Floreat Athena striker Lewis McMahon is ready for top of the table clash.

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THIS WEEK ON THE WORLD FOOTBALL PROGRAMME

This Saturday on The World Football Programme on Radio Fremantle 107.9FM at 10am with hosts Jason Washington-King and Don Evans. Guests will be Jamie Harnwell (Sorrento), Marc Anthony (Balcatta), Nat Adamopoulos (SA football guru) and Paul Grove (Beckenham Angels SC). The agenda includes a full rundown of men's NPL, A-league wrap and update on Mills park redevelopment and women's state league. Join the conversation Saturday from 10am on talk back via 9494 2100 or text in your comments to 0408 921 832.

29.4.2016

PS4 NPL-WA ROUND SEVEN - PREVIEW

It’s week seven of the PS4 National Premier League, and the two form teams of the competition Stirling Lions and Floreat Athena meet at Macedonia Park, in the Footballwa.net Match of the Week. Stirling beat league leaders Inglewood United last week and striker Robert Petkov said it was a good all-round team performance. “It was a tough game last week, but I thought we deserved the win,” he said. “They (Inglewood) were unfortunate to miss an early chance and penalty, and we took advantage of the one man extra and it showed in the end.” The striker said Saturday’s opponents are in a rich vein of form, and being traditional rivals it has all the hallmarks of a classic game. “The club have a healthy rivalry with Floreat, and it will be a crucial game, and we know a win would really set us up nicely,” Petkov explained. “It'll be another tough match as they (Floreat) are coming off a good run of form and will definitely be one of the teams to beat for a top four spot, so it should be an entertaining game.”

Floreat are unbeaten in their last five games and striker Lewis McMahon returned last week to after injury and he said it was a good win against ECU Joondalup. “We started very slow but the last 20 minutes of the first half and the whole of the 2nd half we dominated,” he said. “I think a few lads were in their comfort zones and thought it would just happen. But after a going a goal down all the boys stepped up and put ECU to bed. Some very good performances throughout the side and with the quality we have, goals will always come.” The English striker said Saturday’s game will be a tough one, but said he doesn’t know much about the Lions. “To be honest I don't know much about them, but they are coming off a good result and we need to be focused, “he explained. “They are so obviously no pushovers, but we don't worry about the opposition. It's going to be a good game as we are now putting a few results together and the league is wide open this year which is great. So all to play for.”

Sorrento sits second on the table and they are the only unbeaten side in the competition, and this week they return home to take on league leaders Inglewood United at Percy Doyle Reserve. Inglewood lost for the first time last week, while The Gulls flew home with the points from Cockburn City, and defender Ryan Pearson said it was a good win at Dalmatinac Park. “At the end of the day we definitely deserved the win, but we did start off very slow and sloppy,” he explained. “But once we conceded the opening goal it kicked us into gear and then our ability and dominance started showing through and we scored three goals and managed to come home with all three points.” The former Perth Glory defender said Inglewood has a talented side and knows they will need to be at their best to get the result. “We’re looking forward to this weekend’s game to get back to winning ways after our loss to Armadale in the FFA Cup, which was very disappointing for us and the club,” Pearson said. “They (Inglewood) are a tough side and it will be a good test for the lads to again compare ourselves to another top team, but it should be an entertaining game.”

Balcatta have won back-to-back games in the league and head north this weekend to take on ECU Joondalup at the ECU Football Stadium. Joondalup have fall of the pace in recent weeks, and assistant Coach David Tough said last week’s fade out at Floreat was a real disappointment. “We’ve been bitterly disappointed with the last couple of week’s performances, but all the coaching staff knows we have a talented squad of players and we believe we will improve,” he explained. “In both matches we were competitive but never took our chances at key moments of the game, if we had we could have taken six points. We dominated the first half at Floreat, but after the break we lost our shape and we were punished.” Tough said Balcatta are hitting their straps after an indifferent start and he said it will be a good contest. “They (Balcatta) have now got a bit of momentum, winning three on the bounce, and Marc Anthony has them playing an attacking brand of football and going to be a real tough game,” he said. “We’ve worked hard this week and we’ll be well prepared and ready to make emends for the last couple of weeks, especially our second half showing last week.” In team news Welsh defender Joseph Jones returns from suspension, while tommy Amphlett and Josh Tucker should be available after injury.

Armadale will go in search of their first home league win, when they take on local rivals Cockburn City in the twilight game at Alfred Skeet Oval (5.00pm). The Reds troubled Bayswater last week and midfielder Jordan Candlish said they deserved something from the game. “I thought we played extremely well against a strong opposition and we were unfortunate not get something out of the game,” he said. “Regardless of the result we took confidence from the performance, and it showed on Monday night in our FFA Cup win against Sorrento.” Candlish, who signed from Perth SC this season, said Saturday game is vital for both sides to get their season started. “I think this week is a massive game for both clubs they certainly haven't had the start they would have liked,” he said. “From our point of view this is a must win game as our home form has not been great, play like we did on Monday I have no doubt we will come away with a result. We came away injury free from the double-header last weekend and the lads will be raring to go come match day.”

Perth Glory will be looking for back-to-back wins when they travel to Dorrien Gardens to take on Perth SC. The Glory youngsters won for the first time last week and defender Ross Millard said it was good to get the monkey off their backs. “Yes it was good to get off the mark last weekend in terms of the win, however it was a frustrating game to be a part of due to having most of the possession and chances but to Subiaco’s credit they defended really well and fought right to the end,” he said. “We came in at half time really disappointed to be 1-0 however the boys dug deep and got the result we felt we deserved.” Millard said Saturday’s game is a huge test, especially with Perth coming off three defeats, but he is confident they can get a result. “No matter what form they're in Perth will always be a big test for whoever plays them,” he said. “They have a strong squad with talent across the park but we feel in ourselves that we can match them and hopefully go one better and get the win. Over the course of the first six rounds, we probably haven’t been rewarded with our positive performances so we're looking to put another really strong performance this weekend to get the three points to really get our season up and kick start our season.”

In the final game Bayswater City make the trip to Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco. The home side are still searching for their first points of the season, while Bayswater will be looking to bounce back from their FFA Cup defeat against Cockburn on Monday. City did win in the league for the first time in three weeks last week against Armadale, and striker David Heagney said they made hard work of it. “It was always going to be a hard game after losing two on the bounce, after being unbeaten for so long,” he said. “I thought the first half was some of the best football we’ve played in a long time, but the second half, all credit to Armadale, they made it hard for us, but overall I thought it was a good result for us.” Heagney believes Saturday’s game is going to be another tough game, as all sides lift when they play them. “It doesn’t really matter where we are playing or who we play, it’s at a stage now that when teams play Bayswater it is their cup final, and everyone wants to beat us,” he said. “So I believe it will be another hard game at Subiaco, but I’m pretty confident we can get the job done and come away with the three points.” In team news Bayswater midfielder Nathan Costello was sent off in the Cup loss at Cockburn and will miss the game.

29.4.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FOUR - PREVIEW

The All Flags State League Division One Week four game of the week takes us to Burrendah Reserve, where hosts Canning City entertain Gosnells City. The home side travelled to South West Phoenix last week and came home with a 1-1 draw and midfielder Callum Roberts said it was a good point on the road. “We can’t be too disappointed coming home from Bunbury with a point, as they played some real good football, credit to them,” he said. “We had our chances to win it, but it really wasn’t our day in front of goal.” Roberts said Saturday’s opponents have started the season well and he hopes they can bounce back from a disappointing result in the FFA Cup on Monday. “Gosnells will be tough test this week, and it’s a local derby, and they are in great form,” he said. “It was a disappointing result for us on Monday at Curtin in the FFA Cup, and it will have the boys fired up and we will be up for a win at home, to continue our good start to the season.” Roberts, Ethan Levitt and Sam Carello all limped off in the cup game and are in doubt for Saturday’s game, but they do regain the services of Charlie Parry.

Gosnells midfielder Dean Apelgren said they were disappointed to come away from Rockingham with only a point last week. “We had three or four really good chances in the first half, but we failed to put them away, if we had taken them it would have been a totally different game,” he said. “The second half was a little more even, with both sides having good chances, but we had to fought back to earn a point in the end, after we had Caleb Aquino sent off.” Apelgren said Saturday’s opponents have starting the season well, and he’s expecting another tight encounter. “Canning away will be a tough game and they will more than likely be confident after a good start to the season,” he said. “But we’ve been playing some good football, but just need to work on finishing our chances in the periods when we’re on top. Monday’s big cup win hopefully helped us find our scoring touch for Saturday’s game, and we can leave with all three points.”

League leaders Joondalup United have continued their good form from the night series and sit top of the table. This week they head home to Forrest Park and host South West Phoenix. New signing Josh Booysen bagged a brace in last week’s win at Dianella, but the winger said it was a tough game. “Despite the 4-1 score line, it was a tough game against Dianella, who took the lead and put up a good fight in the first half,” he said. “At the end of the day I think we showed character coming from behind and deserved the three points.” Booysen, who joined the club from ECU Joondalup recently, is looking forward to the game against Phoenix, and he said they can’t take them lightly, and need to be switched on from the first whistle. “They (South West Phoenix) are a good side in the competition, and it would be foolish to underestimate anyone in the league,” he explained. “If we’re not switched on we will be in trouble, and we will prepare well for the game, and look to get going a lot quicker in this game than we did last week.”

Forrestfield United won for the first time last week, and they face another tough game on Saturday when they travel to the Hyundai Stadium to take on the unbeaten Mandurah City. The 2-1 win against Ashfield was a real boost for the club and winger Rhys Loxley said it was a real confidence lift for the players. “The win last week was very relieving to say the least,” he said. “We have been playing good football throughout the first three games and I don’t think our points total is a true reflection, we have a lot of new players in the squad who are still gelling, so I would expect us to grow stronger each week.” Loxley knows Mandurah are the favourites for the title, but he said they travel in a good space and will be looking to come home with a good result. “Mandurah have showed that they are up for a title challenge once again this season, with a strong start to the season, but we go their looking to get something out of the game,” he said. “We know they have fantastic individuals all over the park and it will take another gutsy performance like the one against Ashfield to come away with something from the game, but we’ll be doing all we can to do so.” United will be without Chris Perrott who injured his knee last week, but they do have Mark Barnett back from suspension.

In other games this week Ashfield will be looking to bounce back when they host Dianella White Eagles. Both sides have struggled to start the season, and both only have the one point, but Ashfield looked to have turned things around, pushing NPL side Balcatta close in the FFA Cup, and will be hoping to take that form into their league games. Western Knights are also still looking for their first win of the season and this week they host Rockingham City at Nash Field. Both sides drew last week, and they will be looking for three points this week. In the final game sixth place Shamrock Rovers travel to the UAW Sports Park to take on UWA-Nedlands. Rovers will be looking to kick start their season, and send off Paul Concannon in style, the midfielder heads back to Ireland next week.

29.4.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FOUR - PREVIEW

The All Flag State League Division Two Week four match of the week takes us to the Iluka Sports Complex, when Joondalup City entertain Kelmscott Roos. The Roos won for the first time in a while last week, but the new look side were well worth the three points. Striker Owen Curtis bagged a brace in the win and he said it was a fantastic result for the whole club. “Last week's win was a long time coming for the guys, but we’re absolutely stoked,” he said. “Coach Chris Bates has been working tirelessly on placements and player roles to achieve the formation that would give us the best chances to attack. This, with the strong willingness of the lads, and the pride a lot of them have in the club helped us push through and overcome Wanneroo for the clubs first league victory in over a year.” Owen said Saturday’s opponents are playing well and will be another huge challenge for the Roos. “Joondalup have indeed started well, seven points in your first three games is a dream start for anyone of course,” he said. “But I'm confident in the guys, our training is focused and you can see the attitude of the team is that of redemption. They all feel this year is the year to show that Kelmscott can be more than the 10-0 walkover that they were last season. We play it all game by game, but I have every confidence in the lads to play well and beat any team on their day.” In team news for Kelmscott, defender Aaron Hardy will have a late fitness test after injuring himself last week.

City Coach Marco Schisano said last week’s result at Fremantle was huge, but he said they deserved it. “It was a pleasing result, as they are one of the best teams in the league. We played very well with the players putting into practice what we have been working on in training,” he said. “We showed a lot of character to keep our composer late when Fremantle throw everything at us, and it gives the playing group a lot of confidence going forward.” Schisano said Kelmscott will head north buoyed by their win last week and his players need to be focused. “They (Kelmscott) have improved this season, and I’m sure they would have gained a great deal of confidence from beating Wanneroo last week,” he said. “We played an entertaining draw with Wanneroo a couple of weeks ago, so we have to respect what Kelmscott achieved last week. We will try to continue playing the attacking brand of football we have been working on and we are looking to continue our unbeaten start to the season.” In team news for Joondalup, they will head into the game unchanged, but do have Liam Pickering and Ryan Burgess resuming training, but the coach said he won’t rush players back. “Both Liam and Ryan (who has been out with a long term injury) will not be rushed back into the side, we have a large and capable squad to choose from,” Schisano said.

League leaders Balga travel to Edinburgh Oval to take on third place Curtin University. Curtin Coach Campbell Ballantyne said they are relishing the contest after a win last week at Ellenbrook. “We had a comfortable win last week and should have won by more than the two we scored,” he said. “We need to start to turn our dominance into goals, and if you don’t convert them against the better teams you will get punished.” Ballantyne said the squad came through a double header over the weekend well and are looking forward to taking on the unbeaten Balga. “They (Balga) are looking strong and free scoring, however they are also conceding goals,” he explained. “We have three clean sheets in last four games including shutting out Canning who are unbeaten in Division One in the FFA Cup. We've come through both games last week well on the injury front, but we have players impressing in the reserves and Robbie Nichol got his first minutes in the first team for 2016 after injury, so competition for starting spots will be intense at the selection table.”

Melville City travel to Wotton Reserve to take on Morley Windmills. City gave Coach Gavin Brown and early birthday present last week with a win at Quinns FC, and the coach said it was a good performance. “I was delighted with the win, the first we've had up at Quinns in in the league I think,” he said. “We will play better, but overall a solid performance, and we had lots of young lads playing last week so it was pleasing.” Brown said Morley will be a tough game for his new look squad. “Saturday’s game will be a tough one, but one were looking forward too,” he explained. “I've been surprised at Morley's start to the season. I think they've got a good squad and had a decent pre-season so I expect the results will come (hopefully after this Saturday) We will have skipper Matt Donlevy back from suspension, and we have good competition for places with everyone fit, so selection will be difficult.” In other games Fremantle City will be looking to bounce back from last week defeat win they entertain Quinns FC a Hilton Reserve, Swan United host the winless Ellenbrook United at the Swan Italian Club, while in the final game Wanneroo City and Kingsway Olympic meet in a local derby at Wanneroo Reserve.

27.4.2016

CASTRO TAKES OUT JOHNNY WARREN MEDAL

Perth Glory’s Diego Castro has won a tight race to be named the Johnny Warren Medalist for the 2016 A-League player of the season on Tuesday night. At the first ever Dolan Warren Awards night in Sydney, renamed to give equal billing to the stars of both the A-League and W-League, Canberra United’s Ashleigh Sykes took home the top gong in the women’s game.

In a tight race, Castro finished ahead of Melbourne City duo Aaron Mooy, and golden boot winner Bruno Fornaroli. The 33-year-old Spaniard made 26 appearances for Perth, scoring 13 goals. He was an integral part of the Glory’s resurgence, particularly at the back end of the season, as the club surged up the table from nowhere into a top-six finish and qualifying for the finals.

Perth coach Kenny Lowe, who is hoping the Spanish maestro will still be at the club next season, collected the award on behalf of Castro, who is currently overseas. “I can't speak highly enough of him," Lowe said. "He's humble and inclusive, and he's fiery as well - you can't upset him. But he cares, and he's been an absolute joy for us. He's a free spirit and he's a joy, so we'll just let him be free."

Other awards on the night – A-League - Young Footballer of the Year: Jamie Maclaren (Brisbane Roar), Goalkeeper of the Year: Thomas Sorensen (Melbourne City), Golden Boot Award: Bruno Fornaroli (Melbourne City, 23 goals), Goal of the Year: Roy O'Donovan (Central Coast Mariners vs Adelaide, round 25), Coach of the Year: Guillermo Amor (Adelaide United), Referee of the Year: Jarred Gillett

W-League - Julie Dolan Medal (Player of the Year): Ashleigh Sykes (Canberra United), Young Footballer of the Year: Larissa Crummer (Melbourne City), Players Player of the Year: Kim Little (Melbourne City), Goalkeeper of the Year: Kaitlyn Savage (Adelaide United), Goal of the Year: Vanessa Di Bernardo (Perth Glory, round 5), Coach of the Year: Craig Deans (Newcastle Jets),

Golden Boot Award: Larissa Crummer (Melbourne City), Referee of the Year: Kate Jacewicz

27.4.2016

CRAIG DEANS WINS W-LEAGUE COACH AWARD (courtesy theherald.com.au)

Craig Deans would swap his W-League coach of the year award for a long overdue Newcastle Jets play-offs berth. And the former Jets A-League assistant said he was keen to come back and make finals football a reality for Newcastle next season. Deans was named W-League coach of the year at the Dolan Warren Awards in Sydney on Tuesday night, making it back-to-back wins in the category for the Jets after Peter McGuinness’s success last year. Newcastle’s Hannah Southwell was among four nominees for goalkeeper of the year. The Jets’ Mark Birighitti was among the A-League picks for the same honour but neither won. Deans guided Newcastle to sixth, one win outside the finals, despite losing senior players Emily van Egmond, Hayley Crawford, Tori Huster, Angela Salem, Katherine Reynolds and Amber Neilson from the previous season. Most tipped Newcastle to struggle after Deans filled the breach with mostly young talent, but he brought together a more than competitive outfit who were in the finals race until the last round.

Deans was grateful for the recognition but more focused on taking the team a step further next season. “I enjoyed it and we did something OK, but we didn’t do anything brilliant, so I don’t want to stop now and walk away,” Deans said. “I’d like to improve on what we did this year and keep building the team and the club, play in finals and be successful. “I would much rather have them play in the finals series than me win an individual award. That’s why you play, but it was definitely a step in the right direction and there’s enough potential there to show we’ve got something to build on in the next few years.”

Deans, though, knew he faced a difficult task retaining the likes of Chloe Logarzo, Tara Andrews and Georgia Yeoman-Dale, who reached Matildas selection from the Jets last season. American imports Megan Oyster and Caprice Dydasco were also stars for Newcastle. “Anyone I brought in, I wanted them to want to play for Newcastle and live in Newcastle,” he said. “I think that’s important, to commit yourself to the city as well, and all the girls have done that, and I’d love to get them all back. “But obviously I don’t have the money of the big city clubs and we ended up with four girls in the Matildas squads. When you do well, you attract attention. The Americans did well and I’m sure they’ll attract attention as well. “All things being even, I’m pretty confident they will all come back, but things aren’t all even in sport. “I’ll keep talking to them and we’ve got a few months to get organised.”

Deans said the gong was reward for the many hours put in away from the training pitch during the season. “A lot of people think you just turn up for a couple of hours a day, but there’s a lot of work behind the scenes with all the staff you work with,” he said. “It’s nice to know you’re appreciated.” The season was Deans’ first as coach of a senior women’s side. “You are still dealing with issues and managing players, whether it’s men or women, there’s always issues to deal with, but in a lot of ways it’s easier because the girls are more open with their emotions and just tell you how it is,” he said. “A lot of the boys will keep things to themselves, so from that point of view, it’s actually easier. “But I just treated them as footballers, not as female footballers. I think that’s important. I don’t think they want to be treated any differently than the guys, so I didn’t and I think that worked out OK.”

27.4.2016

LYDEN TARGETS IMMEDIATE VILLA REDEMPTION (courtesy theworldgame.sbs.com.au)

The 20 year-old midfielder, who has made five appearances in a breakthrough season for the fallen Midlands giant, is viewed by many Villa fans as one of the faces of the future who can regenerate the club. And Perth-raised Lyden believes he is ready to step up in the Championship and deliver on his undoubted promise. “I have no doubt that myself and the other youngsters can help get the club back where it belongs … hopefully I get the opportunity next year to do that. I feel I am ready," he said. “I have some minutes under my belt in the Perm(iership) and hopefully I will get some more before the end of the season. Next year could me my year, we will just have to wait and see.”

Lyden was on the bench at Old Trafford when Villa’s relegation was sealed by a 1-0 loss to Manchester United, and it’s a sinking feeling which he won't forget. “I’ve had some ups this year in progressing through the Under-21's into the first team, but going down has been an all-time low for me. Everybody at the club is gutted. "But I am sure we will bounce straight back up … we have the quality to do that and we will attract top players and a top manager. “We just have to knuckle down and stick together as a group. There are still three games left and hopefully we can pick up a few points and push on when the new season starts in August. “In football, it’s about how you respond when things go against you and I am sure you will see us do that in the right way next season.”

The Under-21s skipper has won the affection of fans, who took to social media to voice their displeasure three weeks back when he substituted by caretaker boss Eric Black at half-time in the 2-1 home defeat against Bournemouth. "That was tactical one ... we need to get more forward and bringing me off didn't really harm the team," he said. "I would love to have stayed on and that was a down for me but I just carry on working hard in training and hopefully I will get back into the team before the end of the season. "My head is in the right place ... I will just try and keep doing the rights things and hopefully I impress this manager and whoever comes in also” "The fans have taken a liking to me, they like the fact I have come through the academy and have progressed into the first team."

Lyden remains mystified how Villa’s season unfolded so disastrously, with the club picking up just 16 points from 35 games so far, with just three victories all season. “I am not sure what happened really … it’s been a strange season across the division," he said. "Look at how well Leicester have done and how tough it’s been for Chelsea. "Unfortunately, we've had a bad run. Once you get on one it's tough to get out of it when everybody seems against you and everybody doubts you. "It’s no easy come back from that … wins brings confidence but we just didn’t pick enough of them. "Next year is a new a new season and a new start, and hopefully we get the club back where it belongs in the Premier League."

Lyden remains in talks over a contract extension ... but is in no immediate rush. "It’s a bit tough at the moment because the club is in a bit of turmoil and I understand that," he said. "I am very happy here. They have done a lot for me and I owe a lot back to them. "I was out injured last year and they stuck by me, and I have to thank them for that. "Hopefully I will be in their plans and fingers crossed I get a new contract. I am sure I will be here for a good for years yet."

25.4.2016

GIRON-MARULANDA HEADS TO INDONESIA

Bayswater City Columbian striker Gustavo Giron-Marulanda has headed to Indonesian Super League side Arema Cronus FC for the 2016 season. The 29-year-old, who was the PS4 NPLWA top goalscorer last season, and led the scoring charts this season after five rounds, said it’s a massive move and he said it’s a new challenge and one he’s looking forward too. “To be honest you don’t realize how big football is over here until you arrive,” Marulanda said. “The club is massive with big projects and ambitions, and I’m looking forward in helping them. The fans are unbelievable, the way they love their clubs, I’ve never seen so much passion for a club in my time in the game. The average attendance to our home games is between 35,000 and 45,000, which is amazing and I’m really enjoying my time here and the experience.”

The striker, who played for Deportivo Pereira in Columbia, and a season at the Caldas Youth Academy, has thrived in WA football, and the move came as a surprise too many but after travelling over for a trial and impressing, the striker was quickly snapped up by the club. “I met the clubs agent a few years ago, and he liked the way I played for Bayswater in the NPL, and he said he would arrange a trial at the club,” Marulanda explained. “I travelled over here not really knowing what to expect, but I was lucky enough to impress them in the trial match and I was delighted when they asked me to sign.”

When he put pen to paper on his contract, the striker was over the moon, but the only downside was leaving Bayswater City, a club who had looked after him for a number of years. “They (Bayswater) have been amazing and I wish them all the best this season. It’s been a great journey for me and I was happy and proud to help the club to success and to where it is now in WA football,” he explained. “Bayswater has been my home and there are a number of people involved there who have been unbelievably committed to push the club forward.

“I have spent my best years of my football there and have a lot of great memories and will always keep an eye on their results. There are many people involved at the Black and Blues who I would like to thank for their support in my time there. All the club members, especially Jerry Maio and Oriano Colli, the pair have made the difference in this club, they have brought people who is really committed to the cause and surrounded the place with great management, that includes everyone from supporters, players coaches and volunteers, thanks for the memories.”

Marulanda has played in two trial games for his new club and said the atmosphere was amazing. “The stadium was only half full but the atmosphere was incredible, this is something money can’t buy and the experience you will never forget.” he said. “We play again soon against Persiba Balikpapan and it will be a full house. I’m looking forward to playing alongside Uruguayan striker Cristian Gonzales who joined the club in 2013. The Coach Milo Seslija said he wants to play me in a number of positions, up top, second striker or winger, but like I said I’m looking forward to the challenge and can’t wait for the season to get underway.”

The talented striker had trials at A-League side Perth Glory and almost joined Adelaide United, but was disappointed not to get a contract, but he said he hopes to prove them wrong. “It was disappointing, because I always wanted to prove myself at a higher level in Australia,” he explained. “With the facilities and technology that exist this days in football, I believe it would have raised my level and obviously my performances would have been much better. I was also offered an injury replacement for Adelaide United, but the federation rejected it stating a youth player should be used, which again was a disappointment. I guess you could say I was a bit unlucky but at the same time lucky enough to go through this experiences and it has certainly made me a more mature person and footballer.”

24.4.2016

GLORY ADD TWO LOCALS FOR NEXT SEASON

Perth Glory has signed former ECU Joondalup academy products, Socceroo and former English Premier League utility players Chris Herd and Rhys Williams for next season. Herd played 36 times for Aston Villa in England's top flight and represented the Socceroos on three occasions. The 27-year-old had most recently played for Chesterfield in England's League One.

Herd's signing continues a concerted effort by the Glory to attract homegrown talent. In the last six months the club has lured big names Shane Lowry, Adam Taggart and Rhys Williams, all ECU Joondalup products back to Perth. Herd played juniors at ECU and Bayswater City before moving to the UK to join Villa's academy side.

Rhys Williams will look to get his career back on track on home soil after signing a one-year deal with Perth Glory for the 2016-2017 A-League season. Out of contract at the end of the season, the Perth-born 27 year-old was announced as Perth's latest signing on Wednesday after spending his entire senior career at Championship outfit Middlesbrough.

Williams has made 126 league appearances for Middlesbrough, who he also captained, after debuting in the English Premier League in 2007. But since then, he has struggled with a host of injury problems that cost him spots at both the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups with Australia. Despite that, Williams still has 14 senior caps to his name, the last of those coming in 2013 in an international against France.

Having played in four games for Charlton Athletic during a one-month loan stint, Williams's last league appearance for Boro came in December 2014. The Australia international said he was delighted to be coming home and working with Coach Kenny Lowe. "I'm very excited to come home to Perth and join Kenny Lowe whom I've known for many years. He's been a mentor to me since I was a teenager," Williams said. "After 11 years in the UK, the opportunity to re-unite with my family and re-join a manager who believes in me and my football is the tonic I need for my career. I know a lot of the boys at the club since our ECU Joondalup days and I really can’t wait until the pre-season starts. I think Perth Glory fans can look forward to an exciting year ahead with so many [Western Australian] boys in the line-up."

Glory coach Lowe said he was delighted with the acquisition. "We know what Rhys can do. He's been captain of Middlesbrough; he's played for the Socceroos and has the qualities and attributes we want as a player and as a person," Lowe said. "They're all elements which tie in with our current recruitment philosophy. It's exciting for him, exciting for us and I think it's exciting for the fans and members as well."

23.4.2016

BAYWATER BACK IN THE WINNERS CIRCLE

After back-to-back defeats Bayswater City bounced back to winning ways after a hard fought 2-1 win against Armadale at the Finance 365 Stadium. Todd Howarth gave the home team the lead early, before Hayden Doyle scored a stunner on the stroke of half time. Armadale substitute Dylan White pulled one back late, but they couldn’t find the equaliser. “Great win to bounce back after two losses and the first half flattered Armadale at only 2-0 as I felt we were very good and played some great football, topped off by Hayden Doyle's superb team goal,” Bayswater coach Chris Coyne said. “Second half they had nothing to lose and made a real fist of it but we also had chances that we should of put the game to bed, but we made changes not so much based on the day but also with FFA cup game on Monday so quite pleased we are sticking to our beliefs and playing ourselves into form.”

It was an early start for the game, a 1pm kick off, but it didn’t effect Bayswater who dominated early, and Armadale keeper Alfie Brincat had to be alert on eight minutes to push Jamie Coyne’s long-range shot around the post. But four minutes later the home side hit the front. Howarth’s curling free kick from 18 meters beat Brincat at his near post. Armadale hit back before the break, Jordan Candlish burst into the penalty area, but his shot was pushed onto the post by Fraser Greenwood. But the home side doubled their advantage just before the break. Doyle played a one-two with Mirco down the right, and hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.

Armadale opened the second half well and Jake Sardelic saw his shot crash off the crossbar three minutes in, before Greenwood saved well to deny Alex Healing. Both sides pressed as the game opened up, but it was Armadale who were back in the contest on 81 minutes. A poor back pass by Nathan Costello put Greenwood under pressure and as the keeper attempted to clear the ball it ricocheted off White, who ran into an empty net to score. The visitors were now on top and they almost got the equaliser late. Good work from substitute Papa Kpatar on the right, ended with Alex Salmon’s shot, which hit a Bayswater defender. The Armadale players were convinced it had struck an arm, but referee Alex Novatsis was well placed to turn down their appeals.

23.4.2016

SPASESKI LATE STRIKE GIVES PERTH THE GLORY

A late goal from Perth Glory substitute Dejan Spaseski has given Perth Glory a 2-1 win against Subiaco at Ashfield Sports Club. Ian McMurray had given the visitors the lead early, but late goals to Aryn Williams and Spaseski gave the Glory youngsters their first win of the season. “After four months out with injury, it was a great feeling to come on to help the lads to our first win of the season, and hopefully it will be the first of many,” Spaseski said. “We have had a rough start to the season results wise, but the team has the belief we can turn it around and really make something of this season.”

With both sides looking for their first wins of the season it was the visitors who had the perfect start. Ian McMurray heading home from a corner to give them the lead after only six minutes. The Glory went close to leveling on 18 minutes, Petratos’ shot from the edge of the penalty area flew over the top. Petratos went close again ten minutes later, but his shot on the run went wide. Subiaco almost doubled their lead just before the break, McMurray’s effort well saved by Jordan Thurtell.

The woodwork came to Subiaco’s rescue in the opening minute of the second half, Sam McKearnen’s header crashing off the crossbar and away to safety. The Glory pressed but Subiaco were defending well, and it looked like the Glory would be frustrated, but their pressure paid off on 78 minutes. Knowles shot was blocked and Williams was quickest to react to fire low past Montgomery. The goal boosted the Glory youngsters and five minutes later they secured the winning goal. Spaseski, who came off the bench on 55 minutes, got on the end of a Petratos’ cross and his diving header beat Montgomery to seal the three points.

23.4.2016

TEEBOY’S BRACE DOWNS TEN MAN INGLEWOOD

Inglewood United’s perfect start to the season came to an end after they were beaten 3-0 by a rejuvenated Stirling Lions at the Inglewood Stadium. The home side had to play 85 minutes with only ten men after Jason Colli was sent off, and David Micevski gave the visitors the lead on the half hour, before Teeboy Kamara added a brace in the second half. Lions’ coach Rob Milevski was really pleased the way his side went about it. “It was a great team effort at the end of the day, Dejan and I are really pleased.” he said. “Obviously it was a bit unfortunate for Inglewood to go a man down, but we took full advantage of that to deserve the win.”

The home side had a perfect opportunity to take the lead when referee Adam Fielding spotted a handball in the second minute, but Brian Woodall saw his spot kick crash off the post. It went from bad to worse for the home side when Fielding sent off Colli after he hit out at Kamara. The visitors made their numerical advantage count and were ahead on 27 minutes, when Calum O’Connell gave away a penalty and David Micevski converted the spot kick.

Stirling continued to dictate terms after the break and they increased their lead 12 minutes in, Kamara’s long-range strike went into the net via the crossbar. To Inglewood’s credit they continued to press forward and striker Kenny Keogh went close to cutting the deficit but his header from Mark Pritchard’s cross flashed wide of the post. But Kamara put the game to bed five minutes from time, chipping Alex Dunn to make it 3-0.

23.4.2016

STYNES HAT TRICK WINS IT FOR ATHENA

Floreat Athena midfielder Jon Stynes came back to haunt his former club ECU Joondalup, scoring a hat-trick to seal a 4-1 win. Gordon Smith had given the visitors the lead at half time, but an early goal in the second half to skipper Ludovic Boi, and a triple from Stynes won it for Floreat. “It can’t get any better than that can it,” Stynes told the NPLWA website. “It’s my first game in three weeks, but Glen (Grostate) put me straight into the side, because he knew I was desperate to play against them. I told the players before the game I would score a hat-trick, so it was nice to do it and repay the faith Glen has shown in me.”

It was ECU who opened the brighter and they were ahead on six minutes. Good approach work from teenager Paddy Doyle, saw the youngster skip past two Floreat defenders before feeding Smith, and the Scottish striker raced clear and finished clinically past Jason Saldaris. Floreat were almost gifted an equaliser on the quarter hour. A poor back pass by Ryan Lowry let in Phil Arnold, but debutant keeper Lewis Italiano was out quick to clear the danger. ECU went close to a second moments later. A long kick from Italiano sent Smith clear, Jason Saldaris was out quick to clear the danger, but his clearance only found Doyle, whose lob from 20meters hit the post.

It was different Floreat side after the break, and they were level two minutes in. A long ball over the top sent Boi clear, he held off his marker, before rounding Italiano to score. The game was turned on its head and Floreat scored two more goals in a three minutes spell. First on 53 minutes Clayton Arnez’s cross was turned home by Stynes, before a long ball over the top sent Stynes racing clear and he finished low past Italiano. Stynes completed his hat trick in stoppage time, a ball across the penalty area wasn’t dealt with by the ECU defence and Stynes nipped in before Italiano to score, to wrap a comprehensive win for Floreat Athena.

23.4.2016

NAZARY GIVES BALCATTA ITALAIN DERBY WIN

A brace from Zelfy Nazary proved to be the difference as Balcatta beat Italian rivals Perth SC 4-3 in a cracking game at Grindleford Reserve. It was back-to-back wins for Marc Anthony’s side, but they had to come from behind, after Matt Milenkovic opened the scoring early, but Nazaey and Conor Kavanagh gave the home side the lead at the break. Former Balcatta striker Gustavo Catarcione levelled just after the break but Nazary and Gomo Dukully broke the game open, before Catarcione scored his second late for Perth but it wasn’t enough. “To beat Perth at home is a big result for us, in all fairness they are the best team we’ve played this year,” Anthony told the NPLWA website. “Fair play to our lads; we had a game plan and we stuck to that plan and we looked very dangerous at times and it’s very pleasing to score goals. We’re very happy to get the three points and this result will give us more confidence for the rest of the year.”

It was Perth who opened the scoring after only 14 minutes. Dean Evans’ corner was headed home by Milenkovic. But the home side, who won for the first time last week at Subiaco, hit back. Dukully shot was parried by Francis Soale, and Nazary was quickest to react, his shot going in via the post. But the home side grew in confidence and in the shadows of half time they hit the front, with Kavanagh firing home from the edge of the box.

Perth brought on Catarcione at the break and he levelled four minutes in, the Brazilian striker found space in the box and fired home past Clint Davies. The home side regained the lead when Dukully was brought down in the penalty area on 55 minutes and referee David Bruce pointed to the spot and Nazary scored. It looked like Balcatta had wrapped up the points nine minutes later when Dukully raced clear and finished clinically past Soale. But five minutes later Jordan De Leo’s cross was finished by Catarcione from close-rage to set up a frantic finale, but Perth couldn’t find the equaliser.

23.4.2016

GULLS FLY HOME WITH THE POINTS

Sorrento extended their unbeaten run to six as they comfortably ran out 3-1 winners against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. David Araya gave Scott Miller’s side the lead early, but an own goal and a double from Sean Canham gave the Gulls the points. “I knew if we started playing how we could we would get back into the game, it was a little bit of luck to get back into it but then after that we dominated and did well,” Sorrento Coach Jamie Harnwell told the NPLWA website. “We’re not going to just turn up and just make the numbers up, Sorrento go for trophies there’s only a few teams who are in to win and I’d like to say we were one of them.”

The home side dominated the early exchanges and it wasn’t a surprise when they opened the scoring on the half hour. Araya, who scored the first ever goal in the NPLWA competition, was in the right pace to head home past James Morgan. But their lead only lasted eight minutes with the unfortunate Aden Da Luz turning home a corner past a stranded Luke Radonich. The visitors hit the front four minutes before half time, Canham finding space in the area to score, to send the Gulls in with the lead at the break.

Sorrento looked determined to extend their lead after the break and Alex Morgan rattled the post, before Radonich pulled off a great save. But there was little the Cockburn custodian could do when Sorrento added a third on 55 minutes. Alex Morgan made space down the flank and cut the ball back across the area and Canham was there to bag his second. Cockburn were really struggling to create anything in the final third, while at the other end Radonich did well to save Jordan Dodd’s overhead kick, before substitute Todd Harnwell’s goal bound shot was blocked.

23.4.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND THREE - REVIEW

Joondalup United continued their perfect start to the new season with a come from behind 4-1 win against Dianella White Eagles at Dianella Reserve. It was Joondalup who dominated the first half, but they couldn’t turn their possession into goals. But on the hour the home side took a surprise lead through Joshua Tumoe, and it looked like it wasn’t going to be United’s day. But the home fans celebrations were short lived with Joondalup levelling three minutes later. Lee Jones’ free kick giving Dianella keeper Milos Bajic no chance. The visitors then hit the front on 69 minutes. Substitute Jacob Shore had only been on the pitch for two minutes, before coolly dispatched from five meters after Dianella failed to clear a corner. It was Joondalup keeper James Bosdet that kept United’s lead after, he produced some stunning saves to deny Dianella has they pressed for the equaliser. The home side had a player sent off late and Joondalup took advantage, bagging two late goals. Josh Booysen sprinted clear of his marker and finished clinically for the third on 92 minutes, and he did the same sixty seconds later to round off a 4-1 win for the league leaders. “After falling behind to a breakaway goal, we pretty much dominated possession on a tricky bobbly surface and were good value for a 4-1 victory,” Joondalup Coach Nick Jennings said. “We weren't at our best but a pleasing victory and we move on, a special mention to James Bosdet for his performance today. A couple of his saves were EPL standard. I've said to people many times [that] he's the best keeper in the league,”

Canning City have dropped their first points of the season after a 1-1 draw against South West Phoenix at Hay Park. Canning opened the scoring just after half time, Callum Roberts was played in down the left and beat a couple of defenders before curling his shot in off the crossbar. But the home side hit back and Martin Ryan levelled with fifteen minutes remaining to share the spoils. “Not sure whether it's a point gained or two points lost but it was probably a fair result in the end,” Canning Coach Paul Oliver said. “We spurned a couple of early opportunities which would have changed the game so we certainly need to be more ruthless. The Phoenix had more of the ball but we had the better chances. I think teams will find it a tough trip down there so not to lose the game is a definite positive.”

Mandurah City also dropped their first points of the season after a 1-1 draw against Shamrock Rovers at Harold Rossiter Reserve. The visitors started brightly and were ahead in the opening minute. A low cross from John Brooke’s was deflected into his own net by a Shamrock defender. It was almost two before the break, Jordan Rhodes’ free kick will saved by the Shamrock keeper. The home side won a point with fifteen minutes remaining. Paul Sopp skipped past his marker, raced into the area and finished low under the keeper. Both sides had a late chances to win it but the points were shared. “To be fair they lifted and really pushed and could have sneaked it, but late on we had three very good opportunities to get a winner, but it wasn't to be, a tough opponent a decent point in the end,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. Rovers Coach John O’Reilly was pleased with his sides’ performance. “I’m very proud of the team. We have a new group of players and each week they are proving that they are up for the challenge,” he said.

Forrestfield United opened their account for the season with a hard fought 2-1 win against Ashfield at Hartfield Park. The home side hit the front six minutes before half time. Jordan Hart received a ball on edge of the 18 yard box following a great build up by Sani Sinclair and Matt Harold. He then turned his marker and fired low into the corner of the net. But on the hour Jamie Burns equalised for Ashfield scoring from a corner, and two minutes later the home side had Kaan Karagan sent off. Ashfield pressed for the winner, but keeper Luke Martino was in great form making a number of fine saves. Then with five minutes from time the ten men of Forrestfield won it. Hasani Sinclair received the ball from Mitch Crocker just inside the opposition half and raced forward, he took on three Ashfield defenders and raced into the area and finished clinically past the keeper, to set of wild celebrations for the home faithful. “The game was of high standard and Ashfield certainly played their part to ensure that a large crowd get their monies worth,” Forrestfield Coach Rod Banjac said. “Again we controlled the first half and as expected they came out with all guns blazing in the second. This time we were well prepared but got caught out from the set piece. Following the sending off the game opened up both sides created chances. Luke Martino made a couple of world class saves and this seemed to lift the team and we were not going to let this one slip away, even with 10 men. I am so proud of our young squad and without a doubt we will be a lot better following the experience of last three weeks.”

In other games UWA-Nedlands and Western Knights fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the UWA Sports Park. The visitors hit the front on the quarter hour, Adriano Jelenovic shot on the turn flew into the net giving Ranjeet Singh no chance. But the home side hit back moments later, Tristan Taylor picking out Conor Devlin who curled it over Sam Stone to level. The home side then hit the front, Andrew Xydas’ corner was headed back across goal by Joshua Marocchi and Alex Kretowicz fired home from close-range. The Knights levelled late in the game, Paul Lloyd cut inside his marker and finished low into the bottom corner. Both sides had late chances to win it Jelenkavic went one on one with Singh, but the keeper came out on top before Michael Vlasich free kick hit the crossbar. In the final game Rockingham City and Gosnells City fought out a 1-1 draw at Lark Hill. The home side took the lead with a stunning goal from Christian Hooge. He picked the ball up in the centre circle beat three men and smashed it into the roof of the net from the edge of the box. But Gosnells levelled when Caleb Aquino’s free kick was turned home by Tyron Pottier.

23.4.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND THREE - REVIEW

Balga maintain their 100% start to the season with a 4-2 win against Morley Windmills at Princess Road Reserve. The home side made a perfect start with Anton DeFrancesch scoring from close range in the 6th minute, before Nahom Michael made it 2-0 in the 34th with a great shot from just outside the box. But Morley were back in the game just before half time, scoring to make it 2-1 at the break. Hubert Hakizimana made it 3-1 for the home side four minutes after the break scoring after a quick counter-attack. But six minutes later Morley again reduced the margin, but Balga made sure of the points on the hour, Vlad Naumovski scoring from a free kick that gave the keeper no chance.

Curtin University travelled to Arbor Grove Reserve to take on Ellenbrook United and came away with a 2-0 win. Curtin opened the scoring when Jon Krawec’s free kick was punched into his own net by the Ellenbrook keeper. The points were made safe when a cross from Dilip Thapa picked out Eddie Tikoft, who laid the ball off to Khaled Salhah to slot home. “It was good to bounce back to winning ways after disappointingly dropping points at home last week when the game should have been won by half time,” Curtin Coach Campbell Ballantyne said. “To be fair it was a comfortable win where I think we should have scored more but were happy to come away with the points.”

Swan United made it back-to-back wins after a hard fought 2-1 win against Kingsway Olympic at Kingsway Reserve. The home side were on top in the first half with United defending well. They lost midfielder Michael Tronchin early in the game with injury, but they held on to half time scoreless. But five minutes into the second half Kingsway hit the front. United defence failed to clear their lines and Ali Elhassan was on hand to score. But the visitors levelled ten minutes later. Tommy Black playing a nice ball over the top for John Monterosso whose shot was well saved, but Lyon Varney followed it up and headed home. Both sides pressed for the winner but it went to the visitors six minutes from time. Luke Woodard’s free kick picked out Black who headed home to win it. “It was a very good defensive display from us in the first half, we were able to shut Kingsway out well however we were lacking some quality passes forward not creating much ourselves,” United Coach Matt Debarro said. “We gave two 17-year-old their first team debuts today which is pleasing. We got the win and played well I am very happy to come away and take home three points.”

After going all of last season without a win, and starting this season with two defeats, Kelmscott Roos have earned a 2-1 win against Wanneroo City at Frye Park. The home side were ahead when Ryan Ince’s free kick was headed home by Owen Curtis. Wanneroo pulled one back through Jake Makin just before the break. But the home side won it early in the second half, Sulley Rogers made space down the flank and crossed to Curtis, who finished with aplomb in the bottom corner. Wanneroo pressed late, but they couldn’t find the equaliser. “After a disappointing loss last week against Swan where we dominated the second half and didn't finish, this week was very much different,” Kelmscott Coach Chris Bates said. “Wanneroo played some very good football and certainly pushed hard in the last 10 minutes to get a result but I was very happy to get a win.”

In other games Joondalup City moved into second spot on the table after a 2-1 win against Fremantle City at Hilton Reserve. A double from James Stewart won the game for Joondalup. The first goal Stewart beat two defenders before hitting a great strike from just inside the box across the Fremantle keeper. Stewart’s second came after great passing sequence with Danny Allen, Stewart lobbing the keeper and the ball going in the net off the back post. “I am delighted with the result as I believe Fremantle to be a top two contender as they are extremely well coached by Steve and have a very good squad,” Joondalup Coach Marco Schisano said. “I can't see too many teams getting a result at their ground as they play the large ground very well. We will now look to improve again for next week's match against Kelmscott and hopefully building on the momentum we have going at the moment.” In the final game Melville City gave Coach Gavin Brown and early birthday present with a 2-1 win against Quinns FC at Gumblossom Park with goals from Scott Campbell and Graham Herd. “I’m delighted with the win, the first we've had up at Quinns in the division I think,” Brown said. “We will play better, but overall a solid performance, and a number of young lads and a debutant at centre back, so I’m really pleased.”

22.4.2016

PS4 NPL-WA ROUND SIX - PREVIEW

We head into week six of the PS4 National Premier League with only Inglewood United having a perfect start to the season, and this week they are involved in the Match of the Round when they host Stirling Lions at the Inglewood Stadium. United had to come from behind last week against Cockburn City, and a talk at half time from Coach Taki Nicolaidis got them going in the second half. “Cockburn was a very difficult game, we knew they were going to respond following a bad result the week before and they made it very difficult for us to play in the 1st half,” said midfielder Mark Pritchard. “At the break Taki changed a couple of the player’s positions, and I think it helped and allowed us to find more space especially in the final third. It's been a great start for us, but we can get carried away or get complacent. Every game is a tough one and we need to take it one game at a time and hopefully we can continue our strong run.” Pritchard is expecting another tough game against Stirling on Saturday, and said they have started the season well. “We are expecting a very difficult game this week against Stirling. They have had great results recently and look very dangerous going forward,” he said. “We know we have to be at our very best to get a result and that's what we will be hoping to do.” In team news Scott Blackmore is fit again, while Scott Witschge is back in contention after missing the last few weeks with injury.

Stirling beat ECU Joondalup last week and defender Graham Doran said they deserved the three points. “Our first half was poor, and we were lucky to go in 1-0 up at half time, but second half we did really well and deserved the win,” he explained. “Most importantly it was our first clean sheet of the season, which is a massive bonus, as we’ve been working hard on defensive shape at training.” The Irish defender said Saturday’s game will be a huge test against the unbeaten league leaders, but he said they head there full of confidence. “Looking at their (Inglewood) form so far this season it shows that they are the team to beat this season, and they have made some really good signings,” he said. “But we’re looking forward to the challenge and hopefully we can get a positive result on the day.” In team news Doran injured a knee last week but is fit to play, and they have a few niggling injuries, and all are not too serious, but they will again be without David Murphy who is unavailable.

Bayswater City has lost their last two games, and will be looking to bounce back when they host Armadale in the early game at the Finance 365 Stadium (1.00pm). Armadale have kick started their season and are unbeaten in their last two games, but last season’s Champions need a win to keep in touch of the top of the table. Keeper Fraser Greenwood said they are working extremely hard to turn it around. “Anything less than three points is a foreign feeling at Bayswater so it hasn't been the ideal start,” he said. “You’re going to get games like the Sorrento game during the year, where you can't find the back of the net, despite dominating the game and having the majority of the chances. Hopefully those games are over and done with now and we'll move on to next week.” The keeper said they will be looking to get back on track this week, but believes Armadale have improved this season. “Having quality all over the park makes me very confident we will redeem ourselves this weekend, against a team who pushed us all the way in the QBE night series semi-finals,” he said. “We’ve had a few injuries and some players have unfortunately moved on, but that gives opportunities for a few of the younger lads who have come in and stepped up and looked impressive so far.” In team news Brian Farrell, Andrija Jukic and Nathan Costello are a strong chance to make a return as they have been training fully during the week.

Subiaco AFC makes the trip to Ashfield Sports Club to take on Perth Glory, with both teams looking for the first win of the season. Glory defender Jackson Morgan was on target for them last week at Armadale, but conceded a goal late goal to share the spoils. “We were pretty guttered after the game, to let it slip so late was really hard to take, especially as we’ve conceded in the final minutes of our last two games,” he said. “I thought we deserved three points, and I was really happy to score for the side and was joyful at the time, but getting a draw from that game doesn't reflect our efforts.” Morgan knows Saturday’s game is massive, with both sides looking for their first wins of the season. “We have been playing some very good football and have been competitive in every game, and we’ve been very unlucky not to have secured our first win of the season, but it’s not been for the lack of effort from the side,” he said. “We have trained hard and worked on our game, and we are very keen and motivated to win on Saturday and kick start our season.”

Balcatta won for the first time last week at Subiaco and they will be looking for back-to-back wins when they host Perth SC in the Italian derby at Grindleford Reserve. Defender Jonathan Corness said they left it late to take the points but he thought they deserved the win. “We dominated for most of the match, but we dropped off at the start of the second half and let them into the game,” he said. “But the substitutes came on and added freshness to our attack, we pressed for the win and thankfully late on we found it.” Corness knows Saturday game will be tough encounter, but like all derbies, form goes out the window. “It will be a great test for us against Perth, our club demands a good showing against our rivals so we need to be concentrated on our game for 90 minutes,” he said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge, but we need to play with the same intensity as we did against them in the night series if we want the right result.”

Sorrento have also started the season without defeat and this week they travel to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City. Coach Jamie Harnwell said last week was a difficult week for the club and the win against Bayswater was fantastic. “It was a great win last week and more pleasing was the performance on a very emotional day for our football club,” he said. “Again it showcased the character of the club and was a fitting result to honor the memory of a man pivotal to how far Sorrento has come.” Harnwell will come up against a former Perth Glory teammate in Scott Miller this week and he said it will be a tough game. “I don't think you can underestimate Cockburn, they have a young group with a lot of pace and talent and with Scott Miller at the helm, he will want a response regardless of who is on the park,” he said. “We will treat them with respect and certainly aren't taking them lightly. We got Todd Harnwell back this week and we go into the game at full strength.”

The final match of the round is the twilight game at E&D Litis Stadium, where Floreat Athena entertains ECU Joondalup (5pm) Floreat defender Bobby Wilson said last week’s point at Perth was well-deserved, especially with the side missing a number of players. “It was a good point for us, as it’s always hard when you have a few players missing,” he said. “However to make it worse it’s been pretty much our whole front line missing, although Phil Arnold and Ludovic Boi really worked hard up top to create some good chances and I think a draw was probably a fair result.” Wilson said Joondalup have recruited well and he is expecting another tough game. “They (Joondalup) are always a very tough outfit, but adding Steven McGarry and a few other quality players will make it a hard task for us,” he explained. “We have been training well this week and I expect us to go out Saturday all guns blazing to secure the result and keep up with the pack.” In team news for Floreat, Lewis McMahon is still struggling with injury, although Kris Gate will miss, the midfielder out with a long term injury, while for ECU Lewis Italiano will make his debut in goal for Joondalup after signing from Wellington Phoenix.

22.4.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND THREE - PREVIEW

The Match of the Week in the All Flags State League Division One is Mandurah City’s trip to Harold Rossiter Reserve to take on Shamrock Rovers. Mandurah coach Doug Hesketh said last week’s win against Western Knights was a solid win and maintain their perfect start to the season. “We were really pleased with the points last week, although they (Western Knights) were very tough to breakdown,” he said. “We created some good chances and worked extremely hard off the ball, and Mick Lyons and I were delighted to get the win.” Hesketh is expecting another huge test this week, with Rovers bouncing back from the opening round defeat to best Ashfield on the road last week. “We are in no doubt Rovers will be another tough game for us, they are busy and confident in midfield, so we will have to be ready for that,” he said. “We are developing still this season, but the commitment and attitude from the lads has been first class.” In team mews, Vice-Captain Craig Young is back in contention after returning from overseas and having 90 minutes in the reserves last week, while Jack Eades is also back in the squad after injury.

Shamrock Rovers opened their account for the season with a 3-2 win against Ashfield last week and Coach John O’Reilly said the players had set themselves a new standard. “It was a good performance from the players last week, and it was good to bounce back from the opening game defeat,” he said. “It was a good all-round team display, and now we must learn to back up a game like that.” The Coach said the visit of the Champions and unbeaten Mandurah City is a huge challenge, but said his players are relishing the opportunity to take them on. “We know Mandurah will be well organised, but they have had a few changes to their squad this year, and will still be working on gelling,” he said. “So the opportunity to upset them will be there for us to try and take.” Rovers will go into the game at full strength.

Canning City has started the new season with back-to-back wins and this week they head down the freeway to take on South West Phoenix at Hay Park. Last week’s win against Dinaella wasn’t the way Coach Paul Oliver would have liked to win, but it was a win. “We will take three points any way we can get them but Paul McCue and I were disappointed in the overall performance against Dianella despite the result,” he said. “We know what we are capable of and we fell short of that last week. The lads have trained well this week so expecting an improved display this week.” Oliver said Saturday’s opponents haven’t hit their straps as yet but will be a difficult opposition. “Early season form is hard to judge as teams are still training to find their rhythm. They (South West Phoenix) are a decent side and can't be underestimated, they have the players to test any team in this league,” he said. “We will need to put in a professional display if we want to pick up the points. Canning will be without the injured Darren Gamble out injured, while Charlie parry is a doubt, but they do regain the services of Tom Gibbins from injury. New Phoenix Coach Tim Slack said Saturday’s game is very important for his side, but he thought they have been good in the opening two games. “The first game we had a few new players who were a bit nervous, however we created 12 chances, 9 on target, missed a second half penalty, so we should have had something from the game,” he said. “The second game away we played very well, and were level at half time, and again missed chances. We then missed another penalty on the hour which gave them a big boost, they broke away scored what seemed an offside goal and we never recovered. We have great team spirit at the club at the moment and the players are really looking forward to Saturday’s game to kick start our season.”

Rockingham City host the in-form Gosnells City at Lark Hill. Coach Rob Crerar said last week’s draw was a little disappointing, and they need to improve. “We didn't perform to the level we expected against UWA but they also played really well so credit must go them,” he said. “In the end a draw was probably a fair result and we move on to another tough test against Gosnells.” Crerar said he isn’t surprised by the start of Saturday’s opponents. “I’ve been telling anyone who will listen Gosnells are a very good side this year, we had a good tussle in the night series losing out in the last minute,” he said. “They play good football, are quick on the break and have some real quality players. It's a big challenge for our young group but one we will be ready for.” Rocky will have Blake Sokolowski, Lydon Hodgkiss and Gersh Rowland all back in contention this week. In other games this weekend joint league leaders Joondalup United travel to Dianella reserve to take on Dianella White Eagles, Western Knights and UWA-Nedlands meet at UWA Sports Park, while in the evening clash Forrestfield United and Ashfield meet at Hartfield Park (7pm)

22.4.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND THREE - PREVIEW

This weeks All Flags State League Division Two match of the week takes us to Kingsway Reserve, where Kingsway Olympic entertains Swan United. Swan won for the first time last week against Kelmscott Roos, and Coach Matt Debarro was pleased to get the first points of the season and said they should have won by more. “The win was well deserved, and 1-0 was not a reflection of the game, we created numerous opportunities to score but lacked the finish or final ball,” he explained. “We put a lot of emphasis on defending and credit to the boys they got a clean sheet and the goal and dominated the game.” Debarro knows what to expect on Saturday, and that’s another tough game against a strong Kingsway side. “We are ready for a confident and resilient Kingsway team, more importantly ready for a confident Tom Kilkelly,” he said. “I only managed a draw against him last year when I was coaching at Wanneroo, so I’m hoping the boys will get me a win, if we on our game and get our pre-season form in front if goal back, I am sure we will do well.” Swan will still be missing a number of players with injury, but the Coach said it is what it is. “We are still missing a few boys which is never good but I am confident in the playing group and confident in the plan, and I'm sure it will be a good contested game I only hope I can avoid a red card like last year,” he said.

Kingsway Olympic assistant Coach Mark Culverwell said their fight back at Curtin University last week showed the character they have in their side. “We were slow out of the blocks and found ourselves down by two goals early on, but the lads dug deep and showed great character and got back in the game,” he said. At the end of the day both sides would have been happy with the point, as it was an even game and both sides played some good football.” Culverwell knows Saturday’s opponents will be up for the game and he is expecting a tough battle. “Playing Swan is always going to be difficult, and with the added interest of the former Wanneroo coach and some former players it almost feels like a local derby,” he said. “It will be a big test for us but this season we have a great set of lads, and we’ve only lost two players from last season. We feel we’ve recruited well and all our young players have a season of experience in this competition, so all is looking good. We have a full squad to choose from, with Ian McKean and Brett Cutting return to the squad, so it will be interesting at the selection table for me and head Coach Tom Kilkelly to pick a starting 11.”

Undefeated Fremantle City has home ground advantage this week when they host Joondalup City at Hilton Reserve. They were made to work hard for the points last week at Wanneroo City, and Coach Steve Plucknett said it was tough game. “We were pleased to come away with the three points at Wanneroo. It was a tough even game, Wanneroo defended well, made us work hard and kept us out,” he explained. “However, we know we are better at taking chances in front of goal than what we were on Saturday and in only scoring one you are always open to a mistake or a counter. Defensively though, I felt we were sound which was pleasing.” Joondalup City are also unbeaten this season, included a 5-0 win on the road last week, and Plucknett said it will be another test for his new look side. “We face another hard game against Joondalup City who will be confident after a hefty win against Quinns last week,” he said. “For us it’s about getting our newer players into our style of play, while also trying to keep picking up points and staying in contention.” In team news for Fremantle Daniel Glennon returns to the side, but Ty Fenwick, Liam Fariss and Josh Gardner are all unavailable.

Morley Windmills won for the first time under new coach John Castrilli, a 3-1 win against Ellenbrook United, but the coach said they need to improve this week when they travel to league leaders Balga. “It was great to get our first win last week but the performance was well below our expectations,” he said. “So I hope that with a couple of players coming back from injury that we will be more than competitive against a good Balga side.” Balga have scored 12 goals in their opening two games and Castrilli said it will be a huge test for his new look side. “Balga have started very well, so I am sure we will approach the game with caution but at the same time I know that there will be very few teams that can compete with us when we are at our best,” he said. “We have three long term injuries in Mitch Castrilli, Chris Brady and Gianni Mammone which has made things very difficult to start the season.” In team news Brendan Da Silva and Yohanes Tadesse return to Morley squad from injury. In other games this weekend Ellenbrook United will go in search of their first points of the season when they host Curtin University at Arbor Grove Reserve. Wanneroo City makes the trip to Frye Park to take on Kelmscott Roos, with both sides also still looking for their first wins of the season, likewise Quinns FC who host Melville City at Gumblossom Park.

21.4.2016

ECU JOONDALUP SIGN ITALIANO FROM WELLINGTON PHOENIX (courtesy ecujoondalup.com.au)

ECU Joondalup have signed Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper Lewis Italiano for the rest of the PS4 NPLWA season. WA-born Italiano was part of the Perth Glory side in 2012, before signing for the Phoenix in 2013. The 25-year-old signing has come at the right time for the club, with number one keeper David Keenan out for the season with a knee injury. ECU Coach Dale McCulloch said Italiano is a great signing. “It’s great to get Lewis on board, he is a fantastic keeper and will strengthen our squad,” he said. “I’ve watch Lewis’ rise in his football career and I’ve been impressed with his attitude, and I’ve no doubt he will have a long career in the game in the A-League or overseas.”

ECU goal keeping Coach Andy Petterson will work with Italiano and the former Charlton Athletic custodian said he is a talent. “Lewis will be a fantastic asset to the club,” Petterson said. “Both David Keenan (before the injury) and Scott Wallis have done really well in recent weeks but Lewis will add that presence and stability at the back, that we have been looking for.” Petterson believes Italiano has come on leaps and bounds since securing an A-League contract, and he believes he will only get better. “He is tall and imposing lad, who has benefited immensely from his time as a professional goalkeeper with both Perth Glory and Wellington Phoenix,” he said. “ “I’m looking forward to working with him at training and in games to further enhance his game.” Italiano’s international clearance has been received and he will make his ECU debut on Saturday at Floreat Athena.

21.4.2016

WILLIAMS HEADS HOME FOR MORE GLORY

Perth Glory new signing Rhys Williams is confident a move to the A-League club can help him re-launch his injury-plagued career after rejecting several other A-League offers in favour of a return to his home state. The 27-year-old has penned a one year deal and will head back to Western Australia once Middlesbrough finishes its push for promotion to the Premier League.

The decision was made to rediscover his best form after back to back achilles injuries kept him out of football for two hellish years including the 2014 World Cup and triumphant Asian Cup campaign six months later.

Williams was in demand from other A-League clubs but he couldn’t help but head home to WA. “We did have four or five clubs come to the table. I’d prefer to not name them out of respect but basically the offers were all the same as the Perth one, it was simply a desire to go back home mixed with the impressive way that the Glory finished the season,” he said. “I think it’s really exciting how they’ve brought the W.A boys back. I’ve spoken to Shane Lowry a bit, (who was with him at ECU Joondalup as a youngster), and he’s loving it and obviously my brother Aryn is there too so it’ll be great to play with him.”

The Socceroo is best known as a centre-back or right-back, and he’s revealed Kenny Lowe has earmarked him for a role in the midfield. “You never know how things can change but my initial talks with Kenny are to play in the midfield,” he said. “I just can’t wait to get going, it’s been a long time coming. After the loan move to Charlton I just decided I had to get back playing regular football again. I’ve known Kenny for a long time as well and I just felt to play my best football again being at home will provide for that.”

The A-League move does draw a line for the moment on his time in Europe after moving to Middlesbrough some nine years ago, and in that time the talented player has captained the club and back in 2012 was rated a 10 million pound prospect by the U.K press amid transfer links from Liverpool. He remains hopeful that period in his career isn’t done with yet. “I’m not ruling out coming back to Europe. I’m still only 27, I’ve still got years left in me,” he said. “I missed two years with my injuries and that should add two years on my body at the end of my career.”

The sheer volume of football that the 14 time Socceroo has missed means he won’t be involved in Boro’s quest for an automatic promotion place to the EPL but that hasn’t dimmed his enthusiasm for the club. “I feel like I’m involved in the changing room, I get along with everyone and I’ll always be there for the boys and for the manager,” he explained. “I want to help them in any way I can get over that final hurdle and I’ll be a supporter of them until that final whistle goes in the season. After that it’s on to the next adventure.”

21.4.2016

HERD IN GLORY'S SIGHTS

Former ECU Joondalup junior Chris Herd is on the radar of Perth Glory, as the club look to bolster their squad after being eliminated from the A-League Finals at the first hurdle last week. Hot on the heels of signing Australia defender Rhys Williams, the Glory are in discussions over also bringing Herd back to his hometown. Herd's one-year contract with Chesterfield is due to expire and it’s unclear whether he will remain with the struggling League One club beyond the remainder of this season.

The 27 year-old, who made 42 appearances in six injury-interrupted seasons at Aston Villa, was released by the newly relegated Premier League side at the end of last season, after loan spells at Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic. He has made 22 appearances for battling Chesterfield and according to his father, former Scottish professional Willie Herd, he is looking at all his options for next season”. It’s about assessing which way to go. Perth is certainly a possibility and there have been some talks but he’s just going to see what happens over the next few weeks," he said.

One of those options is Glory, whose coach Kenny Lowe believes the versatile Herd – who has three Socceroos caps – would be an astute capture. That is all dependent on whether Herd cuts short a career in the UK that began a decade ago when he joined Villa’s youth academy frm ECU Joondalup, along with defender Shane Lowry – one of Glory’s successful January transfer window signings.

Herd – like Middlesbrough utility Williams – has struggled with injury in recent times but has showed this season that those problems are behind him. While adamant last year his future lay in England, where he has a wife and child, it’s understood that Herd has reappraised the situation and is willing to listen to offers in Australia, with Glory the clear favourites to snare him. Like Williams, Herd is keen to force himself back into Socceroos contention and with coach Ange Postecoglou promoting a host of A-League talent in recent seasons, he knows that coming home could enhance his hopes of a recall.

19.4.2016

LOWE KEEN TO BUILD AS KEY PLAYERS STAY

Kenny Lowe will demand Perth Glory improve on their first finals appearance in three years, with the coach hoping to keep most of his squad together for next season. Veteran goalkeeper Ante Covic could be the only senior player to leave in the off-season following Glory's elimination final loss to Melbourne City on the weekend. It's a far cry from the previous two campaigns when at least a dozen players moved on at the end of each season.

Lowe was hesitant to declare finals as the minimum goal for his charges next season, but Glory have made no secret of their plans to re-establish the club as a powerhouse. A four-year master plan released in February cited ambitions of winning an A-League title by 2020 and boasting at least 10,000 members within the next two seasons. Lowe said Glory were well placed, just twelve months after being booted out of the finals for salary cap breaches.

"A lot of people around the club can hold their head up high," Lowe said. "We've got some really good people, we've earned a lot of respect back after what's gone on earlier, not just on the park, but off the park. Everything is in a good space and we've got a base now to grow. That's the big thing. There's optimism, there's hope. There was no optimism and hope this time last year."

Glory are in negotiations with Diego Castro and will need to satisfy the Spanish import's increased worth in the marketplace on the back of a breakout A-League season. Covic, 40, played every game for Glory this campaign, but is now out of contract and will face pressure to reunite with his family in Sydney. Lowe said former A-League golden boot winner Adam Taggart, who signed in January, would bring considerable benefit to Glory next season.

19.4.2016

BURGESS LEFT SHAKING AS CHELTENHAM CELEBRATE

Youngster Cameron Burgess will never forget the scenes of wild celebration after helping Cheltenham Town win the National League title with a 2-0 win over Halifax Town. The central defender, on loan to Cheltenham from Fulham, formed an immediate understanding with Dan Parslow to help fill to void left by a serious knee injury to captain Aaron Downes, which ended his season in January.

At 20 years of age, Burgess hopes there are more promotions to come but he said he could not have wished for a better experience during his time with the Robins. "It was a brilliant day and my hands are still shaking now," Burgess said after the celebrations finally started to die down. "There was absolute carnage in the dressing room afterwards, with champagne everywhere and it's an atmosphere I'll never forget."

"The fans were brilliant. When I came here we were top of the league so I knew exactly what the aim was and it's great to get the job done with two games still to play. It's a real bonus to have a promotion on your CV from a loan spell and hopefully there are more of them to come for me."

Cheltenham opened up a two goal lead in the first half with Dan Holman scoring both, but relegation threatened Halifax applied pressure in the second half and only a resolute display from Cheltenham's backline kept them out. "We needed to get the win and once we got the two goals, it was a bit edgy in the second half," Burgess said.

"But we always knew we could hold out with a clean sheet and it was a great result and a great feeling in the end. We know we've done it, but we still want to win the last two games and get as many points on the board as we can. The gaffer (Gary Johnson) will keep us on our toes and we will want to finish the season off properly."

19.4.2016

GLORY TARGET A-LEAGUE BOUND WILLIAMS

Perth Glory's bid to bolster their line-up for next season is already in full swing with owner Tony Sage confirming the club are in discussions with Australia defender Rhys Williams. Set to be released by Middlesbrough after eleven years at the Riverside, 27-year old Williams - who can operate either in defence or midfield - is viewed by coach Kenny Lowe and general manager of football Jacob Burns as a key target in their plans to boost an already vibrant squad.

Williams younger brother, Aryn, is already on Glory's books and the Socceroo has a long relationship with Lowe stretching back to their time together at ECU Joondalup. "I understand they are talks to see if Rhys can come to terms with us but nothing has been finalised since then, other than the fact they are talking," Sage said of Williams, who is looking to resurrect his career after two years in the wilderness through injury.

"It's been difficult for Rhys with his injuries but we will see what happens ... we have an excellent squad and my bet is he will come back to the A-League. But whether it's with us at Perth, that's up to Jacob and Kenny to sort out with Rhys. He was at the stadium a few weeks back to watch his brother Aryn play against Melbourne City. I didn't meet him but he met with Jacob Burns and Kenny Lowe, and he did mention he is keen to come back to his home town."

17.4.2016

POPOVIC'S SIGNING OF NEVILLE VALIDATED

Defender Scott Neville is one of Western Sydney Wanderers' unsung heroes this season. The fact Neville missed only one game along with efficient numbers on pass completion and tackles won, illustrate why coach Tony Popovic wanted to sign Neville two and a half years ago from Newcastle Jets, just at the point when his anterior cruciate ligament snapped in his knee.

What made the timing of the injury even more cruel was that months before doctors had discovered an irregularity in Neville's heart that required an operation to correct, and he come back from it like a man reborn. With his knee needing reconstruction, Neville was just glad to re-sign with Newcastle. But a year later, Popovic came back with an offer that Neville felt unable to refuse.

"At the time (of the ACL injury) Newcastle was coming second or third and I was happy with the way I was playing that year," Neville said. "I felt I was improving. But I feel like I've learnt more this year than I have in the last five or six. I've still got a lot to learn, of course, but I come to training knowing I'll learn something new."

"It comes through in games, where I maybe now notice a mistake I've made, recognise it and address it. Any small detail, the coaching staff pick up on it. Monday morning, I just enjoy coming into training. It's the best job in the world, especially when you feel like you are genuinely improving all the time. I love structure and I love being pushed to my limits."

"This season has probably been the most games I've played for four or five years which is pretty big coming off a few serious injuries. Always you can get better but I've been reasonably happy with how I've performed. The brutal truth is that if you're not performing ten you don't play at this club, so it's an illustration of the level of performance that those who do play are achieving."

Neville never set a target for games to play this season - it was more about the state he would play in. "I knew that if I improved as a player and got some consistency into my game then playing would take care of itself," he said. "But more than anything it was about being injury free for a long period of time. Last year I played what, 17 or 18 games?"

"But I can tell you now that in a few of those I was nowhere near as fit as I am now. It's the end of the season now and I feel like I could just keep on playing, which says everything. It's just the way that I've prepared my body right back to pre-season, and the way it's structured here at the Wanderers. You recover well and you're good to go again. It's all so structured here, there's nothing left to chance."

17.4.2016

GLORY FINALS OVER AT FIRST HURDLE

Perth Glory’s 2016 A-League season has come to an end after a 2-1 loss against Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon. A double from Uruguayan striker Bruno Fornaroli won the game for the home side, the first a controversial overhead kick, where he also kicked Shane Lowry in the head. They move on to take on Adelaide United in the Semi-Final at Coopers Stadium on Friday night. “But I don’t want to harp on about that, they were the better team and they deserved it. So irrespective of if he’s kicked someone in the head and scored … I’d be disappointed if my centre-forward hadn’t done that,” Lowe said. “So there’s no qualms on that front … they deserved the result.”

The Glory welcomed back Spanish Maestro Diego Castro and Chris Harold to the starting lineup, but they were under the pump from the first whistle. Ben Garuccio sent Fornaroli in after only ten minutes, but Ante Covic was out quick to deny him. The Glory went close themselves two minutes later, Josh Risdon’s cross surprised Thomas Sorensen who was full stretch to keep it out and Patrick Kisnorbo cleared the rebound, before Alex Grant headed over moments later. City had the ball into the net on 18 minutes, Fornaroli waltzed through the Glory defence, his shot beat Covic and into the net but the referee’s Assistants flag was up as Garuccio was interfered the Glory custodian.

But five minutes from half time City hit the front. Aaron Mooy’s in-swinging corner looped up in the air and Fornarolli, overhead kick nestled in the back of the net. The Glory players were livid and replays showed he had made contact with Shane Lowry’s head, anywhere else on the park and it would have been a free kick but the goal stood. The Glory looked to hit back immediately and from Mark Warren’s cross Andy Keogh’s header missed the target.

The Glory should have levelled two minutes into the second half. Castro’s superb back heel found Warren, whose cross was punched away by Sorensen, but only to Gyorgy Sandor, and with the goal at his mercy he fluffed his volley and it was over the top. Keogh shot on the run drifted wide, before Mooy had Covic diving full length to turn his shot around the post. But City were turning the screws and on 76 minutes they doubled their advantage. Fornarolli was brought down on the edge of the area and he took the set-piece and not Mooy, and he made the right choice curling it around the wall and into the corner of the net.

Richard Garcia came off the bench and tested Sorensen, who saved low at his near post, before Nebojsa Marinkovic’s 25-yard free kick whistled just wide. With the Glory pushing men forward Covic kept the scoreline down late on saving well to deny Fornarolli and Marc Marino, but at the final whistle it is City progressing to the Semi-Final and the Glory season has come to an end.

Melbourne City: Thomas SORENSEN, Paulo RETRE (Connor CHAPMAN 81’), Alex WILKINSON, Patrick KISNORBO (C), Jack CLISBY, Osama MALIK, Aaron MOOY, Anthony CACERES (Jacob MELLING 68’), Ben GARUCCIO (Marc MARINO 73’), Nick FITZGERALD, Bruno FORNAROLI
Subs not used: Dean BOUZANIS (GK), Aaron HUGHES

Perth Glory: Ante COVIC, Alex GRANT (Dino DJULBIC 46’), Marc WARREN, Shane LOWRY, Gyorgy SANDOR, Andy KEOGH, Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, Chris HAROLD (Richard GARCIA 68’), Diego CASTRO, Josh RISDON (C), Krisztian VADOCZ (Kosta PETRATOS 83’)
Subs not used: Jerrad TYSON (GK), Mitch OXBORROW

Referee: Chris Beath

17.4.2016

LOWE SAID THE BETTER TEAM WON ON THE DAY

Perth Glory boss Kenny Lowe believes Melbourne City deserved their win in the Elimination Final on Sunday, but was convinced star marksman Bruno Fornaroli should have been penalised for a high boot as he opened the scoring in Sunday’s finals defeat.

Fornaroli netted the first of a brace in the 40th minute, acrobatically turning home an Aaron Mooy corner with an overhead kick, as well as taking a piece of Shane Lowrys head in the process. The Glory never recovered from that point, going on to be eliminated thanks to a 2-0 scoreline.

Lowe made no excuses for the defeat in which Perth struggled to create any clear cut chances in the final third, but did suggest Fornaroli’s stunning opener may have been overturned on another day. “I thought the first one (goal) was a bit contentions but the second one was sublime,” Lowe said. “Good player (Fornaroli) … there’s not much more you can say about him really, he’s scored a boatload of goals and he played ever so well. I just thought it was high foot. I think it’s there for him to go for, but if he kicks one in the air, maybe he (the referee) has got to blow the whistle … if he kicks one in the air, it’s got to be a free kick.

“It’s there for him to go for, there’s nothing wrong with that. And then it’s there for the full-back to go for, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just think the referee needs to apply whatever law applies to the situation. “We’ve had two (contentious high foot) calls this year, one at West Sydney and one here. “But I don’t want to harp on about that, they were the better team and they deserved it. So irrespective of if he’s kicked someone in the head and scored … I’d be disappointed if my centre-forward hadn’t done that. So there’s no qualms on that front … they deserved the result.”

Despite suffering an early end to the season, Lowe declared he was proud of what his team achieved throughout the season. Yet after rebuilding the squad in part during the January transfer window, Glory rebounded to secure a fifth-place finish. “We’ve done ever so well to come this far,” he said. “We deserved to come this far, it’s just that on the day we were a little bit behind City in performance. It’s probably a bit raw and emotional at the moment after a game you lose, but in a couple of days’ time, you sit down and reflect on what we’ve achieved this year. We’ve been to an FFA Cup final, we’ve been in the finals … we got 50 points last year, we got 46 points this year … we’ve done magnificent. When I look back and reflect, everyone can be proud of what we’ve achieved the last couple of years.”

16.4.2016

FINAL NOT MY FAREWELL: GARCIA

Captain Richard Garcia won't treat tomorrow's knockout final against Melbourne City as his last hurrah at Perth Glory. The 34-year old is yet to sign a contract for next season but wants to play on after watching Glory's evolution in the second half of this campaign with pride.

A former Socceroos player and 2010 World Cup squad member, Garcia praised the emergence of Josh Risdon and Shane Lowry as leadership material at a time when his own place in the starting line-up has been less certain. "It's one of those things where you take every game as it comes," Garcia said.

"This being a finals game, if I'm on the pitch I'll give my all and do my usual stuff and if I'm not on the pitch I'll come on and contribute. I'm confident that I'll get another contract. We've begun early talks as well, so that's a good thing ... I know that the club are confident in what I've got to offer and what I can produce."

16.4.2016

BIRIGHITTI SWEEPS NEWCASTLE'S AWARDS

Goalkeeper Mark Birighitti was the big winner at the Newcastle Jets' annual Player of the Year Awards last night. The 24-year old was recognised as the club's and Members' Player of the Year for 2016, plus feted with Men of Football's Ray Baartz Medal at the gala which was attended by over 250 Newcastle players, management, partners, sponsors, members and supporters.

Birighitti, who returned to the club following a loan spell with AS Varese in Italy in June last year, kept three clean sheets in 26 appearances during the 2015/16 campaign. What's more, the ambitious custodian produced a string of stunning saves throughout the season which not only earned him plaudits from club members, fans, and the media, but the highly respected vote of his peers when it came time for the first team squad to submit their players' player votes recently.

16.4.2016

SALDARIS SCORES LATE TO SHARE THE SPOILS

A goal in the last minute from Floreat Athena defender Chris Saldaris has given them a 1-1 draw against Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens. It looked like former Perth Glory Youth player Tom King’s goal 13 minutes from time had continued Perth’s perfect start to the season, but Saldaris, who joined Floreat from Bayswater City this season, popped up with the last gasp equaliser to give both sides a share of the spoils. “It was an even game, we pressed hard and we worked hard,” Floreat Coach Glen Grostate told the NPLWA website. “We came here with a plan and without four usual players in the starting 11, so we are happy to walk away with a point.”

Both sides were coming off good victories last week and both had early half chances, but they failed to convert them. The first real chance of the game fell to the visitors on the half hour; Phil Arnold’s free kick was saved well by Glory custodian Francis Soale. Perth had their best chance moments later, Gustavo Catarcione found space in the box, but he failed to find the target. Soale was in the action again just before half time, this time he saved well to thwart Arnold’s free kick from the edge of the penalty area. Perth again hit back, and in the shadows of half time Matthew Milenkovic long-range shot whistled just past the post.

It was more of the same after the break with both sides pressing forward looking for the opener. Floreat skipper Ludovic Boi’s low shot flashed wide of the post on the hour, but it was the home side who hit the front on 77 minutes. King raced down the flank, cut inside his marker and superbly chipped Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris to give the home side the lead. Perth looked to kill the game off and second half substitute Reece Vittliglia shot was well saved by Jason Saldaris, before Clark Keltie’s long-range shot drifted over the top. But with time running out, the visitors levelled. A long throw by Blair Govan was flicked on by Bobby Wilson and Boi’s shot was parried by Soale, Chris Saldaris was the first to react to head the ball home to give Floreat a share of the spoils.

16.4.2016

SARDELIC LATE STRIKE GIVES REDS A POINT

A goal in the final minute from Armadale defender Jake Sardelic has given them a 1-1 draw against Perth Glory at Alfred Skeet Oval. It looked like Jackson Morgan’s goal on the hour would be enough to earn the victory for the Glory youngsters, but Sardelic’s late strike gave both sides a share of the spoils. “The players were gutted after the game, it was déjà vu from last week, however we should've also been able to grind out the victory and not concede so late on,” Glory midfielder Daniel Stynes said. “There were some positives this week, it was a much better performance from us and we should've really won by three or four.”

Armadale opened brightly and on four minutes Caleb Dixon was sent clear one-on-one with Glory keeper Jordan Thurtell, who stood tall to save and the rebound was cleared. The Glory went close themselves moments later, Joe Knowles’ shot on the turn was deflected wide of the target. Knowles was a real handful and he went close again on 15 minutes, his shot from the edge of the penalty area was pushed around the post by Armadale keeper Alfie Brincat. The Glory continued to dictate terms and Stynes was denied by Brincat on the half hour, and six minutes later Jacob Mustafa went one-on-one with the Armadale custodian, but Brincat spread himself well to save. The home side went close to the opener four minutes from half time. English striker Alex Salmon was given far too much room and his long-range shot was superbly saved by Thurtell at full stretch.

Ellis Healing saw his shot flash over the top early in the second half for the home side, before Thurtell saved well to deny Salmon on 56 minutes. But four minutes later the Glory hit the front. Stynes played the ball to Morgan who played a one-two with Knowles, and Morgan continued his run and finished nicely into the bottom corner. Glory almost added a second fifteen minutes late. Stynes played a one-two with Sam McKearnen, but his shot was well saved by Brincat. Thurtell was in the thick of the action again on 78 minutes, this time saving well to deny Salmon, as the Glory continued to hold out, and they went close to doubling their lead on 86 minutes. Stynes raced down the flank and his cross was deflected into the path of Mustafa, but his shot was straight at Brincat. It looked the Glory would hold out but in the 89th minute the home side levelled. Sardelic drove down the left wing, moved into the box and fired it low into the back of the net.

16.4.2016

INGLEWOOD HIT BACK TO BEAT COCKERELS

Inglewood United moved back to the top of the PS4NPLWA table after coming from behind to beat Cockburn City 4-2 at Inglewood Stadium. The visitors led at the break with Harry O’Brien on target, but Kenny Keogh scored twice either side of Brian Woodall’s header and Ashley Rosindale wrapped up the points late on after Cameron Edwards briefly sparked Cockburn hopes. “The second half was a much better performance from us. We were slow out of the blocks and second to everything in the first half,” Inglewood Coach Taki Nicolaidis told the NPLWA website. “Ball movement was slow, movement off the ball was negligent and I think the boys might have thought they could turn up and things would happen. “They copped an earful at half time. We wanted to change the mindset because the first half didn’t even come close to a pass mark. It was a mental thing more than a tactical thing.”

The hosts went into the game with a 100% record to date this season and they went close early. Josh Pereira’s long-range shot was tipped over the top by Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich. But Cockburn began to get into the game and they opened the scoring on the half hour. Some good lead up play by Scott Miller’s side ended with O’Brien, and the former Perth Glory midfielder fired home from outside the box giving Alex Dunn no chance. It was a lethargic Inglewood performance, but they have some talented players, and they almost hit back before the break. Keogh found space in the penalty area, but his header was superbly saved by Radonich, before Woodall’s effort was cleared by some desperate Cockburn defending.

Inglewood made the perfect start to the second half and they were level two minutes in. Woodall made space down the flank, and his cross was bundled home by Keogh. The home side then hit the front five minutes later, Mark Pritchard’s ball into the area picked out Woodall, whose glancing header beat Radonich. The home side were on top and it wasn’t a surprise when they added a third on the hour. Roadonich’s attempted clearance hit an Inglewood player and the rebound fell kindly to Keogh who fired home.

Cockburn weren’t finished and they pulled on back on 73 minutes. Inglewood failed to clear their lines and Edwards made them pay, firing home to set up an exciting last quarter of the game. But the home side made the points safe eight minutes from time. Second half substitute Rosindale won possession on the edge of the penalty area and the strikers shot flew into the net to win it for Inglewood. It could have been five late on, Tim Robertson’s shot crashing off the crossbar but the damage had already been done.

16.4.2016

GULLS GIVE BAYSWATER THE BLUES

Sorrento has beaten last season’s Champions Bayswater City 2-1 at Percy Doyle Reserve. The Sky Blues came from behind to take the three points, and inflect City’s second consecutive loss. David Heagney had given City the lead at the break but goals to Jordan Dodd and a last minute strike from Ryan Pearson gave Sorrento the win. “We thoroughly deserved the win, and just like last week we created enough chances earlier in the game to wrap it up a lot sooner than we did,” Sorrento midfielder Tim Hill said. “We knew coming into the game they were there for the taking and credit to the boys we all came out hungry to get the win and delivered it on what was an emotional day for the club.”

There was a somber moment before kick off with both sides led out by a bagpiper and the fans stood for a minutes silence in honour of former committee member Archie McLellan who passed away in the week. The visitors, who were without striker Gustavo Giron-Maurlanda, opened brightly and created a number of half chances, and on the half hour they hit the front, Heagney bagging his second goal of the season. Sorrento looked to hit back and the best chance fell to their skipper Daryl Platten, who went one-on-one with Fraser Greenwood, but the keeper stood tall to deny him.

Sorrento created a number of second half chances, but didn’t convert them, but on the hour they did. Hill’s cross to the back post was headed back across goal by Sean Canham, Bayswater didn’t clear their lines and Dodd fired home from five meters. Both sides pressed looking for the winner, but just like last week Sorrento scored the winner in the final minute. Brad McDonald cross was dropped by Greenwood under pressure from Billy Quinncroft, and Pearson was there to tap home to win it for the Gulls.

16.4.2016

LIONS BITE BACK TO BEAT JOONDALUP

Stirling Lions moved to fourth place on the table after a 3-0 win against ECU Joondalup at Macedonia Park. Robert Petkov gave the home side lead in the first half, before late goals from Teeboy Kamara and Daniel Micevski wrapped up the points for the Lions. “I thought our first half was poor and they got on top of us in the middle of the park, and we were fortunate to go into the break with the lead, but we addressed that at half time,” Lions Coach Rob Milevski said. “I think we got what we deserved in the second half, and scored some good goal, and kept a clean sheet as well, our first of the season, which is very pleasing.”

The visitors made the better start and Lions defender Shane Cassidy got back with a fantastic last ditch tackle to deny Steven McGarry after only three minutes, before Gordon Smith’s long-range effort flashed wide. The Lions hit back and debutant ECU keeper Scott Wallis was alert to save David Micevski’s shot moments later, but on 16 minutes it was ECU who should have hit the front. Smith shrugged off two Lions defenders and raced clear, he rounded keeper John Perkins, but with the goal at his mercy he fired wide. It was the Lions who opened the scoring ten minutes from half time, David Micevski’s in-swinging corner was flicked on by Graham Doran and Petkov finished at the back post.

Both sides had good early chances in the second half. First David Micevski’s snap shot from the edge of the penalty area flashed wide of the target, before Bayley Brown-Montgomery long-range shot was saved low by Perkins. It should have been 2-0 on 67 minutes, Blamo Qua Qua through ball sent David Micevski clear one-on-one with Wallis, but the ECU custodian stood tall and the midfielder fired wide of the target. But the game was put to bed by the Lions with two goals in as many minutes. First on 81 minutes two ECU defenders challenged for the same ball and the ball fell to second half substitute Jason Rubidge, who fed Kamara who made mistake.

Then two minutes later, Kamara was the supplier for the third. His quick counter attack ended with a ball to Daniel Micevski, who finished low past Wallis to seal the points.

16.4.2016

BALCATTA WINS IT LATE AT SUBIACO

Balcatta won for the first time this season after two late goals from substitute Parvis Shirzardi and Anthony Barabusha gave them a 2-0 win against Subiaco AFC at Rosalie Park. The defeat leaves Subiaco languishing at the bottom of the table still looking for their first points of the season. “It was a hard earned win, we knew what way Subiaco were going to set up and approach the game, we knew they were going to frustrate us, and they were doing it quite well while also threatening on the counter,” Balcatta’s Conor Kavanagh said. “But we knew if we kept to the game plan, and just persevered that we would eventually get the goal we were searching for, and luckily enough that just happened. It was a hard fought win and we were delighted to get our first win on the board and hopefully we can kick on from here and get a few more wins”

Both sides knew the importance of three points in this one, with both still looking for their first league win of the season, and it was a cagey start to the game with clear cut chances few and far between. Balcatta began to get the upper hand late in the first half but Subiaco defended stoutly, and were hitting on the counter attack, but both Ryan Montgomery and Clint Davies kept the score line even at the break.

Subiaco began the second half well and Rory Feely shot five minutes in whistled inches past the post. Then on the hour Jackson Dongray rose highest in the box, but his header was cleared off the line by some desperate defending by Balcatta. The visitors also had their chances, but Montgomery was in fine form to deny them and the game had a scoreless draw written all over it.

But then two minutes from time Balcatta broke the deadlock. Jonathan Corness headed down a loose ball to Conor Kavanagh, who played the ball over the top to second half substitute Shirzardi, whose shot flew into the bottom corner of the net giving Montgomery no chance. Subiaco pressed forward looking for the equaliser and when Bafabusha closed down the Subiaco defender, and drilled the ball into an empty net to seal the three points.

15.4.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TWO - REVIEW

Canning City has continued their good start to the All Flags State League Division One season with a 4-2 win against Dianella White Eagles at Burrendah Reserve. The home side were ahead early when Ante Jukic curled home a free kick from the edge of the box. They doubled their lead mid-way through the half, Jukic heading home his second from close-range. Dianella pulled one back before half time, and they levelled early in the second. Canning hit the front again, when Charlie Parry got on the end of a Jukic free kick and heading home at the back post. The points were made safe with the goal of the game, Nathan Hubbard long-range shot flew into the top corner. “We did things the hard way today but at the end of the season all we will remember is we got the three points,” Canning Coach Paul Oliver said. “We probably should have had the game out of sight in the first 30 minutes which we dominated but failed to take our chances. It has been a good start for us but we travel to Bunbury next week knowing that we must keep improving to maintain momentum.”

Joondalup United also continued their perfect start to the season with a hard fought 2-1 win against a nine man Forrestfield United at Forrest Park. Chances were few and far between in the opening quarter, but tension rose when Forrestfield defender Mark Barnett was sent off in the 26th minute with a second yellow card. The home side capitalised on their man advantage when two minutes before the end of the half, Lee Jones cut in from the left and fired past Luke Martino. But the situation got worse for the visitors on 70 minutes when skipper Trent Wood was also sent off for a second yellow card. But with their backs to the wall Forrestfield rallied and levelled six minutes later. Josip Vujaca found space on left, he beat his marker and sent a low cross into the box which wasn’t deal with and the ball found its way past James Bosdet and into the corner of the net. But they couldn’t hold on to their lead and Jones bagged his second nine minutes from time. The big striker again cutting in from the left and finding the bottom corner of the net to win it. Another team to win their opening two games is Mandurah City, after their 2-0 win against Western Knights at the Hyundai Stadium. Andy Brown gave the Champions the lead, finishing off good lead up play and scoring low past the keeper. They doubled their lead after the break, Brown raced away from his marker and fired home from 10 meters. “Today was a battle from the first whistle which we fully expect each week,” defender Ollie McGee said. “We created good chances throughout and everybody worked hard from start to finish which got us the win we deserved.”

Shamrock Rovers bounced back from last week’s defeat against Joondalup with a 3-2 win against Ashfield at the Ashfield Reserve. It was a perfect start for John O’Reilly’s side and they were a head in the opening minute. Steve Sheridan robbed a defender and raced goalwards, before cutting the ball back to Paul Sop who rolled the ball home. The home side levelled before the break, a corner was whipped in and Jay Lang bundled the ball home. Rovers’ were back in front early in the second half. A corner picked out Mike Lawson, who took a touch and struck it sweetly into the far corner. Rovers thought they had a penalty when Sop was brought down by the Ashfield keeper in the box, but the referee said it happened outside the box and awarded a free kick. Ashfield hit back again and levelled when Graham Tough’s shot deflected off a Shamrock defender and into the net. Rovers scored the winner fifteen minutes from time. Sheridan laid the ball off to Paul Concannon, who took a touch and finished low into the corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area. “It was about time we got one over on them. It was well deserved win, nobody gave us a chance before the game so was nice to put in a performance,” Concannon said. Coach John O’Reilly said all their hard work paid off. “I’m very happy with the player’s performance, and they got the result there effort deserved,” he said. “We worked hard all week a training on some key areas and it paid off.”

In other games Gosnells City won for the first time this season with a 4-1 win against South West Phoenix at Walter Padbury Reserve. Jason Pottier and Jacob Aquino combined to set up Scott Pereira, who fired home from the edge of the penalty area for the opener. The visitors levelled moments later, with Ryan Francis finishing from four meters. The visitors had the chance to take a lead into the break, but Ethan De Latte saw his penalty well saved by Jack Adams. But after the break Gosnells hit the front again, Dean Aplegren played in Sean Taylor and he finished with aplomb. Two minutes later Taylor bagged his second, firing across the keeper after Phoenix failed to deal with a free kick. Taylor competed his hat trick moments later, Aaron Coslani sending him one-on-one with the keeper and he kept his nerve to score, and it was the quickest hat-trick at the club, all in nine minutes. The final game saw Rockingham City draw 1-1 with UWA-Nedlands at Lark Hill. The visitors led early with Lloyd Prout on target, but Alex Grayson levelled for Rockingham on the hour to share the spoils.

15.4.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND TWO - REVIEW

Balga moved to the top of the All Flags State League Division Two table after a 6-1 win against Melville City at the Len Shearer Reserve. Vladimir Naumovski opened the scoring after only two minutes, and it was a sign of things to come. It was 2-0 on 21 minutes, Naumovski went one-on-one with the Melville keeper who blocked his shot but the striker fired home the rebound. Naumovski scored his third on the half hour, before Melville pulled one back from the spot five minutes later. It was Naumovski’s day and he added his and Balga’s fourth early in the second half before substitute Hubert Hakizimana and Arji Tela added the fifth and sixth respectively to move Balga to the top of the table on goal difference. Fremantle are the only other unbeaten side in the league after they edged out Wanneroo City 1-0 with Ben Reynolds on target. “We always knew it was going to be a tough game at their place, we had plenty of chances to take the lead in first half but couldn't capitalize.” Fremantle’s Danny Clapham said. “The Second half started similar it was very scrappy but we knew as time went on our football would show and we would get that goal we needed and it happened through Ben. We are happy with the result especially with a clean sheet away, it's exciting times we've got a lot of new lads and we are still bonding so there's a lot more to come from us the main thing at this moment in time is results and we have started off well.”

Joondalup City won for the first time this season, thrashing Quinns FC 5-0 in the local derby at Gumblossom Park. Liam McGurk scored the first goal, while Jamie Stewart and Sam Phillips both scored two. "I am very happy that the work we are doing on the training track is starting to show in our games," coach Marco Schisano said "It was pleasing to keep a clean sheet as we are spending a lot of time on our defensive structure. It was a solid all round performance from the whole squad and we are looking forward to testing ourselves against a very good side in Fremantle this week."

The round began on Friday night when Curtin University and Kingsway Olympic fought out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Edinburgh Oval. Khaled Salhah, Kirsten Beven and Eddie Tikoft were on target for the home side while Craig Hollingsworth scored twice and Daniel Cuticune was also on target for Kingsway. Swan United opened their account with a hard fought 1-0 win against Kelmscott Roos at the Swan Italian Club. Simon Williams scored the only goal of the game and Coach Matt Debarro was happy to get off the mark for the season. “ They (Kelmscott) were resilient all game however once again like last week we failed to capitalise on the abundance of chances we created,” he said. “We should have been a lot more goals for us however I am pleased with the result as we went Into the game looking to improve our defensive game which we did keeping a clean sheet and limiting their chances, something we did not do last week and paid the price. We need to be more clinical going forward but always happy with three points and a clean sheet.” In other games Morley Windmills beat Ellenbrook United 3-1at Wotton Reserve to give new coach John Castrilli his first win at the club. David Houston, Yves Mwila and Kyle King were the scorers for Morley and the coach was happy to get their first win of the season. “We have quite a few long term injuries and are still gelling with the new players coming into the squad,” Castrilli said. “Even though we were far from our best I was delighted at the result.”




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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