Defender Rikki Smith has big plans for his Inglewood return. (courtesy Inglewood United)

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Join Penny Tanner, Jason Washington-King and Don Evans for the last World Football Programme for 2014, at 10am on 107.9FM. Football West CEO Peter Hugg, Former SBS front man Les Murray, Perth Glory CEO Jason Brewer and the womens game guru Ann Odong join the team to share what's made the news in 2014. Text the show on 0408 921 832 to have your comments heard.



Perth Glory embarks on a tough double road trip over the next fortnight, taking on Brisbane Roar this week before Sydney FC next week. The squad will stay in the Eastern States, with the Sydney game next Thursday, but it all starts on Saturday afternoon at Suncorp Stadium (2pm), when they meet last season Champions. The Roar hasn’t started the season well. It came to a head on Sunday when Mike Mulvey was sacked, and the club has appointed interim coach Frans Thjisson, who will be in charge this week.

Kenny Lowe is looking forward to the challenge, but is wary of a club who has replaced their coach. “It can work both ways, but really that's not a concern of ours. We've just got to focus on ourselves; it's an uncontrollable on our part," Lowe said. “We can't control that, so we're not interested. We're just really focused on ourselves and hopefully we can keep moving forward." But Lowe is wary of a Roar side that is better value than its record this season suggests. "They're still playing great football, they just probably haven't finished opportunities," he said. "They've always been in games and against us (in round two) they were very dangerous. They're still a dangerous side with some very good players."

The trip to Brisbane hasn’t been the most successful for the Glory, and the Grand Final loss in 2012 comes to mind. They have only won twice at the venue, losing nine and drawing three, their last win was in 2013 when a Steven McGarry goal on the stroke of half time gave them a 1-0 win. The Glory will be without the suspended Ruban Zadvovich for the trip, after his sending off last week, but apart from that Lowe has a full squad to choose from, with Brazilian winger Sidnei Sciola fit and rearing to go.

The Roar languishes in 8th spot on the table, and will be desperate for the three points. They will still be without keeper Michael Theo and Carlos Solorzano, and defender Shane Stefanutto with a groin injury. Interim coach Thjissen believes they can turn it around, despite the off-field distractions. “It's for me maybe a little bit of a difficult start (with) what happened this week," he said. “Everybody has to defend themselves at the moment and that makes it a lot more difficult for me - and Saturday we have a game (against Perth Glory). "Hopefully we can turn it around. When you work in a different country, there's a lot of homework, but you don't have to know the players to make players better, I'm here to improve things."



Nikita Rukavytsya maintains morale is still high in the Western Sydney dressing room despite the side's woeful start to the A-League season. Rukavytsya is yet to taste victory for his new club, who sit last on the ladder, since arriving from German side Mainz 05 last month. But he claimed team spirit hasn't wavered despite disappointing home draws with lowly Newcastle Jets and the Central Coast Mariners that came on the back of four straight away defeats. "It's great, nothing has changed," Rukavytsya said. "Performances are there, we're playing some good football and improving. It will not take long before the ball starts going into the back of the net and we'll get a few points."

The Asian champions face Sydney FC this weekend and Rukavytsya is relishing a first opportunity to play in the A-League's biggest derby. The former Perth Glory star is expecting a fast-paced encounter in front of a hostile home crowd, and is hopeful his team's luck will change. "I've played in some big derbies before, it's a special game and I'm looking forward to it," he said. "We're creating a lot of chances, especially the last few games unfortunately the ball doesn't want to go in. We're hitting the post, the keeper pulls off some incredible saves but if we keep creating then the goals will come."



Bayswater City defender Sam Mitchinson was crowned the clubs Fairest and Best, at their presentation night at the Rendezvous Observation City. The former Perth Glory and Melbourne Heart player, who pipped Jamie Coyne to the trophy, was a vital part of the Frank Drago Reserve club that won the league and cup double for the first time in their history.

Mitchinson was delighted to have taken out the awards, and said the whole squad played their part in a fantastic season. “There are many talented players in our squad so to win clubs player of the year was very special and a great honour,” he said. “It was a fantastic season obviously winning four trophies was amazing and Coyney is a great coach and really had me playing to my potential. The club as a whole was great to be a part of, we worked hard and got our rewards.” In other first team awards keeper Devon Spence was voted the Players’ Player of the Year, while striker David Heagney won the Golden Boot, with midfielder Declan Hargreaves winning the Goal of the season.

City Coach Chris Coyne was full of praise for the 22-year-old, and said he was a part of a great effort from the whole squad. “Sam was consistent all season for us and played to a high standard, and he was one of many of my players who were outstanding last season,” Coyne said. “To win that accolade in a season when the club won everything on offer outlines how well Sam did for us. He was pushed hard by Jamie Coyne, Chris Saldaris and David Heagney, and I’d like to say to all of my players, thanks for a good season and we are now looking forward to repeat our success in 2015.”

In other awards on the night Aaron Delaney won the under 20’s Player of the Year, with David Molinari the runner up. Molinari was voted the Players’ Player of the Year, while Harry Bissett won the Golden Boot. In the under 18’s George Driscoll took out the Fairest and Best, with Steven Ingram the runner-up. Liam Driscoll won the Players’ Player of the Year, with Simon Lopez taking out the Golden Boot. The ‘Gerry Maio’ Club Person of the Year trophy was won by club photographer Vince Caratozzolo.



Cockburn City may have missed out on the NPL-WA Finals series by only two points, but injuries and players unavailable hit them hard during the season, but a player who was a standout was Devon Gibson. The 22-year-old was rewarded for a stellar season by taking out the clubs Fairest and Best award at the Presentation Night at their Beale Park clubrooms. Gibson held of midfielder David Araya, who had the honour of scoring the first ever goal in the NPL-WA, in their 2-2 draw with ECU Joondalup on the opening day of the season, in a close fought contest. “I was really happy on winning the award, I’ve played for Cockburn since under 14's,” said Gibson. “It's been good for me to go through the youth teams here, and I’m really looking forward to next season and press for a finals spot.”

The midfielder impressed for the WA state side in the 2-1 win against Perth Glory earlier in the season, and he is hoping a good season next year with the Cockerels can propel him to a professional contract. “I hope to carry my form into next season, and hope it will be the game changer, and I can make the next step in my football career,” he said. “I have big ambitions and will be doing my best for Cockburn next season, and if I can get the opportunity to step up to the next level I will jump at the chance.”

Cockburn Coach Marc Anthony was delighted for the midfielder, who he said could make it to the next level. “Devon had a fantastic season especially the last 7-8 games where he really lifted his standards to a different level this deservedly earned him a call up to the state squad,” he said. “If he can maintain these levels for next year not only will it benefit Cockburn City Football Club, but could even see Devon reach the next level.”

In other first team awards, striker Liam Murray took out the top goalscorer, while defender Alan Carroll was voted the Players’ Player of the Year. In the under 20 awards Alex Gamble won the fairest and best, with Michael Grigo as the runner-up. Ryan Hasslett was their leading goalscorer, while Gamble was also voted the Players’Player of the Year. In the under 18’s Daniel Smith was voted the fairest and best, ahead of Daniel Robinson. Daniel Catalano was the top goalscorer and Daniel Santich was the Players’ Player of the year.



Former club captain Rikki Smith has some big expectations of his return to Inglewood United. The versatile defender has put his hand up to wear the gold and blue next season having already gained over 100 outings for the club during a previous spell. Smith’s addition comes hot on the heels of Aleks Vrteski’s signing, and further signals the club’s intention to challenge for top honours in the National Premier Leagues.

“I’m really excited to be joining Inglewood in 2015,” said Smith. “(Head coach) Michael Garcia contacted me to see what my plans were and, following a number of conversations, it was clear that Inglewood was the best option for me. Inglewood has always been a great club to play for, they really look after their players and are building a very strong squad which is something I want to be part of.”

It’s no secret that a lack of defensive depth hindered Inglewood last season. In addressing this Garcia, who will guide the club for the first time in 2015, has focused his recruitment on the back third of the park. Smith says the signing of Vrteski and Jovo Pavlovic to compliment Scott Blackmore, Shane Pickering and club stalwart Jason Colli played a big role in his move to Inglewood.

“The club has some big plans and the defensive unit they are putting together is impressive … that was a big factor in my decision to join the club,” he said. “The defensive players at Inglewood aren’t just good players, they’re also good characters. That sort of mix isn’t easy to find and it certainly made the move to Inglewood more attractive.”

Smith, the cousin of Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith, is no stranger to Inglewood. Born in England, he initially joined the club in 2009 and quickly became an establish part of the first eleven. Across five seasons he wore club colours on 126 occasions and collected a State Cup runners-up medal, in 2009, prior to switching to Stirling Lions last winter.

Now back at the club he loves, Smith has high hopes of personal and team success in 2015. “I’ll be aiming to be part of a defensive unit that has the best record in the league,” he said. “Given the attacking quality we have in the squad - scoring goals won’t be an issue - so if we can complement this with a strong defensive record then team success will follow.”



Injury-ravaged West Australian Rhys Williams is refusing to give up on playing in January's Asian Cup. The Socceroos defender has yet to appear for English Championship side Middlesbrough this season after suffering a run of injuries, including a ruptured Achilles, which ruled him out of this year's World Cup finals in Brazil in June. The 26-year old hopes to be back in contention for promotion-chasing Boro before Christmas and is still hoping to squeeze into Ange Postecoglou's squad for the tournament, which will be held in Australia. “I have pencilled in a reserve game in mid-December and after that anything is possible. If the coach (Aitor Karanka) wants me, then I will be available," Williams said.

On selection for the Asian Cup, he said: "That’s something I need to talk to Ange about. Ultimately it's his decision. I haven't spoken with him for a little while. I do talk to the Socceroos physios from time to time and I will have to call them and give them an update. I have missed a lot of football and I will be nowhere near the stage all the other boys will be at and that has to come into consideration. My game time over the last ten months has been nothing, so time will tell and we will see what happens. The first thing I need to do is force my back in for Middlesbrough."



A-League leaders Perth Glory are wary of a wounded and unpredictable Brisbane Roar ahead of Saturday's eight meeting at Suncorp Stadium. Brisbane, reeling from a poor start to their title defence, sacked coach Mike Mulvey last Sunday, replacing the highly-acclaimed mentor with former Dutch international Frans Thijssen on an interim basis a day later. Glory are no strangers to the sort of turmoil facing Brisbane having gone through their own rough patch last season, with former striker Alistair Edwards sacked in December and replaced by Kenny Lowe.

Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic was unsure what tactics Brisbane would employ under Thijssen, but expected to face a fired-up Roar outfit. "We know they're going to come out firing," Vukovic said. "They're desperate to get points and now they're all on a level playing field. They want to impress the new coach, so we need to be really up for it on Saturday. We don't know what this coach (Thijssen) is about. In terms of formations, he may change the team completely. That's why we really need to worry about ourselves because we don't know what's coming from them."

Vukovic said adapting to a new coach's tactics mid-season was a difficult process. "It's not easy. A new coach brings different ideas and different philosophies," he said. "When you're used to playing a certain way, that can disrupt things. But they (Brisbane) are playing for positions now. The new coach has got new ideas and I'm sure they're going to be firing on Saturday." Brazilian winger Sidnei Sciola completed a full training session today and is a chance to return for Glory after overcoming a calf injury. Jamie Maclaren returns from international duty, while attacking midfielder Mitch Nichols is pushing to start against his old side.



Perth Glory Women striker Samantha Kerr will wear the colours of Sky Blue in next year’s Women’s National Soccer League. Kerr, who played with Western New York Flash last season, is over the moon with the deal. “I am super excited to join Sky Blue FC because I have always gotten along really well with the players there,” Kerr said. “New Jersey is a great state, and the club has always been a tough competitor. I look forward to joining the team and working together to have a very successful season.”

Sky Blue coach Jim Gabarra could not be happier about having 21-year old Kerr in his squad. “This is a huge acquisition for Sky Blue,” Gabarra said. “Sam is one of the most promising young players in the world and has been at the top of our list of players we have attempted to acquire. She has great pace combined with incredible and versatile attacking qualities that make her one of the elite forwards in our league … Sky Blue, like every club in the world, is looking for goal scorers.”



Perth SC is proud to announce that former junior Calum O’Connell will return to Dorrien Gardens for the 2015 season. O’Connell, an Australian Schoolboys international, has signed for Perth after a year out of the game to recover from injury and focus on work. The 24-year old full-back won two trophies with Sydney United in 2013 and also played A-League with Brisbane Roar in the 2009/10, making two first team appearances.

O’Connell, who played juniors at Perth, said it was great to be back at Dorrien Gardens. “After really enjoying my break from the game, I decided to come back home and I wanted to get back involved playing,” he said. “Perth was my first choice, and having worked with Taki (Nicolaidis) and AK (Ante Kovacevic) before, I knew straight away what their expectations would be. For me, Perth is the most professional club in the league and the history and environment here made the decision an easy one.”

O’Connell said he was looking forward to a successful 2015 season with the Azzurri. “I want to win everything on offer this year, and I don't see why not with the squad that's being assembled and the environment that here at Perth,” he said. “The opportunity to play against the best around the country is another incentive to be successful this year. But most importantly for me it's to enjoy the game and play with no fear and hopefully have a few medals around my neck at the end of the season.”

Perth boss Nicolaidis said he was delighted to have signed O’Connell for the 2015 National Premier Leagues campaign. “Calum is a welcomed addition and will add some valuable experience and professionalism to our squad,” Nicolaidis said. “His discipline and work ethic is of a high standard, he has a good winning mentality and I look forward to working with him again during the upcoming season.”



ECU Joondalup defender Ryan Lowry has capped off a good season by taking out the clubs Player of the Year at the end of season Presentation Night at the ECU Clubrooms. The 21-Year-old, who joined from Inglewood United two seasons ago, beat skipper Jon Higgins to the award, and he was outstanding all season, and due to injuries played at both centre back and right back. Coach Dale McCulloch said he was a deserved winner. “Paddy, which is Lowry’s nickname at the club, had a great season, he played in various positions and did a great job in all of them,” McCulloch said. “He is one of the best trainers at the club and it showed through his consistent performances during the year. He shows a great deal of maturity on the pitch for a 21-year-old, and I can only see him getting better.”

Lowry also took out the Players’ Player of the Year and the former Perth Glory Youth player was over the moon to win both awards. ““It’s been a good season for me and I’ve managed to keep injury free, which is important for all players,” said Lowry. “Playing alongside experience players like Charlie Comyn-Platt and Ryan Townsend was invaluable for me and it’s been great to learn of the pair. I’m learning each week, and it’s made me a better player, and I’m looking forward to next season, and helping the club to reach the Finals.”

In other awards from the night, Tommy Amphlett won the Golden boot, while keeper Andy Banks was recognized for winning the Football West – NPL-WA Goalkeeper of the Year. In the under 20’s striker Daniel Hepworth took out the Player of the Year and the top goal scorer, while central midfielder Zwadi Tsongo won the Coaches Award. In the under 18’s striker Callum Bochell also took out the Player of the Year and top goal scorer, while midfielder Ollie won the coaches award. The ECU Club person of the year was won by Diane Amphlett.



Perth Glory teenager midfielder Danny De Silva scored his first ever A-League goal to help his side to a hard fought 2-1 win against Wellington Phoenix at the NIB Stadium on Friday evening. The 17-year-old struck after only two minutes, before Andy Keogh added his fifth of the season midway through the second half, and it looked like the points were safe. But Ruben Zadkovich, who had only been on the pitch for 17 seconds, was sent off and it was game on. Phoenix pulled one back on 84 minutes, when Fijian international striker Roy Krishna converted from the spot, but despite dominating late the Phoenix couldn’t find the equaliser, the three points keeping the Glory top of the table. "Ruben came on and got the red card, it was very difficult after that,” Glory winger Youssouf Hersi said. “Sometimes you have games like that; you have to deal with it. To keep the points here and win at home...we're building to something."

It was a perfect start for the home side and they were ahead after only two minutes. Youssef Hersi was sent down the right by Dino Djulbic, and skipped past Tom Doyle, before crossing to De Silva who bundled the ball home from close-range. The Phoenix looked to hit back and Roly Bonevacia’s long-range shot on 20 minutes whistled inches past the post. It was nearly 2-0 to the hosts on 27 minutes; Nebosja Marinovic’s long-range shot was superbly tipped over by Glen Moss. The Phoenix was struggling in the final third, and was missing the influential midfielder Michael McGlinchey, but with Glory skipper Michael Thwaite, Djulbic and Rostyn Griffiths outstanding at the back, the Glory led at the break

After the break the Phoenix came out determined to get back into the game and went close to the equaliser on 55 minutes. Tom Doyle made space down the left and his curling cross picked out Krisnha, but he couldn’t keep his shot down and blazed over from four-yards. But it was the home side who doubled their advantage on the hour. Marinkovic fed Josh Risdon on the right, his cross to the back post found Keogh, who got ahead of Manny Muscat and fired home from six-yards.

It looked game over, but moments after coming on to replace Griffiths, Zadkovich went into a tackle on Vince Lia, and after consulting with his assistant, referee Lucien Laverdure showed the former Newcastle Jets skipper a straight red card. Despite going down to ten men the Glory almost added a third on 75 minutes, Risdon eased his way past Andrew Durante on the right and picked out Marinkovic on the edge of the penalty area, his shot beat Moss, but the ball crashed off the crossbar, and Keogh headed the rebound over the top.

The Phoenix received a lifeline on 83 minutes, when Albert Riera played substitute Tyler Boyd in to the penalty area, who fell under a challenge from Risdon, and the referee pointed to the spot. Krishna kept his nerve and sent Danny Vukovic the wrong way from the resulting penalty to make it 2-1. The home side were hanging on desperately, and deep into stoppage time the Phoenix almost nicked a point. Nathan Burns, who had been well held by Thwaite all game, lost his marker in the 94th minute, and his shot flashed inches past the post.



Perth Glory has continued their great start to the Foxtel National Youth League after a 2-0 win against Brisbane Roar at Goodwin Park on Sunday morning. Chris Harold continued his return from injury, bagging the first on the quarter hour, and three minutes later they doubled their lead through an own goal, the win maintaining their lead at the top of the table.

The home side opened brightly, knowing a win would take them over the Glory to the top of the table, and they went close to the opener on 14 minutes. Mitchell Hore’s through ball sent Abrahim Yango down the flank, his cross was met by Hore, but Glory custodian Jordan Thurtell blocked his effort and reacted even better to deny Sam Sibatuara follow up shot.

Thurtell’s heroics were reward sixty seconds later as the Glory hit the front. Harold was sent clear by Brandon O’Neill’s through ball, sending him one-on-one with keeper Fraser Chambers. The striker took the ball around the Roar custodian, and fired home despite the tight angle. It was 2-0 three minutes later. Matt Davies found space down the right, and his low cross was deflected past Chambers by an unfortunate Roar defender.

The Glory, looking for their fifth win of the season, pressed in the second half and went close to a third on the hour. Borbor Sam showed lightning pace to go one-on-one with Chambers, but the Roar custodian saved. O’Neill almost capped another fine performance late in the game, beating two Roar defenders, before his shot from the edge of the penalty area crashed off the far post.



Perth Glory will be looking to defend their 100% home record this season in A-League league and FFA Cup games when they take on Wellington Phoenix at nib Stadium Friday evening, (6.45pm). The league leaders continue to defy the critics, but Coach Kenny Lowe is expecting another tough game against Ernie Merrick’s side. “They are a dangerous side,” he said. “When you have the likes of Roly Bonevacia, Michael McGlinchey, Alex Rodriguez, and of course Nathan Burns, you have a real threat up top also in terms of carving out chances and taking them. “I have no doubt it will be a huge test for us and you can see from our results while we’ve been winning, the margins have been tight, and Friday will be no different.”

The Glory beat the Phoenix in the opening game of the season in Wellington, Andy Keogh scored that day, and the Irish striker has been in good form along with youngster Jamie Maclaren. The Olyroos striker returns to the squad after missing the last two games due to international duty, likewise Mitch Nichols, who returns after the Socceroos game against Japan in the week. Ruban Zadzovich made his league debut for the club, off the bench last week and the former Newcastle Jets skipper will be pushing for a starting role, but a spot on the bench is the likely outcome.

Wellington Phoenix will be playing the second part of their long road trip, after they left the Hindmarsh Stadium last week with nothing, after a last minute goal from Adelaide United’s Sergio Cirio gave the home side a 2-1. But they head West looking to bounce back, and they sit in 5th spot on the table, six points behind their hosts. They do regain the services of New Zealand internationals Michael McGlinchey, Jeremy Brookie, Michael Boxall and Tyler Boyd, after the games for the All Whites against China and Thailand in midweek. The form of striker Nathan Burns is a huge positive for the Phoenix, the former Socceroo has scored four this season, while the service from the middle of the park from Spanish midfielder Albert Riera, will need to be watched closely go the home side.

Manny Muscat will celebrate his 150th A-League game on Friday, the Maltese international defender has been a stalwart for the club and the Phoenix will be doing all they can to make it one to celebrate, and keep in touch with the leaders. The last time the two teams met in Perth, the Glory ran out 4-2 winners. A stunner from Sidnei opened the scoring, before the Phoenix hit back with goals from Stein Huysegems and Paul Ifill. But goals from skipper Michael Thwaite, Adrian Zahra and another to Sidnei, gave the Glory all three points.



The WA State Amateur team returned from a successful trip to Malaysia without defeat in their three matches against local opposition. Eamonn Kelly was named Most Valuable Player on the tour and Dave Morris was top scorer.

Game 1: Kuala Lumpur FA (U21) 0-1 WA

After heavy rain and thunder storms, WA came up against a KLFA team, which was full of young and eager players. The home side dominated early possession without creating chances, while the State team took time to settle in humid conditions. But with almost the first good chance of the match Dave Morris hit the target to break the deadlock. KLFA continued to attack but when they were unable to find a way through they relied on shooting from long range without reward.

Game 2: Felda United 1-1 WA

WA dominated early and scored first through a solo effort from captain Eamonn Kelly, who calmly put the ball away. Several scoring opportunities then went begging, a penalty was turned down and a succession of offside calls went against the visitors. Felda changed their entire team at half-time to increase the pressure on WA and they found an equaliser. WA had several chances to get in front again, including twice hitting a post, but had to settle for a draw.

Game 3: ATM Malaysian Armed Forces 2-2 WA

The Armed Forces team were the best organised and most professional of WA’s three opponents. With several international players in their ranks, the Malaysia Super League side hit the front in the first five minutes. The goal shook WA into action and the visitors soon created opportunities of their own without finding the net. But the equaliser came just before half-time when Clint Brown crossed for Morris, who finished clinically. Both teams made changes at the break and the second half was end-to-end football. WA were rewarded for their endeavours when Adrian Rockett’s free-kick was headed home at the back post by Michael Garcia. The Malaysian team kept applying pressure and as WA players started to tire the home side found an equaliser. The Armed Forces almost won it but goalkeeper Steve Main pulled off a great save to deflect the ball onto a post and preserve WA’s unbeaten tour record.

Squad: Adrian Rockett, Eamonn Kelly, Kevin Flavin (North Perth United); David Morris, Darryl Gregory, Steven Main (Perth Royals); Matt Bennion, Juan Cabrera (Queens Park); Royce Heaperman (Southern Spirit); Greg Montenegro (Fremantle Croatia); Jayden Drummond (Kingsley); Michael Garcia (Hamersley; Samim Rohani, Ago Mujic (BB United); Clint Brown (Kwinana); Mark Staunton (Wembley Downs).

Coach: Rob Pagnoni.

Assistant: Jack Monaco.

Team manager: Graeme Marinkovich.

Articles compiled by Brett Klucznik, Paul Oliver and Peter Simcox unless otherwise stated.

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

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