R.I.P. Dylan Tombides, 1994-2014

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This Saturday morning on the World Football Programme, Penny Tanner and Don Evans chat local football with Football West, national league football with Mitch Grima, Perth Glory with Kenny Lowe, the local women’s game with Jess Bonzas and nationally with Ann Odong. We remember young Dylan Tombides with a fond West Australian farewell. Text us your comments and questions for guests to 0408921832. Saturday morning between 10-12 on 107.9fm



It is neutral’s football fans delight this weekend with National Premier Leagues games all across the long weekend. It all kicks off tonight, with the game of the round when the improved Perth Glory travels to Litis Stadium to take on Floreat Athena (7.00pm). “We know they have some big names coming into their side, so we can’t be complacent,” said Floreat custodian Tom Dixon. “It’s been a hectic week for us with three games but since Peter Murphy has come on board the lads have put in some solid performances, so we are quietly confident.”

On Saturday afternoon it’s the local derby between Balcatta and Stirling Lions at Grindleford Reserve. Fourth-placed Balcatta have turned the corner after a stuttering start to the season, but their only home game to date ended in a loss and that’s some they want to rectify. “It’s a massive game for both clubs if they want to keep up with the rest of the leaders,” Balcatta captain Adam Tong said. “Stirling are a quality team and are lead well by Andy Brown, but we are playing well and go into the game full of confidence. It’s a local derby so I’m sure both sides will be up for it.”

Cockburn City will look to bounce back from last week’s heavy loss when they tackle Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. However, the home team have every intention of making it an afternoon to remember for long-time captain Todd Harnwell in his 400th appearance for the northern suburbs club. National Premier League leaders Bayswater City are expected to collect maximum points for the seven straight time when bottom of the table Subiaco AFC ventures to Frank Drago Reserve for the first time.

The evening fixture has Perth SC travelling to Armadale (7.00pm). Reds goalkeeper Matthew Gould has conceded six goals in the last two games but has every intention of keeping a clean sheet this time out. “The last two league results have been disappointing and the score line wasn’t a fair reflection of either game,” said Gould. “Saturday will be a tough game but if we but in a performance like we did at Bayswater in the Cup, I think we can take the points.” Nathan Costello and Jackson Bealey will miss the game through suspension while Perth defender Craig Simpson will undergo a late fitness test.

The round comes to an end on Sunday with Inglewood United hosting ECU Joondalup at Intiga Stadium. “We are unbeaten in the last four games and it’s important to keep that run going,” said Inglewood midfielder Sean Browne. “We are scoring goals for fun – seventeen in our last four games – but Joondalup will be desperate for the points after losing their last two games.” David Perich returns from injury for the hosts while Joondalup welcome back Joe Smith and Tommy Amphlett. All National Premier Leagues games – Saturday and Sunday – kick-off at 3.00pm unless stated otherwise



Morley Windmills go shooting for a third straight win when they call in on near-neighbours Ashfield in the pick of tomorrow’s Division One action. “It has definitely been a great start for us this year,” said Morley goalkeeper Daniel Agudelo, who unfortunately misses the game through suspension. “We’ve been focusing more on our performance and game plan than our opponents. That said, it’s always a tough game against Ashfield and usually delivers plenty of entertainment.” Mathew Battigelli will line-up between the posts for away team while Ashfield welcome back defensive pair Graham Tough and Nick Davies.

Gosnells City sit jointly alongside Morley at the top of Division One and are tipped to take the points over home side UWA-Nedlands. Second-placed Bunbury Forum Force tackles Shamrock Rovers Perth at Payne Park. Not a lot has gone right for Wanneroo City so far this season, the northerners leaking goals at an alarming rate while yet to score themselves, and it’s hard to see their fortunes changing much when Western Knights visit Kingsway Reserve. Swan United coach Salv Tadaro has six starters unavailable for the black and whites trip to Dianella White Eagles.

Striker Daniel Niederberger is planning to lead Canning City to their second win in eight days when they face Mandurah City at Burrendah Reserve. “It was good to get back in the winner’s circle last week,” said Niederberger, whose team are strengthened by the return of Simon Versaico and Jarrad Smith. “Mandurah have always been a hard team to beat and the league restructure has affected Division One in that some teams have a lot of new faces, it’s not like you can predict how teams will line-up at the moment and we know it will be a tough contest.” All six Division One games kick-off tomorrow at 3.00pm.



The opening weeks of the new season have been tough on Balga but victory tomorrow at Ellenbrook United may just be what the doctor ordered according to coach Martyn Day. “Neither club has made a great start to the season and both will fancy their chances of winning,” said Day. “We’ve found it a big step up from Sunday football, the game is a lot quicker and any mistake you get punished. Ellenbrook are in the same boat as us and we’re looking to get some points on the board this weekend.” Balga captain Gary Shorto will miss the game through injury while a late decision will be made on Kyall Osborne.

Melville City are riding high after back-to-back wins but tomorrow face a daunting trip to Joondalup City. Forrestfield United regain Jason Godfrey, Trent Wood, Jordan Hart and Lynden Pywell for their home date with Kingsway Olympic. Adam Buckley (family commitments), Stuart Hartmann (injury), Lee Sheppard (flu) will be absent from the Joondalup United line-up when they tackle Fremantle United at Hilton Reserve. A first win of the season is up for grabs when Kelmscott Roos and Curtin University pit skills at Frye Park. Rockingham City are minus Reece Frank (overseas) and James Hesketh (injury) for the game at Gumblossom Park against Quinns. All six Division Two games kick-off tomorrow at 3.00pm.



Sorrento captain Todd Harnwell will play his 400th game for the Percy Doyle Reserve club, when the Gulls host Cockburn City on Saturday. The 34-year old has been a stalwart at the club and he has watched it grow into one of the best clubs in WA football, and he likens it to a family. “I really don't know why it’s so special to me, but the club is just like family to me both literally and metaphorically,” he said. “There are boys there like Big Macca (Steve McDonald), who I've played with since I was ten, and I've even coached a number of the younger lads coming through and even taught a few at school.”

Harnwell progressed through Sorrento’s juniors ranks to make his first team debut at the age of 17. There have been many highs amongst his 399 games to date with the attacker singling out a few in particular. “I think winning the Cup as captain was special, especially given it was the trophy that had eluded us for so long,” explained Harnwell. “My first year playing with the first team in 1996, when we got beat in the Cup Final at Stirling. I was only 18-years old and missed out on selection but the build up to the game was a buzz. I remember the game well so it was great to achieve that feat.”

Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell has enjoyed being along for the ride with his younger brother. “Todd has been an integral part of the Sorrento first team for longer than most players’ total careers. His standards have never dropped and even this season at the age of 34 he has been one of the sides’ best performers,” said the former Perth Glory defender. “Off the field he has been one of the constant influences in the dressing room and he has a never say die attitude that characterises the club. A fact emphasised by his long period as captain.”

The Harnwell boys had some great battles in the back yard as kids, and Jamie said it helped in his younger brothers development. “He is an intense competitor, nurtured through plenty of one-verses-one games between the two of us as kids. He is an intelligent player and uses his body well for a player of his size,” the Sorrento coach said. “He has been a pleasure to play with and now coach at Sorrento, and his achievements in playing 400 games and winning everything the State League are a credit to him.”

It is a family affair at the club, and the name Harnwell has had a huge impact at the club, and his dad, Derek, the president of the club. “I would like to think the Harnwell’s have had a positive influence on Sorrento, my mum (Kaye) has slaved in the canteen and helped with the books,” said Harnwell. “However, the club's success has come from the hard work of many people who give of their time and efforts, such as Kerry Slater and Alan Gray, and we will be doing all we can for them to have a successful season this year.” Sorrento takes on Cockburn City from 3.00pm on Saturday at Percy Doyle Reserve.



New Bayswater City midfielder Sam Mitchinson knows he will have to work hard to break into the National Premier Leagues pacesetters starting eleven, but he is up for the challenge and looking forward to working with Chris Coyne. “I’m really excited to work with Chris, and he has done a great job at Bayswater,” Mitchinson said. “I knew him from our time at Perth Glory, and I’m looking forward to developing my game under his guidance. Bayswater have assembled a very strong side and I will need to work hard to establish myself in the team.”

The 21-year old joined the Frank Drago Reserve club from A-League side Melbourne Heart last week, despite having a number of offers to stay in Melbourne with Victorian clubs. “With my contract at the Heart coming to an end I started receiving offers from Victorian National Premier Leagues sides,” explained Mitchinson. “The money on offer in Victoria was significantly more, but the chance to get back home and kick start my career again with Bayswater was more appealing.”

The midfielder was left frustrated in his final season with Heart, in which he managed 15 outings in the red and white stripes. “Unfortunately, for me, the signing on-loan of Aziz Behich meant I had a frustrating time football wise last season,” he said. “He played my position in the team and under the agreement in his contract if fit he had to play a certain percentage of games. He remained injury-free and suspension-free until the end of the season, and by then the new coach John van Skip had decided I wasn’t in his future plans.”

Mitchinson began his football in the academy set-up at English club Walsall before immigrating to Perth in 2005, where he joined Subiaco AFC. He enjoyed a couple of seasons with Cockburn City followed by stints in the National Training Centre and Perth Glory. A season with Victorian club Oakland Cannons lead to a deal with the Heart. “I’ve enjoyed all my clubs and had many highlights,” he said. “Reaching the National Youth League Grand Final with Perth Glory was special, my Glory senior debut against Melbourne Victory in 2012 was up there to as was signing my first professional contract with the Heart.”

Mitchinson came up through the National Training Centre under the tutelage of new Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe and Gareth Naven. “I owe a lot to Kenny and Gareth, who have both played massive part in my development,” Mitchinson explained. “I enjoyed my time with the NTC and in the A-League with Glory, however, I had to look elsewhere for a professional contract.” Mitchinson will be line to make his home debut for Bayswater on Saturday against his former club Subiaco at Frank Drago Reserve.



Rugged defender Dino Djulbic is happy to be home after signing a two-year deal with Perth Glory. 31-year old Djulbic has played in Germany, China, United Arab Emirates and on the Gold Coast since leaving Glory in 2009 and is understandably delighted to return to the club where his professional career began. “It’s great to be back at Glory, the club where I made my professional debut and which has given me so much, both on and off the pitch.” Djublic said of his re-signing. “It’s been over five years since I last played for Glory and I am looking forward to once again playing in the A-League … it’s great to be home.”

Bosnian-born Djulbic rose to prominence on the local scene with Perth SC and also played for Victorian clubs Frankston Pines and South Melbourne before being picked up by Glory in 2009. Over one and a half seasons he donned the purple of Glory on 34 occasions before an unsuccessful spell with German club Rot Weiss Ahlen. Upon returning to Australia he joined Gold Coast United, gaining 40 outings, where his defensive nous caught the attention of Chinese club Guizhou Renhe, for whom he played 56 times across two seasons and represented Australia. Djulbic most recently played in the United Arab Emirates for Al-Wahda.

Djulbic has made a big impression in the Glory hierarchy, having trained with the club for the past few months. “He has already demonstrated over that period what an asset he will be for the club,” chief executive Jason Brewer said. “His track record is exactly what this club needs, his experience, presence and leadership is what the club and in particular our developing players will greatly benefit from and I know he can’t wait to get back in front of the Perth Glory supporters after a few years away from home.” Djulbic will re-establish ties with his new team mates when Glory commence pre-season training in June.



New Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe admits he was as surprised as anyone to win the top job on a permanent basis, but says he now faces an ongoing challenge to avoid getting the sack. Lowe beat out a host of candidates from Europe, South America, Australia and New Zealand to secure a two-year A-League coaching deal. Lowe took over as interim coach of Glory following Alistair Edwards’ sacking in December but his record of four wins from 17 starts was hardly the stuff dreams are made of. “I’m surprised a little bit,” Lowe conceded. “At the end of the day I’m not really high profile but I think I’ve got qualities that will allow me to do well.”

Lowe’s ability to smooth tensions amongst the player group after a rift opened up between Edwards and senior players is understood to have been crucial in him securing the job on a full-time basis. His extensive knowledge of the A-League and ten-year involvement in West Australian youth ranks also weighed heavily in his favour. “I don’t need to win anyone over,” said Lowe, who knows he in for a tough couple of years. “There’s only two things that I can guarantee will happen while I’m at this club. One, I’ll get the criticism. And two, I’ll get the sack. That’s guaranteed, I just hope it’s a while down the road.”

Lowe made it clear his goal is to lead Glory back to the pinnacle of Australia football. “We want to be a club that’s challenging every year,” said Lowe. “At the moment you probably look at two or three clubs that before the season starts you can say they’ll be there or thereabouts. You actually don’t say that about this club at the moment. Bit by bit, year by year, hopefully that improves and it gets to the stage where people talk about Perth Glory like they talk about Brisbane Roar, Central Coast (Mariners) and (Western Sydney) Wanderers.”

With Jacob Burns, Travis Dodd, Ryan Edwards, Adrian Zahra, William Gallas, Steven McGarry and Darvydas Sernas all set to move on, Lowe will be given the opportunity to reshape the Glory squad. He will look to recruit players in their mid to late 20s while continuing to develop the talented group of youngsters already at the club. “You’ve got to get footballers,” Lowe said. “That’s the type of coach I am, I like players who can play the game. We need to be an energetic, competitive, quick, ball-playing side, and those are the type of players that you need to look for.”

Lowe had been critical of the players’ poor fitness levels this season and will boost the football department with the addition of specialist strength and conditioning staff. He is yet to determine the make-up of the rest of the coaching structure, but will be working to provide stronger links between the football department and club administration. Glory chief executive Jason Brewer said Lowe’s passion had played a key role in winning him the job and described the new coach as one of the best credentialed candidates in the country. Lowe is Glory’s fifth coach in the seven years since Tony Sage became part of the ownership structure in 2007.



Australia youth international Jamie Maclaren is clearly enjoying his first taste of National Premier Leagues football with Perth Glory. The 20-year old striker hit the back of the net four times in last week’s big win against Armadale but is expecting goals to be much harder to come by where Glory visits Floreat Athena on Friday night. “The NPL WA is a decent league and every game is competitive, and you have to turn up and perform at your best each week to get the result,” said Maclaren. “Floreat have been getting impressive results recently since they changed coaches, so it should be quite an interesting game, and we will need to be at our best.”

Glory made a slow start to National Premier Leagues life but an influx of A-League players, including Riley Woodcock, Brandon O’Neill and Maclaren, has transformed their season. “It’s good to see some of the young first team players asking for more games and minutes, and we are working hard on the track and we are getting used to the big bodies in the opposition,” said Maclaren, who is hopeful of putting a few more goals away this weekend. “It’s always great to walk away with a solid and comfortable performance, and to get four (goals) is great on a personal level in terms of confidence … let’s hope I can continue that into Friday night.”



Storm Roux may only be 21 but, during a season of upheaval, he has emerged as the unsung hero of Central Coast Mariners campaign. The New Zealand international signed on with Central Coast at the start of the season and expected he would have to bide his time before breaking into the senior squad. Roux has achieved more than that with the young defender making the right-back role his own. “I’m very pleased with how it’s all happened this season,” said Roux, who managed only a single appearance for Perth Glory last season. “Hopefully in the future I can just keep playing more games and keep doing well with the side.”

Roux, the A-League’s Player of the Month for December, says Central Coast’s season has been made all the more satisfying given a string of mid-season changes at the club. Long-serving coach Graham Arnold left to be replaced by Phil Moss, while key trio players Trent Sainsbury, Daniel McBreen and Michael McGlinchey also parted company with the club. “I think a lot of people wrote us off after everything that happened — new coach, players leaving,” he commented. “There were big changes and a lot of people thought we wouldn’t even make it to the top six. But we finished third (and) hopefully we can take it all the way and show the people that doubted us that we are good enough.”

Central Coast have developed something of a reputation for unearthing young talent with Tom Rogic, Mat Ryan, Mile Jedinak and Roux all benefitting from the club’s support. “Arnie (Graham Arnold) brought me in, but obviously Mossy (Phil Moss) was the assistant at the time, so they both worked with me,” he said. “Since Mossy has been in charge he has kept trying to help me improve my game. And all the other players, the older players especially, they help the young boys at training and they help them outside of football as well. So it’s a very good club to be at if you’re a young player coming through.”



Kenny Lowe will lead Perth Glory into the next two seasons after being revealed as the club’s new head coach. Lowe, who stepped in as interim coach following the sacking of Alistair Edwards in December, signed on for the job full-time with an undertaking to ensure a more youthful brand of football for the Glory faithful to follow. “He is one of the most qualified coaches in the country, with his AFC Pro License, and he is by far the best youth development coach in Australia, nobody knows the talent that we have in this state better than Kenny Lowe,” chief executive Jason Brewer stated.

Lowe, who guided Glory to just four wins from his 17 games at the helm, topped a field of more than 50 candidates from Australia and overseas to win the head coach role. “He’s the most prepared for the job by far,” Brewer said when asked what gave Lowe the advantage. “When he first came in as interim head coach, he already had analysed every game over the past two seasons, he already knew which players he thought the squad needed and he already had an idea on what type of improvements the footballing department needed to ensure long-term success.”

“Another key point of difference with Kenny is that he’s passionate,” Brewer continued. “We had candidates that matched Kenny’s talent, but none matched his passion and I believe that is what we need more of in this club. Every player, coach, admin member and volunteer must match the passion of the supporters and members for this club to be great again. That’s what we need to pride ourselves on.” Lowe’s appointment is expected to be the first of many changes in Glory's football department during the off-season. It is understood the club will move on addressing issues in the areas of strength and conditioning, player recruitment, coaching recruitment, player rights and welfare.



Perth SC coach Taki Nicolaidis was left scratching his head after his team crashed out of the State Cup 3-1 to Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. The writing was on the wall early for Nicolaidis’ team after conceding an own goal and subsequent finishes by Blake Adams and Feisal Zaw only compounded their miserable day out. “We were well short of our best and our guys didn’t have the desire and want, as Cockburn were hungrier and more determined,” Perth coach Taki Nicolaidis told footballwest.com.au “We didn’t deliver and I hope this can act as a catalyst because that type of performance was well below expectations.”

Cockburn needed only 6 minutes to take the lead, David Araya’s cross causing panic in the away defence with James Marocchi deflecting the ball into his own net. But it wasn’t long before Perth drew level, Ashley Rosindale heading past Dejan Aleksic after getting on the end of a slick passing move. Cockburn pressed to regain the lead after 20 minutes when Adams tucked in from close-range after goalkeeper Alex Dunn parried Zaw’s shot on the run. The game opened up in the second half with Aleksic and Dunn working overtime between the posts. Zaw sealed the win on 73 minutes with a composed finish past Dunn.



ECU Joondalup moved into the last eight of the State Cup with a resounding 5-2 win over Shamrock Rovers at the Edith Cowan University campus. Jon Stynes played the starring by hitting four goals for the home side with Jake Benson-Cooper getting the remainder. “We were pleased with the lads’ efforts today,” Joondalup’s assistant coach Craig Stevenson said. “We felt we were in control for the majority of the play and were disappointed we didn’t capitalise on more opportunities. But to be in the draw for the next round (of the Cup) is exciting for the club.”

Only 12 minutes were on the clock when Joondalup edged ahead, Stynes heading in from close-range from a Jon Higgins’ corner. The gap widened just after the half hour when David Foster played into the path of Stynes, who coolly finished from 6-metres. Shamrock returned fire three minutes later through a ball over the top which Gino Hampshire poked forward for Ciaran Hoey to finish past Andy Banks. A stoppage time error by Banks was punished with Cassidy nodding in the equaliser after the Joondalup goalkeeper spilled a corner. But there was still time for Benson-Cooper to place low into Ash Crosthwaite’s net in a one-on-one situation.

Shamrock emerged from the break determined to make it three-all, and although the visitors showed plenty of endeavour their delivery into the final third lacked the quality required. Joondalup showed them how its done by adding a fourth goal just after the hour, Stynes latching onto Andy Higgins’ long ball which he took around Crosthwaite before firing into an empty net to complete his hat-trick. The result was put beyond doubt in the 77th minute when Stynes picked the ball in the middle of the park, drove forward and expertly chipped into the net from 18-metres.



Stirling Lions showed no mercy on demolishing third tier Rockingham City 8-1 in their State Cup meeting at Lark Hill Sportsplex. Daniel Micevski helped himself to a hat-trick with Howard Neighbour also grabbing a brace amid finishes from Dennis Galan, Hayden Doyle and David Micevski. “We spoke before kick-off about getting off to a fast start and getting the first goal and we did that,” Stirling assistant coach Daniel Stoitis said. “I was most impressed with the players’ attitude and application for the whole 90 minutes to continue to be positive and be disciplined.”

Galan needed only 7 minutes to opened Stirling’s account, the defender volleying in from 5-metres following a short corner move between Doyle and Daniel Micevski. A foul on Clayton Arnez soon after allowed Daniel Micevski to double Stirling’s lead from the penalty spot soon after. It was all one-way traffic and with 12 minutes gone Daniel Micevski’s clever back heel released Doyle who duly made it four-nil. Jack Salter’s cross from the left was converted by an unmarked Daniel Micevski, then Neighbour added another from a David Micevski corner. Daniel Micevski completed his hat-trick before half-time after latching onto a Doyle through ball.

Rockingham returned from the break hoping to stem the flow of goals and, hopefully, pinch one of their own. And that they did in the on the hour via a quick counterattack which caught Stirling unawares as Alex Grayson raced away to finished low past Aleks Vrteski. The visitors responded in the only way they knew, Tim Hill sending Neighbour on his way to finish into the net after 71 minutes. The final whistle wasn’t far away when David Micevski completed the route with a free-kick from the edge of the penalty area that passed through a sea of legs to nestle in the corner of the net.



New coach Peter Murphy guided Floreat Athena into the State Cup quarter-finals with a 5-0 thrashing of Sorrento at Litis Stadium. The dismissal of Sorrento striker Sean Canham late in the first half tilted the game in the hosts favour but it wasn’t until after the break that Ashley Corker and Mark Walsh each bagged a double with substitute Yves Mwilia also on the scoresheet. “It was a great effort from the boys, we got what we deserved,” Corker said. “Obviously a sending off went in our favour but still we had to stay focused and complete the task we set out to do, which was win.”

The first half was a largely uneventful period with neither team creating much in the way of genuine chances on goal. Floreat suffered a setback after 25 minutes when Bobby Wilson was forced out through injury, his place taken by Mwilia. The games’ decisive moment arrived nine minutes later, Canham issued his marching orders by referee Steven Gregory after lashing out at goalkeeper Tom Dixon whilst attempting to get on the end of a through ball. Floreat now stepped up the pace and Jamie Eames was unlucky not to send them into the break with the lead when his angle strike smashed into the upright after making his way around Curtis Aspden.

The second half was six minutes old when Floreat broke through, Corker making no mistake from close-range after being found by Jack Allen. Mwilia got down the left in the 72nd minute to deliver an inviting cross which Corker headed in kill off Sorrento’s hopes of a comeback. Goal number three came five minutes later when Walsh punished poor defending to fire low past a stunned Aspden. With three minutes remaining Mwilia slotting in after combining to terrific effect with Eames. The game was in stoppage time when Walsh grabbed his second of the afternoon to send Floreat into the knock-out competition’s last eight.



Back-to-back State Cups remains the goal for Bayswater City after grinding out a 3-1 win over a tenacious Armadale side at Frank Drago Reserve. Steve Burton scored twice and Jamie Coyne once to cancel out Alex Clarke’s first half finish and book Bayswater into the last eight of the prestigious knock-out competition. “It was a typical Cup tie,” said Bayswater attacker David Heagney. “They made it hard for us but in the end we were too strong. We had a tough game against Stirling (Lions) on Saturday and (today) we were a little below par, but I thought we worked tirelessly and got the rewards.”

Armadale attacked from the opening whistle and had lively striker Faustinho Machochi not sprayed an early chance wide then the day could have finished much differently. Having survived the scare, Bayswater took a 16 minute lead, James Isaia’s corner headed goalward by Trent Kay with Burton toe-poking the ball past goalkeeper Matthew Gould. It didn’t look good for Armadale but within four minutes they were back on level terms courtesy of Jason Barrera’s fine defence-splitting pass in to Clarke, who rounded Devon Spence to stroke into an empty net.

Clarke and Alec Solomons caused Bayswater a few problems at the back early in the second period as Armadale sought the lead. Home coach Chris Coyne read his players the riot act and on 73 minutes Brian Farrell’s teasing cross from the left was turned in from 4-metres by Burton. Armadale continued to take the game up to their opponents with Machochi and John Thornley both wasting good opportunities. Those misses were compounded in the 81st minute when Jamie Coyne stepped up to a dead ball which he blasted into Gould’s net from 18-metres to seal the game.



Balcatta booked their place in the State Cup quarter-finals by fending off third tier club Joondalup United 3-1 at Grindleford Reserve. Gustavo Catarcione put the hosts in front with Benny Kouakou netting either side of half-time to make the game safe, while Joondalup’s solitary reply came from Mike Kenny. “The boys did the club proud today and held possession for long periods,” said Joondalup coach Daniel Smith. “It was also pleasing to get such a confident referee who really got control of the game early on and let the game flow freely, and I thought we gave them a good game.”

Joondalup went close to grabbing the opening goal after 20 minutes but Josh Whitmore blazed over the crossbar from 8-metres. Nine minutes later Balcatta had the lead, Adam Tong’s shot deflecting off Catarcione and into the net. The margin was double just after the half hour when James Sammut released Catarcione whose centring ball was converted at close-range by Kouakou. Balcatta’s third goal arrived on the hour, Kouakou and Catarcione combining on the edge of the penalty area before the former found the corner of the net. Joondalup continued to push forward and in the final minute Kenny finished low past Clint Davies after being played in by Alex Wild.



Third tier club Curtin University will be out to cause an upset when they travel to Subiaco AFC in tomorrow’s second round of the State Cup. “It’s the last sixteen of the Cup and we are one of five new clubs to the State League, so to make it to this stage is good,” said Curtin coach Campbell Ballantyne. “Subiaco have had results better than people expected so far in the National Premier Leagues (but) we go into the game as underdogs, which is fine by us.” Curtin midfielder Rory Binnie will be pushing for a starting role after coming off the bench last week.

Another State League newcomer, Joondalup United, have their sights set on claiming the scalp of Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. “It’s a very tough draw for us but were hoping to give a good account of ourselves,” said Joondalup coach Daniel Smith, whose team defeated Bunbury Forum Force in the last Cup round. “You need a lot of aspects going for you as underdogs to win the game, we will have to wait and see, but we will prepare for the tie like we do for every game we play.”

Rockingham City hosts 2010 State Cup winners Stirling Lions. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to play against one of the top National Premier Leagues sides,” said Rockingham coach Rob Crerar. “We know it’s going to be a difficult game but, like any game, you need to approach it with a winning mentality. To knock-off a side like Stirling would be up there in terms of Cup upsets, but there is no reason we can’t be the giant killers.” Reece Frank, Rafael Insurralde, Alex Grayson and Max Snelson have been added to Rockingham’s squad for the occasion.

There are also three Cup ties which feature only National Premier Leagues teams. Perth SC journeys south to Dalmatinac Park where Cockburn City provided the opposition. Floreat Athena have home ground advantage against Sorrento, and Cup holders Bayswater City welcome Armadale to Frank Drago Reserve. Inglewood United are on home soil to third tier Fremantle United, and Shamrock Rovers heads to the northern suburbs for a showdown with ECU Joondalup. All eight State Cup games commence tomorrow at 3.00pm.



One of Australia’s most promising footballers, West Ham United’s Dylan Tombides, has lost his battle with cancer. Tombides, 20, passed away with his family by his side on Friday following a three-year battle with testicular cancer. The young striker was honoured by his London club prior to yesterday’s home game with Crystal Palace. In moving scenes at Upton Park, Tombides’ father Jim and brother Taylor carried his shirt into the middle of the ground as the entire stadium united for a minute’s applause.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce described Tombides as one of the bravest characters he has ever met. “Nobody fought his dreadful disease as hard as this lad,” Allardyce said. “Football was his life and he didn’t miss a day’s training even when he wasn’t fit enough to train because of his treatment. He had an incredible hunger for life, which was why he fought this terrible disease so strongly. All of our thoughts are with Dylan’s family at this time.” West Ham has retired Tombides’ number 38 shirt in his honour.

Tombides was widely considered one of Australia’s brightest young footballing talents. Born and raised in Perth, he played juniors for Wembley Downs, Stirling Lions and Perth SC before moving to Macau in 2008, and within a year he’d joined West Ham, aged 15. A regular scorer for the Hammers youth and reserve teams, Tombides earned his place on the bench for the final English Premier League game of the 2010/11 season. A few months later, while on international duty at the Under-17 World Cup, Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer after a routine drug test returned an abnormal result.

Tombides immediately commenced treatment in London and it wouldn’t be until twelve months later that he again kicked a football after being given the ‘all clear’ by specialists. Upon working his way back to full fitness, Tombides was rewarded with his first team debut against Wigan Athletic in the League Cup fixture of September 2012. His return to the international stage arrived three months ago with selection in Australia’s squad for the inaugural AFC Under-22 Championship in Oman, where the Olyroos progressed to the quarter-final stage.

Away from the football field, Tombides has been working hard to raise awareness of male cancer through his support of the ‘One for the Boys’. He had recently been receiving further treatment in Germany, spending his 20th birthday in hospital from where he posted a thank you message via twitter to those who had supported him and vowing to continue fighting the disease. Following Tombides’ passing his brother Taylor, a West Ham youth player, tweeted “R.I.P. Dylan my beloved brother you will be missed, but never forgotten you was a massive inspiration to everyone.”



Bayswater City continues to lead the National Premier Leagues table after a 4-1 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. It was a sombre day for West Australian football on Saturday, after the sudden death of former Stirling Lions player Dylan Tombides in the UK. A minute of applause was observed prior to kick off by players, coaches and supporters alike, to honour the youngster. Some of the goals scored on the day were Tombides like; Steve Burton bagged two for the visitors, while James Isaia and Jamie Coyne’s long-range strikes were outstanding, while the Lions’ goal was a stunning curling shot from David Micevski. “We worked hard today and got our rewards at the end of the day,” said Burton. “My partnership with David (Heagney) is going well, and we played together in the UK, but it’s still early days and we hope to continue the form in weeks to come.”

The Lions opened brightly and Devon Spence had to be alert to save David Micevski’s free kick after only three minutes, before the Bayswater custodian saved another David Micevski shot five minutes later. But against the run of play the visitors hit the front. New signing Sam Mitchinson found space down the left, and his cross picked out David Heagney, who was bundled down by Jack Salter and referee Michal Jasinski pointed straight to the spot. Burton stepped up to send Aleks Vrteski the wrong way and give Bayswater the lead.

Both sides had chances early in the second half, Ali Ghoulami’s shot flashed just wide of the post for the Lions, before Trent Kay’s header from Todd Howarth’s corner flew inches over the top for the visitors. Then on 59 minutes the Lions levelled. Doyle picked the ball up in the middle of the park and ran at the Bayswater defence, he held off two defenders before pulling the ball back to David Micevski, who w curled a stunning shot into the bottom corner of the net.

It was the home side on top and they went close again moments later. Again it was Doyle in the centre of the action. The former Perth Glory midfielder wasn’t closed down and his shot from the edge of the penalty area was superbly saved by Spence. Bayswater need a lift and they brought on Isaia for Adam Bachiller and the midfielder had an immediate impact as the visitor hit the front on 63 minutes. Heagney was played in by Howarth, who in turn picked out Isaia, who fired home from 20-yards, giving Vrteski no chance.

It was 3-1 eight minutes later, Heagney’s first touch gave him space in the penalty area, and he played in his strike partner Burton. The Lions defence looked for the off side flag, that never came, and Burton slotted home low past Vrteski. The icing was put on the cake, two minutes from time. Coyne picked up the ball in the middle of the park, racing forward and firing home a stunning long-range shot, to make it an emphatic 4-1 win and keep Bayswater’s 100% start to the season.



Armadale’s poor start to the start continued with a 0-6 defeat at the hands of Scott Miller’s Perth Glory at Intiga Stadium. Perth Glory senior players were on target, Jamie Maclaren bagging four, while Matthew Davies and Harry O’Brien adding the others. It’s worrying times for Lee Bamber’s side, making it back-to-back games Armadale has conceded six goals. “"It was a great game today by the boys, it shows they're learning,” Glory Coach Scott Miller told the NPL-WA web site. “I mentioned last week that we need to get used to the men's game and the players did that, they simply just played their way around Armadale today."

The home side dominated from the outset and were ahead on 11 minutes, Harry O’Brien finding the net after great lead up play. It was 2-0 fifteen minutes later, Cameron Edwards good approach work picked out Maclaren, who fired past Matthew Gould. Maclaren added his second on 35 minutes, as the Glory took control of the game.

It was one-way traffic as the Glory continued to dominate and Maclaren completed his hat-trick with a long-range strike on 65 minutes. But he wasn't finished there as he added his fourth, and the Glory’s fifth on 78 minutes, to bag his sixth goal of the season. O'Brien had the opportunity to add a sixth late on, but Armadale custodian Gould saved his spot kick. But on 86 minutes they did add their sixth; Davies converted converting from the spot and sealing a memorable result.



Balcatta moved into fourth spot on the table after a 2-0 win against ECU Joondalup at the ECU Sports Arena. A goal in each half by Luke Randazzo and Gustavo Catarcione giving Ramon Falzon side a third win on the road this season. I thought the boys played really well today and deserved the points,” said Balcatta defender Kieron Stallard. “We looked very comfortable at the back and we took our Chances going forward. They (ECU) have improve a lot since last year and think they will do well as they were missing probably a couple of their best players against us but we are happy with the win.”

ECU, who were without Tommy Amphlett, John Higgins and Joe Smith, struggled early and Balcatta looked threatening and they hit the front on 35 minutes. Randazzo and Carlo Coelho combined on the edge of the penalty area to set up skipper Adam Tong, whose shot from 12-meters was well saved by Andy Banks, bur Randazzo was quickest to react firing home from close-range for his fourth goal of the season.

Dale McCulloch’ side looked to hit back immediately and Dejan Speseski sent Jon Stynes in on goal but the young midfielder fired wide when well placed. Both of the sides had chances late, Balcatta were dangerous on the break but Banks stood tall to deny them while Tong and Kieran Stallard were solid at the back for the visitors, while Charlie Comyn-Platt had a goal disallowed for a foal on keeper Clint Davies.

Both sides went for broke in the second half but it was the visitors who created the better chances. Benny Kouakou and Catarcione both tested Banks, but the Joondalup custodian was in fine form to deny him. Moments later David Foster tested Clint Davies who saved well, while Genaveo Human and Jake Benson-Cooper failed to find the target for the home side.

The crossbar then came to the home sides rescue midway through the half, but on 65 minutes they scored the vital second goal. Catarcione started the move, the Brazilian picking out Kouakou on the left, he continued his run and when Kouakou crossed into the penalty area he fired home from close-range.



Peter Murphy began his rein at Floreat Athena starting with a bang, after a stunning 5-0 win against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Former Perth Glory midfielder Ludovic Boi helped himself to a hat trick, with other goals to Bobby Wilson and Jamie Eames, to give the former State Coach a perfect start in his first game in charge at the club. “I'm very happy. I came into the game wanting to see commitment, passion and hard work and they obviously showed it and worked really hard for each other," Murphy told the NPL-WA web site. "I said to the boys at half-time to sit in, show discipline and work hard. At 3-0 we knew Cockburn would change things and come at us for the first 10/15 minutes - after that we started to counter attack and probably could have had another two had the final ball got through.”

It was the home side who began the brighter and Feisal Zaw overhead volley was superbly saved by the alert Tom Dixon. That save became more important on seven minutes, when Floreat opened the scoring. Wilson was given far too much space in the penalty area and the midfielder headed home powerfully from Aryn Williams’ corner.

It went from bad to worse for the home side and three minutes later Floreat doubled their advantage. English striker Eames found space on the right hand side of the penalty area, and fired low past Dejan Aleksic into the far corner of the net. The Cockburn keeper was working overtime and he raced out moments later to deny Eames, before Wilson saw his shot from long-range whistle inches over the bar.

Cockburn looked for a quick response, but Zaw’s shot was cleared off the line, and with skipper Callum Fransz and Mark Walsh outstanding Floreat steadied the ship. Then on the half hour they added a third. Boi was on the end of a great team move, to fire low past a shell-shocked Aleksic. The home side continued to struggle after the break, and chances were few and far between, although Papa Kpatar tested Dixon, who saved well.

Despite having plenty of the ball, Cockburn struggled in the final third, but Floreat showed them how to do it late. The home side were pushing players forward and Boi raced clear to add his second on 80 minutes. Jonty Turner fired wide for Cockburn when well-placed late on, before Eames finished the rout five minutes later, firing in via the post, to give Cockburn a disastrous start to their home games in the NPL.



Inglewood United Coach Graham Normanton’s return to his former club Perth SC ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw. Friday Zico and Ashley Rosindale both scored in the opening 10 minutes at Dorrien Gardens, with Ryan Clarke pulling one back before the break. Rosindale added his second just after the restart, but Scott Blackmore and a Clarke strike two minutes from time to salvage a well-earned point for the visitors. “We started off really well in the first 20 minutes, but got too complacent and let them get on top of us for the rest of the half,” said Perth defender Alex Castiello. “We then came out to a good start second half but again got complacent, and it was disappointing to concede the late goal and drop two points.”

It wasn’t a perfect start to proceedings for the home side when they lost influential midfielder Clarke Keltie on five minutes through injury; he was replaced by Andreas Theodosiades. Despite the set- back, Perth were ahead two minutes later. An inch perfect cross from Mark Pritchard picked out Zico, who fired home at the back post. It was 2-0 moments later; Rosindale raced clear to fire low past Luke Martino.

Inglewood, who won for the first time last week at Armadale, were in no mood to let this one slip and they were back in the game four minutes before half time. A defensive mix-up let in Clarke, who raced clear and finished with aplomb past Alex Dunn. The home side pressed late in the half, but Mark Doninger, Theodosiades and Aden Da Luz all failed to find the target.

After the break the home side stunned Inglewood with a goal in the first sixty seconds. Craig Simpson’s through ball sent Rosindale clear, who outpaced Jonathan Stripe, and fired low past Martino, much to the displeasure of United coach Normanton. His demeanour was improved three minutes later, when they reduced the margin again. Perth failed to clear Greg Sharland’s corner and Blackmore was on hand to fire home. Both sides had chances in a hectic second half but Clarke had the last word, firing home with two minutes remaining after Perth failed to deal with a set piece.



Sorrento kept in touch with the unbeaten Bayswater at the top of the NPL-WA table after a 4-2 win against Subiaco AFC at the WA Athletics Stadium. Todd Harnwell opening the scoring on the half hour, before a double from Recce Vittiglia and a Sean Canham goal gave them the win. Subiaco’s consolation goals came from Jordan Rhodes and Nathan Diaz. “Suddenly you start wanting the ball more and you want to play, so that helped,” Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell told the NPL-WA web site. “We pushed an extra player up front and they had to come and press us which gave us more room to play once we broke the press.”

Subiaco, who were still looking for their first win of the season, were behind on the half hour. Subiaco failed to clear their lines, and the loose ball was picked up by Canham, who crossed the ball to the back post and Harnwell headed past Sam Stone from close-range. The home side pressed looking for the equaliser but couldn’t break down a Sorrento defence well led by Shaun Kilkelly and Steve McDonald.

After half time Subiaco pushed men forward looking for the equaliser and they were picked off again five minutes in, Vittiglia picking up the loose ball in the penalty area and finishing clinically past Stone. It was 3-0 on the hour, a long throw from James Morgan caused problems in the Subiaco defence and Vittiglia finished fired home from 4-meters. To the home sides credit they continued to press forward and they were rewarded on 72 minutes. Rhodes burst into the penalty area after a neat back heel from Guy McDonald, and finished low past Curtis Aspden.

The visitors restored their three goal lead in the 90th minute, great work down the right hand side and Vittiglia, ended with a great cross from the bye line and Canham headed home from four-meters. The home side scored a consolation goal in stoppage time, Nathan Diaz beat a couple of Gulls defenders, and curled the ball into the top corner from long-range.



Mandurah City and UWA-Nedlands have fought out a 4-4 draw at the Hyundai Stadium on Saturday, and Alex Kreds stoppage time goal gave both sides a share of the spoils. UWA were out the blocks early and opened the scoring after only two minutes, Kevin Fields firing home from the penalty spot after Alex Kreds was brought down in the area. They doubled their advantage on 10 minutes, Kreds finding the net after Mandurah keeper David Keenan failed to hold a long-range shot from Manuel Aparis. With steam coming out of the Mandurah coaches’ ears the home side pulled one back ten minutes before half time, new signing Alain Lengliz firing home at the far post,

The home side levelled just after half time, Craig Young was hauled down in the box and Craig Tone scored past Alan Kiely from the spot kick. Mandurah hit the front on the hour, Matt Stares was given too much room in the box and he fired low into the corner of the net. But UWA were back on level terms ten minutes later. A mazy run from David Cox allowed him time and space to deliver from the left, but Mandurah's Robbie Hamm turned the ball into his own net via the underside of the bar.

Moments later Young gave the home side back the lead, his long-range shot flew into the net giving Kiely no chance. They thought they had increased their lead shortly after, but Daniel Brockwell’s goal was disallowed for offside, much to the dis-pleasure of the Mandurah side. The visitors pressed late and were rewarded with the equaliser. A long searching ball into the box from Robbie Black, found Kreds, who coolly finished on the half volley into the far bottom corner of the net, to give both sides a share of the spoils



Gosnells City continued their perfect start to the season, after a 1-0 win against Wanneroo City at Kingsway Reserve. Wanneroo, who were thrashed 8-0 at Bunbury last week, were on the back foot early, and Scott Pereira sent Wade Farmer clear, but his shot flashed wide. Moments later it was Farmer again, he was put through after a great dummy from Chris Holland, but again the striker failed to find the target.

Those misses were forgotten on 35 minutes, when the visitors hit the front. Ben Howe wasn’t closed down in the middle of the park and his shot from long-range deflected off Holland and into the net. Both sides had chances after the break, the best fell to the home side five minutes from time, Bradley Ryan’s long-range shot was heading for the top corner of the net but Tom Allen produced a stunning save to deny him, and earn all three points.



Canning City bounced back from last week’s home defeat by thrashing Swan United 6-0 at the Swan Italian Club. The visitors were off to a flyer and head on the quarter hour. Josh Findlater won the ball in the middle of the park, before cutting in from the wing and firing low past Bobson Koroma from the edge of the penalty area. It was 2-0 five minutes later, Paul van Dongan wasn’t closed down on the edge of the penalty area and he fired home.

The home side were struggling to cope with the pace of Canning and they made it 3-0 on the half hour. Mark Trevisol and Tom Gibbins combined to find Findalter, whose long0range shot flew into the top corner of the net. It was 4-0 on the stroke of half time, Paul van Dongan played a one-two with Daniel Neiderberger, who was brought down in the penalty area and the striker picked himself up to score from the spot.

It was an even second half with United creating chances, but failing to find the net. The icing was put on the cake for the visitors late, scoring two late goals. Jarrad Smith firing low past Koroma with ten minutes remaining, before Smith added his second, and Canning six five minutes later to give the visitors and emphatic win.



Shamrock Rovers and Ashfield have fought out a 1-1 draw in an entertaining encounter at Grimley Oval. Shane Cassidy gave the home side the lead midway through the second half, but Jamie Burns levelled to give both sides a share of the spoils.

The home side started well and went close to the opener on 10 minutes, Gino Hampshire was sent through but John Perkins was alert to save. Ashfield hit back on 25 minutes, Luke Colli’s cross found Karl O’Reilly, whose shot was superbly saved by Ash Crosthwaite. Ten minutes later Damien Smithers’ volley was heading for the top corner, but Perkins pulled off a great save to deny him.

Both side pressed after the break, Hampshire was again denied by Perkins. But on 55 minutes minutes the home side hit the front. Charlie Keena’s corner picked out Cassidy, who headed home from 5-meters. The visitors lifted and levelled 10 minutes later. A hopeful ball into the penalty area found Burns, who shrugged of a defender, rounded Crosthwaite and scored into an empty net. The home side almost nicked all three points, Smithers cut in from the right, but his low shot was too close to Perkins, who saved at his near post.



Second division promotion favourites Joondalup United and Forrestfield United have fought out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Forrest Park on Saturday afternoon. Rhys Loxley and Chris Perrott gave the visitors a two goal lead early, before Marc Beatie pulled one back just before half time from the spot. Adam Buckley levelled just after half time, and Garin Collins thought he had won it before Ben Fraser late equaliser. “I'm pleased to come away with a point against a very good Joondalup united side that will do very well this season,” said Loxley. “We showed a lot of character on the pitch and it was good to see a few of the young lads taking their chance through the absence of a few key players.”

Both sides were cagey early but it was the visitors first on the board. Joondalup gave up possession in the middle of the park, and the cross into the box was headed powerfully home by Loxley. It was 2-0 moments later; a corner from Loxley was headed home by Chris Perrott. But the home side were given a lifeline just before half time, Buckley was brought down in the penalty area and Beatie fired past Brad Eiffe.

The second half started well for Joondalup and they were level two minutes in, Buckley’s 25-yard shot flew into the net giving Effie no chance. It was end-to-end football with both sides having chances, but on 90 minutes the home side hit the front. Collins found space down the flank and his cross shot flew into the far corner of the net. It looked like the home side had won it late but Forrestfield had other ideas. Deep into stoppage time, a long-throw from Josh Appleby picked out Fraser, who fired home via the post to set of wild celebrations from Forrestfield players and supporters.



Perth Glory’s French defender William Gallas has set his sights on securing a contract extension at Perth Glory as he bids to help the club atone for its under-achieving season. The 36-year-old former Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham stopper, who finished an injury-hit season strongly, declared his desire to pass on his experience to a young squad while maintaining he still has the drive and passion to continue his professional career for at least two more seasons.

Gallas’s future at the club will hinge on the requirements of who eventually takes the reins at nib Stadium, but he insists that he is driven far more by his love for the game than marquee wages, “My intention is to stay on at the club but the decision is not mine. It is in the hands of the club and it may depend on who is the coach for next season also. But I feel the job is not done for me – and I want to try and finish what I have started here in a playing sense,” he said.

The Glory struggled in the season, and Gallas said the departure of Alistair Edwards didn’t help. “It was a hard season for us with a change of manager (the sacking of Alistair Edwards in December) and obviously a young team, which didn’t have that week to week consistency,” he said. “Obviously when you are not getting the results you want it hurts and I would love the chance to stay on and play my part in bringing better times to the club next year.

The marquee defender still has the desire to succeed and would like to prove that with the Glory. “For me, it’s not about money. If it was I would not have come to Australia in the first place. For me it’s about the passion to play the game. If that’s still there, then why would you want to stop?” “I have a winning mentality and it was difficult at times but we can turn things around in the future for sure – but it’s going to take a lot of hard work and commitment. “Players have to make sacrifices and I think with my experience I can help guide a lot of the younger guys and give them some directions and hopefully help them improve their games a little.”

Gallas said if Glory is to recapture the prowess, which took it to the grand final two years ago, players have to take it upon themselves to put in the extra time necessary to be the best. “It’s not enough just to turn up for training for a couple of hours then head home,” he said. “The younger players particularly need to have that hunger and be prepared to do extra work to make themselves and the club a success. “I would like to play my part in helping to instil that because there’s a lot of potential at this club and what we produced this season wasn’t enough and was a big disappointment to all of us.”

Buddy Farah, the agent who brought Gallas to Glory, said: “William has a lot still to offer as a player and also in mentoring role and he is not driven my money – more by sheer professionalism and a hunger to keep performing at a good level. “For me, Glory keeping him is really a no-brainer.”



Perth Glory midfielder Daniel De Silva is still pinching himself after a recent trip to Italy, which has seen the teenager close to signing with AS Roma. The 17-year-old spent eight days in the Italian capital with family, to work through a potential deal with the Serie A giants. While nothing has been finalised as yet, it appears a formality he will sign with Roma in a lucrative deal that will see him become team-mates with the likes of Italian internationals Francesco Totti and Danielle De Rossi. The teenager will remain with Glory next season until he turns 18, and he told of his delight to footballaustralia.com.au.

"I went over to discuss a few things with them - it worked out well," De Silva said. "It's such a prestigious and big club and it was great to see the players and how they train and play the facilities and the set up and coaches. It was a really enjoyable trip. "I got to see the Colosseum and a bit of Rome while I was over there as well which was nice. "Rome is the most beautiful city I've ever seen. It's very ancient, there's a lot of history and culture there which was great to see.”

De Silva, who made his Glory debut as a 15-year-old this season, watched a few training sessions, caught the 2-1 defeat of Torino and saw one of his heroes in action, Italian superstar Francesco Totti. "He's such a great player, it's a shame he knocked the Socceroos out of the (2006) World Cup," De Silva said. "He's a great player and had a really great career in the game. It will be a shame when he retires. "Just to be able to be there and train with those players would be something special and great for my development."

De Silva is keeping his feet firmly on the ground, as he prepares with the Young Socceroos ahead of October's AFC U-19 Championships in Myanmar, a tournament where the top four teams will qualify for next year's U-20 World Cup. "My parents raised me pretty well and I know it's very important to stay humble and not get a big head about it because then people view you in a different way," he said. "Whenever I come to these camps I don't put myself above anyone and I don't expect anyone to do that for me as well. "I'm just a regular kid trying to make it into the team. I really respect that. They treat me the same as any other player and it's the same for them as well."

Articles compiled by Brett Klucznik and Peter Simcox unless otherwise stated.

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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