Neil Sherwin said the inclusion of Buckley was a huge boost to his squad. “Adam was a massive addition to our squad this season having been with our NPL/State side in recent years. He’s played at a high level and is still one of the best finishers around; his record of 16 goals in just 14 games is fantastic and included a couple of important match winners,” he explained. “As well as being a great player on the park, Adam’s influence is important off it too and he is a great team mate, as evidenced by his club Players’ Player of the Year award. He’s already looking forward to next season and I’ve no doubt he’ll up there again in the scoring charts.”
Other awards on the night Neil Sherwin won the Reserves Players Player of the Year, with Declan Kerrigan the runner up, while Patrick Lawless won the Coach’s Player. Graeme Reid won the Masters 35s Players Player of the Year, ahead of Ben Davies-Smith, Reid also winning the Coach’s Player. Alan Crofts won the Masters 45s A Players Player of the Year, with Martin Latham winning the Coach’s Player. Mick Murphy won the Masters 45B Players Player, ahead of Paul Gillet, with Phil Corcoran winning the Coach’s Player. Hannah Callan won the Women’s Players Player of the Year, ahead of Chrissie Paraskos, with Sarah Cain winning the Coach’s Player.
CLUB IN PROFILE - ROCKINGHAM CITY FOOTBALL CLUB
Rockingham City was founded in 1970 as "Rockingham United Soccer Club" and the club colours were orange and white.
They joined the Soccer Federation of Western Australia in 1971 and played in the Second Division (now known as Division One). The club's home ground in their very first season was at Shoalwater Bay Oval. It was always going to be a difficult year, not only was it their first season, but also going directly into the semi-professional competition. The club finished thirteenth in the fourteen team league, with only two wins from twenty-six games.
In 1972 the club had a much better season, winning ten games and ending up in ninth place from fourteen teams. However, the Soccer Federation was re-introducing a third tier league in 1973, and this meant the bottom six clubs would get relegated. Unfortunately Rockingham just missed out avoiding the drop by only two points. The club were now playing at the old Rockingham Oval, which was opposite the Rockingham Hotel.
Relegation ended up being a blessing in disguise. Being a relatively new club, the team were able to compete well in the new Third Division, and the club won their very first championship and promotion that came with it.
The team were very competitive in what today would be called Division One in the mid-1970's, finishing in the top four for two years in a row, however 1976 would be Rockingham's year. Under coach Dave Clarke, the club won the title and promotion to the top flight.
It was a great achievement that in 1977, only seven years after the founding of the club, that Rockingham would find their way to the best possible league in Western Australia. The club were strong favourites to go straight back down in the ten team league. As it turned out that is what happened, however they only just missed staying up by only two points.
Steve Stacey took over as coach in 1978, and promotion back to the top flight was his number one aim. The club had a great season, and ended up in second spot behind champions Stirling Cracovia, just missing out on promotion. Rockingham did have a great run in the D'Orsogna Cup, making it all the way to the final. However, the club lost to a very strong East Fremantle Tricolore side 2-0 in front of a big crowd.
The next few seasons saw a decline, which ended up in relegation back to the third tier in 1980. During the rest of the decade, Rockingham United yo-yoed between Division One and Two. However, the golden era of the club was not too far off.
In 1988 the Rockingham local council achieved city status, and the club decided to change their name from Rockingham United to Rockingham City. It was also decided to bring in gold and green as the club's official colours. On the field that season, the club won the title and promotion. In 1989 Stuart Kamasz started his successful stint as coach, in his first year the club finished seventh, but it would be the following years where the club reached its peak.
In 1990, Rockingham were neck and neck for the Division One title with Ferndale United, but fell short by two points. However, the club were promoted back to the top flight for the first time in thirteen years. It was also to be another great cup run, with the club making it to a packed out final at Bayswater Oval against Super League giants Perth Italia. Steve Duckworth got a hat-trick for Rockingham, and this would normally be enough to hold up the cup, but it wasn't to be. In a thrilling game, Italia just edged out Rockingham by 4-3.
In 1991 the club were back in the big league, and they were hoping it would be a longer stint than the last time they were there in 1977. After a difficult first season, ending up in ninth, the club would have two very successful years. In 1992, the team made the Top Four Cup, finishing fourth, but failed to reach the Grand Final. 1993 saw another great year with Scott Halpin, Billy Russell and Paul Waddingham leading the way on the field. The team finished fifth, while the Reserves took out the Premier League title under coach Mike Tetlow, and winning the Top Four Cup on penalties.
Off-field problems during the summer meant coach Stuart Kamasz and most of the players left to join other clubs prior to the start of the 1994 season. This led to a difficult year on the pitch, with the team only winning two league games for the year and relegation back to Division One. Their four season run in the top flight was over.
It was a credit to the club that they only took two seasons to get back to fighting for honours. The last three seasons of the decade Rockingham finished runners-up each year. With former play Billy Russell as coach, he took them back to the Premier League for the 2000 season, however it was to be short lived, with relegation at the end of the year.
It was to be a difficult first few seasons in the new century in Division One. Adrian Rawlings, Laslo Korokai and Don Smith all had stints as coach, but the club finished as low as fifteenth in 2003. It wasn't until 2005 when Billy Russell took over as coach once again when the club had a competitive season, ending up in fifth spot.
The 2007 season would be the last year at Dowling Street Reserve, and it almost ended up in disaster. Rockingham finished last, with only one win all year. This put them into a relegation position. However Amateur Premier Division champions Shamrock Rovers declined their right to promotion, which saved Rockingham from the dreaded drop to the Amateur League.
In 2008, the club moved to their brand new facilities at Lark Hill in Port Kennedy. However, fortunes on the pitch were only slightly better at first, with the team ending up in ninth and tenth positions over the next five seasons. In 2013, the team finished bottom and were relegated to the Second Division which was only re-introduced in 2012.
Rob Crerar took over as first team coach in 2014, and his aim was to bring them straight back up. However, even though the team had a great season, they had to settle for runners-up. The following year, Forrestfield and Rockingham dominated the league. The championship wasn't decided until the very last game of the league season between the two clubs at Lark Hill. Rockingham needed the win, but it was Forrestfield who celebrated after a 1-0 victory. However, unlike the previous year, the club had another chance with the newly introduced play-offs. Rockingham met Morley-Windmills who finished second bottom of Division One. It was to be Rockingham who won 4-3 on aggregate, and with it promotion back to Division One.
After seventh and ninth placed finishers over the next two seasons, Cameron Lord took over as first team coach, determined to gain promotion. They and Gwelup Croatia both had a chance to win the title going into the last weekend of the season, but after Rockingham beat Fremantle City 4-1, the title and promotion back to the top flight was theirs.
Rockingham were tipped by some to go straight back down, however their first season in the NPL-WA ended up better than most expected. The team won eight games to finish in ninth position, three places above the relegated Stirling Lions.
Cameron Lord left to join Fremantle City over the summer, and it was Gary Christie who took over the helm. But with a number of experience players leaving, it was always going to be a difficult year. Rockingham finished last, but in the COVID-19 effected season, there was to be no relegation.
SEMI-PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE HONOURS (Using current divisional names)
First Division winners - 1976, 2018
First Division runners-up - 1978, 1990, 1997, 1998, 1999
Second Division winners - 1973, 1983
Second Division runners-up - 1988, 2014, 2015
Cup runners-up - 1978, 1990
Night Series Lower Division winners - 2009
Night Series Lower Division runners-up - 1998, 1999
GLORY SNAP UP INTERNATIONAL CENTRE-BACK LACHMAN
Perth Glory have confirmed the signing experienced central defender Darryl Lachman. Capped 30 times by the Caribbean nation of Curacao, the Amsterdam-born 30-year old has put pen to paper on a two-year deal.
Lachman’s resume includes almost 200 Eredivisie appearances for Groningen, PEC Zwolle and FC Twente, along with spells at English Championship club Sheffield Wednesday and most recently, Israeli Premier League side Hapoel Ra’anana.
"I’m delighted to be coming to Australia because I’ve heard a lot of great things about it," Lachman said. "I just want us to win as many games as possible and my aim is to play for the title. I can’t wait to get started."
A commanding figure at 1.89m in height, the former Ajax youth team player helped PEC Zwolle win the Eerste Divisie in 2011/12 and claim the KNVB Cup in 2013/14. He made his international debut for Curacao in March 2015.
Glory coach Richard Garcia is confident Lachman will prove to be an excellent addition to his squad. "Darryl is a strong central defender who is very calm in possession and an excellent distributor of the ball," Garcia commented.
"He’s very much a leader at the back who communicates and organises extremely well and also has a good turn of pace. There’s no doubt in my mind that he has all the qualities required to make a big impact for us this year and we’re delighted to have him on board."
NAVEN HEADS TO BAYSWATER CITY
Former Perth Glory defender Gareth Naven is the new Head Coach at NPLWA club Bayswater City. The 51-year-old takes over from Chris Coyne, who was appointed as Perth Glory under 20s coach last week. Naven who played at the club as a junior recently coached Melbourne Victory Youth for four seasons, this after spells at Perth Glory, Glory Youth and Perth Soccer Club.
Bayswater President Oriano Colli said Gareth was a perfect fit for the club. “Gareth is an ex-Bayswater boy and made his senior debut here when he was 15, and were delight to have him back as our Head Coach,” he said. “As a club we want to move forward and win titles and bring silverware back to the club, and we believe Gareth is the man to do that. He has an FFA pro-license, which not many coaches in WA have, and he is a high-level coach, and we believe he can take our club to the right level.”
GLORY SNAP UP TALENTED DUO
Perth Glory’s squad is taking shape for the upcoming A League and Asian Champions League campaign. After the signings of Andy Keogh and Brandon Wilson earlier in the week, they have signed talented duo Jonathan Aspropotamitis and Nick Sullivan. The 24-year-old central defender Aspropotamitis, played for Western United last season having previously made more than 40 A-League appearances for Western Sydney Wanderers and also spent a year with Central Coast Mariners.
The former Australia Under-20 and Under-23 international is looking forward to a new challenge at Glory, having signed for the duration of the club’s AFC Champions League campaign. "I’m very excited to have signed for Perth Glory," he said. “I can’t wait to firstly meet the boys and everyone at the club and secondly get over to Doha for the games in the AFC Champions League. It’s always a good experience to play in the ACL, so hopefully we can do really well and get through into the knockout rounds."
Midfielder Sullivan is another former Western Sydney Wanderers player who spent much of his early career in Europe. The 22-year-old was signed by Belgian side Club Brugge in 2013 and subsequently moved to Portugal where he represented both Vitoria FC and Cova da Piedade. After returning to Australia last year and making 15 appearances for Western Sydney, he is now relishing the prospect of playing for Glory for the 2020/21 season. "When the opportunity came to join the oldest club in the league with such a rich history, I couldn’t turn it down," he said. "This season, with the club and the set-up, I don’t see why we can’t push for Finals."
Glory Head Coach Richard Garcia is confident that both players can make a major impact in the coming months. "We are very pleased to have two young, energetic and ambitious players with A-League experience joining the group," he said. "Jonathan has always had a good reputation and enormous potential and we’re confident that he can fulfil that potential with us. Nick is an industrious midfielder who is very good defensively which is going to be important for us this year."
WILLIAMS WARNS ABOUT THE CHALLENGE IN INDIA
With news of the exodus of Australian players to Indian, the most recent being Scott Neville, former Perth Glory and Floreat Athena defender Aryn Williams, who played for Neroca FA for two seasons, said to those players it is no walk in the park. The 26-year-old said despite that it could be a great move, but a challenge one. “Aussies are leaving the A-League as there is talk of the salary cap being reduced,” he told The World Game.
“Ultimately players are moving there as they are getting more money and as the league is taking place in a bubble in Goa and that could ease the mind of players who were concerned about coronavirus. The ISL is getting bigger and the standard is getting higher. If you do well there then you can move to other Asian leagues.”
However, the fast-paced life of the subcontinent with 1.4 billion people can be an eye-opener. “There was a culture shock, to be honest after living in England and Australia,” added Williams. “There are some nice places but it is so heavily populated and poverty can be quite high in the cities and I was taken aback by some of it at first. It wasn’t hard to live there but it was harder than Australia.”
Williams, whose mother was born in the country, also wanted to play for India on the international stage though struggled to negotiate the bureaucratic minefields. “That was my ultimate goal, to get an Indian passport and go to the national team but when I arrived it just proved to be an impossible task,” he explained. “I went through many agencies and companies but nobody really knew what to do. It was making me stressed so in the end I left it.”
If the ISL is increasingly full of Australians, Williams is now playing in a league that should have more than it has. Indonesia is another country with huge potential though unlike India, football is very much the number one sport as he had found out at Persebaya. “I had the opportunity to move to Indonesia. One of the reasons was that my dad (Eric) had been a coach in the country,” he said. “When I talked to him and told him of the offer from Persebaya, he said immediately that I should go, as it was a big club. It is also well-run with salaries paid on time and everything is organised nicely.”
Williams has impressed so far in the midfield for the East Java giants and has been enjoying life on the archipelago. “I came midway through last season and we played Bali United at home and we had a huge sell-out crowd. That was my second game and I was a bit shocked but then you become accustomed to it and then you need it and it’s hard to play when they are not there.”
That is the situation at the moment. The 2020 league barely started before it was suspended due to coronavirus and it remains unclear when or if it will restart. Williams is hoping it is sooner rather than later as he has already impressed fans of the six-time champions, demanding though they are. “There is a lot to lose here. People spend whatever money they have on football and so the pressure is incredible --especially for foreigners. There are many trying to come here and foreigners can be changed easily and it happens every half-season. If you are not performing, they will change you. You have to win and it is more competitive here than Australia.”
That is one reason why the Aussie players, should think about a move to their closest Asian neighbours. “There should be more. The Brazilians come here on a low salary for a season, prove themselves and then get a move for triple the salary. Many Australians won’t do that and are asking clubs for $15,000 a month. Australians are good enough technically but some find it difficult as everything is not perfect like in the A-League like training facilities and sports science. It can take time to adjust but is rewarding when you do.”
Williams revealed a return to the A-League is still on the to-do list. “I would love to go back to Australia if I got the right offer financially and it came at the right time in my career but at the moment, I am happy in Indonesia. It’s a great place to play football.”
AUSTRALIA NEEDS A NATIONAL SECOND TIER SAYS MAROCCHI
Perth SC president Gary Marocchi believes the establishment of a national second-tier competition can provide the additional development pathways the game in Australia desperately needs. Perth and Bayswater City are part of the Association of Australian Football Clubs, a coalition of 35 semi-professional club from around the country.
The AAFC’s goal is to work towards the establishment of a national second division competition - tentatively titled The Championship - which would run beneath the A-League. While the group is working to nail down the operation and governance of The Championship, its long-term goal is to be aligned with the A-League and allow for promotion and relegation between the two leagues.
Marocchi, the first West Australian to captain Australia, said creating alternative development pathways outside of the A-League is vital to the game’s long-term health. He suggested the Championship could run possibly as a part-time venture akin to the old National Soccer League, as opposed to a full-time professional league.
“A second tier won’t be at the full professional level, but it still gives some kids an opportunity to play at a higher level, and then possibly get a professional contract with a top tier team or go overseas,” Marocchi said. “You only have to look at Perth Glory’s situation; how many young kids have come through the system and gone on to play for the senior team? By having a second tier, it might be a starting point.”
Marocchi, Glory’s inaugural coach, said the current lack of promotion and relegation offered by the A-League was in danger of turning the competition stale. And while promotion and relegation between the A-League and the Championship is not part of the AAFC’s initial vision, that is the long-term aim.
“There’s no promotion or relegation and halfway through the season, there’s not that much interest. The public is certainly showing that by their lack of support,” he said. “You can’t be languishing at the bottom every year and then stay in the competition; there’s got to be some sort of incentive for clubs to not always continuously finish at the bottom of the ladder.”
GARCIA EXPECTS FORNAROLI TO STAY
New Perth Glory coach Richard Garcia expects Bruno Fornaroli to remain at the A-League club. The Uruguayan striker has one season to go on his two-year deal with Glory but there had been recent rumours that Victory could try to poach him.
That’s news to Garcia, who is counting on Fornaroli to be part of the club’s Asian Champions League campaign, which commences on 18th November. “Bruno is very happy here and we’ve made him aware that he’s a wanted player,” Garcia said. “He’s part of the plans going forward.”
Glory’s list of contracted players currently stands at 14 following yesterday’s recruitment of veteran striker Andy Keogh and midfielder Brandon Wilson. The club will make more announcements in the coming weeks before the restart of their ACL campaign.
DWEH SIGNS WITH SPAIN'S ALHENDIN BALOMPIE
Talented teenager Samuel Joe Dweh has swapped the National Premier Leagues for a spot in Spanish football. Liberian-born, Perth-raised Dweh has signed for CF Alhendin Balompie who compete in the Liga Nacional Juvenil, the country’s second division for players aged 19 and under.
18-year old Dweh moved to Spain at the end of August and he is now out to make his name in Europe. “I was born in Liberia and my family moved to Ghana,” said Dweh, who only started playing competitive football five years ago with Stirling Lions.
“We were there for a few years and we came over to Australia when I was six. We were refugees, my dad had family over here. I played football a little bit in Africa, but it wasn’t serious, just a kick-around with mates. When I came to Australia, I wasn’t really playing football, back then everything was about AFL.”
“So I played AFL for a bit, then basketball (and) then football. I just fell in love basically and I just kept playing from there. My first season was in 2015 (and) in pre-season I broke two bones in my leg. After that people around me were saying you probably shouldn’t go back to playing but after three months I was back into it again.”
Dweh played Under-15s as a 13-year old and in his second season moved up several age groups after scoring 10 goals in just eight matches for the Under-16s. At the age of 15 he was playing for Stirling’s Under-20s, where he bagged five goals in 15 appearances.
“I was with Stirling Lions for three, four years, then I moved to Inglewood United for a year and this year I was with Gwelup,” Dweh explained. “I got moved up pretty quickly. This season and last season were probably my best seasons. I was playing Under-20s and this season was my debut year in the first-team.”
Having made his first team debut for Gwelup, Dweh headed to Spain to join FC Malaga City Academy, before linking with CF Alhendin Balompie after a successful trial. He admits it has been an adjustment getting used to the demands of professional football and the language barrier.
“The club’s pretty good, it’s my first time playing in Spain,” he said. “The season starts next week. The team that I’ve joined is in the second division. There’s a lot of training, more than I’ve done before. We train every day, Monday to Saturday and sometimes we have a game on Saturday, so we train Monday to Friday and then play.”
“So it’s pretty full-on. The standard is very high, there’s a lot of good players here. The intensity is high as well. It’s exactly what I was after. That’s the goal at the moment, to get better, get better coaching. The language is very difficult but we take classes, three times a week. At the start I was like, what the hell, but now I’m getting a little bit better and understanding.”
Originally a right-back, Dweh is now a forward or winger who can also fill in at number 10. He hopes to one day emulate other African refugees to Australia, like Awer Mabil and Jason Geria, and wear the green and gold. “That’s another goal for me, playing for the Socceroos,” he added.
ANDY KEOGH RETURNS TO GLORY IN MAJOR COUP
Perth Glory’s leading A-League goalscorer Andy Keogh has returned to kick start his A-League career under new coach Richard Garcia. Capped 30 times by the Republic of Ireland, the veteran striker has signed for the 2020/21 A-league season.
Keogh, Glory’s golden boot winner in their 2018/19 Premiers’ Plate-winning campaign, was frozen out by former coach Tony Popovic and left the club in mid-2019. He joined Saudi Arabian club Al-Qadsiah and more recently spent time at Indian Super League club North East United.
“I really want to help the people I care about to move the club forward,” said Keogh, who scored 55 goals in 122 appearances across two previous spells with Glory. He becomes an an Australian citizen next month and will not take up an international squad spot.
“I’m an experienced player and I’m confident that I can contribute both in terms of helping the team and also assisting the young players that we have with their development. This is about helping a club that I care about and I’m looking forward to what I’m sure will be a successful season.”
WILSON SIGNS ON FOR MORE GLORY
Perth Glory have re-signed Australian youth international Brandon Wilson following his brief spell with Wellington Phoenix. The 23-year old left Glory in January after failing to break into a midfield alongside Diego Castro, Neil Kilkenny and Juande.
“I always had a great relationship with Glory members and fans so I’m really looking forward to getting out there and representing them once again,” said Wilson, who gained 44 appearances for Glory since originally signing in mid-2016.
“I grew up watching the team play from The Shed and always wanted to be a Perth Glory player. It’s fantastic to have that opportunity to play for my home club again and I can’t wait for the season to begin.”
Garcia expects Wilson to make an impact this season. “Brandon is another player who loves the club and is a young Perth talent with plenty to offer. He’s very versatile and exactly the kind of player and person we want in the squad to help drive the club forward.”
JONES NOMINATED FOR AFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TEAM
Goalkeeper Brad Jones has been shortlisted as one of five shot-stoppers for the AFC Champions League 2020 (West) Team. The former Liverpool, Middlesbrough and Feyenoord 'keeper was one of the shining lights of Al-Nassr's AFC Champions League campaign, driving the Saudi Arabian club through to the semi-finals.
Jones' four cleansheets in eight appearances were bettered only by Hamed Lak (Persepolis) while his 25 saves is more than any other 'keeper in this year's competition. He was in particularly impressive form in the knockout stages with back-to-back cleansheets against Iranian side Sepahan, making 14 saves across the two games.
Jones, 38, has played 90 times for Al-Nassr since joining the Saudi Pro League club in August 2018. A former Armadale and Bayswater City junior, he has been based abroad since 2001, chalking up over 330 appearances in England, Ireland, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia and represented Australia on six occasions.
KENNY LOWE DUSTS OFF THE BOOT FOR TELETHON
Kenny Lowe has had a stellar first season in the NPLWA, guiding ECU Joondalup to the title, but on Sunday the 58-year-old will dust off his boots to help out in a Charity game on aid of telethon. But the former Hartlepool United, Stoke City and Birmingham FC player said he might be calling for oxygen when he dusts off the boots on Sunday.
But the former Perth Glory coach will be in good hands if - or more likely when - he runs out of puff with plenty of medical aid at hand. Lowe will be playing for the Perth Glory Legends when they take on Perth Children's Hospital Doctors in a charity match for Telethon and Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation at Dorrien Gardens. He will be joining by a host of Glory names like current coach Richard Garcia, Jamie Harnwell, Gareth Naven, Scott Miller, Matt Horsley, Michael Garcia, Steven McGarry, Chris Harold, Danny Milosevic, Kim Carroll, Elisa D’Ovidio, Shawn Billam, Katarina Jukic and Bronwyn Studman.
Some of the Legends may still be living in their lunchtime but the Doc's are taking the game seriously, ready to hand out a taste of their own medicine, having trained with Glory W-League assistant coach Jessine Bonzas. The senior consultants play the junior consultants in a one-off game every year and plenty play Sunday football on a regular basis. Lowe said he had vague memories of the last time he pulled on the boots.
"It was probably in the days of Pathe News and black and white television," he joked. “I'm not sure about lasting 90 minutes. I think I might go down and execute the old emergency substitute rule. It will be fun. A lot of hard work has gone into it, it's for a good cause and there's been a good response from a lot of good people."
Richard Garcia said the former players are looking forward to the game and it’s for an important cause. “All the players I’ve spoken too are really looking forward to getting out there and having a run, or maybe more of a jog in some cases,” he said. “It should be a lot of fun and hopefully the Perth football public will really get behind it and we can raise plenty of money for two fantastic causes.” The game kicks-off at 2.30pm with admission by gold coin donation and incorporates a family fun day and entertainment including an inflatable pitch.
CASTRO TO RETURN GLORY AFTER SETTLING PAY FEUD
Marquee star Diego Castro has settled his pay feud with the A-League club and will be back for next season. The Spanish midfielder joined teammates at their first pre-season meeting since the squad was stood down a month ago by owner Tony Sage while talks were held over new reduced pay deals.
Relieved coach Richard Garcia, who met with a dozen players described the meeting as a return to normality and welcomed the return of Castro. “Diego is one of the best players in the history of both the A-League and this club and it’s great to have him back on board,” Garcia said.
“The COVID situation and some miscommunication and misunderstandings led to awkward situations developing with a number of players, particularly Diego, but we’ve tried to resolve those amicably and move forward. It’s fantastic to have the players back in after what has been a frustrating and challenging few months.”
“I’ve been very eager since being appointed to get the boys back in and this is a great opportunity for us to get together and really start our preparations. The players have also been very eager to move forward and switch their focus back onto football and doing what they love every day.”
Garcia confirmed new signings will be unveiled next week and that he will call on academy youngsters to boost the squad. “We’ve been working tirelessly to strengthen the squad in areas where we have lost players. We will be in a position to confirm some new signings over the next few days,” he said.
“A number of our young players will also be given the opportunity to mix it with the first team squad and prove themselves in the coming weeks.” Garcia has just four weeks to prepare the side for their first game in the re-booted Asian Champions League against China’s Shanghai Shenhua in the Qatar where they will be in a COVID bubble until at least mid-December.
DECEMBER START FOR A-LEAGUE AND W-LEAGUE SEASONS
Football Federation Australia have confirmed the 2020/21 A-League and W-League seasons will kick off on Sunday 27th December. There will be 161 games played in an expanded twelve-team A-League across 23 weeks, with the Grand Final pencilled in for June.
FFA head of leagues Greg O’Rourke believes that the timing is ideal. “This year’s calendar sees us kicking off two seasons of Australia’s best football on the same day, right in the middle of summer,” he said.
“With families at home together during the holiday season, great weather and games broadcast live on multiple platforms, there are so many ways for fans to be close to the action, at home or in the stadium.”
The nine-team W-League will complete a 57-game season, with the Grand Final to be held in April. The W-League is arguably facing its most challenging season after the majority of the Matildas departed the competition for European clubs.
Perth Glory chief executive Tony Pignata said it was exciting to have a date set for the start of both the A-League and Westfield W-League Season and for their teams to return to action.
“I’d like to thank our members and fans for their ongoing support and we look forward to the Glory family being reunited when the 2020/21 Season gets underway,” he said. The new calendar means the majority of the campaign will be played concurrently with the grassroots football season.
WILSON EXITS WELLINGTON
Australia youth international Brandon Wilson has left A-League club Wellington Phoenix to return to Perth for family reasons. The 23-year old midfielder has not been confirmed as a Perth Glory signing yet, however, that is expected to be a formality given the club's numerous departures and lack of signings for the coming season.
Wilson thanked Wellington and coach Ufuk Talay, who he feels is building something special at the New Zealand club. “I really want to thank everyone at the club for last season, the players and coaching staff have been great and Ufuk has built an excellent culture," Wilson said.
“I’ve loved every minute of my time with the Phoenix and although I’m sad it’s being cut short, it has been great to have been part of a squad that created history; hopefully they can do it again next season.”
Wilson, an ECU Joondalup junior, started his senior career with English clubs Burnley and Stockport County. in mid-2016 he returned to Perth to commence a four-year spell with Glory, making 45 first team appearances for the club. He switched to Wellington in January but was limited to just five outings for the club.
SMITH TAKES OUT BAYSWATER’S FAIREST AND BEST
Scottish striker Gordon Smith has capped off a good season at Bayswater City, by taking out the clubs Fairest and Best at their Gala night at the Tuscany Association WA in Balcatta on Saturday evening. The former Hearts centre forward, who joined the Frank Drago Reserve club from ECU Joondalup last season, beat Declan Hughes to the award, and he had his best season at the club and stayed injury free. The 29-year-old said it was a great honour to win the award, but it was a disappointing season for the Blue and Black.
“Overall, it’s been a very disappointing season, one we will look back on as a squad knowing we should’ve done better,” he explained. “It’s obviously a great honour to receive player of the year, although I didn’t reach my own personal target for goals, I think my consistent performances won me the award. I played a lot of different positions too, and we look forward to an improvement in 2021.”
Outgoing Coach Chris Coyne said Smith was a deserved winner. “Gordon is a fantastic player whose hard work didn’t get the goals it deserved this season,” he explained. “He played numerous positions for me, for the benefit of the team and always gave 110%, no questions asked. He is a great role model for the young boys at the club, and the award was well deserved for his tireless work and quality.”
In other awards on the night Daryl Nicol won the first team Golden Boot, Alex McLean won the 20s Fairest and Best Award, ahead of Shaun Mukwevho, who won the Golden Boot, while Igor Cvijanovic won the Players Player of the Year. In the 18s Shade Stewart won both the Fairest and Best and Players Player of the Year, with Will Gallagher the runner up and Golden Boot winner.
TEECE FLY’S HOME WITH GULLS F&B
Sorrento missed out on the final’s series spot, but it was another stellar season for striker Cameron Teece, who won the clubs Fairest and Best, in last weekend’s Presentation night at the Percy Doyle Reserve Clubrooms. The 20-year-old pipped defender Jakub Prajza to the award, and he also won the clubs Golden Boot. He bagged 15 goals in the NPLWA and was pipped for the NPLWA Golden Boot by ECU Joondalup striker Danny Hodgson.
He was delighted to win the win award, but said he was a little disappointed not to make the Finals Series Cup. “I thought it was a pretty good season for us, just a few sloppy results cost us the chance to win anything overall,” he explained. “There is a great bunch of lads and great coaching staff here, and personally I felt I had a good season, so was nice to be rewarded with the player of the year.”
Sorrento Head Coach Jamie Harnwell said Teece was a worthy winner of the clubs Fairest and Best award. “It’s been fantastic to see Teecey start to realize his undoubted potential,” he explained. “He has worked extremely hard over the past 12 months to improve and this is due credit for him. He had a fantastic season for the club and was a deserving winner of the Fairest and Best. I am just looking forward to seeing him continue to improve and show how good he can ultimately be.”
In other awards on the night Ethan Banks edged out Theo Gilsenan to the under 20s Player of the Year, while Keegan Chambers beat off Jude Gauntlett to win the under 18s. The Most Improved Player in the club went to Daniel Faichney, while the Most Significant Save or Goal of the Season went to Alex Morgan. Teece took out the Golden Boot, while the Best Club Person of the Year went to Victor and Gil Giudicatti
HUNT HAT-TRICK SEALS WA AMATEURS VICTORY
The WA State Amateur side have made the long trip to Kalgoorlie-Boulder and come home with a 5-1 win against a Goldfields Soccer Association Men’s Select XI on Saturday afternoon. The game was part of a doubleheader which also saw a young Northern Redbacks side lose 4-3 to the Goldfields Soccer Association Womens Select XI in the late game. Quinns striker Liam Hunt was the star on the day, bagging a hat trick, with other goals from North Perth United’s Lucas Munoz and Joondalup United’s Adam Taylor, which saw Colm Costello’s side run out convincing winners. Hunt said it was a good game and he was happy to bag a few. “We didn’t start the game to well but it was good to go into half time with a lead which helped us over run them in the second half,” he said. “I’m very happy with myself for bagging a hattrick for the state team and helping us get the win.”
“It was a great win for a new look state side,” Costello added. “We made a good start but let the Goldfields back in the game, but we had a good chat to the lads at half time and the players all agreed we needed to be tidier and more patient in possession. It was a great second half performance from the lads, we had 11 players play their first game for the state team including two 20-year-olds and 19- year-old, Ryan Morris. It was a quick turn around and we only had two training sessions with the lads, a really commanding display especially in the second half. The Goldfields were brilliant hosts and could not have done anymore for us up here, and we were very grateful to be part of a great evening of football.”
The Amateurs made the perfect start and were ahead after only five minutes. Jose Zuniga slipped a great through ball to Munoz, who finished clinically with a neat lob. The hosts hit back on the half hour with a well taken equaliser, but three minutes from the break WA regained the lead. Hunt started the move with a great cross field ball to Munoz, who crossed into the box and Hunt continued his run to score and send WA into the break with a 2-1 lead.
Costello made five changes at the break, and moved Hunt into the striker’s role, and it worked a treat. Taylor made it 3-1 with a close-range header ten minutes into the second half, before Hunt added the fourth on the hour, finishing off well after good work down the right by Ryan Morris. Hunt put the icing on the cake on 72 minutes, completing his hat-trick, after he was picked out by a throw in by Morris, and raced into the box and rounded the keeper to make the final score 5-1.
Skipper Juri Galba said it was a good win and it was great moment to skipper the State squad. “We started pretty well and scored an early goal, but unfortunately we conceded a sloppy goal. Luckily, we managed to score a goal just before the half time which calmed us down, and after half time we dominated, thanks to the subs who made a huge impact in the game,” he said. “It’s always a pleasure and honour to lead the best state Amateur players. I think we had a great mix of experience and young talented players who didn't require a lot of management off the pitch so the key to the success was to make everyone confident to express their skills on the pitch, prove everyone why they deserved a spot in the state team and make a statement.”
Gold Fields State Amateur squad: Ellis Roberts (Mandurah City), Kelechi Osunwa (North Perth Utd), Thierry Bernard (North Perth Utd), Curtis Wreglesworth (Joondalup Utd), Juri Galba (captain, Wembley Downs), Sean Troup (Kwinana Utd), Liam Hunt (Quinns), Liam McManus (Quinns), Jose Zuniga (Maddington White City), Wayne Carter (Quinns), Adam Taylor (Joondalup Utd), Lucas Munoz (North Perth Utd), Luke Green (Joondalup Utd), Lewis Robinson (North Perth Utd), Alejandro Sarria (Maddington White City), Ryan Morris (Wembley Downs)
GLORY SWOOP FOR FORMER DUO
Perth Glory have added former players Andy Keogh and Brandon Wilson to their squad for the A-League 2020/21 Season. Keogh returns for a third spell in Perth from Indian Super League club North East United, having previously established himself as the club’s all-time record A-League scorer with 55 goals in 122 appearances. The Republic of Ireland international also played for Leeds United, Cardiff City, Bristol City and Millwall among his former clubs.
Keogh has played in six different countries, but he will become an Australian citizen next month, and he said he is delighted to be back in the west. "I really want to help the people I care about to move the club forward," he told the club website. “I’m an experienced player and I’m confident that I can contribute both in terms of helping the team and also assisting the young players that we have with their development. This is about helping a club that I care about and I’m looking forward to what I’m sure will be a successful season."
Botswana-born Wilson returns to Glory after spending the second half of last season with Wellington Phoenix. The 23-year-old midfielder made 45 appearances for Glory, following a spell with English Premier League outfit Burnley. The Australian under 20’s representative is also delighted to be back. "I always had a great relationship with the Glory Members and fans,” he said, "so I’m really looking forward to getting out there and representing them once again. I grew up watching the team play from The Shed and always wanted to be a Perth Glory player, so it’s fantastic to have that opportunity to play for my home club again and I can’t wait for the season to begin."
Glory Head Coach Richard Garcia is confident that both players will make a significant contribution this term. "Andy is a fantastic player who is passionate about Perth Glory and he’s made a number of sacrifices in order to return," he said. "He wants the best for the club, we know what he brings to the side and the kind of character he is and we’re delighted to have him back on board. Brandon is another player who loves the club and is a young Perth talent with plenty to offer. He’s very versatile and exactly the kind of player and person we want in the squad to help drive the club forward." The club have said there is more signings in the pipeline, watch this space.
CLUB IN PROFILE - QUINNS FOOTBALL CLUB
Quinns FC was formed in 1993 as "Joondalup City Junior Soccer Club" and had a loose affiliation with Joondalup City Soccer Club, who later became ECU Joondalup. This is the reason both clubs have very similar looking logos.
Steve Hallam, Howard Crump, Steve Reely and Paul Hollins were the founders of the club, and by 1994, 160 juniors were involved in teams that was based at Gumblossom Park in Quinns Rocks. Junior representation continued to grow over the next few years, and several years later the club officially changed their name to "The Jacks".
Juniors had always been the club's main focus, and by 2000 became one of the biggest and most successful junior clubs in Western Australia.
In 2001, the club formed senior teams for the very first time. A social team was entered to keep players at the club as they ended their junior football, and a Masters side for members over 35.
The next major change was in 2008, when the club changed its name to represent their suburb. The new name was to be Quinns FC. The following year another milestone was reached, for the first time the club saw first team and reserves football when they joined the Fifth Division of the Amateur League, and new change room and canteen facilities at Gumblossom Park. The first team had a great year, winning the championship and promotion that came with it.
In 2010, the club went from strength to strength. The juniors continued to grow, and the first team were once again champions, this time winning Division Four.
The club were now in the Amateur Third Division in 2011, and found the going tough, ending up in tenth spot. However, Quinns applied to join the newly formed State League Second Division, and were accepted to play in the new seven team league.
In 2012, the club had made it to semi-professional competition for the first time. John Evans would be the team's first senior coach in the State League, however the big jump up the leagues was not easy, and Quinns finished last.
There was to be a big improvement the following year, the team under Evans finished runners-up in the league.
In 2014, Division Two was strengthened to twelve teams, and it was to be a more difficult season, with the club ending up in ninth.
Glen Moore resigned as coach, with David Hall and Mick Bowers taking over in 2016. It was to be a good season, with the club making the top four. The following year, the club opened it's brand new club rooms, and soon after fencing around the pitch and lighting good enough for night games was installed. On the pitch, the club had a poor start, and finished eighth. The juniors of the club were also now playing in the NPL-WA for the first time.
David Hall and Glen Moore were co-coaches in 2018 before former Perth Glory boss Ian Ferguson took over mid-way through the year. The team ended up in mid-table in sixth spot.
2019 was to be the year for Quinns FC. Ferguson signed a number of experience players and a great start to the season, gave the club hope for promotion. It ended up to be a very good year, only one loss for the whole league season and they easily won the championship.
Quinns were now in the First Division in 2020, and in the COVID-19 effected season, the club just missed out by one point to make the top six. After the completion of phase two of the league, Quinns finished eighth and will be looking to build on that next season.
SEMI-PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE HONOURS
Second Division winners - 2019
Second Division runners-up - 2013
MAYNARD-BREWER AT HOME AT THE VALLEY
Former ECU Joondalup SC Academy goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer is closing in on a league debut for Charlton Athletic after becoming the club’s number two keeper. Maynard-Brewer swapped the Campus for south-east London in 2015 as a teenager and has spent the past five years working his way up the ranks at the Addicks. Two years ago, the keeper made his senior debut in a 1-0 EFL Trophy loss against Swansea City Under-21s. This season, he has already featured in two EFL Trophy matches.
With Ben Amos Charlton’s first-choice shot-stopper, the 21-year-old was on the bench as his back-up in the recent 0-0 League One draw with Sunderland. “I’ve played two first-team games in the EFL Trophy, one against Wimbledon and one against Brighton Under-23s, which have gone really well,” Maynard-Brewer told The World Game. “I’ve had a few Conference loans, which got me used to first-team football. And yeah, I’ve made the step in the past few weeks, which has been good. The last few years I’ve been in and around the first-team as a third keeper, learning off the other two.
“But at the moment I’ve been the number two goalkeeper, which has been good fun. I’ve been travelling to match-days, sitting on the bench and getting the cup games. Hopefully that will continue. Whenever I get the chance to play games I’ll try and do my best and take that opportunity. I’ve made the step up over the last couple of years – academy football, Under-18s, Under-23s, a few loans – so it’s all been working towards that league debut.”
After impressing in the academy and youth teams, over the past few years Maynard-Brewer has gone out on loan to Chelmsford City, Hampton & Richmond Borough, Dulwich Hamlet and Dove Athletic to gain senior experience. The keeper feels his skills have improved significantly thanks to his time at the Valley. “It’s gone quick. I left home a week or two before my 16th birthday,” he explained. “I’ve been here a long time now. It’s a completely different lifestyle. Perth is quite a small town so you grow up idolising football in the UK. When I first came over, the football aspect was unreal, being a part of it, watching games and being involved. But it was just living away from home and keeping yourself occupied away from football – that was the big challenge.
“It was a change in lifestyle but luckily I have relatives over here, aunties, uncles, cousins, grandparents, everyone except my immediate family. So that gave me a place to visit on the weekends and get away from football every now and then. I’ve been lucky in a way, there’s been a lot of good keepers that have come through in the last five years. We’ve had Dillon Phillips, currently Ben Amos, Jed Steer, Declan Rudd, Nick Pope, who’s now obviously doing big things with Burnley and in the England national team. Over those five years I’ve had some real good goalkeepers to learn off and it’s helped me massively.”
At Charlton since 2018, Maynard-Brewer has come under the guidance of former England midfielder Lee Bowyer and ex-Norwich City keeper Andy Marshall. “It’s good. Lee’s been here a few years now,” he said. “Before that there was a lot of turnover of managers, but he got a period of time to stabilise the team and he’s done some great things in getting us promoted a few years ago. He’s also a good bloke and nice to talk to. There’s a good core group of coaches there who give you a lot of feedback when you’re playing and how to make that adjustment from academy football to first-team matches.”
Maynard-Brewer has been called up for the Young Socceroos in the past but has yet to represent Australia at youth level. He is keen to push his claims for a spot in the Olyroos squad that will compete in Tokyo next year.
“100%. I’ve been involved in a few camps over the years, I’ve gone to Spain when I was 18,” the goalkeeper said. “The last two have been in Qatar, so I’ve been in and around it in a sense but haven’t played any competitive matches, which has been a little frustrating as I’d have loved to do. But I guess it’s good in a way as I’ve been able to focus on my time at Charlton. That Olympics is something I’m really striving to put myself in the best possible position for.”
NEVILLE LOANED TO EAST BENGAL
Brisbane Roar defender Scott Neville has joined Indian Super League side East Bengal on a season-long loan. The 31-year old was a regular for Brisbane across 2019/20 and put pen to paper on a new two-year contract with the club only yesterday.
“India presents a new challenge and I cannot wait to don the red and gold colours and take the field,” said Neville. “There will always be massive expectations from us and I am aware of that. I can assure the fans that we will leave no stone unturned in our bid to strive for excellence. I would like to thank the Brisbane Roar also for making this move possible.”
Neville started out at Sorrento FC before entering the A-League with Perth Glory in 2008. The right-back played four seasons with his hometown club followed by spells with Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers before returning to Glory for a further two campaigns. He joined Brisbane last June and has taken his career tally to 223 A-League appearances.
GLORY GO LOCAL FOR BACKROOM STAFF
Perth Glory’s A-League and ACL games are yet to be finalised, but the club have been busy building Richard Garcia’s backroom staff, and this week they added some key appointments, and a number of local names have been added. Three former Glory players have been handed coaching roles, with former Gwelup and ECU Joondalup midfielder Steven McGarry named as the club's new A-League Assistant Coach, Ruben Zadkovich coming in to operate as both a second A-League Assistant Coach and PGFC Academy Head Coach and former Bayswater City coach Chris Coyne being appointed PGFC Academy Under-20s Head Coach.
McGarry signed for Glory in 2010 from Scottish Premier League side Motherwell, this after stints at St Mirren and Ross County. He made 114 A-League appearances for Glory between 2010 and 2014, before he joined Amateur Premier Division club Gwelup Croatia, and helped the club to promotion to the State League, as well coaching the Glory NPL sides. He then headed north and signed for ECU Joondalup as a player and assistant coach, before a year as the clubs NPL Academy Technical Director of Football. He re-joined the Glory in 2018 in a similar role, a position which he will continue to fill going forward.
Coyne started his football at Dorrien Gardens, the home of Perth SC, before heading to the UK and playing for West Ham United, Dundee and over 200 games for Luton Town. He headed back to Glory in 2009 and played 32 games, and also has seven Socceroos Caps. He went in coaching at NPL side Bayswater City, and took the club to the NPL titles in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 and won the State League Cup in 2013 and 2014. He won the NPL coach of the year in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and also coached the WA State League side in 2014 and 2016.
Terry McFlynn, meanwhile, moves from his previous role as Academy and W-League Manager to become Football Operations Manager. McFlynn, having been one of the most decorated players in Sydney FC's history, transitioned into a key figure in the Sky Blues' administrative and coaching structure before joining Glory in 2019. Ruben Zadkovich played in England with Notts County and Derby County, before stints in the A-League with Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets, before a season at Glory, 2014-1, and has recently enjoyed great success as Head Coach of NPL Northern NSW side, Broadmeadow Magic.
Jesse Hesford, who was a coach at ECU Joondalup, Bayswater City and most recently the Lead Skills Development Coach & Head of Academy Performance Analysis at Glory, has been appointed as Head of First Team Performance Analysis. The club can also confirm that Jason Weber has been appointed as its new Strength and Conditioning Coach. He brings a wealth of elite-level sport experience having worked for Rugby Australia, Waratahs Rugby and the Queensland Rugby Union ahead of a 12-year stint as High-Performance Manager of the Fremantle Dockers.
Glory Head Coach Richard Garcia is understandably delighted to have a team with such a depth of knowledge and experience around him. "It's a strong and dynamic group that I'm really looking forward to working with," he said. "Having worked with Stevie for the last two years, I know that we're on the same page when it comes to football and in terms of our relationship, he's always ready to challenge what I do and I really like that.
“Ruben is a guy that I played with and who began his coaching career around the same time as me. He brings a great knowledge of football and is a vibrant personality who has strong opinions about football and is always trying to improve not only the tactics and formation, but also the morale and energy in the camp.
Coyney has done extremely well coaching in the NPL, played at a high level and has a deep understanding of the game. This is a chance for him to come in and work with elite players and it's vital for us to have quality coaches at that end in order to help produce the next generation of Glory players.
"Terry has already proven his value to the club since coming in last year and he'll continue to do that in his new role. "He will be an integral part of driving the football department forward in the coming months, as will Jesse as our new Head of First Team Performance Analysis. And finally, we are extremely happy to have brought Jason to the club. His expertise and experience will help us get the best out of our players and also help develop the other coaches we have in the club within the strength and conditioning field."
BURNS HEADS FOR THE GLORY EXIT
Perth Glory have lost another champion with the news Jacob Burns has resigned as Football Director and will be departing the club to explore opportunities elsewhere. Burns played at Sydney United and Parramatta Power, before heading to the UK and stints at Leeds United and Barnsley. He also played at Polish club Wisla Krakow, and Romanian club Unirea Urziceni, before the former Socceroos midfielder joined Glory in 2009 as skipper and led the club to its maiden Hyundai A-League Grand Final appearance three years later.
Burns claimed the Joe Marston Medal for his performance in that 2012 Grand Final and went on to play 116 A-League games in purple before hanging up his boots in 2014. He subsequently worked as a PGFC Academy Coach, Director and Technical Director ahead of a move into the role of Football Director. Glory CEO Tony Pignata paid tribute to the major contribution made by Burns to the club in a playing, coaching and administrative capacity.
"Jacob’s achievements as a Glory player speak for themselves," he said, "and he has also been a key force in driving the club forward in his subsequent off-field roles. The major part he played in establishing the PGFC Academy as one of the best of its kind in the country adds to the impressive legacy that he leaves behind. On behalf of everyone associated with Perth Glory, I would like to thank him for his years of service and wish him and his family all the very best for the future.”
Burns reflected fondly upon his 11-year association with the club. "I have decided that the time has come to step away and allow others to control the football direction,” he said. "I was honoured to be given the opportunity and am extremely proud of the legacy and foundations that I leave behind. During my time as Glory captain, I felt that our achievements put the club firmly back on the scene as a force within the new, modern A-League. Since retiring and moving into a variety of other roles, I feel very proud to have been involved in founding the PGFC Academy, helping the Academy gain 2-star recognition and launching our first two Academy schools.
"In terms of the senior team, I am similarly proud of our four Finals and two FFA Cup Final appearances, reaching a Grand Final played out in front of a record crowd at Optus Stadium and, of course, securing the club’s maiden Premiers’ Plate and qualification for the AFC Champions League. It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye for now and I will continue to support the club I love from the stands. I would like to thank Tony, Lucy and the Sage family for their support and of course, our wonderfully loyal Members and fans."
NEVILLE LOCKS IN BRISBANE FUTURE BEYOND
Brisbane Roar is pleased to announce it has locked in experienced defender Scott Neville for beyond the A-League 2020/21 campaign. One of the A-League’s most campaigned defenders, the 31-year old has penned a contract extension will see him remain at the club beyond the upcoming season.
“I’m stoked to have extended my contract here at Brisbane Roar. My wife and I love Brisbane and Queensland and it’s really exciting to have extended the contract for an additional season,” said Neville, who will be loaned out immediately to Indian club East Bengal.
“It’s also really great of the club to allow me to tick an item off my bucket list which was to play overseas. I’ve played 12 seasons in the A-League so this will be a really good adventure for me and an opportunity which was too good to pass up.” The Indian Super League is tentatively scheduled to kick-off at the end of next month.
Brisbane coach Warren Moon is pleased to lock in a player of Neville’s calibre beyond the 2020/21 season. “Scott’s record and experience speaks for itself and we’re over the moon to have his contract extended here at Brisbane Roar,” Moon said. “We wish him all the best in his first overseas journey and look forward to having him back in Brisbane orange soon.”
WILLIAMS REFLECTS ON HIS FINAL DAYS WITH MIDDLESBROUGH
The moment he hit the ground at Barnsley’s Oakwell Stadium in January 2015, Rhys Williams knew what had happened. After nearly 12 months of rehab to recover from an Achilles injury, the Australian international was facing the prospect of another year on the sidelines and, as it turned out, the end of his Middlesbrough career.
Remarkably, the injury wasn’t related to the problem Williams had suffered 11 months earlier, yet luck was against him. “Even my surgeon said it was really unheard of, it’s just unlucky,” Williams said. “To rupture your Achilles once is quite uncommon, and then to do it twice on the same side in a different spot, it took me a while to get over it.”
After four seasons of trying to help Middlesbrough return to the Premier League, two Achilles setbacks ultimately cost Williams a chance to be a part of Aitor Karanka’s 2016 promotion-winning side. That was the year Williams left Teesside after 11 and a half years, which included a spell as captain under Tony Mowbray.
Williams lost the armband shortly before Karanka’s arrival in November 2013, a decision which was tough to take. “When Mowbray left his assistant Mark Venus came in and took over for a couple of games,” Williams explains. “He took it off me straight away, that was his decision but ultimately it hurt me a lot.”
“At the time I passed it onto Jonathan Woodgate, so not a bad person to pass it onto given the career he’s had, a player I look up to and I still speak to him. To give it to him was a bit easier but to have it taken off me by an interim manager was a bit difficult.”
Williams played in several positions during his time at Middlesbrough, including at right-back and in central midfield, but felt he could offer more in the heart of defence. “I had a conversation with Karanka when he came in and it wasn’t what we both thought it would be,” Williams reveals.
“I said to him I want to fight for the central defender position, I don’t really want to be playing right-back because it’s not my strongest position ... that’s where we disagreed. As it so happened, I got a chance at centre-back and did really well until another injury came.”
Karanka’s spell at Boro was an exciting time for the club as the Teessiders reached the 2015 play-off final before winning promotion to the Premier League a year later. Yet Williams was forced to watch from afar and didn’t feel part of that successful side.
“I feel like Karanka got backed really, really well by the chairman and the board,” Williams recalls. “When you see some of the big names come in for a Championship team, Gaston Ramirez, David Nugent, players like that was amazing. But I missed all that ... I was injured and you are not really around the team as much.”
"You are not in there with the team training every day with the banter, doing different hours and it takes its toll mentally. I was so happy to see the boys doing well in the league but ... to be at the club for so long and not be a part of the success they were getting was really difficult.”
Thankfully Williams did recover from that second Achilles injury and returned to fitness in January 2016. Unfortunately, he never felt there was a chance he could play a part in Middlesbrough’s promotion-winning campaign, and was instead loaned out to Charlton Athletic, where he made just three appearances.
“It was a really, really unsuccessful loan,” admits Williams, who returned to Australia to play for Perth Glory at the end of that season. “Even before Charlton and after Charlton I was fit but I wasn’t in any squads and you know the writing is on the wall a bit. It just wasn’t meant to be.”
“When my contract was running out I went in to see the gaffer to say I’ve had an offer from Perth Glory, I wanted to give it a go and he had no qualms about it. He was happy for me to do whatever I needed to do. After my second Achilles I think that was it for my Middlesbrough days.”
After a year with Glory Williams spent a season at Melbourne Victory before signing for Saudi Arabian club Al Qadisiyah FC in 2018. “Going to Australia first was amazing,” says Williams. “I just needed to enjoy my football again and I really enjoyed it.
“After that I got an offer from Saudi Arabia and saw the league growing, I’ve always wanted to play in a non-Western country so I thought it was a good opportunity. I want to stay here as long as possible, I really do love it here. My family is settled here, I had my daughter here, my son goes to school here and it’s amazing.”
Williams admits he did think his career was over after suffering that injury at Barnsley nearly five years ago. The West Australian, whose career began at ECU Joondalup, is therefore thankful for the opportunities he’s enjoyed since, even if his Middlesbrough career was cruelly cut short.
THE A-LEAGUE IS ‘GOING BACKWARDS' SAYS HAROLD
Chris Harold was set to enter next season in the prime of his career. He is 28, fit and in favour at Central Coast Mariners, where he has another two years on his contract. But instead the attacker has ended his professional career after becoming disenfranchised with the culture of the game in Australia.
Harold had just returned to Perth when the COVID-19 lockdown came into effect. He spent the ensuing months watching the players and A-League clubs squabble over pay. And having spent the bulk of his career bickering over pay or work conditions, the latest row proved the final straw.
"Unfortunately, the nature of these negotiations that have gone on over the last six months, I think it left a bitter taste in my mouth and it left me really disenfranchised with the game in Australia," Harold said. "The way parties went about these negotiations didn't motivate me to be a part of it any longer."
The decision was difficult for Harold but it was made easier by the fact he had options. While most players are forced into retirement, Harold had the luxury of choice. A contract until 2022 provided him with long-term security but opportunities were also emerging as a lawyer. He recently received a law degree, which took nine years to finish while balancing part-time studies with a career as a footballer.
Harold had planned on transitioning to law when his playing days came to an end somewhere in his 30s. He has plenty in his tank physically but simply ran out of patience with the game. "These feelings were starting to bubble away as soon as I came home," he explained. "As time passed, it felt like we were going nowhere, going backwards and it helped me with the decision I wanted to make."
"I have spoken to a lot of my friends in the league and a lot of players have felt the same way I have felt about the whole process. The difference for me is I had an alternative. For a lot of guys out there, football is everything and they are very reliant on that being their only career."
Harold will begin working with a law firm in Perth, having already undertaken some legal work with the players' union, Professional Footballers Australia, in recent months. His aim is to work his way into environmental and planning law. He has a passion for the environment.
"I already have work lined up at a law firm in the city of Perth. For me, my transition has been an utterly seamless one," Harold said. "It's not as if I didn't have the option to continue playing in the game but having an education and external interests away from the game is something I have really pride myself on."
ON-TARGET KERR PRAISED AFTER CHELSEA WIN
Chelsea striker Sam Kerr has been singled out for praise from coach Emma Hayes after she was on target in her teams 3-1 home win over Manchester City. Hayes was thrilled by the 27-year old's contribution in the match between arguably the two favourites to win the Women's Super League title.
"I'm so happy for Sam Kerr today, I'm so happy the ball's gone in," said Hayes after watching her combine brilliantly with England international Fran Kirby all game. "The service Fran gave her was tremendous. Sam works her socks off. There's a huge expectation and you could see the way the team reacted (to her goal) - they were over the moon for her."
Norway's Maren Mjelde had put Chelsea ahead with a penalty in the 36th minute, before a perfectly-weighted cross from Kirby after the break presented Kerr with a tap-in for her third league goal of the season. Chloe Kelly pulled one back for City but soon after Kirby latched on to a long ball to make it 3-1.
AMBROGIO SHINES AS FLOREAT BEAT PERTH - NPL-WA FINALS SERIES WRAP
Floreat Athena are the 2020 Men’s NPL WA Final Series Cup winners after a convincing 4-0 win against Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday evening. Nicolas Ambrogio gave them the lead mid-way through the first half, and Liam Murray doubled their advantage just before the break. They were then reduced to ten men early in the second half with Marco Santalucia sent off for a second yellow card. But that didn’t stop Floreat and Ludovic Boi added a third, before Ambrogio added his second to seal the win. Perth’s day went from bad to worse late, with Yagoub Mustafa shown a straight red card by Referee David Bruce.
“It was a fantastic performance tonight, but the boys have worked hard all season, so it’s good to get some silverware for their work,” Floreat Coach Vas Vujacic told Football West. “I’m happy for the everyone involved with our football club, and a special mention to the younger players, who have all stepped up and played their part this season, I had every faith in each one of them, and tonight was a great team performance.”
Floreat defender George Festa said it was a great night, for him and the club. “That win meant a lot personally and a collectively as a team, we proved a lot about our season in that one game,” he said. “We had a goal of bringing back silverware and we certainly achieved that, safe to say that the job is done.”
Floreat opened the scoring after 22 minutes. A neat give and go between Boi and Ambrogio on the edge of the box, saw the latter finish clinically past Ryan Montgomery. Perth rallied and striker Gustavo Catarcione’s snap shot was straight at Jason Saldaris, but they were struggling to breakdown a tight Floreat defence. Then in the final shadows of half time, it was Floreat who doubled their advantage, with a stunner. Murray cutting in from the left and unleashing an unstoppable shot, which flew into the top corner of the net.
Vas Vujacic’s side were on the front foot after half time and Andrew Palmer and Ambrogio saw efforts saved by Montgomery, but five minutes in they were reduced to ten men, after Santalucia received a second yellow card after a tackle on Alex Silla. The sending off didn’t effort Floreat, and on 58 minutes they added a third. Boi was sent into the penalty area, and he beat Montgomery to the ball and crossed to Ambrogio to fire home into an empty net.
It was 4-0, three minutes later, with Ambrogio returning the favour to Boi, slipping the speedy winger in on goal, and he finished with aplomb past Montgomery. Perth had their chances, Michael Domfeh was denied by a smart save from Jason Saldaris, before Paul Zimarino stung the palms of the Floreat custodian. Then on 76 minutes Dennis Galan and Mustafa clashed, and the Perth winger retaliated and was shown a straight red card by referee David Bruce, while Galan was given a yellow.
It was a perfect end to the season for Floreat, who missed out on the NPL WA title on the final day, and it was a perfect night for Ambrogio, who was named the ‘Gary Marocchi Medallist’ as best player in the final. “I thought dominated the game and soaked up their pressure especially after going down to ten men,” Ambrogio told Football West. “Delighted to win tonight, it’s a shame we didn’t win the title, but we’ll celebrate tonight and set ourselves for big season in 2021.”
In the under 18’s Final Bayswater City beat Sorrento 2-0 on Sunday morning. It was a tight first half, but it was Bayswater who opened the scoring on the hour, with Andrew Moyo scoring. Sorrento pressed for the equaliser but it was Bayswater who won it in stoppage time, with Dau Deng on target. “The kids were terrific today and although Sorrento had their moments, they really didn’t trouble our keeper,” Bayswater assistant Coach Paul Lincoln said. “If not for some poor decision making in our front third, we should have gone in with a lead at halftime. We have gone undefeated all year, so it would have been really disappointing not to have collected any silverware, so we are pleased to have won. We are really proud of the kids and their resilience not only for today but for the whole season.”
Bayswater City also won the under 20’s Final, edging out ECU Joondalup 1-0 on Sunday afternoon. City were ahead after only 16 minutes. ECU lost the ball in the middle of the park and Leonard Gama raced forward and found Haji whose shot deflected off Jacks midfielder Sonny O’Shea and lopped over the stranded Joe Pollard. ECU thought they had levelled in second half stoppage time, after O’Shea fired home from close-range, but the referee spotted a handball and disallowed the goal, much to the displeasure of the ECU players and coaches. “Really pleased for the lads, who have worked so hard this season,” Bayswater coach Alun Vernals said. “I thought we dominated for large parts of the game and defended well. We scored early, and we could have added a few more after the break, but they had a crack late and I thought we had let it slip with the last kick, but the players spotted the handball and thankfully the officials did to.”
First Team Match Details - Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTALUCIA, 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO, 11 Dennis GALAN, 13 (17 Dean EVANS 73’), 32 Robert HARDING (21 Moses KALAU 79’), 36 Andrew MARANTA (4 Ben STEELE 54’) - Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS - Red Card: Santalucia 49’
Perth SC: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 2 Alex SILLA, 3 Jordan DE LEO, 6 Nic MACDONALD, 7 Aleks JOVIC (8 Paul ZIMARINO 65’), 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE, 15 Sasa NJEGIC (20 Jayden GORMAN 57’), 16 Kieran COLWELL, 18 Jackson MORGAN (10 Michael DOMFEH 65’), 19 Bojan RADINOVIC, 22 Yagoub MUSTAFA - Subs not used: RGK Adrian SINAGRA, 4 Tom SOUTHGATE - Red Cards: Mustafa 76’ - Referee: David Bruce
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE FINALS SERIES, GRAND FINAL WRAP
Olympic Kingsway have capped off a successful 2020 season by winning the State League Division One Finals Series Cup Final 2-0 against Fremantle City at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday evening. A tight game burst into life in the final ten minutes, with Ajak Riak and Chris Balazs scoring to seal the win, and give Gary Williams’ side the double, after they took out the league title last weekend.
“It has been a huge week with three games ultimately finishing with two trophies,” Olympic coach Gary Williams said. “The players have been fantastic with a night series final, Top Four winners and a Championship all in the same season. I am just pleased for the club and it is a just reward to all the hard-working people behind the scenes.”
Both sides had early chances, Riak firing over the top for Olympic, before Olympic keeper Dave Keenan got down well to save Sam McKearnen’s effort. The game ebbed and flowed, with both sides creating chances, but both failing to take them. Riak was denied by a good save from Todd Hoyle, before Riley van Dieken volleyed over the top at the other end. Both sides had their best chances in first half stoppage time. First Keylun Pollard found Riak, whose shot on the turn hit the outside of the post. Moments later Van Dieken was sent down the left, his shot beat Keenan, but it flashed inches past the far post.
Olympic started the second half well and Pollard was denied by a smart Hoyle save, before Riak close-range shot on the hour crashed off both posts, before being cleared off the line by Angus Grant. The Fremantle goal was leading a charmed life and Hoyle spread himself well to save from Pollard moments later and it looked like it wasn’t going to by their night. Then against the run of play Fremantle went close to the opener. Mustafa Irambona racing clear, but Keenan stood tall to deny him. The Olympic custodian produced another smart save to thwart Van Dieken moments later, but still it was scoreless.
But that all changed on 83 minutes, with Olympic opening the scoring. It was Keenan who started the move, after he produced a smart low save to deny Egide Ngendakumana, and his quick clearance sent Pollard racing down the left, and his low cross was turned home by Riak from close-range. They doubled their lead two minutes later. Asher Nelson’s corner found Balazs, who turned the ball home at the back post to seal the game.
In the under 18’ Final Subiaco beat Joondalup United 3-0 on Saturday afternoon. Subiaco opened the scoring on the stroke of half time, with Cormac Taylor on target, and doubled their lead on 63 minutes with Trent Coehn scoring. They wrapped up the win three minutes later with a third, Coehn scoring his second. “It was a great end to a fantastic season for the boys,” Subiaco coach Gareth Davies said. “The under 18’s and 16’s has been an amazing group all year and their commitment to becoming the best they can be is quite incredible. It makes me confident that there's a bright future ahead for the boys and the club.”
It was a double success for Subiaco, who also took out the Reserve Final, beating Quinns 5-2 on Saturday afternoon. Liam Hurley opened the scoring for Subiaco early, before Aaron Simpson, Benjamin Campbell and Hurley gave the hosts a 4-0 lead at the break. They added a fifth on 53 minutes, with Timothy Page converting from the spot, but Quinns never gave up and Harrison Wells and Reece Corrigan pulled goal back, but it was too little too late.
First Team Match Details - Olympic Kingsway: GK David KEENAN, 2 Asher NELSON, 3 Tyler GARNER, 5 Luke PALMATEER, 7 Keylun POLLARD (6 Antoine LEVY 91’), 8 Gyles DAVIES, 9 Ajak RIAK, 13 Harry EDWARDS (20 Mitchell NORMAN 92’), 16 Chris BALAZS, 18 Cameron MURRAY, 19 Paul MCCORMACK - Subs not used: 10 Nathan THORP, 12 Luke GARAS, 14 Daragh KAVANAGH,
Fremantle City: GK Todd HOYLE, 3 Jordan POKLER (7 Egide NGENDAKUMANA 76’), 4 James HARMER, 6 Angus GRANT, 8 Joshua MACRI, 9 Riley VAN DIEKEN, 10 Sam MCKEARNEN, 14 Abias BUKURU, 16 Mustafa IRAMBONA (5 Graham TOUGH 46’), 17 Noah CAVANAUGH, 20 Denzel TSHUMA - Subs not used: 11 Alex GUZMAN, 22 Thomas MAYCOCK-HANSEN - Referee: Stephen Knight
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO FINALS SERIES, GRAND FINAL WRAP
Carramar Shamrock Rovers have completed a league and cup double after a 3-1 win against Dianella White Eagles 3-1 in Friday night’s State League Division Two Finals Series Cup final at Dorrien Gardens. Rovers were ahead early, with Siyang Zhang on target, but in first half stoppage time Chris Rizidis levelled. But the Champions went on with it after the break, with goals from substitute Lachlan Parker and Nathan Diaz, to seal the win.
“Absolutely delighted to win on Friday night with such a great bunch of boys and such a great club. I think some of Dianella’s pre match antics helped inspire us a bit extra to get the win but they are always a tough team to play and it was a good game,” Rovers’ Ger Fitzgerald explained. “The atmosphere at the game was probably the best I’ve ever played in. Their fans and our fans were brilliant all night and very noisy and singing all night. I think they quietened down once we scored the third goal. It was good banter from them and I tried to give a bit back when I got taken off with five minutes left. The first half was pretty even and not much in it but I thought we dominated in the second half and thoroughly deserved to win.”
Fitzgerald said it’s been a great season for the club, and he added the live stream was watched back in Ireland. “It was brilliant Football West could live stream it as my family back in Ireland got to watch it and even my sister who is a school teacher was watching some of the game in her classroom in Ireland with the kids which was pretty cool to hear,” he said. “It’s nice for them to be able to watch and means a lot to me too as I have been here in Australia ten years and haven’t seen me play in a long while.
“I’m really happy for Gerry and Adam and the rest of Carramar Shamrock Rovers and everyone behind the scenes who help out and come to watch us as well that we can bring back two trophies after a very successful season. The squad has been stretched all season with the team changing most weeks but everyone has just got on with it and the boys who filled in or got dropped kept the right attitude and just put their heads down and kept working away and the hard work paid off. I look forward to our awards night and celebrating properly and then to next season to try do well again and get promotion to Division One – It’s been a very memorable season and one of the best I’ve ever had.”
Rovers made the perfect start and were ahead on four minutes, Jack Bardsley’s cross from the right found him unmarked and his deflected shot beat Dianella keeper Thomas Livingstone. Rovers were bossing the game and went close to a second moments later. Bardsley’s long throw was headed onto the crossbar by the lively Fitzgerald. Dianella settled and skipper Liam Merigan tested goalkeeper Daniel Holgate as they started to get into the game, before Fitzgerald forced Livingstone into a smart save.
Dianella lost Scott Barker and Bojan Stefoski with injury before half-time, and Rovers looked to put a foot hold in the game with a second, but Kieran Harrison’s effort hit the woodwork. Then against the run of play in first half stoppage time the Eagles levelled. Miki Vujacic lofted a ball into the box for Rizidis to chest down and finished past Holgate to send the sides into the sheds all square.
Dianella suffered another injury blow on the hour with Milan Vulin limping off, and sixty seconds later Rovers hit the woodwork for a third time, when Diaz played in Harrison whose first-time shot beat Livingstone, but the post came to the Eagles’ keepers rescue. The deadlock was finally broken on 73 minutes, second half substitute Parker played a neat one-two with Diaz and finished clinically, to set off wild celebrations in the crowd, and in Ireland.
The Rovers supporters thought they had a third moments later, when Fitzgerald rose highest at the back post to head home, but referee disallowed the goal for a push, much to the disappointment of the Rovers faithful. Dianella still looked dangerous, and the large Dianella crowd thought they had equaliser on 80 minutes, but Rizidis’ effort hit the side netting. Put five minutes later Rovers sealed the win with a third, Patrick Morrison crossed from the right, and the former Perth SC defender, Diaz, ghosted into the box and headed home.
In the under 18’s Final Wanneroo City beat Morley Windmills 3-2 on Saturday morning. F Cassidy gave the Roos the lead after only two minutes, but Albert Mombo levelled for Morley six minutes later. Chris Tran then scored an own goal for Wanneroo, but Morley skipper Adam Hammond levelled again on the hour. It looked like going to penalties, but Kyle Speakman popped up six minutes from time to win it for Wanneroo. “After a challenging game against Kingsley on Wednesday night which resulted in a 1-0 win, the Wanneroo boys were able to soldier on to win 3-2 in the final against Morley on Saturday,” Wanneroo coach Michael Zampogna said.
“Morley were able to level twice but we kept our concentration and ultimately scored the winner late in the game. I was impressed with the effort both teams put in after such a long year and two pre-seasons. For us it was a good way to finish the season after having won 15 of our 18 games this year. I look forward to seeing further progress and even more achievements from these young men, whom will hopefully go on to senior roles within the club. I'm extremely proud of what the team achieved in my first year of management.”
In the Reserves Final on Friday evening Kingsley Westside beat Murdoch University Melville on penalties, after the game ended 1-1 at normal time, with keeper Ben Partridge the hero, saving two penalties in the shootout. Kingsley coach Benjamin Andrews was delighted with his players, to win the Final Series Cup, especially in their first season in the competition. “I couldn’t be happier for our playing group on their success on Friday night. We knew heading into the game that Greg had his team very well organised and would make themselves hard to break down so we would have to be patient,” he explained.
“There were a few moments where we thought we had won it in normal time but we will take it anyway it comes. Greg and MUMFC can be proud of their young squad and what they are building down there. Our squad has had some success over recent times but this one would be up there as one of their best achievements after their first year in State League Football. This season has been an exciting one for our club and one in which we can all be proud of. We are a modest club compared to some of the clubs we are competing with but a club who has fantastic values which will only serve us well into future.”
First Team Match Details - Carramar Shamrock Rovers: GK Daniel HOLGATE, 2 Thomas FORBES (8 Jack BARRON 61’), 3 Ger FITZGERALD (12 Rhodes BOYCE 89’), 4 Ross JARMAN, 5 Dylan MCCANN (6 Joshua ANDERSON 89’), 7 Siyang ZHANG (14 Lachlan PARKER 57’), 9 Patrick MORRISON, 10 Kieran HARRISON, 11 Nathan DIAZ, 13 Jack BARDSLEY, 16 Wayne GUEST – Subs not used: RGK Francisco BERVENOTTI-FILHO
Dianella White Eagles: GK Tom LIVINGSTONE, 4 Milan VULIN (2 Vladimir OLUJIC 61’), 6 Miki VUJACIC, 7 Liam MERIGAN, 8 Scott BARKER (5 Milan OGNJENOVIC 24’), 9 Michael RIZIDIS, 10 J STEPANOVSKI, 11 Joshua APPLEBY, 14 Chris RIZIDIS, 15 Nicolás RIVEROS-NORATTO, 16 Bojan STEFOSKI (3 Nikola ZMUKIC 42’) – Subs not used: 12 Stephen MUSONDA, 13 Ognjen RADONIC – Referee: Troy Malatesta
CLUB IN PROFILE - PERTH GLORY FOOTBALL CLUB
Perth Glory Football Club was formed in 1995 to become the state's first representative in the National Soccer League from the 1996/97 season. At national level, the club won championships in 2002/03 and again in 2003/04 when they went back to back. The club finished runners-up in 1999/00, 2002/03, 2011/12 and in 2018/19 when they lost in a penalty shoot-out against Sydney FC in front of a record breaking Grand Final attendance of 56,371.
At local level, it wasn't until the 2002 season where the club finally were able to put in a youth team to play in the top flight of the State League competition. Titled "Future Glory", former Socceroo coach Frank Arok became coach, and the young side performed well, finishing in seventh place. However, as soon as it started, the experiment was basically over. It would be another twelve years until the Glory were back on the local scene.
The NPL first commenced in Western Australia in 2014 and Perth Glory's youth team were invited to join. But they found the going tough. Scott Miller took charge in its first two seasons, with the club finishing tenth and eleventh. In 2016, John Gibson took over as coach, and in his first couple of seasons, his youngsters fared no better. They finished tenth first, and then ended up in twelfth spot in the fourteen team league in 2017.
2018 was the year for the Perth Glory NPL side. They surprised many by pushing Perth SC all the way to the league title. Going into the last game, the club had the league title in their own hands. However a surprise loss to relegated Subiaco, meant Perth SC were able to take the championship. Perth Glory hoped for revenge in the Top Four Cup. They beat Perth SC on penalties in the Major Semi-final, however when they met again a week later in the Grand Final, it was once again Perth SC who took out the honours by winning 4-1.
Richard Garcia became coach in 2019. Even though the club didn't reach the heights of the previous season, the club still finished in a respectable eighth spot. 2020 fared very much the same in the COVID-19 impacted season, with Glory ending up ninth spot.
SEMI-PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE HONOURS
Premier League runners-up - 2018
Premier League Top Four/Five Cup runners-up - 2018
MCEWAN LEADS ROVERS TO THE TITLE
It’s been a season of great success for the newly formed Carramar Shamrock Rovers, the club winning the State League Division Two title, and capped it off by winning the Finals Series Cup Final on Friday against Dianella Whites Eagles. The club have been led superbly by Head coach Gerry McEwan, and he said the whole club deserve the credit. “Winning the final was great reward for all our committee, sponsors, supporters, coaching staff but most of all our players. 2020 has been a big year and an emotional one for many of us at the club, so it was great to finish the season with a smile,” he explained.
“Dorrien Gardens is a great setting for such an occasion and credit must go to both sets of supporters for creating such an electric atmosphere in the ground. We started the game well and could have been 3-0 ahead early on, but we only had the one goal lead to show for all our chances as we approached half-time, when we got punished for some slack defending, so all square after 45 minutes.
“We felt we hadn't played anywhere near our potential in the first half, part of that being down to the occasion getting the better of some boys, so we tried to get the team to focus on the 11 guys we were facing on the field and I felt we did that much better in the second half. The introduction of Lachy Parker and Jack Barron off the bench made a difference too.
“Lachy has been injured since a pre-season friendly and only returned to training two weeks ago, but we knew he had the talent to have a major influence on the game and so it proved, as he popped up with the second goal following a nice 1-2 with Nathan Diaz. Jack Barron tightened things up at the back as our captain Tom Forbes had been struggling with an injury and wasn't his usual self, but as usual Tom battled on valiantly leading the team, never one to complain.
“We all thought the game was wrapped up when Ger Fitzgerald rose above his opponent to head home only a minute after Lachy's goal, but the referee seen a foul that maybe even he'll review when he watches the replay. Incidentally, the referee had an outstanding game and added to the quality of the final, as he's always up with play and decisive in his decision making, as well as having a good manner with the players, so well done to him & all four officials actually.
“The third goal was the icing on the cake as Pat Morrison turned his opponent inside out on the wing before delivering a lovely cross into the box for the onrushing Nathan Diaz to bullet home an unstoppable header. Credit to Dianella as they came back at us, forcing four or five consecutive corners, but our defence stood tall and defended our goal with great pride and commitment.”
McEwan went on to congratulate Football west for a great day. “Thanks to Football West for making this all happen. The presentation was well done and the live streaming was welcomed by all our junior coaches who were down at the Bunbury carnival,” he said. “We even had international viewers, with Ger Fitzgerald's sister stopping her primary school class in Waterford, Ireland to watch the game and cheer on the Rovers.”
HAROLD ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
Former Perth Glory forward Chris Harold has today announced his retirement from professional football. The 28-year old bows out of the game as Glory's record A-League appearance holder having donned the famous purple on 143 occasions, scoring 21 goals along the way.
Although born in Perth, he began his professional career with Gold Coast United before completing a switch to his hometown club in 2012. With his blistering pace and willingness to go at defenders, Harold made a strong impression right from the off and opened his Glory account in his third appearance against Newcastle Jets.
Other memorable moments included doubles against the Central Coast Mariners (2014), Newcastle (2016) and Brisbane Roar (2018), while off the field he became renowned for raising awareness of environmental issues and the work carried out at Perth Children's Hospital. Harold took his career tally to 175 games and 25 goals with a brief spell at Central Coast Mariners last season.
"For me, the decision was one of excitement and fond reflection," said the former Australia youth international. "It's not as if football will suddenly cease to be a part of my life; it will just take on a new role. Perth has become my home. I've created a life here and Perth Glory was a major part of that."
"I have so many fond memories of my time at the club and playing at HBF Park in front of the local fans are central to those memories. Some of the most exhilarating games of football I've been a part of, or even witnessed, have been played at that stadium. The atmosphere is unparalleled in the A-League."
"Coming out in the second-half of matches onto the right-wing touchline, clapping the crowd in the new stand then attacking the Shed End; those are the kind of things that make you want to play football. I like to feel there's always been a mutual respect between myself and the Glory faithful."
"The fact that I stayed at the club through tough times and am the record games holder has earned that respect. I look forward to being on the other side of the gate with the fans, with a beer in hand, supporting my friends who still play for Perth Glory."
NPL-WA FINALS SERIES, GRAND FINAL PREVIEW
The 2020 NPLWA Finals Series Grand Final will see Perth SC host Floreat Athena at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday (7.15pm kick off). In the midweek Semi-finals Floreat put their title disappointment behind them to beat Cockburn City 2-0, while Perth beat Champions ECU Joondalup 3-1 after extra time. It sets up and enthralling game to end the shortened season. The pair last met in round two this season, when Perth’s Jayden Gorman was sent off in the first half, and second half goals from Phil Arnold and Noah Shamaki secured the three points for Floreat.
Floreat’s Robert Harding was on target in the win against Cockburn on Wednesday, and he said they were determined to bounce back from Saturday’s disappointing result against them. “I think that win came down to how hungry we were, you could see in the first half everyone on the team wanted to win the ball high and press Cockburn, and this worked really well for us,” he explained. “I think the boys deserved it, and obviously I’m very happy to get on the scoresheet, especially in such a big game.”
Vas Vujacic’s side went into the game without influential skipper Dean Evans and the suspended Phil Arnold, but Harding said the rest of the group lifted. “Yes, we knew it was going to be tough coming into an important game without a number of our experienced players, but to be honest it only made us hungrier,” he said. “I think that shows the character of this team, and what a performance it was from the whole squad.”
Harding said he can’t wait for the Final on Sunday and they will be doing all they can to win it for their loyal supporters. “We know what we have to do, and we definitely have the quality to do it. All the boys know were desperate for a trophy this season and this is our last game,” he said. “Perth are always going to be a tough opposition and going to be hungry too. It’s going to be a great final and we just have to be as viscous as we were against Cockburn.”
Perth got the game plan right to beat ECU Joondalup on Wednesday, and keeper Ryan Montgomery said they deserved it. “I thought last night was a great result and performance, in tricky conditions,” he said. “I felt we bossed them from the first minute and every player played their part, which is always great in tight matches. We were solid at the back, and we at took our chances well when they came, and Michael Domfeh’s goal - what a peach of finish that was.”
Many wrote Ramon Falzon’s side off when they failed to make the top six, but Montgomery said they have been going about their business in a professional manner. “It’s was an interrupted season, and we were slow out of the blocks, and not making the Top Six was disappointing, and we were the first to admit that,” the Perth custodian explained. “But the boys have responded in the best way possible, and now we’re in the final.”
Montgomery said the players are buzzing to play the Final at home, and they hope to end the season on a high. “Games against Floreat there always good tight games, and I’m expecting Sunday to be no different,” he said. “We are at home and hopefully there’s a good crowd Sunday and we can put on a spectacle to finish off an indifference season, I can’t wait.” In the Reserves Grand Final Bayswater City take on ECU Joondalup on Sunday at 12.15pm at Dorrien Gardens, while the 18's Final teams will be decided tonight.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE FINALS SERIES, GRAND FINAL PREVIEW
The State League Division One Finals Series Grand Final will see Champions Olympic Kingsway take on Fremantle City at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday evening (4.45pm kick off) Both sides had hard fought wins in their midweek semi-finals, Olympic coming from a goal down at half time to beat Stirling Lions 3-1, while Fremantle edged out Western Knights 2-0. Both sides will look to end the season on a high, and if the last meeting is anything to go by there will be plenty of goals in this one.
It was at Kingsway Reserve two weeks ago, when Fremantle won an eight-goal thriller. Asher Nelson gave the hosts the lead from the spot after only two minutes, but Fremantle hit back James Harmer scoring. Fremantle added a second after the break with Riley Van Dieken on target, and nine minutes later the visitors made it 3-1, with Matty Sparrow scoring. Keylun Pollard pulled one back for the hosts, but Fremantle regained their two-goal advantage, Harmer scoring his second after a scramble in the box. But Olympic hit back again, this time Nelson added his second, and it was game on, but Fremantle won it when Van Dieken played Noah Cavanaugh through down the left, and he fired home from a tight angle, to seal the 5-3 win.
Olympic's Ajak Riak scored his 13th goal of the season in the win against Stirling, and he said the season is going great for the ‘Green Machine’. “We had a poor first half performance on Tuesday, and were told all about it at half time,” the striker explained. “But I thought in the second half we came out looking like a completely different side, and were rewarded with three goals. It’s been a great season I’d say. The club winning the league and a spot in the night series final. But in saying that I think the attention has shifted to Saturday’s big grand final which will be a great finale to play in.”
Ajak said like Olympic, Fremantle are peaking at the right time, so Saturday should be another tight contest, but they are confident they can get the right result. “We know Fremantle will be a tough opponent, we saw that a couple of weeks ago, so they will definitely put up a fight for us on Saturday,” he said. “But it’s the last game of the 2020 season, and the players are determined to bring the cup home, and I’d say we are going to leave it all out there.”
Midfielder Riley van Dieken was on target for Fremantle in their win against Western Knights on Tuesday, and he said it showed how far they have improved in recent weeks. “It was a great win for the team, and it was always going to be a tough game against a top team like Western Knights, but we played as a team and took our chances, and got the job done,” he explained. “A lot of people counted us out, as we’ve had a lot of injuries and suspensions, which made it hard to put out our strongest team each week. But the last few weeks we have had some players return from injury and have been playing as a team and are in great form.”
The former Rockingham City midfielder said the lads are in good form and head into Saturday’s final confident of getting the right result, but knows they will have to be at their best. “Saturday will be another great game, between two good sides,” he said. “Although we beat them in the top six, we shouldn’t get over confident, finals are about which team rocks up on the day and wants it more. If we take our current form into the game, I believe we will leave as winners.”
In the Reserves Final Quinns and Subiaco meet at Dorrien Gardens, kick off at 2.30pm, while in the under 18’s Joondalup United and Subiaco meet, at the same venue, kick off 12.15pm.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO FINALS SERIES, GRAND FINAL PREVIEW
Carramar Shamrock and Dianella White Eagles will meet in Friday evenings Division Two Finals Series Grand Final at Dorrien Gardens. (8.00pm kick off) The pair won tight midweek semi-finals to reach Fridays finale, Rovers beating Morley Windmills 2-0, whole Dianella edged out Wanneroo City 1-0. So, both sides will be doing all they can to end the season on a high. They meet in the opening round of the regular season, with Rovers running out 3-2 winners at Grandis Park, and Rovers also win the Top Six, with goals from Kieran Harrison, Ger Fitzgerald, Wayne Guest and Pat Morrison helping them to a 4-1 win.
Rovers skipper Tom Forbes said they were made to fight hard for the win against Morley, and only sealed the win late. “The game against Morley was closer than the 2-0 score line suggests, and if they had scored at any point it could have been a very different game,” he explained. “It was fantastic character, as always, saw us through a couple of dicey periods, until a moment of brilliance from Jack Bardsley put the nail in the coffin.”
It’s been the first season since the merger with Carramar, and Forbes said a win on Friday would cap it off. “It’s been an unbelievable first season since the merger and the support we’ve had from the club has been outstanding,” he said. “Opportunities like these don’t come around very often so we’re all fired up to finish the season off with a trophy, we feel we deserve.”
The skipper said, the best two teams in the league playing off in the Grand Final is a fitting way to end the season. “I believe that Dianella deserve to be in the final too, they’re a strong team and capable of causing a lot of problems,” Forbes said. “We’re expecting a tough battle, but every game this season has been like that. We’re looking forward to it and it will be a great weekend of football for WA, bring it on.”
Dianella’s Chris Rizidis said their win against Wanneroo was a tight game, and he was thankful for the late goal from Liam Merigan. “Tuesday night was a much tighter game against Wanneroo than our previous fixture against them on Saturday. We had to deal with our top goal scorer going off injured in the first 15 minutes so we had to find a different avenue to goal and luckily our captain did that,” he explained. “But finals football is always a different game and Wanneroo were hard to break down, but the boys stuck with the game plan and got the result we deserved.”
It’s been a tough season for the Eagles, with the passing of coach Rod Banjac, and Rizidis said the players, coaches, committee and supporters have all come together. “It’s basically a whole new squad this year and one that was put together by Rod, and I’m sure he would be proud of the way we have went about it this year and we play in his honour,” Rizidis said. “In saying that, Bobby has come in and got the best out of everyone and it’s been a pleasure to learn off someone with his knowledge and reputation in the game.”
Rizidis said Rovers have beaten them twice this season, but he said they will be doing all they can to not make it third time lucky. “Yes, Rovers have won both games against us this season and they are a team that works hard both ways,” he explained. “However, I think playing on the larger pitch at Dorrien Gardens will allow us to utilise our strengths against them more, as we had to play them away both times. The best team on the day will walk away with the win and I’m confident we’ll get it done.”
The Reserves Final is also on Friday, with Kingsley Westside taking on Murdoch University Melville at Dorrien gardens, kicking off at 6.00pm, while Morley Windmills and Wanneroo City meet in the under 18’s final also at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday morning, kick off at 10.00am.
GLORY’S ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CAMPAIGN IN DOUBT
Perth Glory’s debut in the Asian Champions League has been thrown into confusion because of the continuing COVID-19 crisis. Glory were one match into their group fixtures in February when the competition was suspended and are now scheduled to re-start in six weeks.
The club had anticipated travelling to Qatar or Kuala Lumpur but have been left in limbo with no announcement from the Asian Football Confederation. Adding to Glory’s woes are limited and costly flights back to Australia and further expense of at least $100,000 to quarantine players when they return.
Players could refuse to travel - as Diego Castro did when his teammates went into their Sydney A-League hub - particularly with the possibility of being quarantined at Christmas if they go deeper into the tournament. Another worry is that Glory have just 12 players from last season currently in talks over reduced salary deals.
Glory chief executive Tony Pignata said re-starting the campaign would cause huge logistical headaches and put undue pressure on players. “Logistics will be a major challenge. A lot of things are still up in the air. It’s only weeks away and we don’t have a venue,” Pignata said.
“It’s very hard to get out of the country, let alone return, with flights at a premium because of the capping of international passengers allowed back. We’re researched flights coming back and they are unknown around that period. We would need to put about 30 people in quarantine at our cost when we did get back and that gets very expensive.”
“Potentially we have the A-League starting in December. How do we make it all work? We would be expecting a lot from our players and staff. We’ve put them through seven weeks in a Sydney hub and we’re going to ask them to spend a potential five weeks in another hub.
“Even after that, with the A-League, we may have to go into another hub on the east coast again. It would take a big toll on everyone.” Glory are currently scheduled to play Shanghai Shenhua on 18 November, Ulsan Hyundai on 24 and 27 November, Shenhua on 30 November and Tokyo on 3 December.
NPL-WA FINALS SERIES, SEMI-FINALS REVIEW
ECU Joondalup’s successful season has come to an end after a hard fought 1-3 extra time loss against Perth SC in the Finals Series Semi-final at Percy Doyle Reserve on Wednesday evening. Gustavo Catarcione gave the visitors the lead early, but Andy Higgins levelled one the half hour. The sides couldn’t be split in normal time, but goals from Michael Domfeh (a stunner) and Jackson Morgan in extra time gave Perth the win and takes them into Sunday’s Grand Final against Floreat Athena, who beat Cockburn City in the other semi-final.
The rain was coming down sideways at Windy Hill, but it was the host who opened the brighter and they were ahead after only ten minutes. Sasa Njegic won possession on the left and slide the ball across to Catarcione who made no mistake from close-range. The Jacks hit back and they were level just before the half hour, Higgins taking aim from 20 meters, his shot gave Ryan Montgomery no chance. The Champions went close to the lead in the shadows of half time, the lively Ethan Brooks’ shot was well saved by Montgomery, and the keeper cleared Brooks’ follow up effort off the line
Despite dominating possession for large periods, ECU couldn’t break down a solid Perth backline and in the first period of extra time it was Perth who regained the lead, and what a goal it was. After collecting a Jordan De Leo throw, the former Perth Glory Youth striker turned, chipped the ball over defender Shane Cassidy and rifled home a vicious volley which gave ECU keeper Johnny Perkins no chance. ECU pressed for the equaliser, but they were caught out at the back with Perth wrapping up the game with a third, Morgan’s powerful shot sealing the win.
They will host Floreat Athena in Sunday’s Grand Final after first half goals from Andrew Maranta and Robert Harding gave them a 2-0 win against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. The visitors made the best possible start, and hit the front after only nine minutes. A surging run down the right by Chris Saldaris saw him square the ball to Ludovic Boi, who laid it back to Maranta, who beat Luke Radonich from the edge of the penalty area. Cockburn hit back, but found Floreat custodian Jason Saldaris in no mood to be beaten. He got down low to save Kristian Santich’s first time shot, before Santich curled one over the top.
The home side were guilty of giving the ball away cheaply on a number of occasions, and it almost cost them on the half hour after skipper Cameron Edwards was caught in possession, but Liam Murray’s effort flashed wide of the target. They went even closer just before half time, Boi sending Harding down the right channel, his low shot beat Radonich, but hit the base of the far post and away to safety. But Harding had the last laugh, scoring in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Radonich had just produced a smart save to deny Andrew Palmer, before Boi slipped in Harding, who finished neatly past the Cockburn keeper to send Floreat into the break with a 2-0 lead.
Cockburn needed a good start to the second half, but once again Jason Saldaris stood between them. He saved low from Jesse Lazzaro’s free kick, before producing a smart save to deny Julian Teles. Floreat were still dangerous going forward, as they searched for a third to kill the game off. Boi stung the palms of Radonich, before Palmer fired the rebound over the top. The home side weren’t going down without a fight and Teles was again thwarted by the alert Saldaris, before Lazzaro’s shot on the run flashed wide. The Teles v Saldaris battle continued late in the game, but once again the gloveman wasn’t to be beaten, superbly saving Teles’ point blank header.
In the Under 20’s Semi-Final ECU Joondalup produced the shock of the night, beating the previously unbeaten Perth SC 2-1 at Percy Doyle Reserve. The Jacks were ahead five minutes before half time with Rene Kisesa scoring. The Champions hit back to level, with Luke Christie scoring on the hour. But with penalties looming the Jacks won it, Kisesa’s corner was powered home by Sonny O'Shea. It went from bad to worse for Perth, who had Sebastian Gomez sent off after the final whistle. In the other semi-final Bayswater City beat Gwelup Croatia 5-4 on penalties, after the game ended 1-1. Owen Goodlife gave Gwelup the lead on 53 minutes, but Raez Pando’s long-range shot levelled 11 minutes from time. The under 18’s play tonight.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE FINALS SERIES, SEMI-FINALS REVIEW
The 2020 State League Division One Final Series Grand Final will see Champions Olympic Kingsway take on Fremantle City, after both won their Semi-Finals on Tuesday evening at Kingsway Reserve. In the early game Fremantle City were ahead after only 21 minutes, Riley van Dieken cutting inside from the left and firing into the top corner. The Knights pressed for the equaliser, but they couldn’t find it, and their hopes were further dented on 73 minutes when Adam Harris was sent off by referee Ammar Timour, and Fremantle sealed the win eight minutes later. Van Dieken beat his man and drew the goalkeeper out and then squared the ball across to Abias Bukuru to fire home into an empty net. “We are obviously excited to progress into the final, but the job for us is not done yet and we want to finish the season off on a massive high,” Fremantle Coach Cameron Lord said. “There are not enough words in the world to praise the effort and desire to beat a very strong Knights side, and for the players that have come into the side in recent weeks and made their first team debuts.”
In the late game Olympic Kingsway took on Stirling Lions, and it wasn’t the best of starts for the Champions with Gavin Knight giving the visitors the lead after only nine minutes. The Lions held firm until half time, but seven minutes into the second half the hosts levelled. Tyler Garner unleashed a shot from 20 meters out, which flew into the top corner. Both sides had chances in an action-packed game, but it was Olympic who hit the front on 76 minutes. Garner received the ball on the left-hand side of the box, before running across the edge of the penalty area and finishing clinically. Olympic sealed the win with a third late. Keeper Dave Keenan came out to collect a ball, and his clearance went into the path of the marauding Ajak Riak, who raced clear and lobbed the on-coming Knights keeper. “We were poor first half and let Stirling dominate and as a result went in 1-0 down. Our passing was poor and we did not close down Stirling which gave them far too much time on the ball,” Olympic coach Gary Williams explained. “We told them to raise the tempo in the second half and the players responded. They worked hard and got their reward. The lads have been fantastic and deserve all the plaudits they are getting at the moment.”
In the Reserves Semi-Finals, Quinns have come from behind to score two late goals to beat Joondalup United 2-1 at Gumblossom Park. It looked like Joondalup had won it when Devon Rindel scored eight minutes from time, but Reece Corrigan levelled two minutes later, and in the final minute Noah Kanzi won it for the hosts. In the other game Subiaco beat hosts UWA Nedlands 3-1 at the UWA Sports Park. Dominik Jakszuk gave the visitors the lead just before half time, and in stoppage time Ben Campbell added a second. Sam Moffatt pulled one back for UWA midway through the second half, but a late Aaron Simpson goal gave Subiaco the win.
In the 18’s Subiaco also made the Final after a 3-2 win against Mandurah City at the UWA Sports Park. Ethan Johnson gave Subiaco the lead before half time from the spot, but skipper Robbie Hasell levelled for Mandurah on the hour, also from the spot, where Subiaco’s Lachlan Hannah was sent off. But the ten-men hit back and Zechariah Dabbs regained their lead, and then Mandurah were reduced to ten men with Andrew Murray sent off. But Mandurah fought back again and Jahkobi Mkulo regained parity seven minutes from time. But Dabbs had the final word, winning it for Subiaco on 86 minutes. Mandurah finished the game with nine men with Tiago Teixeira also sent off. In the other game Joondalup United looked in trouble, trailing 0-2 at half time, but second half goals from Joel Sollitt, Cameron Rogers, Luke Crawford and Shinnosuke Nakai, saw them run out 4-2 winners.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO FINALS SERIES, SEMI-FINALS REVIEW
It was the Semi-Finals in the State League Division Two on Tuesday evening, and Champions Carramar Shamrock Rovers and Dianella White Eagles progressed to the Grand Final. Rovers entertained Morley Windmills at Grandis Park and they took the lead in the shadows of half time, after Jack Bardsley was fouled in the box and Wayne Guest scored from the resulting penalty. It was a tight second half, with both sides creating chances, but it was Rovers who sealed the win in the final minute. Some individual brilliance from Jack Bardsley, saw him cut in and curl the ball off the post and in.
“It was a very tough game against Morley who put up a good fight but thankfully we took our chances and got the win,” Rovers’ Ger Fitzgerald said. “It was a great team effort and everyone was brilliant. Delighted for all the boys and everyone at the club for all their hard work, not just last night but all season and we look forward to Friday night against Dianella. It will be a close and very competitive game but if we play like we can do and have been playing hopefully we will get a good result.”
They will be joined the Final by Dianella White Eagles who beat Wanneroo City 1-0 at Wanneroo Reserve. The only goal of the game came eight minutes from time. A quick break, was held up by Nikola Zmukic who played Stephen Musonda down the right, he picked out Liam Merigan who finished well. Dianella had a number of chances, including two cleared off the line, but the skippers goal won it for Bobby Despotovski’s side. “It was a fantastic night for the club in front of another big crowd,” Dianella’s Miki Vujacic said.
“We’re really looking forward to Friday night, the boys are buzzing to play at Dorrien Gardens against Shamrock. This club deserves success, and with what they have planned for the next few years, a win on Friday night will be a great start to a new era at Dianella White Eagles. Personally, playing in another final, which could very well be my last, is exciting and crazy at the same time - if you had of told me that at my age, I'd be still playing finals footy I'd have laughed at you - Friday can't come quick enough.”
In the reserves Kingsley Westside moved convincingly into the Final after an 8-0 win against Balga at Grandis Park, with Oliver Valentine grabbing a hat-trick, with others to Bailee Yeomans, Ryan Fish, Jason Murray and Cameron Bishop. In the other games it was a tight affair with Murdoch University Melville winning 5-4 on penalties against Wanneroo City at Dianella Reserve, after the game ended 0-0. In the under 18’s an early goal from Frank Cassidy gave Wanneroo City a 1-0 win against Kingsley Westside at Wotton Reserve, to book their spot in the final. While in the late game at the venue four goals from Albert Mombo gave Morley Windmills a 7-1 win against Murdoch University Melville. Other goals for the hosts came from Jamie Naso, Aidan Casella and Chris Tran, while Ali Rezai Nahal scored for MUM.
GLORY LOSE BRIMMER FOR FAMILY REASONS
Midfielder Jake Brimmer will not be with Perth Glory next season after his contract was terminated by mutual consent for family reasons. The 22-year old made 60 A-League appearances across three seasons with Glory, who he joined in mid-2017.
Brimmer acknowledged Glory’s understanding of his family situation and the support he has received from members and fans. “It’s been an important and great period in my career and I will really miss the club,” Brimmer said.
“I’d like to particularly thank Glory for their consideration of my personal circumstances at this time. I’d like to thank everyone at the club, the staff, the players and the members and fans for the last three years.”
Brimmer, currently in Victoria with his family, spent three years with Liverpool’s youth academy before returning to Australia. He has repsented Australia at under-17, under-20 and under-23 levels.
Glory chief executive Tony Pignata thanked Brimmer for his efforts. “I’d like to acknowledge the contribution Jake has made to the club,” Pignata said. “This decision has been based purely on Jake’s family situation and we wish him and his partner and children all the very best for the future.”
CASTIELLO HEADS EAST FOR NEXT SEASON
WA State defender Alex Castiello will head to Victoria for next season after signing for NPLVIC side Heidelberg United. The 26-year-old said it’s a perfect fit after he took a new job in Melbourne. “The move was triggered by a new work opportunity I recently received in Melbourne, and Heidelberg had reached out to me at the start of the year prior to covid-19,” he explained. “I was trying to plan to make the move over but could not secure work prior to leaving and the virus put a hold on all of those plans. Fortunately, a role has now shown up and the club were keen to bring me across so I signed.”
Castiello joins the Warriors from Balcatta, and he thanked the club for their support during his time there. “Balcatta was a great experience for the past two years, but it was disappointing in regards to the results we had this year, but we finished the group stages strong,” he said. “I made some great friends there and I am truly grateful for everything the club did for me during my time at Grindleford Reserve.”
The defender has played for a number of clubs in WA, and has enjoyed every minute of it. “I’ve had the opportunity to play at Cockburn City, Perth SC, Perth Glory, Subiaco, Armadale and Balcatta, and I have really enjoyed all seasons I have spent in the NPL,” he said. “But if I was to pick my greatest memory it would have to be breaking into the first team at Cockburn with what was a fantastic team and group of players working under Scotty miller that was probably my favourite season, which then lead on to me signing with Perth Glory.”
Heidelberg are one of the biggest clubs on Australia, outside the A league and Castiello said he can’t wait to get started as they prepare for the new season. “Heidelberg is going to be a fantastic opportunity for me, the standards seem high and the club expects success so there is going to be pressure to perform,” the defender explained. “I’m personally excited for the challenge and hope to help the club achieve some more trophies.”
NPL-WA FINALS SERIES, SEMI-FINALS PREVIEW
After last weekend’s drama in the title race, it’s the NPLWA Finals Series that takes centre stage in midweek. The NPLWA starts on Wednesday evening with both Semi-Finals kicking off at 8.00pm. First Champions ECU Joondalup take on last season’s Champions Perth SC at Percy Doyle Reserve. Kenny Lowe’s side finished top of the table and claimed their first title since 1999, after a 4-0 win against Sorrento, while Perth drew 2-2 against Perth Glory, but that was enough to finish top of the bottom six group and earn their spot in the end of season finals.
Lowe said Saturday was a great day for ECU Joondalup. “Saturday was a great day for our football club, and winning the 2020 NPLWA title was a great reward for my players, coaches and support staff, who have worked incredibly hard, and we have been rewarded with the clubs first title since 1999,” he explained. “Wednesday is a new competition and we take on Perth, who have been, and continue to be a successful club, and it’s what we aspire to in years to come. It doesn’t come easy, the hard work and dedication that is needed sets the good clubs apart from the others. It will be a tough game, like the one we played against them in the league, when we won narrowly 2-1. But we want to win, to do that we will need to be at our best and I’m confident we will.”
The other Semi-Final is at Dalmatinac Park where Cockburn City host Floreat Athena. The pair met last weekend in the Top Six, with Cockburn coming out on top 2-1 to take runners up spot and end the title hopes of Floreat, so if Saturday’s game was anything to go by this one will be another cracker. Cockburn Coach Scott Miller said Saturday was a great performance, and one he is looking to replicate on Wednesday. “It was a great win for us up there, against a great team,” he said.
“I thought the first half was really enjoyable to watch with both teams playing really attacking football, but obviously the game changed with the send-off even then Dean (Evans) scored a cracker and Floreat tried to close the game off, but credit to our lads they threw everything at them and snuck a win. On Wednesday, it’s always nice to play at home, but Floreat are great team and are always really tough to beat. They are a club who are always in these big games and are used to winning silverware, so we will have to be at our best to challenge, but knockout games are always entertaining, so we will go out have some fun and try to get into the final.”
The NPL under 20’s Finals Series Semi-Finals are also on Wednesday evening, both games kicking off at 6.00. Champions Perth SC takes on ECU Joondalup at Percy Doyle Reserve, while Gwelup Croatia meet Bayswater City at Dalmatinac Park. It’s been great first season in the NPL for Gwelup and coach Richard Abrams said he is proud of his players. “Heading into this game is a very exciting moment for the players and the club. For our first year in the NPL to finish runner up after 16 games and qualify for finals is something, we are very proud of,” he explained. “With more than half the squad spending last year playing 18’s Division One football, games of this size are new to us, and we will gain vital experience from this point onwards no matter the result.”
The NPL under 18’s Finals Series Semi-Finals takes place at Percy Doyle Reserve on Thursday evening. First at 6.00pm Bayswater City take on Floreat Athena, whole Champions Perth Glory take on hosts Sorrento at 8.00pm. Glory coach Steven McGarry said his young side have been outstanding all season. “We’ve been absolutely delighted how the young lads have progressed this year they haven’t missed a beat all season, and more encouragingly it’s been with a really young squad,” McGarry explained. “We’ve had players step up from our U15’s & 16’s squads who have complimented the team well and shows the pathway and opportunity is there for young talented players within our Academy.
“It’s also pleasing that we have scored the most goals, and have an excellent defensive record in the shortened season, that gives the players the platform to go and perform and play exciting football. We played Sorrento in Round eight of the season, and we ran out 3-2 winners in a hard-fought contest, they gave us some tactical challenges that night and I’m sure it will be another tough test on Thursday. Form goes out the window and with Thursday’s game being a Semi-Final, our boys will need to earn the right to play in Sunday’s Grand Final, but we are looking forward and ready to embrace the challenge.”
STATE LEAGUE FINALS SERIES, SEMI-FINALS PREVIEW
The State League Division One and Two Finals Series Semi-Finals also kick off on Tuesday evening. Firstly, at Kingsway Reserve Western Knights take on Fremantle City at 6.15pm, while Champions Olympic Kingsway host Stirling Lions at 8.00pm. Olympic pipped the Knights for the title, while Fremantle City and Stirling Lions have been on the improve in recent weeks so all four teams can fancy themselves of taking out the end of season finals.
Olympic coach Gary Williams, who spent a number of seasons in the coaching set-up at the Lions, said they will be a tough side to beat, after ending the group stage well, but they are up for the challenge. “We would love to finish off the season with another trophy in Final Series, but we face a tough game against an improving Lions side,” he said. “They will be a dangerous opponent, who have signed a number of players since we last played them a few months ago. But our players are keen to progress into the Final and we will collectively do our best to make it happen.”
In the Reserves Subiaco take on UWA Nedlands at the UWA Sports Park, while Quinns host Champions Joondalup United at Gumblossom Park, both games kicking off at 8.00pm. While in the 18’s Champions Subiaco meet Mandurah City at the UWA Sports Park and Quinns host Joondalup United at Gumblossom Park, both games kicking off at 6.00pm.
In State League Division Two Finals Series Semi-Final, Champions Carramar Shamrock Rovers host Morley Windmills at Grandis Park, while Dianella White Eagles host Wanneroo City, at Dianella Reserve, both games kicking off at 8.00pm. Rovers won the league with two games to spare, while Morley finished top of the Bottom group, after a good end to the season. Dianella ended the season well, but Wanneroo just made it, but have a good squad and will be strong. Rovers’ coach Gerry McEwan said it was great to win the win, but the season is far from over.
“We have enjoyed our season so far, but we don't regard the season as being over as there's still a cup to play for, so we're looking forward to our game tonight,” explained. “Morley turned us over in our league fixture, 3-0 at their ground, so we have a bit to prove to ourselves tonight. Morley have finished the season strongly so they'll be as tough an opponent as anyone we've faced in our Top Six series. Everyone at the club is looking forward to the challenge tonight,
In the Reserves, Champions Wanneroo City meet Murdoch University Melville at Dianella Reserve, while Kingsley Westside take on Balga at Grandis Park, both games kicking off at 6.00pm. The under 18’s take place at Wotton Reserve on Wednesday evening. First Kingsley Westside take on Wanneroo City at 6.00pm, while Champions Morley Windmills host Murdoch University Melville at 8.00pm - Good luck to all teams.
JUKIC REFLECTS ON HER 'WORLDIE' RABONA
West Australian player Katarina Jukic says she’s enjoying basking in the global spotlight after her extraordinary rabona goal in the National Premier Leagues went viral. The 29-year old Murdoch University Melville player finessed an audacious right foot equaliser on Friday night, a goal that has since gone viral.
“I played a couple of years with Perth Glory in the W-League and I’ve never had this kind of publicity and recognition,” Jukic said. “I’m buzzing. Obviously I was lucky that their keeper was off the line. And as soon as it went in, I knew it was a worldie ... to have the whole world see it and not just local fans is amazing.”
And incredibly, this viral goal wasn’t the first time this season Jukic has scored an audacious rabona. “I scored one earlier this season against Subiaco,” she revealed. “But the game at 7-0 was over, while this one was when we were 1-0 down to Fremantle. I checked my phone after the game. I’ve got heaps of messages.”
Jukic comes from football stock with her brother Andrija Jukic a former Glory player. And it's little wonder given her father, Ned, was a big fan of Diego Maradona. The Argentine legend’s talent and her father’s passion for football inspired Katarina in her football career.
Jukic, a warehouse manager by day, is bracing for even more recognition when she turns up to work today. “I have a few fans in the warehouse,” said Jukic, who hopes her moment of viral magic will inspire more young girls. “I do a lot of coaching with kids so it’s a big thing for me to inspire them.”
BIRIGHITTI AWARDED MARINERS MEDAL
Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Mark Birighitti has added his name to a prestigious list, claiming the 2020 Mariners Medal after a strong debut season. The 29-year old arrived in Gosford from Melbourne City during the off-season last year and quickly established himself as the clubs' number one.
Birighitti made a number of stunning saves throughout the 2019/20 campaign including his heroics in the FFA Cup that sent the Mariners into the quarter-finals. He made more saves than any other A-League goalkeeper with 99, and on Thursday night was also recognised by his colleagues as the Player’s Player of the Year and the Fan’s Player of the Year also.
ECU ARE THE 2020 NPL-WA CHAMPIONS
ECU Joondalup are the 2020 NPLWA Champions after a 4-0 win against Sorrento at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Going into the game they needed to win and hope Cockburn City took a point of leaders Floreat Athena to seal the title, and it all went to plan for Kenny Lowe’s side. Andy Higgins gave the Jacks the lead at the break, before Tom Hough doubled their advantage early in the second half. A Danny Hodgson brace, including a last-minute penalty, which gave the striker the Golden Boot for the season, sealed the win and set off wild celebrations, both on and off the park as the Jacks won their first Premier League title since 1999.
Visitors Sorrento made a bright start, and had the hosts on the back foot, and they had the first chances after only six minutes. Tim Hill’s ball into the penalty area found Cameron Teece, his header beat Johnny Perkins, but the post came to the rescue of the Jacks custodian. Moments later the Jacks went close themselves. Callum Timmins sent Ethan Brooks down the right, he cut inside the box, but his shot flashed wide of the target. Perkins then got down well to save Alex Morgan’s long-range effort, as Sorrento continued to press.
But on 20 minutes, and somewhat against the run of play the Jacks hit the front. Timmins was fouled in the middle of the park, but a good advantage from referee David Bruce, saw the midfielder continue forward, before slipped in Higgins who made no mistake. The goal settled the hosts and they went close to a second just after the half hour. A great switch of play by Hodgson found Riley Warland on the left, his cross picked out Harry Evans in the box, his header was saved by Joel Driscoll. The Sorrento keeper then tipped over Hodgson’s header, from Higgins’ free kick, but as results stood the Jacks were sitting top of the table at the half time.
It was bright start to the second half for the Jacks and Timmins shot from close-range was wide, and on 50 minutes they doubled their advantage. Hough got the ball in the middle of the park, and he wasn’t closed down, the midfielder firing home superbly from distance. News filtered though from Floreat that they were leading 1-0, but it didn’t affect Kenny Lowe’s side who added a third five minutes later. Ethan Brooks was sent down the right, he eased past his marker, and his cross was turned home by Hodgson from close-range.
Sorrento continued to battle and Perkins saved well to deny second half substitute Zdenek Bezdek, before Driscoll saved low to thwart Higgins’ long-range shot moments later. There was a huge roar from the crowd, as news of Cockburn had hit the front at Floreat, and the Jacks were minutes away from being Champions, and the icing was put on the cake in the final minute with a fourth. Hodgson’s shot hit the arm of Sorrento defender Tristian Stevens and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Hodgson stepped up and scored his 16th goal of the season to seal the 4-0 win and seal the title for Kenny Lowe’s side, and the celebrations could start in earnest.
ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Luke BODNAR, 4 Riley WARLAND, 6 Sami RIAK, 7 Danny HODGSON, 8 Tom HOUGH (14 Ben HINSHELWOOD 83’), 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Ethan BROOKS (15 Luke RHODES 80’), 12 Callum TIMMINS (18 Luke DAVIS 83’), 16 Shane CASSIDY, 17 Harry EVANS (9 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY 62’), - Subs not used: RGK Joe POLLARD
Sorrento: GK Joel DRISCOLL, 3 Jakub PRAJZA, 3 Shaun KILKELLY, 7 Alex MORGAN, 9 Cameron TEECE, 11 Tim HILL, 15 Ryan MCLAUGHLIN (8 Tristan STEVENS 46’), 16 Scott WITSCHGE, 18 Jordan BROWN, 21 Daniel FAICHNEY (19 Jaxon TEMATA 62’) (35 Thomas HUNT 78’), 25 Amir AJAN (20 Zdenek BEZDEK 68’) - Subs not used: RGK Matthew GIUDICATTI - Referee: David Bruce
MAKECHE DOUBLE NOT ENOUGH FOR GWELUP
Gwelup Croatia have ended their first season in the NPLWA with a hard fought 2-0 win against Armadale at Wishart Street. Going into the game Taki Nicolaidis’ side we’re still in the mix for a Top Four Finals spot, and a second half brace from striker Ndumba Makeche put them on course, but a late winner from Cockburn City at Floreat ended their hopes.
It was a first in NPL football, with three family members officiating on the day. Father Martin Hicks was the referee, while sons Simon and Adam ran the lines. The home side needed results elsewhere to go their way, and beat Armadale to make the end of season finals and they were on top early and went close when Jon Stynes was picked out at the back post by the lively Makeche, but he fired wide.
The Gwelup fans were on their feet again moments later but Shubham Mokala blazed over the bar, before Makeche glancing header, from Kian McGuigan's cross wide flashed of the target. Armadale were dangerous going forward and their best chance fell to Joshua Cortes, who couldn’t find the target after good work from Angel Andres.
After the restart, Gwelup continued to press forward and American striker Hasani Sinclair's met Mokala's corner, but it was superbly saved by the alert Sam Hutchings. Stynes went closer, seeing his effort hit the post from close-range. But Gwelup’s pressure was finally rewarded with the opener just after the hour. McGuigan cross into the box picked out Makeche, who lost his marker to head home.
Things looked good for the home side with results elsewhere going their way, and they added a second on 71 minutes. Sinclair made space down the right and he crossed to Makeche, who made no mistake for his 12th goal of the season since his return to the competition. But when news brought that Cockburn had taken the lead at Floreat, that all changed, and the season came to an end for the club.
Gwelup Croatia: GK Connor CAMPBELL, 5 Blair GOVAN, 8 Jonathan STYNES, 11 Ndumba MAKECHE, 12 Hasani SINCLAIR (28 Samuel FLORES 82’), 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 14 Shubham MOKALA (4 Andrew SCALDAFERRO 80’), 20 Sam MITCHINSON, 22 Joshua SAMSON, 23 Kian MCGUIGAN, 77 Sean MCMANUS (2 Ciaran SALINGER 79’) - Subs not used: RGK Aidan HOLLOWAY 3 Adam FIELDS,
Armadale: GKSam HUTCHINGS, 2 Matthew WORTON, 3 Harry QUIGLEY, 7 Josh CORTES (16 Ayouba KANNEH 86’), 9 Angel ANDRES, 11 Chad NILSON (18 Ben LEWIS 82’), 13 Blake ADAMS, 14 Sebastian STENQVIST, 15 Pieter JACOBSZ, 19 Robert IRVING (17 Luca SCHMIEDGEN 68’), 23 Friday ZICO – Subs not used: RGK Cyril SHARROCK, 12 Charlie KENNA – Referee: Martin Hicks
PERTH MOVE INTO THE TOP FOUR FINALS
Perth SC have reached the NPLWA Top Four Finals, but only just after a 2-2 draw with Perth Glory at Hartfield Park. Needing a win to progress, Perth were on track with first half goals from skipper Jordan De Leo and Yagoub Mustafa had them leading 2-0 at the break. But Richard Garcia’s side, who could also go through with a win, hit back after the break with striker Bryce Bafford bagging a brace, but they couldn’t find the winner and it was Ramon Falzon’s side going into Wednesday’s Semi-Final against Champions ECU Joondalup.
Both sides knew a win in this one would see them qualify for the end of season finals, and it was Glory who started the brighter, Bafford saw his effort crash against the woodwork, after a good run and shot. But the home side were then awarded a penalty after referee Matthew Southern spotted a foul on Josh Rawlins in the penalty area, but skipper Giordano Colli saw his spot kick flash wide of the post.
Perth keeper Ryan Montgomery then kept his side in the game, making a smart save to deny Chris Donnell's shot, but Glory’s poor finishing came back to haunt them with Perth taking the lead on the half hour. Mustafa shot was blocked, his follow effort was also blocked, but the ball fell to skipper Jordan De Leo, who made mistake from close-range. Then in the shadows of half time Perth doubled their advantage, Mustafa finished clinically to send them into the break in control.
Glory needed a good start to the second half, and on 56 minutes they pulled one back. Nick Walsh’s cross was turned home by Bafford, and it was game on. The visitors went close to restoring their two-goal advantage, Cameron Cook producing a fine save to foil Domfeh before Bafford was denied by a stunning one-handed save by Montgomery at the other end. But 15 minutes from time Glory found the equaliser.
Bafford, who lead the line superbly all afternoon, was not to be denied, beating Montgomery from the spot after De Leo had brought down Aidan Edwards. It then set-up an frantic finale, with both sides going for the win, but neither could find one and both sides shared the spoils.
Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 2 Mason TATAFU, 3 Nick WALSH, 6 Aiki TSUKAMOTO, 7 Albert FULLARD (17 Jacob MUIR 54'), 8 Chris DONNELL (18 Jayden LEADER 85'), 9 Bryce BAFFORD, 10 Giordano COLLI, 11 Charlie LEECH (16 Aidan EDWARDS 54'), 15 Aidan COYNE, 22 Josh RAWLINS – Subs not Used: RGK Kade WHITE, 12 Lewis TUCKER,
Perth SC: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 2 Alex SILLA, 3 Jordan DE LEO, 6 Nic MACDONALD, 7 Aleks JOVIC, 8 Paul ZIMARINO (14 Jewad REZAI 58'), 10 Michael DOMFEH, 15 Sasa NJEGIC (17 Aiden FORMSTON 71'), 16 Kieran COLWELL, 19 Bojan RADINOVIC, 22 Yagoub MUSTAFA - Subs not used: RGK Adrian SINAGRA, 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE, 12 Daniel MACKENZIE - Referee: Matthew Southern
THE ZIMARINO BOYS EARN BALCATTA THE POINTS
Balcatta missed out on a top four finals spot by one point after a 2-1 against Rockingham City at Grindleford Reserve. Adam Zimarino opened the scoring early in the second half, his eighth goal of the season, but the visitors hit back with Mitch Gruin levelling. It looked like both sides would share the points but a late goal from Michael Zimarino secured all three points for Bobby Taneski’s side.
Balcatta were coming off a big win against Perth Glory last week, while Rockingham were looking for their first win of the group. It wasn’t a game for the purists, but both sides were pushing for a win in the first half, but clear-cut chances were few and far between. The best of them fell to Balcatta midfielder Henry Durr, whose effort brought a smart save from Bradley Stout. Early in the second half, Balcatta defender went close, but he found Stout in good form to deny him.
The hosts were creating the better chances, and it was only a matter of time when they took the lead. Adam Zimarino chested down a cross from brother Michael and volleyed in for his ninth of the campaign on 53 minutes. But Rockingham weren’t going down without a fight and with 20 minutes to go they levelled. Gruin picked up the ball wide on the left, before cutting inside and finding the top corner.
Rockingham lifted after the goal and Gruin went close again, but it was blocked by the alert Riley Stephenson, while at the other end John Kearney's free kick was saved low by Stout. A draw was looking likely, but there was a late twist, with Michael Zimarino bundled in from close range to give Balcatta the points, for back-to-back wins.
Balcatta: GK Riley STEPHENSON, 2 Joseph MARINO, 3 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 4 Calum O’CONNELL, 5 John KEARNEY, 10 Jon CORNESS, 11 Michael ZIMARINO (12 Jonathan BOUHLAS 86’), 13 Anthony TOPINI (19 Charlie WATT 91’), 14 Adam TONG (15 Luke ALESSANDRINO 92’), 16 Adam ZIMARINO, 17 Henry DURR – Subs not used: RGK Jake ANGELOVSKI
Rockingham City: GK Brad STOUT, 3 Joseph MOSS, 6 Blake SOKOLOWSKI, 7 Jacob FORSYTH, 10 Luke COLLINS, 13 Lydon HODGKISS, 14 Ryan KENNEDY, 15 Declan COLLINS 16 Harry BOLAN, 18 Michael FARMER, 19 Evan LUDGATE – Subs: 2 Eli HOLDSWORTH, 4 Nathan NG, Jesse ROBERTS – Referee: Tom Glavovic
MIRCO AT THE DOUBLE FOR BAYSWATER
Bayswater City ended a disappointing 2020 season with a 2-1 win against Inglewood United at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium. The 2015 and 2017 Champions finished fifth in the bottom six group, but had to come from behind to win this one and secure their second win of the group. Steve Sokol had given the hosts the lead early, but Jason Mirco brought City level before the break. It looked like both sides would share the points, but deep into stoppage time Mirco grabbed his second to win it for Chris Coyne’s side.
Inglewood could still make the top four finals if results went their way, and they opened brightly with Anthony Bafobusha long range narrowly missing the target. Scottish striker Gordon Smith had Bayswater's best chance of the opening stages, but he couldn’t keep his volley down from close range, but it was the host who opened the scoring on 18 minutes. Chad Samuels saw his shot saved by keeper Jackson Lee, but Steve Sokol was quickest to the rebound to his sixth goal in four games.
Bayswater's went close to the equaliser late, Daryl Nicol's shot was cleared off the line by some desperate Inglewood defending, but hosts headed into the sheds one to the good. The visitors were on the front foot early in the second half and former Ross County midfielder Declan Hughes shot crashed of the crossbar from distance, before Alex Dunn produced a great save to deny Todd Howarth’s free kick. But from the resulting corner they found the equaliser, Mirco rising highest to head home. Sokol had a chance to restore Inglewood's lead but failed to take it, but Mirco had the final say in second minute of stoppage time, bundling the ball home after Inglewood failed to clear their lines.
Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 4 Scott BLACKMORE, 5 Thiak KUEL, 10 Anthony BAFOBUSHA (6 Adam FALCONE 83’), 12 Chad SAMUELS (23 Robert PETKOV 63’), 14 Steve SOKOL, 15 William NICHOLSON (8 Jason BARRERA 63’), 16 Jamie MURPHY, 17 Mark BARNETT, 19 Brodie LANGAN (11 Abdul SESAY 46’) – Subs: 13 Adrian MANNO,
Bayswater City: GK Jackson LEE, 5 David STOKOE, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 7 Daryl NICOL, 8 Gordon SMITH, 9 Gustavo GIRON MARALUNDA, 10 Jason MIRCO, 11 Ryan PEARSON, 21 Michael LINO, 27 Declan HUGHES, 28 Konstantinos SPARTA - Subs: RGK Patrick STEPHENSON, 3 Jack ALLEN, 15 Jacob TURNER, 22 Luke SALMON 26 Zayd FARAH - Referee: Michal Jasinski
FLOREAT LET THE TITLE SLIP LATE
Ten-man Floreat Athena missed out on the NPLWA Men’s title after two late goals gave Cockburn City a 2-1 win at E&D Litis Stadium, and gave the championship to ECU Joondalup. Athena headed into Saturday’s final round two points clear and knowing victory would secure the title, but they had striker Phil Arnold sent off on the hour. Despite being reduced to 10 men they lead through Dean Evans’ long-range strike four minutes later. But Cockburn hit back with Julian Teles bringing them level, and Jesse Lazzaro won it for Scott Millers’ side deep into stoppage time and sealed their spot in the Top Four finals.
It was a tight opening, with both sides nervous, but it was the hosts who created the first genuine chance when Evans’ low shot stung the palms of Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich. The Cockerels went close themselves, with Sebastian De Silva firing wide, before midfielder Ali Gholami shot flashed wide in the shadows of half time.
The hosts went even closer on 54 minutes, Nicolas Ambrogio effort smacked off the crossbar, but moments later Arnold saw red. He was already on a yellow card, and was given a second yellow by Referee Josh Mannella for simulation and sent off. It was a huge blow, but on 64 minutes the home side opened the scoring, Evans’ long-range shot gave Luke Radonich no chance.
With that score, Floreat were Champions, and Gwelup jumped into the top four. But Cockburn weren’t finished and eight minutes from time they levelled, Teles firing home after Jason Saldaris could only parry a shot. It was game on and both sides went close to the winner. First Teles and then Chris Saldaris missed golden opportunities, but two minutes into stoppage time Cockburn won it, with Lazzaro scoring, to seal a top four spot for Cockburn, and hand the title to Kenny Lowe’s ECU Joondalup.
Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 5 Nelson TSHONGO, 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO (47 Luka NINKOVIC 63’), 11 Dennis GALAN, 13 George FESTA, 15 Chris SALDARIS, 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Phil ARNOLD, 19 Liam Murray, 20 Andrew PALMER, 32 Robert HARDING (14 Ludovic BOI 72’) - Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 2 Marco SANTALUCIA, 4 Ben STEELE – Red Card: Phil ARNOLD 58’
Cockburn City: Luke RADONICH, 5 Julian TELES, 10 David ARAYA (14 Hayden STEVENS 78’), 12 Sebastian DA SILVA, 15 Daniel SANTICH, 16 Ali GHOLAMI, 19 Liam MURRAY (3 Daniel DOLS 72’), 21 Jesse LAZZARO, 22 Kristian SANTICH, 23 Riley WOODCOCK, 25 Breckan BAKER - Subs not used: RGK Ben RADONICH, 2 Chris THACKRAY, 24 David DOS SANTOS Referee: Josh Mannella
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE PHASE TWO, ROUND FIVE – REVIEW
Olympic Kingsway are the 2020 State League Division One Champions after a 0-0 draw against Mandurah City at Kingsway Reserve. Olympic Head Coach Gary Williams was delighted for everyone at the club. “I am so pleased for all the people at the club who work so hard behind the scenes. It was a real nerve jangler at the end as we knew Knights were drawing 2-2 and they often score late goals, which would have won them the title,” he explained. “The players, Gavin, Willie, Chris and Meg have been fantastic this year. It has been a real team effort. We were disappointed with our first half performance where we really didn't create anything however their goal led a charmed life in the second half as we hit the post and cross bar on a number of occasions. It is a great way to finish the league campaign and we now turn our attention to Tuesday where we face a very good Stirling side.”
Both sides had a chance to take out the title in this one, but clear-cut chances were few and far between in the first half, the best fell to the visitors on 20 minutes, Scottish striker John Baird’s volley crashed off the crossbar. The hosts went close after the break, Asher Nelson hitting the post before Gyles Davies shot across the keeper hit the post, the rebound falling back Davies who this time hit the crossbar. Mandurah almost won it late, but substitute Luke Hobson couldn’t get his shot away quick enough, and the chance was gone.
Mandurah coach Kris Donnell said their players gave it their all, but it wasn’t to be. “I felt we worked hard through the game but we just couldn’t cause any problems in the final third, but credit to Kingsway who defended very well,” he said. They could have probably scored a couple themselves hitting the woodwork, but the lads gave it their all.”
Western Knights could have pipped Olympic with a win at home against Joondalup United at Nash Field, but they had to settle for a 2-2 draw. “Firstly, and most importantly, I want to congratulate Gary Williams, Steve Nelkovski and everyone at Kingsway for winning the league, a great club with great people involved,” Knights coach Ivan Zuvela said. “In our game, it’s fair to say we were very disappointed not to win. We were not at our best, but I thought we created enough chances to win, but once again came up against a goalkeeper in very good form. It’s been a great year for us, and I’m so proud of our players in everything they have produced. We now look forward to the Top Four cup this week.”
It was Joondalup who opened the scoring on the half hour, Jamie Gardiner corner turned into his own net by keeper Sam Stone. But the Knights levelled three minutes later, Joshua Marocchi played in Jack Rycroft, and he finished well. Knights keeper Stone made amends for his earlier error saving a Jamie Gibson penalty, awarded for a foul on Callum Speed. But on 52 minutes the visitors regained the lead, a 20-meter free kick from Jay Lang, whipped up and over the wall into the net. But the Knights restored parity six minutes from time, with Marocchi heading home from a corner. Both sides pressed late for the winner, but it ended 2-2. “It was a fantastic performance by a depleted and youthful JUFC side, to stand toe to toe with a superb Western Knights team and earn a well-deserved point,” Joondalup coach Nick Jennings explained. “A good way for us to finish the 2020 season with a fully committed performance which showed the great character and quality of all the boys we have within our squad.”
Fremantle City secured third place and a spot in the Top Four Finals, and ended Forrestfield United’s chances, after a 2-1 win at Hilton Reserve. The home side were ahead after only six minutes, Callum Stocks was played through on goal and made no mistake firing into the top corner. They added a second on the hour, Josh Macri crossed into the box for Abias Bukuru to head home. Forrestfield pulled one back late with Vladimir Naumovski scoring, but it was too little too late. “We are delighted to have finished the Top six in the manner we have, with this result and last weeks against Kingsway,” Fremantle coach Cameron Lord said. “But our season is not finished yet and we must continue to perform in order to finish the season the way we want to finish.”
In the bottom six, Stirling Lions have secured top spot, and the final spot on the Top Four Finals, after a 4-1 win against Swan United at Macedonia Park. They were ahead early with Alex Taneski curling home, and in the last minute they doubled their advantage. Lawrence Shuruma made space down the right and crossed to Taneski, to score his second. It was 3-0 when Ryan Malton crossed from the left and Gavin Knight lost his marker to head home. Swan pulled one back when Albert Albert Amankwaa headed home, but the Lions added a fourth nine minutes from time. Taneski’s shot was well saved by Nicholas Stone but Shuruma fired home the rebound. “It was a good result and performance from the boys,” Lions striker Gavin Knight said. “We now look forward to the Top Four Semi-Final on Tuesday.”
Quinns missed out on top spot after being held to a 2-2 draw by UWA Nedlands at the UWA Sports Park. “We were disappointed with the result as it left us just short of a semi-final spot,” Quinns assistant coach John Lavery said. “This season has given us a good gauge of where we are and what we need to go into next season.” The hosts raced to a 2-0 lead. First on six minutes Pascal Sedgwick finished coolly, going around James Bosdet after being sent clear by Sam Kent’s through ball. They doubled their lead on the half hour, Bryce Conway won the ball in midfield and he played in Lloyd Prout, who squared the ball across the box for Segwick to tap home, for his second.
But Quinns hit back and pulled one back moments later, Richard Howles eased past two defenders, before crossing to Jamie Stewart, who made no mistake. They were level three minutes before half time, and it was Howles again who was the supplier, crossing to Reece Corrigan, who scored. Both sides had chances after the break, but couldn’t convert and both sides had to share the spoils. “Quinn’s were in in-form and desperate to win today, so I’m proud of the boys for continuing to play our style of football and dealing with their long ball pressure,” UWA’s Bryce Conway explained. “I thought our defence was outstanding, and given all the injuries and number of young players making the step up in recent weeks, we’ve finished the season in a positive fashion to ensure we hit the ground running for what should be a big year for us next season. Congrats and all the best to Stirling who have deservedly made the top four from our group.
In the final game Subiaco won for the first time in the group, after a 2-1 win against Ashfield at Rosalie Park. The hosts found themselves behind after only nine minutes, Freeman Nyatsambo pouncing on a defensive error. The hosts levelled ten minutes into the second half, when Zach Dabbs shot was deflected into his own net by Ashfield’s Alfred Beyan. But it was Brad Hassell’s side that won it in the final minutes, Cian Guest’s long-range shot flew into the top corner to seal the win. “It was a very scrappy game from our point of view with a lot of missed chances that could have ended the game within the first 25 minutes.,” Subiaco’s Matthew Lenzo explained. “But it was a well fought game from both sides and good character from the boys to come back from 1-0 down to end the season with a win.”
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO PHASE TWO, ROUND FIVE – REVIEW
The State League Division Two title was decided last week but the race for the top four finals spots were still up for grabs. In our ‘match of the Week’ at Dianella Reserve It was Dianella White Eagles who secured their spot and finished runners up to Carramar Shamrock Rovers after a 4-1 win against Wanneroo City. Despite the loss City also claimed their spot on the end of season finals. “It was good to get a solid victory and to finish second in both phases of the competition,” Dianella’s Miki Vujacic said. “The boys have battled hard in what has been a really difficult year for everyone at the club, and hopefully the playing group can give some joy to the loyal Dianella supporters in the finals series.”
The visitors had a number of early chances, but they failed to take them, and the hosts showed them how to do it in the final minutes. Bojan Stefovski getting on the end of Stephen Musonda cross. They made it 2-0 five minutes into the second half, Asa Sippits making a great run and finished clinically past the Wanneroo keeper Oliver Rigler. Wanneroo were back in the game on 70 minutes, with Simon Burt heading home a free kick. But Dianella regained their two-goal advantage eight minutes later, Josh Appleby crossing to Musonda to head home. The points were secured four minutes from time, with substitute Nikola Zmukic shot on the turn finding the bottom corner.
In the other Top Six games, Champions Carramar Shamrock Rovers ended the Top Six with a 1-2 defeat against Joondalup City at Iluka Sports Complex, who missed out on spot in the Top Four Finals on goal difference. Jack Hailstones gave the hosts the lead on the half hour, and skipper Liam Peacock doubled their lead on 57 minutes. Siyang Zhang pulled one back moments later, but they couldn’t find the equaliser. In the final game
Gosnells City scored late to draw 2-2 with Murdoch University Melville at Murdoch University Arena. An own goal from Gosnells Mohammad Javid gave MUM the lead early, but Feisal Zaw levelled 11 minutes from time.
But MUM regained their lead sixty seconds later, Kai Jones scoring, and it looked like they had earned the three points, but in stoppage time Gosnells won a penalty. Zaw stepped up but saw his penalty saved by Nicholas Speca, but Tony Chandler was quickest to react to score the rebound. “It was a well-deserved point after we created a number of chances,” Gosnells coach Marc Anthony said. “But just like all our games this year, defensively we gave away silly goals.”
Morley Windmills have secured the final spot on the Top Four Finals after a 5-0 win against Balga at Princess Road Reserve, which secured top spot in the bottom six. Morley opened the scoring after only six minutes, a corner was headed back across goal by Mitch Castrilli and Mark Donnelly headed home. They added a second early in the second half, Scott Wrightson played Dion Berman through one on one with the keeper and scored. The floodgates then opened, and it was 3-0 on the hour, when Dion Berman flicked the ball on to Otto van der Poel who finished low.
It was 4-0 on 71 minutes, with Farruh Mavlonov firing home from the edge of the box, before Gabriele Colli was brought down in the box, and Ryan Treacey converted from the spot to complete a comprehensive win. “It was another good result for the lads. We started slowly but dominated the second half to get the win we needed,” Morley coach Jason Van Rooy said. “Considering after round nine we were on the bottom of the ladder the lads have done a great job to turn things around and make the play offs. They deserve this opportunity and as well all know anything can happen in these types of games. We look forward to Tuesday’s night game against the Division Two Champions Carramar and hope to continue our good form and cause an upset.”
In other results, Canning City needed results elsewhere to go their way to go through, but with Morley winning, their 2-0 win against Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park wasn’t enough. James Atkins opened the scoring on 15 minutes from the penalty spot, before Atkins added his second just before half time to seal the win. “Last game of the season was pretty much controlled right from the start,” Canning coach Chris Finlayson said. “The lads really enjoyed themselves and made lite work of it, we made changes to give everyone a hit out and the lads really deserved to go out undefeated in the group B stage. So, it was a nice way to finish the season off now we have a break look to re-sign players and sign a few more for the real season in 2021.”
In the final game Kingsley Westside ended their first season in the State League with a 3-3 win at Curtin University at Chichester Park. A hat-trick from Ramiro Vilar sealed the win for the home side, while Dilip Thapa Masrangi and Prabhdeep Saini scored for Curtin. “It was a very pleasing end to the season for us winning our last two games and hopefully taking some momentum into next season,” Kingsley coach Steven Dimitrovich said. “It was a very big day for the club and senior team, when we gave debut games off the bench to 16-year-old’s Jack Talevski, Paul Stewart, Ben McLeod and 18-year-old Ilya Nybylitsa and Daniel Fielding the 18’s keeper.”
CLUB IN PROFILE - PERTH SOCCER CLUB
Perth SC was formed as "Azzurri Soccer Club" in 1948 by Italian immigrants. The club joined the old Third Division of the Western Australian Soccer Football Association the following year. Their very first game was a 13-0 loss to University, but they came back strongly to finish runners-up and were promoted in their first year.
In 1951, Azzurri won the old Second Division and were promoted to the top flight, where they have stayed to this current day.
The club's first year in the big league was a great success, only losing two games, and just missing out on the title by two points against arch rivals North Perth. They did however beat Perth City 2-0 to claim the knockout Charity Cup.
1953 would be Azzurri's year, not only did they claim their first state championship, but they went through the league season without losing a game! They also won the Charity Cup and the Challenge Cup. Azzurri would not win another championship until 1959, however on the way they won the Charity Cup in 1955, 1956 and 1958.
1960 was the year where there was big changes in WA football. During the season, eight clubs including Azzurri withdrew from the WASFA and formed WA's first ever semi-professional league under the new Soccer Federation of Western Australia. Not only were the club founding members of the league, but also the first league champions and the first D'Orsogna Cup winners.
The 1960's would be a great decade for Azzurri. They went on to win the championship again in 1962, 1967, 1968 and 1969. Plus were D'Orsogna Cup winners in 1965 and 1969, Top Four Cup winners in 1963, 1966 and 1967. They also claimed the Night Series title in 1962 and 1968.
The 1970's would bring more success. Champions in 1971, 1975 and 1976 and runners-up in 1974. The D'Orsogna Cup would again be on display at Dorrien Gardens for a number of seasons, with the club holding up the trophy in 1970, 1971 and 1973. The Top Four Cup was won in 1972, 1974 and 1976, while Azzurri won the Night Series in 1970, 1971 and 1973.
1978 would see a name change for the sky blues. Perth was added and the club was now known as "Perth Azzurri".
The next big year for Azzurri was in 1981, when the club nearly completed a clean sweep of titles. They started off by winning the Night Series, they then won the state championship without losing a game, in which they won $10,000 thanks to competition sponsors Red Rooster. They then beat Inglewood Kiev 1-0 to win the D'Orsogna Cup. However, they lost the Top 4 Cup Grand Final to Forrestfield United. Many star players put on the sky blue shirt that year, they included Eric Marocchi, Ronnie Campbell, Willie Kelly, Paul Tombides and Tony Trinca.
After fourth place finishes in 1982 and 1983, disaster almost struck in 1984. The club had it's worst ever season, winning only five games and finishing in tenth, only one spot above the relegation zone.
1985 would be a much better season, with the club finishing in fifth under new coach John Davies and making it to the D'Orsogna Cup Final, but losing 3-1 to Spearwood Dalmatinac.
David Harrison would take over as coach in 1987, and the club had it's best season since the 1981 title win, by finishing runners-up in the league. However, most of the talk that season was off the park. Azzurri were in discussions with three other Italians clubs in Balcatta Etna, Bayswater Inter and East Fremantle Tricolore. The idea was to merge to form a super club and eventually make their way into the National Soccer League. Inter decided to opt out, but the other three clubs came together to form "Perth Italia".
Perth Italia's first season in 1988 in the new eight team Super League raised eyebrows as the team performed poorly. Finishing in sixth position. However, this would be forgotten over the next several years.
Alan Vest became the new first team coach in 1989, and he brought the success that was expected of the newly formed Perth Italia. They started the season brightly by winning the night series. Italia had a good start in the league and for the first time a play-off system to decide the state championship was in place and Italia who finished the regular season in second place took full of advantage of it. They beat Floreat Athena 1-0 in the Grand Final in front of 5,000 fans at Dorrien Gardens to become Super League champions. The club also reached the D'Orsogna Cup final, but lost to Athena 3-1 the previous week.
Ken Worden became the new first team coach in 1990, once again like the season before the club won the night series and finished runners-up in the regular season of they league. The play-offs would once again decide the title. Athena again finished top without losing a game and were heavy favourites, but surprisingly they lost both finals games to miss out on the Grand Final. The season decider would be a classic, it was Italia and Stirling Macedonia that faced off at Dorrien Gardens. It was the home team that again lifted the Super League trophy winning 4-2. The club also won the D'orsogna Cup, while it was also clean sweep with the Under 23's and Under 18's finishing top of their leagues, lifting the D'Orsogna Cup and winning their respective league grand finals.
In 1991, Gary Marocchi would become the new coach. Once again they reached the night series final, but lost 2-1 to Macedonia. The league season was more difficult, but the club still managed to finish in fourth place. The finals would once again decide the title, but the team was considered to have little chance this time as they had to win four games in a row. However, this is exactly what happened. Italia beat North Perth Croatia in the Elimination Final 2-0, Kingsway Olympic in the Minor Semi-Final also 2-0, then went on to defeat Stirling Macedonia 3-2 in the Preliminary Final. Minor Premiers Floreat Athena stood between them and a hat-trick of championships. However, once again it was Italia that won the game that mattered winning 1-0, and were league winners for the third year running.
In 1992, the league decided that the title would be decided by the traditional first past the post method. No team in the semi-professional era had ever won four championships in a row. This time Italia had to finish top of the league to achieve this goal. As it turned out, it went to the last game of the season. Italia won their game, and with Macedonia losing theirs, the title was Italia's once again, with a goal difference of just five! A separate "Top Five Cup" finals competition was still played, in which the club made the Grand Final, but lost to Macedonia 2-1.
1993 proved to be another great season at Dorrien Gardens. For the fifth year running, Italia would be league champions once again, this time being once point clear of arch rivals Floreat Athena. The club also went on to win the D'Orsogna Cup and the Top Four Cup.
Ian Buckley would become the new coach in 1994. Due to the entry of the "Perth Kangaroos" in the Singapore league, the club lost a number of players and for the first time since 1988 they would miss out on the state title, finishing in fourth spot. This would be the start of a difficult period for the club, with Perth Glory about to enter the NSL not long after. Another trophy would not be won for another four years. Due to the Junior Soccer Association forcing the removal of ethnic names in their competitions, the club decided to change their name throughout by becoming "Perth Soccer Club".
Perth's next major trophy would be the Night Series in 1998. However it wasn't until the arrival of Graham Normanton in 2000 when the club was back to being a power. They won the Top Five Cup, which was then known as "Champion of Champions" in 2000, and the Night Series and State Cup in 2001.
2002 would prove to be a great season, their first state championship since 1993, the Top Five Cup and the Night Series were all won. In 2003, Italia won the league title again, runners-up in the State Cup, Top Five Cup winners for the fourth year in a row and won the Night Series!
The club's next championship would be in 2005, while again winning the State Cup! The next few seasons the club started each season in great form, winning the night series for five years in a row, but it wasn't until 2009 when the club became state champions.
The governing body decided to have a top five play-off system to again decide the title, and just like it was in the early 1990's, Perth took full advantage of it. After finishing second, they would go on to beat the Western Knights 2-0 in the Grand Final to hold up the championship trophy. In 2010, the club ended up in third spot in the league, but just like the previous season, they won the games that mattered, beating the Western Knights again to become champions. It would be a great send off to long term coach Graham Normanton who decided to resign after ten years at the helm.
In 2011, Perth were determined to win three championships in a row, and this is exactly what happened. Gianfranco Circati would this time lead them to glory after easily beating Sorrento 7-0 in the season decider.
The following season proved harder, even though Perth started brightly by winning the 2012 Night Series. In the league, the club still made the finals by finishing fifth. To win their fourth title in a row, the club had to win four games in succession. It wasn't to be, with Sorrento defeating them 3-1 in the Minor Semi-Final.
2013 season proved to be one of the worst years in the club's history. The club finished tenth, which only 1984 could match. Taki Nicolaidis took over late in the season to start rebuilding the club. He did so in fine fashion, in one year he turned the club around and they finished second in the regular season. In the play-offs they thrashed favourites Bayswater City 5-0 in the Major Semi-Final. This gave Dorrien Gardens hosting rights, however Bayswater would have revenge, winning the championship decider 1-0.
Perth made it all the way to the State Cup Final in 2015, but lost 2-0 to Sorrento. However reaching the final two meant Perth, along with Sorrento, would represent Western Australia in the FFA Cup. Perth would go on to play Rockdale City Suns in the First Round, but unfortunately went on to lose 3-1.
In 2016, the league would once again be decided by the traditional first past the post method, and again the club would end up in the runners-up spot.
The next four seasons would see Perth win three of the next four league titles under new coach Ramon Falzon, they would also go on to win the Top Four Cup in 2016, 2018 and 2019.
Ramon Falzon continues on as coach in 2020, and had a great start by winning the Night Series. The league season proved difficult, with the club in tenth spot. Due to COVID-19, the competition was altered. In Phase two of the competition, Perth finished top of the "lower league" table, to make the finals series. The club have a proven record when it comes to play-offs, and no one would be surprised if they would go on to win the Grand Final.
In the Semi-Professional era since 1960, Perth SC have won twenty-three state championships, eleven state cups, twenty-one night series trophies and won fifteen Top Four/Five Cups. When you consider the Reserves have won seventeen league titles and nine state cups, and the Under 18's have won twenty-one championships and eight cups, it would make Perth SC the most successful club in the history of our state.
SEMI-PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE HONOURS (Using current divisional names)
Premier League winners - 1960, 1962, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1981, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016, 2018, 2019
Premier League runners-up - 1965, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1987, 2001, 2014, 2015
Cup winners - 1960, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1981, 1990, 1993, 2001, 2005
Cup runners-up - 1980, 1985, 1989, 2003, 2011, 2015
Premier League Top Four/Five Cup winners - 1963, 1966, 1967, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1993, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2016, 2018, 2019
Premier League Top Four/Five Cup runners-up - 1965, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1987, 2001, 2017
Night Series winners - 1962, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1981, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2020
Night Series runners-up - 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1969, 1977, 1991
NPL-WA PHASE TWO, ROUND FIVE PREVIEW
Football West couldn’t have scripted a better ending to the 2020 NPLWA season, with three teams still in the race for the title, which will be decided on the final round of fixtures on Saturday. Two of them meet in our ‘Match of the Round’, as leaders Floreat Athena host third placed Cockburn City at E&D Litis Stadium. So, the scenario is clear - I think, here we go. Floreat will be champions if they beat Cockburn, regardless of the ECU Joondalup’s result against Sorrento, while a draw will also be enough for Athena if ECU fail to defeat Sorrento. ECU will be champions if they beat Sorrento and Floreat fail to defeat Cockburn, unless Cockburn beat Floreat by at least six goals more than ECU beat Sorrento. Finally, Cockburn will be champions if they beat Floreat and ECU fail to beat Sorrento. The most unlikely scenario is that Cockburn take the title with a win of at least six goals more than ECU over Sorrento, got it.
Floreat took a giant stride to their first title since 2007, after a dominant 3-0 win on the road at Gwelup last week, while Cockburn were beaten for the first time in the top six group, going down 1-3 at home to ECU Joondalup, so both sides know three points are a must. Floreat striker Robert Harding said it was a totally dominant performance. “I thought from the offset we knew it was going to be a tough battle, knowing the conditions sort of played into Gwelup’s hands, and also knowing both of us needed those three points,” he explained. “I thought we controlled the game from start to finish and really put on a professional performance. We changed things around a bit for the game and I think Vas (Vujacic) put them in well to ensure the three points.”
Harding, who made his NPL debut at Subiaco as a 15-year-old, before joining Floreat, said since a first up loss against Sorrento, they have taken all before them, but he knows the coaching staff are taken it one game at a time, and he knows Cockburn are a good footballing side, and with both sides needing a win he’s expecting a cracker. “Obviously it’s a huge game in terms of the outcome of the season, but I think the team is more focused on just getting the win,” he said. “All the talk about the title, we’re trying to put that to the back of our heads, we need to get the job done Saturday first.”
The loss against ECU was disappointing for the Cockerels, but striker Jesse Lazzaro said they had no excuses, but he is hoping it was just a slight blip. “Correct, it wasn’t a good result, we weren’t up to our best on the day and they (ECU) punished us,” he explained. “But the boys have been exceptional this year and a lot of people and teams have doubted us, so no better way to bounce back this weekend against floreat and prove a point.”
Lazzaro, who has been at the Cockerels since he was five, and played most of his football at the club, apart from stints at the NTC and Glory Youth, said they are ready for a big game and knows Coach Scott Miller will have them ready for a huge game. “We’ve had a good week on the track and we hope to get some players back who missed thew game last week,” he said. “Saturday should be a great game, both teams need to win to have the chance to lift the trophy, so I don’t think I need to say much more than that.”
ECU Joondalup produced a solid performance at Cockburn to jump to second place, and need to beat Sorrento at the ECU Football Stadium to stay in the title race. Midfielder Callum Timmins said the players knows what is required and are peaking at the right time of the season, and it showed last week at Cockburn. “It was a very good win as you could see from the score line we were on top for majority of the game, but we let ourselves slip the last 20 minutes against a really good Cockburn side,” the midfielder said. “The squad’s confidence is high and we are all buzzing for the game Saturday, it was only a matter of time before we started getting results, putting us where we believe we deserve to be.”
Timmins said Saturday game against Sorrento is huge for the club. It’s a local derby and a win could see the club lift the Premier League title for the first time in the NPL era, and first since 1999. “It’s our final game on Saturday, so we will be looking to finish on a high against a physical Sorrento team,” he explained. “So, fingers crossed if we win and results go our way, we will get a good reward by at the end of it by winning the league, and all the lads are eager to get something out of the season as we’ve all worked so hard.”
In the other top six game Gwelup Croatia entertain Armadale at Wishart Street, with the home side still a chance of a top four finals spot. Gwelup were beaten at home by Floreat last week, which ended their title push, but need to bounce back on Saturday and hope results elsewhere go their way. Armadale can’t make the end of season finals, but produced a five star show last week to beat Sorrento, and they will be playing for fourth spot vim this one, and have former Gwelup striker Angel Andres back in form, the Spaniard bagging a hat trick last week.
In the bottom six, three teams can still win the group and take their place in the Top Four finals. Perth SC are in pole position and make the trip to Hartfield Park to take on third placed Perth Glory. Ramon Falzon’s side have the best goal difference, so a draw could see them win the group, while Glory need a win and hope Bayswater can take points off second placed Inglewood United, who meet at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium. Both Glory and Inglewood dropped points last week at Balcatta and Rockingham respectively, and they meet in the final game of the group, with both sides looking to finish the group off with a win when they meet at Grindleford Reserve.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE PHASE TWO, ROUND FIVE – PREVIEW
The State League Division One title has also gone down to the final game, with three teams still in the mix. Olympic Kingsway sit top of the group, two points clear of Western Knights, whole Mandurah City are a further point back. Our ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Kingsway Reserve, where Olympic host third placed Mandurah. Mandurah made it back to back wins in the top six last week, beating Joondalup United 2-1 on the road, while Olympic were stunned 5-3 by Fremantle City, so it’s all to play for in this one.
Olympic coach Gary Williams said it was a disappointing result, but they move on. “Yes, we were all disappointed last week, firstly with our performance and secondly with the number of goals we conceded after keeping three clean sheets in the previous four games,” he explained. “The players have been tremendous and sometimes it takes a jolt like this to become focused again. Having said that Fremantle were very good in the final third during the second half and they punished us.”
Williams said it will be another tough game on Saturday, against an improving Mandurah side, who are also looking for three points to keep their slim title hopes alive. “Mandurah are a very good side with some very good players, so Saturday will be a tough fixture as they are also fighting for a top three position. I have a lot of respect for them but the players have trained well and are intent on winning on Saturday.”
Mandurah coach Pete Taylor said the come from behind win at Joondalup showed the character in their squad and to score the winner so late had the players buzzing. “We knew going into the game that anything other than a win would effectively end our chances,” he said. “As they have all season the boys rose to the challenge, the atmosphere and belief within the group is second to none and that has been a huge part of our success this season.”
They have booked a bus for supporters to take them to the game on Saturday, and Taylor said they head into Saturday’s game confident of getting a result, but he knows they need to be at their best to get it. “Each game has been treated as a cup final and this is no different,” he explained. “We go into every game looking to win and we’ll be focused and prepared for anything that comes our way on Saturday, we’re looking forward to it.”
Western Knights will have a close eye on the Olympic v Mandurah game, but they need three points when they host Joondalup United at Nash Field. The Knights missed an opportunity to close the gap on the leaders after a 2-2 draw at Forrestfield United last week, but they needed a late Dean Hurley goal to seal the draw. Knights winger Paul Lloyd said the draw has kept them in the hunt for the title, just. “To be honest we weren’t at our very best against Forrestfield,” he said. “But we battled back twice and showed great spirit and the late equaliser has given us a big boost going into Saturday and the finals, we know it isn’t over till it’s officially over.”
Lloyd said all they can do is get three points on Saturday, and hope Mandurah can do them a favour at Olympic. “All the pressure is all on Kingsway, we will just focus on ourselves and make sure we do our job against Joondalup,” the winger explained. “Mandurah are a dangerous side, as we found out recently, and we know they’re not the sort of side to roll over. From experiences I know, there will still be plenty of twists and turns in this one.”
In the other top six game Fremantle City host Forrestfield United, with both sides still eying a top four Finals spot. City stormed back in the reckoning, after a big win at Olympic last week, and Cameron Lord’s side will be up and about in this one, while Forrestfield conceded late to draw against the Knights to end their title race. Both sides need results elsewhere to go their way but it’s finals football and anything can happen.
In the bottom six group, there was a midweek game with Stirling Lions bouncing back from their defeat at Quinns on Saturday, with a brace from Gavin Knight helping them to a 5-0 win against Subiaco at Macedonia Park. The Lions are one point behind group leaders Quinns, and will need three points on Saturday, when they host Swan United to take up the final spot in the Top Four Finals. Quinns travel to the UWA Sports Park to take on UWA Nedlands, also needing a point to top the group, while in the other game Subiaco and Ashfield meet at Rosalie Park.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO PHASE TWO, ROUND FIVE – PREVIEW
The State League Division Two title was sewn up by Carramar Shamrock Rovers last week, but the other two spots on the top four finals are still up for grabs. Two teams still in the mix meet in our ’Match of the Round’ as third placed Dianella White Eagles entertain second placed Wanneroo City at Dianella Reserve on Saturday evening. (5.00pm) Wanneroo heed a draw to secure their place, while the Eagles need the three, so this one will be a great game. Both sides dropped points last week, Dianella losing away at Shamrock, whole Wanneroo were held at Gosnells.
Wanneroo coach Jesse Bridgeman said conceding a late equaliser at Gosnells was disappointing, but their form has picked up in recent weeks. “It was very disappointing not to take all three points last Saturday from the position we were in,” he said. “It was a little deflating, but that’s football, we have to move on to this week now and a very tough game against Dianella.”
Bridgeman said although they only need a point, they will be going for all three on Saturday evening. “We go into every game looking for three points, and Saturday will be no different,” he explained. “There is a lot up for grabs for both teams this weekend and I’m sure it will be a very entertaining game with both sides giving it all, we have to get through.”
Dianella keeper Thomas Livingstone said the game last week was close and they were in the game, until two late goals sealed the win for Rovers. “It was always going to be a tough test against Shamrock at their home ground, and we knew we were in for a battle and had to take our opportunities then they came and unfortunately we didn’t,” he explained. “Fair play to Shamrock who finished their chances well, but it was a tough loss for the boys, but we will pick ourselves up and move on to the next game.”
Livingstone said their top four spot in is their own hands, a win and they have secured it. “Saturday is another tough test for us against Wanneroo. We lost previously against them with a last-minute penalty so the boys are keen to get one back over them,” the keeper said. “It will be a physical game and we know Wanneroo are going to come out all guns blazing. But we are well prepared and It will be an entertaining game for sure. Being at home we have our great support behind us and are aware of what’s at stake, so we look forward to the challenge and hopefully we can do the club and supporters proud.”
In the other games in the top six Joondalup City and Murdoch University Melville sit on four points, and both need wins in their respective games to push for that third spot. Joondalup host champions Carramar Shamrock Rovers at the Iluka Sports Complex, while MUM entertain Gosnells City at the Murdoch University Arena, so each game this weekend will have a bearing on the top four, its going down to the wire.
In the bottom six there are still three teams pressing for top spot and the final spot in the Top Four Final. Morley Windmills are one point clear at the top and a win on Saturday will see them secure it, but Balga will be looking to end the season on a high when they meet at Princess Road Reserve. Canning City and Kelmscott Roos will be hoping for a Balga win, but they must get three points themselves, when they met at Frye Park. In the final game Kingsley Westside and Curtin University meet at Chichester Park, both looking to end the season with a win.
BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND SIXTEEN PREVIEW
The final games of the 2020 Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division take place this weekend. With all the other leagues going into a Top Four Finals series, it’s disappointing for the clubs, that they won’t, and the season will come to end on Sunday. Congratulations to champions North Perth United and runners-up Kwinana United, who have been best two teams all season, but the league has been very competitive this season and the teams will now rest and prepare for 2021.
The final round of fixtures starts on Saturday evening when South West Phoenix host UWA Nedlands at WML Stadium. (6.00pm) The visitors could jump to third with a win in Bunbury, while in the first season back in the competition the Phoenix will be looking to finish the season on a high. Champions North Perth United make the trip to Butlers Reserve to take on Wembley Downs. The hosts have had a disappointing season and sit in tenth spot on the table, while United will want to end their title success with a win.
It’s been a good first season in the competition for Maddington White City, and they will look to lock down third spot when they travel to Gumblossom Park to take on the inform Quinns. The hosts are unbeaten in the last seven games so it will be another entertaining encounter. On the other hand, it’s been a tough season for newly promoted Queens Park, but they have shown glimpses of the talent they have over the season and they will be hoping for a win in their final game, when they host Jaguar at Coker Park. Jaguar were top of the table earlier in the season, but have dropped to 11th so both sides will be going all out for the points in this one.
Kwinana United will look to finish their good season with another win, when they host Hamersley Rovers at Kelly Park. A win for Rovers could see them finish as high as third, so it's all to play for in this one. Likewise, Leeming Strikers, who host Joondalup United at John Connell Reserve. The strikers could finish in third with a win, while Joondalup could go to fourth if they take the points, so it should be another entertaining round of football.
MAYNARD-BREWER STARS IN PENALTY SHOOTOUT WIN
Goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer was Charlton Athletic’s penalty hero after saving two spot kicks against Brighton and Hove Albion Under-21’s in the EFL Trophy last night. The former ECU Joondalup junior thwarted Jack Spong and Stefan Vukoje to earn his side the bonus point that was up for grabs in the shout-out, with the teams drawing 1-1 after 90 minutes.
Maynard-Brewer, 21, was playing in just his third game for Charlton since joining in 2015. In recent years he has spent time on loan at a number of non-league sides, but with regular number one Dillon Phillips refusing to sign a new contract and understudy Ben Amos taking his spot, Maynard-Brewer now finds himself the second-choice stopper for Charlton Athletic.
KEOGH SET FOR THIRD GLORY SPELL
Perth Glory favourite and 30-cap Ireland international striker Andy Keogh is set to rejoin the WA club for his third spell in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The veteran striker, who has made more than 120 A-League appearances, left Glory midway through 2019 to play in Saudi Arabia and then India.
But he has since returned to Perth and, according to Glory owner Tony Sage, has approached the club about pulling on the purple again next season. "Andy Keogh is back in town and has approached the club to see if there are any positions available," Sage said. "He's fit and healthy and has an Australian citizenship."
Sage also said that Diego Castro appears likely to stay with the team, while Melbourne Victory reportedly continue to monitor the potential availability of Glory striker Bruno Fornaroli. "Diego Castro is a club champion," sage commented. "I get on extremely will with him. I don't think he wants to go home, I think he wants to stay. It's just a matter of numbers and I hope to have that agreement announced this week with him."
MULENSTEEN HAILS ‘PHENOMENAL’ RUKAVYTSYA
Late-blooming Nikita Rukavytsya has all but sealed a Socceroos recall, with Australia assistant coach Rene Meulensteen describing his goal-scoring form as “phenomenal”. At 33, the former Perth Glory striker continues to defy the ageing process at Maccabi Haifa - bagging seven goals in five appearances so far this season, plus three assists.
And that’s off the back of last season’s Israel Premier League Golden Boot when he fired in 22 goals in 36 games. Meulensteen had Ukraine-born Rukavytsya under his wing during his brief spell in charge of Maccabi Haifa back in 2016, and flew to Israel in February to gauge the forward’s desire to return to the international arena after a two-year absence.
But for the cancellation of March’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Kuwait and Nepal due to COVID-19, Meulensteen confirmed Rukavytsya might already have picked up his 19th cap. “He’s on a phenomenal run, and has been for a while now,” said Meulensteen. “He’s a huge threat with the speed he possesses and the runs he makes.”
“He’s at a club with high expectations and in his position you need to score almost every week, which is what he’s pretty much been doing over the last season or so. Some players explode on the scene quite young but Niki has found his peak in the latter stages of his career, and is using his wealth of experience to his advantage.”
Australia are working to secure a friendly in Europe during the November FIFA window, and Rukavytsya is likely to be front and centre of selection calculations. The ex-FC Twente, Mainz and FSV Frankfurt flier will be in London late next week for Maccabi’s UEFA Europa League playoff against Tottenham Hotspur.
Last week Rukavytsya scored and assisted to see his team past Russia’s SK Rostov and Meulensteen believes he poses a threat to Jose Mourinho’s side. “The way he’s playing, with his ability to make those runs in behind defences, I think he can cause Spurs some problems,” said Meulensteen.
“When I was at Haifa, he began slowly after arriving from Beitar Jerusalem but you could see the potential he had to hurt teams because he was so quick. It can take time to settle and now he’s a senior player in that squad and is doing brilliantly. He’s at a great club with fantastic fans and a great stadium.”
“I’m very happy for him - Niki is a very quiet boy. That’s his nature but when I saw him he was very upbeat and happy. Right now we need to keep monitoring him and when we have something on the cards - hopefully in November - we’ll take another look.”
“The way he’s playing he’ll be hard to ignore because goals are hard to come by. With Australia, it’s variety you need in the front third - and Niki brings you something different and would be really effective against teams that leave a lot of space in behind the back four. For that type of scenario he’s the ideal man.”
GRIFFITHS WARNS PLAYERS WILL DESERT ‘UNPROFESSIONAL’ A-LEAGUE
Melbourne City midfielder Rostyn Griffiths has warned the A-League will face mass desertions and become an “unprofessional competition” if club owners are able to snub their noses at a new collective bargain agreement and force through downgraded individual contracts.
Griffiths said “players were staying strong” against what he depicts as a bid to implement a state of lawlessness where clubs can run roughshod over players’ rights. “All the players from all the clubs believe a new CBA needs to be put in place,” Griffiths told theworldgame.sbs.com.au
“For me, it would be completely unprofessional to run a league without one. If that were to happen the clubs would get exactly what they want and that’s wrong. Players aren’t backing down on this and we’re pushing super hard for a new CBA. We want the PFA to become more relevant rather than less.”
“There should be no winners or losers here - the players now understand they need to take some cuts. Budgets are budgets, and players have got their heads around that. But if you have no CBA that’s a double loss for players.”
As the wrangling rages, a growing number of players are exiting the competition to take up overseas deals they might previously have thought twice about. And Griffiths claims plenty more will follow unless some clarity and equanimity emerges from the fractious discussions which may yet see FFA chief James Johnson intervene.
“You have already seen people leave and before more and more go it’s important that we get this done, so we can actually think about the season ahead (tentatively scheduled to kick off in January),” added Griffiths. “Any player who has had the chance to leave has taken it and I think others will also try and go.”
“Believe me there are plenty of offers going around at the moment from clubs in Asia and Europe, and it will just be a matter of whether the player can leave for free. Players and clubs are waiting for a deal to get done so they will know their fates.”
Griffiths detailed a number of dangers lying in wait for players in a CBA-free A-League, with clubs operating within a proposed salary cap of $2.1 million. “Without a CBA there is basically no rule,“ he said. “All the assurances for players are no longer, minimum wage is no longer, days off are no longer ... you name it.”
“Education grants for players and workshops put on by the PFA would also be under threat, as would mental health funding. Some of the smaller clubs might also cut what they spend on sports science and physios. A lot of players play in the league because of the professionalism around clubs - without a CBA that’s all removed.”
SAGE IN TALKS WITH POTENTIAL INVESTORS
Tony Sage says the future of Perth Glory is safe but insists he needs an investment partner for the battle against bigger cashed-up clubs. The Glory owner revealed he is in talks with three potential investors, two local and one from overseas, but will not relinquish control of the club.
“There are no immediate fears for the club. I’ve got it all covered at the moment,” said Sage, who estimates he has ploughed $36.5 million into the club over 14 years. “But I don’t think I’ll be able to afford to run the club against the bigger owners in the long term.”
“I’ve been saying this for a couple of years and nothing has changed. I’m talking seriously to two possible local buyers, there’s a third who has come out of the woodwork. We haven’t decided on what percentage a potential partner will hold but I’m going to keep more than 50 per cent.”
Sage said no moves would take place until the owners took control of the A-League. “Investors want to see what is going on, they want to see happens when the A-League goes independent,” he said. “It’s a huge benefit to an investor who can say they own X amount of Perth Glory and also X amount of the league.”
Sage estimates the club will be hit by a $6 million loss because of slashed broadcast payments and lack of gate takings. “That’s where it becomes very tricky for me to do it all myself,” he said. “The club is going to make losses this year and someone is not going to want to come in and take 40 per cent of a loss.”
Two years ago Sage went close to bringing in a Malaysian syndicate led by Dato Chan, former co-owner and chairman of Cardiff City. Earlier this year he was embroiled in the collapsed attempt to sell 80 per cent of the club to a controversial, self-styled crypto-currency company.
HAT TRICK-HERO TAGGART MAKES HISTORY
Adam Taggart is the toast of South Korean football after a magnificent hat-trick not only gave Suwon Bluewings a first league win over rivals FC Seoul in over five years but also eased his team’s relegation worries.
The striker’s three-goal haul is the first-ever by a Suwon player against Seoul and it rekindled memories of 2019 when the Socceroo ended the season as the K-League’s top goalscorer.
Suwon had said earlier in the week that they would turn to Taggart to lead them away from the drop zone and in his first start for five games. And his first start under new coach Park Kun-ha, the 27-year-old did not disappoint. “It was a great performance from Taggart … it was a fine display of goalscoring,” Suwon coach Park Keon-ha, appointed earlier this month, said.
Compliments were especially focused on Taggart’s opener after 13 minutes, ‘a fantasy goal’ according to national news. With his back to goal just inside the area, Taggart flicked the ball up and swivelled to volley into the top corner. Two more in the second half, one a tidy header and the other a low first-time shot gave Taggart his second hat-trick in the K-League.
The victory, in the first game since the 12-team league split into two groups of six, put Suwon six points clear of Incheon United in the relegation drop zone. “I am happy that we have shown that we have been improving under the new coach,” said Taggart. “I am happy to score goals but I was able to do so because of the fantastic play of my team-mates.”
Taggart hopes that the win can mark a turning point in what has been a disappointing campaign for the four-time Korean champions. “It has been a tough season for everyone and it is frustrating to look at our league position especially as Suwon is a big club,” he said. “I feel that we are getting better little by little under the new coach. We have to keep working hard and keep going until the end.”
BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND FIFTEEN REVIEW
It was the penultimate round of the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division, and after North Perth United secured the title last week, Kwinana United went in search of the runners-up spot with a trip to Beldon Park to take on Joondalup United in our Week 15 ‘Match of the Round’, and they secured it after a 6-2 win. “I couldn’t be happier with the way we played. Joondalup are a top side so to score six against them was pleasing,” Kwinana coach Mark Purvis explained. “We’ve now secured second place which as a club we are delighted with. We’ve all worked really hard to achieve this and to have it locked with a game to spare is really pleasing and a credit to everyone at the club.”
The visitors made a strong start and were ahead after only 16 minutes, David Clark finishing well. Clark added his second, and seventh of the season, three minutes later, finishing off a neat team move, and they lead 2-0 at the break. But they weren’t finished, and two minutes in they added a third, Dom Sumner on the end of another swift Kwinana attack. It was 4-0 three minutes later with Neil Beveridge heading home at the back post, and it was 5-0 on the hour with Jake Daley scoring. Joondalup pulled one back seven minutes later with the league's top scorer Adam Buckley scoring his 15th of the season. But Daley added his second on 70 minutes to make it 6-1, volleying home from tight angle, before Adam Taylor scored from the spot moments later to make the final score 6-2.
The round started on Saturday evening when Maddington White City moved into third place after a 5-2 win against South West Phoenix at Nikola Tesla Reserve. Cesar Orozco gave Maddington the lead early, but Lee Stewart replied for the Phoenix. Samir Ramos made it 2-1 for the hosts, before Orozco made it 3-1 in the shadows of half time. Orozco completed his hat-trick on the hour to all but seal the game, although Stewart did add his second to reduce the deficit. But Ramos added his second ten minutes from time to seal a 5-2 win for the home side.
UWA Nedlands moved to fourth after a 3-1 win against Leeming Strikers at the UWA Sports Park. The home side were ahead after 23 minutes, Frazer Childs raced into the penalty area, eased past two Strikers defenders before finishing clinically past the keeper. They doubled their advantage just after the half hour, Walter Torres never gave up on a through ball and got to it before crossing the line and fired low into the net. Leeming found a lifeline on the hour, when Kieran Witt reduced the deficit, but nine minutes from time UWA won it. Torres was quickest to react after the Leeming keeper had saved a cross shot, and he poked the ball home from close-range.
“I thought the first half was a dominant display, where we managed to win the aerial contest as well many of the second balls, and we really did not give Leeming a look in,” UWA coach Arthur Hiemstra said. “We got in the box many times but failed to convert, and the second half we had to deal with some more pressure and they made it 2-1 early on caused us some headaches. But the lads however stayed composed with the 3-1 putting the game to bed, overall happy with how we played, the result and how we are finishing the season.”
North Perth United celebrated being handed the Champions trophy, with a 4-0 win against Queens Park at Woodville Reserve. Joel Jebaratnam gave them the lead early, before Ago Mujic doubled their advantage on the half hour. Queens Parks hopes of a comeback was squashed five minutes before half time when Allan Apollon was sent off by referee Amit Hosany. Furthers goals after the break from Lucas-Joel Munoz-Despierre and Jebaratnam sealed the win.
In other games Hamersley Rovers moved up to fifth after a come-from-behind 5-2 win against Wembley Downs at Carine Open Space. Dylan Browne gave the visitors the lead on the half hour, but two quick goals from Cosimo Figliomeni and Liam Hudson early in the second half put Rovers in front. Juraj Galba restored parity for Mike Ford’s side, but that was as good as it got for them, with a brace from Harris Beech and another from Jordan Nastov giving Howard Tweats side a convincing win.
Meanwhile Quinns late surge continued after a 7-2 win against Jaguar at Herb Graham Recreation Centre. The visitors were ahead on seven minutes, central defender Tom Ashworth heading home a corner. But Jags levelled four minutes later, skipper Juma Wade on target. But Wayne Carter regained the lead for Lee Garnish’s side, before Guy Armstrong added the third. It was 4-1 on the stroke of half time, Nick Hoskins hitting the back of the net from long-range.
Malek Domkoc pulled one back for Jags early in the second half, but Quinns weren’t finished and Armstrong added his second and Quinns fifth, before Danny Head added the seventh, moments after coming off the bench. The icing was put on the cake in stoppage time when Armstrong completed his hat-trick to complete the 7-2 rout. “That makes it seven games undefeated now, which is a great turnaround from the lads,” Quinns coach Lee Garnish said. “A great performance and we start to build for next season. We started off poorly this year, but we know what this squad of players are capable of.”
FLOREAT MOVE TOP AFTER WIN AT GWELUP
Floreat Athena moved to the top of the NPLWA top six table after securing a 3-0 win against Gwelup Croatia in our ‘Match of the Round’ at Wishart Street. The visitors were ahead after only five minutes, with Gwelup defender Adam Fields turning the ball into his own net. But two stunning second half strikes from Andrew Palmer and skipper Dean Evans gave Vas Vujacic’s side the win and moved them to within one win of their first title since 2007, the defeat knocking Gwelup out of the title race.
The visitors made a perfect start to the game, and were ahead after only five minutes. Gwelup failed to clear a corner and Evans’ cross into the box was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Fields. The hosts needed a win to stay in the title race, and they looked for a quick response but former Floreat midfielder Jon Stynes headed over the top from Sam Mitchinson’s free kick. Moments later Sean McManus raced down the right, cut inside his marker, but his shot was deflected wide.
McManus went close again on the half hour, Declan Hargreaves free kick was only cleared to the edge of the penalty area, and the wingers’ first time shot flew over the top. Floreat went close themselves four minutes later, Nelson Tshongo’s cross shot almost caught Connor Campbell out, but the ball landed on top of the net. Gwelup were pressing for the equaliser, and they almost found it in the final minute of the half. Hargreaves was given far too much room on the edge of the penalty area, but the midfielder couldn’t keep his shot down.
Gwelup made a double change at the break with Hasani Sinclair and Ciaran Salinger, replacing Declan Hargreaves and Fields, but it was Floreat who started the second half the better and they doubled their lead eight minutes in. Gwelup gave the ball away in the middle of the park and Phil Arnold slipped the ball though for Liam Murray, who laid it back to Palmer, whose shot from 18 meters flew into the net giving Campbell no chance.
The hosts were struggling in the final third, but Sinclair went close on the hour, but he headed straight at Jason Saldaris, before the American striker went close again five minutes later, losing his marker from a set-piece, but he headed inches wide of the target. Taki Nicolaidis’ side were on top and Saldaris got down well to push McManus’ shot around the post, but with the game opening up Floreat had their chances too. Evan’s corner picked out Nicholas Ambrogio, whose effort flashed the wrong side of the post.
But on 82 minutes Floreat sealed the points. Ciaran Salinger brought down Murray on the edge of the penalty area, and Evans stepped up to curl the resulting free kick into the net. To Gwelup’s credit they continued to push forward and Stynes shot flashed past the post, before Saldaris produced a great save to thwart Sinclair’s close-range header, but they couldn’t find a way back into the game and it was Floreat leaving with all three points.
Gwelup Croatia: GK Connor CAMPBELL, 3 Adam FIELDS (2 Ciaran SALINGER 46’), 5 Blair GOVAN, 6 Declan HARGREAVES (12 Hasani SINCLAIR 46’), 8 Jonathan STYNES, 11 Ndumba MAKECHE, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 14 Shubham MOKALA, 20 Sam MITCHINSON (4 Andrew SCALDAFERRO 81’), 22 Joshua SAMSON, 77 Sean MCMANUS - Subs not used: RGK Aidan HOLLOWAY
Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 4 Ben STEELE, 5 Nelson TSHONGO, 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO (24 Elijah HAAS 84’), 11 Dennis GALAN, 13 George FESTA, 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Phil 2 Marco SANTALUCIA ARNOLD (9 Noah SHAMAKI 67’), 19 Liam Murray, 20 Andrew PALMER, 32 Robert HARDING (14 Ludovic BIO 72’) - Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS - Referee: David Bruce
HODGSON HAT-TRICK KEEPS JACKS IN TITLE RACE
ECU Joondalup have moved to second on the NPLWA top six table after a 3-1 win against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. A second half hat-trick to striker Danny Hodgson sealed the win, while Cockburn scored a late consolation goal from Jesse Lazzaro. The win kept Kenny Lowe sides’ title hopes alive, but the defeat was the first for Cockburn, and dropped them down to third.
“Really pleased with the win, and I thought we played great football to get the 3-0 lead, and we could have a few more today,” Lowe told the ECU website. “I was a little disappointed with the last fifteen minutes, when we stopped doing what had got us the lead, and Cockburn got back into the game, but that’s being ultra-critical. We’re still in the title race and that’s exciting for our club, and we move on to the local derby against Sorrento next week looking for another three points.”
The visitors were on the front foot early and went close after only six minutes, Riley Warland sent Hodgson down the left channel, he cut inside the area, but his shot whistled the wrong side of the upright. They were in again moments later. Tom Hough won the ball in the middle of the park and found Callum Timmins, who picked out Evans, his shot on the run was saved low by the busy Luke Radonich.
ECU keeper Johnny Perkins was in the action on 15 minutes, getting down well to deny Sebastian da Silva’s shot from the edge of the box, as the home side started to press. Moments later a long ball from Cockburn skipper Euen Grant sent de Silva in on goal again, but Shane Cassidy got back with a last-ditch tackle. The visitors went close to the lead in the final minute of the half, Cassidy picked out Evans, who held off his marker, but his shot was saved low by Radonich, the rebound falling back to the striker but he fires just wide of the post, but at the break it was scoreless.
The hosts made a perfect start to the second half, and were ahead on 49 minutes. Timmins picked out Evans, who slipped the ball into the path of Hodgson, who finished clinically. It got better for the hosts four minutes later when they doubled their lead. Hodgson was brought down in the box by Grant and referee Julian Serra had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Hodgson picked up himself up and sent Radonich the wrong way from the resulting penalty.
Cockburn, who were unbeaten in the second phase going into this one, went close to narrowing the margin, when Riley Woodcock picked out Da Silva on the right of the penalty area, but his shot was saved low by the alert Perkins. But on 59 minutes the Jacks made it 3-0. A quick break saw Timmins send Brooks down the right and his low cross was turned home by Hodgson to complete his hat-trick. Cockburn still looked dangerous going forward and Perkins produced another great save to deny Julian Teles’ header, after he was picked out by Kristian Santich’s free kick
The home side were on top now and Perkins produced another smart save to deny the lively Lazzaro, while Kristian Santich’s follow up shot was deflected wide. Perkins then then got down well to save Teles’ snap shot, as Cockburn lifted the tempo, and moments later Lazzaro’s curling effort flashed wide of the far post. But the Jacks had their chances too as the game opened up and when Ben Hinshelwood found Brown-Montgomery, his low shot crashed off the base of the post and away to safety. Cockburn did pull one back in the final minute, a quick break from Kristian Santich, saw him race clear and squared the ball to Lazzaro who finished neatly past Perkins, but it was just a consolation.
Cockburn City: Luke RADONICH, 4 Euen GRANT, 5 Julian TELES, 12 Sebastian DA SILVA, 15 Daniel SANTICH, 16 Ali GHOLAMI, 19 Liam MURRAY (10 David ARAYA 62’), 21 Jesse LAZZARO, 22 Kristian SANTICH, 23 Riley WOODCOCK, 25 Breckan BAKER - Subs not used: RGK Ben RADONICH, 2 Chris THACKRAY, 3 Daniel DOLS, 24 David DOS SANTOS
ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Luke BODNAR, 4 Riley WARLAND, 5 Ryan LOWRY (6 Sami RIAK 39’), 7 Danny HODGSON (9 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY 68’), 8 Tom HOUGH, 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Ethan BROOKS (15 Luke RHODES 88’), 12 Callum TIMMINS, 16 Shane CASSIDY, 17 Harry EVANS (14 Ben HINSHELWOOD 68’) - Subs not used: RGK Joe POLLARD - Referee: Julian Serra
ANGEL HAT-TRICK BRINGS DOWN GULLS
Armadale have won for the first time in the NPLWA top six, beating Sorrento 5-3 in an action-packed game at Alfred Skeet Reserve. Angel Andres opened the scoring for the hosts early, but Cameron Teece levelled. Then three goals in four minutes completed turned the game in Armadale’s favour. Chad Nilson picking up a quick-fire brace, with another to Andres, to send John O’Reilly’s side into the break with a commanding lead. But two quick second half goals from Amir Ajan and Teece put Jamie Harnwell’s side back in the match and both sides had chances, but Andres scored in the final minute to seal a 5-3 win. It went from bad to worse for the Gulls with Clark Keltie sent off in stoppage time.
“It was a great game for the neutral, end to end stuff, with plenty of action, and I’m really happy for Angel to be back out there playing after long layoff with an injury,” Armadale coach John O’Reilly said. “We’re delighted to get the three points, but not enough to keep us in the hunt for finals unfortunately, though this result now sets us up for a fourth-place finish if we can put in a decent performance against Gwelup this weekend.”
There were rain clouds hovering at kick off, but it didn’t stop the home side making the best possible start, hitting the front after only two minutes. Nilson found Andres in the middle of the park, the Sorrento defenders didn’t close him down and the Spanish striker ran forward and found the bottom corner of the net. The Gulls hit back on the quarter hour mark, Keltie found Teece on the edge of the box, and the Sorrento top scorer curled the ball past Cyril Sharrock to bring them back level.
The heavens opened, but it didn’t stop the Reds from hitting the front again five minutes later. Harry Quigley’s corner picked out Robert Irving, his shot was turned home by Nilson on the goal line. It was 3-1 sixty seconds later. Sebastian Stenqvist won the ball in his own half and played the ball to Josh Cortes, whose first-time pass sent Nilson down the left, he cut into the penalty area and finished clinically past Joel Driscoll. Remarkably it was 4-1 moments later, Stenqvist sent Andres away, and he outpaced the last defender before finishing low past Driscoll.
Jamie Harnwell’s half time address paid dividends and on 57 minutes they pulled one back. A long kick from Driscoll was flicked on by Alex Morgan, and Ajan chested the ball down before finishing well from the edge of the penalty area. It was soon 4-3, Morgan finding Teece, who raced forward and finished superbly, it was game on. The Gulls could sniff a comeback, but Sharrock produced good saves to deny Jakub Prajza and Scott Witschge, and it was the home side who sealed the points in the final minute. The impressive Stenqvist, played Andres into the left channel, and the striker did the rest finishing low past Driscoll to seal the win and complete his hat-trick. The Gulls day went from bad to worse when midfielder Keltie was sent off by referee Shane Skinner after a poor tackle on Andres.
Armadale: GK Cyril SHARROCK, 2 Matthew WORTON, 3 Harry QUIGLEY, 6 Robert IRVING (21 Fillipo GIOFFRE 35’), 7 Josh CORTES (8 Luca SCHMIEDGEN 91’), 9 Angel ANDRES, 11 Chad NILSON (5 Ali NAZARY 75’), 13 Blake ADAMS, 14 Sebastian STENQVIST, 20 Pieter JACOBSZ, 23 Friday ZICO – Subs not used: RGK Sam HUTCHINGS, 18 Ben LEWIS,
Sorrento: GK Joel DRISCOLL, 3 Jakub PRAJZA, 3 Shaun KILKELLY, 6 Clark KELTIE, 7 Alex MORGAN, 9 Cameron TEECE, 11 Tim HILL (19 Jordan BROWN46’), 15 Ryan MCLAUGHLIN, 16 Scott WITSCHGE, 21 Daniel FAICHNEY, 25 Amir AJAN - Subs not used: RGK Matthew GIUDICATTI, 8 Tristan STEVENS, 19 Jaxon TEMATA 20 Zdenek BEZDEK - Red Card: Keltie 94’ – Referee: Shane Skinner
PERTH IN POLE POSITION FOR TOP FOUR SPOT
Perth Soccer Club moved clear at top in the NPLWA bottom six after a come-from-behind 4-1 win against Bayswater City at Frank Drago Reserve. Gordon Smith gave the hosts the lead early, but that was as good has it got for Chris Coyne’s side. Yagoub Mustafa levelled on 16 minutes, before a stunning overhead kick from Gustavo Catarcione gave them the lead at the break. Further second half goals from Michael Domfeh and Jayden Gorman sealed the big win and puts them in pole position for a top four spot.
“I thought it was a really solid performance,” Perth keeper Ryan Montgomery said. “They (Bayswater) came out of the blocks really fast, but once we settled our quality started to shine through and we controlled the rest of the game. “Old man Gustavo up top was outstanding and what a goal it was he scored. We knew we had to win, so it was all about getting the job done and now we look forward to a big game against Glory next week.”
Bayswater needed a win and results elsewhere to go their way, in their search of a top Four Finals spot, and they were ahead after only six minutes. Zayd Farah sent Daryl Nicol down the right, and his low cross was turned home by Smith. But Perth hit back ten minutes later, Paul Zamarino won possession in the middle of the park and fed Catarcione, who slipped in Mustafa, whose shot beat Jackson Lee and ended in the net, despite David Stokoe’s attempted clearance.
Perth were now on the front foot and Zimarino and Jayden Gorman failed to find the target, but on 39 minutes Catarcione showed them how to do it. Mustafa’s cross from the left was helped on by Zimarino, and the Brazilian striker scored a spectacular overhead kick, giving Lee no chance. Bayswater looked flat and struggled to break down the Perth defence, who gave keeper Ryan Montgomery some great protection. But Perth weren’t finished and they added a third on 83 minutes, second half substitute Domfeh gifted a goal after a mix up between Farah and Lee. It was 4-1 four minutes later, Mustafa sent Alek Jovic down the right and his low cross was turned home by Gorman at the back post.
Bayswater City: GK Jackson LEE, 5 David STOKOE, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 7 Daryl NICOL, 8 Gordon SMITH, 10 Jason MIRCO, 11 Ryan PEARSON, 12 Steven HESKETH, 26 Zayd FARAH, 28 Konstantinos SPARTA, 29 Dean CUMMINGS - Subs: RGK Hayden BROWNE, 4 Jacob TURNER, 9 Gustavo GIRON MARALUNDA, 14 Gomo DUKULY, 22 Luke SALMON
Perth SC: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 2 Alex SILLA, 3 Jordan DE LEO, 6 Nicholas MCDONALD, 7 Alek JOVIC, 8 Paul ZIMARINO, 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 19 Bojan RADINOVIC, 20 Jayden GORMAN, 22 Yagoub MUSTAFA – Subs: RGK Adrian SINAGRA, 10 Michael DOMFEH, 12 Daniel MACKENZIE, 14 Jawad REZAI, 17 Aiden FORMSTON – Referee: Tom Glavovic
BALCATTA PUT A SPANNER IN GLORY’S TOP FOUR HOPES
Perth Glory lost top spot on the NPLWA bottom six table after a 0-3 loss to Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. First half goals from Adam Zimarino, Anthony Topini and Michael Zimarino secured the win for Bobby Taneski’s, the loss for Richard Garcia’s side has dropped them down to third, and they will need to beat Perth SC next week and hope Inglewood United drop points to reach the top four finals.
“The result yesterday against a good Glory youth side was brilliant for us, we played some good football and we knew they would have most of the possession, but when we had the ball we had to try and hit them on the counter attack which we did in two of the goals scored,” Balcatta defender Adam Tong explained. “It was our first clean sheet of the season which was good and yet another few more goals scored. We played and defended as a team for the 90 minutes, which we haven’t done in other games that has cost us a top four finish.”
The home side have played some good football this season, but haven’t been able to hold on to leads, and are out of contention for the end of season finals, and had keeper Riley Stevenson to thank for keeping them level early. With the rain pouring down, making conditions hazardous, he managed to beat away Giordano Colli’s swerving free kick on 13 minutes. But on 25 minutes it was the host who opened the scoring. A long clearance from Tong found Michael Zimarino, who played the ball to Adam Zimarino, whose shot curled up and over keeper Sam Riley, after taking a slight deflection of defender Mason Tatafu.
Then four minutes later it was 2-0 to the hosts. Topini curling home a free kick from wide on the left, picking out the bottom corner of the net. Then on the stroke of half time Balcatta added a third. Former Glory Youth midfielder Henry Durr won the ball in the middle of the park and found Topini, who sent Michael Zimarino racing clear, and he finished clinically to send the hosts into the shed in a strong position.
Balcatta went close again early in the second half, but Michael Zimarino’s shot on the run took a deflection wide. Glory went close themselves on the hour, Josh Rawlins cross was headed goal wards by Charlie Leech, but Stephenson produced a smart save to deny him. Then Reilly got down well to deny Adam Zimarino, as the game began to open up. Glory were almost gifted a goal on 65 minutes, a mix up between keeper and defender almost let Colli in, but the Glory skipper couldn’t find the target, the ball rolling agonizingly wide.
It was end-to-end football and Balcatta went close next, Calum O’Connell getting on the end of a Jon Corness deep cross, but his header was straight at Reilly, before Colli fired over the top after good work down the left by Leech. Glory weren’t going down without a fight and from Albert Fullard’s corner Hristijan Jankuloski headed inches wide, as they pushed for a goal to get them back in the game, but they couldn’t find it, and they need to win next against Perth if they are to keep their season alive.
Balcatta: GK Riley STEPHENSON, 2 Joseph MARINO, 3 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 4 Calum O’CONNELL, 5 John KEARNEY, 10 Jon CORNESS, 11 Michael ZIMARINO (12 Jonathan BOUHLAS 86’), 13 Anthony TOPINI (19 Charlie WATT 91’), 14 Adam TONG (15 Luke ALESSANDRINO 92’), 16 Adam ZIMARINO, 17 Henry DURR – Subs not used: RGK Jake ANGELOVSKI
Perth Glory: GK Sam REILLY, 2 Mason TATAFU, 3 Nick WALSH, 4 Aiden COYNE, 6 Chris DONNELL (14 Jayden LEADER 53’), 7 Jack PAINTER-ANDREWS (17 Hristijan JANKULOSKI 46’), 8 Aiden EDWARDS, 9 Bryce BAFFORD (16 Aiki TSUKAMOTO 46’), 10 Giordano COLLI, 11 Charlie LEECH (15 Albert FULLARD 72’), 20 Josh RAWLINS - Subs not used: RGK Kade WHITE – Referee: Michal Jasinski
ROCKINGHAM FIGHT BACK TO EARN A POINT IN THEIR 50 YEARS ANNIVERSAY GAME
A goal 18 minutes from time by Declan Collins has secured Rockingham City a 2-2 draw with Inglewood United, and severely dented the top four finals spot for the visitors. Steve Sokol had given Inglewood the lead from the spot on 38 minutes, but in the shadows of half time Michael Farmer levelled for Gary Christie’s side. Sokol regained the lead for Andres Oliveira’s side early in the second half, but it was Collins who had the last word, to earn Rockingham’s first point of the second phase. Inglewood now must beat Bayswater next Saturday and require a favour from third-place Glory against Perth to pinch top spot.
It was a massive day for Rockingham, celebrating their 50th anniversary, but it was the visitors who opened the scoring on 38 minutes. Steve Sokol was fouled in the box by Harry Bolan and referee Steven Gregory pointed straight to the spot. Sokol picked himself up to send Bradley Stout the wrong way from the resulting penalty. The home side were giving it their all and deservedly levelled in the shadows of half time. Ryan Kennedy’s free kick was headed back across goal to an unmarked Michael Farmer who guided the ball past Alex Dunn.
The visitors were on the front foot early in the second half and they regained the lead three minutes in. Thiak Kuel found Sokol just outside the penalty area and he turned his marker superbly before finding the bottom corner of the net for his eighth goal of the season. Rockingham had it all to do again and should have levelled but Evan Ludgate blazed over when well placed.
But the equaliser came on 72 minutes. Skipper Lydon Hodgkiss was sent down the left by Ludgate, his deep cross was helped back by Joseph Moss for Declan Collins to fire home. Inglewood needed a win in this one to keep them in the box seat for that Top Four Finals spot, but they couldn’t find the winner, although Sokol should have completed his hat-trick late, but failed to find the target after being sent clear twice.
Rockingham City: GK Brad STOUT, 3 Joseph MOSS, 6 Blake SOKOLOWSKI, 7 Jacob FORSYTH, 10 Luke COLLINS, 13 Lydon HODGKISS, 14 Ryan KENNEDY, 15 Declan COLLINS 16 Harry BOLAN, 18 Michael FARMER, 19 Evan LUDGATE – Subs: 2 Eli HOLDSWORTH, 4 Nathan NG, Jesse ROBERTS
Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 4 Scott BLACKMORE, 5 Thiak KUEL, 10 Anthony BAFOBUSHA, 11 Abdul SESAY, 14 Steve SOKOL, 15 William NICHOLSON, 16 Jamie MURPHY, 17 Mark BARNETT, 19 Brodie LANGAN (63’) – Subs: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 6 Adam FALCONE, 12 Chad SAMUELS, 13 Adrian MANNO - Referee: Steven Gregory
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE PHASE TWO, ROUND FOUR – REVIEW
The State League Division One title will go down to the wire after a sensational penultimate top six round on Saturday. Olympic Kingsway missed the opportunity to wrap it up, but were beaten 5-3 against Fremantle City at Kingsway Reserve. Asher Nelson gave them the lead from the spot after only two minutes, but Fremantle hit back when Riley van Dieken shot was parried by Dave Keenan, and James Harmer made no mistake from the rebound. Fremantle added a second after the break, a quick counter attack by Harmer ended with a neat through ball to Van Dieken who finished clinically past the on-rushing Keenan. Then nine minutes later the visitors made it 3-1, a short corner was played to van Dieken who beat one man and fired across the box for Matty Sparrow to turn home.
Keylun Pollard pulled one back for the hosts, but Fremantle regained their two-goal advantage, Harmer scoring his second after a scramble in the box. But Olympic hit back again, this time Nelson added his second, and it was game on, but Fremantle won it when Van Dieken played Noah Cavanaugh through down the left, and he fired home from a tight angle. Olympic are still in pole position to take out the title, leading by two points, so a win against Mandurah City next week will see them win it. “It was a convincing display and deserving win,” Fremantle coach Cameron Lord said. “We must now take that performance into next week’s game against Forrestfield to finish the season at Hilton Park on a high.”
The points were made safe for the visitors two minutes later, Van Dieken played Noah Cavanaugh through down the left who fired home from a tight angle. Olympic are still in pole position to take out the title, leading by two points, so a win against Mandurah City next week will see them win it. “It was a convincing display and deserving win,” Fremantle coach Cameron Lord said. “We must now take that performance into next week’s game against Forrestfield to finish the season at Hilton Park on a high.”
In our ‘Match of the Round’ Western Knights have kept their title hopes alive after coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Forrestfield United. Jordan Lyall gave the hosts the lead on the half hour, but the Knights hit back on the hour. Paul Llyod found space on the edge of the penalty area and chipped keeper Luke Martino. It looked like Forrestfield had won it on 69 minutes when Rhys Loxley scored, but deep into stoppage time, the Knights levelled. Dean Hurley turned his marker and fired low into the corner of the net to give both sides a point. “I thought a draw was a deserved result,” Knights coach Ivan Zuvela said. “We kept pushing forward to try and score and didn’t give up. I’m really proud of our players and their never give up attitude.”
In the other game in the group Mandurah City have come from behind to beat Joondalup United 2-1 at Forrest Park and move up to third on the ladder. The hosts were ahead on 21 minutes, Jamie Gardiner scoring past Phillip Herschell. But the Dolphins levelled on 32 minutes, Jordan Rhodes’ free kick found Harry Collins, who headed past Alfie Brincat. But it was Mandurah who won it on 90 minutes. Joey O’Brien raced into the penalty area and finished with aplomb into the top corner to seal the win. “In the first half I thought we could have been more aggressive and retain the ball a bit more, but second half it was one-way traffic,” Mandurah coach Kris Donnell said. “We never gave them a sniff and I thought our passing was more fluid, and Joey took his goal really well. We’re delighted again for the boys they never stopped.”
In the bottom six Quinns moved closer to wrapping up the Top Four Finals spot after a convincing 3-0 win against Stirling Lions at Gumblossom Park. The Lions went into this one with a perfect start to the group but found themselves behind on eight minutes. Some neat build-up play, down the right between Richard Howles and Sam Wynne, ended with a low cross by Wynne, who picked out Jamie Stewart at the back post to score. They added a second on 75 minutes, Howles pace took him past two Lions defenders on the right before picking out Matt Corrigan, to score his first goal of the season. They wrapped up the points in the final minute, Brent Quick and Wynne combined, the latter cutting the ball back to Sam Rawlings to score. “It was a solid win, and the boys stepped up and we defended well," Quinns keeper James Bosdet said. "They had a few chances, but the better team won on the day."
Swan United have fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Ashfield at Francis Street. The visitors were ahead after only six minutes, with Sakou Abdoucadri Sylla scoring. They doubled their lead four minutes later, with Freeman Nyatsambo on target, but it all turned after the break. First John Monterosso scored from the spot on 51 minutes, after referee Walter Ciotti spotted a foul on Luwaya David. The Black and Whites were level nine minutes from time. A quick throw in by Luqman Sayyed found Monterosso who cut the ball back to James Shamim who finished well. Ashfield ended the game with ten men after Kaelan Majeks was sent off.
“It was a game of two halves where we hadn’t had the best start conceding two early sloppy goals and not putting away our chances,” Monterosso said. “In the second half we came out on top and were disappointed not to get the win but it sets us up nicely for final game away at Stirling next week.” In the final game UWA Nedlands drew 1-1 with Subiaco at the UWA Sports Park. Nathan Smith gave the hosts the lead on the hour, but Bryce Conway levelled 12 minutes later, to give both sides a share of the spoils.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO PHASE TWO, ROUND FOUR – REVIEW
Carramar Shamrock Rovers are the 2020 State League Division Two Champions after a 4-1 win against Dianella White Eagles in our ‘Match of the Round’ at Grandis Park. Head Coach Gerry McEwan said it’s a great day for the club. “Winning the Division Two title means a lot to many people associated with our club. Our committee work very hard, our coaches are dedicated to our club and our sponsors have stood buy us when many people were asking ‘what's the point if there's no promotion’,” McEwan explained.
“The coaches and players have given everything they have to the season, as we're aware how fortunate we are to be playing football at all. The celebrations in the dressing room on Saturday were great when the final result came through from Gosnells. Our game on Saturday was a fitting way to win the league, as Dianella ask many questions of you and our players had to come up with the answers. Thankfully, the goals went in this week, all four of them great goals from our point of view. Who knows what will happen next year with the Covid pandemic, but hopefully WA will stay clear and we'll all have the opportunity to play Football again in 2021?
“Division Two has some quality teams now, with the standard improving each year, so no matter what division we find ourselves in, we'll compete for everything that's in front of us and always look to improve. We still have one more game v Joondalup City before our semi-final, it's another game of football, so we won't be wasting that opportunity to play, although our main focus is now on the semi-final. Congratulations to everyone associated with our game in WA for their contribution to this season in what has been a testing time for all.”
The host were ahead after only six minutes, Kieran Harrison curling the ball over the top of keeper Thomas Livingstone. It was 2-0 on 12 minutes, Siyang Zhang’s played a superb ball across the box to Ger Fitzgerald who headed home. Dianella pulled one back on the half hour with Stephen Musonda scoring, but that was as good as it got for Bobby Despotovski’s side. The hosts made it 3-1 on 72 minutes, Wayne Guest volleying home superbly. The icing was put on the Champions cake eight minutes later. Harrison played the ball back to Pat Morrison who curled the ball home to seal the win and the title for Rovers.
“It was a great game to win, as Dianella are a very tough team, and had us under the pump for most of the first half,” Fitzgerald said. “The second half was pretty even and we took our chances and scored four great goals. Absolutely delighted to win the league with such a great bunch of boys. The Club have been brilliant all year helping out with everything and looking after us as well. Gerry and Adam have done a great job and delighted we can win the league for them too, and pay back their hard work and dedication they have put in all year.”
Wanneroo City and Gosnells City have fought out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Walter Padbury Reserve. The visitors hit the front after only seven minutes, with Jaydan Licastro heading home a cross. Wade Farmer levelled for the hosts on 33 minutes, but Charlie Breen restored Wanneroo’s lead, driving into the box and finishing low past Jake Maley-Orr. Both sides were reduced to ten men in the second half, Gosnells’ Scott Pereira, and Wanneroo’s Charlie Breen, both received second yellow cards from referee Jessica Byrd. Gosnells levelled again on 73 minutes with Darren Francis on target. But Wanneroo hit the front again seven minutes from time, Connor Lynch was on the end of a neat build up to score.
But Marc Anthony’s side restored parity five minutes from time with Jordan Parfitt on target. “Over all a draw was probably a fair result,” Wanneroo coach Jesse Bridgeman said. “Ollie Rigler made at least four great saves to keep us in the game, but to concede the three goals in the way we did was disappointing and not to keep the moment going from last week’s result. Having the two early injuries hurt us a bit, but the boys battled hard all the way to the end and I was very pleased with their efforts.”
In the final game Murdoch University Melville have won for the first time in the group after a 2-0 win against Joondalup City at Murdoch University Arena, and dented the top four finals hopes of the visitors. The hosts opened the scoring just after the hour. A superb switch of play by Kai Jones found Declan Tanna, who’s good first touch took him clear and he curled it into the top corner. They wrapped up the points five minutes from time, Ben Howe’s volley from 20 meters took a deflection and found the bottom corner of the net. “I thought it was a fairly evenly matched game, but we did manage to limit Joondalup to very few chances and we took ours at the other end with a couple of good strikes,” Howe said. “The football gods would have to be on our side to get through to the finals with one game remaining, but we’ll give it our all against Gosnells next Saturday and see what happens.”
In the bottom six Morley Windmills moved to the top of the ladder after a 1-0 win against Kelmscott Roos at Wotton Reserve. The only goal of the game came on 36 minutes. A long ball from Alex Galipo found Scott Wrightson in the penalty area, and his header found the bottom right-hand corner. The visitors ended the game with nine players, after Morteza Ali Doust and Phillip Park were both sent off by referee David Avison. “It was another good result for the club and the lads,” Morley coach Jason van Rooy said. “We created a number of good chances and the score line could have been a lot greater but we were happy with the win.”
Canning City are still in the mix for a top four spot, despite a 1-1 draw against Curtin University at Burrendah Reserve. Joshua Selman gave the visitors the lead early, but Emmanuel Langoya levelled just before half time. The hosts had a number of chances to win it after the break but couldn’t convert them. “It was just one of those days,” Canning coach Chris Finlayson said. “We had so many chances to win the game comfortably but it wasn’t to be. “Unfortunately, we have missed opportunities all Season to progress, but we are a new squad so we must take positives from it. We go to Kelmscott looking for a big win and hopes Morley are beaten at Balga. But whatever happens it’s been a very good season considering where the club were last year.”
In the final game Kingsley Westside have beaten Balga 3-1 at Princess Road Reserve, to record their first win of the second phase. The host were ahead when Ryan Williams fired home after Lance Alavakis could only parry a stinging Jayden Drummond strike on six minutes. Williams added his second on the half hour, headed home Bailey Salmon’s neat cross. Balga were back in the game on 51 minutes, with skipper Jake Verini scoring, after Kingsley failed to clear their lines. But Kingsley made sure of the points on 69 minutes, some neat lead up play by Ilya Nebylytsa, then saw him cut the ball back to Ramiro Vilar to calmly finish into bottom corner. “It was such a relief to finally get a win which has been a long time coming for the boys,” Kingsley Westside coach Steven Dimitrovich said. “I couldn’t have been prouder of their commitment to the season, especially when times have got tough over the last couple months, especially with the injury toll we’ve incurred.”
CLUB IN PROFILE - MURDOCH UNIVERSITY MELVILLE FOOTBALL CLUB
Murdoch University Melville Football Club was formed in 1969 as "Melville City Junior SC". The club's first home ground was at Tompkins Park in Applecross.
The club was initially focused on juniors only, with many league and cup wins over the years throughout the different age groups. In 1981, the club dropped the junior part of their name, and officially became known as "Melville City SC" as a number of adult social and masters teams were added.
Melville's first entry into Amateur first team and reserves football did not occur until 1986, when the club joined the old Third Division of the Amateur League. The first season was a disappointing, the team finished in eleventh place and only won two games. The following season Melville had a much better year, ending up in third spot and finished only four points behind the league winners.
Due to the added new Amateur Premier Division in 1988, the league Melville was in changed names to Division Two. The club were looking for promotion, however it wasn't to be, with the club finishing in eighth position. After winning ten games in 1989 and ending up in fifth place, Melville had a horror season in 1990. The team ended up second last with only eight points for the season. The club would have been relegated to the Amateur Third Division, however it was decided by the committee to withdraw from the Amateur League.
It would be another seventeen years before the club re-joined the amateur competition, however men's social and masters teams would continue. The juniors as before were still the main focus.
In 2007, Melville re-entered the Amateur League, and joined the Fourth Division. It was a good debut year, with the team ending up in fifth spot. The next few seasons became more of a struggle, with two ninth spot finishes which ended in relegation. By 2010, Melville were now in the Fifth Division, and even though the club once again had a poor season, things were looking brighter off the park.
Murdoch University Soccer Club had senior teams since 1977 and had a successful thirteen year spell in the Amateur Premier Division. They won the amateur state championship in 1999 and were also Amateur Cup winners in 1990. After many seasons based at the university grounds, the club moved to Winthrop Reserve in 2007 before moving to Len Shearer Reserve in 2009. Both were home grounds of Melville City.
In 2011 an agreement was reached, in which Murdoch University SC would be incorporated into Melville City. The name did change slightly to "Melville City Football Club" and now the club was able to offer Amateur Premier Division football to its members.
The first season in the Amateur Premier Division under the Melville City banner in 2011 was a great success with the club finishing runners-up. James Brydon continued as first team coach having been at Murdoch University the season before. There was big moves again off-field, with the club now applying to be included in the newly established State League Division Two. Football West announced that Melville were one of the seven successful candidates later in the year.
After forty-three years, Melville City were now in semi-professional football. Talented juniors who were forced to join other clubs as they reached senior level could now stay at Melville. Danny Evans was appointed first team coach of the new State League team. Their first ever game at that level was at Len Shearer Reserve against Joondalup City. The team won 5-3. It ended up being a successful season, with the team finishing fourth.
The second season proved to be more difficult, with the club only winning six games. However the foundations for State League football were laid, and the future looked bright. Danny Evans resigned at the end of the season, with Gavin Brown appointed the new first team coach. With the league now strengthened to twelve clubs in 2014, the team had a good season, finishing in fifth spot. The next couple of years the club ended up around mid-table, however the youth structure again proved successful, with the Under 18's becoming champions in 2016.
During this time, the club were in ongoing discussions with the Murdoch University campus. The university were looking to build a new football facility, which included two synthetic pitches and quality floodlighting. With the club being one of the largest junior clubs in the state, it was at bursting point at their current grounds, with wear and tear being a major problem. By the end of 2017 the club made the decision to be based at the university campus, while still having some of their teams continuing to play and train at their current grounds. The club changed it's name to Murdoch University Melville Football Club, and its colours went from green and gold to red and black.
The newly look club had a good year in 2018, just missing a chance of promotion. The following year, the team had their best season since entering the State League, ending up in third spot. This meant a birth in the promotion play-offs. It looked all but over in the first leg of the semi-finals, when they lost 3-1 to Gosnells City at home. But in an astonishing second leg, Murdoch scored three goals to reach the final! The club were now so close to it's first promotion in their history, with only Swan United standing in their way. The first leg at home ended up in a 2-1 loss. There was high hopes in the second leg that Murdoch would once again come back, but it wasn't to be. Swan won 3-0 and with it promotion to Division One. It wasn't all bad news though, the Reserves only lost one game to claim the title, while the Under 18's also won the championship, and in doing so came very close to winning all twenty-two league fixtures, but drew their second last game to Canning City.
Gavin Brown resigned at the end of the season after being offered a position at Perth Glory, with former Ashfield coach Matt Wardle taking over. In 2020, Murdoch had a good night series, reaching the quarter-finals before losing to Division One side Forrestfield United on penalties. Danny Ciampini took over as coach just prior to the season re-start. The club had a great year, finishing on top after the regular season. Due to COVID-19, the competition had a different format. No promotion was on offer, but the title was decided on the next five games, which did not go the club's way. Even though Murdoch did not claim the 2020 Division Two championship, the club can be proud of their achievement by finishing top of the league. With a very youthful first team, the future is looking very good.
RUKVAYSTYA TO FACE PREMIER LEAGUE GIANTS
Australian football fans should be glued to their television sets on on 1st September when one of the most prolific strikers in Europe, Socceroo Nikita Rukvaystya, takes on Premier League guns Tottenham Hotspur. The 33-year old striker has been on fire this season for Maccabi Haifa, scoring seven goals in five appearances.
Overnight Rukvaystya scored and assisted in Maccabi's 2-1 win over FC Rostov, sending the Israeli club through to a Europa League playoff against Tottenham. It means Rukavytsya has scored and assisted in all three Europa League matches this season, a record that will put him in the front of Jose Mourinho's mind when the two sides face off for a spot in the continental championships.
Maccabi have other experienced players but the reigning Israeli golden boot winner will be key to Haifa's chances. His title-winning experience in the Netherlands and years of Bundesliga and European matches set to hold him in good stead against world-class opposition. With his form, in a one-off, do-or-die European match, anything can happen.
WHAT IS HAPPENING AT PERTH GLORY?
The 2020 A-League season may have only just finished, but the 2021 version is looking like being a frustrating one for Perth Glory supporters. After last season’s sixth place finish and losing the Semi-Final against Sydney FC, how things have changed both on and off the field.
Tony Popovic has headed to Europe, the club appointing Richard Garcia to fill the role, while new signings Andrew Nabbout and Nathaniel Atkinson were not allowed in the State from Victoria because of COVID-19 and their contracts were terminated before they began, and don’t get me going how the AFL players from Victoria can enter when they want.
The player exodus continues with Tomislav Mrcela, Joel Chianese, Ivan Franjic, Jacob Tratt, Vince Lia, Juande all departing and it looks like the Popovic boys will join their dad in Greece. Also, the future of out of contract players Alex Grant, James Meredith and Carlo Armiento are uncertain, while the Diego Castro scenario continues. Add to that the club are at loggerheads with the PFA on wage cuts for the rest of the squad, it has all the Glory faithful scratching their heads, so what will happen next?
Many loyal Glory fans have supported the club through thick and thin in the A-League era, a Grand Final defeat and some packed house at HPF Park. Some great memories of the Shed ‘Tour of Duty’ away games, but are we looking at the demise of our great club, that’s the uncertain situation at the moment.
As it stands the club only have nine contacted players, and they are due to be involved in the Asian Champions League next month, and it was reported today that Al Halal have dropped out of the competition as they can’t Field a 13-man squad as per regulations, and the way Glory are going will they be next?
One thing is for sure the club members will stick by their club, if there is one to do so. Many people bag Tony Sage over these and other issue, but believe me without him we would t have a club, and he definitely wear his heart (purple) on his sleeve. But others believe Sage has made some bad decisions, and time after time, he's been at the centre of controversies and the club will always be run haphazardly with Sage at the top. Like coaches and players, owners come and go, and clubs should be able to exist long after current owners, but all we all want to know is where do we go from here.
The new A-League season has been pencilled in for December, but with most of the other clubs seemingly in the same situation, will the competition go ahead. You only have to look overseas, especially the lower leagues in the UK, where clubs are struggling to cope with the loss of revenue due to pandemic. Glory CEO Tony Pignata said the club’s revenue has dropped 70% last season, is that sustainable. It’s a dire situation for everyone that’s for sure, but we want answers not excuses, and hopefully over the next few weeks it will all become a bit clearer and we can get back to some ‘Twist and Shout’ in the Shed - Come on Glory!!!
NPL-WA PHASE TWO, ROUND FOUR PREVIEW
It’s week four of the NPLWA top six and our ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Wishart Street where Gwelup Croatia host Floreat Athena. It’s a vital game for both teams and three points are a must if they are to challenge for the title and Top Four Finals. Cockburn City sit on top of the table on seven points and are in pole position, but there are four other clubs still in contention, so all this weekend’s games are massive.
Gwelup could have drawn level with Cockburn, but were held at home by ECU Joondalup last week, and goal scorer Shubham Mokala said they had their chances in the first half to win it. ‘I thought we played well, especially on the break but just couldn’t finish when it mattered most,” he explained. “We had more than enough chances to put the game away in the first half, especially chances for myself which was frustrating not to see go in. It was disappointing not to come away with three points especially knowing how important the game was and the chances we had.”
Mokala, who has been outstanding this season, his pace causing all teams problems, said Saturday is their biggest game of the season and three points are vital. “All the players can’t wait for Floreat as it’s a chance to make up for the points lost to ECU,” he said. “These last two games are important for the title and making finals but we are more than confident and prepared that if we do our job by taking our chances and defending together as we’ve done all season there’s no reason for us not to win the title and finals.”
Floreat have won back to back games, this after a first up loss against Sorrento and George Festa said in both games, the players fought right to the end to score late in both games. “Both those games are the type that I love being a part of, especially in a team like ours,” he explained. “We knew in both games from the first minute exactly what we needed to do and that was to get all three points, so we went into the matches with the mentality that we were going to do that, no matter what.”
North-London born Festa has played for Murdoch University Melville, Armadale and Perth SC, before heading to Athena and captained the under 20’s side last season before he was given a chance in the first team, and he hasn’t looked back, and is looking forward to the next challenge against Gwelup on Saturday. “To step up and play first team football at Floreat is great, but there has been a lot of hard work from myself and trust from my teammates and coaches,” he said.
“I’ve got my chance in the side and have started to become more of a starting player, and am absolutely loving it. As for Saturday, we know the trip to Gwelup is going to be a tough game, but we are ready for the challenge. We believe we have the ability to go and win the game and secure our spot in the top four cup and put pressure on Cockburn for the title.”
Leaders Cockburn City host ECU Joondalup at Dalmatinac Park, and the hosts could almost wrap up the title this weekend if they can claim the three points and results elsewhere go their way. The Cockerels are the form team and are the only side not to be beaten in the group, but last time out they were held to a 1-1 draw by Sorrento. The Jacks fought back to earn a draw at Gwelup, Harry Evans’ goal saw them move to four points, three behind Saturday’s opponents, so like the other four teams a win on Saturday will keep their title hopes alive.
In the final game Sorrento head south to Alfred Skeet Reserve to take on Armadale looking to get back to winning ways. The Reds are still searching for their first points in the group, but last week John O’Reilly’s side were unlucky not to take anything from their game against Floreat, conceding in the final minute. Sorrento kept their title hopes alive after a Scott Witschge goal gave them a 1-1 draw against Cockburn and Gulls coach Jamie Harnwell knows three points are a must, so all three games this round will have a huge bearing on the title race.
In the bottom six, the fight for a top four finals spot is also heating up, with five teams still in contention. Perth Glory go into round four unbeaten and in pole position, and this week they travel to Grindleford Reserve to take on Balcatta. Richard Garcia’s side drew at Bayswater last week to drop their first points of the second phase, while Balcatta will look to bounce back from defeat against Inglewood to keep their hopes alive. Second placed Perth SC travel to Frank Drago Reserve to take on Bayswater in the Italian Derby, with both sides desperately looking for three points to keep them in the frame.
In the final game Inglewood United travel to the SafeRad Stadium to take on the winless Rockingham City. The hosts are out of contention but Gary Christie will be looking to end the season with two good performances. Inglewood on the other hand are coming off two big wins against Perth SC and Balcatta and coach Andres Oliveira was delighted with the performance last week.
“It was a great win against a in-form Balcatta team with their great performance against Bayswater, they have players capable of winning the game at any moment,” he said. “It was pleasing because it was the same team that won against Perth SC in midweek game, which we had three debut players from U20. Also, the senior players had stepped up as we are going through a injury crisis at the moment. Adam Falcone is forcing himself to play for the team and he came on and got us a penalty to secure the points. So, us coaches can't be any prouder for the guys sticking together to fight to the end.”
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE PHASE TWO, ROUND FOUR – PREVIEW
With two games to go in the State League Division One top six there are three teams still in the race for the title and our ‘Match of the Round’ sees two of them meeting, with third placed Forrestfield United hosting second placed Western Knights at 1620 Capital Stadium, Hartfield Park. Olympic Kingsway are in pole position sitting three points clear of the Knights, and five ahead of United so both will need to win this and hope other results go their way.
Forrestfield lost ground on the leaders last week after drawing against Joondalup, while the Knights lost the top of the table clash last week against Olympic, and coach Ivan Zuvela said they had their chances but never took them. “We were disappointed not to get a result last week against Kingsway, but we didn’t start the best and they got a deserved goal,” he explained. “But we didn’t give up and kept playing to our strengths where we created a number of chances, unfortunately their keeper was outstanding, and we also missed a penalty.”
Zuvela said it’s back to business on Saturday, and all they can do is get a result and hope Fremantle can do them a favour at Kingsway. “We move on and we know that this week against Forrestfield will also be a very tough game,” he said. “We are only worrying about our game and we still go in with confidence to get a result, our players have had an excellent attitude all season and they are determined to put in another good performance.”
Olympic Kingsway sit on top and could take out the title if they beat Fremantle City at Kingsway Reserve, and the Knights lose. They have won all three games in the second phase, and Gary Williams will be looking to make it four on Saturday. But they come against a talented Fremantle side who are still searching for their first win, but any side coaches by Cameron Lord will be tough to beat and Olympic will have to be at their best to get the three points.
In the final top six game this weekend Joondalup United host Mandurah City at Forrest Park. Although the title chances are slim, a top four Finals spot is still up for grabs. Both had good performances last week, Mandurah beat Fremantle at home while Joondalup drew on the road at Forrestfield. So, Nick Jennings, Pete Taylor and Kris Donnell will both be looking for the three points, for their respective teams.
In the bottom six there are four teams in the running for that Top Four Finals spot with Quinns, UWA Nedlands, Stirling Lions and Subiaco still in the mix. Quinns host the Lions at Gumblossom Park, and a win would put them in a strong position, but the Lions do have a game in hand. Quinns assistant coach John Lavery said the win at Ashfield last week has kept their season alive and they will be looking for more of the same on Saturday.
“We were delighted with the win at Ashfield, especially after our defeat there a few weeks ago, it gives us something to play for,” he said. “Saturdays game is all to play for both teams, and Stirling will start favourites I think due to their recent good form. Hopefully home advantage can help us and we can get the result we need to keep our season alive.”
In the other games, Subiaco also have a game in hand, but will need three points when they travel to UWA Nedlands for the local derby. Only four points separate the two sides so three points are a must for both sides in this one to keep the pressure on the leaders. In the final game the bottom of two sides meet, with Swan United hosting Ashfield at Francis Street both looking for their first wins of the second phase.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO PHASE TWO, ROUND FOUR – PREVIEW
In the State League Division Two top six we have four teams still in the mix for the title, but Carramar Shamrock Rovers are in the best position, sitting three points ahead of Wanneroo City, while Dianella White Eagles and Joondalup City are still in contention, so like the other two leagues, Saturday is going to be massive. Our ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Grandis Park, where third placed Dianella White Eagles take on leaders Carramar Shamrock Rovers.
The Eagles lost ground on the top two after back-to-back 0-0 draw’s against MUM and Joondalup City last week, but Miki Vujacic said both were fair results. “Yes, it was a disappointing draw last week, and on Tuesday against Murdoch, but in all fairness the draw was the right result,” he explained. “Both teams had some clear-cut chances, and the conditions were horrendous for football, so if either team lost, they would have felt hard done by. Unfortunately for us, we really needed the three points to stay in touch but it wasn't to be.”
Vujacic said the trip to Rovers is another challenge, but a win will send the title race to the final round. “Grandis Park is a tough place to go, and Carramar Shamrock are a tough team to play, so the odds are stacked in their favour,” he said. “They've been consistent for most of the season, so we'll be going there hoping to disrupt their rhythm a bit. For us we need the win (and other results to go our way) to have any chance of finishing top, so we'll be ready to have a good crack at them.”
Rovers’ Ger Fitzgerald said last week’s win against Gosnells was another good performance, and maintained their perfect start to the top six series. “It was a very good win considering the conditions. There was a gale force wind blowing straight across the pitch which made it extremely hard for both teams but we took our chances and are delighted with the win,” he explained. “There must have been a record number of throws taken from both teams. It was probably a horrible game to watch, but we didn’t care as we got the three points.”
Fitzgerald said they must go into the match against Dianella focused on only Bobby Despotovski’s side and not looking too far ahead or they might come unstuck. “Gerry (McEwan) will have us well prepared like normal and we know Dianella are a good team but we are confident in our abilities and are confident we can get a good result,” he said. “It’s very close at the top and it’s in our hands really, if we keep winning, we will win the league. Wanneroo have a tough game away to Gosnells so anything can happen really and Joondalup and Dianella will be looking to close the gap as well. It will be an exciting next two weeks. The club have been brilliant and there is a real buzz around, so hopefully we can keep doing what we are doing and get the job done.”
In other top six games second placed Wanneroo City make the trip to Walter Padbury Reserve to take on Gosnells. If Jess Bridgeman’s side don’t get all three points it could hand the title to Rovers, but they are in good form after a big 7-2 win against MUM in midweek. Gosnells are still looking for their first point in the series, but a win in this one will keep their top four hopes alive. In the final game Murdoch University Melville entertain Joondalup City at Murdoch University Arena. A top four spot is still achievable for both sides so this one will be another tight encounter.
BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND FIFTEEN PREVIEW
With North Perth United taking out the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division title last week, the race for the runners-up spot is heating up with only two games remaining. Kwinana United are in pole position at the moment, four points clear of Leeming Strikers, while Maddington White City, UWA Nedlands and Joondalup United can still mathematically jump into second.
It’s Week 15 on Sunday, and our ‘Match of the Round’ sees Kwinana United make the trip to Beldon Park to take on Joondalup United. (All games kick off at 3.00pm unless stated) A win on Sunday will give Kwinana second place, but any slip up will let the other sides in. Kwinana missed the opportunity to wrap up the runners-up spot last week when they were held to a 3-3 draw at home by neatest challengers Leeming, this despite leading 3-1, but coach Mark Purvis said it was a great game and a great advert for the league.
“It was a great game last week, and I thought we played some of our best football of the season,” he explained. “At 3-1 I was hoping we could see out the win, but Leeming are a top side and have been for a long while, and full credit to them, they got themselves level and even had a late chance to win it, but it was a great advert for our league.”
Purvis said Joondalup will be another tough game, and last time they met it ended on a 4-4 draw, so he knows they will have to be at their best, but a win will give them second spot. “We visit Joondalup this week and we are excited for the challenge against another really good side,” he said. “Hopefully we can pick all three points this time, but we know we will have to be at our best to do that. Yes, we can lock in second place if we do win but we will just concentrate on our performance, and everything else will take care of itself.”
Joondalup are coming off a hard fought 3-2 win at Wembley Downs last week, with Adam Taylor scoring a stoppage time winner, and coach Neil Sherwin said his side showed plenty of character to come from 1-2 down to seal the win. “It was great to pick up three points in difficult conditions and a 93rd minute winner is a nice confidence boost for the lads,” he said. “To be behind twice then nick three points right at the end shows great character, we've played a lot better this season and lost so we'll take a win like that when it comes. Adam Taylor has been superb lately so I was pleased to see him get that third goal, and Patrick Lawless did an excellent job in goal including a penalty save in the first half.”
Last week’s win made it back to back wins for Sherwin’s side, and he knows Kwinana are one win away from wrapping up second spot, but all he is concerned is continue their momentum. “I'm not worried about Kwinana's league position, they've had a great season and can be proud of their achievements whether they wrap up second or not on Sunday,” Sherwin explained. “My focus is on JUFC finishing as high as possible, we had a very poor run in the middle of the campaign, but we've changed a few things around and had the opportunity to work on a new system so recent results have been encouraging. We want to continue the momentum and finish off with a couple more wins.”
In other games third placed Leeming Strikers know three points are a must in their push for second spot, and then hope Joondalup can do them a favour, when they travel to the UWA Sports Park to take on fifth placed UWA Nedlands. Champions North Perth United will be presented with the league trophy when they host Queens Park at Woodville Reserve (1.00pm), Hamersley Rovers host Wembley Downs at Carine Open. Space, while Jaguar and Quinns do battle at Herb Graham Recreation Centre. The round starts on Saturday evening when Maddington White City entertain South West Phoenix at Nikola Tesla Reserve (6.00pm)
MRCELA RELEASED WHILE NABBOUT AND ATKINSON WON’T HEAD WEST
New Perth Glory coach Richard Garcia is facing a huge rebuilding task with three more players leaving the club. Defender Tomi Mrcela is set to return to Croatia while striker Andrew Nabbout and defender Nathaniel Atkinson will not be joining the club.
Mrcela, who made 30 appearances since arriving in 2018, has been granted an early release from his contract to return to Croatia with his wife. “I had a great two years here which I think, overall, were two successful years for the club,” the towering defender said.
“I hope we gave the members and fans some joy and I would like to thank them all. I’m taking many great memories away, leaving as a better man and a better player and who knows what the future brings.”
Glory chief executive Tony Pignata acknowledged Mrcela’s contribution to the club’s recent success. “Tomi has performed extremely well for the club over the past two years and we have granted him an early release for family reasons,” he said. “I would like to thank him for his service and wish him all the very best for the future.”
Nabbout and Atkinson, who were signed only three weeks ago, have had their contracts terminated by mutual consent. Glory said they understood Nabbout’s “understandable reluctance” to make the move without his family. The moves reduce the squad to just a dozen players.
Pignata said circumstances beyond the club’s control had rendered the Atkinson and Nabbout deals unviable. “We are obviously disappointed that two players of their quality will not now be joining us but unfortunately the ongoing border restrictions have rendered their moves impossible at this time,” Pignata said.
“The club is, however, continuing to implement a very aggressive recruitment policy and there are now additional opportunities for other players to join what we are confident will be a highly-competitive squad for the 2020-21 season.”
UNION THREATENS GLORY WITH LEGAL ACTION AS PLAYERS STOOD DOWN
Perth Glory have been threatened with legal action after standing down their entire squad in the wake of the breakdown of A-League pay talks. The players union, Professional Footballers Australia, condemned the move by club owner Tony Sage as a “lock out”, claiming it was unlawful and vowed to pursue legal action on behalf of the players.
Sage threatened the action at the weekend and Glory are the first club to make the move. The action brought a fierce PFA backlash. “If you want to own and run a football club you’re going to need players,” PFA co-chief executive Beau Busch said. “Players met with the club and were this morning served with so-called stand downs and are now once again faced with unnecessary uncertainty.”
“These guys have made great sacrifices for this club and this action creates further challenges and ongoing uncertainty. Across Australia and New Zealand other clubs are doing their best to work with their players whilst we continue to seek a collective bargaining agreement. We need to work together to get football back on its feet and, frankly, this is unhelpful.”
Glory chief executive Tony Pignata is now in talks with players, as are other A-League clubs, all without PFA involvement. Glory had 15 players signed for next season before talks broke down and all contracts, including current agreements, will be renegotiated. It is understood eight members of the club’s staff have also been stood down.
TAGGART SAYS NEXT CLUB WILL BE 'ANOTHER STEP UP'
Striker Adam Taggart admits his time with K-League club Suwon Bluewings has left him confident in seeking a tougher league. The news will be well received by Socceroos fans, who have been asking for more Australians to test themselves in Europe amid an exodus towards Asia this off-season.
Taggart won the K-League's Golden Boot last season with 18 goals, but Suwon have struggled this season and currently languish near the bottom of the table. The striker has been omitted from Suwon's matchday squads recently with club officials confirming that they were open to offers for the 27-year old from the Middle East.
For his part, Taggart affirmed that he's seeking to move forward in his career, wherever that may be. “I think when I went to Brisbane that was the start of me trying to just see how far I could go in my career and, without sounding like an idiot, after ticking Korea off my bucket list sort of thing, that is actually the way I felt,” Taggart said.
“I came over here, I wanted to be able to win a Golden Boot or achieve something as a team, so I still want to take the next step in my career now. I think I’ve made that pretty obvious to everyone that as much as I’ve enjoyed my time here in Korea, there is definitely more that I want to achieve and I want to go to the next level wherever that is, it is yet to be seen.”
“When that opportunity arises I’ll be ready to take on the next challenge and to just try and carry on that cycle for as long as I can because it was a great achievement last year but I still think there (are) tougher places to go, and more to achieve. The next journey after my time here at Suwon is definitely something (where) I’m looking to take another step up.”
Taggart has made clear ambitions to spearhead Australia's attack in the same way Mark Viduka, John Aloisi, Harry Kewell and Tim Cahill did before him. “I believe that we have got a couple of different options, obviously Macca (Jamie Maclaren) and myself being different sorts of players as well. (They are) definitely shoes that I want to fill,” he added.
“Definitely the last year, becoming a more regular player in the national team, has reminded me of where I want to be and what I want to achieve. I’m 27 now, I still think I’ve got a lot more years ahead of me, so to be a regular in the national team as a No. 9 is definitely among my aspirations.”
“Being back last year after having such a long time away, made it really special, but being only 27 still, I think there is a big opportunity and a lot of time to grow into that position because it was only last year that I was back involved. It is definitely a massive aspiration of mine.”
SAGE SAYS GLORY MAY BE FORCED TO STAND PLAYERS DOWN AGAIN
Perth Glory players and staff could be stood down again this week if an A-League pay dispute is not quickly resolved, club owner Tony Sage has warned. Sage stepped up the threat in a letter to Glory members today criticising the players union, Professional Footballers Australia, for rejecting a 30 per pay cut proposed by club owners.
Sage said the uncertainty over a new broadcast deal and game day gate takings could send Glory’s revenue plunging by 75 per cent for the coming season. “I may have to make the very hard decision to once again stand down our players and staff until the situation is resolved,” said Sage, who has been accused by the PFA of pressurising players with threats and misleading commentary.
“It is a very sad time for football. Our very sincere hope was that common sense would prevail and that we could get through this as a united code. A 30 per cent reduction is what the game needs to survive and what it can afford. The 30 per cent reduction request is very fair and reasonable, given the benchmarks set by other sporting codes of player reductions that are in excess of 30 per cent.”
Sage said all players and staff that are entitled have received all their entitlements and JobKeeper payments, approximately 75 per cent of their current pay, up until tomorrow. Football Federation Australian have said they may have to step into resolve the dispute. Glory players were stood down for three months from March when the A-League was suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND FOURTEEN REVIEW
North Perth United are the 2020 Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division Champions, and they won it with a 0-0 draw away to Quinns. United coach Alex Carter was delighted with his side season. “It has been a very special year for our club and we went into 2020 with a brand-new squad minus three/four players,” he explained. “We were flying in preseason with fitness and results, then covid hit and we lost a few players, so we were starting fresh again.
“We started the season with an incredible late win against Maddington, and then I knew we had a team of guys that would never lay down and fight for everything. We played some great attacking football throughout the season, and for me the most pleasing thing has been how we have defended, so solidly as a unit from the front to the back. It’s been easy to coach, but we want to finish on a high so we will be approaching the last two games with the mentality to win.”
United keeper Jamie Serra has been outstanding in that defence conceding only 12 goals to date and the skipper said it’s a great achievement for the club. “Obviously we are really happy with winning our fourth league title and with two games to go it means the pressure is off and we can really enjoy it,” he said. “It has been a funny season, with only 16 rounds it meant that there were those teams who you only get one shot at and making the most of those became really important. With the way the fixtures were for us it meant playing five of the top sides who were also going to be in contention late in the season. For the most part we took our opportunities and that really set us up for the run home.”
The race for the runners-up spot is heating up, and two of the contenders meet on the weekend with second placed Kwinana United playing out a 3-3 draw with third placed Leeming Strikers at Kelly Park. Lee Bates scored a hat-trick for the hosts, while Kieran Witt scored a brace for Leeming, with Ben Greaves scoring the other. Maddington White City were also involved in a six-goal thriller, drawing 3-3 with UWA Nedlands at Nikola Tesla Reserve, thanks to a late goal from Jose Zuniga.
In other games Joondalup United’s Adam Taylor hit an injury-time winner to beat Wembley Downs 3-2 at Butlers Reserve. Queens Park won for the third time this season, with Leigh Bridger scoring a brace in a 3-2 win against Hamersley Rovers at Coker Park. In the final game, a goal from Zach Van Oosten has given South West Phoenix a 1-0 win against Jaguar at WML Stadium on Saturday night.
STANLEY’S BURGESS LOOKS TO BUILD ON PETERBOROUGH WIN
Defender Cameron Burgess is aiming to build on the brilliant start that Accrington Stanley made to the new season when they face their first league trip of 2020/21, to familiar territory. It is just two weeks since the Reds made the journey to Burton Albion as they kicked off the campaign in the Carabao Cup.
Stanley lost the tie 4-2 on penalties, after Burgess scored to equalise in the final 10 minutes and secure a 1-1 draw to set up the shoot-out. But they are back at the Pirelli Stadium tomorrow looking to make it back-to-back wins after seeing off Peterborough United in the League One opener last weekend.
"It's something we can build on, we have to use that and we know we can do," said former Scunthorpe defender Burgess, who signed a three-year deal at the Wham Stadium this summer. "We've played against Burton already and I think we know what they can bring, and they'll know the same about us."
"I think we'll be stronger for having played a few games since then, so bring it on. Obviously a lot of us have played against them before and they don't seem to change too much, they've got a very successful style of play and it seems to work for them. We just need to go about our business the way we have been doing and keep progressing."
Stanley sprang what, on paper, was a surprise against ambitious Peterborough. Reds boss John Coleman has had another rebuilding project after losing key players from last season, including Jordan Clark and Callum Johnson, while Posh have added to their existing squad in the hope of influencing another promotion push.
Burgess is among Stanley's newest recruits, and urged them not to get carried away by last weekend's result and instead use it as a platform to build on. "We're not the finished article by any means, so we've got more work to do and hopefully we can carry that on," said the 24-year old.
EVANS GIVES JACKS A POINT
A goal from second half substitute Harry Evans has given ECU Joondalup a 1-1 draw against Gwelup Croatia in or ‘Match of the Round’ at Wishart Street. The home side had taken the lead early through Shubham Mokala, but Evans’ diving header sealed a point and kept both sides in the title race. “I think we battled well and had chances to win the game, but unfortunately couldn’t put those chances away,” ECU defender Luke Bodnar said. “Once we scored, we created enough more chances, and I thought we deserved to come away with a win.”
It was the home side who opened the scoring after only four minutes, a quick break caught ECU napping and Mokala raced clear and finished low past Johnny Perkins. The Jacks looked to hit back immediately and Sami Riak’s curling effort was well saved by Connor Campbell on eight minutes, and moments later former Jacks midfielder Jon Stynes volleyed over the top at the other end. Then on 13 minutes the Jacks went even closer. Andy Higgins’ neat flick found Riak, who sent Luke Bodnar in down the right channel. The defender raced into the penalty area, but his shot from the angle hit the side netting.
Mokala’s pace was causing the visitors problems, and when a Gwelup long ball caught them out again on the half hour, the speedy striker raced in on goal, but this time blazed over the top. It was end-to-end football with both sides creating chances. First Callum Timmins’ shot from the edge of the penalty area flashed wide, before Perkins produced a stunning reaction save to deny Mokala moments later. But in the shadows of half time the Jacks had one last chance to level. Higgins and Danny Hodgson combined to send Brooks into the penalty area, but his shot from the angle was well saved by Campbell.
Gwelup were happy to sit back and hit on the counter attack after the break, but they almost doubled their lead on 57 minutes. Ndumba Makeche pass sent Jon Stynes in on goal, but Shane Cassidy got back with a great last-ditch tackle to deny him. The Jacks made their first change with Evans coming on for Brooks on 61 minutes, and the midfielder had an immediate impact.
Bodnar ball picked out Hodgson, who sent Timmins racing down the right, his first time cross deflected off former ECU defender Ciaran Salinger and Evans diving header sent the ball past Campbell. The visitors looked like they would go on a win it, with Timmins’ shot saved low by the alert Campbell, before Rhodes’ cross was headed goal wards by Gwelup defender Rocco Pizzata, but Campbell saved.
The next goal would be vital to the team that scored it and it was the Jacks next to go close. Higgins made space down the left and whipped in a teasing cross to the back post, but Hodgson couldn’t keep his header down. Moments later the impressive Warland found space on the edge of the penalty area, but Campbell got down well to save the former Fulham academy defenders shot.
Gwelup then thought they had a penalty when Jon Stynes fell in the box after a tangle with Rhodes, but referee Shanmuganathan was well placed to wave away the protests. It was the Jacks pressing for the winner late. Substitute Bayley Brown-Montgomery shot on the run was saved by Campbell, before Riak and Timmins saw shots flash over the top, but at the final whistle it was both sides sharing the spoils.
“We were pretty disappointed after the game as we know we should have been two or three ahead by half time,” Gwelup skipper Blair Govan said. “We soaked up the pressure well and didn’t allow them any serious chances first half and caught them on the counter a few times but didn’t really take enough advantage of that. We knew they would come out firing second half and they did they were a bit more direct and we probably didn’t do enough to go and win the game which is unlike us. But we know it’s still all to play for and we are looking to put things right next week.”
Gwelup Croatia: GK Connor CAMPBELL, 2 Ciaran SALINGER, 3 Adam FIELDS (23 Kian MCGUIGAN 75’), 5 Blair GOVAN, 6 Declan HARGREAVES (4 Andrew SCALDAFERRO 75’), 8 Jon STYNES, 10 Daniel STYNES (77 Sean MCMANUS 46’), 11 Ndumba MAKECHE (68’), 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 14 Shubham MOKALA, 22 Josh SAMSON - Subs not used: Aidan HOLLOWAY, 15 Owen GOODLIFFE
ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Luke BODNAR, 4 Riley WARLAND, 5 Ryan LOWRY (15 Luke RHODES 64’), 6 Sami RIAK, 7 Danny HODGSON (9 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY 89’), 8 Tom HOUGH, 10 Andy HIGGINS, 12 Callum TIMMINS, 16 Shane CASSIDY, 11 Ethan BROOKS (17 Harry EVANS 61’), – Subs not used: RGK Joe POLLARD, 14 Ben HINSHELWOOD – Referee: Arvin Shanmuganathan
HARDING SCORES LATE TO SEAL FLOREAT WIN
Floreat Athena have moved to second on the NPLWA top six table after a dramatic 2-1 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve on a wet and windy Saturday afternoon. The home side lead early with Angel Andres scoring on his return to the starting line-up. It looked like the Reds would take out the points but nine minutes from time Ludovic Boi levelled for Floreat, and three minutes into stoppage time Robert Harding scored the winner, like he did in midweek against Joondalup to seal the three points. “It was a tough win in even tougher conditions,” Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris said. “The boys showed a lot of character to pull back a 1-0 deficit late in the game for the second week running, and it sets up a massive game against Gwelup Croatia next week.”
The home side were yet to record a point in the group, but a win in this one would put them back in contention for a Top Four Cup spot, and they started well with the lively Chad Nilson's cross only inches away from Joshua Cortes. Floreat, who won their first points against ECU Joondalup in midweek hit back and Chris Saldaris' cross caused chaos in the Armadale box, with Blake Adams hacking the ball clear, before Andrew Palmer fired narrowly wide of the upright moments later.
But it was John O’Reilly’s side that took the lead on 18 minutes, Andres collecting Friday Zico's through ball and calmly finishing past Jason Saldaris, for his tenth goal of the season. Floreat looked for the equaliser late, and they should have restored parity, but striker Phil Arnold fired over the top when well placed. The wind and rain made it difficult for both sides after the break, and clear-cut chances were few and far between, and it looked like the Reds would seal a valuable three points, but there was a sting in the tail of this one.
First on 81 minutes second half substitute Ludovic Boi got on the end of Dean Evans’ corner to head past Sam Hutchings, who had replaced Cyril Sharrock in the home sides goal. The visitors pressed for the winner and Harding thought he had found it four minutes later, but his goal was disallowed by referee Julian Serra. But the second half substitute wasn’t going to be denied, and three minutes into injury time he won it for Vas Vujacic’s side. The striker, who scored late to beat ECU on Wednesday evening, was sent down the left by Arnold and he outpaced his marker before finishing clinically past Hutchings and raced off to celebrate with his coach and teammates.
Armadale: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 2 Matthew WORTON, 3 Harry QUIGLEY, 6 Robert IRVING, 7 Josh CORTES, 9 Angel ANDRES (10 Roberto SOARES 76’), 11 Chad NILSON, 13 Blake ADAMS, 15 Charlie KENNA (14 Sebastian STENQVIST 59’), 20 Pieter JACOBSZ, 23 Friday ZICO – Subs not used: RGK Cyril SHARROCK, 18 Ben LEWIS, , 21 Fillipo GIOFFRE,
Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTALUCIA, 10 Nick AMBROGIO (36 Andrew MARANTA 68’), 11 Denis GALAN, 13 George FESTA, 15 Chris SALADRIS, 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Phil ARNOLD (5 Nelson TSHONGO 90+6’), 20 Andrew PALMER, 32 Robert HARDING, 47 Luka NINKOVIC (14 Ludovic BOI 35’) – Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 4 Ben STEELE - Referee: Julian Serra
POINTS SHARED AT WINDY HILL
Sorrento have bounced back from their heavy loss against Gwelup Croatia in midweek to draw 1-1 with group leaders Cockburn City at a windy Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday afternoon. The Cockerels arrived with two wins from two games and Ali Gholami gave Scott Miller’s side the lead early, but Scott Witschge levelled 14 minutes from time to give both sides a share of the spoils. “It was a tough day to play football and the wind played a huge factor in it,” Sorrento’s Ollie Annis explained. “We still created some half decent chances but again couldn’t put them away. But the boys showed good character from conceding another early goal to get it back and push for a winner late, but we couldn’t find it.”
After two straight wins in the second phase, Scott Miller was looking to knock his former Perth Glory team mate, Jamie Harnwell’s Sorrento side, out of the title contention and put them closer to a first title in the NPL, and they made a great start, with a goal after only three minutes. Sorrento failed to clear their lines on the edge of the penalty area and Ali Gholami made them pay, firing past Sorrento keeper Joel Driscoll. The Gulls, who were thrashed in midweek by Gwelup, went close to levelling before the break, but Annis’ effort crashed off the woodwork.
Sorrento were desperate to get something from this game and they pressed after half time, but Windy Hill was true to form, making conditions tough. But their enterprise was rewarded on 76 minutes with the equaliser. Jakub Prajza’s in-swinging corner caused problems in the Cockburn six-yard box and Witschge poked the ball home from close-range. Neither side were able to find the winner, and in the end a draw was the fair result. Cockburn, whose lead is now a point over Floreat, are at home to ECU Joondalup next week, while Sorrento travel to winless Armadale.
Sorrento: GK Joel DRISCOLL, 3 Jakub PRAJZA, 3 Shaun KILKELLY, 7 Alex MORGAN, 9 Cameron TEECE, 10 Ollie ANNIS (6 Clark KELTIE 53’), 11 Tim HILL, 15 Ryan MCLAUGHLIN, 16 Scott WITSCHGE, 21 Daniel FAICHNEY, 25 Amir AJAN (19 Jaxon TEMATA 70’) - Subs not used: RGK Matthew GIUDICATTI, 8 Tristan STEVENS, 20 Zdenek BEZDEK
Cockburn City: Luke RADONICH, 5 Julian TELES, 8 Cameron EDWARDS (10 David ARAYA 60’), 12 Sebastian DA SILVA (24 David DOS SANTOS 64’), 15 Daniel SANTICH, 16 Ali GHOLAMI, 19 Liam MURRAY, 21 Jesse LAZZARO, 22 Kristian SANTICH (2 Chris THACKRAY 60’), 23 Riley WOODCOCK, 25 Breckan BAKER - Subs not used: 3 Daniel DOLS, 4 Euen GRANT - Referee: Steven Gregory
SOKOL AT THE DOUBLE FOR INGLEWOOD
Inglewood United made it two wins on the bounce, and given their chances of competing in the Top Four Cup a massive boost, after a 2-0 win over Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. A brace from Steve Sokol gave Andres Oliveira’s side the three points and it moves them within a point of bottom six leaders Perth Glory.
It was a tight opening to the game with both sides having early chances. The lively Sokol was denied by a smart save from Balcatta custodian Riley Stephenson, before Alex Dunn produced a finger-tip save to deny Adam Zimarino’s shot. But it was Sokol who broke the deadlock on 29 minutes, Abdul Sesay cross from the right picked out the midfielder at the back post, and he volleyed home. The hosts, who were coming off a big win at Bayswater in midweek, went close to levelling before the break, but Calum O’Connell couldn’t keep his effort down from Anthony Topini's corner.
Balcatta were struggling to break down an Inglewood defence well marshalled by skipper Scott Blackmore and Mark Barnett, but as the second half went on the hosts lifted the tempo and Adam Zimarino's shot was deflected inches past the post. The home side were on top and it only looked a matter of time before they found the equaliser, and Michael Zimarino headed inches wide from O'Connell's free-kick.
But deep into stoppage time, those misses came back to haunt them as Inglewood added a second. Adam Falcone was fouled by Adam Tong inside the area and referee Shane Skinner pointed straight to the spot. Sokol stepped up and saw his penalty saved by Stephenson, but the striker was quickest to the rebound and scoring to seal the win.
Balcatta: GK Riley STEPHENSON, 2 Joseph MARINO, 4 Calum O’CONNELL, 5 John KEARNEY, 10 Jon CORNESS, 11 Michael ZIMARINO (19 Charlie WATT 89’), 12 Jonathan BOUHLAS (6 Alex CASTIELLO 67’), 13 Anthony TOPINI, 14 Adam TONG, 16 Adam ZIMARINO, 17 Henry DURR – Subs not used: RGK Jake ANGELOVSKI, 15 Aleksander PETRESKI, 19 Nicholas BURMEJ
Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 4 Scott BLACKMORE, 5 Thiak KUEL (23 Rob PETKOV 85’), 10 Anthony BAFOBUSHA, 11 Abdul SESAY, 14 Steve SOKOL, 15 William NICHOLSON (13 Adrian MANNO 72’), 16 Jamie MURPHY, 17 Mark BARNETT, 19 Brodie LANGAN (12 Chad SAMUELS 63’) - Subs not used: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 6 Adam FALCONE - Referee: Shane Skinner
PERTH BOUNCE BACK TO BEAT ROCKINGHAM
Perth SC have bounced back from their midweek defeat against Inglewood United to thrash Rockingham City 5-0 at Dorrien Gardens. Jayden Gorman gave the host the lead early, before three goals in the final nine minutes of the first half from Daniel Mackenzie, Yagoub Mustafa and Jawad Rezai set them on their way. Mustafa added a second late to seal the big win and move Ramon Falzon’s side up to second, one point behind Perth Glory on the bottom six table. “The boys played well against Rockingham keeping a clean sheet and adding to our goal difference,” Gorman said. “Winds were strong and difficult for both teams but in the end, we came away with good results.”
The home side were ahead on 14 minutes, when Rockingham failed to clear their lines and Gorman raced into the box, held off his marker and finished past Bradley Stout. City, who are still looking for their first point of the phase, went close when Luke Collins long-distance shot stung the palms of Ryan Montgomery. But last season title winners but the game to bed with three goals in quick succession.
Rockingham gave the ball away in the middle of the park on 36 minutes, and Gorman and Rezai saw their shots blocked, before McKenzie fired home his first senior goal of 2020. Then seven minutes later they added a third, Mustafa was picked out on the right and he cut inside his marker and finished with a plomb from the edge of the box. It went from bad to worse for Rockingham, and sixty seconds later it was 4-0. Gorman found Mackenzie, who picked out Rezai who made no mistake from close-range.
Rockingham steadied in the second half and they went close early, but Dylan Rogers shot wide of the target. Moments later Blake Sokolowski volleyed wide of the post, before Luke Hodgkiss brought the best from Montgomery, with a powerful header from a Collins corner. But they couldn’t breakdown the Perth defence and three minutes from time it was Perth who added a fifth, with Mustafa finishing well at the back post from Gorman’s deep cross.
Perth SC: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 2 Alex SILLA (3 Jordan DE LEO 61’), 6 Nicholas MCDONALD, 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE, 12 Daniel MACKENZIE (10 Michael DOMFEH 80’), 14 Jawad REZAI (9 Paul ZIMARINO 78’), 16 Kieran COLWELL, 17 Aiden FORMSTON, 19 Bojan RADINOVIC, 20 Jayden GORMAN, 22 Yagoub MUSTAFA – Subs not used: RGK Adrian SINAGRA, 7 Alek JOVIC
Rockingham City: GK Brad STOUT, 3 Joseph MOSS (15 Declan COLLINS 82’), 6 Blake SOKOLOWSKI, 7 Jacob FORSYTH (19 Evan LUDGATE 80’), 8 Dylan ROGERS, 10 Luke COLLINS, 13 Lydon HODGKISS, 14 Ryan KENNEDY, 16 Harry BOLAN, 18 Michael FARMER, 23 Alex GRAYSON (4 Nathan NG 54’) - Subs not used: Nil – Referee: Michal Jasinski
LEE STARS TO THWART HIS OLD TEAMMATES
Perth Glory remain top of the bottom six table after a 0-0 draw against Bayswater City at Frank Drago Reserve. It was former Glory keeper Jackson Lee that stood between Glory and the win, the young Socceroo making a number of fine saves to thwart his former teammates, but the draw extended the Glory youngsters' unbeaten run to four games.
“It was a great battle I feel like we had the better of the all game, we could have scored a few towards the back end of the game to get the win,” Glory skipper Giordano Colli said. “But their keeper made some great saves and defensively we were very strong throughout the whole game. It’s not the worst it’s another point and we roll onto next week.”
Richard Garcia was in the Glory dugout, his first game since his appointment as senior coach from 2021, but he was without talented defender Alessandro Circati, who has headed to Europe for trials. It was the home side who opened the brighter and Luke Salmon was denied by Sam Reilly. There were chances at both ends, first Salmon fired over the top, before Charlie Leech hit the post from the angle. But Jackson was having a blinder and he produced a stunning one-handed save to thwart Joseph Forde’s shot late in the half, and at the break it was all to play for.
Chris Coyne’s side were on the front foot early in the second half, but missing the drive of Daryl Nicol they struggled to break down a tight Glory defence, which included Coyne’s son Aiden. Salmon saw a close-range effort saved by Reilly, before Lee denied Bryce Bafford, and Forde fired past the post after a one-on-one with Lee. Both sides went for it late, City’s Konstantinos Sparta’s long-range shot flashed inches wide of the upright, before Glory's Aiden Edwards then cleared Scottish striker Gordon Smith's header off the line. But Glory finished the game the better and Edwards and fellow-substitutes Albert Fullard and Jayden Leader were all denied by man of the match Lee, with both sides sharing the spoils.
Bayswater City: GK Jackson LEE, 5 David STOKOE, 8 Gordon SMITH, 9 Gustavo GIRON MARALUNDA, (14 Gomo DUKULY 64'), 10 Jason MIRCO, 12 Steven HESKETH, 22 Luke SALMON, 26 Zayd FARAH, 27 Declan HUGHES, 28 Konstantinos SPARTA (15 Shaun MUKWEVHO 85'), 29 Dean CUMMINGS (11 Ryan PEARSON 76') - Subs not used: RGK Patrick STEPHENSON, 16 Alex MCLEAN
Perth Glory: GK Sam REILLY, 2 Mason TATAFU, 6 Aiki TSUKAMOTO, 7 Joseph FORDE (3 Albert FULLARD 74'), 8 Chris DONNELL (16 Aiden EDWARDS 61'), 10 Giordano COLLI, 11 Charlie LEECH (19 Jayden LEADER 83'), 14 Bryce BAFFORD, 15 Aiden COYNE, 17 Nick WALSH, 20 Josh RAWLINS - Subs not used: RGK Kade WHITE, 18 Manolo VENERACION - Referee: Josh Mannella
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE PHASE TWO, ROUND THREE – REVIEW
Olympic Kingsway have moved clear on top of the State League Division One top six table after a 1-0 win against Western Knights in our ‘Match of the Round’ at Nash Field. “It was a great win and although we weren’t at our best going forward, we were resilient with Dave Keenan outstanding,” Olympic coach Gary Williams said. “The win puts the league into our own hands with two games left.” Going into this round three clash, both sides had won both their games, so we knew it would be tight game and it proved to be that.
The only goal of the game came on 18 minutes, Ajak Riak picked the ball up about 40 yards from goal passed to Antoine Levy and continued his forward run. Levy played him in and as keeper Nick Stone came out to narrow the angle, the striker slid the ball past him. The home side had a chance to level just after half time, but Olympic keeper Dave Keenan produced a great penalty save to deny Dean Hurley, this after referee Tom Glavovic had spotted a hand ball by Luke Palmateer. But they couldn’t find a way past Keenan and Olympic left with the three points.
“I thought we did well to score early before the strong winds came to affect playing conditions, so to score inside the first 20 minutes was great,” Olympic striker Riak explained. “I was happy to grab my 11th of the season in such an important fixture, considering this game was a big one for the race for the title. Second half we settled a bit more, but Dave Keenan definitely had to pull off a couple really match deciding saves, including a penalty, so shout out to Davie on that performance. Job is definitely not done though yet we still have two fixtures left in which we are going for the win in both to hopefully secure the title.”
Forrestfield United have missed the opportunity to close the gap on the leaders after being held to a 1-1 draw by Joondalup United at 1620 Capital Stadium, Hartfield Park. “A superb team performance wasn’t rewarded with the victory we deserved,” Joondalup coach Nick Jennings said. “A string of missed opportunities came back to haunt us with the award of a soft penalty, by an official who was poor throughout and whose decisions amazed many.” The visitors were ahead after only seven minutes, a perfectly weighed ball over the top into the path of Jamie Gibson, saw him race away, and he held off two defenders before finishing clinically into the bottom corner.
But Forrestfield levelled on 76 minutes with Rhys Loxley converting from the spot. “I would say it was a physical battle under very windy conditions which suited Joondalup’s long ball over the top game plan in the first half,” Forrestfield’s Nicolas Tatasciore said. “We kept trying to play football and where rewarded with a penalty late in the second half. I feel we deserved more than a draw out of the game but happy to come away with a point.”
In the other game Mandurah City have celebrated the 250th milestone game of Jeff Bright, and won for the first time in the phase after a 3-1 win against Fremantle City at Securitas Protect Stadium. It was a perfect start for the home side and Bright who was involved in the opener on nine minutes. His cross from the left picked out John Baird, and the Scottish striker volleyed home. It was 2-0 early in the second half, Taylor Carter found space on the edge of the penalty area and he finished low past Benjamin Martens.
The points were made safe on 72 minutes. Jordan Rhodes’ neat through ball sent Carter in on goal and he finished via the inside of the post. Fremantle did pull one back three minutes later, but Riley van Dieken’s shot from the edge of the penalty area was just a consolation. “It was a good team win with some decent football being played in tough conditions,” Bright explained. “It was great to see a lot of younger players really step up for the club, and hopefully we can build on it for the last two games.”
In the bottom six Quinns moved to the top of the table after a 3-0 win against Ashfield at Acclaimed Catering Arena. The visitors hit the front three minutes from half time, James Bosdet long kick picked out Sam Wynne who made an excellent run down the line and cut the ball back to Jamie Stewart to score from five meters. The doubled their lead two minutes later, this time Bosdet’s ball picked out Stewart, who flicked it on to Richard Howles who outpaced his marker and finish clinically. They wrapped up all three points just after the hour, Alex Wild coming off the bench and with his first touch, he finished into the bottom corner.
Stirling Lions maintained their winning run after a narrow 1-0 win against UWA Nedlands at Macedonia Park. The only goal came after only 13 minutes, Gavin Knights chested the ball down to Boas Mtwale, who played a ball into Lukas De Lima who finished well. “I thought it was another good performance from the lads, defensively we did well, didn’t give them many opportunities, copping another clean sheet and kept our streak going,” Lions goalscorer De Lima explained. “It was good for me to come back into the starting 11 and to play my part by scoring an important goal towards our efforts of making finals.”
In the final game Swan United earned their first point after a 1-1 draw against Subiaco at Rosalie Park. “The conditions made it difficult to play, and it was a real battle all day,” Swan skipper Chris Marshall said. “Subiaco had the better of the possession but there were chances at both ends especially in the second half.” The visitors hit the front, seven minutes before half time. A ball into the box was headed past his own keeper by the unfortunate Ben Johns. But Subiaco levelled on 74 minutes. A free kick was headed into his own net by Marshall, under pressure from Johns. “Overall, we’re very disappointed with the draw in a game we expected to and should have won,” Johns explained. “We created multiple chances in the second half, but didn’t convert.”
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO PHASE TWO, ROUND THREE – REVIEW
Carramar Shamrock Rovers remain top of the State League Division Two table after a 2-0 win against Gosnells City in our “Match of the Round’ at Grandis Park. A strong wind blowing mainly across the pitch, made it difficult for both teams, but Rovers adapted better to the conditions and controlled the game throughout. Rovers created some good chances but failed to take them, but on 36 minutes they did find one. A brilliant dummy from Kieran Harrison caught out the Gosnells defence, and Pat Morrison raced on to the opportunity to fire home. Gosnells went close before the break, but a free kick was well saved by Dan Holgate.
Rovers started the second half as they had played the first half and only five minutes in, Kieran Harrison hit a lovely free kick into the top corner of the net. There was no more scoring as the Rovers defence held strong, superbly marshalled by Ross Jarman. But Alan Reidy missed a glorious chance to add a third late, while Jack Bardsley had two shots flash the wrong side of the post. “A good win and we're looking forward to playing Dianella on Saturday,” Rovers’ coach Gerry McEwan said. “Both sides produced a great contest in the first game of the season, which we were fortunate to win 3-2 after being 2-0 down.”
Wanneroo City are back in red hot form after a convincing 7-2 win against Murdoch University Melville at Wanneroo Reserve. The home side rushed to a three-goal lead early, with Flynn Nolan bagging a brace, with Joshua Chivell adding the other. MUM pulled one back on 20 minutes, with Oriol Fernandez on target, but Chivell regained City’s three-goal lead before the break. Kai Jones made it 4-2 on the hour, but that was good as it got for MUM, with Jamie Burns scoring two more and second half substitute Shakell Alexander added the seventh. “I was pleased with the way the boys kept working from the 1st minute to the very last,” Wanneroo coach Jesse Bridgeman said. “They showed the hunger and a positive reaction after a very disappointing night against Shamrock only two nights earlier.” In the final game Dianella White Eagles and Joondalup City fought out and entertaining 0-0 draw at Dianella Reserve
In the bottom six Kelmscott Roos sit top of the table after a 4-2 win against Curtin University at Frye Park. The visitors were ahead on 16 minutes, Theodore Chapota scoring, but on the half hour the hosts were level. A great through ball from George Ballah found Arthur Gaye, who finished well. But three minutes into the second half Kelmscott were reduced to ten men when Aden Hoddy was sent off by referee Stephen Knight. But that didn’t stop the Roos taking the lead on the hour. Some neat build up play down the right, ended with Leomeo Wordu, who crossed to Gaye to score his second. It was 3-1 on 73 minutes, Wordu finding the net from a well taken free kick.
Curtin pulled one back six minutes later Igor Domingues scoring, to set up a grandstand finish, but Kelmscott held on for the win. “It was a great win for us after playing most of the second half with ten men,” Kelmscott coach Warren Smith said. “I thought the lads showed great character and we deserved the win and the team re-grouped and played the football they have been during the last four matches. We are very proud of the team accomplishments during this lower table play offs, but we know there is still a long way to go.”
Canning City are hot on their heels after a 5-2 win against Balga at Burrendah Reserve. It was a perfect start for Canning, and their coach Chris Finlayson, who was on the sidelines after a back operation, with Josh Wallhead curling home a corner on six minutes. But Balga levelled sixty seconds later, Kristian Despotovski on target. But the home side regained the lead on 36 minutes, with Ryan Moran curling home a set-piece. Further goals after the break from Moran, Jack Murray and Emmanuel Langoya gave the hosts a well-deserved win, while Despotovski second a second for Balga late.
“We changed our style of play to give us a more attacking structure which worked well in midweek, but really gave us the edge to beat Balga for the first time in 39 years,” City assistant coach David Scragg said. “But more importantly it sets us up for the final two games of the second phase. We have a full squad to pick from next week, positions are up for grabs as all the lads want to be part of the push for finals football.”
In the final game Morley Windmills bounced back from defeat at Canning in mid-week, beating Kingsley Westside 4-2 at Chichester Park. It was the hosts who were ahead on 22 minutes, Ramiro Vilar scoring, but Morley levelled from the spot after a handball, Scott Wrightson converting the penalty. But Kingsley regained the lead on the half hour with Jarrad McNally on target. But that was as good as it got for the hosts and Wrightson restored parity five minutes later volleying under the home keeper, and Wrightson completed his hat-trick six minutes into the second half, firing home from the edge of the box. The icing was put on the cake on 73 minutes with Farruh Mavlonov sealing the 4-2 win. “After the disappointment of Tuesday’s result, it was great to see the lads bounce back and continue their good form and get a well-deserved win,” Morley coach Jason van Rooy said. “We hope to continue our good form into next week’s game against Kelmscott.”
CLUB IN PROFILE - MORLEY-WINDMILLS SOCCER CLUB
Morley-Windmills Soccer Club was formed in 1950 as "Windmills Soccer Club". Dutch immigrants led by Hank Beumer, who arrived in Australia that year, organised scratch matches combined with outings and picnics on Sundays for the local Dutch community. Meetings soon took place and it was agreed that the Windmills name be adopted for a new football team during a discussion at the Dutch Club in King Street, Perth. Windmills is not a Dutch word but was chosen to give it an English flavour as there were many windmills in Australia as well as in Holland.
As more Dutch people joined the club the next step was to apply to the Western Australian Soccer Football Association (WASFA) for entry into the league competition. In March, 1950, Windmills applied but were denied as the WASFA had problems with rescheduling fixtures and ground allocation because of the late entry. However, the club received the green light the following year when Windmills was accepted into the old Third Division. Windmills' first official game was in April, 1951 when the club were 4-3 victors over CMH. The next game was against the tough Polish team, Sokol, who won 4-2. Windmills finished their first season in a respectable fifth position in the eleven team league.
Windmills continued to play well and finished fifth again in 1952, followed by third in 1953, and then won their league to earn promotion in 1954. In 1955 Windmills found themselves in the WASFA Second Division (First Division equivalent today) and found the going tough, finishing sixth from nine teams. 1956 saw the club win half their games and end the season in fourth place, while it was one step back in 1957 with the club back to fifth place.
1958 saw the beginning of Windmills' dominance in the WA football scene, with the men in orange winning the league and earning promotion to the top flight. Windmills did very well in their first season in the big league, with the likes of Azzurri and Tricolore to contend with, the club went on to finish fourth.
In 1960, Windmills were one of the founding members of semi-professional football in the state, when they helped establish the Soccer Federation of WA. The club had a great year, just missing out on the title on goal average to Azzurri. One year later, Windmills were determined to go one better, and they did just that. Winning the state championship by three points, with Tricolore having to settle for second place. Tricolore did have revenge, beating Windmills 3-1 in the D'Orsogna Cup Final.
During the rest of the 1960's, the club had consistent mid-table finishes. Never getting higher than fourth or lower than seventh. They also won some more silverware on the way to add to their 1961 league title. They won the Top Four Cup in 1962 and were Night Series winners in 1969.
After making the top four again in 1970, the club had to settle for seventh placed finishes in 1971 and 1972. During the following summer, the club made a number of experience signings to bolster their playing squad. John Van Oosten, Bob Lee, George Holzman, Peter Johnston, Archie Van Dongen and Ken Maguire all joined to make Windmills one of the favourites. The club also merged with local junior club "Morley SC". The new name of Morley-Windmills Soccer Club entered the scene. The club had a great year, and with one game to go, Windmills had to just avoid defeat by four goals away to Tricolore to win the championship. After going down 2-0 early in the game, Lee pulled one back to settle down the nerves. The men in orange ended up losing 4-3, but ended up finishing top by goal average, and with it were state champions for the second time.
Windmills finished third in 1974, however the club won the D'Orsogna Cup for the first time in their history and went back to back the following year. With Ernie Hannigan as the coach in 1976, the team had another great season. They started off winning the Night Series, and then finished runners-up in the league and also made the Grand Final of the Top Four Cup, but lost to Azzurri.
Over the next few years Windmills struggled, which in 1979 led to the club finishing bottom of the league with only one win all season, and relegation for the first time in their history. The bright spot during this era was the club's new headquarters at Wotton Reserve in Embleton, which the club moved into in 1978 after many years as tenants at Bayswater Oval.
In 1980 Windmills were back in the second tier for the first time in twenty-two years, and after the first few matches it looked like they would be staying there. The club lost three of their opening five games, however with their backs to the wall, the club pulled of a major achievement. Not losing a game from then on, and claiming the championship on the last day of the season and promotion back to the big league.
As it was two years earlier, Windmills struggled back in the top flight in 1981. They finished last, and won three games. However, due to the league being expanded from ten to twelve clubs, they were safe.
The league was now strengthened to twelve clubs in 1982, and with it meant the bottom two teams would go down instead of one. Windmills never got out of the relegation zone and along with Cracovia went down.
Windmills were determined to go straight back up in 1983 and in stages during the season it looked like a top two position was possible. However they ended up having to settle for fifth spot.
After lowly positions in 1984 and 1985, the club was hoping to get back into the top half of the table in 1986, but it wasn't to be. Relegation threatened during most of the season. It went to the last game of the year, and with other results going their way, and Windmills leading Croatia 2-1, it looked like they would survive. However a late Croatia goal meant Windmills would be going down.
In 1987, Windmills found themselves back in the third tier for the first time in thirty-three years. The club did end up having a great season, and were in a neck and neck tussle with Ferndale United for the title. The club had to settle for second, but were back up in their first year of asking.
Windmills were only in the second tier for three seasons, before a horror season in 1990 found themselves relegated once again. Even in the lower division in 1991, the club found the going tough and finished twelfth in the sixteen team league.
Due to two competition associations at war with each other, Windmills were invited back to the second tier in 1992 and steadily improved over the next few years. In 1994, the club finished fourth and then went onto third place in 1995. There was another third place finish in 1996, and with four teams going up, the club were promoted to the Premier League.
After fifteen years, the name Windmills was back in the top flight of WA football. But the season became a nightmare. Due to an ongoing dispute with Soccer West Coast regarding over-aged players in the Under 23's competition, the club decided to withdraw from the league.
1998 would see no team from Morley-Windmills in the semi-professional competition. The club did continue in the Amateur Premier Division under coach John Castrilli. They finished tenth in 1998, seventh in 1999 and fifth in 2000. It was during 2000 where the club decided to re-apply for entry back into the Soccer West Coast league, and they were later accepted.
After three seasons, Windmills were back. Castrilli continued on as coach, but it would be a difficult season with the club finishing thirteenth overall. The next few years saw the team finish in the lower half of the table, however they did end up in sixth spot in 2006 under James Herbert and also in 2007 with Brad Hassell as coach.
The club were consistently a mid-table team over the next several seasons. Tom Kilkelly, Jamie Goodman, Peter Johnston, Salv Todaro, Jason Van Rooy and Paul Dundo all had stints as first team coach.
All was to change in 2015, with Windmills having a poor season under Ray Blair. Jason Van Rooy took over as coach later in the season, but he wasn't able to save them from relegation to Division Two.
John Castrilli was back as senior coach in 2016 after a thirteen year absence. The team finished seventh and were determined to improve the following year. Not only did they improve, but they ended up finishing second behind Gwelup Croatia. This meant a birth in the promotion play-offs, and the club took ended up winning the play-off final, and were back in Division One.
The team did well back in Division One in 2018, with the club ending up in fifth, but it was to end in tears once again the following year. The club had to fight it out in the play-offs to stay up, however the club lost it the semi-finals and were relegated back to Division Two.
Windmills didn't start life in the Second Division well in 2020, but recently have been in fine form, and look to book a finals place in the coming weeks.
SEMI-PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE HONOURS (Using current divisional names)
Premier League winners - 1961, 1973
Premier League runners-up - 1960, 1976
First Division winners - 1980
Second Division runners-up - 1987, 2017
Cup winners - 1974, 1975
Cup runners-up - 1961
Premier League Top Four/Five Cup winners - 1962
Premier League Top Four/Five Cup runners-up - 1961, 1976
Night Series winners - 1969, 1976
Night Series runners-up - 1961
GLORY APPOINT GARCIA AS NEW COACH
Perth Glory have appointed academy boss and former club captain Richard Garcia as first team coach for the next two seasons. The A-League club moved quickly to replace Tony Popovic who recently left for Greek side Xanthi, two years into a three-year contract.
“I’m extremely happy to have been given this opportunity,” Garcia said of being put in charge of his hometown club. “Being a proud WA boy and having played for and captained Perth Glory, it’s a great honour to now be in a position to take the club forward.”
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal Members and fans for their ongoing support during what has been a very testing year due to the issues caused by COVID-19 and I hope we will have them back at HBF Park roaring us on in the near future.”
Glory owner Tony Sage feels Garcia is the man to lead the club to future success. “Richard is an outstanding young West Australian coach who has a deep understanding of our football club and what it represents within the WA football community,” Sage said.
“He served Perth Glory with distinction as a player and I know he will do likewise as head coach. Through his outstanding work as Head Youth Coach of our PGFC Academy he has acquired an in-depth knowledge of the talented young WA players we have within our system and I look forward to seeing those players continue their development into the senior ranks under Richard’s guidance.”
“Richard has learned his trade working under and alongside a host of top-quality coaches both here in Australia and overseas and has all the qualities required to develop a team and a style of play that makes us all proud. This is an appointment that our Members and fans can feel genuinely excited about.”
Garcia, 39, was appointed as an assistant under Kenny Lowe in 2017 after retiring at the end of the previous season. The attacking midfielder illustrious playing career in which he made 265 appearances for English clubs West Ham United, Hull City and Colchester United.
Garcia returned to Australia in 2012 to play for Melbourne Heart, Sydney FC and Perth Glory, adding a further 105 games to his career tally. He also represented Australia on 17 occasions, including at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
NPL-WA PHASE TWO, ROUND THREE PREVIEW
It's week three of the NPL-WA top and bottom games and our ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Wishart Street where Gwelup Croatia host ECU Joondalup. Both sides sit on three points, separated only on goal difference, and it’s the first game the two clubs have played against each other at the venue, but three points are a must in this one.
Gwelup bounced back their first-round defeat at Cockburn, with a big win against Sorrento and skipper Blair Govan said it was a great performance. “We were all delighted with the result on Wednesday night and the performance over 90 minutes,” he explained. “We wanted a positive reaction after the weekend and I think that showed right from the get go on Wednesday night. Happy with a clean sheet and it’s great that the boys up top took their chances and are all having a share of the goals.”
Govan said Saturday is a huge game and being back at home he hopes they can continue on where they left off at Sorrento. “It’s another tough game this weekend against ECU, but we all seemed to have pulled up well after Wednesday and we’re back on our home pitch,” he said. “Kenny (Lowe) has them playing some nice stuff and we will look to make it really difficult for them. It’s a huge game for both teams so I’m sure it will be entertaining but we will be looking for a positive result and performance at home and get some good momentum heading into the last two games.
The Jacks lost at Floreat Athena in midweek a game midfielder Andy Higgins said they dominated, so to lose it late was disappointing. “I thought we had control of most of the game, but we made a few errors giving them cheap goals,” he said, “I thought at 1-1 we were going to go on and win it, so it was really disappointed to concede so late.”
Higgins said Gwelup have a good side and knows they are in for a tough trip, and knows a win will put one of the teams in a strong position. “I think Saturday game at Gwelup is a massive game, our biggest of the year so far,” he explained. “It's crucial for both sides, and like you said whoever wins is in the driver’s seat. So hopefully we can tidy things up a bit and get the three points.”
In the other top six games unbeaten Cockburn City hit the road for the first time, when they visit Percy Doyle Reserve to take on Sorrento. Cockburn continued on their merry way with a big win against Armadale, while the Gulls, who shocked Floreat in round one, were brought back down to earth with a bump, thrashed by Gwelup in midweek. Floreat Athena are also on the road, with a trip to Alfred Skeet Reserve to take on the winless Armadale. Floreat bounced back from the opening round defeat to beat ECU Joondalup in midweek, while Armadale are still searching for their first point, but do get some of their players back from injury and suspension for this one.
In the bottom six Perth Glory will be looking to make it three from three when they travel to Frank Drago Reserve to take on Bayswater City. Chris Coyne’s side conceded five in midweek at home to Balcatta, and he will look for a response from his players in this one. Perth SC will look to bounce back when they host Rockingham City at Dorrien Gardens. There loss at Inglewood has put Perth on the back foot, while Rockingham are still searching for their first points of the group. In the final game Balcatta host Inglewood United at Grindleford Reserve, both sides looking to build on big wins in midweek.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE PHASE TWO, ROUND THREE – PREVIEW
It’s week three of the State League Division One top six, and our ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Nash Field where the two unbeaten teams Western Knights and Olympic Kingsway meet. The Knights came home from Fremantle City with a hard fought 2-0 win on Wednesday to maintain their perfect start, while Olympic beat Joondalup United to do likewise.
Olympic coach Gary Williams said it was a good performance against a strong Joondalup side. “I thought we played very well on Tuesday, and we went in at half time with the score at 0-0 but we all felt confident due to the way we were playing that we would win the game,” he explained. “To be fair the players have been exceptional over the last three weeks with their performances and their application.”
Williams said Saturday is a huge game, against the best team in the league, but they go their full of confidence. “We are all looking forward to the game this week, and we all know the Knights have been the benchmark this year and have had a great season,” he said. “But we will go to Nash Field and do our best to get a result, and it is great to be involved in these types of games at this stage of the season.”
In other top six games Mandurah City host Fremantle City at Peelwood Parade, with both sides looking to bounce back from defeats in midweek, while in the other game Forrestfield United will look to build on their win at Mandurah in midweek when they host Joondalup United at 1620 Capital Stadium, Hartfield Park.
In the bottom six Ashfield entertain Quinns at Ashfield Reserve, while leaders UWA Nedlands, who have won both their opening games, travel to Macedonia Park to take on Stirling Lions, while Subiaco host Swan United at Rosalie Park
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO PHASE TWO, ROUND THREE – PREVIEW
It’s week three of the State League Division Two top six and our ‘Match of the Round’ takes to Grandis Park where leaders Carramar Shamrock Rovers host Gosnells City. Gosnells were one of the form teams heading into the top six, but have suffered back-to-back defeats, while Rovers continued their unbeaten start with a hard fought 2-1 win at Wanneroo City. Rovers’ Ger Fitzgerald said it was a great away victory for the club.
“It was a very good win and well deserved three points for us,” he explained. “We went 1-0 up and thought we were controlling the game then they got a very soft penalty which made it 1-1 at half time. Wanneroo are a tough team and never give up but Jack Bardsley scored a brilliant goal to give us a much-deserved win. We were delighted afterwards and after beating Murdoch last Saturday it’s a great start.”
Fitzgerald said Saturday’s opponents are a good side and is expect another tough encounter. “Gosnells have always been a tough team they beat us twice last year and drew with them a few weeks ago. I thought we could have won if we finished our chances that day but a draw away from home to a tough team isn’t a bad result,” he said.
“We have a great team spirit and a good squad which helped massively over the last weeks with injuries and stuff like that. We know we will be in for a very tough game on Saturday, but if we play like we have the last three games I’m confident we can win.”
In other top six games Dianella White Eagles entertain Joondalup City at Dianella Reserve. The Eagles were held in midweek at Murdoch, while Joondalup produced a great come back to beat Gosnells City. In the final game Murdoch University Melville make the trip to Wanneroo Reserve to take on Wanneroo City.
In the bottom six Canning City will be looking to build on their win in midweek at Morley Windmills when they host Balga, who are still searching for their first win, at Burrendah Reserve. While Kelmscott Rovers host Curtin University at Frye Park and Morley Windmills visit Chichester Park to take on Kingsley Westside.
SAGE DROPS PLAYER WAGES TO 75%
Perth Glory owner Tony Sage has warned players could be stood down as the A-League wage war escalates. It follows a rejection by players across the league of the club owners proposal of a 30 per cent pay cut in a new collective bargaining agreement.
But Professional Footballers Australia said clubs would be in breach of contract if wages were not paid in full. “As per the players’ individual and legally binding club contracts, the clubs are required to pay the players’ full entitlements and any reduction would be a breach of their contract,” a PFA spokesman said.
Club owners say wage bills need to be cut to cover losses caused by broadcaster Fox Sports’ axing grants from $57 million to about $30 million and the damage caused by the coronavirus crisis. Glory have cut player wages to 75 per cent with seven other clubs reportedly slashing 50 per cent of salaries.
Sage said a couple of clubs are considering an immediate stand down of players. “I went with a cut to 75 per cent because we want to have some goodwill but we are looking at the option of a possible stand down,” Sage said. “We have gone with 75 per cent of wages - after Monday we haven’t made up our minds.”
Glory have 15 players signed for next season and Sage said they would meet on Friday. “Hopefully the PFA will come to its senses and agree to the 30 per cent offerd,” Sage said. Football Federation Australia will step in if agreement cannot be reached between the PFA and the clubs body, Australian Professional Football Clubs Association.
NPL-WA PHASE TWO, ROUND TWO REVIEW (courtesy Football West)
Gwelup Croatia are back into NPLWA Men’s title contention after a stunning 5-0 win against Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve on Wednesday evening. “After a disappointing opening result at Cockburn, where we were on the wrong end of a 3-2 loss, the playing group responded in the best possible fashion tonight, courtesy of a hat trick to Ndumba Makeche and singles to brothers Jon and Dan Stynes,” Gwelup Head Coach Taki Nicolaidis said. “This is a busy time for all teams, but it’s great to get our first win in the top six.”
The home side should have taken the lead early, but top goal scorer Cameron Teece blazed over the top from close-range. The Gulls were made to pay moments later when Makeche intercepted an errant Clark Keltie back-pass before rounding goalkeeper Joel Driscoll and striking into an empty net. Sorrento increased the tempo after conceding and came close on a number of occasions as attacking twin towers Alex Morgan and Teece caused plenty of concern in the Gwelup box.
Sorrento thought they had a penalty after Teece appeared to be clipped from behind after he pulled a shot across goal, but referee Michal Jasinski waved away their protests, much to the displeasure of Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell. Despite dominating possession, Sorrento fell further behind in the shadows of half time. Blair Govan ball wasn’t dealt with by Sorrento and Jonathon Stynes volleyed home from close range.
The home side upped the tempo after the break, but they handed Gwelup a third on 72 minutes, another Keltie back-pass was pounced on by Makeche to score. Daniel Stynes then struck home a Sean McManus cross moments later to compound the Gulls misery, before a Makeche penalty completed the route on 88 minutes after Jaxon Temata had brought Daniel Stynes down in the box.
Cockburn are top of the ladder with two wins from two, the latest a 4-1 win against local rivals Armadale at Dalmatinac Park. The Cockerels won at the same venue against the same opposition on the final day of the first phase a fortnight ago and they were up and running after 20 minutes when Sebastian Da Silva latched on to Riley Woodcock's pass and fired in to the roof of the net. Armadale, who were thrashed at ECU Joondalup in the first round, looked to hit back but after good work by Roberto Soares found Joshua Cortes but he failed to find the target.
They were made to pay moments later as Robert Irving brought down Woodcock in the box and referee Arvin Shanmuganathan pointed to the spot. Cockburn top scorer Jesse Lazzaro made no mistake from the resulting penalty to doubled their advantage. It was nearly three, but Sam Hutchings made an excellent double save to deny Liam Murray and then Da Silva as Armadale went into the break only two down.
Soares' shot was blocked early in the second half as the visitors tried to halve the deficit, but they did eventually concede a third as Julian Teles finished superbly after a solo effort. Daniel Santich rattled the bar in search of a fourth for City before Ali Nazary pulled one back for Armadale as he squeezed home from a tight angle less than a minute after coming off the bench. But that was as good as it got for Armadale and Daniel Dos Santos made it 4-1 to seal the win.
Floreat got off the mark in the second phase of the competition thanks to substitute Robert Harding's last-minute header in a 2-1 win over ECU Joondalup. The visitors came into this one in tremendous form after five straight wins and they nearly went ahead when Riley Warland's swerving shot from range cannoned back off the bar. Jason Saldaris clawed away Danny Hodgson's dink as ECU began confidently off the back of a 6-0 win over Armadale.
Floreat's best chance of the first half came when Warland blocked as Chris Saldaris tried to force home, but the sides went to the interval goalless in an entertaining game.The deadlock was broken by the home side a minute into the second period as Saldaris got forward down the right and crossed for Nick Ambrogio to finish from close range. Luka Ninkovic headed straight at Johnny Perkins before ECU grabbed an equaliser with five minutes remaining which seemed set to earn them a point.
Bayley Brown-Montgomery was fouled in the area and Callum Timmins scored his third goal in two games as he popped his penalty straight down the middle. But in the final minute of normal time, ECU defender Samuel Riak was caught in possession and a quick switch from Ludovic Boi found the unmarked Harding, who did well to loop a header over Perkins and in off the underside of the bar. Both sides now have one win and one loss heading to Round Three.
Perth Glory seem to be finding form at the right time after they went top of the bottom six after a convincing 5-1 win against Rockingham City at Hartfield Park. A first-half blitz did the job for the youngsters as they scored four goals, with the opener coming after eight minutes. Bryce Bafford's initial shot was saved by Bradley Stout and Giordano Colli followed in to net for a third consecutive game.
Richard Garcia's side were well on top as Aiki Tsukamoto smashed one off the bar from distance and they did not have to wait long to make it 2-0 as Nick Walsh sneaked forward from defence to find the far corner. Two became three in the 26th minute when Chris Donnell made his way into the area, and while his cross was well blocked by Rockingham's defence, his follow-up was curled perfectly into the top corner for his first goal of the season.
Rockingham were reeling by this point and after Stout saved well from Bafford's free-kick, they scored a fourth when Donnell turned in midfield, beat two players and looped an effort over the keeper from outside the box. Glory top scorer Bafford somehow missed from six yards early in the second half before the visitors pulled a goal back when Dylan Rogers stole off the toes of Tsukamoto, drove towards goal and fired in for his second goal of the campaign. It proved to be just a consolation for Rockingham as Glory added a fifth when Joshua Rawlins broke forward and found the bottom corner.
Inglewood United halted their recent slump with a 2-1 win over Perth SC at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium. The hosts had the best chance on 15 minutes, when Brodie Langan headed Abdul Sesay's cross wide. Perth hit back though and nearly opened the scoring when Alex Dunn made an excellent reaction save to block Andreas Theodosiades' shot before a combination of Michael Domfeh and Jawad Rezai fluffed the follow-up.
Opportunities were exchanged leading into half-time as Steve Sokol fired wide before Paul Zimarino was off target with a header from six yards. Chad Samuels was introduced for Inglewood at half-time and the change paid off just 40 seconds after the restart when Sokol crossed into the six yards box for the former Stirling Lions player to score. Inglewood managed to limit Perth's attacking threat for most of the second period and nearly doubled their lead when a confident Samuels tried his luck from the edge of the box.
They went on to make the game safe when Bojan Radinovic fouled Sokol in the area and the winger converted the penalty he won as he sent Ryan Montgomery the wrong way. Zimarino's second goal from the spot in as many games was mere consolation as Inglewood breathed life into the second phase of their campaign with a first home win since Round Seven, while Perth have work to do to defend their Top Four Cup crown.
On Tuesday night, Balcatta broke an eight-game winless run in sensational style as they twice came from behind to defeat Bayswater City 5-2 at Frank Drago Reserve. The visitors got off to a shaky start when skipper John Kearney conceded a penalty against his former club, with Gustavo Marulanda dispatching the spot-kick for his fifth goal of the season. They levelled when Zayd Farah put into his own net from Calum O'Connell's cross, but they were only on terms for five minutes as Declan Hughes coolly finished Luke Salmon's centre to restore Bayswater's advantage.
But Balcatta hit back with a quickfire double before the interval. Adam Zimarino's nicely weighted pass was put into far corner by O'Connell, before the former Perth SC junior turned scorer after good work down the left from brother Michael. Balcatta went on to score twice and record a win which may reignite their 2020 season. Anthony Topini's corner took a final touch off David Stokoe as the hosts conceded a second own goal of the evening with 20 minutes remaining. Salmon's driven free-kick nearly gave Bayswater a lifeline soon after, but Michael Zimarino's solo goal with six minutes to play cemented Balcatta's second league win of 2020 and their first since Round Four.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AND TWO - PHASE TWO, ROUND TWO – REVIEW (courtesy Football West)
Olympic Kingsway went top of the Men’s State League Division One top six on goal difference after they defeated Joondalup United 3-0 at Kingsway Reserve. The hosts are making their move at the business end of the season as they extended their unbeaten run to five games overall with three second half goals. Antoine Levy scored for a third straight game before Luke Palmateer doubled the advantage just after the hour mark. Ajak Riak moved to double figures for 2020 when he made it 3-0 late on, as Kingsway now look forward to facing Western Knights on Saturday in what could be a decisive game for the title race.
Knights joined Kingsway on six points at the summit of the upper tier as they recorded a 2-0 win at Fremantle City. Callum Roberts opened his tally for the season with two goals in seven minutes at the start of the second period, as the visitors continue their ominous form having only lost once this season. Fremantle’s modest run now stretches to just one win in eight games.
In the final top six meeting, Forrestfield returned from Mandurah with a 3-2 win which gives them a first league victory since August 15. Stephen O’Leary’s first of the season got the visitors rolling before former Perth SC junior Josh Pereira made it two, five minutes before the interval. Mitch Crocker added a third for United midway through the second period as they broke their four-game winless run, despite consolations in the final five minutes for Shane Boyle and Jordan Rhodes.
In the bottom six, UWA Nedlands look to be timing their run towards the end of season nicely as they won 4-1 at home to Ashfield to lead their pool. Godfrey Asimwe opened the scoring with his third goal in two games before a 23rd minute own goal by Kaelan Majeks put the hosts in a commanding position. Danyel Dos Santos De Souza hit back two minutes later with his first goal of the season, but UWA steadied with a quick response of their own thanks to Pascal Sedgewick. Sedgewick added his second on the night and fourth of the season after the break as UWA netted for a 10th time in two games.
Quinns returned to winning ways and breathed life into their second phase campaign as they recorded a confidence boosting 7-0 win at home to Swan United. Jamie Stewart opened the scoring on 19 minutes before Matthew Blake’s goal on half an hour, his first of the campaign, gave the hosts a handy break. Stewart and Sam Wynne both added second half goals before substitute Sam Rawlings came off the bench to score a seven-minute hat-trick and add gloss to score line inside the final 12 minutes. The Stirling Lions v Subiaco match has been rescheduled for later this month.
In State League Division Two action, Carramar Shamrock Rovers lead the upper tier with six points from two games following a 2-1 win at Wanneroo City. Alan Reidy’s first of the season inside three minutes gave the visitors an early lead but they were pegged back by James Burns’ eighth of the season from the penalty spot. The winning goal came with 17 minutes to play as Jack Bardsley scored the winner for the second time in four days.
Joondalup City, beaten by Wanneroo last Saturday, looked in more trouble when they slipped two goals behind at Gosnells City before rallying to clinch a 4-3 win. Gosnells went into this game as the league’s highest scorers and they hit the ground running with goals from Wade Farmer and Brice Rae inside the first four minutes. But City hit back before the break as Luke Doyle reduced the arrears before Liam McGurk and leading scorer Liam Peacock struck in the space of four minutes to put them 3-2 up. It was then the hosts’ turn to answer when Jordan Parfitt scored his third of the season with 15 minutes remaining. Gosnells were the one of the form teams at the end of phase one as they went unbeaten in their last six. But they have now lost consecutive games in phase two after James Sharp’s own goal 12 minutes from time consigned them to defeat. On Tuesday night, there was a meeting between the top two sides after phase one as Murdoch University Melville and Dianella White Eagles drew 0-0.
The game of the night in Division Two came in the lower half of the split as Kingsley Westside and Kelmscott Roos drew 4-4.Jayden Drummond’s early goal was cancelled out by Lemeo Wordu before Ramiro Vilar’s fourth goal of 2020 restored the home side’s lead. Kingsley Westside have not won since an August 1 win over Balga, but Vilar’s second goal on 48 minutes had the hosts believing that run would be broken. But Amos Doegolia Junior had other ideas as he fired home a 13-minute hat-trick in the second half to move to 11 for the season and complete a stunning Roos turnaround.
The hosts had the final say through Jesse Higgins who made it 4-4, as Kingsley Westside moved to two points, while Kelmscott went to the summit of the bottom half with that point. Elsewhere, Emmanuel Langoya’s eighth of the season gave Canning City a 1-0 win over Morley Windmills, which drew them level with Kelmscott at the top of the lower tier, while Curtin University and Balga SC played out a goalless draw on Tuesday.
SAGE DISAPPOINTED WITH PLAYERS’ PAY-CUT REJECTION
Perth Glory owner Tony Sage said A-League players’ rejection of a 30 per cent pay cut under a new collective bargaining agreement was a “sad day” for the sport. The vote to throw out the proposal could see players being stood down and force Football Federation Australia to take over negotiations.
The Professional Footballers Australia said the proposal would allow clubs to unilaterally impose salary reductions and leave players with no option except contract termination if they did not accept a cut. The union said it would deny players the right to negotiate in a “fair and adequate manner” and have tabled two alternative proposals.
Sage said he is disappointed the proposed pay cut, which came in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis shutdown and Fox Sports’ slashed funding, was not accepted. “A very sad day for the code in Australia. Let’s see what happens over the next few days but I hope sanity prevails,” he said.
“All other football code have, on average, taken a 45 per cent pay cut with only, on average, a 25 per cent reduction in their broadcast revenue. Football has taken a massive 45 per cent cut in broadcast revenue but still, as a group of owners, we wanted to support our players by offering a 30 per cent reduction.”
PERTH AND BAYSWATER IN THE QUEUE FOR NATIONAL SECOND DIVISION
Australia could have a national football second division by 2022 under ambitious plans released today by the Association of Australian Football Clubs. The AAFC have created a partner group involving 30 clubs across the country aimed at creating a new competition below the A-League.
Perth SC and Bayswater City are amongst the group which includes former National Soccer League clubs Marconi Stallions, Melbourne Knights, South Melbourne, Sydney United, Adelaide City and Wollongong Wolves. The AAFC said the group will now put together a final report on how the competition would work for final approval from Football Federation Australia.
Issues to be finalised include whether the competition will be on a national or conference-based format, when in the year it will be held and the issue of promotion and relegation. AAFC chairman Nick Galatas said while the competition wouldn't involve promotion and relegation to and from the A-League immediately, that remained an overall aim.
's view is that we cannot be properly considered as a 'football nation' without it and having it in place is our ultimate objective," Galatas said. "While promotion and relegation with the A-League will hopefully occur (a) little later, we aim for it to start immediately with the NPL (National Premier Leagues) below."
"Connecting clubs from bottom-to-top and top-to-bottom will help unite the game which will help it achieve its potential ... More football at a higher level is good for players, good for coaches, good for supporters, and gives sponsors and broadcasters more opportunity to be engaged in the game from grassroots to elite levels."
TRATT THE LATEST PLAYER TO PART WITH GLORY
Another Perth Glory player is heading for the departure lounge with defender Jacob Tratt moving to Indian Super League side Odisha. The 26-year old signed for Glory in July last year and was limited to just 14 appearances, most of those off the bench.
Tratt joins a growing list of players to have walked out the door since the 2019/20 A-League season ended, with others expected to follow. Already gone are Spanish midfielder Juande, Joel Chianese, veteran Dino Djulbic, Ivan Franjic, Vince Lia and Tando Velaphi.
The future of marquee Diego Castro is unclear, Bruno Fornaroli is reportedly on the radar of Melbourne Victory while Kristian and Gabriel are expected to join their father, Tony Popovic, at Greek club Xanthi. The have only 15 players currently contracted for the 2020/21 campaign.
BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND THIRTEEN REVIEW (courtesy Football West)
North Perth United’s coronation as Belt Up Amateur Premier champions was delayed for at least a week after Kwinana United scored three times in the final seven minutes of their match to mathematically stay in the hunt. While North Perth were overcoming South West Phoenix 2-0 at Woodville Reserve, Kwinana were staring down the barrel as they fell behind 2-1 against UWA Nedlands with eight minutes to go. But 60 seconds later David Clark equalised to set up a thrilling finish in which Lee Bates scored twice.
Kwinana’s 4-2 win keeps them seven points behind North Perth with three matches remaining. The leaders had a relatively comfortable afternoon against Phoenix thanks to second-half goals from Joel Jebaratnam and Lucas-Joel Munoz-Despierre. Leeming Strikers jumped from sixth to third after a 2-0 home win over Wembley Downs, Tom Grant and Kieran Witt getting the goals before half-time.
Jaguar’s home clash with Maddington White City exploded into life with four goals in the last 10 minutes in a 3-3 draw. With the game tied at 1-1, 10-man Jaguar grasped control through quickfire goals from Gojam Nyuon and Akuei Guot. A minute from time Chris Sparks threw Maddington a lifeline and two minutes into stoppage time they grabbed it via Cesar Orozco’s penalty. In other games a hat-trick from Ryan McCready helped Quinns to an eye-catching 5-2 victory at Hamersley Rovers, while Gareth Davies and Ryan Pellow scored two goals in four first-half minutes to give Joondalup United a 2-0 win over Queens Park.
NPL-WA PHASE TWO, ROUND ONE REVIEW
Sorrento have made a perfect start to the second stage of the Men’s NPL after a stoppage-time penalty from Cameron Teece gave them a 2-1 win against Floreat Athena in our ‘Match of the Round’ at E&D Litis Stadium. “It was a really even game, and both teams had a lot of chances, and to be fair it could have gone either way especially in the first half,” Teece explained. “But in the second half I think with the way we played and the chances we created we deserved the win.” Floreat were the form team going into the Top Six, sitting top of the table, and they were out of the blocks early. Andrew Palmer's shot from Luka Ninkovic's nod across goal was well blocked, before desperate defending from the Gulls denied Ninkovic and Liam Murray.
At the other end Teece brought a good save from Jason Saldaris, before the visitors edged in front on 23 minutes. Scott Witschge raced down the right, and squared the ball to Ollie Annis to score his fourth goal of the season. But their lead only lasted for two minutes. Floreat captain Dean Evans' cross was not held by Joel Driscoll and Ninkovic was on hand to volley in emphatically for his first goal since returning to WA from Melbourne’s Heidelberg United. The midfielder nearly added a second on the stroke of half-time but his effort went over the top.
After the break, Evans' free-kick clipped the top of the crossbar before Murray dragged a shot wide of the upright as Floreat upped the tempo. But it did appear the spoils would be shared, but there was some late drama. Palmer was adjudged to have fouled Daniel Faichney in the area four minutes into stoppage time, and Teece kept his cool to score from the spot and seal a 2-1 win for Jamie Harnwell’s side and consign Athena to a second straight defeat.
The big winners of the day were ECU Joondalup who thrashed Armadale 6-0 at the ECU Football Stadium. Jacks Coach Kenny Lowe and Harry Evans were both delighted to get the top six underway with a convincing win. “We’ve played fantastic all year but we’ve worked on a few little things and we’re starting to see the fruition,” Lowe said. “We’ve dominated the game, so I’m really pleased.” Evans added. “It was a great team performance, we looked dangerous on every attack and solid at the back and we could have scored more goals,” he explained. “Everyone is buzzing and hopefully this form can continue going into the business end.”
Fresh off four wins on the bounce the Jacks were on the front foot early and it wasn’t a surprise when they hit the front on 25 minutes. Sami Riak found Danny Hodgson on the left, he cut inside his marker and curled his effort past Cyril Sharrock and into the corner of the net. Armadale went close to an equaliser three minutes before the break. Chad Nilson’s ball deflected for Pieter Jacobsz, but his shot on the run hit the base of the post and away to safety.
The Jacks made a change at the break with Timmins coming on for Ethan Brooks, and they doubled their advantage two minutes in. Andy Higgins’ corner was only cleared back to the midfielder, and he whipped in a dangerous cross and Evans headed the ball home. It was the perfect start to the half for Lowe’s side and it got even better two minutes later when they added a third. Riley Warland’s ball sent Evans clear, and he unselfishly squared the ball to Hodgson, who rolled the ball into an empty net, for a great team goal.
The Jacks were on top and wanted more and it duly arrived on the hour. Ryan Lowry’s ball was headed down by Evans, and Timmins shot beat Sharrock to his left to make it 4-0. It was five on 72 minutes, Sharrock had denied Warland moments earlier, but the Jacks defender was involved with a neat one-two with Bayley Brown-Montgomery, before racing into the box and crossing to the unmarked Hodgson, who round Sharrock and rolled the ball home to complete his hat-trick. But the icing was added to the cake when the Jacks added a sixth in stoppage time. Riak and Warland combined to send Timmins into the box and he was brought down by Kevin Ashwood, and referee Michal Jasinski pointed straight to the spot. Timmins picked himself up and sent Sharrock the wrong way to make the final score 6-0.
In the other top-six clash, Cockburn City continue their fine form with a 3-2 win over Gwelup Croatia at Dalmatinac Park. “It was a really tough game especially the first 20 minutes we were really under the pump and were lucky to be only 1-0 down thanks to some great saves from our keeper Luke,” Cockburn defender Breckan Baker said. “We made some tactical changes midway through the first half and were able to work our way on top and create some chances, then just before halftime we were able to convert one and went in at half time disappointed to have only scored once but very happy with our performance. "After half time we continued on with how we had been playing before the break pressing high and creating chances and we managed to take the lead, but they then found the equaliser Jesse converted from the spot to put us 3-2 up and for the last 20 minutes Gwelup threw everything at us but we were able to stay strong at the back and hold out for a hard earned three points.”
But it was Gwelup who opened the scoring on 11 minutes, Jon Stynes won possession in the middle of the park before feeding Shubham Mokala, who finished past Luke Radonich. The Cockburn keeper was a busy man and he saved nicely with his legs to deny Daniel Stynes, while at the other end Ashley Rosindale and Sebastian Da Silva were thwarted by good saves from Connor Campbell. But the hosts did draw level before half-time as Da Silva continued his run of scoring in every senior game for Cockburn when he finished Daniel Santich's cross for a third in three games.
The turnaround was complete 10 minutes into the second period as Kristian Santich drove towards the edge of the area before his strike squirmed beyond Campbell via a clip off the upright. But Gwelup hit back midway through the second half. Jon Stynes showed great technique to volley towards goal from a tight angle and Ndumba Makeche ensured it crossed the line at the back post. However, the visitors were level for only a matter of minutes as Cockburn regained the lead from the penalty spot. Josh Samson felled Kristian Santich just inside the area and top scorer Jesse Lazzaro scored for a sixth time in six games. Gwelup’s day went from bad to worse when Sam Mitchinson was shown a late red card.
In the lower half of the split, defending champions Perth Soccer Club got their second phase off to a winning start with a 3-0 win over Balcatta at Dorrien Gardens. The hosts were ahead on six minutes, Andreas Theodosiades fouled in the box and Paul Zimarino struck home the resulting penalty. Henry Durr sliced wide and Adam Zimarino slashed high as the visitors tried to mount a response.
But after the break Perth doubled their advantage two minutes in, when Theodosiades fed Aleks Jovic, who turned and fired past Riley Stephenson for 2-0. Balcatta were still in the game and thought they had pulled one back when Calum O’Connell prodded home, but referee Julian Serra had spotted a handball in the lead up and disallowed it. But Perth made the game safe in second-half stoppage time, substitute Jawad Rezai cut in from the left and finished with the aid of a deflection.
Bayswater City were made to work before beating Rockingham City 1-0 at SafeRad Stadium. Gordon Smith went close early but his cross-shot crashed off the post and back into the grateful arms of Bradley Stout, but on 15 minutes they did find the opener. Daryl Nicol found the Luke Salmon, and the young striker finished clinically. Stout denied Nicol again moments later, before Luke Collins’ effort flashed wide for the hosts. Salmon was denied a second in stoppage time by Stout, but they left with the three points.
Perth Glory were also in the winners’ circle after a hard fought 1-0 win against Inglewood United at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium. Giordano Colli opened the scoring on two minutes, his free-kick looped over Alex Dunn and into the far corner. Glory were well on top Chris Donnell fired straight at Dunn from the edge of the area before Colli's shot rattled the woodwork, with Charlie Leech unable to follow up.
After half-time Inglewood lifted and Steve Sokol raced into the area only to see his shot blocked, before Abdul Sesay drove forward and his shot was deflecting wide, as last year's Top Four Cup finalists continued to push the pace. Glory keeper Sam Reilly denied Sesay, before Scott Blackmore fired wide at the back post. But the home side continued to press but couldn’t find the equaliser.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AND TWO - PHASE TWO, ROUND ONE – REVIEW (courtesy Football West)
Western Knights kicked off the Men’s State League Division One second phase with a 4-0 win over Mandurah City at Nash Field. City were the only team to inflict defeat on the 2017 State Cup winners during the first phase but had a tougher afternoon on Saturday as Jack Rycroft opened the scoring on 22 minutes. It was 1-0 at the break but Dean Hurley struck four minutes after the restart and Golden Boot leader Alex Kretowicz scored goal No.12 of the season to put the hosts into a commanding position. Ciaran Byrne added a fourth goal late on as Knights asserted their authority with a big win in the upper tier.
Olympic Kingsway joined the Knights on three points as the phase one runners-up recorded a 5-2 win over Forrestfield United at Hartfield Park. Mitch Crocker’s own goal set the visitors on their way before Asher Nelson doubled the lead with a spot-kick four minutes before half-time. Kingsway ended the first phase as leading scorers and they had multiple contributors again on Saturday as Antoine Levy and Keylun Pollard netted before the hour mark. Top scorer Ajak Riak made it 5-0 with his ninth of the campaign before Rhys Loxley and Tarek Atta added late respectability to the result for Forrestfield.
The final result in the upper half saw Joondalup United and Fremantle City share the points following a 2-2 draw at Forrest Park. Riley Van Dieken moved into double figures for the season with the opening goal for City. Callum Speed levelled the scores as he found the net in consecutive home games, but Alfie Brincat’s own goal restored Fremantle City’s advantage six minutes before the interval. Joondalup rescued a point 16 minutes from time as Liam Mooney scored for the first time this season, moments after James Harmer saw red for a second yellow card.
In the lower half of the split, UWA Nedlands were the big winners of the day as they hammered Swan United 6-1 on the road. Samuel Moffatt netted in consecutive appearances after playing his first game of 2020 last week, before Godfrey Asimwe’s brace and an own goal put the visitors 4-0 up at the break. Luwaya David’s first of the season for Swan gave them early hope in the second half, but late goals from Bryce Conway and Derrick Data ensured UWA won back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Stirling Lions also continued their upturn in form as they kicked off the second phase with a 2-1 win at Ashfield. Boas Mtwale and Gavin Knight scored first half goals as the 2014 FFA Cup Round of 32 representatives won a fourth straight came and kept back-to-back clean sheets. Sakou Sylla’s seventh of the season reduced the arrears on the hour mark but the hosts couldn’t find an equaliser as their winning run ended at two. The final game in Division One saw Subiaco hold Quinns FC to a goalless draw at Gumblossom Reserve. Both teams cancelled out each other in a clash between two out of form sides that featured eight yellow cards. Quinns have now dropped points in five of their last six games, falling out of the top six on the final day of the first phase, while Subiaco have won only one of their last 10 matches.
In Division Two, Carramar Shamrock Rovers ended Murdoch University Melville’s six-game winning run with a 1-0 win at Grandis Park. The hosts needed a win over Kingsley Westside on the final day of the first phase to confirm their top six place and built on that through Jack Bardsley’s 13th-minute free-kick which proved decisive on Saturday. The league’s in-form team were unable to force an equaliser and will now host Dianella White Eagles on Tuesday night in a clash between the top two sides after 11 games.
Dianella White Eagles started their second phase well as a goal in each half helped them secure a 2-1 home win over Gosnells City. Milorad Vujacic netted for a third straight game when he opened the scoring after quarter of an hour before Chris Rizidis doubled the advantage with 20 minutes to play, as the hosts won a fifth game in six matches. Gosnells had put together a six-game unbeaten stretch to make the top six, but that run ended despite Scott Pereira’s fifth goal of the campaign late on.
Wanneroo City put in a very impressive display as they won 3-0 at Joondalup City thanks to two goals from Flynn Nolan and one from James Burns. The game of the day in the bottom half of the split came at Burrendah Reserve as Canning City and Kingsley Westside played out a 2-2 draw. Rowan Steed opened the scoring on 14 minutes with his second goal of 2020 but Jayden Drummond squared the ledger soon after. The visitors’ top scorer Drummond netted his eighth of the season from the penalty spot early in the second half, but it was Canning’s turn to hit back promptly as their leading marksman Emmanuel Langoya netted to earn a share of the spoils. Elsewhere in the Division Two’s lower tier, Amos Doegolia Junior scored a brace to take his tally to eight for the season as Kelmscott Roos won 3-0 at Balga, while Morley Windmills also enjoyed a 3-0 victory against Curtin University.
CLUB IN PROFILE - MANDURAH CITY FOOTBALL CLUB
Mandurah City Football Club as was formed in 1970 as "Mandurah Soccer Club", where they joined the South West Soccer League. Only two years later they won the league title.
It wasn't until 1976 when they decided to join the metropolitan competitions. They entered the Amateur League's Third Division (now known as Division Two) and finished in a respectable seventh position. The following year the club finished fourth and won promotion.
Over the next three seasons, Mandurah competed well in the Amateur First Division, and in 1980 they ended up in third spot, which at the time meant promotion to the top flight of amateur football.
Mandurah entered their first season in the Premier Division in 1981, this would be the start of nineteen unbroken years in the amateur top competition. The first few years the club did well, finishing in the top four. Dave Coward coached the black and whites in 1982 and 1983 With the club beating Gosnells Amateurs 1-0 in 1983 Amateur Cup final. Ray Booth took over in 1984 and got the club to second place. There was to be a dip in form in 1985 before more higher consistent positions over the next few seasons. They did make the Amateur Cup final in 1989, but lost 1-0 to North Perth United
In 1990 the club changed their name to Mandurah City after the local government area received city status. In that season the team came close to the title, but had to settle for runners-up. The next few years saw the club finish as low as eighth and as high as fourth. But it was in 1995 where the club won their first major trophy. Under coach Jimmy Mayers, Mandurah were crowned state amateur champions.
Over the next few seasons, the club finished in the top six. They also made the Amateur Cup final in 1996, but lost 2-1 to Fremantle United. After nineteen seasons in the top flight of amateur football, Mandurah were relegated after finishing second last in 1999.
Paul O'Brien took over as first team coach in 2000, and his task was to bring the back and whites straight back up. This is exactly what happened, with the team winning the championship and gaining promotion.
Mandurah were back in the amateur top flight in 2001, but off the field the club decided to apply for a position in the semi-professional Soccer West Coast competition. They later learnt their application was successful.
The club were now in the semi-professional First Division in 2002, and with it meant a change of grounds. With Mandurah moving to Peelwood Reserve, plans of enclosing the venue, building brand new club rooms, a grandstand and erecting new floodlights was on the drawing board and developed within the next few years. Paul O'Brien continued as coach in their first season in the competition and he guided them to fourth place. The success continued in 2003, with the black and whites having another great year. This time the club finished runners-up and just missed out on promotion to the top flight by a goal difference of three goals!
Mandurah had consistent seasons over the next few years, never finishing below fifth. In 2007 under new coach Stuart Currie, the team had a great season. The club were crowned Division One champions and and with it promotion to the Premier League!
For the first time in their history, Mandurah City was in the top flight of Western Australian football in 2008, and had a great debut year in the top flight. Ending up in fifth spot! In 2009 former Perth Glory player Stuart Young took over during the season and he took the black and whites to fourth place in the regular season. Due to a change of competition rules, the top five would decide the title, which gave Mandurah the chance of being WA Champions. The club won the Elimination Final against Stirling Lions 1-0, however lost to Floreat Athena 2-1 in the semi-final the following week.
There was a big change of fortunes for the team in 2010, Mandurah ended up second last, but manage to avoid relegation by one point! This wasn't to be the case the following season however. Another eleventh place finish would usually mean avoiding relegation again, however with two teams going down, it meant the club's four year stay in the top flight was over.
Mandurah were one of the favourites to go straight back up, but ended up in a neck and neck tussle with Cockburn City who were the other club that got relegated. Billy Russell took up the reigns as first team coach during the year, and guided the team to runners-up, just missing out on the title.
After two disappointing seasons in 2013 and 2014, the club hired Doug Hesketh as the new coach. The team had a great season, winning the Division One title by three points. However there was to be no promotion due to the club not having the required junior sides to enter the NPL-WA.
Ironically the club would go up the following year, this time finishing runners-up. The NPL was expanded to fourteen teams, and now with the required criteria in place, the club was back in the big time. However, it was to only last one season. Mandurah finished last and found themselves relegated.
Alex Grayson took over as coach in 2018, and the club struggled. Mandurah finished second last, which meant it had to compete in the play-offs with Division Two teams in order to stay up. In the semi-finals the club beat Division Two runners-up Wanneroo City 5-4 on aggregate. This meant they would go on to face Swan United in the final. The first leg away from home ended in a 2-1 win. The second leg had plenty of drama, with Swan winning 3-2. The scores on aggregate were level, and a penalty shoot-out would decide who would be in Division One the following season. It was a big relief to the club that Mandurah won 5-3!
2019 was a slightly better season, this time finishing in eighth spot and well away from any relegation threat. In 2020, the club was hopeful to have a better season, and with new co-coaches in Kris Donnell and Peter Taylor, the black and whites finished in the top six of the regular season, to have another chance of Division One championship glory!
SEMI-PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE HONOURS
First Division winners - 2007, 2015
First Division runners-up - 2003, 2005, 2012, 2016
Night Series runners-up - 2017
NPL-WA PHASE TWO, ROUND ONE PREVIEW
It’s week one of the NPLWA, after the league split last week, and in our top six ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to E&D Litis Stadium where Floreat Athena hosts Sorrento. Floreat finished two points clear at the top of the table, while the Gulls finished fifth. The pair did meet this season, when goals from Andrew Maranta, Noah Samaki and debutant Ethan Mom gave Floreat a 3-1 win in round 10, but with all points being cancelled from the first stage it’s vital all sides get off to a good start with only five games remaining before the Top Four Finals begin.
The transition between coaches has been great for Floreat, after Ante Kovacevic left the club, the reins were passed to Vas Vujacic, and the former Floreat keeper has continued the good work, and skipper Dean Evans said the first part of the season went well. “We’ve had a pretty consistent first half of the season, especially with it being a bit of a different year,” he said. “We now go into every match like it’s a cup final as there’s no room for errors. Vas and Mirko (Jelicic) have continued what Ante put in place at the start of the season, not much has changed and they just keep tweaking things as they see fit so it’s been great having both of them onboard.”
Evans has led by example on the pitch as Floreat topped the table, but the midfielder said the club have added some talented youngsters to their squad this season, with all three senior teams impressing. “I think throughout the whole club, our 18’s and 20’s are doing really well in their respective leagues,” the skipper explained. “Anthony (Benetti) and Zack (Morgan) have brought in a good core 20’s group, which has seen a good portion of them play at first team level, and when they have, they’ve done exceptionally well. They’re willing to learn and listen to not only the coaches but also the senior boys so it’s been really pleasing seeing them get game time with the first team.”
Saturday’s game is the first of five cup ties for the top six teams, and Evans said Sorrento will be tough opener. “We know Sorrento are always a tough team to face, and they were probably missing a few of their more senior figures in our most recent match so we are under no illusion that this will be another challenge,” he said. “Like I said earlier the games previously mean nothing, we know this is a do or die type of finals series so we go into the game knowing nothing less than a win will do which I’m sure will be the same for them so it should be an entertaining game for all involved.”
Sorrento Coach Jamie Harnwell said his side have performed well in the run in, and he said the group are looking forward to the finals, as they look for their first title since 2012. “I've have been extremely pleased with the players performances and attitudes in the past few weeks,” he said. “The playing group has come together as a unit well and have played some great stuff. While confident in our ability, we know that there are five tough games ahead of us as well.”
Harnwell has a great mix of youth and experience in his squad and he said it’s been good to bring some youngsters through the side this season, and they haven’t let him down. “The club has always been a strong developer of young talent and we have certainly seen that again this year with players like Tristan Stevens and Daniel Faichney see a lot of game time and a number of others experiencing first team football,” he explained. “To do that, you do need strong guidance and leadership from the more experienced players and we are fortunate to have players who thrive in that role.”
The former Perth Glory defender said all teams are on equal footing, and it’s going to be a tight contest, and one he’s looking forward to. “Each game is going to be crucial in this next phase, it's different for everyone but what we will come back to is ensuring that we are competitive and play the way that has brought us success over the past few weeks,” Harnwell said. “Floreat have proved to be a very strong outfit over the first 11 weeks so to have them first up is a great challenge for us and one we are looking forward to.”
In other games in Week One, Gwelup Croatia, who finished second, make the trip to Dalmatinac Park to take on third placed Cockburn City. The they last met at the venue in round seven, when a goal from Riley Woodcock gave Cockburn the three points and inflicted Gwelup’s first defeat of the season, and this one will also be a tight game. The final game sees ECU Joondalup entertaining Armadale at the ECU Football Stadium. They last met at the venue in round five when a brace from Angel Andres saw the Reds come from behind to win 3-1. The Jacks are on a five-game unbeaten run, so like all games in week one this one will be a tight affair.
In the bottom six our Rockingham City host Bayswater City at the SafeRad Stadium. Rockingham struggled in the first phase and finished bottom of the table, but they ended with a couple of good results and they will be looking to continue that on Saturday. Bayswater missed out on a top six berth by one goal on the final day, but it could have been so different after they lost to Rockingham the last time, they met at Frank Drago Reserve in round nine, when goals from Ryan Kennedy, James Paylor and Michael Farmer gave Rockingham a 3-1 win.
In other games Perth SC entertain Balcatta on the Italian Derby at Dorrien Gardens. Balcatta have lost games this season they should have won, after conceding late goals, while Perth struggled early but finished the season well, so both sides will aim for a good start in this phase. The sides last met in round four when a brace from Jon Corness helped Balcatta to a 3-1 win, a result like that would be a great start for Bobby Taneski’s men. The final game sees Perth Glory travel to Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium to take on Inglewood United. The two sides met last week in the final round of fixtures, with Glory running out 2-1 winners, and Richard Garcia will look for a repeat this week, but I’m sure Andres Oliveira will have something to say about that.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE PHASE TWO, ROUND ONE – PREVIEW
It’s week one of the State League Division One top six and our ‘Match of the Round’ takes us Nash Field where first phase table toppers Western Knights host fifth placed Mandurah City. The Dolphins stunned the Knights last time they met at the venue in round nine, when goals from Joe O’Brien and John Baird gave them a 2-0 win, which was the Knights only defeat of the season.
Western Knights Coach Ivan Zuvela said his players performed well in the first phase, but he knows it’s a different beast in the finals like top six. “Really pleased with how we have performed the first phase of the season, going through with only one defeat was a great reward for their effort,” he explained. “Both Adam Kostrencic and I are proud of the playing group for how they have performed and conducted themselves this season, and let’s hope we continue on for the nest five weeks.”
Zuvela said Saturday’s opponents gave them a touch up at their place earlier in the season, and he’s expecting another tough tussle on Saturday. “We are looking forward to another entertaining game against Mandurah, and we know how good they are, especially after they convincingly beat us only a few weeks ago,” he said. “They have some very good players and it’s clear that are very well coached, but we come into the game with some confidence after an impressive 3-0 win against Joondalup United last week.”
Mandurah City Coach Kris Donnell said the playing group have been outstanding since he and Pete Taylor took over as joint-coaches, and except for a few games, he can’t fault them. “We are delighted over all with the first phase of the league and how we played our football,” he said. “There are a couple of games where I felt we could have killed games off and then went on to lose them, but the majority of the games we played we have looked like a team who have played together for a long time and not only six months.”
Donnell said they spoke to the players pre-season and they set their goals, and they have reached the first one. “We set ourselves a goal this season to finish top six, and after getting into that we have now set another goal so to achieve that we have to beat the best teams in the league,” he explained. “Western knights have had an outstanding season so far, but we have beaten them before so it gives us confidence going into the game. If we can play to our strengths and stay focused for the full 90 minutes, we are more than capable of pulling off another result. For myself and Pete we are really pleased with the younger lads who have come in and produced some really strong performances. We’re really looking forward to Saturday I think it’s going to be a cracker.”
In other top six games, second placed Olympic Kingsway travel to 1620 Capital Stadium, Hartfield Park to take on third placed Forrestfield United. The hosts didn’t go into the next phase on a high, losing to bottom of the table Swan United last week, but I’m sure coach Graham Normanton will have them primed for a big game in this one. Olympic also lost to Swan in their run in, but Gary Williams’ side produced a five-star performance last week to beat Quinns, so this one will be a cracker. In the final game it’s fourth v Sixth when Fremantle City visit Forrest Park to take on Joondalup United. Both sides were beaten last week against the Knights and UWA Nedlands respectively, but both sides have goals in them with City’s Riley Van Dieken and United’s Jamie Gibson both on the top ten goal scorers this season.
In the bottom six fixtures, all sides will be pushing for top spot and to join the top three in the top six for the end of season Top Four Finals. Ashfield host Stirling Lions at Acclaimed Catering Arena, Ashfield Reserve with both sides in good form, and both having big wins last week against Mandurah City and Subiaco respectively. Gavin Knights leads the way for the Lions bagging eight goals, while the form of keeper Jake Lumpkin has been a major reason in the Ashfield’s turn around. In the other games Swan United host UWA Nedlands at Francis Street, while Subiaco make the trip to Gumblossom Park to take on Quinns.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO PHASE TWO, ROUND ONE – PREVIEW
Like the NPLWA and Division One the State League Division Two has also split, and our top six Week One ‘Match of the Round’ sees third placed Carramar Shamrock Rovers host first phase ladder leaders Murdoch University Melville at Grandis Park. Both sides have impressed this season and only five points separated the two sides, and both sides are well coach by Gerry McEwan and Danny Ciampini, and if their last meeting is anything to go by this one will be a classic.
MUM was slow out of the blocks early in the season, but defender Ben Howe said they have really picked up their game in recent weeks and go into the next phase full of confidence. “Yes, after a sluggish start to the first phase of the season I think we even surprised ourselves by finishing top by four points,” he explained. “Our seven-game winning streak certainly helped with that and a lot of results seem to go our way with teams above us dropping points regularly, so it gives us confidence going into the finals series.”
Howe said a trip to Grandis Park is never easy, and Saturday will be no different. “We were all buzzing waiting the fixtures to come out, and I think we got it pretty good apart from having to play Shamrock away again this weekend,” he said. “It's a tough place to go and we were pretty fortunate to get the three points up their last time. It was a physical encounter and with Shamrock feeling hard done by the result a couple of weeks ago I expect it to be the same again. With only five games to finish in the top three, I think it's vital we come away with at least a point from this fixture to set us up for the midweek game against Dianella, who most are predicting to win it from here.”
It’s been a great turnaround at Rovers, after back-to-back eighth placed finishes over the last two seasons, but with the merger with Carramar the club have been solid, and Ger Fitzgerald said it showed in their performance. “We are happy how the first phase went and pleased to finish third,” he said. “The league is very open as the results have shown and the standard of the teams are very close too. A few games we drew we know we should have won, and will take that confidence into phase two as we know on the day, we are capable of beating anyone in the league but it will be very close again and hopefully play like we can and make the finals.”
Fitzgerald said the last time they played MUM they should have come home with something, and knows it will be more of the same on Saturday. “It will be a tough game like it was the last time, and I thought a drew would have been a fair result when we played them last, but we didn’t take our chances so we can’t complain,” he explained. “If we play like we can I’m confident we can get three points which would be a great start and obviously helps we have them at home and not away as Murdoch’s ground, which is a very hard place to go and get points. Gerry (McEwan) will have us well prepared and we can’t wait for Saturday. Carramar have been fantastic all season and great support as well, which really helps especially when we play at home. We all look forward to Saturday and hopefully get three points.”
In other top six games, the two form sides meet at Dianella Reserve when Gosnells City take on Dianella White Eagles. Gosnells were unbeaten in their last six games, while Dianella lost only once in their last five games. Both sides are coached by former Perth Glory players, Bobby Despotovski is in charge of the Eagles, while Marc Anthony is in the dug out of Gosnells, and as both sides like to play football, this one should be a great game. In final game is a local derby where Joondalup City host Wanneroo City at the Iluka Sports Complex. Joondalup produced a good performance to beat Canning 3-2 to reach the Top Six, which will give them confidence, however Wanneroo limped into the next stage, after no wins in their last six matches.
In the bottom six, all teams will be chasing a spot in the end of season Top Four Finals, with the winning joining the top three of the top six group. In the first game Canning City host Kingsley Westside at Burrendah Reserve. Both sides narrowly missed out on a top six spot and both will look to start the second phase with a good performance. Likewise, Balga and Kelmscott Roos who meet at Princess Road Reserve and Curtin University and Morley Windmills who take on each other at Edinburgh Oval at 5.00pm.
BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND THIRTEEN PREVIEW
It’s week 13 of the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division and our ‘Match of the Round’ sees fifth placed Hamersley Rovers entertaining Quinns at Carine Open space. Quinns are on a four-game run without defeat and are coming off a 4-2 win against Joondalup United last week, while Rovers’ good run came to an end after a loss at South West Phoenix last week, so this one should a tight northern suburbs encounter. (All games kick off at 3.00pm unless stated)
Quinns coach Lee Garnish said the win against Joondalup was a good reward for his players. “Last week against Joondalup was great win for the boys,” he explained. “They all worked hard and never gave up, and it’s pleasing they are finally getting some rewards for their effort.”
Garnish said they have performed all in most games this season but conceding late goals has hurt them. “I’ve been very pleased and we have been in most games this year and conceding late goals to draw or lose the match,” he said. “Out of six matches we conceded after 85 minutes to lose four and draw two, but recently we have started to control games and have started to turned this around.”
The last time they played Rovers this season, Quinns fought out a drew and Garnish said it will be another tight game on Sunday. “The last game was a tight 2-2 draw in round two,” he said. “It will be more of the same on Sunday, we know this will be hard game as Hamersley look to have improved this season, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Hamersley Coach Howard Tweats said they had their chances last week put failed to take them, and said the trip south is a difficult one for all teams. “The trip this season for all to Bunbury is a potential banana skin,” he said. “We had to travel with a bare inexperienced XI, and after a bright start missed a host of chances and a penalty. They capitalised on their chances and that was the difference, although better finishing on the day would have given the score a truer reflection.”
Tweats has a young side this season and he has been pleased with certain aspects, but knows they need to improve. “There have been games where the players were exceptional and others the rank opposite, so if we find a consistent level of performance week in for sure the group would be a formidable challenge,” he explained. “The failing of not having a settled back four so far due to long and short-term injuries has really been our undoing in games. Our aim was to get the players to express themselves in the last third so pleased we have had success there. Just a shame the season doesn’t feel at the level it should do after the restart and seems to have dampened the intensity and vigour across all the leagues.”
The coach said he is looking forward to Sunday’s game and getting back into the winners’ circle. “Quinns have found some form in recent weeks and we will be looking forward to a lively encounter like our first meeting,” Tweats said. “With potential personnel to return we shall look to be on the front foot as always and take the game to our visitors with a view to redressing last week’s result.”
In other games league leaders North Perth United will look to maintain or improve their nine-point lead at the summit when they host South West Phoenix at Woodville Reserve at 1.00pm, while Queens Park will look to build on last week’s big win against Leeming when they travel to Beldon Park to take on Joondalup United. Maddington White City make the trip to Herb Graham Recreation Centre to take on Jaguar, while second placed Kwinana United host third placed UWA Nedlands at Kelly Park.
In the final game Leeming Strikers will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing result at Queens Park last week when they host Wembley Downs at John Connell Reserve. Wembley are also coming off a loss after being beaten at home by Kwinana, and with only three points separating the two sides on the table, both will be looking to get back into the winners’ circle.
Leeming player/coach David Palin said last week's loss was disappointed but he said injuries and players missing caught up with them, but also praised Ricardo Fynn’s side. “Obviously not the result we wanted on Sunday, but the last two weeks the amount of injuries we have had caught up on us and changing four-five players each week has made us half the side were at the start of the year,” he explained.
“In saying that for long periods of the game in the first half we dominated, then the rain came in and evened up the game, they kicked and chased the ball better than us on a water-logged pitch. All five goals could have been prevented but individual mistakes killed us so that’s the disappointing thing. We've played worse this year and won but credit to Queens Park they’ve had a tough introduction to the league but their players gave it their all Sunday.”
Despite the loss, the Strikers are only four points away from second placed Kwinana on the table and Palin said there is still a lot to play for in 2020. “We still want to finish as high as we can, in some ways it hasn't panned out the way we wanted in regards to being closer to the top going into the final games but we couldn't have asked for anymore from the players in regards of effort and attitude given the type of season it has been,” he said. “We know Wembley are always a tough team to play, they beat us at their ground earlier in season so we will be looking to change the script this week and we hope to get back to winning ways after two losses.”
JUANDE DEPARTS GLORY
Former La Liga footballer Juande has announced he's departing Perth Glory. The 34-year old defensive mindfielder confirmed he is looking for a new club on Twitter, after two years at Glory in which he made 43 appearances, scored two goals and helped the club win the Premiers Plate in 2018/19.
An influential cog in Glory's midfield, Juande becomes the latest import the leave the A-League en masse amidst rumours of massive wage cuts across the entire league. He also becomes the latest player to leave the club subsequent to the end of the 2019/20 season, following Joel Chianese, Ivan Franjic, Dino Djulbic, Vince Lia and Tando Velaphi.
And there may be further departures to come. Spanish import Diego Castro is currently involved in a legal dispute with the club while striker Bruno Fornaroli is thought to be considering other options, despite remaining contracted to the club.
NPL-WA SPLITS AFTER ROUND ELEVEN
The NPL-WA league is now split in to a top six and bottom six. The top six is made up of Floreat Athena, Gwelup Croatia, Cockburn City, ECU Joondalup, Sorrento and Armadale. The bottom six sides are Bayswater City, Inglewood United, Perth Glory, Perth SC, Balcatta and Rockingham City. Each team will now face the other sides in their half of the split once over the next five weeks. No competition points will be carried over from the first 11 rounds. The 2020 league champions will be the side who finish first in the top six. There will then be a Top Four Cup finals series involving the teams who finish first, second and third in the top six and side top of the bottom six - The fixtures for the second phase of the season will be released this week.
BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND TWELVE REVIEW
It was round 12 of the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division and on our ‘Match of the Week’ league leaders North Perth United prevailed 2-1 against Maddington White City in an entertaining game at Nikola Tesla Reserve, in the top of the table clash. It was the hosts who opened the scoring on 16 minutes with Stevens Pino scoring. But United were level sixty seconds later, a diagonal ball from Thierry Berard found Jean Stephan Foolchund, he brought the ball down superbly and was clipped in the box and the referee Anthony Walsh pointed to the spot. Ago Mujic stepped up and scored the resulting penalty. The winner came just after the hour, Javier Pineres Mestre swivelled and shimmied past four players to get to the edge of their box. He then had the composure to square it to Lewis Robinson who smashed an unstoppable shot past the keeper. “It was by far the toughest complete 90 minutes of football we have had to deal with this season,” North Perth coach Alex Carter said. “Maddington like to slow it down with lots of close passes so we knew at times just to bank up behind the ball. There was a 20-minute period at the start of the second half where we could get any fluency going when in possession, but credit to the lads defensively who held firm. We got the winner and then should have added at least one more late on.”
Kwinana United are up to second after a hard fought 2-1 win against Wembley Downs at Butlers Reserve. Kwinana made a perfect start and were ahead on six minutes, Sean Troup scoring from the penalty spot. They added a second on the half hour, Jake Daley was sent clear and he rounded keeper Jeff Cornez to score. Wembley were back in the game on the hour with skipper Juraj Galba scoring, but they couldn’t find another. “I thought we played well for the most part in some very tricky conditions, but Wembley are a good side and when they got a goal back, they were pushing for the equaliser,” Kwinana coach Mark Purvis explained. “However, we stood firm and got the win. I was really pleased with our attitude throughout the game, especially in the last 30 minutes when we needed to show some character.”
UWA Nedlands are up to third after an impressive 4-0 win against Jaguar at the UWA Sports Park. The home side opened the scoring on 10 minutes with Lawrence Lewis converting from the spot after referee Peter Kaiser spotted a handball. It was 2-0 six minutes later, Blair Harding pulling the ball back to Walter Torres who headed home from close-range. The hosts took control on the hour and added a third when Torres headed home Lewis’ cross. Lewis added the fourth late, spotting the keeper off his line and chipping him from 40 meters. “It was and excellent result to maintain our undefeated status against Jags over five seasons of playing them,” he explained. “We adapted better to the conditions then Jags and managed to keep the quality of football up despite the wet pitch. Getting an early two goal lead certainly boosted our confidence and we were in control for most of the game. With four games to go and the league being this close we have an interesting few week ahead of us, and can anyone guess at this point who will round out the Top three with North Perth.”
Leeming Strikers lost ground on the leaders after a surprising 5-1 defeat against Queens Park at Coker Park. The home side lead 3-0 at the break. First Byron Goodwin’s through ball sent Lindon Bridger clear on the half hour and he finished well. It was 2-0 four minutes before half time, after some sustained ball possession, Goodwin slipping in Leigh Bridger, who outpaced his marker and finished clinically. They added a third three minutes later, Goodwin finding the top corner of the net from a free kick. Queens Park continued where they left off and added a fourth three minutes in. Bridger turned provider, sending Goodwin clear to score. It was 5-0 on 86 minutes, with the pick of the goals, Moulay Driss Ibrahimi’s stunning long-range shot gave the keeper no chance. Leeming scored a late consolation goal in the final minute with Kieran Witt scoring. “The result was just deserts for our team that has battled to adjusts to the demands of top flight Amateur football,” coach Ricardo Fynn said. “Today the boys came up against a very good Leeming side who competed for 90 minutes. We created lots of chances and were clinical in front of goal and we defended as a unit and gave very little away today. The challenge is to take this moral boosting win into the last four games and finish strongly.”
The round started on Saturday evening when South West Phoenix continued their good home form with a 5-1 win against Hamersley Rovers at the WML Stadium in Bunbury. It was Rovers who hit the front on four minutes, Liam Hudson on target. But three minutes later the Phoenix levelled, Sam Riches heading home Kieran Quinn’s corner. The home side hit the front on 18 minutes, Lee Stewart’s cross was only half cleared to Zac van Oosten who finished well from the edge of the box. The home side took control and added two more in quick succession. First Stewart picked the ball up in the middle of the park and found Jayden Prosser on the right, his cross was turned home by Riches. Then moments later van Oosten added his second, scoring from Prosser’s cross. The icing was put on the cake on 72 minutes, with Prosser finishing off at the back post.
“Hamersley are one of the top teams and with their forward line they came out firing and rightfully took the lead but we managed to settle and get into our rhythm and turn it around quickly and end up winning quite comfortably,” Stewart explained. “We unfortunately were forced into a few changes which killed the tempo a bit in the second half but all in all it was another great attacking display and we are starting to reap the rewards of having players come back into the side and give us that extra depth and quality. With four games left we are looking at having a strong finish to help maintain the steady progress that’s been made after the slow start. The squad is coming together and everyone’s enjoying the brand of football we are playing. We will be looking forward to a trip to North Perth this Sunday and with them looking to secure the title it should be another highly competitive game.”
On the final game, also on Saturday evening, saw Quinns take out bragging rights in the local derby against Joondalup United, after a 4-2 win at Gumblossom Park. The hosts were ahead on 21 minutes, with Sam Vencatachellum scoring. But Joondalup levelled four minutes later with top goalscorer Adam Buckley on target. Quinns regained the lead in the first minute of the second half, with Wayne Carter scoring from the spot. Carter made it 3-2 scoring from a free kick, but Joondalup reduced the margin with Buckley adding his second. But deep into stoppage time Quinns sealed the three points with Carter completing his hat-trick with a low shot across the keeper. “Local derby always a good game, and this was one as just the same,” Quinns coach Lee Garnish said. “It was a good fight and we managed to hold them off and capitalised on our chances.”
DA SILVA SEES COCKBURN HOME
Cockburn City and Armadale have both reached the NPLWA top six, but it was Cockburn who took out the bragging rights after a 2-0 win in our ‘Match of the Week’ at Dalmatinac Park. Jesse Lazzaro gave the hosts the lead early from the penalty spot, before Sebastian Da Silva doubled their advantage. Both sides had chances in a tense game, but neither could find the target, but Armadale were reduced to ten men late when skipper Brian Patterson was sent off. But John O’Reilly’s side had to wait till after the game to find out their fate, and with results elsewhere going their way they finished sixth by the narrowest of margins.
The Cockerels were one of the form teams of the competition going into Saturday’s game, coming off three wins in their past four games and they made a perfect start in this one, hitting the front on 15 minutes. Riley Woodcock’s ball into the penalty area found Da Silva, who was bundled over by Blake Adams, and referee Matthew Southern pointed straight to the spot. Lazzaro stepped up and sent Cyril Sharrock the wrong way from the resulting penalty.
Things got worse for the visitors when Cockburn doubled their advantage three minutes later. Lazzaro sent Woodcock overlapping down the left, he cut the ball back to Da Silva, who made no mistake from close-range. It could have been worse for the Reds as it not been for keeper Sharrock, who made some important saves to keep the Cockerels at bay, the best was keeping Kristian Santich’s free kick out. Armadale finished the half the better and Patterson volley missed the target, but at the break they had all to do.
With news filtering through from other grounds, Armadale starting the second half brightly Pieter Jacobsz failed to find the target, before Ali Nazary’s long-range shot was straight at Luke Radonich. Friday Zico also had a long-range strike, which failed to find the target, as Armadale pushed to get back into the game. There were groans from the travelling supporters when Bayswater moved 4-1 up against Floreat, meaning they would miss out on a top six spot, but that turned to cheers when Floreat pulled one back, and they held on to secure their birth by the narrowest of margins.
Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 5 Julian TELES, 8 Cameron EDWARDS, 10 David ARAYA (2 Chris THACKRAY 87’), 12 Sebastian DA SILVA (7 Ashley ROSINDALE 80’), 14 Hayden STEVENS 15 Daniel SANTICH, 16 Ali GHOLAMI, 21 Jesse LAZZARO, 22 Kristian SANTICH, 23 Riley WOODCOCK (4 Euen GRANT 70’) - Subs not used: RGK Ben RADONICH, 24 David DOS SANTOS,
Armadale: GK Cyril SHARROCK, 3 Harry QUIGLEY, 5 Ali NAZARY (11 Chad NILSON 62’), 8 Brian PATTERSON, 13 Blake ADAMS, 14 Sebastian STENQVIST (21 Fillipo GIOFFRE 69’), 15 Charlie KENNA, 17 Pat SARA (12 Abu DULLEH 62’), 18 Kevin ASHWOOD, 20 Pieter JACOBSZ, 23 Friday ZICO – Subs not used: RGK Sam HUTCHINGS, 2 Ben LEWIS – Referee: Matthew Southern
HODGSON AT THE DOUBLE FOR JACKS
ECU Joondalup have made the top six of the NPL-WA table after a comprehensive 3-0 win against Balcatta at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Harry Evans scored early and gave the Jacks the lead at the break, before a Danny Hodgson brace saw them run out comfortable winners. With the league splitting after the game the Jacks knew three points were a must in this one and they made the perfect start and where ahead after only nine minutes. Bodnar spotted the run of Evans, and the defender played a perfect ball for the striker to run onto, and he lobbed the on-coming keeper Riley Stephenson from the edge of the penalty area.
But on 26 minutes Balcatta should have levelled. A poor pass by Shane Cassidy went straight to Adam Zimarino, who was in on goal, but his first touch let him down and the golden opportunity was gone. Both sides had late chances, first on 38 minutes Riley Warland sent Ethan Brooks racing down the left, his low cross was fumbled by Stephenson, but as Andy Higgins and Hodgson were ready to pounce on the loose ball it was cleared by Joseph Marino. Balcatta went close in stoppage time, a free kick wasn’t dealt with and the ball found O’Connell at the back post, but his hooked shot was saved on the line by Perkins.
The Jacks doubled their lead eight minutes into the second half. Higgins’ corner picked out the unmarked Hodgson, who headed home from close-range for his eighth goal of the season. The introduction of Bayley Brown-Montgomery almost had an immediate impact, after the striker raced down the right, sixty seconds after coming on, his inviting low cross found Hodgson, whose goalbound effort was deflected over the top.
Moments later Hodgson turned provider finding Higgins 18 meters from goal, his powerful shot was parried by the alert Stephenson. But there was little the Balcatta custodian could do on 70 minutes, when the Jacks made it 3-0. Brooks sent Brown-Montgomery down the right he got to the bye-line and crossed to Hodgson in the penalty area and the striker fired home with aplomb. Balcatta went in search of a consolation goal, but Perkins wasn’t to be beaten, saving low to deny Adam Zimarino, before former Jacks midfielder Henry Durr played Zimarino in again moments later, but Perkins stood tall to deny him.
ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Luke BODNAR, 4 Riley WARLAND, 5 Ryan LOWRY, 6 Sami RIAK (12 Cian HIRRELL 70’), 7 Danny HODGSON (14 Ben HINSHELWOOD 70’), 8 Tom HOUGH, 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Ethan BROOKS, 16 Shane CASSIDY (3 Ross MILLARD 46’), 17 Harry EVANS (9 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY 66’) - Subs not used: RGK Joe POLLARD
Balcatta: GK Riley STEPHENSON, 2 Joseph MARINO, 3 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 4 Calum O’CONNELL (7 Dylan LEONARD 72’), 6 Alex CASTIELLO, 10 Jon CORNESS, 11 Michael ZIMARINO (19 Nicholas BURMEJ 86’), 13 Anthony TOPINI (9 Oliver STULTZ 86’), 15 Jackson DONGRAY (12 Jonathan BOUHLAS 5’), 16 Adam ZIMARINO, 17 Henry DURR – Subs not used: RGK Jake ANGELOVSKI – Referee: Tom Glavovic
BAYSWATER MISS OUT ON GOAL DIFFERENCE
Bayswater City missed out on spot in the top six on goals scored, this after a 4-2 win against league leaders Floreat Athena at Frank Drago Reserve. Daryl Nicol gave the hosts the lead early, but Floreat’s Noah Shamaki levelled five minutes before the break. City did lead at the break with Gustavo Giron Marulanda on target, and he added a third on the hour. Floreat were reduced to ten men when Nelson Tshongo was sent off and it looked like Bayswater would jump onto sixth when Like Salmon added a fourth. But their hopes were dashed when Phil Arnold added a second for Floreat, the goal meaning they missed out of a top six spot by one goal. Then to make matters worse they had Ryan Pearson sent off late.
Not many gave Bayswater a chance before kick-off, but that wasn’t the case and they were on the front foot early, and ahead on eight minutes. Salmon was brought down on the edge of the penalty are by Tshongo, and his low free kick picked out Nicol at the back post to force the ball home. But the visitors levelled five minutes before half time. Liam Murray sent Dean Evans down the left, and the skippers’ inch perfect cross picked out the unmarked Shamaki to head home his sixth goal of the season. But in the third minute of stoppage time Bayswater regained the lead. Konstantinos Sparta raced down the right, his ball into the edge of the box wasn’t deal with by George Festa, the ball falling back to Sparta, who picked out Nicol, his shot was well saved by Jason Saldaris, but Marulanda was quickest to react to fire the ball home.
There was a buzz around the ground at the break as results elsewhere were going their way, and ten minutes in Floreat were reduced to ten men with Tshongo receiving a second yellow card from referee Shane Skinner for a tackle on Sparta and was sent off. Floreat went within inches off leveling on 62 minutes, Evans’ curling free kick flashed inches wide of Jackson Lee’s far post. But sixty seconds later it was the home who added a third. Nicol’s corner was prodded goal wards by Declan Hughes and Marulanda was on hand to fire home from close-range. The players knew, and the supporters knew another goal would see them jump into sixth with both Armadale and Inglewood losing, and on 70 minutes they found it. Marulanda won possession in the middle of the park and he found Sparta, who picked out Salmon on the edge of the box and he fired across Saldaris and into the net, much to the delight of the bench and the supporters.
The fans thought they were home, but eight minutes later Floreat added a second and that changed everything. A dink over the top from Andrew Palmer sent Arnold in on goal, and he finished clinically past Lee to make it 4-2. The home side threw everything at Floreat late looking for the vital fifth goal but the visitors defence stood tall and frustrated them, that frustration boiled over on 92 minutes when Pearson received a second yellow card and was sent off.
Bayswater City: GK Jackson LEE, 5 David STOKOE, 6 Todd HOWARTH (3 Jack ALLEN 6’), 7 Daryl NICOL, 8 Gordon SMITH, 9 Gustavo GIRON-MARULANDA (2 Dean KEZURER 90’), 11 Ryan PEARSON, 12 Steven HESKETH, 22 Luke SALMON, 27 Declan HUGHES, 28 Konstantinos SPARTA (15 Alex MCLEAN 83’) - Subs not used: RGK Hayden BROWNE, 17 Shaun MUKWEVHO
Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTALUCIA (20 Andrew PALMER 76’), 5 Nelson TSHONGO, 9 Noah SHAMAKI (32 Robert HARDING 76’), 10 Nick AMBROGIO (47 Luka NINKOVIC 64’), 11 Denis GALAN, 13 George FESTA, 14 Ludovic BOI (15 Chris SALADRIS 58’), 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Phil ARNOLD, 19 Liam MURRAY, (24 Elijah HAAS 82’), 36 Andrew MARANTA – Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS - Referee: Shane Skinner
GULLS GET THE POINT REQUIRED
Sorrento have made the top six of the NPLWA after a hard fought 1-1 draw with Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens. The Gulls were ahead early with top goalscorer Cameron Teece on target. But on the stroke of half time Perth, who had been knocked out of contention last week, levelled with Jordan Brown scoring into his own net. Both sides pressed for the winner after the break but they couldn’t find a way past keepers Ryan Montgomery and Joel Driscoll.
The Gulls needed a draw to make sure of a top six spot and they made a perfect start, hitting the front after only eight minutes. Referee Steven Gregory spotted a handball on Tom Southgate, and from Ollie Annis’ free kick to the back post, Teece slid in to fire home his 12th goal of the season, but questions must be said about the Perth defence’s marking. Sorrento looked for a second and they nearly found it when Teece’s hooked cross found the unmarked Alex Morgan, but with the goal at this mercy he headed over the top.
Perth weren’t going down without a fight and Daniel McKenzie headed over the top from Kieran Colwell’s cross, before Jackson Morgan saw his effort from long-range flash the wrong side of the upright. Sorrento keeper Joel Driscoll was in fine form and the former Farnborough FC custodian made a great save to deny Southgate, before a better one to deny Paul Zimarino’s free kick. But there wasn’t a lot he could have down when Perth levelled in the shadows of half time. Morgan sent Yagoub Mustafa down the right and he burst into the box his low cross was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Brown.
With results elsewhere in their favour Sorrento were in the box seat, but both sides were going for it, and both had good chances early in the second half. First the lively Mustafa was denied by the alert Driscoll, before Perth keeper Ryan Montgomery produced a smart save to thwart Teece’s effort. There were chances late, but neither could take them and in the end they each settled for a point.
Perth SC: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 4 Thomas SOUTHGATE, 6 Nic MACDONALD, 8 Paul ZIMARINO (15 Sasa NJEGIC 69’),12 Daniel MACKENZIE, 14 Jawad REZAI (7 Aleks JOVIC 64’), 16 Kieran COLWELL, 18 Jackson MORGAN, 19 Bojan RADINOVIC, 20 Jayden GORMAN (10 Michael DOMFEH 86’), 22 Yagoub MUSTAFA - Subs not used: 2 Alex SILLA, 23 Benjamin RATAJCZAK
Sorrento: GK Joel DRISCOLL, 3 Jakob PRAJZA, 4 Shaun KILKELLY, 6 Clark KELTIE, 7 Alex MORGAN, 8 Tristan STEVENS (11 Tim HILL 78’), 9 Cameron TEECE, 10 Ollie ANNIS (21 Daniel FAICHNEY 86’), 15 Ryan MCLAUGHLIN, 16 Scott WITSCHGE, 18 Jordan BROWN – Subs not used: RGK Matthew GIUDICATTI, 25 Amir AJAN, 28 Julliano JOANNIDES - Referee: Steven Gregory
GLORY END INGLEWOOD’S TOP SIX CHANCES
Perth Glory ended the first part of the NPLWA with a 2-1 win against Inglewood United at Hartfield Park to snap a four-game losing streak, and in doing so ended the visitors top six chances. The hosts were ahead early with skipper Giordano Colli converting from the spot, and it looked like they had sewn up the points twenty minutes from time, with Bryce Bafford doubling their advantage. But Inglewood found a lifeline four minutes from time with Alessandro Circati turning the ball into his own net, but they couldn’t find an equaliser and missed out by one point.
The hosts made the best possible start and were ahead after only three minutes. Colli sent Joseph Forde down the right, his cross was handled by United skipper Scott Blackmore, and referee Julian Serra had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Colli stepped and sent Alex Dunn the wrong way with the resulting penalty to give the youngsters the lead. Inglewood, who went into this one without striker Chris Jackson, hit back and went close to the equaliser on 12 minutes. Alex Ishida-Livings playing striker Robert Petkov in on goal, but Glory custodian Sam Reilly stood tall to deny him. Glory had the chance to grab their lead back just before half time, but Inglewood keeper Dunn produced a smart save to deny Charlie Leech, who was picked out by the impressive Bafford.
Like all the teams in the mix for a top six spot, Inglewood knew results around the grounds weren’t going in their favour, and they went close early in the second half, but Steve Sokol fired wide when well placed. But it was Glory who found a second with twenty minutes remaining. Second half substitute Chris Donnell won the ball in midfield, and slipped an inch-perfect through ball for the pacey Bafford to run onto, he rounded the keeper and rolled the ball into the net for his seventh goal of the season.
Inglewood needed goals, and quick, and they did pull one back with five minutes remaining after a long clearance caused miscommunication between Reilly and Circati, which led to the defender nodding past his own goalkeeper and into the net. The visitors pressed late for the equaliser and almost found one, but Petkov’s effort was well saved by Reilly, and it was Glory holding on for their fourth win of the season.
Perth Glory: GK Sam REILLY, 2 Mason TATAFU, 5 Alessandro CIRCATI, 6 Aiki TSUKAMOTO, 7 Joseph FORDE, 8 Lewis TUCKER (14 Chris DONNELL 66’), 9 Bryce BAFFORD, 10 Giordano COLLI, 11 Charlie LEECH (16 Aiden EDWARDS 80’), 17 Nick WALSH (13 Albert FULLARD 56’), 18 Aiden COYNE – Subs not used: RGK Kade WHITE, 22 Hristijan JANKULOSKI
Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 4 Scott BLACKMORE, 5 Thiak KUEL, 6 Adam FALCONE (15 William NICHOLSON 74’), 10 Anthony BAFOBUSHA, 13 Jordan ALLEN-RANA (11 Abdul SESAY 51’), 14 Steve SOKOL, 16 Jamie MURPHY, 19 Brodie LANGAN, 23 Rob PETKOV - Subs not used: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 7 Lal CUNG, 12 Chad SAMUELS – Referee: Julian Serra
STYNES BACK WITH A HAT-TRICK FOR GWELUP
Gwelup Croatia warmed up for the next phase of the NPLWA, thrashing Rockingham City 7-2 at Wishart Street. Taki Nicolaidis’ side had already qualified for the top six but Jon Stynes helped himself to a hat trick on his return from injury, with other goals to Sean McManus, Ndumba Makeche Owen Goodlife and Sam Mitchinson. Rockingham’s goals came from Dylan Rogers and Declan Collins, but the loss confirmed City would finish the first phase of the season bottom of the table.
It was a tight opening with both sides having half chances, but it was hosts were ahead on the half hour. A poor clearance was pounced on by Jon Stynes, and he drove forward before finding the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the box. They added a second on 35 minutes, Daniel Stynes’ cross to the back post found his brother whose glancing header went in via the post.
The floodgates opened after the break, and it was 3-0 six minutes in. Harry Bolan was caught possession by Makeche, whose low cross was turned home by McManus at the back post. It was 4-0 two minutes later, Daniel Stynes finding his brother again, who finished past Nestus Burger at his near post to complete his hat-trick. It was five on the hour, Daniel Stynes was the provider again, this time finding Makeche who fired home.
To Rockingham’s credit they never gave in and pulled one back on 66 minutes, Dylan Rogers sneaking in at the back post and volleying past Aidan Holloway. But it was 6-1 on 76 minutes, Daniel Stynes finding Owen Goodlife, whose neat shot on the turn opened his account for the season. It was 7-1 three minutes later, Adam Field’s picking out the run of Mitchinson at the back post, who finished well. Rockingham added a second late, Collins finding the top corner from long-range but it was too little too late.
Gwelup Croatia: GK Aidan HOLLOWAY (RGK Luke TARTEGLIA 78’), 2 Ciaran SALINGER, 3 Adam FIELDS, 5 Blair GOVAN (13 Rocco PIZZATA 46’), 6 Declan HARGREAVES (23 Kian MCGUIGAN 46’), 8 Jon STYNES, 10 Daniel STYNES, 11 Ndumba MAKECHE (39 Owen GOODLIFFE 68’), 14 Shubham MOKALA (4 Andrew SCALDAFERRO 50’), 20 Sam MITCHINSON, 77 Sean MCMANUS, 66’) - Subs not used: Nil
Rockingham City: GK Nestus BURGER, 2 Michael FARMER, 3 Harry BOLAN, 4 Nathan NG (11 Joseph MOSS 67’), 5 Alan CHRISTIE, 8 Dylan ROGERS, 9 Alex GRAYSON, 10 Luke COLLINS, 12 Harvey HANCOCK (27 Evan LUDGATE 50’), 13 Declan COLLINS 14 Ryan KENNEDY (6 Blake SOKOLOWSKI 86’) - Subs not used: RGK Brad STOUT – Referee: Josh Mannella
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND ELEVEN – REVIEW
The top six in the State League Division One has been confirmed, and in our ‘Match of the Week’ Olympic Kingsway secured their spot after a convincing 5-0 win against Quinns at Gumblossom Park. “We came into the game with several key players missing from our starting 11, and we have had a bit of an injury run of late but in turn it has allowed players who otherwise haven’t featured regularly in the first team to earn their spot and prove why they should remain in the team come this next phase of the competition,” Olympic skipper Luke Palmateer explained. “We knew Quinns were going to compete and give us a really tough game at their home ground but we were able to capitalise on the fast break with our speed in behind from the likes of Ajak Riak, Keylun Pollard and Asher Nelson. For us at Kingsway this win gives us a great platform to push on from and hopefully cement some form off the back of a rather up and down season.”
The visitors were ahead on 15 minutes, a hard-low cross across the face of goal by Ajak Riak found Keylun Pollard who scored at the far post. It was 2-0 four minutes later Quinns failed to clear their lines and Paul McCormack scored. It was 3-0 five minutes later, Antoine Levy firing into the roof of the net after being picked out by a cross. It was 4-0 before the break, a great run and cross from Asher Nelson, found Riak who scored his eighth goal of the season. Pollard finished the rout ten minutes from time, racing clear one-on-one with James Bosdet, before finish low to seal a comprehensive win. “I thought we played really well collectively as a team,” Pollard said. “Plus, communication was key which helped us perform how we did throughout the game and finished our chances when presented to us.”
Western Knights finished top of the table after a 3-0 win against Joondalup United at Nash Field. Despite the loss United also took their spot in the top six as results elsewhere went their way. The hosts hit the front in first half stoppage time, Callum Roberts made space out wide and he cut the ball back to Paul Lloyd who made no mistake from 10-meters. Joondalup were chasing the game and pushing men forward, and they conceded a second on 76 minutes. Dean Hurley had only been on the pitch for 30 seconds, but his shot on the run beat Alfie Brincat. Hurley added his second and the Knights third on 88 minutes, Andrija Jukic played him in on goal and he finished low past Brincat. “Our structure was tight and we kept looking to create chances,” Knights coach Ivan Zuvela said. “It was a really good performance by us and we go into next week’s game with a lot of confidence.”
All the other sides who made the top six finished the first phase with defeats. Forrestfield finished third, but were beaten 2-1 by Swan United at Francis Street. The hosts were ahead on the quarter hour mark, after a goalmouth scramble in the box, the ball found Brendan Knox who headed the ball over keeper Christian Vicencio. It was 2-0 on 34 minutes, James Shamim played a diagonal ball to Knox, who flicked it on to John Monterosso who rounded the keeper and rolled the ball into an empty net. Forrestfield were back in the game early in the second half after Nick Tatasciore’s cross was deflected into his own net by Steven Shore. Forrestfield pushed for the equaliser but they couldn’t find it. “It was a great win for us against a really good Forrestfield side,” Monterosso said. “Hopefully this can give us some form going into the next part if the season.”
Fremantle City finished fourth, but we’re beaten 2-0 by UWA Nedlands in the local derby at the UWA Sports Park. It was an evenly poised first half with both sides creating few chances in the opening stages. Bryce Conway’s first-time strike was well saved by Todd Hoyle, before Georgios Papathanassiou shot from Conway’s cross crashed off the woodwork. But two minutes from half time the home side opened the scoring, Sam Kent pouncing on a defensive mistake to slot home from close range. UWA took control after the break, creating a number of chances, that they failed to convert. But that all changed three minutes from time when they added a third. Sam Moffat beating his marker on the edge of the area and coolly finishing in the bottom corner. “It was a thoroughly deserved win against one of the top four sides. We’ve been riddled with injuries and have been playing some really positive football, so it was really pleasing to finally get some reward for our efforts,” Conway explained. “I’m over the moon for the boys stepping up from the reserves making their mark as well, both our goal scorers have made the step up seamlessly, credit to them.”
Mandurah finished fifth but were stunned 4-2 by an improving Ashfield at Securitas Protect Stadium. The hosts were ahead on nine minutes, Daniel Robinson was given far too much room on the edge of the box, and fired low past Jake Lumpkin. But Ashfield managed to respond within minutes, a cross to the back post found the unmarked Samim Fattahi who finished neatly. Mandurah regained the lead on the half hour, Robinson curling home from the edge of the box. Ashfield levelled on the hour, Evans Maranga curling home a free kick. Then ten minutes from time Ashfield hit the front, Sakou Abdoucadri Sylla was sent clear and he finished clinically past Ellis Roberts. Ashfield wrapped up the points four minutes later, after some neat build up play ended with Fattahi, his first shot was saved by Roberts, but the striker was quickest to react to fire home the rebound. “The boys showed amazing character and fight to come from 2-1 down against a strong team and crowd to win 4-2,” Lumpkin said. “I thought we fully deserved it once again as we outworked the opposition and were relentless right until the final whistle.”
In the final game Stirling Lions good form continued after a 3-0 win against Subiaco at Rosalie Park, but it wasn’t enough to make the top six. The Lions were ahead on 25 minutes, a through ball from Dejan Spaseski sent Alex Taneski in on goal and he finished well. It was 2-0 eight minutes later. Gavin Knights’ corner was headed back across goal by Ryan Hogan and Taneski finished. They wrapped up the points just after the hour, Knights’ free kick found Lawrence Shuruma who headed home.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND ELEVEN – REVIEW
It was a dramatic end to the first phase of the State League Division Two and games on the final day sorted the top six positions out. In our ‘Match of the Week’ it was winner takes all, and it was Joondalup City who prevailed beating Canning City 3-2 at Burrendah Reserve. The win moved Joondalup up to fourth, while loss ended Canning’s top six hopes. The visitors were ahead on seven minutes, a long throw into the box caused a goalmouth scramble and Liam Peacock poked home from close-range. But Canning hit back sixty seconds later with Dylan White scoring. Joondalup regained the lead just before half time, Liam McGurk’s half volley from a tight angle went in via the crossbar. But Canning restored parity again just after half time, with White bagging his second. But it was Joondalup who went on to win it, when Peacock added his second from the spot. – “It was a tough fought win, was very close all game and every time we scored, they would level,” Joondalup’s Nick Koefler said. “We both battled very hard and we missed a few chances and that made it tough for us but towards the end we won a penalty and sealed the win from there.”
Canning coach Chris Finlayson was disappointed with the performance. “We went into the game well prepared and to be honest in the first half we didn’t look like we were interested, slow to first phase balls didn’t read the play at all just looked asleep Joondalup completely had the first half under control not through great play we just made it so easier for them if we had played a stronger side we would have been punished four or five goals,” he explained. “ In the second half, after a good spray at half time, we looked up for it scored earlier and pressed and pressed made subs early and those guys came on and gave us the impact we didn’t have in the first half and we couldn’t find the back of the net. It’s been the story of the season so far, then last 7 odd minutes we conceded a stupid foul in the box penalty to them and go out of the top six. We didn’t deserve to win but a draw would have been a fair result, now we have to channel that disappointment and re-focus on group B and we will be doing everything to make sure we finish off strong this season we still have everything to play for and we won’t be relaxing at all.”
League leaders Murdoch University Melville continued their good form heading into the finals, but they were made to work for a 1-0 win against Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. The only goal of the game came on 13 minutes, first team debutant Danny Everitt delivered a quality cross into the box to pick out Oriol Fernandez who headed home. The Home side throw everything at MUM late in the game, but two outstanding saves from keeper Joe Gan ensured they would leave with the points. “We knew going into this game that we had already secured top spot, and that Kelmscott were going to be in group two, so we used the occasion to rest some players who have been putting in solid performances and to promote some of the younger lads,” MUM Coach Danny Ciampini explained. “We had eight players in the squad 18 years of age or younger, including a 15-year-old, and to get the three points was an awesome effort, but to keep a clean sheet as well was quite extraordinary. It was important for us going into the business end of the season with momentum, and this victory broke the clubs all-time record with seven consecutive wins by the First Team. It’s a real shame that there is no reward for finishing top, and that we all now reset to zero. It would’ve been nice to go into this next phase with our four-point lead intact. Hopefully the teams who finished highest up the ladder are rewarded with three home games.”
DWE finished second after a great second half performance saw them beat Balga 6-0 at Dianella Reserve on Saturday evening. It was the visitors who dominated the first half and were unlucky not to take the lead, but Dianella keeper Ben Parry made some good saves. But four minutes from half time, and against the run of play Dianella opened the scoring. Milan Vulin picked up loose pass and put Asa Sippits through, and he lobbed Balga keeper Lance Alavakis. It was 2-0 moments later, Miki Vujacic’s free kick hit the post and fell to Chris Rizidis, who finished nicely. After the break Dianella got on top and added a third on the hour. Some neat build up play ended with Stephen Musonda, who fired home from just inside the box. Sippits added a fourth from the spot on 76 minutes, after he was brought down. It was 5-0 on 80 minutes, Sippits was the provider racing past a couple of Balga defenders before cutting the ball back to Vujacic to score. They added a sixth late, Michael Rizidis played Vujacic in on goal and he finished clinically. “All in all, we were poor first half, but we weathered the storm and came out and did the business in the second half,” Vujacic said. “Good bit of confidence for the boys before the top six starts.”
Carramar Shamrock Rovers finished third, after bouncing back from last week’s loss at Morley to beat Kingsley Westside 1-0 at Grandis Park and end the top six chances of the visitors. The only goal of the game came on 76 minutes, Pat Morrison corner was headed back across goal by Ger Fitzgerald and Warren Powell headed home from point blank range. “First half they dominated but couldn’t score, and out keeper (Daniel Holgate) made a few good saves, and with the strong wind in their favour we were happy to go in 0-0 at half time,” Fitzgerald said. “Second half we completely dominated and played very well and took our chance and scored. Very happy with the result and we deserved to win. Everyone played very well and it was a physical game, and we look forward to next week and the finals.”
Gosnells City finished fifth, as results elsewhere on Saturday meant their 1-1 draw against Curtin University on Friday evening at Edinburgh Oval was enough for them to qualify. “It was a good result for us advancing us into the top six,” Gosnells coach Marc Anthony said. “A draw was a fair result in the end, as Curtin were always a threat.” The visitors were ahead on the half hour, good build up play ended with Edward Wynne-Willson, who raced clear and chipped the advancing keeper. But Curtin levelled on the hour, Eddie Tikoft scoring from the penalty spot. “The second half changes produced an increased energy and we were able to get possession and the equaliser,” Curtin coach Tim Cash said. “A draw was probably a fair result in a competitive game as both teams went for the win. Credit to Gosnells for their endeavour and I wish them all the best in the finals.”
Wanneroo City’s poor form continued, but despite their 2-3 loss to Morley Windmills at Wanneroo Reserve, and their sixth game without a win, they still qualify in sixth spot. Morley were ahead on 18 minutes, Mark Donnelly was brought down by Oliver Rigler, and Scott Wrightson scored after a retake as the keeper moved off his line. It was 2-0 on the half hour, Wanneroo failed to clear a corner, and ball fell to Dion Berman who scored from close range. It was 3-0 just before half time, Berman received the ball, and raced past his marker, and finished with aplomb. Wanneroo found a lifeline just after half time with Jamie Burns scoring, and Burns found a second in stoppage time but it was too little too late. “It was another good result for the lads and the club,” Morley coach Jason van Rooy said. “I’d like to congratulate our keeper Luke Zimmer. He is our under 18’s keeper and came in as our first team and reserves keeper were both injured. He made a number of fantastic saves for such a young lad, and his performance was outstanding.”
CLUB IN PROFILE - KINGSWAY OLYMPIC SPORTS CLUB
Kingsway Olympic Sports Club was founded in 1953 as "Olympic Soccer Club" by Macedonian immigrants and their first year in senior football was in the old Division Three North in 1956, which they easily won. This was followed by a third place position in 1957 in the Second Division before they finished runners-up in 1958. This meant promotion to the top flight after only three seasons!
Olympic were now in the big league in 1959, and it proved a big success. The club almost won the state title, but had to settle for runners-up. Mike Ireson, Bev Allen and Bobby Varlow were some of their best players that season. In 1960, Olympic were founding members of the newly formed semi-professional league under the Soccer Federation of Western Australia. The club finished in fifth place in the new eight team league.
Over the next decade, Olympic were for the most part a mid-table team. They did make the Night Series final in 1962, but lost 2-1 to Azzurri and also made the top four in 1965. The club changed their name to "Olympic-Macedonia" in 1966, but reverted back to "Olympic" in 1970.
The 1970's started slowly for the club, apart from 1971, the club flirted with relegation through to the mid 1970's. The club also made the big move to develop their own facilities. For most of their history, they played at Memorial Park in Yokine and at the Velodrome. New facilities were being built at Kingsway Reserve, which became Olympic's new home in 1974. They became the first football club to build a new clubroom in Western Australia in thirty years. "Kingsway" was also added to the club name.
After finishing fifth in 1977, the club went on a signing spree. Under coach John Ward, an experience squad was assembled. The likes of Stephen Sceats, Keith and Neil Blunt, Willy McNally, Steve and Paul Tombides, Bill Murray and Steve Callaghan all came to the club. This lead to Olympic winning their first ever state championship in 1978. The team also won the Top Four Cup.
In 1979, the success continued. The Top Four Cup was won again, however Olympic had to settle for runners-up in the league to arch rivals Spearwood Dalmatinac. 1980 was to be the most successful year in Olympic's history. The season started off in great form, with the Night Series Trophy being won after a 2-0 win against Gosnells City. The team then went on to win the championship for the second time, and won the Top Four Cup for the third year in succession. All this success gave the club the nickname of "The Green Machine".
Olympic's form slightly dipped in 1981, but the green machine still finished as high as third. The next few seasons the club finished eighth, seventh and eighth again. 1985 started well, with the club making it to the Night Series final, but they lost 2-1 to Floreat Athena. The league season turned into a disaster, a shocking second half of the season put the club into the bottom two, this meant relegation for the first time in the club's history.
John O'Connell took over as coach for the 1986 season, and with many players deciding to stay at the club, Olympic went straight up at the first time of asking and won the league title. They also had a great cup run, and made it all the way to the final, but their dreams of holding the trophy up was dashed when Kelmscott scored two late goals to win 2-1.
The club was back in the top flight in 1987, and made an immediate impression by finishing fourth. The club again finished fourth in 1988 before ending up in sixth the following year. 1990 was a tough year for the team, Olympic finished last, but luckily there was to be no relegation that season. There was to be a big improvement in 1991, the green machine finished the regular season in third position. The top five play-offs decided who would be champions. However it wasn't to be, with the team losing both play-off games to finish the season fourth overall.
There was to be another form slump over the next few seasons, which ended in relegation after the 1994 season. However to their credit Olympic finished runners-up in Division One the following year to once again go straight back up. The club was back in the Premier League in 1996, but struggled. Over the next few years, Olympic flirted with relegation, and were lucky to stay up in 1997 due to Division One winner Southside United not being able to have the criteria needed to go up. In 1999, the glory years were well and truly over. The team finished bottom and were relegated.
The green machine were once again hoping for a quick return in 2000, but it wasn't to be. The next few seasons in Division One, Olympic found the going tough. In 2005, Football West took over the running of football in Western Australia. The decision was made to reduce the numbers in the league to twelve clubs. This meant the bottom three would be relegated to the amateur competition. Olympic were near the drop zone for most of the season. With one game to go, the team needed a win at Gosnells City to be assured of staying up. Leading 4-3 with only minutes to go, the nightmare happened as Gosnells equalised. With Ashfield winning, it meant the drop down to Sunday football.
The unthinkable had happened and in 2006 Olympic were now in the Amateur League Premier Division. It was a difficult first few seasons, with the club finishing thirteenth overall in the sixteen team league in both 2005, and 2006. The division would be reduced back to twelve teams for the 2008 season, this meant the bottom five of the overall table would go down. The club just avoided relegation to the Amateur First Division by one point.
An influx of new players arrived in 2008, and there was to be a big improvement with the club finishing in fifth. Olympic did win the Amateur Cup, beating Beldon in the final on penalties. This was followed by fourth spot in the league in 2009 and second in 2010 all under coach Steven Dimitrovich. Shamrock were amateur champions in 2010, and were expected to not take the offer of promotion. Under the new rules of the time, this meant Olympic as runners-up would have been offered the chance of going back to semi-professional football. However, Shamrock shocked everyone by accepting promotion and Olympic had to settle for another season in amateur football. Olympic once again made the cup final, but lost 2-1 to Whitford City.
Stuart Currie became the new coach in 2011, however Dimitrovich took over later in the season. The club finished sixth, in what would be the last year in the amateur competition. Football West announced that a new State League Second Division was to be formed in 2012. Olympic applied to be one of the new teams and were successful in their application.
In 2012, the Green Machine were back where they belonged. The club did not find it easy in their first season back in the semi-professional competition, finishing fifth in the new seven team league. Ian Cowan took over in 2013, before Ben Yates and Nathan Champan became co-coaches later in the season. It again wasn't an easy year, with Olympic finishing second from bottom. It was to be more mid-table finishes over the next few seasons, with Tom Kilkelly appointed at the helm in 2015.
A new committee was formed in 2017, with the ambition of getting the club back to the top flight of WA football. Graham Normanton who won many titles with Perth SC became the new coach. After a disappointing sixth placed in his first season, the club did not lose a game in 2018 and Olympic were Division Two champions and gained promotion.
In 2019, the green machine were back in Division One after an absence of fourteen years. Terry Nicolaou was appointed as the new coach in pre-season before Gary Williams took over. Olympic finished in a very credible fourth position. Over that season, the ground had a new $2.6 million facelift, with upgraded lighting to the training pitches, a brand new grandstand and new changeroom facilities.
In August of this season, the Premier announced a $4 million upgrade to improve the facilities further, which will make the ground one of the best in the state.
SEMI-PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE HONOURS (Using current divisional names)
Premier League winners - 1978, 1980
Premier League runners-up - 1979
First Division winners - 1986
First Division runners-up - 1995
Second Division winners - 2018
Cup runners-up - 1971, 1986, 1998
Premier League Top Four/Five Cup winners - 1978, 1979, 1980
Night Series winners - 1980
Night Series runners-up - 1962, 1971, 1985
Night Series Lower Division winners - 2000
Night Series Lower Division runners-up - 2020
ELIZABETH RE APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF THE HALL OF FAME
The Football Hall of Fame Western Australia is pleased to announce Elizabeth Re as the new President. Elizabeth, the daughter of former Soccer Federation of WA president Julius Re, is well known to the Western Australia football community as well as the City of Stirling, where she has been a Councillor since 2005.
"It is with great pride and pleasure that I accept the position of the President of the Football Hall of Fame Western Australia," Elizabeth said. "The Hall of Fame was founded 24 years ago by a passionate group of people, like my father Julius, to ensure the history of football in Western Australia was preserved, recorded and showcased."
"I am honoured to be joined on the Executive Committee by Penelope Hoath (Secretary) and Brett Klucznik (Treasurer). Each member of the team, who were all elected unopposed, share the passion to achieve our collective goal of highlighting the achievements of the rich array of players, referees, support and management staff that have put WA players on the world stage."
"I acknowledge and thank out-going President Louis Prospero, who has been an active and dedicated Hall of Fame committee member for the past 18 years. Louis contributed enormously to the Hall of Fame during this period and his achievements and legacy will forever be part of the Hall of Fames' DNA."
"Other members - namely Penelope Hoath, Mel Moffat, Alex Vagliviello, Richard Kreider, Brett Klucznik, Eddie Lennie, Keith Brier and Jack Garber - have worked tirelessly to make our transition to an Incorporated Body a success. This positions us well to obtain grants and funding towards our ultimate goal - a football museum."
"I also take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge our long-time and very supportive Patron Julian Burt for his continued commitment to the Hall of Fame. I look forward to working with the new Executive Committee, Mr Burt and the wider football community in support of our goal to preserve and showcase the rich history of Western Australian football."
Born in Mt Lawley, Elizabeth Re has worked for over 30 years for State and Local governments in sustainability, environmental and public health. She was made a Fellow of Environmental Health Australia for her services in the field of environmental public health and promotion of women in the workforce. Elizabeth is a member of the Australian Institutes of Company Directors and a former RAC board member of 12 years.
NPL-WA ROUND ELEVEN PREVIEW
It’s the final round of the first stage of the 2020 NPLWA season, with the top six sides splitting after, and they will play off for the title. Floreat Athena and Gwelup Croatia have already booked their placed, and six other sides will go into round 11 still with a chance to join them. (All games kick off at 3.00pm)
In our ’Match of the Week’ two sides who are still in the mix meet at Dalmatinac Park with Cockburn City hosting Armadale. The Cockerels only need a point to secure their spot, while the Reds need a win to make sure, so it should be a cracker. Armadale secured a huge three points against Perth Glory last week, and skipper Brian Patterson said it was a great performance especially with a number of players still missing with injury. “Really pleased with the results and the performance last week, and having five / six players missing the last four games has been tough,” the midfielder explained. “So, to get a convincing win against Glory has put us in control of our own fate this weekend, which is great.”
Patterson, who joined the Alfred Skeet Reserve club from Swan United this season, said Saturday is a massive game, and they know three points will see them in the top six. “This weekend’s game is going to be tough especially at their ground,” he said. “We know they’ve been on a good run, but I think we are all confident we can do the business and get in that top six.” Armadale coach John O’Reilly is hoping to get two or three players back from injury for the game.
Cockburn sit third, and a point will do for Scott Miller’s side, and keeper Luke Radonich said after back to back wins it’s set them up well to get in the top six. “Yes, it was a good win by the boys and back-to-back wins has given us a little buffer,” he said. “Last week we probably should have put a couple more away, but nonetheless 3-0 win away from home we can’t complain. We now roll into Armadale and have to keep our good run going.”
Radonich has pinned a tight Cockburn defence, which has only conceded nine goals, which is the equal best in the league, and he said games against Armadale are always tough, and with so much on the line on Saturday, it will be more of the same. “It will be another big game for us this weekend, and they are always tough games against Armadale,” he said. “We just have to keep our momentum going and stick to our style of play, and if we do, we will get the right result.”
In other games this weekend Gwelup Croatia host Rockingham City at Wishart Street, the only game without a bearing on the top six makes up, the rest do. and all teams in contention need wins to secure their place. ECU Joondalup need three points when they host Balcatta at the ECU Football Stadium, likewise Inglewood United who also need other results to go their way when they take on Perth Glory at Hartford Park, and Bayswater City, who host league leaders Floreat Athena at Frank Drago Reserve.
In the final game third placed Sorrento travel to Dorrien Gardens to take on Perth SC, a win will see them quality. The Gulls were beaten a Floreat last week, and striker Cameron Teece said they had a few players missing and they couldn’t get the job done, but he knows how important Saturday’s trip to Perth is. “We had a couple of our main players out last week, and we just weren’t good enough to beat them on the day with the team we had,” he explained. “We’re all ready for Saturday, it is a big game but with our team back to full strength I’m hoping we can get back to the form we were in before last week’s loss and take the three points and seal our place in the top six.”
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND ELEVEN – PREVIEW
With Western Knights already qualified for the top six, there is six other teams chasing a spot in State League Division One as we go into round 11. Our ‘Match of the Week’ features two of those teams as seventh placed Quinns entertain third placed Olympic Kingsway at Gumblossom Park. Both had disappointing results last week, Quinns losing 1-2 at Ashfield, while Olympic let a two-goal lead slip to draw at home to Subiaco, so three points on Saturday is vital.
Quinns assistant coach John Lavery said it was a disappointing result at Ashfield. “We were disappointed with last week’s result, especially after playing so well against Joondalup Utd,” he said. “I thought we started the game pretty well and we created a few chances early on, then the game was turned on its head when we had Greg Pellow sent off and Ashfield scored with the free kick. Once we went down to 10 men, we still dominated most of the possession but couldn’t score, Ashfield have a very young team and they worked really hard defensively especially their keeper who pulled off a string of great saves in the second half.”
Lavery said Saturday is a huge game for both sides and he hopes playing at Gumblossom can help them get the win required. “Yes, it’s an important game for both sides, but we will just approach it the way we do every other game,” he said. “We’re at Gumblossom, so hopefully home advantage can give us an edge to get the three points.”
Olympics’ Gyles Davies was on target last week, but he said the draw felt like a loss. “The result against Subiaco was a disappointing one considering we got ourselves up 2-0 within the first 15 minutes,” he explained. “Following our strong start, we were unable to further capitalise on our two early goals and put the game to bed before halftime as we missed a few promising chances late in the first half. A flat second half from us let Subiaco back in the game as they capitalised. Having said that, while our second half performance was underwhelming by our standards, we still created multiple chances which we should have finished.”
Davies said Quinns have performed well since promotion, and will be tough, but he is confident they can get the right result on Saturday. “The game this weekend will determine whether we are positioned in the top 6 or not. We expect Quinn’s to be very competitive and we will have to perform well in order to secure our top six position,” he said. “We have no shortage of goals within our team so we are confident that if we are able to remain defensively solid as a unit, we will leave Quinn’s with a positive result. Following a disappointing result against Subiaco, it was important for us to address the shortfalls from the game as a squad and then start to collectively prepare for the clash against Quinn’s which I am confident that we have done.”
In other games this weekend Forrestfield United need three points when they head to Francis Street to take on Swan United, likewise Fremantle City, who also need a win when they visit the UWA Sports Park in the local derby against UWA Nedlands, Subiaco host Stirling Lions at Rosalie Park, while Mandurah City, who also need a win to make the top six will know their fate before their Saturday evening kick off against Ashfield at Securitas Protect Stadium.
In the final game Joondalup United head to Nash Field also needing a win against the league leaders Western Knights to make it through. Nick Jennings’ side beat the inform Mandurah City last week to move into sixth, and midfielder Jay Lang said a win at the Knights is vital. “It was a good win against a decent Mandurah side last weekend. We knew as a group that we let ourselves down against Quinn’s the week before and we wanted to put that right and maintain our chances of a top six finish,” he explained.
“It’s a massive game on Saturday against the Knights. They’ve had a good season so far and will no doubt be looking to continue their good form heading into the split. But we’ll go there with one focus in mind and that’ll be to secure our top six spot.”
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND ELEVEN – PREVIEW
It is also tight at the top of State League Division Two table and seven teams will be looking to join MUM in the top six as they go into round 11. Our ‘Match of the Week’ sees two teams who are in the mix meet, as seventh placed Canning City host fifth placed Joondalup City at Burrendah Reserve. Both sides missed the opportunity to seal a spot last week, but failed to take it. Joondalup were beaten at home by Curtin, while Canning were healed to a draw at Balga.
Canning coach Chris Finlayson said their failed to capitalise on the chances they created. “Unfortunately, on the day we didn’t put the goals away against Balga, but we did create plenty of opportunities, it was just one of those days,” he explained. “The lads prepared really well the attitudes and the commitment was outstanding just in the end we couldn’t score, so overall the result was disappointing - we have dropped points at silly times this season we could have wrapped up the Top 6 some three weeks ago.”
Finlayson said they go into Saturday’s game confident they can get the right result, but knows it’s vital for both sides. “It is a big game for both sides, as you really want to be in group A with the other sides that play football so we will be giving it everything on Saturday,” he said. “The lads are fired up we know we have missed golden opportunities in the last month so it’s all on the line this Saturday if we get our game going, we will be fine. We have players back from injury and work commitments, so the bench is full of experience.”
Joondalup defender Nick Koefler said it was a disappointing result last week and it was their first home defeat of the season. “Yes, it was a disappointing game for us and our first loss at home this season, it was an off day from the boys,” he said. “But we still had enough chances to draw at least, I think we hit the bar three times in the second half so another day we might’ve won.”
Koefler, who joined the club from ECU Joondalup this season, said the players are ready for a massive game on Saturday. “It’s a huge game this weekend and we’re looking for nothing less than a win,” he said. “All the boys are up for it and we’ve been training well this week so hopefully we can secure the win and our top 6 position.”
In other games second placed Dianella White Eagles also need three points to secure a spot when they host Balga at Dianella Reserve at 5.00pm, likewise Gosnells City who take on Curtin University at Edinburgh Oval on Friday evening (7.45pm) Wanneroo City also need a win when they host the improving Morley Windmills at Wanneroo Reserve, but they will have to turn their poor form around, while in the final game league leaders MUM travel to Frye Park to take on Kelmscott Roos
In the final game third placed Carramar Shamrock Rovers host eighth placed Kingsley Westside at Grandis Park with both sides still on contention. Rovers need a win to secure a spot while Kingsley need a win and hope results elsewhere go their way. Skipper Jayden Drummond the loss against the Eagles summed up their last two games, but they are still in there fighting. “Dianella just reflects our last couple of games, dominating early and having chances to go two or three up, missed penalty, keeper making cracking saves, hitting the bar,” he explained
“It’s just not falling our way at the minute and that’s football, but credit to our lads we haven’t stopped playing. Carramar game is do or die for us we know what we need to do, three points and nothing less, we know what we are capable of so we just continue to push on hopefully the result will take care of itself.”
BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND TWELVE PREVIEW
It’s week 12 of the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division, and our ‘Match of the Round’ takes us Nikola Tesla Reserve, as league leaders North Perth United visit third placed Maddington White Eagles. (All games kick off at 3.00pm unless stated) United marched seven points clear after a 3-1 win at Jaguar last week, while City lost ground going down in a seven-goal thriller against Hamersley Rovers.
United’s Kelechi Osunwa said last week was a tough game but two late goals won it for them to keep them clear at the top of the table. “Jags away is always tough and getting the win from our second half performance in particular was very pleasing,” he said. “We kept our heads, kept our belief and really worked hard collectively for each other.
“It's the first time in a long time the club have got a result away at Jags and it proved handy with other results going our way. We had superb performances from old vets like Thierry Berard and Ago Mujic and young guys like Joel Jebaratnam and Lucas-Joel Munoz-Despierre really stepping up and proving to be the difference. It's one of those wins that can push a team on in the league.”
Maddington were the new kids on the block this season, but Osunwa said they have made great strides in the league and Sunday will be another tough test, but they are well prepared. “On Sunday we can’t be sloppy and slow, we remember last time we played each other we were down 3-0 after 20 minutes and with what's on the line this weekend we can’t afford to go down 3-0,” he explained.
“They have such a strong attack and their home support has been tremendous so it will be a hotly contested fixture. But we will be ready, we have a bunch of guys from the last league winning season who know how hard it is to win the league and know that its performances like last week and games like this week that will prove to be the difference and we look forward to the challenge.”
The loss against Hamersley was disappointing for City and Petar Mrdja said Rovers wtook their chances and they didn’t. “It was obviously to disappointing to lose against Hamersley and to fall further behind North Perth, who I think have the league wrapped up now,” he said.
“We made some errors in defence and were duly punished by the quick Hammersley strikers. We went into the game with a few injuries to key players and that didn’t help, but credit to Hamersley, they took their chances well.”
Mrdja is expecting another bumper crowd on Sunday with the league leaders in town, and he said they are looking forward to the challenge. “We look forward to the game, and it was a great game the last time we played and I think it will be the same on Sunday,” he said.
“North Perth are in great form and have been the most consistent team all year, and credit to my old mate Alex Carter for the way they have performed this season, they've had some great results. Hopefully we can stop them on Sunday but to do that we need a big improvement on last week's performance. I'm confident that we won’t play as bad as we did last week and that we can get a result over them.”
The round starts on Saturday evening with two games. First in Bunbury, South West Phoenix entertain Hamersley Rovers at WML Stadium at 6.00pm, while Quinns host Joondalup United at Gumblossom Park. 7.00pm. On Sunday Queens Park host Leeming Strikers at Coker Park, while UWA Nedlands welcome Jaguar to the UWA Sports Park. In the final game second placed Kwinana United make the trip to Butlers Reserve to take on Wembley Downs.
Kwinana scored two late goals to beat Queens Park last week, while Wembley were beaten 2-1 at UWA Nedlands, a game Coach Mike Ford would rather forget. “Yes, disappointed not to get something from last week but the old adage- if you don’t score goals you don’t win games,” he said. “UWA took their chances well - so we move on.”
Ford said Kwinana are one of the form teams of the league, and it’s going to be a challenge but homes his side bring the scoring boots on Sunday. “Kwinana are always tough opposition, who play well as a team,” he said. “Four us we’ve had four different strikers this year, who due to serious accidents and injuries have left us these last few weeks with a patched up forward line. But we’ve been desperately working on it for the last few weeks now at training and hopefully we can take advantage of any opportunities that come our way on Sunday, but we know it’s big challenge for the team.”
POPOVIC LEAVES GLORY FOR GREECE
Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic has left the club in order further his career in Europe. Popovic, who still had one more year remaining on his Glory contract, has left the A-League club to to take up a deal with Greek outfit Xanthi, who have been bought by Sydney Olympic president Bill Papas.
Popovic guided Glory to the Premiers Plate last season before falling to Sydney FC in the Grand Final on penalties. This season, Glory were bundled out by eventual premiers Sydney 2-0 in the semi-finals. Popovic won 30, drew 13 and lost 14 of his 57 games in charge of the Western Australian outfit.
"I’d just like to thank the players, staff, members and fans and everyone involved with the club, as well as the owner, Tony Sage, for giving me the opportunity," Popovic said. "I had a wonderful two years, winning the Premiers’ Plate being a fantastic highlight, along with playing in front of a sell-out crowd in the Grand Final and being a part of the club’s first foray into the AFC Champions League."
"Then in our second season, coming through a difficult COVID situation and being one game away from another Grand Final. I’ve really enjoyed my time in Perth, working with great people and living in the city. An opportunity has now come for me to pursue in Europe, but I’m very thankful to everyone for making my time in Perth so enjoyable. I wish the club all the very best and it is definitely in good hands."
"There are wonderful players in the squad and it’s been a great pleasure to watch them perform and grow both as players and as young men during my time there. The template has been set for Glory being a consistently successful club having challenged for honours in two consecutive seasons and I’m sure the players and staff can now build on that and maintain that consistency in years to come."
Glory owner Tony Sage said an out-clause in Popovic's contract has meant the 47-year old could depart the club with one year left on his contract. "There's no animosity, everything is fine between him and me," Sage said of Popovic's departure. "It's a fantastic opportunity for him. He's done fantastic for the club, he loves the club. But clauses in contracts ... just like players, I never stop anyone from going ... I wish him very well for the future."
GLORY SECURE NABBOUT AND AKTINSON
Perth Glory have signed Socceroos striker Andrew Nabbout and young Olyroos defender Nathaniel Atkinson on two-year deals. The pair take the Glory ssquad to 15 players as they build towards a possible Asian Champions League reboot and the 2020/21 A-League.
Nabbout, 27, scored 31 goals in 108 A-League appearances in two spells with Melbourne Victory and one with Newcastle Jets. He also played for Malaysian side Negeri Sembilan and Urawa Red Diamonds in Japan between his spells in the A-League.
21-year old Atkinson is regarded as one of the brightest young defenders in Australia. He has already made 57 A-League appearances for Melbourne City while gaining representative honours for the nation at under-20 and 23 levels.
“A host of clubs in Australia in overseas were vying to sign them,” said Glory football director Jacob Burns, who was thrilled to secure the signatures of Nabbout and Atkinson. “It is a testament to what we have built in recent times that they have opted to come to us and be a part of our future.”
“Nabbout is a proven goalscorer with World Cup experience whose pace and power excites fans. He brings a strong mentality and work ethic. Atkinson is a similarly exciting and explosive talent who can operate equally effectively on either side of the defence.”
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This page was last updated on the 20th August, 2020