New Perth Glory Women's signing Jacynta Galabadaarachchi in action on her debut

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12.10.2018

FOOTBALLWA.NET NPLWA ‘TEAM OF THE SEASON’

We have strived to give you the best cover of NPLWA football in 2018, and we've picked our best NPLWA team for the season. It's been a hard job to get the right mix, and we've gone with a 4, 4, 2 formation and have picked a six-men bench and coach. I'm sure the selection will cause some debate in the football community, but we believe we have the right mix.

Here is the 34-player squad we selected to choose the side from:

Goalkeeper - Francis Soale, Jason Saldaris, Alex Dunn, Sam Hutchings

Central Defender – Billy Quinncroft, David Stokoe, Rocco Pizzata, Alex Castiello, Tom Southgate, David Cyrus

Left Back – Jon Higgins, Josh Kuser, Walter Scott, Jordan De Leo

Right Back – Luke Bodnar, Adam Harris, Alex Silla, Chris Saldaris

Central Midfield – Cameron Edwards, David Micevski, David Perich, Dean Evans

Left Wing – Rhys Loxley, Gian Albano, Nick Ambrogio, Chok Dau

Right Wing – Scott Witschge, Matthew Milenkovic, Paul Zimarino, Alex Tanevski

Striker – Chris Jackson, Alex Salmon, Daryl Nicol, Daniel Robinson

So here we go here is the Footballwa.net 2018 NPLWA All Star Team - Formation 4, 4, 2

Goalkeeper - This was the hardest spot to fill but we went for Floreat Athena's Jason Saldaris, who just pipped Alex Dunn. The big shot stopper was in magnificent form all season, even when Floreat were struggling early in the season. He produced several fine saves which helped Floreat go unbeaten in their final nine games.

Defence - At left-back we have selected Perth Glory's Walter Scott. The 19-year-old made his A-League debut last season and his good form in the NPL has seen him selected in the Young Socceroos squad. At right-back we chose Bayswater City's Adam Harris. The South Australian has been a mainstay for the Black and Blues and he was impressive at both ends of the park. For our central defensive partnership, we selected Perth SC'S Rocco Pizzata and Inglewood United's David Cyrus. Both players led by example for their respective teams all season. Pizzata was outstanding and helped the Azzurri to the title, he reads the game well and was a huge part of the club’s success this season. Likewise, for Cyrus, whose good season saw him take out the clubs fairest and best award.

Midfield - In our central midfield we selected Cockburn City's Cameron Edwards and Floreat Athena's Dean Evans. Both ran the engine room in their club’s midfield, and both were instrumental in their club’s success. Evans set pieces helped Floreat out of their early season slump, while Edwards lead his young side into the play-offs and only just missed out on a place in the Top Four Finals. On the left wing we selected young Bayswater City's Gian Albano. The former Perth Glory youth player was a standout for the club last season. His pace and guile caused problems to all defenders and he topped the goal scoring charts for City. On the right wing we selected Perth SC's Matthew Milenkovic, whose stellar season was topped off by winning the Perth SC Fairest and Best. His runs from deep and eye for goal made him a dangerous player and he bagged 12 goals in the NPL.

Strikers – For our selection for the two strikers we went for the NPLWA top goal scorers Chris Jackson from Armadale and Daryl Nicol from ECU Joondalup who both bagged 24 goals this season. In his first season at Armadale, Jackson scored some crucial goals to help Armadale to the last 32 of the FFA Cup and winning the State League Cup. Nicol's pace caused havoc all season, and his fantastic season was rewarded by winning the ECU Fairest and Best.

Coach - The coach of the Footballwa.net 'Team of the Season' is Perth SC Head Coach Ramon Falzon. He has found the right formula to bring success to the Dorrien Gardens club and has brought on many youngsters through the club’s junior ranks to shine for the first team. It's been a fantastic two and half years for Falzon at Perth, bringing them the league title twice in the last three seasons.

Full team - GK - Jason Saldaris (Floreat Athena), Left Back - Walter Scott (Perth Glory), Right Back - Adam Harris (Bayswater City), Centre Backs - Rocco Pizzata (Perth SC), David Cyrus (Inglewood United), Centre Midfield - Dean Evans (Floreat Athena) Cameron Edwards (Cockburn City), Left Wing - Gian Albano (Bayswater City), Right Wing - Matthew Milenkovic (Perth SC) - Strikers - Chris Jackson (Armadale), Daryl Nicol (ECU Joondalup) - Bench - RGK Alex Dunn (Inglewood United), Alex Castiello (Subiaco), Paul Zimarino (Perth SC), David Perich (Subiaco), David Micevski (Stirling Lions), Nick Ambrogio (Perth SC) - Coach - Ramon Falzon

12.10.2018

WE WILL WIN THE 2018 NPLWA GOLD MEDAL

It's Football West's Night of Night's on Saturday when the 2018 Gold Medal will be awarded for the best player in the NPLWA at the Crown Casino Ballroom. We have taken a look into our crystal ball to see which players from each club who we believe will poll well on the night.

We start with the Champions Perth SC, who won their 22nd league title in 2018, and they had several players who will poll well on the night. Matthew Milenkovic was outstanding all season and he deservedly won the clubs Fairest and Best last week and is one of the favourites for the award, while midfielder Paul Zimarino and defender Rocco Pizzata will also be among the votes. Runners-up Perth Glory have had a break out season under the guidance of John Gibson, and many were dismayed when he was released by the club at the end of the season. Walter Scott has had a great season and will be amongst the votes, while midfielder Henry Hore and defender Luke Bodnar will also poll well, although Hore is ineligible due to a sending off against Joondalup United in round three.

Cockburn City also had a successful season, with Scott Miller's side just being pipped for a spot on the Final by Perth SC. It was the clubs’ best season for a number of years, and they were led superbly by skipper Cameron Edwards, who will poll well on the night, while others to poll well will be leading scorer Daniel Robinson, and winger Harry O'Brien. Bayswater City finished fourth and in the words of coach Chris Coyne, they never got started. But Gian Albano was a standout in his first season at the club and will be high in the votes, while defender Adam Harris and Paul McCarthy, will both do well on the night.

Inglewood United just missed out on the top four finals under Andy Keogh, the Glory striker stood down after the season and he has been replaced by Trim Morgan. Skipper David Cyrus took out the clubs Player of the Year and will poll well on Saturday, while Kenny Keogh and Brian Woodall will also be up there. ECU Joondalup also missed out on a finals spot and their home form hurt Dale McCulloch's side, losing five games which ultimately cost them. Skipper Daryl Nicol has been outstanding in 2018 and won the clubs Fairest and Best and was equal top scorer in the NPLWA and he is one of the favourites to take out the award, while defender Andy Higgins and midfielder Ross Millard will also poll well.

Floreat Athena ended the season well under new Coach Garrett McDuling, who took over from Howard Tweets midway through the season, and the club were unbeaten in the final nine games to finish the season in seventh. Midfielder Dean Evans was standout in the middle of the park and he will poll well, but he is ineligible after getting sent off against Subiaco in round 12. Defender Jesse Fuller and midfielder Calvin Whitney will also be amongst the votes, although Whitney is ineligible after also being sent off against Subiaco. Sorrento also ended the season well, after Jamie Harnwell's side hovered around the relegation spots for a while. Winger Scott Witschge had a great season for the Gulls and will poll well, while New Zealand import Jack Salter and striker Reece Vittiglia will also be in the votes.

Stirling Lions were also at the wrong end of the table, but a late surge by Keegan Ashley's Lions' moved them clear, and an 8-0 win in the final game of the season at Forrestfield saw them secure their spot next season. David Micevski was outstanding, and the former winner of the award will poll well again, while youngsters Alex Tanveski and Alex Suleski will also be amongst the votes. It was a huge season for John O'Reilly's Armadale, winning the State League Cup Final and a spot in the last 32 of the FFA Cup. Import striker Chris Jackson was equal leading goal scorer in the NPLWA and will poll well but is ineligible after being sent off on his debut for the club in round one. Defender Josh Kuser and striker Chris Rizidis will also poll well on the night for the Reds.

Balcatta also left it late to stay up, and Goran Static's side won the final game for the second season running to avoid relegation. Skipper Calum O'Connell was outstanding all season and will poll well on the night, while defender Hayden Stevens and midfielder Jon Corness will also poll well, although Corness is ineligible after being sent off in the opening game against Bayswater City. Subiaco ended the Glory's title hopes in the final game of the season but it wasn't enough for Ian McMurray's side and they were relegated. The form of midfielder David Perich was outstanding, and he will poll well again, while defender Alex Castiello and midfielder Nathan Smith will also pick up some votes.

It was a tough first season in the NPL for Forrestfield United and Rod Banjac's side were relegated. The experienced coach left the club at the end of the season for family and work commitments and the club have given Graham Normanton the responsibility of leading them back up next season. Skipper Liam Merigan was a standout for the club and will poll well, while winger Rhys Loxley and defender Tom Southgate will poll well, although Southgate is ineligible after being sent off against Stirling Lions in round 13. It was a season to forget for Joondalup United on and off the park, and Nick Jennings' side finished at the foot of the table and without a home due to a lack of support from the local council. Elliot Tattersall was their best all season and will poll well, while midfielders John Chalmers and Callum Stocks will also poll well.

12.10.2018

TIME FOR THE ‘SILLY SEASON’ IN NPLWA

It's that time of the season in the NPLWA, which many call the 'Silly Season', when clubs jostle for players for 2019. Last season brought up many scenarios, have you got the budget to fit these players in your salary cap - do you have the right balance, and will your players stay loyal to your football club.

The season however, one of these scenarios has been lifted with Football West and the NPL considering scraping the salary cap. Many players in 2018 went to play for clubs in the state league, who were paying more than some of the NPL clubs as there wasn't a cap in the league. So now they will be looking to return to the Premier League but with two less clubs in 2019 is there room for these players to return?

But loyalty in my opinion is something that has gone from our great game. There are players who would fight tooth and nail to get in the first team and wear the shirt with pride and money is the least of their concerns. Unfortunately, they are rare, most are pimping themselves out to the highest bidder, and it's there for all to see with players going from club to club to get the best deal they can - Loyalty - I don't think so!!!!

At the end of the day if clubs are willing to pay it then why shouldn't the players do it? Many of these are visa players, who jump on a plane to play the World Game in another country by getting sponsored for a working visa. But the immigration department are now clamping down on players who flaunt the rule by jumping from one club to the other. In some cases, they are released by clubs, and that is ok, but if there isn't a contributing factor due to work situation etc, and not just looking for a bigger pay packet, these players could feel the wreath of the immigration department.

Yes, the import players lift the standard and profile of the league, and there has been some outstanding players that have graced the pitch in the NPLWA over the years, but when is time to say enough is enough? The talented young players at clubs are not getting a look in, and many dropped down to the state league and have improved the standard of those leagues this season, and having watched a number of games this season, including a pulsating Relegation & Promotion Play off Final second leg last week, and everyone who watched the game would tell you the football was a good level and some of the players wouldn't look out of place in the NPL.

So, what is the solution? If I knew that we wouldn't be writing this article, but what we do know is our beautiful game is being hijacked for the detriment of our kids. Sponsors are difficult to come by for all clubs in WA, but most of your sponsors money goes to bring in one or two import players leaving the kids and junior development to fight for scraps - Is it the right way to go? Only time will tell, but if we want to give our kids the opportunity to play at the highest level, then something has got to give.

12.10.2018

CLISBY REVEALS INGLEWOOD’S IMPORTANCE IN HIS CAREER (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)

97 A-League appearances, four A-League clubs and hit-outs against Manchester City and Arsenal - Jack Clisby has achieved a lot in his relatively young career. However, the 26-year old Central Coast Mariners defender says he would not have achieved any of it had it not been for the season he spent at Inglewood United.

As a teenager Clisby joined St Johnstone with the hopes of working his way into the Scottish Premiership. “I was there for a year,” Clisby told ccmariners.com.au “I was part of the youth set up for St Johnstone. I didn’t really get the chance to break through into the first team, so I decided to come back to Australia.”

“At that point, I thought I might not have been able to make it as a professional. I was actually thinking about giving up football. But my dad, who loves football, and has always driven me to keep going, said ‘Look, just give it one more year, play in the WA National Premier Leagues for Inglewood United.’”

It was a sage piece of advice, and the resilience Clisby showed put him back on track for a bright future in football. “I ended up getting player of the season for the whole league as a centre back, and that put me on the books for Perth Glory,” said Clisby, reflecting on his breakthrough 2012 season at Inglewood.

“It was not long after that they (Perth Glory) approached me and I started training with their first team, and the next week I signed a contract and I was playing my first professional game. My debut, which was on Australia Day back in 2013, that was a fantastic experience and a proud moment for my family.”

Clisby went on to play two summers with Glory before switching Melbourne City. A mid-2016 move to Western Sydney Wanderers saw him play in the Asian Champions League and in friendlies against Manchester City and Arsenal. He is preparing for his first season with Central Coast having signed for the club in May.

11.10.2018

GLORY SWOOP FOR HIGHLY-RATED DEFENDER NAUGHTON

Perth Glory Women have made their third signing of the week with the recruitment of Katie Naughton for the coming W-League season. The highly-rated central defender joins Glory fresh from another impressive campaign with Chicago Red Stars in which she made 24 starts and won the club's Best Defender award.

A former United States youth international, Naughton is no stranger to the W-League having spent the last two seasons with Adelaide United and is relishing the prospect of donning the famous purple this year. "I'm excited to see what this new season has in store," she said, "especially since I'll be with a new team and in a new environment.

"I've heard so many amazing things about the city of Perth and I can't wait to experience it for myself alongside my teammates. I feel confident going into this season with what I've heard about this team and the calibre of players that we have and I can't wait to get started."

11.10.2018

JONES WELCOMES FIGHT FOR SOCCEROOS GLOVES

Veteran goalkeeper Brad Jones has hailed the three-way fight to wear the Socceroos' gloves in next week's friendly against Kuwait. First-choice 'keeper Mat Ryan was this week ruled out of the international to manage an undisclosed injury suffered with English Premier League club Brighton and Hove Albion.

And it's opened the door for Jones, Mitchell Langerak and Danny Vukovic to stake their claims for spots in the Asian Cup tournament in January. "We have a great group of 'keepers at the moment," said Jones, during preparations for the friendly in Dubai. "The training level is always high because it is natural that you're competing against the guys in training.

Jones said it was important there is strong camaraderie among the goalkeepers in the squad. "In the past you've had fractious competition where it creates a problem," he said. "We certainly don't have that. We are in there working towards one goal. It is enjoyable to come in and train hard. That's the best way to look at it."

Jones, who at 36 is the oldest player in Graham Arnold's squad, has enjoyed a fruitful move to Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr FC after a long career in Europe. He has started in five of seven games for the undefeated club in the Pro League. "The team's performed really well. It's a good standard," Jones said.

"This year they've changed the foreign rule from three players to eight players. There's a lot of players that have come in and the league's definitely grown with it. We've had seven matches, seven wins, so I couldn't wish for a better start. Life in Saudi is good. My family moved over, the kids are in school and it's going well."

10.10.2018

STANTON BACK ON BOARD FOR GLORY WOMEN

Perth Glory Women continue to build towards the coming season with confirmation Nikki Stanton has re-signed with the club. One of Glory’s best-loved overseas recruits, Washington-born Stanton is poised for a fourth season in purple having made his debut back in 2015.

27-year old Stanton is thrilled to be returning to Glory and is hoping for better luck this season after breaking her arm two games into 2017/18. "I'm extremely excited to be back," said Stanton, who played the eyar with Chicago Red Stars.

"Perth has turned into a home away from home for me. I've fallen in love with the city, the club and the girls and I'm really looking forward to the upcoming season and hopefully getting a championship title. Avoiding any more freak injuries would also be nice!"

Stanton began her career at Seattle Sounders and then spent three highly-successful seasons at Sky Blue FC. She will be out to establish herself as one of the W-League's most influential players when the season gets underway on Sunday 28 October, with Glory's first home game on Saturday 17 November.

10.10.2018

ANTHONY MOVES TO WALTER PADBURY RESERVE

Gosnells City have appointed Marc Anthony as Head Coach for 2019. Club President Garry Nickisson said it’s a huge coup for the club to get the former Celtic and Perth Glory midfielder to the club as they look to climb back up the league. “The Gosnells City Football Club is delighted to announce the appointments of the Coaching Team, Marc Anthony and Cathal Lennon (Lenny) as Senior and Assistant Coach to our State League First Team,” he said.

“Marc has been involved in football as a professional player in the UK, mainly playing in Scotland with Glasgow Celtic. He arrived in Australia in 2007 and continued his playing career with various WA Clubs including playing for Perth Glory. “Marc is joined by Lenny who has been involved with football for many years and has worked alongside Marc for the last five years as a very successful coaching team. The club is very excited with the appointments and looking forward to working alongside Marc and Lenny and enjoying a long and successful future together.

Nickisson added his thanks to coach Brad Rushton who stepped in last season after the departure of Alan Dunlop. “We would like to thank Brad for stepping into the Senior Coaching position last season and we wish him all the best for the future,” he said. “Also, the club would like to thank Dion Selby for his role as assistant coach to the first team. Dion has been involved with the club from a junior player, through to becoming a successful coach with our State League teams, especially with our U18's, twice winning the league. We thank Dion for all his work with Gosnells City FC and we are sure that he will find another fulfilling role within our club.”

Anthony, who left Fremantle City after the commencement of last season, said he is looking forward to the challenge. “My time at Fremantle was fantastic with an exceptional group of players who gave me so much hard work over the course of the season winning the night series and then finishing third, and I wish the club all the best in the future,” he said. “Gosnells came as a bit of a surprise, but once I spoke to the club and realised their ambition for the future I was really excited to take on the role with Lennie beside me, between the coaching staff and committee we hope to bring success to Gosnells City FC.”.

9.10.2018

KERR NOMINATED FOR BALLON D'OR

Matildas superstar Sam Kerr has been nominated for the inaugural Women’s Ballon d’Or Award. Kerr – a two-time nominee for FIFA Best Women's Player of the Year – completes a field of 15 players nominated by the editorial staff of French publication France Football.

Nomination for the Women’s Ballon d’Or Award caps another stunning year for 24-year old Kerr, who recently became the first FFA-back marquee player in the W-League by re-signed with Perth Glory. The 2018 winner will be announced in Paris on 3rd December marking the first time in the 62-year history of the prestigious award that female players will be recognised.

The Women's Ballon d’Or nominees are Lucy Bronze (England), Pernille Harder (Denmark), Ada Hegerberg (Norway), Amandine Henry (France), Lindsey Horan, (USA), Samantha Kerr (Australia), Fran Kirby (England), Saki Kumagai (Japan), Amel Majri (France), Dzsenifer Maroszan (Germany), Marta (Brazil), Lieke Martens (Netherlands), Megan Rapinoe (USA), Wendie Renard (France) and Christine Sinclair (Canada).

9.10.2018

RISDON RELISHING HOMETOWN RETURN

It will be a family affair for Western Sydney Wanderers fullback Josh Risdon when he travels west to face his old side Perth Glory in round one of the A-League. Having moved from his hometown club to the Wanderers last year, Risdon will return to the place it all began on Sunday 21 October seeking a positive start to the season.

Risdon, currently in camp with the Socceroos ahead of their 16th October friendly with Kuwait, said he was looking forward to taking a stroll down memory lane and hinted at some extra moral support amongst the vast sea of purple at Perth Oval. “They’ll (family) always stay with me,” Risdon said.

“A few of the family are Western Sydney fans now but it will be good to see them, I haven’t been back to Perth for a while now. There will be a big bus load coming up from Bunbury and it will be good to see the family that weekend. Hopefully we can get the win and start the season off really well.”

While excited to be returning home, Risdon stressed the importance of getting off to a good start after a long pre-season. “It’s back to business now after a long pre-season,” he said. “It’s getting closer and closer and everyone is hanging out for that round one, being such a long pre-season.”

Adding further intrigue to the opening fixture is the return of former Wanderers boss Tony Popovic to the A-League. Having been handed the reins at Glory in May, Popovic will begin his second managerial stint in the A-League against the club he helped build from nothing.

Risdon admitted that it would be an emotional occasion for some involved, but said the goal ultimately remains the same. “Drawing Perth first round, against the old team and against (Tony) Popovic as well so it will be big for both clubs,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully we can get off to a good start.”

9.10.2018

GLORY WOMEN WELCOME BACK MAUTZ

Dynamic midfielder Alyssa Mautz says she's excited to be back playing for Perth Glory as the countdown continues to the 2018/19 W-League season. Mautz is no stranger to Glory fans having made 14 appearances for the club during the summer of 2016/17.

Mautz, 29, impressed for Adelaide United last season, scoring twice in 12 games, but is now really looking forward to returning to the West for what will be her third season in the competition. "It'll be fun to be back with such great girls," Mautz said.

"I hope we can make it back to the Grand Final this year which I’m pretty confident we can do given how much I’ve heard about the girls' improvement over the last year. I can’t wait to get the season started!"

Originally from Missouri, Mautz rose to prominence with Texas A&M University from where she joined Sky Blue FC in 2011. A move to Chicago Red Stars twelve months later has seen her chalk up over 100 National Womens Soccer League appearances for the club.

8.10.2018

FORRESTFIELD SNAP UP NORMANTON

Forrestfield United have acted quickly to replace long-term coach Rod Banjac by securing the services of Graham Normanton for season 2019. Banjac stood down at the end of last season due to family and work commitments, but the appointed of the former Perth SC, Inglewood United, Olympic Kingsway coach, who coached them to the Division Two title last season without losing a game, will give the club a massive boost as they look to return to the NPL.

Forrestfield President Mark Twamley said the appointment is a huge coup for the club. "Graham is by far the most successful coach in Western Australian football and I'm thrilled that we could attract him to Forrestfield United," he said. "This club is determined to build on the success of past seasons, playing attractive style of football in front of our loyal supporters and the famous Forrie Army. We remain focused on our ambition to be a model club that engages with our local community and provides top class playing facilities and coaching in an affordable package to local families. Having a successful first team playing exciting football to represent our brand is something I have every confidence that Graham can deliver."

Normanton, who was inducted into the Football West Hall of Fame in 2008, said the chance to work with the progressive club was a major factor of him excepting the role. "I'm delighted to appointed Head Coach at one of Western Australia's best community-based clubs," he said. "I believe in what this club is trying to achieve and I'm excited to play my part in bringing success to Forrestfield United. I will quickly get to work with my coaching team to assemble a squad of players to once again excite the crowd at Hartfield Park."

8.10.2018

CYRUS WINS INGLEWOOD’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)

Defender David Cyrus has written himself in Inglewood United history by winning the clubs top individual award, the Player of the Year. A bumper crowd on hand at Saturday evening’s presentation ceremony at the Clubhouse to commemorate the season that was.

Cyrus started the season quietly and didn’t feature on the Player of the Year leaderboard until midway through the season. The 29-year old excelled over the closing stages of the National Premier Leagues and when counting finished he was top of the pile with 75 votes.

Early pacesetter Jason Barrera (71 votes) was Runner-Up Player of the Year for the second successive year and in third place was Brian Woodall (70 votes). Experienced goalkeeper Alex Dunn was honoured by his peers in the form of the Players’ Player of the Year.

The Leading Goal Scorer trophy went home with Alex Salmon and 22-year old centre back Connor Becsi was presented the Rising Star award. The tireless efforts of Angela Antonas (registrar) and Nick Webster (juniors coordinator) were recognised as joint Club Person of the Year.

Federico Achilli picked up the Under-20s Player of the Year head of Griffin Becsi, who was also voted Players’ Player of the Year. The Leading Goalscorer award was split between by Ryan Moran, Saverio Scriva and Joel Jebaratnam, who netted five times each during the home and away series

Brendan Italiano scooped the pool in the Under-18s with wins in the Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year categories. Lewis Collier was Runner-Up Player of the Year with the Leading Goal Scorer trophy presented to Zuhar Gaboose, scorer of 12 goals.

8.10.2018

LYDEN FIT AND READY AFTER SPELL ON THE SIDELINES

Midfielder Jordan Lyden is raring to go for his first bit of action at Oldham Athletic after picking up a thigh injury following his loan move from Aston Villa. The West Australian missed the whole of September with the injury but having recovered he’s now ready to show the Latics fans what he can do.

“It was disappointing to pick up that injury, it was my second training session, so it was unfortunate especially since I thought I was doing well, but now I'm fully fit and raring to go against Bradford,” Lyden said. “I'm fully recovered, so hopefully I can get past all these injuries now, push on and get some games under my belt.”

Despite being out injured, Lyden says he has settled in quickly at Boundary Park. “There's a great bunch of lads here and the first thing I noticed was the positivity around the place,” he commented. “It's a family club which you couldn't ask for more, so they've welcomed me really well, I've settled in and I'm happy just to be playing my football again.”

And he is also enjoying working with Oldham manager Frankie Bunn. “It's been really good working with the gaffer,” Lyden added. “He gets stuck in at training which is what the players need, I feel you can't always give them a pat on the shoulder, but when they do need it he knows when to do it.”

Bunn confirmed in his press conference before the Carlisle United fixture that Lyden would play some part in the Checkatrade Trophy match with Bradford City. The Villa loanee says he is looking forward to making his Latics debut in a vitally important game in terms of the competition for Oldham after losing the opening game narrowly to Barnsley.

“I can't wait, I'm raring to go, this injury held me back for a bit, so I've taken longer on my road to recovery, but now I'm fully fit and can't wait to be out there,” he said. “There's a lot to play for ... it’s a must win game for both of us since we lost to Barnsley, so we need this to get us going in the competition.”

7.10.2018

GLORY BEATEN IN FINAL PRE-SEASON GAME

Perth Glory suffered their second defeat of pre-season, when they were beaten 1-0 by Melbourne City in a behind closed doors friendly at CFA Melbourne on Sunday. City won it early with Dario Vidosic on target, but both sides had chances in a good work out for both clubs just two weeks away from their season openers. "It was another very good hit-out for us against an A-League opponent which was invaluable to us as a team with many new players looking to play in a new way, “Glory Coach Tony Popovic said.

"We would have preferred to have got a result and in terms of the balance of play, I thought we deserved at least a draw, but it was still a pleasing performance. In the first half we looked a little bit flat and didn't quite get into any rhythm, but as the game wore on, we really started playing the type of football that we've been seeing at training and in our pre-season games back home. We were under pressure at times, but our structure keeps getting better and we had some opportunities of our own.

Popovic said they are heading in the right direction ahead of the season opener against Western Sydney Wanderers on October 21. "There are still a lot of things to improve, but it was a performance which will give us a lot of confidence heading into Round One," he said. "Overall, we will learn a lot from it and the physically, it will stand us in good stead. Initial reports are that we had a clean bill of health injury-wise, which is obviously another big plus. The players have worked exceptionally hard during what has been a long pre-season and I'm very happy in terms of where we're at with the new season now nearly upon us."

It was fast-paced opening to the match, which showed both sides were ready to go for the new season as the tempo and movement in the opening minutes was on show. The home side had the ball in the net after eight minutes, but Riley McGree shot was ruled out for offside. But City did take the lead on 17 minutes, Vidosic found a pocket of space just outside the box and his shot took a deflection and beat Liam Reedy. McGee went close again for City, his shot flashed wide of Reedy's post. Glory pressed before the break and Alex Grant headed wide, before Fabio Ferreira’s volley from the edge of the box whistled wide.

Glory opened the second half brightly and went close to the equaliser on the hour when Ferreira pounced on some sloppy City pass out of defence, but his shot was tipped over by Eugene Galekovic. Both sides pressed as the game opened up, but it was Glory creating the better chances. First a free kick from Jake Brimmer on 80 minutes was tipped over by Galekovic, before the lively Joel Chianese shot flew into the side netting. The match ended on a sour note for the hosts as second half substitute and former Glory midfielder Roystyn Griffiths was sent off for a second bookable offence in the final minutes of the match.




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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