Archived News : July-August 2004



The West Australian Soccer Hall of Fame have available for sale a limited number of souvenir book from last months successful Century of Champions ceremony. The glossy book contains profile of all one hundred players honoured on the night along with a brief history of the round ball game in this state. Those interested in purchasing the publication are encouraged to contact Hall of Fame committee Louis Prospero member on 0413 041 942 or via The remaining copies of the Century of Champions book, which at $10.00 each (plus postage) are excellent value, won't last long.



National coach Frank Farina has named a near full strength squad for a four-day training camp in London commencing tomorrow. Amongst the 22-players invited are West Australian Stan lazaridis, who plies his trade for top flight English club Birmingham City, and Perth Glory defender Jade North. With the week set aside for FIFA official competition matches, Farina will have a rare opportunity to view first hand his squad ahead of next month's Confederations Cup qualifying series against the Solomon Islands.



Seven players from the Swan Valley this year had the honour of representing West Australia at various levels. Over the past few years there's been a gradual improvement in the overall quality of players produced by Swan I.C. and the appointment of Gary Marocchi as senior coach and director of football has considerably strengthened the clubs position. The former Australian captain and inaugural coach of Perth Glory has brought a new level of professionalism throughout the club which has filtered all the way down to the juniors.

After establishing himself as a first team regular, 18-year old defender Danyal Bennett earned selection for the State Under-19 side which twice defeated the Victorian Institute of Sport in late June. Another member of the senior squad, Daniel Simcox, captained the State Schoolboys side which won the silver medal in the Australian Secondary Schools Soccer Championship in Adelaide early this month. Goalkeeper Daniel Agudelo, Scott Lewry and utility Stephen Bettella each won Under-16 representative honours for West Australia this year. Swan have two players in the Under-15 side for the upcoming National Talent Identification Championship in Jovo Pavolic and Phillip Arnold.

"It's great that these players have been selected to play for the State teams," said Swan president John Muriale. "It shows that the quality of players at Swan has improved. It is greatly due to the coach's ability to identify and harness the talent of these players. With Gary at the helm junior and youth players are being given a greatly improved standard of coaching. It's these players who are the future of the club and we hope that the juniors of the local area will strive to follow in their footsteps. Gary has strong views on promoting young players to the first team and we're hopeful that these players will become regulars in the near future."



The count was close in last week's poll which asked "Is a seven month First Division season to long?" 47.3% of respondents were in the affirmative, saying thirty games is far too many at First Division level. But they were over-shadowed by the No vote which accounted for 52.7% of voters who believe a long season is a good season.



Local product Jamie Coyne has joined Dutch club ADO Den Haag. The versatile left sided player impressed the club's coaching staff during trials over the past fortnight and late last week agreed terms on a two-year deal. "I hope can settle in quickly at the club and over the coming years become established as a regular," he said via the clubs official website. Coyne shot to prominence during three seasons with Perth S.C. during which time he won State representative honours and took out the Gold Medal as the Premier League best and fairest player in 2002. He then spent two seasons with Perth Glory, making 33 appearances and part of the club's back-to-back Grand Final wins.



Celebrations went late into the night after Western Knights clinched their second Premier League crown in six years with Saturday's 2-1 win over E.C.U. Joondalup. But one person who missed out on the party was the clubs long-serving coach Ronnie Campbell who was unfortunately interstate because of work commitments. "I rang before, during and after the games," Campbell said from Sydney. Knights assistant coach Willie Kelly kept Campbell informed throughout the match. "I'm delighted for the players because it was an unbelievable achievement. We haven't been spectacular this season and we've won the games by the odd goal, but winning the league was our target at the start of the season. I think our defence, discipline and desire have been the three things that have got us there."



With three games remaining in the Premier League season, Stirling Lions midfielder Nick Ward is favoured to take out the "Sunday Times"/Westwool Carpets Player of the Year award. Ward, an Australian youth international, top the leaderboard with 24 votes at the completion of Round Nineteen. Injured E.C.U. Joondalup defender Jamie Kuzmanovich is five votes behind with Ross Barnes (Bayswater City) and Aaron Cole (Perth S.C.) close behind with 18 votes apiece. Fremantle City's Gary Faria is placed fourth on 17 votes, which is one more than Antonio Naglieri (Cockburn City) and the top flight's leading goalscorer David Foster (Swan I.C.). With 15 votes is Greg Sharland (Inglewood United), and breathing down his neck are John Mirco (Cockburn) and Mark Lee (Western Knights) who have each accumulated 14 votes.



Balcatta earned their place in the season finale of the Women's Soccer WA Premier League season by defeating Queens Park 2-0 in today's Preliminary Final. Northern Redbacks and Balcatta will meet in the Premier League Grand Final next Sunday under lights at Coulston Road, Ashfield, from 7.00pm. The match will be preceded by the Reserves Grand Final which pits Subiaco B against East Fremantle B from 4.30pm.

Murdoch University booked their place in the First Division Grand Final with a 3-1 defeat of Swan I.C. Murdoch opened their account in the 10th minute when Janni Vigen's long ball found Jo Steer whose shot from the edge of the 18-yard box found the net despite the best efforts of the Swan goalkeeper. The black and whites equalised following a corner, but minutes from half-time Murdoch regained the lead through an unstoppable shot from Steer. Swan pressed after the break but were unable to find many holes in a defence marshalled by Helene Aarstad. With Steph Battista and Petrina Brewer controlling midfield, the result was put beyond doubt midway through the half when Steer completed her hat-trick with a lob over the 'keeper.

In the days other First Division play-off match, Beckenham Angels defeated Noranda 2-1. The Angels take on Murdoch in the First Division Grand Final next Sunday at Hossack Reserve, Lynwood, starting at 1.30pm. There are a host of other Grand Final games preceding the main game - visit the Women's Soccer WA website for further details.



UWA won a quite astonishing match 5-3 after being 3-0 down after 20 minutes against Colo Colo at McGillivray Oval in the WAASSA Autostrada Premier League soccer fixture on Sunday. Colo Colo started with a goal in the first minute when a Colo Colo forward blasted the ball home after a good block by UWA goalkeeper Josh Davenport. UWA replied with a chance of their own when Robert Benkovic was put through by Max Percy only to be denied by the legs of Colo Colo keeper Pedro Pavezs. Despite several other chances UWA then went 2-0 down when a Colo Colo midfield player hit a long speculative shot which dipped under the bar. Colo Colo's John Da Silva then hit a free kick which swirled in the wind and somehow found itself in the UWA goal off the hand of UWA goalkeeper Josh Davenport. UWA immediately hit back when a Paul Dimmock corner was headed in by Robert Benkovic to make it 3-1. Moments later UWA's Max Percy hit a corner to the head of David Berg to make it 3-2. Just before half time a Colo Colo forward was sent off for a second offence against UWA goalkeeper Josh Davenport. After 60 minutes UWA made it 3-3 when David Berg scored with a shot following a Robert Benkovic cross. After 72 minutes UWA's David Berg did well to find Robert Benkovic a yard out from goal and he put UWA 4-3 up. Colo Colo then had another player sent off and UWA made them pay for their poor discipline when Tony Odundo fired home to make the final result 5-3. Coach Kevin Burton said: "It was more like a game of handball than soccer with all the chances for both sides and we could easily of scored 10 goals but for errant finishing. The comeback showed that we have real spirit and determination in the squad." UWA Reserves won 5-0 against Colo Colo Reserves who made it a sad day for soccer when they had 2 players sent off and the referee decided to abandon the game with 5 minutes to go.

Champions Shamrock Rovers travelled down to Hilton Park on Sunday to play relegated Fremantle United and came away with the three points after a 2-1 win on Sunday. Shamrock took the lead with their first real chance after 15 minutes when Rod McMullen scored with a tremendous dipping volley from 25 yards which smacked into the underside of the bar and bounced over the line. The Fremantle defence was well marshalled by Karl Griffiths, Taryn Richmond and Matt Favazzo. It was not until the 65th minute when Shamrock doubled their lead when Mark Kelly scored from close range to score his 12 th goal of a great campaign after a great ren by Pat O'Boyle. Shamrock then sat back and allowed Fremantle to taqke the initiative and it was no surprise when Dom DeFelice scored from ten yards after Shamrock failed to clear the ball. The rest of the game degenerated into a fairly scrappy affair with neither team able to dominate. Coach Nik Silsby said "We were very ordinary today. We did and will take the opportunity to blood our younger players such as Mickie Murray, Glen Brooks and Stephen Roche to give them vital experience for next season - the planning for next season starts here". The reserves remain unbeaten with a 5-0 victory and officially won their respective league. Jamie Silsby scored his 6th Hat-Trick of the season to take his total to 30, (4 short of Christy Lawless's 15 year old club record) with others coming from Dean Carey and first team keeper Ed Schuller on his 'pitch' debut for the season.

In other games, Spearwood Dalmatinac beat Kwinana United 4-2. Forrestfield United thrashed CN Canning International 8-0. Murdoch University defeated Stirling Panthers 4-3 in a 7 goal thriller, while Hamersley Rovers put Perth Azzurri in relegation trouble after their 1-0 win.



It's official - Western Knights are Premier League champions for 2004! Goals at either of the match by Daniel Trim and John Thornley gave the Knights a 2-1 win over E.C.U. Joondalup and their first championship in six years. Second-placed Cockburn went down 0-1 to Sorrento who've hit peak form at the right time of the year. Fremantle City and Stirling Lions shared six goals at Ken Allen Field, while Inglewood United thumped Bayswater City 4-1. David Onoforo was the scorer in Perth SC's 1-0 win at Bassendean Caledonian. And Floreat Athena secured their top flight status by drawing 1-1 away at Swan I.C.

Armadale's march towards their first ever First Division title continued with a 4-3 away win over Leeming Strikers. Wanneroo City remain seven points behind after thrashing Rockingham City 4-0, and South West Phoenix' 4-1 defeat of Ashfield allows them the sure up third place. Canning City moved up the standings after accounting for Balcatta 3-1. The points were shared between Mandurah City and Queens Park who drew 2-2, and it ended 3-3 when Gosnells City hosted Dianella White Eagles. Kingsway Olympic ran out 5-0 winners over Morley Windmills.


PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND TWENTY (Fremantle City vs Stirling Lions by Elliott Leonard; Swan I.C. vs Floreat Athena by Peter Simcox)

Western Knights produced a workmanlike effort to defeat E.C.U. Joondalup 2-1 and secure their first Premier League championship in six years. A dreadful defensive mix-up between Peter Stewart and Peter Roberts gifted the Knights a 3rd minute lead as Daniel Trim walked the ball into an open net. More than happy with situation, the visitors then sat back and soaked up the pressure as Joondalup searched desperately for an equaliser. Goalbound shots from Andy Mason and Alan Henderson were blocked by Jason Williams and Evan Wallace respectively while Tommi Tomich reacted swiftly to thwart Andy Brown at close range. On 25 minutes John Higgins' dipping shot from 22-metres was held by Tomich who, a few minutes later, paddled a close-range header from Andy Brown over the crossbar. As half-time approached Henderson stretched Tomich with a rasping low drive but it wasn't to be and Joondalup went in wondering what they had to do to score. Two minutes after the restart their question was answered when Garin Collins held his nerve to rifle it low past the 'keeper from just inside the 18-yard box having maneuvered his way past a couple of defenders. In the arm wrestle for control which followed both sides locked it down at the back and chances on goal came at a premium. Fifteen minutes from the end the match sparked back into life after Tomich produced a marvelous reflex save to deny Henderson. With word filtering through that nearest rival Cockburn City were trailing Sorrento, the Knights upped the pace. Andrija Jukic curled the ball just the wide of the target, and Ivan Zuvela crashed a free-kick through the defensive wall only to see it deflected wide by a defender. In a dramatic finale, Scott Devine surged through the middle of the park and slipped the ball through to John Thornley who, making the most of some hesitant defending, knocked it past the advancing 'keeper to decide the game with seven minutes to go.

Sorrento are in the hunt to end the season in second place after knocking off Cockburn City 1-0 at Percy Doyle Reserve. Right from the start Cockburn showed why they currently occupy second on the table with some exquisite movement of the ball lead by a lively midfielder Scott Miller. In a tightly contested game on of the genuine highlights was the tussle between Todd Harnwell and the ever-dangerous John Mirco down the flank. Few clear cut chances on presented themselves during the half with the first arriving after 25 minutes when Jamie Harnwell volleyed over the crossbar following a deep corner by Glen Thomas. It was just before half-time that Brad Hassell put Sorrento ahead when he looped a header into the far corner following a superb cross by Todd Harnwell. The margin was very nearly two goals just minutes later but Boza Erakovic made a desperate lunge to deflect Simon Harland's goalbound shot onto the outside of the post. A bruising second half saw both teams produce some great attacking football as play raced from end to end. John Mirco was unlucky not to et Cockburn back on level terms when he flashed the ball just wide from 16-metres, while at the opposite end Jeff Cargill kept out a header from Harland. With fifteen minutes to go the visitors threw caution to the wind and pushed Dean Wallace and Liam Lilly into attack to partner Peter Petkovich. Although they enjoyed the better of play Cockburn were unable to find a path to goal thanks to some solid defending and the great work of goalkeeper Phil Straker.

Inglewood United produced one of their best performances of the year in defeating Bayswater City 4-1 at the National Stadium. The home team dominated from the opening exchanges and never looked like taking anything less than maximum points over a Bayswater side which had one once in seven previous outings. A delightful interchange between Greg Sharland and Bobby Despotovski after 13 minutes saw the former race past a static defence before finishing clinically to give Inglewood the lead. Having retained possession despite several challenges on the right flank, Despotovski delivered a superb cross to the far post which was pushed over the line by Jason Colli who'd timed his run to perfection on the half hour. For their part Bayswater defended well but rarely threatened on goal as they struggled to match the home side for creativity. Just before the break Despotovski appeared to have added Inglewood's third after combining with Sharland but the goal was disallowed by the referee. It was more of the same in the second half as Inglewood worked towards suring up their place in the end of season finals. In the 69th minute teenager Michael Baczynski put the game beyond Bayswater when he sent the ball past goalkeeper Gianni Papalia. And Shaun Kilkelly finished off the visitors when he found the back of the net four minutes later. In the final minute of play Bayswater bagged themselves a consolation goal through Ross Barnes whose speculative effort from well outside the 18-yard box drifted into the corner of the goal. With sixteen goals in their past three outings, Inglewood coach Eddy Hodgkinson was left pondering what might have been after the game. "Things may have panned out differently for us this season if the goals we've scored in our recent games had been evenly distributed throughout the season, " Hodgkinson said. "A win or draw next weekend will guarantee us a spot in the top five series."

Stirling Lions threw away a two-goal lead with fifteen minutes remaining and allowed Fremantle City to steal a point with a thrilling 3-3 draw at Ken Allen Field. The game burst into life inside the opening minute when Gary Faria picked up the ball outside the area and curled his shot past Vince Matassa and into the top corner to hand the hosts the lead. On 15 minutes the score should have levelled after teenager Dennis McRoberts won the Lions a penalty which was disappointingly sent wide by Jake Harman. Rob Crerar was twice his sides saviour as Fremantle sought to add to their advantage, the defender thwarting Simon Elton Bott after he broke though on goal and moments later Crerar cleared Faria's effort off the line. Eight minutes from half-time Rob Monterosso's corner was met by Muhamed Komaderic who headed it past Bobsom Koroma to make it one-each. The Lions then went ahead through Monterosso who tapped in from close-range following Nick Ward's clever chip into the box. Fremantle opened the second half determined to restore parity as Faria hit the crossbar with a great shot from 17-metres. Midway through the half Komaderic raced away down the left to cross to Harman who in turn set-up McRoberts and the teenager made no mistake in doubling the visitors lead. But if the Lions thought the points were in the bag then they had another thing coming. With twelve minutes to go Kevin Correia managed to go past the offside trap and then beat Matassa in a one-on-one to reduce the margin. Fremantle's equaliser resulted from a goalmouth scramble five minutes from full-time in which Correia poked the ball past Matassa to complete a memorable fightback. In a staggering six minutes of stoppage time the port side laid siege on their opponents goal but were unable to sneak a late winner.

Swan I.C. and Floreat Athena played out a 1-1 draw in the Swan Valley. It was visitors who went closest in an evenly opening with Costa Socratous stretching goalkeeper Cory Hugo with a superb striker from distance, and moments later Peter Coci's shot was narrowly wide after good lead-up work from Andreas Oliviera. Swan began to find their rhythm and on 14 minutes went ahead as Carlo Echeverria surged forward to lay the ball off to David Foster who confidently eased his shot past advancing goalkeeper Vas Vujacic. Oliveira was proving a handful for the Swan backline and his cross into the dangerzone picked out Coci who was denied by the sharp reflexes of Hugo. Shortly after Oliveira worked hard in setting up Josip Magdic but he too was unable to beat the Swan custodian. Against the run of play the home team almost doubled their lead by Echeverria whose long-range effort was tipped over the crossbar by an alert Vujacic. The second half was only minutes old when Vujacic again kept his side in the game by making a low save to thwart Foster in a one-on-one. The game was still very much alive, and with Adrian Sutton and Julian Madaschi both outstanding at the heart of the Athena defence, it was the visitors who looked the more likely to net. Coci sent the ball past Hugo only to have it cleared off the line by Echeverria. Athena's persistence was finally rewarded in the 65th minute when Magdic's great approach work was finished off by a rare headed goal from Oliveira. The visitors continued to ply the pressure as Coci and Oliveira went close in quick succession. With time running out Athena had a penalty claim turned down by referee Tom Klaver after Coci went down under a challenge from Damian Scali. A final minute corner was sent in by Oliveira but neither Coci not Anthony Jones could get enough of a touch to knock it into the net.

Perth S.C. kept alive their slim hopes of a fifth successive finals campaign by edging out Bassendean Caledonian 1-0 at Jubilee Reserve. Opportunities on goal were few and far between in a tight match played on a muddy surface which was not conducive to elegant football. Caledonian shaded Perth for possession during the first half but as has been the story of their season the home team were unable to put the ball in the back of the net. The best chance of the period came the way of Graeme Mathews who was put through one-on-one with Alan Matteucci only to fire his shot into the Perth custodian. There were also opportunities for Glen McCormick and Ian Griffiths who shot wide and high respectively. Perth's main danger came from deadball situations with David Micevski and Todd Howarth causing a few nervous moments on the opposing defence. Fired up by a half-time spray from coach Graham Normanton, Perth showed more focus after the break with their central midfield trio of Mark Pottier, James Isaia and Micevski quick to stamp authority over proceedings. But the hosts were left frustrated by some lacklustre finishing with only a header from Aaron Cole testing goalkeeper Alan Dunlop. Midway through the half Pottier did beat the 'keeper when he put away a fantastic cross from the right by Micevski but the goal was disallowed for offside. The match seemingly destined to end with honours even, Robbie Puca's knock-on from midfield caught the home defence flat-footed and substitute David Onoforo launching a great volley from an acute into the top corner to decide the game.


FIRST DIVISION, ROUND TWENTY-TWO (South West Phoenix vs Ashfield courtesy South West Phoenix; Leeming Strikers vs Armadale by Mike Hennessey; Gosnells City vs Dianella White Eagles courtesy Gosnells City)

Leeming Strikers were unlucky to lose 3-4 at home to First Division leaders Armadale. The Reds took an early 1-0 lead when Dean Gartside headed home at the far post. Five minutes later the Strikers drew level when a foul on Phil Bell resulted in a penalty which was stroked home from the spot by the midfielder. The game developed into a tough, physical encounter with both goalkeepers called upon to make some important saves. A free-kick after 35 minutes enabled Michael Vaz to hammer a hard, low shot into the bottom corner to the Strikers 2-1 up. As half-time approached Armadale broke through the middle and Jason Goodwin levelled the score. But almost immediately the hosts hit back and, in the best move of the game, and attack down the right was coolly converted by Garth Lecky as the Strikers went into the break with the advantage. Eight minutes into the second half it became three-all as Gartside fastened on to a long through ball from Fraser Brown to score. The deciding goal came via substitute Darren Kingston ten minutes from full-time.

Wanneroo City returned home from Dowling Street Reserve with the points after knocking off Rockingham City 4-0. Oliver Hilton gave the visitors an early lead by pouncing on a loose ball which was spilled by goalkeeper Michael Kelly at a corner. Rockingham worked hard to get back on level terms but with the opposing defence quick to respond few genuine openings resulted. Great ball control by Scott Bulloch took him inside the 18-yard box where he was brought down, and from the resulting penalty Scott Wyeth doubled the northerners advantage. Wanneroo 'keeper Alan Young was called into action for the first time just before the break by making a fine save to deny Luke Collins. The margin became three-nil midway through the second half when Bulloch chased the ball into attack which he played across the box to Gareth Davies who slid it into the net under pressure. John Dixon completed the route when he stole in between 'keeper and defence to lob into the net. The final margin should have been much greater but Wanneroo were guilty of wasted opportunities. Wyeth was denied another goal by Kelly who kept out his effort from the spot and Bulloch steered the rebound wide.

Steve Suttie scored his third hat-trick in as many games to lead South West Phoenix to a 4-1 victory over arch rival Ashfield at Bunbury's Soccerdrome. The goal spree began after 8 minutes when Suttie ran on to a pass from Dave Murphy to crisply hot the ball past goalkeeper Peter Treeby. Phoenix attacks continued as David Gordon was called upon to clear David Rodgers' header off the line, a Murphy drive cannoned off the crossbar and Treeby made a sensational save to keep out Rodgers' well struck free-kick. But there was little the Ashfield custodian could do as Greg Hayes floated in a cross which Suttie rose above the defence to met and head in his second of the day. Nine minutes from the break Dion Florias pulled one back for the visitors, but three minutes later Phoenix restored their two-goal buffer with Suttie completing his hat-trick. The second half proved much tougher for Phoenix who met with strong resistance from the opposing defence and in particular Matt Pochroj. The final goal came after 81 minutes when Rodgers produced some great individual skill to work his way through the defence before stroking the ball past Treeby.

Canning City made it three wins in as many weeks when they accounted for Balcatta 3-1 in sunny conditions at Willetton Sports Club. But the outcome could have been much different had Adrian Zonato's early shot not hit the upright and ricocheted to safety. As it was the opening goal came on 15 minutes when a dreadful defensive mix-up between goalkeeper Colin Lees and Tony Paolino presented Canning's Daniel Trevisiol with a simple tap. The hosts continued to press and went further ahead on the half hour as Mick Van Dongen's shot from a narrow angle was parried by Lees Alex Seed knocked in the follow-up despite calls for offside. Not long after Seed squandered a golden opportunity by amazingly ballooning over the crossbar from 4-metres. Balcatta showed more composure after the break and in the 55th minute pulled a goal back through Danny Carlino. The visitors worked tirelessly to get back on level terms but it wasn't their day as Adrian Caliero and Alley Di Nuzzo went close. Seven minutes from the end Canning sealed victory with a fine counter-attack which was orchestrated and clinically finished by Mick Van Dongen.

The points were shared at Peelwood Parade where Mandurah City and Queens Park played out a tense 2-2 draw. The day could not have started better for Mandurah who went ahead in the 1st minute when youngster Neil Connor sent the ball past goalkeeper Phil Chapman. The visitors rallied and on 32 minutes restored parity through mid-season signing Ray Rose. The second half was fifteen minutes old when Mandurah reclaimed the lead courtesy of a Christian Paschewitz goal. Queens Park's chances of getting back in the game were dented with the dismissal of Grant Learmont in the 78th minute. But the visitors refused to give up the chase and five minutes from full-time Mandurah custodian Mike Greene was unable to prevent Shirash Sasikumar from leveling the game.

Gosnells City and Dianella White Eagles shared six goals at Walter Padbury Reserve. Both sides began the match brightly but could managed few genuine shots on goal over a tight opening stages. The deadlock was broken on 7 minutes when Mark Ronald's free-kick crashed into the post and Tony Lang was on hand to tap the rebound into an unguarded net. Gosnells added a second to their tally shortly after when Adam Bremner's scorching shot from outside the 18-yard box flew past the goalkeeper and into the top corner. Just as Gosnells looked set to take the game beyond their opponents reach Dianella where awarded a controversial penalty which was converted by Danco Jovanoski. This sparked Dianella into life and after wrestling control of the game equalised via another disputed penalty which was again put away by Jovanoski. The second half provided much of the same passion and determination by both teams as was shown in the first. In the 54th minute Gosnells regained the lead via a blistering strike from Ronald who five minutes was dismissed for two yellow cards in quick success. Dianella stole a point when Miladin Gugoroski scrambled the ball over the line after the home defence failed to clear a cross into the box close to the final whistle.

Kingsway Olympic ended a month of losses by toppling Morley Windmills 5-0 in the northern suburbs. Scott Evans started the romp after 3 minutes with a spectacular drive from 18-metres that soared into the top corner of the goal. Windmills custodian Matt Darling lost his footing as he attempted a clearance on top of his area, the ball went straight to Danny Trandos who lobbed it back over the stranded goalkeeper from distance to double the margin shorlty after. Evans added to the hosts tally by cutting in from the right and blasting past Darling from 28-metres. Olympic pretty much wrapped up the game shortly before the break as Michael Borromei took possession and slammed in goal number four. The second half continued in much the same fashion with the crowd entertained by some great passages of play from the Green Machine. The final goal of the afternoon came on 50 minutes when Steven Beasley was sent past the defence and the youngster kept his composure to neatly lobbed over the 'keeper and into the net. The win, Olympic's fifth of the winter, lifted them into eleventh place as Windmills slip to twelfth.



Weather permitting, there should be a number of top match-ups in Saturday's round of Premier League fixtures. One game that needs no talking up is E.C.U. Joondalup's important home meeting with table topping Western Knights. Cockburn City will be out to end Sorrento's nine game undefeated run when they visit the northern suburbs. Inglewood United are in red hot form at the moment and should take maximum points over Bayswater City, while Stirling Lions are in need of victory away at Fremantle City to keep their play-off dream alive. Swan I.C. will find the going tough despite home ground advantage against a focused Floreat Athena. Perth S.C. head to Jubilee Reserve to play Bassendean Caledonian.

There are away games for the top two teams in the First Division. Leader Armadale travel to Leeming Strikers and Rockingham City provide the opposition and venue for second-placed Wanneroo City. There's a derby of sorts in Bunbury where South West Phoenix go head-to-head with Ashfield. Mandurah City and Queens Park have both lacked consistency this year and they met at Peelwood Parade. Little will separate Canning City and Balcatta, likewise Gosnells City against Dianella White Eagles. Kingsway Olympic welcome Morley Windmills to the northern suburbs, and Stirling Suns welcome the bye following a disastrous run of results.

All games this weekend will be preceded by a one minute silence to honour Floreat Athena and State defender Troy Bernard who sadly passed away on Tuesday.



The West Australian soccer community is in mourning following the tragic death of Floreat Athena stalwart Troy Bernard. The 25-year old was electrocuted early on Tuesday morning while attempting to repair downed power lines with a Western Power colleague in Carlisle. For ten years Bernard proudly wore Athena colours during which time his silky skills, tirelessly work ethic and on-field leadership made him one of the scene's best and most respected players. In honouring his passing Athena have chosen to retire Bernard's cherished No.7 shirt which will now be framed and hung in the clubrooms in a permanent memorial to one of their favourite sons.

"Troy was one of our most loved and his presence around the club will be sorely missed," said Athena vice-president Peter Koulizos. "When I arrived at the club in 1999 Troy was already a household name, not only at our club but within the wide WA soccer community. He was one of the best sweepers that I have ever seen, his reading of the game was excellent and one-on-one he could not be bettered. Troy's influence and leadership was so great that, whether playing for Athena or the State team, the defence was always worked around him. I can't image what our club will be like without Troy being there." There will be one minute silence prior to all games this weekend in remembrance of Bernard.

Spotted at a young age, Bernard earned State junior representative honours before quickly rising up through the ranks at club level. As a teenager he became established as an integral part of the Athena first team and played a key role in their treble winning season of 1997 which saw them claim the Night Series, Premier League championship and Boral Cup. A strong work ethic and his trademark runs though midfield resulted in Bernard's call-up to the senior State side the following year with appearances against National Soccer League outfits Perth Glory, whom he'd already spent a lengthy period on trial, and Parramatta Power.

Bernard's reputation was further enhanced by a sparkling performance in the 1999 Boral Cup Final for which he was named Man of the Match despite Athena's narrow loss to Inglewood United. The following season was filled with highlights for the hard-working defender - in March Athena claimed another Night Series title, there were further outings for the State team and come seasons' end Bernard was named the "Sunday Times" Player of the Year. Established as an automatic choice for State honours, Bernard became one of the youngest players ever to captain West Australia when, aged 22, he lead the side into battle against South Australia in early 2002. Rest In Peace, Troy Bernard.



Loftus Recreation Centre are calling for nominations for a new ladies indoor soccer competition. The league will be played on Wednesday evenings commencing 15th September and running through until March of next year. The competition will provide players with a great opportunity to brush up on their skills over the summer months. Games are to be played under rebound rules which allows five players on the court at any one time and continuous substitutions. Places in the new competition are limited and will be taken on a 'first come first served' basis with team nominations closing on 10th September. Whether you require further information on the upcoming women's competition or wish to nominate a team, contact the Sports Manager on 9227 6526. Loftus Recreation Centre is centrally located on the corner of Loftus Street and Vincent Street in Leederville.



Richard Garcia continued down the comeback trail from a ligament second cruciate injury by scoring three goals in West Ham United's friendly defeat of Peterborough United. "We won quite convincingly, 3-1, with Richard Garcia scoring a hat trick - we are delighted, because it has been a long seven months for him," said Hammers assistant coach Peter Grant. "We are pleased to see him return, and that is only his second game back. It is a credit to the boy and he is reaping the rewards for the hard work he is putting in. His attitude has been first class."

Although he's scored three times in two Reserve team games, Garcia is well aware that he'll most likely be moving on once back to full fitness. "We will just wait and see what happens," Garcia commented. "I will keep playing in the reserves until I am fully fit. At the moment I have been training two or three days then having a day off then training another two or three days. I am just trying to get back into it slowly, slowly and see how the knee progresses ... It is good to know that all your hard work has come to something, it would be a bit of a shame if you did all that and nothing came of it so it is good that I am back on the pitch."



The Kings Academy will remember season 2004 as they year in which they developed more players for State teams than any other. No less than seventeen youngsters from the Kings ranks earned State representative honours this year. Cameron Carruthers was the first to pull on State colours by appearing in the Under-16 squad at Singapore's Lion City Cup during June. The following month Ramon Amorganda, Ric Champion, Keith Clevenger, Dean Evans, Matthew Italiano, Ben Senior, Tom Senior and Dannie Richman turned out for the State Under-14's at the Friendship Games, while Daniele Bradshaw, Brynn Hindley, Chris Quinn, Paul Rechichi and John Tancredi were part of the Under-13 Capital Cup squad. Travelling to the National Talent Idenitification Championship shortly with the State Under-15 side are Damien Houston and Jerome Vallet.

"We have a number of strategic focuses as a club and the development of the individual player is a high priority," explained coaching director Mitch Doherty. "All our squads are competitive in their own right, however, the number of State players we have produced this season is an outstanding achievement for a club which is less than four years old. This success vindicates our policy of giving players an opportunity to prove themselves in higher age groups, all of our squads have players who we are playing above their own age in order to challenge their progression."

"As an academy we are in the fortunate position to be able to deliver programs to our players that are based on those used by Manchester United," Doherty added. "Through our affiliation with United we are following worlds best practice training methodologies and players at the academy are kept up to date with the latest innovative sessions. All our coaching and playing staff are exposed to a skills video featuring United's own academy players who are taken through a number of drills and practices by first team players including Ryan Giggs, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Roy Keane. The video was one of many mementos from the highly inspirational tour of Europe undertaken by the Academy Under-15's this year."

The Kings Academy are already making plans for next year with a number of tours on the drawing board. "The kind of exposure the Under-15's received when they played against youth teams in the Netherlands, Germany and England was a huge benefit to the players and their development," continued Doherty. "Next season will prove to be an even bigger challenge for the Kings. We have an exciting invitation on the table for one of the younger squads to travel to the United States to play, next years Under-15 team will be looking to following in the footsteps of this years squad with another trip to Europe, and we're also considering sending a squad interstate to take part in a pre-season tournament. All of these exciting projects are aimed at moving the club closer to our vision of becoming the most valued soccer academy in Western Australia."



Cockburn City are seeking expressions of interest on coaching positions for their Junior Champions League teams of 2005. The club are also keen to hear from individuals suitable for the roles of Director of juniors, Sports trainer (physiotherapist), Womens team coach, and Goalkeeper coach for next season. Anyone interested in applying for any of these positions is invited to submit their details by emailing, faxing to 9494 2088 or via the mail to Cockburn City S.C., P.O.Box 176, Hamilton Hill WA 6963. For additional details on any of the above positions please contact club preisdent Sue Potter on 0401 340 157.



The Austwest Fencing Saturday Morning Soccer Show returns to Perth's airwaves this weekend. The program, which has been a stable in the diet of the local soccer community for many a year now, goes out from 10.00am on Radio Fremantle (107.9 FM) on Saturday morning. The regular panel of Martin Wells, Dennis Gedling and Penny Hoath has been expanded for the new season with the recruitment of Mo Kaplin.



The West Australia Schoolgirls claimed sixth place at the recent Australian Secondary Schools Soccer Championships which were held in Adelaide. The Schoolgirls plans were thrown into disarray prior to the week-long event with injury to a number of key players leaving the squad's resources stretched to the limit. "We played catch-up soccer for most of the games and this means you have to gamble as players and as a coach," commented coach Wayne Baseden. "But this can only work if consistency and passion for the result are evident and unfortunately bother were lacking from our games in Adelaide."

The tournament could not have started much worse for Western Australia who found themselves two-goals down to a strong Queensland line-up at half-time. Needing to find the net themselves in order to get back in the game, the West attacked in numbers after the break only to be caught short at the back as Queensland added another four goals to their tally. The final margin would have been much greater if not for the heroics of Renee Forth between the posts for Western Australia.

Western Australia rebounded on Monday afternoon by putting five goals without reply past the Australia Capital Territory. Nerves were settled in the west camp on 12 minutes as Carys Hawkins put away the day's first goal. Hawkins doubled the lead only for Helen Bremer to further widen the gap before half-time. The introduction of Lilly Billson had immediate impact as the attacker showed great composure in netting twice to complete the 5-0 win.

Day Three of action saw Western Australia in action twice. The busy day commenced with a 12-0 thrashing of the Northern Territory, the opening goal arriving inside the 1st minute with Carys Hawkins scrambling it over the line to open the floodgates. Brid Dawson ended the day with four goals, Lilly Billson and Jasmina Markovic netted two apiece with Leigh Kelly, Stephanie Grant and Helen Bremer also getting on the scoresheet. The pick of the goals was Grant's scorching drive from 25-metres that found the top corner.

That win was tempered later in the day when West Australia were overpowered by tournament favourite New South Wales 4-0. The girls from the west coast matched their more fancied opponent for much of the first half only to concede twice in the lead-up to half time. After the break the two sides tussled for control before New South Wales struck with two more goals in quick succession to kill of their opponent's hopes to taking a point from the game.

With two games remaining West Australia were still in with a chance of taking out the silver medal, but they'd need to take maximum points from both games in order to finish in second place. Unfortunately that dream came to a crashing halt as South Australia ran out victors by 2-1 on Thursday. A goal down at the break, Brid Dawson put the sides on level terms early in the second half by heading in a superb cross from Ciara Conway. But Western Australia then took their foot off the gas and conceded a soft goal from by not applying a tackle to cost them the game.

The week ended with a showdown again and it was Victoria who showed the greater composure to take an early lead. Midway through the first half Ciara Conway restored parity only for Victoria to gain the upper hand with a second goal right on the stroke of half-time. The west started the new half with increased desire and some good movement of the ball when going forward. But against the run of play Victoria all but sealed victory by making the most of a defensive lapse to net for the third time. Amy Thorpe brought some respectability to the 3-2 scoreline when she converted a free-kick with a cracking shot from 20-metres.


WOMEN'S WRAP (Northern Redbacks vs Balcatta courtesy Balcatta; Subiaco vs Queens Park courtesy Subiaco; East Fremantle vs Kingsley courtesy East Fremantle)

Northern Redbacks are through to the Premier League Grand Final after accounting for Balcatta 2-1 in the Women's Soccer WA play-offs. Balcatta were the first to get on the scoresheet after 10 minutes as Elisa D'Ovidio's perfect cross was put away by Kylie Chatto. The Redbacks came back strongly but were unable to break down the opponents defence to go into the break a goal behind. It was more of the same in the second half with the Redbacks pressure finally rewarded with an equalising goal through Collette McCallum. Balcatta could have regain the lead from the penalty spot but Ashley Kane's effort was saved by goalkeeper Ashley Bennett. The deciding goal arrived five minutes into extra-time when a speculative shot from McCallum cleared Bennett and came to nestle in the net.

Subiaco went down 2-0 to Queens Park in howling wind and driving rains. The opening half was fiercely contested with neither side giving an inch and pushing forward endlessly in search of the games first goal. The conditions remained abysmal upon the restart which had Queens Park firing on all cylinders. A swift counter attacking move ten minutes into the period resulted in the visitors gaining the lead after the Subiaco 'keeper lost her footing on a slippery surface. The match was ended as a contest shortly after when a Queens Park player bundled the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble despite what appeared a clear foul on the opposing 'keeper. Queens Park face Balcatta next weekend for the right to play Northern Redbacks in the season finale.

An understrength East Fremantle defeated Kingsley 4-1 at Chichester Park. Although able to field only ten players due to the large number of injuries within the squad, the port side were competitive from the opening kick and hit the front through Jasmina Markovic whose low shot flew past the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner. Recent recruit Kylie Woodhouse then scored twice as East Fremantle threatened to completely run away with the game. Kingsley were able to reduce the margin only for East Fremantle to find the net for a fourth and final time.

Noranda ended the First Division season by being held to a 2-2 draw by University of WA. The northern suburbs side finished the campaign undefeated and on top of the table by a five-point margin from Murdoch University who accounted for Subiaco by 3-1 at Rosalie Park. Swan I.C. claimed third on the final standing after leapfrogging over Beckenham Angels who they defeated 3-2. In other weekend action, Rockingham City triumphed over Cockburn City 2-1, and Northern Redbacks C collected the 3-0 'bye win'.



UWA returned to winning ways with a 3-2 away win at Spearwood Dalmatinac in the WAASSA Autostrada Premier Division fixture on Sunday. Spearwood started with an early chance when a near post corner was almost turned in but UWA's Shin Kuruma blocked the effort well. UWA then took the lead after 11 minutes when a throw was headed on by David Berg to Tony Odundo and he in turn headed the ball over the keeper's head to make it 1-0. UWA kept up the pressure and a superb pass by Paul Dimmock was made to Tony Odundo's head and unfortunately for UWA the header hit the bar with the goalkeeper beaten and the ball was cleared to safety. At the other end Spearwood's Dave Palin had a speculative shot from well outside the penalty box which skidded on the wet surface and went through the legs of UWA keeper Josh Davenport to make it 1-1. UWA were awarded a penalty after 31 minutes when David Berg was fouled from behind and Bryn Griffiths stepped up to the spot and made it 2-1 to UWA. After 20 minutes in the second half Max Percy had a free kick acrobatically turned over the crossbar by Spearwood goalkeeper S.Forzatti. Then after 38 minutes somewhat against the run of play a good break by Spearwood down the right flank saw the ball crossed to the far post and a late running Spearwood player beat three UWA players to the ball and scored with a fine effort off the inside of the right post to make it 2-2. UWA hit back immediately when a throw was headed on by Robert Benkovic and the ball fell to Paul Dimmock who drove the ball home to make it 3-2 to UWA and seal the victory. The win moves UWA up to fifth spot on the ladder. UWA Reserves also defeated Spearwood Dalmatinac 3-1. Coach Kevin Burton said, "Games against Spearwood are always tough physical affairs and despite allowing Spearwood back into the game we came away with 3 deserved points."

Shamrock Rovers became WAASSA Premier Division Champions on Sunday at Harold Rossiter Reserve against Kwinana United after a long seven year wait. Shamrock took an early lead after seven minutes when a lovely cross from Dylan Browne found Wayne Brooks and with his left foot smacked a volley into the bottom corner from 18 yards. A further 15 minutes elapsed when John McCarthy set off on a jinking run skipping past three challenges before laying the back to Mark Kelly who smashed the ball in from 10 yards. With ten minutes to go in the half Kwinana got a goal back with a great volley from Andrew Drury. The game was wrapped up in the second half when Captain for the day Donal O'Brien shot from fully 30 yards into the bottom corner in his last game for the club before returning to Ireland. The game ended in sour note when Shamrock's Mark Kelly was taken to hospital after a clash of heads which required fifteen stitches. As the final whistle blew mass celebrations began and it was the start of a long night of partying for the hoops and their supporters. The Reserves wrapped up the title after an 8-0 win with goals from Sean White (3), Jamie Silsby (2), Matt Webb (2) and Glen Brooks. Coach Nik Silsby said after the game "I am proud of every single player in both squads. To win both leagues is a major achievement but to win with four games to go and be 17 points clear after dropping only five points is simply outstanding. We are a good footballing side and despite our critics have had an unbelievable season. Major Credit is also due to the reserves team coach, Christy Lawless and Assistant Watty Young. I would also like to thank Donal O' Brien in his short time with the club. He has been an inspiration to his team mates and myself and lifted us to another level."

In other games, former WAASSA champions Fremantle United have been relegated to the First Division after they could only manage a 1-1 draw to CN Canning International. Forrestfield United are now 1 point clear of the relegation zone following their 1-1 result to second placed Stirling Panthers. Murdoch University beat Perth Azzurri 2-0 to stay in the top four, while Colo Colo were too good for Hamersley Rovers winning by 2 goals to 1.



Iraq scored the goal of the tournament to eliminate the Australia Men's team from the Athens Olympic Games. On the balance of play the Olyroo's should have taken out the game but it wasn't to be as several clear cut opportunities were missed. Australia's best chance of the opening half came via Anthony Danze who forced a crucial low save from goalkeeper Sabri Nour with his far post header. In the minutes later followed John Aloisi and Shane Cansdell-Sherriff also came close to giving their side the lead with headers that caused concern to the Iraqi defence. For the greater part Iraq were forced to shoot from distance with Eugene Galekovic seldomly threatened in the Australian goal. Some well struck free-kicks provided their best avenue to goal although Salih Sadir and Hawar Mulla Mohammed rarely looked like getting the ball past Galekovic.

The second half was three minutes old when Anthony Danze poked a loose ball over the line after Nour brilliantly denied Alex Brosque but the Australian goal was rightly disallowed for offside. The games deciding goal arrived on 63 minutes when Mohammed Emad scored from a spectacular bicycle kick following a header from the edge of the box by midfielder Karim Mahdi. Australia responded within minutes through Luke Wilkshire whose stunning drive from 30-metres crashed into the crossbar with the 'keeper beaten. Iraq should have locked up the match in the 74th minute but Farhan Razzaq was denied in a one-on-one with Galekovic after he'd skinned Adrian Madaschi. Ryan Griffiths should have found the target late on but failed to convert with an open goal in front of him as Australia campaign came to a close. Madaschi saw out the full game, Danze was replaced after 77 minutes while Brad Jones and David Tarka were unused substitutes.


PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND NINETEEN (Western Knights vs Bassendean Caledonian courtesy Western Knights; Cockburn City vs E.C.U. Joondalup by Lennie Bavich; Swan I.C. vs Inglewood United by Peter Simcox; Stirling Lions vs Sorrento by Elliott Leonard)

Western Knights continued their excellent home form by hitting three goals without reply against Bassendean Caledonian in picturesque conditions at Nash Field. Although missing four regulars through injury and suspension, the Knights welcomed back star striker Stuart Montgomery from a seven week absence due to a leg injury. The opening half proved a constant frustration for the home team who were held at bay by an aggressive and defence-minded Caledonian line-up that appeared to be playing for a draw. The Knights looked more than a little apprehensive as they headed to the changerooms at the end of a dour half in which they produced few genuine chances on goal. The second half was moments old when Montgomery's left-foot connected sweetly with the ball which flew into the bottom corner of the net to give the hosts a welcome lead. The goal lifted the Knights who now began to knock the ball around with confidence and opening up the opposing defence. Caledonian on the other hand were getting frustrated as was evidenced by Peter Vukmirovic's dismissal for a second bookable offence after 68 minutes. Opportunities were beckoning for the Knights and it was Carl Medica who doubled their advantage on 70th minutes. The goal of the day came three minutes later when teenage sensation Andrija Jukic evaded three tackles before sending a blistering shot past the goalkeeper from outside the 18-yard box. Chances continued to flow for the home team and Josh Kamasz came close to upstaging Jukic with a rasping volley which flew narrowly over the crossbar. The win puts the Knights six points clear at the top of the standings and on course for the championship with three games remaining. It's a much different story for Caledonian who have been cut five points adrift at the foot of the table and now look set to end the season in last place.

Cockburn City remain an outside of catching the Knights after fending off E.C.U. Joondalup 3-1 at Dalmatinac Park. With just 3 minutes elapsed the home side gained the upper hand after John Mirco and goalkeeper Peter Stewart competed for a high ball which fell to Peter Petkovich who swept it into the back of the net from 15-metres. Jeff Cargill was at his sharpest to turn away a good shot on the quarter hour, but the Cockburn custodian was less successful a minute later when Andy Brown's strike on goal looped into the net via the leg of a defender to level the score. Joondalup were denied a second goal in the minutes leading into the break as Garin Collins goalbound shot from 12-metres slammed into the back of teammate Andy Brown. The visitors continued to force the pace at the start of the second half with Cockburn's defensive combination of Dusan Macura, Dean Wallace and Liam Lilly forced into conceding a string of corners. Having soaked up the pressure, Cockburn began to carve out some promising moves and on 73 minutes regained the lead, John Mirco playing a neat one-two with Antonio Naglieri wide on the left before unleashing a thunder bolt from 20-metres which found the far corner of the net. Six minutes later the hosts could have wrapped up the game when awarded a penalty for a foul on Scott Miller but Stewart brilliantly saved John Mirco's spot kick to keep his side in the hunt. But the game was put beyond Joondalup's reach a minute from the end when substitute Mileta Miletic darted down the right flank to cross to Simon Jonas who expertly held of a defender and sent a low shot past the 'keeper from 15-metres.

Inglewood United went home from the Swan Valley with all three points courtesy of a 4-2 triumph over Swan I.C. The visitors settled the better and called Corey Hugo into action on a number of occasions, the Swan custodian pushing away an early strike from Greg Sharland then hastily back-tracking to keep out Bobby Despotovski's chip from 16-metres. It was against the run that Swans gained the lead on 15 minutes when Damian Scali's free-kick was flicked on by Damien Todorovic and with Inglewood at sea in defence David Foster knocked it in from close-range. Within two minutes the visitors had replied as Despotovski played in Michael Bazsynski who finished by placing the ball beyond Hugo. Inglewood continued to go on the attack with Shaun Kilkelly, Despotovski and Sharland each going close to added to their teams tally. Six minutes from half-time the visitors dominance paid off by turning the ball over in midfield and Kilkelly send a delightful pass to Despotovski who made no mistake. But the teams went into the break on level terms after Renato Rechichi's cross from the left was moved on by Todorovic and Miki Vujacic sent it to the right of goalkeeper Oliver Taseski. Swan came close to going back in front early in the second half via a Miki Vujacic free-kick which curled past the defensive wall and inches the wrong side of the post. Inglewood were having none of it though and on 54 minutes Scott Campbell's free-kick went to feet and in the ensuing scramble Despotovski bagged his second of the day. Campbell then shot wide after being set-up by Despotovski who shortly after was denied at close-range by Hugo. But it was only a matter of time before Inglewood sealed the win and Jason Colli combined with Kilkelly whose inch-perfect cross was headed in by Despotovski to complete his second hat-trick in as many weeks.

Stirling Lions dream of a top five finish were dealt a massive blow when they went down 1-3 on home soil to Sorrento. The hosts were simply no match for Sorrento whose dominance proved why consistency is all so important during the latter part of the season. The first half saw the Gulls seize the early initial with some good team work and distribution only to for Vince Matassa to deny them of the lead after making good saves from Brad Hassell and Thomas Straker. With 20 minutes gone Sorrento finally found a way through as Todd Harnwell delivered a pin point ball in to Straker who converted from close-range. In the 35th minute the margin was increased as some good movement down the right ended with Glen Thomas crossing to Hassell who netted from 10-metres. A long-range free-kick from Nick Ward that sailed just over the crossbar was the closest the Lions came to scoring in the first half. Sorrento went looking to kill of the game after the interval as Harnwell and Hassell combined with the latter wrong-footing Matassa only to have his shot from a tight angle hit the post. With 65 minutes gone Lions super sub Dennis McRoberts won his team a penalty when brought down by Danny Hill, and from the spot Jake Harman sent Phil Straker the wrong way to reduce the deficit. It seemed that the Lions have edged themselves back into the match but just two minutes later Sorrento restored their two-goal cushion as Jared Love send a tantalising cross in to Thomas who scored from close-range. The three points lift Sorrento to third place on the Premier League table as the Lions slip from the upper reaches for the first time in months.

As the nil-all scoreline suggests, there were few goalscoring opportunities for Bayswater City and Fremantle City at Frank Drago Reserve. Much of the match action took place in the middle of the park with both teams working hard at the back to repel their opponents attacking urges. Through a dominant midfield Fremantle were able to dictate play throughout the first half but could find few holes in a home defence which was underpinned by Wes Mitchell. It came as a surprise then that the game's first genuine opening came the way of Bayswater for whom Michael Kovacevic prised open the defence by finding Ross Barnes whose goalbound shot was deflected wide by a defender. It took until the 37th minute for Fremantle to find a way through with a quick counterattack that saw Kevin Correia transfer possession to Tyrone Fenwick who was unable to make the most of his close-range opportunity. The second half may have seen Bayswater drop off the pace but Fremantle's attempts to take the lead were hampered by some poor passing in their final third. It wasn't until the closing stages that the visitors began to threaten. On 78 minutes Jeff Bright unleashed a vicious shot from 14-metres which rocketed just wide of the target. And shortly after Correia was denied by the sharp reflexes of goalkeeper Gianni Papalia in a one-on-one situation. On the overall balance of play Fremantle were deserving of more than the single point they gained but the port side will be comforted by the knowledge they they've not gone three games without defeat.

Floreat Athena picked up their first home points of the campaign with a 1-0 defeat of Perth S.C. Needing victory to keep their play-off hopes alive, Perth came out firing on all cylinders and choosing to more direct route to goal. But with Athena determined to make amends for last weeks humiliating loss their only chance on goal was a fierce drive from David Micevski which was marginally wide of the target. Athena slowly found their rhythm and looked dangerous with Josip Magdic and Anthony Jones the architects of the best attacks. Their first opportunity came midway through the half when Costa Socratous sent the ball into the dangerzone where Jones headed wide. It was a warning Perth should have heeded as three minutes from the break Peter Coci robbed Dino Djubilic and fed possession to Socratous who whipped the ball to the back post where Jones rose highest to power his header past goalkeeper Alan Mattecucci. Perth enjoyed the lions share of the ball after in the second half as Athena soaked up the pressure and defending stubbornly. Shane Crampton came close to leveling after receiving the ball from Robbie Puca but his shot was deflected wide youngster Julian Madaschi. With Perth pushing forward in numbers they were often caught short on the counter attack and Andreas Oliveira should have doubled Athena's lead when set-up by Coci but the striker scuffed it wide. Midway through the half Vas Vujacic smothered at the feet of David Onoforo, and Puca's shot from distance just cleared the crossbar as Perth worked hard to get back on level terms. Genuine chances on goal were scarce over the closing stages with both teams locking it down defensively by springing the offside trap. Adrian Sutton's header forced a sharp response from Mattecucci just minutes before the referee's final whistle signalled a much needed win for Athena that moves them five points clear of last placed Bassendean Caledonian.


FIRST DIVISION, ROUND TWENTY-ONE (Canning City vs Gosnells City by Phil Unsworth; Ashfield vs Balcatta courtesy Balcatta; Morley Windmills vs Leeming Strikers courtesy Morley Windmills)

Wanneroo City's hopes of catching First Division leader Armadale received a major dent when held 1-1 at home by Mandurah City. The hosts were quick to find their rhythm and could have gone in front early but Scott Bulloch shot narrowly high and John Dixon sent the ball wide not long after. However, it was Mandurah who made the most of their chances and on 24 minutes an unchallenged Jake Loreto headed in from a Jordan Rhodes corner. Wanneroo hit back after 44 minutes as Bulloch's centring pass from the right found Stuart Collins who rammed the ball past goalkeeper Michael Green. Mandurah's Neil Connor was lucky to stay in the park for a terrible tackle from behind on Brian Robertson who had to be stretchered from the field. Play was evenly distributed in a tense second half affair that saw Bulloch denied by a great save from Green, while Christian Pascherwitz and Jordan Rhodes went close to nudging Mandurah in front. With the final whistle looming Wanneroo threw everything forward but couldn't find a way through as Green again thwarted Bulloch and Dixon's lob over the 'keeper was cleared off the line by Dean Rodgers. Mandurah came close to stealing the points in stoppage time when Rhodes blazed past a static defence only to balloon his shot high.

Stirling Suns were outplayed on home soil by a rampant South West Phoenix side who ran out winners by 8-2. Phoenix were quick to assert their authority over play but it took until the 35th minute for them to break through via Steve Suttie, and five minutes later Gary Mayers twisted and turned his way past the defence to double the margin. The Suns reeled in the gap early in the second half through Bobby Risteski, but further goals from Mayers and Suttie took the score to four-one after 53 minutes. David Tanevski lead a Suns revival with two goals to set up a tense finish to the day. But Phoenix were having none of it and four minutes from the end Suttie completed his hat-trick to kill off the hosts chances. The visitors then rammed home their advantage as Patrick Roberts hit the target twice in rapid succession, and the attacker could have taken his haul to three had he make more of an open goal in stoppage time. Phoenix move up the table into outright third as a result of the win but still trail second placed Wanneroo City by eight points.

Canning City took out the points by a 3-1 scoreline when Gosnells City visited Willetton Sports Club. Gosnells goalkeeper Jason Mehnert was called into action inside the opening minute to push a header from Alex Seed wide of the target. Seven minutes later Gosnells were caught square at the back and Daniel Trevisiol took full advantage by racing on to a lofted pass from Mick Van Dongen which he slotted past the 'keeper. The visitors waited just five minutes before getting back on level terms through Jonathon Cook who forced the ball over the line at the far post following a cross from Adam Bremner. Robby Meyer denied Bremner a few minutes later after Canning's defence failed to deal the danger, while just before the break and down the opposite end David Mahon hit the upright from the top of the box. Five minutes into the second half Canning regained their lead as a loose ball fell to Seed who drilled into the roof of the net from some 25-metres. From there Canning took control, however, it wasn't until the final minute of regulation time that they secured victory with a spectacular scissor kick by Jix Loong which looped over Mehnert from a very tight angle. The win enabled Canning to leapfrog over Gosnells into fifth place.

An excellent second half performance by Balcatta allowed them to score a 3-0 away win over Ashfield. The visitors struggled in a scrappy opening period and could well have gone in at half-time a goal or two down if a wonderful strike by Alex Crookes hadn't been tipped over the bar by Colin Lees who also pushed away a powerful shot from Wayne Culverwell. Some tactical changes during the break refreshed the Balcatta line-up and immediately upon the resumption of play they put Ashfield under immense pressure at the back. With Joe Cinquina running the show from midfield the visitors were able to take the lead early in the half through Adrian Zonato. The gap was doubled when Ashfield defender Joe Kendall had the misfortune of turning the ball past his own goalkeeper. The hard-working Danny Carlino put the icing on Balcatta's cake by scoring their third and final goal close to the final whistle. Ashfield should have got one back but Matt Pochroj again failed in what looked a easy effort. The win, Balcatta's fifth in six outings, elevates the club to seventh on the First Division table and just four points behind third-placed South West Phoenix.

A Rydeen Botha hat-trick gave Morley Windmills a surprise 3-2 win over Leeming Strikers at Wotton Reserve. Coming off successive losses, Windmills were looking to get things back on track with a positive showing on home soil. The hosts started well and on 12 minutes Willy Lyall was played through only to be halted in his tracks by an incorrect offside call from the line. Slowly the visitors settled into a rhythm but could find no way past goalkeeper Matt Darling who was in fine form. The best chance came just before the interval when on offside call went in the Strikers favour but Lucas Whitehouse was unable to capitalise with only the 'keeper to beat. Five minutes into the second half substitute Simon Verersaso slotted the ball to Dale Wingell who put the Strikers one-nil up. That lead last all of the three minutes before Botha equalised by beating the 'keeper from a tight angle. Windmills gained the upper hand soon after as Botha found the target for a second time. Determined to get points out of the game, the Strikers hit back with fifteen minutes to go via Leroy Goodwin. But Windmills desire was the greater and in the 87th minute Ryan Fitzgerald set-up Botha who completed his haul and gave the home team maximum points.

At Coker Park, Queens Park swept aside the visiting Kingsway Olympic by a 4-1 scoreline. Adrian McBride, Paul Dundo, Gary Abraham and Ray Rose found the net for the hosts with Nigel Comito netting Olympic's sole response. Dianella White Eagles were held 1-1 at home by a focused Rockingham City line-up. Dragan Njegic put Dianella ahead on the half hour only to have Glen Hallums level the score nineteen minutes from full-time. On Sunday Ashfield and Armadale played out a scoreless draw in a match brought forward from Round Thirty.



The Australian Women's Olympic team have bowed out of the Athens Games by going down 1-2 to world number four Sweden in the quarter-finals at Panthessaliko Stadium. It wasn't for a want of trying though as the Matildas came home with a head of steam to almost sent the tie into extra-time. Sweden dominated possession throughout the opening half with thier first goal arriving on 25 minutes when Hanna Ljungberg pounced on a sloppy pass and made her way between two defenders before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Cassandra Kell from 16-metres. Five minutes later the margin was doubled as Kristin Bengtsson's deep corner was headed across the face of goal by Ljunberg and Sara Larsson looped it over Kell. Lisa De Vanna was brought into the fray in the 36th minute and immediately her presence ignited a spark into the Australian attack as Heather Garriock's first time effort flew over the crossbar.

Australia were fired up to get themselves back in the contest upon resumption of play with Sarah Walsh and De Vanna both causing headaches for the Swedish backline. De Vanna and Garricok were thwarted by 'keeper Caroline Joensson and Cheryl Salisbury's header was deflected over. Not to be outdone, Ljungberg got in behind the Australian defence in the 65th minute but her attempt flew wide of the target. Eleven minutes from full-time the Matilda's pulled a goal back through De Vanna who out-paced a defender to the ball before placing it low past the 'keeper. This reignited Australia's hopes of going through to the round of four but some stubborn defending blocked shots by Selin Kuralay and Garriock while Walsh headed wide. De Vanna came on in the 36th minute for the Matilda's and netted after 79 minutes, and fellow West Australian Tal Karp was an unused substitute for the fourth successive match.



Bassendean Caledonian look set to be relegated after going down 0-3 to Premier League leader Western Knights in picturesque conditions at Nash Field. Compounding the loss was Floreat Athena's 1-0 win over Perth S.C. which moves them five points clear of the drop zone. Cockburn City accounted for E.C.U. Joondalup 3-1 to keep the pressure on the Knights. Sorrento moved to third with a 3-1 away defeat of Stirling Lions, and Bobby Despotovski's second halt-trick in as many weeks allowed Inglewood United to beat Swan I.C. 4-2. It ended scoreless at Frank Drago Reserve between Bayswater City and Fremantle City.

Wanneroo City were held to a 1-1 draw by Mandurah City in a physical First Division match in the northern suburbs. South West Phoenix regained third place on the table with an 8-2 away thrashing of Stirling Suns. Canning City outclassed Gosnells City by 3-1, and Ashfield proved little match for Balcatta who took out the points 3-0. In the upset of the round, Morley Windmills ended Leeming Strikers' undefeated run by triumphing 3-2 at Wotton Reserve. In other games Queens Park dumped Kingsway Olympic 4-1, and Dianella White Eagles played out a 1-1 draw with Rockingham City. On Sunday, Ashfield held league leaders Armadale to a 0-0 draw at Ashfield Reserve.



The pick of this weekend’s Premier League action takes place at Dalmatinac Park where second-placed Cockburn City come up against third-placed E.C.U. Joondalup. Running that match a close second is Stirling Lions home fixture with Sorrento. Leader Western Knights are expected to claim the points at home over Bassendean Caledonian, while inner city rivals Floreat Athena and Perth S.C. clash at Litis Stadium. Swan I.C. have dropped off the pace of late and on Saturday meet an Inglewood United side looking to add some consistency to their game in the lead-up to the finals. Coming off two consecutive wins Fremantle City are expected to take the points home from Bayswater City.

Wanneroo City have home ground advantage over Mandurah City in the twenty-first round of First Division fixtures. South West Phoenix are tipped widely to score a big win at Stirling Suns, while Leeming Strikers are away at Morley Windmills. There’ll be little between Canning City and Gosnells City when they clash at Willetton Sports Club. Queens Park welcome Kingsway Olympic to Coker Park, and Dianella White Eagles are home to a fast improving Rockingham City. Ashfield are down on luck at the moment and this weekend have a difficult home date with Balcatta. On Sunday First Division leader Armadale take on Ashfield in a match brought forward from the end of the season due to ground unavailability.



With four games remaining in the Premier League season over half a dozen players are in contention for the Golden Boot as the competition's leading goalscorer. Level on 12 goals are David Foster (Swan I.C.) and Carl Medica (Western Knights) who were both held scoreless on the weekend. Cockburn City playmaker Antonio Naglieri scored the winner against Bassendean Caledonian on Saturday to move to second on 11 goals, one more than Stuart Montgomery (Knights) who has missed the past few weeks through injury. Five players are gathered on 9 goals, namely E.C.U. Joondalup's makeshift striker Andy Brown, Kevin Corriera (Fremantle City), John Mirco (Cockburn), Andreas Oliveira (Floreat Athena) and Inglewood United's Bobby Despotovski. With 8 goals are Peter Coci (Athena), who missed the opening part of the season through injury, and Peter Petkovich (Cockburn).

It's a much different story in the Reserve and Under-18 competitions where the leading goalscorer awards are pretty much sewn up. Perth S.C. striker Nikita Ruravytsya has scored at a rate of more than a goal a game this year and holds a massive lead over his nearest rival. Ruravytsya's 23 goals is sure to earn him the Reserves award with Simon El Chami (Cockburn City) next on 10 goals. The trio of Joshua Kamasz (Western Knights), David Houston (Sorrento) and Luke Myburg (Fremantle City) are next with 9 goals each. E.C.U. Joondalup's Jonathan Greenwood has 8 goals to his name which is one more than Peter Petkov (Inglewood United), Mileta Miletic (Cockburn) and Matt Ullbricht (Swan I.C.). With 6 goals for the season to date are Jerome Vallet (Stirling Lions), Matthew Novatsis (Floreat Athena), Roberto Colalillo (Cockburn) and Scott Cooper (Bassendean Caledonian).

Leading the way in the Under-18 stakes is Michael Johnson who clearly enjoying his first season with northern suburbs outfit Sorrento. Johnson has found the back of the net 19 times so far during the winter months and holds a big lead over Kevin Carmona (E.C.U. Joondalup) who currently has 12 goals. In joint third place with 10 goals a piece are Chris Socratous (Perth S.C.) and E.C.U. Joondalup teammates Rhys Williams and John Aitken. Cockburn City striker Dragan Milankovic is next on 9 goals. Six players - Radivoje Pelemis (Swan I.C.), Ben Howe (Fremantle City), Jason Chatzopoulos (Floreat Athena), Sam Coolican (Joondalup), David Araya (Cockburn) and Luke O'Neill (Bayswater City) - are grouped on 8 goals.



The West Australian Masters team are heading to Queensland’s Gold Coast in November and are looking to strengthen their squad. The State over-35 team are set to compete the Pan Pacific Masters Games, an annual event which alternates between the Gold Coast and the Californian city of Sacramento, with this years tournament running eleven days commencing 4th November. The cost to be part of the State side is in the vicinity of $1,150 which includes flights, accommodation, registration fee’s and apparel. Players interested in representing West Australia at the Pan Pacific Masters Games are asked to contact either Charlie (ph 043 3171 057) or Stuart Currie (ph 041 8942 443).



Adrian Madaschi is making the most of his Olympic experience. The 22 year-old defender has played every minute of Australia's three group stage games and will provide the cornerstone of the Olyroo's defence in Saturday's quarter-final showdown with Iraq. "I am enjoying every minute here and I think against Argentina we showed we can mix it in any company," commented the tall defender. "Playing against a guy like (Kily) Gonzalez, who is playing Champions League football and is a star at Inter is helping my game enormously. I can only learn by playing against players of that calibre and from playing with guys like Craig Moore. The experience is priceless - I didn't know him even though we both play in Glasgow. I first really met him at the end of the season when we were playing Oceania World Cup qualifiers and to play with him is a big learning experience. I'm loving it."

Madaschi says he and his Olyroo teammates have drawn inspiration from Australia's other Olympic athletes. "I look at guys like Ian Thorpe and I am knocked out by how well he has done - he's the same age as me, yet he's won all these gold medals. I'm obviously in a different sport but for these two weeks my ambition is the same as his - to go home with an Olympic gold medal. I know it won't be easy but we have a chance. We are here to achieve the same things that Thorpe is and having reached the last eight, nobody can count us out. We are now going back to Crete for the quarter final. Obviously, we'd love to come back to Athens for the semi-final and experience more of the Olympic atmosphere. We honestly believe we can leave with a medal, on our day we can compete with any team."



The Matilda's have what it takes to progress to the medal round of the Athens Olympic Games according to their Fremantle-born striker Lisa De Vanna. "We are focused and if we do our jobs then we can do anything," said the 19-year old following Australia's historic draw with world number two the United States of America. The Australian Women's Olympic team meet Sweden, runners-up at last years Women's World Cup, on Friday for a place in the last four of the tournament. Some eye-catching performances off the bench by De Vanna in the Matilda's three group stage games has given coach Adrian Santrac plenty to think about in the lead-up to the quarter-final fixture. "I will play the best I can, I am here to do a job and I play from the heart," the lively attacker commented.



Damon Atthowe, coach of the West Australian Schoolboys, heaped praise on his squad following their strong performance at the Australian Secondary Schools Soccer Championships in Adelaide last week. The side took out the silver medal at the week long event to become the state's most successful ever Schoolboys team. "This is a remarkable achievement," commented Atthowe this week. "Our previous best performance at the nationals was third place which we've achieved three times. So to come second is a tribute to the talent that we have in this state and goes to show what we as a state are capable of."

"The boys dedication, commitment and passion was a major contributing factor to our placing," the coach added. "Their attitude towards pre-game preparation and post-match recovery enabled us to maintain our edge throughout the tournament. They worked for each other to shut down opposition teams with the boys putting themselves second to the teams interests. It was this total commitment to the team that really stood out for me over the week. We also played a very mature game tactically which enabled us to create opportunities and deny the opposition the same chances."

"As in previous years, the standard of the other teams was very high," said Atthowe. "The boys who were in last years State Under-16 squad commented on the step-up in competition which is to be expected with National Youth Soccer League players and Australian Under-17 internationals competing at these championships. We held and matched New South Wales - who won the tournament - for 35 minutes and in fact were the only team to get within two goals of them. When you consider that the majority of their squad train together in Institute programs and tour together two or three other times during the year this is a remarkable result for us."

"If we are to better this result in any age group in the future we need to instigate a similar system to that in New South Wales where players are released from club duty for Institute and State training," Atthowe added. "The clubs need to recognise their State players and provide them with extra support and not punish them for playing for WA. I think that as a sport need to look at the big picture more often, and School Sport needs to be seen as a partner rather than as a competitor for the players time. If we are to further develop our young players then the need also exists to re-establish an Institute program or programs in West Australia."



Richard Garcia made his return from a serious knee injury by helping West Ham United's Reserves to their first win of the new English season. The 22-year old attacker played the opening 65 minutes for the Hammers second string when they defeated Norwich City 2-1 at Carrow Road this evening. The match was Garcia's first competitive outing since tearing cartilage while training with the Australian Olympic team in January.



Bassendean Caledonian and Floreat Athena are locked in a battle to avoid relegation with just four games remaining in the home-and-away season. At the completion of Saturday's round it was Caledonian that were stumping up the table with Athena just two points ahead. Caledonian took the lead against Cockburn City but were unable to hold as they went down 1-2 on home soil. And Athena's goal difference suffered enormously when they crashed 0-8 at Inglewood United. Fremantle City, although mathematically still in the relegation equation, now look likely to retain their top flight status after registering their second win in as many weeks.

Of the two clubs it's Bassendean Caledonian that have the more difficult final month of fixtures. This weekend they're on the road to title favourite Western Knights who'll be smarting from a shock loss last Saturday. This is followed by a difficult home clash with a Perth S.C. side striving hard to make the play-offs. However, it'll most likely be on the afternoon of Saturday 4th September that Caledonian's fate will be decided when they take on Athena at Litis Stadium. Their 2004 campaign come to a close the next weekend with a home date against E.C.U. Joondalup.

Floreat Athena play three of their last four games on home soil, although looking at their record at Litis Stadium this year that doesn't mean a great deal. It's difficult to see them taking anything away from Perth S.C. this Saturday despite the home ground 'advantage'. But the following week they stand a good chance of picking up a point or three by visiting Swan I.C. Next up is the all-important home meeting with Caledonian which is likely to determined in which division each club spends next season. Athena end their season on home soil against a Bayswater City side that have really struggled over the second half of the year.



The Olyroo's have made the last eight of the Olympic games for the first time since 1992 despite going down 0-1 to Argentina in their final group stage match. The only goal of an engaging match arrived after 9 minutes when a loose ball on the edge of the box came the way of Andres D'Alessandro whose shot skimmed past the despairing dive of Eugene Galekovic and inside the far post. Although Argentina domainated possession they were unable to kill the game off with a second goal thanks largely to some determined defending from their opponent. Australia also created numerous openings with their best effort coming from Jade North whose long-range effort after 17 minutes was narrowly wide.

Having spend much of the first half on the defensive, the Olyroos opened the game up after the break but were unable to find a passage to goal. Argentina continued to push forward in numbers with Carlos Tevez the lynchpin in the centre of the park. Late in the game Brett Holman almost equalised with a solid shot that forced Argentina goalkeeper German Lux into a fine low save. While Australia are delighted to progress, their enthusiasm will be tempered by the fact they'll be missing the influential trio of Craig Moore, Tim Cahill and Ahmed Elrich through suspension for their knock-out stage clash with Iraq. Defender Adrian Madaschi played a full game and Anthony Danze came on after 73 minutes for Australia, while David Tarka and Brad Jones were unused substitutes.



Midfielder Joanne Peters fired the Matilda's into the last eight of the Athens Olympic Games by scoring a late equalise against the United States at the Kaftanzoglio Stadium in Greece. The 1-1 draw is the first time Australia have taken a point off the United States who've emerged victorious in each of the sixteen previous meetings between the two nations. America opened the scoring in the 19th minute when Julie Foudy played a delicate chip into the area which Kristine Lilly volleyed into the roof of the net from 6-metres. Undeterred by the goal, Australia remained positive as shots from Dianne Alagich and Sally Shipard were blocked by the defence. The Americans came close just before the break with Mia Hamm threading through to Cindy Parlow only to have Cheryl Salisbury block her effort.

Chances came at both ends of the field in the second half with Foudy heading just wide and Peters' volley hit straight at the 'keeper. As in previous games, Lisa De Vanna added life to the Australian attack when she came off the bench as Shipard, De Vanna and Gill Foster went close in an amazing four-minute period. With eight minutes to go Peters secured Australia a draw by climbing above the defence to loop a header into the top corner from Heather Garriock's cross. Australia then defended with renewed vigour to protect their point at all costs and had to endure an added three minutes of stoppage time. De Vanna was introduced in the 62nd minute, while Tal Karp watched the entire game from the bench. Australia will meet Sweden, ranked fourth in the world, in their first ever Olympic Games quarter-final match on Friday.



Following a short trial with the club, Clint Davies has signed a one-year contract with English side Bristol City. The 21-year old, who spent three seasons honing his skills in Birmingham City's academy, will put pressure on first choice goalkeeper Steve Phillips. Davies made his debut for the City Reserves in today's Pontin's Holidays Combination game at Swindon Town.



No less than eight West Australian's were awarded national honours at the completion of the Australian Secondary Schools Soccer Championships in Adelaide last week. Northern Redbacks attacker Ciara Conway has been selected in the Australian Schoolgirls squad to tour the United Kingdom in December of this year. In addition East Fremantle midfielder Laura Turnbull and Carys Hawkins of the Redbacks were included in the shadow squad for the Australian Schoolgirls. Five members of the State Schoolboys side which claimed the silver medal were named in the Australian Schoolboys shadow squad. The successful quintet were Carlo Cardozo (Cockburn City), goalkeeper Alex Dunn (Floreat Athena), Scott Patterson (E.C.U. Joondalup) and Forrestfield United pair Jarrod Smith and Wesley Ryder.



Perth Glory will look interstate and overseas in a bid to maintain its status as Australia's number team. The club's back-to-back championship winning squad has fragmented since the national league came to a close in May. With the Australian Soccer Association last week confirming a new replacement competition would commence next August, and which will itself by preceded by two-week competition in May, Glory are now starting to consider their playing options.

Although many of Glory's players have headed overseas, chief executive officer Jeff Dennis is confident they can be lured back. "Many of them have gone on short-term arrangements because they needed to, and we support them," Dennis said. "They will be the first players that we'll be trying to get back ... we are hopeful most of them will return." Locally produced Glory trio Adrian Caceras, Nick Mrdja and Jason Petkovic have picked up deals in England, Sweden and Turkey respectively while Mark Byrnes (Finland), Wayne Srhoj (Romania) Matt Bingley and Tom Pondeljak (Malaysia) have also moved abroad to further their careers.

According to Dennis, Glory will wait until after next month's Australian Soccer Association board meeting before casting its recruiting net to the eastern states and overseas. "We will be looking far and wide to attract the strongest squad possible," he commented. "It would be improper to begin making offers to players now when we don't know what the salary cap will be. There's no question there will be one (salary cap). Hopefully we'll find out what that is shortly after September 29." Glory are virtually guaranteed to be one of the successful bidders who'll make up the new eight-team Australian Premier League.


WOMEN'S WRAP (Northern Redbacks vs Balcatta courtesy Northern Redbacks; Cockburn City vs Subiaco courtesy Subiaco; Northern Redbacks vs Murdoch University courtesy Murdoch University)

Northern Redbacks secured their second Women's Soccer WA Premier League title in as many years by beating nearest rival Balcatta 3-0 in the penultimate game of the season. In an entertaining match that produced good opening at both ends of the field, Collette McCallum's perfectly weighted pass provided Ciara Conway with the days opening goal. After the break McCallum doubled her teams lead with a stunning strike from 22-metres which gave the goalkeeper absolutely no chance as it soared into the top corner. 16-year old Justine White completed what was a memorable day for the Redbacks by scoring the sealer late in the second half.

In the first round of Premier League play-offs, Lynwood came from behind to claim an 8-2 victory over a Kingsley side that had eight players also turn out for their reserves earlier in the day. Kingsley started brightly with Shenade Unicomb and Adele Coxal finding the net to give them a two-goal buffer at the break. But Kingsley simply ran out of legs in the second half as Lynwood seized control, Emily Angwin and Lauren Quinlan finding the target to put the sides back on level terms. Angwin went on to completed her hat-trick, Quinlan ended the day with a double with Penny Hoath, Vanessa Sakalidis and an unfortunate own goal completing the scoreline. Queens Park and Subiaco played out a scoreless draw at Coker Park.

In the First Division, Subiaco took the points courtesy of a 3-0 scoreline over Cockburn City. Both goalkeepers were busy from the start and showed great form with some telling saves to keep the opposing forwards at bay. The only goal of the first half came via Camilla Qvist whose sensational left foot drive was beyond the reach of the Cockburn 'keeper at full-stretch. A handball inside the 18-yard box gave Subiaco a penalty which Ying Ong confidently stepped up to blast in Subiaco's second of the day. Bec Reynell helped out goalkeeper Megan Jenyns with some quick-thinking clearances off the line to leave the home team frustrated. Julia Horncastle scored the sealer by sending the ball into the top corner from just outside the penalty box.

Murdoch University scored a 2-0 away win over Northern Redbacks C. The visiting side created a bagful of opportunities in the first half only to be denied the opened by the frame of the goal and some great work by the Redbacks 'keeper. They eventually broke the deadlock with Steph Battista sending a beautiful long-range shot in the net. Murdoch began the second half in similar fashion and were very nearly two goals the better as Petrina Brewer met Jo Steer's corner only for her shot to hit the upright. Opportunities were few and far between for the Redbacks with Helene Aarstad marshalling the Murdoch defence. Murdoch secured the win fifteen minutes from full-time as Steer beat the Redbacks 'keeper following a long ball into attack.

First Division leader Noranda were rarely troubled as they ran out 7-1 victors on home soil against Swan I.C. The win moves Noranda five points clear at the top of the table. Beckenham Angels 3-0 'bye win' moves them into second place, two points ahead of Swan and Murdoch. The result of the match at Dowling Street Reserve between Rockingham City and the University of WA is currently unknown.



Shamrock Rovers are now only one point away from winning their first Championship in seven seasons after beating UWA on Sunday. This result plus the WAASSA's board decision to award the game played recently against Canning International to 2-0 for Shamrock after Canning played two unregistered players leaves them a single point from glory. Shamrock started the game well in the hope of ending UWA's eight match unbeaten run and as early as the sixth minute John McCarthy made a darting run through the centre only for UWA keeper Josh Davenport to make a good save to his left. UWA slowly worked their way into the game and a Robert Benkovic cross found Bryn Griffith's' head but the ball went just past the left hand post. A Marc D'Ascanio cross then fell to Paul Dimmock but his shot was well saved by the outstretched boot of Shamrock keeper Ed Schuller. In the 35th minute David Berg beat Shamrock keeper Ed Schuller in the air but his goal bound header unfortunately hit Robert Benkovic on the back of the head At the other end a Mark Kelly cross was met by John McCarthy but his header wend over the bar. UWA's Bryn Griffiths nearly scored at the near post but Shamrock keeper Ed Schuller was alert and blocked the shot. The second half began at an even pace with both chances creating some half chances. Shamrock were indebted to keeper Ed Schuller who made several good saves. Then after 55 minutes a superb turn and cross from Sean Brooks found the head of 18 year old Dylan Browne and his header smacked against the crossbar only to ricochet against the keepers foot and into the net to give Shamrock a 1-0 lead. The influential Paul Dimmock was finding more space as UWA searched for an equaliser as Shamrock began to give the ball away on countless occaisions but the defence stood firm.

The relieved Shamrock Coach, Nik Silsby, said after the game, "UWA are a good side and it is never easy against them. This is the first time we have won here and it was a very important result for us. We now need one point to win the league, which would be a fitting result in our 20th anniversary year. I am hoping for a big crowd when we take on Kwinana this week but we will be taking nothing for granted as Kwinana are battling for every point. The first thirty minutes we were superb and the quality of passing and movement was outstanding - we then fell into a little bit of a hole but overall we deserved the three points today." UWA coach Kevin Burton said,"We congratulate Shamrock on their excellent season in both grades. I felt given the number of times we got past Shamrock's left full back and the fact that Ed Schuller was forced to make several good saves that we were a little hard done by with the result today but that is soccer." UWA Reserves held Shamrock Rovers who had previously won every game this season to a 2-2 draw.

In Other games, Stirling Panthers remain in second place after their 3-1 win over bottom side Fremantle United. CN Canning International accounted for Kwinana United with the same score-line. Forrestfield United are determined to avoid relegation with a 2-1 win against Perth Azzurri, while Murdoch University thrashed reigning champions Hamersley Rovers 5-1. The result of Spearwood Dalmatinac vs Colo Fixture is currently unknown.



A place in the last eight of the Olympic Games beckons for the Australian Olympic Men's team after crushing Serbia and Montenegro 5-1 at Pankritio Stadium in Crete. Australia went ahead in the 11th minute when an unmarked Tim Cahill headed Alex Brosque's corner into the back of the net. On 25 minutes Serbia and Montenegro were presented with a golden opportunity to equalise but Australian goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic kept out Simon Vukcevic's penalty kick. John Aloisi made it two-nil in injury time by placing his shot between 'keeper Nikola Milojevic and a defender.

Thirteen minutes into the second half Aloisi added to the tally after Adrian Madaschi's header was parried by the 'keeper. Three minutes later Luke Wilkshire's cross was deflected into the path of Ahmad Elrich who gave the 'keeper no chance with his first time shot. Serbia and Montenegro scored a consolation goal through Srdan Radonjic in the 72nd minute. In the closing minutes Elrich's shot trickled through the legs of Milojevic to complete the scoreline. Madaschi played a full game, Anthony Danze came on in the 64th minute while David Tarka and Brad Jones were unused substitutes. The other Group C match saw Argentina defeat Tunisia 2-0.



The Matilda's have all but qualified for the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games after a convincing 1-0 defeat of host nation Greece. It was the first major tournament win for the Australian Women's team who are now in the box seat to advance to the round of eight. Australia took control soon after kick-off, dominating possession but unable to convert it into many clear cut chances on goal, Greece on the other hand relied chiefly on long-range efforts which rarely tested goalkeeper Cassandra Kell. A defensive error in the 27th minute by Konstantina Katsaiti conceded possession to Sarah Walsh whose low cross into the path of Heather Garriock was put away with a minimum of fuss.

Australia continued to dominate after the break but couldn't kill off the game with a second goal. Perth-born striker Lisa De Vanna put the ball in the net after 64th minutes only to be judged offside in a questionable decision. Selin Kuralay went wide with a volley, Cheryl Salisbury missed the mark with a header, and Gill Foster had her shot blocked by a defender as the Matilda's pressed to increase their advantage. Goalkeeper Maria Giatrakis produced good saves to deny Danielle Small, De vanna and Kuralay in the final ten minutes. De Vanna came on at half-time for Rhian Davies, while fellow West Australian Tal Karp was an unused substitute.



Reigning champions Perth S.C. kept their faint final hopes alive with a 2-0 home defeat of Premier Leaue leader Western Knights this afternoon. Cockburn City trimmed the leaders advantage to six points by accounting for Bassendean Caledonian 2-1. E.C.U. Joondalup collected maximum points for the first time in over a month by a 1-0 scoreline against Stirling Lions. Sorrento moved to fourth with a 2-1 home defeat of Bayswater City. Inglewood United, who thrashed Floreat Athena 8-0, make up the top five. Fremantle City eased away from the drop zone by beating Swan I.C. 2-1.

Armadale had little trouble in sweeping aside Morley Windmills 7-1 to stretch their unbeaten run to thirteen games. Seven points behind the First Division leader sit Wanneroo City who triumphed 4-1 over northern neighbour Kingsway Olympic. In the surprise of the round, Mandurah City crashed 0-2 at home to Dianella White Eagles. There were 2-1 wins for Gosnells City and Canning city over Ashfield and Rockingham City respectively. Balcatta controlled the home clash with Stirling Suns to run out winners by 4-1. And Leeming Strikers came from behind to share the points 3-3 with Queens Park.


PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND EIGHTEEN (Perth S.C. vs Western Knights by Mike Hennessey; E.C.U. Joondalup vs Stirling Lions by Don Evans; Sorrento vs Bayswater City by Kerry Slater; Fremantle City vs Swan I.C. by Peter Simcox)

Perth S.C. kept alive their slim chances of a final football by defeating Premier League leader Western Knights 2-0 at Dorrien Gardens. A determined Perth side had a hard struggle initially before running away with the game in the closing stages. Perth were in attack from the start with Shane Crampton breaking through the visiting defence but goalkeeper Tommi Tomich was off his line quickly to smoother. The Knights retaliated through Mark Lee whose cross found Andrija Jukic but his shot came back off the post. Play swung from end to end in the match of the round which provided plenty to keep the small crowd entertained. Crampton was causing problems for the Knights rearguard and again found a way through only to have his shot on goal deflected into the arms of Tomich. Down the opposite end Alan Mattecucci moved sharply to keep out a great free-kick from Daniel Trim. The Knights looked dangerous on the break but Perth's defence was solid and had their opponents measure. Five minutes into the second half David Micevski's cross from the right was met solidly at the far post by Aaron Cole who headed in the games opening goal. Seven minutes later Perth were awarded a free-kick wide on the left which David Micevski played deep and once again it was Cole that rose above the defence to nod in Perth's second. The home side were now well on top and Cole was unlucky not to complete his hat-trick when his deflection from a David Micevski corner flashed just wide of the upright. In an attempt to get back in the game the Knights strung together some promising moves but could find no way past Mattecucci and his defence. By the time of the final fifteen minutes the visitors had run out of steam as Perth keep possession for lengthy periods to run out deserved winners.

A depleted Cockburn City came from behind to take the points over Bassendean Caledonians by 2-1 at Jubilee Reserve. Missing Michael Mirco, Peter Petkovich and Liam Lilly due to suspension as well as injured pair Scott Miller and Dino Pacella, the visitors' depth was put to the test as they attempted keeping pace with table-topping Western Knights. Cockburn were unlucky not to go ahead early on after Jason Dos Santos slipped the ball past goalkeeper Alan Dunlop only for it to come back into play off the inside of the post. Thirteen minutes from the break Graeme Matthews earned the home team a penalty when he was bundled over in the box by Dean Wallace and Peter Kuzet following a great cross from Kevin Griffiths, and the latter made no mistake from the spot in sending Jeff Cargill the wrong way. Jason Van Rooy almost doubled Caledonian's advantage when went past the defence but Cargill was quick off his line to deny his opponent. It took Cockburn seven minutes into the second half to restore parity when Dunlop made an uncharacteristic blunder and was robbed of the ball by Marko Aleksic who was presented with the simple task of stroking the ball into a vacant net. Cockburn took the game by the scruff of the neck and twelve minutes later went ahead as Dunlop was left exposed by his defence and could only manage to take some of the pace off Antonio Naglieri's low shot which crept slowly over the line. Never one to give up, Caledonian worked tirelessly to get back on level terms but were turned away time and time again but a well organised Cockburn rearguard. Caledonian almost snuck an equaliser close to the final whistle when Kevin Griffiths' cross from the left caught the visitors unaware and defender Boza Erakovic headed the ball goalward but was denied an own goal by the quick reflexes of Cargill who somehow turned it around the post.

Stirling Lions were far from disgraced in their narrow 0-1 loss to a determined E.C.U. Joondalup in the northern suburbs. On a slippery, mud splattered pitch there would be no room for 'pretty' football with long balls and tough tackling the order of the day. The Lions made the early running by exerting pressure on the home goal with midfielders Nick Ward, Adam Rains and Derek Cooke all menace the opposing defence. Joondalup soon settled and had an early chance to go ahead through Dale McCulloch whose shot on goal was blocked by a desperate defence. The Lions won a couple of free-kicks in quick succession midway through the period, both of which lead to goalscoring opportunities. The first whizzed past the post via the boot of Ward, while the second was met by the head of an unmarked Muhamed Komaderic who really should have made more of the chance. Joondalup's set piece plays were troubling the visiting goalkeeper Vince Matassa and in the 28th minute an Andy Brown header skimmed the top of the crossbar. It was a sign of things to come as Joondalup attacked almost at will to have Matassa and his defence working overtime. The half time whistle gave the combatants a well earned rest, but upon the resumption of play it was a case of more of the same as neither side was willing to take too many risks on the shifting surface. The games only goal arrived in the 68th minute when Andy Brown rose majestically above the Lions defence to head an in-swinging corner past a diving Matassa. Tom Leeman brought on teenager Dennis McRoberts, whose scored a later winner twice in as many weeks, in the closing stages but it was all to no avail as the home team held on to register their first win in over a month.

Sorrento recovered from the early setback of having a player sent off to defeat Bayswater City 2-1 at Percy Doyle Reserve. With the wind at their backs the Gulls started brightly and should have taken the lead on 4 minutes when Jared Love's shot was parried by goalkeeper Gianni Papalia to Todd Harnwell who with the goal at his mercy somehow scooped it over the crossbar. Six minutes Sorrento were reduced to ten men with the red carding of Daniel Cain for handling Ross Barnes' goalbound shot on the line, and from the resulting penalty Barnes sent Phil Straker the wrong way to put Bayswater ahead. Some tactical and positional changes by coach Trevor Morgan enable Sorrento quickly regain control of the game and with 25 minutes gone they were able to draw level as Harland's effort was blocked by Papalia but Brad Hassell made no mistake with the follow-up. It wasn't long before the home team took the lead with Love converting from the penalty spot after he was brought down by Scottish import Wes Mitchell. Sorrento continued on in the same vein after the interval with Harland playing a neat pass into Glen Thomas whose cracking drive was brilliantly saved by Papalia. Although playing with an extra man, Bayswater were constantly harassed when in possession and rarely threatened as a result. Harnwell and Harland were both presented with opportunities to put the game beyond doubt for the Gulls but neither was able to get the better of Papalia who was rock solid between the posts. The win extended the Gulls unbeaten run to eight games as they climb top fourth place and well in the running for a spot in the finals come September.

Inglewood United did their play-off chances the world of good by trouncing Floreat Athena 8-0 at the National Stadium. The crowd had barely time to settle into their seats when Scott Campbell's corner went to feet and Louis Parkinson lashed the loose ball into the net from close range to put the hosts in front after just 53 seconds. Athena came close to hitting back within minutes through Andreas Oliveira whose brilliant free-kick beat Oliver Taseski only to come back off the crossbar. As the half progressed the visitors slowly grew in stature but with Inglewood quick to shut them down at the back shots on goal were hard to come by. Midway through the half Stephen Guest slotted through to Oliveira who was denied by a fine diving save from Taseski, while with half time approaching Oliveira drilled a free-kick low past the defensive wall only to again find the Inglewood 'keeper well placed. The match was changed forever shortly after the break as Inglewood bagged two controversial goals which left Athena shell-shocked. Despotovski converted a hotly disputed penalty awarded after Michael Baczynski's drive flew into Adrian Sutton who was deemed to have handled the ball. And in the 56th minute another shot from Baczynski was heading wide before Shaun Kilkelly deflected it between the poss from an offside position. With Athena's spirit broken the home side simply ran riot. The margin became four goals when Despotovski again converted from the spot after being tripped by Guest after 63 minutes, then Colli got himself on the scoresheet after combining brilliantly with Despotovski and Kilkelly. Anthony Mori denied Despotovski his hat-trick in a one-on-one, but just a minute later the Athena 'keeper was left badly exposed by his defence as Greg Sharland headed in goal number six. Sharland hit the crossbar in the 81st minute before bundling the rebound over the line, and six minutes from full-time Despotovski completed the route by side-footing in from 3-metres following a nice exchange between Campbell and Sharland.

Fremantle City eased themselves clear of the drop zone with a last gasp 2-1 win over Swan I.C. at Ken Allen Field. In very breezy conditions the home side had the better of early play with Matt Danskin in particular causing problems for the Swan rearguard. In an all-action start Danskin and Tyrone Fenwick both tested goalkeeper Cory Hugo, Kevin Correia headed over when well-placed and a free-kick from Jeff Bright ended narrowly wide on the target. Swan were struggling to get into the game but went close twice in as many minutes as David Foster's header was saved by goalkeeper Nick Stone and Damien Todorovic flashed the ball just past the upright. Hugo pushed wide a free-kick from Correia before the Fremantle striker finally broke through on 41 minutes by blasting the ball into the top corner. Swan looked more composed after the break and soon won a corner which was swung in by Miki Vujacic who forced Stone to tip the ball over the bar under pressure in a crowded goalmouth. The hosts were dangerous on the counterattack as Abdul Kamara beat Hugo onto to see Carlos Echeverria clear the danger off the line. Gary Faria's was then denied by the reflexes of Hugo, and from the resulting corner Anthony Pereira crashed the ball into the upright. The introduction of Tom Shepheard brought almost immediate dividends for Swan as he headed a Damian Scali free-kick past Stone just two minutes after coming on. The points were now up for grabs and the next chance came the way of Swan attacker Elton Holmes whose effort was pushed away by the 'keeper following a mazy run. With the final whistle looming Fremantle launched one last desperate attack in which Faria played a neat one-two with Correia before tucking the ball past the advancing 'keeper for the winning goal.


FIRST DIVISION, ROUND TWENTY (Canning City vs Rockingham City by Phil Unsworth; Balcatta vs Stirling Suns courtesy Balcatta; Leeming Strikers vs Queens Park courtesy Leeming Strikers)

Armadale scored a comfortable 7-1 win over Morley Windmills whose resources were stretched to the limits at Alfred Skeet Oval. Jason Goodwin opened the scoring after 4 minutes with Greg Newcombe adding the hosts second a minute later. Armdale took a five goal lead into the break courtesy two goals in three minutes from Dean Gartside and Goodwin's second of the afternoon just before the half-time whistle. Further goals in the second half from Goodwin and Gartside enabled each player to end the day with a hat-trick. "Things started going wrong for us before the game with three players from the starting line-up pulling out less than hour before kick-off," said Windmills coach James Herbert. "At five down at half-time I really felt for the lads because the first few goals were so early. However, I was pleased with our second half display because it would have been so easy to throw in the towel. To the lads credit they showed a lot of character and fought to the end. We all knew this season would be tough but we have set ourselves a goal for the remainder of the season and are determined to reach it."

On a cold and blustery afternoon, Wanneroo City proved 4-1 too strong for neighbour Kingsway Olympic at Kingsway Sporting Complex. It took Wanneroo just 6 minutes to edge ahead as Chris Currie's quickly taken free-kick came to nestle in the net while the opposing side were still disputing the foul. Chances on goal were scarce as the two sides battled it out for control with neither able to gain the upper hand. On 25 minutes Olympic got back on level terms when a foul on Nigel Comito resulted in a penalty which was duly converted by Phil Russie. Following a fairly stale opening to the second half, Wanneroo slowly began to assert some authority over proceedings. A jinxing weaving from the left by Scott Bulloch took him past two defenders before calmly rolling the ball wide of goalkeeper Steve Dimitrovic to restore the visitors advantage on 65 minutes. Craig Cheesman made it three-one when his shot hit the underside of the crossbar and ricocheted over the goal line. Wanneroo's day was completed by Scott Wyeth who converted from the penalty spot after Oliver Hilton teased a foul out of an opponent.

Some recent high scoring by Mandurah City accounted for nought as they crashed 0-2 on home soil to Dianella White Eagles. The only goal of a tight opening half arrived two minutes from the break when Jimmy Stoichev put the ball in the back of the net. The second half was much as case of the same story with few chances on goal thanks to a couple of dominant defences. Mandurah's chances of sneaking a late equaliser evaporated with the 85th minute dismissal of youngster Mo Atack. Four minutes later Dianella made the most of the numeric advantage with Miladin Gugoroski bagging their second of the afternoon to secure maximum points.

In a match of attrition, Gosnells City overcame Ashfield 2-1 at Walter Padbury Reserve. The opening spell produced few highlights of note with both teams bypassing midfield. As the game wore on Gosnells began to find their rhythm and increase their possession before Adam Bremner opened the scoring on 42 minutes by finishing a neat exchange of passes down the right wing. Ashfield responded by forcing Gosnells into defensive duties and just before the interval they were unlucky not to equalise when Dion Florias' thunderous shot from long-range rocketed past goalkeeper Jason Mehnert only to smash into the crossbar. Both teams came out attacking for the start of the second half as Ashfield set about getting back on level terms while Gosnells were keen to kill off the contest. A front post header from Andy Daffin put Gosnells two-goals up and seemed to have secured all maximum points for the hosts in a game where shots on goal where at a premium. Ashfield though provided a late scare when Matt Pochroj's drive deceived the 'keeper to peg back the gap. But Ashfield had left their run a little too late and Gosnells held firm to claim victory.

Canning City survived a late Rockingham City fight back to claim a 2-1 victory at Dowling Street Reserve. Danny Trevisiol was handed his starting debut for Canning and it took the 16-year old only a minute to have an impact by forcing a loose ball into the net after Rockingham goalkeeper Michael Kelly had parried a shot from Paul Van Dongen. There were few opening in a tight opening half although Rockingham did come close to leveling after 15 minutes when Luke Collins' fierce shot struck the underside of the crossbar but came back into play. Midway though the half Canning increased their advantage through Paul Van Dongen who from just inside the 18-yard box drove the ball to the right of Kelly. In the second half Rockingham applied increasing pressure to the visiting defence through some nice work in midfield. With seven minutes remaining Rockingham halved the deficit through Collins whose corner incredibly swung into the net with the aid of the strong breeze. In the closing minutes Trevisiol came close to poaching his second goal by intercepting Marc Hornby's back-pass only to be foiled by an alert Kelly who charged off his line to deflect the youngsters shot wide.

Balcatta returned to the winner's list with a strong 4-1 victory over local rival Stirling Suns at Graham Burkett Reserve. The home side should have won the match by a much greater margin but hit the woodwork on nine occasions throughout the ninety minutes. Midfielder Scott Broadley opened the scoring in the early minutes of the match with a rasping left-foot strike from just inside the penalty box. A minute later another super shot from Broadley rattled the crossbar and teammate Mark Wilson powered home the rebound to give Balcatta a commanding early lead. Alley Di Nuzzo went close to netting the goal of the year after 15 minutes but his vicious right foot volley from outside the 18-yard box crashed into the crossbar. Henry Freeman capitalised on an error by Di Nuzzo in defence to pull a goal back against the run of play in the 21st minute. Any chance of a comeback by the Suns were dashed in the 55th minute when a handball inside the box resulted in a penalty to Balcatta which David Moschilla converted. Victor Bogos finished a solid performance in midfield with a goal in the 84th minute after a lovely through ball from substitute Oriano La Palombra.

The points ended being shared by Leeming Strikers and Queens Park who played out a see-sawing 3-3 draw at John Connell Reserve. The only goal of the opening half came via Queens Park striker Ray Rose who beat goalkeeper Phil De Souza after 17 minutes. Although the visitors were by far the dominant side they were unable to make the most of their chances and had to be content with just the single goal advantage after forty-five minutes. Queens Park continued on where they left after the interval with Rose striking again to double his side's lead on 56 minutes. The turning point came when De Souza made a fine save to deny Queens Park a third goal from the penalty spot which seemingly inspired the Strikers into a sensational comeback. In the 67th minute young gun Garth Lecky reduced the deficit by beating the offside trap and rounding the goalkeeper. Phil Bell brought the game back on a level footing with a well placed shot five minutes later. And Lecky put the hosts in front by nodding in Simon Versaico's inch-perfect cross. In their desire to increase the gap the Strikers were caught short at the back and in the dying minutes Rose completed his hat-trick via a swift counterattack.



The West Australian Schoolboys recorded their best ever performance by finishing second at the 2004 Australian Secondary Schools Soccer Championships staged in Adelaide this week. A strong start to the tournament laid the groundwork for the team to return to Perth with the silver medal, but it wasn't all plain sailing with a couple of mid-week losses meaning the Schoolboys were sweat it out on the final day of competition and hope that other results went in their favour. As it was they did and a great big congratulations to the 2004 Schoolboys squad and team officials Damon Atthowe (coach), Neil Neil Alweyn (manager) and Alan Dunlop (goalkeeping coach).

The Schoolboys began their campaign with a hard fought 1-0 victory over South Australia last Sunday. Both teams looked a little nervous over the opening half in which goalkeeper Alex Dunn made two fantastic saves to keep the west in the game. After the break West Australia upped the pace as Wes Ryder was denied in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper while Chris Currie had a header cleared off the line. The outcome was determined midway through the half when Andy Pomfret and Dejan Gurovski combined to put the ball at the feet of Ryder who danced past three opponents before crossing to Rodrigo Aguirre who tapped in from close-range. "The boys showed a lot of character, especially in the first half when Alex Dunn kept us alive with some outstanding saves," said coach Damon Atthowe. "We made a few changes at the break and totally dominated the second half. The whole side stood up and played with great passion."

The Schoolboys made it two wins in as many days by accounting for a strong Queensland line-up 3-2 the following morning. West Australia were quick to assert their authority and went ahead through Carlo Cardoza who rose high to head in Wesley Ryder's corner. The gap became two goals as Rodrigo Aguirre's volley from just inside the 18-yard box found the target. Queensland reduced the deficit early in the second half when Cardoza had the misfortunate of deflecting the ball past his own goalkeeper. But some magic from Ryder took him past three defenders and the 'keeper to restore the wests two-goal buffer. Queensland scored a late consolation goal via a well struck free-kick that gave Jacob Chudy no chance. "It was very much a team effort from the boys today," commented coach Damon Atthowe. "Queensland are a quality side - they beat Victoria 7-1 - but prevented them from playing. The side is playing really well and are getting better with each game."

Tuesday morning threw together West Australia and New South Wales in what was one of the games of the tournament. New South Wales got the all-important first goal late in the first half following a neat exchange in midfield. Scott Patterson almost immediately put the west back on level terms but his explosive effort was tipped over the crossbar by the goalkeeper. A defensive error midway through the second half allowed New South Wales to increase their lead. Although two goals down West Australia refuse to concede defeat and three times in the final ten minutes forced good saves from the opposing 'keeper while Rodrigo Aguirre had a shot cleared off the line. "New South Wales are a very good side and have been beating teams by four or five goals," said Damon Atthowe after the game. "We matched them and the boys gave a good account of themselves."

Following Wednesday's rest day, West Australian met Victoria on their return to the playing arena the following morning. Strong winds and driving rain made it difficult for either side to take control of the opening half. Despite the difficult conditions, the west created some good chances which strike partners Dejan Gurovski and Rodrigo Aguirre were unable to made the most of. Wesley Ryder shot into the side netting after the break as the boys from the west coast sought to take the upper hand. But West Australia's failure to convert chances into goals came back to haunt them as Victoria delivered a fatal blow by finding the back of the net twice in as many minutes. The Schoolboys threw everything into getting back into the match but were unable to reduced the margin before the final whistle.

New South Wales had first placed wrapped even before a ball was kicked on the final day of competition, but the minor places were still very much up for grabs. Knowing they needed at least a point against the Australian Capital Territory, the west made the best possible as Carlo Cardoza delicately chipped the goalkeeper from the edge of the 18-yard box to put the west in front. But the territorians were having none of it, restoring parity just before the break then ten minutes into the second half they claimed the lead with a second goal. West Australia threw everything forward in their search for an equaliser as shots by Rodrigo Aguirre, Scott Paterson and Dejan Gurovski were all kept out. With fifteen minutes to go Wesley Ryder stepped up to the plate and slammed a low drive into the corner of the net to end it square at two-all. With Queensland going down 1-4 to New South Wales and South Australia drawing 1-1 with Victoria, west Australia grabbed second place and their richly deserved silver medal.

The West Australian Schoolgirls were also in competition at the Australian Secondary Schools Soccer Championships. Their campaign started in the worst possible way as a strong Queensland side ran out victors by 5-0 in the opening days' game. Showing great character, the Schoolgirls got their campaign back on track with a 5-0 thrashing of the Australian Capital Territory on Monday afternoon. There were mixed results on Day Three of competition which started with a 12-0 hammering of the Northern Territory 12-0 only end with a 0-4 loss to tournament favourite New South Wales. The Schoolgirls suffered their second successive loss by going down 1-2 to South Australia in Thursday's action. The result of the Schoolgirls final match, against Victoria on Friday, is currently unknown.



The eighteenth round of Premier League fixtures is showcased by a couple of blockbusters. Perth S.C. and Western Knights meet at Dorrien Gardens in what promises to be another classic between these long-time foes. In the far north it's finals contenders E.C.U. Joondalup and Stirling Lions that come face to face. There are opportunities for each of the bottom three clubs to pick up points as Bassendean Caledonian host a suspension riddled Cockburn City, Floreat Athena travel to Inglewood United, and Fremantle City have home ground advantage over Swan I.C. The weekend's remaining game takes place at Percy Doyle Reserve where Sorrento and Bayswater City compare skills.

First Division title favourite Armadale are expected to win comfortably at home against Morley Windmills. Second-placed Wanneroo City have a derby clash with Kingsway Olympic. Dianella White Eagles travel south to meet a Mandurah City side which has amassed 17goals in its last three outings. Rockingham City have shown great improvement in recent times but will need to be on top of their game to take points away from Canning City. Leeming Strikers should continue their undefeated run with victory over Queens Park, and Gosnells City are favoured at home to Ashfield. Balcatta host Stirling Suns, and South West Phoenix out of with the bye.



The Australian Soccer Association have withdrawn the national Under-20 team from an eight-day tour of Indonesia which was due to take place later this month. The decision came following advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade against the trip. Three Perth-based players, Nick Ward (Stirling Lions), Matthew Danskin (Fremantle City), and Jonathon Higgins (E.C.U. Joondalup) were last week named in the Australian youth squad that was to compete at the 2004 Governor Cup in Sumatra. The squad will now assemble in Melbourne for a twenty day training camp commencing 8th September.



The Australian Olympic Men's team have begun their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Tunisia at Pankritio Stadium in Crete. In a proverbial 'match of two halves', the national Under-23 side dominated the opening half only to fall off the pace after the break. Australia put the ball in the net after after 27 minutes but Ahmad Elrich's goal was disallowed for offside. The Tunisians best avenue to goal came from a series of free-kicks none of which caused concern for goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic. Right on the stroke of half-time Elrich delivered a pinpoint cross into the area which John Aloisi nodded into the net. The second half saw a revitalised Tunisia throw everything at their opponent with Ali Zitouni restoring parity after 69 minutes. Australia barely managed a shot on goal during the period and were lucky not to concede defeat as the match wore on. Adrian Madaschi played a full game at the back for the Olympic team while fellow West Australians David Tarka, Anthony Danze and Brad Jones were all unused substitutes. In the other Group C clash, Argentina thrashed Serbia and Montenegro 6-0.



Brazil, ranked fifth in the world, have defeated the Australian Olympic Women's team 1-0 in the opening match of the 2004 Games at Kaftanzoglio Stadium in Greece. The Matilda's effectively thwarted the attacking flair of the South American's but were unable to create enough clear-cut opportunities for themselves in a tight first half. Nine minutes from half-time Brazil took a deserved lead through star striker Marta. The introduction of Lisa De Vanna early in the second half boosted Australia's stocks as she set-up Heather Garriock whose curling strike was saved by Andreia. Midway through the half Brazil attacker Pretinha was denied from a fantastic save by Cassandra Kell who came to Australia's rescue again shortly after when Marta pounced on some sloppy defensive play. Perth-born pair De Vanna and Tal Karp both started on the bench with the former brought on after 58 minutes and the latter an unused substitute. In the other Group G match, tournament favourite the United States secured a comfortable 3-0 victory over host nation Greece.



Jamie Coyne is looking to become the latest Perth Glory player to join the growing legion of Australian's in Europe. The versatile 23-year old, who made 33 appearances for Glory in his two seasons with the club, this week commenced trials with top flight Dutch outfit ADO Den Haag.



After a lengthy battle and with the season almost over, teenager Jason de Abreu has finally been given permission to re-join his Cockburn City teammates. The teenage midfielder has been forced to watch from the sidelines since April when Soccer West Coast ruled he was unable to play for his clubs Under-15 or Under-18 teams. A rare condition has slowed the growth of De Abreu's bones meaning his physical size is that of someone two years his younger, leading SWC to rule him ineligible to play on account that he was too small. Last week SWC revisited the issue and overturned their initial decision on "compassionate grounds", meaning De Abreu will return to the playing arena this weekend.



Perth Glory's application to join the new national competition will come under close scrutiny tomorrow when representatives of the Australian Soccer Association visit Perth. Despite the clubs on and off field successes, and the fact they are the only applicant from the west coast, ASA chief executive officer John O'Neill and head of operations Matt Carroll will examine closely Glory's bid. O'Neill and Carroll have already looked at applications from Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney and New Zealand to join the league. The ASA received twelve applications for the new domestic competition and are expected to announce the eight success bids next month.



The West Australian Soccer Hall of Fame have available for sale a limited number of souvenir book from last months successful Century of Champions ceremony. The glossy book contains profile of all one hundred players honoured on the night along with a brief history of the round ball game in this state. Those interested in purchasing the publication are encouraged to contact Hall of Fame committee Louis Prospero member on 0413 041 942 or via The remaining copies of the Century of Champions book, which at $10.00 each (plus postage) are excellent value, won't last long.



Adrian Madaschi will be able to tick off another career goal when he turns out for Australia in their opening match of the 2004 Olympic Games later in a few days time. "Being here is a lifelong dream," the young defender said from Greece this week. "This is just all part of the goals that you try and set at a younger age and the Olympics was one of the goals that I set. To be here and to be a part of everything and to be with the team and knowing that in two days I'll, hopefully, be playing in it is just a dream come true."

The 22-year old is a likely starter for Australia's first up clash with African champions Tunisia and is confident the side will perform well at the tournament. "The feeling in the camp is really optimistic, we are training really hard, trying to correct as many things as possible, to fine tune everything before the first game," Madaschi said. "All the boys, from the first eleven to the eighteen to the staff members want to go as far as possible and if that means going to the final, we will go there. Everyone is really, really excited about being here, about being part of these Olympics ... Everyone is just jumping at the bit for the opportunity to play."

Having spent his junior years playing locally with Perth S.C., the then 15-year old Madaschi headed to Italy to join Atalanta. He first caught the eye of Australian supporters with some outstanding performances as the Joeys made the final of the 1999 Under-17 World Championship in New Zealand, and two years later he again graced the world stage in Argentina for the World Youth Championship. Out of favour at Atalanta, Madaschi signed for Scottish club Partick Thistle late last year in a move which has revived his international career. In March Madaschi was added to the national Under-23 side and two months later made his senior debut for Australia.



It took Adrian Caceras just 39 minutes to score his first competitive goal for Yeovil Town. The former Perth Glory attacker curled in a superb left-foot shot to give Yeovil Town the lead against Bury, but it wasn't enough for the Glovers who suffered a second-half collapse to lose 1-3-in their opening fixture of the League Two season. Caceras, who struggled to command a place in the Glory eleven, was rarely out of Yeovil's starting line-up in pre-season.



Burnley have handed 19-year old defender Ryan Townsend the No.27 shirt for the 2004/05 season. Following on from appearance in pre-season friendlies against Accrington Stanley and Dundee United, Townsend was on the bench for the Clarets opening English League Championship fixture with Sheffield United that ended in a 1-1 draw on Saturday. Born in England, Townsend emigrated to West Australia with his family at a young age where he spent his development years with Sorrento for whom he won State junior representative honours. He joined Burnley for the 2002/03 campaign, captaining the clubs' Youth Team and making his Football League debut against Coventry City earlier this year.


WOMEN'S WRAP (Subiaco vs Lynwood courtesy Lynwood; Subiaco vs University of WA courtesy Subiaco)

Lynwood overturned a mid-season loss to Subiaco by taking the points home from Rosalie Park on the final weekend of Women's Soccer WA Premier League season. The visitors were determined to end the regular season on a high and took the lead through a perfect corner from Danielle Brown which was headed in by Penny Tanner-Hoath. The result was confirmed after the break with Lynwood's English import Emily Angwin slotting away the sides second goal. It was the perfect end to the season for Lynwood who struggled through the first six games without victory, then picked up maximum points from three of their last six outings to claim sixth on the final standings.

The top of the table showdown between Northern Redbacks and Balcatta was postponed as the Redbacks had five players interstate with the State Schoolgirls team. With two points separating the clubs, the regular season title will be decided at Rickman Delawney Reserve in Balcatta this Sunday - 15th August - with an 11.00am kick-off. Kingsley were awarded a 3-0 forfeit win against East Fremantle who were unable to field a team as they also had a number of players on Schoolgirls duty. Queens Park collected maximum points courtesy the 3-0 'bye win'.

Subiaco continued to turn their First Division campaign around with a hard-fought 3-0 win over University of WA in near perfect conditions. UWA may have held sway over the opening half but could find few ways past a well-organised defence marshalled by Sarah McNish and Tara Coffey. The second half began with Subiaco keen to make the most of their chances. Five minutes after the restart Meg Nikolowski played through to Camilla Qvist who finished off the move by curling the ball past the goalkeeper. Subiaco doubled their lead when Mel Todorovich's corner went to feet and in the ensuing scramble Desy D'Souza sent it into the net. The third and final goal came from Nikolowski whose rising shot from 16-metres slipped through the hands of the 'keeper.

Murdoch University overcame an early setback to defeat Cockburn City 6-2 at Murdoch Playing Fields. Cockburn came out firing on all cylinders and in the 5th minute took the lead when Yasmine Taylor delivered the ball to the near post where Christina Krepphold knocked it past the goalkeeper. Murdoch hit back within a few minutes to draw level. The visitors reclaimed the upper hand via a fine corner from Michelle Jones which was nodded in at the back post by Libby Archer for her first goal of the season. Murdoch equalised from penalty spot before edging ahead just before the break through a nice exchange of passes. Murdoch made the most of their chances in the second half to add another three to their days tally.

Noranda, who picked up the 'bye win', remain four-points clear at the top of the First Division table with only two games remaining. Second-placed Swan I.C. had little trouble in accounting for Rockingham City at Dowling Street Reserve where it ended 6-2. There were eight goals scored also at Mills Park Oval as Beckenham Angels thrashed Northern Redbacks C 8-0 scoreline.

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UWA were held 0-0 away to CN Canning International at Weir Park in the WAASSA Premier Division fixture on Sunday. Canning International had an early scare in the 10th minute when a cross from UWA's Marc D'Ascanio hit the bar but the grateful CN Canning defenders cleared the ball to safety. In the remainder of an uninspiring half the only other highlight was a UWA throw from Declan Sharp which was headed on by Robert Benkovic to Tony Odundo who in turn was inches over the bar with his shot. The second half saw UWA wake up and dominate possession for most of the 45 minutes. After 12 minutes UWA's Paul Dimmock crossed from the left and found the head of Tony Odundo but the ball went just wide of the right hand post. The game became particularly niggly and the referee was kept busy booking players when he actually managed to see what was going on behind play. Despite controlling the play UWA could not break down a CN Canning side determined not to concede a goal. UWA thought they had scored in the last 5 minutes when the ball fell to Declan Sharp and he put the ball in the net from the edge of the box but the referee, after initially signalling a goal, disallowed it after the linesman held his flag up to give a UWA player offside. Coach Kevin Burton said: "We were a bit flat for some reason today and the standard of the game was poor not helped by a bumpy pitch and some interesting off the ball incidents. With neither goalkeeper having to make a save one can only hope that our quarter final cup match against CN Canning in a couple of weeks is a bit more exciting." UWA Reserves defeated CN Canning 6-0 in a one sided encounter.

Shamrock Rovers returned to winning ways on Sunday against closest rivals Spearwood Dalmatinac. Shamrock started the brighter and took control of the middle of the park with Pat O'Boyle and Rod McMullan being in all the action early on. The best chance early on fell to John McCarthy header from a Dylan Browne cross. From 8 yards he forced the save of the season when goalkeeper Forzatti instinctively threw up an arm to make a brilliant diving save only for the ball to fall back to McCarthy's feet and from the same distance he smashed the ball into the crossbar which was then cleared by some desperate defending. After 25 minutes the Hoops went 1- 0 up when Donal O'Brien leaped highest from a Rod McMullen free-kick to power a header in from 10 yards. Spearwood then changed tactics and pushed an extra man into the midfield which allowed playmaker Robbie Santich get into the game. On several occasions his pass was telling to Jason Faria who could not hit the target. After the break the game continued in a similar vein with Shamrock retaining possession and then attacking swiftly. Shamrock increased their lead to 2-0 when John McCarthy's strength saw him shrug off a defender and hit the ball into the top corner despite Forzatti's best attempts. Spearwood then pressed but could not find a way past the defence of Cathal Lennon, Jon Craik and Keith Roche all of whom were back to their best. Coach Nik Silsby said "It was important that the players bounced back after the last two disappointing weeks. Everybody contributed to today's performance. Several players including Wayne Brooks were back to their best and we thoroughly deserved the win. We are now two wins away from winning the league and I believe we can wrap it up in the next two weeks. Shamrock's reserves also went twelve points clear on Sunday when they beat Spearwood 3-0. Goals came from Mickie Murray, Jamie Silsby and Glen Brooks. Special mention must go the defence of Paul MCCue, Richard Partridge, Geoff Lane and Stephen Roche who were all outstanding as their stand in keeper Mickie Donnelly was not forced into a save for the entire 90 minutes.

In other games, Perth Azzurri easily accounted for Fremantle United 3-0. Stirling Panthers continued their great season with a 3-1 win over relegation threatened Kwinana United. Hamerley Rovers fought out a goal-less draw with Forrestfield United, while Colo Colo were too good for Murdoch Univeristy in a 4-2 victory.



The Premier League trophy is all but assured of spending the next twelve months at Nash Field after goals from Carl Medica and Paul Cooke handed Western Knights a 2-1 win over championship rival Cockburn City in Round Seventeen of the season. Dennis McRoberts was on targets in Stirling Lions 1-0 away defeat of Perth S.C., and Danny Hill bagged a hat-trick in Sorrento's 3-0 triumph over Inglewood United. Fremantle City eased their relegation fears by fending off Floreat Athena 3-0. It ended 1-1 between E.C.U. Joondalup and Swan I.C., while the points were also shared by at Jubilee reserve where Bassendean Caledonian and Bayswater City played out a dull scoreless draw.

First Division leader Armadale comfortably defeated Queens Park 3-0 as nearest rival Wanneroo City were held to a 1-1 draw by Leeming Strikers. Mandurah City and South West Phoenix stay locked in joint third place, Mandurah sweeping aside Canning City 6-1 and Phoenix hitting Balcatta 5-1. Stirling Suns proved little resistance for Gosnells City who came home winners by 6-0. Dianella White Eagles ended a dreadful run of results by toppling Kingsway Olympic 5-2, and Ashfield slip to second last after going down 1-3 at home to Rockingham City.


PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND SEVENTEEN (Western Knights vs Cockburn City courtesy Western Knights; E.C.U. Joondalup vs Swan I.C. by Peter Simcox; Perth S.C. vs Stirling Lions by Mike Hennessey)

The Premier League trophy is all but assured of spending the next twelve months at Nash Field after Western Knights defeated championship rival Cockburn City 2-1 at Nash Field. Cockburn showed the early spark with Antonio Nalgieri, John Mirco and Jason Dos Santos featuring heavily in their more promising moves. But with Evan Wallace and Jason Williams holding firm in the centre of the Knights defence the visitors were unable to put goalkeeper Tommi Tomich to the test. 42 minutes after the opening kick Cockburn finally found a way through as John Mirco's corner was nodded on at the front post by Peter Petkovich and Liam Lilly chested that ball over the line at the back post. The lead was to last all of two minutes before Paul Cooke was brought down by Michael Mirco inside the 18-yard box and from the spot Carl Medica sent goalkeeper Dino Pacella the wrong way. Cooke and Mark Lee continually tormented the Cockburn defence after the break by sending an endless stream of crosses into the dangerzone. Tomich palmed Naglieri's shot over the crossbar midway through the half, and from the resulting corner the match officials spotted an infringement on the Knights 'keeper by Lilly who was dismissed for his second yellow card offence. The Knights pressed their numeric advantage and in the 72nd minute Medica's shot cannoned back off the upright to Cooke who crashed the ball past Pacella to send the home fans into seventh heaven. Medica could have secured victory shortly after but was denied by Dino Pacella who then kept his side in the hunt by thwarting Daniel Trim after he was sent clear. Cockburn, however, self-destructed towards the end as Petkovich was dismissed for dissent in the 88th minute and shortly after Michael Mirco received his marching orders for a sloppy tackle. The win put the Knights nine-points clear at the top and on course to claim the main silverware on offer this season.

Swan I.C. broke a three game losing streak by holding E.C.U. Joondalup to a 1-1 draw in the nothern suburbs. Elton Holmes wasted no time in getting involved and in the 4th minute gave the visitors the lead by beating two defenders before finishing well by slotting under advancing goalkeeper Peter Stewart. The home side went close to equalising shortly after via Daryl Platten whose shot was unfortunately wide of the mark. With both teams cancelling eachother out the match became a dour struggle with chances on goal in short supply. But on the half hour Joondalup did find a way through as John Higgins' corner was headed in at the back post by the unmarked Keith Brown. There were few highlights in the remaining fifteen odd minutes and the sides went in to the break on level terms. Joondalup were the more menacing upon the resumption of play with Garin Collins and Alan Henderson at the heart of their best moves. The game was there for the taking but neither side could find the target as play see-sawed from end to end. A long-range effort from Collins was saved by the ever-alert Cory Hugo, then Miki Vujacic placed the ball narrowly wide of the upright at the opposite end. Joondalup's Andy Brown should have done better than shoot wide from close-range, while Tony Cumace failed to trouble Stewart following some fine lead-up work from David Foster and Holmes. Cumace then turned rescuer for Swan by clearing Andy Brown's header of the line after a surging run by Higgins. With the clock ticking down Swan were awarded a free-kick which Holmes' disappointingly sent straight at Stewart, and with the games last attack Andy Brown headed over the crossbar following the good work of Scott Blackmore. Going on today's performance both teams will need to improve markedly should they wish to figure prominently in the end of season play-offs.

Stirling Lions registered their first win over Perth S.C. at Dorrien Gardens in ten years courtesy of a late strike by teenage sensation Dennis McRoberts. Stunned home supporters left the ground wondering how their side had lost a game they dominated from start to finish. Perth might have taken the lead in the 2nd minutes when Todd Howarth forced goalkeeper Vince Matassa to dive low to save. Shane Crampton was unfortunate not to find the net when, from dead in front, his side-foot struck the inside of the far post and rebounded straight into the arms of a grateful 'keeper. Perth created numerous additional chances to take the lead but the nearest they came was when Robbie Puca's shot was deflected past the post. Tragedy struck the hosts in the 22nd minute when playmaker Puca fell awkwardly and had to be carried off with a dislocated shoulder. For the remainder of the half Perth flattered with some fine moves without ever really threatening their opponents goal. The Lions came out for the second half in a more positive frame of mind and inside the first few minutes Nick Ward went close with a spectacular overhead kick. However, Perth soon regained control of the game. Howarth brought a flying save from Matassa, then the left-sided midfielder set up Crampton who shot disappointingly wide. Daniel Micevski went close shortly after and Matassa was called into action to cut out another promising attack. Perth hearts were broken four minutes from the end when a Ward free-kick to the near post was touched home by McRoberts much to the delight of the traveling contingent. Perth could have equalised immediately but Ryan Newhill headed tamely into the side-netting, and in the 88th minute were unlucky not to put the ball away in a goalmouth scramble. However, the Lions held their nerve to head home with the points.

Playing to their strengths, Sorrento were able to extend their unbeaten run to seven games by knocking over Inglewood United by 3-0 at Percy Doyle Reserve. The Gulls were quick out of the blocks and forced their opponent on to the back foot with a succession of crosses from both sides of the pitch. But with Inglewood's defence stifling their creativity, Sorrento didn't cause any serious concern until the 23rd minute when Steve MacDonald headed wide a cross from Simon Harland. Nine minutes later MacDonald was forced from the ground after coming off second best in a challenge with Daniel Stoitis. Inglewood's game plan went out the window in the 39th minute when sweeper Stoitis was stretchered off with a serious ankle injury following a dreadful tackle by James Morgan. Right on the stroke of half-time Sorrento broke the deadlock as Harland held off three defenders before laying the ball off to Danny Hill whose fierce shot was bulging the net before goalkeeper Oliver Taseski had time to react. Inglewood came back into the game after the break with Alan MacKenzie, Shaun Kilkelly and Scott Campbell dominant in the middle of the park. However, while they strung together numerous promising attacks Inglewood lacked bite inside the 18-yard box. It wasn't until the closing stages that Sorrento were able to secure the points. With 86 minutes gone Daniel Cain's long cross field pass found Todd Harnwell who in turn relayed possession to Hill and the makeshift striker rifled it low past the 'keeper. The icing on the Gulls cake came in the final minute as Hill peeled away from the last defender to head in a perfect cross from the left by Todd Harnwell.

Fremantle City collected three much needed points in defeating Floreat Athena 3-0. The match, played at Ken Allen Field, was crucial to the fortunes of both clubs who are locked in battle with Bassendean Caledonian to avoid relegation. The port side opened brightly and in the 14th minute gained the upper hand with Kevin Correia finding the back of the net. This boosted Fremantle's confidence and it was only through some poor finishing that they didn't go into half-time with a greater lead. Fremantle came out for the second half determined to add to their tally which is exactly what Gary Faria did after 52 minutes. The match was put beyond the reach of Athena in the 64th minute when Correia tucked the ball in the back of the net. The win enabled Fremantle to put three points - and Athena - between themselves and Caledonian who currently stump up the table.

At Jubilee Reserve, Bassendean Caledonian and Bayswater City played out an uninspiring scoreless draw. The opening passages were promising with both sides keen on testing their opponents defenses only to be let down by poor delivery in the final third. It wasn't until the 17th minute that either side managed anything that you could consider a shot on goal, Ross Barnes shimmying past a defender to hit a low shot from close-range which Caledonian goalkeeper Alan Dunlop reacted sharply to block. Through a greater desire for the ball Bayswater dominated the first half with some neat exchanges. However, the visitors were limited to only scattered shots from distance as the Caledonian defence, marshalled by Kevin Smith and veteran Craig Naven, were quick to negate any danger. As the half came to a close Caledonian's increased workrate resulted in the period's better chances on goal. A partially cleared corner fell to Dom Ando whose low drive slammed into the side netting. While in stoppage time Kevin Griffiths' long-range strike took a deflection off a defender and into the path of Ian Griffiths who should have done better than to place the ball over the crossbar. The hosts picked up the new half where they'd left off with Jonathon Mathers and Dom Ando doing much of the leg work. Their best move came via Graeme Matthews who, from wide on the right, played the ball along the top of the 6-yard box where it narrowly evaded the out-stretched leg of Ian Griffiths. Having been on the back foot for the better part of fifteen minutes Bayswater slowly worked their way back into the game. With both defences quick to shut down the opposing forwards there was little resembling a shot on goal until the final minute when Naven's speculative drive from 30-metres was scooped up by Gianni Papalia.


FIRST DIVISION, ROUND NINETEEN (Canning City vs Mandurah City by Phil Unsworth; Gosnells City vs Stirling Suns courtesy Gosnells City)

Leeming Strikers proved their recent good form is no fluke by holding second-placed Wanneroo City to a 1-1 at Kingsway Sporting Complex. There few genuine chances in the first half with both defences able to turn the ball over the confidence before playing their side into attack. With the half seemingly destined to end scoreless, John Dixon showed some fine individual skill to tee-up Brian Robertson who made no mistake in giving Wanneroo a 41st minute lead. The Strikers response was swift, a long thrown-in from Dave Sherington caught the home team ball-watching as Phil Bell acrobatically placed his shot past goalkeeper James Partridge to send the sides in on level terms. Although there were good chances at both ends neither team were able to find the net after the break. Dixon and Luke Croxall both had headers kept out by Darren Williams who also came out on top of a one-on-one with Bulloch after he'd broken through the offside trap. Going the other way Bell, Lucas Whitehouse, Simon Versaico and Garth Lecky each put Wanneroo supporters on edge before the final whistle. While Wanneroo lost valuable ground on leader Armadale, the Strikers extended their undefeated run to five games.

Canning City suffered one of their biggest ever losses when Mandurah City took the points home from Willetton Sports Club courtesy of a 6-1 scoreline. Canning were into stride early as Alex Seed and Julio Barrendilla spurned early chances to put them in front. Mandurah gradually eased their way into the contest and in the 27th minute Christian Paschewitz outpaced the defence before firing the ball past goalkeeper Robby Meyer. Five minutes later Paschewitz was on target again, this time with a glancing header to make it two-nil. Canning fought their way back into the match late in the half but Michael Greene kept out their best efforts on goal. Patrick Fitzgerald and Seed were presented with chances early in the second half but both directed the ball straight at Greene. Mandurah increased their advantage from the penalty via Paschewitz, and the margin became four goals when Jordan Rhodes rifled into the roof of the net. Canning reduced the gap through Jix Loong who put the ball away after Greene denied Mick Van Dongen from the penalty spot. Neil Connor restored the visitors four-goal buffer, and Paschewitz completed his four-goal haul after the home defence failed to clear the danger.

South West Phoenix snapped Balcatta's five-game unbeaten run with a 5-1 victory at Bunbury's Soccerdrome. It was a case of sweet revenge for Phoenix whose first loss of 2004 was at the hands of Balcatta in Round Four. The visitors started the match well with Dave Moschilla firing the side ahead in the 13th minute via the penalty spot after Mark Wilson was brought down. Wilson could have increased his side's advantage shortly after when he was one-on-one with Phoenix goalkeeper Joe Malaczyk who made the save. It was a miss that Balcatta would rue as James Bergin chased down a through ball from Gary Mayers to lob over the advancing Colin Lees for the leveller. A minute from the break Trent Hathaway fed possession to Steve Suttie who squeezed a 20-metre daisy cutter between Lees and the upright. Ten minutes into the second half Mayers started and finished the move that results in Phoenix's third goal, then Suttie completed his hat-trick by netting in the 60th and 74th minutes to seal one of Phoenix' biggest wins of the season. "The team played to a plan and even when we conceded that early goal we kept our shape and composure," commented Phoenix coach Jimmy Mayers.

It was a glorious day for Gosnells City who made light work in thrashing a disjointed Stirling Suns line-up 6-0 at Robinson Reserve. Darren Ingham was on fire for Gosnells and broke his four game goal drought by netting a hat-trick inside twenty minutes. Although the visitors enjoyed the lions share of possession some sloppy finishing prevented them from adding to the tally before the interval. The second half opened in dramatic fashion with Sun's defender Morris Gamma, who had only come off the bench a few minutes earlier, was red carded for a dreadful challenge on Ingham. The ten man Suns side then locked the game down at the back with Frankie Ternel performing heroics between the posts. But the pressure eventually took its toll on the Suns who simply ran out of legs towards the end. Adam Bremner got in on the act with goals in the 72nd and 88th minutes, his second being a stunning volley struck from some 30-metres. Alex Vo and Carlo Giancolo made their debut first team appearances late in the piece with the former setting up Gosnells sixth and final goal which was headed in by Jonathon Cook from close-range.

Armadale extended their lead at the top of the First Division table with a solid 3-0 defeat of Queens Park at Coker Park. A goal after 7 minutes from Dean Gartside set the Reds down the road to victory. 20-year old Michael Bushby added the sides second in the 62nd minute and ten minutes later Gartside netted for a second time to secured the points. Dianella White Eagles ended a run of losses by defeating Kingsway Olympic 5-2 on home soil. Rockingham City increased the distance between themselves and the foot of the table with a 3-1 away defeat of Ashfield. Gavin McIlveen got Rockingham's day off on the right foot by netting after 7 minutes. Ashfield replied through David Gordon, only for the home team to reclaim the upper hand through an own goal after 20 minutes. The points were made safe four minutes into the second half when Steven Stewart added Rockingham's third and final goal.



Birmingham City's Stan Lazaridis has signed a two-year contract that will keep him at St. Andrews until 2006. The 32-year old had twelve months left of his previous deal and always made clear his preference to remain with the Blues despite attracting interest from several other clubs. "Stan has done an excellent job since I came to the club and has even showed how well he can do at left-back," said Birmingham boss Steve Bruce said. "He has helped us establish ourselves in the Premiership over the past two seasons. It's good news he's staying."



The Australian men's and women's teams have both completed preparations for the 2004 Olympic Games with confidence boosting wins over Costa Rica and Mexico respectively. The men's side were made to work hard before finally beating Costa Rica 2-1 with Luke Wilkshire giving them the lead just seconds before the break. Costa Rica equalised fourteen minutes after the restart, but Australia regained the ascendency when Ahmad Elrich hit what would be the winner in the 64th minute. The men's team commence their Olympic campaign on 11th June against Tunisia. The Matilda's also turned in a dominant performance and should have defeated Mexico by a much greater margin. Sarah Walsh was the scorer of the games only goal after 36 minutes but both Lisa De Vanna and Sally Shipard came close to increasing the gap. The women's team start their Olympic tournament on 11th August against Brazil.



Three of the west's best young players have been rewarded with Australian Under-20 representative honours. Defenders Jon Higgins and Matt Danskin, of E.C.U. Joondalup and Fremantle City respectively, and Stirling Lions' creative midfielder Nick Ward are part of the Young Socceroo's squad to compete at the 2004 Governor Cup in Indonesia between 22nd and 30th August. Australia have been drawn against Indonesian clubs PSSB Bireuen, PSMS Medan and Persiraja Banda Aceh for the preliminary stage of the eight-team tournament which also features the Under-20 national teams of Indonesia and Thailand.

The 20-player Australian youth squad heading to Indonesia is Nick Crossley, Matthew Deegan, Brett Studman (Australian Institute of Sport), Matthew Gordon (Balgownie Rangers), Mark Milligan (Blacktown City), Billy Celeski (Bulleen Zebras), Mark Bridge (Cringila Lions), Matt Danskin (Fremantle City), Jonathan Higgins (E.C.U. Joondalup), Ben Griffin (Queensland Lions), Tim Smits (Pine Rivers), Keegan Wolfenden (South Cardiff), Nick Ward (Stirling Lions), Adrian Leijer, Kristian Sarkies (Victorian Institute of Sport), Stuart Musialik (Weston Bears), Tom Arcaba (Wollongong Wolves) and uncontracted trio Vince Lia, Chris Tadrosse and Jacob Timpano.



The Premier League title goes on the line tomorrow when Western Knights and Cockburn City meetin the top of the table clash at Nash Field. Inglewood United will be out to end Sorrento's six game unbeaten streak when they visit Percy Doyle Reserve. Swan I.C. must come home from E.C.U. Joondalup with maximum points to keep alive their play-off hopes. Perth S.C. are back on song and this weekend welcome Stirling Lions to Dorrien Gardens. And there are important home games for Fremantle City and Bassendean Caledonian who will each be eager to pick up a point - or three - at the expense of Floreat Athena and Bayswater City respective.

Queens Park have run hot and cold this season and this weekend have home ground advantage over First Division leader Armadale. Wanneroo City will be put to the test by a Leeming Strikers side which has won each of it last four games. Heading to Bunbury are Balcatta who face a tough match against South West Phoenix. There'll be little between top four contenders Canning City and Mandurah City when they meet at Willetton Sports Club. Gosnells City are tipped to come home with the points over bottom side Stirling Suns. Dianella White Eagles are home to Kingsway Olympic, and Ashfield welcome Rockingham City. Out of action with the bye are Morley Windmills.



Much of the talk in local circles this week has centred around Saturday's top of the table clash between Western Knights and Cockburn City. A big crowd is expected at Nash Field for what has been billed as the championship decider between these two fiercely competitive and long-time rivals. A Knights victory will put them nine-points clear at the top of the table and pretty much sew up regular season title. But Cockburn can breath new life into the title race by backing up their defeat of the Knights earlier in the year with another win.

Possessing the competitions best defensive record, the Knights are undefeated on home soil this year and are coming off four straight wins. In Tommi Tomich they have arguably the local scenes best goalkeeper and who has been well deserved defensively by the likes of David Annall and Evan Wallace. Daniel Trim's workrate simply has to be seen to be believed in the middle of the park while Paul Cooke provides plenty of ammunition from the left. The way to goal is lead by captain Carl Medica whose season tally currently stands at eleven.

Cockburn have lost just once in their past nine starts and will have their minds focused on only maximum points come game time. The league's highest scoring side have players across the full length of the park that can find the target, amomgst them Peter Petkovich, John Mirco and Antonio Naglieri whose ten goals makes him Cockburn's leading goalscorer. Former Perth Glory player Scott Miller and Australian youth international Liam Lilly will keep a close watch on the Knights attacker while as the last line of defence they have the ever-safe hands of Dino Pacella.



Adelaide is the destination for the State Schoolboys squad who fly out of Perth this weekend to pit their skills against Australia's best at the 2004 National Schools Championships. The tournament will be the culmination of months of planning and hard work by coach Damon Atthowe and team manager Neil Alweyn under whose guidance the side have gelled into a cohesive unit. "I'm happy with the way the squad has developed," commented Atthowe this week. "We've got a talented and dedicated group of players and aside from one minor hiccup the boys have shown improvement with each outing."

"The major strength of the Schoolboys lies in our depth and versatility," added Atthowe. "Not only are we strong from player one through to player sixteen, but we have players who are capable of performing in three or four positions. This adds to our options and will put us in good stead for next week when we have five games to play in six days. We are very solid in defence and look good when going forward. In Wes Ryder, Rodrigo Aguirre and Andy Pomfret we have players who are capable of doing something a little bit different and that sort of unpredictability can often turn and win matches."

Initial trials for the Schoolboys were held in March and, following a series of practice games, a provisional was announced the following month. Preparation in earnest commenced in late June with an unlucky 2-3 loss to Perth S.C. which was followed a week later by a confident 3-1 defeat of Cockburn City. The Schoolboys bounced back from a 0-1 'hiccup' loss to the State Under-16 side by thumping a youthful Floreat Athena 3-0 last week. "I think the loss to the State 16's was actually beneficial to the squad as they learned first hand how to improve our pre-game preparation, and it also demonstrated to the boys that we have the necessary depth to compete at the nationals."

The 2004 West Australian Schoolboys squad is Carlo Cardozo (Cockburn City), Rodrigo Aguirre, Alex Dunn (Floreat Athena), Wes Ryder, Jarrad Smith (Forrestfield United), Mark Darby, Ben Kelly, Andy Pomfret (Fremantle City), Jacob Chudy, Scott Patterson (E.C.U. Joondalup), Jesse Higgins (Kingsway Olympic), Brendan Ross (Perth S.C.), Dejan Gurovski (Sorrento), Daniel Simcox (Swan I.C.), Chris Currie (Wanneroo City) and Sebastian Trim (Western Knights). "I'd like to thank the people who have contributed to the squads development, namely Dave Coward, John Ward, Sandy Gordon, Alan Dunlop and Neil Alweyn," added the Schoolboys coach.



Jason Petkovic is hopeful of making his European debut this weekend when Konyaspor take on Galatasaray in the Turkish Super League. Following a short trial with Konyaspor, the former Perth Glory shot-stopper recently signed a one-year deal with Konyaspor and is now waiting on the details being finalised in time for the up-coming game. "If everything goes well, I should be playing against Galatasaray in Istanbul on Saturday," Petkovic told Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian".

A long break between Australia's domestic seasons prompted Petkovic to have another crack at the European marketplace. "I didn't want to stop playing for a year and then have to start again," he said. "Come the end of the season I'll see what's happening and maybe come back to Perth." The 31-year old's previous attempts to play in England, Scotland, Norway and Germany have all been thwarted by red tape. Just last month difficulties in obtaining a work permit prevented Petkovic from joining English Conference side Accrington Stanley.



Inglewood United coach Eddy Hodgkinson will look to his youth ranks after confirmation that former Perth Glory players Bobby Despotovski and Anthony Danze, and possibly even Greg Sharland, will be missing for the remainder of the season. "Obviously the impact of losing three quality players from any starting line-up effects the team performance," said Hodgkinson this week. "But in saying that we do have a talented young squad and it's now their turn to step up to the plate and show what they can do."

"At seventeen Michael Baczynski is no stranger to senior football and can count himself unlucky to have been warming the bench for most of the year," added the Inglewood coach. "He's one of the shining lights in local football and I expect big things from him in the coming years. Farrell Hedges has just turned nineteen and, while he's not had the same level of exposure to first team football, has shown a lot of promise. Consistency is something we must find and it will be interesting to see how the season pans out for us."

Former Australian international and three times recipient of Glory's Most Glorious Player award, Despotovski had his season cut short by a groin problem which, should it not respond to treatment, may require minor surgery. 20-year old Danze turned on the style in midfield for Inglewood following the completion of the National Soccer League season and is currently on international duty in Greece with the Australian Olympic team. Sharland was recently hospitalised with pneumonia and, although he has since been released, is believed to be some weeks away from returning to full training.



Former Perth Glory striker Nick Mrdja has landed a professional contract with one of Sweden's biggest clubs. The 25-year old has been handed the No.29 shirt at AIK Solna after agreeing terms on an eighteen month contract. Mrdja, who made 76 appearances and scored 25 goals in four seasons with Glory, may make his AIK debut as soon as this weekend against league leader Halmstad should his contract be finalised in time. At the halfway stage of the First Division season AIK are placed twelfth in the fourteen team competition.



It's been a tough couple of months for Dianella White Eagles whose senior list has been ravaged by injury. A month and a half ago the club were sitting in the upper reaches of the First Division table following a five game runs without loss. But since their mid-June bye Dianella have plummeted down the standings, failing to take a single point from any of their past five outings. The reason for such a dramatic reversal of form has been a series of injuries that has left the club without the services of Goran Taneski, Mario Lucic, Zeljko Savic, Djoko Cvetanoski, Philip Smiljanic, Dancho Jovanoski and Nick Culum. Adding to their woes has been the departure of hard-working midfielder Petar Mrdja who is currently abroad on holiday.



The senior West Australian team should be playing more often according to the local soccer community. The affirmative was by far the popular choice in last weeks poll which posed the question "Would you like to see the State team tour the east coast at the end of each season?" Of the over 200 votes which were cast a staggering 83.1% were for 'Yes, it's time for the State team to play more frequently.' The alternative, 'No, the days of serious State-based competition are over', garnered just 16.9% of the count.



Following the incorporation of the Western Australian Soccer Association and its adoption of the new constitution, the organisation have now turned their attention to ensuring all members of the local soccer community have the opportunity to be involved in the games governance. Late last week WASA chairman Kevin Campbell issued a communications, the third in a series, which addressed zoning, standing committees, representation and the electoral processes in WASA. To read what the WASA chairman had to say click here .



Inglewood United youngster Brendan Craig has been named the City of Bayswater's Junior Sport Star for the month of July. The 14-year old Guildford Grammar student was part of the State Under-14 North Development squad that recently traveled to New South Wales where they competed in the Friendship Games. When not playing soccer Craig is hard at work on the athletics track. "Brendan is obviously a very talented sportsman and we look forward to hearing more of his sporting achievement in the future," said City of Bayswater representative Marlene Robinson.



Clint Davies is understood to be close to signing with English First Division side Bristol City. The young shot-stopper has spent the past few weeks impressing during trials with the club leading player/manager Brian Tinnion to suggest the time is ripe to make the move permanent. "We will be looking to do something with goalkeeper Clint Davis," said Tinnion following the 4-0 friendly win over Forest Green Rovers. "He made a great save tonight and I will be speaking to him and his agent in the next few days. "Hopefully we can get a deal together. I want another goalkeeper to put pressure on Steve Phillips, I want competition for places throughout my squad. He's only 21 and still has plenty to learn but he has good experience because he played at Bradford last year in the First Division, plus he had three years at Birmingham."


WOMEN'S WRAP (Lynwood vs East Fremantle courtesy Lynwood; UWA vs Cockburn City courtesy Cockburn City; Beckenham Angels vs Murdoch University courtesy Beckenham Angels)

A solid first half performance from Balcatta enabled them to defeat Kingsley 5-0 in this afternoons round of Women’s Soccer WA Premier League fixtures. The star of the show was Kylie Chatto who got the ball rolling with a controversial goal after only a few minutes. Chatto then increased Balcatta’s lead when her cross was deflected in by a defender, and the teenager completed her hat-trick by finishing a neat attacking move. The margin blew out in the minutes leading up to half-time when long-range efforts by Chatto and Jessine Bonzas slipped through the hands of the Kingsley goalkeeper. After the break Kingsley worked hard to get back in the game but were met by strong resistance from a focused home defence.

Some aggressive tackling and a lack of discipline set the tone early in the clash between Lynwood and East Fremantle. Not even a rash of bookings was enough to settle the physical aspect of the match as three players, including the Lynwood goalkeeper, were forced to leave the field through injury. Lynwood stepped up to close their young opponents down and leave them without many avenues to goal. The wind was a contributing factor in the deciding goal which arrived with ten minutes remaining through Lynwood Alex Kearly. The final whistle signaled victory to Lynwood who’d worked hard in turning around a six-goal loss to East Fremantle earlier in the season. Elsewhere, Queens Park downed Subiaco 1-0 and league leader Northern Redbacks picked up the 3-0 ‘bye win’.

A nine-player Cockburn City registered their first win of the First Division season by downing University of WA 2-1 at McGillivray Oval. The home side got off to the perfect start by scoring in the opening minutes, and they would have increased that lead if not for some stubborn defending from Cockburn’s rearguard. Spotting the goalkeeper off her line, Christina Krepphold let fly from outside the 18-yard box to bring Cockburn back on level terms. There were chances at both ends throughout the second half before a neat build-up through the middle ended with Krepphold rifling in her second of the day on 74 minutes. UWA pushed hard over the remaining time but Cockburn held firm to claim victory.

Honours were shared at Rosalie Park where Subiaco and Swan I.C. played out a physical 2-2 draw. Swan made their intentions clear from the outset by testing goalkeeper Megan Jenyns inside the first few minutes. It wasn’t long before the visitors found the back of the net via a hotly disputed penalty, but their lead was short-lived as Suzanne English held off a defender before shooting past the ‘keeper. Not long before the break the visitors struck a fortunate second goal which in the wet conditions skidded under Jenyns. Subiaco continually applied the pressure in the second half to dominate play. The equaliser came from Ying Ong who converted from the penalty spot following a foul on Camilla Qvist.

On a blustery day at Mills Park Oval, Beckenham Angels proved too strong for Murdoch University by 3-0. The home side were quick assert themselves and took a deserved lead when Lizzie Scott’s rocket left the Murdoch goalkeeper grasping at thin air. Genuine chances were few and far between for Murdoch who found it difficult to break down a defence marshalled by Danielle Jeans. The second half was much like the first with the Angels dominating possession. Hannah Newton doubled the margin when she converted a penalty awarded for a handball infringement inside the box. The introduction of fresh legs strengthened the Angels as the game drew to a close and late in the piece Murdoch conceded a second penalty which Richel Janjatovic netted to complete a good win.

Noranda stay on course to take out the First Division title after defeating Northern Redbacks ‘C’ 2-1 at Rickman Delaney Reserve. With three games remaining Noranda, who are so far undefeated, hold a four points lead over second-placed Swan. Rockingham City moved up the standings courtesy of the 3-0 ‘bye win’. If you are involved in women’s soccer in any capacity - be it as a player, coach, administrator, spectator or other - and are able to provide us with match information then we’d like to hear from you. Please contact Brett via to have your clubs match details included in our weekly updates.



UWA defeated second placed Stirling Panthers 5-0 at McGillivray Oval in the WAASSA Autostrada Premier Division fixture on Sunday. The game started positively for UWA when a corner from Max Percy was met by Tony Odundo on the near post and he showed good composure to put UWA 1-0 up. After 20 minutes a David Berg header found Tony Odundo who then returned the pass just inside the box and David Berg drilled a low shot into the far left hand corner to make it 2-0 to UWA. Two minutes later the irrepressible David Berg received a pass from Paul Dimmock on the right flank and he cut inside and hit a left foot shot inside the right hand post for UWA's third. In the second half despite playing into the wind UWA were equally impressive. After 65 minutes full back Eugene Tse put Marc D'Ascanio away down the right flank and he crossed into the penalty box to the head of David Berg who claimed an excellent hatrick. A few minutes later a corner from UWA's Max Percy again found David Berg's head to complete the 5-0 victory. Coach Kevin Burton said: "We passed well in all positions and forward David Berg showed what he can do with 4 very well taken goals. Defensively we were disciplined in not allowing Stirling to have a decent shot at goal in 90 minutes." UWA Reserves defeated Stirling Panthers 4-0.

For the second consecutive game Shamrock Rovers conceded a goal in the last minute to lose 3-2, this time against Colo Colo. Despite securing a two goal lead after twenty minutes with two goals from the returning John McCarthy, Rovers took their foot of the pedal and allowed Colo Colo to score just before half time. The second half was all one way as Colo Colo desperately sought the equalising goal. With five minutes to go a hopeful ball into the box saw keeper Ed Schuller hesitate and a Colo Colo player nip into level the game. Then deep into stoppage time Colo Colo scored the winner following a shot from the edge of the box which nestled into the bottom corner. Coach Nik Silsby said "Colo Colo thoroughly deserved the three points. They were much the better side and played very well. As for my players they need to look long and hard at themselves - we got what we deserved - nothing. We have a talented side but we need to work for each other. The question is do we have enough heart and character to see us win the title?" The reserves made it 15 out of 15 with a 6-0 win. Mattie Webb returned to form with 3 goals, Jamie Silsby scored two to take his tally to 22 for the season and the scoring was rounded off by Glen Brooks.

In other games, Hamersley Rovers defeated bottom side Fremantle United 3-2. Spearwood Dalmatinac played out a 2-2 draw with CN Canning International. Forrestfield United, who are hoping to join Soccer West Coast next season, now find themselves in the relegation zone after a 7-1 thrashing from Murduch University. The Kwinana United vs Perth Azzurri fixture is currently unknown.

Lynwood Colts continue to dominate the WAASSA First Division after their 4-3 win over Ballajura. Lynwood now find themselves 8 points clear on top and look certain for promotion. South Perth United, Kingsley and Suburbs United will all be hoping to snatch the second promotion place. On the other side of the table, past glories of Balga and Geraldton La Fiamma, both previous Soccer West Coast clubs, seem well and truly behind them as they both sit in the relegation zone.

The WAASSA Second Division sees BB United at the top of the table, and still undefeated with 40 points. Southern Spirit, Joondalup United and Gwellup Croatia will fight it out to join them in the First Division next season. Heading for Division Three at this stage looks to be Kalamunda United and Morley United. However with seven games to go, anything can still happen.

Mandurah City Amateurs moved into top position in the WAASSA Third Division after a great 3-1 win over Perth Royals in the top of the table clash at Bortolo Park. Mandurah were in great form in difficult windy conditions and could have easily won by more. Craig Donnel opened the scoring for Mandurah after five minutes only to see the lead cancelled by a needless defensive error. Both teams worked very hard in the blustery conditions and with 20 minutes to go captain Tom Duxbury got on the end of an Andy Hynd corner to put Mandurah back in the lead. From there Mandurah never looked back and a late penalty converted by Andy Hynd sealed the vital win for City.


PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND SIXTEEN (Stirling Lions vs Bassendean Caledonian courtesy Stirling Lions; Swan I.C. vs Sorrento by Peter Simcox)

Western Knights tightened their grip on the Premier League title with a 3-2 defeat of Floreat Athena in an entertaining match at Litis Stadium. It was a positive start from Athena who for whom Josip Magdic, Anthony Jones and Paul Vlachou were quick to establish dominance in the centre of the park. Chances came thick and fast for the hosts as Andreas Oliveira goalbound effort struck Ivan Zuvela, Stephen Guest's volley was blocked by Jason Williams, and Jones stretched Tommi Tomich with a powerful low drive. Athena's persistence paid off on 31 minutes when Peter Coci played a neat one-two with Andreas Oliveira to open up the defence then hit a bullet-like shot into the top corner from just inside the 18-yard box. Eleven minutes later the Knights responded through a Paul Cooke corner which Alex Christie directed goalward only to have it blocked on the goal line, and Ivan Zuvela reacted quickest to lash the loose ball into the roof of the net. Sixteen minutes into the second half Cooke drew a foul from Guest and the referee wasted not a moment in awarding a penalty that Carl Medica converted by sending goalkeeper Anthony Mori the wrong way. Chances flowed at both ends with Anthony Jones testing Tomich, while a stunning volley by David Annall ended just wide of the angle. Medica bagged his second in the 85th minute with a rasping shot from 16-metres following a great exchange between Daniel Trim and Andrija Jukic. However, Athena refused to concede defeat and twice Oliveira forced sharp responses from Tomich while Magdic's effort was cleared off the line by Evan Wallace as the clock ticked down. Three minutes into stoppage time they found a way through as Guest laid the ball into the path of Coci who stepped past one opponent before firing diagonally past Tomich to complete the scoreline.

Perth S.C. continued to get their season back on track by knocking off second-placed Cockburn City 3-1 at Dalmatinac Park. The Blues started strongly with some great distribution from midfield by Robbie Puca, David Micevski and Mark Pottier forcing the home side into defensive duties for lengthy periods. Midway through the period Todd Howarth went down under a challenge inside the box but appeals for a penalty were dismissed by the referee who instead booked the Perth midfielder. It was much the same story after the break with Perth continually pushing forward through flank players Howarth and Daniel Micevski while Cockburn were able to relieve the pressure only on the occasional counterattack. The deadlock was finally broken on 59 minutes as Howarth swung the ball in from the left to Puca who planted his close-range header past goalkeeper Dino Pacella. Not long after Daniel Micevski's cross from the right made its way to Shane Crampton who went agonisingly close to adding Perth's second. With nothing to lose Cockburn threw caution to the wind by launching several promising attacking raids. The hosts got the result they were after when John Mirco equalised by lashing the ball past goalkeeper Alan Mattecucci following a goalmouth scramble. But the home fans joy was short lived as nine minutes later a corner at the opposite end was cleared only as far as David Micevski whose superb volley found the top corner to put Perth back in the driving seat. Cockburn once again came at their opponents but the Blues weren't about to let the points slip and some solid defending thwarted the best the home side could muster. With only a few minutes remaining Perth took their tally to three as Ryan Newhill cut the ball back to Crampton who calmly stroked the ball into an empty net.

Bayswater City made amends for a big loss earlier in the season to E.C.U. Joondalup by holding the high-flying northern suburbs side to a 3-3 draw at Frank Drago Reserve. Much of the early play was in favour of Bayswater who stroked the ball around the park with confidence but were unable to convert chances in into goals. Against the run of play the visiting side hit the front when a long ball into attack found Alan Henderson whose header was met by Dale McCulloch and the Joondalup captain slammed his shot past goalkeeper Gianni Papalia. Following that the two sides wrestled for control with neither able to get on top although chances flowed at both ends. With the half-time whistle just moments away Bayswater won themselves a corner which was played in by Andrew O'Neill and Cormac Dawson netted to give the hosts new hope for the second period. Upon the re-commencement of activities Joondalup played some good football and took deservedly regained the lead through Andy Brown who had little trouble putting the ball into an empty goal. As the half progressed Bayswater were able to increase their possession and with 61minutes gone won a penalty for a foul on Ross Barnes who dusted himself off and sent Peter Stewart the wrong way from the spot. Bayswater continued to apply the pressure and six minutes later went in front for the first time as Barnes' rasping left-foot volley flew over the 'keeper and into the top corner much to the delight of the Bayswater faithful. But just two minutes later they were silenced by hard-working midfielder Keith Brown who brilliantly volleyed in a corner. At the game came to a close it was Joondalup that looked the more likely to sneak a late decider but there best attacking efforts amounted to nought thanks to the safe hands of Papalia.

Inglewood United returned to the winners circle for the first time in over a month by sweeping aside Fremantle City 3-0 at the National Stadium. With Bobby Despotovski (injury), Greg Sharland (illness) and Anthony Danze (international duty) out for the remainder of the season, Inglewood coach Eddy Hodgkinson looked to his homegrown talent who proved they are more than capable of filling the shoes of the clubs star recruits. It was a nervous start by both teams with possession fairly evening distributed over the opening exchanges. With 20 minutes elapsed the hosts took the lead with a goal of the highest calibre. Having won possession in the back Alan MacKenzie fed a long pass down the flank for Michael Baczynski who, from close to the by-line, delivered an inch-perfect cross into the path of Farrell Hedges whose shot from 12-metres gave goalkeeper Nick Stone no chance. Ten minutes later Baczynski was the beneficiary of Scott Campbell's cleverly clipped pass over the defence which he placed beyond the reach of a bewildered Stone to make it two-nil. A few minutes from the break Baczynski netted his second and Inglewood's third as Stone failed to hold a fierce shot which dribbled over the line. Fremantle emerged for the second half with more purpose and worked tirelessly on getting forward without ever really creating any clear cut chances. For the most part the port side were restricted to shooting from distance with little room afforded to them inside the 18-yard box, while Oliver Taseski dealt comfortably with any crosses which came in from the flanks. Louis Parkinson was unlucky not to add to Inglewood's tally late in the game when put through one-on-one with Stone who moved sharply to deny his opponent.

Sudanese born teenager Dennis McRoberts marked his debut for Stirling Lions by netting in their 3-1 win over Bassendean Caledonian at Macedonia Park. The home team went on the offensive from the outset as with Adam Rains called goalkeeper Steve Grant into action with a goalbound header after 3 minutes. With Nick Ward pulling the string in midfield with ample support provided by Rains and Derek Cooke, the Lions carved up a besieged Caledonian defence. A wickedly dipping cross from Ward on the quarter hour found Muhamed Komaderic in space and the striker made no mistake in blasting in his teams opening goal. The second half started with the Lions on the hunt for more goals as dangerous runs by Jake Harman and Komaderic caught Caledonian on the hop. A 65th minute corner was only half cleared by the visiting side and flamboyant utility Leo Harman cracked the ball into the top left hand corner to send the home fans into raptures. Caledonian worked valiantly to revive their flagging fortunes and that is exactly what they did when Graeme Matthews pounced on an error by Darko Ilomanoski and slipped the ball over the line after 73 minutes. Sensing the game was there for the taking the visitors turned up the heat on the Lions and forced goalkeeper Vince Matassa to make a series of saves. Kevin Griffiths, Craig Naven and Dom Ando who all stepped up to try to rescue a point for Caledonian without success. Stirling coach Tom Leeman steadied the ship by bringing on Alex Smith and 16-year old McRoberts with the latter putting the result beyond doubt with a mesmerising run past three defenders before finishing clinically three minutes from full-time.

Swan I.C. recorded their third successive lose in going down 1-3 to Sorrento at the Swan Italian Club. The Gulls made their intentions clear from the outset by playing the ball long to makeshift strikers Danny Hill and Steve MacDonald. Cory Hugo was called into the action early to deny James Morgan and not long after Glen Thomas' shot was just wide of the mark. The next opening came at the opposite end as Carlo Scali's well-weighted through ball found Todorovic but goalkeeper Neil Young was quick off his line to smother at the strikers feet. On the half-hour MacDonald and Thomas combined to tee-up Hill whose shot cannoned back off the upright. David Foster was being tightly marked by his former teammates but he still found space to connect with a cross from Miki Vujacic only to head wide. Sorrento should have gone in front just minutes into the second half when awarded a penalty but although Simon Harland sent the 'keeper the wrong way his spot kick struck the post before being cleared. Chances to break the deadlock presented themselves at both ends with Cory Hugo making a great from Thomas, while Sorrento's second half 'keeper Phil Straker thwarted Vujacic twice in quick succession. The first of the games four goals arrived on 77 minutes when MacDonald sent a long pass to Thomas whose shot was to the left of Cory Hugo. Three minutes later Swan drew were level through a Tony Cumace free-kick which was headed in by Foster. The crowd didn't have time to settle when Sorrento regained the lead, this time Thomas turned provider as he flicked the ball on to Harland who netted from close-range. Carlos Echeverria then hit the post for Swan following a neat flick by Foster. Sorrento secured the points four minutes from full-time when Jamie Harnwell's long ball was met by MacDonald who finished by placing his shot under the body of the advancing 'keeper.


FIRST DIVISION, ROUND EIGHTEEN (Armadale vs Wanneroo City by Lee Anderson; Gosnells City vs South West Phoenix courtesy Gosnells City; Canning City vs Kingsway Olympic by Phil Unsworth; Rockingham City vs Stirling Suns courtesy Rockingham City)

There was plenty of drama and excitment in the top of the table clash between Armadale and Wanneroo City which ended in a point apiece at Alfred Skeet Oval. Wanneroo's desire to make up ground on the First Division leader enabled them to take a 5th minute lead as Scott Bulloch's fine pass from midfield was coolly slotted in by Brian Robertson. While the Reds struggled to get in the game, Wanneroo were pushing forward in waves only to have their best efforts kept out by the acrobatics of goalkeeper Ken Ftynohiannis. Completely against the run of play Armadale found themselves back on level terms just before half-time when the ever-reliable Greg Newcombe slotted in from close-range. Armadale were a different side after the break, asserting their authority across midfield and spreading the ball wide to dominate play. But they needed a stroke of luck to take the lead with Luke Croxall turning the ball into his own net from an Armadale throw-in. It could have been 3-1 shortly after but Dennis Lee crashed his spot kick against the crossbar. The Reds looked dangerous in attack where wasteful finishing prevented them from finishing off the contest. With ten minutes to go they were made to pay as Scott Wyeth converted from the spot following a foul on Bulloch.

The points were shared at Walter Padbury Reserve where Gosnells City and South West Phoenix played out a tight 1-1 draw. The visitors enjoyed the better of possession over the opening twenty minutes, forcing Gosnells on to the back foot for lengthy periods but unable to get a clear shot on goal due the hard work of their opponents defence. As the game wore on Gosnells slowly woke from their slumber and began to make inroads on the Phoenix goal. Having won a succession of corners Gosnells went in front on 44 minutes when Sean Cowman stabbed the ball past goalkeeper Greg Murray from just outside the 6-yard box for his first goal in over two years. The hosts tried desperately to press home the advantage but failed to add to the scoreline by the break. The opening part of the second half was a carbon copy of the first with Phoenix well on top through some quick movement on and off the ball. Phoenix' equaliser arrived on 70 minutes when a header from distance by Jamie Bergin came to nestle in the top corner of the net. At one apiece both sides went for all three points and as a result the game opened up with a number for guilt edged chances going begging at either end before the final whistle.

A four goal first half laid the groundwork for Mandurah City's 6-1 dumping of Ashfield at Peelwood Parade. Wasting no time in making his presence felt, Christian Paschewitz opened the home teams account in the 3rd minute with Adam Parmenter adding a second goal not long after. Andy Cornmell made a welcome return to the scoresheet for Ashfield when he reduced the gap in the 25th minute. But this only fired Mandurah up and Paschewitz completed his second hat-trick in as many weeks with goals in the 36th and 39th minutes. Goalkeeper Adam Ashworth was beaten again six minutes into the second half, this time by teenager Jake Loreto, as the visitors hopes of a comeback dried up. The games final goal arrived on 89 minutes when another of Mandurah's talented youngsters, Jordon Rhodes, found the back of the net. The win lifted Mandurah to third on the First Division table, level on points but ahead on goal difference of Bunbury-based South West Phoenix.

Kingsway Olympic's four game unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of Canning City who triumphed 3-1 at John Connell Reserve. The first incident of note occurred after 10 minutes when a cross struck the arm of Patrick Fitzgerald and the referee immediately awarded Olympic a penalty which Phil Russie sent into the top corner to give goalkeeper Robby Meyer absolutely no chance. Canning's best chance of the half arrived ten minutes before the interval as shots in quick succession from Julio Barrendilla and Harin Rajeswaren were blocked by goalkeeper Steve Dimitrovich and his defence. The new half was only three minutes old when Fitzgerald atoned for his earlier error with a great run to the 18-yard box which he finished by slotting low and to the right of Dimitrovich to draw the sides level. Midway into the half Steve Bretti forced a fantastic save from Meyer as the hosts looked to reclaim the lead. A minute later it was Canning that found the net as Paul Van Dongen shot was parried by the 'keeper and Rajeswaren was on hand to tap in at close-range. In stoppage time Paul Van Dongen made the points safe by neatly chipping Dimitrovich to complete the scoreline.

Morley Windmills proved no match for Queens Park who came away from Wotton Reserve with maximum points courtesy of a staggering 8-1 scoreline. Queens Park were quick out of the block and less than twenty minutes gone had pretty much sewn up the game through four unanswered goals. Adrian McBride was the first to net with just 3 minutes gone and Glen Noblet added to the tally shortly after. It was Paul Dundo's turn to score on the quarter hour and three minutes later Noblet send the ball past goalkeeper Matt Darling for a second time. Windmills managed to pull one back midway through the half via William Lyall, but four minutes before the break the visitors restored their four-goal buffer as Ray Rose scored against his former club. The flood of goals continued after the break with McBride adding his second on 51 minutes, and Noblet completing his hat-trick in the 62nd minute. The games final goal arrived four minutes from full-time when Dean Dalby became the fifth Queens Park player to get himself on the scoresheet.

Leeming Strikers continued their fine run of results by coming from behind to defeat Dianella White Eagles 6-2 at Dianella Reserve. The home team started well and with 13 minutes gone claimed the lead as Jimmy Stoichev sent the ball past goalkeeper Darren Williams. Having lost each of their past four outings, things were really looking up for Dianella when Dragan Njegic doubled the margin after 33 minutes. Three minutes before the break young gun Gordon Hind beat goalkeeper Drazen Saric to bring the Strikers back into the game. The visitors went on a goalscoring spree early in the second half which left their opponent stunned. The equaliser arrived in the 52nd minute through Lucas Whitehouse, and when Phil Bell drilled the ball home three minutes later to give the Strikers the upper hand there was clear concern in the Dianella camp. Whitehouse added the sides fourth on the hour and with ten minutes to go the striker completed a deserved hat-trick. The icing was put on the cake in the 88th minute by Bell who benefited from the superb lead-up work of Whitehouse.

Rockingham City moved away from the foot of the table by thrashing Stirling Suns 6-0 at Dowling Street Reserve. The home side were thrown into total disarray in the lad-up to the match with seven players that turned out last weekend, amongst them Marc Hornby and Glen Hallums, unavailable due to injury and illness. Even so it didn't take long for Rockingham to establish control through some slick passing and strong running off the ball. Danny Turner opened their account on 16 minutes, and two goals in three minutes from Jay Carmichael substantially increased the margin with less than half and hour played. Any hopes the Suns had of clawing their way back into the match were effectively extinguished leading into the break with Gavin McIlveen hitting the target in the 41st minute followed shortly after by Daniel Barlow who made it five-nil. The second half followed the same pattern with the home side well on top. Teenager Franky Ternel performed heroics between the posts for the Suns and if not for him the final margin could easily have been in double figures. The final goal arrived with six minutes to go via Luke Collins.



Australia were outclassed 3-1 by host nation South Korea in their final warm-up game before the 2004 Olympic Games. Jaejin gave Korea a 16th minute lead before Chung Soo hit the crossbar from a free-kick. After the break Jin hit the post with a tremendous strike from outside the 18-yard box and Kuk twice called goalkeeper Brad Jones to respond. The hosts extended its lead in the 66th minute with a brilliant free-kick. John Aloisi came close to getting on the scoresheet for Australia with a fine header which was brilliantly saved by the Korean goalkeeper. But any hopes of an Australian comeback with extinguished when Kuk slotted past Jones following a defensive error after 79 minutes. Australia's consolation goal came five minutes from the end with substitute Ahmad Elrich putting away a Ryan Griffiths cross. All five West Australian's were involved in the friendly - Jones and North both played full games, Adrian Madaschi made way for David Tarka in the 83rd minute, and Anthony Danze came on after 62 minutes.



Yeovil Town winger Adrian Caceres was delighted to get on the scoresheet in his club's thrilling 3-3 friendly draw with Cardiff City in mid-week. Cardiff, who play two divisions higher than Yeovil, needed a last-minute equaliser to save face against the Glovers. "We took a lot out of that one," Caceras said. "We had a bit a of a 'mare against Bristol City last weekend, but the Cardiff game went very well for us. The boss was able to bring in our two latest signings, Bartosz Tarachulski and Nicolas Mirza, and they both showed they'll be a handful for defences this season. It was a good hit-out and getting a result against a team like Cardiff has boosted everyone's confidence here."

Caceres' first goal for his new club arrived right on the stroke of half-time and gave the Glovers a 3-2 advantage. "I reacted well to a cross and was able to beat their 'keeper ... I'm well pleased with it," he commented. The former Perth Glory attacker has been a regular starter throughout Yeovil's pre-season and has been relishing in the chance to play at the higher level. "I'm happy with my own form and the fitness levels are beginning to get better every week. I can't tell you how much my game has benefited from playing against the likes of Cardiff, Royal Antwerp and Den Haag. Knowing I can compete at that level gives you a great boost."



Carl Medica scored twice as the Western Knights edged closer to the Premier League title by holding off Floreat Athena 3-2 in a cracking match at Litis Stadium. Perth S.C. continued their charge towards finals football with a confident 3-1 win over Cockburn City who now trail the Knights by six-points. E.C.U. Joondalup were held 3-3 away at Bayswater City. There were good wins for Stirling Lions and Sorrento, both by 3-1 scorelines, over Bassendean Caledonian and Swan I.C. respectively. Two goals from Michael Baczynski helped Inglewood United get their campaign back on track with a 3-0 defeat of Fremantle City.

Four goals, a missed penalty and some brilliant goalkeeping were all part of the action packed top of the table clash between Armadale and Wanneroo City that ended with honours even. Mandurah City's 6-1 thrashing of Ashfield enabled them to leapfrog into third position, ahead of South West Phoenix who were held 1-1 by Gosnells City. Canning City's 3-1 triumph over Kingsway Olympic elevates them to fifth. Leeming Strikers stretched their winning run to four game with a resounding 6-2 defeat of Dianella White Eagles. Morley Windmills were humbled 1-8 at home by Queens Park, and Stirling Suns were left languishing firmly at the foot of the table after going down 1-6 to Rockingham City.



There are some important match-ups in this weekend's round of Premier League games. Buoyed by a good win last Saturday Floreat Athena return to Litis Stadium where they face leader Western Knights. Cockburn City take on a fast improving Perth S.C. at Dalmatinac Park, while one of the games of the weekend throws together finals contenders Swan I.C. and Sorrento. Inglewood United and Fremantle City are both in need of maximum points for very different reasons. Although they have home ground advantage Bayswater City will find the going tough against an E.C.U Joondalup side on the rebound. Stirling Lions take on bottom side Bassendean Caledonian at Macedonia Park.

The pick of the First Division action takes place at Alfred Skeet Oval where leader Armadale are pitted against second-placed Wanneroo City. Gosnells City and South West Phoenix should be a top match at Walter Padbury Reserve, likewise Dianella White Eagles against Leeming Strikers. Due to a ground unavailability Canning City's home clash with Kingsway Olympic has been switched to John Connell Reserve. Mandurah City are favoured at home over Ashfield, while Queens Park should come home with the points from Morley Windmills. Dowling Street Reserve is the venue for the battle of the cellar dwellers between Rockingham City and Stirling Suns. Balcatta have the bye.



They don’t come much bigger than tomorrow’s First Division blockbuster between leader Armadale and second-placed Wanneroo City. The two clubs are locked in a titanic struggle to see who will go the distance and win promotion to the top flight at seasons’ end. A win by home team Armadale will increase their lead to eight points and all but ensure the Reds of their first major trophy. Equally as desperate for the three points are Wanneroo who have kept pace with the leader for much of the home and away campaign.

Brimming with confidence, Armadale have topped the table since early in the season and are undefeated in their past ten outings. "Tomorrow’s game pits the best attacking team against the best defensive team so it should be an interesting tussle," said coach Billy Russell. "Every player wants to win and there is a fantastic bond and sense of camaraderie throughout our squad which is evident when we’re playing." Goalkeeper Ken Ftynohiannis has been key player all season, Greg Newcombe has been positively dangerous with eleven goals in the past seven weeks while the return of Dean Gartside has significantly boosted their stocks. Some Armadale fans have gone so far as to suggest this could be the more important game in the clubs 30-year history.

Wanneroo go into the weekend with ten successive wins and yet to lose away from home this year. "The game has been talked about as a league decider, but from our point of view we have another ten games after this that are just as important," said coach Stuart Currie. "We have seventeen players playing at there peak and we’re very confident for Saturday’s game. The boys are not worried about playing Armadale but I know they aren’t looking forward to playing us." Much of the northerners danger come from flank players Stuart Collins and Scott Bulloch while veteran Gerry McEwan provide them with stability at the back.



Following a meeting on Wednesday evening, the member clubs of Soccer West Coast have taken a giant step towards becoming aligned with the recently formed Western Australian Soccer Association. Club presidents meet with Robin Graham and Peter Friend of the Australian Soccer Association as well as WASA president Kevin Campbell to clarify issues of concern, and put to bed several untruths and rumours in regards to the unification process. The outcome of the meeting, attended by the vast majority of clubs, was an in principle Letter of Agreement between the clubs to work together and towards unification.



An excellent performance by the West Australian Schoolboys was the perfect tonic for the side on the eve of their trip to Adelaide. The State team turned on the style to beat a strong Floreat Athena Under-21 side 3-0 in a friendly at Litis Stadium last night. Wesley Ryder opened the scoring just before the break with a second half double from Brendon Ross giving the side a much-deserved victory. "I was pleased with the performance tonight, that is the sort of performance I will be looking for in Adelaide," said coach Damon Atthowe. "The side has recovered well from last weeks defeat, like I knew they would, and it was very pleasing. The only down side was the trio of players who missed the game due to injury. Daniel Simcox, Seb Trim and Dejan Gurovski we absent tonight but I'm confident they will be fit for the tournament". The Schoolboys squad depart for the 2004 Schools National Champions in Adelaide next Saturday.



The signs are positive that Australian internationals Kal Tarp and Lisa De Vanna will turn out for the new Perth team which was recently granted entry to the 2004/05 Women's National Soccer League season. In the past the state's best players have had to look interstate to further their careers. Karp moved east in 1996 to link up with Canberra Eclipse, and more recently De Vanna headed to South Australia where she's played the past three seasons for Adelaide Sensation. Both have verbally committed themselves to playing for the Perth side who'll be coached by former Perth Glory striker Alistair Edwards. The as yet unnamed outfit will take on the Australian Under-19 side in a friendly in Bunbury on Saturday 2nd October.



If James Hesketh plays his cards right he will become the first West Australian to play professionally in the Netherlands. Part of the Total Network Solutions Llansantffraid squad which were runners-up in the Welsh League last season, the 19-year old has taken up an offer of trials on mainland Europe. "An opportunity has come up for me in Holland," explained Hesketh who returned to Europe last the weekend. "My club have been great, I spoke with them recently and with their permission I'll be going to Holland."

It was late last year that Hesketh made the move Europe where he signed non-contract forms with Total Network Solutions. "I enjoyed my first season abroad," said Hesketh. "Having missed the pre-season in the United Kingdom I was more than pleased to get a place with a full-time club. Fremantle City were brilliant in getting me cleared to play and were very supportive of my move." Although first team opportunities were limited for Hesketh he was a regular part of the clubs second string. "The Reserve team won promotion and made it to the semi-finals of the Cup so it was a very rewarding season."

Hesketh honed his skills under the guidance of Peter Rickers at John Curtin Senior High School's Soccer Excellence Program before joining Cockburn City. Shortly after representing the State at Under-16 Hesketh made his first team debut for Cockburn and the following year earned State Schoolboys honours. The versatile left-sided player joined Future Glory and quickly became established as regular started for the Under-19 side which competed strongly in the 2002 Premier League season. The following year Hesketh played for Fremantle City after which he linked up with Total Network Solutions.



Robbie Gaspar's time with Malaysian side Sabah has come to a premature end with the two parties agreeing to part company. "That's football," said the talented midfielder who joined Sabah early last year. "The show must go on and I have to look elsewhere to continue my football career. I am disappointed to leave the team in mid-season." Gaspar was a key player in his first season with the Rhino's, scoring 13 goals and helping them to the final of the Malaysia Cup and fourth in the M-League. But this year has been a much different story with the out of favour midfielder spending much of his time on the bench. Gaspar is expected to return to Perth later this week.



Perth S.C. will defend their Champion of Champions crown according to coach Graham Normanton. Following a disappointing start to the regular season Perth have eased themselves away from the foot of the table over the past month and put themselves firmly in the frame for a fifth successive play-off title. "I am still very confident that we can still make it into the play-offs in September," said the Perth coach. "If we can keep producing the brand of soccer that we have been and just finish off the good approach work then I'm absolutely certain that we will be charging up the league at a rate of knots."

Normanton has every right to make that bold prediction. Perth's return to from began at Frank Drago Reserve where goals from Shane Crampton, Robbie Puca and David Micevski resulted in a confidence boosting 3-1 defeat of traditional rival Bayswater City. A week later Ryan Newhill's first half goal was cancelled out only by a later equaliser against Swan I.C., while the Blues domination of their away meeting with Inglewood United went unrewarded and they had to settle for shared points. Unanswered goals from Crampton, Perry Ielati and David Micevski saw Perth brush aside Fremantle City on the weekend.



Adrian Madaschi is delighted with his partnership with Craig Moore in the centre of defence for the Australian Olympic team. Madaschi and Moore were outstanding in Australia's impressive 1-0 win in Japan on Sunday. "Craig's a fantastic player and is someone I can learn a hell of a lot from," said the Partick Thistle stopper. "The partnership is developing well. We were under the cosh a wee bit against the Japanese, but the pair of us did well against their strikers and to keep a clean sheet away from home is a great boost to the team's confidence."

Madaschi came up against Japanese whiz-kid Sato Hirayama on Sunday, a player who is on the verge of a move to Spanish champs Valencia. "He's a decent player - and actually had a goal disallowed in the second-half. I thought I did well against him. Like I said, Craig and I did well as a pairing and worked out when to mark him and when to pick up space. Hopefully we'll get another chance against the South Koreans on Friday to work on a few things. But I can tell everyone in Australia that the spirit is high in the camp and the lads are brimming with confidence for Athens."



Bassendean Caledonian are the popular choice to lose their top flight status at the end of the season. The club, one of the oldest in West Australia, tallied 51.6% of the vote in the poll which queried 'Who will end the Premier League season in twelfth place?' Floreat Athena (14.7%) were the second most popular option followed by Bayswater City and Fremantle City (13.6%) who received exactly the same number of votes. Perth S.C. (6.6%), who've turned their season around in recent week, were the least popular choice for relegation. Close to 250 votes were cast in last weeks poll.



The career of Australian international Jason Petkovic is on hold after he was denied a work permit to play in England last week. The former Perth Glory shot-stopper had hoped to spend the 2004/05 with season non-League outfit Stanley Accrington. But the club hit a stumbling block in that English authorities issue work permits only to players entering the country to play in the Premier League or Football League. Accrington are understood to be considering other options which will allow Petkovic to pull on club colours.



After years of terrorising defences, the boot could be on the other foot for Birmingham City midfielder Stan Lazaridis next season. The Australian international, who last week shook hands on a new three-year contract at St. Andrew's, looks set for a change of position when the English season kicks-off off next month. "There is a chance that I will be playing more often at left back," said the former West Ham United favourite. "There is a good competition for places on the left with myself, David Dunn, Julian Gray and Jamie Clapham. We are all going to be vying for those couple of positions [so] if that means me playing at left back then I won't mind at all. It's where I play for my country so it's a position that I know well ... We'll just have to wait and see what the manager wants to do."



An impressive all-round performance gave the Australian Olympic team a 1-0 friendly win over Japan last night. In humid conditions and witnessed by parochial 30,000 crowd in Osaka the game ebbed and flowed from end to end with good opportunities coming the way of both nations. The only goal arrived on 78 minutes when substitute Brett Holman put away an inch-perfect cross by Ryan Griffiths. Adrian Madaschi and Jade North both saw out the full 90 minutes, while Anthony Danze came on fifteen minutes from the end. Brad Jones and David Tarka were unused substitutes. The match was the latest in preparation for next month's Olympic Games



Richard Garcia says he is grateful to West Ham for getting him back to fitness following a second cruciate problem while with West Ham United - but admits he will be moving on shortly. "I have got back into running now, and I am trying to get back into football - it won't be too long that I am playing again," commented Garcia recently. "It is a hard one for the club but it is good that they have kept me on to get fit, and hopefully I can go and do something else. I would have been in limbo but in a couple of months I will be on my way; I am looking at a few options but I definitely want to stay in England."

The attacker suffered his first knee injury during a loan spell with Leyton Orient in December 2000, and earlier this year he required a second knee operation after tearing cartilage while on international duty with the Australian Olympic team. "It was one of those things that you couldn't see coming or anything like that. I had no problems after the first one and having a second was just bad luck, really," Garcia explained. "But I have not felt down - I pretty much knew what was coming after I did the second as I had been through it before. The timing of it gets you down a bit, I suppose, because I will miss the Olympics - but that is just part of life and part of football."

Garcia, who signed professional papers with the Hammers in 1999, admits his time with the London club is nearing an end. "I am looking to move on and get some regular football," he said. "I have been at West Ham too long without a run of games. I have been in and out without two games in a row so I have to try and get some football under my belt - and my face on the scene." In total the 22-year old has made just 21 appearances for the West Ham first team, of which only four were in the starting line-up. In addition he played 21 times and scored three goals during a fourteen-week loan to Orient.



The two State Under-14 Development teams are back from New South Wales where they competed in the third annual Friendship Games. Both the North and South squads performed strongly through the week-long junior tournament held at Valentine Sports Park in Sydney's west. The North squad became one of the Junior Soccer Association best touring sides with three wins and a draw from six games. Although they registered a single win and two draws, the South competed well having drawn three of the nations best representatives sides in this age group. On a personal level, striker Callum Roberts of the South squad was honoured at tournament's end with a place in the Friendship Games All-Star Team.

The West Australian Under-14 South team, coached by Paul Wozny, headed into the opening game of the tournament brimful of confidence only to be upset by Queensland Country who triumphed 2-0. Facing up to a strong Queensland Metro side the following day South rallied against a focused opponent to register a hard-fought 3-3 draw. Having found their attacking rhythm, South now embarked on a tremendous four game by playing some of the weeks best football. The Australian Capital Territory would be the first team to run into the South juggernaut, getting wiped off the pitch with a relentless wave of attacks that produced a 5-1 scoreline.

In one of the games of the tournament, West Australian South met the might of Victoria on the afternoon of Day Four of competition. South battled hard only to go down 1-2 to Victoria who would end the week without dropping a game and conceding just a single goal. Buoyed by this performance the South squad defeated New South Wales Country 2-1 the following day. To close out their campaign, South scored a convincing 2-1 victory over Victoria Country to finish the tournament with the impressive record of three wins, a draw and two losses to become West Australia's most successful team at the Friendship Games.

The West Australian Under-14 North squad were handed one of the toughest draws of the event which saw them meet heavyweights Queensland Metro, New South Wales Metro and Victoria Metro An opening day clash with Queensland Metro ended in a 0-3 loss hat saw the North defence work tirelessly to stem the flow from a spirited Queensland attack. North regrouped for the following day and competed well until the final whistle to register a deserved 1-1 draw with Northern New South Wales. Improving with each outing, North turned in a solid all-round display On Day Three to topple Victoria Country 2-0.

Chasing their second win of the tournament, North again put in solid defensive display to hold Queensland Country to a scoreless draw. Next up was a meeting with the powerful New South Wales Metro side against whom North found it difficult to open up an avenue to goal before going down 0-2. West Australia North's defence was again put to the test on the final day by Victoria Metro who'd ended the tournament undefeated and as it's highest scoring team. North proved themselves capable of the task, limiting the Victorian's opportunities while testing the country's best Under-14 team only to lose out 0-2.


TOP HONOUR FOR STATE JUNIOR (courtesy the Junior Soccer Association)

The efforts of Callum Roberts didn't go unnoticed at the recent Friendship Games in New South Wales. Roberts ended the week-long event as the leading goalscorer for the West Australian Under-14 South Development squad and with a place in the tournaments' All-Stars team. "Callum won the attention of opposition coaches when he scored the goal of tournament," explained tour manager Marin Vlasich. "He amazed players and spectators alike when he took the ball from the halfway line, beat five defenders then put it in the back of the net." Roberts, who plays locally for Fremantle City, scored five times for the Under-14 South Development squad which recorded the best ever placing by a West Australian team at the Friendship Games.


WOMEN'S WRAP (Lynwood vs Balcatta courtesy Balcatta; Cockburn City vs Swan I.C. courtesy Cockburn City)

Northern Redbacks had little trouble in accounting for Kingsley in today's Women's Soccer WA Premier League clash. Carys Hawkins (2), Collette McCallum (2), Hayley Crawford (2), Nicola Williams (2), Sara Gawned and Tanya Oxtoby all found the net in the 10-0 win. Although never in the hunt, Kingsley fought hard for the duration and a fine performance between the posts by Kate Burns prevented the gap from being any greater. Particularly pleasing for the Redbacks was the superb form of McCallum who was playing her first game since recovering from a second knee reconstruction.

Lynwood and Balcatta shared nine goals with the latter emerging victorious at Hossack Reserve. The home team raced to a two-goal lead after 9 minutes only to have it reduced by Kylie Chatto. Lynwood continued to unsettle the visitors and midway through the half added another two to their tally. Balcatta's comeback started ten minutes after the break when Chatto surged forward from midfield to score. The visitors stormed back into contention with quick goals from Ashley Kane and Elisa D'Ovidio which both resulted from corners by Janeil D'Annunzio. The deciding goal arrived via the boot of Chatto who completed her hat-trick in the process.

Redbacks remain at the top of the Premier League table, two points clear of Balcatta, with the two teams meeting in what is likely to be the championship decider on the final weekend of the season in a fortnights time. Queens Park bounced back from a disappointing loss last weekend to defeat East Fremantle 2-1 at Coker Park. Subiaco collect maximum points courtesy of the 'bye win'.

There was a big win in the First Division for Swan I.C. who triumphed 8-0 over Cockburn City at Beale Park. Not for the first time this season Cockburn were forced to struggle through the match with only ten players, but to their credit the hosts worked hard right up to the final whistle. The margin would have been much greater if not for Cockburn's tireless defensive efforts which allowed the opposing side limited shots on goal. The win moves Swan to within two points of leader Noranda over whom they have a game in hand.

Noranda lead the First Division after accounting for Beckenham Angels 2-0 in the top of the table clash at Noranda Sporting Complex. The result all but ends the Angels title hopes as they now trail the leaders by five points with only four games remaining. Murdoch University were held to a 1-1 draw by the University of WA at Murdoch Playing Fields. Northern Redbacks C returned from Dowling Street Reserve with the points after holding off a determined Rockingham City line-up by 3-2. The 'bye win' went to Subiaco.

If you are involved in women's soccer in any capacity - be it as a player, coach, administrator, spectator or other - and are able to provide us with match information then we'd like to hear from you. Please contact Brett via to have your clubs match details included in our weekly updates.



University of WA were held to a 1-1 draw away to Perth Azzurri on Sunday in the WAASSA Autostrada Premier Division soccer fixture on Sunday. Following a mid week 4-0 victory over Forrestfield in the league it looked like being another good day for UWA when a penalty was awarded after a Robert Benkovic cross was handled by Perth Azzurri defender. Paul Dimmock stepped up to take it but Perth Azzurri goalkeeper C.Marshall was equal to the task and saved well and although Paul Dimmock got to the ball again his follow up shot hit the post and was cleared to safety. UWA then laid siege to Perth Azzurri's goal with Bryn Griffiths running from half way only to see his shot go just past the right post. After 21 minutes UWA finally scored when a Declan Sharp throw was received by Robert Benkovic who turned in the box and somehow hooked ball into the top right hand corner. At the other end Damien Pescud had a good long shot for Perth Azzurri which just went over the bar. UWA's Robert Benkovic then beat two Perth Azzurri defenders in the box and passed to Tony Odundo whose shot went just over the bar. The second half saw Perth Azzurri increase their work rate and possession but their penetration was lacking. Indeed with a Perth Azzurri player being sent off for a second offence with only 15 minutes to go the game looked over. As the full time whistle neared, the ball was crossed to the far left hand post and a Perth Azzurri forward got his foot to the ball to make it 1-1. Coach Kevin Burton said: "It was a good result for Perth Azzurri and they never gave up hope. On another day we would have scored 4 or 5 with the chances and possession we had in the first half but you can tell we are now playing much better when we are so disappointed with a draw." UWA Reserves defeated Perth Azzurri Reserves 4-0.

In other games, Shamrock Rovers lost their first game of the season after their 3-2 defeat to CN Canning International. Kwinana United had a vital win in their quest to avoid relegation when they won 1-0 against Hamersley Rovers. Stirling Panthers remained in second position in their 4-1 victory over Spearwood Dalmatianc, Fremantle United beat Murdoch University 2-0 in their first win of the season, while Colo Colo and Forrestfield United fought out a 2-2 draw.


PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND FIFTEEN (Western Knights vs Inglewood United courtesy Western Knights; Cockburn City vs Swan I.C. by Lennie Bavich; Stirling Lions vs Bayswater City by Don Evans; Bassendean Caledonian vs Sorrento by Kerry Slater)

Western Knights scored a fortuitous 2-1 victory over a resilient Inglewood United side battling to retain their place in the top five at Nash Field. Playing without their Perth Glory recruits, Inglewood looked dangerous and carved out the better of first half chances. Louis Parkinson could have given his side an early lead when played through from midfield but Knights custodian Tommi Tomich saved superbly. Parkinson was the recipient of another good move later in the half and on this occasion tight defensive pressure put an end to the danger. Although the game was evenly poised at half-time the nil-all scoreline did in no way reflect Inglewood's chances. Shaun Kilkelly stormed into the 18-yard box where he headed a quickly taken free-kick past Tomich for the opening goal just four minutes into the second half. Having gone in front, Inglewood were content to get numbers behind the ball and defend their lead. Knights coach Ronnie Campbell responded by making a match-turning double substitution, bringing on Carl Medica and youngster Andrija Jukic. The effect was near immediate with Medica bustling his way into the penalty area where he was fouled, the Knights captain dusting himself off to net the equaliser with thirteen minutes to go. The pressure was no on Inglewood as the home side, cheered on by a vocal crowd, went in for the kill. Five minutes after getting back on level terms Evan Wallace's header crossed the line and give the Knights the upper hand. The Knights held out for the remaining minutes to notch up their eleventh win of the campaign and maintain their three-point lead at the top of the table. Inglewood, on the other hand, slip into a congested mid-table where six clubs are separated by five points.

Cockburn City stretched their undefeated run to eight games with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Swan I.C. at Dalmatinac Park. The hosts applied the pressure from the outset as Peter Petkovich swept the ball wide to John Mirco who dashed down the left and delivered the ball to Antonio Naglieri whose header was kept out by an alert Cory Hugo. Scott Miller made his way down the left but his effort was hit just wide of the target, then Michael Mirco played through to Jason Dos Santos who was denied by Cory Hugo. In the 24th minute Michael Mirco made amends for squandering a couple of earlier opportunities when he met a cross from John Mirco to tuck away the games opening goal. Swan were back on equal terms three minutes later when David Foster scored from the penalty spot after Dean Wallace cluttered into youngster Tom Shepheard. The second half started similarly to the first with Cockburn doing all the attacking and Swan well and truly on the back foot. Sixteen minutes in the margin was doubled as Michael Mirco took possession in Cockburn's defensive half and weaved his way past five opponents before drawing Cory Hugo off his line and slotting in second of the day. But the lead lasted all of two minutes before Shepheard scrambled the ball over the line after a corner went to feet. With fifteen minutes to go Damien Scali received his marching orders after bringing down John Mirco just inside the 18-yard box, and from the resulting penalty the nippy attacker had luck on his side in beating the 'keeper. Swan went close in the dying minutes to levelling but Shepheard's shot was tipped away by Dino Pacella while an in-swinnig corner by Miki Vujacic crashing back off the crossbar with the 'keeper beaten.

E.C.U. Joondalup's hopes of lifting the regular season title were extinguished by Floreat Athena who triumphed 4-3 in the northern suburbs. The first half belonged to the host club who raced to a three goal lead through some enterprising lead-up play and slick finishing. Athena opening the scoring with a well crafted move started deep in their own half and taken down the right by Josip Magdic whose inch-perfect cross was nodded in by Peter Coci after 17 minutes. Coci turned provider in the 34th minute by pulling the defence out of position before centring to strike partner Andreas Oliviera who side footed into an open net. Athena were on fire and the home supporters were not to be disappointed. After receiving the ball wide on the right an awkward bounce looked to have robbed Oliviera who kept his composure to regain control, pivot sharply and send a superb half volley past the goalkeeper and inside the upright. Right on the stroke of half-time Joondalup reduced the deficit through midfielder Keith Brown. Fired up by a roasting from coach Paul Simmons, the northern suburbs side merged for the new half determined to make amends for a poor first half display. Six minutes after the re-start the visitors were awarded a penalty and captain Dale McCulloch made no mistake in beating Vas Vujacic from the spot. Just five minutes later though Athena struck a crucial fourth goal through a swift counter-attack in which Oliveira chased the ball down the left and cleverly evaded a tackle from Jamie Kuzmanovich before squaring to Coci whose finish was clinical. With five minutes remaining Joondalup were thrown a lifeline as John Higgins flicked in a corner to bring the margin back to a single goal. But Athena weren't about to undo their hard work and defended resolutely to hold on for a deserved victory.

Stirling Lions went down 1-3 to a tenacious Bayswater City outfit at Macedonia Park. In sunny playing conditions Bayswater made their intentions clear from the outset with a series of raids that kept Riste Stefoski and goalkeeper Vince Matassa very busy. Early promise was shown by Andy O'Neill, Cormac Dawson and Damien Catalano as they wrested midfield control for the visitors. On the half hour the Lions defence was caught ball-watching when a corner was whipped to the near post where Dawson glanced it into the net to five Bayswater the lead. Stung into action, the Lions surged forward at every opportunity and on 37 minutes won themselves a corner which fell to defender Kevin Munro whose looping header squeezed under the crossbar to bring the sides back on a level footing. The game was set for a big second half as the referee signalled for the interval with both sides very evenly matched. The Lions came out firing for the new half as Jake Harman unleashed a terrific shot on goal for which Papalia produced a brilliant flying save after 60 minutes. Inspired by their 'keeper's heroics, Bayswater launched a counterattack that saw teenager Luke O'Neill beat the offside trap before poking the ball past an advancing 'keeper Matassa with 62 minutes gone. Staring defeat in the face the Lions upped their efforts to get back in the game with captain Adam Rains leading the way with a couple of powerful headers which were desperately cleared off the line in the 67th minute and 78th minutes. The game was put beyond the hosts reach in the dying minutes when Bayswater streamed into attack and Andy O'Neill found the top corner of the goal with a cracking shot.

Sorrento continued their charge towards a place in the play-offs by accounting for Bassendean Caledonian 1-0 at Jubilee Reserve. It took the Gulls just 4 minutes to open their account when Glen Thomas' free-kick from the right was met by stand-in striker Steve MacDonald who planted his header firmly into the bottom corner of the net. At this point both sets of supporters must have felt this was going to be the first of many goals but it wasn't to be as both sides defended well. Although they were by far the dominant side for the remainder of the half Sorrento never really created another clear cut chance and headed in at the break with just the single goal advantage. The complexion of the game change eleven minutes into the second half when MacDonald was forced off with an ankle injury. With Kevin Griffiths and substitute Craig Wells getting a grip on the centre of midfield it was now Caledonian's turn to enjoy the better of possession. But like their opponent the host team failed to generate many genuine chances on goal. Sorrento did get the ball in the net for a second time but Todd Harnwell's was disallowed for offside despite the ball appearing to come off a Caledonian defender. In a tense final few minutes the Gulls were reduced to ten men with the red carding of second half substitute Shaun Bowyer for a second bookable offence. And Caledonian went agonisingly close to snatching a point when, four minutes into time stoppage time, a long throw-in found its way to Kevin Griffiths who in a rush of blood blasted over the bar from point blank range. The win stretched Sorrento's unbeaten run to five games as they move into the top five for the first time this season.

Perth S.C. made the most of their opportunities to defeat Fremantle City 3-0 in summery conditions at Dorrien Gardens. The game was 11 minutes old when Perth struck for the first time, Robbie Puca's centre finding the feet of Shane Crampton who dummied between two defenders before rolling the ball diagonally across goalkeeper Bobson Koroma and inside the far upright from an narrow angle. The port side wasted no time in re-asserting themselves as they went in search of an equaliser. A booming clearance by Koroma made its way to Kevin Correia who shrugged off one challenge only to shoot into the side netting from an acute angle. Midway through the half Matt Danksin's clever work put Branimir Mikulic past the defence and goalkeeper Alan Mattecucci raced off his line to smother at the striker's feet. Corriea's silky ball control took him past three opponents and inside the 18-yard box where Perry Ielati's no-nonsense approach snuffed out the danger. With 33 minutes gone Perth were able to double their lead as Todd Howarth sent a curling free-kick into a crowded goal area in which Ielati stooped to head past a flat-footed 'keeper. Fremantle's best period came immediately after the break. Anthony Perriera stretched Mattecucci full-length with a blistering shot from 25-metres. A defensive error presented Danskin with a golden opportunity which he placed narrowly wide. And in the 62nd minute Mark Pottier headed Perriera's effort off the line following a corner. Eight minutes later the game was put beyond the port side when David Micevski waltzed past three challenges to arrow a low shot into the bottom corner of the goal. Fremantle refused to give up, however, and Corriea rifled just wide while Mattecucci's reflexes were tested by a glancing header from Perriera. David Onoforo almost added a fourth to Perth's tally late in the piece but Koroma plucked his goal bound out of the air.


FIRST DIVISION, ROUND SEVENTEEN (Armadale vs Wanneroo City courtesy Armadale; Wanneroo City vs Morley Windmills courtesy Wanneroo City; Balcatta vs Gosnells City courtesy Balcatta; Canning City vs Leeming Strikers by Phil Unsworth)

A rock-solid defensive display laid the foundations for Armadale to defeat home side Dianella White Eagles 2-1 this afternoon. It was a sprightly start by the league leaders who went ahead in bizarre circumstances after 5 minutes when Paul Caulkin's in-swinging corner missed everybody and ended up in the net. Midfielder Jimmy Taneski was causing Armadale all sorts of problems on the right as the visitors fought their way back into the game, but for the better part Dianella were forced to shoot from distance by a well-organised defence. Armadale had Caulkin to thank again on 42 minutes when he played a free-kick into the area which was headed in by Dean Gartside to make it two-nil. Dianella looked dangerous throughout the second half as they continually turned the ball over in midfield but it wasn't until the 76th minute that they broke through with David Mrdja heading in from a corner. The visitors they pushed forward en masse but Armadale's strong backline, and particularly Lee Hallums and Matt Bennion, stood firm to the challenge. In a tense closing stages the Reds were given one almighty scare when, in a goalmouth scramble, the ball bobbled within of the goal line before being cleared.

Wanneroo City made it ten wins on the trot when they accounted for a gallant Morley Windmills by 2-0 at Kingsway Sporting Complex. Despite numerous opportunites the hosts ended the first half scoreless as Windmills rode their luck. Brian Robertson hit the post following a neat touch from John Dixon, while a quickly taken free-kick by Scott Wyeth found the net but was disallowed by the referee as Windmills were still in the process of arranging their defensive wall. Later in the half Craig Cheesman, Dixon and Robertson each called goalkeeper Chris Darling into action who responded with some fantastic saves. The fans were still getting settled into the seats for the second half when Wanneroo finally broke through as Stuart Collins' centre from the right was nodded in by Robertson. Luke Croxall went close with a header shortly after, then Dixon spurned a great chance following a fine long ball from the middle by Chris Currie. The hosts effectively put the game beyond Windmills with a contender for goal of the season in which an inch-perfect delivery from Dixon landed on the head of Scott Bulloch who placed it past the 'keeper.

A David Rodgers hat-trick spearheaded South West Phoenix to a 3-1 win over struggling Rockingham City at Bunbury's Soccerdrome. The home fans didn't have to wait long before seeing their side go in front, James Bergin putting a thrown-in at the feet of Pat Roberts who floated a great cross into the area which was nodded in by Rodgers. It was early in the second half that the match really burst into life with three goals in an eight minute spell. Michael Richardson brought Rockingham back on level terms in the 57th minute by sending the ball past goalkeeper Joe Malaczyk. A great free-kick from 20-metres by Rodgers soared into the net to wrest back the lead shortly after. And with 65 minutes gone Gary Mayers and Roberts combined for Rodgers to lob over the advancing 'keeper. Coach Jimmy Mayers, who employed a few formation for the match, was pleased to take maximum points after successive defeats. "Without Steve Suttie up front and only one genuine striker in Pat Roberts I worked on something different in training and tried it today. It worked quite well and I may even try it again." The win, Phoenix' ninth of the campaign, keeps them two points ahead of Mandurah City.

Stirling Suns felt the full force of an in-form Mandurah City who ran out victors by 5-1. The opening exchanges were relatively even although it was Mandurah that looked the most likely to get the breakthrough goal. In the 29th minute teenager Jake Loreto finally got the ball rolling for the visiting team and within four minutes the margin was doubled by Christian Pascherwitz. But it didn't take the Suns long to hit back with Steve Milenkovski's goal sending the home team in at the break confident of getting back in the match. Mandurah forced the pace early in the second half and were rewarded on 58 minutes as Adam Parmenter slotted in his teams third. Pascherwitz then all but secured victory for the visiting side by knocking in his second of the day just four minutes later. In the closing stages Pascherwitz completed his hat-trick as the margin blew out to four goals. The three points take Mandurah to fourth place and on course to claim a top four finish. For the Suns, who languish at the foot of the table, it's now been three months since they last experienced victory.

Substitute Adrian Caliero scored twice in the closing stages to lead Balcatta to their third successive win in accounting for Gosnells City 3-1 on home soil. After an even opening spell David Moschilla put the hosts in front after 14 minutes with a fantastic strike from outside the penalty box. Gosnells equalised ten minutes later when the Balcatta defence allowed Andrew Daffin to slip through its offside trap and put the ball beyond the reach of goalkeeper Colin Lees. Mark Wilson hit the post early in the second half as Balcatta went looking for further goals. Things weren't quite so rosy on the hour when Gosnells were awarded a penalty which Lees moved sharply to keep out. Caliero, who had earlier played half a game for the reserves, came on after 65 minutes and single handedly turned the game around. In the 72nd minute Caliero headed in a great cross from Mark Gentile to put the hosts back in the driving seat. And the striker sealed victory eight minutes from the end by running on to a through ball from Adrian Zonato which he despatched past the Gosnells goalkeeper. The win propels Balcatta to fifth place on the First Division ladder and extends their unbeaten streak to five games.

Leeming Strikers claimed victory by 3-1 over neighbouring Canning City at Willetton Sportsman Club. The open play and end-to-end action of the opening phase gave the local crowd and visiting supporters plenty to shout about with both teams going close on several occasions. The Strikers were first to net after 15 minutes when Garth Lecky's deep cross found Gordon Hind whose header looped over goalkeeper Robby Meyer and inside the far post. Canning got back on level terms just before the break via a contentious penalty which was converted by Mick Van Dongen following a foul by Carlo Di Toro. The second half was minutes old when Lucas Whitehouse's shot was blocked by Meyer only to ricochet into the goal off unfortunate defender Brian O'Regan to put the Strikers back in front. Matters got worse for Canning when hard working midfielder Ross Posthuma was dismissed for a second yellow card offence. Five minutes later the host went down to nine players when Mick Van Dongen was issued a straight red card for a tackle from behind. The Strikers added a further goal just before the final whistle through Whitehouse who benefited from the fine lead-up play of Phil Bell.

A depleted Ashfield succumbed 0-2 at home to Kingsway Olympic who picked up points for the fourth successive week. Ashfield were missing four regulars, amongst them the clubs leading scorer Andy Cornmell, through illness, injury and suspension for this match. Olympic got off to a dream start as Steve Dimitrovich's long clearance drifted over the home defence for Liam Moorhouse who coolly lobbed the goalkeeper with just 8 minutes gone. With John Quinn and Steve Beasley edging it in the battle for midfield the visitors looked in control leading into the break. Early in the second term Olympic scored a lucky second goal as a goalbound header from Phil Russie was directed into the net by an Ashfield's Joel Powell. Forced into action, Ashfield applied the pressure for the remainder of the game but some fine work between the posts by Dimitrovich prevented Alex Crookes, Wayne Culverwell and Davey Gordon from reeling in the gap. It was a hard-fought win for Olympic but one which confirms their new found desire to force their way up the standings.


ON THIS DAY ... 1983

The magic touch of Manchester United and Northern Ireland legend George Best did much to guide Osborne Park Galeb to an important 2-1 victory over Melville Alemannia at the WA Yugoslav Club on the afternoon of Sunday 24th July, 1983. The Irishman could not have asked for a better start to his one-off guest appearance in the State League which was witnessed by a bumper crowd of around 2,000. A minute after kick-off Best received a cross into the area where he calmly beat two defenders and convinced Malcolm Vickery into moving to his right only to clip to the goalkeeper's left and into the net. Alemannia came back into contention after 35 minutes when Bill Hulston slipped the ball to Greg Kazmer who equalised. A constant menace for the opposing defence thanks to his fantastic ball control and excellent distribution, Best upped his workrate in the second half and in the 68th minute laid on the winner. Having robbed an Alemannia player of possession Best played down the wing to Tony Pragnell who combined with Johnny Fiamengo for John Saunders to net the deciding goal.

Best arrived in Perth following a month-long spell in the Australian national league with Brisbane Lions, and just two months after making his final English League appearance for Bournemouth, aged 36. Undoubtedly one of the world's greatest ever players, Best was perhaps the single most important member of the Manchester United team that won the Championship in 1965 and 1967. The following year his contribution in United becoming first English club to lift the European Cup was rewarded with both the English and European Footballer of the Year awards. At international level Best made his senior debut for Northern Ireland as a teenager and would play 37 times for the nation, scoring 9 times. After eleven seasons, 465 appearances and 180 goals with the Red Devils, Best decided it was time to move on. He'd turn out for Stockport County (3 games, 2 goals), Cork Celtic (3 games, 0 goals), Fulham (47 games, 10 goals), Hibernian 24 games, 3 goals), Los Angeles Aztecs (61 games, 19 goals), Fort Lauderdale Strikers (33 games, 7goals), San Jose Earthquakes (46 games, 21 goals) and Bournemouth (5 games, 0 goals) before bringing to a close his professional career.



The pick of West Australia's youth talent could be jetting their way to Italy next year. Soccer West Coast are considering to send the State Under-19 team to compete at the 57th edition of the prestigious Viareggio tournament which is being staged in early February 2005. However, finding the $140,000 needed to send the squad to Italy's north is a potential stumbling block for the organisation who are required confirm the place in the annual event by the end of September. The State Under-19 side made a promising start under joint coaches Kenny Lowe and Peter Murphy by twice defeating the Victorian Institute of Sport last month. But the planned series with the Oman Under-17 national team which was scheduled for next month has fallen through.



The month-long tour by the Australian Women's team has produced some great results ahead of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The Matilda's started with a win and a draw against China, ranked fifth in the world, before heading to the America's for friendles against Mexico and the United States amongst others. The West Australia flag was being flown in the trip by teenage striker Lisa De Vanna and hard-working midfielder Tal Karp.

The two-game series with Mexico began with a fiery clash at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City on Friday 9th July. Two goals from Sarah Walsh midway through the first half put Australia in the box seat with Maribel Dominguez reducing the gap late in the game. De Vanna, who came on in the 53rd minute, was red carded for a second bookable offence after 89 minutes, while Karp was a 65th minute replacement for Walsh. Three days later Dominguez scored two late goals as Mexico extracted a 2-0 revenge on the Matilda's. It wasn't until stoppage time that Karp replaced Thea Slatyer.

The Matilda's next stop was the United States where they began with a 0-1 loss to FC Indiana Select on Saturday 17th July. The only goal arrived midway through the second half via Amanda Cinalli. De Vanna played a full game in attack and Karp came on at half-time. Two days later Australia defeated the US Adult Soccer Association Select side 2-0 in Milwaukee. The Matildas scored twice in seven minutes towards the end of the first half through Danielle Small and Joanne Peters. Karp was introduced in the 75th minute while De Vanna was unavailable.

The tour ended on Thursday 22nd July when the Matildas went down 1-3 to the United States, who are ranked number two in the world, in front of a sellout crowd of 10,276 at the National Sports Center. Australia led at half-time after Danielle Small scored inside the first five minutes, but the home side ran away with the match in the second half. The equaliser came in the 56th minute though Shannon Boxx, Mia Hamm put the hosts in front midway through the half and close to the final whistle Abby Wambach completed the scoreline. Karp made way for Slatyer after 56 minutes, while De Vanna came on with eleven minutes remaining.



The middle of the Premier League table has become very congested with six teams separated by five points at the conclusion on the weekend's round. It was business as usual at the top as Western Knights and Cockburn City defeated Inglewood United (2-1) and Swan I.C. (3-2) respectively. E.C.U. Joondalup went down 3-4 at home to Floreat Athena for whom Andreas Oliveira and Peter Coci each scored twice to lift their club away from last place. Stirling Lions crashed 1-3 to Bayswater City whose win was their first in a month. Sorrento move to fifth place after defeating Bassendean Caledonian 1-0. And goals from Shane Crampton, Perry Ielati and David Micevski saw Perth S.C. toppled Fremantle City 3-0

Armadale and Wanneroo City continue to match each other at the top of the First Division. The Reds five point lead remains in tact courtesy of a 2-1 away win over Dianella White Eagles, while Wanneroo triumphed 2-0 against Morley Windmills. South West Phoenix' 3-1 win over Rockingham City keeps them a distance third. Mandurah City leapfrog up the standings after hitting Stirling Suns 5-1, likewise Balcatta who toppled Gosnells City 3-1. Canning City slip to sixth after losing 1-3 at home to Leeming Strikers. And Kingsway Olympic picked up points for the fourth successive week by beating home team Ashfield 2-0.



Nash Field has been a fortress for Premier League leader Western Knights this season and tomorrow they're tipped to beat an Inglewood United side whose last win was over a month ago. Cockburn City and Swan I.C. go to battle in what is expected to be a very tight contest at Dalmatinac Park. Floreat Athena have spent the season floundering near the foot of the table and this weekend travel north to take on E.C.U. Joondalup. There's a testing away game for Bayswater City who are pitted against an in-form Stirling Lions. Bassendean Caledonian will find the going tough against a Sorrento line-up which is slowly climbing its way up the table. Fremantle City head to Dorrien Gardens where they play Perth S.C.

An Armadale victory at Dianella White Eagles will stretch the First Division leaders run to ten games without loss. Wanneroo City are waiting to pounce in second place and should take out their home clash with an injury riddled Morley Windmills. Gosnells City have been one of the surprises of the season and this weekend travel to Graham Burkett Reserve to take on Balcatta. Canning City have developed a great rivalry with Leeming Strikers over the years and the latest chapter is played out on Saturday at Willetton Sportsman Club. South West Phoenix are home Rockingham City, and Stirling Suns welcome Mandurah City to the northern suburbs. Ashfield take on Kingsway Olympic, and Queens Park are out of action due to the bye.



Australia will embrace the underdog tag at next month's Olympic Games according to Adrian Madaschi. The national Under-23 team have been drawn in Group C for the preliminary stage of the tournament alongside Tunisia, Serbia and Montenegro, and South American giants Argentina. Madaschi was a member of Australian team which bucked the odds and made the final of the 1999 Under-19 World Championship in New Zealand. "We were in the group of death and we were supposed to flunk," the defender said. "But we topped the group. It's about getting a good start. If we can get a win and have three points on the board, we will have set ourselves up for the tournament."



Perth is the proud host of the Australian National Leaders in Sport Conference for 2004. The Sport and Recreation Minister's Council invites you to the first post-Athens 2004 Olympics gathering of Australia's key sports industry leaders. Incorporating the annual Department of Sport and Recreation WA conference Active 2004, this event promises to be one of the most important conferences of the year.

The Australian National Leaders in Sport Conference 2004 is an extraordinary opportunity to hear from the most influential people in sport while giving you time to mix with other sports industry leaders. National and international calibre speakers will address key issues on leadership and national sport governance. Already confirmed are the likes of Sebastian Coe, John O'Neill, Rick Burton, Alistair Gosling, Kevin Roberts, Stephen Bartos, Peter Davis and Birgitta Kervinan.

The conference, one of the first held at the new Perth Conference and Exhibition Centre, will run over two days commencing Thursday 11th November. For more information on the nation's pre-eminent forum for decision makers in sport, including how to register, visit the National Leaders in Sport Conference website.



Just a matter of weeks before heading east, the West Australian Schoolboys have gone down 0-1 to the State Under-16 side in a friendly at Coker Park last night. The games only goal arrived midway through the first half when a long ball from defence found Stephen Bettella who finished by tucking the ball under the body of goalkeeper Jacob Chudy. The battle in midfield was won by Reece Williams and Scott Lewry who worked tirelessly for the Under-16's to nullify their opponent. Even so, the Schoolboys got forward on several occasions but Ben Kelly and Dejan Gurovski were unable to convert in the best of their moves.

"We just didn't want the ball out there tonight," said Damon Atthowe, coach of the Schoolboys. "We went into the game with a game plan and the boys didn't work to it until the later part of the second half when we played some good stuff." The Schoolboys travel to Adelaide in three weeks time for the Nationals. Under-16 coach Peter Bliss was understandably pleased with his sides performance, commenting, "We kept our shape and didn't let them play tonight. I've got a strong all round squad with players that can play in different positions when required."



West Australia can lay claim to making up close to one-third of the Australian men's Olympic football team. The quartet of Brad Jones, Adrian Madaschi, David Tarka and Anthony Danze grew up in Perth while Queensland born Jade North qualifies as his last registered club was Perth Glory. Australia have been drawn in Group C for the Athens Games alongside Tunisia, Serbia and Montenegro and Argentina. Their campaign commences on 11th August against Tunisia in Heraklio, Crete.

Jones has spent the past three seasons with top flight English club Middlesbrough where he's understudy to Socceroo goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. After loan spells with Stockport County, Rotherham United and Blackpool, he made his Boro first team debut earlier this year. Madaschi joined Scottish club Patrick Thistle late last year and quickly established himself as a key figure in the centre of their defence. With 26 appearances and three goals to his credit the defender was named his club's Young Player of the Year for 2003/04.

Tarka was rarely out of Perth Glory's starting during his two seasons with the club. The big defender signed with Nottingham Forest in December 2003. Opportunities have been limited for Danze since signing with Perth Glory in mid-2002. A graduate of the Australian Institute of Sport, he's been plying his trade locally with Inglewood United since the National Soccer League came to a close. Comfortable playing anywhere across the back or in midfield, North was a regular starter for Glory in their double winning season. Although aged only 23, North has already made an impressive 130 N.S.L. appearances.

The complete Australian for the 2004 Olympic Games squad is Shane Cansdell-Sheriff (Aarhus), Luke Wilkshire (Bristol City), Ahmad Elrich (Busan), Spase Dilevski (PSV Eindhoven), Alex Brosque, Brett Holman (Feyenoord), Carl Valeri (Inter Milan), Brad Jones (Middlesbrough), Tim Cahill (Millwall), Jon McKain (National Bucuresti), Ryan Griffiths (Newcastle United), David Tarka (Nottingham Forest), John Aloisi (Osasuna), Adrian Madaschi (Partick Thistle), Anthony Danze, Jade North (Perth Glory), Craig Moore (Rangers) and Eugene Galekovic (South Melbourne).



Bassendean Caledonian have been dealt a setback to their attempt to move away from the relegation zone. The departure of experienced duo Jamie d'Arcy and Daniel Harrop could prove a crippling blow for the club who have struggled near the foot of the Premier League table all season. Having recently pulled on club colours for the last time, d'Arcy heads to Melbourne at the end of the month for work reasons. The loss of the 28-year old will leave a gaping hole in the Caledonian defence where his no-nonsense approach made him a favourite with the clubs fans. Harrop will make his final appearance for the club early next month before taking up a teaching position in Vietnam. The hard-working midfielder has been an integral part of the first eleven since joining Caledonian over the summer.



A new-look Perth Glory could be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Arsenal, AC Milan and Real Madrid this time next year. Glory's big break will come if the Australian Soccer Association grants the club a place in the Oceania qualifiers for next December's Club World Championship in Japan. The ASA's Matt Carroll has confirmed that Glory, winner of the past two National Soccer League titles and an applicant for the new domestic competition, was being considered to represent Australia. "That is one of the things that we are reviewing and we'll be announcing either late this week or early next week a decision on that," he said. The alternative for the ASA is to push ahead with a "soft" season early next year and reward the winner with a place in the Oceania qualifiers. The new Premier League-style competition proper will run from July 2005 until February 2006.



Australian international Stan Lazaridis has agreed a two-year extension to his contract with English Premier League club Birmingham City. The 31-year-old, currently in Germany on the club's pre-season tour, is expected to formally sign his new deal when he returns to England at the end of the week. "There's been a lot of speculation about Stan over the (northern) summer and I'm delighted to say that he's shaken hands on a deal with me," said Blues manager Steve Bruce. "He's committed himself to the club for another two years with a year's option at the end of it. It's his reward because he's made a huge contribution to us."



If anyone can catch Armadale in the race for promotion to the top flight this year then that team will be Wanneroo City according to those in the know. The northern suburbs side came out streets ahead in last weeks poll which queried "Who stands the best chance of catching breakaway First Division leader Armadale?". By amassing close to two-thirds of the vote - 65.8% to be precise - Wanneroo are considered the only team capable of trimming the Reds considerable lead. A distant second were pre-season favourite Mandurah City (12.4%) who were trailed by Gosnells City (8.8%). South West Phoenix (6.7%) and Canning City (6.2%) completed the field.



Former Sorrento junior Wayne Wilson created the winning goal for the Charlton Athletic Select XI which defeated non-League Hampton and Richmond in a pre-season friendly today. With his side a goal down, the creative midfielder was introduced at the break and immediately set about getting the young Addicks team in the game. James Walker brought the two sides level and ten minute later Wilson, the teams deadball specialist, sent a superb corner into the area which was sidefooted in by Stacy Long.

Just a few days earlier Wilson turned in a stylish performance for the Select XI which won 3-0 away to non-Leaguers Sittingbourne. Lloyd Sam struck in the 55th and 70th minutes before midfielder Barry Fuller sealed victory ten minutes from time when lobbed over the goalkeeper after running on to a well-weighted pass from Wilson. The Select XI is expected to make up the bulk of the Addicks reserve team this coming English season.



West Australia will have a team in the new Women's National Soccer League season which kicks off in October. Although Women's Soccer WA has just four months to put together the State's first women's side to compete at national level, they are confident of making an impact. Janette Spencer, president of WSWA, believes the team has the potential to make as big an impact on the competition as Perth Glory had when they entered the NSL in 1996. "We know we are going to be competitive because we are already competitive at the national championships," she said. "I'm confident that we could do a Glory. We could be right up there from the start."



The Australian Under-23 side have continued their build-up towards the 2004 Olympic Games by going undefeated on a quick trip to England. The visit began on Thursday with a 2-1 win over Third Division side Northampton Town against whom striker Brett Holman scored in each half. Three West Australians turned out for Australia, Adrian Madaschi playing a full game while goalkeeper Brad Jones was replaced at half-time and Anthony Danze come off the bench in the 65th minutes. Yesterday the Olympic team accounted for the Leicester City youth team 8-0 with goals from Alex Brosque (4), Danze (2), Holman and Ahmad Elrich. Madaschi again played a full game in the centre of defence, Jones was introduced at the interval and Danze scored twice after coming on in the 61st minute. The Australian Under-23's now travel to Asia for friendlies against Japan and South Korea.



State Under-19 representative Danyal Bennett appears likely to miss the rest of the season through a serious ankle injury. The Swan I.C. defender was stretchered from the field after falling awkwardly late in Saturday's home loss to Western Knights. Bennett's worst fears came true when scans revealed a dislocated ankle as well as torn ankle ligaments which will put him on the sidelines for up to eight weeks. "It' a big blow for me but it gives someone else at the club the opportunity to play in the first team," said Bennett, putting a positive spin on the situation. Having stepped up to first team ranks this season Bennett has been a revelation at Swan where his contribution has been crucial to their success.

The injury to Bennett is the latest in a long line to plague Swan's campaign. Long-term injury ruled Christian Marocchi (knee), Trevor Hatton (knee), and Gary Andrews (osteitis pubis) out for the entire year, while Michael Di Fulvio (back) and Darren Blankley (arm) were forced into retirement. Captain Damien Scali missed first half of season with a serious ankle injury, Tony Cumace has only recently returned from an eight-week spell out due to a thigh problem, and a troublesome knee has forced Justin Hugo on to the sidelines. Carlos Echeverria spent four week out with a back/hamstring problem, while youngsters Robbie Shepheard and Brendan Knox were sidelined with appendicitis and a knee problem respectively.


TRIP CONFIRMS RAMIC'S DESIRE (courtesy Western Knights)

Western Knights teenager Ante Ramic is back from a trip to Europe with the Under-19 team from Sydney United. Ramic joined the club for a tour of Croatia where they competed in the 52nd edition of the Kvarner Riviera, an international youth tournament hosted by the Rijeka club. The young goalkeeper pulled on his boots for games against Croatian sides Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Spilt as well as Verona of Italy. Upon returning home, Ramic described the experience as a trip of a lifetime and firmed his desire to play professionally. With Robert Pedri currently out through injury, Ramic has stepped up since returning to the Knights to be second choice behind Tommi Tomich.


WOMEN'S WRAP (Northern Redbacks vs Lynwood courtesy Northern Redbacks; Balcatta vs Queens Park courtesy Balcatta; East Fremantle vs Subiaco courtesy East Fremantle; Subiaco vs Northern Redbacks 'C' courtesy Subiaco)

The Women's Soccer WA Premier League has become a two horse race with Northern Redbacks holding a two-point lead over Balcatta. The Redbacks thumped Lynwood 6-2 in sunny conditions at Rickman Delaney Reserve. A fine volley from Nicola Williams go the ball rolling for the leaders, Sara Gawned doubled the lead and further goals from Tanya Oxtoby and Justine White saw the margin blow out to four. The goal of the day was a rocket from outside the 18-yard box by Hayley Crawford with Rowenna Wallace the scorer of the Redbacks final goal. Lynwood fought back in the second half when they scored twice.

Keeping up the pressure are Balcatta who defeated Queens Park 2-0 at Graham Burkett Reserve. With several senior players absent through injury and other commitments it was Balcatta's youth brigade that left an indelible mark on the game. The deadlock wasn't broken until the second half when 13-year old Coral Lapsley found the net. A brilliant solo by Kylie Chatto which began in midfield took sealed the win for the home team. The result allowed Balcatta to open up a five point gap on third-placed Queens Park whose hopes of lifting the title were all but extinguished in the process.

East Fremantle claimed victory by 3-2 over Subiaco when they meet at Wauhop Park. Laura Turnbull was the provider for Kelly Baker whose goal gave the port side the advantage at half-time. Some fine individual skill from Peta Kelly resulted in Jasmina Markovic's powerful strike doubling the lead, and when Brid Dawson slotted in Fremantle's third goal the game looked over. But Subiaco stormed back into contention with a couple of late goals, then went within inches of equalising on several occasions before the final whistle signaled that the three hard-earned points had gone to Fremantle. Kingsley picked up maximum points through the 'bye win' to leapfrog over Lynwood who drop to the foot of the standings.

In the First Division, Subiaco fended off a second half fight back to defeat Northern Redbacks 'C' 3-2. The first half belonged to Subiaco who, after two near misses, went in front through Kirsten Nichols. Within a minute of coming off the bench Suzanne English doubled Subiaco's lead, and Mel Todorovich's hard work in midfield was rewarded with the visitors third goal shortly before half-time. A pumped up Redbacks team pulled a goal back early in the second half, and when a well struck free-kick went past goalkeeper Megan Jenyns it was game on. But both defences stood strong against the onslaught which followed and Subiaco held out for a deserved win.

Although their home clash with Murdoch University was postponed, Noranda sit two points clear at the top of the First Division standings. Hot on their heels are Swan I.C. and Beckenham Angels who are separated only by goal difference. Swan, who have a game in hand over Murdoch, won for the ninth time this season by thrashing University of WA 5-1 at McGillivray Oval. Beckenham also collected all three points by hammering Rockingham City 6-0. Bottom team Cockburn City picked up the 3-0 'bye win'.

If you are involved in women's soccer in any capacity - be it as a player, coach, administrator, spectator or other - and are able to provide us with match information then we'd like to hear from you. Please contact Brett via to have your clubs match details included in our weekly updates.



Despite being without several first team players, who were representing WA in the Vodaphone five a side Nationals in Sydney, an inexperienced UWA side secured an excellent point against Hamersley Rovers in the WAASSA Autostrada Cars Premier Division soccer fixture at McGillivray Oval on Sunday. UWA had the best early chance when Hamersley keeper D.Benstead hit a poor clearance to Robert Benkovic but the return chip was clutched out of the air by a grateful Hamersley keeper. Darren Yates then had a good chance for Hamersley but UWA goalkeeper Stuart Preston was up to the challenge by pushing it away for a corner. Somewhat against the run of play Hamersley scored a fluke goal after 26 minutes from the right wing when S.Kolomjec hit a deep cross which caught out UWA goalkeeper Stuart Preston and it finished in the goal. Moments later UWA Defender Nick Helm was taken down in the penalty box and Paul Dimmock coolly slotted the equaliser home. UWA then took the lead when good passing from David Berg, Tony Odundo and Liam Sharp found Robert Benkovic who turned and hit a dipping volley into the top right hand corner. Paul Dimmock then went very close with a shot which drifted just wide of the upright. The second half was only 10 minutes old when UWA failed to clear a throw in and a Hamersley defender S.Plummer hit a shot to the right hand side of the goal and although UWA goalkeeper Stuart Preston got a hand to it the ball finished in the net for the equaliser. Hamersley's Darren Yates had a good shot saved by UWA goalkeeper Stuart Preston and moments later the same player hit the ball agonisingly close to the left hand post. After 75 minutes UWA's Paul Dimmock hit a perfect pass through to Tim Grose but despite a good shot the Hamersley goalkeeper made an excellent save low to his right hand side to concede a corner. UWA's Tim Grose had another chance to win the game but his shot slid inches past the right post. After 82 minutes Alun Vernalls was sent off after a late tackle and 5 minutes later Seppe L'Abbate was sent off for another late tackle on UWA's Tony Odundo who was forced to leave the pitch injured. UWA came close to making the 2 man advantage count when a late corner saw Liam Sharp hit the post but time ran out and Hamersley escaped with a point. Coach Kevin Burton said: "The decision of the WAASSA Board not to allow the re-scheduling of this fixture with so many of our first team players representing WA in Sydney was disappointing to say the least. Quite naturally Hamersley wanted to play because they saw it as an opportunity to take 3 points from both games. However, sometimes you have to do things for the benefit of the game as a whole. I thought today's referee did well in making some tough decisions about late tackling towards the end of the game." As a footnote the WA five a side team did very well to reach the semi finals of the Vodaphone Nationals in Sydney.

The top two sides in the WAASSA Premier division met on Sunday at Harold Rossiter Reserve when Shamrock Rovers played host to Stirling Panthers. Both sides are the form teams of the competition with Panthers unbeaten in their last eight games and Shamrock unbeaten in the league all season. The match began at a furious pace and Shamrock could have been two nil up after 5 minutes after a Donal O' Brien downward header was well saved by goalkeeper Marsiglia and this was followed by an even better save when young Sean Brooks when clean through forced the keeper to make a diving stop with his legs. Panthers slowly worked their way into the game with some good free flowing moves but never really tested Ed Schuller in the Shamrock goal. After 20 minutes Shamrock went one nil up after a pinpoint Rod McMullen free-kick was headed towards goal by O'Brien and Mark Kelly finished with a header into the top corner. Panthers then had their best spell of the game and equalised within five minutes when Karamacovski sent an audacious chip from twenty yards over the stranded Schuller. This spurred the hoops on and they began to take control of the midfield and started to play the passing football that they had done all season which sees them head the table. Ten minutes before half time a cross from the right hand side saw Donal O'Brien score with a classic header into the bottom corner from fully fifteen yards. A minute before half time a Pat O'Boyle corner found the unmarked O'Brien who headed in from close range fpr his second of the game which made the half time score 3-1. Rovers had not played particularly well in the first hald but the 'killer' third goal deflated Panthers and saw Shamrock lift their performance and tempo in the second. Shamrock controlled the majority of possession and retained the ball well, with good distrubution from the back which saw the strong running of Mark Kelly create problems for the Panthers defence. After 62 minutes Shamrock increased their lead even further when O'Brien controlled the ball on his chest turned and volleyed from 35 yards. The shot smashed into the crossbar, bounced down and the ever alert Sean Brooks headed in from close range. Stirling then forced themselves back into the game when some sloppy defending allowed Armenti to score. Shamrock hit back within minutes when Pat O'Boyle left three defenders standing with a piece of sublime skill and finished with consumate ease into the top corner from 20 yards- without doubt the goal of the game. The Hoops then controlled the game for the remaining time without being placed under any serious pressure. Best on the day for Rovers were the front pairing of Donal O'Brien and Mark Kelly who never stopped running all afternoon. Best for Panthers was pocket dynamo George Radeski. Coach Nik Silsby was pleased with his teams performance against the second place Panthers. " This was our biggest game of the season, a loss would of given the other teams trying to catch us hope. It was vitally important for us to get three points and retain or even extend our lead. We now go into the final run in with the destination of the league in our own hands. Stirling are a good side and play attractive football. I would say alongside Spearwood and ourselves they are in the best three teams in the league without doubt and to beat them so comprehensively is satisfying. We lifted our performance in the second half and perhaps the halt time scoreline of 3-1 was a little flattering but in the end we fully deserved the win. Shamrock reserves also won 2-1 with goals coming from Jamie Silsby (20 for the season) and Geoff Lane. In an even game, Shamrock never produced their best form but were happy to come away with three points to make it 13 out of 13.

In other games, Forrestfield United were too good for Fremantle United in a 3-1 win, Kwinana United remain in the relegation zone after their 4-2 home loss to Murdoch University. Spearwood Dalmatinac thrashed Perth Azzurri 5-0 while Colo Colo easily beat CN Canning International 4-1 in the Chilean Derby.


PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND FOURTEEN (Swan I.C. vs Western Knights courtesy Western Knights; Bayswater City vs Cockburn City by Lennie Bavich)

A healthy sized crowd were treated to perfect playing conditions and a six-goal thriller at Percy Doyle Reserve where honours were shared between northern neighbours Sorrento and E.C.U. Joondalup. Joondalup enjoyed the better of the first half as captain Dale McCulloch and fellow midfielders Keith Brown and Garin Collins asserted their authority with some enterprising moves. It took until the 30th minute for the games first real chance on goal which Gull's midfielder Glen Thomas sent over the crossbar. Eight minutes later the visitors productivity was finally rewarded with an Andy Brown goal from 18-metres which looped over Neil Young and into the net via a deflection off Steve MacDonald. The second half had been underway little over a minute when Andy Brown struck again, this time the striker stabbing home from close-range after a neat pass from Collins. And the game looked over as a contest as Gareth Phillips headed in a deep cross from McCulloch to increase the margin to three goals with 57 minutes elapsed. But matches between Sorrento and Joondalup are never over until the final whistle and slowly but surely the hosts steered play in their direction. Shortly after coming off the bench teenager Tom Straker reeled in the gap with a firm first time shot from inside the box. The Gulls prised open their opponents defence again ten minutes later, MacDonald flicking Jamie Harnwell's free-kick into the path of Jared Love who gave goalkeeper Peter Stewart no chance with a fine volley. It was now a case of all hands on deck for Joondalup who'd forgone all attempts to attack in preference for preserving their slender lead. Sorrento's comeback was completed three minutes into stoppage time when Love's cross into the box landed at the feet of Tom Straker who calmly pushed the ball to his right before firing a cracking drive into the top corner of the net.

Western Knights continued their march toward the Premier League crown with a hard fought 1-0 away win over Swan I.C. On a sunny afternoon in the Swan Valley it was the Knights who settled the quicker and came close to taking the lead after 5 minutes but Ivan Zuvela's effort in a goal mouth scramble was cleared by the home defence. But it was not to be long before Zuvela did get on the scoresheet, a Mark Lee free-kick from deep on the right being glanced past Cory Hugo by the Knights defender. Having gone in front the Knights set about controlling play through a solid midfield performance from Daniel Trim and Scott Devine. However, it was the black and whites that came closest to finding the back of the net but Paul Lincoln spurned a guilt edged opportunity by shooting wide when faced only with goalkeeper Tommi Tomich just minutes before half-time. Fired up by coach Gary Marocchi, Swan emerged for the new half focused on getting back in the game only to encounter a resistant Knights defence superbly marshaled by Alex Christie and Evan Wallace. Appeals for a Swan penalty early in the half were turned down after Miki Vujacic's corner appeared to strike the hand of Mark Lee. As Swan continued to push forward in search of an equaliser the visiting side increasingly found room in their attacking area. The points should have been made safe midway through the period when four Knights players streamed forward with only a single defender between them but the attacking side failed to get the shot on target. Swan saw out the game with only ten men after State Under-19 defender Danyal Bennett was carried off the pitch with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury with fourteen minutes to go.

Cockburn City maintained the pressure on the League leaders by accounting for Bayswater City 3-0 at Frank Drago Reserve. Bayswater started well and would have gone in front on 5 minutes if Cormac Dawson hadn't scuffed his shot. The visitors responded by taking up camp in their opponents half, forcing Bayswater into defensive duties for lengthy periods and creating a slew of chances all of which went unconverted. Cockburn's domination was rewarded in the 21st minute went Scott Miller's pass out of midfield found Michael Mirco who jinxed his way inside the 18-yard box to precisely place the ball past goalkeeper Francis Allen. Miller was also involved in his sides second goal which arrived a minute from half-time, the former Perth Glory star beginning the move that saw Antonio Naglieri release Peter Petkovich who beat two defenders and shot low past the 'keeper. Bayswater came into the game more after the break with Damian Catalano pushing forward at every opportunity but unable to make much headway against a well-organised defence that had Australian youth international Liam Lilly at its heart. The outcome was put beyond doubt ten minutes from the end when the impressive John Mirco received the ball wide on the right and fired an inch-perfect pass into the path of Jason Dos Santos who took on his opponent before unleashing a low shot into the bottom corner from 17 meters. The win enabled Cockburn to stay within three points of the Knights, while Bayswater slip perilously close to the relegation zone.

Stirling Lions survived a second half barrage to claim a 1-0 victory over arch-rival Floreat Athena at Litis Stadium. Both teams were eager to push into attack during a frenetic opening spell that produced few genuine chances on goal. That all changed in the 11th minute when Lions striker Steven Bozinovski squeezed in between two defenders to scramble a bouncing loose ball over the line. The goal seemed to settle the two sides and what followed was a dour struggle on a hard pitch that made ball control difficult and mistakes the order of the day. Andreas Oliveira came closest to scoring with a scorching long-range bomb that skimmed the top of the crossbar after 37 minutes. Just minutes before the break the visitors were dealt a cruel blow when Bozinovski was carried off after falling awkwardly and dislocating his knee cap. Athena emerged from the break firing on all cylinders as they set about conjuring an equaliser. Oliveira and Adrian Sutton each sent headers narrowly wide of the woodwork, while Troy Bernard contrived to shoot high when it seemed easier to find the net. And on those occasions Athena did get the ball on target they were thwarted by the agility of goalkeeper Vince Matassa. For their part the Lions were limited to attacking on the break and shooting from distance with Nick Ward the only player to really put goalkeeper Vas Vujacic to the test. The final drama unfolded close to the final whistle when referee Patrick McCaffrey awarded a controversial penalty against Matassa which Oliveira blasted over the bar, much to the disappointment of the home fans. Riste Stefoski and Darko Ilmanovski worked hard at the back for the Lions with Ward influential in midfield, while for Athena it was lively forward Oliveira and youngsters Paul Vlachou and Adam Bachillor that stood out.

Saturdays clash between Fremantle City and Bassendean Caledonian ended in a scoreless draw at Ken Allen Field. With both sides desperate for points in order to ease their relegation concerns, this was a surprisingly dull match littered with missed opportunities. The better of the first half play came from Fremantle who moved the ball around well but could find few ways past a visiting defence which was anchored by seasoned campaigner Craig Naven. The port side should have gone in front midway through the period when Branimir Mikulic seized upon a poorly hit backpass by Aaron Moschopolous, but rather than lash it past Steve Grant the Fremantle striker attempted tee-up team mate Kevin Correia and Kevin Smith raced in to intercept. As the half progressed Caledonian saw more possession and an arm wrestle for control of midfield ensued in which Gary Faria and Abdul Kamara pitted their skills against Kevin Griff and Paul Hickey. The second half may have been a much more even affair but clear-cut shots on goal were as equally rare. On the hour Matt Danskin threaded through to Mikulic who directed his header disapprovingly wide of the target. Fremantle were forced to play the final seventeen minutes with ten men after Kamara was red carded for a dangerous tackle on Jon Mathers. This allowed Caledonian to gain the upper hand and in the remaining time the visitors went agonisingly close to snatching victory as Graeme Matthews crashed the ball into the upright and not long before the final whistle Hickey's effort cannoned back off the crossbar. The shared points, in combination with other weekend results, spices up the struggle to avoid relegation as Caledonian draw level on points with Floreat Athena while above them sit Fremantle by the narrowest of margins.

Inglewood United and Perth S.C. may have ended scoreless but there was plenty to keep the small crowd at the National Stadium on the edge of their seats. Perth set the early pace courtesy of some great movement of the ball to force the hosts on to the back foot. Shane Crampton was on the end of the Blues first opening in the 10th minute when he rounded an opponent and rifled off a shot from 12-metres which came back off the upright. A minute later Crampton played a beautiful pass to Robbie Puca whose shot was well saved by Oliver Taseski. Perth continued to pile on the pressure as Todd Howarth's cross was flicked on by Crampton to Ryan Newhill who sent the ball just wide. Having weather the storm Inglewood began stringing together the passes and looked certain to hit the lead when Greg Sharland was put through with one-on-one with Robert Scarparolo who rose to the challenge and outwitted his opponent. Sharland was proving a handful and sent the ball to Louis Parkinson who somehow shot over the crossbar from close-range. As the half came to a close Perth strung together a succession of passes together which culminated in Crampton crashing the ball into the post from 3-metres. Eleven minutes into the second half Taseski kept out another Crampton effort, then Howarth's header was cleared off the line. As the half progressed Inglewood saw more of the ball. Jason Colli's shot narrowly cleared the bar, a long-range strike by Shaun Kilkelly tested Scarparolo after taking a deflection off a defender, and Parkinson forced the Perth custodian into a good save. Dino Djulbic pushed forward but was denied by Taseski as Perth regained control for the closing stages. Good chances came the way of Crampton and Puca but neither player was able to find a way past an in-form Taseski.


FIRST DIVISION, ROUND SIXTEEN (Canning City vs Armadale by Phil Unsworth; Queens Park vs Wanneroo City courtesy Wanneroo City; Mandurah City vs South West Phoenix courtesy South West Phoenix; Balcatta vs Rockingham City courtesy Balcatta; Morley Windmills vs Dianella White Eagles courtesy Morley Windmills; Kingsway Olympic vs Stirling Suns courtesy Kingsway Olympic)

A late goal from Greg Newcombe has robbed Canning City of victory over the First Division leader Armadale in picturesque conditions at Willetton Sports Club. Much of the early running was made by the hosts who were quick to find their rhythm through some neat passing and free-flowing moves. Cheered on by a large contingent of travelling supporters, Armadale went ahead after a corner went to feet and Newcombe pounced and power the ball through a crowded goalmouth and past unsighted goalkeeper Robby Meyer. Canning's response was swift and just two minutes later they were back on level terms when Jeremy Herbert's pass from the right was deflected into the path of David Mahon who speared a low shot past the advancing 'keeper. The tight contest continued after the break with the deadlock being eventually broken in the 65th minute when Mick Van Dongen's throw-in was headed on to by Brian O'Regan to Paul Oliver whose sweetly struck volley fizzed past the 'keeper to give Canning a two-one advantage. Six minutes into stoppage time the Reds launched a desperate counter-attack in which Newcombe scored a dramatic and somewhat controversial equaliser. There was barely enough time to restart the match before referee Josh Mihevc blew his whistle for the final time.

Wanneroo City got back into the groove with a 6-2 devastation of Queens Park at Coker Park. In a tight first half that saw neither side give away much without a fight, Queens Park took the lead when an attacker was allowed to run at the opposing defence before clipping the ball over goalkeeper Paul Kelly. Within ten minutes Wanneroo had equalised when new recruit and former Queens Park striker Brian Robertson found the gap between goalkeeper and post from a tight angle. A speculative lob by Craig Cheesman was paddled on to the crossbar by the goalkeeper and John Dixon raced in to put away the loose ball and made it two-one at the break. It was a re-focused Queens Park that started the new half and within minutes they were back on level terms following a corner. Wanneroo responded by stepping up a gear and Cheesman combined with Scott Wyeth whose cross was clinically finished by Dixon. Soon after Robertson scored his second courtesy of poor marking at a corner, then Dixon was allowed time to line up the target and complete his hat-trick. The final goal of the afternoon came from Cheesman who benefitted from a nice lay-off from Dixon.

Mandurah City showed great determination in coming from behind to defeat third-placed South West Phoenix 3-1 at Peelwood Parade. The only goal of an all action first half came from Phoenix' star midfielder David Rodgers who took his season tally to seventeen goals by slamming a scintillating shot past goalkeeper Michael Green following great lead-up by Gary Mayers and Damian Trim. The teams emerged for the new half and it was Mandurah that quickly got into stride. Jordan Rhodes' run into the penalty area was brought to a halt by Russell Wagstaff who was ruled to have fouled his opponent and from the spot the skilful midfielder made no mistake. Ten minutes later the visitors took the lead as Jake Loretto toe-poked the ball past goalkeeper Greg Murray in a goalmouth scramble. The points were made safe late in the game by Neil Connor who precisely lobbed over the head of Murray. "We had our chances but we just did not put them away," said Phoenix coach Jimmy Mayers. "I wasn't too disappointed at the way the team played. It was a great improvement on last week's effort but I would have liked a little more intensity."

Some magic from Mark Gentile inspired Balcatta to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Rockingham City at Graham Burkett Reserve. While they out-played the visiting team for much of the first half Balcatta missed a truckload of goalscoring opportunities with Adrian Zonato, Victor Bogos and Alley Di Nuzzo unlucky not to net in the first half. It was a case of more of the same after the break as Rockingham rode their luck. Then, just when it appeared the ball would never find the net, Gentile scored directly from a corner with a swerving left-footed effort fourteen minutes after the break. The goal gave the hosts just the boost they needed and another Gentile corner provided Balcatta's second goal which Scott Broadley tapped in from close-range at the far post. Danny Carlino scored his third goal in eight days by finishing a nice move involving substitute David Moschilla and Zonato after 73 minutes. Broadley bagged his second of the day a minute later when he rose high above an opponent to powerfully head in Di Nuzzo's long throw-in. The result extends Balcatta's undefeated run to four games and enables the side to climb to seventh place on the First Division table.

It was a far from full-strength Morley Windmills side that scored a 3-0 win over neighbouring Dianella White Eagles. Injury will keep Damien Fezcur out for the remainder of the season while Rydeen Botha and Simon Messenger took the place in the line-up only after passing late fitness tests. Despite being hampered by injury Botha opened the scoring by heading Ryan Fitzgerald's superb cross inside the far post. Windmills continued to push forward and a great exchange in midfield involving Botha and David Boffa released Naeim Razi who calmly knocked the ball over the advancing goalkeeper. Willie Lyall was presented with a great chance to make it three-nil but he was denied from the penalty spot by the home 'keeper. Dianella came to life late in the half but were denied a way back into the game through a combination of desperate defending and solid goalkeeping. Windmills secured the points when Botha knocked in his second of the day after the break. "I thought it was a terrific all round performance," said Windmills coach James Herbert. "Our work ethic was outstanding and some of the football was delightful. All three goals were the result of some good teamwork and classy finishing."

Leeming Strikers ground out there second win in as many weeks by defeating Ashfield 2-1 at John Connell Reserve. Lead from midfield by Craig Ruthven and Garth Lecky, the hosts created numerous opportunities during the first half only to be let down by inaccurate finishing. Ashfield were also unlucky not to go into the break in front with Wayne Culverwell heading narrowly wide. The Strikers hunger for goals was rewarded four minutes after the restart when youngster Gordon Hind found the target. That lead lasted all of eight minutes before a swift Ashfield attack resulted in a Culverwell's shot deflecting off a defender to Andy Cornmell who steered the ball into the back of the net. Marc Wingell could have put the Strikers back in front but his penalty kick was saved by goalkeeper Adam Ashworth. It was left to captain Carlo Di Torro to restore the hosts lead by jabbing home a bouncing ball after Ashfield failed to clear a 63rd minute corner. Ashfield almost grabbed themselves a share of the points late in the game but Eddy Parra's shot was unfortunately over the crossbar.

Kingsway Olympic were far from impressive in grinding out a 3-1 win over Stirling Suns at Kingsway Sporting Complex. Neither side were able to make much of an impact in the middle of the park in a scrappy opening half on a poor playing surface. Midway through the period Olympic started to take some sort of control and some good work down the left allowed Nigel Comito to convert a relatively easy chance. The goal lifted the hosts spirits with John Quinn making some penetrating runs down the right flank as Olympic went in search of a second goal. The dismissal of Steve Bretti setback their chances, but shortly after Quinn glanced in an in-swinging corner to double Olympic's advantage. Right on the stroke of half-time the Suns were able to pull a goal back through a shot that went in after deflecting off Danny Trandos. A ten man Olympic fought hard to contain the Suns after the break. With ten minutes to go Jason Stern was pushed into attack and almost immediately the move paid dividends as excellent work from substitute Liam Moorhouse set-up Stern who made safe the points by sending the ball past the goalkeeper.



The 3-3 draw between Sorrento and E.C.U. Joondalup accounted for more than half the goals scored in Saturday’s round of Premier League fixtures. An Ivan Zuvela goal after 10 minutes kept Western Knights on top courtesy of a 1-0 win at Swan I.C. Cockburn City maintained the pressure by defeating Bayswater City 3-0 through goals from Michael Mirco, Peter Petkovich and Jason Dos Santos. Stirling Lions moved to fourth with a 1-0 away win at Floreat Athena. Inglewood United and Perth S.C. battled out an entertaining if scoreless draw, which was the same score for Fremantle City against Bassendean Caledonian.

First Division leader Armadale scored deep in stoppage time to snatch a 2-2 draw with Canning City. Wanneroo City made up ground on the Reds by thumping Queens Park 6-2. South West Phoenix remain third despite losing 1-3 at Mandurah City. Balcatta moved up the standings with a 4-0 win over Rockingham City. Leeming Strikers accounted for Ashfield by 2-1. Morley Windmills won 3-0 against Dianella White Eagles, while Kingsway Olympic’s 3-1 victory over Stirling Suns was the second time in as many weeks that they’ve taken maximum points.



As the struggle to avoid relegation slowly takes shape this weekend’s Premier League meeting between Fremantle City and Bassendean Caledonian at Ken Allen Field takes on an extra dimension. Clashes between northern neighbours Sorrento and E.C.U. Joondalup are always full of passion and goals and this tomorrow’s edition promises to be no different. Although on home soil Floreat Athena will need an almighty effort if they want to take points away from Stirling Lions, likewise Bayswater City who welcome Cockburn City to Frank Drago Reserve. Swan I.C. against Western Knights should be a cracker, while inner city foes Inglewood United and Perth S.C. go to battle at the National Stadium.

The second half of the First Division season gets underway with a match-of-the-round showdown between Canning City and Armadale at Willetton Sports Club. If it’s goals that you are after then head to Coker Park when free-scoring Queens Park come up against second-placed Wanneroo City. Mandurah City have home ground advantage over great southern rivals South West Phoenix. Dianella White Eagles should end a disappointing run when they meet Morley Windmills on home turf. Both Leeming Strikers and Ashfield will be hoping to turn around their seasons with victory at John Connell Reserve. Following a good win last weekend Balcatta should account for visiting Rockingham City, while Kingsway Olympic are tipped to take the points over fellow strugglers Stirling Suns. Out of action due to the bye are Gosnells City.



We are desperately seeking someone to cover this weekend's Premier League match between Floreat Athena and Stirling Lions at Litis Stadium. Anyone able to assist is invited to forward match details at their earliest convenience to Brett via



Former Inglewood United player Sean Cooney will travel to Germany as part of Coventry City's pre-season program. A strong and uncompromising defender, Cooney joined the Sky Blues three years ago and has slowly made his way up through the ranks. The 19-year old stepped up to the first team squad in January 2003 and shortly after signed professional terms with the club, committing himself to a further two years with Coventry. In April of that year he made his English league debut by coming on as a substitute in the scoreless draw with Gillingham. Overlooked by Australia, Cooney committed his international career to the Republic of Ireland when he turned out for their Under-21 side earlier this year.



Stan Lazaridis recently received a memento of his Life Membership to the Professional Footballer's Association at a meeting in Adelaide. The honour acknowledges the midfielder's contribution to his fellow players over a long and successful playing career. As a young player with West Adelaide, Lazaridis took on the role of Player Delegate within an environment of senior and respected players and at a time when he had just debuted for the senior national team. Spells at West Ham United and Birmingham City enhanced his playing skills which in turn lead to him becoming established as an important part of the Australian squad. Currently involved with the Socceroos Players Committee, Lazaridis has been instrumental in ensuring national team players have been well informed and provided with support over the years.



Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson had a special word for new signing Adrian Caceres following some of impressive performances on the clubs pre-season tour of Europe. The English Third Division side completed the trip undefeated, scoring wins over Royal Antwerp (Belgium) and Den Haag (Netherlands) which book-ended a 2-2 draw with German club KFC Uerdingen. "What we do keep seeing is that our level of play is causing problems for teams of a higher standard abroad," Johnson told his club's official website. "If we can keep that going when we return to League action we should be in good shape. I was very pleased with Bartoz Tarachuski, and Adrian Caceres showed us what he can do as well. The standard of the teams we were playing against were the equivalent of our Coca-Cola Championship league (ie English First Division)."



Folllowing the general communication issued by the Western Australian Soccer Association late last week, the chairman of the organisation, Kevin Campbell, has distibuted a list of guiding principles to assist clubs in deciding whether or not they'll join the new association. Click here to read the twenty key statements relating to the new WASA.



The race to take out the First Division Golden Boot award is hotting up. At the halfway stage of the season it's South West Phoenix midfielder David Rodgers whose setting the pace with sixteen goals from fourteen games. Greg Newcombe's two goals in the weekend for Armadale takes him to thirteen goals for the winter and level with Scott Bulloch of Wanneroo City. A further goal off the pace is Andy Cornmell (Ashfield) with Raymond Rose (Queens Park) close behind him on eleven goals. Phil O'Callaghan (Wanneroo) has found the net ten times to date which is one more than teammate Scott Wyeth and powerfully built Dianella White Eagles striker Dragan Njegic.

Rockingham City veteran Carlos Almeida still leads the way in the Reserves with sixteen goals. A distant second with twelve goals is Darren Kingston (Armadale) whose trailed by Harin Raseswaran (Canning City). Sitting on ten goals each are a group of players consisting of Adam Windley (Wanneroo City), Gino Comito (South West Phoenix), Gary Attrill (Mandurah City) and Peter Taylor (Armadale). With nine goals are Anthony Macri (Balcatta) and Leeming Strikers teammates Paul Gibson and Joseph Tomancak. Three behind them are Luke Woodfin (Queens Park), Liam Moorehouse (Olympic Kingsway), Leroy Goodwin (Strikers) and David Forsythe (Armadale).

With twenty-three goal to his credit, Simon Versaico (Leeming Strikers) is the red hot favourite to claim the Under-18 goalscorers award. Early leader Anthony Di Lorito (Balcatta) is placed second on eighteen goals. Daniel Trevisiol (Canning City) has found the target on fourteen occasions so far with Daniale U'Lisse (Strikers) close behind with thirteen goals. Daniel Capperllaro (Strikers) and Brendan Loiacono (Canning) have eight goals each which is one more than Shane Connor of Mandurah City. Next up are Wanneroo City pair Scott Paxton and Austin Watkins, Stuart Morton (Ashfield) and Robert Milligan (South West phoenix) on six goals.



The keys to Members Equity Stadium were officially handed over to Perth Glory yesterday at the same time as the club lodged their application to take part in a new national competition being put together by the Australian Soccer Association. Glory chairman and co-founder Tana was beaming at the prospect of a glistening future for the club and the code. "It's a brilliant day for us," he told "West Australian" correspondent Jonathon Cook. "It's a dream come true - the dream is a reality."

Tana is so confident as to the success of the new eight-time competition, expected to start next July, that he sees a time when West Australian's will have the option of supporting a side other than Glory. "The day will come when supply and demand necessitates a second soccer team in Perth," said Tana. "But the timing has to be right." Glory have been the benchmark for clubs in Australia since joining the national ranks for the summer of 1996/97.

The concentration of talent into eight teams and increased expenditure on marketing budgets from $1.5 million to about $12 million are two areas bound to produce an improved competition according to Tana. "It must be better," he said. "We'd also like to think people in Perth will be discussing other clubs and their players in the new competition and not just Perth Glory. All they could do before was talk about Perth Glory … and let's face it, when you talk about yourself for so long it becomes monotonous."



State Under-14 goalkeeper Alexander Sutton will embark on the trip of a lifetime later this year when he heads off for trials with Scottish giants Glasgow Celtic. The 14-year old has been invited by Celtic goalkeeper coach Jim Preston to spend seven-weeks with the club commencing December. "They've got a huge goalkeeper academy at Celtic and when Jim heard that Alexander was a State goalkeeper he wanted to have a look at him," said the teenagers father Norrie, himself a former State League player, this week.

The Guildford Grammar student plays for Inglewood United and is part of the West Australian Under-14 North Development squad competing at the Friendship Games in New South Wales this week. Norrie Sutton, who played locally for Perth Azzurri and Inglewood Kiev during the 1980's, says he son already had nine years experience under his belt, having started in goal as a five-year-old, and was ready for the challenge. "He is super committed and he's a smart kid," he said. "He lives and breathes the game."



The best right-sided player in the Premier League is Swan I.C. youngster Miki Vujacic. That is the outcome of the latest poll which posed the question "Who do you rate as the best right-sided midfielder on the local scene?" Vujacic, who joined Swan over the summer after a season with Adelaide City, ended the week-long poll with 32.3% to finish well clear of his nearest rival. Western Knights star Mark Lee (23.3%) came in second trailed by Inglewood United's Scott Campbell (15.4%) and Garin Collins (12.8%) of E.C.U. Joondalup. Stirling Lions' summer recruit Derek Cooke (9.1%) was next with State representative Anthony Jones (7.2%) of Floreat Athena rounding out the field.



Luton Town defender Chris Coyne says the first week of pre-season training has been positive. "So far so good. It's always good for the first couple of days because you haven't seen the boys for a while," he told the club's official website. "There's a bit of a buzz around the place and you look forward to it - but it's going to get progressively harder so my views might have changed a bit by Saturday. You can't push your body too far, too soon, so they are just easing us into it. There is a lot healthier an atmosphere - if that's the right choice of words - this year because we are in a more stable position. Everything is sorted and we are looking forward, rather than twelve months ago, when we were sitting here wondering what was going to happen next. It's a better environment to be working in."



Three former Australian captain, thirty-four internationals and ten Perth Glory players were honoured on Saturday night when named amongst West Australia’s greatest ever players. The Century of Champions, compiled by the WA Soccer Hall of Fame with input from the public, recognised the efforts and achievements of the State’s best one hundred players since the round ball game commenced here in 1902. The list ranges from pioneers of the game such as George Burt, James Gordon and Alan Beale to modern day stars including Stan Lazaridis, Shaun Murphy and Bobby Despotovski.

One quarter of the players named in the Century of Champions were drawn from the pre-Federation era. Those players were Ron Adair, Peter Atkinson, Alan Beale, John Beveridge, George Burt, Bob Cherry, Jack Conduit, Royston Macauley Evans, James Gordon, John Henderson, Stewart Johnson, Don McArdle, John McIlroy, Frank McShane, Alec Marr, Gil Nobbs, Con Purser, Bert Robertson, Nino Segon, Jack Smethurst, Doug Stewart, Joe Szymanski, Mira Ulehla, William Waddell and Don West.

Choosing one hundred players from the 1960’s would have been a difficult task alone, let alone slimming that number to the eighteen that made the cut. Representing the first decade of professional football in WA are Peter Holt, Mike Ireson, Dick Jones, Richard Kuzimski, Henryk Lukoszek, Peter Mitchell, John Montagu, Brian Newell, John O’Connell, Graham Oughton, Theo Papp, Zygmunt Pieda, Rodney Reid, Jim Sambrook, Roy Simpson, Pawel Sobek, Chris Wissink and Wladyslaw ‘Wally’ Musial

Many consider the 1970’s to be the golden era for football in WA. Drawn from this period were Lee Adam, Denis Barstow, Arno Bertogna, Sandra Brentnall, Reg Davies, John Davidson, Alf DeBono, Len Dundo, Eric Edmonds, Ernie Hannigan, Hugh Miller, Ray Ilott, Dave Jones, Nick McCallum, Gordon McCulloch, George McMillan, Gary Marocchi, Gary Mateljan, Sharon Mateljan, David O’Callaghan, Stephen Sceats, John Spanos, Steve Stacey, John Sydenham, John Van Oosten and Tony Witschge.

Football continued to grow throughout the 1980’s with many local products joining the ranks of the then fledgling national league. Frank Bate, Ronnie Campbell, Gerry Christie, Jeff Curran, Robbie Dunn, Alistair Edwards, Kevin Elliott, Tony Franken, Ross Greer, John Hunter, Sauro Iozzelli, Willie McNally, Saverio Madaschi, Peter Murphy, Shaun Murphy, Craig Naven, Gareth Naven, Matt Pearson, Alan Pottier, Anna Senjeshenko, Norrie Sutton, Aldo Trinca and Robert Zabica were honoured from this era.

The national league took off on the west coast with the formation of Perth Glory in the mid-1990’s. It’s not surprisingly then that players from that club featured heavily in those drawn from the most recent decade. There were Century of Champions places for Bobby Despotovski, Stan Lazaridis, Paul McVittie, Scott Miller, Jason Petkovic, Michael Petkovic, Paul Strudwick and Australian women’s goalkeeper Tracey Wheeler.

The WA Soccer Hall Of Fame have a limited number of souvenir booklets available which provide a comprehensive insight of each player selected in the Century of Champions along with a brief History of Soccer in Western Australia. To purchase the souvenir booklet, at a cost of $10.00 each plus postage, contact Louis Prospero via 0413 041 942 or by sending an email to The Hall Of Fame have now set their sights on establishing a soccer museum to be located Members Equity Stadium, the home of Perth Glory.


WOMEN'S WRAP (Cockburn City vs Noranda courtesy Cockburn City; Subiaco vs Beckenham Angels courtesy Subiaco)

Northern Redbacks C came away from Beale Park with maximum points after defeating an injury depleted Cockburn City 6-1 in today's round of Women's Soccer WA First Division action. It was a credit to the home side who, with only nine players, worked hard throughout the opening half and prevented their opponent from taking the lead. The pattern of the first half continued after the break with the Redbacks well on top but unable to score. However, with Cockburn legs tiring, the floodgates were opened midway through the period as the Redbacks piling on six goals. The hosts hit back late in the piece with Yas Taylor bagging a consolation goal.

The points were shared at Rosalie Park where Subiaco and Beckenham Angels played out a 1-1 draw on a sunny yet chilly winters afternoon. The visitors went in front early through a neat chip which sailed over goalkeeper Megan Jenyns and into the net. With Bec Lynd working tirelessly in midfield, Subiaco got back on level terms seconds from the interval as Meg Nikolowski chased down a loose ball which she then slipped past the Beckenham 'keeper. The second half produced several great attacking moves from both sides but there was no addition to the scoreline as the respective defences held firm right up to the final whistle.

University of WA collected maximum points courtesy of the 3-0 'bye win'. It'is understood Swan I.C. took the points over Murdoch University on a forfeit, while the outcome of Rockingham City verses Noranda is currently unknown. If you are involved in women's soccer in any capacity - be it as a player, coach, administrator, spectator or other - and are able to provide us with match information then we'd like to hear from you. Please contact Brett via to have your clubs match details included in our weekly updates.


ON THIS DAY ... 1960

The Western Australia Soccer Federation formally came into existence on Monday 11th July, 1960, when eight of the games more progressive clubs broke away from the Western Australian Soccer Football Association. The reasons for this arose from a number of pressures exerted nationwide throughout the preceding decade to play the game under a professional banner. In New South Wales and Victoria groups of clubs broke away from their respective Associations in 1957 to form professional Federations. The new organisations called for a complete clean-out of the existing Associations who were deemed to no longer be in touch with the wishes of the modern, post-war game.

Locally, a growing disquiet had arisen during the 1959 season over the way the Associations' administrators and referees treated the non-English clubs. The board often switched big matches to Bayswater Oval - which was then under the Association's control - meaning clubs were robbed of much needed funds. Several clubs asked the Association for some sort of professionalisation to be injected into the game only to have their requests talked down. Clubs were forbidden to sign sponsors to assist with the financial side of the game. And because of the amateur status of the game, player payments were not permitted which resulted in wide-spread 'poaching' and, consequently, illegal payments by clubs to keep their players.

Following a number of secret gatherings the Western Australian Soccer Federation was established on Monday 11th July, 1960. The inaugural board consisted of Charlie Sweeney (chairman), Basil Edwards (president), Julius Re (secretary) and Lou Ricci (registrar). It was decided to invite seven First Division clubs and one from the Second Division to a special meeting and create an independent semi-professional competition. The new competition kicked-off on Saturday 16th July, 1960, with Windmills playing Athena, South Perth meeting East Fremantle Tricolore, Azzurri hosting Olympic and Swan Athletic taking on Cracovia.

The Federation's impact was felt far and wide. The Australian Soccer Football Association (ASFA) sent over representatives to try and convince the breakaway clubs to rejoin the WASFA. But the Federation held firm, knowing that the ASFA was experiencing similar problems with other States, especially over matters of professionalism, contracts and poaching. Within two years the ASFA would themselves be replaced by the Australian Soccer Federation, and by 1965 every State had a new Federation. In 1964 the WASF changed its name to the Soccer Federation of Western Australia which is how it stayed until 1992 when a merger with the Professional Soccer League formed the Professional Soccer Federation of Western Australia. Today the association trades as Soccer West Coast.

For the two seasons following the Federations' formation the local newspapers carried two sets of league tables - those of WASFA and those of the WASF. The initial seasons of Federation soccer proved a difficult time for the WASFA whose clubs deserted it week by week for the 'bright lights' of professionalism. By 1963 the once mighty WASFA had dwindled to just a handful of clubs as the standard of their competitions plummeted. The Federation meanwhile went from strength to strength. From eight clubs in 1960, the professional league expanded to three divisions containing a total of thirty-two clubs by 1964. The following year the WASFA, after seventy years of operation, ceased to exist. Professional soccer had arrived in Western Australia.



Four Perth girls are amongst the twenty-eight which will spend the next week training at the Australian Institute of Sport. Ciara Conway, Collette McCallum, Laura Turnbull and Stacey Woodfin have been invited to attend the training camp which is part of Australia's campaign for the FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship later this year. Conway, Turnbull and Woodfin were called up following strong performances in last weeks National Talent Identification Championships in Sydney, while McCallum makes a welcome return from her second knee reconstruction, the first of which ruled her out of the Under-19 World Championship in 2002.

With coach Adrian Santrac currently overseas with the Matilda's, national assistant youth coach Alistair Edwards will cast a close eye over the player group. "There is a lot of quality around, and there are going to be some very difficult choices for Adrian and myself to come up with the final team for the world championship. The player base is improving all the time - it's a nice problem for the coaches. The focus for this camp will be twofold. With only four months to go, we are now approaching the stage where we need to prepare for the world championship proper. And with new players coming in, it's to see if these players can take the step up to international class."



University of Western Australia recorded an emphatic 6-1 away victory over Murdoch University in the WAASSA Autostrada Cars Premier Division soccer fixture on Sunday. UWA started with some good early passing movements although Murdoch were the first team to score after 30 minutes when Heng Ling crossed for Rowen Cross to head into UWA's goal. This was despite an early injury which forced Murdoch's Jason Dixon off the pitch. UWA hit back within 5 minutes later when a Declan Sharp throw was headed on by Robert Benkovic into the path of Gareth Briggs who drilled it into the roof of the net to deservedly make it 1-1. UWA were then to receive a double blow when Gareth Briggs suffered a hamstring injury and Manuel Arapis was stretched off and taken to hospital. The setback seemed only to motivate UWA into a devastating display of pace and good finishing in the second half starting with David Berg heading in a Max Percy corner at the far post to put UWA 2-1 up. The impressive Paul Dimmock then sent a perfect diagonal cross field pass to Marc D'Ascanio and he took the ball on and thumped a shot into the left hand corner despite Murdoch's keeper Andrew Barrett getting a hand to the ball. After 40 minutes a Paul Dimmock shot was charged down and fell invitingly to Marc D'Ascanio who scored his second and UWA' s fourth from the edge of the box. UWA's Declan Sharp then took a throw which fell to Marc D'Ascanio at the far post and he drilled it in for a special second half hat trick. The game was finally wrapped up for UWA when a Marc D'Ascanio cross was turned in by the tireless Robert Benkovic to make it 6-1. Coach Kevin Burton said: "We were pretty keen to avenge our defeat against Murdoch in round one and this was the perfect response. The team played with the kind of intensity and belief we had all last season." UWA Reserves completed a good afternoon with a 6-2 victory over Murdoch Reserves.

Shamrock Rovers continued with their winning streak on Sunday at Beatty Park when they beat Perth Azzurri 3-2. On a terrible pitch both teams acclimatised well with a good free-flowing start. Shamrock gained the early ascendency playing some neat passing football and some near chances but couldn't hit the target. In the 22nd minute Azzurri went one nil up after some great work by Azzurri's Mark Kelly, gaining possession in the middle of the park and spreading a fine ball to the unmarked Damian Pescud who finished easily from 12 yards. Almost immediately Shamrock hit back. A superbly flighted free-kick from 20 yards was dispatched into the top corner from the elegant left foot of Cathal Lennon. At halftime the score was one all although Shamrock had almost two thirds of the possession and territory. The second half started in the same manner with wingman Dylan Browne causing the Azzurri defence all sorts of problems by continually jinking past his opponent and whipping in some delightful crossses with several chances falling to Shamrock's Mark Kelly and Sean Brooks with several near misses. However Azzurri then went 2-1 up after 65 minutes when Azzurri's best player on the day Charlie Condopiero walking through a static defence and finishing into the botton corner. Once again the Hoops replied almost immediately. From a Pat O' Boyle corner new signing and substitute Donal O'Brien climbed highest and headed towards goal only for keeper Patikopolus to spill the ball at Mark Kelly's feet who smashed home from close range. Five minutes later Shamrock scored the winner. A quick free-kick was taken by O'Brien and was volleyed in from 25 yards into the top corner from Pat O'Boyle. Surely a contender for the goal of he season! Once agin the Shamrock defence of Ed Schuller, Keith Roche, Cathal Lennon and the ever reliable Jon Craik stood firm which was ably supported by hard working midfield threesome of Geoff Lane, Pat O' Boyle and Rod McMullen. The win saw Shamrock increase their lead over nearest rivals Stirling Panthers to 12 points who they meet at Harold Rossiter Reserve on Sunday. Coach Nik Silsby was happy with the result and performance. "We always looked likely winners in what was a strange game. Despite the poor pitch conditions both teams played good football although for small periods of the game both teams gave the ball away needlessly. This continues our good run but the pressure is on and we will need to continue to improve each week. It's up to me and the more experienced players that we don't get carried away with our league position and keep our feet firmly on the floor and continue to take each game and it's opponents on it's merits" Shamrock's reserves stretched their winning run to 15 straight games after beating Azzurri Reserves 5-1. Goals went to the improving Sean White, Matt Webb, Stephen Roche and a two goal salvo from captain Dom Piper in what was his last game for the club before returning to England for a year. Coach Christy Lawless said of his captain "He has had a tremendous season and is an inspiration to his team mates with his enthusiasm and his never say die attitude. We will have to call him Cinderella after his fairytale finish so I suppose I will have to be one of the ugly sisters!"

In other games, Fremanlte United remained anchored at the bottom of the table after their 3-2 loss to Colo Colo. Forrestfield United and Kwinana United out played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in their crucial fixture to avoid relegation. Spearwood Dalmatinac played well in their 1-1 away draw to Hamersley Rovers while Stirling Panthers moved into second place after a 2-0 win over CN Canning International.


PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND THIRTEEN (Bayswater City vs Western Knights courtesy Western Knights; Cockburn City vs Stirling Lions by Lennie Bavich; E.C.U. Joondalup vs Fremantle City courtesy E.C.U. Joondalup; Sorrento vs Floreat Athena by Kerry Slater)

Honours were shared in an at times spiteful encounter between Perth S.C. and Swan I.C. at Dorrien Gardens. Swan came out focused on taking an early lead as half chances came the way of Paul Lincoln and David Foster but neither required a response from Robert Scarparolo between the posts. Perth, on the other hand, were slow to get going but by the twenty minute mark Robbie Puca, Mark Pottier and David Micevski had established dominance across the middle. Shane Crampton forced his way inside the penalty area after 20 minutes but was halted by a superb tackle from teenager Danyal Bennett. And not long after Rhys Graham's scorching drive fizzed just wide of the top corner. A defensive lapse at the opposite end allowed Foster in but Scarparolo was at his best in turning away his close-range strike. Five minutes from the break Todd Howarth's first time shot from 15-metres found the net only to be (incorrectly) ruled out for offside. The decision didn't phase the hosts and just four minutes later Ryan Newhill expertly chested down Puca's cross which he then swept past goalkeeper Corey Hugo to give the Blues the advantage. Perth continued to dictate terms into the second half through crisp passing and superb movement only to be let down by poor delivery in the final third. Their best opportunity came in the 73rd minute when Crampton pulled the ball back to Micevski whose vicious shot was amazingly cleared off the line by Carlo Scali. With nine minutes left Swan drew level against the run of play as Miki Vujacic looped the ball into a crowded 6-yard box where Damian Scali beat Scarparolo at the far post with a downward header. In a frantic final few minutes Scarparolo emerged as Perth's saviour by producing a fantastic reflex save to deny Elton Holmes at close range.

Bassendean Caledonian’s hope of avoiding the drop come seasons end were given a massive boost in the form of a 2-1 win over Inglewood United at Jubilee Reserve. The sun was shining as the team made their way out onto the playing arena for what was expected to be a comfortable win for an Inglewood line-up bristling with talent and featuring several former Perth Glory including Bobby Despotovski, Alan MacKenzie and Greg Sharland. The first half was played as though to a pre-determined script with Inglewood firing on all cylinders from the opening kick. It took just 10 minutes for the visitors to go in front through Jason Colli who shot past the goalkeeper after Despotovski’s free-kick from distance came back off the crossbar. This pattern continued throughout the half, Inglewood dominating play across the middle of the park and continually pushing the home side on to the back foot. But for all their possession the visitors were thwarted in attempts to increase their lead by a stubborn Caledonian defence lead by Craig Naven and Kevin Smith. As was the case last week, Caledonian emerged for the second period with the half-time bullocking of coach Jimmy Pearson still ringing in their ears. The home side worked their way back into the game with a gritty performance that was rewarded midway through the half with a killer one-two blow. Ian Griffiths evened up the ledger in the 63rd minute when he headed Kevin Griffiths’ corner past goalkeeper Oliver Taseski, and just three short minutes later Graeme Matthews half-volleyed in a long pass from Smith to put Caledonian in front. Inglewood responded with an increased workrate and numerous attacking forays which the home defence dealt with confidently to ensure their sides third win of the season. While still last on the table, Caledonian are now just one point behind Floreat Athena and Fremantle City and four adrift of Bayswater City and Perth S.C.

Western Knights got back into winning form by edging out Bayswater City 1-0 at Nash Field. The game was less than a minute old a shot by 17-year old John Thornley was parried by the Bayswater goalkeeper and Daniel Trim perfectly placed to knock the rebound into the empty net to give the Knights the perfect start. Dominant across the middle of the park where Trim and Mark Lee were partnered by teenage pair Andrija Jukic and Seb Trim, the Knights confidently stroked the ball around but could find few holes in a tight Bayswater backline. Slowly the visitors started to get back in the game, Kevin Henderson playing the anchoring role with Ross Barnes and Damian Catalano lively in attack. In the lead-up to the break it was Bayswater that were in control but despite good movement of the ball they were unable to get back on level terms. The Knights began the second half looking to kill off the match. Daniel Trim's diagonal cross from the right found captain Carl Medica who attempted to control the ball rather than shoot with his preferred left foot and the opposing defence moved quickly to thwart the striker. Moments later Medica found himself inside the 6-yard box and requiring to only push the ball over the line but he somehow managed to side-foot over the crossbar. A rasping left-footer by Thornley produced a miraculous save from the Bayswater 'keeper as the Knights supporters went up in anticipation of the ball hitting the back of the net. The dying minutes saw one last charge from Bayswater to equalise but it wasn't to be as a Knights defence lead by veteran Alex Christie held firm. The win puts the Knights three points clear at the top of the Premier league table.

Cockburn City's 4-1 triumph over Stirling Lions at Dalmatinac Park takes them to second place on goal difference ahead of E.C.U. Joondalup. Play had been underway just 2 minutes when the hosts got on the scoreboard after Antonio Naglieri tucked the ball into the net after Vince Matassa brilliantly kept out a Peter Petkovich shot from 6-metres. Tom Klaver was quick to stamp his authority over the game and his willingness to allow the game to flow contributed greatly to the enjoyment of the assembled crowd. A defensive mix-up between Liam Lilly and Dusan Macura allowed Lions striker Steven Bozinovski a sniff of goal but Dino Pacella pushed the shot wide after 15 minutes. Matassa was proving to be the hosts foil with good saves to thwart Michael Mirco, Petkovich and Scott Miller, while Naglieri got the ball past the 'keeper only to rattle the crossbar. The half came to a close with a rare attack from the Lions but Bozinovski didn't get the opportunity to trouble Pacella thanks to Evan Wallace's quick thinking. The start of the second half saw the Lions up the pace as Derek Cooke's dipping effort from 22-metres was palmed over the crossbar by Pacella. Midway through the period the visitors were back on level terms when awarded a penalty for a foul on Mohammad Komaderic, and from the spot Cooke made no mistake. It took Cockburn just nine minutes to restore their lead through a Miller corner which Naglieri put away at the far post. Substitute Jason Dos Santos cut the ball back from the right to Naglieri who completed his hat-trick with nine minutes to go. The points were made safe not long after when Roberto Colalillo placed the ball under Matassa from close range following a fine pass from Dos Santos.

Fremantle City dug deep to rob E.C.U. Joondalup of victory in a largely uneventful game in the northern suburbs. Joondalup began confidently as Dale McCulloch and Keith Brown set about establishing early control over the centre of the park. With 13 minutes gone the home side took the lead through Garin Collins who collected a pass from McCulloch near the corner flag, danced past his marker and from an acute angle found the gap between goalkeeper and the near post. Lead by Abdul Kamara, Fremantle rallied and put together several promising moves only to meet with strong resistance from a defence lead by Jamie Kuzmanovich and Peter Roberts. The port side broke through on the half hour as Matt Danskin embarked on a mazy run down the left which took him to just outside the 18-yard box where he was tussled with John Higgins before laying it off to Kevin Correia who made no mistake in placing his shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Peter Stewart. The introduction of Daryl Platten at the break renewed Joondalup's spirits with the youngster's hard work leading to a couple of early chances. But as the minutes ticked by and the score remained level, mistakes increasingly crept into a match that was dominated at either end by two very well-organised defences. Midway through the half a loose ball fell to McCulloch whose mis-hit shot came the way of teammate Gareth Phillips who side-footed in Joondalup's second of the day. The dismissal of Peter Lord for his second yellow card offence in the 82nd minute appeared to have ended Fremantle's hopes of sneaking a point, but instead it acted as the catalyst for a dramatic comeback. Minutes after coming off the bench to make his first team debut, teenager Andrew Pomfret tapped in from close range a centre from the left by Correia to earn his side a much needed share of the points.

Sorrento stretched their winning run to three games with a 5-1 thrashing of Floreat Athena at Percy Doyle Reserve. A positive start by the home team brought rewards midway through the half with two goals in quick succession. In the 26th minute James Morgan's thrown-in found Daniel Cain with time to measure his cross over a flat-footed defence to Jamie Harnwell who planted the ball into back of the net. Two more minutes elapsed before the Gulls doubled their lead as free-kick from the right by Glen Thomas was sent into the top corner of the goal via the head of Danny Hill. Sorrento were now on a roll and ten minutes later Thomas' corner was punched clear by Vujacic only to have youngster Brodie Martin crash the ball back past the 'keeper and into the roof of the net. The match was effectively ended as a contest a minute before the break as Chris Smith fed the ball to Simon Harland whose well-weighted pass spilt open the defence and Harland made no mistake in sliding n his teams fourth of the afternoon. Athena introduced Peter Coci at the break and the striker quickly made clear his intentions with some clever and lively ball. Even so, it was Sorrento that were the next to score in the 69th minute as substitute Shaun Bowyer went on a mazy run out of midfield before crossing to Harland whose header flew into the corner of the net. Although five goals down, Athena refused to give up and two minutes from the final whistle grabbed a consolation goal. A great strike from Coci cannoned back off the crossbar and, following an attempted clearance by Richard Watson, Steve Guest rifled an unstoppable shot the top corner for the games final goal.


FIRST DIVISION, ROUND FIFTEEN (Mandurah City vs Balcatta courtesy Balcatta; Gosnells City vs Rockingham City courtesy Gosnells City)

South West Phoenix' title aspirations suffered a major setback with a 0-2 loss to Kingsway Olympic at Kingsway Sporting Complex. The chief instigator in Phoenix' downfall was former Bunbury player Nigel Comito who worked hard all day and set up Steve Bretti for both Olympic's goals. The closest Phoenix came to scoring in a flat opening period was through David Rodgers whose free-kick crashed into the defensive wall. Olympic on the other hand created several openings, all of which went unconverted. Ten minutes from the break Olympic went in front through a swift move in which Bretti outpaced Shane Russell to shoot past goalkeeper Reece Braithwaite. With 77 minutes gone Olympic wrapped up the game with a killer counter-attack that saw Comito beat Andy Cowley and play through to Bretti who sent a grasscutter from 20-metres past the injured Braithwaite. "Nothing worked," lamented coach Phoenix coach Jimmy Mayers after the game. "The players to a man were flat and any moves I tried did not work either - it was just one of those days." The win, just Olympic's second of the season, lifts the club off the foot of the table.

The long trip south proved extremely rewarding for Balcatta supporters whose team turned in one of their best performance of the season to gain a 2-1 win over pre-season favourite Mandurah City. Coach Basil Lenzo started the game with a revised formation in order to accommodate the small playing surface at Peelwood Parade. The move paid dividends with the visiting side every bit their opponents match throughout the first half. Balcatta took gained the upper hand five minutes from the break when midfielder Danny Carlino finished off a sweet move, which involved Alley Di Nuzzo, Michael Chiari and Victor Bogos, with a powerful strike from just inside the 18-yard box. The goal inspired the visitors and with 71 minutes they were able to double their advantage when Mandurah failed to successfully defend at a corner and Carlino slipped in his second of the day. Mandurah pushed hard during the remaining time and were able to pull a goal back in the 72nd minute when Jake Loreto netted from a free-kick. Two minutes later Balcatta goalkeeper Colin Lees made a fantastic double save to ensure Balcatta claimed the points. The game ended on a sour note for the visitors who had Chiari red carded for an incident after the final whistle.

Gosnells City continue to defy their critics by moving into fourth spot after beating Rockingham City 3-1 at home. The match got off at a cracking pace with Rockingham doing most of the attacking. The visitors should have gone in front after 10 minutes but rusty finishing missed proved their undoing on more than one occasion. Gosnells, awoken by the close calls, started to come into the game and by midway through the half had gained the upper hand. A string of neat passes through midfield lead to Ian Ingham swinging a vicious cross in from the left which Mark Ronald headed in at the back post to make it one-nil. The hosts weren't about to sit on their laurels as Andy Daffin and Darren Ingham ran the opposing defence ragged. A poorly timed challenge saw Darren Ingham fouled inside the 18-yard box and Tony Pritchard converted from the penalty spot. Rockingham came out firing for the new half and a goal back from Jonathan Crawford after 54 minutes was just reward for their increased possession. Chances on goal where at a premium as both sides dug in for the battle ahead. A series of substitutions made for a fragmented final fifteen minutes in which the game was settled by an own goal following Tony Lang's cross from the right.

First Divison leader Armadale increased their lead to seven points with a 2-1 home defeat of Ashfield. The win was achieved through a double from Greg Newcombe who took his tally to eleven goals in six outings since recently returning from Leeming Strikers. Andy Cornmell was the scorer for Ashfield. Morley Windmills proved no match for a goal hungry Canning City line-up at Wotton Reserve. Julio Barrendilla gave the visitors a two-goal advantage by the break with David Mahon and Patrick Fitzgerald making the points safe midway through the second period. Seven minutes from the end Mark Aldworth netted Windmills' consolation goal. Queens Park took the points over home team Dianella White Eagles 4-3 with goals from Raymond Rose (2), Paul Baczynski and Grant Learmont. Dragan Njegic scored twice for Dianella with Miladin Gugoroski also finding the back of the net. Leeming Strikers hit seven goals without reply against a hapless Stirling Suns who slipped to last place on the table. Lucas Whitehouse wrapped up a first half hat-trick for the Strikers whose other goals came via Phil Bell, Shane Laing, Dale Wingell and Gordon Hind.



The newly formed West Australian Soccer Association has established an interim committee to assist with the transition to a unified code. Representatives from Soccer West Coast, Women's Soccer WA and the Junior Soccer Association of WA have been invited to form the committee which will address issues of relevance and provide information to their respective organisations and member clubs. Peter Koulizos and Don Evans will represent SWC, Janette Spencer and Jane King have been chosen from the women's game and Marin Vlasich and David Lewin will work on behalf of the juniors.

The only organisation not represented on the interim committee is the WA Amateur and Social Soccer Association. That body still has concerns over the new constitution which has been developed in conjunction with the Australian Soccer Association. Although WAASSA are yet to commit to the restructure, WASA have left open two positions on the interim committee which they hope will be filled by representatives from the amateurs. It is anticipated that WASA, chaired by Kevin Campbell, will become the sole organising body for the round ball game in this state.



There were plenty of goals in Saturday's round of Premier League games. Sorrento gained the honour of being the highest scorers by when they thumped Floreat Athena 5-1 in the northern suburbs. A hat-trick from Antonio Naglieri helped Cockburn City to a 4-1 triumph over Stirling Lions. Honours were shared between E.C.U. Joondalup and Fremantle City in a thrilling 2-2 draw. There may not have been a lot of goals at Dorrien Gardens but the 1-1 draw between Perth S.C. and Swan I.C. definitely was not for the feint-hearted. Ian Griffiths and Graeme Matthews were on target for Bassendean Caledonian when they downed Inglewood United 2-1. And Western Knights 1-0 away win at Bayswater City enabled them to increase their lead at the top of the table to three points.

Armadale are red hot favourite to gain promotion from the First Division courtesy of a 2-1 defeat of Ashfield that opens a seven point gap to their nearest rival. Fortune wasn't on the side of the chasing pack as South West Phoenix crashed 2-0 at Kingsway Olympic, and Mandurah City went down 1-2 at home to Balcatta. Gosnells City continued to prove their critics wrong by moving into fourth spot courtesy of a 3-1 defeat of Rockingham City at Walter Padbury Reserve. Canning City also made the most of Phoenix and Mandurah's misfortune with a confident 4-1 win over Morley Windmills. Dianella White Eagles went down in 3-4 to a resurgent Queens Park. There were also seven goals scored at John Connell Reserve where Leeming Strikers thrashed Stirling Suns 7-0.



Having seen their lead trimmed to a single point over the past fortnight Western Knights will be keen to get back to winning ways when they welcome Bayswater City to Nash Field for Round Thirteen of the Premier League season. Maintaining the pressure are E.C.U. Joondalup who are expected to take the points over a luckless Fremantle City side. Cockburn City face Stirling Lions in what looms as the pick of the action. For the second successive week Perth S.C. find themselves locked in battle with a familiar foe as Swan I.C. pay a visit to Dorrien Gardens. Sorrento against Floreat Athena will be a tight encounter in the northern suburbs. Anything less than a share of the points for Bassendean Caledonian who are home to Inglewood United will be deemed unacceptable for the club currently stumping up the table.

Armadale, who've topped the First Division standings from early on, can open up a seven points gap to their nearest rival with victory at home over Ashfield on Saturday. South West Phoenix, one of the seasons surprise packets, head to the northern suburbs to play a luckless Kingsway Olympic. Canning City are tipped to go home with maximum points from Morley Windmills, likewise Gosnells City who welcome Rockingham City to Walter Padbury Reserve. Pre-season favourite Mandurah City will be out to get their campaign back on track with a strong performance against Balcatta. Dianella White Eagles have a mid-table meeting with Queens Park, while Leeming Strikers should prove too strong for Stirling Suns. Wanneroo City, currently placed second, are out of action due to the bye.



Kevin Campbell, newly appointed chairman of the West Australian Soccer Association, today contacted various sectors of the local soccer community to outline the current activities of the organisation. Click here to read what Campbell had to say in regards to the unification of the code in this state.



The State Women's Under-17 and Under-15 teams both narrowly missed on out semi-finals berths at the National Talent Identification Championships. For the past week the best young female player in Australia have been pitting their skills against each other at Valentine Park in Sydney's west. The annual tournament is an important part of the round ball game in Australia with many current and former national team players using the Nationals as a springboard to bigger and better things.

The West Australian Under-17 side spent the qualifying stage of the tournament in Group B. In Saturday's opening match they went down 9-1 to the Australian Capital Territory whose goal arrived after 29 minutes through Ellie brush. Two second half goals saw South Australia beat New South Wales Metro 2-0 in the other Group B game. A Kylie Chatto hat-trick was the inspiration behind West Australia's 4-1 thumping of New South Wales Metro the following afternoon. Natalie Spirovski gave Metro the lead after just 4 minutes, however the sides went in at the break on level terms with Chatto netting in the 28th minute. Three goals in a four minute burst determined the outcome, Chatto adding two more with Ciara Conway also getting in on the act. The Australian Capital Territory thrashed the Northern Territory 5-0 in the earlier fixture.

By the end of Day Three of competition things had become very tight at the top of the Group B standings where West Australia, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory were all level on six points. A Flo Tawns goal after 25 minutes gave West Australia a one-goal lead at half-time against the Northern Territory. Ten minutes into the second half the floodgates burst open, Ciara Conway scoring twice in the space of a minute and Kylie Chatto adding to the tally shortly after. Laura Turnbull sealed a 5-0 win by finding the back of the net twelve minutes from the final whistle. South Australia made it two wins from as many starts as Amy Jackson and Andrea Totsidis were on target in the 2-1 defeat of the Australian Capital Territory 2-1.

In what was a virtual semi-final decider on Tuesday, Stacey Day's goal three minutes from the final whistle gave South Australia a 1-0 win over West Australia to secure their place in the semi-finals. With their group stage games now over, the west's chances of progressing to the finals stage were effectively ended by New South Wales Metro who thrashed the Northern Territory 15-0 through goals from Katherine Cavanagh (6), Olivia Kennedy (3), Danielle Brogan (2), Caitin Cooper, Frances Dimono, Natalie Spirovski and Elyce Bates. This set up an intriguing showdown for second place on Thursday between the Australian Capital Territory, who needed only a point to go through, and New South Wales Metro for whom anything other than victory would bring to an end to their finals hopes.

Following Wednesday's rest day, Australian Capital Territory were held to a scoreless draw by New South Wales Metro in the final round of group stage action. South Australia humbled the Northern Territory 6-0 to finish undefeated and on top of Group B. West Australian got off to a flying in Friday's play-off for fifth and sixth places with Queensland. A Ciara Conway goal after 6 minutes put the west in the driving seat only for Alannah Reed to score twice late in the half to make it 2-1 at the interval. The match was effectively ended as a content when Kim Carroll netted Queensland third after 68 minutes with K.Walker completing the 4-1 scoreline a few minutes later. The Under-17's was won by South Australia who defeated Victoria 2-0 in the Final.

Also drawn in Group B for the preliminary stage, the West Australian Under-15 side got their campaign off on the right foot with a 1-0 defeat of the Australian Capital Territory. The games only goal arrived in the 59th minute with Sarah Hughes the scorer. In the other opening day Group B fixture, Leah Curtis earned Queensland a 1-0 win over Northern New South Wales. Northern New South Wales fell over the line by 1-0 against Western Australia on Sunday, Leia Smith scorer of the games only goal. Queensland had little trouble in accounting for Tasmania by 4-0 to make it two wins from as many starts.

Queensland all but assured themselves of a spot in the final with a 3-0 victory over the Australian Capital Territory on Monday, while Northern New South Wales thumped Tasmania 4-0. West Australia remained an outside chance of making the semi-finals after dumping Tasmania 2-0 on Day Four of the tournament. Anna Excell broke the deadlock in the 54th minute with Katy Coughlan sealing victory when she found the target after 62 minutes. Northern New South Wales 2-0 defeat of the Australian Capital Territory put them in the box seat to progress to the knock-out phase.

Needing a minimum four-goal victory over group leader Queensland on Thursday to make the play-offs, Western Australia went into the game with a positive, if somewhat optimistic, outlook but in the end the mountain proved too great to climb. Leah Curtis put Queensland in front after 29 minutes with second half goals from Lisa Wilkinson and Samantha McIntosh sealing the fate of the girls from the west coast. The Australian Capital Territory thumped Tasmania 4-0 in the days other match. West Australia ended the tournament in fifth place overall by defeating Group A's third place getters, South Australia, on Friday afternoon. The only goal of the game arrived in the first minute when Katy Coghlan found the target. Queensland went on to take out the Under-15 tournament by defeating New South Wales Metro in the Final.



The State Under-13 North and South Development squads have been busy competing at the Capital Cup in Canberra this week. The Capital Cup is an invitational tournament for junior players under the age of thirteen which is held in conjunction with the Kanga Cup. Alongside the two West Australian teams at this years event were two teams from South Australia and squads representing Northern New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria.

Competition kicked-off on Monday morning when the Australian Capital Territory claimed victory over West Australia North by 2-1. In other games, Northern New South Wales defeated South Australia A 2-1 and Victoria thrashed South Australia B 6-0. That afternoon West Australia South's opening fixture ended in a 2-2 draw with South Australia A. West Australia North played out a thrilling 5-5 draw with South Australia B. Sandwiched between these was Northern New South Wales against the Australian Capital Territory which ended 1-0 in favour of the latter.

A 9.45am kick-off on Tuesday didn't bode well with the West Australia South who crashed 0-5 at the hands of Victoria. The Australian Capital Territory emerged victors over South Australia by 2-1, the same scoreline that West Australian North registered in defeating Northern New South Wales. Western Australia South scored a comfortable 3-0 win over South Australia B to complete the days' activities. The following morning the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia B played out a 3-3 draw, and Victoria claimed victory over South Australia A by 3-0. In the afternoon match, Western Australia South stretched their unbeaten run to three games by drawing 1-1 with Northern New South Wales.

There was a plethora of action on Thursday with many teams playing twice. The day started badly for West Australia North who crashed 0-6 at the hands of Victoria. Northern New South Wales scored a 2-1 win over South Australia B, then in the afternoon copped an 8-0 hiding from Victoria. South Australia A proved too strong for West Australia North by 3-1. Kicking off the final day of competition West Australia North toppled home town rival West Australia South 2-1. Victoria beat the Australian Capital Territory 3-2, and in the last game of the tournament West Australia South were held to a 3-3 draw by the Australian Capital Territory.



The world's fifth-largest junior soccer tournament - the Kanga Cup - was staged over the past week in Canberra. With more than 217 teams in competition, West Australia was represented by Country Development Teams selected by the Junior Soccer Association of WA in the Under-12, Under-14 and Under-17 categories. Fortunes were contrasting for the three Country sides during the preliminary rounds of the tournament which saw several big wins and some just a great losses. Of the three West Australian teams, the Under-12's made the semi-finals while the Under-14 and Under-16 sides were a credit to themselves with some strong performances in the group stage.

The Under-12 Country Development Team spent the week in Pool B where they kicked-off with a 3-0 win over Sunshine Coast Churches (Qld) on Monday morning. An early start the following day saw the goals flow for the west who ran out victors by 7-0 over Tuggeranong Arrows (ACT). There were contrasting results on Day Three of competition which started with a 1-2 loss to Belnorth Utd (ACT) and ended with a 4-1 thumping of Coffs United (NSW). Woden Wanderers (ACT) proved no match for the boys from the west who ran out 5-0 winners on Thursday. A 6-0 win over Quakers Hill (NSW) meant the Under-12's ended the qualifying rounds undefeated, amassing 26 goals while conceding just three, to take out their group. Their campaign came to a halt in Saturday's semi-finals with a 0-3 loss to Illawarra (NSW) who went on to win the age group.

Grouped in Pool A were the Under-14 Country Development Team. Their campaign commenced at 9.45am on Monday with a 0-2 loss to New England (NSW), which was followed later in the day by a 4-1 victory over Belsouth (ACT). The west's campaign continued early the following day with a 1-5 loss to Sydney FC (NSW). Wednesday brought more mixed results, the Country side trouncing Monaro Panthers (NSW) 4-1 in the morning only to go down 2-3 that afternoon to Tuggeranong Terriers (ACT). West Australia ended their campaign on a massive high which started with an 8-0 thrashing of American team Crew and came to a close by pounding Brindabella Blues (ACT) 14-0. With four wins to their credit the Under-14 Country Development Team ended fifth in Pool A which was won by Sydney FC.

The opening day's competition for the Under-16 Country Development Team was one they would much rather forget. Playing in Pool C of the Under-17 category, West Australia went down 0-6 to Stingrays (NSW) which was followed by a 0-7 thrashing at the hands of Sunshine Coast Churches (Qld). Goals continued to elude the west as they crashed 0-4 to Weston Creek (ACT) on Day Two of competition. The Country team registered their first points of the week by thumping Eastern Suburbs (NSW) 3-0 on Wednesday afternoon. The final day of competition saw the Under-16 Country Development go down 1-3 to Tuggeranong (ACT), then hammer American side Rapid 4-0 to claim sixth on the final standings. The group was won by Stingrays who went undefeated over the qualifying round.



For the second successive year Western Knights will be minus star striker Stuart Montgomery for the business end of the season. A serious injury suffered late in Saturday's loss to Stirling Lions will keep the Premier League's leading goalscorer on the sidelines for at least the next two months. "I have a torn groin muscle which has detached itself from the bone," Montgomery explained. "It happened in the most simple of ways - I went past a defender and was heading for goal when I felt a sharp shooting pain in my groin and lower abdomen and just dropped on the spot. My physio, Sania Musulin, expects me to be out for about eight weeks but I've been told that the worst case scenario is I'll miss the rest of the season which is really disappointing as it's the second time in as many years that I'll miss the best part of the season."

Despite his absence, Montgomery is confident the Knights will continue their charge towards the regular season title. "Our depth has already been severely tested this year by injuries and suspensions and we've come through with flying colours," the 26-year old added. "We have enough depth in our squad to keep challenging for the title and if clubs start to write the Knights off then they will be in for a big shock. We have a great mix of players this year with some very talented young players coming through including Andrjia Jukic, who I rate as one of the best young players I have seen in this State, Sebastian Trim, John Thornley, Josh Kamasz and Greg Montenegro. But we've also got a lot of experience in Alex Christie, Carl Medica, Tommi Tomich and Dave Annall who all know what it takes to win the League. The club will be served well by these players and I have no doubt that we will be up there come the end of the season."



The West Australian Under-14 North and South representative squads to compete at the Friendship Games have been announced by the Junior Soccer Association. The Friendship Games will be contested at Valentine Sports Park in picturesque rural New South Wales between 11th and 17th July. The annual event is the nations number one tournament for 14-year old players and pits the best talent from each of the states against eachother.

"Many of the players we have returning this year to play in the Friendship Games will benefit from the experience they gained last year from touring with the 13's Development team," explained JSA spokesman Glenn Morley. "A week long tournament playing against the country's premier talent is a tough ask, however, second and third year touring players become adapted to playing elite teams at a national tournament and the challenges it presents."

Coached by Steve Duckworth, the West Australian Under-14 North Development squad consists of Lewis Costley (Bassendean Caledonian), Brendan Craig, Chris Harlond, Patrick Le, Alexander Sutton (Inglewood United), Ciaron Kavanagh, Jason Mirco (E.C.U. Joondalup), Ramon Amorganda, Ric Champion, Keith Clevenger, Dean Evans, Matthew Italiano, Ben Senior, Tom Senior (Kings Academy), Simon Wilson (Perth S.C.) and Damien Kings (Westminster).

The WA Under-14 South Development squad, coached by Paul Wozny, features Sean Dash, Michael De Souza, Julian DiGiorgio, Mason Levitt, Dane McBride, Callum Roberts, Lorenzo Tambasco, Josh Wade (Fremantle City), Kynon Melling (Gosnells City), Dannie Richman (Kings Academy), Matthew Smerili, Robert Young (Perth S.C.), Rhys Andrzejeski (Rockingham City), Matthew Allen, Anthony Fearon and Craig Thompson (Western Knights).



Stirling Suns have dismissed first team coach Rodney Njirich. The Suns began the season brightly but trailed off in recent months as injury and suspension took its toll on the clubs small squad. "I did my best with what I had," said Njirich today. "We had a consistent lack of numbers to training which meant putting out a competitive team week after week was tough. On top of this, the squad is still very young and many players have had to step up into a senior role earlier than expected."

"I had the pleasure of working with some very talented, up and coming players and I just hope that they are given the direction needed to improve their skills," added the Suns out-going coach. "Hopefully the club will develop a structure that can support these young players. The players that are dedicated to improving as an individual and as a team must remember that success will be rewarded to those that earn it. Although I was disappointed with the lack of support I received as coach of the Suns, my love of the game will never disappear and I will be coaching and playing again soon."



Australian international Michael Petkovic could be flying the flag for Western Australia in Europe's prestigious Champions League next season. Petkovic's club side, Trabzonspor, finished second in the Turkish top flight last season to earn themselves a spot in the second qualifying stage of the lucrative competition. "When you are growing up you always want to play at the highest level. You dream of playing in a World Cup or the Champions League," said Petkovic, who will be named as one of the state's 100 greatest players on Saturday.

Since making his debut against fierce rival Fenerbahce two years ago, Petkovic has firmly established himself as a first team regular with Trabzonspor. "Sometimes you have to get lucky and be in the right place at the right time - I was," the goalkeeper told Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian". Petkovic had a bitter experience at French side Strasbourg in 1999/2000 but his second bite of the cherry in Europe is certainly paying off for the one-time Spearwood Dalmatinac shot-stopper. Back-to-back Turkish Cups and runners-up in the most recent home-and-away season have returned Tranzonspor to the top of the nations pecking order.

Petkovic's contribution to the local and national scene, along with his career abroad, has earned the 27-year old a place in WA's top 100 players. Following time in the State League with Dalmatinac Petkovic linked up with South Melbourne for whom he played six seasons, twice winning the National Soccer League's Goalkeeper of the Year award as well as gaining senior international honours for Australia. The Century of Champions event recognises the state's best players over the past century as selected by the Soccer Hall of Fame committee. Petkovic, who will be unable to attend the official naming of the champions at the Novotel Langley Hotel on Saturday, said he was honoured to be recognised alongside the state's best players.



The West Australian Youth team have been held to a scoreless draw by a composite Under-19 side drawn from the ranks of the First Division in frosty conditions at Litis Stadium last night. With the game played out over three thirty minute periods and both teams utilising in excess of twenty players, there were few highlights in a scrappy encounter in which neither side was able to settle into a rhythm. State midfielder David Micevski came closest in a tight opening period when he let fly from long-range but his effort was kept out by the goalkeeper, while later in the match John Higgins shot wide with only the goalkeeper to beat. The best chance for the First Division squad came via a good cross from the right which was unfortunately hit straight into the arms of second half goalkeeper Alex Vrteski.



Dorrien Gardens has been given a resounding thumbs up as the local scenes best ground. Over 200 votes were cast in last weeks website poll which queried "Which venue has the best playing surface?" Dorrien Gardens, long-time home to Perth S.C., emerged as clear winner in collecting 44.6% of the count. It was tight for the minor places with the four other grounds in the running separated by the smallest of margins. In second spot was Edith Cowan University (15.0%), home of E.C.U. Joondalup, which pipped by a single vote Floreat Athena's Litis Stadium (14.5%). Another vote off the pace was Sorrento's home, Percy Doyle Reserve (14.0%). Inglewood United's National Stadium (11.7%) completed the field.



In December 2001 my manager at the Department of Sport and Recreation asked if there was anyone silly enough to take on the role of trying to facilitate the reform of soccer in Western Australia. Many had tried and failed and the State Government, despite many attempts at assisting with unification which included the offering large sums of money, had almost written off soccer as a hopeless case. In a moment of apparent insanity, I put my hand up, thinking that if I could take on this challenge and help achieve unification I could feel that I have really achieved something in my career as a sport consultant.

In May 2002, I facilitated the first of many meetings of the Soccer Forum consisting of representatives of the soccer community. By the end of that year we had developed a model for moving towards a unified body managing soccer in Western Australia. Stage One recommended that a new independent state body be formed and that it begin working with the current associations on all aspects of soccer development. Stage Two was to be implemented within two years that would see the dissolution of all associations with all clubs affiliating direct to the new body.

Meanwhile, soccer at the national level was getting its act together and a new national body, the Australian Soccer Association was established and began implementing the recommendations of the Crawford Report in earnest. The model developed by the Soccer Forum was pretty much 'in-tune' with the national model, but the ASA required a much tighter period for implementing the reform. This meant that our Stage One and Two had to be implemented concurrently and this is where the real trouble began.

In the meantime I was appointed as Project Manager in November 2003 to work full-time on the task of implementing the reform under the guidance of Robin Graham of the ASA. It soon became clear (if it wasn't already patently obvious) as to why soccer was never able to make that giant leap in Australia as it has all over the rest of the world. This is, because of the actions and in-actions of a number of people determined to prevent change for their own reasons. These same people repeatedly protest that they are 100% behind the restructure, but their actions say otherwise.

I have tried to figure out the reasons for their obstructiveness, is it fear of loss of power, scared of change, loss of financial and other interests, lack of vision of the big picture, or sheer bloody-mindedness? Whatever the reason, the sooner they can be either re-educated or weeded out of the game the better so that soccer in Australia can reap the rewards of being at the top of the heap when it comes to revenue earning capacity that can start to flow down to the grass roots. Fortunately, the visionaries outnumber the obstructionists and the national momentum will ensure soccer will change for the better this time.

This new body, the Western Australian Soccer Association, under the leadership of Kevin Campbell, will be made up of the people with the 'right stuff' to make soccer a success in this state. Give it your all and back this new team at every opportunity. I'm certainly glad that I put my hand up and had a go at helping to unify soccer in Western Australia.



Adrian Caceres feels his new club, Yeovil Town, have all the makings to be challenging for promotion from the English Third Division this coming season. Caceres, who officially inked a one-year deal with the Glovers last week, has been training for the past fortnight in order to be in shape for the pre-season proper. "It's been great meeting my new teammates this week," Caceres told recently. "Training has already been very competitive. The boss sent everyone away with a training program to stick to so we could be in decent shape ahead of our pre-season tour of Europe, so from the off everyone's been in shape and hitting the track hard." Still only a week into pre-season, Caceres says the Yeovil squad is taking shape. "I'm not the only new signing and there's some lads trialling with us at the moment," added the former Perth Glory player. "Gary Johnson wants to take a couple of them with us on tour to Belgium and Germany ... It's only a week old, but I'm excited about what we're going to do this season."



With the Women's Soccer WA Premier League season in recess until the middle of the month, the weekend's focus turned to the First Division. Competition pacesetter Noranda took the points with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Cockburn City in the southern suburbs. Both sides created chances to break the deadlock before Noranda nudged their way in front after 20 minutes. Noranda came out firing for the second half but were thwarted in their attempts to convert. It was a similar story at the opposite end where Cockburn continually applied the pressure but just could not find the net. The match was settled late in the piece when Noranda finally found a way through.

At a wet Rosalie Park, Subiaco went down 0-2 to Rockingham City in a game neither side was able to dominate. Subiaco goalkeeper Bec Reynell made several important saves before the visitors went in front midway through the period. After the interval Rockingham took up camp in their opponents half and eventually added a second goal to their tally. This sparked new life into the Subiaco line-up whose increased work rate was deserving of at least one goal. Des De Souza was unlucky not to get one back from the penalty spot but her effort was pushed wide of the target. "It was a great team effort but it just wasn't our day," said Subiaco coach Andrew Arena.

Murdoch University collected the 3-0 'bye win' while the outcome of the two remaining games - UWA against Beckenham Angels, and Swan I.C. verses Northern Redbacks C - are currently unknown. If you are involved in women's soccer in any capacity - be it as a player, coach, administrator, spectator or other - and are able to provide us with match information then we'd like to hear from you. Please contact Brett via to have your clubs match details included in our weekly updates.



UWA defeated Gwelup Croatia 3-1 Le Coq Sportif WAASSA Amateur Cup to reach the last eight of the competition on Sunday at the Croatian Sports Ground. On a difficult bumpy surface UWA dominated the first half with good chances falling to Robert Benkovic, and Bryn Griffiths. However, it was not until the 29th minute that UWA took the lead when the Gwelup defence claimed offside only for Robert Benkovic to walk the ball into the net unopposed after a Paul Dimmock pass. Moments later a Bryn Griffiths cross fell to Paul Dimmock who sweetly volleyed the ball into the left hand corner to put UWA 2-0 up. On the stroke of half time UWA went 3-0 up after Gareth Briggs found Max Percy who beat a couple of players and stabbed the ball into the goal off the underside of the bar. The second half saw Gwelup score after 12 minutes when an Alan McSavage corner was headed in at the near post by Dario Kalazic. The game was then effectively over when a Gwelup player was sent off for a high tackle on UWA's Manuel Arapis. UWA's Nick Helm did have a header well saved by Gwelup keeper Jose Markovic at a corner but despite several other chances UWA were content to settle for the 3-1 win. Coach Kevin Burton said "It was a potentially tricky match for us given the condition of the pitch but we did enough in the first half to win the game. Its good for the club to have both firsts and reserves in the last 8 of the cup given some recent average results in the league." UWA's Reserves were also successful in the Reserves Cup defeating Canning International 5-1 away from home.

Traditional rivals Shamrock Rovers and Hamersley locked horns at a rainy Carine Open Space in the only WAASSA Premier Division game played on Sunday. Shamrock Rovers were missing three regulars in Wayne Brooks, Pat O'Boyle and John McCarthy and drafted in youngsters Geoff Lane and Jamie Silsby. The game started on an even keel with both teams trying to insert their dominance. In a tight opening half the best chances fell to Flavio L'Abbate who screwed wide when clean through and Shamrock's Mark Kelly who headed wide from 10 yards after a superbly flighted ball from Jon Craik. However, five minutes before half time a piece of Stanley Matthews trickery from Dylan Browne saw him beat a man and clip a ball to the onrushing Mark Kelly who nodded in from close range. In the second half Hamersley pressed but could see no way past the leagues best defence of Keith Roche, Cathal Lennon and Jon Craik. With Hammersley having the majority of the pressure but lacking any real substance, Shamrock relied on the counter attack with the ball moving through the midfield and breaking through at pace. Chances were spurned by Sean and Glen Brooks as well as that man Kelly and the hoops should have at least doubled their addvantage. The win sees Shamrock's lead increase to eleven points over Spearwood Dalmatianc having played a game more. Coach Nik Silsby was happy with his teams performance, "Once again we worked hard as a team. The team spirit with both the first team and reserves we have is excellent. We work hard, support and encourage each other, which in tight games sees us over the line. Hamersley were up for the game and from what I heard they regarded this as their "Cup Final". I am pleased to have got the three points despite the enforced changes we had to make. We are in a great position but will take each game as it happens". On a good day for Shamrock, the reserves made it 11 wins out of eleven with goals from Mattie Webb and Richard Partridge to seal a 2-1 win. Darren McNamee replied for Hamersley. This was the first game the Hoops had conceeded a goal for a club record of 811 minutes. This after the reserves had smashed 16 against Leeming Strikers without reply in the Le Coq Sportif Reserves Cup last Tuesday night.


PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND TWELVE (Stirling Lions vs Western Knights by Don Evans; Floreat Athena vs Cockburn City by Lennie Bavich)

A big crowd was on hand at Macedonia Park where Stirling Lions pulled off the upset of the round by toppling Premier League leader Western Knights 3-2. The Lions were presented with an early scare as Josh Kamasz found space only to shoot just wide of the mark with only a few minutes gone. A great tussle for control ensued with both midfields working well, Nick Ward and Rob Monterosso firing for the Lions and Mark Lee and Andrija Jukic in the thick of the action for the Knights. The game really opened up in the 38th minute when Luke Pavlos' corner was majestically headed in at the near post by Ward. The Knights response was swift, Ivan Zuevla timing his run to perfection to glance a Mark Lee corner past goalkeeper Vince Matassa just three minutes later. The home fans were treated to the goal of the season early in the second half as no less than six Lions players stung together a series of one-touch passes that ended with Ward chipping to Jake Harman who swivelled on the spot to volley past a bewildered Tommi Tomich. Some crucial tackles thwarted strikers Carl Medica and Stuart Montgomery from getting the Knights back on level terms, while John Thornley's blistering strike on the hour produced a top class save from Matassa. Down the other end Muhamed Komaderic forced Tomich to dive full-length to tip wide a goal bound effort. The match was squared up via another set piece move in the 75th minute, Lee and Zuvela combining for Daniel Trim to ghost in and sneak an equaliser. In a thrilling finale to a great match, Alen Zilic swung a corner into the Lions dangerzone where it eventually went to the feet of Darko Ilmanovski who instinctively side-footed in an 87th minute winner to set off wild scenes of jubilation amongst the home fans.

A workmanlike performance by E.C.U. Joondalup has given them a 2-0 win over a start-studded Inglewood United line-up at the National Stadium. Greg Sharland should have given the home team a dream start but snatched his shot over the crossbar following a defensive lapse by Peter Roberts. Joondalup's first opening came the way of Martin Ashworth who fended off Daniel Stoitis only to be denied by an alert Oliver Taseski from 12-metres. As the minutes ticked by Joondalup grew in stature. Garin Collins and Keith Brown were combining to great effect down the right flank and causing all manner of problems for the home defence. It came as no surprise then that they took the lead after 23 minutes when Ashworth's cross from the left went to feet and Gareth Phillips reacted smartly by shooting low and beyond the reach of Taseski from close-in. For their part Inglewood were able to string together some good passages when going forward but continually let themselves down with poor delivery in the final third. The only chance of the latter stages resulted from Bobby Despotovski's clever flick on to Louis Parkinson who stretched Peter Stewart with a rasping low drive. A number of crunching tackles welcomed in the second half as the two sides set about unsettling the other. Inglewood held sway for the better part of twenty minutes but with Robert and Jamie Kuzmanovich controlling the opposing defence they were forced to scattered shots from distance. Only Shaun Kilkelly found a way through but his shot from a narrowing angle hit the side netting. The pendulum slowly swung back in Joondalup's favour and twice they were denied appeals for penalties before wrapping up the game in the 89th minute through the sweetest of free-kicks taken by Collins from just outside the 18-yard box. The final margin was very nearly three goals but Dale McCulloch's grasscutter came back off the upright deep in stoppage time.

Floreat Athena twice came from behind in holding Cockburn City 2-2 at Litis Stadium. With the temperature hovering around a chilly 16 degrees Celcius, the match got underway with both teams taking time to settle and neither really testing the opposing defence. With twenty minutes gone Cockburn suddenly sparked into life with Peter Petkovich thwarted by some desperate defending, and sixty seconds later Antonio Naglieri's thunderbolt was brilliantly knocked wide of the post by goalkeeper Vas Vujacic. The visitors persistence paid off after 26 minutes when John Mirco's forward pass found Petkovich who slipped past the defence and rounded the 'keeper before slipping the ball into the net. Nine minutes later Athena replied through Troy Bernard who blasted first time past Dino Pacella after Andreas Oliveira cleverly clipped a free-kick from 19-metres over the defensive wall. Seven minutes into the second half Cockburn were able to restore their lead when awarded a penalty, John Mirco's initial spot kick was saved by Vujacic only for the referee to contentiously order it be re-taken and with the second bite of the cherry the visiting attacker made no mistake. Like earlier, Athena wasted no time in hitting back and Saul Contera completed a swift counter-attacking move by slamming the ball past a stunned Pacella and into the top corner to make it all square. For much of the remainder of the game Athena played with ten men behind the ball, creating few chances of their own and frustrating Cockburn's efforts to add to their tally.

Swan I.C. ended a two game losing run by trouncing Bassendean Caledonian 4-1 in the Swan Valley. The home side adjusted quickly to the cold and blustery conditions to dominate a first half in which goalkeeper Corey Hugo was rarely called into action. David Foster opened the scoring after 7 minutes when he made the most of a one-on-one with goalkeeper Steve Grant. Swan's persistent attacking lead to Foster finding the net for a second time with a fine shot from just inside the 18-yard box following excellent lead-up play by youngster Brendan Knox. Late in the half Elton Holmes got in on the act when he brilliantly curled a free-kick into the top corner from 22-metres to send the black and whites in with a three-goal lead. Fired up by Jimmy Pearson's half-time address, Caledonian played with more urgency after the break and took the game up to their hosts. Five minutes after the restart Dom Ando worked his way down the right flank and sent a cross to the back post Peter Vukmirovic's header crashed into the post. The visitors continued to pour on the pressure only to find few holes in the Swan backline which was marshalled by Carlo and Damian Scali. Caledonian had reason to feel aggrieved when appeals for a penalty were dismissed after Graeme Matthews was bundled over by Corey Hugo as the two contested a high ball. Any hopes the visitors had of staging a dramatic comeback were laid to rest when Foster completed his hat-trick by slotting past Grant after being sent clear by Paul Lincoln. As the rains began to tumble the standard of play deteriorated with scrappiness becoming the standard. With twelve minutes to go a vicious cross from Ando was headed past Corey Hugo by an unfortunate Carlo Scali for an own goal.

At Frank Drago Reserve, Perth S.C. avenged their early season loss to Bayswater City by triumphing 3-1 over their traditional rival in chilly conditions. In establishing authority quickly, Perth were able to completely dominate the match through some classy passing and good movement both on and off the ball. With an endless stream of crosses being pumped into the 18-yard box there was no lack of ammunition for the Blues forwards to work. Rob Giorgi came closest to breaking the deadlock with a solid header which goalkeeper Francis Allen reacted sharply to prevent from crossing the line. For their part Bayswater opted to play a long ball game and in all honesty never looked like breaching the Perth defence over the first half. Perth shook things up for the new half by bringing on proven goalscorers Shane Crampton and Ryan Newhill in an effort to crack the game open. Fifteen minutes after the restart Crampton rewarded his coaches faith by finishing coolly from a tight angle. With the wind now in their sails, Perth went in search a second goal. On 73 minutes Newhill was fouled in the box by Jason Lawton and from the resulting penalty Robbie Puca made no mistake in making it two-nil. In a desperate attempt to claw their way back into the game Bayswater threw players forward only to encounter strong resistance from the Perth rearguard. The outcome was put beyond in the 80th minute when Todd Howarth's corner was headed in at close-range by David Micevski. Bayswater bagged a consolation goal late in the piece through an acrobatic volley by Daniel Arias which drifted past goalkeeper Robert Scarparolo. Perth were unlucky not to claim a fourth goal in the final minutes of the match when David Micevski skipped past his opponent only to have his blistering effort from the top of the box graze the wrong side of the crossbar.

Sorrento took the points over Fremantle City in a scrappy Sunday game at Ken Allen Field. It was the Gulls that settled better on a slippery surface with a greater desire for the ball that resulted in James Morgan rifling just over the crossbar. With 13 minutes gone Sorrento took the lead as Simon Harland's header was saved by Bobson Koroma who let the ball slip from his grip and Jamie Harnwell prodded it over the line at point-blank range. Fremantle had two great chances to drew level but Gulls custodian Neil Young kept out Kevin Corriea's effort then just seconds later Anthony Pereira side-footed over the bar. Ten minutes from half-time Peter Lord got n the end of a Gary Faria cross only to volley high from 9-metres. The two sides were forced to shuffle their line-ups leading into the break as injury hit both camps, Fremantle losing Craig Surtees and Branimir Mikulic while for Sorrento it was Andrew Bowyer and Steve MacDonald that were replaced. Midway through the second half Morgan won possession in midfield and set off towards goal, playing a one-two with Glen Thomas just outside the 18-yard box and with the return pass the midfielder sent a thundering shot past Koroma to double Sorrento's advantage. With no option now but to go on the offensive, Fremantle pushed forward in number with Lord and Abdul Kamara showing some great touches in the wet conditions. In the 70th minute the port side pulled a goal back when Young failed to hold a cross from the left by Shane Nunes and Kamara scrambled the ball over the line. Fremantle squandered a great opportunity to snatch a point late on as Faria surged forward but his cross from the right was missed by both Correia and Pereira. The win lifts Sorrento into a congested mid-table as Fremantle are left languishing dangerously close to the drop zone.


FIRST DIVISION, ROUND FOURTEEN (Armadale vs Stirling Suns courtesy Armadale; South West Phoenix vs Canning City courtesy South West Phoenix; Ashfield vs Morley Windmills courtesy Ashfield; Balcatta vs Kingsway Olympic courtesy Balcatta)

Stirling Suns ended up on the wrong side of a 1-6 scoreline when they welcomed First Division leader Armadale to Robinson Park. Armadale went into the game far from full-strength with six first team regulars, amongst them Jason Goodwin, Dennnis Lee, Dean Gartside and Luke Morris, unavailable for selection. Even so the visiting side raced to a two-goal lead within ten minutes of the opening whistle. Their first came via Nick Twyman who headed in a Paul Calkin corner, and shortly after Greg Newcombe nodded in a long throw-in by Frazer Brown. To their credit the Suns then forced the pace and threw the pressure back on their opponents which resulted in the gap being reduced through the games third headed goal. Armadale were twice presented with chances to restore their two-goal buffer leading into the break but Suns goalkeeper Jason Razmovski moved sharply to deny Newcombe from the penalty spot, and youngster Darren Kingston hit the crossbar when he seemed destined to score. The result was put beyond doubt early in the second half when Caulkin scored with a direct free-kick to make it three-one. Gary Murdoch added two further goals, his second a curling strike from 20-metres which found the top corner, before teenager David Hall completed the route with a final minute header.

Not for the first time this season, Wanneroo City have come from behind to claim victory, this time at the expense of home team Dianella White Eagles by 4-3. Craig Cheeseman rattled the crossbar for Wanneroo with a long-range strike early on but it was the hosts that drew first blood when Dragan Njegic beat the offside tap to calmly slot past goalkeeper Paul Kelly after 16 minutes. It didn't take Wanneroo long to hit back as Scott Wyeth's free-kick from the left evaded everyone inside a crowded 18-yard box and came to nestle in the far corner of the net. With 39 minutes gone Dianella went back in front via a corner which an unmarked Miladin Gugoroski nodded low into the net. Early in the second half youngster Phil O'Callaghan sent a blistering shot from 25-metres into the net to put the sides back on a level footing. Scott Bulloch converted a through ball from Oliver Hilton to put the visitors in the box seat, but Dianella were having none of it and Njegic sent Jimmy Stoichev clear to make it 3-3. The match was decided from the penalty spot with eleven minutes remaining, Wyeth knocked it past the goalkeeper after Bulloch had been brought down inside the box.

Leeming Strikers returned from the long trip to Bunbury with little to show following a 1-2 loss at the hands of South West Phoenix. The first half may have ended scoreless but it wasn't through a lack of trying as the two sides wrestle for control. Phil Bell was a constant menace to the home defence while at the opposite end Carlo Di Torro, Bill Stirling and goalkeeper Darren Williams thwarted the home side at the final hurdle. Phoenix' best chance of the period came on the half hour when Gary Mayers crossed to David Rodgers who slammed a rising shot just over the crossbar. A concerted second half attack saw Mayers header brilliantly tipped over the top by Williams following another trademark Rodgers run into attack. Rodgers got the all important opening goal ten minutes into the period by heading in a deep corner from David Murphy. The points were wrapped up ten minutes later as Damian Trim and Andy Cowley combined out of midfield to send Steve Suttie past the defence to score. Eight minutes from the end the Strikers pulled one back through Kierran Allen who toe-poked past goalkeeper Reece Braithwaite after a mix-up in the home defence.

Ashfield registered their first win in over a month with three second half goals to account for Morley Windmills 3-0 at Ashfield Reserve. The first chance of a lethargic opening forty-five minutes came the way of the visitors for whom Carlos Mazloomi chipped goalkeeper Adam Ashworth only for his shot to hit the crossbar. The only other opportunity of the period saw Ashfield also hit the bar through a Wayne Culverwell header. The tempo increased after the break as both sides carved out several chances to break the deadlock. With 66 minutes gone it was Ashfield that went in front after Alex Crookes was fouled inside the box and from the spot Andy Cornmell sent the ball into the corner of the net. This spurred the hosts into life and two minutes later Joel Powell latched on to a brilliant Cornmell cross to double the lead. It was all Ashfield by this stage and the outcome was put beyond doubt by Cornmell who netted from some 28-metres after Wayne Culverwell won possession in midfield. The late dismissal of Ashworth gave Windmills an outside chance of getting back in the game, but with teenager Hussain Attehkis taking over between the posts Ashfield held on for their first clean sheet of the campaign.

Balcatta and Kingsway Olympic played out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Graham Burkett Reserve. The home team could have blown the game open in the first fifteen minutes but failed to put away four clear-cut chances on goal. Balcatta were made to rue their misses when Olympic opened the scoring through Liam Moorhouse who tapped in at close range after the hosts were caught flat at a thrown-in. The margin became two-nil in the 36th minute when Steve Bretti converted a controversial penalty awarded for obstruction. David Moschilla pulled a goal back for Balcatta just before half time when he converted from the penalty spot. Balcatta stepped up a gear in the second half and Moschilla pounced on a defensive error two minutes in to equalise. The Balcatta forward should have given his side the lead six minutes later when Olympic were penalised for handball inside the penalty area, but on this occasion Moschilla missed from the spot. Late in the half Scott Broadley put the home team in front from close range after some good lead-up work by Adrian Zonato. But with five minutes to go a poor tackle by Michael Chiari resulted in another penalty which Phil Russie made no mistake in tying the game up at three each.

Honours were shared at Walter Padbury Reserve where Gosnells City and Mandurah City played out a 1-1 draw. Young striker Jake Loreto put Mandurah in front nine minutes into the second half with the hosts equaliser coming via Alex Grindley in the 80th minute. Canning City went home from Coker Park with all three points courtesy of a 3-2 win over Queens Park. The visitors got off to a sensational start as Paul Van Dongen and Alex Seed each found the net inside the opening quarter hour. Queens Park clawed their way back into the game after the break with Paul Baczynski reducing the gap after 54 minutes. Jeremy Herbert restored Canning's two-goal buffer with eighteen minutes to go, and when Adrian McBride set up an exciting finish by making it three-two in the 80th minute. But Canning defended well in the remaining time to register the win.


NEW THREAT TO SOCCER OVERHAUL (courtesy the "West Australian")

West Australian soccer is facing another unseemly row after the board of Soccer West Coast unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in its president, Joe Lacerenza, at an emergency meeting on Thursday night. John Quigley, who is a Soccer West Coast director, moved the motion over concerns Lacerenza's views in a letter to clubs this week did not fairly represent those of the board and had the potential to confuse its members. But Lacerenza, who was elected unopposed to the SWC post just last month, said the meeting, which he had chosen not to attend, was unofficial and should not be recognised.

The row has erupted just as Department of Sport and Recreation project manager Kevin Watts signed off after eight months working towards reform and the implementation of a new administrative and governance structure. The intention is for the Soccer Administration of WA, the current umbrella body, to be replaced by a streamlined WA Soccer Association, bringing together all aspects of the game. The Junior Soccer Association, Women's Soccer WA and the SWC board has backed the restructure. But amateur body WAASSA, led by president Alan Thraves, is yet to agree to the reform proposal, while Lacerenza also has concerns.



The Matildas wrapped up a quick visit of China with a 1-1 draw at the Chinese Football Association National Training Centre near Beijing last night. Australia went ahead after 34 minutes through Fremantle-born Lisa de Vanna but that goal was cancelled out in the 74th minute when Duan Fang equalised for China. De Vanna played a full game while fellow West Australian Tal Karp was a half-time replacement for Dianne Alagich. The Matildas commenced their stay in China with a 2-0 win on Wednesday. In a game of two thirty minute halves, Sarah Walsh scored twice after the interval to earn Australia victory. De Vanna made way for Kylie Ledbrook at half-time with Karp coming off the bench at the same stage to replace Sally Shipard.



The second half of the Premier League campaign kicks-off on Saturday with Perth S.C. eager to avenge their early season loss to traditional rival Bayswater City when they meet at Frank Drago Reserve. The match of the round, however, takes place just down the road where Inglewood United have home ground advantage over E.C.U. Joondalup. Goals are assured at Macedonia Park where Stirling Lions welcome long-time combatants Western Knights in what looms as a potential blockbuster. Floreat Athena are home to Cockburn City, while the meeting of Swan I.C. and Bassendean Caledonian will be closer than many expect. The outcome of the remaining fixture between Fremantle City and Sorrento, who meet on Sunday at Ken Allen Field, could go a long way to determining how the remainder of the season pans out for both teams.

The pick of the First Division action takes place at Walter Padbury Reserve where Gosnells City take on Mandurah City who'll have Mike Tetlow in charge for the first time. Armadale are expected to take the points over home side Stirling Suns, while Dianella White Eagles will be out to end Wanneroo City's eight game run without loss. Canning City have dropped off the pace in past weeks and this weekend face a resurgent Queens Park at Willetton Sportsman Club. Ashfield have been threatening to return to form for several weeks and one wonders if it'll finally arrive when they host Morley Windmills. South West Phoenix are home to Leeming Strikers, Balcatta welcome Kingsway Olympic to Graham Burkett Reserve, and out of action with the bye are Rockingham City.



The State's best young female players will be in the spotlight from today when the West Australian Under-15 and Under-17 teams take part in the Women's National Talent Identification Championship. The two squads are representative of the whole of the state with players drawn from the northernmost suburbs of the metropolitan area to as far south as Busselton. The annual Championship is being staged at Valentine Park in Sydney's west between 2nd and 10th July.

Players that stand out in Sydney will put themselves in the picture for national team selection. At the completion of the tournament a large group of players will be invited to attend a week-long camp at the Australian Institute of Sport where they'll be given the opportunity to stake a claim to Australian Under-19 honours. In November the Young Matilda's head to Thailand where they be one of twelve teams vying for silverware at the Under-19 World Championship.

The West Australian Women's Under-17 squad consists of Kylie Chatto (Balcatta ), Sami Noakes (Busselton), Helen Bremer, Brid Dawson, Janine Haxton, Laura Turnbull (East Fremantle), Joanne Oliver (Kingsley), Courtney Hoad (Lynwood), Ciara Conway, Stephanie Grant, Carys Hawkins (Northern Redbacks), Amy Thorpe, Stacey Woodfin (Queens Park), Megan Jenyns, Sian McCreary and Flo Tawns (Subiaco). Travelling with the squad are team officials Judith Petit (coach) and Tara Coffey (manager).

Representing the State in the Under-15 category are Domenica Carbone, Janielle D'Annunzio, Coral Lapsley (Balcatta), Emily Bateman, Anna Excell, Sarah Hughes, Leigh Kelly, Harreit Talbot (East Fremantle), Lillie Billson, Lauren Bushby, Chloe Coghlan (Joondalup Jacks), Jaime Carly (Kwinana), Natalie Cessford (Mandurah), Rachel Payne (Noranda), Danielle Caluatti (Queens Park) and Katy Coghlan (Sorrento). Elise O'Sullivan of East Fremantle was a late withdrawal from the squad due to injury. The Under-15's are coached by Salv Todoro who'll be assisted by team manager Lea Stinton.



Chairman of the Western Australian Soccer Association, Kevin Campbell, has advised of the following arrangements in view of the departure of the reform project manager Kevin Watts (on leave) and the waiting period for the recruitment of a new chief executive officer. Campbell has sought and received the approval of the board of the Junior Soccer Association of WA for that organisations general manager, Richard Scott, to take up the temporary duties of ‘Clubs and Associations Liaison Officer’.

Scott’s appointment will ensure the soccer community has a continuing contact point for liaising with the new board during the period of transition. The focus of his role will be to work with the clubs and existing associations in WA as well as the new WASA board to identify any transition issues and work through constructive solutions. Scott, who will continue in his JSA role, begins these added responsibilities from Sunday 4th July. The Council of the JSA is fully supportive of this role and are pleased to assist WASA in ensuring it has the ability to recognise and resolve any issues in the soccer community. Campbell will shortly be in contact with all clubs seeking their assistance in the reform process.



A First Division Under-19 squad will provide the opposition for the State Youth team who complete their current round of games on Monday evening. The friendly will give young players from the second tier competition an opportunity to put their hands up for the State squad which is next in action early in August when they take on the Oman national Under-19 team. Coaches Tom Kilkelly and Billy Russell, of Ashfield and Armadale respectively, will lead the First Division side when they step out from 6.30pm at Litis Stadium on Monday 5th July.

"This game is all about wanting to see as many players as possible given a chance to play for the State Youth side," explained Kilkelly. "The First Division squad has come about through the recommendation of players by the various club coaches. As there are over thirty players in the First Division squad the game will be played over three 30 minute periods. That will allow every player to get time on the park and show the State Youth team coaches that there is some very good talent in the First Division."

Kilkelly hopes meetings between representative sides from both levels of Soccer West Coast competition won't be limited to just one-off occasions. "Along with the Under-19 and senior State teams, I think it would be beneficial to have the same sort of teams from the First Division with games between the sides staged at various times throughout the season. In the case of the First Division, I'd like to see the coaching duties rotated so that it's not only the players from each club but also the coaches that get a chance to show their abilities."

The First Division squad for Monday's game is Matt Bennon, Darren Kingston (Armadale), Alex Crookes, Wayne Culverwell, Dion Florias, Ben Kelly, Joe Kendall (Ashfield), Boro Kezic, Oriano Lapalombra, Joe Pugliese (Balcatta), Patrick Fitzgerald, Jix Loong (Canning City), Drazen Saric, Jimmy Stoichev, Drazen Saric (Dianella White Eagles), Adam Bremner, Sam Maguire (Gosnells City), Matt Battageli, Ian Bunting, Jesse Higgins, John Quinn (Kingsway Olympic), Josh Italiano, Garth Lecky (Leeming Strikers), Jordan Rhodes (Mandurah City), Mark Aldworth, Troy Carro (Morley Windmills), Michael Kelly (Rockingham City), Chris Currie, Craig Cheesman, Phil O'Callaghan and Gareth Davies (Wanneroo City).



South West Phoenix have been one of the surprises of the First Division season. Few were willing to anything other than a place in the bottom half of the table prior to the opening round of fixtures, but nearing the halfway stage of the season the club are flying high in third place and looking the goods for a topfive finish. This weekend Leeming Strikers make the journey to Bunbury where they take on a Phoenix side comfortable with the wide open spaces of the Soccerdrome.

Coach Jimmy Mayers cited poor finishing for the sides 0-2 loss to First Division pacesetter Armadale last weekend. As such the Phoenix boss has hinted at a change to the forward line for this weekend. Strikers Steve Suttie and Patrick Roberts have done well in leading the Phoenix charge, but there are indications that Mayers may go with the ball-holding skills of Voin Garic to break open the Strikers defence. All in all it makes for the type of selection dilemma that Mayers is happy to entertain.

One of Phoenix' strengths this season has been across the middle of the park where skipper Greg Hayes and leading goalscorer David Rodgers have dominated alongside the likes of Jamie Bergin and Gary Mayers, who was Phoenix' best player against Armadale. Russell Wagstaff, Dom Allen, Damian Trim, Trent Hathaway, David Murphy, Andy Cowley and Shane Russell are all in competition for the limited defensive roles in front of goalkeeper Reece Braithwaite.



Western Australia will be represented at the Kanga Cup next week by Country Development Teams in the Under-12, Under-14 and Under-16 categories. The selection process for the three Junior Soccer Association squads commenced last September when over 500 junior players from across the state converged on Beale Park for the annual Country Talent Identification Week. During the April school holidays 115 of those players attended week-long trials in Perth from which 48 players were selected to represent regional West Australia in the Kanga Cup.

"The players who have been successful in earning a place on the Country Development teams have put in remarkable effort," commented Glenn Morley, the development and programmes officer with the J.S.A. "Twice they have had to commute to Perth and perform during week-long stints in front of our coaches. To put in that effort away from home is tough ask for junior players and they have shown their best form and remained focussed during the selection process which began over six months ago."

The Under-12 Country Development squad, coached by Alan Reeves, is made up of Phillip Brady, Devon Gibson Dale Quain, Nathan Woods (Albany), Ryan Fish, Ben Greaves, Rhys Haggarty, Joshua Risdon, Casey Webb, Jacob Whiteaker (Country Coastal), Thomas Arthurs, Aaron Hewitt, Blake Horton, Jackson Lynch and Renae Rendell (Geraldton).

With John Warrington as coach, the Under-14 Country Development squad consists of Morteza Karimi, Nicholas Osborne, Ari Stolze, Michael Will (Albany), Carlo Cuzzola, Destiny Gartner, Jamie Oakey, Kieran Rogers, Kieran Smith, Patrick Smith (Country Coastal), Callum Tonkin (Collie), Corey Welsh (Geraldton) and Joel Jackson (Karratha), Sean Head and Matthew Van Shauk.

Named in the Under-16 Country Development squad are Tristan Brown, Keil Leak, Nathan Matowitz, Jarod Peterson, Iain Robinson, Jack Tasker, Cory Williams, Sarah Wilson (Albany), Patrick Anderson, Daniel Blount, Keith Gisborne (Collie), Daniel Back, Ty Campbell-Salmon, Scott McCormack, Rohan Quain and Dean Stacey (Goldfields). Andrew Walsh is coach of the Under-16 side.

The Kanga Cup is the most prestigious youth tournament of its kind currently operating in Australia, and is one of the biggest youth tournaments in the world. In the past the tournament has attracted teams from not only Australia but also Chinese Taipei, Denmark, East Timor, England, Fiji, Georgia, Italy, New Zealand, the People's Republic of China, Russia, South Africa and the United States among others. The Kanga Cup has the backing of Soccer Canberra, the Australian Soccer Association, the Oceania Football Confederation and FIFA.

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This page was last updated on the 31st August, 2004