South Perth United celebrate winning the Amateur Cup for the very first time. (Photo courtesy of Football West/Fotoenzo)

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2.10.2022

HAYWARD’S SIDE GIVE JOONDANNA THE BLUES

South Perth United have capped off a great Belt-Up Amateur Cup campaign beating Joondanna Blues 5-2 in a pulsating Final at E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Jack Dalla Via gave Lee Hayward’s side a two-goal lead early, and it looked game over when Alex Godfrey added a third before the break. But Joondanna hit back and Rory Feely reduced the margin before the break, and Jonathan Cole added another early in the second half. But South Perth steadied and Abraham Cheng scored a fourth, before Dalla Via completed his hat-trick 18 minutes from time to seal the win.

“I didn’t feel we played our best football today, but we did make the most of our chances when they came and to go 3-0 up within the first 30 minutes was great, however credit to Joondanna they didn’t stop,” South Perth coach Hayward said post-match. “To go from 3-0 to 3-2 shortly into the second half was a bit of a concern but Abraham’s goal to make it 4-2 within a minute of conceding made things a lot easier before Jack wrapped it up with his hat-trick to secure South Perth its first Amateur Cup, and it was reward for all the hard work the boys have but in this year.”

Both sides reached this one after wins against Premier Division sides, and it was South Perth who opened the scoring on 14 minutes, Oliver Cheveralls free kick was played back by skipper Alex Godfrey, and Dalla Via shot from outside the box found the bottom corner. It was a great start for Hayward’s side, and it got better eight minutes later, when they added a second. George Stephens slide rule pass found Dalla Via, who finished clinically.

Joondanna were shell-shocked, but it got worse for them on the half hour, after referee Matthew Southern pointing to the spot after a push in the box by Demosthenes Georgiou on Godfrey. The skipper picked himself up and sent Cristian Ramirez the wrong way from the resulting penalty. It looked like being a long day for the Blues, but they found a lifeline before the break. Callum Charlton made space down the right, and his cross was headed onto the crossbar by Travis Preston, but Feely was on hand to head home.

That goal gave Joondanna a lift and they added a second seven minutes into the second half. William Townsend ball was flicked on by Feely, and Cole fired home past Liam Boyce from close-range. It was game on, and the big crowd were getting their monies worth, but three minutes later it was South Perth who added a fourth. A long ball into the penalty area was only cleared as far as Cheng, who volleyed home from the edge of the box. What a great advert for Amateur game, both sides giving it their all, and there can only be one winner and South Perth sealed it on 74 minutes, Bradley North cross to the back post was headed home by Della Via to complete his hat-trick and set off wild celebrations in the stands.

“Thanks to the Joondanna lads for a great game, a hell of an effort for a Division Four team to make the cup final so well-done boys, but for us it was such a great feeling for all the boys getting redemption for last year's cup final,” skipper Godfrey explained. “The effort all the players, Lee and the all the coaches put into this season and yesterday’s game was brilliant. We took our chances throughout the game which made a big impact on the final score and the way we were able to play the game. The club has come a long way over the past five years so feeling very proud - Up the Gulls.”

2.10.2022

EMERALD’S SHINE IN AMATEUR RESERVES CUP FINAL

Emerald FC have come from behind to secure a cup and league double after beating North Beach SC 2-1 in the Belt-Up Amateur Cup Final at E&D Litis stadium on Sunday afternoon. Ross Westwood had given North Beach a perfect start with the opener on seven minutes, but Emerald levelled from the spot in first half time stoppage time, with Andrew Dunbar converting. Both sides had chances after the break but it was Emerald who found the winner 18 minutes from time, with Diarmaid Ryng on target.

“We came into the game full off confidence after clinching the league last weekend, we didn’t get off to a great start though with North Beach taking the early goal well, and had the better opportunities to double the lead,” Emarald coach Cathal Quinn explained post-match. “It took us maybe 30 minutes to get settled into the game and start playing a bit of ball and got our reward for our hard work with Andy Dunbar slotting the penalty. Much like the semifinal we came out a different team in the second half with a few changes and had more control of the game then. The winning goal was an unbelievable strike from Diarmaid, even though it kills me to admit it. From then on, we kept things tight and held on for a deserved win and a brilliant finish to our first season in the Premier.”

North Beach, who took out the Division One title, were on the front foot early and they found the opener on seven minutes. A poor back pass from Conor Foley let in Westwood, whose shot found the bottom corner, despite Emerald keeper Gerard Doran getting a hand to it. Amerigo Murolo went close to a second moments later, his curling free kick was saved low by Doran. Emerald hit back and Keith Rochford headed wide at the back post from Gerry Gaughan’s free kick. Gaughan then saw his free kick tipped over the top by Robert Edwards, as Emerald went in search of the equaliser.

Edwards was alert again on 35 minutes, tipping over Ryng’s set-piece, but Emerald went closer six minutes later, Ryng’s cross was headed goalward by Rochford, but the alert David Kelliher cleared the ball off the line. But in stoppage time their pressure was rewarded with the equaliser, Gaughan was brought down in the box by North Beach skipper Aaron Roberts, and referee Dragan Kovaceski pointed straight to the spot. Dunbar, who was the league's top goal scorer stepped up and sent Edwards the wrong way from the resulting penalty, to send the sides into the break all square.

Both sides struggled to create chances early in the second half, but it was Emerald who hit the front on 72 minutes. Gaughan won possession out wide and played the ball to Ryng, who stepped forward and unleashed a stunning effort that flew into the top corner of the net giving Edwards no chance, much to the delighted of the Emerald supporters in the big crowd. They went close to a third late, first Dunbar was denied by Edwards, before Ryng’s follow up shot flashed inches wide.

North Beach pressed late the best chance fell to Westwood, whose snap shot flew over the top, but at the final whistle it was Emerald celebrating the victory. “We were a bit frantic in the first half hour but once we settled into the game, we controlled it and ran out deserved winners,” Emerald skipper Ryan Macdonald said. “The full squad has contributed to a man and the cup and league double shows the talent and strength of the full squad throughout the year.”



Emerald FC are the Amatuer Cup Reserves Winners. (Photo courtesy Football West/Fotoenzo)

2.10.2022

HOLMAN ON TARGET AS SAINTS WIN METRO CUP

Perth Saints are the 2022 Belt-Up Metropolitan Cup winners, after a 2-0 win against Lynwood United at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday morning. Madison Holman gave the Saints the lead on the half hour, but they were reduced to ten men on the hour with Nicholas Lomma receiving a second yellow card. Lynwood pressed for the equaliser, but couldn’t find it, and own goal from Lynwood’s Michael Drake secured the win and cap off a good season for Rob McVey’s side.

“Sunday was a great day, we played well all around the park with everyone doing their bit to ensure we looked solid in all aspects and not allowing Lynwood much of a chance, even with 10 men for the final 30 minutes,” Saints scorer Madison Holman explained. “I know all the boys will be stoked knowing we got the win not just for the club, each other or ourselves but also for our coach Rob. Lynwood were a good bunch of lads and gave us some good competition, Saints we’re just too sharp on the day and look forward to doing it again next year.”

It was a tight opening in this one, with clear cut chances few and far between, but it was the Saints who hit the front on 29 minutes. A long clearance from Kurt De Souza found Holman, who controlled the ball and raced towards goal, held off his marker Joseph Knox, his shot from the angle beat Lance Cooper and found the corner of the net, to continue his scoring in each round of the cup.

Holman had another opportunity five minutes later, but his header was straight at Cooper, and Lynwood couldn’t break through a tight Saints defence well marshalled by De Souza and Mark Darby, and at the break it was the Saints holding a narrow advantage. The game took a twist on 61 minutes, when Lomma was sent off for an off the ball incident, and he was shown a straight red card by referee Reece Granger after a chat with his assistant.

Lynwood continued to struggle in the final third, but Holman was a constant threat at the other end, and his shot on the run was well saved by Cooper. But Lynwood did go close on 76 minutes, William Alberghini holding off his marker and his hooked shot was saved low by Peter Wile. Holman was then denied by Cooper, as the game opened up, but nine minutes from time the Saints sealed it. Darby’s free kick into the box was headed into his own net by the unfortunate Drake, under pressure from Holman.



Perth Saints celebrate winning the Metropolitan Cup. (Photo courtesy Football West/Fotoenzo)

2.10.2022

FREMANTLE SPOT ON TO WIN THE METRO CUP FINAL

Fremantle City have won the Hyundai Women's Metropolitan Cup, after a penalty shoot-out win against Hamersley Rovers at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Ella Kerman gave Rovers the lead early, but Fremantle levelled just after the hour, Leniana Masibaka firing home. Neither side could win it in normal time, but it was Fremantle who prevailed 4-1 in the shoot-out, with Tess Cliff saving three penalties.

“Playing against Hamersley is always good, as they are very well organised and well coached and have some great players. I thought the game flowed and at times we had the upper hand and at times they did. We dominated the beginning but against the run of play they scored after a defensive mistake from us,” Fremantle coach Robert de Kleine said post-match. “This gave them a lot of confidence and for most of the first half they then dominated proceedings. However, we kept defending well and they had no real big opportunities in that half.

“In the second half we needed to start to take more risks plus I also felt that the longer the game went on the more we got into our game. I am very proud of how well the girls listen well to the instructions and were able to run the game out dominating, and I thought Leni’s equaliser was well deserved and in the end the draw was a just result. In the penalty shootout we nailed our plan and our goal keeper Tess was awesome, but so was the whole team. Amazingly this was a back-to-back Cup win for the Fremantle City Womens Amateur team and the third time in seven years, so obviously we do something right for those girls not willing to play NPL.”

It was Hamersley who made the break through on eight minutes, Lara Ameduri header was misjudged by a defender and Kerman nipped in and fired home past Cliff from the edge of the box. Rovers had the chances to increase their lead but failed to take them, and Fremantle defended well, but at the break Rovers had the upper hand. Fremantle were on the front foot after half time, and they were rewarded with the equaliser on 66 minutes.

A ball into the box wasn’t dealt with, the rebound falling to Masibaka, whose lob nestled neatly in the back of the net. Both sides had the opportunity to win it in normal time, but it was a shoot-out to decide the winner in this one. First up Zoe Andrijich fired home for Fremantle, before Rovers’ skipper Kerman had her penalty saved by Cliff. Masibaka fired home Fremantle’s second, before Cliff saved Jordanna Henderson’s second. Zahlia Lornie made it 3-0, before Rebecca Dudek converted Rovers’ third. But up stepped Alice Vandermeire who scored to seal a 4-1 shoot-out win.

“Hamersley put up a great performance on the day, and we knew they were going to be hard to beat as they have played consistently great football across the season,” Fremantle’s top goalscorer Alice Vandermeire explained. “They are very strong in midfield and have some key fast players in attack that were going to give it their all. I am so proud of the way we picked ourselves up at half time to finish the game strong and leave nothing on the pitch. Having played a few finals before, we knew we might end up going to penalties and full credit to our goalkeeper, Tessa, who read the kicks well and saved the day (literally!). We always enjoy playing Hamersley as they are a clean and quality side that will continue to build strength in years to come.”



Fremantle City are the Women's Metropolitan Cup winners. (Photo courtesy Football West/Fotoenzo)

30.9.2022

BARNES’BOYS SPOT ON TO WIN MASTERS CUP FINAL

Forrestfield United have produced a stunning second half comeback to beat Joondalup City 5-4 on penalties in Friday evenings Belt-Up Master Cup Final at E&D Litis Stadium. First half goals from Stephen Connolly and Francis Westhead had Joondalup in control at the break, but an early goal after half time from Steven Rodger got Forrestfield back in the contest. Rory Mouttet levelled just after the hour mark, taking the game to a shoot-out, and Forrestfield prevailed 5-4 to go back-to-back.

“Unbelievable comeback from the lads, Joondalup took their chances in the first half and we had our backs to the wall, but you always know with this group we never give up and the early goal in the second half was crucial,” Forrestfield coach Phil Barnes said post-match. “Joondalup tired and we probably could have won it in 90 minutes, but penalties are always nerve racking but our keeper was superb, and winning the cup back-to-back is something special and we will be celebrating hard.”

Joondalup, who were refreshed after a team trip to Bali in the week, and they found the opener on seven minutes. Mouttet headed inches wide at one-end, and moments later Connolly raced down the end, before cutting inside an unleashing a stunning strike from long-range that found the top corner of the net giving Forrestfield keeper Robert Woolmer no chance. It got better for Joondalup in the shadows of half time, as they added a second, Westhead shot from the edge of the box sending the northern suburbs club into the break with a commanding lead.

But whatever Forrestfield coach Barnes said at the break work, and three minutes after half time they reduced the deficit. Scott Campbell’s in swinging corner wasn’t dealt with and Rodgers headed home from close-range. Forrestfield then restored parity on 68 minutes, Greig Christie’s corner to the back post was headed home by Mouttet. Both sides had chances late, but they couldn’t be separated and it was down to the penalties. In the tense shoot-out Forrestfield’s Campbell saw his penalty saved low by Lee Fletcher, but Woolmer guessed the right way to save Peter Cartwright to even it up. Then Joondalup skipper Gary Patterson had his penalty saved low by Woolmer to win it for Forrestfield, and set of wild celebration on and off the pitch.

“We were in the same situation last week, being 2-0 down against Mindarie but last week we still felt like we were in control. The final was different. Joondalup came out of the blocks hard and they were making every possession difficult,” Forrestfield’s Rory Mouttet explained. “We really had to talk each other into the game at halftime. A few of our leaders stepped up and got us fired up. We knew when we got our first early in the second half that we were right back in it.

“I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to bring us level after a fantastic Greig Christie corner and we were finishing the game strongly with a few chances to close it out. Penalties is always a difficult way to decide the game and our keeper Rob was brilliant. He had his day and it's a testament to our entire squad. We just never give up. We always believe we are in with a chance. The character and quality of our lads across both squads and the camaraderie and closeness off the pitch are what got us over the line. I'm so grateful to be part of it. Full credit to Joondalup who were a great bunch of lads and played a brilliant, hard fought and honest contest that could have gone either way.”



Forrestfield United celebrate winning the Masters Cup. (Photo courtesy of Forrestfield United)

30.9.2022

BAYSWATER TOO STRONG FOR SUBIACO

Bayswater City are the 2022 Belt-Up Over 45s Masters Cup winners, after a 4-0 win in the final at E&D Litis stadium on Friday evening. Alun Vernals gave Bayswater the lead early, before Dom Ando doubled their lead on the hour. With Subiaco chasing the game Bayswater added two more late, with player/coach Nicky Dyer adding the third, before Carl Medica rounded out the scoring late. “It was a hard-fought final, but once we scored our opener, we seemed to control the game. After halftime it became easier to retain possession and mounted a few chances,” Dyer explained post-match.

“Then to be fare once the second went in, I thought we were in complete control and Subiaco dropped their heads. It was nice for me to pop up with the third, and we cleared our bench to give lads a taste of the game, and Diesel (Medica) came on and slotted home the fourth. I thought Alun (Vernals) was man of the match, and Dom (Ando) was also outstanding, and they just couldn’t cope with Victor Sikora in the end. A very satisfying win in front of a great crowd.”

It was a tight opening to the game in front of big crowd at the home of Floreat Athena, and it was Bayswater who hit the front on 27 minutes, former Perth Glory striker Vas Kalogeracos’ corner was headed home at the back post by the unmarked Vernals. The former Bayswater City State League assistant coach went close to a second five minutes later, his long-range volley saved by Sam Lowe, but at the break City held a narrow advantage.

It got a bit feisty after half time, and referee Evangelos Georgopoulos had to show a number of yellow cards after a clash in the middle of the park, but it was Bayswater who doubled their lead just before the hour mark. Ando was found unmarked on the right of the penalty area, and he finished clinically into the top corner of the net giving Lowe no chance. Subiaco were struggling to get behind a tight Bayswater defence well led by Vernals, but Simon Edwards’ shot from the edge of the box was the closest they came.

Bayswater looked to kill the game off, and Kalogeracos tried his luck from range, but it was straight at Lowe, and the striker was in again moments later after a mistake at the back, but his shot was deflected wide by William Morales. But from the resulting corner Bayswater added a third, Ando dinked the ball to the back post, and Dyer ghosted in to head home from close-range. The icing was added to the cake five minutes from time, Steven Dobinson’s cross from the left was volleyed home by Medica to seal a comprehensive win, and give them the league and cup double.

“Just rapt to have won the game,” Bayswater’s Paul Lincoln said post-match. “We had a few players out tonight and some playing with injuries, so it was a great effort from the whole squad. “After a slow start I thought we controlled the game, and in the end, it was a good win, and great for all involved that we have the league and cup double to end a great year for us.”



Bayswater City are the Over 45's Masters Cup Winners. (Photo courtesy of Bayswater City)

30.9.2022

AMATEUR CUP FINAL PREVIEW

After last week’s thrilling end to the Belt-Up Amateur Premier League season, the Belt-Up Cup's takes centre stage this weekend, culminating in the Amateur Cup Final between Division One side South Perth United and Division Four side Joondanna Blues at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday afternoon. (4.45pm) Both sides have had a tough run to reach Sunday’s showpiece, and South Perth have beaten four Premier Division clubs on route to Sunday’s game.

They had a bye in the first round, before a Bradley North hat-trick saw them win 4-1 against Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. In round three they hosted Quinns, and prevailed in an eight-goal thriller at Challenger Reserve, with Sheldon Mulholland and Jack Dalla Via scoring doubles in the 5-3 win. In the quarter-Final they returned to Challenger Reserve, and a goal ten minutes from time from Ben Godfrey saw them beat Joondalup United 1-0. That set-up a Semi-Final against Premier Division leaders Maddington White City at E&D Litis Stadium, and three second half goals from Dalla Via, Luke Pedley and Mason Langham caused a huge boil over to send them into the Final.

South Perth United coach Lee Haywood said it’s been a great season so far, and promotion to the Premier Division made all their hard work rewarded. “Our objective for the year was to secure promotion and have a good cup run, so I think we met those,” he explained. “We added some good depth this season and used a lot of players and everyone has played a part in securing promotion. The club and myself are really looking forward to being in the Prem next year but it would be nice to add a cup final win to top the season off.”

Haywood said the cup run has been tough, and knows Sunday will be a another one, but it’s one they are looking forward too. “We went in as underdogs in all of our previous cup games, which kind of took the pressure off of us and allowed us to go out and enjoy the games knowing that we were not really expected to win,” the coach said. “Within that run there was some pretty convincing performances and some big wins but that would mean nothing if we were to fall at the final hurdle.

“But we will not underestimate Joondanna on Sunday, they beat Jags and also Division One champions North Beach so they are clearly a good side. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to watch them play so I’m not sure what to expect exactly, I know they watched our game against Stirling a couple of weeks ago so I’ll have to mix up the game plan a little. Several of the lads played in last season’s final and I’m sure they do not want that feeling of walking up to receive a runners-up medal for a second consecutive year.”

Joondanna also had a bye in the opening round, and in round two they travelled to Kingfisher Park to take on Ballajura, and goals Graeme Ross and Nick Banks saw them secure a narrow 2-1 win. In round three they hosted Division One leaders North Beach, and Bradley Skea scored early, but the visitors levelled through the league’s top scorer Alexander Kretowicz, but Banks’ late penalty was them run out 2-1 winners. In the quarter-final they welcomed Premier Division club Jaguar to Charles Riley Reserve, and early goals from David Brownlees and Gabriele Colli put them in control, and they secured the tie on the hour, with Andy O’Neill adding the third, to seal a 3-0 win. In the semi-Final they met Maccabi at Wotton Reserve, and in a tight game Travis Preston scored the only goal to seal a 1-0 win.

Promotion to Division Three was the reward for Joondanna in the league, and coach Jon McGinty said the new look squad deserves all the credit. “It's been a fantastic year for the club, and taking the club into the amateur leagues after nearly 20 years of socials was a hug step,” he explained. “We’ve a completely new squad and coaches, and it made things fresh and exciting and it's been an enjoyable year with the boys. It has been difficult with injuries and lads away, but if we said promotion and the cup final at the start of the season we would have been dreaming.”

McGinty said the cup run has been outstanding, and they will take a great deal of confidence into Sunday’s final. “Every game has been unbelievable, all the teams have been superb, great lads and some of the football we have played and come up against had been a joy to watch,” he said. “I thought the North Beach game was big because they were flying, and we were just settling with new players coming in so to get a result then showed what we were capable of and was a huge confidence boost. When we played Jags and Maccabi, we just focused on ourselves, set up solid at the back and then the work rate of the lads has been the driving force. Very different teams but focusing on our own tactics and strengths in both games got us here. The atmosphere during the games were immense and we are looking forward to the final as well.”

Assistant coach Luke O’Neill said South Perth will be another tough game, but it’s a cup final and they can’t wait for it. “Lee has done a great job at South Perth this season with promotion to the Premier League and back-to-back cup finals. Both teams have beaten some top sides to get to the final,” he explained. “We saw in the semifinal, beating Maddington, we know it’s going to be a tough game, but it’s a challenge we as a club are looking forward to. The coaches, players and everyone involved with the Joondanna Blues are looking forward to the game. We will be asking the lads to keep working hard and have that belief that got us here. It’s a huge achievement for the club to get to a final in the first year as an amateur team, the hard work from the club has paid off, but we want to continue that good work.”

30.9.2022

AMATEUR RESERVES CUP FINAL PREVIEW

In Sunday’s Amateur Reserves Cup Final, Premier Division Emerald take on Division One North Beach at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday afternoon. (2.30pm) North Beach opened their campaign with Luke Aitken bagging a brace in the 4-0 win against Fremantle City at Charles Riley Reserve, while in the second round Amerigo Murolo scored a hat-trick, as they beat Yanchep United 9-1 at home. In the third round they travelled to Reader Reserve and beat Ballajura 4-2, with Toby Bull scoring a brace, then in the quarter-final they hosted Sutherlands Park at home, and doubles from Aitken and James Ashford saw them run out 4-0 winners. That set up a semi-final at E&D Litis Stadium, and they won 3-1, and coach Ali Westwood said it was a different sort of a game.

“It was an interesting game with interruptions due to the lights not working and then the sprinklers coming on when we ended up on a back pitch to finish off the game so for the lads to push through and get the win. I was very proud,” he explained. “We had a clinical finish from Jack Tozawa to open the scoring, before he went on a solo run down the left and set up Amerigo Murolo for the second. Kwinana hit back and then we absorbed a lot of pressure towards the end and had our counter attacking work in our favour when Ross Westwood was found open in the box to finish them off with a third.”

North Perth took out the Reserves title, and Westwood said it was a fantastic season. “We only had one loss coming before we took out the title and the second coming once the title was wrapped up and we were looking towards the cup,” he said. “We may have become victims of our own success from the last few years as we have won the previous four league titles in our respective reserves divisions, so for the lads to push through that, integrate some new faces into the team and move on to be even better than we have been previously obviously everyone associated with the team is extremely happy with our season. We will be aiming for six again when we tackle the Premier Division next season.”

The coach said the players are looking forward to the cup final against Premier Division champions Emerald, and he is looking forward to the challenge. “It’s always going to be a tough test against Emerald, we have played them a few times over the previous few years in Division One before their first team got them promoted, and they’ve always been very tough and physical to face,” Westwood said. “We know what we can expect from them and nothing will be easy for us on Sunday. But to be the best you have to beat the best so we are looking forward to the challenge and will prepare ourselves as best we can.”

Emarald was given a bye in the first round, and in the second round they were pushed all the way by Kingsley Westside at Fraser Park Reserve. Gordon Niner bagged a brace as the game ended 3-3 after normal time, but they won the penalty shoot-out 4-3 to move through. They were forced to penalties again in round three after they drew 0-0 with North Perth United at Kingsway Reserve, but they prevailed 4-2 in the shoot-out. In the quarter final they travelled to Macedonia Park to take on Maccabi, and returned with a 2-0 win, with Andrew Dunbar and own goal sealing the win. In the semi-final they met Kelmscott Roos at Wotton Reserve, and Louis Nicolaou levelled the score on the hour, and again it went to penalties, and coach Cathal Quinn said it was a nervy clash. “The semifinal was a great game, and Kelmscott we’re well on top and deserved the half time lead,” he explained. “We regrouped at half time made a few changes and were a different team and overall, I feel we deserved to go through. A penalty shootout is always a tough way to settle a semi-final, but our keeper took the final penalty luckily for us he tucked it away.”

Emerald returned to the top flight in 2022, and Quinn said to win the league was a great achievement from the lads, and they will be looking for the double on Sunday. “It was a great first season in the Prem from us, I knew we had a very talented squad and would go Ok, but never imagined us winning it as there are a lot of great teams in this league. We hit form at the right end of the season and finished strong with some good results thankfully to get us over the line. Sunday will be a tough game, and North Beach are a very good side. We have played them a few times over the last few seasons and they finished above us last season to claim the Division One title so we know we’re up against it. But on our day, we can beat anyone so we won’t fear the challenge on Sunday and hope to come out the right side of the result and take home our very first Amateur Reserve cup to cap off what would be a brilliant season for us.”

30.9.2022

METRO CUP FINAL PREVIEW

In Sunday’s Metropolitan Cup Final, Premier Division Perth Saints meet Division Three Lynwood at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday morning. (10.00am) Lynwood opened their cup run after a brace from Julian Bridge-Meek gave them a 6-1 win against Mindarie 6-1 at Riverlinks Park, and in round two they hosted Emerald at Hossack Reserve, and a hat-trick from Connor Macrae helped them to a 5-0 win. In the third round they needed penalties to beat Alexander Florina, after coming from 0-3 down after only 12 minutes, before goals from Osman Iscel, Adam Norris and David Drummond saw them beat SDSA / TOKOSS 3-1 at John Connell Reserve.

In the semi-final they met Premier Division Perth SC, and a brace from Luke Mcloughlin secured a 2-1 win, and coach Luke Reilly said it was a great performance. “I thought the semi-final was a cracking game and contest. I thought our boys did really well and deserved to be 1-0 up at half time,” he explained. “We knew the next goal would be crucial and again did well to go 2-0 up. Perth SC did get one back with a few minutes to go after throwing everything at us but we managed with everything they had and came out deserved winners, in my opinion.”

Lynwood won the Division Three South title this season, and Reilly said it was a huge achievement from the new look side. “Our well-established amateur team folded at the start of this year meaning Lynwood had no senior men’s representation, and as devastating as this was, we had to do something to try and keep some of the boys together that didn’t want to go elsewhere,” Reilly said. “We decided a single metro team was the best way forward. Once registered and placed into a division by Football West, we set our objective to challenge for the title. Chuffed we were able to achieve that at the first attempt. Great effort by all involved. We had our challenges throughout the season with injuries, people away, work commitments etc, like most teams which meant we needed all to contribute and that’s exactly what everyone did.”

Reilly said they are looking forward to the challenge of playing Perth Saints, and knows it will be a tough game. “Sunday’s final will be another solid challenge for us but we’re all looking forward to it. As underdogs from Division Three, taking on another Premier Division team, we have no expectation to go out there and get the win. We have nothing to loss and that’s exactly how we will approach the day,” he explained. “Other teams this season have written us off and underestimated us, but we have already proven we can go toe to toe against any other metro team. Regardless of the result on the day, we are all really excited to be part of this final and really proud of the boys for getting as far as they have.”

Perth Saints began their cup run with a 7-0 win against Chipolopolo FC at Tompkins Park in round one, with Madison Holman bagging a hat-trick, before they beat Carramar Shamrock Rovers 3-1 at home in round two, helped by a brace from Steven Da Silva. They hit the road in round three to take on Mindarie at Riverlinks Park West, and doubles from Da Silva, Holman and Levi Reichelt saw them win 7-0.

In the quarter final they met Victoria Park at John Connell Reserve, and a double from Holman and another to Jake Dascanio saw them run out 3-0 winners. In the semi-final they took on Perth SC Division Four side, and Holman gave them the lead early from the spot, before Perth SC had two players sent off, and the Saints went on with it after the break and further goals from Da Silva and a brace from Giuseppe Stellitano secured the 4-1 win.

Coach Rob McVey said it was a well-deserved win. “I am unsure how much the sending offs changed the game, I felt we were on top at the time and unfortunately for them they had two players sent off at the same time,” he said. “The main concern I had at that point was that we kept our discipline and played to the best of our abilities and see out the game with a victory which we did. All credit to Perth they gave everything they had right to the final whistle.’

The Saints finished second in the Premier Division this season and McVey said they go into Sunday’s final in a confident mood, but is well aware cup final are tough, but they ae looking forward to it. “Lynwood have done very well this season in winning their league and getting to the cup final and you don’t do that without being a good side,” he explained. “We will approach this game like any other and we will give our opposition the respect that they deserve.

“I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing them play, but I am told they are a very capable side that will cause us problems. We all know cup finals can go anyway and it’s not always down to who performs best on the day. They can be won and lost with one bit of luck or one unlucky mistake, but at the end of the day I just hope it is a good game that entertains the spectators and one that the players enjoy.”

30.9.2022

MASTERS / MASTER OVER 45 CUP FINALS PREVIEW

The Masters Cup Final takes place on Friday evening at E&D Litis Stadium, with Joondalup City taking on Forrestfield United. (8.15pm) Joondalup beat Canning City in the first round, before they beat their North Division One side 4-1 at the Iluka Sports Complex. In the quarter-Final they took on Spearwood Dalmatinac at Dalmatinacc Park and doubles from Dom-Brearo Elliott and Francis Westhead secured a 4-0 win. In the Semi-final they met Balga at Frank Drago Reserve, and they found themselves three goals down at half time. But an early goal from Mark Makhouli got them back into the game, and he went on to bag three more to give them a come-from-behind 4-3 win.

“It was definitely a heart stopper game that’s for sure, and the lads started a little slow and all credit to Balga who came out of the gates running,” Joondalup coach Andrei Sarpe said. “We had to make some tactical adjustments just before half time, however these proved to be the game changer. The team really stood up in the second half and showed excellent character to come from 3-0 down. I’m sure we will remember it for some time as it was similar to a game against Subiaco last year, which we won 5-4 after being 4-0 down to clinch the title. This team has real character and leaders that will work hard until the last minute.”

Injuries took their toll on the side in the league, and Sarpe said they will be looking to end the season on high in the cup final. “This season has been a challenge for all of the teams I think, and we have been decimated by injuries from the very first game, however we are proud to say that we did not postpone any game. We played each game with the team we had available (sometimes 10 players) even when other teams used COVID as an excuse and postponed games to suite themselves knowing we had limited numbers available,” the coach explained. “It is a shame Football West did not have a better strategy to deal with teams abusing the system. Nonetheless we are a very proud and humble group of lads who just want to enjoy playing football together. Reaching the cup final is a massive achievement given the challenges we faced however we are here now and will give it our best shot.

“We will definitely have to come out firing on all cylinders from the very first minute on Friday. I don’t think we can afford another start like the one in the semi-final. Forrestfield have been at the top of the South league for many years so I’m sure they will be right up for this. We recently returned from Bali after our end of season trip so we are hoping that this time away bonding with each other will give us that little bit of an edge on game day. No doubt it will be a great game and we encourage everyone to come down and support both teams. C’mon the boys! “

Forrestfield made light work of Belmont Villa in the preliminary round, running out 19-0 winners, with Steven Rodger’s scoring eight, while Spencer Hore bagged five. In the first round they travelled to JA Lee Reserve, and came home with a 5-1 win against Perth Royals. In the next round they hit the road again to take on Hillarys, and returned from Flinders Park with a 3-0 win, with Rodger’s scoring a brace, and another to Greig Christie. In the quarterfinal they hosted FC Shoalwater at Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park, and late goals from Scott Fyfe and Scott Fletcher gave them a hard fought 2-1 win. They hosted Mindarie in the semi-final, and found themselves two goals down early, but Dean Thurston pulled one back before the break, and a second half brace from Rory Mouttet completed the comeback, and a 3-2 win.

Forrestfield coach Phil Barnes said it was a slow start in the semi-final, but he was delighted the way his side fought back to win. “Yes, we were slow to start, and to be fare Mindarie were very quick out the box, and caught us out,” he explained. “But credit to the boys no one dropped their heads and got back into the game before the break. We’re a fairly fit side and we managed to get over them in the second half.”

United took out the title this season, and Barnes said the players are looking to add the cup on Sunday to cap off the season, but knows it will be a tough game. “The lads were brilliant this year winning 18 games. We were challenged early in the season, but the depth we have in the squad we finished the season really strong to top the table,” he explained. “Joondalup city have a fantastic team and we really respect them, and coming back from 3-0 down in the semi was unbelievable. It’s going to be a cracking final and going back-to-back would be unbelievable, and we’re bringing a massive crowd and hopefully they can get us over the line.”

In the earlier game in the Over 45 Masters Final, Bayswater City meet Subiaco. (6.00pm) Subiaco entered the competition in the Preliminary Round, and beat Belmont Villa 7-0, with Dylan Weiner and Ian Joselowsky both scoring hat-tricks. In round one they hosted Lynwood United at Rosalie Park, and ran out convincing 9-1 winners, with Mark Watson, Sharne Hesse and Simon Edwards both scoring braces. In the next round they met Joondalup United at Charonia Reserve, and Weiner scored in a 1-1 draw, but they won the penalty shootout 5-4. In the quarter-final they hosted MUMFC Green and won 3-0, before a goal from Weiner saw them beat Woodvale 1-0 in the semi-final at Timberlane Park.

Bayswater City entered the competition in Round One and beat Wanneroo City, before they hosted Fremantle City at Frank Drago Reserve in round two and a hat-trick from Vas Kalogeracos helped them to a 7-1 win. In the quarter-final they welcome Perth SC in an Italian Derby, and goals from Paul Lincoln, Victor Sikora, Steve Cramphorn and Stuart Cardey gave them a 4-1 win. They were at home again in the Semi-Final, and they secure their place in the final with a 3-0 win.

Bayswater coach Nicky Dyer said the win against Spearwood was a good effort from his side. “The semi-final win against Dallies was easier than we expected if I’m honest,” he said. “They travelled to us with a squad that had endured a hard season, and injuries had them not at their best. However, we played our own game, played to our strengths of defending well. We controlled the tempo and finishing our chances, although a silly red card with 25 minutes left didn’t help them.”

Dyer said Sunday will be another tough game, as they have played them a number of times this season, and all have been close. “Subiaco in the final, that’s an interesting fixture. We have played them three times this year. beating them twice and drawing at Frank Drago 2-2,” he explained. “They are a strong outfit, better than their league standing suggests. A strong no-nonsense team, so we will need to be at our best and hope Victor, Vas, Lincs and our lads all perform at our best - Can’t wait for the challenge.”

30.9.2022

HYUNDAI WOMENS METRO CUP FINAL PREVIEW

It’s the Hyundai Womens Metro Cup Final on Sunday afternoon at E&D Litis Stadium, with Hamersley Rovers taking Fremantle City. (12.15pm) Fremantle beat Woodvale 2-1 in the opening round, with a brace from Cara Villella, before a 9-0 win against Kingsley Westside in round two. In the quarterfinal they made the trip to Koorana Reserve to take on Port Kennedy, and a brace from Alice Vandermeiren helped them to a 6-2 win. In the semi-final they met Subiaco at Rosalie Park and prevailed 2-0, and coach Robert de Kleine said it was a well-deserved win. “This season we dominated the games against Subi and this continued in the Semi Final,” he said. “However, they made it hard for us and are a tough opponent, but in the end, we prevailed to take our place in the final.”

The coach said he has been proud of the player group this season, and a win in the cup would be the icing on the cake. “After winning the last two seasons we lost a few strong players, however some came up from our lower teams and have fitted in really well,” De Kleine said. “We recruited one of our club legends Kirsty Fraser, who had spells as semi pro player in the States and Scotland as our coach. I still did the Sunday games while she got her bearings, and I’m really proud what we all (players and coaches) have achieved this year.

"Together we worked really well in moulding the team in a cohesive team who works hard for each other. I see a great future for the team depending on what the new Womens structure will look like next season. Sunday will be tough test, and Betim (Ziba) and Hamersley have recruited really well in the off season and put a very strong team together. Unfortunately for us, they managed to shade us a couple of times. However, if there is one team who can rise to the occasion it will Fremantle City and I am quietly confident that we can retain the Cup.”

Hamersley Rovers started their cup run with an emphatic 14-0 win against Whitford City, with Royan Norman scoring five, before they beat Perth RedStar 3-0 in round two at Carine Open Space. In the quarterfinal they beat Ballajura, which set up a semi-final home game against Port Kennedy. Norman gave them the lead early, before Brianna Patrick added a second. Norman bagged a second after half time to secure a 3-0 win and a place in the final. “The game against Port Kennedy was a great game, it was played in good spirit and both teams enjoyed the game, they are a quality team,” Rovers’ coach Betim Ziba explained. “The 3-0 win gave us good momentum towards this final, as it showed we could beat teams we haven't played before.”

Rovers won the league this season, and the Night Series, so they will be looking for the treble on Sunday. “Our season has been one where things have fit perfectly. The night series win got us into good momentum for the league, losing only one game the entire season. We were the team to beat and every week we had to be consistent and we were. Proud of what the girls achieved since getting promoted from metro Division One in 2021,” Ziba explained.

“Fremantle City is a team we enjoy playing. They play nice football which means the game is entertaining and competitive. They are a dangerous team and have quality players and a quality coach. We beat them twice this season so we know we can win. The game will be intense and competitive but exciting. With Night Series and the league won, we are looking to complete the treble this Sunday and get the win.”

25.9.2022

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND TWENTY TWO REVIEW

Maddington White City are the 2022 Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division Champions, after a dramatic final round of the season. Going into the final games, three clubs were in the running for the title with only one point separating them, but it was Maddington who prevailed, beating Kwinana United 8-2 at Mills Park. “We knew we had to get a big win over Kwinana to win the league, and the boys came in hungry and prepared. Everyone gave it their all, and I think we played our best game of the season,” Farruh Mavlonov explained. “I was happy to get a hat trick in the first half to help the side win the game, we are very excited to be back in State League next year.” The hosts raced to a three-goal lead in the first 25 minutes.

Farruh Mavlonov opened the scoring on 14 minutes, before Mateo Galizia added a second five minutes later. Mavlonov scored again to put City well in control, but Kwinana hit back and Mustafa Mkanza reduced the deficit. But Mavlonov completed his hat-trick just before half time, and they went on with it after the break with Jose Zuniga bagging his 21st goal of the season, with others to David Sarria, Ramiro Costes and Samir Ramos. Wayne Carter scored a late consolation goal for the visitors, also his 21st of the season, but it was Maddington and the big crowd celebrating the title and promotion to State League football for the first time since 2013.

East Perth sat top of the table going into the final game, but were beaten 1-0 by North Perth United at Inglewood Stadium. There cause wasn’t helped after Niall Murray was sent off by referee David Avison on the half hour, and seven minutes into the second half North Perth found the winner with skipper Connor Engelbrecht scoring after terrific work on the left wing by Scott Wrightson and Raido Reinsalu. “To a man we were superb today,” North Perth defender Kelechi Osunwa, who missed the game due to suspension, explained.

“We hustled and harried and with George Mills and Nicholas Song stepping into the first team and giving us an extra bit of bite and clinical finishing from Connor. Even with ten-men East Perth still had a presence in game but it wasn't until the second half that we managed to take advantage and claim the winner. The win is a decent win considering we lost to East Perth heavily earlier in the season but overall, it gives us a good end to the season and kick start to next season too.”

East Perth coach Colm Costello said it wasn’t their day, but that’s football. “Well done to Kevin and the North Perth lads, it was a well-deserved win,” he explained. “When we went down to ten men it made the task so much harder, and like I said we never expected an easy game and they played well took their chance and got the win. From our perspective it is a season the players and club should be extremely proud off. We battled right to the end and lads have put bodies on the line weekly to get us to last game of season and a chance, and we couldn’t have asked or got much more from them.

Lastly congrats to deserved champions Maddington, they are a brilliant side and we shared some great battles with them this year and I think these are the games that will stand to us moving forward. We wish them the very best of luck in the State League next season, and I can see them doing extremely well.”

Jaguar finished runners-up, this after a hard fought 1-0 win against Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. The visitors knew they needed a win and results elsewhere to go their way, and they made a great start with Hamad Hamad’s goal on the quarter hour. The hosts pressed for the equaliser, but couldn’t find a way past Jags keeper Michael Dudek, and Jags found the win, but had to settle for second place after Maddington’s win.

It was just as dramatic at the other end of the table, with three teams battling it out to stay in the league, and it was Joondalup United and Wembley Downs who survived the drop, with Quinns relegated to Division One. Joondalup needed a win and other results to go their way to survive, and that’s exactly what happened, after a come-from-behind 3-2 win against Peel United at Beldon Park.

The visitors were ahead on nine minutes, with Jack Richardson scoring, but Joondalup responded when Adam Taylor got free down the left and his cross was well finished by Ryan Pellow. But Peel regained the lead midway through the second half with Richardson bagging his 14th goal of the season. But the game turned on its head in the final ten minutes, Taylor pounced on a loose pass and lobbed the goalkeeper from the edge of the penalty area to make it 2-2. Then with seven minutes to go, James Spurry’s free kick wasn’t dealt with and Drew Kirkpatrick’s pull back from a tight angle found the net off a Peel defender to win it.

“It was a crazy end to a great season of amateur football. We didn’t make it easy for ourselves again but the character shown to score those late two goals sums up how we turned things around over the past couple of months,” Joondalup coach Neil Sherwin explained. “To win three and draw two of the last five games against good teams is brilliant and I’m very proud of the playing group. We needed a bit of help from elsewhere to stay up but I believe the squad is good enough to be in the Premier Division so I’m delighted for the lads, their hard work paid off. Finally, congratulations to Maddington on winning the league and everyone else for making it an exciting year right to the last whistle.”

Quinns needed a win, and they had been in good form in recent weeks, but they were beaten 2-1 by Emerald at Gumblossom Park to go down. “Overall happy with the performance, we knew we could have an influence on who could go up or down,” Wembley coach Shane O’Donovan said. “So, we had to match Quinn’s intensity which we did for most parts of the game. Sorry to see Quinn’s go down, but that’s football.” The visitors made a great start with two goals in the first ten minutes. First on seven minutes a great ball from Paul Power put Nathan Leamy through and he slotted home.

They added a second moments later, Leamy beat his man on the left and then put in a fantastic cross for Shane Young to tap home from close-range. Quinns needed a lifeline and found it ten minutes into the second half, with Ryan McCready scoring his 16th goal of the season. But try as they might they couldn’t get another, and they lost Luke Williams and Guy Armstrong late, both sent off by referee Albert Muyembe, while Emerald’s James Woods was also sent off late, after receiving a second yellow card.

In the final game Wembley secured their place in the league, after a 6-3 win against already relegated Queens Park at Butlers Reserve. “A fitting game for the end of season,” Wembley player/coach Jeff Cornez said. “We were up 3-0 then 3-3, then 6-3, it was definitely one for the neutral to enjoy with some great goals by both sides. We didn’t stop believing in ourselves and our abilities, it was a very long season and I really want to thank every guy in the squad for contributing to the team and club.”

The hosts were ahead in the first minute, skipper Harry Browne with space fired home from about 18-meters into the bottom corner. It was 2-0 when Jack Mellor headed home a set-piece, before Cam Chambers cross shot was deflected in by the Queens Park defender. But the visitors hit back and Kevin Oyori pulled one back before half time, and two early goals in the second half by Alex Fazekas and Jean Stephan Foolchund levelled things up on the hour. But Wembley steadied and regained the lead five minutes later, Browne adding his second with a curling effort from the edge of the box. They made it 5-3 on 70 minutes Luke Thistlethwaite racing clear and rounded the keeper to score. Thistlethwaite wrapped up the scoring seven minutes from time, with a smart finish.

25.9.2022

AMATEUR LEAGUE WRAP

It’s been another great season in the lower amateur leagues, and congratulations to North Beach Soccer Club who took out Division One title, and promotion to the Premier Division. They finished the season with a 3-0 win against Ellenbrook United at Charles Riley Reserve, the result relegated the visitors. “Everyone connected with North Beach is extremely proud of all the players and the coaching team of Michael Rea and Nick Di Carlo. It's been a massive year for the whole club, with the reserves and the third team also winning their respective leagues. Having some strength in depth is crucial for a team hoping to succeed and when that depth includes some experienced heads alongside with young players, it is exciting for the club,” Simon Collins explained.

“Getting back to the Premier Division has been something we've been trying to do for a long time, but always fell short. The last time we were in the top division was 1987 and there are only a couple of people still at the club who remember those days now. Alex Kretowicz quite rightfully takes a lot of the plaudits this year after a superb season scoring over 50 goals, in the process breaking a 30-year-old senior club goal scoring record in the process a few weeks ago. But the whole team behind him can take much credit too. A dynamic midfield led by captain and club stalwart Chris Judge drives the team forward and doesn't give the opposition time to rest. The defence and Jackson in goal were rock solid and conceded the least number of goals in the division this year. We have a good young group that are mates off the field, so that helps the team chemistry.

“A healthy junior system behind us with a lot of good young players coming through, will hopefully help refresh the team going forward in years to come. I think every day will now enjoy a nice summer break to recharge the batteries. We look forward to the challenge next year of competing with the best amateur teams in the state. Hopefully we do ourselves justice.” They are joined in the Premier Division by South Perth United Football Club, who beat Olympic Kingsway 5-0 to pip Maccabi to promotion. Joining Ellenbrook in Division Two will be Belmont Villa, who were beaten 3-0 at Gosnells City, in coach Peter Allen’s final game as coach of Gosnells. In the reserves North Beach made it a double, taking out the title, again ahead of South Perth United.

In Division Two, it was Kingsley Westside who took out the title and promotion, and their final game of the season against Mandurah City was forfeited. “Over the moon with Kingsley Westside winning the Division Two league title and also the Reserves league title this year,” coach Mo Livingstone said. “There were lots of good teams in league this season, who made it very difficult for us, and that made it even better that we finished on top securing not only promotion to Division One but also take the winner’s shield. Over the last couple of seasons both the reserves and first team have knocked on the door of promotion and/or a title so it was great that all came together for the squad this season to win the double.

“It is a credit to the club, coaching staff and most importantly the players who have been nothing but awesome from pre-season in January. They took that into the season proper basically maintaining pole position in both leagues throughout the season. We will now have a rest, celebrate the achievements and enjoy the off season. Planning and work towards 2023 will come around quickly and we look forward to taking our place in a competitive Division One and see how we go.” Joined Kingsley in Division One is Canning City, who beat Ballajura 6-2 in the final game, while Fraser Park and Subiaco were relegated.

In Division Three it was Perth AFC who won the title, 12 points ahead of runners-up Cracovia, who are also promoted to Division Two. “Where can I start, what a great season for everyone involved at Perth AFC this year. I would like to thank Perth AFC, Rob Caruso and everyone in the club for giving me this opportunity,” Coach Nathan Thorp explained. “When I got the job, the goal was always for promotion, and all of our lads have been amazing this year and they deserve all the praise and more importantly the success.

“They achieved not only our goal, but they exceeded it. The effort, commitment, winning mentality, attitude and quality they have shown from the start of pre-season in early January to the final game of the season has been absolutely top. Not only do we gain promotion, we go up as champions, and add to that, unbeaten champions. It’s a huge accomplishment, and Jake, myself and the club can’t give them enough credit. Also, with the reserves winning their respective league this season, it shows we have great depth and quality throughout this young and upcoming club. I’m very excited to see what we can all achieve as we go into Division Two and test ourselves to push even more.” At the other end of the table Noranda City and Sutherlands Park were relegated,

In Division Four Alkimos-Quinns took out the title and promotion, ten points ahead of runners-up Joondanna Blues, who beat them 5-0 in the final game of the season on Sunday. “This has been an incredible season from finishing bottom of the league last season in Alkimos’s first season in existence,” coach John Evans said. “All credit is down to Craig Stephenson (assistant coach) and all squad players for all their hard work on and off the field.

“Putting this team together was a hard task, but from game one we have all become great friends on and off the field. The standard of football in Division 4 is really high and has surprised me, so going into every game we knew we were in for a battle each week. We are now looking forward to see what we can do next season, in Division three.” Wembley Downs won the reserves title 12 points clear of UWA Nedlands.

25.9.2022

GLORY HIT THE STATE LEAGUE FOR SIX

The WA State Teams hold on the Challenge Cup has ended, after being beaten 6-0 by Perth Glory at Kingsway Reserve on Sunday afternoon. Two goals apiece from Ben Azubel and Adam Zimarino, and singles from Keegan Jelacic and Giordano Colli eased the A-League side to a comprehensive. The crowd stood as one to applaud former Olympic striker Danny Hodgson as he tossed the coin before the game, and Glory coach Ruben Zadkovich said it was a special moment.

“To see Danny [Hodgson] back up on his feet and talking and communicating the way he is, it’s fantastic,” he told the Glory website. “He’s been through one hell of a tough time and it’s nice to see that the Perth and WA community have really got behind him. For him to be out here on his feet presenting that trophy shows how strong he really is and it was a special touch.

Glory began on the front foot from the outset, smarting from their 0-1 defeat to the State Team last season, but they created a number of chances, with Zimarino, Jack Clisby and Ryan Williams all being denied by WA keeper Jason Saldaris, but they found the opener on the quarter hour mark. Colli’s cross was headed home by new Israeli import striker.

He added a second on the half hour, after referee Shane Skinner pointed to the spot after Jelacic was brought down in the box, and the striker made no mistake from the resulting penalty. It was 3-0 just before half time, former Perth SC striker Zimarino finishing clinically. Zimarino added another just after the break, and Jelacic chipped home number five from just outside the box.

WA striker Ndumba Makeche was then denied by a smart save from Pierce Clark, before Kosta Sparta’s shot on the run flashed wide moments later, as the state looked for a reply. But Glory completed the scoring eight minutes from time when substitute Jacob Dowse picked out Colli who capped a good individual performance, finishing clinically past Luke Radonich. “I was pretty happy, especially with the first half, and more than anything, we looked fit, we looked powerful and we looked sharp,” Zadkovich added. “We were on the front foot and there were a lot of positives.

“There are still a few things there that I saw which we need to work on, but it was another positive step in the right direction and it was nice to be back in front of our home fans. It’s tricky to gauge where we’re at as we’ve only had one A-League opponent in pre-season, but one thing I can tell you is that the players, the staff and everyone at the club is working really hard. We’re going in the right direction, but there’s a long way to go. We have some challenges ahead, but they’re challenges that myself and my staff and my players will meet head-on.”

WA State Team: GK Jason SALDARIS (c), 2 Ryan FINNIE, 3 Ollie ANNIS, 4 Hristijan JANKALOVSKI, 10 Nick AMBROGIO, 11 Bailey BROWN-MONTGOMERY, 14 Robert PETKOV, 16 Kosta SPARTA, 17 Declan HUGHES, 19 Blair GOVAN, 27 Ndumba MAKECHE – Subs: RGK Luke RADONICH, 5 Federico ACHILLI, 6 Jesse FULLER, 7 Jack LEECH, 12 Stephen HESKETH, 20 Hasani SINCLAIR, 21 Jonothan CORNESS, 26 Abdul OSMAN

Perth Glory: GK Pierce CLARK (trialist), 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 5 Mark BEEVERS (c), 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 11 Ben AZUBEL, 14 Jack CLISBY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 19 Zach DUNCAN, 20 Giordano COLLI, 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 43 Adam ZIMARINO – Subs: RGK Adrian SINAGRA, 3 Jacob DOWSE, 4 Luke BODNAR, 9 Bruno FORNAROLI, 12 Luke IVANOVIC, 18 David WILLIAMS, 25 Matt HATCH, 37 Jacob MUIR, 55 Dakota ASKEW (trialist) 77 Stefan COLAKOVSKI - Referee: Shane SKINNER

25.9.2022

SOCCEROOS MAKE IT TWO-FROM-TWO AGAINST THE ALL WHITES

The Socceroos have completed the double over New Zealand, after second half goals from Mitch Duke and debutant Jason Cummings secured a 2-0 win at a packed Eden Park on Sunday afternoon. Graham Arnold made eleven changes to the side that beat the Kiwi’s on Thursday in Brisbane, which included a debut to defender Harrison Delbridge, while there was a number on the bench, including Cummings, who would come on for their debuts for the Green and Gold.

“Overall, the playing group is a very inexperienced team in terms of caps,” skipper Mathew Leckie said post-match. “But you see how much energy these young boys have, and we need them to perform at this level because they’re the type of players that are going to be the future for us. I’m sure he [Arnold] has got a lot of thinking to do over the next couple of months. I think this camp’s been great. A lot of new boys. And they’ve been very professional and showed that they want to be here.”

After a disjointed game in Brisbane, the Socceroos were on the front foot early, and Riley McGree stung the palms of Oliver Sail on 12 minutes. But it was the hosts, roared on by over 34,000 fans who took control, and Chris Wood’s shot on the edge of the box was deflected wide by the alert Thomas Deng moments later. Elijah Just then made space down the left, and his low cross was well claimed by Andrew Redmayne, with Wood ready to pounce. The lively Matthew Garbett then saw his effort saved low by Redmayne, but the host suffered a blow on the half hour with Wood leaving the field, the Newcastle United striker injuring his ribs.

But they still looked dangerous and three minutes before the break Garbett cut in from the left, his cross found Just, whose shot flashed over the top. But in the shadows of half time the Socceroos should have opened the scoring. Connor Metcalfe won possession in the middle of the park and Duke was sent racing into the penalty area, he cut the ball back to Marco Tilio, and with the goal at his mercy the winger fired wide, and at the break it was scoreless.

Whatever Arnold and the coaching staff said at half time worked, as the Socceroos looked lively and Tilio’s shot from the edge of the box was pushed away by Sail. Then on 54 minutes, their good start was rewarded with the opening goal. Metcalfe’s teasing cross picked out Duke, who got in between two All Whites defender to powerfully head home. The big striker went close to a second four minutes later, Joel King cross from the left was flicked on by the striker, but Sail saved low.

But the Socceroos almost handed the equaliser to the hosts on 68 minutes, a mistake at the back by Delbridge the ball falling to Alex Greive, but his first-time shot was straight at Redmayne. Garbett then saw a header flash wide, before Arnold went to the bench, bring on Cummings, Cameron Devlin and Ryan Stain for their debuts. The crowd were then on their feet on 74 minutes, when Winston Reid was substituted, which brought an end to the international career for the former West Ham United and Brentford defender.

But ten minutes from time the Socceroos doubled their advantage and sealed the game. The exciting 18-year-old Garang Kuol, had only been on the pitch for six minutes for his debut, when he did superbly to keep the ball in on the right and race forward, he squared the ball to Riley McGree, who shot was saved by Sail, the rebound falling to Cummings whose shot hit the arm of Liberato Cacace, and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Cummings took responsibility and sent Sail the wrong way from the resulting penalty. Keanu Baccus was the final fresh face introduced to the action by Arnold as Australia made it two wins from two against the All Whites, while keeping two clean sheets in the process.

New Zealand: GK Oliver SAIL, 2 Winston REID (5 Michael BOXALL 74’), 4 Nando PIJNAKER, 6 Bill TUILOMA, 7 Elijah JUST (11 Alex GREIVE 55’), 8 Joe BELL, 9 Chris WOOD (20 Ben WAINE 32’), 10 Marko STAMENIC, 13 Liberato CACACE, 19 Matthew GARBETT (15 Benjamin OLD 74’), 21 Tim PAYNE (24 Storm ROUX 75’) – Subs not used: RGK Alexander PAULSEN, RGK Michael WOUD, 3 Deklan WYNNE, 14 Andre DE JONG, 16 Dane INGHAM, 17 Callum MCCOWATT, 18 Cameron HOWIESON, 22 Kyle ADAMS

Socceroos: GK Andrew REDMAYNE, 3 Nathaniel ATKINSON (5 Ryan STRAIN 63’), 4 Joel KING, 7 Mathew LECKIE, 10 Denis GENREAU (17 Cameron DEVLIN 63’), 13 Thomas DENG, 14 Riley MCGREE, 15 Mitchell DUKE (19 Jason CUMMINGS 63’), 21 Marco TILIO (16 Garang KUOL 73’), 23 Connor METCALFE (6 Keanu BACCUS 83’), 26 Harrison DELBRIDGE – Subs not used: RGK Mitchell LANGERAK, 2 Milos DEGENEK, 9 Martin BOYLE, 22 Tyrese FRANCOIS - Referee: Yusuke Araki

24.9.2022

UWA SCORE LATE TO SECURE SURVIVAL

UWA Nedlands have secured their spot in Division One, after a 2-0 win against Carramar Shamrock Rovers in the second leg of the State League Inter-Divisional Promotion Playoff Final at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday afternoon, to secure a 2-1 win on aggregate. Late goals from Simon Burt and an own goal from Ross Jarman secured the win, and UWA Coach Basil Lenzo was delighted post-match. “Whilst it’s not a premiership, it feels better than that. The players have had a tremendous second half of the season where they worked extremely hard at every session and continued to want to learn and improve,” he explained.

“We signed five young players from Perth as well as Williams, Boffey and Bouhlas, and the players responded and we focused on every game. Come to the Shamrock game and after the disappointing way we played Tuesday, we knew we had the legs and we tweaked the game plan, and two goals in the last 12 minutes shows how resolute and resilient the players became. UWANFC were rewarded for their vision to collaborate with Perth, and the players were rewarded for their hard work, very proud of them all.”

With Rovers holding a slender 1-0 lead from the first leg, it was always going to be a cagey start with clear cut chances few and far between, the best opening came on ten minutes, Alfred Moore cut in from the left and his shot on the run flashed over the top. Rovers hit back, and they thought they had doubled their advantage in the tie on 22 minutes, when Jake Bardsley’s long-throw wasn’t dealt with, and Alan Reidy slammed home, but referee Adrien Liechti spotted a handball. Rovers were in again moments later, Kieran Harrison header looked destined for the bottom corner of the net but Rocco Liberti produced a stunning one-handed save to deny him.

Rovers went close again just after the half hour, Bardsley’s long-throw again caused problems, the ball bouncing up over Liberti and crashing off the crossbar and away to safety. Bardsley’s long-throw was a threat UWA were struggling to combat, and just before half time another was headed goalward by skipper Callum Traynor, but Liberti saved bravely under pressure from Harrison. But at the break Rovers still held their narrow lead.

Rovers started brightly after the break and Traynor headed over when well-placed early, before Jamie Gibson shot at the back post was saved low by Liberti. UWA needed a lift and Moffatt saw his shot drift wide, but they were struggling to break down a compact Rovers defence, but 13 minutes from time they found the opener on the day and levelled the tie. A short corner was crossed by Hayden Boffey, Daniel Holgate punched clear but only to Luke Randazzo, who played the ball out to Thomas Moroney, his cross to the back post was headed home by Simon Burt at the back post. But their celebrations were cut short after the assistants’ flag was raised, but after a short chat the referee awarded the goal, and it was now game on.

UWA were looking for the winner and Boffey headed inches over the top on 86 minutes, but sixty seconds later they found it. Moffatt’s curling free kick from the left took a touch off the unfortunate Jarman and found the corner of the net, much to the delight of his team mates and the supporters in the crowd. Rovers pressed late looking for a goal to take it extra time, and when UWA didn’t clear a corner Reidy’s shot was blocked by some desperate UWA defending and cleared, and their chance had gone, and the referee’s whistle singled joy on an off the pitch for UWA.

“Incredibly proud of the boys to never to give up until the very end. We knew if we conceded we would be in big trouble due to the value of the away goal and just hung tough the whole game,” UWA skipper Luke Randazzo said. “The boys dug deep and I’m delighted that UWA will remain in Division One next year because it’s very hard to get back up if you slide down. Hopefully we will learn some lessons from this year and the club will try to be a more competitive outfit moving forward.”

Striker Sam Moffatt said it was a hard-fought win, and they had to earn it. “I couldn’t be any prouder of the boys yesterday. We weren’t satisfied with how we played on Tuesday and felt that we let ourselves down in that regard, but yesterday we played exactly as we set out to do and reaped the rewards,” he explained. “It’s been an incredibly long and tough season but for the boys to stick together over the last couple of months, improving week upon week, yesterday’s victory was as much of a reward as well as hard earned, and as I said, I couldn’t be prouder of the entire playing group and coaching staff.”

UWA Nedlands: GK Rocco LIBERTI, 2 Sam GUTHRIDGE, 5 Rory BETTS, 6 Simon BURT, 8 Luke RANDAZZO (c), 9 Sam MOFFATT, 10 Max BLACKSHAW, 11 Hayden BOFFEY (7 Toby ROBERTSON 90’), 12 Emerson ALEXIS, 15 Thomas MORONEY, 17 Alfred MOORE (28 Hasan ASADI 94’) – Subs not used: RGK Casey ROBERTSON, 3 Jonathan BOUHLAS, 4 William HIGGINSON, 14 Georgios PAPATHANASSIOU, 16 Luke TROWER

Carramar Shamrock Rovers: GK Dean HOLGATE, 2 Thomas FORBES, 4 Callum TRAYNER (c), 5 Wayne GUEST (15 Chris PUGH 84’), 6 Seamus EDWARDS, 7 Alan REIDY, 8 Chris TATE (3 Ger FITZGERALD 84’), 9 Jamie GIBSON, 10 Kieran HARRISON (24 Griffin STURE 73’), 13 Jake BARDSLEY, 14 Ross JARMAN – Subs not used: 11 Rhodes BOYCE, 12 Chris WILLIAMS, 16 Joshua HART, 20 Jack BARBOUR – Referee: Adrien LIECHTI

23.9.2022

MABIL STUNNER GIVES SOCCEROOS VICTORY AGAINST NEW ZEALAND

The Socceroos have continued their recent domination over Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand after a scrappy 1-0 win at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. The only goal of the game came from Awer Mabil, the Cádiz winger firing home from long-range on the half hour, but it wasn’t the performance many of the 25,392 supporters were looking for in the final game on home soil before the World Cup in Qatar.

"Far from satisfied, to be honest. There was a lot of things we could have done better. Very satisfied with the result; at the end of the day, winning games of football is what it's all about and we managed to do that today,” Jackson Irvin said post-match. “A lot of aspects of the game we can do better, we know that. But with a tight preparation and a lot of travel, there's a lot to be pleased about. At the end of the day, a win's a win. It's a landmark event for the national team. One hundred years. And I'm glad we could send everyone home with a positive result."

In Australia’s farewell match that doubled as a Centenary celebration with 2022 marking 100 years since the men’s national football team played its first ‘A’ international match in Dunedin, it was the visitors who opened brightly, and went close after only two minutes, Trent Sainsbury poor clearance only found Tim Payne, whose shot from distance was well saved by Mat Ryan. The All Whites should have opened the scoring on ten minutes, a long ball from keeper Oli Sail wasn’t dealt with and Milos Degenek mis-cued header fell to Andre De Jong, who beat Sainsbury to get one-on-one with Ryan, but his shot flashed narrowly wide of the right-hand upright.

It was the wake-up call the hosts needed, and they started to get back into the game, and should have hit the front on 17 minutes. Aaron Mooy’s corner fell to Irvine, but he failed to find the target from close-range. The home supporters thought they had the lead on the half hour, Mooy’s corner was headed goalwards by Irvine, and turned home by Armadale-born Sainsbury, but referee Ryuji Sato disallowed the goal for a push on Kiwi defender Nando Pijnaker, but replays appeared to show Pijnaker simply slipped.

But their frustration was short-lived, and on 33 minutes the Socceroos hit the front, Irvine won possession and found Mabil on the left, he cut inside his marker and fired home a stunning strike from long-range into the bottom corner giving Sail no chance and bagging his eighth goal in 29 appearances for the Socceroos. The hosts looked more settled now and had the All Whites on the back foot, but couldn’t turn their chances into goals, but at the break it was Mabil’s strike the difference, in a lackluster first half.

Graham Arnold’s side started the second half well, but New Zealand were dangerous too, and Joe Bell’s long-range shot stung the palms of Ryan, before the keeper was out quickly to clear the danger after Chris Wood raced towards goal, and took out the keeper and was lucky not to receive a yellow card, for a hip and shoulder, which would have been good in this weekend’s ALF Grand Final. Both sides went to the bench, and the game became open.

Riley McGree was one of those, and he almost had an immediate impact, his shot from the edge of the box flashed over the top. The chances continued to flow, with Martin Boyle’s volley from outside the area, sailed wide, but the Kiwi’s weren’t going away, and Nathaniel Atkinson produced a great last-dich clearance after good work on the right by Ben Waine. But the Socceroos should have added second five minutes from time.

The visitors had a free kick on the edge of the box, and it was blocked by the wall and the Socceroos broke quickly and Boyle slipped in Matthew Leckie who was in on goal, but Sail got a slight touch on his low shot and deflected the ball on to the post and out to safety. The game was end to end, but it was the hosts who went close to a second in stoppage time, McGree picking out Jamie Maclaren, but he failed to beat Sail, but they saw out the game and farewelled their home country before the World Cup Finals, with a victory.

Socceroos: GK Mat RYAN, 2 Milos DEGENEK, 5 Fran KARACIC (3 Nathaniel ATKINSON 70’), 6 Martin BOYLE, 10 Ajdin HRUSTIC (14 Riley MCGREE 61’), 11 Awer MABIL (7 Mathew LECKIE 70’), 13 Aaron MOOY, 16 Aziz BEHICH (4 Joel KING 86’), 19 Adam TAGGART (9 Jamie MACLAREN 61’), 20 Trent SAINSBURY, 22 Jackson IRVINE (23 Connor METCALFE 86’) – Subs not used: RGK Mitchell LANGERAK, RGK Andrew REDMAYNE, 8 Thomas DENG, 15 Mitchell DUKE, 17 Denis GENREAU, 21 Garang KUOL, 24 Cameron DEVLIN, 25 Marco TILIO, 26 Harrison DELBRIDGE

New Zealand: GK Oliver SAIL, 4 Nando PIJNAKER, 5 Michael BOXALL, 7 Elijah JUST (20 Ben WAINE 65’), 8 Joe BELL (10 Marko STAMENIC 65’), 9 Chris WOOD (17 Callum MCCOWATT 71’), 13 Liberato CACACE (3 Deklan WYNNE 71’), 14 Andre DE JONG (18 Cameron HOWIESON 71’), 16 Dane INGHAM, 19 Matthew GARBETT, 21 Tim PAYNE (6 Bill TUILOMA 87’) – Subs not used: RGK Alexander PAULSEN, RGK Michael WOUD, 2 Winston REID, 11 Alex GREIVE, 15 Benjamin OLD, 22 Kyle ADAMS, 24 Storm ROUX – Referee: Ryuji SATO

23.9.2022

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND TWENTY TWO PREVIEW

We go into the final games of the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division, and every game this weekend will have a say in the title and relegation battles, in one of the closest seasons in the competition. We start in the title race, and in midweek there was a vital game at both ends of the table, with Quinns giving their relegation survival hopes a boost, and ending the title aspirations of Kwinana United after a 4-0 win in a round nine catch-up game at Kelly Park. “The lad’s performance was brilliant tonight, and deserved the win,” Quinns coach Lee Garnish explained. “We worked extremely hard, and wanted it more on the night.”

Quinns were on the front foot early, and had a couple of good chances, which they failed to take, but should have taken the lead when they were awarded a penalty, but Tom Ashworth fired over the top. But five minutes later Callum Wm made space down the flank, and cut the ball back to Ryan McCready who made no mistake. They added a second, with Guy Armstrong finishing at the back post, before Sam Vencat headed a third before the break. They sealed all the points in the second half, McCready heading home his second.

Back to this weekend’s game and league leaders East Perth welcome the 2020 league winners North Perth United, and a win at the Inglewood Stadium is vital if they are to keep their spot at the top, but with them only leading on goal difference it will be a tense day for all the teams at the top. East Perth jumped to the top of the table with a win at Kwinana last week. Colm Costello said it’s been a great season for the club, and it is better than he could have imagined, especially in their first season in the Premier Division.

“What an end to a brilliant season in the Premier, I’ve really enjoyed the campaign we have had, and to be involved in the last game of the season is brilliant,” he explained. “The squad have really grown in the second part of the season and myself Jason and Sully could not be prouder. The first year was never going to be easy in this division but we are still battling with a chance to win it.”

Costello said Sunday will be a tough game, and although North Perth haven’t had the best of seasons, they are a good side, but he knows what is at stake, and is looking forward to the challenge. “All we can do on Sunday is try and get our result correct, and that’s all, as results all year have shown in big games, league table doesn’t seem to matter. So, we just have to approach Sunday no different to any other week, and we are looking forward to the North Perth visit and have prepared well,” he said.

“As long as I am coaching, I’ve never had an easy day against them, and if we are not at our best, we will not get a result. The top five teams this year have all beaten each other, and credit must go to all the teams for making this year so competitive. It is so important this week that we play the game not the occasion. As I have said, we have probably come into this part of the title race late on, as such - but the lads have stood up in the big moments this season which we are extremely proud of. In the other games being played on Sunday, there is nothing that we can do, so this week it’s about us and what we need to do. The goal difference scenario is crazy with how close it is, it’s going to be an exciting afternoon of football at both end of the table on Sunday.

Any slip up will be pounced on by the chasing pack, and second placed Maddington White City will be looking to keep the pressure on East Perth, but face a tough game against fourth placed Kwinana United at Mills Park. Kwinana hopes have slipped from their hands after back-to-back losses, but Maddington need to win and score goals, to keep the pressure on East Perth. “We are very proud of ourselves because this is the second season in a row fighting until the end for the title,” Maddington’s Alejandro Sarria said. “We know that we have to beat Kwinana and score as many goals as possible and we also know that it will not be easy to beat them. We trained and prepared ourselves physically and mentally for this match and we know what we are capable of.”

Jaguar are also still in the race, but will need to beat Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park, and results elsewhere to go their way to take out the title. Jags coach Josam Muwowo said last week’s loss against Maddington was a great game to be involved in, but the result wasn’t what they were looking for. “The game against Maddington was an interesting match as both teams displayed some good quality football which entertained the massive crowd. However, the result didn't go in our favour as we were leading by a solo goal but after going down, we accepted the moment that was a football situation which occur in certain instances,” he explained. “We as the technical bench understood the feeling of the boys on that day and gave credit to them as they played with their lungs out in order to win but things didn't just go their way.”

Muwowo said all they can do is get a result at Kelmscott on Sunday, and hope other results are favourable to them. “This week we have now shifted our focus to the last game against Kelmscott who have been in form lately. We will do best on Sunday against a good side at their home ground. It won't be easy for us but we will try and see how we can respond to the pressure on Sunday,” he explained. “It's been a tough year for the boys especially maintaining the top spot but they still look motivated and optimistic that anything can happen in their favour at the last minute, we haven't given up until it's all done.”

Meanwhile the relegation battle is down to four, with Queens Park, Wembley Downs, Quinns and Joondalup United battling it out to stay clear of the bottom two relegation places. Quinns need a win to make them safe when they host Emerald at Gumblossom Park, and coach Lee Garnish said his players are in good form. “The lads have turned it around in the last four weeks and now starting to reap the rewards of the hard work,” he said. “Massive game on Sunday - our boys know what’s at stake. We will be hoping to continue this good run of form and take the game to Emerald. It’s now in our hands and a win for us means we don’t have to worry about other results.”

Joondalup United need to win, and hope other results go their way when they host Peel United at Beldon Park. Joondalup Coach Neil Sherwin said the turnaround of form has been great, and he knows they need a win, and that’s all he is concentrating on. “We can only control our games and over the past six weeks I’ve been delighted with how the lads have turned things around. Training has been great and we’ve taken that into games, leading to some very good results. We’ll put in one more big performance against Peel and see what happens,” he explained.

“We were 1-0 up against ten men the last time we played Peel and managed to come away with nothing. We’re in the position we’re in because of results like that, so Sunday is another opportunity for us to give a much better account of ourselves. We also took no points from Kwinana, Maddington, Jaguar, North Perth and Emerald first time round. In the second half of the season, we picked up 11 from 15 against the same sides. Another three on Sunday is the target.”

In the final game Wembley Downs welcome Queens Park to Butlers Reserve, and three points are vital. The visitors need to win by a huge margin to avoid the drop, and need results elsewhere to go their way, while Wembley need a win. A late goal by Cam Cambers last week earned Wembley a point at Peel and that point could be vital, and coach Jeff Cornez said Sunday is another huge game. “Cam’s goal was a massive goal in the moment and seeing the other results even more important. We would have loved the 3 points but it wasn’t meant to be on the day,” he explained.

“We know Sunday’s game is simply win and we’re safe. We aren’t going to think about any of the other scenarios. We have a job to do and I have faith we will get the job done. We know Queens Park aren’t going to roll over for us as they have too much pride in that club. It’s going to be a battle and we will need to play some good football to get the result we need, we’ll want to win and know what it takes, and as Ted Lasso said: ‘We are a group that cares unlike those folks at a hip hop concert whose hands are not in the air.’

23.9.2022

ROVERS TAKE NARROW LEAD INTO PLAY-OFF SECOND LEG

Carramar Shamrock Rovers will take a narrow advantage into Saturday’s State League Inter-Divisional Promotion Playoff Final second leg against UWA Nedlands at Dorrien Gardens, after securing a 1-0 win in the first leg at Wanneroo Reserve on Tuesday evening. “Despite leaving with a 1-0 win, we felt like we should have got more out of the game given the number of chances we created for ourselves,” Rovers’ skipper Callum Trayner explained. “UWA are a fit, resilient team and we have no doubt they’ll regroup and come out firing in the second leg. We’ve worked extremely hard this season toward achieving our goal of getting the club into Division One, so we’ll be giving it absolutely everything on Saturday to earn that right.”

The only goal of the game came on the hour, Toby Robertson’s corner wasn’t cleared and the ball fell to Jake Bardsley, who finished clinically from eight meters. Both sides had chances but it was Rovers who won out narrowly. “Tough loss on Tuesday night for the boys, I felt like rovers played to their game plan and we were a bit off the pace early. Got dragged into a back-and-forth encounter which didn’t suit us, credit to Rovers who pressured us relentlessly and didn’t give us much time,” UWA’s Sam Moffatt explained. “A few days off now to focus on what we have to do better, review the tape and make some changes in order to create more opportunities. We have seen what they offer, so it’s up to the boys now to turn the deficit around and come away with the desired result. One thing for certain the boys will give it their all again Saturday.”

UWA Coach Basil Lenzo said it’s been a great season since he took over, and Saturday is a huge game, but one he is looking forward too. “Whilst Shamrock have had an excellent season, our last few months have been exceptional. The commitment, hard work and energy these players have provided since we arrived, has been absolutely exceptional,” he said. “It really has been enjoyable to watch them embrace our sessions and grow as footballers. We all knew the task when we took over as we were two games behind Quinns. We just need to focus on ourselves and continue with our exceptional work rate and play accountable football against a side who will no doubt keep us honest.”

23.9.2022

GALLEN AIMING TO PROVIDE GLORY A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

If what you know and who you know is a recipe for success, Perth Glory assistant coach Joe Gallen has the ingredients to help drag the club from the mire of last year’s disastrous wooden spoon season.

The experienced Gallen may have stepped into the A-League unknown but he was greeted by a couple of friendly faces. He brought Ruben Zadkovich to English club Queens Park Rangers as a teenager and also played a big role in getting Andy Keogh to Millwall a decade ago.

Gallen, 49, has a playing CV that includes Watford, Exeter, Shamrock Rovers. But it is his coaching credentials - which includes spells at Exeter, Millwall, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Rotherham United, Portsmouth and Leyton Orient - that are crucial rookie coach Zadkovich.

Gallen wanted a new challenge - and some sun - but admits Perth was not on his radar. “I was after a change of scenery. I was wondering where I could coach in the sunshine,” he said. “Australia wasn’t somewhere I had considered but Andy, Ruben and thinking I could coach in the sunshine was ultimately why I came to Perth.”

Gallen has already identified distinct differences between the English game and the A-League. “It’s a technical league, more possession based, playing from the back, a slower build-up,” explained the former Republic of Ireland youth international.

“In England sometimes it can feel like a war, up to 62 games a season. It’s tough going. Here it’s one game a week, 26 games a season but at the end of the day football is football. Player problems and issues are the same. It’s a people industry and what I do know is people.”

Gallen said the passion for Glory shown by Zadkovich and Keogh was a “big pull” but there were areas for improvement. “They were looking for an older head, someone who has been round a bit... that’s me these days unfortunately!” he said. “Ruben is a very good coach, very ambitious, very confident, knows what he wants.”

“There are aspects like recruitment where we can improve. Recruitment is the key driver for success. We are building a group with belief, attitude and a no excuses culture but ultimately we have to win. We don’t get paid to just turn up. We don’t get paid to enjoy it. We get paid to win.”

21.9.2022

MACEDONIA PARK TO HOST GLORY

Perth Glory will avoid spending almost the entire A-League Men season on the road after securing Macedonia Park as a temporary home base. Glory owner Tony Sage feared last month his club would be forced to spend the first five months of the season on the road due to a big delay in the $35 million upgrade to Perth Oval.

With Perth having few rectangular venues that would meet all the requirements of an A-League Men fixture, Glory were facing the very real prospect of playing all but three games interstate. But Macedonia Park has now been approved for Glory to use, with the club to play 10 of their 13 home games there. The remaining three will be played at Perth Oval, post-March 10.

Significant temporary infrastructure improvements will be made to render Macedonia Park fit for A-League action. This includes the addition of temporary seating to build its capacity, pitch renovation, additional parking and a lighting upgrade. The WA Government has agreed to assist in implementing these improvements.

Given it will take time to put in the temporary seating, Glory's first two home games that were originally scheduled for October 29 (Central Coast) and November 13 (Brisbane) will now be played at Macedonia Park later in the season. Glory's first home game will now take place on December 10 against Western United.

The retention of the club's 13 home games is a huge relief for Glory, who have spent much of the past two seasons on the road due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "We have been confronted by a unique set of challenges caused by circumstances completely beyond our control," Glory chief executive Anthony Radich said.

"Being informed so late in the piece of the unavailability of HBF Park for an additional six home games beyond the original four has severely delayed and thrown our season-planning into disarray. We wanted to avoid having to play 'home' fixtures on the east coast given that our members, partners and fans have been deprived of normality in terms of home games for the past two years."

Glory are set to be financially compensated by the WA State Government for the loss of income associated with having to move to a smaller venue. Macedonia Park has a current capacity of about 7000, but it's unclear what the capacity will be once the temporary seating is included. Pre-COVID, Glory were averaging crowds of between 8000-9000 at Perth Oval.

21.9.2022

GLORY FIND A NEW HOME

Perth Glory have confirmed that the club will play ten of their thirteen home games of the 2022/23 Isuzu Ute A-League Season at Macedonia Park, the home of NPLMWA side Stirling Macedonia. It’s a relief for many Glory supporters, who thought they wouldn’t see any home games this season, after the club were forced to relocate to a temporary home due to the ongoing and delayed stadium renovations at HBF Park, but they will return to that venue for three regular-season home fixtures beginning on March 10th.

“We have been confronted by a unique set of challenges caused by circumstances completely beyond our control,” Glory CEO Anthony Radich told the clubs website. “Being informed so late in the piece of the unavailability of HBF Park for an additional six home games beyond the original four has severely delayed and thrown our season-planning into disarray. Our members and fans were our primary consideration throughout the decision-making process and there is no perfect outcome. We have worked tirelessly to ensure that our members, partners and fans are able to attend games at a venue which is of a rectangular orientation and fit for football.

“As well as needing a rectangular venue, we wanted to avoid having to play “home” fixtures on the east coast given that our members, partners and fans have been deprived of normality in terms of home games for the past two years. Obviously, there are major financial implications for our club and we are discussing with the State Government potential compensation for loss of access to HBF Park. We’re pleased to say the State Government is looking to provide significant financial support, match day/event and temporary infrastructure support to enable us to host home matches at Macedonia Park.”

A-Leagues Commissioner Greg O’Rourke, was quick to explain the importance of Glory not being forced to relocate home games yet again. “The impact of this construction delay is considerable on Perth Glory, its members, sponsors and corporate partners,” he said. “It was vital to ensure they were able play in their home city.” The news was also warmly welcomed by Stirling Macedonia Football Club President, Luke Pavlos, whose side finished third in their first season back in the NPL since 2019.

“Macedonia Park was used by the Perth Kangaroos who were the forerunners to Perth Glory in the early 1990s,” he said, “and the club was, of course, created by two Stirling residents in Nick Tana and Paul Afkos. So, the fact that they will be playing at Macedonia Park in the City of Stirling creates a real sense of nostalgia. We are looking forward to working with Perth Glory, Venues West and the City of Stirling to deliver an experience that will be second to none and bring back some of those early-days memories when other teams feared the trip to Perth due to the atmosphere created by the home fans.”

City of Stirling Mayor Mark Irwin is similarly enthused at the prospect of Glory A-League Men’s fixtures being played at Macedonia Park. “Hosting these games will make a significant economic impact in the City of Stirling,” he said. “It will create a lasting legacy and an incredible opportunity for local residents to have this quality of sport in their neighbourhood. The city is eager to work with the organisers, clubs and broader community to ensure these games are a great success.”

Significant temporary infrastructure improvements will be made to render Macedonia Park fit for A-League football, including the addition of temporary seating to build its capacity, pitch renovation, additional parking and a temporary lighting upgrade and the State Government has agreed to assist in implementing these improvements. This work, however, will take time to complete and as a result, Australian Professional Leagues (APL) has had to amend the club’s season fixtures.

The original first two home games of the ISUZU UTE A-League Men’s campaign, v Central Coast Mariners on Sunday 23 October and v Brisbane Roar on Sunday 13 November, will be rescheduled at Macedonia Park for later in the season, thereby ensuring that the club retains its 13 scheduled home fixtures. The first home game will now take place on Saturday 10 December at 7.30pm WST against Western United. The game against Central Coast Mariners on Saturday 23 October will be reversed and played instead at Central Coast Stadium, while details regarding the new scheduling of the Sunday 13 November meeting with Brisbane Roar are to be confirmed.

Fixtures update inclusive of revised dates and kick-off times is expected in the coming days, but the capacity will be limited. “Macedonia Park is an historic football venue,” added Radich, “and we look forward to making it our home. We are confident that the infrastructure improvements will create an atmospheric boutique venue with a strong community football feel. We will endeavour to create the best possible fan experience, turning the venue purple each week and giving our team the best possible chance to be successful this season.

“We would like to sincerely thank Stirling Macedonia Football Club and the City of Stirling for their support and acknowledge the similarly proactive approach of Australian Professional Leagues (APL) who have been steadfast in their support, helping us to strongly argue our case for a venue fit for football and to be appropriately compensated for our loss. I understand that this has been a very distressing and difficult time for all our members and fans and I would like to thank each and every one of them for their great patience and understanding. We are greatly appreciative of their unwavering faith and incredible loyalty.”

21.9.2022

WA STATE TEAM LOOKING FOR MORE GLORY

The Gold Fields WA State Men's Team will take on Perth Glory on Sunday afternoon, in the 2022 Gold Fields Challenge Cup game at Kingsway Reserve. (3.00pm) The Glory will take a strong team into this one, as they prepare for their kick off to the Isuzu Ute A-League season in three weeks’ time, while WA coach Cris Ola has selected a strong squad to take them on. “This year’s Gold Fields State Team has only five players continuing from last year, with players invited from clubs in the NPL,” he explained. “A number of players were unfortunately unavailable (including top scorer Daryl Nicol), but Ferando Barreiro (Assistant Coach), Michele Mestieri (keeper Coach) and myself are happy with the final squad and also how the short-term prep (3 sessions) went. We hope to give Glory a good competitive challenge in which the Gold Field State Team players to prove their selection and confirming once more the good standard of this year’s NPLM competition. Hope also for a good crowd to attend and enjoy this year’s Challenge Cup.

Sunday's entry fee is with a gold coin donation, which will go to assist former NPLWA - Men's Golden Boot winner Danny Hodgson in his ongoing recovery. WA team manager Alex Novatsis said it’s always an honour to represent your state, and the side will be looking for a repeat of last season’s 1-0 win. “These are great occasions and players from the NPLWA - Men's competition look forward to this game as they get the chance to represent the state and test themselves against A-League opposition,” he told the Football West website. "WA won last year's game 1-0, so we know the Glory lads will not want to be beaten again. Football West would like to thank the NPL clubs for their assistance and of course the players and coaches, plus Glory. We also acknowledge Gold Fields as the name sponsor of all of the Football West State teams."

The squad was selected from players being invited by Football West, unfortunately players from Armadale, Inglewood United, Cockburn City and Gwelup Croatia were not. Ruben Zadkovich’s Glory side will be out to reclaim the Challenge Cup after Kristian Santich’s late goal clinched victory for the State Team at Percy Doyle Reserve last year. They are unbeaten in pre-season this far, having picked wins against Perth SC and Gold Coast Knights and drawn with Inglewood United and Central Coast Mariners.

The Gold Fields WA State Men's squad: GK Luke Radonich (Perth SC), GK Jason Saldaris (Floreat Athena), Jonathan Corness (Balcatta Etna), Jack Leech (Balcatta Etna), Steve Hesketh (Bayswater City), Ndumba Makeche (Bayswater City), Kosta Sparta (Bayswater City), Abdul Osman (Armadale), Nick Ambrogio (Floreat Athena), Bailey Brown-Montgomery (Floreat Athena), Jesse Fuller (Floreat Athena), Robert Petkov (Floreat Athena), Ryan Finnie (Perth RedStar), Blair Govan (Perth RedStar), Declan Hughes (Perth RedStar), Federico Achilli (Perth SC), Hasani Sinclair (Perth SC), Ollie Annis (Sorrento), Hristijan Jankuloski (Stirling Macedonia), Calvin Whitney (Stirling Macedonia)

20.9.2022

FOOTBALLWA.NET - TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OLD TODAY!

It was on this day, twenty-five years ago when footballwa.net was born.

Originally known as the "The Western Australian Soccer Site", it was first uploaded on Saturday 20th September in 1997. On this same day, Floreat Athena won the Premier League championship in the last round of the season after defeating Stirling Macedonia 3-0, while Southside United (now Gosnells City) would later claim the Division One title. Floreat Athena would also go on to win the State Cup, while Shamrock Rovers would win the Amateur Premier Division title.

Founded by Jacob Aufdemkampe, the website has continually evolved over the years to become established as the prime source of news, information and historical data on grassroots football in WA.

Picking up on the lack of publicity afforded to the local game, Aufdemkampe set-up the website with the expressed aim of raising the profile of football in WA. Through word of mouth alone the local community embraced the website to the extent it is now the most comprehensive single source of online information on the game available.

In early 2000 the website 'staff' was doubled with the addition of Brett Klucznik whose priority has been the compilation of the weekly news updates and the provision of photographs and soon after the name of the site changed to soccerwa.com. Then in 2003, Peter Simcox came on board as the website broadened it's coverage of our game in the state. In 2005, in line with the new governing body and associations across Australia, we changed our name to footballwa.net, which is what it is currently known. Websites of today have changed since we first went online, but we don't pretend to be fancy. We keep our website as simple as possible and easy to read articles without having to click on separate links, and to find results and tables with ease.

There have been many changes in local football in the past twenty-five years since we first started. Back in 1997 the state had several associations running different aspects of the game, it wasn't until the formation of Football West in 2005 when the code was "united" under one administration body. We have seen our top flight competition change over the years, not only in name but also in the number of teams involved in it. We have seen seven different clubs crowned champions of Western Australia during that time, with Perth SC winning on ten occasions over the last quarter of a century. Our very own Perth Glory have been champions of Australia twice, have made six Grand Finals (hosted four of them) and finished top of the league four times.

Also, a special mention to our sponsors over the years. Even though we run as volunteers, any sponsorship helps with costs to keep us online. Our current sponsors are Prosperity Strata Management and Macron Sports Hub Perth, thank you to Louis Prospero and John O'Reilly respectively for your support. SDLeisure Gloves are also set to come on board soon, thank you. If any other businesses would like to sponsor the website, please get in touch with us.

On behalf of Jacob, Peter and Brett, we would like to thank all our contributors over the years, including coaches, players, administrators and others. While there are too many to thank, we wouldn't be where we are today without your help. Finally to our loyal readers, we hope you enjoyed our first twenty-five years and hopefully we will be around for a bit longer yet!

Thanks!

#footballwa
#25yearsstrong

19.9.2022

IPSWICH'S BURGESS TO UNDERGO SURGERY

Ipswich Town will be without defender Cameron Burgess for a spell after it was confirmed he requires surgery on a facial injury suffered against Bristol Rovers last week. The 26-year old has made seven appearances for the Tractor Boys this season, including the home win over Bristol when he was forced off in the second half.

Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna said it’s currently unclear how long Burgess will be out of action. “He’s been to hospital and has seen a specialist,” McKenna said. “He has some fractures around his cheek area, around his nose as well, so will need surgery next week.”

“He has a lot of swelling at the moment so we’ll need to wait for that to go down. Then we’ll see what the timetable is for him returning to play... It’s a shame for him on a personal level because he was probably playing the best football of his career and was on an upwards trajectory, but he’ll come back strong again.”

18.9.2022

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND TWENTY ONE REVIEW

We have a new leader at the top of the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division, with East Perth jumping from third to top on goal difference, after a 4-2 win against Kwinana United in our ‘Match of the Round’ at Kelly Park. “I thought it was an absolute cracker of a game, both teams just went for it and a brilliant showcase for amateur football,” East Perth coach Colm Costello explained. “Mark (Purvis) is a brilliant coach, and we knew we would have to be relentless in every part of our play and we really stood up to the challenge.”

It was the hosts who found the opener on 17 minutes, referee Liam Howgate awarding a penalty, but Wayne Carter saw his spot kick saved by Jamie Serra, but Josh Mackinder was quickest to the rebound to fire home. But East Perth levelled three minutes later, a short corner from Deane McFeeley found full back Niall Murray who rifled the ball into the top corner with a goal of the season contender. But Kwinana, who were still in the title race, regained the lead just after the half hour, Mustafa Mkanza firing home from distance, for his contender of goal of the season.

But the visitors restored parity six minutes from half time, Thierry Berard in swinging corner finding the net. The opening to the second half was frantic, with chances at both ends, but both keepers, Serra and Ellis Roberts making some fine saves to keep the scores level. But on the hour East Perth hit the front for the first time, Kyle Loftus made space down the right, before finding Mehdi Rabei Gholami, who was brought down, and the referee again pointed to the spot, but this time Murray made no mistake with the resulting penalty.

The visitors went close to a fourth moments later, Ryan Frankcom slid the ball to Liam Hunt, whose shot on the turn crashed off the crossbar. Kwinana pressed for the equaliser, but were unable to find it, and seven minutes from time it was East Perth who sealed the points and top spot. Nicky Carroll’s perfectly weighted pass found Liam McManus whose first time shot flew into the net. “Overall brilliant performance from the lads, our subs have made such an impact the last few weeks and have changed games which is pleasing,” Costello added. “Another one down and now another cup final against North Perth United next week and we are expecting another huge battle with them, it's never an easy game.”

A ten-man Jaguar slipped to third after a 2-1 loss against Maddington White City at the Herb Graham Recreation Centre, who are in second place only by one goal behind East Perth. “We knew that Jags are one of the most difficult teams to beat in the league, and we found ourselves 1-0 down in the first half,” City’s Alejandro Sarria explained. “The second half was different we knew that if we had lost or drawn, we were out of competition for the title, and we started playing our football with ball on the ground, moving jags side to side to open up spaces, and we managed to score two to take the points.”

It was Jags who dominated in the first half, and their performance was rewarded with the opener, with Magai Deng firing home. But early in the second half the hosts were reduced to ten men, after Akuei Guot was shown a second yellow card by referee David Bruce, and sent off. Maddington pounced on the extra man advantage and they levelled when Jose Zuniga’s pass found Farruh Mavlonov, who cut the ball back to Samir Ramos, who made no maitake from close-range, much to the delight of the travelling supports.

The visitors were on top, and roared on by the large travelling contingent, they found the winner late, skipper Cesar Orozco in the right place at the right time to fire home. Jags pressed late looking for the equaliser, but Maddington held firm to seal the win, and keep their title hopes alive. “Now we are focused on the Kwinana game, who are one of the best teams of the league,” Sarria added. “We haven’t won anything yet and we know that we have to score as many goals as possible to become champions. We are proud of what we have achieved this season but this is not over yet.”

At the end of the table, Quinns moved off the bottom of the table, after two late goals gave them a come from behind 3-2 win against North Perth United at Woodville Reserve. “We took the lead, and were wasteful and had chances to but the game to bed,” Quinns coach lee Garnish explained. “We then found ourselves behind, but the lads found another gear and scored two late goals to win it. The boys have played well in recent weeks against Jags and Kwinana and yesterday felt we finally got a little luck our way.” The visitors found the opener on the half hour, good work from Leyton Hunt to win the ball in middle of the park, before getting the ball the ball out wide to Guy Armstrong who crossed to Ryan McCready, who made no mistake. They had chances to add more, but they were wasteful in front of goal.

But the host were level nine minutes into the second half, Raido Reinsalu scoring. North Perth then hit the front 20 minutes from time, Darby Gaffney on target, and it looked like Quinns would leave empty handed. Then with nothing to lose, Quinns found another gear, and were awarded a penalty in the final minute, and Tom Ashworth slotted home. Then in stoppage time, Quinns won it. Danny Head’s flick from a corner found McCready who headed home from close range to seal a vital three points.

They were replaced at the bottom of the table by Queens Park, who were thrashed 6-1 by local rivals Kelmscott Roos at Coker Park. “What a win, it’s really nice to finally find ourselves on the right end of games like these. The boys played some really nice football at times and got some really good rewards for it,” keeper Taylor Warwick explained. “One really nice thing that came out of the game was our coach Richard Changadzo handed a debut to 17-year-old Kayne Holroyd. Kayne has been the most consistent player for our reserves all season and he got his reward by coming on in the last minutes and even grabbed himself an assist which is pleasing to see. We’ve got one more game and are eyeing a finish in the top four providing we beat Jags and other results go our way.”

The visitors found the opener early, Brodie McCrae’s shot was well saved, but the rebound fell to Alex Ekeze who made no mistake. It was 2-0 on six minutes, a corner swung In by Ishmael Greywood, was flicked on Ekeze found Jacob Meggs at the back post who finished well. Queens Park pulled one back moments later, a long ball over the top found Alexander Fazekas, who scored via the post. But Kelmscott restored their two-goal advantage on the half hour, skipper Callum Husain cross was fumbled by the keeper and Ekeze finished smartly.

It was 4-1 on the hour, Greywood’s cross, to the edge of the box, found Benn Lewis who smashed home a first-time volley into the bottom corner. It 5-1 16 minutes from time, Greywood skipped past two defenders down the right, and played an inch perfect ball across the face of goal for Lemeo Wordu to tap in. They wrapped up the scoring late, debutant Holroyd played an inch perfect through ball to Ekeze, who finished clinically to complete his hat trick.

Joondalup United continued their recent good run of results, after a 2-1 win against Emerald at Fraser Park Reserve. "It's another huge win for us and the difference was simply a team wanting it more. We weren't very good in the first half, Emerald played well and deserved their lead, but we sorted a few things out at half time and were the better side after that,” Joondalup coach Neil Sherwin explained. “We've had a tough run of fixtures but conceding only five goals in six games has helped us pick up points and take things to the final game. Next week is set up to be very exciting at both ends of the table and shows the quality throughout the league."

It was the hosts who opened the scoring on the half hour, Shane Young bagging his first goal of the season. But Joondalup turned things around in the second half and equalised just after the hour mark. Niall McGurk got free down the right and his pin point cross was headed home by Andreas Bouzinekis. Then with ten minutes remaining, Jack Walsh's long ball went through the middle of the Emerald defence and Adam Taylor was on hand to lob the goalkeeper from 25-yards for the game winner.

In the final game Peel United and Wembley Downs have fought out a 2-2 draw at Bortolo Reserve. “The game was a perfect summary of our season. A lead given up, a wonder strike, a crazy own goal, an end of game goal and another performance we probably deserved more from,” Wembley player/coach Jeff Cornez explained. “We had an opportunity to be safe from the drop, but credit to Peel who didn’t make it easy although we did have several chances to put the game away early in the first half. We now wait for the midweek Quinns result to see if our game against Queens Park has any significance. Regardless we will want to put in a good performance for our last game of the season at home where we have struggled to pick up points.”

Both teams needed the three points to make sure of avoiding the relegation battle, and it was the visitors who opened the scoring on 14 minutes, a well worked ball down the right saw Harry Browne hit a low cross that was turned in by Peel defender Scott Bradley at the front post. But in the final minute of the first half, Peel levelled, with Faris Noor Rani. The hosts hit the front just after the hour, with Wembley’s David Marshall scoring into his own net. It looked like Peel would take the three points, but two minutes from time Wembley found the equaliser, a set piece from Kyle Thistlethwaite was headed home by Cam Chambers.




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

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