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25.5.2020

CLUB IN PROFILE - CARRAMAR SHAMROCK ROVERS FOOTBALL CLUB

Carramar Shamrock Rovers Football Club are one of the "newest" clubs in Western Australia. Having only formed this year after a merger between Shamrock Rovers Perth and Carramar FC.

Cararmar FC was established in 2008, and was first known as Carramar Cougars. They had instance success in their very first season in the senior competition, winning the Amateur Fifth Division championship. After three seasons in Division Four, the club won promotion to Division Three. The club first found the going tough, finishing ninth in Division Three and then sixth in 2013. Even though only achieving a mid-table finish, promotion was achieved due to new clubs in higher leagues joining an expanded State League Division Two competition.

Carramar were now in the Amateur Second Division, and finished in fifth spot in 2014. The club consolidated their spot in the division, and just managed to miss out on promotion a couple of times. Their greatest success was in 2019, when the club made it all the way to the Amateur Cup Final but lost out to Kingsley.

At the end of 2019, Carramar had their sight on bigger things. With a big and successful junior base to work with, the club applied for the vacant spot in the State League, however their application was unsuccessful. This led to talks with a possible merger with Shamrock Rovers Perth.

Shamrock Rovers Perth was founded in 1984, and it took it's name from the Dublin club that plays in the League of Ireland. It also gave WA's Irish community a team to call their own. Shamrock Rovers began life in what would today be called the Amateur Third Division in their first year as a club. Shamrock made an immediate impact on the local scene, winning successive promotions and reaching the Amateur Premier Division a few years later.

After establishing itself in the top echelon of amateur football, Rovers reached new heights during the 1990's. After the disappointment of cup final defeats in 1993 and 1995, the club built on its reputation in the following years and claimed its first Amateur Premier Division title in 1996. Coached by Mick Murray, the team contained the likes of Matt Day, Jon Craik, Johnny Allen and Phil Foulkes. The 1997 season was to prove even more impressive as Shamrock became the first club to achieve the amateur league and cup double.

While Shamrock continued to be one of the powerhouses of amateur football, the club seemed to just fail to reach its previous heights in the following years. In 1999, Rovers fell just short on two fronts, finishing second in the league and losing the cup final to traditional rivals Fremantle United 1-0. .

Rovers’ climb back to the top did not take long. In 2004 coach Nik Silsby put together an impressive squad, built around players who had grown up at the club such as Eddie Schuller, Mark Kelly, the Brooks brothers (Wayne, Glenn and Sean), Keith and Stephen Roche and Mickey Murray. The team swept all before them but after points were deducted due to a controversial ruling over former professional Donal O’Brien, it took a victory to on the last day to secure the title. 2005 saw Rovers finish third, but were champions again in 2007 after a remarkable play-off title final against rivals Fremantle United. In 2009 under coach Glynn Shaw, the club finished runners-up and made it all the way to the Quarter-Finals of the State Cup, losing an epic game against top flight club Inglewood United 4-3.

In 2010, Paul McCue once again became coach, and like three years earlier, the hoops were champions again. Just like after winning the 2007 title, Shamrock were once again offered promotion to the State League. After deciding against it three years earlier, this time the hoops accepted.

In 2011, the Shamrock Rovers were in the big time, State League Division One football for the first time in their history, and they weren't there just to make up the numbers. It was a great debut season, finishing in fourth position.

Rovers continued to finish in the top half of the table, but 2014 under coach John O’Reilly was to be their year. The hoops only lost three games to claim the Division One title. Normally promotion to the Premier League would have followed, however due to the formation of the NPL-WA that season, there was to be no relegation or promotion.

After claiming fourth spot in 2015, things started to go downhill. A number of experience players left the club as did coach John O’Reilly. Shamrock ended the 2016 in last spot and were relegated. 2017 fared no better and the club once again struggled, and finished in a relegation position again. Wembley Downs as Amateur Champions were offered promotion, however after much debate Wembley Downs decided to stay where they were and Shamrock were to remain in the State League.

In 2018, there was an improvement under coach Gerry McEwan, the hoops finished in eight position and well clear of relegation, another eighth spot followed again in 2019.

After the 2019 season, Shamrock were in talks with Carramar FC for a possible merger. A merger would benefit both clubs, Shamrock currenly had no juniors, while Carramar would have a State League pathway for their future stars. In the end both clubs agreed to join together, and Carramar Shamrock Rovers was born.

SEMI-PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE HONOURS (Using current divisional names)
First Division winners - 2014 (Shamrock Rovers Perth)

23.5.2020

IN CONVERSATION…………………………

In this time of upheaval with the corona-virus around the world, football has taken a back seat. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, with the social distancing and other regulations working and many believe football will kick off again later in the year, but we must adhere to the government’s policies and flatten the curve.

In the meantime, we will be doing our best to keep you in touch with the local game, bringing you interviews with coaches, players from the NPL, State League and Amateur league, and chat to them on the current situation and about football. In today’s sixth ‘In conversation’ we catch up with Bayswater City’s Colombian striker Gustavo Giron-Marulanda.

Marulanda played his youth football in Colombia with Once Caldas and Deportivo Pereira, before moving to Perth and signing for Bayswater City. In his first spell at the Frank Drago Reserve club he played 150 games scoring 100 goals, and spent time at A-League side Perth Glory, before he moved to the Indonesian Premier League and played for Arema Cronus and Persegres Gresik United.

But in 2016 the talented striker moved back home to Bayswater and he said the club is special and he hopes to end his career in the Black and Blue. “After 11-years at the club we have gone through many great moments, and I have made great friends and memories that I will never forget,” he explained. “This obviously couldn’t have been done without the hard and tireless work of all the volunteers at the club, specially from those who are there every day to get the club to where it is right now. We have set the standards in WA in the past 6/7 years and we strive to keep doing so.”

It was a frustrating year for Marulanda in 2019, a knee injury sidelined him for most of the season, but he said the coaching and physios at the club held him back and he said it was the right decision, although at the time it was frustrating. “Yes, 2019 was a quite frustrating year for me, coming back from long term (ACL) injury, which only allowed me to take part in only 7/8 games in the second part of the season,” he said. “I told Chris (Coyne) I was ready and all I wanted to do was get back out on the pitch to help my teammates. However, I look back and feel glad the coaching staff handled the situation in a very professional manner to get me back to my best and now my knee is fully recovered.”

The club have been active in the transfer market over the past two seasons and competition for places in the front third is high, but that’s something the striker is relishing. “The club have brought some very exciting new players, and having Gordon Smith, Daryl Nicol and youngster Luke Salmon, will only create a better and much more competitive environment at the club,” he explained. “We all know we must be at the top of their game in order to get selected, and I love the fact there is healthy competition, as it will only make us better and sharper. I look forward to spending some more time with the boys on the ground this season, and I’m pretty sure we will complement each other perfectly.”

With training being in lockdown the striker has been busy keeping up his fitness, but he said to spend some precious time with his family was great. “This year has been a very difficult year for all of us, those who play and those who look forward to going to the game on the weekend and enjoy a beer on the stands,” he said. “However, having this time off, has been a great opportunity to spend time with the loved ones which is very special, and get to do things we don’t usually do due to the time we spend at the clubs. Although looking after your body and your fitness is a key part of the game, even while having time off, we’ve been working closely with the club’s fitness coach to keep on track and fit, and I have also adjusted my garage with some equipment to help maintain my shape.”

Marulanda has played with and against some quality players along the years, and he selected a few when asked the questions. “I think Liam Miller was someone different to any other player I ever shared a pitch with, a player that left us to young,” he said. “I also spent some time in Colombia with Rene Higuita at Deportivo Pereira, he was someone I had dream of even shaking his hand and football gave me the chance to share changeroom. In the local game I’d say Paul McCarthy at Bayswater, he was also a great teammate to have alongside. On the other side playing against players like Robbie Fowler and Grafite made me very aware of the difference between average and greatness, these players were amazing.”

23.5.2020

ANOTHER COYNE READY TO DROP

The Coyne surname is well known in WA football with former West Ham United, Luton Town defender and Socceroo Chris Coyne, and former Hartlepool United and Socceroo striker John Coyne. But there is another Coyne making his mark in WA football, that of teenager Aidan. For dad Chris and Grandad John, to see young Aiden continue the famous footballing family name as he makes his mark at the Perth Glory academy.

Chris played for the Glory from 2009 to 2012 and earned seven caps for Australia, while John starred in the NSL with Brisbane City and won four international caps from 1979 to 1980. Like his father, Aidan is a central defender who was born in England but has spent most of his life in Western Australia. Last year the 16-year-old spent time on trial in England at Luton Town, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Stoke City.

His dad said the trails went well. “I thought it was a good time to see where he was at, because obviously a lot’s changed in football in that period since I played in England,” he told The World Game. “We took him to Luton for the first week and then up to West Brom, Villa and Stoke. He did really well. Luton will have him back, West Brom loved him but he just needs to grow.

“Aidan’s always been the late bloomer. Since we’ve been back in September, he’s probably grown four or five centimetres. He’s going through his growth spurt now. “A stereotypical centre-half is six foot three, six foot four [in the UK], so it’s been sardines, Omega 3s and salmon, all the super-growth foods you can get. With his ability he can do it, if it’s his height and the rest of it that lets him down then maybe he finds a gig in Asia or plays in a different country like a Holland or a Germany where you don’t need that big, dominant centre-half.”

Chris signed for West Ham United as an 18-year-old in 1996 and spent four years in the Hammers’ academy at the same time as future internationals Joe Cole, Jermaine Defoe and Glen Johnson. He then joined Dundee in 2000 and, after a season with the Scottish side, he spent seven years with Luton and one with Colchester United before landing in the A-League. He retired in 2012 and has been coaching Bayswater City in the NPL Western Australia since 2013.

Chris represented Australia at both Under-17 and Under-23 level, and debuted for the Socceroos in 2008 under Pim Verbeek. His father John was a striker for Brisbane City and APIA Leichhardt in the NSL, while younger brother Jamie was also a professional who played for Perth Glory, Sydney FC and Melbourne Heart. “The athletic genes are there,” Chris said. “My wife played netball as well, she played for England up to Under-23s. The DNA is there for us to produce one athlete I suppose.”

Aidan started his football journey in Under-6s at Woodvale FC before joining ECU Joondalup. The teenager has represented Western Australia at state level and is now part of the Glory youth team. “He was at ECU for a few years and then he’s been at Perth Glory,” Chris explained. “He played up to under-15s at ECU and then he just needed to go to a proper academy set-up where they’re training four or five times a week with weights.

“Glory have got Steve McGarry, Jacob Burns, Richard Garcia and Terry McFlynn, so four people I played with and against who are good football people, but they’re tough as well. It’s an opportunity for him. He goes alright, and I think he’s got the ability and the commitment, whether he gets there or not, it’s a tough world.”

22.5.2020

WHATS HAPPENING WITH THE A-LEAGUE?

While grassroots football teams have started training again, it’s disappointing that the professional game in Australia is still in lockdown, with A-League players becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of clarity about their stalled season. While other major codes such as the NRL and AFL have announced season resumption timetables, the return of the A-League remains unknown, and Adelaide United’s football director Bruce Djite has asked why?

Football Federation Australia (FFA) wants the season, which was put on hold in March amid the coronavirus pandemic, to resume and finish in the month of August. But Djite, who has played over 250 games in Australia and overseas, said players are becoming restless that no firm time frame for a return to training or the season restart has been detailed.

“The FFA are no doubt doing their best and there’s no reason for them to keep us in the dark any more than they need to,” Djite told AAP. “But the feedback from the players is of frustration when the Bundesliga is back, the Premier League are going back to training, all before us. I would argue that the coronavirus is much worse in Europe than it is in Australia.”

A-League players were seeking some certainty after the AFL and NRL detailed aspects of their respective restarts.

“I speak to players as often as possible and the constant is ’hold on a second, what makes us so much more complicated when we have only got a few more games to play?” Djite explained. “AFL have got their stuff sorted. NRL have got their stuff sorted. “Foxtel has paid the (latest A-League broadcasting rights) money now - we still haven’t got our stuff sorted.

“Obviously the players want to get back to play as soon as possible... They’re not saying they want to play tomorrow but they just want to know what the schedule is. Maybe legally we’re still not guaranteed Fox Sports for the next three years. There’s a lot of things that probably myself, the clubs and the players don’t know about that are happening in the background.”

Compounding the agitation in A-League ranks is the expiry of many player contracts at the end of May. “Besides the financials and the timings and everything, it’s also about just a matter of principle,” Djite added. “Players are out of contract on 31 May; getting extended to the end of August, yes, no? Players who are out of contract who have signed for another club, where do they sit? The one real positive is that the FFA and the PFA (Professional Footballers Australia) are in talks and they have been having talks for some time. So, there is obviously some light at the end of the tunnel.”

22.5.2020

DAVIDSON HAS FOUND THE GAME AGAIN

Former Perth Glory Jason Davidson was at the crossroads in his football career, when he got a phone from Tony Popovic and the 26-year-old believes that call changed his career path. He could continue moving through Europe – a club career that had seen him play in Portugal, Holland, England, Croatia and Slovenia – or take a risk, then, Popovic called. The defender was an indispensable part of the Socceroos through the 2014 World Cup period, and lifted the Asian Cup in 2015 in Ange Postecoglou’s squad.

But, by his own admission, he was on a “downward spiral” in his club career after that. “He (Tony) called me. I’ll never forget it,” Davidson told Optus Sports. “He was brutally honest. He told me where I stand; where he thought my football was. That honesty, no BS – he said pretty much, ‘this is where I think you are, if you come back, this is what I can do for you.’ I knew they were trying to assemble a strong squad for the A-League. I think it was the best decision I have ever made in my career.

“He is one of the best coaches I have worked under and I am very thankful, he knows that, and I put my body on the line for him. Until then, I was used to just the on-field demands – performing, but he changed my whole aspect of living full focused on football, be it sleeping, diet, recovery, the one per centres, those details. It was a regime, he was the top dog, we all had to fall into place but I thrived and enjoyed that kind of atmosphere. I used it as a spring board, and hopefully one more time in my career I would love to play under him again.

But for now, I am grateful he gave me the opportunity to re-start my career. In 2019 Davidson became a key part of Popovic’s Perth Glory side, which claimed the A-League Premiership and endured grand final disappointment at the hands of Sydney FC. It was just the season the defender craved. The year he needed, and when Korea powerhouse Ulsan Hyundai were looking to bolster their foreign contingent for a tilt at the K League crown, they came calling. Within five days, a deal was done.

Davidson, who went from trying to “shut football out” for a while to overcome the grand final defeat, was suddenly off on a new adventure. Financially, it made sense, to help secure the future for his family. Football wise, it was a logical next step, too. The set-up in Korea is “completely different”: clubhouses, where each player has their own room as well, and every age group can stay at the same complex; there are also three training facilities, six training pitches in addition to one for the first team.

“(I was thinking): It is regarded as one of the best leagues in Asia, I am going to one of the biggest clubs there fighting for the championship,” Davidson said. “They signed me midway through a season where they were first in the league. They pretty much said to me: ‘you’re coming here to help us win the Championship’. They were in the final 16 of the Champions League at the time as well. They said ‘we want to win the ACL and the K League’. To have the feel of a big club that wants to win things, be dominant in the country and in Asia, really lured me. That was what I want to be a part of …. They haven’t won something since 2012 so they are hungry to bring something back.”

But by the end of 2019, Davidson had not only endured two near misses, but also tore three ligaments in his ankle as he was about to make his debut for the club. After Glory’s grand final defeat, Ulsan were agonisingly pipped for the K League crown on the final day by Jeonbuk. After that, motivation isn’t in short supply for both player, and club, in 2020. “The thing is, when a sponsor or a company has spent so much money on the club, they are very ambitious,” he said.

“As a club, as players, we have got goals. That is definitely to win the league, do well in the Cup. At the start, we had a meeting saying we want to win all three (League, Cup, Champions League) – when you’re a part of that, it feels special. You’re not saying you want to just survive, or hopefully make the top six: they’ve said: bang, this is what we want to do and we’re all on board … it is nice being a part of that.” Fuelled by last season’s disappointment, Ulsan have gone out swinging. Davidson says they have 22 players all capable of making the XI, and sometimes, two internationals vying for the one spot.

They started impressively with an opening day 4-0 win Sangju and beat Adam Taggart’s Suwon on Sunday. “The first part of my journey here has been crazy and frustrating and everyone knows we lost the (title) on the final day on goal difference. The club, the boys, were very upset,” he explained. “In the off season they have said ‘we’re going all out’ and they have bought a lot of players … people have said the team they have assembled is kind of an all-star team. They have shown their intent.”

Davidson said it’s been difficult for everyone and life in Korea during COVID-19 has been harsh. So just talking about football is a bit surreal, let alone playing it. Korea was one of the early COVID hotspots, second behind China in the formative stages. He sent his family back home to be safe (they are now back together), but K League clubs continued to train, with fortnightly revisions around when the season might resume. It has been quite the physical and mental challenge.

“For us, we came in a month before the K League teams, for the Champions League, so we had done a whole pre-season,” he said. “After that, mid-Feb, it just became really crazy, no end date, the league got postponed, and it was becoming hard for the players as they were doing week by week, or (fortnightly) instead of making a decision. It is hard for a player because you have to stay motivated … after a couple of weeks (you think) when is this league really going to start? It starts to become hard as a professional to stay motivated and keep your body in shape.

“In Europe players have had to train at home; we have been lucky, that we have been allowed to come to training as a squad; the differences were coming into the club house we had to check our temperatures coming through the front door, and just before training. We had to wear masks at the start. At first, I didn’t leave my home, just went to the super market to bulk buy … just go to training … the only positive thing was the country wasn’t in a compulsory lockdown, so we were able to train right through.”

“The foreign players were saying ‘listen, this is ridiculous, we shouldn’t be training, it is dangerous; we wanted to go home’. We are lucky, especially Australian players, the PFA supported us over here – where did we stand legally, if we needed any help over here, just to support us, because mentally as a footballer you’ve never been through it, and as a human being, it is really scary, so they were there supporting us. The constant training meant the “baseline fitness” in the K League never really dropped, but “no game is like a competitive game, so, it was quite hard, especially in the first game the last 20 minutes the legs felt like jelly.”

But one thing that holds the former Glory defender in good stead is what he learnt in Perth. They were lessons that provided him the platform to move back overseas in the first place and to get back to the level that saw him represent Australia at the highest level possible. “Popa said: ‘you have nothing to worry about, you are prepared by the way we have been training, the way your body has been shaped, go and do your business on the field and maintain the schedule I had been living in Perth’. That is why the transition, and playing in Europe for a long time, hasn’t been that hard for me.

“In Europe, who is a foreigner? But here there are three foreigners and an Asian spot. If you are not delivering or performing, they chop and change. The pressure is on the foreigner to be performing more than the Korean players. That was the biggest part to adjust to. You earn a bit more than (some) of the Korean players… they bring you here for a reason. If you’re equal to them or not better, they look at it as ‘what are you doing here’. Every training session you have to be at your best to stay there.”

After a few years meandering in Europe, that is just what Davidson is thriving on, however. So, how did a player that was one of the first name on the Socceroos’ team sheet end up circling between leagues in Europe, ending up on loan in Slovenia? “After having a great World Cup, I got offers not many people know about: Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga – from one club from the big five,” he said. “My dream was always to play in the Premier League. When I look back maybe it wasn’t the smartest decision because it wasn’t (the best for) my style of play to adapt to … I had a tough experience … it kicked off a downwards spiral.”

From there, Davidson went to the Championship, the Eredivisie, returned to Huddersfield in England, then moved to Croatia – where he hoped playing at a big club, playing in European competition as well, would put him back in the club and national team shop window before the World Cup. Instead, he saw the “ugly side” of football behind the scenes. He put that behind him but had to get out, and Slovenia was the only transfer window still open. “I played 14-15 games, we won the league, the championship and the Cup, so it gave me a little morale boost and that’s when Perth came into the equation. That was the dilemma: go back to Australia or stay in Europe and go through the motion of finding that smaller club?”

But he admits, by then, he wasn’t enjoying it. “Being honest, in my career, I have had a lot of ups and downs and maybe the consistency hasn’t been there, he said. “If I was fortunate enough to have had Popa in Europe it would’ve been the perfect fairy tale story and I would’ve been so happy to have had that experience. But everything happens for a reason. It is easy to look back now and say I wish I had him at 22 … but I have been fortunate enough to have had a good career, travel the world, and play at the highest level. You wish you could’ve had it but I don’t want to say in the same breath I regret that, because it has made me the player and person I am today."

That player is one who has started matches at a World Cup. He might have done it, but that doesn’t mean the fire doesn’t burn to return there. He knows only club form can open the door for that. “To be able to firstly have done that, I am very grateful to have played a World Cup, an Asian Cup, as a young boy that is something you dream of – representing your country on the biggest stage is the biggest honour. But every footballer is competitive and wants to be the best they can be and I am no different,” he said. “If it doesn’t, I will look back and say I accomplished a lot that I wanted to as a young boy - but I definitely want to play for the Socceroos again and hopefully I can.”

Suddenly, he is also front and centre to do that. The K League’s kicked-off, while the rest of the world watches on, has put him and his colleagues in the shop window for now. And they’re relishing it. “Being in the shop window, the whole word is hungry for football. I know many leagues across the world have bought the rights … for anyone, if you perform, you never know who is watching, but it is great for Asian football in general to have the whole world watching,” he said. “That is why it is important for others in Asia, even the A-League, to use it to their advantage. If the A-League does get up and running before Europe … use it to try get that exposure and win people over. You never know where that might lead to. We’re flying the flag ... hopefully others follow in Asia and it can be a big thing for Asian football in general.”

21.5.2020

WHALLEY READIES FOR POST-COVID-19 FOOTBALL

Goalkeeper coach Dave Whalley has welcomed moves to re-start the 2020 season but warns against complacency in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Premier Leagues was put on pause in March following Football Federation Australia’s suspension of all football activities across the nation.

Western Australian is in the fortunate position of having minimal community transmissions of COVID-19. This factored heavily in the recent lifting of restrictions by Premier Mark McGowan who has opened the door on the re-commencement of community sport from mid-June.

“I, along with many people, have welcomed that decision,” commented Whalley, a member of the coaching team at Inglewood United. “The main priority though is to ensure that the risk of a potential ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 is addressed before even thinking about the NPL season starting up for 2020.”

“The measures that are currently in place regarding social distancing mean training can be non-contact only and competitive games are not an option. So, at the moment we have a pre-season. This challenges us as coaches to be a little bit more creative in the planning of our sessions.”

“From a goalkeeping prospective, sessions can be designed to refine the goalkeeper’s technique and fitness. Shot stopping from various distances, unopposed dealing with crosses and distribution can be practiced so I believe that there is real benefit to be gained by commencing training again.”

The NPL was halted with only one round of fixtures completed, and with three months of football now lost Whalley expects season 2020 to be abbreviated. “We need to be realistic,” he said. “The way I see it panning out is we’ll have a shortened senior NPL season where clubs play each other only once.”

“If that is the case, then I cannot see the team that comes out on top of the league being announced as the Champions. It’s possible we could see a Top Four competition with the team that wins that being announced as the top team - just like a normal NPL season!”

“The Junior NPL and State Leagues could be run in a shorter version too, and if ground availability permits have a Top Four competition. Another option could be to have clubs playing against themselves in the very younger age groups whilst the NPL 13s to 16s run along the same lines as the senior teams.”

The role of the goalkeeper is unique in football and for Whalley, who runs Dave Whalley Goalkeeping, that has been something of a blessing in disguise during the past three months. “Initially it was a little strange being at home on weekdays nights, and it was also very unsettling as coaching is my full-time role,” he said.

“But I’ve been lucky as the Government restrictions have allowed me to continue private one-on-one sessions. This has given me the opportunity to get to know the players a little more, to understand what makes them tick and why they want to play football. I’ve really appreciated their and their parents’ support during this period.”

When he’s not running his own business or working with Inglewood’s goalkeepers, Whalley can be found working within the Football Academy program at South Coast Baptist College where he’s been the Head of Goalkeeping for three years. And that too has thrown up some unique challenges of late.

“During this enforced time one of the challenges was to keep all the young students interested and engaged and to aim to continue their Football education in the best way possible. As a Football Department we decided to design many sessions and look to deliver them all online.”

“On a personal front this was a great learning curve for myself and I thoroughly enjoyed the process. I would not say that I am an expert now, but I have improved my computer skills and understanding of how to cut and clip videos improved dramatically!”

18.5.2020

CLUB IN PROFILE - CANNING CITY SOCCER CLUB

Canning City Football Club was formed in 1972 as Canning Corinthian, and entered the semi-professional league in 1973 when it joined the old Third Division (now known as Division Two) in 1973, where the club finished in eight place. Just one year later, the club won the championship under coach John Reilly and were promoted to the old Second Division (now known as Division One) for the 1977 season. The club found it difficult, and never managed to get above seventh place for the next seven years before finding themselves relegated after the 1983 season. 1984 fared no better, even in a lower league, the club were relegated again, this time to the old Fourth Division. They stayed there for four seasons.

1988 was a turning point for the club, they finished runners-up and won promotion back to the old Third Division. Then in 1991, with Bob Braid as coach the club won the league title and were promoted back to the second tier of WA Football for the first time since 1983.

After the 1992 season, the club were in talks with nearby Melville Alemannia, who were based at John Connell Reserve in Leeming. A merger took place, and the new club was to be called Melville Corinthian, and took the field in what would now be known as Division One. The junior section of Canning Corinthian decided to stay separate and continue on as a junior club only. In 1995, the junior club name was changed to Canning Cosmos. Melville Corinthian continued to play at John Connell Reserve, and changed their name to Leeming Strikers in 1997.

In 2000, Canning Cosmos was one of the biggest junior clubs in Western Australia, and the committee decided to bring back seniors to the club, and applied to re-join the semi-professional competition. Their application was accepted, and they would join the First Division in 2001 under the new name of Canning City with Harry Long as coach. Ironically they would be in the same league as Leeming Strikers. With a very young squad of players, the club struggled in it's first seasons back in the league before they managed to finish third in 2004. The club flirted with relegation in 2005 before jumping back to fifth in 2006.

Canning City entered the 2008 season as one of the Division One favourites, and under coach Frank Longstaff they didn't disappoint. They easily won the league, and become the first club in the history of the First Division to go undefeated.

The club were in the Premier League for the first time in their history in 2009. Their first ever top flight game was at home to Perth SC, where they lost 5-1. However, the club ended up up having a good start to the season, winning five of their first ten games, and looked good enough to stay up. The second half of the season was a different story, the club lost many games by the odd goal and found themselves relegated.

Life back in Division One was a struggle at first, but under co-coaches Paul Van Dongen and Michael Van Dongen, Canning finished third in 2013 and sixth in 2014. Club legend Paul Oliver took over in 2015 and 2016 with respectable league positions. Peter Lord became coach in 2017, however the club struggled, and were relegated.

Canning were in Division Two in 2018, and found the going tough. The club finished tenth, followed by last place and relegation in 2019. The club would have been relegated to the Amateur Premier Division, however due to withdrawal of South West Phoenix, Canning applied to re-join Division Two, and their application was successful.

Chris Finlayson became the new coach in 2020, and has brought in new players with experience which should lead to a big improvement this season.

SEMI-PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE HONOURS (Using current divisional names)
First Division Winners - 2008
Second Division Winners - 1976, 1991
Third Division Runners Up - 1988
Night Series Lower Division runners-up - 2008

17.5.2020

SAGE SAYS COACH POPOVIC IS GOING NOWHERE

Perth Glory owner Tony Sage says coach Tony Popovic is going nowhere after reports he was being chased by rival A-League club Melbourne Victory for next season. Sage said Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro has told him he is not chasing Popovic, who led Glory to their maiden Premiers Plate title last year.

“There are many rumours and media reports on Victory poaching Popa,” Sage said. “In life all you can do is trust is another person’s word. I implicitly trust the chairman of Melbourne Victory, a good friend, when he said no approach has been made to Popa.”

17.5.2020

IN CONVERSATION…………………………

In this time of upheaval with the corona-virus around the world, football has taken a back seat. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, with the social distancing and other regulations working and many believe football will kick off again later in the year, but we must adhere to the government’s policies and flatten the curve.

In the meantime, we will be doing our best to keep you in touch with the local game, bringing you interviews with coaches, players from the NPL, State League and Amateur league, and chat to them on the current situation and about football. In today’s fifth ‘In conversation’ we catch up with former St Mirren and Perth Glory midfielder Steven McGarry.

McGarry’s professional football career started at St Mirren where he played over 150 games for the Saints, bagging 25 goals. He then moved to Ross County in 2002, the midfielder clocking up over 100 games at Victoria Park, before a move to Motherwell in 2006, where he stayed for four seasons. He also played for his country, earning three Scotland under-21 caps, before the Scotsman headed down under, joining the A-League with Perth Glory. The likable midfielder became a firm favorite with the Glory faithful playing 114 games, scoring 11 goals, and helping the club to it’s first-ever A-League Grand Final in 2012.

It all started for McGarry at St Mirren Park, and his time there was surreal, playing for the club he barracked for as a youngster, and he made such an impact at the club they named a street in his honour. “As a kid growing up in a small village called Houston which was on the outskirts of Paisley, all I ever wanted to do was to play for St Mirren, to achieve that and also be part of a successful team will be memories I will never forget,” the 40-year-old explained. “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet that I have a street named after me, I haven’t been back to Scotland yet to see it on the old Love Street ground, but it will be something nice for the kids to go back to see when we get the chance. “

The decision to head to Australia was a tough one, but McGarry said it was the right one. "Craig Brown (Motherwell coach) came in and he actually wanted me to stay, so it was a bit of a dilemma," he said. "I just decided to take a risk and came out (to Australia). I terminated my contract, came to an agreement. They wanted me to stay and hopefully be part of the things there but I thought to myself, I know Perth and coach Dave (Mitchell) had a good interest in me. So, I was willing to come out here and take a risk at it, and thankfully it worked out."

His time at Perth was memorable, and he has now returned to the club to coach their youngsters, being appointing Head of Youth Development at the clubs Academy. The highlight, or was it a low light, was the appearance in the 2012 Grand Final against Brisbane Roar, a result McGarry and the hundreds of Glory supporters were looking for on the day. “I look back very fondly at my time playing at the club, I played with some quality players and have made friends for life. I had a great relationship with the supporters although it would have been nice to replay them with some silverware,” McGarry explained.

“The run up to the finals that year was an interesting one, we never got off to the best of starts, but after ten games in we were started to kick in. I was really enjoying playing higher up that year playing just off Smeltzy or big Billy and we were picking up points and looking really strong and had great momentum going into the final series. The Final Series was a weird one for me as I got injured in training, big Vuka came out and clattered me when working on set plays and with heavy medication and cortisone jabs and limited training I managed to play my part across the finals. The Grand Final itself is a bit of a blur apart from that penalty incident, all Glory fans know we were robbed, but I guess that’s football.”

In 2015 McGarry joined Amateur Premier Division club Gwelup Croatia, helping the club to the title, before he headed north and signed for NPLWA club ECU Joondalup. He said both clubs were great and he has made many friends at both. “Two excellent clubs with great people behind them,” he said. “I will always remember the FFA cup run at Gwelup with Mike Ford leading the team, and Jure being the driving force behind the club, we were one game away from the last 32 and would have been the first amateur club to do that but lost to Perth SC 4-3 in a thrilling game at Dorrien Gardens.

“Playing in the NPL with ECU Joondalup at 38-39 was great. With Dale (McCulloch), David (Tough) and Syd (Amphlett) it’s was always a fun environment and we had a fantastic run in 2017 and lost on penalties to get to the Top Four Grand Final that year. We had a good mixture of youth and experience and was great to help coach and navigate these young footballers trying to make their way in the game around the pitch.”

McGarry was an assistant coach at ECU Joondalup, and was the clubs Technical Director of Football. He has taken a similar role at Perth Glory, working alongside Terry McFlynn and Richard Garcia, and the midfielder said it’s was a great opportunity to go back into a professional environment. “The club outlined its vision and with some top coaches in place I felt it was the right time to go back into the club,” he explained. “Jacob Burns has similar views and beliefs in youth development and in the last 18 months we have seen a lot of changes in the Academy space with more training contacts, more quality games and a focus on improving the athletic development of all players, but we have only scratched the surface.

“From the outside looking in, people have said it been successful year because our 15’s, 16’s, 18’s and 20’s were all champions but success for us as a club is having players with a winning mentality but also probably more importantly it’s about players progressing through the age groups, players being selected for the national team, we had 11 players across the year being called up for international duty including three going to the under17 World Cup, it’s about Academy players training and playing in the A-league environment.

“Hopefully over the next couple of year we will see some of these players that have enough hunger and quality break into the first team. In these uncertain times it’s hard for everyone, but we know football will be back soon. Our players have been working hard and been dedicated working on their home program but I’m sure they we be desperate to get back on the training pitch with their team mates”

17.5.2020

MATILDAS AND FOOTBALL FERNS IN JOINT BID FOR 2023 WORLD CUP

The bids are in for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 and the Matildas joint bid with New Zealand are one of four bidding member associations to apply. FIFA announce on Friday that in light of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having around the world and the postponement of the FIFA Council meeting that was foreseen to take place in early June 2020 in Addis Ababa. FIFA has today confirmed to the bidding member associations that the selection of the host(s) of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ by the FIFA Council will be made at its meeting to be held online on 25 June 2020.

In the most competitive bidding process in the history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, four bids are in the race to host this showpiece competition: Joint submission by Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football, the Brazilian Football Association, the Colombian Football Association, Japan Football Association. All of the bid books, along with their respective executive summaries, are available on FIFA.com:

“FIFA remains committed to implementing the most comprehensive, objective and transparent bidding process in the history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said. “This is part of our overall commitment to women’s football that, among other things, will see FIFA invest USD 1 billion in women’s football during the current cycle,” Following inspection visits to all bidding member associations, FIFA is now finalising the evaluation report, which will be published in early June on FIFA.com.

FFA President Chris Nikou said “We believe that our proven ability to deliver the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ is a key strength of our bid. Our world-class infrastructure, modern stadia, high-quality football facilities in both Australia and New Zealand and major event hosting experience ensure certainty in delivering the first 32 team FIFA Women’s World Cup™.

“From operational excellence, record-breaking crowds, commercial success, strong government support, a warm embrace from our 200 diverse cultures to a genuine profound legacy across the Asia-Pacific region, Australia-New Zealand offers certainty in uncertain times, as well as impact.”

NZF President Johanna Wood said “Our proposal offers FIFA a ground-breaking approach to hosting its greatest women’s tournament. We are two nations from two confederations, united in proposing a historic and exciting step forward for world football. We will be a tournament of firsts. The first ever co-Confederation hosted FIFA World Cup™, the first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup™ to be held in the Asia-Pacific region, and the first ever to be held in the southern hemisphere.

“And as important as all of this, we are nations proud of our commitment to equality and fairness and would embody a FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ built on common humanity through football. As the world looks to adapt and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, our bid offers an exciting vision to bring the world together As One in 2023 to celebrate women’s football and inspire women and girls around the world.”

All eligible bids will be presented to the FIFA Council in order for it to select the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 host(s) within the scope of an open voting process, in which the result of each ballot and the related votes by the members of the FIFA Council will be made public on FIFA.com. Further details are available in the Voting Procedure (link), which has been approved by the Bureau of the FIFA Council. While France 2019 went down in history for setting new standards for women’s football competitions, the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is set to write a new piece of history as it will be the first edition to feature 32 teams.

16.5.2020

VICTORY CHASING GLORY BOSS

Melbourne Victory are no doubt the biggest club in Australian football, and after the departure of Kevin Muscat last season the club have stuttered under Spaniard Carlos Salvachua, who replaced the sacked Marco Kurz on an interim basis in January, and could miss out on the play-off’s this season, if we ever get going. It’s been reported today that Perth Glory Head Coach Tony Popovic has emerged as a leading candidate to take charge at Victory next season and lead the club back to former glories, this a week after the club announced they were ramping up their search for a new head coach.

Popovic, 46, is contracted at Glory until mid-2021, but it’s been previously reported that he has an opt-out clause which would enable him to depart after two years. It’s also not lost on Victory CEO Trent Jacobs that home-grown coaches have delivered in the past for Victory, in the forms of Ange Postecoglou and Muscat. Whilst performing well in the AFC Champions League, Victory sit 10th on the A-League ladder, and are almost certain to miss out on the finals once the competition resumes.

Glory CEO Tony Pignata declined to comment on Popovic’s future when contacted by The World Game, saying simply: “Tony is under contract and has another year to go.” When asked whether Popovic had a get-out option, Pignata added: “I don’t comment on contracts.” After the dazzling success of year one under the AFC Champions League-winning former Western Sydney Wanderers coach, Glory were hit by a player exodus with the likes of Jason Davidson, Shane Lowry and Andy Keogh all heading offshore. They’ve lacked depth since and lie fifth on the table - 17 points adrift of champions-elect Sydney FC.

Owner Tony Sage denied the rumours. “There are many rumours and media reports on Victory poaching Poppa, in life all you can do is trust is another's persons word,” he said. “I implicitly trust the Chairman of Melbourne Victory (a good friend) when he said no approach has been made to Poppa. Let the media write their stories. Let's just get the FFA and PFA working together on a deal to resume on what we all want which is a restart of the A League and football at levels. Football has by far the most registered players eager to start, then all the other football codes in Australia. Jacobs told The Age last week. “We would like to think over the course of the next couple of months we would be in a position where the board can make a final decision. But if it takes longer so be it, we are not going to rush this process,”

Glory, meanwhile, may have seen the last of Swiss defender Gregory Wüthrich, who jetted home for “personal reasons” on Tuesday and may not return for the post-COVID-19 resumption. Though his one-year contract expires at the end of this month, Pignata didn’t, however, rule out a return. “He’s gone back for personal reasons and we’ve kept things open for when the league starts up again (possibly in August) and see what happens,” he said. “The door is open for him to return.”

16.5.2020

IRISH EYES ARE SMILING FOR O’NEILL

Former Perth Glory midfielder Brandon O’Neill is making a big splash in the K-League, but he is also making the news in Ireland, and in a recent article in The Irish Sun newspaper he told them about football and life in Korea. They told their readers - If anyone putting on YouTube to watch the ongoing Korean League is looking for some Irish interest, Brandon O’Neill is your man.

The Australia international answers the phone with a broad Yorkshire accent but then switches to pure Dublin, full of dropped t’s and long a’s. He explained to SunSport: “Any time I chat to me Mam and Dad — or now you — the Irish comes out of me,” he said. “Any time I talk to my wife Nicole, who is from Rotherham, I go into Yorkshire. Then I talk to Aussie mates and it’s all Australian.”

O’Neill, 26, is Perth-born and has one Australian cap. But he has strong Irish roots with both parents being Dublin-born and still has family in Tallaght and Nutgrove. In fact, he repeatedly referred to Ireland as “back home” during the interview as he discussed his new life in Korea where he now plays for Pohang Steelers. He moved from Sydney, where he won two league titles, in January just as the Covid-19 pandemic hit Korea. It made for a difficult pre-season as Pohang moved base three times, settling in a secluded village when he received bad news — his father Myles’ lung cancer was terminal.

O’Neill immediately flew home to Perth to be with him though, with Australia then entering lockdown, Myles told him to get back to Korea while he still could. The player explained: “He’s positive now. We’ve just got to prepare for everything. When I was home, I wasn’t sure about coming back but he told me he didn’t want me to miss this chance. He wanted me to get back to Korea and succeed here.”

O’Neill expected Asia to be a culture shock but Covid-19 has made it even more so. While Australia is closed, Korea is almost back to normality. With a population of 51 million, South Korea has had just over 10,000 positive cases as rapid testing and tracing has meant no lockdown has been necessary. And where European football now plots a return with non-contact, social-distance training, O’Neill and his K League colleagues are practicing as normal.

“That’s what amazed me when I came back here from Australia, because Australia is in a very similar position to back home,” he said. “I came here and went from total lockdown to close to living a normal life. The shops are open, schools are open, the only thing you have to do is wear a facemask until everything

is on the mend around the world. It’s not like Australia or back home where the Government advises you to do something and you take it on yourself to do it or you don’t.

“In Korea, the Government says what you can and what you can’t do and everyone follows it to a tee.” That has allowed football to come back quicker than anywhere else in the world — O’Neill was on the bench as Pohang beat Busan IPark 2-0 on Sunday and hopes for some action this Saturday against Daegu. He added: “The league has just started as well. The hope is after round four, the fans will be able to come back if things remain on the current trajectory, Training is normal, tackles are flying in.

“We are getting our temperatures checked every day and on game day in the morning and just before we leave for the stadium. When I came back to Korea, we got a corona test and went into a 14-day quarantine. And every K League player needed another test — so I’ve been tested twice since I came back.” O’Neill knows the Korean authorities’ quick actions — nightclubs were closed when daily cases almost trebled from 12 to 34 over the weekend — means any positive case could result in a temporary shutdown.

But, for now, he is happy his only challenge is adapting on the pitch. “Ask any professional footballer in the world and they’d want to be here now — playing a league that is going. I’m lucky in that respect,” he said. “I’m still building up fitness. I’m maybe a week or two away from putting my hand up for a start but it’s been good to see what the league is like. It’s very exciting, very quick and all-out attack. There are lots of challenges, not least the language barrier, but these are things I have to meet to show that I can do it in a tougher league.”

He also hopes that can help with his international ambitions after winning his first Australia cap against South Korea last June, having previously been on Ireland’s radar. “I don’t know if there will be international football this year. If there is, it’s going to be late in the year but I see being here as an advantage as I can show what I can do,” O’Neill said. “One of the reasons I came here, apart from the challenge, was to show I could play in a harder league and that could help me get more games for the national team.”

13.5.2020

EDWARDS' MIND GAMES IN LOCKDOWN

For professional footballers during the COVID-19 lockdown, there has been extra time to kill and hours to pass. Most have gone through rigorous individual training programs, some have started their own podcasts, others turn to gaming, Netflix or golf.

For England-based Ryan Edwards, education has been his focus while the season enters its third month since shutdown. The 26-year old, who plays for Burton Albion in League One, says studying has helped him deal with the unusual situation.

"You'd be falling into bad habits, watching TV and waiting for football to return," Edwards told www.ftbl.com.au "So it's been good to have something away from football to focus on. I'm studying psychology, which is great."

"I've just finished my first year. I started with business management, and after I finished that I changed to psychology. This year I went to part-time to full-time study, which has been better because there's more enyoyable content to do. I'm just in the process of picking my modules for my second year."

Edwards meditates every morning and has been in touch with a sports psychologist since he joined Reading as a 17-year old back in 2011. The midfielder spents four to six hours studying each day, in between exercise workouts, and has always been interested in behaviour and how the brain affects it.

"Initially, I like to research or find out why we do things and why our mind works the way it dones," he explained. "That's always been an interest of mine. I also believe that our mind is a muscle. We're all training our bodies, but it's important to train your mind as well for football and for outside of football as well."

Channelling his mind is something that Edwards has used throughout his football career. "I write down my goals for the game ahead," he said. "I've learnt to code my own games. I watch back games myself and code my own games on my laptop."

"That side of visualisation of looking back at your game, or just watching a general Champions League or Premier League game, your brain looks at that and takes things back to the training pitch that you're working on."

"If you speak to professional athletes they will talk about that moment on the pitch where everything just flows effortlessly. It's called being in a state of flow. So you learn about that and how you can get into state in every training session and game. You're fine-tuning your brain for the training or the game ahead."

Edwards is now waiting to see when the season will resume. At the cut-off point Burton Albion sat 12th in the 23-team League One. With 48 points, the Brewers are safe from the drop but also 11 points from a play-off place. "We've had an up and down season," he said.

"Even though we're mid-table, bit too far from the play-offs but safe from relegation, I was speaking to my teammates and we want to finish the season. I think I've played 44, 45 games this season and there's 10 games to go so you want it to be finished. You don't want it to be voided. We all to finish the season."

11.5.2020

MALTA, MIFSUD AND ME: BOLAND’S MALTESE ADVENTURE

Striker Liam Boland could’ve partnered alongside Malta football great and former Coventry City forward Michael Mifsud - the banter may have been tasty, too. The 28-year old, currently playing for Victorian club Avondale FC, is famous for some spectacular FFA Cup goals.

Boland scored against Sydney FC but it was one of 2016's goals of the year against A-League club Central Coast Mariners that put him on the world map, and on the radar of the Maltese national team. The tall striker with Maltese heritage headed to Europe after his club season was complete.

Boland was invited by the Maltese FA and ended up in a training camp with Malta’s national team ahead of a World Cup 2018 Group F qualifier against Slovenia. Their group also included favorites England, who edged Malta 2-0 at Wembley a month earlier.

Boland arrived in Malta two months after his season had ended, and while his chances of international football were slim he did make a strong impression on Michael Mifsud. "Unfortunately, I arrived lacking match fitness," Boland said. "I had two weeks in Malta. I was close to getting into the squad."

Mifsud soon realised Boland was from Melbourne. The Maltese legend - famous for scoring against Manchester United for Coventry City - had a stint in the Australian pro ranks at A-League outfit Melbourne Heart. The move never really worked, although Mifsud showed occasional signs of his quality.

But even with Harry Kewell alongside him, Mifsud frustratingly couldn't find the net regularly for one of the A-League's new clubs in the southern state. "Michael Mifsud is a real Maltese legend in their football," says Boland. "Everyone in Malta knows him."

"A good guy and he’d take the mickey a bit with the new guy, me, the 'kangaroo', because I think he copped a fair bit when he was in Australia for his season in the A-League. I’d get a bit of stick from him ... But he was a good guy."

The pair would’ve fitted neatly into the “Little and Large” strike force with the pint-sized Mifsud alongside the tall Aussie unit. They may have been a good combination up top for Malta, but we'll never know.

Boland added the Maltese squad had some high-quality players at that time, such as Mifsud and Andre Schembri, then playing for Boavista in Portugal. "Probably Schembri was the best player there," he added. "All class."

"There were some good players there but also some that weren’t better than what we have in the NPL if I’m being honest. Some players weren’t that crash hot, but some definitely were class and very good players."

"It was a good experience ... something to have under your belt. It’s just a shame nothing came of it because I felt I was good enough for that standard for their level and the players they had."

"It’s not on my mind, all I’m focusing on is getting back to playing with Avondale and winning some silverware when football returns. But if anything does come up with the Malta national team, it’d be hard to say no. My grandad’s a proud Maltese man, an Aussie-Maltese, so it’d be good to do that one day for him."

11.5.2020

CLUB IN PROFILE - BAYSWATER CITY SOCCER CLUB

Bayswater City Soccer Club's history stretches back to 1961 when Bayswater Sports Club were formed. The following year the club changed it's name to Bayswater United. United won a number of trophies, including the old Second Division (now known as Division One) in 1970, Top Four Cup in 1971 and were Night Series winners in 1972. They were also runners-up in the top flight in 1971 and 1972.

In 1980, Lathlain Meazza and Rosemount Juventus merged to form Rosemount Meazza. The following year, Bayswater United decided to merge with Rosemount Meazza to form the new club, Bayswater Inter. The new look Bayswater took the field in the old Third Division (now Division Two) with David Harrison as coach, while the club's first president was Tony Di Costa. In it's first season, the club finished in seventh position.

Prior to the 1982 season, the club and Harrison went on a recruiting mission signing players that had top flight experience. The club set the league alight, and not only won the championship and promotion that came with it, but won every single league game. Played 22, Won 22, Drew zero, Lost zero, scored 81 goals and only conceded 11 and gained the maximum points available of 66.

Even though they were one of the newly promoted teams in 1984, the black and blues were one of the favourites to gain promotion, and it was a credit to them that they won the league in style, only losing once.

Bayswater Inter were in the top flight in 1984 and did not want to just make up the numbers and finished fifth before making it to third place in 1985. In 1987, Bayswater won the Night Series trophy after defeating Floreat Athena 3-2 in the final. In 1988, the club made it all the way to the State D'Orsogna Cup Final, but lost to Athena.

By 1992, the good times appeared to be over, when the club finished last, however luckily there was no relegation that season. In 1993 the club finished ninth under Eric Marocchi before a seventh place finish the following season. In 1995 the black and blues decided to remove "Inter" from the official name, and became Bayswater City. It ended up being a difficult year on the pitch and Bayswater found themselves in a relegation position. However, the club were in talks with fellow Premier League club Stirling Panthers. Both clubs decided to merge under the new name of Bayswater City Panthers.

The new look Bayswater City Panthers took to the field in 1996, and what a season it turned out to be. Under coach Eric Williams, the club had a great start to the year, and look destined to win their first ever state title. With one game to go, they only needed a drew against Inglewood Falcons. Late in the game, Bayswater looked set to have their hands on the trophy, but a goal deep into injury time meant Inglewood were champions.

By 2000, Bayswater began to struggle and were relegated. For the first time since 1983, the club were back in Division One, and as it turned out, 2001 was a season to forget, finishing in sixteenth spot in the expanded seventeen team First Division. Coach Salv Todaro recruited many new faces the following year and in 2003 the club were Division One champions and were promoted back to the Premier League. The club was also once again known as Bayswater City, after the merger with the Panthers was disbanded.

The club stayed in the Premier League for three seasons, but after going through three coaches in 2006, the club were relegated. Following this, the club wanted nothing more than promotion, however it wasn't until 2010 when under coach Mauro Marchione the club easily won the First Division, and were back in the top flight.

In 2011, the black and blues were again in the Premier League, and this time they were not only determined to stay there, but want to become one of the dominate clubs in the league. It was to the club's credit that this is what exactly happened. The drive to the top started the following year, when Bayswater headed the table. However, under competition rules at the time, a play-off system decided the state championship, in which Sorrento were successful.

During the off-season, Mauro Marchione left the club to join Perth SC, and Chris Coyne signed on as new coach. He would become the most successful coach in the club's history. In 2013, the club finished second in the league, but this time the play-off system would go in their favour. They defeated Stirling Lions 2-1 in the Grand Final, and were state champions for the first time in their history. The Bayswater faithful partied long into the night.

More success was to follow, in 2014 under the new NPL-WA banner, the club headed the table and beat Perth SC 1-0 in the Grand Final to win back to back state titles. The club did not lay down after this, and it was no surprise that Bayswater won the title again this time under the new competition rules of first past the post. The club won 19 of their 22 games, drawing 3 and losing none. The dream of a 3-peat was realised.

The club missed out on winning four state championships in a row when they finished 5th in 2016 before winning their fourth title in 2017! As of 2020, Chris Coyne is now in his eighth season as coach, and will be hoping to add a fifth league title for the club this year.

SEMI-PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE HONOURS (Using current divisional names)
Premier League winners - 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017
Premier League Minor Premiers - 2012, 2014
Premier League runners-up - 1971, 1972 (Bayswater United)
First Division winners - 1983, 2003, 2010
First Division winners - 1970 (Bayswater United)
Second Division winners - 1982
Second Division winners - 1978 (Lathlain Meazza)
Cup winners - 2013, 2014
Cup runners-up - 1988, 2019
Premier League Top Four/Five winners - 2017
Premier League Top Four/Five winners - 1971 (Bayswater United)
Premier League Top Four/Five runners-up - 1972 (Bayswater United)
Night Series winners - 1987, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
Night Series winners - 1972 (Bayswater United)
Night Series runners-up - 1986, 2019
Night Series runners-up - 1973, 1974 (Bayswater United)
Night Series Lower Division winners - 2010
Night Series Lower Division runners-up - 2007

10.5.2020

PREMIER'S ANNOUCEMENT PROVIDES CLEAR PATH TOWARDS SEASON 2020

Football West welcomes this morning’s positive and exciting news from Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan which gives us a clear path towards the recommencement of our 2020 football season. Mr McGowan announced a further lifting of restrictions from Monday, 18 May, some of which will have a great bearing on football in WA.

This follows on from the Prime Minister’s three-stage road map for reopening Australia, which was released on Friday, and is reward for the manner in which people in WA have followed government guidelines on COVID-19. Members of the WA football community have played their part in full and your patience and understanding during this difficult period have been commendable.

There were two points in the Premier’s announcement today which were of particular interest for everyone involved in football in this state. The first was that the limit on indoor and outdoor gatherings will be lifted from 10 to 20 people from a week tomorrow.

Allowing gatherings of up to 20 people means community clubs can conduct non-contact training sessions with ALL players in a team together. Safe social distancing rules will still apply but it will be fantastic for Associations, clubs and coaches to have all of their players able to train in one place.

The second point from the Premier was that, four weeks later, contact sport will again be permitted. In essence, this can be viewed as a month-long pre-season as we build towards bringing back our formal competitions.

Of course, there is a lot of planning and hard work which must be done to get there and clubs must consult with their land managers to ensure they have access to their venues. Football West recognises this is an issue and we will work with our clubs and local councils to try to resolve it.

Football West urges everyone in the community not to drop our guard. We must all continue to follow the expert health guidelines, practise safe social distancing and stay home if we are feeling unwell. We have come too far to fail now.

We also encourage people to download the Federal Government’s COVIDSafe app.

James Curtis

Football West CEO




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

since the 26th June, 2002

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