LAZARIDIS' LAST CHANCE OF WORLD CUP
Stan Lazaridis confident Australia will qualify for their first Wolrd Cup finals appearance since 1974. The 33-year old is one of several Socceroo veteran's looking to erase bitter memories of previous failures when Australia square off with Uruguay in a fortnight's time for a spot at football's holy grail. "It's my fourth campaign. I've spent fourteen or fifteen years with the Aussie team. You set goals in your life and one of mine is to play in a World Cup," said Lazaridis. "I've got this funny feeling we'll qualify because Guus (Hiddink) is just one of these people who brings intelligence and experience and his coaching record speaks for itself. An away goal would be great, a 2-1 loss or a 1-1 draw. But we know what to expect going there; we know their players and Guus has stamped his authority."
Hiddink's appointment as Socceroos coach in July caused a fair degree of unease amongst the playing squad over their international futures. "At some stage it was going to happen. I was always used to starting and I don't really think I've had that many bad games for Australia," said Lazaridis. "I know that if I do play for Australia I will play well, but Guus can only judge on what he sees at training and who he sees playing, and boys like (Scott) Chipperfield and Jason Culina have come in, done very well and deserve to keep their places, so I'll never argue with that. But I know if he did give me a chance, I'd have an impact and I could contribute to the result. So if that means coming off the bench, so be it. The underlying principle is that I want to qualify."
Lazaridis has played 68 times for Australia and, while a regular under previous coaches, is resigned to playing a revised role against Uruguay. The turning point came during September's qualifying series against the Solomon Islands when a toe infection opened the door for Lazaridis' 'opponents'. "I don't know whether you call it rotten luck, but Scott Chipperfield's come in and done very well and deserved his place," he said. "At the moment I don't think I'm in contention to start, but all I can do is get myself right and try to make it difficult for him (Hiddink) to overlook me. Guus has got an idea of how he wants to play away from home and we'll know what result we need in Australia, so he might alter his tactics and it may be a case where Harry Kewell and myself could maybe fit into that."
JONES CONTENT TO BIDE HIS TIME
Brad Jones knows the day will come when he's playing regular first team football in England. Since his arrival at Middlesbrough in 1998 the talented young shot-stopper has continually impressed the coaching staff to progress from their youth ranks to the senior squad. All that stands between Jones and place in the starting eleven now is the 193cm frame of Australian international Mark Schwarzer. And although Jones has shown a maturity beyond his years when first team opportunities have came his way, the 23-year old is aware that he's got still got some learning to do before taking over between the posts on a permanent basis.
Earlier this year Jones was recalled from a successful loan spell with Blackpool to play the final month of last season with Middlesbrough, and injury to Schwarzer this season has allowed him to get a few more games under his belt. "I've played ten games, I think, and last season they came in a nice little group, " he explained. "It was nice to have a run where it wasn't just a one-off and against good sides, where you can prove yourself and show that you can do it again and again. This year has been similar, albeit a bit shorter, but to come in and get a little group of games is great for a second-choice 'keeper because some 'keepers never play. I've enjoyed coming in and the manager (Steve McLaren) has been happy to put me in."
Although first team opportunities have been few and far between for Jones he feels no pressure when called upon to replace Schwarzer. "It's a funny feeling because I've been here for that long now I know everybody and, apart from Mark, I've probably been here the longest," Jones said. "Mark's one of the longest-serving players at the club, so it's not that big a deal. It's more the pressure I put on myself to do what I'm happy with and so far I think I've done it. Last season was good because in that run that I had, there were a few games where I had a bit to do and it showed the fans and people on the outside, who see me on TV and think 'who's he?'."
Jones' star has continually been on the rise at club level but it wasn't until the 2004 Olympic Games campaign that he wore Australian colours. However, some of the gloss was taken off Jones' selection when he was dropped for Eugene Galekovic on the eve of the tournament. "It wasn't that Eugene was playing - it was that I was playing then I got dropped with no one saying anything to me," he said of the silent treatment by Australian officials. "Any of the management, that's their job. At Middlesbrough, if something happens one of the staff will be there to explain. I was so disappointed at the time, but I didn't want to be seen complaining because it could kill the rest of the boys."
While sitting on the bench for all four of Australia's games in Athens still irks Jones he is determined to rise above the disappointment. "Once it was done and dusted, I just wanted to forget about it," he explained. "But the hardest thing was telling my family and friends, who were all happy for me to go to the Olympics, that I didn't want to talk about it because it wasn't exactly the highlight of my career so far. I've got to get the disappointment out of the way because if I keep going back to it, it will drive me nuts and it's out of my hands. I'd like to play for the Socceroos, but the most important thing for me is doing my job here."
Jones, who is under contract to Middlesbrough until the end of next season, is well aware he must make his mark at club level before looking at the international stage. "I can understand that it's a big jump from the Olyroos to the senior squad and that I'm not playing very often, but the thing I've got in my favour is that when I'm playing it's in the top league," he said. "I've played in the UEFA Cup and I've performed quite well." Such is Jones' growing reputation that he was called up to the England youth squad but knocked back the opportunity in preference by committing himself to Australia.
Schwarzer believes Jones has what it takes to progress to the Socceroos. "I can see him as a natural successor without a doubt at club level, as well as international level," Schwarzer said. "He's got all the physical and mental attributes to get there and if he keeps progressing like he is, I've got no doubt in my mind whatsoever that he'll go on to bigger and better things. I've watched him grow and mature from a young kid into a young man and he's progressed very well. Every opportunity he's had to play, he's stepped up and done well, so it's always good to have good competition for places."
ROAR UNABLE TO BREAK DOWN GLORY
Queensland Roar were left rueing their luck after drawing nil-all with Perth Glory at Suncorp Stadium this evening. The hosts accumulated in excess of thirty shots at goal but a combination of poor finishing and fine defending would leave coach Miron Bleiberg scratching his head in frustration. Roar made a positive start with Michael Baird and Alex Brosque combining well in attack to cause their opponent all sorts of problems. But the home team were unable to capitalise on their increased possession with Brosque twice calling Jason Petkovic into action during the opening stages. Glory were slow to get into gear and their first chance saw Simon Colosimo rifle narrowly over the crossbar from a Bobby Despotovski cross. With this the match opened up and scattered chances resulted at both ends. Hyuk-Su Seo pounced on a poor pass but his shot on the run was wide of the upright, while an effort from Damian Mori took a deflection and was well held by Tom Willis. Petkovic kept Glory in the hunt just before the break by denying Brosque after he was played in by Chad Gibson.
Roar came out for the second half on fire and twice in as many minutes went close. Brosque send the ball past Petkovic only to have Matt Horsley clear the danger, and shortly after Baird's shot was blocked by Horsley and with the follow-up Matt McKay fired into the side netting. With Horsley and Jamie Harnwell outstanding in the middle of Glory's rearguard home Bleiberg was wondering how his troops were ever going to find a way through as Baird again fired wide. Roar were in complete control as a stunning strike from Osvaldo Carro crashed into the bar, Karl Dodd's long-range effort flashed wide and Baird was thwarted by a diving save from Petkovic. A rare Glory attack produced a free-kick which Despotovski curled past the defensive and only inches the wrong side of the post on 66 minutes. The crowd of 13,685 attempted to lift the hosts who were let down by poor finishing with Baird, Brosque, Jonathan Richter and Warren Moon the guilty parties. A dramatic final ten minutes saw both sides go close to grabbing all three points, Baird squandering a great opportunity for Roar while at the other end Billy Celeski volleyed high from close-range.
SOCCEROO SQUAD NAMED FOR WORLD CUP SHOWDOWN
National coach Guus Hiddink has named a twenty-three-man squad for November's FIFA World Cup qualifiers against uruguay. The only notable absence is that of captain Craig Moore due to a hamstring injury, his place being taken by former Perth Glory defender Ljubo Milicevic. "I've now had the opportunity to work with this group of players a few times and we continue to make improvements," said Hiddink. "We have picked a squad that is flexible and will be able to adapt. This will be important across the two legs." Uruguay host the opening match on 12th November with the return fixture taking place at Telstra Australian in Sydney on 16th November. Both matches will be shown live on SBS Television.
The Australian squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers is John Aloisi (Alaves), Scott Chipperfield (Basel), Stan Lazaridis (Birmingham City), Brett Emerton, Lucas Neill (Blackburn Rovers), Luke Wilkshire (Bristol City), Tony Popovic (Crystal Palace), Jason Culina (PSV Eindhoven), Tim Cahill (Everton), Ahmad Elrich (Fulham), Ante Covic (Hammarby), Harry Kewell (Liverpool), Marco Bresciano, Vince Grella (Parma), Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), Mark Schwarzer, Mark Viduka (Middlesbrough), Zeljko Kalac (AC Milan), Tony Vidmar (NAC Breda), Michael Thwaite (National Bucharest), Joel Griffiths (Neuchatel Xamax), Ljubo Milicevic (FC Thun) and Josip Skoko (Wigan Athletic).
LEE THRILLED WITH GOLD MEDAL SUCCESS
No one was more surprised that Mark Lee when his name was read out as winner of the 2005 Gold Medal at Burswood International Resort Casino on Friday night. The dynamic midfielder came from behind to claim the state's most prestigious individual award ahead of Robbie Puca (Perth S.C.) and Shaun Kilkelly (Inglewood United). "I'm delighted and honoured to win the Gold Medal," commented Lee. "It was a special night for me and the best I have ever had in the game. I've always harboured ambitions to win the Gold Medal after learning Kenny Lowe won it when he played here in the 1980's. There are some fantastic players in this league, some of which should be playing at a much higher standard."
But it was far from smooth sailing for Lee who started the year warming the Western Knights bench. "After winning the double with the Knights last year I was really looking forward to another season with them," he said. "Pre-season went well but after that struggled to get in the starting eleven. I asked to go out on loan but couldn't come to an agreement with the coaches and the board, then on transfer deadline day I received a call from the club who'd agreed a deal with Bayswater City. I figured 'Okay, if the Knights don't want me then it's time to move on'. That night I trained with Bayswater and made my debut for them a few days later."
It was a move that would transform Lee's year. "The second half of the season was really enjoyable," he continued. "The coaching staff of Sal Todaro and Willie Kelly had every confidence in me and this allowed me to express myself in the centre of midfield. I was playing alongside Stuart Fraser and we developed a great understanding. After my debut against Armadale we played the Knights away and I was so determined to do well on my return to Nash Field. Apart from one result - against Perth - the rest of the season went really well. We played some exciting football at times and finished in a respectable place on the ladder. It's a great club to play for and they have made me and my family feel so welcome."
Born and raised in north-east England, Lee honed his skills through spells with Scarborough (England) and Hibernian (Scotland) before being encouraged to head down under in 1999. "Moving to Australia has been the most successful part of my career," Lee explained "I've won something every season I've played in Perth. In 1999 we won promotion at Swan I.C. under Eric Williams, and in 2003 it was the Boral Cup when Gary Marocchi was the coach. Last year with Western Knights we won the Premier League and Top Five play-offs, and now I've won the Gold Medal with Bayswater. With the addition of one or two new players Bayswater can do really well in 2006 and I'm looking forward to many more years' success in this league."
There was hardly time for Lee to saviour his Gold Medal victory before he was back at work on Saturday morning teaching future generations to enjoy their football. When not playing the game himself the 26-year old is immersed in coaching roles with Glory Zone and Jungle Soccer, an innovative program for children as young as three. "It's 24/7 for me, its full-on. Football is passion but I get paid for doing what I love as well," said Lee of his coaching duties. "With the young kids at Jungle Soccer we have a laugh and a joke, but with some of the older kids I'm a bit stricter and more serious. I wouldn't give coaching away for anything - it's a great way to put something back into the game."
There was hardly time for Lee to saviour his Gold Medal victory before he was back at work on Saturday morning teaching future generations to enjoy their football. When not playing the game himself the 26-year old is immersed in coaching roles with Glory Zone and Jungle Soccer, an innovative program he has designedfor children as young as three. "It's 24/7 for me, its full-on. Football is passion but I get paid for doing what I love as well," said Lee of his coaching duties. "With the young kids at Jungle Soccer we have a laughand the program is about coaching the parents to coach their kids. Kids learn more when they're having funbut with some of the olderGlory Zone players I'm a bit stricter and more serious."
"At the moment we feel that the Jungle Soccer program is unlike anything seen before here in Australia," added Lee. "I try to coach the way that I play the game, with energy and a smile on my face. Over the past two years these programs have given me a tremendous amount of pride. The feedback we've received has consistently been positive for both Jungle Soccer and the Glory Zone, and at the far end of the scale we've have recently arranged for one of our elite players, 9-year old Jordan Lyden, to trial with an English Premier League club."
YOUTH TEAM TURNS ON STYLE TO DEFEAT MALAYSIA
A polished display by the Football West Youth team saw them defeat the Malaysian Under-20 squad 2-1 under lights at Arena Joondalup last night. It was the third and final meeting of the friendly series in which the State side claimed victory twice with the remaining match being drawn. "This was our best game of the three match series," said coach Mike Tetlow after the win. "The defence lead, by Dean Apelgren and Dino Djublic, was rock solid, we had some great play coming through midfield and the mobility of our forwards was difficult for Malaysia to handle. I've been impressed with the commitment and attitude of the entire squad throughout this series."
The State side made a positive start with some hard running and swift ball movement causing all sorts of problems for Malaysia. An excellent passage of play resulted in the opening goal on 20 minutes, Brodie Martin threading a pass to Tom Jones who surged into the penalty area only to be brought down by a tackle from behind, and from the spot Peter Lord made no mistake. Jones' also played a key role in the sides second goal just before half-time when he pressured the defence into a poor clearance which Lord seized upon and lashed into the net.
The second half started with Malaysian determined to get back into the game. With both sides playing attractive, attacking football there were good chances created at both ends of the park. Martin and Shaun Kilkelly had a stranglehold over the centre of the park and were behind many of the State sides more promising moves. The only goal of the half came from Malaysia with seven minutes left on the clock. Lord was unfortunate not to complete what would have been a deserved hat-trick by shooting narrowly over the crossbar in stoppage time. The Football West Youth team next outing is against Indonesia's Under-23 side at Litis Stadium on Wednesday, 2nd November (kick-off 7.15pm).
DEPLETED SQUAD BRINGS DEFENSIVE DILEMA
Perth Glory coach Steve McMahon faces some tough decision with injuries reducing his travelling squad to fourteen fit players for this weekend's visit to Queensland Roar. With Jamie Coyne (abdominal strain), David Tarka (hamstring) and Brian Deane (hamstring) already sidelined, Glory were thrown into disarray yesterday when defender Ante Kovacevic limped out of training. Kovacevic injured his knee and while the extent of the injury is not yet known he will definitely not be making the trip east this weekend. Daniel Vasilevski (calf) and Hiroyuki Ishida (overseas) are also out, while Adrian Caceres will travel with the squad carrying a bruised heel which may yet keep him out of the round ten match.
"I thought we would have had a couple more players available to us but Ante has pulled out," McMahon said. "Adrian will travel, we will give it to the last minute because it is a bruised heel and will have time to recover but we are down to the bare bones and the problem is defensively, that's the major issue. With Tarka out and Ante, Jamie Coyne and Daniel Vasilevski - that's four defenders in the squad. We don't have many defenders in the squad anyway but to have four of them out it is going to be a case of backs to the walls. We will have to reorganise and re-jig, putting square pegs in round holes."
Club captain, Jamie Harnwell, will be the only recognised centre back available this weekend but McMahon insisted there were a number of ways he could address the problem. "It has just struck me this morning and I am thinking 'what do I do now?' I have got to make decisions and there are a number of options. Do we play Simon (Colosimo) there and leave Matty (Horsley) at right back? Do I bring Stephen (McMahon Jnr) into midfield, do I play Stephen at right back - which he can play, do I put Matty at centre back? Everything is going through my mind, there's loads of issues and I will have to sit down over dinner tomorrow night with Vesty (Alan Vest) and throw a few things around the table and see what we come up with."
The Glory coach stressed that there would not be enough time to address their team shape on the training pitch ahead of the match, particularly due to Caceres' late fitness test. But McMahon said his side certainly would not be overcautious in their approach to the match at Suncorp Stadium. "It is the worst situation we have been in for a competitive game. This is a big, big game for us and it is drastic," he admitted. "But we do have confidence, the eleven lads that start the game will give their best and that's all I can ask for. We have got to be men, we have got to stand up and be counted. We know that in the face of adversity comes good things. If we don't get the result I won't be complaining about injuries because the eleven that go out at the start should be good enough and should work hard enough to get a result."
HALL OF FAME GOES ONLINE!
It promises to be a night to remember when the third round of Hall of Fame inductions are made at the Novotel Langley Hotel on Saturday. Twenty-three players, administrators and officials who've made outstanding contributions to the game will be inducted into the Hall of Champions and the Hall of Recognition, while a four individuals will be honoured into the newly-introduced Hall of Legends. To commemorate the occasion footballwa.net, with the assistance of the Hall of Fame committee, has established a Hall of Fame section as a permanent tribute to those who've made significant contributions to the game in Western Australia.
MANDURAH LOOKING FORWARD TO NEW SEASON
First Division runner-up Mandurah City is seeking expressions of interest on all coaching positions for season 2006. The club, which celebrated its 35th birthday this year, have become one of the First Division's powerhouse sides with a top five finish in each of their four seasons in the semi-professional ranks. Parties interested in coaching either Mandurah's first, reserve or youth teams next season are invited to submit the resume either by mail to The club secretary, PO Box 101, Mandurah WA 6210; or via email to email@example.com. For further information please contact Mandurah coaching coordinator Neil Patten-Williams on 042 1347 010.
LAZARIDIS WON'T MISS WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
A hamstring strain won't end Stan Lazaridis' hopes of playing in Australia's World Cup qualifying play-off series against Uruguay next month. The 33-year old left-sided player limped out of Birmingham City's Premier League loss to Blackburn Rovers on the weekend and was expected to be sidelined for up to three weeks. However, recents tests have brought good news for the Socceroo's with Lazaridis' injury being not as bad as initially thought. Australia plays Uruguay in Montevideo on Saturday 12th November (Sunday 13th November, Australia time) with the return leg to be played in Sydney four days later.
ATAK MAKES MOST OF EUROPEAN OPPORTUNITY (by Peter Simcox)
The chance to play abroad is something that every Australian youngster aspires to, and for Mo Atak that dream has become reality. Following a successful winter campaign with Armadale the 18-year old jumped at the opportunity to link up with Turkish Second Division side Ego Spor. "The level of the game in Turkey is very competitive, and the games and its' players are much quicker than in WA," commented Atak. "The club has a greater discipline, more than any other club I've been involved with, which you would expect for a professional outfit, but that's the club and more importantly the coaches demands."
Training on a full-time basis makes for ling days but that's something Atak is prepared for as he seeks a professional contract. "I'm working hard and my goal is to sign a professional contract in Europe and to play at national level," he explained. "For three days a week we have double training sessions, and the other two days we have single," he explained. "The double sessions begin at 8.30am with breakfast, and we then rest in our rooms until training at 11.00am. After a two and a half hour session it's lunch and then another break until two hour training session starting at 6.00pm. On the other two days we train from 6.00pm until 8.00pm."
When asked who has had the greatest influence on his career to date Atak doesn't hesitate. "My dad - Ahmet - has been great to me and without him being there I wouldn't be where I'm today. Also my number one coach, Mike Tetlow, who I thank for all his hard work on my game." A talented left-sided midfielder, Atak enjoyed spells with Fremantle City, Mandurah City and Armadale but it was while playing for the State that his fondest memories lies. "It has to be scoring the winning goal in for the WA Under-14's South Ddevelopment squad in the final against Singapore in 2001. It was in the last minute and it's something I'll always remember."
BAYSWATER'S LEE SNATCHES GOLD MEDAL
Mark Lee etched himself into the history books on Friday night when named the 2005 Gold Medal winner. Back-to-back best on ground performances in Bayswater City's end of season fixtures with Swan I.C. and Floreat Athena enabled the 26-year old midfielder to leapfrog Robbie Puca (Perth S.C.) and Shaun Kilkelly (Inglewood United) and claim the award as the state's best and fairest player. It was a remarkable achievement by Lee who, having played off the bench for Western Knights during the first half of the year, turned on the style over the tail end of the campaign while wearing Bayswater colours.
It was tight at the top as the referee's votes for the final month of competition were read aloud. With four games to play Kilkelly lead the way with 16votes, Puca had 15 votes with Kevin Griffiths (Inglewood) and Aaron Cole (Perth) a further vote off the pace. Kilkelly increased his lead to two following the Round Nineteen clash with Stirling Lions. But that margin was trimmed to a single vote as Lee, Griffiths and Paul McMullan (Sorrento) all moved to 16 votes with two games remaining. Lee surged to the front with a best on ground display against Floreat in Round Twenty-One, while Puca reclaimed second with a similar performance against the Lions. Five players were in contention for top honours going into the final round but, with all failing to poll, it was Lee who was invited on stage to collect the 2005 Gold Medal.
At the end of counting just four votes separated the top six players. Lee stormed home to claim top honours with 19 votes which was one more than Puca, and two ahead of Kilkelly. Level in forth place with 16 votes each were Griffiths, McMullan and eye-catching midfielder Bajo Savic (Floreat Athena). Andreas Oliveira (Perth), who lead the field at the halfway stage, end with 15 votes alongside teammate Antonio Naglieri and Western Knights defender Claus Neilsen. Sorrento strike partners Jared Love and Todd Harnwell, Perth captain Aaron Cole, Liam Lilly (Cockburn City) and Darren Broxton (Inglewood) were joint tenth with 14 votes apiece. Download all the Gold Medal votes (xls, 164kb).
The honour of Goalkeeper of the Year was shared between Gareth Deeg and Corey Hugo. Deeg's ten clean sheets were a key ingredient in a successful season for Perth in which they claimed the League and Cup double. At the opposite end of the table Hugo stood up when called upon to ensure Swan I.C. retained their place in the top flight. Twenty-three goals earned Perth striker David Onoforo the Golden Boot as the Premier League's top goalscorer. Association Cup final referee Steve Muldoon went home with the Golden Whistle Award. Also nominated for the referee's highest individual honour were the experienced trio of Ton Klaver, Angelo Nardi and Jeremy Oliphant.
E.C.U. Joondalup attacker Phil Arnold was named the Youth Best and Fairest player for 2005. A sensational second half of the season, which included five best on ground performances in six weeks, earned the teenager the award with 27 votes. Four votes behind was teammate Tom Amphlett with State Under-18 goalkeeper Tom Langley (Cockburn) third on 19 votes. Goran Babac (Perth) ended with 17 votes, one more than Michael Johnson (Sorrento) and three ahead of Callum Roberts (Fremantle City) and Kyle DeSouza (Western Knights). Scott Neville (Sorrento) tallied 13 votes while State Under-15 representative Ramon Amorganda (Stirling Lions) gathered 12 votes. Inglewood goalkeeper Alex Sutton and teammate James Warner ended level with 11 votes apiece.
The First Division's Most Valuable Player went to 26-year old Christian Paschewitz. The Mandurah City attacker lead counting at the halfway stage and ended the season with 25 votes after polling in eleven games. Joint second and six votes behind were Glen Hallums (Rockingham City) and Paul Van Dongen (Canning City) with Steve Suttie (South West Phoenix) a further vote off the pace. 17 votes earned Scott Bulloch (Wanneroo City) fifth place, John Cassidy (Gosnells City) was next with 16 votes and one behind him was Adam Rains (Balcatta). Steve Dimitrovich (Kingsway Olympic) and David Moschilla (Balcatta) shared 12 votes, which was one more than the trio of Jason Van Rooy (Bassendean Caledonain), Derek Cooke (Kingsway Olympic) and Glen Noblett (Forrestfield). Download all the Most Valuable Player votes (xls, 164kb).
South West Phoenix sharp-shooter Steve Suttie went home with the First Division Golden Boot, his winter tally being twenty-four goals. The First Division Youth Best and Fairest was taken out by Kyle Mitsopolous of Queens Park. The promising youngster pulled away from the rest of the field during the final months of the season to claim the award by a comfortable margin. Mitsopolous tallied 24 votes to be well ahead of joint runners-up Darren Mathurine (Rockingham) and Jordan Hart (Forrestfield) on 17 votes. With 14 each were Kevin Lim (Canning) and Jake Watson (Ashfield), with John Hunter (Forrestfield) and Alieu Kamara (Dianella White Eagles) just one behind. Adam Kulavac (Morley Windmills), Strahinza Banovic (Dianella) and Darren Francis (Gosnells) completed the leaderboard on 12 votes.
RULES ARE RULES ... APPARENTLY (courtesy the "West Australian")
David Beckham and Thierry Henry can wear a ring while strutting his stuff for Real Madrid and Arsenal respectively, but not Perth Glory's Damian Mori. Football Federation Australia's insistence on sticking to FIFA guidelines means Mori, a veteran of over 400 national league games, cannot wear his wedding band while playing for Glory in the A-League. Even though Mori was allowed to tape over his wedding band in four previous matches, World Cup referee Mark Shield refused to let the former Australian international take part in Glory's 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory on Sunday unless he removed the offending item. Due to an over-sized knuckle, Mori was unable to oblige and will have the ring cut off this week so that he can see out the remainder of his short-term contract.
According to FIFA rules, Shield was right. And yet, law four, which states that the wearing or taping of jewellery is not allowed, is routinely ignored by the governors of some of the world's best leagues. FFA enforced the new law, announced by FIFA in July, for consistency's sake. Though Beckham, Henry and company can play in domestic competitions with their jewellery covered, they will not be able to do so when they play for their respective countries at next year's World Cup in Germany because it is FIFA controlled. Mori was furious that Shield would not bend the rules, just as Matthew Breeze, Neil Fox, James Lewis and Ben Williams had earlier in the season. "I've been robbed of a game. At 35 you don't get games back," said Mori, who has three games left on his short-term loan deal.
GOVERNMENT GIVES 'NEW' ASSOCIATION TICK OF APPROVAL
The State Government's three-year funding commitment of $700,000 for Football West was a vote of confidence in the sport. Football West chief executive officer Michelle Phillips thanked the State Government for the commitment which included $100,000 to finalise the sport's restructure. "This funding will ensure we can move beyond the restructure and lay solid foundations for the development of the game across Western Australia," Phillips said.
The Government investment is an indication that the local game is finally receiving the recognition and attention it deserves under a unified body. "Football West will continue to drive the game in WA and support the Football Family and its burgeoning expansion at all levels of the sport in future years," Phillips added. "This investment will allow new programs and initiatives to be kicked off to progress the pathway for players, coaches and officials in all aspects of the game."
YOUTH TEAM COMES FROM BEHIND TO DRAW WITH MALAYSIA
A 1-1 draw was the outcome of this evening's second friendly between the Football West Youth team and Malaysia's Under-20 squad at Arena Joondalup. In a fiery encounter, the visiting team were reduced to ten men before going ahead midway through the second half but the State side responded quickly and were unlucky not to snatch a late winner. "We worked hard to achieve the draw," said coach Mike Tetlow whose side came from behind to level the match. "We lacked the quality to go on and win the game but in all fairness to all the boys it's only the second time they've played together." The two teams meet in the third and final game of the series on Thursday evening.
Few genuine goalscoring opportunities presented themselves in a scrappy first half. The local lads enjoyed by far the better of possession but could find few holes in a watertight four-man Malaysian defence. The first chance of the evening resulted from an in-swinging corner which Dino Djulbic met solidly but headed just wide of the target. John Thornley was the victim of a number of reckless tackles which in turn lead to his replacement by Jason Dos Santos midway through the half. In the lead-up to the break a long-range effort from Antonio Naglieri was well saved by the goalkeeper who was also tested by a Scott Bulloch header. For their part, Malaysia was content to sit back and soak up the pressure and only occasionally pressed forward on the counter-attack.
The second half started with a couple of over-zealous challenges from Malaysia which resulted in bookings for two of their number. Football West continued to dictate terms as Peter Lord and Dos Santos each went close to breaking the deadlock. Tensions boiled over after 64 minutes when Mohd Nasriq Baharom was sent off for lashing out at John Higgins behind play, and within a couple of minutes the visitors were issued two further yellow cards. All this unsettled the hosts who shortly after went a goal down via a penalty awarded for handball against Jonathon Mathers. With this that State side stepped up a gear and with ten minutes to go they equalised as Bulloch squeezed between two opponents and threaded the ball to Djulbic who sent it past the visiting 'keeper.
MATILDA'S UNDEFEATED IN AMERICA
The Australian women's team will return home from their three-match tour of the United States of America without loss after defeating semi-professional outfit Sacramento Storm 2-0 overnight. The result follows last weekends scoreless draw with the United States, the current Olympic champion, and the mid-week 2-0 win over Mexico. "It has been a valuable trip for us being able to spend time together as a unit and playing against quality opposition," said Matildas coach Tom Sermanni. "The most pleasing aspect of the tour was that we didn't concede any goals which is something we can build on, and the fact that we finished each match strongly is also a major positive." The tour is part of the side's on-going preparation for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying tournament in mid-2006.
The Matildas got their tour off on the right note by holding the United States to a nil-all draw at Titan Stadium, Fullarton, California last Sunday. It was the first time the United States had been kept scoreless in forty internationals and brought to an end a run of eight successive victories. Australia started brightly as Collette McCallum and Alicia Ferguson fired wide while Sarah Walsh was denied by the goalkeeper. Kristine Lilly went closest for the host nation with a 75th minute free-kick that clipped the crossbar. The closing minutes saw the American's increase the pressure with a goal-line clearance by Ferguson ensuring the game ended level. McCallum, the only West Australian in the Matilda's squad, was replaced after 69 minutes.
Three days later the Matilda's claimed a 2-0 victory over Mexico at Patriots Stadium in El Paso, Texas. It was a much changed Australian line-up which dominated the first half and midway through the period Joanne Peters forced a fine save from the Mexican goalkeeper. Further chances came the way of Kate Gill and Thea Slatyer but Mexico clung on to go into the break on level terms. The South America's increased the tempo in the second half but it was Australian who looked the more likely to score. The breakthrough finally arrived with four minutes remaining when substitute Walsh headed over an advancing goalkeeper. Sally Shipard scored from close-range in the final minute to celebrating her 18th birthday with her first goal for the national team. McCallum was an unused substitute for the match.
The national women's team wrapped up their tour by defeating leading semi-professional side Sacramento Storm 2-0 at the Home Depot Centre, Los Angeles. It was a frustrating match for the Matilda's who had the ball in the net three times - through Jo Burgess, Kylie Ledbrook and McCallum - only to have each disallowed for offside. The sides luck changed in the 73rd minute as the 'keeper slipped a low shot from Ledbrook and Shipard was positioned to net at close-range. The Australians doubled their lead in injury time with Walsh setting up Lana Harch who broke clear of the defence and finished smartly lifting her shot over the on-coming 'keeper. McCallum saw out the full 90 minutes.
CONTROVERSIAL GOAL EARNS GLORY THE POINTS
Perth Glory bounced back from last weeks drubbing on the east coast by toppling A-League leader Melbourne Victory 2-1 at Members Equity Stadium. Kick-off was delayed after Damian Mori was asked to remove is wedding ring by referee Mark Shield, the Glory striker was unable to comply and with Shield standing firm Glory had no choice but to substitute Mori. Glory didn't let this sidetrack them as Adrian Caceres and Hiroyuki Ishida caused problems down the flanks and Simon Colosimo and Nick Ward seized control of midfield. The home team gained the lead on 22 minutes when Ward's cross to the back post was nodded across goal by Caceres to Brian Deane who scored his first goal for the club. The Ward-Colosimo partnership was working a treat for the hosts as Deane, Caceres and Ishida all went close to adding to the tally. Victory showed little purpose in attack but an under-hit back pass by Jamie Harnwell in the 39th minute gifted the visitors an equaliser as Archie Thompson flashed his shot past Jason Petkovic from 17-metres.
The introduction of Naum Sekulovski at the break to partner Bobby Despotovski in attack made sure the Victory rearguard was kept on high alert. Ten minutes after the re-start Glory regained the advantage, albeit in controversial circumstances. An attempted clearance by Eugene Galekovic struck the hand of the oncoming Sekulovski and ricocheted past the stranded 'keeper and rolled into an empty net, Shields consulted his assistant on the line after which he allowed the goal to stand. Although Victory increased their workrate and started to get on top they found it difficult to break down the home defence and were limited chiefly to shooting from distance. The best move saw Thompson break the offside trap midway through the period but he sprayed his wide. A Glory free-kick in the closing minutes went within inches of securing victory with Despotovski curling his shot around the defensive wall only to come back off the upright.
FARCICAL SCENES OVERSHADOW GLORY WIN
It's already being described as one of the most farcical situations you'll ever see in Australian football. Perth Glory's Damian Mori was denied entry to the playing arena at Members Equity Stadium this afternoon by referee Mark Shield because he was wearing his wedding ring. Glory were forced to start the game with ten men as Mori struggled to remove his ring on the sidelines. Due to previous finger injuries there was no chance of Mori removing the ring, and coach Steve McMahon had little choice but to substitute the veteran striker who hadn't even stepped on the pitch.
FIFA regulations may state a player is not allowed to play while wearing any item of jewellery, Mori has played over 400 national league games - including four in the A-League - with the ring taped up. "I have been wearing my wedding ring for eleven years in national competition and I played the last four matches wearing it taped up," Mori said. "There is no way I can take it off so it seemed like a ridiculous situation at the beginning of the match. It just seems that the authorities could show a bit of common sense in these situations. The worst thing was that I missed a game so I only have three games left now."
McMahon, who pleaded at length with Shield before replacing Mori, expressed his disappointment regarding the situation following the match. "It was quite farcical," said the Glory boss. "He would have had to get a hacksaw to cut his finger off and Damian was nearly prepared to do that. I have never known anything like it and Damian is going to have to get his ring cut off now so his wife probably won't be happy but that is just the way it is. We understand the rules are there, but to be told two minutes before the game was not on."
STRIKERS BRING HOME ANOTHER MEDAL
Perth Strikers added yet another medal to their already impressive haul by claiming third place at the Australian Masters Games in Adelaide last week. The women's representative side won four and drew one of seven group stage fixtures before being edged out by Putney Ravens who lost only one qualifying game. "It was a great achievement from the Perth girls who played fantastically throughout the week," commented team captain Penny TannerHoath. Formed in 1994, the Strikers record includes gold medals at the 1997, 1999 and 2003 Australian Masters Games as well as first place at the 2000 Asia Pacific Games.
Playing nine games in the space of a week is going to test the metal of even the best sides, let alone one whose numbers were reduced by injury. "It was a pretty tough week," explained TannerHoath, who tore her knee ligaments in the Strikers second match. "We only had a squad of fourteen so we only had two substitutes after I was forced to be a spectator. Some days we were playing two games and tiredness kicked in pretty quick even though we rotated players to give everyone a rest."
The Strikers campaign kicked off with a 3-2 win over Adelaide All-Stars on Monday morning, followed that afternoon by a 0-1 loss to Putney Ravens. Bocs provided little resistance on the second day of competition with the side from the west coast running out comfortable 4-0 winners. A scoreless draw with New South Wales Ladies started Wednesday, while a 3-0 defeat of Striking Banshees kept side on track for a semi-final berth.
The South Australian Women's Association 'elite' side brushed aside the Strikers 0-4 on Thursday, but the team from the west bounced back the following day by downing Newmarket Masters 3-0 to ensure their place in the medal round. Two second half goals took South Australia through to the decider courtesy of 2-0 scoreline in a hard fought semi-final. The minor place play-off was taken out by Putney Ravens who triumphed 1-0 over the Strikers. Adelaide All-Stars claimed the gold over the South Australian Women's Association 'elite' squad which was ineligible for a medal.
HORSLEY SET TO START
Crowd favourite Matt Horsley is expected to make his first starting appearance in the A-League when Perth Glory clash with Melbourne Victory tomorrow. Horsley has made only two substitute appearances to date but is likely to join the first eleven with Jamie Coyne to miss the match due to injury. Glory are coming off a heavy loss to Central Coast mariners and coach Steve McMahon says there'll be changes for this weekend's game. "I am certainly thinking about it (making changes) that's for sure," he said. "It's the opposite from last week because after a great result I think the team almost picked itself and now this week it is the opposite. If you go on the back of a 4-0 defeat it's my job to look at the situation and, if it needs changing, change it."
"I want to send messages to everybody," McMahon continued. "With a small scale squad you can't make wholesale changes because of the squad system but it is certainly something that I am considering very strongly. All of those players should have had a few sleepless nights, as I have over the last few days. It's not nice to come home on the back of a defeat like that. I hope the players have thought about a few issues and how they could have done better. I certainly have and I don't think anybody would be surprised if they were left out."
LEE CLAIMS TOP HONOURS IN GOLD MEDAL
A late charge has earned Bayswater City's Mark Lee the state's highest individual honour - the Gold Medal. Lee won the award with 19 votes, one ahead of Perth S.C. midfielder Robbie Puca and two more than Shaun Kilkelly, captain of Inglewood United. Goalkeeper of the Year was shared between Gareth Deeg (Perth) and Corey Hugo (Swan I.C.), with referee Steve Muldoon going home with the Golden Whistle Award. Phil Arnold (E.C.U. Joondalup) collect the Youth Best and Fairest for 2005. The First Division's Most Valuable Player was awarded to Mandurah City sharp-shooter Christian Paschewitz, with Kyle Mitsopolous (Queens Park) taking out the league's Youth Most Valuable Player. We hope to carry a more comprehensive round-up of the Gold Medal Awards night in next Friday's update.
OUR BEST HONOURED IN FOOTBALLS NIGHT OF NIGHTS
The inaugural Football West season officially comes to a close this evening with the 44th Gold Medal Awards ceremony. Indications are there’ll be a bumper turnout for the gala event being held in the Grand Ballroom of the Burswood International Resort Casino. “We are very pleased to announce that we will have over five hundred football family guests at the first Football West Gold Medal Awards night,” said Michelle Phillips, chief executive officer of Football West. “We are proud to be continuing this tradition of over forty years and after the success of our first season see the Gold Medal Awards night as a great way to celebrate. This night is for all involved in the game - players, coaches, referees, club officials and volunteers who make our sport the success it is today.”
The centrepiece of the evening will be the local games’ top individual honour. “We are very much looking forward to announcing the 2005 McInerney Gold Medal winner,” added Phillips. “This is the most prestigious football award in WA and this player represents the true spirit of the game and a professional quality we should all strive for.” Amongst the favourites for this year’s award are Perth S.C. teammates Antonio Naglieri and Robbie Puca, Floreat Athena midfielder Bajo Savic, Kevin Griffiths of Inglewood United and Scottish import Paul McMullan who played the winter with Sorrento. Shaun Kilkelly (Inglewood) and Danny Hill (Sorrento) are also tipped to poll strongly with Mark Lee (Bayswater City) and Darko Ilmanovski (Stirling Lions) rated as outside chances.
And it’s not just the Gold Medal that is being awarded this evening. Gareth Deeg is the favourite for the Goalkeeper of the Year but will have to fend off Corey Hugo (Swan I.C.), Peter Stewart (E.C.U. Joondalup) and Oliver Taseski (Inglewood) in order to take out the award. The Golden Whistle Award is expected to go home with either Ton Klaver, Steve Muldoon, Angelo Nardi or Jeremy Oliphant. And the front-runners for the Youth Best and Fairest are Goran Babac (Perth), Michael Johnson (Sorrento), goalkeeper Tom Langley (Cockburn City), Callum Roberts (Fremantle City) and Joondalup teammates Tom Amphlett and Phil Arnold.
There should be little separating the leaders when the final round of votes are counted in the First Division’s Most Valuable Player award. South West Phoenix sharp-shooter Steve Suttie and State representative Scott Bulloch (Wanneroo City) are tipped to be amongst the leaders of a highly competitive field which also includes Paul Van Dongen (Canning), Christian Paschewitz (Mandurah City), Adam Raines (Balcatta) and Glen Hallums (Rockingham). The First Division’s Youth Most Valuable Player is expected to be fought out between Jordan Hart (Forrestfield United), Kevin Lim (Canning City), Darren Mathurine (Rockingham City), Kyle Mitsopoulos (Queens Park) and Jake Watson (Ashfield). We hope to carry a complete round-up of who took out what as part of next Friday’s update.
YOUTH SIDE DOWN MALAYSIA
The Football West Youth team opened their friendly series against the Malaysian Under-20 squad with a 2-1 victory last night. Played under lights at Arena Joondalup, the State side recovered from being a goal down to overcome the visiting side who in town as preparation for next months Asian Football Confederation qualifiers. The opening exchanges were fast and furious with a number of good opportunities carved out at both ends. John Thornley and Jason Dos Santos went close early on for the hosts while Jon Higgins headed narrowly at a corner. Sloppy defending allowed Malaysia to go ahead ten minutes from half-time when Mohammad Zaquan Adha Abdul Razak raced clear to slot past the 'keeper.
The State Youth team emerged for the second half firing on all cylinders and within three minutes were back on level terms. An excellent passage of play down the left drew a foul just outside the 18-yard box from where Dos Santos crashed the ball past the 'keeper with a fine strike. The hosts continued to apply the pressure and not long after gained the lead as strong work from Chris Smith on the right wing resulted in another free-kick which this time swung into the net via the left boot of Higgins. Substitute Damian Catalano could have made the final margin greater but was unable to make the most of a couple of late chances that came his way.
FIFA TO GUEST AT HALL OF FAME CEREMONY
FIFA referees instructor Gary Power will be one of many celebrity guests at the Football Hall of Fame Western Australia induction ceremony on Saturday 29th October at Novotel Langley Hotel. Power will make a special presentation to former World Cup referee Eddie Lennie, who will be one of twenty-seven inductees into the Hall of Fame, which is sponsored by Reinforced Concrete Pipes. A former Australian Referees Director of Coaching, Power is the FIFA Instructor to the Asian Confederation of Referees and is based in Singapore.
Apart from referees, former players, coaches and administrators will be appointed into the Hall of Fame. There will also be an historic touch with the first inductees into the newly-formed Hall of Legends, an exclusive category which celebrates the achievements of some very special champion players by elevating them to legendary status. The cost includes a sumptuous three-course dinner, drinks, a collectors' item programme, entertainment and the chance to obtain some highly-prized memorabilia in a grand auction. Tickets for the gala event are priced at $100 and are available by contacting Barbara Gibson (0429 943 830) or John O'Connell (0413 973 846).
NATIONAL COACH CALLS FOR WARD'S PROMOTION
Australian youth international Nick Ward, denied a spot in Perth Glory's starting eleven, is good enough to make an impact in the A-League according to one of the country's best judges of young talent. Ange Postecoglou, coach of the national Under-20 side, believes Ward possesses the skill and ability to flourish in the centre of the park for Glory. "I think he's up to it," Postecoglou told Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian" newspaper. "Because of his fitness levels he could just about play any midfield role, with some adjustment. He's also a very good finisher."
Opportunities have been scarce for Ward who's been limited to playing off the bench and averaged just twenty minutes in Glory's eight matches. Currently ahead of creative 20-year old are Australian international Simon Colosimo, Young Socceroo Billy Celeveski and Steve McMahon Junior, son of coach Steve McMahon. Ward would relish the chance to go head-to-head with national teammate Kristian Sarkies when Glory meet Melbourne Victory at Members Equity Stadium on Sunday. However, it's likely Colosimo will come back into the line up after missing last week's game through injury.
Ward, rated as one of the nations most exciting prospects, admits his lack of game time has been frustrating but knows his time will come. "Everybody wants to play," he said. "It's frustrating coming off the bench but I've got to wait for my chance and take it when it comes." Ward, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Sport, was part of Glory's 2003/2004 championship winning squad. He's been a regular for the Australian Under-20 side since debuting in early 2004, and that same year won the Gold Medal as the Premier League's best and fairest player while wearing the colours of Stirling Lions.
STATE TEAM SQUARE OFF WITH MALAYSIA
A youthful West Australian squad play the first of three games against the visiting Malaysia Under-20 side this evening in the northern suburbs. The Malaysian youth team will face off with the State's best as part of their preparations for the upcoming Asian Football Confederation qualifiers. "There hasn't been a lot of time to organise things but we've put together a competitive squad at short-notice," explained coach Mike Tetlow. In addition to this evenings match, the State side meet the Malaysian Under-20's on Monday (24th October) and Thursday (27th October) of next week at the Arena Joondalup, kick-off for both games being 7.00pm. It is understood negotiations are taking place for the State team to also play the Indonesian Under-23's in early October.
Twenty-nine players have been selected for the Malaysia series. The squad is Scott Patterson (Armadale), Jason Dos Santos (Cockburn City), Jason Barrera, Tim De Souza, Shane Nunes, Marlon Ramirez (Fremantle City), Dean Apelgren, Shaun Kilkelly (Inglewood United), John Morton (E.C.U. Joondalup), Jeff Bright, Matt Danskin, Dino Djulbic, Peter Lord, Antonio Naglieri (Perth S.C.), Aleksander Vrteski (Stirling Lions), Daniel Cain, Brodie Martin, Chris Ramsey, Chris Smith (Sorrento), Daniel Agudelo, Daniel Catalano, David Foster, Jonathon Mathers, Miki Vujacic (Swan I.C.), Scott Bulloch, Craig Cheesman, Chris Currie (Wanneroo City), John Higgins and John Thornley (Western Knights). Team officials are Tetlow (coach), Willie Mcnally (assistant coach) and Steve Coppack (manager).
NO WIN SITUATION (by Peter Simcox)
In any organisation's inaugural year the end goal is to meet the needs of all clients to the best of your ability and make the right decisions. In 2005 Football West has found that learning curve can be steep and pleasing all stakeholders is much harder than it appears - as the saying goes, "Damned if they do, damned if they don't". The game's peak body has made great strides to bring into alignment football at all levels in Western Australia, and after a year at the helm Football West have asked the clubs to sit down and discuss the past twelve months.
It's understood some clubs are not happy with a number of Football West decisions, however, it needs to be stressed the organisation has the interests of all clubs in mind and must remain impartial. They have shown great integrity across the board and, regardless of what any individual or club has to say on the matter, the fact is Football West are working hard to improve the world's most popular sport in this state.
Over the years the clubs in Western Australia have run football - for good or bad, this had to change. Football West has began to put in place procedures that will allow the game to prosper. I hear the clubs saying 'Yes, but why don't they listen to us?' They are listening but it's the interests of all clubs that they serve. If the organisation makes changes for one club and not the other we'd be back to where we started.
We all agree the game has to change and the implementation of new ideas, though not always popular with all clubs, is vital for the game to go forward. We must work together, clubs need to talk to Football West and understand that they only have the improvement of our great game in their sights and to go forward we need work together.
FIRED-UP GLORY SET TO BOUNCE BACK
Perth Glory will be looking to regain some lost pride this Sunday when they host Melbourne Victory. During training on Wednesday morning several senior players read the riot act to teammates in light of the 0-4 loss to Central Coast Mariners last the weekend. "They have hurt their pride, that's why they did it," coach Steve McMahon as way of explaining the outburst. "They were embarrassed over there, and I think it's good that they have responded the way they have."
At Members Equity Stadium on Sunday Glory face an in-form Victory side coming off a 5-0 Thrashing of Sydney FC. Despite Victory captain Kevin Muscat and Socceroo Archie Thompson being in sizzling form, McMahon says neither will attract any special attention from Perth's rearguard. "If we put too much energy into shutting individual players, others will step up and do just as much damage," commented the Glory boss. Simon Colosimo looks set to return to the Glory line-up at the expense of Steve McMahon Jr, who suffered a knee injury against the Mariners.
VILLA LIFE SUITS LOWRY
Things could not be better for teenager Shane Lowry who's joined the ranks of English Premier League club Aston Villa. The 16-year old defender headed overseas a few months back to commence a three-year deal which is made up of a two-year Youth Training Scheme followed by one-year professional contract. Lowry has settled into life in the Midlands quickly and established himself as an integral part of the club's Youth team. "It's going really well here and I'm thoroughly enjoying it," commented Lowry. "The staff are excellent and I'm settling in well."
He may have been with the club only a short time but Lowry has already impressed the Aston Villa coaching staff, so much so that he recently made his Reserve team debut by coming off the bench late in the home draw with Blackburn Rovers. "It was a great experience, particularly to get on at Villa Park," added the former E.C.U. Joondalup player. "I usually play matches at Bodymoor Heath, so to play at the main ground was amazing. It was a larger crowd and a big step up and even though it was for a short time, I was delighted to get on."
DANZE SPLITS WITH PALACE
One-time Australian youth international Anthony Danze has left English club Crystal Palace by mutual consent. The 21-year old midfielder made two appearances for the Eagles, both in the Carling Cup, since joining them as a free agent in 2004. "He did brilliantly for us in the time he was here," said manager Iain Dowie. "We really thought he would play a big part this year. He has had a lot of injuries and a lot of niggles and it just quite didn't work out for him."
TARKA ON TRACK FOR COMEBACK (courtesy Perth Glory)
Perth Glory defender David Tarka insists he is not far away from returning to the A-League after undergoing a series of injections on his troublesome hamstring. The former Young Socceroo has not yet been able to play in the new national competition after undergoing an operation on his hamstring in pre-season. Tarka had hoped to be back in contention by the third round of the season but has recently seen a specialist who looks set to solve his long-term hamstring problems.
The Perth-born player had a series of injections to his muscle last Friday to release tightness and should resume jogging this week. "I am really glad with what has happened and the doctor who has treated me with these needles is very positive and up-beat about it and says it is going to come good," Tarka explained. "He went in with a series of needle injections, one at a time, and probably made twenty injections in total. Part of the muscle had been tight and the injections are a mixture of anaesthetic and saline to release that tightness."
While it has been frustrating for one of Glory's key players to have missed a third of the season already, Tarka is looking forward to a return in the near future but does not want to put a definite time frame on his comeback. "The operation was done on May 5 and they always said it would take three to six months to come back so I am still on target," he stressed. "You always want to come back sooner if you can. I am feeling good about how things are going now but I certainly couldn't be playing in the A-League at the moment."
The 22-year old was an important member of the Glory's first NSL Championship in 2002/2003 before heading to England to pursue a career with Nottingham Forest. Injuries and changes to coaching staff did not help Tarka's cause and he eventually elected to return home for a new adventure in the A-League. "When I left Perth before everything was going well but things have plateaued a bit now," he said. "I just want to prove to myself that I can reach my full potential and when I get there I will be happy. I have learned a lot about football such as coaching and other parts of the game while I have not been able to play [so] there have been some positives to take out of my time on the sidelines."
Tarka has been very impressed of what he has seen of the A-League so far and although keen to get involved on the pitch, he's remained very patient through difficult times. "It is everyone's dream to play at home in front of your friends and family without having to go overseas and now it is happening it is only going to get better and better," he enthused. "I am not going to say a time for when I am likely to be back. I have a rough estimation in my mind and I should start training full-on next week. If I feel any more tightness I may have to go back for more injections but it should only keep me out of training for a few days."
SWAN FIND POSITIVES IN DISAPPOINTING CAMPAIGN (courtesy Swan I.C.)
Swan I.C. will look back on 2005 as a season of consolidation after a disappointing eighth placing by their first team in the Premier League. The shock mid-season resignation of Gary Marocchi rocked the club to its foundation, but into the breach came club legend Carlo Scali who successfully steered the club clear of relegation. "Although we finished in eight position this year - the same as the last two years - we did not perform anywhere near to our capabilities and the players want to put that right for next year," commented the Swan coach. "We had a few positives out of the season with some of the youngsters getting their first starts and performing well for us. We look forward to seeing them continue their development and adding to the team's depth."
The season had begun so well for the Swan Valley club who reached the Night Series final in which they were out-played by Inglewood United. The recruitment of several quality players over the off-season, amongst them Rob Monterosso, Michael Bushby, Scott Campbell, Damien Catalano and Jonathan Mathers, gave the Black and Whites faithful high expectations for the season ahead. "I believe that there is no other club in the league like Swan," commented Campbell who has no regrets about joining Swan. "This club has a terrific atmosphere where everyone is good mates. We need to make strides together on the park and begin to compete with the top clubs which I believe we can."
Unfortunately injury and poor form prevented Swan from reaching those pre-season expectations. However, the flip side of the coin reveals the smooth transition of several youngsters to senior ranks, namely David Perich, Jovo Pavlovic and Daniel Simcox. Additionally, the Reserves turned around a truly dreadful start to finish in fifth position. "It's always hard to change a style of play and with results not going their way team morale was low," said Michael Di Fulvio who took over as Reserves coach after six games. "To the boys credit they turned it around quickly and I couldn't have asked for more commitment from the player group. It was also exciting to see many Reserve team players progress to the first team."
The Swan Youth side continued the clubs success in Cup football with a Sebastian DeCotter goal against Sorrento earning the side the knock-out trophy. The junior set up at the club is on the improvement with the Under-12's winning the Premier League title by losing just one game all season. It's an exciting time for the club and with a great atmosphere both on and off the pitch they are confident of a much stronger showing next year. The addition of a couple more quality players will not only bolster their ranks and intensify competition for places, but also make Swan a much stronger proposition for next season.
RETIREMENT DRAWS NEARER FOR MILLER
Not even a form revival is likely to change Scott Miller's plans to hang his playing boots at the end of the A-League season. Miller, one of only two remaining members of Perth Glory's inaugural squad, says that after over 200 national league games he's ready to call it a day. "This season will do me," Miller told David Davutovic of the "Sunday Times" newspaper. "The body's feeling really good and I'll see what the club thinks, but at this stage I'm treating every game as my last one. Bobby 's return makes you think that there may be another chance when you get to the end of the season. But at the moment, I'm trying to get as much enjoyment out of every game this season as I can."
Resigned to the fact that he'll one day need a hip replacement, Miller has required a injection for a degenerative hip injury to play pain free this season. Retirement plans aside, the 33-year old admits it's been a challenge adapting to the system employed by new coach Steve McMahon. "If I'm just defending and not pushing forward, I don't have as much impact as I would normally and I think we play better when (the fullbacks) are pushing forward," Miller said. "That's also getting used to the coach's system. We were trying to keep the back four tight, but if (Jamie) Coyne and myself can help the midfielders out, then the opposition doesn't really know who to mark, so we've done that in the last few games."
MARINERS ROMP TO VICTORY OVER GLORY
Perth Glory suffered their biggest loss to the A-League when Central Coast Mariners strolled to a 4-0 win at a rain-soaked Central Coast Stadium. The win was orchestrated by Andre Gumprecht and Tom Pondeljak who teased and tormented their former Glory teammates over the course of the afternoon. The Mariner's were quick out of the blocks and in teh 15th minute went ahead when Pondeljak played a clever low ball in between Ante Kovacevic and goalkeeper Jason Petkovic which Stewart Petrie tapped in to an unguarded net at the far post. Billy Celeski went close to equalising just before the break after a neat cut back from Adrian Caceres, but the midfielder was denied by Danny Vukovic who kept the ball out of his net with his legs. But other than that Glory posed little danger in their attacking third where the strike force of Bobby Despotovski and Damian Mori were effectively shut down by a resolute Mariners back line.
The Mariner's struck their second goal six minutes into the second half via a fine header from Petrie which resulted from a superb right wing cross by Pondeljak. Hiroyuki Ishida nearly pulled a goal back on 51 minutes with a cracking shot on the run which skimmed the crossbar. While Glory struggled to open up their opponents there was no such problem for the hosts. Dean Heffernan and Wayne O'Sullivan had shots go narrowly wide, before Heffernan found a way through with a far post header on 85 minutes. The icing was put on the cake by Mariners captain Noel Spencer who drilled the ball in from an acute angle in the 93rd minute. The Mariners move up to fourth place, while Glory drop to seventh.
LAZARIDIS EYES A-LEAGUE ROLE (courtesy the "West Australian")
World Cup hopeful Stan Lazaridis wants to coach in the A-League and could be tempted by an offer to return from England as early as next year. The Birmingham City and Socceroos defender is keen to pass on his vast experience to some of Australia's future stars, while also seeing out his playing career in the new domestic competition. On the immediate horizon is Australia's World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay next month, but beyond that Western Australia's most successful soccer export would be open to taking on a player-coach role with an A-League club.
"I've said I'll come home and play in Australia, I just don't know when it would be. It could be next year, it could be the year after," said Lazaridis, who would prefer an assistant coaching role, rather than a manager's job, so he could get the most out of the final years of his playing career. "I'd like to put some of my knowledge to good use. I've got a lot of experience and I've played overseas and internationally for so long I'm sure I could be a help," he said. "But it depends what the owners are after. "
Lazaridis said he would probably decide in January whether his immediate future was with Birmingham, elsewhere in England or in Australia. His current Birmingham deal is up for renewal at the end of the English Premier League season, and Blues boss Steve Bruce could yet offer the 33-year-old a contract extension. If Lazaridis chooses to return to Australia, he will be in demand, with several clubs certain to see the value in the affable star. Perth Glory have made no secret of their desire to see Lazaridis play in Perth, but the defender also has links to Adelaide. His wife Mary is from the city of churches where Lazaridis started his National Soccer League career with West Adelaide.
But Lazaridis, who has played 68 times for the Socceroos since his debut in 1993, could probably take his pick of Australian clubs. Glory would do well to act quickly in this instance after being left behind in the race to sign many A-League stars before the start of the inaugural season. The tight purse strings which prevented Glory from pursuing with more vigour the likes of German import Andre Gumprecht and locally-grown striker Nick Mrdja, who both signed for Central Coast, would have to be loosened to get the in-demand Lazaridis.
His immediate aim, though, is to regain a regular starting place in the Birmingham side after recovering from groin surgery, in order to increase his chances of playing a key role in the Socceroos World Cup qualifiers. "I haven't felt like this for the last couple of months. It was pleasing to get back in against Arsenal and I'd love to start this weekend," he said ahead of Birmingham's clash with local rival Aston Villa at St Andrews tomorrow. "If I'm playing well and I'm playing every week with Birmingham it puts me in the frame for the Aussie team as well."
Lazaridis, who did not play in the Socceroos1recent 5-0 friendly win over Jamaica, acknowledged that he was down the pecking order under new coach Guus Hiddink. "I play a different style to what Guus wants and I have to adapt a bit. Maybe it's a lack of games I've played at Birmingham as well," he said. "Hopefully, I'll play in the qualifiers but the main priority is to qualify. All that matters is getting the results we need. I just hope, for the good of the game and for all the time and effort we've put into it, that we do it this time. And from a personal point of view, it would be great to finish off (my international career) by making it to Germany."
MCMAHON STICKS WITH WINNING FORMULA (courtesy Perth Glory)
Perth Glory coach Steve McMahon looks set to stick with the same team that thumped Newcastle United Jets last week when his side travel to Central Coast Mariners on Sunday, meaning there'll be no place for big name pair Brian Deane or Simon Colosimo. Deane had an injection to his hip late this week and will rest over the weekend while Colosimo returned from training with the Socceroos squad with a minor knee injury which will keep him out of this weekend's fixture.
Both Deane and Colosimo should return to training next week ahead of the home clash with Melbourne Victory but Matt Horsley will return to the squad for the trip to Gosford. "Brian Deane has a hip problem and Simon has a knee problem but I was resigned to the fact that Brian wasn't going to travel," said McMahon. "He does not need to travel five or six hours to be on the bench. He had an injection in his hip yesterday and we need all of our players to be fully fit so Brian will rest this weekend and it will give another player, Matt Horsley, a chance to be in the squad."
While Colosimo has a minor injury, McMahon stressed that he may have missed out on selection anyway as a result of last weekend's excellent performance. "I was keeping with the same eleven regardless of injuries," he said. "After a 5-1 away win, I think the team deserves another chance." Asked whether he would be pleased with a point from the trip to the Central Coast, McMahon said: "Can we go away and have another good win? Yes we can. There's no reason why not and we will be going there for the three points."
CHEERIO, CHEERIO, CHEERIO
The end of another season brings with it the inevitable retirement of some familiar faces. What makes five of this years leavers stand out from the crowd is that between them they’ll be taking close to eighty years and in excess of 1,500 senior games cumulative experience with them. The quintet in question are one-time Australian Schoolboys international Craig Surtees, 1997 Gold Medal winner Paul Lincoln, long-serving Stirling Lions attacker Rob Milevski, Western Knights crowd favourite Alex Christie and ever-reliable Sorrento defender Stuart Banks. And there could be a few more names added to that list with a number of players still contemplating whether or not they’ll strap on the playing boots for the winter of 2006.
It's the end of an era at Fremantle City where Surtees has been an integral part of the senior list for over a decade. Surtees made his first team debut for Kingsway Olympic in 1988, toured the United Kingdom and United States with the Australian Schoolboys the following year, and spent two seasons at Stirling Macedonia whom he helped to the 1990 Night Series. He joined Fremantle in 1992 and won the club's Fairest and Best on debut, and then again two years later. 1996 was spent with Dianella White Eagles - where another Fairest and Best came his way - before returning to Fremantle and gaining senior State honours against Indonesia. Surtees played an integral role in Fremantle capturing the Premier League crown in 2000 after which he scooped his fourth club Fairest and Best. The defender featured for the State against Red Star Belgrade (2001) and Iraq (2003), and was honoured by Fremantle last week with Life Membership.
After nineteen years of first team football 36-year old Paul Lincoln has called it a day. A teenage Lincoln introduced himself to the local scene in 1987 with Stirling Toscany, and a four-year stint at Bayswater City commencing 1990 allowed the attacker to fine-tune his goalscoring talents. He was a key member of the Stirling Macedonia which claimed two Premier League championships, three successive Night Series titles, a hat-trick of Top Four play-off crowns and one association Cup between 1994 and 1996. On a personal level, Lincoln's most successful season was with Spearwood Dalmatinac in 1997 when he received the State League’s highest accolade - the Gold Medal - and gained senior State honours. A couple of seasons at Floreat Athena preceded a move to Inglewood United where he was leading goalscorer twice in three years. Lincoln jumped at opportunity to join Swan I.C. in 2003, winning back-to-back association Cups (2003, 2004) and was their leading goalscorer on debut.
It was fitting that Rob Milevski scored the last goal of the 2005 regular season in his final appearance for Stirling Lions. A product of Stirling's youth system, Milevski made his first team debut shortly after returning from the National Schools Championships in 1990. Over the course of four seasons the lively attacker would play his role in the club winning Night Series (1991), association Cup (1992) and Top Four play-off (1992) titles. 1994 was spent with Western Knights, where he was the club's leading goalscorer, and the following year at Fremantle City. A second four-year spell with Stirling commenced in sensational style as the club captured the 1996 Night Series, association Cup and Top Four play-off trophies. 2000 began with a brief stay at Inglewood United after which he led the attack for Stirling Suns. Milevski returned to Macedonia Park for a third time in 2002, playing a key role in that year's First Division title win and a regular starter in subsequent seasons.
Western Knights have some big boots to fill following the retirement of seasoned campaigner Alex Christie. The defender-come-midfielder started out with Nunawading in 1988 and after bouncing around from club to club for some eight years decided to step up the intensity after winning the Best and Fairest at Westvale. A move west had immediate impact with Christie winning Stirling Macedonia's Best and Fairest and earning a place on the State team's 1997 tour of Sarawak. Two seasons with Fremantle City followed during which time he took home the club's Best and Fairest in 1998 and gained additional State honours. The winter of 2000 took Christie to the Western Knights where he was a key figure in a successful Cup campaign and, come seasons' end, joint recipient of the club's Fairest and Best. Further silverware in the form of Premier League championship and Top Five play-off winner’s medals came his way last season.
It was as a 17-year old that Banks stepped up to senior ranks with Sorrento in 1993. But after a single season in the Gulls first team he headed overseas to take up a four-year football scholarship at Campbell University (North Carolina, U.S.A.) for whom he twice gained selection for TAAC representative teams. A brief mid-1997 stay at Joondalup City paved the way for the defender's return to local ranks the following year with Sorrento. There was silverware to be had at both ends of 1999 as the northern suburbs club claimed the Night Series and Top Five play-off titles, and two year later Banks had the honour of being the first Sorrento captain to collect the Premier League championship. After gaining senior State honours in 2001, work commitments took Banks to New South Wales where he turned out for Manly Warringah and Canterbury Marrickville. He headed back to Perth last summer and, after beginning the season with Sorrento, ended his playing days helping E.C.U. Joondalup avoid relegation.
GOLD MEDAL UP FOR GRABS (by Peter Simcox)
The glitz and glamour of local football will be on show when the 2005 Gold Medal awards ceremony is held at the Burswood International Resort Casino this Friday. After a superb inaugural season under Football West it's time for the code to come together and celebrate the achievements of clubs over the season and honour the state's best players. Each of the twelve Premier League clubs has players who will no doubt poll well and here's a look at each of the their leading lights ...
Double winners Perth SC have a number of players who'll poll well but the question is 'will they take votes off each other?' Antonio Naglieri capped a fantastic year by taking out the 'Man of the Match' in the Midland Brick Cup final, Robert Puca is probably the most naturally talented player in the League, and Aaron Cole is without a doubt the best defender in the state. Those three are tipped to poll strongly along with star strikers David Onoforo and Andreas Oliveira.
Sorrento, who were pipped at the post by Perth, are likely to also have several players taking votes off each other. The tireless efforts of Scottish import Paul McMullan on the left wing won't go unnoticed, likewise Gulls sharp-shooter Todd Harnwell who flourished as an out and out striker this year. Versatile defender Danny Hill is another who played well but he may have missed too many games to be a serious contender for top honours.
Western Knights are another club who had a good season. David Annall is undoubtedly one of the League's most underrated players and he was simply outstanding in the heart of the clubs defence. The Knights leading goalscorer, Stuart Montgomery, is another who has the potential to be up there along with defensive midfielder Claus Neilsen but both are likely to have been absent through injury to often to be amongst the leaders.
Inglewood United season began brightly by capturing the Night Series trophy, and ended it as Midland Brick Cup runners-up to Perth SC. The never say die attitude of skipper Shaun Kilkelly is sure to have attracted many referee's attention and has been installed as one of the favorites. If it's consistency your after you can't go past Kevin Griffiths, while the silken skills of Andre Sarpe should put him high on the leaderboard.
Floreat Athena has made great strides this season and a number of players from the inner city club will be in contention. Bajo Savic made a blistering start to the year and although he faded over the second half of the season his superb ball control and distribution will have him amongst the leaders. At the back Adrian Sutton consistently produced the goods in holding together a young and comparatively inexperienced defence, and goal ace Branimir Mikulic will also be there or thereabouts.
Cockburn City wil be the first to admit the second half of their season was a disappointment. Australian youth international Liam Lilly had a strong but unfortunately tradition show defender's don't poll that strongly - can Lilly swing that trend in 2005? John Mirco has been a consistent contributor throughout the season and is bound to poll well. Goalkeeper Alan Dunlop came back from a long-term shoulder injury to make his debut season for the Cockerels one to long remember.
Bayswater City's Scottish imports Ross Barnes and Stuart Fraser will be high in the votes for the Black and Blues but consistency may seriously hinder how high they finish on the leaderboard. The club's best chance is lively attacker Andy O'Neill who enjoyed arguably the best season of his young career, and could be the dark horse for the Gold Medal. Top goalscorer Bobby Klenkoski was also consistent and will be another who polls well.
Stirling Lions have a few players who'll rack up the votes. Darko Ilmanovski is another outsider for the medal, the experienced defender has shown the consistency this year which could make him a deserved winner. Of the clubs Irish imports Paul Dickson has been the pick with a solid contribution on the right side of defence, while Australia's Under-17 goalkeeper Alex Vrteski is another who's expected to pick up quite a few votes.
Armadale have only a handful of players who you'd consider stand a realistic chance of winning the Gold Medal. 19-year old Darryl Platten has been superb in the heart of the Reds defence and should attract his fair share of votes. On loan attacker Ben Rogers ended the season as the clubs top goalscorer and should poll well along with goalkeeper Nick Stone who's has been solid as a rock in his debut season at Armadale.
Swan IC skipper Damian Scali has had an outstanding season playing in numerous positions for the Black and Whites and will once again do well in the count. Jonathan Mathers overcame a quiet start to the year by turning on the style over the second half of the winter. Another who'll poll strongly is State goalkeeper Cory Hugo.
ECU Joondalup were riddled by injury and inconsistency in 2005, but still have a few players to watch out for. Englishman Keith Brown gave everything in every game he played for the northern suburbs club. Defenders Jamie Kuzmanovich and Anthony Jones also played well this year but their chances will be hampered by the fact Joondalup had their backs to the wall for much of winter.
Players of Fremantle City will struggle to get the votes needed to be amongst the leader. That said, Jason Godfrey had good season in the middle of a defence which was continually under fire and he's sure to be amongst their best players. Youngster Jason Barrera should also pick up quite a few votes, likewise the club's top goal scorer Kevin Correia.
GLORY GET MORE FROM MORI (courtesy Perth Glory)
Prolific marksman Damian Mori has extended his contract at Perth Glory with David Tarka's spell on the long-term injury list being extended. Tarka played the first half of Glory's friendly with Indonesia's Under-23 team on Tuesday but is still some way from being in contention for A-League match action. Having seen a doctor after that match, the club has been advised that the Perth-born defender should take more time over his rehabilitation.
With Tarka on the long-term injury list for another four weeks, Glory have been able to extend Mori’s temporary contract with the club up until Round 12 of the A-League season. "We are very pleased that we have been able to extend Damian’s contract," said coach Steve mcmahon. "The situation with David Tarka is that he is now only about 70% fit, he still has a little way to go and we want him to be 110% fit when he comes back. It has been difficult for David but he saw the doctor this week and the medical advice he received was that he should not be available for first team selection for another four weeks."
In the mean time, Damian Mori is training hard between work commitments in Adelaide and will join the squad on the way to Gosford this weekend. "The most important thing for us is to win games so I was very pleased to be a part of that last weekend and we need to continue that winning form," he said. "Scoring goals is part of the job of playing up front, just as keeping goals out is part of your job if you are a defender, so I hope I can carry on contributing in the same ways that I have been so far."
"Obviously I have enjoyed playing for the Glory again even though the circumstances have been difficult because I have commitments in Adelaide" Mori added. "I am able to train four days a week here (Adelaide) though, which is really good and the only disappointing thing is that I have not been around the Glory lads but I am excited about being able to play another four games," he added. Mori was the NSL's all-time top scorer, has netted more goals than any other player for Australia and scored 77 goals from 112 appearances in four seasons with Glory between 2000 and 2004.
URUGUAY CONFIRMED AS SOCCEROOS' DATE WITH DESTINY
Australia's will meet Uruguay over two-legs for a spot at the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals tournament in Germany. Uruguay concluded the South American qualifiers as the fifth ranked nation to earn a home and away play-off against Australia. Uruguay will host the first leg on Saturday 12th November with the return match taking place at Sydney's Telstra Stadium four days later. The Uruguayans ended Australia's dreams of qualifying for the 2002 World Cup with a 3-1 aggregate win in November 2001.
Uruguay confirmed their appearance in the play-off matches with a dramatic 1-0 win over Argentina this morning in Montevideo. The result ensured they finished ahead of Colombia and Chile who were also in contention as possible opponents for the Socceroos. Despite the result four years ago Australia has had the better of the encounters between the two nations with the Socceroos winning three, drawing one and losing two of the six matches played since they first met in 1974.
UNITED APPROACH TO JUNIORS DEVELOPMENT
United Soccer, a new training program designed to aid the development of West Australian youngsters, will be running a number of courses over the coming months. United Soccer aims to meet an increasing demand for activities such as fitness, and specialised training for individual or group based development outside of the normal winter season. Independent of all clubs, United Soccer boasts an impressive list of experienced and qualified coaches which includes Mitch Doherty, Rick Slade, Terry Goddard, Garry Church, Paul Corr and Fred Roberts. To find out more about what United Soccer can offer you visit www.unitedsoccer.com.au
WAVES DESERVING OF MORE SAYS OXTOBY
The new-look Western Waves can hold their heads high after gaining sixth spot at last week's Women's National Football Championships. The Waves were edged out of a higher placing by Adelaide Sensation but with ten of their eighteen players making their first competitive appearances for the side coach Alistair Edwards was given plenty of food for thought. By week's end Brid Dawson, Olivia Kennedy and Carys Hawkins were amongst the debutants to pencil themselves in as future national league players.
Although the side registered only a single win from five games Waves captain Tanya Oxtoby said the team gave a very good account of themselves in Canberra. "I thought the squad did an exceptional job considering the format of the tournament and also when you take into account the number of injuries we suffered both before we left Perth and while we were over there," said Oxtoby. "All the girls showed improvement over the course of the week and the more games we played the better our performances as a team, although the results didn't truly reflect their efforts on occasions."
Oxtoby believes the difference between the semi-finalists and the rest of the field, which included the Waves, came down to one thing - experience. "The four teams that progressed featured players who have not only been involved in National Training Centre type programs for long periods, but also have a great deal of experience at that level," she commented. "A lot of our girls were playing at that level of intensity and physical strength for the first time which at the end of the day made a huge difference. In terms of effort and endevour we matched it all the way with the traditionally stronger states."
TARKA HAPPY WITH FRIENDLY HIT-OUT
David Tarka passed another test on his way back to full fitness when he turned out in Perth Glory’s scoreless draw with the Indonesia Under-23 team at Litis Stadium this evening. The 22-year old defender came through the opening half of the friendly unscathed after being sidelined for the past six months with a persistent hamstring strain. Not surprisingly, Tarka admitted he was a little nervous going into the game. “I guess that’s just human nature,” he said. “I’ve done my hamstring three times in the past eighteen months so it’s going to take a long time to build my confidence up, but it held up well through the 45 minutes tonight and felt good.”
ON THIS DAY … 1985
Around 130 people gathered at the Merlin Hotel on Friday 11th October 1985 to see West Perth Macedonia and State midfielder Ronnie Campbell take out the Gold Medal as the State League's Fairest and Best player. Amongst the evening's special guests were the winners of the prestigious Ledger Medal, the forerunner to the Gold Medal. In attendance were 1952 winner Frank McShane (South Perth, Victoria Park), legendary midfielder Ron Adair (North Perth, Maccabean, Azzurri) who won the award in 1953, 1954 and 1955, Noel Adair (East Claremont-Menora, North Perth) who was recipient in 1958, and Colin Beaman who took out the Ledger Medal the following year.
By the halfway stage of the 1985 count a breakaway group had developed led by Campbell (14 votes) and Matt Pearson (11) of Spearwood Dalmatinac. Inglewood Kiev’s Gary Marocchi (9) was third followed by John Davidson (8) and early leader Eric Marocchi (7). With one round of games remaining, the field had been narrowed to three players - Campbell, Pearson and Gary Marocchi. A best on ground performance by Campbell in the 5-1 thrashing of Kingsway Olympic enabled him to take out the state's top individual honour by three votes from Pearson (24) with Gary Marocchi (22) third. The minor placing were filled out by Gary Cole (17, Dalmatinac), Ricky Davis (16, Bayswater Inter) and Azzurri teammates Davidson and Huw Lake (both 16).
WEEKEND WIN GLORY’S BEST PERFORMANCE SO FAR
Perth Glory’s weekend thrashing of Newcastle United Jets was their best performance of the season according to club stalwart Bobby Despotovski. The star striker, a veteran of 242 national league games, says he felt confident of a big Glory win from early in Saturday’s game. “We played well from the defence all the way to the attackers,” Despotovski told www.a-league.com.au. “Even when the result was one-nil, I think we were in full control of the game, so it was just a matter of time. Obviously when we came out in the second half, we scored that goal quite quickly, in the 46th minute, and that knocked them right back. From that point on, it was only a matter of how many we were going to score.”
“What we did well was actually take our chances,” said Despotovski when prompted as to what was different on the weekend compared to previous weeks. “This is the first time that our wide men actually put lots and lots of good balls into the box - and that was the main difference. If you don’t get the ball in the box, you have almost no chance to score. Hiro (Ishida) and Adrian Caceres on the left-hand side did extremely well to get down the touchline. In previous weeks, they cut back but this time they delivered good quality crosses and that showed on the scoresheet.”
With six goals in seven games Despotovski’s leads the way as the A-League’s top goalscorer, however, the striker is adamant there’s no secret to his success. “Year by year, as you get older, you get a little bit smarter,” he said. “(I play) a little bit more in the box now than chasing the ball around - that gives me a cutting edge I think. The previous years I had striking partners that actually helped my game a lot, and obviously on the weekend, he (Damian Mori) was playing and we scored three goals between us. We played (together) for the last four years and have a good understanding. To tell you the truth, he completes me as a player and I think I complete him as a player.”
As one of two players left from Glory’s inaugural 1996 squad - left-sided defender Scott Miller is the other - Despotovski shelved retirement plans to play in the A-League. And the 34-year old attacker says he may be tempted to continue his career beyond the current season. “I was planning to retire last year because the break was so long but I decided to go to Bonnyrigg (White Eagles) and keep myself fit. After I decided to go there I was always coming out of retirement that’s for sure ... If I play a full season this season and stay injury free, I might get another season after that. It all depends on the club. At the end of the day, if things are right I might stay with Glory. I don’t know, if Glory don’t want me, maybe I’ll play another season somewhere else.”
SCHOOLBOYS DOWN KIWI’S TO RETAIN TROPHY
The Australian Schoolboy’s have retained the Trans-Tasman Cup courtesy of a 5-1 aggregate win over New Zealand. Australia opened the two-game series with a comprehensive 3-0 win last Thursday at Sydney United Sports Centre, and two days later secured the trophy by defeating the Kiwi’s 2-1 at the same venue. The two-game series against New Zealand gave the Australian coaching staff an opportunity to fine tune their squad for next January’s tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
All seven West Australian’s in the Schoolboys squad featured during the two-game series as assistant coach Damon Atthowe explained. “Scott Patterson, Wes Ryder and Goce Dilevski were in the starting line-up for the opening game,” said Atthowe. “Australia were by far the more organised side, New Zealand by contrast had trouble adjusting to the tempo at which the game was played and that was reflected by the three-nil half-time score.” Jason Trifiro opened Australia’s account, Ryder added a second with the final goal coming from Reece Veenhoven.
“The second game was much harder as the Kiwi’s had a better understanding of what was needed and upped their efforts accordingly,” continued Atthowe. “However, we scored first through David Houston ten minutes into the second half. New Zealand equalised and then put considerable pressure on us before Ben Gough got the winner pretty close to the final whistle.” Local quartet Tim De Souza, Houston, Andrew Pomfret and Brendan Ross were handed starting berths for the second leg match.
Next on the Schoolboys agenda is a trip overseas. “We’re now focused on the tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland,” commented Atthowe. “We’ll play five full internationals against the schools teams of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as well as the Welsh Colleges side. We’ve also got games lined-up against several club academies, those confirmed being Watford, Everton, Glasgow Rangers and Southampton. Negotiations are taking place for games against Chelsea, Fulham and Hamilton Academicals.”
MORGAN IN LINE FOR SINGAPORE RETURN
Sorrento coach Trevor Morgan has been short-listed for the top job with Singaporean club Geylang United. Morgan, who lead the Gulls to their only Premier League title in 2001, is understood to be Geyland's preferred choice ahead of former Thai international Attapol Puspakom and Slovakian Josef Herel. "Geylang is among the top three or four clubs in Singapore and I would be delighted if I could aid them in their S-League campaign next year," Morgan told www.sleague.com. "I spoke to (chairman) Patrick Ang and other members of Geylang's management committee last week, but I haven't had an official word."
Should Morgan land the Geylang job it would be his second stint in Singapore. In 2002 he took up the reigns at Sengkang Marine and from scant resources put together a competitive side built around a direct style of play. Following that clubs' exit from the S-League in 2003 Morgan spent time in charge of Malaysian Super League side Sarawak before heading back to Perth. Upon his return in mid-2004 Morgan resumed control of Sorrento to guide the northern suburbs outfit to third place and within a game of the play-off final, while this year Sorrento challenged Perth S.C. for the regular season title only to stumble at the final hurdle and end as runner-up.
SIXTH PLACE FOR WAVES
A young and experienced Western Waves squad finished in sixth position at last week’s Women’s National Football Championships in Canberra. The Waves started their Group B schedule with successive losses to Victoria Vision and New South Wales Sapphires White. The group phase ended on a positive note for the representative squad who held Northern New South Wales to a scoreless draw. In Friday’s minor play-off qualifier the Waves knocked over Canberra Eclipse 3-1 only to go down 0-1 to Adelaide Sensation in the play-off for fifth and sixth. Queensland Sting defeated New South Wales Sapphires Blue to win the tournament.
Victoria Vision steam-rolled the Waves 3-0 in the opening Group B match. It was a strong start from Vision whose early dominance was rewarded with the opening goal on 19 minutes from Rachel Lamb who was allowed time unleash an unstoppable volley that gave goalkeeper Leanne Trimboli no chance. Their second goal arrived four minutes into the second half when Maika Ruyter-Hooley headed in a corner at the near post, and the scoreline was complete with eleven minutes remaining through a well-placed Megan Archer header. To their credit the Waves created several chances throughout the game but for the better part were restricted to shooting from distance.
The Waves toiled hard before going down 1-3 to New South Wales Sapphires White in the second round of fixtures. The Sapphires opened the scoring on the half-hour when Michelle Carney’s shot was blocked by the legs of Trimboli and Leena Khamis nodded the follow-up into an empty net. The Waves increased their workrate which resulted in several good opportunities to level without success. Rhian Davies made it two-nil in the 61st minute and shortly after Alicia Cavanagh squeezed a close-range header between ‘keeper and near post to secure victory. The Waves pegged a goal back with thirteen minutes remaining when Katy Coghlan converted a one-on-one opportunity with a neat chip over the advancing ‘keeper.
A scoreless draw with a strong Northern New South Wales line-up earned the Waves their first point of the tournament. The Waves brushed aside their two previous losses and went at their more fancied opponent from the outset. Lindsey Jobling went agonisingly close to giving them the lead on 28th minutes with a sweetly struck shot that hit the up-right. But as the half wore on NNSW came into the game with Danielle Small’s header flashing wide and a 25-metre strike by Tracey Baker was well saved by Trimboli. The second half saw the stalemate continue and eventually the match finished 0-0 with the Waves having finally given a true account of their ability.
The Waves won their first game of the week-long tournament by accounting for hosts Canberra Eclipse 3-1 in the minor play-off qualifier. The Waves built on their previous performance with a stylish display that was worthy of a few more goals. April Mann put them ahead on the quarter hour, but within five minutes home team had levelled through an own goal. The match would be decided in the lead-up to the break as Carys Hawkins put away the Waves second after 38 minutes, and sixty seconds from half-time Olivia Kennedy found the target to take the margin to two goals. Despite both teams best effort there would be no addition to the scoreline in the second half.
It took a goal six minutes from full-time for Adelaide Sensation to sneak past the Waves and into fifth place in Sunday’s play-off match. In a tight game played in blustery conditions, the two sides traded attacks for much of the morning only to be thwarted by a combination of last ditch defending and sharp goalkeeping. With the game looking likely to be decided in extra-time Sensation pumped a long ball into attack which held up in the wind and was latched on to be Vicki Balomenos who crashed a first time shot into the net. The Waves hit back with a string of attacks but were unable to find an avenue to goal. The tournament was won by Queensland Sting who triumphed 5-4 on penalties over New South Wales Sapphires Blue.
SOCCEROOS HIGH FIVE
Australia tuned up for next month’s World Cup qualifiers with a 5-0 thrashing of Jamaica at Craven Cottage in London this afternoon. In the team’s last hit-out before playing either takes on Uruguay, Colombia or Chile for a place at Germany 2006 coach Guus Hiddink’s preference for an attacking 3-4-3 formation paid off handsomely for the Socceroos. Mark Bresciano opened the scoring after 2 minutes with a curling shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Shawn Sawyers. Australia’s second came in the 27th minute when Jason Culina threading a long crossfield pass to Archie Thompson who stepped easily inside his marker and rifled low into the net.
Two minutes into the second half Australia netted their third via Mark Viduka who made the most of some disorganised defending to score from 5-metres. It was four in the 58th minute as substitute John Aloisi scored with his first touch after pouncing on a loose ball from close-range. Australia’s final goal arrived with five minutes remaining as a shot by John Aloisi rebounded off the post and Joel Griffiths put the follow-up away. Having played just three times so far this season for Birmingham City, Stan Lazaridis watched the friendly as an unused substitute.
FIVE STAR GLORY SHOOT DOWN JETS (by Peter Simcox)
Perth Glory produced their best performance of the season in thrashing a depleted Newcastle United Jets 5-1 this evening at Energy Australia Stadium. It was always going to be a tough night for the host club who had eight players absent through injury, suspension and international duty. A crowd of just 5,868 braved the blustery conditions which made it difficult for both teams. Glory looked the more likely to score with an early Damian Mori header kept out by Liam Reddy, and Billy Celeski's goalbound effort was cleared off the line. On the quarter hour Newcastle almost snatched the lead after a great exchange between James Monie and Labinot Haliti saw the latter's header looped over Petkovic who managed to save at the second attempt. With 33 minutes played Scott Miller pumped the ball deep into attack where Bobby Despotovski chested it into the path of Damian Mori who lashed the ball home from the top edge of the 18-yard box. Glory's dominance continued for the remainder of the period but with the Jets defending in numbers they found genuine opportunities limited.
The second half could not have started better for the visitors whose lead was doubled in the 47th minute when Jamie Harnwell reacted quickest to the loose ball after Reddy had blocked his initial header. The game was ended as a contest in the 52nd minute when Despotovski nodded in a terrific cross from Jamie Coynes. Despotovski tried his luck with an audacious chip from wide on the left which Reddy paddled over the crossbar. It became four-nil after 62 minutes when Despotovski found Ishida whose cross from the left was put away by Mori at the back post. Newcastle to pull a goal back ten minutes later as Haliti played a superb pass through the defence for substitute Franco Parisi to race through and slot past the advancing 'keeper. A fine shot from Nick Ward cannoned back off the post as Glory sought to add to their tally. The icing was put on the cake nine minutes from the end by Naum Selukovski who found the net with his first touch following a neat pass from McMahon.
NAGLIERI VOTED THE TOP FLIGHTS BEST
The West Australian football family have elected Antonio Naglieri the footballwa.net Premier League Player of the Year for 2005. The creative midfielder becomes the third Perth S.C. player in four years to be voted the top flights best player by the local football family. Jamie Coyne (2002) and Shane Crampton (2003) won the award while wearing Blues' colours, while other previous recipients are Branimir Mikulic (2001) and Nick Ward (2004). footballwa.net would like to thank all players, coaches and supporters of the local game who took the time to vote in this year's award.
Naglieri made a smooth transition into life at Dorrien Gardens following his move from Cockburn City last summer. In quick time he established himself as an integral cog in the Perth midfield where his partnership with Robbie Puca would spear the side to Premier League title and victory in the association Cup final. Such was the club's dominance of season 2005 that the top four places in the footballwa.net Premier League Player of the Year were occupied by Perth players.
Naglieri tallied up 43 votes to scoop the footballwa.net Premier League Player of the Year by a single vote ahead of Andreas Oliveira. 36 votes put Robbie Puca not far behind with Golden Boot recipient David Onoforo hot on his heels with 34 votes. A distant fifth was Sorrento's Scottish import Paul McMullan with 18 which was one more than Bajo Savic who was a key figure in Floreat Athena's midfield. Danny Hill (Sorrento) picked up 16 votes and Stuart Fraser (Bayswater City) 14. Aaron Cole (Perth) and Western Knights teammates Claus Neilsen and David Annall ended level with 13 votes apiece.
RAINS WINS FOOTBALLWA.NET FIRST DIVISION AWARD
Adam Raines has been voted the footballwa.net First Division Player of the Year for 2005. The 27-year old's non-stop work rate in the middle of the park for Balcatta made him the stand-out player in the eyes of the players, coaches and supporters of First Division clubs. An off-season recruit from Stirling Lions, Raines becomes the third player to win the only award to be voted on by the West Australian football family. The inaugural award was taken out by Boima Karpeh of Bayswater City while last year's it went to Wanneroo City attacker Scott Bulloch by a landslide margin.
It wasn't until the final days of voting that Raines' tally peaked at 34 votes to edged ahead of Bulloch who polled 31 votes. Mandurah City sharpshooter Christian Paschewitz made a last charge for the line before ending third on 29 votes. Up and coming defender Chris Currie (Wanneroo) scored 21 votes, followed by Jordan Rhodes (Mandurah) and Steve Suttie (South West Phoenix) with 19 votes each. Wanneroo goalkeeper Darren Williams (Wanneroo) and Gary Attrill (Mandurah) ended level on 16 votes, two more than Balcatta shot-stopper Jordan Conti. With 13 votes were David Moschilla (Balcatta) and Gerry McEwan (Wanneroo), while a further one off the pace were Glen Hallums (Rockingham City), Graeme Matthews (Mandurah) and Morley Windmills deadball expert Adrian McBride.
STRIKERS EYE GOLD
Perth Strikers, arguably the state's most successful representative side ever, are off to Adelaide to take their place at the Australian Masters Games, the largest biennial multi-sport event in the country. Formed in 1994, the Strikers are the envy of Western Australia having won a medal at every event in which they've participated. Their record includes gold medals at the 1997, 1999 and 2003 Australian Masters Games as well as first place at the 2000 Asia Pacific Games.
The Strikers are confident of adding another medal to their already impressive haul when they line-up in Adelaide from tomorrow. "We've got a quality squad, the bulk of which has remained unchanged for the past decade and includes several former Australian internationals," explained Penny Tanner-Hoath. "To qualify for 'Masters' eligibility at the Games players must be over the age of thirty which is the peak age for some women footballers."
The Perth Strikers squad competing at the 2006 Australian Masters Games is Maggie Newton (Beckenham Angels), Lil Edmands (East Fremantle), Penny TannerHoath (Gosnells City), Sylvia Loreto (Mandurah City), Rita Berry (Northern Redbacks), Diane Reeves (Queens Park), Mhairi Angus, Beth Barnes, Anna Buckley, Alison Butler, Kerrie Corbett, Rochelle Sherwood, Sandra Szopski (Subiaco United) and Jill Mateljan. The squad is self-coached.
TRAVEL NO PROBLEM IN QUEST FOR GLORY
Perth Glory aren't fazed at playing four of their next five games on away soil. The club will draw on a quirk of the new A-League season to take the sting out of a gruelling schedule that includes trips to Newcastle United Jets, Central Coast Mariners, Queensland Roar and Adelaide United, and punctuated only by a home meeting with Melbourne Victory. Glory are one of six A-League teams to have collected more points on their travels than at home over the opening six weeks of the season. The club's next opponent, Newcastle, is the only team to have more home points than away, although four of their six games have been at home.
Bobby Despotovski, whose four goals have put him on top of the leading goalscorer table alongside Sydney FC's Dwight Yorke, believe the tendency for visiting teams to take more risks has been paying dividends. "Teams playing away from home have nothing to lose and are attacking a bit more," the striker told Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian". After six games Glory are placed seventh in the eight-team competition but Depotovski, one of the club's longest serving players, isn't concerned by their current placing. "We're only three point out of second position, it's not a major drama," he said.
STAY SHARP THIS SUMMER
Players from the northern suburbs wanting to stay match fit during the summer months should make enquiries to Bouncer Sports Centre in Joondalup. For sixteen-weeks commencing 16th October, Bouncer Sports Centre will host the Super Sunday Football season for men's, women's and mixed teams. "Come and enjoy the football atmosphere during the off-season in a competitive environment with the season concluding in February, before the outdoor leagues start up again," said tournament organiser Sam Miller. Teams interested in taking part in the tournament can contact Miller or Gerry McEwen on 9300 1600 for further information.
CACERES COMPLETES GLORY SQUAD (courtesy Perth Glory)
Talented left-sided attacker, Adrian Caceres, has committed his immediate future to Perth Glory by extending his contract until the end of the inaugural A-League season. Caceres, who scored Glory's first goal in the new national competition, initially signed ahead of the 2005/06 season as cover for the injured Neil Teggart. The Irish striker's contract was later terminated by mutual consent after he returned to Northern Ireland, leaving an extra space in Glory's 20-man squad.
Born in Argentina and raised in Perth, Caceres was a popular figure in the Glory squads that won successive NSL championships in 2002/03 and 2003/04. "It's great to have got this sorted out, and I am very pleased that it has happened," Caceres said. "Now I can work hard in training not having to think whether there is a contract at the end of it. My heart has always been at Perth and I have always been a Perth Glory boy so it is good to extend my stay here. I am very excited that I was the first Glory player to score in the A-League but I want to do more than that and I have to work hard to earn more time on the pitch and hopefully score a few more goals."
Caceres' ability to play as an attacking midfielder, winger or striker means that he has the versatility McMahon appreciates in the player. "I think he gives us good options and deserves it (the contract) because he has worked hard and stuck with it," said the Glory coach. "Adrian is a good player and he knows that he now needs to show consistency. People here say that he has always been a good player coming off the bench but I don't want him to be a good player coming off the bench I want him to be able to start matches and show that he can be an effective player from the start."
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
Western Australian will have no less than seven players in the Australian Schoolboys when they meet New Zealand in the Trans Tasman Cup next week. Tim De Souza, Goce Dilevski, David Houston, Scott Paterson, Andrew Pomfret, Brendan Ross and Wesley Ryder each gained national team selection for their contributions to the State Schoolboys side that won the silver medal at the National Schools Championship earlier this year. The two-game series against New Zealand will act as a springboard for the Australian Schoolboys tour of January 2006 when they'll play internationals against England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The 19-player Australian squad is Ben Cheyne (Australian Captial Territory), Nathan Burns, Evan Berger, Ben Gough, Stephen Kayes, Matthew Nemes, Toby Ryall, Ben Spruce, Jason Trifiro (New South Wales), Ramone Close, Reece Veenhoven (Queensland), Ersan Gulum (Victoria), Tim De Souza, Goce Dilevski, David Houston, Scott Paterson, Andrew Pomfret, Brendan Ross and Wesley Ryder (West Australia). The side is coached by John Romeo with former West Australian Schoolboys coach Damon Atthowe his assistant. The Schoolboys meet New Zealand at Sydney United Sports Centre on 6th and 8th October.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Perth S.C. have won the League and Cup double for a record sixth time. The Blues turned in a commanding performance this afternoon to defeat Inglewood United 2-1 and add the association Cup to their Premier League title. The opening goal arrived a minute into the second half when Matt Danskin's superb shot on the run gave Oliver Taseski no chance. Two minutes later the margin was doubled by Antonio Naglieri who netted from close-range after the goalkeeper had parried Andres Oliveira's effort. Inglewood's perseverance was rewarded four minutes from the end when Albert Osei-Tutu scored in a goalmouth scramble.
Sorrento claimed the reserves Cup by defeating Floreat Athena 3-0. The decider of the Under-18's knock-out competition went home with Swan I.C. for whom Sebastian DeCotter scored the only goal against Sorrento. Queens Park came from behind to down Balcatta 2-1 in extra-time and claim the women's Cup final. North Lake triumphed in the final of the amateur's Cup by toppling pre-match favourite University of W.A. 1-0
PERTH ADD CUP TO LEAGUE TITLE
Perth S.C. completed the League and Cup double with a 2-1 victory over Inglewood United in this afternoon's association Cup Final at Members Equity Stadium. Two rapid-fire goals early in the second half set up Perth's win on a day when Inglewood left their scoring boots at home. It was a tentative start from both sides who while quick to get forward were also careful not to be caught short at the back. The first genuine opening arrived at the 8 minute mark when David Onoforo squirmed free of Daniel Kovacevic only to find Oliver Taseski up to the task in the Inglewood goal. It wasn't long after that Taseski denied Andreas Oliveira as Perth began to get on top. Inglewood's first clear-cut opportunity came in the 16th minute when Kevin Griffiths drilled the ball high after good work on the left by Louis Parkinson. While they were able to get forward with some regularity Inglewood could find few ways past a well-organised defence, and on the few occasions they did open Perth up there was no one on hand to send the ball goalward.
With Naglieri and Robbie Puca controlling the middle of the park it was Perth that looked the more likely to go ahead. David Micevski was permitted to advance two-thirds the length of the pitch without being challenged before unleashing a searing shot which required a sharp response from Taseski. Neat work by Onoforo put the ball at the feet of Jeff Bright who sent his shot straight at the 'keeper, and shortly after Oliveira skidded a low drive narrowly wide of the park post. As the half came to a close Inglewood worked their way into the game through Shaun Kilkelly and Kevin Griffiths who asserted their influence in midfield. Unfortunately, a combination of poor finishing and a terrific goalline clearance would prevent Inglewood from going in front. Parkinson lifted a fine chance disappointingly high, then just a minute later Griffiths played a superb long pass to Jason Colli whose poor first touch made it easy for Gareth Deeg. The best chance of the half came with the very last play in which Kilkelly's powerful header was amazingly kept out of the top corner by Matt Danskin.
The match was turned on its head in a blistering three-minute spell that greeted the second half. Less than a minute after the re-start Perth had the lead courtesy of Danskin whose surging run into attack ended with a cracking left-foot strike that rose well beyond Taseski's reach and into the far top corner. Within minutes the margin had become two goals as Onoforo delivered a low cross into the area where Naglieri tapped in to an empty net from close-range after Taseski had blocked the initial shot from Oliveira. Although stunned, Inglewood pulled out all stops in an effort to get back into the game and while this resulted in their best period of the afternoon an inability to convert chances into goals would let them down. Colli spurned a golden opportunity to reduce the deficit by blazing over the crossbar with only the 'keeper to beat. Poor defending at a corner presented a great opportunity for Griffiths whose shot lacked power and directed was straight at Deeg. And when Deeg kept Darren Broxton's long-range bomb out the overwhelming feeling was this just wasn't going to be Inglewood's day.
Taseski did his part in keeping Inglewood's slender hopes alive by denying Oliveira who was allowed an unmarked header from Naglieri's corner. Minutes later the result looked to have been put beyond doubt when Onoforo netted from a couple of metres, however, following much discussion between Steve Muldoon and his assistant the goal was disallowed for offside. With nothing left to lose Inglewood threw caution to the wind and with only five minutes to play pulled a goal back. Broxton fired a low free-kick past the defensive wall which Deeg could only push away and in the scramble that ensued substitute Albert Osei-Tutu stabbed it over the line. The momentum was now with Inglewood but within minutes a lack of quality finishing would haunt them one final time as Colli teed up Osei-Tutu who sent his shot from 5-metres well over the bar, much to his teammates disappointment. That would be the final fling for Inglewood as Perth proceeded to lock the game down in their defensive third to ensure the association Cup would be spending the next twelve months at Dorrien Gardens.
It was a day to savour for Perth's Antonio Naglieri who's creativity in the centre of the park earned him the Man-of-the-Match award. While admitting Perth weren't quite at top gear coach Graham Normanton felt the result was fitting. "Overall, I thought we were worthy winners," commented the Perth boss. "It wasn't a great performance and Inglewood made it really hard for us by putting us under great pressure. If we had taken our chances we could have won by a few more, but by the same token Inglewood created a few chances near the end which made it a little uncomfortable for us." For Inglewood's assistant coach Gerry Wardle there was an elemental difference between the two teams. "Perth took their chances and we didn't," he said. "We lost the game in the five minutes after half-time when we lost concentration twice and were made to pay. All our boys gave everything today and we're proud of them, unfortunately it wasn't our day."
Inglewood United: Oliver Taseski, Daniel Stoitis, Daniel Kovacevic, Dean
Apelgren, Rory Mouttet (Albert Osei-Tutu 71), Michael Baczynski (Daniel
Neibergerger), Shaun Kilkelly, Darren Broxton, Kevin Griffiths, Jason
Colli, Louis Parkinson
Perth S.C.: Gareth Deeg, Gianfanco Circati, Dino Djulbic, Michael Icanovski, Jeff Bright (Mark Pottier 63), Matt Danskin (Peter Lord 63), David Micevski, Robbie Puca, Antonio Naglieri, David Onoforo, Andreas Oliveria
Bookings: Icanovski (58), Broxton (77)
Referee: Steve Muldoon
GOLDEN STRIKE SECURES WOMEN'S CUP FOR QUEENS PARK
An extra-time goal from Lindsay Eaton scored Queens Park the association women's Cup courtesy of a 2-1 defeat of Balcatta at Members Equity Stadium this morning. The game wasn't the all-action affair the healthy sized crowd had hoped for largely because between them the combatants had nine regulars absent due to representative duty. Balcatta came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders and seized the upper hand with just 2 minutes played thanks to a surging run through midfield by Elisa D'Ovidio who beat goalkeeper Julia McInerney. Pushing forward at every opportunity, Queens Park threw everything into getting back on level terms only to continually be turned away by a well-drilled defence that was marshalled superbly by veteran Jessine Bonzas.
The second half was dominated by missed opportunities at both ends of the park. D'Ovidio led the way for Balcatta and caused all kinds of stress for the Queens Park rearguard who also somehow survived a succession of corners pumped into the 6-yard box. However, it was far from one-way traffic with Queens Park often getting deep inside their opponents half and carving out a number of good chances of their own. As the minutes ticked by Queens Park increased the pace and a scramble for possession in the 61st minute ended with Temira Rowatt knocking the ball past the 'keeper to equalise. The closing stages were played at a frenetic pace as both finalists attempted to grab a late winner but it wasn't to be before the referee indicated that extra-time would be required.
While the conditions were perfect for spectators a sunny, cloudless sky had by this stage taxed the energy levels of all players. So it came as no surprise that after ninety minutes of football the pace dropped off considerably and ball control became somewhat relaxed. The opening period of extra-time produced several more chances with neither team able to get the decisive touch. The breakthrough came a minute after the turnaround when Lindsay Eaton completed a terrific passage of play to find the back of the net for Queens Park. In the warm conditions Balcatta tried desperately to equalise but found little penetration as Queens Park defended in numbers . The final whistle signalled the start of wild celebrations for Queens Park who'd captured their first trophy of the season.
SORRENTO TAKE RESERVES CUP NORTH (by Kerry Slater)
Sorrento completed the League and Cup 'double' with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Floreat Athena at Litis Stadium. The northern suburbs side started strongly, controlling the midfield battle and creating some good chances for their forwards. Farrell Hedges saw two efforts fly just off target within 30 seconds of each other before Carlos Vega's shot was cleared off the line. Floreat didn't get into gear until midway through the half but created little which tested goalkeeper Chris Ramsey. The remainder of the period passed pretty much without incident, possibly a symptom of both sides worrying more about losing the game rather than trying to win it.
The second half started well for Sorrento but poor control let Dejan Gurovski after being sent through on goal. Steve Guest was presented with a golden opportunity to put Floreat one up not long after he was denied by a fantastic save from Ramsey. The breakthrough finally came on the hour when a handball inside the 18-yard box resulted in a Sorrento penalty which Brodie Martin slotted past Alex Dunn. Just a minute later the margin was doubled as Lewis Flatt clipped the ball over Dunn and Hedges got the faintest of headers to claim the goal.
Conceeding two goals in as many minutes knocked the wind out of Floreat's sails and from here on Sorrento ran riot. Good chances to put the game beyond doubt came the way of Hedges, Flatt, Dejan Gurovski, Vega and Craig Lewis, all of which either went wide or were kept out by a defence working overtime to keep the sides slimming hopes alive. The knock-out was finally delivered with just two minutes remaining when Vega slid a pass under pressure into the path of Martin who slotted it in from just inside the penalty area. The final whistle marked a well deserved Cup victory for the Gulls Reserves and made the perfect end to what had been a fantastic season.
SWAN OVERCOME THE ODDS TO WIN YOUTH CUP (by Peter Simcox)
Swan I.C. Under 18's bucked the odds to defeat pre-match favourite Sorrento 1-0 and claim the association Youth Cup from a tight match at Litis Stadium. The first chance of an even opening spell came Sorrento's way with Dean Wilson's cross from the left narrowly evading the head of Jesse Bridgeman. Not to be outdone, Swan responded through Michael Tronchin who played in Sebastian DeCotter but goalkeeper Tony Davies was quick to clear the danger. With 18 minutes played Swan went ahead, again Tronchin was the provider for DeCotter who stroked the ball into an empty net after it ricochted off Davies and fell kindly for the young striker. Sorrento flexed their muscle in the minutes which followed as Scott Neville's effort flew narrowly wide, and both Dave Wimbrige and Michael Johnson had shots on target saved by Daniel Agudelo. It looked as though the northern suburbs side had levelled minutes from the interval when Johnson found the back of the net only to have it disallowed for offside. Right on the stroke of half-time Davies kept the margin at one goal with a terrific save to tip a Tronchin header over the crossbar.
The second half began with Sorrento in an attacking mood. Inside the space of three minutes Agudelo kept out a shot from Guy McDonald while Wimbrige and Johnson fired wide. Swan were increasingly forced into performing defensive duties and hitting on the counter attack. The majority of possession was with Sorrento who went close when Neville's in-swinging corner Steve McLaughlin had Agudelo at full stretch. The Swan 'keeper kept his team ahead again moments later with a fine save from substitute Darren Quinncroft's long-range strike. The black and whites were living dangerously and several times their overworked defence scrambled the ball clear of the danger zone. Sorrento pushed everyone forward for a final minute corner which Swan defended staunchly to earn a great victory. "It was a great performance from the boys, and it's been a great effort from the whole squad all season," said Swan captain Tronchin following the final whistle. "It was the last game of the season and we all wanted it to be a winning end and I'm delighted for them and coach Pedro Petrisor."
YORKE SNATCHES VICTORY OVER GLORY
Sydney FC came from behind to defeat Perth Glory 2-1 this evening at Member Equity Stadium. It was a frustrating result for the bumper crowd of 13,157 who'd seen Glory go ahead just before the interval only to concede contentious two second half goals. There were good early chances created by both teams with Terry McFlynn's long-range effort testing Jason Petkovic, while at the other end Bobby Despotovski should have done much better than fire wide after being set-up by Billy Celeski. While the action was end to end it wasn't until the 40th minute that the deadlock was broken as Hiroyuki Ishida laid the ball back to Jamie Coyne who whipped in a cross that Despotovski headed powerfully past Clint Bolton. The visitors were lucky not to go further behind on the stroke of half-time when Petkovic's booming clearance was helped on by Despotovski to Brian Deane who shrugged off his marker but high from 15-metres.
The ball had been in play just three minutes into the second half when Sydney equalised after being awarded a dubious free-kick which David Cairney sent into the 18-yard box where Dwight Yorke chested it down to an unmarked Sasho Petrovski who made no mistake at close-range. The goal knocked the wind out of the home side while providing a major boost to Sydney's confidence. With 65 minutes ticked by the visitors gained the lead when a refereeing error resulted in a Sydney throw-in that Petrovski flicked-on, the ball took an unfortunate deflection off Ante Kovacevic and Yorke was positioned to ram it past Petkovic. Glory worked hard to draw level but simply could not break down a Sydney defence who weren't about to let maximum points slip. Their only genuine opening came close to the final whistle when Nick Ward threaded a terrific pass to Celeski who lifted his shot high. The loss, Glory third in four home games this season, send Glory to seventh on the table.
LUCK DENIES UNDER-16'S MEDAL CHANCE
The State Under-16's eighth placing at last week's National Talent Identification Championships was far from a true indication of how well the side played according to coach Peter Bliss. "The boys played to their potential and with a bit of luck could have got amongst the medals," said Bliss. "We met a strong Victorian side and lost only to a goal in the dying minutes, then were well beaten by a technically strong Queensland team. Our performance against New South Wales Country was the best I've seen since taking on the State job. We needed to win our last group match to go through to the play-offs but ended up drawing so we were in fact just a goal short of a medal."
Bliss says each and every player who represented West Australia at the tournament can hold their head high. "The experience of playing in such a high standard competition will serve all of our players well going into the future," Bliss added. "The squad has come away the better after playing with and against the best players in their age group that this country has to offer and they should be very proud of themselves for performing so well. The entire coaching staff hope the boys have learnt from the experience, for some players this will be their highest level of competition while for others it will serve as a springboard for a bright future in the game."
Placed in Pool B, the Under-16's went down 1-2 to Victoria Metro in their opening match before being comprehensively beaten by Queensland Metro 4-1. Day Three saw West Australian pick up their first points with a 1-0 win over New South Wales Country. A 3-1 defeat of Tasmania kept the west in contention for a place the semi-finals, however, a 1-1 draw with Victoria Country saw the side end the group phase in fourth place. The State youth squad claimed eighth place overall after losing 1-2 to Queensland Country in the play-off round. The Under-16 final was won by New South Wales Metro who defeated traditional rival Queensland Metro 3-1.
The playing field at the Nationals is slowly evening out with many of this year's games decided by only a goal or two, something which Bliss says is an indication of the progress being made by the developing states. "The competition has been dominated by the traditionally 'big' states for quite a while now but the 'smaller' states (for the want of a better term) are catching up. South Australian won the Under-15's this year and WA's Under-16's were runners-up last year. We're all getting our coaching programs in line around the nation and this bodes well for the future. Last year WA had three players in the Australian Under-17 squad with one of those playing in the World Youth Cup last month. Along with a couple of players at the Australian Institute of Sport we're hopeful of sending some of this years squad in the same direction."
LITTLE JOY AT NATIONALS FOR UNDER-15'S
It's been a long and difficult week in Sydney for the thirty-two players who represented Western Australia in the Under-15 age group of the 2005 National Talent Identification Championships. The Under-15 Gold squad scrapped their way to one win and a draw to end fourth in Pool B. And the record for the Under-15 Black squad was similar with the side gaining fifth in Pool A courtesy of one win and one draw.
Allocated a place in Pool B, the West Australian Under-15 Gold squad crashed 0-3 to Victoria Metro in their opening round game. New South Wales Metro and South Australia made good starts with 2-0 wins over Queensland Country and Victoria Country respectively. The 9.00am start on Sunday suited the West Australia Gold squad who earned a share of the points with Victoria Country courtesy of a 2-2 scoreline. Victoria Metro defeated Queensland Country 4-3, and New South Wales Metro accounted for South Australia 3-1.
Day Four of competition kicked-off with South Australia taking the points over the boys from the west coast by a 1-3 scoreline. New South Wales Metro edged out Victoria Metro 3-2, and Queensland Country thumped Victoria Country 4-0 in the days other games. New South Wales Metro registered their fourth straight win by knocking over Western Australia Gold 4-0 just after lunch on Tuesday. Victoria Metro were held 2-2 by Victoria Country, and South Australia defeated Queensland Country 3-0.
West Australia Gold produced the goods on the final day of group games when they defeated Queensland Country 1-0. Pool B was won by New South Wales Metro whose 5-0 win over Victoria Country allowed them to end the group phase without dropping a point Victoria Metro drew 0-0 with South Australia in the other match. In Saturday's play-off round, West Australia Gold drew 1-1 with Northern New South Wales to end in joint seventh place overall. The Under-15 tournament was won by South Australia who downed New South Wales Metro 2-1 in the decider.
The West Australia Under-15 Black squad found the going tough in Pool A where they started with a 0-2 loss to Queensland Metro. New South Wales Country hit Tasmania 4-1, and Northern New South Wales accounted for Capital Football 2-1 in the days other games. West Australia Black's opposition on Day Two was provided New South Wales side who ran out comfortable 4-1 winners. There were 3-0 wins for Capital Football and Queensland Metropolitan against New South Wales Country and Tasmania respectively.
New South Wales Country ran out 3-0 winners over the State squad on Monday afternoon. That days other results saw Queensland Metropolitan beat Northern New South Wales 3-0, and Capital Football downed Tasmania 2-0. West Australia Black opened their account the next morning when they took the points over Tasmania 3-1. New South Country beat Northern New South Wales 3-1, and Capital Football played out a scoreless draw with Queensland Metro.
Capital Football claimed second spot in Pool B after defeating West Australia Black 3-0 on the final day of group games. Queensland Metro won the group courtesy of a 2-0 defeat of New South Wales Country, while the days final match saw Northern New South Wales down Tasmania 2-0. In Saturday's play-off round, West Australia Black lost 0-1 to Queensland Country to end the tournament in tenth place overall.
GLORY STRUGGLE TO WIN BACK CROWD SUPPORT (by Jonathon Cook with Neale Prior)
Perth Glory is facing the greatest challenge in its ten-year history as Australian soccer's former flagship club struggles to attract fans to its East Perth ground and regain its place on the West Australian sporting landscape. Once the hottest ticket in town with more than 43,000 fans packing into Subiaco Oval for their 1999/2000 Grand Final against Wollongong Wolves, Glory are in danger of slipping off the radar. Crowds have averaged just 9,225 for the three matches played at Members Equity Stadium at a time when the club was supposed to be enjoying fresh prosperity in the new A-League.
Tonight, Glory have their best opportunity yet to reclaim some of the lost ground with the visit of Sydney FC and their star attraction Dwight Yorke. Glory management, though, is concerned about the threat of rain, something they rarely had to consider during the old National Soccer League, which was a summer competition. That the club's disappointing crowd figures - already lagging behind their projected 11,000 average - have coincided with the dawning of the domestic game's supposed revolution has pricked the attention of governing body Football Federation Australia. Their response has been to send officials to Perth for tonight's match to get a better handle on the Glory dynamic.
The falling crowd figures also come just eight months after chairman and major shareholder Nick Tana pulled out of a plan to float the club on the Australian Stock Exchange. He has since indicated a willingness to sell the club but is yet to receive an offer. Unless Glory can put the brakes on their slide, a buyer is unlikely to spring forward. In the sport business, obscurity is death. And Glory, which won the last National Soccer League Grand Final in April last year, have spent seventeen months in the sporting wilderness. Their return has coincided with the peak of an AFL football season in which West Coast Eagles went within a kick of a premiership and the Sydney Swans made history.
But while Glory management have pointed to interest in the AFL finals in partly explaining away poor attendances, the newly-formed Sydney FC have enjoyed crowd numbers averaging over 20,000 for their two matches as Sydneysiders have embraced the novelty of an ethnically-neutral national soccer team. Yorke has also played his part. The Trinidad and Tobago international is a rare commodity in that he has brought celebrity and style as well as substance to the club. He has embraced his role as ambassador of Sydney FC, acknowledging yesterday that part of the lure of moving to Australia was the opportunity to be the face of the A-League's glamour club.
Not so for Glory. Tana, who has already tipped around $4 million into the venture, which started in partnership with Paul Afkos in 1995, has vowed to fight on. Though the feelers are still out for a potential buyer, publicly he is committed to seeing it through. Tana acknowledges that "we have not delivered what we were supposed to deliver" but believes the future is bright given the response to the new league in the east where Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland have made impressive starts. "It will cost money over the next one or two years but I see that changing quite dramatically once all the initiatives are fully realised," Tana said.
One of the major incentives for potential investors is the prospect of a place in the Asian Champions League for the A-League's best two clubs, though the detail and structure of that relationship is yet to be finalised. Before then, the challenge for Glory is immense and the solution hard to identify. The timing of the new league's kick-off, fan disgruntlement with recruitment decisions, stuttering on-field performances under new coach Steve McMahon and even the poor treatment of past players, particularly the dumping of ex-Sheffield United and Socceroos defender Shaun Murphy, have probably contributed to some fans staying away from the club.
Former Sydney FC chief executive and the club's current director of football development Andy Harper, knows the finer points of the Australian game and has genuine concerns about what has happened in Perth. "Perth Glory gave us hope that it could be done," Harper said of Glory's success in drawing on the community at large to become the benchmark club of the old NSL. "Perth Glory gave us a reason to believe through the darkest days of old soccer. And you just expected that when new football arrived, one of the shiny cars down the highway would be Perth Glory because they had the advantage of having tradition. Hopefully this is as bad as it gets for Perth. People have put too much work in for it not to work."
In the days before its $11.3 million facelift, Members Equity Stadium, when it was known only as Perth Oval, was the place to be on a summer Sunday afternoon. But where once the talk was of the growing Glory phenomenon, the word cascading down the terraces now is that the atmosphere has changed, and while the new A-League may well be better than the old NSL, Glory are not as good on the park as they were fora number of successful seasons. Former Liverpool midfielder McMahon briefly sparked interest in the club when he was appointed coach, but there is a strong feeling that he is yet to get the best out of his players.
Glory has also had a tense relationship with some of the local clubs that sit at the top of Perth's established soccer hierarchy, though the club has consciously tried to open an avenue of communication with the State's junior clubs this season. Stirling Lions president Don Evans believed Glory has lost the support of a lot of soccer diehards because their game had become dull.
Some fans argue that McMahon does not have a good enough squad to be successful this season, but there is great potential in Young Socceroos Billy Celeski and Nick Ward, while Bobby Despotovski continues to shine and Australian international Simon Colosimo is yet to hit his straps. The club recently signed Australia's most prolific scorer Damian Mori on a short-term deal and he is desperate to make his mark, even if it is for only a handful of games. FFA operations manager Matt Carroll believed part of the problem was that Perth's sporting fans had not yet identified with the new A-League.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The showcase event of the local season takes place on Sunday when Perth S.C. and Inglewood United meet in the final of the association Cup. Perth, recently crowned Premier League champion, are undefeated in nine outings which produced a staggering 39 goals and have rightly been installed as pre-match favourite. But while Inglewood's form has been patchy this season they've shown an uncanny knack of producing their best for when it counts. The game, being played at Members Equity Stadium, kicks-off at 3.00pm.
There's a host of other Cup Final action also taking place on Sunday. The action at Members Equity Stadium kicks-off at 9.00am when Balcatta and Queens Park meet in the women's Cup Final. This match promises to be a cracker with Balcatta and Queens Park ending the regular season in second and third places respectively. This will be followed at 11.00am by the amateur Cup Final between top flight outfit University of WA and giant-killers North Lake from the Fourth Division.
Litis Stadium and Frank Drago Reserve are also being utilised for Cup Final football. The day at Litis Stadium, home of Floreat Athena, commences with the decider of the semi-professional Under-18 competition between Swan I.C. and Sorrento (9.00am). The semi-professional Reserve Cup Final pits Floreat Athena against Sorrento (11.00am) and that's followed by the final of the women's social Cup between East Fremantle and Queens Park (1.05pm).
Frank Drago Reserve, home of Bayswater City, hosts the amateur Reserve Cup Final between the top flight's Lynwood Colts and Third Division table-topper Fremantle Croatia (9.00am). The men's social Cup Final follows at 11.00am in which The Jacks meet Balcatta. The masters Cup Final between Northern Spirit and Mandurah City (1.05pm) concludes the afternoon's activity. Admission to all Sunday's games is by gold coin donation.
CUP FINAL EXTRA : PERTH S.C. vs INGLEWOOD UNITED (by Peter Simcox and Brett Klucznik)
The biggest match on the local football calender - the association Cup Final - takes place this weekend to bring season 2005 to a close. Perth S.C. go into battle with inner-city neighbour Inglewood United from 3.00pm on Sunday at Members Equity Stadium for the last piece of silverware in what has already been an eventful season. Both clubs will be looking to end their season on a high and collect their second trophy of the season, Inglewood having won the pre-season Night Series while Perth were crowned Premier League champion just a fortnight ago.
Perth has a long and proud tradition of winning trophies and victory on Sunday would give them their eleventh association Cup. The Blues 2005 campaign commenced with comfortable home wins over Bassendean Caledonian and Swan I.C. However, Perth's Cup ran almost came to a crashing halt at the quarter-final stage when they required a stoppage time winner to scrape past First Division outfit Balcatta 2-1. Goals from David Onoforo and Antonio Naglieri sealed a 2-0 win over Mandurah City and Perth's place in the final of the knock-out competition.
Possessing a talented squad and victorious, albeit by narrow margins, in both regular season meetings between the clubs it's Perth that have been installed as favourite to lift the trophy. In Antonio Naglieri, Robbie Puca and David Micevski they have the local scene's most inventive midfield which links to great effect with David Onoforo and Andreas Oliveira who between them have found the back of the net 53 times already this year. The absence of captain Aaron Cole, a virtual ever-present for the past seven years, due to back injury will be both a psychological and physical loss for the Blues.
Although Perth are tipped for victory on Sunday striker David Onoforo says they are wary of underestimating their opponent. "Inglewood are obviously a good side that is capable of beating anyone on their day," the Premier league's leading goalscorer commented. "They have a balanced squad with strength's all over the park - Oliver Taseski, Shaun Kilkelly, Kevin Griffiths and Louis Parkinson are just a few of the players we have to watch. Both of our encounters this season have been closely fought affairs and I expect this one will be a repeat of our tough encounter a few weeks ago at Dorrien Gardens."
It'll be Inglewood's fifth association Cup Final appearance with the club's only success to date being way back in 1977 and also 1999. Along the way this year Inglewood met top flight opposition in every qualifying round. Their journey started with victory over Stirling Lions which was followed up by a narrow defeat of local rival Bayswater City. Inglewood eased into the last four by downing Cockburn City 3-0 on away turf, and booked their spot in the season finale by defeating Fremantle City 1-0 courtesy of a second half goal by Andre Sarpe.
While tagged as the underdog, Inglewood have an young, enthusiastic squad brimful of confidence and class. Much of their drive comes from out wide where Kevin Griffiths and Louis Parkinson taunt opposing defences and provide the ammunition for the likes of Andre Sarpe. Dean Apelgren and captain Shaun Kilkelly can both turn a game in the blink of an eye and will be crucial to Inglewood's hopes. On the downside, Greg Sharland will miss the Cup Final following a recent foot operation while injury clouds hang heavy over Sarpe, Michael Baczynski and Danny Kovacevic.
Although his side has should some inconsistency this winter Inglewood captain Shaun Kilkelly remains confident his side will turn it on come kick-off. "We've won one trophy already this year and the chance of another has us keyed up," he said. "After the season Perth have had we will need to be at the top of our game. They've got great depth and the players we'll need to pay particular attention to are David Onoforo, Andreas Oliveira, Antonio Naglieri and Robert Puca who I believe is the best player in the State. We've got a few injury concerns but I firmly believe we can match it with the League champions."
The move by Football West to play the association Cup Final at the neutral Members Equity Stadium, home of Perth Glory, has received a resounding 'thumbs up' from both camps. "Football West's decision to play the game at Members Equity Stadium is a great idea and we hope all the football public come out and watch the game", commented Eddy Hogkinson, coach of Inglewood. It's a view to which his counterpart also subscribes, "It is a fantastic venue for all concernedand as a coach I want my players to play on the best venue available and there is no doubt that Members Equity Stadium is it," said Graham Normanton.
WOMEN'S FINAL PAIRS BALCATTA WITH QUEENS PARK (by Peter Simcox)
The final chapter of the 2005 women's season is played out this weekend when Balcatta and Queens Park meet in the association Cup Final. There's been much discussion this week about the showdown which pits two of the Premier League's best sides against one another. Balcatta and Queens Park, who ended the regular season in second and third places respectively, lock horns in the decider of the knock-out competition from 9.00am on Sunday at Members Equity Stadium.
Two of the three regular seasons meetings between the finalists ended in draws with the remainder being won by a single goal by Queens Park who go into the Sunday's game as favourite by the slightest of margins. Unfortunately, both teams will be without key personnel for the Cup Final due to selection for the Western Waves who'll be in the east at the Women's National Football Championship. Dominica Carbone, Katy Coghlan, Brid Dawson, Lindsey Jobling and Laura Turnbull will be missing from the Balcatta side while Queens Park have to do without Helen Bremer, Allarice Keswell, Amy Thorpe and Stacey Woodfin.
Balcatta have had a relatively easy passage to the final which started with a 13-0 thrashing of Bassendean Caledonian. On target that day were Dawson (3), Elisia D'Ovidio (2), Jobling (2), Deb Gorton (2), Kylie Chatto (2), Turnbull and Jessine Bonzas. Rockingham City didn't fare much better when thumped 8-0 courtesy of goals from Coglhan (2), A.Figlomeni (2), Dawson (2), J.Poehl and Gemma Langley. Balcatta's biggest test came in the semi-finals when Chatto and Jeneil D'Annunzio found the net to defeat East Fremantle 2-0.
Like their opponent Queens Park started their Cup campaign with a big win - 13-1 against Subiaco United B. Western Waves player Stacey Woodfin lead the way in attack by scoring six times, Keswell and Thorpe each netted twice and T.Rowatt and K.Woodhouse once. Queens Park continued to find the net with ease in the Second Round when they defeated Mandurah City 6-0 on home soil. The semi-finals pitted the eastern corridor club against Subiaco United who succumbed 1-0 to a first half strike from Stacey Woodfin.
COLOSIMO'S DUAL FOCUS (courtesy Perth Glory)
Simon Colosimo is itching to join the Socceroos squad ahead of November's World Cup qualifiers, but first the midfielder wants to help Perth Glory see off the challenge of Sydney FC. Colosimo will fly to the Netherlands this weekend for a training camp with the Australian squad which plays Jamaica in a friendly in London next week. However, before heading off Colosimo is keen for Perth to get the job done at Members Equity Stadium against a highly-rated Sydney side which got back on track with a 3-1 win over Queensland Roar last weekend.
"They got a good result in Brisbane at the weekend but there is a little bit of bite between the two teams to be quite honest," Colosimo said. "There is a little rivalry already because we beat Sydney at their place and they beat us here but I think all the players and the people of Perth will be looking forward to it. We have improved game by game but now is our opportunity to make this our little fortress. That is what we have been trying to do and we need to make sure that happens."
As soon as the match is over though Colosimo's attention will turn to the training camp under new coach Guus Hiddink. "It was difficult at the last camp, trying to train and knowing that I would not be available for selection because I was just part of the train-on squad," Colosimo said of the last training squad Hiddink conducted in August. "Although it was difficult I felt that I had trained quite well and I guess I must have caught the new boss' eye. I missed out on the last November game against Uruguay so it gives me an opportunity to really push my case and stake a claim for 180 minutes of football."
HALL OF FAME TICKETS GOING FAST
Tickets are selling fast for the Football Hall of Fame Western Australia induction ceremony being held at the Novotel Langley Hotel on Saturday 29th October. A total of twenty-seven people who have made outstanding contributions to the game in WA will be inducted into the newly-introduced Hall of Legends, the Hall of Champions and the Hall of Recognition. Among those to be honoured will be former World Cup finals referee Eddie Lennie.
Tickets cost $100 and the event offers the chance to rub shoulders with some of the games greats in Western Australia. There will also be the opportunity to obtain some highly-prized memorabilia in an auction and there are over $1000 worth of prizes in a Grand Raffle. Lavish entertainment, a three-course meal and and all drinks will be included in the cost of the ticket for a function that promises to be the highlight of the year. Tickets are available from Barbara Gibson on 0429 943830 or John O'Connell on 0413 973846.
GO THE WAVES!
It'll be a new-look Western Waves which lines up at the Women's National Football Championship which kick-off today in Canberra. Since their last outing nine months ago the Waves have undergone much change with just eight players remaining from the inaugural national league squad. "Unfortunately, many of our more experienced players have left for one reason or another, and we've also been devastated by injuries which have hit the team pretty hard and with the nationals just around the corner," explained team captain Tanya Oxtoby.
"With so much change forced upon us our depth has been really tested but the one thing I can vouch for is that the girls selected are focused and determined to do well," continued Oxtoby. "All the girls really want to be at the Nationals representing Western Australia and will work so hard for each other to make sure we do well, and I think those things will be our greatest attributes while we are away. True, there are a lot of younger faces in the squad but they've stepped up and have done really well. As a team we're looking good for our first game.
Coached by former Socceroo Alistair Edwards, the Waves have been preparing for the ten-day tournament since May. "The squad has been training together for four months May with the sessions really starting to pick up pace and reach top gear in the last few weeks," commented Oxtoby. "All the girls have really applied themselves both mentally and physically to be as prepared as they can for the Nationals." The Waves have been drawn in Group B for the qualifying stage of the tournament alongside Victoria Vision, New South Wales Sapphires White and Northern New South Wales Pride.
The Waves eighteen player squad consists of Dominica Carbone, Katy Coghlan, Brid Dawson, Lindsey Jobling, Laura Turnbull (Balcatta), Kate Burns (Kingsley), Lillie Billson, Sara Gawned, Stephanie Grant, Carys Hawkins, Tanya Oxtoby, Nicole Williams (Northern Redbacks), Helen Bremer, Allarice Keswell, Amy Thorpe, Stacey Woodfin (Queens Park) and former Australian internationals April Mann and Leanne Trimboli.
UNDERDOG TAG SUITS INGLEWOOD COACH
Inglewood United started the season by winning silverware and they'll be doing their best to ensure the year ends with further trophy success. The inner-city club made a sensational start to the winter by winning the pre-season Night Series - their first trophy in five years. On Sunday their young and talented squad have the opportunity of adding a second trophy to the cabinet when they meet Perth S.C. in the final of the association Cup at Members Equity Stadium. "We started the year with a bang and we'd love nothing more than to end it with another high," said coach Eddy Hodgkinson.
However, Hodgkinson is under no illusion as to the size of the hurdle Inglewood need to overcome in order to win the Cup Final. Perth were in top form over the closing stages of the regular season and for that reasons alone Hodgkinson is content for his side to be installed as underdog. "On paper it's a one horse race, a gambling man would be silly to place his money anywhere other than Perth," he said. "They have possibly the best three defenders in the competition, have pace on both flanks and an extremely creative central midfield which links brilliantly with the two highest scoring forwards in the league."
"While Perth are by far the strongest team in the State League we do have a game plan which will hopefully cause them problems," added Hodgkinson, who's been busy analysing the way Perth play. "I expect Sunday's game to be very attacking, both our regular season games with Perth were close and I think it'll be more of the same on Cup Final day. I don't think there's any one area of the park in which the game will be decided, but if the majority of Inglewood players can produce their best form and we make the most of our chances they you never know what might happen."
While by no means thrilled with Football West's decision to play the Cup Final two weeks after the regular season came to a close, Hodgkinson says the break has been beneficial. "As it turns out the extended break may be a blessing in disguise," he commented. "It's given the players who are carrying injuries a chance to recover and put their hands up for selection come match day. Last week we trained three times and treated it like a mini pre-season by keeping things short and sharp. I'll work on the motivational side this week although I believe a Cup Final in itself will provide sufficient motivation for the players."
PERTH HUNGRY FOR CUP FINAL GLORY
Perth S.C. will be attempting to win their eleventh association Cup when they step on to the arena Members Equity Stadium on Sunday afternoon to play Inglewood United. It's already been a season of triumph for the Blues who just two weeks ago were crowned regular season champion for a record sixteenth time. Under coach Graham Normanton Perth have re-established themselves as the State's premier side, adding no less than twelve trophies to the cabinet at Dorrien Gardens since his appointment in 1999.
There's little doubting the Blues were the most consistent side during the winter of 2005 for which the championship was a fitting reward. It's a victory Normanton happily allowed his players to savour. "We've done absolutely nothing to get the boys focus back after winning the league ," commented the Perth boss. "I think that it is very important for the players to enjoy the moment, after all, they have worked very hard to achieve their initial goal of winning he championship. They need to know how good success tastes and that should spur them on to want it more and more."
Normanton has slowly increased the intensity at Perth training over the past fortnight and he's positive the side will be ready, willing and able come kick-off on Sunday. "We started last week with a fairly light session but to make the boys aware there is still more to play for training on Thursday was really tough. This week has been all about preparing for the weekend. I have no doubt that we will be ready for the big game - the players are still hungry and are raring to go."
Although Perth have won both games between themselves and Inglewood this season Normanton says there is very little separating Sunday's opponents. "It's always a hard thing to do to define the difference between two teams," he said. "I've looked long and hard at it and I don't think there is a specific point of difference. That said, we've assessed their team and we know where their strengths are and we think we know where we can exploit some weaknesses, and come Sunday afternoon we'll know if we got it right."
KINGSWAY PLAN TO BOUNCE BACK
Kingsway Olympic don't plan on playing Sunday football for long. Relegated from the First Division at the end of several seasons of mediocrity, Kingsway are pulling out all stops to ensure a swift return to the semi-professional ranks. "Kingsway Olympic are looking to progress from the doldrums of the past few years and have strong committee's from the sporting club side through to the juniors," said the club's coaching co-ordinator John Ward. "The club has developed a structure that we feel will ensure Kingsway will once again be a force on the local circuit."
To assist the club achieve their initial goal of returning to the semi-professional ranks they are calling for expressions of interest for all coaching positions from first team all the way through to juniors. Parties interested in taking over the reigns of the Kingsway senior or reserve teams are asked to forward their resume along with coaching accreditation and experience to Sean Lynch (PO Box 89, Kingsway WA 6065). Applications to coach any of the clubs junior teams (Under-11 through to Under-16) can sent their details to John Ward via the same address. Applications for all coaching positions close on Monday 17th October, 2005.
GLORY CAPTAIN OFFERS JUNIORS UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY
The stars of tomorrow can benefit from the experience and knowledge of Perth Glory captain Jamie Harnwell who'll be conducting a new round of clinics during the next school term. "After the success of the first Super Skills Sessions I will be extending the sessions to an eight week course for Term Four," said Harnwell this week. "These sessions will give players a chance to develop their individual skills in a fun atmosphere under the watchful eye of myself and other experienced coaches."
To ensure all attendees receive the attention they need to develop their skills each session will be limited to a maximum of ten players. The one-hour sessions are to be held on either a Monday or Wednesday evening from 5.00pm at Percy Doyle Reserve in Duncraig commencing 10th or 12th October. The cost of attending the eight-week course is just $120 per player, and with places limited all are encouraged to register their interest as soon as possible by contacting Harnwell on 0404 178 067 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
GARCIA MAKES COMEBACK
Richard Garcia has finally made his comeback for English League One outfit Colchester United. The 24-year old West Australian sat out the entire pre-season programme with a shin injury but has worked his way back to full fitness and into the matchday squad. Garcia came on in the 81st minute of his clubs 1-1 home draw with Huddersfield Town on the weekend, while this evening he was an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw with Bradford City. Garcia had not figured for Colchester since limping out of their clash with Torquay United over four months ago.
SOCCEROO SQUAD NAMED FOR DUTCH CAMP
Australia coach Guus Hiddink has called twenty-five players into camp for ahead of the 9th October friendly international against Jamaica in London. The Socceroos will assemble in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, after completing club matches this weekend and spend a week together before flying to London to face Jamaica at Fulham's Craven Cottage. Hiddink will slim his squad by five players for Australia's final match before November's World Cup qualifiers against the fifth ranked South American nation. Stan Lazaridis is the only West Australian in the training squad which also includes Perth Glory captain Simon Colosimo and former Glory defenders Ljubo Milicevic and Jade North.
The Australian training squad is John Aloisi (Alaves), Scott Chipperfield (FC Basel), Stan Lazaridis (Birmingham City), Brett Emerton, Luca Neill (Blackburn Rovers), Luke Wilkshire (Bristol City), Tony Popovic (Crystal Palace), Tim Cahill (Everton), Ahmad Elrich (Fulham), Ante Covic (Hammarby), Harry Kewell (Liverpool), Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), Mark Schwarzer, Mark Viduka (Middlesbrough), Zeljko Kalac (AC Milan), Joel Griffiths (Neuchatel Xamax), Craig Moore (Newcastle United), Jade North (Newcastle United Jets), Marco Bresciano, Vince Grella (Parma), Simon Colosimo (Perth Glory), Ljubo Milicevic (FC Thun), Jon McKain (AEK Timisoara), Jason Culina (Twente Enschede) and Josip Skoko (Wigan Athletic).
PERTH JUNIORS PRODUCE THE GOODS
The budding youngsters of Perth S.C. have done themselves and their club proud with strong performances at the Gold Coast Champions Cup last week. Perth was represented at the junior tournament, the biggest of its kind in the southern hemisphere, by six teams all of whom chalked up some impressive results over the week-long event. Two Perth teams made it all the way to their age groups final, another qualified for the semi-finals, and three Under-14 players gained selection for an All-Stars squad which meet the Welsh national team at tournaments' end.
Laurence Biagioni, junior club president at Perth, was pleased with his clubs performances against quality opposition as well as the conduct of players and team officials. "The quality of the competition was very good, and the experience gained by all our players will be invaluable in the development of the club," commented Biagioni who was also Perth's tour director. "The professionalism shown by the Perth Junior Soccer Club was acknowledged by all the participating clubs and by prominent people in the Queensland soccer community."
Taking their place in Pool A was Perth's Under-16 squad who missed out on a place in the semi-finals by just a single point. The got off to a flying start by defeating Merrimac 3-1 which was followed the following morning by a 6-1 thumping of Ipswich Saints. Their chances of a play-off berth suffered a setback when defeated 0-4 by Mudgeeraba, and the final day 2-2 draw with Eastern Suburbs brought their campaign to a close. The Under-16 squad is Rick Arias, Luke Colli, Peter Ghilrducci, Edward Houldcroft, Richard Johnson, Nicolas Tatasciore, Peter Torzsok, Leigh Thorburn, Dusan Varkasevic, Michael Vilentini, Matthew Webb, Alexander Webster, Sebastian Woloszyn and Oliver Woodcock.
The Perth Under-15's made it all the way to the age group final where they were defeated 0-3 by Rochedale Rovers. Perth thrashed Mudgeeraba 8-0 in their opening game and the next day were 3-1 too strong for Gold Coast Knights. A 2-1 win over New Zealand outfit Ferrymead Bays was next before ending the group phase by drawing 2-2 with Rochedale Rovers Force. The side overturned a two-goal half-time deficit in the semi-finals to defeat Mt Gravatt 5-3. The Under-15 squad is Michael Black, Cameron Ellis, Michael Gatzanis, Shota Hitomi, Steven Kane, Damian Marjanovic, Joshua Marocchi, Aaron Mayo, Dejan Mocevic, Jamie Monastra, Travis Page, Josip Vuletich, Paul Sawyer and Jason Saldaris.
The Under-14's also made it through to their age group decider where they were defeated 3-4 in a penalty shoot-out by Mt Gravatt Hawks. A 0-0 draw with Brisbane Wolves started their campaign which kicked up a gear with a 4-3 win over Ace S.C. Good wins over Merrimac (9-1) and Q Royale (2-0) saw them into the semi-finals. A thumping drive from 20-metres by Michael Italiano earned the Under-14's a 2-1 win of the Welsh national team and booked their place in the Final. The Under-14 squad consists of Christian Biagioni, Mark Birighitti, Felix Burrows, Alex Caniglia, James Davies, Callum Fransz, Michael Italiano, Blake Kelly, Anes Kuburic, Luka Marjanovic, Adam McLeod, Alex Novatsis, Chris Quinn, David Screigh and Paul Rechichi.
The on-field contributions of Mark Birighitti, Blake Kelly and Luca Marjanovic earned the trio selection in the Under-14 All-Stars squad which played the Welsh national side in an exhibition match. The All-Stars, under the captaincy of Birighitti, defeated the highly rated Welsh side 2-1 in front of a packed house at Carrara Stadium.
The highest scorers of Perth's six teams were the Under-13's who finished as runner-up in Pool B. The Under-13 squad thrashed SCCSA Cheetahs 80 in their opening game only to go down 2-3 to eventual group winner Loganholme Lightning the next day. New Zealand side Fencibles United provided little resistance as Perth strolled to a 10-0 win which was followed by resounding wins against Mudgeeraba (6-0) and Caloundra S P United (7-3). The Under-13's are Denis Botvenev, Joseph Brogan, Mark Connell, Oliver Cox, James Marocchi, Luka Njegich, Riccardo Papas, Joshua Pereira, Max Pope, Curtis Prior, Robert Rixer, Michael Salsano and Milan Vulin.
Third was the final placing for the Perth Under-12's. A 1-2 loss to Brisbane City, who would win the group on goal difference, kicked off the teams' campaign. After that Perth hit top gear with convincing wins over AC United (5-1), Capalaba Academy (2-1) and Ipswich Saints (8-1) to qualify for the play-offs as Pool B runner-up. A hat-trick by Dylan Thomas wasn't enough in the semi-finals which saw Perth go down 3-6 to Queensland side Rochedale Rovers. The Under-12 squad is Fabio Castro, Marc De Francesh, Mason De Leo, Matthew Izzo, Aleksander Jovic, John Malkovic, Emmanuel Mansaray, Kelcey Pedri, Dan Raso, Nic Raso, Massimo Salomone, Sasha Tascone, Dylan Tombides, Joshua Wilkins and Matthew Zaunmayr.
The Under-11's ended what was a very tight Pool A in third place. They started with a 1-3 loss to Mudgeeraba before drawing 2-2 with SCCSA Lions who topped the group stage table. Another 2-2 draw, this time with Tassie All-Stars, was followed by a 3-2 defeat of Northern Stars. The Under-11's completed the tournament by thumping Rochedale Rovers 5-1. Making up the squad are Jordan Barbas, Jordan Bucculo, Gabriele Colli, Matthew Davies, Jack Eddy, Giuliano Hutton, Gene Magri, Michael Mesiti, Aleksandar Miladinovic, Daniel Petrovski, Jeremy Ryan, Marco Santalucia, Callum Thurston, Connor Thurston and Slobodan Vulin.
OLDHAM BLOWS FOR FULL-TIME (by Peter Simcox)
The career of local referee Wayne Oldham came to a close on Saturday afternoon when he signalled the end of the Premier League clash between Inglewood United and Swan I.C. The respected 49-year old hung up his whistle and made the decision to step down from the Premier League after fifteen years in the game. "I started reffing in 1990 and believe it's time to give the young guys the opportunity, it will give me more time in the garden," he said. "I'll for the time being continue to referee amateur games on a Sunday."
Of the hundreds of games Oldham has officiated over the years there are many highlights. And one that stands out most in his mind was the 2001 Night Series final between Perth S.C. and Floreat Athena at Litis Stadium. "It was great game of football in front of a big crowd with Perth winning 2-1," he commented. Oldham has met a large number of players during his time in the middle, and when asked to name the best he's seen there's not a moments hesitation, "Andy Wright - he was a complete footballer, a gentleman and a great ambassador for the of the game."
There have been numerous changes to the game and the way it's played during Oldham's fifteen years with the whistle. When asked if there was anything about the modern game that he disliked he was again quick to respond. "Players who get fouled and then insist that I caution the other player - that really gets to me," he said. Oldham also offered up a bit of advice for young up and coming referee's, "Learn to understand the temperature of the game and try and add value to the fixture each time you referee."
GOLDEN BOOT FITS ONOFORO
David Onoforo has claimed the Premier League's leading goalscorer award by the narrowest of margins from Perth S.C. teammate Andreas Oliveira. Onoforo, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Sport, claimed his first Golden Boot by netting fifteen times in his last eleven outings to end the season with twenty-three goals. That tally was one more than Oliveira who sat atop the goalscorer table at the start of October. Between Onoforo and Oliviera accounted for forty-five of the seventy-two goals scored by Perth in their championship winning season.
Fifteen goals has Stuart Montgomery (Western Knights) and Branimir Mikulic (Floreat Athena) a distant third with lively Sorrento attacker Todd Harnwell close behind with fourteen goals. Eight goals in the Knights last three games took Barry Wood to twelve goals, one ahead of Simon Harland (Sorrento) and teenager John Thornley (Knights). Jared Love (Sorrento) and Kevin Correia (Fremantle City) completed the winter with ten goals apiece, and just one adrift of them was Eugene Singeorzan (Floreat) and Bobby Klenkoski (Bayswater City).
The honour of the First Division's leading goalscorer went to Steve Suttie with a tally of twenty-four goals. Suttie becomes the second successive South West Phoenix player to win the award after David Rodgers victory last year. Twenty goals took and Rydeen Botha (Bassendean Caledonian) to the runner-up position just ahead of Scott Bulloch (Wanneroo City). Next with sixteen goals was Christian Paschewitz (Mandurah City) followed by David Moschilla (Balcatta) on thirteen. Ray Rose (Morley Windmills) and Glenn Hallums (Rockingham City) bagged twelve each. Adam Raines (Balcatta) and Derek Cooke (Kingsway Olympic) snared eleven goals during the winter months, one more than Gosnells City's Brian Cairney.
HARNWELL STEERS GLORY TO VICTORY
A second half goal from captain Jamie Harnwell earned Perth Glory a 1-0 victory over New Zealand Knights on a wet and blustery night in Auckland this evening. Glory started slowly and were lucky not to trail at the interval after a solid opening half performance from a Knights side which peppered the goal with shots from around the box. Glory custodian Jason Petkovic was called upon to make a great reflex save after 20 minutes from Sean Devine, and moments later an unmarked Joshua Rose crashed his shot against the bar from close-range. As half-time approached Glory almost snatched the advantage via Naum Sekulovski who was played through by Bobby Despotovski only to be thwarted in a one-on-one with Glen Moss.
Petkovic again had to be alert early in the new half to keep out a shot from Devine at the near post. But following that Glory upped their workrate and took control of proceedings. Despotovski looked to have broken the deadlock with a diagonal run which took him past his man but the striker dragged his shot just wide of the far post. Other good chances came the way of Brian Deane and Jamie Coyne before Glory went ahead on 67 minutes when Harnwell struck from 5-metres after the Knights failed to clear Coyne's deep cross. Glory went on to control the remainder of the match with the Knights offering little in reply. The margin could have been greater with substitutes Nick Ward and Damian Mori livening up the visitors' attack.
CONFIDENT UNDER-16'S HEAD TO NATIONALS (by Peter Simcox)
For the third year running Peter Bliss will lead the State Under-16's into the National Talent IdentificationChampionships which commence this weekend. Bliss, who coached the Under-16's to a bronze medal in 2003 and silver last year, is optimistic of his side's chances in Sydney. "I've picked a squad that I believe will compete with the best that Australia has to offer," said the coach. "We're pretty balanced squad, the players have been selected picked on their athleticism, technique and adaptability. It is a long hard tournament so players have to be flexible and capable of playing in various positions and systems."
The success of the West Australian junior teams at the Nationals has been phenomenal in recent years. "Our squads have done very well over past couple years and I feel that is because we have a bigger pool of quality players to pick from," added Bliss. "This is due to the State programs that have been put in place over the last few years, and with the programs that Football West are developing I'm confident that WA will have a real say in the future of Australian football at all levels,including the men's international team."
Regardless of how the team performs in Sydney, Bliss hopes the players will return to Perth as better for the experience. "When our players come away from this tournament I hope they feel as though they have achieved something very special as there's a certain pride which comes with representing your State," he commented. "They should have enjoyed the opportunity to play with and against their peers, and I also hope they retain their love and passion for the world game in their fast approaching adult life."
Sorrento's Scott Neville is just one of the youth squad who can't wait for the national to kick-off. "I'm really looking forward to the nationals as it will be a good experience for me," said the young attacker. "The squad is looking good and we're hoping to give a good account of ourselves in Sydney." Neville has performed well this season for Sorrento's Under-18 team and will be part of the Gulls side which meets Swan I.C. in the final of the association Cup early next month.
Selection in the Under-16 squad was great news for Fremantle City defender Ryan Pearson who was unavailable for last year's tournament. "I missed out on last season due to injury, so I'm really looking forward to it this season and hopefully do my best for the team," Pearson said. "Peter has played me in a number of positions in the lead-up games and the team is looking good, all the boys are ready for the tournament because to play for your state is a great honour."
The 2005 West Australian Under-16 squad is Matt Johnson (Armadale), Aaron Dos Santos, Bobby Golub, Cameron Hayes (Cockburn City), Ryan Pearson (Fremantle City), John Dimarco (Inglewood United), Phillip Arnold, Anthony Cochrane, Jason Trpevski (E.C.U. Joondalup), Scott Neville, Nicholas Trajkoski, Cameron Yorke (Sorrento), Paddy Quinn (South West Phoenix), Rick Filocarno, Damian Houston (Stirling Lions) and Jovo Pavlovic (Swan I.C.). The team officials are Peter Bliss (coach), Steve Coppack (manager) and Chris Hutchinson (trainer).
CHANCE FOR WA YOUNGSTERS TO SHINE (by Peter Simcox)
Western Australia will field two teams in the Under-15 category of the National Talent Identification Championships next week. The Northern Territory's decision to withdraw their side from the tournament opened the door for Football West to send a second side to Sydney. The trip east will be first time Paul Wozny has coached at the nationals, and it's an opportunity he's determined to make the most of. "I'm grateful to Football West for giving me the opportunity to coach the States elite players," said Paul Wozny, coach of the Under-15 Gold squad. "It's always great to compete at the highest level, at the nationals the best players from across Australia will be there and it's a chance for our boys to shine."
Wozny travelled to the national last year as manager of the Under-15's so is well aware of what's required for his squad to be a force. "The boys can each play in a number of positions and for me the starting eleven will be very hard to pick," he said. And while many are tipped either a New South Wales or Victorian winner, Wozny is confident WA can match the so-called big boys. "I'm a great believer of playing our own game and not to worry about the opposition. It's how you look after the ball, it doesn't worry me who we play because if we play to our strengths it means they will have to worry about us."
And a strong performance at the nationals could put players in the frame for selection. "I want this to be a learning curve for the players and I believe all they all know this is the opportunity of a lifetime," commented Wozny. "This is a chance for the boys to catch the eye of national team selectors against the best player of their age in the country. If they raise their game and play like I know they can, I believe their will be a number of our squad identified as potential national team players of the future which will be great for WA."
Captaining the Under-15 Gold squad is E.C.U. Joondalup's Howard Fondyke. "I can't wait for the tournament, it will be great to play against the best players in the country in our age group," Fondyke said. It's been a good season for the Joondalup youngster who has featured regularly for his club's Under-18 team. "We finished third in the League and I was given the opportunity to play a few games in the Under-21 side this season. It was great to pit my wits with the older guys and that's something that can only make me stronger as a player."
Another player excited at the prospect of playing for his State in Sydney is Michael De Souza. "I'm looking forward to the tournament, in fact I can't wait," he said. "It's a great honour to represent your state and I'm hoping to do my best. The team has played well in the warm-up games so I hope we can put in a good showing in Sydney." De Souza play in midfield for Fremantle City's Under-18 side and is the cousin of State youth representative and Fremantle first teamer Tim De Souza.
The Under-15 Gold squad consists of Michael De Souza, Mason Levitt, Callum Roberts, Matthew Smerilli, Craig Thompson, Lorenzo Tombasco (Fremantle City), Chris Harlond, Alex Sutton (Inglewood United), Howard Fondyke, Jason Mirco, Chris Porter (E.C.U. Joondalup), Simon Wilson (Perth S.C.), Dean Evans, Matthew Italiano, John Malsley and Dannie Richman (Stirling Lions). Travelling with the side are Paul Wozny (coach), Marin Vlasich (manager) and Brendan O'Dea (trainer).
Selected for the Under-15 Black squad are Kynon Melling (Armadale), Lewis Costley (Forrestfield United), Antoni Buccini, Sean Dash, Dane McBride, Josh Wade (Fremantle City), Sadmir Jakupovic (Inglewood United), Alex Cocking, Julian Digiorgio, Nicholas Scioli (Perth S.C.), Trent Pagnozzi, Tristian Scott (E.C.U. Joondalup), Ramon Amoganda, Keith Clevenger, Patrick Le (Stirling Lions) and Damien Foracre (club unknown). The team officials are Glen Leckenby (coach), Andy Ross (manager) and Brendan O'Dea (trainer).
JOEYS MAKE EARLY EXIT
Australia have bowed out of the FIFA Under-17 World Championship at the group phase. A late goal conceded to reigning European champion Turkey in their opening match condemned the Joeys to a 0-1 loss, and a few days later they crashed out of the tournament after going down 0-3 loss to Mexico. However, Australia ended their campaign on a positive note by beating Uruguay 2-1 in their final group fixture today. Goalkeeper Aleksander Vrteski is Western Australia’s sole representative at the tournament.
The Joeys went down 0-1 in their opening match of the tournament to Turkey on Friday. Australia settled well but it was Turkey who looked the more likely to score. Tevfik Kose created problems for the Australian defence on a number of occasions, however, Vrteski remained firm when tested. Robbie Kruse had a shot turned wide early in the second half for the Joey’s and Deniz Yilmaz was denied by a reflex save from Vrteski on 71 minutes. The deciding goal arrived with six minute remaining when Nuri Sahi’s low strike from the edge of the 18-yard box had too much power for the ‘keeper. Vrteski played a full game.
A 0-3 loss to Mexico three days later signalled Australia’s early return home. The South American nation dominated the first half for lengthy periods and were two goals to the good by the interval thanks to strikes from Omar Esparza and Carlos Vela. The Joey’s came into the game more in the second half with their best chance seeing Nathan Burns’ shot blocked and with the follow-up Kruse shot high. The sealer arrived eleven minutes from full-time when Vela bagged his second of the afternoon. Vrteski again saw out the full 90 minutes between the posts.
Australia's tournament closed out with a 2-1 win over Uruguay. The Joeys had the better of the first half and were duly rewarded for their enterprise with Nathan Burns slotting home from 20-metres. Vrteski was a virtual spectator for much of the half before he was beaten by Elias Figueroa after 38 minutes. Leigh Broxham and Burns went close for Australia in the second half while for Uruguay Enzo Scorza struck the crossbar. With seven minutes to play David D'Apuzzo fired in a cross from the left which Robbie Kruse put away at the near post. Vrteski completed his third full game for Australia.
The Australian squad for the 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championship is Kaz Patafta (Australian Institute of Sport), Brendan Maroney (Blacktown City), Scott Jamieson (Bolton Wanderers), Nathan Burns, Jason Trifiro (Marconi Stallions), David D’Apuzzo, Daniel Ireland, Daniel Miller (NSW Institute of Sport), Blake Charity, Robbie Kruse, Shanon Lancini, David Williams (Queensland Academy of Sport), Joel Allwright, Matthew Mullen (SA Sports Institute), Alex Vrteski (Stirling Lions), Wade Oostendorp (Sydney FC), Leigh Broxham, Jamie Cumming, Matthew Park and Matthew Spiranovic (Victorian Institute of Sport). Local product Rostyn Griffiths, currently with English side Blackburn Rovers, was initially selected for the squad but withdrew after breaking his leg in a training match days before the tournament.
GLORY HEAD OFF ON MARATHON JOURNEY
Perth Glory will embark on the longest domestic football road trip in the world when they take on a seesawing New Zealand Knights outfit in the A-League on Thursday night. The match will see Glory hoping to make amends for their patchy performance in the 1-2 home loss to Adelaide United last weekend by snatching all three points from the Knights. Glory will fancy their chances following impressive results in New Zealand in the previous national competition. And although the Knights are coming off a 0-4 thrashing from Newcastle Jets, coach Steve McMahon isn't about to under-estimate his opponent. "Beware of the wounded animal," he said of the Knights. "They've got a point to prove and that's what they'll be doing, especially at home, so it will be difficult for us."
INVITATIONS CALLED FOR NATIONAL TOURNAMENT
The cream of Western Australia's amateur talent will pit skills against teams from around the nation in the 2005 Vodafone Five-a-side Shield. Entries are now open for the tournament which is fast establishing itself as the country's leading amateur five-a-side competition. This year's winner will travel to England next March for the ultimate Manchester United experience which includes tickets to see Manchester United play Newcastle United at Old Trafford, as well as the opportunity to meet the players, attend a team training session and participate in a soccer skills school.
"Manchester United is arguably one of the best football teams in the world - and an aspirational brand in its own right," said Pat Cunningham, Vodafone's sponsorship manager. "We use our powerful global football association to fully support amateur soccer from a grass roots level in Australia - it's something that we're very proud of. We've proved before that there's no better way to foster soccer in Australia than with a tournament like the Vodafone Shield. We're excited to give Australian amateur soccer players the chance to get up close and personal with world stars from Manchester United and we encourage players to register now for their chance to be part of such a brilliant event."
Vodafone have added further interest to the competition by offering teams who don't win their first round match a chance to play in the all-new Vodafone Plate Competition. Teams now get the chance to play at least two matches with the Plate winners in each state receiving exclusive Vodafone merchandise prize packs. Amateur players aged eighteen and over can enter their team in the Vodafone Shield by logging onto www.5-a-side.com.au. Entries to compete in the tournament close at 5.00pm on 25th September with the Perth round of qualifiers being played at Dorrien Gardens on 29th October. The winning team will be flown to Sydney for the grand final on 12 November to battle it out with other state finalists.
BARNET TRIALS FOR WILSON
Former Sorrento youth team player Wayne 'Fred' Wilson has been offered trials with Barnet. Wilson spent the past couple of years in Charlton Athletic's youth system where he played regularly in midfield and made a handful of appearances for their Reserve team. However, the creative youngster was released come the end of last season.
MORI RE-SIGNS FOR GLORY
Perth Glory has turned to one of its former stars in Damien Mori to help them out of their form slump. The A-League club have signed the 34-year old striker on a short-term deal from South Australian Premier League club Adelaide City. Some sectors of Glory's supporter base are openly questioning the decision to register Mori, the all-time highest goalscorer in the old national competition, as cover for injured defender David Tarka.
YOUNG LIONS EARN STATE HONOURS
Stirling Lions continue to reap the rewards of their youth development program with the club providing no less than nine players for the State teams competing at the National Talent Identification Championship in Sydney next week. The youngsters will square off with some of Australia's best young talent and have the opportunity of winning a scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport. The nine Lions selected for State honours are Ramon Amorganda, Keith Clevenger, Dean Evans, Matthew Italiano, Patrick Le, Dannie Richman, John Wormsley, Ricky Filicamo and Damien Houston.
The majority of these teenagers played a big part in taking the Stirling Lions youth team from from last place in 2004 to a respectable fourth position this year which saw them defeat eventual champion Cockburn City and matched it with sides of the calibre of Perth S.C. and E.C.U. Joondalup. "Much of the success of the youngsters can be attributed to the fantastic Stirling Kings skills philosophy taught to the boys in their early years, and the follow through coaching from Joe Pugliese, Michael Garcia and Michael Lyons," said Lions president Don Evans. "The boys will certainly help shape the future of the Stirling first team as many have already taken the step up to the reserves without flinching at the task."
Rock solid defending was at the heart of the Lions resurgence with team captain Houston underpinning and partnered at the back by Evans and Amorganda to form one of the meanest in the competition. Midfield skills and creativity are what the selectors saw when they picked Italiano, Richman and Filicamo with the latter two providing explosive speed on the ball. Wormsley, Le and Clevenger were rewarded for their outstanding contributions to the Kings Under-15's by being called up to the State team.
WOMEN'S WRAP (East Fremantle vs Balcatta courtesy Balcatta)
Northern Redbacks have won their third successive women's Premier League title. The northern suburbs outfit lost just one of eighteen games to end the winter fourteen points clear of runner-up Balcatta. The Redbacks completed their season with a 4-2 defeat of Queens Park at Rickman Delawney Reserve this afternoon. It didn't take long for the home team to get into stride as Amanda Tana, Stephanie Grant and Micky Lawton each found the in the opening half. Carys Hawkins put the result beyond shortly after the re-start before L.Easton struck twice for Queens Park as the clock ticked down.
Balcatta leapfrogged over Queens Park and into second place on the final standings by beating East Fremantle 2-0 at Gilbert Fraser Reserve. This was always going to be a difficult game for Balcatta who were without the services of Kylie Chatto, Lindsay Jobling (both injured), Laura Turnball (suspended) and Katy Coghlan (overseas). However, with minutes of kick-off the visitors had claimed the advantage with Brid Dawson tapping the ball into the back of the net. Although Balcatta carved out numerous opportunities to extend their lead it wasn;t until midway through the second half that substitute Gemma De Lello secured maximum points.
Kingsley thrashed Noranda 11-0 in their final round meeting at Chicester Park. Kingsley started at full pace with A.Williams netting twice and L.Higgins once inside twenty minutes. M.Turner added herself to the scoresheet before J.Oliver, and Higgins took the difference to six goals. In the 61st minute Sally Sanigar found the target, and two goals in as many minutes from Turner completed her hat-trick. Late strikes from K.Player and Williams, her third of the afternoon, completed the route.
Although there's still one round of fixtures to be played, Mandurah City have wrapped up the First Division title. Mandurah thumped Murdoch University 5-0 at Bortolo Park today to remain eleven points clear at the top of the table. Second placed Beckenham Angels scored a 1-0 away win over Swan I.C., while University of WA were held to a 1-1 draw by Lynwood Colts. Gosnells City were to strong for Rockingham City by 6-2 at Walter Padbury Reserve. Balga crashed 0-4 at home to Subiaco United, and Bassendean Caledonian downed Northern Redbacks 3-1.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND TWENTY-TWO (Perth S.C. vs Sorrento by Kerry Slater; Stirling Lions vs Western Knights by Elliott Leonard; Swan I.C. vs Inglewood United by Peter Simcox; Cockburn City vs Armadale by Lennie Bavich; E.C.U. Joondalup vs Bayswater City courtesy Bayswater City)
Perth S.C. clinched their sixteenth top flight crown by thrashing Sorrento 6-0 in front of a big crowd at Dorrien Gardens. The afternoon could not have started much better for the Blues who went ahead after just 3 minutes when Jeff Bright sent a delightful cross into the dangerzone where David Onforo tucked the ball past Neil Young. Sorrento can count themselves unlucky not to have equaliser as Dave McGeown's header struck the crossbar, and Simon Harland's goalbound effort was cleared off the line following a goalmouth scramble. Clever work by Onoforo and Antonio Naglieri in the 38th minute produced Perth's second goal for Andreas Oliveira who got in behind the visiting defence to fire past Young. With Daniel Cain limping off with an ankle injury just before half-time the likelihood of a Sorrento comeback seemed remote. Even so, the Gulls enjoyed the better of possession upon the re-start but could not make the most of their chances as Jared Love, Jake Harman and Todd Harnwell all failed to hit the target. The difference became three goals in the 62nd minute when Onoforo latched onto a long ball from Gareth Deeg which he then laid off to Oliveira who bagged his second of the afternoon. Sorrento refused to go into damage limitation as David McGeown fired over from the edge of the 18-yard box. However, the game was soon over as a contest with Onoforo scoring a brilliant volley following a cross from the right. Onoforo completed his hat-trick in the 79th minute by scrambling the ball over the line after Young was only able to tip a vicious in-swinging corner against the bar. A minute later Sorrento had McGeown sent off for a second bookable offence. Defender Michael Icanovski put the final nail in Sorrento's coffin when he scrambled the ball home with 87 minutes played. Shortly before the final whistle Danny Hill was also issued his marching orders for a second yellow card to complete a truly miserable day for Sorrento.
Western Knights completed their end of season goal deluge with a convincing 7-2 triumph over Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. It was the final outings for veteran pair Alex Christie and Rob Milevski, two of the local scenes most respected players, who bowed out of the game by scoring for their respective teams. The Knights got off to a flying start as Daniel Trim made the most of a one-on-one with teenage goalkeeper Mark Bentley. A few minutes later the gap was increased by Barry Wood who sent a curling shot past the 'keeper from just outside the 18-yard area. Stirling hit back on 20 minutes when Leo Harman's corner was helped on by Peter Koidis and Aaron McKee knocked the ball in at the back post. Milevski had a chance to equalise in the 28th minute when he found himself through with only Tommi Tomich to beat but his effort was just wide of the post. The closing stages of the half were dominated by the visiting side who piled on another three goals. A fantastic chip from 25-metres by Wood took the difference back to two goals before the striker completed his hat-trick by going past three defenders and slotting in from 14-metres. Claus Nielsen netted the Knights fifth with a powerful header following Scott Devine's cross from the right flank. The second half was just two minutes old when John Thornley made it 6-1 after collecting the ball wide on the left and firing past Bentley. A 70th minute handball infringement by Stefan Stoleski resulted in a Knights penalty which Christie converted by sending the 'keeper the wrong way. The same was to occur for Milevski when, with two minutes remaining, he took possession of a Harman cross before pushing the ball past Tomich while fending off David Annall.
Inglewood United fielded an experimental side for their 3-1 win over Swan I.C. at the Kiev Sport Ground. It was the end of an era for Swan's veteran striker Paul Lincoln who told teammates prior to kick off that this would be the last game of his sixteen-year career. The visitors began brightly by going ahead after only 4 minutes after a mix-up between Oliver Taseski and Daniel Stoitis allowed Jovo Pavlovic's header from long distance to roll into an unguarded net. The day got worse for Inglewood when a hamstring injury forced attack-minded Andre Sarpe from the field a few minutes later. Darren Broxton rifled a free-kick just over the crossbar as Inglewood began to get into rhythm, while at the other end Lincoln threaded a pass to Damien Catalano who's shot was inches past the post. As the half came to a close the home side went close to equalising through Kevin Griffiths and Jason Colli whose shots were kept out by Cory Hugo, while a Michael Baczynski flashed narrowly high. Inglewood's persistence was rewarded five minutes after the interval when Shaun Kilkelly's pass found Colli who beat his marker and sent a low shot past the 'keeper. Hugo denied Baczynski by tipping his shot over the top, then Swan threatened to break through via Catalano by he was thwarted by the quick-thinking of Taseski. The pendulum swung in Inglewood's favour after 69 minutes as Hugo failed to hold on to a free-kick from Broxton and Griffiths react sharply to net from close-range. The game was effectively ended four minutes later when Kilkelly's shot came back off the crossbar and Colli was in the right place to put away the rebound. In the final minute Swan were awarded a penalty which Lincoln unfortunately pushed of the target.
Cockburn City ended what has been a disappointing second half to their season by taking maximum points over Armadale by 2-1 at Dalmatinac Park. With injury forcing Daniel Palermo, Peter Kuzet and Liam Lilly from the line-up Cockburn's defence took on a look new with Shane McNally slotting in a left back and Andrew Kerry handed his senior debut alongside Dusan Macura and Dean Wallace. Armadale's focus on attack caused more than a few nervous moments for a the home side whose backline were slow to settle. With 15 minutes played the Reds broke through as Christian Alvarez streamed down the right wing to deliver a cross into the area which was powerfully headed in by Ben Howe. The margin was very nearly doubled four minutes latter by Scott Blackmore who unleashed a fierce shot from 25-metres which flashed wide. Cockburn weren't to be outdone and having got into gear levelled the game through Anthony Perriera who tapped in following Marko Aleksic's run into attack. The games deciding goal arrived seventeen minutes into the second half when Perriera gained possession of a long ball from the back and, leaving a trail of defenders in hot pursuit, drew goalkeeper Nick Stone off his line before placing his shot in the back of the net. With plenty of support from the travelling contingent, Armadale attacked right up until the final whistle but were unable to conjure up a second goal to earn themselves a share of the points.
Bayswater City ended their season by returning from the northern suburbs with maximum points courtesy of a 4-2 scoreline against E.C.U. Joondalup. With one eye on next season, Bayswater handed 16-year old Geoff Mason his senior debut while Oliver Langdale, also 16, made his second start for the side. Joondalup attacked early on but were unable to penetrate the visiting defence which stood firm with Bobsom Koroma, on loan from Fremantle City, between the posts. The opening goal arrived on 20 minutes via Bobby Klenkoski who despatched a free-kick from 25-metres past the Joondalup 'keeper and into the top corner. A great diagonal pass from Longdale ten minutes later picked out Klenkoski who in one swift movement brought the ball under control before thundering it past the 'keeper for a second time. Bayswater had the ball in the net for a third time just before the break but this time Mason's effort was disallowed for a contentious offside call. Damir Kuduzovic was causing all sorts of problems down the right and in the 62nd minute he played a fantastic cross in behind the defence which invited Klenkoski to complete his hat-trick from 8-metres. Mason looked to have added the visitors fourth following an excellent exchange through midfield but again the youngster's effort was ruled out for offside. Sloppy defending at a corner resulted in Joondalup clawing a goal back through Jamie Kuzmanovic at the back post. Garrin Collins was fortunate to stay on the park after a shocking lunging challenge on substitute 'keeper Francis Allen which only drew a booking from referee Hugh Best. Klenkoski made the game safe by scoring his fourth of the afternoon after going past Kuzmanovic and sliding the ball under the on-coming 'keeper. Joondalup scored a late consolation when Stuart Banks embarked on a mazy run before sending his shot beyond the reach of Allen.
Floreat Athena closed out the season in comfortable style by defeating First Division bound Fremantle City 2-1 at Litis Stadium. The hosts took the opportunity to give starting berths to teenagers Alex Dunn and Paul Vatistas while on the bench were fellow youngsters Phil Clarke, Nik Studer, Peter Sheahan and Simon Barber. It was a positive start by both sides who carved out a number of half chances without ever really putting the respective goalkeepers put to the test. The only goal of the first half arrived on 29 minutes when goal ace Branimir Mikulic collected a cross from Costa Socratous and punished his former club by converting from close-range. Fremantle looked dangerous leading into the break as Jason Barrera shot disappointingly wide from 5-metres and Roberto Colalillo fired straight at the Dunn after beating the offside trap. Mikulic bagged his second of the afternoon in the 50th minute when he was sent clear of the defence and with only Phil Straker to beat the big striker made no mistake. With nothing left to lose Fremantle now threw caution to the wind in an attempt to get themselves back in the game. Chances to reduce the gap came the way of Tyrone Fenwick, Peter Vukmirovic and Jason Godfrey but all were thwarted by a stubborn defending. Fremantle eventually found a way through with twenty-two minutes to play when Barrera cleverly headed over the on-coming Dunn. Jamie Trandos squandered a great opportunity to put the result beyond doubt by sending a late penalty kick wide of the target.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND TWENTY-TWO (South West Phoenix vs Dianella White Eagles courtesy South West Phoenix; Ashfield vs Queens Park courtesy Ashfield; Gosnells City vs Kingsway Olympic courtesy Gosnells City)
Wanneroo City suffered their first loss of their championship winning season on the final weekend of the campaign by going down 1-2 to Rockingham City at Kingsway Sporting Complex. Rockingham started full of life and forced an early corner which was cleared only as far as Rob Crerar who drilled the ball past the goalkeeper from just outside the 18-yard box. Stung into action, the home side hit back with a series of promising raids but could find no way past a well-drilled defence. Although reduced to ten men with the dismissal of Danny Turner after 18 minutes, Rockingham worked hard to control the middle of the park and maintain their slender lead at the break. Early in the second half the visitors doubled their advantage when Glenn Hallums' cut back found Paul Colkin who bundled the ball over the line. Wanneroo gained a dubious penalty which crashed into the upright via Scott Bulloch, but in the 65th minute there was better luck for Ben Yates who powered his header past 'keeper. Ten minutes later Rockingham went down to nine players when Colkin was issued his marching orders, but the visiting team held firm over the remaining time to register a deserved victory.
Dianella White Eagles scored a 2-1 away win over South West Phoenix with the deciding goal coming with virtually the last touch of the season. The opening half was typical end of season affair with a lot of huffing and puffing from both teams but neither able to create a great deal in the way of chances on goal. The highlight of the period was the contest between Trent Hathaway and Stefan Smilavic which was worth the price of admission alone. Dianella came out after the break firing on all cylinders to take the lead on 58 minutes when Zelkjo Savic's shot from 20-metres found the net courtesy of a fortuitous bounce. This sparked Phoenix into life with Greg Hayes and Gary Mayers going close to equalising. However, it wasn't until the 84th minute when Andrew Cowley's well weighted through ball allowed Steve Suttie to run through and beat the 'keeper to level the game. At this point it appeared the hosts had done enough to get the draw, but there was to be one last twist as D.Tesic was allowed a free header at the back post to score the winner. Phoenix ended the season in fourth place and, with a couple of structural changes during the off-season, will be confident of a top two position next season.
Requiring a win in order to avoid relegation, Ashfield hammered a luckless Queens Park line-up 7-0 at Ashfield Reserve. Well aware that anything less that victory could leave them in the drop zone Ashfield went on the offensive from early only to have the goalkeeper continually turn away their shots. Muhamad Komaderic eventually got the break through the hosts were after on 9 minutes by putting away an inch-perfect cross from Kevin Munro. Ashfield forced the pace after the break to take a firm control of proceedings. Paddy O'Boyle doubled the hosts advantage and just two minutes later headed in his second of the afternoon. Munro then got in on the act with a simple tap-in after the 'keeper parried a goalbound header from Komaderic. Having beaten two opponents Davey Gordan slotted past the 'keeper for Ashfield's fifth goal. With fifteen minutes remaining O'Boyle completed his hat-trick by latching on to Ben Harris' cross, and substitute Wayne Culverwell completed the route with a delicate chip. The final margin would have been much greater if not for the efforts of the Queens Park 'keeper who thwarted Komaderic on several occasions as well as blocking a couple of efforts from Tom Gaca.
It was a day of heartbreak for Kingsway Olympic who conceded a late goal to draw 4-4 with Gosnells City at Walter Padbury Reserve. The result left Kingsway in thirteenth place and relegated from the semi-professional ranks. A mix-up between Gosnells goalkeeper Matt Lee and defender Ian Ingham presented Hill Regan with a simple tap in for the visitors opening goal on 10 minutes. Shortly after Gosnells failed to sufficiently deal with a corner which Scott Evans sent past the 'keeper to double the difference. Gosnells pushed hard to get on the scoresheet and were finally rewarded as Brian Cairney netted following some neat passing through midfield. The scores were level early in the second half when Cairney's speculative long-range shot bobbled awkwardly in front of the Kingsway 'keeper and squirmed between his legs. From here the game seesawed, Derek Cooke smashed in Kingsway's third goal after some poor defending before Tony Lang equalised with a powerful header. With seven minutes to go more sloppy defensive work allowed Liam Moorhouse to slip his shot past the 'keeper and restore Kingsway's lead. But the drama was far from over with Lang poking home from close-range following a corner shortly before the final whistle.
Mandurah City snatch second place by coming from behind to defeat Balcatta 3-1 at Peelwood Parade. It took the visitors only 18 minutes to open their account with David Moschilla the scorer. Mandurah hit top gear after the interval as Christian Paschewictz levelling the game ten minutes after the re-start. Jake Loreto put the hosts ahead in the 72nd minute with the sealer arriving four minutes from full-time via Gary Attrill. Forrestfield United crashed 3-6 to Bassendean Caledonian in their final game of the season at Hartfield Park. The teams went in at the break on level terms courtesy of goals from Rydeen Botha and S.Roberts. The game sparked to life in the second half with Roberts and Glenn Noblet giving Forrestfield a two goal buffer. But Bassendean were far from done and goals in the final twelve minutes from Jason Van Rooy, Scott Cooper (2), Paul Hickey and Botha saw them take the points. Canning City's final outings of 2005 produced a scoreless draw with Stirling Suns.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
The much-hyped finale to the Premier League season turned out to be a fizzer with Perth S.C. claiming silverware by thumping Sorrento 6-0. David Onoforo bagged a hat-trick, Andres Oliveira scored twice and Michael Icanovski once to earn Perth their sixteenth regular season crown. Western Knights ended the winter in third place courtesy of an emphatic 7-2 defeat of Stirling Lions.
Fremantle City's will spend next season in the First Division after going down 1-2 away at Floreat Athena. Inglewood United registered a 3-1 defeat of Swan I.C., while Bobby Klenkoski netted all four goals in Bayswater City's 4-2 away win over E.C.U. Joondalup. Cockburn City ended a disappointing second half to their season with a 2-1 home win over Armadale.
First Division champion Wanneroo City lost for the first time when defeated 1-2 on home soil by Rockingham City. Mandurah City beat Balcatta 3-1 to sneak into second place. Dianella White Eagles defeated South West Phoenix 3-1, and Bassendean Caledonian triumphed 6-3 at Forrestfield United. Kingsway Olympic, Stirling Suns and Queens Park will all be relegated. Kingsway drew 4-4 with Gosnells City, the Suns drew 0-0 with Canning City, while Queens Park were thrashed 0-7 by Ashfield.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW (by Peter Simcox)
All roads lead to Dorrien Gardens on Saturday as the climax of the Football West Premier eague, has its final showdown, with Perth S.C. hosting Sorrento a game where the winner takes all. Perth has the advantage knowing a draw would be sufficient as they lead the Gulls on goal difference, but it should be a great game kick off 3pm. Perth had requested the game be switched to Friday evening, but Sorrento players had other commitments and this was knocked back. The relegation issue is almost over too, with Fremantle needed a great deal of luck on the final day to avoid the drop. Fremantle travel to the E&D Litis Stadium to take on Floreat Athena needing to win by a big margin and hope ECU Joondalup, who host Bayswater City at the ECU Arena, slip up. In other round 22 games third place Western Knights visit Macedonia Park to take on Stirling Lions, and fourth place Inglewood United host Swan IC at the Clipsal Stadium. Armadale finish their first year back in the Premier League with a visit to Dalmatanic Park to take on Cockburn City.
In the First Division, Rockingham City are away to champions Wanneroo City, South West Phoenix take on Dianella White Eagles, Mandurah City and Balcatta will be fighting for second place when they meet each other at Peelwood Parade, while Forrestfield United complete their season at home to Bassendean Caledonian. In the bottom half of the table, Kingsway Olympic only have to beat Gosnells City to make sure their 45 years as a semi-professional club continues next season. Ashfield must beat Queens Park and hope Olympic lose if they are to avoid the bottom three. In the other game, Canning City host the Stirling Suns. Morley Windmills have the bye.
FOOTBALL WEST - ONE YEAR ON (by Peter Simcox)
With the first season of the new Football West regime heading towards it's conclusion CEO Michelle Phillips gave her thoughts on the their first season. "This is our first season of football and we are pleased with the level of competition and passion the Clubs bring to the sport. I also would like to thank the Football Family for all the hours they put in week in week out to deliver a great Football experience. As a team Football West are now looking at the improvements for next year and the long-term development of the game" Phillips added it had been a learning curve for Football West, "We have learnt lessons along the way and the best way forward is to make sure you put into these lessons into practice. Saying that I am a big believer that there is always room for improvement! We have a competition review under way, which has provided good feedback from Clubs to allow us to add value next year. The Cup formats are particularly under review. We have been very upfront with Clubs that this is our first year and it is a transitional year. We aim to improve Football in WA year after year. Next year we would particularly like to focus on development for coaches to ensure we are adding value to the players, supporting Club Administrators through improved communications, development of referees and implementing tweaked competition structure" Mo< The local game again struggles to attract the media attention, but Michelle Phillips believes if the clubs work together with Football West it will improve, " We believe we have been successful in lifting the profile this year especially with the weekly 6PR talkback radio segment and the BGC Sports Diary in the West on a Saturday. Increasing the profile will always be one of our key objectives, not just to attract funding but also so our Clubs and players can get the recognition they deserve. We are looking forward to working with the Clubs next year to ensure we maximize our media exposure. We will be offering Clubs media training courses and help set up their local media network" The organisation has made inroads and brought on board a number of high profile sponsors, Phillips added, "The 2005 season saw all the league and competitions sponsored and strong government funding. These included 6PR, Vodafone, Midland Brick, Umbro, The Loans Café, Harvey Fresh, Western QBE, Kelme, Healthway and the Department Sport and Recreation. We are currently awaiting the announcement of the next years funding from the DSR however they have been very impressed with the Football's Family commitment not only to the sport but also to Football West as the unified body"
In finishing Michelle thanked the clubs saying, "The Board would like to thank all the Clubs for their support and understanding this year and we will only go from strength to strength from here. We are also looking forward to re-launching a bigger and better website"
SORRENTO PRIMED FOR SHOWDOWN (by Peter Simcox)
The Vodafone 6PR Football West Premier League title is on line this weekend and Sorrento go into the “Showdown” with Perth S.C. full of optimism. Sorrento coach Trevor Morgan has been impressed by the way his players have lifted this season and is looking forward to Saturday’s game. “I’ve been very pleased with our performances so far this season. We have won our last 11 games in the league, played some good football, been creating plenty of chances and I feel the players have performed superbly as we have always been under pressure to win our games and keep the title race alive” Morgan added,”We have never expected Perth to drop points and as their goal difference is superior to ours we knew we had to keep winning to take it to the last game. We have performed badly only once this season in a 3-1 defeat at Fremantle when we were beaten on the day by the better side, that aside our consistency levels have been excellent. It is a very exciting fixture for both teams and one I’m sure will attract a large interest from the WA footballing fraternity”. Morgan, who re-joined the Gulls after a stint in Singapore with Sengkang Marine is wary of the threat that Perth SC will pose for his side, but has his own ideas “We will be paying no special attention to anyone, because Perth have a number of players that are potential match winners but it will be about how we defend those situations and how we can hurt Perth when we are in possession” The Sorrento coach has been in this situation before with the league title going down to the wire, “In 1999 Joondalup beat us 2-1 in the last game of the season where a victory would have given us the title and a draw or a win and it went to Joondalup. So fingers crossed history doesn’t repeat itself”. The club have been fortunate to pick up quality imports Dave McGeown and Paul McMullan, and Morgan was quick to applaud the pair, “Dave and Paul have been outstanding for us, they bring a professionalism to the club that rubs off on the other players and their attitudes have been spot on in training and games”, Morgan also added, ”It would be wrong of me too pick any individual players out of the squad for praise because we have performed as a team with everyone doing their bit and contributing at different times when someone else could be having an off day. We have scored over 60 goals but with no scorer really getting away from the others as 3 or 4 have all chipped in with their quota. The youth policy at Sorrento is paying dividends and Morgan said it’s great when these young players are putting pressure on the first team squad for positions, Brodie Martin and Chris Smith have been excellent for us this season. Brodie has not been a regular due to the form of Glenn Thomas and Dave McGeown but when called upon has never let us down, he has also been outstanding in our reserve team and his form has not gone unnoticed as he is one of a number of younger players invited by Perth Glory to join in their training sessions. Chris got his chance and has been in on merit since then, he is quick, willing to learn can tackle and once he starts to believe in himself he is someone who will become a very good player”.
FOOTBALL MAGAZINE COMES DOWN UNDER (Courtesy of Tribal Football)
Four Four Two, the world's ultimate football magazine and the UK's biggest selling sports magazine, is set to hit the back of the net with Aussie readers as Haymarket Media launches it's first issue of the local edition on October 12th. The glossy magazine promises to deliver a line-up that includes interviews, features, news and analysis to the growing number of Aussie soccer fans. All of it written with Four Four Two's trademark combination of authority and humour. "Four Four Two is a world-class magazine for lovers of the world game living in Australia," said launch editor Paul Hansford. "The magazine will, of course, focus heavily on the A-League and Australian players, but we will also include content from around the world." It's a huge year for football in this country with the launch of the A League to record crowds, the World Cup play-offs against the South Americans in November, the FFA's move to Asia and next June's World Cup in Germany…and now you can add the launch of FourFourTwo. "Four Four Two will really offer a range and quality of content about football not previously available to the Australian football fan," Hansford added. The magazine will be working with clubs, football web sites, launch partners and state associations to make pre-launch discounted subscriptions available in the next two weeks. Four Four Two launches on October 12th and will be priced at $7.95.
UNDER 16'S COACH LOOKING FORWARD TO NATIONALS (by Peter Simcox)
The 2006 Football West under 15 and 16's squads leave for the National Talent Identification Championships in Sydney next weekend. The Under 16’s coach is Peter Bliss who has coached the last two 16’s sides to medals in the Nationals, a bronze in 2003 and silver last year, is optimistic of his side’s chances. Peter said the selection of the squad wasn’t easy. “As always I have picked a squad that will compete with the best that Australia has to offer. We are pretty balanced with just a few short comings, which we hope to cover. The players were picked on athletism, technique and adaptability. It is a long hard tournament so players have to be able to play in various positions and systems”. The squad has eight of the Premier League clubs represented this year as well as a First Division club, and WA country is also represented so things are looking up for State football. Peter is looking forward to taking on the so called bigger states, and say’s it shouldn’t worry his players. “NSW & Vic are very physical and that is due to the programs they are in, not height. The size of our players reflects nothing more than our need to compete when we have the ball and when we haven't. We will play the normal formation in Sydney as I believe Junior and Youth football should be based on 4-4-2 and that is what we coach at State level. We can and will play this system and adapt when need be, before or during games. The players have been selected on their ability to adapt in various ways including tactically” The success of the WA junior sides in the National has been phenomenal over the last couple of years, and Peter has his ideas on this. “Our Squads have done very well over past couple years and I feel that is because we have a bigger pool of quality players to pick from. This is due to the State programs that have been put in place over the last few years. With the programs that will be put in place in the near future we are confident that WA will have a real say in the future of Australian football at all levels, including the men’s International Team.” Peter hopes his players return from the Nationals better players, “When our players come away from this tournament I hope they feel as though they have achieved something very special, have been proud to represent their State had fun and have enjoyed themselves playing with and against their peers. I also hope they retain their love and passion for the world game in their fast approaching adult life” Good luck to Peter and the under 16’s squad. Full Squad; Matt Johnson (Armadale), Cameron Hayes, Bobby Golub, Aaron Dos Santos, (Cockburn City), Nicholas Trajkoski, Cameron Yorke, Scott Neville (Sorrento), Damian Houston, Rick Filocarno, (Stirling Lions), Phillip Arnold, Jason Trpevski, Anthony Cochrane (ECU Joondalup), Jovo Pavlovic (Swan IC) and John Dimarco (Inglewood United) and Paddy Quinn (South West Phoenix)
FINAL HIT OUT FOR STATE SQUADS (by Peter Simcox)
The 2006 Football West state under 15's and 16's finished their preparations for the National Talent Identification Championships with a hard fought entertaining 3-3 draw at Coker Park on Wednesday evening. Both teams were missing players with niggling injuries, but it was a game of two halves with the under 15's dominating the first half, with the 16's hitting back in the second. The 15's began brightly and took the lead after a great run and through ball from Chris Harlond played in Callum Roberts who finished past Matt Johnson. With Matt Italaino lively in midfield the 15's went close again Michael De Souza shooting inches wide. The 16's were struggling to get in the game and their best effort fell to Phillip Arnold who blazed over after good work from Paddy Quinn. It was 2-0 to the 15's just before the break, Italiano unmarked at the back post scoring past Johnson. The 16's made several changes at the break and mid way through the half were back in the game, a superb ball from Ryan Pearson played in Aaron Dos Santos who beat goalkeeper Alex Sutton. It was 2-2 moments later Arnold held of Harlond and scored with a fierce low drive. There were chances at both ends Pearson and Dos Santos for the 16's and Danny Richmond and De Souza going close for the 15's. With 3 minutes remaining the 15's regained their lead, good work on the right by Richmond, and his cross was finished well by Italiano. The 15's looked like they would cause an upset, but in the final minute the 16's levelled, again Pearson was the provider, his cross from the right found Dos Santos who finished well. Both coaches were happy with the performance, Under 15's coach Paul Wozney saying, "It was a pleasing first half the boys played some good football, but we have to learn that once you have a lead you close up shop and not let the opposition back in the game, it's happened in a couple of our lead up games. We can't afford to do that in the Sydney" Under 16's coach Peter Bliss said, "We rested a number of players in the first half and in the second I reinforced certain areas that were concerning me and the lads did very well. We are looking strong across the park and hope we can have a good tournament in Sydney"
DESPOTOVSKI BRACE DAMPENS THE ROAR (by Peter Simcox)
Perth Glory striker Bobby Despotovski rolled back the years at Members Equity Stadium, and earnt the Glory its first win in the new A- League competition with a 2-1 victory against Queensland Roar. The Glory were unchanged after last weeks 2-2 draw in Melbourne, with crowd favorite Matt Horsley having to settle for a place on the bench. The Roar made a surprise in their line up with keeper Tom Willis on the bench, despite not conceding a goal in the first two rounds, replaced by Scott Higgins. It was the visitors that started the brighter, and Alex Brosque went within inches of giving the Roar the lead. He cut inside the Glory defence on the right side of the box and unleashed a fierce shot which beat Jason Petkovic, but the post came to Glory’s rescue. The Glory defence was being tested, with Michael Baird and Brosque causing them allsorts of problems, and the Roars one touch football had the Glory chasing shadows. After the early onslaught the Glory began to get back into the game and with their first chance of the evening almost went in front. A Simon Colosimo free kick curled in the box and Jamie Harnwell lost his marker and with the faintest of touches beat Scott Higgins but the ball struck the post and rebounded back into the arms of the relieved keeper. On the half hour again it was Baird who played in Brosque, but Petkovic narrowed the angle and saved well. Petkovic was keeping the home side in the contest and on the stroke of half time Harnwell brought down Baird on the edge of the box and Chad Gibson curled the free kick around the wall, but Petkovic saved superbly at full stretch to deny the roar the lead at the break.
The Glory would have to lift in the second half, as the crowd 8,509 was becoming restless. But they had Petkovic to thank again moments after the break. The Roar again cut the Glory defence to ribbons, Matt McKay’s superb ball through to the Brosque sent the striker clear but Petkovic was out quick to smoother his shot, and Baird hit the rebound over the bar. On any other night Brosque could have had a hat trick, but the Glory began to get into the game and they began to win the 50-50 ball in midfield with Steve McMahon Junior and Simon Colosimo getting the better of their opponents. It was against the run of play when the Glory took the lead in the 53rd minute, Simon Colosimo played Bobby Despotovski in on goal and the striker finished well past Higgins, to the relief of the crowd. The crowd was up again two minutes later, again Colosimo played in Despotovski, and as he rounded Chad Gibson the ball hit his hand and referee Simon Przydacz pointed to the spot. Despotovski took the spot kick, sent the keeper the wrong way but hit it wide. The Roar went in search of the equaliser and good work from Spase Dilevski on the left found Brosque again the Roar striker was unable to finish, hitting his shot into the side netting. The Glory doubled their lead in the 73rd minute, a great run and cross from the right by Jamie Coyne found the unmarked Despotovski who controlled first time and buried the ball past Higgins. The Roar made a change bringing on Warren Moon for Massimo Murdocca, and the change had an immediate impact. Brosque this time was the provider, he played in Moon down the right and his low strike snuck in at the near post. The Glory battled hard in the last fifteen minutes and even striker Brain Deane came deep to defend the lead. The biggest cheer of the night by the Glory faithful was given to Matt Horsley who came on with four minutes remaining. The Glory hung on for the points and their first historic victory in the A-League.
WANNEROO HOPE TO REMAIN UNBEATEN
Wanneroo City meet Rockingham City this Saturday, with the title already wrapped up, the northern suburbs outfit will be hoping to become only the second team in the history of the semi-proffesional First Division to go underfeated. The only team to acheive this feat was Inglewood Kiev in 1967, they got promoted to the Premier League by winning 10 of their games, 6 were drawn, while losing none. Many teams in the First Division have only lost one game during a league season, and Wanneroo City will be hoping not to join that list. They were:
Swan Valley 1962, Spearwood Rovers 1963, Cottesloe 1966, Perth City 1969, Bayswater United 1970, Rockingham City 1976, Stirling Cracovia 1978, West Perth Macedonia 1979, Floreat Athena 1981, Bayswater Inter 1983, Forrestfield United 1984, Bassendean Caledonian 1992, Western Knights 1995, Armadale 2002, Armadale 2004.
The last team to go undefeated in the Premier League was Floreat Athena in 1990, however they were denied the championship, with play-offs deciding the league title during that year. Spearwood Dalmatinac were the last Premier League champion to not lose a league game, which as in 1982.
MEMBERS EQUITY STADIUM TO HOST CUP FINALS
For the first time, local football clubs will be able to play at Perth Glory's home ground, Members Equity Stadium. Sunday 2nd October will see three cup finals at the elite venue. At 9am, Balcatta will meet Queens Park in the Womens Final, while at 12noon, Amateur Fourth Division giant killers North Lake Espanol take on University of WA. Then at 3.00pm the big showdown sees Perth S.C. play Inglewood United in the Semi-Pro Cup Final.
Floreat Athena will be hosting the following finals at the E&D Litis Stadium.
Swan I.C. vs Sorrento in the Semi-Pro Under 18’s Cup Final at 9.00am.
Floreat Athena take on Sorrento in the Semi-Pro Reserves Final at 11.00am.
The Womens Social Final sees East Fremantle Tricolore vs Queens Park kicking off at 1.05pm.
Bayswater City host the remaining finals at Frank Drago Reserve.
Lynwood Colts vs Fremantle Croatia in the Amateurs Reserves Cup Final kicking off at 9.00am.
The Jacks or Burrendah Bombers vs Hamersley or Balcatta in the Men’s Social Final at 11.00am.
The Men’s Masters final sees Heathridge or Northern Spirit vs Last Drop Knights or Mandurah City at 1.05pm.
RELEGATION GOES DOWN TO THE WIRE
Relegation to the amateur league will go right down to the wire this weekend, with Queens Park already down, it will be two of Kingsway Olympic, Ashfield or Stirling Suns to join them. Olympic's crucial 2-2 draw with the Suns mid-week puts them in pole position to avoid the drop. The green machine have their destiny in their own hands, a win against Gosnells will mean First Division status next season. Ashfield and the Stirling Suns will be waiting to pounce if they slip up. Ashfield must beat Queens Park, however a draw will be good enough as long as Olympic lose and the Stirling Suns fail to win at Canning City. For the Stirling Suns anything but a win will mean amateur football next season, not only must they get the three points, but they will also need Kingsway Olympic to lose, while Ashfield must fail to win. It must be noted that the Stirling Suns may lose up to ten league points because the club is currently unfinancial with Football West.
The question most people are asking however, is where will the three relegated clubs play next season. Football West are hoping to start a new eight team Second Division in 2006 which will be of amateur status to be played on a Saturday or a Sunday. However, there seems to be not much support for this idea from current amateur clubs. Another option, is the clubs to play in an expanded 14 team Amateur Premier League, to be reduced to 12 clubs in 2007. Football West may still consider a 14 team Semi-Pro First Division competition next season. Either way, clubs currently in the relegation dogfight will not want to risk finishing in the bottom three come 5pm Saturday.
COLO COLO WIN AMATEUR LEAGUE
Colo Colo won the Amateur Premier League on Sunday after a hard fought 2-2 draw over Hamersley Rovers. The draw gives Colo Colo an unbeatable seven point lead on top of the table with only two games remaining. University of WA would have remained in the hunt for the title had they won against Perth Azzurri on the weekend, however it was not to be, with Azzurri running out 2-1 winners. In other games, CN Canning International kept their hopes of staying in the Amateur Premier League next season when they beat already relegated Kwinana United 3-1. Murdoch University were too good for Lynwood Colts winning 2-1, while Shamrock Rovers thrashed South Perth United 6-0. Spearwood Dalmatinac moved to sixth place following their 6-1 victory over pre-season promotion favourites the Stirling Panthers.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY (by Peter Simcox)
The Premier League will come down to the final game of the season between Perth S.C. and Sorrento to see who will be Champions for 2005. Both sides are level on points and only goal difference separates them. In Saturdays round 21 games Sorrento had to battle hard for the result with a 4-3 victory at the Clipsal Stadium against Inglewood United. Knowing a victory was paramount the Gulls were quick out of the blocks and raced to a 2-0 lead, both goals from Todd Harnwell. With Sorrento Scottish import David McGeown pulling the strings in midfield Sorrento was well on top and heading for an easy victory, but the home side had other ideas. A superb free kick from Darren Broxton reduced the deficit and it was 2-1 at the break. Sorrento should have wrapped the points up early in the second half but missed several chances and against the run of play Inglewood leveled, Jason Colli heading home. The game was now end to end with both sides playing some great football, and both looking to take the initiative, Sorrento could see their season slipping away and needed to lift, and it was McGeown who delivered. He set up Simon Harland to give the Gulls the lead and then put the game out of the reach of Inglewood when he made it 4-2. To Inglewood’s credit they battled hard and Kevin Griffiths reduced the margin to 4-3 late on but Sorrento hung on. Meanwhile Perth traveled to Macedonia Park and came away easy 5-0 winners against Stirling Lions. Perth scored early through Andreas Oliviera after good approach work from Matt Danskin. Stirling had keeper Mark Bentley making his first league appearance and he saved well from Danskin and Oliviera to keep the score at 1-0 at the break. But a minute into the second half Puca scored from the spot and it was then one way traffic. Further goals from Oliviera, Brendan Ross from the penalty spot and Danskin made it a comfortable victory for Perth. In other round 21 games it looks like Division one football for Fremantle City next season, despite beating Swan IC 2-0, with Peter Vukmirovic and Jason Godfrey on target at Ken Allan Field. But with ECU Joondalup beating Armadale 1-0 at Alfred Skeet Oval the gap at the bottom is still three points and Fremantle’s goal difference is worse than ECU. The Western Knights trashed Cockburn City 7-1 at Nash Field, with a Barry Wood hat trick, Scott Devine, John Thornley, Paul Cooke and Alex Christie on target and Daniel Palermo for Cockburn. Bayswater City recorded a good 2-1 victory against Floreat Athena at Frank Drago Reserve, with Mark Lee and Bobi Klenkoski on target, Branmir Mikulic replied for Athena.
In the First Division the top two sides, Wanneroo City and Balcatta fought out a 0-0 draw at the Graham Burkett Reserve. Mandurah City moved within one point of second place with an 2-1 away victory against local rivals Rockingham City at Dowling Street. Forrestfield United made the long trip to Bunbury, but left empty handed going down 3-2 to South West Phoenix who moved in to fourth place. It was high scoring draw at Jubilee Reserve with Bassendean Caledonian and Dianella White Eagles sharing the spoils in a 3-3 draw. Morley Windmills will play First Division football next season after they beat Gosnells City 4-2, Kingsway Olympic continue to fight for their semi-professional lives after their 1-0 loss to Canning City, while it looks all doom and gloom for the Ashfield who lost 3-1 to the Stirling Suns. Queens Park had the bye.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW (by Peter Simcox)
It’s round 21 in the Football West Premier League and Perth S.C. and Sorrento are still locked together in an intriguing battle at the top of the table. It looks like it could go down to next weeks game when both sides meet at Dorrien Gardens, but the Stirling Lions and Inglewood United will have something to say about that in this weeks games. The Lions host Perth at Macedonia Park and hope to find the form that’s seen them lose only twice in the last seven games to stop the league leaders, and 4th place Inglewood United host Sorrento at the Kiev Sports Ground. The relegation contest could be all over by match end on Saturday, and Fremantle know nothing more than three points is required when they meet Swan IC at Ken Allen Field to keep their Premier League hopes alive. ECU Joondalup travel to Alfred Skeet Oval to meet Armadale also looking for a point to make them safe for the season. In other games in round 21, third place Western Knights take on Cockburn City at Nash Field and Bayswater City entertain Floreat Athena at Frank Drago Reserve.
First Division Champions Wanneroo City travel to the Graham Burkett Reserve to take on second placed Balcatta in the match of the day. Third place Mandurah City travel to Dowling Street Reserve to meet neighbours Rockingham City, Bassendean Caledonian host Dianella White Eagles at Jubilee Reserve, and Forrestfield United make the journey down south to meet South West Phoenix. In other games, a draw should be enough to ensure that First Division football is played at Wotton Reserve next season when Morley Windmills meets Gosnells City. Kingsway Olympic entertain Canning City in what will be a crucial game for both clubs, while Stirling Suns must win to have any hope of avoiding the drop when they host Ashfield at the Cracovia Ground. The bye this round is for bottom of the table Queens Park.
MCDONALD ENJOYING LIFE AT MOTHERWELL (by Peter Simcox)
It’s something every player dreams about, but for former Sorrento defender Steve McDonald it has come to fruition. He has signed a short term contract until January to play for Scottish Premier League side Motherwell. Steve spoke to W.A. football about his sudden departure from the Gulls. “Yes it was sudden, but I’m enjoying it here, I still think it’s a dream and I’m going to wake up. This is what I've always dreamed of doing since I was a wee boy. Ever since I started playing football I've wanted to be a professional footballer and now I've got that chance, so I'm loving every minute of it” said McDonald.
The big defender was spotted by Motherwell coach Terry Butcher on a recent scouting trip down under, and in a stand out performance in the Gulls 6-0 defeat of Swan IC he impressed Butcher and was asked over for trials. It didn’t take long and after only two training sessions the central defender did enough to convince the Motherwell staff to take a chance on him. In fact McDonald is the first player to benefit from Motherwells tie up with the Sorrento Soccer Club, and Macca as he is known by his mates is fitting in well and made his debut in a friendly reserves game. “We had a game against Rangers last week, which we won 3-2. It was a great result for us as they had 5 first team players in their starting eleven. The game was played at a very fast pace from start to finish, I managed to play 75 minutes before coming off with the score line at 3-0”
McDonald is coming to terms with the full time training and all his new team mates. “The boy's have been fantastic, they have really made me feel at home. The daily routine is hectic, but I’m getting used to it. I arrive at Fir Park (Motherwell's home ground) for 9.30 am, go into the change rooms and get ready for training. We all jump in a mini bus and drive about 10 minutes down the road to the training ground for a 10.30 am start. We train till about 12.30pm, then jump back in the bus to Fir Park, get showered and changed and head into the lounge for our lunch. After lunch I head up to the gym to go through my program, to work on my strength and fitness. Once I'm finished in the gym I'll head back down to the change rooms have a shower, get changed and head home”
McDonald was full of praise for his former club saying, “I would like to give a special thanks to Sorrento whom I regard without a doubt as the best club in the league on and off the park. I would also like to give a special thanks to Trevor Morgan and Steve Neville (who are the two best coaches in the league), also a big thank you to Tom Bartlett for not only giving me the opportunity to play for such a great club but most importantly letting me play football when other people wouldn’t give me a chance. Last but certainly not least I would like to say a huge thank you to my Dad, who has been my biggest influence in football and has always had faith in me to succeed! All those days over the park finally came together Dad” McDonald had a great time at the Gulls and when asked about his favourite moment he had two. “I've actually got two, the first was when I first went to Sorrento we played Perth in the league and we were down 3-0 at half time, as you expect we got a roasting at half time. We came out second half fired up and went on to draw 3-3 with me scoring 2 and Michael Ord getting the other. The other memorable moment would be winning three trophies last year for player of the year, top goal scorer and goal of the year, which a few of the boys will agree was an absolute screamer ha ha, also the Joondalup boy's would like to forget it as it put us into the top five final”
McDonald who has represented the state on a number of occasions including games against Red Star Belgrade, Indonesia and the Perth Glory is another player to leave our shores and not to be picked up by an “A” League side, what do these boys need to do? When asked about this seasons Vodafone 6PR Football West Premier league title and who will win it, McDonald had a quick response. “I want what everybody want's and that's for it to come down to the last day of the season, and when that day comes I have no doubt in my mind that Sorrento will be crowned champion's”. Sorrento coach Steve Neville was full of praise for McDonald and said the lad deserved it. “Steve was our player of the year last season and began the same this season. He’s a great lad and trains the way he plays, and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke”
Good luck for the future Steve and thanks for your time.
Vodafone Commits $50,000 to Local game (Courtesy Football West)
Perth could become the breeding ground for the World's best footballers following Vodafone's $50,000 injection into Football West. Sponsorship of the grassroots sporting body will benefit more than 30,000 football players with improved coaching, facilities and equipment.
Kevin Campbell, Chair of Football West said the deal was a huge win for Football West, which competes with higher profile, professional sporting associations for the corporate sponsorship dollar. "Vodafone's investment in today's young talent will see the development of tomorrow's Western Australian football stars," said Kevin. "This funding will enable us to attract quality, experienced coaching staff including two part-time paid coaches for the Girl's State Development teams. "Brittany Woodfin, an Under 14s Girl's State Development player, and her twin brother Tyrone are the perfect examples of talented young footballers who could one day represent Australia if given the right training," he said.
Across the Men's, Women's and Fustal (five-a-side) league Vodafone is contributing to the costs of training venues and new equipment. The Men's State League will also benefit from the sponsorship with four coaching seminars, two State Licences and four Senior License Coaching accreditation places.
Vodafone WA General Manager, Darren Hayes said Vodafone is passionate about football and supports the World game at all levels, from Manchester United to local social games. "Participation in football has more than doubled in WA over the past eight years, a trend we are keen to see continue.”I am pleased to be joining the 'football family' in WA and becoming more involved in the sport locally," he said.
Football West has also joined ranks with Vodafone for the Vodafone Shield 2005, an amateur 5-a-side tournament to be held in Perth on 29 October 2005. The State winners will be flown to Sydney to compete nationally for the ultimate prize of a trip to watch Manchester United v Newcastle in March 2006.
More information on Vodafone Shield will be available at www.5-a-side.com.au from Friday 26 August. To find out how to become involved in your local Football West competition visit www.footballwest.com.au.
MARK LEE RUNS THE GLORY ZONE TO THE TOP (by Peter Simcox)
It’s been a busy time for Bayswater City midfielder Mark Lee over the past couple of weeks and it will become more hectic in the next few. Lee, who is the Technical Director of The Glory Zone and Jungle Sport, has organized football clinics around the metro area in the school holidays. “The Glory Zone clinics are designed to meet every players needs. No matter what your age or ability our professional coaching will enable you to improve in all areas” said Lee. All the boys who have taken part in the clinics have had a great time and Lee said, “Most of the lads enjoy their time and it includes the ever popular Coaches Challenges and the Premier League All Star Tournament”
The venues for the clinics are, South Hilton Reserve, Hilton and East Hossack Reserve, Parkwood from 27th September 30th September, and the North Joondalup Arena, Joondalup and Central Britannia Reserve, Mt Hawthorn from 4th October 7th October. Please contact 94926066 or the web site www.gloryzone.com.au.
Away from the Glory Zone Mark has endured a busy few weeks and Mark participated in the City to Surf run and came a very creditable 17th overall in a time of 42 minutes 22 seconds. “I really enjoy running and thought I’d have a go” said Lee.” I run every night and also fit in my two training seasons with the lads down at Bayswater, so it’s football 24 -7” Mark transferred from the Western Knights to Bayswater City on transfer deadline day and he say’s he’s really enjoying it there, “It was hard at the Knights not playing every week, so I made the move to Bayswater, who try to play the ball on the carpet which really suits my game” Bayswater City coach Salv Tadaro has been delighted with Mark since he joined in mid season. “Yes Mark is a quality player and adds a little bit of class to the midfield, and gives a lot to the side. You can give him the ball and he doesn't panic under pressure, and plays the ball into dangerous areas, he has been a great pick up for us"
Mark has also ventured out to start the Glory Zone Academies also during the school holidays. “Glory Zone Academy Clinic’s are to be held at Frank Drago Reserve. All players have been selected to attend the academy, and there are a lot of talented kids out there” said Lee. “It's a three hour session for the players of intense training. Also all players will have a Soccer lunch and be taught how to look after themselves, eat the right things to play at the best they can” Lee added “We also invited parents who can attend and speak to a number of guests and players who have been overseas to see the affect on players so young when they travel overseas to try to earn a contract. Perth Glory Technical Director of Football Mich D'avary will be attending to talk to the players and parents”
WA UNDER 16's COACH HAPPY DESPITE LOSS (by Peter Simcox)
The WA under 16's were beaten 2-1 by Perth SC Under 18's in a friendly at Dorrien Gardens on Wednesday evening, but 16's state coach Peter Bliss was happy with the performance of the side despite the loss. "The boys were well organised tonight although they are suffering at the moment with their overload. We are getting injuries and the players can't be rested when we need to, and tonight we ended up with ten fit players. There coming together well as a team, and are good enough players to adjust when needs be” said Bliss. The game against Perth was a good contest and Ryan Pearson went close for the 16's in the opening minutes after good work from Paddy Quinn. Perth hit back and Jason Pottier and Mark Miraudo going close, but it was the 16's who hit the front. Great approach work from Bobby Golub and his through ball found Aaron De Santos who finished off well under the oncoming Luke Martino. But Perth were level minutes later Ralph Italiano playing in Goran Babac who scored past Matt Johnson. After the break Perth went in front after Babac was allowed a free header from a Rodrigo Aguirre corner. The 16's lifted and a superb ball from Jovo Pavlovic found the overlapping Ryan Pearson whose cross shot was saved by Martino. There were further chances to both sides, Quinn, Pearson and Phillip Arnold went close for the 16's and Nicholas Joshi, Pottier and Babac, but Perth ran out 2-1 winners.
GLORY UNDONE BY LATER LEVELER (Courtesy sportsaustrlia.com)
Perth Glory came close to securing their first win of the Hyundai A-League on Sunday evening in Melbourne but victory was denied by a late penalty. Steve McMahon had been struggling to name his squad in the lead-up to the match due to injury and illness but Adrian Caceres came in for Henry Fa'arodo, away on international duty, as Glory reverted to a 4-4-2 formation.
The Glory started slowly against Ernie Merrick's Melbourne Victory side and the visitors fell behind on 11 minutes when Austrian forward Richard Kitzbichler pounced on a loose ball and stabbed it past Jason Petkovic into the net. Scott Miller and Steve McMahon Jnr made the starting line-up, overcoming ankle and groin complaints respectively but the WA side found it difficult to deal with the pressure thrust upon them in the early stages at Olympic Park. But the crowd were stunned five minutes before half time when Caceres rounded Eugene Galekovic in the Victory goal to finish instinctively with his left foot to score Perth Glory's first goal in the Hyundai A-League.
McMahon's side looked more comfortable after the break, soaking up Melbourne's attacks more effectively and took the lead on 56 minutes when Brian Deane headed into the path of Bobby Despotovski, who weaved past two defenders, striking the ball clinically into the bottom right corner of Victory's goal. Despotovski nearly turned provider soon after when he laid the ball back to substitute Nick Ward but the Young Socceroo midfielder's shot was deflected just wide. Ward had another fine opportunity to wrap up three points in the 83rd minute when he surged past Victory's last defender but lifted his volley over the bar from close range with Galekovic advancing from his line. Just two minutes later, Victory equalised when Ante Kovacevic felled Carl Recchia with a late challenge in the box and home team captain, Kevin Muscat, confidently stroked the resultant penalty past Petkovic to make it 2-2 at the final whistle.
McMahon was pleased that his team had recovered from a poor start at Melbourne but stressed that his could not continue to be slow off the mark. "We've played in fits and starts all throughout the pre-season, but we were able to put together a strong performance today after going behind early," he said. "We've always started on the back foot, and we've allowed teams to dictate. We've got to be more positive, especially at home." "Now we have two home games in a row so it is very important for us to get a couple of home wins to put us back on track. The next two weekends are big weekends and it will be good testers for us, a gauge for where we are now. After four games the league will start to take a little bit of shape." Glory will be looking for their first win of the Hyundai A-League on Saturday evening (7:35pm local kick-off) when Queensland Roar come to Members Equity Stadium.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY (by Peter Simcox)
The 2005 Premier League championship will go down to the wire, with the top two sides Perth S.C. and Sorrento recording victories. Perth struggled to overcome a determined Inglewood United at Dorrien Gardens, but a deflected Andrea Oliviera shot in the 80th minute gave them the points. Sorrento kept the pressure on Perth and reduced their goal difference by beating Fremantle City 5-1 at Percy Doyle Reserve, goal scorers for the Gulls was Jared Love 3, David McGeown, Simon Harland. The defeat of Fremantle means it's down to two in the relegation battle, with ECU Joondalup who were also beaten 1-2 at the ECU Arena by Western Knights with a double from import Barry Wood, with Kevin Carmona on target for ECU. The biggest surprise of the round was the 6-0 victory of Cockburn City against Stirling Lions at Dalmatinac Park. The Lions had been the big improvers in the league with five wins out of six games under coach Mick Lyons, but goals from Anthony Pereira 2, Jeremy Chiron, Dean Wallace, Mark Paglirulo, Joseph Brunetto ended the run in it's tracks. In the other round 20 games a late strike from Damian Scali earned 10 men Swan IC (Damien Catalano was sent off in the first half) a point in a 1-1 draw at the Swan Italian Club against Bayswater City, Bobi Klenkoski was on target for City. Floreat Athena cruised to an easy 4-1 victory against Armadale at the E&D Litis Stadium, Stephen Guest 2, Eugene Singeorzan, and Branmir Mikulic on target for Athena and Ben Rogers for Armadale.
The First Division Champions Wanneroo City were presented with their trophy by Anthony Green from Football West prior to the game on Saturday, and went on to beat Mandurah City 3-1 at the Kingsway Sporting Complex, and maintained their undefeated record in the league. Balcatta moved in to second spot with a 3-1 victory against Rockingham City at Graham Burkett Reserve. Dianella White Eagles proved too strong for Forrestfield United at Dianella Reserve with a 2-0 victory, and South West Phoenix returned with all three points after a 3-2 win at Jubilee Reserve against Bassendean Caledonian. In other results Ashfield received a crucial 1-1 draw at home to Gosnells City, Morley Windmills are almost assured of safety after an emphatic 4-0 defeat of Stirling Suns, and in it was goals galore as Kingsway Olympic left relegated Queens Park with a 9-4 victory.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW (by Peter Simcox)
With only three rounds remaining the battle for the Football West Premier League title continues on Saturday, with joint leaders Perth SC and Sorrento hoping to secure victories to keep the pressure on each other. Perth SC face a tough test when they entertain Inglewood United at Dorrien Gardens in a dress rehearsal of the Midland Brick Cup Final, while Sorrento face bottom of the table Fremantle City at Percy Doyle Reserve, a game they are expected to win but Fremantle need the points at the other end to stay in the Premier League. Another game with a bearing on the relegation fight is at the ECU Arena where hosts ECU Joondalup meet Western Knights a game they need to win to move away from the drop zone. The rejuvenated Stirling Lions visit Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City hoping to continue their good form, which has seen them win 5 out of the last 6 games under new coach Mick Lyons. Swan IC still need to pick up some points to make sure of Premier league survival, they entertain Bayswater City at the Swan Italian Club, and Armadale are in the same boat as they visit the E&D Litis stadium to meet hosts Floreat Athena
The top four in the First Division meet each other this weekend. Newly crowned First Division Champions Wanneroo entertain 3rd place Mandurah City at the Kingsway Sporting Complex, and 2nd place Balcatta meet4th placed Rockingham City at Graham Burkett Reserve. Both Balcatta and Mandurah are level on points as they both push for the runners up spot. South West Phoenix make the long trip to Jubilee Reserve to take on Bassendean Caledonian, and Dianella White Eagles play hosts to Forrestfield United at Dianella Reserve. Gosnells City travel to relegation threatened Ashfield, Stirling Suns meet Morley Windmills at the Cracovia Ground in a must win game for the Suns, while Amateur League bound Queens Park have only pride to play for in their home clash against Kingsway Olympic at Coker Park. Canning City have the bye
VRTESKI SELECTED IN JOEY'S SQUAD (by Peter Simcox)
Stirling Lions goalkeeper Alex Vrteski has been named in the strong 20 man squad that will represent Australia at next month's FIFA U-17 World Championship in Peru. The 17 year old is looking forward to the trip. “It’s going to be an unbelievable experience, and it’s huge honour to represent your county and I hope to perform well” Vrteski has worked with Joeys coach Ange Postecoglou for a year and has a great deal of respect for him. “He’s a great coach, and he expects the best out of every player, and it doesn’t matter who you are and where you come from, you’re all treated equal and he’s always encouraging the players, which also goes for the goalkeeping coach Martin Crook. Their attitude rubs off on the players and that makes you go out and play for them and perform at your best” Along with Vrtesti in the traveling squad is WA’s Rostyn Griffiths, who is playing for Blackburn Rovers in the UK, both travel for a ten day camp in Melbourne on Wednesday (31-08-05). The tournament in Peru will be played entirely on artificial surfaces and the Qantas Joeys will have an ten-day camp at the Football Federation Victoria complex with the training venue allowing the team to train on a similar artificial surface to that which the team will experience in Peru. During the camp the Qantas Joeys will play a training match against the VIS on September 4 (11am) at John Cain Memorial Park. The Qantas Joeys have been dealt a tough draw and will face European Champions Turkey, South American runners-up Uruguay, as well as traditional Central American powerhouse Mexico in Group B of the 16-team tournament.
"I'm quite happy with the squad I have been able to select with all the players ready for the challenge that lies ahead," said Postecoglou. "There is good balance in the squad and also good depth especially in midfield and attack. It is a tough draw, but at the same time a good draw, with the opposition set to provide a really good challenge for us which is what going to a world championship is all about."
The young keeper is a regular in the Stirling Lions side this season and is enjoying his time, “It’s been great over the past five, six weeks and the guys have been great.We seem to be heading in the right direction. Mick Lyons has come to the club and the standards has gone up to. With Lion’s goalkeeping coach Tony Franklin keeping me on my toes life couldn’t be better”
Mike Lyons was pleased with Alex’s contributions in the Lions side. “I watched Alex when he was at Sorrento in the Under 18’s and he commanded the area and the defence. He’s continued that this year at Stirling. He’s mature for his age and he trains four nights a week and is determined to go further in his career. It’s up to him now but I wish him all the best in the World Championships”.
Joeys squad: Alex Vrteski (GK) (WA), Jamie Cumming (Vic), David D'Apuzzo (NSW), Wade Oostendorp (NSW), Matthew Spiranovic (Vic), Matthew Mullen (SA), Joel Allwright (SA), Robbie Kruse (Qld), David Williams (Qld), Kaz Patafta (ACT), Daniel Miller (NSW), Daniel Ireland (GK) (NSW), Rostyn Griffiths (WA), Nathan Burns (NSW), Blake Charity (Qld), Scott Jamieson (NSW), Leigh Broxham (Vic), Shanon Lancini (GK) (Qld), Matthew Park (Vic), Brendan Maroney (NSW)
Standby players: Tayfun Buyukoppru (NSW), Scott Gannon (SA), Jason Naidovski (NSW), Jason Trifiro (NSW), Ben Vidaic (NSW), Daniel Visevic (Vic), Scott Weidenbach (SA)
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This page was last updated on the 31st October, 2005