Perth Glory's Walter Scott is hoping to help them to their first win against ECU Joondalup on Saturday (Photo courtesy of Fotoenzo)

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22.6.2018

SPIRANOVIC JOINS HIGH-PROFILE GLORY SIGNINGS

New Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic continues to add depth to his new-look backline with the signing of former Socceroos defender Matthew Spiranovic. Defence was a much-needed focus for Popovic after Glory leaked 50 goals last season, the second worst record in the A-League.

Spiranovic, who has signed a one-year deal, is the third defender signed by Popovic since his arrival. The 29-year old centre-back joins fellow defenders Tomislav Mrcela, formerly of South Korean club Jeonnam Dragons, and Ivan Franjic, who has represented Australia on 20 occasions.

Spiranovic has 35 Socceroos appearances to his name, the most recent of which was Australia’s 2-0 loss to Japan last August. He was member of the 2015 Asian Cup winning side under Ange Postecoglou and started in the 2-1 final win over South Korea.

"I'm really happy to have signed with Perth Glory, it's great to be back in Australia playing football," Spiranovic said. "It's fair to say Popovic has had a big influence on my decision to come to the club, he's a fantastic coach with a winning mentality."

A product of the Australian Institute of Sport, Spiranovic played four seasons with Bundesliga side FC Nurnberg from 2007. He has since played for Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan), Al Arabi (Qatar), Western Sydney Wanderers (Australia) and Hangzhou Greentown (Japan).

22.6.2018

SAINSBURY: WE SHOWED TRUE AUSSIE SPIRIT

Trent Sainsbury says his side showed “Aussie spirit” in their 1-1 World Cup draw with Denmark in Samara tonight. The Socceroos are ranked 36th in the world and took it to the Danes, ranked 12th, in the second match of group C.

Australia now turn their attentions to Peru in Sochi next week when the Socceroos need to win to reach the knockout stages. Sainsbury is aware of the flair Peru possess, but has taken confidence out of their games against France and Denmark.

“Out there on the pitch, we showed that true Aussie spirit, we won’t go down without trying,” Sainsbury said post-match. “Not many people gave us a chance going into this World Cup, but the belief amongst the group has always been strong.”

“We know our qualities, we’ve been together for a long time. The ability that the boys have, everyone knows it and we just need to get that little bit of luck going our way. I’m disappointed we didn’t draw to France and I’m disappointed we didn’t beat Denmark, but we’ll take the point and move on.”

Sainsbury also heaped praise on the traveling Australian fans for their support in Russia 2018. “The Peruvian fans are amazing and it’d be nice to see our fans against theirs,” he said. “It’s been pretty crazy, it makes you proud to be an Aussie, at the end, also seeing the sea of gold, it was nice.”

21.6.2018

SOCCEROOS STAY ALIVE WITH GUTSY DRAW AGAINST DENMARK

The dream is alive, and the Socceroos still have the chance to make history. A 1-1 draw with Denmark means Australia must defeat Peru on Tuesday night to have hope of advancing from their group, after a thrilling and inspired display in Samara.

A goal behind to Christian Eriksen early on, the Australians galvanised against a side ranked 24 places above them. Victory would have been entirely deserved after Bert van Marwijk’s side carved out a series of second half chances. But in the end they could only register Mile Jedinak’s second penalty in successive games.

After all the optimism generated by the calibre of performance against France, it was desperately disappointing to concede to an Eriksen half-volley in just the 6th minute. Denmark then found their rhythm and moved the ball around with flair.

The Socceroos, though, have character in abundance and on 38 minutes Jedinak levelled proceedings from the penalty spot. Referee Antonio Lahoz initially missed Mathew Leckie’s header being blocked by the arm of Yussuf Poulsen, but the Video Assisted Referee didn’t.

Eriksen drove a low free-kick across the face of goal and hit Trent Sainsbury, who was saved from conceding an own goal by Matt Ryan’s goalline save. The tempo increased for the closing stages as van Marwijk’s side began to take control.

Leckie’s drive across goal was hacked clear by Andreas Christense, Aaron Mooy grazed the crossbar and Rogic then Leckie tested Schmeichel with further shots. Substitute Daniel Arzani dancing around Pione Sisto and firing a cross-shot that couldn’t find an Australian boot. Like the end result, it was so near and yet so far

21.6.2018

NPL-WA ROUND EIGHTEEN PREVIEW

It's week 18 of the NPL-WA and this week 'Match of the Round' takes us to the ECU Football Stadium where ECU Joondalup host the inform Perth Glory. Both sides are coming off big wins last week, the Glory made it seven games unbeaten with a 6-1 win against Forrestfield United, while ECU got back in the winner’s circle after two straight defeats, with a 4-2 win at Cockburn City. The last time these two sides met at the venue a late goal from Glory striker Joe Knowles gave them 1-1 draw. Shane Pickering turned home Sam Pollard’s free kick early for the home side, and it looked like that would be enough for Dale McCulloch’s side, but Knowles had the last word firing home to share the spoils.

Many people have been waiting for the Glory youngsters to slip up, but this season they are playing well and finding the consistency that has been missing in other seasons. Defender Walter Scott, who made his A-League debut for the club last season, has been a rock at the back and he said last week’s win was a good team performance. "Last week was a great result against a really strong team,” he said. “We were unhappy we couldn’t keep a clean sheet, but very satisfied with the performance.” Scott, whose hard running, both in defence and attack, is one of many Glory players who have impressed this season, and Scott said Head coach John Gibson deserves a great deal of credit for the work he has put into the program. "We are really pleased to have started to find consistency with our performances and results,” he said. “We owe Gibbo a great deal, he sacrifices so much for us, and has taught copious amounts about football. It has been a long process as you said and it’s good to see it paying off.” A trip to ECU is never ease, and the Glory have never won at the Campus, and Scott said they will be doing all they can to change that on Saturday. "ECU are a very strong side, who on their day can beat anyone,” he explained. “It will be a great test this weekend, we want the three points. All the boys are very excited and prepared for an extremely competitive fixture.”

ECU's big win last week saw them move to within five points of a top four finals spot, and Scottish striker Gordon Smith, who missed the game due to suspension, said they went to Cockburn with a game plan and get it spot on. "It was a massive win against Cockburn, who have been flying this season,” he said. “We were the better team from start to finish and managed to take our chances, which we have failed to do in previous games when on top.” Smith said an unsettled side has hurt ECU this season, but they are now getting the squad fit and competition for places is intense. "With boys coming back from injury’s we are close to full strength which can hopefully lead to a good run of results and push us up the league,” he said. “We put a marker down last week and it’s up to us to maintain it now.” Smith is well aware the talent the Glory have in their squad, but he said the Jacks are determined to keep their push up the table in motion and are looking for the three points on Saturday. "Glory will be a tough game, they have a lot of exciting young players who can hurt you given the space and time,” he explained. “But we are looking to get back to back wins and push on and will be doing everything we can to make that happen.”

Inglewood United produced a tremendous performance last week to beat league leaders Bayswater City and this week they host Armadale at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium. With Kenny Keogh back in the dugout Inglewood showed they are not to be forgotten in the title race, and they will need all their fighting spirit against an Armadale side are on the up. The Reds have reached the State League Cup Final and moved up to seventh after a big win against Stirling Lions, and midfielder Ali Gholami said it was a great win especially after conceded an early goal. "We fell behind early, but credit to the boys, we never gave up and showed our character by coming from behind to win the game,” he said. “It was also a nice way to bounce back from our loss to Perth the week before.” The former Perth Glory and Cockburn midfielder said Saturday is a huge test against a side who are on a five game unbeaten run, but they will go with a game plan and look for a positive result. "We are aware of Inglewood’s quality, however we just focus on ourselves, and we go into every game looking for a positive result,” he said. “In our last game we came away with a point at home, considering we lost a man early in the second half to a red card. But we take each game as it comes, but it should be an interesting match.”

League leaders Bayswater City return home this week when they host third placed Cockburn City at Frank Drago Reserve. Cockburn were surprisingly beaten last week by ECU, but they were missing experienced trio Euen Grant, Ruben Tristao and Anthony Skorich, all are expected to return on Saturday. Bayswater's seven game winning streak came to an end last week at Inglewood, and central defender David Stokoe said the game could have gone either way, and they did have their chances. "I thought the game was quite close, we both had chances but some days it’s just doesn’t go your way,” he said. “I thought we started well, but in the end Inglewood deserved the win.” Cockburn beat Bayswater in the first meeting this season, but Stokoe said the squad is stronger now, and the players are all determined to bounce back this week and get the three points. "Cockburn are always really hard to play against. I’ve played under Scott (Miller) before and know how well drilled his teams are and how they are especially hard to break down,” he explained. “It’s a great game to have after a defeat as you have to play your best to get any kind of result against them and hopefully we can reach those levels again after last week.”

Perth are moving in the right direction after a mid-season slump, and this week they travel to Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco. Ian McMurray's side are coming off two vital wins against ECU and Joondalup United, and they are hard to beat this season, and the Scotsman will be hoping to one over one of his former clubs. Perth head into this game after a hard fought win at Floreat Athena last week, the three points kept them in fourth spot, only seven points behind the leaders. The return of WA State keeper Francis Soale to the starting line-up has been a huge catalyst in the resurgence of Perth's fortunes, and he said last week wasn't their best performance, but they fought it out and got the rewards. "It did turn into a bit of a dog fight last weekend,” he said. “But it in the end we probably wanted it a bit more and deservedly came away with the win and a clean sheet which is all that matters to us moving into this stage of the season.” Soale said Subiaco have showed this season they are hard to beat, and he knows Saturday will be another huge test. "Subiaco have had a few decent results of late which is nice for them,” he said. “From our perspective we’re improving with each game since our little mid-season dip. We’re just about back to having a full complement of players, trainings lifted a gear, and we’ll be ready to come out swinging on Saturday.”

Sorrento moved back in to the winners-circle last week with a hard fought home win against Balcatta, and this week they travel to Macedonia Park to take on Stirling Lions. Keegan Ashley's side have slipped off the pace in recent weeks and were well beaten at Armadale last week, a loss which saw them slip to eighth on the table. Cameron Teece's goal last week was a huge lift for the Gulls and Coach Jamie Harnwell said it was a well-deserved win and much needed win. "Last week was a very important victory for the club. Again we had some good chances but didn't take them and I thought we would get punished for that after giving away a penalty,” he explained. “But credit to James Morgan though, he made a great save to keep it 0-0 and Cameron Teece showed the goal scoring instincts he possesses by nodding in such a valuable goal.” Harnwell said they haven't had the luck this season, but it's no excuse, and after last week’s win they need to start to get on a good run of results starting Saturday against a good Lions side. "We've certainly not had the rub of the green on a number of occasions but I'm also a big believer that if you continue to do things well and professionally the luck will take care of itself,” he said. “We know that Stirling will be hurting after last week's game and be desperate to make amends so we will have to be up for the game again and match their work rate and aggression in the first instance.”

Balcatta need to start to get results if they are not to get left behind at the foot of the table, and this week they host Forrestfield United at Grindleford Reserve. The loss at Sorrento dropped Goran Stajic's side to second bottom of the table, but they are only four points off Saturday's opponents so it's a vital game for them. Forrestfield are coming off a heavy loss at Glory last week, which ended a good run of form, and new central defender Jamie Street said it was just one of those days. "It was a disappointing result overall, losing is never nice but 6-1 was hard to take,” he said. “Glory are flying and turning teams over but we were within a chance of getting a result, we did well for 41 minutes but conceding two goals just before half time made it hard even with the early goal we scored in the second half.” Street, who has returned to WA after playing a number of seasons in the UK, said Saturday is a big game for both sides, but he is confident they can get the job done. "It’s a huge game on Saturday against Balcatta, we are full of confidence, each game is huge at the minute with the table being so tight and everyone fighting to stay in the league,” the defender said. “We’ve been doing things right recently and hopefully we can prove that the defeat on the weekend was just a little hiccup. We’re taking it week game by game.”

In the final game bottom of the table Joondalup United host Floreat Athena at Percy Doyle Reserve. Both these sides are coming of defeats last week, Floreat were beaten at home by Perth, while Joondalup let a lead slip to lose at Subiaco. Keeper James Bosdet thought they dominated for large periods of the game and said they deserved something from the game, but errors cost them. "I feel like a broken record. We didn’t deserve to lose the game, we played really well in parts but again come away with no points,” he said. “The ref didn’t help again and has killed us with the penalty call at 2-1, but we are used to decisions going against us being a smaller club.” Bosdet said over the past month they have been in every game for long periods, but their profligacy in front of goal has cost them, but he knows if they put in a 90 plus minute performance they can get the points on Saturday. "We always think we can win most games, and apart from two games this season we have been in every game until mistakes have cost us,” the keeper explained. “We will see what happens this week, hopefully the boys can put in another good performance and we can get a fair referee.”

21.6.2018

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND ELEVEN – PREVIEW

It's week ten of the State League Division One and this week’s Football.net 'Match of the Round' takes us to Wishart Street for the Croatian derby as Gwelup Croatia host Western Knights. The Knights are coming off the bye, while Gwelup were beaten at Morley Windmills, and suffering back-to-back defeats. For the Knights the bye probably came at the right time, a good run of form ended with defeat at UWA, but they bounced back with a tough 2-1 win against Morley the following week. Defender Graham Tough said it was a good to have the week off and get ready for some big games coming up. “The bye came at a time where we had a few lads with knocks so it meant they had a bit of time to recover,” he said. “But after a good hard fought win against Morley you want to get back out there straight away and keep the ball rolling.” The Knights struggled earlier in the season, losing the opening two games but Tough said they are now starting to hit their straps. “Every game from now on in is a cup final if we want to win the league. We are under no illusions that this league is a tough league with four points separating the top six,” he said. “Everyone can beat anyone in the league which makes it interesting for the neutral and makes every point gained that more valuable.” Tough said they are all looking forward to the Derby, and he said should be a great game and a big crowd on hand to watch. “Saturday’s game is huge, for the players, the fans, the committee and the volunteers,” he said. “It's the games that you want to play in as a player and I dare say there will be a feisty atmosphere on Saturday with so much on the line for both teams. We will be more than ready and up for this derby match and we are confident as a team to come away with the points.”

After the euphoria of reaching the last 32 of the FFA Cup, Gwelup have struggled, and last week’s loss at Morley was disappointing especially after taking the lead, and defender Cameron Yorke said they had chances to win it. “We go out to win every game and so to come away with nothing was very disappointing,” he said. “We felt overall we did enough to win the game, so we now we need to move on and focus on the game this weekend, and make sure we come away with the 3 points.” It's been a huge month for Gwelup in league and cup, securing a spot in the Belt-Up State League Cup against Armadale, and Yorke said it's huge for everyone involved at the club. "We've had a fantastic start to the season, and before the game against Rockingham we were undefeated in all competitions,” he said. “That's been down to the work ethic and determination of the whole group and so we are looking to go on another run like that for the second half of the season. We're all stoked to have made the final and it can't come soon enough for us.” Yorke said they need to get back to winning ways in the league, and he knows Saturday is a huge game for both clubs but a win is huge for Gwelup. "It is a big game and there's probably a bit more pressure on us given the last couple of results haven't gone our way,” the defender said. “We have the quality and experience to beat anyone on our day so we just need to go out there and do our jobs, and the result will take care of itself. Everyone is up for it and we want to finish the first half of the season with a win.’

Rockingham City lost a chance to close the game on leaders Gwelup after a 1-1 draw at home to the Phoenix. This week they travel to Hilton Reserve to take on fourth placed Fremantle City. Both sides are level on points, and Fremantle are coming off a 2-1 win at Dianella last week, so this one should be a cracker. Rockingham’s Jason Pottier said it was really disappointing especially after the win at Gwelup the week before. “It was really disappointing not to come out with all three points last Saturday, we definitely had the chances to win the game in the first half but we didn’t play anywhere near our best,” he said. “It was hard to take especially after showing how well we can play in the Gwelup game.” Pottier is expecting another tough encounter at Fremantle on Saturday, and he said it’s tight at the table of the table with only four points separating the top six. “It’s another huge game for the club this weekend against Fremantle,” he said. “I know a few boys there and I think they have the quality to be up there this season, but I know if we play anywhere near our best I know we have enough to get the win. So it’s definitely a game we want to win if we want to win the league this year.”

In other games Mandurah City and Dianella White Eagles meet at Securitas Protect Stadium, with both side looking to bounce back defeats last week. Morley Windmills will be on a high after beating Gwelup last week, take on UWA Nedlands at the UWA Sports Park. UWA will be determined to bounce back after their loss against Ashfield at the same venue last week. In the final game Ashfield host Joondalup City at the Ashfield Arena. Ashfield are coming off an impressive 2-0 win at UWA, while Joondalup edged out Mandurah 3-2. Joondalup winger Jonny Hulme said it was good to get to winning ways after their first win since round three. “It was a great win for the team we left it late but managed to get the three points which was really important,” he said. “We’ve been playing well and we’re just getting unlucky with the results but I’m sure we can start getting some more wins.” Hulme said Saturday is a tough test against a good Ashfield side but he said new coach Peter Dearlove and the players are looking forward to the challenge. “We’re all really looking forward to the game this week coming off the back of the win last week we’ve got a confidence boost so it will be a challenge,” he said. “But we’re going to be looking to get something out of this game we’ve got some quality players and I think we can pull it off.” – South West Phoenix have the bye

21.6.2018

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND ELEVEN – PREVIEW

The Round ten State league Division Two Footballwa.net ‘Match of the Week’ takes us to Walter Padbury Reserve where Gosnells City entertain Quinns. Both sides are coming off completely different results, Quinns thrashed Canning City, while Gosnells were beaten 1-3 at Curtin University. Quinn’s striker Craig Tooley said the win last week against Canning was good, especially after their loss against Wanneroo. “It’s always good to bounce back after a defeat,” he said. “We were disappointed after the loss against Wanneroo, so to win and get a few goals on the scoresheet as well was pleasing.” Tooley said Gosnells will be up for Saturday’s game especially with a new coach in charge. “We know ourselves how much a new coach can influence a squad,” he said. “We saw what happened when we got a new manager and it gives everyone a lift, so we won’t be taking anything for granted when we travel down to Gosnells this weekend.”

Gosnells new signing Chris Holland said it good to be back home and looking forward to helping them up the table. “I’ve always been a Gosnells fan and couldn’t believe they went down last season, so as soon as the opportunity came to sign it was a no brainer,” he said. “I’ll do my best to ensure we stay up this season and push for promotion next year. The time was right to leave Fremantle after a small injury I found myself dropping down the pecking order and with Gosnells struggling for a striker the fit was perfect.” Holland made his debut last week in the loss at Curtin and was on the scoreboard, but he said they should have taken something from the game. “Yes it really was a game of two halves we completely dominated the first half, after my goal I don’t remember Curtin having one decent shot or our keeper having anything to do,” he said.

“There goal was a defensive error, but fair play to Curtin second half they were the better team and came out with purpose and deserved the win, we are still gelling together after a few new additions mid-season.” This week’s game is another big test for Brad Rushton’s side, with Quinns in good form, but Holland said they have worked hard this week on the track and are looking forward to the game. “Quinns are going to be well organised and physical, we know that, though they are the ones traveling to Gosnells which is a hard place to take points as we showed against Swan two weeks ago,” he said. “We have our game plan set up and we want nothing but a win from Saturday and I’m confident we can get that with hard work and the great support we have down at Gosnells.”

League leaders Olympic Kingsway head back home this week when they host Curtin University at Kingsway Reserve. Curtin University won 3-1 at home to Gosnells City, while Danny

Hodgson’s goal gave Olympic a 1-0 win in the top of the table clash at Swan. The striker said it was a hard fought win. “It was a great win, and puts us a few points clear at the top but it’s one game at a time,” he said. “I think we deserved the win, and we’re the only team unbeaten in league now so every team is going to want to be the first team to beat us. Swan was a hard place to get the points but again we showed character and got the job done.” Hodgson said the players are looking forward to get back home this week. “The boys are up for the game, we know every team is going to come to try win and not hold back,” he said. “We’ve been training really well over the last few weeks and the win on the weekend has made a good environment around the club. Back on our home pitch this week so I’m confident we’ll play some nice football and get the three points.”

In other games Murdoch University host Swan United at Murdoch University. MUM are coming off a 2-0 win at Kelmscott last week, while Swan were beaten for the first time this season by Kingsway. Wanneroo make the trip to Harold Rossiter Reserve to take on Shamrock Rovers looking to maintain their push at the top of the table. They beat Balga last week and sit only two points from Kingsway, while Shamrock are coming off the bye. In the final game Kelmscott Roos host Balga at Frye Park. Balga were beaten by Wanneroo, while Kelmscott were edged out by MUM, and Kelmscott coach Aron Beattie said they deserved something from the game. “The loss last week is hard to take but in a good way, we lost the game but deserved something from it with the way the lads performed the passing and movement of the ball was fantastic we just couldn’t put our chances away,” he said. “Melville did with their two penalties, but I do have to say that it was a great game to be a part of both sides played really entertaining football and I knew the crowd really enjoyed themselves.” Beattie said they are looking forward to the game on Saturday against a good Balga side. “I’m looking forward to this week’s match against another top quality team in Balga, just as much as the players,” he explained. “For me I’m looking for consistency from my boys, from week to week we are up and down and you can’t do that in this league and I know Balga will be just as hungry for the three points after a loss last week and they are knocking on the door of the top four so we have to be at our very best to get anything out of the game.” – Canning City have the bye this week.

21.6.2018

BELT UP AMATEUR CUP - ROUND THREE – PREVIEW

It's round three of the Belt-Up Amateur Cup on Sunday and the Footballwa.net 'Match of the Round' takes us to the Cracovia Sporting Complex, where second round giant killers Cracovia White Eagles from Division Two host Division One league leaders Joondalup United. Joondalup reached Sunday's game after a 4-0 win against Bassendean Caledonians and Coach Ben Williams said despite the scoreline it was a tight game. “I thought Bassendean were very organised and physical side,” he said. “They made us work hard for our win and our fitness showed in the end.” Williams side sit top of the league, but he said Division One this season is very competitive, and the top of league is tight. "This year there are some very good sides Stirling are great, very good organized team, we beat them in added time in a game that was very evenly matched,” he explained. “Quinns seem to be doing very well and we were beaten away by them great striker and young fit team full of running, while Gosnells, who we play next round, have also done very well almost going under the radar early on. The league is going to be very close and could be won on the head to head games between the top sides which are six pointers the way the table looks.”

The coach is expecting another tough encounter against Cracovia, but hopes they can make the last eight. “Cracovia are in good form this year coming of big win against North Beach, and they seem to score a lot of goals, and I have seen the forward Jacob Wemyss has 19 goals already this year so we will need to pay him attention,” Williams said. “We have often struggled at Cracovia’s ground over last few seasons winning only once in three tries so I'm sure we will have to be at our best Sunday and get back to winning ways after a lack luster performance last weekend which we struggled to get out of third gear and were made pay by Perth Royals taking nothing away from Royals who definitely deserved a share of the points. I’m looking forward to the cup game and hope both our First and Reserves can progress to the last eight.”

Cracovia stunned cup holders Kwinana United in the last round and top goalscorer Jacob Wemyss said it gave the club a huge boost. "Beating Kwinana was a huge confidence boost for the team,” he said. “We had them chasing most of the game so it was good for us to know that we can play and win against higher division teams.” They currently sit seventh in Division Two and are coming off a big win against league leaders North Perth last week, and Wemyss said it was a good performance. "After having our game the week before North Beach called off for bad weather I think all the boys were pretty pumped to get back on the pitch and feeling fresh,” Wemyss said. “Putting six past the side top of the table is good, but more importantly we were able to keep them to just the only one goal which has been our main struggles lately.” Wemyss said they haven't had much success against Joondalup in the past but he hopes to change that on Sunday. "They (Joondalup) has always been a bit of bogey team of ours,” he said. “They’re a quality side and it shows on the league ladder but the boys are confident we’ll be able to follow up our win against Kwinana and get through to the next round.”

Premier League leaders Leeming Strikers hit the road in round three when they travel to Kingfisher Park to take on Division One side Ballajura. Ballajura beat Yanchep United in the last round while David Palin's side edged out Stirling Lions. The Coach said it's a cup tie and anything can happen. "It’s always tough when you play teams outside your own league, so it’s important we approach the game in the right manner and I’m sure the players will do that Sunday,” Palin said. “There’s nothing better than a night cup game and that’s what awaits the winner so it should be a good game.” Another Premier League side to take on lower opposition is Kingsley, who travel to Kingsway Reserve to take on Olympic Kingsway on Saturday afternoon (5pm) Olympic beat Premier League side Ellenbrook United in last round, while Kingsley thrashed South Perth United and Coach Steven Dimitrovich said this game is going to be a tough one. “This game is another test for us against Kingsway because as we all know cup games can throw up strange results and if we aren’t mentally prepared and go in with the wrong attitude then we could be in for a long night,” he explained. “I’m pretty sure Sam and Jason will have Kingsway fired up for this game and prepared well. Will be a little bit of a strange one for us going to Kingsway with no less than nine of us going back to a club that we all once played for at some time during our careers but sentiment will have no bearing on the way we prepare and go about our business on Saturday night."

In other games there are two all Premier League ties, when Jaguars FC host Belmont villa at Herb Graham Recreation Centre, while Wembley Downs make the trip to Watsons Reserve to take on Southern Spirit. Division Four side Woodvale host Division Three side Westnam United at Timberlane Park, while Division One side Stirling Panthers entertain Division Two side Perth Hills United at Yulma Reserve. In the final game Premier League Hamersley Rovers travel to the Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium to take on Division Three side East Perth. Rovers' David Morris said they have played East Perth before and are expecting another tight game. “Having played them several years in either the cup or pre-season games, we know what to expect,” he said. “Especially down at Hamersley, as we faced them in the semifinal of the night series a couple of years back at the same venue. It was your typical Irish side - physical, hard battle with them pushing right to the end. We went down by the odd goal, right at the death and will be expecting the same kind of game this time around. No excuses on that great big pitch with a lovely surface for playing football on the deck. Here's hoping we can come out the right side of the result and continue our cup run to the pointy end.”

20.6.2018

NEVILLE RELISHING CHALLENGE AS GLORY RETURN TO TRAINING

The squad is back together on the training pitch as Tony Popovic's reign as Head Coach of Perth Glory begins. With a number of quality new signings, including Socceroos defender Ivan Franjic, towering centre-back Tomislav Mrcela and experienced striker Brendon Santalab, there is a real buzz around the club as they commenced pre-season training on Monday.

Defender Scott Neville is one player in particular who can't wait for the season ahead. "It's great to be back out there, it's been a long off-season," he said. "It's a really exciting time to be at the club, so it's great to get going on the training pitch. We had a real positive meeting as a group beforehand explaining what we're all going to be about this season with all the coaches before getting into some passing and running."

Neville, who played under Popovic during his time with Western Sydney between 2015 and 2017, is delighted to be reunited with the Asian Champions League winning coach again. "Popovic brings a winning attitude, he emphasised the standards we need to set for ourselves from day one and outlined what we need to achieve this season," Neville commented.

"It was great working with him at the Wanderers and I was really excited to hear he'd signed on at Glory. I know the boys can't wait to learn as much as they can from him and achieve success in the upcoming campaign, but we need to put in the hard yards in pre-season first of all." Popovic's first game in charge of Glory is against English Premier League side Chelsea on 23rd July at Optus Stadium.

19.6.2018

SAINSBURY LOOKS TO WORLD CUP TO BOOST CAREER PROGRESSION

Socceroos captain-in-waiting Trent Sainsbury is hoping a strong World Cup could secure a permanent move to a bigger club in a strong European league. That, however, is secondary to the task in hand – beating Denmark on Thursday to secure the win that would give the Socceroos a good chance of making it through to the round of 16.

The West Australia centre-back was excellent in the team's unlucky 2-1 loss to France in Saturday's opening game of the 2018 World Cup. And he is hopeful his efforts have caught the eye of scouts from the major European leagues. "My aim coming here was playing a good tournament," Sainsbury said.

"I missed out on the last one four years ago (through injury) and I had some catching up to do. My ultimate goal was to come here, play a good tournament and get out of the group stage with this team and that's still the goal now. Whatever comes of it, so be it – but it's a nice place to put yourself out there in the shop window."

Sainsbury is under contract to Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning. But he is currently on loan to Swiss side Grasshoppers, having previously spent time on loan in Italy with Serie A giants Inter Milan. More than anything he would like to go to a strong, competitive club, put down roots and really build his footballing future.

At 26 Sainsbury is the perfect age to establish himself for the second half of his career. "I think that's the idea now – to go to a club that's winning more games than losing, get settled and stay there for as long as possible" he said. "If I can stay at one club for the rest of my career I would be very happy to do that."

19.6.2018

SANTALAB REUNITES WITH POPOVIC AT GLORY

Veteran striker Brendon Santalab has reunited with coach Tony Popovic at Perth Glory. The highly experienced front man inked a one-year deal with the West Australian club after turning down an administrative role with Western Sydney Wanderers.

The 35-year old enjoyed success at Western Sydney working under Popovic before the coach left for an ill-fated stint in Turkey. Santalab follows a five-year spell with the Red and Black where he scored 34 times in 94 A-League appearances.

“I’m very excited to join Perth Glory Football club,” Santalab said. “The opportunity to work under Tony Popovic again was an opportunity too good to miss. I’m looking forward to joining a team with so many fantastic players and meeting the clubs fans.”

Santalab began his career in the National Soccer League with Paramatta Power in 2000 and enjoyed time with Sydney United before a 2003 move to Singaporean heavyweights Geylang United, where he netted 23 goals in 22 games.

Santalab returned to Sydney United before spending three years in Europe with Oostende, Sint-Truiden and Újpest FC (loan) in the Belgian top flight. A season with Sydney FC preceded his move to China where he played for Chengdu Blades and Chongqing Lifan.

Popovic bought Santalab to Western Sydney, where he played a vital role in the side’s 2014 Asian Champions League title. He also received the club’s Player of the Year award for an outstanding 2016/17 campaign and is Western Sydney’s current all-time top-scorer.

Santalab is Glory's third signing off the A-League off-season after defensive pair Ivan Franjic and Tomislav Mrcela. Local fans will get to see the new-look Glory in action for the first time against English Premier League side Chelsea on 23rd July at Optus Stadium.

18.6.2018

SAINSBURY NO FAN OF VAR BUT “WE MOVE ON”

Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury admits he’s not a fan of the Video Assistant Referee, but feels it’s time to move on from the controversial penalty in their 2-1 loss to France. The VAR has become a big talking point at this World Cup as history was made in the Socceroos’ loss to France when the VAR intervened and adjudged Josh Risdon had fouled Antoine Griezmann in the box.

Fans and pundits have questioned the technology on social media, believing there are grey areas in the system as it has failed to review certain incidents. In Argentina’s 1-1 draw to Iceland, the VAR did not review Birkir Saevarsson’s penalty area challenge on Cristian Pavon. Sainsbury took to Twitter last year to express his feelings on the VAR and his views have not changed.

“I’ve never been a fan of the VAR, I’ve made that clear from day one,” Sainsbury said. “I’m a purist when it comes to football but at the same time, if that’s the way it’s going to go from now on, then so be it. I can’t change it. I’m not the one sitting up in the box. You just need to roll with it I guess.”

Despite being against the VAR, Sainsbury found some sympathy for the officials. “Football can be a game of seconds or millimetres and referees have got the hardest job in the world,” he said. “I’m not really against giving them a bit of help, but when decisions go for you, you’re happy and when decisions go against you, you’re unhappy. It is what it is and we move on.”

17.6.2018

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION, ROUND TEN – REVIEW

Belt up Sunday Amateur Premier Division leaders North Perth United continued their good form after a come-from-behind 4-2 win against Jaguar at Woodville Reserve. Jaguar took the lead in on 26 minute through Michael Wantee, who made North Perth pay after they failed to clear their lines following a free kick. But the home side levelled 10 minutes later, when Jaguar keeper Makuei Mapooth could only parry a shot straight into the path of Patrick Montgomery who blasted the ball home. Jags regained the lead ten minutes into the second half, Geroge Duka raced clear of the offside trap from a great through ball from skipper Juma Wade and finished clinically past Jamie Serra. But their lead lasted only two minutes, Edin Nalic was brought down in the box and Ago Mujic converted from the penalty spot. North Perth were well on top and their pressure was rewarded 12 minutes from time, when Mujic slotted home a second penalty.

It went from bad to worse for the Jags when Akuei Guot was sent off and substitute Emmon Kelly wrapped up the points in stoppage time when he raced clear to score. “What a game, it pretty much had everything in there with both teams at it 100 miles an hour,” North Perth coach Alex Carter said. “I said to the boys at half-time that it’s a flip of a coin which way this game goes and as long as we keep our discipline and keep our shape that we’ve been practicing at training, we’ll put things in our favour, but credit to Jaguar, they’re a good little outfit. “The thing for us as well is we sort of set ourselves a goal because we’ve got next week off because we’re not in the cup and we sort of said to ourselves that we don’t want to go having our gut stirring for two weeks with the wrongs of today.”

Leeming Strikers maintained the pressure on the leaders after a hard fought 3-2 win against Kwinana United at John Connell Reserve. The home side led 2-0 at the break, with player/coach David Palin scoring a brace of penalties. It was 3-0 early in the second half, the Kwinana keeper could only parry a long-range shot and Palin was quickest to react rounding the keeper and rolling the ball into an empty net. But Kwinana weren’t done and they were back in the game on 65 minutes, when Alex Jones volleyed home from the edge of the box. Then ten minutes from time it was 3-2, Lee Bates was sent clear and he finished well past the on-coming keeper. Kwinana pressed late looking for the equaliser but couldn’t find one. “The first 20 minutes was a real slog from both sides, it was good to see our pressure finally pay off with a couple of goals,” Palin said. “Even with an early goal in the second half Kwinana aren’t a side to just throw in the towel and they made a real game of it after that. They are far from a bottom three side so to get the win today was a really good outcome and keeps us moving in the right direction.”

Kingsley bounced back from two defeats to record a big 5-1 win against Belmont Villa at Gerry Archer Sports Complex. The visitors opened the scoring on 11 minutes, Sean Johnson played Jayden Drummond in and he finished well. Belmont levelled not long after, but Kingsley regained the lead five minutes before half time. Kingsley keeper Paul Rainford caught a corner and his quick long kick sent Drummond clear and he lobbed the on-coming keeper. It was 4-1 after the break, Josh Waldock finishing well. Drummond completed his hat-trick with the fifth, firing home from the spot. “It was pleasing to get a result on the board after the last two weeks,” Drummond said. “Now we need to push on and get some consistency back on the pitch and hope we continue that on Saturday night in the cup against Kingsway.”

The round begun on Friday night when Ellenbrook United edged out Wembley Downs 1-0 at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub. The only goal of the game came from Matt Clarke, when he intercepted a pass and finished well. “Very happy with the result on Friday night. We had a game plan which the lads followed to perfection,” Ellenbrook Coach Paul Vallerius said. “Apart from a fantastic save from the Wembley keeper I thought the first half was pretty even, and second half we changed things as planned and managed to nick a goal early. It was then really backs to the wall defending for rest of the game. So after receiving a footballing lesson at home last season, the lads didn’t need much motivation and were quietly confident they could get something from the game. I’m really chuffed for them as they have been working extremely hard recently and I know this was a very important three points for them.”

Hamersley Rovers are back in the winners' circle after a 2-0 win against Subiaco at Carine Open Space. The home side opened the scoring from a corner whipped in to front post by Ricky Andrews, which was met on the run by Mike Howard with a deft glancing header into the net at the far post. They thought they had a second, when Howard raced clear on a counter attack and his perfect cross picked out David Morris, who out jumped the keeper and his marker to head into the corner of the net, but the linesman flag was up for offside. But with five minutes remaining Rovers caught Subiaco on the break again, as they pushed players forward trying to equalise, and Shaun Gibbons put Morris through and he was brought down in the box. Morris picked himself up to score from the resulting penalty to seal the points. “All in all, we had majority of the ball but first half our final ball was lacking - after the break, we opened them up more and added a bit more quality to our passing,” Morris said. “Whilst we made hard work of it, they never looked like scoring but kept plugging away with a few decent players in their side. We lost our captain and central defender before kickoff, then stand in captain and temporary central defender to a hamstring after 20 minutes, and lost another defender with an ankle on the half hour - so all thing's considered, we'll take the three points and move on.” In the final games UWA Nedlands had a hard fought 3-2 win against Southern Spirt at the UWA Sports Park. A brace from Nico Bahamondes and another from Orjan Strand won it for UWA.

17.6.2018

RISDON SLAMS COSTLY VAR PENALTY

The Socceroos are crying foul over a controversial Video Assistant Referee decision that awarded France a contentious penalty in their opening World Cup match in Russia. France were gifted the spot-kick in the second half of their 2-1 win over Australia when Antoine Griezmann was ruled to be fouled by Josh Risdon.

While replays showed clear contact from Risdon on his opponent, questions lingered over the defender touched the ball first, with footage inconclusive. Risdon was adamant he got to the ball before bringing down Griezmann with his trailing leg, suggesting the officials were wrong to award France the crucial spot kick that gave them the lead.

"I thought I got the first touch on the ball," Risdon said. "It might have been a little touch but I definitely felt like I clipped the ball (and) I think he hits my trailing leg running into the box. When the referee didn't give it initially I honestly thought the decision would not be overturned because it wasn't a clear-cut wrong decision."

"My understanding is that obviously if it's a clear-cut wrong decision then it can get overturned but I felt like I definitely got the ball so therefore I don’t think it was a clear-cut wrong decision. I don't know ... it seems to be a bit of a grey area. At the end of the day you can't do much about it."

17.6.2018

INGLEWOOD STUN LEAGUE LEADERS

Inglewood United have maintain their good form after a hard fought 1-0 win against NPL-WA leaders Bayswater City at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium. Jason Barrera scored the only goal of the day on the half hour, and despite City pressing late they couldn't find the equaliser. “Great strike with the help of a deflection and a little bit of luck when we needed one,” Inglewood Coach Andy Keogh said. “It (the win) was thoroughly deserved. They gave us a little bit of pressure but we were by far the better team and we could have won by a lot more.”

Inglewood had Head Coach Keogh back in the dugout for this one but it was the visitors who went close early. Gian Albano overhead kick that flashed wide of the upright. The hosts’ first chance came via a free kick which Ellis Healing put just over the crossbar. Inglewood custodian Alex Dunn was alert moments later, quickly off his line to smother at the feet of lively Luka Ninkovic. English midfielder Healing was in the thick of the action, and after evading several challenges on his way inside the box, his shot was well saved by Devon Spence. The home side broke the deadlock just after the half hour when Barrera’s deflected shot from 17-metres snuck under the bar, following good lead up play from Kenny Keogh and Healing.

The end-to-end football continued into the second half, however, some solid defending at both ends of the park meant genuine chances on goal came at a premium. Albano got free of his marker before releasing a fierce low strike which was brilliantly saved by Dunn. With Bayswater pushing men forward looking for the equaliser Brian Farrell should have sealed the win on 89 minutes, but he blazed high from close-range after being found unmarked by Brian Woodall. The game was deep in stoppage time when Bayswater’s misery was made complete, last defender Brent Griffiths sent off for hauling down Ashley Rosindale.

Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 3 David CYRUS, 7 Kenny KEOGH (10 Ash ROSINDALE 76’), 8 Jason BARRERA, 9 Alex SALMON (12 Feisal ZAW 90+4’), 11 Ellis HEALING (4 Scott BLACKMORE 87’), 15 Brian FARRELL, 16 Jamie MURPHY, 19 Connor BECSI, 23 Brian WOODALL – Subs not used: 6 Miki VUJACIC

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 4 Arran MAPLESTONE (18 Brent GRIFFITHS 86’), 5 Adam HARRIS, 8 Paul MCCARTHY (23 Andrija JUKIC 75’), 11Ryan PEARSON, 12 David STOKOE, 13 Trent KAY, 17 Gian ALBANO, 19 Luka NINKOVIC (10 Jason MIRCO 62’), 26 Paul LLOYD, 30 Moses KALAU - Subs not used: RGK Dejan ALEKSIC, 15 Jordan POKLER - Red cards: Griffiths 90+4 - Referee: Adam Fielding

16.6.2018

ZIMARINO SENDS PERTH HOME WITH THE POINTS

Perth SC have made it three straight wins and moved to within two points of third place Cockburn City in the NPL-WA, after a 1-0 win against Floreat Athena in Round 17 at E&D Litis Stadium, The only goal of the game came from Paul Zimarino two minutes before half-time, and despite the home side pressing late they couldn’t find the equaliser, to end their four game unbeaten streak and leave them just a point above the bottom three.

“The win was a big one for us, Floreat came in with some good form and we knew it would be tough, it’s another three points for us and we’re just focusing on the three points each week,” Matt Milenkovic said. “The teams around us we have no control over, but as long as we keep putting in performances like yesterday then it will put us up there at the end of the season.”

It was a tight first half and clear cut chances were few and far between, and Jason Saldaris and Francis Soale had little to do. The best chance early fell to Dean Evans, but his volley flashed wide. But in the shadows of half time the visitors hit the front. Some good lead up play ended with a ball into the box, and Floreat defence failed to deal with and Zimarino made no mistake to send Perth into the break with the lead.

Both sides pressed after the break, Evans tried his luck again from the edge of the box, but again it failed to hit the target. Perth sat back and hit on the counter attack, but on the occasions they did get behind the Floreat back four Saldaris denied them. Floreat throw everything at Perth late on, and some desperate defending from Perth, and poor decisions in the front third let them down and it was Perth celebrating the City of Vincent derby victory.

“It was a brilliant performance from the side today, as this isn’t an easy place to come too and get a result, as we’ve found out this season, so it’s nice to go home with three points today,” Perth Coach Ramon Falzon said. “We’ve spoken as a group about getting consecutive wins and performances, and with other teams around us dropping points, we’re just focused on taking it game by game and hopefully more teams will drop points tomorrow between.”

Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTA LUCIA, 6 Jesse FULLER, 10 Calvin WHITNEY, 11 Dennis GALAN, 12 Ahadi ABANDELWA, 14 Ludovic BOI, 15 Chris SALADRIS, 16 Ryan MALTON, 17 Dean EVANS (C), 18 Phil ARNOLD – Subs: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 4 Andrew SCALDAFERRO, 8 Jon STYNES, 13 Hamza HINA, 21 Keylun POLLARD

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE (C), 3 Andreas THEODOSIAIDES, 5 Niccolo SABATINI, 6 Harley ORR, 7 Aleks JOVIC, 11 Matthew MILENKOVIC, 12 Jordan DE LEO, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 18 Richard HOWLES, 20 Paul ZIMARINO – Subs: RGK Adrian SINADRA, 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO, 17 14 Kristan SANTICH, 17 Frank FUFARO, 19 George FESTA – Referee Michal Jasinski

16.6.2018

NICOL LEADS JACKS BACK TO WINNERS CIRCLE

ECU Joondalup have got back to winning ways after a 4-2 win against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park on Saturday afternoon. Daryl Nicol was the hero in this one bagging a hat-trick to move him to 13 for the season. Steven McGarry had put ECU 3-0 early in the second half, but Cockburn hit back with Ryan Pratt and a Daniel Robinson penalty making it game on, but Nicol had the final say. “It’s great to be back in the winners’ circle, three defeats in a row is never nice, so we needed a win to get back on track and we did,” Nicol said. “We let them back in the game and they got their tails up, and at 3-2 it was a nervy, but we went back up the pitch and added a fourth, which was a real boost and it settled us down and we were able to see the game out rather comfortably.”

The visitors dominated early, and Nicol’s header was superbly saved by Luke Radonich, before Andy Higgins’ in-swinging corner was cleared off the line by a combination of Radonich and Jesse Lazzaro. ECU defender Kieron Stallard almost came back to haunt his former club on the quarter hour, after Cockburn failed to deal with a Higgins free kick, but the defenders shot from six meters flashed inches wide. But the visitors’ dominance was rewarded with the lead on 35 minutes. Cian Hirrell raced down the right and his low cross was missed by everyone, and the unmarked Nicol tapped home into an empty net. But two minutes into stoppage time ECU doubled their advantage. Great work in the middle of the park by Lukas De Lima ended with a through ball into the path of Nicol, who held off Daniel Santich and finished clinically past Radonich.

It was 3-0 six minutes into the second half, McGarry won possession on the right and cut inside his marker and fired low across Radonich and it went in via the far post. That goal seemed to wake Cockburn up and Luccas Mello’s cross was superbly cleared by Shane Cassidy, with Robinson ready pounce. But from the resulting corner they reduced the margin. ECU failed to deal with the ball into the box and Pratt fired home from six meters. Cockburn were back in the game, with skipper Cameron Edwards leading the comeback, and on 65 minutes they won a penalty.

O’Brien was sent clear but he was brought down in the box by Stallard and referee David Bruce pointed straight to the spot. Robinson stepped up and converted the resulting penalty, despite Johnny Perkins getting a hand to it. But all their hard work to get back into the game was undone sixty seconds later when ECU added a fourth. Great work on the right by second half substitute Tommy Amphlett, saw him drift past his marker and his cross picked out Nicol at the back post to score and complete his hat-trick.

Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 7 Luccas MELLO, 8 Cameron EDWARDS, 9 Julian TELES, 10 David ARAYA (21 Samuel GARCES 69’), 11 Harry O’BRIEN, 12 Ryan PRATT, 13 Blake ADAMS (20 Harry COLLINS 75’), 15 Daniel SANTICH, 16 Daniel ROBINSON, 17 Jesse LAZZARO (18 Adam ANFUSO 65’) - Subs not used: RGK Ryan BARKER

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Cian HIRRELL, 3 Ross MILLARD, 4 Steven MCGARRY, 5 Shane CASSIDY, 6 Kieron STALLARD, 7 Cameron MURRAY, 8 Lukas DE LIMA (13 Tommy AMPHLETT 58’), 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Brad MCDONALD, 11 Andy HIGGINS - Subs not used: RGK Jack NUNN, 12 Ryan MCDARBY, 15 Adam TONG, 16 Sam POLLARD - Referee: David Bruce

16.6.2018

GULLS WIN VITAL THREE POINTS

Sorrento broke their six-game winless streak after a hard fought 1-0 win against Balcatta at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday afternoon. Second half substitute Cameron Teece won it for Jamie Harnwell’s side on 78 minute secured all three points for the Gulls, heading home. “It was an ugly game and one that reflected why both teams are where they are on the ladder. However for us at the moment it’s not about pretty football, it’s about getting points and securing our stay in the top flight of WA football,” Sorrento’s Reece Vittiglia said. “A great penalty save from Nookie gave us confidence to go on and get something from the game. Hopefully we can use this as a spring board for the remaining games and start climbing the ladder.”

It was a vital game for both sides and it was a cagey opening and both struggled to create clear cut chances. The home side did have the first real chance when Jack Salter got on the end of a corner but Balcatta keeper Kyle McDonald made a good save to deny him. Balcatta went close themselves moments later, a quick counter attack but Asher Nelson shot was saved James Morgan.

Both sides were on the front foot early in the second half, and Balcatta had the perfect opportunity to take the lead when Alex Wild’s shot hit the arm of Steve McDonald and referee Michael Divers pointed to the spot. Hayden Stevens stepped up to take the penalty but his effort was saved by James Morgan. Sorrento went close moments later, with Vittiglia going through on goal, but his shot flashed wide of the target. But it was Sorrento who found the breakthrough, when a ball into the box bounced over the goalkeeper and was headed home by Teece to seal the win.

“You look at the table and we’re at the wrong end of it, this gets us a little bit closer to the rest of the teams and hopefully gives us a bit of confidence moving forward,” Harnwell said. “You can see the relief in the change room, when you’re on a bad run you don’t know when the next win is going to come, but we have got that now. So it’s on to Stirling next week and we need to believe we can go on a good run of games and get ourselves safe.”

Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 3 Jaxon TEMATA, 6 Darryl PLATTEN, 8 Scott WITSCHGE, 11 Tim HILL, 13 Steve MCDONALD, 16 Chris BALAZS, 17 Reece VITTIGLIA (23 Cameron TEECE 77’), 19 Jack SALTER, 21 Godwin DARKWA (10 Jordan ROBERTS 81’), 22 Danny JONES (7 Alex MORGAN 75’) – Subs not used: RGK Anastasias FARSALEAS, 18 Jordan BROWN

Balcatta: GK Kyle McDONALD, 3 Hayden STEVENS, 4 Calum O’CONNELL, 7 Asher NELSON (11 Nicholas CHALLOT 77’), 8 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 9 Alex WILD (15 Adriano JELENOVIC 74’), 10 Jonathan CORNESS, 12 Anton DE FRANCESCH (14 Lawrence SHURAMA 56’), 18 Robert DEL BORELLO, 20 Shubha MOKALA, 21 Tom LOGAN – Subs not used: RGK Domenico SAVOLDELLI, 5. Tom PELLIZZARI - Referee: Michael Divers

16.6.2018

REDS BITE BACK TO BEAT LIONS

Armadale bounced back from two straight defeats, with a 4-1 win against Stirling Lions at Alfred Skeet Reserve. They had to come from behind to do it after Dean Cummings gave the Lions the lead early, but top scorer Chris Jackson levelled moments later before Michael Rizidis gave them the lead before the break. Further goals from Rizidis and second half substitute Brad Greipl gave them a comfortable win and moved them into seventh place. "In the last two weeks we have played pretty and lost and today we played ugly and won,” Armadale Coach John O’Reilly said. “I wasn’t entirely happy with the performance today but I can’t complain about the finishing and the result. We just have to keep working on what we’re doing and in the next few weeks make sure we’re putting 100 per cent.”

Stirling hit the front after only eight minutes, a long free kick fell at the feet of Cummings, who found the target. But Armadale responded just three minutes later with a free-kick of their own when Ali Gholami set-piece found Jackson who headed home his 13 goal of the season. The home side then took the lead after a through ball put Rizidis one-on-one with Lions keeper Lance Alvakis and the winger made no mistake. Jackson came close to doubling his side's lead just four minutes later from a free-kick, however his English striker’s shot was kept out by a diving save from Alavakis.

Armadale who on the front foot after half time and four minutes in they added a third. Rizidis ran at the Lions defence from inside his own half before finishing into the far corner past Alvakis. The Lions lifted the tempo but they couldn’t find a way past a tight Armadale defence, and in stoppage time the Reds added a fourth. Second half substitute Greipl heading home to wrap up a comprehensive win. “Armadale we’re pretty resolute at the back today, I thought we created the chances to score one or two more but when they don’t go in it makes it tough to get something out of the game,” Lions coach Keegan Ashley said. “We just need to keep going and eventually things will turn around, we’re definitely creating enough chances but we’re just not putting them into the back of the net.”

Armadale: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 2 Joshua KUSER, 4 Nathan COSTELLO, 5 David ANNALL, 10 Chris JACKSON (13 Jonathan BOGONI 91’),11 Michael RIZIDIS, 15 Ali GHOLAMI (18 Brad GREIPL 87’), 16 Charlie SIMPSON, 20 Friday ZICO (17 James ATKINS 46’), 21 Beau RAHIM, 22 Ryan HASLETT - Subs not used: RGK Duncan LENNON-BLACK, 19 Sam LOVELESS

Stirling Lions: GK Lance ALAVAKIS, 2 David MOLINARI, 4 Alex SULESKI, 5 Liam HENDERSON, 7 Dean CUMMINGS, 8 Dejan SPASESKI (19 Zane CASELLA 83’), 10 David MICEVSKI, 11 Alex TANEVSKI, 15 Nathan DE ABREU, 16 Nicholas ASHLEY, 17 Steve SOKOL (14 Abu DULLEH 67’) - Subs not used: RGK Pasquale GIOFFRE, 12 Daniel HEPWORTH, 13 David FILLIPOU - Referee: Julian Serra

16.6.2018

DONGRAY WINS IT LATE FOR SUBIACO

Subiaco defender Jackson Dongray has scored a stoppage-time winner to give the home side a 3-2 come-from-behind win against Joondalup United at Rosalie Park on Saturday afternoon. The home side took the lead inside two minutes through David Perich, but it was bottom of the table Joondalup who took control of the game and goals from Lee Jones and Jamie Gibson looked like it would give them only their second win of the season. But a second from Perich levelled and Dongray had the final word. “We went into the game lacking a sense of urgency and it almost cost us. We were denied some good chances by a couple great saves from their keeper in the second half, but we kept pushing and we were rewarded for our efforts,” Dongray said. “With the table as tight as it is this year, the difference between three points and one is massive and I couldn’t be happier to have pushed the ball over the line in the dying minutes and help the boys secure the points. We’re going to need to try and ride this momentum as much as we can when we go out against Perth next week. “

The homes were ahead after only two minutes, when Perich fired home from close-range. The rest of the first half was a tense battle with Joondalup keeper James Bosdet and Ryan Montgomery not tested. But Joondalup started the second half well and leveled in the first minutes, when Jones pounced on a misplaced back-pass, rounded Montgomery and slotted the ball home. The visitors were ahead on the hour, a shot was well saved by Montgomery, but Gibson was quickest to react to fire home the rebound.

Subiaco player/coach Ian McMurray brought himself on as they lifted the temp and Bosdet produced two great saves to deny Subiaco an equaliser. But ten minutes from time they found it. Referee Brandan Skinner spotted a handball in the box and pointed to the spot. Perich stepped up and scored to level things up. Both sides pressed for the winner, but it was the home side who found it in injury time. A ball into the box was dealt with and Dongray poked the ball past Bosdet to win it. “I’m disappointed we haven’t been rewarded after we were by far the better team. I thought we deserved all three points. I thought the boys showed character and executed the game plan,” Joondalup coach Nick Jennings said. “Basic errors have killed us this year. I’m angry with what we’ve put in for no reward. Whilst the league table doesn’t lie, we’re not as bad as our position shows.”

Subiaco: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 5 Manase ABANDELWA (17 Mark PRITCHARD 58’), 6 Jackson DONGRAY, 9 Adam CARLINO, 10 Alex CASTIELLO, 11 Joshua BOOYSEN (19 Ian MCMURRAY 66’), 12 Nathan SMITH, 13 Jonas DORLING, 15 Anthony TOPPINI, 16 Dean APELGREN, 18 David PERICH - Subs not used: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 3 Vasco DA SILVA, 4 Robert HARDING

Joondalup United: GK James BOSDET, 2 Johnny CHALMERS, 6 Sam WYNNE, 9 Lee JONES (15 Callum STOCKS 76’), 10 Elliot TATTERSALL, 11 Anthony TAYLOR, 14 Liam MOONEY, 17 Matthew CHERRIE, 22 Jamie GIBSON, 24 Ayden DRAGUN, 25 Greg PELLOW - Subs not used: 4 Danny O’SHEA, 12 William KESSEL - Referee: Brendan Skinner

16.6.2018

GLORY GIVE FORRESTFIELD SIX OF THE BEST

Perth Glory maintained their good form, after a 6-1 win against Forrestfield United at Ashfield Arena on Saturday afternoon. Michael Domfeh and Henry Hore gave them the lead at the break, but Forrestfield reduced the margin just after half time with Hasani Sinclair scoring. But Domfeh added his second and Hore did likewise from the penalty spot to put them in control of the game and late goals from Chok Dau and Bayley Brown-Montgomery wrapped up a comprehensive win. “Relatively pleased with the performance today, and yes we did score a few goals, but we are still looking for major improvement in all areas of our game, and all the players are searching for more improvement,” Glory Coach John Gibson said. “The whole group is always working tirelessly hard for each other and the same common goal - saying that we were a bit flat in the first half and not happy to concede straight after halftime as we have strategies for key timings of the game.”

It was a tight opening with both sides going close early. First defender Daniel Walsh headed over from a corner, before Jordan Hart shot straight at Glory custodian Jackson Lee. But the speed and guile of the Glory strikers was causing Forrestfield back four all-sorts of problems and it wasn’t a surprise when they opened the scoring on the half hour. Dau was found down the right and he eased past his marker and pulled the ball back to Domfeh, who made no mistake from close-range. Then in the shadows of half time Glory added a vital second. They won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area and Hore stepped up and curled to around the wall into the bottom corner of the net giving Luke Martino no chance.

Forrestfield, who had won back-to-back games for the first time this season going into the game, hit back two minutes into the second half. American striker Sinclair raced forward and finished well past Lee to reduce the margin. The visitors went close to levelling moments later, when Glory failed to deal with a set-piece and in the goalmouth scramble, the ball fell to defender Wilbert Tshabangu, whose shot flashed just wide of the target. But the Glory began to reassert their dominance and it was rewarded, when they increased their lead on the hour.

An attempted clearance by Martino was charged down by the alert Domfeh, the ball taking a wicked deflection and looping over the keeper and rolling into the empty net, much to the delight of the Glory players. That seemed to knock the stuffing out of Forrestfield and Glory added a fourth five minutes later. The lively Yacoub Mustafa was brought down in the penalty area and referee Joshua Nixon pointed straight to the spot, and Hore stepped up to score from the resulting penalty. But Glory weren’t finished and it was 5-1 on 74 minutes, second half substitute Bayley Brown-Montgomery found Dau, and he finished well. There was still time for a sixth, Brown-Montgomery this time played in Ostler, the youngsters scoring to put the icing on a good performance from the side.

Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Luke BODNAR, 3 Walter SCOTT, 4 Daniel WALSH, 5 Harry QUIGLEY, 6 Jack LEECH (12 Aidan EDWARDS 49’), 7 Chok DAU, 8 Henry HORE, 9 Michael DOMFEH (13 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY 65’), 10 Michael MCDOUGALL, 11 Yacoub MUSTAFA (14. Trent OSTLER 80’) - Subs not used: RGK Nicholas SPECA, 15 Nic MCDONALD

Forrestfield United: GK Luke MARTINO, 2 Tom SOUTHGATE, 3 Wilbert TSHABANGU, 5 Scott BARKER, 8 Mitchell CROCKER (12 Callum DOBBS 63’), 9 Hasani SINCLAIR, 10 Jordan HART (6 Kristian DESPOTOVSKI 76’), 11 Liam MERIGAN (C), 14 Antoine LEMARIE (4 Jamie DUNCAN 52’), 15 Jamie STREET, 23 Rhys LOXLEY - Subs not used: RGK Ben PARRY - Referee: Joshua Nixon

16.6.2018

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TEN – REVIEW

State League Division One leaders Gwelup Croatia have lost back-to-back games after a 2-1 defeat against Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve on Saturday afternoon. David Heagney gave Taki Nicolaidis’ side the lead from the spot but the home side hit back and Nicola Gazzola and Abraham Taona had them in the lead at the break. Both sides had chances after the break but Morley held on, and the three points moved them to fifth, while Gwelup's lead at the top of the table was reduced to three points. It could have been so different if Gwelup had taken their early chances, the best fell to Isaac Koomson who was played in on goal by Noah Shamaki, but Morley keeper Yousri Gharsallah was out quickly to narrow the angle, and Shamaki’s touch was heavy and the chance was gone.

The visitors did take the lead on 17 minutes when Morley defender Deng Mawien brought down Brodie Martin and the referee pointed straight to the spot, and Heagney stepped up and beat Gharsallah from the resulting penalty. But on the half hour Morley leveled, a free kick from Gazzola on the left of the penalty area curled around the wall and into the net. Then on 33 minutes Morley hit the front, Gazzola finding Taona in the box and he finished past Riley Stevenson from close-range. After the break both sides pressed, and Morley went close to a third on the hour, Ben Wantee’s effort was superbly saved by Stephenson. Gwelup throw everything at Morley and in stoppage time they went close to the equaliser, James Sammut’s shot beat Gharsallah, but the crossbar came to the rescue of the Morley custodian. “We started off slowly, giving them a penalty which was questionable, we should introduce var,” Morley skipper Dion Berman joked. “We then slowly started to get into the game, they dominated the play but we defended as a unit. Gwelup had a few chances to equalize but we were resilient and held on for a very good win against a quality side.”

Second placed Rockingham City missed the chance to close the gap on Gwelup after they were held to a 1-1 draw against South West Phoenix at SafeRad Stadium at Lark Hill. The home side, who were coming off the big win at Gwelup, made a perfect start and opened the scoring after only 20 seconds, with Lydon Hodgkiss on target. But the Phoenix hit back to share the spoils, with Bright Ababio finishing from a good through ball from Andrew Henson. “Really disappointed with the draw, feels like two big points dropped on the back of Morley’s result against Gwelup, but you have to give credit to Bunbury, they fought hard for the point,” Rockingham coach Cameron Lord said. “We had chances to win the game but overall we weren’t anywhere near the level we have shown in the last couple of weeks. We will look to bounce back against a strong Fremantle team, looking to play with the intensity and quality we did against Dianella and Gwelup.”

Ashfield bounced back from last week’s loss at Mandurah with a 2-0 win against the in-form UWA-Nedlands at the UWA Sports Park. The home side had been on a three game winning streak, but it was Ashfield who won it and moved to third on the table. The visitors opened the scoring when good pressure from midfield won the ball back and Pat Quinn picked up the loose ball and ran down the line, beating three players and crossing to Ismael Bangura for an easy tap in. They doubled their lead before half time a corner wasn’t dealt with by the UWA defence and Dan Tait fired home. UWA pressed after half time but they couldn’t find a goal and it was Ashfield celebrating the points. “I thought the first 30 minutes was the best football we’ve played all year, we had to make a lot of adjustments to our team due to injury and we responded really well,” Alex Stamatiadis said. “It was a hard game, UWA are a team which won’t stop till the end and we knew that, so we were a solid outfit today. A lot of people have doubted us this year and credit to Matt Wardle for creating this new squad.”

Fremantle City moved up to fourth after a hard fought 2-1 win against Dianella White Eagles at Dianella Reserve. The home side had a number of chances in the first half but failed to take them, and Fremantle struggle. But it all changed after the break, and the visitors opened the scoring when the lively Calum Roberts’ shot from the angle pickled out Anthony Lomma who made no mistake from close-range. Roberts was instrumental in the second Fremantle goal to, this time he skipped past his marker and cut the ball back from the bye-line, and Wade Farmer made no mistake. Dianella did pull one back, when Scott Newland scored but they couldn’t find the equaliser. “It was a tough game we got better in the second half but the most important thing was the result giving how other games went,” Fremantle Coach Marc Anthony said. “But as I've said previously there's no easy games in this league, so we are very happy to come away with the three points.”

In the final game Joondalup City won for the second time this season after a 3-2 win against Mandurah City at Iluka Sports Complex. The home side made a perfect start and were up early with Jonny Hulme on target, before a Jeff Bright own-goal doubled their lead. But before half time Mandurah reduced the margin, Andy Brown heading home at the back post. The visitors leveled after half time, Joey O’Brien’s cross to the back post was headed home by Brown. Brown thought he had scored his hat-trick moments later but his celebrations were cut short the referee disallowing the goal for a foul. Joondalup also had a goal disallowed, and it looked like the points would be shared, but two minutes from time Joondalup won it. A ball into the box wasn’t dealt with and Jamie Gardiner was on hand to fire home the winner. “We got off to a whirlwind start in the first 12 minutes, “Joondalup Coach Gary Kalaher said. They pegged us back and both teams had goals disallowed but I’m delighted for our young squad, it was a very important win in what was very much a six pointer.” – Western Knights had the bye this week.

16.6.2018

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND TEN – REVIEW

It was the top of the table clash in the State League Division Two when Olympic Kingsway travelled to Francis Street to take on Swan United, and Graham Normanton's side ran out 1-0 winners in a tight encounter, to remain the only unbeaten side in the league. The only goal of the game came ten minutes from time when Danny Hodgson’s free kick struck the arm of a Swan defender in the wall and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Hodgson stepped up and scored from the resulting penalty, sending Smith the wrong way. Hodgson should have given his side the lead early after Ben Fairburn was brought down in the box, but Hodgson saw his penalty saved by Joey Smith. Both sides had good chances but it was 0-0 at the break,

The second half was more open, all though there wasn’t many chances at all. Hodgson had the ball in the net again late in the game after he lost his marker and fired home David Sesay’s cross but the flag was up for offside. “It was a great battle between first and second in front of a good crowd,” Hodgson said. “We had a full team back which we hadn’t had since the 4-0 win at Quinns, so we’ve made up for the two bad results over the past few weeks. It’s our league to lose now.”

Wanneroo City ended Balga's unbeaten start to the season after a thrilling 3-2 win at Princess Road Reserve. The home side started the brighter and on the half hour they hit the front when Kris Spaseski scored. It was the wakeup call Wanneroo needed and minutes later Jamie Stewart hit the cross bar. They continued to press and on the stroke of half time they levelled. Some excellent work from Matt Franken on the left found Connor Lynch who finished well. 1-1 at the break. The visitors were on the front foot after the break but it was Balga who regained the lead on 70 minutes, Spaseski’s free kick was parried by Andy Williamson into the path of a Hermon Michael who scored from close-range. Wanneroo made a couple of changes and one was 17-year-old Flynn Nolan, and his pace and trickery caused Balga defence problems.

Wanneroo continued to press and they restored parity, when a great cross from Gareth Lloyd found Matt Franken at the far post, who brought the ball down well and finished in the far corner. It was game on and with only minutes remaining the visitor won it. A goalmouth scramble saw the ball land at young Nolan’s feet and he finished low to the ‘keeper right to win it. “It wasn’t a great game of football from a technical sense but very exciting for the good crowd,” Wanneroo Coach Tin Kantor said. “A fantastic win and the focus now turns to Shamrock Rovers next week in the Go Pink for Linda clash. We urge everyone to turn out in numbers next week to honour the late Linda Launders who sadly lost her battle with breast cancer last year. Linda was a big part of both Clubs and it would be great to see as many supporters turn up for what I’m sure will be an emotional day.”

Quinns moved to fourth after a 5-1 win against Canning City at Gumblossom Reserve. The home side were ahead when Luke Doyle finished well from a through ball from Jess Compton. They doubled their lead before the break, Rowdy Yates low cross was turned into his own net by a Canning defender. It was 3-0 when Craig Tooley finished at the back post, before Doyle added a fourth with a lob. It was 5-0 when Michael Leslie was played through and he finished well from 10 meters. Canning pulled one back late but it was too little too late. “It’s great to be back to winning ways after last weekend but very disappointed to concede a last minute goal and not walk away with a clean sheet,” Tooley said. “But now we look forward to next week at Gosnells where we will try to improve in certain areas.” In the final game Murdoch University Melville travelled to Frye Park to take on Kelmscott Roos, and they came home with a 2-0 win. Both goals came in the second half and both were penalties. Dean Thurston scored the first one, before Simon El Chami added the second to move MUM to fifth on the table. “It was a heavy pitch, football wasn’t great, but it was pleasing to get the win,” MUM Coach Gavin Brown said. – Shamrock Rovers had the bye this round.

16.6.2018

UNLUCKY SOCCEROOS BOW TO FRANCE

Australia has lost to France 2-1 in its opening World Cup clash in a gutsy performance that gave one of the tournament favourites an almighty scare. Mile Jedinak equalised barely minutes after Antoine Griezmann's second half penalty but a deflected Paul Pogba effort looped over goalkeeper Mat Ryan to steal victory for the French with less than ten minutes remaining.

Following an encouraging first-half performance where Australia's defence - marshalled superbly by Trent Sainsbury - frustrated the French attack, Australia looked to have established a foothold in the match as the second half opened. But controversy erupted as Australia became the first victims of the Video Assistant Referee which adjudged Josh Risdon to have fouled Griezmann, who converted the 57th minute penalty.

Just four minutes later, however, Socceroos captain Jedinak slammed home a penalty himself after Les Bleus centre back Samuel Umtiti handled the ball inside area. For about 20 minutes thereafter, Australia looked to have France's number, staying compact and denying the French forwards time and space. But one lapse of concentration was all it took and France took an 82nd minute lead through Pogba.

16.6.2018

LOCAL HEROES SAINSBURY, RISDON AND JONES TO PLAY IN WORLD CUP

From the backyard to sport’s biggest stage, three West Australian boys have walked the winding road to Russia and taken their parents on a journey from pride to awe. Trent Sainsbury, Josh Risdon and Brad Jones have turned their childhood dreams into reality through a passion that has burned within them for as long as they can remember.

Sainsbury, 26, is one of the first names on the Socceroos’ teamsheet, a centre back who is composed, strong in the tackle and good on the ball. He has a temperament and ability to read the game which prompted manager Bert van Marwijk to install him as captain in the lead-up to the World Cup. There is a chance he will line up against France tonight as captain.

His father Scott - who grew up living and breathing soccer in Chelmsford, England - will be a face in the crowd at Kazan Arena. “It’s unbelievable,” Mr Sainsbury, a former Armadale first team player, said from Russia. “We were just walking along the road then and I said to my mates, ‘I still believe can’t believe we’re here at the World Cup’.”

Mr Sainsbury was his son’s soccer idol. Trent was just four when he joined Armadale, training and playing with the older boys. For Sainsbury’s mother Kerry, it was sweet relief. “From the age of 10 months Trent just wanted to kick a ball around,” she said. “I had to get him into some kind of sport because he was driving me absolutely insane.”

Sainsbury was a junior at Armadale when the Socceroos recorded their sole win over France at the 2001 Confederations Cup. Faced with the unenviable task tonight of marking star striker Antoine Griezmann, he is expected to play a valiant role in a losing side. Try telling his father that. “France who?” Mr Sainsbury said. “Trent can deal with anything, anyone.”

At a crucial stage of his development, Sainsbury got to know another WA rising star, Josh Risdon. They trained together in their teens at the National Training Centre under former Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe. Risdon, 25, is expected to start at right back against France.

The hundreds of hours Risdon spent kicking a ball against a wall at home in Bunbury could come in handy in such a high-pressure game. His parents, Ray and Leanne, drove him to Perth four times a week as a child so he could chase his dream. At 14, he moved to Perth by himself to get more serious.

Risdon likes to remind his parents that he would not be where he is without the sacrifices they made. “Josh deserves it,” Mrs Risdon said. “He's a boy from the country who's given up a hell of a lot but it’s still hard to believe he’s there.”

Sainsbury and Risdon are likely to start on the pitch, but there is a third West Australian in the squad. Brad Jones, 36, has been brought back into the fold as a back-up goalkeeper after he helped Dutch side Feyenoord become champions in 2016/17. Jones played at Bayswater City before plying his trade in England with Middlesbrough and Liverpool.

Jones' last World Cup campaign, in 2010, was struck down by tragedy. He had to leave the Socceroos in South Africa days before their opening game after his son, Luca, 4, was diagnosed with leukaemia. His father, born-and-bred Arsenal supporter Ian, said he was glad his son had finally made it back into the Australian squad.

“I couldn’t be more proud,” Mr Jones said. “Put it this way - when he first went to Middlesbrough as a 16-year-old, I expected him to come back with his tail between his legs after six months. I’m still waiting for him to come back.”

Mr Jones said Brad owed his older brother, Jason, some credit. “From the age of three or four, Brad would get stood between the swings and Jason would hammer balls at him,” he said. “He’d be diving through the air with one eye on the ball and one eye on the dog’s droppings.”




If you have any additional information on Western Australian soccer that we have left out, or if you would like to get in contact, email Jacob at jacob@footballwa.net

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