Niccolo Sabatini has won the Perth SC Fairest and Best

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THIS WEEK ON THE WORLD FOOTBALL PROGRAMME

Don't miss The World Football Programme on Radio Fremantle 107.9FM this Saturday at 10am with Penny TannerHoath and the team. This week's show includes Ralph Barba (Football Nation Radio), Brandon Wilson (Perth Glory), Rod Banjac (Forestfield United senior coach), Lisa Beatty (Wanneroo City women's coach), and Daniel Cappellaro (futsal). Join the conversation Saturday from 10am on talk back via 9494 2100 or text in your comments to 0417 622 921.

20.10.2017

GLORY HEAD HOME LOOKING FOR FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON

Perth Glory play their first home game of the Hyundai A-League season on Sunday when they entertain Central Coast Mariners at nib Stadium (4.00pm) Kenny Lowe’s side are still looking for the first win of the new season, but he will take heart from a battling undermanned performance last week at Newcastle, when an Adam Taggart brace earned them a 2-2 draw.

That point was even better with injuries hitting the squad ahead of the game, with Shane Lowry, Alex Grant and Spanish import Andreu Guerao all unable to travel to the East Coast, and with Mitch Nicolas suspended and Daniel Stynes, Joel Chianese and Marc Warren all out with long term injuries, it was a real backs to the wall performance from the Glory boys, and they also had chances to win it, with former Glory custodian Jack Duncan producing a stunning save to deny Taggart a hat-trick.

New signings Jeremy Walker and Mitch Mallia were rushed into the side as cover and both put in good shifts, with Walker really impressing at right back, while Mallia, although subbed at half time, showed what he could do further up the field. Brandon Wilson came into midfield and put in a good 90 minutes, while off the bench Chris Harold and Jake Brimmer proved their worth.

It will be interesting to see which way Lowe goes on Sunday, does he rush back his experienced central defensive partnership of Lowry and Grant, or does he go in unchanged, one things for sure the coach is looking forward to playing at home and Lowe expects this will boost the confidence of his squad, he has also seen a higher level of determination when playing away. “I think so, air miles are going through the roof at the moment,” he said.

“[We’re] looking forward to going home – we’re a little bit short on players at the moment [with] a few knocks and niggles – but it’s a great result for us, gives us real confidence. We could have pinched something last week at Western Sydney [but] it wasn’t to be, but we definitely deserved something today. It shows the levels of our fitness…that we can actually in the first two games away from home with all the travel, is that we’ve kind of run over teams. That bodes well when we’ve got a very young squad out there.”

Former Glory defender Antony Golec says that the Mariners are full of confidence heading into Sunday’s game in the west. "It always is a homecoming when you're playing an ex-club," Golec said. "I've got nothing to prove to anyone, so I'm going to go out and do what I do best and what's best for the team. But I'm going there for business and that's to get the three points, that's all that matters.

“Kenny's a good coach, he's got a lot of experience, and he knows what he wants. Perth are a good side, they're hard to beat. "He's got some quality players in there so they will be tough to beat. But we've got a lot of quality players as well so it's going to come down to us turning up and doing what we have to do and know we can do. For us we have to stick to what we're good at and hopefully it comes off and we can run away with the three points.”

Perth Glory squad: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 2 Alex GRANT, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Jacob POSCOLIERO, 8 Xavi TORRES, 9 Andy KEOGH (c), 11 Mitch MALLIA, 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joe MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 19 Joe KNOWLES, 20 Jake BRIMMER, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Scott NEVILLE, 26 Jacob ITALIANO, 29 Jeremy WALKER - *two to be omitted*- Ins: GRANT (returns from injury), LOWRY (returns from injury) - Unavailable: 3 Marc WARREN (ankle 9-12 weeks), 6 Mitch NICHOLS (suspended – 1 week), 25 Daniel STYNES (hamstring 9 weeks), 7 Joel CHIANESE (collar bone – 9 weeks), 18 Andreu GUERAO (hamstring – 1 week)

Central Coast Mariners squad: GK Ben KENNEDY, GK Tom GLOVER, 2 Storm ROUX, 3 Josh ROSE, 4 Jake McGING, 5 Antony GOLEC, 6 Tom HIARIEJ, 9 ASDRUBAL, 10 Daniel De SILVA, 11 Connor PAIN, 12 Trent BUHAGIAR, 13 Kwabena APPIAH, 14 Adam BERRY, 15 Alan BARO (c), 16 Liam ROSE, 17 Josh BINGHAM, 23 Wout BRAMA, 24 Lachlan WALES - *two to be omitted* - Ins: BUHAGIAR (promoted), BERRY (promoted), WALES (promoted) - Outs: 7 Andrew HOOLE (suspended – 1 week)

19.10.2017

GLORY WOMEN SNAP UP RISING STAR

Perth Glory Women is delighted to confirm that American forward Rachel Hill has been added to the squad for the 2017/18 W-League season. The 22-year old enjoyed a stellar college career, scoring a remarkable 61 goals in 89 games for the University of Connecticut before joining Orlando Pride earlier this year.

Hill made an instant impact at Orlando by finding the net eight times in just 15 appearances to help fire the club to the National Women's Soccer League semi-finals, where they were eliminated by Portland Thorns. A United States Under-20 and Under-23 international, Hill is comfortable operating anywhere across the front third.

“Rachel is a talented young striker with a high work rate and we feel that she can help take some of the goalscoring burden off Sam Kerr’s shoulders,” Glory Women coach Bobby Despotovski said. “With the strengths that she has, our system should really suit her and we’re really pleased to have her on board.”

“Sam (Kerr) will also be away at times during the season with the Matildas, so we’ll need cover and Rachel will certainly help provide that.” Hill is set to join her new team-mates later this week as the countdown to the start of the new season, which commences with a home clash with Melbourne City on Friday 27th October, continues.

19.10.2017

KERR NAMED SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR

Matilda's attacker Sam Kerr lavished praise on her teammates after beating a star-studded field to win the major award at last night’s Women in Sport awards in Sydney. 24-year old Kerr has enjoyed a stunning year which has included winning the W-League's Julie Dolan Medal and top scorer in United States' National Women's Soccer League.

Kerr also scored a hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Japan during Australia's triumph at the Tournament of Nations in the USA in July and August. “I’m very grateful that I’m part of such a great team as the Matildas,” she said after accepting the award. “I couldn’t ask for a better team to be part of.”

Kerr fended off Sally Pearson (hurdles), Britt Cox (mogul skiing), Isis Holt (para-athlete), Emma Mckeon (swimming) and Rhiannan Iffland (high diving) to win the award. The Matildas were also recognised, winning the A-Team award following a strong mid-year effort in which they won the prestigious Tournament of Nations, and a home series against Brazil.

18.10.2017

O'NEILL: ALLIANZ IS OUR FORTRESS

Sydney FC midfielder Brandon O'Neill has laughed off Brendan Hamill's claims that playing this weekends' derby will be like a home game for Western Sydney Wanderers. The Sydney rivals meet on Saturday night at Allianz Stadium, where the Sky Blues are unbeaten in the past five derbies.

Hamill said playing at Allianz would be akin to a home game for Western Sydney, claiming there was a 60-40 split in support in favour of Western Sydney. O'Neill ignored those claims, labelling Allianz as their 'fortress' and pointing out Sydney's record at the ground where they were undefeated last season, winning 12 out of 15 A-League home games.

"Allianz is our home. It's where we play our best football," O'Neill said. "I think it's a fortress for us. We have our fans there every single week making sure we put in a good performance and get the win. We've proven that this season and the fans are a massive help for us."

18.10.2017

POSTECOGLOU EXIT WON'T AFFECT ROOS SAYS RISDON

Socceroo Josh Risdon says little will change for Australia’s players should coach Ange Postecoglou exit his post, based on his experience following Tony Popovic’s departure from Western Sydney Wanderers. Risdon was part of the squad during Australia’s World Cup play-off against Syria last week, starting the first leg 1-1 draw.

Risdon made his A-League debut on Saturday for Western Sydney under interim coach Hayden Foxe, less than a fortnight after Popovic quit to take up a club post in Turkey. Popovic’s resignation on the eve of the season has many similarities to Postecoglou, who has been linked with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, despite the looming 2018 World Cup.

Risdon said regardless of whether Postecoglou stays or goes after the Honduras tie, it wouldn’t affect the players. “I don’t think it changes too much,” Risdon said. “Like what happened the week before (at Western Sydney), all the (Socceroos) players are reaching towards the one goal and that’s to make the World Cup. Whoever is there after, I don’t think it’ll change too much.”

Risdon also said he felt Postecoglou wasn’t fazed by having to qualify via the play-offs, despite reports that the constant criticism aimed at him had led to his alleged decision to leave. “I don’t think he was too stressed about the games coming up,” Risdon said.

“He actually really enjoyed it. It’s four more competitive games to get us ready for the World Cup. I think we will qualify. Getting them out of the way will be nice to make sure we’re there. (I’m) really looking forward to those next two qualifiers, hopefully we can get through.”

Risdon’s own position in the squad isn’t assured, having four caps to date and been in and out of Postecoglou’s line-ups. The 25-year-old defender’s call-up for the two-legged Syria play-offs came as a surprise, with the A-League out of season.

“I think it’s important I play well here for the Wanderers,” he said. “Ange looks at how you’re playing at club level. It’s really important I keep my momentum going and put in some good performances over the next few games so I can get back in the squad for those next qualifiers.”

17.10.2017

EDWARDS WANTS ACTIONS TO SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

Ryan Edwards says it is time for the on-field actions of Partick Thistle’s players to speak louder than their words off it. The West Australian midfielder has been mystified by the drop in performance levels from Thistle over the last two games, and particularly with the lack of a reaction from the defeat at Motherwell in Saturday’s loss to Kilmarnock.

Edwards believes that it is unacceptable for the Jags to raise their game against the bigger sides in the league only to drop their standards for matches against teams of a similar stature. “We spoke about getting a reaction and it didn’t happen,” Edwards said. “It’s all well and good saying we performed well against the bigger sides, but we needed to continue with those intensity levels and desire against the other teams too.”

“It’s one thing to raise your game against a Celtic or a Rangers, but we have to do that throughout the whole season against teams we need to be beating. You want the win so desperately, but we seemed to drop the intensity, and mentally we have to stay strong. We keep saying we’ve had these bad starts before and we can get out of it, but it’s up to us to make sure it comes right in the end rather than just waiting for it to happen.”

“We’re all ready to fight. We’re in a relegation scrap now with the way we’ve started. On the face of it, this is the best squad Thistle have had for a long time, but again, it’s all well and good saying that, we have to put what we are saying into action on the pitch and really up our game … we as players need to stand up and say that this isn’t good enough. We have to be better, it is as simple as that.”

Edwards is honest enough to admit that all of the Thistle players, himself included, have been way off the standards they have set themselves. “It’s difficult to hit the nail on the head as to what is going wrong,” he said. “When we’re performing well there are eight or nine players all on form, but at the minute we’ve got 10 or 11 players who aren’t in good form. We have to stay positive and keep going.”

The need for the Thistle players to pull their socks up and get some points on the board could hardly be more pressing if they want to avoid becoming detached at the foot of the table, with games against Dundee and Hamilton in the next week. “The manager and Scotty (Paterson) both said today that we have all mulled over it on Sunday, and now it is a new week,” he said. “We don’t forget about it, we learn from it, and move on.”

“The game this week is another massive one, and is even bigger for us now. We don’t want to get cut adrift … I think four points is a realistic target from the next two, but we will aim for six. We have a home game and that’s one we really need to win, then we go to Hamilton which is always difficult. We have to get some points on the board as quickly as possible.”

16.10.2017

WEMBLEY DOWNS DECLINE STATE LEAGUE MOVE

2017 Amateur League Premier Division winners Wembley Downs have declined an invitation to join the State League Division Two next season. As state amateur champions, the club had earned the right for promotion into the semi-professional competition. However, Wembley Downs at this stage feels it's not ready to make the move, "The committee feels that at this point in time, it is not in the best interests of the club to accept promotion and that our Amateur Firsts and Reserves will continue to play in the Amateur Premier League for season 2018", read a club statement. This means Shamrock Rovers Perth, who would have been relegated to the amateurs, will continue in the State League next season.

15.10.2017

TAGGART DOUBLE EARNS GLORY FIRST POINT OF THE SEASON

Striker Adam Taggart returned to his former club and scored a double which gave an undermanned Perth Glory a 2-2 draw against Newcastle Jets in their Round 2 clash at McDonald Jones Stadium. Missing a host of players due to injury and suspension, the point was more impressive, and Taggart gave Glory the lead after just eight minutes. But Roy O'Donovan levelled things up with his fourth goal of the season before the break, and Ronald Vargas then fired the hosts in front on the hour-mark. But Glory weren’t to be denied and two minutes into stoppage time, Taggart's powerful header earned them a deserved share of the spoils.

“After all the disruption of having three players drop out through injury on the day of travel, I thought we did really well,” Glory Coach Kenny Lowe said. “When you look at it, we had two one-on-ones with Diego Castro and Chris Harold, plus Taggart’s header that Jack Duncan did incredibly well to save, so we might even have come away with all three points instead of the one. We came home really strongly in the last half-hour, just as we did against Western Sydney the week before and that’s a testament to how hard the lads worked in pre-season.”

Lowe made three changes to the side that lost the opening game, with Shane Lowry out injured, and Chris Harold and Jake Brimmer dropping to the bench. In came Brendon Wilson, and new signings Jeremy Walker and Mitch Mallia were both given debuts, while 16-year-old scholarship player Jacob Italiano was named on the bench. It was the Jets who went close to the opener after only three minutes, Vargas’ shot was well saved by Liam Reddy. But on eight minutes Glory hit the front, Diego Castro's cross from the right was superbly finished by Taggart.

The Jets looked to hit back but Glory we’re defending well and almost doubled their advantage on 25 minutes. Mallia picked out Castro, who raced in on goal, but the Spanish maestro delayed his shot Nigel Boogaard got back to clear the danger. It was a huge let off for the home side, but five minutes later the Jets found the equaliser. Vargas sent Andrew Nabbout away down the left and his low cross was swept home from close range by O’Donovan, much to the delight of the big home crowd. The home side should have gone into the sheds with the lead, when a great ball into the box picked out Daniel Georgievski, but with the goal at his mercy the former Melbourne Victory defender blazed over the top.

Lowe brought on Harold at the break to replace debutant Mallia, who had impressed, but it was the Jets who went close early, Dimitri Petratos’ shot from the edge of the box flashed over the top, before Nabbout’s close-range effort failed to find the target. But on the hour the Jets went ahead. Petratos’ free kick was headed onto the post by former Glory defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley, and Vargas was on hand to bundle the ball home from close-range. Reddy kept his side in the game two minutes later, saving well to deny Petratos, but Glory weren’t out of this one and Taggart sent Harold in on goal, but former Glory keeper Jack Duncan stood tall to deny him.

Then on 78 minutes Harold picked out Taggart whose header looked destined for the top corner but Duncan produced a stunning one handed save to thwart the Glory striker. Harold then went in the book after he was given a yellow card for simulation by referee Shaun Evans, when he fell under a challenge from Steven Ugarkovic, but replays showed there was contact. Glory continued to press and two minutes into the five minutes of stoppage time they were rewarded with the equaliser. Harold made space on the left and whipped in a teasing cross, and Taggart lost his marker and headed home superbly to restore parity and give the Glory a hard earned point.

Match Details

Newcastle Jets: GK Jack DUNCAN, 4 Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5 Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6 Steven UGARKOVIC, 7 Dimitri PETRATOS, 8 Ronald VARGAS (10 Wayne BROWN 72'), 9 Roy O’DONOVAN, 13 Ivan VUJICA (22 Lachlan JACKSON 81'), 15 Andrew NABBOUT (24 Joe CHAMPNESS 76'), 17 Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 44 Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY - Subs not used: RGK Glen MOSS, 16 Nick COWBURN

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY (GK), 5 Jacob POSCOLIERO (20 Jake BRIMMER 65'), 8 Xavi TORRES, 9 Andy KEOGH (c), 11 Mitch MALLIA (14 Chris HAROLD 46'), 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joseph MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Scott NEVILLE, 29 Jeremy WALKER - Subs not used: RGK Nick FEELY, 19 Joe KNOWLES, 26 Jacob ITALIANO - Referee: Shaun Evans

14.10.2017

SABATINI TAKES OUT PERTH SC PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Niccolo Sabatini was rewarded was a super 2017 season in the PS4NPLWA, by winning the Perth Soccer Club ‘Fairest and Best’ Award at the clubs recent presentation night at Dorrien Gardens. The flying Italian pipped Brazilian striker Gustavo Catarcione on the night, and he was delighted to win the prestigious award, but said the rest of the players also deserve credit. “It’s been an honour for me to win the club fairest and best award, he said. “But I want to share it with the whole team and thank the boys to making me feel welcome at the club.”

Sabatini, who joined the club from Sorrento, also went on to play for the State team in the Tri-Series games, and he said it was a great first up season at the club and he said the young players will be better for the game time they got this season. “Last season for Perth SC has been a bit unlucky, but very positive for the club,” he explained. “In fact the team is made by many young lads who gained experience during the past season, and surely will secure a spot in the first positions of the ranking for the season coming.

“We finished the season well, but we have given away too many points due to lack of concentration, but I expect that not to happen anymore in the future because the last two seasons taught us that 2/3 points can make the difference to win the league.” In other awards on the night midfielder Harley Orr won the ‘Robert Giorgi Memorial Trophy’, while keeper Malek Kuc won the ‘Youth Development’ Player of the Year. Adam Carlino won the under 20’s Fairest and Best, pipping out Matthew Cherrie, while Kristian Santich won the 18’s Fairest and Best, with Lennon Crane as runners-up.

Perth President Gay Marocchi said Sabatini was a worthy winners. “Perth SC wishes to congratulate Niccolo Sabatini for winning the club’s best and fairest in his first season, following his transfer from Sorrento FC, and we would also like to congratulate Gustavo Catarcione on being runner-up,” he said. “Niccolo has been a great asset to the club playing as an attacking left sided midfielder. He has fitted into the structure of the club immediately and has been very well received by our supporters. As a club we were disappointed for him, that he did not poll better in the Gold Medal count. We thought he had a good chance to be in the top three or four players, but did not make the top ten with only 15 votes.”

Marocchi, who was presented with the ‘Club Person of the Year’ on the night, said it was a good season for the club all-round. “Perth SC has been satisfied with our overall performances in 2017, with our U20 team winning the League and Top Four title, and our U18 team winning the state cup, while our senior team finished third and with a bit of luck could have gone back to back, however, full credit to Bayswater FC for their league championship victory,” he said. “The NPL competition has been very competitive in the last two seasons, with the title decided on the last round. Promotion of the game needs to improve, as crowds are dropping. Clubs are doing there all to make the competition as strong as possible, however, the public are not supporting the games.”

Dorrien Gardens is undergoing redevelopment, and Marocchi said it shows the ambition of the club. “We have invested heavily into our facilities at Dorrien Gardens, with our synthetic turf pitches behind the club-house, set to be ready for use in January 2018. They will allow our junior players from U6 – U12’s to train and play regularly at our home, as well facilitate 5v5 & 7v7 competitions for public on week nights. The facility will be available for private use during the day to community groups, schools and city businesses wishing to partake in social activities,” he explained. “Perth SC wishes to thank the state government, the City of Vincent and all our supporters who have contributed to the project, which will ensure Perth SC remains a force in WA Football.”

14.10.2017

KENNA TAKES OUT TOP GONG AT ARMADALE

Midfielder Charlie Kenna was voted Armadale SC Fairest and Best winner for 2017, after a successful first season at Alfred Skeet Reserve. The dynamitic midfielder edged out skipper Nathan Costello for the major award and he said it was a great surprise. “It's was an honour to get the award at my first year at the club,” he explained. “It's been a great season for me here and getting the award topped it off.”

Armadale Coach John O’Reilly said Kenna stepped up to the plate and was worthy winner. “Charlie stepped up from state league this year, and he adjusted to the tempo of the game very quickly,” he said. “His commitment and determination is a strength to our team and we will be looking for more of the same in 2018.”

Kenna said injuries hit them hard, and the season fell away, but it was an improvement from last season. “I think we had a great season, unfortunately with injuries during the season we fell short coming into the last 6 games and didn't get the points we needed,” he said. “But training is always 100% and the boys work very hard. Hopefully next year will be another good year and hopefully be competitive for the top half of the ladder.”

Veteran defender David Annall won the Players Player of the Year and O’Reilly said he was outstanding on and off the park. “David has been a silent leader all year, and his actions speak volumes on the training ground and on the pitch,” he said. “His composure and experience has certainly gained the respect of his team mates.”

In other awards on the night Beau Rahim won the Coaches Award, Darragh Nigel won the under 18’s Fairest and Best, with Daniel Cumming’s the runner –up, while top goalscorer went Daniel Stone and Coaches Award going to Charlie Simpson. Alec Radonich won the under 20’s Fairest and Best, with Broden Brown the runner-up, and Anton Mangano won the Players’ Player of the Year, and Rion Robertson won the Coaches Award.

14.10.2017

HIGH-OCTANE JETS TO TEST DEFENSIVE METTLE

Perth Glory’s suspect defence will face a stern test against free-scoring Newcastle Jets tomorrow afternoon. Glory cannot afford to give the ball away cheaply on attack against Newcastle, who counterattack with pace as they demonstrated in their 5-1 destruction of Central Coast Mariners last weekend.

And they cannot afford the concentration lapses that led to their 2-1 downfall in the season opener against Western Sydney Wanderers. Glory winger Chris Harold said the Jets looked solid and organised. “They are quite direct, can pinch the ball back and counter-attack quickly,” he said. “We are going to have to be wary if we give the ball away cheaply.”

“They are going to be ready to pounce on us. You have to be switched on when you are attacking, you have to be aware of your defensive responsibilities if you turn the ball over. The first game of the season is not a particularly good gauge for the season, but the Jets looked like they are going to be strong.”

Newcastle has been a happy hunting ground for Glory, undefeated in their past eight games at McDonald Jones Stadium. They have won 13 of the sides’ last 16 meetings and have also won five of the last seven games they have played against teams coached by Ernie Merrick.




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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