Shamrock Rovers celebrating winning the State League Division One championship. (courtesy Shamrock Rovers)

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20.9.2014

COYNE PAYS TRIBUTE DISPITE LOSS (by Peter Simcox, nplwa.com.au)

Bayswater City Coach Chris Coyne was proud of his players, as his ten men bowed out of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2014 Finals Series, after losing 4-3 on penalties to South Australian minor premiers North Eastern MetroStars in at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday afternoon.

City defender Jamie Coyne was dismissed after only 12 minutes after he tangled with MetroStars striker Perry Mitris. The officials didn’t see the first incident, but the defender retaliated and was given a straight red card by Adam Fielding, after consulting his assistant. “I thought our boys were magnificent today, going down to ten men so early, and we were the side that had the clear cut chances,” he said. “I’m immensely proud of my players, I thought they handled themselves well, and worked their socks off for each other.”

After winning all before them this season in the NPL-WA, Coyne thought the red card shown to his brother Jamie changed the game. “The sending off was right, Jamie has apologised to the players after the game, but the officials missed the first one, but he did lash out and the red card was there, but we had to deal with it and get on with it,” he said. “Yes I’m disappointed, but overall you have to take everything into perspective, and maybe I’m being a greedy bugger and hoping for five, but fair play to them, they won it and they go on to next week. “We showed another side of our game today. We are an attacking football team, but after the sending off we were disciplined and kept our shape well and hit them on counter attack and created some good chances, it’s a credit to the players that they are prepared to dig in and work so hard for each other.”

With both sides locked at 0-0 after extra time, MetroStars keeper Daniel Godley was the hero saving two in the shoot-out to send them through to the next round and a trip to South Melbourne. “It’s a fantastic result for us, and I think everybody was on their last legs in the end, but in a penalty shoot-out anything can happen, I’m just happy to make a couple of saves,” he said. “Perth is never a good place to come to for me. I’ve been here with Adelaide City and the state team, and I’ve never won here in my life, so we’re just stoked to come out on top today.”

MetroStars coach Ivan Karlovic, who is leaving the club after this tournament, was delighted with the result on a hot and windy day. “It was a difficult game in difficult circumstances, but both sides had chances and I thought it was good game all-round, and at the end of the day it’s a lottery in a penalty shoot-out,” he said. “Credit to both sides, Bayswater battled hard with ten men and we did the same, so both sides can walk away with the heads held high. We have another trip to Melbourne next week and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

It was lively opening with both sides going close early. The lively Mitris raced clear after only two minutes, but his lob from the edge of the penalty area drifted wide. Then on five minutes Todd Howarth played Gustavo Giron-Marulanda in on goal, but the Colombian striker’s shot whistled over the top. Bayswater had to reshape their side after the sending off of Jamie Coyne, and the MetroStars began to take control. Mitris found space down the left on 24 minutes, and his deep cross picked out Scott Tunbridge, who fired over from six meters. Devon Spence then came to his sides rescue on the half hour, saving well to deny former Adelaide United midfielder Fabian Barbiero. The Bayswater custodian was at it again before the break, this time denying Tunbridge’s snap shot, and then pushing Joseph Olisena’s shot around the post.

Bayswater opened the second half well and Howarth played in David Heagney, and with the MetroStars defence looking for an offside flag, that never came, Heagney’s lob from 10 meters drifted inches past the far post. It was a great game with chances at both ends. MetroStars were denied by Spence again on 56 minutes, the keeper reacting well to tip Mitris’ shot over the top, and from the resulting corner skipper Adam Van Dommele fired inches wide. Moments later Heagney’s long-range shot flashed inches wide. City were hitting on the counter attack, and when Adam Bachiller found space and played in Heagney, Godley stood tall to deny the striker. The visitors pressed late in normal time, but again Spence denied them. First on 71 minutes, second half substitute Lawrence D’Arrigo raced clear from the impressive Barbiero’s through ball, but his shot was well saved by Spence, and moments later Spence denied Antony Solagna’s shot on the run.

In extra time both sides were out on their feet as the hot weather took its toll. But the visitors should have broken the deadlock on 104 minutes. Steven Grelli’s free kick picked out the unmarked Mitris, who headed over the top from three meters, with the goal at his mercy. Godley then saved well from James Isaia’s shot from the edge of the penalty area in the second period of extra time, but they couldn’t be separated and it was on to the penalty shoot-out. Both sides scored their opening three spot kicks but Godley guessed correctly to save Sam Mitchinson’s fourth, and the MetroStars custodian then saved Trent Kay’s fifth to win it.

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 2 Declan HARGREAVES, 3 Adam BACHILLER, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 8 Paul MCCARTHY, 9 Gustavo GIRON-MARULANDA (10 Damien CATALANO 69’), 13 Trent KAY (C), 16 Jamie COYNE, 20 Sam MITCHINSON, 21 David HEAGNEY (18 James ISAIA 87’), 23 Chris SALDARIS
Subs not used: RGK Joel DRISCOLL, 14 Harry BISSETT, 19 Aaron DELANEY
Yellow Card: Marulanda 64’
Red Cards: Coyne 12’

Northern Eastern MetroStars: GK Daniel GODLEY, 2 David MENECHELLA, 5 Lee ROBERTSON, 6 Anthony SOLAGNA (16 Andrew ORPHANOU 110’), 7 Michael D’ALOISIO, 9 Steven GRELLI (15 Lawrence D’ARRIGO 63’), 11 Scott TUNBRIDGE (10 Andrew CIARLA 85’), 18 Fabian BARBIERO, 19 Joseph OLISENA, 21 Adam VAN DOMMELE (C), 23 Perry MITRIS
Subs not used: RGK Julian CALI, 3 Stefan CALI
Yellow Cards: Olisena 49’

Referee: Adam Fielding
Asssitants: Josh Mannella and Stuart Muldoon

20.9.2014

CONCANNON GOAL GIVES SHAMROCK THE TITLE

A first half strike from midfielder Paul Concannon has given Shamrock Rovers a 1-0 win against Canning City at Burradah Reserve and with Ashfield losing at home to Bunbury Forum Force, the goal also gave the club their first Division One title in their history. Rovers Coach John O’Reilly was over the moon, but thanked Ashfield on a good season. “First of all I’d like thank Ashfield and Paul Dundo, for the great battle we have had this year, and to go down to the last game of the season was fantastic for the competition,” he said. “I am very proud of my players; they have been tremendous this year. Games have been tough but they have done the job on many occasions to get themselves over the line.” It’s been a great squad effort with all players having a hand in the success of winning the title. Thank you to all the supporters and the committee, but most of all a big thanks to Mike Ford for his work and assistance this year.”

Shamrock entered this game knowing that if there was any kind of slip up from Ashfield, they needed to do the job at Canning to get over the line on the final day. It was a tight opening with the first chance falling to the home side, Daniel Niederberger was picked out by Paul van Dongen, but his shot was straight at Lachlan McLindon. Soon after Rovers found their stride and started to pick up their game, and on the quarter hour they went close to the opener. Charlie Kenna made space down the right, his cross picked out Nick Little at the back post, whose header flashed inches past the post. Little went close again moments later but Luke Stonebridge denied him.

But on the half hour Rovers hit the front. A corner from Kenna was only half cleared by the Canning defence, and Concannon nipped into to fire home from five yards. It was end to end football with Canning hoping to send seven of their first team players out with a win, after all announcing their retirement, but both defences were on top with Paul Curran and Graham Doran for Rovers and Rory Mouttet and Dean Aplegren for City, outstanding at the back. But at half time Rovers went in as the team at the top of the league, as news filtered through that Ashfield were drawing 1-1 with Bunbury.

The visitor pressed looking for the comfort of a second goal, and they went close on the hour. Will Pender was sent racing down the right, he cut the ball back from the by-line but Alec Robinson miscued his shot to put the ball wide. Then ten minutes later a near identical ball by Mike Pritchard was played into the box, but this time substitute Gary Mahony shot was too close to the Canning keeper. Canning were not settling for a defeat and threatened themselves moments later, which had the Rovers’ faithful biting their nails, Niederbergers’ snap shot from the edge of the penalty area whistled past the post. With ten minutes remaining news came through that Ashfield were losing 3-1, and the Rovers players knew they needed to be resilient to clinch the title.

Concannon and second half substitute Brian Patterson were busy in the midfield, preventing Canning any chance of coming through the middle, but they were still dangerous down the flanks. A deep cross by Mark Trevisiol caused panic in the visitors defence but again they stood firm. Canning was throwing everything at Shamrock, but Dave Murphy, Darren O’Riordan, Doran and keeper McLindon were outstanding to thwart them. There was one final moment of drama in the 88th minute, when Canning had a corner, and even keeper Stonebridge came up to help, but when the ball was cleared it left Mahony and Trevisiol with a race towards the open Canning goal. The ball didn’t bounce kindly for either but it was Mahony who got the shot off, only to see the ball deflected away from his own goal line by Ryan Tucker at full stretch.

News came through on the final whistle that Ashfield had lost 3-2, which sent the Rovers players, coaches and fans into joyous scenes of celebration; although they quickly halted, to show a mark of respect for Canning players, Paul van Dongan, Michael van Dongan, Dean Aplegren, Duncan Hind, Rory Moutett, Daniel Niederberger, and Emlyn Whetnall, who were retiring from the game, and both clubs gave a guard of honour for them as they left the field. Likewise with equal respect, Canning then returned the favour to WA’s new state Division One Champions.

20.9.2014

ASHFIELD FEEL THE FORCE (by Daryn McCleave, footballwest.com.au)

Ashfield’s All Flags State League Division One title dreams were cruelly snatched away from them on the final day as they succumbed to only their second defeat of the season going down to Bunbury Forum Force 3-2 at Ashfield Reserve on Saturday. Instead the championship trophy went to Shamrock Rovers Perth who narrowly won 1-0 at Canning City to spark jubilant scenes at Burrendah Reserve.

Going into the final round both Ashfield and Shamrock were level on 52 points but with their vastly superior goal difference the Reds knew they only needed to win to clinch top spot. But it was not to be as ruthless finishing from the Force's Lee Stewart and Hayden Prosser (two) after Ruben Tristao had given the hosts the lead left them with a mountain to climb, with Tom Kennedy offering a glimmer of hope late on. But Bunbury held firm to take all three points back to the south west.

Disappointed Ashfield coach Paul Dundo said it was a bitter pill to swallow having led the table for half the season and going into the final game at home with the title in their own hands, but tried to remain positive after improving on last year's sixth place finish. "Football's a funny game and today we didn't take our chances and got caught on the break when we were committing numbers forward. Unfortunately if you don't make use of the ball in the final third teams can punish you," Dundo said. "Unfortunately today wasn't our day but when I look back over the season with this squad of players I felt we had a stronger depth, in having players that can come off the bench and can make an impact. "But all credit to Shamrock, they've stuck at, gone about their business in a quiet fashion, not beating teams as convincingly as we did but they've won more games and fair play to them they've won the league. Congratulations to John O'Reilly and everyone at Shamrock.”

Bunbury, who were the early pace-setters before fading away mid-season, can be satisfied with a third place finish after cruelly being denied a place in the inaugural National Premier Leagues WA. Coach Trent Hathaway was delighted to end the season on a high and avenge the 4-0 thumping they endured at home to Ashfield in the reverse fixture. "I told the boys to go out there and do their jobs, they're a passionate bunch and they worked their (socks) off. We denied them the title and ruined their party but at the end of the day we go out to win games. Credit to the boys," Hathaway said.

The afternoon appeared to be going as planned for the Reds when after a quiet opening they surged ahead with the first real chance of the game in the 19th minute. Howard Neighbour teed up Ruben Tristao on the left hand side of the penalty and his low finish gave visiting keeper Ryan Montgomery no chance at his near post. But five minutes later Bunbury found an equaliser after a surging run and cross from the right was converted at full stretch at the back post by Lee Stewart.

The two sides went in at the break all square and Ashfield came out knowing Shamrock were leading and they needed to find another goal, but it was the Force who struck the next blow. Hayden Prosser worked himself some space down the right before playing a neat one-two and bursting into the box at an angle before firing past a largely untroubled John Perkins in the Ashfield goal. The home side had to find a response and despite bossing possession, found the Bunbury defence and Montgomery in no mood to give up their advantage. And Ashfield were dealt a killer blow on 76 minutes after a long ball found Jayden Prosser who struck a sweet first time volley across goal and in off the far post. The home side though were given a lifeline with nine minutes remaining when Force were penalised for handball in the box, and despite seeing Montgomery block Joe Briggs' spot-kick, Tom Kennedy reacted quickest to pounce on the rebound. Ryan Cox had a great chance to level in the 86th minute but Montgomery showed a strong hand to turn his effort over, and with it went any hopes of a Man City-style comeback for the hosts.

20.9.2014

FIRST GOAL FOR KENNEDY CLINCHES AWAY WIN

Defender Alanna Kennedy has scored her first goal for Perth Glory Women to clinch a 2-1 win over Newcastle Jets this afternoon at Magic Park. Kennedy, one of six Matildas to join Glory Women for the new campaign, scored in first half stoppage time to add to Marianna Tabina’s opener. “It was really exciting to get my first goal for Glory,” Kennedy said. “I’m back on the east coast and a lot closer to home, so to come here today and score in front of my friends and family felt really good.”

Tabain opened the scoring after 34 minutes by converting a free-kick form just outside the 18-yard box. And when Kennedy doubled the visitors lead it looked as though Glory Women would run away with the game. However, Newcastle had other ideas and in the 62nd minute Tara Andrews slotted in at close-range. Samantha Kerr thought she’d restored Glory Women’s two-goal buffer soon after but referee Kelly Jones disallowed the goal, and the same fate befell Victoria Huster ten minutes later. Substitute Gabrielle Marzano rattled the crossbar with a venomous strike as Glory Women sought to seal the win late on.

20.9.2014

FACILITIES LACKING FOR WOMEN'S SPORT

Sport clubrooms that fail to cater for women are being targeted by Perth councils concerned that women may be dissuaded from playing organised sport. More councils are applying for State Government grants to install facilities such as women's change rooms at ageing venues. City of Stirling councillor Elizabeth Re said facilities for women were "not anywhere near the facilities for men". The issue is also in the spotlight at the City of the Armadale, which recently completed a strategic review that highlighted the need for improvement.

Department of Sport and Recreation director-general Ron Alexander said the department had seen an increase in grant applications citing the need for facilities catering to women. "Some of the older clubrooms may have change rooms not suitable for women, built at a time when women didn't have the opportunity to play particular sports in organised competition," he said. "These days, more women are playing sports traditionally associated with men. We are seeing more applications to the Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund that acknowledge the growth in women's participation and the differing requirements."

Armadale Soccer Club member Eliza Stockey said the lack of women's change rooms at Alfred Skeet Reserve meant players either got changed "in the middle of the oval" or in the toilets. The reserve will soon have female change rooms installed under plans funded by the city and a CSRFF grant. Armadale mayor Henry Zelones said the city had identified key venues to be upgraded in coming years. "It's one of the things that the community expects," Mr Zelones said.

19.9.2014

GLORY WOMEN SETTLED FOR NEWCASTLE TRIP

Coach Jamie Harnwell will have the rare luxury of playing an unchanged starting line-up when Perth Glory Women take on Newcastle Jets tomorrow at Magic Park. After a short week on the training track, Harnwell has opted to make use of the same 15 players that took out all the points last weekend over Brisbane Roar. “I think it’s the first time for a while,” Harnwell said. “I don’t think I did it once last season with the same starting eleven, the same squad. It breeds familiarity and confidence but you’ve got to also look at the flipside and be prepared to make changes if they’re necessary. After last weekend’s performance, I haven’t felt the need for it.”

While Glory Women got their season off to a great start against Brisbane, courtesy of a Kate Gill double, Newcastle poses a new challenge after they defeated champions Melbourne Victory in round one. “Three months ago people would’ve looked at Newcastle and seen some of the players who were rumoured to be leaving and they would’ve had that pencilled down for three points,” Harnwell said. “They got one point all of last year and suddenly they’ve knocked off Melbourne Victory. So there won’t be any complacency and we’ve spoken about that this week. We’ve had a fantastic start but there are eleven games and we’ve got to perform like we did last week in every single game.”

19.9.2014

NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUES INTERSTATE PLAY-OFF PREVIEW

Bayswater City will be looking to add to their already successful season when they take on South Australian NPL league winners North Eastern MetroStars in the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2014 Finals Series at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday (2pm) Coach Chris Coyne has managed to bring his side down to e arth after their 1-0 win against Perth SC in last week’s NPL-WA Grand Final, and he has done his homework on Saturday’s opponents and believes his side are up for the challenge. “The lads enjoyed last week’s win, it’s not that often you win a Grand Final, and I’m sure there were a few sore heads on Sunday morning, but they have trained well this week and they are ready to go again on Saturday,” he said. “MetroStar’s are a good side with some experienced players, but I’ve had a good chat to Adelaide City coach, and good friend Damien Mori regarding them, and we’ve watched a few videos so we know their strengthens and weaknesses, so it should be a cracking tie and one were looking forward too.”

Bayswater skipper Trent Kay returned for the clubs win in the Grand Final last week, and he said all the players are relishing the challenge. “The boys are looking forward to this one, we've had a great season already but we want to make it five trophies,” he said. “Obviously they are the best team coming out of South Australia so the game will be of great standard, and with them losing their grand final last weekend, they will be looking to bounce back strongly against us. “We'll go into the game with plenty of confidence considering our strong win on the weekend and hopefully come through with the win. We want to show the rest of Australia how strong WA football really is and also get the Bayswater name out there.”

Metro Stars are based in Klemzig a north-eastern suburb of Adelaide, and former Perth Glory pair Shane Smeltz and Adriano Pellegrino played for the South Australian outfit in 2004. They head west after losing the NPL-SA Grand Final last weekend. They have finished top of the table for the last two seasons, but have been beaten in the Championship game on both occasions, and this season they were beaten 2-1 by Croydon Kings. Former Newcastle Jets striker Scott Tunbridge put them ahead after only nine minutes, but a penalty from Shaun McGreevy drew the Kings level before a 69 minute winner from Rocco Visconte won it, their first Championship win in 37-years. Perry Mitris has been in fine form in front of goal for MetroStars this season scoring 25 goals, while Tunbridge has also had a great season for the club and is looking forward to the game. “We’re all excited at the opportunity to play in the NPL, which in my opinion is a great innovative for football in Australia moving forward and I can't wait to test ourselves against the best in WA,” he said.

MetroStars Coach Ivan Karlovic will step down after the NPL playoffs, and he said they go into this weekend’s game to enjoy it and represent the state and the NPL-SA. “We’ll go there and play and we’ll see how we go,’ he said. “It’s unchartered territory for us, but we do know a little about them, we know they are a good side and they wouldn’t be in this position if they weren’t, so we are expecting a difficult game at their home ground. “It is difficult to prepare for the travel because it isn’t something that we are used to. We will do our best to cope with the different surroundings, but we’ll give it our best shot and hopefully represent the state and our league in the best possible way.” The winner of the Finals Series will receive automatic entry into next year’s Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 which will be a huge incentive for the eight competing clubs. The clubs to qualify for the PlayStation 4 NPL Finals Series, are the Premiers of each Member Federation’s respective NPL competition, Cooma Tigers (Capital Football), Weston Workers (Northern NSW Football), Bonnyrigg White Eagles (Football NSW), Palm Beach Sharks (Football Queensland), MetroStars SC (FFSA), South Hobart (Football Federation Tasmania), South Melbourne (FFV) and Bayswater City (Football West).

19.9.2014

DIVISION ONE PREVIEW, ROUND TWENTY-TWO

The Division One title will go down to the final game of the season, with Ashfield and Shamrock Rovers equal on points. Ashfield are in pole position, ahead on goal difference, and they know a win against Bunbury Forum Force at Ashfield Reserve on Saturday will give them the title. “Yes it is in our hands and what a fantastic way to end a long season, with a game at home and chance to be crowned champions,” Ashfield coach Paul Dundo said. “The playing group has worked extremely hard this season to be in this position, so knowing it’s in our own hands with a win against Bunbury is very pleasing. The players all know the importance of this league game and for some it’s the first opportunity to claim a league title, so the preparation for the game has been great this week and players know exactly what is at stake, so I am expecting them all to be more than up for the challenge. “Bunbury will travel to Ashfield this weekend not to solely prove that they shouldn’t have been relegated or excluded from the NPL, but more so to ensure a very competitive encounter and attempt to finish their season on a high.”

Shamrock Rovers meet Canning City at Burrendah Reserve, looking for the win and hoping Ashfield slip up. “We look forward to the challenge on Saturday, and of course we would love Bunbury to a job for us, but we are only focused on the events that we can control,” Shamrock Rovers Coach John O’Reilly said. “Mike Ford and I have really enjoyed working with the player group this year and where we are at this stage is all down to the mix of talent and effort of the players.”

It’s a huge day for Canning City too, with co-coaches Paul van Dongan and Michael van Dongan, along with Duncan Hind, Rory Moutett, Daniel Niederberger, and Emlyn Whetnall all playing their last game before retirement, and O’Reilly wished them all the best but not too much on Saturday. “All the players have played a big part in WA football and we would like to wish them all the best, after the game that is,” he said.

Paul Van Dongan has played most of his football at Canning and is hoping to go out a winner on the pitch. “I’d be lying if I said this club isn’t a part of me. At Canning City I’ve played alongside some greats of the game, and I’ve made friends for life, he said. “I’ve experienced the highs and lows of football and watched the passing of a great coach, Frank Longstaff, who helped this club win its only ever First Division title. “It would be great to see as many people down at the last game as possible. So if you’re free this Saturday to come and support the boys as we say goodbye.”

In other games Dianella White Eagle host Western Knights at the Dianella Reserve, the home side will be missing Milos Pavic, while David Annall and Johny Mirco will play their final game in WA football for the Knights. Gosnells City host Swan United at Walter Padbury Reserve. The home side will be missing the suspended pair Sean Taylor and Trent Blewett, while United will go into the game without Ross Cosgrave, Tim Hill, Lucas Whitehouse and Owen Curtis. UWA-Nedlands entertain Morley Windmills at the UWA Sports Park, while already relegated Wanneroo City travel to the Hyundai Stadium to take on Mandurah City.

19.9.2014

DIVISION TWO PREVIEW, ROUND TWENTY-TWO

The 2014 season ends this weekend, and League Champions Joondalup United will be looking to continue their unbeaten run for the season when they host Kelmscott Roos at Forrest Park on Saturday. It will be an emotional day for United coach Daniel Smith, who will be in charge for his last game, after relocating to the South West. “It’s been a great pleasure to lead the club and I will be hoping we can go out with a bang on Saturday,” he said. “We are all playing with the pressure knowing that one more game without defeat will complete our first season in the state league as an unbeaten side. It’s a great opportunity that the players are taking very seriously as we will be going out to win the game and to finish the season in style.” The home side will be bolstered by the return of Tony Taylor and Stuart Hartmann, but will be without Robbie Bain. Kelmscott will go into the game unchanged and Coach James Coffey said they are looking forward to the contest. “We go into the game to enjoy the day and hopefully be competitive against the team who has displayed all season worthiness to go up,” he said.

Rockingham City wrapped up the runners-up spot last week, and this week they take on Fremantle United at Hilton Reserve. “We go into the game against Fremantle knowing what they will bring, a never say die attitude and a direct, physical style. We felt we let them off the hook at our place earlier in the year and will be to finish 2014 with a win,” Coach Rob Crerar said. “This season has been one of mixed emotions; we are satisfied with our finish as runners up however we definitely feel we could have more points on the board. The club has a nice platform to build on for 2015 and things on and off the pitch is sound so it's an exciting time to be part of Rockingham City FC.” City welcome back Alex Grayson, Matt McDonald and Ryan Kennedy, but Reece Frank is unavailable.

In other games Forrestfield United host Melville City at Hartfield Park, the home side will be without Trent Wood, Jason Feather and Matt Harold. Joondalup City and Quinns meet in a local derby at the Iluka Sports Complex, while Kingsway Olympic do battle with Balga at Kingsway Reserve. In the final game Curtin University makes the trip to Arbor Grove Reserve to take on Ellenbrook United. “We will be looking to finish the season the way started 21 rounds ago and also use our previous encounter with Curtin as motivation to end the season with three points,” United keeper Jake Bungert said. The visitors will have Carlo Chiellini, Eddie Tikoft, Bryce Young and Kristian Bevan unavailable but Rory Binnie, Daniel Young and Nicolay Morland return to the squad.

19.9.2014

TESTIMONIAL THIRTY-YEARS IN THE MAKING

Sorrento games record holder Todd Harnwell will celebrate a remarkable thirty-year connection to the National Premier Leagues club with a testimonial match against Perth Glory at Percy Doyle Reserve tomorrow. The veteran attacker has played more than 400 senior matches for Sorrento and featured in some of the club's finest moments since starting in the junior ranks as a 4-year-old.

Harnwell had stints at Glory and Sengkang Marine in Singapore but Sorrento was always home, with the family boasting strong links to the club. Todd's father Derek is the club president, while brother and Glory legend Jamie has just completed his first season as co-coach of the Gulls' first team with Trevor Morgan. The next generation of Harnwells is now flowing into Sorrento's junior programs.

The durable Harnwell, who captained Sorrento for six seasons, rates the club's 2012 grand final win and consecutive cup triumphs in 2011-12 as the highlights of his long career. But the 34-year old remains unsure of what the future holds as he prepares for tomorrow's testimonial. "It's still very much up in the air," the Gulls legend said.

"If the club asked me to help out, I'd certainly always do that," Harnwell added. "But work and family commitments are making it more difficult, so it might be in a reduced capacity next year. Possibly still playing, but I might not be able to get to every game or training session every single week. I'm certainly not ready for coaching just yet." Saturday's game kicks off at 2.00pm, entry is $5 for adults and free for children under 16.

18.9.2014

NATIONAL PLAN FOR WHOLE OF FOOTBALL (courtesy Football Federation Australia)

Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop has today announced that the game will embark on a National Plan for the Whole of Football. Speaking at a State of the Game address in Sydney, Gallop said the time was right for the stakeholders of Australian football to join forces over the challenges and opportunities for the sport. “Everywhere you look at the moment, you can see that Australian football is enjoying a golden period,” said Gallop. “A lot of our current strength is down to the unity of purpose in the game.

The National Plan will cover all facets of football, including elite player and coach development; national teams; community football; facilities development; national competitions; fan connections and commercial revenues. “It’s time for a National Plan for the Whole of Football that will set us on our way towards making football the biggest and most popular game in Australia,” Gallop said. “This is not a plan just for FFA driven by the national body. As the name says, it's a plan for the Whole of Football and everyone in the game will have a role to play.”

Gallop said FFA would lead a major consultation process with all the game’s stakeholders. “After almost two years as CEO, I’m excited and ambitious for the game,” said Gallop, “but I've come to understand that Australian football suffers from a ‘burden of opportunity’. Football in Australia has a huge growth trajectory and massive potential, but we don't always have the capital, the resources and the structures to harvest the opportunity. The National Plan will set our sights on making football bigger and stronger much sooner.”

18.9.2014

JOEYS BOW OUT OF CHAMPIONSHIP, QUALIFY FOR WORLD CUP

Australia have bowed out of the Asian Football Confederation Under-16 championships following a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out semi-final loss to North Korea in Thailand. The Joeys, who sealed qualification for next year’s Under-17 World Cup by reaching the final four, bowed out of the tournament on penalties to North Korea. “The whole country should be proud of the way they played,” said coach Aurelio Vidmar. “We have thirteen months to the World Cup and when we get back to Australia we can closely look at other countries and areas they do well and we don't and look to improve in those parts.”

Australia’s campaign opened with a comfortable 3-0 win over China, courtesy of goals from Jackson Bandiera, Cameron Joice and Kosta Petratos. Charlie Devereux and Jamal Reiners found the net in a 2-0 defeat of Hong Kong before scoring a thrilling 4-2 victory over Japan, Jake Brimmer and Joice netting two apiece. The Joeys downed Malaysia 2-1 in a pulsating quarter-final encounter in which Joice and Daniel Maskin got the goals. Daniel Arzani scored with just minutes to spare to salvage a 1-1 draw with North Korea in the semi-finals but, with no extra-time played at the tournament, the Joeys surrendered 4-1 from the spot.

16.9.2014

LIONS APPOINT MILEVSKI AS COACH FOR 2015 (Courtesy of Stirling Lions)

Stirling Lions have appointed Rob Milevski as their senior coach for the 2015 NPL-WA season. Milevski, a former player for the club, has played a part in the club structure as under 23’s coach for many years and successfully led the Lions squad to the Under 23 Grand Final against Perth this season.

Former Lions defender Daniel Stoitis will be the assistant next season, and club President Vick Lazarov said he is delighted both have accepted the roles. “Rob and Daniel have both progressed their coaching career, and we are pleased they have remained at Stirling Lions,” he said. “They have an extensive history with the club and we have been true to our philosophy of promoting home grown coaches who are striving to develop themselves and others.”

They will be aided by Gary Williams who has accepted the role of Football Operations Manager and as a group they will work together to bring success to our club. The Club also liked to thank Don Evans, who recently resigned from his position as Football Operations Manager for his years of service to the club, and they wish Don all the best in his future endeavours.

16.9.2014

JOONDALUP UNITED FLYING HIGH

It’s been a meteoric rise for Joondalup United in West Australian football. After finishing runners-up in the My Solar Sunday Amateur Premier Division last season, they have taken all before them in the State League Second Division, winning the league title with four games remaining. The Forrest Park club have been unbeaten in the league this season and Coach Daniel Smith, who will leave the club at the end of the campaign, said he has been delighted with his players’ commitment and they deserve a great deal of the praise. “It has been an unbelievable effort by the team which leaves everyone at the club very proud,” he said. “To go unbeaten is definitely the goal we have set now and has been since we got through round one unscathed, two games to go but the boys are focused on making this happen.”

It’s not just on the park that the club has taken giant strides, off it to they have been one of the clubs who have utilised the social media sites to spread the word, and Smith believes a strong committee also helps. “In terms of the last couple of seasons we have tried our best to be a respectful club, to other clubs, referees, and anyone we come across. We feel it’s imperative to do things in the right manner, you must win with dignity at this club,” he said. “The committee is now stronger than it’s ever been, we have a mixture of ages that range from 25-50 and it’s growing every year with people wanting to step up and help. I'd like to personally thank every one of them for their support over the season and putting their faith in me to lead the club that I love.”

A tight knit player group have performed well for United, and Smith said it’s been a real squad effort and they have worked hard at training and match days and got their rewards with the title. “Player wise we do not rely on one person, there is no superstar in this team, we are a team full of hard workers who all have the upmost respect for each other on and off the park, if you don't show this conduct for your team mates then you won't fit in regardless of how good you are on the pitch,” Smith explained. “I am very careful of who I bring to the club, it's this method that has allowed for us to recover from losing some of the clubs greatest players like Lee Jones and Neil Middler.”

The away support for the club has been nothing short of amazing, and most weeks they are in fancy dress, and Smith said everyone involved at the club is looking forward to the new challenge in division one. “The club is excited about matching it with the Division One clubs. They will keep the squad together and already have players expecting to sign for next season so I think they will be in a very good position to continue their climb up the leagues,” he said. “The fans have been unbelievable; you can see that they are actually excited about watching us every Saturday which shows that they are real supporters. We have had an amazing group of supporters since from our days playing Sunday League and this season as we have stepped up on the pitch so have the supporters off it.

Smith acknowledged the club couldn’t have achieved their success without the help of his assistant Coaches Rudy Proctor and Nick Jennings. “Rudy and Nick have worked with me this season and yes it's been a pleasure for me to win the league with these great men, he said. “Rudy and myself have been best mates for many years so it was certainly special to achieve this with him. Nick has been my number two since I took up coaching three years ago and our mutual respect for each other and obsession with winning and getting better every week has been the foundations of our success, which includes two cups and now two league titles. I feel extremely lucky to of had the opportunity to work with these guys.”

16.9.2014

BANKS HANGS UP THE GLVOES FOR ECU (Courtesy of ECU Joondalup)

The long and illustrious career of ECU Joondalup keeper Andy Banks came to a winning end after ECU beat Subiaco AFC 3-0 in the final National Premier League-WA game of the season. Banks, after playing professional football in the UK, said the decision to pull the pin was tough. “It was a tough decision, but the body is not getting any younger and the demand of training two nights a week was the main reason I retired,” Banks said. “The Training these days is very intense and it was taking me longer to recover this season. I have been very lucky to play as long as I have because of being injury free for most of my career.”

The keeper has had a great time at Joondalup and has had many highlights and low lights. “It’s been a great journey at the club and I wouldn’t change a thing,” he said. “Winning the reserve cup final in the first year of being in Australia was great and winning the ’Players player of the year twice, was special too. “But the most disappointing point was this season, when were beaten by Stirling Lions in the semi-final of the FFA cup this year.”

His career began in the UK and Banks has worked with some outstanding coaches. “There have been a number of quality coaches that have had an influence on my career throughout the years,” Banks explained. “Sam Allardyce was my youth team manager at Preston North End, and he was a manager who worked a lot on defensive shape and that helped us get to the FA youth cup semi-final against Everton and the Lancashire cup final twice on the bounce losing to Manchester United on both occasions.

Another coach was Jim Harvey, who gave Banks his league debut as a teenager. “Jim gave me my debut at the age of 19 at Morecambe FC and playing against the likes of Ipswich and Oxford in the FA cup was a highlight. Jim played a passing brand of football that teams couldn't live with and I had the pleasure to play with him as we'll before he hung up his boots. “But the biggest influence on my football his to be my parents. They took me up and down the M6 every weekend, and my mum even gave me her car when I was at Bury FC.”

Banks has been in outstanding form this season and he kept out new signing Jamie Serra, but he believes he will do well in the NPL next season. “Jamie has been first class since joining the club and it's been like when I first joined ECU when Andy Petterson was playing and I had to be patient and wait for my chance,” he said. “He's been really sharp in training and done well in the reserves. With me retiring this is a perfect opportunity for him to be first team keeper next year and years to come.” So what’s next for Andy Banks, he said he will still be around the club to pass on his experience in a coaching position. “I've had a brief chat with Dale (McCulloch) regarding next year and I've agreed to help him out and coach the keepers at the club, which I’m really looking forward too.”

16.9.2014

INJURY-HIT TAGGART BACK ON TRACK

The road to recovery has started for Adam Taggart as he aims to break into the Fulham side and kick-start his career with the Cottagers. The Socceroo striker returned to training on Tuesday, a fortnight after undergoing groin surgery. It’s the first step to what is expected to be at least a four week rehabilitation for the 21-year old, who is yet to make his full debut for the Championship club. Taggart picked up the problem early in the pre-season and while it wasn’t considered too serious, both he and the club decided minor decided surgery was the best option.

Taggart, last season’s A-League Golden Boot winner, made a single appearance for Fulham in pre-season before succumbing to injury. He joined the Cottagers on a three-year deal from Newcastle Jets after making two appearances at the World Cup in Brazil, including starting against Spain. He is desperate to get on the park as soon as possible, especially with January’s Asian Cup just around the corner. Fulham could certainly do with Taggart’s services, currently sitting last in the Championship with just one point from their first six games.

15.9.2014

POSTECOGLOU LOOKS AT WEST AUSTRALIAN QUARTET

Some of Western Australia’s shining young stars are in line for their Socceroos debuts as national team coach Ange Postecoglou continues to tinker ahead of next year’s Asian Cup. Postecoglou has vowed to extend his senior talent pool and plans to blood as many players as possible before settling on his squad for January’s tournament. Local products Trent Sainsbury and Chris Herd were handed debuts recently against Belgium and Daniel De Silva (Perth Glory), Ryan Edwards (reading) and Ryan Williams and Cameron Burgess (both Fulham) are also on the radar.

While delighted with the progress made since taking over from Holger Osieck, Postecoglou is concerned at the current lack of depth to support Tim Cahill, Mark Bresciano and company. “We’re creating some depth and exposing players to international football. As we get closer to the Asian Cup we will have a bigger pool to choose from,” Postecoglou said. “I want to widen the pool because I still think we are pretty shallow in areas. I know exactly where we’re at and what we have to do.” Australia will play the United Arab Emirates, Qatar (October) and Japan (November) in coming months.

14.9.2014

GILL GETS GLORY WOMEN OFF TO A WINNING START

Perth Glory Women got their new W-League campaign off to a flying start with a 2-1 victory over Brisbane Roar this afternoon at Ashfield Reserve. Australia international Kate Gill scored early in each half to set-up the win before Emily Gielnik pulled a goal back in the final minute for Brisbane. “You could see the energy in the first ten or fifteen minutes - they were working so hard and some of the football was superb,” said coach Jamie Harnwell. “You just see that quality we’ve got now in that front third, we’re always likely to score goals.”

It took the home team just 12 minutes to open their account with Gill sliding the ball into the bottom corner after goalkeeper Kate Stewart fumbled a shot from livewire Samantha Kerr. Brisbane didn’t come into the game until midway through the half when Gielnik and Hayley Raso called Mackenzie Arnold in the action. Gill doubled Glory’s advantage after 53 minutes by converting a penalty awarded after Kerr was brought down by Raso. Brisbane had looked unlikely to score until the 94th minute when Gielnik found space to flicked the ball past Arnold.

13.9.2014

HEAGNEY STRIKES AS BAYSWATER TAKES OUT THE NPL-WA TITLE (by Peter Simcox, nplwa.com.au)

A second half strike from Bayswater City’s David Heagney has given them a 1-0 win against Perth SC, in the inaugural National Premier League WA Grand Final, in front of 2,000 supporters at Dorrien Gardens. The former Huddersfield Town and St Johnstone striker’s long-range effort clinched Bayswater the NPL-WA championship and fourth trophy of the season to go with the Night Series, Cool Ridge Cup and league, in a historic day in WA football. Heagney was voted the player of the match and was awarded the ‘Gary Marocchi medal’, and he was just happy to do his job in a good team effort. “It’s an amazing feeling today, we played well and I thought we deserved the win,” he said. “We’ve been the best team all season and today we showed that, we all stood up when it was required it was a great team effort.”

The win was built on a good defensive display from Chris Coyne’s side. Perth had beaten them 5-0 in the semi-final two weeks ago, and defensive midfielder Declan Hargreaves was delighted with the win. “We had a game plan and the lads stuck to it, and we deserved to win in the end,” he said. “We needed a bit of confidence in the new system, and the goal came at a great time for us and we then knew if we kept our shape we would be hard to breakdown and that was the case.” “We knew it would be a tight game especially in the middle of the park, as some of their players have played at high level. I real enjoyed the battle, and we never gave them time on the ball and I thought we came out on top.”

It was a great day for football with a big crowd still entering the ground as the game got under way, and Perth dominated the early exchanges. Mark Doninger and Ashley Rosindale both testing Devon Spence, but the Bayswater custodian was up to the challenge. But on 12 minutes Perth should have taken the lead. Tim Robertson was sent down the right, and he outpaced Adam Bachiller and cut the ball back form the bye-line to the unmarked Aden da Luz, who blazed over from six meters.

Then on 18 minutes Spence almost handed the lead to Perth. Mark Pritchard’s corner was spilled by the keeper, the ball heading towards goal, but Spence reacted well to save the ball on the line. Perth was celebrating the goal, but assistant Mathew Cheeseman was well placed to rule the ball hadn’t crossed the line. Bayswater awoke from their slumber and Chris Saldaris’ header was straight at Francis Soale, and on the half hour Gustavo Giron-Marulanda cheeky back heel sent Heagney in on goal, but Soale was out bravely to block his shot. It was Bayswater who ended the half the stronger; Paul McCarthy’s long-range strike was deflected wide, before Soale had to be alert on the stroke half time to save Marulanda’s low shot from the edge of the penalty area.

After the break Bayswater had a strong penalty claim turned down by referee Adam Fielding after only five minutes, after Marulanda was brought down in the box by Clark Keltie, but four minutes later they hit the front. Heagney picked the ball up in the middle of the park and was given far too much room and the striker made Perth pay, rifling home from 25-yards to send their faithful into raptures. Perth were still in the game and on the hour midfielder Andreas Theodosiades sent a perfect ball over the top to Rosindale, whose shot beat Spence, but Kay got back to clear the ball off the line.

Bayswater sat back and let Perth come at them, but with Kay and the rest of the Perth backline outstanding, they struggled to create any clear cut chances, and Bayswater were hitting on the counter attack, with Brian Farrell and Heagney going close. Still Perth pressed and on 84 minutes they went close to the equaliser. Prichard’s corner was headed goalwards by second half substitute Harley Orr, but Declan Hargreaves was alert to clear the ball off the line. That was the final chance of the game and after three minutes of stoppage time the final whistle was greeted with delight from the Bayswater coaches, players and supporters alike, as they wrote themselves into the history book, becoming the first WA side to win four major trophies in a season.

Bayswater assistant coach Stewart Moses knew they had to play different to the way they played in the semi-final and said the team delivered their game plan to perfection on the day. “We had a game plan today and the lads stuck to it, they showed great character, especially after the 5-0 defeat last time we played Perth,” he said. “In saying that that defeat did us a favour, it brought us back to reality, and we worked on things on the training track. “They got in behind us last time, but we worked hard to deny them space and to the lads credit they did it superbly today.”

Perth had begun the game positively and had a number of good early chances that they failed to convert, and Coach Taki Nicolaidis said they were made to pay for their profligacy. “At the end of the day the lads gave me everything, but we couldn’t find the target, especially in the first half when we created a number of good chances but didn’t take them,” he said. “We knew it would be a tough game today and a superb strike from Heagney won it. But it’s all about if’s and but’s, we’ve come a long way from last season and things are looking up for our club and we have to take positives from the season.”

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 2 Josh WILKINS, 4 Craig SIMPSON, 6 Clark KELTIE, 8 Aden DA LUZ, 10 Ashley ROSINDALE, 12 Tim ROBERTSON (13 Alex CASTIELLO 67’), 14 Mark PRITCHARD, 15 Mark DONINGER, 19 Andreas THEODOSIADES (22 Harley ORR 78’), 20 James MAROCCHI (9 Friday ZICO 89’) - Subs not used: RGK Alex DUNN, 5 Laurence GAUGHAN
Yellow Cards: Nil

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 2 Declan HARGREAVES, 3 Adam BACHILLER, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 8 Paul MCCARTHY, 9 Gustavo GIRON MARALUNDA (16 Jamie COYNE 69’), 13 Trent KAY, 15 Brian FARRELL (10 Damien CATALANO 90’), 20 Sam MITCHINSON, 21 David HEAGNEY (18 James ISAIA 78’), 23 Chris SALDARIS - Subs not used: RGK Joel DRISCOLL, 5 Andy REALE
Yellow Cards: Nil

Attendance: 2,000
Referee: Adam Fielding
Assistants: Mathew Cheeseman and Josh Mannella
Fourth Official: David Bruce



Bayswater City are crowned 2014 NPL-WA Champions. (Photograph by Peter Simcox)

13.9.2014

PERTH EDGE LIONS IN UNDER 20'S GRAND FINAL (with Rachel Collier, nplwa.com.au)

A Thomas Southgate goal earned Perth SC a 1-0 win over Stirling Lions in the Under 20's NPL-WA championship decider at Dorrien Gardens. The goal came in the 45th minute and ensured victory for the ladder leaders, who finished 14 points ahead of their opponents. Conceding only 17 goals in 22 games, Perth’s defence again stood strong to ensure the title.

Coach Gavin Tate was thrilled with his team’s achievement. “I’m absolutely delighted,” he said. “We started back in December and there is a lot of hard work that goes into a season from all of the background staff, coaches and players. We’ve got a great bunch of lads who have really enjoyed this season and this is a fantastic way to cap it off. “A big congratulations must go to Stirling who have had a magic season. It’s great for us and them that we both got into the final, as we’ve been first and second throughout. We’ve pushed each other all the way, playing some fantastic head to head games and today was no exception.”

Perth won 19 of the 22 games played, losing on only three occasions and scoring a total of 65 goals. Tate believed justice was done in the final. “I’m from the old school and I believe that if you win the league you deserve to be champions,” he said. “We had to remain focused and concentrate on winning the finals and thankfully we did that. The players have been fantastic. “We created lots of chances today and we sort of felt that it might not be our day especially when the penalty was saved. “However, we spoke at half-time about remaining composed and keeping our lead in the second half. I told them to make sure we were focused on that second 45 and to maintain our physical and mental strength. It’s a long and difficult season and the boy’s hard work finally paid off today.”

Goal scorer Thomas Southgate made an outstanding contribution to the game and he got special praise from his coach. “It’s quite fitting that Thomas Southgate scored as he’s turning 20 this year,” he said. “I brought him to the club when he was 12 years old and it’s a lovely way for him to finish his season as he pushes for a first team place. Nathan De Abreu in the middle was superb, his ball winning and desire was exceptional.”

The early exchanges were littered with nervousness, with both sides struggling to stamp their authority on the game. The final heated up in the 13 minute when Perth’s first meaningful attack led to a penalty. Referee Gabriele Merlacco showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot when Nick Ambrogio was cut down in the box. Ambrogio picked himself up to take the resulting penalty but Stirling keeper Connor Campbell made an excellent diving save down to his left to keep the scores level. The penalty miss brought the game to life with Perth in the ascendency. Jordan Candlish beat two Stirling defenders with a mazy run in to the box. His side footed effort went just wide of the post. Perth looked dangerous on the attack and threatened again in the 26th minute. A clever back heel from Ambrogio found Candlish, who neatly played in Jordan DeLeo. His strike from the edge of the box went well over the bar.

Good build play once again by Southgate, Daniel Tait and Candlish led to a chance for Matt Milenkovic who could have put his side ahead. His effort from inside the area was well saved by Connor Campbell in the Stirling goal. Perth had the better of the play but were unable to break down the Stirling defence. The game was a stop start affair with both teams giving away needless free kicks. Stirling’s best chance of the half came in the 32nd minute. David Filippou’s free kick from the left wing fell to Simon Filocamo in the box, who instinctively poked an effort on goal. Perth keeper Domenic Savoldelli calmly collected after having very little goal threat to contend with. A late challenge by Stirling’s Dylan Filocamo, resulted in a booking and a Perth free kick. Southgate whipped in a dangerous looking ball from 40m, which the Stirling keeper palmed behind. Milenkovic took the subsequent corner, which goal keeper Campbell could only punch away to the edge of the box. An unmarked Southgate had time to weigh up a powerful low drive, which shot through a crowd of players and into the back of the net in the 45th minute.

With Stirling knowing that they had 45 minutes to reclaim the tie, they started the second half on the front foot. They were awarded a free kick in the 51st minute which Alen Patarov took. His effort cleared the wall but also cleared the crossbar. David Da Silva Dias looked threatening down Stirling’s right side as the lions continued to press for an equaliser. Opportunities were limited thanks to a strong Perth defence who were intent on keeping their 1-0 lead. Perth continued to look the mostly likely to score, with Southgate continuing to impress. His driving midfield run, out paced two Stirling players and his inch perfect through ball led to a one on one chance for Ambrogio, whose side footed effort was well saved in the 66th minute.

As the game entered its final stages, Stirling struggled to hold up the ball against a powerful and well organised Perth side. Chances were few and far between with Perth looking the most likely to extend their lead. Perth came close to a second goal in the 89th minute. Southgate’s cross field pass was kept in by substitute Conor Mackay who drove to the by-line and stood up a perfect far post cross for unmarked, fellow sub, Joel Bayobahe. His looping header beat the keeper but rebounded of the crossbar.

Stirling Lions coach Rob Milevski was proud of his team’s effort. “The boys have worked hard all season and it’s obviously disappointing to get to the final and lose but on the other side of the coin it’s great to have the top two sides battling out and Perth deserved it,” he said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game and we knew there wouldn’t be many goals in it. We played them two weeks ago and I thought we created a lot more chances that day, but we just couldn’t break them down today. They were very good defensively, yet again.” Over all the Stirling coach is pleased with how the season has gone. “We rebuilt the team from last year with about 70% of the squad being new faces,” he said. “The boys have gelled together really well from the start and to finish second in the league and make the top four final is a great achievement.”

Perth SC: 1 .D. SAVOLDELLI (GK) 2. M. SANTALUCIA 4. O. LALOVIC (c) 6. A. PIZZATA 7. M. MILENKOVIC 8. D. TAIT (3. C. BECSI 89’) 10. J. CANDLISH (14. J.BAYOBAHE 70’) 13. J. DELEO (11. C. MACKAY 84’) 15. N. AMBROGIO 21. N. DE ABREU 22. T. SOUTHGATE Substitutes not used: 16. A. CARLINO 24. S. WALLIS (GK)
Yellow Cards: 21. DE ABERU 23’ 8. TAIT 39’

Stirling Lions: 24. C. CAMPBELL (GK) 3. D. FILOCAMO 4. M. GAMA (9. J. KESSELL 78’) 5. D. FILIPPOU 7. L. KESSELL 8. A. PATAROV 10. S. FILOCAMO 11. R. PETKOV (c) 12. R. MARIANO 13. J. MATHIANG 14. D. DA SILVA DIAS (6. B. MTWALE 86’) Substitutions not used: 20. A. VACCA (GK) 16. M. PRESCOTT 2. M. SULAIMON
Yellow Cards: 3. FILOCAMO 44’ 14. DA SILVA DIAS 59’ 4. GAMA 77’

Referee: Gabriele Merlacco



Perth win the Under 20's NPL-WA championship. (Photograph courtesy Perth SC)

13.9.2014

PERTH WIN UNDER 18'S NPL TITLE WITH GREAT COMEBACK (with Colin Outhwaite, nplwa.com.au)

Perth SC scored in stoppage time to become NPL-WA Under 18's champions, beating minor premiers ECU Joondalup 3-2 at Dorrien Gardens. Perth have now won twenty-one Under 18's Premier League championships since the competition started in 1975, a remarkable statistic.

Bayley Montgomery-Brown and Ronald Rixer put the visitors two ahead but Brody Walker and Alex Silla equalised before Adam Carlino won the game in the dying moments. Perth Coach Richie Abrams said his side had shown character to come back and win. "ECU were determined," he said. "So to be 2-0 down and come back in the second half the way we did was fantastic. "It was disappointing that we were punished for two mistakes. But they sat back a lot deeper in the second half and they invited us on and you can't do that against us because we want to attack."

ECU started strongly with Jake Davies muscling his way into the box but keeper Scott Wallis reacted quickly at the near post. Under 15's player Montgomery-Brown made use of the early pressure when Davis thread a tight pass into the box in the 16th minute for him to fire confidently into the far corner. Perth settled and pushed for an equaliser towards the end of the first half and were almost rewarded but Ash Maynard-Brewer parried Cameron Pique's powerful first-time shot. ECU pressured early after the break and Conor Tucker worked beyond the defence and passed across to Callum Boshell, who pulled the ball from underneath him and tapped home.

But Perth picked up where they left off in the first half and responded with intent, Maynard-Brewer again proving his worth to keep them at bay - first with a low diving save to block Liam Healey's strike, then bravely pouncing to dispossess Airmoson Garley. But captain Walker provided the break-through with a cracking strike from range in the 66th minute. This gave Perth an extra edge and Alex Silla equalised six minutes from time as he met Healey's free-kick. Then Perth man of the match Carlino dispossessed captain Coire McGuigan and struck home to top off a perfect comeback for the league runners up.

ECU coach Danny Stevens said it was devastating to lose after being up 2-0. "We played some great football early on but we put so much energy into it that it was hard to maintain," he said. "To be honest, we'd have happily settled for penalties in the end but I felt we deserved to win for the majority of the game. "The boys have been relentless all year, so we'll learn from this and we'll be back next year just like I said last year."

PERTH SC: 1. Scott WALLIS, 2. Alex SILLA, 3. Joseph MARINO, 5. Brody WALKER (c), 7. Eric BIRIGHITTI, 8. Zach BROWNE (11. Luke GARAS 53'), 9. Adam CARLINO, 10. Cameron PIQUE (13. Michael ZIMARINO 53'), 12. Anthony TOPINI, 15. Liam HEALY, 17. Airmoson GARLEY (14. Joshua CORTES 85') Substitutes not used: 4. Daniel HENRY, 24. Alessandro BIRIGHITTI
Yellow cards: 5. Brody WALKER 67'

ECU JOONDALUP: 1. Ash MAYNARD-BREWER, 2. Richard BUTLER, 3. Bayley MONTGOMERY-BROWN, 4. Coire McGUIGAN (c), 5. Ronald RIXER, 8. Ollie ANNIS, 9. Jake DAVIES (11. Harry GENT 86'), 10. Conor TUCKER, 12. James BRUCE, 14. Callum BOSHELL, 15. Lucas Da LIMA (16. Lee HALLIDAY 46') Substitutes not used: 6. Ayden DRAGUN, 13. Bayley YEOMANS
Yellow cards: Nil

Referee: Tom Dowle



Perth celebrate winning the Under 18's NPL-WA title. (Photograph courtesy Perth SC)

13.9.2014

ROCKINGHAM CLAIM SECOND SPOT (courtesy Rockingham City and Forrestfield United)

ockingham City welcomed Forrestfield United to Lark Hill for the last home fixture of 2014, the clash had plenty of meaning with both sides looking to take out second spot on the ladder. Unfortunately for the home side they started their final home game slowly and where under constant pressure from a hardworking and physical away side, it was no surprise when Forrestfield took the lead. A long ball forward caught the Rockingham rear guard napping and Ben Fraser cut inside, his scuffed shot deceived everyone and nestled in the bottom corner of the net.

The constant aerial bombardment was causing Rockingham plenty of problems, Forrestfield looked to extend the lead with a series of set pieces however Rockingham stood firm. Finally Rockingham settled into their stride and neat inter play between Rowland, Laure and Louvie seen a Laure shot expertly saved by Matt Zappacosta in the Forrestfield goal, next up was Taono whose blistering volley was expertly saved by Zappacosta again as Rockingham started to dominate. It was no surprise when the equaliser came, a series of neat passes in the middle of the park set Louvie charging towards goal, he easily side stepped two Forrestfield defenders before striking across the keeper for a superb individual goal.

In the second half it was the home side looking far more comfortable, dominating in possession and creating several good opportunities in a real tussle between two of the top sides. The match may have turned out differently had the referee sent of the last Rockingham defender for a foul with Mitchell Sapsworth clear through on goal. Rockingham where awarded a penalty after strong work from Frank and Laure resulted in Frank being felled inside the box, after a brief discussion Captain David Clark relinquished the penalty to team mate Taono who made no mistake and put Rockingham in the driving seat.

There was time for some late drama as a Forrestfield set piece brought out the best in veteran Sharrock, it was Sapsworth again bringing in a finger tip save onto the bar from a bullet header which kept Rockingham in the lead. Soon after Rockingham burst throw on goal and youngster Josh Mackinder had the ball in the net only for an offside flag to rule that one out and then just before the end Laure rounded the keeper however his shot was placed over the cross bar with an empty net at his mercy and was probably the miss of the year. The game ended with Rockingham winning the game by two goals to one.

13.9.2014

FULHAM'S WILLIAMS LOVING THE GRIND IN NOT-SO-PRETTY CHAMPIONSHIP

Attacking midfielder Ryan Williams believes Fulham will only get better as the English Championship season goes on. Fulham has endured a horror start to its first Championship season in over a decade, after relegation from the Premier League, managing four losses and one draw from its opening five league fixtures. The Cottagers secured their first win of the 2014/2015 campaign with victory over Brentford in the League Cup and take on Reading this Saturday.

Williams, who made his Fulham first team debut in midfield in the 1-0 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers at the end of last month, said the young side is starting to gel. “We’re getting better as the weeks go on because everyone’s getting used to and more familiar with each other,” he said. “We’ve just signed a player, Matt Smith, who’s a big kind of target man, who can add some experience in the Championship. Hopefully he can get us a few goals and help us push up the table.”

William’s Fulham debut came two and half years after he arrived at the west London club from Portsmouth, after experiencing loan spells at Gillingham and Oxford United. “It’s been a long time coming I guess,” the 20-year old said. “But I’ve just been patient and went out on loan and it obviously did me a world of good. I managed to sign a new contract and now I’ve made my debut. I’ve just got to try and stay in the team now.

“I’ve started two out of a potential four games,” continued the winger, who racked up eight goals and five assists in 42 appearances for Oxford United last season. “I’m happy with that at the moment but as far as the team goes, we’re a really young team and half of them have only just made their professional debuts. I think with a few games under our belts and a few more experienced players that hopefully that we can get in will be a lot better for us moving forward.”

Williams, who was deployed in central midfield against Derby and on the right flank against Brentford, said he only felt a few nerves when he walked out at Craven Cottage against Wolverhampton. “Surprisingly I thought I would have been nervous walking out the tunnel but I wasn’t at all,” the Young Socceroo said. “But that’s good as it shows my experience now that I’ve played in a few big games against some big crowds. I was a little bit nervous but as soon as you touch the ball all the nerves go away and the business starts.”

Williams feels the recent League Cup defeat of Brentford can be a turning point and maybe the Cottagers had underestimated the toughness of the Championship. “The way we performed that day was good, we really grinded out a win and I think that’s what we need,” he said. “When our style of football isn’t working we’re going to need to grind the game out and defend as a team and not be so pretty sometimes. I think that’s how the league is.”

“Some games you’ll be able to play nice football and some games you have to sit behind the ball and smash it up the pitch,” he added. “That’s why its caught so many people out … You just don’t get time on the ball in this league compared with the Premier League. In the Premier League you have loads of time, you can turn players and play nice football. But down here it’s just a bit of everything – 100 miles an hour, tackles flying in everywhere. I love it, I like that kind of football, mixed in with a bit of nice football.”




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

If you have any additional information on Western Australian soccer that we have left out, or if you would like to get in contact, email Jacob at jacob@footballwa.net

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