Joondalup United midfielder Jay Marsden said they are hoping to get off the mark against Floreat Athena

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All eyes were on super striker Sam Kerr yesterday as the Matildas went through their paces in preparation for Monday’s international friendly against Thailand at Perth Oval. The Perth Glory forward, who will play in front of her home crowd as a Matilda for the first time, joined teammates in an open training and signing session at Hartfield Park, Forrestfield.

The Matildas were watched by hundreds of schoolchildren, including pupils from Kennedy Baptist College, formed in 2013 when Kerr’s former school, Somerville Baptist College, amalgamated with Winthrop Baptist College. The only Glory player in the squad, Kerr said she was thrilled that so many girls were playing the game.

“It’s great to see heaps of young girls playing football now ... We’ve got the biggest participation in Australia,” Kerr said. “It’s good to be back in Perth. It’s exciting to be playing in the first ever Matildas game here. It’s the first time my family doesn’t have to spend thousands of dollars. I haven’t played in front of some of them before so that’s great.”

Kerr capped a stunning breakout year by being named the 2018 Young Australian of the Year. She helped Australia win the Tournament of Nations and set a record in the National Women’s Soccer League in the US, scoring 17 goals in 22 games. She also set a Matildas record in the recent Algarve Cup, scoring in seven consecutive matches.



It’s week five of the NPL-WA and this week’s “Match of the Week” takes us to Dorrien Gardens where Perth SC host Subiaco (7pm). Both sides are coming off big wins, Perth beating Floreat Athena 3-1 in the City of Vincent Derby, while Subiaco won for the first time this season after a 4-0 win at Joondalup United. The last time these two met at Dorrien Gardens a goal in the 93rd minutes from Harley Orr gave Perth SC a hard fought 2-1 win. Niccolo Sabatini had given the home side the lead, but Carlin Feely levelled just before half time. It looked like the points would be shared but Orr popped up late to seal the win. Perth new striker Richard Howles was outstanding in the win against Floreat, and he said it was a great all-round team performance. “It was a really big win for us, and despite going a goal down I thought we controlled the game from start to finish,” he said. “The boys put in a massive shift and I think we deserved all three points to keep our good form going.”

Howles joined Perth from Joondalup United this season and he said the transition has been great and he’s fitted in really well. “Perth is a massive club, probably the biggest in WA, and it was a no brainer to be honest once I sat down with the coaching staff I knew I wanted to play for them,” he explained. “The drive of the club is next to none, they always want to be the best, the clubs board and fans are amazing.” The big striker is well aware Subiaco are the big improvers, and are hard to break down, but he is confident they can get the job done on Saturday. “Subiaco won’t be an easy game, they are a well drilled side and work hard on and off the ball,” Howles said. “But having saying that if we play the same as we did on Sunday then I’m confident that we will be taking all three points.”

Subiaco defender Steve Purton said last week’s win was much needed after two draws against Inglewood and ECU, but he said it was well deserved “It was a result that has been coming for a few weeks, we have had a tough start to the season playing all our games away,” he explained. “We have battled well in previous games and have been disappointed not to have collected more points, to get draws at ECU and Inglewood shows that we can compete with the top teams and last weekend’s victory was a great boost as it was another clean sheet and to grab four goals was great for the morale of the team.” Purton said Saturday is another huge test for them, with Perth going into the game in good form, but he said they will go there with confidence and see how they go “This weekend will be another huge test for us, both teams have been in good form,” he said. “Having made it to the final of the night series, I think the longer run of competitive games has helped us at this stage of the season. Ian and his staff have been excellent in their delivery of how they want us to play and the players have really bought into the style of play they want, so we will continue to keep training hard and see what upsets we can cause.” – Referee Michal Jasinski

League leaders Bayswater City are on the road this week, when they travel to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City. (3pm) Bayswater made it four wins from four after a come from behind 2-1 win against Inglewood United last week, but they have had trouble with Cockburn in the past and will go into the gamer without Gustavo Giron-Marulanda, who injured his knee last week. Cockburn skipper Euen Grant returns to the side after missing the last two with injury, but he said the point at ECU last week was well deserved and they could have taken all three late on. “Before the game we probably would have took a draw at a tough away ground for our club,” he said. “But after the game we felt like we were the only team going to win it finishing the stronger of the two teams, but in the end a draw was probably a fair result.” Grant said the lads are relishing taking on the league leaders and looking for a repeat of last season’s result, when the Cockerels won 2-1. “Bayswater have been the team to beat for a few years now so the boys won’t need any extra motivation for the game,” he said. “They have started the season very well, but seem to find it difficult against us, so hopefully we can be the first team to take points of them this season.” – Referee Stuart Muldoon

Perth Glory’s good start to the season will be put to the test on Saturday when they host ECU Joondalup at Ashfield Reserve (3pm). ECU drew for the third time at home this season, a come from behind to draw 2-2 with Cockburn, while the Glory eased past Forrestfield. Glory midfielder Daniel Stynes said it was good to start turning their chances into goals. “I thought it was a comprehensive win where we were clinical from front to back,” he said. “We played the ball about really well and created numerous chances and fully deserved the win.” Stynes said Saturday will be their biggest test of the season, as they haven’t beaten ECU in the NPL but he is confident they can get the job done. “ECU are always a hard game no matter what, and I’m sure Saturday will be the same,” he said. “They have got some quality players in their side and on their day can beat anyone in the league, so were looking forward the challenge and keeping our good start to the season going.” - Referee Joshua Nixon

Stirling Lions make the trip up the freeway to take on Sorrento at Perth Doyle Reserve looking for back to back wins. (3pm). Both teams won in the last round, Sorrento won a hard fought game against Balcatta, while the Lions won for the first time this season, after coming from 2-0 down to beat Armadale. Lions midfielder Dejan Spaseski said last week’s come back showed the character they have in their squad. “I thought we started off very slow last week, and as a result went 2-0 down very early,” he said. “After the half time break and a much needed team talk, the boys came out firing, and after we scored our first, it was only a matter of time before we took the lead, as it was a very one sided half of football in our favour. The win was very much needed to kick off our season.” The former Perth Glory Youth midfielder said a trip to Sorrento is never easy but they are looking forward to the challenge. “We are going into the game against Sorrento full of confidence, not only because we are coming off a win but also because of key players returning from injury,” he said. “We know if we play to our potential, then we will walk away with the three points.” – Referee Josh Mannella

Both Armadale and Inglewood United will be looking to bounce back after defeats last week when they meet at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday. Armadale let a two goal halftime lead slip at Stirling last week, while Inglewood also let a lead slip, going down 2-1 to Bayswater. Midfielder Brian Farrell said it was a tight game and the sending off changed the game. “Saturday was a though game as always against Bayswater, but the sending off changed the game,” he said. “I didn’t see the sending off so I can’t really comment on that, but it was disappointing to see our lead slip away. We know throughout the season you are going to face adversity and its how you deal with it that’ll shape the season. It would have been nice to hold out for another 10/15 minutes after halftime before the equaliser but that’s all in the past now and we will push on with the season.” Farrell said the trip to Armadale is important and they will be hoping to get their season back on track. “It is always a hard place to go and get the three points, but we will be looking to bounce back after our first loss of the season,” he said. “We will do some hard work on the training pitch this week and prepare well for an important game for us.” – Referee Nico Hoyle

It’s not been the best of starts for Joondalup United, but they will be looking to kick start their season when they travel to E & D Litis Stadium to take on Floreat Athena. (7pm) Both sides are coming into this game after losses, Floreat beaten 1-3 at Perth SC, while Joondalup lost to Subiaco 0-4. United midfielder Jay Marsden said there were good signs last week, but the sending off changed the game. “It’s not been a good start at all for us, but to be honest there have been good signs in every game we have played,” he said. “But we’ve let ourselves down by silly mistakes at the back, which we are trying to improve on.” Marsden said they have trained well this week and the group are confident they can get a positive result on Saturday “We go into every game with three points in mind, and hopefully this week against Floreat we can finally get off the mark,” he said. “One thing we won’t be doing is giving up by any means, this weekend we will definitely be playing for the win. We have a couple of injuries and niggles so it’s a good chance for players to be stepping up at a vital time.” - Referee Steven Gregory

The final game takes us to the Wildlife Safari Stadium, at Hartfield Park on Saturday evening where Forrestfield United entertains Balcatta (7pm). Forrestfield lost for the first time at home last week against Perth Glory, while Balcatta were edged out 0-1 by Sorrento. Balcatta skipper Calum O’Connell said it was a game they should have won. “Last week was very frustrating and we did everything but score, and their keeper was man of the match for them,” he said. “We don't get too disappointed, we walk away knowing that what we have worked on for the last few months is now starting to come to fruition, all we need now is some goals.” The skipper said they head into Saturday’s game confident but knows Forrestfield have impressed so far in the NPL. “Look full credit to them (Forrestfield) they've not come into the league and gone through the motions, they want to compete and cause a few upsets,” O’Connell said. “I'm sure they'll be hurting after the Glory game, so we need to continue the pressure we caused Sorrento, and take that down to Forrestfield and hopefully get our first three points of the year.” – Referee Tom Glavovic



The Football West State League Night Series Final will see Fremantle City take on UWA-Nedlands at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Saturday evening, after both edged through in Semi-Final thrillers. UWA raced to a two goal lead against Gosnells City in the first Semi-Final but the Division Two side hit back to level things up, but a penalty two minutes from time by Alex Kretowicz earned UWA a spot in the first ever Night Series Final. If that was a thriller the second Semi-Final was an epic with Fremantle City prevailing 8-7 on penalties, after the game ended 4-4 at full time, to also see Fremantle into their first Night Series Final.

Fremantle went through Group C without losing a game, and a final round 2-0 win against Western Knights sealed their progression, and striker Alec Robinson said they improved with every game, but he also praised Wanneroo City for pushing them all the way. “Last week was a good result in the end obviously progressing through to the final, but we are not kidding ourselves that we were anywhere near where we should be on the night,” he said. “Sometimes you learn more from bad performances than good so as part of preseason preparations it would be very valuable and hopefully we can improve from there, but that’s not taking anything away from Wanneroo who were great on the night.” Robinson said Saturday will be a good entertaining game as both sides like to play the ball on the ground. “It promises to be a good game and hopefully will be played in a way befitting a final,” he said. “UWA always have a lot of younger boys, keep the ball well and are very patient in their approach. We will have to match them for that and hopefully find an edge in the important areas through our experience and confidence coming on from the tournament so far.”

UWA also went undefeated in Group D and like Fremantle also had to win the last game to seal a spot in the Semi-Finals and they defeated Olympic Kingsway 3-1. Skipper Joshua Marocchi said the Semi-Final was a tense affair. “We were very pleased to get the win in such a tight encounter, and Gosnells really gave us a good fight,” he said. “But we showed some good character after giving up a two good lead. The subs who came in really made an impact and helped wrestle the game in our control, and these sort of games previously we wouldn’t have won.” Marocchi said Fremantle have a great side and it should be a great final. “They (Fremantle) are an emerging club who have invested well and brought in some good talent, and they have strength across all areas and they pose to be huge challenge for our young side,” he explained. “They do play a similar style to us so it will be interesting to see who gains the ascendency, we are really up for the encounter and everyone has been training the house down. The first final for the club is a great achievement, but we didn’t come this far to lose so we are focused on the task at hand.”



The magic of the FFA Cup is here again and this weekend Round three ties are too played across the WA region. The ‘Match of the Round’ is the tie between Gwelup Croatia and Quinns at the Croatian Sporting Complex. Gwelup reached the Semi-Finals of the competition three years ago and striker Gavin Knight said they are looking to repeat that this season. “We had a bad start to the Night Series with a loss but got better every game from there so winning three games in a row has boosted the teams confidence and will take that confidence into Saturday game,” he said. “We played Quinns in last game of the group stage and they looked a good squad mixed with youth and experienced players, but we did win that game 3-1 and hopefully we get the same result on Saturday and go into the draw for next round of the FFA Cup.”

Quinns’ striker Craig Tooley said they are looking forward to the challenge, and after a solid Night Series they go in to the game confident, and thinks home ground advantage could help them. “The night series has really helped the team gel together and get a good understanding of how each other play, so we are ready for it,” he said. “Saturday's match will be completely different to the night series match on all levels, all we're focused on is coming away with the win on home soil and advancing on through to the fourth round.”

Dianella White Eagles had a successful run in last season’s competition, and they start their campaign this season against Curtin University at Dorrien Gardens on Tuesday night. Eagles Coach Robbie Dunn said they have some new players and the Night Series was a perfect opportunity to get integrated to the squad. “It was a bit disappointing missing out as we probably outplayed all of our opponents except Olympic, but I felt that we still did enough to draw or even win that one,” he said. “We have a few new lads and the games allowed us to see where we can fit them into our side and better still what positions that they can't fit into.” Dunn said Saturday’s game could be a banana skin. “Games like these are always tricky and the cup always turns out upsets, we certainly won't be treating Curtin lightly and we will be going all out to get a win against them,” he said. “Our lads are fighting for their spots as well so if they don't perform they know that they could be replaced by someone just waiting for their opportunity. The club is looking forward to this clash and we have some really exciting players with great ability and we hope that they can show us what they have and do enough to come away with the win.”

Mandurah City hits the road in the third round, when they travel to Kingsway Reserve to take on Kingsway Olympic. New Coach Alex Grayson has been pleased with the improvement in his side. “The night series was a real work progress. There were things we did well and things we still need to work on but overall, I was happy for the boys to experience a solid performance at the end of all their hard work,” he explained. “Technical progress aside, the lads consistently showed great desire and mental toughness throughout all of our games. I'm really proud of the steps we have taken as a group.” Grayson said it will be a tough tie but they will be hoping to progress. “It's another exciting challenge for us. Kingsway are a club with a fantastic history so it'll be a great opportunity for our younger players to get a feel for the competitiveness of state football on the road,” he said “Mentally and physically we have prepared well since our last night series game so another 90 minutes against good opposition is exactly what we need leading into the season.”

Full list of fixtures – Friday - Bunbury United v Busselton, Saturday - Dianella White Eagles v Curtin University, Morley-Windmills v Kelmscott Roos, Quinns FC v Gwelup Croatia, South West Phoenix v Yanchep United, Joondalup City v Ashfield, Kingsway Olympic v Mandurah City, Wanneroo City v Woodvale, Albany Bayswater v Gosnells City – Sunday - Canning City v Ballajura, Northern City v Bunbury Dynamos, Phoenix Glory v Swan United, Kwinana United v Warnbro Strikers, Brozzy v Cracovia, Perth AFC v Western Knights, Balga v Shamrock Rovers Perth - Wednesday - Murdoch University Melville v Fremantle City, UWA-Nedlands FC v Hamersley Rovers, Thursday - Kingsley v Rockingham City.



The Final of the Football West Amateur Night Series has been decided, with Kingsley taking on Leeming Strikers at the Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Both progressed to the final on Wednesday evening, Kingsley beating Hamersley Rovers on penalties, while Leeming beat North Perth 2-1 in the Semi-Finals. Leeming topped group C beating Belmont Villa 3-1 and Kwinana United 8-4, before a 1-1 draw in the last game saw them progress to the Semi-Finals. Leeming skipper Danny McKenzie said the win against North Perth was excellent and showed how far his side has come on in the pre-season “It was a great win against a very good side, but I felt we controlled most of the game and were unlucky not to be up at half time,” he said. “We stuck to it and got the result, we know North Perth are always there or there about so it’s good to know we can mix it with the top teams and get results.” It’s been a good competition to date for the Strikers, but now in the Final they will be doing all they can to get the win. “On our day we can beat anyone, but Kingsley are most people’s tip to win the league and it’s easy to see why when you look at the additions to an already very good squad, but we’ll be well prepared and up for it,” he said. “It is a pre-season competition but when it involves all 12 teams from the same league the mindset is that these are competitive fixtures, I don’t think anyone approaches these games like friendlies. Night Series included there are only 3 trophies to play for at this level so winning it would be great for us and a real confidence boost going into the first round of league fixtures.”

Kingsley finished second in Group B, edged out by North Perth United on goal difference. They beat UWA-Nedlands 6-0 and Ellenbrook United 3-1, before drawing with North Perth in the final game with both sides moving into the Semi-Finals on superior points. Winger Jayden Drummond said it wasn’t their best performance of the competition but they held their nerve in the shoot-out. “It was far from our best footballing performance, we played a lot better in our previous matches but a wins a win, they didn’t really trouble us defensively but going forward we should’ve put it to bed in the first half,” he explained. “Penalties aren’t ideal but we’ll take it, and fair play to the lads that stood up and held their nerve, and our keeper Paul Rainford pulled off two unbelievable saves.” Drummond said the new players have fitted in well and they will be hoping to finish it with a trophy on Saturday. “Pre-season has been good for us we’ve added a few new lads to the squad which they’ve fitted in brilliantly, The group stage was good, we had the luxury to rest a few boys from the hard surface of Ellenbrook, but we played some really good football and punished UWA and Ellenbrook, was just a shame we squandered a 2-0 lead against North Perth after such a dominant first half. But that’s football. The boys are buzzing for Saturday night, good couple nights on the track and we’ll be ready to go, it will be a big game against Leeming no doubt, we know they’ve signed a few players this year also so we will need to be at our best.”



Brad Jones has endured every parent’s nightmare, but at 36 and in the form of his life, the Feyenoord goalkeeper is back on the Socceroos scene and in a happy place. As the heir apparent to Mark Schwarzer, a place in the World Cup squad and with a dream move to Liverpool in the bag, things were looking rosy for the West Australian in 2010.

However, Jones’s life changed forever after taking a phone call in his hotel room in Johannesburg on the eve of the opening game of the tournament against Germany. He was informed by his former partner that their four-year-old son Luca, had been diagnosed with leukaemia.

Jones immediately left camp and flew straight out to France where Luca was living. The young man bravely fought the disease for over two years but in November 2012 it claimed his life. With his focus very much elsewhere, Jones’s Anfield career stalled and when the club signed Brazilian goalkeeper Doni in 2011 it relegated him to third-choice 'keeper.

After making 27 appearances in just over five years, Jones decided in 2016 to quit the club he’d supported since he was a child and start afresh in the Netherlands. “I went to Nijmegen for six months and they had no money as they had spent their budget,” he said.

“That’s all I had in mind, to do it for six months and see what happened. Within a month I had offers from other teams in Holland. It was not the clubs where I really wanted to go. We had a few talks with clubs back in England, but there I was still perceived as a number two. I was trying to get away from that.”

“I was training at Liverpool to keep fit and I got a phone call from Feyenoord. They were desperate to get someone in as quick as possible due to an injury. It was an easy decision to go and play for what is probably, I would have to say, the biggest club in Holland.”

After helping the Rotterdam outfit to their 15th league title last year, new Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk then ended Jones’s four-year international hiatus and named him in his first squad — just three months before the World Cup.

Jones admits he’d love to be on the plane to Russia, but said World Cups would always evoke mixed emotions. “There’s probably a little bit of me that had associated national team with that (Luca),” said Jones, who is part of Australia's squad preparing this weeks friendlies with Norway and Colombia.

“It wasn’t always a good feeling, but you get to a point where you have to just kind of separate things and see it as professional life and personal life and make a gap in the two. It’s always been an aim and a dream to go to a World Cup and in one way I say that I was a part of it, but I wasn’t there for the whole thing. It’s still something that I want to tick off.”



Nikita Rukavystya is one of the lucky ones. A specialist at hitting form in the lead up to World Cups and after an ‘unbelievable’ experience in 2010, the former Perth Glory winger is aiming to do it all again. A well-timed loan to Belgian club Roeselare eight years ago earned Rukavystya a place in the Socceroos World Cup squad.

"It was a dream come true. It's not something you can really explain until you experience it," commented Rukavytsya, who now plies his trade for Israeli club Maccabi Haifa. "I was pretty young back then. To be a part of it and to play at a World Cup is unbelievable. Hopefully I can push on and (2018) can be my second one."

After turning out against Germany and Ghana in South Africa, Rukavystya joined 2. Bundesliga side Hertha BSC, where he featured regularly in his first season. His career then appeared to stall, with spells at Mainz 05 and Frankfurt not going according to plan and leading to an A-League return with Western Sydney Wanderers.

After four years out of the national team, 30-year old Rukavystya could have been forgiven for assuming his Socceroos career was over. But a move to Israel reignited the Ukrainian-born winger. After hitting 14 goals in 30 appearances for Beitar Jerusalem, Rukavytsya earned a move to Israeli giants Maccabi Haifa.

After a tough start in Haifa, Rukavystya proved he's added a new element to his game, proving his goal-scoring prowess with nine already this season. And an experienced goalscorer is exactly what the Socceroos require, so after earning a recall under Ange Postecoglou, now he's got his sights set on the 2018 World Cup.

"It's a new generation," he said. "The boys are playing in some good leagues and at some good clubs. You just have to keep working and doing your best. In the back of your mind the World Cup should push you to do better. Just do your best and enjoy the experience leading up to it."



Overseas investors are keen to buy Perth Glory from businessman Tony Sage, who has owned the A-League club for a decade. The official Glory line is that “For Sale” signs have not gone out, but it is understood there is strong Asian interest in buying the club.

It is also believed that a $15 million price tag has been put on the club and interest has also come from European and US investors. But the focus has now switched to Malaysia where a group led by Dato Chan, co-owner and chairman of Cardiff City from May 2010 to 2013, is understood to have been in talks.

Perth Glory is in partnership with Malaysian football development program The Liga 1MCC, the brainchild of Dato Chan, through its junior academy and coaches. Sage, who has poured millions of dollars into the club since taking sole ownership a decade ago, denied their had been any firm offers. “No intention to sell,” he said.

However, Sage did confirm he had been approached by a middle man from investors who failed in a bid to buy Adelaide United, sold earlier this month to a Netherlands-based consortium for an estimated $12 million. “Three consortiums called and offers made. One was European with Chinese investors in a European club,” Sage said.

“Informal offers were made. When I asked about numbers they said the same as Adelaide. I was not interested. The numbers will double if clubs get control of an independent A-League. But the numbers are irrelevant anyway. We have a bigger stadium, 2000 more members, $1 million more in corporate revenue and a bigger population.”

Sage has said the club lost an average $2 million a year over the past 11 seasons and though it was frustrating not to have won any silverware he would continue to support the club. “I love the club,” Sage said. “It’s part of the family. It’s a family passion.”



Socceroos defender Josh Risdon has revealed his nerves ahead of meeting new Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk at the national team training camp in Oslo. Risdon, much like the rest of Australia’s 26-man squad, went into camp unsure of what to expect from the Dutchman as he sets out to shape the team to his style for World Cup warm-up matches against Norway and Colombia.

25-year old Risdon was a regular contributor under Ange Postecoglou and was pleased to earn a national team recall, but he did admit his trepidation in meeting the man who took the Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup final. “It was a bit nerve-wracking to meet the new coach,” Risdon said.

“I’m very excited to be in camp with all the boys again and working towards these next two games. It's the first camp together with the new coach so everyone is going to want to impress and do well with their first impressions. It's going to be a bit competitive this week in training - everyone is going to want to play in these two upcoming games so that will be good for the team.”

Risdon has hit the ground running since his mid-year move to Western Sydney Wanderers from Perth Glory. And he is determined achieve the boyhood dream which has been his primary inspiration this season. “That feeling when we qualified in Sydney was an amazing feeling and it spurred me on to make sure I'm there in Russia,” he said. “It's been a big part of getting me through this season.”

“Back at the Wanderers, focusing each week, playing well is in the back of my mind knowing that if I do well, hopefully I can get to a World Cup. It's something I've dreamt about as a little kid and to be able to say that you've played at a World Cup will be an awesome achievement and something I want to tick off my list for my career. Hopefully I can do all the right things to be there in Russia.”



Socceroos' hopeful Nikita Rukavytsya continued his good form with a double for Maccabi Haifa in a 4-0 win overnight in the Israeli's top flight. The former Perth Glory attacker opened the scoring in the 19th minute and doubled his side's lead five minutes into the second half.

Rukavytsya has been in prolific form this season, with his double taking his season tally to 14 goals in all competitions. The 30-year old was brought back into the Socceroos fold in the 2018 World Cup qualifying play-offs by coach Ange Postecoglou after several years away.

The Ukraine-born forward was last week included in Bert van Marwijk's squad for the upcoming friendlies against Colombia and Norway. His career has taken him to the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany as well as Israel, where he initially played for Beitar Jerusalem and more recently Maccabi Haifa.



Four years after his last call-up to the Socceroos, goalkeeper Brad Jones finds himself back in the fold and says it's something he "never gave up on". The former Liverpool and Middlesbrough shot-stopper has excelled since moving to Dutch club Feyenoord, winning a drought-breaking title last season with 17 clean sheets.

And it hasn't stopped there. The Rotterdam giants' 1-0 win over Heracles in February was Jones' eleventh cleansheet of the current campaign. But despite his stellar form, Jones made just one appearance during the reign of previous national team coach, Ange Postecoglou.

Speaking to Feyenoord TV, 35-year old Jones expressed delight at reigniting his green and gold dream under new coach Bert van Marwijk. "It’s been awhile," Jones said. "Obviously I'm looking forward to getting back in, I'm just looking forward to what the future holds. It was something that I never really gave up on.

"But the way things were with the group, and with the staff, I knew that is was going to be difficult to change an opinion, I guess, with the coach. It’s nice now that a new coach comes in has obviously seen what I’ve been doing and wants to bring me in."

Jones said van Marwijk sought him out last month to chat about the Socceroos. "It was a positive talk and he obviously asked if I was available," Jones revealed. "I always have been. And yeah it was good to chat with him. For him it was good to hear the thoughts I had also on the set-up and the squad."

"You dream as a kid of representing your country, I’ve been fortunate enough to do it in the past. Maybe not as many times as I would have liked. At times I had some tough opposition. Mark Schwarzer was the established keeper for a long time then a change of manager brings a change of opinions."



Perth Soccer Club moved to third on the NPLWA table after a hard fought 3-1 win against Floreat Athena in the ‘City of Vincent Derby’ at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday evening. Hamza Hina gave the visitors the lead early, but the home side hit back with goals to Matthew Milenkovic and Rocco Pizzata and Paul Zimarino to seal the three points.

“It was a good win by the boys, hard to start the game knowing we were missing a key striker and couple midfielders but all the boys know we have depth in the squad and we are all confident in each other to help do the job that is needed and collect the three points,” Perth midfielder Kristian Santich said. “We expected Floreat to come out fighting and there early goal was tough to deal with but everyone remained calm and we knew we had the chances and ability to come back and win the game. Our three goals were all great finishes and it is good to see us starting to hit the target more often and take opportunities when they are needed.”

Floreat, who won for the first time this season against Balcatta last week, made the perfect to the game, and after soaking up the early Perth pressure they hit the front on 18 minutes. Dean Evans’ free kick was punched clear by Perth keeper Francis Solae, but only to Hina, and the former Inglewood winger finished well. Perth were having plenty of the ball but lacked the final pass in the final third, but as the half ended they starting to get on top and they were rewarded with the equaliser on 37 minutes.

Milenkovic started the move racing forward and feeding Niccolo Sabatini on the left. He cut inside his marker and picked out Milenkovic again on the edge of the penalty area, and he finished clinically low past Jason Saldaris. Then five minutes later they hit the front. Floreat failed to clear Sabatini’s corner, the ball falling to Pizzata, who powered the ball home from 20-yards to send them in to half time with the lead.

Both sides had great chances early in the second half. First Phil Arnold saw a header flash agonizingly wide, before Jason Saldaris stood tall to deny Zimarino, after good hold up play by Howles. It was end-to-end football as both sides went on the offensive. Arnold saw another effort drift wide, before Howles was denied by a great stop from Jason Saldaris. But on 68 minutes Perth scored the decisive third. Young midfielder Kristian Santich poked the ball through to Zimarino, who finished low past the keeper.

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 4 Adrian MADASCHI, 5 Niccolo SABATINI (10 Nicholas AMBROGIO 62’), 6 Harley ORR, 11 Matthew MILENKOVIC, 12 Jordan DE LEO, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 14 Kristian SANTICH, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 18 Richard HOWLES, 20 Paul ZIMARINO - Subs not used: RGK Malek KUC, 2 Alex SILLA, 19 Ali NAZARY, 21 Adam CARLINO

Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTA LUCIA, 4 Andrew SCALDAFERRO (12 James OWEN 77’), 5 Jamie STREET, 6 Jessie FULLER, 10 Calvin WHITNEY, 13 Hamza HINA 14 Ludovic BOI (21 Keylun POLLARD 71’), 15 Chris SALDARIS, 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Philip ARNOLD (11 Dennis GALAN 68’) - Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 16 Declan HUDSON - Referee: Tom Glavovic



Joondalup United’s poor start to the new season continued when winger Subiaco winger Josh Booysen helped himself to a hat-trick against his former club in their 4-0 win at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday evening. Booysen opened the scoring early, but it was a tight affair thereafter with good chances at both ends, but it was Rory Feely who doubled the visitors lead on the hour.

The home side then had Luke Serra sent off five minutes later and Subiaco took advantage with Booysen added to more to complete his hat-trick and seal the first of the season for Ian McMurray’s side. “I thought it was an important win for us, our first three points to get us going,” Booysen said. “We're already looking to next week and we will go in with a lot of confidents.”

Joondalup opened brightly and Matt Sparrow and Johnny Chalmers saw shots flash wide of the target, but it was Subiaco who opened the scoring on 16 minutes, when Booysen lost his marker to head home Alex Randell’s corner. James Bosdet then produced a great save to keep the home side in it, before Elliot Tattersall cross shot went narrowly wide at the other end.

Tattersall was then denied by a smart save from Ryan Montgomery, before Bosdet produced another stunning save from Rory Feely. It was end-to-end football and the home faithful thought they had scored just before half time when Chalmers pin point cross picked out Jay Marsden, but with the goal at his mercy he could only head onto the post and behind for a corner.

The home side were out of the blocks after half time and Montgomery produced a great low save to Chalmers, before Sparrow fired over from the resulting corner. But on the hour Subiaco doubled their advantage, Feely was sent racing clear and he finished low past the oncoming Bosdet. Joondalup then were reduced to ten men when referee Nico Hoyle sent off Serra for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity. Booysen put the game beyond doubt, when he bagged his second in the 69th minute, then eight minutes later he completed his hat trick.

“We gave away a poor goal from a set piece early but we created multiple chances after that. Despite the red card we kept going and I was pleased with our character,” Joondalup Coach Nick Jennings said. “The only way from here is up. I’m a positive person and we will remain upbeat and aim to get our first points next week.”

Joondalup United: GK James BOSDET, 2 John CHALMERS, 5 Joel LEDSHAM, 6 Sam WYNNE (4 Danny O’SHEA), 7. Matthew SPARROW (C), 8. Jay MARSDEN, 10. Elliot TATTERSALL, 11. Anthony TAYLOR, 17. Luke SERRA, 19. Adam BUCKLEY (22. Parviz SHIZARDI), 25. Greg PELLOW (15 Callum STOCKS - Subs not used: RGK Harley CURRAN - Red cards: Serra 65

Subiaco: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 4 Alex RANDELL (13 Fanuel DAWIT 82’), 6 Jackson DONGRAY, 9 Rory FEELY (5 Manase ABANDELWA 80’), 10 Asher NELSON (19 Ian McMURRAY 71’), 11 Joshua BOOYSEN, 12 Nathan SMITH, 14 Ross JARMAN, 16 Steve PURTON, 17 Alex CASTIELLO, 18 David PERICH - Sub not used: RGK Teophile BROWN, 8 Daniel PEARCE - Referee: Nico Hoyle



Bayswater City maintained their perfect start to the NPLWA season after a come-from-behind 2-1 win against a 10 man Inglewood United at Frank Drago Reserve. Ashley Rosindale had given the visitors a perfect start scoring after only two minutes, but the striker went from hero to villain when he was a sent off 13 minutes later. Bayswater then lost their top goalscorer Gustavo Giron-Marulanda with a serious knee injury. But after half time they took advantage of their numerical advantage after the break with Marulanda’s replacement Luka Ninkovic levelling, before Jason Mirco won it for Chris Coyne’s side on the hour.

"I’m obviously not disappointed with the result but for me we haven’t started playing great football yet,” Bayswater coach Chris Coyne said. “At times we are doing it, but we aren’t quite doing it for 90 minutes yet and that’s what I want to see because we’re a team that like to play good football. We had a few chances to seal the game and make it more comfortable, but the boys did well to roll up their socks and get the result against a fellow contender.”

It was Inglewood who got off to the perfect start and they were ahead on two minutes. David Cyrus met Ellis Healing’s corner and Rosindale got the final touch to score. But Rosindale’s day ended 13 minutes later, when he was shown a straight card by referee Michal Jasinski for a lunging tackle on Todd Howarth. Bayswater looked to make their numerical advantage count and Inglewood keeper denied Paul McCarthy’s header, before the Inglewood custodian was down quick to push Gian Albano’s deflected shot.

It got worse for the home side ten minutes before half time when Giron-Marulanda was forced off the pitch with what looked like a serious knee injury. But it was his replacement who levelled for Bayswater, Mirco made space down the left and cut inside his marker and crossed to Ninkovic who headed home. The home side were well on top and their pressure was rewarded on the hour when Howarth’s free-kick was headed home by Mirco.

Adam Harris then saw a shot flash wide, before Dunn denied Albano when sent one-on-one with the keeper. The ten men went in search of an equaliser late, Healing’s free-kick took a deflection and crashed into the post, with Steve Burton and Brian Woodall unable to divert the rebound home, before Jamie Murphy then latched onto Woodall’s perfectly weighted pass but could only lift the ball over the bar, and Bayswater held on to seal their fourth win.

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 4 Arran MAPLESTONE (21 Riley VAN DIRKEN 76’), 5 Adam HARRIS, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 8 Paul MCCARTHY, 9 Gustavo MARULANDA (19 Luka NINKOVIC 35’), 10 Jason MIRCO (23 Andrija JUKIC 88’), 13 Trent KAY, 15 Paul LLOYD, 17 Gian ALBANO, 24 Jake SARDELIC - Subs not used: RGK Dejan ALEKSIC, 12 David STOKOE.

Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 3 David CYRUS, 5 Scott ROBERTSON, 7 Kenny KEOGH, 8 Jason BARRERA (6 Miki VUJACIC 80’), 10 Ashley ROSINDALE, 11 Ellis HEALING (16 Jamie MURPHY 80’), 14 Hanafi GHAZALI, 15 Brian FARRELL, 17 Rikki SMITH (19 Steve BURTON), 23 Brian WOODALL - Subs not used: RGK Michael COHEN, 4 Scott BLACKMORE - Red cards: Rosindale 15’ - Referee: Michal Jasinski



Sorrento moved to fifth on the NPLWA table after Alex Morgan’s goal just before half time gave them a 1-0 win against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve on Saturday afternoon. The loss kept Balcatta winless for the season, but they had chances to take something from the game, but they couldn’t find a way past Gulls custodian James Morgan. “It was an ugly win and we know how much better we can be and have to be,” goalscorer Alex Morgan said. “Balcatta played well and threw everyone forward towards the end but we defended well. Always good to score and always good to keep a clean sheet as well.”

It was an even first half with both sides struggling in the final third, but it was the home side who looked the more dangerous. But it was the visitors who created the first real chance. Scott Witschge was given far too much space, and his long-range shot was tipped onto the bar by Balcatta keeper Domenico Savoldelli. Both keepers were busy as the half went on as the game opened up and on 35 minutes it was Sorrento who opened the scoring. Witschge played the ball into the box and Alex Morgan managed to slide in to score. The home side were adamant the striker was offside, but referee Julian Serra waved away their protests.

The home side were on the front foot after the break but they couldn’t find a way past James Morgan, the Sorrento custodian producing two fine saves. Balcatta throw everything late, but Sorrento defended well and they couldn’t find the equaliser. “I thought we were the better team, I thought we were absolutely outstanding today and I think we beat them in everything except the scoreboard,” Balcatta coach Goran Stajic said. “The boys are hurting, they know that was big. Obviously Sorrento were resilient at the back but we created so many chances. We’re not far away at all, we can mix it with anyone and it won’t be long.”

Balcatta: GK Domenico SAVOLDELLI, 2 Joseph MARINO, 3 Hayden STEVENS, 4 Calum O’CONNELL, 5 Tom PELLIZZARI, 8 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 10 Jonathan CORNESS, 12 Anton DE FRANCHESCH (9 Dejan ANDRIC 59’, 18 Scott NEWLAND 65’), 15 Adriano JELENOVIC, 23 Lawrence SHURAMA (11 Renne ALBA 73’) - Subs not used: RGK Kyle MCDONALD, 13 Daniel HEPWORTH,

Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 4 Shaun KILKELLY, 6 Daryl PLATTEN, 7 Alex MORGAN, 10 Jordan ROBERTS, 14 Scott WITSCHGE, 17 Reece VITTIGLIA, 18 JORDAN BROWN, 19 Jack SALTER (11 Timothy HILL), 20 Brad MCDONALD, 21 Godwin DARKWA (23 Cameron TEECE 77’) - Subs not used: RGK Anastasis FARSALEAS, 13 Steve MCDONALD, 22 Danny JONES - Referee: Julian Serra



ECU Joondalup are still without a home win this season after a late goal from Anthony Skorich gave Cockburn City a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw at the ECU Football Stadium. Luccas Mello gave the visitors the lead mid-way through the first half, but the home side turned things around with Gordon Smith and Daryl Nicol scoring late. It was an arm wrestle after the break with both sides having chances but it was Skorich who converted his opportunity to earn his side a point. “We need to start banking some points, some of these draws feel like defeats,” ECU head coach Dale McCullough said. While his counterpart Scott Miller thought they deserved all three points. “I thought we looked like we were the only ones who were going to win it,” Miller said.

It was the home side who opened the brighter and skipper Nicol was a constant threat, and he pounced on a mistake from Cockburn defender Chris Thackray, but the Scotsman fired wide of the target. Moments later Nicol was in again, but his time Ryan Baker pushed his effort around the post. But on 21 minutes against the run of play Cockburn hit the front. Cameron Edwards’ free kick was punched by ECU keeper Johnny Perkins, but it went to Mello, who chipped the ball into the back of the net. The home side hit back and Nicol played in Tommy Amphlett but Baker stood tall to save. Moments later Thackray cleared Adam Tong’s header off the line.

It was one-way traffic and two minutes from half time ECU restored parity. Smith tapping home from close range after Amphlett’s low shot was parried by Cockburn keeper Barker. Then in stoppage time ECU hit the front, Nicol finishing well to send them into the break with the lead. The Jacks burst out of the blocks in the second half as they went in search of a third goal with Amphlett and Nicol causing the Cockburn defence all sorts of problems, but they held firm and started to get into the game themselves and Mello almost grabbed his second of the game but his free-kick clipped the top of the bar. But on 73 minutes Cockburn levelled, Skorich lost his marker in the box and headed home and both sides had to take a share of the spoils.

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Jack JONES, 3 Ross MILLARD, 5 Adam TONG, 6 Lukas DE LIMA (7 Cameron MURRAY 74’), 8 Josh WHITMORE, 9 Daryl NICOL (c), 10 Gordon SMITH, 11 Andy HIGGINS, 13 Tommy AMPHLETT (14 Ethan BROOKS 87’), 19 Cian HIRRELL - Subs not used: RGK Jack NUNN, 12 Ryan MCDARBY, 16 Logan MCISSAC

Cockburn City: GK Ryan BARKER, 2 Chris THACKRAY (9 Liam MURRAY 71’), 5 Kieron STALLARD, 6 Rueben TRISTAO, 7 Luccas MELLO, 8 Cameron EDWARDS (c), 15 Daniel SANTICH, 16 Daniel ROBINSON (10 David ARAYA 54’), 17 Jesse LAZZARO, 18 Aden DA LUZ, 19 Anthony SKORICH - Sub not used: RGK Luke RADONICH, 20 James OLDFIELD - Referee: Steven Gregory



Stirling Lions won for the first time this season after coming from 2-0 down at half time to beat Armadale 3-2 at Macedonia Park. Goals from Chris Jackson and Michael Rizidis had the visitors well on top at the break, but a brace from Steve Sokol levelled things up, before David Micevski celebrated his first start of the season by bagging the winner 16 minutes from time.

Stirling coach Keegan Ashley praised his side’s character after the interval as well as the performance of Sokol. “It’s a fantastic feeling to comeback after going two down,” he said. “In the second-half we started to work harder and execute our tactics better and we got our reward. “So far we’ve only managed to put a good 45 minutes together, but once we start putting 90 together I think we’ll do fine this season. I’m very happy with Steve’s performance, he played very well in the second-half and thoroughly deserved his two goals.”

Armadale got off to a quick start and they were ahead on eight minutes, when Jackson curled a free-kick into the top corner. It looked like being a long day for the home side when Armadale added a second on 22 minutes. A ball over the top sent Rizidis clear and his well-timed volley flew past Lance Alavakis and into the back of the net.

Whatever Ashley said at half time worked, as the Lions were a different beast after the break and reduced the margin 11 minutes in. Sokol was sent one-on-one Armadale keeper Sam Hutchings, and he kept his composure and slotted the ball home. Sokol was at it again just four minutes later, when he poked the ball past the onrushing Hutchings before passing the rolling the ball into an empty net.

The home fans were out of their seats again 15 minutes later, when the Lions completed their comeback. Micevski found space on the edge of the penalty area and the midfielder curled home superb much to the delight of the home faithful. But five minutes from time Armadale had the perfect opportunity to level when referee Joshua Nixon pointed to spot. Jackson stepped up but Alavakis guessed the right way to deny him and Stirling hung on for all three points.

“We showed the best and worst of our abilities today,” Armadale Coach John O’Reilly said. “In the second-half we took our foot off the pedal and all of a sudden we got caught out and found ourselves losing. In the first-half when we were in possession we looked relaxed and moved the ball well but in the second the nerves started to kick in, we gave away possession too easily and we were punished for it. We need to learn to absorb the pressure when it comes and play the same style of football for 90 minutes.”

Stirling Lions: GK Lance ALAVAKIS, 2 David MOLINARI, 4 Alex SULESKI, 5 Liam HENDERSON, 6 Dhors CHOL, 7 Dean CUMMINGS (C), 8 Dejan SPASESKI, 10 David MICEVSKI (19 Zane CASELLA 82’), 11 Alex TANEVSKI 14 Steve SOKOL, 18 Ben CAMPBELL (12 Matthew CHERRIE 54’) - Subs not used: RGK Pasquale GIOFFRE, 13 Joey PERKINS, 15 Nathan DE ABREU

Armadale: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 3 Dylan DA SILVA, 4 Nathan COSTELLO (C), 5 David ANNALL, 7 Charlie KENNA, 8 Michael LAWSON (12 Dannie RICHMAN 71), 9 Billy QUINNCROFT (17 James ATKINS 86’), 10 Chris JACKSON, 11 Michael RIZIDIS, 15 Ali GHOLAMI (6 Kevin CASTLE 79’), 21 Beau RAHIM - Subs not used: RGK Duncan LENNON-BLACK, 14 Jonathan BOGONI - Referee: Joshua Nixon



Perth Glory have put the rest of the NPLWA on notice that their early season form is not a flash in the pan after beating Forrestfield United 5-0 at the Wildlife Safari Stadium, Hartfield Park on Saturday evening. Joe Knowles gave the visitors the lead early, but it was a tight affair with chances at both ends, but Glory took control after the break with Jake Brimmer, Daniel Stynes, Walter Scott and another to Knowles gave them a comprehensive win.

Glory defender Walter Scott said they had to work hard for the points, but deserved them. “Saturday night’s game was a great performance from the team, and we executed our game plan very successfully,” he told the Glory website. “We were very happy to keep a clean sheet and score some nice goals, approaching a difficult run of games, which will test us, we are excited with the challenges ahead. The group is working towards a common goal and I think it shows on the pitch with our togetherness. I was happy to get on the scoresheet and it’s something I am working to add into my game more regularly, to continue my development.”

The visitors made the perfect start opening the scoring after only seven minutes. The lively Chok Dau made space down the right and slipped in Knowles and the striker made no mistake. The home side almost hit back moments later, Glory failed to clear their lines and the ball landed at the feet of Hasani Sinclair, but the American striker’s shot crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. Both sides pressed in an entertaining game and there were late chances at both ends. First Forrestfield winger Rhys Loxley eased past his marker into the box, but he dragged his shot just wide, before Glory midfielder Daniel Stynes played the pacey Doh in on goal, but he fired inches past the post.

The game opened up early in the second half, and Stynes fired over the top, before Loxley cut inside his marker but failed to hit the target. But it was the visitors who would double their lead on 63 minutes, with Brimmer’s curling free kick from the edge of the box giving Parry no chance. It was one-way traffic and Callum Timmins rattled the crossbar with two long-range shots as we started to take control and we added a third on 68 minutes.

A slip up by defender Mark Barnett let in Knowles, who fed Stynes to score. Forrestfield continued to push forward and they went close to reducing the deficit when Thomas Jebb met Ben Rogers’ corner on the volley, but the woodwork came to the rescue of the visitors. But with Forrestfield pushing men forward they were caught out twice late with Glory putting the icing on the cake in injury time. First Knowles added his second, curing home superbly past Parry from the edge of the penalty area, before Scott made it 5-0 moments later rounding Parry to give them the three points.

Forrestfield United: GK Benjamin PARRY, 2 Tom SOUTHGATE, 4 Mark BARNETT, 5 Scott BARKER, 9 Hasani SINCLAIR, 10 Jordan HART (7 Callum ROBERTS 56’), 11 Liam MERRIGAN, 12 Callum DOBBS (8 Mitchell CROCKER 65’), 16 Thomas JEBB, 17 Jamie DUNCAN, 23 Rhys LOXLEY (14 Ben ROGERS 75’) - Subs not used: RGK Blake HENSHAW, 6 Leslie MARI

Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Luca BODNAR (15 Daniel WALSH 90+1’), 3 Walter SCOTT, 4 Riley WARLAND, 5 Ollie ANNIS, 6 Callum TIMMINS (12 Jack LEECH 80’) 7 Chok DAU, 8 Brandon WILSON, 9 Joe KNOWLES, 10 Jake BRIMMER, 11Daniel STYNES (14 Michael DOMFEH 77’) - Subs not used: RGK Nicolas SPECA, 13 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY Referee: Stuart Muldoon



The 2018 State League Grand Final will see Fremantle City take on UWA-Nedlands after both won though in hard fought Semi-Finals on Saturday evening. In the first Semi-Final UWA-Nedlands won through, but not before being pushed all the way by Division Two side Gosnells City in a 3-2 thriller. It was a rather scrappy opening to the match with neither side able to hold on to the ball for too long with a number of unforced turnovers. However on 15 minutes Luke Randazzo opened the scoring with a clinical finish following Conor Devlin's through-ball into the box. UWA then made it 2-0, Alex Kretowicz broke down the left, and the striker curled home into the bottom right-corner of the net. Gosnells were given a lifeline on the stroke of half-time when a corner was only cleared to Elliot Ireland who superb curling effort found the top corner from 20-metres out.

Gosnells momentum continued in the second-half, and 10 minutes in, they restored parity. A good through ball sent Jordan Parfitt clear, he rounded the goalkeeper and rolled the ball into an empty net. Both sides had plenty of chances in the final half hour, and defender Sam Carrello proved the hero late on, with his goal-line heroics preventing Gosnells a certain winner with a tap-in at the back stick.

But UWA claimed their spot in the final with just a few minutes remaining via the penalty spot. Bryce Conway had played through Zeke McPherson on the edge of the area, with the striker then cutting inside and going down under the challenge of the Gosnells captain. The referee deemed it a foul, but it looked a harsh decision, but Kretowicz stepped up and slotted home into the top corner to seal victory. “It was a very tight encounter, full credit to Gosnells for the way they battled back and levelled at 2-2,” UWA skipper Joshua Marocchi said.

“We seemed to lack the real killer instinct and when they pegged one back on the stroke of half time they carried the momentum into the 2nd half and scored within two minutes. But I was really pleased with how we stood up after they proceeded to pepper our defence for the next 10 minutes. Our boys will learn from the experience playing in the Semi-Final and we should be battle hardened after the effort Gosnells put in. We are really excited about playing in the clubs first Grand Final and the feeling and commitment from our squad is outstanding. Finals are what you play football for and Saturday against Fremantle proposes to be a juicy encounter. The boys are absolutely buzzing to finish the job at hand.”

If the first Semi-Final was a thriller the second was an epic, with Fremantle City wining 8-7 on penalties after the game had ended 4-4 at normal time. Fremantle were ahead on 20 minutes, when Wade Farmer deflected shot gave Wanneroo keeper no chance. But Wanneroo were level five minutes later. Scott Johnston was brought down in the box and the resultant penalty was well dispatched by Gareth Lloyd. Fremantle were back ahead, with Sean Browne scoring a well-taken goal, but with half time looming Wanneroo leveled again. Johnston found himself one-on-one with keeper after a great through ball and he made no mistake.

Minutes later the home side hit the front, again Johnston was sent clear and he finished clinically. The game looked over 20 minutes from time when Johnstone completed his hat-trick to give Wanneroo a 4-2 lead. Fremantle made some tactical changes and they were back in the game five minutes later when Alec Robinson shot on the turn flew into the net. Fremantle were pushing forward and they drew level when Rory Kiely’s through ball sent Farmer racing clear to score. So it was off to penalties and Tom Chudy was the hero saving Wanneroo’s tenth penalty, and Anthony Lomma stepped up to score the winner to send them into the final.

“It was a big let off for us, didn't play anywhere near the standards set and expected of us, but we showed good character the last 20 minutes or so to dig ourselves out and obviously winning on penalties gives it a buzz from our perspective,” Robinson said. “Wanneroo will probably be there or there about in division two and do press with great intensity which possibly backfired in the latter stages of the game when they tired and we were able to get back in.” Wanneroo Coach Tim Kantor was pleased with his side despite the defeat. “It was a very entertaining game, and probably one that got away,” he said. “But a very pleasing night series and great preparation for the season proper.”

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

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