CENTRAL COAST GET HELPING HAND TO SEE OFF GLORY
Central Coast Mariners will enter the New Year on top of the A-League after controversially beating Perth Glory 1-0 tonight at Bluetongue Stadium. Substitute Bernie Ibini scored the games’ solitary goal midway through the second period, albeit with a touch of handball in the lead-up, with the dismissal of defender Bas Van Den Brink soon after rubbing salt into Glory’s wound. “I felt he (Ibini) was all over (Scott) Jamieson and also he has used his hand to get the ball around to him and score the goal,” said Ferguson. “I’m disappointed that we have lost to another bad goal if you like. To me it was a hand ball ... definitely a hand ball.”
Glory dominated the early possession but struggled to break down a resilient home defence. But the first opening came at the opposite end when Pedj Bojic beat two defenders to set-up captain Michael McGlinchey, who was unable to connect with the ball. Shane Smeltz squandered a golden opportunity to put Glory ahead in the 36th minute by side-footing wide from 6-metres after being found unmarked at the back post by Steve McGarry. The only other chance of the period arrived in stoppage time, Joshua Rose’s cross falling to Adam Kwasnik but visiting custodian Danny Vukovic made a clean save.
It looked as though Kwasnik had made amends two minutes after the break when his pinpoint header beat Vukovic, however, the flag was raised for offside. The deadlock was broken on 68 minutes, Ibini taming an Oliver Bozanic cross with his hand and, with Jamieson grounded, the attacker lifted into Vukovic’s net from 6-metres. Nine minutes later Van Den Brink was ordered from the field after a clumsy foul on Mile Sterjovski earned the defender his second yellow card. The chances continued to come for the home side with Trent Sainsbury headed over a good chance in the 80th minute and Sterjovksi forcing Vukovic to a save.
FERGUSON WARY OF DEPLETED A-LEAGUE LEADERS
Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson is expecting Central Coast Mariners to provide a stern test when the teams meet tomorrow in Gosford. Central Coast will be without several key figures, namely Tomas Rogic, John Hutchinson and Daniel McBreen all due to suspension, but Ferguson won’t be underestimating the threat posed by the A-League leaders. “The Mariners have a very good squad,” Ferguson said. “I don’t look too much at the personnel that are going to be missing because I know they’ll bring in decent players and still have the same structure and philosophy. They are very drilled in what they do and it’s going to be a very difficult game.”
Glory has beaten Central Coast just four times in 23 meetings over the years but Ferguson says that will mean little come kick-off. “We haven’t got a great record over there, but in our last couple of visits I think we’ve done well,” the coach commented. “Last season we won there in a penalty shoot-out, and even though we lost 1-0 to them earlier this season I certainly thought we deserved to get something out of that game. They are a very good side and their confidence will be high, but we’re unbeaten in three now and we’re looking forward to it. I’m quietly confident about us getting a result.”
Ferguson admits he’s considering bringing a new face on board when the January transfer window opens following last week’s departure of youngster Kearyn Baccus, which has freed up a spot in the Glory squad. “We’re always looking at options we can bring in to freshen the place up,” Ferguson said. “We’ve got one free spot at the moment where we could possibly do something and we are always looking to improve.” The positive impact made by substitutes Nick Ward and Billy Mehmet in Glory’s last outings with Western Sydney Wanderers has given Ferguson food for thought ahead of the visit to Gosford, as has the return of midfielder Travis Dodd following time out with a niggling knee problem.
WILLIAMS CAN’T WAIT TO GET BACK AMONGST IT FOR MIDDLESBROUGH
Middlesbrough captain Rhys Williams is champing at the bit to join a team that’s shaping up as genuine candidates for promotion from England’s Championship. Williams will come into the first eleven for the first time since damaging ankle ligaments four months ago when Middlesbrough take on Blackpool today. “I’ve watched the first half of the season from the stands and I’ve been impressed,” 24-year old Williams told the ‘Evening Gazette’. “We brought a lot of new players in over the summer and they have really gelled quickly. They play good football, they have real resilience and they have a winning mentality.”
When push comes to shove, Williams says the strong camaraderie which exists within the Middlesbrough squad will give them the edge. “The thing that stands out is the togetherness of the team. You can see the way the team fight for each other and celebrate together and work so hard as a group out there,” he commented. “When we go behind, which hasn’t been too often this season, we have bounced back better and stronger. We come from behind in games now, and we don’t let teams bully us any more … watching the games so far and having had a good look at all the teams in the division, I don’t think there are many better than us.”
Williams is keen to help his club push for promotion but is just as wary of the January jitters. “We have always seemed to have that little blip but this year we think we can erase that problem. We’ve talked about the post-Christmas blip, why it has happened in the past and how to avoid it, how to work through it and keep our momentum and form going,” he said. “We have real strength in depth all over the park now and that is a big bonus. If we can keep playing the way we are and keep getting the results and the points, then we have a decent chance. The target is automatic promotion.”
A MONTH OUT FOR THWAITE
Michael Thwaite’s worse nightmare has been confirmed with the Perth Glory defender set to miss a month with a calf injury. Thwaite was replaced late in Thursday’s game with Western Sydney Wanderers after feeling a pop in his right calf and left Subiaco Oval on crutches. Scans yesterday revealed a tear in the defender’s right calf muscle and news of up to four weeks on the sidelines. “He’s been a rock at the back for us and him and Bas (van den Brink) have been great all season,” coach Ian Ferguson said. “Missing his experience is going to be a blow.” Thwaite played a key role in the Socceroos side recent the successful East Asian Cup qualifying campaign and will leave a big hole in the centre of Glory’s defence.
GLORY COULD HAVE SNUCK A WINNER: WARD
Perth Glory goal hero Nick Ward feels his team could have taken more from last night’s 1-1 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers. Visiting coach Tony Popovic made six changes to his starting line-up which struggled to cope with an attacking Glory outfit throughout the first half. So it was against the run of play that Western Sydney went ahead late in the first half courtesy of Labinot Haliti. And things looked like staying that way until substitute Ward struck an 87th minute equaliser.
But the single point wasn’t enough to satisfy Glory, who had two late Shane Smeltz shots blocked on the line. “We would’ve liked to have got three points at home but the way the game went it was probably a fair result,” Ward told Shayne Hope of the ‘West Australian’. “Towards the end there we had a few corners and a few crosses coming in and there were chances there. It was just unfortunate someone was there on the line to block Smeltzy’s header.”
Glory’s goal came from a superb cross by Japanese youth international Ryo Nagai, whose efforts Ward gave a tick of approval. “I thought he looked very lively, especially at the start,” Ward said. “He probably got a fouled a fair bit, which he’s probably going to get, but I thought he did quite well. When he first came in he looked really good; in the pre-season games he was lighting it up. I even think a couple of times when he cut inside he should’ve let fly because he’s got a great shot on him.”
DOOR OPENS FOR PANTELIDIS’ RETURN
Defender Steve Pantelidis is poised to come back into the starting line-up when Perth Glory travels to Central Coast Mariners on Monday. A calf injury suffered by Michael Thwaite in Thursday’s draw with Western Sydney Wanderers has opened the door for 29-year old Pantelidis to make just his sixth start of the season. “Pantelidis played last week in Brisbane for the youth team, so he’s had some game time and he’s done some work off the field,” said coach Ian Ferguson. “(Thwaite has) been a rock for us at the back, him and Bas (Van Den Brink) have been great all season and obviously missing his experience is going to be a blow, but Pantelidis is a big time player.”
WARD IN THE NICK OF TIME
Nick Ward came off the bench to steal Perth Glory a 1-1 draw with a depleted Western Sydney Wanderers last night at Subiaco Oval. Western Sydney appeared set to record a fourth straight win after Labinot Haliti’s strike shortly before half-time gave them the lead against the run of play. But just as the game looked to be petering out, Ward volleyed in powerfully to ensure the spoils were shared. “I just sort of hung out at the back post and luckily enough it came to me,” Ward said. “It’s good to get a point, but we’re disappointed not to get a win.”
Chris Harold and Ryo Nagai caused the visiting side plenty of problems early on with their pace and delivery into the final third. Despite dominating possession Glory’s best chances of the half came from long-range with Shane Smeltz, Steve McGarry and Nagai each trying their luck but all met by the safe hands of Ante Covic. Western Sydney weren’t without their chances, Tarek Elrich swinging a 20th minute cross to the back post where Haliti’s header was deflected away by Josh Risdon. The breakthrough came on 37 minutes when Haliti cut inside Risdon to unleashed a curling shot which ricocheted into the net via the upright.
The second period followed much the same pattern as the first with Glory on top and Western Sydney playing on the counterattack. It looked as though it just wasn’t going to be Glory’s night when Liam Miler headed across the face of goal from a deep McGarry cross. With three minutes to go Nagai got down the left to send a cross to the far post where an unmarked Ward volleyed viciously into the ground, the ball cannoning into the net off the underside of the crossbar. Glory almost snatched all the points two minutes later when Nagai had the misfortune of blocking on the line a goal bound header by teammate Shane Smeltz.
SAINSBURY LEARNING EVERY DAY
Central Coast Mariners defender Trent Sainsbury has come a long way in just four months. Sainsbury admits he was star struck when first paired with Dutch veteran Patrick Zwaanswijk in the centre of his teams’ defence, but the 20-year old now has the confidence to tell his 37-year old partner what to do. “To be honest, I was in awe,” Sainsbury told theworldgame.sbs.com.au. “It was the massive Dutch defender who had played all over, in Holland and Japan, and had all of this experience behind him, and I just wanted to learn as much as possible off this guy.”
Key to the success of any defensive unit is communication and Sainsbury says he has been proactive in that area. “I’m learning all the time off Swanny, but if I have to tell him a few things on the pitch he isn’t going to get angry,” said Sainsbury. “He’s been around the block, so he knows better than anyone how it works. He tells me stuff to do, and I tell him stuff to do. Sometimes I can’t understand his Dutch accent, but it’s all good - he’s got my back and I’ve got his. It’s great to play alongside him, and to learn from him on a weekly basis.”
Sainsbury is understandably proud of the fact Central Coast boasts the league best defensive record with just nine goals conceded in 12 games. “We pride ourselves on having a very strong structure at the back. Goals can win you games, but clean sheets win you titles,” said Sainsbury, whose talents have him pegged as a future Socceroo. “I think the combination between Swanny and me has come along in leaps and bounds. His leadership is great. I don’t have to worry about cleaning up after someone like him – if he doesn’t get the ball, he takes the player. I’m seeing from close range what it takes to be as good as a player like him.”
Since making his A-League debut with Central Coast two years ago Sainsbury has learnt how to deal with experienced strikers who want to get on top of a youngster like himself. “They get in your ear, and in your space. I don’t get involved in the banter with them - I prefer to focus on the game,” he said. “I was a bit naive at the start. I thought I could win every ball at the back, but I learned that sometimes you’ve got to let them have the first touch and go from there. Arnie (coach Graham Arnold) has been very good in helping me with that. I’m getting smarter and smarter at handling those situations with every game.”
JOINING PERTH IS A PRIVILEGE: MICEVSKI
State midfielder Daniel Micevski says signing on with the State League’s most successful club, Perth SC, is a great honour. Micevski is one of numerous new faces in a radically revamped line-up being assembled at Dorrien Gardens by coach Mauro Marchione for the coming season. “I feel very privileged to join Perth, they are such a prestigious club,” said Micevski, who is tipping big things for his new club in 2013. “We have made some fantastic signings and have some very exciting young players coming through. I hope we can all gel and win something quickly because at Perth there is no room for second best.”
Micevski’s transfer to Perth brings to a close a successful two-year stint with Balcatta, who he helped finish top of the Premier League in 2011. “It is difficult leaving Balcatta, I’ll miss playing with them” concedes Micevski. “But at the end of the day that is football – one day you are here, the next day you are somewhere else.” Micevski began his second season with Balcatta as a goal provider from his position wide on the right before a mid-year switch saw home take on goal scorer responsibilities, the 28-year old returning 22 goals and gaining his full State debut in the friendly series with Perth Glory.
Perth boss Marchione has been putting his new-look squad through their paces for several weeks now but Micevski has so far attended only a few of those pre-season sessions. “Mauro has got a thorough plan and currently it has involved fitness work and match play,” explained Micevski. “I have only attended a couple of sessions as I’ve been playing in the off-season futsal competition, and in early January I’ll be travelling with the State Futsal team to Canberra for the national tournament. That said, Mauro has training plans set-up for myself when I return.”
FERGUSON TO MIX THINGS UP
Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson will rotate his squad in a bid to keep players fresh during a busy holiday period, starting with tonight’s outing with Western Sydney Wanderers. Ferguson said he would make changes to the starting line-up despite Glory registering consecutive wins over Newcastle Jets and Brisbane Roar. “We’ll try and freshen things up because I think the (Brisbane) game in itself took a lot out of some boys with the humidity and the travel and now the heat again,” Ferguson said. “We’ll make a few changes – maybe two or three.”
Glory will play four times over the next fortnight and, with today’s temperature expected to peak at around 41C, Ferguson is wary of his players burning out. “As coach here I’ve not experienced anything like last week when the humidity was at 85% and it was very hot,” he said. “I know it’s going to be very hot (tonight) but hopefully we’ll get the benefit from that because I’ve been looking at the weather in Sydney and it’s only been 22-23.” Western Sydney journey west full of confidence after routing Adelaide United last weekend 6-1, a result which extends their winning run to three games.
WILLIAMS WANTS TASTE OF FIRST TEAM FOOTBALL
Teenage defender Aryn Williams will push to be loaned out by Burnley early in the New Year as he looks to get some first team experience under his belt. Williams was rewarded with his first professional contract in May after featuring regularly for the Reserves last season and the vital role he played in the Clarets youngsters making the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup. The tough-tackling right-back had hoped to progress to first team football this season but following a change of club management he has re-adjusted his sights. “I set a goal to be out on loan by Christmas time and this hasn’t happened as of yet so by the time January comes around I will be pushing to get out on loan and gain first team experience,” Williams told osaussies.com.
Williams, 19, is enjoying being a professional but the lack of meaningful match activity has been difficult to get used to. “It has been an exciting change from the youth team to the professional scene, it has been long anticipated and now it has come I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “Things have changed a lot in different ways, like gaining a lot more respect from people being a professional both at the club and away from it. The only downfall to being a professional and away from the youth team is that there are no competitive games like there were last year with the league and various cup tournaments such as the FA Youth Cup. But besides that it has been very enjoyable thus far.”
Williams is the latest in a long line of former ECU Joondalup juniors, which includes his older brother Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough), Chris Herd (Aston Villa), Shane Lowry (Millwall) and Rostyn Griffiths (Guangzhou R&F), who are now plying their trade abroad. “It must be down to the food or water why Perth has produced so many professionals,” joked Williams. “ECU Joondalup is an excellent academy with some very experienced coaches who have also played overseas for various professional clubs. I think it is also down to our parents and our own ability and desire to make it as a footballer, as it isn’t an easy road to gain yourself a professional contract in the English game.”
While his immediate goal is to be experience first team football in England, Williams’ long-term plans include playing in that nations’ top flight as well as wearing the green and gold of Australia on the highest stage. “In five years’ time I will be 24 and I can see myself playing in the English Premier League and hopefully for Australia in the World Cup,” said Williams, who acknowledges he has a bit of work ahead of him. “I will have to work my socks off for the next five years to reach the goals I have set myself but this will all be down too hard work, determination and improving everyday as a professional footballer and as a person.”
HOME FANS CAN GET GLORY THE POINTS: FERGUSON
Ian Ferguson has called on Perth Glory’s loyal supporters to inspire the side to victory against Western Sydney Wanderers. A bumper crowd is expected at Subiaco Oval for tomorrow’s showdown with fourth-placed Western Sydney and Ferguson is urging the home fans to re-create the kind of atmosphere that drove the men in purple to victory over Brisbane Roar at the same venue on the opening day of the season. “They were singing and dancing and the amount of people that were here made it a really special occasion,” said Ferguson. “When I hear them shouting from the sidelines it give me a buzz to know that they are behind us and it’s even more of a boost for the boys out on the park.”
Ferguson admits to being an admirer of the brand of football played by Western Sydney in their debut season. “They are a team that has made a lot of progress over the last nine or ten games,” said the Glory coach. “They create a lot of chances and are very well organised. I thought it was only a matter of time before the goals started flowing for them because they’ve got good players in (Shinji) Ono, (Youssouf) Hersi and (Dino) Kresinger. They are a very strong and powerful side who are quick on the counter-attack and Mark Bridge is on fire at the moment as well, so it’s going to be a very tough game. But we’re looking forward to it.”
Successive wins over Newcastle Jets and Brisbane have jumped Glory to fifth with Ferguson rating the teams’ performance against the latter as one of their best. “I thought for the first-half and the first ten minutes of the second we were really good and then they just put the pressure on us, but we dug deep and hung in there … that’s the best I’ve seen from a Perth Glory side in defending for at least 20 or 25 minutes in the second half,” said Ferguson, who is tipping a similarly steely display from his players tomorrow. “We’re coming off the back of two good results ourselves and we’re back at home, which is great and our confidence should be sky high.”
UNHAPPY BACCUS RELEASED BY GLORY
Perth Glory have terminated the contract of young midfielder Kearyn Baccus by mutual consent. Baccus, 21, joined Glory on a short-term deal to fill the gap between his release from French side Le Mans and a January move to Italian outfit AC Siena. However, a torn hip flexor and protracted release from Le Mans has meant he was limited to just three outings with the Glory Youth team. Frustrated by a lack of opportunities with the senior set-up, Baccus was granted his wish to find another club.
FOOTBALL WEST’S COMMITMENT TO WOMEN’S FOOTBALL IS PAYING BIG DIVIDENDS
In the space of eight months Perth Glory Women have gone from the brink of extinction to national league champions in waiting. The future looked bleak indeed for our W-League representative when Glory owner Tony Sage withdrew funding for the women’s team as part of cost-cutting measures at the club. Football West, who managed Glory Women, took stock of the situation before committing to putting a team on the park this summer. “Having lost almost 70% of our revenue for the team, we obviously had a difficult decision to make,” chief executive Peter Hugg recalled. “In the end we decided we were committed to the concept of a W-League team and our local talented players.”
That faith has certainly paid big dividends. With two regular season games to remaining Glory Women share top spot in the W-League with Brisbane Roar courtesy of a weekend draw with reigning W-League champions Canberra United, which attracted a crowd in excess of 1,000. “Just like the Perth Glory women’s players, the women are role models and they inspire young girls to play football, too,” commented Hugg. “When the team is successful on the field, more people learn about the players, who are doing a fantastic job under the guidance of (coach) Jamie Harnwell.” Glory Women can secure a maiden finals appearance by claiming victory over bottom side Newcastle Jets on 5 January at Intiga Stadium.
GLORY YOUTH TAKE A POINT
Perth Glory Youth will return home with a point after holding Brisbane Roar to a 2-2 draw from a seesawing Y-League meeting at Goodwin Park. Only a couple of minutes had passed when Brisbane took the lead, Rocky Visconte sliding a pass in for Anthony Proia to finish past goalkeeper Lewis Italiano. A defensive lapse in the home backline after 22 minutes was punished by Brandon O'Neill, who smacked in the loose ball from just outside the 18-yard box. Ndumba Makeche was thwarted on 34 minutes by Fraser Chalmers, but the ‘keeper was helpless when the resulting corner went to feet with Ryan Lowry netting in the scramble which ensued.
Brisbane were out of the blocks quick for the second half with Liftin ghosting into the box to slot past Italiano and make it two-all after 48 minutes. The visitors almost went back in front, more by good fortune than anything else, when Chalmers clearance crashed into the head of O’Neill with the ball ricocheting just over the Brisbane net. Ten minutes from the end Glory Youth were awarded a free-kick inside the 18-yard box after Chalmers picked up a back pass under pressure from Moses Kalau, however, substitute Jack Clisby blasted the dead ball high from close-in. Brisbane were under all the pressure over the final few minutes but a decided goal wasn’t forthcoming for Glory Youth.
FERGUSON PAYS TRIBUTE TO PLAYERS’ RESILIENCE
Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson has hailed the resilience of his players, who’ve overcome a series of backroom dramas with back-to-back wins. Friday night’s gritty 1-0 defeat of Brisbane Roar was the perfect complement to last week’s triumph over Newcastle Jets, which steadied the Glory ship at a time when the club was under immense pressure off the pitch. In the past few weeks Glory has been stripped of a place in the Asian Champions League, seen chief executive Paul Kelly resign and watched on as owner Tony Sage was targeted in raids by the Australian Federal Police as part of a tax probe.
Ferguson, who is well versed in the politics of football after a bitter separation with now defunct North Queensland Fury, said he had focused on what he could control. “We’ve got to look for the next result, the next win, regardless of what’s going on behind the scenes and that’s the way I’ve tried to approach it with the players,” he said. “I’ve got to focus on what’s in my control and that’s the players and the players have dealt admirably with it. I was so proud of every one of them (on Friday) night. I thought they took it to another level in how to stay in games and how to win a game. That is the first time in my career here at the Glory that we’ve shown that will to win so strongly and it was fantastic.”
GLORY WOMEN STAY TOP AFTER HOLDING CHAMPS
Perth Glory Women have shared the points with Canberra United at 3-3 from this afternoon’s pulsating encounter at Intiga Stadium. Aivi Luik, Liz Milne and Lisa De Vanna were on target for the home team, who stay top of the W-League on level points with Brisbane Roar, with Canberra’s goals coming via Madeline Washington, Hayley Raso and Caitlin Cooper. “We’re happy we’re still top but to get a three-all draw by our standards it isn’t good enough,” said Glory Women captain Colette McCallum. “We made some silly mistakes which ended up costing us, but we did really well to get our three goals in.”
Canberra shaded their hosts for early control before going ahead on 24 minutes, Washington volleying in from 5-metres after a miss-judged clearance by Milne. Parity was restored ten minutes later when Luik bundled the ball in at close-range after goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold could only parry a Kate Gill header. The home side doubled their tally two minutes later with Milne chipping the ‘keeper from 10-metres following a partially cleared corner. Canberra weren’t finished for the half though, Washington’s angled strike coming back off the crossbar for Raso who made no mistake slotting past Maja Blasch from a couple of metres.
Glory Women regained the lead four minutes after the restart when Ellie Bush’s attempted header back to her ‘keeper cleared Arnold and allowed De Vanna to run into an open goal to net the home teams’ third goal. Cooper made it three-three in the 71st minute with a crisp strike on the run into the top corner which gave Maja Blasch no chance. A mix-up between Blacsh and Milne presented an opening for Nicole Sykes whose close-range header was wide thanks to pressure from Carys Hawkins. The hosts also went close to stealing a late victory with Luik hitting the crossbar from De Vanna’s delivery.
MCGARRY SILENCES THE ROAR
A wonder-strike by Steven McGarry gave Perth Glory a 1-0 victory over struggling A-League champions Brisbane Roar last night Suncorp Stadium. McGarry’s 25-metre bomb just before half-time was enough to secure Glory back-to-back wins for the first time this season and puts to bed once and for all last seasons’ Grand Final loss. “We’ve come to Suncorp, got the win, and we beat them early on in the season (round one) as well,” said McGarry. “We’ve won our last two games and we’re sitting in the top half of the table so we need to build from that … we went on a run last year so hopefully we can do exactly the same this year.”
Glory started strongly but it was the hosts that should have gone ahead on 18 minutes when Besart Berisha sliced wide at close-range. Nine minutes later Glory were guilty of wasting an even better chance, Liam Miller playing through Shane Smeltz who was thwarted by a fine Michael Theo save low to his right. Brisbane threatened again soon after with Thomas Broich the provider for Berisha whose header was easily dealt with by Danny Vukovic. The deadlock was broken a minute from the break when McGarry curling past Theo from long-range after getting on the end of a Smeltz flick on.
The second half was all one-way traffic with Brisbane the dominant force. Berisha lobbed an inviting ball forward on 51 minutes to Henrique whose shot smashed into the underside of the crossbar. Shortly after Berisha fluffed a chance of his own by lobbing straight to Vukovic in a one-on-one situation. Ben Halloran had been on the park on a couple of minutes when he sent wide a decent opportunity from inside the 18-yard box. Vukovic prevented another substitute, Nick Fitzgerald, from bringing the sides level while in the closing stages Broich fired wide much to the disappointment of the 11,352-strong home crowd.
GARCIA READY FOR DERBY DUTY
Socceroos midfielder Richard Garcia is hopeful Melbourne Heart can get their season on track against Melbourne Victory tomorrow night. Heart has only lost one of seven Melbourne derbies to date, and Garcia says the upcoming fixture is the perfect opportunity to return to winning ways after a flat run of results . “Amongst the guys we want to string a few wins together and try to go on a run, and what better opportunity to do it than against your rivals,” Garcia said after training this afternoon. “We’re feeling really good. We’ve had a good weeks training and we’re really looking forward to the challenge ahead. It’s a big game and everybody likes to play in it.”
Garcia returned from Socceroos duty last week in time to face the Central Coast Mariners, but the gruelling schedule took its toll on the midfielder who had to be taken off at half-time. “Thankfully (coach John Aloisi) took me off and gave me the rest I needed,” said Garcia, who is feeling refreshed ahead of the derby. “I’ve had a good week of training. The derby obviously has spice and added atmosphere, but you’ve still got to get the three points, so as far as I’m concerned the objectives are still the same. We’ve just got to be concentrating on our league form and continue what we’ve been doing in training.”
WILLIAMS’ RETURN NEARS
Middlesbrough captain Rhys Williams has taken another step towards a first team return by coming through an in-house training game unscathed. Williams has been out of action since August with an ankle ligament injury but after a solid week on the training tracks manager Tony Mowbray is looking forward to getting his captain back on deck. “Rhys isn’t far away, he’s champing at the bit to play Mowbray. “He’s been out for a long time so he has to get through his training. He has to train for a week or so, get bits of games off the bench if the game suits it and it’s right for Rhys to get up to speed as quickly as he can. It’s a real positive that he’s on the verge of coming back and impacting on the team.”
FERGUSON MOVES ON FROM GRAND FINAL LOSS
Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson would rather forget about last season’s Grand Final defeat than use it for motivation ahead of tonight’s re-match with Brisbane Roar. Besart Berisha snatched Brisbane a controversial win in last seasons’ finale but Ferguson claims factors other than revenge are driving his attempt to steer Glory to what would be only their second ever victory in the Queensland capital. “For me personally, I want it over with, but everybody’s different,” he said. “What motivates me is going up against a top quality side and getting a result. We want to go on and show that we’re not scared of them, that we can go up there and get a good result.”
Although Brisbane enters the round second from bottom, Ferguson is expecting a tough test against an opponent under new coach Mike Mulvey for the first time. “When you watch their games, they are still dominating teams, dominating possession and creating chances,” he said. “There have been games that I’ve watched where they’ve lost when they really should have won. They are still a very good side and a very dangerous side. Like most teams in the A-League, they’ll click sooner or later and I just hope it’s not against us … Everyone wants to beat them and us because we were the two sides that reached the Grand Final last season and that represents a mental and physical challenge for our players and for theirs.”
Glory brought an end to a five-game winless run with a 3-0 victory over Newcastle Jets last weekend, a result which understandably delighted their coach. “I mentioned before the game that even though we were the second-lowest goalscoring side in the league, we had been creating a lot of chances,” Ferguson said. “I was pleased with the energy levels last week, I thought we closed them down well and the boys took control which I was really pleased with. Getting those three points was vital in kicking us on into this important festive period.” Scott Jamieson is expected to start tonight’s game after time out through injury while Steve Pantelidis and Ryo Nagai are in contention for spots on the bench.
GLORY WOMEN OUT FOR REVENGE
A bumper crowd is expected at Intiga Stadium on Saturday afternoon for Perth Glory Women’s grudge match with reigning champions Canberra United. The last meeting of these teams produced a 2-1 score line in favour of Canberra, however, the win was shrouded in controversy after Collette McCallum had a late equaliser chalked off by the referee. Glory Women are coming off the highest scoring match in W-League history – a 7-5 win over Sydney FC – but they paid a high cost for those three points with goalkeeper Carly Telford suffering a season-ending hand injury.
New recruit Maja Blasch will take the gloves on Saturday after being signed as a short-term injury replacement. “This will be my first W-League game and I’m ready to help Perth get the three points this weekend,” said 22-year old Blasch, a former Canberra player. “It’s good and bad (playing against my old side) as I think I know their strengths and weaknesses. I know they are going to come out firing after losing to Melbourne Victory so late in the game last week, but I’ll be ready for them.” Glory Women take on Canberra from 4.00pm tomorrow at Intiga Stadium in Inglewood.
BULLOCH PLANS ON PLAYING FINALS WITH STIRLING
Former national league player Scott Bulloch rates Stirling Lions a top five proposition. Bulloch, who made 29 appearances for Perth Glory across two seasons, has agreed to wear Stirling colours next year and although he’s had only a few sessions with his new team mates the 28-year old admits to being surprised by just how high the calibre of Stirling’s squad is for next season. “Stirling is a big club but we’re flying under the radar,” said Bulloch. “I’ve been impressed by the standard of turnaround so far at training, there are some quality players in the group at Stirling and I believe we are more than capable of giving the top five a good shake next year.”
Several clubs were in the running to secure Bulloch’s services but after speaking with the coaching staff at Stirling he knew there was only one place he wanted to be. “I had a fair bit of interest and a chat with two other clubs. It was a tough choice at the time but I’m very happy with my decision,” commented Bulloch, whose last three seasons were spent in the Victorian Premier League. “When I chatted to Doug Hesketh and Gary Williams they explained what they want to build at Stirling and how I could play a big part in helping the club progress to that level. They are both honest and passionate coaches and I look forward to working with them.”
Bulloch tasted a fair degree of success with ECU Joondalup, Wanneroo City, Perth SC and Sorrento prior to joining Glory in 2008. So he knows what he’s talking about when he says Stirling have what it takes to make the end of season play-offs. “Playing in the finals is where every player wants to be come seasons’ end,” said Bulloch of his goals for 2013. “If we can keep the team relatively injury-free and play the way the club wants us to, we can get there …. I’ll certainly be doing all I can to achieve that. On a personal level, I’m hoping to bag a few goals and would love the opportunity to represent my State again.”
BAYSWATER TO BECOME A MAJOR POWER UNDER COYNE
Former Socceroo Chris Coyne has made it his goal is establish Bayswater City at the top of the State League pecking order. Coyne was installed as first team coach at Frank Drago Reserve last month and the 34-year old is focused on making an immediate and lasting impression on the club. “I’m really excited about the chance to manage Bayswater with their history and the people around the club,” said Coyne. “We have put a great coaching staff together and are all pulling in the right direction. We all want to make the club a powerhouse in WA football by increasing our professionalism and playing an attractive brand of football.”
Coyne intends building on the successes of last season when Bayswater topped the regular season standings. “I watched Bayswater play a few times last year and they were good to watch but struggled to get over the line in the finals, which we would love to do this year,” he explained. “We started preseason in mid-December to see what we had and were pleasantly surprised by the players there. A few players have left so we need to fill those spots and we will also bring players in that will stamp the way we want the game to be played. It’s early days yet but I'm sure there will be some new faces at Bayswater next year to compliment the quality we already have.”
The level of professional Coyne plans to bring to Bayswater has been gleamed from a 15-season playing career in England, Scotland, Australia and China. After making his mark locally with Perth SC, Coyne signed with West Ham United at the age of 17 only to find first team opportunities hard to come by. A season at Dundee led Coyne to Luton Town where, over six seasons, he made 253 first team appearances. “Winning the League One title (in 2004/05) was very special,” Coyne recalls. “The team had been building for three years, we were all like-minded players and best mates off the pitch. We ended up with over 100 points and played some great football.”
Coyne’s time with Luton was cut short during the 2007/08 season when the club was placed into administration, and the defender sold to Colchester United. It was at the end of his first season with Colchester that Coyne, aged 29, gained the first of his seven caps for Australia. “My Socceroos debut was an incredible moment as it was a dream come true and a career-long dream,” said Coyne of his June 2008 outing with Iraq. “I had been fortunate to play at Under-17 and Under-23 level and had a taste for international football, so after all the hard work and keeping the dream alive it was great to finally get there.”
Upon returning to Australia in mid-2009, Coyne inked a three-year contract with Perth Glory. Following a strong debut season he was loaned to Chinese outfit Liaoning Hongyun in an ultimately unsuccessful bid to force his way into Australia’s 2010 World Cup finals squad. Unfortunately, a contract irregularity with Liaoning Hongyun meant he miss the entire 2010/11 season while an Achilles tendon injury the following summer limited him to only a handful of appearances before released in April. “I am still trying to get back from that Achilles injury,” said Coyne. “I had a great time and loved every minute I wore the Glory shirt as it is my club and made me proud to do so.”
Coyne, who completed his ‘C’ coaching license earlier in the year, can’t wait to instil into the Bayswater player group all he’s learnt from a truly remarkable career. “We high expectations at the club, from the board and coaching staff through the playing group,” he said. “Winning the league but not winning the top five has left a bitter taste in the mouths of some at the club, and you can see in training that the will to win is still strong and the boys are determined to go one better. Personally I’ve wanted to win everything I’ve gone into and this is no different … I still can’t even let the kids win backyard cricket!”
TELFORD OUT FOR THE SEASON
A broken hand has ruled Perth Glory Women goalkeeper Carly Telford out for the remainder of the W-League season. Telford will be out of action for up to 12 weeks after having four pins inserted in her hand as a result of the injury sustained in the weekend win over Sydney FC. “It all happened when they (Sydney) were on a break, put a cross in and in the corner of my eye I could see one of their players coming towards me,” explained Telford. “I came out to clear it and my hand made contact with her head and straight away I knew something was wrong.”
Unfortunately, the injury also means Telford will miss January’s international training camp with the England national team. “I’m devastated – with the Women’s Euro coming up next year this was a great chance for me to get back in the squad and I needed to be there,” said Telford. “But I can’t let something like this keep me down. Everything happens for a reason and I’ve still got a finger, I’ve still got a hand. I’m lucky in that I’m able to stay here to finish off my rehab, so I look forward to cheering on the girls in my new purple cast!”
MOUTTET LENDS EXPERIENCE TO CANNING
The career of defender Rory Mouttet has gone full circle with his return to Canning City. Mouttet established his position as one of the State League’s premier defenders with Swan United and Inglewood United but it was at Canning that the veteran’s football journey began at the age of seven. “It’s good to be going back to where it all started when I was 7-years old,” said Mouttet. “I’m a sentimental person, it feels right to pull on the boots one more time and have the opportunity to contribute to the club that I grew up at.”
Joining Canning is about more than just playing football for Mouttet. “I strongly believe I can still play football at the highest level in WA but at 34 my role will be to push the young players and to set an example,” he said. “If I earn a spot in the team then that’s a bonus, I’ll need to be playing my best football to justify it. Returning to Canning is about being part of something bigger than me as an individual – it’s about making a contribution to the club as well as the team that walks out on the pitch.”
Mouttet, one of Canning’s two major signings to date alongside former Perth SC striker Daniel Niederberger, intends on playing a big part in his clubs’ push for top honours in 2013. “The top four is the very minimum goal for Canning next year,” stated Mouttet, who helped Canning claim the Division One championship in 2008. “Canning were probably one of the best sides towards the end of last season and they have some very exciting young players to compliment the quality that they have brought back to the club.”
It’s with a heavy heart that Mouttet leaves Swan, the club he played ten seasons across three spells. “It very, very sad for me as I won’t see as often the very close friends that I’ve seen every week for the last three years,” he said. “Swan will always feel like home to me. They are a proud close-knit club and I consider it an honour to have been a part of it for so long. It’s impossible not to leave Francis Street without a heavy heart but at the end of the day I wasn’t able to make a commitment that I felt was fair to them.”
GRAND FINAL LOSS SPURS ON MCGARRY
Last season’s heartbreaking Grand Final loss to Brisbane Roar will drive Perth Glory on when the sides meet this weekend according to Steven McGarry. The attacking midfielder entered last seasons’ finale with Glory leading 1-0, only to see Besart Berisha score twice in the closing minutes – including a controversial penalty – to steal Brisbane victory. “The rivalry has developed from the Grand Final and we’ve always found it pretty tough over there,” McGarry commented. “We got a bit of a doing over there 4-0 in the regular season last year and obviously the Grand Final still hurts. They are probably our biggest rivals right now and every one of us is wanting to go over there and make amends for it.”
Glory’s record away to Brisbane is poor with the team from the west registering only one from 11 visits to Suncorp Stadium. “They are a very good team with some very good players,” commented McGarry. “But I think we need to concentrate on what we are good at and how we can go and set the tone in terms of the way we want to play. We’re working on our game-plan rather than worrying about the Roar.” Not a lot has been going right this season for Brisbane, who are struggling near the foot of the table and have Berisha (shoulder) and Mitch Nichols (back) out through injury this week.
TAGGART INTENDS BUILDING ON SOCCEROOS EXPERIENCE
Young striker Adam Taggart is out to establish himself in the Newcastle Jets line-up after making his Socceroos debut in the recent East Asian Cup qualifiers. Taggart became the 553rd player to represent Australia by coming on as a second half substitute against host nation Hong Kong in the opening game of the tournament. Limited to only four appearances this season due to international commitments, Taggart is looking forward to spending more time on club duty. “It’s lovely to come back and put all my focus into the A-League now and do as much as I can for the Jets,” he said.
Taggart, 20, describes donning Australia colours at senior level for the first time as “an exciting moment”. “Before the tournament I didn’t really expect anything, so to make a couple of appearances was something I was extremely happy with and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience really,” said Taggart, scorer of two goals in the Socceroos 8-0 win over Chinese Taipei, a result which ultimately secured East Asian Cup qualification. “It’s always good scoring goals, but I think for your country it’s a little bit extra special, so that was really good,” Taggart said.
Taggart made a point of soaking up as much as he could from the experienced players in the Socceroo squad, including the likes of Brett Emerton, Richard Garcia and Archie Thompson. “It was definitely something I could really learn from because a lot of those players have played at World Cups and at such a high level,” said Taggart, who played his junior days with Heathridge and ECU Joondalup. “You watch and learn everything they’re doing on and off the field and it was a privilege to be a part of it."
Newcastle coach Gary Van Egmond praised Taggart for his achievements. “It’s great that he’s been selected for the national team. If we’re all truthful, it was a bit of a surprise, but a really welcome surprise,” Van Egmond said. “He’s gone over there and done well. He’s played for his country and scored for his country and I’m pretty sure that will give him added confidence coming back to Newcastle and hopefully that’s infectious with the rest of the group too. Now that we can get a bit more consistency in the training environment with him, I’m sure you’ll start to see him feature more.”
GLORY WOMEN MAKE “BIG STATEMENT” WITH SYDNEY WIN
Perth Glory Women coach Jamie Harnwell says the weekend win over Sydney FC show just how far his side have come in twelve months. Lisa De Vanna inspired the Glory girls to a remarkable 7-5 victory on Saturday afternoon, erasing once and for the bitter disappointment of an 11-0 hiding hand out by Sydney almost a year ago to the day. “To beat Sydney in Sydney is a big achievement, so it gives us a lot more confidence as a group,” Harnwell said. “A result like that is a big statement for us and the rest of the league. Twelve months ago I sat on the bench with my head in my hands wondering where we could go from here.” The win keeps Glory Women on course for a maiden W-League finals appearance.
JONES REWARDED WITH NEW LIVERPOOL CONTRACT
Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones has put pen to paper on a fresh long-term deal with the English Premier League giants. Signed from Middlesbrough in 2010, Jones has made 14 first team appearances for the Reds with the majority of those coming this season as stand-in for the injured Pepe Reina. “I said when I signed here it was a dream come true, it was something I’d wanted as a young boy and that hasn’t changed,” said Jones, 30. “I want to stay here as long as I can. At the minute, the club is on a progression and we’re improving a lot. It’s a good time to be here and I’m sure in the next couple of years I’ll be part of a successful squad.”
Jones revealed he was concerned about his future when Brendan Rodgers replaced outplaced Kenny Dalglish as manager in May. “When he came in I don’t think he was too sure about whether I was going to stay or not and I had to prove to him I was worthy of being here,” explained Jones. “He was very honest with me at the start and said maybe things weren’t going to work out. But he was then just as honest to come and say to me I’d done well and proved myself to him. That’s what you want from your manager - somebody that’s honest, that you can talk to and is going to help you progress as a player.”
Jones’ opportunity to showcase his value to Rodgers arrived in September when Reina went down with a hamstring injury. “You want to be able to prove you can do it at the top level - and I think in those games I was able to show I was worthy of being here at least and being in and amongst the squad,” said Jones of his 10-game run. “It was a good period certainly for me, but also in the league games we had some difficult matches but got some good results. I don't think too many ‘keepers who have been here with Pepe have had that chance, so I was happy to show I can perform when needed.”
DE VANNA PUTS GLORY WOMEN IN SEVENTH HEAVEN
A Lisa De Vanna hat-trick has inspired Perth Glory Women to an incredible 7-5 win over Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium. Elisa D’Ovidio also grabbed a brace with Aivi Luik and Kate Gill getting the remainder to increase Glory Women’s lead over the rest of the W-League field to three points. “It was certainly one of the strangest games I have ever been involved with,” commented coach Jamie Harnwell. “We dominated the first half and it was really only a crazy five minutes that saw us down 2-1 at half time. I asked the players to show their character and drive in the second half and they did in bucket loads … I couldn't have been prouder of all the girls.
The visitors opened their account on 13 minutes when Gill’s clever flick released De Vanna, who powered away from her marker to unleash a precision show inside the near post. If not for some alert goalkeeping by Sian McLaren then De Vanna would have widened the margin, while Marianna Tabain curled just over the top after being working space inside the 18-yard box. Glory Women suffered a major blow ten minutes from the break with Carly Telford succumbing to a hand injury. An error five minutes later by replacement ‘keeper Zoe Palandri gifted Kyah Simon a close-range equaliser. And before the visitors could regroup Lillie Billson had set-up Emma Kete to drive into the corner of the net for a 2-1 half-time lead.
The surprises continued after the turnaround with Glory Women putting away three goals in five minutes, Luik grabbing one and D’Ovidio two, only for Lillie Billson to reduce the deficit with a cracking strike on 62 minutes. De Vanna gave the visiting some breathing space with her second goal ten minutes later, but Caitlin Foord returned fire soon after with a long-range strike to set-up a grandstand finish. But this was one game that was not about to get away from Glory Women, Gill doubling the visitors advantage before De Vanna made the points safe by completing a deserved hat-trick. Even so, Sydney refused to give up hope and in the final minute of regulation time Sam Kerr netted their fifth of the afternoon.
GLORY YOUTH A CLASS ABOVE WESTERN SYDNEY
Perth Glory Youth turned on the style to demolish Western Sydney Wanderers 5-1 this morning at Intiga Stadium in Inglewood. Ryo Nagai, Jesse Makarounas, Ndumba Makeche, Brandon O’Neill and Moses Kalau were each on target as the Glory youngsters moved to within a point of the top four. Nagai got the ball rolling with a classy curling strike into the top corner after only 4 minutes. Lewis Italiano denied Labinot Haliti an equaliser as the visitors sought to respond. Half-time was on the horizon when Makarounas delivered a slick left-foot finish to double the hosts’ lead. The gap was further increased soon after when Makeche slipped between two defenders and stroked past Thomas Manos.
The game was ended as a contest a minute after the restart as Makarounas cut the ball back from the by-line to O’Neill, whose crisp close-range strike was going nowhere but into the net. While Western Sydney struggled to break down their opponents defences, Barac did manage to find a way through but his shot was kept out by a diving Italiano. Kalau put the icing on the home teams’ cake in the 74th minute with another tidy finish after being set-up by Makarounas. Barac finally got the goal he sought four minutes with a headed effort past Italiano, who got his fingertips to the ball but was unable to prevent it from entering his net.
GLORY BACK TO WINNING WAYS
Perth Glory rediscovered their goal-scoring touch with a resounding 3-0 win over Newcastle Jets Last night at Perth Oval. A brace from midfielder Travis Dodd and marquee man Shane Smeltz’s late penalty conversion secured Glory’s first in five games, a result which lifts them to fourth on the table. “There was a lot of pressure on us and to get the three-nil victory was very pleasing,” said relieved coach Ian Ferguson. “I’m a pretty emotional person. To get the win was what we needed tonight and I thought the boys did a fantastic job. When they scored the goals I did celebrate them in a manner that I normally wouldn’t do, but it was good to get them.”
A tight first half was highlighted by some superb work at opposite ends of the park by Danny Vukovic and Matthew Nash. Glory’s number one did brilliantly to block James Virgili’s shot with his legs after the young winger was played in by Adam Taggart and midway through the half raced off his line to foil Emile Heskey from 16-metres. Nash was at full length to keep out a Michael Thwaite header and later denied Shane Smeltz after latching onto Josh Risdon’s through ball. The deadlock was broken on the stroke of half-time when visiting midfielder Mitchell Oxborrow coughed up possession to Dodd, who side-stepped Josh Mitchell and calmly slipping the ball into Nash’s net.
Glory started the second where they’d left off but Nash produced a fine to keep out Jacob Burns’ fizzing drive. The resulting corner was played quickly by Scott Jamieson to Liam Miller whose curling delivery was glanced in at close-range by Dodd, leaving Nash helpless. Newcastle could have surrendered at that stage but instead offered a spirited comeback but the closest they’d come to scoring was a low Ryan Griffiths shot which was blocked by Vukovic. The result was put beyond doubt on 75 minutes when referee Ben Williams dubiously ruled against Mitchell when challenging with Smeltz, who emphatically tucked in from the spot. The visitors kept coming but Risdon cleared Heskey’s header off the line and Vukovic kept out a late strike by Dominik Ritter.
ALL-STARS SQUAD ANNOUNCED
Each year footballwa.net honours those players who consistently captured our attention during the winter months with inclusion in the footballwa.net All-Stars. Seven of last seasons’ All-Stars retain their places while thirteen players make their first appearance in the squad, which has been selected with the assistance of non-playing representatives of the Premier League clubs. With another year about to tick over the time is right to pay tribute to the twenty-two players selected in the 2012 footballwa.net Premier League All-Stars squad.
REFRESHED GLORY WOMEN READY FOR SYDNEY
If Carly Telford is nervous then she’s not showing head of one of the biggest games in Perth Glory Women’s short history. Glory Women meet Sydney FC tomorrow in front of what is tipped to be a full house at Allianz Stadium as the curtain-raiser to the A-League derby between Sydney and Western Sydney Wanderers. “Sydney is going to be tough and we are all eager just to get out there,” said Telford, who kept goal for English glamour club Chelsea. “I’ve played at the Emirates in front of over 26,000 and this is going to be a huge occasion with the likes of Del Piero playing afterwards. Then again it’s a pitch, it’s grass, the same size everywhere, so we just want to get there and get the three points after slipping up last week.”
Tomorrow’s game completes a tough away run for Glory Women, who last week travelled to Canberra and Brisbane. “It’s lovely to be back in Perth for starters after being away all of last week,” said Telford. “It’s been nice to regroup, get back to training and shake off those small injuries and tired legs some of the girls had.” Despite collecting one win and a draw from their previous three outings, the team from the west remains top of the W-League with Sydney just two points behind. In fact only three points separate the competitions’ top six sides, so results are paramount in the final four matches with a debut finals appearance up for grabs for Glory Women.
Team captain Collette McCallum and youngster Sarah Carroll will miss tomorrow’s game due to personal commitments but Telford says the team are still capable of getting the result they want. “There’s no doubt she’s (McCallum) going to be a massive loss, she’s such a fantastic player,” said Telford. “I think we’ve got good squad depth so whoever comes in will do a great job for us. We’re looking forward to the test and taking in the experience of the last result (3-1 win) against them.” Canadian international Sasha Andrews returns to the squad after recovering from bone bruising to her knee. Tomorrow’s game against Sydney kicks-off at 2.00pm (Perth time) with live updates available via www.twitter.com/perthglorywomen
KILKELLY HEADS BACK TO INGLEWOOD
Former State defender Shaun Kilkelly will once again don the gold of Inglewood United after being informed his services were no longer required at Dorrien Gardens. Kilkelly had been a mainstay of the Perth SC backline over the past three seasons prior to the arrival of new coach Mauro Marchione, who brought the 28-year olds time at Dorrien Gardens to an abrupt end. “I was told I was not required as he (Marchione) and the club wanted to promote the youth players at the club,” said Kilkelly optimistically. “It was a disappointment but these things happen when a new coach comes in .. that’s fine and I move on to another chapter.”
Moving to Inglewood takes Kilkelly back to the club he played five seasons for, and reunites the defender with his former Perth coach Graham Normanton. “It’s great to go to a club who are on the way up and when Normo offered me the chance I couldn’t turn it down,” said Kilkelly, who joins Greg Sharland, Matt Danskin, Andrija Jukic and Matt Lock as newcomers to Inglewood. “They gave Perth three tough games last season and now with five experienced players added and the youth they have there I can see us being up there or there about come the end of the season. With Normo in charge Inglewood will be a big club for years to come.”
Kilkelly has nothing but fond memories of his time with Perth, where the collected two State Champions (2010, 2011) and two Night Series winners medals (2010, 2012). “The Night Series win against Western Knights was a great game as we were losing 1-0 with minutes to go then scored two late goals to win it. But the standout was the 7-0 win against Sorrento in the 2011 Grand Final, a great win for the club and its third in a row,” commented Kilkelly. “We had some great players, the standout would have to be Antonio Naglieri whose vision and passing is unbelievable, he can turn it on like a light switch.”
MILLER RETURNS TO THE FOLD
Perth Glory will be at full-strength for tomorrow night’s clash with Newcastle Jets at Perth Oval. Defensive pair Scott Jamieson and Michael Thwaite have returned from Socceroos duty while midfielders Liam Miller and Ryo Nagai are back in training. Miller has declared himself fit to play tomorrow having recovered from the recurrence of an old back injury which forced him onto the sidelines a fortnight ago. “I’ve done some work in the last few days and trained with the boys,” Miller told Shayne Hope of the ‘West Australian’ newspaper. “It feels good. I’ve not been out that long, I’ve missed two games but I don’t think the fitness will have depleted that much.”
Glory snatched a 3-2 win over Newcastle in their last meeting with Chris Harold coming off the bench to score the late winner. Newcastle have lost three of their past four games and will be out to regain lost pride after being beaten by local rivals Central Coast Mariners last week. Emile Heskey has netted five goals for Newcastle so far this season but Miller says the former England striker is not the visitors only threat. “Heskey is a big threat up front, but they have got a lot of quality throughout their team,” Miller said. “They’re not just a one-man team and they’ve got some dangerous players we need to look out for.”
NEVILLE BACKS UNDER FIRE GLORY CAPTAIN
Newcastle Jets defender Scott Neville does not expect Jacob Burns to tone down his aggression for Friday’s meeting at Perth Oval. Burns has been at the centre of a furore over an altercation with Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi but Neville, who played three seasons alongside Burns before an off-season switch to Newcastle, has nothing but respect for the Glory captain. “Burnsy will go about his business the same way,” Neville told the ‘Newcastle Herald’. “He might pick up a yellow here or there. That’s the way he plays. He is a good leader and has everyone’s respect.”
A lot has been made this season of the physical nature of Glory’s game and the siege mentality they have adopted under coach Ian Ferguson. “I guess it is because they are the only WA team, and the closest team to them is Adelaide,” Neville commented. “They feel like they get hard done by with the decision and the publicity as well. They are a very tight-knit unit and work for each other. They play within the laws. They have some players in Jacob Burns and other senior players who throw themselves about and use their experience.”
After making a strong start to the season, Newcastle has taken just a single win from their last six matches to slip down to fifth place. Neville says his team needs to regain the attacking mindset that was so successful for them during the early rounds. “When the team is not doing so well it affects everyone individually, but you’ve just got to try and keep your head up and play as positively as you can,” he said. “Hopefully I can get forward a bit more, look to play forward and get a few more better balls into the box and get my confidence back up along with the team.”
Neville is looking forward to avenging the 3-2 loss Newcastle suffered on their last visit to Perth. “It will be good to go back home and see the family and friends and play in front of the Perth crowd,” he said. “Last time we played there we probably played some of the best football we’ve played this year. Hopefully we can go back there, play the same way, but pick up the points this time. What we learnt (from our last game against Perth) is that if we go and play our attacking game we can shake it up, get amongst them and definitely pick up some points.”
HARNWELL STEERING GLORY WOMEN TOWARDS HISTORY
One of Perth Glory’s favourite sons, retired defender Jamie Harnwell, looks like bringing the success he savoured as a player to the coaching arena. Harnwell experienced the full spectrum of emotions across a dozen seasons as a Glory player, from the back-to-back Grand Finals wins of 2003 and 2004 through to the clubs’ difficult adjustment to the A-League. Soon after wearing Glory’s purple strip for the 256th and final time in 2011, Harnwell was handed the reins of Glory Women who, with four regular season games to play, are on course for their first ever appearance in the W-League finals.
It’s in stark contrast to last season when poor preparation and some mid-season jitters saw Glory Women finish second bottom with only two wins from ten outings. This year Harnwell has had a full pre-season with his players and is understandably positive about the difference it has made. “We had a good preparation and were able to put together a strong side,” said the coach. “Having Collette McCallum back in the W-League, Kate Gill returning after a year out with a knee injury and Lisa De Vanna heading back here to the west, has strengthened the side and obviously the strike force”.
While the teams Matildas have certainly played a part in Glory Women’s revival, Harnwell says the entire squad has stepped up. “Local girls Marianna Tabain, Ella Mastrantonio and Elisa D’Ovidio have proved themselves again this season and having Aivi Luik move over from Brisbane has been great for us as well,” added Harnwell before praising Rosie Sutton, who outlined her ambitions by flying to Perth from Queensland for trials. “Rosie has been fantastic, she got herself over here for a try out and showed some real raw talent, she applies herself in training and now is reaping the rewards”.
Harnwell admits it’s taken him some time to make fully the transition from player to coach. “To be offered a job as head coach in a national competition just six months after retiring as a player, it was too good to turn down,” he said. “In my first season, I was a bit naïve. I think perhaps I underestimated the rest of the league and had to get my head around dealing with 20 players. When you are a player yourself, it’s pretty much all about your own contribution and performance but as a coach you have to consider everyone as a whole”.
Glory Women have taken just a point from their last two outings but Harnwell remains confident they’ll be placed amongst the top four come seasons’ end. “It can be a bit of a lottery, we play well for two weeks and then if we take our foot off the pedal the points are gone and they may prove the difference. Two more victories should see us safely into the play-offs,” said Harnwell. Glory Women have tough games against Sydney FC and reigning champions Canberra United coming up before rounding out the home and away series against the competition’s bottom two, Newcastle Jets and Adelaide United.
BIRIGHITTI RETURNS TO TRAINING
Goalkeeper Mark Birighitti is back on the training track with Newcastle Jets just a fortnight after undergoing surgery on a fractured cheekbone. The 21-year old returned to training on Sunday and is scheduled to undertake light duties this week with plans of steeping this up next week. “It is fantastic to get back out there with the boys and I have had good sessions,” said Birighitti, who suffered a fractured cheekbone after courageously saving at the feet of Wellington Phoenix’s Jeremy Brockie last month. “It is supposed to be light duties and I was still a week away from diving and contact but this morning I was diving, so I am pushing myself as much as I can.”
Birighitti, a former Perth SC junior, admits his recovery is as much physical as it is psychological. “I thought about wearing a mask but I don’t want to wear a mask because it shows a team I am worried about the injury,” he commetned. “I have been keeping active, trying to get my mind off it and trying the best I can to forget about it. At the end of my day it is my job and I will put my body on the line no matter what. If it happens again, it happens again; that is my job to keep the ball out of the net and I will keep doing that.” Birighitti is targeting the 28 December clash with Melbourne Victory for his return to match activity.
FERGUSON STANDS BY HIS CAPTAIN
Angry Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson has hit back at his Melbourne Heart counterpart, claiming John Aloisi was in the wrong for a heated verbal altercation with Glory captain Jacob Burns on Saturday. Burns and Aloisi had to be separated as the teams headed to the change rooms at half-time of Melbourne’s 1-0 defeat of Glory on Saturday. Aloisi, who was talking to the fourth official about Glory’s physicality when Burns first confronted him, went so far as to label the Glory midfielder as “disrespectful” after the match.
Ferguson returned fire yesterday, saying Aloisi’s decision to follow Burns down the tunnel further inflamed the situation. “To me it was wrong,” Ferguson said. “He (Burns) has seen Aloisi trying to influence the fourth official, and Jacob’s not happy with that, and quite rightly so. If my captain sees that and he’s trying to protect his players, then that’s the way he should be. And then he (Aloisi) follows the player down the tunnel and tries to make something of it … to me it was wrong, and he shouldn’t have done it.”
Aloisi further inflamed the situation by suggesting Glory deliberately targets their opponents once the ball has been played. “At the end of the day, they all keep using this bullying word, claiming that we’re too physical and too strong,” said Ferguson. “I see he (Aloisi) said that we come in from the back and either kick you a little bit or go right through you and again, I don’t see where he’s coming from with that. I’m sick and tired of the hype that we get – it’s all wrong.”
Switching his attentions, Ferguson hinted that he may tinker with his attacking options in order to snap Glory’s five game winless run. “One of the things that I’ve got to look at very closely is getting that balance right up front,” he said. “At the moment I don’t feel that it is right. We’ll have a look at that and see how things progress during the week. We still have three sessions to get a few things sorted and there is no guarantee of a place for anyone at this club. If it’s not working, it’s not working.”
TEAMS ARE STARTING TO TAKE NOTICE OF US SAYS MILLWALL’S LOWRY
Millwall defender Shane Lowry refuses to talk about winning promotion despite his teams’ flying start to the 2012/13 English Championship campaign. As the season mid-point approaches the Lions sit jointly alongside Watford in sixth position, but 23-year old Lowry is well aware his team cannot afford to let their standards slip if they are going to remain in contention come the business end of the season. “We were flying under the radar for a bit there but now teams are starting to take notice of us,” said Lowry, whose teams’ 13-game unbeaten ran came to an end on the weekend at Ipswich Town.
The key to Millwall’s success is a never-say-die according to Lowry. “It’s a bit early to be talking about promotion though. There are a lot of games still to go and everybody knows what a tough league this is to get out of,” Lowry added. “The belief is certainly there and having a settled team brimming with confidence is taking us a long way. There is no secret to our success other than sheer hard work and desire. We out-battle and out-fight other teams and we are well organised. We don’t have the budget of a lot of the other clubs but we never know when to lie down and that sets us apart.”
NTC LEARN LESSONS THE HARD WAY
The National Training Centre might have struggled on the scoreboard during last week’s State Institute Challenge but the players learnt some valuable lessons according to technical director Cris Ola. The State development squad finished bottom of the table with just a single win to show from eight games, however, Ola says there were many positives to be gleaned from the NTC’s performances at a tournament where style of play is the main focus and players are assessed for their technical ability and identified for progression into the Australian Institute of Sport and national underage teams.
Although results didn’t go their way the NTC performed well. ““We were really happy with the boys this week in their whole approach, their work rate and everything else,” said Ola, who identified two areas in particular that need improvement. “One is having the final product and being able to convert the chances we create. And we also have to be a bit more careful in transition and we have to work specifically on that. At times we got exposed when we were trying to attack and create chances to score.”
Goals from Brandon Wilson and Pearse McKee helped the NTC to a 2-1 win over eventual winners New South Wales from their opening game. But that was as good as it got for the youngsters from the west who suffered a 6-1 loss to the Australian Capital Territory, Jordan Pokler the scorer of the NTC’s solitary goal, before Dylan White salvaged a 1-1 draw with the Northern Territory. A trio of 1-0 losses to Queensland, Victoria and South Australia was followed by a 5-2 defeat by Tasmania, against whom Ahadi Abandelwa and Wilson were on target. McKee scored in the 5-1 final day loss to Northern New South Wales.
The NTC’s poor results were reflected in the tournament All-Stars team, which featured not a single West Australian for the first time since the State Institute Challenge began in 2009. “We didn’t have too many players standing out as individuals,” commented Ola. “But I think as a team we performed very well and we were very unlucky not to get a couple more results in games when we had 60 to 65 per cent of possession and controlled most of the game. Unfortunately, we were exposed in the end of the games trying to score and to make the difference.”
The National Training Centre squad which played at the 2012 State Institute Challenge in Canberra consisted of Ahadi Abandelwa, Leo Athanasiou, Anthony Bafobusha, Ryan Barker, Mohamed Beyan, Jacob Flores, Jesse Lazzaro, Pearse McKee, David Molinari, Rocco Pizzata, Jordan Pokler, Joshua Tucker, Alex Tanevski, Luke Vittiglia, Dylan White, Calvin Whitney, Brandon Wilson and Waliedin Juma Ismail. Travelling with the squad were Kenny Lowe (coach), John Gibson (assistant coach), Dave Butterfield (assistant coach), Danny Milosevic (goalkeeper coach), Cris Ola (technical director) and Yianni Louizos (physiotherapist).
WILLIAMS OFFERS MANAGER DOUBLE BONUS
A fully-fit Rhys Williams is worth two players for the price of one according to Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray. Having stepped up his training schedule, 24-year old Williams is on track to make his Championship comeback before Christmas. The Middlesbrough captain has not played since damaging ankle ligaments while on Cup duty against Gillingham in August. But, after months of hard work in the gym and on the training ground, he is finally on course to potentially feature in the Yorkshire derby against Leeds United on 22 December.
Mowbray admits Williams’ absence has left a huge hole in the team. “Rhys being unavailable for long, long spells has been a drain,” said told gazettelive.co.uk. “The days we’ve been struggling in midfield he would have been there. The days we have been toiling at the back he would have played there. So he’s been like the loss of two players for so long. He’s been a big player for us, he was made captain of the club and he was looking forward to a good season and it’s been a blow but it will be a big positive for us when he gets himself back on the pitch.”
SOCCEROOS QUALIFY FOR EAST ASIAN CUP
Holger Osieck plans to use next year’s East Asian Cup to bring on the next generation of Socceroos after a youthful Australia secured qualification with yesterday’s 8-0 demolition of Chinese Taipei. Australia made a jittery start to their campaign by edging out Hong Kong (1-0) then drawing with DPR Korea (1-1) before piling on the goals against Guam (9-0) and Chinese Taipei (8-0). “We had eight uncapped players and some who had little international experience, so for me it was very important to see how they do (and) overall some of the boys showed some good performances,” said Osieck. Richard Garcia featured in all four games, scoring twice, young gun Adam Taggart netted twice in three outings, defender Dino Djulbic played twice and Eli Babalj made one appearance for two goals.
Veteran midfielder Brett Emerton bailed the Socceroos out of jail by scoring a late winner in their 1-0 defeat of Hong Kong. The Socceroos controlled the early tempo but as the minutes ticked by the home side grew in confidence. Matt McKay lifted high Australia’s best chance of the first half while a diving Eugene Galekovic save denied Lo Kwan Yee early in the second period. Archie Thompson fired straight at goalkeeper Yapp Hung Fai, who later pushed a fierce Tom Rogic strike over the crossbar. With five minutes to go Emerton danced his way around the defence before firing past Yapp from distance. Garcia was replaced in the 81st minute with Taggart entering the action after 70 minutes.
The Socceroos looked to be on the verge of crashing out of the East Asian Cup after being held to a 1-1 draw by DPR North Korea. Thompson opened Australia account after 4 minutes by prodding in at close-range after Mark Milligan’s header from a corner came back off the upright. Much of the next half hour was controlled by the North Koreans but Park Nam-Chol could only head into the arms of Matthew Ryan who was well-positioned to take a Jong Il-Gwan strike. The deserved equaliser arrived on 64 minutes when Ri Kwang-Chon’s deflected shot was volleyed through a crowded 18-yard box by Yong-Hak. Garcia was replaced after 65 minutes with Taggart coming off the bench in the 78th minute.
Australia revived their campaign with a 9-0 demolition of lowly Guam. It took only 12 minutes for the deadlock to be broken, Aaron Mooy scoring straight from a free-kick. Seven minutes later Babalj slotted in at close-range from a cross by Michael Marrone, who made it three-nil four minutes from half-time. Babalj added another on 55 minutes, tucking in after Matt McKay did all the hard work. Thompson marked his introduction by scoring three times in five minutes with Mark Milligan and substitute Garcia rounding out the scoring. Djulbic played a full game, Babalj was replaced in the 55 minute and Garcia came on after 85 minutes.
Chinese Taipei offered little resistance as Australia ran out comfortable 8-0 winners from the final game of the tournament. The Socceroos opened the scoring on 11 minutes with an unmarked Garcia heading in from Aziz Behich’s delivery. Six minutes later Robert Cornthwaite tapped in after Scott Jamieson effort was blocked, then Michael Thwaite played through Taggart who made the most of his one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Taggart headed in his second from a Jamieson cross on 29 minutes before Behich made it five-nil at the break. The onslaught continued after the turnaround with Mooy, Behich and an own goal completing the scoreline. Djulbic played a full game, Garcia came off after 56 minutes, and Taggart after 66 minutes.
WE GOT WHAT WE DESERVED SAYS GLORY’S FERGUSON
Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson lamented a missed opportunity after his side slumped to a 1-0 loss to an under-strength Melbourne Heart yesterday. Despite being without Socceroos trio Richard Garcia, Aziz Behich and Michael Marrone, the home side claimed all three points courtesy of Golgol Mebrahtu’s late strike on the counterattack. “(I’m) really disappointed in our effort,” Ferguson said. “They had a lot of players out and we had an opportunity to go and cement three points today and I think that was the biggest disappointment.”
Ferguson said his side did not deserve a point for their below-par performance. “I just felt today we weren’t quick in transition. I felt we were slow in what we were doing and we gave the opposition time to regroup and get back into their shape,” he said. “We didn’t move it quick enough. We were taking too long on the ball, but we’ve probably got what we deserved today. We never played at all well – as well as I’d expect us to play.”
The loss extends Glory’s winless run to five games and slips them down to seventh position in the A-League. “We’re pretty confident we can get it back on track again. We’ve got to – it’s as simple as that,” commented Ferguson, whose team qualified for the Grand Final last season despite winning four of their first 14 games. “I said to the boys, not unless there’s real pressure on this club – that’s when we start to react. We should be doing a lot better than what we are doing at this moment in time.”
REWARDS FINALLY ARRIVE FOR DJULBIC
Newly capped Socceroo Dino Djulbic thought the chance to represent Australia had passed him by. Djulbic, 29, made his first appearance in the green and gold in Friday night’s 9-0 thrashing of Guam at the East Asian Cup qualifying tournament in Hong Kong. “I started to think it was never going to happen,” said Djulbic, who played domestically for Perth Glory and Gold Coast United. “I thought I did well in the A-League before I left and thought I may have had my chance then. But obviously the chance didn’t come so I just had to continue to work hard and have eventually been rewarded at this old age.”
Djulbic helped Guizhou Renhe finish fourth in the Chinese Super League this season, earning a spot in the competition’s All-Star team after defending against the likes of former English Premier League stars Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka. “It definitely proves that it’s never too late really,” commented the former Perth SC defender. “You have to just keep in mind that the set-up in the national team is always changing and the coach is always looking at new options regardless of age. So if you’re doing well for your club I guess you’ll get rewarded eventually and that’s what’s happening to all us older boys at the moment.”
MELBOURNE SHOW MORE HEART
Sudanese-born refugee Golgol Mebrahtu came off the bench to snatch Melbourne Heart a 1-0 victory over Perth Glory this evening at AAMI Park. The three points gained leapfrogs Melbourne above Glory, who slips to sixth on the back of a five-game winless streak. “It’s disappointing but that’s football,” said Glory captain Jacob Burns. “The way we are playing, and the chances we are creating, we’ll take positives out of it (this game). But at the end of the day we’ve got to take a look at ourselves, it’s another loss on the road so this is not where we want to be.”
Melbourne should have opened the scoring on 3 minutes after Nick Kalmar played in Josip Tadic, who shot into the side netting after a poor first touch. Chris Harold tested Clint Bolton with a tame effort on the counter-attack at the opposite end before the game settled into a slow, sloppy affair. A speculative long-range strike by Kalmar was punched wide by Danny Vukovic, who was untroubled in taking David Williams’ weak effort just before the break. Glory finished the half the stronger with Smeltz heading wide a Travis Dodd cross before twisting and turning inside the 18-yard box only to squeeze his shot the wrong side of the opposite post.
Tempers threatened to boil over at half-time when home coach John Aloisi exchanged words with Burns on the sidelines then in the players’ tunnel. Perhaps fired up by the incident, Heart started the second stanza brightly with Tadic heading wide a cross from Sam Mitchinson. Glory’s best opening came soon after, Dean Heffernan cutting the ball back for Travis Dodd who forced a brilliant save from goalkeeper Clint Bolton. Fred then wasted a chance to put Melbourne ahead by scuffing wide a David Williams centre. Mebrahtu had been on the park 12 minutes when he settled the outcome, the youngster tapping past an advancing Vukovic after meeting Tadic’s 89th minute ball from the left.
GLORY WOMEN, BRISBANE SHARE THE SPOILS
Brisbane Roar recovered from being two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw with Perth Glory from this morning’s W-League encounter at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre. First half finishes by Kate Gill and Mariana Tabain looked to have the visiting side on a comfortable position but a second half comeback saw Tameka Butt and Katrina Gorry ensure the spoils were shared. Although they’ve taken one point from their last two games, Glory Women remain top of the ladder by a two-point margin over Sydney FC, Canberra United and Brisbane.
Played in steamy conditions, Glory Women started brightly with Collette McCallum and Gill both going close from set pieces. This early momentum paid dividends after 34 minutes when McCallum’s curling corner was scrambled in at the near post by Gill. Carly Telford prevented Brisbane from equalising a few minutes later by spectacularly saving from Emily Gielnik on a one-on-one situation. The importance of that save was magnified a minutes from the interval when Tabain looped a cheeky shot over goalkeeper Kate Stewart after Elisa D’Ovidio’s venomous shot came back off the crossbar.
The introduction of Butt for the second stanza allowed the home side to make more of their possession. The difference was halved on 61 minutes when Gielnik’s shot was parried by Telford and Butt was on hand to side foot into the net. Six minutes later Butt scooped over the crossbar after meeting a delightful cross from the right by Gielnik. Sustained pressure finally resulted in an equaliser, Gorry finishing well after being set up by winger Vedrana Popovic. Brisbane pushed on for a winner and had a strong penalty shout waved away after which Glory Women somehow survived a goalmouth scramble.
ADELAIDE HIT GLORY YOUTH FOR SIX
Adelaide United has shown mercy in demolishing Perth Glory Youth 6-2 this afternoon at Burton Park. A dramatic and stunning first half produced a controversial red card, two penalties and five goals as the visiting side were put to the sword by a rampant Adelaide outfit boasting no fewer than six senior players. The day started out positively enough for Glory Youth who had the lead inside 40 seconds with Ndumba Makeche tapping in from point blank range after Riley Woodcock’s dangerous cross from the left created a goalmouth scramble. Makeche almost doubled his account soon after but goalkeeper John Hall came out on top of the one-on-one.
Against the run of play Adelaide equalised on 8 minutes, Awer Mabil applying a simple finish after receiving a cut back from Liam Wooding. The visitors suffered a further blow in the 20th minute when reduced to ten men for a deliberate handball on the goal line, Van Dijk slotting in the resultant penalty. Adelaide extended their lead fifteen minutes later, Antony Golec and Dion Kirk working the ball down the left before the former squared for Wooding to fire into the bottom corner from outside the 18-yard box. Goal number four arrived right on half-time with Melling converting a second spot-kick awarded for a trip on after Daniel Bowles.
There was no let-up after the break as Golec whipped a cross to the far post where Van Dijk feinted to shoot before shifting the ball onto his left foot and blasting past the ‘keeper. In attempting to bring some respectability to the scoreline, Woodcock burst forward in the 70th minute and cut through the middle to play Makeche in behind the home defence, the striker keeping his composure to round Hall and place into the bottom corner. But Adelaide would have the final say when Thomas Briscoe bagged their six goal with just five minutes of regulation time to go.
HAROLD READY TO STEP UP
Perth Youth speedster Chris Harold is ready to seize his opportunity with both hands should it come along this weekend against Melbourne Heart. The attacking midfielder has caught the eye with a string of cameos off the bench, highlighted by the winning goal in last month’s home triumph over Newcastle Jets, and now he’s understandably desperate to make his starting debut for the club. “I’m just pushing as hard as I can to get into the starting side,” said Harold. “I’m definitely ready to start but I’m not going to go to Fergie and speak to him about starting. I’ve just got to show him in training that I’m capable of going out there and doing a job.”
20-year old Harold, who was born in Perth but grew up in Singapore and Malaysia, was used an an out-and-out striker at his former club, Gold Coast United. He feels the midfield role he has been playing since moving to Glory over the winter suits his strengths. “I played a lot as a number nine but now I’ve moved out to a wider position, so players like Travis Dodd and Dean Heffernan, I can learn a lot from them,” he said. “I think playing out wide is the best position for me at this point in time. I feel that when I can get the ball and run at players, that’s when I’m at my most dangerous and I can cause problems for the opposition.”
Glory have taken just two points from their last four A-League encounters but Harold expects that winless run to end with this weekend’s trip to Melbourne. “To be fair, we haven’t been doing too many things wrong,” he said. “We’ve been creating a lot of chances but things haven’t quite been going our way. We do have a couple of people out, but we do have good replacements, we have good depth in the squad and I feel that this weekend we will get a result. When we played Heart in Round Three I thought we really dominated and deserved the win, so I feel we should be able to go out and get a similar result on Saturday.”
DE VANNA EXPECTING A TOUGH, PHYSICAL BRISBANE
Perth Glory Women wrap up a potentially season-defining week with one of the W-League toughest away trips, to Brisbane Roar, tomorrow. Glory Women head into the game sitting at the head of the ladder but such is the closeness of the competition they could easily slide down to fourth by the end of Round Eight. “It’s going to be tough but we know that it’s a good chance to perform well and set our season up,” said striker Lisa De Vanna. “Brisbane has a lot of quality players that I’ve had as teammates at club and national level and we know it’s going to be a very physical game.”
Coach Jamie Harnwell has at his disposal a full squad which will be looking to move on quickly from the mid-week loss to Canberra United. “We’re all very disappointed with the Canberra game,” De Vanna commented. “I think we dominated the second half and had Collette’s (McCallum) goal disallowed which was really frustrating. We knew coming in to the game that it was going to be tough, especially playing away for three games in a row, so we need to get as many points as possible to stay on top.” Tomorrow’s game will be streamed live from 8.00am (Perth time) via www.abc.net.au/w-league.
ISAIA HITS THE COMEBACK TRAIL
Defender James Isaia is working towards being fit and ready for action come the start of the 2013 home and away series. Isaia, 27, is on the comeback trail from a knee injury which required a series of operations and ruined his plans of not only a successful first season with Perth SC but also a chance to further impress the Perth Glory coaching staff, who he trained under last summer. “Hopefully I’ll be back in full training by February,” said Isaia. “The goal is to be ready for Round One of the Premier Division and an injury-free season.”
Isaia barely had time to settle into his new surrounds at Dorrien Gardens when he was struck down by injury. “I was just getting used to playing at right back in a new team and was then forced to watch from the sidelines,” he commented. “There was a full thickness tear to the cartilage behind the knee cap and subsequently some loose bodies were causing the knee to lock-up. I had an initial clean-up in July and expected to be out for just over a month, however, it never healed properly and the tear got bigger which meant I needed another arthroscopy.”
That second procedure took place last month with all the signs so far being positive. “The surgeon scrapped away the damaged tissue almost to the bone. They also took a biopsy of some healthy cartilage, which is currently frozen in a lab and can be farmed if a graft is then deemed necessary,” said Isaia, who commence his rehabilitation last month. “I’ve just started with the hydrotherapy and strengthening of the muscles around the knee. I hope to be running at the start of the New Year and then be right for the start of the season proper.”
BEADLING SIGNS NEW DEAL WITH SUNDERLAND
Teenage defender Tom Beadling is one step closer to achieving his goal of playing in the English Premier League after signing with Sunderland. England-born Beadling moved to Perth at the age of eleven where he honed his skills with the National Training Centre and represented Australia at junior and youth levels. Beadling, now 16, returned to England two years ago to take up an opportunity in the Sunderland Academy, where his efforts were recently rewarded with a two-year scholarship deal signed with first-team boss Martin O’Neill.
Now a member of Sunderland’s under-18 squad, Beadling has fully integrated into life at the Premier League club as he works his way back from a serious back injury which caused him to miss a large chunk of last season. “Firstly, I hope to get back to full fitness and playing as many matches as I can by working hard during the week and trying to be the best player I can be,” Beadling told nwemail.co.uk. “Then, hopefully, I can work towards gaining another contract. I’m aiming to be a professional at the highest level possible.”
But at the moment Beadling’s number one priority is getting back onto the field of play. “Being injured and not playing or training is obviously frustrating, but it’s great going into the academy every day and being around people I can learn from,” commented the defender, who captained Australia at the Asian Federation Cup Under-13s Festival of Football in 2009. “I have been injured for a long period of time and I have had to be very patient. It has been very frustrating watching the other lads train and play, but I am on track to be back playing very soon.”
Beadling has been making the most of the professional set-up at the Stadium of Light. “The facilities are second-to-none, we are provided with everything we need on and off the pitch. It’s a professional environment that’s good to be involved in,” he said. “The setup is very different to Australia, as there are no academies there and football is not the main sport. The main difference is that the intensity and speed of the game is quicker in England, but I did enjoy my time in Australia and gained a lot of experience being there.”
GLORY WOMEN STAY TOP DESPITE LOSS
A brilliant solo strike by new signing Nikki Washington has given Canberra United a vital 2-1 victory over W-League leaders Perth Glory Women from this afternoon’s catch-up game at Deakin Stadium. Despite the loss, which came after Rosie Sutton cancelled out Caitlin Munoz’s early opener, Glory Women maintain a two point lead over nearest rival Sydney FC. “We had a number of chances in the second half but just couldn’t score,” said coach Jamie Harnwell. “The game against Brisbane Roar (on Saturday) is now a huge one, not only to try and stay at the top of the table but also to respond to this result in the right manner and prove we deserve to be where we are in the league.”
The match was given a crackerjack start with Canberra going ahead after 4 minutes, Munoz sending goalkeeper Carly Telford the wrong way from the penalty spot following a foul on Hayley Raso. But that lead lasted just five minutes before Kate Gill headed a deep free-kick back across goal where Sutton courageously headed in her fourth goal of the campaign. From there the two sets of players continued to trade attacks across the remainder of the half. A curling cross by Washington just eluded the diving Munoz at the far post before Collette McCallum rattled the crossbar from distance. Munoz tested Telford with strike after which Sasha Andrews blazed over the top from 16-metres.
It took Canberra only a few second half minutes to seize the initiative, Washington intercepting a stray pass in midfield and powering forward to hit a low shot beyond the reach of Telford. Gill wasted no time in driving Glory Women back into attack, the striker testing Mackenzie Arnold with a firm headed just a minute after the goal. A back-peddling Telford prevented Washington from increasing Canberra’s lead via a lobbed cross. The visitors thought they’d levelled six minutes from time when McCallum curled a wonderful free-kick over the defensive wall and into the top corner, however, goal celebrations were curtailed with the realisation that the free-kick was indirect and thus the goal was chalked off.
MADASCHI A BETTER PLAYER AFTER KOREAN SOJOURN
Playing in the K-League has helped Adrian Madaschi become a more complete footballer. The centre back joined Jeju United in January and, while there were aspects of the game in South Korea that took some getting used, the 30-year old now feels totally home with the style of play. “I feel it has really added something else to my game and has made me broaden my views,” Madaschi told osaussies.com. “The very high intensity combined with the very good technical qualities of the players in this league make you think quicker, pass more effectively and react quicker particularly with the high turnover rate and needing to adjust to the different phases of transition.”
For Madaschi, South Korea’s domestic competition is the second best in Asia behind that of Japan. “Korean football has its own style and I think that is really important,” Madaschi commented. “Offensively, you’re strongly encouraged to keep possession and work out of difficult, tight situations through passing. Combination plays and quick interplay in the midfield is used to create space and open up to attack down the wings, or alternatively to find spaces behind opposing defences with fast, speedy strikers making blind side runs on the back of defenders.”
“Defensively, it can vary between teams and coaches but often defenders are found to have to mark one vs one,” Madaschi continued. “This always asks questions and makes you challenge yourself to look for the least dangerous situation and most importantly, the right positioning to read the game faster than your opponent because in one vs one situations the defender is always going to be disadvantaged … Team shape and organisation is an important factor and a lot of work is done during the week to make sure the team is working as one unit.”
Although overlooked for the Socceroos East Asian Cup campaign, Madaschi is hopeful of one day adding to his five appearances in the green and gold. “I will always be available if called upon by the Socceroos,” said Madaschi. “My job is to stay fit, be playing regularly in a quality competition and be pushing myself to be playing consistently well. These were my objectives I set for this season and I’m happy with how it has gone and really look forward to building on that again next season. I hope that by doing this it can attract the interest of the national team coach.”
Madaschi had make it his goal to help Jeju improve on the sixth placing gained this year when season 2013 kicks off. “We started off very strongly, holding first place for a while then third for a long time, but we hit a bad patch towards the back end of the regular season,” the defender explained. “It would be good to be able to work and improve on it and hold onto those top positions throughout the whole season and really try and challenge the big four clubs because we have a good mix of young and experienced players that gel well together.”
An A-League return is likely somewhere down the track for Madaschi but for the time being he is focused on staying in Korea. “I have another year on my contract with Jeju United, but it’s up to me to prove myself every game, every training session, in order to determine how long I stay here for,” he commented. “I’d love to stay as long as possible. It was definitely a cultural change at the start but now I’m comfortable with life on and off the park and that’s what’s important.”
GLORY CEO RESIGNS
Paul Kelly has resigned after three years as chief executive of Perth Glory. Kelly, who will step down from his post at the start of next year, assumed the chief executive role in January 2010 and was a key figure in bringing Glory to a position of stability and sustainability for the future. “It’s three years to the day that I gave Tony Sage a commitment to assist the game I love,” said Kelly. “I feel now is the right time to hand the reins over.” Glory deputy chairman Lui Giuliani will replace Kelly for the second half of the 2012/13 season, unless a replacement can be found in the meantime.
Glory were in a state of flux early in Kelly’s tenure, with coach Dave Mitchell stepping aside mid-way through the 2010/11 campaign, which the club finished second from bottom. The pressure continued to mount early last season before a strong finish under took them all the way of the Grand Final. “The club was on its knees three years ago but Perth Glory can now look to future with real positivity,” commented Kelly, clearly pleased with the position he leaves Glory in. “I’m also satisfied with the exceptional community and development program we developed.”
Sage, Glory chairman and owner, was full of praise for Kelly’s contribution. “I wish to thank Paul sincerely for his service and contribution to our club,” said Sage, who will retain Kelly’s services as a Glory board member. “He has played a significant role in an important time in the history of this great football club. I look forward to continuing to work with Paul on the advisory board of the club to further help grow the club and the sport. I wish Paul the best of luck for the future and look forward to seeing him at all our home games.”
KREIDER CHARTS GAME’S RISE IN ‘PADDOCKS TO PITCHES’
The much-anticipated and all-encompassing history of football in Western Australia, ‘Paddocks to Pitches’, by football historian Richard Kreider is now available. ‘Pitches to Paddocks: the Definitive History of Western Australian Football’ is an 800-page tome that delves deep into every aspect of the local game,
from the scratchy beginnings of the late 19th century through to the modern day success story that is Perth Glory. It’s the third book for Kreider, who was added to Football Federation Australia’s six-person Panel of Football Historians in October, after ‘A Soccer Century’ (1996) and ‘The Soccerites’ (2005).
Researched predominantly though the Battye Library and with the personal testimony of dozens of individuals, ‘Paddocks to Pitches’ is a comprehensive exploration of the local game and the people who shaped it. “I decided to write the book out of about 20% curiosity and 80% insanity,” joked the author, who estimates he spent around 4000 hours compiling the book. “I knew it would be a challenge because I only had newspapers and the memories of past players and their widows to work with. They gave me some great stories that I could follow up and verify through the old newspapers.”
‘Paddocks to Pitches’ catalogues the game’s origins WA in the 1890s and how it has evolved over the past 120 years. The book includes sections on the State League, Perth Glory, amateurs and women’s leagues, country football and State representative teams along with biographies of the sport’s major players, administrators and officials. League tables and major trophy winners for every season since 1896 are amongst the mountain of statistics, while in excess of 600 images are featured throughout the landmark publication. “Paddocks to Pitches’ can be ordered through paddockstopitches.com.
GLORY WOMEN TO TACKLE CHAMPIONS
Perth Glory Women coach Jamie Harnwell will take his entire squad east for tomorrow evening’s crucial showdown with W-League champions Canberra United. The delayed Round Six fixture marks the beginning of a tough run of fixtures for Glory Women, who will fly direct to Brisbane following the game in Canberra to prepare for Saturday morning’s clash with Brisbane Roar. Victory tomorrow will see Glory Women move five points clear at the top of the W-League and one step closer to a historic premiership win.
Defender Bronwyn Studman says she has a point to prove against Canberra, who last season was overlooked for a contract with the team from the nations’ capital. “Personally, I definitely want to make an impact against them,” commented Studman. “There’s no doubt it’s going to be tough, but I think taking our whole squad over will be a big boost for depth just in case someone gets injured, which hopefully doesn’t happen. We are definitely fully prepared for this one and won’t be settling for anything less than three points.”
Canberra have won only two of their six games so far this season and are coming off back-to-back losses at the International Women’s Club Championship in Japan. “Their squad is virtually the same as last season, so it is surprising they have struggled a little this season,” Studman added. “Having said that, we definitely won’t be taking them lightly and know how important it is to put in another great performance and hopefully win to set us up nicely for that finals appearance we are all chasing.” Canberra welcome Glory Women to Deakin Football Stadium, Canberra, tomorrow evening.
HERD EARNS MANAGERS’ PRAISE
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert was quick to praise Chris Herd following the weekend draw at Queens Park Rangers. In his first appearance since October, midfielder Herd slotted neatly in a three-man backline only a couple of days after partnering Ciaran Clark and Nathan Baker. “Herdy was outstanding, he really was. We threw him in in training on Thursday and that was it,” said Lambert. “So to come in like that was really excellent. That’s a compliment to him. We threw it on them the other day. Full credit to them.” Herd had been sidelined since injuring his knee while on duty against Swindon Town.
NIGHT SERIES FIXTURES REVEALED
Season 2013 is beginning to take shape with the release of the group draw for the Night Series. The 31 State League clubs will line-up alongside Sunday Premier League winners Joondalup United, who’ll take the place of the National Training Centre, in the in the traditional pre-season tournament. “Everyone can’t wait for the local action to begin again after a brilliant 2012 season,” said Football West chief executive Peter Hugg. “This tournament is a great opportunity for teams to get match-fit for the regular season and it is a great chance for fans to see some of the new faces around their clubs.
The initial phase of the tournament, which commences on 25 January, has the 32 teams split into eight groups of four. The potential for upset is great in Group A which has eastern corridor sides Armadale, Gosnells City, Forrestfield United and Melville City at Alfred Skeet Oval. Mandurah City have hosting right of Group B which features Bunbury Forum Force, Rockingham City and Fremantle Spirit. Group C pits Division One champions Cockburn City against Western Knights, Canning City and Fremantle United at Dalmatinac Park. Host club Stirling Lions and Wanneroo City are expected to fight it out in Group D which also includes Dianella White Eagles and Joondalup City.
Floreat Athena and ECU Joondalup have been drawn together in Group E, which will be played out of Litis Stadium, along with Shamrock Rovers and Joondalup United. Bayswater City have already been installed as the red-hot favourite to take out Group F over Swan United, host club Morley Windmills and Quinns. Group G brings together Inglewood United, Sorrento, Ashfield and Kingsway Olympic at Intiga Stadium in what is being hailed the ‘group of death’. Group H will be similarly tight with Perth SC, Balcatta, Division Two champions UWA-Nedlands and Subiaco AFC facing off at Dorrien Gardens.
The winner of each group progresses to the knock-out stage, with the Night Series finale scheduled for 10 March at Dorrien Gardens. “We saw plenty of local rivalries formed in the season just gone, and they are only going to get bigger and better with how the fixtures have panned out,” Hugg commented. “Our competitions team have been working very hard to make the eight groups as even as possible based on geographic location and results, so we look forward to seeing more upsets like last season as everyone chases Perth for the Night Series crown.”
MILLER IN RACE AGAINST TIME
Liam Miller will be put through an intensive treatment of acupuncture and massage in an attempt to be ready for this weekends’ trip to Melbourne Heart. The Perth Glory midfielder was a late withdrawal from Friday night’s game with Melbourne Victory after pulling up sore with a back complaint during the pre-game warm-up. It’s a similar injury which sidelined Miller for five games last season, but coach Ian Ferguson remains optimistic his playmaker will line-up on Saturday. “He’s had the scans and it’s very similar to last year, so we’ve just got to hope it settles quickly,” said Ferguson. “It’s one of these ones where it can go away overnight or it could linger for a while.”
BACCUS TO SEE OUT SEASON WITH GLORY
Highly-rated midfielder Kearyn Baccus has extended his stay with Perth Glory until the end of the A-League season. Baccus, 21, joined Glory on a short-term deal to fill the gap between his release from French side Le Mans and a January move to Italian outfit AC Siena. A torn hip flexor and protracted release from Le Mans has meant he had to cool his heels on the sidelines until last weekend, when Baccus turned out for Glory’s youth team. If all now goes to plan he will be on a plane to Italy in May to see out the final year of an 18-month pre-agreement with Siena.
Baccus intends making the most of his time in Perth after playing the last four years in Spain. “I wanted to be back home with my family and in an English-speaking country – I’d had enough,” Baccus told au.fourfourtwo.com. “I’ve just missed home – I missed my family. I’ve been away since I was 17 so it’s just been hard. People don’t understand how hard it is. The first year was very very difficult. (After that) it all got a lot easier because I learnt the language and made good friends – it got easier towards the end.”
But breaking into the Glory first team may be easiest said than done. “It’s a strong squad to be fair - I’m just going to have to work hard and see what happens,” said Baccus, who was born in South Africa and grew up in Sydney. “It’s pretty frustrating when you come back and you’re not playing. But I’ve come late into the season so it’s going to take me a lot more time than the other boys … I’m pretty happy at the moment. I’d like to stay as long as I can. I’ve got a good opportunity to go back overseas but at the moment I’d like to stay here.”
LYDEN KEEN TO MAKE HIS MARK AT VILLA
Teenager Jordan Lyden plans to become the latest ECU Joondalup graduate to establish himself in England. The versatile 16-year old last month signed a three-year deal with Aston Villa and having gained his international clearance is desperate to prove himself according to the players’ agent Gary Williams. “Jordan is an outstanding young player,” Williams told Sky Sports. “He has adapted well to England, and he is delighted to have earned the long-term deal. He has seen the players come from Joondalup and make the grade and he only has to look at the fine example of Chris Herd already at the club if he needs any motivation. Part of the reason him going there (to Villa) was knowing that if you are good enough and prove yourself - then you will get a chance, and that is all any young player can ask.”
TAGGART SURPRISED BY SOCCEROOS CALL-UP
Socceroo-in-waiting Adam Taggart does not expect to walk into Newcastle United’s starting line-up when he returns from duty at the East Asian Cup 2013 qualifying tournament. Taggart, 19, was a surprise inclusion in Australian coach Holger Osieck’s squad but said he is “not thinking too far ahead” about the prospect of earning his first Socceroos cap. “Just getting picked in the first place was a bit of a surprise,” commented the former ECU Joondalup junior. “It’s something I really appreciate and I just have to take the opportunity as much as I can. I think just in general, the experience to be with such good players will be good as well.”
Since joining Newcastle at the start of the season Taggart has made only four appearances, three of which have been off the bench. The striker will miss his teams’ next two games and admitted he’ll have to bide his time upon returning from international duty. “I’ll take the next week or so with this team (the Socceroos) as it comes, and when I get back to Newcastle it will be about trying to cement a spot in the team again,” he said. “That’s going to be hard because obviously the boys as individuals have been doing well lately in the front third. It won’t be easy but I just have to work towards that.”
Taggart, who played last summer with Perth Glory, really hasn’t had a lot of time to settle in to Newcastle due to the Young Socceroos participation in last month’s AFC Under-19 Championship. “It seemed like I was in Newcastle for, at the longest, about a week at a time,” he said. “Sometimes we’d get back on a Thursday and the (Newcastle) game would be on the Saturday, so we were grateful just to get a spot on the bench. But when I get back it will be good to settle in and hopefully do as much as I can for Newcastle.” Over the next week the Socceroos are to play Hong Kong (3 December), DPR Korea (5 December), Guam (7 December) and Chinese Taipei (9 December).
GLORY YOUTH SNEAK MUCH-NEEDED WIN
First-half goals from Ndumba Makeche and Moses Kalau have helped Perth Glory Youth to a narrow 2-1 win over the Australian Institute of Sport this morning in Canberra. The win moves the Glory youngsters to sixth on the National Youth League table whereas the AIS, whose goal came via Alexander Gersbach, are still pointless from seven starts. The visitors started brightly with Borbor Sambindi bringing a couple of low saves out of goalkeeper Andre Jannese. Only 6 minutes had been played when they were rewarded with the games’ opening goal, Sam Bindi delivering a teasing cross from the left which fell for Makeche to lash into the roof of the net on the turn.
The AIS almost hit back immediately with Matthew Schmidt’s downward header stretching goalkeeper Jordan Franken. A defensive lapse allowed the hosts to draw level after 25th minutes, Gersbach pouncing on a poor back-pass to stab into Franken’s net. Todd Norris then tested Franken with a firm shot which was hit straight at the ‘keeper. Glory regained the lead on 29 minutes with Kalau advancing on goal to unleash a thunderbolt that crashed into the net via the underside of the crossbar. Kalau went close again shortly after while Matthew Davies’ close-range volley was into the post as the visitors sought a third goal before the interval.
Franken prevented the AIS from equalising early in the second half by pushing away Josh Barresi’s well-directed header from a Norris cross. Just after the hour Norris, who was by now having a considerable impact on the game, was inches away from collecting a precise through ball when Franken darted off his line to snuff out the danger. Barresi went even closer when he got in behind a flat defence to unleashing a fierce shot which beat the ‘keeper but smashed into the post. The AIS continued to monopolise play but the closest they’d come to taking a point was a late Darcy Madden effort which flashed over the top.
WESTERN SYDNEY NO MATCH FOR GLORY WOMEN
Returning Matildas Kate Gill and Collette McCallum along with foundation player Marianna Tabain were on the scoresheet as Perth Glory Women accounted for Western Sydney Wanderers 3-0 this afternoon at Intiga Stadium. The win keeps Glory Women at the head of the W-League table and on course for a maiden finals appearance. “I’m really pleased with how we performed today, everybody played their part,” said team captain McCallum. “It’s so important to keep winning in front of the home fans and we’ve got a tough run ahead starting with Canberra United on Wednesday. If we play like how we did today I’m confident we’d be able to get the job done.”
The home side took a fortuitous lead after 17 minutes when Tabain’s cross from the left evaded team mate Gill and caught goalkeeper Thora Helgadottir by off-guard with the ball sneaking inside the far post. Eight minutes later the lead was doubled, McCallum playing a delightful ball through to Rosie Sutton whose squared pass was poked in by Gill from a couple of metres. Play continued to be all one-way as Gill headed high after combining with Lisa De Vanna, while Aivi Luik’s strike from 16-metres grazed the outside of the upright. Western Sydney’s only shot on target came just before the break when Louise Thor shot straight at Carly Telford.
De Vanna continued to ask questions of the visiting defence after the turnaround, the veteran striker playing through Tabain whose shot forced a smart save from substitute ‘keeper Elizabeth Durack. The result was put beyond doubt on the hour by a superb McCallum free-kick from 22-metres which curled away from the ’keeper to nestle inside the top corner. Despite being three-nil down, Trudy Camilleri and Catherine Cannuli sought desperately to bring Western Sydney back into the game but failed to fashion anything in the way of meaningful chances on goal. In fact the only opening of note over the closing stages came at the opposite end where Durack blocked a firm strike from Tabain.
DEPLETED GLORY GO DOWN IN MELBOURNE
Perth Glory’s winless streak stretched to four games with last night’s 1-0 loss to an in-form Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park. Marco Rojas classy second half finish was enough to give Melbourne maximum points for the fourth week in a row. Despite the loss Glory coach Ian Ferguson, who lost key midfielder Liam Miller to a back problem just prior to kick-off, praised his teams’ efforts. “I can’t fault any of the players today, their effort was tremendous for the club and themselves,” said Ferguson, before expressing his concern over Glory’s depth. “The squad is not as strong as it was last year … what we have done is strengthen the eleven and I’m missing four of them today.”
Clear-cut chances were few and far between in a scrappy first half. The first opening came the way of Nick Ward whose unmarked header from a Steve McGarry centre drifted narrowly wide of the upright on 14 minutes. Melbourne then started to get more involved without requiring too much from visiting goalkeeper Danny Vukovic. The closest they came to breaking the deadlock was a 28th minute Rojas lob which cleared Vukovic and grazed the top of the crossbar. Gui Finkler put a free-kick harmlessly over the top and shortly before the interval Marcos Flores spurned a great chance by volleying high. Tensions threatened to spill over between those two chances with Billy Celeski emerging with a bloodied face after tangling with Shane Smeltz.
Melbourne continued to create chances after the turnaround, Andrew Nabbout side-footing wide after meeting a Rojas centre. But there was no mistaking the finish on 57 minutes when Rojas’ deft chip over Vukovic dropped inside the far top corner after being teed up by Finkler. Glory substitute Chris Harold forced a fine save from Nathan Coe 68 minutes but failed to trouble the goalkeeper when found unmarked at the back post with the resulting corner. Smeltz thought he’d equalised after 75 minutes but a wonderful diving save by Nathan Coe pushed his header away from the bottom corner. Harold almost snuck a late point with a surging run into the 18-yard box before unleashing a fierce shot which Coe blocked to ensure Melbourne’s second clean sheet in as many games.
FERGUSON PLANS FOR SUCCESS WITHOUT STARS
Perth Glory boss Ian Ferguson is confident his side can overcome the absences of several key men to end their three-match winless streak tonight at Melbourne Victory. The team in purple will be forced to make at least three changes for the clash with Michael Thwaite and Scott Jamieson away on international duty and Jacob Burns ruled out by suspension, while Liam Miller will have to undergo a fitness test on a back problem. “We are going to be stretched to the bare essentials, but we’ll still put out a good strong team against Melbourne and I’m reasonably happy with where we are at the moment,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson challenged his side to display the kind of consistency that Melbourne have shown in taking ten points from their past four games. “At the beginning of the season it was all doom and gloom for Victory after the first couple of results. It just goes to show that if you can put a couple of results together in this league you can shoot up the table,” said Ferguson. “We’ve not done that yet, we’ve been a bit stop-start … But compared to where we were last year at this stage, we’re actually two points better off and you always try and better what you did last season.”
Although Glory are yet to win on the road this season, they have enjoyed plenty of success playing in Melbourne. “We have done well down in Melbourne in the last couple of seasons,” Ferguson said. “We won at Heart twice last term and drew at Victory and we’re looking to continue that on Friday. We also went there in pre-season and did extremely well and I know people say it’s only pre-season, but it still gives the boys confidence going there because it’s the same team and the same personnel that you’re playing against, so you know you can do it.”
SELECTION HEADACHE FOR HARNWELL
W-League leaders Perth Glory Women will be out to set the record straight when they host Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday afternoon. Western Sydney are the only side to have beaten Glory Women this season, 2-0 four weeks ago, and with Matildas Collette McCallum, Lisa De Vanna and Kate Gill back from international duty coach Jamie Harnwell is confident his team can reverse that result. “It’s been a solid week on the training track and all of our focus is trying to get the three points this weekend,” said Harnwell. “It’s going to be very difficult for me to pick the team for Saturday, that’s for sure.
With trips to perennial W-League powers Canberra United, Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC coming up, Harnwell considers three points this weekend a must if his team are to push for a maiden finals appearance. “Our approach wasn’t good enough when we travelled to Western Sydney, so hopefully we can put things right with a win as we’ve got a tough period coming up with the next three games away,” the coach said. Players across the W-League this weekend will wear silver shoelaces in support of the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation as part of the competition’s inaugural ‘Silver Round’. Glory Women take on Western Sydney tomorrow at Intiga Stadium, Inglewood, from 4.00pm.
DUNN SIGNS UP WITH BALCATTA
Balcatta have taken a giant step towards strengthening their claim on silverware next season with the recruitment of State representative Alex Dunn. The 26-year old goalkeeper jumped at the opportunity to join Balcatta, who last year topped the Premier Division ladder, and bring to an end his short spell with Perth SC. “Balcatta were in the market to sign a goalkeeper, and when I mentioned my future at Perth was uncertain they were quick to contact me with the offer of a place in the team for 2013,” explained Dunn.
Dunn says leaving Perth after less than a year was a difficult decision. “A new coach (Mauro Marchione) coming in brings different ideas and with Jason Saldaris signing for the club I was not guaranteed first team football. As hard as it was, I felt it was best for me to move on,” Dunn commented. “It’s disappointing to leave Perth after only one season, they’re a great bunch of guys down there and the club set up is brilliant. I had plans to stay there for a number of years but circumstances change and the club wanted to go in a different direction.”
Dunn admits to having mixed feelings about the season he spent at Dorrien Gardens. “We got off to a great start of the year in winning the Night Series with a man down which was a one of the greatest wins I have been involved in,” said Dunn of last year’s 1-0 pre-season final defeat of Bayswater City. “But I think we under-achieved in the league season. With the squad we had and we should have done a lot better, which is why I’m disappointed to leave because it would have been great to rectify that in 2013.”
Balcatta coach Michael Roki knows well what Dunn is capable of having watched his progression from youth to first team football while the pair were at Floreat Athena. “Alex has gained much experience from his time as the number one choice at both Floreat and Perth. He is calm under pressure, an effective communicator with his defence and a good shot-stopper,” said Roki. “We needed to add a second senior ‘keeper to the ranks after losing two quality Lewis Italiano and Neil Young during the early stages of last season. Alex should add stability to our defence which as a unit conceded far too many goals last year.”
The transition to playing for Balcatta is expected to be a smooth one for Dunn. “I’m good mates with a lot of the boys like John Migas, Jules Madaschi, Simon Elton-Bott, Callum Roberts, etc so I’m sure I’ll settle in easy at the club,” said Dunn, who has another month to wait before his first session with his new team mates. “Rox has always believed in starting pre-season later than all the other team as he doesn’t want players to burn out. We don’t start pre-season until the first week of January, so it’ll just be keeping the fitness levels up till then.”
FOUR WEST AUSSIES SELECTED IN SOCCEROOS
China-based defender Dino Djulbic and Newcastle Jets attacker Adam Taggart are in line to make their senior international debuts after being named in Holger Osieck’s 20-player Socceroos squad for next week East Asian Cup qualifying tournament. Veteran Richard Garcia and young gun Eli Babalj also made the final cut squad, however, midfielder Rostyn Griffiths missed out due to injury. The Socceroos will face Hong Kong (3 December), DPR Korea (5 December), Guam (7 December) and Chinese Taipei (9 December) with the tournament winner joining South Korea, Japan and China at next year’s East Asian Cup.
The Australia squad for the East Asian Cup qualifiers is Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United), Ivan Franjic, Matt Smith (Brisbane Roar), Matt McKay (Busan I Park), Tom Rogic, Mat Ryan (Central Coast Mariners), Robert Cornthwaite (Chunnam Dragons), Dino Djulbic (Guizhou Renhe), Aziz Behich, Richard Garcia, Michael Marrone (Melbourne Heart), Mark Milligan, Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets), Scott Jamieson, Michael Thwaite (Perth Glory), Eli Babalj (Red Star Belgrade), Terry Antonis, Brett Emerton (Sydney FC) and Aaron Mooy (Western Sydney Wanderers).
NO GLORY IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Perth Glory’s hopes of playing in next year’s Asian Champions League have been shattered. The Asian Football Confederation today decided to reduce Australia’s participation in the tournament to one place in the group stage, which will go to premiers Central Coast Mariners, and one spot via a qualifying series, which will be taken by grand final winners Brisbane Roar. Glory, who lost last seasons’ dramatic grand final to Brisbane, were to have been the A-League’s third Champions League representative when Australia had two direct entries and a qualifying spot.
Glory chairman Tony Sage slammed the AFC’s decision which grants Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Japan, Korea Republic and China four direct entries to the tournament. “I’m absolutely gutted and the whole process is a joke,” Sage commented via Glory’s official twitter account. It is understood Glory have spent in the vicinity of $80,000 preparing for the Champions League by hosting AFC delegates, ensuring Perth Oval is up to scratch and through the design of production of Champions League strips. Sage expects Football Federation Australia to fight the decision on behalf of A-League clubs.
MILLER READIES COCKBURN FOR THE NEXT STEP
Cockburn City are preparing to make a lasting impression on their return to the Premier Division according to coach Scott Miller. The Cockerels stormed their way to the Division One title last year, having dropped down to the second tier just twelve months earlier, and Miller is looking forward to writing the next chapter in Cockburn’s long and successful history. “The club was very aware after being relegated that many clubs struggle to get back up,” said Miller. “It was really important that we kept experienced players at the club and we had some other guys that really took the responsibility.”
Miller was particularly impressed by the efforts of four of Cockburn’s newcomers last season. “Paul Lloyd, Eamon McNelis, Connor Kavangh and Ian Stack only came on board this year and they’ve each really embraced the club and were a great help for the likes of Paul Natale, Marc Antony and Euen Grant,” added Miller, who expects big things from some of the clubs youth brigade in 2013. “Devon Gibson, Pavle Biserko and Harry O’Brien are all great young lads that we hope can be at the club for a long time … next season will be a great challenge for all the lads.”
Miller is the first to admit the timing of his appointment mid last season was far from ideal. “There were ten games to go and the club was just a few points off top spot so we just had to get on with the job of trying to climb the ladder,” he explained. “Luckily the players embraced the style of football I wanted us to play. The boys were brilliant, winning nine games and drawing one so I couldn’t have asked for much more, apart from maybe one more win … it goes without saying that everyone at the club is wrapped to win the league.”
One of Cockburn’s traditional strengths has been fertile junior and youth systems, something Miller sees continuing under president Heidi Lazzaro. “Heidi is a great president, she works really hard not only for the senior side but also in getting the junior side of the club better each year,” said Miller. “The best thing about getting promotion is the effect it has on the number of juniors at the club, and that means we must spend extra effort making sure the kids receive the best possible coaching we can get for them. Not only the elite players, but the kids that just love having a kick.”
With Cockburn’s pre-season beginning soon, Miller is looking to make a few select additions to his squad. “We have haven’t added to the squad as yet, but I’m confident when training starts we will add a few. I think we are realistic knowing the step up to the Premier League is a big one so we will look to strengthen all over the park,” explained Miller. “Last time we were in the Premier Division we finished last and were relegated, so any better than that is an improvement. Our first ambition this year is to be competitive and we will go from there.”
BAYSWATER COUNCIL KNOCKS BACK FOOTBALL WEST
Football West looks set to move their setup away from Maylands after the City of Bayswater opted not to submit an expression of interest to retain football’s administration centre within the council. The State’s peak body are seeking expressions of interest to partner with clubs, universities or local governments to develop a minimum 40,000sqm ‘home of football’. The new facility is likely to cost upwards of $15 million and is dependent upon FIFA, Football Federation Australia and the Department of Sport and Recreation funding.
Football West chief executive Peter Hugg says the planned ‘home of football’ will usher in a new era of professionalism for the sport in Western Australia. “Our headquarters are currently based out of what could loosely be described as a tin shed on the edge of a field in Maylands,” Hugg told the ‘Eastern Reporter’. “We’d look to relocate that to what will be the home of football, so our headquarters, a small stadium and training pitches. We hope this will change the complete financial model and change the face of everything we can do.”
Hugg stated his organisation had no ideal location identified, and is looking for a co-operative partnership that would work for both parties. “If it’s suburb A or suburb B we don’t care. Hand on heart, our preference is for the best venue that meets our requirements,” he said. “First and foremost is a co-operative council who will work with us and ticks all our requirements in the EOI document.” Football West’s current administration centre is at Gibbney Reserve, Maylands, under a lease agreement with the City of Bayswater that run expire until 2024.
The City of Bayswater were invited to lodge their interest in keeping Football West within the council but opted not to do so due what mayor Terry Kenyon described as a restrictive timeline. “We received the invitation to provide an expression of interest on November 2,” Kenyon said. “The deadline was the 16th and we don’t have our next council meeting until the 20th. We don’t rush things through. We asked for an extension, they categorically said no. They’ve said you either put in a submission or you don’t, and we haven’t.”
Hugg admits he is surprised by the council’s stance. “We recognise the timing is tight but the actual requirements in a non-binding EOI shouldn’t be that onerous,” Hugg commented. “There is another couple of weeks where we can talk to those councils and another week to decide so all up, it should be almost two months before a decision is made public or even reached.” Hugg is hopeful the majority of the project will be completed by December 2014 in preparation Australia’s hosting of the following years Asian Cup.
PATIENCE CLOSE TO PLAYING OFF FOR GRIFFITHS, DJULBIC
Socceroos coach Holger Osieck will select his East Asia Cup squad later this week but a clutch of those in the running could easily have found themselves wearing the colours of other national teams. Midfielder Rostyn Griffiths turned down Wales as a teenager whereas defender Dino Djulbic was on Bosnia’s radar for a while. Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith was born in England while young gun Eli Babalj had the choice of playing internationally for Serbia or the Socceroos. All are now proud Australians and are desperate to make the final 20-player squad at the end of this weeks’ training camp in Sydney.
Griffiths was born in England but grew up in Perth’s northern suburbs, where he played for ECU Joondalup. “I’ve always felt Australian, I don’t consider myself to be British,” said Griffiths, who joined English club Blackburn Rovers at the age of 15. “I was doing well in the UK and I was asked if I was interested in playing for Wales. I hadn’t really had much contact from Australia, but I think for the national team it comes down to pride as opposed to just doing it to play football. So that was why I said, ‘No, I’ll bide my time (to play for Australia)’. Seven years later here we are.”
Djulbic made his initial mark with Perth SC but these days is playing professionally for Chinese Super League side Guizhou Renhe. When the call came from Socceroos officials a few weeks ago, he needed little convincing. “I got a call about a month ago, they said they wanted me to represent Australia and told me there was a process to go through,” said Bosnia-born Djulbic. “I had decided I wanted to play for Australia, but the biggest hurdle was getting approval from Bosnia and getting the paperwork. In fact it only came through a week ago, so I’m just glad to be here (in camp).”
RISDON KEEPS FAITH
Defender Josh Risdon says Perth Glory have the depth on board to cover for a raft of absentees on Friday night against Melbourne Victory. Scott Jamieson and Michael Thwaite are likely to miss the game due to international committments, Bas Van Den Brink is struggling with a pelvic injury while captain Jacob Burns is out through suspension. “A few boys will be out but we’ve got depth in the squad,” Risdon said. “The players who are coming in can do just as good a job. Melbourne will be missing a few players as well so I don’t think it will matter too much.”
Glory have picked up just two points from their last three outings, draws with Adelaide United and Wellington Phoenix bookending a loss to Western Sydney Wanderers. Despite the form dip, Risdon says the player group remain full of self-belief and intend taking maximum points from games away at Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart over the next fortnight. “We haven’t got the results we wanted but the boys are still pretty confident,” Risdon said. “We’ve just got to keep our morale high as a team and we’ll get the wins soon.”
GARCIA BACK ON SOCCEROOS RADAR
Melbourne Heart attacker Richard Garcia reports for Socceroos duty today with mixed emotions. While excited to have received his first Socceroos call-up in two years, Garcia feels guilty leaving behind his Melbourne teammates on the eve of what promises to be a challenging fortnight. “It’s fantastic (to be back). I put myself back on the radar and they can see what I’ve got to offer. Hopefully the next few weeks go well,” Garcia said. “It comes at a tough time for the club, we’ve got a couple of important games coming up. But that’s why every player in the squad is important. The depth will be tested but I’m sure guys that come in will do a great job.”
Garcia, 31, had made 14 appearances for Australia since debuting against South Africa in mid-2008. He featured regularly under Holger Osieck, helping the nation qualify for the 2010 World Cup where he started the Socceroos first game against Germany and came off the bench against Serbia. He gained selection for the 2011 Asian Cup but withdrew from the squad after suffering a cruciate ligament injury while playing for Hull City. Garcia made scattered appearances for his English side over the second half of the 2011/12 season before ending 15-years abroad by joining Melbourne.
Garcia started this season as a holding midfielder but in recent weeks has played further forward, either just in behind the strikers or on the right wing. “I’m happy to score, but I’d rather be winning,” said Garcia, who bagged a double in the weekend’s 3-3 draw with Newcastle Jets. “It’s helped playing further forward. It’s more natural for me. It’s the story of my career really. I’m someone who can play anywhere and I’ve played in many positions accordingly. I know they’re eager to keep me more advanced, but we’ll just see how the season progresses. I’m happy to play anywhere but the attacking part of my game is better than the defensive side.”
MELBOURNE A CLASS ABOVE GLORY YOUTH
Perth Glory Youth slumped to their third loss in four games by going down 3-0 to Melbourne Victory this afternoon at Intiga Stadium. In an error-ridden first half, Melbourne pressed up the pitch early and almost took the lead when Lewis Italiano’s attempted clearance squirmed off his boot and rolled across the face of goal. The home side worked their way back into the game but Ndumba Makeche was unable to make much of a couple of chances. John Buceto opened Melbourne’s account in the 42nd minute by running onto a through ball which he stroked past Italiano.
Melbourne’s lead was extended five minutes into the second half when Buceto receiving a centring pass and lashing into the net from 14-metres. The result was put beyond on 66 minutes when Luc Jeggo sent the ball into substitute goalkeeper Jordan Franken’s net. Glory Youth offered little in the way of a comeback with their ventures into attack all too often broken down by the visiting defence. The loss slips Glory Youth to joint second-from-bottom with Sydney FC in the National Youth League, whereas Melbourne shares top spot with Central Coast Mariners.
MATILDA’S MISS OUT ON EAST ASIAN CUP
Long-time Matildas coach Tom Sermanni has been denied the farewell he deserved with Australia falling short of East Asian Cup qualification. Instead it will be China that progress to next year’s tournament following a final day 2-1 victory over the Matildas, who had earlier chalked up big wins over Chinese Taipei (7-0) and Hong Kong (4-0). “It’s been more than a job for me said Sermanni, who guided Australia to three Women’s World Cups during 11 years at the helm. “Players have come into the team, you’ve seen players go on to the next stage of their life and when you’ve been with this team, it’s more than just about football.”
Australia’s qualification campaign opened in emphatic fashion with a 7-0 win over Chinese Taipei. Kate Gill headed in the opening goal from a Samantha Kerr cross after 5 minutes, Lisa De Vanna doubled the margin midway through the first half with Kyah Simon taking the difference to three goals just before the break. De Vanna bagged her second goal only minutes after the restart before Servet Uzunlar added her name to the scorers on 75 minutes. A lovely curling shot by Simon and a Gill tap-in completed the scoring. Collette McCallum played a full game, De Vanna was replaced after 61 minutes and Kerr after 75 minutes.
A comprehensive 4-0 victory over Hong Kong put Australia within one point of East Asian Cup qualification. Sermanni fielded an experimental Matildas side that featured seven players with ten caps or less but nonetheless totally dominated the game. Tameka Butt nodded in after 33 minutes from Katrina-Lee Gorry’s neat delivery. Simon made it two-nil just past the hour with McCallum coming off the bench to provide Gill Australia’s third goal of the match. Stephanie Catley capped a standout performance with a dipping long-range drive which found the top corner in stoppage time. Kerr came off the bench on 66 minutes with McCallum entering the action in the 74th minute.
China turned in their most complete performance of the tournament to down Australia 2-1 in their qualifiers penultimate game. The hosts underlined their quality by posting the match opener after 9 minutes, Wang Li Si letting fly with a lovely shot from the top of the 18-yard box. Gill showed tremendous poise three minutes later by equalising from close-range after meeting Caitlin Foord’s pinpoint delivery. Zhang Rui punished some poor defending in the 50 minute to restore China’s lead, after which the hosts tightened their defences, limiting Australia to only the occasional half-chance. De Vanna and McCallum played full games with Kerr replaced after 70 minutes.
ERRORS ARE COSTING US SAYS GLORY BOSS
Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson has questioned his teams’ consistency on the back of last night’s 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix. The team in purple looked the better of the two for the majority of the 90 minutes, had the better of the chances and registered 13 shots to Wellington’s six but could not clinch the three points. “We weren’t consistent enough, there was times when we played some decent football (but then) we put ourselves in a lot of trouble,” Ferguson said. “We seem to be giving the ball away in certain areas and the opposition pounce on it.”
Shane Smeltz put Glory ahead just after the hour but instead of closing the game out the hosts allowed Jeremy Brockie to equalise just ten minutes later. “I just feel we don’t get enough service to (Smeltz and Billy Mehmet) quickly enough,” Ferguson added. “When we’ve got these two players in the team at the same time we need to get things sometimes a little bit more direct rather than playing the nice football. Sometimes we’ve got to be a little bit more direct like Wellington were tonight, they caused us a lot of problems with that.”
Glory will be without Jacob Burns for next week’s trip to Melbourne Victory after the team captain collected his fifth yellow card in five games. “It’s disappointing. He’s just come back from injury and now he’s suspended again,” said Ferguson. “That’s the just the way the boy is, he plays with his heart on his sleeve. But he’s got to be a little bit smarter knowing he’s on four bookings. We’ll have a little chat about that.” It’ll be a depleted Glory side which travels to Melbourne with Scott Jamieson and Michael Thwaite also absent due to international duties.
GLORY LET WELLINGTON BACK IN
Wellington Phoenix will travel home across the Tasman with a well-earned point after grinding out a 1-1 draw with Perth Glory this evening at Perth Oval. Shane Smeltz celebrated his return to the Glory eleven by netting after the hour but ten minutes later Jeremy Brockie netted to earn the visitors a valuable point. “I don’t think it was our best performance. I’m very disappointed,” Glory coach Ian Ferguson said. “To get ourselves into the lead and then give away a silly goal - the manner we defended that was pretty poor.” The result means Glory stay fifth on the A-League ladder, two points behind Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory, with eight games played.
Louis Fenton could have given the visitors a dream start but his volley from a Brockie cross lacked venom and was comfortably taken by Danny Vukovic for his only save of the first half. By contrast, Mark Paston was called upon on four occasions to keep the home side scoreless. On 13 minutes Paston parried Billy Mehmet’s strike then breathed a sigh of relief as Smeltz headed wide the follow-up with an open goal beckoning. Eight minutes later the Wellington custodian instinctively thrust out a boot to turn away Travis Dodd’s glancing header. Smeltz and Ward also brought saves out of Paston while at the other end Brockie should have done better than spray high when found unmarked.
Glory defender Josh Risdon was unlucky not to break the deadlock in the 52nd minute when curling strike from 22-metres hit the upright and deflected out. Smeltz showed his team mate how its’ done on 62 minutes by turning past Andrew Durante and driving a hard shot into the bottom corner of Paston’s net. That lead lasted just ten minutes before Brockie chipped Steve Pantelidis and ran on to drilling through the legs of Vukovic. Late attempts by Liam Miller and Jamieson drifted past the target as Glory’s shot count rose to 13, compared to Wellington’s five. That said, substitute Tyler Boyd almost to victory for the visitors but Vukovic stood firm in the challenge.
SMELTZ TO RE-ENTER THE ATTACK
New Zealand international Shane Smeltz is ready to return to Perth Glory’s starting line-up tonight’s home date with Wellington Phoenix. A hamstring injury limited Smeltz to just one appearance so far this season and his comeback was cut short when he missed last week’s game for personal reasons. Glory amassed 26 shots without netting against Western Sydney Wanderers and coach Ian Ferguson is hopeful Smeltz can turn some of those chances into goals. “We’ve assessed him over the last few sessions and he’s done very well,” Ferguson said. “He is the top goal scorer in the A-League …we’ve got to get him in there, we’ve got to get game time out of him and we’ve got to make sure we try and get the goals out of him.”
Team captain Jacob Burns will resume his midfield partnership with the creative Liam Miller after missing the past three games with a torn quad. “We’ve missed that drive in the last two home games, particularly in the first halves,” Ferguson said. “We’ve missed him (Burns) sitting in midfield barking at people, getting people up and pressing people. He’s a 34-year old and he’s got a fantastic attitude. I got the younger ones in this week and told them to go and watch this guy and how he trains and prepares and takes care of his body.” Defender Dean Heffernan will miss tonight’s game with a back injury while Japanese import Ryo Nagai will be out of action for at least a month with bone bruising in a knee.
REVISED SALARY CAP PUT TO THE CLUBS
The introduction of a salary cap is inching closer by the day with Version Three of the ‘Player Payment (Salary Cap) Model’ currently with the State League clubs. The salary cap model addresses the issue of spiralling and unsustainable player payments within the league and outlines a means of capping player payments. Through a series of robust meetings and discussions between Football West, the State League clubs and other stakeholders the salary cap model has rapidly evolved over the past couple of months.
At the heart of the salary cap model are three bands of payment – a ‘total per season’ dollar amount for all player payments; a ‘total per League game’ dollar amount for all player payments; and a ‘maximum per League game’ dollar amount that an individual may receive. This model does away with the previous tiered approached and provides clubs the flexibility and freedom to determine how they allocate money to their players, whose details will be provided to Football West prior to the start of the season.
Premier Division clubs must operate within a player payment budget of $70,400 per season. Based on a 22-game league season, each clubs’ maximum player payment expenditure has been capped at $3,200 per League game. Clubs are permitted to pay as many or as few players as they wish providing no player receives more than $400 per game. The model also proposes players cannot receive payment for Night Series, Cup or finals games across any of the three levels of State League football.
Division One clubs have been allocated a player payment budget of $39,600 per season. Based on a 22-game season, this equates to a maximum of $1,800 per League game with no player to be paid more than $200 per game. Division Two clubs will work within a player payment budget of $12,600 per season. Based on a 21-game season, clubs are allowed to pay players a combined total of up to $600 per League game with no player allowed to receive more than $100 per game.
No third party payments are permissible under the salary cap due to the impossible nature of monitoring and policing such payments. In the event that third parties – a club sponsor, club member, supporter or another third party – wish to support the club economically or through the provision of goods or services, these must be provided directly to the club. Clubs are permitted to distribute sponsors products or similar to players but these must be incorporated into the amount paid to that player.
Central to the salary cap proposal is the requirement for all clubs to agree to what is essentially a Club Participation Agreement, which is to be co-signed by the club president, secretary and treasurer (or equivalents), prior to the start of the 2013 season. It is proposed the salary cap model will be put to the State League Standing Committee for consideration and recommendation before being ratified at the next meeting of the Football West board.
NEWCASTLE GET VRTESKI IN ON INJURY PLACEMENT DEAL
Newcastle Jets have turned to former Perth Glory player Aleks Vrteski to help them through an injury crisis in the goalkeeping department. Vrteski, 24, arrived in Newcastle on Wednesday after playing 18 games for Persija Jakarta in the Indonesian Premier League last season. With Ben Kennedy already absent due to a knee injury, Vrteski was given the opportunity to link up with Newcastle after Mark Birighitti fractured his cheekbone during Sunday’s loss to Wellington Phoenix.
Vrteski said he would be looking to put his best foot forward during his time with Newcastle. “It’s really unfortunate what has happened to Mark, especially considering how well he was playing,” Vrteski said. “He’s a Perth boy as well and a good friend of mine and you never like to see that sort of injury. I’ve got a good opportunity now and I just need to train well and do the best I can to help the team. If I get a chance to play I’m confident I can do a good job.”
Scott Neville and Josh Mitchell were teammates of Vrteski while he was at Glory and he said knowing them had made it easier to settle in. “Scott has been great since I first made contact with the Jets and he’s offered to let me stay at his place,” Vrteski said. “It definitely helps having familiar faces like Scott and Josh here to help you settle in. It’s a good environment here and even though the last result was not what they wanted, I can see the way they've trained today and I know they’ll be keen to bounce back.”
OSIECK PUTS FAITH IN A-LEAGUE
Socceroos coach Holger Osieck has selected a provisional squad drawn almost entirely from the A-League for next month’s East Asian Cup qualifying tournament. Western Australia is well represented with Adam Taggart, Rostyn Griffiths and Dino Djulbic receiving their first call-ups, Eli Babalj retains his place after debuting last week against Korea Republic while veteran midfielder Richard Garcia returns to the international stage after a two-year absence. The 25-player squad goes into camp next week in Sydney with Osieck announcing his final 20-man party for Hong Kong on 29 November.
Osieck said he was perplexed by the restrictions placed squad sizes for the nine-day tournament, which commences on 1 December. “We are only allowed to bring 20 players to Hong Kong which is a bit unusual,” he said. “Considering the fact that we have four games every second day that’s pretty strange. Anyway they give us only 20 players so that means from these 25 players I have to leave five players back in Australia.” The Socceroos will do battle with North Korea, Chinese Taipei, Guam and Hong Kong for the right to play in the final East Asian Cup tournament next year.
Australia’s provisional squad for the East Asian Cup qualifiers is Eugene Galekovic, Osama Malik, Dario Vidosic (Adelaide United), Ivan Franjic, Ben Hallloran, Matt Smith (Brisbane Roar), Matt McKay (Busan I Park), Tom Rogic, Mat Ryan (Central Coast Mariners), Robert Cornthwaite (Chunnam Dragons), Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow), Rostyn Griffiths (Guangzhou R&F), Dino Djulbic (Guizhou Renhe), Aziz Behich, Richard Garcia, Michael Marrone (Melbourne Heart), Mark Milligan, Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets), Scott Jamieson, Michael Thwaite (Perth Glory), Eli Babalj (Red Star Belgrade), Terry Antonis, Brett Emerton (Sydney FC) and Aaron Mooy (Western Sydney Wanderers).
ATAK “SHOCKED” BY MOST VALUABLE PLAYER WIN
Attacking midfielder Moe Atak admits he was caught off-guard when he was revealed as winner of Balcatta’s top award, the Most Valuable Player. Atak, 25, capped a memorable second season with Balcatta by taking out top honours in front of over 400 guests at the clubs Gala Ball on Friday night. “It came as a shock that I won,” said Atak. “I don’t expect to win personal accolades but when they do come it is very satisfying. I had a pretty consistent season and I guess that probably helped get me over the line with the votes.”
While happy with his personal form, Atak felt Balcatta under-achieved in season 2012. “On a personal level I was happy enough, however, as a team we should have done better with the quality we have,” commented Atak, whose team placed sixth having topped the table just twelve months earlier. “We did have a lot of interruptions and little things that didn’t go our way but I’m hoping that we can turn this around for 2013 and be back up the top where we belong.”
Jason Barrera picked up the Most Valuable Player Runner-Up trophy along with the Coaches Award. The Under-23 team Most Valuable Player was presented to centre back Marc DeFrancesch with the runner-up spot taken by Anton DeFrancesch, who was also recipient of the Luke Beyer Rising Star Award. Goalkeeper Daniel Passarelli was presented the Coaches Award. Josh Veroni went home with the Under-18s Most Valuable Player trophy, central midfielder Emmaunelle Pillar was runner-up with the Coaches Award taken out by Adrian Granato.
GLORY THROW BIG DOLLARS AT BECKHAM
Perth Glory are piecing together a $2 million deal in an attempt to lure former England captain David Beckham for a 10-game guest stint. The club has tabled an offer to Beckham through Australian agent Lou Sticca, who is in contact with Beckham’s management and previously brokered deals to bring LA Galaxy to Australia for exhibition matches. Glory are seeking support from both Football Federation Australia and the State Government as they attempt to pull off what would undoubtedly be the biggest coup in the club's 16-year existence.
Glory chief executive Paul Kelly said he expected to be given an indication of Beckham's interest by the end of the week and hoped to meet his management next month. "We are liaising with Lou Sticca and we're just waiting to hear back on whether he (Beckham) has the appetite to come to Australia," Kelly said. "You would expect FFA might help out with the marketing budget if he was to come here and we are also looking at attracting support from the State Government. The appetite to get him here is massive. We have sponsors waiting and business people have come to us offering to get involved."
HOLMAN NAMED FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR
Aston Villa midfielder Brett Holman has been named Male Footballer of the Year at the fourth annual Australian Football Awards. Holman, 28, follows in the footsteps of Mark Schwarzer (2009/10, 2010/11) and Matt McKay (2011/12) in winning the prize, which was presented in his absence at a gala dinner in Sydney this evening. Matildas midfielder Sally Shipard, who is currently in Japan with Canberra United, took out the Female Footballer of the Year. Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Mat Ryan won on the Male Under-20 Footballer of the Year for a second time in as many years, while Melbourne Victory’s Stephanie Catley won the women's equivalent.
The non-professional categories recognised teams, volunteers, coaches and referees from around the nation. The Senior Team of the Year went to the Eureka Football Club (Northern New South Wales) with the Junior Team of the Year won by the Avalon Soccer Club Women’s Under-16 team (New South Wales). The Male Coach of the Year award went to Darren Cook (Tasmania), the Female Coach of the Year to Fiona Stevenson (Queensland). Brenton Haywood (Victoria) collected the Referee of the Year, John Wainwright (NNSW) picked up the Volunteer of the Year and the Pararoos Footballer of the Year was presented to Chris Pyne (NSW).
JOINING NEWCASTLE HAS MADE ME A BETTER PLAYER: NEVILLE
Defender Scott Neville has credited the move to Newcastle Jets for making him a more complete person both on and off the pitch. Neville amassed plenty of experience across four summers with Perth Glory prior to heading east this year to share his knowledge with a youthful Newcastle outfit. The 23-year old said he needed to get out of his comfort zone in order to develop as a player and a person. “I think I’ve developed not just on the pitch but also off it,” said Neville. “Not having my family and friends over here in Newcastle has actually been good because I’ve had to look after myself without the distractions.”
Neville, who came up through Sorrento’s ranks before joining Glory in 2008, paid tribute to Newcastle coach Gary Van Egmond. “The coaching style that Gary has at training is a high-tempo pressing type of game; it’s about improving every day which is what I want,” Neville said. “There’s a lot of focus on reading the game, positioning and also the different types of ways that we play. Instead of always playing a 4-3-3, we might change to play three at the back or some other system. Obviously it’s good to have this in your locker so if things aren’t going right in the game we can change and adapt to any formation.”
Now in his fifth A-League season, Neville is enjoying a new found responsibility at Newcastle. “At Perth I was one of the younger ones, but with the squad we’ve got at Newcastle there’s a lot of youth which is good,” he said. “There’s still obviously a lot more experienced heads in the team. I kind of look up to them and listen to what they have to say and then try and pass on some of that knowledge to some of the younger guys coming through because it’s pretty daunting and quite tough training week in and week out with the older guys … I just try and help out really.”
With Josh Brillante, Adam Taggart, Jack Duncan, Connor Chapman and Mitchell Oxborrow set to return from international duty, Neville is tipping a whole new level of intensity at Newcastle in coming weeks. “A lot of these young guys have been away with the Young Socceroos for most of the season,” Neville said. “But they’re coming back this week with a lot of confidence after qualifying for the Under-20 World Cup and hopefully that confidence rubs off on the rest of the team. There’s some good young talent there and I think a lot of them are going to press their claim to play in the A-League this season.”
MACKAY NOMINATED FOR FFA’S VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Football West board member Rob Mackay has been nominated for the Volunteer of the Year in Football Federation Australia’s 2012 Australian Football Awards. MacKay is no stranger to the West Australian football community through 30-years commitment to all levels of the local game. “I am extremely humbled by this and at the same time also proud of what we have collectively achieved for football in WA - more so since Football West came into fruition,” commented MacKay.
BIRIGHITTI SET FOR LENGTHY SPELL ON SIDELINES
Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti looks to be out of action for as long as two months after being stretchered from the field during the weekend loss to Wellington Phoenix. Post-game scans revealed a fractured cheekbone as a consequence of a a knee to the face when Birghitti courageously smothered a shot from Jeremy Brockie. “It doesn’t look so good for Mark, he will be out for at least six to eight weeks with a fractured cheekbone,” coach Gary van Egmond said. “Mark made a great save and it was just an unfortunate collision afterwards, which can happen in our game. It is really unfortunate for both our keepers; first Ben (Kennedy) with his knee, and now Mark with this.”
TEN-MAN SYDNEY KEEP OUT GLORY
Western Sydney Wanderers withstood a second-half onslaught to record a 1-0 and end Perth Glory’s perfect home record this season. Iacopo La Rocca headed the visitors to an early lead but the dismissal of Youssouf Hersi just before the break put the pressure on the A-League new boys. Glory created a string of chances after the turnaround but could find no way past in-form goalkeeper Ante Covic. “We never had the cutting edge,” lamented coach Ian Ferguson. “We had the bulk of play and they made it difficult for us. We had our chances, but just didn’t take them.”
The visiting team were quickly on the front foot with early chances falling to Mark Bridge and Aaron Mooy. Their reward came after 18 minutes when Mooy dinked a partial clearance back into the heart of the 18-yard box where La Rocca rose unchallenged to power his header into Danny Vukovic’s net. It was only now that Glory started to look for ways to open up the Western Sydney defence. Liam Miller and Steve McGarry both got shots on target but each was denied by Covic. The game took a dramatic twist on 38 minutes with Hersi shown a straight red card after lashing out at Scott Jamieson.
The pattern of the second half established as early as the 48th minute when Adrian Zahra dragged his low shot narrowly wide. Defending deep and in numbers, the visitors were a team under pressure. A stinging McGarry shot rebounded away off the upright, Nick Ward brought a fine diving save from Covic who was at full-stretch again in palming away Billy Mehmet’s curling effort. Jamieson’s goal-bound volley was cleared off the line by Michael Beauchamp before Josh Risdon powered inside the area only to see his goalbound effort blocked by the defence. Risdon then turned provider by teeing up McGarry whose late effort beat Covic but crashed into the bar.
BABALJ TAKES FIRST STEP TOWARDS WORLD CUP DREAM
Eli Babalj’s first outing with the Socceroos may have lasted only a handful of minutes but the strongly built striker is happy with his contribution in Australia’s mid-week friendly defeat of Korea Republic. 20-year old Babalj entered the action on 82 minutes and soon after came within a whisker of scoring on debut, his late shot hitting the post and trickling along the goal line before being tapped in by Robert Cornthwaite for the winning goal. “It was a little stepping stone, playing my first game,” Babalj told footballwest.com.au. “Hopefully I can carry on and get a lot more game time for my club and hopefully I’ll get called up for future Socceroos games. Bit by bit I can show more of what I can do.”
On a fine night for West Australian football, former Perth Glory man Nikita Rukavytsya marked his tenth international appearance with his first goal for Australia to cancel out Lee Dong-Gook’s early opener. Rukavytsya was part of Australia’s 2010 World Cup squad and if Babalj continues to put the hard yards in the pair may end up spearheading the Socceroos in Brazil in two year’s. “My goal as a kid growing up was to play at a World Cup, so whether it’s in Brazil or the next one I’ve still got a lot of hard work to do before I can even consider it,” he said. “You have to go to training every day to work and develop as a player and try to reach your pinnacle.”
SUTTON INSPIRES GLORY WOMEN TO VICTORY
Rosie Sutton bagged all three goals as Perth Glory Women claimed a 3-1 victory over Sydney FC on a sun-drenched Perth Oval. The win keeps Glory Women at the top of the W-League and vanquishes once and for all the 11-0 drubbing they suffered at the hands of Sydney last season. “I was over the moon with the team’s performance; to get a hat-trick was just a bonus. I’m just glad to do my part for the team,” said Sutton, who came into the starting line-up with Kate Gill and Lisa De Vanna on international duty. “Now we’ve got next week off, so we should be refreshed for our next match against Western Sydney and hopefully get our own back after they beat us last time.”
Despite the warm conditions, the game was full of attacking intent from the outset. The home side opened their account in the 18th minute via Sutton’s glancing header which crept through a sea of legs from an Aivi Luik corner. Sydney’s response was swift with Chloe Logarzo poking the ball into Carly Telford’s net after the Glory Women goalkeeper parried an initial 19th minute shot. Five minutes later Lorgazo forced a fine save from Telford and with the rebound Nicola Bolger shot against the inside of the post before the Glory Women defence scrambled the ball to safety. Home midfielder Luik returned fire with a rising strike from distance which was narrowly over of the target.
The pace slowed for the second stanza as the heat began to take its toll on the players. Sydney enjoyed the bulk of chances but Logarzo and Emma Kete placed high of the crossbar before penalty appeals for a clear handball against Sasha Andrews were dismissed by referee Rebecca Durcau. Having somehow escaped punishment, Glory Women rebounded to take a 74th minute lead with Marianna Tabain delivering a lovely cross which Sutton heading past Sian McLaren. Sutton wasn’t done there and with five minutes remaining the striker broke free of the defence and rounded McLaren to slot in her third and final goal. Tabain very nearly added another in stoppage time with a free-kick that grazed the top of the bar.
CENTRAL COAST TAKE CARE OF GLORY YOUTH
Central Coast Mariners maintained their perfect start to the National Youth League season by seeing off Perth Glory Youth 1-0 in a hard-fought encounter at Intiga Stadium in Inglewood. A second half strike by Patrick Dixon proved enough to secure a fifth consecutive win for the visitors and condemn Glory Youth to their third straight home loss. The first couple of strikes on goals came the way of hosts but Jesse Makarounas blazed high while Moses Kalau’s bending free-kick hit the upright. Central Coast didn’t assert themselves until late in the half with Tomislav Cirjak playing a prominent role in midfield. Daniel Bragg fired over the crossbar from the top of the 18-yard box before Anthony Caceres’ vicious shot from 20-metres hit the post.
The breakthrough came three minutes after the turnaround, Cirjak racing down the right to send a low cross into the path of Dixon, who side-footed in from close-range. Undaunted, Glory Youth threw men forward in search of an equaliser and it almost arrived on the hour mark when Riley Woodcock sent clear Ndumba Makeche, and although his shot crept under ‘keeper Bradasevic it was cleared off the line by former Glory player Brent Griffiths. The home side continued to threaten as the game entered its final quarter hour, particularly down the left where Woodcock and Storm Roux were combining to great effect. But the closest they’d come to levelling was a Borbor Sambindi effort which went wide on the end of the striker’s mazy run.
SMELTZ SAYS HE’S READY TO START
Marquee striker Shane Smeltz has put up his hand for selection in tomorrow’s clash with Western Sydney Wanderers at Perth Oval. A hamstring injury has restricted Smeltz to a single start this season for Perth Glory but after a substitute appearance in last weekend’s draw with Adelaide United, and another in New Zealand’s mid-week friendly with China the 31-year old says he is ready to go. “I got 25 minutes off the bench against China, so that’s two runs in three or four days, and I’m feeling good and looking forward to the next game,” Smeltz commented. “I’ve been pulling up fine after games and not even thinking about it going out on to the field.”
GLORY TO ASSESS STAR PAIR
Star Perth Glory pair Shane Smeltz and Michael Thwaite will need to shake off jet lag if they’re to take their place in Sunday’s A-League clash with Western Sydney Wanderers. Thwaite played a full game in the Socceroos’ 2-1 friendly win over South Korea on Wednesday, while Smeltz came off the bench in New Zealand’s 1-1 draw with China in Shanghai. The pair only arrived back in Perth on Thursday night but both are set to be named in Glory’s squad if they can safely negotiate their way through tomorrow’s training session.
Thwaite is likely to return to the heart of Glory’s defence after starting at left back for the Socceroos before switching to a defensive midfield role. “It was good for him and good for the club,” coach Ian Ferguson said. “But we like playing him in the centre of defence where he gives us a lot more quality than what we’ve had in previous years.” Smeltz, who has had just 45 minutes of game time since returning from a hamstring injury, is tipped to again come off the bench as fourth-placed Glory aim for their fourth straight triumph at home.
GLORY WOMEN IN THE PINK
W-League pacesetters Perth Glory Women face their toughest test of the season to date when they take on third-from-top Sydney FC this weekend in the annual National Breast Cancer Foundation fundraiser. Jamie Harnwell’s side turned in possibly their ever performance last time out to dump Newcastle Jets 6-1 and coach is hopeful that momentum can be carried over into Saturday’s game. “If we can go out with the same attitude and intensity we did last weekend, then I think that will keep us in good stead (to win),” said Harnwell, whose team will wear a special pink and purple kit for the occasion. “It’s our National Breast Cancer Foundation match so we’re expecting a bumper crowd.”
The Matilda’s participation in Women’s East Asian Cup qualifiers has left both Glory Women and their Sydney counterparts without a host of stars. Collette McCallum, Kate Gill and Lisa De Vanna will miss the top of the table showdown whereas Sydney’s absences include Ellyse Perry, Kyah Simon and Sam Kerr. “We’ve got three Matildas out, Sydney have got five out so it’s going to be up to those girls who come in and show that they’ve got what it takes to be there and want to stay in the team,” commented Harnwell. “We’ll work on how we’re going to try and break Sydney down and hopefully they’ll be worried about us for the game and not the other way around.”
The National Breast Cancer Foundation fundraiser match has been staged each season since the mother of inaugural Glory Women player Danielle Calautti, Teresa, passed away from breast cancer in late 2008. Part proceeds from ticket and merchandise sales will go towards the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Australia’s leading community-funded organisation raising money for research into the prevention and cure of breast cancer. Volunteers will also be collecting donations at the venue, while Football West will donate $500 for each goal scored by the home team. Any Glory supporter with a physical ticket to Sunday’s A-League match between Glory and Western Sydney Wanderers will also receive free entry to the W-League clash, which kicks off at 11.00am.
NO LOOKING BACK BY BIRIGHITTI
In-form goalkeeper Mark Birighitti has put a bad start to his Newcastle Jets career behind him with a series of brilliant performances in the past few weeks. Birighitti, who was signed from Adelaide United in the off-season, conceded a goal in the first minute of his Jets debut before being unceremoniously sent off later that afternoon against his former club. However, the 21-year-old has turned things around with some standout displays, the latest highlighted by a trio of amazing saves in last weekend’s defeat of Western Sydney Wanderers, which have moved Newcastle to within a point of the A-League summit.
Birighitti, who has represented Australia at Under-17 and Under-20 levels, may be back in peak form but he’s not about to take his place in the Newcastle line-up for granted. “Every game I’m playing I’m getting better and better and I'm getting more confidence every week,” Birighitti said. “Even though it was a disappointing start to the season getting sent off against my former club, that’s forgotten about now. Every game I’ve played since I’ve performed and I’ve just got to keep doing what I’ve been doing, training hard and making sure when I get a chance I take it.”
Newcastle will need to be firing from the outset this weekend if they are to get the better of Wellington Phoenix. “They are a physical side and they’ll probably try and get into us at the start of the game, but we just have to focus on our own game, do our own thing,” Birighitti said. “We’ve got to go out there from the start of the game and try and dominate. At the start of the season we wanted to make Hunter Stadium a fortress and we’ve been lucky to be doing that in the last couple of games and hopefully that run continues.”
TABAIN SEES NO REASON WHY GLORY WOMEN CAN’T STAY ON TOP
A barnstorming start to the new season has led Perth Glory Women attacker Marianna Tabain to tip a maiden finals appearance for her team. Glory Women sit top of the W-League after the first month of competition, leading traditional heavyweights Canberra United, Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC, and with clear ambition to build on their fine start. “Looking at our team on paper I knew we would have a good chance this season with the addition of quiet a few new players,” commented 20-year old Tabain. “It’s still early but if we keep performing I don’t see why we can’t stay on top.”
Glory Women claimed outright leadership of the W-League with last week’s historic 6-1 thrashing of Newcastle Jets. “The girls were buzzing after the game, it was a great result,” said Tabain, who found the back of the net along with Kate Gill (3), Collette McCallum and Lisa De Vanna in the team’s best ever result. “We created many chances, controlled the game and continued to attack for the full 90 minutes. The game was played at a high tempo and there was a confidence displayed by all players … we played well as a team and the result shows.”
Tabain, who has been with Glory Women since day one, feels there are some noticeable differences between the squad assembled by coach Jamie Harnwell for 2012/12 and those of past campaigns. “We have far more depth than in previous years and there’s some real competition for positions, which means you have to play and train well each week,” Tabain explained. “Our recruits have made an enormous difference and the training environment is much more positive compared to previous years. Jamie encourages us to be positive and go forward, which suits a lot of our players.”
Tabain is one of the true success stories of West Australian football. Having played juniors with Cockburn City and Western Knights, she spent three years honing her skills in the National Training Centre where her considerable talents were recognised with Australia Under-17 selection. Tabain had just turned 16 when she was handed a starting role in Glory Women’s inaugural outing against Sydney. Possessing an explosive turn of pace and an uncanny ability to terrorise opposing defences Tabain has experienced all the highs and lows of the past four seasons with Glory Women, for whom she has made 43 W-League appearances and won two Golden Boot awards.
That talent for turning chances into goals will come handy this weekend when perennial W-League power Sydney again ventures to Perth Oval this Saturday morning. “Sydney never fails to have a great side,” Tabain said of the club which has finished top of the table twice in the past three seasons. “Their biggest strength is attack, they have always been good at combinations in the final third and they read each other quiet well. In saying that, Sydney will be missing five key players this week and we need to capitalize on this.”
Glory Women too have players unavailable this week due to Matildas selection - namely Gill, McCallum and De Vanna - but while those absences may dent, they will not damage Glory Women’s chances of victory this weekend. “They will be a great loss but we have the players to do a great job in their absence,” Tabain explained. “After last week’s match against Newcastle, we want to keep the momentum going heading into our harder games of the season. We still have a point to prove and I believe our team has to ability to hold them off and come away with the win.”
YOUNG SOCCEROOS SECURE WORLD CUP QUALIFICATION
Australia secured qualification for next year’s Under-20 World Cup by making the semi-finals of this week’s AFC Under-19 Championship in the United Arab Emirates. The Young Socceroos completed the group phase without loss and defeating Jordan in the quarter-finals before being tipped out in the round of four by Iraq. “I am proud of my players as we set out a goal to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey and we achieved this and for that I congratulate them,” coach Pau Okon said. Ryan Williams featured in all five games, Ryan Edwards and Adam Taggart made four appearances each as Mitch Oxborrow and Tom King watched on from the bench.
An early Corey Gameiro goal gave the Young Socceroos a dream start to their campaign, defeating Qatar 1-0 in hot and humid conditions. The ball had been in motion just 11 minutes when Gameiro ran the ball inside the 18-yard box and placed neatly inside the far post. Gameiro hit the crossbar and Terry Antonis’ free-kick was saved by Muhannad Naim Hussein as Australia sought to increase their lead, while the best chance of a stop-start second half saw Qatar substitute Sultan Bakhit volley just over the top. Edwards played a full game, while Williams was replaced in the 85th minute by Taggart.
The Young Socceroos were forced to come from behind two days later to snatch a 1-1 draw with Syria. All the early play was with Syria but that changed midway through the first half as Australia began to dictate terms. So it was against the run of play at Al Mawas fired past goalkeeper Paul Izzo to give Syria the lead. The equaliser arrived in the 81st minute after Williams beat three defenders and cut the ball back for Gameiro to finish into the net. Williams played a full game, Edwards came off after 78 minutes with Taggart entering the action at that same time.
Australia’s place in the quarter-finals was booked following a dramatic 1-1 draw with Saudi Arabia in the final group stage match. After a scoreless first half, Saudi Arabia edged in front on 57 minutes with Al Muwallad firing into the top corner of Izzo’s net from 13-metres. The Young Socceroos now sparked into action and headers from Reece Caira and Gameiro went close to bringing the sides level. With the clock ticking over into the 90th minute, Antonis lobbed a pass to Gameiro whose shot on the turn was too good for the ‘keeper. Williams and Taggart played full games while Edwards was replaced on 66 minutes.
A Gameiro hat-trick was at the heart of the Young Socceroos 3-0 quarter-final victory over Jordan. Australia got off to the perfect start Gameiro converting a 10th minute penalty award for a foul on Taggart. It looked as though Taggart had doubled the margin early in the second half but the referee ruled out his effort for offside. There was no mistaking the finish in the 55th minute when Gameiro drove in from the left and expertly placed inside the far post. Gameiro secured the result by tucking away in a one-on-one with Bani Ateyah for his hat-trick. Taggart and Ryan Williams both played full games.
Australia bowed out of the tournament by going down 2-0 to Iraq in the semi-finals. An end-to-end first half failed to produce any genuine goal scoring opportunities, however, Australia should have broken through six minutes after the turnaround when Gameiro’s penalty kick was saved by Mohammed Hameed. That miss was punished on the hour when Abdulraheem capitalised on a cross from Adnan to put Iraq in front. The game was made safe by Kadhim, who slotted in after rounding Izzo in the 85th minute. Williams was replaced in the 67th minute, and Edwards in the 79th minute.
YOUTHFUL SOCCEROOS DEFEAT SOUTH KOREA
Nikita Rukavytsya and Robert Cornthwaite scored their first international goals as an experimental Australia outfit came from behind to defeat Korea Republic 2-1 this evening in Hwaseong. A lovely finish by Rukavystya just before half-time cancelled out Lee Dong-Gook’s early opener with Cornthwaite tapping in the winner with just minutes to spare. “All in all I’m very pleased with what I saw tonight and we’re going to build on it,” said coach Holger Osieck, who handed youngsters Tom Rogic, Aziz Behich, Eli Babalj and Mathew Leckie debuts off the bench. “”When you look at the team, I’m very surprised how well the boys did. We saw a lot of very positive elements that give us a lot of hope for the future.”
Tommy Oar produced the games’ first genuine chance after 4 minutes but flashed wide from just inside the 18-yard box. Korea Republic soon seized the initiative and in the 12th minute Lee Seung-Ki delivered a superb ball into the centre of the 18-yard box where an unmarked Lee volleyed past veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. Five minutes later Jin-sung Hwang saw his free-kick deflected narrowly over the crossbar, then team captain Dae-Song Ha forced Schwarzer into a sprawled save from distance. Rukavytsya returned fire by cutting past two opponents and unleashing a stinging drive that was just wide. It was a warning the hosts failed to heed as a minute from the break Oar put the ball with Rukavytsya who, after a neat touch, angled across the ‘keeper from 9-metres.
The early stages of the second half were devoid of clear-cut chances with the teams nullifying one another. The addition of Behich and Rogic started to swing the game Australia’s way. Luca Neill got his 73rd minute downward header on target but ‘keeper Young-kwang Kim was good enough to push it wide. A couple of chances in quick succession then came Rogic’s way but the midfielder was unable to make much of either. The Socceroos endeavour finally paid off when Cornthwaite tapped in from less than a metre after Babalj’s shot from an Oar free-kick deflected off the inside of the post. Rukavytsya played the opening 82 minutes before making way of fellow West Australian Babalj.
JONES EXPECTS LIVERPOOL TO START RISING
Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones is tipping a change in the fortunes of his club after fighting back from a goal down to draw 1-1 at Chelsea on Sunday. Jones, deputising for the injured Pepe Reina in his seventh consecutive match, twice denied Fernando Torres to help the Reds’ leave London with a share of the points and extend their unbeaten league run to six games. “We’re continuing to pick up points and we’re producing some good performances,” said Jones, who is convinced Liverpool are on the right track to soon being climbing up the English Premier League table. “As long as we keep getting better and keep improving then that’s the way we want to head.”
30-year old Jones praised the never-say-die attitude displayed by his team mates at Chelsea. “It was a good draw for us because Stamford Bridge is a really tough place to come. Chelsea are a good team and we have to look at that and take some positives. Some games you’d rather we got three points but on days like Sunday, we’ve got to take the point and be happy,” said the ‘keeper. “Chelsea are dangerous. Their front four includes three brilliant players operating behind a quality striker, so they are always going to create. But I think our formation and the way that we set up tactically was very good and we left them with very few opportunities, so that’s another positive.”
SOCCEROOS CALL-UP A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL FOR BABALJ
Eli Babalj has endured a difficult four months with Red Star Belgrade but is hopeful his first Socceroos call-up can trigger a change of luck. The 20-year old striker is one of three new faces in Holger Osieck’s squad for this evening’s friendly with Korea Republic and is determined to make an impression. “I like to think maybe I can provide something a little bit different in my style of play and something the coach wants to have a look at,” Babalj said. “It’s been a dream of mine to play at the next World Cup in Brazil and now I maybe have a chance to put myself in contention.”
Two months ago Babalj’s $500,000 transfer to Red Star almost collapsed when the Serbian club failed to register him and delayed paying Melbourne Heart an instalment. Coach Robert Prosinecki, who signed Babalj, departed on the eve of the season and replacement Aleksandar Jankovic brought in two other strikers. “It’s been up and down. It all started with not being registered and not getting a clearance, so I missed a few early games,” explained Babalj. “Then the coach left and it’s been hard. I’ve deserved a bit more of a chance but that can change any minute and I’ve got to be ready. Hopefully I can use it (the call-up) to my advantage.”
Sarajevo-born Babalj arrived in Perth at the age of three with his family and played his youth football for Perth SC. He continued his development at the National Training Centre before graduating to the Australian Institute of Sport. With a handful of youth team appearances for Perth Glory to his credit, Babalj signed with A-League outfit Melbourne Heart where he played 35 games over two seasons. He signed with Red Star in June 2012 and has so far made seven appearances, including a Europa League qualifier against Bordeaux. Babalj, who netted ten times for Melbourne last season, opened his Red Star account against FK Smederevo in early September.
GOALS WILL COME FOR CONFIDENT RUKAVYTSYA
Striker Nikita Rukavytsya would love dearly to open his international goal account when the Socceroos take on Korea Republic. While a confidence-boosting victory ahead of Australia’s final World Cup qualifiers is the priority, 25-year old Rukavytsya admitted tomorrow’s friendly would be a good time to find the back of the net for the first time for the green and gold. “Obviously it would be great to score a goal but most importantly if the team wins that’s most important for me,” Rukavytsya said. “I can’t really concentrate about scoring goals, I have to concentrate on playing my game and I’m sure the goals will come.”
Rukavytsya has played chiefly on the wing since moving to Germany in 2010 but the challenges that has thrown at the former Perth Glory player have helped take his game to another level. “Obviously I’ve been paying as a striker my whole life and when I came to (Hertha) Berlin I sort of had to adjust to playing on the wing but it’s all attacking so it’s sort of similar to the striking position,” Rukavytsya said. “Then I moved to Mainz and I’ve been playing a few games as a striker as well, and the game on the weekend I played on the wing. It’s been nice, I now have a bit of variety in my game.”
Socceroos coach Holger Osieck has assembled a youthful squad for this clash with Korea Republic, whose side will be drawn predominantly from the K-League. “It will be a tough game, when we play Korea before they’ve always been tough games,” commented Rukavytsya. “But it’s good to play a friendly like this and it gives us a good preparation for the qualifiers. It will be a tough match but I’m sure we’ll be up for it and we’ll get a good result.” Osieck has added Robbie Cornthwaite to his squad for the game after Matt McKay, Adam Sarota and Luke Wilkshire picked up injuries on the weekend.
GLORY WOMEN SUPPORT BREAST CANCER RESEARCH
Perth Glory Women’s fifth annual National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) fundraiser match pits them against Sydney FC this Saturday at Perth Oval. The match has been staged in each W-League season since Teresa Calautti, mother of inaugural Glory Women player Danielle Calautti, passed away from breast cancer in late 2008. “Over the past five years this game in aid of the National Breast Cancer Foundation has grown in stature and given its place in the team’s history, has special meaning for the team and all women involved in our sport,” commented Glory Women chief executive Peter Hugg.
For this year’s fundraiser Glory Women will don a commemorative pink and purple kit. “Over time the team has gone from pink ribbons to pink laces, and this season through the assistance of our kit supplier, Kelme, we have developed a great bright pink and purple strip that I am sure will be worn proudly by the players,” added Hugg. “In time, hopefully this particular shirt will grow in popularity and we will see more of them at Glory matches in the future. I encourage everyone to come down to nib Stadium this Saturday to support both the team but more importantly this very worthy cause.”
VUKOVIC SETS COURSE FOR WINNING FORTNIGHT
Perth Glory can do their season the world of wonders with consecutive home wins during the next fortnight according to goalkeeper Danny Vukovic. Glory host A-League newcomers Western Sydney Wanderers this Sunday before taking on lowly-ranked Wellington Phoenix six days later, also at Perth Oval. “We’re very confident playing at home and we know how hard it is for teams to travel over here and play against us,” said Vukovic, whose team are placed fourth after six games. “We’re hoping to pick up maximum points in the next two games and if we can do that we’ll be right up there on top of the table.”
Billy Mehmet, who scored his third goal of the season against Adelaide United on the weekend, is likely to lead the way against Western Sydney with Shane Smeltz still on the comeback trail from a hamstring injury. But Vukovic said Mehmet and his fellow attackers will have their work cut out against a strong visiting defence that has conceded fewer than a goal a game and ranks third behind top sides Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide. “They don’t give away easy goals and now they’ve started scoring a few goals as well,” Vukovic said. “We know they’re going to be hard to break down but we’re confident we can get the result.”
LAZARIDIS TOUTS BABALJ AS THE NEW VIDUKA
Local boy Eli Babalj has been hailed as a reincarnation of Mark Viduka by Socceroos great Stan Lazaridis after being named in the Socceroos squad for tomorrow’s clash with South Korea. Lazaridis, who made 60 appearances for the national team, is convinced the uncapped 20-year old has what it takes to lead the line for Australia. “It’s about time Eli got a call. He should have been selected six months ago,” said Lazaridis. “We don’t have anybody like him. He’s powerful, has good feet, can hold the ball up, and he can finish … it can be like a second coming of Mark Viduka.”
Lazaridis views Babalj, who plays for powerhouse Red Star Belgrade in the Serbian Super Liga, as playing a big part in the Socceroos future. “I’m a huge fan and this is the perfect time to bring the kid in. He can be a gun for us for the next ten years and he reminds me so much of Mark Viduka whom I played alongside side for many years in the national team,” said the former West Ham United, Birmingham City and Perth Glory wing-back. “Some people may say it’s too early ... but if the kid is good enough it’s never too early. Harry Kewell was a teenager when he came in and look how well he went.”
POSITIVE STEPS TAKEN BY GLORY, ALLIA
Some of the heat has gone out of simmering tensions between Perth Glory owner Tony Sage and the clubs’ founder, Nick Tana. The pair were involved in a bitter word of words late last week in which Sage claimed Glory were being ripped off by Tana’s company Allia Venue Management, who runs Perth Oval. But a meeting between representatives of Allia, Glory, State Government body VenuesWest and the Department of Sport and Recreation on Friday has gone a long way to diffusing the situation. “It was a positive meeting for all parties,” said Allia chief executive Peter Bauchop. “We addressed a number of items and we’ll also be working together in the future to go through some further details.”
Glory chief executive Paul Kelly said it was the first time in a long time his club felt they were close to being on the same page as Allia. “It was a very positive meeting with a lot of detail and discussion,” Kelly said. “The meeting is the first step to resolving our ongoing issues and making Perth Glory sustainable for the future.” In another positive step for Glory, the State Government have brought forward the completion of the Southern Stand redevelopment at Perth Oval. The entire Southern Stand, which sits behind the goal at the city end of the ground, will open this Sunday, 18 November, lifting the venue’s capacity to 11,179.
WILLIAMS BACK IN A MONTH
Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray is hopeful captain Rhys Williams will return to action before Christmas. Williams suffered ankle ligament damage playing against Gillingham in August but could be back in time for the League Cup quarter-final at Swansea on 12 December. “I think Rhys should be about four weeks,” Mowbray told gazettelive.co.uk. “I’m looking forward to having him back. He looks in good fettle. He looks fit, he looks lean. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before we see him with his boots on out on the grass, gradually doing little bits of physical stuff and then little bits of technical stuff. He’s a huge player for us, largely because of the versatility he will bring to our squad.”
GLORY TAKE HOME A POINT FROM ADELAIDE
Perth Glory claimed their first away point of the season by holding A-League leader Adelaide United to a 1-1 draw on a sunny afternoon at Hindmarsh Stadium. A lacklustre first half didn’t spring to life until just before the break when Glory target man Billy Mehmet converted at close-range. Adelaide responded soon after the interval with Dario Vidosic levelling proceedings, but neither side was side was able to find a winner in a thrilling second half. “Both teams had some great opportunities and overall it was a fair game and an even game, 1-1 was a fair result,” said Glory boss Ian Ferguson.
The early action was devoid any much in the way of chances on goal until Travis Dodd pounced on a defensive error and surged into the 18-yard box but his 14th minute shot was high. Adelaide slowly began to assert themselves and on 33 minutes Marcelo Carrusca lofted over the defence for Dario Vidosic whose tame effort was straight at goalkeeper Danny Vukovic. Osama Malik should also have done better two minutes later for the Reds when he headed wide unmarked from a near post corner. Those misses would haunt the home side on 43 minutes when Mehmet broke the deadlock at point blank range following a neat exchange between Liam Miller and Dean Heffernan.
Refreshed from the break, Adelaide needed just four second half minutes to equalise with Carrusca playing in Vidosic, who made no mistake tucking in from 10-metres. Glory went agonisingly close to regaining the lead on 65 minutes, Nick Ward heading powerfully against the crossbar from a Scott Jamieson corner. Vukovic came to Glory’s rescue minutes later with a diving one-handed save to push away a dangerous cross by Jeronimo Neumann. Shane Smeltz came off the bench and within minutes had forced Eugene Galekovic into saving low. Travis Dodd could have snatched Glory victory late but blasted high after some fine lead-up work by Jamieson and Mehmet.
SERMANNI NAMES HIS FINAL MATILDAS SQUAD
Matildas coach Tom Sermanni has announced his 20-player squad for a three-game qualifying tournament for the Women’s East Asian Cup. Sermanni, who will take up the head coach with the United States women’s next year, has chosen a strong squad which includes a rich vein of emerging talent such as Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord, Steph Catley and Brianna Davey along with some seasoned campaigners which include Perth Glory Women trio Kate Gill, Lisa De Vanna and Collette McCallum. The Matildas depart next week for the Women's East Asian Cup Preliminary Competition which commences on 20 November.
The Matildas squad for this month’s EAFF Women’s East Asian Cup 2013 preliminary competition is Emma Checker (Adelaide United), Laura Alleway, Tameka Butt, Emily Gielnik, Katrina Gorry, Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar), Mackenzie Arnold (Canberra United), Stephanie Catley, Brianna Davey (Melbourne Victory), Emily Van Egmond (Newcastle Jets), Lisa De Vanna, Kate Gill, Collette McCallum (Perth Glory), Caitlin Foord, Alanna Kennedy, Samantha Kerr, Ellyse Perry, Kyah Simon (Sydney FC), Teigen Allen and Servet Uzunlar (Western Sydney Wanderers).
GILL HITS HAT-TRICK AS GLORY WOMEN THRASH NEWCASTLE
Perth Glory Women have chalked up their biggest ever win, smashing Newcastle Jets 6-1 in an action-packed W-League encounter at Wanderers Oval. Matildas striker Kate Gill led the way with a hat-trick - the first by a Glory Women player - on a day Lisa De Vanna, team captain Collette McCallum and Marianna Tabain also found the back of the net in a dominant performance. The win sends Glory Women to the top of the table although that may change as both Canberra United and Sydney FC, who trail by two points, play tomorrow.
Played in cool overcast conditions, Glory Women asserted themselves early with De Vanna pouncing on a loose ball and firing into the top corner from 20-metres with just 5 minutes on the clock. Carly Telford prevented Alisha Foote from equalising on the quarter hour by pushing the midfielder’s rasping strike over the crossbar. Glory Women doubled their advantage in the 21st minute via an in-swinging corner by McCallum which entered the net. Newcastle were fortunate not to fall further behind with Gill’s lobbed effort ruled out for offside, while Elisa D’Ovidio headed in from a corner only for the referee to signal for an infringement.
The difference blew out to their goals on 58 minutes when Gill slotted into the corner after Aivi Luik’s long-range strike came back off the post. Gill grabbed her second goal four minutes later after De Vanna slid a ball in behind the defence for the striker to stroke past goalkeeper Eliza Campbell. In 68th minute Gill turned provider with a through ball which Tabain blasted in from 10-metres to make it five-nil. Newcastle pegged a goal back through Huster Tori, who poked the ball in during a goalmouth scramble. However, it was Gill who’d have the final say by converting an injury time penalty to seal a memorable victory.
LATE SURGE GETS GLORY YOUTH MAXIMUM RESULT
Perth Glory Youth hit three goals in the fifteen minutes of their National Youth League encounter with Melbourne Heart to run out 4-1 winners at John Cain Memorial Reserve. Striker Ndumba Makeche got the show on the road just after the quarter hour only for Joshua Groenewald to send the sides into half-time on level terms. With the clock ticking down Harry O’Brien restored the visitors lead but it wasn’t until stoppage time that the points were made safe through Adrian Zahra and Makeche. Glory Youth move into joint second place, on level points with Melbourne Heart and Brisbane Roar, having claimed two wins from their four games.
On a beautifully sunny afternoon, Melbourne fashioned the first good chance 14 minutes in but Stipo Andrijasevic’s 18-metre strike was comfortably saved by goalkeeper Jordan Franken. Three minutes later Makeche netted the opener with a tap-in finish after Riley Woodcock’s corner went to ground inside the 18-yard box. The hosts continued to probe for openings before finding one in the 33rd minute via a Nicholas Epifano corner to the far post which was headed in by captain Josh Groenewald. Melbourne could have had a second five minutes later when Stipo Andrijasevic played a delightful through ball to Epifano whose shot under pressure didn’t caused Franken much concern.
The second half started with Glory on top, Brandon O’Neill striking wide from distance before substitute O’Brien failed to make anything of a free header. O’Brien made amends in the 74th minute by powerfully finishing into the top corner to hand the visitors the advantage. Glory’s gathering momentum was rewarded with a third goal in the 90th minute when Zahra slammed in the rebound from Andrew Redmayne’s spectacular save to a Makeche shot. A foul two minutes later on Makeche was punished the striker converting from the penalty spot for his second goal of the afternoon.
SMELTZ DECLARED FIT
Perth Glory striker Shane Smeltz will have to make do with a spot on the bench before being declared fit for tomorrow’s meeting with Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium. Smeltz has been sidelined with a hamstring tear suffered while on international duty with New Zealand last month but has moved well in full training this week. Coach Ian Ferguson will take a cautious approach to bringing Smeltz back into the fray. “Smeltzy will probably sit on the bench,” he said. “He’s had three days’ training and hopefully he’ll get about 30 minutes of the game in Adelaide.”
Ferguson is likely to name an unchanged starting eleven for Adelaide, including midfield duo Steven McGarry and Nick Ward, both of whom found the net in last weekend’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Newcastle Jets. “The two players that we tinkered about with in the midfield (McGarry and Ward) actually got us two goals which I was really pleased with,” he said. “We lost our way for about 20 minutes of the game where Newcastle dominated but the second goal they scored gave us the kick up the backside we needed … to come back in the way we did, I was really pleased with that.”
Glory are coming off back-to-back away losses to Central Coast Mariners and Sydney FC but Ferguson was dismissive of suggestions his team had problems when not home soil. “We’ve just got to be a little bit smarter in the way we do things and take into account the situation of the game and the timing of the game,” he said. “The two games we’ve played over east have been very, very tight … We’ve got to cut errors out, keep to the game plan and stick to our philosophy. We’ve been unlucky away from home, but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves, we’ve got to get the win and hopefully we’ll do th
LUIK READY FOR PERTH GLORY DEBUT
Matilda’s midfielder Aivi Luik is poised to make her Perth Glory Women in tomorrow’s meeting with Newcastle Jets at Wanderers Oval. Luik recently returned to full training having recovered from hamstring tendonosis and the 27-year old is now ready to make her mark on the park. “It’s been a long time coming, about five months since I’ve actually played a game,” she explained. “I’m hoping to get through a half but we’ll see how it goes. The energy is definitely there and I’ve been sick and tired of sitting in the change room doing nothing … I’m very excited.”
The game with Newcastle also marks Lisa De Vanna’s return to Glory ranks following a spell with Swedish giants Linköpings FC. Luik knows De Vanna well from the Matildas set-up and during their spell as teammates at Brisbane Roar during the 2010/2011 summer. “She’s (De Vanna) coming from her Swedish season straight into this season so she’ll be fit and raring to go,” said Luik. “I’m excited to be playing with her again and hopefully I can get her some goals this weekend.” Glory Women are looking to get back to winnings ways after last week’s surprise loss to Western Sydney Wanderers.
RUKAVYTSYA RELISHES LEADERSHIP ROLE
Nikita Rukavytsya will take on an unfamiliar leadership role when a fresh-faced Socceroos take on Korea Republic next week. Considered one of Australia’s brightest young talents, 25-year old Rukavytsya is competing in his second Bundeliga campaign having switched from Hertha Berlin to Mainz at the start of the season. To date the former Perth Glory striker had made just four appearances for Mainz, three of those being starts, but he is yet to cement his place in the starting line-up. Rukavytsya’s efforts were recognised this week with inclusion in a young Socceroos squad which includes a trio of uncapped players, including fellow West Australian Eli Babalj.
Rukavytsya remembers well his first Socceroos call-up and offered some words of advice to rookies Babalj, Tom Rogic and Aziz Behich. “It’s good for them to be a part of that set-up and to see what it’s like and to train with the group,” he said. “(My advice to them will be to) just get the most out of it and just enjoy every day, enjoy every training and just have fun. Train how you normally train and it’ll be all good. I’ve heard and I’ve read on the internet that they’re promising and they’re talented. Hopefully, they’ll keep developing and become the best that they can be.”
Rukavytsya, who has eight caps to his credit but it yet to secure an ongoing spot in the Socceroos, is determined to make the most of his chances against Korea Republic. “When you play for the national team, it doesn’t matter if it’s a friendly or a qualifier - you always go there to perform and to win,” said Rukavytsya, who commanded a starting place when Australia beat Lebanon two months ago. “We’re not going to think of it as just a training game. It’s a proper game - you have to be switched on. It’s going to be fun and I’m sure we’ll enjoy it and we’ll get a good result.”
KEWELL DISMISSES GLORY LINK
Socceroos veteran Harry Kewell has hosed down claims he is in discussions with Perth Glory. Club owner Tony Sage planted the seed earlier this week that Kewell was interested in joining Glory following a chance meeting in Melbourne. However, the veteran attacker was straight to the point when asked about his chances of playing for Glory after arriving at Perth Airport yesterday. “None - I don’t know why everyone’s speculating. I’m here to enjoy a golf tournament,” Kewell commented. “The reason why I left Australia was because of family reasons. If my family reasons were all sorted I’d still be playing for the Melbourne Victory.”
Kewell confirmed he and Sage did speak while at the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday but that ‘was about it’. “We were talking about horse racing. We were just enjoying being at the Cup, that was about it,” explained Kewell. “We spoke briefly and I did say to him that I’m not interested at the moment until I know exactly what I’m doing with my family. I have been talking (to clubs) but I can’t make a decision until my family situation is all under control and we know exactly from that point what we’re doing.”
KINGSWAY BELONG IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE SAYS COWAN
Coach Ian Cowan has made it his goal to reunite Division Two club Kingsway Olympic with top flight football. Kingsway are one of the State League’s foundation clubs and boast a proud history which includes two State championships, however, times have been tough with the Green Machines’ last Premier Division appearance well over a decade ago. Cowan, who recently stepped into the head coach role, has no doubt the club are on the verge of their second coming. “I’m looking forward to the challenge at a club that have everything in place to climb up the league and back into the Premier Division,” said Cowan.
Taking charge of Kingsway is something Cowan, who last season guided Subiaco AFC to second place in Division Two, has spent a lot of time thinking about. “I’d spoken to John Ward a few times over the years and I thought the time was now right to join Kingsway,” explained Ward, who would welcome new players to Kingsway for season 2013. “We need to add a few players and develop a better attitude and commitment from those that are already at the club. I’m hoping to bring in coaches who want to achieve the same as I do in time for the new season to make sure we are a success.”
Cowan, who was assistant coach when Stirling Lions won the State Cup in 2010, has nothing but fond memories of the two seasons he spent with Subiaco. “They’re a great bunch of lads at Subiaco, the players and coaches, and will be sad not working with them next year,” he commented. “My first year was in the Sunday League Premier Division and I feel we put out a decent side and played some quality football. This then carried over into the State Leagues, finishing second was a great achievement for the club … if only we had scored a few more goals.”
TEMPERS FLARE IN GLORY VENUE STOUCH
A war of words has erupted between Perth Glory owner Tony Sage and the man who founded the club, Nick Tana, over the cost of hiring Perth Oval. Sage has accused Tana, whose company Allia Holdings manages the East Perth venue, of “naked greed” over the cost of hiring the stadium. Tana, who formed Perth Glory in 1995 with then business partner Paul Afkos, hit back by labelling Sage a “whinger who gets all his facts wrong.” The feud comes to a head tomorrow when representatives the State Government, Football Federation Australia and Glory meet with Tana to discuss the matter.
Sage accused Tana of putting profit before the club he founded. “We’re being ripped off by being charged the same hire fee for a stadium which last year had a 22,000 capacity and now has a 9,800 capacity,” said Sage. “Nick Tana hates my guts and has allowed this to become personal … I don’t hate him but I hate what he is doing to Perth Glory Football Club. He’s proved he’s not a football fan by the way he has behaved. The future of Perth Glory is in the hands of a private individual with an axe to grind.”
Tana dismissed Sage’s assertion it costs Glory $119,000 to stage a game at Perth Oval, saying the figure is closer to $70,000 a game. “The Government is fed up with Tony’s antics and so am I. He is telling porkies left, right and centre,” said Tana. “I personally cash-flowed the majority of Perth’s home games last season after Tony Sage refused to pay and did it out of my love for the game and nothing else … It’s out of order for Tony to say I don’t have the game at heart. He is deliberately misleading people.”
Sage, who says Glory made money from their opening round clash with Brisbane Roar at Subiaco Oval which attracted over 14,000 spectators, is looking to utilise alternative venues next season. “We’ll either go to Patersons Stadium (Subiaco Oval) or maybe we’ll fold next season and that might suit Nick Tana, perhaps he wants to pick up the licence again and that’s why he’s doing this,” said the Glory owner, who is also contemplating a development with Football West which would include a 12,000-capacity venue. “We would make $100,000 a game instead of losing around $60,000 a game.”
Tana, though, said Sage had refused to pay ground hiring deposits this season, insisting it was he - and not Sage - who demanded the meeting. “At the weekend, we tipped into the can again to the tune of $3,000 for extra costs associated with the giant screen because Glory was not going to put it in,” Tana said. “Our scanners showed that against the (Newcastle) Jets Glory had a paying crowd of 7,200, which tells me Tony Sage’s real problems are attracting fans in the first place. He wants compensation from the Government for not having enough seats even though he can’t even sell tickets for what he has.”
AMATEURS TOUR OF SINGAPORE “A GREAT OPPORTUNITY”: TANESKI
The State Amateur team can proudly hold their heads high following a whirlwind three-game tour of Singapore. Assistant coach Ljupco Taneski said the trip, in which the Sunday League squad chalked up a win, a draw and a loss in the space of five days, was a resounding successful from both a football and personal perspective. “It was a great opportunity to promote the Western Australian football product,” Taneski said. “Everyone walks away from this tour a better person and footballer, and with a greater knowledge of what other parts of the world have to offer.”
Taneski feels there are definitely a few things football in Western Australia can learn from Singapore when it comes to facilities. “The whole travelling party was surprised by the infrastructure that Singapore has to offer any prospective up and coming athlete,” he said. “They have synthetic grass pitches every 250-metres or so and terrific stadiums that could each hold 5,000 or more spectators. This is something WA has to look into investing for the future, it‘s a massive outlay but the return in terms of professionalism is great.”
A penalty conceded in the final minutes denied the State Amateurs’ victory from a tough opening game with SCC/NFL Combined selection. “The combined side would have been out toughest test. They had a lot of expats playing and certainly some quality players that could play in our State League without any problems,” said Taneski, whose teams’ goals in the 3-3 came from Alan Clarke (2) and James Young. “We should have walked away with the win although giving away a penalty in the final moments really was not what we deserved from the 90 minutes.”
The State Amateurs dominance over the Singapore National University squad two days later was rewarded with a 7-1 win. “We walked all over the University squad, from the first to the last minute,” Taneski commented. “The players were firing on all cylinders, it was a terrific team performance.” Played at a frantic pace, the visiting side were held at bay until the half hour at which point the floodgates opened. By the time the final whistle sounded Felim Rugel had bagged a hat-trick with Alan Clarke, James Young, Lee James and Liam Merigan also on the scoresheet.
The tour concluded with a 2-3 loss to Zamrud FC against who Alan Clarke and Paul Concannon found the net. “Zamrud had a lot of player’s trialling for the upcoming season and this probably caught all of us off guard,” said Taneski. “To be leading two-nil and to go down three-two was not a good way to finish the tour. The gents were all disappointed with the one that got away but, none the less, this was a tour of learning new cultures, football, meeting new people and sharing knowledge with another country and footballers.”
The State Amateur squad which toured Singapore was Dinko Ahmetanovic, Mohamed Amin Hassan, Argo Mujic, Hussein Naser (BB United), Alan Clarke (Backpackers FC), Lee James (Balga), Declan Peters (Belmont Villa), Paul Concannon, Nick Felakis (Floreat Athena), Shaun Gibbons, Ryan Sochanik, James Young (Hamersley Rovers), Liam Merrigan (Kalamunda), Chad Freund (Kwinana), Greg Montenegro and Felim Rugel (Southern Spirit). John McGlynn (coach), Ljupco Taneski (assistsnt coach) and Graeme Marinkovich (manager) completed the travelling party.
BABALJ CALLED-UP FOR SOCCEROOS
Red Star Belgrade striker Eli Babalj is one of three new faces in the Australia squad for next week’s friendly outing with Korea Republic in Hwaseong. National coach Holger Osieck included 20-year old Babalj in a young 19-player squad which also includes Nikita Rukavytsya and Perth Glory defender Michael Thwaite. “I can tell you he’s (Babalj) very passionate because when he got approached, got confronted with the possibility of joining our group, he was over the moon,” Osieck said of Babalj, a junior with Perth SC. “He's more than the traditional type of attacker. Physically, he’s very strong, he knows where the goal stands, he’s a good finisher.”
The Australia squad to play Korea Republic on 14th November is Matthew Spiranovic (Al Arabi), Alex Brosque (Al-Ain Club), Lucas Neill (Al-Wasl Sports Club), James Holland (Austria Vienna), Matthew McKay (Busan I Park), Tom Rogic, Mathew Ryan (Central Coast Mariners), Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow), Mathew Leckie (Frankfurt 1899), Mark Schwarzer (Fulham), Ryan McGowan (Heart of Midlothian), Nikita Rukavytsya (Mainz 05), Aziz Behich (Melbourne Heart), Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), Michael Thwaite (Perth Glory), Eli Babalj (Red Star Belgrade), Carl Valeri U.S. (Sassuolo Calcio), Tommy Oar and Adam Sarota (Utrecht).
GLORY ENTERTAIN THOUGHTS OF SIGNING KEWELL
Harry Kewell may turn out for Perth Glory this season after a chance meeting between the Socceroo attacker and Glory owner Tony Sage at this week’s Melbourne Cup. Kewell, who has been without a club since quitting Melbourne Victory in June, will fly into Perth tomorrow along with wife Sheree Murphy for a three day which includes discussions over a possible deal with Glory. “Harry said he just wanted to get back on the park again and asked if there would be any interest from Perth,” Sage said. “I told him he would be too expensive, but he replied ‘money is not an issue, I just want to play football’.”
Kewell, who will also attend a golf event during his stopover in Perth, told Sage he was interested in any club around the world and wanted to play for Australia again. Sage then contacted Glory coach Ian Ferguson and chief executive Paul Kelly to tee up a meeting with 34-year old Kewell. “It all happened when we just bumped into each other. He’d had a few to drink and so had I and I may have misread our conversation in terms of the money not being an issue,” Sage said. “So I just want to make sure we’re on the same page and see where it takes us.”
JAMIESON EXPECTS A HOSTILE ADELAIDE
Scott Jamieson expects to receive a hostile reception when Perth Glory takes on Adelaide United on Sunday. The 24-year old left-back made 49 appearances during a two-season stint with Adelaide but was booed when he returned to Hindmarsh Stadium with Sydney FC, and is tipping similar treatment this weekend. “I had a special relationship with the fans when I was there (and) if they boo me I give it back to them, so it’s a good blast,” said Jamieson. “Adelaide will always have a place in my heart because I enjoyed two fantastic and successful years there and they did give me my first chance in Australia.”
One of Glory’s star performers over opening rounds of the new A-League summer, Jamieson attributes his fine early season form to the tactical approach of coach Ian Ferguson. “The way this team sets up suits me,” he said. “At Sydney we didn’t really utilise the full backs well enough, but the freedom the manager gives me here helps me out. It’s enjoyable getting forward, supporting the boys and doing my job. In terms of my own personal form, I’ve been okay. A few things here and there could have been better, but I’m starting to get really confident again and find my groove.”
UWA CONFIRM NEW COACHING TEAM
UWA-Nedlands have appointed Andy Dickinson and Jon Pfaff to spearhead their quest for back-to-back championships. Dickinson and Pfaff will set to work immediately on ensuring UWA are a competitive force on their return to Division One after winning promotion from the third tier this year. “It is our intention to build on this success and take the club to the next level, and we see Andy and Jon as the right combination to do this,” read a club statement released via Football West’s website. “We have a strong base from which to build, but we understand that as a club we cannot afford to stand still. The next stage of the journey begins now, and we are looking forward to the ride.”
WARD SALUTES ‘PEOPLE AUSTRALIA’ WITH GOAL CELEBRATION
Perth Glory midfielder Nick Ward was spoilt for choice when the time came to celebrate his first goal of the season. Ward, one of three scorers in Saturday night’s thrilling win over Newcastle Jets, promised himself he would promote ‘People Australia’, a clothing label he is co-owner of. So after netting in the 38th minute the midfielder formed the company's triangular symbol with his hands. “My brother actually wanted me to do an aeroplane thing because he just got his pilot’s licence, but I thought I’d better get the fashion label out there,” 27-year old Ward said.
Ward admitted he struggled at times during his first full match of the season as he attempted to fill the giant shoes of injured captain Jacob Burns. “I didn’t think it was one of my best games – I didn’t really see that much of the ball – but I was pretty happy with the performance,” said Ward, who played off the bench in Glory’s four games prior to the weekend outing with Newcastle. “I worked hard, but pulled up a bit tight in the second half. But for my first full game, it’s not too bad.”
With Burns out for a month, Ward is likely to retain his starting spot for Sunday’s clash at top-of-the-table Adelaide United. Ward says there’ll need to be significant improvement in Glory’s performance if they are to get the better of Adelaide, who are coming off an away win over reigning champions Brisbane Roar. “(The Newcastle game) wasn’t one of our better performances this season and in the second half we had a patch where we were under the pump a bit,” Ward said. “But it shows we’ve got good character. We grinded out a result and it was an important three points for us.”
GLORY COMEBACK SHOWED CHARACTER: FERGUSON
Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson praised his teams’ fighting spirit after they recovered from an early setback to secure a pulsating 3-2 victory over Newcastle Jets last night. Newcastle went ahead after 5 minutes through Tiago Calvano but it was Glory who led at half-time courtesy of Steve McGarry and Nick Ward finishes. Josh Mitchell brought the sides level after the turnaround before substitute Chris Harold grabbed Glory a late winner. “To come back and get the winner against the run of play, it showed good character,” Ferguson said. “It wasn’t as fluent as what we usually have been, so to get the win tonight was pleasing.”
Both of Newcastle's goals came from set-pieces as the Perth defence struggled to cope without holding midfielder Jacob Burns. “I don’t think we played or gave the protection we normally do with Jacob being there because Jacob’s normally the holding, screener and we normally let Liam (Miller) go do his stuff,” Ferguson said. “It was bit strange for Steve McGarry going there because he’s played (number) ten for the last year and a half now and we then put young Jesse Makarounas in there, who is more of a forward-thinking player.”
Glory appeared to take a 3-1 lead when Scott Jamieson put the ball in the back of the net on the stroke of half-time only to incorrectly ruled offside. “I don’t know how many chances we had, but the offside goal I thought that was a great move and well executed as well,” said Ferguson, whose team weathered a second half onslaught before stealing victory late. “(Harold) gets 15 minutes and comes on, every time he’s come on he’s done really well, he’s made the goalkeeper work … he’s done it again tonight and got us the winner.”
GLORY YOUTH THROW AWAY THREE POINTS
Perth Glory Youth snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by conceding twice in the final few minutes to go down 3-2 to Newcastle Jets on a blustery afternoon at Intiga Stadium in Inglewood. Kale Bradbery gave Newcastle the best possible start by converting from the penalty spot after Stevan Ilic was brought down by Matthew Davies on 10 minutes. Glory forced their way back into the contest to draw level on the half hour, Ndumba Makeche’s deep cross was nodded back across goal by Chris Harold for Ryo Nagai to drill in at close-range. Wasteful finishing prevented the hosts from entering the break in front with Makeche and Nagai both squandering chances.
Another chance went begging soon after the re-start, Jesse Makarounas hesitating long enough for Matthew Nash to save comfortably. Adrian Zahra fired wide after being teed up by Makeche and, following a break due to a hail deluge, Makarounas lifted over the crossbar. Newcastle looked to hit back on 72 minutes but Bradbery dragged wide with substitute goalkeeper Devon Spence beaten. With two minutes to go Bradbery sliced through the defence before sliding past Spence. The game was made safe soon after with substitute Radovan Pavicevic putting away goal number three after being teed up by Bradbery. Makarounas reduced the deficit three minutes into stoppage time.
JONES STAKES CLAIM TO GLOVES AT LIVERPOOL
Goalkeeper Brad Jones is turning up the pressure for the top job at Liverpool. Jones, 30, has guarded the Reds net for their last four outings and is hopeful of continuing his run today against Newcastle United.
“This run of games has been a good opportunity to play and show I can perform if needed in the first team,” said Jones, whose opportunity came when regular shot-stopper Pepe Reina suffered a hamstring injury. “Whatever the manager chooses from now on is only good because it means all of us are putting pressure on each other.”
With Reina, a Spanish international, now available Jones hopes to have given manager Brendan Rodgers plenty to think about. “I’ve been fairly happy with how things have gone. I haven’t had masses to do but feel what I have done has been fairly steady,” said Jones, who played youth football with Bayswater City before heading abroad in 1999. “Everyone wants to play. When I came to Liverpool I knew Pepe had an unbelievable record, he’s a difficult guy to get out of the way. We have a good, friendly rivalry, along with our other ‘keeper Peter Gulacsi.”
SUPER-SUB HAROLD STEALS GLORY VICTORY
Chris Harold came off the bench to snatch Perth Glory a dramatic 3-2 triumph over Newcastle Jets under lights this evening at Perth Oval. The teams looked like finishing equal when Harold sent the 9,293 crowd into raptures by lashing in at close-range after goalkeeper Mark Birighitti spilled a corner to the back post. “Lucky enough the ball landed at my feet in the 6-yard box and I couldn’t really miss,” Harold said. “I wasn’t very far out, so I had to make sure it went in.” Steve McGarry and Nick Ward had Glory 2-1 up at the break only for Josh Mitchell level things up by complementing Tiago Calvano’s first half opener.
The tone was set for a pulsating game as early as the 6th minute when Mitchell headed a cross back across goal where Calvano reacted quickest, bundling the ball past Danny Vukovic from close-range. Parity was restored six minutes later when McGarry latched onto a partial clearance which from 22-metres he slammed low and beyond the reach of Birighitti. Ward’s influence was steadily increasing and seven minutes from the break he steered in at close-range after Dean Heffernan’s header from a Scott Jamieson cross was brilliantly parried by Birighitti. The Newcastle custodian prevented Ward a second goal by keeping out the midfielder’s header from a Jamieson free-kick.
Whatever coach Gary Van Egmond said to his troops at the break had the desired effect. Star import Emile Heskey became more involved as the visitors edged their way back into the contest. In the 64th minute Heskey’s clever pass created an opening for James Brown whose angled drive fizzed narrowly wide of the upright. A few minutes later Scott Neville delivered an inviting low cross into the 6-yard box where Heskey miscued his shot straight at Vukovic. The Glory custodian was called upon again four minutes later, thrusting out a foot to save another close-range Heskey strike on goal.
Newcastle got the goal they were after on 70 minutes, Mitchell sweeping in the loose ball created by Heskey’s nod down from another deep cross by Neville. Ryan Griffiths’s delivery should then have been converted by Heskey, who completely missed his shot with the goal at his mercy. That magnitude of that miss was highlighted in the 85th minute when Liam Miller’s corner eluded Birighitti and fell for Harold, who gleefully blasted in from 6-metres. There was still time for Harold and James Brown to go close at opposite ends before referee Alan Milliner signalled the end of a thrilling contest.
WESTERN SYDNEY MAKE HISTORY AT GLORY WOMEN’S EXPENSE
Western Sydney Wanderers moved off the bottom of the W-League table with a shock 2-0 win over leaders Perth Glory Women at Campbelltown Stadium. The home side adjusted better to the bumpy surface and could have snuck the lead on 34 minutes Trudi Camilleri rolled wide after being found by Alexandra Huynh. Camilleri found her measure nine minutes later, the midfielder slotted past goalkeeper Carly Telfrod after being played through by Teigen Allen. Kate Gill squandered a great opportunity to send the sides into the break level when she glanced wide after Bronwyn Studman floated the ball to the back post.
Glory opened the second half full of intent only to find the home defence in no mood to concede. Western Sydney coach Steve Roche knew one goal was not going to be enough and on 54 minutes brought on Linda O’Neill, who shortly after pushed just wide of the post. It was a change that paid dividends on 61 minutes when O’Neill surged to the byline and pulled the ball back for Camilleri to slam past Telford for a two-nil lead. Glory enjoyed the better of possession over the final half hour and although there were several chances to reduce the deficit this was not to be their day.
WARD EYES GLORY START
Emotions will be running high should Nick Ward get the go-ahead to patrol Perth Glory’s midfield this evening against Newcastle Jets. Ward, who is in his second spell with Glory, is in the running to replace injured captain Jacob Burns after a string of impressive appearances off the bench and can’t wait to acquaintances with the Shed. “They’ve always been great fans here,” he Ward. “I remember when I was a kid being one of those fans and Glory have always been known for having that great support. I’m really looking forward to playing in front of the Shed again, it would mean a lot if I got the chance to do that on Saturday.”
Ward is well placed to comment on how far the domestic game has come since last playing for Glory in 2006. “The professionalism of not just the club but the whole league has just come on in leaps and bounds since I was here last time,” said Ward, who has played in England, New Zealand and Australia. “We didn’t have sports scientists or the facilities that we can use now that we share with the Western Force. Now we’ve got gyms, ice baths and GPS (Global Positioning System) and heart-rate monitors monitoring our load. That reduces your injuries and to be honest, my body feels the best it has felt.”
Ward feels his own game is on the improve thanks to the influence of Burns and Liam Miller, the two players who’ve been restricting him to playing off the bench until now. “I’m learning a lot in terms of my defensive game from Burnsy and then you look at Liam whose touches are amazing, he’s got great feet and he’s pretty cool on the ball, doesn’t give it away much and creates a lot,” he said. “Liam and Jacob who are two of the best players in the league, so it’s a challenge for myself to get in, but I’m always up for a challenge.”
CONFIDENT GLORY READY TO BRING DOWN THE JETS
Ian Ferguson insists Perth Glory have the depth to cover for the absence of star duo Jacob Burns and Shane Smeltz when they welcome Newcastle Jets to Perth Oval tomorrow. Team captain Burns has been ruled out for up to a month with a quadriceps injury while Smeltz remains sidelined by a hamstring injury, neither of which is of serious concern to Ferguson. “We’re at home and we’ve got a good squad with players who can come in and do a good job,” said Ferguson, “There’s no doubt about that. I believe that this squad is good enough to go on and take the three points.”
Billy Mehmet will continue to deputise for Smeltz in attack but Ferguson is tight-lipped as to who will replace Burns. “We’ll be trying a few things when your cameras are off,” he joked at this morning’s media conference session. “Nick Ward has done a tremendous job since he’s been here. In the last four games he’s come on and made a huge impact off the bench. (Chris) Harold has come on and done a great job and (Adrian) Zahra was unfortunate to miss out last week. I’ve been really pleased with the personnel that hasn’t been getting as much game time and we’re going to have to make change, so one of them will be playing.”
Despite losing last time out to Sydney FC, Ferguson has no intention of changing the brand of football Glory play. “The manner in which we played against Sydney in controlling the game and keeping the ball and getting our wide players involved and our full-backs forward is how I’ve always wanted to play,” the coach said. “We’ve got to maintain that and be a little bit more ruthless in front of goal and make sure that when we have that amount of possession and domination, there’s an end product. Credit to the boys, I’ve been really pleased with the manner in which we’ve played.”
Ferguson acknowledged the threat posed by former England striker Emile Heskey, but was also quick to reiterate that Glory have plenty of strengths of their own. “Heskey’s scored four goals in four games so we have to make sure we do our homework and snuff out the supply from the wider areas and that’s something we’ve been working on,” he said. “But as I keep saying, I hope they’re going to be worrying about us as well. We’ve got our own players who can cause them a lot of problems, we’re at home tomorrow and I want us to take the game to Newcastle and carry on where we’ve left off in our last four games.”
MCCALLUM READY FOR WESTERN SYDNEY
Perth Glory Women are gearing up for their first away trip of the season when they face W-League newcomers Western Sydney Wanderers tomorrow at Campbelltown Stadium. Back-to-back victories across the opening rounds of the campaign have Glory Women as the competition’s only team with a perfect win record after two games. After seeing off Adelaide United last time out, captain Collette McCallum says her team are eager to extend their run against Western Sydney. “All the girls were happy with the win against Adelaide and now everyone is just psyched up for this,” said McCallum.
Saturday’s game with bring McCallum face-to-face with some of Australia’s best players. “Western Sydney have got a few young ones from the Young Matildas, but you’ve got the likes of Sarah Walsh who’s definitely going to be a threat up front as well,” said the midfielder. “Servet’s (Uzunlar) a good player at the back and you’ve got Teigen Allen who’s very strong in the middle, so those players will be a bit dangerous for us, but I think we’ve got the quality to hold them off.”
McCallum, capped 73 times by Australia, took the opportunity to praise Matildas coach Tom Sermanni, who earlier this week joined world number one the United States of America. “Well I’ve been in the team for eight years with him so it is quite sad that he’s leaving, but that’s football and things like that happen,” said McCallum. “I’m very thankful for what he’s done for my career, but I hope he does well for the US team and I will really be looking forward to when we play against them and hopefully get a result out of it.”
UWA SACK CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING COACH BURTON
Long-time UWA-Nedlands coach Kevin Burton has been dumped little over a month after winning the Division Two championship. Burton was understandably stunned to learn he’d been replaced at the end of a remarkable season in which UWA lost just once in 24 games to be crowned champions. “Having coached at UWA for seven years in two separate periods, being a life member and delivering a first State League championship to the club, it is very disappointing not to be able to continue the work to get promoted to the Premier League next season with the same player group,” commented Burton.
Burton learned yesterday his services were no longer required from UWA president Conrad McKelvie. “Apparently the committee decided to part ways with me as they wanted to head in a different direction,” said Burton of his telephone conversion with McKelvie. “There was some discussion about the need to put a development coach in to accommodate the changes to the points/salary cap being introduced. It was also stated they wanted to focus on youth players. I did ask for further feedback as to the reasons but to be honest I did not really get anything tangible that I understood.”
Burton hopes his departure won’t destabilise UWA’s championship winning squad. “I really enjoyed this season, I improved as a coach and with the assistance of a couple of good friends developed a great team. The experience of playing the brand of football we did was fantastic and I hope the players stay together because they are capable of doing very well next year,” said Burton. “Thanks so much to my players that have contacted me offering their support as well as Dan Evans from Melville City, and also to former UWA president, Guy Hattersley, who supported me in my seven years of coaching at the club.”
Not one to let the grass grow beneath his feet, Burton, who is awaiting final FFA assessment on his ‘A’ Licence (Part 1), is optimistic about the future. “Where one door closes another one opens,” said Burton. “In my seven years with UWA we never lower than third on the table, and in between my two spells at the club I was the Northern Territory Under-13's coach at the National Championships. So if there is a well organised club needing someone with my experience and qualifications I would like to think that I have a lot to offer with a proven track record at both a senior and junior nationals’ level.”
BURNS OUT FOR A MONTH
Perth Glory will be without captain Jacob Burns for up to a month with a quadriceps injury. Burns limped off the training track on Wednesday with scans revealing a 2.5cm tear in his left quadriceps. The former Socceroo has formed a rock-solid partnership with former Republic of Ireland midfielder Liam Miller and his absence leaves a big hole in the centre of the park. “It’s just one of these things unfortunately that happens in football,” coach Ian Ferguson said. “The intensity of the training’s been good and Jacob tried to do a cross-field pass and that's where he felt it tear a little bit.” Burns joins Shane Smeltz (hamstring), Evan Berger (hamstring) and Steve Pantelidis (suspension) on the sidelines for tomorrow’s home clash with Newcastle Jets.
GLORY WOMEN NOT YET AT THEIR BEST: HARNWELL
Jamie Harnwell may be thrilled with his teams’ superb start to the new season but the Perth Glory Women coach isn’t resting on his laurels. Goals on the weekend by Kate Gill and Elisa D’Ovidio saw Glory Women claim a 2-1 victory over Adelaide United, and with it outright leadership of the W-League. And while that result came not on the heels of an opening day 2-0 win against Melbourne Victory, Harnwell says their best is still to come. “We have pinpointed aspects that we need to improve upon and we will continue to work on those as the season progresses,” he said. “But two from two is certainly a great starting point.”
Six points from two games is exactly the sort of start Harnwell had hoped for. “I felt confident we could win both games, but to go out and do so has been very pleasing,” said the coach. “I’ve been happy with the way we have played the first two games under some tough conditions with the weather and pitch. We have the ability this year to mix things up and vary how we play. The winner on the weekend was the result of a long ball, whereas our second goal last week was a wonderful team move that started just outside our own 18-yard box. I think that is a huge strength of our team.”
D’Ovidio’s last gasp winner against Adelaide was a deserved reward for a solid 90 minute workout by Glory Women. “We knew Adelaide would be no pushover but I felt we dominated the game and really should have been comfortable winners,” said Harnwell. “Adelaide took their chance well with a free-kick but to get that goal back just before half-time (through Gill) was a huge boost for us. For the second half I just asked the girls to keep on believing in themselves. We’d created a number of chances and were playing in possession, we knew that if we kept at it the reward would come.”
One of the big talking points stemming from Saturday’s win was the decision by match officials to disallow a perfectly legitimate first half goal by Collette McCallum. “When Collette went through we felt we had a deserved lead, so to see the flag go up was frustrating as we were trying to figure out what the decision was for,” commented Harnwell, who shortly after sought an explanation from the fourth official. “I certainly didn’t agree with the reasoning behind it (the decision) but I will seek some clarification over it. The disappointing thing for me was that the referee didn’t go over and speak to the assistant as it may have sorted the issue out.”
An influx of experience in the form of Collette McCallum, Kate Gill, Carly Telford and Sasha Andrews has played its part in the teams’ early success. “All four have been fantastic, you can see why each has done so much in the game,” said Harnwell of his star quartet. “Their professionalism, attitude and work rate towards each session and game is a real focus point for me, and it lifts the other players around them. Last year we were having to ask young players to stand up week in week out to be leaders – this year they are able to develop into those roles at a more gradual pace.”
Glory Women’s first road trip of the new season brings them up against an as yet pointless Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday. “They’re a competitive unit and will be desperate to get on the board this week. It is up to us to try and put them on the back foot again and keep the pressure on,” said Harnwell. “There are obviously some West Sydney players that we know a great deal about, such as Sarah Walsh and Servet Uzunlar, others not so much. But fortunately the Sydney derby was televised over the weekend so I will be sitting down to review that game as part of our preparations.”
Harnwell is confident Glory Women can make it three wins in a row this weekend at Campbelltown Stadium. “We have a team this year which I believe will compete with any team in the league. If we want to be in the top four we have to be able to travel away and pick up points,” said Harnwell, who is hoping to see a more polished performance in the final third of the park. “We are always looking likely to score, so hopefully we will be able to be bit more ruthless in front of goals and give ourselves a bit more breathing space during games.”
BAYSWATER HAND REINS TO COYNE
Former Socceroos defender Chris Coyne has been tasked with leading State League premiers Bayswater City into season 2013. Coyne, who played professionally in England for over a decade, was confirmed yesterday as first team coach of Bayswater as they look to build on the successes of the recent winter. “Chris will bring another level of professionalism at the club through his vast playing experience along with a young fresh, energetic approach to our club environment,” said Bayswater’s media man Adam Rucci. “We see Chris as being able to propel us to the next level of success while also lifting the profile of our historic club.”
The experience Coyne gained from a glittering career that took in almost 400 appearances in England, Scotland, Australia and China was just one of the factors that swayed Bayswater to offer the 33-year old their top job. “Chris had a distinguished playing career and we believe he possesses all the necessary qualities to be a great coach,” commented Rucci. “Chris also shares our club philosophy in regards to how the game should be played along with the necessary attributes that a club requires to create a great club culture.”
Having risen to prominence with Perth SC, Coyne joined London club West Ham United in 1996 and spent a season with Dundee before his career really ignited with a mid-2001 move to Luton Town. Over the course of six campaigns he played 253 games for the Hatters, twice helping the club win promotion and in 2006 was named club captain. Coyne played two further seasons in England for Colchester United before linking with Perth Glory, where his three years were interrupted by a season-long loan to Chinese Super League side Liaoning Hongyun. Along the way he represented Australia on seven occasions at senior level.
Coyne, who slipped quietly into retirement after being released by Glory earlier this year, will take his first training session with Bayswater in the not too distant future. “Our season has already started with planning on club structure, player recruitment and sponsorship drives,” said Rucci. “In regards to the on-field component, we commence pre-season in the next month or so. 2012 for a very successful year for Bayswater and our objectives for 2013 remain the same – to play excellent, watchable football and to compete for every piece of silverware on offer.”
HESKEY IS NOT NEWCASTLE’S ONLY THREAT: MILLER
Emile Heskey may be the headline act for the Newcastle Jets but Liam Miller is adamant the former England striker won’t be the sole focus of Perth Glory’s attentions on Saturday. “There’s no-one we’re going to single out,” said Miller who faced Heskey several times during his spells with Manchester United and Sunderland. “We’ll look at them as a team and take it from there. Newcastle are going very well at the moment and Emile is scoring a few goals so it’ll be a tough game. They are probably full of confidence and will be coming here looking to turn us over, but we are very strong at home. We’ve made it a fortress, so hopefully we can play our game and get the win.”
DE VANNA REJOINS GLORY WOMEN
Perth Glory Women have confirmed the return of foundation player Lisa De Vanna. Fresh from a season with Swedish giants Linkopings, 27-year old De Vanna will link with Glory Women next week ahead of a meeting with another of her former clubs, Newcastle Jets. “There has been plenty of speculation whether she would join us or not, but we are thrilled that we can now officially announce it,” said coach Jamie Harnwell. “Everyone knows that she is one of the world’s best strikers and her partnership up front with Kate Gill will go a long way in helping achieve our goal of finals football.” De Vanna takes Glory Women’s Matilda’s component to four, joining Collette McCallum, Kate Gill and Aivi Luik.
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This page was last updated on the 1st November, 2012