Archived News : March-April 2016



It’s week seven of the PS4 National Premier League, and the two form teams of the competition Stirling Lions and Floreat Athena meet at Macedonia Park, in the Match of the Week. Stirling beat league leaders Inglewood United last week and striker Robert Petkov said it was a good all-round team performance. “It was a tough game last week, but I thought we deserved the win,” he said. “They (Inglewood) were unfortunate to miss an early chance and penalty, and we took advantage of the one man extra and it showed in the end.” The striker said Saturday’s opponents are in a rich vein of form, and being traditional rivals it has all the hallmarks of a classic game. “The club have a healthy rivalry with Floreat, and it will be a crucial game, and we know a win would really set us up nicely,” Petkov explained. “It'll be another tough match as they (Floreat) are coming off a good run of form and will definitely be one of the teams to beat for a top four spot, so it should be an entertaining game.”

Floreat are unbeaten in their last five games and striker Lewis McMahon returned last week to after injury and he said it was a good win against ECU Joondalup. “We started very slow but the last 20 minutes of the first half and the whole of the 2nd half we dominated,” he said. “I think a few lads were in their comfort zones and thought it would just happen. But after a going a goal down all the boys stepped up and put ECU to bed. Some very good performances throughout the side and with the quality we have, goals will always come.” The English striker said Saturday’s game will be a tough one, but said he doesn’t know much about the Lions. “To be honest I don't know much about them, but they are coming off a good result and we need to be focused, “he explained. “They are so obviously no pushovers, but we don't worry about the opposition. It's going to be a good game as we are now putting a few results together and the league is wide open this year which is great. So all to play for.”

Sorrento sits second on the table and they are the only unbeaten side in the competition, and this week they return home to take on league leaders Inglewood United at Percy Doyle Reserve. Inglewood lost for the first time last week, while The Gulls flew home with the points from Cockburn City, and defender Ryan Pearson said it was a good win at Dalmatinac Park. “At the end of the day we definitely deserved the win, but we did start off very slow and sloppy,” he explained. “But once we conceded the opening goal it kicked us into gear and then our ability and dominance started showing through and we scored three goals and managed to come home with all three points.” The former Perth Glory defender said Inglewood has a talented side and knows they will need to be at their best to get the result. “We’re looking forward to this weekend’s game to get back to winning ways after our loss to Armadale in the FFA Cup, which was very disappointing for us and the club,” Pearson said. “They (Inglewood) are a tough side and it will be a good test for the lads to again compare ourselves to another top team, but it should be an entertaining game.”

Balcatta have won back-to-back games in the league and head north this weekend to take on ECU Joondalup at the ECU Football Stadium. Joondalup have fall of the pace in recent weeks, and assistant Coach David Tough said last week’s fade out at Floreat was a real disappointment. “We’ve been bitterly disappointed with the last couple of week’s performances, but all the coaching staff knows we have a talented squad of players and we believe we will improve,” he explained. “In both matches we were competitive but never took our chances at key moments of the game, if we had we could have taken six points. We dominated the first half at Floreat, but after the break we lost our shape and we were punished.” Tough said Balcatta are hitting their straps after an indifferent start and he said it will be a good contest. “They (Balcatta) have now got a bit of momentum, winning three on the bounce, and Marc Anthony has them playing an attacking brand of football and going to be a real tough game,” he said. “We’ve worked hard this week and we’ll be well prepared and ready to make emends for the last couple of weeks, especially our second half showing last week.” In team news Welsh defender Joseph Jones returns from suspension, while tommy Amphlett and Josh Tucker should be available after injury.

Armadale will go in search of their first home league win, when they take on local rivals Cockburn City in the twilight game at Alfred Skeet Oval (5.00pm). The Reds troubled Bayswater last week and midfielder Jordan Candlish said they deserved something from the game. “I thought we played extremely well against a strong opposition and we were unfortunate not get something out of the game,” he said. “Regardless of the result we took confidence from the performance, and it showed on Monday night in our FFA Cup win against Sorrento.” Candlish, who signed from Perth SC this season, said Saturday game is vital for both sides to get their season started. “I think this week is a massive game for both clubs they certainly haven't had the start they would have liked,” he said. “From our point of view this is a must win game as our home form has not been great, play like we did on Monday I have no doubt we will come away with a result. We came away injury free from the double-header last weekend and the lads will be raring to go come match day.”

Perth Glory will be looking for back-to-back wins when they travel to Dorrien Gardens to take on Perth SC. The Glory youngsters won for the first time last week and defender Ross Millard said it was good to get the monkey off their backs. “Yes it was good to get off the mark last weekend in terms of the win, however it was a frustrating game to be a part of due to having most of the possession and chances but to Subiaco’s credit they defended really well and fought right to the end,” he said. “We came in at half time really disappointed to be 1-0 however the boys dug deep and got the result we felt we deserved.” Millard said Saturday’s game is a huge test, especially with Perth coming off three defeats, but he is confident they can get a result. “No matter what form they're in Perth will always be a big test for whoever plays them,” he said. “They have a strong squad with talent across the park but we feel in ourselves that we can match them and hopefully go one better and get the win. Over the course of the first six rounds, we probably haven’t been rewarded with our positive performances so we're looking to put another really strong performance this weekend to get the three points to really get our season up and kick start our season.”

In the final game Bayswater City make the trip to Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco. The home side are still searching for their first points of the season, while Bayswater will be looking to bounce back from their FFA Cup defeat against Cockburn on Monday. City did win in the league for the first time in three weeks last week against Armadale, and striker David Heagney said they made hard work of it. “It was always going to be a hard game after losing two on the bounce, after being unbeaten for so long,” he said. “I thought the first half was some of the best football we’ve played in a long time, but the second half, all credit to Armadale, they made it hard for us, but overall I thought it was a good result for us.” Heagney believes Saturday’s game is going to be another tough game, as all sides lift when they play them. “It doesn’t really matter where we are playing or who we play, it’s at a stage now that when teams play Bayswater it is their cup final, and everyone wants to beat us,” he said. “So I believe it will be another hard game at Subiaco, but I’m pretty confident we can get the job done and come away with the three points.” In team news Bayswater midfielder Nathan Costello was sent off in the Cup loss at Cockburn and will miss the game.



The All Flags State League Division One Week four game of the week takes us to Burrendah Reserve, where hosts Canning City entertain Gosnells City. The home side travelled to South West Phoenix last week and came home with a 1-1 draw and midfielder Callum Roberts said it was a good point on the road. “We can’t be too disappointed coming home from Bunbury with a point, as they played some real good football, credit to them,” he said. “We had our chances to win it, but it really wasn’t our day in front of goal.” Roberts said Saturday’s opponents have started the season well and he hopes they can bounce back from a disappointing result in the FFA Cup on Monday. “Gosnells will be tough test this week, and it’s a local derby, and they are in great form,” he said. “It was a disappointing result for us on Monday at Curtin in the FFA Cup, and it will have the boys fired up and we will be up for a win at home, to continue our good start to the season.” Roberts, Ethan Levitt and Sam Carello all limped off in the cup game and are in doubt for Saturday’s game, but they do regain the services of Charlie Parry.

Gosnells midfielder Dean Apelgren said they were disappointed to come away from Rockingham with only a point last week. “We had three or four really good chances in the first half, but we failed to put them away, if we had taken them it would have been a totally different game,” he said. “The second half was a little more even, with both sides having good chances, but we had to fought back to earn a point in the end, after we had Caleb Aquino sent off.” Apelgren said Saturday’s opponents have starting the season well, and he’s expecting another tight encounter. “Canning away will be a tough game and they will more than likely be confident after a good start to the season,” he said. “But we’ve been playing some good football, but just need to work on finishing our chances in the periods when we’re on top. Monday’s big cup win hopefully helped us find our scoring touch for Saturday’s game, and we can leave with all three points.”

League leaders Joondalup United have continued their good form from the night series and sit top of the table. This week they head home to Forrest Park and host South West Phoenix. New signing Josh Booysen bagged a brace in last week’s win at Dianella, but the winger said it was a tough game. “Despite the 4-1 score line, it was a tough game against Dianella, who took the lead and put up a good fight in the first half,” he said. “At the end of the day I think we showed character coming from behind and deserved the three points.” Booysen, who joined the club from ECU Joondalup recently, is looking forward to the game against Phoenix, and he said they can’t take them lightly, and need to be switched on from the first whistle. “They (South West Phoenix) are a good side in the competition, and it would be foolish to underestimate anyone in the league,” he explained. “If we’re not switched on we will be in trouble, and we will prepare well for the game, and look to get going a lot quicker in this game than we did last week.”

Forrestfield United won for the first time last week, and they face another tough game on Saturday when they travel to the Hyundai Stadium to take on the unbeaten Mandurah City. The 2-1 win against Ashfield was a real boost for the club and winger Rhys Loxley said it was a real confidence lift for the players. “The win last week was very relieving to say the least,” he said. “We have been playing good football throughout the first three games and I don’t think our points total is a true reflection, we have a lot of new players in the squad who are still gelling, so I would expect us to grow stronger each week.” Loxley knows Mandurah are the favourites for the title, but he said they travel in a good space and will be looking to come home with a good result. “Mandurah have showed that they are up for a title challenge once again this season, with a strong start to the season, but we go their looking to get something out of the game,” he said. “We know they have fantastic individuals all over the park and it will take another gutsy performance like the one against Ashfield to come away with something from the game, but we’ll be doing all we can to do so.” United will be without Chris Perrott who injured his knee last week, but they do have Mark Barnett back from suspension.

In other games this week Ashfield will be looking to bounce back when they host Dianella White Eagles. Both sides have struggled to start the season, and both only have the one point, but Ashfield looked to have turned things around, pushing NPL side Balcatta close in the FFA Cup, and will be hoping to take that form into their league games. Western Knights are also still looking for their first win of the season and this week they host Rockingham City at Nash Field. Both sides drew last week, and they will be looking for three points this week. In the final game sixth place Shamrock Rovers travel to the UAW Sports Park to take on UWA-Nedlands. Rovers will be looking to kick start their season, and send off Paul Concannon in style, the midfielder heads back to Ireland next week.



The All Flag State League Division Two Week four match of the week takes us to the Iluka Sports Complex, when Joondalup City entertain Kelmscott Roos. The Roos won for the first time in a while last week, but the new look side were well worth the three points. Striker Owen Curtis bagged a brace in the win and he said it was a fantastic result for the whole club. “Last week's win was a long time coming for the guys, but we’re absolutely stoked,” he said. “Coach Chris Bates has been working tirelessly on placements and player roles to achieve the formation that would give us the best chances to attack. This, with the strong willingness of the lads, and the pride a lot of them have in the club helped us push through and overcome Wanneroo for the clubs first league victory in over a year.” Owen said Saturday’s opponents are playing well and will be another huge challenge for the Roos. “Joondalup have indeed started well, seven points in your first three games is a dream start for anyone of course,” he said. “But I'm confident in the guys, our training is focused and you can see the attitude of the team is that of redemption. They all feel this year is the year to show that Kelmscott can be more than the 10-0 walkover that they were last season. We play it all game by game, but I have every confidence in the lads to play well and beat any team on their day.” In team news for Kelmscott, defender Aaron Hardy will have a late fitness test after injuring himself last week.

City Coach Marco Schisano said last week’s result at Fremantle was huge, but he said they deserved it. “It was a pleasing result, as they are one of the best teams in the league. We played very well with the players putting into practice what we have been working on in training,” he said. “We showed a lot of character to keep our composer late when Fremantle throw everything at us, and it gives the playing group a lot of confidence going forward.” Schisano said Kelmscott will head north buoyed by their win last week and his players need to be focused. “They (Kelmscott) have improved this season, and I’m sure they would have gained a great deal of confidence from beating Wanneroo last week,” he said. “We played an entertaining draw with Wanneroo a couple of weeks ago, so we have to respect what Kelmscott achieved last week. We will try to continue playing the attacking brand of football we have been working on and we are looking to continue our unbeaten start to the season.” In team news for Joondalup, they will head into the game unchanged, but do have Liam Pickering and Ryan Burgess resuming training, but the coach said he won’t rush players back. “Both Liam and Ryan (who has been out with a long term injury) will not be rushed back into the side, we have a large and capable squad to choose from,” Schisano said.

League leaders Balga travel to Edinburgh Oval to take on third place Curtin University. Curtin Coach Campbell Ballantyne said they are relishing the contest after a win last week at Ellenbrook. “We had a comfortable win last week and should have won by more than the two we scored,” he said. “We need to start to turn our dominance into goals, and if you don’t convert them against the better teams you will get punished.” Ballantyne said the squad came through a double header over the weekend well and are looking forward to taking on the unbeaten Balga. “They (Balga) are looking strong and free scoring, however they are also conceding goals,” he explained. “We have three clean sheets in last four games including shutting out Canning who are unbeaten in Division One in the FFA Cup. We've come through both games last week well on the injury front, but we have players impressing in the reserves and Robbie Nichol got his first minutes in the first team for 2016 after injury, so competition for starting spots will be intense at the selection table.”

Melville City travel to Wotton Reserve to take on Morley Windmills. City gave Coach Gavin Brown and early birthday present last week with a win at Quinns FC, and the coach said it was a good performance. “I was delighted with the win, the first we've had up at Quinns in in the league I think,” he said. “We will play better, but overall a solid performance, and we had lots of young lads playing last week so it was pleasing.” Brown said Morley will be a tough game for his new look squad. “Saturday’s game will be a tough one, but one were looking forward too,” he explained. “I've been surprised at Morley's start to the season. I think they've got a good squad and had a decent pre-season so I expect the results will come (hopefully after this Saturday) We will have skipper Matt Donlevy back from suspension, and we have good competition for places with everyone fit, so selection will be difficult.” In other games Fremantle City will be looking to bounce back from last week defeat win they entertain Quinns FC a Hilton Reserve, Swan United host the winless Ellenbrook United at the Swan Italian Club, while in the final game Wanneroo City and Kingsway Olympic meet in a local derby at Wanneroo Reserve.



Perth Glory’s Diego Castro has won a tight race to be named the Johnny Warren Medalist for the 2016 A-League player of the season on Tuesday night. At the first ever Dolan Warren Awards night in Sydney, renamed to give equal billing to the stars of both the A-League and W-League, Canberra United’s Ashleigh Sykes took home the top gong in the women’s game.

In a tight race, Castro finished ahead of Melbourne City duo Aaron Mooy, and golden boot winner Bruno Fornaroli. The 33-year-old Spaniard made 26 appearances for Perth, scoring 13 goals. He was an integral part of the Glory’s resurgence, particularly at the back end of the season, as the club surged up the table from nowhere into a top-six finish and qualifying for the finals.

Perth coach Kenny Lowe, who is hoping the Spanish maestro will still be at the club next season, collected the award on behalf of Castro, who is currently overseas. “I can't speak highly enough of him," Lowe said. "He's humble and inclusive, and he's fiery as well - you can't upset him. But he cares, and he's been an absolute joy for us. He's a free spirit and he's a joy, so we'll just let him be free."

Other awards on the night – A-League - Young Footballer of the Year: Jamie Maclaren (Brisbane Roar), Goalkeeper of the Year: Thomas Sorensen (Melbourne City), Golden Boot Award: Bruno Fornaroli (Melbourne City, 23 goals), Goal of the Year: Roy O'Donovan (Central Coast Mariners vs Adelaide, round 25), Coach of the Year: Guillermo Amor (Adelaide United), Referee of the Year: Jarred Gillett

W-League - Julie Dolan Medal (Player of the Year): Ashleigh Sykes (Canberra United), Young Footballer of the Year: Larissa Crummer (Melbourne City), Players Player of the Year: Kim Little (Melbourne City), Goalkeeper of the Year: Kaitlyn Savage (Adelaide United), Goal of the Year: Vanessa Di Bernardo (Perth Glory, round 5), Coach of the Year: Craig Deans (Newcastle Jets),

Golden Boot Award: Larissa Crummer (Melbourne City), Referee of the Year: Kate Jacewicz



Craig Deans would swap his W-League coach of the year award for a long overdue Newcastle Jets play-offs berth. And the former Jets A-League assistant said he was keen to come back and make finals football a reality for Newcastle next season. Deans was named W-League coach of the year at the Dolan Warren Awards in Sydney on Tuesday night, making it back-to-back wins in the category for the Jets after Peter McGuinness’s success last year. Newcastle’s Hannah Southwell was among four nominees for goalkeeper of the year. The Jets’ Mark Birighitti was among the A-League picks for the same honour but neither won. Deans guided Newcastle to sixth, one win outside the finals, despite losing senior players Emily van Egmond, Hayley Crawford, Tori Huster, Angela Salem, Katherine Reynolds and Amber Neilson from the previous season. Most tipped Newcastle to struggle after Deans filled the breach with mostly young talent, but he brought together a more than competitive outfit who were in the finals race until the last round.

Deans was grateful for the recognition but more focused on taking the team a step further next season. “I enjoyed it and we did something OK, but we didn’t do anything brilliant, so I don’t want to stop now and walk away,” Deans said. “I’d like to improve on what we did this year and keep building the team and the club, play in finals and be successful. “I would much rather have them play in the finals series than me win an individual award. That’s why you play, but it was definitely a step in the right direction and there’s enough potential there to show we’ve got something to build on in the next few years.”

Deans, though, knew he faced a difficult task retaining the likes of Chloe Logarzo, Tara Andrews and Georgia Yeoman-Dale, who reached Matildas selection from the Jets last season. American imports Megan Oyster and Caprice Dydasco were also stars for Newcastle. “Anyone I brought in, I wanted them to want to play for Newcastle and live in Newcastle,” he said. “I think that’s important, to commit yourself to the city as well, and all the girls have done that, and I’d love to get them all back. “But obviously I don’t have the money of the big city clubs and we ended up with four girls in the Matildas squads. When you do well, you attract attention. The Americans did well and I’m sure they’ll attract attention as well. “All things being even, I’m pretty confident they will all come back, but things aren’t all even in sport. “I’ll keep talking to them and we’ve got a few months to get organised.”

Deans said the gong was reward for the many hours put in away from the training pitch during the season. “A lot of people think you just turn up for a couple of hours a day, but there’s a lot of work behind the scenes with all the staff you work with,” he said. “It’s nice to know you’re appreciated.” The season was Deans’ first as coach of a senior women’s side. “You are still dealing with issues and managing players, whether it’s men or women, there’s always issues to deal with, but in a lot of ways it’s easier because the girls are more open with their emotions and just tell you how it is,” he said. “A lot of the boys will keep things to themselves, so from that point of view, it’s actually easier. “But I just treated them as footballers, not as female footballers. I think that’s important. I don’t think they want to be treated any differently than the guys, so I didn’t and I think that worked out OK.”



The 20 year-old midfielder, who has made five appearances in a breakthrough season for the fallen Midlands giant, is viewed by many Villa fans as one of the faces of the future who can regenerate the club. And Perth-raised Lyden believes he is ready to step up in the Championship and deliver on his undoubted promise. “I have no doubt that myself and the other youngsters can help get the club back where it belongs … hopefully I get the opportunity next year to do that. I feel I am ready," he said. “I have some minutes under my belt in the Perm(iership) and hopefully I will get some more before the end of the season. Next year could me my year, we will just have to wait and see.”

Lyden was on the bench at Old Trafford when Villa’s relegation was sealed by a 1-0 loss to Manchester United, and it’s a sinking feeling which he won't forget. “I’ve had some ups this year in progressing through the Under-21's into the first team, but going down has been an all-time low for me. Everybody at the club is gutted. "But I am sure we will bounce straight back up … we have the quality to do that and we will attract top players and a top manager. “We just have to knuckle down and stick together as a group. There are still three games left and hopefully we can pick up a few points and push on when the new season starts in August. “In football, it’s about how you respond when things go against you and I am sure you will see us do that in the right way next season.”

The Under-21s skipper has won the affection of fans, who took to social media to voice their displeasure three weeks back when he substituted by caretaker boss Eric Black at half-time in the 2-1 home defeat against Bournemouth. "That was tactical one ... we need to get more forward and bringing me off didn't really harm the team," he said. "I would love to have stayed on and that was a down for me but I just carry on working hard in training and hopefully I will get back into the team before the end of the season. "My head is in the right place ... I will just try and keep doing the rights things and hopefully I impress this manager and whoever comes in also” "The fans have taken a liking to me, they like the fact I have come through the academy and have progressed into the first team."

Lyden remains mystified how Villa’s season unfolded so disastrously, with the club picking up just 16 points from 35 games so far, with just three victories all season. “I am not sure what happened really … it’s been a strange season across the division," he said. "Look at how well Leicester have done and how tough it’s been for Chelsea. "Unfortunately, we've had a bad run. Once you get on one it's tough to get out of it when everybody seems against you and everybody doubts you. "It’s no easy come back from that … wins brings confidence but we just didn’t pick enough of them. "Next year is a new a new season and a new start, and hopefully we get the club back where it belongs in the Premier League."

Lyden remains in talks over a contract extension ... but is in no immediate rush. "It’s a bit tough at the moment because the club is in a bit of turmoil and I understand that," he said. "I am very happy here. They have done a lot for me and I owe a lot back to them. "I was out injured last year and they stuck by me, and I have to thank them for that. "Hopefully I will be in their plans and fingers crossed I get a new contract. I am sure I will be here for a good for years yet."



Bayswater City Columbian striker Gustavo Giron-Marulanda has headed to Indonesian Super League side Arema Cronus FC for the 2016 season. The 29-year-old, who was the PS4 NPLWA top goalscorer last season, and led the scoring charts this season after five rounds, said it’s a massive move and he said it’s a new challenge and one he’s looking forward too. “To be honest you don’t realize how big football is over here until you arrive,” Marulanda said. “The club is massive with big projects and ambitions, and I’m looking forward in helping them. The fans are unbelievable, the way they love their clubs, I’ve never seen so much passion for a club in my time in the game. The average attendance to our home games is between 35,000 and 45,000, which is amazing and I’m really enjoying my time here and the experience.”

The striker, who played for Deportivo Pereira in Columbia, and a season at the Caldas Youth Academy, has thrived in WA football, and the move came as a surprise too many but after travelling over for a trial and impressing, the striker was quickly snapped up by the club. “I met the clubs agent a few years ago, and he liked the way I played for Bayswater in the NPL, and he said he would arrange a trial at the club,” Marulanda explained. “I travelled over here not really knowing what to expect, but I was lucky enough to impress them in the trial match and I was delighted when they asked me to sign.”

When he put pen to paper on his contract, the striker was over the moon, but the only downside was leaving Bayswater City, a club who had looked after him for a number of years. “They (Bayswater) have been amazing and I wish them all the best this season. It’s been a great journey for me and I was happy and proud to help the club to success and to where it is now in WA football,” he explained. “Bayswater has been my home and there are a number of people involved there who have been unbelievably committed to push the club forward.

“I have spent my best years of my football there and have a lot of great memories and will always keep an eye on their results. There are many people involved at the Black and Blues who I would like to thank for their support in my time there. All the club members, especially Jerry Maio and Oriano Colli, the pair have made the difference in this club, they have brought people who is really committed to the cause and surrounded the place with great management, that includes everyone from supporters, players coaches and volunteers, thanks for the memories.”

Marulanda has played in two trial games for his new club and said the atmosphere was amazing. “The stadium was only half full but the atmosphere was incredible, this is something money can’t buy and the experience you will never forget.” he said. “We play again soon against Persiba Balikpapan and it will be a full house. I’m looking forward to playing alongside Uruguayan striker Cristian Gonzales who joined the club in 2013. The Coach Milo Seslija said he wants to play me in a number of positions, up top, second striker or winger, but like I said I’m looking forward to the challenge and can’t wait for the season to get underway.”

The talented striker had trials at A-League side Perth Glory and almost joined Adelaide United, but was disappointed not to get a contract, but he said he hopes to prove them wrong. “It was disappointing, because I always wanted to prove myself at a higher level in Australia,” he explained. “With the facilities and technology that exist this days in football, I believe it would have raised my level and obviously my performances would have been much better. I was also offered an injury replacement for Adelaide United, but the federation rejected it stating a youth player should be used, which again was a disappointment. I guess you could say I was a bit unlucky but at the same time lucky enough to go through this experiences and it has certainly made me a more mature person and footballer.”



Perth Glory has signed former ECU Joondalup academy products, Socceroo and former English Premier League utility players Chris Herd and Rhys Williams for next season. Herd played 36 times for Aston Villa in England's top flight and represented the Socceroos on three occasions. The 27-year-old had most recently played for Chesterfield in England's League One.

Herd's signing continues a concerted effort by the Glory to attract homegrown talent. In the last six months the club has lured big names Shane Lowry, Adam Taggart and Rhys Williams, all ECU Joondalup products back to Perth. Herd played juniors at ECU and Bayswater City before moving to the UK to join Villa's academy side.

Rhys Williams will look to get his career back on track on home soil after signing a one-year deal with Perth Glory for the 2016-2017 A-League season. Out of contract at the end of the season, the Perth-born 27 year-old was announced as Perth's latest signing on Wednesday after spending his entire senior career at Championship outfit Middlesbrough.

Williams has made 126 league appearances for Middlesbrough, who he also captained, after debuting in the English Premier League in 2007. But since then, he has struggled with a host of injury problems that cost him spots at both the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups with Australia. Despite that, Williams still has 14 senior caps to his name, the last of those coming in 2013 in an international against France.

Having played in four games for Charlton Athletic during a one-month loan stint, Williams's last league appearance for Boro came in December 2014. The Australia international said he was delighted to be coming home and working with Coach Kenny Lowe. "I'm very excited to come home to Perth and join Kenny Lowe whom I've known for many years. He's been a mentor to me since I was a teenager," Williams said. "After 11 years in the UK, the opportunity to re-unite with my family and re-join a manager who believes in me and my football is the tonic I need for my career. I know a lot of the boys at the club since our ECU Joondalup days and I really can’t wait until the pre-season starts. I think Perth Glory fans can look forward to an exciting year ahead with so many [Western Australian] boys in the line-up."

Glory coach Lowe said he was delighted with the acquisition. "We know what Rhys can do. He's been captain of Middlesbrough; he's played for the Socceroos and has the qualities and attributes we want as a player and as a person," Lowe said. "They're all elements which tie in with our current recruitment philosophy. It's exciting for him, exciting for us and I think it's exciting for the fans and members as well."



After back-to-back defeats Bayswater City bounced back to winning ways after a hard fought 2-1 win against Armadale at the Finance 365 Stadium. Todd Howarth gave the home team the lead early, before Hayden Doyle scored a stunner on the stroke of half time. Armadale substitute Dylan White pulled one back late, but they couldn’t find the equaliser. “Great win to bounce back after two losses and the first half flattered Armadale at only 2-0 as I felt we were very good and played some great football, topped off by Hayden Doyle's superb team goal,” Bayswater coach Chris Coyne said. “Second half they had nothing to lose and made a real fist of it but we also had chances that we should of put the game to bed, but we made changes not so much based on the day but also with FFA cup game on Monday so quite pleased we are sticking to our beliefs and playing ourselves into form.”

It was an early start for the game, a 1pm kick off, but it didn’t effect Bayswater who dominated early, and Armadale keeper Alfie Brincat had to be alert on eight minutes to push Jamie Coyne’s long-range shot around the post. But four minutes later the home side hit the front. Howarth’s curling free kick from 18 meters beat Brincat at his near post. Armadale hit back before the break, Jordan Candlish burst into the penalty area, but his shot was pushed onto the post by Fraser Greenwood. But the home side doubled their advantage just before the break. Doyle played a one-two with Mirco down the right, and hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.

Armadale opened the second half well and Jake Sardelic saw his shot crash off the crossbar three minutes in, before Greenwood saved well to deny Alex Healing. Both sides pressed as the game opened up, but it was Armadale who were back in the contest on 81 minutes. A poor back pass by Nathan Costello put Greenwood under pressure and as the keeper attempted to clear the ball it ricocheted off White, who ran into an empty net to score. The visitors were now on top and they almost got the equaliser late. Good work from substitute Papa Kpatar on the right, ended with Alex Salmon’s shot, which hit a Bayswater defender. The Armadale players were convinced it had struck an arm, but referee Alex Novatsis was well placed to turn down their appeals.



A late goal from Perth Glory substitute Dejan Spaseski has given Perth Glory a 2-1 win against Subiaco at Ashfield Sports Club. Ian McMurray had given the visitors the lead early, but late goals to Aryn Williams and Spaseski gave the Glory youngsters their first win of the season. “After four months out with injury, it was a great feeling to come on to help the lads to our first win of the season, and hopefully it will be the first of many,” Spaseski said. “We have had a rough start to the season results wise, but the team has the belief we can turn it around and really make something of this season.”

With both sides looking for their first wins of the season it was the visitors who had the perfect start. Ian McMurray heading home from a corner to give them the lead after only six minutes. The Glory went close to leveling on 18 minutes, Petratos’ shot from the edge of the penalty area flew over the top. Petratos went close again ten minutes later, but his shot on the run went wide. Subiaco almost doubled their lead just before the break, McMurray’s effort well saved by Jordan Thurtell.

The woodwork came to Subiaco’s rescue in the opening minute of the second half, Sam McKearnen’s header crashing off the crossbar and away to safety. The Glory pressed but Subiaco were defending well, and it looked like the Glory would be frustrated, but their pressure paid off on 78 minutes. Knowles shot was blocked and Williams was quickest to react to fire low past Montgomery. The goal boosted the Glory youngsters and five minutes later they secured the winning goal. Spaseski, who came off the bench on 55 minutes, got on the end of a Petratos’ cross and his diving header beat Montgomery to seal the three points.



Inglewood United’s perfect start to the season came to an end after they were beaten 3-0 by a rejuvenated Stirling Lions at the Inglewood Stadium. The home side had to play 85 minutes with only ten men after Jason Colli was sent off, and David Micevski gave the visitors the lead on the half hour, before Teeboy Kamara added a brace in the second half. Lions’ coach Rob Milevski was really pleased the way his side went about it. “It was a great team effort at the end of the day, Dejan and I are really pleased.” he said. “Obviously it was a bit unfortunate for Inglewood to go a man down, but we took full advantage of that to deserve the win.”

The home side had a perfect opportunity to take the lead when referee Adam Fielding spotted a handball in the second minute, but Brian Woodall saw his spot kick crash off the post. It went from bad to worse for the home side when Fielding sent off Colli after he hit out at Kamara. The visitors made their numerical advantage count and were ahead on 27 minutes, when Calum O’Connell gave away a penalty and David Micevski converted the spot kick.

Stirling continued to dictate terms after the break and they increased their lead 12 minutes in, Kamara’s long-range strike went into the net via the crossbar. To Inglewood’s credit they continued to press forward and striker Kenny Keogh went close to cutting the deficit but his header from Mark Pritchard’s cross flashed wide of the post. But Kamara put the game to bed five minutes from time, chipping Alex Dunn to make it 3-0.



Floreat Athena midfielder Jon Stynes came back to haunt his former club ECU Joondalup, scoring a hat-trick to seal a 4-1 win. Gordon Smith had given the visitors the lead at half time, but an early goal in the second half to skipper Ludovic Boi, and a triple from Stynes won it for Floreat. “It can’t get any better than that can it,” Stynes told the NPLWA website. “It’s my first game in three weeks, but Glen (Grostate) put me straight into the side, because he knew I was desperate to play against them. I told the players before the game I would score a hat-trick, so it was nice to do it and repay the faith Glen has shown in me.”

It was ECU who opened the brighter and they were ahead on six minutes. Good approach work from teenager Paddy Doyle, saw the youngster skip past two Floreat defenders before feeding Smith, and the Scottish striker raced clear and finished clinically past Jason Saldaris. Floreat were almost gifted an equaliser on the quarter hour. A poor back pass by Ryan Lowry let in Phil Arnold, but debutant keeper Lewis Italiano was out quick to clear the danger. ECU went close to a second moments later. A long kick from Italiano sent Smith clear, Jason Saldaris was out quick to clear the danger, but his clearance only found Doyle, whose lob from 20meters hit the post.

It was different Floreat side after the break, and they were level two minutes in. A long ball over the top sent Boi clear, he held off his marker, before rounding Italiano to score. The game was turned on its head and Floreat scored two more goals in a three minutes spell. First on 53 minutes Clayton Arnez’s cross was turned home by Stynes, before a long ball over the top sent Stynes racing clear and he finished low past Italiano. Stynes completed his hat trick in stoppage time, a ball across the penalty area wasn’t dealt with by the ECU defence and Stynes nipped in before Italiano to score, to wrap a comprehensive win for Floreat Athena.



A brace from Zelfy Nazary proved to be the difference as Balcatta beat Italian rivals Perth SC 4-3 in a cracking game at Grindleford Reserve. It was back-to-back wins for Marc Anthony’s side, but they had to come from behind, after Matt Milenkovic opened the scoring early, but Nazaey and Conor Kavanagh gave the home side the lead at the break. Former Balcatta striker Gustavo Catarcione levelled just after the break but Nazary and Gomo Dukully broke the game open, before Catarcione scored his second late for Perth but it wasn’t enough. “To beat Perth at home is a big result for us, in all fairness they are the best team we’ve played this year,” Anthony told the NPLWA website. “Fair play to our lads; we had a game plan and we stuck to that plan and we looked very dangerous at times and it’s very pleasing to score goals. We’re very happy to get the three points and this result will give us more confidence for the rest of the year.”

It was Perth who opened the scoring after only 14 minutes. Dean Evans’ corner was headed home by Milenkovic. But the home side, who won for the first time last week at Subiaco, hit back. Dukully shot was parried by Francis Soale, and Nazary was quickest to react, his shot going in via the post. But the home side grew in confidence and in the shadows of half time they hit the front, with Kavanagh firing home from the edge of the box.

Perth brought on Catarcione at the break and he levelled four minutes in, the Brazilian striker found space in the box and fired home past Clint Davies. The home side regained the lead when Dukully was brought down in the penalty area on 55 minutes and referee David Bruce pointed to the spot and Nazary scored. It looked like Balcatta had wrapped up the points nine minutes later when Dukully raced clear and finished clinically past Soale. But five minutes later Jordan De Leo’s cross was finished by Catarcione from close-rage to set up a frantic finale, but Perth couldn’t find the equaliser.



Sorrento extended their unbeaten run to six as they comfortably ran out 3-1 winners against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. David Araya gave Scott Miller’s side the lead early, but an own goal and a double from Sean Canham gave the Gulls the points. “I knew if we started playing how we could we would get back into the game, it was a little bit of luck to get back into it but then after that we dominated and did well,” Sorrento Coach Jamie Harnwell told the NPLWA website. “We’re not going to just turn up and just make the numbers up, Sorrento go for trophies there’s only a few teams who are in to win and I’d like to say we were one of them.”

The home side dominated the early exchanges and it wasn’t a surprise when they opened the scoring on the half hour. Araya, who scored the first ever goal in the NPLWA competition, was in the right pace to head home past James Morgan. But their lead only lasted eight minutes with the unfortunate Aden Da Luz turning home a corner past a stranded Luke Radonich. The visitors hit the front four minutes before half time, Canham finding space in the area to score, to send the Gulls in with the lead at the break.

Sorrento looked determined to extend their lead after the break and Alex Morgan rattled the post, before Radonich pulled off a great save. But there was little the Cockburn custodian could do when Sorrento added a third on 55 minutes. Alex Morgan made space down the flank and cut the ball back across the area and Canham was there to bag his second. Cockburn were really struggling to create anything in the final third, while at the other end Radonich did well to save Jordan Dodd’s overhead kick, before substitute Todd Harnwell’s goal bound shot was blocked.



Joondalup United continued their perfect start to the new season with a come from behind 4-1 win against Dianella White Eagles at Dianella Reserve. It was Joondalup who dominated the first half, but they couldn’t turn their possession into goals. But on the hour the home side took a surprise lead through Joshua Tumoe, and it looked like it wasn’t going to be United’s day. But the home fans celebrations were short lived with Joondalup levelling three minutes later. Lee Jones’ free kick giving Dianella keeper Milos Bajic no chance. The visitors then hit the front on 69 minutes. Substitute Jacob Shore had only been on the pitch for two minutes, before coolly dispatched from five meters after Dianella failed to clear a corner. It was Joondalup keeper James Bosdet that kept United’s lead after, he produced some stunning saves to deny Dianella has they pressed for the equaliser. The home side had a player sent off late and Joondalup took advantage, bagging two late goals. Josh Booysen sprinted clear of his marker and finished clinically for the third on 92 minutes, and he did the same sixty seconds later to round off a 4-1 win for the league leaders. “After falling behind to a breakaway goal, we pretty much dominated possession on a tricky bobbly surface and were good value for a 4-1 victory,” Joondalup Coach Nick Jennings said. “We weren't at our best but a pleasing victory and we move on, a special mention to James Bosdet for his performance today. A couple of his saves were EPL standard. I've said to people many times [that] he's the best keeper in the league,”

Canning City have dropped their first points of the season after a 1-1 draw against South West Phoenix at Hay Park. Canning opened the scoring just after half time, Callum Roberts was played in down the left and beat a couple of defenders before curling his shot in off the crossbar. But the home side hit back and Martin Ryan levelled with fifteen minutes remaining to share the spoils. “Not sure whether it's a point gained or two points lost but it was probably a fair result in the end,” Canning Coach Paul Oliver said. “We spurned a couple of early opportunities which would have changed the game so we certainly need to be more ruthless. The Phoenix had more of the ball but we had the better chances. I think teams will find it a tough trip down there so not to lose the game is a definite positive.”

Mandurah City also dropped their first points of the season after a 1-1 draw against Shamrock Rovers at Harold Rossiter Reserve. The visitors started brightly and were ahead in the opening minute. A low cross from John Brooke’s was deflected into his own net by a Shamrock defender. It was almost two before the break, Jordan Rhodes’ free kick will saved by the Shamrock keeper. The home side won a point with fifteen minutes remaining. Paul Sopp skipped past his marker, raced into the area and finished low under the keeper. Both sides had a late chances to win it but the points were shared. “To be fair they lifted and really pushed and could have sneaked it, but late on we had three very good opportunities to get a winner, but it wasn't to be, a tough opponent a decent point in the end,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. Rovers Coach John O’Reilly was pleased with his sides’ performance. “I’m very proud of the team. We have a new group of players and each week they are proving that they are up for the challenge,” he said.

Forrestfield United opened their account for the season with a hard fought 2-1 win against Ashfield at Hartfield Park. The home side hit the front six minutes before half time. Jordan Hart received a ball on edge of the 18 yard box following a great build up by Sani Sinclair and Matt Harold. He then turned his marker and fired low into the corner of the net. But on the hour Jamie Burns equalised for Ashfield scoring from a corner, and two minutes later the home side had Kaan Karagan sent off. Ashfield pressed for the winner, but keeper Luke Martino was in great form making a number of fine saves. Then with five minutes from time the ten men of Forrestfield won it. Hasani Sinclair received the ball from Mitch Crocker just inside the opposition half and raced forward, he took on three Ashfield defenders and raced into the area and finished clinically past the keeper, to set of wild celebrations for the home faithful. “The game was of high standard and Ashfield certainly played their part to ensure that a large crowd get their monies worth,” Forrestfield Coach Rod Banjac said. “Again we controlled the first half and as expected they came out with all guns blazing in the second. This time we were well prepared but got caught out from the set piece. Following the sending off the game opened up both sides created chances. Luke Martino made a couple of world class saves and this seemed to lift the team and we were not going to let this one slip away, even with 10 men. I am so proud of our young squad and without a doubt we will be a lot better following the experience of last three weeks.”

In other games UWA-Nedlands and Western Knights fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the UWA Sports Park. The visitors hit the front on the quarter hour, Adriano Jelenovic shot on the turn flew into the net giving Ranjeet Singh no chance. But the home side hit back moments later, Tristan Taylor picking out Conor Devlin who curled it over Sam Stone to level. The home side then hit the front, Andrew Xydas’ corner was headed back across goal by Joshua Marocchi and Alex Kretowicz fired home from close-range. The Knights levelled late in the game, Paul Lloyd cut inside his marker and finished low into the bottom corner. Both sides had late chances to win it Jelenkavic went one on one with Singh, but the keeper came out on top before Michael Vlasich free kick hit the crossbar. In the final game Rockingham City and Gosnells City fought out a 1-1 draw at Lark Hill. The home side took the lead with a stunning goal from Christian Hooge. He picked the ball up in the centre circle beat three men and smashed it into the roof of the net from the edge of the box. But Gosnells levelled when Caleb Aquino’s free kick was turned home by Tyron Pottier.



Balga maintain their 100% start to the season with a 4-2 win against Morley Windmills at Princess Road Reserve. The home side made a perfect start with Anton DeFrancesch scoring from close range in the 6th minute, before Nahom Michael made it 2-0 in the 34th with a great shot from just outside the box. But Morley were back in the game just before half time, scoring to make it 2-1 at the break. Hubert Hakizimana made it 3-1 for the home side four minutes after the break scoring after a quick counter-attack. But six minutes later Morley again reduced the margin, but Balga made sure of the points on the hour, Vlad Naumovski scoring from a free kick that gave the keeper no chance.

Curtin University travelled to Arbor Grove Reserve to take on Ellenbrook United and came away with a 2-0 win. Curtin opened the scoring when Jon Krawec’s free kick was punched into his own net by the Ellenbrook keeper. The points were made safe when a cross from Dilip Thapa picked out Eddie Tikoft, who laid the ball off to Khaled Salhah to slot home. “It was good to bounce back to winning ways after disappointingly dropping points at home last week when the game should have been won by half time,” Curtin Coach Campbell Ballantyne said. “To be fair it was a comfortable win where I think we should have scored more but were happy to come away with the points.”

Swan United made it back-to-back wins after a hard fought 2-1 win against Kingsway Olympic at Kingsway Reserve. The home side were on top in the first half with United defending well. They lost midfielder Michael Tronchin early in the game with injury, but they held on to half time scoreless. But five minutes into the second half Kingsway hit the front. United defence failed to clear their lines and Ali Elhassan was on hand to score. But the visitors levelled ten minutes later. Tommy Black playing a nice ball over the top for John Monterosso whose shot was well saved, but Lyon Varney followed it up and headed home. Both sides pressed for the winner but it went to the visitors six minutes from time. Luke Woodard’s free kick picked out Black who headed home to win it. “It was a very good defensive display from us in the first half, we were able to shut Kingsway out well however we were lacking some quality passes forward not creating much ourselves,” United Coach Matt Debarro said. “We gave two 17-year-old their first team debuts today which is pleasing. We got the win and played well I am very happy to come away and take home three points.”

After going all of last season without a win, and starting this season with two defeats, Kelmscott Roos have earned a 2-1 win against Wanneroo City at Frye Park. The home side were ahead when Ryan Ince’s free kick was headed home by Owen Curtis. Wanneroo pulled one back through Jake Makin just before the break. But the home side won it early in the second half, Sulley Rogers made space down the flank and crossed to Curtis, who finished with aplomb in the bottom corner. Wanneroo pressed late, but they couldn’t find the equaliser. “After a disappointing loss last week against Swan where we dominated the second half and didn't finish, this week was very much different,” Kelmscott Coach Chris Bates said. “Wanneroo played some very good football and certainly pushed hard in the last 10 minutes to get a result but I was very happy to get a win.”

In other games Joondalup City moved into second spot on the table after a 2-1 win against Fremantle City at Hilton Reserve. A double from James Stewart won the game for Joondalup. The first goal Stewart beat two defenders before hitting a great strike from just inside the box across the Fremantle keeper. Stewart’s second came after great passing sequence with Danny Allen, Stewart lobbing the keeper and the ball going in the net off the back post. “I am delighted with the result as I believe Fremantle to be a top two contender as they are extremely well coached by Steve and have a very good squad,” Joondalup Coach Marco Schisano said. “I can't see too many teams getting a result at their ground as they play the large ground very well. We will now look to improve again for next week's match against Kelmscott and hopefully building on the momentum we have going at the moment.” In the final game Melville City gave Coach Gavin Brown and early birthday present with a 2-1 win against Quinns FC at Gumblossom Park with goals from Scott Campbell and Graham Herd. “I’m delighted with the win, the first we've had up at Quinns in the division I think,” Brown said. “We will play better, but overall a solid performance, and a number of young lads and a debutant at centre back, so I’m really pleased.”



We head into week six of the PS4 National Premier League with only Inglewood United having a perfect start to the season, and this week they are involved in the Match of the Round when they host Stirling Lions at the Inglewood Stadium. United had to come from behind last week against Cockburn City, and a talk at half time from Coach Taki Nicolaidis got them going in the second half. “Cockburn was a very difficult game, we knew they were going to respond following a bad result the week before and they made it very difficult for us to play in the 1st half,” said midfielder Mark Pritchard. “At the break Taki changed a couple of the player’s positions, and I think it helped and allowed us to find more space especially in the final third. It's been a great start for us, but we can get carried away or get complacent. Every game is a tough one and we need to take it one game at a time and hopefully we can continue our strong run.” Pritchard is expecting another tough game against Stirling on Saturday, and said they have started the season well. “We are expecting a very difficult game this week against Stirling. They have had great results recently and look very dangerous going forward,” he said. “We know we have to be at our very best to get a result and that's what we will be hoping to do.” In team news Scott Blackmore is fit again, while Scott Witschge is back in contention after missing the last few weeks with injury.

Stirling beat ECU Joondalup last week and defender Graham Doran said they deserved the three points. “Our first half was poor, and we were lucky to go in 1-0 up at half time, but second half we did really well and deserved the win,” he explained. “Most importantly it was our first clean sheet of the season, which is a massive bonus, as we’ve been working hard on defensive shape at training.” The Irish defender said Saturday’s game will be a huge test against the unbeaten league leaders, but he said they head there full of confidence. “Looking at their (Inglewood) form so far this season it shows that they are the team to beat this season, and they have made some really good signings,” he said. “But we’re looking forward to the challenge and hopefully we can get a positive result on the day.” In team news Doran injured a knee last week but is fit to play, and they have a few niggling injuries, and all are not too serious, but they will again be without David Murphy who is unavailable.

Bayswater City has lost their last two games, and will be looking to bounce back when they host Armadale in the early game at the Finance 365 Stadium (1.00pm). Armadale have kick started their season and are unbeaten in their last two games, but last season’s Champions need a win to keep in touch of the top of the table. Keeper Fraser Greenwood said they are working extremely hard to turn it around. “Anything less than three points is a foreign feeling at Bayswater so it hasn't been the ideal start,” he said. “You’re going to get games like the Sorrento game during the year, where you can't find the back of the net, despite dominating the game and having the majority of the chances. Hopefully those games are over and done with now and we'll move on to next week.” The keeper said they will be looking to get back on track this week, but believes Armadale have improved this season. “Having quality all over the park makes me very confident we will redeem ourselves this weekend, against a team who pushed us all the way in the QBE night series semi-finals,” he said. “We’ve had a few injuries and some players have unfortunately moved on, but that gives opportunities for a few of the younger lads who have come in and stepped up and looked impressive so far.” In team news Brian Farrell, Andrija Jukic and Nathan Costello are a strong chance to make a return as they have been training fully during the week.

Subiaco AFC makes the trip to Ashfield Sports Club to take on Perth Glory, with both teams looking for the first win of the season. Glory defender Jackson Morgan was on target for them last week at Armadale, but conceded a goal late goal to share the spoils. “We were pretty guttered after the game, to let it slip so late was really hard to take, especially as we’ve conceded in the final minutes of our last two games,” he said. “I thought we deserved three points, and I was really happy to score for the side and was joyful at the time, but getting a draw from that game doesn't reflect our efforts.” Morgan knows Saturday’s game is massive, with both sides looking for their first wins of the season. “We have been playing some very good football and have been competitive in every game, and we’ve been very unlucky not to have secured our first win of the season, but it’s not been for the lack of effort from the side,” he said. “We have trained hard and worked on our game, and we are very keen and motivated to win on Saturday and kick start our season.”

Balcatta won for the first time last week at Subiaco and they will be looking for back-to-back wins when they host Perth SC in the Italian derby at Grindleford Reserve. Defender Jonathan Corness said they left it late to take the points but he thought they deserved the win. “We dominated for most of the match, but we dropped off at the start of the second half and let them into the game,” he said. “But the substitutes came on and added freshness to our attack, we pressed for the win and thankfully late on we found it.” Corness knows Saturday game will be tough encounter, but like all derbies, form goes out the window. “It will be a great test for us against Perth, our club demands a good showing against our rivals so we need to be concentrated on our game for 90 minutes,” he said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge, but we need to play with the same intensity as we did against them in the night series if we want the right result.”

Sorrento have also started the season without defeat and this week they travel to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City. Coach Jamie Harnwell said last week was a difficult week for the club and the win against Bayswater was fantastic. “It was a great win last week and more pleasing was the performance on a very emotional day for our football club,” he said. “Again it showcased the character of the club and was a fitting result to honor the memory of a man pivotal to how far Sorrento has come.” Harnwell will come up against a former Perth Glory teammate in Scott Miller this week and he said it will be a tough game. “I don't think you can underestimate Cockburn, they have a young group with a lot of pace and talent and with Scott Miller at the helm, he will want a response regardless of who is on the park,” he said. “We will treat them with respect and certainly aren't taking them lightly. We got Todd Harnwell back this week and we go into the game at full strength.”

The final match of the round is the twilight game at E&D Litis Stadium, where Floreat Athena entertains ECU Joondalup (5pm) Floreat defender Bobby Wilson said last week’s point at Perth was well-deserved, especially with the side missing a number of players. “It was a good point for us, as it’s always hard when you have a few players missing,” he said. “However to make it worse it’s been pretty much our whole front line missing, although Phil Arnold and Ludovic Boi really worked hard up top to create some good chances and I think a draw was probably a fair result.” Wilson said Joondalup have recruited well and he is expecting another tough game. “They (Joondalup) are always a very tough outfit, but adding Steven McGarry and a few other quality players will make it a hard task for us,” he explained. “We have been training well this week and I expect us to go out Saturday all guns blazing to secure the result and keep up with the pack.” In team news for Floreat, Lewis McMahon is still struggling with injury, although Kris Gate will miss, the midfielder out with a long term injury, while for ECU Lewis Italiano will make his debut in goal for Joondalup after signing from Wellington Phoenix.



The Match of the Week in the All Flags State League Division One is Mandurah City’s trip to Harold Rossiter Reserve to take on Shamrock Rovers. Mandurah coach Doug Hesketh said last week’s win against Western Knights was a solid win and maintain their perfect start to the season. “We were really pleased with the points last week, although they (Western Knights) were very tough to breakdown,” he said. “We created some good chances and worked extremely hard off the ball, and Mick Lyons and I were delighted to get the win.” Hesketh is expecting another huge test this week, with Rovers bouncing back from the opening round defeat to best Ashfield on the road last week. “We are in no doubt Rovers will be another tough game for us, they are busy and confident in midfield, so we will have to be ready for that,” he said. “We are developing still this season, but the commitment and attitude from the lads has been first class.” In team mews, Vice-Captain Craig Young is back in contention after returning from overseas and having 90 minutes in the reserves last week, while Jack Eades is also back in the squad after injury.

Shamrock Rovers opened their account for the season with a 3-2 win against Ashfield last week and Coach John O’Reilly said the players had set themselves a new standard. “It was a good performance from the players last week, and it was good to bounce back from the opening game defeat,” he said. “It was a good all-round team display, and now we must learn to back up a game like that.” The Coach said the visit of the Champions and unbeaten Mandurah City is a huge challenge, but said his players are relishing the opportunity to take them on. “We know Mandurah will be well organised, but they have had a few changes to their squad this year, and will still be working on gelling,” he said. “So the opportunity to upset them will be there for us to try and take.” Rovers will go into the game at full strength.

Canning City has started the new season with back-to-back wins and this week they head down the freeway to take on South West Phoenix at Hay Park. Last week’s win against Dinaella wasn’t the way Coach Paul Oliver would have liked to win, but it was a win. “We will take three points any way we can get them but Paul McCue and I were disappointed in the overall performance against Dianella despite the result,” he said. “We know what we are capable of and we fell short of that last week. The lads have trained well this week so expecting an improved display this week.” Oliver said Saturday’s opponents haven’t hit their straps as yet but will be a difficult opposition. “Early season form is hard to judge as teams are still training to find their rhythm. They (South West Phoenix) are a decent side and can't be underestimated, they have the players to test any team in this league,” he said. “We will need to put in a professional display if we want to pick up the points. Canning will be without the injured Darren Gamble out injured, while Charlie parry is a doubt, but they do regain the services of Tom Gibbins from injury. New Phoenix Coach Tim Slack said Saturday’s game is very important for his side, but he thought they have been good in the opening two games. “The first game we had a few new players who were a bit nervous, however we created 12 chances, 9 on target, missed a second half penalty, so we should have had something from the game,” he said. “The second game away we played very well, and were level at half time, and again missed chances. We then missed another penalty on the hour which gave them a big boost, they broke away scored what seemed an offside goal and we never recovered. We have great team spirit at the club at the moment and the players are really looking forward to Saturday’s game to kick start our season.”

Rockingham City host the in-form Gosnells City at Lark Hill. Coach Rob Crerar said last week’s draw was a little disappointing, and they need to improve. “We didn't perform to the level we expected against UWA but they also played really well so credit must go them,” he said. “In the end a draw was probably a fair result and we move on to another tough test against Gosnells.” Crerar said he isn’t surprised by the start of Saturday’s opponents. “I’ve been telling anyone who will listen Gosnells are a very good side this year, we had a good tussle in the night series losing out in the last minute,” he said. “They play good football, are quick on the break and have some real quality players. It's a big challenge for our young group but one we will be ready for.” Rocky will have Blake Sokolowski, Lydon Hodgkiss and Gersh Rowland all back in contention this week. In other games this weekend joint league leaders Joondalup United travel to Dianella reserve to take on Dianella White Eagles, Western Knights and UWA-Nedlands meet at UWA Sports Park, while in the evening clash Forrestfield United and Ashfield meet at Hartfield Park (7pm)



This weeks All Flags State League Division Two match of the week takes us to Kingsway Reserve, where Kingsway Olympic entertains Swan United. Swan won for the first time last week against Kelmscott Roos, and Coach Matt Debarro was pleased to get the first points of the season and said they should have won by more. “The win was well deserved, and 1-0 was not a reflection of the game, we created numerous opportunities to score but lacked the finish or final ball,” he explained. “We put a lot of emphasis on defending and credit to the boys they got a clean sheet and the goal and dominated the game.” Debarro knows what to expect on Saturday, and that’s another tough game against a strong Kingsway side. “We are ready for a confident and resilient Kingsway team, more importantly ready for a confident Tom Kilkelly,” he said. “I only managed a draw against him last year when I was coaching at Wanneroo, so I’m hoping the boys will get me a win, if we on our game and get our pre-season form in front if goal back, I am sure we will do well.” Swan will still be missing a number of players with injury, but the Coach said it is what it is. “We are still missing a few boys which is never good but I am confident in the playing group and confident in the plan, and I'm sure it will be a good contested game I only hope I can avoid a red card like last year,” he said.

Kingsway Olympic assistant Coach Mark Culverwell said their fight back at Curtin University last week showed the character they have in their side. “We were slow out of the blocks and found ourselves down by two goals early on, but the lads dug deep and showed great character and got back in the game,” he said. At the end of the day both sides would have been happy with the point, as it was an even game and both sides played some good football.” Culverwell knows Saturday’s opponents will be up for the game and he is expecting a tough battle. “Playing Swan is always going to be difficult, and with the added interest of the former Wanneroo coach and some former players it almost feels like a local derby,” he said. “It will be a big test for us but this season we have a great set of lads, and we’ve only lost two players from last season. We feel we’ve recruited well and all our young players have a season of experience in this competition, so all is looking good. We have a full squad to choose from, with Ian McKean and Brett Cutting return to the squad, so it will be interesting at the selection table for me and head Coach Tom Kilkelly to pick a starting 11.”

Undefeated Fremantle City has home ground advantage this week when they host Joondalup City at Hilton Reserve. They were made to work hard for the points last week at Wanneroo City, and Coach Steve Plucknett said it was tough game. “We were pleased to come away with the three points at Wanneroo. It was a tough even game, Wanneroo defended well, made us work hard and kept us out,” he explained. “However, we know we are better at taking chances in front of goal than what we were on Saturday and in only scoring one you are always open to a mistake or a counter. Defensively though, I felt we were sound which was pleasing.” Joondalup City are also unbeaten this season, included a 5-0 win on the road last week, and Plucknett said it will be another test for his new look side. “We face another hard game against Joondalup City who will be confident after a hefty win against Quinns last week,” he said. “For us it’s about getting our newer players into our style of play, while also trying to keep picking up points and staying in contention.” In team news for Fremantle Daniel Glennon returns to the side, but Ty Fenwick, Liam Fariss and Josh Gardner are all unavailable.

Morley Windmills won for the first time under new coach John Castrilli, a 3-1 win against Ellenbrook United, but the coach said they need to improve this week when they travel to league leaders Balga. “It was great to get our first win last week but the performance was well below our expectations,” he said. “So I hope that with a couple of players coming back from injury that we will be more than competitive against a good Balga side.” Balga have scored 12 goals in their opening two games and Castrilli said it will be a huge test for his new look side. “Balga have started very well, so I am sure we will approach the game with caution but at the same time I know that there will be very few teams that can compete with us when we are at our best,” he said. “We have three long term injuries in Mitch Castrilli, Chris Brady and Gianni Mammone which has made things very difficult to start the season.” In team news Brendan Da Silva and Yohanes Tadesse return to Morley squad from injury. In other games this weekend Ellenbrook United will go in search of their first points of the season when they host Curtin University at Arbor Grove Reserve. Wanneroo City makes the trip to Frye Park to take on Kelmscott Roos, with both sides also still looking for their first wins of the season, likewise Quinns FC who host Melville City at Gumblossom Park.



ECU Joondalup have signed Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper Lewis Italiano for the rest of the PS4 NPLWA season. WA-born Italiano was part of the Perth Glory side in 2012, before signing for the Phoenix in 2013. The 25-year-old signing has come at the right time for the club, with number one keeper David Keenan out for the season with a knee injury. ECU Coach Dale McCulloch said Italiano is a great signing. “It’s great to get Lewis on board, he is a fantastic keeper and will strengthen our squad,” he said. “I’ve watch Lewis’ rise in his football career and I’ve been impressed with his attitude, and I’ve no doubt he will have a long career in the game in the A-League or overseas.”

ECU goal keeping Coach Andy Petterson will work with Italiano and the former Charlton Athletic custodian said he is a talent. “Lewis will be a fantastic asset to the club,” Petterson said. “Both David Keenan (before the injury) and Scott Wallis have done really well in recent weeks but Lewis will add that presence and stability at the back, that we have been looking for.” Petterson believes Italiano has come on leaps and bounds since securing an A-League contract, and he believes he will only get better. “He is tall and imposing lad, who has benefited immensely from his time as a professional goalkeeper with both Perth Glory and Wellington Phoenix,” he said. “ “I’m looking forward to working with him at training and in games to further enhance his game.” Italiano’s international clearance has been received and he will make his ECU debut on Saturday at Floreat Athena.



Perth Glory new signing Rhys Williams is confident a move to the A-League club can help him re-launch his injury-plagued career after rejecting several other A-League offers in favour of a return to his home state. The 27-year-old has penned a one year deal and will head back to Western Australia once Middlesbrough finishes its push for promotion to the Premier League.

The decision was made to rediscover his best form after back to back achilles injuries kept him out of football for two hellish years including the 2014 World Cup and triumphant Asian Cup campaign six months later.

Williams was in demand from other A-League clubs but he couldn’t help but head home to WA. “We did have four or five clubs come to the table. I’d prefer to not name them out of respect but basically the offers were all the same as the Perth one, it was simply a desire to go back home mixed with the impressive way that the Glory finished the season,” he said. “I think it’s really exciting how they’ve brought the W.A boys back. I’ve spoken to Shane Lowry a bit, (who was with him at ECU Joondalup as a youngster), and he’s loving it and obviously my brother Aryn is there too so it’ll be great to play with him.”

The Socceroo is best known as a centre-back or right-back, and he’s revealed Kenny Lowe has earmarked him for a role in the midfield. “You never know how things can change but my initial talks with Kenny are to play in the midfield,” he said. “I just can’t wait to get going, it’s been a long time coming. After the loan move to Charlton I just decided I had to get back playing regular football again. I’ve known Kenny for a long time as well and I just felt to play my best football again being at home will provide for that.”

The A-League move does draw a line for the moment on his time in Europe after moving to Middlesbrough some nine years ago, and in that time the talented player has captained the club and back in 2012 was rated a 10 million pound prospect by the U.K press amid transfer links from Liverpool. He remains hopeful that period in his career isn’t done with yet. “I’m not ruling out coming back to Europe. I’m still only 27, I’ve still got years left in me,” he said. “I missed two years with my injuries and that should add two years on my body at the end of my career.”

The sheer volume of football that the 14 time Socceroo has missed means he won’t be involved in Boro’s quest for an automatic promotion place to the EPL but that hasn’t dimmed his enthusiasm for the club. “I feel like I’m involved in the changing room, I get along with everyone and I’ll always be there for the boys and for the manager,” he explained. “I want to help them in any way I can get over that final hurdle and I’ll be a supporter of them until that final whistle goes in the season. After that it’s on to the next adventure.”



Former ECU Joondalup junior Chris Herd is on the radar of Perth Glory, as the club look to bolster their squad after being eliminated from the A-League Finals at the first hurdle last week. Hot on the heels of signing Australia defender Rhys Williams, the Glory are in discussions over also bringing Herd back to his hometown. Herd's one-year contract with Chesterfield is due to expire and it’s unclear whether he will remain with the struggling League One club beyond the remainder of this season.

The 27 year-old, who made 42 appearances in six injury-interrupted seasons at Aston Villa, was released by the newly relegated Premier League side at the end of last season, after loan spells at Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic. He has made 22 appearances for battling Chesterfield and according to his father, former Scottish professional Willie Herd, he is looking at all his options for next season”. It’s about assessing which way to go. Perth is certainly a possibility and there have been some talks but he’s just going to see what happens over the next few weeks," he said.

One of those options is Glory, whose coach Kenny Lowe believes the versatile Herd – who has three Socceroos caps – would be an astute capture. That is all dependent on whether Herd cuts short a career in the UK that began a decade ago when he joined Villa’s youth academy frm ECU Joondalup, along with defender Shane Lowry – one of Glory’s successful January transfer window signings.

Herd – like Middlesbrough utility Williams – has struggled with injury in recent times but has showed this season that those problems are behind him. While adamant last year his future lay in England, where he has a wife and child, it’s understood that Herd has reappraised the situation and is willing to listen to offers in Australia, with Glory the clear favourites to snare him. Like Williams, Herd is keen to force himself back into Socceroos contention and with coach Ange Postecoglou promoting a host of A-League talent in recent seasons, he knows that coming home could enhance his hopes of a recall.



Kenny Lowe will demand Perth Glory improve on their first finals appearance in three years, with the coach hoping to keep most of his squad together for next season. Veteran goalkeeper Ante Covic could be the only senior player to leave in the off-season following Glory's elimination final loss to Melbourne City on the weekend. It's a far cry from the previous two campaigns when at least a dozen players moved on at the end of each season.

Lowe was hesitant to declare finals as the minimum goal for his charges next season, but Glory have made no secret of their plans to re-establish the club as a powerhouse. A four-year master plan released in February cited ambitions of winning an A-League title by 2020 and boasting at least 10,000 members within the next two seasons. Lowe said Glory were well placed, just twelve months after being booted out of the finals for salary cap breaches.

"A lot of people around the club can hold their head up high," Lowe said. "We've got some really good people, we've earned a lot of respect back after what's gone on earlier, not just on the park, but off the park. Everything is in a good space and we've got a base now to grow. That's the big thing. There's optimism, there's hope. There was no optimism and hope this time last year."

Glory are in negotiations with Diego Castro and will need to satisfy the Spanish import's increased worth in the marketplace on the back of a breakout A-League season. Covic, 40, played every game for Glory this campaign, but is now out of contract and will face pressure to reunite with his family in Sydney. Lowe said former A-League golden boot winner Adam Taggart, who signed in January, would bring considerable benefit to Glory next season.



Youngster Cameron Burgess will never forget the scenes of wild celebration after helping Cheltenham Town win the National League title with a 2-0 win over Halifax Town. The central defender, on loan to Cheltenham from Fulham, formed an immediate understanding with Dan Parslow to help fill to void left by a serious knee injury to captain Aaron Downes, which ended his season in January.

At 20 years of age, Burgess hopes there are more promotions to come but he said he could not have wished for a better experience during his time with the Robins. "It was a brilliant day and my hands are still shaking now," Burgess said after the celebrations finally started to die down. "There was absolute carnage in the dressing room afterwards, with champagne everywhere and it's an atmosphere I'll never forget."

"The fans were brilliant. When I came here we were top of the league so I knew exactly what the aim was and it's great to get the job done with two games still to play. It's a real bonus to have a promotion on your CV from a loan spell and hopefully there are more of them to come for me."

Cheltenham opened up a two goal lead in the first half with Dan Holman scoring both, but relegation threatened Halifax applied pressure in the second half and only a resolute display from Cheltenham's backline kept them out. "We needed to get the win and once we got the two goals, it was a bit edgy in the second half," Burgess said.

"But we always knew we could hold out with a clean sheet and it was a great result and a great feeling in the end. We know we've done it, but we still want to win the last two games and get as many points on the board as we can. The gaffer (Gary Johnson) will keep us on our toes and we will want to finish the season off properly."



Perth Glory's bid to bolster their line-up for next season is already in full swing with owner Tony Sage confirming the club are in discussions with Australia defender Rhys Williams. Set to be released by Middlesbrough after eleven years at the Riverside, 27-year old Williams - who can operate either in defence or midfield - is viewed by coach Kenny Lowe and general manager of football Jacob Burns as a key target in their plans to boost an already vibrant squad.

Williams younger brother, Aryn, is already on Glory's books and the Socceroo has a long relationship with Lowe stretching back to their time together at ECU Joondalup. "I understand they are talks to see if Rhys can come to terms with us but nothing has been finalised since then, other than the fact they are talking," Sage said of Williams, who is looking to resurrect his career after two years in the wilderness through injury.

"It's been difficult for Rhys with his injuries but we will see what happens ... we have an excellent squad and my bet is he will come back to the A-League. But whether it's with us at Perth, that's up to Jacob and Kenny to sort out with Rhys. He was at the stadium a few weeks back to watch his brother Aryn play against Melbourne City. I didn't meet him but he met with Jacob Burns and Kenny Lowe, and he did mention he is keen to come back to his home town."



Defender Scott Neville is one of Western Sydney Wanderers' unsung heroes this season. The fact Neville missed only one game along with efficient numbers on pass completion and tackles won, illustrate why coach Tony Popovic wanted to sign Neville two and a half years ago from Newcastle Jets, just at the point when his anterior cruciate ligament snapped in his knee.

What made the timing of the injury even more cruel was that months before doctors had discovered an irregularity in Neville's heart that required an operation to correct, and he come back from it like a man reborn. With his knee needing reconstruction, Neville was just glad to re-sign with Newcastle. But a year later, Popovic came back with an offer that Neville felt unable to refuse.

"At the time (of the ACL injury) Newcastle was coming second or third and I was happy with the way I was playing that year," Neville said. "I felt I was improving. But I feel like I've learnt more this year than I have in the last five or six. I've still got a lot to learn, of course, but I come to training knowing I'll learn something new."

"It comes through in games, where I maybe now notice a mistake I've made, recognise it and address it. Any small detail, the coaching staff pick up on it. Monday morning, I just enjoy coming into training. It's the best job in the world, especially when you feel like you are genuinely improving all the time. I love structure and I love being pushed to my limits."

"This season has probably been the most games I've played for four or five years which is pretty big coming off a few serious injuries. Always you can get better but I've been reasonably happy with how I've performed. The brutal truth is that if you're not performing ten you don't play at this club, so it's an illustration of the level of performance that those who do play are achieving."

Neville never set a target for games to play this season - it was more about the state he would play in. "I knew that if I improved as a player and got some consistency into my game then playing would take care of itself," he said. "But more than anything it was about being injury free for a long period of time. Last year I played what, 17 or 18 games?"

"But I can tell you now that in a few of those I was nowhere near as fit as I am now. It's the end of the season now and I feel like I could just keep on playing, which says everything. It's just the way that I've prepared my body right back to pre-season, and the way it's structured here at the Wanderers. You recover well and you're good to go again. It's all so structured here, there's nothing left to chance."



Perth Glory’s 2016 A-League season has come to an end after a 2-1 loss against Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon. A double from Uruguayan striker Bruno Fornaroli won the game for the home side, the first a controversial overhead kick, where he also kicked Shane Lowry in the head. They move on to take on Adelaide United in the Semi-Final at Coopers Stadium on Friday night. “But I don’t want to harp on about that, they were the better team and they deserved it. So irrespective of if he’s kicked someone in the head and scored … I’d be disappointed if my centre-forward hadn’t done that,” Lowe said. “So there’s no qualms on that front … they deserved the result.”

The Glory welcomed back Spanish Maestro Diego Castro and Chris Harold to the starting lineup, but they were under the pump from the first whistle. Ben Garuccio sent Fornaroli in after only ten minutes, but Ante Covic was out quick to deny him. The Glory went close themselves two minutes later, Josh Risdon’s cross surprised Thomas Sorensen who was full stretch to keep it out and Patrick Kisnorbo cleared the rebound, before Alex Grant headed over moments later. City had the ball into the net on 18 minutes, Fornaroli waltzed through the Glory defence, his shot beat Covic and into the net but the referee’s Assistants flag was up as Garuccio was interfered the Glory custodian.

But five minutes from half time City hit the front. Aaron Mooy’s in-swinging corner looped up in the air and Fornarolli, overhead kick nestled in the back of the net. The Glory players were livid and replays showed he had made contact with Shane Lowry’s head, anywhere else on the park and it would have been a free kick but the goal stood. The Glory looked to hit back immediately and from Mark Warren’s cross Andy Keogh’s header missed the target.

The Glory should have levelled two minutes into the second half. Castro’s superb back heel found Warren, whose cross was punched away by Sorensen, but only to Gyorgy Sandor, and with the goal at his mercy he fluffed his volley and it was over the top. Keogh shot on the run drifted wide, before Mooy had Covic diving full length to turn his shot around the post. But City were turning the screws and on 76 minutes they doubled their advantage. Fornarolli was brought down on the edge of the area and he took the set-piece and not Mooy, and he made the right choice curling it around the wall and into the corner of the net.

Richard Garcia came off the bench and tested Sorensen, who saved low at his near post, before Nebojsa Marinkovic’s 25-yard free kick whistled just wide. With the Glory pushing men forward Covic kept the scoreline down late on saving well to deny Fornarolli and Marc Marino, but at the final whistle it is City progressing to the Semi-Final and the Glory season has come to an end.

Melbourne City: Thomas SORENSEN, Paulo RETRE (Connor CHAPMAN 81’), Alex WILKINSON, Patrick KISNORBO (C), Jack CLISBY, Osama MALIK, Aaron MOOY, Anthony CACERES (Jacob MELLING 68’), Ben GARUCCIO (Marc MARINO 73’), Nick FITZGERALD, Bruno FORNAROLI
Subs not used: Dean BOUZANIS (GK), Aaron HUGHES

Perth Glory: Ante COVIC, Alex GRANT (Dino DJULBIC 46’), Marc WARREN, Shane LOWRY, Gyorgy SANDOR, Andy KEOGH, Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, Chris HAROLD (Richard GARCIA 68’), Diego CASTRO, Josh RISDON (C), Krisztian VADOCZ (Kosta PETRATOS 83’)
Subs not used: Jerrad TYSON (GK), Mitch OXBORROW

Referee: Chris Beath



Perth Glory boss Kenny Lowe believes Melbourne City deserved their win in the Elimination Final on Sunday, but was convinced star marksman Bruno Fornaroli should have been penalised for a high boot as he opened the scoring in Sunday’s finals defeat.

Fornaroli netted the first of a brace in the 40th minute, acrobatically turning home an Aaron Mooy corner with an overhead kick, as well as taking a piece of Shane Lowrys head in the process. The Glory never recovered from that point, going on to be eliminated thanks to a 2-0 scoreline.

Lowe made no excuses for the defeat in which Perth struggled to create any clear cut chances in the final third, but did suggest Fornaroli’s stunning opener may have been overturned on another day. “I thought the first one (goal) was a bit contentions but the second one was sublime,” Lowe said. “Good player (Fornaroli) … there’s not much more you can say about him really, he’s scored a boatload of goals and he played ever so well. I just thought it was high foot. I think it’s there for him to go for, but if he kicks one in the air, maybe he (the referee) has got to blow the whistle … if he kicks one in the air, it’s got to be a free kick.

“It’s there for him to go for, there’s nothing wrong with that. And then it’s there for the full-back to go for, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just think the referee needs to apply whatever law applies to the situation. “We’ve had two (contentious high foot) calls this year, one at West Sydney and one here. “But I don’t want to harp on about that, they were the better team and they deserved it. So irrespective of if he’s kicked someone in the head and scored … I’d be disappointed if my centre-forward hadn’t done that. So there’s no qualms on that front … they deserved the result.”

Despite suffering an early end to the season, Lowe declared he was proud of what his team achieved throughout the season. Yet after rebuilding the squad in part during the January transfer window, Glory rebounded to secure a fifth-place finish. “We’ve done ever so well to come this far,” he said. “We deserved to come this far, it’s just that on the day we were a little bit behind City in performance. It’s probably a bit raw and emotional at the moment after a game you lose, but in a couple of days’ time, you sit down and reflect on what we’ve achieved this year. We’ve been to an FFA Cup final, we’ve been in the finals … we got 50 points last year, we got 46 points this year … we’ve done magnificent. When I look back and reflect, everyone can be proud of what we’ve achieved the last couple of years.”



Captain Richard Garcia won't treat tomorrow's knockout final against Melbourne City as his last hurrah at Perth Glory. The 34-year old is yet to sign a contract for next season but wants to play on after watching Glory's evolution in the second half of this campaign with pride.

A former Socceroos player and 2010 World Cup squad member, Garcia praised the emergence of Josh Risdon and Shane Lowry as leadership material at a time when his own place in the starting line-up has been less certain. "It's one of those things where you take every game as it comes," Garcia said.

"This being a finals game, if I'm on the pitch I'll give my all and do my usual stuff and if I'm not on the pitch I'll come on and contribute. I'm confident that I'll get another contract. We've begun early talks as well, so that's a good thing ... I know that the club are confident in what I've got to offer and what I can produce."



Goalkeeper Mark Birighitti was the big winner at the Newcastle Jets' annual Player of the Year Awards last night. The 24-year old was recognised as the club's and Members' Player of the Year for 2016, plus feted with Men of Football's Ray Baartz Medal at the gala which was attended by over 250 Newcastle players, management, partners, sponsors, members and supporters.

Birighitti, who returned to the club following a loan spell with AS Varese in Italy in June last year, kept three clean sheets in 26 appearances during the 2015/16 campaign. What's more, the ambitious custodian produced a string of stunning saves throughout the season which not only earned him plaudits from club members, fans, and the media, but the highly respected vote of his peers when it came time for the first team squad to submit their players' player votes recently.



A goal in the last minute from Floreat Athena defender Chris Saldaris has given them a 1-1 draw against Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens. It looked like former Perth Glory Youth player Tom King’s goal 13 minutes from time had continued Perth’s perfect start to the season, but Saldaris, who joined Floreat from Bayswater City this season, popped up with the last gasp equaliser to give both sides a share of the spoils. “It was an even game, we pressed hard and we worked hard,” Floreat Coach Glen Grostate told the NPLWA website. “We came here with a plan and without four usual players in the starting 11, so we are happy to walk away with a point.”

Both sides were coming off good victories last week and both had early half chances, but they failed to convert them. The first real chance of the game fell to the visitors on the half hour; Phil Arnold’s free kick was saved well by Glory custodian Francis Soale. Perth had their best chance moments later, Gustavo Catarcione found space in the box, but he failed to find the target. Soale was in the action again just before half time, this time he saved well to thwart Arnold’s free kick from the edge of the penalty area. Perth again hit back, and in the shadows of half time Matthew Milenkovic long-range shot whistled just past the post.

It was more of the same after the break with both sides pressing forward looking for the opener. Floreat skipper Ludovic Boi’s low shot flashed wide of the post on the hour, but it was the home side who hit the front on 77 minutes. King raced down the flank, cut inside his marker and superbly chipped Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris to give the home side the lead. Perth looked to kill the game off and second half substitute Reece Vittliglia shot was well saved by Jason Saldaris, before Clark Keltie’s long-range shot drifted over the top. But with time running out, the visitors levelled. A long throw by Blair Govan was flicked on by Bobby Wilson and Boi’s shot was parried by Soale, Chris Saldaris was the first to react to head the ball home to give Floreat a share of the spoils.



A goal in the final minute from Armadale defender Jake Sardelic has given them a 1-1 draw against Perth Glory at Alfred Skeet Oval. It looked like Jackson Morgan’s goal on the hour would be enough to earn the victory for the Glory youngsters, but Sardelic’s late strike gave both sides a share of the spoils. “The players were gutted after the game, it was déjà vu from last week, however we should've also been able to grind out the victory and not concede so late on,” Glory midfielder Daniel Stynes said. “There were some positives this week, it was a much better performance from us and we should've really won by three or four.”

Armadale opened brightly and on four minutes Caleb Dixon was sent clear one-on-one with Glory keeper Jordan Thurtell, who stood tall to save and the rebound was cleared. The Glory went close themselves moments later, Joe Knowles’ shot on the turn was deflected wide of the target. Knowles was a real handful and he went close again on 15 minutes, his shot from the edge of the penalty area was pushed around the post by Armadale keeper Alfie Brincat. The Glory continued to dictate terms and Stynes was denied by Brincat on the half hour, and six minutes later Jacob Mustafa went one-on-one with the Armadale custodian, but Brincat spread himself well to save. The home side went close to the opener four minutes from half time. English striker Alex Salmon was given far too much room and his long-range shot was superbly saved by Thurtell at full stretch.

Ellis Healing saw his shot flash over the top early in the second half for the home side, before Thurtell saved well to deny Salmon on 56 minutes. But four minutes later the Glory hit the front. Stynes played the ball to Morgan who played a one-two with Knowles, and Morgan continued his run and finished nicely into the bottom corner. Glory almost added a second fifteen minutes late. Stynes played a one-two with Sam McKearnen, but his shot was well saved by Brincat. Thurtell was in the thick of the action again on 78 minutes, this time saving well to deny Salmon, as the Glory continued to hold out, and they went close to doubling their lead on 86 minutes. Stynes raced down the flank and his cross was deflected into the path of Mustafa, but his shot was straight at Brincat. It looked the Glory would hold out but in the 89th minute the home side levelled. Sardelic drove down the left wing, moved into the box and fired it low into the back of the net.



Inglewood United moved back to the top of the PS4NPLWA table after coming from behind to beat Cockburn City 4-2 at Inglewood Stadium. The visitors led at the break with Harry O’Brien on target, but Kenny Keogh scored twice either side of Brian Woodall’s header and Ashley Rosindale wrapped up the points late on after Cameron Edwards briefly sparked Cockburn hopes. “The second half was a much better performance from us. We were slow out of the blocks and second to everything in the first half,” Inglewood Coach Taki Nicolaidis told the NPLWA website. “Ball movement was slow, movement off the ball was negligent and I think the boys might have thought they could turn up and things would happen. “They copped an earful at half time. We wanted to change the mindset because the first half didn’t even come close to a pass mark. It was a mental thing more than a tactical thing.”

The hosts went into the game with a 100% record to date this season and they went close early. Josh Pereira’s long-range shot was tipped over the top by Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich. But Cockburn began to get into the game and they opened the scoring on the half hour. Some good lead up play by Scott Miller’s side ended with O’Brien, and the former Perth Glory midfielder fired home from outside the box giving Alex Dunn no chance. It was a lethargic Inglewood performance, but they have some talented players, and they almost hit back before the break. Keogh found space in the penalty area, but his header was superbly saved by Radonich, before Woodall’s effort was cleared by some desperate Cockburn defending.

Inglewood made the perfect start to the second half and they were level two minutes in. Woodall made space down the flank, and his cross was bundled home by Keogh. The home side then hit the front five minutes later, Mark Pritchard’s ball into the area picked out Woodall, whose glancing header beat Radonich. The home side were on top and it wasn’t a surprise when they added a third on the hour. Roadonich’s attempted clearance hit an Inglewood player and the rebound fell kindly to Keogh who fired home.

Cockburn weren’t finished and they pulled on back on 73 minutes. Inglewood failed to clear their lines and Edwards made them pay, firing home to set up an exciting last quarter of the game. But the home side made the points safe eight minutes from time. Second half substitute Rosindale won possession on the edge of the penalty area and the strikers shot flew into the net to win it for Inglewood. It could have been five late on, Tim Robertson’s shot crashing off the crossbar but the damage had already been done.



Sorrento has beaten last season’s Champions Bayswater City 2-1 at Percy Doyle Reserve. The Sky Blues came from behind to take the three points, and inflect City’s second consecutive loss. David Heagney had given City the lead at the break but goals to Jordan Dodd and a last minute strike from Ryan Pearson gave Sorrento the win. “We thoroughly deserved the win, and just like last week we created enough chances earlier in the game to wrap it up a lot sooner than we did,” Sorrento midfielder Tim Hill said. “We knew coming into the game they were there for the taking and credit to the boys we all came out hungry to get the win and delivered it on what was an emotional day for the club.”

There was a somber moment before kick off with both sides led out by a bagpiper and the fans stood for a minutes silence in honour of former committee member Archie McLellan who passed away in the week. The visitors, who were without striker Gustavo Giron-Maurlanda, opened brightly and created a number of half chances, and on the half hour they hit the front, Heagney bagging his second goal of the season. Sorrento looked to hit back and the best chance fell to their skipper Daryl Platten, who went one-on-one with Fraser Greenwood, but the keeper stood tall to deny him.

Sorrento created a number of second half chances, but didn’t convert them, but on the hour they did. Hill’s cross to the back post was headed back across goal by Sean Canham, Bayswater didn’t clear their lines and Dodd fired home from five meters. Both sides pressed looking for the winner, but just like last week Sorrento scored the winner in the final minute. Brad McDonald cross was dropped by Greenwood under pressure from Billy Quinncroft, and Pearson was there to tap home to win it for the Gulls.



Stirling Lions moved to fourth place on the table after a 3-0 win against ECU Joondalup at Macedonia Park. Robert Petkov gave the home side lead in the first half, before late goals from Teeboy Kamara and Daniel Micevski wrapped up the points for the Lions. “I thought our first half was poor and they got on top of us in the middle of the park, and we were fortunate to go into the break with the lead, but we addressed that at half time,” Lions Coach Rob Milevski said. “I think we got what we deserved in the second half, and scored some good goal, and kept a clean sheet as well, our first of the season, which is very pleasing.”

The visitors made the better start and Lions defender Shane Cassidy got back with a fantastic last ditch tackle to deny Steven McGarry after only three minutes, before Gordon Smith’s long-range effort flashed wide. The Lions hit back and debutant ECU keeper Scott Wallis was alert to save David Micevski’s shot moments later, but on 16 minutes it was ECU who should have hit the front. Smith shrugged off two Lions defenders and raced clear, he rounded keeper John Perkins, but with the goal at his mercy he fired wide. It was the Lions who opened the scoring ten minutes from half time, David Micevski’s in-swinging corner was flicked on by Graham Doran and Petkov finished at the back post.

Both sides had good early chances in the second half. First David Micevski’s snap shot from the edge of the penalty area flashed wide of the target, before Bayley Brown-Montgomery long-range shot was saved low by Perkins. It should have been 2-0 on 67 minutes, Blamo Qua Qua through ball sent David Micevski clear one-on-one with Wallis, but the ECU custodian stood tall and the midfielder fired wide of the target. But the game was put to bed by the Lions with two goals in as many minutes. First on 81 minutes two ECU defenders challenged for the same ball and the ball fell to second half substitute Jason Rubidge, who fed Kamara who made mistake.

Then two minutes later, Kamara was the supplier for the third. His quick counter attack ended with a ball to Daniel Micevski, who finished low past Wallis to seal the points.



Balcatta won for the first time this season after two late goals from substitute Parvis Shirzardi and Anthony Barabusha gave them a 2-0 win against Subiaco AFC at Rosalie Park. The defeat leaves Subiaco languishing at the bottom of the table still looking for their first points of the season. “It was a hard earned win, we knew what way Subiaco were going to set up and approach the game, we knew they were going to frustrate us, and they were doing it quite well while also threatening on the counter,” Balcatta’s Conor Kavanagh said. “But we knew if we kept to the game plan, and just persevered that we would eventually get the goal we were searching for, and luckily enough that just happened. It was a hard fought win and we were delighted to get our first win on the board and hopefully we can kick on from here and get a few more wins”

Both sides knew the importance of three points in this one, with both still looking for their first league win of the season, and it was a cagey start to the game with clear cut chances few and far between. Balcatta began to get the upper hand late in the first half but Subiaco defended stoutly, and were hitting on the counter attack, but both Ryan Montgomery and Clint Davies kept the score line even at the break.

Subiaco began the second half well and Rory Feely shot five minutes in whistled inches past the post. Then on the hour Jackson Dongray rose highest in the box, but his header was cleared off the line by some desperate defending by Balcatta. The visitors also had their chances, but Montgomery was in fine form to deny them and the game had a scoreless draw written all over it.

But then two minutes from time Balcatta broke the deadlock. Jonathan Corness headed down a loose ball to Conor Kavanagh, who played the ball over the top to second half substitute Shirzardi, whose shot flew into the bottom corner of the net giving Montgomery no chance. Subiaco pressed forward looking for the equaliser and when Bafabusha closed down the Subiaco defender, and drilled the ball into an empty net to seal the three points.



Canning City has continued their good start to the All Flags State League Division One season with a 4-2 win against Dianella White Eagles at Burrendah Reserve. The home side were ahead early when Ante Jukic curled home a free kick from the edge of the box. They doubled their lead mid-way through the half, Jukic heading home his second from close-range. Dianella pulled one back before half time, and they levelled early in the second. Canning hit the front again, when Charlie Parry got on the end of a Jukic free kick and heading home at the back post. The points were made safe with the goal of the game, Nathan Hubbard long-range shot flew into the top corner. “We did things the hard way today but at the end of the season all we will remember is we got the three points,” Canning Coach Paul Oliver said. “We probably should have had the game out of sight in the first 30 minutes which we dominated but failed to take our chances. It has been a good start for us but we travel to Bunbury next week knowing that we must keep improving to maintain momentum.”

Joondalup United also continued their perfect start to the season with a hard fought 2-1 win against a nine man Forrestfield United at Forrest Park. Chances were few and far between in the opening quarter, but tension rose when Forrestfield defender Mark Barnett was sent off in the 26th minute with a second yellow card. The home side capitalised on their man advantage when two minutes before the end of the half, Lee Jones cut in from the left and fired past Luke Martino. But the situation got worse for the visitors on 70 minutes when skipper Trent Wood was also sent off for a second yellow card. But with their backs to the wall Forrestfield rallied and levelled six minutes later. Josip Vujaca found space on left, he beat his marker and sent a low cross into the box which wasn’t deal with and the ball found its way past James Bosdet and into the corner of the net. But they couldn’t hold on to their lead and Jones bagged his second nine minutes from time. The big striker again cutting in from the left and finding the bottom corner of the net to win it. Another team to win their opening two games is Mandurah City, after their 2-0 win against Western Knights at the Hyundai Stadium. Andy Brown gave the Champions the lead, finishing off good lead up play and scoring low past the keeper. They doubled their lead after the break, Brown raced away from his marker and fired home from 10 meters. “Today was a battle from the first whistle which we fully expect each week,” defender Ollie McGee said. “We created good chances throughout and everybody worked hard from start to finish which got us the win we deserved.”

Shamrock Rovers bounced back from last week’s defeat against Joondalup with a 3-2 win against Ashfield at the Ashfield Reserve. It was a perfect start for John O’Reilly’s side and they were a head in the opening minute. Steve Sheridan robbed a defender and raced goalwards, before cutting the ball back to Paul Sop who rolled the ball home. The home side levelled before the break, a corner was whipped in and Jay Lang bundled the ball home. Rovers’ were back in front early in the second half. A corner picked out Mike Lawson, who took a touch and struck it sweetly into the far corner. Rovers thought they had a penalty when Sop was brought down by the Ashfield keeper in the box, but the referee said it happened outside the box and awarded a free kick. Ashfield hit back again and levelled when Graham Tough’s shot deflected off a Shamrock defender and into the net. Rovers scored the winner fifteen minutes from time. Sheridan laid the ball off to Paul Concannon, who took a touch and finished low into the corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area. “It was about time we got one over on them. It was well deserved win, nobody gave us a chance before the game so was nice to put in a performance,” Concannon said. Coach John O’Reilly said all their hard work paid off. “I’m very happy with the player’s performance, and they got the result there effort deserved,” he said. “We worked hard all week a training on some key areas and it paid off.”

In other games Gosnells City won for the first time this season with a 4-1 win against South West Phoenix at Walter Padbury Reserve. Jason Pottier and Jacob Aquino combined to set up Scott Pereira, who fired home from the edge of the penalty area for the opener. The visitors levelled moments later, with Ryan Francis finishing from four meters. The visitors had the chance to take a lead into the break, but Ethan De Latte saw his penalty well saved by Jack Adams. But after the break Gosnells hit the front again, Dean Aplegren played in Sean Taylor and he finished with aplomb. Two minutes later Taylor bagged his second, firing across the keeper after Phoenix failed to deal with a free kick. Taylor competed his hat trick moments later, Aaron Coslani sending him one-on-one with the keeper and he kept his nerve to score, and it was the quickest hat-trick at the club, all in nine minutes. The final game saw Rockingham City draw 1-1 with UWA-Nedlands at Lark Hill. The visitors led early with Lloyd Prout on target, but Alex Grayson levelled for Rockingham on the hour to share the spoils.



Balga moved to the top of the All Flags State League Division Two table after a 6-1 win against Melville City at the Len Shearer Reserve. Vladimir Naumovski opened the scoring after only two minutes, and it was a sign of things to come. It was 2-0 on 21 minutes, Naumovski went one-on-one with the Melville keeper who blocked his shot but the striker fired home the rebound. Naumovski scored his third on the half hour, before Melville pulled one back from the spot five minutes later. It was Naumovski’s day and he added his and Balga’s fourth early in the second half before substitute Hubert Hakizimana and Arji Tela added the fifth and sixth respectively to move Balga to the top of the table on goal difference. Fremantle are the only other unbeaten side in the league after they edged out Wanneroo City 1-0 with Ben Reynolds on target. “We always knew it was going to be a tough game at their place, we had plenty of chances to take the lead in first half but couldn't capitalize.” Fremantle’s Danny Clapham said. “The Second half started similar it was very scrappy but we knew as time went on our football would show and we would get that goal we needed and it happened through Ben. We are happy with the result especially with a clean sheet away, it's exciting times we've got a lot of new lads and we are still bonding so there's a lot more to come from us the main thing at this moment in time is results and we have started off well.”

Joondalup City won for the first time this season, thrashing Quinns FC 5-0 in the local derby at Gumblossom Park. Liam McGurk scored the first goal, while Jamie Stewart and Sam Phillips both scored two. "I am very happy that the work we are doing on the training track is starting to show in our games," coach Marco Schisano said "It was pleasing to keep a clean sheet as we are spending a lot of time on our defensive structure. It was a solid all round performance from the whole squad and we are looking forward to testing ourselves against a very good side in Fremantle this week."

The round began on Friday night when Curtin University and Kingsway Olympic fought out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Edinburgh Oval. Khaled Salhah, Kirsten Beven and Eddie Tikoft were on target for the home side while Craig Hollingsworth scored twice and Daniel Cuticune was also on target for Kingsway. Swan United opened their account with a hard fought 1-0 win against Kelmscott Roos at the Swan Italian Club. Simon Williams scored the only goal of the game and Coach Matt Debarro was happy to get off the mark for the season. “ They (Kelmscott) were resilient all game however once again like last week we failed to capitalise on the abundance of chances we created,” he said. “We should have been a lot more goals for us however I am pleased with the result as we went Into the game looking to improve our defensive game which we did keeping a clean sheet and limiting their chances, something we did not do last week and paid the price. We need to be more clinical going forward but always happy with three points and a clean sheet.” In other games Morley Windmills beat Ellenbrook United 3-1at Wotton Reserve to give new coach John Castrilli his first win at the club. David Houston, Yves Mwila and Kyle King were the scorers for Morley and the coach was happy to get their first win of the season. “We have quite a few long term injuries and are still gelling with the new players coming into the squad,” Castrilli said. “Even though we were far from our best I was delighted at the result.”



It’s Week five of the PS4 National Premier League WA and this week’s Match of the Round is the clash between Subiaco and Balcatta at Rosalie Park. It may only be round five, but both sides haven’t started the season well, and three points in this one will be vital if they to keep in touch with the rest of the league. Balcatta were beaten 3-1 at home to Armadale last week, and Coach Marc Anthony said they need stay focused. “Armadale were clinical with their chances, and again we dominated play but got nothing out of it,” he said. “We need to turn our performances into points, starting on Saturday.” The trip to Subiaco is very important not just for the points, but a win would give Anthony’s side some much need confidence. “Extremely important game, like I said we need points on the board sooner rather than later,” he said. “Losing is a horrible habit to get into so the quicker we can stop the rot the better.” Steve Sokol, Eamon McNelis and Cameron Teece pulled up sore last week against Armadale, but all should be available for the trip.

Subiaco are coming off two heavy defeats, but Coach Michael Brazil said the spirit is high in the club and they are not far away from a win. “One thing Subiaco has got plenty of, and that’s spirit. With each passing game these kids get another week of experience under their belt,” he said. “A win is getting closer, but I am old enough and wise enough not to predict before the event.” Brazil said they are looking forward to their first home game of the season, and he said it’s always important to win your home games. “Yes our first home game of the season, Subiaco will as always be competitive as it’s very important we take something from this game,” he said. “Balcatta are within touching distance in terms in league placings so it’s another test that the squad are looking forward to especially being at home.” In team news for the home side Ian McMurray will miss due to suspension, but they do welcome back Zac Habersty back from injury.

Bayswater City lost for the first time in the league since 2014 last week and will be looking to bounce back on Saturday when they travel to Percy Doyle Reserve to take on Sorrento. The Gulls left it late to beat Perth Glory last week, but midfielder Tim Hill said they should have finished them off earlier. “I thought we were pretty solid and probably should have of scored a couple earlier in the game,” he said. “We took our time to score the winner but we dominated most of the game and I thought we deserved the three points.” Hill, who joined the Gulls from Stirling Lions this season, said Bayswater will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat. “We all know it will be a big game, as it always is when you play Bayswater,” he said. “They will be more motivated to set things right after losing last week, so we know it will be a tough game, but we’re looking forward to the challenge, and being the Champions the pressure is on them to come out and perform.”

The form team of the league is Inglewood United, and fresh off their big win at Bayswater, they host Cockburn City at the Inglewood Stadium. Cockburn on the other hand are coming of a heavy defeat against Stirling. New striker Reuben Tristao said that game is now in the past and they move on. “It was one of those days when nearly nothing went right for us and nothing went wrong for them. Our confidence was dropping as Stirling was scoring with every chance they had,” he explained. “Now the result is already behind us and we learned from our mistakes which will make us improve and be better for the next game.” Cockburn skipper Euen Grant is suspended for the trip, and Tristao said they (Inglewood) are a good side and have brought in some very good players, but they are looking forward to the challenge. “The best way to prove that the last game was just a bad day is to get a good result against the league leaders,” he said. “They have recruited well and it’s going to be a tough game but we’ve been working very hard this week and we are looking forward to the game.”

Stirling Lions go into their game against ECU Joondalup at Macedonia Park on a high, after outstanding performance last week. The Lions bounced back for their first loss of the season against Perth with a 7-2 thrashing of Cockburn City, and keeper John Perkins said it was a fantastic performance. “We knew we didn’t perform against Perth, so it was important for us to get the win,” he said. “The coaches upped the intensity in training and we focused on areas that we wanted to improve. It was a good team performance and the boys on the scoresheet were clinical. We showed a few glimpses of our capabilities when we turn it on and are looking to use it as a stepping stone moving forward and keep improving.” Perkins said Joondalup had started the season well and will be another tough challenge. “ECU have added some good players to their side and we saw that when we beat them in the night series,” he said. “We’re aiming to build on our performance from last week and get some momentum going. We know it will be a tough match again against an organised side with dangerous players and we will be made to work hard if we are to get the three points.”

Armadale won for the first time this season last week, and they will be looking for back-to-back victories when they host Perth Glory at Alfred Skeet Reserve. Defender Alex Castiello said last week was a well-deserved win. “It was great to get a win on the board, we have been battling hard the past few weeks and getting punished for little mistakes,” he said. “We defended well which was one of the objectives and scored some inspiring goals. It has been great for the teams’ confidence heading into Saturday game.”. The Glory conceded an injury-time penalty to lose to Sorrento last week, but Castiello said they are a good side and will be a tough challenge on Saturday. “We know the Glory Youth are always going to be a young fit and talented team,” he said. “But we have the right personnel to get a result and the team is on a high from last weekend’s win.”

The final game of the round is on Saturday evening when the unbeaten Perth SC hosts Floreat Athena at Dorrien Gardens. Dino Topcagic scored the winner on his debut for Perth last week at ECU and he said it was a hard fought win. “It was a good three points, as ECU always proves tough opposition at home,” he said. “I thought we deserved the win after a good second half performance, and it shows that we can fight for result even when we weren’t at our best.” Floreat have won back to back games and kick started their season, and Topcagic said it should be an entertain game under lights. “Every week the opponent changes, but our goal always stays the same – and that’s to get three points,” he said. “They (Floreat) will prove another challenging test for us, but it’s important we stick to our game plan and execute everything we practice at training, and if we do we continue the good form we are in.”



The All Flags State League Division One Match of the week takes us to Forrest Park where Joondalup United entertain Forrestfield United. Joondalup stunned Shamrock Rovers last week and Coach Nick Jennings was delighted the players responded. “It was a highly professional performance by the boys, we controlled the game from the first whistle and really should have scored more, spurning a number of easy chances,” he explained. “Having said that just before half time we had our keeper James Bosdet to thank for a great save to keep it at 2-0 which if they'd scored then would have made the second half a real battle. A great way to start the season as it's always a hard place to get a result.” He is expecting a fired up Forrestfield side on Saturday, after they throw away a three goal lead last week. “The night series final between the two teams was an enjoyable event to be part of, made even more special by winning on penalties,” Jennings said. “Both teams love to attack and I'm sure we'll see goals in the game. We are developing a friendly rival with the Forrie Boys and we aim to continue our unbeaten run against them, and I'm sure a big crowd will be in attendance.”

Forrestfield coach Rod Banjac said last week’s fade out came from nowhere, but he said that’s football. “During the first half we completely controlled the game and cruised to a three goal lead at half time. It is not for me to comment on officials’ performance, but it is very disappointing to see thuggery go unpunished, and to have a penalty awarded without any contact followed by three players stretchered off with at least one sustaining a long term injury is not good for the local game,” he explained. “No matter what I said or did at half time could have prepared us for what was to take place in the second, best forgotten, and we move on to Joondalup.” He said they have a good respect for Joondalup and are expecting another good game of football. “If previous encounters are anything to go by, spectators are guaranteed to get their monies worth,” Banjac said. “Joondalup United are a quality side and started the season with a bang. We look forward to the challenge with confidence, and look forward to getting our season back on track.”

There is another huge game at Ashfield Arena, when Shamrock Rovers take on Ashfield. Rovers were beaten at home last week, while Ashfield drew on the road, so both teams will be looking to kick start their season on Saturday. Rovers Coach John O’Reilly said they need to start and take their chances if they are to improve. “We had a few opportunities last week against Joondalup, at important stages of the match, and we didn’t take them, while Joondalup finished theirs,” he said. “We need to start to take those when they are supplied and I’m confident that we will.” O’Reilly said Saturday’s opponents have quality players in the side and it will be another tough game. “Whenever you play Ashfield it’s always going to be a tough game,” he explained. “It’s another challenge for us and an opportunity for our players to prove themselves against a good Ashfield side, and get our season going.”

Canning City will go in search of back-to-back wins when they host Dianella White Eagles at Burrendah Reserve. Callum Roberts bagged a hat-trick last week at Forrestfield and he said the performance gave the squad a real confidence boost. “The boys showed great character to fight back after being three down at half time, and it gave us a great deal of confidence going forward,” he said. “I thought it was dominant second half from the lads and we deservedly won the game and without doubt it’s one of the best wins I've ever been involved in.” Roberts said Saturday’s opponents are very good and said they need to be at their best to get the right result. “They (Dianella) have some good players and I’m sure it will be a tough encounter,” he said. “We want to start the season with two wins, and with it being our first home game three points is a must.” In other games Western Knights head south to take on Mandurah City at the Hyundai Stadium, Rockingham City entertain UWA-Nedlands at the Lark Hill Sports Complex, while Gosnells City and South West Phoenix meet at Walter Padbury Reserve.



It’s week two of the All Flags State League Division Two, and the Match of the Round is at Len Shearer Reserve where Melville City entertain Balga. Both sides started the season with wins last week, and Balga assistant coach Gary Shorto said it’s always nice to start the season off with a win. “It’s always good to win your opening game, and that would be our first win on match day one for a number of years, so it’s a positive start,” he said. “The lads performed well, but we do have room for improvement and we’ll be looking for that this week.” He said it’s always a tight affair when they come up against Saturday’s opponents, and it should be the same on Saturday. “Like I said, we’re looking for an improved performance from the players, especially at the back, after conceding three goals last week,” he explained. “Matches between Melville and us have always been tight contests in the state league, and we won’t be expecting anything less than a fierce game full of commitment from both sides.” Balga goes into the game with a full squad to choose from.

Melville won at Ellenbrook last week and Coach Gavin Brown said it was a good three points. “I was pleased with the performance, we dominated the first half and could have scored more, but it’s good to open the season with a win,” he said. “We played the whole second half with only ten men, after we had a player sent off, and ended the game with eight, so to come away with the points and a clean sheet in those circumstances is pleasing.” The coach said Balga have really improved in recent seasons and is expecting a tight contest on Saturday. “It will be a tough game for us on Saturday, they have improved steadily since joining the league three years ago,” he said. “They have a well-run club which will continue to develop, and I think they will be one of the challengers for promotion this year.” City will be missing Alastair Campbell due to suspension, and they have a number of players who require fitness tests.

Curtin University open the round tonight when they host Kingsway Olympic at Edinburgh Oval. Curtin beat Kelmscott last week and Coach Campbell Ballantyne said they controlled the game. “Last week if anything I was a little disappointed that we didn’t really put the game to bed,” he said. “They (Kelmscott) probably consider themselves unlucky to have finished the game with ten men, but we should have finished them off way before.” Campbell said Kingsway have improved this season and said tonight’s game will be hotly contested. “Kingsway seemed to have strengthened during the off-season, and got a good first up win,” he said. “We’re looking forward to the game and no doubt they should be a good challenge.” Louis Downham is unavailable for Curtin, but Dilip Thapa and Mark Matkovic will be pushing for a start berth.

There is a local derby in the northern suburbs when Quinns Fc host Joondalup City at Gumblossom Park. Joondalup Coach Marco Schisano said they should have won last week, but a late penalty shared the points with Wanneroo. “I thought we played quite well and were in control for most of the match however conceding sloppy goals cost us picking up a victory,” he said. “But it is all done and dusted now so we have to look forward to this week.” The derby gives City the opportunity to get some bragging rights over their neighbours, but he is more concerned with an improved performance. “Every match is important as they are all worth three points. We set a goal each week to pick up the three points as we want to finish as high up the ladder as possible. The fact it is a local derby does not mean we treat the game any different to any other, and it is great that we will not have to travel far to play,” he said. “Quinns are a good side and they have recently signed a few quality players so we are expecting a tight match. We will need to be switched on for the full 90 minutes if we are to pick up three points.” In other games this weekend Swan United host Kelmscott Roos at the Swan Italian Club, Wanneroo City entertain Fremantle City at the Wanneroo Reserve, while Ellenbrook United travel to Wotton Reserve to take on Morley Windmills.



Perth Glory takes on Melbourne City on Sunday afternoon in the Hyundai A-League Elimination Final at AAMI Park (3.00pm WA Time) Both sides go into the game on the back of defeats, City losing to Adelaide United, while the Glory put in one of their worst performances of the season against Sydney FC.

Glory striker Andy Keogh is confident the team has got what it takes to make a genuine tilt at the title, but they need to play better than they did last week. The Irishman said when he arrived in January the finals were out of sight but he said the players have responded well and he said they are in with a shout. “It gives me more satisfaction we were near the bottom if the table in January and now we’ve been the second best team in form going into the finals and we’ve got every chance,” he said. “We won’t let anything go to waste we got ourselves in a position (to play finals) we’re not just going to throw that away. We look forward to Sunday and wait and see what happens.”

Keogh said they convincingly beat City in the league only three weeks ago, but finals football is completely different. They will be missing French striker Harry Novillo on Saturday, but Keogh knows they have a very talented squad. “We played really well that night but it’s a new game and we have to go about our business the same way on Sunday,” he said. “Melbourne City is not just a great team they’ve got a great squad. You’d expect a team like Melbourne City would have a decent replacement for him (Novillo).”

Glory hope to have Chris Harold and Diego Castro back for the game and Keogh said the little Spaniard makes the team tick. “Diego is fine he’s firing shots over there if anything he was just getting rested,” he said at training on Wednesday. “It’s very important to have him in the side, he’s the guy that links the midfield to me and creates so many chances and obviously his quality on the ball and is rightly so getting all the accolades he deserves.”

City defender Ivan Franjic said Sunday’s game is the two most attacking teams in the league, and he thinks the team that defends the best will win it. He said the knockout nature of the finals series meant that players were reluctant to take too many risks too early in the match. "It's a battle of the two teams, no one wants to make that mistake because that first mistake can be costly," he said. "It is in a different mindset because it is another game that's how you approach it, but it's interesting you expect a high-scoring match but it doesn't always happen in finals football.

"There are no second chances, so if you make a mistake then you are straight out ... here you don't have next week, it's all what happens this Sunday. We have to know that ... when we walk off that pitch no excuses that everyone has given 100 per cent and you know if we have lost to a better team then so be it, but if everyone gives 100 per cent then we will win it."

Franjic said City's last two weeks had been disappointing, but he was hopeful the club was in a good position to progress to the second week given the home ground advantage. "It is better to play them at home in front of our fans and I think this is our club's first home final ... it's finals football now and one game you lose you are out, so we (will) back our own ability,” he said. “We've said from the start we are here to win and nothing has changed."



Perth Glory captain Richard Garcia says this weekend they need to focus on putting on their best performance of the season against their Elimination Final against Melbourne City. "It's a big game, the finals has started and everyone is pumped for the opportunity to get out there and play some of our best stuff," says Garcia.

Garcia said head Kenny Lowe wasn't pleased with their performance against Sydney FC last weekend, and the need to bounce back against Melbourne. "He wasn't too happy, he was quite realistic about it, giving us the confidence saying the games over with now time to get on with the finals," the Glory captain said.

"We have been on a roll and one bad game doesn't say anything bad about us. We took the foot off the pedal a little bit, it's now about going back to the game on Sunday with the same effort and determination we have shown over the past 15-16 weeks." Garcia confirmed that Castro and Chris Harold are training well and will look to be selected in the squad to head to Melbourne.



Ahead of tonight's Elimination final with Brisbane Roar, Melbourne Victory fullback Scott Galloway says that having Besart Berisha back from suspension will mean the star striker will lift against his former side. Melbourne rested five players for last week's outing with Brisbane Roar but will be at full strength this evening after Daniel Georgievski, Leigh Broxham, Kosta Barbarouses, Archie Thompson and Matthieu Delpierre were promoted to the squad.

Joining them will be Nick Ansell, returning from injury, and Berisha, whose suspension from the Wellington Phoenix game was shortened to just one match. Berisha was handed a two-game suspension eaerlier this month for kicking out at Wellington defender Andrew Durante while getting treatment. However, the independent disciplinary committee reduced that ban to one game after they agreed that it was Durante's intention to bait Berisha into reacting.

Galloway says that he is certain Berisha will be up for tonight's big clash. "It's fantastic to have Bes back in the team," he said. "He lifts for games like this, we know he does. All we want is to have him playing and that's all he wants to do is be playing. It's great to have him in the team. It's another player that could have had a possibility of missing but he's been allowed to play. So for us we have a full squad to select from and it's great to have him in it."

Meanwhile in January this year it looked like Victory club captain Carl Valeri would not play again this season after suffering an inflammatory brain condition which have affected his balance. The condition left him sidelined since late November but the World Cup Socceroo recovered and has been back for Melbourne's last two games. "It's fantastic," Galloway said.

"Everyone's been waiting for him to come back for a long time. Obviously he had to take his time coming back but he's 100% and it's good to have him back in the squad. We've got everyone back now it's fantastic. It's good morale for the boys. He's a fantastic leader to have in the team and he's a fantastic player and that's what you want."

The current A-League Champions are unbeaten in their last six outings but Galloway says that there is no clear choice in who will win tonight's game. "I don't think you can say who is favourite and who is not," he said. "We know what we have to do. We know how we are playing coming into this. This is a big game for us right now. We want to go out and get the win, obviously it's the only result that you want from this ... we know what we can do and we know on our day we can beat anyone."



The past three months have been the stuff of fairytales for Perth Glory, and they're determined to make sure their Cinderella story finishes with an A-League grand final appearance. Glory appeared dead and buried in mid-January when they languished near the foot of the table with just three wins to their name.

But the addition of star trio Andy Keogh, Shane Lowry and Krisztian Vadocz during the transfer window helped revive their finals' hopes. Ten wins from their past 12 games allowed Glory to secure fifth spot, and they'll be hoping their golden run continues in Sunday's elimination final at Melbourne City.

For Glory to reach the season finale they'll need to win consecutive finals away from home. Defender Shane Lowry is confident that can be achieved. "I can't see why we can't do that," said Lowry. "We've won ten of our last twelve games. We're one of the form teams. That speaks volumes, and we can take confidence from that."

Glory will be boosted by the return of star import Diego Castro and Chris Harold for Sunday's must-win affair. The duo missed last week's loss at Sydney FC, but will play on Sunday barring any further setbacks. Melbourne enters the finals on the back of consecutive losses and minus suspended playmaker Harry Novillo.



Western Sydney Wanderers defender Scott Neville insists he will be fine to play in next week's semi-final despite being forced from the field last weekend with an eye injury. Neville was struck in the eye late in the first half against Wellington Phoenix by a stray ball that burst a blood vessel, temporarily impacting his vision.

Rather than risking his defender for the second half, coach Tony Popovic hauled Neville off and sent Brendan Hamill on to complete the match. But Neville says he will be fine to front up next weekend. "It was a bit of a funny one to be honest – it was just before half-time and I've copped a ball straight into my right eye," he said.

"It just popped a blood vessel, swelled up and I couldn't see anything out of it. The doctor over there suggested it wouldn't be a good idea to keep going and to rest for at least three days. It was a little bit worrying at the time, but it's back to normal now and I'm definitely ready to play next week."

While first-placed Adelaide United know they can't face Brisbane Roar in their final at the Adelaide Oval, Western Sydney could play any of the four teams in action this weekend. Not that Neville or his teammates are too worried about who they might come up against, insisting home ground advantage counts for much more.

"We're really not too concerned about who we come up against," he said. "We can't control it, we can only beat who we're up against. But playing at Pirtek Stadium is a massive advantage. I should know, because I came here plenty of times with other clubs and know what an impact playing there has, both on the Wanderers and the opposition."

While it's a week off for Western Sydney on paper, the reality is starkly different. "It's preferable to have that break, because after 27 games, as a group, you've not losing anything in match fitness," Neville said. "It's a chance to do a full recovery (but) by the weekend I think we'll be having some very intense sessions."

Western Sydney will draw plenty of confidence from the weekend win at Wellington Phoenix, one that not only secured a top-two berth but acted to give the side a timely shot of belief. "While we were disappointed not to be playing for the Premiers Plate, a home final in Parramatta is a huge thing for us," Neville said. "It's no easy feat to go over to Wellington and get the points."

Western Sydney’s form tallied over towards the end of the regular season before picking up wins over the bottom two sides – Central Coast Mariners and Wellington Phoenix in the final two rounds. Neville doesn't feel his teams form dip is anything to worry about heading into the A-League finals.

"I actually think we've been really consistent with the way we've been playing all season," he said. "We haven't moved away from the style we started with. It's probably just a case of taking our chances in front of goal. Hopefully we've shown in the past fortnight that we're solved that issue."



Perth Glory’s Spanish striker Diego Castro has won the Fox Sports Alex Tobin Award as their A-League player of the season. After each game the commenters vote (3,2,1) for the best players and Castro, who has been outstanding this season, came out on top.

The little maestro has also won the PFA Player of the Month twice, the latest for March. “To win the award once s an honour, to have won it twice in one season is unbelievable,” Castro said. “I’m extremely thankful to all the players that voted for me. As all players know the recognition of you fellow professionals means so much. I would also like to thank my teammates and everyone at the club for their support and I’m determined to enjoy more success in coming weeks.”

Castro, who is also has a goal of the year contender, for his sweet volley against Melbourne City, and Brisbane Roar and Socceroo Matt McKay who is President of the PFA, showered the Spaniard with praise for his performances thus far. “Diego has consistently been amongst the leagues’s best, and for March this was no different,” he said. “His goals and all-round play have been huge contributors to what has been truly remarkable A-League season.”



The Socceroos’ road to Russia will be a tough one, after they were drawn in a challenging group including long-time rivals Japan for the final round of World Cup qualifying. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iraq and Thailand also lie in wait for Ange Postecoglou’s side, after they were placed in the more awkward of two groups drawn in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday night. The Socceroos have to finish in the top two of their group to earn a place at the 2018 World Cup, or face a double play-off if they come third, and face several logistical challenges thanks to the program of fixtures.

Though Japan will be the headline opponent, after Australia’s epic clashes with them in the past decade, the rest of the group throws up some fascinating challenges. Saudi Arabia won their group in the previous round, driven by the goals of Mohammed Al Sahlawi, the leading scorer across the eight groups, while the UAE got to the semifinal of the Asian Cup last year before losing to Australia.

Iraq has a core of youthful talent, including several players based in Europe, and the evergreen talent of striker Younis Mahmoud, while Thailand surprised many by topping Group F and offering convincing evidence to be the strongest side in South-East Asia. “It’s good to know the draw so we have a clear picture of what is in front of us from a football and logistics perspective to qualify for the World Cup,” Postecoglou said.

“Over the last two years we have built up a very strong portfolio of information on most Asian nations and its players by having scouts at matches and tournaments all over Asia so the players go into every match well prepared. That information will be sharpened and expanded now we know that we face Japan, Iraq, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Thailand. “As champions of Asia we will show due respect to all countries but focussed on continuing our journey that has aspirations greater than simply qualifying for the World Cup.”

The Socceroos will kick off the group with a home clash against Iraq on September 1, before hot-footing it to the UAE for an away game five days later where the temperatures could be in the mid-30Cs. In October Australia will have the reverse situation, a game in the heat of Saudi Arabia followed five days later by their home fixture with Japan. On November 15, an away clash with Thailand beckons, while in March next year there will be a double-header with Iraq (away) and the UAE (home).

The final three games in the group will be single-date fixtures, at home to Saudi Arabia on June 13, away to Japan on August 31 and finally at home to Thailand on September 5. Now begins a rapid planning programme, with team officials looking to scout and book hotels, training facilities and flights for the team’s away games, while discussions will also begin with state governments about hosting the home fixtures.

Socceroos World Cup qualifier Fixtures: Sep 1: v Iraq (home), Sept 6: v UAE (away), Oct 6: v Saudi Arabia (away), Oct 11: v Japan (home), Nov 15: v Thailand (away), Mar 23, 2017: v Iraq (away), Mar 28: v UAE (home) ,Jun 8: v Saudi Arabia (home), Aug 31: v Japan (away), Sept 5: v Thailand (home)



Perth Glory hopes of a Hyundai A-League home final was quashed after they were humbled 4-0 by Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday afternoon. With results elsewhere going their way over the weekend all they needed was a win against the out of form Sky Blues to host the elimination Final on Sunday at nib Stadium, but they were never in the game. The score line could have been worse if it wasn’t for man of the match Ante Covic, the Glory custodian making five important saves to keep the score respectable. "You get what you deserve, and (we) didn't deserve anything,” Kenny Lowe said. “The first 30 (minutes) we just didn't come out of the box for whatever reason but they (Sydney) were really focused and were up for it. Those two goals we conceded gives them more impetus. It's the last game so you've just got to go for it. It doesn't matter where it goes, you can get done 10-0 it doesn't matter. You've got to chase it. Sometimes you've just got to take your hat off to the other team. The thing was I don't think we were at the races and we needed to be.”

Sydney were on top from the first whistle and Covic produced a good low save to save Matt Simon’s curling effort. The Glory had an opportunity of their own on the quarter hour, Nebojsa Marinkovic’s corner was flicked on by Andy Keogh, but Alex Grants header was straight at Sydney keeper Vedran Janjetovic. But on 31 minutes the home side deservedly hit he front. Filip Holosko was tackled in the box, but Shane Lowry’s attempted clearance pin balled off Carney and Grant before landing back at the feet of Carney who slide it in under Covic.

It was all Sydney and they doubled their lead five minutes later. Holosko picked up possession about 25 meters from goal and drove straight at the heart of the defence, bursting between Lowry and Grant into the box, and making no mistake with a smart finish from about six meters. Covic was at it again after half time saving superbly to deny George Blackwood, before producing an even better one to deny Carney a second.

Sydney were reduced to ten men when Holosko was given a second yellow card on 78 minutes, but that didn’t stop Sydney from going on with it. With the Glory chasing the game, Sydney hit on the counter with Ali Abbas overlapping down the left before cutting inside Dino Djulbic and drilling a powerful shot in the bottom corner. Then in stoppage time it was four. Another Sydney counter this time Andrew Hoole breaking free on the right and squaring the ball to Milos Ninkovic for a simple tap-in.



Stirling Lions put last week’s loss to Perth behind them with a demolition job on Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park on Sunday afternoon. The Lions ran out 7-2 winners with David Micevski and Teeboy Kamara both bagging braces, with David Murphy, Daniel Micevski and Brodie Martin also on the scoresheet, while Kenel Mouithys and Angel Andres scored for Cockburn. “We had a tough game against Bayswater [in Round Two], and I thought we were a bit flat against Perth last week, so we just upped the intensity in training and focused a bit more on the attacking third,” Lions coach Rob Milevski said. “I thought we caused them a lot of trouble out wide today, and Teeboy and Dave combined really well…I thought we were great going forward, and really good in the middle of the park.”

The visitors were ahead after only seven minutes, when Daniel Micevski pounced on a poor clearance and fired low past Luke Radonich. It was 2-0 moments later, Radonich’s punch from a corner only went to David Murphy, who rifled home from the edge of the box. Cockburn hit back and Andres went close before, John Perkins produced a stunning save to deny former Ashfield teammate Reuben Tristao. That save became more important as Stirling went up the pitch and added a third. Daniel Micevski playing in Kamara, who raced clear and finished low past Radonich. The home reduced the margin when Moutithys stunning shot gave Perkins no chance. But Stirling regained their three goal lead just before the break, with David Micevski getting in on the act.

Stirling turned the screw with a fifth early in the second half. Good lead up play from Daniel Micevski and Robert Petkov ended with Kamara scoring his second. Things went from bad to worse for the home side when skipper Euen Grant was sent off after bringing Kamara down in the box, and David Micevski converted the spot kick. Stirling skipper Brodie Martin added his side’s seventh after a Cockburn defensive lapse eight minutes from time, before Andres grabbed a consolation goal for the hosts with a minute left.



Inglewood United continued their outstanding start to the new season with a 2-0 win against last season’s Champions Bayswater City at the Finance 365 Stadium. English striker Brian Woodall opened the scoring in the first half, before skipper David Cyrus added the second, the loss for Bayswater was their first in the league since Round 19 in 2014. “Today’s game was probably our toughest game so far this season, due to there playing abilities and mental toughness of not giving up,” defender Adam Tong said. “As a team we worked hard and I felt we got what we deserved. Bayswater didn’t have too many clear cut chances so it showed as a unit we were solid and that was started from the front to back. It’s a long season ahead so we are happy to get the points against the champions and we move forward to Cockburn next week.”

Both sides went into the game with 100% record in the league and it was the home side that opened brightly, but they couldn’t turn their possession into clear cut chances. Inglewood settled and began to get on top and they hit the front on 21 minutes. Woodall found space on the edge of the penalty area, and fired low past Fraser Greenwood for his fourth goal of the season. The home side hit back and Todd Howarth’s free kick flashed inches wide, before David Heagney’s effort from Howarth’s corner hit the side netting.

It was only six minutes into the second half when Inglewood doubled their advantage. A long throw from Tong found Cyrus, whose looping header drifted over Greenwood and into the net. A shell-shocked Bayswater pressed trying to get back in the game, and Jason Mirco long-range shot whistled inches past the post, while Inglewood keeper Alex Dunn produced a stunning save to thwart Howarth. It was one-way traffic and Heagney headed just wide late, but they couldn’t find a way through. Stirling turned the screw with a fifth early in the second half. Good lead up play from Daniel Micevski and Robert Petkov ended with Kamara scoring his second. Things went from bad to worse for the home side when skipper Euen Grant was sent off after bringing Kamara down in the box, and David Micevski converted the spot kick. Stirling skipper Brodie Martin added his side’s seventh after a Cockburn defensive lapse eight minutes from time, before Andres grabbed a consolation goal for the hosts with a minute left.



Perth Soccer Club maintained their 100% start to the PS4 National Premier League WA season with a come-from-behind 2-1 win against ECU Joondalup at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Gordon Smith gave the home side the lead at half time but goals from Gustavo Catercione and debutant Dino Topcagic gave Perth the points. “It wasn’t our best performance today, and we had to grind out the three points today,” Topcagic said. “I was happy to pop with the winner, but when you have the quality in your side like we do chances are always going to come it’s just a matter of taking them, and luckily I did today.”

The home side dominated early and they were ahead on eight minutes. Steven McGarry played a great through-ball which sent Smith racing clear of his marker, rounded Francis Soale and fired home, his third goal in as many matches for the club. It was one-way traffic and moments later Joseph Jones’ header was cleared off the line. The home then lost keeper David Keenan with a knee injury, and Perth started to get back in the game, and replacement keeper Scott Wallis had to be alert to save Topcagic shot. Then Tommy Amphlett went through on goal but Soale was out quick to save.

Perth keeper Soale was in the action after half time, pushing Henry Durr’s shot around the post, but on the hour the visitors levelled. Defender Ryan Lowry slipped to let Catarcione in, and the striker drew the keeper before calmly slotting the ball home. Perth hit the front on 68 minutes, a quick counter attack down the right ended with the ball cut back to Topcagic, and the youngster made no mistake, firing low into the corner of the net. Both sides had late chances, Jordan De Leo’s shot crashed off the post, while Smith hit the crossbar for Joondalup, and McGarry’s shot was tipped onto the crossbar by Soale, to give Perth the win.



Floreat Athena has won back-to-back games PS4 NPLWA games after a 5-0 thrashing of Subiaco AFC at the E&D Litis Stadium. Skipper Ludovic Boi opened the scoring early, before Phil Arnold and Andrew Scaldaferro made it three the break. Boi added a second after half time, before Bobby Wilson added the fifth on the hour. “It was a great team performance from the boys, five goals and a clean sheet, we couldn’t ask for any more from the group,” keeper Jason Saldaris said. “The most pleasing was all goals but one was from open play which shows that the playing group are starting to gel.”

Floreat, who won for the first time at Armadale last week, hit the front on 10 minutes. Lewis McMahon holding the ball up, and slipping it through to Boi, who ran straight clear and finished low past Ryan Montgomery. It was the last involvement for McMahon, who was replaced by Scaldaferro four minutes later. The striker was straight into the action when he made it 2-0 on the half hour, converting a cross at the back post. It was 3-0 eight minutes later, Arnold this time racing clear one-on-one with Montgomery, and the striker finished clinically.

Subiaco were struggling to hold a rampant Floreat side, and it was no surprise when they added a fourth ten minutes into the second half, Blair Govan sent Arnold clear, he cut the ball back to Boi who made no mistake. It was five on 56 minutes, Declan Hargreaves deep cross picked out Wilson at the back post and the unmarked defender headed home. It went from bad to worse for Subiaco, with striker Ian McMurray was showed a second yellow card by referee Josh Manella, and was sent off.



A ten man Perth Glory have been beaten 1-0 by Sorrento at the Ashfield Arena on Saturday. Glory defender Scott Robertson was sent off on 86 minutes, and a penalty in stoppage time from Sorrento’s Ryan Pearson sealed the win. “It obviously helps when they go down to 10 men but then they sat back behind the ball a little bit more and made it difficult for us,” Harnwell told the NPLWA website. “However, we know this is a part of the game, but it was a bad tackle and we took advantage of it. We probably just lacked a little bit of quality in the final third but we kept pushing and I thought we got what we deserved in the end.”

It was a tight opening with chances few and far between. Sorrento had the first real opportunity on the half hour, Sean Canham scuffing his shot from close-range, with the goal at his mercy. The home side went close themselves six minutes later. Joe Knowles made space outside the penalty area, and cut inside his marker, but his shot was saved low by Sorrento keeper James Morgan. Canham was a real handfull, and he went close to putting Sorrento ahead before the break. The big striker got on the end of a low cross and his diving header crashed off the crossbar and the Glory defence scrambled the rebound away to safety.

The home started brightly after half time, and went close to the opener early. Hayden Stevens’ cross picked out Stynes, whose shot drifted just wide of the target. Both sides pressed looking for the winner and ten minutes from time the Glory had the perfect opportunity. Knowles got in behind and went one-on-one with James Morgan, but a poor touch from the striker let him down and the Sorrento custodian was able to save at his feet. The Glory were reduced to ten men on 86 minutes, when Robertson was given a straight red card by Adam Fielding for high tackle on Alex Morgan. It looked the ten men had held on for a point, but in the 92nd minute Pearson fell under a challenge from Sean Troup, and Fielding pointed straight to the spot. Pearson picked himself up to score from the resulting penalty to win for Sorrento.



Armadale opened their account for the season with a 3-1 win against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. Caleb Dixon gave the visitors the lead, before an Alex Salmon double put them in control. Zelphy Nazary pulled one back for the home side, but it was too little too late. “It was nice to get off the mark for the season with three points, and I thought we deserved the win,” Salmon said. “Hopefully we can now kick on with it after a poor start to the season, starting with our home game against Perth Glory next week.’

After a good night series Paul Price’s side have struggled early in the season, but they were out of the blocks early in this one and were ahead six minutes. Ellis Healing free kick was only headed away to the edge of the penalty area, and Dixon caught it sweetly on the half volley and it flew past Clint Davies into the corner of the net. The goal lifted the Reds and they doubled their advantage on the quarter hour. Salmon found space on the edge of the box, held off his marker before finishing clinically. Balcatta pressed late but they couldn’t find a break through.

The home side needed a good start to the second half, but it was Armadale who added a third on 55 minutes. Healing, who was causing problems down the flank all game, saw his shot deflect off a defender, and Salmon swooped at the back post to volley home. Balcatta were back in the game six minutes later, when referee Nico Hoyle spotted an infringement in the penalty area, and Nazary fired past Alfie Brincat from the resulting spot kick. The home side pushed late but couldn’t find a way past a well organised Armadale defence.



Mandurah City began the defence of their title with a hard fought 4-2 win against UWA-Nedlands at UWA Sports Park. The Dolphins looked totally in control and raced to a 3-0 lead at the break. Jon Brookes scored the opener with a stunning free kick, Jordan Rhodes made it two from the penalty spot, before Ollie McGee headed home the third. But after half time the home side hit back with a brace to Alex Kretowicz. But Rhodes made the points save heading home after a great team move. “It’s always good starting with 3 points away from home against a very resilient young UWA team,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “We were very good in the first half, moving the ball all over and creating chances at will and went in 3-0 up. But fair play to them they hit back and scored a couple but we steadied and went on with it, which was pleasing.”

Joondalup United started the season well with a 3-0 win on the road against Shamrock Rovers. United opened the scoring on the half hour, Rovers’ keeper Justin Scarvaci could only parry a low shot from the edge of the box, and Aaron Maplestone’s half volley flew into the net via the post. It was 2-0 moments later, Guy McDonald’s free kick piked out Maplestone at the back post and the skipper fired home his second from close-range. Rovers hit back and went close just before half time, but James Bosdet produced a good save. The sealer came midway through the second half, new signing Josh Booysen’s long-range shot flew into the top corner of the net. “It was a very solid win and good performance from front to back,” United keeper James Bosdet said. “From the first whistle we were on top and always looked dangerous on the attack it was a real professional performance.”

In other games Dianella White Eagles were denied the win when Gosnells City scored late to draw 2-2 at Dianella Reserve. Joshua Tumoe gave the home side the lead after only five minutes, but Scott Pereira levelled on the half hour, heading home Jacob Aquino’s free kick. Nicola Gazzola regained the lead for the home side with 20 minutes remaining and it looked like that would be the winner, but with the last kick of the game Aaron Coslanis long-range shot earned Gosnells a point. Western Knights and Ashfield shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw at Nash Field. Paul Lloyd opening the scoring for the home side, side footing home Ryan Shackleton pass. But Ashfield equalised just before half time, Jay Lang scoring from the penalty spot after a hand ball in the box. Jamie Burns then put Ashfield ahead, firing home on the turn. But the Knights earnt a point when Jeffrey Judge chipped a ball to the back post and Adriano Jelenovic headed home. Newly promoted Rockingham City began their season with a good 1-0 win against South West Phoenix at Hay Park. The only goal of the game came mid-way through the first half, with Ryan Kennedy converting from the penalty spot after Alex Grayson had been brought down. “We’re delighted to get a win away from home first up, the effort the lads put in was outstanding,” Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said. “I felt we deserved the win even if it was a bit nervy at the end.”

In the final game on Saturday evening Canning City produced a stunning come-back to beat Forrestfield United 4-3 at Hartfield Park. It looked like the home side would run away with the game leading 3-0 at half time with Mark Barnett, Andy Harold and Liam Merrigan on target. But Canning had other ideas, Callum Roberts fired home the rebound after his penalty was saved by Luke Martino, and Roberts added a second before Nathan Hubbard levelled with a curling shot from the edge of the box. The winner came from Roberts, heading home to seal his hat-trick and the points. “We conceded three sloppy goals in the first half, two from set pieces which was disappointing,” Canning Coach Paul Oliver said. “We needed a shakeup at half time and got the reaction we were after. There is a lot to work on at training but the fight and belief is there amongst the players and we hope to improve every week and build on tonight’s result.”



Fremantle City opened their season with a 5-2 win against Swan United at Hilton Reserve. Swan, who were relegated last season, started well but couldn’t turn their pressure into goals, but Fremantle showed them how to do it, with Liam Fariss’ volley flying into the top corner of the net. Alec Robinson showed his strength in holding off the Swan defenders to get two quick goals, to put Fremantle in control, but John Monterosso pulled one back for Swan just before half time. Robinson again showed great composure in the box to score his third, before Danny Clapham pounced on a wayward pass and raced in to score the fifth. Swan scored a late consolation goal through Jordan Rossetto. “It was a great start to the season coming away with the points against a good Swan United side,” Ty Fenwick said. “We will take a lot of confidence from it and will look to continually improve week on week.” Swan Coach Matt Debarro was full of praise for Fremantle. “Credit to Fremantle who scored five goals off five chances, we needed to be just as clinical. I'm sure both party's feel 5-2 was not a reflection of the game, but football is a game of chances and they took theirs,” he said. “Well done to Steve and the boys and in particular the two lads up front who were simply brilliant in front of goal, they are by far the team to beat.”

Kingsway Olympic also bagged five as they beat Morley Windmills 5-3 at Kingsway Reserve. The visitors were ahead early, with Kyle King finishing past Joe Smith and they led at the break. But Kingsway levelled early in the second half when Brett Cutting got on the end of El Hassen’s cross. Mark Donnelly gave the home side the lead before Mark McAllister made it 3-1. Morley pulled one back from the spot, before El Hassen made it 4-2. Morley scored late to make it interesting, but an injury time goal from Craig Hollingsworth gave Kingsway the win. Balga went one better, beating Quinns FC 6-3. Hubert Hakizimana gave the home side the lead after only six minutes, but Quinns hit back four minutes later. Quinns hit the front before Anton De Francesch levelled, but Quinns scored again to go in at the break ahead. The home side were levelled on the hour, Kyall Osborne firing home into to the top corner of the net. Quick goals to Daniel Nalat and a second to Hakizimana put Balga in control and an own goal late gave the home side a big first up victory.

In other games Melville City beat Ellenbrook United 3-0 at Arbor Grove Reserve, with Christian Long scoring a brace with another to Louie Granich. City finished with only eight players on the pitch with one sent off and two carried off, after all their subs had been made. Daniel Young scored the only goal as Curtin University beat Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. Eddie Tikoft was a stand out for Curtin, as well as Young and Dominik Jakszuk, while young keeper Jack Kenny kept his first clean sheet for the first team. Joondalup City and Wanneroo City fought out a six goal thriller in a 3-3 draw. James Stewart scored to give the home side a 1-0 lead, and Sam Phillips doubled their lead. Tom Balnaves pulled one back, but Stewart scored again to make it 3-1. But Wanneroo hit back and Balnaves scored his second before a last minute penalty from Liam Wales salvaged a draw for the visitors.



The State League season kicks off this weekend in what should be another exciting year. Reigning State League champions Mandurah City are strong favourites to make it two championships in a row, and likely promotion to the NPL-WA. Ashfield, Joondalup United and newcomers Forrestfield United are likely to be the main challengers to Mandurah's title ambitions.

Fremantle City in Division Two will be one of the favourites for promotion this season, however the likes of Balga, Joondalup City and Morley-Windmills will be ready to pounce if Fremantle slip up. For the first time in five years there will be relegation from the State League, with Ellenbrook United, Kelmscott Roos and Quinns FC the early favourites for the dreaded drop into the Amateur competition. This week the team takes a look at the twelve clubs, and are joined by former Stirling Lions president Don Evans and Eamon Duffy, host of "Let's talk Football", in offering their thoughts on how season 2016 will pan out...



It’s a huge round in the PS4 National Premier League with the top four sides meeting in Week 4. The Match of the Round takes us to the Finance 365 Stadium where second placed Inglewood United take on last season’s Champions and third placed Bayswater City. Both sides are unbeaten going into the game and Inglewood skipper David Cyrus said it’s a huge challenge but one, they are looking forward too. “We take on Bayswater this weekend, which is just another game for us. We have to go out and focus on our own game, making sure we come out with the 3 points at the end,” he explained. “We have a fully fit squad who are all just as eager as each other to make the starting 11 and perform week in week out.” Cyrus said the new look side have gelled well under new coach Taki Nicolaidis and he only thinks they will get better. “We couldn’t ask for a better start to the season. The lad’s and coaching staffs focus, commitment and attitude during pre-season, night series and now bringing it into the league has been spot on. Our performances are now reflecting the hard yards we put into the build-up to the season,” he said. “We have a long season ahead not forgetting the FFA Cup, but the one important thing is to make sure we keep both feet firmly on the ground and take each game as it comes.” Inglewood head into the game a full strength

City coach Chris Coyne wasn’t happy with his side last week, and midfielder Todd Howarth said they are yet to hit their straps, but they are still unbeaten. “Yes Coyney was not a happy bloke at half time last week, he doesn't often lose his cool but he really spat the dummy this time,” he explained. “Fair play though, we've been pretty rubbish, but we're still grinding out results though which is important, but we know we'll have to get a lot better if we want any kind of success this season. “ Howarth said Saturday game against Inglewood will be tight and they will come up against some former team mates, and he said it’s time for the Baysie players to fire. “It should be a good test, it’s still early in the season but Inglewood are looking strong,” he said. “Hopefully we can play better than last week. We'll have to if Jukes wants to show his face at the bar afterwards.” In team news Nathan Costello and Brian Farrell are still a couple of weeks away, but unfortunately Jack Allen is out for the season.

Top of the table Perth SC head north to take on fourth placed ECU Joondalup at the ECU Football Stadium. The keepers from both clubs have been in good form this season, and new Joondalup custodian Dave Keenan said last week’s big win against Subiaco was well deserved. “I thought it was a great all round team performance from the lads, the coach told us he wanted to see a reaction after our FFA cup exit and we really bounced back well,” he explained. “The back four has been a lot more solid in recent weeks and Andy Higgins has brought balance to the team having a natural left footer at left back.” Keenan, who joined the club from Mandurah City this season, said Saturday’s game will show how far they have come, after an indifferent night series. “We’re all looking forward to the challenge of Perth SC who have started the season well,” he said. “It will be nice to take the three points, especially after the defeat to them in the night series, and all the lads will be up for it and hoping to make it three wins on the bounce.” ECU will be at full strength for the game.

Perth custodian Francis Soale has only let one goal in this season, but he said the team is keeping its feet firmly on the ground. “I think it's important to try and not getting too ahead of ourselves yet, it's only three games but the signs so far have been positive,” he explained. “We're just trying to build each week and keeping work hard which we have been, I think there'll a lot of upside to this group as the year goes on.” Soale said Joondalup have signed a few new players in the off-season and is expecting a tough encounter. “They're never easy to play up there and like a lot of the teams they've strengthened well over the off season with more to play for, including one of our former guys Harley Orr which'll be funny to come up against him,” he said. “I think the night series win we had over them is irrelevant we just need to keep working as hard as we have been, and I believe we should hopefully be able to get result but we're taking nothing for granted.” Tom King is available for Perth, but Reece Vittiglia and Andreas Theodosiades look likely to miss again.

Sorrento is the only other unbeaten side in the competition and they travel to Ashfield Reserve to take on Perth Glory. Defender Steve McDonald said last week draw was probably one point gained after playing 30 minutes with ten men. “Last week was a good point in the end, but we were still disappointed that we never won it,” he said. “We had plenty of chances in the first half, and even when we went down to ten men we still had chances to win the game.” McDonald said they will need to be on their game on Saturday, with the Glory youngsters impressing this season. “They (Glory) have really improved, which is excellent for not only their development but also for the league,” he explained. You want quality opposition week in week out and they certainly have some good talented young players that will no doubt keep us on our toes. We look forward to an exciting game.” Shaun Kilkelly limped off last week but should be available, but Niccolo Sabatini will miss due to suspension. Glory retain the services of skipper Calvin Whitney from suspension and he said they are looking for a repeat of the last time the sides met, when they run out 1-0 winners. “The young lads who have come in over the past two weeks have done well, but we do need to be a bit more clinical in front of goal and finish our chances,” he said. “They are a very physical team so we have to play our football and get the result we need. A win is a must this weekend.”

Armadale make the trip to Grindleford Reserve to take on Balcatta, and both are still looking for their first wins of the season. Armadale’s English striker Ellis Healing said they hope to kick start their season with a win on Saturday. “It’s been a very disappointing start to the season, especially after how we performed as a team in the night series,” he said. “I think we deserved at least a point against Floreat at the weekend but unfortunately the referee had a huge impact on the game which made it difficult for us from the first minute.” Armadale won at Balcatta last season and Healing is hoping it’s a good omen. “I hear we won there last season, so we head there again knowing that we our capable of getting three points,” he said. “We showed in the night series that we can be a threat to the very top teams in the league, hopefully we can hit form and get the ball rolling starting this Saturday.” In other games Floreat Athena host Subiaco AFC at E&D Litis Stadium. The visitors are coming off a 2-5 thrashing at Joondalup last week, while Floreat opened their account with a good win at Armadale. “I think we went out with good intentions on Saturday, stuck to our game plan. It’s never easy going down to Armadale, we knew it would be a battle, but we got the result,” Floreat’s Aaron Delaney said. “We can take a lot away from the game. The season started on Saturday for us we have big plans for this season so I look forward to where we go from here.” The final game is at Dalmatinac Park on Sunday afternoon, when Cockburn City take on Stirling Lions (5.00pm). Both sides lost last week and will both want to bounce back this week.



The new All Flags State League Division One season begins this weekend, and newly promoted Forrestfield United open their campaign with a Saturday evening clash with Canning City at Hartfield Park (7pm). Forrestfield skipper Trent Wood said the players can’t wait for the season opener. “The squad is buzzing for this week’s opening game against Canning. We have been fine tuning certain areas of our game at training and are full of confidence going into the game we can get the win,” he said. “We will by no means underestimate Canning as they have quality in their side that can do damage. We expect a massive crowd for the opening game on Saturday night and have no doubt they will enjoy the football on display.” Canning Coach Paul Oliver said it’s a tough first up game for his side. “I don't think our opening fixture could be any tougher. A side that is fresh from winning the Division two title last season and narrowly lost the Night Series in the final will no doubt prove our biggest test of 2016 so far,” he said. “Forrestfield have built a strong squad over the last couple of years and a squad that is capable of doing very well in this league. Being a Saturday night fixture I'm sure there will be a decent crowd there and a healthy atmosphere. We have prepared well for the game and are looking forward to the challenge. We will be looking to carry on the momentum of our solid pre-season form. We haven't lost a game in two months including getting into the last 16 of the cup so morale is high and we aim to carry that on this Saturday.”

Gosnells open their season with a trip to Dianella Reserve to take on Dianella White Eagles. City midfielder Caleb Aquino said it’s always a tough game against the Eagles and he expecting the same on Saturday. “It’s always a difficult place to play at and coming off a great victory for them against ECU Joondalup in the FFA cup they will be up for it and it should be tough, but a challenge we are definitely up for,” he said. “Pre-season has gone well bring in some good depth and managing to keep all our starting 11 from last year and we hope it will be an improved season for us.” In another big clash Ashfield head to Nash Field to meet Western Knights, and former Knights player Ross Diamond said it will be a tough opening game. “I’m looking forward to heading back to my old club, Nash Field is a difficult place to get a result so the boys will have to turn up with the right mentality and work hard to get the 3 points,” he said. “I know the boys were disappointed to not progress in the Night Series but that’s behind us now. The boost of Paul Dundo staying on as coach has given us a lift and the boys have bounced back with two good wins against Joondalup and Gwelup in the FFA cup. It looks to be a 3 horse race this season between Mandurah, Joondalup and Forrestfield, and with a new squad at Ashfield we are just looking to work hard and consolidate.”

In other games this weekend South West Phoenix host Rockingham City at Hay Park, and Shamrock Rovers and Joondalup United meet at Harold Rossiter Reserve. Champions Mandurah City open their season with a trip to UWA-Nedlands. Coach Doug Hesketh said it’s great to back. “We’re looking forward to another campaign. I think the league is the best over 12 clubs in the state and stronger again this year with the reduction of NPL visa players and older experienced players coming on board,” he said. “They all have gone somewhere and I think if you under estimate any team in this league you would be a fool.” Hesketh is expecting a tough trip to UWA. “We are ready to give it a go, they were decent last year so it will be a test for sure. I think we’ve come a long way especially of the field with juniors NPL. We are staying focused and will give it our best shot and try to play good football.”



It may only be the first week of the All Flags State League Division Two, but two of the sides who are expected to do well this season meet when Fremantle City host Swan United at Hilton Reserve. Fremantle have recruited well and Coach Steve Plunkett said it’s a tough start to the season. “We know that it's going to be a tough first game against Swan who will be aiming to bounce straight back up to Division one,” he said. “The challenge is there straight away and we know how important it is to pick up points early in the season. I'm sure Matt will have prepared his side well for the game so we will have to be at our best to take anything from it.” Swan’s new Coach Matt Debarro said it will be a good test for his new look side. “All I can really say is that it's going to be match of the round for sure. They are a very good side and very well coached we look forward to the challenge and I’m expecting goals from both sides should be a cracking game,” he said. “We have some key players back, and we are really looking strong and fingers crossed we go out and play our best football for two half’s, as anything less won't cut it against Fremantle.”

In other games Curtin University head to Frye Park to take on Kelmscott Roos. Curtin coach Campbell Ballantyne said they have prepared well, but doesn’t know a great deal about the Roos. “We head into the game full of confidence, although we don’t know about their new side, other than reading the Night Series results,” he said. “We are happy with our pre-season, our last game went to extra time in FFA cup and we were clearly the fitter team. We are looking forward to Saturday and have no doubts that the Roos will be looking to start afresh after a tough 2015.” The other games on Saturday are Ellenbrook United and Melville City at Arbor Grove Reserve, Joondalup City host Wanneroo City at Iluka Sports Complex, Olympic Kingsway and Morley Windmills meet at Kingsway Reserve, while Balga and Quinns meet at Princess Road Reserve.



Perth Glory goes into the final league game of the season against Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday, already assured of a finals spot, but with a win and results elsewhere go their way they can finish as high as third and earn a home final. The league has been so tight this season, but after an indifferent start Kenny Lowe’s side are the form team of the competition and head into this game with ten wins in their last 11.

Defender Josh Risdon says the title outsiders should not be concerned by other results this weekend, and given their clash against Sydney FC is the last match of the regular season on Sunday night, the Glory will know exactly where they stand and what they have to do before they take their field. To secure a home final, they need Wellington to beat Western Sydney Wanderers, or hope Melbourne City lose or draw against Adelaide, and then the Glory need to get all three points against the Sky Blues.

Risdon said it was important for Glory to get the win against Sydney. "If we win on Sunday, that will give us a confidence boost if we have to head away in the first week of the finals," Risdon said. "We want to keep this great run going. "We'll have a look at the games before us. But we'll just solely focus on the game on Sunday, no matter what the results are beforehand."

Brisbane, Adelaide, and Western Sydney are the bookies favourites to win this season's title, but the Socceroos defender is confident Glory has what it takes to pip the trio, especially with Andy Keogh, who is on an eight-match scoring run, and Spanish import Diego Castro in scintillating form. "We've definitely got the team to do it," Risdon said. "Anything can happen in the finals. It's a one-off game, so you've got to be at your best on the day."

Sydney on the other hand have dropped down the table and have missed out on a finals spot, and haven’t won in the league since January 16th when they beat their neighbours Western Sydney Wanderers. Their form in the Asian Champions league has been good, and Coach Graham Arnold will be looking for that kind of form against the Glory on Sunday.

Sydney striker Matt Simon admitted it had been a frustrating season and he could not pinpoint why the Sky Blues had so far done well in Asia and not in the domestic competition. "I don't know what it is,'' he said. ”We just go out with a game plan each week, and the boys are up for every game. We're pretty sore losers, so we want to finish on a good note and put in a good performance against Perth on Sunday (in the final round of the A-League)."

The 30-year-old marksman is off contract at the end of this season, but wants to re-sign with the Sky Blues. "I've really enjoyed my time in Sydney this year, and I'm just concentrating on the end of the Champions League and Perth on Sunday," Simon said. "We'll see what happens from there."

Sydney FC squad: GK Vedran JANJETOVIC, GK Ivan NECEVSKI, 2 Seb RYALL, 5 Matt JURMAN, 6 Robert STAMBOLZIEV, 7 Andrew HOOLE, 8 Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9 Shane SMELTZ, 10 Milos NINKOVIC, 13 Brandon O’NEILL, 17 David CARNEY, 18 Matt SIMON, 19 Jacques FATY, 21 Filip HOLOSKO, 22 Ali ABBAS, 23 Rhyan GRANT, 24 George BLACKWOOD, 27 Mickael TAVARES - **two to be omitted**

Ins: RYALL (return from injury), JURMAN (return from injury), CARNEY (return from illness), SIMON (promoted), GRANT (return from injury), BLACKWOOD (promoted), TAVARES (promoted) - Outs: 4.Zac ANDERSON, 11.Christopher NAUMOFF, 16.Riley WOODCOCK, 25.Aaron CALVER, 29.Alex MULLEN (not selected)

Perth Glory squad: GK Ante COVIC, GK Jerrad TYSON, 2 Alex GRANT, 3 Marc WARREN, 4 Shane LOWRY, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 7 Gyorgy SANDOR, 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11 Richard GARCIA, 14 Chris HAROLD, 17 Diego CASTRO, 18 Mitch OXBORROW, 19 Josh RISDON, 21 Kosta PETRATOS, 23 Krisztian VADOCZ, 24 Jamal REINERS, 29 Aryn WILLIAMS - **two to be omitted** Ins: DJULBIC (returns from suspension), PETRATOS (promoted) - Outs: Nil



This weekend's National Premier Leagues clash with Bayswater City will give defender Adam Tong and his teammates a good indication as to how they compare to the local scenes measuring stick. Bayswater have been crowned league champions three years running and currently share top spot with Inglewood United and Perth SC.

Tong, who switched from Bayswater to Inglewood over the summer, is looking forward to arguably Inglewood's toughest game of the season so far. "Bayswater have been the best team in the league over the last five seasons," Tong said. "And the fact they haven't lost in twenty-eight league games shows how tough Saturday is going to be."

"To get a result against Bayswater would be great, it would give us added self-belief that we can achieve our goal of making the top four this year. The players are excited about having the opportunity to show we're not here to make up the numbers - we're here to compete and to get some silverware at the end of it all."

Tong made over a dozen appearances for Bayswater last year so it's fair to say he has a good understanding of what makes the club tick. "To be successful on the pitch you also have to be successful off it, the management, backroom staff, supporters and players all chipping in," he explained.

"Coyney (Bayswater coach Chris Coyne) and his backroom staff are quality, they take time to talk to each player about their roles and performances and he'll have them fired up on Saturday. The Bayswater players believe in one another and for us to overcome that we have to work that 10% harder than them for the entire 90 minutes."



A phone call from Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou convinced Josh Risdon to re-sign with Perth Glory. Risdon has emerged as one of Glory's most valuable assets heading into this month's A-League finals series on the back of a breakout season that has earned him his first two international caps for the Socceroos.

The 23-year-old agreed last month to a one-year contract extension to remain in Perth despite fielding offers to play in Europe later this year. It has been revealed that a conversation with Postecoglou helped Risdon put pen to paper. The Socceroos coach contacted Risdon at the request of Glory chief executive Peter Filopoulos.

Postecoglou and Filopoulos have a strong connection from their days working together at National Soccer League powerhouse South Melbourne in the 1990s. Postecoglou is understood to have told Glory's captain that his international prospects would be hurt if he moved overseas and struggled for game time in one of Europe's minor divisions.

Filopoulos confirmed a conversation had taken place before the contract announcement for one of Glory's best players. "From the club's point of view, we were very keen on Josh seeking out various views in terms of his future, including that of the Socceroos coach," Filopoulos said. "It's not that we influenced his decision in any way. We just wanted him to do all his due diligence for the best outcome for him."

An overseas move is still a possibility for Risdon during the 2016/17 season, but any interested clubs will now need to come to financial terms with Glory for a transfer to be approved. Risdon reiterated this week it had been a tough decision on whether to stay. "The club's heading in the right direction," Risdon said about winning the title. "If not this year, which I do think we have a good chance, next season we'll have a great team."

Glory will try to earn a home final when they tackle Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Sunday. Winger Chris Harold is expected to miss the trip after being substituted with hamstring tightness in the 3-2 win over Melbourne City last Sunday. Glory coach Kenny Lowe was hopeful Harold would return for the club's elimination semi-final in the first week of the play-offs.



Victory on Sunday might be enough to deliver Perth Glory an A-League home final, but Socceroos defender Josh Risdon says the title smokies should not be concerned by other results this weekend. Glory have emerged as genuine championship threats on the back of ten wins from their past eleven matches - the streak lifting them to within one point of fourth-placed Melbourne City.

Given their clash against Sydney FC is the last match of the regular season on Sunday night, Glory will know exactly where they stand and what they have to do before they take their field. To secure a home final, they need Western Sydney Wanderers to lose to Wellington Phoenix, or hope Melbourne City lose or draw against Adelaide United - before the Glory themselves would then need to get all three points against the Sky Blues in Sydney.

But no matter what is riding on the result, Risdon said it was important for Glory to get the win against Sydney. "If we win on Sunday, that will give us a confidence boost if we have to head away in the first week of the finals," Risdon said. "We want to keep this great run going. We'll have a look at the games before us. But we'll just solely focus on the game on Sunday, no matter what the results are beforehand."

Ladder-leading Brisbane, Adelaide, and Western Sydney are the favourites to win this season's title. But Risdon is confident Glory has what it takes to pip the trio, especially with striker Andy Keogh and Spanish import Diego Castro in white-hot form. "We've definitely got the team to do it," Risdon said. "Anything can happen in the finals. It's a one-off game, so you've got to be at your best on the day."



The oldest player in the A-League has urged his Perth Glory teammates to avoid becoming complacent ahead of this weekend's final game of the regular season against Sydney FC. Glory's goalkeeper Ante Covic says the team is "brimming with confidence" on the back of a mesmerising victory over glamour club Melbourne City, marking the team's tenth win from eleven games.

"Around Christmas time we were questioning a few things," said Covic, who turns 41 in June. "But we knew the ambition of the club was to get a few players and to get some key signings that we needed and credit to Kenny and the club they've (the signings) made a big difference."

A win this weekend against the struggling Sky Blues will help Glory earn a home elimination final and finish as high as third on the ladder, pending other results. "We're in a positon now where I think a lot of teams will dread coming up against us" Covic said. "We've had to play all the top teams and the one we lost against the (Western Sydney) Wanderers."

Covic backed up his claims, pointing to the team's dominant display against Melbourne City where Glory prevailed 3-2. They had been leading 3-0 at the 70th minute, which included Andy Keogh's eighth consecutive goal and a goal of the year contender by Spanish whiz Diego Castro. "The only disappointing thing is that we took the foot off the pedal and gave them a score line that was respectable for them," he said.

As far as Sunday's match against Sydney, the veteran goalkeeper warned that Graham Arnold's men posed a strong threat to upset Glory's plans. "They're still dangerous, things haven't gone well their way, they've got ACL (Asian Champions League) they don't want to end the season on a low note," Covic said. "So we've got to be wary and we got to be on top of our game and not to expect to go and get the three points."

"If we start getting into the mentality that 'they're gonna be tired' or 'they haven't got nothing to play for in the A-League' we can do our selves a disfavour so we've got to approach it like we did on the weekend. Our position on the table isn't set, we can finish higher if we do the right job ... Hopefully we've got another four games."



Perth Glory produced one of their best half’s of football of the season to beat Melbourne City 3-2 at nib Stadium on Sunday afternoon, to keep their hopes of hosting a final game alive. Roared on by over 14,500 supporters the Glory totally dominated the visitors, with Andy Keogh opening the scoring ten minutes into the second half, his eighth consecutive goal in as many games to set a new domestic league record for most consecutive scoring games.

Gyorgy Sandor doubled the Glory’s advantage, before Spanish Maestro Diego Castro scored the third, one of the best goals of the season. Despite Bruno Fornaroli and substitute Marc Marino cutting the margin to a single goal it was Glory taking out the points. "We totally deserved the win, it was a great game, we attacked and they attacked. It must have been a fantastic spectacle. The second half was absolutely fantastic. At the death we got a little bit jittery maybe," Glory Coach Kenny Lowe said. "It was a massive team performance, we played left to right, front to back, everybody contributed."

Nebosja Marinkovic returned to the starting line-up with Richard Garcia dropping to the bench, and the Serbian was in the thick of the action early. His in-swinging corner was met by Shane Lowry, whose header was well saved by Thomas Sorensen. Castro and Keogh both went close as the Glory continued to dictate. City hit back and Aaron Mooy’s free kick picked out Fornaroli but his header looped over the bar. The Glory ended the half the better and Marinkovic’s long-range shot whistled over the top before Sandor was sent into the box by Castro, but he failed to hit the target.

The Glory continued to take the game to City, who were struggling to keep them at bay and ten minutes in to the second half the Glory pressure was rewarded with the opener. Marinkovic’s free-kick was bundled back across the face by Castro, and the unmarked Keogh coolly swept home the opener, and celebrated in front of The Shed. Marinkovic then saw his curling shot flash inches wide. City also went close on 64 minutes, Mooy playing in Novillo whose shot was well saved by Ante Covic. But five minutes later the Glory doubled their advantage. Keogh was the supplier this time, slipping Sandor into the box and the Hungarian lobbed the on-coming Sorensen to make it 2-0.

The big crowd were in party mood and two minutes later they went wild. There looked little danger when Keogh picked out Castro, but his first time volley on the turn flew past Sorensen and into the corner of the net, to set off wild celebrations. City had started the week on top of the table, but they had been torn apart by the rampant Glory. City did pull one back on 73 minutes, the league’s leading scorer Fornaroli held of Lowry’s tackle before finish low past Covic.

Second half substitute Marino then saw his close-range shot superbly saved by Covic as City lifted. But with them chasing the game the Glory were hitting on the counter attack and Jamel Reiners was found at the back post by Castro in the final minute of normal time, but the youngsters header hit the post. City added a second in the second minute of stoppage time, with Marino scoring but it was too late, the Glory moving closer to a home final.



Bayswater City striker Gustavo Giron-Marulanda scored his seventh goal in three games to help the Champions to a 3-1 win against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Jason Mirco gave the visitors the lead, before Harry O’Brien levelled in first half stoppage time. But second half goals to David Heagney and Marulanda gave City the win, but they were made to work hard for the three points.

“Cockburn played a good game, they were very lively and enthusiastic going forward, which made things a bit hard for us, lucky we made the most of our chances and took the three points,” Marulanda said. “Personally I’m more than pleased to be on the scoresheet week by week, specially scoring important goals to get points. There are definitely lots of players that can assist me at the club and that makes things easier for a striker, let’s hope the winds keep blowing the same way, and I can continue to score.”

The visitors dominated the early part of the game but couldn’t find a way past Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich, who pulled off some fine saves. They had to wait until seven minutes from half time to make the break through. Todd Howarth’s corner picked out Jason Mirco at the back post, to score his first goal for the club. It looked like they would go into the break with the lead but in the second minute of stoppage time the Cockerels levelled. Kenal Moiuthus combined with Spanish striker Angel Andres to set up O’Brien who made no mistake.

Bayswater coach Chris Coyne wasn’t happy and sent his players out early after his half time address, but they had to wait till the 69th minute to retake the lead. Howarth played the ball over the top to Heagney, who celebrated his birthday a day early by sliding it into the bottom corner of the net. Cockburn thought they had a penalty when Euen Grant fell under the challenge of Jack Jones, but referee Tom Dowle waved away their protests. The result was put beyond doubt ten minutes from time, Mirco was brought down in the box and Marulanda fired home the resulting penalty.



Inglewood United continued their winning start to the season with a 1-0 win against Perth Glory at Ashfield Reserve. The only goal of the game came early from Kenny Keogh, the younger brother of Glory A-League striker Andy Keogh. It could have been worse if it wasn’t for Glory keeper Jordon Thurtell, who made a number of fine saves. “It wasn’t a pretty game from our point but it was effective,” United coach Taki Nicolaidis told the PS4NPLWA website. “We took our chance in the first half and in the second half we defended very well and made it difficult for them to create goal scoring chances.”

The Glory opened well and should have scored after seven minutes. Joe Knowles put pressure on keeper Alex Dunn causing him into error, and Knowles then squared the ball back to Alex Tanevski in the penalty area, but the striker blazed over with the goal at his mercy. That miss came back to haunt the Glory and Inglewood hit the front on the quarter hour. A long throw by Adam Tong was flicked on by Brian Woodall and Keogh volleyed home past Thurtell. It went from bad to worse for Tanevski and he was carried from the field with a suspected broken arm moments later.

Thurtell was busy after half time as Inglewood looked to double their advantage. The Glory custodian saved well to deny Mark Pritchard on the hour and was at it again two minutes later to thwart Jason Colli. The Glory youngsters had plenty of the ball, but they continued to struggle in the final third, and the Inglewood defence, led by skipper David Cyrus, repelled them. Cyrus then went close at the other end. The defender’s shot was superbly saved by Thurtell, the Glory keeper pushing his shot around the post at full stretch.



Floreat Athena’s English striker Lewis McMahon made a sensational return to PS4 NPLWA football scoring a hat-trick as Athena beat Armadale 4-3 at Alfred Skeet Oval. McMahon scored three goals in his first game of the year to help them to their first win of the season. McMahon scored twice to give Floreat the lead at the break. Declan Hargreaves increased the lead after the break before Alex Salmon pulled one back, before McMahon completed his hat-trick. Salmon and Jake Sardelic pulled two goals back and Armadale pressed for the point but couldn’t find it.

“I thought we were solid in the first half, we were very good going forward but we just had a couple laps in concentration in the very end,” Floreat Coach Glenn Grostate told the PS4NPLWA website. “Overall, I was very pleased with getting our first three points of the year. Armadale is a hard place to come to and leave with even a point. It’s not easy for anyone who comes here, so it’s a great result for us because they are a good team.”

Floreat, who were still looking for their first win of the season, made a perfect start and were ahead after only three minutes. Referee David Bruce spotted a handball and McMahon made no mistake from the spot. Armadale hit back and Jason Saldaris produced a great save to deny Ellis Healing’s free kick after Salmon was brought down on the edge of the penalty area. But three minutes from the break Floreat doubled their advantage, McMahon converting Dennis Galen’s cross.

The visitors added a third eight minutes into the second half, Hargreaves scoring after Armadale failed to clear their lines. It looked game over but the home side pulled one back four minutes later. Healing was brought down in the box by Clayton Arnez and Salmon converted the penalty. But Floreat’s three goal advantage was restored on 68 minutes; McMahon stunning free kick gave Alfie Brincat no chance. But Armadale weren’t done with and Salmon and Sardelic scored to set up a nervous ending. Alex Castiello could have earned his side a point deep into injury time, a long throw caused panic in the Floreat box, but the defender fired over.



ECU Joondalup moved to fourth place on the PS4 National Premier Leagues WA table with a convincing 5-2 win against Subiaco at the ECU Football Stadium. Shane Pickering opened the scoring early, before Gordon Smith doubled their lead before the break. Bayley Brown-Montgomery added another one early in the second half before Kevin White pulled one back for the visitors. Further goals to Steven McGarry and Harley Orr wrapped up the win, while White bagged a second goal for Subiaco to round off the scoring.

“We played a lot better today and thoroughly deserved the three points,” ECU striker Tommy Amphlett said. “We looked good going forward and Gordy (Gordon Smith) is a quality striker and if we can continue to feed him he will score for us. But I thought it was a good all-round team performance today, and good to get back-to-back league wins.”

Subiaco started brightly and striker Ian McMurray tested ECU keeper David Keenan, before Carlin Feely’s goal-bound shot was blocked by Andy Higgins. But after the early onslaught the home side settled and hit the front on 19 minutes, Pickering firing home Higgins’ corner. Keenan then pushed Carlin Feely’s free kick around the post moments later as Subiaco looked to hit back, but on 40 minutes the home side doubled their advantage. Higgins’ corner again causing problems and Scottish striker Smith headed home at the back post.

ECU made it 3-0 early in the second half, Amphlett’s sent Smith racing down the right, and his low-cross was turned home by Brown-Montgomery at the back post. Subiaco pulled one back three minutes later. Good work on the right by Owen Coates ended with a cross to the back post and White tapped home from close-range. ECU continued to dominate and it wasn’t a surprise when they added a fourth just after the hour, McGarry finishing with aplomb after a great through-ball from Smith. It was 5-1 on 77 minutes, Orr turning home Amphlett’s cross. White scored a late consolation goal for Subiaco with two minutes remaining, finishing James Dorling’s, but it was too little too late.



Perth SC moved to the top of the PS4NPLWA table on goal difference after 2-0 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. The match was the first leg of the ‘Dylan Tombides Trophy’, a tribute to late West Ham United striker, who grew up playing for both clubs. Nick Ambrogio opened the scoring early, before Gustavo Catarcione doubled it on 20 minutes. Both sides had chances but there were no other goals and Perth march on.

“It was good to get the three points and continue our good form, the boys fought hard and played with a lot of intensity for the whole 90 minutes,” Ambrogio said. “We are showing good attitude and discipline when defending, and that’s the whole team. It showed again yesterday, another clean sheet, and we’ve only conceded one goal in the three games.”

The visitors made the perfect start and they were ahead after only three minutes. Former Lions midfielder Dean Evans’ free kick was flicked home by Ambrogio. The home side hit back and Francis Soale had to be alert. David Sesay getting in behind the Perth back four, but the Perth custodian was out bravely to save at his feet. The Perth keeper then superbly tipped Graham Doran’s header from David Murphy’s corner over the top at full stretch.

But as the Lions began to get on top Perth hit on the counter attack to double their advantage. Catarcione was brought down in the box and referee Michal Jasinski pointed straight to the spot, and the Brazilian picked himself up to score from the resulting penalty. In the 38th minute, applause broke out in the crowd in honour of Dylan Tombides, 38 was the shirt number he wore for The Hammers. The Lions ended the half well but they couldn’t find a way through.

Catarcione went close twice early in the second half, his pace getting him behind the Lions defence, but he couldn’t find the target. Lions skipper Brodie Martin went close to pulling one back late on. He reacted quickest when David Micevski’s shot deflected to him in the box, but from five meters he headed straight at Soale and the chance was gone. The Lions forced a number of corners late but they were held at bay, with Adrian Madaschi outstanding at the heart of the Perth back four.



Balcatta secured their first point of the season with a hard fought 1-1 draw against Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. The home side led at the break through Niccollo Sabatini, but teenager striker Cameron Teece levelled in the second half to grab a point. Sabatini was sent off on the hour after receiving two yellow cards, but the ten men held on for the point. “First half we dominated, but we weren’t ruthless enough and haven’t taken our chances and haven’t been hitting the target enough,” Sorrento Coach Jamie Harnwell told the PS4NPLWA website. “When we went down to ten men, we dug in and battled and got a good point out of it at the end.”

It was an even contest early, with both sides creating half chances, but it was Sorrento who opened the scoring on 31 minutes, Sabatini’s free kick giving Clint Davies no chance. Balcatta opened the second half well and they levelled on 52 minutes, former Perth Glory Youth striker Teece scoring his second goal of the season. The game took another twist 14 minutes later when Sorrento were reduced to ten men, with Sabatini receiving a second yellow card from referee Matthew Southern. It was backs to the wall now for Sorrento and Balcatta dominated, and Teece went close on two occasions, but he could have won it in stoppage time.

The Balcatta striker’s shot was superbly saved by James Morgan and at the final whistle the points were shared. Balcatta Coach Marc Anthony believes Teece has a big future ahead of him. “Young Cameron is one of the brightest prospects in WA, he is only 16 so he really showed what he can do at a young age,” he said. “He probably could have gotten three or four goals but I work with him several times a week and can see he is a natural goal scorer.”



It’s round three of the PS4 National Premier League WA and this week’s Match of the Round takes us to the Ashfield Reserve where Perth Glory host top of the table Inglewood United. (3pm) Taki Nicolaidis’ side have won their opening two games and keeper Alex Dunn said they are improving each game. “Last week was a big win to keep the momentum going, we started slow and conceded two sloppy goals, but second half we tightened it up at the back and had more opportunities to score to make the margin larger which is always encouraging,” he said. “Everyone has gelled nicely, there is a good vibe around the squad, it showed in the cup result on Monday. Bunbury came out full of energy at their new ground wanting to cause an upset. To be fair our lads dug in and we were able to come away with the win and a clean sheet which is always nice.” Dunn said Saturday’s game will be a tough test as the Glory has improved this season. “It's a dangerous game against Glory, they have shown they are no push overs whilst playing some good football, they are a team that cannot be under estimated,” he said. “They touched us up nicely in the night series and we ended up missing out on the semi-finals so there is a bit of added incentive for us to put in a good shift on Saturday.” In team news John Migas and Rikki Smith are both back in the squad, after missing last week due to a wedding.

Glory defender Ross Millard returns this week, after missing last week’s 0-0 draw against Cockburn City, a game he thought they should have won. “I was very disappointed that I missed the Cockburn game, but the boys put in another performance in which they pushed right to the line,” he said. “I think the team that we put out in the game was one of the youngest teams we've played since I signed for the club. It's a great thing to see the young boys step up and all put in assured performances and show that hidden depth that we have, and that's credit to the attitude and standard we all drive here.” The Glory played Inglewood in the Night Series and Millard said they were good then, and have gone on with it in the league. “Just like we do with every game we go into it with the upmost confidence and really believe we can win. We've shown against Bayswater how well we can play and how dangerous we can be for opposition teams so Inglewood will be wary of what we can produce,” he explained. “In saying that Inglewood is a good team and that's shown with them sitting on top of the table after the first two games. My suspension has finished now so I'm available if the coach chooses to pick me.”

Bayswater City have begun this season like they finished last, undefeated, and they hit the road again this week, making the trip to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City, who are also unbeaten. Cockburn midfielder Cameron Edwards said they have started the season well, and last week’s draw against the Glory was a tight contest. “It was a tough game against, both teams had chances to win it, the weather made it difficult but was probably a game where a mistake or individual brilliance would have won the game,” he explained. “Our new squad is young, and we have a lot of good players, starting to gel together, and the morale is high being undefeated. We are an honest bunch and we take it game by game.” Edwards knows the challenge they face against Bayswater, but he is looking forward to the challenge. “Bayswater is always a tough game and have dangerous players all over the park, so we’ll need to be up for it and be playing at our best,” he said. “But confidence is high in our team, were at home so it should be a good game. We have no injuries or suspensions, and it was good we got through the two games in three days with only a few sore bodies, but Aden da Luz will miss again, he is slowly coming back from injury.”

Armadale will be looking for their first win of the season when they entertain Floreat Athena at Alfred Skeet Oval. After a good night series they have been disappointing in the two games so far, but keeper Alfie Brincat said they will take some confidence from the cup win on Monday. “Saturday’s loss at Joondalup was a really disappointing result for us, but we did feel we deserved something from the game. We created some good chances but there keeper pulled off some great saves,” he said. “The Cup win was a great confidence boost for the lads, and hopefully we bring that into Saturday’s game and get our first three points of the season.” The Armadale custodian said Floreat haven’t started the season well, but knows they are a quality side. “Both teams will definitely be fired up for this game, after not having the best starts to the season,” he said. “I’m sure either team will want to jump at the chance off claiming their first win. They have a good squad, and we will need to be at our best, but we’ve trained well this week and hopefully the boys can perform on the day and kick start our season.”

ECU Joondalup opened their account last week with a win against Armadale, and they will be looking to go back-to-back when they host Subiaco AFC at the ECU Football Stadium. The game has been switched due to problems with the Subiaco pitch, but Nathan Diaz said they head there looking for the three points, after an improved performance against Perth SC last week. “The boys worked really hard last week, and that’s all we can ask of them,” he said. “On the day we started well but a few mistakes let us down. We had our chances, but just never took them, and at the end of the day Perth were clinical and we weren’t.” Diaz said the players are looking to open their account at Joondalup and get on the board for the season. “It has been tough for the lads but I think we just need to stick together and keep hanging in there,” he said. “In my eyes this game is a must win for us, we need to put those bad performances to bed and turn it up for this encounter which the lads are more than capable of doing.” Diaz will have a late fitness test on an ankle injury, while keeper Ryan Montgomery has a foot injury and is in doubt.

Balcatta travels to Percy Doyle Reserve, to meet Sorrento, looking for their first points of the season. Sorrento, on the other hand remained unbeaten, but had to settle for a point last week at Floreat and keeper James Morgan said they should have won it. “I thought we played very well and were very unlucky not to take home all the points. We had three or four very good chances to score but sadly we couldn't finish them off,” he said. “I think we've made a good start to the season it would have been ideal to take three points last week, but keeping two clean sheets is a great start for me personally.” The shot stopper said Balcatta have some good players and knows they will have to be at their best to take the points. “Yes they haven't made the best of starts but I don't think there is any easy game now in the NPL,” he said. “We need to be at our best and keep our momentum going and take the three points

The final game of the round is at Macedonia Park, where Stirling Lions and Perth SC meet. The Lions lost for the first time last week at home to Bayswater, while Perth continued on their winning ways with a 2-0 win against Subiaco. Striker Reece Vittiglia was on target in that game, and he said it was a tough game. “It’s always a difficult game when you play Subiaco, although I thought we controlled majority of the match. We stuck to our game plan and came away with the three points,” he said. “It’s been a good start, but it’s to be expected when you’re at a club like Perth. We want to win every game we play. Hopefully we can keep it going over the coming weeks.” The striker will miss Saturday’s game due to injury, but they did lose to Stirling in the Night Series, and Vittiglia said they will be looking to reverse that result on Saturday. “I injured my hamstring last week so will miss the game which is disappointing, because it will be an exciting game,” he explained. “Stirling look a much better outfit this year and it will be a great test for us, but if the lads play to the best of their ability, collectively and individually, I'm sure they can come away with three points.”



Perth Glory’s top four hopes go on the line on Sunday when they meet Hyundai A-League leaders Melbourne City at nib Stadium on Sunday (5pm). The Glory and City are the form teams of the competition, and this weekend’s clash is one of the matches of the season and a big crowd is expected to attend. The Glory has two games remaining in the season, and if they win both and other results go there way a home final could be on the cards.

Regardless of what happens in the next two weeks, Glory Coach Kenny Lowe believes Perth will be dangerous in the finals. "I think its quality, rather than momentum, I prefer to call it quality," Lowe said. "We've got a decent game plan, we're difficult to play against and we've got some good players, and everyone is playing for each other, so fair play to them. (Diego) Castro's on fire, (Andy) Keogh's scoring goals, Nebo (Marinkovic) has got back fit, the two Hungarians boys (Krisztian Vadocz and Gyorgy Sandor) are excellent, the back four are playing superb ... There's not many more things I can say about the team to be truthful."

Glory skipper Richard Garcia has also been good since returning from injury and he believes the forward firepower at both clubs will make for an exciting game. “I think there will be a lot of chances. It will be a battle between attacks and defences which is always good to see, and it should be end-to-end,” Garcia said. “You’ve got to be mindful of their attack but we’re at home, we want to go out there and play the football we know we can play and get them on the back foot… it should be a cracker.”

Socceroos Josh Risdon, Aaron Mooy and Alex Wilkinson return to the match day squads for both teams, while Glory defender Dino Djulbic will sit out with suspension after being sent off late against the Jets last round. City, who sit on top of the table could finish as low as fifth, such is the closeness this season. Mooy, fresh from two stellar Socceroos performances that included a goal in the 5-1 win over Jordan on Tuesday, will return to City’s starting line-up and he is expecting mothing more than three points. “Guaranteed we go for the win, I feel like we need to win both games to finish top, “That’s the plan to win the remaining games. It’s positive to have a great goal difference, it’s like having another point if level with someone,’’ Mooy said. “We’ll just try and prepare as best as we can and do what the coach wants us to do and we’re confident we’ll win. It’s a good challenge.’’

Squads - Perth Glory: GK Ante COVIC, GK Jerrad TYSON, 2 Alex GRANT, 3 Marc WARREN, 4 Shane LOWRY, 7 Gyorgy SANDOR, 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11 Richard GARCIA, 13 Diogo FERREIRA, 14 Chris HAROLD, 17 Diego CASTRO, 18 Mitch OXBORROW, 19 Josh RISDON, 21 Kosta PETRATOS, 23 Krisztian VADOCZ, 24 Jamal REINERS, 29 Aryn WILLIAMS - **two to be omitted** - Ins: FERREIRA (promoted), RISDON (returns from international duty), PETRATOS (promoted) - Outs: 6.Dino DJULBIC (suspended – one match)

Melbourne City FC: GK Thomas SORENSEN, GK Dean BOUZANIS, 2 Alex WILKINSON, 4 Connor CHAPMAN, 5 Ivan FRANJIC, 8 Aaron MOOY, 9 Harry NOVILLO, 11 Michael ZULLO, 18 Paulo RETRE, 19 Ben GARUCCIO, 22 Jack CLISBY, 23 Bruno FORNAROLI, 24 Patrick KISNORBO, 25 Jacob MELLING, 26 Marc MARINO, 27 Nick FITZGERALD, 29 Anthony CACERES, 33 Osama MALIK - **two players to be omitted** - Ins: WILKINSON (return from international duty), MOOY (return from international duty) - Outs: Nil



Former Perth Glory defender Jacob Collard decision to sign for NPL Tasmanian club Hobart Olympia was a surprise to many, but the 20-year-old has no regrets and has settled in well in the Tasmanian Capital. Collard, who made two starting appearance’s for the A-League club, has settled in well to football and life in Tasmania. “Football over here is going very well, and I’ve found the enjoyment in football again,” he said. “I have scored my first goal in over a year and also made the team of the week in the NPL round two. That really sums up my time here, which means things are going fantastic.”

Hobart Olympia reached the Semi-Final of the PS4 National Championship, before losing to Bayswater City. Collard said it’s a new look side and they are working extremely hard to get the right results. “The club have been fantastic to me, and have supported me unbelievably, and like I said I’m enjoying my football, and I now play with a smile on my face,” he explained. “We have a new look squad, with nine new players, and things are looking up for us. We’ve bonding well as a team and we’ve made the Semi-Final of the FFA Cup here in Tasmania.”

The move has been made somewhat easier with WA players Borbor Sam and Lawrence Sharma also joining the club, and Collard said they have helped each other settle. “Of course me Lawrence and Borbor have grown up as brothers in football and are all super close, and we’ve been through a great deal together in football,” he explained. “Football has given us the opportunity to play in another part of the country, and it’s also given us the chance to see some of the beautiful Hobart country side. But we’re here to play football and we’ll be doing all we can to give Olympia the title this season.”

The move wasn’t without its downsides and Collard said he misses his family back in Perth, but he knows they understand his reasons. “I miss my family more than anything, they all mean so much to me, “ he said. “But they were all behind my decision, and it was something I had to do. I’m just a 20-year-old seeking my dream of one day being a professional footballer, and their support has driven me to succeed. I don’t know what is around the corner in football, but my family will be there for me whatever happens, and I can’t thank them enough.”

Olympia hasn’t started the league season well but Collard said they are taking time to gel. He is playing in the middle of the park for Olympia, and he said the league is about the same standard as the NPLWA and said the competition is strong. “The club has big ambitions and we’re doing our upmost to bring them success, but we have a completely new squad and it does take time to gel. We haven’t got off to the best start in the league, but we are getting better and are training hard, and I believe we will be a force this season when we click. I’ve signed here for the season and want to do all I can to bring them success,” he said. “Some clubs in the league are very good, but some aren’t, but that’s in every league in the word. I think the standard of football is good and there isn’t much between WA and Tasmanian competitions. I’ve got the season to impress and if things go well for me I’ll look at either staying or moving to another club, we’ll see what happens.”

The Tasmanian NPL has aligned themselves with Melbourne City this season, and Collard, who wants to play A-League football again, said he needed to get his head down on the pitch and play some good football and he will see where it takes him, and a return to WA could happen. “People who know me will tell you, football means the world to me, and I’ll do all I can to get an A-League contract. Unfortunately I wasn’t given one at the Glory, but all I can do is work hard and play well for Olympia and maybe an opportunity will appear here or overseas,” he explained. “I spoke to Glory CEO Peter Filopoulos before heading to Hobart and there might be an opening back there, but at this stage of my football I can’t be focusing on a hope, I need to push for a professional deal, wherever that may be. Peter is a great CEO and the club are lucky to have him on board.”



Perth Glory skipper Josh Risdon has helped Australia to beat Jordan 5-1 and moved Ange Postecoglou into the third and final stage of World Cup qualifying with a polished 5-1 victory over Jordan in Sydney on Tuesday night, avenging defeat to Al-Nashama earlier in the campaign. On that occasion, Jordan shocked Australia to win 2-0, temporarily threatening the Socceroos' chances of automatically qualifying for the final stage. However, Australia has won every qualifier since, scoring 19 goals and only conceding once.

Not even the presence of English football icon Harry Redknapp in the dugout could inspire Jordan, and all five of the teams below them - North Korea, Iraq, China, Oman, Kuwait - are within three points with a game in hand and Jordan's campaign is now in huge trouble. But that won't worry Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou who saw his team execute a clinic of collective excellence, delighting the 24,975 who braved the wet conditions at Allianz Stadium. Several Australian players performed superbly with Tim Cahill scoring twice in the first half, and Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic and Massimo Luongo put an exclamation mark on the display.

Two assists for Robbie Kruse, in his first game since the Asian Cup, were nearly overshadowed by a shocking late tackle from Yousef Al-Rawashdeh. Cahill even squandered an incredible opportunity to grab a hat-trick with four minutes to play, side-footing his effort directly at the goalkeeper. While it mattered not, Abdallah Deeb's stunning late goal did salvage a sliver of pride for the visitors.

Jordan were at their best when Baha' Abdel-Rahman and Raja'i Ayed were allowed to get time and space on the ball, but after a staunch opening 20 minutes they were overwhelmed. When the Socceroos did get through, they always looked dangerous. Mooy's 12th-minute cross was headed over by Mathew Leckie from close range, before Rogic tested goalkeeper Amer Shafi with a sizzling, low drive. And while Jordan tried to take the sting out of the game the opener was scored, inevitably, by Cahill. Going forward with his usual intent, Mooy sized up the opportunity before spying Kruse racing down the right. The Bayer Leverkusen forward crossed a low pass that should have been intercepted but Cahill simply had to arrange his toes in the right direction.

That rattled the visitors and Redknapp must have sensed what was coming when he saw his players arguing with each other as the ball was returned to half-way. Jordan briefly tried to muster some resistance but lone forward Hamza Al-Dardour was coming too deep to collect the ball. When he did get it, he was given hardly any support. The counter-attacking game that served them so well in Amman was rendered almost useless.

As the half ticked away, Cahill found Kruse in the clear and he had the presence of mind to spot Mooy on the loose. Showing the composure he's displayed all season with Melbourne City, he tucked away Australia's second. The same names were at it again for the third goal, with Kruse providing for Cahill. A well-flighted cross was judged superbly by the Hangzhou forward, timing his leap better than that of the goalkeeper and sealing the result inside 45 minutes. That's goal number 47 and his mission to reach 50 is alive and well. Who knows if he'll get to Russia, but he'll certainly get to the half-century.

Redknapp must have tried to inspire his side at the break but the rout continued in a similarly dominant fashion. The ever-elegant Rogic made it 4-0 with a typically brilliant piece of skill and with luck, he could have had a double or more. In the 70th minute, two substitutes - Chris Ikonomidis and Massimo Luongo - combined to push Australia even further ahead. Ikonomidis, currently on loan at Salernitana from Lazio, showed composure beyond his years to slice a pass through Jordan's porous defence, allowing Luongo to spank the ball into the empty net and send Australia a step closer to Russia.



Australia defender and former Armadale youngster Trent Sainsbury has expanded on his decision to swap the Dutch Eredivisie for the Chinese Super League, saying his new destination does not threaten to be a 'graveyard' for his football. Some critics have questioned whether the move was a wise one for Sainsbury's career, but he said he aimed to become an example that playing in China, where big money has attracted a number of foreign stars, can take you forward as a footballer. "Nah, I'm fine with that," he said. "If someone working at one job decides to go to another job in the same industry for more money I'm not going to question them, but people are always going to have their opinions.

"An opportunity came up for me to secure my future, I guess, financially, and people have it in their heads for some reason that going to China is the doom and gloom of your career, the graveyard, but it's definitely not that. I mean, it's obviously changing now and hopefully I can be one of the players that people look to as a marker in the future and say 'well, you can go there when you're young and succeed. I don't think it's going to be a negative thing for my football in terms of intensity. If there is any little difference, that can be rectified by extra training sessions and coming into (Socceroos) camp and tweaking little things, so in terms of football I don't think it's going to be a negative."

Sainsbury, 24, made his A-League debut for Central Coast Mariners as an 18-year-old in the 2010-2011 season and joined PEC Zwolle in early 2014. He said the European experience had matured him and that he put a lot of thought into his latest move. "I've definitely grown as a person," Sainsbury said. "I mean, I've had a lot of people influence my career and you try and take as many positive points out of that as possible. When I left the Mariners I was still a kid, really, and obviously coming in to the Socceroos as well you sort of grow to be more of a leader and a man."

Referring strictly to his football, Sainsbury added: "As a player I'd say I'm a lot more technical and confident on the ball and I like to think I'm more assured as a defender overall than I was when I left Australia." Sainsbury, who signed a three-year contract with Jiangsu Suning, said he was still young enough that his long-term future remained wide open. "If I see out my contract in China I'll be 27 by the time I leave there, so I'll definitely have a few more years left in me and if all goes well I'd definitely like to have another crack at Europe," he said. "But you never know what's going to happen in football. It (the future) is all up in the air and I'm just happy to be along for the ride at the moment."



Young midfielder Jordan Lyden has told Aston Villa's website he has his sights firmly set on becoming the Premier League's next Australian standout. Lyden, 20, joined Villa from ECU Joondalup in 2012 after training with the claret and blues on an intermittent basis from the age of nine. Now 20, he has developed into one of the team's top prospects.

Lyden was involved with the senior side for the first time in early Deember as an unused substitute against Arsenal and has gone on to make three appearances for Remi Garde's side over the past few months. In the process he has become the fourth Australian to appear for Villa in the Premier League, following on from Mark Bosnich, Brett Holman and Chris Herd. And he's now hoping to emerge as the latest Australian to make his mark in England's top flight.

He will likely be playing at least one season in the Championship before that becomes a reality given the club's current predicament, but with the squad expected to be revamped over the summer, the Perth-born rookie figures to be one of their building blocks for the future.

"There has been a link with Villa and the Aussie lads in the past which has been good," Lyden told "They seem to like our never-say-die attitude and our commitment to training. I like to think I train the way I play and I'm always committed, which is what everyone seems to like. There are not many Australians in the Premier League at the moment. You've got Mile Jedinak at Crystal Palace and Brad Smith is doing well at Liverpool. Hopefully I can make that next step and be the next one to shine."

Lyden's breakout season comes after the missed the 2014/15 season with a recurring hamstring problem which left him fearing for his Villa career at one stage. However, the versatile youngster was back to full fitness by the start of this term and has promptly pushed himself into Garde's plans with some impressive performances for the Under-21s, recording 16 appearances and three goals as captain.

"I only played 10 minutes of football last year which was really disappointing," Lyden commented. "It was a tough year for me. I needed a lot of support from my family. I saw a lot of young players getting pushed ahead of me and I thought maybe I wouldn't make that next step. But everyone around here trusted me to get back to where I was before the injury and now I'm pushing on, which is good."



Perth Glory striker Andy Keogh is staking a claim for a late call-up for the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2016 campaign. The 29-year-old has been in a rich vein of form for the Glory and has just equalled the A-League record for scoring in seven consecutive games. Irish coach Martin O’Neill has a number of injuries concerns, and Kevin Doyle, Daryl Murphy, Robbie Keane and Jon Walters will all miss Tuesday's game against Slovakia in Dublin as injuries take their toll on the squad which means Southampton’s Shane Long is their only fit recognised striker.

Though Keogh last figured for Ireland in a 0-0 draw with Wales in 2013, his current form is at least pushing him into the reckoning. Keogh has scored nine goals in 12 games with eight in his last seven. The former Leeds United and Millwall striker has now taken his tally to 21 goals in 38 games in total for the A-League side. Keogh is back at the club after leaving at the end of 2015 season, as the Glory imploded with the salary scandal, and he has been determined to take the club back to the finals, which was taken away from them last season.

Keogh received his first call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad from then coach Steve Staunton in March 2007, and made his debut for the senior team in May 2007 in a friendly against Ecuador in Giants Stadium, New York, and later featured in their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign. He played 30 times for his country, scoring twice against Serbia in 2008 and Germany in 2012.

Many in Europe believe the standard of the A-League isn’t the best, and Keogh hasn’t been tested, but the quality of the league is steadily improving and the likes of Keogh are proving there are quality players in the competition. Keogh will put representative matters to one side this weekend, and will be looking to push the Glory into the top four of the A-League when they take on top of the table Melbourne City on Sunday at the nib Stadium, and if he finds the back of the net he will set a new A-League record of eight goals in consecutive games.



The Matildas' dominant Olympic qualifying campaign has launched them four places in the world rankings fifth, their highest placing ever. Australia's women's team now sit behind world champions the United States of America, Germany, France and England. This month's Olympic qualifiers saw them beat Japan, Vietnam, South Korea and North Korea, and draw with China.



Ryan Williams is hoping to play at least three matches at the end of this season and believes he has finally found the cause of his injury nightmare. The 22-year old Australian was former head coach Lee Johnson's record signing when he joined Barnsley last summer from Fulham but he has failed to complete 90 minutes since then with two starts and four substitute appearances.

"My goal is to get at least three games in this season," Williams said. "That might be in the regular season or the play-offs if we get there. But, if it doesn't happen, then that's fine and I will just work hard in the off-season and come back fitter and stronger. The Johnstone's Paint Trophy final is going to come a bit too early for me but I will be cheering the lads on."

"This injury has been the hardest thing I have had to deal with in my career but we know what the problem is now and I'm progressing really well ... It's actually my pelvis that is not in the right position and that is what it has all stemmed from. We would have never known that unless we had been to see the specialist we saw a few weeks ago. But now everything is sorted and I am back on track."

Williams became a firm favourite at Oakwell during a loan spell last season but returned to Fulham in November 2014 to have an operation. He had not played another first team game by the time he signed for the Reds on a permanent basis seven months later. Unfortunately, he has been struggling to stay fit ever since, chalking up just six outings for Barnsley. Williams has been a bystander as Barnsley have turned their season around.

"I have an awesome job, I just haven't been able to do it much lately. I want to help Barnsley as much as I can and they have been helping me ... The boys have got a lot of confidence in themselves and believe in what they are doing. It is a bit like Leicester in the Premier League. If we had just started the season off like that we would be right up there at the top. I am very positive at the moment. There's no point in sulking about my injury ... I am excited. "



Rostyn Griffiths will depart Dutch side Roda JC Kerkrade at the end of the season. Griffiths joined Roda JC at the start of the 2015/2016 campaign from Perth Glory on a one-year deal. The midfielder, who has impressed in his debut season in the Eredivisie, has confirmed that his future will lie away from the Parkstad Limburg Stadion.

"I've spoken to the club already I definitely won't be staying at Roda next season," Griffiths said. "Where to from here is an interesting one but I will assess all options at the end of the season." Griffiths had been a regular in the Miners first-team until last month, scoring two goals in 20 appearances. He missed four games with a thigh injury in February and only recently returned to the starting line-up.


There were shocks a plenty in the FFA Cup on Monday, with two PS4 NPLWA sides going out to lower opposition, while Football Margaret River continued to fly the flag for regional football, by also going through to the fifth round draw.

Dianella White Eagles caused the biggest upset on the day winning 1-0 away from home against ECU Joondalup. The only goal of the game came on 11 minutes, when winger Joshua Tumoe was brought down by Joseph Jones and referee Matthew Southern pointed to the spot. Nicola Gazzola sent David Keenan the wrong way to score from the resulting penalty. ECU pressed late, Andy Higgins’ free kick crashed off the crossbar, while Dianella keeper Francesco Capra made a great save to deny Shane Pickering.

Gosnells City had home ground advantage and they saw off Subiaco AFC 3-1. The visitors were ahead 1-0 at the break with Kevin White on target, but Gosnells hit back after the break. They levelled early with a 20 meters free kick from Jacob Aquino, and hit the front when Dean Aplegren latched on to a cross from Jason Pottier. The winner also came from new midfielder Aplegren, his volley crashed off the post, but when Pottier’s crossed the rebound, he chipped Ryan Montgomery to seal the win.

Football Margaret River run in the cup continued with a penalty shoot-out win against Swan United at Gloucester Park. The home side were ahead on the quarter hour, when Garry Holmes converted the rebound after he had missed his penalty. But United hit back and levelled ten minutes later, John Monterosso shot was superbly saved by ??, but Cameron Anderson followed up to score. The home side took control and scored two quick goals after the break, with Jamie Hughes scoring a stunner, before Mark Ferguson’s bullet like header crashed off the post and was deflected into his own net by a Swan defender. United pulled one back with Monterosso chipping the keeper and they levelled with fifteen minutes remaining. Hicham Arma crossed for Monterosso who made no mistake from close-range. It was off to penalties and the home side prevailed 5-4 to set off wild celebrations amongst the home supporters.

There was a nine goal thriller at Grindleford Reserve, with Balcatta edging out Forrestfield United 5-4. Steve Sokol gave the home side the lead, but Forrestfield hit back. Jimmy Duncan was played in down the wing, he beat his player and put in an inch perfect cross that came off the Balcatta defender for an own goal. The visitors were ahead on 26 minutes, Andy Harold went on a mazy run which took him past 3 players before playing in Rhys Loxley who made no mistake firing in from the edge of the box. The home side levelled again just before half time, Sokol adding his second. Forrestfield were back in front on the hour, Loxley picked up the ball from the right wing and drifted into the box before unleashing an unstoppable shot in the top corner. It was cup classic and Balcatta hit back with Cameron Teece make it 3-3.

Forrestfield weren’t to be outdone and they regained the lead again on 81 minutes. Jordan hart pushed his way through the Balcatta defence before playing in Matt Harold who calmly slotted past the keeper. It looked like a shock was on the cards but four minutes later Balcatta equalised again, with Sokol completing his hat-trick. It looked like going to extra time, but in the second minute of stoppage time Forrestfield keeper Brad Effie collided with Kaan Karacan leaving both players injured, and Sokol nipped in to fire into an empty net to dramatically win it for Balcatta.

The other NPL clubs moved through. Stirling Lions beat Morley Windmills 5-2 at Macedonia Park. Robert Petkov scored a hat-trick for the Lions, with David Micevski and David Sesay scoring the others. Cockburn City beat Mandurah City 3-1 at Dalmatinac Park with goals from Kernal Mouithy, Cameron Edwards and Harry O’Brein. Armadale beat Fremantle City 4-2 at Alfred Skeet Oval, with Alex Salmon scoring all four for the home, meanwhile Inglewood United won 3-0 away to South West Phoenix, with Brian Woodall, Kenny Keogh and Tim Robertson on target.

The run of Gwelup Croatia has come to an end after they were beaten 0-3 on penalties after the game ended 3-3 after extra time. Alex Stamatiadis opened the scoring for Ashfield and Jamie Burns made it 2-0 on 66 minutes. The home side pulled one back immediately with Benny Kouakou scoring and they were level six minutes from time when Gavin Knight scored a stunning free kick. It was off to extra time and Gwelup hit the on 102 minutes. Patrick Sweeney broke up play and played a through ball to Kouakou who slotted home. Sweeney was then sent off for a second yellow card and Burns levelled late to send it to penalties, and Ashfield held their nerve to win it,.

Canning City came from 2-0 down to beat Western Knights 4-2 at Nash Field. The home side were head early, a corner from Paul Lloyd was headed into his own net by a Canning defender. It got worse and the Knights doubled their lead. Jeffrey Judge’s free kick flew into the top corner of the net. It shouls have been 3-0 when Adriano Jelenkavic missed a great chance, but Canning hit back before the break, Danny Trevisiol cross was headed home by Callum Roberts. The visitors were level when Roberts cross was turned home by Josh Findalter. They were ahead when a Knights defender headed in Roberts cross, and Daren Gamble completed the comeback late. I was really happy with the way we reacted after a disappointing first half. We came out after the break and executed exactly what was asked and we ran over the top of them,” Coach Paul Oliver said. “It could have been more but the main thing is we back it up when the league kicks off in a couple of weeks. A nice little cup run would be good for the club but our main focus is on the league.”

In other results Curtin University beat Backpackers FC 4-2 at Edinburgh Oval. The visitors were ahead at the break thanks to Joey Broderick’s goal. But Curtin hit back after half time, and debutant Louis Downham levelled on the hour to send it to extra time. The home side were ahead in the first period of extra time, with Khaled Salhah scoring from the spot, with Backpackers Daniel Brennan also being sent off. Further goals to Eddie Tikoft and Daniel Young won the tie for Curtin, while Dave Pearce scored a late consolation goal for the visitors.


Inglewood United moved to the top of the PS4 NPLWA table after a come from behind 4-2 win against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. Zelfy Nazary gave the home side the lead early, before Mark Pritchard levelled. In-form striker Brain Woodall gave the Wood the lead, but Nazary bagged a second to level before the break. But a second from Woodall and a late goal from Kenny Keogh gave United the points, and making it two-from-two to start the season. “Obviously happy with the result but a bit of a slow start for us against Balcatta,” said defender Adam Tong. “I think overall we controlled the game especially in the second half, and I'm happy we got the points and we move onto Bunbury on Monday in the FFA Cup.”

The home side, which were looking for their first league win under new coach Marc Anthony, were out of the blocks early and they hit the front on three minutes. Cameron Teece’s through ball sent Nazary clear and he finished past Alex Dunn. But the visitors were level fifteen minutes later. Pritchard was brought down on the edge of the penalty area, and the Welsh midfielder picked himself up and scored from the resulting free kick.

Inglewood began to get on top and they regained the lead on the half hour. Woodall held off his marker and finished clinically from just outside the box. Balcatta continued to press and their pressure was rewarded with the equaliser moments before half time. Teece was given far too much space, and the former Perth Glory Youth striker’s long-range shot flew into the net giving Dunn no chance.

The visitors made a perfect start to the second half and they were ahead again two minutes in. Woodall pouncing to score after Kieron Stallard failed to clear in the penalty area. Balcatta continued to take the game to Inglewood and Nazary and Teece both went close as they went in search of the equaliser. With Balcatta pushing men forward looking to get something from the game, Inglewood scored the fourth in the final minute to take the points. A quick counter-attack ended with Keogh, who finished low past Clint Davies.


Perth SC maintained their perfect start to the new season with a 2-0 win against Subiaco AFC at Dorrien Gardens. First half goals to Reece Vittiglia and Matt Milenkovic won it for Gareth Naven’s side, but the visitors won some respect back after last week’s thrashing with a gritty performance. Milenkovic, who trained with Subiaco in the pre-season, before returned to Perth, said it was a hard fought win. “We went into the game knowing they would be looking to bounce back after last week, and with the wet conditions it was always going to be difficult,” he said. “We went out strong in the first and deservedly got the two goals and closed out the game in the second half. It was an important three points and a well-deserved win.”

Subiaco started brightly and Perth keeper Francis Soale had to be alert to save Carlin Feely’s free kick on the quarter hour. Then ten minutes later Danny Milne made space down the flank, and his low cross was only inches away from striker Ian McMurray at the back post. Perth looked dangerous going forward, with skipper Clark Keltie and Dean Evans running the middle of the park, and on 34 minutes they scored the opener.

Vittiglia was sent clear by his strike partner Gustavo Catarcione and he finished past Ryan Montgomery. Perth doubled their advantage three minutes before half time. Vittiglia lost his marker, his shot was blocked by Montgomery, but Milenkovic was quickest to react to head home from close-range to send them into the sheds with a two goal lead.

The second half was a tense affair and referee Tom Dowle was busy after a melee broke out between two sets of players. He handed out six yellow cards, five to Subiaco, as the tension lifted. Both sides had half chances but Soale and Montgomery couldn’t be beaten and at the final whistle it was Perth who continued their winning start to the new season.


Bayswater City continued their unbeaten start to the new season, after a thrilling 4-2 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. Devon Gibson gave the visitors the lead early, with Gustavo Giron-Marulanda adding a second on the quarter hour. Robert Petkov pulled one back for the Lions, but Alex Wild regained City’s two goal advantage with fifteen minutes remaining. David Micevski gave the home side hope scoring a penalty with three minutes remaining, but Marulanda made sure of the points in stoppage time by added a fourth. “It’s always good coming away from home and leaving with the three points, and it’s good to score my first goal for the club,” Gibson said. “It was a good team performance, and personally for me it was good to get an hour in as I’ve struggled with a back injury this week.”

City was ahead on ten minutes, when Gibson found space in the box to score from corner. They doubled their lead eight minutes later, with Marulanda firing home for his fifth goal of the season. The Champions were dominating and the Lions had keeper John Perkins to thank for keeping them in the game, after he denied David Heagney, after the striker went one-on-one with the Lions custodian. But on 34 minutes the home side were back in the game. Teeboy Kamara raced down the flank and picked out Petkov who finished past Fraser Greenwood.

Stirling began the second half well with David and Daniel Micevski involved in many of their forward moves, but Bayswater stood firm. City continued to get round the back of the Stirling back four and on 75 minutes they added a third. Marulanda was the supply this time, sending substitute Wild clear and he made no mistake past Perkins, to regain their two goal lead.

It looked all over for the Lions but they pressed and were rewarded with a goal with three minutes remaining. Daniel Micevsk was brought down in the box and referee Adam Fielding pointed straight to the spot. David Micevski stepped up to score from the resulting penalty to give the Lions hope. But that was quashed four minutes later, when Bayswater sealed the points. Wild returning the compliment to Marulanda, sending the Columbian striker clear, and he bagged his second to secure the victory.


ECU Joondalup opened their account for the season after a hard fought 2-0 win against Armadale at the ECU Football Stadium. Tommy Amphlett opened the scoring early, and new Scottish striker Gordon Smith doubled the lead on the hour, to give Dale McCulloch’s side their first win of the season. “We were great today and the win gives us confidence going forward, and to keep a clean sheet is also important,” ECU skipper Ryan Lowry said. “We defended well as a team today and I thought we deserved the win, the new lads have settled in well and we are getting better with every game.”

Both sides had early chances, Bayley Brown-Montgomery tested Armadale keeper Alfie Brincat with a low shot, before Jesse Fuller long-range shot was saved low by ECU custodian David Keenan. But on 24 minutes the home side opened the scoring. Steven McGarry picked the ball in the middle of the park, and threaded a perfect through ball into the path of Amphlett on the left, who outpaced his marker and finished clinically.

It should have been two on the half hour. Amphlett drifted past two Armadale defenders before picking out the unmarked Brown-Montgomery in the box, but the teenager blazed over from five meters. Armadale ended the half well, and ECU had keeper Keenan to thank for keeping them ahead. He saved well from Alex Salmon’s curling shot, before produced a stunning double save to deny the visitors in stoppage time. First he saved low to deny Salmon, but his follow up save to thwart Banin Hasham was even better.

Keenan was at it again after the break, denying Salmon again, before superbly saving Fuller’s header, all in the opening three minutes. The home side settled and after a one-two with Smith, Amphlett’s shot from the edge of the penalty area was pushed around the post by Brincat. But on the hour ECU doubled their advantage. Good lead up play by Smith and Brown-Montgomery, ended with the youngster sending the Scottish striker into the box, and he held off his marker and drilled his shot low across Brincat into the corner of the net.

ECU almost added third on 79 minutes, McGarry’s free kick found Smith, whose header crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. It was end to end football and both sides had late chances. Armadale’s second half substitute Raveshian Kuppusamy fired wide when well placed for Armadale on 85 minutes, before Josh Booysen shot hit the base of the post for ECU moments later. But Armadale couldn’t get back in the game and ECU ran out winners.


Floreat Athena and Sorrento played out a goalless draw in Saturday night’s clash at the E&D Litis Stadium. Both keepers were busy on the night, James Morgan and Jason Saldaris making important saves to help their sides to a point. “I thought we dominated most of the game, we had better chances and probably should have won pretty comfortably,” Sorrento Coach Jamie Harnwell told the NPLWA website. “On the plus side we kept another clean sheet and we dominated another team. (I’m) disappointed not to win but there are still positives there.”

Sorrento dominated early and Jason Saldaris stood tall to deny Alex Morgan, before the Sorrento striker went one-on-one with the keeper again moments later. The English striker rounded the Floreat custodian, but the angle was tight and he fired wide of the target. Floreat were struggling to get into the game, Declan Hargreaves’ long-range shot was blocked, but the best chance came when Kris Gate played in skipper Ludovic Boi, but James Morgan was out quick to save. Billy Quinncroft then missed from close-range, as Sorrento continued to dominate.

After the break Sorrento continued to dictate terms with Tim Hill and Niccolo Sabatini impressive. Substitute Sean Canham went close to the opener going one-on-one with Jason Saldaris, but he fired wide from the angle. Floreat continued to struggle but could have hit the front with ten minutes remaining. Second half substitute Robbie Gasper saw his long-range shot tipped over the top by James Morgan at full stretch. The next to go close for Sorrento was Scott Bulloch, who was sent clear by Ryan Pearson, but Jason Saldaris did well to save, and at the final whistle the points were shared.


Perth Glory and Cockburn City have fought out a 0-0 drew at Ashfield Reserve. Cockburn dominated the first half but the Glory should have taken the points after the break, but missed chances cost them. “I think we went into the game with a lot of confidence after last week’s good performance against Bayswater, and I thought the first half was a close contest,” Glory defender Gian Albano said. “I think we finished stronger in the second half and again didn't take the opportunities that we created, maybe that was down to the wet conditions. I think the overall performance was very good considering we had quite a few of the younger boys stepping up.”

With rain falling at kick off early chances were few and far between. The first real chance fell to Cockburn, former Glory player Harry O’Brien shot was tipped onto the bar by Jordan Thurtell, O’Brien was quickest to react from the rebound and his volley crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. The Glory were struggling to come to terms with the wet conditions, but the lively Nikola Talimdzioski and Alex Taneski were causing the Cockburn back line problems, but they couldn’t find a way past Luke Radonich in the Cockburn goal. Their best effort came from a Hagi Gligor corner which Scott Robertson headed just wide of the target.

The Glory began the second half well and had Cockburn on the back foot and the Glory youngsters pressed looking for the opener. They went close on 69 minutes; Talimdzioski found space, but his shot was well saved by Radonich. The Glory was on top and went close again seven minutes later. Daniel Stynes played in Talimdzioski, whose shot flashed inches past the post. But at the final whistle it was scoreless, and both sides had a share of the spoils.


Perth Glory has put last year’s salary cap issues firmly to bed, by reaching the 2015-16 Hyundai A-League Finals. The men in purple have been on a fantastic run of form and Saturday’s 2-1 win against Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium made it nine wins from ten games, a run that has every other club wanting to dodge them in the finals series later next month.

Hungarian midfielder Krisztian Vadocz opened the scoring on 72 minutes, before Andy Keogh scored the second, his seventh in consecutive games, which equalled the record in Australian league football. Mateo Poljak pulled one back for the Jets deep in stoppage time, and both sides had a player sent off, Nigel Boogaard for the Jets and Dino Djulbic for the Glory, which was the only down side for Kenny Lowe’s side. “We didn’t play that well in the first half, although we had some good chances, but we ground it out,” Keogh said. “That’s a sign of us doing well at the moment and getting the valuable points on the board. “I think Newcastle played better than us. Fair play to them, they worked harder and they were better on the ball, but as I said, we dug it out and got the win.”

It was the Glory who had the first really opportunity of the game, Diego Castro’s cross finding Chris Harold in the six-yard box, but his shot flew over the top. The Jets, whose finals chances ended last week, looked lively and Ante Covic had to be alert to tip Mitch Cooper’s lob over the top. The Jets were on top and Shane Lowry and Alex Grant were working overtime, Ryan Kitto curled a shot just wide, before Danish striker Morten Nordstrand shot flicked the crossbar moments later. As the half ended the Glory began to hit their groove and Mark Birighitti saved well to deny Castro, before Grant’s powerful header flashed inches past the post.

Both sides were on the front foot early in the second half, Cooper headed wide from Leonardo’s free kick for the Jets, before Harold headed over Keogh’s cross on the hour. But on 72 minutes the Glory hit the front. Nebojsa Marinkovic’s corner was headed goalwards by Djulbic, but it was blocked, and wasn’t dealt with by the Jets defenders and the ball fell nicely to Vadocz who fired home from close-range to open his Glory account.

They doubled their advantage on 88 minutes, Keogh raced past Boogaard and fell under the challenge of the Jets skipper and referee Kris Griffiths-Jones pointed to the spot and sent the defender off. It looked a little harsh but Keogh sent Birighitti the wrong way from the resulting spot kick. It looked game over but there was another twist in the final minute of stoppage time. Kitto was dragged down by Djulbic, and the big defender was sent off for a second booking. Covic got a hand to Poljak’s penalty but couldn’t stop it going into the net, but it was too little too late and the Glory left with all three points.



It’s Week Two of the PS4 National Premier League WA and the pick of this week’s games takes us to Macedonia Park, where Stirling Lions host Champions Bayswater City. Both sides opened their campaigns with victories, but in totally different circumstances. The Lions thrashed Subiaco 7-1, while Bayswater had to come from two goals down to beat Perth Glory 4-3. New Bayswater defender Devon Gibson, made his debut for the Black and Blues last week, and he said it was a tough battle but they got there in the end. “We made it very hard for ourselves, it's always tough coming up against a young Glory team, with some quality young players, they made us work hard to fight back for the win,” he said. “But Looking around the field, even though we were 3-1 down, no one looked worried, we had some quality players to come on from the bench, as seen Gustavo scoring four, although it was unfortunate to see Brian Farrell come off with a hamstring injury. It was a good test for myself, coming straight back in the squad as it’s my first game in six weeks with a new football club due to being cup tied.”

Gibson said the Lions have impressed in the Night Series and have a strong squad, so he is expecting another tight encounter on Saturday. “This weekend will be a test for us, as Stirling will defiantly be looking to bounce back from losing the night series Grand Final,” he said. “The score certainly does show that they had a good game on the weekend, but our league can be unpredictable sometimes, it's who turns up on the day.”

Lions’ striker Robert Petkov started with a bang last week scoring a brace in the big win against Subiaco, but he said it was a great all-round team performance. “It was a perfect start to the season and we put in a good performance, especially considering last week’s disappointing loss to Bayswater in the final,” he said. “It's was important for us to go out and get the result, and we did, it was pleasing to start the season with a good all-round team performance.”

Petkov believes Bayswater are the team to beat this season, and he said they are looking forward to the challenge. “Bayswater are always the team to beat, and even when behind should never be written off, like last week showed,” he explained. “Although it's only the second round, beating Bayswater would be a massive confidence boost, but we'll have to be at the top of our game if we are to do so.”

Perth SC opened their season with a big win at Armadale, and this week they entertain Subiaco at Dorrien Gardens. They won last week without influential skipper Clark Keltie, but the English midfielder returns this week, if selected, and he said last week’s performance from the younger players bodes well for the season ahead. “It’s always nice to start round one with a win, so it was pleasing to come away with a 4-1 victory,” he said. “Armadale isn't an easy place to go to, and they made it hard for us in spells, however I thought our quality shone through in the end.” Keltie knows that Subiaco will be hurting after the thrashing last week, and he is expecting them to be up for this game. “Personally, I don't read into what teams did the previous week, I like to treat each game the same and prepare for it as the coach asks us to,” he explained. “Yes they are coming off the back of a heavy defeat, but at this stage of the season teams are still gelling so it's hard to gage where they will be at. Gareth has a fit and confident squad at his disposal so we'll be going into the game looking for nothing less than a win.”

Sorrento hit the road this week, when they travel to the E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday evening (7.00pm) to take on Floreat Athena. The Gulls kicked off their season with a 2-0 win against local rivals ECU Joondalup, with Alex Morgan on target. The midfielder said they totally dominated the game and are happy to start the season with three points. “It was really a good way to start the season, we played well and looked really solid at the back and kept a clean sheet which was a massive positive,” he said. “It was nice to score on my league debut for the club, and I hope there will be many more to come.” Floreat lost their first game of the season, but Morgan knows they have some quality players and is expecting them to hit back. He is expecting a tight encounter, but they will be heading their looking to bring home the points. “It was a tough start for Floreat last week, so I'm sure they'll come out firing so we'll have to be prepared for that,” he said. “We've been working hard on our own game so hopefully that's enough to get us the three points. Sean Canham is coming back from an injury and Billy Quinncroft has been on fire at training lately and Jordan Brown is also coming back from suspension, so there will be some good competition for spots.”

Balcatta, who started life under new coach Marc Anthony with a 1-3 defeat at Cockburn last week, entertain Inglewood United at Grindleford Reserve. It wasn’t the return Jonathan Corness was looking for, the new Balcatta defender said they handed the Cockerels the point with errors. “It wasn’t the result we were looking for,” he said. “In the first half I felt we were the better side, we created some decent chances but a couple of mistakes at the back, including one from myself let them into the contest. Second half we were very flat, we struggled to get a grip of the ball and let Cockburn run away with points.” Kieron Stallard returns from suspension for the visit of Inglewood, who started the season well with a 3-0 win against Floreat Athena, and Corness said they have recruited well and will be a big challenge. “We need to bounce back on Saturday with a rounded performance, if we want to be in the top four we need to beat the likes of Inglewood to have a chance,” he explained. “I’m sure the lads will want to put last week’s defeat behind us with a good showing in front of our home crowd.”

Both ECU Joondalup and Armadale will be looking to kick start their seasons after losses in the opening round when the pair meet at the ECU Football Stadium. Joondalup were beaten in the local derby at Sorrento but were without import Gordon Smith. The former Dumbarton striker will make his ECU debut on Saturday and is looking forward to get started. “I was very disappointed to miss last week and wasn't aware that the bookings carried on to the league games otherwise I wouldn't have played the last game of the night series on a booking,” he explained. “But it's done now and I can't wait for this Saturday, and if we play the way we know we can we will have a great chance of winning three points.” Armadale beat ECU in the Night series and Smith said they were good that night, but he believes Joondalup are gelling well, and hope to start their home games with a win. “We didn't turn up that night, but that result will give us the motivation to put things right,” he said. “We've not had the rub of the green at times but no excuses for Saturday and we need to start our home games with a win.”

In the final game former Perth Glory defender Scott Miller takes Cockburn City to Ashfield Reserve to take on his former club. The Glory youngsters let a two lead slip to lose 3-4 to Bayswater last week, and midfielder Daniel Stynes said they deserved something from the game. “It was a fantastic performance all round last week against the best team in WA, we deserved to get the three points or at least a draw, however when you give away three penalties and get two men sent off, it doesn't help,” he explained. “We had players missing as well, so players had to play in different positions, but we worked hard all the way to the end.” Cockburn won their opener against Balcatta, and Stynes said they will be looking to rebound this week and get their first win on the board. “It will be another very tough game, but I think teams will fear us now because of the game at Bayswater and we don't fear anyone, so it will be a cracking game,” he said. “We played them in Pre-season and it was a very good game. We played with a lot of structure and guile last week so we will be looking to do the same again.” Glory will be without the suspended Calvin Whitney and Ross Millard.



On Monday it’s the Fourth Round of the Westfield FFA Cup, with six of the PS4 NPLWA teams coming into the competition. Newly promoted Division One side Forrestfield United, will be looking to cause an upset when they visit Grindleford Reserve to take on Balcatta. United Coach Rod Banjac said they head into the game in good form. “We have been continually improving since January this year and I see no reason to fear any opposition in WA,’ he said. “The squad has been playing fantastic football and dominating for long periods in all games we took part in since January, NPL teams included. “Our biggest challenge is to instill the belief and confidence into our young squad as it takes time and a few games against top opposition, under tough circumstances, for them to realise their individual and collective ability.”

Banjac said they are confident they can get a result, but they can’t give Balcatta an early lead. “Our team has all the attributes of a quality side and is becoming more intelligent by the day. The only thing we lack is the experience as clearly demonstrated where we had to come back from a two goal deficit on three separate occasions during the Night Series,” he explained. “It is also important to note that we entered this competition for one reason only, and that is to win it.”

The match of the Round is at the Croatian Sporting Complex, when Gwelup Croatia take on Ashfield. Gwelup have a had a great tradition in the competition, reaching the Semi-Final last season, and they stunned Shamrock Rovers in the last round, and keeper Aleks Vrteski said it was a good win, but not their best. “I felt the performance was solid without being great,” he said. “We did enough to win without really looking as if we were going to lose a good building block for the team.” They go into Monday’s game full of confidence and looking to cause another upset but the keeper believes Ashfield are one of the best sides in Division One. “Ashfield are definitely a hard team to beat, I remember a few seasons back with Stirling they turned us over 1-0 in the cup, so it's definitely not a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination,” he said. “But, it's another challenge for the group who seem to relish challenges, so I'm sure whoever comes down will get value for their time. Ashfield, who reached the State Cup Final in 2013, also had a fantastic win in the last round, beating the in-form Joondalup United. Midfielder Alex Stamatiadis was on target, and he is expecting another tough test on Monday. “Coming up against Joondalup was always going to be tough but we as a team we fought well and came away with the win. Our squad is really coming together now and the new boys are starting to find their feet which is making our gameplay more difficult to play against,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to Monday’s game, a lot of people talk about Gwelup as they've had a lot of decent players there over the last few years. I admire what they have done of late it reminds me of what we have done here at Ashfield and they are a credit to themselves for sure, so it should be a cracker of a game.”

Division Two side Fremantle City also take on a NPL club, when they travel to Alfred Skeet Oval to take on Armadale. City beat Rockingham City in the last round and Coach Steve Plucknet said they deserved it. “I was very pleased with the performance, it was a strong, hard physical (fair) contest, with both sides giving everything, in saying that, we didn't take the chances that we should have in the first half,” he said. “That meant it was always going to be a battle against one of the best sides we played last year, and when Rockingham pulled a goal back we had to dig very deep for the final 15 to keep them out. A pleasing aspect was the performance of our three new signings from Shamrock, Sean Browne, Stephen O'Leary and Alec Robinson who added toughness through the side that we have been severely lacking.” Plucknet said they are looking forward to taking on Armadale, and they hope to give a good account of themselves. “This week is another hard assignment, we won't be expected to get anything against a much improved NPL side, which should be able to back up a Saturday game,” he said. “But if our new players can continue to gel and Alec Robinson gets another brace, then it certainly won't be for the lack of trying.”

Division One Champions Mandurah City will head north looking for a cup upset, when they take on Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Mandurah coach Doug Hesketh said there are looking forward to the tie, and hopes to have a little inside knowledge heading into the game. “We’re looking forward to the game, and a few of us at the club have had an association there at some point,” he said. “Mick Lyons was coach there a few years ago, so we know they are a club always up for a game. I haven't seen them play for a while but I know a few of the players and Scott Miller is a good friend, so we are under no illusions it will be another good test for our squad.” Hesketh said the pitch at Dalmatinac Park is fantastic for good football, and is looking to pitting their wits against the Cockerels. “I think it's one of the best playing surfaces in WA, and that will suit both teams,” he said. “We have nothing to lose in this one, it’s our 7th game of pre-season, and that’s the ideal number games I try to get in leading into the season proper, so we are looking forward to the challenge.”

Gosnells City will also be looking for an upset when they host Subiaco, not at Walter Padbury Reserve but at Tompkins Park, Alfred Cove. City beat Quinns to move into the next round and Coach Wally Aquino was less than pleased with the performance. “I thought the win against Quinns reflected a satisfactory performance, but we know there is plenty of room for improvement,” he said, “Apart from a few moments at the start and near the end, I felt that we were in control defensively while we played with composure in midfield. I was pleased with our work rate in attack and with a bit more cohesion we could have scored more than the 4 goals.” Aquino is looking forward to pitting their wits with an NPL club to see where they are at. “This week's cup game against Subiaco will be a good test for our players. Our players haven't played against an NPL club since I've been with the club so they are keen to see if they can be competitive,” he explained. “We know Subiaco didn't start the league season in the best way. However, they will have an extra league game before our cup game which I'm sure will help them improve and be ready to take us on with full confidence.”

The surprise of the third round was Football Margaret River, who beat Balga, and they have home ground advantage again when they host Swan United at Gloucester Park. Swan, who were relegated to Division Two last season, have a new coach and squad, and Coach Matt Debarro said it’s a long trip but one their looking forward too, apart from the traffic on the way back. “We are really pumped up for the challenge we have heard Margaret River are a strong team and with a win over Balga we certainly won't go down underestimating them,” he said. “We will still be without four key players but again another test of our depth and character which I'm confident my boys can overcome. We played some good football against Ellenbrook and our focus for the game is consistency in what we do. I'm sure it will be a good game and hopefully we can get the result and return home in good spirits, even with the holiday traffic.”

In other games involving NPL side, ECU Joondalup host Dianella White Eagles, the game has been switched to the ECU Football Stadium as the Eagles ground is unavailable, Stirling Lions host Morley Windmills at Macedonia Park, while Inglewood United make the trip down South to take on South West Phoenix at Hay Park. The rest of the ties are Curtin University against Backpackers FC at Edinburgh Oval, Western Knights host Canning City at Nash Field and UWA-Nedlands make the trip to the Spanish Club to face North Lake.



Perth Glory will be looking to continue their impressive record against Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium, when they meet on Saturday afternoon. (2pm WA time) Kenny Lowe’s side will all but seal finals football if they can claim the three points, and their form of eight wins from their last nine games has catapulted them up the table, and in those games the Glory have beaten the Jets twice, including a memorable 6-1 thrashing in Newcastle in Round 16. The Glory go into the clash without skipper Josh Risdon, who is on Socceroos duties, but they do regain Nebojsa Marinkovic, who missed the last two games with a hamstring strain.

Glory striker Andy Keogh has warned their rivals he expects to hit peak form and fitness during next month’s A-League finals. The 29-year-old has rewarded the clubs decision to re-sign him in the January transfer window, scoring seven goals from his past six games. The Irish striker said they wanted a top-four finish and a home final. “I probably wouldn’t say I’m 100 per cent fit yet, but I’m getting there,” Keogh said. “I’ll just take one game at a time, try to improve every game, get fitter every week and go from there. I’m enjoying my football and I’m enjoying playing with this team, it's a joy to be a part of and I think it can only get better.”

Perth have scored 17 goals in their last six matches – just five fewer than Newcastle have managed all season. Keogh has found the back of the net in every one of these clashes and can go into the record books if he makes it seven on the trot. Diego Castro continues to tease defences and Chris Harold showed his electric turn of speed in the win over Phoenix last week. The Jets Danish striker Morten Nordstrand will no doubt be keen to get back among the goals while Leonardo has been a constant threat having strung some eye-catching displays together in recent weeks.

Jets skipper Nigel Boogaard says Newcastle are determined to give Jets Members and supporters a performance to be proud of. It will be the Jets final home fixture of the season this weekend. “Training today was sharp and intense and the focus is there for the weekend,” Boogaard said. “We want to finish the season off well and importantly we’re at home and want to give the home fans something to be proud of. With the ‘gaffer’ [Scott Miller] and ‘JP’ [Jean-Paul de Marigny] they are always going to be there to drive us and there is that motivation within the group anyway to make sure that we push right until the very end.”

Newcastle Jets squad: GK Mark BIRIGHITTI, GK Ben KENNEDY, 3 Jason HOFFMAN, 4 Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5 Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6 Cameron WATSON, 7 Enver ALIVODIC, 8 Mateo POLJAK, 9 Milos TRIFUNOVIC, 10 LEONARDO, 12 Andy BRENNAN, 14 Mitch COOPER, 16 Steven UGARKOVIC, 17 Radovan PAVICEVIC, 19 Morten NORDSTRAND, 22 Lachlan JACKSON, 24 Nicholas COWBURN, 28 Ryan KITTO - **two to be omitted** - Ins: BRENNAN (promoted), COOPER (promoted), PAVICEVIC (promoted) - Outs: Daniel MULLEN (suspended – 1 week)

Perth Glory squad: GK Ante COVIC, GK Jerrad TYSON, 2 Alex GRANT, 3 Marc WARREN, 4 Shane LOWRY, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 7 Gyorgy SANDOR, 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11 Richard GARCIA, 13 Diogo FERREIRA, 14 Chris HAROLD, 17 Diego CASTRO, 18 Mitch OXBORROW, 21 Kosta PETRATOS, 23 Kristian VADOCZ, 24 Jamal REINERS, 29 Aryn WILLIAMS - **two to be omitted** - Ins: MARINKOVIC (returns from injury), FERREIRA (promoted), WILLIAMS (promoted) - Outs: Josh RISDON (international duty – 1 week)



Goalkeeper Alex Dunn says the importance of depth will come to the fore this weekend, with Inglewood United playing twice in three days. Inglewood make the relatively short journey to Balcatta on Saturday for their second round National Premier Leagues fixture before heading south 48-hours later for an FFA Cup date at South West Phoenix.

“It’s proven in every league around the world that you need depth if you want to compete for silverware,” Dunn said. “We’ve got two games in three days coming up and the quality we’ve got at Inglewood throughout the squad will give Taki (Nicolaidis) the chance to rotate his players if needed, that’s not a luxury every coach has.”

Balcatta have done it tough this year, losing five of their six games to date, but Dunn says that will mean nothing come Saturday. “There’s no room for complacency in this league; any team can beat you on their day,” he said. “We certainly won’t be taking Balcatta lightly. Our preparation will be the same as every other game.”

“If any added incentive to get the win was needed then the fact a few of us, myself included, are ex-Balcatta players will provide it. We’re coming off a good win (3-0 over Floreat Athena) and the lads are very confident at the moment. Everyone will work for one another to ensure we get a win against Balcatta.”

Dunn has no doubt Inglewood will be in tip top condition when they step out onto the field in Bunbury on Monday. “It can be a big ask to back-up a Saturday game with another only a few days later,” said the goalkeeper. “But I know Taki will be organising ice baths after the Balcatta game to best prepare us.”

“The FFA Cup is probably the highest exposure for players at our level. Travelling to Sydney with Perth SC last year was a great experience and to have that opportunity again with this group would be brilliant. There’s depth and hunger for success in the playing group … we all are looking forward to both games this weekend.”



Hungarian recruit Krisztian Vadosz says Perth Glory’s remarkable run of form makes him want to stay with the club. Vadocz joined Glory in January for the remainder of the 2015/16 season but has been integral to the side’s surge up the ladder. Since debuting against Wellington in early February, Glory have won six out of seven games with the 30-year old central midfielder starting each match.

Vadocz, who lists Osasuna and Alaves as former clubs, has impressed, earning selection in this week’s A-League team of the round. “I am feeling really good and I’m enjoying my time here,” Vadocz said. “(It’s easy to enjoy) when you’re part of the winning team every weekend. I’m still ambitious to have the same continuity for the future, as we’re doing right now. Until now, I’m really satisfied and I’m really happy about my adaptation. It was so fast and from the beginning, I was a valuable part of the team.”

Capped, 39-times by Hungary, Vadocz said he was glad to re-pay Glory for giving him an opportunity. He had drifted from Denmark to India to Switzerland and Spain in recent years, before landing with Perth where he’s earned the regular football he’s been craving. “Perth Glory gave me a chance to show my quality in Australia and I’ve shown I’m a valuable player and can be a positive influence on the team,” he said.

Vadocz also said he was enjoying a good working relationship with coach Kenny Lowe, along with compatriot and former Hungary youth international team-mate Gyorgy Sandor. “The Hungarians are always strong and tough,” he said. “We knew each other from when we were just kids. We can talk in Hungarian on the pitch. We can give some commands more easily to each other. We are doing a good job and I hope at the end of the season we can talk about it again in the same way.”



Perth Glory finisher Andy Keogh has warned rivals he expects to hit peak form and fitness during next month’s A-League finals. The 29-year old has rewarded Glory’s decision to re-sign him in the countdown to the January transfer window, scoring seven goals from his past six games.

Keogh’s prolific run has been a major driver in Glory surging to fifth spot heading into Saturday’s clash against at Newcastle Jets. A win would all but guarantee Glory’s first finals berth in three seasons after a meteoric run from the bottom rungs of the ladder.

Keogh predicted he would be at his best at the important end of the campaign. “I probably wouldn’t say I’m 100% fit yet, but I’m getting there,” Keogh said. “I’m enjoying my football and I’m enjoying playing with this team. I’ll just take one game at a time, try to improve every game, get fitter every week and go from there.”

Glory will enter Saturday’s contest brimming with confidence after thrashing Newcastle 6-1 at the same venue in January. They will be without captain Josh Risdon, who is on Socceroos duties. But free-kick specialist Nebojsa Marinkovic has joined the squad in Newcastle and trained yesterday after missing two games with a hamstring strain.

Keogh’s partnership with Spaniard Diego Castro in the forward half continues to blossom at a time when Glory are in discussions to secure the former La Liga player for another season. “We’ve obviously been playing well together,” Keogh said of his attacking partner. “I think we link up well and really complement each other in the different styles of our play and the different roles we give.”

“I think a lot of teams find it difficult to defend against us, especially if you add Chris Harold with his form this season and his pace that gets him in behind. We always look like we’re going to create chances now and are really dominating in terms of attacking play. It’s a joy to be a part of and I think it can only get better.”



The Socceroos have cemented top spot in Group B of the Asian World Cup qualifies with a comprehensive 7-0 win over Tajikistan at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night. Ange Postecoglou’s side dominated from start to finish in a one-sided affair on a damp night in Adelaide in front of 35,439. Early goals from Massimo Luongo and Mile Jedinak all but ending the contest inside the first 15 minutes ,and a flurry of five goals in the second half put the finishing touches on a near complete performance.

Australia went into the match as re-hot favourites against the side ranked 83 places lower on the FIFA rankings and Massimo Luongo opened the scoring after just two minutes when he finished neatly after debutant Apostolos Giannou set him up with a neat touch on the edge of the box. Mathew Leckie should have doubled the lead five minutes later, but with the goal at his mercy he headed over the bar from close-range.

The expectant crowd didn’t have to wait long for a second after Giannou was taken down by 40-year-old goalkeeper Alisher Tuychiev in the box, with captain Mile Jedinak calmly slotting away the resultant penalty. After switching his allegiance to Australia, Giannou was a standout in his first appearance for the Socceroos, creating trouble for the Tajikistan defenders all night and providing the assist for four of the Socceroos goals. The only thing missing was a goal.

The 26-year-old should have opened his Socceroos account a number of times throughout the night, shooting over in the first half before hitting the post from point blank range with ten minutes remaining in the second. The Socceroos should have piled on the goals in the latter stages of the first half with chances from Aaron Mooy, Leckie, Jedinak and Nathan Burns going begging as Australia created wave after wave of attack, forcing Tajikstan to sit further and further back. Australia’s profligacy was the only disappointing aspect of Australia’s first half performance.

If Postecoglou was disappointed with the Socceroos finishing in the first half, he could have no complaints with their efforts in the second half, piling on five goals as his side steamrolled a disappointing Tajikistan side. Giannou was again involved in the action for Australia’s third, when he was rugby tackled in the box by Davronjon Ergashev, and referee Fahad Jaber Al-Marri having no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Milligan, who took the captain’s armband from Jedinak, stepped up and made no mistake from the spot.

Burns wasted a glorious opportunity to add to the scoreline just before the hour mark when his powerful header was directed wide. The goal Burns’ performance deserved came just minutes later, Mooy toyed with the Tajik defence, before whipping in a low cross for Burns to tap home.

A quick-fire brace from Tom Rogic, including a piece of individual brilliance from the edge of the box to rival that which he scored for Celtic last weekend, fattened the scoreline in Australia’s favour to more accurately reflect the dominance of the Asian champions.

But for the crossbar the Celtic attacker would have scored one of the quickest hat-tricks in Socceroos history with his rocket from the edge of the box only two minutes later smashing the crossbar. Burns completed his brace five minutes from time, heading home Ryan McGowan’s pinpoint cross to seal a 7-0 victory for the Socceroos.



When Hungarian midfielder Krisztian Vadosz joined Perth Glory in January as an injury replacement, many of their supporters said …who. But since debuting against Wellington in early February, the Glory have won six out of seven games with Vadocz starting each match. The 30-year-old central midfielder, who lists Osasuna and Alaves as former clubs, has impressed, earning selection in this week’s A-League team of the round, but he is only to the end of the season, but he likes what he’s seen and would like to stay.

“I am feeling really good and I’m enjoying my time here,” Vadocz told FourFourTwo. “(It’s easy to enjoy) when you’re part of the winning team every weekend. I’m still ambitious to have the same continuity for the future, as we’re doing right now. Until now, I’m really satisfied and I’m really happy about my adaptation. It was so fast and from the beginning, I was a valuable part of the team.”

The former Hungarian international said he was glad to re-pay Perth for giving him an opportunity. He had drifted from Denmark to India to Switzerland and Spain in recent years, before landing with Perth where he’s earned the regular football he’s been craving. “Perth Glory gave me a chance to show my quality in Australia and I’ve shown I’m a valuable player and can be a positive influence on the team,” he said. “I think I’ve done well in the last few weeks and if you’re always in the winning team, it’s easier to be recognized. It’s more than 10 years for me in the business, so I know how to be in good shape and rise up to the occasion.”

Vadocz said he was enjoying a good working relationship with Coach Kenny Lowe, along with compatriot and former Hungary youth international team-mate Gyorgy Sandor. “The Hungarians are always strong and tough. We knew each other from when we were just kids. We can talk in Hungarian on the pitch,” he said. “We can give some commands more easily to each other. We are doing a good job and I hope at the end of the season we can talk about it again in the same way. We are happy about our performance but we’re still in the middle of the process and our objective is still ahead of us.”



Australia is not underestimating Tajikistan ahead of their World Cup Qualifier in Adelaide on Thursday night, according to central defender Trent Sainsbury. A member of the side that won the Asian Cup just over twelve months ago, Sainsbury said the squad respects every opponent they play and Tajikistan will be no different.

“No, never,” he said when asked if he was taking anything for granted against a side ranked 83 places lower than Australia according to the latest FIFA rankings. “I mean it doesn’t matter which team you play this is a qualifying game, it’s a one off and we’ve got to go there, be professionals, do our job and show them respect they deserve.”

With the full squad not assembling in Adelaide until Tuesday when the last of the players arrive from Europe, Sainsbury doesn’t expect it to take long for the team to gel and get back into the groove, even with a host of new faces in the squad. “I don’t think it takes too long, (there’s) a lot of familiar faces in the squad,” he said.

“(There’s) fresh faces coming in as well which always creates a bit of buzz and excitement around the team. Just getting to know everyone and not stepping on anyone’s toes is a bit of a harrowing experience, but the boys are all quality lads so they’ll make everyone feels good and I think everyone’s going to start gelling together over the next few days.”

Sainsbury, who has a dozen caps to his name, said each time he pulls on the Socceroos jersey is a special moment. “You’ve got your family’s name on the back and you’ve got the crest on the front so you’re not doing it just for yourself,” he said. “There’s a lot of other people involved and I wouldn’t be here without those people that helped me along the way.”

With Matthew Spiranovic ruled out with injury, Sainsbury is determined to lock down one of the central defensive positions and make it his own. “I think there’s a lot of competition for spots, Ange has created a lot of depth in the squad,” he said. “It means that every time you take to the training paddock you’ve got to give it 100 percent and give it your all. It’s the little things that count as well, your diet, your hydration.”

The former Central Coast Mariners defender had high praise for coach Ange Postecoglou, who has spoken out recently wanting his players to come into camp hungry and determined to prove they belong. “Yeah Ange puts a great deal of confidence in the boys, he’s a great leader,” 24-year old Sainsbury said.

“I think with confidence there’s always going to be a little but of arrogance, the best teams and the best players in the world have all got that arrogance. We’ve just got to keep it under wraps though and remember that we’re here to represent our country and do the job professionally.



Middlesborough’s Rhys Williams was forced off out of the under-21s overnight loss to Sunderland with a suspected cheek bone injury. Williams, who has missed most of the last two years with an Achilles’ injury, exited the playing arena with nine minutes remaining and was sent for a scan on an injured cheek immediately after the final whistle. The result left Boro rooted to the bottom of the competition table with only four games to play.



Perth Glory may not be the most fashionable of A-League teams, but coach Kenny Lowe says that's not holding them back in their late charge towards the play-offs. Glory have won eight of their last nine matches and sit just five points astray of leaders Western Sydney Wanderers, a massive momentum shift after winning only three of their first 15 matches and sitting ninth in mid-January.

Glory were all efficiency in downing Wellington Phoenix on Sunday, the 2-1 scoreline flattering the home team who attained late respectability through a goal in stoppage time. In contrast, the visitors created a deluge of chances, and only smart work from Wellington custodian Glen Moss kept the scoreline manageable. As it was, Andy Keogh and Diego Castro both added to their season's tally with well-taken strikes, leaving the Irishman on eight goals for the season and the Spaniard on twelve.

The secret to the Glory's success, Lowe says, is simple. "We're not the flashest team in the league by a long way, but we are a very well-organised side who've got a wonderful work ethic," he said. "We've just got a real work ethic amongst the team - everybody, from front to back. Keogh works just as hard as our defenders, and Castro, if you look at his numbers, he's one of the hardest working players at our club."

Glory's mid-season signings, most notably Keogh and Hungarian midfielder Krisztian Vadocz, have reignited the club's play-offs bid, but Lowe says the Glory's youngsters are also playing their part. He points to 21-year old defender Mitch Oxborrow, who stepped up with a mature performance off the bench against Wellington, 17-year old attacking midfielder Jamal Reiners and 18-year old striker Kosta Petratos as prime examples.

"A few of the newer boys are coming in and relishing it, and getting support from the older boys," said Lowe, who has coached Glory since December 2013 and is a believer in promoting local youth. "There's a real desire, and everybody wants to help everybody else. They're good people - they can all play, but they're good people. They care, and they're in it for each other."



Partick Thistle goal hero Ryan Edwards said his side bounced back to beat Hamilton Academicals after winning the second half battle. The 22-year-old headed in Kris Doolan's cross after 84 minutes to seal a brilliant 2-1 victory win for the Maryhill side, having been a goal down at half-time to a Hamilton side that was seemingly cruising.

"It's great to get the three points and I'm happy to have scored the winner," said Edwards, whose side are placed eighth in the twelve-team Scottish Premier League. "It worked out well, Kris Doolan made a great run and put in a good ball. I've just thrown my head at it and it ended up in the net, so that was brilliant."

Edwards was a late addition to the starting eleven, replacing Liam Lindsay after he injured a hamstring during the pre-game warm-up. "It was a bit of a weird situation," he said. "It happened before when Stuart Bannigan came off in the 44th minute against Hearts and I wasn't really ready to come on, but that's what you're there for as a sub. You've got to prepare for the unknown and I thought I did that well."

"We didn't show up well in the first half, it was pleasing to see the reaction in the second half from everyone …towards the end of the season the games are always going to be a battle, especially in the next two against Kilmarnock and Dundee United down near the bottom of the table. We've show that if we win the battle and then play our football, we can pick up some results."



It was the third Round of the FFA Cup on the weekend, with the State League Division One and Two sides coming into the competition. There were a couple of shocks, no greater than Football Margaret River's 2-1 win against State League Division Two side Balga. The home side dominated the first twenty minutes and could have been in front, but Balga hit back to end the half on top. The visitors peppered the Margaret River goal hitting the woodwork twice but their pressure told when Hubert Hakizimana opened the scoring on 65 minutes. Not to be deterred the home side lifted and levelled ten minutes later. Garry Holmes cut from the left and played in Jamie Hughes who finished clinically from ten metres. It looked like it was going to penalties, but in the final minute, Margaret River won it. Holmes cross was misjudged by the defender and Hughes buried the ball into the bottom corner from outside the box, to set off wild celebrations from the home supporters. “It was a great occasion for us, and I think we will be celebrating hard tonight, and I thought you would have heard us cheering the winning goal from Perth”, said Coach Shane Charlton. “Both sides had players missing, but I thought we worked really hard and we’re just glad to be able to hold our own against a State League team, and we’re looking forward to the draw next week.’

Amateur Premier Division champions Gwelup Croatia also caused an upset by beating Division One side Shamrock rovers at Harold Rossiter Reserve. The winner came on 78 minutes, Nicolas Tatasciore got in behind the Shamrock defence and cut the ball back for substitute Gavin Knight who cleverly volleyed past Shamrock keeper Justin Scarvaci and into the bottom corner. North Lake SC also beat higher opposition, coming away from Len Shearer Reserve with a 1-0 win at Melville City.

In the match of the round Ashfield beat Joondalup United 4-3 at Beldon Park. With Coach Tony Maguire leaving in the week Ashfield opened brightly and Alex Stamatiadis was brought down in the box after only five minutes and Jay Lang converted from the spot. Stamatiadis added a second for the visitors, but Joondalup pulled one back just before half time through Josh Whitmore, and Adam Buckley levelled early in the second half. Brian Patterson and Ross Diamond put Ashfield 4-2 up and in control, and although Whitmore scored his second to pull one back for Joondalup with five minutes to go, Ashfield hung on to win.

Forrestfield United made the trip to Kingsway Reserve and left with a hard fought 4-0 win against Kingsway Olympic. Ben Rogers opened the scoring early, before Scott Barker doubled their advantage before the break. Rogers bagged a second on the hour, while new American import Hasani Sinclair topped of a good performance by added the first late on. “It was a very professional performance from the lads, against a tough physical outfit in Kingsway,” keeper Brad Effie said. “I thought the boys got the ball down and played football in true Forrestfield style. It was a great day out and we look forward to the draw being made for the next round.”

In other games Gosnells City beat Quinns 4-1 at Walter Padbury Reserve. Scott Pereira headed home a corner early, while Jason Pottier, Aaron Coslani and Trent Blewett completed the scoring. Mandurah City beat Joondalup City 5-1, with Jordan Rhodes bagged two, with Andy Brown, Abe Toucoma and Oscar Thomson netting the others for the Dolphins. “We had 5 lads under 20 playing giving good accounts of themselves, after being asked to step up, so very pleased with that,” Coach Doug Hesketh said. “Mick and I do recognise we have some very good young players coming through, also Chris Chandler our junior player and DT38 junior Ambassador for WA lead us out for the first time at home in 2016 so it worked out well.”

Swan United beat Ellenbrook United at Francis Street. John Monterosso opened the scoring, but the black and whites had Cory Hugo, who has returned to the Swan this season, in fine form to deny Ellenbrook. Monterosso added his second just before half time, and Thomas Black added the third. “Cory was good for us today, it’s great to have him back at the club,” Coach Matt DeBarro said. “All the boys played well, but a special mention to Lyon Varney who had a tremendous game. It’s great to see John (Monterosso) kick off with a double. It was great to see a much improved Ellenbrook team, and I really hope they do well this season.”

In other results Morley Windmills beat North Perth United 4-1, and Fremantle City edged out Rockingham City 2-1. South west Phoenix beat Wanneroo City 4-1 on the road, Dianella White Eagles beat Bunbury United 4-2, while Western Knights easily beat Boulder 11-1 at Nash Field. In Sunday’s game UWA Nedlands beat Hamersley Rovers 4-1, while Curtin University and Canning City both won on penalties, against Kingsley and Kwinana United respectively.



Perth Glory has put the rest of the A-League on notice, they are the real deal. The Glory travelled across the ditch to take on Wellington Phoenix, and left the Westpac Stadium with a 2-1 win. It just wasn’t the result, it was another professional performance, dominating possession and moving them closer to the top four. Kenny Lowe’s side totally dominated a Phoenix side who had thrashed Sydney FC last week. Andy Keogh scored his eighth goal of the season to give them the lead in the first half before Diego Castro added a the second tapping home after Chris Harold’s shot was saved, to make it eight wins in their last nine matches. “I think we had 25 shots and Wellington had four, one on target. They dominated the ball but we created the better opportunities,” Kenny Lowe said. “You’re never content. We were disappointed to concede but I thought we were really, really professional. It’s a difficult place to come but we’ve controlled the game and I think we deserved it.

Glory went in to the match unchanged and Krisztián Vadócz went close to the opener early, in sensational style. The Hungarian spotted Phoenix keeper Glen Moss off his line and his audacious shot from half-way had Moss back pedaling in a hurry, and was able to push the ball around the posts at full stretch. It was one-way traffic and Castro should have done better on 20 minutes when Marc Warren’s deep cross picked the Spaniard on the back post be he missed the opportunity.

Moss was working overtime and the Phoenix custodian produced another good save to deny Richard Garcia’s goal bound shot moments later. But on 36 minutes the Glory’s pressure was rewarded with the lead. Garcia dipped his shoulders and waltzed past two Phoenix defenders and crossed to Keogh who finished clinically from five meters. Garcia was having a blinder and he whipped in another dangerous cross just before half time, Keogh made a nuisance of himself and the rebound fell to Harold, whose header was cleared off the line by Andrew Durante.

It was more of the same after the break, Castro’s curling shot whistled inches past the far post, while Warren had Moss scrambling with his long-range shot. Harold’s pace was causing problems and his lung busting run ended with a pin-point cross to Keogh, but the Irishman headed straight at Moss. Castro then tested Moss again, but the keeper could only watch as his shot flew just wide.

Many were wondering it those missed chances come back to haunt the Glory, but they needn’t have worried as the Glory doubled their advantage on 74 minutes. There looked little danger when a long through ball was played into the Phoenix half, but Harold put the after burners on to race clear. His first shot was blocked by Moss, his follow up shot was also saved, but the ball squirmed under the keepers’ body and Castro nipped in to fire home from close-range. The Glory were looking to keep a third clean sheet in a row, but they were undone in the second minute of stoppage time with the goal of the game. Doyle was sent down the left, and with no support tried his luck, and his curling shot flew into the corner of the net giving Ante Covic no chance, but it was too little too late.



A win or draw against Adelaide United on Saturday night will take Western Sydney Wanderers to the top of the A-League table and also bring defender Scott Neville closer to achieving one of his biggest career goals - playing in the Asian Champions League. Brisbane Roar's loss to Melbourne City on Friday night has made the stakes for the Western Sydney-Adelaide game even bigger than they already were.

Melbourne, who began the round in fourth place, jumped to the A-League summit after defeating Brisbane, but a win to either Western Sydney or Adelaide will propel them into first place. With things so incredibly tight there are bound to be more twists and turns in the closing rounds of the regular season. The teams finishing one and two are rewarded with an Asian Champions League place next year.

"I've seen where we are on the table but we try to avoid looking too much into what results will mean for every team and just focus on the match," Neville said. "The A-League is so tight at the moment that anything can happen every week. It's probably the most unpredictable season that has ever occurred, so we just focus on the job at hand and take it one game at a time and try to get as many points as we can."

Asked where Western Sydney would draw their strength of performance from against Adelaide, Neville replied: "I think our strengths come from looking after all of the small details in preparation and just working hard as a team. Defending as a team, attacking as a team and being just that bit more ruthless in those areas now, because it's getting to crunch time and we want to really kick on not only for the Premier's Plate but also going into the finals."

Neville has a fair idea of what to expect from Adelaide winger Sergio Cirio, his opponent tonight. "I've come up against him five or six times," Neville said. "Every time you come up against a winger he's one of the quickest in the team and Cirio is like that. He plays very direct and he's a good dribbler, so I've just got to be on my toes and not dive in."

Neville has watched a couple of the recent Asian Champions League group games involving Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory. He said one of the reasons he joined Western Sydney from Newcastle Jets was to increase his chances of playing in the continental competition. "It's a great competition and the Aussie teams are playing well in it at the moment," he said.

"Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory are putting on a really good show for the A-League. The way the Wanderers went when they won the ACL was fantastic and if we can qualify for next year's ACL it would be another great achievement by the club. It's a huge career goal for me, to play in the ACL."

"When I was playing for Perth (Glory) we made the A-League grand final (but) didn't qualify for the ACL and that's another reason I came to Wanderers, to be at one of the big clubs. I wanted the chance to play for titles not only in the A-League but also in Asia and to get the opportunity to showcase my talents as an individual and also part of a team."



Inglewood United shone under the lights in the opening PS4 NPLWA game at Inglewood Stadium on Saturday evening, running out a convincing 3-0 winners against an undermanned Floreat Athena. The damage was done after the break with Brian Woodall, Mark Pritchard and Callum O’Connell all on target, as Taki Nicolaidis celebrated his first league game in charge. “Three points, three goals and a clean sheet - we have more than one reason to be happy today,” Nicolaidis told the NPLWA website. “We had a lot of possession and we could have scored more goals earlier on in the game. We were a bit wasteful with our opportunities, but this is a result to celebrate.”

The home side crated the best chances of the first half, with Ashley Rosindale, Woodall and Scott Blackmore going close, but some poor finishing and some good keeping from Dejan Aleksic kept the scores level. Floreat who were missing a number of key players due to injury and suspension held firm and went into the break all-square.

But the home side continued to dictate terms and Aleksic did well again to keep Pritchard out in the early exchanges, but it wasn’t a real surprise on the hour when Inglewood broke the deadlock. Woodall finding space to steer the ball past the Floreat custodian. The lead was well deserved, and Floreat were struggling to break down an Inglewood defence well led by Adam Tong, and their best efforts came from long distance, which didn’t cause Inglewood keeper Alex Dunn much problems.

Floreat were holding on and hitting on the counter attack, but Inglewood were resilient and added a second seven minutes from time. New midfielder Pritchard picked his spot and fired home powerfully from the edge of the box. It took the wind out of the Floreat sails and they conceded a third five minutes later, with Calum O’Connell also scoring on his league debut, to give the home side a well-deserved 3-0 win.



Bayswater City have come from behind to beat a gallant Perth Glory side 4-3 in the PS4 NPLWA game at Finance 365 Stadium. It was the first game at the re-named venue and the glory led 2-0 at the break with goals Nikola Talimdzioski and Gian Albano. But the sending off of Ross Millard gave Bayswater an opening and Colombian striker Gustavo Giron-Marulanda reduced the margin early in the second half. Talimdzioski regained the two goal buffer, but Giron-Marulanda bagged another three to seal a dramatic comeback win, and to make matters worse for the Glory Calvin Whitney was also sent off. “We’re grateful we used the ‘get out of jail card’ today but credit to the boys, sometimes you’ve got to roll up your sleeves and have a go,” Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne said. “They’re a tired bunch that worked really hard today. We were fortunate to get away with the three points but we’ll take it.”

The Glory were on top early and it wasn’t a surprise when they hit the front on 11 minutes. Albano made space down the left and picked out Talimdzioski in the box, and he headed past Devon Spence. It was almost two on the half hour, Stynes won possession of Trent Kay, but his shot sailed over the top. But the second goal did arrive in first half stoppage time, Albano played a one-two with Talimdzioski before finishing low past Spence.

Bayswater needed a good start and they got it, pulling a goal back on 53 minutes. Millard brought down Giron-Marulanda and referee Josh Mannella pointed to the spot. Glory keeper Jordan Thurtell picked the right way to save Giron-Marulanda’s spot kick, but the Colombian striker was quickest to react to score from the rebound. The Glory were then reduced to ten men when Millard received a second yellow card.

But just after the hour the ten men regained their two goal advantage, Talimdzioski sent clear with a through ball and he finished clinically past Spence. Bayswater began to take control and Hayden Doyle fired wide from six-yards, before they were rewarded another penalty when Thurtell brought down Alex Wild, and Giron-Marulanda converted to bring it back to 3-2.

Then three minutes later amazingly Bayswater were rewarded another penalty, Whitney bringing down Wild, and Giron-Marulanda levelled. The home side hit the front for the first time moments later, Giron-Marulanda curling a free kick up and over the wall and it to bottom corner of the net. Bayswater went in search of more goals but the Glory hung on and almost nicked a point late, with Stynes racing clear on swift counter attack and finishing well, but the linesman’s flag was up for offside.



Former Cockburn City coach Marc Anthony’s return to Dalmatinac Park ended in disappointment after his new club Balcatta were beaten 3-1 in the opening game of the PS4 NPLWA. Former Perth Glory Harry O’Brien was outstanding, bagging a brace in the first half to give the Cockerels the advantage, before Hassan El Yassiri halved the deficit on the stroke of half time for the visitors. But seven minutes into the second half Cameron Edwards, marked his return to the club by scoring the sealer. “I was really impressed with the boys’ second half performance," Miller told the NPLWA website. “We started off very jittery - it was a bit concerning. But once Harry got that lovely goal it seemed to relax us a bit.”

Balcatta opened brightly and former Cockburn midfielder Conor Kavanagh fired wide early, but after a slow start the home side began to take control and they were ahead on seven minutes. O’Brien picked up the pieces on the edge of the box and found the bottom corner. New Cockburn striker Angel Andres was lively and he raced clear on the half hour, rounded keeper Clint Davies but a defender got back to block his goal bound shot.

Cockburn went in search of a second and Daniel Dols cross picked out Edwards, whose volley flashed just wide of the target. But eight minutes from time the home side doubled their advantage. Andres’ shot on the turn beat Davies, the ball crashing off the post, but O’Brien was quickest to react to fire home from close-range. Balcatta found themselves a lifeline in the final minute of the half, El Yassiri raced clear from a great through ball and finished low past Luke Radonich.

City regained their two goal advantage seven minutes after the break. There looked little danger for Davies, when Ali Gholami shot from long-range, but the Balcatta custodian couldn’t hold on to it and Edwards reacted quickest to ram home the rebound. Balcatta huffed and puffed but struggled to create many clear cut chances the best came from Cockburn skipper Euen Grant, who sliced an attempted clearance flashed just over the top.



Stirling Lions have continued their good form from the QBE Night Series by thrashing Subiaco 7-1 in the PS4 NPLWA season opener at Macedonia Park. They led 3-0 at the break with David Micevski, Teeboy Kamara and Robert Petkov on target, and Petkov Kamara, Daniel Micevski and Blamo Qua Qua added others after the break to stun Subiaco, whose consolation goal came from Carlin Feely. Daniel Micevski said it’s a good first up win but they are not getting carried away. “We have been scoring freely in pre-season and it was nice to continue that yesterday,” he said. “It's a good start, another boost to our confidence, but we can't get carried away there is a long way to go in the season.”

The Lions looked lively early and were rewarded with the lead on 12 minutes, Kamara finishing expertly into the top corner. They doubled their advantage two minutes later, David Micevski waltzed into the area and slid the ball low past Ryan Montgomery. It was one-way traffic and it was 3-0 on the half hour. David Murphy crossed to Petkov and the striker made no mistake, headed home.

Subiaco went close to pulling one back early in the second half but Ian McMurray couldn’t get on the end of Carlin Feely’s cross with the goal at his mercy. But it was the home side who added a fourth on 53 minutes. Kamara raced past his marker, and found Petkov who finished past a stranded Montgomery. Four became five sixty seconds later, Kamara again the provider this time finding Daniel Micevski to score.

The Lions were dominating and Subiaco were wilting, but they did pull one back, against the run of play with Carlin Feely scoring. But the Lions went in for the kill and added a sixth on the hour, with Kamara adding his second. Qua Qua completed the rout on 78 minutes to give the Lions a perfect start and a spot on top of the table.



New Perth SC striker Gustavo Catarcione started the new season with a bang, scoring a hat-trick to help them to an impressive 4-1 win against Armadale under lights at Alfred Skeet Oval on Saturday evening. The striker gave the visitors the lead before half time, but Armadale’s new striker Alex Salmon levelled on the hour. But Catarcione restored their lead nine minutes later, Adrian Madaschi made it three, before Catarcione completed his hat-trick in the final minute. “It was a fantastic team effort and a great start to the season,” Perth midfielder Dean Evans said. “They (Armadale) made it tough for us, but the playing group worked extremely hard and we were rewarded with the three points.”

Armadale, who has impressed in the Night Series opened the brighter and Perth keeper Francis Soale produced a great double save to deny Salmon early. Perth. Who were without skipper Clark Keltie due to suspension, hit back and Reece Vittiglia’s volley on 20 minutes whistled inches past the post. It was an entertaining encounter and the home side went close moments later, Trevor Laure played in Salmon, who’s hot sailed over the top. But the opener came six minutes before half time, Catarcione finding space and finishing low past Alfie Brincat to send the visitors to the sheds with a 1-0 lead.

The home side were out of the blocks early in the second half and went close to the equaliser early. A mazy run from Banin Hashem ended with the winger firing just over the top. But on the hour the home side levelled. A long ball from Brincat found its way to Salmon, who held off his marker and finished clinically into the bottom corner. The home supporters were in full voice, but they were silenced when Perth regained the lead on 69 minutes, Catarcione again was given far too much space and finished from eight-yards.

With Armadale pushing men forward looking for the equaliser, Perth added a third on 78 minutes. Vittiglia’s cross picked Madaschi who headed home past Brincat. Armadale continued to press but were caught out again in the final minute. Vittiglia’s through ball sent Catarcione clear, and with the Armadale defenders looking for the offside flag, which never came, the striker scored to complete the scoring and his hat-trick.



Sorrento opened their season with a 2-0 win against ECU Joondalup in the northern derby at Percy Doyle Reserve. Second half goals to Alex Morgan and Sean Canham gave the Gulls the points and Coach Jamie Harnwell was delighted with sides’ performance. “It’s a very pleasing result, I thought we controlled the whole game,” he told the NPLWA website. “Although I would have liked us to create a few more chances, I thought we were solid the whole time.”

The visitors went close early, Harley Orr sending Tommy Amphlett into the area, and his cross from the right was only inches away from Steven McGarry at the back post. But Sorrento hit back and Brad McDonald’s in-swinging corner was heading for the top corner, but the alert Coire McGuigan headed the ball off the line. Both sides had late chances, Gulls defender Steven McDonald’s flick was well saved by David Keenan, before ECU defender Joseph Jones headed inches wide, but at the break it was goalless.

Amphlett was a constant threat to the Sorrento backline and the striker went close six minutes into the second half. He raced past his marker to go one-on-one with James Morgan, but the Sorrento custodian stood tall to deny him. That save was vital because on 58 minutes Sorrento scored the opener. A corner from Niccolo Sabatini was dropped by Keenan, and Alex Morgan was on hand to fire home.

It was the reward Sorrento deserved and they began to take control. Alex Morgan’s glancing header flashed just wide, before Canham shot was saved low by Keenan. But the icing was put on the cake for the home side in the final minute, when they doubled their advantage. Canham’s free kick from the edge of the penalty area, flew into the corner of the net to make it a flying start for the Gulls.



The NPL-WA season kicks off this weekend in what should be another exciting year. Reigning State champions Bayswater City are looking to make it four titles in a row, and are strong favourties to lead the race for top honours alongside Floreat Athena, Inglewood United and Perth SC.

The battle at the other end of the table is likely to be just as tight, and it is expected that Subiaco AFC and Perth Glory will be fighting it out to avoid relegation.

The team which finishes top of the regular season table will once again be champions and represent West Australia in the national NPL play-off series. The finals are back after a year's absense, and that should add extra spice later in the season, the winners of the Grand Final will win the Top Four Cup, however this will have no bearing on the championship. This week the team takes a look at the twelve clubs, and are joined by former Stirling Lions president Don Evans and Eamon Duffy, host of "Let's talk Football", in offering their thoughts on how season 2016 will pan out...



The 2016 PS4 National Premier League WA kicks off this weekend, and with relegation this season it should be a highly competitive season. The Match of the Week is at Dalmatinac Park where Marc Anthony takes Balcatta to his former club Cockburn City. (3.00pm) Anthony left the Cockerels at the end of last season and will come up against a lot of his mates still at the club, but the friendships will be forgotten when the game kicks off. “It’s a tough start playing Cockburn, as Scotty and I are very similar in how we want our teams to play,” he said. “I have the utmost respect for the people down there, but come 3pm myself and Scotty will get down to business, and I'm sure it will be an entertaining game to watch.”

It wasn’t the best Night Series for Balcatta, but Anthony said the new look side is gelling well. “Yes it’s a new look side for 2016, but we have a good squad, and I'm extremely excited to start the season and hopefully start a new chapter in there's and my career,” he explained. “We have a very young squad and with that hopefully bring a vibrant and high tempo style to our play.” Skipper James Sammut will miss the game due to injury, and will be out for a number of weeks, while Kieron Stallard is suspended.

Cockburn rounded of their preparation with friendly against Perth SC last week, and despite the 1-0 loss Miller was happy what he saw. “It was great hit out for our lads. I thought Perth were outstanding so great last practice game for us,” he said. “We are gelling quite well I think the more game together we will only improve.”

Miller knows a first up win set’s your season up, and he said there couldn’t have been a better game to begin the season “It’s a great game to start the season, I think we are in very similar positions with both teams full of new players,” he explained. “I'm sure it will be a very attacking game because of the way we both play so hopefully entertaining for the spectators.” City will be without new signing Nathan Bowden-Haase, who is suspended, but will have the Division One top goal scorers Angel Andres in their side.

There is also an opening day local derby when Sorrento entertains ECU Joondalup at Percy Doyle Reserve. The Gulls beat Armadale 3-2 in a friendly last week and the performance pleased Coach Jamie Harnwell heading into the opening round. “I was really pleased with the performance against Armadale, especially because we were missing four or five first team squad players,” he explained. “But we dominated possession for the majority of the match and scored some good goals. Armadale came into it in the last 15 minutes but we had a number of players out there who hadn't played 90 minutes in a while.”

The coach knows any local derby games are hard fought, and he is expecting the same on Saturday. “A derby game first up is always interesting,” he said. “They (ECU) have recruited well and have improved in a number of areas but we were able to get over the top of them in the night series. With three points up for grabs though, I am expecting the usual fire and aggression to come to the fore.” In team news Jordan Brown is suspended for the home side, and Scott Bulloch is out injured, while ECU will be without Gordon Smith due to suspension

Fresh off their Night Series Final win last week, league Champions Bayswater City begin their defence of the title with a game against Perth Glory at the Finance 365 Stadium. City defender Sam Mitchinson said to start the season off with a trophy is a huge boost. “Everyone at the club is stoked with winning the night series,” the former Melbourne City defender said. “We have got better as the tournament has gone on, fitter and stronger and I think this will put us in good stead for the opening round.”

It will be the first game in Bayswater’s re-named stadium, and Mitchinson hopes they can Christian it with three points. “We are all looking forward to the game at Finance 365 Stadium and hopefully get a good size crowd down as we did so often last season,” he said. “We cannot underestimate Glory they always put out a strong team against us and showed how well they can play against us last time we played. We will be up for the game and will be looking to start the season on a high and three points.” David Heagney came off at half time in last week’s Night Series Final, but should be fit, while the Glory, who have come of their National Youth League will be fit and ready to take it to the Champions.

After a good Night Series Stirling Lions will look to continue their form when they host Subiaco AFC at Macedonia Park. Skipper Brodie Martin was in sparkling form in the pre-season competition and he said they hope to take confidence from their good run into the league season. “It was nice to go one better on last year, but it was disappointing to fall short on Saturday night,” he said. “With the amount of new faces at the club there has been a lot of positives to take from the pre-season but we feel there is still a lot of upside to our performances.”

Subiaco impressed the former Sorrento midfielder last season and he is expecting another tough encounter on Saturday. “It's crucial for us to get off on the right foot. We have built up some good momentum from the night series and we need to build on that and continue it into the weekend,” he explained. “Subiaco are a very honest and hardworking team and we will need to be at our best to get the win.” The skipper is under an injury cloud going into the season opener, while Michael Pugliese is also in doubt.

In the early evening game Armadale host Perth SC at Alfred Skeet Oval (5.00pm). Armadale were the surprise team in the night Series and Coach Paul Price said Saturday’s opener is a good test for his new look squad. “Last season was a difficult one for the club, but the players we had at our disposal could not be faulted for effort,” he said. “The playing group has developed with some players moving on and a lot of work went into recruiting new players during the off season.”

Price said it’s a great first up game, against a good Perth side, and it will be a good guide to see where they are at. “Tony and I feel the squad, if we don't get too many injuries like we had last year, is good enough to challenge for a top four spot,” he said. “We’ve worked hard in the pre-season and the lads have been great, so we will find out how far we’ve come against Perth in the opening game.”

In the late evening game Inglewood United host Floreat Athena (7.00pm) Floreat were skittled out of the Night Series after leading 2-0, but had two players sent off and skipper Ludovic Boi said it put a dampener on the pre-season. “It was unfortunate that we got two players sent off, I thought we could still have done a job with losing one but losing two was always going to be tough but I guess that's football,” he said. “Pre-season has been slow this year with players going away and niggles coming early, but we used the night series as a pre-season to get everyone fit and we’re slowing getting into our top form for the season.’

Boi said Inglewood have recruited well and he knows it will be a tough opener. “What game to start the season, Inglewood recruited well this year and we know very well what they are capable of after our encounter in the night series,” he explained. “They will be one of the top teams beat this year and if we can get our first win of the season, then hopefully we can carry on our good form from last year and I'm sure will with our new recruits stepping up to the challenges ahead.” In team news Kris Gate and Robbie Gasper will face late fitness tests on injury, but Phil Arnold and Jason Saldaris are suspended.



The FFA Cup WA has reached the Third Round stage, and the state league Division one and two clubs will enter the tournament this weekend. The Match of the Round is the clash at Forrest Park where Joondalup United host Ashfield (3.00pm) Joondalup, who are fresh off winning the State League Night Series final against Forrestfield, will hope to continue their good form. Coach Nick Jennings said last week’s win was a great start to their season, but he knows it’s still early days. “The night series final was a great advert for football in WA watched by a large noisy crowd. It swung both ways and was a highly entertaining game,” he said. “It was a pleasure to be part of, and it was played in Great Spirit by two fully committed and attacking teams. Then to win on penalties certainly gives you a massive buzz as you could tell by our celebrations.”

Saturday’s game will be another tough game for the Northern suburbs club, and Jennings said a good cup run will be fantastic. “It’s time for us to refocus after our night series victory, probably not the draw either team wanted, we would have preferred a lower ranked team at this first hurdle,” he explained. “Having said that we will really be up for it and fancy our chances of putting together a good cup run. With Paul Dundo back in charge I'm sure we will see familiar faces back in the red shirts. We will still be missing a couple of players through injury but the boys have trained well and are looking forward to renewing our rivalry with Ashfield.

Ashfield this week parted company with Coach Tony Maguire due to work commitments, and defender Tom Kennedy said although disappointing, Paul Dundo has been working with the side as an assistant so it should be a smooth transition. “It was disappointing to see Tony go but majority of the boys worked with Paul (Dundo) last year and he has been working closely with Tony through pre-season so there is no big changes really, and everyone is focused on getting the result this weekend,” he said.

“It's always a tough game against Joondalup United especially with them coming off there win in the night series final, but the boys are up for it and have been looking good in training and in our recent friendlies. We know the style of football Joondalup like to play and I'm sure Paul will have a good game plan and pick a strong squad of lads who are up for the game.”

Last season’s Semi-Finalists Gwelup Croatia make the trip to Grimrey Reserve to take on Shamrock Rovers. Striker Gavin Knight said it would be nice to have a run like last season, when the Sunday amateur side were edged out by Perth 4-3 in a cup classic, and they started their run with a second round win last week against Wembley. “It was a tough game with the high temperature on Sunday, but it was also a great result for the team as we played last 25 minutes with 10 men,” he said. “It was also good to make up for last season’s defeat in cup final to them.”

Gwelup know they have nothing to lose, with many believing Shamrock will win, but Knight knows cup games are always tight and he believes Saturday will be the same. “Shamrock will be a tough team to beat as they play state Division One, but with the team we have we believe we can go on another great run like last season,” he explained. “We take one game at a time and we give 110% every time we play, even If it a friendly, League or cup. So let the best team win on Saturday.”

Balga make the long trip to take on Football Margaret River at Gloucester Park and Jimmy Taneski said they have worked hard in pre-season and are looking for a good cup run. “The team has been working hard during pre-season and that showed in the State League night series competition, disappointed we could not get past the quarter finals against a tough Shamrock side,” he said. “We are now concentrating on the FFA cup before the season proper and our first trip is to Margaret River, which should be a massive test for us.”

Tanaski said they are heading into the unknown and also the travel time we will have to endure, before the game will certainly test the team. “We expect Football Margaret River to be a strong side with European ex-pats, so it will be a tough test for us and we are certainly going into the game not underestimating anyone,” he said. “We are looking to play our brand of football and hopefully come out of the game triumphant and we are certainly looking forward to the trip.”

Forrestfield United take on Division Two side Kingsway Olympic at the Kingsway Reserve. United keeper Brad Eiffe is looking forward to a good cup run, but is expecting a tough game at Kingsway. “Olympic away is always a tuff place to go. They are a hard physical team that a well drilled and will be up for the task to knock us over,” he said. “We have had a solid pre-season which included a run to the final of the night series only to lose in a nail biter on penalties to a solid Joondalup outfit. We have some real depth in the squad and I am confident we can head north and book ourselves in the next round – I am also confident we can have a good run in the FFA Cup this season and really surprise a few teams.”

Full Draw is – Canning City v Kwinana United, Dianella White Eagles v Bunbury United, Joondalup United v Ashfield, Football Margaret River v Balga, Shamrock Rovers v Gwelup Croatia, Mandurah City v Joondalup City, Olympic Kingsway v Forrestfield United, Rockingham City v Fremantle City, Melville City v North Lake, Swan United v Ellenbrook United, Quinns FC v Gosnells City, Wanneroo City v South West Phoenix, Morley Windmills v North Perth United, Western Knights v Boulder City, Hamersley Rovers v UWA Nedlands, Kingsley SC v Curtin University, Backpackers FC v Bunbury Dynamos – Games played on Saturday 19 March and Sunday 20 March.



Perth Glory makes the trip across the ditch this weekend to take on Wellington Phoenix at the Westpac Stadium on Sunday (12 noon WA time), looking to keep their good form going. They've been flying up the A-League table in recent weeks, but will focus on keeping their feet squarely on the ground as they prepare for the season-defining road trip. After struggling earlier in the season, the Glory has rocketed up to fifth on the ladder after winning seven of their past eight games, and with just four rounds to go, they look Finals bound, something that seemed inconceivable just two months ago.

Glory defender Shane Lowry said the team weren't getting caught up in the growing hype surrounding the club, and said its business as usual. "I don't think the group will allow it," Lowry said. "Lads have been in this position before in different leagues around the world, so we're not going to get complacent. Yes, we've been doing well recently ... but we're keeping our feet on the ground. A lot of people, especially in the media, will be writing about us now, but inside the group, we've got to keep level headed."

The Glory has scored 25 goals over the past eight rounds, making them one of the most-dangerous attacking teams in the league, but defender Lowry has been most pleased with the team's ability to keep clean sheets against Central Coast and Newcastle over the past fortnight. But the team will need to continue their recent good away form if they are to put themselves in a position where they can genuinely challenge for the title. After Sunday's match against Wellington in New Zealand, the Glory travel to Newcastle to take on the Jets.

The Phoenix can still match the top six if results go their way, and Glory’s Hungarian midfielder Giorgi Sandor said Sunday’s game will be tough. “They (Wellington) are performing well, he said. “But all away games are difficult and I predict it will be a tough game played at a high intensity, and hopefully we’ll walk away with three points in our pockets.” Glory will be hoping Diego Castro is available after injuring himself in last week’s 4-0 win against Central Coast Mariners, but Nebojsa Marinkovic, who missed last week’s game w is again missing with injury.

Ninth-placed Wellington are almost out of the running for the finals, but Blake Powell said they could still rise one or two places on the table if they put together a run of good results over the last four rounds. "We just want to end the season as best we can. We're still working on things and Ernie has already tried a couple of things he wants to work on for next year with the players who have re-signed," Powell said. "It's just about us familiarising ourselves with the roles he wants us to play and working hard together and trying to end the season with a few wins."

The Nicks have struggled in front of goal, but Powell has done his best to pick up some of the slack by scoring eight goals in his 19 games, including a memorable four in one game against Western Sydney Wanderers. "My goal isn't to be leading goal-scorer, but to take one game at a time and help the team in any way I can. If success scoring goals comes with that, then, great," Powell said. “"I love scoring goals and I'm always looking to score them and I'm pretty happy to be where I am at the moment. I want to reach 10 goals before the end of the season. That's my main goal there, but if my first option of going for goal isn't on I'll always look to try to set someone else up. The most important thing is that we try to get a win, no matter who scores the goals."

Wellington Phoenix squad: GK Glen MOSS, GK Lewis ITALIANO, 2 Manny MUSCAT, 3 Justin GULLEY, 4 Roly BONEVACIA, 6 Dylan FOX, 8 Alex RODRIGUEZ, 10 Michael MCGLINCHEY, 11 Kwabena APPIAH, 12 Blake POWELL, 13 Albert RIERA, 16 Louis FENTON, 17 Vince LIA, 18 Ben SIGMUND, 19 Tom DOYLE, 22 Andrew DURANTE (c), 23 Matthew RIDENTON, 26 Hamish WATSON - **two to be omitted** - Ins: APPIAH (promoted), LIA (returns from injury)

Perth Glory squad: GK Ante COVIC, GK Jerrad TYSON, 2 Alex GRANT, 3 Marc WARREN, 4 Shane LOWRY, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 7 Gyorgy SANDOR, 9 Andy KEOGH, 11 Richard GARCIA, 13 Diogo FERREIRA, 14 Chris HAROLD, 17 Diego CASTRO, 18 Mitch OXBORROW, 19 Josh RISDON (c), 21 Kosta PETRATOS, 23 Krisztian VADOCZ, 24 Jamal REINERS, 29 Aryn WILLIAMS - **two to be omitted** - Ins: FERREIRA (promoted), WILLIAMS (promoted)



Coach Taki Nicolaidis is calling on his players to find more of a cutting edge in front of goal when the National Premier Leagues commences this weekend. Inglewood United has home ground advantage in Saturday's opening round of the new season, which sees Floreat Athena make the journey to Inglewood Stadium.

It's been less than month since the two teams came face-to-face in game one of the Night Series. Brian Woodall opened the scoring on that occasion and the result could have been put beyond doubt had Inglewood made the most of their chances. However, Floreat stole victory courtesy of long-range strike deep in stoppage time. "We learnt a lot from the result," Nicolaidis said of the 2-1 loss. "We performed well against Athena and possibly should have got more out of the game. What was very evident was that we were very wasteful in front of goal ... we'll need to be much more ruthless when chances come our way on Saturday."

Nicolaidis, appointed head coach just over a month ago, is happy with where Inglewood are placed for the coming winter. "I'm quite pleased with the progress we're making and we need to keep building on these foundations," he said. "With all the off-season changes the playing group have adjusted very quickly which is important for any team to be successful."

"Round One is always a big game, it's what we work towards during the three months of pre-season. If we are to be competitive this year and finish in the top four then it's very important we get off to a good start, as I would rather bank the points early in the season instead of playing catch up later in the year."



Perth Glory midfielder Gyorgy Sandor has praised the influence of the club's recent signings and believes the added depth they've brought is responsible for their remarkable resurgence. Since the club acquired Andy Keogh, Kristian Vadocz, Shane Lowry and Kosta Petratos in the January transfer window, Glory has rocketed from ninth to fifth on the A-League ladder and is strongly positioned to feature in the finals.

The added competition brought on by that quartet has spurred Glory to turn their season around. "We worked hard in the pre-season and after that we struggled a bit," 32-year old Sandor said. "But then we signed a couple of good players and the team became much stronger. We have two to three players in the same positions on the park and they're high quality. We have quality players on the bench as well."

Glory's four new signings have proven successful, notably Andy Keogh, who has scored 7 goals since his return to the club. Shane Lowry has also proven to be a shrewd signing at the back, while Kosta Petratos has provided a spark off the bench on several occasions. Sandor also acknowledged his Hungarian compatriot Vadocz, whose towering presence in the middle of the park has galvanised Glory's midfield.

Sandor, too, has been an integral part of Glory's engine room. The midfielder with an eye for goal is looking forward to another productive outing this weekend, against Wellington Phoenix. "Wellington is performing," Sandor said. "All away games are difficult and I predict it will be a good, tough game played at a high intensity. Hopefully we'll walk away with three points in our pockets."



Australia defender Rhys Williams is in discussions with promotion-chasing English League One side Bradford City over a loan deal for the rest of the season, with a stint in the A-League beckoning beyond that. The Middlesbrough utility, fit and hungry for game time after putting two years of injury hell behind him, has been in dialogue with Bantams coach Phil Parkinson since returning from a four-game loan sell at Charlton Athletic.

If the move goes ahead, 27-year old Williams would link up with fellow Socceroos defender James Meredith and add his weight to the sixth-placed Yorkshire club's bid to cement a play-off spot with a dozen regular season games remaining. Williams is resigned to leaving Boro, who lie second in the Championship, when his contract expires at the end of the season after eleven years at the Riverside Stadium.

And a stint with Bradford could be a springboard for a move back to Australia where a bevy of clubs have expressed interest in the 14-cap Australia defender, with hometown team Perth Glory among the front-runners to snare him. "I've met the manager at Bradford and they are keen to do something straight anyway ... they are a big club that's doing well and chasing promotion," Williams said.

"It's a strong possibility. They wanted to do something before I went back home the other week (to attend his grandfather's funeral in Perth) and it's looking quite likely it may happen. For me, the main thing now is to get games under my belt and proving my fitness. I want to keep the recent run of games going - and what better place to do that than a team challenging to get back in the Championship."

"I know a few of the boys there, including the fitness coach who was at Middlesbrough a few years back. They have a big following and it could be a great shout for me. It feels like the right thing to do, but we'll just have to see what happens in the next couple of days. I feel great ... right now it's about people not so much taking a gamble on me, but just showing a bit of faith in me."

Beyond the remainder of this season, Williams, who has also made five reserve team appearances for Boro of late, said it would take "something drastic" to derail his plans to sample the A-League, where he believes he can make a fresh start and put some of the baggage of being labelled 'injury prone' behind him. "I need games under my belt to get back to where I know I can be and that's part of the reason why I am going to come home," he said.

"I have even started looking at properties back in Australia and it's something I am really interested in, should the deal be right. It will take a lot to change my mind. I know the managers in Australia believe in what I can do, and believe they can get me back to where I need to be. I need to play well for a manager who will give me the time to get back in the national team reckoning as well."

There's a sentimental link with Glory, whose coach Kenny Lowe arranged for Williams to go on trial at Middlesbrough as a 15 year-old during their time together at talent-factory ECU Joondalup. "It's my hometown club and Kenny is a family friend anyway," Williams said. "We've been talking about this (the possibility of Williams joining Glory) for about a year. Maybe it could be about me repaying the faith that he showed in me. You never know."

"Perth are a team on the up, you only have to look at their recent record. It's something I'd like to be a part of, especially if they carry this on into next season. But then again you have the sides in the Eastern States who we are also taking to. I will just weigh up my options at the end of the season. The Asian Champions League is something I would like to play in and if someone was interested and in the ACL, then I'd maybe lean towards that a little bit ... there's really nothing concrete just yet, and until there is, it's just really all talk."



The Matildas are the best they have ever been and deserve to be paid more, captain Lisa De Vanna says. Describing the team's recent pay rise as a stepping stone, she said the recent success would further prove the Matildas deserved to be better compensated for their work.

Returning victorious from the Olympic qualifying tournament in Japan where they notched up four wins and a draw, De Vanna said the national women's team should medal in Rio. The 31-year old said the Olympic qualifying tournament had been one of the most gruelling she had been involved in.

"It was definitely one of the most stressful tournaments I've played in my career, a lot of us girls haven't been to an Olympic Games so the expectation of wanting to go was extra pressure," she said. "It's an unbelievable feeling to be coming home smiling and happy, knowing in five months' time we'll be going to Rio."

De Vanna said the team had been through a lot together recently - from their World Cup campaign to their lengthy pay dispute with Football Federation Australia. But the captain insisted it had only made the team bond more closely. "We've got the mentality to battle it out and I will back the team to get a medal at the Olympic Games," she said.

The Matildas' hard-fought new agreement provides a minimum wage of $34,000, up from the paltry $21,000 they had been earning. De Vanna, who broke ranks during negotiations and offered to play in a tour of the United States her teammates had boycotted, said the Matilda's deserved to be paid more but only the teams' ongoing success would achieve that outcome.

"Now that we've qualified for Rio we're sort of stating look, we're doing it at minimum wage, now start paying us a bit more," she said. "Hopefully in the next few years the girls can have a full-time contract and a full-time program where it's all based in Australia and they don't have to go overseas to make a living."

Victory over Japan gave the Matilda's a dream start on the road to Rio but it was against North Korea that the side showed what they're made of according to De Vanna. "Their livelihood really depends on qualifications, we knew they would come out very aggressive, very hungry and a bit dirty behind play," she said. "Those are the two games (Japan and North Korea) I look back and think were the most crucial."



Socceroo Josh Risdon will continue to lead Perth Glory on field as they charge towards the A-League finals - and club captain Richard Garcia is quite happy with that. But Garcia, who handed over the captain's armband when he was injured earlier this season, is still their "spiritual" leader in charge of the change room.

Garcia is also charged by team management to guide 23-year-old Risdon, who has led the side in 10 games this season. The former Hull City attacker made his first start in five weeks in Saturday night's 4-0 demolition of Central Coast Mariners, a result that pushed Glory into fifth spot.

"Josh has done extremely well, he's leading by example," Garcia said. "We've been winning under him so what's the point of changing things? The coaching staff have said part of my job is to mentor Josh. We see him as a future leader of the club and if I can help him fill that role, then we're on the right track."

Garcia, who will be crucial to Glory as they make their run to the finals, said he was a bit rusty after his lay-off. He said Glory lost their way after taking a 4th minute lead against Central Coast, who gave away two penalties and had two men sent off.

"Sometimes when you take that early lead you lose your concentration," he said. "We were a bit lax in our passing but it worked out well for us in the end. It was a professional display. In the second half it was an easier job." Andy Keogh netted twice and Diego Castro and Chris Harold scored Glory's other goals.



With the season only two weeks away Ashfield have confirmed new Coach Tony Maguire has left the club due to work commitments with immediate effect. The club has appointed Paul Dundo as caretaker for the month of March as the club works to appoint a new coach prior to the commencement of the 2016 season. Ashfield has a proven track record as being one of the strongest and progressive State League clubs on and off the park and we are now seeking an enthusiastic and committed Head Coach for the Season 2016 and beyond that shares the same passion to see the reds succeed, as does the strong and passionate Ashfield FC family.

The club is committed to build and improve on its back to back league runner up finishes in 2014 and 2015. With a strong senior list and talented pool of youngsters coming though the Ashfield system you will be responsible for coaching and building the future of our flagship, men’s state league team. Individuals with coaching accreditation would be highly desired, however we understand that the right attitude and football philosophy are far more important to this role and assistance with obtaining accreditation will come with the position. As such if you are a current or former coach, or retired State League player that thinks you have what it takes to lead the reds into 2016 and beyond then do not hesitate to contact us.

Interested individuals should apply in writing by email to or for a confidential discussion call Phil Kelly on 0449 254 221. All applications must be received by close of business Monday the 21st of March 2016.



Football West chief executive Peter Hugg has announced his resignation from the peak body after six years. Hug oversaw a period of unprecedented growth for Western Australian football and was instrumental in improving the organisation's financial and public standing. Player registrations have grown by 10,000 to 42,000, Football West's revenue has increased to a record $6.4 million while the Socceroos first game in WA in a decade attracted a sold out crowd.

"I have always held the view that an executive should look to achieve their particular goals within a seven-year period and I feel the time is right to move on to a fresh challenge," he said. "At last month's Annual General Meeting, we reported that the state of the organisation and, indeed, the game in WA has never been better with more players, more investment and more interest than ever before. It seems an appropriate time to allow a new Chief Executive to build on these foundations."

Hugg will explore opportunities interstate and overseas when he leaves the role on 15 April. "It's been a fantastic experience working closely with WA clubs and individuals within the game to achieve common goals," he said. "It's also been a period of my life that I will treasure immensely. There have been some great challenges, including some robust negotiations, and I have valued being part of such passionate discussions."

Hugg thanked the Board, Standing Committee representatives, club officials and members for their cooperation in some key structural developments. "Over the last six years, Football West has introduced the National Premier Leagues and has overseen the transition of the Perth Glory women's team and our best young junior male players into Perth Glory's A-League operations," Mr Hugg said. "These have been significant challenges that have been overcome with collective will, patience and energy from a great number of people."

Football West Chairman Liam Twigger thanked Hugg for his contribution to the game. "Peter has done an outstanding job at Football West and has overseen a massive period of growth in the game in WA," Twigger said. "He has also done an incredible job raising our profile and building our corporate and community credentials with our government and business stakeholders. The Football West board thanks Peter for his hard work and commitment over the last six years and wish him well with his future endeavours."

The process to find a replacement CEO has commenced and an executive search firm has been appointed to assist with the recruitment.



Youngster Jordan Lyden says he was over the moon to make his English Premier League debut against Liverpool and is now targeting a first team start for Aston Villa. The defensive midfielder came on in the 66th minute, replacing Leandro Bacuna, in last month's loss to Liverpool. "To come on against Liverpool was just a dream come true," Lyden told

"Obviously the result (a 6-0 loss) was very disappointing, but even just to step onto the Villa Park pitch for the first time in the Premier League - even for 30 minutes - I was over the moon with it. But I need to keep working and hopefully I can improve and get a start in the first-team in the weeks to come."

Lyden earned his inaugural first team appearance for Villa off the bench in December's FA Cup draw with Wycombe Wanderers, after being promoted to the club's senior squad by Remi Garde. He then gained his first start at right back in the replay at Villa Park. "I've been over the moon obviously to even be called up to the first-team for training, it was a massive achievement for myself," Lyden said.

"And I've just kicked on from there. I've continued to work hard. Kev (MacDonald, development coach) has constantly been on my back which has been good. Now obviously I'm part of the first-team squad and hopefully I can get some more minutes under my belt. To be called up to the 18-man match day squad against Arsenal, I was just over the moon with it."

"The night we stayed in the hotel it started to kick in gradually and then travelling to the game I was thinking about like coming in and maybe scoring the winner, I was just imagining things. So I had all things going through my head which was different, because I've never experienced that before. And then once I got to the ground it was just another thing. To hear the fans roar once we walked out was just amazing."

Lyden has followed the same path to Aston Villa as fellow West Australian's Chris Herd and Shane Lowry, joining the Premier club from ECU Joondalup in 2012. The midfielder has played for the Young Socceroos twice and has impressed for Villa's Under-21s side, which he captains, and earned a spot in the club's senior squad.

Lyden has paid tribute to the impact coach MacDonald has had on his career. "Since Kev's come back, though, I have felt there's been more of a pathway into the first-team," he said. "Not only for myself, but you see the likes of Keinan Davies, Andre Green, Niall Mason and players like that coming through, and there are plenty more in the academy and Under-21s who are very capable of coming into the first-team."



Socceroo Trent Sainsbury is confident his move from Europe to China won't jeopardise his chances of going to a World Cup for the first time. Sainsbury, one of Ange Postecoglou's most senior defenders in his latest youthful squad, inked a three-year deal with Jiangsu Suning in January, keeping him in China until the end of 2018.

Sainsbury, who shot to prominence with Central Coast Mariners before heading to Europe, wasn't part of Australia's squad for the 2014 World Cup following a knee injury suffered on debut for Dutch side PEC. The 24-year old said the national team was a key consideration in his decision to leave Zwolle and the well-regarded Dutch Eredivisie for the emerging Chinese Super League.

"That's one of the biggest things for me in the decision making," Sainsbury said. "I know with my work rate and desire, I can stay in shape and keep up the intensity needed to perform well on the international stage. I love playing for my country, going into camp and seeing all the boys, playing in front of your family and friends representing your country is a massive buzz."

"It definitely wasn't an easy choice. I worked really hard to get to Europe and become a starter on the pitch. I spoke to many people who I have deep respect for and listened to their opinions. It's an incredible deal and it will allow me to help the people I love and set up a future for myself."

Jiangsu have spent big recently, landing Brazilian trio Ramires, Jo and Alex Teixeira. They're not alone, with plenty of Chinese clubs splurging on recruits, meaning Sainsbury will come up against the likes of Ezequiel Lavezzi (Argentina), Gervinho (Ivory Coast), Demba Ba (Senegal), Obafemi Martins (Nigeria) and Asamoah Gyan (Ghana) on a regular basis.

Sainsbury said that would hold him in good stead, particularly now he's one of the senior members of the defensive line, with Alex Wilkinson, Ivan Franjic and Jason Davidson overlooked for the Socceroos. The former Armadale junior is likely to pair with Matt Spiranovic alongside potential full-backs Josh Risdon, Brad Smith, Alex Gersbach and Jason Geria, who have five caps between them and are all under 23.

"To me, age doesn't define how loud or what kind of leadership you take into the team," Sainsbury said. "We are in that squad with one aim and that's to win. For the new players coming in it's a massive buzz and great opportunity to showcase your talents and help cement a spot. If I can help them in any way, I will and the same goes for the older boys like Mile, Timmy and Millsy; if I need any help I know I can count on my team mates."

Sainsbury is settling into life in Nanjing, a city of more than eight million people, with his girlfriend and the couple's dog joining him now. He said he was keen to begin learning Mandarin but said the language of football was helping him initially at a club where few of his team mates speak English.

Sainsbury, who has already played four games for his new club, was also enthused by Jiangsu's ambitious plans. "The club has a good three-to-five year plan," he said. "Within three they want to win the league and within five the ACL. It's not an overnight success they are looking for. They don't want to skip any important steps, building from the bottom up."



Joondalup United held their nerve to beat Forrestfield United 4-3 on penalties to win the 2016 State League Night Series Final at Inglewood Stadium on Sunday evening. Joondalup had raced to a two goal lead with goals from Callum Stocks and Lee Jones, but Forrestfield hit back to level with Rhys Loxley and Liam Merigan scoring either side of the break, but in the shoot-out Joondalup keeper James Bosdet was the hero saving two penalties, but he said they had to work hard for the win. “We’d been practicing penalties all week, which we don’t normally do,” Bosdet said. “But fair play to Forrestfield - their fans are brilliant, and probably got them back into the game, but we dug deep and got the win in the end,” he said.

Forrestfield United’s outstanding run in the State League Night Series came to a heartbreaking end when they were beaten 4-3 in a dramatic shoot-out against Joondalup United in the final; at Inglewood Stadium on Sunday evening. Roared on by their famous Forry Army, Forrestfield fought back from two goals down and levelled with goals from Rhys Loxley and Liam Merigan, but Joondalup prevailed in the shoot-out.

The Forrestfield fans were in full voice in the big crowd at kick off, but it was Joondalup who made the better start and they were ahead after only two minutes. Arran Maplestone picked off a poor defensive clearance before feeding Callum Stocks who finished clinically past Brad Eiffe. Forrestfield looked to hit back and created a number of half chances, but on 32 minutes Joondalup doubled their advantage. Adam Buckley burst into the penalty area and fell under the challenge of keeper Eiffe and referee Tom Dowle pointed straight to the spot and booked the Forrestfield custodian. Lee Jones kept his nerve to score and put Joondalup in control.

It wasn’t the start Forrestfield were looking for but they were back in the game six minutes later. Loxley was brought down in the penalty area by Bosdet, and Loxley picked himself up to score from the resulting penalty. The Forry Army were in full voice and Forrestfield pressed late in the first half but couldn’t find the equaliser.

Forrestfield only had to wait seven minutes into the second half before they did level. Merigan was sent into goal and his first shot was parried by Bosdet, the striker didn’t miss the second opportunity, to send the Forry Army into raptures. Both sides pressed in a pulsating second half but the winner couldn’t be found, so it was off to the dreaded penalty shoot-out. Bosdet was the hero saving from James Duncan and Loxley, and when the unfortunate Jordan Hart blazed over in sudden-death it was Joondalup celebrating the victory.

Match Details

Joondalup United: GK James BOSDET, 2 Adam ROGERS, 4 Arran MAPLESTONE, 5 Joel LEDSHAM, 6 Guy McDONALD, 8 Joshua WHITMORE, 9 Lee JONES, 10 Callum STOCKS (7 Adam BUCKLEY 17’), 12 Greg PELLOW, 14 Nathan GROSTATE (15 Stuart MONTGOMERY 56’), 17 Jacob SHORE - Subs not used: 3 John CHALMERS, 16 Luke SERRA, 21 Joshua KENNEDY-EDWARDS - Yellow cards: Bosdet 38’, Maplestone 76’

Forrestfield United: GK Brad EIFFE, 2 Wilbert TSHABANGU, 4 Jason GODFREY, 5 Mark BARNETT, 6 Jamie DUNCAN, 8 Scott BARKER, 9 Ben ROGERS, 11 Rhys LOXLEY, 12 Matt HAROLD (15 Jordan HART 60’), 13 Andy HAROLD (14 Chris RIZIDIS 55’), 16 Liam MERIGAN - Substitutes not used: 3 Kaan KARACAN, 17 Ben PARRY - Yellow cards: Eiffe 33’, Godfrey 57’

Referee: Tom Dowle



Bayswater City are the 2016 QBE Night Series winners after a hard fought 1-0 win against Stirling Lions at the final at nib Stadium on Saturday evening. David Heagney’s first half goal was enough for the Black and Blues, but the Lions gave as a good as they got and City Coach Chris Coyne said it was a great build up to their PS4 NPLWA title defence. “It’s always nice (to win a trophy),” Coyne told the NPLWA website. “It gives the players a reward for the hard yards and work they’ve put in since we started training in December. But credit to Stirling - they pushed hard in the second half and we got a little bit sloppy, but now we’re looking forward to getting into the nitty gritty of the league season.”

It was a cagey opening with both sides having plenty of possession and both created good opportunities. Former Perth Glory midfielder David Micevski was first, his long-range free kick was saved by Fraser Greenwood. Then it was the turn of the Lions custodian to earn his money, John Perkins reacting superbly to push away Heagney’s shot.

But the decisive goal came on 26 minutes. A long ball sent Heagney clear, and the former Huddersfield Town striker finished past Perkins at the second attempt. David Micevski was instrumental in the middle of the park and he almost set up an equaliser. His cross picked out Blamo Quaqua who headed inches over the top.

Both sides had late chances as the game opened up. Striker Robert Petkov looked lively and he made space in the box, but Greenwood stood tall to deny the youngster. Then at the other end Heagney was thwarted by Perkins and at the half time whistle it was Bayswater with one-hand on the trophy.

Heagney didn’t return after the break, he was replaced by Colombian striker Gustavo Giron-Marulanda. But it was the Lions who opened the brighter and they went close early in the second half, but former Adelaide United striker Teeboy Kamara’s shot flashed just wide. Kamara was the supplier of the Lions next chance, his cross from the left picked out skipper Brodie Martin, but his glancing header went narrowly wide. It wasn’t all one-way traffic and Perkins had to be alert to save new striker Slobodan Vulin shot late. The game did however end on a sour note for Bayswater, with defender Jamie Coyne sent off by referee Steven Gregory.

Lions’ midfielder Blamo Quaqua won the ‘Robbie Dunn Medal’ as the best player of the final, and despite the loss Lions coach Rob Milevski was happy how his side had played. “The boys were great tonight, especially in the second half when we put more pressure on them, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be,” he said. “There are a lot of positives to take from this Night Series. We’ve had a good campaign, beaten some good sides from last year, and it puts us a good position going into round one.”

Match Details:

Bayswater City - GK Fraser Greenwood, 3 Jack ALLEN, 5 Andrew REALE, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 13 Trent KAY, 15 Brian FARRELL, 16 Jamie COYNE, 19 Alex WILD (17 Jamie MURPHY 65’), 20 Sam MITCHINSON, 21 David HEAGNEY (9 Gustavo MARULANDA 46’), 23 Andrija JUKIC (18 Slobodan VULIN 83’) - Subs not used: RGK Devon SPENCE, 11 Declan HUGHES - Yellow Cards: Nil - Red Cards: Coyne 90+1

Stirling Lions - GK John PERKINS, 4 Blamo QUAQUA, 5 Graham DORAN, 6 Brodie MARTIN, 9 Robert PETKOV (12 Jason RUBIDGE 69’), 10 Daniel MICEVSKI, 11 David MICEVSKI, 14 David MURPHY, 15 Shane CASSIDY, 16 Abdul SESAY, 17 Teeboy KAMARA (8 David SESAY 82’) - Subs not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 3 Jovo PAVLOVIC, 7 Miki VUJACIC - Yellow Cards: Sesay 90+3

Referee: Steven Gregory – Assistants: Ammar Timour and Shane Skinner



Perth Glory moved into fifth spot on the A-League table after thrashing a nine man Central Coast Mariners 4-0 at nib Stadium on Saturday evening. The loss by the Mariners handed them their first ever wooden spoon, but ill-discipline cost them with Mitch Austin and Louis Garcia sent off, after both receiving second yellow cards from referee Adam Fielding. Diego Castro opened the scoring from the spot early, before an Andy Keogh double. The points were wrapped up late with Chris Harold heading home.

The win was soured a little with Castro limping off, but Glory coach Kenny Lowe said he should be ok. “Really early on he had a bit of a skirmish with Garcia and turned his ankle,” Lowe said. “We weren’t sure he was going to come out second half, but he wanted to and as soon as we got the second (goal) we wanted to protect him. Obviously he wasn’t happy because he wants to play, but I think there’s a bigger picture. The boys were professional, you can’t fault the way they played. We started really well the first half, and then slowed down, but Covic didn’t have to make a save.”

The Glory made the perfect start and hit the front after only four minutes. Castro threaded the ball between two Mariners defenders to Harold, who was brought down by Tomislav Uskok and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Castro took the resulting penalty sending Paul Izzo the wrong way for his 11th goal of the season. The Mariners hit back and from Luis Garcia’s free kick Irish striker Roy fired inches wide of the post.

It was the home side who began to take control and Keogh’s header crashed off the crossbar on 37 minutes as the Mariners began to wilt. There was a poignant moment one minute later with the Glory supporters standing as one for a minute’s applause in honour of Dylan Tombides, who lost his battle to testicular cancer in 2014, 38 was the shirt number he wore when he was at West Ham United.

The Mariners need a goal early in the second half but it was the Glory dominating and Alex Grant’s header was cleared off the line. The Mariners were reduced to ten men on 48 minutes, when Risdon was brought down by Austin, and he was sent off. The Glory then doubled their advantage five minutes later. Risdon’s pin-point cross picked out Keogh, and he made no mistake, heading home from eight-yards. The Mariners then went down to nine men, when Garcia brought down Krisztian Vadocz, to earn himself a second yellow card and an early bath.

It was one-way traffic as the rampant Glory went in for the kill. Richard Garcia headed inches past the post from a Mitch Oxborrow cross on 62 minutes, but five minutes later they added a third. Mariners’ skipper Nick Montgomery brought down Risdon, and Keogh fired home the spot kick, for his seventh goal of the season. The final nail was added to the Mariners coffin in stoppage time, man of the match Risdon’s cross picked out Harold who headed home.



Socceroos defender Josh Risdon will delay his overseas adventure after signing a new one-season deal with Perth Glory. And the A-League club hope star import Diego Castro will soon follow suit, while Rhys Williams could also be on the Glory's books next season.

Risdon's stocks have risen dramatically this season after producing a standout campaign. The 23-year-old, after his Socceroos debut last November, has also been called up for this month's World Cup Qualifiers against Tajikistan and Jordan.

Risdon had the option of heading overseas at the end of this Glory campaign, but he felt his development would be best served by spending one more season in the A-League. "It's something I've always wanted to achieve - to go overseas and play at the highest level I can," Risdon said.

"If it happens in the future, I'll definitely take the opportunity. But I'm really enjoying myself at Glory, and the team's doing well. I'm playing regularly here. Being part of the Socceroos for the next year or so is a big goal of mine. Hopefully (playing regularly for Perth) will be enough to be involved in the national team."

Castro has been a revelation for the Glory this season, with the Spaniard second favourite to win the Johnny Warren Medal as the A-League's best player. Glory chief executive Peter Filopoulos says the club has already opened up negotiations with Castro.

And Socceroos defender Williams is eyeing off a move to the A-League following his horror injury run in the past few years. Williams' made made only a handful of appearances in the past two season due to a succession of achilles tendon injuries.



The 2016 QBE Night Series will be decided this weekend, with Stirling Lions taking on Bayswater City in the Final at nib Stadium on Saturday evening. The game is part of a double header at the venue, with Perth Glory playing Central Coast Mariners in the Hyundai A-League at 6.45pm, with the NPLWA pre-season showpiece starting at 9.00pm.

Stirling topped Group B, before coming from 0-2 down to beat a nine man Floreat Athena in the Semi-Final last week. David Micevski was the hero for the Lions scoring two free kicks, including the winner, and they go into the game full of confidence. Stirling has a number of new faces in the side this season, but it was Brodie Martin who was outstanding last week. Lions coach Rob Milevski said the midfielder has been in great form and was skipper last week and led by example. “Brodie has been great for us, he’s stepped up another gear this season,” he said. “He is defiantly much fitter than last season and he’s buzzing on the park and is a great leader to have around the club too.”

Milevski said the side is gelling well and go into the game looking to win their first Night series trophy since 1995, but he knows what a good side Bayswater City are. “We’ve had a good night series and on form we deserve to be in the final,” he said. “The boys have gelled well in pre-season, and we’re have some great team spirit at the moment, which is good leading into the new league season. We all know Bayswater are the team to beat at the moment, and they have a great side, but we’re looking forward to the game and we’ll be doing all we can to win it.”

Bayswater topped Group A, but they left it late, scoring a 92nd minute penalty to seal a spot in the Semi-Final. Last week they had to work hard to overcome a gallant Armadale 4-3, with substitute Brian Farrell scoring the winner. City lost two games in the Group stage but fought back to move through and Coach Chris Coyne said they need to play better than they did in the Semi-Final win if they are to win the trophy again. “We haven’t hit our straps in pre-season, which is disappointing and to say I was annoyed after the semi-final win last week was an understatement,” he explained. “I’ll put it down to the fact that we are gelling as a team, and yes its early days, but I’m not going to expect another performance like last week from the side. You can’t go 2-0 up and dominate a game then for sixty minutes put in a performance like they did was disappointing and we need to play to our best to get the right result on Saturday.”

Coyne said the Lions have recruited well and believes it will be a tough game, as they look to add to their three Night Series wins. “We’re looking forward to the game and the opportunity for us to play at NIB stadium. We are up against an in form Stirling side who look very strong this year and are probably going into the game favorites,” he said. “We are mindful that round one is only two weeks away and of course that is our goal this season so we will use the game to tinker with players and formations so that we can be ready to go into the NPL 2016 fully prepared. It’s also a great opportunity for our younger players to experience big game situations and top notch facilities.”

There will be some great match up’s in the final with former Perth Glory duo David Micevski and Andrija Jukic going head to head in the middle of the park, while both sides have pace down the flanks, with Daniel Micevski and David Sesay for the Lions and Hayden Doyle and Andrew Reale for City. Up front Gustavo Giron-Marulanda and David Heagney have formed a good partnership for City, while for the Lions Robert Petkov and Teeboy Kamara have looked good in the pre-season, while both keepers Devon Spence (Bayswater) and John Perkins (Stirling) will both be in for a busy night.



The 2016 State League Night Series Final will see newly promoted Forrestfield United taking on Joondalup United at Inglewood Stadium on Sunday afternoon. (7.30pm)

Forrestfield have been superb in the competition to-date, the Hartfield Park club hosted the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals and there were good turn out’s in both. Forrestfield Coach Rod Banjac has turned the clubs fortunes around and the determination and spirit he has in his squad was there for all to see last week, when they came from 0-2 down to beat Shamrock Rovers 3-2. “There is no team in this state that can match our desire to compete as clearly displayed during tough games where we twice came back from a two goal deficit to beat two of the best teams throughout night series,” he said.

“All our players are athletes, and although they are capable of beating any team in the state, everyone is entitled to a "bad day in the office" as we showed against Shamrock by gifting them with two first half goals. But second half could not be faltered where we completely dominated.”

Banjac is well aware of the quality Joondalup have in their squad, and he said Sunday’s game, well although a pre-season game, it will see where they are at ahead of the start of next month’s league campaign. “We will approach the final as another training game and I would say that we are about 60% match fit at present and well on course towards 90% required for the opening game of the season in April,” he explained. “We watched Joondalup against Mandurah and there is no doubt that they deserve to be in the main game of the tournament come Sunday. Like us they reach the Grand Final undefeated, but they have had a much easier run and that might give them a slight advantage during the final match. They are a very strong, fit, physical, well organised side and will be very difficult to breakdown, but there is nothing we like more than a great challenge, and everyone is looking forward to the match where we will play a huge part in what will be a great spectacle.

Joondalup United Coach Nick Jennings was delighted with last week’s hard fought win against the Division One Champions Mandurah City, but said they had keeper James Bosdet to thank. “Personally I thought it was an outstanding team performance, we had no passengers and all the boys put in a shift. Mandurah have so much quality all over the park, but we never let them settle and they were unable to really have any extended periods of pressure,” he explained. “I agree James was outstanding but that's what I expect from such a talented individual. Our skipper Arran Maplestone chipped in with two more goals and then the new boy Stuart Montgomery showed nerves of steel and did what he's been doing for years, finished clinically to win the game, and a deserved victory in my opinion.”

Jennings said his side have played some good football over the competition and he has also been impressed with Forrestfield, and he said it has all the hallmarks of a classic final. “Like any final we’re really looking forward to it, winning trophies is why we play this game and that's what we intend to do on Sunday. Joondalup United and Forrestfield have a mutual respect for each other and a rivalry from when we were in Division two, and the two best teams in that division,” he said. “I think the game will be highly entertaining and a pleasure to be involved in both sides play an attractive style of football and have goals in them from all over the park so I'm sure it will be an enjoyable game for the expected large crowd.”



Perth Glory will be hoping to keep their current good form going when they take on bottom of the table Central Coast Mariners at nib Stadium on Saturday evening (6.45pm). The Gosford based club have nothing to lose heading West, but a slip up by Kenny Lowe’s side could see them fall out of the top six, this after leap frogging Sydney FC last week. Glory defender Alex Grant has challenged the Glory to kick on and claim a home final following their surge up the Hyundai A-League ladder.

The club is the form team of the competition, having claimed six wins from their last seven starts, and have a relatively easy run home and finishing as high up the table as possible. “We’ve got to go into it [remaining games] full of confidence and get the results, really,” Grant said. “That’s what it comes down to now, just winning games. It’s the business end of the season and it’s time to step up. “It’d be massive [to play finals]. I’ve been confident from the start. I know we had our problems at the start of the season where we weren’t winning many games, but I think we’ve got a great set of lads, the morale’s unbelievable within the group. We’ve just got to kick on now.”

The former ECU Joondalup defender has been one of the Glory’s most consistent players in recent weeks, making a formidable pairing in central defence with Shane Lowry. His form has also seen him become a regular in the official Hyundai A-League team of the week, and he said it’s great to play in front of big crowds at nib stadium. “I’ve obviously cemented my spot in the team now and I’d like to keep it,” said Grant. “I’m really enjoying playing football in front of the fans. They are great here, it’s really positive.” The Glory have good news on the injury front with Aryn Williams available after limping off last week, while Jamal Reiner and Diogo Ferreira have also been added to the squad.

Mariners Coach Tony Walmsley is looking forward to the trip. Although the Mariners have won just three matches this season, one of them was a home win against the Glory in the season’s opening round. “The A-League’s an incredible tight competition, and I say that, we’re sitting at the bottom of the table and a fair way shy of the top,” Walmsley said. “Last time out in Perth, we took a lead into half time and within three minutes of madness, they’d scored twice. They have a right to be wary but they’ve recruited very well in January and their run of form since then has been sensational, just shy of Adelaide’s, so they’re one of the form teams in the comp.

They’re playing at home and will fancy themselves to win the game, but this is a game that we give ourselves a real chance of getting something out of it.”

Walmsley may have reason to be confident ahead of the trip west, with key man Mitch Austin named in the squad despite limping off the pitch in last weekend’s defeat to Melbourne Victory. He also get back his skipper from suspension and Irish striker Roy O’Donovan will be pushing for a spot in the starting side after return last week from an eight game ban. Also included in the travelling party is Adam Pearce, Adam Berry and Matthew Fletcher.

Perth Glory squad: GK Ante COVIC, GK Jerrad TYSON, 2 Alex GRANT, 4 Shane LOWRY, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 7 Gyorgy SANDOR, 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11 Richard GARCIA, 13 Diogo FERREIRA, 14 Chris HAROLD, 17 Diego CASTRO, 18 Mitch OXBORROW, 19 Josh RISDON, 21 Kosta PETRATOS, 23 Krisztian VADOCZ, 24 Jamal REINER, 29 Aryn WILLIAMS - **two to be omitted**

Ins: FERREIRA (promoted), REINERS (promoted) - Outs: Nil

Central Coast Mariners squad: GK Paul IZZO, GK Adam PEARCE, 3 Josh ROSE, 4 Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5 Harry ASCROFT, 6 Mitch AUSTIN, 7 Fabio FERREIRA, 8 Nick MONTGOMERY, 9 Roy O’DONOVAN, 10 Luis GARCIA, 15 Brad McDONALD, 16 Liam ROSE, 17 Francesco STELLA, 19 Josh BINGHAM, 22 Jake McGING, 23 Tomislav USKOK, 25 Adam BERRY, 28 Matthew FLETCHER - **two to be omitted** - Ins: MONTGOMERY (return from suspension) BERRY (promoted), FLETCHER (promoted), PEARCE (promoted)

Outs: 21 Michael NEILL (suspended – 1 week),13 Alastair BRAY (knee injury – 1 week)



The career of Western Knights legend Ivan Zuvela will come to end on Saturday as the Nash Field club honour their defender with a testimonial game. The 33-year-old began at the club at the age of six and has won every award available, and led the club to Night Series Final win last season, and he is proud to have worn the red shirt with pride. “I'm a WA boy and I consider myself fortunate to have played in the WA Premier League for so long,” Zuvela explained. “We were a very successful club over a number of years and am personally proud to be a part of it.”

Zuvela has had some special moments at the club, and he said their home ground was a really special place. “Nash Field is a special place. We obviously don’t have the greatest facilities there, but there is something about that place when you play there. The club developed a culture of success and winning trophies, and to be a part of a team that was the best in WA and played in so many Grand Finals is something that I will never forget,” he explained. “I've been fortunate enough to play alongside so many good players at Western Knights. This includes players like Paul McVittie, Craig Deans, Dave Annall, Trim Morgan, David Micevski, there is too many to name. If there was one player who I would pick first in my team that would be Daniel Trim. He is a winner, has a never say die attitude, and very rarely played a bad game for the club.”

The decision of the Knights to give the club legend a testimonial was something he wasn’t expecting, but he is looking forward to the day and catching up some former team mates. “It’s kind of overwhelming. I'm appreciative and very thankful to the club putting this on for me. I don’t see it as a day for me, but rather an opportunity to have a lot of the former players and coaches come back to the club and put on the Knights shirt again,” he said. “I would have liked to keep playing on next season, but persistent problems with my Achilles and left knee, I just had to stop before doing any further damage.”

The club are delighted to honour Zuvela and they wish him all the best in future. “We are delighted as a football club to honour Ivan, a Western Knights legend,” new Knights President Gordana Sliskovic said. “We all love him at the club and he has given his all for the Red shirt over the years and Saturday’s testimonial is a perfect end to his playing career at our club. Ivan has been a true professional in whatever he does, and to be honest we will all miss him around the club, but we hope he stays in touch and passes on his experience on to the juniors and seniors at the club. From everyone at Nash Field congratulations Ivan we hope you have a good day on Saturday because you deserve it.”

Zuvela has had a successful career in football and is looking to but something back into the game and hopes to go into coaching. “I made his first team debut for Western Knights in 2000, and before that I played juniors for the club,” he said. “I played for Melbourne Knights for one year, and also one year at Mandurah, when I was Captain of the club, which was a personal highlight for me, and something I didn’t take for granted. I'd like to focus on coaching. I am doing my C Class coaching course at the moment with a view to complete the B Class course.”

Saturday’s testimonial day marks the club’s recognition of a player who has left a mark on the club just like the legends of the past. Ivan will take to the field one last time in an exhibition match between two Knights legends team, featuring some of the best players Ivan has played with at the Knights during his many years, including a who’s who of Knights and WA Soccer legends. Coaching one team will be Ronnie Campbell and Willie Kelly, while the other by Robbie Dunn and Andy Thorburn. Gates open at 1pm and their will be entertainment for kids, with Glory the Gorilla making a special appearance (from 1pm-2pm) and there will be a women’s game on prior to the testimonial game which kicks off at 3pm.



New Stirling Lions keeper John Perkins was a sort after keeper in the pre-season, but he is happy he made the move to Macedonia Park. The 28-year-old has been in sparkling form in the Group stages of the QBE Night Series, and he said he’s fitted in really well as a new look Lions side head into the new league season. “Things are going well at the club, and I’m really enjoying the intensity of the training sessions and games. The lads have been great to work with and everyone at the club has been very welcoming,” Perkins explained. “The squad is looking good, but obviously with so many new players it takes time to adapt and gel on the park but things are starting to click into place nicely. We have shown bits of quality throughout the Night Series but we know haven’t hit our full potential yet. We have been working hard in training with the help of the manager and coaches in order to hit the ground running come the first league game.”

Perkins joined Shamrock Rovers, in Ireland, at the age of 14 and had seven seasons there and was lucky enough to work with some great coaches and players. He also played Futsal for the Ireland u-21 and senior team for three years before leaving Ireland. He then played four years for Ashfield before moving to the Lions this season. The keeper really enjoyed his time at Ashfield and hopes they can gain promotion this season. “I loved every minute of it at Ashfield, there are great people working hard in the club to take it to the next level,” he said. “I made some lifelong friends and memories and it was an honour to play there, and I wish them all the best this season.”

The Lions had to fight back from two goals down last week against Floreat Athena to reach Saturday’s QBE Night Series Final, and Perkins said they had to work hard to get the result against a nine man Floreat side. “It was a strange game with a penalty and two red cards. We started well but overall were disappointed with our performance in the first half. But even on a night were we didn’t fulfil our potential we still came through and won which was important,” he explained. “In the second half Floreat’s work rate was exceptional considering they had nine men. Even though we kept the ball for long periods and were relatively comfortable considering the numerical advantage, they made it very hard to break them down and were still attempting to counter attack and it’s a credit to them.”

Working with Lions Coach Rob Milevski and Dejan Vilic at Macedonia Park has been an eye opener for the big keeper, and he said the pair have them playing well at the moment. “It’s been very enjoyable so far, their sessions are meticulously planned with a high intensity and we’ve been getting the results,” he said. “We are kept guessing from session to session which keeps training fresh, but everything we do is relevant to the game that is coming up.” Vilic say’s Perkins has been a huge addition to the squad. “He is a very good goal keeper, good professional athlete who is a very good role model and the mentor to the young keepers at the club as well,” he said. “Rob and I very happy to have him at the club and we believe he will be a great addition to our squad.”

The Lions go into this weekend’s Night series Final in a confident mood, with only one defeat in the competition, but Perkins believes Bayswater are the team to beat this season in all competitions. “Bayswater have been setting the standards in the last few years in WA football, and had a great run nationally last year. As a player you want to be testing yourself against the best and we will be champing at the bit come Saturday,” he said. “Between both sides there will be a lot of quality on the park with several of the state’s best players so I’m expecting it to be a fast paced and technical game with both teams going all out to win it.’



Former Inglewood United midfielder Ryan Clarke has taken his fight against a suspension for code of conduct breaches to Football Federation Australia, with the assistance of Professional Footballers Australia. Northern New South Wales Football suspended Clarke, who now plays with Maitland Magpies, for twelve months in November after finding him guilty of playing as a ring-in in an H-grade interdistrict semi-final between Adamstown Juniors and Kahibah.

Clarke denied that allegation, saying he had not played in the game and that the illegal player was Nick Harmon, who backed up the claim. Despite this, the midfielder was found guilty and suspended for bringing the game into disrepute. Clarke was successful in having the ban cut to four games on appeal, but NNSWF then suspended him for twelve months over breaches of the FFA Code of Conduct stemming from comments he made in the media.

NNSWF operations manager Alan Nisbet confirmed Clarke had lodged an appeal to FFA, saying the federation had received notification late last week that a grievance had been filed with the national body. A PFA spokesman said the organisation had membership at the state league level and were assisting Clarke in his appeal. Clarke made 129 appearances, scoring 51 times, for Inglewood between 2010 and 2015.



Tom Beadling believes Sunderland can go all the way and win the Barclays Under-21 Premier League after an impressive showing in Monday’s 3-2 defeat of Everton. The central defender found the back of the net in between two Ola Toivonen goals as Sunderland’s development squad bounced back from last week’s loss to Leicester City.

The win returned Sunderland to the top summit of the league, and Beadling is of the opinion they can stay there through to seasons’ end. “We’re confident we can do it,” said Beadling. “All we can do is keep winning to put the pressure back on Man United, and hopefully they will slip up. It is massive to get the three points but we're a bit disappointed in the way we played.”

“Credit to Everton because they are a good side - one of the best we have played this year - and we had to dig in, especially at the end but we got the win so we’re pleased with that. I was very pleased to get on the scoresheet - it’s the first one from open play in a while so it’s always nice to score - being a defender you don’t always get the opportunity so it’s nice to take one when it comes your way.”



In-form Perth Glory striker Andy Keogh says the side is not happy to qualify for the A-League finals in sixth spot. Glory moved into finals contention for the first time earlier this week after defeating Newcastle Jets 2-0 and are well placed to grab another three points from Saturday night’s home clash with bottom-placed Central Coast Mariners.

The game with Central Coast takes on extra importance as Glory then has a two game road trip against Wellington Phoenix and Newcastle Jets, but Keogh said they were full of belief and did not fear any side. Former Ireland international Keogh, who has five goals this season including four in the last four games, said they wanted to progress further in the last five games of the season.

“We’re not getting ahead of ourselves but I think they (other sides) are probably worried about us,” Keogh said. “It’s great to be there but we’re not happy with sixth and want to keep moving on up the table. We’ve put ourselves in a great position to achieve something and with the group we have we’re not going to let that slip lightly.”

“It’s what we’ve been aiming for since we had a chance. There are five games left and if we can get the 15 points that will get us up there. The mood is great. There’s a really good vibe and everybody is working on and off the field. We’re playing well, we have a good blend. The main thing is we work really hard for each other.”

Keogh said there were a number of factors that have turned the side around after a poor start to the season. “The main one is the players coming together getting fitter and a couple of good new additions,” said Keogh, who feels he is nearing full fitness. “I’m close … still not quite there, but I’m feeling better and better. The dying stages of the game is a lot better as well now.”



The move of Andrija Jukic to Bayswater City has rekindled the football career of the talented midfielder. The 29-year-old who has joined the 365 Finance Stadium club from Inglewood United said he is fit and rearing to go in 2016. “Things are going great for me at the club and I’m really enjoying myself, everybody at the club has made me feel very welcome,” he explained. “The body is holding up after missing a lot of football last season, so I hope it stays that way.”

Jukic said last season was very frustrating with injuries taking their toll, but he enjoyed his brief spell at Inglewood. “The body is holding up good, touch wood,” he joked. “Things didn’t go my way at Inglewood and I was always getting injuries at the wrong time and playing catch up during the year. But I had a good time there, the players and coaching staff were great, just disappointing I couldn’t get on the park regularly.”

Bayswater reached the QBE Night series, but not after a fight against Armadale, and Jukic said they need to better to beat the Lions in the Final on Sunday. “I thought we made it hard for ourselves, but credit to Armadale, who fought hard and never gave up, they really pushed us all the way,” he said. “Sunday will definitely be a tough game, Stirling are a decent side and it's always tough against them. But we know if we perform the way we can, we will get the result we want.”

Jukic started his senior football at Western Knights, before stints at Perth SC and in the A-League with Perth Glory. He then headed to Indonesia for a stint at Bogor Raya, before returning to Australia with Bentleigh Greens in the Victorian NPL, and then he headed west to Inglewood.

The midfielder has fitted in well at Bayswater and the new look squad is gelling well, and he is enjoying working with Coach Chris Coyne. “He (Chris) is very easy to work with, knows what he wants and demands nothing less than 100% from his players,” Jukic said. “The squad is looking great, and we’re getting fitter and getting used to each other every session. We look in good shape and are really looking forward to the season ahead.”



Perth Glory are one of the form teams of the A-League at the moment , and in-form striker Andy Keogh says the side is not happy to just qualify for the A-League finals in sixth spot. Glory moved into the finals places for the first time last weekend and are well placed to grab another three points from Saturday night’s clash with bottom-placed Central Coast Mariners at nib Stadium.

The match takes on extra importance as Glory then have a two game on the road against Wellington Phoenix and Newcastle Jets but Keogh said they were full of belief and did not fear any side.

The former Wolves striker, who has five goals this season including four in the last four games, said they wanted to progress further in the last five games of the season and push even further up the table. “We’re not getting ahead of ourselves but I think they (other sides) are probably worried about us,” Keogh said. “It’s great to be there but we’re not happy with sixth and want to keep moving on up the table. We’ve put ourselves in a great position to achieve something and with the group we have we’re not going to let that slip lightly.”

Keogh is well aware that clubs will try and frustrate their attacking game, but is confident they can push on and make a statement. “It’s what we’ve been aiming for since we had a chance. There are five games left and if we can get the 15 points that will get us up there,” he explained. “The mood is great. There’s a really good vibe and everybody is working on and off the field. We’re playing well, we have a good blend. The main thing is we work really hard for each other.”

There has been a number of factors that have turned the side around after a poor start to the season, but with Keogh almost back to full fitness he is producing the form he showed last season and he said the squad have also picked up on fitness. “The main one is the players coming together getting fitter and a couple of good new additions,” he said. “I’m close to full fitness, but still not quite there, but I’m feeling better and better. The dying stages of the game is a lot better as well now.”



The Australian women's team booked their place at the Olympic Games for the first time since 2004 by completing this week’s qualifying tournament in Japan without defeat. The Matilda’s defeated 2016 Olympic silver medallists Japan, Vietnam, Korea republic and DPR Korea to secure a seat on the plane to Brazil before drawing with China in their final game.

The national women's team made a dreams start to their qualifying campaign with an impressive 3-1 win over Japan. First half goals from Lisa De Vanna and Michelle Heyman opened up a handy advantage, and though Yuki Ogimi pulled a goal back, Katrina Gorry sealed victory close to the final whistle.

A 9-0 thrashing of Vietnam provided a massive boost for the Matildas as they continued to chase a ticket to the Rio Olympics. Australia were always in control as Kyah Simon netted three times alongside Emily Gielnik, Alanna Kennedy, Emily Van Egmond and substitutes Ashleigh Sykes, Heyman and Clare Polkinghorne.

The Matildas made it three in a row by accounting for Korea Republic 2-0. Both goals in the gritty victory came in an opening 15 minute burst with Simon picking up where she left off against Vietnam by scoring inside 60 seconds before Emily van Egmond converted a penalty in her 50th appearance.

Australia’s place at the Olympics was secured with a stirring 2-1 win over DPR Korea. Heading into the game needing a draw or a win to qualify, Heyman gave Australia a 1-0 lead before Kim Su Gyong equalised to set up a tense finale. But with six minute remaining Gorry put the result beyond doubt with a clinical finish.

The Matildas finished top of the qualifying table after a brilliant Emily van Egmond strike earned the team a 1-1 draw with China. Van Egmond’s 85th minute finish cancelled out Ma Xiaoxu’s 16th minute opener to leave Australia with four wins and a draw from their five games.



Josh Risdon’s stars continues to rise with the defender included in the Socceroos 23-man squad for upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Tajikistan and Jordan. The 23-year old has gone from strength to strength this season after becoming only the seventh player to notch up 100 A-League games for the club.

Risdon’s Socceroos call-up comes on the back of his debut in November against Bangladesh where he set up the second goal for Australian striker Tim Cahill. “It’s very exciting and an honour to have been selected by Ange (Postecoglou),” Risdon said. “It was a big aim of mine to make camp after last years’ experience so I am buzzing to be part of that group once again.”

The Australia squad to play Tajikistan (24 March) and Jordan (29 March) is Terry Antonis (PAOK), Nathan Burns (FC Tokyo), Tim Cahill (Hangzhou Greentown), Adam Federici (Bournemouth), Jason Geria (Melbourne Victory), Alex Gersbach (Rosenborg), Apostolos Giannou (Guangzhou R&F), Chris Ikonomidis (US Salernitana), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Robbie Kruse (Bayer Leverkusen), Mitchell Langerak (Vfb Stuttgart), Mathew Leckie (FC Ingolstadt), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers), Ryan McGowan (Henan Jianye), Mark Milligan (Baniyas), Aaron Mooy (Melbourne City), Josh Risdon (Perth Glory), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Mat Ryan (Valencia), Trent Sainsbury (Jiangsu Suning), Brad Smith (Liverpool), Matthew Spiranovic (Hangzhou Greentown) and Bailey Wright (Preston North End).



Hungarian international Krisztian Vadocz has a special reason to look forward to returning from tour with Perth Glory later this month - his wife. Vadocz has enjoyed a dream start to his Glory career, with the 30-year old playing a key role in helping the club turn their season around.

The classy midfielder arrived in Perth early last month as an injury replacement, and he's already been part of four wins. Glory's form has been so hot that some pundits are rating the club as a championship smokey. Life in sunny Perth has been good for Vadocz, but a crucial piece of the puzzle has been missing.

"My wife is still in Budapest," Vadocz said. "It's not easy being apart, but it's part of the business. First I have to settle down and make everything perfect. We have to wait until the next NZ tour for her to come. We play against Wellington (March 20), and then Newcastle (March 26) ... and then after that she can join me, and we will enjoy our time."

Vadocz, who has made 39 appearances for Hungary, shares the same agent as star Glory import Diego Castro. Glory have already made it clear they want to keep Castro beyond this season, and the club also appear likely to offer Vadocz a new deal given his strong form.



Defender Alex Grant is confident Perth Glory will play finals for the first time in three seasons on the back of a favourable run home. Glory have climbed into sixth spot in the A-League and can consolidate their position against when they host bottom side Central Coast Mariners on Saturday night. The club play just one team above them on the ladder - Melbourne City - in the remaining five home-and-away rounds.

Grant, who has been a revelation as a central defender in his first season at Glory, said he had returned to his home club from England to play finals. “We’ve got some definitely winnable games over the next five weeks or so,” he said. “We’ve got to go into it full of confidence and get the results, really. That’s what it comes down to now, just winning games.”

“It’s the business end of the season and it’s time to step up. It’d be massive (to play finals). I’ve been confident from the start. I know we had our problems at the start of the season where we weren’t winning many games, but I think we’ve got a great set of lads, the morale’s unbelievable within the group. We’ve just got to kick on now.”

Grant’s desperation in blocking several shots on goal in the first half from Newcastle Jets’ Milos Trifunovic set the tone for Glory in Monday night’s 2-0 home win. The former Stoke City and Portsmouth signing only found himself in the starting line-up after a string of injuries early in the season to senior players, including veteran Dino Djulbic.

Grant has played 16 of a possible 22 matches this campaign and is now part of Glory’s preferred central pairing in defence, alongside Shane Lowry, despite Djulbic’s return. “I’ve obviously cemented my spot in the team now and I’d like to keep it,” Grant said. “I’m really enjoying playing football in front of the fans. The fans are great here. It’s really positive.”



Tando Velaphi is enjoying his time in Japan and is determined to win a starting spot with his J1 League club Shonan Bellmare. Velaphi, who left Melbourne City in January to join the Japanese side, is yet to make a league appearance for his new club but the 28-year old says he’s settled in well.

“It’s awesome,” said Velaphi, whose mother is Japanese. “I’ve been here a few times on holiday so in terms of that stuff and the way people do things I’ve been exposed before. I’m really enjoying my time here. I haven’t got time to see my family yet.”

“I’m really enjoying the club here, they’ve made me feel very welcome and I’m starting to fit in with the team slowly but surely. I speak a little bit of Japanese. I’m more better at understanding it. It takes a bit of time with the speaking but I’ve been here six or seven weeks now and I’m slowly getting back into it.”

Shonan Bellmare are a relatively young club – they were founded in 1968 – and are based in Hiratsuka. In recent years they have bounced between the J1 and J2 Leagues, securing promotion back to the top flight in 2013 before being relegating the following season.

“They’re a relatively small club with regards to the J-League but they’re a team that really punches above its weight,” Velaphi explains. “Last year they got promoted from the J2 and they finished eighth which is really good. We’ve got a lot of young players and our style of football, they call it the Shonan style, which is they’ve got a bit of a trademark and brand about the way they play football and go about things.

“Very much they’ve got an identity here in the city and everyone gets a buzz at the games. It’s only a small stadium – about 17,000 – but it was sold out for the first game. It’s a great place to be, it’s on the coast and not too far from Tokyo. It’s a great club, the facilities are great and I think most teams in the J-League have top-class facilities.”

Shonan Bellmare have a win and a draw from their first two games with Velaphi competing for the number one spot with Yuji Kajikawa and Tomohiko Murayama. “I want to play but sometimes you have to bide your time,” he said. “The coaches have been great with their communication to say look you’re new to this whole football over here, the language and goalkeepers are a pretty important part of that sort of stuff.”

“I feel like I’ve been training well, I played a lot in the pre-season it’s just a matter of adapting to exactly how they want things done. I’m very eager to play and it’s obviously disappointing not to start, you always want to play. But I’m in a good place and I’m learning each day. I’m looking forward to setting foot on the park soon.”

Velaphi said it his club’s goal not just to stay up this season. “Every season is different in terms of the league and all the teams are so strong,” he said. You see some times they can win the championship two years before and then get relegated into the J2. There’s probably about five or six teams in the J2 worthy of playing in the J1.”

“It’s very competitive and every year you can’t predict it. We want to aim for the title, that’s everyone’s ambition. If we can just keep steadily progressing our style of football, there’s no reason why we can’t achieve great things and beat the top teams.”

Originally from Perth SC, Velaphi has made more than 100 A-League appearances for Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City. He said his move to Japan was a combination of the right place at the right time. “I really enjoyed my time at Melbourne City and I’m very thankful for letting me take up this opportunity,” he said.

“It was the right place at the right time. It’s not very often that foreign goalkeepers go over to Japan. I came off a pretty strong season the past year and people saw that I wasn’t playing and thought maybe he wants to try something new.”

“With my mum being Japanese and having a bit of interest in the J-League on a personal level, it all came together. Sometimes things like click and it felt like the right move. I didn’t really think twice about it when it came up. It all kind happened within a few days, it was pretty sudden. I was really keen to make the move.”



Socceroo Rhys Williams has revealed that he’s likely to leave Middlesbrough at the end of the season and is eyeing an A-League future. Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory have made contact with Williams, who’s just returned after missing the best part of two years with successive Achilles problems.

Williams, who is in Perth for his grandad’s funeral, is likely to sign a loan deal with a League One club when he returns to England next week. The talented defender/midfielder admitted that it would be difficult leaving Premier League-bound Middlesbrough after eleven years, but said he was determined to prove he can return to his best.

“I’m really interested in coming back to Australia, it’s very firmly in my mind but I need concrete offers to consider it,’’ Williams said. “I can’t sign now because I’ve played for two clubs (Middlesbrough and Charlton) but I’m assessing my options for next season. Being at the same club for 11-12 years, I think I need a fresh start and a new environment.”

“In the UK I’ve been labelled injury prone. I just need to put a run of games together and people will realise I’m fit. People are iffy about me because I’ve been out for so long and I don’t blame them, so it’s up to me to get game time. The Charlton thing didn’t go as planned but I got games and I’ll look for another loan.’’

Boro’s promotion hopes from the Championship mean manager Aitor Karanka doesn’t have the luxury of being able to ease Williams into the first-team, hence he’s encouraged him to seek another loan. Williams, whose last Socceroos game was in November 2013, said a tough end was looming at a club he’s captained.

“They’ve got the best defence in the league and they’re top so I don’t expect to force my way in,’’ he said. “What I’ve done previously has got nothing to do with getting back in. My contract is up, Boro has got an option to extend, but they’re happy for me to have a fresh start.”

“I’m a bit disappointed how it’s going to end, if it does end but I think it’s time for me to find another manager who’ll show faith in me. Aussie managers know me and they way I play, it might take me a couple of weeks to find my feet, but I’m confident of pushing forward.’’



Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams said she and her teammates want to "mark our place in history" as they close in on a Rio Olympic Games berth at the Asia qualifying tournament. The Matildas will play their second last match against North Korea tomorrow and remain undefeated after seeing off Japan 3-1, Vietnam 9-0 and South Korea 2-0.

That latter win has put the national women’s team on the cusp of an Olympic recall, and the players are bursting with excitement and determined not to let their opportunity slip. Katanning-born Williams has conceded just one goal in the Matildas hat-trick of wins and admits the chance to end a 12-year absence from the Olympics is tantalising.

"We work really hard on defence and we don't want to give any teams easy chances," Williams said. "Our mentality has probably shone through. We really believe we could have placed at the World Cup [last year] and right now it's everyone's dream to go to the Olympics. We go into every game wanting to get a result out of it to mark our place in history."

The Matildas play the relatively unknown North Korea and China in the last two matches of the tournament. Beating North Korea would almost certainly book a ticket to Rio, and even if that doesn’t happen they can still make it through. But the players are taking nothing for granted after suffering World Cup heartbreak at the hands of Japan last year.

Williams admitted it was devastating when North Korea beat the Matildas for a spot at the 2012 Olympics only for North Korea to be banned following a doping scandal, in which five players tested positive to steroids. "At the time it was devastating but I think we've moved on; only half the team is still around from that tournament," Williams said.

"We've matured as a group and have a different philosophy. While that was heartbreaking at the time, we've definitely moved and right now we want to go out there and beat every team. We really, really want this. We missed out two times before and all of us aren't willing to miss out again. That's showing through."



Perth Glory’s Spanish striker Diego Castro put on another masterclass as the Glory beat Newcastle Jets 2-0 at the nib Stadium on Monday afternoon. Andy Keogh gave the hosts the lead in the first half, before Gyorgy Sandor extended their lead early in the second half, both goals set up by the Spanish midfielder. Newcastle’s Daniel Mullen was dismissed for two bookable offences either side of half-time, effectively ending any hopes of a Jets revival. The win takes the Glory into the Hyundai A-League top six for the first time this season. “Comments”

The home side were out of the blocks early and Nebojsa Marinkovic’s long-range shot was saved low by WA born Mark Birighitti. The Jets, who were on a good run of their own, hit back and on 12 minutes, Leonardo’s corner fell to Jason Hoffman, whose shot from the edge of the penalty area flew over the top. Chris Harold was next to go close for the home side, he was given far too much room on the edge of the penalty area, but his curling shot whistled just wide of the post.

Leonardo was pulling the strings in the middle of the park for the Jets, and the Brazilian played in striker Milos Trifunovic on the half hour, but Ante Covic stood tall to deny the Serbian, but he should have done better. But six minutes later the Glory hit the front. Castro played a delightful ball behind the Jets backline to Aryn Williams, his pinpoint cross found Keogh who rose highest to head past Birighitti, and went off to celebrate in front of the Shed.

Jets striker Trifunovic and Glory defender Williams were involved in a sickening head clash just prior to half time, with the Jets player coming off second best. The Serbian had blood pouring from his face after suffering a nasty gash which forced him from the field for the remaining five minutes of the opening stanza. Williams was unable to return to the field after the break, replaced by Dino Djulbic.

The Glory doubled their advantage in the opening minute of the second half. It was Castro again who started the move; he robbed Steven Ugarkovic and headed straight for goal, before unselfishly laying the ball off to Sandor who fired home into an empty net. Castro then set up Marinkovic but the Serbians shot went into the side netting. The Jets hopes took another blow on the hour when defender Mullen was given his second yellow card by Chris Beath, after a heavy tackle on Harold.

With their numerical advantage the Glory looked to add to their lead. Keogh crossed to second half substitute Kosta Petratos, whose volley flew inches over the top. The Jets thought they had a life back into the game in the final minute, when Morten Nordstrand was brought down by Alex Grant and referee Beath pointed to the spot. But after a word with assistant Josh Mannella the decision was over turned for a foul commented by Nordstrand before the penalty incident.

The 2-0 win was enough for the Glory to leapfrog Sydney FC into sixth spot and are now in the box seat to play in the end of season finals series, and this after a difficult start to the campaign when they sat bottom of the table. The Glory will fancy their chances of finishing even higher on the ladder with matches against Central Coast, Wellington and Newcastle again in the next three weeks. They have a full squad to choose from and Kenny Lowe has them ticking along nicely.



Perth Glory have opened formal discussions with star Spanish import Diego Castro about a new one-year contract for next season. Castro, Glory’s leading scorer this season with 10 goals, is widely regarded as one of the A-League’s premier players after moving to Australia following a long career in Spain’s top two divisions, and his form has got other clubs interested in signing him. Castro is being paid outside of Glory’s salary cap as a marquee player this season and is expected to retain marquee status should he remain at the club.

Perth chief executive Peter Filopoulos said the club was hopeful of retaining the 33-year-old attacker for next season. “Diego has been fantastic this year and we’ve just commenced discussions with Diego and his management to see how he’s enjoyed life here with his family and hopefully keep him for one more year,’’ Filopoulos said. “He’s been good for us and I think it’s been good for him.’’

Castro made a slow start to his Glory career while he battled to overcome a niggling leg injury. But he has hit top form over the past few months, with Glory now sitting in sixth spot after winning six of their past seven matches. His form has been so hot that he is now second favourite to win the Johnny Warren Medal as the A-League's best player, behind only Aaron Mooy.

The 33-year-old Spaniard has scored 10 goals this season, and set up numerous others. His dazzling moves have bewildered defences across the league. But it has come at a cost, with rival players sometimes physically targeting Castro in a bid to curtail his influence. "Maybe a little bit more protection from refs would be good," Lowe said. "He does get persistent fouls, but he's a tough little bugger. He's not the biggest, but he's brave and he'll take the ball anywhere.”



Perth Glory has opened formal discussions with star Spanish import Diego Castro about a new one-year contract for next season. Castro, Glory’s leading scorer this season with ten goals, is widely regarded as one of the A-League’s premier players after moving to Australia following a long career in Spain’s top two divisions, where he made close to 500 appearances for Getafe, Sporting Gijon, Malaga and Pontevedra.

Chief executive Peter Filopoulos said the club is hopeful of retaining the 33-year old attacker beyond the current season. “Diego has been fantastic this year and we’ve just commenced discussions with Diego and his management to see how he’s enjoyed life here with his family and hopefully keep him for one more year,’’ Filopoulos said. “He’s been good for us and I think it’s been good for him.’’



Coach Kenny Lowe has issued an ultimatum of performing or not playing to his Perth Glory side after finding himself in a welcome dilemma. Experienced defender Dino Djulbic returns after a long sidelining injury whilst Marc Warren and Ruben Zadkovich are the only blips on an otherwise injury-free squad, something Lowe hasn't had the luxury of so far this season. “Yeah, it’s party time for me,” Lowe joked.

“Our focus is on Newcastle. They’re the form team with us and Adelaide. We need a performance Monday, that’s what we need. Generally if we get those we get something out of the game that’s the focus for everyone. If you don’t perform you don’t play, we’re going into the business end of the year, we’ve got a big game this weekend so everyone has to perform.”



Fit-again Perth Glory defender Dino Djulbic is aiming to mark his long-awaited A-League comeback with a 'cradle goal' celebration in Monday night's crunch clash with Newcastle Jets at Perth Oval. Djulbic has spent the past four months on the sidelines after suffering a serious ankle injury in November’s FFA Cup final loss to Melbourne Victory.

A lot has changed since Djulbic last took the field. Michael Thwaite, Guyon Fernandez, Sidnei and Antony Golec have all left the club, while new additions Andy Keogh, Shane Lowry and Krisztian Vadocz have revived Glory's finals hopes. Djulbic also welcomed his second child - a baby girl - into the world two weeks ago.

33-year old Djulbic knows it will be tough to break back into Glory's starting side, especially on the back of the club's recent five-match winning run. But the defender says he's ready to be thrown straight into the deep end if the coaches want him to play a starting role.

"Of course, the team has been doing well, but I'm not here to sit or wait," Djulbic said. "I'm here to play. Everyone knows what I can bring to the team. I think you can always improve the team. If you're a good player, you can fit in. And I like to organise the defence. I'm a leader - on and off the park."

Djulbic injured his ankle within the opening minutes of the FFA Cup final. And although the central defender's decision to play on through the pain resulted in more damage, he was initially only meant to spend about eight weeks on the sidelines. However, the recovery period doubled because of subsequent bone bruising.

Glory are just two points adrift of fifth place and over the next four weeks take on struggling Newcastle (twice), Central Coast Mariners and Wellington Phoenix, giving them a great chance to make huge strides up the table. "I think we're big contenders for the top six and, who knows, maybe even a home final?" Djulbic said.



Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti believes this season is his career best and he puts it down to the club’s coaches. Birighitti had a nightmare 2014/15 campaign under Phil Stubbins where he ended heading out on loan to Italian second tier club Varese as their back-up stopper.

The fringe Socceroo returned to the club under new boss Scott Miller where he’s started every A-League game except for one after suffering a nasty facial injury in Round Two. His form has been sound too, with Newcastle conceding only 31 goals in 21 games for the fifth best defensive record in the A-League.

“I’d have to say this year has been my best year throughout my footballing career,” Birighitti said. “It comes down to the coaching I’ve been getting here at Newcastle. Scott Miller, Jean-Paul de Marigny and especially our goalkeeping coach Jess Vanstrattan. He worked under one of the best goalkeepers in the world at Juventus in Gianluigi Buffon. I’m very grateful to him.”

For all his improvement and given his previous time in the Australia set-up, Birighitti hasn’t been touted for a Socceroos recall any time soon. He remains behind the likes of Mat Ryan, Mitch Langerak, Adam Federici, Alex Cisak and Eugene Galekovic. But at 24, he is part of the next generation of Australian goalkeepers and his experience this season will hold him in good stead.

“I knew I’ve always had it in me,” Birighitti said. “I’ve always believed in myself, I’ve never doubted that. It’s a testament to the coaches. They’ve given me so much confidence and2 belief this year. When you get that from the coaches it helps in your performances.”

On Monday, Birighitti returns to his home city Perth when Newcastle faces Glory in a crucial clash between two finals hopefuls. Birighitti, who spent his junior days playing for Perth SC, likened the long weekend clash to a final for the Jets, who remain four points outside the top six on the back of an unbeaten run of four games.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s a fixture I look forward to at the start of the season. It’s going to be a very important game, not only for myself but the club. It’s a final for us pretty much. We know how much is at stake. It’s a massive opportunity for us to put pressure on the teams above us. We are on a bit of a run. The confidence in the playing group is sky high.”



Logic suggests Kevin Muscat will shuffle the deck chairs for Melbourne Victory’s trip to Central Coast Mariners on Sunday. But young fullback Scott Galloway certainly isn’t about to put his hand up for a rest. Melbourne arrived home at midday on Friday after a night of travel from Japan, where the team won a hard-earned point in a 1-1 Asian Champions League clash with Gamba Osaka on Wednesday.

Rather than fly straight to Sydney, the club opted to give players a night at home with their families before having a light training session this morning. Given the Mariners match will be the team’s fifth in 17 days, a high level of rotation might be expected from Muscat on Sunday. But after a frustrating season in which international commitments with the Olyroos played a part in keeping him out of the A-League side until Round 18, Galloway is desperate to front up again despite getting a full 90 minutes in against Gamba.

“When you’re playing you just want to keep playing,” said Galloway, who also saw out the full game last weekend against Sydney FC. “You don’t want to lose your spot, you just want to keep improving with every game and the only way you can do that is to keep playing. So I’ll definitely be putting my hand up to play.”

Melbourne’s A-League form is patchy, with the defending champion having only won three of its past 14 games. In contrast, its form in Asia has been spectacular, with last week’s win over Shanghai SIPG followed by Wednesday’s crucial draw. To transfer that continental form in to the domestic competition, Galloway said his team needs to display a strong mental fortitude as they seek to snap a five-match winless run in the league.

“In the ACL we’re facing different style of teams and they’ve got higher quality players,” he said. “We’ve got to look at how we prepared for that and how mentally switched on we were for those games and bring that in to the league. If we can do that we’ll be tough to beat, it’s just up to us to make sure we’ve got our heads switched on ... every game is must win at the moment so we’ve got to treat every game like a final.”



He’s 26-years old and just quit European football but Shane Lowry hasn’t given up on his Socceroos dream. Perth Glory’s new defensive recruit has been a big part of the club’s recent revival, which has put them on the cusp of the A-League’s top six. And his form will no doubt have been noticed by Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou.

The former Aston Villa and Birmingham City defender has been called up to the national team on several occasions, including being part of the provisional 2010 World Cup squad, but remains uncapped at international level. In a sign of the modern way in Australian football, Lowry believes leaving Europe can actually boost his national team prospects.

“I know the manager for the national team watches a lot of the A-League games,” Lowry said. “I’ve seen players picked from the A-League so that’s another reason I’ve come back. That’s an ambition of mine as well, but I need to concentrate on playing well for Glory and that’s my sole focus. Hopefully if I keep doing well you never know what’s going to happen in the future.”

Lowry admitted he was happy with his form since returning to Australia, although he said he “has more to give”. And he’s desperate to give more to his hometown club whom he recalls supporting as a kid. “I went to games back in the NSL days when they were highly successful,” Lowry said. “That’s one of the reasons I came back as well, I always wanted to play for them. I want to bring back success to the club being a local lad.”

Lowry, along with Adam Taggart, were big-name Perth-raised recruits from Europe in January for Glory. The defender said the club’s fresh approach under new chief executive Peter Filopoulos, with the recruitment of local products one element of that, was very positive. “Fair play to the club. It’s been well documented the problems they had last season,” he said.

“A lot of people thought they’d only go on a downward spiral. The infrastructure has changed and they’ve set some ambitious targets. But if you don’t set high goals you may as well not be in the game. The recruitment has been really good and there’s a positive buzz around the club.”

Lowry, who has moved to Perth with his Birmingham-bred partner and young child, said the security of a two-and-a-half-year contract was key too. “My priorities have changed with a young family and I thought I wasn’t playing many games at Birmingham,” he said. “I thought it was a good opportunity to play games and from the family side of things we felt we’d be happier over here, especially with my little girl.”



A year ago Matthew Davies was struggling to secure game-time and was on the way out of Perth Glory. Today the 21-year old full back is an established first-team player at Malaysian Super League side Pahang FC and a senior international for that nation.

Davies moved to Malaysia, the birth place of his mother, last April and hit the ground running, the defender already racked up five caps for his adopted country. “It’s gone by very quickly,” Davies said. “I’ve enjoyed it so far, the passion here is something you don’t get ... I’ve played a few games in front of 60,000 plus supporters.”

“It was good coming from a bit-part role in an A-League squad, getting some games here and there, to playing a crucial role in a team and then getting some international appearances as well. Since April to December I played 30 games at club level and another 10 at international level, from Under-23s and full internationals ... it's been really good for my development.”

Davies, a Young Socceroo in 2013, has become an integral part of the Pahang line-up. The club comes from the third largest state in Malaysia and finished third in the Super League last year. “We finished second but ended up getting points deducted, so we finished third,” Davies explained.

The 2016 campaign has begun with Tok Gajah struggling, recording just one draw from its first four games. “So far this season hasn’t been that great, we’ve started quite poorly,” Davies admits. “Based on last season we should be able to turn it around quite quickly, we’ve got a good team still.”

“We’re branding this as a rebuilding season, we’ve got a real young squad in. So a lot of our senior players have left but we’ve got in some new good foreigners, but they’re looking to I guess consolidate a bit and start from scratch and build a new team with a bit more flair going forward.”

Davies debuted for Mayalsia’s Under-23s at last year's Southeast Asian Games and made his full senior debut in September against Saudi Arabia. “We had a bunch of pressure on us for that game as we’d just come off a 10-0 loss to UAE,” Davies said. “That was the game that got abandoned because flares were thrown on to the pitch.”

Joining Davies in the national team set-up has been fellow Australian Brad Maloney, assistant coach of Malaysia’s senior team. “It definitely helps (with Brad there). Some of the boys scratch their heads a bit and look at me when he talks because of some of his local Aussie slang, but I think he’s trying to control it a bit better.”

Davies admits it was a “tad strange” to play for Malaysia at first. “It felt a tad strange if I’m honest,” he said. “I obviously grew up my whole life in Australia but did have those close links with Malaysia. But at the same time I was extremely proud and honoured to represent Malaysia.”

Davies and Maloney are just two of several Australian players and coaches who have made their home in Malaysian football. Jon McKain, Robbie Cornthwaite, Brent Griffiths, Mario Karlovic and Brendan Gan all ply their trade in the Super League, while the likes of Taylor Reagan, Andrew Nabbout, Joel Chianese and Cameron Edwards play in the second division.

“There’s definitely a big opportunity for Aussie players coming over in those Asian passport slots,” Davies said. “They love a big physical Australia defender and the Aussies that have come over here, such as Robbie and Jon McKain, have held the Australian name in good stead.”

“The standard is definitely improving. Financially they can compete. There’s a lot of players who want to come here and it is difficult, as there’s a lot of players trying to come from Europe and good leagues. The four foreigners you generally get over here are of a very good standard.”

The local football scene, they’re putting a committed effort in to improve it so the standard is on the up. At times it can be super quick and super exciting, and I think that’s why the fans love it, there’s a lot of counter-attacking football.”

Davies is contracted to Pahang for two more years after this season but admits he would like to try a different league at some point in the future. “I’m just concentrating on here right now but I definitely do want to look at overseas at some point,” he said. “I’m hoping the international exposure from playing in the Malaysian national team will maybe help me get a move back to the A-League or to Europe at some point in the future.”



A goal eight minutes from time from substitute Brian Farrell has given Bayswater City a hard fought 4-3 win against Armadale in a thrilling QBE Night Series Semi-Final at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday evening.

Gustavo Giron-Marulanda and Hayden Doyle gave City an early 2-0 lead, but Alex Salmon pulled one back for Armadale before half time. David Heagney made it 3-1 seven minutes in to the second half, but a brace from English import Salmon levelled things up, to complete his hat-trick, but Farrell had the last word.

Despite the win, Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne was less than satisfied with his sides’ performance. “Our first 30 minutes was excellent, but after that wasn’t the performance I expect from my team,” he told the NPLWA website. “I told the players at half time that we were 45 minutes away from another Grand Final, and they go and produce that in the second half. They are good players, but they can’t let their standards slip, and I can guarantee you that there will be a different team with a different mentality next week in the final.”

Bayswater were ahead on 16 minutes, when Hayden Doyle fed Sam Mitchinson on the left and his low cross was turned home by Giron-Marulanda. It was 2-0 five minutes later, Heagney sending Doyle in on goal and he finished clinically past Alfie Brincat. Armadale hit back on 33 minutes, Ellis Healing’s corner wasn’t cleared, and Salmon’s shot on the turn flew into the net to send them in at half time trailing by one.

But seven minutes into the second half Bayswater added a third. An attempted clearance rebounded back off another Armadale defender falling kindly to Heagney, who finished low past Brincat from eight-yards. It looked game over, but Armadale had other ideas and they pulled one back on the hour. A slip by Jamie Coyne let in Salmon, and the striker raced clear, rounded Devon Spence and fired home.

The comeback was complete on 73 minutes, Banin Hasham was brought down by City keeper Spence, and Salmon fired home the resulting penalty to complete his hat-trick. But on 82 minutes Bayswater scored the winner. Farrell was found on the edge of the penalty area, and his half volley flew into the net to send City in next week’s Final.



Stirling Lions fought back from 0-2 down to beat a nine-man Floreat Athena 3-2 in a controversial QBE Night Series semi-final at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday evening. Jon Stynes had given Floreat the lead from the spot, before Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris was sent off on the half hour. Floreat skipper Ludovic Boi then doubled their advantage eight minutes later, before they were reduced to nine players, when Phil Arnold was sent off. David Micevski pulled one back for the Lions in the first minutes of the second half before Shane Cassidy levelled on the hour, and David Micevski scored his second to win it on 19 minutes from time.

Lions coach Rob Milevski was delighted the way his players stuck to their game plan. “I think (we) thoroughly deserved it,” he told the NPLWA website. “A few things changed during the course of the game that didn’t go Floreat’s way but the guys have worked hard during the whole campaign and deserve a spot in the Grand Final.” Floreat coach Glen Grostate was bitterly disappointed with the second send-off. “It’s the second red (card) that killed us,” he said. “We could have won with 10 men. It’s disappointing and I feel sorry for the boys the most, as the players have missed a chance to play at nib. The work rate that we put in and the game plan worked. We were 2-0 up and even when we lost one (player) I still felt that we were comfortable.”

Stirling opened the brighter and Floreat were hitting on the counter attack and they hit the front on 20 minutes. Stynes calmly scoring from the spot after Cassidy was adjudged to have handled in the penalty area. Floreat then had keeper Jason Saldaris sent off by referee Tom Glavovic, after he brought down Robert Petkov outside the box. But the ten men doubled their advantage on 38 minutes, Boi finishing clinically past John Perkins. Then before half time Floreat were reduced to nine men when Arnold received a second yellow card.

It was great start to the second half and Stirling reduced the margin in the opening minutes, David Micevski curling a free kick around the wall and past substitute keeper Pasquale Gioffre. They were level on the hour, Gioffre couldn’t clear a corner and Cassidy was on hand and he fired home from close-range. Floreat continued to defend gallantly but on 71 minutes they found the winner. David Micevski again curling the ball up and over the wall and into the corner of the net.



The State League Night Series Grand Final has been decided after two thrilling Semi-Finals at Hartfield Park on Saturday evening. In the early game Joondalup United beat Mandurah City 3-2, while hosts Forrestfield United came from 2-0 down to beat Shamrock Rovers also 3-2. . “It was a great result for the club, but it wasn’t the greatest performance from us,” Joondalup keeper James Bosdet said, “I think it was a classic ‘Game of two halves’. The first half we we’re the better team, but Mandurah were better in the second, and to be fair we scored the winner against the run of play, but we’ll take it.”

United started the better and they hit the front on four minutes, Adam Buckley’s cross fell to Arron Maplestone, who made no mistake from close-range. But Mandurah hit back, Jack Eades cutting in from the left and curling home from the edge of the box to level. But United regained their lead before half time. Lee Jones was brought down on the edge of the penalty area and Aaron Maplestone curled home the resulting free kick. Mandurah opened the second half well and Bosdet made three fine saves to keep the Dolphins at bay, but there was little he could do when Mandurah levelled. A corner wasn’t clear and Jordan Rhodes pounced to fire home. It looked like going to the dreaded penalty shoot-out, but in stoppage time United won it. A long ball over the top picked out Stuart Montgomery, who got the better of his marker and went one-on-one with the keeper and finished clinically to set off wild celebrations with the Joondalup supporters in the crowd, and even 70-year-old Smithy Senior raced on the pitch to celebrate the win.

In the late game hosts Forrestfield United had a disastrous start against Shamrock, with Paul Concannon intercepting a wayward back pass and finished low past Brad Eiffe. Forrestfield started to lift but against the run of play Shamrock doubled their advantage. Paddy Montgomery releasing Mwansa Musonda, who raced clear of his marker and finished low past Eiffe. Rovers were cruising at half time but the home side hit back early in the second half. Central defender rose highest to head home a corner to reduce the margin. The sides were level with fifteen minutes remaining, Ben Rogers found space on the edge of the penalty area and superbly curled home his shot. It was game on and roared on by the big home support Forrestfield scored the winner late. Former Future Glory striker Rogers picked the ball up in the middle of the park and strode forward and hit an unstoppable shot that cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and over the line, to set off wild celebrations in the crowd. Shamrock pressed late looking for the equaliser, but Forrestfield hung on to set up a Grand Final next week against Joondalup United. “It was literally a game of two halves, we weren't at the races at all in the first half, but we showed Great Spirit to turn things around in the second half,” Forrestfield midfielder Rhys Loxley said. “We keep pressing and a few moments of individual brilliance by Ben (Rogers) proved the difference in the end.”



The 2016 QBE Night Series has reached the Semi-Final stage and both games will be played at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday evening. In the early game Group B winners Stirling Lions will meet Group B runners-up and traditional rivals Floreat Athena (6.00pm). The Lions had already qualified when they lost to Armadale last week, and they did rest a number of players, but Coach Rob Milevski said he has been delighted the way his players have performed. “We have been in good form during the Night series and there has been a real positive approach by all players in the squad throughout the pre-season,” he said. “We have a solid group of players in the squad and the new signings are fitting in really well and the players are starting to gel as a unit.” The Lions have looked good going forward in the Night series, scoring 14 goals, and Milevski believes they have a number of players who can play on top. “Robert Petkov has been in good form and we do have several options in attack,” he explained. “New signing David Sesay has been good, while Daniel Micevski and Teeboy Kamara continue to impress, so it gives me a few options in the forward line.” Milevski said the Semi-final will be another tough game, as all games against Floreat are. “We are expecting a tough game against Floreat like always,” he said. “We made the semi-finals stage last year and the players are really looking forward to this week and hopefully we can go one better.”

Floreat Athena striker Lewis McMahon has missed the tournament due to an Achilles injury, but the former Sheffield Wednesday striker is close to a return, and he said they have had to work hard to get to this stage as they try to defend their title. “Well to be honest it's been a lot different this year than last, we've not really had the best pre-season with lads away and injuries to players including myself. But it shows what a good squad we have got to not play at all like we can but get through to the semis,” he said. “It was never going to be easy defending the crown of the night series and the success in the league as teams now knew what to expect from us, but it's great that the boys can now look forward at next week’s game and have a chance to go back-to-back.” The club have recruited well in the summer and 30-year-old believes they are stronger than last season. “Chris Saldaris and Declan Hargreaves have both made big impacts and shown how even though at a young age they can add lots of quality to our squad,” he said. “Jason Saldaris has come in and taken the keepers jersey and to be honest has made some MOM performances already showing what a good keeper he can be. I think adding players of this quality shows the direction the club wants to go in and with good young players coming into the club and coming through the juniors it's looking good for the future for Floreat.” Saturday’s game is going to be a tight one, but McMahon said they will only worry about themselves. “It doesn't matter who you are playing it’s all about us and how we apply ourselves. We are gradually getting fitter and more cohesive as a team and last week started to show,” he said. “Ludo Boi, Robbie Gasper and Clayton Arnez, are now back in contention that's only good news for us. So rather than thinking about the other team I think if we go out there and focus on our own game, then the result will look after itself.”

In the late game Group A winners Bayswater City will meet Group B runners-up Armadale (8.15pm) The Reds surprised many to qualify, this after finishing bottom of the PS4 NPLWA last season, but last week’s big win over Stirling showed how far they have come. “It was a good win against Stirling, even though they had a few players out, so did we, with injuries to four first team players,” Armadale Coach Paul Price said. “We have been creating chances in all our games and unfortunately for Stirling we had our scoring boots on and we scored some quality goals, and after the five group games, it would have been disappointing not to go through.” Armadale scored 14 goals in the group stage with English imports Ellis Healing and Alex Salmon scoring freely, and Price believes the pair has been great for the squad. “Alex and Ellis have come and have given us some quality going forward,” he explained. “They are good mates off the pitch and came over from the UK and have taken to the style and conditions of football in Perth extremely well. Their composure and awareness on the pitch is rubbing off on the other players, which is what you want as a coach from visa players.” Price knows what to expect from Bayswater and said they are looking forward to the challenge. “I’ve seen them (Bayswater) play against Subiaco and I thought they played very well, and looked back to their best,” he said. “It should be a tight game and with the fire power of both sides it should be a good spectacle for the supporters and plenty of goals.”

Bayswater needed a last minute penalty to beat Cockburn City last week and qualify for the Semi-Finals, and Coach Chris Coyne said they weren’t at their best. “We didn’t play well against Cockburn and didn’t deserve to get the result, however we kept a clean sheet and you are always giving yourself a chance when you do that. We have managed to top the group and haven’t played well, but the boys are fit and raring to go this weekend against a very good opposition in Armadale,” he said. “We have tinkered with the shape and have had a lot of players missing but we have enough depth and endeavour to grind out results as we did last week however Cockburn definitely deserved something from the game.” Coyne has been impressed with Armadale in the Night series and is expecting a tough encounter. “They (Armadale) have been very good this pre-season and are looking very fit and ready to go. They have some good imports that have given them great direction going forward and Paul has them well organized defensively,” he explained. “We respect the form that they are in and look forward to the challenge as the players are potentially 90 minutes away from a cup final, we will concentrate on ourselves and get ready for a battle with the players now fighting to cement spots in the team for when the NPL starts. We have 7-8 big players coming into contention and the players that have been getting their chance must be well aware of that.”



The Semi-Finals of the State League Night Series also take place this weekend, with a double header at Hartfield Park on Saturday evening. In the early game Joondalup United take on Mandurah City (5.00pm) Mandurah were in ominous form last week, thrashing Dianella White Eagles 5-0, while Joondalup held on to beat a fast finishing Western Knights 3-2. Mandurah coach Doug Hesketh said he’s been really happy with the squads’ effort in the competition to-date and it they are getting stronger with every game. “Mick Lyons and I have been delighted with the squad’s performances so far in the competition, and we’ve been rewarded with a fifth game this week,” he said. “We are trying different things and the lads are really responding well and applying themselves, and that’s all we can ask of them. We have some great young players coming through and hope to give them the opportunities when they arise.” Hesketh said Joondalup were a breath of fresh air in the First Division last season, and he believes they are a good side and have added quality to their squad from last season. “We’re looking forward to the game as the Joondalup lads are a solid group, well organised and play consistently well,” he explained. “They have made some good signing this season, including Stuart Montgomery who is a very good player, and Sunday’s game will be another tough test for us. We will give it our best and try and play good football, and we’ll see where it takes us.” Joondalup were also outstanding in the first half last week, rushing to a 3-0 lead, but they were hanging on in the end and they had their keeper to thank for the win. “Without a doubt our keeper James Bosdet was man of the match, he is in my opinion the best keeper in the league and on the day he was outstanding,” Joondalup Coach Nick Jennings said. “Having said that we scored three quality goals and spurned many more opportunities and we were cruising towards the semis, but to concede two headed goals was disappointing but we dug deep and fell over the line.” Jennings knows what to expect on Sunday, with Mandurah continuing to be the benchmark of the league. “To win trophies you have to beat the best and we certainly will have to do that in the semi as we face the league champions Mandurah City. Having watched them destroy Dianella last week, when they could have had 10, they are going to be a major obstacle to overcome,” he explained. “We had two close games with them last season and we are really looking forward to the challenge. Training this week has had an added edge as the squad compete for places in the match day squad. I will though continue the night series policy of rotating players as we continue to build towards the league programme. I'm sure we will take a few supporters down to Forrie and hopefully we will give them plenty to cheer about as we attempt to progress to the Night Series Final for the first time.”

In the late game Shamrock Rovers take on hosts Forrestfield United (7.00pm). Rovers were made to fight for a spot in the Semi-Finals, coming from behind to beat Balga last week, but Coach John O’Reilly said he was pleased with the endeavour of his players in the penalty shoot-out win. “The lads had to dig deep last week to beat Balga, but that’s a sign of a good team, and we will be doing all we can to reach the final on Sunday,” he said. “We are building nicely towards the start of the season and I’m happy the way we are tracking.” O’Reilly is expecting a big and vocal crowd on Sunday, and said they are looking forward to the challenge. “The latter stages of cup competitions are always challenging and Sunday will be no different,” he said. “They (Forrestfield) will be well drilled, and they attack with gusto, but we have our own strengths that they will have to deal with too. It should be a quality game and I’m sure there will be a big crowd on hand to watch it.” Forrestfield also needed penalties to beat Rockingham City last week, and Coach Rod Banjac said the side are gelling nicely after their promotion to the First Division. “Last week we played well for lengthy periods, and as expected at this stage of season preparations we made some elementary mistakes, but what impressed me was the maturity and professional manner in which our players dealt with the situations,” he said. “Rockingham proved once again, to be a worthy opponent where a big crowd was at hand appreciating every moment of the match. Penalties are always tough, but at end of the day that’s what it took to split the two sides apart. I wish Rob and the boys all best for the season ahead, and have no doubt that they will surprise many.” Banjac said they go into Sunday’s game with no fear and he said they will be ready for the challenge. “Semi-Finals are an unfamiliar territory for us but we will be well equipped to deal with associated challenges. We have watched Shamrock in action over the last few weeks and they are a well-structured, disciplined and mature footballing side without many imperfections,” he said. “In this game results speak for themselves, where in last three years they won the league, finished runners up and were disappointed to finish last season in third spot, so it will be a huge challenge. Tuesday night was probably our best training session of the year and our boys can't wait to perform in front of another big crowd at Hartfield Park. We will again rotate our squad ensuring that as many players as possible gain much needed experience from such a big occasion.”



Perth Glory will look to bounce back from last week’s loss to Western Sydney Wanderers when they meet Newcastle Jets at the nib Stadium on Labour Day Monday (4.30pm) The defeat broke a five game winning streak for the club, but skipper Josh Risdon said Monday’s game is their most important game of the season, as the Jets have closed the gap to just two points, and their form hasn’t gone unnoticed. “We can’t take them lightly,” he said. “It’s a must win for us because and any points we drop at the moment will hurt us. We’ve come pretty close to making the top six and that’s our goal now to just get in there and stay in there at the end of the season.”

Risdon has been in outstanding form and said if they keep playing like they are, they will get the right result. “This will be a massive six pointer for us if we win this weekend. We’ll put that gap between us and them and then obviously creep up that table. It’s definitely a big game for us,” he said. “They’re very good going forward. They’ve got some good attacking players and we need to be at our best to keep them quiet. We know we’ve got a lot of work to do. There are still six games left, so we’ve got to take each game as it comes.”

Jets captain Nigel Boogaard says the Glory game is a perfect chance to put their disappointing round 16 defeat to Kenny Lowe’s side behind them. Boogaard was sent off for a second bookable offence in the game that Glory went on to win 6-1. However the Jets have collected three wins and a draw from their five fixtures since that day to make ground on the top six, and indeed just two points separate seventh-placed Perth and the eighth-placed Jets.

Boogaard believes that the team will draw upon the memories of their loss to Glory in a bid to react to and improve the match outcome. “I was disappointed personally for my efforts in the last game [against Perth] and I know a lot of the boys aren’t happy with the way that result went,” Boogaard said. “We’ll be trying to turn that around and put that result behind us. The boys will know what it felt like to come off that field after that result in front of our home fans. So for us to go over there and get a result would be key.”

Perth Glory squad: GK Ante COVIC, GK Jerrad TYSON, 2 Alex GRANT, 4 Shane LOWRY, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 7 Gyorgy SANDOR, 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11 Richard GARCIA, 13 Diogo FERREIRA, 14 Chris HAROLD, 17 Diego CASTRO, 18 Mitch OXBORROW, 19 Josh RISDON, 21Kosta PETRATOS, 23 Krisztian VADOCZ, 24 Jamal REINER, 29 Aryn WILLIAMS - **two to be omitted** Ins: DJULBIC (promoted), REINERS (promoted), WILLIAMS (promoted) – Out’s: 3 Marc WARREN (Suspended)

Newcastle Jets Squad: GK Mark BIRIGHITTI, GK Ben KENNEDY, 2 Daniel MULLEN, 3 Jason HOFFMAN, 4 Nigel BOOGAARD, 5 Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6 Cameron WATSON, 7 Enver ALIVODIC, 8 Mateo POLJAK, 9 Milos TRIFUNOVIC, 10 LEONARDO, 14 Mitch COOPER, 16 Steven UGARKOVIC, 17 Radovan PAVICEVIC, 19 Morten NORDSTRAND, 22 Lachlan JACKSON, 24 Nick COWBURN, 28 Ryan KITTO - **two to be omitted** - Ins: PAVICEVIC (promoted), KITTO (promoted) – Out’s Nil



Perth Glory Youth skipper Jacob Collard has become the latest young players to leave the A-League club, after the talented defender was over looked for a professional contract. There seems to be a trend emerging at the club, the likes of Jack Clisby, Brandon O’Neill, Riley Woodcock and most recently Stefan Valentino who signed for German side Eintracht Braunschweig last month, have all left the Glory after they were weren’t given the opportunity.

Collard has signed for Tasmanian NPL side Hobart Olympia for this season and he said he’s looking forward to a new challenge. “I’m really excited for my new adventure in my football career,” he said. “I had to look interstate as the Glory continued to give me the run around on a contract, but the new challenge at Olympia is something I can get my teeth into and it’s always good to explore opportunities elsewhere.”

The 20-year-old has been a stand out in the Glory Youth side, winning the Glory Youth MVP Award for the last two seasons, and he was a little disappointed not to be rewarded by the club. “To be honest I’m really disappointed,” he said. “Anyone who knows me knows I love the club, and I’d love to have played more than the two games in my time there. But I have found out timing in life is everything and unfortunately it wasn’t there for me, but I wish them all the best for this season.”

Collard who came up through the NTC program under the tutelage of Glory Coach Kenny Lowe, before joining the Glory youth set up and he said to win the MVP was an amazing honour and something he will never forget. “Winning the award twice has been one of biggest achievement in the game, and I was real proud to lead such a good group of players, and it was a proud moment,” he explained. “Not just for me but my family and friends, they know that all my blood sweat and tears went into them awards, and I have no regrets.”

Football is his life and he wants to play at the highest level in the game. His dedication and attitude is first class, and if another opportunity came up in the A-League or overseas I’m sure he will be ready for it. “I have been ready for a very long time, but unfortunately I didn’t get the opportunity, which is something I have to live with and learn from and get on with it,” he said. “I will work hard at Olympia and I hope I can get an opportunity elsewhere in the A-League or overseas. If that came about I would grasp it with both hands.”

He has made many friends at the Glory and wished them all the best on his departure, and he will join his new club on Friday. “To my coaches, teammates and supporters, I’d like to thank you for all you have done for me “I’m forever grateful and I hope to see you all one day,” he explained. “This is just the beginning for me, and maybe one day I’ll return to play for hometown team again.”



Bayswater City has strengthened their squad for the 2016 PS4 National Premier League WA season after signing Jason Mirco from Sorrento and Devon Gibson from Cockburn City. Both Mirco and Gibson are looking forward to playing under City Coach Chris Coyne, and both are delighted to have signed for the Premier League Champions. “It’s a good move and one that seemed right for me,” Mirco said. “Bayswater has been the bench mark in my opinion for the past few seasons and that's something that attracted me.”

City lost winger Danny Dixon last season and the Mirco is an ideal replacements for him, but the chance to play for the successful club was a huge draw for him. “They have a very strong squad and one with competition all over the park, which is what you want when you want to be competitive in all competitions throughout the year,” Mirco said. “Danny's a personal friend of mine and someone I think has a long future in the game. We're very different players in many respects, but I'm confident and looking forward to the challenge of helping my team achieve its targets.”

Mirco, who has played for ECU Joondalup, Stirling Lions and Sorrento in his football, knows the other clubs in the league will be looking to knock them off their perch, but the 26-year-old is ready for the challenge. “Chris Coyne has assembled a great squad with a combination of youth and experience. He had great credentials as a player and he's start to management has been good, and I’m looking forward to working with him,” Mirco explained. “When you’re the champions everyone raises there game to play you, and I'm sure that'll continue to be the case this season. That's part of being a great side but on the same not we have a squad that's equally as hungry to have a successful campaign.”

The decision to leave the Gulls was tough for the speedy winger, but Mirco said it was time to move on, but wished them all the best in 2016. “Leaving Sorrento was an extremely hard decision for me. A place where I've enjoyed a fantastic seven years and somewhere I've built lifelong friends,” Mirco explained. “I couldn't say a bad word about the club and anyone who's played there will tell you what a great environment it is to be involved with. But I felt my time had come for a new challenge and in Bayswater I'm looking forward to 2016 and helping the club to more success.”

Gibson, who captained the Australian Schoolboys side on their UK tour in 2010, believes working with Chris Coyne will make him a better player. “I've played under Chris before when he was the coach of the WA state league team that beat Perth Glory in 2014,” he said. “I'm really looking forward to joining his squad, it is a very strong team with some quality players down there, but I'm hoping I should slide in nicely with the plans they have for 2016. They have always set a high mark, and I’ve always enjoyed when we play against them, so to know I'll be playing for them has turned a new page on my career.”

After a stint in the UK with Leek Town, Gibson headed home in 2012 and joined Cockburn City, and there were a number of clubs interested in his services but he believes he has now found his home. “I have been approached by a number of clubs in WA, but I wasn't ready to leave half way through a season, but when Bayswater called I jumped at the chances,” he said. “They are a very successful club, and they are where they are today due to the fact that on and off the park they are professional. The coaching staff, players and the facilities, it actually feels like a professional club, and I’m happy to be here.”

The hardest thing about making the move was to inform Cockburn City President Heidi Lazzaro and Coach Scott Miller he was to leave. “It was a very hard decision to leave Cockburn, I’ve been down there since the year I moved up to Perth, and I actually used to go to Cockburn City for country week when I lived in Albany,” he said. “Heidi has not only been my President but she's been like family, to leave her has been hard as she's watched me grow. Cockburn has seen some coaches through its year and to have Scott Miller back is an honour for the whole club. I told Scott I love everything he brings to the club, so I'm upset I'm leaving under him as the coach. I thank everyone down at the club, I know I'm going to miss the boys and everyone down there, but I'm hoping everyone understands, as it's time for me to further my career.”



New Armadale striker Alex Salmon has hit the ground running bagging six goals in the QBE Night series and helping The Reds into the Semi-Finals of the pre-season’s tournament. The 21-year-old English striker, who headed down under with fellow striker Ellis Healing, have been in good form for Paul Price’s side and Salmon said it’s been a great challenge but he has fitted in well. “I’m really enjoying it here in Perth,” he said. “The weather took a while to get used to, but I always knew it would, and during February was the hottest, so the worse should be behind me.”

A conversation with Armadale’s Danny Hodgson, a mate of his from the UK, was the catalyst of the striker to head to Perth, and he said it’s been a great move for him. “I knew Danny from England, and when he got injured playing last season he rang me and I got in contact with Pricey,” he explained. “We spoke about coming to WA and playing for Armadale and the rest is history. The club have been great and everyone has been welcoming, including The Army Boys.”

Salmon came through the professional ranks at Cumbrian side Carlisle United, before heading to semi-professional. “I did my Youth Training Scheme with Carlisle, and was fortunate to sign a year’s professional contract at Brunton Park, and made three appearances for the first team,” he explained. “I went out on loan to Alloa Athletic in 2013, but after returning to Carlisle I was released at the end of the contract and signed for Workington in the Northern Premier League for a season, before heading down under.”

The Reds have performed well in the Night series and have scored the most goals in the competition to date, and Salmon said after a slow start they have picked up and deserve to be in the Semi-Finals. “We’ve done really well in the Night series, but after the first two games I was really frustrated we hadn’t got a point,” he said. “I really hate losing games, but we had played well but didn’t have any luck. We continued to improve our game and the results started turning our way.”

The Alfred Skeet Reserve club have recruited well in the off-season and the squad is looking stronger than it has been for a number of season’s and Salmon they are looking forward to a strong season. “Pricey has recruited well and the squad is looking good. Obviously Ellis Healing and I have both come over from the UK, and we’ve settled in really well,” he said. “The standard of training has been decent and it’s showing in games. We have a good work ethic and that comes from the coaches and if we can continue to improve our league season will be better than the last two seasons.”

Last week’s win against Stirling was the third win on a row for the Reds, and Salmon believes working with former Tottenham Hotspur and Luton Town defender Paul Price has got the best out of the side. “I was surprised to hear the other night at training that we hadn’t won three on the bounce in six years, so we’re heading in the right direction,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of changes at the club and it is all positive. Both Paul (Price) and Tony Castiello are good coaches and get the best out of the players, and they are easy to get on with and that’s the most important thing.”

The striker has worked with many good managers and coaches in his time in the game, but said during his time at Carlisle he worked with one of the best. “I’ve had some very good coaches in my football career but my Youth team manager Eric Kinder at Carlisle United was one who brought the best out of me,” he explained. “He was a coach that you couldn’t help but learn from and I felt I played my football working with him, and I’m very grateful for his help during that time, and I believe he made me a better player.”

This week Armadale take on the current NPLWA Champions Bayswater City in the Semi-Final. It will be a tough game but Salmon said they go into the game in a positive frame of mind. “We’ve gone into every game with confidence and this one is no different,” Salmon explained. “It doesn’t matter who we play as long as we keep doing what we are doing, we will get the right result. I don’t really know a great deal about Bayswater, but the lads have told me they are a quality side so it should be a good game.”



Fringe Socceroo Chris Herd has avoided serious injury and is expected to return to action this weekend after a hip flexor problem. The 26-year old suffered the injury ten days ago when he was replaced after 19 minutes in Chesterfield’s 3-1 win over Crewe in League One.

There had been fears of a long stint on the sidelines for the injury-prone midfielder but Spireites boss Danny Wilson confirmed Herd was close to resuming. “Chris Herd is getting closer,” Wilson said. “But he won’t be ready for (Tuesday’s clash with Blackpool). We’ll keep assessing him though ahead of the weekend.”

Herd is expected to return for Saturday’s league clash away to Southend United. The Perth-born midfielder will also come into calculations for Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers. Postecoglou is expected to announce his latest squad on Tuesday next week.

Herd has enjoyed his most consistent and injury free season for years at Chesterfield, making 21 appearances for England’s third tier. The former ECU Joondalup junior, who has three Australia caps, hasn’t been involved with the Socceroos since withdrawing from the 2015 Asian Cup due to injury.



The first round of the Westfield FFA Cup started in WA last week with 18 clubs battling it out in games across the state. Unfortunately three teams, Liberties FC, Geographe Bay and Olympic Heat, forfeited their round one Westfield FFA Cup fixtures. But nine clubs have advanced to round two of the Westfield FFA Cup WA preliminary competition after a weekend that produced 46 goals.

Backpackers, East Fremantle, Football Margaret River and Bunbury Dynamos were the biggest winners in securing their places in a round that features the remaining Consolidated Energy Amateur Premier League teams. Backpackers overcame Western United FC 8-0 at Elstead Reserve, Football Margaret River beat Busselton SC 7-0 at Gloucester Park, while Bunbury United beat Geographe Bay FC 3-0 at Sir Stewart Bovell Sporting Complex.

Last season’s Amateur Cup finalists Gwelup Croatia and Wembley Downs will meet in the pick of Round Two, while Perth Royals will take the long trip down south to take on Football Margaret River. The games will be played on Sunday March 13 - Full Draw: Football Margaret River v Perth Royals, Bunbury United v Southern Spirit, Kwinana United v Geraldton Rovers, Ballajura AFC v Bunbury Dynamos, North Perth United v Belmont Villa, Gwelup Croatia v Wembley Downs, Kingsley SC v East Fremantle, Boulder City v Albany Bayswater SC, Jaguar FC v Hamersley Rovers, Fremantle Croatia v Backpackers FC, North Lake SC v Port Kennedy FC



The WA football family are being invited to nominate players, coaches, referees or administrators for possible inclusion in the next Football Hall of Fame WA induction night, to be held at Crown Perth on November 26. Nominations will be accepted for inclusion in the following categories:

The Hall of Champions (for elite players who achieved a high degree of success at either local, national or international level)- The Hall of Merit for Players (for talented players who made a significant mark on the game, either at local, national or international level) - The Hall of Recognition (for coaches, referees, administrators or others who made a telling contribution to the game) - Nominees (male and female) in the playing categories must have been either born or raised in WA, or played in WA for a minimum of three seasons and they must have retired from playing professionally for at least two years.

Others, including coaches and administrators, can still be actively involved in the game. The Committee of the Football Hall of Fame WA welcomes submissions, but reserves the right to have the final say on who will be inducted. Nominations can be submitted by using the appropriate forms which can be accessed on the "How to Nominate" section of the Football Hall of Fame WA website. The cut-off date for public submissions is April 30, 2016.

This year's induction ceremony will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the Football Hall of Fame WA, which was the first of its kind to be established in football in Australia.

It will be the sixth induction event, others having taken place in 1996, 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2012.

So far, 155 of the most notable contributors to the game in WA have been inducted.

Those already inducted include playing greats like Stan Lazaridis, Gary Marocchi, Robbie Zabica, Robbie Dunn, Shaun Murphy, Bobby Despotovski, Tony Franken, Alistair Edwards, John McInroy, Ron Adair, Sandra Brentnall. Top coaches Alan Vest, Graham Normanton, Ron Tindall and Stuart Kamasz, referees Eddie Lennie, Roy Stedman, Barry Harwood and Eddie Evans, and respected administrators Lou Ricci, Ted Gray and Roger Lefort. WA company TMM (Traction and Mining Motor repairs) is the new major sponsor of the Hall of Fame.

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This page was last updated on the 3rd March, 2016