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Dear Football Fan,

FFA Cup action returns to WA this Wednesday (August 5) when Sorrento take on 2014-15 Hyundai A-League grand finalist Sydney FC at nib Stadium. At the same time, on the other side of the country, Perth Soccer Club will go head to head with NSW side Rockdale City Suns in an all PS4 NPL affair. Once again, the draw has thrown up special challenges for our teams, who will be giving their all to keep alive their Cup dreams.

The latest FFA Cup round also provides our local supporters with a particularly mouth-watering match – this time at our very own nib Stadium. We were fortunate last year when Bayswater City and Stirling Lions performed admirably against A-League heavyweights Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar. This year, Football West, Sorrento and Venues West have worked together to bring WA’s first FFA Cup match of the season to nib Stadium, the state’s premier rectangular stadium.

This will be the very first time that a local-level club has played a competitive game at the newly renovated nib Stadium, which will offer an outstanding football atmosphere and a wonderful advertisement for the local game. All that is needed now are loyal fans of the game to come along, lend your voice, show your passion and support the occasion.

This game should not just excite fans of Sorrento and Sydney but the entire WA football community and I would urge everyone to rally behind the event and show a united WA spirit for this great game. Tickets are available online or you can buy them on the night at Gate 3. The match kicks off at 6.30pm - be there early so you don’t miss a minute. We wish both clubs, as well as Perth Glory, every success in their respective 2015 Westfield FFA Cup campaigns. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Regards - Peter Hugg - Chief Executive, Football West



Rostyn Griffiths says he is looking forward to a big season with new Dutch club Roda JC Kerkrade after an eight-year absence from European football. Griffiths came through the academy at English side Blackburn Rovers, spending time on loan at Gretna and Accrington Stanley, before moving to the A-League in 2009. Several Australians have played at Roda in the past, including former Socceroos Zeljko Kalac at the turn of the century, and Graham Arnold and Gary van Egmond in the early 1990s.

“When I decided about six months ago that I wanted to go back to Europe I looked at a couple of countries that I thought would be beneficial to me,” Griffiths said. “And it pretty much went in the order of Germany, Holland and England. Fortunately Roda showed interest early on and obviously they needed somebody in my position so it worked out well. I knew a little bit about the Dutch Eredivisie as Australians have gone there and done well in the past.”

Griffiths had spent some time on trial at Birmingham City in the past few weeks, making two appearances for the Championship club, but was not offered a contract. “I had a lot of interest from the UK because I had been there previously,” he said. “I flew into the UK and started training with Birmingham. It was a good experience. They’re obviously a massive club but the biggest thing I’ll take out of it was number one, fitness, and number two just confidence that I can sort of play back at the senior European level.”

Roda has just been promoted back into the Eredivisie and appointed Darije Kalezic as its new manager last month. “Last year apparently it was the first time in the club’s history that they had been relegated,” Griffiths said. “So it’s not good enough from the club’s point of view and the fan’s point of view. This season they’re looking to make the team a bit stronger, they’ve brought a new coach to try and survive in the Eredivise because, by all accounts, the club’s got a pretty good history in the league.”

Griffiths made 25 appearances for Perth Glory last season, scoring three goals. “It’s a shame,” he said of Glory being stripped of a finals berth due to salary cap infringements. “From a player’s point of view how it ended last season was disappointing, but I’m sure the club will want to move on from that and for the players to build for this season. With salary cap restrictions and things like that it’s going to be difficult to attract players to Perth at the moment. So the types of players they’re bringing in are young players that want to try and prove themselves in the league.”

Regular game-time in Holland could put the central midfielder in the frame for national team selection, but Griffiths is not focused on that. “The Socceroos is always an ambition but I was at that crossroads on whether to go to Europe to try and get that highest level I possibly can or stay in Australia or go to Asia and get as much cash as I possibly could,” he said. “I chose the first option because I think I’m a bit better than that at the moment. I wanted to get back to Europe and see the highest level I could get to. I believe Holland is the best, if not one of the best, places for me to do that.”



At a time when the movement of talented Australian players is away from the A-League, Eli Babalj is happy to be one of a few exceptions. The former Socceroo is not afraid to admit he has returned home in a bid to rejuvenate his career, officially signing with Adelaide United last week for the coming A-League season. He is new coach Guillermo Amor’s first recruit since the Spaniard took over from Josep Gombau last week.

A tall, strong striker who has been capped twice for the Socceroos, Babalj will spearhead the Adelaide attack after joining on a loan deal from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar. The 23-year old found if difficult to break into Alkmaar’s first team set-up in the two seasons he spent there. Injuries had a big effect, though he managed four games for fellow Socceroo Trent Sainsbury's club PEC Zwolle when he went on loan there in February.

“I want to play games and be successful with the team and that’s the main reason I decided to come to Adelaide,” Babalj said. “I am very excited to join the club and when they contacted me I knew it was something I wanted to do. The fact that a legend like Guillermo Amor will be coach is something special. I am very excited and can’t wait to get going.”

Babalj, who played juniors for Perth SC, has maintained his fitness levels with Alkmaar and with a personal trainer and is confident of being up to speed fairly quickly. But he is unlikely to be available for Adelaide’s round of 16 FFA Cup match against Darwin Olympic in Darwin on Tuesday. “I had my first training session today and now it’s up to the coaching staff to see if they think I’m ready to play,” he said.

Amor said he was delighted to have a player of Babalj’s quality at the club. “He is a very important player and can be used in many different places during games,” the Spaniard said. “He is the exact type of player that the club was looking for to help us improve. We will see about Darwin. We are looking forward to travelling there and we are focused on preparing for our first match in the FFA Cup. Right now we’re focusing on our tactics and the players were fantastic in training today. We have a group of winners here.”



PS4 National Premier League top goalscorer Gustavo Giron-Marulanda scored a brace as Bayswater beat Balcatta 4-1 in a fiercely fought contested Italian derby at Frank Drago Reserve, that saw both coaches sent to the stands. The Colombian striker opened the scoring in the seventh minute, but Balcatta youngster Cameron Teece levelled three minutes later. But Marulanda took his season tally to 17 for the season just after the break, before Danny Dixon and Bor Bor Sam added the others late in the game, while Teece was sent off in stoppage time. “It was a good game, and were happy to continue our winning form,” Dixon said. “We started well but got a bit sloppy towards the end of the first half and were told so by Coyney at the break, but everyone dug deep in second half and I thought we ran out worthy winners in the end.”

The home side dominated the early stages and hit the front after only seven minutes, losing his marker and firing home into the bottom corner of the net. But Balcatta hit back immediately, a long ball over the top sent Teece racing clear, and he rounded Devon Spence and rolled the ball into an empty net. Bayswater dominated for the rest of the half and David Heagney had two good chances to give the hosts the lead, but failed to hit the target, and Balcatta held firm.

But four minutes into the second half the home side regained the lead. Heagney was brought down in the box and referee David Bruce pointed straight to the spot despite the protestation from the Balcatta players. But Marulanda kept his nerve and stepped up and sent Clint Davies the wrong way. Bayswater looked dangerous every time they went forward but couldn’t get the third. Balcatta almost levelled on 72 minutes, Steve Sokol’s shot flashed over the top. That miss came back to haunt Balcatta, and sixty seconds later Bayswater added a third. Dixon was sent clear, and he finished with aplomb past Davies.

Balcatta pressed as Bayswater sat back, but they couldn’t find a way past Jamie Coyne and former Balcatta skipper Adam Tong. Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne was sent to the stands midway through the half after a brief chat with the referee. He was joined in the stands by Balcatta coach Ramon Falzon, when he disagreed with the referee’s decision to send Teece in the second minute of stoppage time. Bayswater then added a fourth two minutes later, after substitute Sam cut in from the right and firing into the top corner of the net.



Inglewood United striker Kenny Keogh scored a stoppage time winner, to beat Perth Glory 2-1 at the Inglewood Stadium, to break the clubs four game losing streak. David Sesay gave the home side the lead, but the Glory youngsters hit back moments later through Dejan Spaseski. It looked the points would be shared, but Keogh had other ideas to score from close range. “We’ve started a lot of games well but we haven’t got the result,” Keogh said. “Michael (Garcia) is a great guy and so is the coaching staff here, so it’s good to give them the reward.”

The first half was an arm wrestle with both sets of defenders in command. David Micevski went the closest, his curling free kick crashing off the crossbar and away to safety. But that all changed when the home side hit the front five minutes before the break. David Sesay made space on the edge of the box, held off his marker and fired home superbly past Jordan Franken.

But the Glory hit back immediately, Spaseski found a pocket of space on the edge of the penalty area and played a one-two with Nikola Talimdzioski, and he finished clinically past Aleks Vrteski. The Glory was now on top and could have gone into the break ahead. Stefan Valentini header was goal bound, but Vrteski was alert to fingertip the ball over the top.

Both sides had early chances after the break. Micevski’s shot on the run was saved by Franken, while Jacob Collard’s free kick whistled over the top. The Glory lost Nathan Costello with an injury on 65 minutes and while the Glory re-shaped, Inglewood almost hit the front two minutes later. Keogh burst into the area, one-on-one with Franken, but the Glory custodian stood tall to deny him.

Micevski thought he had scored late on, his header lobbed over Franken, but Gian Albano was alert to clear the ball off the line. It looked like the point would be shared but with the clock ticking to 93 minutes, Inglewood scored the winner. Glory midfielder Calvin Whitney failed to clear, and Keogh pounced. He played a one-two with Micevski and fired home, much to the delight of the Inglewood faithful.



Floreat Athena boosted their goal difference after thrashing a nine men ECU Joondalup 7-2 at the ECU Football Stadium. Five second-half goals helped visitors to a comprehensive win, and it if it wasn’t for ECU keeper Jamie Serra it could have been double figures. The hosts had taken the lead early through Ollie Annis, but former ECU midfield Jon Stynes levelled, before Lewis McMahon gave them the lead at the break. Stynes and McMahon added another after the break, with other goals to Bobby Wilson, Kris Gate and Aryn Williams, while ECU skipper Jon Higgins and Paul Miller were both sent off. “To be honest the 7-2 scoreline was a let off for them. If we could have finished our chances it could very easily have been double figures,” McMahon said. “They are young team and to be honest I felt sorry for them getting two players sent off but that's Football.”

The visitors opened brightly, but couldn’t find an avenue to goal, and on it was the home side that opened the scoring on 22 minutes. A long ball over the top sent Annis clear, and he fired home clinically past Fraser Greenwood. Floreat looked to hit back, Williams’ shot crashed off the post, and they found Serra in fine form. The ECU custodian was at full stretch to keep out Bobby Wilson’s free kick.

But the keeper couldn’t do anything when Floreat levelled. ECU didn’t clear their line and Stynes volley flew into the net. Serra was working overtime, and he saved superbly from Stynes’ long-range shot on the half hour, but Floreat’s pressure was rewarded with the lead in the last minute of the half. McMahon brought the ball down on his chest, before beating Serra with a deft chip.

The visitors made the perfect start to the second half and made it 3-1 in the first minute. Ludovic Boi intercepted a poor clearance out of defense from ECU, to cross to McMahon who tapped in from close-range. It was 4-1, four minutes later, Boi again supplying the assist, his corner picking out Wilson, who headed home at the far post. The home side was caving in and Gate made it 5-1 on 52 minutes.

ECU’s problems became worse when skipper Higgins was sent off by referee Josh Mannella on 57 minutes, after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession, and Stynes rubbed salt in the wounds by adding a sixth on the hour, turning home Boi’s cross. Tommy Amphlett pulled one back for ECU on 73 minutes, the striker racing clear from Miller’s through ball to finish low past Greenwood.

But Miller’s afternoon ended six minutes later, when he brought down Boi, and was given a second yellow card and sent off. Floreat continued to press and scored a seventh in the final minute, William’s volleying home after Serra could only parry Boi’s shot, and the win keeps them hot on the heels of leaders Bayswater at the top of the table.



Stirling Lions and Cockburn City fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Dalmatinac Park. Lawrence Shuruma had given the Lions the lead early, but a double from David Araya, either side of half time gave the home side the lead. But Daniel Micevski levelled for the visitors, but with Cockburn pressing, teenage keeper Joel Driscoll made two stunning reaction saves late in the game to keep Cockburn at bay. “It’s a good point for us away from home, as results haven’t been going our way recently,” Driscoll said. “We started really well and should have wrapped the points up earlier, but we had to hold them off late, and I was happy to help with a couple of saves late.”

It was the home side that opened the brighter and went close after only three minutes. Darren Gibson’s deep cross to the back post was met by Julian Teles, but his header was saved by Driscoll. But Stirling settled and they were ahead on 18 minutes. A long ball over the top caused panic in the Cockburn defence, and keeper Jack Adams raced out of his area to clear the ball, but the ball fell to Shuruma who scored.

They nearly doubled their lead two minutes later, Shuruma eased past Blake Adams on the right, but his shot was well saved by Jack Adams. Cockburn hit back and were level on 34 minutes. Gibson was having a great game, and his mazy run took him past four Lions players, before a cheeky back heel found Araya, who fired home via the post. The Lions thought they had the lead at half time. Micevski’s long-range shot was tipped on to the bar by Jack Adams, and Robert Petkov goal was ruled offside.

The home side dominated the early exchanges after the break, and Driscoll was alert to keep out Araya’s long-range shot, but there was nothing he could do when Cockburn hit the front on 56 minutes. It was Gibson again, who was the provider. He cut the ball back to Patterson, who in turn fed Araya, whose low shot nestled in the bottom corner of the net. But the Lions levelled on the hour. Shuruma sent Micevski racing clear. His first shot was blocked by Jack Adams, but he followed up to fire home the rebound.

The Lions were convinced they should have had a penalty, when Martin was brought down by Josh Kuser, but referee Steven Gregory waved away their protests. Both sides had chances as the game opened up. Alan Carroll headed over for Cockburn when well placed, before Shane Malcolm was denied by Jack Adams for the Lions.

But late on it was the home side pressing for the winner, but Driscoll stood tall. First on 85 minutes he reacted well to save Ayara’s deflected shot, before in final minute he produced a stunning one handed save to deny Harry O’Brien.



League leaders Mandurah City were held to a 2-2 draw by Shamrock Rovers in an entertaining game at Grimrey Reserve on Saturday afternoon. The home side earned their point, with a late penalty from Alec Robinson, in stoppage time. “It was hard fought game between two physical teams and I thought it was an entertaining game,” Shamrock Coach John O’Reilly said. “Both sides worked hard and both had chances, but at the end of the day a draw was a fair result.” It was an even opening to the game with chances at both ends. Mandurah’s Jordan Rhodes saw a shot cleared off the line, before Mandurah keeper Dave Keenan saved well to deny Sean Browne’s long-range shot. But it was the home side who hit the front on the half hour, Charlie Kenna beat two defenders and slipped ball in for Alec Robinson who put ball under Keenan. The home side were well on top and Mandurah were on the back foot, but held on till half time. The visitors hit back five minutes into the second half. Tom Straker’s cross picked out Abi Tcuono who brought the ball down superbly and fired low past Justin Scarvaci. It was game on but it was the leaders who hit the front on 64 minutes. Rhodes’ free kick curled around the wall and flew past Scarvaci into the top corner of the net. City looked for a third and Jon Brookes’ shot was superbly saved by Scarvaci, before the Shamrock custodian again denied Tcuono. Shamrock pressed late looking for the equaliser, and Will Pender fired wide at the back post. It looked like Mandurah would leave with the points but in stoppage time Shamrock levelled. A corner into the area saw Keenan collide with Ronan Roarty, and the referee pointed to spot, despite the Mandurah players’ protests. Robinson stepped up and fired straight down the middle to equaliser. “It’s a decent point away from home, and I thought our lads did a solid job,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “It is difficult place to win and they are the current champions, so Robbo and I are happy with the performance.”

In other games Ashfield lost ground on the leaders after losing 2-1 against South West Phoenix at Payne Park. Jayden Prosser and Ryan Francis were on target for the home side while Dan Corbett scored for Ashfield. Joondalup United were made to work hard for their 2-1 win against Swan United at Forrest Park. Lee Jones gave the home side the lead on the half hour, and Aaron Maplestone doubled their advantage five minutes later. Swan hit back just before half time, when Yves Mwila shot struck the arm of a defender and Sean Treacey scored from the resulting penalty. Both sides had chances in the second hal but couldn’t take them. The home side should have wrapped up the points with fifteen minutes remaining, but James Harmer missed from the penalty spot. Dianella White Eagles beat Gosnells City 4-1 at Dianella Reserve. Angel Andres scored twice, with Jason Barrera and Guillermo Gomez Rojas also on target for the home side, while Liam Cave scored Gosnells consolation goal. UWA-Nedlands left Burrendah Reserve with all three points after a 3-2 win against Canning City. Canning was ahead early through Chris Holland, before Ben Reynolds levelled. The lively Reynolds added his second moments later to send the visitors in with the lead. Holland added his second to bring the sides’ level but UWA won it when Kim Mengbom headed home Ryan Ince’s corner.

In the final game Western Knights continued their recent good form with a 4-1 win against Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. The visitors looked lively early and Ross Cosgrave’s sublime through ball found Dean Aplegren who finished low past Anthony Salpietro. The Knights dominated and added a second just before the break. Salpietro missed a back pass and Paul Lloyd fired home into an empty net. The home side was back in the game early in the second half, David Houston racing clear, before finishing low past Sam Hutchinson. The Knights brought on teenage striker Jamie Bromell and he had an immediate impact scoring with his first touch. The Knights were now in control and the points were wrapped up when Lloyd’s stunning long-range shot flew into the top corner of the net.



It was top v bottom in the All Flags Division Two, but there wasn’t any upsets, with Rockingham City trashing Kelmscott Roos 9-0 at Lark Hill. Shane Boyle bagged four goals, with the others Christian Hogge, Ryan Kennedy, Gersh Rowland, Sean Brady and David Clark. The match of the round was at Wanneroo Sports Complex, with Wanneroo City running out 2-1 winners against Fremantle City. The visitors opened well but Daniel Agudelo saved a one-on-one early, but there was little he could do when Fremantle opened the scoring. A quick counter attack saw Anthony Iloma race clear and fired home after some sloppy defending from the home side. Connor Lynch hit the bar moments later, before firing wide when well-placed just before the break. The home side was back in the contest on 70 minutes. John Monterosso played in Daniel Coletta, who picked his spot and fired into the top corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area. Fremantle were reduced to ten men when Lynch was brought down by Ben West, and he was sent off. The home side they took control and ten minutes from time they scored the winner. Tommy Black’s ball picked out Monterosso who raced into the area and fired home his 15th goal of the season. “It was a huge result for us as we have come up just short against our top four rivals, and they (Fremantle) beat us well last time, so it's good to see our improvements what was a very tight contested game,” Wanneroo coach Matt Debarro said. “I still believe Fremantle are up there with Forrestfield as the two best footballing teams we've played. They are a well-coached team and an all-round nice club to host I wish them well. For us I feel our belief and confidence is back and our football was at its best, so fingers crossed we roll on from here.”

In other games Melville City and Kingsway Olympic fought out a 2-2 draw at Len Shearer Reserve. Simon El Chami and Matt Donley had given the home side a 2-0 lead, but Nathan Thorpe pulled one back with a stunning free kick. But a mistake from Melville keeper Mirko Grgurinovic was pounced upon by Joe Woodin to give Kingsway a share of the spoils. Balga ran out 2-0 winners against Quinns FC in the local derby at Princess Road Reserve. Ali Elhassan scored a penalty after 35 minutes and Jonathan McGahern scored in the 90th minute, both players were former Quinns player that joined them before the transfer deadline. Meanwhile goals to Danny Welsh and Liam McGurk gave Joondalup City a 2-0 win against Curtin University at the Iluka Sports Complex.

In the final game of the round Forrestfield United maintained the pressure on Rockingham, with a 4-0 win against Ellenbrook United at Hartfield Park on Saturday evening. The home side hit the front on 25 minutes; Will Tshabangu made space down the right and squared it across for Rhys Loxley for an easy tap in at the back post. The home side had to wait till 65 minutes to add their second. Trent Wood was brought down on the edge of the penalty area and Loxley stepped up to fire home the free kick. Loxley completed his hat-trick on 75 minutes. Matt Harold was on the end of a good team move, and he sent Loxley clear and he finished clinically. The scoring was complete with five minutes remaining. Ben Rogers turned his marker on the edge of the penalty area and fired home powerfully.



Perth SC consolidated third spot on the table after a 2-0 victory against Sorrento at Dorrien Gardens on Friday evening. Skipper Clark Keltie gave the home side the lead, before Dean Evans doubled their advantage just before the break to end Sorrento six game winning run. “We controlled the game from the get go and controlled possession, and we knew we had to patient, but the gaps appeared and we took our chances,” Evans said. “This win closes the gap on Floreat for second spot and gives us some impetus going into the Rockdale FFA cup game.”

It was a lively opening and Sorrento were the first to threaten, Brad McDonald sent Todd Harnwell into the area, but new Perth Serbian defender Aleksander Susnjar got back with a timely last ditch tackle. The home side began to take control of the game and on 22 minutes they hit the front. Josh Wilkins pulling the ball back to Keltie on the edge of the penalty area, and his shot flew into the corner of the net.

Sorrento had the perfect opportunity to level 12 minutes later. Good work on the right by Harnwell took him clear of his marker, his cross picked out the unmarked Sean Canham, who headed wide of the target from six meters. It was the best period of the match for the visitors, and they then had the ball in the net, five minutes later, but Scott Bulloch’s effort was ruled offside.

Perth were on the back foot and keeper Francis Soale had to be alert to push Bulloch’s shot around the post, before Bulloch’s deep cross landed on top of the net moments later. But in the shadows of the half time break all their hard work was undone, when Perth doubled their advantage, Evans’ free kick curled around the wall, and low past James Morgan to give them a 2-0 lead at the break.

Both sides had chances early in the second half. Ambrogio shot was well saved by James Morgan, before in a goalmouth scramble, Shaun Kilkelly’s shot was blocked by some desperate Perth defending. Perth almost added a third on 69 minutes. Rocco Pizzata’s surging run ended with a great ball into the path of Mark Pritchard, who was in on goal, but the midfielder shot flashed inches wide of the target.

Sorrento ended the game well, as they prepare for their FFA Cup clash with A-League side Sydney FC on Wednesday at nib Stadium. Thomas Boss had two late chances but he failed to beat Soale, but it was too little too late for the visitors and it was Perth who took the points.



It’s a massive week for WA football, with Sorrento and Perth SC both involved in the last 32 of the FFA Cup next Wednesday. But before then the pair meet in the opening game of Week 17 of the PS4 National Premier League on Friday night at Dorrien Gardens. Sorrento head into the game on the back of a ten game undefeated run and Coach Jamie Harnwell said he is really pleased with the way players have lifted, after being written off by some pundits this season. “In football you quickly learn not to pay too much attention to what goes on outside your circle of control. We had players from last season leave, and we had to regenerate the squad that had been so successful over the past 4 or 5 years,” he explained. “We were confident coming into the season that we had enough quality to be a competitive side and in the transformation of how we wanted to play football. It took some time to bed that down, but we are now seeing the benefits and the players deserve the credit for that.” Harnwell has had to keep his players mind on the job at hand, and he knows Friday’s game will be a tough one. “It’s easy to forget such a big game when the FFA Cup is on the horizon, but we go into their full of confidence,” he said. “Our recent form has been superb and we want to keep that run going and keep nipping at the heels of the top three. However we also realize Perth is a good side with quality all over the park, so it should be a great game.” In team news Jack Salter limped off last week and is under an injury cloud, likewise Darryl Platten, Brad McDonald and Tom Boss, but all should be fit to play.

The home side bounced back from defeat against Bayswater in week 15, to beat Balcatta last week, and Coach Taki Nicolaidis said it was a pleasing performance. “Without a doubt, we were terrible against Baysie, but responded very well last week against Balcatta,” he said. “We have reset our targets for the remainder of the season and want to finish as high up as we can hence a win against Sorrento is vital.” The Coach is well aware of Sorrento’s recent form and said it should be a great encounter. “With both teams preparing for next week’s FFA Cup game and some people thinking that both teams will go into this game easy I can assure you that we will be taking this game very serious and will be going all out to take the three points,” he explained. “I'm pretty confident that Jamie Harnwell will be of the same mind set and would be expecting a very close game.” In team news for the home side James Marocchi will miss another game with a leg injury, while Andreas Theodosiades is fit again and after playing the last two weeks in the 20’s will be putting his hand up for first team action. They are also waiting tomorrow for ITC clearance for defender Aleksander Susnjar who last played in the Lithuanian Premier League.

League leaders Bayswater City take on Balcatta in an Italian derby at Frank Drago Reserve. City was made to work hard for the points last week, and defender Adam Tong said Cockburn really took the game to them. “It was a game of two halves, we went two up and they didn’t create too many chances and we should have put the game to bed,” he said. “But in the second half they came out firing, and deservedly hit the front, mainly due to our mistakes. But we hit back and in the end got the three points, but they defiantly made it hard for us.” The defender comes up against his former club for the first time since he left last month, and said it will be another tough game. “It’s going to another interesting game this week, as from day one this season they (Balcatta) have either turned up for 90 minutes or just 45, and allowed teams back in the game,” he explained. “They have a great young squad and have a lot of quality going forward, and since I left Alex Suleski has come into the back four and I hope he doesn’t learn to many bad habits from Kieran Stallard. We need to focus for the whole game and if we do I’m confident we will come out on top and take another step towards the title.” In team news Chris Saldaris and Andy Reale are still unavailable, while Todd Howarth is under an injury cloud, but Jamie Coyne will return.

In other games the co-tenants at Inglewood Stadium meet, with Inglewood United taking on Perth Glory. It’s an Inglewood home game and they will be looking to turn around a poor run of form, but Coach Michael Garcia said he is happy with the way they are playing. “Despite my frustration and disappointment in the results recently, I’m extremely proud of the players,” he told the Inglewood web site. “The brand of football the boys are playing is good and I can’t fault the way they continue to try to apply what we are preaching to them … I just feel bad that they’re not seeing any rewards for it.” Inglewood have scored the least goals in the league, and Garcia believes the teams’ inability to finish their opportunities is a major reason why they have lost their last four games. “It’s hard to pinpoint the reason behind it. We work on our finishing every night at training, and as a coaching group we talk constantly about how we can rectify it,” he said. “We will be work hard over the next the next few weeks to ensure we fix things up.”

Floreat Athena makes the trip to ECU Football Stadium to take on ECU Joondalup. Floreat need to keep picking up three points to keep tabs on Bayswater and have only lost once on the road this season, while ECU have dropped five games at home, so Floreat will fancy their chances. Floreat welcome back striker Lewis McMahon from suspension, and Aryn Williams from his trial at Newcastle Jets, but Steve Burton and Jack Allen will miss, while ECU will hope defender Charlie Comyn-Platt and Stuart Montgomery can return from injury. Both sides will look to bounce back from defeats last weekend, when Cockburn City entertain Stirling Lions at Dalmatinac Park. The home side will be without keeper Curtis Aspden, who is overseas, but Liam Murray returns, while Harry O’Brien and Euen Grant are hoping to be fit for the clash, while Teeboy Kamara returns for the Lions. In the final game Armadale host Subiaco AFC at Alfred Skeet Oval. The home side moved off the bottom of the table with a win at Stirling and Coach Paul Price is looking for the same on Saturday. “I think everybody knows now that there will be no relegation this year so for the rest of this season it's about improving and planning for next season,” he said. “The lads were great last week and we now have to start making sure we win games at home, starting Saturday.” The home side will be missing Nick Crerand, Danny Hodgson and skipper Reece Davies for the rest of the season, but the form of striker Tonci Skorich has been great and he will be hoping to add to his two goals from last week.



The match of the round in the All Flags Division One is league leaders Mandurah City visit to last season’s Champions Shamrock Rovers at Grimley Reserve. Rovers have struggled in recent weeks with injuries and players unavailable, but Coach John O’Reilly said they are now getting back to their best side and was happy with the win at UWA-Nedlands last week. “They (UWA) have really improved, and yes we won the game but they pushed us to the end. We played some good football and did enough as a team to get over the line,” he said. “We’re on a good run at the moment and have only lost once in the last eight games, but it will be a huge test for us on Saturday.” The visit of the league leaders is one O’Reilly and the players are looking forward to. “Mandurah are the bench mark this year, and we had a very narrow loss early in the season,” he said. “We had a great record at home last season, and we are yet to be beat this season, so we believe we can turn that around this time.” In team news, Dave Murphy (Knee) and Darren O'Riordan (ankle) are unavailable, but Steve Sheridan will return to the squad.

Mandurah hold a four point lead on the table and Coach Doug Hesketh said every game in the league is difficult and they found that out last week against second bottom Morley Windmills. “I was delighted to keep a clean sheet against Morley and three points, we had a lot of chances but their keeper was excellent,” he said. “We’re ticking along nicely, but Morley showed they are a good side and I believe they will beat a few teams still.” The Dolphins travel north in a confident mood, but Hesketh knows Shamrock will make it tough for them. “Playing the current champions is a challenge, John (O’Reilly) is a good coach, they are a solid unit, and it's another test for our squad,” he said. “We have a great group of players, they are solid and support each other with a determined mindset, and Robbo and I are really looking forward to the test and I know the players are too.” In team news Craig Young is in doubt with injury, but Tom Straker returns from suspension.

Joondalup United lost ground on the leaders last week after losing to Gosnells, and they will be looking to bounce back when they host struggling Swan United at Forrest Park. “It was a disappointing result last week, but we need to turn up for 90 minutes, not 70 minutes,” Joondalup Coach John Evans said. “They (Gosnells) showed in the first 20 minutes they wanted it more than us, and we were still in the changing rooms. I’ve said all season there is no easy games in this league, and if you don’t turn up to play you will get beat.” Evans will be looking for a response from his players on Saturday, but is well aware Swan will be desperate for the points in the relegation fight. “Hopefully we can put last week behind us, and learn from it and move on,” he said. “Swan will be fighting for survival, and I’m sure Salv Todaro will have them up for the game, so we must start from the first whistle.” In team news for the home side Joe Stocker picked up and injury last week and will face a late fitness test.

In other games Morley Windmills will go in search of their first win of the season, when they entertain Western Knights at Nash Field. The in-form Gosnells City travels to Dianella Reserve, with Tom Allen and Liam Cave both back in the squad, to take on Dianella White Eagles. UWA-Nedlands, who still have a number of players with the flu, travel to Burrendah Reserve to take on Canning City, who will be without the suspended Simon Elton-Bott and Ethan Levitt, but they do regain the services of Joshua Wade, and Mark and Daniel Trevisiol.

In the final game South West Phoenix welcome second placed Ashfield to Payne Park. Phoenix earned a 1-1 draw at Western Knights last week, with Lee Stewart on target, and the striker said it was a good result. “It's always a tough game against the Knights and they started well, and Jamie Oakey made a fantastic couple saves before we went in front. It was frustrating to concede straight away but I thought the boys at the back were fantastic again and for a young bunch they are starting to gel and give us a good platform,” he explained. “We had a couple chances in the second half to steal points but it's never a bad result to leave there with a point and we remain on our unbeaten run so that's good for our confidence.” Ashfield will be looking to keep the pressure on Mandurah, and will want some revenge for the Phoenix beating them at the end of last season, which cost them the title, but Stewart, who will miss the big game as he is in Darwin for a wedding, said it will be a cracking game. “It was great to stop them winning the league last year as it's never nice to see someone else win it against you,” he said. “I’m gutted to be missing the game, as they are one of the form team of the league. They have got stronger as the season’s gone on and they will be a tough task this week. Hopefully we can put in another good performance and get a result.” In team news Ryan Risdon will miss again for the home side, while Ashfield head south at full strength.



It’s week 15 of the All Flags Division Two, and the pick of this week’s games is Wanneroo City’s clash against Fremantle City at Kingsway Sports Complex. Fremantle overcame Melville last week, but Coach Steve Plucknett said the score line wasn’t a reflection of the game. “Although we were pleased with the result, the 4-0 score line certainly didn’t reflect the closeness of the game. We knew Gavin (Brown) would have his side prepared for the local derby and it was a hard fought contest. In the end it came down to chances that both sides had, and luckily we took ours on the day,” he explained. “It was a great day and we were able to hand a full debut to 17-year-old Anthony Lomma, who has come up through our under 18’s. He showed ample evidence of his tremendous promise in scoring two goals in his first full game for the seniors.” Plucknett said the visit to Wanneroo will be another tough assignment, but it’s one they are looking forward too.” It will be another hard test against Wanneroo, the previous result means nothing now, as they are a strong side who played well against us earlier in the season,” he said. “A win is important for both sides to keep in contention, so we will have to prepare for a tight encounter.” In team news Nicky O’Brien, Rory Kiely and Andrew Morrow return to the squad, but Danny Clapham and Nathan Findlater are out. Wanneroo sit four points behind Saturday’s opponents, in fourth place on the table and Coach Matt Debarro said it was fantastic to get back in the winner’s circle last week. “It was a good game to watch, and the lads looked determined and played good football,” he said. “We looked lively in attack and very strong defensively, so it was good to get back on track.” Debarro said that Fremantle were outstanding in their first meeting, and he is hoping they can turn the result around on Saturday. “It’s an opportunity to close the gap on third place, but it’s also a chance to show how far we’ve come,” he said. “They (Fremantle) are a good side, and they deserved the 3-0 win last time. But my lads have really grown since round four and I know we have the quality to return the result around.” In team news Connor Lynch returns to the squad this week, but Chris Rizidis is still struggling with injury.

In other games it’s top against bottom, when league leaders Rockingham City entertains Kelmscott Roos at Lark Hill. City coach Rob Crerar was away last week and missed the 0-0 draw at Kingsway, and he said he won’t be doing it again. “I’ll never go on holiday during the season again,” he said. “I knew we would drop points last week, but that’s behind us now. We have struggled against Kelmscott previously, but I’d like to think we will bounce back strongly after a real poor showing last week, but we need to be switched on from the first whistle.” In team news Christian Hogge and Shane Boyle are back in the squad this week, but Fraser Marr is unavailable. Forrestfield host Ellenbrook at Hartfield Park on Saturday evening (7pm). Jason Godfrey is still out with a head injury, but Matt Harold is back from holidays, but will have to come off the bench. Ben Fraser has returned from a lengthy holiday and is pushing for a spot in the first team, but Ben Rogers is struggling to be fit after the flu. Balga meet Quinns at Princess Road Reserve. Ollie Rigler returns in goal for the home side, and Vlad Naumvski and Jonathan McGahern also return to the squad, Melville City entertain Kingsway Olympic at Len Shearer Reserve, while Curtin University travel to the Iluka Sports Complex to take on Joondalup City.


ARMADALE HUNT HOME WIN (courtesy nplwa.com.au)

Armadale coach Paul Price is desperate for his side to record its first home win of the year when it hosts Subiaco in Saturday’s PS4 National Premier Leagues WA clash. Price, who has led the club off the bottom of the table since taking over in May, said Armadale needed to build on its three away wins by claiming points at Alfred Skeet Reserve. “The team has played and lost seven games at home,” he said. “Whether there’s a mental block at home, I don’t know – if your home form isn’t good, you put yourself under a lot of pressure.”

Armadale enter the game on the back of a 4-1 drubbing of Stirling Lions, a result which highlighted the club’s progress. “They’re doing really well and they’re playing with some confidence now,” Price said of his players. “Each week we’ve been doing really well, but we need to get four or five games together with one team and no injuries.”

Armadale have only been able to play the same starting 11 twice in 10 games, and will lose Nick Crerand and Reece Davies this week, both of whom have returned home to England. And, in worse news for the club, another Englishman – leading scorer Danny Hodgson – has been ruled out for the season after scans confirmed a serious knee injury. Hodgson sustained torn lateral and anterior cruciate ligaments and a fractured kneecap in the Round 14 clash with Floreat Athena. “It’s a really bad injury for the kid – whether he plays again for Armadale or not, we wish him all the best for his recovery,” Price said. “He’s only 19, so he’s got a great future ahead of him.”

Armadale currently sit two points behind ninth-placed Subiaco, and Price said the prospect of his side overtaking the visitors would be in both clubs’ thoughts. “Perth Glory Youth, or Subiaco, or ECU – none of them want to finish on the bottom of the table, so that’s the motivation for all the four teams at the bottom,” he said. “Subiaco have some young players in, they’re only two points ahead of us, so there’s no reason why we can’t get a result if we play well.”



Perth Soccer Club have a great tradition in local football, winning the WA Premier League title on 20 occasions, and the Cup 11 times, but on Wednesday they will hit the national stage when they take on NSWNPL side Rockdale City Suns in the round of 32 of the Westfield FFA Cup. Perth skipper Clark Keltie said the competition is great for the game in Australia and said they are looking forward to the challenge. “Our club has been very successful in WA over the years and its reputation speaks for itself,” he said. “So the next step is obviously to move onto the national stage and the FFA Cup is a great place to showpiece that. It gives the smaller teams around the country a crack at making a name for them self, and everyone at Perth Soccer Club believe we can do so.”

The first games in the round of 32 were shown live on Fox Sports on Wednesday, and you could see what it meant to the winners on the night, and the Presidents of the clubs hoping for an A-League club in the next round. “The financial gains from a good cup run are massive, but we can’t look any further than Wednesday night in Sydney,” Keltie said. “I’m sure Gary (Marocchi) has his eye on a big home game in the next round, but for me and the players it’s about one game at a time.”

The draw was made live on Fox Sports and when it was drawn Keltie had to ask were and which state Rockdale was. But despite this the club has done their homework on them and how they play ahead of the big clash. “Yes, my first reaction to the draw was ‘Where is Rockdale’, so that tells you how much I knew about them initially,” he joked. “But since then Taki and the coaching staff have been gathering as much info on them as possible, even down to the finest detail of the size of the pitch and the surface, so we will be going there as prepared as we can.”

The squad is at full strength at the moment and the skipper said it will be a difficult decision for the coaches on the travelling party, but they have an important league game before they leave. “The playing group at the club is an honest hard working bunch in general, so in that respect nothing has changed, but unfortunately we can only take 16 players, but that’s football. The squad that travels will have earned their spot,” Keltie said. “We can’t look any further as a team, to the game against Sorrento tonight. They have had a good run lately, unbeaten in ten games, so we know they will turn up and give us a good game. I think we’ve played some our best football at home, so the boys will go into the game full of confidence, and so will they, so it should be great game.”

Keltie has played in many big cup games in his time in the UK, but one when he was at Darlington comes to mind. “I was fortunate enough to play in some good FA Cup / League Cup games in the UK, and a National Cup Final in Scandinavia,” he explained. “The one that stands out would be when I was at Darlington and we played Leeds United in the FA Cup 4th Round at Elland Road. Playing in front of a huge crowd in a stadium that is steeped in history was a great occasion. I somehow managed to get on the scoresheet too so it’s one to remember. Hopefully I can help the Perth boys make some memories they won’t forget here in Australia.”

Perth Coach Taki Nicolaidis says the club will head to Sydney to represent WA and believes they will give a good account of themselves. “It’s a huge opportunity for the playing group to showcase their ability against a fellow NPL club in Rockdale,” he said. “From a club point of view it's great for our profile to be on the national stage again. Everyone involved with the club are buzzing at the moment and really looking forward to putting on a good show in Sydney not just for themselves and our club but also for football in WA.”



Sorrento goes into next week’s Round of 32 Westfield FFA Cup looking to become the first NPLWA side to win at the stage in the competition. They face a tough challenge taking on A-League powerhouse Sydney FC at the nib Stadium, but a win would cap off the fantastic football career of Gulls striker Todd Harnwell. The 35-year old, who is the brother of Sorrento head Coach Jamie, has played over 400 games for the club, and will hang up the boots at the end of the season, so it would be a fairy-tale end if they can knock off the Sky Blues, and go on to have a good cup run.

The striker was to retire last season, but said he would go on for one more season, but he said this year is definitely the last. “Whatever happens on Wednesday it is like a fairytale finish for me. This will definitely be my last season, as my wife Liv and I will have a new addition to family come December,” Harnwell said. “Obviously it would be a dream come true to win the game and progress a little further in the cup, but to be able to cap off my career with an A-League experience in the FFA Cup will be something I will not forget, regardless of the outcome of Wednesday’s game.”

Harnwell said the Sydney game has been on the minds of the whole squad, and they will go out and enjoy it. “Everyone at the club is thrilled to have the chance to be viewed on the National stage, the players, coaches, the committee and supporters are really looking forward to Wednesday game and we will all be doing our utmost to ensure it will be a successful event,” he said. “It certainly means a lot to the club to show the country we are professional in what we do, and how we go about our business, but unfortunately, due to the change of venue, it will not be financial windfall for the club that everyone may think, and a large cost is associated with playing at the nib Stadium.”

The Gulls are on a ten game unbeaten run in the PS4 National Premier League WA, and Harnwell said training has been upbeat as everyone is hoping to get in the squad for the Sydney clash. “Yes training has been intense as all the boys are pushing for a starting spot in the team. We have increased our schedule to three nights a week in preparation,” he said. “They (Sydney) are still in pre-season mode, so we want to make full advantage of the match fitness we have on our side going into the game.”

Sorrento take on Perth SC tonight in the NPLWA and Harnwell said it’s a great chance to close the gap on them, and is grateful the game has been brought forward. “It was a mutual decision by both clubs to play the game earlier to give all a greater recovery time before the cup game, especially some old timers like myself,” he joked. “I think the game will still be fiercely competitive as league standings are still up for grabs and we are now breathing down their necks on the table.

Coach Jamie Harnwell is looking to forward the game and says they will be going for it. “It's a fantastic showpiece for the players and the club. We have worked very hard over the past few weeks ensuring we will go into the game well organized and prepared,” he said. “What happens once that first whistle goes comes down to those players on the park and I am confident they will give a good account of themselves regardless of the result. When you play a team of Sydney's quality you need that little bit of luck as well so hopefully that is on our side as well.”

Get along and support Sorrento against Sydney FC – you can get yours tickets from Ticketmaster.com.au



Rockdale City Suns defender Steven Hesketh will come against some familiar faces when they meet PS4 National Premier League side Perth SC in the round of 32 of the Westfield FFA Cup at the Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre on Wednesday evening. When the WA-born defender watched the draw live on Fox Sports News, he was delighted when they were paired with Perth, for who mates Dean Evans and Reece Vittiglia play. “I was made up when I saw the draw, but it would have been better if it was in WA, and I would have had a free trip back,” he joked. “It will be great to catch up with Dean and Reece, who I played for at Perth Glory and Stirling Lions. It was great playing with them, and I’m sure it will be fun to play against them as well. Perth is having a good season and they always play good football, so it should make for an interesting fixture. We have had some big games in recent week, and take on South Coast Wolves on Sunday, as we push for a top five finish, so our focus has been on the league games, but I would be lying if I wasn’t excited about the FFA Cup tie, but not that much about chasing Reece and Dean all afternoon.”

Hesketh joined the Suns last season from NPL-NSW Champions Bonnyrigg White Eagles, and he has settled in well and has helped the club consolidate their Premier League status, after an indifferent start to the season. “We’ve had an interesting season, but we are hitting some good form at an important time. We have a great group of lads and a passionate club all around,” he said. “We had a slow start with things not gelling initially and unfortunately in football the coach is the first to go and it was shame Branko Culina was let go. He was great to work for but that’s football. Paul Reid has taken over the coaching role and has definitely brought new life into our season.”

Hesketh left Bonnyrigg to join Rockdale, when the travel commitments became too much, and said the move has worked out well. “It was a hard decision to leave Bonnyrigg, especially after winning the league, but it was just too far to travel three nights a week,” he said. “Rocky has been a great move for me. We made the top five play-offs and we won the pre-season Cup competition this season, and I’m really enjoying my football at the moment and we’re hoping to reach the play-offs again this season.”

The 26-year-old started his senior football at Stirling Lions in the West Australian Premier League, before joining Perth Glory, were he helped the youth side to the Grand Final of the Foxtel National Youth League Final in 2010, before losing 2-1 in the final to Gold Coast United. He then headed to the Indonesian Super League, with a season at Deltras Sidoarjo, and one with Arema Indonesia, before heading home to the Victorian Premier League with Hume City, and then to Bonnyrigg White Eagles in the NSWNPL, before joining Rockdale City Suns.

His two years in Indonesia was a real eye opener, but he loved his time in the country. “My time in Indonesia was a great experience, both on and off the pitch. I had a great time with both clubs and have met some great football people,” he explained. “I keep in touch of Robbie Gasper, who is involved with the PFA over there, and it will be people like Robbie and the PFA who will help improve football standards and professionalism and create more opportunities in countries like Indonesia.”

Steve’s father is Doug Hesketh, who led Stirling Lions to the NPLWA title two seasons ago, and he said his dad has been a huge part of his football development. “Dad is coming over for the game, and he has been a huge influence for me in the game, and he still does” he said. “It will be great to catch up with him and talk football.” Hesketh senior believes Steve has worked hard on his game and he is getting the rewards. “Stevie has done really well in the NWSNPL, and has gained notable recognition there,” he said. “He had a solid education in the game, starting at John Curtin and including Perth Glory and the Indonesian Super League. To travel and consistently prove and establish himself at high level everywhere he has been on merit, takes a bit of character, and I take my hat off to him.”

Hesketh, whose All Flags Division One side Mandurah City sits on top of the table, said the FFA Cup will be a great occasion in WA football. “It’s a great opportunity for the WA sides, and to have a WA lad in the opposition adds to the occasion,” he said. “It should be a great spectacle, and I wish both sides all the best, but I will be cheering on Steve on from the stands.”


SWITCH GIVES SMITH A NEW PERSPECTIVE (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)

Defender Rikki Smith believes his view from the bench has provided a valuable insight into Inglewood United’s inner workings. One of the clubs’ most experienced players, Smith’s cool demeanour and talent for breaking up opposition attacks made him an automatic selection in an anchoring role across the opening half of the season.

However, back-to-back losses at the start of this month led to a defensive reshuffle that has had Smith in the unfamiliar and unwanted role of substitute for the last fortnight. It’s a switch the 28-year old has turned into a positive. “I hate missing games and watching from the sideline but it certainly opens your eyes to things you may not have noticed when playing,” he said.

“There has been a pattern developing recently which starts with us playing some great football at a very high intensity for the first 25 minutes without taking our chances. But whether you take your chances or not becomes irrelevant if you can’t keep clean sheets. The best sides in the world are built on defensive stability and pride themselves on having a measly goals against figure.”

“We’ve been playing some great football going forward but that’s no good if you don’t have the discipline and work rate, as a team, to dig your heels in and defend. We haven’t had the work rate as a team and I believe it’s played a part in our recent results. Hopefully my experience of the last couple of weeks can help get us a win this week.”

Smith has been doing all he can on the training track to convince coach Michael Garcia that its time he be restored to the starting line-up. “Arriving to a game and hearing your name read out on the list of substitutes is not a nice feeling, and one that I have no intention of getting used to,” he said.

“All you can do is take a step back, not worry about what other players are doing and work out what improvements you need to make to get back into the line-up. Work rate has always been one of my best qualities and I’m confident that if I keep working hard the gaffer will have no choice but to put me back in.”

Inglewood’s next assignment is on home soil to Perth Glory who, although bottom of the National Premier Leagues, have taken points from their last two games. “They’ve been unlucky in quite a few games this year, dropping points to late equalisers,” Smith said. “That may be down to a lack of experience but you can guarantee they will make up for it with energy.”

“We were composed and professional in this fixture earlier in the season and that will be a key ingredient to coming away with the three points again. The club is working extremely hard to develop off the field, and we have to keep the development going on the field. The top four is still our target and the recovery starts this weekend.”

“We are working hard on the training track and the gaffer has been sending clear messages in regards to the good behaviours he expects. Everyone is on notice and the pressure is on to get a result. We need to deliver a disciplined performance on Saturday and secure the win.” Inglewood and Glory pit skills on Saturday from 3:00pm at Inglewood Stadium.



Young striker Taylor Tombides revealed the extra motivation driving him to crack the big time in English football – the inspiring legacy of older brother Dylan, who died of cancer in 2014. Taylor, 19, has signed a one-year deal with Championship club Hull City after being released by West Ham United, where he spent five years at the Upton Park Academy following in the footsteps of fellow striker Dylan.

When he reflects on what's required to make the grade in a country where many audition but few succeed, he has only to think of Dylan, the Australia youth international whose burgeoning career with West Ham was cut short 15 months ago when he lost a courageous three-year battle with testicular cancer. A winger with an eye for goal, Taylor has already scored twice in the pre-season for Hull's Academy side and acknowledges the all-pervading essence of his sibling as a driver of his own career.

“Dylan is a massive inspiration to me, absolutely huge," he said. "He was a quality player and a fantastic character and somebody I always looked up to. He was the person I wanted to aim to be like and, of course, I still do more than ever. Dylan was destined for the top, there’s no doubt in my mind about that. He had all the attributes needed to be a top player in the Premier League and also for Australia.”

The sublimely gifted Dylan, who died aged 20, joined West Ham as a 15 year-old striker and made his senior debut in the League Cup against Wigan in September 2012. “As kids back in Perth growing up we played a lot of one-on-one together though at West Ham we were kept apart because he was in an older age group,” Taylor said. “He gave me a lot of encouragement and belief in my own ability and wouldn’t let me give up when things maybe weren’t going so well."

"He was determined to make sure that everybody he was ever involved with reached their potential. Probably back in the day we were quite similar players but we became quite different as we matured a bit. He was more a hold-up player who would then turn a defender and get a shot away on goal, whereas I am more of winger and I love to use my pace to get down the flank and get in a cross or cut in and have a crack at goal.”

Taylor trained with Hull, the one-time home of Richard Garcia, for the final two months of last season and is determined to force his way into manager Steve Bruce’s plans as the Tigers bid to bounce straight back to the Premier league in 2015-2016. “I think the chance is there to break into the senior squad this season," Tombides said. "I just need to keep working on a few things and get a little bit sharper and a little bit better. This is a very important year for me ... the chance to show myself and hopefully land a long-term contract."

Taylor, who arrived at Upton Park as a 14 year-old was philosophical about his exit. “It was a upsetting to have to move on but my career wasn’t going anywhere there so it was time to move on and it's worked out perfectly getting another club so soon," he said. “I thank West Ham for everything they did for me, but it was time to go. I have definitely progressed since coming here and I think I’m a lot more of a player than I was a year or so ago.”



Eli Babalj says leaving Eredivisie club AZ Alkmaar for A-League title challengers Adelaide United was "an easy decision". The 23-year old centre-forward has been loaned to Adelaide for the 2015/16 campaign after struggling to make an impression in Holland. Capped twice by the Socceroos, Babalj is yet to make a first-team appearance for AZ in the Dutch top flight, although he did manage four games on loan to PEC Zwolle last term.

Babalj, who has endured hernia and adductor injuries during his time in the Netherlands, believes he is now physically equipped to play regularly for the Reds in the A-League. "I have been doing a lot of training with AZ and also with a personal trainer as well," he said. "I played a game with AZ about two weeks ago but I decided to come here because Adelaide is a club that plays good football and was challenging for the title last year. They have good coaching staff and good players and it was a pretty easy decision."

Babalj's first task will be to convince new coach Guillermo Amor, a former Barcelona player, he deserves a place in the line-up ahead of Bruce Djite, Pablo Sanchez and Sergio Cirio. "My aim is to play regularly. I want to get stronger and fitter," Babalj said. "I've been a striker since I started playing football. It's the most difficult position. If you don't score everyone thinks you've had a bad game. There's more to my game than being just a target man. I like linking up and setting up goals."



Football Federation South Australia has signed Jamie Harnwell as coach of the Lady Reds for the 2015/16 W-League season. Harnwell, who guided Glory Women to the Premiers’ Plate last term, steps into the role following Ross Aloisi’s departure for A-League side Brisbane Roar. Under the direction of Harnwell, Glory Women set a new mark for the biggest number of league points earned in a season and also became the first team to win the first six games of a season.

Harnwell said he is excited to be joining the Lady Reds and believes the move from Perth will be a positive challenge. “I am looking forward to a new challenge, moving out of my comfort zone after living, playing and coaching in Perth for a number of years," said Harnwell, who played a club record 256 times for Glory. “The Lady Reds and Michael Carter have been welcoming and I feel this will be a positive move for me.”

FFSA chief executive Michael Carter welcomed the appointment of Harnwell to the Lady Reds. “Having Jamie lead the Lady Reds this season is an excellent result," Carter said. "Jamie is a proven W-League coach and we are looking forward to him joining the team and not only coaching the Lady Reds but reviewing our current programs for girls in the State.” Harnwell commences his role in South Australia on 14 September with the W-League commencing on 17 October.


WA STATE TEAM PREPARE FOR GLORY (courtesy footballwest.com.au)

Football West Technical Director Cris Ola has taken charge of the WA State team for matches against the WA Amateur team and Hyundai A-League outfit Perth Glory. An extended squad of players from the PS4 National Premier Leagues WA competition took part in their first training session last night in preparation for an August 19 match against Glory at Dorrien Gardens. The WA Amateur team, coached by Rob Pagnoni, will also take on Glory after the Cool Ridge Cup Final on September 12 at a venue to be confirmed. A third match will take place between the WA State and WA Amateur teams, which is provisionally scheduled for October 10.

Glory are in training for the 2015-16 Hyundai A-League season, which kicks off for the WA side away to Central Coast Mariners on October 10. The games against both State teams will provide Kenny Lowe’s team with important preparation for the new campaign. Ola, who was honoured to take the State team reins, expected WA to provide Glory with a searching test on August 19. “I’m looking forward to working with some of the best players in the PS4 NPLWA,” Ola said. “It won’t be easy against Glory and, as has been the case for some years, there will be only limited time for us to get together for training. “But we’ll try to maximise the time we have to make sure the team is well prepared for the game.” Extended squad: James Sammut, Gustavo Catarcione, Hanafi Ghazali (Balcatta); Sam Mitchinson, Gustavo Giron Marulanda, David Heagney, Borbor Sam, Trent Kay, Devon Spence (Bayswater City); Devon Gibson (Cockburn City); Ludo Boi, Bobby Wilson, Aryn Williams (Floreat Athena); Jovo Pavlovic, David Micevski, David Sesay (Inglewood United); Francis Soale, Clark Keltie, Dean Evans, Reece Vittiglia, Mark Pritchard (Perth SC); James Morgan, Jack Salter (Sorrento); Teeboy Kamara (Stirling Lions); Nathan Diaz, Ryan Montgomery (Subiaco).


JUNIOR CUP FINALS SET FOR CELEBRATION PARK (courtesy footballwest.com.au)

Some of WA’s best young players will compete in the Junior Cup Finals at Celebration Park, Balga, on August 8 in an exciting conclusion to the 2015 knockout competitions. Twenty teams from U12 to U18 have earned the right to play for cup glory after matches across the metropolitan area involving almost 400 teams.

Junior Football Coordinator Daniel Giannasi said the Junior Cup Final day always offered excitement for the teams involved. “Celebration Park is an excellent venue for the Junior Cup Final day, which throws up plenty of surprises every year,” Giannasi said. “We’ve had hundreds of matches since the competition kicked off and the final day shouldn’t only be seen as a celebration for the winning teams. “Parents and guardians, brothers and sisters, uncles, aunts and grandparents make such a huge contribution to ensure players get to matches on time and the competition runs smoothly. “They should be congratulated for their commitment, as should all match officials who have played such an important part in the competition.” Football West would like to thank Northern Redbacks for hosting the Junior Cup Final Day.

FIXTURES U12: Sorrento (NPL) v Perth SC (DV2) or Ellenbrook (DV1)
U13: Perth SC (NPL) v Sorrento (NPL)
U14: Subiaco (NPL) or Perth SC (NPL) v Bayswater City (NPL)
U15: ECU Joondalup (NPL) or Subiaco AFC (NPL) v Stirling Lions (NPL)
U16: Cockburn City (NPL) v Inglewood United (NPL)
U18: Dianella SC (DV1) v Whitford City (DV1)
Girls U13: Melville City (DV1) v Quinns FC (DV1)
Girls U14: Hamersley Rovers A (DV1) v Sorrento (DV1)
Girls U15: Perth SC (DV1) v Sorrento (DV1)
Girls U17: UWA Nedlands (DV1) v Sorrento (DV1)



Perth Glory have confirmed the termination of star striker Andy Keogh’s contract. It is understood the Irish international has signed with Thai Premier League outfit Ratchaburi, which finished fourth in the nation's top-flight last season. Keogh had one year remaining on his deal, with a one year option, and was expected to return to training last Monday, after being granted extended leave. But last week Glory revealed the 29-year old had been offered an overseas offer which the club could not compete with.

Chairman Tony Sage said Keogh and Glory had parted ways amicably. “We’re sad to see Andy go and he isn’t happy he’s going either," Sage said. "I know he is going to miss Perth a lot but I’m confident this isn’t the last time we see him in a Perth Glory jersey. We wish him well on his next football adventure." Payments to Keogh were at the centre of last season's salary cap scandal which saw Glory dumped out of the finals and fined $269,000 by Football Federation Australia. There was no suggestion the player was aware of any irregularity.



Winger Ryan Williams has re-joined League One side Barnsley on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee from Fulham. The 21-year-old, who made six appearances for the Tykes on loan last season, also has the option of a third year on his contract at Oakwell. "I have admired Ryan Williams for a long time," Barnsley manager Lee Johnson said. "Ryan Williams signing brings to the conclusion one of the irons in the fire that we currently have when it comes to recruitment for next season." Williams played three times for Fulham following his arrival from Portsmouth in 2012.



Free agents Tomi Juric and Nikita Rukavytsya have been targeted by Perth Glory as the club seeks to add much needed firepower to a squad decimated by departures. Former Glory captain turned general manager of football Jacob Burns is collaborating with coach Kenny Lowe to restore some of the lost lustre as last season's beaten finalist prepares for its FFA Cup tie against Newcastle Jets on 11 August.

While conceding Glory has more chance of recapturing the signature of former Socceroos winger Rukavytsya than Juric, Burns confirmed that both were on Glory’s radar after being released by Western Sydney Wanderers. “We are definitely on the lookout for players of their calibre and we are obviously actively in the market on that front,” said Burns. “When you talk about these two they tick a lot of boxes.”



Former Perth Glory player Rostyn Griffiths has secured his desired move to Europe, joining newly-promoted Eredivisie club Roda JC. The 27-year old midfielder inked a two-year deal with the Dutch side hot on the heels of a strong A-League season with Glory. Griffiths joins Roda after a trial with English Championship club Birmingham City failed to result in a contract. The club has a strong tradition of Australian players with Sydney FC boss Graham Arnold, former Socceroos goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac and Gary van Egmond all having spent time at the club.



Perth Glory continued their A-League pre-season with a 4-0 win against NPL side Inglewood United at Dalmatinac Park on Tuesday night. It was the final run out for Kenny Lowe’s side, before the Westfield FFA Cup game against Newcastle Jets next week, and first half goals to midfielder Mitch Oxborrow and striker Chris Harold had them in control, before a brace from youngster Stefan Valentini after the break sealed the win.

The starting line-up was similar to that which defeated Cockburn last week, however Michael Thwaite lined up in midfield with Dino Djulbic returning to the starting side to partner Antony Golec in the heart of defence. Inglewood opened brightly and Kenny Keogh fired wide earlier after a quick break, before Mohamed Awad fired straight at Jarred Tyson. The lively Awad was causing the Glory defence problems, but his crosses into the penalty area were well dealt with by Dujlbic and Golec.

But the Glory settled and began to get on top and Nebosja Marinkovic rattled the post from a trademark free kick, and it wasn’t a surprise when they hit the front. Marinkovic played a slide rule ball through to Oxborrow who made no mistake, firing low past Jordan Howell. The Glory was playing some neat football, and they doubled their lead before the break. Harold was given far too much space on the edge of the penalty area and he fired home into the top corner giving Howell’s no chance.

After the break trialist Nick Feely replaced Jerrad Tyson in goal and the Glory continued to dominate, and on the hour the Glory’s NPL side took the field, and they added a third. Nikola Talimdzioski shot was parried by the Inglewood keeper, but Valentini was the quickest to react to head home. Valentini was in the action again when he added the fourth. The 19-year-old was found by Slobodan Vulin’s through ball; he held off his marker and fired home into the top corner of the net.



Adelaide United has strengthened its attacking options with Australian international Eli Babalj joining the Reds on loan from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar. Babalj, 23, joins Adelaide until the end of the 2015/2016 season. "I'm really looking forward to spending the season at Adelaide United working with Guillermo Amor, the coaching staff and players," Babalj said. "I've always admired the way Adelaide plays football and (am) excited for the challenge this opportunity presents."

Adelaide chief executive Michael Petrillo was delighted to have signed Babalj, who has two Australia caps. "Eli was one of the first players we put on our list when we started our search for an attacking player so to have been able to secure him is terrific," said Petrillo. "He will fit well into our style of play and has had a great preparation having been in Holland for the last season or two. He's young, hungry to keep developing and was keen to join us. He will provide a different dimension to our attacking play."



With the departure of Irish striker Andy Keogh, Perth Glory are in search for a replacement and it’s been reported they have former Glory striker Nikita Rukavysya and Socceroo striker Tomi Juric on their radar, who were both cut from the Western Sydney Wanderers at the end of last season. With both of them now free agents, and with Glory Coach Kenny Lowe needing another striker to fill the void left by Keogh, who was the clubs top goalscorer last season, he is keen to bring one or both in before the clubs first competitive game, when they take on Newcastle Jets in the FFA Cup on August 11.

It looks more likely they have more of a chance of recapturing the one-time Perth sharpshooter Rukavytsya than Juric, but Glory’s General Manager of Football Jacob Burns confirmed they are interested in the pair. “We are definitely on the lookout for players of their calibre and we are obviously actively in the market on that front,” said Burns. “There aren’t too many Australian-born players out there who are available for those positions, and everybody is looking for the best possible deal they can get. When you talk about these two they tick a lot of boxes.”

Ukraine-born speedster Rukavytsya scored 16 goals in 42 appearances for Glory between 2007 and 2009, before heading to Dutch side Twente, and then German clubs Hertha and Mainz, before returning to the A-League with the Wanderers last season. “With Nikita there’s obviously that relationship from the past," Burns said. “He still has family here and there is a genuine interest there for him. But we are also looking at a whole lot of other options. One thing is apparent; we need a marksman to replace Keogh but are of course dictated to by the funds available. Any club would love both these boys, Tommy playing down the middle and Nikita on the wing. Have that in your team and you are in a pretty good spot.”

The Glory will be looking to bounce from last season’s salary cap problems, which saw them miss out on the finals and fined heavily, and they have lost goalkeeper Danny Vukovic, striker’s Keogh and Jamie Maclaren, Danny De Silva, defender Scott Jamieson, winger Youssouf Hersi and midfielder Rostyn Griffiths. They have recruited well with keeper Ante Covic, defender Antony Golec, Hungarian midfielder Gyorgy Sandor and Sydney FC youngster Hagi Gligor, among the new signings as the club continues its rebuilding phase,

Burns believes the club can rise again and be competitive next season. “We are probably not in a dissimilar position to the year before when we lost eight or nine players with guys retiring, seeking other opportunities or going overseas,” he said. “But we have brought in a few and I am really looking forward to seeing Sandor play because he’s an exciting talent while Golec will fill a good spot for us. “It’s piece by piece and I think with a couple more to come in before the season starts we will be stronger and ready when the time comes. “There’s huge hunger here for success from the players who have stayed and those we have brought in.”



Former Sydney FC defender Marc Warren is on trial at Perth Glory trying to revive his career. Warren, 23, has spent the past year playing for New South Wales club APIA Leichhardt in a fall from grace after being an Australia youth international. Two seasons with English club Sheffield United and one at Scottish side Airdrie United preceded his joining Sydney, where he made just 8 appearances last season before being released. Warren started for Glory in last week’s pre-season friendly with Cockburn City, delivering some precise balls into the box in a solid showing.



Sorrento maintained their ten game unbeaten run, after a 3-0 win against Inglewood United at Percy Doyle Reserve. Todd Harnwell gave the home side the lead at the break, before second half goals to Jack Eades and Ryan Pearson gave them a comfortable win, although Inglewood did have chances but failed to convert them. “It was another big win for us and to keep our unbeaten run going,” Sorrento midfielder Scott Bulloch said. “To be fair we started off slow, but by the second half we were the better team, and again we were defensively solid and was good to score a few at the other end.”

With regular Inglewood keeper Aleks Vrteski unavailable, reserve keeper Jordan Howell made his club debut, and they started the game well and went close to the opener in the first minute. The lively Scott Witschge shot bringing out the best of Sorrento keeper James Morgan. Witschge was causing the home defence all sorts of problems and his shot across goal four minutes later flashed just wide of the target.

Inglewood were bossing the early part of the game, but with James A Morgan returning to the middle of the Sorrento midfield, the home side lifted and started to take control. Then seven minutes before the break they made the break through. Todd Harnwell made space down the right, cut inside and his shot from distance flew past Howell into the top corner of the net. The home suffered a blow at the break when Jack Salter was forced off; he was replaced by Thomas Boss.

The game was still up for grabs, and the next goal would be crucial and it went to the home side on 65 minutes. The Gulls won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area, and Eades stepped up and curled the ball into the top corner, giving Howell no chance. The visitors went close to pulling one back 10 minutes later. David Micevski’s free kick was only parried by James Morgan, but the Sorrento custodian was quick to react to superbly save the follow up shot. The game was made safe eight minutes from time, when Pearson was given far too much space 18 meters from goal and he fired home.



Floreat Athena kept the league leader Bayswater City in their sights after a hard fought 3-1 win against Subiaco AFC at Rosalie Park. Jon Stynes opened the scoring early, before Kris Gate doubled their lead before the break. Danny Milne pulled one back for the gutsy Subiaco side, but a goal four minutes from time from skipper Ludovic Boi wrapped up the points. “We knew they (Subiaco) were going to be hard to break down, but if we kept to our game plan we would get the three points. They made it hard for us but we managed to keep our shape and ran out deserved winners I thought,” Stynes said. “Since moving clubs I've enjoyed the football that we've been playing which is very attacking so I feel I've fitted in quite well with the style of play.”

Floreat, in the first game without defender Aryn Williams, started tentatively and Subiaco were well in the game. Both sides had early half chances, but it was Floreat who opened the scoring on the quarter hour. Gate was picked out in the penalty area, he held off his marker and crossed, it wasn’t cleared by the Subiaco defence and Stynes was on hand to score from close-range.

Subiaco, whose squad were decimated by injuries and suspensions, almost levelled moments later. Clayton Arnez’s back pass was under hit, and Ian McMurray nipped in and went one-on-one with Floreat keeper Fraser Greenwood. The veteran striker rounded the keeper, but took the ball wide and his shot from the angle crashed off the post and away to safety.

It was the best period of the match for the home side, but they couldn’t turn their possession into goals, but on 36 minutes Floreat showed them how to do it. Floreat skipper Ludovic Boi was a constant threat and it was his run and cross that picked out Gate, and he made no mistake at the back post.

The home side could feel aggrieved to be behind and on the hour they should have pulled one back. Teenage winger Ignacio Dominguez was picked out by a cross, but the debutant fired over from point-blank range. That miss was forgotten six minutes later, when Subiaco reduced the margin. English stiker Milne rising highest to home a powerful header giving Greenwood no chance.

It was game on and the home side through everything at Floreat, but they couldn’t find the equaliser. Their cause was helped on 83 minutes, when Floreat defender Jack Allen was shown a red card by referee Shin Chen. Gerry McEwan’s side were pushing men forward in search of a goal and three minutes later Floreat hit on the counter attack and added their third. Boi latched on to a long-ball over the top and he lobbed the on-coming Ryan Montgomery to seal victory.



Bayswater City, were made to work hard for the points after a thrilling 4-3 win against Cockburn City at Frank Drago Reserve. Gustavo Giron-Marulanda gave them a two goal lead early, before Conor Kavanagh pulled one back just after the break. Irish striker Rory Patterson put the visitors ahead with two quick goals, before Bor Bor Sam levelled moments later. The Colombian striker won it with a late penalty, to maintain their eight point lead at the top of the table. “I think we have played the worse game of the season so far, and we have got away with a win, which shows the capability of our team, and we have got great individuals that can make things happen at any time,” Marulanda said. “Unfortunately our defence had one of those days, but you’ve got to just shake it off and go on, as they’ve been the best by far in the league this season. Personally I’m very happy to have scored another hat-trick this season, but also to put my contribution to the team when needed, it’s always good for a striker to bang in goals.”

It was an even opening to the game and the first real chance fell to the home side on 16 minutes. Marulanda’s pace took him clear of the Cockburn defence, his shot beat Curtis Aspden, but the post came to the Cockerels rescue. Marulanda then found the net moments later, but his celebrations were cut short with the flag up for offside. But on 20 minutes he did find the target. He was sent clear again by David Heagney’s through ball and this time he finished clinically past Aspden.

The home side doubled their lead seven minutes later. Marulanda capitalising on a poor defence header, to race in goal and fire low past Aspden. Bayswater skipper Trent Kay then had a goal disallowed for offside, as it looked like being a long day at the office for the visitors. They should have reduced the margin in first half stoppage time, Patterson picking out Kavanagh, whose header, with the goal at his mercy, flashed wide of the target.

The visitors needed a good start after the break, and two minutes in, they did. Bayswater failed to clear their lines and the ball was fired home by Kavanagh from eight meters. It was now Cockburn on the front foot and Patterson’s shot was well saved by Devon Spence, and on 58 minutes he levelled. The Irish marksman turned his marker on the edge of the penalty area, and finished with aplomb past Spence.

Then two minutes later, Cockburn hit the front. Patterson was on the end of a move, and he rocketed home his shot into the roof of the net, giving Spence no chance. But the Champions showed their credentials and hit back moments later. Sam skipped past his marker and fired low across Aspden from a tight angle, to make it 3-3.

It was anyone’s game, but the decisive moment came with twenty minutes remaining. Marulanda was brought down in the penalty area and referee Steven Gregory pointed straight to the spot. The striker picked himself up and sent Aspden the wrong way to score and put the home side back in control. Julian Teles had the opportunity to earn the visitors a point late on, but his header was straight at Spence.



Perth SC bounced back from last week’s defeat against Bayswater City to beat Balcatta 3-1 in the Italian derby at Dorrien Gardens. All the damage was done in the first half, with Mark Pritchard, Reece Vittiglia and Dean Evans all on target. The home side struggled to break down a tight Perth defence, their only goal coming late in the game through substitute Hasan El Yassiri. “It was a good result for us coming of the back of a loss against the league leaders Bayswater. The boys showed great character in the first half, putting away our chances and keeping a clean sheet,” said Perth defender David Cyrus. “Going into the second half I think we eased of the gas a little and unfortunately conceded one in the later stages of the game. But overall our performance was excellent and we’re looking forward to our Friday night game against Sorrento this coming week.”

The home side was out of the blocks early, and they were ahead on six minutes. The lively Aden Da Luz eased past his marker and delivered a great cross to Pritchard, who made no mistake from close-range. They weren’t finished there, and on the quarter hour they added a second. Vittiglia picked the ball up in the middle of the park and wasn’t closed down, and he unleashed an unstoppable long-range shot which gave Clint Davies no chance.

Balcatta were shell-shocked, but went close to pulling one back on the half hour. Francis Soale superbly saving Cameron Teece shot, before the Perth custodian denied the league’s top goalscorer Gustavo Catarcione three minutes later. But on 37 minutes it was 3-0. Evans was brought down by Kieran Colwell on the edge of the penalty area, and Evans picked himself up and curled the free kick into the corner of the net.

Perth sat back after the break, but Balcatta couldn’t find a way through with former Balcatta duo Cyrus and Julian Madaschi outstanding. But with three minutes remaining the home side scored a consolation goal. El Yassiri found space in the area, and side foot past Soale. But the day got worse for Balcatta when James Sammut was shown a red card by the referee and sent off.



Armadale moved off the bottom of the table after a stunning 4-1 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. Anthony Skorich bagged a brace for the visitors, with Faustino Machochi and Darren Francis scoring the others, while Lawrence Shuruma scored for the Lions. “It was an amazing performance from the team today, we played some good football and took our chances,” Armadale defender Sam Loveless said. “You can see the impact that Pricey has had on the side and the club and we played to a game play today and it paid off, and we look forward to next week’s game against Subiaco.”

The home side had the first opportunity, when new signing Shane Malcolm raced clear, but Armadale keeper Dylan Wilson narrowed the angle, and he fired wide of the target. But on three minutes Armadale hit the front. Jesse Fuller made room on the flank and crossed to Skorich, whose diving header gave Lance Alavakis no chance.

Skorich was causing all sorts of problems to the Lions back four and he should have doubled their lead on the half hour, but failed to convert after Alavakis had fumbled a shot. Then in the shadows of half time the former Perth Glory striker was thwarted by Alavakis, who produced a stunning save to deny him.

Stirling began well after the break and Daniel Micevski and Malcolm went close, but their pressure was rewarded on 51 minutes with the equaliser. Micevski’s pace took him clear down the left, he cut inside the area and picked out Shuruma at the back post, and he made no mistake from close-range. It looked like Stirling would go on and win it, but Paul Price’s side had other ideas, and ten minutes later the visitors regained the lead.

The pacey Machochi was given far too much space in the area and he finished low past Alavakis from a tight angle. The visitors were now dominating and it wasn’t a surprise when they added a third ten minutes from time. Second half substitute Sam Khankilily crossed and Francis caught it sweetly on the half volley and hit the back of the net. They wanted more and Khankilily saw a shot crash off the woodwork, before in stoppage time Skorich added his second to give them a much needed victory.



ECU Joondalup hit back from two goals down with nine minutes remaining to draw 2-2 with Perth Glory at Inglewood Stadium. The home side looked on course for back-to-back wins, for the first time this season, after a Slobodan Vulin’s penalty and Stefan Valentini strike, either side of half time had given them a two goal lead. But substitute Paddy Doyle pulled one back for the visitors, before Tommy Amphlett stuck late to earn his side a share of the spoils. “To concede two late goals is very disappointing, and in my opinion we should have gone home with the three points, but that’s football,” Glory striker Valentini said. “We have to keep our heads high, as we playing some good football and we look forward to next week.”

The visitors went close early, Jon Higgins played in Amphlett, whose shot was saved low by Jordan Thurtell. The Glory youngsters hit back and ECU keeper Jamie Serra saved superbly to save Dejan Spaseski’s header on the half hour. The ECU custodian was keeping his side in the game, and he reacted well to save Jacob Collard’s free kick moments later. But three minutes before the break the Glory hit the front. Slobodan Vulin converting from the penalty spot after Nikola Talimdzioski was brought down in the area by Kye Douglas.

Both sides had chances early in the second half; Higgins’ header was well saved by Thurtell, before Waliedin Ismail fired straight at Serra. But as ECU looked like they were getting back into the game, the Glory doubled their advantage. Collard’s free kick was headed back to him, and his deep cross from the left picked out the unmarked Valentini at the back post, who fired home. ECU changed their formation as they looked to get back in the game and Higgins moved forward, and his first time shot was well saved by Thurtell. Then on 81 minutes ECU reduced the margin. The lively Josh Tucker crossed to Higgins, were flicked the ball on to Doyle, who bundled the ball over the line at the second attempt.

It was game on, and four minutes later the visitors levelled. Joe Smith played in Amphlett, and the striker raced into the area and finished clinically past Thurtell. It was a frantic end to the game and both sides had late chances to win it. Tucker fired wide after cutting inside the penalty area in stoppage time, and with the last kick of the day Collard’s powerful free kick was saved by Serra. But they both had to settle for a point. The action still wasn’t over, and after the final whistle Glory midfielder Vulin was shown a second yellow card by the referee and was sent from the field



All Flags Division One leaders Mandurah City were made to work hard for their 2-0 win against bottom of the table Morley Windmills at the Hyundai Stadium. “It was a great win, and they (Morley) were very tough to break down,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “We had to match them all over the park and both sides played some excellent football, but we had to stay patient, and we got our rewards at the end.” Morley was competitive in the first half and Mandurah were struggling to break them down. It looked like it was going to be one of those days for the Dolphins, but with fifteen minutes remaining they found the opener. Second half substitute Joe O’Brien finding space in the area and coolly lobbed the keeper. The points were wrapped up six minutes later. Jordan Rhodes picked out Abe Tcuono who played a one-two with O’Brien, and fired low into the net.

Gosnells City produced a great away performance, when they inflicted Joondalup United’s first home defeat of the season in 2-1 win at Forrest Park. The visitors raced into a two goal led early in the first half. Jason Pottier opening the scoring from the penalty spot after Wade Farmer was brought down in the box, and they doubled their lead moments later. Jacob Aquino played a diagonal ball through to Farmer who made no mistake at the near post. United hit back in the second half, and Rowdy Yates’ corner caused a scramble in the box and Lee Jones fired home from close-range. United went search of the equaliser but Gosnells defended well to deny them. “It was a well-deserved win that showcased a first half of play that reinforced our possession and tempo game plan which gave us a deserved 2 – 0 half time lead,” Gosnells Coach Wally Aquino said. “In the second half we should have killed the game off in the first 10 minutes but could not convert a couple of well-made chances and then as per previous recent weeks we had to defend to protect a lead. I’m pleased to say that the boys played like ‘Giants’ and defended a flurry of long balls and intense pressure to secure a much needed win. It was a whole team effort and everyone should be very proud of their performance.”

In other games Western Knights had to settle for a 1-1 draw against South West Phoenix at Nash Field. Lee Stewart was on target for the visitors, while Nathan de Abreu fired home Paul Lloyd’s cross for the Knights to give both sides a share of the spoils. Shamrock Rovers travelled to the UWA Sports Park and came away with a 3-1 win against UWA-Nedlands. They hit the front early, Paul Concannon turning home Charlie Keena’s cross from the bye-line. Alec Robinson added a second, before Will Pender curled home from the edge of the box to make it 3-0. UWA scored a late consolation goal through Ben Reynolds.

Second placed Ashfield kept pace with Mandurah after a 6-0 win against Swan United at the Ashfield Sports Club. “It was solid team performance, and dominate a game with 10 men for 50 minutes,” Ashfield Coach Paul Dundo said. “Swan tried hard all day but no reward, but I was impressed with our shape and the way we controlled the game and at times looked like we had the extra player.” The home side was ahead early, Dan Corbett firing low past Alfie Brincat, and it was 2-0 on ten minute through Brian Patterson. The home side then lost Matt Brooks to injury and brought on 17-year-old Justin Onek to make his state league debut. They continued to press and made it 3-0 on the half hour, Corbett flicked the ball on and Liam Merigan fired home. Ashfield were then down to 10 men on 40 minutes when Brett McGuire was sent off. But the ten men continued to threaten after the break and Ruben Tristao eased past his marker and squared the ball back to Merigan to add his second. Merigan completed his hat-trick ten minutes from time before Alex Stamatiadis added the sixth in stoppage time. In Sunday’s game Dianella White Eagles beat Canning City at Burrendah Reserve. Jose Bonilla bagged two for the visitors with Hasan El Yassiri the other and Callum Roberts scored for Canning.



Forrestfield United kept the pressure on the league leaders, but were made to work for it, after a 2-0 win against Joondalup City at Hartfield Park. The home side dominated early and opened the scoring on 20 minutes. Jimmy Duncan turned his marker on the edge of the penalty area, before pulling the ball back to Rhys Loxley, who played in Sedad, who fired home from close-range. They doubled their lead ten minutes later. Lynden Powell beat two players before picking out Loxley, who fired home from 12 meters, to keep them only one point behind Rockingham City. City had their lead cut to just one point, after they dropped two points after being held 0-0 by Kingsway Olympic at Kingsway Reserve.

Wanneroo City returned the winners circle after a 4-1 win against Ellenbrook United in the local derby at Arbor Grove Reserve. “It was a really confident display of football, and we said we wanted to control the game and we did,” Wanneroo Coach Matt Debarro said. “We knew the first 15 they'd come at us, but we soaked up the pressure and controlled them well. Once we got our first goal we never looked in doubt. It should have been more than four, we created a lot of chances, that's no disrespect to Ellenbrook unfortunately for them they got us on a day where the frustration from a few quiet weeks in front of goal all came to the surface today. Proud of the boys I think we can roll on from here and finish the season strong.” The visitors were ahead on the quarter hour. Scott Campbell played Wayne Yang down the right, and crossed in to Daniel Coletta who played in Campbell, who had continued his run, and he made no mistake. It was 2-0 before half time, Spiro Nenadic picking out Coletta, who volleyed home from the edge of the penalty area. It was 3-0 early in the second half, Campbell playing in John Monterosso who finished clinically. Ellenbrook pulled on back with fifteen minutes remaining, but Yang added his second to give Wanneroo a comfortable victory.

In other games Quinns made it three games undefeated, after a hard fought 2-1 win against Curtin University at Gumblossom Park. Fremantle City were too good for Melville City, and ran out 4-0 winners at Hilton Reserve. On target for the home side were Anthony 'Junior' Llomar, who bagged a brace, with Maddy Holman and Connor Shaw adding the others, with Ty Fenwick, who was celebrating his birthday, laying on the third. In the final game Balga ran out 8-3 winners against Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. The visitors made the perfect start and Ajri Taela put them ahead in the opening minute. It was 2-0 on six minutes, Kyall Osborne firing home, before a double from Andreas Bouzinekis made it 4-0 in the first half hour. But the home side hit back and scored from close-range on 35 minutes, and added another late from the penalty spot. But Balga hit back early in the second half and Bouzinekis completed his hat trick and Osborne added the sixth. Lyon Varney then saw his penalty saved by the Kelmscott keeper, before the home side added a third on 70 minutes. But late goals from Sahr Konomaid and Varney gave Balga a very comfortable win.



It’s week 16 of the PS4 National Premier League, and Footballwa.net ‘Match of the Week’, is Inglewood United trip to Percy Doyle reserve to take on Sorrento. The Gulls are one of the form sides in the league, unbeaten in their last seven games, and won the local derby against ECU Joondalup last week. Midfielder Scott Bulloch, who has returned to the club recently after work commitments said they are playing well at the minute. “It was good to come away with a win in a tricky fixture, they (ECU) have a very young team, who battled hard all day, but experience counted on the day and we got the job done,” he said. “It wasn’t our best performance, but it kept our winning run going.” Bulloch said he is getting closer to full fitness, but said it’s been a good transaction back to the NPL. “It’s not been easy getting my fitness and touch back to where I want it to be, but with more game time I believe I’ll be able to play a big part in the rest of the season for the club,” he explained. “It’s been easy slipping back in with the player group, as they are a quality group of lads.” The former Perth Glory midfielder said Saturday’s opponents have a quality side and knows Sorrento will need to be at their best to take the points. “They have some great players in their squad, the likes of Andrija Jukic, David Micevski and Aleks Vrteski, players who can win them games, so we know we are in for a very tough game,” Bulloch said. “We also seem to have tight games against them, and I expect this to be no different on Saturday.” In team news Danny Cain returns to the squad, after missing last week, while midfielder James Morgan has impressed in the reserves in recent weeks and is pushing for a first team call-up.

After a five game winning streak early in the season which moved them into the top five, Inglewood has lost the last three. Assistant coach Saul Contera said they need to stay focused, and get back to the form that brought them success earlier in the season. “A good run of form can change quickly, which we have experienced. For us this season, with no finals and the league looking like being a one horse race, we are looking at the bigger picture, which is maintaining high training standards, developing our systems of play and trying to find consistency, which is needed to be a top four side, which we are aiming to be,” he explained. “In recent weeks we have performed well in large chunks of games, without capitalising on our play, and in turn being punished for our lack of concentration at the other end. This is something we are working hard on to rectify.” After only scoring 20 goals in the league this season, Inglewood need to start converting the chances they are creating, but Contera said they have improved from last season, but knows they need to continue on with it. “We have missed a lot of golden opportunities to capitalise on dominant spells in matches, and in turn have been punished heavily for lapses,” he said. “We are a club that finished ninth last season and it is about progression on and off the park, and we are heading in the right direction.” Inglewood will have a full squad to choice from this week, including Coach Michael Garcia, who has served his two game touchline ban.

League leaders Bayswater City welcome Cockburn City to Frank Drago Reserve, and Cockburn young defender Jonathan Corness said they head into the game with confidence after a solid win last week against an improved Armadale. “We’ve had mixed results recently, so to do the double over our local rivals was important,” he explained. “I thought we thoroughly deserved the win, and scored some good goals, so we head into this week’s game looking to cause an upset.” Corness, who joined Cockburn from Ashfield at the start of the season, has been a shining light in the side, and said it’s helped to have some experience in the side. “It’s always good for us younger players to have an experienced bunch of lads to give you advice on those one per centres, like positioning, and to give you confidence if you’re doing the right things,” he explained. “When I joined the club I was hoping to push into the first team squad when I got the opportunity, but Marc (Anthony) has been great and has made it a smooth transition into NPL football for me.” The young defender say’s the table doesn’t lie, and Bayswater are a quality side, but they are looking forward to taking them on. “They (Bayswater) are top of the table for a reason, they are a good side, and they’ve beaten us twice this season,” he said. “If we can produce the same intensity we showed against them in the second half of the FFA Cup loss, then I believe it may be third time lucky for us.”

In other games Stirling Lions host Armadale at Macedonia Park, with both sides looking to bounce back after defeats last week. Armadale welcome back Jackson Bealey, and it will be Nick Crerand’s last game for the club, before he returns to the UK, while Lions striker Million Butshiire is unavailable. Second placed Floreat Athena travel to Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco AFC, knowing a win is vital to keep tabs on the league leaders. The home side welcome back skipper Nathan Diaz, while Steve Burton and Bobby Wilson are pressing for a starting role, after coming off the bench last week. But they will be without Lewis McMahon, who is suspended, and Aryn Williams, who has joined A-League side Newcastle Jets. Perth Glory will look for back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they host ECU Joondalup at Inglewood Stadium. The Glory youngsters will fancy their chances with ECU having not won since round five, when they beat the Glory 1-0. The Glory at full strength, while keeper Jamie Serra returns for ECU.

In the final game of the round, it’s the Italian derby with Balcatta entertaining Perth SC at Grindleford Reserve. Balcatta bounced back to beat Inglewood last week, and striker Steve Sokol said they deserved the points. “We worked hard all game and more importantly we worked well as a team,” he said. “We needed the win after recent results, so it a step in the right direction for us.” Sokol is one of the younger players that have pushed into the first team this season for Balcatta, and he is enjoying the challenge. “It’s great to be playing more regularly in the first team this season,” he explained. “It’s good to see more talented young players getting their opportunity in the league this season, and we have a few here who have made the step up, or are pushing for a first team spot, which bodes well for the club.” The striker is looking forward to the big game on Saturday, but knows it will be a huge challenge. “We’re all looking forward about facing Perth, and looking to get another win,” he said. “When we played them earlier in the season we weren’t at our best, but we have stepped it up and it shows in our results and performances. We have only conceded three goals and scored ten in the last four games, so things are looking up, and we will be looking to carry that on this week.” Balcatta will be hoping skipper James Sammut can shake of injury, while Perth will be without defender James Marocchi due to injury.



The top of the table is getting tight in the All Flags Division One, and this week both the top two sides take on the bottom two sides. The pick of this weekend’s games is Ashfield home game against Swan United at the Ashfield Sports Club. Paul Dundo’s side knows nothing more than three points will do, to keep the pressure on Mandurah. They came back from 2-0 down last week at Gosnells, and keeper John Perkins said they were fortunate to take all three points. “Last week was a real roller coaster. We found ourselves two goals down, in a game we had plenty of possession and relative control, but sometimes that happens in football,” he said. “The important thing was that we came away with the points with a scrappy performance, and whenever you play Gosnells at their place you know you are going to have to earn the points, because they are a hard working side.” Ashfield have the best defence in the league, while Swan has the worst, but Perkins said they are continuing to improve but need to be better. “Funnily enough as a team we are not all that happy with the number of goals we’ve conceded, even though it is the lowest in the league at this stage,” he explained. “It’s a nice accolade as a keeper to keep tally of but to be honest we conceded the least goals last season and didn’t win the league, so I would happily trade defensive merit for wins on the board.” The keeper said they won’t be taking Saturday’s visitors lightly, and said they had to work hard to beat them in the first game of the season. “We defiantly won’t be going into this game thinking they (Swan) will roll over and hand us the points,” he said. “They have some very good young players that will cause teams problems and we had to fight for our win at their place earlier in the season. We will be focusing on implementing our game plan and thinking with that and hard work we have the capabilities to win the game.” In team news Ashfield will be missing Nick Davies for the rest of the season after breaking his wrist last week.

Swan keeper Alfie Brincat returned to the side last week, and he said they were unfortunate not to take anything out of the game against Western Knights, which put the thrashing at Mandurah behind them. “The defeat to Mandurah was very disappointing and really hit us hard, it didn't help that a poor refereeing decision killed us and the game after just 10 minutes then after that they just punished us,” he said. “If I'm honest I think we deserved at least a point in the Knights game last week. For 30 minutes off that second half we created so many chances and had them on the back foot, just a lack of concentration which hurt us for the third goal. If we tighten a few screws I know we will be ok and survive the drop.” The English keeper has been out for seven weeks, and during that time the club has slipped down the table, but the custodian has kept himself fit. “The last seven weeks for me have been very frustrating, but I’ve been training, and been to all the games, but I'm just glad to be back playing and to get the club away from the relegation zone,” he explained. “There are a lot of younger boys with a lot of talent in the squad who are more than capable to do the job, but it's been a tough few weeks with injuries, suspensions and absentees so hopefully with all the boys back in the next couple of weeks we can pull ourselves away.” Brincat is well aware Ashfield are playing well this season, but said they head there looking for a result. “This weekend’s game will be very tough for our young squad, if we play to our strengths I sure feel we can get a result, he said. “Salv (Todaro) will make sure everyone is up for it as every game till the end of the season is very important for us.” In team news for United Nathan Scully and Reegan Borzecki return to the squad, but Nick Phipps is struggling and will face a late fitness test

In other games league leaders Mandurah City host Morley Windmills at the Hyundai stadium. The home side will be without Craig Tone, who is overseas, but they welcome back Craig Young and Paul Jackson from injury, while Morley will be without keeper Luke Martino, who is overseas. Joondalup United will be looking to bounce back from last week’s draw, when they entertain Gosnells City at Forrest Park, the visitors welcome back Sean Taylor to the squad, while South West Phoenix make the trip north to take on Western Knights at Nash Field. In the final Saturday game UWA-Nedlands host Shamrock Rovers at the UWA Sports Park. The visitors will be desperate for the points to keep in touch with the leaders, and they will be sweating on the fitness of Shane Cassidy and David Murphy. UWA coach said it is a big game for his side. “We have had a bug go through the squad this week, and the make-up of the side is still up in the air,” said Coach James Rae. “This is a very important game for us, and we know we will have to be at our best and can’t underestimate Shamrock, and I’m sure John (O’Reilly) will have his lads firing.” On Sunday Canning City host Dianella White Eagles at Burrendah Reserve. The home side regain the services of Chris Holland and Simon Correia, but will be without Ryan Shackleton, Daniel Trevisiol, Joshua Wade, Tom Gibbins and Mark Trevisiol, while Dianella will be missing the suspended Angel Andres, but Goran Radinovic returns



It’s also tight in the All Flags Division Two, with Rockingham City, Forrestfield United battling for the title, while Fremantle City is pushing them all the way. This week’s feature game is Melville City’s trip to Hilton Reserve to take on Fremantle. Melville skipper Matt Donley returns from suspension for the trip and he is expecting another tough game, and he hopes they can bounce back from last week’s 1-1 draw against Ellenbrook, where they conceded a stoppage time equaliser. “Last week was a very disappointing result, to take the lead late in the game only to concede in the dying minutes was frustrating, but that’s gone know,” he said. “Fremantle were the best team we played in the first half of the season, so it’s going to be a very difficult game to earn something, but we’ll have a go, and if play to our ability we can get something from the game.” In team news Tom Grant also returns from suspension. Fremantle’s Ty Fenwick said they were unlucky not to come home with something last week at the league leaders, and they will be looking to bounce back on Saturday. “We haven’t really played the way we would like over the past few weeks for various reasons which cost us, and unfortunately going down to ten men towards the end of the first half last week didn’t help us out at all either,” he said. “Melville will be a tough challenge as always but hopefully we will see a return to form this week and have a good win at home and keep the pressure on the top two.”

League leaders Rockingham City travel to the Kingsway Reserve to take on Kingsway Olympic. They head into the game still without Paul Larvin and Blake Sokoloski, while the home side will be without Brett Cutting and Dejan Gurovski, while Ryan Fielding and Ian McKean are in doubt. Forrestfield United entertains Joondalup City at Hartfield Park. The home side will be without the injured Jason Godfrey, and Matt Harold is unavailable, while Lydon Pywell and Jordan Hart return to the squad. Quinns entertain Curtin University at Gumblossom Park, and they go into the game with Callum Trayner back in the side after serving a suspension. Curtin welcome back skipper Kye Middleton, Rory Binnie, Dilip Thapa and Ranjeet Sekhon for the game, but will be missing the injured Eddie Tikoft, while Albert Bucchino will face a late fitness test. Kelmscott Roos host Balga at Frye Park, and the visitors welcome back Ahmed Nour and Denis Fekovic from suspension, while Gareth Crawley, Nahom Michael and Andreas Bouzinekis should all return to the squad.

In the final game Ellenbrook United host Wanneroo City at Arbor Grove Reserve. Wanneroo were edged out 1-0 in a close encounter against Forrestfield last week, and Scott Campbell said they deserved something from the game. “Last week was a tough loss, but I think they (Forrestfield) are the best side this year and to compete against them so well and come so close only to lose with a late penalty was disappointing,” he said. “They had the better of the first half and had us pinned back in our own half for extended periods. But we defended well as a group and despite their possession and territorial dominance we limited their chances and felt comfortable coming in at half time. In the second half we played better and started to come into the game going forward, countered well and created some really good chances that we just didn't finish and those misses before and after the penalty ultimately cost us the points.” The midfielder said they need to get back in the winner’s circle and will be looking for a repeat of the first time they met this season when they ran out 4-0 winners. “We haven't won in a few weeks, despite some good and encouraging displays the last couple weeks,” he said. “We have dropped away from the top couple to the middle of the pack so three points is really important this week, and a similar result from last time would do nicely.” In team news Conor Lynch unavailable while Chris Rizidis is in doubt. But in better news Dave Colleta returns after three weeks out, and Matt Hattan and Steve Wright are in line to make their first starts for the season.



Perth Glory has announced that former striker and club legend Bobby Despotovski will be their head coach in Westfield W-League next season, and former Glory Women’s skipper Collette McCallum will be his assistant. Despotovski, who played 241 games for the club, and is the clubs’ all-time leading goal scorer. He has been appointed to the role after taking the helm of the Perth Glory under 20’s team in the PS4 National Premier League, which currently sits at the top of the ladder.

The 44-year old and former Socceroo is looking forward to the new challenge and coaching on the national stage. “I’ve had great times at Perth Glory, from scoring goals to winning trophies, now I’m determined for silverware as a coach. I know we have the passion and determination to claim the highest honour in Australian women's football,” he said. “I’d also like to acknowledge my predecessor and former teammate Jamie Harnwell who led the Women's team to the Grand Final last season. He had a stellar season and achieved a lot. Hopefully this year we can go one step further”.

Despotovski will be joined in the dugout by former Matilda’s midfielder, Collette McCallum, who has been named assistant coach. McCallum played 50 W-League games for the Glory Women and made 81 appearances for Australia, scoring 11 goals for the Matildas. "I'm thankful to still be involved with the team and I am looking forward to learning as much as I can from Bobby and Kenny," the former midfielder said.

Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe said he had been impressed by Despotovski’s effort with the NPL side. “Bobby’s obviously been a fantastic servant to the club, who has done a great job with the NPL lads and watching on as a fellow coach, and I think he has what it takes,” he said. “As for Collette, she’s a fantastic person, a great player and has the right qualities to complement Bobby. I think it will be a great team”.



Perth Glory will not stand in the way of star striker Andy Keogh's early exit provided the club is compensated. The A-League outfit said they are already in talks with a number of strikers after confirming the imminent departure of the Irish international. Keogh has one year remaining on his deal, with a one year option, and was expected to return to training on Monday following extended leave, however, that didn’t eventuate.

“Upon his return to Perth late last week, Keogh received an offer from an overseas club which Perth Glory could not compete with,” read a club statement. “Perth Glory exhausted every avenue to resolve certain terms and conditions relating to Keogh's contract from last year and offered him a new and transparent deal that did not breach the salary cap. After several talks with Keogh and his management the club decided not to stand in his way, subject to Perth Glory being compensated.”

Payments to Keogh were at the centre of last season's salary cap scandal which saw Glory dumped from the finals and fined $269,000 by Football Federation Australia. Keogh’s departure robs the club of significant firepower, the striker hitting the back of the net a dozen times during Glory’s ill-fated 2014/15 campaign. His departure is another blow to the club who has already lost young gun Jamie Maclaren, experienced goalkeeper Danny Vukovic and Scott Jamieson among others.



Star defender Josh Risdon says a fast start to the coming A-League season will quickly erase Perth Glory’s off-field woes which ruined their bid for the 2014/15 title. Glory were found guilty of salary cap breaches, fined $269,000 and kicked out of the finals series by Football Federation Australia whilst sitting second on the ladder in April. The club had started last season brilliantly, spending a lengthy period of time at the top of the ladder and making the final of the FFA Cup.

Risdon said Glory’s focus was on making a winning start once again, beginning with next month’s away FFA Cup fixture with Newcastle Jets. “Hopefully it’s a good season and not only that just the team with what happened on the back end of last season,” Risdon said. “Hopefully we can get back to playing good soccer and kick start our season with a few good wins and I’m sure the end of last season will forget itself if we are playing good.”

Several players have departed Glory since last season ended but Risdon said he’s happy to remain with the club that gave him his professional start. “I love Perth, I love living there and I didn’t really want to leave,” the 22-year-old said. “The club, the players are good and the coach is good so for me I didn’t really want to look elsewhere. Hopefully this season is a different season off the field and hopefully we can just do the same things as last season on the field.”



Star striker Andy Keogh Is set to walk out on Perth Glory as the fall-out from the A-League club’s salary cap scandal continues. Keogh still has one more season remaining on his existing Glory deal, but it’s understood he will leave the club in order to take up a lucrative contract overseas. The club tried their best to keep the former Irish international, however, they were unable to match the overseas offer.

Keogh, who scored 12 league goals last season, is likely to be of interest to rival A-League clubs, with Asia also a possibility for the former Republic of Ireland international. The loss of Keogh is another blow for Glory coach Kenny Lowe, who has lost first-choice keeper Danny Vukovic, Scott Jamieson, Youssouf Hersi and Jamie Maclaren since the end of last season.



Perth Glory opened their 2015/16 A-League season campaign with a 1-0 win against PS4 National Premier League side Cockburn City in a pre-season at Dalmatinac Park on Tuesday evening. A first half goal from Richard Garcia gave them the win, on a sad night, with both sides standing for a minutes silence prior to the game in memory of Esad Djulbic, father of Glory defender Dino who passed away in the week. "We moved the ball into different positions well and we created some havoc up front. For us really tonight was a chance to play as a team against another 11. It was a great opportunity to get some fitness and play as a unit,” Glory assistant coach Andy Ord said.

Glory coach Kenny Lowe gave club debuts to Jerrad Tyson, Anthony Golec, Hagi Gligor, and it was an even opening the game with Cockburn looking bright, as they prepare for Saturday’s league clash with league leaders Bayswater. But the Glory were playing the ball around well and they hit the front on five minutes, Garcia finding room in the penalty area to fire low past Jordan Franken, the Glory youth keeper who was guesting for Cockburn.

Cockburn went close moments later. Devon Gibson and Conor Kavanagh combined down the left, and Gibson cut inside his marker, but his shot was saved by Tyson. Glory trialist Marc Warren was given the opportunity by Lowe, and the former Sydney FC midfielder looked impressive. The Glory was creating a number of chances. Chris Harold made space down the flank, but his dangerous cross was well claimed by Franken.

The Glory went close again moments later, Golec crossed into the penalty area, but Harold’s goal bound shot was cleared. Sidnei Sciola and Harold were causing the Cockburn defence problems, and on the half hour, Harold’s shot on the turn, was well saved low by Franken, before Mitch Oxborrow’s free kick flashed over the top. At the break it was 1-0 to the Glory.

Both sides made wholesale changes at the break, with a Glory NPL side taking over, and the lively Stefan Valentini fired wide midway through the half. Both sides had second half chances but there was no more scoring, but it was a good first up workout for the Glory side.



Australia defender Chris Herd is on the lookout for a new club after rejecting a short-term deal to remain at Aston Villa. On the brink of full fitness after suffering a knee ligament injury while on loan at Wigan Athletic in February, Herd is aiming to return to the English Premier League, even if it means joining a Championship or League One club to regain lost momentum.

Father and mentor Willie Herd, who spent 13 seasons in Scotland’s top flight with Falkirk and Partick Thistle, said there has been some interest from second and third tier English clubs for the versatile defender, whose career has been hindered by a succession of injury setbacks. With 36 senior appearances in five seasons at Villa Park, the 26 year old didn't feature for the first team last season and was ruled out of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup by an Achilles injury.

“Chris’s contract has been officially terminated at Villa and while there have been some sniffs, there is nothing concrete on the table just yet from elsewhere,” Herd senior said. “Two years ago he was playing in the Premier League but last year he played only a handful of games (on loan) for Bolton and Wigan. Villa offered him a three-month contract because (coach) Tim Sherwood wanted to have a look at him, but Chris said no to that.”

No matter what, the A-League is far from his radar, with Willie Herd insisting: “Chris really isn't interested in that at all. We have spoken about it and there was interest from Newcastle Jets last season but Chris just still has aspirations and the desire to get back to playing in the Premier League again. He feels he has another six to eight years to offer, and that’s what he's focusing on.”

Herd, who was seeking a season-long extension, has been continuing his rehab at Villa and is close to regaining full fitness as he seeks to pick up the threads of his career. “He’s a free agent right now but of course had he been fit and playing he wouldn’t be in this position," Herd senior added. “You would like to think that a player with Premier League experience who is available on a free transfer, if he is fully fit, would be a good pick up for a lot of teams.”

"He can do a job for a coach, that's for sure. It’s now just a waiting game … he’s feeling very positive and believes something is going to happen and hopefully people will still remember what he can do when he is fully fit. It just needs somebody to take a chance on him. He’s close to full fitness now and he hasn’t given up all hope at Villa just yet. The boss has been away with the team and when he returns perhaps he may reconsider - but as things stand he is no longer a Villa player.”



AS Roma may have paid an A-League transfer record to land Daniel De Silva, but the young attacker looks set to be loaned out this season. Belgium appears to be the most likely destination for De Silva, who joined the Roma squad for the first time at the weekend International Champions Cup clash with Real Madrid.

The Italian giants have signed 18-year old De Silva, who played 35 times for Perth Glory across two seasons, on a five-year deal. It is believed Roma agreed to a $1.5 million transfer fee with Glory, however, that fee will rise to $1.8m with add-ons, attached to first-team appearances with Roma.

De Silva, who got a maiden Socceroos call-up last month, said he was excited to be part of Roma’s squad in Melbourne. “The coach has spoken with me a bit, it’s good to know what’s going on with me,’’ De Silva said. “Moving forward with the plans I’ll be in and around the squad.”

“It’s been fantastic so far, all the boys have been really welcoming and everything. I’m really enjoying my time here. A little bit longer to go, but I’m having a fantastic time, just soaking up the experience and training with some of the greats.’’

De Silva didn’t featured against Real Madrid but was thrilled to be among the substitutes on Saturday night. “I just went out there and soaked it all in, it’s not every day you get to sit on the bench against Real Madrid,’’ he said. “It was a fantastic experience for me and now I’m looking forward to Man City.’’



Bayswater City continued their lead at the top of the table, after a convincing 2-0 win against local rivals Perth SC in the Italian derby at Frank Drago Reserve on Sunday. First half goals to Gustavo Giron-Marulanda and Todd Howarth won it for the home and although Perth had plenty of second half possession they couldn’t find the breakthrough. Bayswater skipper, and former Perth SC defender Trent Kay, said they deserved the points. “We dominated the first half and should have put the game to bed, but the post came to their rescue,” he said. “These games are always one we look forward too, and both sets of supporters are passionate about their club, so we are happy to take the points.”

Perth knew three points were vital if they we’re to keep in touch of the league leaders, but they found themselves behind after only 19 minutes. David Heagney played the ball over the top for Marulanda, and the Columbian striker, made no mistake, firing low past Francis Soale. Things went from bad to worse for the visitors, when Bayswater doubled their lead on 28 minutes. Marulanda was brought down 18 meters from goal by Dean Evans, and Howarth curled the resulting free kick up and over the wall and into top corner of the net.

Perth was giving the ball away cheaply, and Bayswater should have added another two minutes later. Danny Dixon played Marulanda in on goal, but Soale stood tall to thwart him. The woodwork then came to Perth’s rescue four minutes from half time, and it was that man Marulanda again. He outpaced his marker, rounded the keeper, but his shot hit the post and away to safety. But on the stroke of half time Perth should have pulled one back. Mark Pritchard played the ball over the top to Nicholas Ambrogio, who raced in on goal, but his lob over the on-coming Devon Spence drifted the wrong side of the upright. Then straight down the other end Bayswater almost nicked a third, Heagney crossing to Dixon, whose shot hit the base of the post and away to safety.

After the break Dixon fired over from the edge of the penalty area, before Howarth’s in-swinging corner was punched clear by Soale. Perth, were having plenty of possession, and Bayswater were happy to sit back and hit them on the break. But Perth did have a number of chances. Pritchard’s close-range header was saved by Spence, before he saw another shot from the edge of the box saved low by the Bayswater custodian. To Perth’s credit they continued to press, but lacked the final ball in the last third of the pitch, and at the whistle it was Bayswater celebrating another ‘Rivalry Round’ victory.



Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett admits he’s been impressed with Shane Lowry as the defender strives to earn a deal at the club. Lowry scored the Blues' equaliser in a 1-1 friendly draw at Kidderminster Harriers over the weekend, a game which also featured fellow West Australian triallist Rostyn Griffiths. Rowett had identified 26-year old Lowry as a possible contender to strengthen the left side of his defence but stressed the club were not yet ready to offer him a contract.

Lowry is a free agent after gaining his release from Leyton Orient following their relegation from League One. “Shane came in having done no training, in has been in a gym for a month because he hasn’t been training at Leyton Orient," said Rowett. “He has headed everything, he has been very aggressive, he has got up from a set-piece. There’s that gap of left-side centre back/left back we can see if we can look at something different. There’s nothing definitive.”

Rowett was also pleased with what he’s so far seen of Griffiths. “I thought Rostyn looked better as the game went on and hit some lovely cross-field passes,” he said. “We are just looking at certain little areas where we might be able to improve, alongside the two or three we still want to bring in.” Griffiths, who opted to leave Perth Glory at the end of the 2014/15 season, also featured in Birmingham’s mid-week friendly win over Nuneaton Town.



Cockburn City maintained their fifth spot on the table after a 3-1 win against local rivals Armadale, in their ‘Rivalry Round’ clash at Dalmatinac Park. Cockburn striker Rory Patterson was outstanding, bagging a brace, with Conor Kavanagh adding the other, while Darren Francis, who was a stand out for the visitors, scored Armadale’s consolation goal. “We created a lot of opportunities today, and I was really pleased with the attitude of the players,” Cockburn Coach Marc Anthony said. “On another day we could have scored six or seven, just a little disappointed to concede a sloppy goal late. We now look forward to taking on the league leaders Bayswater City next week.”

It was an even opening to the game, and new Armadale signing Anthony Skorich tested Cockburn keeper Curtis Aspden early, before David Araya fired over for the home side. But on 13 minutes the home side hit the front. A quick throw out from Aspden sent Julian Teles away and he fed Patterson, who rolled off his marker and fired home clinically past Luke Radonich. It should have been 2-0 moments later, Feisal Zaw sent Patterson clear, but Radonich narrowed the angle and the striker fired wide. The home side were well on top, and Armadale were hanging on. Patterson headed wide at the near post, before Teles shot was well saved by Radonich. It looked like the Reds had held on until the break, but in stoppage time Cockburn doubled their advantage. Teles played the ball in to Patterson, who raced into the area. His shot was saved by Radonich, but the ball rebounded of Kavanagh into the net, despite Passalacqua goal line clearance.

The visitors opened brightly after the break, and Aspden had to be alert to deny Skorich early, before Francis’ long-range shot flashed inches over the bar. But Cockburn settled and on the hour they added a third. A ball over the top by Conor Kavanagh sent Patterson racing into the area. He held off Sam Loveless before finishing with aplomb. Armadale continued to take the game to Cockburn, and Skorich was sent clear by Jesse Fuller, but Aspden stood tall to deny him. But the visitors were back in the game on 79 minutes, Francis rising highest to head home Loveless’ free kick. Both sides had late chances. Patterson was a denied a fourth on 89 minutes; his shot superbly saved by Radonich, before Mick Crerand’s shot was saved low by Aspden.



Sorrento have won the ‘Northern derby’ after a 3-1 win against local rivals ECU Joondalup at the ECU Football Stadium. Teenage striker Bayley Montgomery put the host ahead early, but Shaun Kilkelly levelled soon after. The visitors took the lead fifteen minutes from time through Brad McDonald, and three minutes later the points were made safe when Cian Hirrell scored into his own net.

The young ECU side started the game well and were ahead on 11 minutes. Bayley Montgomery slid in to finish Joe Smith’s low cross from close-range. But their lead didn’t last long and eight minutes later Sorrento levelled. Jack Eades’ free kick picked out Kilkelly, who headed home at the back post. Both sides pressed and James Morgan and Andy Banks kept their sides in the game and it was all level at the break.

The home side lost experienced defender Charlie Comyn-Platt at the break, and he was replaced by Ben Wantee, and they had to rearrange the back line. Sorrento began to take control and Banks was again in fine form. The veteran keeper, who retiring last season, has returned to replace the suspended Jamie Serra, saved well to deny Jack Salter, and moments later Thomas Boss’ cross picked out Salter again, but this time his half-volley flashed inches past the post.

But on 75 minutes Sorrento’s pressure was rewarded with the lead. This time Salter was the provider, his pass picked out Brad McDonald on the edge of the penalty area, and his shot flew past Banks. The ECU custodian was keeping his side in the game with a couple of good saves, but there was little he could do when Sorrento added a third three minutes later. Boss made space down the left, and his cross was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Hirrell.



Balcatta will hope to have kick started their season after a come-from-behind 3-1 win against Inglewood United at Grindleford Reserve. David Micevski gave the visitors the lead after only ten minutes, but Cameron Teece levelled before the break. Then second half goals to Steve Sokol, and a late strike from Gustavo Catarcione made sure of the three points. “I thought they (Inglewood) were the better team in the first half had many chances to put the game to bed, but we rode our luck and I managed to score and we went in level at the break,” Balcatta’s Cameron Teece said. “But we hit back after the break and we dominated and we're clinical in front of goal, and I thought we deserved the win.”

The home side went close to the opener after only five minutes; Paddy Quinn’s volley was well saved by Aleks Vrteski. But Inglewood, who were looking to end a two game losing streak, hit the front on 19 minutes. Micevski was sent racing into the area, and he finished clinically past Clint Davies. Both sides pressed, and the football was end to end, but on the half hour the home side levelled, debutant Teece rising highest to head home Catarcione’s cross. Both sides had chances to regain the lead late the first half. First Catarcione’s lob dropped inches over the top for the home side, before Andrija Jukic’s free kick was only inches away from Scott Witschge in the six-yard box.

The home side were again out of the blocks quickly after the break and on the hour Catarcione’s free kick crashed off the post, and Vrteski was alert to save Sokol’s follow up shot. But six minutes later they did take the lead. Sokol brought the ball down on his chest, lost his marker and his shot on the turn flew past Vrteski. Inglewood then had a penalty claim turned down by referee Matthew Southern, after Mohamed Awad was bundled down in the area. They went close again three minutes from time. Witschge made space down the flank, his shot was deflected into the area, and Brian Woodall was quickest to react, but his shot was straight at Davies, who saved. They then earned a corner and even Vrteski came up for it, but when the ball was cleared Catarcione raced clear, and rolled the ball into an empty net to seal the points.



Perth Glory have won for the first time since round two, after a 3-0 win against Subiaco AFC at Inglewood Stadium. A goal in last minute of first half by Nikola Talimdzioski put the Glory youngsters on track, before after the break Slobodan Vulin added a second and Talimdzioski the third to give them a confidence boosting victory. “It was a great win for us today, and it has been a long time coming to grab our second win,” Glory defender Nathan Costello said. “We put in a complete performance, and hopefully it will kick start a strong run of form as we head towards the end of the season and we can finish higher up on the table, to match how well we've played all year.”

The home side were on the front foot early, and they started like they finished last week at Stirling, and Subiaco were defending deep and hitting on the counter attack. The first real chance fell to the home side, Calvin Whitney’s long-range shot beat Ryan Montgomery, but the crossbar came to the keeper’s rescue. Subiaco have improved as the season has gone on, and they almost took the lead on the half hour. Costello was caught in possession on the half way line by Josh Booysen, and the winger raced clear, but Glory keeper Jordan Thurtell stood tall and saved his shot. But in the shadows of half time the home side hit the front. Waliedin Ismail played in Dejan Spaseski, whose cross was turned home by Valentini, his fifth goal of the season.

The visitors opened the second half brightly and the Glory was defending stoutly, but Subiaco couldn’t turn their half chances into goals. Subiaco thought they had a penalty on the hour, when Danny Milne was bundled over in the penalty area by Gian Albano, but referee David Bruce waved away their protests, much to the displeasure of the Subiaco players and coach. With Subiaco pushing men forward looking for the equaliser, the Glory were finding gaps behind them, and on 71 minutes they doubled their lead. Tom King made space down the left, and played in Vulin, who fired home from a tight angle. Valentini had a chance to make it 3-0 moments later, when the lively Nikola Talimdzioski played him in on goal, but he saw his shot crash off the post and away to safety. But the teenage striker made emends for that miss eight minutes before full time. Spaseski was given far too much space, and sent Valentini clear and he finished with aplomb past Montgomery.



All Flags Division One leaders Mandurah City had to settle for a point after a thrilling 3-3 draw against South West Phoenix at Payne Park. Jordan Rhodes gave the visitors the lead on 25 minutes, the midfielder was sent clear of the offside trap, and made no mistake. But the Phoenix were level soon after, Mandurah didn’t clear their lines and referee Alex Best spotted a handball, and Lee Stewart converted from the resulting penalty. The home side soon hit the front, when the referee awarded another penalty when Andy Brown brought down Stewart, and he picked himself up to score from the spot. Then three minutes before half time the visitors levelled, from another penalty. This time Abe Tcuono was brought down, and Rhodes made no mistake from the spot, to end an enthralling 45 minutes of football. The action continued after the break and there were chances at both ends, but it looked like Mandurah had won the points, when amazingly the referee awarded another penalty, after substitute Santos was brought down on 83 minutes. Rhodes stepped up to score and complete his hat-trick. But in the shadows of the final whistle the home side earned themselves a point, Stewart firing home to complete his hat-trick and give both sides a share of the spoils. “It is a good point in the end for us,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “Four penalties in a pretty clean derby, was amazing, but it’s a tough place to go and win, so a point is good result. I thought we started well and missed a few good chances early, then took the lead, but after that it was a slog. “To concede a late goal is disappointing, but full marks to both sides. We got ourselves into a winning position twice, but they dragged themselves back.”

Ashfield moved into second place after a come-from-behind 3-2 win against Gosnells City at Walter Padbury Reserve. The home side opened the scoring on ten minutes, a corner wasn’t cleared properly by the Ashfield defence, and a shot from the edge of the penalty area, was turned home by Tyron Pottier from close-range. Ashfield squandered a number of first half chances but they went to the break down. Gosnells opened the second half well and increased their lead five minutes in. Ashfield gave the ball away in the middle of the park, and a through ball sent Wade Farmer in on goal and he chipped John Perkins to score. It looked like it wasn’t going to be Ashfield’s day, but they pulled one back on the hour, Dan Corbett scoring after a Gosnells keeper Adriano D’Alo failed to hold a long-range shot. Ashfield we’re now in control and they levelled moments later, Brian Patterson’s bicycle kick from a corner, gave D’Alo no chance. Ashfield hit the front on 75 minutes, Alex Stamatiadis shot from the edge of the area beat D’Alo, and in a poignant moment Stamatiadis pointed to the sky, to honour his best mate who passed away last week. The visitors then lost Nick Davies with a nasty wrist injury, and they were holding on late as Gosnells pushed for the equaliser, and they went close in the final minute, Farmer raced into the area one-on-one with Perkins, but the Ashfield custodian stood tall to deny him. “It wasn’t our best performance, but I’m really proud of the character the players showed to come back and win,” Ashfield coach Paul Dundo said. “All players gave their all in the last 30 minutes, and in the end got the result they deserved.”

In other games Joondalup United let a two goal lead slip to draw 2-2 with Dianella White Eagles at Forrest Park. Arran Maplestone scored the opener for the home side after only 30 seconds, cutting in from the left and firing low past keeper Yousri Gharsallah at his near post. It was 2-0 on three minutes, Maplestone was brought down in the box by Goran Radinovic, and referee Alex Novatsis pointed straight to the spot. James Harmer converted the resulting penalty. Dianella were back in the game on 37 minutes, when Gilmar Marulanda fired home superbly from the edge of the penalty area. They were level sixty seconds later, Ali Safak scoring from close-range, after Joondalup keeper could only parry Marulanda’s shot. Both sides had chances after the break but couldn’t convert them. The visitors ended with ten men when Radinovic was shown a second yellow card. Shamrock Rovers returned to the winners circle after a 2-1 win against Canning City at Grimrey Reserve. Sean Browne and Charlie Kenna were on target for Rovers, while Charlie Parry scored for City. “I felt we dominated the first half, but Canning put in a strong effort after scoring,” Rovers’ Coach John O’Reilly said. “It was a scrappy last ten minutes but we got the job down and it’s nice to be back in the winner’s circle.” UWA-Nedlands left Wotton Reserve with all three points after a 2-1 win against Morley Windmills. Steve Shaw ws on target for the home side, but a brace from Ben Reynolds saw UWA home.

In the final game Western Knights beat Swan United 4-2 at the Swan Italian Club. United custodian Alfie Brincat was in fine form, and he made a number of great saves to deny his former club. But there was little he could do when the Knights hit the front midway through the first half. Luka Jukic’s free kick picked out Connor Thurston who headed home. The Knights doubled their lead on the stroke of half time, Joel Parker’s shot on the turn gave Brincat no chance. After the break the young Swan side lifted and pulled one back on the hour, Ryan Treacey’s long-range free kick was curled into the net. The home sidewere well on top and it was no surprise when they levelled, Brennan Borzecki firing home after a fumble from the Knights keeper. But the Knights hit back, when the unfortunate Anthony Papalia headed past his own keeper. The Knights wrapped up the points late with substitute Nathan DeAbreau finding the target. “Swan showed that they can play and whilst the result wasn’t what coach Sal Todoro would have wanted his team showed some real grit to bounce back well after the previous weeks thumping,” Knights coach Andy Thorburn said. “We’re happy with the win lads’ effort but we would definitely do some shooting practice during the week on the training track.”



League leaders Rockingham City kept their place at the top of the table after a hard fought 2-0 win against third placed Fremantle City at Lark Hill. The home side hit the front five minutes before the break. Some neat lead up play from Snelson, Kpatar and Hissey end with Grayson who made no mistake. The points were made safe just after the hour. A corner was flicked on by Grayson, and Rowland scored from close-range at the back post. “It was a fantastic performance, everyone stepped up again and I couldn’t be happier with the attitude and work rate,” Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said. “We controlled the game from start to finish and to come away with six points against Forrestfield and Fremantle in consecutive weeks is really pleasing.”

Kelmscott Roos earned their first point of the season after a 0-0 draw against Curtin University at Raphael Park. They needed a late penalty save from Roos’ keeper Kristian Usedo to do so, but coach Rob Eldridge was really pleased with his sides’ effort. “I’m absolutely stoked for the lads, they deserved the point, and both sides had opportunities to win it,” he said. “Curtin had long periods of possession but we defended stoutly led by our captain Aaron Hardy. Overall a gritty and determined performance by all the lads, but we needed a late penalty save from Kristian to give us the point but I think we deserved it. We’re getting closer to that elusive first win of the season.”

In other games Melville City and Ellenbrook United fought out a 1-1 draw at Len Shearer Reserve. Both goals came late, and it looked like the home side had nicked all three points, when Blake Readwin scored. But deep in stoppage time Liam Hurley levelled to earn his side a point. A second half penalty from Rhys Loxley gave Forrestfield United a 1-0 win against Wanneroo City at the Wanneroo Sports Complex. Quinns FC and Joondalup City fought out a 1-1 draw in their local derby at Gumblossom Park. The visitors were ahead in the first half when Danny Allen scored into his own net, but a Luke Serra goal after the break earned the home side a point. In the final game Balga and Kingsway Olympic played out an entertaining 0-0 draw. Both sides had good chances to win it. Nathan Thorpe’s free kick crashed off the post early, before Chad Dos Snatos hit the bar, while Jonathan McGahern fired wide when well-placed for the home side. After the break Balga keeper Ollie Rigler produced a stunning save to deny Wayne Culverwell, and Vlad Naumovski wasted a good opportunity for the home side, but they had to settle for a share the spoils.

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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