Perth Glory Youth striker Jamie Maclaren races away from Brisbane Roar defender Cameron Crestani in Sunday's 1-2 defeat

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2.3.2015

NPL-WA NIGHT SERIES REVIEW - WEEK FOUR

Perth SC continued their unbeaten start to the PS4 NPLWA Night Series after a hard fought 3-2 win against Inglewood United in Group A at Dorrien Gardens on Friday evening. The visitors were ahead on the quarter hour. Former Perth midfielder Matt Izzo playing in Andrija Jukic, who slipped away from his marker and finishing low past Alex Dunn. It looked like United would go into the break with the lead, but in first half stoppage time Perth levelled. Harley Orr sent Reece Vittiglia out wide and he cut the ball back from the by line, and Mark Pritchard fired home from four meters. United were ahead again on 66 minutes, Jukic was the provider this time, picking out Ryan Clarke, who finished well from an acute angle. Perth hit back 12 minutes from time, Carlo Coelho was brought down in the penalty area and Vittiglia converted from the spot. It looked like the points would be shard but Perth won it three minutes into stoppage time, Pritchard’s free kick was glanced home by skipper Clark Keltie. “Inglewood gave us our toughest test of the night series so far; they started the game well and pressed us high up the park,” Keltie said. “We are experimenting with different players and tactics so it was a good test for our young boys. I thought we showed great character in the second half to take the game to them. With the quality we have going forward we're always going to cause teams problems and score goals. Another win and another step forward, so as captain of the team, I'll take that.”

In the early Group B game Bayswater City beat a ten man Floreat Athena 4-1. The home side were ahead after only 12 minutes. A one-two on the edge of the penalty area by Lewis McMahon and Kris Gate, sent the latter in on goal and he finished clinically past Jason Saldaris. But City hit back ten minutes later. Todd Howarth’s shot was only parried by Fraser Greenwood, and Hayden Doyle fired home the rebound. Then on the stroke of half time City hit the front. Steve Burton made space down the left, his cross found David Heagney, who turned his marker and laid the ball off to Doyle who finished with aplomb. It got a lot harder for the home side when Lewis McMahon was sent off on the hour, and nine minutes later City added a third. Gustavo Giron-Marulanda’s long-range free kick was deflected off the wall wrong footing Greenwood and into the net. City rounded off the scoring on 74 minutes, Burton was played down the left, and he turned his marker and slipped the ball to Paul McCarthy, whose shot from the edge of the box found the corner of the net.

On Sunday night, Dalmatinac Park was the venue in Group B. In the early game ECU Joondalup edged out Armadale 1-0. Danny Dixon gave ECU the lead on the half hour, and they went close to doubling their lead, Scott Bushby’s drive crashing off the crossbar. After the break Armadale began to get on top and Michael Lawson’s long-range shot hit the woodcock on the hour, before Jamie Serra saved well to deny Faustinho Machochi. Then in the last minutes Serra brought down Jackson Bealey and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Bealey stepped up, but Serra guessed the right way to save his spot kick and give the points to his side. In the late game Cockburn City came back from 2-0 down, to beat Sorrento 4-3. Jack Salter gave the visitors the lead after only ten minutes, and Nicco Sabatini doubled their advantage five minutes later. But goals either side of the half time break from Liam Murray levelled it up, and David Arraya added a third on the hour, before Murray completed his hat trick. Nicco Sabatini scored The Gulls third deep into stoppage time, but the win leaves the Cockerels unbeaten in the competition.

2.3.2015

STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES REVIEW - WEEK FOUR

In Friday Night’s State League Night Series South West Phoenix good form continued with a 5-2 win against Fremantle City in Group C. A brace from Lee Stewart, with singles to Bright Ababio, Ryan Francis and Matthew Spurling were on target for Trent Hathaway’s side, while Maddy Holman scored a double for Fremantle City. In the earlier game Gosnells City moved to the top of the Group after a 3-2 win against Rockingham City. Caleb Aquino scored a brace for Gosnells, with Wade Farmer adding the other, while Llewellyn Bake scored both Rockingham’s goals. In Group A Joondalup United continued their winning start to the competition with a hard fought 5-3 win against Kingsway Olympic at Kingsway Reserve. The hosts took the lead early though a Wayne Culverwell penalty, before Lee Jones and Callum Stokes put United ahead. Culverwell added his second to level things up, but Jones added his second, and Stuart Hartmann put Joondalup back in control. Lee Thomas pulled a goal back for the home side, but the points were made safe when Gareth Hamilton added the fifth. In the late game UWA Nedlands took the lead through Patrick Morrison, but Quinns hit back, with a goal from Liam McGurk to take a share of the spoils.

On Sunday in Group B Western Knights edged out Canning City 2-1 at Hartfield Park. Yohann Crampon gave Canning the lead, but Sean French levelled. It looked it was the end of the scoring, but in the 90th minute Ben Coulter gave the Knights the lead. Canning almost levelled it in injury time, but Daniel Trevisiol’s shot crashed off the post. In the late game Swan United bounced back from last week’s heavy defeat to beat Curtin University 4-1. Nathan Sully was the hero, the young striker scoring four gaols, with the other coming from Connor Boland. “It was good win from the side, especially after last week,” said United Coach Salv Todaro. “It was great performance, especially with five regulars not available, and we had two 17 year olds make their senior debut, so it was a good night for the club.” In the early game at Wanneroo Sporting Complex Ashfield beat Joondalup City 6-1. City were ahead 1-0 at half time, with a goal from Lucas King, but Ashfield recovered after the break and a brace from Parviz Gucht, and singles to Chris Holland, Alex Stamatiadis, Callum Phillipot and Sean Byrne saw them run out convincing winners. In the late game Wanneroo City and Balga fought out a 2-2 draw. Noham Michael and Kyall Osborne scored for Balga, while Connor Lynch and Brandon Prince scored for Wanneroo.

1.3.2015

LOWE BACKS HIS STRIKER

Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe has denied that Andy Keogh is battling confidence issues as the Irishman’s goal-scoring drought continues. Keogh sits second on the A-League goal-scoring table, but has found the back of the net just once in his last six matches, but in his defence he hasn’t had the service in recent weeks. Keogh looked sharp around goal in Glory’s 2-2 draw with Brisbane Roar at nib Stadium on Saturday night, but could not convert any of the multiple chances presented to him, but Lowe leapt to Keogh’s defence when asked post-match if the 28-year-old was lacking confidence around goal.

“He’s a pro,” Lowe said. “There’s more to his game than just goals. He contributes in so many ways for him to have a good game. He’s happy and he’s in a good spot. You saw what he was like out there tonight and he was fantastic. The beautiful thing is he is going to score goals, so maybe he might save them up for next week.”

The Coach was equally unconcerned by his team’s fall from grace, they have collected just four points from their last six games but other teams are not capitalizing. “We’re in a comfortable spot, we’re enjoying ourselves, we’re playing some good stuff, we’re getting some lads back fit, so we’re ticking along nicely,” Lowe said.

Lowe also heaped praise on Dragan Paljic, Chris Harold, Jamie Maclaren, Mitch Nichols and first-half goal scorer Daniel De Silva for leading Glory’s fight back. “We were comfortable at half-time, but obviously you can’t give goals away like that and then expect to carry the momentum,” he said. “They were poor goals to concede, but we showed great character again to come back.”

1.3.2015

HEARTBREAK FOR GLORY YOUNGSTERS

Perth Glory missed the opportunity to win its first Foxtel National Youth League title, after they were beaten 2-1 by Brisbane Roar at the Ashfield Sports Club on Sunday morning. Mitchell Oxborrow has given them a perfect start scoring early, and Roar keeper Fraser Chalmers made a number of fine saves to thwart the home side. But a stunning strike on the half hour by Daniel Bowles levelled, and the winner came early in the second half through Devante Clut, and despite pressing late the youngsters couldn’t get back into the game.

The side had been cellar dwellers last season, but under the guidance of John Gibson they have gone within one point of the title, and he was full of praise for his young chargers. “It was a magnificent season, and we’ve probably already won with what we have achieved, however for us it’s not good enough, being so close, you don’t many of those opportunities to win the league,” Gibson said. “Yes it’s disappointing to lose our first home game of the season, but we had our chances, but their keeper was outstanding today. We didn’t make the most of our chances but they did on the day, and that’s football. We have to start being more clinical in the final third, but overall it just wasn’t our day. All the players gave it their all but it wasn’t to be.”

Going into the final round there were three teams still in line to win the title, but after news filtered through that Melbourne City had drawn 2-2 against Newcastle Jets, the Glory youngsters knew a win and they would be Champions, and they had a perfect start. Oxborrow’s long-range shot was tipped around the post by Chalmers on 12 minutes, but moments later the midfielder found the target. A short corner caught the Roar napping, and Oxborrow shot from the edge of the penalty area flew into the corner of the net, much to the pleasure of the home supporters. Brisbane looked for an instant reply, and when Clut found space in the penalty area on 22 minutes, it looked they would, but Collard got back with a vital last ditch tackle. But seven minutes later they did equalise, and what a stunner. Clut played the ball wide to Bowles on the right, whose long-range shot flew into the top corner of the net giving Jack Duncan no chance.

The home side continued to take the game to the Roar and O’Neill’s long-range shot whistled inches past the post, before Joe Knowles’ shot was deflected just wide moments later. The home side were well on top and Chalmers produced a stunning save to deny the Glory on 37 minutes, the Roar custodian superbly pushing around O’Neill’s free kick. It was end-to-end football with good chances at both ends. Kofi Danning found space on the right and fed Clut, whose shot flashed over the top, before Shelford Dais played in Clut, one-on-one with Duncan, but the Glory keeper saved low. Then in stoppage time the Glory went close to regaining the lead, Matthew Davies cross picked out Jamie Maclaren, whose header was well saved by Chalmers.

Brisbane made a perfect start to the second half and they were ahead three minutes in. A quick break down the right and the ball was played into Danning, who dummied leaving Clut to fire home from the edge of the penalty area. The Glory looked for a response, and Maclaren shot into the side netting moments later, before the Glory striker tested Chalmers from 12-yards, but again the Roar custodian couldn’t be beaten.

It wasn’t for the lack of trying as the Glory constantly threatened, and on 67 minutes Oxborrow’s free kick picked out Harry O’Brien, whose header beat Chalmers but the post came to the rescue of the Roar. O’Neill’s then saw his long-range shot clip off the top of the crossbar, and moments later O’Neill shot whistled inches over the top. With the Glory pushing men forward looking for the goals, they lost Oxborrow and Knowles with injury, and were being caught out by Brisbane’s counter attack. Clut and Abraham Yango were a constant threat, but good defending kept the pair at bay. But time ran out and despite a great effort from the whole side it was Brisbane who took the points, and they leap frogged the Glory into second, with Melbourne City crowed 2015 Foxtel National League Champions.

1.3.2015

GLORY ROAR BACK TO EARN A POINTS

A goal from defender Dino Djulbic six minutes from time has earned Perth Glory a 2-2 draw with Brisbane Roar at nib Stadium on Saturday evening. It looked like the home side were coasting, after Daniel De Silva had given the ladder leaders the lead midway through the first half, but two goals in in two minutes from Jean Carlos Solorzano and Matt McKay on the hour put them in control. But the sending off of defender Corey Brown, turned the game in the Glory’s favour, and after Djulbic’s equaliser they laid siege on the Roar goal, but couldn’t find the winner. Glory Coach Kenny Lowe said he'll worry about where they are in the standings once the regular season is completed. “After 27 (games) is when you look at the league," he said. "There will be more twists and turns before the end of the season and I think it's fantastic. We are playing some good stuff, we are getting lads back and we're ticking along nicely."

Lowe made two changes, bringing in De Silva for Sidnei Sciola, while Dragan Paljic replaced Denis Kramar, and the German midfielder was in the action early, his low shot well saved by Michael Theo. Henrique wasted a great opportunity for the visitors on the quarter hour, the Brazilian blazed over after being picked out by Thomas Broich. But on 26 minutes the Glory unlocked the Roar defence. Andy Keogh hard work ended with Scott Jamieson’s deep cross from the left, which was headed back across goal by Chris Harold, and De Silva fired home from six-yards. Keogh was leading the line well, and the Irish striker tested Theo again moments later, but the Roar hit back and Broich’s long-range shot on the stroke of half time flashed inches over the top.

The Glory opened the second brightly and Keogh raced clear after James Donachie misjudged a header, but the strikers low shot was straight at Theo. Danny Vukovic came to sides rescue on 55 minutes, superbly saving McKay’s shot from the edge of the penalty area. But all the Glory hard work was undone on the hour. Brandon Borrello crossing from the right and second half substitute Solorzano finished well from six-yards. Moments later they hit the front. McKay racing into the area, and the Socceroos midfielder hammered home from 12-yards.

Lowe brought on Mitch Nichols, and he starting to pull the strings, as the home supporters lifted the volume, and the game took another twist on 76 minutes. Jamie Maclaren was sent clear by a superb through ball from Nichols, and he was impeded by Brown, and being the last man, referee Ben Williams showed the defender a straight red card. The home side were now in total control and Paljic and Jamieson were having plenty of success down the left and on 84 minutes they were rewarded with the equaliser. Paljic, who was having his best game for the club, found space on the left, and his curling shot beat Theo, the ball crashing off the upright, the rebound falling to Djulbic, and the big defender fired home much to the pleasure of the 10,422 home supporters.

The Glory continued to press, looking for the winner, and in the 90th minute Nebojsa Marinkovic’s corner found its way to Keogh, whose shot was deflected wide by Thro, although the referee gave a goal kick, much to the displeasure of the Shed. It was one-way traffic and in stoppage time they almost won it. Again Paljic was the supplier, the German racing down the left; his cross was only cleared as far as Marinkovic on the edge of the penalty area, and his stunning volley was well saved by Theo. A brave fight back by Kenny Lowe’s side, and next week they head to Melbourne Victory for a top of the table clash at AAMI Park on Saturday afternoon.

27.2.2015

NPL-WA NIGHT SERIES PREVIEW - WEEK FOUR

There is a festival of football over the Labour Day long weekend, with games on Friday, Sunday and Monday in the NPL Night Series. There are no games on Saturday as Perth Glory entertains Brisbane Roar at nib Stadium (6pm). It all starts on Friday evening in Group B, when Inglewood United take on the undefeated Perth SC at E&D Litis Stadium (6.30pm) Michael Garcia’s side have lost their last two games, but the new coach isn’t worried. “At the moment we are looking to develop and establish our identity and with a quite a few new players, that may take some time and lead to the odd inconsistent performance or two,” Garcia told the Inglewood United website. “But that is what we are using the Night Series for. Our priority is to make sure we are ready for the season ahead.” Perth’s Marco Santalucia believes they still have room for improvement. “I thought we kept a lot of possession and controlled the tempo of the game against ECU Joondalup, and we were unlucky to get caught on a counter attack, and conceded from a corner,” he said. “We need to work on closing the game out early, as four and five good chances were wasted in the first half.” The defender knows Inglewood have recruited well but believes if they stick to their game plan they can continue their unbeaten start. “Inglewood is always difficult to play against, but if we play our own game and prepare the right way we should win the game,” he said. Perth welcomes back Alex Castiello from suspension for the game. In the late game at E&D Litis Stadium, hosts Floreat Athena go head-to-head with Bayswater City in Group A (8.30pm)

On Sunday it’s to Dalmatinac Park in Group B, and in the early game Armadale meet ECU Joondalup (6pm). Armadale have been in all their games to date, but are still looking for their first victory, and ECU keeper Jamie Serra said they will be concentrating on their own performance and not the opposition. “We are taking each game as it comes, and Armadale regardless of their performances, still allows us an opportunity to strengthen our game play, and correct any errors from the previous matches,” he said. “We will come out and face Armadale like we would face any team, and aim for maximum points.” In the late game hosts Cockburn City will be looking to continue their perfect start to the competition, when they take on Sorrento (8pm)

On Monday Macedonia Park is the venue, for the final Group A games of the round. First up hosts Stirling Lions meet Subiaco AFC (5pm) The Lions had started the tournament well, but last week were on the end of heavy defeat against Floreat. Midfielder David Micevski said they will bounce back this week. “It was a real disappointing result last week, especially after two good opening performances in the competition,” he said. “It’s never ideal losing the majority of your starting line up from last season, and it takes time for all the players to get to know each other. But that gives other players the opportunity to step up and prove their worth at this level.” Subiaco are coming off two good results and Micevski is expecting a tight encounter. “They are playing well and have had a couple of good results, so we will need to be at our best to come away with a positive result,’ he said. Hopefully we will get a few players back this week and build on our second half performance from last week.” In the late game Balcatta meet Shamrock Rovers (7pm)

27.2.2015

STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES PREVIEW - WEEK FOUR

It’s week four of the State League Night Series this long weekend, and at all starts on Friday night. In Group C Gosnells City take on hosts Rockingham City at Lark Hill (6.30pm), while in the late game Fremantle City take on the South West Phoenix (8.30pm). Fremantle’s Ty Fenwick believes last week good performance against Mandurah City was encouraging. “It was a tough game last week, they (Mandaruh) look like they are going to have a strong year,” said Fenwick. “I thought we played well in patches and are starting to adapt well to our new way of playing this season.” The defender believes this week’s clash will also be tough. “They (South West Phoenix) are starting to play well and it will be another challenge for us,” he said. “We have lost a number of players with injury, but as long as we play the way we can, then we will get the job done.” Also on Friday in Group A, the undefeated Joondalup United meet hosts Kingsway Olympic at the Kingsway Reserve, while the late game, UWA-Nedlands meet Quinns FC.

On Sunday there is another double header in Group B, at Hartfield Park, and first up buoyed by their first win in the competition, Canning City take on Western Knights (5pm), while in the late game Swan United meet Curtin University (7pm). United Coach Salv Todaro is looking for an improvement from his young side after last week’s heavy loss against Melville City. “It was a very disappointing result, which is completely out of character from the boys, and we conceded some very soft goals, but the young lads will learn from it,” he said. United go into Sunday’s game will a number of players unavailable but Todaro said it will give some younger players the opportunity to impress. “We have lost four players this week, due to prior commitments, but it gives teenagers Brendan Borzecki and Majak Lual a chance, and give Callum Burt and Jordan Rosetta, who are coming back from illness, some valuable game time,” he explained. “We will continue to work on our game plan for the season, and it’s a great opportunity to give some exposure to senior football to our youngsters.” Also on Sunday Joondalup City meet Ashfield at Wanneroo Sporting Complex in Group D, while in the late game hosts Wanneroo City entertain Balga in Group A

The round concludes on Monday, when North Perth United meet Ellenbrook United in the early game in Group D at Wotton Reserve (5pm), while hosts Morley Windmills take on Dianella White Eagles in the late game (7pm). Also on Monday the unbeaten Mandurah City take on Kelmscott Roos in the early game in Group C at Hartfield Park, while in the late game Melville City take on hosts Forrestfield United. “I was pleased with the win last week, I thought we have played very well for the last two games, but against Curtin we couldn’t score,” Melville coach Gavin Brown said. “The tournament has been good for us, but I feel we still have some left in the tank. But overall I’ve been pleased with the performances and we’ve given some young players some good experience.” Brown is expecting a tough game, against United, but he is looking forward to the challenge. “It will be a hard game for us, because they are in good form and are at home,” he said. “We’ll have a good go though and see where that takes us, and if we win the last two games there is a chance we could still go through.”

27.2.2015

VUKOVIC HOPES TO FIND THAT WINNING FEELING AGAIN

Perth Glory will be looking to end a five game streak without a win, when they entertain Brisbane Roar at the nib Stadium on Saturday evening (6.30pm). Despite the run they will go into Round 19 with a two point buffer over Melbourne Victory at the top of the table, but could slip to second spot, if Adelaide United gets over Melbourne City at AAMI Park tomorrow night.

Glory keeper Danny Vukovic has been in sparkling form between the sticks, and he was buoyed by a solid defensive display in the 0-0 draw with Melbourne City last week, and he hopes they can maintain their lead at the top of the table. “I think we haven’t kept enough clean sheets this season and that was something we wanted to do against Melbourne City,” he said. “We really went out there to keep a clean sheet and prove to ourselves that we could do it and we managed to do it.”

Vukovic, who had trials at Fulham last season, turns 30 at the end of next month, and only trails Newcastle’s Liam Reddy in the number of saves this season (60), praised his teammates through a tough period in the season. “I think we’ve shown that all season, we’ve gone behind at times and looked to be down and out and somehow, we’ve clawed our way back to win games and draw games,” Vukovic said. “That shows that there’s good character in the team and the boys fight hard for each other. We got two draws in two tough places and we’re all looking forward to the game against Brisbane on Saturday night in front of a big home crowd.” In team news Ruben Zadkovich will miss with a tight hamstring, while Daniel de Silva and Brendan O’Neill both return to the squad.

Glory will face a busy Roar outfit, which will fly to Perth straight after their AFC Asian Champions League clash against Beijing Guoan on the Gold Coast, which they were beaten 1-0. They omitted a number of players for the game in midweek; one of them was Jean Carlos Solorzano, the Costa Rican has scored five times in his last six appearances. Other players to return is Brazilian Henrique, while new Serbian signing Andrija Kaluderovic, who scored on debut against the Central Coast Mariners, as well as ex-Western Sydney Wanderers left-back Jerome Polenz, who was also omitted from the Champions League squad.

Roar have won all of their last three games since long-time Roar servants Thomas Broich and Michael Theo returned from injury and have propelled themselves past Melbourne City into the top six. There last A-League game was postponed against Melbourne Victory due to cyclone Marcia.

26.2.2015

GLORY TO MUFFLE BUSY ROAR

If ever there is a good time to play the defending A-League champions, Danny Vukovic says it is now. The Perth Glory goalkeeper threw his support behind Brisbane Roar before their AFC Champions League loss to Chinese club Beijing Guoan last night. Vukovic said he was quietly hoping the match would rob their rivals of energy heading into a showdown with Glory at Perth Oval on Saturday night. Brisbane will have to travel to Perth and back up inside 72 hours. They then fly to Tokyo for their next Champions League game, against Urawa Reds next Wednesday.

Vukovic said Glory would be looking to re-establish a strong home record against an opposition he hoped would be underdone. "We know how hard it is to come to Perth," Vukovic said. "It's a long trip over. Brisbane have a game in the Champions League, and we wish them all the best in that game, but hopefully they exert a lot of energy and come over a little bit fatigued on Saturday night. It's certainly a great opportunity for us to get the three points and pull further away from the rest of the teams."

Glory remain top of the table despite a winless run of five matches and a difficult fortnight off the field. Vukovic said the club had shown real character in maintaining top spot for 15 weeks. "When we haven't played well, we've managed to pick up points and I think that's important for a team that wants to be at the top," Vukovic said. "We know we've got better football in us and hopefully we can start hitting our straps towards the finals series." Midfielder Ruben Zadkovich (hamstring) was on light duties yesterday and must prove his fitness to return against Brisbane.

26.2.2015

GLORY YOUTH READY TO CREATE CLUB HISTORY

It could be an historic day in the history of Perth Glory Football Club on Sunday, when their Youth team fights out the Foxtel National Youth League title. They head into this weekend’s final game of the season against Brisbane Roar, knowing if they can win and results elsewhere go in their favour, come 1pm on Sunday they could be the Champions.

They sit level on points at the top of the table with Melbourne City, and only three goals separate the two sides. The Glory host Brisbane Roar at the Ashfield Sports Club on Sunday at 11am, but they will know the score of the City game before kick-off, as City travel to Newcastle Jets on Sunday at 9am. If City loses, the game against the Roar will be the title decider, with the visitor’s only two points behind the Glory.

It has been a fantastic season for the youngsters, only losing three times, and being unbeaten on home soil, so win, lose or draw, it has been a season to remember for the young side. Winger Borbor Sam believes they can take out the title. “For everyone, this game is very important, we all know what is up for grabs, and we hope The Jets can do us a favour,” he said. “We have performed well and have a good home record, so all we can do is, go out and try to win, and we will be doing our best.”

Sam, who came through the Football West National Training Centre, under the tutelage of Glory senior Coach Kenny Lowe, and youth team coach John Gibson, says the players are really close together, and that has been a major factor in their success. “Our team isn’t full of individuals, we work as a team, and we’re more like a family,” he explained. “Everyone respects each other and everyone puts in a shift for each other, we attack as a team and we defend as a team. No matter who is selected this week for the game everyone will be ready to give their best. I spoke to Joe Knowles before the start of the season and I told him we can win this league, and now we are one win away from doing so.”

Knowles, who is leading the Youth League goal scoring charts, bagging his 10th goal in the 2-1 win against Adelaide United last week, is ready for a huge game, and is looking to fire the side to the title. “It has been a great season, and I’ve enjoyed helping the side out with a few goals, but without the help of my team mates I wouldn’t be able to do so,” he said. “Goals will be vital on Sunday, for both sides but if we can stick to our game plan and follow the instructions from Gibbo and the coaching staff, I’m confident we can get the right result.”

The side has been lead all season by defender Jacob Collard, and he say’s whatever happens on Sunday he is proud to have captained the side. “This year has been great and enjoyable season, a lot of fun and banter, but also a lot of hard work has been involved by all the players,” he said. “This weekend will be a great challenge and we will be up for it, as we have a chance of winning the league. Nothing will be left on the pitch by anybody, and we will be doing everything we can to create a bit of history for the club.”

The players have the upmost respect for head coach John Gibson, but he believes the player’s work rate and attitude has been spot on from the first training session. “Like I’ve said all season, the players deserve all the credit, they have been superb,” Gibson said. “We have been consistent all season, and have improved dramatically over the course of the season. Our journey continues, we have one more game to go and the challenge will be fun this Sunday, the boys will be playing with their mates, so life if pretty good.”

Gibson, who has been instrumental in nurturing many of the players in the side, through their junior football, believes the current success and the positive vibe at the club, and has permeated throughout the Foxtel NYL squad. “Lowesy is doing an incredible job with the Hyundai A-League team, and Jamie has done a fantastic job with the Westfield W-League team,” he said. “For us nothing changes, we understand the significance of the game but we are consistent with our message, becoming better at our processes. As per normal, the process dictates performances and we focus on improvement.” Get along and support the youngsters - Kick-off is 11pm on Sunday morning at Ashfield Sport Club

25.2.2015

WA YOUNGSTERS ON TRACK FOR CANBERRA

Three WA youngsters will be involved in Football Federation Australia training camps at the Australian Institute of Sport’s Centre of Excellence in Canberra, .after being identified as having the potential to represent the country at youth level. Football West NTC players Ethan Brooks, Jaydon Selden and Jacob Young were identified as potential Joeys during last year’s National Youth Championships and National Training Centre Challenge.

Young, who is the son of former Hull City, Scunthorpe United and Perth Glory striker Stuart, was injured in the NTC Challenge, but did enough to be selected to attend the training camp, and enjoyed the experience. “Unfortunately I fractured my wrist in the second game out of the eight games I was supposed to be playing in, but it was good to get a feel of what those sorts of tournaments were about and also to compare myself to players outside of WA,” he said. “Going to the AIS has been a good eye opener as to what could possibly come next in my footballing career. I hope I have made a good impression on the national team coaches.”

The 14-year-old central defender played his junior football at Warnbro Strikers, has grown up in the shadows of his father’s exploits in the NSL with Wollongong Wolves and the Glory, but he says his dad has been a huge part in his football development. “My dad has been the biggest influence on my football right from the start,” Young said. “He keeps me grounded and tells me what I need to improve on. He helps me on a weekly basis to help me to improve on certain aspects of my game and constantly encourages me to be the best I can be, but it is funny, I’m trying to stop the ball going in the net, but my dad tried to score them.”

He would like to follow in the steps of his father, and play at the top level, and he believes he has had some great help along the way in Perth. “Being a professional footballer is a dream I've had from a young age. I want to play at the highest level I can in Australia or overseas,” he said. “Mark Lee and Barry Wood coached me from the ages of 7 to 13, and their passion and love for the game inspired me and made me the player and person I am today. Lately Perth glory coaches’ Callum Salmon and Kenny Lowe have also helped in my development for the last two years.”

Football West Technical Director Cris Ola said the boys were well equipped to adjust to the demands of national training camps. “These boys have outstanding potential to step up to a high performance and competitive environment and continue the tradition we have in WA of developing quality young players,” Ola said. “Jacob is a great left-footed centre back and is excellent both in air and on the ground. Ethan and Jaydon are quick and unpredictable attacking players who could develop into future match winners.”

25.2.2015

HAMMERS TO REMEMBER DYLAN TOMBIDES

West Australian footballer Dylan Tombides, who tragically passed away in April 2014, will be remembered this weekend when the DT38 Foundation is launched at West Ham’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace at Upton Park. It will be poignant day for the Tombides family, and family friend Dean Evans will also be in attendance. Evans was saddened at the passing of Dylan and he knew he had to be there to celebrate his mate’s life. The new Perth Soccer Club midfielder said the new foundation is a great memorial for Dylan. “He was so dedicated to football and his loss still hurts,” Evans said. “The foundation is a fantastic legacy, and everyone’s thoughts are with Tracy, Jim and Taylor on the anniversary of his passing – miss you mate!!!”

The coinciding fixture last term came after the news of Tombides’s passing at 20 years of age from testicular cancer. Then on a moving afternoon, Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak scored the winning goal for Palace, dedicating it to the talented striker. The fixture now holds a special meaning for both clubs, remembering a player who was a talent on the pitch, and highly regarded off it. He made such an impact on the Hammers that the club retired his No.38 jersey. DT38 is a foundation which aims to “change the way testicular cancer is diagnosed”. The disease is the most common cancer for men between the ages of 15 and 40, and the foundation hopes to raise awareness as well as educate to help prevent the disease.

During his three-year battle with the disease, Tombides was initially misdiagnosed, and part of the foundation’s campaign is the hashtag #delayisdeadlygeteducated. “Dylan was robbed of a future that he dreamed of as a young boy. It robbed Taylor of a brother and it robbed my husband and I of watching our beautiful son grow and fulfil his dreams. Please do not let this happen to your son, brother, friend or father,” writes Tracy Tombides on the DT38 Foundation website. To donate to the foundation go to http://dt38.co.uk/ - If you have a concern with your testicles please see a doctor straight away and insist on an ultrasound – it may just save your life

25.2.2015

PRE-SEASON HICCUPS DON’T PHASE GARCIA (courtesy Inglewood United)

Michael Garcia won’t allow an occasional flat performance to derail his preparation for the coming National Premier Leagues season. Back-to-back losses have put Inglewood United on the cusp of an early exit from the Night Series, however, Garcia, who was appointed first team coach in late August, has every confidence his side is on course to improve on the efforts of last season.

“At the moment we are looking to develop and establish our identity and, with quite a few new players and the squad not yet settled, that may take some time and lead to the odd inconsistent performance or two,” Garcia commented. “But that is what we are using the Night Series for. Our priority is to make sure we are ready for the season ahead.”

Sunday’s poor showing against Sorrento, who claimed victory by 2-0, was an important part of that learning curve. “We lacked intensity and gave the ball away to our opposition far too often, causing ourselves more problems than we may have had if we’d been more composed in possession,” said Garcia, a former Australia youth international.

“We had our chances to score, they had a few themselves,” he added. “One of their goals was from our mistake and I thought we had a fair penalty shout turned down – had that gone our way it may have changed things. In the end though, regardless of the scoreline, the performance was below that of our previous two games.”

A lot has been achieved in Garcia’s first six months at the helm and the 37-year old feels he has all the ingredients for 2015 to be a success. “I’m learning about the requirements of coaching on and off the park at senior level and the players are still getting used to my style of coaching,” he said. “That chemistry may take a while but I’m confident we are on the right track.”

“We have a good squad, it’s not yet finalised as there are players we are still looking at and others that are injured or going away during the season,” Garcia continued. “At this stage we haven’t set any goals for the league but, obviously, we want to finish as high up the ladder as we can. For me, the first checkpoint is ensuring we improve on last year’s result.”

25.2.2015

THE SKIES ARE BLUE FOR KERR

New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC have added Samantha Kerr and Caitlin Foord to their roster for the coming National Women's Soccer League season. Kerr is no stranger to football in the United States, the 21-year old making 39 appearances for Western New York Flash across two seasons before returning to Perth Glory Women late last year. Foord was also part of the Glory Women squad which reach the 2014 W-League final.

“I look forward to joining all my new teammates and meeting all the staff and fans of Sky Blue,” Kerr commented of her move. “I would like to take this opportunity also to thank the staff and fans of the Western New York Flash for my time at the club, but I am looking forward to a new challenge and helping Sky Blue be successful in the 2015 NWSL competition.”

Sky Blue coach Jim Gabarra is delighted Kerr and Foord will join his club at the conclusion of Australia’s participation in the upcoming Women’s World Cup in Canada. “These signings are going to give our club a real boost over the second half of the season,” he said. “Even though Caitlin and Samantha are still at a really young age, they have a lot of experience at the international level and in our league. I am looking forward to them continuing their huge developmental trajectory.”

25.2.2015

PLAY STATION 4 NPL-WA FIXTURES ANNOUNCED

The 2015 Play Station 4 National Premier League – WA fixtures have been released with the opening game on Saturday March 28th. Bayswater City will begin their title defence against Subiaco AFC at Frank Drago Reserve. Perth SC, who was beaten in last season’s Grand Final, will entertain ECU Joondalup at Dorrien Gardens.

In other round one fixtures Stirling Lions entertain Balcatta in a local derby at Macedonia Park, Armadale host Inglewood United at Alfred Skeet Oval, while Inglewood United and Cockburn meet at Intiga Stadium. The game between Perth Glory and Floreat Athena at the E&D Litis Stadium will not be played on the opening day; they will play the game on April 25th, as the Anzac Day fixture.

The rivalry round games will continue this season, and crowd figures from last seasons showed a spike in attendance to these games. The governing body has again encouraged clubs to embrace the concept, with games to be played on April 18th and July 19th, although the northern suburbs derby between Sorrento and ECU Joondalup will take place on Friday April 17th at Percy Doyle Reserve.

The majority of the fixtures will take place at the traditional 3pm on a Saturday afternoon, but seven matches will be played on Sunday afternoon.

After consultation with the clubs, there will be no final series this season, with the team finishing top of the table to represent the state in the PS4 NPL National Finals Series. But this season there will be relegation, and the team finishing bottom of the table can be relegated, if the First Division Champions meets all competition criteria. PS4 NPLWA manager Chris Beech said the fixtures had been finalised after months of direct consultation with clubs. “All clubs have been fantastic to deal with over the past few months while we were going through the planning process,” Beech said. “We have been working with all clubs since December to bring together a fixture format that tries to cater for the sometimes conflicting hopes of each club. Season Two of the PS4 NPLWA promises to be an exciting one with some fantastic clashes already occurring in the NPL Night Series.”

25.2.2015

INJURY SETBACK FOR ECU MIDFIELDER (courtesy of ECU Joondalup)

It has been a frustrating start to the 2015 season for ECU Joondalup midfielder Jon Stynes, having to sit out with a knee injury. The 21-year-old headed back to Perth last season, after a stint with Kilmarnock and Cambridge in the UK, but he is looking forward to getting back on the pitch sooner rather than later. “I have inflammation of tendons in my knee, so I have had to take a break from the game for few months, which is really frustrating,” he said. “I’ve missed most of the pre-season and all of the Night Series, but slowly I’m slowly getting there. The injury has put me on the back foot, but once I’ve recovered I hope to be back scoring goals for the club, and helping the team finish as high up the table as possible.”

It was a great start to the 2014 season for the Northern suburbs club, but after a disappointing Cup Semi-Final loss the season slipped away. “We were up there towards the top of the table throughout the start of the season, but we fell away towards the end,” he explained. “The Semi-Final loss was hard to take, because we were looking forward to taking on one of the A-League teams, but that loss has only motivated us to go further in the competition next time.”

The clubs only top flight title came in 1999, and Stynes believes the league has improved and the squad they have, they can challenge for a top four spot. “Our target this season is to be more consistent, so we can challenge for that top four which is definitely achievable with the squad we have,” he said. “There have been some good additions to the squad, which has added good depth, and created competition for places, which we were maybe lacking last season. After coming back from the UK I’ve seen the league grow so much, and I’m enjoying playing my football back in the NPL.”

Dale McCulloch has added David Annall to the coaching staff this season and Stynes believes it has been a great move. “David has been great so far, he really encourages players to express themselves on the park, and he works well of Dale, and they have the same football ideas, which can only help the club,” he explained. “This has definitely benefitted the younger players we have in our squad, when they step up to the first team, which we have seen in the Night Series with Bayley Brown-Montgomery, Roland Rixer, Harry Bissett and Oliver Annis all playing well.”

24.2.2015

'FORGOTTEN MAN' BABALJ RELISHING FRESH START

Revitalised Socceroos striker Eli Babalj emerged from two years of darkness at the weekend for new Dutch club PEC Zwolle. On loan from AZ Alkmaar until the end of the season, Babalj gained his first senior start for any club since early 2013 in PEC's 3-2 loss at ASO Den Haag. Having come off the bench against Go Ahead Eagles the previous week, Babalj can see the light again. "I thought I had become the forgotten man," he admitted. "My last start for a club was with Melbourne Heart."

"Football is weird, it can turn around in one day – at the moment just thinking about next week’s game against Vitesse," Babalj added. "You miss playing in big games like this. I feel like a kid again. It's good to show people I am still alive. I felt good in playing 85 minutes against Den Haag. I felt comfortable and didn’t feel I was lagging. It showed me I can play at this level. The more time I get, the quicker I will run into form and be able to offer more. It’s not easy being out for so long."

After an ill-fated spell with Red Star Belgrade, Babalj was sold back to Heart but then moved again when AZ came calling, only to suffer a ruptured adducter tendon and hernia. Surgery ruled him out for six months and after returning for the reserves he suffered another setback with a second hernia operation sidelining him again. "This is a fresh start for me at a club doing well," he said. "After not playing for so long it's about getting as many minutes as I can and getting that sharpness and momentum back."

24.2.2015

GLORY NOT ALL ABOUT DEFENCE: THWAITE

Michael Thwaite says Perth Glory still intend to play an attacking game as they seek to shore up their place at the top of the A-League table. The Glory captain was swung into a defensive midfield role in Sunday's scoreless draw with Melbourne City to help his team achieve just their third clean sheet of the season. The result, which lifted Glory two points clear of second-placed Melbourne Victory, came on the back of a more defensive brand of soccer.

The visitors had just one shot on target, but almost snatched all three points late as Andy Keogh's charge to goal was thwarted by a brave challenge by City keeper Tando Velaphi. Thwaite denied the game style was a sign of things to come as Glory prepare to host defending champions Brisbane Roar on Saturday night. "We want to be better," Thwaite said. "We want to create more chances. We want to play more attacking football, but we're very happy with where we are at the moment."

"The way we analyse the game is that when we are open and free-flowing and we're scoring a lot of goals, we seem to concede a lot as well and not win games," he continued. "Of course we want to make the fans happy and play this attractive brand of football, but there's both ends of the field. This week we made a real conscious effort to shore up the defence and get a clean sheet. It is very important in terms of aiming for big things this year. You need to be able to keep clean sheets."

23.2.2015

GALLOWAY EXTENDS STAY IN MELBOURNE

Melbourne Victory have secured the services of teenage defender Scott Galloway through to the end of the 2016/17 A-League season. Perth-born Galloway has made 38 appearances for Melbourne since making his national league debut in the 2012 derby against Melbourne City, in addition to 18 appearances for Australia at youth level. Galloway, 19, and Rashid Mahazi, 22, are the lasted youngsters to agreed two-year extensions with Melbourne, following 21-year olds Connor Pain and Jason Geria.

"Melbourne Victory is the biggest club in the country and I've enjoyed my time here, it's been amazing and I want to continue my career at Melbourne Victory," Galloway said. "I feel my progression as a footballer is only going to enhanced being at this club, especially working with a great group of coaches led by Kevin, so it's the best environment for me to be in moving forward. You just look at our crowds that come week in, week out and show their passion for the club, they are always amazing and it's a club with a proud history that I want to be a part of."

23.2.2015

DJULBIC PENS NEW TWO-YEAR DEAL

Perth Glory plans to remain an A-League force have been bolstered with news central defender Dino Djulbic has signed a two-year contract extension. 32-year old Djulbic has played 17 times so far this season, adding to the 27 appearance he made between 2007 and 2009. “You can see what the boys have done in eight months together, imagine what we can do over the next couple of years together. I hope we stay together and build towards the future," he commented.

Djulbic said he’s enjoying his football under Kenny Lowe, who has been a big factor in his decision to commit to the club. “I’ve known Kenny for a long time and he’s been a big influence on my football. He was a big part of the reason I decided to come back," he added. “Deciding to stay for the next two years was made easier when I knew Kenny was going to be here for the long term."

Djulbic firmly believes that success is not too far away for Glory. “Silverware definitely comes into the equation,“ he said. “Obviously we’re top of the league at the moment and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to stay at Perth Glory. We’re getting pretty close to team success, I think.” With his father, Esad, battling Melanoma, and his wife and young son settled in Perth, Djulbic said that staying with Glory was always his preference.

22.2.2015

GLORY AND CITY SHARE THE SPOILS

Perth Glory had to settle for a share of the spoils, in a 0-0 draw against Melbourne City at AAMI Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The point moves Kenny Lowe’s side two points clear at the top of the table, but it makes it six games without a win which is a concern. Skipper Michael Thwaite moved in to a defensive midfield role in place of Ruben Zadkovich, with Dino Duljbic returning after missing last week due to suspension, and Lowe was happy the way it went. “It was a bit of a gamble, I don't think he was keen to do it," he said. "We talked him into it. Flipside is he says he's a midfielder now, so he wants more cash."

The home side was on top early and former Glory defender Jack Clisby fired wide after only five minutes, before Danny Vukovic saved low from Jacob Melling’s snap shot. City were dominating and new signing Kew Jaliens whipped in a cross to Josh Kennedy, and the former Socceroo’s shot was pushed over the top by the alert Vukovic.

The Glory custodian was keeping his side in the game, and on 20 minutes he had to block Melling’s long-range, and moments later Melling tried his luck again, but it flashed wide of the target. The first opportunity for the visitors came on the half hour, Sidnei Scolia racing past three defenders, but his shot was well over the top. It was better signs from the Glory and moments later Andy Keogh won possession of Jaliens on the left, cut inside the box but his curling shot whistled wide of the far post.

City still looked dangerous and when Kennedy was sent clear five minutes before the break, but with the goal in his sight, Thwaite got back with a great last ditch tackle. The glory were ended the half the better, but Josh Risdon and Nebo Marinkovic’s long-range shot were off target, before Harold headed inches over from Scott Jamieson’s teasing cross.

The Glory began the second half the way they ended the first and Sidnei made space down the left and whipped in a dangerous cross, but none of the Glory player can get on the end of it. Then on 50 minutes City went close to the opener. Aaron Mooy’s cross picked out the unmarked Jalien’s who headed over from eight-yards. The Glory had the ball in the net on the hour, Risdon’s cross found Keogh, but the Irish striker was ruled offside.

Then five minutes later Risdon and Keogh combined again, the defenders cross picked out the striker, who lost his marker, but the ball drifted just wide of Tando Velaphi’s far post. Then in the first minute of stoppage time, the Glory had the chance to take all three points. City’s free kick was punched clear by Vukovic, sending Mitch Nichols in the clear, his superb through ball sent Keogh, one-on-one with Velphi, but the former Glory custodian raced out of his box to block his shot, and the points were shared.

22.2.2015

GLORY YOUNGSTERS SET UP FINAL DAY SHOWDOWN

Perth Glory Youth continued to keep the pressure on Melbourne City at the top of the Foxtel National Youth League ladder after a hard fought 2-1 win against Adelaide United at the Adelaide Football Shores Sporting Complex on Sunday morning. Joe Knowles scored his 10th goal of the season to give the youngsters the lead, before Harry O’Brien added a second just before half time. A late goal from Dylan Smith gave the home side a sniff, but the Glory played out the game, and drew level with City at the top of the table, setting up a thrilling end to the season next week.

It was a warm day in the South Australian Capital and it was an even opening, but chances were few and far between. The visitors knew a win was essential if they were to keep their title hopes alive and on 36 minutes they hit the front. Slobodan Vulin, who had replaced Daniel De Silva who was ill in the warm up, in the starting line-up, played the ball over the top to Borbor Sam. Adelaide keeper John Hall raced out his goal, but his attempted headed clearance fell to Knowles, and the striker fired home into the empty net.

The goal lifted the Glory, and they looked dangerous on the counter attack, with Sam and Knowles a constant threat. But the home side pressed late looking for the equaliser, but the Glory defence had to be strong as the home side pushed forward. Then in the shadows of the break it got even better for the Glory, when they doubled their advantage. Knowles’ in swinging corner picked out O’Brien at the near post and the midfielder headed home from close-range.

Glory defender Nathan Costello was first into the book in the first minute of the second half, and was followed moments later by Adelaide’s Christopher Skull. The hot conditions were taking its toll on both side and again referee Jarrod Mullar signalled for a drinks break halfway through. Adelaide was having plenty of possession but was struggling in the final third. The Glory should have wrapped up the points on 80 minutes. De Silva, who had come on five minutes early, was sent one-on-one with Hall, but the Adelaide custodian stood tall and saved.

But with the finishing line in sight the home side pulled one back on 87 minutes. Good work by Mark Ochieng, ended with him cutting the ball back to Smith who fired past Jordan Thurtell. It set up a nervous last six minutes, but the Glory held out, and with the win moves them level on points at the top of the table, and next week the title goes down to the wire, with only three goals separating the sides. The Glory host Brisbane Roar at the Ashfield Sports Park at 11am, while Melbourne City travels to Newcastle Jets.

22.2.2015

FORRESTFIELD IN HARD FOUGHT WIN AGAINST KNIGHTS (courtesy Forrestfield United)

Friday night saw the clash of the top of Group B table with Forrestfield United meeting the Western Knights. After a cautious fifteen minutes in which both teams vied for ascendency it was Western Knights that were looking the most threatening with some excellent passing moves that were slicing through the Forrestfield defence. Unfortunately for the visitors their finishing was missing and when on target they were efficiently dealt with by an in form Brad Eiffe in goal. After some thirty minutes, Forrestfield had settled and began to get their passing game happening with good link play via Trent Wood and Chris Perrott and it was the latter that unleashed a shot from 25 metres that had the Knights’s custodian beaten but unfortunately it crashed of the crossbar and was cleared by an alert defence.

Forrestfield then had a couple of corners that caused some concern for the Knights, with the ball first falling at the feet of Chris Perrott who prodded the ball towards goal but was cleared off the line and the second to Jason Godfrey who could not get enough power on the shot. Knights broke through on two to three occasions later in the half but could not manage to trouble the Forrestfield goal, with shots placed either wide or over the goal. Half time 0-0.

It was end-to-end football with both teams trying to get the upper hand, and it wasn't until the 70th minute when Forrestfield got the break-through. With Wood passing to Malcolm Tshuma who cut the ball back to Kaan Karacan. His delicate pass to Chris Perrott was met with a powerful shot that was deflected off a Knights defender and past the hapless keeper into the back of the net.

The goal forced the Knights Coach to change his structure to all out attack and that is what they did. Numerous forward moves were being thwarted by the Forrestfield defence led by Jason Godfrey and Nathan Watkins and any shots that were goal bound were being dealt with by Brad Eiffe in goal. Forrestfield then had the chance to close out the game when Malcolm “Butterfly” Tshuma was put through one-on-one with the keeper, but his shot was tame and easily saved by the keeper. The final minute Western Knights had a guilt edged opportunity to get a draw when the ball looped over Jason Godfrey who lost his footing in trying to clear the danger. The ball fell nicely to The Knights captain who shot straight at Eiffe who saved yet again.

22.2.2015

NPL-WA NIGHT SERIES REVIEW - WEEK THREE

In Friday’s games Cockburn City continued their perfect start to the NPL Night Series with a 2-0 win against Armadale at Dalmatinac Park. It was a hard fought with 45 minutes, but the hosts hit the front five minutes after the break. Armadale failed to clear a corner and the ball dropped to Alan Carroll who finished low from four meters. The points were secured for Cockburn in the last minute, Liam Murray on the end of a cross to finish from six meters. In the late game Subiaco AFC won for the first time in the competition after a 3-0 win against Shamrock Rovers. Ian McMurray fired home the first after four minutes, after good work from Josh Booysen. Rory Feely doubled their advantage before half time, before Booysen added the third from the penalty spot after Matthew Akehurst was brought down in the penalty area. Shamrock finished with ten men when Paul Concannon sent off on the hour.

In Saturday evenings early game Balcatta and Bayswater fought out a 2-2 draw. Balcatta were ahead after only 10 minutes, Alex Caniglia played a one-two with Darcy Cosgrove on the edge of the penalty area, and superbly curled the ball into the top corner of the net. Bayswater hit back four minutes later; Steve Burton scoring from close-range after Ryan Baker had spilled Todd Howarth’s long-range shot. City was ahead on the half hour, Chris Saldaris heading home David Heagney’s free kick, but the points were shared on 66 minutes. Skipper Adam Tong sent Caniglia racing down the left; he cut the ball back to James Sammut, who finished low past Devon Spence. In the late game Floreat Athena thrashed Stirling Lions 6-2. The game was over as a contest at the break, with Floreat racing to a 6-0 lead, with doubles from Andrew Scaldaferro and Lewis McMahon, and singles to Kris Gate and Ludovic Boi. The Lions scored two consolation goals late in the second half through Lawrence Shuruma and Benny Kouakou.

In Sunday’s game Sorrento won for the first time in the tournament after a 2-0 win against Inglewood United at Dorrien Gardens. Jack Salter put the Gulls ahead on the quarter hour, before doubling it two minutes before half time. In the late game Perth SC beat ECU Joondalup 4-2. Perth was ahead on the quarter hour Reece Vittiglia drifting past two ECU defenders and firing low past Jamie Serra. But ECU were level on 21 minutes, Danny Dixon playing in Bayley Brown-Montgomery, whose shot deflected off Calum O’Connell and sending it wide of Alex Dunn. Perth regained their lead on 36 minutes with Aden De Luz getting on the score sheet. But on the hour ECU levelled again, skipper Ryan Lowry volleying home from a corner. Then the home side hit the front again ten minutes from time when substitute Nick Ambrogio lost his marker and fired home, before Carlo Coelho added the fourth late.

22.2.2015

STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES REVIEW - WEEK THREE

Week three of the State League Night Series began on Friday in Group B, when Forrestfield United beat Western Knights 1-0 in the early game at Hartfield Park. The only goal of the game came from Chris Perrott, moving United to the top of the table. In the late game Canning City won for the first time in the Night Series, with Yohann Crampon goal giving them a 1-0 win against Curtin University. City Coach Paul Oliver was happy to get his first win as a senior coach, but more about his sides improved performance. “A much improved display and hopefully a sign of things to come,” he said. “We retained possession well and always looked threatening in the final third, but there are still lots to work on and we will work hard through the week in preparation for a tough encounter against the Knights next week.”

Also on Friday in Group C, Mandurah City maintained their perfect start after a 4-2 win against Fremantle City. Jeff Bright gave the hosts the lead, before Clayton Stone levelled for the visitors. Skipper Andy Brown gave Mandurah the lead again, and Abe Tcuoma made it 3-1. Fremantle weren’t out of it and Connor Shaw pulled one back, but a goal three minutes from time from Joe O’Brien made sure of the win. In the late game South West Phoenix won for the first time after a late Lee Stewart goal gave them a 1-0 win against Rockingham City.

On Saturday night in Group A, hosts Wanneroo City opened their account in the competition after Connor Lynch and Brandon Prince goals gave them a 2-0 win against Kingsway Olympic. In the late game Joondalup United maintained their perfect start to the competition with a 2-1 win against UWA-Nedlands. United opening scoring through Lee Jones, the striker reacting quickest when the keeper spilled Arran Maplestone’s shot, before Jones doubled their advantage with a close-range header, the UWA goal was scored by Kieran Devitt from the penalty spot. In Group D, Ellenbrook United and Morley Windmills fought out a goalless draw at Wotton Reserve.

While in the late game Ashfield and North Perth United fought out an entertaining 3-3 draw. Mark Curran put the Sunday Premier League Champions ahead early, before Jay Lang levelled from the penalty spot. Rory Grant put United back ahead finishing after a poor back pass, before Parviz Guchy equalised for Ashfield before the break. United hit the front again through Steve Henry, but Ashfield hit back to take a share of the spoils eight minutes from time. Lang scoring his second with a stunning shot from the edge of the penalty area. Lang had an opportunity to win for Ashfield with their final play of the game, but Lang’s header was well saved by United’s keeper Andy Stewart.

In Sunday’s games Melville City beat Swan United 4-1 in the early game at Hartfield Park in Group B. City’s goals coming from Blake Readwin, Logan McIsaac, Will Kinsey, Mitch Barrington, United’s consolation coming from Matthew Bonasera. In Group A, Quinns beat Balga 5-3 at Kingsway Reserve; results from the other games are not available.

21.2.2015

BABALJ EARNS FIRST START IN NETHERLANDS

Striker Eli Babalj started up front for PEC Zwolle for the first time, in the Dutch League loss to ADO Den Haag. Babalj had come off the bench in Zwolle's defeat to Go Ahead Eagles last week, but the Socceroos finisher was given the nod from kick-off against Den Haag. Fellow West Australian Trent Sainsbury remained on the bench for the entire encounter in what was Babalj's second match for the club since moving on loan from AZ Alkmaar. He was replaced in the 84th minute and watched as Zwolle equalised in stoppage time only for den Haag to snatch a last=-gasp winner.

21.2.2015

TAGGART KNOCKS CHELSEA OUT OF CUP

Striker Adam Taggart was delighted to see Fulham progress to the semi-finals of the Premier League International Cup after an incredible 4-3 win over local rivals Chelsea on Thursday evening. In a topsy-turvy game the Whites found themselves three-two down before clawing their way back with Taggart striking late to seal the win. “It was good,” he told fulhamfc.com. “We are disappointed to concede three goals but at the same time we showed the character we needed to win the game by scoring four, and at the end of the day that’s all that matters.

Taggart has endured a frustrating start to his Fulham career, having undergone groin surgery in September. Now back to full fitness, he has shown his value by netting four goal in his last four appearances. “It was a tough start being injured for so long,” he said. “Now I’m back and getting into a rhythm of games. It’s really nice to be back, I’m feeling 100%, so hopefully I can kick on. All the boys have been fantastic and are giving me some great opportunities on the pitch. I have to praise the boys behind me to get me the ball in good positions.”

Taggart’s winner came late on when he showed his striking instincts to react quickest to Tim Hoogland’s knock-down from a corner. “I saw big Tim coming in at the back stick so I just made sure I got in front of my man so that I could tap in,” he explained. “Any number nine loves a good tap-in! It was nice to get the winner but full credit has to go to all the boys who fought the whole game and really dug deep, because for a lot of the game we were under the pump a fair bit. But it just goes to show that as long as you can stay disciplined and keep the work rate up then you can always get the win, so it was nice to walk away with the victory.”

The striker was also full of praise for the International Cup competition which is in its first year following its launch in the summer. “These are the games you want to play in,” Taggart commented. “It’s important to play really competitive matches. I think the tournament is great, to play all the best clubs around Europe, and what better way to get to the semi-final than by beating Chelsea. It’s another step in the right direction. We need to make sure we have the same attitude and same character to go all the way and get to the final.”

21.2.2015

GLORY RE-SIGN DJULBIC

Perth Glory central defender Dino Djulbic has signed on for two more years, further boosting Glory’s plans to ensure it remains a force in the Hyundai A-League. The 32-year old returned to Glory for his second stint, during the off-season, on a one year deal but this week, signed on until the end of 2017. Djulbic has appeared 17 times this season for the Hyundai A-League leaders and has also proved to be handy in attack. He scored a sensational header to open the scoring in the Round 6 match against the Asian champions, Western Sydney Wanderers and in Round 8, opened the scoring again with a cracking volley against Brisbane Roar.

During his previous stint at the club he made 27 appearances (between 2007 and 2009) and is set to play his 50th Hyundai A-League match in Glory colours this year. The proud father of one, said he wants to be part of a strong Glory squad going forward, and has warned there's plenty of improvement to come. “You can see what the boys have done in eight months together; imagine what we can do over the next couple of years together. I hope we stay together and build towards the future.”

Djulbic said he’s enjoying his football under Kenny Lowe, who has been a big factor in his decision to commit to the club. “I’ve known Kenny for a long time and he’s been a big influence on my football. He was a big part of the reason I decided to come back, him being a part of the club.” “Deciding to stay for the next two years was made easier when I knew Kenny was going to be here for the long term,” he said.

The 32-year-old firmly believes that success is not too far away for Perth, and he wants to be a part of it. “Silverware definitely comes into the equation. Obviously we’re top of the league at the moment and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to stay at Perth Glory. We’re getting pretty close to team success, I think.” And Djulbic is keen to entertain the fans who he said, are simply the best, in the A-League. “I love hearing the fans cheer my name, I want to do my best for them and hopefully score a few more goals in front of The Shed and The Terrace. Hopefully no more red cards though.” Djulbic joins stars Scott Jamieson and Nebojsa Marinkovic who’ve also committed to the club for the next two years.

21.2.2015

GLORY SAGA FAR FROM OVER

The threat of Perth Glory being deducted competition points has resurfaced after Football Federation Australia demanded more information about the club's handling of its financial affairs. The A-League's governing body capped off a troubling week for the league leaders by releasing an update on its investigation into the player benefits saga. An FFA statement said an inspection carried out by staff at Glory's West Leederville offices this week had prompted "additional questions".

Glory had been expecting to receive no more than a fine after an eight-week FFA inquiry found the club had allegedly failed to report benefits paid to players, including accommodation costs and car allowances, across three seasons from 2012 to 2015. There are no confirmed salary cap breaches so far. A statement from Glory said they intended to submit their response to the show-cause notice issued by the FFA by early next week.

21.2.2015

HERD RETURNS TO VILLA FOR SURGERY

Midfielder Chris Herd has returned to Aston Villa from his loan spell at Wigan Athletic to have surgery on a medial ligament injury. The 25-year old joined Wigan in January but was stretchered off in his third appearance for the club, Tuesday’s win at Reading. "He's been a terrific servant since coming into the club and desperate to play football," said Wigan boss Malky Mackay. "Unfortunately he fell on his knee and his medial ligament has snapped and he's going to need surgery. He is going to have to go back to Aston Villa and leave us."




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