Inglewood United celebrate Dylan White's winner in their 2-1 win against Perth Glory (Photo by Fotoenzo)

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29.1.2023

NPL-WA NIGHT SERIES – WEEK ONE REVIEW

Armadale have made the perfect start to the 2023 NPLWA Night Series, after a well-deserved 3-1 win against Bayswater City in Group A at Frank Drago Reserve. “The squad is taking shape, and the players are responding to what we are doing at training, Head Coach John O’Reilly said. “We have two young exciting visa players jumping on a plane next week, who will be joining up with the squad as soon as they land. Our goal for the year is to be competitive from start to finish and offer exciting football to our faithful army of fans.”

The visitors made a quick start to the game and were ahead on 16 minutes, Haslett firing home with a thunder bolt of a half volley from the top of the box. But the host levelled eight minutes later, with midfielder Hargreaves also firing home with a long-range effort. But in a dominant second half Army took control with a beautiful goal from substitute Angel Andres Jnr, who finished confidently from a Chris Jackson cut back. But the game was sealed on 66 minutes, Peter Jacobsz picked up the ball on the right, glided across the top of the box, before hitting a firm shot back across the goal and into the bottom corner.

Also in Group A, Stirling Macedonia and Perth SC have played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the early game at the same venue. Young striker Sam Cook netted the opener for Perth, but a second-half double from Alex Taneski gave Ian Ferguson’s the lead, and it looked like that would secure the points, but deep into stoppage time Perth salvaged a draw after an own goal.

In Group B on Friday evening Olympic Kingsway started life in the NPLWA with a 2-0 win against Perth RedStar at Dalmatinac Park. Second-half goals from Cian Hirrell and Joshua Samson ensured the win, and Head Coach David Tough was delighted with the first up display from his side. “To get such a good performance was pleasing as we started the game with five new signings in a starting line-up, that hadn’t played together,” he said. “It was also our third game in six days so some of the boys were a bit leggy. We won’t be getting ahead of ourselves as we know it’s only preseason but I think we earned some respect with our performance.”

In the late game at the venue Sorrento came from behind to beat hosts Cockburn City. Justin Tang gave the hosts the lead just after half time, but fifteen minutes from time Joe Tweats levelled for the Gulls. Then two minutes into stoppage time, Sorrento won it, with Dean Cummings finding the target. Sorrento Head Coach Trevor Morgan was happy to start the competition with a win and a pleasing performance.

“A good result for us, but there is room for improvement in many areas both in and out of possession,” he explained. “The players attitude and work ethic were tremendous, but we have to do better with decisions we make on the ball. It’s still early days though, and great to begin with three points against difficult opposition.”

Then on Sunday, there was a double at Inglewood Stadium, and in Group A, holders Floreat Athena opened their defence with a 3-1 win against Balcatta. “It was a solid start to the Night Series, and the performance ticked a lot of boxes for us,” Floreat Head Coach Vas Vujacic explained. “We were quite good in patches, the boys got some important minutes in their legs and we were able to give the young guys some time and experience.”

Floreat were ahead on the half hour, with Noah Shamaki on target. They doubled their advantage in first half stoppage time, with Nick Ambrogio scoring. The game was wrapped up six minutes from time, with Jesse Roberts scoring. Balcatta scored a late consolation goal, through Ben Hinshelwood, but it was too little too late for Glen Grostate team.

In the late game at the venue hosts Inglewood United fought out a 2-1 win against Perth Glory. It’s great to have our first hit out, building on our match fitness and team cohesion,” Inglewood Head coach Andres Oliveira said. “The only down fall is we had 6/7 players out, but it is always good to get a win, but we still have a lot to do before the season start.”

Dylan White found the opener for Inglewood on 25 minutes, and they led by the goal at the break. But the Glory youngsters hit back and were level on 58 minutes, with Corey Sutherland on target. But it was Inglewood who scored the decisive second goal four minutes later, with White scoring his second, to secure the points for the hosts.

28.1.2023

DAVID WILLIAMS AT THE DOUBLE FOR GLORY

Perth Glory have fought back from two goals down to secure a hard fought 2-2 draw against a ten-man Wellington Phoenix at the Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North. The ‘Distance Derby’ didn’t start well for Glory, with Oskar Zawada and Kosta Barbarouses both scoring inside the opening 20 minutes, but David Williams pulled one back before the break.

The hosts then had Tim Payne sent off, and Glory laid siege on the Phoenix goal, and Williams added his second to restore parity, and despite having a number of chances they couldn’t find the winner. Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich was pleased how his side reacted to letting in two early goals, and he thought their performance deserved three points.

“It was an interesting game and it was obviously disappointing to concede two soft early goals… they were well-worked from their [Wellington’s] point of view and I’m not taking anything away from what they do, but I was extremely pleased with the character and resilience the boys have shown,” he said post-match.

“I think what’s important is that we didn’t get lucky to get back into the game, and I thought we played our way back into the game. “We scored two goals from areas that we talked about, so there were some positives from what we did on the ball and a little bit to work on defensively. On the balance of the game, I think we probably should have won. We had the better chances and more of the possession even before they had a man sent off.”

Glory gave a debut to new recruit Jordan Elsey, but striker Adam Taggart and Salim Khelifi missed out due to injury. The coach made three changes to the side that beat Melbourne Victory last time out, with Zach Duncan coming in for Luke Bodnar, Elsey replaced the suspended Jack Clisby, while Joseph Forde came in for Khelifi. The wet weather in the area made the pitch heavy, and it was the hosts who made the better start, and they were ahead on 11 minutes.

Payne made space down the right and his cross was met by Zawada, the Polish striker heading powerfully past Cameron Cook. The visitors were struggling to come to terms with the conditions, but the hosts weren’t and they doubled their advantage nine minutes later. Lucas Mauragis’ cross from the left was fumbled by Cook, and Barbarouses was on hand to fire home the rebound. It looked like being a long day for Zadkovich’s side, but they responded immediately.

Some good movement around the penalty area, ended with John Koutroumbis, who eased past Mauragis down the right, he raced into the box, his shot was parried by Oli Sail, the defender reacted well to head the ball back across goal and David Williams rose above Callan Elliot at the back post to head home. It was a great response from the Glory, and they pressed for the equaliser, and Sail saved well to deny Keegan Jelacic’s cross, which was deflected goalward by Payne, but at the break the host held a narrow advantage.

But the game took another twist early second half, after David Williams was dragged back by Payne as the striker raced clear. Referee Lachlan Keevers showed the defender a yellow card, but after a VAR intervention the card was upgraded to red, and Payne was sent off. The visitors were now on the front foot, and Mark Beevers’ long-range shot was saved by Sail. Zadkovich then made a triple change, introducing Adam Zimarino, Jacob Dowse and Antonee Burke-Gilroy in place of Duncan, Forde and Koutroumbis.

But the ten men weren’t out of the match and Cook had to get down well to save from Bozhidar Kraev effort, before Sail pushed away Mustafa Amini’s shot at the other end. The visitors were knocking on the door, and their patient build up was rewarded ten minutes from time. With the Yellow Fever ready to remove their shirts in a tradition for the clubs supporters, Ryan Williams found Dowse on the left, and his first time cross picked out David Williams, whose diving header gave Sail no chance.

Glory went in search of all three points, and in the final minute Dowse’s dinked cross found Giordano Colli at the back post, and his looping header beat Sail, but crashed off the crossbar. Then in the final minute of stoppage time Glory had one final chance to take the points, Colli’s corner was met by Beevers, the big English defender was left frustrated when the ball again crashed off the crossbar, and Zimarino’s follow header flashed wide of the far post.

Phoenix head coach Ufuk Talay felt Payne should never have been shown a red card and he said it changed the game. “I tried to have a look at it again in the changing room,” Talay told media post-game. “I thought Williams was never going to get to the ball and I think Cal Elliot’s behind Payney as well to be able deal with it. Obviously the officials had a long look at it…and decided it was a red card which I thought was quite soft.

“We had to change our formation and we had to make a sub. I felt the boys did well. Just probably that last lapse…and they score the second. To be honest…I could possibly say we got a bit lucky. The ball hit the post a couple of times. The main thing was playing with 10 men we didn’t lose the game and we walk away with one point.”

Wellington Phoenix: GK Oli SAIL, 5 Steven UGARKOVIC, 6 Tim PAYNE, 7 Kosta BARBAROUSES, 9 Oskar ZAWADA (31 Yan SASSE 89'), 10 David BALL (3 Finn SURMAN 57'), 11 Bozhidar KRAEV (8 Ben OLD 72'), 12 Lucas MAURAGIS, 14 Alex RUFER, 17 Callan ELLIOT, 21 Joshua LAWS - Subs not used: RGK Alex PAULSEN, 13 Nicholas PENNINGTON, 19 Sam SUTTON, 24 Oskar VAN HATTUM - Red Cards: Payne 54’

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS (3 Jacob DOWSE 63'), 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS (20 Giordano COLLI 86'), 8 Mustafa AMINI (4 Luke BODNAR 77'), 15 Jordan ELSEY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 18 David WILLIAMS, 19 Zach DUNCAN (21 Antonee BURKE-GILROY 63'), 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 36 Joseph FORDE (43 Adam ZIMARINO 63') - Subs not used: RGK Pierce CLARK, 37 Jacob MUIR - Referee: Lachlan KEEVERS

27.1.2023

NPLWA NIGHT SERIES KICKS OFF THIS WEEKEND

The 2023 NPLWA Night Series gets underway this weekend, with games on Friday and Sunday. There are two groups of six teams, with the top two in each qualifying for the semi-finals. Current holders Floreat Athena start their defence with a clash with Balcatta at Inglewood Stadium on Sunday afternoon. (5pm)

Floreat won last season’s final, after first half goals from Robert Petkov and Phil Arnold put them in control, and on the hour, Petkov added his second to increase the lead. Hasani Sinclair had a chance to give Perth some hope ten minutes later, but his penalty was saved by Jason Saldaris. The scoring was wrapped 13 minutes from time, with substitute Bayley Brown-Montgomery adding a fourth.

Floreat skipper Jason Saldaris said after a good pre-season, the players are looking forward to competitive games, and they are determined to hold on their crown. “2022 was a season the players and fans will never forget from beating our rivals in the Night Series final and the roller-coaster of a season,” he said. “After 16-years we finally lifted the league trophy in dramatic fashion. But from all the positives the post season final is a game the squad haven't forgotten and want to be in the driver’s seat come seasons end.

“It’s an exciting first round game against Balcatta who finished the season strong and have recruited very well which will be no easy game, Glen (Grostate) knows how to drill his squad to lock a game down and make it tough for any opponent, we are just taking one game at a time testing and trying new formations and rotations to better the squad.

“But the Night Series is one of the best competitions to play in, the crowds are buzzing and atmosphere after the long pre-season makes playing these games worth every minute.” The other Group A games take place on Friday evening, with Stirling Macedonia taking on last season’s beaten finalists Perth SC in the early game at Frank Drago Reserve (6.30pm), while in the late game hosts Bayswater City meet Armadale. (8.30pm)

In Group B, Top Four Final series winners Perth RedStar meet newly promoted Olympic Kingsway, in the early game at Dalmatinac Park. (6.30pm) Olympic eased to the State League Division One title last season, and they will be looking to get life in the NPL off to a flying start. Head Coach David Tough, who was assistant coach when ECU Joondalup won the NPL title in 2020, said it’s a huge first up test, but one he’s looking forward too.

“The lads have worked hard in pre-season, while I’ve been back to Scotland to see family,” Tough explained. “Ross (Edwards) Guy (McDonald) and Willie (McNally) have put the lads through their paces, as we know we need to improve in certain areas heading into the NPL, and a first up game against RedStar will be a test to see how we have improved.

“Callum (Salmon) and David (Butterfield) have a fantastic playing group, and I obviously know a few personally after my time at the club, so we know we will head into the game as underdogs, but it’s a pre-season game, and we will use it to try different things, but it’s one I’m looking forward too.”

In other games in the group, Cockburn City host Sorrento in the late game at Dalmatinac Park on Friday (8.30pm), while Inglewood United welcome Perth Glory to the Inglewood Stadium on Sunday (7.00am)

Also, ahead of the Night Series kick off Football West has introduced a ‘Hot Weather Policy’ to ensure players and match officials are protected during the summer. The policy is aimed at reducing the risk of heat stroke, a potentially fatal condition which may arise when a player or official continues to exercise despite suffering from heat exhaustion. To ensure the risk is minimised, the following conditions have been introduced:

If the temperature at kick off is forecast to be 32C or higher for junior matches, or 36C or higher for senior matches, Football West will reschedule a competition match and withdraw approval of a friendly match. If the temperature at kick off for any junior match is forecast to be 30C or higher, or 34C or higher for senior matches, a drinks break must be held in each half of the match.

26.1.2023

FOUR WA PLAYERS SELECTED IN PARAROOS SQUAD

Four West Australians have been selected in the 18-player CommBank Pararoos squad as they open Football Australia’s 2023 calendar of home internationals next month against the USA in New South Wales. Experienced duo Connor Bunce and Alessandro La Verghetta are joined by exciting uncapped prospects 17-year-old Noah Bremmer-Bell, and Rafferty Bacon, 16 from Swan United.

It will mark the CommBank Pararoos first international on home soil in three years as they welcome the world number four on Saturday, 4 February to Cromer Park, the home of Manly Warringah Football Association. Head Coach Kai Lammert has called up a host of familiar faces with history making veteran captain David Barber, forward Ben Roche and midfielder Connor Marsh headlining a host of experienced names.

Among the newest call ups are Victorian duo Kaylan Van Heer and Joshua Beekes with 16-year-old Van Heer named the 2022 Nationals Male Young Player of the Tournament, and Beekes receiving the 2022 Nationals FT3 Player of the Tournament. Swan defender Bacon and Canberra’s Luc Launder (2022 Nationals FT2 Player of the Tournament) will also be vying for their first caps in a squad with representation from the West Coast to the East Coast of Australia.

Bacon said it’s a great honour to represent your Country, and even better with three of his WA team mates. “I’m really happy to be selected for the team and to be playing with boys that are similar if not the same as me. These boys understand what it means to be a part of something like this as well as the benefits this sport has on people with disabilities because it helps us show that we are more than what some people perceive us as,” the Swan United defender explained.

“I’m also really excited to play with the other boys from WA, because I have been playing with them for a long time and I can finally play at the same level as boys I looked up to since I started at the program. It especially means a lot to me because I can help these boys to play to their strengths so they can perform at this level as well.”

The teenager, who will play for Swan United under 18s this season, said the Francis Street club have been a huge part of his life, and he couldn’t thank them enough. “I have been playing at Swan United since I was a young boy and I started the para program when I was around 10,” he said. “The para program has helped me grow as a player and has helped my confidence on the field so much. The club has also been a strong influence on how I play by teaching me the skills I need to really perform on the field no matter which club I’m playing for.

“I owe a lot to Swan United because they have helped me develop as a player and given me the opportunity to play competitively for them, as well as not just seeing me as a person with a disability. They see me as another person, and they have also been an extremely supportive of my time at WA. They are really excited to see how I play for the Pararoos, and also very keen because I am representing them as well.”

Bacon, who will fly out to meet his team mates at the end of the month, said he has some important coaches give him advice over the years, but one stood out. “Ben Whyte, who was my U16s coach and is now my U18s coach, has played a really part in influencing me because he doesn’t get angry when I make a mistake and has a positive impact on my skills as a footballer due to his caring manner,” he explained. “As well as having a positive impact on my life off the field, he was very supportive when my dad passed even though I was having a hard time and getting very angry with things after. He understood and would be supportive all the time. I owe a lot to him as well.”

Lammert was pleased with the composition of the squad ahead of an important international against the United States. “We believe we have selected a great squad for this upcoming training camp and international that provides an essential balance of experience and talented youth,” the coach said. “This is the first step in the preparation for our 2023 international calendar and we are looking for all players to enjoy the challenge playing against one of the top teams in CP football, gain some experience and hopefully learn from it as well.

“It’s very important for our preparation to have these internationals under our belt. We don't get to play too many international matches, so it is extremely crucial for us and it’s an ideal for us to come up against quality opponents early in the year. For the new players, it’s always special for every player to pull on the Green and Gold and its extra special when you pull it on for the very first time,” Lammert added. “I can't wait to see them out there as they have worked very hard for it, and they certainly deserve this opportunity.

“We're obviously playing to make sure we're improving in every performance and our last performances against the USA, but still play our way of football. I'm sure the crowd will enjoy the great football game on February 4 at Cromer Park.” The squad will head into camp on Saturday, 28 January ahead of the international fixture - COMMBANK PARAROOS SQUAD - GK Christian Tsangas, Joshua Beekes, Christian Bitsikas, Benjamin Roche, Kaylan Van Heer (Football Victoria), Rafferty Bacon, Connor Bunce, Noah Bremmer-Bell, Alessandro La Verghetta (Football West), Timothy Blowes Noah Bremmer-Bell, Jeremy Boyce, Taj Lynch, Connor Marsh, Augustine Murphy (Football NSW), David Barber (Football Queensland), Daniel Campbell (Northern NSW Football), Luc Launder (Capital Football)

26.1.2023

PHOENIX NEXT UP FOR IN-FORM GLORY

Perth Glory will aim for a first win on New Zealand soil since 2019, when they take on Wellington Phoenix at Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North on Saturday morning (kick-off at 10am WST). On the back of unbeaten home run of form, Glory head over the ditch, looking to continue their march up the table, currently sitting just outside the Isuzu Ute A-league finals spot, and Ruben Zadkovich’s side could jump into it with a win in the ‘Distance Derby’.

But that’s not the first thing on the mind of Zadkovich, he is focused on consistent performances, and if they get right the ladder position will take care of itself. “We’re not focusing so much on the ladder as we are on ourselves and how we can improve as a team in all the different moments and phases of play,” he said. “In the last little period there, we strung together some good performances in patches and had longer periods of sustained structured football where people knew their role and there was clarity and success in that through the transitions.

“That’s a good sign of the group growing and I want to make it clear that in-house, we’re just focusing on improving. I feel like we have a lot of improvement in us and I feel like we need to improve a lot if we want to be a top team and a team in the top-half of the ladder. You can see there’s real belief in that dressing room and they’ve got faith and belief in each other and what we’re doing and that gives us a good environment which sustains the process.”

The frequent flyer points will again be huge for the Glory, with one of the longest league trips in the world, and with both sides in good form, the Phoenix only having lost once in the last seven games and sitting fourth on the ladder, the coach is expecting another tough encounter. “I think [Wellington Phoenix Head Coach] Ufuk Talay is a fantastic coach,” he said. “He’s someone I know from my playing days at Sydney FC, and he has a very good football brain and he has a very organised and structured team with some very dangerous players, so I’ve got a lot of respect for what Wellington are doing and the way they’re playing.

“They’re probably the form team in the competition at the moment… but I also note that they’ve only won three out of eight at home, so there’s opportunity there. It’s [the trip] another challenge for us as a group and a club to embrace and rise to. I’m pretty disappointed with the fixture and where it’s being played, I think it’s quite poor from a scheduling point of view and whoever made that decision. But the decision is made, it’s an uncontrollable and I’m always very positive and optimistic. I won’t change my ways and I’ll be imparting that on the boys.”

The last time Glory headed to New Zealand, was in round 23 in 2020-2021, when the pair fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw in front of 22,233 supporters at Eden Park. Tomer Hemed gave the hosts the lead early, but goals from Bruno Fornaroli and a stunner from Callum Timmins gave the visitors the lead on 75 minutes. But the hosts restored parity five minutes later with Jaushua Sotirio levelling things up, with both sides sharing the spoils.

Meanwhile, after the scintillating return to the club for Adam Taggart, Zadkovich said the striker is in doubt for the trip along with Tunisian winger Salim Khelifi, while Jack Clisby is suspended, but he will have new signing Jordan Elsey available and could make his club debut. “Adam had a slight strain which we were trying to manage before that game [v Melbourne Victory), but It’s flared up a little bit, it’s not too bad, but it’s something we just need to manage,” he said.

“We’ll look to push him in training tomorrow and see how he goes, but we’ll take the long-term view that if it’s no good, he won’t travel. The nice thing is that we were in strong form before we got Taggs on the pitch. While you can see how much he helps and how much of a high-class, quality striker he is and why he’s important to the way we play, we’ll continue to grow and develop with or without him on the pitch and we want to make it a collective.

“Salim’s injury is being looked at and at this stage it’s looking like a serious injury. It’s a foot injury and he’s getting some scans and those will be looked at by the specialists. Jordan is fit enough and strong enough and ready to play, now it’s just about him settling into our processes, which I’m sure are very different and our structures and understanding with teammates. He’s a great personality and a really good leader, so I think that transition will be smooth for him.”

The hosts will be forced to make a change to their side after All Whites midfielder Clayton Lewis suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Central Coast Mariners and has been ruled out of this weekend’s match. He joins centre back Scott Wootton (calf) on the sidelines.

Wellington Phoenix Squad: GK. Oli SAIL, GK Alex PAULSEN, 3 Finn SURMAN, 5 Steven UGARKOVIC, 6 Tim PAYNE, 7 Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8 Ben OLD, 9 Oskar ZAWADA, 10 David BALL, 11 Bozhidar KRAEV, 12 Lucas MAURAGIS, 13 Nicholas PENNINGTON, 14 Alex RUFER, 17 Callan ELLIOT, 19 Sam SUTTON, 21 Joshua LAWS, 24 Oskar VAN HATTUM, 31 Yan SASSE, 35 Noah KARUNARATNE - IN: KARUNARATNE (promoted) - OUT: 23 Clayton LEWIS (injured) - Unavailable: 4 Scott WOOTTON (injured)

Perth Glory Squad: GK Liam REDDY, GK Cameron COOK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 3 Jacob DOWSE, 4 Luke BODNAR, 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, 10 Salim KHELIFI, 12 Luke IVANOVIC, 14 Jack CLISBY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 18 David WILLIAMS, 19 Zach DUNCAN, 20 Giordano COLLI, 21 Anthony BURKE-GILROY, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Mitch OXBORROW, 28 Trent OSTLER, 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 36 Joseph FORDE, 37 Jacob MUIR, 43 Adam ZIMARINO – Ins and outs: (Not available at time of publishing) - Unavailable: GK Brad JONES (injured), 6 Aaron MCENEFF (injured), 24 Adrian SARDINERO (injured)

25.1.2023

HINTZEN LOVING PERTH

With Perth Glory’s Liberty A-League campaign in a hiatus due to Sydney FC ground issues, striker Cyera Hintzen sat down with ‘Impetus Football’ website to chat about her football journey. The American has been a major part of the side for the last season and a half, and she’s thriving in the team’s collective atmosphere and has a deep love of the city and wider state of Western Australia. Hintzen arrived ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, and it was a huge challenge for all overseas players, especially WA, as the borders were shut after only one game due to covid restrictions, leaving Glory to spend the season based in NSW. But this bonded the playing group, but Hintzen said it was a tough time.

“It was a bit of a challenge because I was coming to a country that I’d never been to before and knew really nothing about, expecting to stay in one part of the country but being uprooted to staying somewhere else was a bit confusing at first,” she explained. “I was just getting settled into living in Perth and then had to readjust to a new environment. But it was a great experience to bond with the girls and I think that chemistry and the mentality to fight for each other really showed last season.”

The camaraderie within the group that season drove Glory to the brink of Finals football, failing by just goal difference to eventual champions Melbourne Victory. It was a situation that made it an easy decision for Hintzen to sign on for another year. “I wanted to stay at the club because of the girls and what we created on and off the field last season, I was excited to build off of that,” the striker said. “Also, being able to fully experience Perth because last year we had to go into a hub for the majority of the season in Sydney. Being based in a hotel wasn’t easy and wasn’t the ideal experience, but we made the most of it.”

After the conclusion of last year’s campaign, the likeable striker headed Icelandic to her former club. She enjoyed her time there, but is happy to be back in the west. “After the A-League season, I went back to Valur which was the first club I played for starting my professional career in Iceland. I played in the Icelandic League from May to October,” she said. “It has been an amazing experience being able to finally be in WA. The beaches and coffee are great and I love how laid back it is in Perth. Everyone has a chill vibe and it’s really easygoing.”

Hintzen has teamed up with fellow American players Rylee Baisden and Gabriella Coleman, who she knew from her younger days, and they are both highly rated by Hintzen, who feels Baisden’s ACL injury is a major blow to the club. “I didn’t know Rylee before I came to Perth but it has been a great experience playing with her. Unfortunately, with her injury we won’t get that opportunity anymore which is sad because I feel like we just started to figure each other out,” the former University of Texas player said. “With Gabriella, we are both from Dallas, Texas so I kind of knew her but she was younger than me so we never got to play together before.”

After their excellent 2021-22 and an impressive recruitment campaign in close season, including having many key players tied down long-term, there were high hopes for Glory this season, and they are showing their potential, but have only won twice to date. “I think we started off a bit slow this season and are trying to figure out what the team needs from everyone to bring up our play to the level that we know we can,” she explained “I think we have finally started to fully believe in each other and brought back that fight for each other’s mentality. We just need to put together a full 90 minutes and be more clinical when we have those opportunities in front of the goal.

“I think a successful season for me would just be putting my best foot forward every single day and bringing everything I can to the club to help us win. “I think being in that conversation for finals is the goal because we were so close last year and know we are more than capable of achieving that. So just getting everyone to believe in each other and this club and showing everyone who doubts us that we can be the team to make it to finals.”

25.1.2023

KERR OUT TO MAKE WORLD CUP A RAGING SUCCESS

Matildas captain Samantha Kerr has revealed the pressure and excitement of building up to this year’s Women’s World Cup in Australia, and what it is like having another international star, America’s Kristie Mewis, as her partner.

The 2023 Women’s World Cup - which is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand - is now less than six months away. But before the tournament kicks off Kerr has an English league and European campaign to complete with Chelsea, while Mewis a United States league season to start in New York with Gotham FC.

“We’re just raging for the next six months to the World Cup, doing whatever we can,” said Kerr. “We both feel like we’ve been gunning for this World Cup for so long now that it’s kind of going to be like we’re just giving everything for the next six months and then it’s gonna be like a breath of fresh air.’

“It’s so stressful when you have a tournament coming up, one injury, staying fit, getting picked on the team, the pressure of a home World Cup, the pressure of being in form, all those things that go into a World Cup. It’s just been building for two years now. So I think we’re both excited and just want to be there and want to do everything we can to perform there.”

Kerr was unable to come home during the pandemic for more than two years and has relished being able to return since, whether in breaks or for internationals. She is next in Australia for matches against Spain, Jamaica and the Czech Republic next month. “I think this next international window in February is going to be amazing,” said Kerr.

“Every time we’ve played at home we’ve broken a record crowd. Recently we played in Melbourne and we had an amazing crowd. Australians love sport and they love the Matildas. Everyone in Australia is absolutely pumped (about the World Cup). My family’s pumped because they don’t have to have their passports out and spend thousands of dollars.”

Mewis and Kerr could face each other in the World Cup, but only if both teams reach the final. It would not be the first time though, they last played against each other in Newcastle when the US met Australia in late 2021. Kerr said she worried that people - especially coaches and teammates - “think we don’t take it seriously because you’re playing your girlfriend.”

“In Newcastle she came on, we were playing against each other, and we went in on each other. We’d kill each other. At the Olympics we were so excited to see each other but I didn’t want people to think that we were just at the Olympics to see each other. I know that people don’t think that, but that’s the worry.”

The pair have been very open about their relationship on social media. “I get more fan mail about me and her than just for myself. It’s nice that people support us so much and relate to us so much,” Kerr said. “We’re not private people… I like sharing who I am outside of football. Football is five per cent of my life.”

25.1.2023

GLORY YOUNGSTERS NAMED IN JOEY’S SQUAD

Perth Glory quartet Daniel Bennie, Andriano Lebib, Jaylan Pearman and Corey Sutherland have all been selected for the Australia U17 squad to take part in the Antalya Youth Cup in Turkey next month. The WA youngsters were named in head coach Brad Maloney's 23-player squad to face Czechia, Morocco and Uzbekistan, as the Joeys begin their preparation for June’s AFC U17 Asian Cup in Thailand.

All the players were part of the clubs NPLWA side last season, and all impressed as Glory finished the season in eighth place, and it’s a huge opportunity for them to shine in the ‘Green and Gold’. Head Coach Maloney, who played 41 games for the Glory between 2000 and 2002, said it’s a great opportunity for the youngsters “The Antalya Youth Cup presents an exciting opportunity to pit some of the country’s best-emerging footballers against leading opposition from three different continents," he said.

“To be able to play the likes of Czechia, Morocco, and Uzbekistan within the space of six days presents an ideal learning experience for this squad as we prepare for June’s AFC U-17 Asian Cup and hopefully the FIFA U17 World Cup in Peru later this year.”

This will be the first time the Joeys have come together for a camp or tournament since topping their respective Group during the AFC U17 Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers held in Shepparton, Victoria, during October 2022.

Maloney, who was appointed as head coach for the side in August of last year, and his coaching staff have spent the past three months watching matches from both home and abroad to support their planning for 2023 and beyond, with seven new faces being selected in the squad for the Antalya Youth Cup.

“With our elite youth pathways in hiatus for almost three years due to the pandemic, it’s more important than ever we are continually monitoring, scouting, and unearthing talent to ensure every eligible player is on our radar and considered for national team honours,” the former Perth Glory midfielder said.

“We have made several changes to the squad who contested the qualifiers in October, with the view to providing international exposure to as many players as possible and to build depth as part of our preparations for this year’s Asian Cup."

The Asian Football Confederation confirmed earlier this month that Thailand will host the AFC U17 Asian Cup 2023™, with the tournament to now take place between 15 June and 2 July 2023. The draw for the AFC U-17 Asian Cup Thailand 2023™ is scheduled to occur in March, where Australia will need to reach the semi-finals to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Peru 2023™, which runs from 10 November to 2 December 2023.

Full Squad: GK Michael VONJA (Western United), GK Franklin JAN (St George FC), GK Anthony PAVLESIC (Central Coast Mariners), Peter ANTONIOU (Melbourne City), Daniel BENNIE (Perth Glory), Nicolas CALDER (FC Luzern), Zachary DE JESUS (Sydney), Campbell DOVISON (Central Coast Mariners), Mitchell GLASSON (Sydney), Aden GREEN (Western Sydney Wanderers), Max HATELY (Western Sydney Wanderers), Jordan HOEY (Melbourne Victory), , Ryan KALMS (Melbourne City), Pearson KASAWAYA (Sydney), Andriano LEBIB (Perth Glory), Jacob McLACHLAN (Sydney), Andre PARKES (Central Coast Mariners), Jaylan PEARMAN (Perth Glory), Sotiri PHILLIS (Adelaide United), Xavier SMITH (Crewe Alexandra UK), Corey SUTHERLAND (Perth Glory), Fabian TALLADIRA (Adelaide United), Danilo TREFFILETTI (AC Monza Italy)

25.1.2023

KHELIFI SUFFERS SERIOUS INJURY

Perth Glory recruit Salim Khelifi is set for an extended stint on the sidelines after suffering a serious foot injury, while Adam Taggart is no certainty to face Wellington Phoenix on Saturday. the Tunisian international has been outstanding for Glory this season but he limped off midway through the second half of Saturday night's 3-1 defeat of Melbourne Victory.

Glory are still determining the full extent of the injury, but the early signs don't look good for Khelifi. "At this stage it's looking like a serious injury," coach Ruben Zadkovich said. "For me he's been our standout player. With Jack Clisby being suspended and Adam Taggart's quad - it's one of those weeks where we're certainly disappointed to be losing a few quality players."

Taggart's match-winning brace against Melbourne has been soured by a flare up of a quad injury. "He had a slight strain which we were trying to manage before that game. It's flared up a little bit," Zadkovich said. "It's not too much, it's just something we need to manage… we'll look to try to push him tomorrow and see how he goes. But if it's no good, then he won't travel."

23.1.2023

CLISBY BANNED FOR TWO

Perth Glory defender Jack Clisby has been slapped with two-game ban following an on-field confrontation with Chris Ikonomidis in last weekend’s win over Melbourne Victory. Ikonomidis was shown a straight red card for kicking out at Clisby after being tackled to the ground, while the Glory player was issued his marching orders for retaliation. The A-League match review panel’s decision means both players escape with the minimum penalty.

23.1.2023

LYDEN SIGNS SHORT-TERM DEAL WITH LEYTON

London club Leyton Orient have secured Jordan Lyden on a short term deal. The 26-year old midfielder, a member of Swindon Town's 2019/20 League Two winning squad, will be based at Brisbane Road until the end of the season, with the club having to option to extend that deal for a further year.

Describing himself as a midfielder who can play both a holding role, and a more advanced role, Lyden is keen to impress for the O’s. "The gaffer (Richie Wellens) got in touch with me a few weeks ago and said that he wanted a midfielder of my calibre,” said Lyden, who played under Wellens at Swindon.

"He gave me a chance to come in and prove my fitness, and thankfully I've been able to do just that, and I'm delighted to be back in first-team football. I was with the gaffer before at Swindon Town, so I know what it is like to work under him and what he wants from his sides."

"The lads have all been so welcoming, which has helped. It can sometimes be daunting going into new environments but they have all been brilliant with me and we all want to achieve the goal of promotion this season. Having worked with the gaffer before at Swindon, it felt like the perfect fit for me."

Wellens is delighted to add Lyden to his squad. "Jordan is a really good footballer, I've worked with him before and he knows how I want my sides to play. He's got a nearly 60% win rate in the matches that he has played in League Two, so he knows exactly how to win games of football at this level."

"Jordan gives us a bit more depth in midfield, and he can play as both a four and an eight, so he gives us both experience and flexibility in that area. Jordan is a fantastic character with a point to prove, and he's settled in well already, and will be keen to push those in front of him."

23.1.2023

GLORY SHORE UP DEFENCE WITH ELSEY

Perth Glory have lured centre-back Jordan Elsey to the west coast from A-League rivals Newcastle Jets. The experiecned defender join Glory on a two-and-a-half year deal after more than 150 appearances for Newcastle and his hometown club Adelaide United.

Elsey said he was looking forward to playing under coach Ruben Zadkovich. "After speaking with Ruben, I was impressed with his ideas and am eager to join Glory," he said. "In terms of targets, finals is the main goal and I'm looking forward to contributing to this and finishing the season in a positive way."

Elsey started his professional career in 2013 with Adelaide where he was part of the clubs' Premiership/Championship winning side of 2015/16 and their back-to-back FFA Cup success of 2018 and 2019. He switched to Newcastle in mid-2021 and has been a key part of their backline across the past one-and-a-half seasons.

Zadkovich says Elsey will play an equally important role at Glory, on and off the field of play. "Jordan is a great addition to our squad," he said. "He is one of the strongest Australian central defenders in this league and adds stability and experience to our defensive unit."

"His natural aggression and leadership skills will complement us and really consolidate what we are building. He is also a great character to have in the dressing room. We are looking forward to getting him settled and integrating him into our processes and structures."

22.1.2023

ZADKOVICH SAYS TAGGART HAS PLENTY MORE TO GIVE

Perth Glory coach Ruben Zadkovich said Adam Taggart’s match-winning cameo against Melbourne Victory was just scraping the surface of what he can bring to the table. On the first game of his third stint at the club, Taggart came off the bench to score two late goals and secure Glory a 3-1 win.

Zadkovich said Taggart’s performance was just the tip of the iceberg and he was more than just a goal-scorer. “For Tags, it’s always about his mentality to want to do the simple things well and to defend, lead from the front and be a good leader,” commented Zadkovich.

“I’ve seen him at the peak of his powers when I was the captain at Newcastle (Jets) and he was the young pup that rocked up and got the golden boot ... over the last 10 years or so he’s grown a lot as a person and he knows what he’s capable of, but he always puts the team first and so he’s the right character for us to spearhead this rebuild.”

Taggart, who spent the past three years in South Korea and Japan, is still working his way back to full fitness after tweaking his quad several weeks ago. The 29-year old came on in the 70th minute against Victory, and he could be in line for a boost in minutes in next weekend's trip to Wellington Phoenix.

“We will take it slow and steady and always look towards the long term plan, not just for him, but also the team. Tags is a part of the jigsaw puzzle and it’s nice to see it come together. He’s still a long way off being anywhere near his best, but the one thing you get with Tags is goals, and he knows how to deliver when the moment arises."

“It’s going to take time for him to understand our processes and train more with the team and build fitness. We go away to Wellington now and hopefully he recovers and trains well and he can play a part again there, but we’ll just have to play that a little bit by ear.”

21.1.2023

MATILDAS WILLIAMS SWITCHES TO BRIGHTON

Brighton and Hove Albion have confirmed the recruitment of Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams on a contract until summer 2024. The 34-year old leaves French club Paris Saint-Germain in search of regular game-time to book her place at the upcoming Women's World Cup.

Williams will face competition from Ireland's Megan Walsh and Katie Startup, but is far more experienced than either. "She brings a huge amount of experience to the team," Seagulls head coach Jens Scheuer said of Williams, who has played in Australia, Sweden, England and the United States of America.

"She has played over 100 times for Australia and has a good understanding of the WSL from her time with Arsenal. Hopefully, we will see some of her wonderful saves. Now we have three good goalkeepers, the competition will be a lot stronger and that's good for the team. I am sure Lydia will have a big impact."

Williams won four A-League titles with Melbourne City and Canberra United, finished second in the WSL with Arsenal in the 2021/22 season and was a runner-up in the French League with PSG earlier this season. At international level Williams has been a key figure for Australia having competed in two World Cups and three Asian Cups.

21.1.2023

TAGGART AT THE DOUBLE FOR GLORY

Returning Perth Glory striker Adam Taggart has started his second spell at the club with a brace off the bench to secure a 3-1 win against Melbourne Victory at a sold-out Macedonia Park on Saturday evening. A first half strike from Ryan Williams gave the hosts the lead but two red cards to Jack Clisby and former Glory winger Chris Ikonomidis early in the second half changed the game.

Roderick Miranda levelled for the hosts, then enter Taggart, who has headed back to WA from Japanese side Cerezo Osaka. He had only been on the pitch nine minutes when he restored the lead, and he sealed the three points three minutes from time, to move Glory level close to a play-off spot on the Isuzu Ute A-League, and remain unbeaten at their temporary home.

Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich was pleased with the win, he knows there is still room for improvement. “To get three points is always the main thing, but I thought we were patchy tonight,” he said post-match. “In moments we played really well and in other moments, I thought we kind of lost some structure and shape. “But the nice thing about the game for me is just the character. “There’s a real resilience and belief growing in that dressing-room and a real togetherness and I thought that was definitely on show tonight.”

The coach made two change to the side that drew with Sydney FC last time out, with Salim Khelifi returning from injury to replace Luke Ivanovic, while David Williams came in for Jacob Muir, who dropped to the bench. It was a warm Balcatta evening, in front of another big crowd and it was the hosts, who included five former Glory players in their starting line-up, and former Coach Tony Popovic, who began the brighter. Noah Smith fired over the top, before Bruno Fornaroli shot on the turn flashed one wide of the target.

But Glory settled, and roared on by the big crowd created chances of their own, and went close to the opener on 22 minutes. Khelifi, who was a surprise return to the side, raced down the flank and squared the ball to Keegan Jelacic, but the youngster couldn’t find the target. Moments later John Koutroumbis saw his stinging effort tipped over the top by the alert Matt Acton. Jake Brimmer then fired over the top on the half hour, but seven minutes late it was the hosts who found the opener.

Skipper Mustafa Amini and David Williams combined down the right, the later finding Ryan Williams who found the bottom corner of the net, and after a VAR check the goal stood, much to the delight of the Glory faithful. They went close to a second before the break, the Williams pair combining again, but Acton got well to deny Ryan, but at half time Glory held the advantage.

It was an explosive start to the second half, when Clisby and Ikonomidis clashed, and referee Stephen Lucas showed a straight red card to the Glory defender and booked the Victory winger. But after reviewing the VAR the official sent both players off. The hosts didn’t let that affect them, with Khelifi making a surging run at the Victory defence, before curling his effort past Acton, but the post came to the rescue of the Victory custodian. The Victory keeper was the busiest, getting down well to deny Amini’s effort on the hour.

He was at it again six minutes later parrying David Williams shot, and Matt Spiranovic cleared the rebound. But on 69 minutes, and against the run of play Victory levelled. Jake Brimmer’s corner was met by substitute Miranda, whose spectacular volley flew past Cameron Cook. It was game on but Glory played their trump card two minutes later, with Taggart replacing David Williams, and nine minutes later he restored the lead.

Jacob Dowse was sent down the left, and his cross on the run picked out Taggart, who headed home superbly past Acton, and raced off to celebrate with the Shed. He wasn’t finished yet, and three minutes from time he added the third to seal the game. Dowse closed down the Victory keeper, and Acton turned the ball over, and his cross again found Taggart, who bundled the ball home to seal the win and complete a fairy tale home coming for the Socceroo striker.

Victory coach Tony Popovic was disappointed in the result. “You’re never happy when you lose the game, this is obviously a tough trip,” he said post-match. “I thought we started very well, really positive. Just unfortunate at the moment, when we’re on top we can’t score. We didn’t capitalise on the momentum when we had it. It’s just disappointing at 1-1 while we were on top, and you felt we had the ascendency and momentum again, we conceded a goal.”

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 4 Luke BODNAR (21 Antonee BURKE-GILROY 63'), 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, 10 Salim KHELIFI (3 Jacob DOWSE 65') 14 Jack CLISBY, 16 Keegan JELACIC (19 Zach DUNCAN 63'), 18 David WILLIAMS (22 Adam TAGGART 71'), 29 Darryl LACHMAN - Subs not used: RGK Liam REDDY, 37 Jacob MUIR, 43 Adam ZIMARINO - Red Cards: Clisby 51’

Melbourne Victory: GK Matt ACTON, 2 Jason GERIA, 5 Matt SPIRANOVIC, 6 Leigh BROXHAM (14 Jay BARNETT 60'), 7 Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8 Josh BRILLANTE, 10 Bruno FORNAROLI (24 Nishan VELUPILLAY 74'), 11 Ben FOLAMI (9 Tomi JURIC 84'), 22 Jake BRIMMER, 25 Noah SMITH (3 Enrique LOPEZ 46'), 31 Matthew BOZINOVSKI (21 Roderick MIRANDA 60') - Substitutes not used: RGK Ahmad TALEB, 29 Eli ADAMS - Red Cards: Ikonomidis 53’ – Attendance: 3,989 - Referee: Stephen LUCAS

21.1.2023

GLORY SECURE EXPERIENCED DEFENDER

Perth Glory’s January transfer window has opened again, after signing experienced centre-back Jordan Elsey from Newcastle Jets on a two-and-a-half-year deal with the club. The 28-year-old heads west after more than 150 A-League appearances over the last eight seasons, with his hometown club, Adelaide United and the Jets. The defender was delighted to make the move and is looking forward to the new challenge in his career.

"I’ve always enjoyed my time when travelling to Perth," he said, "and this is an exciting move not only for me, but also for my family. "After speaking with [Head Coach] Ruben [Zadkovich], I was impressed with his ideas and am eager to join Glory. In terms of targets, Finals is the main goal and I’m looking forward to contributing to this and finishing the season in a positive way."

Elsey played his junior club football with Parra Hills Knights before joining Adelaide United in 2009 and securing a senior contract in 2013. During his time with Adelaide, he was a regular in the side which claimed the Championship/ Premiership double in 2015-16 and also secured two FFA Cup titles. He then headed to Newcastle and played 35 times, bagging two goals. Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich believes that Elsey will prove to be a key figure for his young Glory side, on and off the field. "Jordan is a great addition to our squad," he said.

"He is one of the strongest Australian central defenders in this league and adds stability and experience to our defensive unit. His natural aggression and leadership skills will complement us and really consolidate what we are building. He is also a great character to have in the dressing room. He is a high-quality person, first and foremost, who gives a lot of himself to his teammates. We are looking forward to getting him settled and integrating him into our processes and structures."

19.1.2023

FORMER AZZURRI YOUNGSTER MOVES TO SCOTLAND

Former Perth SC defender Lachlan Byrd, has signed for Scottish Division One club Airdrieonians, after impressing on trial at Excelsior Stadium in recent weeks. The 20-year-old said he is delighted to have secured his first professional contract, and looking forward to the challenge. “It’s been a long haul, but delighted to get the deal done,” the talented defender said.

“I’d need to start off by thanking my agent Arfan at Eyeconic Sports Management over here, who’s been awesome in not only speaking to clubs on my behalf and getting me the trials but the valuable advice he’s given me throughout the process. Both my parents, especially my dad who have always been so supportive of what has been my dream since I could walk, and of course the fantastic staff and coaches at both Perth SC and Dandenong. My first professional contract is of course a massive milestone for me, but I’m already focused on the next step and propelling myself to the next level.”

The defender was an unused substitute on Saturday, as Airdrieonians drew 1-1 with Kelty Hearts, and boss Rhys McCabe was pleased to strengthen his defence, as they look for promotion to the Championship, currently sitting in fourth place in League One. “Lachie’s a big physical defender who can play right across the back four, he’s quick and strong with good physical attributes,” he told the clubs website. “He’s only 20, so there’s loads of room for improvement in terms of the bigger picture, and we’re delighted to get him in at this point in his career.”

Byrd had trials in the UK prior to covid, but the epidemic put moves on hold, but the move to Airdrieonians, will have many challengers that Byrd will have to overcome, mostly the weather, with the temperature in Scotland dropping below zero quite often, but he said he can’t wait to get started. “The weathers certainly something that’s a shock, but I’m lucky I have English blood in me so it’s been a surprisingly smooth transition to the freezing conditions,” he said.

“I had trialled in the UK in early 2020 just before COVID hit, and went to Salford, Leeds and Sunderland, who invited me back, but despite no offers I always knew I wanted to come back once I had more first team experience and grown more as a footballer. I was recommended my agent Arfan from a scout in the UK and flew out about five weeks, where I trialled at Dunfermline Athletic and Hamilton Academical before being fortunate enough to trial and impress at Airdrie. Scotland has an excellent track record for developing younger players, and also boasts a massive presence of Australian players, so it was an easy decision to come here.”

The defender had successful stints at Perth SC in 2021, helping the Azzurri to the NPLWA title, before a year at Dandenong, where he gained some valuable experience, and he is now looking forward to testing himself in Scotland. “My time at Dandenong was an incredible experience throughout and I couldn’t thank the club, staff and players enough for what was a great season,” he explained. “Unfortunately, we just missed out on making the finals and were one step away from the national round of 32, but I found the level in Victoria to be excellent for someone looking develop. Now it is a new challenge in Scotland, and I couldn’t be more excited to not only test myself at this level but continue to challenge and improve myself day in day out.”

19.1.2023

GLORY WELCOME GLORY B TO MACEDONIA PARK

After an explosive radio interview from Perth Glory owner Tony Sage last week, when he said Melbourne Victory’s season to date had been poor, which comes despite a large increase in spending, and he labelled them the Perth Glory B team, which only adds fuel to the fire when the pair meet on Saturday evening in week 13 of the Isuzu Ute A-League at Macedonia Park (kick off 7.30pm).

Victory, who sit bottom of the ladder going into the game, could have six former Glory players in their line up on Saturday evening, and despite their position on the ladder, Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich said there is no danger he will be underestimating Tony Popovic’s side. “I’ve coached against him [Popovic] twice, and Popa is someone I know well,” he said. “He was club captain when I was at Sydney FC as a young player, so I know him as a teammate. It’s well known that he is a strong personality and has a strong mentality and he passes that on to his teams, so we expect a very resolute and focused Melbourne Victory team.”

Glory will be out to maintain their unbeaten home record, and with Macedonia Park packed again the coach is well aware his chargers will have to be at their best, but he has been pleased with the hard work and determination from his squad. “They (Victory) are a massive club with million-dollar players, and they’re a big-spending team,” Zadkovich said. “We expect them to bring all their big guns and rock up to Macedonia Park to give us a very stiff test, so we’ll have to be at our best.

“It’s been nice to have some time on the training pitch to continue improving. We’ve had a really good week on the pitch with the players where the focus and the effort and their application has been very, very good. We’re taking positive steps and heading in the right direction and that’s important to me at this stage. I’m not focusing too much on how other teams are faring, I’m just worrying about what we’re doing, our focus is firmly on us. It’s on improving, growing as a group and getting stronger together.”

Zadkovich gave an update on injured duo Adam Taggart and Salim Khelifi, and said they will probably struggle for Saturday’s game, but both are getting close to a call up to action. “They’re both progressing, whether or not it’s quick enough for this weekend, I’m not sure,” he explained. “We’ll get through tomorrow’s training session and see where they’re at. I’d say they’re both in doubt, but they’re a small chance and if not this weekend, then they’re very close moving into next week. We’ve got a very good physio team which is working around the clock to see if we can get all our players right, so fingers crossed on that one.”

The 24 previous A-League meetings between the two clubs in WA have produced 13 wins for Glory and seven for Victory, while the overall record is almost even, with Victory having claimed maximum points on 20 occasions to Glory’s 19. The last time Victory headed to Perth was in round 22 last season, when the visitors left with all three points, thanks to a second half goal from Italian striker Francesco Margiotta, in front of only 3,342 supporters at HBF Park.

Roderick Miranda is welcomed back into Tony Popovic’s squad after training in the lead up to the trip West. Meanwhile Tomi Juric returns to the selection mix, as well as former Glory striker Bruno Fornaroli, who has joined the Club on a permanent basis. The Uruguayan-born Australian initially joined the Club as an injury replacement player in October and has signed on with Victory squad after the opening of the January transfer window. Rai Marchan will miss the clash with Perth, as he follows concussion protocols after picking up a head knock in last week’s 1-1 draw with Adelaide.

Perth Glory Squad: GK Liam REDDY, GK Cameron COOK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 3 Jacob DOWSE, 4 Luke BODNAR, 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, 12 Luke IVANOVIC, 14 Jack CLISBY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 18 David WILLIAMS, 19 Zach DUNCAN, 20 Giordano COLLI, 23 Mitch OXBORROW, 28 Trent OSTLER, 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 36 Joseph FORDE, 37 Jacob MUIR, 43 Adam ZIMARINO - Ins: OXBORROW, OSTLER - Unavailable: GK Brad JONES (injured), 6 Aaron MCENEFF (injured), 10 Salim KHELIFI (injured), 21 Anthony BURKE-GILROY (injured), 22 Adam TAGGART (injured), 24 Adrian SARDINERO (injured)

Melbourne Victory Squad - GK Matt ACTON, GK Ahmad TALEB, 2 Jason GERIA, 3 Enrique LOPEZ, 5 Matt SPIRANOVIC, 6 Leigh BROXHAM, 7 Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8 Josh BRILLANTE, 9 Tomi JURIC, 10 Bruno FORNAROLI, 11 Ben FOLAMI, 14 Jay BARNETT, 18 Nick D’AGOSTINO, 21 Roderick MIRANDA, 22 Jake BRIMMER, 24 Nishan VELUPILLAY, 25 Noah SMITH, 26 Lleyton BROOKS, 28 Will Wilson, 31 Matthew BOZINOVSKI - In: LOPEZ (promoted), JURIC (promoted), MIRANDA (promoted), FORNAROLI (New Signing) - Out: 4 Rai MARCHAN (concussion protocol), Unavailable: 17 Luis NANI (injured), 20 Paul IZZO (injured)

19.1.2023

EPAKIS LEFT FUMING AFTER SYDNEY GAME CALLED OFF

Fresh off a big win against Wellington Phoenix, that took them to within five points of the Liberty A-League top four, Perth Glory now faces three weeks on the sidelines due to a fixture rescheduling which has left Head Coach Alex Epakis demanding answers.

He has vented his frustration at A-League Women administrators over a scheduling call which leaves his players facing three weeks on ice. His side won't play again until February 4 after a decision last week to reschedule next weekend's game against Sydney FC. The postponement was caused after ongoing pitch remediation at Leichhardt Oval, with the game instead set to be played at Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah on March 29.

Amazingly in one of the biggest states in the country, with football venues a plenty, another venue wasn’t available, with the Sky Blues chief executive Adam Santo saying administrators had sought to relocate the game to next weekend but couldn't find an alternative venue, "with many grounds already in use or undergoing similar renovations".

Epakis said it wasn't good enough on the part of the Australian Professional Leagues (APL), and had voiced his concerns in an email to the them, but disappointingly had not received a response, but the APL denied this, "We offered to host them here and cover the cost and they still said no," he added. "I'm not happy about it," he said. "The APL made a decision to postpone our game against Sydney that was due to be this coming weekend. They've made that postponement due to Sydney FC not being able to source a venue in the largest state of venues. So now we've been punished.

“We're going to play three games in six days at the end of the season across three different states, which isn't fair. It compromises the run that we need to have and most importantly, it's a wellbeing and a safety issue." Commissioner Greg O'Rourke was having none of it, saying had been in contact with the club and Perth were unable to fund switching the game to WA. "We have been trying for a number of weeks to solve with alternate grass-field grounds in NSW,” he said. “Unfortunately, this is a very rare occurrence where an alternative couldn't be found for the original date.”

Glory will continue training and play internal games in a bid to keep fresh during their extended break. "We certainly have to do something to maintain that intense load," Epakis said. "You can't go three weeks of not playing a game and then just expect to perform when you get back." Eighth-placed Glory's return to action on February 4, with a trip to ladder leaders Western United in Ballarat.

18.1.2023

BIRIGHITTI FEARED TANNADICE SWITCH MISTAKE

Mark Birighitti has admitted fearing he made a massive mistake in joining Dundee United - but now the West Australian goalkeeper is relieved to be showing his true worth. The A-League Goalkeeper of the Year arrived started his time at Tannadice under an avalanche of goals, starting with a 7-0 Europa Conference League mauling by AZ Alkmaar which was followed by a 4-0 thumping from Hearts.

A leaky defence and team short of confidence led to Birighitti being axed and he was left wondering what he had done. Manager Jack Ross paid the price as United slid down the league. In came Liam Fox who steadied the ship and brought back Birighitti, who has responded by playing at the level he knows he can.

“I’m not going to lie, it does cross your mind and at the start of the season when things were not going my way, I did think to myself ‘what have I come to’?,” Bigihitti said. “The AZ game was difficult, but the week before it we’d beaten them and it was amazing. Then seven days on, you’re the most depressing person because of the way it panned out. But that’s football.”

“It was really the Hearts game after that because I had a few shaky moments and my confidence was shot. I found myself out of the team after that. The World Cup break came at a really good time for me, I was able to clear my head, spend some time with my family and that allowed me to come back rejuvenated. I feel like I have come back a totally different person and a totally different goalkeeper. I think that has been showing in my performances.”

18.1.2023

CHARLTON BOSS EXPLAINS MAYNARD-BREWER’S FACE MASK

Charlton Athletic manager Dean Holden has explained why Ashley Maynard-Brewer wore a protective face mask during the teams’ 2-0 win over Barnsley on Saturday. The 23-year old broke his nose while on loan at Ross County last season and Holden said Maynard-Brewer’s recent time out after suffering a concussion presented the perfect opportunity to carry out a small procedure.

“They basically manually manipulated it back into position,” Holden told the South London Press. “That’s just a protective thing for the next couple of week. The concussion was nothing to do (with the procedure). From what I’ve been told it is a procedure that has been needed for a while. So it was just when we had a little bit of free time to put it back into place again.”

17.1.2023

GLORY APPEAL THREE-GAME BAN FOR MASTRANTONIO

Perth Glory have appealed a three-match suspension handed down to Ella Mastrantonio for her role in a heated physical stoush against Wellington Phoenix. The midfielder is staring down the barrel of a month watching from the sidelines after she was sent off for fighting with Wellington’s Emma Rolston in the first half of Sunday’s 2-0 home win.

The A-Leagues match review panel gave the Glory midfielder three weeks - one weeks more than Rolston - for felling the Phoenix star before grabbing her hair and neck later in the ugly altercation. However, a Glory spokesman confirmed today that the club had initiated an appeal. “We’re in the appeals process at the moment,” the spokesman said.

Mastrantonio took to social media in the wake of the suspension to defend her actions after lashing out at Rolston while she was on the ground, claiming she only reached out as she was shoved backwards, when Rolston rose to retaliate, to regain her balance. “There was never a hair pull in there,” Mastrantonio wrote. “Yet smashing someone in the mouth gets two weeks”.

The pair were found guilty of assaulting a player, which carries a minimum sanction of two weeks, with the panel proposing an additional match in Mastrantonio’s case. With Glory not set to kit up again until February 4, it means Mastrantonio would not be available for selection again until the March 5 clash with Western Sydney Wanderers.

15.1.2023

BURGESS: NOTHING IS DEFINED THIS TIME OF YEAR

Ipswich Town fans were disappointed after Plymouth Argyle grabbed a late leveller to claim a 1-1 draw from yesterday’s top-of-the-table clash at Portman Road. However, centre-back Cameron Burgess says nothing in the race for promotion will be defined by the result which leaves Ipswich third, seven points behind leaders Plymouth.

Burgess is resolute that Ipswich are still well in the fight to top League One. “One hundred per cent,” Burgess insisted. “It never is at this time of year. I think it's about putting yourself in a position come the last few months of the season and that's our aim, and that's what we do one game at a time, the old cliché.”

“Peaks and troughs and swings and roundabouts and all the old sayings. It's really going to come down to just knuckling down, taking it one game at a time, putting in the right performances, and they give you the points at the end of the day... it's just about keeping doing what we do well, and we'll see where it leaves us at the end of the season.”

Burgess paid tribute to the atmosphere at Portman Road with the crowd a sell-out 29,069, the highest since May 2015 and the club’s biggest ever attendance in the third tier. “A lot of things were a blur in that game with the atmosphere and the occasion and things like that. It just kind of flew past, to be honest,” the 27-year old admitted.

“It was brilliant coming out of the tunnel. It was a special occasion to come out and see all the numbers and everywhere you looked there wasn't an empty seat. A great game to be involved in and proud to be involved in it... Everyone has come to this club to enjoy that atmosphere. It's brilliant to play in front of and I know the fans know that, and they've definitely made their voices heard today.”

15.1.2023

ZADKOVICH HAILS SPIRIT AFTER GLORY MAINTAINS UNBEATEN HOME RECORD

After running the gauntlet of a hectic schedule, Perth Glory coach Ruben Zadkovich says he’s proud of his team’s resilience as they extended their unbeaten record at Macedonia Park. Back at their makeshift home stadium for the third time in eight days, Glory overcame a poor first half performance - and a power blackout - to escape with a 2-2 draw against Sydney FC.

Having finished their home stand with three wins, two draws and no losses - with three of those matches coming in the past eight days - Zadkovich paid tribute to his troops for embracing the challenge of making the Balcatta venue a hard place to travel to. “We want to make this place a fortress. We want to be very difficult for teams when they do come here,” Zadkovich said.

“I wouldn’t say I’m happy with (Saturday night) because I want us to win and I expect us to try and win at home and we need to play better than we did for longer periods. But on the other hand, the character and the resilience in the group is huge and seven points out of those nine is is a decent effort.” Glory sit in ninth spot on the ladder after 12 games, but just two points outside the top six.

15.1.2023

CARROLL CLOCKS UP 150 GAMES FOR GLORY

Veteran defender Kim Carroll is set to make her 150th A-League Women appearance when Perth Glory takes on Wellington Phoenix this afternoon. When the 35-year old steps out onto Macedonia Park she will become just the fourth player in the league’s history to achieve this milestone.

"I wasn't aware it was coming up (the 150th game)," said Carroll, one of only nine players who participated in the league’s inaugural season that are still active. "It'll be more something that when I hang the boots up, I can look back and appreciate a lot more."

Carroll is the first to admit this season hasn't quite gone to plan for Glory, who are second from bottom with one win from eight starts. "I don't want to say we've been unlucky because I think you have to create your own luck," she said. "We've had games where it could have gone either way; we could have grabbed a point or a win."

"I don't think we've quite reached our potential yet; we're still trying to get that final bit and I think it's coming. I don't think we were on the front foot at the beginning (of the season) and once you start to get into that motion of losing, it's hard to get out of."

Apart from appearing for Glory, Carroll turned out domestically for her hometown club Brisbane Roar, where she collected one league Premiership (2008/09) and two Championships (2008/09, 2010/11). The defender also spent a season in Denmark where she represented Fortuna Hjørring in the UEFA Champions League.

Carroll is Glory's most experienced players with 55 caps for Australia to her credit. That impressive tally includes being part of the Matildas 2008 AFF Women's Championship and 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup successes as well as appearing at the 2011 World Cup in Germany.

"The World Cup and Asian Cup are significant highlights in my career," she said. "The Asian Cup was awesome because we were the first Australian national team to win a gold medal at a tournament in the Asian Federation, and obviously the World Cup is a massive stage, and to have it in Germany was great."

Carroll is understandably excited for the 2023 World Cup, which is now less than six months away, and how the Matildas will fare. "The games they've been having in the last year or so have seen the fans getting behind them so I'm sure the Matildas will be getting sell-outs," she said. "Let's hope there are good crowds for the other teams that are coming and (we) really support the whole event."

"There's been a lot of work in the last year or two by the coach (Tony Gustavsson) and they've just got to gel and leading into the World Cup that will happen naturally. Players will always want to do well at a World Cup and that drive will be there for sure, and I think we've got a good chance of progressing a long way and hopefully getting to the top."

15.1.2023

MANDURAH CONFIRM BID TO BRING EVERTON TO WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Mandurah City says it will continue trying to lure the world’s best teams to Western Australia despite falling short in an audacious bid to bring English Premier League giants Everton down under in 2023. The State League revealed they had “strong interest” from Everton for a series of exhibition games in the heart of Mandurah, initially planned for later this year.

Mandurah president Nigel Mann said Everton had expressed interest in the idea would have played a series of games at Peelwood Reserve, with temporary stands planned to bolster the capacity. “It was going be a week, a festival football, round robin matches, Everton would play against three other teams,” Mann said. “Everton especially, or whoever would be coming out, would be based in Mandurah, money would come into the City of Mandurah, it would bring money into the community.”

Mann said the club had talks with the City of Mandurah and the State Government, but a lack of financial backing scuppered the plan. “Everton had a very strong interest, but it’s whether the club and the actual project could get the finance and the backing from the government,” he said. “Similar to when a promotion’s company gets teams like Manchester United and Aston Villa over to Optus Stadium, they need to have backing from government and that wasn’t forthcoming.”

Mann said he believed the looming Women’s World Cup in July, which will see Perth host five games, may have been a factor in the lack of financial support. Peelwood Reserve did make the shortlist for the World Cup team base camp training sites, but was not chosen. Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries executive director of sport and recreation Mitch Hardy confirmed a meeting with the club, but said no application for funding was forthcoming.

“In mid to late 2022, a marketing and promotions organisation requested a meeting with the Minister for Sport and Recreation - Mandurah Football Club to be in attendance - to talk about opportunities to bring one English football league team to Western Australia in 2023 to play and also be part of the Soccer Festival in the City of Mandurah,” Hardy said.

“Football West advised the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries that with some of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 matches scheduled in Perth in July/early August, those months would be very busy, but they would support any activities if possible.” A City of Mandurah spokesperson confirmed discussions had taken place with the club and Citrus Marketing to bring a high-profile English football club to Mandurah.

Mann said the club would continue to pursue opportunities to bring big-name teams to Mandurah - provided it was financially viable. “Going through the whole process was an eye opener to see what actually is involved in the costs. Involved in not only setting it all up, but also get the teams over as well,” he said. It is not the first time Mandurah has been considered as a possible venue for touring English sides - Championship side Luton Town were touted as would-be visitors in 2020.

15.1.2023

STYNES STUNNER EARNS JETS A POINT

Former Perth Glory and Gwelup Croatia midfielder Daniel Stynes, has produced an Isuzu Ute A-League goal of the season contender as Newcastle Jets fought back to draw 1-1 with Western United in Ballarat. The visitors found themselves down early, but Stynes’ stunner levelled things up, and the 24-year-old midfielder said it’s up there with the best goals he’s scored.

“I had one before the goal, that dribbled to the keeper and then I thought ‘you know what, I’ll cut in again and have another crack,” Stynes said post-match. “Me and ‘Hoffy’ (Jason Hoffman) and (Jordan) Elsey were talking about it before that you needed to hit it a little bit outside the post because of the wind, so I had a crack and it went in. “So yeah, grateful but just wish we got three points.”

Stynes went on to say they should have come home with all three points. “We want to be an aggressive attacking team and I think that was evident tonight,” he said. “We had a lot of chances, and had a lot of shots on goal. Look, it’s just one of those games, they’re a good team too, last year’s champions, but in the end, it’s disappointing that we didn’t get the three points but at least we didn’t lose.”

Stynes’ strike gave the Jets a deserved equaliser based on the balance of chances in the opening 20 minutes and they could have easily kicked ahead as the half wore on with more opportunities falling Arthur Papas’ side’s way. Their lack of a cutting edge ultimately came back to haunt them, along with failing to make the most of their numerical advantage in the second-half after Western defender Jacob Tratt was sent-off late in the contest.

15.1.2023

KERR'S LATE HEADER GIVES CHELSEA'S TITLE HOPES A BOOST

Matildas skipper Sam Kerr popped up with late equaliser for Chelsea, in the top of the table clash with Arsenal in the English WSL at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. The former Perth Glory striker had struggled against a tight Gunners backline, but on 89 minutes she rose highest to head home substitute Jelena Cankovic cross, to leave the title race wide open.

"It was a bit of a roller coaster. They had the upper hand for a bit, then we had the upper hand. I thought it was a really good game other than them getting the penalty and us not scoring until late," Kerr said post-match. "Our subs did really well when they came on but I think Jelena just got the ball and put it in the box. The forwards had been getting down there but we hadn't been putting the service in the box and we'd kind of just said 'Let's start putting it in now' and I just read the ball and got on there.

“That's kind of my type of tap in, I love a header so I was very happy to get that one. Some games you touch the ball 20-30 times and then other days like today, you don't touch it. And it is more difficult to stay focused, but you have just got to keep out of your own head, play the game moment by moment, and stay focused. Sometimes it is really hard, sometimes the emotions get the better of you but today I just felt really calm and when the ball came in, I just watched it onto my head.”

The second-biggest crowd in the league's history (46,881) was rewarded with a penalty for the hosts, followed by Kerr’s late equaliser. Many supporters were still outside at kick off, with long queues for the first whistle, and it was the Aussies who were involved in the goals on the day. First former Perth Glory’s Arsenal striker Caitlin Foord was brought down by a clumsy challenge from Niamh Charles challenge just before the hour, and Kim Little converted the resulting penalty.

The hosts had dominated, with Foord, Stina Blackstenius and Lina Hurtig all going close, while the best chance came from another Matilda Steph Catley, whose cross shot was tipped over the top by the alert Zecira Musovic. But Kerr, who headed wide earlier in the game, found the target with two minutes remaining to keep them three points clear at the top of the table. "It almost feels like a loss for us," Foord said post-match. I feel like we've dominated most of the game, had plenty of chances, or the better of the chances... and then one cross and Sam obviously equalises late in the game. So, we're disappointed to concede there... it kind of feels like a loss because I really thought we were the better team today."

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes was thrilled with Kerr’s late equaliser, and said her side were happy to take a point from the game. "Sam (Kerr) can have a quiet game … but to deliver, to stay switched on, trust me, that’s such an attribute," she said. “In terms of our attacking play and the quality into the box and the quality of chances, by our standards it was woeful. I didn’t think our attacking players had good games today, but that’s what top teams can do."

15.1.2023

GLORY KEEP FINALS HOPES ALIVE WITH WIN AGAINST THE NIX

Perth Glory have secured their second win of the Liberty A-League season, and moved to within five points of the top four after a 2-0 win against Wellington Phoenix at Macedonia Park on Sunday afternoon. In Kim Carroll’s 150th league appearance, first half goals from Cyera Hintzen and Susan Phonsongkham secured the win, but both sides ended the match with ten players, after Ella Mastrantonio and Emma Rolston both received red cards for clash before the break.

Glory Head Coach Alex Epakis was delighted to get the win, but knows there is room for improvement as they push for a finals birth. “It was a performance that got us the three points, so you’re always happy to get that,” he said. “There were phases where we were good and phases where we could have been better. I would have liked us to have been more clinical at times

“But as it is, we had a very good performance against Victory last weekend and we’ve backed it up with a solid one today. A third goal would have definitely killed the game off, but nonetheless we didn’t concede, so maybe we took our foot off the gas or maybe we were just smarter without the ball and how we positioned ourselves.”

It was a huge day for Carroll, who received a huge round of applause from the vocal crowd before kick-off, and Epakis made the one change to the side that drew against Melbourne Victory last week, with Phonsongkham coming in for the injured Rylee Baisden, who will miss the rest of the season. It was a perfect start for the hosts, and they hit the front on six minutes. The Phoenix gave the ball away in the middle of the park, and Hana Lowry played the ball to Hintzen, and the American fired home superbly from long-range

Things got better for Epakis’ side eight minutes later, when referee Casey Reibelt pointed to the spot after Lowry was brought down by Mackenzie Barry. Phonsongkham stepped up to take the resulting penalty, and sent Brianna Edwards the wrong way. It was one-way traffic, and Lowry stung the palms of Edwards, as the Glory looked for a third. The visitors went close to reducing the margin on the half hour, Michaela Foster’s corner bouncing off the top of the crossbar.

But four minutes later the game took a twist after an incident between Mastrantonio and Rolston saw the pair sent off for violent conduct, leaving both sides down to ten players. The visitors were getting into the game and Ava Pritchard’s shot flashed the wrong side of the upright, but both sides had late chances, with the game opening up. First Liz Anton was denied by Edwards, before Glory skipper Natasha Rigby headed over the top, but at the break the Glory were in control.

The visitors had all to do after half time, and they went within inches of pulling one back ten minutes in. Paige Satchell sent Foster in down the right, her cross shot beat Sarah Langman, but the crossbar came to the rescue of the Glory custodian. Glory also had their chances, Hintzen blazed over when well-placed, before Edwards did well to deny Lowry. Both were creating some good chances, Sofia Sakalis and Demi Koulizakis fired wide for the Glory, before Pritchard failed to force home Michaela Robertson’s cross.

Langman then produced a smart save to thwart Foster, as the Phoenix looked for a lifeline, before Alana Jancevski saw her shot saved low by Edwards, but Glory held firm to take out the three points. “We got punished for two mistakes which…we’ve got to hold ourselves accountable for,” Phoenix head coach Natalie Lawrence said post-game. “We need to stop making these mistakes that are leading to these goals and start taking our chances as well.

“We knew that the travel was going to be tough, we knew that the heat was going to be tough and we prepared as much as we could for it. There’s some fatigue amongst the girls [and] there’s a little bit of jet lag, but that’s not really an excuse that we’re willing to hide behind. New Zealand is where we want to be and where we want to be based and travel is part of it.”

Perth Glory: GK Sarah LANGMAN, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 7 Liz ANTON, 8 Hana LOWRY, 10 Susan PHONSONGKHAM (9 Demi KOULIZAKIS 57'), 12 Sofia SAKALIS (23 Alana JANCEVSKI 79'), 15 Cyera HINTZEN (17 Abbey GREEN 89'), 18 Sadie LAWRENCE (13 Sarah CAIN 79'), 19 Izzy FOLETTA, 21 Ella MASTRANTONIO - Subs not used: RGK Morgan AQUINO - Red Cards: Mastrantonio 35’

Wellington Phoenix: GK Brianna EDWARDS, 3 Kate TAYLOR, 4 Mackenzie BARRY, 5 Marisa VAN DER MEER (6 Isabel GOMEZ 78'), 7 Chloe KNOTT, 8 Grace WISNEWSKI, 9 Ava PRITCHARD, 13 Paige SATCHELL (20 Milly CLEGG 63'), 14 Michaela ROBERTSON, 16 Emma ROLSTON, 21 Michaela FOSTER - Subs not used: RGK Georgia CANDY, 2 Saskia VOSPER, 17 Claudia CICCO - Red Card: Rolston 35’ - Attendance: 700 - Referee: Casey REIBELT

14.1.2023

GLORY LIGHT UP MACEDONIA PARK WITH LATE EQUALISER

Perth Glory have fought back from two goals down at half time to snatch a 2-2 draw against Sydney FC, in a dramatic Round 12 Isuzu Ute A-League encounter at Macedonia Park on Saturday evening. The Glory faithful were out in numbers again, but it was the Sky Blues who dominated the first half, with English midfielder Joe Lolley and Socceroo Rhyan Grant on the scoreboard.

But a triple change at the break by Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich had the desired effect, with Zach Duncan heading home early. Then a power failure delayed the game for ten minutes just after the hour mark, but Glory pressed late looking for the equaliser and it duly arrived in the 12th minute of stoppage time, with David Williams heading home to send the Glory supporters a way happy, and continued their unbeaten home record this season.

Zadkovich was delighted the way his side rallied after half time to claim a well-deserved point, but knows they need to improve. “The first-half was quite poor,” he said post-match. “Physically, I think the short turnarounds in those games leading into it probably took their toll a little bit and we kind of knew that would happen. But we wanted to keep some players fresh because obviously late in the game when they [Sydney FC] fatigue, we need to have something up our sleeve.

“So, in some ways, the plan in the second half worked really well, but we didn’t want to start that passive and that much on the back foot. I wouldn’t say I’m happy with tonight because I want us to win and I expect us to try and win at home. We need to play better than we did for longer periods, but the character and the resilience in the group is huge and seven points from the last three games is a decent effort.”

Glory made one change to the side that beat Brisbane Roar in midweek, with defender Jacob Muir returning to the starting line-up, replacing Adam Zimarino, who dropped to the bench. It was another packed house at Macedonia Park, but they were silenced on six minutes when the Sky Blues hit the front. Cameroon Cook had already saved low to deny Diego Caballo, but he was beaten after Glory gave the ball away in the middle of the park, and Lolley raced towards goal, and he wasn’t closed down, and his shot from the edge of the box went in via the post.

It was a slow start by the hosts, but they lifted and went close to the equaliser on the quarter hour. Mustafa Amini sent Jack Clisby down the left, his teasing cross picked out John Koutroumbis, whose diving header was well saved by Sydney custodian Andrew Redmayne. But it was Sydney who doubled their lead on 26 minutes, Diego Caballo’s cross flicked off the head of Darryl Lachman, and the unmarked Grant fired home at the back post.

They went close to a third on the half hour, a quick break down the left by Róbert Mak saw him play Max Burgess in on goal, the striker raced into the box, his shot beat Cook, but crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. Glory needed a lift and the skipper almost found it four minutes later, Amini’s shot flashed just wide. Redmayne saved low to deny Koutroumbis, before Adam Le Fondre fired over the top at the other end. Beevers then saw his header in stoppage time deflected just wide, but at the break Glory had it all to do.

Zadkovich brought on David Williams, Adam Zimarino and Zach Duncan, for Jacob Muir, Luke Bodnar and Luke Ivanovic, and he had an immediate response. Clisby’s in-swinging corner was headed home powerfully by Duncan, and it was game on. Glory were on the front foot, and David Williams fired over the top, but Cook was then required to save on the line after Lachman’s header almost crept in. Williams tried his luck from long-range again on the hour, but it was over the top, before the lights went out.

After a ten minutes delay, we were back into it, and Sydney went close to a third on 72 minutes. Adrian Caceres low cross was deflected goalward by Beevers, but Cook reacted well to claw the ball off the line. The Glory custodian was at it again five minutes later, diving full length to save Lolley’s curling effort. Zimarino fired into the side netting, before Redmayne denied David Williams, and it looked like the visitors would leave with the points, but in the 102nd minute Glory found the equaliser. Lachman’s long pass sent Jacob Dowse racing down the left, he reached the by-line before putting in a superb cross on the run and David Williams but in between two Sydney defenders and headed home, much to the delight of the 3,912 home supporters.

“It was good to contribute to the team, but we were all disappointed in the first half performance,” David Williams said post-match. “We had a good reaction in the second half, and in the position we’re in we have to battle, and it was good to take a point tonight, and we hope to move up the ladder. We have not lost here (Macedonia Park) and we’re taking a lot of confidence from that, and we’ll have a good week off and recover and prepare for the next game.”

Sydney Head Coach Steve Corica said it was disappointing to come away empty handed. “I think after the first-half performance we’re probably very disappointed to concede two goals, especially straight after half-time, and then late on in that game there,” he said post-match. “We had some good chances in that first half to make it 3-0, maybe even four, but we didn’t take them, and then it gives them an opportunity to come back into the game.

“The set piece was the first one, straight after half-time we’ve conceded. We were 2-0 up and then we come out, they get a goal early on and then momentum changes. I think we still had one or two good chances in that second half as well to put the game to bed, but we didn’t do that. We’re conceding too many. The first one was a set piece, a header, and the ball got put in behind us for the second goal and we didn’t deal with the cross coming in, so we have to be ready for anything they throw at us. We have to defend a little better than that in moments. It’s just a bit of focus and concentration lacking at the moment.”

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 4 Luke BODNAR (18 David WILLIAMS 46'), 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, (36 Joseph FORDE 90+1'), 12 Luke IVANOVIC (43 Adam ZIMARINO 46'), 14 Jack CLISBY (3 Jacob DOWSE 90+1'), 16 Keegan JELACIC, 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 37 Jacob MUIR (19 Zach DUNCAN 46') - Subs not used: RGK Liam REDDY, 20 Giordano COLLI

Sydney FC: GK Andrew REDMAYNE, 2 James DONACHIE, 9 Adam LE FONDRE, 10 Joe LOLLEY (25 Jaiden KUCHARSKI 90+2'), 11 Robert MAK, 17 Anthony CACERES, 18 Diego CABALLO, 22 Max BURGESS (8 Paulo RETRE 65'), 23 Rhyan GRANT, 26 Luke BRATTAN, 29 Aaron GURD - Sub not used: RGK Thomas HEWARD-BELLE, 5 Connor O’TOOLE, 12 Pat WOOD, 19 Adrian SEGECIC, 27 Adrian VLASTELICA – Attendance: 3,912 - Referee: Alex KING

13.1.2023

ROUX SIGNS EXTENSION WITH CENTRAL COAST

Central Coast Mariners have confirmed New Zealand international Storm Roux has signed a one-year contract extension with the club. The 30-year old right back re-joined the Mariners last season after previously making over 100 appearances for the club between 2013 and 2018, returning from a three-year stint at Melbourne Victory.

Roux is delighted to be extending his second stint on the Central Coast. “I am extremely excited. I have been at the club for a long time now and I love the club, the boys and what we have built here,” Roux said. “This is home for me now, and everything about the club I love. I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would rather be.”

Central Coast coach Nick Montgomery spoke about his delight in having Roux on board for another season. “Storm is one of the most experienced players in the squad and is now becoming the leader I wanted on and off the pitch and the boys love him,” Montgomery said. “If he continues to perform and keeps the consistency, I have no doubt he can finish his career here with many good seasons ahead of him.”

Roux, who played juniors for Sorrento and spent four years in the local National Training Centre program, has been one of Central Coasts standout performers so far this campaign. He has started seven games and come off the bench a further two times, including last weekend against Adelaide United when he turned in a strong 30-minute spell despite still recovering from illness.

13.1.2023

KERR EARNS ANOTHER CRACK AT TOP FIFA AWARD

Matildas captain Samantha Kerr has been recognised for a stellar 12 months by being short-listed for the FIFA best women’s player of the year. The Chelsea striker is one of 14 players nominated for the Best FIFA Women's Player award, with the candidates also including last year’s winner, Alexia Putellas of Barcelona.

Kerr, who was runner-up last year to Putellas, reaped a lengthy list of achievements in 2022 which included winning the English Women’s Super League Golden Boot for a second straight season, being named the English PFA’s players’ player of the year and claiming the WSL-FA Cup double with Chelsea.

13.1.2023

GLORY DOING IT FOR RYLEE WHEN THEY HOST WELLINGTON ON SUNDAY

Perth Glory return home for week ten of the Liberty W-League, when they take on Wellington Phoenix in the first Womens Distance Derby at Macedonia Park on Sunday afternoon (kick off 4pm). Alex Epakis’ side are coming off the back of a well-deserved 1-1 draw against Melbourne Victory last week, and he is looking to continue that good performance on Sunday. “We aren’t in a position where we can have any slip-ups, and we’ve been very clear about that within the group” he said. “From here on in, we’re going into every fixture, regardless of who we’re playing against, with the idea that we’re going all in to get maximum points. That mindset is a good one to have because we know that there is no Plan B. There’s just Plan A and that is to get a positive result.”

Glory played the Phoenix twice last season, winning both games. First in round nine, goals from Sofia Sakalis, Cyera Hintzen and Mie Leth Jans late winner saw them win 3-2 at the Blacktown Football Park in Sydney. Then in round 14, goals from Hintzen, Aideen Keane, and an own goal from Isabel Gomez secured a 3-1 win at WIN Stadium in Wollongong. The Phoenix, who are still searching for their first win of the season, arrive in the west after a narrow loss against league leaders Western United, and there only point this season was earlier this month in a 1-1 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers. But three of their six defeats have come via a single goal, and in teenage striker Ava Pritchard, New Zealand international midfielder Chloe Knott and fellow Football Fern, Mackenzie Barry, they have plenty of talent.

Epakis said his said will need to be at their best to get the points against a good Wellington side, and keep their finals hopes alive. “They’re a very high-energy team with a lot of young players there and I think some of their performances have been really good,” he said. “It’s a really hard-working side which has a lot of parallels to us as a group as well. I’m going to really enjoy the challenge of coaching against them. Since they’ve come into the competition, I don’t think they’ve let anyone run over the top of them. They are a very good competitive team and we had some tricky encounters with them last year, so we’re fully aware of where we need to be at for this game.”

Epakis also announced that leading goalscorer Rylee Baisden will miss the rest of the season after rupturing her ACL in the draw with Victory, and will now require surgery. “Unfortunately, the results [of the knee scan] weren’t great, it’s a serious knee injury and it’s going to be a long-term one,” the coach explained. “It’s devastating because she’s been fantastic for us and fantastic for the competition and we’re just offering as much support as we can now and putting the steps in place so that she can start the rehabilitation. She’ll be undergoing surgery in the next week or two, it is a huge loss. With Rylee, you get fantastic energy and leadership throughout the group and you also get the quality on the field, so to replace that isn’t easy. It’s something that we’re all going to have to chip in and try and fill the void.”

But on a positive note, the coach praised defender Kim Carroll, the former Matildas centre back will make her 150th A-League Women/W-League appearance. “It’s a huge testament to her as a person and as a player,” he said. “Kim’s been a fantastic servant to the competition and the national team for as far back as I can remember. We’ve been very fortunate to have her here this season and last season. She’s someone who I value a lot and who I know the team values a lot. She’s got a lot of leadership capacity, and she’s still doing the job very much on the field and she’s a good person to rely on. We have conversations regarding the team and what we’re doing and it’s a really good exchange of ideas and I feel that she improves me as a coach. She’s been great and I’m really looking forward to her and the team putting on a great effort and a great performance for this game.”

In other team news Sarah Cain, Isabella Wallhead, Abbey Green, Claudia Mihocic and Gabriella Coleman return to the squad. For the opposition former Glory keeper Lily Alfeld is out injured, while Alyssa Whinham and Betsy Hassett also miss the trip, although Kate Taylor returns from injury. The centre back has been side-lined for the past six weeks and has found it difficult not playing. “I haven’t had an injury like this before and it’s been something that’s been really challenging. Not being able to train day-in, day-out…was really frustrating,” she said. “These past few weeks I’ve been taking it easy managing my load a bit more and building up slowly. I’ve been enjoying being back running, kicking a ball and just being back with the girls and around the squad. I’m at a stage now where my foot is good to go.”

Perth Glory Squad: GK Sarah LANGMAN, GK Morgan AQUINO, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 6 Tijan MCKENNA, 7 Liz ANTON, 8 Hana LOWRY, 9 Demi KOULIZAKIS, 10 Susan PHONSONGKHAM, 12 Sofia SAKALIS, 13 Sarah CAIN, 15 Cyera HINTZEN, 16 Isabella WALLHEAD, 17 Abbey GREEN, 18 Sadie LAWRENCE, 19 Izzy FOLETTA, 21 Ella MASTRANTONIO, 22 Claudia MIHOCIC, 23 Alana JANCEVSKI, 42 Gabriella COLEMAN - Ins: CAIN, WALLHEAD, GREEN, MIHOCIC, COLEMAN - Outs: 11 Rylee BAISDEN (injured)

Wellington Phoenix squad: GK Brianna EDWARDS, GK Georgia CANDY, 2 Saskia VOSPER, 3 Kate TAYLOR, 4 Mackenzie BARRY, 5 Marisa VAN DER MEER, 6 Isabel GOMEZ, 7 Chloe KNOTT, 8 Grace WISNEWSKI, 9 Ava PRITCHARD, 13 Paige SATCHELL, 14 Michaela ROBERTSON, 15 Zoe MCMEEKEN, 16 Emma ROLSTON, 17 Claudia CICCO, 18 Te Reremoana WALKER, 19 Charlotte LANCASTER, 20 Milly CLEGG, 21 Michaela FOSTER - Ins: 3 Kate TAYLOR (returning from injury) - Unavailable: GK Lily ALFELD (injured), 10 Alyssa WHINHAM (personal reasons), 11 Betsy HASSETT (international duty).

13.1.2023

GLORY LOOKING FOR A HOME HAT-TRICK OF WINS

Perth Glory will go in search of a third straight win, when they host Sydney FC in Week 12 of the Isuzu Ute A-League on Saturday evening at Macedonia Park (kick off 7.30pm). They are coming off wins against the inform Western Sydney Wanderers and Brisbane Roar, and have picked up ten points from a possible 12, since starting life at their new venue, and they are now only two points out of the top six, and a win on Saturday will see them leapfrog the Sky Blues.

Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich has plenty of belief in his playing group, and he is hoping they can continue their winning run against Sydney on Saturday. “Fortunes change and so does confidence, it’s always on a bit of a balance board for a lot of teams,” he said. “I think momentum is important and I think you need to gain as much confidence and momentum as you can and then ride that wave and that’s what we’re certainly going to try and do.

“It’s difficult circumstances for us at the moment with the quick turnarounds, but the boys are embracing the challenge. We are notoriously good at home and have been for a long time and a lot of that comes down to our supporters who are very loyal and passionate and they give us the feeling of an extra man. I know the players really appreciate that, so we want to continue on with our home form, being strong and making it a place that’s difficult for other teams to come and play at.”

The last time the Sky Blues travelled west was in March last season, when goals from Kosta Barbarouses and Patrick Yazbek secured a 2-0 win for Steve Corica’s side in front of 4,708 fans at HBF Park. They do have a good record in WA, and Zadkovich is expecting another tough encounter again on Saturday, against his former teammate. “[We are] very wary of them, they’re a massive club,” he said. “I know Steve Corica well and I know that club well. They’re a club that wins trophies; I remember me and Stevie winning the first [A-League] championship together.

“They expect to win, they’re a team that has been hot and cold and when they’re hot, they’re good. They won away at Melbourne City which is no easy feat. They’re a strong team and they’ve had a couple of big performances where they’ve put a lot of goals on teams and then they’ve also had some other games where they’ve been vulnerable. So, we’ll look to expose them as much as we can in those areas of potential weakness, but we’ll have to defend well as a collective. They have a million-dollar frontline and we have to make sure we’re on our toes.”

Zadkovich confirmed that new signing Adam Taggart will miss Saturday’s clash, while a number of players will struggle to back up from Tuesday night, but he was keeping his cards close to his chest. “Taggs was tracking really well, but he’s had a little minor setback this week with some tightness in his quad, so he’s going to be one or two weeks away, I’d say, from being able to play some minutes, but he’s still progressing well,” he explained.

“There are a lot of tired bodies and it’s going to be our fourth game in 12 or 13 days, so it’s not an easy period for the boys. But as usual, their professionalism and the standard of our recovery protocols have been really high, so hopefully we can get as many guys on deck at training tomorrow and then we can pick from there. We’re going to have to look at all three [Mark Beevers, Salim Khelifi and Ryan Williams] and I’d have to say they’re all in doubt, which is disappointing.

“But we’ve still got another day and this afternoon and there’s a lot of work being done behind the scenes. A few of those guys will have to pass fitness tests if not tomorrow, then on gameday, in order to see if they’re available. But we’ll focus on the ones we do have, I’m always very positive about that. If someone’s not playing, there’s an opportunity there for someone else who may be desperate for minutes. As long as that desperation shows in their performance and they lay everything on the line, then we should be fine.”

Sydney have struggled this season, and they will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Wellington, their third loss in four games. Skipper Alex Wilkinson and Patrick Yazbek are out due to injury, but they welcome back Luke Brattan and English midfielder Joe Lolley.

13.1.2023

EPAKIS CONFIDENT DEPTH IS ENOUGH AS BAISDEN’S CONFIRM’S KNEE INJURY

Perth Glory women’s coach Alex Epakis believes his side have the firepower to compensate for the loss of star attacker Rylee Baisden to a knee injury. The A-League Women’s joint top scorer, Baisden tore her anterior cruciate ligament when she landed awkwardly while making a tackle during last weekend’s draw at Melbourne Victory.

Baisden confirmed the season-ending injury on Instagram and will undergo surgery within the next fortnight. While Epkais said the loss of Baisden was a huge dent in the side, he backed the likes of Alana Jancevski - who scored the equaliser against Melbourne - Susan Phonsongkham and Gabriella Coleman to make up for her absence.

“With Rylee, you get fantastic energy and leadership throughout the group, you also get the quality on the field, so to replace that isn’t easy,” Epakis said. “It’s something that we’re all going to have to chip in and try and fill the void and the players mentioned, plus a few others, get the opportunity to put their hand up to try and do that on the field.”

Defender Kim Carroll is set to make her 150th women’s national league appearance on Sunday against Wellington Phoenix at Macedonia Park. Epakis paid tribute to the 35-year old former Matilda, who has started all but one game at the heart of the Glory defence this season.

“Kim has been a fantastic servant for the competition, for the national team, for as far as I can remember and we’ve been very fortunate to have her here last season and this season,” Epkais said. “We have conversations regarding the team and what we’re doing, and it’s a really good exchange of ideas, and I feel like she improves me as a coach.”

Despite holding fourth-placed Melbourne Victory to a 1-1 draw last time out, Glory find themselves seven points outside the finals places. Epakis said his team were fully aware of the task ahead of them to reach the top four with only ten home-and-away fixtures remaining to be played.

“We aren’t in a position where we can have slip-ups, we’ve been really clear about that within the group; from here on, we’re going into every fixture regardless of who we’re playing against, with the idea we’re going all in to get maximum points,” he said. “That mindset is a really good one to have, because we know there’s no plan B; it’s just plan A, and that’s to get a positive result.”

12.1.2023

WALSH HEADS TO VICTORIA

Perth Redstar top goalscorer Larissa Walsh has been rewarded for a fantastic season at the northern suburbs club, after agreeing a contract at Calder United in the Victoria NPL. The talented 28-year-old, was outstanding last season, helping the RedStar to a clean sweep of trophies in the NPLW-WA. Her pace and eye for a goal was a huge part of the clubs’ unbeaten season, and she became the only player to score in all three Cup Finals within one league season, finding the net in the 2022 Night Series, State League Cup and Top Four Cup Final.

The striker, in her tenth season at the franchise (Northern RedBacks / Perth RedStar), said what a way to go out. “Yes, 2022 was definitely a season to remember with the RedStar’s. The whole squad worked hard all season and it was good to be rewarded for that hard work with the four trophies,” she explained. “The effort made from everyone definitely helped me achieve my goals individually for the season as well, and I can’t thank them enough.”

Walsh heads to the NPL Victorian Champions for next season in a new chapter in her football journey. Calder won the title last season, and won the double, the second in a row after it finished first in 2019, with the subsequent two seasons being suspended due to COVID-19. The challenge of a new environment is one that the striker is looking forward too, and she said it is the right move. “Happy with the decision to move east, it felt like the right time for me,” she said. “Coming off a great season, and to be able to achieve all that with a core group of girls I have been playing with for 10 years it seemed like it was a good time to try a different challenge, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Club Vice President Tony Mullen expressed his thanks to Larissa on behalf of the Perth RedStar committee. “Larry has been a highly valued member of the senior team since joining us as an outstanding young player from Albany,” he told the clubs website. “Her contribution to the club has been invaluable, having played more than 250 senior matches for Northern Redbacks and Perth RedStar making her a life member of the club. Two Golden Boot awards in succession are a testament to the work she continues to put in to improve her stamina, skill and reading of the game. We wish Larry all the best as she progresses her football at Calder United in Victoria.”

It is with a heavy heart that Walsh leaves the club and most of all her teammates, and she said she will be supporting them from a far. “The girls all know how much I value them and RedStar, they will forever be a part of my football life,” she said. “It will be hard to watch from the afar but I cannot wait to see what this season has for them and I feel all the girls are ready to go again this season and have hopefully another outstanding season.”

11.1.2023

ANTHONY HOPING TO TAKE MORLEY BACK TO WHERE THEY BELONG

After four seasons at Gosnells City, Marc Anthony has decided the time was right to move, and he will coaching Morley Windmills in season 2023. The former Celtic and Perth Glory midfielder, will be joined by his assistant Cathal Lennon, who he has worked with at Walter Padbury Reserve, and he said the decision to move was a difficult one, but the opportunity was one he couldn’t turn down.

“Lennie and I are really looking forward to the challenge ahead of us, but there is a great deal of hard work to do,” the Scotsman explained. “It is a big club, with a fantastic set up we now need to build a squad to match the ambition that the club have going forward. We are well aware of the challenge, but anyone who knows me knows I’m up for it, and hopefully we hit the ground running from the beginning.”

Anthony said he had to think long and hard about the move, as he has made a lot of friends at Gosnells, but he thought it was the right move for him. “It was an extremely tough decision to make, as I had an amazing four years at the club,” he said. “I had a fantastic relationship with everyone there, none more so than the playing group and was backed, trusted, every year by the committee, so leaving was not an easy decision, but I felt it was the right time to move on.”

Morley, who won the Premier League back in 1961 and 1973, but haven’t been in the top flight of WA football since 1997, and with a number of players moving on from last season, Anthony knows it a big challenge but can’t wait to get started. “To be fair, we have only had two sessions, so we are obviously working extremely hard to get the playing group together,” he said. “The club recruited well last season, but a lot of boys have moved on, so we will be looking to bring in some new faces this year, and it’s a challenge but one I’m looking forward too.”

11.1.2023

BIRIGHITTI CRUSHING IT IN SCOTLAND

What a difference a few months can make. Back in August fringe Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Birighitti was a crestfallen figure after his Dundee United debut ended in a crushing 7-0 European Conference League rout against AZ Alkmaar. And a few days later he was between the posts when United were humbled 4-0 by Hearts

Flash forward to the here and now, and Birighitti is one of the form ’keepers of the Scottish Premiership. Such is his form that there are rumours of a possible bid from south of the border during this month’s transfer window for the former Perth SC junior. “It was tough initially, leaving Australia and coming into a new environment, a new league,” said Birighitti.

“It was a big change and it was always going to take time. I certainly didn’t get off to the best of starts... it was a bit of a nightmare start. But the break for the World Cup came at a good time. I recharged the batteries, went away to clear the head and I now feel like the Mark of old. Hopefully I can continue on this path and keep putting in performances that help the team.”

Prior to the weekend’s 2-0 loss to Rangers, Birighitti had kept back-to-back clean sheets and he believes he’s still developing his craft. “It’s a tough league here but I think I’m adapting well and at 31 I feel I’m still adding different aspects to my game,” he said. “I’m building some momentum and I’m sure I can play my part in helping us climb the table in the coming weeks.”

“I always wanted to have another crack at Europe after my time with NAC Breda and Swansea, and I’m really enjoying my time here and strongly believe in this playing group here and what we’re capable of. Sitting second last is not an ideal reflection of the team because we have some fantastic players.”

Birighitti moved to Tannadice Park in July after three strong seasons with Central Coast Mariners, who he rises early in the morning each week to watch on TV. “There are a lot of special people involved with that club and it’s very close to my heart,” said Birighitti, A-League Goalkeeper of the Year in 2020/21 and 2021/22.

“I follow all their games and I’m so proud and delighted how well they’re doing. A big part of me coming back to the UK was to be close to my (Welsh) wife’s side of the family. My in-laws hadn’t ever seen their grandkids because of three years of Covid restrictions. That was a big part of moving to Scotland along with the opportunity to springboard my career.”

“But, look, Central Coast is a club I hold dear and the owner Richard Peil is a fantastic guy who I have huge amount of respect and time for. He’s helped the club out enormously since taking over and long lay it continue. I’m up at 4am in the morning to cheer them on. They’re looking the real deal right now and that’s a credit to Richard and the coaching staff, Nick Montgomery and Sérgio Raimundo.”

10.1.2023

BACK-TO-BACK WINS MOVE GLORY UP TO NINTH

Perth Glory have maintained their unbeaten home record at Macedonia Park, after a 2-1 win against Brisbane Roar on Tuesday evening. A close-range finish from Darryl Lachman secured the lead for the hosts, but Connor Chapman levelled for the Roar just before the hour. But moments later Mustafa Amini’s shot was deflected into his own net by former Glory defender Scott Neville to secure the points for Ruben Zadkovich’s side, and move them off the bottom of the table up to ninth place on the Isuzu Ute A-League table, within two points of the top six.

The Head Coach was pleased with his sides performance, and the character they showed in a tense game, against a ten-man Roar, who had James O’Shea sent off late, but knows they need to improve. “The points were important to us given the position we’re in, we’re happy to take the points from what I thought was a sloppy affair at times,” Zadkovich explained. “The four-day turnarounds for both teams, especially for them with travel, it takes a lot of quality out of the game, I think. In the end, we’ll just take the points and move on.

“I definitely think the character and the belief in the group is very strong and we’ve had plenty of opportunities and moments [this season] when the team could have rolled over. Bar late in the second half against [Melbourne] City, I think the boys have hung in there pretty well. When you’ve got character and spirit, you’ve got a chance and tonight, that was very much on show from our group. They didn’t drop their bundle when the other team scored; we stayed in the game and started to wrangle back the momentum, so that’s a pleasing sign for me.”

There was a surprise in the starting line-up, with Mark Beevers and Ryan Williams selected, after not being on the official squad list. Adam Zimarino also came into the starting line-up, with Salim Khelifi missing with injury, while Jacob Dowse and Jacob Muir dropped to the bench. Glory, who beat Western Sydney Wanderers last week, were looking for back-to-back wins for the first time this season, while the Roar arrived in the west only losing once this season.

It was the hosts who started the brighter and former Roar striker Luke Ivanovic fired over the top early, before Zimarino teed up Jack Clisby, but Jordan Holmes saved low to deny the Glory defender. John Koutroumbis tried his luck from long-range on the half hour, but failed to keep his shot down, before Kai Trewin did likewise down the other end. But on 34 minutes the Glory faithful were on their feet, as the hosts found the opener.

Lachman started the move, driving into the final third and finding Ivanovic on the right, his cross into the box was spilled by Holmes, and Lachman, who had continued his run, fired home gratefully from close-range. It was a deserved lead for Zadkovich’s side, but the Roar, who were one of the form teams in the league going into the game, looked to hit back before the break, but Jordan Courtney-Perkins could hit the target, after former ECU Joondalup striker Joe Knowles had headed on, but at the break Glory held a narrow lead.

Brisbane were out of the blocks quickly after the break, and Carlo Armiento shot on the run flashed just wide, before the former Glory midfield was denied by Cameron Cook moments later. But their lively start was rewarded with the equaliser on 56 minutes, Armiento’s deep cross was headed home by Chapman at the back post. Glory made a double change after the goal, with Ivanovic and Zimarino replaced by David Williams and Dowsw, and the change had an immediate effect.

Ryan Williams cross from the right on the hour was wasn’t dealt with, the ball falling to Amini, who’s shot deflected off the unfortunate Neville, giving Holmes no chance, much to the delight of the packed grandstand behind the goal. The game took another twist two minutes later, when O’Shea was shown a second yellow card by referee Ben Abraham for a crude challenge on Amini, and was sent off. Despite going down to ten men the Roar lifted, but Glory held firm, and David Williams went close to a third on 76 minutes, but his header flashed over the top

It was a tense time for everyone in the ground, as the Roar pressed for the equaliser, and many in the 3,492 crowd thought they had found it deep into stoppage time. They won a free kick just outside the area, and Nikola Mileusnic’s curling effort looked like it had found the corner of the net, but it hit the side netting, much to the relive of the supporters, and moments later the whistle blew, and another three points on the board, moving them up to ninth.

Roar defender Scott Neville said they had a ‘crack’ despite the short turnaround from Friday’s win. “We did well for the first 15 minutes then they put us under pressure than in the second half we got back into the game,” he said post-match. “Going down to 10 men is tough, and we were chasing the game…we will just need to go back to the drawing board. We showed a bit of resilience there to almost nick a point at the end.”

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 4 Luke BODNAR, 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, (19 Zach DUNCAN 68'), 12 Luke IVANOVIC (18 David WILLIAMS 56'), 14 Jack CLISBY, 16 Keegan JELACIC (20 Giordano COLLI 68'), 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 43 Adam ZIMARINO (3 Jacob DOWSE 56') - Subs not used: RGK Liam REDDY, 36 Joseph FORDE, 37 Jacob MUIR

Brisbane Roar: GK Jordan HOLMES, 2 Scott NEVILLE, 3 Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS, 6 Connor CHAPMAN, 10 Nikola MILEUSNIC, 13 Henry HORE (7 Riku DANZAKI 68'), 17 Carlo ARMIENTO (7 Rahmat AKBARI 68'), 19 Jack HINGERT (35 Louis ZABALA 68'), 26 James O’SHEA, 27 Kai TREWIN, 28 Joseph KNOWLES (11 Jez LOFTHOUSE 77') - Subs not used: RGK Macklin FREKE, 16 Joshua BRINDELL-SOUTH, 37 Thomas WADDINGHAM - Red Cards: O’SHEA 62’ - Attendance: 3,492 - Referee: Ben ABRAHAM

10.1.2023

IREDALE SET FOR KNEE SURGERY

Bolton Wanderers defender Jack Iredale is set to have knee surgery and admits he is “gutted” with the timing of his injury. The 26- year old limped off during his teams' 3-0 win against Barnsley, having initially suffered a tear of his lateral meniscus during the goalless draw against Derby County.

“Gutted about the news of this injury, especially the timing of it and what it means for my season,” Iredale said via social media. “I felt I was starting to pick up some momentum personally and with the team. Just need to pick myself back up and look ahead to surgery and recovering as strong as possible.”

Iredale had become an important member of Ian Evatt’s squad since joining the Whites on a free transfer over the summer. The versatile defender has been used both as a wing-back and in the wide centre-back role at times, making 25 appearances in total. Iredale suffered three anterior cruciate ligament injuries as a teenager.

10.1.2023

NIGHT SERIES FIXTURES RELEASED

The 2023 season is not too far away, and the NPLWA and State Night Series fixtures were announced last week, with the NPL games taking place the weekend of 27-29 January and consists of two groups of six teams. Last season’s winners Floreat Athena have been drawn in Group A, along with Armadale, Bayswater City, Balcatta, Perth SC and Stirling Macedonia.

In Group B newly promoted Olympic Kingsway with be joined by Cockburn City, Inglewood United, Perth Glory, Perth RedStar and Sorrento, with group games to be played at Frank Drago Reserve, Inglewood Stadium, Dalmatinac Park and E&D Litis Stadium. In all, there will be five rounds of group games in the NPLM Night Series, with the top two from each group advancing to the semi-finals. The final will be at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday 11 March, as part of a double-header with the Men’s State League Night Series.

The round one matches are as follows - Group A - Stirling Macedonia v Perth SC (Friday 27 January, Frank Drago Reserve, 6.30pm), Bayswater City v Armadale (Friday 27 January, Frank Drago Reserve, 8.30pm), Balcatta Etna v Floreat Athena (Sunday 29 January, Inglewood Stadium, 5pm) - Group B - Perth RedStar v Olympic Kingsway (Friday 27 January, Dalmatinac Park, 6.30pm), Cockburn City v Sorrento (Friday 27 January, Dalmatinac Park, 8.30pm), Inglewood United v Perth Glory (Sunday 29 January, Inglewood Stadium, 7pm)

The Men’s State League Night Series starts on the weekend of 3-5 February and is made up of six groups of four. In Group A at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub, newly promoted Maddington White City, will be joined by relegated Gwelup Croatia, Joondalup United and Kingsley Westside. In Group B, also at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub, new Morley Windmills Head Coach Marc Anthony will come against his former club Gosnells City in the first game, and they are joined in the group by Quinns and Fremantle City.

In Group C at Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park, hosts Forrestfield United will be joined by Mandurah City, Canning City and Curtin University. Holders Murdoch University Melville begin their Night Series defence with a Group D encounter at Wanneroo Reserve against Carramar Shamrock Rovers, also in the group are Joondalup United and UWA Nedlands.

In Group E, also at Wanneroo Reserve, hosts Wanneroo City will be joined by Dianella White Eagles, Western Knights and Balga, while in Group F at Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park, will see Ashfield, Subiaco, Rockingham City and Swan United do battle. The State League Night Series has three rounds of group matches. The top team from each group and the two best second-place sides will make up the quarter-finals.

ROUND ONE MATCHES - Group A (Ellenbrook Sports Hub) - Gwelup Croatia v Kingsley Westside (Friday 3 February, 6.30pm), Maddington White City v Joondalup United (Sunday 5 February, 7pm) - Group B (Ellenbrook Sports Hub) - Quinns v Fremantle City (Friday 3 February, 8.30pm), Morley Windmills v Gosnells City (Sunday 5 February, 5pm)

Group C (Crazy Domains Stadium) - Mandurah City v Curtin University (Friday 3 February, 8.30pm), Forrestfield United v Canning City (Sunday 5 February, 5pm) - Group D (Wanneroo Reserve) - Joondalup City v UWA Nedlands (Friday 3 February, 6.30pm), MUM FC v Carramar Shamrock Rovers (Sunday 5 February, 5pm)

Group E (Wanneroo City Reserve) - Wanneroo City v Dianella White Eagles (Friday 3 February, 8.30pm), Western Knights v Balga (Sunday 5 February, 7pm) - Group F (Crazy Domains Stadium) - Ashfield v Subiaco (Friday 3 February, 6.30pm), Rockingham City v Swan United (Sunday 5 February, 7pm)

9.1.2023

MAYNARD-BREWER IN LINE TO RETURN FOR RED DEVILS CLASH

Charlton Athletic boss Dean Holden is hoping goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer will train today ahead of tomorrow’s English Football League Cup quarter-final away tie with Manchester United. The 23-year old shot-stopper, who had started every game under Holden, suffered a concussion in training and missed the weekend home win over Lincoln City.

Maynard-Brewer was the hero of his teams’ penalty shoot-out win over Brighton and Hove Albion in the previous round of the competition, diving low to his right-hand side to deny Moises Caicedo. “We’re hoping that he’s going to be back in full training today,” said Holden. “All being well, he will be involved tomorrow night. He’s been fantastic since I came in, so it was a disappointment on the weekend.”

9.1.2023

DEPLETED GLORY CHASING MORE HOME UPSETS

Perth Glory's hopes of scoring another home win have taken a hit with star attacker Salim Khelifi joining a growing injury list. The Tunisian national has been ruled out of tomorrow night's clash with Brisbane Roar at Macedonia Park, joining regular starters Mark Beevers, Ryan Williams and Aaron McEneff on the sidelines.

Tunisian national Khelifi hurt his groin and limped off in the first half of Friday night's shock 1-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers. "There's a few sore bodies," said coach Ruben Zadkovich, who assess Beevers and Williams after the pair under-go late fitness tests prior to tomorrow's game.

"We've spent a lot of time doing recovery ... there's a few guys who are going to have pass fitness tests tomorrow morning to see if they're available. Through this period, especially with the cards we've been dealt with these games so close together, it's really important that everyone's focused and available."

Zadkovich was proud of his young side's performance against Western Sydney, praising 21-year old goalkeeper Cameron Cook who pulled off several sharp saves to earn Glory their first clean sheet of the season. He hoped his players would take confidence from the upset win but said they would face a stern test from a Brisbane Roar side unbeaten in eight games.

"They're probably the form team in the competition," he said. "I think this will be one of our toughest tests if I'm honest, especially with a quick turnaround. Whoever we put out, when we're here in Perth we want to make sure that our members and our fans are represented properly and we want to make this place a real fortress which it's been in the past.

"It's difficult for teams to come here and we need to play a style of football that allows us to get on top and make it difficult for teams." Bottom-placed Perth play six of their next seven games at home after having spent much of the season on the road. Brisbane sit fifth on the A-League Men ladder with three wins, six losses and one draw.




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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