STATE LEAGUE : AZZURRI WINS SEVENTH TITLE
To almost every soccer follower the Marlboro Shield first division championship is the major tournament of the soccer year. On that premise, Azzurri, who won the Marlboro Shield by seven points, have the right to call themselves the champions of 1975. Some would have it that the Top Four winners should be regarded as the number one club in much the same way as the Australian football code judges their premiership. But, quite rightly, opinion generally declares that a team which shows consistency to win a league championship are the champions. That feat takes planning over a whole season, where depth of reserves can make the difference between success and failure. A Top Four Cup or knockout competition rests so much on the form of the day where luck can play a big part.
No-one would challenge Azzurri's right to be the champions of 1975. Certainly a look at the first division table for 1975 would confirm their consistency over all other competitors. Following their victory in the Ampol night series, Azzurri started the league season slowly before establishing their superiority and crushing all opposition in the final run home. It was the fourth time that Azzurrl has accomplished the double of the Ampol and League competitions in one year. Things didn't go all Azzurri's way in the season. They unexpectedly lost 3-0 to Kwinana United in the D'Orsogna Cup, and they failed to underline their league championship when they were thrashed 3-1 by Floreat Athena in the grand-final of the Top Four Cup.
Azzurri didn't have it all their own way In the league to start with. They were without three of their players at the start of the season because of state commitments. Added to these losses' Robert Earl and George McMillan were suspended. Therefore, it came as little surprise to anyone when Kwinana recorded a first up 2-1 win over the Ampol champions. Then they fought grimly for a 1-1 draw with the 1975 surprise packet Spearwood Dalmatinac. Then came a gradual revival, rising from eighth position on the league ladder.
By the half-way mark, they had filled fourth position with 11 points, a tardy record for Azzurri. From this point Azzurri started to make themselves felt and within three more weeks they finally hit the front - a position they never relinquished for the rest of the season. In fact, from the seventh game of the season they dropped only one more point, in a 2-2 draw with Floreat Athena. The revival also coincided with the sudden improved form of striker McMillan who scored in all but two of those matches.
Looking at the rest of the field, it is difficult to pinpoint the better clubs. While the individual standards of the players undoubtedly improved, the combined efforts of most sides left a lot to be desired. Matches, generally, were dreary affairs with tactical imagination at a low level. In many respects, the season was saved by an excellent Top Four Cup.
East Fremantle-Trlcolore jumped from fifth to second place on the strength of the 2- 1 victory over Morley-Windmills in the final match of the league season. They edged out Athena and Ascot by a vastly superior goal average. Tricolore's strength can be easily seen with their defence, which conceded only 19 goals, seven less than Azzurrl. Tricolore was a consistent side, taking the lead on the league ladder twice, for one week on both occasions. When they hammered Ascot 5-0 at Wauhop Park on the 24th May, there was reason to think Tricolore would become a force. But they slumped, and almost lost a top four place In the final run home. Their top goal scorer was John O'Connell with 12 goals.
Floreat Athena looked an average side, even with their star imports. But suddenly, after languishing in the bottom half of the table in the opening rounds, they jumped from fifth to first place on May 10 when they beat Bayswater United 3-0. They never left the top four again, and held top position at one stage for four consecutive weeks before finally settling for third position.
Ascot, the 1974 runaway champions, were never able to reproduce that performance again In 1975, though they hit top spot for one week on May 17. But they demonstrated a consistency of their own as they filled fourth spot at the start, never left the top four and finished in fourth place at the end. International Ray Ilott could manage only ten goals to become the top scorer for the side.
Probably the best performance apart from Azzurri, relatively speaking of course, was that of first division newcomers Spearwood Dalmatinac. No-one gave them a chance of staying in the first division before the season started. They didn't have the benefit of hard match practise in the Ampol night series, and they had few stars to provide the flair necessary for a championship contender. But they did have former state captain Hugh Miller, new coach Bill Dumbell, state defender Bob Taylor and acquired goalkeeper Tony Witschge.
The acquisition of Witschge gave stability to a defence that had the style to playa holding game. Looking at the records one quickly sees the secret of Dalmatinac's exceptional year. They had six draws, with all but one of them registering 1-1 or less on the scoreboard. With one match left to play, they had moved, workmanlike, into fourth spot, and with only Inglewood-Kiev left to play, seemed destined for the top four cup. Unaccountably they stumbled at this last hurdle, losing 2-1 on their own ground at Wauhop Park and had to settle for fifth position. Still Dumbell earned himself the accolade of coach of the year for his effort, and Dalmatinac earned respect for a season weir done.
Morley-Windmills started in a blaze of glory and held top spot for a long time. But gradually they started to slip, making the odd little revival here and there, before finally settling for sixth place, a position they held for the last five weeks. Up front, goals were hard to come by. Bill Murray took club honours with eight goals.
Kwinana United dropped their standards somewhat in 1975, after filling a creditable fourth the year before. For the first three weeks they filled third position, but once out of the top four, never came close to it again, sinking as low as eighth before filling seventh place on the league ladder. In attack, they had the deadly finish of John O'Donnell, who ended with 12 goals, while defender Dave Jones won the Rothmans Gold Medal for the fairest and best player of the season after playing only 11 matches.
Inglewood-Kiev were a big disappointment again and only twice rose above seventh position at the start of the season. Even the evergreen Len Dundo looked jaded and out of touch, but he finished equal second top goalscorer of the season with 17 goals. Olympic-Klngsway continued to struggle and managed only 16 goals for the season.
Bayswater United's glorious run finally came to an end In 1975. In 1970, they won the second division championship in a canter and for the next two years ended up in second position on the league ladder. They won the Ampol Cup in 1972 and were grand-finalists in 1973 and 1974, being beaten by the odd goal on both occasions. They won the Top Four Cup in 1971 and qualified for the grand-final the following year. That run ended as quickly as it started, and in 1975 Bayswater could manage only a meagre seven points, having filled last place for most of the season.
It was a season in which relegation was a forgone conclusion long before the season ended. In the first division reserve competition, Ascot made three in a row, winning the title in the last game of the season. The Federation's first division under 16 competition had a spotty start with a number of forfeits by clubs who could not field teams. Olympic finally got their names into the record books by beating Tricolore by a vastly superior goal average after both teams had earned 30 points. Azzurri finished a close third on 29 points.
The second division competition was a real battle between Croatia North Perth and Cracovia. For most of the season it was a seesaw affair with first one then the other filling top spot. Only Swan Athletic kept in touch with them for a good portion of the competition. Long before the season ended it was obvious that either Croatia or Cracovia would gain promotion to the first division. At the last hurdle it seemed certain that Cracovia would rejoin the first division after only one year in second division.
But the unexpected happened, Cracovia crashed in the biggest upset of the season when they were held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Alemannia-Melville at Gairloch Oval. With Croatia beating Perth City 4-0, the two were locked together with 30 points. The big victory against Perth City, however, enabled Croatia to snatch the second division premiership and promotion. For good measure, Alemannia, apart from upsetting Cracovla, took out the second division reserves championship by two points over Rockingham United.
The third division title was easily accomplIshed by Macedonia United, who along with Osborne Park Galeb, who finished nine points away in second place, will compete in the second division next season. Sorrento just managed to beat Macedonia United In the third division reserves competition by two points. Because of a re-arrangement of the leagues with the second and third division now comprising two divisions of 12 clubs each, there was no relegation from second division. So Subiaco City and Swan Valley, who finished ninth and tenth respectively, live to fight another day for possible promotion to the first division.
ASSOCIATION CUP : MORLEY-WINDMILLS MAKE IT TWO IN A ROW
Morley-Windmills became only the fourth club to successfully retain their D'Orsogna Cup title when they defeated Kwinana United 3-1 in the final in 1975. The only other clubs to achieve this feat were East Fremantle-Tricolore, the old North Perth and Azzurri. When Windmills won the cup in 1974, it was their first success in the 15-year history of the tournament and the only title to have eluded them. That drought has now been well and truly broken.
Windmills, however, could not have wished for an easier defence of their title than the favourable draw they received in 1975. In the first round they strolled to a 9-0 win over third division Kelmscott, followed by a close 2-1 win over giant-killers Lathlain Meazza. An unimpressive 2-0 victory in the quarter-finals over struggling second division club Subiaco City came next, before meeting real opposition in the semi-final. Their opponents in this case were D'Orsogna cup specialists Cracovia. Windmills' 3-2 scoreline was a good indication of the hard fight required to make the final. In fact, the winner came from a penalty in the final second of play scored by Ernie Hannigan.
Kwinana also had an easy start, thrashing lowly second division Swan Valley 5-1, before dumping middle of the road Gosnells, also of the second division. But then came the real test - a confrontation with league champions Azzurri at Lake Monger Velodrome. Azzurri normally play well at the Velodrome, but in 1975 observers were calling the Velodrome Kwinana's home away from home following some of their spectacular victories there in the league season.
Their clash with Azzurri in this round came only a week after their seven-goal avalanche against Floreat Athena on the same ground. For the first 80 minutes, the game was locked in a goal-less struggle till finally a 40 metre high ball from full-back Neil Hardy into the penalty area eluded everyone and ended up in the back of the net. Two more quick goals and Kwinana went through to the semi-final, where they mopped up second division Swan Athletic 4-1.
There is hardly a knockout competition in which there are no upsets. Last year was no exception, and they started in the first round. In fact, upsets have never come so fast, with third division Lathlain Meazza leading the way with a stunning 4-2 victory over Tricolore. Second division Sorrento sent Bayswater United tumbling into cup oblivion with a powerful 5-3 win, a result that led to the resignation of Bayswater and former state coach John Adshead.
In the second round, second division Alemannia-Melville accounted for first division Spearwood Dalmatinac by the remarkable score of 5-1, and Cracovia (second division) ended first division Inglewood-Kiev's hopes. In this round the biggest upset was the high scoring 5-3 defeat of star studded Floreat Athena by Swan Athletic on Athena's home ground, Lake Monger Velodrome.
By the time the quarter-finals came round only four first division sides were left in the competition. Kwinana created a mild surprise by beating fellow first division team Azzurri but Cracovia, always a tough nut to crack, steamrolled their way to an impressive 3-1 win over Ascot. Finally, divisional form told in the semi-finals where Kwinana and Windmills qualified for the final.
The final saw Windmills installed as firm favourites, but when Kwinana took the lead in the fifth minute through Dave Jones, many a critic wavered at the thought of another upset. But Ken Worden brought Windmills back into the game with a fine equaliser. Kwinana fought tenaciously to regain the lead and could have gone in at half-time with at least a two-goal lead if chances had been taken.
The second-half was a different story with Worden adding his second goal within four minutes of the restart. From then on it was a one-way street with Windmills' talented combination living up to their reputation. A brilliant right-wing move which ended with Bill Murray scoring Windmills third ended Kwinana's resistance and their hopes of their first major title. The D'Orsogna Medal for the best player in the final deservedly went to Windmills brilliant midfielder Ernie Hannigan, who led the side superbly. The Reserve Cup went to Azzurri who beat third division Canning Corinthians 4-3 on penalities after the game had ended in a 0-0 draw.
NIGHT SERIES : AZZURRI START THE YEAR BRILLIANTLY
The appearance of Azzurri in the Ampol Cup grand-final is such a common event that it always surprises observers when they fail to make it. Looking back on the 15-year history of the competition, Azzurri has qualified for the grand-final eleven times and won the cup six times - a remarkable record. While they failed to make the grand-final in 1974, they soon re-established themselves last year. They battled their way to the top, where they met and defeated Ascot, a club which has become their fiercest rivals in recent years.
Battled is the word, because the 1975 competition was one of the toughest on record, with the top four in the balance till the final preliminary game. But on their way to the title, Azzurri suffered three morale-sapping defeats, all by the margin of 3-2. The first came against Ascot in the opening match. Typically, it was a close contest with the scores level 1-1 at half-time, and then 2-2. Seven minutes from the end, Ray Ilott popped up to score the winner. Ascot went through to the grand-final undefeated, and lost only three points in three draws.
Azzurri recovered magnificently to record four straight victories before falling to Morley-Windmills 3-2 in the second last preliminary game. Azzurri could have equalised in the closing minutes had George McMillan scored from at least one of the two open goals yawning before him. It was a meritorious win for Windmills who conceded goals only through an own goal and a penalty. Azzurri's place in the final four was never in doubt and they ended the preliminary rounds in second place behind Ascot. Final points on the eight-team league ladder were: Ascot (11), Azzurri (10), Morley-Windmills (9), East Fremantle-Tricolore (8), Floreat Athena (8), Inglewood-Kiev (5), Kwinana United (3), Bayswater United (2).
Windmills started shakily before they came home with a flying finish and three fine victories to fill third place. East Fremantle-Tricolore and Floreat Athena staged a tense finish to make fourth spot. In the final game, Athena needed a 3-0 win to displace Tricolore from fourth place by goal average. Athena started in blazing fashion scoring two quick goals and trying to make every post a winner. But Bayswater United, who had conceded nine goals in their previous two matches, also managed to do some scoring and killed Athena's aspirations.
As always, Inglewood-Kiev started in rare form with newcomer Ken Morton making a big impression. But they faded to an unimpressive sixth with only five points. Neither Kwinana United nor Bayswater presented any problems to the leaders, and they became the chopping blocks for others. The semi-finals produced some of the best soccer of the competition. Windmills looked impressive in their 2-1 win over Tricolore to qualify for the preliminary final.
The second semi-final was a brawling affair in which one controversial incident after another peppered the game from start to finish. Two players, Robert Earl (Azzurri) and Keith Henley (Ascot), were sent off, while Johnny Davidson suffered a cracked bone in the leg after a particularly nasty clash - an injury which affected his game for the rest of the year. To top it off, the referee had to book several players. Even Ray Ilott's equalising goal late in the match, which left the teams locked in a 2-2 draw, was disputed. Azzurri players claimed the ball had not crossed the line. In extra time, it was the cool professional magic of Reg Davies that sent Ascot forward to the grand-final as he volleyed a first time shot into the back of the Azzurri net.
The preliminary-final was another match with a ton of excitement, but it was marred by bad temper and poor refereeing. Already weakened by suspension to Sauro Iozzelli and Gordon McCulloch, Azzurri found themselves reduced to nine men when referee Barry Harwood sent Tindra Giuffre (33rd minute) and George McMillan (40th minute) off the field. But by then Azzurri had established a solid three goal lead through Dave Brady (3rd minute), Robert Earl (15th minute) and McMillan (20th). In the second-half, Windmills with all the advantages of manpower in their favour, produced a comedy of errors as they frantically tried to turn defeat into victory. Only Gary Mateljan succeeded as he scored Windmills only goal.
Azzurri started favourites in the grand- final, despite Ascot's record and their two victories over Azzurri. It was a memorable final, with more than 5,000 people turning up to see the two best teams in action, Ascot picked a young goalkeeper for his first senior match with them, and though he had the misfortune to see three goals go by, he performed well enough to impress State coach Alan Vest to pick him for the State tour of Indonesia. It was none other than Tony Witchge, who at 19 years had only played two senior games before. Today, of course, Tony reigns supreme as number one State keeper.
Within five minutes Eric Marocchi had put Azzurri in front. Brother Gary added to Ascot's woes in the 23rd minute by chipping a free kick to Alan Conney, who headed the Sky Blues further into the lead. Ascot's fighting spirit rose to the surface to peg back the pre-match favourites with goals from Ray Ilott seconds from half-time and Frank Bibby in the 51st minute. Ascot's joy was short-lived and jour minutes later Tony Trinca ghosted behind the Ascot defence to crash the ball into the roof of the net from close range for the winner and Azzurri's eleventh Ampol Cup.
For Trinca it was the climax of a wonderful competition. A panel of soccer journalists voted his goal against Bayswater United on January 21 as the goal of the competition, earning him $100. In the popular Junior Ampol Cup, Morley-Windmills lost their title when they were beaten 1-0 by Sorrento in the grand-final.
Inglewood-Kiev 3 (Dundo 2, Deans) Kwinana United 0
East Fremantle-Tricolore 4 (McCallum 2, Bennett, Hynd) Bayswater United 1 (Hallum)
Floreat Athena 2 (Sydenham 2) Morley-Windmills 0
Ascot 3 (Davidson, Bibby, lIott) Azzurri 2 (E Marocchi, McMillan)
Ascot 0 Morley-Windmills 0
Azzurri 3 (Earl 2, McMillan) Kwinana United 2 (Evans, Hornby)
Inglewood-Kiev 3 (Morton 2, Beattie) Bayswater United 2 (O'Callaghan, Woodard)
East Fremantle-Tricolore 3 (MacCallum 2, Hynd) Floreat Athena 1 (Alcock)
Azzurri 4 (Earl 2, T Trinca, A Trinca) Bayswater United 2 (O'Callaghan 2)
Morley-Windmills 3 (Cockburn, Hannigan, Pearce) Inglewood-Kiev 2 (Dundo 2)
Floreat Athena 0 Ascot 0
East fremantle-Tricolore 3 (Smerilli, Sibson, MacCallum) Kwinana United 0
Azzurri 3 (McMillan 2, E Marocchi) East Fremantle-Tricolore 0
Kwinana United 3 (Jones 2, Thorpe) Ascot 3 (Davies 2, Davidson)
Inglewood-Kiev 0 Floreat Athena 0
Bayswater United 1 (Hallam) Morley-Windmills 0
Morley-Windmills 3 (Cockburn, Galloway, Murray) East Fremantle-Tricolore 2 (McKinley, Hynd)
Ascot 3 (Davidson 2, Bibby) Inglewood-Kiev 2 (Dundo 2)
Azzurri 4 (G Marocchi 2, Earl, E Marocchi) Floreat Athena 1 (Sydenham 2)
Kwinana United 5 (Evans 3, Hornby, Hickman) Bayswater United 2 (O'Callaghan, Edmondson)
East Fremantle-Tricolore 3 (Williams, O'Connell, Smirelli) Inglewood-Kiev 2 (Dundo, Henderson)
Floreat Athena 2 (Stacey, Staniscia) Kwinana United 0
Morley-Windmills 3 (Murray, Cockburn, Galloway) Azzurri 2 (McMillan, og)
Ascot 4 (Bibby 2, Davidson, og) Bayswater United 1 (Edmondson)
Morley-Windmills 3 (Sneddon, Holzman, Pearce) Kwinana United 0
Ascot 1 (Ilott) East Fremantle-Tricolore 0
Floreat Athena 3 (Stacey, Sydenham, Tsapazis) Bayswater United 2 (O'Callaghan, Debono)
Azzurri 4 (McMillan 3, McCulloch) Inglewood-Kiev 3 (Genovese, Henderson, Strawson)
Morley-Windmilis 2 (Cockburn, Murray) East Fremantle-Tricolore 1 (Hynd)
Ascot 3 (Davidson, IIott, Davies) Azzurri 2 (McMillan, E Marocchi) after extra time
Azzurri 3 (Brady, Early, McMillan) Morley-Windmills 1 (Mateljan)
Azzurri 3 (E Marocchi, Conney, T Trinca) Ascot 2 (Ilott, Bibby)
TOP FOUR PLAY-OFFS : FLOREAT ATHENA'S FIRST MAJOR TROPHY
The Top Four Cup competition has had a patchy history, but in 1975 it emerged as an exciting tournament. Regarded by many in the past as an unwelcome apendage to the league season, the competition was shelved in 1973 and reborn in 1974. The difference in 1975 was the sponsorship of Marlbobo, who decided to back the competition beyond their highly successful Marlboro Shield league. If there was any doubt as to the worth of the Top Four Cup, the 1975 competition, which carried prize money of $3,000 dispelled it.
For Athena it was the major event of the year and a milestone in the history of the club as they recorded their first big success. Having spent heavily to acquire excellent players from overseas like Steve Stacey, Tony Jackson, Dave Brooks, Ken Sandercock and John Sydenham, success was a vital necessity for the club. But it was not as easy for Athena as it looks in the record book. Athena, along with Ascot and Tricolore, just scraped into the top four. Only Azzurri made it with ease. They won the Marlboro Shield by seven points.
The first semi-final was a fine exhibition of soccer between Athena and Ascot who two weeks previously had fought out a thrilling 3-3 draw. The semi-final clash was a tight affair with both sides getting a penalty each in Athena's 2-1 victory. In the second semi-final Azzurri mastered their traditional rivals Tricolore with a casual 2-1 win. From the moment Azzurri opened the scoring in the second minute of play with a George McMillan header, only one result seemed likely.
Tricolore looked far from their best in that game, but they made amends in the preliminary final with Athena, providing a crowd of more than 4,000 with value for money. But again they were beaten 2-1. They were unable to take advantage of the loss of Steve Stacey from the Athena defence because of a broken finger. A blazing 25-metre shot from Nick MacCallum in the 56th minute lifted Tricolore's hopes, but the goal was their last defiant gesture to end a dismal season.
So the stage was set for a humdinger of a grand-final between the skill of Athena's professionals and Azzurri's young brigade. It was the skill and experience of Athena that made the 1975 grand-final of the Top Four a memorable event in annals of WA soccer. Azzurri went into the game favourites after a 15-game run without defeat. It was significant, however, that the only point they had dropped in that run was a 2-2 draw with Athena at Lake Monger Velodrome.
Azzurri started with a bang and came close early on when Aldo Trinca almost got his head to a Peter Holt cross with an empty goal staring at him. But then Athena grabbed the initiative in a fiercely-contested midfield and with Tony Jackson, Dave Brooks and Ken Sandercock in tremendous form in this area went on to devastate Azzurri. Jackson started the rot when he lashed a superb 35-metre shot that hit under the bar and bounced over the line for the first Athena goal.
In the opening seconds after the break, Azzurri almost equalised when George McMillan got his head to the ball only to see his header hit the post and then spin tan- talizingly on the line before goalkeeper Colin Bowles grabbed the ball. Then, in the 52nd minute, Sandercock chipped a perfect free kick to the near post for Roy Lace to neatly glance a header inside the near post. The issue was put beyond doubt in the 72nd minute when Sandercock sent over a fine corner for Vince Alcock to leap high to back head across the goal mouth for Steve Stacey to come thundering in and head home a glorious goal.
Three great goals, all different, in a match that had the big crowd of 5,000 enthralled from start to finish. Azzurri are fighters to the end, and this spirit was well illustrated when, with only a minute left, Gary Marocchi slipped a free kick through the Athena defence for Dave Brady to add some respect to the scoreline.
Floreat Athena 2 (Alcock, Jackson) Ascot 1 (Davidson)
Azzurri 2 (McMillan, Brady) Tricolore 1 (Bennett)
Floreat Athena 2 (Brooks, Hallam) Tricolore 1 (MacCallum)
Floreat Athena 3 (Jackson, Lace, Stacey) Azzurri 1 (Brady)
The second division Top Four was as interesting. In the semi-finals, Rockingham United beat Swan Athletic 3-2, while Cracovia beat Croatia North Perth 2-1. Rockingham then caused an upset when they beat Croatia 2-1 in the preliminary- final, and repeated the surprise when they won the Cup by defeating odds on favourite Cracovia 1-0 with a penalty from Jeff Williams in the grand-final. Olympic-Kingsway won the under 16 grand-final with an impressive 4-2 victory over Morley-Windmills.
GOLD MEDAL : AN AUSSIE WINS TOP AWARD
The Rothmans Gold Medal award for the season's fairest and best player now ranks as one of the major events of the WA sporting year. The 1975 award took on a special significance when David Jones of Kwinana United became the first Australian-born player to win the coveted prize. The win was even more remarkable because Jones missed seven of the 18 league matches in the medal tally. The same applied to second placegetter Ernie Hannigan, of Morley-Windmills, who finished four votes behind Jones.
The consistency of both players to poll so well in only eleven matches makes one wonder just how well they might have gone had they played the full 18 games. They missed matches because of State duty with the WA side in the Marah Halim Cup at the start of the season. Jones was also absent because he was selected in the national Under 23 side for a series of games in Indonesia.
After receiving the medal from the Premier, Sir Charles Court, Jones said that he had not expected to bridge the seven-point lead that Hannigan had established with votes from only the last four rounds of matches to be counted. Jones' victory re-establishes the pattern of defenders and midfielders winning the top individual award. Of the 15 annual awards presented since the formation of the WA Federation In 1960, only four forwards have managed to win the fairest and best trophy.
At the start of the season the 1974 winner Ray Ilott streaked out in front looking all the world as though he would take it off for the second year in succession. At one stage, he held an eight-point lead over the rest of the field. This was gradually pegged back with first Alan Cooney (Azzurri), then John O'Connell (Tricolore) taking over the lead. Finally Hannigan came into contention in the later stages. When voting in the final rounds was no longer published weekly in "The West Australian", the battle for the medal appeared to have narrowed to a three way affair. It seemed that either Jones, Hannigan or Cooney would become the 15th winner of the award. And that is exactly how it finished.
Winner of the second division fairest and best was Cracovia's unassuming Eric Jaks, who recently returned to Poland. He polled a remarkable 35 votes, well ahead of teammate Wally Migas, Ken Pearson (Rocklngham Utd) and Paul Hallam of Croatia North Perth, who tied for second place with 17 votes each. John Sllverton, the third division top goalscorer, also was voted fairest and best for that division with 26 votes, four more than Alan Thomson of Kelmscott and A.Trelfall of Canning Corinthians.
The leading votes in the Rothmans Gold Medal:
David Jones (Kwinana United) 51
Ernie Hannigan (Morley-Windmills) 47
Alan Cooney (Azzurri) 42
Geoff Cole (East Fremantle-Tricolore), Hugh Miller (Spearwood Dalmatinac) 37
John O'Connell (Tricolore), Ian Russell (Dalmatinac) 35
Tony Jackson (Floreat Athena) 33
Saverio Madaschi (Inglewood-Kiev) 31
Roger Jones (Bayswater United) 28
Tommy Barber (Kiev) 27
Vince Alcock (Floreat Athena) 26
David O'Callaghan (Kiev), Frank Cults (Olympic-Kingsway) 25
Eric Marocchi, Peter Holt (Azzurri) 24
Alex Senjuschenko (Kiev), Tony Trinca (Azzurri), Geoff Chadwick (Kwinana) 23
Colin Burton (Dalmatinac), George Kinnell, Danny Kuzmanovich (Olympic), Mike Saunt (Ascot) 22
Mike Palmer (Olympic), Dave Sneddon (Bayswater) 21
Steve Stacey (Athena) 20
* Ray llott was suspended during the season by the Protests and Disputes board and therefore was Ineligible for consideration In the award.
LEADING GOALSCORER : GEORGE MCMILLAN TOPS GOALSCORING LIST
A new name appeared in the goalscoring panels in 1975 to take off the premier goalscorer's award sponsored by the Concert Hall Tavern at $10 a goal. Azzurri's George McMillan broke a long run of domination by Len Dundo, Bobby Hynd and John Van Oosten over the past seven years. If one or the other didn't win then they filled the second and third places. Dundo still filled second place last year when he scored 17 goals, the same as Floreat Athena's Vince Alcock, another newcomer.
The power of McMillan proved a useful tool for Azzurri in their drive for the 1975 premiership. He was just as feared when he wasn't scoring goals such was his competitive spirit. That spirit got him into a lot of hot water with referees. But it was that drive that provided him with the incentive to finish on top. For most of the year it seemed that Vince Alcock was going to cruise home to win. He had scored at a fast rate by July 5, after 12 league matches, had scored his 17 goals. With six games left it was unthinkable that he wouldn't score more, but that is what happened.
Alcock never found the net again, and it is coincidental that Athena finished the last part of the season with three draws and three losses. In his 17 goals, Alcock scored three hat-tricks against Olympic, Ascot and Windmills. Dundo scored at a steady rate, but rarely was he ever able to reproduce his normal spectaculars, and he failed to notch at least one hat-trick. McMillan was a slow starter, and after seven games had scored only three goals. Hardly the form of a champion striker. But then he started to fire, and came home with a withering burst to pass both Dundo and Alcock. He ended the season with two hat-tricks against Kiev and Bayswater.
The leading scorers in the other division also benefitted from sponsorship. Mead Johnston provided incentive for the second division and the Federation doing the same for the third division. A reason for Croatia North Perth's success in winning the second division championship and promotion to the first division lies with their two top strikers, Paul Hallam and Dave Harrison. Both scored 21 goals to jointly win the second division goalscorers award. Four goals away third was former State and Tricolore player Jeff Williams, who made a big difference to Rockingham United when he Joined them. The third division honours went to John Silverton, who scored 23 goals in the third division premiership team Macedonia.
The leading goalscorers from each division:
George McMillan (Azzurrl) 19
Vince Alcock (Athena), Len Dundo (Kiev) 17
John O'Connell (Tricolore) 14
Ian Russell (Spearwood Dalmatlnac), John O'Donnell (Kwlnana Utd) 12
Ray lIolt (Ascot) 10
Dave O'Callaghan (Kiev), Bill Murray (Windmills) 8
Nick Fudlovski (Athena), Peter Garnham (Windmills), Tony Trinca (Azzurri) 7
Dave Harrison, Paul Hallam (Croatia North Perth) 21
Jeff Williams (Rocklngham Utd) 17
Wally Migas (Cracovia) 15
Tom Waddle, Arthur Godfrey (Swan Athletic), Hugh McCann, Ian McCaffrey (Rockingham Utd) 10
Stan Adamczyk, Ian Pinlera (Cracovia) 9
A Loader (Queens Park), Gerry Jonas (Subiaco City), Mike Hughes (Gosnells Town) 8
J Silverton (Macedonia Utd) 23
C Abbolt (Kelmscolt) 22
N Segon (Meazza) D Norton (Cockburn Utd) 19
R Combe (Galeb) 18
J Rapanaro (Meazza) 17
A Thomson (Galeb), P Saunders (Sorrento), D Gard (Corinthians) 16
B Allan (Cockburn Utd), J Colquhoun (Macedonia Utd) 11
D Hall (Kelmscolt), P Valentine (Corinthians) 10
P McCann (Cockburn Utd)
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This page was last updated on the 24th February 2006