A four-goal haul by Finnish striker Teemu Sihvola secured University of W.A. a resounding 4-1 win at Balga in Sunday’s W.A.A.S.S.A. Premier League fixture. Starting brightly, Sihvola beat his marker to cross for Robert Benkovic whose shot was parried by Balga’s stand-in goalkeeper Dean Ravapinto. In the 9th minute Matt Hill picked out Sihvola who made his way past two opponents and side-footed the ball into the corner of the net to put University one-up. The home side came more into the game after falling behind and worked hard to find an equaliser over the next 15 minutes without success. On the half-hour a deep cross from University’s Steve Padbury found Christian Tribe whose header flew narrowly over the crosbar. Three minutes from the interval Balga won a free-kick which was taken with a minimum of fuss and Willie Lyall equalised with a well-placed header. The second half saw University come out with all guns ablaze and within three minutes their lead had been restored, Sihvola netting after Adam Brett was unsuccessful. A lovely move in the 63rd minute lead to University’s third goal, a Max Percy cross found Matt Hill who released Benkovic and his pass to Sihvola saw the striker complete his hat-trick. In the games most bizarre moment, a corner from Hill struck the near post and found the net via a defenders foot but assistant referee signalled that the ball had gone out of play and the goal was disallowed. University continued to attack and some good teammate between Benkovic and Sihvola saw the latter chip the ball over the ‘keeper and into the top corner for his, and his teams, fourth. As if a 4-1 drubbing wasn’t enough, Balga saw out the final ten minutes with ten men, the fifth week in succession that the side have failed to complete the match with eleven players! Post-match, University coach Kevin Burton was pleased with the result that lifts his side into second place on the table. “We took our foot off the gas in the middle of the first half after scoring early on, but the pleasing thing was we were able to step up for the second half and turn in a pretty clinical performance. We have finished the first round of fixtures in second spot at both first and reserve team level and this has surpassed our goals. It will be really interesting to see if we can continue to improve.” University reserves defeated Balga 2-1 with goals from Josh Davenport and Ben McVeigh. Balga’s scorer was Denny Murfit.
Hamersley Rovers to hold a four-point lead over the rest of the field after being pushed all the way by Murdoch University, the final score being 3-2 in Hamersley’s favour. In third place are Spearwood Dalmatinac who condemned Subiaco United to their ninth loss in eleven games by 5-0. Perth Azzurri defeated Kwinana United 4-1 at Dorrien Gardens, Fremantle United and Shamrock Rovers ended in a 1-1 draw. The result of the E.C.U. Joondalup-Forrestfield United match is currently unknown.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND TEN (Floreat Athena vs Sorrento by Christian Galapolous; Western Knights vs Inglewood United by Mike Hennessey; Cockburn City vs E.C.U. Joondalup by Lennie Bavich; Bassendean Caledonian vs Swan I.C by Bill MacAllister)
Following entertaining matches in the Under-18’s and reserves competitions, Ashfield and Future Glory were greeted by near-perfect conditions when they emerged from the changerooms at the start of their Premier League clash at Ashfield Reserve. With his side sitting at the foot of the table, Ashfield coach Tom Kilkelly made four changes to the team which last week lost at Swan I.C. Phil Jackson took Johnathon Van DerVoet’s spot between the posts, while Jamie D’Arcy, Martin Kelly and 15-year old debutant Carlo Cuscuna replaced Brad Pochroj, Darren Yates and Shane Fuhr respectively. Confidence in the Future camp was sky-high following their defeat of a strong Western Knights outfit six days earlier, Frank Arok showing faith in his players by naming an unchanged starting eleven.
The match started with Ashfield well in control, the home side wasting no time in showing that they meant business by taking proceedings up to their young opponents. Making good use of the flanks, the home side relentlessly pressed forward but managed only scattered shots from distance courtesy of strong resistance by the Future backline. D’Arcy broke free wide on the right to hit a stunning shot from a tight angle that goalkeeper Jordan Conti paddled around the up-right for a corner. Not long after, Ashfield new-comer Scott Bailey tried his luck from 20-metres but his rising shot didn’t trouble the ‘keeper as it flew over the crossbar. Otherwise it was only through the steely determination of Future’s defensive core of Shaun Kilkelly, Daniel Arias and Admir Mehic that the dominant Ashfield side didn’t snatch an early lead.
It wasn’t until after the quarter hour that Future started to show signs of life with their first goalscoring opportunity arriving in the 21st minute. Peter Lord went on a weaving run before playing a clever one-two with Robert Cibesku that opened up the defence, but Jackson was quick off his line to smother at the midfielder’s feet before he could shoot. Eight minutes later an Ashfield corner played to the far post saw Bailey rise high above the defence only to send his powerful header over the bar. With much of the play taking part in the middle third of the pitch, the final fifteen minutes of the period were a drab affair in which neither goalkeeper was really troubled due to a combination of solid defending and some very ordinary finishing.
The second half started in more promising fashion with both sides swiftly moving the ball around the park. A superb long pass out of defence by Arias in the 53rd minute send Lord into the opposing 18-yard box where Ashfield happily conceded the corner. Three minutes later the home again found themselves under pressure at the back, somehow emerging unscathed from a goalmouth scramble in which Mileta Miletic and Cibesku both had their shots blocked. On the hour Ashfield produced a quick attacking move of their own as Martin Kelly out-manoeuvred Kilkelly for possession but with only the ‘keeper to beat Kelly hit the ball wide of the up-right. The home side squandered another golden opportunity after 65 minutes when Steve Gillibrand’s free-kick from the right found Martin Sherwin in space but, with only Conti between him and the net, the young defender’s shot skewed off-target.
After flickering into life for some twenty minutes, the match then slipped back into the pattern that dominated the first forty-five minutes. For much of the time play was bottled up in the middle of the park where the respective midfielders battle unsuccessfully to take control of the game. Future were simply unable to penetrate their opponents defence, while on those occasions Ashfield found a way through they couldn’t get the ball in the net. As both sides sought a late winner, the match opened up a little with Ashfield having the better of the opportunities. Bailey skipped away down the right flank after 83 minutes only to see his low, powerful shot from a decreasing angle knocked wide by Conti. And in stoppage time Gillibrand attempted to break the deadlock with a fantastic long-range effort that dipped at the last moment only to be pushed over the bar by the Future custodian.
At the end of 90 minutes Ashfield would no doubt have been pleased to take a point from what was a lifeless match with few moments of true inspiration. While they may have created the better opportunities, a distinct lack of sharpness in front of goal prevented Ashfield from claiming their second win of the season. For the home side it was Sherwin, Mark Donnelly and David Mayers that shone with a superb defensive performance which effectively snuffed out their opponents attacking forays, while down the other end Kelly worked tirelessly in attack. It was only during the opening stages of the second half that Future actually got out of first gear, otherwise the visitors rode their luck and should consider themselves very fortunate not to end the game a couple of goals down. Arias, Mehic and birthday boy Kilkelly formed a solid unit at the back, while in goal Conti made what proved to be several very important saves.
Ashfield : Phil Jackson, Martin Sherwin, Mark Donnelly, David Mayers, Scott
Brisley (Ben Kelly 83), Jamie D’Arcy, Steve Gillibrand, Carlo Cuscuna, Karl
Atley, Scott Bailey, Martin Kelly
Future Glory: Jordan Conti, Shaun Kilkelly, Daniel Arias, Admir Mehic, Nicholas Ward (Chris Ritson 60), Robert Monterosso, Peter Lord, Damir Kuduzovic, Miki Vujacic, Robert Cibesku (James Hesketh 75), Kostadin Manolev (Mileta Miletic 45)
Cautions : Lord (42), Cibesku (75)
Dismissals : None
Attendance : 200 (approx.)
Floreat Athena solidified their place in the top half of the Premier League table with a 2-1 victory over Sorrento at Litis Stadium. The match got of to a busy start with a mix-up in the Athena defence nearly gifting Sorrento the opening goal, while down the other end Ryan Newhill and Costa Socratous went close for the home team. After the early flurry of chances, the contest tightened up as Athena’s defence, led by Jamie Trandos and Adrian Sutton, got on top of the visiting attack. Opening the second half the stronger of the two sides, Athena went on the attack with confidence and after only five minutes Socratous supplied a perfect through ball to in-form striker Robin Dyers whose shot flew past Sorrento goalkeeper Gareth Deeg. One goal up, Athena continued to press forward with some superb movement of the ball which was rewarded in the 62nd minute when Kosta Kalavrouziotis took the ball down the right flank before hitting a low cross into penalty area that Ryan Newhill headed home to double the lead. The home side were unlucky not to have gone further ahead with the pick of the chances falling to Newhill, the big striker deflecting Sutton’s pass wide from close range. Kevin Murphy scored a late goal for Sorrento but it was little consolation as referee Patrick McCaffrey blew full time only seconds later.
Inglewood United marked their return to form with a scintillating 4-2 win over Western Knights at Nash Field. In a game of much passion and skill, the visitors dented the Knights’ title hopes while keeping themselves in line for a top four spot at the end of the season. The game could have started disastrously for Inglewood after coming close to conceding a penalty in the 1st minute, but after that settled down to be the better side. In the 10th minute the persistent Alan Mackenzie won the ball in midfield, swept a pass out to Andy Cornmell on the left wing then raced in to meet a pinpoint cross at the far post to put Inglewood into the lead. Things flowed from end to end with the visitors looking the more likely to score, and after a couple of near misses Elton Holmes got clear down the right to cut the ball back for Cornmell who doubled his sides advantage. The Knights came back and were allowed to take a free kick well in advance of where the offence occurred, Paul McVittie reducing the arrears before the sides went into the break. Nine minutes into the second half Cornmell was adjudged to have been brought down in the area, the midfielder taking the spot kick himself to restore Inglewood’s two-goal buffer. Again the Knights fought back, this time John Nicolaou the scorer in a crowded goalmouth. Inglewood’s Michael Bushby was carried off with a serious knee injury late in the match, and as the Knights strove to take advantage and get back on level terms before Scott Campbell’s defence-splitting pass saw Holmes coolly round Tommi Tomich and wrap-up the three points on offer.
Cockburn City lost 3-0 E.C.U. Joondalup in their Round Ten clash at Dalmatinac Park. Inept springs to mind if pushed to describe the performance of Cockburn’s midfield who, when not pumping high balls to the visitors’ tall defenders, got in each others way or defended so deep got under foot of their own backline. Neither side could string together their passes over the opening quarter hour but when Joondalup finally did manage to do just that it resulted in the opening goal with Garin Collins at the end of the chain and finding little resistance from Jeff Cargill in the Cockburn goal. And as is their custom of late, Cockburn’s midfield trio of Shane McNally, Joshua Pescud and Dean Wallace all received cautions from the referee before Joondalup doubled the lead through Collins before the interval. Jeff Bright caught the midfield malaise and was yellow carded for a loose tackle, but the home side created a string of good chances in the second half. The first came the way of Branimir Mikulic who was slow to pull the trigger and the opportunity was lost. Striker Christian Paschkewitz had a stinging shot blocked, Mikulic hit the crossbar after 70 minutes and visiting goalkeeper Peter Stewart saved Bright’s effort. 22-year old Collins bagged his hat-trick, and Joondalup’s third, from the penalty spot after Dusan Macura was judged to have handled the ball inside the 18-yard box.
Swan I.C. went into their Premier League clash with Bassendean Caledonian at Jubilee Reserve with high hopes only to have them dented in a spiteful, niggling game which went to the home side 3-1. Needing maximum points in order to lift themselves out of the relegation zone, Swan start smartly with Damian Scali heading a corner over the bar. With Swan pressing forward at every opportunity, Caledonian defenders Kevin Smith and Craig Naven proved effective in protecting the home goal. Swan custodian Guy Gibson produced a great save to deny Jason Van Rooy, but midway through the half there was little Gibson could do to as Ramon Westerberger rose above the visiting defence to head home Van Rooy’s cross from the right. Minutes later Paul Strudwick and Craig Naven combined with the latter going on a magical run before splitting the defence wide open and sending Graeme Matthews through on goal, the attacker making no mistake and doubling the margin. Caledonian were slow to start the second half, Swan enjoying the better of possession and capitalising on this in the 70th minute with a Damian Scali piledriver which reduced the gap and set up a tense closing period. Five minutes later Swan saw their appeals for a penalty waved away for what appeared to be a deliberate handball inside the 18-yard box. Glenn McCormick slotted into the Caledonian line-up with Strudwick was carried off with rib damage as the home side re-discovered their rhythm. Late in the match Westerberger ended Swan’s hopes of snatching a point when he headed in to make the final score 3-1. Post-match, Caledonian coach Alan Weir sent out a warning to teams yet to make the trip to Jubilee Reserve this year. “I am really proud of the way the players are rising to the occasion and look forward to them staying focused and to our first away win at Ashfield next week. This sends out a message to all other teams that Calies home ground is a ‘cauldron’ and with seven more home games to go they can get their hopes burnt here.”
Fremantle City left Dorrien Gardens on Sunday with little to show for holding leaders Perth S.C. for much of their Premier League clash. In a match that ran hot and cold all afternoon, Fremantle’s defence stood firm against the onslaught. Perth came close to hitting the front in the 59th minute when Gareth Naven, on his Dorrien Gardens return, saw his shot saved by Robert Zabica. Sixteen minutes later Zabica was at it again, this time denying teenager Rhys Graham. With the clock ticking down and a scoreless draw looking the most likely outcome, a well-worked free-kick between Andres Oliveira and Mark Pottier saw the latter hit a low drive past Zabica to give the home team maximum points. The win moves Perth four points clear at the top of the leaderboard and with a home game - against Floreat Athena on Wednesday 10th July - in hand.
RESERVES AND UNDER-18’S ROUND-UP (Ashfield vs Future Glory by ShinyChef)
Future Glory’s reserve team continues to go from strength to strength, this week defeating home side Ashfield 2-1. After 25 minutes of tight play in which Ashfield goalkeeper Johnathon Van der Voet made a string of fine saves, Stjepan Beretovac latched onto a superb pass from Linden Pywell to break the deadlock. The home side emerged stronger after the break and an error in the Future defence allowed Sam Denesh to put away an opportunist equaliser on the hour. The winner came midway through the second half after Sol Contera’s cross from the right was headed on by Sasa Kilibarda and Jarrad Smith ghosted in at the back post to finish the move.
Floreat Athena got off to a good start when Mathew Novatsis opened the scoring against Sorrento. The Seagulls quick response was surprisingly ruled out for off side when all looked okay. Twelve minutes into the second half, Craig Wells seized an opportunity to show his dribbling skills when he skipped through the entire home backline then had presence of mind to angle his shot past goalkeeper Vas Vujacic. Then, with 69 minutes elapsed, Wells teed-up Sorrento’s winner as he sped down the right to arrow his cross to Jake Harman who headed truly.
Ian Griffiths bagged a hat-trick and Luke Croxall scored his first of the season as Bassendean Caledonian came from two goals down to defeat Swan I.C. 4-2. Rhys Britton bagged a double for the visiting side. Cockburn City defeated E.C.U. Joondalup 3-2, Roberto Colalillo netting twice and Paul Wright once for Cockburn while John Greenwood and Adam Bachiller found the net for the away team. A Paul Lincoln double couldn’t prevent Inglewood United from going down 3-2 at the hands of Western Knights for whom Ciaran Allen (2) and Daisaky Suematsu scored. And in Sunday’s game Albert Osei-(2) Tutu and Jason Colli scored the goals which enabled Perth S.C. to knock off Fremantle City 3-2.
In a competitive match, the Under-18 teams from Ashfield and Future created some good scoring opportunities as their match swung from one end of the ground to the other. Future took the lead minutes before half-time when a well-worked free-kick from 25-metres involving Alex Crookes and Marlon Ramires resulted in Michael Park shooting low, the Ashfield goalkeeper misjudging the shot and the ball rolled between his legs and over the line. Both sides created chances after the interval but poor finishing let both teams down. Future ‘keeper Alex Vrteski and sweeper David Whiteside capped off what was a workman-like Future win that seals them fourth place on the table.
Sorrento battled hard after going behind to Athena after only six minutes when Christopher Gakas found the target at Litis Stadium. But the Seagulls stuck to their guns and were rewarded by a Brain Hedges strike after 32 minutes. While the scoreboard didn’t alter for the remainder of the match, Athena did have a very confident penalty appeal turned away in the second half by referee Ivan Perkov.
Under-18 competition leaders Joondalup were held to a one-all draw by Cockburn at Dalmatinac Park, Daryl Platten (Joondalup) and Omar Lemzouri (Cockburn) the scorers. Inglewood won for just the third time this season, 2-1 over the Knights thanks to goals from Shaun Box and Jarrad Parks, Blazen Zoric the scorer for the home side. Bassendean slumped to their tenth consecutive defeat when they went down 2-0 to Swan at Jubilee Reserve. On the mark for the visitors were Hayden Darcy and Damian Coniglio, while the home side gave a debut to 13-year old Christy McGrath. At Dorrien Gardens on Sunday, Perth whittled Joondalup’s lead down to one point after Zaltid Babac’s goal proved the difference against third-placed Fremantle.
FIRST DIVISION WRAP (Armadale vs Leeming Strikers courtesy of www.leemingstrikers.com)
Stirling Lions turned in stellar first half performance against Bayswater City to run out 4-2 winners at Frank Drago Reserve in their First Division clash on Saturday. Bobbi Klenkoski scored his first hat-trick of the 2002 season as the Lions jumped Bayswater in the 2nd minute of play with the striker providing an awesome finish from Keegan Ashley’s corner. The visiting team then continually opened up a young home defence with Klenkoski, Rob Milevski and Toby Wright proving to be a constant headache, Klenkoski finishing an excellent 12th minute move in make it 2-0. Ten minutes later Leo Harman received a reverse pass from Toby Wright to calmly slot the ball home and extend the margin, and Klenkoski finished another fine move to blow the gap out to four goals after 35 minutes. Bayswater were lucky not to go further behind as Klenkoski and Toby Wright missed a few simple chances. After the break the home side came out as a new team and with the introduction of the experienced Gerry McEwan and striker Dario Pelliciotti clawed their way back into the match. The visitors responded by bringing on talented 16-year old Michael Filippou, however it was Bayswater that found the net through substitute Pelliciotti who caught the opposing backline napping in the hour. Taking the match up to the League leaders, Bayswater continued to push forward which had the effect of opening the game up. But both teams were guilty of missing some golden opportunities, most notably Klenkoski who headed high from close-range. After 84th minutes Pelliciotti reduced the deficit when he provided a world-class finish with a superb volley from 27-metres to make the final score 4-2. In the reserves, early goals from Pasquale Marrapodi and Kristian Ottolin saw Bayswater lead until close to the end when the Lions fought back to win 5-2. An entertaining Under-18 match ended in a 1-1 draw, Tony Casellea scoring for Bayswater who collected their first point from nine games.
Leeming Strikers blew a two-goal lead against promotion-chasing Armadale to draw for the first time this season at Alfred Skeet Reserve. Second-placed Armadale got the ball rolling after just 7 minutes when Jason Goodwin scored with the home side in disarray. Strikers goalkeeper Mark Wiseman was forced into action on a couple of occasions before the visitors equalised through Sean Cowman in the 18th minute. The goal sparked the Strikers into action and Martin Donoghue fired over, then Ryan Hunt’s shot was just off-target. But they eventually got the reward when Jonathan Cook flicked on a long ball and Hunt crossed for Kelvin Herbert to finish off a good attacking move. There was more before the break when Cook turned in the box before Hunt lashed in from close-range and make it 3-0 at half-time. Armadale started the second half as they had the first and piled on the pressure. Reds substitute Mark Craft earned his side a dubious penalty in the 82nd minute when he collided with Wiseman in the box, the goalkeeper getting a hand to Dennis Lee’s spot-kick but unable to keep the ball out. Hunt was unfortunate not to score after darting away down the right but his shot was parried by goalkeeper Craig Olejnik. An entertaining battle was ended in the final seconds of stoppage time when Lawrence Bruce’s shot hit a post and trickled over the line to earn the home team a 3-3 draw. The reserves ended 2-1 in favour of the Strikers, despite new-signing Ian Knight giving Armadale the lead after 65 minutes. The home side levelled the score after 75 minutes from the penalty spot, and shortly after went ahead. The high-flying Armadale Under-18 side continued their good recent with goals from Oliver Crockford (2), Steve Flynn (2) and Peter Taylor in achieving a 5-1 win.
Mandurah City’s home match against Kingsway Olympic ended in controversial fashion after the referee called a halt to proceedings with over 10 minutes left on the clock. The referee stopped the match after his assistant had been constantly threatened by members of the Olympic bench, the assistant referee saying that the taunts were far more than the ‘usual banter’ that normally takes place. Prior to that the crowd at Peelwood Parade Reserve were treated to what was Mandurah’s best performance this season. Pacey strike partners Andrew Rennie and Michael Bobridge totally exploited the slow visiting defence to create chance after chance, Rennie finishing the afternoon with a hat-trick, Bobridge scored two of his own and Danny Moore chimed in with a brilliant 25-metre volley. Olympic tried hard to get back in the home defence but again a lack of pace proved the difference, their only goal being a spectacular long-range effort that gave goalkeeper Mike Green absolutely no chance. Mandurah coach Paul O’Brien was disappointed that the game was abandoned as he felt that there was a real opportunity for his side to extend their goal difference. Soccer West Coast have decreed that the 6-1 will stand and an investigation carried out in the premature end to the match. Mandurah’s reserves continued their good form with a solid 4-2 win through goals by Steve Choate, Steve Rhodes, Matt Ferguson and Carlos Almieda. The Mandurah Under-18 team also continued on their winning ways to eventually overcome a tenacious Olympic 4-3, Jake Loreto (2), Alex Agnew and Jack Kearns the scorers.
In other matches, at Rockingham City defeated high-flying Queens Park through goals by Shane Nunes and Peter Kuzet. Rydeen Botha was in sensational form as he bagged a hat-trick in Stirling Suns 3-2 win over Perth City for whom brothers John and Scott Wyeth found the net. Brian Cairney, Gary Jamieson and Chris Kemp were on target as Southside United took full points form their clash with South West Phoenix, Chris Normanton and Adam Cole the scorers for Phoenix. A Sota Iwasaki double saw bottom side Wanneroo City defeat Balcatta 2-0, while Dianella White Eagles enjoyed a 3-1 home win over Canning City. Morley Windmills this week had the bye.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The Premier League field is fast closing on early leaders Perth S.C. and Western Knights. Future Glory, who defeated the Knights last weekend to move into third place, are expected to come away with full points from their meeting with bottom of the table Ashfield. With just four points separating fourth and ninth, Floreat Athena are home to Sorrento, and Cockburn City host E.C.U. Joondalup, and Bassendean Caledonian come up against Swan I.C. side at Jubilee Reserve. Having conceded just one goal at home so far this season, Western Knights are tipped to collect full points from their clash with an Inglewood United side who’ve lost twice in as many weeks. And on Sunday at Dorrien Gardens, it’s Perth S.C. verses Fremantle City.
The match of Round Twelve of the First Division season takes place at Frank Drago Reserve when Bayswater City, undefeated at home in 2002, take on high-scoring League leaders Stirling Lions. Armadale host Leeming Strikers in another tantalising fixture, Queens Park are on the road to Rockingham City, while Mandurah City are expected to take full points from their home clash with Kingsway Olympic. Canning City’s youngsters are favoured against an inconsistent Dianella White Eagles side, while Perth City meet Stirling Suns. Towards the foot of the table, Southside United met South West Phoenix at Walter Padbury Reserve, and Wanneroo City have the home ground advantage against Balcatta. Morley Windmills have the bye.
BORAL CUP SEMI'S DRAWN
The semi-final draw for the Boral Cup took place last night on Access 31's "Soccer W.A." segment. With all games in the round of four set down for Monday 30th September, Inglewood United have home ground advantage over the youngsters from Future Glory, while in the northern suburbs E.C.U. Joondalup host either Perth S.C. or Sorrento. The delayed quarter-final clash between Perth and Sorrento has been confirmed as taking place at Dorrien Gardens on Wednesday 17th July.
In the reserves Cup, Inglewood United is at home against Mandurah City with Fremantle City taking on either Perth or Sorrento in Joondalup. The Under-18 competition pits Canning City with Floreat Athena (at National Stadium) and Fremantle City face either Perth or Sorrento (Edith Cowan University, Joondalup).
KNEE RECONSTRUCTION FOR ATHENA’S MILLER
Floreat Athena will be without the on-field services of reliable defender Hugh Miller for the remainder of the year, and most likely the early part of next season, after recent scans revealed the seriousness of a knee injury. “I found out after an M.R.I. scan last week that I have ruptured my anterior cruciate ligament, torn my medial and will require a knee reconstruction. So I will be out of action for the best part of a year,” Miller said this week. But while Miller’s loss will be greatly felt by his teammates, he won’t be lost entirely to the club with hopes to remain on in a support role of some form. And the Athena captain has wasted no time in planning his recovery either, “I’ve been in touch with Danny Stoitis from Sorrento and we have decided to start training together and will also do rehab together once we have both had surgery.”
BECKHAM TO HELP STATE WOMEN’S PLAYERS
Queens Park Thunder are holding a fundraising screening of the new release movie “Bent It Like Beckham” to help their players that have been chosen to represent the State women’s teams over the next month. The event is being held at Hoyts Southlands (Burrendah Boulevarde, Willeton) on Wednesday 3rd July from 6.30pm and, with tickets expected to sell fast, those interested in attending are advised to contact Lynda Woodfin on 9459 8489 to book in advance. Queens Park have seven players in the senior State squad which heads to Malaysia next month for the Australasian Championship, as well as a host of players in the Schoolgirls and Junior State teams who will be in action both locally and interstate throughout July.
“Bend It Like Beckham” is comedy which explores the world of women’s football, from kickabouts in the local park to free-kicks in the season decider. Set in London and Hamburg, the film follows two 18-year olds who have their hearts set on a future in professional soccer. But all the talent in the world isn’t necessarily enough when your parents want you to hang up your football boots, find a nice boyfriend and learn to cook the perfect chapatti! The film, winner of the Best European Film and the Most Popular Film at the 2002 Sydney Film Festival, opened across Britain last month and grossed £2 million - that’s close to AU$5.5 - in it’s first week.
In other club news, Thunder are riding high in the women’s Premier League after a successful fortnight. “Our Premier League side beat Floreat recently, which is something were really proud of as they have been the top team in the Premier League for some time,” said manager Lynda Woodfin. “The first team are currently in second or third place on the table, while the Thunder B side is in second place in the First Division.” Last weekend the first team thrashed to Murdoch Lightning 6-1, while the B team were held to a 2-2 draw at Mundaring. This Sunday both Queens Park sides are at home, Thunder A up against Subiaco United (kick-off 3.00pm) with the B team taking on Mundaring (1.00pm) at Coker Park. Next Sunday (7th July) in the quarter-final stage of the Anna Senjuschenko Memorial Cup Thunder A face Lynwood B at Britannia Road Reserve from 2.30pm
BLADES TRIALS FOR MURPHY
Sorrento defender Kevin Murphy is set to join older brother Shaun at Sheffield United after accepting an invitation to trials with the English First Division club later in the year. Having first played for Sorrento at the age of six, Kevin has risen up through the clubs ranks to establish himself as a first team regular over recent seasons and was earlier this year appointment club captain. The 21-year old will break off playing with the reigning Premier League champions early in August to travel to England for a trial period. With 20 appearances at senior international level for Australia to his credit, Shaun will shortly commence his fourth season at Bramall Lane after agreeing to a one-year contract extension with the Blades.
NEW GLORY DEAL FOR GARCIA
Former Australian youth international Michael Garcia has agreed terms on a new one-year deal with Perth Glory. The 24-year old midfielder made 18 appearances in the National Soccer League last season after a sensational 2001 winter in the local competition with Sorrento. Garcia started out as a junior with Perth Italia (as they were then known) and played senior football with Kingsway Olympic before spending two seasons with Canberra Cosmos. A year with Glory was followed by spells with Inglewood United, Marine Castle United in Singapore, E.C.U. Joondalup and Sorrento before he re-joined Glory.
CACERAS AIMS FOR ENGLISH RETURN
Former Perth S.C. player Adrian Caceras is back in Perth on holiday and training with his former club. Perth are believed to have expressed an interest in re-signing the 20-year old striker, but Caceras is said to be keen on returning to England and kick-starting his career. Argentine-born Caceras burst on to the local scene with a dazzling debut season at senior level for Perth before being signed by English Premier League side Southampton in August 2000. While he was unsuccessful in breaking into the Saints first team, Caceras made four appearances for Brentford while on loan at the start of the 2001/02 campaign, and played five times for Hull City towards the end of the recent season while on a short-term contract.
“WE’VE PROVED THEM WRONG” SAYS QUEENS PARK PRESIDENT
First Division club Queens Park may have lost a wealth of experienced players over the past few months but, with the first team sitting comfortably in third place, club president Dave Woodfin isn’t that concerned by the departures. “A lot of people thought we’d drop down the ladder but we’ve proved them wrong,” Woodfin said this week. “We’re doing better than a lot of people expected and, with a few games to go, we’re looking good to finish the season in the top eight.”
“I think we would have won the League with the squad we started the season with, but those plans will now go on hold for a couple of years while we re-build,” Woodfin added. “We’re very pleased with our performances at all three levels this year. At the moment the League side are the second highest scoring team and sit in third place, the reserves are sixth and I think the Under-18 team are somewhere mid-table. Overall, things are going well for us and with the players here at the moment everything is pointing towards a very bright future for the Queens Park club.”
Coached by Mike Brazil, a U.E.F.A. qualified coach and brother of former Scotland international Alan Brazil, Queens Park boast one of the youngest squads in the State League with an average age of around 20 years and 6 months. In the past month the club have proved their detractors wrong and held their place in the top half of the ladder. There have been good wins over Perth City and Wanneroo City, while last weekend’s one-all home draw with second-placed Armadale shows the quality and character of the youngsters coming up through the club’s ranks.
COCKBURN “GETTING THERE” SAYS COACH (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
Cockburn City coach Mark Jackson is delighted with his club’s recent hot form - successive wins over Western Knights and Inglewood United - but admits it’s not been easy in his first year as coach. “It’s like a league of nations there with so many boys from different backgrounds - and so many personality clashes, but we’re getting there,” said the Cockburn coach. Jackson hopes to have Peter Petkovic back in the line-up shortly after he recently returned from holidaying in Europe as well as a stop-off at the World Cup on the way home. Talented midfielder Paul Cook could also be back in the running for a spot soon after shaking off groin and achilles problems.
14-YEAR OLD FITZPATRICK A STAR AT KINGSWAY (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
Kingsway Olympic claim to have one of the youngest teams in the First Division - and certainly the youngest player in 14-year-old Shane Fitzpatrick, who has been playing in the centre of the first team’s defence. The youngster, who stands at over six feet, joined the northern suburbs club this year with the hope of playing in the Under-18’s, but quickly made a huge impression on coach Gordon McCulloch who recruited him for the first team. Olympic has developed some exciting youngsters in recent years, including Stan Lazaridis (Birmingham City) and Richard Garcia (West Ham United). The pair, both currently on holiday in Perth, could be clashing in the English Premier League this coming season.
GARETH NAVEN BACK WITH PERTH
One-time State representative Gareth Naven has returned to where it all started by re-signing with Perth S.C., the club he helped lift numerous local trophies during the early 1990’s. “I am very pleased … Perth is a good club with good people,” said Naven, who turned out for the Blues against Sorrento on Saturday. Under the terms of Naven’s contract he can leave Perth at short notice should he receive an offer to resume his career either interstate or overseas. Singapore club Marine Castle United, coach by former Sorrento boss Trevor Morgan, are understood to be interested in signing Naven for next season. The 33-year old was recently released by National Soccer League club Perth Glory who he captained for six seasons.
TOMICH READY TO MAKE N.S.L. MARK (reproduced with permission from www.tribalfootball.com)
Young Western Knights goalkeeper Tommi Tomich (right) is ready to jump back into the National Soccer League. The former Perth Glory number two has enjoyed an outstanding season to date with Premier League club and is now rated by most judges as the best keeper outside the national competition. Already a number of N.S.L. clubs have had scouts looking at Tomich over the last few games. Tomich served a two-year apprenticeship with Glory but never had a senior opportunity due to the fantastic performances of Socceroo ‘keeper Jason Petkovic. After leaving Glory, the 22 year-old Tomich has gained valuable senior football experience with the Knights. Tomich is a massive 194cm and incredibly fast, clocking just on seven seconds for 60-metres.
The University of W.A. became the first team to defeat Hamersley Rovers this season when they triumphed 4-2 at McGillivray Oval in Sunday’s W.A.A.S.S.A. Premier League showdown. Teemu Sihvola who took advantage of a defensive error in the 3rd minute to open the scoring amid appeals from the Hamersley players that the ball had not crossed the line. Three minutes later University extended the margin as Adam Brett fed a pass to Sihvola who turned sharply to hit the ball into the far corner and make it 2-0. Robert Benkovic and Chris Shelburne came close to making adding their side third before Hamersley won a penalty which was converted by Neil Birkinshaw. Sihvola completed his hat-trick with a well-placed header on the hour mark, but four minutes later a Peter O’Connell free-kick skimmed the head of a defender and flew past goalkeeper Shayan Young to reduce the deficit. The visiting side saw their best efforts repelled by the University defence before Sihvola slipped away down the right to deliver an inch-perfect pass for Christian Tribbe who crashed the ball home from close range to make it 4-2. “This clearly was one of the best U.W.A. performances ever seen at McGillivary,” said coach Kevin Burton post-match. “The effort and commitment shown by the entire team against a very competitive Hamersley side was simply a pleasure to be a part of. Everyone at the club is absolutely elated to have achieved such a significant victory because Hamersley were unbeaten for 17-odd games. Excitement aside, our challenge is now to take this performance on and realise our potential for the rest of the season.” University reserves went down 2-0 after Gary Birkinshaw and Daniel Scudder found the target for Hamersley.
Balga slumped to their second defeat in as many weeks after playing with ten men for almost the entire match against Shamrock Rovers. With only seconds elapsed, Balga goalkeeper Ronny Longkeek brought down an opposing forward as he raced into the area and was somewhat harshly shown a red carded by the referee before the resulting penalty was converted. It was hardly surprising then that Shamrock would go on to dominate the early exchanges and before too long had doubled their lead. A superb individual goal soon made it 3-0 to the home side as a very long afternoon loomed for Balga. The visitors kicked into life midway through the half, Scott Wilson coming close to pegging a goal back with a blistering shot from long-range which hit the crossbar. The second half saw Balga force the pace, winning several corners with their best chance falling to Anthony Banham whose shot was cleared off the line. Shamrock were reduced to ten men with 15 minutes remaining as the match threatened to boil over, but both sides kept their calm as the home side recorded a 3-0 win to move into fifth place on the table.
In other Premier League games, Forrestfield United made up ground on Hamersley by thumping four past Perth Azzurri without reply, narrowing the gap between first and second to four points. University moved into third after Spearwood Dalmatinac were held to a 2-2 draw by local rivals Kwinana United. E.C.U. Joondalup came out 4-3 winners away to Murdoch University, while Subiaco United lost 3-1 at home to Fremantle United. Hamersley teammates Neil Birkinshaw and Flavio L’Abbatte are joint leading scorers after Round Ten with ten goals apiece, more than half their teams overall total. Spearwood’s Damien Pescud is second with 7 goals, with Matthew Alcock (Forrestfield) and Steve McCabe (Joondalup) a further goal off the pace.
CN Canning International have gone to the top of the First Division table after defeating previous leaders North Perth United 2-1 at home on Sunday. Belmont Villa missed out on moving up the table after being defeated 3-0 away at W.A. Maccabi, while North Beach stay within striking distance of the leaders after accounting for Cockburn City 4-0. Morley Windmills and Geraldton La Fiamma ended in a 2-2 draw, and Colo Colo proved too strong for Carlisle 5-2. The result of the Cloverdale Chindits-Suburbs United match is currently unknown. North Perth’s Jeremy Fontanille leads the way with 18 goals so far this season, five more than Luke Myburg of Suburbs United. Fontanille’s strike partner Jeffery Drury is third with 11 goals, followed closely by Tino Bruzzse (Maccabi) and Jaime Jorquera (Colo Colo) who have each found the net 10 times.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND EIGHT (Sorrento vs Perth S.C. by Kerry Slater; Swan I.C. vs Ashfield by Mike Hennessey; Fremantle City vs Bassendean Caledonian by Christian Galapolous)
Inglewood United and Cockburn City went into Saturday's Premier League clash at the National Stadium after contrasting fortunes last weekend. The home side was desperate to erase the memory of a disappointing away loss to local rivals Floreat Athena, while for Cockburn the aim was to record back-to-back victories after a convincing 4-1 win over high-flying Western Knights. With both sides missing key players through injury or suspension, the match got off to a scrappy start in which neither was able to do much with the ball. Cockburn settled the quicker and enjoyed the better of possession but, other than a 7th minute shot by Branimir Mikulic which was smothered by goalkeeper Oliver Taseski, there was little for the small crowd to get excited about.
Cockburn lost experienced defender Peter Vukmirovic to a thigh injury after 16 minutes, and three minutes later a clever exchange between Mikulic and Bryn Griffiths exposed some defensive frailties as the formers thunderbolt from 17-metres whizzed narrowly wide of the target. With Cockburn by this stage well in control of the proceedings, Joshua Pescud then combined with Mikulic who unleashed a fierce shot that was knocked around the up-right by Taseski. Inglewood won their first corner after 25 minutes, and s60-seconds later an Alan MacKenzie free-kick to the back post saw Elton Holmes volley wide. The home side were beginning to find their rhythm and another free-kick into the area, this time from Andy Cornmell, was nodded back across the face of goal by Holmes in the direction of Michael Bushby only for Dusan Macura to intercept and clear. In the 38th minute it was Mikulic that again caused the home defence problems, out-pacing Michael Di Fulvio down the left but his low shot from a narrow angle was tipped wide by Taseski.
With the match seemingly destined to remain scoreless going into the break, the match coughed up two goals as the result of some sloppy defending in the space of three minutes. A MacKenzie cross from the left after 42 minutes caught the Cockburn backline flat-footed and Holmes popped up between Macura and Boza Erakovic to roll the ball past Jeff Cargill from 6-metres. But the visitors responded near immediately. A dreadful defensive error allowed the ever-alert Mikulic to waltz into the 18-yard box, round the 'keeper and knock the ball into the exposed goal for the equaliser. It was an amazing end to a largely uninspiring half which was, for the better part, played out in the middle third of the pitch.
Four minutes into the new half Mikulic bagged his second goal of the afternoon after a darting run which took him past Djukan Tesic and Jamie Goodman before the striker calmly placed his shot over the advancing Taseski, the ball crossing the line despite Rory Mouttet's desperate attempt to clear. The goal had the effect of breathing new life into the match, the next 20 minutes seeing good opportunities created at both ends in a see-sawing battle. In the 55th minute Cargill knocked wide a close range shot from MacKenzie, and from the resulting corner Mouttet's glancing header ended just wide of the up-right. Dean Wallace's blistering drive from 20-metres produced a brilliant flying save from Taseski to tip the shot over the bar. Christian Paschewitz teamed up with Mikulic on the hour to provide Pescud with a simple tap-in that was ruled out for off-side. And shortly after MacKenzie found the net after Cargill parried a Cornmell shot, but it too was disallowed by the referee.
The visiting side upped the pace over the final 20 minutes in their search for a third goal, which arrived after 72 minutes. Mikulic displayed some fancy footwork to throw off Paul Baczynski but his shot crashed into the base of the post and ricocheted across the face of goal where, under pressure from Paschewitz, Di Fulvio had the misfortune of turning the ball into his own net (referee Jeremy Oliphant actually credited the goal to Paschewitz). Not content with a two-goal buffer, Cockburn continue to ply pressure to the Inglewood defence. Taseski produced another top-draw save to deny Mikulic his hat-trick shortly after, and with ten minutes to go Wallace nodded wide a dangerous in-swinging Pescud free-kick. With things slipping from their grip, the home side mounted a late charge, Scott Campbell's low shot was blocked on the line by a defender but Michael Baczynski made no mistake with the rebound to reduce the deficit in the 86th minute. Sensing a point was within reach, Inglewood threw everything into finding a late equaliser only to be thwarted by some desperate Cockburn defending as close-range efforts by Di Fulvio and MacKenzie were cleared off the line.
In a match that saw moments of great promise but never really reached any great heights as a spectacle, Cockburn deservedly went home with all three points and avenged April's Boral Cup loss to Inglewood. The match was won and lost across the centre of the park where Griffiths, Jeff Bright and Pescud stifled Inglewood's normally creative midfield, while Mikulic and Macura were dominate at opposite ends of the ground. For much of the 90 minutes Inglewood had great difficulty in penetrating the opposing backline. 35-year old midfielder MacKenzie worked tirelessly for the duration, while between the posts Taseski kept the his side in the hunt with a number of very important saves.
Inglewood United : Oliver Taseski, Jamie Goodman, Michael Di Fulvio, Djukan
Tesic (Michael Baczynski 64), Rory Mouttet, Andy Cornmell, Michael Bushby
(Paul Baczynski 64), Daniel Harrop, Scott Campbell, Alan MacKenzie, Elton
Cockburn City : Jeff Cargill, Dusan Macura, Steve Adam, Peter Vukmirovic (Boza Erakovic 16), Bryn Griffiths, Jeff Bright, Devid Vitale, Dean Wallace, Joshua Pescud, Christian Paschewitz, Branimir Mikulic (Paul Wright 90)
Referee : Jeremy Oliphant
Cautions : Pescud (56), Holmes (61), Wallace (69), Cornmell (83)
Dismissals : None
Attendance : 200 (approx.)
Sorrento dug their way out of a three-goal grave by powering back in the final 22 minutes of their home fixture against Perth S.C. League leaders Perth got off to a prefect opening when Sorrento failed to clear a shot by Robert Gaspar who was able to shoot home the rebound after only 3 minutes. Sorrento struggled to get over the early setback and were not helped when Ryan Jeans fired high after 8 minutes, and then two minutes later David Foster's header came back off the crossbar. Perth was gifted a second goal on 36 minutes, Gaspar's corner from the right taking a slight deflection off the leg of Steve MacDonald before rolling across the line at the near post. A minute before half-time Gaspar turned provider when he got behind the home defence to pull the ball back into the danger area where Andreas Oliveira stabbed home from 3-metres in the confusion. The half-time address by coach Steve Neville didn't seem to have any immediate effect on the Sorrento players, but that changed on 68 minutes when Michael Ord's free-kick saw MacDonald rise highest to head the ball in off the far post. Six minutes later the visitors could have put the match beyond their opponents but Albert Osei-Tutu smashed his shot against the cross bar from 8-metres. The Seagulls found a second in the 78th minute when Ord beat all to a Tony Cumace corner and powered the ball into the roof of the net. And within a minute Sorrento were level. A poorly cleared Cumace came to Jeans who swung the ball back into the area where MacDonald's downward header bounced over the line to leave the visiting team stunned. Sorrento had their chances to take maximum points over the closing stages, Crampton smacking his shot into Robert Scarparolo when he had only the 'keeper to beat, then Scarparolo's quick reflexes battered away a Foster bullet from a tight angle to save the day for Perth.
Fresh from a confidence-boosting win over Inglewood United last weekend, Floreat Athena came out firing against E.C.U. Joondalup when those sides met in the northern suburbs on Saturday. Controlling play through hard working midfielders Jamie Trandos, Peter Coci and Costa Socratous, Athena went in to the break two goals up after striker Robin Dyers twice found the net. The home side were reduced to ten men late in the first half after Scott Bulloch received his second yellow card of the afternoon. Vas Vujacic replaced regular Athena custodian John Xigas at the break and found himself under pressure early in the second half as Joondalup searched desperately for a way back into the game, but when Dyers completed his hat-trick the match was over as a contest. Athena caught their opponents short at the back as the match came to a close and could have added to their score if luck was on the side of Ryan Newhill who is going through a lean patch. In what was a true team effort, Dyers was the hero for the visitors while Joondalup defender Richard Watson showed his class while operating under what was at time red-hot pressure.
Swan I.C. defeated Ashfield 3-1 as Damian Scali's three-goal haul lifted his side four points clear of Ashfield who remain rooted at the foot of the Premier League table. With five first team players absent for a variety of reasons, Swan looked to their youth ranks which resulted in teenage midfielder Rob Shepheard turning in a sparkling performance in the left flank. The home side opened the scoring in the 13th minute when a smart exchange enabled Damian Scali to slot home. Swan continued to have the better of possession but were unable to add further to their score until the 33rd minute when Damian Scali again popped up in front of goal to score his and his side's second. Five minutes before half-time Swan added their third when Rob Shepheard's perfectly flighted corner was headed home by Damian Scali to complete a memorable hat-trick. Ashfield came out for the new half a much different proposition and had Swan on the defensive for much of the second period, but it wasn't until five minutes from the end when, in a goalmouth scramble, substitute Martin Kelly reduced the arrears. Post-match, Ashfield coach Tom Kilkelly said the match should have been all over by half-time - in his club's favour. "We missed five sitters and handed them three goals from defensive errors."
Fremantle City temporarily moved into fourth spot after their 2-1 win over Bassendean Caledonian at Ken Allen Field. The home side were awarded a soft penalty in the 19th minute after David Rodgers was judged to have been fouled in side the box, Dale Wingell stepping up to drive the ball inside goalkeeper Alan Dunlop's right post. With a one-goal buffer, Fremantle controlled play but their attacking players were unable to convert that dominance on the scoreboard. Joe Liguan looked set to double the margin before an alert Dunlop raced off his line to save at the attacker's feet. Caledonian midfielder Dean Gartside missed a chance to equalise late in the half when his attempted chip sailed over Fremantle goalkeeper Rob Zabica's crossbar. Gartside's effort was one of few times the visitors managed to penetrate Fremantle's watertight defence that was led by the experienced duo of Craig Surtees and Alex Cummings. Ten minutes into the new half and Caledonian had a penalty appeal turned down after Jason Van Rooy was brought down. Shortly after Rodgers won Fremantle their second penalty of the afternoon, Dale Wingell this time hitting his spot-kick to Dunlop's left. Not wanting their undefeated run to end Caledonian went in search of a goal and would have got one goal back had it not been for Surtees' superb clearance in the 80th minute. Paul Strudwick sent a free-kick narrowly wide of the up-right, and late in the game striker Ramon Westerberger finally got Caledonian in the board, finishing a brilliant solo run by coolly slotting the ball past a diving Zabica. But the goal came to late for the visitors for whom Westerberger and Jimmy Merkouris stood out, while For Fremantle it was Surtees, Alex Cummings and Daniel Trim who lead the way.
Western Knights blew their opportunity to go back to the top of the Premier League table on Sunday when they crashed to a youthful Future Glory line-up 3-2 at Nash Field. With all Perth Glory players unavailable, Future promoted goalkeeper Jordan Conti and midfielder Damir Kuduzovic to the starting line-up with Under-17 teammates Stjepan Beretovac and Ashley Otte on the bench. In a first half totally dominated by the home side, it was 17-year old Conti that stood in the Knights way with a string of magnificent saves to keep the scores level at the interval. Four minutes after the re-start State Under-19 midfielder Miki Vujacic drilled home a wicked low shot to open the scoring with Future's first threatening attack of the game, and five minutes later shot truly from 15-metres to double the margin. Conti enhanced his reputation on the hour when he kept out a Eugene Singeorzan penalty kick. The Knights pegged a goal back two minutes later through John Nicolaou, and were back on level terms with 19 minutes remaining when a glorious drive saw Singeorzan make it. With the match heading for a draw, some sloppy marking at the back by the Knights allowed Vujacic's cross to be headed in by substitute Beretovac for an 85th minute winner as Future move to within two points of League leaders Perth.
RESERVES AND UNDER-18'S ROUND-UP (Sorrento vs Perth S.C by Kerry Slater; Western Knights vs Future Glory by ShinyChef)
Sorrento and Perth S.C. contested a lively, but scoreless first half in their reserves clash at Percy Doyle Reserve. While the second period didn't match the first for excitement, Perth took the lead through Nick Zumaran. Sparked into life, Sorrento levelled via Farrell Hedges and with three minutes remaining Craig Wells advanced on goal, side-stepped a defender placed his left-foot shot into the bottom right corner of Gianni Papalia's net. The win moves Sorrento into third place on the League table.
Inglewood United's 3-1 home win over Cockburn City enabled them to go top of the reserves table, Louis Parkinson, Stefan Soleski and Daniel Giorgi the scorers with Fabio Fusari netting Cockburn's lone goal. Three points behind the leaders are E.C.U. Joondalup for whom Daniel De Fazio (2), John Greenwood, Jimmy Taneski and Carmello Genovese scored in the 5-2 defeated of Floreat Athena 5-2. Eugene Tan and Alex Novatsis hit the target for Athena. Goals by Johnny Ferreira and Michael Vaz enabled Fremantle City down Bassendean Caledonian 2-1 and hold onto fourth place. In an evenly-contested fixture, Swan I.C. and Ashfield shared the points when their match ended one-all.
A well-placed header by Adam Quinn gave the visiting Ashfield Under-18 side an early lead over Swan. With Ashfield's midfield in control of play, Dinko Ahmetanovic found the net twice to give his side a thee-goal buffer going into half-time. There was more of the same after the break, Dion Florias teeing-up Ahmetanovic for his hat-trick and a superb pass from Benny Matei saw the in-form Ashfield striker bag his fourth goal of the afternoon, and his sixteenth of the season. Ashfield continued to press forward, Quinn completing his hat-trick with the visitors running out victors 7-0.
Future's youngsters turned in another excellent passing display to which the Knights had no answers as they ran out 7-1 victors at Nash Field. Hat-tricks by Michael Park and Wesley Ryder were the highlights of a fine attacking performance that was capped off by another well-taken penalty by Future goalkeeper Alex Vrteski. The win takes Future to fourth spot on the table in what is turning out to be a very distinguished debut season in the competition for the side which consists of players under the age of 16.
David Michevski gave Perth the lead midway through the second half of their clash with Sorrento, and when Simon Trinca converted from the penalty spot short after the match was effectively over. The match ended on a low when Perth's Craig Simpson was taken off to hospital with a broken ankle. A 3-1 win by Joondalup over Athena keeps them four-points clear at the head of the Under-18's table. Fremantle remain second after goals from Mark Sim (3), John Migas and Daniel Barlow saw them trounce Bassendean 5-0, while Inglewood and Cockburn found out a one-all draw.
FIRST DIVISION WRAP (Queens Park vs Armadale by Michael Di Pietro; Balcatta vs Bayswater City by Adam Rucci; South West Phoenix vs Leeming Strikers courtesy of www.leemingstrikers.com)
Stirling Lions have increased their lead at the top of the First Division with an impressive 4-0 home win over bottom side Wanneroo City. Dominant over an opening quarter-hour in which they twice found the net but had both goals disallowed, a scorching shot from 24-metres by Toby Wright in the 17th minute gave the Lions the lead they were looking for. Wannerro were very unlucky not to get on the scoresheet with a thunder bolt of a free-kick from around 35-metres that had left the Lions 'keeper stranded, however the shot hit the crossbar and the follow-up was well off-target. The scare woke up the home side who responded by playing some attractive football that, in the space of five minutes, saw them add to their match tally twice through Leo Harman and Bobbi Klenkoski. The second half was a very dull affair for most of the spectators who decided that the Spain-Korea match was a far more appealing prospect and many moved inside the clubhouse to the watch the World Cup clash. The Lions conjured up a fourth goal after a sensational cross from new-signing was knocked in by Harmann two minutes from the end of regulation time. Both the early match went the way of the Lions, the reserves 3-1 and the Under-18's 7-0.
Armadale were away on Saturday to a 'newly' rebuilt Queens Park side which had a great deal of youth on its' side. The Reds had several chances in the opening period but it took them until the 37th minute to find the net through striker Greg Newcombe. To their credit Queens Park never gave up and their persistence was rewarded after 65 minutes with an equaliser via Jodi Henderson. Armadale once again shared the missed opportunities around and would rue not taking all three points on offer. The Reds reserves were unlucky to come away without any points after pressuring the Queens Park goal throughout the game, and a missed penalty after 15 minutes was a clear sign of things to come for the visitors. Five minutes into the second half Queens Park got the ball in the back of the net for the only goal of the game, although defender Michael O'Neill was unfortunate not to score with a late run. Armadale's Under-18 side keep marching on, this week another solid team performance all but wrapping up the match in the first half with great goals by Steve Flynn (2nd, 15th and 40th minutes), who replaced the suspended Darren Kingston in the starting line-up, and Peter Taylor (25th minute).
Mandurah City had a successful day with wins' at all three levels against Morley Windmills at Wootton Reserve. The visitors started in total control with their midfield of Mikel Sesma, Damian Condo and veteran Sean Kearns running the show to send Mandurah into attack. A vicious shot by Mick Bobridge crashed into the crossbar after 17 minutes, and nine minutes later the same player raced clear of the defence to unselfishly play the ball into the path of Andrew Rennie who made no mistake in giving Mandurah the lead. Rather continue on with the job, Mandurah eased off and allowed the home side back into the match which saw them equalise four minutes from half-time when the unmarked Ray Rose thumped the ball past goalkeeper Mike Green. A very scrappy start to the second half saw neither side able to dominate, but Mandurah re-claimed the lead after 62 minutes when Bobridge drew the 'keeper out of position before squaring to Rennie who bagged his and Mandurah's second goal of the day. Windmills could have equalised five minutes later but Ian Ballantyne's spot-kick flew wide of the target. Mandurah's reserve side won 4-2, Scott Clugston scoring his first goal since joining the club, Carlos Almeida continued his good form in scoring the second, and Steve Choate bagged a double. The visitors Under-18 team came out victors 4-0 courtesy of a Jake Loreto hat-trick and a single from Clint Brown.
Bayswater City went into their derby match with Balcatta as clear favorites having recorded victory in each of their past three outings. The match started with a bang as, in the 6th minute, Bayswater's Nick Stojanovski darted down the left before crossing to unmarked striker Sal Marrapodi who tapped the ball into the back of the net to give Bayswater the lead. Stojanovski could have extended their lead but couldn't make the most of his opportunity, and Balcatta levelled the scores after 16 minutes when a loose ball saw Marco Muccarione smash the ball home from 25-metres. The momentum then shifted in favour of Balcatta who took a deserved in the 32nd minute when a Michael Lagana header hit the bar and David Moschilla pounced to send the ball into the open net. Both sides emerged for the second half in a fiery mood and contested every ball to the fullest. In the 73rd minute a great run by Daniel Naumovski down the right saw his cross turned in by Balcatta defender David Marshall for the equaliser. The match was decided five minutes from full-time when man-of-the-match Naumovski turned inside the area to hit a first time shot which crashed into the roof of Simon Madaschi's net. The win sends Bayswater into fifth place on the table, while Balcatta were condemned to their fourth home loss this season. Balcatta's reserves came out on top 3-1, substitute Kristian Ottolini netting for Bayswater, while the Under-18 match went the way of the home side by 2-1, Tony Casella Bayswater's scorer.
It was a case of a long way for nothing for Leeming Strikers when they lost 3-2 to South West Phoenix. After a two-hour trip to Bunbury, the visiting side were left pointless after a physical encounter in which they could not match the commitment of the previously struggling home team. Phoenix hit the front after 38 minutes when Brett Norrie scrambled the ball home to send his side into the break with the advantage. Strikers started the second half well but were unable to capitalise until Stuart Indge pounced in the 72nd minute after Paul Gibson's effort was not dealt with by Phoenix goalkeeper Joe Mularczyk. But the visitors lost momentum before a lively finish which started when Phoenix's Chris Gaynor scored a spectacular goal six minutes from full-time. Sixty-seconds later the Strikers levelled through substitute David Sherington's tap-in after a Tony Hall header, but the visitors hope of a point was dashed when Steve Rogers won the match with two minutes to go.
Goal by Mick Van Dongen and Paul Daly saw Canning City win 2-0 against Perth City and leapfrog that club to move into seventh place on the First Division table. Kingsway Olympic won for just the second time this season, 3-1 over the visiting Dianella White Eagles side. John Doherty, Alan Henderson and 16-year old Mark Purcell found the net for Olympic while Dianella's one goal came from Boima Karpex. Stirling Suns claimed maximum points by defeating Southside United 3-0, Vlad Beretovac, Rydeon Botha and Gareth Banfield their scorers. Rockingham City this week had the bye.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
With five points separating eight clubs, there are some important mid-table clashes this weekend as the Premier League season nears its halfway stage. Inglewood United host Cockburn City, E.C.U. Joondalup are home to Floreat Athena, and Bassendean Caledonian are on the road to Fremantle City with all of those sides keen on establishing themselves in the top half of the table before the second round of fixtures get underway. The bottom two - Swan I.C. and Ashfield - meet at the Swan Italian Club in a match that could go a long way to deciding who picks up the wooden spoon at seasons' end. Premier League leaders Perth S.C. have scored 19 times away from home so far this season and are hotly tipped to collect all three points from their clash at Percy Doyle reserve with Sorrento. On Sunday Western Knights entertain the youngsters of Future Glory.
New First Division leaders Stirling Lions have scored fourteen and conceded just once in their past four outings and are expected to continue that form when they play bottom side Wanneroo City at Macedonia Park on Saturday. Armadale have the tough task of taking on a Queens Park side that battered in five goals last week at Coker Park in what is shaping up to be the game of Round Twelve. Morley Windmills host Mandurah City in another potential blockbuster, while the mid-table clash between Canning City and Perth City should also keep the crowd entertained until the final whistle. Bayswater City are on the road where they face a Balcatta side who had found the net just fourteen times in eleven outings. Elsewhere, South West Phoenix host Leeming Strikers, strugglers Kingsway Olympic play Dianella White Eagles, Stirling Suns are home to Southside United, and Rockingham City have the weekend off.
GOALS FLOWING FOR OLIVEIRA
It's been a high scoring start to the 2002 Premier League season with the ball hitting the back of the net a grand total of 187 time in 47 games - that's an average of almost four games a game! And leading the way is none other than Perth S.C. and State Under-19 scoring sensation Andreas Oliveira who has really hit his straps in recent weeks by bagging eleven goals in six games, a haul which includes hat-tricks against Cockburn City and Future Glory. Keeping pace with Oliveira has been difficult but last seasons' Golden Boot winner, Branimir Mikulic (Cockburn) is hot on his trail with seven goals to date.
Bobby Despotovski (Future Glory) has found the net six times in his last two appearances to share third place on the scorers tables with Western Knights' Carl Medica. Mikulic's striker partner at Cockburn, Christian Paschekwitz, has five goals to his credit, as does Perth's Mark Pottier and Inglewood United wingback Andy Cornmell. There are a host of players sitting just another goal off the pace, namely Jamie Coyne (Perth), Garin Collins (E.C.U. Joondalup), Elton Holmes (Inglewood United), David Foster, Ryan Jeans (Sorrento), Josh Kamasz (Fremantle City), Mileta Miletic, Nick Mrdja (Future), Brian Robertson (Swan I.C.) and Eugene Singeorzan (Knights).
SOCCEROOS HONOURS FOR GLORY TRIO
Three of Perth Glory's star players will go into camp with the Australian national team this weekend ahead of the 2002 Oceania Nations Cup which is being held in New Zealand next month. Former Floreat Atehna striker Bobby Depotovski, one-time Cockburn City goalkeeper Jason Petkovic, and the National Soccer league's all-time leading goalscorer Damian Mori have been named in Frank Farina's national squad for the up-coming tournament.
Jeff Dennis, Chief Executive Officer with Perth Glory, said the call-ups were an honour for Western Australian sport. "This is great news for the players, for the club and for W.A. sport. Bobby was Glory's Most Valuable Player for a second year in the row, Damian topped the N.S.L. goal-scoring charts and Jason is regarded as one of the best keepers in the national league. Everyone at the club is delighted for them."
WOMEN'S STATE TEAM HEADING OVERSEAS
With preparations for the women's State team's visit to Malaysia in full swing, coach Alistair Edwards spoke with the crew from Access 31's "Soccer W.A." segment tonight about the up-coming trip. "We've got a State women's team going to Malaysia on July 19th to play in the Australasian Championship where we'll be playing against sides from Thailand, Singapore, Queensland, New Zealand and Malaysia," Edwards explained. "What we're trying to do is build a relationship with our relatives in Asia, try to establish links and make this an annual event. It is in Malaysia this time, maybe the next time we can bring it down to Perth."
Edwards, a former Australia international whose career saw him play professionally in Australia, England, Singapore and Malaysia, explained how he came to land the coaching role with the State women's team. "I retired from Perth Glory at the end of the season and I got a phone call from Jill Mateljan, the State team manager and whose got a connection with Glory, asking if I wanted to coach the team. I want to keep involved in soccer and I though it was a good idea to see if I could have some kind of success of the field as well." Nicola Williams, a member of the State squad, gave the coach the thumbs-up. "He's great. He makes playing very enjoyable, he's got some good advice for us and encourages good teamwork."
TWO ON DEBUT FOR ELLIS
New signing Tony Ellis wasted little no time in making an impression on E.C.U. Joondalup coach Paul Simmons, the striker scoring twice on debut but unable to prevent his side from going down 4-2 to League leaders Perth S.C. on the weekend. The 37-year old arrives in Western Australia at the end of a lengthy career in England in which he made over 600 League and Cup appearance and brought him in excess of 200 goals. Spotted as a 21-year old playing for Northwich Victoria when he was picked up by Oldham Athletic. Over the next sixteen years Ellis would pull on the club colours of Preston North End, Stoke City, Blackpool, Bury, Stockport County, Rochdale and most recently Burnley before heading down under to link up with Joondalup in the Premier League. During his time in England Ellis was named his club's Player of the Year on three occasions (Preston 92/93, 93/94 and Blackpool 94/95) and Leading Goalscorer seven times (Preston 88/89, 92/93, 93/94, Blackpool 94/95, 95/96, 96/97, Rochdale 99/00).
AFKOS MOVING ON
One-time West Australian Schoolboy representative James Afkos will start the 2002/03 season with his third National Soccer League club having recently parting company with Marconi Stallions. The 24-year old midfielder is believed to be in discussion with South Melbourne and reigning N.S.L. champions Sydney Sharks. Afkos, who started out locally with Kingsway Olympic and Floreat Athena, spent three seasons on the books of Perth Glory and the past two with Marconi for a total of 70 appearances in the nations' top flight.
CENTENARY CUP, SECOND ROUND
Floreat Athena are through to the last four of the Edith Cowan University sponsored Centenary Challenge Cup after accounting for Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park on Wednesday evening. Making his return from suspension, striker Robin Dyers gave the visiting team the lead with Dejan Djukanovic making it 2-0 before the break. The second half saw the Lions desperate for a way back into the match, but Athena effectively soaked up the pressure and held on to record a two-goal victory of the First Division leaders.
LARDIS LOOKS FOR ATHENA RETURN
The talented Michael Lardis could be back playing in the Premier League with Floreat Athena within the next few weeks. Rated as one of the State's hottest young properties when he chose to pursue a career in Greece three years ago, Lardis has recently returned to Perth and has been training with Athena over the past few weeks. The club are currently awaiting clearance from Lardis' previous club in Crete before registering him to play.
Lardis was one of several youngsters that then Athena coach Jim Prygolios brought into the first team when the club last lifted the Premier League title in 1997, a year in which they completed the treble by winning the Divella-sponsored Cup and pre-season Night Series. Others youngsters that came up through the clubs ranks that season include State sweeper Troy Bernard, former Perth Glory and Marconi Stallions midfielder James Afkos, and current Athena first teamers Costa Socratous, Andreas Pantelis, Anthony Jones and Terry Georganis.
S.W.C. CALL FOR EASING OF VISA LAWS (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
The thorny issue of visa players will come under the microscope when Soccer Australia's new general manager, Phillip Jessop, visits Perth within the next two weeks. Soccer West Coast is pushing hard for regulations on visa players to be relaxed for players taking part in leagues outside the National Soccer League.
LAZARIDIS ENJOYS ATHENA RETURN (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
Former Floreat Athena star Stan Lazaridis returned to the Premier League club on the weekend, but only to officially kick off the game against Inglewood United at Litis Stadium. Lazaridis will be back playing in the English Premier League next season with newly promoted Birmingham City. "In a way it will be a relief to be back in the Premier, for the English First Division is a very competitive league and very hard to get out of," said Lazaridis, who previously played in England's top flight with West Ham United. The midfielder will spend another week or so in Perth with his family before returning to the United Kingdom.
SORRENTO LOSE STOITIS
Sorrento look like being without State Under-19 defender Daniel Stoitis for the remainder for the 2002 season due to injury. The teenager damaged ligaments when challenging for a ball in the Premier League clash at Swan I.C. early this month and is facing time under the surgeon's knife for a knee reconstruction. Stoitis, who captained the State at Under-16 level and had trials with English club Middlesbrough a few years ago, joined the northern suburbs club this season after taking out the First Division's Fairest and Best award with Kingsway Olympic last year.
The University of W.A. returned to their winning ways with a solid 4-2 win at Murdoch University in the W.A.A.S.S.A. Premier League on Sunday. The home side started brightly but it was the opposition that scored first with Robert Benkovic intercepting a poor back pass before sliding the ball home from wide on the left after 20 minutes. Shortly after Murdoch were denied an equaliser by athletic goalkeeper Shayan Young. University extended their lead after 35 minutes when a good run down the right by Marc D'Ascanio resulted in Matt Hill converting from close range. The second half saw Murdoch score after only five minutes when Neil McClure found himself unmarked in the box. A mazy run by Teemu Sihvola saw him beat two defenders then cross to Christian Tribe who powerfully head home to make it 3-1. Further pressure from the visitors saw Benkovic run at the Murdoch defence before finishing a fine move by drilling the ball into the roof of the net. McClure bagged a late consolation for Murdoch after evading three defenders to slot the ball into the right hand corner. "Whilst Murdoch had some regular players missing we also made four changes including two young guys who made their Premiership debuts," said University coach Kevin Burton post-match. "We also changed our playing system and I have nothing but praise for the way in which the U.W.A. players adapted and competed with a Murdoch side who lose very few games." University cemented second spot on the reserves table by beating Murdoch 1-0 courtesy of a well-executed chip from Tom Muirhead.
Fremantle United won their fourth consecutive match in the W.A.A.S.S.A. Premier League on Sunday by crushing Kwinana United 6-0 at Hilton Reserve. After an even opening spell, the home team took the lead after 16 minutes when Danny Collova put through Darryl Rich who successfully found the net. Kwinana's job was made al the harder in the 27th minute when Tony Walker was sent off, and three minutes later Collova made his way down the left before curling the ball into the top corner to double Fremantle's lead. The port side went into the break three goals up after Rich again netted. It was more of the same in the second half with Fremantle comfortably in control. Dave Evans' rasping drive flew past goalkeeper Scott Brenzi early in the half, Rob Santich added Fremantle's fifth in the 75th minute, and the route was completed seven minutes later when Rich was brought down inside the area and Mel Bosco converted from the penalty spot. The reserves match was taken out by Kwinana, 4-1.
Balga's hot and cold season continued at Brian Burke Reserve when they crashed 3-2 to Subiaco United, who won for the first time this season. Despite being played in picture-perfect conditions, both sides lacked cohesion and struggled to create any notable chances in the opening period. And there was further frustration for the big crowd when Balga's Steve Hill was red carded for dissent midway through the half. From then on in it was a case of backs to the wall for Balga who dropped Anthony Banham and Gary James back into midfield in an effort to stem Subiaco's dominance. The game didn't come to life until the 59th minute when James skipped away from the defence to win a corner that was headed home by Scott Wilson to give the home side a surprise lead. Four minutes later it was 2-0 courtesy of some classy football when Martin McShane charged through to smash the ball past the stranded visiting goalkeeper. Two goals up, Balga then lost their momentum as Subiaco made better use of the full width of the park. A deflected shot after 74 minutes saw the ball fly past home custodian Paul Cunningham to reduce the margin. A defensive error lead to the visitors equalising two minutes from full-time, and with just seconds left on the clock a long ball into attack produced the winning goal for Subiaco.
In other W.A.A.S.S.A. Premier League action, table-toppers Hamersley Rovers were held to a scoreless draw by the visiting Shamrock Rovers side, and it the same score when second-placed Spearwood Dalmatinac hosted third-placed Forrestfield United. Perth Azzurri registered their second win of the campaign by knocking over E.C.U. Joondalup 4-3.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND EIGHT (Perth S.C. vs E.C.U. Joondalup by Christian Galapolous; Cockburn City vs Western Knights by Lennie Bavich; Swan I.C. vs Future Glory by Mike Hennessey)
The Premier League clash between Bassendean Caledonian and reigning champions Sorrento at Jubilee Reserve opened with some attractive, attacking football played by both teams as they sought the early advantage. Ryan Jeans should have at least tested goalkeeper Alan Dunlop when he received a smart pass from Tony Cumace in the 1st minute but the striker screwed his shot wide of the up-right. The home team saw most of their early chances cut out by an alert defence, but in the 10th minute Ramon Westerberger found enough space only for his close-range effort to be comfortably saved by Gareth Deeg. Shortly after, Lee Burns controlled a high ball and rounded a defender only to see Dunlop knock his powerful shot wide. With Peter Butler and Cumace working hard in midfield, Sorrento gained the upper hand and increasingly had the home defence under pressure. Cumace sent David Foster through on goal but the State Under-19 player placed his shot wide of the target just after the quarter-hour mark.
Having withstood the early onslaught, Caledonian started to find their rhythm with Jason Van Rooy and Jimmy Merkouris forming a dangerous partnership down the right flank while in midfield it was Paul Strudwick who was making inroads. And with their first meaningful attack of the afternoon, the home side took the lead. A darting run by Van Rooy saw him release Graeme Matthews wide on the right, the striker's cross into the area met by Dean Gartside who'd timed his run to perfection, heading powerfully to leave Deeg grasping at air as the ball slammed into the back of the net. The 20th minute goal had the effect of dulling Sorrento's attacking instincts and, while Butler, Cumace and Burns had a stranglehold on the middle of the park, there was very little for the visiting fans to get excited about. Love saw a fine header comfortably saved by Dunlop, but otherwise it was a well-drilled Caledonian defence who were dominant in their third of the pitch and broke down their opponents attacking forays with relative ease.
It was a far more organised and confident Sorrento side that emerged for the second half and immediately they let their intentions be known, going on the attack from the re-start. But both teams were guilty of missing some guilt-edged chances in front of goal early in the new half. In the 54th minute Love curled a free-kick from just outside the 18-yard box around the defensive wall, Dunlop blocked it on the line and Foster skied the loose ball from close-range. The home side should have extended their lead three minutes later when Michael Ord lost his footing as he chased a long ball into defence, Matthews seized upon the defender's misfortune and beat the 'keeper to the ball only to knock it wide of the open goal. Shortly after Steven MacDonald squandered another golden opportunity to get Sorrento back on level terms, a cross by substitute Ross Greer catching the home defence flat-footed but the tall defender's header found the crossbar rather than the net.
With action flowing freely from end to end, Caledonian sensed a second goal was their's for the taking. Breaking quickly on counter-attack, the home side caught their opponents short at the back in the 61st minute and punished them by doubling the margin. In a swift move, Kevin Smith relayed the ball to Paul Strudwick whose defence-splitting pass found Westerburger streaming forward, Deeg advanced off his line to parry Westerberger's fierce drive but there was little the 'keeper could do as Matthews poked the loose ball over the line from close range. Two minutes later Sorrento were fortunate not to go another goal behind when Strudwick pumped a free-kick into the 18-yard box and Westerberger's well-timed half-volley deflected ever-so-slightly off a defenders boot and wide for a corner.
Two goals down and desperate for a way back into the match, Sorrento threw everything they had forward in the final 20 minutes. A Jeans' corner was cleared of the 18-yard box as far as Butler whose blistering first time shot flew narrowly over the bar. Greer volleyed wide with just the 'keeper to beat, and Shane Crampton under hit his effort not long after as the clock ticked down. Ord met an in-swinging corner eight minutes from full-time but he failed to call Dunlop into action as it ended high. Under all the pressure, the Caledonian defence of Smith, Craig Naven and George Ramm were faultless in the face of the endless onslaught, making numerous timely interceptions and tackles, while behind them Dunlop marshalled his back-three with aplomb. It wasn't until the final minute that the pressure valve was released, the home side mounting another quick counter-attack which resulted in Deeg making a good save down low to keep out Matthews goal-bound strike.
The final whistle was greeted by much hooting and hollering from the home crowd who had watched their side maintain their perfect home record this season (the loss to Future Glory was technically an away game for Caledonian) by defeating the reigning Premier League champions. In what was a true team performance, Caledonian were lead from the back by former State goalkeeper Dunlop who made several good saves and made sure his defence never once lost focus. The performances of Smith, Merkouris and Strudwick also deserve of praise. Sorrento, on the other hand, had far too many passengers. Their best chances came from the right where Kevin Murphy and Jeans combined to great effect while Butler turned in a consistently good 90 minutes. Mention need also be made of referee Angelo Nardi whose control of proceedings was superb, letting the game take its natural course and only getting involved when it was absolutely necessary.
Bassendean Caledonian : Alan Dunlop, Kevin Smith, Craig Naven, George
Ramm, Aaron Moschopoulos, Jason Van Rooy (Raphael Mahony 78), Jimmy
Merkouris (Ian Griffiths 82), Paul Strudwick, Dean Gartside, Ramon
Westerberger (Eric Ravanal 89), Graeme Matthews
Sorrento : Gareth Deeg, Steven MacDonald, Michael Ord, Kevin Murphy, Stuart Banks, Ryan Jeans, Tony Cumace (Shane Crampton 61), Peter Butler, Lee Burns, David Foster (Ross Greer 56), Jared Love
Referee : Angelo Nardi
Cautions : Gartside (13), Butler (43), Strudwick (58), Murphy (80), Westerberger (83), Crampton (90+)
Dismissals : None
Attendance : 200 (approx.)
Perth S.C. regained top spot in the Premier League with a 4-2 victory over E.C.U. Joondalup at Dorrien Gardens. In an action-packed match, referee Athanasios Paraskevis gave three players their marching orders and incurred the wrath of Perth coach Graham Normanton. Joondalup star defender Richard Watson had a prolific opening to the match, saving a goal bound effort down one end then teeing up the opener at the other. A shot by Watson in a goalmouth scramble was chested over the line by recent signing Tony Ellis in the 26th minute to give the northerners' a surprise early lead. But that lead was short lived as Rhys Graham, who's been a pleasant surprise in his debut season in the Perth first team, rounded stranded goalkeeper Peter Stewart before crossing to Jamie Coyne at the far post where he headed truly. Just before the break dynamic striker Andreas Oliveira continued his scoring run when he coolly slotted the ball past the visiting 'keeper to give Perth the advantage after 45 minutes. Perth suffered a blow late in the half when Graham received his second yellow card, and was sent off, for a rash tackle on Watson. It wasn't long into the second half before Joondalup capitalized on its man advantage, Ellis turning in a cross to level the scores once again. The match took another twist in the 65th minute when referee Paraskevis sent off Joondalup goalkeeper Stewart and Perth forward Mark Pottier after a clash on the edge of the 18-yard box. This decision infuriated Perth coach Graham Normanton who had to be sent to the back of the dugout. The dismissal of Stewart unsettled the visiting team and in the 73rd minute Coyne scored his second with a 25-yard bullet that flew past replacement goalkeeper Ronnie Moore. Only four minutes later Moore was picking the ball out of the back of his net again, this time it was Oliveira's superb free-kick from the edge of the area that did the damage. The tireless efforts of Adam Bunce and Rob Gaspar in midfield was notable for Perth, while Joondalup's better performers where youngster Scott Bulloch and the experienced Watson.
Cockburn City defeated Western Knights 4-1 in an exciting Round Eight fixture at Dalmatinac Park. Last seasons' leading scorer, Branimir Mikulic, opened the scoring when he found the net after 33 minutes following some strong pressure being applied to the Knight's backline. Cockburn midfielders Josh Pescud, Shane McNally and Dean Wallace worked tirelessly throughout the afternoon for their team as both sides threw themselves into the fray. The Knights were back on level terms when a defence-splitting pass from Stuart Montgomery released striker Eugene Singeorzan who gave young goalkeeper Jeff Cargill no chance seven minutes from half-time. In the second half Shane McNally worked is way up the left flank before sending the ball into the box where Mikulic flicked it on to strike-partner Christian Paschkewitz who restored the home teams lead. Cockburn were forced to concede a corner after Joe Reale put Steve Adam under pressure, but the home side cleared their lines to send the ball to the other end where Mikulic waltzed past the defence before drawing goalkeeper Tommi Tomich out of position to make it 3-1. A minute later Paschkewitz increased Cockburn's lead to complete a frenzied five minute period in which four goals were scored. Referee Ray Archibald deserves praise for his handling of the match, his man management skills evident in application of the rules.
Floreat Athena picked up maximum points for the first time in over a month when they defeated Inglewood United 2-1 at Litis Stadium. With Robyn Dyers and Doug Ithier absent through suspension and injury respectively, Athena coach Taki Lambetsos handed starting spots to youngsters Anthony Jones and Dejan Djukanovic in what would prove to be a tightly contested game. Man-of-the-match Peter Coci gave the home team a first half lead, but wingback Andy Cornmell put the visitors back on a level footing early in the second period after some great lead-up work by Louis Parkinson. Searching for a second goal, Inglewood pushed three up front as the home team opted to play man-for-man at the back with the end result being a lot of spurned opportunities at both ends of the park. With the match balancing on a knives edge, former Inglewood striker Ryan Newhill popped up four minutes from the end of regulation time to settle the game in Athena's favour.
Winless in their opening five matches of the 2002 season, Fremantle City look to have sorted out their problems with the side claiming maximum points for the third week running by downing Ashfield 3-0 at Ashfield Reserve. Teenage striker Josh Kamasz bagged a double for the second time in three weeks to set up the win, while Michael Mirco scored his first League goal of the campaign. The home side created very few chances over the course of the first forty-five minutes, Tom Kilkelly's half-time re-shuffle seeing Ashfield take to the field for the second period a much stronger proposition but still unable to find a way past former Australian goalkeeper Robert Zabica. For Fremantle, the win moves them clear of the drop zone and into what has become a very congested mid-table where eight clubs are separated by five points. But things are looking grim for Ashfield who, along with Swan I.C., are quickly losing ground on the rest of the Premier League field.
In a sparkling game at the Swan Italian Club on Sunday, Swan I.C. went down 5-7 to Future Glory. The large crowd were treated to the best of Bobby Despotovski and Nick Mrdja who scored six goals between them in a fantastic game of soccer. The game flowed from end-to-end right from the start and it was Future who found the net with Despotovski scoring twice and Mrdja once. Damian Scali reduced the arrears when he scored from the penalty spot. 3-1 down at half-time, Swan staged a fighting comeback early in the second period with Brian Robertson scoring twice and he might have had a third as Swan drew level at 3-3. The home side were unlucky not to take the lead with several chances going astray, misses that Future would punish them severely for. Despotovski completed his hat-trick as Future re-gained the lead, and further goals to Mrdja and Miletic saw the margin blow out to 6-3. Swan, however, were not finished and they staged another comeback as Robertson added a fourth then completed his hat-trick before Eddie Mura made it 6-5. Inevitable, it was Despotovski who had the last word when he scored his fourth of the afternoon to make it 7-5 and clinch the three points for the visitors. Both sides were applauded off the pitch in a game that provided entertainment of a rare value.
RESERVES AND UNDER-18'S ROUND-UP (Bassendean Caledonian vs Sorrento by Kerry Slater; Swan I.C. vs Future Glory by ShinyChef)
Sorrento's reserves made hard yakka of their away win over Bassendean Caledonian on Saturday. Craig Wells set up what would be the only the goal of the 90 minutes when he advanced forward to cross to Gareth Phillips, who did well to steer the ball in pass the on-rushing Frankie Ternel. Sorrento then struggled to exert their dominance further on the score board. In the second half a penalty for a blatant push on Ben Coppack couldn't be converted by Phillips as Ternel guess right and saved low down. A dour contest ensured to the end, but the win now has Sorrento move to fifth place on the table.
Michael Baczynski (4) and Matt Donlevy were the scorers for Inglewood United as they notched up a 5-2 away win over Floreat Athena to go three points clear at the top of reserves table, Josip Madgic and Jonathan Palmer hitting the net for Athena. E.C.U. Joondalup lost ground on Inglewood when they slipped 4-1 away at Perth S.C. Cockburn City notched up a resounding 6-0 win over Western Knights through goals from Colin Copperwaite (2), Simon Jonas (2), Savo Banjac and Domenic de Felice. Gary Spinks and Mark Donnelly found the net for Ashfield when their side went down 2-5 to Fremantle City, John Ferreira bagging a hat-trick and Michael Vaz and Kevin Correia singles for the port side. And Future Glory won for just the second time this season when they defeated Swan I.C. 4-3.
Despite another very good first half performance by the Sorrento Under-18's, they were unable to find the net against Bassendean on Saturday morning. Then, referee Glynn Moore awarded the Seagulls a penalty out of nowhere and Brian Hedges, who was the one supposed to have been fouled, stepped up to place the spot kick into Troy Smith's left bottom corner. In quick time Bassendean were level through former Sorrento player Gareth Wright. The home team would have went ahead except for poor finishing. Late in the match Michael Stefanovski received the ball in midfield and advanced on goal before slipping the ball to the left where Robbie McCann shot truly to give Sorrento a 2-1 win.
Future went on a first half scoring spree against home side Swan with Goce Dilevski opening the floodgates after 15 minutes. With chances coming thick and fast, Ashley Otte volleyed truly after 25 minutes, Micheal Park's low drive made it 3-0, and when Alex Crookes fierce drive from 30-metres rocketed into the top corner the match was over as a contest. A fine solo run by Ben Rogers saw him put away goal number five with a hard low shot. In the 40th minute 13-year old goalkeeper Alex Vrteski blasted into the roof from the penalty spot, and just before half time Park took his second of the day after a good cross from Otte. The second half saw a more resistant Swan performance but Future continued to dominate play, unfortunately many of their chances only damaging the trees behind the Swan goal until Rogers bagged his second and Future's eight of the match.
Joondalup opened up a four point gap at the top of the table courtesy of a 4-2 away win at Perth. Ross Griffiths (2), Tom Jones and Steve Worthy got their names in the scorecard for Joondalup while for Perth the goals came via Cosi Cavalaro and Craig Simpson. Ashfield fought back gallantly from being 4-1 down just after half time to share the points with Fremantle City, Dinko Ahmetanovic's hat-trick taking his season tally to twelve with Adam Quinn getting the home teams' other goal. Athena defeated Inglewood 2-0, and goals by Omar Lemzouri (2), Justin de Abreu and Carlo Cardoso enabled Cockburn to topple the Knights 4-2.
FIRST DIVISION WRAP (Armadale vs Stirling Lions by Michael Di Pietro; Bayswater City vs Rockingham City by Adam Rucci)
In the First Division, a top-of-the-table clash at Alfred Skeet Oval plus the evening World Cup game on the big screen in the clubrooms that night was a soccer fan's ideal Saturday. Second-placed Stirling Lions were the visitors and they did not make the trip south of the river with the intent of sharing the points. Both sides played a hard and stirring first half without troubling the referee's match card. The Lions came out with a little more intensity in the second half and in the 55th minute took the lead through Victor Bogs. Armadale showed why they are a force this season and made several forward moves in an attempt to level the scores but found themselves up against a well-composed visiting defence. Bobbi Klenkoski rounded out the scoreline in the 80th minute to send the Lions to the top of the table. In an action packed clash, the Lions were lead from midfield by Tony Wright, recent signing Darko Ilmanovski, and the experienced Andy Wright. In the reserves, the Lions took just 5 minutes to get on the board, but goals from Dave Williams (2), Terry Flynn, Paul Caulkin and Lawrence Bruce saw the margin blow out on a day former State player Allan Pottier made his debut for the Reds. An entertaining Under-18 match saw Darren Kingston give Armadale an early lead which was pegged back five minutes later. Five minutes into the second half Kingston again put the reds in front, and again the Lions equalised, this time shortly before full-time.
Mandurah City dropped to fourth position in the First Division table after conceding a late goal at home to draw 1-1 with Balcatta. Welcoming club captain Steve Adams back after a seven-week spell on the sidelines due to injury, Mandurah gained the upper hand in the 8th minute after Andrew Rennie found a way behind the defence to cross to Mick Bobridge who headed the ball into the net. The home team should have extended their lead before half-time but missed a couple of gilt-edged chances that would prove costly. After the break Mandurah seemed to lose a bit of shape in the middle of the park, allowing Balcatta to slowly come into the match. After eighty-three minutes Balcatta got the equaliser they were chasing when the ball was played to the right side of the area where goalkeeper Paul Dixon was caught out of position and Michael Lagana leveled the scores with a well executed chip. Both sides had chances to win the game in the dying minutes, Mandurah's chance came when Damian Condo played a low ball across the Balcatta penalty area that narrowly eluded a lunging Bobridge with an empty net beckoning. The visitors could have stolen full points in the final minute of play but Dixon saved a powerful volley after a well-planned corner.
Bayswater City went into their home fixture against lowly Rockingham City with two successive victories under their belt and aiming to make it three in a row. The game started slowly with only scattered chances until the 17th minute when a great through ball saw Andrew O'Neill covert a one-on-one opportunity to give the home side the lead. The two sides emerged for the second half and immediately picked up the pace, Rockingham rewarded after 55 minutes when in-form striker Glen Hallams made the most of his chance after going through with only the 'keeper to beat. In a tight contest, Bayswater responded five minutes later when Gareth Healey's through ball was rounded off with a great finish from youngster Julien Coci. Bayswater sealed the win six minutes from full-time, nippy forward Sal Marrapodi scoring the sides eighteenth goal of the season to send the home crowd into raptures. The win puts Bayswater securely in sixth place on the First Division table, three points behind Mandurah but three ahead of Perth City. "I was pleased with the commitment and endeavour of the team especially in the last thirty minutes of the game when they really started to knock they ball around. The boys in the squad are working really hard at training and during the games, ensuring that they get the results that they deserve," said Bayswater coach Salv Todaro post-match. Rockingham took out both the earlier matches, 2-1 in the reserves where Ray Bellerini scored for Bayswater, and 5-0 in the Under-18's.
A depleted Morley Windmills side made their way to Bunbury on Saturday to play South West Phoenix in a match both teams were wanting to take full points from. Missing six first team regulars through either injury or suspension, the visitors got off to a great start when a free-kick played in from the left was headed against the up-right by Keith Hopwood and stand-in striker Simon Messenger was on hand to stab home the rebound. Windmills extended the lead when Messenger was hauled down inside the area by the Phoenix goalkeeper, and 44-year old Ian Ballantyne put the ball into the roof of the net from the spot. With midfielder Steve Rogers dangerous on the ball, the home team pegged a goal back via a goalmouth scramble, but Windmills' two-goal buffer was re-stored before the break by Messenger. Phoenix came out for the second half a revitalised side to dominate play but it wasn't until late in the piece that they were rewarded by a second goal. But a combination of some desperate defending and poor finishing would keep the score at 3-2 in favour of the visiting team. Special mention need be made of the Windmills reserve team players who stepped up to the senior ranks and performed so admirably on the day.
Queens Park enjoyed a stirring 5-2 away win over Wanneroo City where Glen Noblet and 16-year old Daniel Bush each found the net for the visitors with Grant Learmont grabbing a single, Kevin Murray the scorer of both Wanneroo's goal. Jerry Boima gave Dianella White Eagles the lead early in the second half of their clash with Stirling Suns who equalised shortly after to earn a share of the points. Perth City and Kingsway Olympic fought out a nil-all draw, Southside United were too strong for Canning City 3-1, and Leeming Strikers this week had the bye.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
Round Eight of the Premier League season kicks-off on Saturday with leaders Western Knights favoured to collect full points from their away clash with Cockburn City. With 23 goals in six games, Perth S.C. come up against an E.C.U. Joondalup side struggling for consistency at the moment. Third-place Inglewood United travel to play Floreat Athena who have picked up just two points from their past four League fixtures. Bassendean Caledonian, undefeated at home so far this season, host Sorrento and Ashfield should prove strong opposition for Fremantle City. At the Swan Italian Club on Sunday, Swan I.C. play Future Glory.
The pick of the First Division games is undoubtedly at Alfred Skreet Reserve when leaders Armadale are home to second-placed Stirling Lions, a win to the visitors will put both sides on level points. Queens Park play cellar-dwellers Wanneroo City, Mandurah City should collect full points from their home meeting with Balcatta, likewise Morley Windmills when they travel to Bunbury to take on South West Phoenix. Sixth-placed Bayswater City face Rockingham City, and Perth City play struggling Kingsway Olympic. Dianella White Eagles are home to Stirling Suns, Southside United should give Canning City a run for their money, and Leeming Strikers have the bye.
ON THE MOVE …
The Premier League may have been underway for a couple of months but that doesn't mean club squad are settled for the winter ahead. Reigning champions Sorrento have been active on the transfer market with the signing of several new players. Striker Shane Crampton has joined the club after playing in New South Wales with Picton Rangers, while former Australian Schoolboys goalkeeper Robert Pedri has left Western Knights to link up with the Seagulls. Also strengthening Steve Neville's options are one-time State representatives Steve MacDonald (ex-Western Knights) and Willie Grubb (Bassendean Caledonian), Michael Ord, who arrived via Kingsway Olympic from English non-League side Harrogate Town, and midfielder Tony Cumace (Perth S.C.).
Bassendean Caledonian have re-signed Scottish-born Mark Lennon, but will be without the midfielders' services for the next few weeks after he suffered a knee injury against E.C.U. Joondalup last week. Former Queens Park goalkeeper Adam Ashforth has joined Steve Parkinson's squad at Inglewood United along with 2000 Gold Medal winner Alan MacKenzie who spent the early part of the season with Bayswater City. Former Perth Glory utility player Peter Vukmirovic has joined his sixth club in three years by signing with Cockburn City after being released by Perth S.C. recently. Floreat Athena have departed ways with Lucas Gobbi who has returned to Argentina due to an illness in the family, but the door has been left open for his return later in the season.
SIX MORE LEAVE QUEENS PARK
Despite sitting in third place on the First Division table, a spanner has been thrown in Queens Park's works with the departure of a further six first team players. Former State representative Alan Pottier vacated the position of player-coach for contractual reasons on the eve of the weekend fixture with Perth City. And, following a meeting of the playing squad prior to that game, Nicky Dyer, Scott Daley, Mark Brown, Darren D'Mello and Matt Tilbury have all opted to end their association with Queens Park. With the transfer deadline expiring in three weeks, all six players are now on the lookout for new clubs. The departures come hot on the heels of a mass exodus in April when a dozen players, as well as coaches Tony Hall and Mark Donohue, left the club citing on-going contractual problems as the reason.
UP CLOSE WITH DAVID FOSTER (reproduced with permission from the "Onside" magazine)
Anyone who arrived a couple of minutes late at Percy Doyle Reserve for last weekend's match between Sorrento and Ashfield would have missed David Foster's spectacular opener for the Seagulls. But the way Foster is playing at the moment, there are sure to be plenty more goals this season for the youngster who started the campaign in midfield, before recently being pushed up front, a move he is relishing. His early strike against Ashfield was his fourth of the season and as well as being the best of the lot, it gave Sorrento a kick-start in what was potentially a danger game against the League's cellar-dwellers.
"Yeah, it was a big game for us," Foster said. "We needed three points but you never know what's going to happen. We went to Swan last week and it was hard but we got the draw there. It was a hard game against Ashfield as well but we got the early goal and went from there." With other results going their way, the win propelled the reigning League Champions from ninth place to sixth, their highest position this term after a slow start. "We had a few draws and losses but we're getting there now," Foster said. "We're just working harder at training, every training session's good and it's starting to show on Saturday."
After struggling to find the net in the opening weeks of the season, Sorrento have now scored fourteen goals in their last three outings and Foster's efforts have had a lot to do with that - whether it be scoring himself or creating chances for teammates. In fact his form has been excellent from the opening day of the season and he was rewarded for a string of impressive performances by being selected in the Future W.A. side that recently took part in the Tournoi Croix Cup in France. "I did quite well this year and as a team we did quite well," he reflected. "We came sixth out of twelve and I scored four goals all up."
Whether or not he played well enough to attract the attention of the many talent scouts over there remains to be seen, but at this stage, the level-headed 18-year old isn't pre-occupied with thoughts of a move overseas. "No, I just went out there and played, tried to do the best I could and whatever happens, happens," he said. "If I get picked up, I get picked up." That's not to say he doesn't have ambitions to one day take the next step. "I want to go to the next level and even higher. That's what I'm looking for," he said. "But (at the moment) I just want to keep it going, keep my fitness and form up."
Foster has already had a couple of trials in England. As a 15-year old he spent six months at Derby County, then the following season he had a spell at Bolton Wanderers, but although he did well nothing eventuated. But like he says, time is on his side and for now, the talented goalscorer is focussing solely on helping Sorrento continue their climb back up the table where he feels they belong - and that can only spell trouble for the rest of the Premier League.
CENTENARY CUP, QUARTER-FINALS (Sorrento vs Western Knights by Kerry Slater)
Sorrento's young gun David Foster played a staring role in his sides exciting 2-1 win over the Western Knights in the quarter-final stage of the Edith Cowan University sponsored Centenary Challenge Cup tonight. The first attack of note came after 3 minutes when Sorrento left full-back Stuart Banks ventured forward, crossing to Foster who controlled the ball well before slipping it to Lee Burns who mis-hit his shot thanks to the close attention of Evan Wallace. The Knights mounted their first effort on 10 minutes when Stuart Montgomery's cross was headed straight to goalkeeper Gareth Deeg by Paul McVittie. Within a minute Sorrento grabbed the lead with a good move started by Michael Ord who swung the ball wide to Foster and his low cross was turned in by Ryan Jeans. The Knights came close to leveling immediately after but Eugene Singeorzan's free-kick cannoned off the up-right and Alex Christie's follow-up from 20-metres was deflected away by Deeg. On 16 minutes Jared Love's low shot was kept out by a full-stretch Tommi Tomich, and two minutes later Singeorzan's first time effort was just over the bar. In the 31st minutes Singeorzan put a good through ball to Carl Medica, but he pulled his shot across goal. Sorrento's next attack saw Love with only the 'keeper to beat after a penetrating run, but he fired straight to Tomich. On 43 minutes Love was put through by Banks only to again be denied by Tomich, Ross Greer fairing in better with the rebound.
Seven minutes into the second half and John Nicolaou had the ball in the net only to have it ruled off-side. On the hour John Nicolaou and Singeorzan made way for Dean Nicolaou and David Annall, and two minutes later Knights coach Ronnie Campbell was forced to use his third substitute, Luka Jukic, when Wallace went down with a hamstring injury. In the 64th minute Deeg had to be alert to hold former Sorrento player Leon Russell's diving header from crossing the line. Sorrento were gaining more control, but it was an error by the Knights defence that presented Foster with his chance when Ivan Zuvela missed Jeans's cross from the right and Foster had time to pick his spot and make it 2-0 after 76 minutes. Eight minutes later the Knights should have been back in the match by Montgomery headed wide a McVittie free-kick. Then, in the final minute of regulation match time, the Knights were awarded a penalty by referee Patrick McCaffree who judged Jeans to have fouled Dean Nicolaou, Carl Medica converting from the spot. But it too little too late as Sorrento expertly controlled the four minutes of stoppage time to run out victors.
The nights other quarter-final fixture took place at Dorrien Gardens where Perth S.C. bounced back from their weekend loss by thumping Future Glory 3-0. Adam Bunce, David Onoforo and Todd Howarth found the net for the home team who now proceed to the last four of the Challenge Cup.
HALL OF FAME RESURRECTED (reproduced with permission from the "Onside" magazine)
The Soccer Administration of Western Australia has recently re-activated the Hall of Fame, the sport's tribute to the greats of the game in this State. The Hall of Fame, which encompasses the Hall of Champions and the Hall of Recognition, will have an intake of new members at a glamour function to be held in Perth later this year. It will be the first time in six years that the two categories of the Hall of Fame have been re-visited.
Twenty-nine players were inducted into the Hall of Champions and a total of seventeen administrators, which included coaches and referees, were admitted to the Hall of Recognition when the history-making project was launched in November, 1996. The initial intake included playing greats Gary Marocchi (a former Australian captain) and Ron Adair, Ray lIlot and David Jones, who also played for the Socceroos. Three female players were also honoured - Sandra Bentnall, Sharon Mateljan and Anna Senjushenko.
W.A. was the first State in Australia to introduce a Soccer Hall of Fame and even beat the nation's ruling body, Soccer Australia, in setting up a system that celebrates the achievements of the legends of the sport. This time the public are being invited to make nominations in both categories - and clubs and associations all over the State are also being circulated with a request for their input. Nominations for the Hall of Champions must have retired from playing for at least five years and representation at National or State team level would boost their status. Also successes in championships and cups would be a distinct advantage. For the Hall of Recognition, dedicated service to the game from the juniors through the amateur ranks to the most senior level in both men's and women's areas will be a major factor for consideration.
A committee, which includes former coaches, administrators and members of the media, has been set up under the chairmanship of S.A.W.A. President Louis Prospero to consider and research the nominations. In addition, with 2002 being the 100th anniversary of the first game involving the State soccer team, a State Team of the Century will be nominated. The committee will also investigate the possibility of establishing a Museum of W.A. Soccer, to be set up at a permanent venue. The public can lodge their Hall of Fame nominations (in-depth detail is required) by post to: John O'Connell at 257 Crimea St, Nolanda, 6062 or by email to John at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also contact S.A.W.A. at W.A. Soccer Headquarters, Perry LakeS Stadium, Meagher Drive, Floreat 6014. For more information on the Hall of Fame, contact Louis Prospero on 0413 041 942 or John O'Connell on 9275 5329 or 0413 973 846.
HUGO INJURY A BLOW FOR SWAN
Swan I.C. will have to do without the services of Corey Hugo for the next month and a half after the goalkeeper chipped a bone in his right ankle during the club's recent Boral Cup reserve match against Sorrento. While acknowledging that the loss of Hugo will be heavily felt at Swan, player-coach Carlo Scali is confident that his replacement is up to the task. "Obviously losing any quality player is a setback to the side," said Scali this week. "When that quality player is a goalkeeper of Corey's abilities, that leaves some pretty big shoes to fill. He is one of the best 'keepers in the State and will be missed. But we have a good replacement in Guy Gibson, he has played some exceptional games for reserves and has kept for the first team in the last couple of games and done well. The more games Guy plays the better he will be."
DUTCH TRIALS FOR COCKBURN'S BRIGHT (reproduced with permission from the West Coast Bugle)
Cockburn City's eye-catching 17-year old left back Jeff Bright has returned to Western Australia after a trial spell with Dutch giant Feyenoord … but the former State junior representative won't be sticking around for long. Bright played in an under-17 tournament while in the Netherlands against some of Europe's top clubs and will head back there again in September, this time for a three-month stint at Feyenoord.
The University of W.A. went down 1-4 to E.C.U. Joondalup in their W.A.A.S.S.A. Premier League fixture at the Edith Cowan University ground on Sunday afternoon. University took an early lead when Matt Hill powerfully drove home a Marc D'Ascanio cross after 3 minutes, and they could have doubled the lead shortly after but Dave Holley's shot struck the crossbar. The visitors did find the net on two occasions but both were ruled out for off-side before Joondalup hit back with a chip over the defence which John Greenwood scrambled over the line. The home side struck again shortly after when the University 'keeper parried a shot into the path of Dave Rowe who didn't waste the opportunity. The second half saw a confident Joondalup side add two further goals to their tally through Oliver Marshall and Rowe. University had their chances in the second half including a Teemu Shivola shot which hit the post but Joondalup ended up comfortable winners. "It was a real Jeckyll and Hyde performance," said University coach Kevin Burton post-match. "We dominated much of the opening half, ran at the E.C.U. goal freely through the midfield and flanks and should have been three or four up at half time - instead we conceded two very soft goals. In the second half our passing was simply not good enough and we are clearly going to need to change a few things around." The reserve fixture ended in a 2-2 draw with University twice coming from behind through goals from Mark Adam and Tim Grose.
Spearwood Dalmatinac started their away match with Perth Azzurri on the attack and found the net inside the opening 2 minutes through a fine header by Glenn Pesich. They came close to adding a second minutes later but Leo Surjan's shot went straight into the arms of home goalkeeper Aaron Garbon. Although they dominated play, Dalmatinac were unable to increase the margin before Azzurri came back late in the half. Charlie Jenson fired a warning shot when he headed over the bar, but Adrian Scaffidi made no mistake when put through to power the ball low past Luke Smith for the equaliser. The opening period of the second half was a carbon copy of the first with the visitors in control, Surjan restoring their lead in the 47th minute when he raced through from the right to beat the 'keeper. Dalmatinac continued to apply the pressure with Surjan, Damien Pescud and Joel Thomas all going close. Eleven minutes from full-time and a mistake at the back allowed Pescud in to slot home Dalmatinac's third and final goal of the afternoon.
Balga demolished Kwinana United 3-1 in an action-packed encounter at Kelly Park. Starting brightly, Willy Lyall was denied by the 'keeper early on as Balga's hard-working midfield created numerous scoring opportunities. The breakthrough came in the 22nd minute, a through ball piercing the home back four and Scott Wilson burst into the area only to be hauled down and a penalty awarded which was duly converted by Steve Hill. At this stage Kwinana upped the tempo to come back into the contest and, after wasting several good chances, they were back on level terms from a free-kick which was deflected past the goalkeeper. Balga started the second half strongly but unable to make much headway in their attacking third of the pitch. Eventually Wilson popped up to restore Balga's lead through a fine header, and with minutes to go a long ball from the back found Wilson who raced away down the flank before centring to Hill who side-footed home despite the close attention of the home defence.
It was top verses bottom when Subiaco United hosted Hamersley Rovers, the League leaders running out winners by a 3-1 scoreline. Shamrock Rovers drew 2-2 with Murdoch University, while the result of the Forrestfield United-Fremantle United is currently unknown.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND SEVEN (Sorrento vs Ashfield by Kerry Slater; Western Knights vs Floreat Athena by Christian Galapolous; E.C.U. Joondalup vs Bassendean Caledonian by Bill MacAllister; Fremantle City vs Swan I.C. by Mike Hennessey; Cockburn City vs Future Glory by Lennie Bavich)
Picture perfect conditions greeted the players as they walked onto the pitch at the National Stadium on Saturday for the Premier League clash between Inglewood United and table-toppers Perth S.C., undefeated in five starts this year. Inglewood coach Steve Parkinson made three changes to the side which lost last weekend to Bassendean Caledonian, State Under-19 goalkeeper Oliver Taseski and midfielders Scott Campbell and Michael Bushby coming into the side at the expense of Adam Ashforth, Gerry McEwan and Paul Lincoln. Graeme Normanton, coach of Perth, also made a couple of changes to his side, defenders Aaron Cole and Stephen Willey absent through injury with their places taken by youngsters Dino Djublic and Paul Natale.
Pre-match expectations of a tight, even contest between these long-time foes were proven correct as both teams early moves were competently broken down by the respective defences. The first shot in anger came from Perth midfielder Jamie Coyne in the 6th minute after he beat two defenders only to see his powerful strike knocked wide by Taseski. With neither side able to take control of the match, both Inglewood and Perth made good use of the full width of the park when going forward but, by and large, shots on goals were scarce. On the quarter-hour, a fantastic in-swinging free-kick from Robbie Gaspar was met by Andreas Oliveria whose downward header was stopped just inches from the line by Taseski. And minutes later Todd Howarth was sent clear of the defence down the left only to pull his low shot across the face of goal. Inglewood's attacking formation saw Elton Homes as the targetman with Alan MacKenzie and Campbell taking up roles just behind him, but for all their enterprise there was little which troubled opposing goalkeeper Robert Scarparolo.
Perth tightened their grip across the middle of the park as the half progressed and really should have taken the lead after 23 minutes, Rob Giorgi's near-post pass to Oliveira drew Taseski out of position and the quick-thinking striker back-heeled into the path of Djulbic who somehow scooped his shot over the bar. Five minutes later a great solo run by Rhys Graham took him past two opponents wide on the right but his chip cleared not only the 'keeper but also the bar. The match really came to life in the final ten minutes with three quick goals scored. Inglewood nudged in front with their first meaningful attack of the afternoon after 36 minutes, Rory Mouttet centring to Michael Bushby who slotted the ball into the path of captain Daniel Harrop and his close-range effort crashed into the roof of the net off the foot of a defender. Two minutes later Bushby doubled the margin by pounced upon a defensive error, beating goalkeeper Scarparolo to a loose ball on top of the 18-yard box and getting enough of a touch to send it over the line. And Perth hit back a minute from the interval when some Coyne's silky footwork saw him evade several challenges before ripping the ball past Taseski from 16-metres.
The second half saw some great attacking, end-to-end football that kept the healthy crowd in the edge of their seats. Graham spotted Taseski off his line and tried his luck from out wide, the youngsters' delicate chip skimming the wrong side of the bar. Holmes out-paced two defenders in the 54th minute to go inside the box where he was denied by Scarparolo who produced a superb diving save to concede a corner. Perth defender Michael Icanovski pushed forward but his long-range effort cleared the bar after 63 minutes. A few minutes later Howarth skipped clear of Mouttet to break away down the left, his shot from 25-metres on-target but comfortably saved by the 'keeper. With the visiting team being the more creative in attack, they received a major body blow in the 68th minute when midfield play-maker Gaspar was sent off after being issued his second yellow of the day.
With things looking grim, Normanton made a couple of quick substitutions which saw Pottier and Oliveira drop into midfield with Graham and David Onoforo taking over up-front, a move which produced a 76th minute equaliser. Onoforo played a ball low into the area from the left which saw Graham hold off his opponent before relaying it to Oliveira who, unmarked, had little trouble in knocking the ball past Taseski from 10-metres. Two minutes later and Perth were unfortunate not to be ahead when some good lead-up work from Graham lead to Onoforo hitting the bar from 14-metres. In an action packed ending to what was an entertaining match, Inglewood went ahead eight minutes from full-time when MacKenzie released Andy Cornmell down the left, the skilful wingback drawing the defence before sending the ball low into the 6-yard box and Holmes rammed it over the line from close-range. There were further chances at both ends before the final whistle, a looping Djulbic header kissing the wrong side of the bar and Holmes' low shot saved by an alert Scarparolo, but it was the home fans that were cheering at the end of 90 minutes.
Having outshot their opponents twelve to five, Perth would feel a little aggrieved not to have taken something from this match. Their central midfield combination of Coyne, Giorgi and Gaspar worked hard all day in conjuring up another sparkling performance, but it was Inglewood that took their chances in front of goal and were rewarded with the three points on offer. In a thrilling derby game, Jason Godfrey was outstanding at the back for the home side and goalkeeper Taseski made several important saves, while down the other end Holmes revelled in his role as the lone striker.
Inglewood United : Oliver Taseski, Jamie Goodman, Jason Godfrey,
Michael Di Fulvio, Andy Cornmell (John Bartolomei 90), Rory Mouttet,
Daniel Harrop, Michael Bushby (Louis Parkinson 63), Alan MacKenzie,
Scott Campbell, Elton Holmes
Perth S.C. : Robert Scarparolo, Dino Djulbic, Paul Natale (Adam Bunce 73), Michael Icanovski, Todd Howarth, Rhys Graham, Jamie Coyne, Rob Giorgi (David Onoforo 71), Robbie Gaspar, Andreas Oliveira, Mark Pottier
Referee : P.Vasquez
Cautions : Goodman (33), Gaspar (56)
Dismissals : Gaspar (68)
Attendance : 350 (approx.)
Sorrento battled hard all afternoon against an Ashfield side that contested every battle with determination before running out 4-1 winners in their Premier League meeting at Percy Doyle Reserve. The Seagulls were in full flight early on with David Foster scoring his fourth goal of the season, smacking a curling shot into the top right corner after 3 minutes. Jared Love should have doubled the lead within a minute but his effort sailed over from a acute angle. In the 23rd minute Love made amends he was gifted a tap-in by goalkeeper Johnathon Van De Voet who somehow didn't gather a loose ball. Ashfield put the set back of conceding a soft goal behind them and set about making in-roads on the Sorrento net. Steve Gillibrand powered in his effort from the edge of the area which Gareth Deeg produced a good save low down to keep out. On 27 minutes, good work down the right by Shane Fuhr did produce the right result when he crossed to the unmarked Darren Yates at the far post for a simple headed goal to the team in red. Fifteen minutes into the second half and a Tony Cumace corner was powerfully met by Michael Ord but his header went straight into Van De Voet's body. Struggling with a leg injury, Love made way for Ross Greer after 63 minutes and his height advantage caused trouble for former Sorrento player Martin Sherwin. Cumace was gaining plenty of possession and his cross on 68 minutes was flicked on by Foster to Greer who should have done better than to volley over. Ten minutes later Brad Pochioj, who had pushed into midfield, had a better opportunity than he realised as he controlled the ball 25-metres from goal but rolled his shot wide of Deeg's right up-right with the 'keeper out of position. The Sorrento goalkeeper made a brave save at the feet of Fuhr and David Mayers after they beat the offside trap in the 82nd minute. Sorrento were awarded penalty five minutes later, Karl Atley judged to have used an elbow on Greer, and Ryan Jeans coolly thumped the ball into the bottom corner for the home teams' third. In the final minute of regulation time, Greer put a great ball through to Lee Burns who raced on to beat Van De Voet. Sorrento were denied their fifth of the afternoon by referee Michael Klaver who signalled the end of the match whilst Foster's shot from just outside the area was still travelling towards the top left corner of the net with the young Ashfield 'keeper well beaten.
Western Knights sent a warning to the rest of the Premier League with a 4-0 victory over an injury riddled Floreat Athena at Nash Field. The home side opened the scoring early in the first half, Carl Medica's strike partner Stuart Montgomery intercepting a poor clearance by Athena goalkeeper John Xigas before good work by Eugene Singeorzan allowed Medica to rifle home his first from the top of the 18-yard box. Soon after Medica struck his second, the in-form striker slotting home from an acute angle after a good build up. The half-time break gave Athena a chance to regroup and the started the new half in better fashion but were still unable to penetrate the solid home defence that was well-marshaled by young sweeper Ivan Zuvela. John Nicolaou dealt the visitor's faint chances of a comeback a blow after he deflected Singeorzan's powerful shot past a diving Xigas. Late in the match Athena's Robin Dyers earned himself a red card with a moment of madness, the big striker gave away a penalty then threw the ball at his opponent in disgust and Medica calmly slotted home from the spot to complete his hat-trick. The win enables the Knights to move to the top of the table with eighteen points, three ahead of Perth who have a game in hand. Knights coach Ronnie Campbell had nothing but praise for Medica after the match, claiming the 29-year old attacker to be one of the most talented player in the local competition and surprised he's never been given the opportunity to take his talents to the next level. "I think he'd make a big impact in the N.S.L.," said Campbell.
E.C.U. Joondalup scraped home 1-0 against Bassendean Caledonian when those sides met at the Edith Cowan University ground in what would be a game of missed opportunities for both teams. Early on a Scott Broadley shot hit the bar and not long after visiting goalkeeper Alan Dunlop tipped another good strike on goal over the bar. Down the other end, headers by Dean Gartside and Ramon Westerburger were kept out by Joondalup goalkeeper Peter Stewart as the respective defences dominated. After the break Abdul Kamara, Joondalup's best player today, pounced on an error by the Caledonian defence and crossed for Garin Collins to slot the ball into the net unmarked. Midway through the half the visitors lost Mark Lennon who had to be stretchered off following a bad tackle that was allowed to go unpunished by the referee. Paul Strudwick (Caledonian), Scott Bulloch and Andy Mason (Joondalup) all had opportunities late in the game to add their names to the scorecard without success.
Swan I.C. went to Ken Allen Reserve for their Premier League meeting with Fremantle City with high hopes and for 70 minutes a point, at least, looked a possibility. But the visitors collapsed in the final twenty minutes against a revived Fremantle side to go down 3-0. The first half was an even affair and remained scoreless, although Swan fans were disappointed when Tom Shepheard was brought down by Robert Zabica but the former Socceroo goalkeeper was not penalised. The second half provided much of the same as the first for the first twenty-five minutes. Veteran midfielder Alex Cummings changed the course of the match, his goal in the 70th minute not only giving Fremantle a 1-0 lead but also lifting the port side who stormed home. Further goals from Craig Surtees and David Rodgers extended the margin in what turned out to be a comfortable home win.
Future Glory moved up a place into fifth after a 3-0 win over Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park on Sunday. Perth Glory striker Bobby Despotovski scored Future's opener just after the half hour, send clear by midfielder Gary Faria before slipping the ball under young Cockburn goalkeeper Jeff Cargill. Cockburn's best chances came the way of Branimir Mikulic either side of half-time, but the striker hit the up-right before the interval and had his shot saved by Vince Matassa in the new half. Despotovski's scored his second ten minutes into the second half as he finished his teams foray down the right wing by meeting a Peter Lord cross and giving the home 'keeper no chance. With Matasa holding dominant in the air in Future's defensive zone, at the other end it was Despotovski who it took the challenge up to Cockburn's part-timers, this time turning provider for Robert Cibesku to make it 3-0 five minutes from the final whistle.
RESERVES AND UNDER-18'S ROUND-UP (Sorrento vs Ashfield by Kerry Slater; Cockburn City vs Future Glory by ShinySheff)
A awesome opening display by Sorrento's reserves in their home game with Ashfield resulted in a six-goal lead after just twenty-four minutes. Daniel Cagorski opened the floodgates after 9 minutes, two minutes later new-signing Shane Crampton got his first and within another minute had two goals to his name. Jake Harman and a Craig Wells special from the edge of the area made it 5-0, the Seagulls' sixth courtesy of a deflection pass goalkeeper Sam Scutti from a Crampton cross. Unfortunately, the visitors' Mohammed Kpaka sustained a badly broken ankle in a tackle after 26 minutes, this devastating incident having a sobering effect on the players and the rest of the half was pedestrian. Play never recovered its zest after the break and a goal scored by each team through Crampton and Ashfield's David Mayers were the only highlights of the second half.
Inglewood United's reserves took the lead early on against Perth S.C. through Paul Lincoln, but the visiting team went into the break on equal terms at the National Stadium. Midway through the second Michael Bascynski re-stored Inglewood's lead, but it wasn't until the closing stages that the match really came to life. Benni Pietropiccolo denied Perth an equaliser with a great reflex save to keep out a David Onoforo thunderbolt, and the visitors job was made all the more difficult with the dismissal of defender Daniel Kovacevic with 15 minutes remaining. Perth goalkeeper Gianni Papalia tipping a spectacular curling shot by Renato Rechichi wide in the 86th minute, but Rechichi made sure Inglewood collected maximum points when he converted from the resulting corner.
Two-nil up at half-time courtesy of goals from Maruo Capitani and Gary James, Bassendean Caledonian allowed E.C.U. Joondalup back into their match which ended in a 2-2 draw and with Caledonian goalkeeper Steve Grant sent off for dissent close to the end. Goals by Roberto Colallilo Fabio Fusari and Simon Jonas enabled Cockburn City to chalk up their first home win of the season, 3-1 at home over Future Glory. Fremantle City defeated Swan I.C. 3-2, and Floreat Athena made up ground on the leaders courtesy of a 2-1 win over Western Knights.
The Under-18 teams from Sorrento and Ashfield turned in a stylish first half in which goalkeeper Robert Pedri, making his debut for the home side since being signed from Western Knights, was in commanding form between the posts. While there were no goals in the opening half, soon after the break goals from Brian Hedges, on his return from injury, and Robbie McCann should have put the home team in control. However, inexperience in the skills of defending was again evident as a penalty was conceded, which was converted with aplomb by Dinko Ahmetanovic, then the Ashfield striker took full advantage of a failure to clear the ball by gaining possession and striking powerfully past the home goalkeeper. Within two minutes Sorrento re-took the lead when Daniel Cain was on the end of a flowing move to stab the ball past a despairing Alex Koios for the winner.
The Future Glory Under-18's had a very early kick-off when they played Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park on Sunday. Future opened up with some elegant passing which saw them dominate possession without luck in front of goal despite creating some twenty chances to take the lead. But after 30 minutes, the home side broke down the left with a swift counter-attacking move which resulted in Greg Montenegro scoring with a well-placed header at the near post. Eventually Future's slick passing game was rewarded when Sebastian Trim tucked the ball into the bottom corner of the net after Ashley Otte's shot was parried by the goalkeeper. The second half started saw Future in the same attacking mode with midfielders Ben Rogers, Marlon Ramirez and Alex Crookes controlling play. A corner on the hour was poorly cleared, Scott Bushby headed the ball back into the box where Wesley Ryder made no mistake with a great volley to make it 2-1, which is how the scoreline finished.
Perth and Joondalup stay neck-and-neck in the Under-18 competition after less than convincing wins on the weekend. Perth came home with all three points after defeating Inglewood 2-0, Cosi Cavalaro and Aaron Colli the scorers, while Joondalup struggled all day against a winless Bassendean outfit but still managed to take out the game 3-1. Chris Zarricueta (2), Paul Oliver (2), Mo Atak (2), Mark Sim and John Migas found the net as Fremantle put eight goals past Swan without reply. And at Nash Field a hat-trick by Rodrigo Agguirre sent Athena on the road to 7-1 win over the Knights.
FIRST DIVISION WRAP (Stirling Suns vs Armadale by Michael Di Pietro; Leeming Strikers vs Morley Windmills courtesy of www.leemingstrikers.com)
It's tough at the top and nearing the halfway mark of the First Division season teams are beginning to realise that Armadale is the real deal. The Red were on the road to play Stirling Suns on Saturday and the home team came out of the blocks hard and fast to take the lead after only 7 minutes through Marijin Stovanoski. Missing leading goalscorer Greg Newcombe, Armadale coach Billy Russell re-adjusted his line-up during the match as the visitors sought to find the right combination. Goalkeeper Craig Olenjeky kept the margin to a minimum with some great saves in the first half. Darren Ingham managed to make a nuisance of himself in the penalty box and earned the Reds a penalty five minutes after half-time and Jason Goodwin made no mistake in equalising. But the Suns weren't finished and hit back with their second goal of the game on the hour mark via Jason Fudlovski. The match was a pretty tight affair for the remainder of the time, but luckily for Armadale Aaron Beattie made sure the points were shared when he levelled the scores in the 88th minute. The Suns won the reserves match 2-1, Dave Williams scoring a late goal for the visitors, while in the Under-18's an Oliver Crockford hat-trick and further goals from Darren Kingston and Dave Forsyth saw Armadale triumph 5-2.
Mandurah City had their worst day since entering Soccer West Coast ranks with all three sides losing away to Stirling Lions on Saturday. The Lions started the senior fixture strongly against an undermanned Mandurah who were without six players due to injury and suspension. The home side created the better of the early chances courtesy of some penetrating runs by Toby Wright and overlapping fullback Andy Wright, only to find Neil Patten-Williams and Gary Collins on top of their game at the back for Mandurah. A free-kick awarded after 20 minutes on top of the Lions 18-yard box found two home players unmarked at the back post, New Zealand-born Adam Rains making no mistake to put his side into the lead. Soon after the re-start, the Lions won a corner which saw Andy Wright's powerful header amazing saved by Paul Dixon in the Mandurah goal. The visitors best chance of the half came ten minutes before the interval, Mick Bobridge released by Andrew Rennie only to see his shot well saved by goalkeeper Rob Pucovski. The second half started with Mandurah upping the tempo, only to go two goals down after 70 minutes when Robert Milevski latched onto a through ball before despatching it past Dixon. As Mandurah searched to reduce the deficit they were left short at the back, the home side capitalising with Daniel Carlino making it 3-0 after being allowed space inside the 18-yard box. Mandurah bagged a late consolation when substitute Barry Neylon picked out the unmarked Rennie who headed beyond the reach of Pucovski. Both the reserves and Under-18 games went in favour of the Lions 4-0 and 5-0 respectively.
A much-improved Leeming Strikers performance earned them three valuable points after a convincing 2-0 win over Morley Windmills at John Connell Reserve. The previous week's awful loss to Balcatta was forgotten as a re-shuffled line-up got down to basics to see off the Morley challenge. It took the visitors just 15 seconds to get the first shot at goal and there were a few worried looks from the home side as Leith Hinds fired over. Just minutes later Steve Keady's shot hit the post as alarm bells rang loudly in the home camp. Leeming goalkeeper Mark Wiseman was forced into a save after 12 minutes from Michael Monterosso's effort before Paul Gibson struck the Strikers' first real shot in anger minutes later. But for all Morley's early attacking, Leeming finished the half stronger and went into the half-time break with plenty of positives out of the 0-0 score. Four minutes into the second half defender Paul Gibson scored his second of the season to give the Strikers' the lead after Gary Redding had flicked on a corner from the left and Gibson pounced from close-range. Leeming piled on the pressure, with Tony Hall controlling the midfield and Sean Cowman, Scott Quayle, Ryan Hunt and Stuart Indge providing the support. Redding mis-kicked a chance in the box six minutes after the re-start and Jonathan Cook, playing up front for the first time this season, had a free-kick saved before the lead was eventually doubled. Cowman found Redding with a through-ball and the veteran striker hit a shot over goalkeeper Luke Thompson and into the net. Shortly after Gibson hit the up-right with a free-kick, then Strikers' substitute Jeremy Herbert had a great chance to wrap up the match with a one-on-one with the 'keeper only to be bundled over by Thompson who was lucky to stay on the park. But in the end it didn't effect the outcome of this match as Leeming kept in touch with the top eight.
Bayswater City went into their away fixture with Southside United in a confident mood after a clean sheet against Dianella White Eagles last week brought them their fourth win of the season. The game started slowly with both sides focusing on defensive duties and in the 12th minute Southside were unlucky not to take the lead when a free-kick from just out side the area crashed against the bar. It wasn't until the 37th minute that things picked up, Nick Stojanovski converting from a goal mouth scramble to give Bayswater the lead. Bayswater emerged for the second half determined to stamp some authority on the game and they deservedly extended the lead through Stojanovski who came out the better in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper. It became 3-0 eight minutes from the end when striker Sal Marrapodi converted an easy chance to wrap up maximum points for Bayswater who hold onto sixth place with a four-point gap to fifth-placed Morley. A Sam DiLatte goal wasn't enough for the Bayswater's reserves who went down 1-2, while the Under-18 match went 3-0 in favour of the home side.
Despite fielding a 'second-string' team, Queens Park moved into third place courtesy of a 1-0 home win over Perth City, Jodi Henderson scoring the only goal of the afternoon. Canning City's youngsters proved too strong for Rockingham City 2-1, while Balcatta lost 4-2 at home to South West Phoenix for whom Steven Rogers scored three and Trent Hathaway one. With just four goals from nine games, Kingsway Olympic's dreadful season continued when they hosted bottom side Wanneroo City at home, Wanneroo achieving their first win of 2002 by a 3-0 margin through goals by Kevin Murray (2) and Wade Headley. Dianella White Eagles had the bye this week.
MORGAN BLAMES OFF-FORM PLAYERS FOR SENGKANG'S SLIDE
After launching a scathing attack on his players through the media last week, Trevor Morgan could not have wished for a better result as Sengkang Marine ran away 4-2 winners over Jurong F.C. in the S-League on Thursday evening. The result comes after the club was on the receiving end of two consecutive 4-2 losses, and brought to a halt their slide down the S-League table. But prior to the match Morgan, who spent five years with Sorrento before heading to Singapore, conceded the Dolphins had a number of players simply out of form. "We are carrying too many players who are off form in the games at the moment. If you have four players not doing the job, the team will suffer. We do not have a big squad to replace these players, I can only hope that they play themselves out of the situation," said Morgan.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
Premier League leaders Perth S.C. this Saturday take on local rivals Inglewood United in what is shaping up to be one of the games of Round Seven. The other big match takes place at Nash Field where Western Knights play a powerful Floreat Athena team who are struggling for consistency at the current time. E.C.U. Joondalup will be keen to make up for last weekends' poor showing when they host Bassendean Caledonian. Sorrento needed a late minute equaliser to snatch a point last Saturday, and should again be pushed all the way when they face a confident Ashfield side at Percy Doyle Reserve. And Fremantle City and Swan I.C. will both be eager to collect points and put some distance between themselves and the relegation zone. On Sunday, Future Glory travel south to play Cockburn City.
Round Ten of the First Division gets underway with the undefeated Armadale on the road to play Stirling Suns who have so far been disappointing this year. In the match of the round, pre-season favourites Stirling Lions face second-placed Mandurah City at Macedonia Park in what promises to be a tantalising fixture. Queens Park are home to a Perth City outfit on the improve, and with Ian Ballantyne on-fire in attack Morley Windmills are favoured to win away at Leeming Strikers, and Bayswater City are away to Southside United in what will be another interesting contest. Rockingham City will be desperate for victory when they host Canning City, Kingsway Olympic should trump over bottom side Wanneroo City, and Balcatta are favoured over South West Phoenix. Dianella White Eagles this week have the bye.
BLOWING THE BUGLE
With the assistance of Soccer West Coast, the Western Australian Soccer Website will include a new weekly publication - the West Coast Bugle - on these very pages. Compiled by the local controlling body, the Bugle includes details of all up-coming games in both the local Premier League and First Division competitions, along with summaries of the previous weekend's action. It also features Soccer West Coast news, player transfers, who hot on the local scene and a weekly focus on a particular club. The Bugle will be updated every week and can be found in our new Soccer West Coast section.
J.S.A. BUSY WITH STATE TEAMS
The Junior Soccer Association of W.A. will shortly sending a number of representative teams to compete in various junior events around the country. Three country teams, who were selected from the country development camps held at Wesley College in April, will head to Canberra in a month's time for the Kanga Cup which will be held between 7th and 14th July. Two State Under-14 Development squads are currently preparing for the Friendship Games which are being staged in Sydney over the period 7th to 12th July, while the squads for the State Under-15 and 16 teams that will compete in this year's national talent Identification Championships are close to being finalised.
Coached by Mike Tetlow, the Under-14 (South) Development squad consists of Luke Eoannidis, Tom Langley, Daniel Maddaloni, Adam Surjan (Cockburn City), Scott Lewry (Forrestfield United), David Araya (Hilton), ), Christopher Smith (E.C.U. Joondalup), Ben Harvey, Ben Howe, Adam Murby, Robert Sciascia (Lynwood), Gerard Keeley (Mandurah City), Alex Darby (Peel), Andrew Keary, James Monks and Gregg Murray (Rockingham City).
The 16-player Under-14 (North) Development squad is coached by Peter Bliss and features Paul Stojkoski (Balcatta), Adriano D'Adamo (Inglewood United), Samuel Cornwell, Daniel Glasspool, Phillip White, Scott Stocks, Matthew Wardle (E.C.U. Joondalup), Aleksandar Vrteski (Kings Academy/Future Glory), David Paone (Perth S.C.), Stuart Hartmann, Michael Johnson, James Lynch, Steven McLaughlin, Adam Morrey, Rhys Williams and David Wimbridge (Sorrento).
STATE YOUTH TEAM TO ITALY
Hot on the heels of a successful tournament in France where Future W.A. finished sixth in the 12-team Tournoi de Croix, Soccer West Coast are close to confirming that they will send a State youth team to compete in the prestigious ViaReggio tournament in Italy. This years event, which was staged in January, was taken out by Inter Milan who defeated Torino 2-1 in the Final. Leichhardt Tigers were Australia's only representatives in the 40-team competition which attracted sides from Argentina, Belguim, Brazil, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Macedonia, Mexico, the Netherlands Palestine, Romania, the United States and Yugoslavia as well as Italy.
ERGIC STAYING PUT
Juventus have decided that 21-year old Ivan Ergic should spend another 12-months playing in Switzerland with F.C. Basel. Ergic was signed by Juventus from Perth Glory in mid-2000 and immediately went out on loan to Basel for a two-year period, which expired at the end of the 2001/02 season. The Italian club had the option of recalling the attacking midfielder for the coming campaign but believe it to be in Ergic's best interests that he continue his career in Switzerland for the time being.
OLDFIELD REJECTS NEW PETERBOROUGH DEAL (reproduced with permission from www.tribalfootball.com)
Australian-born David Oldfield is set to leave Peterborough United after rejecting a new contract offer. The deal made was on reduced terms and 34 year-old Oldfield told boss Barry Fry he couldn't sign it. "I wanted David to stay with us as a player and manage the reserves but he could not accept our terms and the offer has now been withdrawn," Fry told the club's website this week. "I think players will have to realise that after the problems with I.T.V. Digital, just about every club in the country is trying to make savings and we just don't have the money for transfer fees and high wages any more." Peterborough captain Andy Edwards, a veteran of almost 300 games for the club, also looks set to leave the club while goalkeeping coach Tony Godden is being courted by both Luton Town and Northampton Town.
BALCATTA SEEK PLAYERS
First Division club Balcatta are on the lookout for players to feature in their Under-18 Soccer West Coast side. Although Balcatta's youth team currently sit fourteenth in the seventeen-team competition, they are still well within striking distance of the top five. The team train at Graham Burkett Reserves on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and interested players can contact Pat Luca on 9446 3141.
SINGAPORE YOUNGSTERS TRUMP TWICE
The West Australian Amateur State team last night lost 4-0 to the touring Singapore Under-23 team in a friendly played at Litis Stadium. Rosman Sulaiman scored a double for the visitors while Indra Sahdan and Asnol As'at claimed the remaining goals. The win came two days after the Under-23 team defeated Floreat Athena's amateurs 3-0, Indra Sahdan Daud, Mustaqim Manzur and Jalil Arsat the scorers on that occasion. Singapore now head to Bangkok and Thailand for further games as they prepare for the 2002 Asian Games.
PETKOVIC JOINS TRABZONSPOR (reproduced with permission from www.tribalfootball.com)
Turkish club Trabzonspor have secured Australia international goalkeeper Michael Petkovic on a two-year contract. The South Melbourne shot stopper has agreed terms on a two-year contract worth a cool AU$200,000 per annum. Trabzonspor are expected to pay South around AU$500,000 in compensation although this fee is believed still to be finalised. Petkovic moves to Trabzonspor as their new number one after the club's board grew increasingly frustrated with Metin Aktas' performances last season.
SOUTHAMPTON PULL OUT OF JOONDALUP
Southampton have made the decision not to continue the Saints Academy which has been based at Joondalup for the past few years after recent F.I.F.A. regulations made it difficult for the English club to sign non-European Union players. Although the academy contract expired at the end of last month, Southampton will sponsor E.C.U. Joondalup Saints until the current local season comes to a close in October.
"This has been a very difficult decision for the club to make," Academy director Huw Jennings told the official Southampton website this week. "It is based on a range of factors and is not a reflection on either the ability of the players or the performance of the staff. In particular, the new F.I.F.A. ruling surrounding the trialing and registration of players under the age of 18 makes it very difficult for us to continue to work effectively with young players who are resident outside the European Union. That makes it hard to justify a big investment on the other side of the world."
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank Gary Williams, who has been the driving force behind the Perth Academy. Gary has been ably supported by a hard working team especially Trish Yates who has managed the administration so well," Jennings added. Numerous local youngsters have tried their luck in trials with Southampton since they linked up with Joondalup late in 1999. Former State junior Darren Broxton spent two seasons in the Saints youth ranks, while one-time Perth S.C. striker Adrian Caceras was part of the reserves' set-up for a similar period. Both started their time in England brightly only to be released late in the 2001/02 season.
In the wake of the decision to pull out of the local academy, former Southampton defender John Sydenham has been appointed as the club's new Australian scout. Sydenham, who made 397 appearances for the English club between 1956 and 1970, moved to Australia in the mid-1980's and has a brief of recommending any young talent from across the country to current Saints manager Gordon Strachan.
BORAL CUP ROUND-UP (Sorrento vs Swan I.C. by Kerry Slater)
Western Knights coach Ronnie Campbell was left fuming after a decision by referee Steve Muldoon cost his side a place in the next stage of the Boral Cup on Monday. The rivalry between the Knights and Perth S.C. was on show at Nash Field in a physical encounter that was eventually decided in a penalty shoot-out. Rhys Graham gave Perth the lead in the first half, but Campbell claims Muldoon missed a handball in the lead-up. "The ref's decision cost us a goal, probably cost us the game and cost us the chance to win the cup. He was the only person in the ground who did not see it," the Knights coach said after the game. The solidly-built Leon Russell equalised for the Knights after the hour, but the midfielder later had the mis-fortune of missing from the spot in the shoot-out with the score favouring Perth 5-6. For the record, Stephen Willey, Aaron Cole, Mark Pottier, Robert Giorgi, Robert Gaspar and Robert Puca were successful from the spot for Perth, while for the Knights it was Claus Nielsen, Ivan Zuvela, Alex Christie, Eugene Singeorzan and Dean Nicolaou that hit the net.
At Percy Doyle Reserve, Sorrento set up a quarter-final Cup clash with Perth after a sometimes awesome, sometimes awful display against Swan I.C. The home side started impressively with a goal inside two minutes, new signing Steven MacDonald out-jumping an opponent to head on to Gareth Phillips who raced forward to blast a low shot past Guy Gibson. Sorrento's superior control and swift movement of the ball had the visitors under all the pressure. Jared Love was denied by Gibson after 11 minutes, shortly after David Foster blasted wide and in the 22nd minute Foster was presented with another opportunity when he met Stuart Banks' low cross but Gibson was again up to the job. Sorrento finally doubled the gap in the 34th minute when MacDonald headed in a Cumace corner. Within two minutes Swan pulled a goal back, Tom Shepheard rising unchallenged to met a Christian Marocchi cross and the teenage striker made no mistake. But within 60-seconds Sorrento restored their two-goal buffer when Phillips crossed into the area where Gibson fumbled and Love was handily placed to poke it over the line. Sorrento were expected to go on with their dominance after the break but it wasn't to be. Eddie Mura caught Gareth Deeg at the edge of his area and lobbed the 'keeper perfectly to bring Swan back into the contest early in the new half. The remainder of the match was very much a tussle for control in midfield with neither 'keeper beaten until the final minute of normal time when Ryan Jeans' cross from the right saw Love pounce for his second of the afternoon. Perth will meet Sorrento in their quarter-final clash at Dorrien Gardens on Wednesday 19th June.
Inglewood United recorded a hard-fought 1-0 win over Floreat Athena at the National Stadium in their quarter-final meeting. In a tight match that could have seen either side progress to the round of four, it took a brilliant long-range strike from Alan MacKenzie that rocketed into the top corner of John Xigas' goal to seperate the sides. Xigas had to be on top of his game to keep the home side at bay as they sought a second goal to kill off the match. Athena created numerous chances to get back on level terms, but with Troy Bernard (ankle) and Hugh Miller (knee) absent through injury, and Luca Gobbi back in Argentina after an illness in the family, the visitors were simply out of luck as they dipped out of the knock-out competition.
With crowds down all over the city down due to some inclement weather and a plethora of World Cup action live on television, Future Glory trounced Southside United 4-1 at Walter Padbury Reserve. With the likes of Matt Horsley, Gareth Naven, Nick Mrdja, David Tarka and Vince Matassa in the starting line-up, Future pretty much had the game wrapped up by the break by which time they lead by three goals to nil. Strikers Nick Mrdja and Mileta Miletic grabbed two apiece for Future while Mark Edwards netted from the penalty spot for the home team. In the northern suburbs, Andy Mason gave E.C.U. Joondalup a first half lead with Richard Watson scoring after the break as their side ran out 2-0 winners over Fremantle City.
Mandurah City's reserves won their way through to the semi-final of the Boral Cup after a nail biting game with Balcatta. Played in blustery conditions, Mandurah took the lead in the 25th minute through Steve Choate but Balcatta equalised ten minutes before half-time from a corner. Mandurah were reduced to ten men with the dismissal of Steve Rhodes in the 75th minute, but moments later Carlos Almieda scored the winner from a Mikel Sesma cross. Inglewood United defeated Floreat Athena 1-0, and Fremantle City proved too strong for E.C.U. Joondalup 4-1 in other reserves games. In their Second Round catch-up game, Sorrento and Swan I.C. ended 2-2 after regulation time courtesy of goals to Jake Harman, Daniel Cagorski (Sorrento), Steve Terney and Brian Robertson (Swan). The shoot-out finished 5-4 in favour of the northern suburbs club who had veteran goalkeeper Willie McNally to thank after he saved Swan's third penalty kick. The win sets up a quarter-final match with Perth S.C. who thrashed Western Knights 5-0
Canning City are through to the last four of the Under-18's Cup competition after defeating Future Glory 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out with the scores ended one-all after regulation time. Canning were the first to score in a tight match, Future equalised through Wesley Ryder only to lose captain Alex Crookes to injury shortly after. Inglewood United lost 2-0 at home to Floreat Athena and Fremantle City knockout E.C.U. Joondalup 3-1 in other quarter-final matches. The Second Round games saw Perth S.C. thrash home side Western Knights 7-1 while Sorrento won 3-2 over Swan I.C. Playing again ten, Sorrento struggled early but goals from Michael Stefanovski, Farrell Hedges and Robbie McCann cancelled out a double by Dave Mahon.
CENENTARY CHALLENGE CUP, ROUND TWO
Cockburn City are through to the last four of the Centenary Cup after accounting for bassendean Caledonian 3-0 at Jubilee Reserve. Playing with a makeshift backline, Caledonian never really settled and found themselves two goals down in no time after Denis Stojanovic and Branimir Mikulic found the target. Caledonian's task of getting back into the game was made all the harder with the 30th minute red carding of the influential Devid Vitale. However, it was only after the midfielders' dismissal that the home side came to life, carving out several good scoring opportunities without success. Cockburn ended the match as a contest when Mikulic made it three-nil after the interval, and the margin could have been greater if not for some fine goalkeeping from Alan Dunlop.
The three remaining quarter-final games will be played on Wednesday 12th June, all matches kicking off at 7.00pm. Stirling Lions play Floreat Athena at Macedonia Park, Perth S.C. take on Future Glory at Dorrien Gardens, and Western Knights face Sorrento at Edith Cowan University.
TOP TWO MEET AGAIN
With Perth S.C. having defeated Western Knights 2-0 at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday, the two clubs go at it again today in a catch-up Second Round Boral Cup match at Nash Field. Although his side lost their 100% win record in the Premier League on the weekend, Knights coach Ronnie Campbell took a lot of positives from the away game. "I am happy the way we played," Campbell said. "I am not too disappointed at the result as we were clearly the better team. We missed scoring chances and had two goals we thought were good disallowed … We will be looking for revenge today."
Opposition coach Graeme Normanton saw much room for improvement in Perth's game on Saturday. "I don't think we played particularly well," he said. "But we took our chances and they didn't. The first 20 minutes and the last 20 minutes, they were better, but I thought we dominated the rest and were the better side." Pleased with his sides first clean sheet of the season, Normanton is well aware today will be a different kettle of fish. "It will be a different game. The pitch there is smaller and narrower, everyone is much closer to each other and it could be pretty physical."
Murdoch University defeated Subiaco United in a hard-fought W.A.A.S.S.A. Premier League match that was played out in what bordered on near-torrential rain. Starting brightly, Murdoch should have taken an early lead through Sasha Gojic who was denied by goalkeeper Albert Nascimento. Subiaco created several opportunities of their own but it was Murdoch that controlled the game with Clayton Kendall, Steve Migas and Jason Dixon all going close before the break. After a brief resurgence from Subiaco at the start of the new half, Murdoch opened the scoring midway through the period when Clayton Kendall's drive found the bottom corner of the net. The home side continued to press and scored a well-deserved second goal after 86 minutes through Craig McCulloch who headed home a Mark Watson corner.
The University of W.A. failed the wet weather test, and slipped a spot down the table, after being held one-al by Shamrock Rovers at McGillivray Oval on Sunday. Adam Brett looked to have given the home side the lead early in the match but his header was cleared off the line by a defender. Having taken their time to settle, Shamrock then enjoyed the better of play which enable them to go a goal up shortly before the half-time break. The second half saw a much better performance from University but, despite several chances on goal, it was only when a Teemu Sihvola shot was turned in for an own goal that a point was secured. Shamrock had a couple of chances towards the end of the game to secure maximum points without success, and things ended on a sour note for the home side when Robert Benkovic was sent off for a second yellow card offence. Shamrock also took out the reserves game 5-1.
Forrestfield United travelled to Balga on Sunday and opened the scoring after just eight minutes when the assistant referee's flag stayed down despite three players being caught in an off-side position. Balga equalised in the 29th minute from a Steve Hill penalty after a Forrestfield player was judged to have pushed a Balga player in the box during a corner kick. Marty McShane came close to putting Balga in front in the 61st minute, his free kick from a long way out only just went over the bar. Forrestfield got the winner in the 85th minute, a nicely taken shot that skimmed the crossbar and went in. The 100% win record of League leaders Hamersley Rovers came to an end after being held to a 2-2 draw on home turf by Kwinana United. Fremantle United moved off the bottom of the table by defeating Perth Azzurri 3-0, and Spearwood Dalmatinac proved too strong for E.C.U. Joondalup 2-0 in their mid-table clash.
With Monday being a public holiday, a couple of clubs took the opportunity to play their Round Five catch-up games which were postponed in mid-May due to the National Soccer League Grand Final. Kwinana United adapted better to the greasy conditions at McGillivray Oval and went into half-time two goals better than the University of W.A. after Nigel Mann and the experienced Paul Thompson found the net. The new half saw some encouraging signs from University who had several chances to open their account towards the end of the game only to be thwarted by the Kwinana goalkeeper who kept a clean sheet with several good saves. University won the reserves meeting 4-1 with David Holley and Andy Hart scoring doubles while Brett Gibb got Kwinana's lone goal.
Spearwood Dalmatinac hosted Balga under lights at Beale Park on Wednesday evening. The visitors started the stronger but for all their dominance Balga were unable to create any clear-cut chances on goal. Spearwood came back into the match and with half-time approaching found the net when a forward was allowed to charge into the area unchallenged before knocking the ball under the Balga goalkeeper. Immediately from the re-start Balga conceded possession in midfield and a quick long ball over the defence resulting in the margin being 2-0 at the break. The second half was all one-way traffic as the visiting team fell apart, Spearwood adding two more goals to their tally courtesy of some sloppy defending. Willy Lyall, making his comeback after an eight-week suspension, found himself on the end of Balga's best moves but the striker was unable to convert. The closing stages petered out to leave a shell-shocked Balga side with a long trip home in the rain.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND SIX (Perth S.C. vs Western Knights by Christian Galapolous; Cockburn City vs Floreat Athena by Lennie Bavich; Bassendean Caledonian vs Inglewood United with the assistance of Bill MacAllister; Swan I.C. vs Sorrento by Kerry Slater)
Ashfield coach Tom Kilkelly was forced to make several changes to his side ahead of their home fixture with E.C.U. Joondalup on Saturday. Phil Jackson and Mark Donnelly dropped out of the starting line-up due to injury, while Jamie D'Arcy (overseas) and Adrian Spinelli (study) were also absent due to other commitments. This meant a first team recall for talented young goalkeeper Johnathon Van Der Voet, Martin Sherwin slotted in at the back, Scott Brisley in midfield and Darren Yates partnered Shane Fuhr up-front. Visiting coach Paul 'Geordie' Simmons made few changes to the team which seven days ago accounted for Swan I.C. 4-0, the only change of note being the addition of striker Garin Collins to the starting line-up.
The match started at breakneck pace with Ashfield pushing straight into attack where they won a succession of corners. With the visiting side under all the early pressure, Ashfield waited just 7 minutes before taking the lead. Winning possession in midfield, Steve Gillibrand swept the ball into the area where Darren Yates nodded it into the path of Matt Pochroj who strode past goalkeeper Peter Stewart and calmly slotted into an open goal. Clearly unsettled at having conceded so early, Joondalup lowly but surely found their rhythm only to constantly over-hit their passes into the area where Van Der Voet was quick off his line. The visitors' first real chance came after 15 minutes, Scott Bulloch's curling high ball into the box headed narrowly over the bar by Andy Mason. But immediately Joondalup found themselves again on the back foot as Brad Pochroj quickly released Yates down the left but the striker's low shot finished wide of the far post.
The middle part of the half belonged to Joondalup who asserted their dominance in midfield only to find the home defence in fine form, Sherwin and Adam Kiley working hard in the centre while Van Der Voet stood firm between the posts. After several fiery challenges went unpunished, Mason became the first player booked for a studs-up lunge on the 'keeper as frustrations began to reach boiling point. Lee Stratford somehow found enough space in a crowded area to rifle off a shot after 25 minutes that crashed against the bar and back into play. Two minutes later Van Der Voet enhanced his growing reputation with a brilliant double save, first parrying Mason's thunderbolt then tipping a powerful drive from Bulloch over the bar. Joondalup tired as the half came to a close and Ashfield responded by creating a couple of good chances to extend their lead. Spotting Stewart off his line, a quickly taken free-kick by Sherwin had the 'keeper back-tracking at pace to prevent the ball from crossing between the posts, and minutes some lovely one and two touch passing saw Shane Fuhr's curling shot land on the top netting.
After a stern half-time talk, Joondalup emerged for the second half searching for an equaliser. Two minutes after the re-start Collins met a deep cross from Bulloch but volleyed high. 60-seconds later the visitors won a dubious penalty when Sherwin was judged to have handled the ball, Mason confidently stepped up only for Van Der Voet to dive the right way and knock the spot-kick wide. Throwing everything forward, Joondalup continued to ply the pressure and deservedly got back on level terms after 52 minutes. Mark Ristofski's floated a corner to the near post where Richard Watson flicked it on and Abdul Kamara was there to head it beyond the reach of the 'keeper from close-range. Minutes later Van Der Voet prevented Joondalup from taking the lead when he kept out a low Watson drive which was struck sweetly from 20-metres.
With the game snow up for grabs, the tempo again picked up as the game entered it's final half hour. Yates' saw his low shot well-saved by Stewart who then quickly sent in tot he other end where Joondalup hit the bar through Collins. Shortly after Joondalup looked to have taken the lead when Dale McCulloch's curling shot beat the 'keeper only to be ruled out for off-side. And another fine strike from distance by Yates again called Stewart into action. A 76th minute corner from Fuhr was played short to Gillibrand who curled the ball low to the top of the 6-yard box where Yates stooped to nod it past Stewart and give Ashfield a 2-1 lead. An action-packed final few minutes in which Yates and substitute Adam Quinn were lively up-front for the home side. But it was Joondalup that created the better chances, defender Jamie Kuzmanovich shooting high from long-range, and Watson heading a deep Stratford free-kick over the bar as Ashfield held on to record their first win of the season.
The final whistle sent the entire Ashfield camp into celebration, and no doubt lifted a weight from the shoulders of both the playing and coaching staff. The side were lead from the back by Van Der Voet was inspirational in a man-of-the-match contribution, while Gillibrand's experience in the middle and the return of Yates' also proved important. Overall, it was a sterling team performance from Ashfield who deserve credit for not giving up the chase for maximum points. On an afternoon that Joondalup had a lot of players well below par, Kamara and Stratford worked hard to get the visitors going in midfield while Mason was a constant danger for the home defence. Coach Simmons would no doubt have been bitterly disappointed with Joondalup's game in which an unconverted second half penalty proved costly.
Ashfield : Johnathon Van Der Voet, Adam Kiley, Martin Sherwin, Brad
Pochroj (Adam Quinn 81), Luke Pavlos, Scott Brisley (Gary Spinks 77),
Matt Pochroj, Steve Gillibrand, Karl Atley (Tom Caca 87), Darren Yates,
E.C.U. Joondalup : Peter Stewart, Jamie Kuzmanovich, Richard Watson, Scott Broadley, Scott Bulloch, Mark Ristofski, Lee Stratford, Dale McCulloch, Abdul Kamara, Andy Mason, Garin Collins Referee : Michael Nugus
Cautions : Mason (23), McCulloch (36), Kiley (41)
Dismissals : None
Attendance : 100 (approx.)
In the clash of title favorites, Perth S.C. came out on top over the Western Knights 2-0 at Dorrien Gardens. The Knights created opportunities early but their failure to convert in the final third of the pitch cost them dearly. After 16 minutes Knights captain Carl Medica weaved his way past the defense but could only manage to hit the up-right. Four minutes later Eugene Singeorzan found space in the penalty area but his close range shot was well saved by Perth goalkeeper Rob Scarparolo who was in outstanding form. The visitors misses would prove costly as Perth opened the scoring after 34 minutes, the experienced Mark Pottier stabbing home Rhys Graham's accurate cross. Perth began the second half the stronger and took only three minutes to extend their margin with the competitions topscorer Andreas Oliveira continuing his hot-streak, pouncing on a Knights defensive mix up to score his seventh goal in three matches. Ronnie Campbell brought on Dean and John Nicolaou to try and give his side a lift and the move paid immediate dividends with both players providing some impetus and sparking a slumbering attack. Unfortunately for the Knights poor finishing again proved their downfall with John Nicolaou missing an open goal. The home side were well served this afternoon by impressive young wingback Rhys Graham, as well as Mark Pottier and Rob Giorgi who worked tirelessly through out the match. The win allows Perth to claim top spot by the slimmest of margins, both them and the Knights now level on 15 points but with Perth have a superior goal difference along with a match in hand.
Cockburn City shared the points with Floreat Athena at Litis Stadium with each side finding the net once. Denis Stojanovic opened the scoring after 20 minutes when his long run saw him powered past the Athena then beat goalkeeper Vas Vujacic. Poor finishing by players in both camps spoilt what could have been a spectacle. Robin Dyers spurned a chance to equalise in the 28th minute but his shot missed the left up-right by centimetres. Cockburn youngster Jeff Bright put Branimir Mikulic into space but the striker miss-hit the ball and it went high. The match was also marred by some poor refereeing, the official in control often behind play which resulted in Athena being awarded a dubious penalty which Doug Ithier converted for the equaliser. The referee must have thought he was at a wedding as he showered players with yellow cards, Athena midfielder Costs Socratous unfortunate to collect his second yellow and earn himself an early shower with 15 minutes remaining.
Bassendean Caledonian moved into eighth place with a good 3-0 win over third-placed Inglewood United at Jubilee Reserve. After a tight opening period, the home side hit the front when the hard-working Mark Lennon put through Jimmy Merkouris who rounded goalkeeper Adam Ashworth to net a great opening goal. Stung at conceding, Inglewood created numerous opportunities to equalise with Andy Cornmell then Rory Mouttet shooting wide, and Caledonian goalkeeper Alan Dunlop made a fantastic save to thwart the visitors. The home backline of Craig Naven , Luke Croxall and Kevin Smith worked tirelessly to repel everything Inglewood threw at them and, after winning two corners in quick succession, Lennon went on a weaving run before releasing the ball to Dean Gartside who doubled their lead just before half time. In the 65th minute an enterprising run by Jason Van Rooy saw him cut the ball back from the by-line to to Ramon Westerburger who effectively ended any hopes the visitors had of coming back into the match. Just minutes later Paul Strudwick was sent off for his second yellow card of the day. Caeldonian could have extended the lead by more as the clock ticked down but Aaron Moscopoulis and substitute Graeme Matthews were unable to make the most of the opportunities presented to them.
Sorrento were held to a frustrating draw by a battling Swan I.C. side that never gave an inch on their hard, uneven ground. The visiting side enjoyed the lions share of possession early on, Tony Cumace's free-kick after 5 minutes forcing a quality save from goalkeeper Guy Gibson. Four minutes later, and down the other end, Damian Scali's effort had Gareth Deeg at full-stretch to tip the ball over. Sorrento failed to clear the ball in the 16th minute that gifted Eddie Mura with a free shot which he put into an empty net. Sorrento found their equaliser after 33 minutes when Peter Butler won possession on the edge of the penalty area and pushed the ball to Ryan Jeans who fired low into the right corner. After the break Swan pressed hard to go in front but were constantly denied by Deeg who made a courageous save at the feet of Tom Shepheard, then reacted instinctively to block a Christain Marrochi effort after 52 minutes. A tactical change saw captain Kevin Murphy push forward for Sorrento and the move almost paid off immediately, Murphy and Jeans combining to set-up whose powerful shot flew straight to Gibson. In the 65th minute, Marrochi arrowed a free-kick in to the area from the right where Damian Scali powered his header past Deeg to re-store the black and whites lead. Sorrento went down to ten men with fifteen minutes left on the clock when Michael Ord was red carded, his dismissal lifting the visiting team as they forced Swan onto the back foot. Wayne Oldham turned down a penalty appeal after Jared Love was brought down inside the box, and six minutes later a dodgy challenge on Jeans was also waved away. With the three points seemingly in the bag, the Swan rearguard was left deflated when Murphy met a David Foster cross with his left foot to volley pass the despairing Gibson for the equaliser 90-second from full-time.
Fremantle City ended their winless start to the season with a confidence building 3-1 result against Future Glory at Ken Allen Field. Australian youth international Josh Kamasz bagged a double for the home side with David Rodgers also finding the net, while former-Fremantle midfielder Gary Faria scored the visitors lone goal of the afternoon.
RESERVES AND UNDER-18'S ROUND-UP
Sorrento's reserves appeared to be cruising for victory after taking a 2-0 lead into the break courtesy of a brace from Gareth Phillips. But when Hillier Jorgensen found the net in the 59th minute, and Billy Robb equalised with sixteen minutes remaining it was very much a case of game on. Sorrento nosed ahead in the 79th minute when Phillips' shot across the face of goal found Peter Noiszewski conveniently paced at the far post to stab the ball across the line. The visitors then asserted their control with Jake Harman lobbing goalkeeper Chris Ramsey to make it 4-2, and tow a couple of minutes remaining Andrew Chapman put the result beyond doubt with his first goal of the new season.
E.C.U. Joondalup made it five wins from six starts when they thumped Ashfield 6-1 to stay on top of the reserves table. Gary Murray hit a hat-trick and Oliver Marshall, Adam Bachiller and John Greenwood also found the target for the visitors, Sam Danesh scoring Ashfield's lone goal. Inglewood United stay two points behind the leaders courtesy of a 4-3 result away to Bassendean Caledonian. Goals from Terry Georganis (2), Tal Lahav and Josip Magdic mean Floreat Athena remain a further point off the pace after their 4-2 win over Cockburn City for whom Colin Copperwaite and Domenic De Felice scored. Future Glory won for the first time this season when they defeated Fremantle City 4-3, and on Sunday Perth S.C. drew 2-2 with Western Knights.
Fremantle had to come from behind to defeat a very competitive Future outfit 3-2 in the Under-18 competition. After an exciting start, Future took the lead when Scott Bushby calmly tucked away an excellent cross to finish a good move. Fremantle then applied some red-hot pressure to the visiting defence for whom 13-year old goalkeeper Alex Vrteski made some fantastic saves. A defensive error allowed Fremantle to equalise 25 minutes, and with no addition to the score it was 1-1 at the break. The home side went ahead shortly after the re-start from a deadball situation, and it was 3-1 when Vrteski's parry fell at the feet of a Fremantle forward. Future came back late in the game with Ben Rogers pulling one back, and they were unlucky not to take home a share of the points come the full-time whistle.
Two down at the break, Joondalup staged an amazing second half revival to defeat Ashfield 3-2 and temporarily move clear at the top of the table. A double by Dion Florias saw the home side go into half time in front, only for Tom Jones and Scott Blackmore to net before Daniel De Fazio hit the winner. Sorrento turned around their recent poor form with a confidence boosting 7-0 away win over Swan. Michael Stefanovski and a first half hat-trick from Farrel Hedges saw the Seagulls end the first half with a commanding lead, Andrew Brand and Robbie McCann extend the gap before Hedges bagged his fourth to fill out the scoreline. Elsewhere, Bassendean went down 3-2 to Inglewood, and Athena were held 1-1 by Cockburn after Fabio De Oliveira. Perth reclaimed top spot on Sunday after a 6-1 thumping of the Knights through goals by David Michevski (2), Cosi Cavalaro, Aaron Colli and Daniel Michevski, Toby Prosin scoring for the home side.
FIRST DIVISION WRAP (Armadale vs Canning City by Michael Di Pietro; Leeming Strikers vs Balcatta courtesy of www.leemingstrikers.com)
Darren Ingham is certainly going through a very fruitful spell at First Division Armadale, whether that's due to the arrival of a newborn in the family or not, but he has certainly been playing some inspiring football of late. As usual, Armadale began their home fixture with Canning City slowly in a match that saw some tight defending from both teams which resulted in a nil-all half-time score. After the break Ingham proved to be the difference between the sides with his hustling of opposition players and excellent vision creating three goals for the Reds. Greg Newcombe found the net in the 53rd and 80th minutes, and Jason Hardie made sure of the three points when he struck four minutes from full-time. Other than Ingham, Nick Twyman was deserving of praise post-match for his close marking of Canning's veteran player-coach Peter Murphy who was allowed no room to move on the ball, while sweeper Gary Murdoch orchestrated the home defence and began numerous attacks with fine passing. The win opens up a four point lead for Armadale at the top of the First Division table, a gap that gap should increase next week when the Reds travel to play a Stirling Suns outfit that have collected just nine points from eight starts this season. It was another case of lost points for Armadale's reserves who rushed to a two goal lead thanks to strikes from Lawrence Bruce and Terry Flynn, only for Canning to reel the home side back in to make the match end in a two-all draw. Armadale's Under-18's suffered the early shock of conceding a goal in the 5th minute, but after that it was pretty much business as usual. The young Reds side are putting together some useful results and slowly making their way up the ladder, this week's polished 3-1 win courtesy of goals by Oliver Crockford (2) and Darren Kingston.
Mandurah City started their match unable to contain Queens Park's strong midfield combination of Mark Brown, Nicky Dyer and Alan Pottier who continually pressed the defence over the opening 25 minutes, goalkeeper Mike Green and veteran defender Neil Patten-Williams almost single-handed responsible for keeping the home side in the contest. Mark Brown was released down the right wing on the half hour, out-pacing the Mandurah defence before his centring ball into the area when Darren D'Mello converted from seven-metres. The goal kicked the home side into gear and for the remainder of the half dominated play, their pay-off coming late in the period when goalkeeper Darren Goldsworthy parried a Michael Bobridge shot that dropped nicely for John Tranfield who bagged his first goal of the season. The second half began with Queens Park again in control and they deservedly restored their lead when a suspect challenge by Glen Noblett saw Green spill a high ball and the midfielder made no mistake from close range. Incensed that the goal was allowed to stand, Mandurah went on the attack with some of the best football of the match, but when the equaliser finally came it was in the most bizarre of circumstances. Sean Kearns sent a pass down the right which was Bobridge beat Goldsworthy to and, as the 'keeper fell, Bobridge was presented with the easy task of levelling the scores - it was later feared that Goldsworthy had snapped his achilles tendon when he raced off his line to challenge possession. The match-breaker came with fifteen minutes remaining when Bobridge was once released, this time down the left, before cutting inside and neatly knocking the ball past the goalkeeper to give City maximum points and second place on the table. In the reserves Mandurah were in blistering form as two superb first half goals from Steve Choate and Carlos Almieda saw them 2-0 winners. The Under-18's also went the way of the home team with Jake Heathcote netting the only goal of the match.
Dianella White Eagles went into their weekend fixture with Bayswater City coming off back-to-back wins over Wanneroo City and South West Phoenix and looking to take home even more points from Frank Drago reserve. But the home side had other ideas, starting brightly and hitting the front after 10 minutes when Andrew O'Neill's found nippy forward Sal Marrapodi who smashed the ball into the back of the net from close-range. Bayswater continued to attack, creating numerous opportunities to extend their lead only to be thwarted by the visiting goalkeeper. Shortly before the half-time break the complexion of the match changed when Dianella were reduced to ten men after Petar Mrdja got his marching orders for misconduct. Dianella came out for the second half determined to get back into the match only to find luck against them this afternoon. The visitors best chance of the half came the way of Jerry Boima who was through one-on-one with the goalkeeper only to knock the ball wide of the target. In the end a stubborn Bayswater defence would enable them to record victory by the slenderest of margins. The reserves match saw Bayswater win 5-3, while in the Under-18's Dianella triumphed 2-0.
Leeming Strikers' first team again failed to win successive matches after a dismal performance against Balcatta at John Connell Reserve. Yet another opportunity to push for a top-eight place went begging as the Strikers' inability to string back-to-back wins struck again. Despite a spirited start - and a cracking goal in the opening minutes from Sean Cowman - the home team slumped to their sixth loss of the season and were left in eleventh place on the seventeen-team table. A bright start turned gloomy 18 minutes in when Carlo Di Toro's rash tackle resulted in a penalty which saw Gavin Falcon-Brown equalise although goalkeeper Mark Wiseman got a hand to the shot. There was worse to come for the home side as poor defending led to Balcatta taking the lead when Paul Gallacher swung over a far-post corner and Mark Mucciarone, who was completely unmarked, had the simple task of heading in after the half hour. Balcatta's lead could have been increased had Gallacher's effort snuck inside of the post instead of against it. Strikers big man Alex Grindley was forced off at the interval due to a rib injury and replacement Paul Gibson made the most of his opportunity, hardly putting a foot wrong in another solid performance for the first team. But the visitors grabbed their third goal of the game from the penalty spot after referee Tony Chorley adjudged Alan Armstrong's tackle to have been illegal, Falcon-Brown again converting from the spot to seal the win.
The opening half of Perth City's home fixture with Southside United was contested for the most part in the middle third of the park with only scattered opportunities for either side to take the lead. The deadlock wasn't broken until shortly before half time when Soutshide's Brian Carney latched onto a long ball which took him inside the area when the home goalkeeper brought him down, the resulting penalty converted by Tony Pritchard. After a largely uneventful first 45 minutes, the match kicked into action three minutes after the re-start when Perth equalised with a swift move, then took the lead after finding a way past the visiting backline to score from a close-range header. Seven minutes later it was 3-1 when Southside failed to sufficiently deal with a corner which was converted from 15-metres. Stunned by the turn of events, the visitors re-grouped and pegged a goal back through John Pougher only for Perth to re-store their two-goal buffer minutes later. A dramatic final ten minutes saw Southside come storming back after a goalkeeping error allowed Carney to net his second. Defending desperately, Perth held firm at the back to record victory 4-3 and hold in to sixth place.
Although they had proven goalscorer Ray Rose on the sidelines through injury, Morley Windmills still managed to record their sixth win of the season when they met Kingsway Olympic at Wootton Reserve. While the opening 45 minutes was an even affair in which neither side was able to create a lot of great promise, Windmills stepped up a gear after the interval but they had to wait until seven minutes from the end for Ian Ballantyne to score the only goal of the game. Rockingham City won for only the second time this season, hitting four without reply from South West Phoenix, Wanneroo City shared the points with fellow-strugglers Stirling Suns following a tight, physical 2-2 draw, and Stirling Lions had the bye.
TOP-OF-THE-TABLE CLASH PROMISES TO EXCITE
It's rare that you'll find rival coaches agreeing on the eve of a vital match between their sides, but Graeme Normaton and Ronnie Campbell both say today's match between Perth S.C. and Western Knights will be one of the biggest game of the season. While no League can be won with only a quarter of the matches played, the top-of-the-table showdown at Dorrien Gardens will go a long way towards deciding the destination of the Premier League title in 2002.
Campbell's Western Knights have won all five of their matches while Normanton's title-defending Perth S.C. has won the four they have played. "They are the benchmark," Campbell told Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian" yesterday. "We see Perth as the biggest rival, the best team of last season. This will be our toughest test." Normanton said: "I believe the championship will be between these sides. So it is a big match already." But both camps were hit by the flu this week. Knights midfielder Ray Marinovic is in doubt having missed training, which could open the door for Evan Wallace's return with Claus Nielsen pushing into the middle. There will be late decisions made on Perth pair Robbie Gaspar and Jamie Coyne, who have been hit by the bug.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The pick of Round Six of the Premier League is without a doubt the match at Dorrien Gardens where second-placed Perth S.C. host League leaders Western Knights. Inglewood United should prove too strong for home side Bassendean Caledonian, while E.C.U. Joondalup are up against Ashfield at Ashfield Reserve. Sorrento will be hoping to make it back-to-back wins when they travel to play Swan I.C. Floreat Athena and Cockburn City will both be wanting to put disappointing losses last week behind them when they meet at Litis Stadium, and it'll be a similar story for Fremantle City when they take on Future Glory at home.
First Division leaders Armadale are at home to Canning City this Saturday as everyone wonders how long the club will be able to maintain their 100% win record. With Stirling Lions have the bye, victory to either Mandurah City or Queens Park at Peelwood Parade will see them leap into second place. Morley Windmills have surprised many this season and a home win over Kingsway Olympic could see them extend the gap between fifth and sixth. Bayswater City return to the park with a difficult home clash against a Dianella White Eagles side on the improve. Perth City take on Southside United, and Leeming Strikers are home to Balcatta. Both South West Phoenix and Rockingham City will be looking to take full points from their clash and put some distance between themselves and bottom side Wanneroo who this week host Stirling Suns.
DON'T FORGET THE CUP ON MONDAY!
Monday will see a return to Cup action with two Second Round and three Third Round Boral Cup matches scheduled. Western Knights and Perth S.C. meet for the second time in three days at Nash Field, while at the other end of the city Sorrento go up against Swan I.C. at Percy Doyle Reserve. Both venues will feature Second Round fixtures at all three levels - senior, reserves and Under-18's. In Third Round matches, First Division club Southside United are up against Future Glory at Walter Padbury Rerserve, Inglewood United are home to Floreat Athena, and E.C.U. Joondalup host Fremantle City. The reserves and Under-18 games at these grounds can be found in our 'Fixtures and Results' section.
There's also one match in the Edith Cowan University sponsored Challenge Cup being played on Monday afternoon when Bassendean Caledonian take on Cockburn City from 3.00pm at Jubilee Reserve. The remaining Challenge Cup quarter-finals will take place on Wednesday 12th June when Stirling Lions play Floreat Athena (at Macedonia Park), Perth S.C. take on Future Glory (at Dorrien Gardens) and Western Knights face Sorrento (at Edith Cowan University). These games will get underway from 7.00pm.
WE WILL IMPROVE SAYS ASHFIELD'S GILLIBRAND
After sweeping their way to the First Division play-off title last year, Ashfield really haven't gotten the 2002 season off to the sort of start that they'd hoped. Winless after five games and rock bottom last on the table, midfielder Steve Gillibrand this week said this club's poor start was attributable to a combination of reasons. "For a start, the quality of football is of a higher standard and a few of our up and coming players are adapting gradually to a quicker pace game. We have five experienced players either struggling with injury or work commitments." But Gillibrand is confident Ashfield will be able to turn around the slump and hold onto a place in the top flight beyond this season. "One thing which has been established over the years is that Ashfield is a fighting club. And we know there's still seventeen games left and we'll battle out everyone of them. So far we haven't adapted to the pace and the physical side of the Premier League, we're second in sharpness and awareness at this point in time. But as far as I'm concerned we can defiantly improve on our past performances and we'll finish much stronger than we started."
Radio Fremantle's (107.9FM) Saturday Morning Soccer Show have scored an early World Cup winner by securing the services of well-know English commentator Gary Bloom as their man in Japan and Korea for the 2002 Finals tournament. Bloom, the voice behind S.B.S. television's English Premier League show, will join usual suspects Martin Wells, Dennis Gedling and Penny Tanner every Saturday from 10.00am for the world's biggest sporting event.
SWAN LOSE COACH
Swan I.C. today amicably parted company with coach Paul Wozny who cited the pressure of work and other commitments as the reason. With Wozny's assistant to the club Mike Brazil quitting, long-serving midfielder Carlo Scalli has been put in charge of the side for Saturday's home fixture with Sorrento and is likely to remain as player-coach until the end of the season.
END OF AN ERA AS NAVEN DEPARTS GLORY
After six years as captain of Perth Glory, Gareth Naven has parted company with the club on amicable terms. Despite wanting to continue his career with the National Soccer League club, the midfielder was told by coach Mich d'Avray this week that he was unlikely to feature in the side next season. "I thought I had another 12 months with the club, but that's obviously not the way they see it," Naven told Jonathan Cook of the "West Australian". "I must admit I didn't think it would just end like that. But Mich didn't think I would be able to get in the starting eleven or the squad of sixteen. They floated the idea of cutting wages, maybe playing with the Future Glory and helping Frank (Arok) in the development. But I'm not ready for that yet."
Naven, a veteran of 143 games for Glory during which time he scored six times, was widely regarded as the club's most loyal player. While he has rarely featured over the past two seasons after a series of set-backs, the 33-year old feels he still had a lot to offer the club. "I thought I was still capable of providing something on the playing field but I didn't get that opportunity," he said. D'Avray said Naven had been a model professional. "If you're looking for attitude, courage and professionalism you can't look past him," he said. "I wish him well in whatever he chooses to do." The former State player and Perth S.C. captain has suggested that he may extend his career by playing abroad, possibly in Singapore or Malaysia.
A former Australian junior international, Naven has had a fruitful career at the top level. Having won the State League's Fairest and Best award with Perth Italia in 1992, he captained the Perth Kangaroos in their only S-League season when they blitzed the field to win the title, Naven later named the clubs' Player of the Year. One of the first players offered terms by Glory in February 1996, Naven lead the club to their first trophy - the 1999/2000 N.S.L. Minor Premiership - and that same season took out the Most Glorious Player and Supporters Player of the Year awards. Twelve months later he was honoured with Glory's Clubman Award.
THIRD TIME LUCKY FOR PETKOVIC?
South Melbourne goalkeeper Michael Petkovic is reportedly close to signing a $A500,000 deal with Turkish First Division club Trabzonspor. The 25-year old goalkeeper will be hoping it's a case of third time lucky after his two previous attempts to land a European contract proved fruitless. He spent the 1999/2000 season in France with Strasbourg but did not play a game because of red tape, while last year he failed to make the first team during a three month loan spell at Lillestrom in Norway. Widely regarded as one of the best shot-stoppers Australia has produced, Petkovic has won the National Soccer League's Goalkeeper of the Year on three occasions and won several caps for the Socceroos.
JUVENUS KEEN ON ERGIC
Former Perth Glory player Ivan Ergic could be on his way to the Italian Serie A next season. Ergic, in Perth for a brief holiday after a successful season in Switzerland with F.C. Basel, has had discussions with the Turin-based giants regarding where he will play next season. Juventus signed Ergic from Glory two seasons ago and the attacking midfielder was immediately loaned out to Basel for two years. The 21-year-old was a key performer as Basel claimed their first championship in 22 years, and the Schweizer Cup . But he said there was still a way to go before he could think seriously about playing in Italy' top flight.
Juventus have tracked Ergics progress at Basel and he was involved with officials from the Italian club before he flew to Australia. "I spoke to the Juventus general manager and they want me to be 100 per cent their player," Ergic told Jonathan Cook of the "West Australian" this week. "Whether they'd keep me there or whether they'll loan me out to another club, I don't know." Talks will continue over the next months and Ergic expects to learn where he'll spend season 2002/03 after the World Cup. While the midfielder has quickly progressed up through the Basel ranks, he's keen to play in another League before tackling Serie A. "I'm 21 and I'm thinking 'Am I ready for this'?" he said. "Basel isn't a club as big as Juventus and I always thought I needed another club in between."
Although the Swiss season came to a close little over a fortnight ago with Basel's Cup Final win over Grasshoppers, the off-season is almost over for Ergic who returns to Europe this Saturday to begin preparations for the new season which starts with the Champions League qualifiers on 7th June. Basel coach Christian Gross is keen to retain the services of the midfielder after the club's most successful season in more than a quarter of a century. And Ergic said he would not be averse to extending his stay with the club, "If I stayed in Basel I would be happy." Ergic missed only two games for Basel in a season that brought the League and Cup double to Basel for the first time in 27 years.
INJURIES HIT FUTURE YOUNGSTERS
Future Glory has been hit by a mini-injury crisis that is keeping three of fifteen players in the Under-19 squad out of action. Striker Tomislav Crnkovic was the first to be struck down early in the season with a knee problem which will see him go under the surgeons' knife for a knee reconstruction in a fortnight. Former State junior Brad North has been kept on the sidelines after breaking a metatarsal bone in his foot at training. Having hobbled around on crutches for the past month, North is hopeful of returning to playing in the next few weeks. Also out through injury is former Cockburn City midfielder James Hesketh after he broke a bone in his shoulder. Hesketh is looking to resume training within the next three weeks. To help counter these injuries, Future recently signed State Under-19 representative Nick Ward who will spend the remainder of the season on loan from E.C.U. Joondalup.
PENALTY SENDS PERTH THROUGH
Perth S.C. knocked Inglewood United out of the Centenary Cup after the two sides met in the First Round catch-up game at the National Stadium tonight. With Oliver Taseski and Scott Campbell the only first team regulars in Inglewood's starting line-up, coach Steve Parkinson opted to have a look at some of his clubs fringe players in against one of the Premier league most intimidating sides. Played out in front of a disappointingly small crowd - hardly surprising given the distant lack of publicity for the fixture - Perth held a one-goal advantage going into half-time after skilful midfielder Robbie Puca converted from the penalty spot. In a match of missed opportunities, Inglewood were presented with a golden chance to score a late equaliser but Renato Rechichi knocked the ball wide with an open goal at his mercy.
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
The first meeting of a industry forum was held at the Department of Sport and Recreation on Saturday at which the future of the game in this state was discussed. Attended by officials representing all aspects of the local game - the Soccer Administration of W.A., Soccer West Coast, the Junior Soccer Association of W.A., W.A.A.S.S.A., Womens's Soccer W.A., Perth Glory, Schools Soccer, along with the referees, coaches, regional areas and the Department itself - the games' stakeholders will meet monthly to discuss its development and administrative structure.
Balga are through to the next stage of the W.A.A.S.S.A. Mitre Amateur Cup after a dramatic 4-3 home win over Third Division leaders B.B. United in the Second Round. With a strong crowd of around 400 in attendance, Balga struck first when, in the 33rd minute, a Kevin Pope through ball allowed Scott Wilson to score with just the goalkeeper to beat. Three minutes after half-time Wilson doubled the margin with a sweetly struck goal hit from outside the 18-yard which gave the 'keeper no chance. After a tense 20 minute period, the visitors pulled a goal back from the penalty spot to make it 2-1. Two minutes later and a quick countering-attack move down the wing produced a close-range equaliser for United. Craig Chambers provided Anthony Banham to put Balga back in front in the 85th minute, and Wilson could have sealed the win shortly after but his header crashed into the crossbar. Balga were reduced to ten men two minutes later when Kevin Pope was red carded. With the match seemingly over, United mounted one last attack which ended in a fine header flying past the Balga goalkeeper to send the match into sudden-death extra-time. With Balga noticeably tired over the first added on period, United were looking the goods to send the Premier League side out of the Cup competition. However, the home side lifted after the interval and, in his last game for the club, Gannon Jones found the net with a close-range header in the 106th minute to end the game 4-3 in Balga's favour.
University of W.A. turned in a clinical performance to defeat Beechboro White Eagles 14-1 at McGillivray Oval on Sunday. Robert Benkovic started the goal feast with two well-taken goals inside the opening ten minutes. Tom Muirhead chimed in with a couple of his own, one a superbly struck free-kick hit with the outside of the foot which flew into the top corner, as the home side raced to a commanding lead. Benkovic and Muirhead completed their hat-tricks before the break as goals to Adam Brett and Matt Hill took the match to 8-1, Beechboro's lone goal coming from the penalty spot. The second half saw more of the same with Benkovic and Muirhead taking their tallies to five apiece it 5, Brett converted from the spot for his second, while a powerful shot by substitute Teemu Sihvola completed the route. Post-match, University coach Kevin Burton had words of praise for both teams. "Whilst the scoreline indicates that it was a walkover, Beechboro never gave up at any stage in the game which is a credit to them. The positives we take from the game is that our teamwork and understanding continues to improve and it is always nice to see forwards converting their chances with such skill." University reserves also progressed to the next stage of the Cup, defeating Gwellup Croatia 6-2 through goals from Mal Lewington, Glenn Croft, Max Percy, Mike Ford, Dave Holley and Tim Grose.
Forrestfield United defeated Premier League rivals Dalmatinac Park 1-0 on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Dalmatinac Park. The first half was a case of missed opportunities with both sides unable to make the most of their chances in front of goal. The best chance came when Forrestfield's Randy Thompson was sent through with only Luke Smith to beat, the goalkeeper pulling off an excellent save to see the sides go in level at the break. It was a similar story after the break, Spearwood's Darren Pesich heading just wide while down the other end Thompson sent a good shot wide. With extra-time looming, Keith Mackrell raced away down the right before slotting the ball home to give Forrestfield the lead. The home side stepped up the pressure over the closing stages in their search for an equaliser but with Scott Kesser in fine form between the posts Forrestfield held on to progress.
Elsewhere, Premier League leaders Hamersley Rovers were pushed all the way by South West League club Bunbury United before taking out the Cup tie 1-0. Murdoch University defeated Cockburn City 3-2, Fremantle United proved too strong for Lynwood Colts 2-0, and Shamrock Rovers notched up a 2-1 away result at Third Division Forrestfield United. It was also a day of upsets with Suburbs United 4-1 winning over E.C.U. Joondalup, Gosnells City downing Kwinana United 4-2, and Carlisle getting over the line 3-1 against Perth Azzurri. Belmont Villa knocked out Australind courtesy of a 4-0 scoreline, North Perth United lost 3-6 at home to Stirling Panthers, which was the same score when Maddington Eagles won against Perth Royals. Second Division side Ballajura won 7-1 away to Kelmscott Roos, Southern Spirit defeated Curtin University 3-2, and Condors knocked out Kalamunda 4-3 at home.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND FIVE (Cockburn City vs Perth S.C. by Christian Galapolous; Western Knights vs Bassendean Caledonian by Bill MacAllister; Sorrento vs Fremantle City by Kerry Slater; Inglewood United vs Ashfield by Mike Hennessey)
One of the biggest crowds seen at Litis Stadium for a Premier League fixture in years turned up to watch the undefeated Floreat Athena take on Future Glory on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Although the home side went into the match without the experience of Jason Smith and Troy Bernard, they were otherwise at full strength and confident having not conceded a single goal in their first three games of the new season. With coach Frank Arok in Europe, Perth Glory assistant coach Alan Vest was put in charge of a Future side which boasted no less than five players - Damian Mori, Scott Miller, Vince Matassa, David Tarka and Robert Cibesku - who have represented Australia at schoolboys, youth or senior level.
Both sides created good early chances to sneak ahead without success, Robin Dyers' close-range header going high and Mori shooting wide after beating Doug Ithier. An even opening period saw the ball rarely leave the middle third of the pitch as the respective midfields tried to assert some authority over the flow of play to little effect. With 12 minutes elapsed, Mileta Miletic raced clear of the Athena defence only to be hauled down by John Xigas, referee Wayne Oldham pointing immediately to the penalty spot and left with no option but to red card the goalkeeper. After a slight delay in which Athena coach Taki Lambetsos re-shuffled his line-up, Ryan Newhill making way for young goalkeeper Vas Vujacic, Peter Lord converted from 12-yards to hand the visiting side a useful early lead.
Although a goal behind and reduced to ten men, Athena stayed very much in the game through the hard work of central midfielders Jamie Trandos and Kosta Kalavrouziotis. In the 27th minute Trandos provided Costa Socratous with what would be the home sides only opening of the first forty-five minutes, but his volley from 16-metres rocketed wide of the far post. Future on the other hand created a string of chances. Nick Mrdja looked certain to double the lead in the 31st minute after latching on to a Miletic pass, but Hugh Miller put his body on the line to thwart the big forward. Five minutes from the interval Lord's shot was blocked by a defender, the loose ball spilled to Arias whose low drive flew just wide of the mark. Shortly after it was Adrian Sutton that timed his tackle on Mrdja to perfection just as the Future player was about to off-load. And in stoppage time Miletic robbed Ithier and quickly released Mrdja with only the 'keeper to beat, Vujacic proving up to the task with a courageous diving save at the strikers feet.
Athena were lucky not to be punished seven minutes into the second half when they allowed Mrdja to rise unchallenged and meet a Mori free-kick, but the forwards header went over the bar. However, the home side refused to give up and clawed their way back into the game thanks largely to the tactical introduction of Anthony Jones and Peter Coci. A deeply played Socratous corner was met in a crowded area by Dyers but his effort flew straight to Future goalkeeper Vince Matassa. Another corner from Socratous in the 67th minute was flicked on at the near post by Sutton and Coci's attempt skimmed the wrong side of the bar to land on the top netting. The home team continued to plug away in search of an equaliser, Coci sending a long-range effort high as the game entered it's last twenty minutes. But chances in open play were few and far between for Athena who were hampered by the fact that that, for much of the afternoon, Lucas Gobbi was left as the lone targetman against a strong four-man defence that had Tarka and Shaun Kilkelly at its heart.
With fifteen minutes remaining Mrdja latched onto a long clearance from Kilkelly that took him inside the area where he cleverly evaded Sutton before rifling the ball past Vujacic to make it 2-0. The goal came totally against the run of play and knocked the wind out of Athena's sails just as they were beginning to find some attacking feet. Shortly after Vujacic pulled off another fine save to deny Mrdja after he raced onto a pass by Scott Miller. But in the 82nd minute there was little the 'keeper could do as Mrdja scored the goal of the game, Admir Mehic pulling the ball back from the by-line to Mrdja skillfully who threw off an opponent before effortlessly tucking it under the advancing Vujacic from 10-metres. Not content with a three-goal win, Future continued to attack. Lord found the side netting after meeting a Scott Miller corner after 86 minutes, and three minutes later Vujacic made a sharp reflex to keep out Chris Ritson's low goalbound strike.
At the end of the day Athena should consider themselves lucky to have lost by only three goals. The early dismissal of Xigas definitely put the home side behind the eight ball, but Lambetsos' decision to take off Newhill - Athena's leading scorer last season - left the side with few attacking options as Gobbi was not only out-numbered but also out-muscled by the Future defence. Athena had Vujacic to thank that the final margin wasn't greater, the youngster making a number of important saves after coming on off the bench in the 12th minute. There were also good contributions from Miller and Sutton for the home side. Mrdja was on the end of many of Future's better attacking moves and his two goals towards the end proved a just reward for the hard-working striker. Lord was heavily involved in the middle, while on the right side of defence Arias displayed his attacking prowess with a number of penetrating runs.
Floreat Athena : John Xigas, Hugh Miller, Doug Ithier, Adrian Sutton,
Andreas Pantelis (Peter Coci 65), Costa Socratous, Jamie Trandos, Kosta
Kalavrouziotis (Anthony Jones 55), Robin Dyers, Ryan Newhill (Vas
Vujacic 12), Lucas Gobbi
Future Glory : Vince Matassa, Admir Mehic, David Tarka, Shaun Kilkelly, Daniel Arias (Robert Montereso 83), Scott Miller, Peter Lord, Damian Mori, Robert Cibesku (Nick Ward 79), Mileta Miletic (Chris Ritson 83), Nick Mrdja
Referee : Wayne Oldham
Cautions : Dyers (1), Ithier (9), Kilkelly (26), Socratous (48), Tarka (60)
Dismissals : Xigas (12)
Attendance : 450 (approx.)
Perth S.C. striker Andreas Oliveira has returned from France displaying the same blistering form he left in. The young dynamo shook off a thigh strain to score his second hat-trick in as many matches as his side defeated Cockburn City 4-1 at Dalmatinac Park. The match got off to a scrappy start with neither side looking threatening early. Perth settled the quicker and opened the scoring through Andreas Oliveira in the 26th minute, young midfielder Rhys Graham playing the ball inside to Oliveira who shot home from close range. Cockburn's inability to get the ball to the striker Branimir Mikulic hampered their attempts at an equaliser as Perth went into the break maintaining their one-goal advantage. The second half saw some far more entertaining soccer played and with only eight minutes gone Rob Giorgi's clever pass to Graham down the right allowed the youngster to cut the ball back into the box where Oliveira turned home his and his sides second goal. Cockburn suffered a major setback just minutes later when Dino Pacella was sent off, the big goalkeeper coming too far out of his area to bring down Perth's Jamie Coyne and earn himself a straight red card. This forced Cockburn into an early substitution, bringing on reserve 'keeper Jeff Cargill at the expense of Domenic De Felice. Despite being a man down, the home side continued to attack in search of a goal and were eventually rewarded in the 65th minute when Perth goalkeeper Rob Scarparolo could only manage parry Joshua Pescud's free-kick and Mikulic showed great awareness to knock in the loose ball. Oliveira dealt a blow to Cockburn's hopes of an equaliser four minutes from time when he cleverly rounded the 'keeper to finish off his hat-trick after good work by veteran Mark Pottier. Substitute Rob Gaspar, in his comeback match from injury, scored against his former club to round out the 4-1 scoreline. The win allows Perth to stay in second spot, three points behind Western Knights but with a game in hand.
Premier League leaders Western Knights proved to be a far too strong proposition for Bassendean Caledonian when the two sides met at Nash Field on the weekend. The home side seized the lead after just 5 minutes when the Caledonian backline failed to clear the danger and the ball spilled to attacker Carl Medica who slammed it past goalkeeper Alan Dunlop from close range. Stung into action, Caledonian's went in the attack but Ian Griffiths was unable to convert the best of their chances. The Knights were unfortunate not to go further ahead in the 25th minute when Ray Marinovic's cross found Stuart Montgomery whose thundering shot was brilliantly saved by the 'keeper. Shortly after, and down the other end, tall striker Ramon Westerburger failed to connect and another chance to equalise went begging for the visitors. The margin became 2-0 when Mark Lennon was robbed of possession by Paul McVittie and his rifling shot from 22-metre went in off the post. The second half saw Caledonian mount numerous attacks without success, their best coming when Jason Van Rooy crossed for Westerburger but he headed narrowly over. The match was over as a contest when the Knights won a penalty that was converted by Eugene Singeorzan who made it 3-0. Caledonian were a shadow of the team that took maximum points last week against Cockburn City, and they'll have to lift in time for next weeks home fixture with Inglewood United.
Sorrento ended a frustrating month in which they scored just twice in four outings by serving up a feast of goals with an emphatic 8-1 win over Fremantle City. Sorrento wasted no time in taking control with their first goal arriving on 3 minutes through a sweeping move. Goalkeeper Gareth Deeg started the move when he fed the ball to Stuart Banks, he in turn sent Jared Love forward whose pass to Ryan Jeans provided the striker power the ball into the bottom left corner of Sam Tomeo's goal. There was further pleasure for the home side when Michael Ord crossed from the right to Ross Greer who volleyed perfectly to double the lead on 10 minutes. Within a minute Fremantle could have pegged one back from Anthony Pereira's corner, but Dale Wingell's effort was cleared off the line by Tony Cumace. Four minutes later Deeg's long clearance went straight to Love who lobbed the stranded Tomeo from 30-metres. Ord tried to get on the score sheet in the 27th minute when he met a Cumace corner but his header was hacked away by Craig Surtees. Two goals in the 41st minute tore the heart out of the visitors, Greer pouncing on the loose ball to make it 4-0, and the ball was turned over from the re-start and a quick transfer of play saw David Foster shoot home unmarked. Eight minutes into the second half Greer completed his hat-trick by volleying past Tomeo. In the 57th minute Jeans profited from a goalmouth scramble when he stabbed home for Sorrento's seventh. Wingell had the opportunity to give Fremantle something shortly after but he blasted over from within the area. Another goal came the way of last season's champions in the 63rd minute, Lee Burns heading in a deep Cumace corner. Well ahead, Sorrento dropped off the tempo slightly and Fremantle came back into the match, an alert Deeg blocking a good header by Wingell. The visiting side finally pulled a goal back in the 77th minute through substitute Glynn Bussen who beat Deeg to a high ball that went in off the youngsters body. Overall it was a very impressive performance from the Seagulls who are now confident of climbing their way up the table.
Inglewood United moved into third place after their 5-0 home demolition of Ashfield. Inglewood went a goal up inside the first minute after a swift move down the left enabled Andy Cornmell to cross to Alan Mackenzie who knocked it home. Mackenzie struck again in the 25th minute after being set up by a fine move down the right before sending a fierce drive into the bottom corner of the net. The third goal came just before half-time when Cornmell headed truly to give his side a 3-0 half-time buffer. The home side's domination continued in the second half and they were soon on the scoreboard again, a Cornmell cross being tucked away by Rory Mouttet. Cornmell scored his second when he rounded off another good move to slot the ball through goalkeeper Phil Jackson's legs. This gave Inglewood a 5-0 lead and the game was over as a competitive event. The score could have been more as Inglewood repeatedly opened up the Ashfield defence. For their part, Ashfield flickered only briefly but their one good opportunity was thwarted by Jamie Goodman whose wild tackle earned him a red card. Even when reduced to ten men, Inglewood still proved to be far too good for Ashfield with Elton Holmes hitting a post and Paul Lincoln's effort going just wide. Ashfield president John Van Hoek summed up the situation post-match when he said, "We have much to do if we are to maintain our Premier League status."
E.C.U. Joondalup also notched up a big win on home soil, although the match with Swan I.C. was much closer than the 4-0 scoreline suggests. Lee Stratford gave the northern suburbs club the first half lead before Swan squandered numerous opportunities to get back on level terms. It was a case of more of the same after the interval as Swan worked hard to create chances only to be let down by poor finishing. It wasn't until late in the day that the home side settled the match, substitute Garin Collins netting a hat-trick inside the final twenty minutes to move his club into fourth place on the Premier League table.
RESERVES AND UNDER-18'S ROUND-UP (Sorrento vs Fremantle City by Kerry Slater; Inglewood United vs Ashfield by Mike Hennessey)
Sorrento started their reserves clash with Fremantle City threatening to tear the visitors apart, and in the 13th minute a good move that started with Joe Woodin saw Jake Harman provide the pass which Peter Noiszewski cleverly placed wide of Michael Cross to make it 1-0. Sorrento seemed in control heading for the break but with four minutes remaining a clumsy challenge by Craig Wells earned Fremantle a penalty that Dulio Xavier duly converted. After the interval Fremantle upped the pace and made the most of their chances, Matt Daskin netting in the 64th minute and Luis Oliveria putting the match beyond a doubt after 71 minutes.
At the National Stadium Inglewood United convincingly defeated Ashfield 2-0 with two quality second half goals. The first half was a physical encounter with Ashfield fortunate to still have all eleven players on the park for the start of the second period. The home side dominated the second half and a fine move through the centre in the 57th minute enabled Scott Mison to slot home to give Inglewood the lead. Two minutes later Michael Baczynski burst through on the right to close in on goal and 'nutmeg' the goalkeeper. Two goals up, Inglewood were unlucky not to add to their tally before the final whistle.
There were goals aplenty at Edith Cowan University when E.C.U. Joondalup defeated Swan I.C. 6-4 . Garin Collins bagged a hat-trick while player/coach Gary Murray scored two and Ashwin Nair one for the home side, while swan's goals came from Steve Sauzier, Michael Laughlan, Michael Ciarry and Joe Kendall. Cockburn City went down 4-0 at home to Perth S.C. after Vlad Milasinovic (2), Igor Arsovski and Daniel Kovacevic scored for the visitors, while Bassendean Caledonian continued their resurgence with a stirring 3-0 away win at Western Knights. Floreat Athena withstood a second half revival by Future Glory to take out their meeting 3-1 at Litis Stadium.
Inglewood's Under-18 side gained maximum points for the first time this season by accounting for Ashfield 2-0. Inglewood started positively to open the scoring in the 18th minute, Jay McEvoy's penalty was turned round the post by Eldin Isbrisinovic and from the resulting McEvoy corner Daniel Evans swept the ball over the line. Ashfield came back well and goalkeeper Luke Hennessy had to be quick off his line to prevent an equaliser. The margin was doubled when Mladen Kovacevic put a fine through ball to Ryan Thomas who headed past a helpless goalkeeper. Inglewood might have had a third goal but had to be contend with a 2-0 half-time lead. The home side maintained the pressure after the break with both Thomas and Evans going close, while late in the piece Isbrisinovic did well to deny Thomas Inglewood their third goal.
For the second consecutive match the inexperience of Sorrento's Under-18's at defending for a full 80 minutes proved to be their downfall. Fremantle opened the scoring on 15 minutes when Daniel Barlow was allowed a free header which he sent past the stranded Matt Pirga, and Paul Oliver doubled the lead in the 23rd minute. Two further goals in the second half, both from Chris Zarricueta, ensured an easy win for Fremantle which keeps them on top of the League. In other youth team games, Joondalup hit six past Swan without reply, the scorers being Clive Fondyke (2), Scott Blackmore (2), Daniel De Fazio and John Higgins. The Knights knocked over Bassendean 3-1, Cockburn held League leaders Perth to a two-all draw courtesy of a Omar Lemzouri double, and in the Sunday match Athena defeated Future 2-0.
FIRST DIVISION WRAP (Southside United vs Armadale by Michael Di Pietro)
Armadale traveled to Walter Padbury Reserve for yet another derby clash with Southside United. The Reds injury list was lengthening, but the depth available in the squad is a vast improvement on previous seasons. Playing on home turf, Southside were not about to lie down for the First Division leaders, but there was little they could do in the 40th minute when former Southside player Darren Ingham gave Armadale the lead. The home team's goalkeeper had an outstanding day, making some pretty spectacular saves. But, at the end of the day, the single goal would be enough to keep Armadale's winning streak intact and two points clear at the top of the table. After going behind early on in the reserves, Armadale substitute Dave Williams equalised in the 75th minute only for the home side to find a late winner. Armadale's Under-18's played their best game of the season with goals from Darren Kingston, Peter Taylor (2), Steven Morris enabling them a 4-2 away win. The Reds' youngsters keep getting better with each outing and this week saw the return from injury of David Forsythe.
Mandurah City squandered a two goal lead with just five minutes remaining to concede two penalties and finish their match with Stirling Suns 2-2 at Brian Burke Reserve. After a hard fought first half in which neither side created any goal scoring opportunities, the second half started in the best possible manner for Mandurah when Danny Moore turned the ball over in midfield before rifling the ball into the top corner of the net. The visitors continued to press the Suns backline courtesy of some excellent flowing football and in the 65th minute this pressure paid off when Andrew Rennie quickly closed down a defender, robbing him of possession before calmly rounding the goalkeeper to score Mandurah's second of the day. From there the visitors controlled the match and it seemed only a matter of time they added to their tally. With ten minutes left Rennie was afforded too much space and once again took on the 'keeper only to be brought down and a penalty awarded, Michael Bobridge hitting the upright from the spot and the ball cannoning to safety. This sparked the Suns to life and within minutes they'd pulled a goal back from the penalty spot. With time running out, Cliff Kearns conceded another penalty which former Perth Glory midfielder Vlad Beretovac converted for a share of the points. In the reserves Mandurah recorded their biggest win of the season with a 5-0 win through goals by Carlos Almieda (2), Steve Choate (2) and Steve Rhodes. The Under-18 match ended 1-1 with Cole Ottley scoring a second half equaliser for the visitors.
Leeming Strikers scored their third win of the season as a player from either side was sent off in the 3-1 victory over Kingsway Olympic at Kingsway Reserve. The visitors' Martin Donohue was ordered off after half an hour, and Kingsway's Alan Henderson followed him to the dressing room minutes later in a match spoiled by some poor refereeing. The Strikers had taken the lead after 8 minutes when defender Paul Gibson, promoted from the reserves, put the ball in the net following a corner. The team looked more composed but their lead was not increased until two minutes before half-time when Jonathan Cook cashed in on some poor defending to fire truly. Kingsway stepped up a gear after the break and Mark Purcell pulled the home side back into the match when he scored on the hour. The visitors responded by producing improved passing and some constructive set pieces to put their opponents on the back foot. Sean Cowman typified the side's determination by returning to the field after a clash of heads left him with a cut above his right eye. The effort was rewarded when Ryan Hunt got on the end of Cowman's pass before rounding goalkeeper Kalon Tenakou to score with around ten minutes to go. It was a marked improvement from a Striker side who a week earlier lost to Canning City, and was helped in no small part by the introduction of Tony Hall in the centre of midfield. Former State Premier League defender Hall took on the captaincy, in the absence of regular skipper Alex Grindley, and made a significant difference in the engine room.
Balcatta went down 4-0 at home to Stirling Lions for whom Adam Rains, Toby Wright, Danny Carlino and Andrew Wright netted. Queens Park move into third place after goals from Glenn Noblett, Darren D'Mello, Alan Pottier (2) and Jodi Henderson saw them comfortable 5-0 winners over Morley Windmills. Canning City thrashed bottom side Wanneroo City 7-1, while the game between Rockingham City and Perth City ended in a two-all draw. Goals from Petar Mrdja, Jerry Boima (2) and Zeljko Tesic saw Dianella White Eagles continue their rise up the table, this week outclassing South West Phoenix 4-1 for whom Jacob Fewster found the target. Bayswater City had the bye.
SORRENTO COACH CONFIDENT
The season has not started brightly for Sorrento coach Steve Neville, the reigning Premier League champions sitting second from bottom and winless after four rounds. But with several players having returned to the side, and boosted by the confidence of two successive clean sheets, Neville has every reason to believe the tables have started to turn. Last weekend, Neville gave new-comer Michael Ord his first start for the club, the 21-year old recently signing with the Seagulls after playing for non-League Harrogate Town in England last season. In addition Tony Cumace has rejoined the northern suburbs club, midfielder Stuart Banks has returned from holiday and Under-19 representatives Daniel Stoitis and David Foster are back from France to boost the squad. "Two weeks ago we were really down to the bare bones," Neville said yesterday. "But we haven't conceded a goal in two matches so it hasn't been too bad. Obviously we're disappointed with where we are (in the league) but I just feel we could be ready to turn it around."
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
Both Sorrento and Fremantle City will be wanting to come away with maximum points for the first time this season when they meet at Percy Doyle Reserve. Having lost in controversial circumstances last week, Cockburn City will be find the going tough when they host a powerful Perth S.C. With eight goals in their past two games, League leaders Western Knights are expected to easily account for Bassendean Caledonian. Home team Inglewood United should prove too strong for Ashfield, while Swan I.C. will be looking to bring some consistency to their game when they travel to E.C.U. Joondalup. Floreat Athena return to Premier League action on Sunday when they host Future Glory.
First Division leaders Armadale will be looking for their seventh win from as many starts when they travel to play Southside United on Saturday. The match of the round will be a Coker Park where fifth-place Queens Park host second-place Morley Windmills in what will be an important fixture for both team. Balcatta are at home to a Stirling Lions side which has scored eight times in their past two outings. Stirling Suns, mauled last week by neighbours the Lions, have home ground advantage against Mandurah City, while sixth-placed Perth City are on the road to strugglers Rockingham City. In other games, Dianella White Eagles will be hoping to make to back-to-back wins when they play South West Phoenix, Canning City are home to Wanneroo City, Kingsway Olympic play Leeming Strikers and Bayswater City this week have the bye.
FUTURE W.A. FINISH SIXTH
Future W.A. might not have won the Tournoi de Croix in the north of France this week but they were a big improver. After finishing second last in the 12-team tournament at its first attempt last year, the State Under-19 side, coached by former Australian captain Gary Marocchi, finished sixth after losing its play-off match with French side Lens 1-3. The State side looked to be heading for a fifth place finish after taking the lead through midfielder Antonio Naglieri but let in three goals in the final 10 minutes to come in six place. Future W.A. managed to leave an indelible impression on tournament organisers after its swashbuckling style brought eleven goals, earning them the best scoring record in the competition, while Naglieri took out the Leading Goalscorer trophy. Perth-born Clint Davies was goalkeeper in the victorious Birmingham City team that took out the tournament for the second successive year, defeating the South African national youth team 2-0 in the Final.
"I was very happy with some good performances from the players," Marocchi said on this evenings' edition of Access 31's "The Locker Room" with Bob Figg and Mo Kaplin. "We were very proud of our boys, it was a very strong competition with about four teams from France, an America team, a South American team, Espaonl from Barcelona, Birmingham City the eventual winners, and a team from South Africa. For a Western Australian team to score nine goals in four matches in an international competition it certainly shows that the players did attack very well, especially when you consider that some of the professional French sides only scored four or five goals all up. So we were very pleased to see the boys playing a good attacking brand of soccer."
While the Under-19 performed strongly in France, Marocchi had some suggestions as to how they could improve next time. "It's great value to the players but we need to have some continuity otherwise it won't have the effect that it should have. I'd certainly like to see them go over for a little bit longer, another week before the tournament. If you take 20 players and go for another week then you could play three of four practice matches beforehand." The coach also felt that the loss of Perth Glory's Anthony Danze, to injury, and defender David Tarka, who was unavailable, had been a blow. "If Danze was fit and Tarka available I would say we would have given Birmingham a run for their money which would have allowed us to possibly play in the finals. I'd like someone to explain the reasons why a possible future Australian player like Tarka wasn't given the opportunity to play four international matches. If we did have a player like him we would have done a lot better."
UP CLOSE WITH MARC WINGELL (reproduced with permission from the “Onside” magazine)
The name Marc Wingell certainly isn’t a new to W.A. soccer fo11owers. In fact, the 28-year-old actually represented Australia when they hosted the 1993 World Youth Cup, where he played alongside the likes of Kevin Muscat and Paul Agostino, both now plying their trade in Europe. But the new version - a fit, focused and refreshed Marc Wingell - is back and enjoying somewhat of a second soccer life after taking a coup1e of years out of the game. Once again he is starting to make people sit up and take notice after a f1ying start to the season with Fremant1e City, culminating in man-of the-match match honours in last week’s draw with E.C.U. Joondalup. “Yeah, I feel good,” he said. “It’s probably my first solid pre-season I’ve done in a while and I’m feeling really good. I don’t think I’ve missed a session since the new year. I didn’t play in any Night Series games but it’s probably kept me in good stead for the whole season and the cup. I think the break’s done me good and I’m feeling very hungry so hopefully I can have a bit of success with Fremantle.”
Early results might indicate the port side still have a way to go to climb back into contention for the big honours , but Wingell is confident the team has what it takes and are improving with every outing. “We’ve got a fairly new bunch of lads together so we’re still sort of finding our feet with eachother,” he said. “Thins have been looking promising the last couple of games - we’ve had two draws so hopefully we’re on the way up.” And it took an injury-time penalty for Joondalup to breach what’s fast becoming a very tight and reliable backline, and deny Fremantle their first win of the season. With Wingell slotting in at the back, the team’s defence also starts to take on a very experienced look when you add Rob Zabica and Craig Surtees. “Yeah, it’s working,” Wingell said. “Right now I’m playing a sweeper/centre-back position which I’m thoroughly enjoying and I suppose the more I play there, the more understanding we’ll get together and the better I think it will be. I probably haven’t talked about it much as far as to other players, but in m my mind, playing at the back, you set yourself the target of maybe conceding ten goals in half the season or something like that.”
Unknown to many, Wingell actually played two National Soccer League games for Perth Glory in the club’s inaugural season, but as for fans ever seeing the talented left-footer back at that level of competition again … well, it’s not out of the question. “I’ve always got ambition,” he said. “I wouldn’t be playing the game if I didn’t think I could play at the next level. Obviously with training and stuff like that you’ve got to really push yourself if you want to achieve anything and that’s what I’m striving to do.”
BORAL CUP, ROUND THREE
Floreat Athena and Southside United are through to the Third Round of the Boral Cup after defeating Perth City and Balcatta respectively on Wednesday evening. Kicking-off at 6.30pm, Athena started the stronger at Litis Stadium, creating a number of good early opportunities to race to a three-goal lead within the opening half hour as Terry Georgianis, Robin Dyers and Kosta Kalavouritziuos found the target. Perth City managed to pull one back just before half time, Mark Cox capitalising on some after some confusion in the home defence. The second half began promisingly with both sides creating chances without success. With fifteen minutes remaining, Athena killed off the match as a contest when Dejan Djukanovic rounded the 'keeper to score his first goal at senior level.
An under-strength Southside progressed to the next stage thanks to a hard-fought 2-1 win over Balcatta at the National Stadium. With Balcatta the creators of the better chances but unable to convert them into goals, Southside opened the scoring with fifteen minutes left on the clock when Paul Ribello scored five minutes after coming off the bench. Stung into life, Balcatta maintained the pressure on the opposing defence and bagged a deserved equaliser six minutes from full-time through Adriano Zonato. Deadlocked at one-all, the match went into extra-time with both sides adopting a very attacking approach in their search for the vital goal. Southside clinched the game late in the first half after goalkeeper Simon Madaschi fumbled a cross and, after a few scrambled attempts to clear the danger, teenager David Hunt calmly slotted home the winner on hi first team debut for the club. Earlier in the night Balcatta dominated the reserves match onto to scrap through when Stelios netted with seven minutes remaining in the second half.
Mandurah City's reserves are also into the next round of the Boral Cup after knocking out Stirling Lions at Peelwood Parade on Wednesday. Playing some lovely one-touch football, the Lions had their opponents in the back foot early on, but against the run of play Matt Ferguson out Mandurah in front with a fine individual goal after 15 minutes. Shortly after the visitors equalised from a poorly defended corner, and the Lions took a deserved 2-1 lead into the break when a midfielder was allowed to run at the goal unchallenged. Emerged for the second half a re-vitalised team, Mandurah were back on level terms within two minutes after Steve Choate's speculative shot curled inside the post from 40-metres. Mandurah goalkeeper Paul Dixon dived full-length to his left to keep out a spot kick before Carlos Almeida beat two players and cheekily back-heeled the ball into the net to put the home side in front. Ten minutes later Mikel Sesma's exquisite chip over the 'keeper made it 4-2, the Lions pulled one back when Adam Parmenter scored an own goal but the match was put beyond their reach when Almeida was allowed too much and calmly slotted the ball past the advancing goalkeeper.
Future Glory are through to the Third Round of the Boral Cup after defeating First Division Bayswater 3-0 under lights at Frank Drago Reserve last night. In a competitive match watched by healthy crowd of around 400, Future went into half time two goals up after Perth Glory players Bobby Despotovski and Gareth Naven found the net. Bayswater went further behind early in the second half after referee Steve Muldoon awarded penalty whcih was converted by Despotovski. But the home side refused to concede defeat and had Kevin Henderson's superb free-kick not been spectacularly saved by Jason Petkovic, who knows how the match may have panned out. Bayswater goalkeeper Matthew Saliasuc earnt himself the man-of-the-match with several excellent saves, while Future's win was orchestrated by Despotovski, Naven and young midfielder Peter Lord. Future took out the earlier Under-18's match 4-1.
LAZARIDIS SAYS NO TO SOCCEROOS
Birmingham City winger Stan Lazaridis has ruled himself out of Australia's Oceania Nations Cup campaign. Back in Adelaide for a close-season break, Lazaridis insists he hasn't turned his back on Australia - but needs to recharge his batteries after Birmingham's long promotion campaign. "I definitely want to keep playing for the Socceroos. I'm not thinking of the next World Cup at this stage, but I think I have a few good years left in me," he told "the Advertiser". National team coach Frank Farina could hardly resent the attitude of 30-year old midfielder who has not had a break for several seasons.
FRANKEN, EDWARDS RETIRE
Perth Glory have parted company with local products Tony Franken and Alistair Edwards, the pair retiring from the National Soccer League with the completion of the 2001/02 season. "Alistair and Tony have been magnificent ambassadors for Western Australian soccer," said coach Mich d'Avray today. "They have both won international honours for their country and significantly both have invested their time and experience in developing young players, both of them through GloryZone and Tony also through his own goalkeeping clinics. The contribution they have made to soccer in this country at all levels should be a matter of great pride to both of them."
37-year old Franken started his N.S.L. career with Canberra City where he took out the competition's Under-21 Player of the Year in 1984. Over the years that followed the goalkeeper made 278 career appearances during his time with Canberra, Sydney Croatia, Apia Leichardt, Melita Eagles, U.T.S. Franken's safe hands saw him play 16 times for Australia at senior level, win Glory's Clubman Award in season 1998/99 and appointed goalkeeper coach of the national teams last year. Edwards also enjoyed a long career in which he played for Sydney Olympic, Tyrwhitt (Singapore), Selangor (Malaysia), Millwall (England), Johore (Malaysia), Sarawak (Malaysia) and Glory. The striker represented Australia on 22 occasions, scoring five times.
GOALSCORERS CHARTS NOW AVAILABLE!
As of this week, the Western Australian Soccer Website will include the leading goalscorer tables for both the Premier League and First Division in our newly-created Soccer West Coast section. Accessible via the Soccer West Coast link at the top of our homepage and updated every Wednesday afternoon, this section will feature the leading goalscorers for all levels of the local professional competition along with the latest news and information from the controlling body.
WOMENS UNDER-19 SIDE INTO WORLD CUP
The Young Matilda's are through to the inaugural F.I.F.A. Under-19 Women's World Championship after defeating New Zealand 6-0 in the Final of the Oceania qualifying tournament in Tonga earlier this month. Australia will meet the United States of America, England and Chinese Tapei in the August Finals tournament which is being staged in Canada. Australia easily took out the Oceania stage, amassing 45 goals and conceding none as they went undefeated over four matches. Collette McCallum and Lisa DeVanna were Western Australia's representatives in Tonga, McCallum featuring in all four games and bagging four goals while DeVanna made one appearance for the Under-19 side.
OLDFIELD OFFERED COACHING POSITION
With over 600 English League and Cup appearances to his credit, David Oldfield has been offered the position of Peterborough United's reserve team coach for the 2002/03 season. The Perth-born attacker came out of contract with Posh at the end of the recent English campaign and was widely expected to quit the club and move on under the Bosman ruling after being linked with Oxford United and Rushden and Diamonds. But the 33-year old says he is keen to remain at London Road. "I'd love to stay with Peterborough," he said recently. "There's an awful lot of uncertainty in the game at the moment and I'd rather sign something, somewhere, sooner rather than later." Should he agree to stay with the club, Oldfield is hopeful he'll be able to extend his playing career in the reserves.
HOST CLUB TOO STRONG FOR FUTURE W.A. (by Christian Galapolous)
Future W.A. ended their Tournoi de Croix campaign in a very credible and well deserved sixth position after a courageous 3-1 loss to French side Lens that was decided from the deadball. This years' State side finished five places better then last year's team and were unlucky not to have finished even higher. The first half against Lens was a tight affair with both sides appearing nervous and not wanting to make a mistake. Seven minutes into the match and some good work from the impressive David Foster earned Future W.A. a free-kick and the first chance of the match, but Antonio Naglieiri's effort flew just over the bar. After being stunned by Future W.A.'s near miss Lens went on the attack for the next five minutes, hitting the side netting on one occasion and shooting wide from a free-kick on another. Future W.A. composed themselves to end the half with three straight corners, but they were out of luck when it came to finding the target.
The start of the second half saw Future W.A. continue the momentum they had gained towards the end of the opening period to take the game up to their more fancied opponents. Early in the half the ball was turned over in midfield by Andreas Oliveira, the young dynamo's excellent pass found Shaun Kilkelly in space and his shot struck the hand of a Lens defenders for a free-kick to the State Under-19 side just outside the 19-year box. Naglieri, who had gone extremely close with previous efforts, superbly curled his kick around the Lens wall and just inside the upright to give the State side a 1-0 lead. With an upset victory in sight Future W.A. defended gallantly through captain Ivan Zuvela, Daniel Stiotis and Dino Djublic who between them withstood Lens' pressure and constant attacks. With less than ten minutes remaining, Lens were awarded a dubious free-kick on the edge of the area which flew past goalkeeper Oliver Taseski for the equaliser. Two minutes later Lens won another free-kick, this time some 25-metres from goal, the shot from one of Lens' first team players flying into the top corner past a diving Taseski to give the host club a 2-1 advantage. The win was sealed with only minutes to go through a quick break on the counter-attack as Future W.A. pushed hard for a late equaliser.
The final 3-1 scoreline should not overshadow Future W.A.'s brave performance at this years' event. As well as finishing sixth, Future W.A. were awarded trophies for being the Highest Scoring Team - nine goals scored with the best goal difference - and the Most Popular Team. Well done to the entire touring party for being excellent ambassadors of Western Australia.
SECOND HALF REVIVAL SEES UNDER-19'S THROUGH (by Christian Galapolous)
Future W.A. player profiles are now available.
Future W.A. produced some champagne football in the second half of their match with Danish side Viborg to run out 4-1 winners and tee-up a play-off for fifth place with either Lille or Lens in the Tournai de Croix. The State Under-19 side was boosted with the return of striker Andreas Oliveira, who was cleared to play after a lengthy appeal hearing, while Daniel Stoitis also came back into the starting line-up after getting over a foot injury. Viborg drew first blood by scoring after only 3 minutes with a long-range shot which flew past goalkeeper Oliver Taseski after his backline failed to clear a loose ball. The State side wasted no time in getting over the early setback by creating plenty of scoring opportunity's for themselves. In the 5th minute Oliveira found space in midfield to cross to the far post where David Foster headed it narrowly too high. Later in the half Shaun Kilkelly found Todd Howarth down the left, his first time ball was met by Oliveira but the strikers flick went just inches wide. And in the final minute of the opening half an Antonio Naglieri free-kick cannoned of the up-right and out of play to leave the W.A. a goal down at the break.
It was a more determined W.A. outfit that emerged for the second following a stirring speech by coach Gary Marocchi. Seven minutes into the period, another great ball by Kilkelly found Howarth and the Viborg 'keeper was unable to hold his cross into the area and Naglieri was in the right place to send home the equaliser. The goal gave W.A. renewed confidence and the side began to knock the ball around with more enthusiasm. Kilkelly's flick into the box was brilliantly back headed by Foster to put the Austrlaian side in front for the first time. A weaving run down the right by Miki Vujacic took him past the Viborg defence before earning W.A. a free kick on the edge of the area, captain Ivan Zuvela expertly curling the ball into the top right hand corner for their third goal with only minutes left. Combining with Foster, substitute Nick Ward flew past the Viborg defence before unselfishly setting-up Oliveira who capped off a fine team performance by tapping and making the final score 4-1. W.A. goalkeeper Oliver Taseski was singled out for praise post-match after his best game of the tournament.
LAZARIDIS COMMITS TO BLUES (reproduced with permission from www.tribalfootball.com)
Stan Lazaridis has committed his immediate playing future to Birmingham City. The Australia international has been the subject of some speculation since the Blues won promotion to the English Premier League last week. But Lazaridis told the "Evening Mail" yesterday: "I enjoy it here and I'm so glad to have played a part in the team that finally got promotion. I'd like to be involved for the next couple of years yet because this club can grow. The squad, the support base, the chairman and now we are in the Premiership - we could draw some big players here."
"I'm going into the final 12 months of my contract next season and I will wait to see what the manager wants to do with me," Lazaridis said. "I haven't been figuring as much as I'd have liked, a couple of starts in the last 16 games. It's hard when you come on as a substitute for what are bits and pieces. In fairness to the manager, we finished the season unbeaten in 12 games and he stuck with the team that basically did well. I can't really argue with that. If it turns out that I'm not going to get a look-in next season then that's fair enough. I will go somewhere else, and that would be a shame."
The University of W.A. returned to winning ways with a 2-1 away result over Subiaco United at Rosalie Park on Sunday in Round Five of W.A.A.S.S.A. Premier League action. Making a bright start, University had an excellent early chance when Matt Hill went one-on-one with the Subiaco goalkeeper but failed to convert. Further chances from Adam Brett and Joe Collins were adequately dealt by the Subiaco custodian before good work by Gareth Briggs resulted in Robert Benkovic hitting a fine goal with an over the head shot. Subiaco had their chances and but University went in one up at the break. In the third minute of the new half the visitors were caught napping when Max Wright put a good cross in from the left wing for Alexis Bradley-Mills to head home a sharp equaliser. The game thereafter was characterised by committed tackling and half chances until, with 17 minutes to go, Christian Tribbe made an attacking run into the Subiaco penalty box before turning sharply and despatching a quality strike into the far right hand corner. The win sees University in outright second spot behind Hamersley Rovers. In the reserves the two sides fought out a one-all draw with goals from Max Percy (University) and Mark Watson (Subiaco).
Hamersley Rovers stay on top after recording a 3-1 away win over Forrestfield United to maintain their 100% win record. With University in second spot, Murdoch University laid claim to third after downing Kwinana United 3-1 away from home. First half goals from Gary James, Scott Wilson and Justin Jensen saw Balga win for the second week in a row, this time defeating Perth Azzurri 3-0. Fremantle United's poor start to 2002 continued with a 0-1 loss at Spearwood Dalmatinac, and Shamrock Rovers defeated E.C.U. Joondalup 2-0.
BLUE AFTERNOON IN FRANCE (by Christian Galapolous)
Future W.A. were the victims of some dubious refereeing and pure bad luck as they lost 2-0 to Birmingham City in the second game in eight hours at the Tournoi de Croix in France. The State Under-19 side was dealt a double blow pre-match with young dynamo Andreas Oliveira deemed over age and ineligible after being a rule change by tournament organisers, and defender Daniel Stoitis succumbed to a foot injury sustained in their win over the United States. Miki Vujacic dropped back into defence to replace Stoitis with Scott Bulloch going into the middle of the park. The bad luck continued for the W.A. side when Greg Sharland was unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty in the 3rd minute, Sharland cleverly lobbed Birmingham's Perth-born goalkeeper Clint Davies before being brought down by the Davies inside the area. The impressive David Foster, subbing for Oliveira, nearly gave W.A. the lead in the 6th minute but his deft header from Vujacic's cross was tipped wide by a lunging Davies. Two free-kick's towards the end of the half nearly resulted in the opening goal of the match, first Birmingham's effort hit the cross bar then Antonio Naglieri's effort down the other end found the side netting.
While neither side was able to find the target over the opening half, Birmingham bagged a scrappy goal to take the lead early in the second half after Oliver Taseski parried the initial shot and Craig Fagan lobbed home the rebound. A goal up, Birmingham opted to play safe and protect their lead making it difficult for W.A. to mount any constructive attacks and get the ball to the threatening trio of Sharland, Foster and Naglieri. Birmingham sealed victory when they scored a late goal on the break through Christophe Grondin as W.A. pushed for an equalizer. Mark Ristofski came on for Bulloch late in the half and did well to stabilize the midfield, while captain Ivan Zuvela led by example and marshaled his defence with aplomb. Despite the score line W.A. were not out-classed and more than held their own against there more experienced opponents. The State side must now wait on other results before finding out who they play next.
FUTURE W.A. DEFEAT UNITED STATES (by Christian Galapolous)
Future W.A. have started their Tournoi de Croix campaign in France with a solid 4-1 victory over a United States select side. The American's pressed early only to find the State Under-19 backline up to the task. The U.S. were dealt an early blow when one of their strikers was sent off for kicking defender Dino Djublic behind play, the dismissal a turning point as W.A. then controlled play and forced their opponents to attack on the counter. This dominance paid off after 15 minutes when Antonio Naglieri volleyed home from Daniel Stoitis perfect cross. The goal spurred W.A. into life and they were unlucky not to have gone into the half-time break with a greater margin after some brilliant team-work found Admir Mehic free inside the area but the big defender's shot was saved by the goalkeeper.
Early in the second half W.A. coach Gary Marocchi opted to make a tactical substitution to take advantage of his sides' extra man with striker David Foster and attacking midfielder Scott Bulloch coming on for Stiotis and Mehic. And the move paid instant dividends in the form of two quick goals. Todd Howarth stormed down the right and weaved his way into the box before drawing the 'keeper and sending a delicate ball across the face of goal for Greg Sharland to tap home. Sharland was again involved in the second goal, holding the ball up then passing to the on-running Andreas Oliveira who curled his shot past the outstretched 'keeper. A defensive mistake led to the U.S. pulling a goal back, but Foster snuffed out any faint hopes they had when he slotted home after running onto Djublic's through ball. The State Under-19 side now face last years champion Birmingham City for a spot in the Final Round.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND FOUR (Swan I.C. vs Inglewood United by Mike Hennessey; Sorrento vs Future Glory by Kerry Slater)
It was a far from full-strength Ashfield side that ran out to take on table-toppers Western Knights in the Fourth Round of Premier League competition at Ashfield Reserve on a sunny Saturday afternoon. With experienced duo David Mayers and Steve Goff absent through injury, and Darren Yates and Phil Jackson on the bench after making their return in the reserves, home coach Tom Kilkelly recalled Adrian Spinelli to the starting eleven at the expense of teenager Matt Pochroj. But Kilkelly knew his players were in for a long afternoon when Knights coach Ronnie Campbell named the same starting line-up that resoundingly beat Swan I.C. 5-0 seven days earlier to extended their winning run to the new season.
Playing with what was effectively a three-man forward line of Carl Medica, Eugene Singeorzan and Stuart Montgomery, as expected the Knights came out firing on all cylinders with the aim of snatching an early lead. And they waited just 7 minutes before doing so, Ray Marinovic racing away down the right flank before crossing to Montgomery whose header came back off the underside of the bar and Evan Wallace was on hand to knock it in from a few metres out. Nine minutes later the margin was almost doubled by Danish import Claus Nielsen but his spectacular long-range effort went narrowly off-course. And shortly after Nielsen pumped a high ball into the area from the right which Paul McVittie headed just wide of the far post. In the 24th minute Medica played a short ball to Nielsen who, some 20-metres from goal, hit a stunning drive which rocketed into the top corner and left teenage goalkeeper Johnathon Van Der Voet with absolutely no chance of preventing the score becoming 2-0.
With their opponents running wild, Ashfield managed to carve out some promising attacking moves of their own but, with Karl Atley often left as the lone targetman up-front, they all amounted to nothing as an efficient Knights backline nullified the home side's best plays. Ashfield were fortunate not to go further behind in the 29th minute when Wallace was allowed to advance but his curling shot from the top of area went straight to the 'keeper. The 31st minute came Ashfield's first opportunity to score when Atley ran onto Steve Gillibrand's flick over the defence, he forced Alex Christie into conceding possession then rounded goalkeeper Tommi Tomich before, from a narrowing angle, he slipped the ball into the 6-yard box only to find no one on hand to tuck it into the unguarded net. Four minutes down and down the other end, Singeorzan's high cross was flicked narrowly wide by Montgomery after he rose above a grounded defence. Seven minutes from the break it became three-nil when a well-worked free-kick saw Medica send Leon Russell to the by-line, he played a low, hard cross into the area and McVittie bundled it over the line at the far post.
Ashfield emerged for the second half determined to get back in the game. And when Gary Spinks went on a jinxing run down the left before crossing to Atley who headed powerfully past Tomich only for the ball to come back into play off the bar, it looked like there might be a second half comeback on the cards. But such hopes were quickly dashed as the Knights continued their rampage. In quick succession Luke Pavlos and Spinelli were called upon to block good shots by John Nicolaou and Singeorzan, Wallace headed a corner high, then Marinovic set-up Nicolaou whose shot beat Van Der Voet but was flicked wide by a fortunately placed Mark Donnelly. In the 68th minute Nielsen's ball into the area was powerfully met by Russell but his header went narrowly over the bar. Five minutes later substitute Luka Jukic sent a blistering shot on target which Van Der Voet somehow managed to keep out.
Having weathered the storm, Ashfield fought back strongly in the final quarter hour, stringing together some good moves only to be disappointed by their finishing. Scott Brisley evaded a couple of defenders but his low shot was easily saved by the 'keeper, and in the 78th minute Matt Pochroj found himself in a good position to score but he failed to test Tomich by spraying the shot wide of the goal. With the full effects of a warm afternoon in the sun taking it's toll on the players over the closing stages, Montgomery stuck the ball in the net for a forth time for the Knights but had it ruled out for off-side. The final whistle couldn't come soon enough for the home side for whom Adam Kiley and Donnelly were out-standing in a defence which held together under what was at times red-hot pressure. The match was control by the Knights central midfield combination of McVittie and Nielsen, Marinovic provided much of attacking impetus down the right flank while Wallace showed there's more to his game than just defending.
Ashfield : Johnathon Van Der Voet, Luke Pavlos, Shane Fuhr, Mark
Donelly, Adam Kiley, Adrian Spinelli, Jamie D'Arcy (Matt Pochroj 34),
Gary Spinks (Darren Yates 68), Steve Gillibrand, Brad Pochroj, Karl
Atley (Scott Brisley 75)
Western Knights : Tommi Tomich, Alex Christie, David Annall, Evan Wallace, Leon Russell, Paul McVittie (Luka Jukic 69), Claus Nielsen, Ray Marinovic, Carl Medica (John Nicolaou 45), Eugene Singeorzan (Joe Reale 77), Stuart Montgomery
Referee : Steve Muldoon
Cautions : Spinelli (27)
Dismissals : None
Attendance : 250 (approx.)
Bassendean Caledonian came out on top of Cockburn City by the odd goal in a match that produced seven at Jubilee Reserve. The home side went ahead in the 14th minute when Jimmy Merkouris sent Ian Griffiths away down the left, he found Paul Strudwick who was up-ended inside the area before converting from the penalty spot. Four minutes later Cockburn equalised through Christian Paschkewitz after a Paul Wright free-kick. Cockburn's Stewart Francis was stretched off with a broken leg after being tackled from behind by Glenn McCormick, the midfielder red carded for the offence while Denis Stojanovic came on for Francis. The visitors took the lead when Branimir Mikulic turned his marker and sent goalkeeper Alan Dunlop the wrong way. But Bassendean's ten men fought tenaciously and got back on level terms after the Cockburn defence failed to sufficiently clear a corner and Dean Gartside headed home to make it 2-2 at the break. With Cockburn coach Mark Jackson forced to make further changes to his line-up during the interval, the injured Davorin Svirac replaced by Shane McNally with Peter Vukmirovic moving into the centre of defence. On the hour mark Ramon Westerberger's through ball was miss-kicked by Dino Pacella presenting Ian Griffiths with the easiest of opportunities to send his team into the lead. Minutes later Griffiths deceived Pacella for Bassendan's fourth goal, but Cockburn pegged the margin back when Mikulic scored from the penalty spot after Gartside handled the ball. A tense final 20minutes started with a vicious Jason Van Rooy thunderbolt from close-range which Pacella miraculously knocked wide for a corner. The match ended on a controversial note when Van Rooy brought down McNally and in the ensuing melee referee Wayne Oldham issued Vukmirovic his second yellow card of the match but failed to dismiss the utility player. McNally's free-kick from 25-metres was nodded in for looked to be an 88th minute equaliser by Wallace, but the referee disallowed the goal to give Vukmirovic his marching orders.
At Percy Doyle Reserve, Sorrento frustratingly played out their second nil-all draw in as many weeks in a match which the home side created the better chances against Future Glory. The Seagulls started as if they were determined to score quickly against a stacked Future outfit featuring Damian Mori, Jamie Harnwell, Vince Matassa and Gareth Naven. On 13 minutes Stuart Banks floated a cross over the top where Naven misjudged his header and the ball fell into the path of Jake Harman who, with only Matassa to beat, amazingly mis-cued his shot and the ball screwed wide of the right post from 12-metres. Tony Cumace, in his first appearance since returning from Perth S.C., used his skill to pass former Sorrento youngster Chris Ritson, but his shot when across goal and wide of the far left post. Future were limited to long-range efforts that Gareth Deeg handled with comfort, their best chance coming when Kostadin Manolev latched onto a loose ball only to see the Sorrento 'keeper palm it away for a corner. Seven minutes in the second half and Sorrento were reduced to ten men when captain Kevin Murphy was harshly sent off for his second caution. New signing Michael Ord, who had kept Mori from being an influence, took over Murphy's defensive role with Ryan Jeans shuffling into midfield. Harman had another great opportunity on 78 minutes when Jeans teed-up the youngster who Harman volleyed wide of the target. Two minutes later and Harnwell tried his luck from distance for Future but his low effort sped wide of the left post. The best opening of the match presented itself nine minutes from full-time as Ord fed Harman who crossed to the unmarked Cumace, however he volleyed high over the bar when there was time to control the ball. Mori, released from the shackles of Ord, did have one opportunity with two minutes left but his downward header was well saved by Deeg.
Fremantle City fell short of their first win of the new season after a late equaliser secured E.C.U. Joondalup a share of the points at Ken Allen Field. Fremantle's early pressure saw Dale Wingell score from an Alex Cummings, a lead the port side took into the interval. In an even second half that saw chances at both ends, Fremantle should have doubled their lead in the 70th minute when Anthony Pereira beat three defenders only to shoot weakly at Peter Stewart. And five minutes from full-time Wingell was provided with opportunity to net his second but his shot cannoned back into play off the frae of the goal. With the points seemingly in the bag, the visitors were awarded a penalty in the 92nd minute when former Australian international Robert Zabica fouled Andy Mason, Zabica was red carded for his second yellow card offence before Mason stepped up to convert from the penalty spot.
Inglewood United went to the Swan Valley on a sunny, Saturday afternoon and celebrated with a 2-1 against Swan I.C. Inglewood had a purple patch in the second half when they scored twice and might have had several more. The first half was a tense, physical encounter with both defences on top. Swan did have a chance in the 1st minute but Eddie Mura shot tamely wide to set the pattern for the goal-shy home side. This set the pattern for the home side who seldom troubled Inglewood's new goalkeeper Adam Ashforth. Inglewood picked up the pace in the second half and a fine move by Jason Godfery and Scott Campbell set Paul Lincoln on his way to goal, goalkeeper Cory Hugo blocked his initial shot but could not prevent Lincoln from tucking home the rebound to give his side the lead. Daniel Harrop had his shot deflected wide, and shortly after Hugo saved well from both Elton Holmes and Lincoln. In the 78th minute Alan MacKenzie put Holmes through but his effort was off target. In the 82nd minute Holmes made amends when his low, well-place drive left Hugo helpless. Chances went begging for Swans and it was not until time added on that they were awarded a penalty, Damian Scali scoring from the spot to reduce the arrears but the goal came too late for a Swan side that has lost its' goalscoring touch.
RESERVES AND UNDER-18'S ROUND-UP
Two goals apiece to Scott Blackmore and John Greenwood enabled E.C.U. Joondalup to go home with a 4-2 away win over Fremantle City and maintain their advantage at the top of the reserves table. Inglewood United remain second having accounted for Swan I.C. 3-0 courtesy of goals by Michael Baczynski, Michael Bushby and Matt Donlevy. Ashfield scored three through Varney Fahnbulleh, Martin Sherwin and Darren Yates without replay from Western Knights. Perth S.C. went down 2-3 at home to Floreat Athena, and Bassendean Caledonian's 6-0 win over Cockburn City has been over-turned as the home side fielded more than the permitted numbers of overage players, the game awarded 3-0 Cockburn. At Percy Doyle reserve, Sorrento went behind in the 42nd minute to a goal direct from a corner by Adam Calleju, Peter Noisewski equalised four minutes after the break before the Seagulls raced away to a 3-1 courtesy of goals from Daniel Cagorski and Craig Wells. However Glory came back to make the final score three-all with two late goals.
Perth stayed the only undefeated side in the Under-18's competition by thumping Athena 4-1 at home. Joondalup's 3-2 away win at Fremantle saw them leap-frog Fremantle City into second place. Also recording an away win was Future who thrashed Sorrento 5-0 through a Ben Rogers hat-trick with Daniel Simcox and goalkeeper Alex Vrtski also getting on the scorecard. One goal down at the break, Bassendean folded in the second half as Cockburn ran out 6-0 victors for whom Omar Lemzouri bagged three with Barry Reid, Gregory Montenegro and Justin de Abreu also netting. Ashfield moved to fifth on the table with a 3-1 win over the Knights, while Swan defeated Inglewood 4-1 courtesy of goals by Damian Conigio (2), Ricky Davis and Joe Kendall.
FIRST DIVISION WRAP (Armadale vs Bayswater City by Michael Di Pietro)
Armadale continued to re-write its own record books by downing the visitors from Bayswater City as a new era dawns at the south-of-the-river club. The Reds had a better start than in previous games and after 19 minutes young striker Greg Newcombe gave them the lead. With the home side in control but unable to convert their chances, Bayswater drew level three minutes into the second half through a stunning long-range effort from Gareth Healey. But the reply was swift from Armadale, Darren Ingham restoring their advantage in the 50th minute. Chances were there for both sides to take the game until Greg Newcombe closed the door on the visitors in the 80th minute. A good team effort in the reserves saw Armadale win 4-1 through goals by Nic MacLean (2), Turner and substitute Flynn. The Under-18's match also went the way of the home side, this time 5-1 with Darren Kingston (2), Peter Taylor, Adam Bremner and Chris Abbott the scorers.
Mandurah City came up against local rivals Rockingham City at Peelwood Parade Reserve in what turned out to be a high scoring derby with the home side coming out on top 5-3. Rockingham were the first to score after 5 minutes when a mis-directed ball out of defence was intercepted before being converted from close-range. Almost immediately the visitors were presented with another scoring opportunity which was snuffed out by the sharp reflexes of goalkeeper Mike Green. A lovely flowing move involving Neil Patten-Williams, Damian Condo and Michael Bobridge saw the latter rounded one defender before knocking the ball past the on-coming 'keeper to level the scores with just 8 minutes elapsed. A minute later Danny Moore won possession in midfield to release Alan Fitzmaurice whose 25-metre bomb gave the Rockingham 'keeper no chance and Mandurah the lead in spectacular fashion. Midway through the half a stunning strike by Cliff Kearns extended the home sides lead which was pegged before the break folowing a defensive error. With the start of the second half dominated by mistakes from both camps, Rockingham came back into the match when they made the most of some sloppy defensive work to make it three-all. Andrew Rennie re-stored Mandurah's lead when his poorly hit shot was fumbled by the Rockingham 'keeper, and five minutes from full-time a good move saw Bobridge cross to Rennie who bagged his second goal and to put the game out of Rockingham's reach. The reserves fixture ended in a 2-2 draw, Steve Choate netting twice for the home side, while the Under-18 game saw Mandurah run out 3-2 victors after goals from Adam Boone (2) and Jake Heathcote.
Morley Windmills held on to second place by thumping Southside United 4-1 at Wooton Reserve. Ian Ballantyne bagged his sixth goal of the season while Raymond Rose, Steve Keady and David Boffa also found the target for the home side with Brian Cairney getting the lone goal in what turned out to be a long afternoon for Southside. Stirling Lions picked up three valuable points when they thrashed local rivals Stirling Suns 5-0. Bobbi Klenkoski and Adam Rains both bagged doubles for the home side with Leo Harman also getting his name on the scorecard.
Dianella White Eagles won away from home for the first time this season when they defeated cellar-dwellers Wanneroo City 4-2. The home side took the lead early on after some sloppy defending, and after several missed chances defender Peter Mrdja levelled the scores on the half-hour. Pushing forward at every opportunity, another Dianella defender Jovan Djukanovic put his side in front with a great header shortly before the interval. The second half saw Dianella continue to dominate and when Mrdja added his second with twenty minutes remaining it looked as though the match was over as a contest. But Wanneroo struck back with a quick counter-attacking move to set up a tense finish in which before young forward Jerry Boima struck in the final minutes to seal victory for the visitors.
In other games, goals from Jason Hope (2), Aaron Cowdrey, Ryan Underwood, Mark Cox and Paul Cummings enabled Perth City to defeat the visitors from South West Phoenix 6-2. Leeming Strikers went down 2-0 at home to Canning City for whom Paul Daley and Carlos Dos Santos found the net, while Queens Park won 4-2 at Balcatta. Kingsway Olympic enjoyed the weekend off with a bye.
DESPOTOVSKI WINS TOP GLORY AWARD
Former State striker Bobby Despotovski has been voted Perth Glory's Most Glorious Player for the second consecutive year. The one-time Floreat Athena player capped an outstanding season in the National Soccer League in which he scored 14 goals and formed a highly-productive attacking partnership with Australian international Damian Mori, who finished the poll in second place ahead of Brazilian midfielder Edgar. Goalkeeper Jason Petkovic was voted the Coaches' Player of the Year, Jamie Harnwell took out the Clubman of the Year award and Matt Horsley finished with the Supporters' Player of the Year. Glory held their annual awards ceremony at a gala dinner at the Burswood Resort Casino tonight.
DOUBLE SUCCESS FOR ERGIC
Ivan Ergic has completed his second season in the Swizterland by playing a major role in F.C. Basel achieving the League and Cup double. On Sunday the former State junior representative chimed in with an important contribution in the middle of the park as Basel defeated Grasshoppers to lift the Schweizer Cup Final 2-1 in extra-time. Ergic, who spent one season on the books of Perth Glory before heading to Europe, made 36 League and Cup appearances for the club over the 2001/02 campaign, scoring 9 times. One-time Wollongong Wolves and Australian attacker Scott Chipperfield was also part of the Basel squad, playing 39 times and netting 7 goals in his debut European season.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
Future Glory will include the National Soccer League's top scorer, Damian Mori, in their side for Saturday's Premier League match with Sorrento. With Admir Mehic, Shaun Kilkelly, Miki Vujacic, Nick Ward and Antonio Naglieri all overseas with the State Under-19 side, Mori will be one of several senior Glory players in display at Percy Doyle Reserve. In other matches, Fremantle City meet E.C.U. Joondalup at Ken Allen Field, Swan I.C. are at home to Inglewood United, Ashfield hosts an in-form Western Knights and Bassendean Caledonian takes on Cockburn City. The match between Perth S.C. and Floreat Athena which was set down for Sunday has been postponed due to Perth having several key players in the Under-19 squad which is currently in France.
It's Round Seven in the First Division on Saturday with League leaders Armadale, the only side still with a 100% win record, at home to Bayswater City. Morley Windmills play Southside United at Wootton Reserve, Stirling Lions host Stirling Suns in one local derby, while Mandurah City play Rockingham City in another. Perth City are home to South West Phoenix, Balcatta play Queens Park, and Leeming Strikers host struggling Canning City. The bottom two, Wanneroo City and Dianella White Eagles, meet at Kingsway Sporting Complex, and the bye this week goes to Kingsway Olympic.
LAZARIDIS TO STAY A BLUE (reproduced with permission from www.tribalfootball.com)
Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce says he will keep together his squad for next season's Premiership campaign. That's good news for one-time Floreat Athena star Stan Lazaridis who has admitted concern over his place in the coach's plans. Bruce has been criticised by the local media for not utilizing the pace and power of Lazaridis since taking over as manager from Trevor Francis. "Of course there is going to be a bit of work for me to do here but I want to tell everyone that the squad who have got us here deserve their chance as well," said Bruce recently. "They got us to where we are now and if they want to play on the big stage I will give them the chance."
FRIENDLY WIN FOR FUTURE W.A. (by Christian Galapolous in France)
Future W.A. started their France tour in style with a comfortable 5-2 victory over local side Tourcoing in mid-week. Despite enjoying the better of possession, the visitors rarely ventured into their opponents half as the second period started nervously, but as the game wore on the superior fitness and pace of the West Australian side came to the fore and they effectively control the remainder of the match. This dominance was eventually rewarded when Daniel Stiotis's ball found Miki Vujacic free down right, the flying winger's floating cross into the box where Andreas Oliveira coolly headed over the stranded Tourcoing goalkeeper. The first real attack for the home side resulted in an equaliser, an errant pass by Shaun Kilkelly being intercepted and promptly converted. The Under-19's were unlucky not to have been at least three goals up by the break with efforts by Oliveira, David Foster and Ivan Zuvela all going astray. The second half saw the State side take control and score immediately after the break with Antonio Naglieri netting after fine individual effort. Some ten minutes later, and against the run of play, Tourcoing equalised after a misunderstanding between goalkeeper Oliver Taseski and Zuvela. This stirred the visitors pride who promptly scored three quick goals, Foster bagging a double and Vujacic putting the game beyond doubt. The match was a valuable warm-up for coach Garry Marocchi who gave the whole squad a run before their match against a United State of America select side on Saturday morning.
UP CLOSE WITH BRANIMIR MIKULIC (reproduced with permission from the "Onside" magazine)
If you thought Cockburn City were pleased with their performance last season, you'd be right. But if you think they'll be satisfied to simply consolidate on the club's highest-ever fourth placing and settle for the same this time around, you'd better think again. With a new coach - Mark Jackson - and a couple of useful signings, Cockburn and their star striker Branimir Miku1ic are aiming for even bigger things this year. "Last year Adrian Rawlings took us but he's down in Rockingham now," Mikulic said this week. "He made us work hard as a unit and it was a successful year, especially because we'd been mainly down in the bottom half of the table before that. This year we're hoping for a top-two finish." And last season's leading goalscorer firmly believes his side has the ingredients to achieve that lofty goal. "Jacko's got a good atmosphere working down here and all the boys are really putting in," he said.
Now in his third season with the club, Mikulic is playing in a slightly different position to the one that saw him bag 16 goals last campaign - including a remarkable three hat-tricks - and he's relishing the change. "The last two games he's (Jackson) been playing me behind the attackers," Mikulic explained. "I'm enjoying it because when I wou1d get the ball before there were usually two players stuck on me. My job now means I mark a man, so Jacko's trying to prevent that from happening. I'm getting the ball deeper to run at players and not have my back faced towards the goal all the time." It certainly troubled Ashfield last week with Mikulic proving a constant menace, scoring one himself and having a hand in a couple of others as Cockburn bounced back from a disappointing 3-1 loss at Swan I.C. in Round Two to thump the league's new boys 5-0. "We had a good talk after that game (Swan)," Mikulic said. "Jacko gave it to us a bit and we were able to turn it on against Ashfield."
And the bad news for opponents is that the 22-year old is working hard to improve on his goalscoring feats of last season and intends to play a key role in Cockburn's push for honours. "My aim is 20 goals," he said. "I'm working with a personal trainer, Mirco Jelicic, at Perry Lakes and I've been concentrating on my speed and finishing. Last year I was a bit inconsistent. I was scoring three goals in one game, then not scoring for a few games, but this year I'm trying to score in every game I play." So far he's right on target, finding the net in Cockburn's last two matches, after missing the season-opening win against Fremantle City. However, Mikulic is well aware the year will only get tougher from now on and the real test will come when they face some of the competition's big guns over the following month or so. "Yes, we've got Perth, Floreat Athena and Future Glory coming up," he said. "But if we can get a point, three points from those three games, we'll be laughing." Indeed, if Cockburn can successfully negotiate the next few weeks, they could well be on their way to reaching their season target.
MID-WEEK CUP ACTION
There were four Second Round Boral Cup matches played mid-week in the reserves and Under-18 competitions. On Wednesday (15/05) evening Floreat Athena ran out victors over Perth City at both levels, 2-1 in the Under-18's and 4-2 in the reserves. The following evening saw Canning City triumph 3-1 over Balcatta at the Under-18 level, while the reserves clash between Balcatta and Southside United ended 2-2 but, shortly before the penalty shoot-out was to commence, the lights went out meaning the match will have to be completed at a later date.
PROFESSIONAL DEAL FOR DAVIES
Birmingham City have added two extra players to their senior squad with the signing of Perth-born goalkeeper Clint Davies and Welshman Richard Evans to one-year professional contracts. Speaking recently, the Blues' assistant academy director Stewart Hall said Davies main strengths were "his shot-stopping and communication with the defence."
THE FUTURE IS IN THEIR HANDS
Future W.A. headed to France on Monday to particpate in the prestigious Tournoi de Croix in Lille. The State Under-19 side begin their campaign at 9.15am on Saturday (18th May) when they line up against the United States national team, and later that same day complete their group stage commitments with the 5.00pm kick-off against English club Birmingham City. With the side currently overseas, we take a look at Future W.A. players coach Gary Marocchi hopes will be able to do the state proud over coming days …
EDWARDS BOWS OUT OF N.S.L.
The final whistle on Sunday signalled the end of Alistair Edwards' dream of helping Perth Glory to their first ever National Soccer League Grand Final win. "It is certainly a disappointing way to finish," said the striker who recently announced that the 2001/02 season decider would be his last at that level. "It would have been nice to finish with a win but life goes on. I've had a decent innings, I suppose. But I have other things in my life."
Although teammates have tried to talk him in to one more season, Edwards said his mind was made up to end a successful professional career which has seen him play in Asia and Europe. As for what went wrong for Glory against Olympic Sharks, Edwards was unable to pin-point the problem. "I don't really know. On the day we just couldn't seem to get the ball in the back of the net. But, having said that, Olympic did well. They defended well and it was a fantastic goal that won it," the one-time Socceroo said.
TIME TO UNITE
A State Government-backed forum will later this month decide the future direction of soccer in Western Australia. With the game fragmented by constant infighting over a period far too long to contemplate, Soccer Association of Western Australia president Louis Prospero hopes that a planned re-structure will bring the code together under a single organisation. "I have promised to unite the game," Prospero told "Sunday Times" newspaper reporter Gary Adshead. "It's been a long time coming."
Soccer West Coast general manager Paul Tombides told Adshead that the time is right for the Government to step in and lend weight to an overhaul of the administration of local soccer. "It's about putting a structure in place and keeping out some of the forces that try to disrupt the game," he said. "Because of Glory's success, the volume of young players is there. Sponsors are very interested, but remain cynical because of what's gone on."
LAZARIDIS HELPS BLUES TO TOP
Socceroo Stan Lazaridis has helped Birmingham City win promotion back into England's Premier League after the Blues notched up a 4-2 victory on penalties over Norwich City in front of 72,000 spectators at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. The match was scoreless after 90 minutes and deadlocked at 1-1 after 30 minutes of extra-time, Iwan Roberts gave Norwicj the lead 40 seconds into extra-time with Geoff Horsfield equalising after 12 minutes. Darren Carter struck the penalty that gave Birmingham an unassailable 4-2 lead after Stern John, Paul Devlin and Lazaridis also converted from the penalty spot. The Blues last played in the top-flight of English soccer in 1986.
TANA UNIMPRESSED WITH TIMING
In the wake of Perth Glory's shock loss to Sydney Olympic in the 2001/02 National Soccer League Grand Final, majority shareholder Nick Tana has blasted those he claims tried to destabilise the club on the eve of the match. "If I could prove who it was I would be putting it up in lights all over Western Australia," the club chairman said. "That was the most despicable and lowest act anyone could do." The comments came after a "Sunday Times" report in which it was revealed that a consortium of businessmen had tabled an unsolicited offer of $2.6 million to buy the N.S.L. club. "It took two minutes to reject it," Tana added.
The Glory chairman questioned the timing of the revelation of the bid. "If people were looking to undermine our efforts by taking the players' focus off the game, that is one thing I think they could gain," he said. "The other possible gain was that it puts a value on the club where I have to buy out my partner." Tana and minority shareholder Paul Afkos are reported to be at loggerheads over how much Tana will pay to buy out the co-owner. A neutral party is to make a valuation of the club and each has agreed to accept the final figure.
Speaking outside Subiaco Oval shorty after the heartbreak of another Grand Final loss, Tana said he had just made a recommitment to everyone connected with the club - he is determined to take Glory to the ultimate prize and has no intention of quitting in the foreseeable future. "Next season starts tomorrow when the boys will come in and have a debriefing," he said. "People are saying 'better luck next time' and we start now to make it so."
GLORIOUS DAY FOR OLYMPIC
For the second time in three seasons, Perth Glory saw victory in the National Soccer League Grand Final slip from their grasp after going down 1-0 to Sydney Olympic at Subiaco Oval today. An Ante Milicic goal shortly after the start of the second half would prove to be enough to sent the trophy east at the end of a season which Glory topped the Premier League table from day one. "It's a great game when you win, it's not so great when you lose like that," said coach Mich d'Avray post-match.
"I think you've just got to take the whole season into context. The players have had such a magnificent season. They've done ever so well. But I think it's cold comfort for us at the moment," d'Avray added. "The way I see it, we were trying to do what Arsenal have done, and that's win the double. In 198 countries in the world we'd be the League champions, so you just can't throw away the season and forget what the players have done. I still maintain we're the best side in the League."
GLORY BUY-OUT REJECTED
The "Sunday Times" has revealed that Perth Glory owners recently knocked back a $2.6 million offer for the National Soccer League club. The offer, from a syndicate of wealthy West Australian and Hong Kong businessmen headed by local restaurant, vineyard and shopping centre owner Tom Galopoulos, expired on Friday. The newspaper reportedly obtained a copy of the offer to take over ownership of the soccer business which sought to buy out current directors Nick Tana, Paul Afkos, David Rodwell and Tony Di Francesco.
Glory chairman Nick Tana said he was not prepared to discuss the matter in the lead-up to the season decider. "I believe the team should have every opportunity to focus on this game. I deplore anybody who would do anything to disrupt our biggest game." One unnamed source close to Glory said the offer was firmly rejected. "There is no intention to sell Perth Glory and one has to wonder what is really behind this offer."
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND THREE (Perth S.C. vs Future Glory by Christian Galapolous; Floreat Athena vs Bassendean Caledonian by Bill McAllister; Cockburn City vs Ashfield by Lennie Bavich; E.C.U. Joondalup vs Sorrento by Kerry Slater)
The National Stadium was the venue for the clash between Inglewood United and the so-far winless Fremantle City in Round Three of Premier League competition. An even opening spell saw play see-saw from one end of the ground to the other as both sides made some great early use of the flanks only to find the opposing defence ready for the challenge. The first chance on goal came in the 2nd minute when Andy Cornmell's cross from the left caught the visiting defence flat-footed but Rory Mouttet was unable to re-direct the ball between the posts. Not long after Fremantle's David Rodgers was permitted a free header inside the area following a short corner but his effort went wide. The port side received a set-back in the 17th minute when talented striker Josh Kamasz has to be replaced after receiving a heavy knock on the ankle which threatens to keep him out of the State Under-19 squad which heads to France this week.
Inglewood created the better chances of a largely uninspiring first half but were unable to finsih off their moves. A powerful Scott Campbell shot flew past a full-stretch Robert Zabica only to bounce wide of the up-right, and not long after a curling free-kick from just outside the area by John Bartolomei cleared the defensive wall but found a well-positioned Zabica waiting on the goal line. Another dangerous Cornmell cross into the area picked out Mouttet whose thundering header was pushed spectacularly over the bar by Zabica. The resulting corner from Bartolomei found Ryan Fredericks racing into the dangerzone at the far post but his diving header went wide of the target. And four minutes from half-time a fantastic counter-attacking run by Campbell ended when Cornmell pushed his header wide. In between, Fremantle continually went forward through Cummings, Anthony Perreria and Joe Liguan only to find a well-organised opposing backline who gave nothing away this afternoon.
Eight minutes into the new half and Zabica showed great composure when put under pressure by teammate Marc Wingell whose weak back-pass was chased up by Alan MacKenzie, the 'keeper dribbling the ball past MacKenzie before knocking it to safety. Inglewood maintained the pressure on their opponents' defence which produced several nervous moments, and some great saves from Zabica. In the 67th minute Mouttet's ball into the area sent Cornmell through with only the 'keeper to beat, Zabica parrying his stinging shot before Marc Wingell came in to clear. Next it was the turn of Campbell who made a darting run inside the box where he evaded the legs of several defenders to shot wide. And in the 62nd minute Elton Holmes was dispossessed as he went forward, the ball spilling to Campbell whose rising drive was superbly saved by Zabica.
It wasn't until the final half-hour that Fremantle really came into the match. A deeply played free-kick from Dom Ando sailed high into the Inglewood area where Dale Wingell's glancing header was prevented from crossing the line by an alert Taseski. Rodgers released Liguan down the right after 65 minutes but the midfielders attempted chip over the advancing 'keeper landed squarely on Taseski's chest. Inglewood managed a late attacking foray when MacKenzie got past Ando to cross from the by-line, the ball evading several defenders and the on-coming Paul Lincoln at the back post. But much of the action was taking place down the other end as Fremantle sought to break the deadlock. Liguan's first touch let him down and gave Taseski time to narrow the angle as the pair went one-on-one, a long-range bomb from Cummings cleared the bar by a matter of inches, and a speculative Ando chip was caught on the line by the fast back-tracking Taseski minutes from full-time.
Shared points was a far result at the end of the day from a match in which both sides enjoyed spells in control but neither was able to convert their chances to the scoreboard. The pace of Cornmell meant he was a constant danger to the visiting defence, while Campbell and Daniel Harrop provided the creative drive from midfield for Inglewood. For Fremantle, Cummings was superb against his former club, his experience and class in steadying the visitors' ship when it was needed most, and Zabica saved his side with several important saves throughout the afternoon. Mention also need be made of referee Derek Minett who allowed the game to take its natural course.
Inglewood United : Oliver Taseski, Jamie Goodman, Jason Godfrey, Ryan
Fredericks (Alan MacKenzie 45), Gerry McEwan, John Bartolomei (Paul Lincoln
59), Andy Cornmell, Scott Campbell, Rory Mouttet, Daniel Harrop, Elton Holmes
Fremantle City : Robert Zabica, Marc Wingell, Cesare De Bartolo, Craig Surtees, Dom Ando, Anthony Perreria, Alex Cummings, Llewellyn Bake, Dale Wingell, David Rodgers, Josh Kamasz (Joe Liguan 17)
Referee : Derek Minett
Cautions : MacKenzie (63), Bake (86), D.Wingell (89)
Dismissals : None
Attendance : 250 (approx.)
Perth S.C. stamped themselves as the early Premier League title favorites after convincingly beating Future Glory 7-3 at Dorrien Gardens. In an open match that featured some attractive soccer, Perth opened the scoring in just the second minute when Todd Howarth fed a delightful low cross from the left into the box that Oliveira calmly slotted home. Only four minutes later a lapse in the Perth defence allowed Future to equalise, Antonio Naglieri drew goalkeeper Rob Scarparolo after intercepting a pass, then laid off a ball to Mileta Miletic who shot home. After equalizing things fell apart for Future as Perth took control, mistakes in defence by midfielders Naglieri and Nick Ward gifted their opponent's two goals as Oliveira and the lively Mark Pottier made the score 4-1 at half time. Perth started the second half in the same fashion as the first with flying left-winger Howarth slotting home in the 50th minute. Future managed to get a goal back two minutes later when Naglieri's well taken free-kick was headed home by young Miletic but Perth sealed the match with two quick goals in the space of ten minutes. Oliveira was again the catalyst, scoring the first then earning penalty that teammate Rob Puca converted for their sides seventh. Future scored a late consolation goal when Perth defender Aaron Cole misdirected a back pass.
Bassendean Caledonian ended Floreat Athena's winning start to the season by holding them to a nil-all draw at Litis Stadium in front of a healthy crowd. The visitors could have had a penalty after 21 minutes when striker Paul Strudwick was brought down inside the area, but the referee deemed the tackle to be fair and waved play on. The game see-sawed from end to end with Glen McCormick's shot well saved by John Xigas, the ball then quickly replayed to the opposite end of the ground when Robyn Dyers struck the post and Lucas Gobbi was unable to connect with the rebound. Ramon Westerburger won a free kick for Caledonian late in the half but Strudwick's curling shot went narrowly over the crossbar. The new half started with Athena flexing their collective muscle, Lucas Gobbi twice hitting the frame of the goal before visiting defenders Luke Croxall and Kevin Smith took charge. With twenty minutes remaining Costa Socratous slipped away from his marker to cross but Gobbi steered his header over the bar. The closing stages saw the intensity increase as both sides searched desperately for a winner, the best coming after Strudwick sent Ramon Westerberger through but Xigas stood his ground to deflect the shot wide to keep the match scoreless.
Cockburn City returned to the winners list with a 5-0 home win over Ashfield on Saturday. Cockburn's opening goal came from a well-taken Shane McNally corner which forced a defensive error out of Ashfield, the ball sticking Branimir Mikulic in the ribs and ricocheting past goalkeeper Jonathon Van Der Voet. The home defence of Steve Adam, Davorin Svirac and Stewart Francis were well-marshalled by 'keeper Dino Pacella who did not put a foot wrong all day and held firm to repel Ashfield's best attacking moves. Paul Wright missed a golden opportunity to double the margin after being put through one-on-one with Van Der Voet and, other than being cautioned for a bad tackle in the first half, acquitted himself well on his senior debut. Home coach Mark Jackson replaced Domenic de Felice and Dragan Njegic with Dusan Macura and Christian Paschkewitz just after the hour mark with devastating effect. Five minute after coming on, Macura made it 2-0 when he finished a Branimir Mikulic move, and in the 72nd minute Christian Paschkewitz dispossessed Van Der Voet before leisurely sending it into the net. Cockburn's bagged their fourth after Mikulic was brought down inside the area, the striker sending Van Der Voet the wrong way from the spot. Dean Wallace made way for young Fabio Fusari eight minutes from full-time and wasted no time in getting involved by finishing a surging Mikulic run through the visiting defence with two minutes of play left.
At home for the third time in as many weeks, Western Knights continued their unbeaten start to the season by thumping Swan I.C. 5-0. But the win came at a price with midfielder Ray Marinovic carried off on a stretcher late in the first half following a crunching tackle by Darren Freeman. Marinovic had only minutes earlier given his side the lead, and shortly after coming off the bench to replace his injured teammate John Nicolaou doubled the margin. Eugene Singeorzan, Paul McVittie and Carl Medica were all on target after the break. Swan coach Paul Wozny had nothing but praise his today's opponents after the match. "Western Knights are a very well organised side and they beat us in all departments. But I think the second goal, right on half-time, really hurt us. It was always going to be a matter of containing and pressuring them and we didn't do it, we just didn't play. But the Knights are a class outfit and it will be a close-run thing between them and Perth for top spot this season."
Sorrento gained their first point of the current winter campaign with a battling scoreless draw against northern rivals E.C.U. Joondalup. Sorrento, last season's champions, struggled to take a single point from their first two matches this season but with a more determined effort from his players coach Steve Neville was impressed with the improvement on Saturday. Sorrento retains the North Coastal shield on their rival's home ground. Joondalup started the better but didn't really trouble their former goalkeeper Gareth Deeg who now is last man for the Seagulls. After a tight first half in which neither side was able to command, the second period began with the home team exerting pressure on their opponents rearguard. The best chance of the afternoon came in the 54th minute, Mark Ristofski's cross from the left eluded all efforts to clear and Andy Mason just couldn't get enough on the ball to turn it in at the far post before Deeg gathered. Sorrento's opportunities were limited to breakaways by Jake Harman, Lee Burns or Ryan Jeans, but all were stopped by Stewart or big defender Richard Watson. Joondalup had a chance to snatch all three points with only a minute remaining when Mark Benbow's cross was met at the near post by the unmarked Mason, but he headed narrowly wide.
RESERVES AND UNDER-18'S ROUND-UP
Bassendean Caledonian moved to the top of the Premier League reserves table after knocking over home side Floreat Athena 2-0. A 1-0 win by Swan I.C. over Western Knights sees them move into second. Perth S.C. drew 2-2 with Future Glory, and a second half Matt Aitken goal gave Inglewood United a 2-1 result against their visitors from Fremantle City. Goal from Colin Copperwaite (3), Denis Stojanovic (2), Savo Banjac and Bryn Griffiths gave Cockburn City their first win of 2002 against a scoreless Ashfield. And Craig Cheeseman gave E.C.U. Joondalup the lead early in the second half against Sorrento who struck three times in eight minutes, Craig Wells and Jake Harman (2) the scorers, to win 3-1.
Fremantle and Perth continued on their winning way in the Under-18's with results against Inglewood (5-0) and Future (3-2) respectively. Floreat thumped Bassendean 4-1, and Swan won their first game of the new season with a 5-1 hammering of the Knights. Goals from John Morton, Daniel Defazio and Scott Blackmore saw Joondalup over the line 3-1 against Sorrento for whom Andrew Brand scored a late consolation from the penalty spot. And a hat-trick by Jason Dos Santos saw Cockburn City earn a 3-3 draw against a strong finishing Ashfield.
FIRST DIVISION WRAP (Dianella White Eagles vs Armadale by Michael Di Pietro)
Armadale kept in tact their 100% win record after their road meeting with Dianella White Eagles. In what should have been an easy win for the Reds, they once again struggled to get their game-plan in motion over the first half and found themselves 1-0 down after 20 minutes when Dianella new-comer Jerry Boima found the net. Dennis Lee marked his return to the Armadale starting line-up by equaling after 36 minutes, but it was short lived as a good Dianella attack saw Zelko Savic make it 1-2 at the break. Unhappy with his charges, Armadale coach Billy Russell introduced Darren Ingham to try and shake up the midfield and the trick worked with Lee finding the net for the second time today after 57 minutes. Ingham got his name on the scoring sheet three minutes later, but it wasn't until the 79th minute that Lee gave the visitors some much-needed breathing space. Armadale won the reserves 5-1 with goals from Ingham, Nick McLean (2), Chris Brown (2). The Under-18's also went the way of the visitors with Darren Kingston and Oliver Crockford finding the target.
Stirling Lions got there season back on track with a come from behind win over home side Queens Park. The Lions were in control all afternoon with six shots cleared off the line in the opening ten minutes of play, however it was their opponents that went ahead in the 13th minute courtesy of Mark Brown's superb free-kick. The visitors continued to push forward and were unlucky not to be rewarded with both Danny Carlino and Rob Milevski thwarted by some valiant Queens Park defending. The second half followed the pattern of the first with Queens Park doubling their lead in the 48th minute when an excellent run down the left saw Rob Pucovski produced a fine save, only for Allan Pottier to be on hand to knock it over the line. But full credit must go to the Lions who refused to give up the chase. Carlino got their first when he headed in a corner, and four minutes later he was back in the thick of the action to put the two sides on levels terms. Then, in the 73rd minute, Toby Wright cleverly chipped the keeper from a 45-degree angle to put the visitors 3-2 up. Not content with this scoreline, Wright came close to netting his second after racing away from the defence. Queens Park's only opportunity of the period came from a one-on-one with Pucovski compused in making the save. The reserves top of the table clash saw Queens Park win 4-2, while the Under-18's match went the way of the Lions 5-courtesy of an excellent team performance.
Morley Windmills moved into second place on the table after accounting for home side Canning City 3-0. Fourth-placed Mandurah City continued their fine start to the season with a 2-1 away result over Southside United, while Leeming Strikers triumphed 3-0 at Stirling Suns. Bayswater City drew 2-2 at home to Perth City, while points were also shared between Rockingham City and Wanneroo City, and Kingsway Olympic and South West Phoenix with both matches ending 1-1. Balcatta had the bye.
INJURY CONCERNS ON EVE OF TOUR
State Under-19 coach Gary Marocchi has his fingers crossed that players get through today's round of Premier League games unscathed. Marocchi, who leads Future W.A. to the Tournoi de Croix next weekend, has already lost Perth Glory's Australian Institute of Sport attendee Anthony Danze through injury, and cannot afford further disruptions. The loss of Danze, who has been ordered to rest for six weeks because of stress fractures in his foot, was disappointing for the player and the squad said Marocchi. There are concerns over the availability of Dino Djulbic, who is carrying an ankle injury. The Perth S.C. defender will be tested at the State side's final training session tomorrow morning.
The State side leaves Perth on Monday and plays a friendly in Belgium on Thursday. They then take on the United States national team and defending champion Birmingham City in its group stage matches on Saturday. But before all that the players must get through club matches with injury. "I'm hoping, for the players sake, no one else misses out," Marocchi said. "I've asked for all the players to give me a ring between five and six o'clock (tonight) to make sure they're all okay." Fremantle City striker Josh Kamasz and E.C.U. Joondalup's Nick Ward have been promoted to the squad.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The big northern suburbs derby takes place this Saturday when E.C.U. Joondalup host a Sorrento side looking to pick up their first point of the season. Perth S.C. are home for the second week running, the opposition this time provided by Future Glory, and there's another potential block-buster just down the road as Inglewood United take on Fremantle City. Both Cockburn City and Ashfield will be hoping to get over last weeks losses, an in-form Floreat Athena are at home to Bassendean Caledonian, and Western Knights aren't expected to be too troubled by the visitors from Swan I.C.
In the First Division, Mandurah City will be looking to take maximum points from their away fixture at Southside United. League leaders Armadale are also on the road and should record their fifth consecutive win when they play Dianella White Eagles. The match of the round will be at Coker Park where the undefeated youngsters of Queens Park play title favorites Stirling Lions. Canning City are at home to Morley Windmills, Rockingham City are favoured at home against Wanneroo City, and Bayswater City host a fast improving Perth City side. Elsewhere, Stirling Suns play Leeming Strikers, Kingsway Olympic are home to South West Phoenix, while Balcatta this week have the bye.
N.S.L. SEASON TO BE DECIDED AT SUBIACO
While there’s an abundance of local action this weekend to whet the appetite, undoubtedly the biggest match will be at Subiaco Oval where our very own Perth Glory play Olympic Sharks in the Grand Final of the 2001/02 National Soccer League season. With in excess of 42,000 tickets sold to the season decider, Glory go into the match as favourites after winning the home-and-away season crown by a record margin. Interestingly, the Sharks (then known as UTS Olympic) were Glory’s opponent in their first ever N.S.L. match back in October 1996 at Perth Oval when the visitors from the east won 4-1.
Both teams have their injury concerns ahead of the match. Absent for Glory will be midfielders Michael Garcia (groin) and Brad Maloney (ankle), the latter unsuccessful in recovering form an injury picked up in Newcastle a fortnight ago. “Mich gave me every hope and every opportunity,” said Australian international Maloney today. “It’s just no good and deep down I knew that. I was working around the clock to get it right but I couldn't get there.” Named captain for the day, former Floreat Athena striker Bobby Despotovski promises Glory fans who suffered a Grand Final loss two years ago that things will be different this time. “We’ve had a great season (and) it would be everything to us to win this grand final,” he said. “If we are 3-0 up at half-time, we won’t be losing this game, that’s for sure.”
There’s a very large cloud hovering over Sharks’ play maker Troy Halpin (groin) who is likely to require an injection if he is to feature in the starting line-up. Despite dislocating an elbow last weekend, defender Ante Juric is likely to feature in the starting line-up as is Hiroyuki Ashida (knee), while Tom Pondeljak has recently been added to the injury list with a back complaint and is considered doubtful. Playing down his side changes on Sunday, Sharks coach Gary Phillips suggested he was satisfied with what the Sharks had already achieved this season. “We are battle-scarred, we’re not battle-hardened … we’re struggling,” he said. “We’re just pleased to be here.”
ERGIC SCORES AS BASEL WIN LEAGUE (reproduced with permission from www.tribalfootball.com)
Australian pair Scott Chipperfield and Ivan Ergic celebrated with the rest of their teammates as F.C. Basel were presented with the Swiss championship last night. Basel saw off Lugano 4-3 in a thriller before players, officials and supporters stayed behind after the game to celebrate a championship-winning season. Basel are also on the verge of the double with the Swiss Cup final still to be played. Ergic managed to get his name on the scoresheet last night, reacting well midway through the second-half to draw the scores level at 3-3.
WE'LL PLAY FOR NOTHING INSISTS LAZARIDIS (reproduced with permission from www.tribalfootball.com)
With much doubt over whether Socer Australia can afford to pay it's players at the up-coming Oceania Nations Cup, Birmingham City wingback Stan Lazaridis insists the overseas-based Socceroo's would be willing to play for free. "I haven't talked to anybody about it, I don't think Frank (Farina) has talked to any of the players about it. I don't really know where we stand at the moment," the former Floreat Athena player said ahead of this week's First Division promotion play-off with Norwich City.
"But once Frank gets a full itinerary and knows what is definitely happening, a lot of the players will play for Frank even if it is for nothing or on an incentive or bonus scheme. The Confederations Cup is still important to Soccer Australia because they'll be guaranteed a big chunk of cash, so they'll need as strong a squad as possible to qualify." Lazaridis also rejected criticisms of Soccer Australia over the cash dilemma. "I feel for Soccer Australia, they have a big cash problem. Players could play for bonuses or incentives if we get into the Confederations Cup and we get the money coming in from F.I.F.A. It's a bit of give and take."
WORLD GAME BONDS REFUGEES
A shared love of soccer has brought together a group of refugees from seven nations under the banner of A.M.E.P. United. The men, who met at the Adult Migrant Education Program at Central T.A.F.E., are part of an indoor soccer team that competes every Thursday night at Loftus Recreation Centre after lecturer Richard Flack found the game to be of common interest. "Since they started playing together as a team it has really boosted their confidence and given them something to be a part of," he told Amanda Thompson of the "West Australia" this week.
All members of the team are hopeful of staying in Australia long-term. Mohammad Hendi (from Jordan), Serkan Kaya (Turkey), and Besim Kqiku (Kosovo) have gained residency because they married Australian women whom they met in their home countries. Mohammed Sesay has lived in Australia for five months as a political refugee from Sierra Leone and has been waiting two years for a visa, while 19-year old Liberian Henry Freeman is living in Perth with his mother. Another Liberian, Morris Kaba, left his family to pursue an education in Australia. Isaac Luko, James Elisapha and Kafi Arkarim hail from Sudan, while Ziggy Diane, of Senegal, hopes to gain permanent residency next month having lived in Perth for two years.
WOMEN'S SOCCER ON THE RISE
Women's soccer has been on steadily growing over the past decade with recent statistics from the United Kingdom indicating that participation rates have out-stripped those of netball. On a local level, things are also heading in the right direction according to Women's Soccer Western Australia spokesperson Penny Tanner. "We cracked the 1,000 player mark a couple of years ago and I'd say we're looking at about a 20% increase every year at the moment. There are about 1,400 registered players in Perth this year, and there's also regional competitions in Albany, the Goldfields and Geraldton. The eastern states are more populated and soccer is more widely played as a result, in women's soccer there's tens of thousands playing in New South Wales for example. They also have the Women's N.S.L. played on the eastern seaboard, so if their growth is anything like ours then on a national scale women's soccer is in good condition."
Speaking with John O'Connell on the Junior Soccer Review (990AM), Tanner suggested this growth was attributable to the higher profile the game now receives. "I think it's down to publicity on a world wide scale. The Under-19 inaugural Wolrd Championship is happening in Canada this year, and the Under-19 Matilda squad will be there after winning the Tonga qualification tournament this week. Then there's the 2003 Women's World Cup coming up, and the United States professional league has provided an amazing boost as girls can see a career path now." Tanner added that the on-field success of Perth Glory in the National Soccer League has also had a flow-on effect to the women's game. "I think something like 28 to 30% of the supporters that go and watch Glory are females, and with a lot of those being young people it just goes to show the level of interest that the girls have. A lot of senior players also go to the games and I can see some time in the future when there would be a representative side here in Western Australia, possibly aligned to Glory, in the Women's N.S.L."
DUTCH TREAT FOR BRIGHT
Cockburn City's Jeff Bright headed to the Netherlands on Monday for a two-week trial spell with European giants Feyenoord. The 17-year old left-sided player will play for Feyenoord in an under-19 tournament against some of the world's biggest clubs, including Inter Milan, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. While he admitted to being nervous ahead of the trip, Bright will draw upon his previous trail period in England late last year with Leicester City.
Bright joined Cockburn three years ago and represented the State at Under-15 and 16 levels before making his senior debut at club level during the pre-season Night Series. On Saturday he was watched by former Australian international David Mitchell, who now acts as a scout for Feyenoord. Bright will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of other former Cockburn juniors David Tarka and Antonio Naglieri who have stepped up to professional ranks with Perth Glory.
LATE STRIKE TOPPLES UNDER-19's
Future W.A. twice lead a strong Western Knights side before going down to a late winner in their fourth friendly as coach Gary Marocchi continues preparations for their Tournai de Croix campaign. While the result may not have gone their way tonight, there were plenty of positives to come out of this match for the State side who proved a more than worthy for one of the Premier League hottest teams. Tonight's result comes after the State Under-19's 6-1 drubbing of an Ashfield youth side, and last weeks matches with a combined Perth/Future Glory side (1-1 draw) and Night Series winners Perth S.C. (0-1 loss).
The Knights dominated a slow opening period but didn't offer their first real shot until the 15th minute when Ray Marinovic knocked it wide of the target after out-pacing the defence. Slow to settle, the State side suddenly kicked into gear until mid-way through the opening half, forcing their opponents onto the back foot thanks largely to the effort of Scott Bulloch. The Knights were slow to react to a deep Bulloch corner in the 22nd minute when Admir Mehic's screaming volley was headed off the line by Leon Russell. A minute later the Knights were again stagnant at the back as Mehic's volley rocketed straight to goalkeeper Pedro Pavez from Bulloch's cross. And not long after another Bulloch corner saw Ivan Zuvela rise high above the defence only for his header to strike the wrong side of the crossbar.
Not to be outdone, the Knights finished the half with a flurry of their own. Marinovic pounced when Mehic lost his footing on the greasy surface, going through one-one-one with Taseski who blocked the midfielder's powerful drive. Stuart Montgomery got on the end of a fine Marinovic cross after 39 minutes only to find the State 'keeper positioned to save. And right on the half-time whistle Luka Jukic did all the hard work before centring to Montgomery who side-footed it weakly in the direction of Taseski.
Six minutes into the new half the State side took the lead when Antonio Naglieri's in-swinging corner was judged to have crossed the line between the up-rights. A goalmouth scramble in the 61st minute resulted in a scrappy equaliser by for the Knights, defender Steven MacDonald sliding the ball over the line from 1-metre following a Marinovic corner. And the Knights would have taken the lead shortly after if not for a brilliant sliding tackle by Zuvela to dispossess John Nicolaou as he lined up the target.
Josh Kamasz showed great control before sending Sharland through in the 68th minute, the tall striker holding off an opponent and side-stepping the 'keeper before slotting it into the bottom corner of the goal. It took the Knights just one minute to respond, Claus Nielsen centring to Montgomery who placed the ball beyond the reach of replacement 'keeper Gianni Papalia from 17-metres. David Foster then tested Pavez down the other end by heading Shaun Kilkelly's cross on target but the 'keeper reacted quickly to save. The fresh legs of substitutes John Nicolaou and Joe Reale provided the winner nine minutes from full-time, the pair opening up the State defence before the latter dummied his way past Papalia and calmly slotted into an open goal to give the Knights the game 3-2.
Future W.A. : Oliver Taseski (Gianni Papalia 64), Ivan Zuvela, Daniel
Stoitis, Admir Mehic, Scott Bulloch, Mark Ristofski (Nick Ward 67), Shaun
Kilkelly, David Foster, Antonio Naglieri, Andreas Oliveira (Josh Kamasz
67), Greg Sharland
Western Knights : Pedro Pavez, Steven MacDonald, Claus Nielsen, Evan Wallace, Leon Russell, Ray Marinovic, Dean Nicolaou (Joe Reale 60), Luka Jukic, Alex Christie, Stuart Montgomery (Eugene Singeorzan 88), Eugene Singeorzan (John Nicolaou 60)
The University of W.A.'s excellent start to the W.A.A.S.S.A. season came to an end on Sunday when they were defeated 2-0 by Forrestfield United at Hartfield Park. The first half was a competitive affair with University having a couple of good chances to take the lead from free play, the best of which came the way of Christian Tribbe following a corner. The home team took the lead after 40 minutes with a poorly defended goal that saw Peter Mann find the net. The outcome could have been much different had University had luck on their side after the break, a superb drive from Matt Hill crashed into the crossbar and Teemu Shivola had two excellent opportunities to score. In the 89th minute and with University throwing everything forward, Forrestfield broke on the counter-attack and added their second of the afternoon through Matt Alcock. Post-match, University coach Kevin Burton praised his opponents. "Forrestfield are a good side and they will be up there towards the end of the season. The consolation we take from the game is that with the possession and chances we had my players are disappointed they did not win 3 or 4-1 and that shows we have come along way in itself." Forrestfield also won the reserves encounter, goals from Nick Vines, Luke Hanson and Harvey Jennings for the home side negated those by University's Tim Grose and Dave Holley.
The opening half of the battle of the cellar-dwellers between Balga and Fremantle United produced only limited chances for either side to open the scoring, the closest coming in the 21st minute when Justin Jensen's header struck the crossbar from close range. A see-sawing second half kicked off with Fremantle taking the lead following a free-kick in the 48th minute. Balga midfielder Jones equalised with a great goal on the hour mark, but 11 minutes later Fremantle restored their lead after catching their opponents napping on the counter-attack. Craig Chambers put Balga back on level terms, and with nine minutes left on the clock Fremantle should have sealed the match from the penalty spot only for the shot to be put wide. A few minutes later Kevin Pope netted in a goalmouth scramble to give Balga their first win of the new season. Hamersley Rovers remain the only side undefeated after five games, defeating home side Spearwood Dalmatinac 5-2 on Sunday. Forrestfield move into second, equal on points with University and E.C.U. Joondalup who proved too strong for Subiaco United 3-0. Perth Azzurri drew 2-2 at home to Murdoch University, while it was scoreless in the match between Kwinana United and Shamrock Rovers.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND TWO (E.C.U. Joondalup vs Future Glory by Christian Galapolous; Sorrento vs Inglewood United by Kerry Slater)
Injury forced influential midfielder Robbie Gaspar to be a late withdrawal from the Perth S.C. side that took on Bassendean Caledonian at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday. However, coach Graham Normanton was pleased to recall State Under-19 players Todd Howarth and Andreas Oliveira to his starting line-up, the pair both missing on the opening weekend of the season. Visiting coach Allan Weir made several changes from the side which lost heavily to Future Glory last week with Gannon Jones, Ramon Westerberger and Luke Croxall coming in at the expense of Jimmy Merkouris, Marco Schisano and Aaron Moschopoulos.
Played at a leisurely pace on a warm afternoon, the opening period of this match produced little in the way of good opportunities at either end of the park. With the Caledonian defence by far the busier of the two, Mark Pottier had an early chance to opening the scoring but sliced his volley wide from close-range. In the 16th minute Oliveira was allowed room to manoeuvre but sent his shot onto the chest of goalkeeper Alan Dunlop. In a quick counter-attacking move, Caledonian immediately raced the ball down the left flank where Ramon Westerberger made his way inside the area only to be brought down by Aaron Cole, who subsequently became the first of many players booked this afternoon. Mark Scarparolo blocked Paul Strudwick's spot-kick but he was unable to keep out the strikers follow-up which gave Caledonian the lead.
Conceding the goal saw Perth spark into life only to find a stubborn opposing defence difficult to break down. But Perth kept pugging away and in the 32nd got their reward. Turning the ball over in the middle of the park, Howarth strode forward before opening up the defence open with a well-weighted pass which found Pottier, the forward making no mistake as he knocked the ball past the advancing 'keeper. Four minutes later Howarth again stole possession in midfield and advanced on the defence, this time squaring to Rob Giorgi whose fierce drive from 16-metres was somehow kept out by Dunlop. A fantastic 39th minute diagonal ball by Jamie Coyne landed on the head of Oliveira who, with Dunlop stranded in no-man's land having raced off his line, looped it over the 'keeper to make it 2-1 to the home side. Caledonian were reduced to ten men a minute before half-time after Craig Naven was red-carded by referee Tom Klaver in controversial circumstances, but justice was done when Pottier's weak penalty was kept out by Dunlop.
The second half saw Perth come out with all guns ablaze and determined to extend the margin. A fine run by Puca took him past three defenders and inside the area where his close-range effort was smothered by Dunlop. A few minutes later another ingenious Howarth cross saw Coyne's stinging right-foot volley whiz just wide of the mark. With Perth on the rampage, the Caledonian defence were determined to hold firm. On the hour mark Dunlop was quick off his line to save at the feet of Rob Giorgi after Oliveira sent him through on goal. Defenders Luke Croxall and George Ramm were featuring prominently for the visitors and it was the latter that was next to put his body on the line by deflecting an explosive Pottier shot out for a corner in the 69th minute.
While Perth dominated possession, a distinct lack of composure in front of goal would mean they didn't add to this afternoon's tally. Howarth produced some clever footwork to evade two opponents and send an inch-perfect pass onto the chest of Oliveira, but the young striker pulled his close-range shot wide of the mark. Then, in quick succession, Peter Vukmirovic's shot on the turn went narrowly over the crossbar and Puca shot high after the ball pinged around inside the 18-yard box. Howarth held off a challenge from Jimmy Merkouris but his attempted chip landed on the top netting, and Oliveira really should have found the net from 7-metres but instead his shot hit the base of the up-right before Dunlop pounced on the loose ball. A brilliant drive from man-of-the-match Puca amazingly hit both posts before rebounding back into play, and three minutes from full-time Howarth was again in the thick of the action but his curling shot from 18-metres went the wrong side of the left post.
"I felt we were the superior team in the first half and we engineered many chance in the second half. Our lack of composure in front of goal was the telling factor as we should have given our goal difference tally a boost when playing a whole half against ten men," said Normanton after the game. After being thumped 5-1 last weekend, Caledonian coach Weir was happy with the improvement shown by his players. "I feel we regained some of our pride today after last weeks performance. I could not pick our best player for the simple reason that the whole team should get that award for their determination and application in a difficult encounter." But Weir was critical of the dismissal of Naven late in the first half. "It's unfortunate that there was undue influence by the referee on the game and the result, I would like to have seen how the second half would have panned out with eleven players."
Perth S.C. : Robert Scarparolo, Dino Djulbic (Adam Bunce 74), Aaron Cole,
Stephen Willey (Michael Icanovski 70), Todd Howarth, Rhys Graham, Rob
Giorgi (Peter Vukmirovic 65), Jamie Coyne, Robbie Puca, Mark Pottier,
Bassendean Caledonian : Alan Dunlop, Craig Naven, George Ramm, Luke Croxall, Simon Henderson (Ian Griffiths 70), Glenn McCormick, Jason Van Rooy, Gannon Jones, Devid Vitale (Jimmy Merkouris 59), Paul Strudwick, Ramon Westerberger
Referee : Tom Klaver
Cautions : Cole (16), Strudwick (22), Van Rooy (27), Naven (30), Giorgi (59), Pottier (61), Graham (68)
Dismissals : Naven (44)
Attendance : 400 (approx.)
Some of the states most promising youngsters were on show as E.C.U. Joondalup and Future Glory played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in front of a large and vocal crowd at Edith Cowan University. In what was an outstanding spectacle of local soccer it was Future who got off to a flying start. After just 5 minutes young striker Peter Lord ran onto Shaun Kilkelly's looping through ball and accurately lobbed Joondalup's stand in goalkeeper Paul Larkin to send the large contingent of the 'Shed Army' present into raptures. A goal up, Future controlled play for the next twenty-two minutes but were unable to score a vital second. Totally against the run of play, Joondalup netted an equaliser through Andy Mason on 27 minutes, the striker scrambling home the ball after young midfielder Scott Bulloch's superb corner evaded the defence. With the goal sparking Joondalup into life, it was the dynamic Bulloch who gave his side the lead just four minutes later by directing his header past Future goalkeeper Vince Matassa. In a tight second half Joondalup's were well led defensively by the experienced Richard Watson and managed hold Future out until the 82nd minute when the impressive Kilkelly slid home the equaliser after keeper Larkin spilled a long-range effort. In the dying minutes Mason squandered a chance to give his side a late winner when Matassa dived on the ball before he could rifle off a shot. Perth Glory skipper Gareth Naven was impressive marshaling his young defence as he pushes for a spot in next weeks National Socccer League Grand Final.
A determined Swan I.C. picked up their first points of the new season by over-powering Cockburn City at the Swan Italian Club. Midfielder Trevor Hatton opened the black and whites season account after 36 minutes with a brilliant 25-metre volley which rocketed past visiting goalkeeper Dino Pacella. Swan continued to press forward with Tom Shepheard always a threat to the opposing defence and two minutes before the interval the teenager beat two opponents before squaring to Carlo Scali who tapped in their teams second of the afternoon. With Hatton dominant in midfield, it wasn't until the 75th minute that the home side secured maximum points following a slick interplay between Shepheard and Hatton enabled Brian Robertson to tap home. Branmir Mikulic, who had twice had goals disallowed for offside, netted the visitors late consolation goal. "It was a good result and the whole team played really well," said Swan midfielder Carlo Scali after the game. "We started off very well with our defence and midfield well on top. After soaking up some pressure at the start of the second half, we regrouped and played some pretty good soccer to earn our first win of the season."
Sorrento struggled throughout their home encounter with Inglewood United and succumbed to their second defeat in as many weeks. After guest of honor George Moore, the Seagull's first president, tossed the coin, both sides labored early with neither 'keeper troubled. The best move of the match saw Sorrento take the lead after 37 minutes. Ryan Jeans' cross from the right slid off a defenders' head to Sean Fallon at the far post, his left-footer was too hot for goalkeeper Oliver Taseski to handle and David Foster was positioned to turn the ball over the line. But Sorrento's lead only lasted six minutes as a run down the left by Andy Cornmell ended with a low cross that didn't seem to present to much danger but the unfortunate Daniel Stoitis blasted the ball into his own net as he attempting to clear. The half-time break address from both coaches didn't improve the quality of soccer after the break. In the 54th minute Inglewood scored their second of the afternoon, Cornmell's cross into the area was contested by a group of players, the ball falling to Elton Holmes who made no mistake from close range. Searching for a way back into the game, Sorrento coach Steve Neville made several changes with Jake Harman making way for Iain Deans, Jeans was replaced by Ross Greer and midfielder Peter Butler was forced out with a knee injury, his place taken by Willie Grubb. The moves appeared to have an impact with the additional height in the Sorrento forward line putting the pressure on the visitors' defence. On 82 minutes Stoitis's cross was headed by David Foster to Kevin Murphy who comprehensively turned his marker but his shot smacked into Taseski. Sorrento suffered a final infliction of pain in the final minute when a quick counter attack ended with Holmes scoring his second to complete the home side's miserable day.
Although they lost club captain Scott Devine mid-week following his decision to head to England, Western Knights went into their match at Fremantle City favoured to win easily, but it wasn't to be with the young port side pushing their more fancied opponents up until the final whistle. Stuart Montgomery gave the Knights the lead before the break only for Dom Ando to equalise from the penalty spot early in the second half. The Knights then had State sweeper Ivan Zuvela sent off before Eugene Singeorzan scored through with a penalty of his own to give the visitors a 2-1 victory. The result leaves Fremantle still seeking their first point of the 2002 Premier League season.
Floreat Athena had Ashfield on the ropes after less than two minutes when they met at Ashfield Reserve, Robyn Dyers chip into the area converted by Lucas Gobbi from close range. Athena maintained the early pressure and created several good scoring chances only to be denied by the home defence. A great low drive by Adrian Sutton from distance was knocked around the post by Phil Jackson, and not long after an explosive shot by Gobbi was parried by the goalkeeper and David Mayers cleared the looping ball off the goal line. It looked as though Ashfield would come back into the game when Athena were reduced to ten men after 36 minutes, Doug Ithier sent off for a second yellow card offence, and while they did to a degree visiting 'keeper John Xigas was rarely troubled. The result was put beyond any doubt after the half-time break when Gobbi's pass found Jamie Trandos streaming into attack down the left and the midfielder's first time shot from outside the area crashed into the top corner of Jackson's goal to make the final score 2-0.
RESERVES AND UNDER-18'S ROUND-UP
In the reserves, Western Knights dominated their away clash with Fremantle City and were in the driving seat by half-time with a two-nil lead. But the second half was a completely different story, Fremantle fighting back and goal from Dean Aplegren and Matt Kamasz secured a point for the home side. Ian Griffiths' first half goal for Bassendean Caledonian was negated when Perth S.C. found the net via an own goal at Dorrien Gardens, visiting goalkeeper Stephen Grant saving a penalty after the break to eanr his side a share of the points. Dragan Njegic was the scorer for Cockburn City when the went down 2-1 at Swan I.C. for whom Carlos Echeveira and Steve Sauzier found the target. Sorrento drew with Inglewood United 1-1, Ross Greer's header giving the home side the lead only for a defensive error to allow Renato Richichi to equalise after the break. Ashfield defeated Floreat Athena 1-0 courtesy of an Allen Havic goal, and Garin Collins produced a hat-trick for E.C.U. Joondalup as they defeated Future Glory 5-4.
Fremantle's Under-18 side enjoyed their first home game of the new season by laying siege on the Knights goal over the opening half but went into the break only one in front. But there was very little the visitors could do after the interval as Fremantle ran riot to record a 6-0 victory as Marc Sim scored a League hat-trick for the second week running, John Migas bagged a double and Germany-bound Matt Danskin completed the route. Goals from Kevin Gill, Aleksandar Stojanovic and Fabio De Oliveira enabled Cockburn to win for the first time this season, 3-2 over Swan. Perth hit nine without reply against Bassendean, while goals from Dinko Ahmetanovic (3) and Dion Floias saw Ashfield win 4-1 at home over Athena. The visitors from Inglewood took the lead after 9 minutes through Matyas Balogh but were back on level terms by the break courtesy of a penalty converted by Michael Stefanovski. The second half saw Sorrento race to a 3-1 lead after Andrew Brand and Barry Briman found the net, however, Miaden Kouacevic pulled on back late in the game to set up a tense finish. Joondalup and Future played out a scoreless draw.
FIRST DIVISION WRAP (Armadale vs Rockingham City by Michael Di Pietro)
First Division leaders Mandurah City were brought back to earth with a thud on Saturday when Canning City recorded their first win of 2002 at Peelwood Parade Reserve. In a drab affair which saw neither side able to stamp their authority on proceedings, the best chances of the opening half came the way of Canning who were lead by veteran Peter Murphy who, aged 40, showed he still has a lot to offer the game. A quick break into the box by Canning five minutes from half time resulted in a penalty which Murphy confidently took, sending goalkeeper Mike Green the wrong way to make it 1-0. Mandurah came out after the break a more composed side but it was Canning that came close to scoring when, in the 71st minute, a good counter attacking move saw the ball twice hit the crossbar before being cleared by man-of-the-match Peter Knight. Late in the match Mandurah coach Paul O'Brien gave 16-year old Adam Boone his first team debut, the teenager injected some much needed enthusiasm into his side but it would prove to be not enough as Canning held on to win 1-0. Canning took out the reserves clash 2-1, Michael Charlesworth the scorer for the home side, while in the Under-18's Mandurah won 1-0.
Armadale hosted Rockingham City in what was always going to be interesting encounter, especially considering that a considerable number of players left Rockingham over the summer to join the Red army. Even though the homeside had an easy win in a pre-season friendly, things didn't go too smoothly in the first half for Armadale with Jason Hardie's 30th minute strike canceled out when the visitors found the net a minute from half time. The second half saw the Reds come out and take the game up to their opponents which resulted in goals to Paul Colkin after 55 minutes, Greg Newcombe added a third twenty minutes later and shortly after substitute Dennis Lee made it 4-1. The win gives the Reds their best start to a season in well over a decade, and catapults them to the top of the First Division table. Earlier in the day, Rockingham took out both the reserves (5-0) and Under-18's (5-3) fixtures, Peter Taylor scoring twice and Chris Abbott once for Armadale's youth team.
The First Division clash between South West Phoenix and Bayswater City started later than scheduled due to the late arrival of several visiting players who experienced car troubles on the way to Bunbury. Phoenix were presented with a golden opportunity to get off to a flying start when awarded a penalty inside the opening minute, but the spot kick was luckily saved by goalkeeper Mathew Salicus before defender Jason Lawton booted the ball to safety. The sides went into the break scoreless, but just six minutes into the second half Bayswater striker Nikola Stojanovki made a superb run from midfield before rifling the ball against the underside of the bar and into the net to give the visitors a deserved lead. Stepping up the pace, the home side found a late equaliser through Steve Suttie to share the points. Phoenix won both the reserves and Under-18 games, 4-0 and 4-1 respectively.
Kingsway Olympic proved to be a nut too tough for Stirling Lions to crack as the sides played out a scoreless draw at Macedonia Park. A young Olympic side started the match brightly but would rue several missed opportunities to take the lead against a Lions outfit who looked nothing like the championship material they've been touted as. The second half was a much different story with the home side stepping up a gear to create numerous scoring chances, the best of which came the way of Bobbi Klenkoski who was unable to find the target. The Lions did in fact put the ball in the net towards the end of the match only to have the effort disallowed for offside. With the home side constantly on the attack, a combination of some wayward finishing and valiant defending saw the match end in a 0-0 draw.
A goal in the first minute of the match by Ben Yates enabled Perth City to defeat Dianella White Eagles in a physical clash at the Kingsway Sports Complex. Unperturbed by the early set-back, the visiting side fought gallantly for an equaliser only to be let down time and time again by poor finishing. Elsewhere, goals by Glenn Noblett and Nicky Dyer saw Queens Park go equal top with Armadale after they defeated Leeming Strikers 2-0. Morley Windmills played out a 2-2 draw at home to Balcatta, and Wanneroo City suffered their fifth consecutive loss when they went down 4-1 to Southside United. Stirling Suns had the weekend off due to the bye.
HARNWELL COMES OF AGE
Former Sorrento defender Jamie Harnwell will this weekend turn out for Perth Glory as they aim to achieve the National Soccer League double by defeating Olympic Sharks in the Grand Final at Subiaco Oval on Sunday. Although he now has over 100 games under his belt for Glory, it's been a difficult rise to the top for Harnwell who told "the Sunday Times" Digby Beacham that he was continually over-looked for a spot in the State junior teams as a teenager.
Recalling his unsuccessful Under-13 trials in Cockburn, Harnwell said the trip back to the northern suburbs with his father, Derek, was much longer than usual. "We were driving back in the car and I was very quiet. I didn't say a word because I had missed out," said the 24-year old. "When we were home, Dad said to me, 'If this is the worst thing that is going to happen to you, then you are going to be all right'. He just told me to keep my head up and keep working away and some good things would happen."
But more disappointment was to come for Harnwell who missed out on selection at Under-14, 15 and 16 levels also. "After I kept missing selection in the state sides there were a couple of times I thought it wasn't meant to be," Harnwell said. "I was actually a right midfielder, if you'll believe that, before I was moved to centre-half. I was a late developer as well. When I was 15 or 16 I grew a foot or two pretty quickly, and that helped." Harnwell finally made his State debut in 1997, by which time he was already in the sights of then-Glory coach Bernd Stange.
Signed by Glory during the winter of 1998, Harnwell initially found it tough to break into the starting line-up but by mid-season he'd become a regular as the side made the N.S.L. play-off series for the first time. "I was a surprise starter in some ways in the finals in Bernd's first year," said Harnwell who is looking forward to a full house at Subiaco this Sunday. "The game continues to grow here and to play in front of a sell-out crowd next week will be fantastic. The level we are at now, there is no room for mistakes. You just have to have the required desperation to make a tackle, get to the ball first and execute well. If we can do that early, I'm sure that will set the scene."
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The Premier League's game of the round this week is at Percy Doyle Reserve where Sorrento host Inglewood United, both sides starting the season on the wrong foot and keen to pick up their first points on Saturday. E.C.U. Joondalup are favoured to win at home over Future Glory, while Ashfield will find it difficult against a Floreat Athena side bouyed by a big win last week. Cockburn City will be looking to make it two wins from as many starts when they travel to Swan I.C. It'll be a difficult game for home side Fremantle City when they play Western Knights, and Perth S.C. shouldn't be troubled too much when they take on Bassendean Caledonian at Dorrien Gardens.
There are a number of interesting match-ups in the First Division this weekend that have the potential to re-shape the table. Leaders Mandurah City should notch up their fourth win from five starts when they host Canning City's youngsters, but it's below them that we find the more intriguing matches. Armadale have a difficult home match with Rockingham City, who lost several players to the Reds over the off-season, while Stirling Lions take on long-time rivals Kingsway Olympic at Macedonia Park. Morley Windmills are favoured to take all three points from their home fixture with Balcatta, while an under-strength Bayswater City are on the road to play South West Phoenix. Queens Park will find the going tough against a revitalised Leeming Strikers outfit, both Perth City and Dianella White Eagles will be looking to put some points on the table when they meet at Kingsway Sports Complex, and Wanneroo City host Southside United. Stirling Suns have the bye this weekend.
This weekend sees the launch of a new local soccer publication, "Onside", which will be available from all State League grounds for only $1.00. Put together by the publishers for the Perth Glory matchday programme, "Onside" is a 16-page, full-colour, weekly release covering all the local action and news. League tables, scorers, and fixtures for all three levels of the Premier League and First Division, a fortnightly focus on one of the top flight clubs, player profiles, photographs, squad lists, match reviews, previews of the weekends games and competitions will all be regular features in "Onside". Supported by Midland Brick and National Homes, ask for "Onside" at the game this weekend.
LAZARIDIS PROVES BIRMINGHAM BOSS WRONG (reproduced with permission from www.tribalfootball.com)
Super-sub Stan Lazaridis played a major part as Birmingham City defeated Millwall 1-0 to win through to the Division One play-off Final last night. Blues manager Steve Bruce was criticised during the week for only giving Lazaridis a minute of action in the 1-1 draw in the first leg at home, and was forced to defend his preference for recent signing Tommy Mooney over the Australian by the English media. But though Bruce kept Lazaridis on the bench yesterday, he gave the Australian a half-hour in the second-half as Birmingham went for a winner.
Before Stern John's dramatic 89th minute decider, Lazaridis had a blistering shot on 68 minutes turned away by Millwall goalkeeper Tony Warner. Ten minutes later John should have turned the ball square for an unmarked Lazaridis inside the area. But the big centre-forward chose to shoot and blasted his effort horribly over the bar. However, the Trinidad and Tobago international made up for his miss by netting the winner late on.
ONE WISH LEFT FOR EDWARDS
Perth Glory attacker Alistair Edwards (right) is hoping to end his National Soccer League playing career in the same way he began it - by winning the championship. The 33-year old has decided to hang up his boots at the end of this season following a professional career that has taken him from junior soccer in Kwinana to spells in England, Scotland, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia as well as representing his country at the highest level.
Speaking with Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian" this week, Edwards said the time had come to look to a future beyond soccer. "Physically I feel great but I think it's time," he said. "I've been thinking about it for months. It has been a combination of things that have led to the decision. I obviously still really enjoy being involved and what I'd like now is to go out winning the grand final. You always want to leave on a special note."
Edwards started his Australian domestic career in 1990 with Sydney Olympic (now Olympic Sharks) for whom he scored a memorable goal in a 2-0 Grand Final victory over Marconi, and he'd love to end his career with a similar flourish. "It might be wishful thinking to score in the final, so as long as we win I'd be happy," he said. While he had to leave Perth to continue his career, Edwards said the game has a bright future in the west. "The interest in soccer here now is phenomenal. There are so many juniors playing the sport and in the next five or 10 years you are going to see some really good players coming through."
After spending his junior years with Kwinana United, Edwards progressed to the Australian Institute of Sport before representing Australia at 1987's World Youth Cup in Chile. Two years with Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers followed before spells at Olympic, Tyrwhitt (Singapore), Selangor (Malaysia), Millwall (England), Johore (Malaysia) and Sarawak (Malaysia) before he joined Glory in February 1999. He has recently switched attentions to off-field endeavours, elected to the Cockburn City council in 2000, heavily involved in GloryZone program for children and last week graduating with a masters degree from Edith Cowan University.
TRIALS LOOM FOR RHODES
Former Mandurah City junior Jordan Rhodes is still living in London and focused on his ambition of gaining a scholarship with a professional club in England. The 16-year old joined Charlton Athletic a couple of years back but, having made his way up through their youth ranks, was released by the London club last December. "Since then I have had a week with Plymouth Argyle, playing for their Under-19 side against Bristol Rovers, Cardiff and Exeter. I enjoyed it there but unfortunately they only had a couple of scholarships left and a midfield player wasn't a priority. I also played in an Under-17 game at the Hawthorns for West Bromwich Albion. During my week stay at Plymouth I got the flu and that really knocked me about for a month, so soccer had to go on hold after that."
While a deal with a professional club has so far proved elusive, Rhodes has been finding success with his school team. "The past couple of weeks have been really good. I played for my school, Cleeve Park, in the Kent County Cup Final. The school had never won a major trophy before and we played at Whitstable Town (Kent League) on a Tuesday night and won a very tight game 2-1. We then followed that up with a win in the North Kent Cup Final, 3-1. Notts County want me to go up there in July - they have seen me play a couple of times and are offering me a trial, so I'm really looking forward to that." In the meantime football will be taking a back seat for Rhodes as he prepares for the G.C.S.E. exams which will take place over May and June.
The current plight of those clubs outside the Premier League is having an effect on the game at youth level in England Rhodes explained. "The collapse of I.T.V. Digital is a bit of a problem for all players and clubs in the Nationwide League … they are saying that about 30 clubs are in danger of going out of business. That affects players like me as the youth system is one of the first places clubs will look at to save money. Hopefully I'll have another club to go to in July, other than Notts County, but if nothing eventuates from there I will probably come home and be looking for a club in W.A. I will then work on fitness and strength before giving it another try in England, or America. My Mum and two sisters went back to Mandurah in January this year, so I'm in London with my Dad. That's been pretty hard on the family - especially for me as I have to put up with my Dad's cooking!"
STABILITY ASHFIELD'S OBJECTIVE
Ashfield surprised many last year when they took out the First Division play-off title and won their way back into the top flight, especially in light of the split which occurred with Bunbury over the summer of 2000/01. Speaking on this evenings edition of Access 31's "The Locker Room" with Bob Figg and Mo Kaplin, club coach Tom Kilkelly briefly discussed the difficult job he faced of re-building the club's playing stocks in light of the Bunbury contingent's departure. "We started new last season, January last year we had 17 players on the books - we've got 48 or 49 at present with the prospect of some other players coming down," the coach said.
Having achieved promotion, Kilkelly said the goal this season is for Ashfield to hold on to their place in the Premier League and bring about some stability at the club with important contributions expected from a core of players in what promises to be a very difficult winter campaign. "Karl Atley, DJ Mayers, Gary Spinks, Steve Goff my club captain when he's fit, he's out at the moment and I don't know when he'll be back. A young lad, Martin Sherwin who rolled his ankle on the weekend an unfortunately will be out for a couple of weeks. When we get to the business end of the season, mid-season and getting on towards the end, they're the sort of players we'll be looking for."
DIANELLA STRENGTHEN SQUAD
With just one win from their first four outings this season, First Division club Dianella White Eagles have strengthened their playing stocks with the signing of Philip Smiljanic from Inglewood United. Part of the State Under-19 side that travelled to France last year, it will be the attacking midfielder's second stint with Dianella after several seasons in the youth ranks at Inglewood. Dianella have also secured the services of Taki Nicolaides from Bassendean Caledonian. The defensive midfielder has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in which he's been part of trophy winning sides with Perth Kangaroos, Western Knights and Inglewood United as well as gaining State honours.
BIG ONE AHEAD FOR GARCIA
Although the current English season is still running, West Ham United attacker Richard Garcia says he is already looking forward to August 17th when the 2002/03 campaign kicks-off. Garcia has forced his way onto the first team bench of late for the Hammers and is hoping to continue his progress next season. "Next season is a big one for me and a lot of the young lads. The gaffer is getting the young lads involved which is good," he told the West Ham's official website (www.whufc.com) this week. "We have got a lot of good young players at the club and hopefully we can get first team football next season. We'll see how things go on the last day and take it from there."
The former Perth S.C. junior came off the bench late in the Hammers 1-3 away loss to Newcastle United on the weekend and, while disappointed with the result, Garcia was happy to play a part for the club. "It is always nice to come on regardless of the circumstances because you gain experience. I want to get as much as I can and take it from there. You enjoy it more, though, when things are going well," he said before adding "We can take a few positives from Saturday but we have to work on what went wrong for next season and hope we can end this one with a win."
WINGER HOPING FOR LONGER RUN (reproduced with permission from www.teamtalk.com)
Stan Lazaridis is hoping for the chance to make more of an impact in the second leg of the promotion play-off semi-final at Millwall tomorrow. The former West Ham United ace was forced to spend virtually all of Birmingham City's 1-1 first-leg stalemate at St. Andrews as a frustrated spectator on the bench. He was thrown on at the end in place of Tommy Mooney but barely had a chance to get into gear before the referee blew for full-time.
The Australian international could well hold the key for Birmingham as it was him who effectively destroyed Millwall at St. Andrews earlier in the season. He ran the Millwall defence ragged and hopes to get the chance to do just that again at the New Den. "It is half-time at the moment," Lazaridis said. "We know what we have got to do. I really wanted to get on in the first game. I didn't realise that I only had a minute. I wouldn't have minded a bit more time. In these sort of games it can be harder to be the home team as the pressure is on you. It is a cup final and it can go either way. But we have had experience in the play-offs before and we have to make use of that and look to win down there."
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This page was last updated on the 30th June, 2001