Former Perth Glory defender Jamie Harnwell is the new CEO of Football West

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Former Perth Glory defender Jamie Harnwell has been appointed as Football West new Chief Executive Officer. Harnwell, who coached the Glory Womens side, and in the NPLWA with Sorrento for seven and half seasons, and will succeed outgoing CEO James Curtis, who is stepping down after almost six years in the role. Harnwell has been with Football West for over 12 years, most recently as Chief Football Officer. Prior to that he was Acting Chief Operating Officer and Head of Development. Before joining Football West, Harnwell was Perth Glory’s captain and record-appearance holder, playing 256 times and helping them become back-to-back NSL champions.

“Football West is delighted to announce Jamie Harnwell as our new CEO,” Football West Chairman Sherif Andrawes said. “Jamie is a real football person, from his days as a star player at Perth Glory to becoming a top coach in both the A-League Women’s and NPLWA – Men’s competitions. He has transferred the drive and dedication needed to succeed on the pitch to his roles at Football West. In addition, Jamie also possesses the necessary skills and vision to drive Football West forward as we continue to grow the sport in WA and we move towards the opening of the State Football Centre and the 2023 Women’s World Cup and beyond.

“Jamie has worked closely with James Curtis for a number of years, and in terms of senior management, it is great that he has been able to ‘learn on the job’ and is well placed to lead the team at Football West over what will be an exciting period for our sport in WA. Following an extensive nationwide search and the assessment of several excellent candidates, Jamie proved to be the stand-out. We look forward to him leading Football West in the years ahead and continuing the terrific progress achieved under James Curtis.”

Mr Harnwell said it is a big challenge but one he is looking forward too. “It is exciting to become CEO of Football West and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “We are the biggest team sport in the country in terms of participation and we are in a fantastic position. But there is still plenty of potential for further growth, especially here in WA. It has been terrific to work with James Curtis and gain invaluable experience, now I am ready to put my own stamp on the position.” Harnwell will work in tandem with outgoing CEO Curtis until the latter’s departure on 31 March 2022.



Sam Kerr has become Australia’s all-time leading goalscorer across all national teams, after scoring five goals in the Matildas’ 18-0 win against Indonesia in their opening game of the 2022 AFC Asian Cup. The former Perth Glory striker took just 12 minutes to surpass Tim Cahill’s record of 50 goals and left the Socceroos’ great in her wake well before half-time, netting four goals before the break before adding another to bring her goal tally to 54 and counting. It was a perfect start to the competition for the Matildas, and their record win in Asia, and Kerr said they were on their game from the first whistle. “We put our foot on the gas from the first minute until the last minute,” she said. “I think today was a good start but I think we still have a long way to go until we are at our best.”

The Matildas captain opened her account on nine minutes, latching on to a through ball from Emily van Egmond to fire past Indonesia goalkeeper Fani Supriyanto from close range. Three minutes later, that combination doubled Australia’s tally. Van Egmond spotted Kerr unmarked at the far post, allowing Kerr to break Australia’s goalscoring record with a simple tap-in. It was one-way traffic and two minutes later, Kerr turned provider. A well-weighted cross picked the run of Caitlin Foord who headed past Supriyanto to make it 3-0. The Indonesians were simply shell-shocked with the Australian onslaught and whatever hopes they had of an unlikely result were dashed on 17 minutes when youngster Mary Fowler beat Supriyanto with a one-on-one before Hayley Raso made it 5-0 with a header midway through the first half.

Having already netted twice, Kerr was gifted the chance of a hat-trick from the spot and made no mistake with a powerful penalty delivered into the bottom corner. The Matildas’ best move of the first half led to a rare goal for fullback Ellie Carpenter. Some neat play down the left saw the ball delivered into the box where Clare Wheeler slipped a clever ball into the path of Carpenter who rattled the top corner of the net with a vicious shot. Kerr made it 8-0 with a clever tap-in set up by van Egmond before van Egmond scored a deserved goal from the penalty spot to send them into the break nine to the good.

Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson had the luxury of making four changes during the break and they continued to dominate and three minutes after the restart Carpenter made it 10-0 with a looping cross shot that dipped into the corner of the net. Shortly after, Kerr had her fifth with a powerful finish from Courtney Nevin’s cross inside the box. The Matildas had long stopped celebrating goals by the time van Egmond notched her second, beating Supriyanto to the ball with a header from close range. In fact, goals were met with laughs and jokes before the hour as Tameka Yallop and van Egmond taunted one another over who got the final touch for the Matildas’ 13th.

A missed penalty for Kerr shortly after didn’t even matter, and substitute Kyah Simon made it 14-0 by finishing a goalmouth scramble moments later. Van Egmond sealed her hat-trick with a well-taken goal on the counter a minute later before Simon netted her double a minute after that. Aivi Luik added another with a clever back heel and Raso sealed the win with a tap in at the far post. There next test is on Monday night against the Philippines, who are coached by former Matildas’ coach Alen Stajcic.

Many pundits thought some of the younger Matildas squad should have played in this game the like of Remy Siemsen and Cortney Vine, but Head Coach Tony Gustavsson believed his team selection and substitutions were justified out of respect for the opposition. “I’ve been in a similar situation before as a coach going into a tournament when you have a low-ranked team in the opening game and how important it is to treat that team with respect but also show respect to our values and our standards,” Gustavsson said. “There’s different reasons but the number one reason is that we need that cohesion between the players and get off on a good start to send some messages to ourselves and to the other ones how we are treating this tournament.”

Matildas – GK Mackenzie ARNOLD, 4 Clare POLKINGHORNE (2 Courtney NEVIN 46’), 6 Clare WHEELER, 7 Stephanie CATLEY (3 Aivi LUIK 46’), 9 Caitlin FOORD (17 Kyah SIMON 46’), 10 Emily VAN EGMOND, 11 Mary FOWLER (13 Tameka YALLOP 46’), 14 Alanna KENNEDY, 16 Hayley RASO, 21 Ellie CARPENTER, 20 Sam KERR (22 Holly MCNAMARA 68’) – Subs not used: RGK Teagan MICAAH, RGK Lydia WILLIAMS, 5 Cortnee VINE, 8 Charlotte GRANT, 15 Emily GIELNIK, 19 Kyra COONEY-CROSS, 23 Remy SIEMSEN

Indonesia – GK Fani SUPRIYANTO (RGK Nurhalimah Nurhalimah 46’), 2 Remini Chere RUMBEWAS, 6 Pani Tri OKTAVIANTI (3 Rosdilah Siti NURROHMAH 75’), 7 Octavianti Dwi NURMALITA, 9 Ade OKAFIANI, 11 Baiq AMIATUN, 12 Zahra MUZDALIFAH, 14 Diah Tri LESTARI (4 Shalika Aurelia VIANDRISA 26’), 15 Helsya MAEISYAROH, 17 Vivi RISKI, 20 Viny SILFIANUS (10 Rani MULYASARI 26’) - Subs not used – RGK Riska APRILIA, 5 Sabrina Mutiara FIRDAUS, 8 Maulina NOVRYLIANI, 13 Marsela YULIANA, 16 Carla Bio PATTINASARANY, 18 Tia SEPTIAWATI, 22 Insyafadya SALABILLAH, 23 Reva OCTAVIANI - Referee: Mahsa Ghorbani



Perth Glory have been left scrambling following yesterday's announcement that the planned re-opening of the state's borders on February 5 will not go ahead. The A-League club have two teams on the road and are amongst six sporting organisations across three codes currently stranded in the eastern states.

When Glory will be able to return to Perth is very much up in the air. "I keep saying that there is light at the end of the tunnel, it's not a train coming the other way," said Perth Glory chief executive Tony Pignata. "But I tell you what, it feels like a big train is coming now."

Glory left Perth earlier this month having been assured by WA Police they would be able to return after February 5. Pignata, who watched Premier Mark McGowan's media conference yesterday with about 90 players and staff from both A-League men's and women's teams, said the announcement was like being "hit with a sledgehammer".

"I can appreciate the reasoning behind [the decision] ... but we need to ensure we look after families over east who want to get back," he said. "Some of the regulations where you now have to isolate at home and everyone who is at home has to isolate around for 14 days, that's untenable."

Pignata also highlighted the dire state of the club's finances after a challenging time throughout the pandemic, which has affected the last three national league seasons. "We're looking at millions and millions of dollars of losses and whether we can continue," Pignata said.



Perth Glory Liberty Womens A-League campaign continues on Sunday when they take on Western Sydney Wanderers at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday (kick-off at 3.45pm WST). Alex Epakis’ side are coming off a hard fought 1-1 draw against Newcastle Jets in midweek, the result leaving them sixth on the ladder, only two points ahead of the Wanderers, so a win in this one is crucial to keep in touch of the top four

Epakis believes Sunday is an important game for both sides as the season heads towards its halfway point, and he feels that his squad will certainly be aware of just how vital a victory could prove to be. “I think it’s going to be a tense game because it’s really critical for both teams,” he said. “I know that Western Sydney is a proud team and they haven’t probably had the consistency in their performances that they were hoping for this season.

“So, it’s a little bit similar to our situation and it’s timely that we’re playing each other. I think that given where both teams are and where we’re at in the competition, it might be a little bit tense to start with, but once the game finds its general flow, it should be an exciting one for the neutral and hopefully a successful one for us.”

The Glory coach, who is set to return to the technical area after missing last weekend’s draw with Newcastle having tested positive for COVID-19, feels that the best is still yet to come from his squad.

“Considering all the disruptions, we put on our best performance of the season [v Newcastle],” he said, “and I think that is a really significant milestone for us leading into the second half of the season. We’re realistic, it’s the middle of the season and we’re one point out of the top four with games in front of us. Hopefully we can put a consistent XI out and I’m really excited about what the second half of the season looks like and there’s a sense of optimism throughout the group about what we can achieve.”

In terms of early team news, Epakis is expecting the three players who missed the Jets game after testing positive for COVID-19 to be available for selection, but confirmed that Cyera Hintzen and Demi Koulizakis will again miss out through injury. Glory will be out to snap a run of three consecutive defeats at the hands of the red-and-blacks who have managed just the one victory so far this term.



English National League club Weymouth have appointed David Oldfield as manager on a two-and-a-half-year deal. The Perth-born 53-year old joins Weymouth following a 22-month spell in charge of National League South side Oxford City.

Oldfield succeeds Brian Stock, who parted ways with Weymouth last week after a run of seven straight league losses. The former Manchester City, Leicester City and Luton Town midfielder takes over with the Terras in 21st position with 23 games remaining.

"It's a very exciting time, I'm very pleased to be here," Oldfield said of joining Weymouth. "It's a club that has a really strong fanbase and we want to really try and build on that enthusiasm and support that the club garners in the town."

"We want to be a really important factor. I know it already is, but I want to re-emphasise how important that is within the community of Weymouth and Dorset and how we want to tap in even more to that. I know it's a big project and I know we have some work to do, but we are looking forward to the challenge."

"There are some very big budgets and big clubs in the league. Weymouth did fabulously to be here and we need to make sure we're doing all we can to retain that status. It's a massive challenge, there's no doubt about that, but we need to make sure everybody's engaged."



Bolton Wanderers manager Oan Evatt has called on Gethin Jones to help lead his new-look side up the League One table. The Bolton boss installed Jones as vice-captain earlier this month after Eoin Doyle left to finish his playing career in Ireland.

Jones has forged a bond with the Bolton fans, who helped him raise significant funding towards treatment for his mother, who had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. Once he was cleared by the medics to play again after a fractured leg, Evatt says it was a simple decision to appoint him as number two to Ricardo Santos in the dressing room.

“It was a no-brainer because I know Gethin well and know the type of leader and person he is,” Evatt said. “He is a wonderful young man and with what we achieved earlier in the season for his mum, raising money for MND, it was a massive credit to him and his family.”

“When he talks, people listen. He isn’t a shouter and screamer but he is educated, he is intelligent and he says things in the right manner. He has Bolton at heart now, he sees this as his home. I know him and Rico get on well off the pitch, they are close, so they can both help us with a new leadership team to progress the lads.”



Arsenal goalkeeper Lydia Williams says Australia must look to set the standard for a strong tournament when they open their AFC Women’s Asian Cup campaign tonight. The veteran shot-stopper is in line to collect her 96th senior cap when the Matildas take on Indonesia in Mumbai.

“It’s the first game, you want to go out there and really make your mark,” said 33-year old Williams. “We must go out there and put in a performance which sets the tone for the remainder of the tournament. We are all really excited to get out there and get up and running.”

Williams is one of Australia’ most experience players with five - and soon to be six - Asian Cup and four World Cup campaigns to her name. “It is an honour every time I represent the team and every time I’m part of the group,” said Williams, who cherishes the opportunity to represent her country.

“It is just exciting that it is another tournament that I’m a part of and we get to go out there and make history and be the best that we can be. I’m looking forward to getting out there on the pitch with the girls and playing some games.”



The Matildas will go in search of their second AFC Asian Cup successful, when the 2022 tournament kicks off tonight. They last won the competition in 2010 and has finished second three times and Kyah Simon is no stranger to the competition, after all, it was her penalty in 2010 which won the Final. But even with several continental cups and FIFA Women's World Cups under her belt, Simon still feels a thrill heading into a major tournament.

"I love tournament football, and I love high-pressure moments and football. We play these games to be in those moments," Simon explained. "I just enjoy the challenge. When there's something on the line, there's something at stake at a major tournament, you do all you possibly can, in your power as an individual, but also as a team, to hope to be successful in that tournament."

The team will be led by Sam Kerr and has been selected with a mix of experienced heads and exciting youngsters. Simon believes the core group is well complemented by the fresher faces in the team. "We've still got the majority of the core group that we've had for the last few years, but we've got some new fresh faces,” she said.

"We had a couple that made the squad for the last couple of spots and they've done really well in training. I think we're ready to go and for the tournament to start. "We've got a good combination of experienced players, but also some young up-and-coming players that hopefully get their opportunity and can show what they can do on the world stage."

The squad boasts a plethora of attacking options. Alongside Simon are the likes of Kerr and Caitlin Foord who are no strangers to this level, as well as players like Mary Fowler, who has emerged in the last 12 months, and Holly McNamara and Cortnee Vine who will hope to earn their first-ever caps.

Matildas and Olympique Lyonnais defender Ellie Carpenter has made no secret of Australia’s intention to win the tournament. “We want to win tournaments, we want to win trophies,” the 21-year-old said. “We want to put pressure on ourselves to be able to win this and back up good performance after good performance. We’re ready to do that. A game every two days is tough, but we have the squad and the depth to do that this tournament.”

Group Stage – Game 1 Matildas v Indonesia - Friday, 21 January 2022 - Venue: Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai - Kick-off: 9pm (AEDT) – Game 2 Philippines v Matildas - Date: Monday, 24 January 2022 - Venue: Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai - Kick-off: 9pm (AEDT) – Game 3 Matildas v Thailand - Date: Friday, 28 January 2022 - Venue: Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai - Kick-off: 01:00am (AEDT) – All Live and Exclusive on Network 10 and 10 Play



Perth Glory men’s coach Richard Garcia faces a double challenge as the side restart their interrupted A-League season - catching up on a fixture backlog and staying free of COVID-19.

Glory have little rest after Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Brisbane Roar, flying to Sydney today ahead of Saturday’s clash with Sydney FC and Macarthur FC four days later. That is followed by about six games on the road before returning to Perth when wqestern Australia’s borders open.

Garcia said Wednesday’s game had taken a toll on his players. “We’ve been set a massive challenge,” Garcia said. “The guys worked hard on the first trip and we’ve got to do that again. The games will come thick and fast, quicker than we had planned. That’s part of the challenge, get as much points on the road as we can.”

“It’s about bouncing back and trying to get them as fresh as we can to try and build for the next performance. We’ve got to be prepared for it, use a lot of the squad. When people come in they’ve got to be able to step up. That’s part and parcel of what we’re going through. We are just going to have to manage that the best we can.”

Garcia said his team could not afford to have players going down with COVID and another enforced break. They had 43 days - including 14 in quarantine - without a game before the Brisbane clash. “We are going to try and keep the guys as safe as possible so we don’t have any more disruptions to the season,” Garcia said.

“The (last) break has already been a big disruption. We don’t want to have any reason to have another break but at the same time we are going into a place where the (COVID) numbers are very high. It’s going to be a challenging one to go COVID free, I feel, within the environment.”



Perth Glory’s return to Isuzu Ute Men’s A-League action didn’t go to plan after they were beaten 1-0 by Brisbane Roar at Moreton Daily Stadium on Wednesday evening. The hosts dominating for long period, with Glory struggling to get in the game, but after 43 days away from the action they struggled late with match fitness and former Glory Youth midfielder Henry Hore popped up with the winner 13 minutes from time.

Head coach Richard Garcia said his side lacked match sharpness, but was pleased that Daniel Sturridge got minutes under his belt. “It definitely took us a long time to find our feet and from the start the guys looked leggy,” he said post-match. “I thought second half they came out and showed they’d got their second wind, so to concede from a set-piece was disappointing.

“After we did concede, the guys were still pushing hard and you could tell it was taking a toll on their bodies. But that’s where we need to get to, to find that match fitness and get into a position where we can run out games and feel comfortable playing again at that tempo. I was pleased for Daniel that he came on, it was good to be able to give him those minutes so that he can build his way into it as well.”

Garcia made four changes to the side that lost to Melbourne City on December 8, with skipper Brandon O’Neill returning to the side, along with Andy Keogh, Callum Timmins and Ciaran Bramwell. Luke Bodnar missed out with injury, while Jack Clisby, Daniel Stynes and Antonee Burke-Gilroy dropped to the bench. The hosts were on the front foot early and young keeper Cameron Cook got down well to save from Roar skipper Jay O’Shea in the first minute.

The Roar continued to dictate terms, with Glory struggling to clear their lines, and seven minutes later Nikola Mileusnic’s cross was headed just wide by Argentinean striker Juan Lescano. It was one way traffic and Lescano headed straight at Cook when well placed, before O’Shea’s long-range effort was saved by the Glory custodian. Cook was called into action again on 20 minutes, this time getting down smartly to save Nicholas Olsen’s effort. Former Glory defender Scott Neville was next to go close, his low shot flashing inches wide.

Glory produced their first effort on the half hour, Keogh was picked out on the right of the penalty area, and his dangerous cross was only inches away from Bruno Fornaroli at the back post. It was the best period of the game so far for Garcia’s men, and Fornaroli’s curling effort was straight at Macklin Freke moments later. But after starring early, Cook almost gifted the hosts the lead just before half time, his attempted clearance fell to O’Shea, whose curling effort looked goalbound, but a superb header off the line by Jonathan Aspropotamitis, saved the keepers blushes.

Garcia made a change at the break, bringing on Burke-Gilroy for Bramwell, and they made a better start and from Aaron Calver’s cross Fornaroli had three attempts to fins the net, but it wasn’t to be for the Uruguayan striker. Mileusnic then saw his free kick was then saved low by Cook, as fatigue set in for Glory. With another game on Saturday against Sydney in the back of his mind, Garcia made the changes on the hour, bringing off O’Neill and Darryl Lachman, with Stynes and Mitch Oxborrow coming on, the latter his first game since re-signing from Gwelup Croatia, while Sturridge came on for Fornaroli.

Sturridge was soon in the action, his quick feet saw him make space down the right, but his cross was overhit. It looked like one goal was going to win it, and it went to the hosts on 77 minutes. Alex Parsons corner to the back post, was headed back across goal by Neville, and Hore pounced to head home. It looked like the midfielder had impeded Cook before scoring, but VAR checked and it was given the all clear. Glory almost levelled immediately, Sturridge was brought down on the edge of the box, and the former Liverpool striker curled the ball around the wall but it flashed inches past the post. The Roar should have added a second late, Parsons in on goal, but a suburb last-ditch tackle from Man of the Match Aspropotamitis thwarted him. The Glory are back in action on Saturday when they take on Sydney FC at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium kick off 4.45pm WST (7.45pm Local).

Brisbane Roar: GK Macklin FREKE, 2 Scott NEVILLE, 7 Rahmat AKBARI (15 Jesse DALEY 67'), 8 Matti STEINMANN, 10 Nikola MILEUSNIC (16 Joshua BRINDELL-SOUTH 75'), 21 Nicholas OLSEN, 22 Alexander PARSONS, 23 Juan LESCANO (13 Henry HORE 75'), 26 James O’SHEA, 27 Kai TREWIN, 35 Louis ZABALA (19 Jack HINGERT 67') - Subs not used: RGK Jordan HOLMES, 4 Anton MILNARIC, 11 Jez LOFTHOUSE

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 2 Aaron CALVER, 5 Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 7 Adrian SARDINERO (14 Jack CLISBY 84'), 8 Kosuke OTA, 9 Bruno FORNAROLI (15 Daniel STURRIDGE 68'), 10 Andy KEOGH, 13 Brandon O’NEILL, (18 Daniel STYNES 60'), 19 Callum TIMMINS, 29 Darryl LACHMAN (23 Mitch OXBORROW 60'), 38 Ciaran BRAMWELL (21 Antonee BURKE-GILROY 46') – Subs not used: RGK Liam REDDY, 22 Josh RAWLINS - Referee: Alireza Faghani



After a stunning season with her English Super League club Chelsea and with the Matildas, Sam Kerr has been in the form of her life. But after being voted second in the FIFA Best Womens Player of the Year, the Perth-born striker was surprisingly omitted from the FIFA FIFPRO World Team of the Year.

The Matildas captain was runner-up to Barcelona’s Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas, while Robert Lewandowski picked up The Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year gong for the second successive campaign – this time ahead of Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah.

Kerr’s goals for Australia and Chelsea at all levels of the game made the 28-year-old a standout contender, but Putellas pipped her to add the FIFA trophy to her Ballon d’Or victory. Putellas captained Barca to the treble, which included its first Women’s Champions League title – defeating Kerr’s Blues in the final. Her teammate and fellow Spanish midfielder Jennifer Hermoso was third in the FIFA vote.

International captains, coaches and selected media vote for the top individual awards while there is also a fan voting element. Kerr herself voted for Putellas, Norway’s Caroline Graham Hansen and Hermoso in the players’ category. Matildas’ coach Tony Gustavsson voted for Kerr, Putellas and Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema. Kerr polled 38 points – 14 behind Putellas and five ahead of Hermoso.

Bizarrely, however, none of the top three made the cut in the Women’s World XI side – selected by thousands of professional players from all over the world, who vote for the best player in each position. The XI did not include any players from Barcelona or Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Canada.

Kerr’s Chelsea coach Emma Hayes was named best women’s manager, while the striker is currently in India with the Matildas squad preparing for the Asian Cup. Australia’s opening match of the tournament is on Friday night against Indonesia in Mumbai.



Perth Glory are back in Isuzu Ute Men’s A-League action for the first time since December 8, when they take on Brisbane Roar at Moreton Daily Stadium tonight. The league has come to a grinding holt due to covid infections with most games called off, but Richard Garcia’s side look like beginning a six-game road trip, with games against Sydney FC and Macarthur FC in the next eight days.

After the 43-day hiatus, Garcia will almost have a full squad to choose from, with only Brad Jones and Luke Bodnar unavailable due to injury, and he said his players are looking forward to getting back on the pitch. “The guys are dying to get back out there and do what they love to do,” he said. “It’s been fantastic to be able to have some time at home with family and regroup, but I think everyone is itching to get back out there and play. I love that they are dying to do well for the group as well as the club. A lot of the guys wear their heart on their sleeve and I hope that shows in their performances in the coming weeks.”

Glory skipper Brandon O’Neill echoed the coach’s comments. “It’s been a long time since Adelaide,” O’Neill said. “I’m ready to get back to competitive mode and getting three points. You can see the boys are ready to get back into game mode after what they’ve been through. The ups and downs of not knowing if we are going to be training, if we are going to be playing, what the fixtures are looking like, what the end of the season is going to be looking like. There’s a much clearer picture now which is awesome. We can forget about the outside noise and concentrate on every single game being the best version of us.”

O’Neill missed a number of games, after staying in Perth for the birth of his first child, and the midfielder admits getting back to match fitness may take a while. “You can’t make up for game and competitive rhythm but I have no doubt we will get better as each game goes on,” he said. “That bodes well for the end of the season, when we’ve got eight, 10, 12 games here in Perth. It’s where you want to be hitting the straps... at finals time.”

“Now there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. What we’ve done very well is prepare as best we can. We’ve controlled things inside that we can act upon and from there it’s the execution. We have done is pushed ourselves. We’ve been here there everywhere. To go away and get everyone together to concentrate on football will be a cool feeling.”

Glory will also have a number of senior players back in the squad, with Andy Keogh, Liam Reddy, Osama Malik and Mitch Oxborrow all available, and Garcia is also pleased with the progress of star signing Daniel Sturridge. “It’s great to have the squad virtually injury-free, and everyone is going to be needed because, as we’ve seen, it’s going to be a trip where games are going to get thrown in and changed,” Garcia explained.

“We’re going to have situations where we’re going to be asked to back up with a short turnaround and we’re going to need everyone in the squad. Brad Jones (calf) and Luca Bodnar (foot) are probably not too far away either; Brad is probably a little bit further than Brad.”

On Sturridge the news is getting better, after the former Liverpool striker has been training on the east coast since before Christmas. “Daniel is travelling really well and will definitely play some part in the [Brisbane] game,” Garcia said. “It’s back to where we were when he first arrived; the plan hasn’t really changed from day one.

“He’s built pretty nicely over the last few weeks and the more match practice he gets, the better he’ll be for it. The plan was always to build him up in big chunks of the game. I still feel he needs to get minutes off the bench and bigger minutes as time goes by and he feels that he’s in a better place to do that for bigger periods of the game.”



Perth Glory will re-start their A-League campaign by travelling to Brisbane Roar on Wednesday. But the welcome return could be short-lived as COVID-19 continues to play havoc with the national league season. The game is Glory's only confirmed fixture but the team will remain in the east until at least February 5 when Western Australian re-opens its borders.

Glory have played only four games this season for one win, one draw and two losses. Their last outing was in mid-December before the squad was sent into two weeks of isolation after winger Pacifique Niyongabire tested COVID-19 positive in Brisbane and all squad members and staff were deemed close contacts.

Glory chief executive Tony Pignata said the news was a welcome relief for the club and they hoped to have more fixtures locked-in. “We expect to be playing again at the weekend but the opposition keeps changing,” Pignata said. “Clubs are coming down with COVID and fixtures are being re-shuffled. We don’t know who our next opponents will be. Basically it will be whoever is available.”

The A-Leagues are continually re-schueduling fixtures and Western Sydney Wanderers game against Adelaide United, due to be played on Wednesday, is the latest casualty after a number of Western Sydney players tested positive in recent days. “We will continue to work with all clubs to confirm a new schedule for all postponed matches as soon as possible,” read an A-Leagues statement.



Perth Glory have shared the spoils with Newcastle Jets, after a 1-1 draw in Week 7 of the Liberty Womens A-League at No.2 Sportsground on Sunday afternoon Teenager Hana Lowry gave Glory a deserved lead early in the second half, but the hosts levelled 13 minutes from time. Both sides pushed late for the winner but had to settle for a point, the draw leaving Glory sixth on the ladder.

Head Coach Alex Epakis missed the clash due to testing positive to Covid, with assistant Stef Busso taking her place in the dugout, on top of this news, the club are also without key players Cyera Hintzen and Susan Phonsongkham due to injury. Speaking after the game Epakis was pleased with the performance, especially after a tough lead up to the game.

“Given the context of last week, the three games in one week, the last result [4-0 defeat v Sydney FC] and the disrupted preparations, it’s so difficult to fault the players today,” he said. “I thought they were excellent in their attitude, excellent in their focus and they really had a point to prove that last week doesn’t represent us as a team. Today’s performance was certainly more what we’re building towards and more of what we want to stand for as a team.

“We’re disappointed that we didn’t capitalise upon the chances and the scoreline, but it’s important to separate those out from the performance to balance out where we’re at. The performance ticked a lot of boxes, but obviously we can still fine tune a couple of areas which would have helped us get the three points. Then, from a results point of view, it leaves a bit of a sour taste when you walk away feeling that you were the dominant team but you didn’t get the three points.”

Despite the side showing six changes to that which started against Sydney FC last time out, Glory looked fluent early and were unfortunate not to take lead when Jets ‘keeper Claire Coelho failed to claim a Deborah-Anee de la Harpe cross and the loose ball struck the back of Lisa De Vanna before flying narrowly over the top. But it wasn’t all one-way traffic and Glory keeper Morgan Aquino made a smart save to deny Ashlee Harding, and moments later thwarting Sophie Brodigan.

Glory had the most possession in the first half but didn’t capitalize, but ten minutes into the second half they made the breakthrough their pressure deserved. Danish import Mie Leth-Jans picking out Lowry with a sublime chip into the box and the 18-year-old midfielder’s shot on the turn found the bottom corner. They went close to a second moments later Lisa De Vanna bursting into the penalty area, but Jets custodian Coelho produced a fine save.

It was one-way traffic as Glory pressed for a second and only the crossbar denied skipper Natasha Rigby her first goal for the club, the defender getting in front of her marker from Lowry’s corner but couldn’t find the target. Moments later De La Harpe’s powerful free kick was tipped on to the crossbar by Coelho, who was keeping her side in the game. The home side needed a lift and on 77 minutes the hosts found the equaliser. Laura Allan’s neat through ball found Eddy who calmly finished past Aquino. Both sides pressed for the winner, but it was the hosts with the best chances. First Harding set up substitute Jemma House, whose header crashed off the bar, before Lauren Allen’s last-minute header flashed inches over the top.

Newcastle Jets: GK Claire COELHO, 5 Tiana JABER, 6 Cassidy DAVIS, 8 Elizabeth EDDY, 9 Tara ANDREWS (3 Jemma HOUSE 69'), 12 Kirsty FENTON, 14 Lucy JOHNSON (13 Lauren ALLEN 55'), 15 Sophie HARDING, 18 Taren KING, 19 Ashlee BRODIGAN (16 Sunny FRANCO 85'), 32 Bethany GORDON - Subs not used: RGK Georgia BORIC, 25 Lara GOOCH

Perth Glory: GK Morgan AQUINO, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 5 Deborah-Anee DE LA HARPE, 7 Liz ANTON, 8 Hana LOWRY (13 Sarah CAIN 83'), 11 Lisa DE VANNA (21 Aideen KEANE 83'), 12 Sofia SAKALIS (41 Leena KHAMIS 75'), 17 Abbey GREEN, 18 Sadie LAWRENCE, 26 Mie LETH JANS (24 Gemma CRAINE 66') - Subs not used – RGK Courtney NEWBON - Referee: Caitlin Williams



Perth Glory women coach Alex Epakis is in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of Sunday's clash with Newcastle Jets. Epakis joins three players in quarantine at the club's North Sydney accommodation where they are based for six games in New South Wales.

The game against Newcastle will go ahead at this stage as, under A-League rules, a game can only be postponed if a team has five players test COVID-19 positive. Assistant coach Stef Busso will take charge of the team while Epakis is in quarantine.



Perth Glory women have signed Matildas forward Leena Khamis on a short-term contract as the A-League club battles injuries and COVID-19 headaches. The veteran striker has made more than 120 national league appearances during spells with Sydney FC, Canberra United and Western Sydney Wanderers.

Along the way Khamis has won two national league Premierships and one Championship in addition to the Golden Boot award in 2009. At international level, the 35-year old has gained 25 caps vor Australia, including being part of the history-making the Matildas squad that won the 2010 Asian Cup.

Khamis jumped at the chance to join Glory on a short-term injury contract after being approached by coach Alex Epakis. "I still had the drive and passion to go on and play the 2022 season, but unfortunately wasn't given the opportunity," said Khamis, who will be inclulded in the squad for Sunday's clash at Newcastle Jets.

"Alex got in contact with me and we had a really good chat regarding the team and how I could possibly help out. I think these ladies are a special group. They have a really good chance to push for finals this season and I hope to achieve it with them. We aim to play semi-finals football because based on history, anything can happen once you're there."

Glory's attacking options have been depleted by recent injuries to Cyera Hintzen, Susan Phonsongkham and Demi Koulizakis. The club is also battling a COVID-19 outbreak that it is trying to contain. Sixth-placed Glory have played five games this season for two wins, two losses, and a draw.



Gethin Jones is eager to play his part in helping Wanderers reverse their fortunes after making a memorable comeback. The defender returned to first team duty for the first time since early October after recovering from a lower leg stress fracture.

Jones' appearance from the bench of Bolton’s 2-0 home loss to Wycombe Wanderers came on the same day he had a 45-minute run-out in the reserves. And the newly-appointed club vice-captain immediately looked back at home in the right-back role where he linked well with loan signing Marlon Fossey.

“The plan was to get as much minutes in the reserve game this afternoon and then after about 25-30 minutes the gaffer and the coaching staff asked me if I was willing to be on the bench tonight and see how it goes,” explained Jones. “And I just want to be back playing.”

“I’ve got to look after myself as well but I just want to be back on the pitch with the lads and help us get back to where we should be. I loved it. I’ve got on well with Marlon in the last three or four days training with him. I think we linked up well and it’s just frustrating we couldn’t get anything at the end of it.”

Jones return is timely as Bolton aim to end a four-match losing run in League One which has seen them slip to 18th place in the table. The squad has been dogged by injuries, with forward Elias Kachunga the latest to be ruled out for a prolonged spell with a thigh problem that could keep him out for a couple of months.

But Jones hopes his fitness concerns are behind him as he focuses on helping Bolton get back to their best. “It feels good,” he said. “After about two or three weeks I had no pain but with a stress fracture I couldn’t load it too quickly so I had to wait a good six to eight weeks until I could start doing any kind of running.”

“It’s been a slow build-up but I’m just made up to be back out there with the lads now. I feel good now. I know the staff and the physios look after me so I will look after myself on the training ground on how much I do but I just want to be back out there with the lads every game and help us get back to where we should be.”



Former Perth SC and Perth Glory defender Alessandro Circati has signed his first overseas professional contract, after putting pen to paper with Italian Serie B side Parma this week. A dual Australian-Italian citizen, Circati joined the club in 2020, playing in Palma youth academy, after starring in the Glory NPL and Youth League side. Prior to his departure to Italy, he won the 2019-20 Most Glorious Youth Player award, and impressed everyone at the club with his composure on the ball and great vision.

The 18-year-old said it’s a dream come true and he’s enjoying the challenge of Italian football. “Obviously me and my family were all very excited as it’s the first hopefully to many more,” he said. “It’s a dream come true and you know it has been a journey full of sacrifices, and I think in the end it paid off. Italian football is a little different to the NPL league in Australia, here it’s very much more tactical and also a defensive style of play, but I’m working hard and enjoying the challenge.”

He has now signed a professional contract and in doing so he follows in his father Gianfranco Circati, who played for the club in the 1990s, and who was delighted for his son. “I said to him ‘put in 100 per cent and good luck’,” he said. “As a family we are very happy. It was dream for Alessandro. This is the first step for him. “He has worked hard, he’s away from the family, he has to deal with the COVID pandemic, it’s very cold over there but he is satisfied with the outcome. He understands he just can’t sit down now, as a professional football career is very strange and you need to take the best when you can.”

Glory Men’s A-league coach Richard Garcia worked with the youngster, when Head Coach in the club’s academy, and he said all his hard work is now paying dividends. “Ale is a fantastic product of our academy and it’s great to see him taking this step in his career,” he said. “He was patient and went overseas at the right time when he was at the right stage of his development and in good form. He left with the club’s blessing and we’d like to congratulate him and wish him all the very best for the future.”

While Circati has yet to play for the senior team, he has featured in a number of Parma's youth sides, but he has been on the Serie B team sheet for four league games in December 2021. Parma were a giant of European football, having previously won two UEFA Cups, one European Super Cup and one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. However, the side has had a rocky time in the 21st century, with a number of scandals engulfing the Italian side.

Most recently, they declared bankruptcy in 2015 and were relegated to Serie D. Three straight promotions saw them return to the Serie A. A disastrous 2020-21 season saw them relegated back down to the Serie B where they are competing. Parma currently find themselves in 13th place in the Italian second division, eleven points from a promotion spot but only five points from a promotion play-off position. His contract is set to run until the end of June 2024, and the club announced the signing on their website alongside fellow-youth player Ankrah Awua. “We – in light of our commitment to bringing through young talents – are proud of Alessandro and Ankrah, who have been with the Club since 2020 and 2018 respectively, after reaching this great milestone in life and in their careers."

Circati’s started his football journey was Perth SC, where his dad is still involved, and they put out a message of congratulations on twitter. “Congratulations to Perth SC Junior Alessandro Circati for signing his first professional contract with Parma. We're extremely proud of Ale's journey which started out running around with his father at Dorrien Gardens and has continued all the way to the professional leagues of Europe. Ale's family still volunteer their time with the Club with father Gianfranco Circati providing his experience to the Club's football operations. Congratulations to Alessandro and his family.”



Former Perth Glory and ECU Joondalup defender Jack Iredale was in the spotlight last week, after his English League One club Cambridge United produced the shock of the FA Cup third round by beating Premier League side Newcastle United at St James Park. The 25-year-old spoke to Tom Smithies from KEEPUP and said he is still pinching himself after Joe Ironside’s goal gave them the 1-0 win, and a spot in round four against Championship side Luton Town later in the month.

The U’s were undoubtedly valiant and heroic and all the other terms usually used of giantkillers, but they were also tactically smart, disciplined, almost scored a second and in the end deserved their famous 1-0 win. Iredale played his part as “a left back helping out at centre back”, and was excellent in repelling a Premier League strike force in front of a crowd of more than 51,000, and over 5,000 supporters who made the trip north, including his mum and dad, Fiona and Paul, a day he will never forget.

“To be honest I’m still pinching myself a little bit,” Iredale said. “Really, every time I see pictures or footage from yesterday, there’s still a little bit of disbelief about what’s happened – seeing my teammates’ faces all over the newspapers and socials today, so it was a special feeling. I mean, what a place to play football, the atmosphere was incredible.

“It’s definitely by far the biggest crowd I’ve ever played in front of and we knew going into it that everyone was going to have to be right at their very best to get something out the game. “And thankfully, you know, the players stepped up. I thought Dimitar Mitov in goal was absolutely incredible. That’s one of the best games I’ve ever seen a goalkeeper have, and big Joey (Ironside, the goalscorer) up top was causing carnage for Premier League defenders, and everyone else in between did their roles.”

Iredale speaks repeatedly of roles and the game plan, the brainchild of Cambridge head coach Mark Bonner, and the United’s savvy, counterattacking style could have been made for the challenge of shutting down an ostensibly superior opponent. “It’s something that we’ve become very, very good at, spending periods of time without the ball, and choosing our moments when to attack but having to have that moment of quality when we do get the ball,” he said.

“We knew going there that we weren’t going to have the lion’s share of possession. We knew that there were going to be a long, difficult spells without the ball, but everything just seemed to fall in place. Bonners has done basically every job at Cambridge now I think, from right at the bottom to now the head coach, the manager. He’s someone that the boys love playing for, obviously, he’s a local Cambridge guy who the fans absolutely love.

“Since he’s come in and been given the job full time, you know, the results speak for themselves really. I think before I came to the club, we were at the bottom of League Two and then the gaffer started to put together his team and his style of play. Last season we had promotion (from League Two) and this season we’re competing really, really well in League One now. You know, for the size of club that Cambridge is and the team that we have, it’s been awesome to be involved in.

“It’s enjoyable that’s for sure. Everyone on the pitch, everyone in the squad knows exactly what direction we’re moving in and knows what we’re trying to do. We’ve got an effective style of play and we’ve got the right players for it as well.”

The defender has shone at left back this season and has a number of clubs chasing his signature, with Preston North End and Wigan Athletic keeping tabs on his performances. But even after a cameo role at centre back against the Toon, his preferred spot is down the left. “They can see me as they’d like to see me!” he said. “I think I definitely prefer to play left back, and I think I’m more effective as a left back, but you know, I’m playing every minute for now, so wherever the gaffer wants to put me, as long as it’s on the pitch, I don’t really care.”

Iredale has fought back from three serious knee injuries, and the thought of playing in front of 51,000 supporters was a million miles away, but his grit and determination, and a lot of talent to boot, has seen him complete his dream of playing professional football. “I went through that stage there where I didn’t know if I was ever going to get a chance to professional football,” Iredale said.

“But then when I came to the UK I did absolutely everything I possibly could to do it and a couple years later now, coming off a result like that, it’s something I’m really happy with and I’m really going to enjoy it. But also at the same time, you can’t get too low with the lows and you can’t get too high with the highs. You just got to sort of ride it out and it all balances out.” He has played for the Australian Joeys (17s), and there is talk of a call up to the senior squad, especially after injuries to key defenders, but Iredale only has one thing on his mind at present, that’s helping the U’s into the next round of the FA Cup.

“It’ll be a very different kind of game (against Luton Town), but why can’t it be winnable?” Iredale said. “I was involved in the Joey’s (Australian U17s) when I was younger and I loved every single minute of that, so to play for the Socceroos would be an absolute dream come true. It’s a goal that I’ve set myself and with a result like that there’s going to be some publicity around it. So, it’s something that I’m working really, really hard towards every single day and like I said, it would be an absolute dream come true.”



New Perth Glory defender Mie Leth Jans has headed down under to play the game she loves, and has told Matt Comito from KEEPUP her story of her football pathway, which has had many highs and lows. The 27-year-old made her debut for the club in their 1-0 win against Brisbane Roar in week two of the Womens A-League, and she explained her road to Glory. The Danish international signed a “dream” two-year contract at Manchester City in 2017, but only managed a handful of games for the English giants before putting that dream on hold, when both of her parents were diagnosed with cancer, in a different country, priorities change fast.

She was relishing her first taste of the professional game, teaching herself to put football ahead of her studies something that had been drummed into the then 22-year-old until her first overseas move. The standards were raised, the facilities were incredible, and Leth Jans had everything she’d ever dreamt of in a footballing career – until a double dose of personal hardship forced the young Danish star to revaluate what she held dearest.

“All my life, with education back home in Denmark, you’re raised to take your education and do your sport on the side, that’s the thing you do,” she told KEEPUP. “All of a sudden to be allowed to swap it around so you’re a footballer first, that took me a while to relax into that role. I was so impressed by the (English) media, and even people in the stands who were singing songs about the players, it was very different. I learned a great deal in Manchester, about how to be a professional. Getting over there was a dream come true, to become a professional player. The whole setup there was amazing, it was better than I could’ve dreamt of.

“The change going from prioritising my school before football to being allowed, and it was expected of me, to do the opposite, that was such a big change for me. But on a personal level, both of my parents got sick with cancer. That was actually the reason for me to leave the club. My mum is fine nowadays, but shortly after my father got diagnosed, he actually died 10 days later.

“After that, I just realised in a way that I loved football, but I couldn’t be happy without being close to my family. Being so far away from your parents when they get ill, that’s just not nice. In a way, I still take all of that with me. When I was 22 signing at City, all I had in my mind was wanting to be a professional football player. I loved (everyone) at home but didn’t care if I was close to them or not.

“Whereas after that happened, I thought, ‘Yeah, I still want to take on everything I’ve learned from football, I want to be a professional, but I need to combine it with being close to my friends and family. From them getting cancer, I learned I needed a setup outside of football, and I need to be close to family and friends to become the footballer I want to. From that point, football was not the most important for me anymore, it was to be happy. To be good at football I need to be happy outside.

Leth Jans grew up in Dragør, a short drive from Copenhagen, the Danish capital. Her older brother played football, as did her childhood friends, leaving her with little choice but to fall in love with the game herself. She grew through the earliest years of her life playing amongst the boys. Her ultimate goal? To play for the men’s national team. It wasn’t until her teens that she first saw a pathway into the women’s game.

She began to climb through the ranks of Denmark’s international age-grade sides, when she was advised to join Danish side Brøndby. It was at her new club where she first met her Australian ‘big sister’, Aivi Luik. “As a 17-year-old I moved to the A-team in Brøndby. I wasn’t playing at all, I was just sitting on the bench getting hard skin on my arse, to be honest,” she laughed. “But it was fair enough, I had to beat better players. I was young, but when you’re young you just want to play, you don’t see the reason for you to sit on the bench.

“That year I played with Michelle Heyman and Aivi Luik, they were the first Australians I played with. It was an eye-opener for me. I was like: ‘Why on earth are you guys coming to Denmark? Why do you come to our league, and why do you want to play here?’ “From their point of view, they were coming for an experience and to play in the Champions League, because we always played in the Champions League every single year. They were nice, they were funny. Aivi was so nice to me, she was like a big sister.

“Since then, I’ve actually played with players who know Aivi really well, so it’s kind of funny how small the world is sometimes. It is so cool other people have the same impression of her that I have. There were a lot of girls in that team looking out for me, but I looked up to her because she was always so nice, and understood it was difficult to be young, and not playing as much as you wanted to.

“She was just so funny to be around, so it was good for me to be around someone who could joke a lot, and had a lot of different life experiences. I was listening a lot to her, and trying to learn from her in a way. They were both really, really good players,” she continued. “They worked so hard every single day. Michelle, every single time she got the ball she ran and scored goals. I was so impressed by both of them. That was a big experience for me. I have been watching them since on Instagram and things like that, and it’s amazing (to see) their careers and where they’ve gotten to today.”

Leth Jans heeded Luik’s advice, and waited for her moment to break into the Brøndby first team, studying physiotherapy from the early morning until the afternoon each day before joining her Brøndby teammates for training in the evenings. She would go on to feature prominently in the senior side, whilst becoming an important member of the Danish international side. The defender sealed her move to City off her Brøndby form, but the subsequent diagnoses for her parents eventually saw her return to Scandinavia to be closer to family and friends.

She would play for Swedish sides FC Rosengård and Vittsjö GIK before plucking up the courage to venture further from home once more, travelling across the world to join Perth Glory ahead of the 2021/22 Liberty Womens A-League season. It’s an adventure which contradicts Leth Jans’ decision to put proximity to family ahead of her wanderlust. But with time comes the healing of old wounds, and the willingness of her to dip her toes back into the water, if only for a mere matter of months.

“It sounds so funny to say I need to be close to my family and then travel around the world,” she said. “I have a husband back home, and we’ve been together for nine and a half years now and been married for one and a half. He went with me to Manchester and has always respected me choosing football, but after all of this happened, I wanted to be closer to him and also have that physio education – I (now) work at a clinic back home.

“To have all of that outside of football, and still combine it with football, it doesn’t work out for me to make a long-term contract… (but) going here for four or five months gives me an experience, and something I’ve dreamt of for a lot of years. I get away, try that professional life, experience something new, but it’s not for one year, it’s not for two, it’s just a short period of time. That’s why I decided to go to Australia, it seemed like the best solution for me to combine being the professional, the daughter, the friend, the wife, and the physiotherapist back home.”



Perth Glory women’s squad has been hit by COVID-19 with three players and two staff testing positive. However, Sunday’s scheduled game against Newcastle Jets is still going ahead at this stage as an A-League team must have five players test positive before it can be postponed.

Glory, who have been in Sydney since the start of the month, confirmed the five positive tests today. “With the group currently based in Sydney the five individuals and those close to them are adhering to NSW Health directives,” the club said.

“At this stage, Glory’s next scheduled Liberty A-League fixture against Newcastle Jets at No. 2 Sportsground on Sunday 16 January, will still go ahead as planned. The club is currently working closely with NSW Health and A-Leagues to ensure the health and safety of all its players and staff as its top priority.”



The A-League Men of Western Sydney Wanderers captain Rhys Williams appears to be over with scans confirming the severity of a hamstring injury suffered on the weekend. The experienced defender collapsed in agony before being taken off the field on a stretcher in the 78th minute of Sunday's clash with Melbourne City.

Scans have since confirmed a rupture of Williams' hamstring tendon, an injury that usually takes at least three months to recover from. It's a setback for the ex-Middlesbrough and Melbourne Victory player who has had a long history of injury concerns during his career, which cost him a spot at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

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

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