Archived News : January-February 2023



The Australia Cup second round took place this weekend, but unfortunately a number of ties were forfeited, but our ‘Match of the Round’ didn’t disappoint, with South Perth United coming from behind to beat Kelmscott Roos 2-1 at Frye Park on Sunday. Issac Sypce gave the hosts the lead from the spot, but they had Benn Lewis and Mohammed Mansary sent off, and the visitors took control. Mason Langham raced out of the back and a neat one-two, before finding the top corner. Then United found the winner, new signing Ben Greaves showed great composure to get a shot away, and he fired home the rebound to seal the tie.

“We had five debutants start the game and we were a little slow to start, Kelmscott pressed us from the off and we struggled to get the ball down and play, the Kelmscott pressure saw concede a penalty,” South Perth coach lee Hayward explained. “In the second half we put on the Godfrey Brothers, last year’s Captain Alex started to find space and we were soon back on level terms, and Ben got the winner. It was a tough game in hot conditions, but we’re delighted to be in next round.”

Jaguar FC, Kwinana United and Wembley Downs all moved though on a forfeit, while Hamersley Rovers are into the next round, and a home tie against South Perth United, after a 4-1 win against Armadale Christian FC at E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Rovers Head Coach Nigel Smith said the Armadale Christian FC gave a good account of themselves. “They pushed us all the way and were very good on the counter attack,” he said. “We went 1-0 up and a mistake by us cost us an equaliser, and we missed a load of chances but they could have then gone 2-1 up through a solo run. But we came out strong second half and we got our rewards.”

Perth AFC moved through after coming from two goals down to beat Southern Spirit 4-3 after extra time at Watsons Oval, with Lucas Pickering bagging a brace, with others to Daniel Barton and Andrija Jukic and move through to a third-round tie against Eaton Dardanup. “Very tough game in trying conditions due to the heat, and we went down 2-0 midway through the first half after a few sloppy errors from us, we always felt we would score and Jukic come up with a volley into the top corner just before the half finished,” Perth AFC coach Nathan Thorp explained.

“Second half we started strong and took off from the first half showing levelling from a corner, and the game went end to end as both teams searching for a winner. Spirit took the lead with a well worked goal late on, but on debut Lucas came on for us and snatched a goal at the end after some great hold up play to send us to extra time. Both teams had chances to win it in extra time but after a sloppy mistake from our keeper in the first half, he stopped everything they threw at him, and it was Lucas again late in the second half pinched the winner.”

There was another seven-goal thriller at the Cracovia Club, with Cracovia beating Chipolopolo 5-2. Leigh Morgan was the hero, bagging a hat-trick, with Peter Todd and Adam Hammond also getting on the scoresheet. Head coach John Sabetta was delighted with the performance, against a good side. “I thought the game could have gone either way so we were happy to get the result,” he said. “The three officials today did a fantastic job in tough conditions, and we’re looking forward to the next game against Murdoch University Melville at home.”

North Beach have moved through after a 7-6 win on penalties against Joondanna Blues at Reader Reserve, after the game ended 2-2 after extra time. James Ashford scored both in regular time for the home side, and after a tense shoot-out, with both sides missing three each, Ashley Darley scored the winning penalty. North Beach coach Nick Di Carlo said it was a tough game, and they are happy to be through.

“The game today was hard fought and made even more difficult by the hot conditions. We knew Joondanna would be tough, they are a difficult side to break down and we found that out last season in the amateur Cup when they went on that amazing run to the final,” he explained. “James scored two cracking goals to make it 2-2 at the break, and we created chances in the second half and extra time but couldn't get it done before getting to a penalty shootout. The boys held their nerve to get the job done and were looking forward to the next contest in round three against Woodvale.”

North Perth United made it through after a hard fought 3-1 win against Bunbury Dynamos at Woodville Reserve. The visitors found the opener, but goals from Ben James, Mark Ruddy and Dan Bulman secured the win. “Really pleased with the result in really tough conditions and against very dogged opponents,” North Perth skipper Kelechi Osunwa said. “I thought the way we bounced back after they scored was a credit to the boys and on another day, we get four or five before the 80th minute. But all and all with so any new faces down, a new manager, it's a good result and we will take it to the next round.” In other games a hat-trick from Matthew Warren saw Port Kennedy beat Northern City 3-0 at Shoalwater Oval, Woodvale beat Spearwood Dalmatinac 3-1 at Timberlane Park, while Perth Royals beat Black Star 2-0 at Pendula Reserve.



The NPLM WA Night Series Semi-Finalist have been decided after a dramatic final weekend of group games. Armadale were the only club to have already qualify, so there were still seven clubs fighting for a place in the last four, and in the early game on Friday evening, Perth SC gave their chances of qualifying a boost by beating Armadale 2-0 at E&D Litis Stadium in Group A.

It was a vital game for Perth who needed to win and other results to go their way, and in a tight contest Marc Wingell’s side prevailed. The deadlock was broken nine minutes from time, substitute Sam Cook, who had not long been introduced, rose highest to head in a near-post corner. Then four minutes later Federico Achilli looped a header beyond the outstretched arm of Yousri Gharsallah for the second to seal the tie. “The boys did well, and I felt we controlled the game, created a number of chances and we will take a lot of confidence out of the game,” Perth keeper Luke Radonich said. “Disappointed to not make it through to the semis, but will take a lot of positives out of our night series games.”

That meant a win for either holders Floreat Athena and Stirling Macedonia would see them progress, but a draw would mean Perth would go forward. It was another tight tie with both sides having chances, but it was Ian Ferguson’s side that found the important goal just before half time, with Calvin Whitney finding the target from the spot. Stirling were reduced to ten men on 76 minutes when Daniel Zivkovic received a second yellow card, and Floreat pressed late looking for the equaliser, but they couldn’t find a way past James Bosdet, who was back after injury, and its Stirling who move through to the next stage. “Great win for us, and promising to think we still had four starting players missing from the game,” Bosdet said. “I thought we controlled the game for large parts, but both teams had their chances but thankfully it’s us going through to the semis and not them.”

The final game of the group was at Frank Drago Reserve on Friday, and Bayswater City finished the pre-season competition with a hard fought 2-1 win against Balcatta. Both sides were out of the race for the semi-finals but it was Glenn Grostate’s side that found the opener on the half hour, with Lionel Glorieux on target. They held the lead until early in the second half when Ndumba Makeche levelled. Then two minutes from time the hosts found the winner, with Makeche bagging his second, giving City their second win of the group, while leaving Balcatta without a win.

The Group B games began on Friday evening in the early game at Frank Drago Reserve, Perth RedStar beat local rivals Sorrento 4-1. Both sides were out of contention for the next stage, but with local bragging rights on the line it was the RedStar who opened the scoring on 15 minutes, Chok Dau scoring. They doubled their lead six minutes into the second half when Andy Higgins fired home a free kick, moments after Sorrento defender Mark Barnett was sent off.

But the ten men hit back with Gustavo Giron-Marulanda on target to reduce the margin, but skipper Ellis Healing and Dau added two more to seal the comprehensive win. “Good win last night for the lads, our most complete performance so far,” skipper Healing explained. “It has taken a while to get going, but we’re putting it together a little bit more each game. Some really good goals last night to go with a good performance.”

On to Sunday’s game at Inglewood Stadium, and first up Perth Glory knew a win was vital to stay in contention, and they delivered with a 5-3 win against Cockburn City in the early game. John Walmsley’s side were on a good run of form, winning their last two group games, and goals from Mitch Oxborrow, Jayden Gorman (2), Shade Stewart and Josh Anasmo made it three straight, while Luka Caceres, Ivan Skorich and Friday Zico scored for City. The win put the Glory into second place, and needed an Inglewood United win in the late game against Olympic Kingsway to progress.

It didn’t look good for a while, after Calum O’Connell gave Olympic the lead, but seven minutes from time Shubham Mokala levelled for the hosts, but there was no further scoring, so both sides went into next week's semi-finals, and Glory missed out on goal difference. “I thought we controlled the better part of the game again, the boys defended very well as a unit and were hard done by a deflected free kick,” Olympic defender Ollie Annis explained. “The chances are there we just need to work on the final pass which will come sure enough, but we are very excited for the semi-finals and hopefully progressing to the final which would be massive for the club.”

Inglewood skipper Alex Dunn they are really pleased to move into the semi-finals. “I thought it was a pretty even game both sides had chances to win the game but in the end a draw was a fair reflection,” the Inglewood custodian explained. “We will be looking forward to semi-finals, but still looking to build up for the season proper in a few weeks.” The Semi-Final line up sees Armadale taking on Olympic Kingsway in the early game at Inglewood Stadium (5.00pm) on Saturday evening, while Inglewood United meet Stirling Macedonia in the late game at the venue (7.00pm)



It was week two of the NPLW WA Night series on Sunday evening, and Perth RedStar and Perth SC have moved into semi-finals with a round to spare, after their second wins. Olivia Wood was the star for the RedStar’s, bagging five goals in the 10-0 win against Curtin University in the Group A opener at E&D Litis Stadium, with other goals from Andreia Teixeira (2), Sara Kifayatullah and Natalia Vega Mena. Wood said it was another good performance from the young side. “It was a very positive performance from us, we were proud of our young group of players, with an average age of just 18, who demonstrated the strength of our 21s team,” she explained.

“The chemistry within the team was great, and it was fantastic to see some of our players getting their first team minutes. Moreover, we were extremely pleased to score many goals, which helped boost our confidence and show our strength as a team. The team showed great comfort on the ball and the defence shut down any opportunities. There were definitely aspects of our game we needed to tweak such as our change in pace going forward but all in all we created many opportunities and finished them. I was talking to a Curtin player and she mentioned that they have had little to no training with the team so considering they played well.”

In the other game in the group, Balcatta Etna drew 1-1 with the Hyundai NTC. Tanika Lala’s gave the NTC youngsters the lead but former NTC striker Monique Prinsloo levelled to share the spoils. NTC must beat Curtin by a big score next week and hope RedStar defeat Balcatta otherwise it will be last season’s two finalists who advance to the knockout stage.

In Group B Perth SC also made it two wins from two, after a 3-0 win against Murdoch University Melville in the late game at Ellenbrook United. Poppie Hooks opened the scoring against her former side, before Abbey Meakins made it two and Jaime Duncanson added the third to seal their place in the semi-finals. “It was a pleasing win given the circumstances of advancing through to the semi-finals from the outcome, I think we are making progress in the right direction but we still have a lot of work to do,” Perth Head Coach Peter Rakic explained.

“I was particularly pleased with the clean sheet, I thought the girls did well enough in controlling most parts of the game, and if we can go from strength to strength each week, I'm confident we will have a successful season. We won't be treading lightly in our next fixture though, even though our spot is already cemented, it's critical for us to stay focused and make sure each game is treated with the same level of importance. In the early game at the venue, Fremantle City moved into second place, following their 3-0 win over Subiaco. Janice Kiama, Laura Waltman and Mikayla Lyons on target for City, and it means a draw for Fremantle against Perth next week will be enough to progress.”



Perth Glory’s woeful form on the road continued, after a 2-1 loss against bottom of the table Brisbane Roar in Sunday’s Isuzu Ute A-League Round 18 clash at Kayo Stadium. They started brightly and dominated, and were rewarded with a stunning strike from Jack Clisby, but that was as good as it got for Ruben Zadkovich’s side, the hosts roared back and led by half-time courtesy of goals from Tom Aldred and former Glory youth midfielder, Henry Hore. Glory pressed but had no luck, with substitute Adam Zimarino seeing his effort smacking the woodwork late, and to compound a difficult afternoon in Queensland, Glory had defender Darryl Lachman stretchered off into an ambulance following a second-half clash of heads with Hore.

Zadkovich was disappointed they came away empty-handed. “It’s been very frustrating,” he said post-match. “I think the last four or five weeks we’ve had some really good performances, we’ve been in winning positions and conceded late goals with individual mistakes and dropped points. Today I thought we started the game really well and were clearly the better team in terms of getting the ball down and playing.

“We had a really good clear process and structure and were creating chances. We got one [goal], it should have been two or three and then we concede a very soft goal off a corner which was no good enough. That gave them [Brisbane] the belief that they needed. We were the better team tonight and played the better football, but they worked really hard tonight and got something out of the game. In the end, when we concede two soft goals like that, we give them something to defend and we weren’t able to break them down which was disappointing.”

Glory made one change to the side that drew against Central Coast Mariners last week, with Lachman back at the back in place of Jacob Muir, who was not part of the squad this week. The hosts were first to threaten on a sunny afternoon in the Queensland capital, Nikola Mileusnic racing down the left, but his shot was comfortably by Cameron Cook. Moments later Adam Taggart saw his header cleared off the line by the alert Hore, and it was Glory dictating terms early.

They were rewarded with the lead on 19 minutes, skipper Mustafa Amini picked out Clisby on the corner of the box, and after cushioning the ball superbly with his left foot, he bent a pinpoint shot into the far corner with his right, giving Roar keeper Jordan Holmes no chance. But the Roar were level nine minutes later, Mileusnic’s in-swinging corner was headed home by Aldred from close-range, a disappointing goal to concede.

That goal lifted the hosts and Rahmat Akbari and Mileusnic then went close to a second, as Glory’s bright start vanished. Then in first half injury time, the Roar hit the front, former Glory winger Carlo Armiento teed up Hore, whose shot went under the body of Cook, to send the home side in at the break with the lead.

The chances continued to flow after the break, Jordan Holmes making a fingertip save from Glory substitute Aaron McEneff and then denying Salim Khelifi sixty seconds later. At the other end, Cook twice foiled the lively Mileusnic as Roar looked to snatch a third on the break. Glory were pressing for the equaliser, but late on the injury to Lachman put a spanner in the works, the defender taken away in an ambulance, with what looked like a serious head injury.

But Glory continued to press, and they almost levelled late. Three minutes into stoppage-time, substitute Zimarino cleverly found a pocket of space on the edge of the box and unleashed a powerful effort which beat Holmes’ despairing dive only to crash against the inside of the far post and bounce back out. The relieved Roar defence duly hacked the ball clear and Glory’s chance of securing the point their performance warranted, was gone.

Interim Roar Coach Nick Green was delighted with his team’s performance for his first match in his new role and takes many positives from the win. “We just looked at a couple of areas this week where we think we could improve,” he said post-match. “It’s been a tough week for the group and the club. It happens in football, it’s not nice but the lads have gathered really well together and really taken on board the stuff that we’ve done.”

Brisbane Roar: GK Jordan HOLMES, 3 Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS, 5 Thomas ALDRED, 7 Rahmat AKBARI, 10 Nikola MILEUSNIC (15 Noah SMITH 84'), 11 Jez LOFTHOUSE (35 Louis ZABALA 73'), 12 Taras GOMULKA, 13 Henry HORE, 17 Carlo ARMIENTO (16 Joshua BRINDELL-SOUTH 75'), 19 Jack HINGERT (21 Marcel CANADI 73'), 27 Kai TREWIN – Subs not used: RGK Macklin FREKE, 32 James NIKOLOVSKI, 99 Ayom MAJOK

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 4 Luke BODNAR (6 Aaron MCENEFF 53'), 5 Mark BEEVERS (20 Giordano COLLI 79'), 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI (43 Adam ZIMARINO 79'), 10 Salim KHELIFI (18 David WILLIAMS 62'), 14 Jack CLISBY, 15 Jordan ELSEY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 22 Adam TAGGART (21 Antonee BURKE-GILROY 62'), 29 Darryl LACHMAN (2 John KOUTROUMBIS 90+8') - Subs not used: RGK Pierce CLARK - Referee: Alireza Faghani



Perth Glory coach Alex Epakis believes the sky is the limit for Hana Lowry after the young midfielder scored both goals in the Glory women’s fourth win in a row. The talented teenager scored twice in the space of nine minutes to steer Perth to a 2-0 home win over Brisbane Roar yesterday.

Lowry, 19, produced a composed chip with Roar goalkeeper Isabella Shuttleworth off her line to give Glory the lead before scoring an 'Olimpico' goal by finding the net directly from a corner. Lowry has impressed after starting all 12 games for Perth this season, but Epakis said there is plenty more to come.

“We definitely haven’t seen the best of Hana, that’s for sure and she just does moments of magic, can manipulate the body and the ball to do really special things under pressure and then she can also do what she did today and score from a corner,” said Epakis, whose team moves to sixth and four point behind fourth-placed Melbouren Victory.

“The first goal as well, I know it seems easy, but I think when you’ve got too much time and space, it takes a little bit of composure - that’s another element of a game that she’s got a lot of. We’re just really grateful that she’s in our team and she’s performing well, because she’s also bringing out the best in others.”

It was a comfortable win for Glory with another young gun, Sofia Sakalis, impressive on the left wing, hitting the bar twice and drawing further praise from Epakis. “She’s applied herself to developing as a player and developing as an adult and as a person, and she’s reaping the rewards now with a string of great performances and big minutes,” said the coach.

The win vaults Glory back into the finals race and Epakis was happy to notch up another clean sheet against a Brisbane side featuring Matildas Katrina Gorry and Larissa Crummer. “They’ve got national team players there and we were very aware of what they were good at and you could see it, they had great combination play between Crummer and Gorry and runs off the ball, but we nullified it,” he said.

“It’s credit to the defensive work that the team is doing, we focus a lot on making sure that when we don’t have the ball, we’re disciplined and there’s a structure and compactness. It’s not the nice side of the game, we always want to have possession and be fluid with the ball, but without the ball, we’re looking really strong.”



There are very few things that ignite a sense of national pride quite like a World Cup and the events of last December - both on the ground in Qatar, and at the dozens of live sites across Australia - certainly proved that. Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams believes Australians will witness a whole new level of pandemonium when the Women’s World Cup hits our shores a little later this year.

“I don’t think Australia really knows what’s going to hit them with the World Cup,” Williams said recently. “I think it’s going to be a shock, seeing African nations dancing and playing football in the streets and seeing what Argentina did in the men’s World Cup with over 2 million people in the streets celebrating. Australia just isn’t going to know what hit them.”

The 2023 Women’s World Cup has seen unprecedented levels of demand, with more than half a million tickets sold so far - prompting the Matildas opening match against Ireland to be moved to a bigger venue to cope with the demand. “It’s crazy! It’s insane that we’re a part of this. Seeing games getting moved to bigger stadiums, the demand going up, we’ve been on the other side of it being overseas and seeing how early it is growing,” commented Williams.

With the majority of the Matildas playing abroad, visits back home are few and far between for the playing group. But according to Williams, this makes tournaments on home soil all that more special. “I think it’s just pretty clear, whenever we have the opportunity to come home to Australia, EVERYONE wants to come home to Australia,” said Williams.

“It really is like no place on Earth, and there’s no place like home. To be here with what you grew up with, your family, the lifestyle, it really makes you appreciate that you are Australian. It’s just something in our culture that everyone is just so proud to represent the country in whatever sport it is, and when there’s an opportunity to play and be based here, it’s so exciting.”

Williams managed to squeeze in a visit back to WA last year. “I got to go home to Kalgoorlie about seven months ago and just be in the desert for a little bit," she said. "That was really nice to experience again because my phone didn’t work at all and it was really just the basic routine of going outside, swatting some flies, you’re in the dirt and it’s just good.”

Williams is vying with Mackenzie Arnold and Teagan Micah for the gloves in coach Tony Gustavvson’s team. Understanding that the competition is tough and the standard is high when it comes to Australian goalkeepers, Williams has moved from Arsenal to PSG then to Brighton and Hove Albion in the last 12 months to maximise game time.

“The demands of what the World Cup brings, and with international football, you have to put yourself in the best position to perform for not only yourself but your teammates and you have to be in the right environment and sometimes that environment is playing, sometimes it’s a really good training culture,” said Williams of her decision.

“For me, experiencing three different places was just trying to find what is the right fit for me at this stage in my career and also what is going to help my teammates the most, so the recent move to Brighton is to chase game minutes and put myself in a position where I’m more of a look in.”

Williams says the significance of what this year in football means to Australia, and particularly to young women, is something each of Matildas will hold dear in the coming months. “So many young kids will have their ‘Cathy Freeman moment’ with our team and just kind of being a part of that legacy and culture is really exciting,” said Williams, who grew up idolising Freeman at the 2000 Olympics.

“To be a part of the biggest sporting event for football, and women’s sport and to have that in Australia and New Zealand is really exciting and seeing us starting from the beginning of bidding, to winning it, to now it about to happen, seeing it come full circle and seeing the legacy that it is going to leave behind is probably the most exciting thing.”



It was State League Men’s Night Series Quarter Finals on Saturday evening, and first at Ellenbrook Sports Hub, Gwelup Croatia proved too strong for holders Murdoch University Melville winning 5-1 in the early game. It was a tight first half, but it was Gwelup, who were relegated from the NPL last season, who found the opener on the half hour, with Emmanuel Langoya on target. It was hectic start to the second half, Jacob Williamson doubled Trim Morgan’s side lead, before Taj Bingwa reduced the margin moments later. But it was Gwelup who ran away with the tie, John Lahai added a brace, before Williamson added the fifth in stoppage time to seal the win. “I thought it was a class result for the boys and a real statement as to what we can do,” Williamson said. “The best thing about it is we've still got higher gears that we can hit and really push on.”

In the late game at the venue Western Knights held off a fast-finishing Morley Windmills 3-2. Alex Kretowicz was the star of the show, the striker bagging two early goals to put the Knights in control, and he completed his hat-trick just before half time. But Marc Anthony’s side weren’t finished and two quick goals from Steve Purton and Brad McDonald midway through the second half made it 3-2, and it was game on, but the Knights held firm late to take their place in the semi-final. “We started the game very well and were rewarded with two early goals, and I thought we were well in control in the first half and the 3-0 lead at half time was probably a fair reflection of the game up until the break,” Knights coach Adam Kostrencic explained. “But Morley are a good side, and we allowed them back into the game and in the end, they made us earn a spot in the semi-final.”

The other quarter-finals were held at Wanneroo Reserve, and in the early game Mandurah City proved too strong in the ‘Peel Derby’, beating Rockingham City 4-1. John Baird’s side were on fire early, and raced to a two-goal lead, with Joe O’Brien and Craig Barker scoring. They added two more late, with O’Brien making it 3-0, before player/coach Baird adding the fourth. Rockingham steadied after the break, and Jayden Leader pulled one back, but it was too little too late. “Really happy with the first half performance, felt we were on the front foot and deserves our goals, from really good play,” Mandurah coach Baird explained. “We now look forward to next week, which will be another hard game.”

In the final tie at the venue Fremantle City overcame a determined Joondalup City 5-0. Matty Sparrow’s side made the breakthrough in this one on the half hour, with Patrick Loughrey scoring, and Brian Patterson doubled their lead just before half time. The port side went on with it after the break, Riley van Dieken adding the third midway through, before Roberto Soares made it 4-0 with fifteen minutes remaining. Joondalup, who were one of two Division Two sides to make the quarter-finals fought to the end, but Van Dieken added the fifth late to move them into the semi-final draw.

“I thought we controlled the game from start to finish,” Fremantle midfielder Patterson said. “We are creating lots of chances and keeping clean sheets so confidence within the team is growing. We move on to Gwelup next week, which will be our biggest test and all the lads are buzzing for it.” The Semi-Final draw has been made, with Western Knights facing Mandurah City (6pm) and Fremantle City taking on Gwelup Croatia (8pm). The games will be played on Sunday 5 March at Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park - The final is at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday 11 March at 5pm.



Perth Glory have continued their charge up the Liberty A-League ladder, making it four straight wins after a brace from Hana Lowry secured them a 2-0 win against Brisbane Roar in round 15 at Macedonia Park on Saturday afternoon. It was a dominant performance from Alex Epakis’ side in front of another healthy crowd, as the league celebrated ‘Pride Celebration Round’, with Glory donning rainbow socks and numbers to celebrate the day. Young Matildas midfielder Lowry was the star, scoring two goals, but Glory created a number of chances on the day, and the win keeps their finals hopes still alive.

The win moves Glory up to sixth place in the table and to within four points of fourth-placed Melbourne Victory with a game in hand, and the coach was delighted with the performance of his side. “I’m very, very happy,” he said. “It’s four on the trot, it’s one goal conceded in the last four or five, we’re scoring goals, creating lots of chances and looking threatening in every game. The players have put themselves in a great position. It’s another little step forward. I know it’s three points and a win, but there are still more steps for us to climb and for us to achieve for us to reach our goal, which is Finals.”

Glory made one change to the side that beat Newcastle last weekend, with Hannah Blake coming into the side for the injured Susan Phonsongkham, while on the bench Ella Mastrantonio returned from a two-week suspension. The visitors were first to threaten in this one, Larissa Crummer dragging her shot wide when well placed, but on 22 minutes the hosts where gifted the opener.

Roar keeper Isabella Shuttleworth saved low to deny Cyera Hintzen shot on run, but the Roar custodian slipped while clearing, the ball falling to Lowry, who chipped the keeper from 20-meters, much to the delight of the home faithful. They were on their feet again nine minutes later, as Glory doubled their advantage. Lowry’s corner from the right sailed over everyone and nestled in the corner of the net. The Roar looked for a response before the break, and Katrina Gorry set up Crummer, but Morgan Aquino saved.

Lowry thought she had a hat-trick early in the second half, firing home from the edge of the box, but referee Isabella Libri spotted a foul by Isabella Foletta in the build-up. The Roar went close to reducing the margin on the hour, Shea Connors’ shot was sneaking in at the near post, but Aquino got down well to push the ball onto the post and away to safety, and the Glory keeper also saved the follow up shot from Connors. Glory went searching for more, and Hintzen sent Sofia Sakalis down the left, and she cut inside her marker, her shot beat Shuttleworth, but the crossbar came to the rescue of the Roar keeper.

The pair combined again eight minutes from time, and it was the same ending, Sakalis’ shot crashing off the woodwork. Before substitute Demi Koulizaks twice went close to adding further goals, but Glory had done enough to seal an impressive win. “It was a really disjointed performance from us in possession,” Roar coach Garrath McPherson said post-match. “We were probably forced a little bit too often today to play into some contests and that was disappointing for the group.”

Perth Glory: GK Morgan AQUINO, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 7 Liz ANTON, 8 Hana LOWRY, 12 Sofia SAKALIS, 13 Sarah CAIN (21 Ella MASTRANTONIO 55'), 14 Hannah BLAKE (23 Alana JANCEVSKI 55'), 15 Cyera HINTZEN, 18 Sadie LAWRENCE (9 Demi KOULIZAKIS 74'), 19 Izzy FOLETTA (17 Abbey GREEN 78') - Subs not used: RGK Sarah LANGMAN

Brisbane Roar: GK Isabella SHUTTLEWORTH, 3 Jessie RASSCHAERT, 5 Jamilla RANKIN, 7 Ayesha NORRIE, 9 Larissa CRUMMER, 10 Katrina GORRY, 12 Shea CONNORS (4 Kijah STEPHENSON 61'), 17 Talitha KRAMER, 19 Hollie PALMER, 23 Kajsa LIND, 27 Indiah-Paige RILEY - Subs not used: RGK Hensley HANCUFF, 11 Sharn FREIER, 13 Tamar LEVIN, 78 Margot ROBBINE – Attendance: 700 - Referee: Isabella Libri



Perth Glory coach Ruben Zadkovich has categorically denied punching Giordano Colli, saying the alleged bust-up was nothing more than a collision of bodies. The rumour mill has been in a spin since it emerged that inquiries were being made into an alleged physical altercation between Zadkovich and 22-year old midfielder Colli at training on Tuesday.

Zadkovich fronted the media yesterday to address the situation. "Not at all," Zadkovich replied when asked if he had punched Colli. "It was a situation where I felt old pretty quick. Zach Duncan hurt his knee and I had to step into a five v five training game. I made a forward run and collided with G (Colli), and we both ended up on the ground."

"G's blocked the run and we've had a tangle of legs and we ended up on the ground. I'm not sure how from there it's gotten to this type of allegations. We continued on to finish the drill. It was a bit of a non incident. Obviously it's blown up into something more serious, which isn't nice. But in house it was an innocuous incident."

It was just seven weeks ago when rumours emerged that Zadkovich had a falling out with defender Mark Beevers and forward Ryan Williams. "The football world works in funny ways. It's not the first time this year we've encountered something similar, about Ryan Williams, Mark Beevers and myself in a bust-up," Zadkovich said.

"I'm not sure where the rumours are starting. It's not nice. It's not a nice thing for a club to have to deal with or myself, they're pretty serious allegations. It's not nice to turn on the news when you're at home with the family and see those type of accusations. It was a bit of a non-event."


VALE GEORGE MCMILLAN (By Brett Klucznik – Football Hall of Fame WA)

The Football Hall of Fame WA is saddened to learn of the passing of former Azzurri striker George McMillan. A State team representative, McMillan passed away earlier this week in Melbourne, aged 70. Born in Scotland in 1952, George arrived in Perth in 1974 and quickly made his mark with Azzurri by collecting the First Division Golden Boot in 1975 and 1976, the latter shared with Len Dundo. In three-year spell with Azzurri, he helped the club to two First Division titles, two Top Four Cups and one Night Series trophy.

During that same period George represented Western Australia on 19 occasions. He bagged the deciding goal in the State team’s historic 1975 2-1 defeat of Glasgow Rangers and chimed in with some classy finishes in the successful Marah Halim Cup campaign of 1976. George’s knack for finding the back of the net resulted in a mid-1977 loan move to Victoria State League side Essendon Lions, where he contributed six goals in 14 appearances. Soon after Preston Makedonia swooped to sign the Scotsman from Azzurri for $5,000.

In his first three seasons with Preston, George scored 39 goals in 64 appearances. He represented Victoria in a 2-1 1978 win over Dundee and was instrumental in Preston’s first top-flight Championship in 1980, which earnt the club promotion to the National Soccer League the following year. George was an ever-present across five national league seasons, making 124 appearances with outings in the 1985 NSL Cup and Dockerty Cup finals. In 1984 he collected Preston’s player of the season award. George saw out his playing days with Thomastown, where he played 81 times between 1986 and 1989. In 2004, George was recognised as one of the 100 best players to have represented Western Australia between 1902 and 2002 when named in ‘A Century of Champions’ by the Hall of Fame committee.



It’s been a difficult week for Perth Glory coach Ruben Zadkovich, after a training incident with midfielder Giordano Colli made the news all over Australia in midweek, but he has put that to bed, and he said they are fighting to stay in Isuzu Ute A-League finals contention, and face a pivotal clash against Brisbane Roar at the Kayo Stadium on Sunday (kick-off at 2pm WST). The Roar have also been in the news in the week, after they sacked coach Warren Moon, and they will have Interim coach Nick Green in charge.

Zadkovich said they are eying a return to winning ways, after four games without a win, and he hopes to pick up their second win on the road this season, and he has been bolstered by the return of skipper Mustafa Amini and Darryl Lachman from injury and suspension respectively, while Aaron McEneff is also in the mix, after long spells on the sidelines with injury.

“Preparations have been good,” he said. “It’s been a bit of a longer week, so we’ve had a bit more time to prepare, and we’ve been working really hard. Musti’s back on the training pitch, which is great and he’ll be an addition for us this week as long as his back holds up. Aaron will build up now and get some more fitness through some more training sessions.

“Obviously, Darryl is back from suspension and having Musti and Darryl back is two big inclusions. They were big losses last week and we missed them. We’re very happy with where we’re at and have a lot of bodies to pick from at the moment. We’ve still got a few that need fitness and match fitness especially, but they’re coming together at the right time to push. We know that Finals is definitely an option for us if we finish the season well and games like this become pivotal.”

The four-game run without a win has halted their charge up the table, but Zadkovich feels that they have been unfortunate not to come away with more points from those fixtures. “I thought last week [v Central Coast Mariners] we were good in patches, but we were also very poor in patches and we didn’t play enough. So, we’ve been working on a few structures and a few patterns this week and refocusing what we want to do when we’ve got the ball,” he explained. “We’re fighting really hard, the last four games have been very, very close.

“We’ve made a few mistakes and had a few defensive errors and individual errors which have cost us goals and points, but there were a lot of positives to take away from those performances as well. All in all, there were a lot of positives to take from the games, it was just that the results didn’t come for us. We’ve done our analysis of the games and we know where we need to be better. We just have to go and get the job done against Brisbane.”

Zadkovich admitted that the new coaching appointment at the Roar makes it harder to predict how the hosts will approach the game. “We don’t really know what they’ll put forward,” he said. “They’ve chopped and changed formations a little bit as well, so we’re not quite sure how they’ll line up, but we’re focusing on ourselves. What we will expect is a response, there’s usually a response from players and we’ll expect a really tough Brisbane team. To be honest, Brisbane at home, although they haven’t won much, they’ve had a lot of draws which shows just how competitive they are and how tight the league is, so we expect a tough and difficult game and we’ve got to travel a fair distance and prepare well.”

The last eight meetings between the two sides have produced an even split of three wins apiece and two draws and Glory’s ex-Brisbane striker Adam Taggart has scored in each of his six most recent appearances against his former club. The last time we travelled to Brisbane was in round five last season, when a goal from former Glory youth midfielder Henry Hore gave the Queenslanders a 1-0 at the Morton Daily Stadium

Brisbane Roar squad: GK Macklin FREKE, GK Jordan HOLMES, 2 Scott NEVILLE, 3 Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS, 5 Thomas ALDRED, 7 Rahmat AKBARI, 10 Nikola MILEUSNIC, 11 Jez LOFTHOUSE, 12 Taras GOMULKA, 13 Henry HORE, 14 Robbie KRUSE, 15 Noah SMITH, 16 Joshua BRINDELL-SOUTH, 17 Carlo ARMIENTO, 19 Jack HINGERT, 21 Marcel CANADI, 22 Stefan SCEPOVIC, 27 Kai TREWIN, 28 Joseph KNOWLES, 35 Louis ZABALA, 99 Ayom MAJOK - Ins: HINGERT (Back from injury) - Outs: Jay O’SHEA (Broken Toe)

Perth Glory squad: GK Cameron COOK, GK Pierce CLARK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 3 Jacob DOWSE, 4 Luke BODNAR, 5 Mark BEEVERS, 6 Aaron MCENEFF, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, 10 Salim KHELIFI, 14 Jack CLISBY, 15 Jordan ELSEY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 18 David WILLIAMS, 19 Zach DUNCAN, 21 Antonee BURKE-GILROY, 22 Adam TAGGART, 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 37 Jacob MUIR, 43 Adam ZIMARINO - Ins: AMINI, LACHMAN - Outs: 20 Giordano COLLI, 28 Trent OSTLER, 36 Joseph FORDE - Unavailable: GK Brad JONES, (injured), 24 Adrian SARDINERO (injured)



Perth Glory’s charge up the Liberty A-League leader has continued, and they will look to make it four consecutive wins when they host Brisbane Roar in the Pride Celebration clash at Macedonia Park on Saturday afternoon (kick-off at 4pm) Head Coach Alex Epakis believes that the stakes could hardly be higher as the Glory, who currently sit seven points off the Finals spots with two games in hand on fourth-placed Melbourne Victory, having won their last three on the bounce.

The Head Coach said his chargers are full of confidence, and he can see no reason why they cannot continue their charge up the table with another crucial victory in the round 15 clash on Saturday. “We’re in very good form… and have been training well, so as you can imagine, the mood in the group is upbeat and we’re very excited and optimistic about the next couple of weeks,” he said. “We certainly turned a corner five or six weeks ago and haven’t looked back since.

“That hasn’t happened by chance, the players have been really putting their best foot forward, training really hard and being very aware of the game-plans and what it is we’re trying to do and competing internally for positions. That improves the quality of what we’re delivering, and we know every game is like a final now and we’ll play it with the intensity it deserves. We’ll certainly back ourselves to match it with anyone.”

The Roar head west one point ahead of Epakis’ side, and he is under no illusions it will be a big challenge, with a Roar side which is expected to include Matildas star Katrina Gorry. “You have two or three internationals in that team and as a result, you can’t write them off,” he said. “They’ve had some really good performances and some where they weren’t at their best, so we’re aware of what they’re capable of and where we can exploit them, but again, the big focus is upon us putting in the big performance we need.

“If we do that, the rest should take care of itself. Credit to her [Gorry], she’s had some really solid performances in recent weeks for Australia. She’s a player that we’re aware of and will have to manage, but we also know what we’re capable of and that’s probably more what we’re setting our sights on.”

The Head Coach went on to explain how supportive the Glory players and staff are of the Pride Celebration component of Saturday’s game, and he hopes their members and supporters get behind it. “It’s a really important week and the build-up has been great,” he said. “What the week represents and what the match will represent is something that’s really important and something that myself and the team are looking forward to being a part of. I’m expecting a really great buzz… and it’s very exciting to be a part of it.”

In terms of team news, meanwhile, influential midfielder Ella Mastrantonio is poised to return having served her two-match suspension and Epakis will have a close-to-full-strength squad available from which to make his final selection. Glory have won three of the last four meetings between the two clubs, and last time at home in the first-round last season, late goals from Susan Phonsongkham and an own goal from Georgina Worth gave Glory a 2-1 win at Macedonia Park.

Perth Glory squad: GK Sarah LANGMAN, GK Morgan AQUINO, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 6 Tijan MCKENNA, 7 Liz ANTON, 8 Hana LOWRY, 9 Demi KOULIZAKIS, 10 Susan PHONSONGKHAM, 12 Sofia SAKALIS, 13 Sarah CAIN, 14 Hannah BLAKE, 15 Cyera HINTZEN, 16 Isabella WALLHEAD, 17 Abbey GREEN, 18 Sadie LAWRENCE, 19 Izzy FOLETTA, 21 Ella MASTRANTONIO, 23 Alana JANCEVSKI - Ins: MCKENNA, WALLHEAD, LANGMAN, MASTRANTONIO - Unavailable: 11 Rylee BAISDEN (injured), 24 Milan HAMMOND (injured)

Brisbane Roar squad: GK Isabella SHUTTLEWORTH, GK Hensley HANCUFF, 2 Annabel HAFFENDEN, 3 Jessie RASSCHAERT, 5 Jamilla RANKIN, 6 Holly MCQUEEN, 7 Ayesha NORRIE, 9 Larissa CRUMMER, 10 Katrina GORRY, 11 Sharn FREIER, 12 Shea CONNORS, 13 Tamar LEVIN, 16 Zara KRUGER, 17 Talitha KRAMER, 19 Hollie PALMER, 20 Georgia BEAUMONT, 23 Kajsa LIND, 27 Indiah-Paige RILEY, 78 Margot ROBBINE - Ins: STEPHENSON - Unavailable: 8 Mariel HECHER, 31 Aleeah DAVERN, 21 Mia BAILEY



The NPLM WA Night Series goes into the final round of the group stage this weekend, and three semi-final places are still up for grabs, with six teams still in contention. Firstly, in Group A, Armadale has secured their place in the knock-out stage, winning their fourth consecutive game last week against Stirling Macedonia, and Floreat Athena, Stirling and Perth SC and are still in the mix to progress.

Both Floreat and Stirling sit on seven points, and a win for either side, when they meet at E&D Litis Stadium in the late game on Friday (8.30pm), will see them go through, while Perth need to beat Armadale in the early game at the venue (6.30pm), and hope the other two teams draw to move in the next stage. Floreat kept their hopes alive last week with a win against Bayswater, and skipper Jason Saldaris said it was a really cup tie, with both sides needing the points to keep their hopes alive.

“It may be a preseason competition, but the Bayswater game was very season like, fast paced, end to end action and desperate at times,” Saldaris explained. “We thought this was probably one of our more polished games during the Night Series as a complete with still some areas we can work on which the squad acknowledges, but all in all it was good to get the three points.”

The Floreat custodian said Friday will be another test, and he knows a win will see them through. “Another tough fixture, and there is a lot in the balance for both sides, as the loser goes home, so mentality comes into play,” he said. “I imagine its going the be the same fast paced and in your face game with Stirling as last week, but we will look to control the emotion in the game and try secure our place in the semi-finals.”

Perth needs to beat the group leaders to progress, and striker Sam Cook, who bagged a brace in the win against Balcatta last week, said they will look to maintain last week’s performance. “We know it will be a tough game against Armadale and that we will have to be at our best to get a result,” he said. “They (Armadale) have obviously had a very good start to the night series but we know our strengths and it should be a good game.” In the final game in the group, Bayswater City host Balcatta Etna in the late game at Frank Drago Reserve.

In Group B, Inglewood United, Olympic Kingsway and Perth Glory can still qualify, and all are in action on Sunday at Inglewood Stadium. In the early game Perth Glory take on Cockburn City (5.00pm), and they need to get three points, and hope Inglewood beat Olympic in the late game at the venue (7.00pm) Inglewood are in pole position with a much better goal difference, and they only need a draw against Olympic, but former Olympic midfielder Harry Evans said they missed an opportunity last week, but are ready to make emends this week.

“It was disappointing to lose our first game of the night series, but thought we still played very well against arguably one of the best sides in the league. On another night we could have won the game with the chances we had, but that shows where we are as a side with the number of chances we are creating,” Evans explained. “It will be a tough test (excuse the pun) for us on Sunday, newly promoted teams always have a spring in their step and Kingsway have quality in their side to back it up. They will be out to win as will we, which makes it an interesting encounter on Sunday night to see who progresses to the semis.”

Glory will be hoping to make it three straight wins in the early game, to put pressure on the top two, by John Walmsley’s side have been bolstered by a number of A-League players, while Cockburn are coming off their best performance in the competition, a 1-1 draw with Olympic last week, so this should be another entertaining game. In the other game in group, it’s the City of Joondalup Derby when Sorrento take on Perth RedStar in the early game at Frank Drago Reserve (6.30pm) but both sides can’t make the next stage.



It’s State League Night Series quarter-finals on Saturday, and group winners Gwelup Croatia, Fremantle City, Mandurah City, Murdoch University Melville, Western Knights and Rockingham City, are joined by the two best second-place finishers, Morley Windmills and Joondalup City. The four ties have given us some intriguing games, and the standout being holders Murdoch University Melville, who topped Group D, taking on Gwelup Croatia who finished top of Group A in the early game at Ellenbrook Sports Hub. (6.00pm)

MUMFC coach Taki Nicolaidis comes up against his former club in this one, and he is expecting a great game. “Saturdays game should be a cracker, with both sides looking forward to doing well,” he said. “Whilst there’s a couple of us that have previously spent time at Gwelup, our sole focus is on helping our team/club to perform well and hopefully advance to the semi-final.” New Gwelup coach Trim Morgan said the win last week was good reward for his side. “Pleased for the boys last week,” he said. “It was a bit scrappy at times, but good to see the goals going in, and hope to continue it on Saturday.”

In the late game at the venue Group E winners Western Knights meet Group B runners up Morley Windmills. (8.00pm) The Knights won all three games in their group, while Morley’s big win against Quinns sealed their spot in the knockout stage. The Windmills bagged eight in that game and new Head Coach Marc Anthony has been pleased with the progress of his side, but knows Saturday will be their biggest test. “It’s another huge test against a good Knights side, who have looked very strong in their group games,” he explained. “But for our boys, fitness wise they are getting stronger and fitter, which is our main objective and we will certainly try and go toe to toe with Knights and hope to put in a positive performance.”

The other two ties are at Wanneroo Reserve, and in the early at the venue, it’s the ‘Peel Derby’ as Rockingham City meet Mandurah City. (6.00pm) Mandurah topped Group C, while Rockingham bounced back from a loss against Ashfield in week two, to top Group F. Rockingham coach Kris Donnell, who coached at the Dolphins in 2020-2021, said it’s a big test for his side, but one they are looking forward too.

“The energy and commitment in training has been second to none, it’s another great test for us preseason, and with many tipping Mandurah to win the league this season, we will see the gauge we’re we are at,” he explained. “The young lads have no fear, we will have eight fresh faces in the starting line up from when we beat them last season. This derby always has a great atmosphere, so it should be a cracker and one Darren and I are looking forward too.”

Mandurah coach John Baird said they will go into Saturday’s game with the same focus, that has seen them win all three games in the group stage. “Regardless who we are playing we’ll have the same approach and mentality as any game,” he explained. “We now enter the knock out stage, which makes it very exciting for the supporters, but we’ll be ourselves regardless, and focused on our game.”

In the late game at the venue Group B winners Fremantle City, take on Group D runners up Joondalup City. (8.00pm) Fremantle took all before them in the group stage, while Joondalup beat Carramar Shamrock Rovers in their final game to move into the knock out stage, and Liam Peacock who scored in the 2-1 win said they have improved and it was a team effort to get into the quarter-finals.

“Every one of the lads has been brilliant through the group stage, it’s a fresh squad mixed with experienced and young players and we are starting to gel nicely,” he explained. “We are all excited for the challenge on Saturday, and we know how good they and how good their squad depth is. But we feel like we can beat anyone on our day and the lads are right up for it.”



It’s week two of the NPLW WA Night Series, and in the early game in Group A on Sunday, holders Perth RedStar meet Curtin University at E&D Litis Stadium. (5.00pm) Carlos Vega Mena’s side began their defence of the preseason competition with a solid 3-0 win, while Curtin were well beaten by Balcatta, and Alan Armstrong’s side will need to be at their best to get a result in this one.

In the late game at the venue, Balcatta Etna meet the Hyundai NTC. (7.00pm) The NTC youngster lost their opener, but once again showed they will be a talented side this season, while it was a great start for Tim Cash’s side in week one, with a big win. Lauren Continibali said it was a confidence boost to win the opening game and score plenty of goals. “A really good win to start us off for the Night Series Competition and we were able to put together things that we had been working on and gain some confidence for the upcoming games against NTC and Redstar,” she explained.

“It is important to recognise that Curtin has put together a new team that worked really hard throughout the game and had some good moments. In terms for us, we had a variety of goal scorers and team goals that showed great work, and a huge game from Tia Stonehill and Monique Prinsloo with their goals and assists. As a team, we all had good moments on the ball and this showed in our strong performance. Like mentioned, it was a great game to start the night series and we look forward to the following games.”

Continibali said Sunday will be a stern test, against a good NTC side. “I’m looking forward to our game against NTC this weekend ,and we are obviously looking to win and book our spot in the next round, which will happen if we win this Sunday,” she said. “Obviously NTC are a young and very talented team, so we have to be switched on for their pace and quick ball movement which are some of their strengths. But obviously most importantly we focus on our game and put into practice what we have been doing at training. If we work hard and work together, we can take out the win.”

In the early game in Group B at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub, Fremantle City meet Subiaco. (5.00pm) Fremantle fought out a draw with MUMFC in the opening round and new coach Faye Chambers will be looking to rebound this week. Subiaco were beaten by Perth SC, and striker Frankie Murray said it wasn’t the start they were after, but there were some good signs moving forward, and they hope to continue that on Sunday.

“It was not the result we were hoping for, but I think we played well across the board for the first competitive game as a squad, we had some really positive plays and held possession well in parts so it was a good foundation for us to build on throughout the season,” the striker explained. “We have a lot of momentum going into this Sunday, we are training hard and starting to gel well as a team, hopefully the hard work pays off and we can come away with the win.”

In the late game at the venue, Perth SC take on Murdoch University Melville (7.00pm) The Azzurri started well, Peter Rakic’s side recording a big win against Subiaco, with Ella Lincoln bagging a brace, while MUMFC drew with Fremantle. There were some tight games between these sides last season, and Sunday should be no different.



The 2023 Australia Cup - WA Second Round kicks off this weekend, with 12 ties across Western Australia, and the ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Frye Park where Kelmscott Roos take on newly promoted Premier Division side South Perth United on Sunday afternoon. (All games kick off at 3.00pm unless otherwise stated). The sides met last season in the round of 32 of the Amateur Cup, and South Perth coach Lee Hayward said they will be looking for a similar result on Sunday.

“We played Kelmscott last year at their place in the Amateur Cup and came away with a win, hopefully we can do the same in this game,” he said. “For us the game is about giving the boys a competitive fixture early, and half of the squad for the game are likely to be new signings, so I’m looking forward to seeing how they gel.

“We have signed Beau Rahim who I know well from my time at Armadale, he played for Kelmscott in their last year in state league and he’s buzzing to go back to play against his former club. We have also picked up former State Amateur captain Ben Greaves, I’ve been trying to get Ben along for a few years and now he’s here I’m looking forward to seeing what he can add to the club.”

Kelmscott keeper Taylor Warwick said it’s a huge first up game, but they want to start the season with a positive performance. “Sunday marks the beginning of a very exciting season at Kelmscott. We’ve got Richard Changadzo, who’s agreed to continue on for the next few seasons, a few new coaches that go along with our current coaching staff and a host of new players who will only improve on the squads that we had last season,” he explained.

“South Perth are a good side, and have recruited well, so it will be a challenge from the get go, but the boys want to amend what happen in the amateur cup against these guys last time. The boys have a good attitude coming into this game. Training has been hard and high tempo. A positive result is the only thing we are looking for out of this game and moving onto the next round, bring on Sunday.”

Some other Premier Division sides will come up against lower opposition, and North Perth United will welcome Bunbury Dynamos to Woodville Reserve on Sunday (1.00pm) Alex Carter has returned to coach United this season, and is expecting tough cup tie. “We are just working through preseason trying to get as many minutes as possible into the squad, so we have a good balance for night series next week,” he explained.

“We have had a very strong start to preseason, however this week we are missing close to half the squad for the tie due to numerous different situations so it gives a few guys from the reserves to step up very early on. I’m sure Bunbury will be very difficult opponent and they won’t want anything less than a win for the drive home.”

Wembley Downs face the longest trip, when they head south to the Dunsborough Playing Fields to meet Dunsborough Town on Saturday afternoon. (1.00pm) New Wembley coach Andrew Whalley said it’s been a busy pre-season, and their squad is taking shape. “Preseason at the club has been going well with over 60 trialling and now whittling down the squad. Having Bob Jackson, Gary Helferty, Stefan Beirne all around cannot be underestimated and I am so excited to have them on board,” he explained.

“They all bring different facets to the coaching and are fantastic influences on the squad. Mainly young lads again but some great quality mixed in and we will be looking forward to hopefully improving our position from last season. We know Dunsborough will be a good test, they held South Perth a few years ago and our 'spies' down there tell us they have some very good players under a new coach. In reality it's a great team building exercise for the squad and similar to the night series it's all minutes in the legs with the result secondary.” In the other game on Saturday, Hamersley Rovers meet Armadale Christian FC at E&D Litis Stadium

On Sunday, Jaguar FC head to Koondoola Park to take on Tigris FC, and keeper Michael Dudek said the new look side are ready for the challenge. “Pre-season has been going well with a lot of talented new players joining us, and our fitness is slowly improving week by week. We're all looking forward to start the season proper and hit the ground running,” he explained. “Australia Cup games are always tough, and any team is capable of creating an upset. We haven't even played any night series games yet so it will be a good test to see where we are. While our main focus is on the league this year, we'll still be trying to get a cup run going, and we won't be taking Tigris lightly this weekend.”

In other games on Sunday, Southern Spirit and Perth AFC meet at Watsons Oval, Port Kennedy welcome Northern City to Shoalwater Oval (2.30pm), Woodvale play Spearwood Dalmatinac at Timberline Park. Newly promoted North Beach welcome Joondanna Blues to Reader Reserve (2.30pm), Black Star FC take on Perth Royals Drtandra Reserve, while Cracovia meet Chipolopolo at the Cracovia Club (2.00pm)

In the final game Geographe Bay travel to Kelly Park to take on Kwinana United. Kwinana coach Mark Purvis said it will be a tough game first up, after a number of players left the club in the off-season. “Preseason is going ok, but we lost five players from the first team over the summer. Some to work commitments and a couple to other clubs, so there has been a real challenge to bring some new faces into the club,” the coach explained.

“We have managed to bring a couple and we are really happy with them, but it’s also been really pleasing to see a few from the reserves group raising their levels to be in contention for to start. We are excited for the game on Sunday, it will be our first full run out this preseason and there’s no better way than a competitive game to do it. Although we don’t know too much about them, I’m confident that they are coming with a game plan and some very committed players and it’s going to up to us to match their energy and hopefully we can get the win.”



Perth Glory coach Alex Epakis has praised defensive rocks Kim Carroll and Elizabeth Anton, with the pair's form boosting the club's hopes of gatecrashing the A-League Women finals. Glory have conceded just two goals over their past four games, with the unbeaten run propelling them back into the finals mix.

Glory followed a 1-1 draw against defending champions Melbourne Victory with wins over Wellington (2-0), ladder leaders Western United (3-1) and Newcastle Jets (4-0). The hot run of results means Glory are now seven points adrift of fourth-placed Victory with two games in hand.

Glory will be aiming to keep their sizzling form going when they host sixth-placed Brisbane Roar at Macedonia Park on Saturday. Anton was with the New Zealand national side during the recent international break for games in the United States, but she returned to Perth this week and is set to face the Roar alongside Carroll.

"I think we've been quite stable this season defensively as a whole structure," Epakis said. "We're in a good place in terms of we're aware of what our roles are when we don't have the ball, and everyone wants to defend just as much as everyone wants to attack. "We've got that balance. And Kim and LIz in particular are in really good form."

"Kim, she's like a fine bottle of red wine, she just keeps getting better and finds another lease of life in every week. They're both providing a lot of experience and stability at the back there, which is important for us." Glory will need to be on guard against star Roar midfielder Katrina Gorry, who played a key role in Australia's recent Cup of Nations title triumph.



Newcastle Jets co-captain Brandon O'Neill is on track to return from injury against defending A-League Men champions Western United. The midfielder suffered a calf injury at training after the January 1 clash with Sydney FC and has missed the last seven games.

Coach Arthur Papas confirmed O'Neill would play a part in Saturday's home clash, providing a timely boost for a side that has compensated superbly in his absence. Newcastle have won three of their last four matches to surge into seventh place on the competition ladder with 24 points, just three behind second placed Central Coast Mariners.



The challenge facing Papua New Guinea is one of epic proportions. There are two hurdles standing in the way of historic FIFA Women’s World Cup qualification for the Pacific Island minnows. It starts in the intercontinental play-offs this weekend when the Oceania Nations Cup winners face Panama in Auckland on Sunday.

If Papua New Guinea are victorious, a winner-takes-all clash against either Chinese Taipei or Paraguay awaits. And an A-Leagues alum is at the heart of it all - Nicola Williams. Perth Glory Women’s inaugural coach in 2008/09 is working as Spencer Prior’s assistant in a bid to join the Matildas and New Zealand at this year’s showpiece event.

“It’s been really interesting. It reminds me of when we worked with Trinidad and Tobago,” said Williams, who played on the local stage for Northern Redbacks. “It’s a setup where if resources were put in the right direction, there are athletes, players and women who really want to achieve.”

Working with Papua New Guinea has presented its’ fair share of challenges. “They just don’t get the same chance that other countries and teams do unfortunately because (of) where we are globally unfortunately, but it’s been a great challenge” said Williams. It’s great to come back and work with Spencer Prior, who I worked with at the Young Matildas for many years. That’s worked seamlessly.”

“We basically have a really short time. We’re working three-four months to try to do what teams have been doing for the last cycle – three-four years. It’s going to be a massive challenge for us. We’re up for it. We’ve been with the team since November. We’re nearly there.”

Williams brings a wealth of experience to Papua New Guinea, boasting a rich CV from her time with the Young Matildas, Trinidad and Tobago, AC Milan, Lazio and Leicester City. But it all started in Western Australia, where the 40-year old was at the helm of Glory in the first-ever A-League Women season.

In the squad were a baby-faced Samantha Kerr, Matildas great Lisa De Vanna, Tanya Oxtoby – who has gone on to work as an assistant for Chelsea Women – and Ella Mastrantonio. A lot has changed since that inaugural campaign 15 years ago. “It was a great opportunity (that) arose. It arose mainly because there wasn’t really any other candidates to be a coach,” Williams reflected.

“I was part of the NTC system as a player and someone needed to step up and take the team on. I looked at it and went, ‘okay, I’m probably the most qualified’ – I wasn’t the most qualified because Alistair Edwards was still involved but he didn’t want to take the team and he had other projects on.”

“I had started my coaching badges and I was a teacher already. I was running the NTC program as a coach and State team coach so I guess I was sort of the person in line to take it on. It was probably a little bit early on in my career but I saw it as a chance to really give something to the team and give it a try. I started my elite coaching from there.”

“A lot has changed (since that 2008/09 campaign). We were under the banner of Football West. We weren’t part of Perth Glory that season. Very under-resourced. Didn’t really have staff. Nobody helping set up. Didn’t have a home ground. A lot of things were favours. I was basically on my own. (I) hadn’t completed my A license.”

Williams’ career has taken her all over the world. After a stint with Trinidad and Tobago as the women’s assistant and Under-20 head coach in 2017, a big move Italian powerhouse AC Milan followed. Milan were starting from scratch having joined Serie A Femminile in 2018/19 and Williams was appointed assistant coach to Italian legend Carolina Morace, her wife.

Williams and Morace were able to pick the brains of Rossoneri great Gennaro Gattuso - Milan’s head coach at the time - but there were some unwanted challenges. “It was really exciting because it’s one of the biggest clubs in the world,” she said. “(However) I had gone past that working in Australia, the equality we have across men and female teams,” Williams said.

“It was like when we did come in line with the men’s side - they train at a different centre to the women. If we went there for photos or press conferences or to do bits and pieces, it was very much ‘no leave the men alone, don’t go near them’. They’re on a different level. You were almost not allowed to interact. I forgot what it was like to have that hierarchy of where you stand.”

“Maybe that was just the sense of others given it was their inaugural year; they weren’t sure where they sat and maybe they were just being careful. In saying that, myself and Caroline Marace with her relationship with Gattuso at the time – we were in there most weeks to have a watch of the sessions, to see what was going on, what was the trends, what was happening in men’s football.”

“On the other hand, it was very integrative and we could come and ask questions, sit with staff, talk with them absolutely no problem. So that was one aspect. The other was amazing that Italian football had really boomed, it was growing. The men’s clubs took on women’s teams. They didn’t have to... however, they realised themselves it’s a great marketing perspective, great for growth of the sport, for women in the country and football.”

In that first season, Milan finished third, missing out on UEFA Women’s Champions League qualification by a solitary point. “It’s enjoyable because you can set the tone,” Williams said of the inaugural Serie A Femminile season. “You can set up the team how you want. You can add in your philosophy etc. Everything is from scratch and everyone can be pulled on board because it’s new for them too.

“You’re not following on from anyone, you’re not going into a mess someone else has created. You can build in whatever direction you want to. You have to be careful not to look too far into the future because you’re not building a three or five-year program. It’s a completive league, you have to win or lose.”

Williams and Morace joined forces at Lazio the following season. It was at Lazio where Williams enjoyed one of her most memorable moments after accepting an SOS call from the capital club in Serie B. It was the backend of the 2020/21 season when promotion-chasing Lazio came calling. It resulted in I Biancocelesti reaching Serie A for the first time in their history.

“Amazing,” Williams said. “Amazing because coming from Serie B to A, it was basically we were brought in with not many games to go. It was over halfway through the season. The sporting director, she had said this team could do it, they just needed a coach to take us there. She was right because when we looked at the players, the players were good just they needed that little extra edge.”

“(We added) an extra session because in Serie B they do a session less than in Serie A, I guess maybe because of the salaries or how they’re treated as players... and some organisation. The first couple of games we drew and we went ‘oh gosh’. But everyone was at the same level, that’s all about promotion and relegation. Then that was it, everything clicked and we kept winning. In the end, we were seven points clear.”

The Morace-Williams partnership worked wonders at Lazio, the coaching and life partners leading the club to the promised land. “It’s more the home life that can get affected than your work life absolutely, because when do you stop talking about your work? Any sort of relationship that happens,” Williams said about juggling work and home life.

“Do we talk about it over breakfast? No, breakfast is our time to just set the day. But then you get to work at the same sort of hours. So you might have to put some restrictions on your hours of where you speak about things. But at the same time, when you’re passionate it becomes part of your life anyway. You’d want to come home and speak to somebody about your day and what’s going on.”

Since her Glory days, Williams has worked in an assistant capacity at senior level. But with her UEFA A qualification in hand, she hopes the head coaching doors will begin to open. “Even though I’ve moved to Europe and there’s more opportunities around, without the qualification there, you’re unable to work. So I had to complete my UEFA B and last year I completed my UEFA A.”

“All of that is to put myself in the best position to get a job. It’s difficult. The market is difficult out there but things change a lot with jobs coming and going. It’s a matter of positioning myself in the best possible way to get a head coaching role. Absolutely I’d love to.”



The Matildas have retained the Cup of Nations trophy after a 3-0 win against Jamaica on Wednesday evening, completing their dress rehearsal for the 2023 Women's World Cup and handing Tony Gustavsson his first piece of silverware since taking over as Head Coach in 2021. Katrina Gorry got the first-half breakthrough in Newcastle before goals to Alex Chidiac and Caitlin Foord assured them of a seventh straight victory, just one away from their all-time record of eight consecutive wins.

Gustavsson admitted his side lacked energy in its third game in the space of a week. “But what I credit the team for is how they grew into the game,” he said post-match. “They didn’t lose their belief (and) they didn’t lose their heads. Sometimes in a tournament it’s not going to be perfect all the time, but then to find a way to score, to find a way to win, is also tournament football.”

After wins against the Czech Republic and Sunday's 3-2 win over Spain, had clearly took its toll on a squad that had been afforded little rotation. The Swede stuck with the 4-4-2 formation that has led to the upturn in form for his side in recent games, but made two changes to his starting line-up, with Courtney Nevin at right-back for Charlotte Grant while the injured Hayley Raso was replaced by Larissa Crummer.

The coach wanted to use this friendly tournament as a dry-run for the intensity of successive World Cup games later this year and, on results alone, his side passed with flying colours. Three wins and 10 goals across this tournament suggest as much, but Australia were sluggish to start on Wednesday in front of 9,093 fans at McDonald Jones Stadium.

But in the opening half, Australia struggled to dictate the tempo, control possession, and press Jamaica when they found themselves under pressure. Indeed, they can count themselves fortunate not to have gone a goal down with Jamaica's Glasgow Rangers striker Kayla McKenna and speedy winger Jody Brown, both of whom had a handful of chances in the first 45 minutes. Gorry's long-range strike in the 27th minute did settle the nerves somewhat, however, with the midfielder receiving the ball from Foord before unleashing from 25 metres out past the powerless Tottenham Hotspur keeper Rebecca Spencer.

There were more promising signs for the Australians with Kyra Cooney-Cross and Foord threatening to extend the lead just before half-time. But the real cattle prod came after the break with the introduction of attacking midfielder Chidiac at the expense of Crummer, who offered little going forward. The Racing Louisville player has only seen game time at this tournament from the bench, but was a menace to the Jamaican defence when she came on and has surely cemented her spot as a "game changing" player for the Matildas come July's tournament.

Chidiac got her reward just over 10 minutes after her arrival, weaving her way around the 6-yard box before making it 2-0. The Matildas were on a roll after that cushion of a goal, and their third came when Foord and Sam Kerr showed some neat link-up play before the Arsenal striker rocketed the ball in from the edge of the box to give Australia a clean sweep of this friendly series and ensure they retained the Cup of Nations trophy.

Goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold was named Player of the Tournament for a series of stand-out saves across all three games, while Spanish striker Esther Gonzalez won the series' Golden Boot (3 goals). Next up is a serious test against European champions England, a match that will give Australian fans the clearest indication yet about how ready this group is to take on the world on home soil.

“We wanted to come out strong tonight and finish this tournament off and that’s exactly what we did.” Gorry said post-match. “Three (wins) from three (matches), I think we’re pretty happy with to start off 2023 (that way). It was definitely physical, but we love that, that’s what we’re all about. Playing in the midfield when it’s a physical game, it’s always enjoyable. We knew that was going to happen but we came back pretty strong.”

Matildas: GK Mackenzie ARNOLD, 2 Courtney NEVIN, 4 Clare POLKINGHORNE (22 Charlotte GRANT 46’), 5 Cortnee VINE, 7 Stephanie CATLEY, 9 Caitlin FOORD (11 Mary FOWLER 87’), 19 Katrina GORRY (26 Clare WHEELER 87’), 20 Samantha KERR (13 Tameka YALLOP 90’), 23 Kyra COONEY-CROSS (10 Emily VAN EGMOND 73’), 24 Larissa CRUMMER (27 Alexandra CHIDIAC 46’), 29 Clare HUNT – Subs not used: RGK Teagan MICAH, RGK Lydia WILLIAMS, 3 Aivi LUIK, 8 Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 14 Alanna KENNEDY, 15 Emily GIELNIK, 16 Hayley RASO, 28 Amy SAYER

Jamacia: GK Rebecca SPENCER, 3 Vyan SAMPSON (19 Tiernny WILTSHIRE 84’), 4 Chantelle SWABY, 8 Kayla MCCOY (12 Cheyna MATTHEWS 60’), 9 Drew SPENCE (18 Trudi CARTER 72’), 10 Jody BROWN, 14 Deneisha BLACKWOOD, 15 Tiffany CAMERON (6 Havana SOLAUN 84’), 17 Allyson SWABY, 20 Atlanta PRIMAS (7 Peyton MCMAMARA 84’), 21 Kalyssa VAN ZANTEN (22 Solai WASHINGTON 60’) – Subs not used: RGK Sydney SCHNEIDER, 2 Satara MURRAY, 5 Victoria WILLIAMS, 11 Kameron SIMMONDS, 16 Paige BAILEY-GAYLE, 24 Rachel JONES



Perth Glory has confirmed that first team Assistant Coach Joe Gallen has parted company with the club for family reasons. The experienced Englishman arrived as part of a restructuring of the football department in July 2022 and worked with Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich and his assistant Chris Coyne, and club CEO, Anthony Radich, paid tribute to Gallen and the work he carried out during his time with the club.

“We’re very sorry to see Joe go, and it’s disappointing that we won’t be able to fully reap the rewards of his vast experience and deep knowledge of the game,” he told the Glory website. “But we do, of course, fully respect his decision and on behalf of everyone at the club, I would like to thank Joe and send him and his family our very best wishes for the future.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Glory’s Head of Recruitment, Andy Keogh. “Unfortunately, Joe’s family was unable to settle here in Australia, and ultimately, his family comes first and they wanted to go back to the UK. Joe tried to make it work until the end of the season, but it all got too much for the family and Joe took the decision that it was time to return home.

“We’re extremely disappointed, but we thank him sincerely for all his efforts and all the knowledge that he has passed on to us in his time with Glory. We wish him all the best in the UK and hope to see him back in Perth at some point in the future.”



One week after getting engaged to her long-term partner, Perth Glory women’s captain Tash Rigby could not be more thrilled to lead her team out for the A-Leagues’ inaugural pride round. The competition’s first-ever Pride Celebration will take place across this weekend, the culmination of 18 months of planning and education by the league.

In a case of perfect timing, it comes hot on the heels of Rigby announcing her engagement to her partner of almost four years, Fremantle Dockers AFLW defender Ange Stannett. The pair initially met at Queens Park Soccer Club and played the 2015/16 season together at Glory, before Stannett switched codes and wound up joining the Dockers in 2019.

The purple power couple are regularly attendees at each other’s matches, with Rigby regularly spotted at Fremantle games and Stannett on the sidelines at Macedonia Park. “It was perfect timing, Ange did very well; she proposed at Kings Park, she spelled it out with (the board game) Bananagrams, ‘will you marry me’,” Rigby said.

Rigby praised the attention to detail in the sessions delivered by the PFA and Pride Cup and said the initiative was vitally important to make LGBTI+ fans feel comfortable. “It means so much to be able to support our pride community and to be able to celebrate and support them in the way that we are holding this round,” she said.

“We’re able to be creating a safe space for them to feel comfortable in their own skin. The education was phenomenal in itself, it was really well delivered and the A-Leagues have been fantastic in supporting the initiative... It’s just about education, and holding these rounds so that we can create awareness around the challenges that people do face.”



Matildas captain Sam Kerr believes it's a good thing her teammates didn't walk away from Sunday night's Cup of Nations clash happy after conceding twice late on. Australia were cruising towards a three-goal victory at the 70-minute mark but Spain found the net twice in the dying stages, resulting in a 3-2 win for the Matildas.

"I think it's a good thing that we've copped two goals ... and we're disappointed (to do so) against a top team," Kerr told reporters. That's the pride and the standard we set for ourselves. We're happy with the win. When you come off the pitch, when you set high standards, you want to keep a clean sheet. At the end of the day we won - it would have been nicer to do it with a clean sheet."

The Matildas raced to a 3-0 halftime lead courtesy of goals from Cortnee Vine, veteran defender Clare Polkinghorne and Caitlin Foord. But the world No. 7 side proved tough opposition with Olga Carmona and Alba Redondo putting two goals past an otherwise solid Mackenzie Arnold.

Kerr said the friendly Cup of Nations competition was designed for some trial and error ahead of this year's World Cup. "We wanted to try different players, different things and different formations, which we did within the game," she said. "At the end of this week we can lift a trophy but we see it as finishing top of the (World Cup) group.

"This is an important game, it's a really good test run for the World Cup, we're not going to take our foot off the gas." Australia, who defeated Czechia 4-0 last week, face Jamaica on Wednesday in Newcastle in the final game of the four-nation tournament.



Armadale are the first side to qualify for the NPLM WA Night Series, after a 4-1 win against Stirling Macedonia in Group A at E&D Litis Stadium on Friday evening. Both sides went into this one unbeaten in the pre-season competition, and in a tight opening it was Stirling who opened the scoring on 26 minutes, Zivkovic scoring past Yousri Gharsallah. But Armadale hit back two minutes later, with George Ballah’s free kick giving young keeper Liam Price no chance. Then in first half stoppage time Armadale hit the front, Stirling failed to deal with a corner, and Jacobsz reacted the quickest to score from close-range.

It was a tight second half with both keepers making important saves, but it was Armadale who extended their lead on 68 minutes. Chris Jackson’s shot was spilled by Price, and Jacobsz nipped in and finished high into the net. The game was sealed on 83 minutes, Chris Jackson’s stinging shot was well saved by Price, but he could only parry the ball and the rebound was pounced on by Daniel Robinson, who headed home from close-range. The result left Stirling in third and needing to beat Floreat Athena next week to move through to the next stage.

Despite the win, Armadale Head Coach O’Reilly said there is still room for improvement. “We didn't play our best tonight and we will be working on some key areas this week “he said post-match. “But we also take the positives as well, we have gone behind in the last two games, but our determination and efforts have provided us the tools to overcome the setbacks. The team are starting to gel and you can see a better understanding is materialising. We now progress into the semi-finals and look forward to using this as an opportunity to familiarise ourselves to the challenges a final series presents."

Perth SC kept their hopes alive of progressing from the group, also with a 4-1 win against Balcatta in the early game at Dalmatinac Park. “Marc and I are happy how we are progressing, and lots of positives to come out of the game. We’re happy to score some goals as we have been threatening to over the last couple of weeks,” Perth assistant coach Dale Wingell said. “But we’re disappointed at conceding, but we will continue to work on the training track. We continue to tinker with the squad and get guys game time so they ready for the season, so overall a good solid hit out for us.”

Sam Cook gave the Azzurri the lead on 22 minutes, finishing after Paul Zimarino had nicked the ball off the Balcatta keeper. Then in first half stoppage time new midfielder Abdul Osman doubled their advantage, heading home from a corner. Ryan Pearson pulled one back for Balcatta on the hour, but four minutes later Cook added his second to regain their two-goal lead, the young striker finishing clinically after Luke Colllins’ low cross. The win was secured nine minutes from time when Michael Scafetta scored against his former club to make it 4-1, after his long run and shot was fumbled into the net by the Balcatta keeper.

Goalscorers Osman and Scafetta said it was nice to get the win, and play some good football on the night. “We are starting to gel as a team, and I thought we moved the ball around very well against Balcatta,” Osman said. “We took our chances in front of goal, which was pleasing, so now onto Armadale next week and we’re still in the mix for a top four spot.” Scafetta echoed his teammates comments. “It was good to get our first points of the night series after some frustrating results,” he said. “It’s always good to play against your former club and teammates, I’m just happy that I could contribute to a good team performance.”

The final game of the group was the late game at E&D Litis Stadium, where Floreat Athena moved into second place with a 3-2 win against Bayswater City. City hit the front early with Gordon Smith on target, but Ethan Mom levelled just after the half hour to send the sides into the break all-square. Both sides knew a win in this one was vital to stay in the race for the semi-finals, and it was the hosts who hit the front five minutes into the second half with Bayley Brown-Montgomery scoring.

Bayswater needed to lift and they did 12 minutes from time when they restored parity, with Samuel Dweh scoring. The game was now in the balance, but three minutes later Floreat regained the lead, with Nick Ambrogio scoring from the spot. Things went from bad to worse for City deep into stoppage time when Smith was sent off. “I thought it was a very good game, and it didn’t feel much like a friendly, with both teams needing a win to give them a chance to go through to the finals,” Brown-Montgomery explained. “The first two goals were scored by us pressing at the correct times and being patient as a team and the penalty was well worked by Sean McManus not giving up the chase and being brought down by the keeper with Nick stepping up nice and calmly slotting it home to give us the lead.”

In Group B Olympic Kingsway missed the chance to qualify for the semi-finals after being held to a 1-1 draw against Cockburn City in the late game at Dalmatinac Park on Friday evening. The hosts were searching for their first win in the pre-season competition, and they found the opener on 13 minutes, with Anthony Skorich scoring. It looked like that would seal the points for the Cockerels, but deep into stoppage time at the end of the game Olympic found the equaliser, Michael Zimarino scoring, to keep their unbeaten run still intact, and a semi-final spot still alive.

Cockburn defender Jeff Bright said he was pleased how the side bounced back from the heavy defeat last week. “Happy with the reaction from the group after last week’s defeat, and I thought it was a pretty evenly contested game with not many clear-cut chances,” he explained. “We were upset to have conceded with the last kick of the game, but it’s something we can learn from and hopefully not allow to happen during the regular season.”

Olympic striker David Perich said they were lucky to get a point in this one. “I thought we were very lucky to come away with a point, it was a frustrating game,” he said. “A mistake cost us the goal and then they sat all their players back and tried to counter attack. They defended well, but we didn't take enough risks to try and create chances. The good signs were that we didn't stop working or trying to play our possession game, and I'm sure we'll work on that this week and be ready for a big game next week.”

Inglewood United also missed the opportunity to qualify for the semi-finals, after their first loss of the competition, a 2-1 defeat against Perth RedStar, in the late game at Inglewood Stadium on Sunday evening. Former Inglewood winger Chok Dah had given the visitors the lead on the quarter hour, but Egide Ngendakumana levelled five minutes later. Daryl Nicol saw his penalty saved 16 minutes from time, but the striker made up for it getting on the end of Ellis Healing pass to fire home to seal the points. Despite the win the RedStar are out of contention, but Inglewood needs a point in the final game next week to move through. “The boys were excellent against a very good Inglewood team,” RedStar coach Callum Salmon said. “I think Inglewood will be one of the best teams in the league this season, and I’m very pleased how well we played away from home, and we’re now looking forward to Sorrento game on Friday.”

In the final game Perth Glory have kept their hopes of a semi-final spot after a 5-3 win against Sorrento in the early game at the same venue on Sunday evening. Gustavo Giron Marulanda gave the Gulls the lead on four minutes, but Luke Ivanovic levelled for Glory eight minutes later. Mark Withers regained the lead for Trevor Morgan’s side on 36 minutes, but once again Glory hit back with Stefan Colakovski on target moments later. But John Walmsley’s side hit the front for the first time on the night, with Matt Hatch scoring.

But Sorrento weren’t finished and they levelled at 3-3 with Giron Marulanda bagging his second on the hour mark, and this end-to-end game was still up for grabs. But Khoa Ngo restored Glory’s lead six minutes later, and the points were sealed in stoppage time when Jayden Gorman made it 5-3, to end a great game for the spectators.

“Good for the boys to get a second win on the bounce, but more importantly a good performance,” Glory coach Walmsley said. “Pleased with the attitude and approach of all players within the squad, and we’re looking forward to the next challenge which is Cockburn on Sunday.”



The State League Night Series group stage is over, with the six leading teams in each group, plus the best two runners-up moving through to the quarter-finals next weekend. In Group A Gwelup Croatia topped the table, after a 4-1 against Maddington White City in the late game at Ellenbrook Sports Hub on Sunday evening. It was City who opened the scoring early, but an own goal levelled things up for Trim Morgan’s side. Charlie Breen put Gwelup ahead on the quarter hour, before late goals from Mella Loding and a penalty from Breen secured the win.

“It was good to get a win against Maddington, especially after being 1-0 down early on, but I feel as the team we reacted very well to the early goal and took control of the game,” Breen explained. “I feel as though we still need to add those finishing touches to our game, but I’m very happy and proud of the boys finishing top of the table and undefeated.”

In the other game of the group Kingsley Westside missed out on the next stage on goal difference, despite a 3-2 win against Joondalup United at the same venue on Friday evening. Gavin Gillies gave United the lead early, but Hayden Lowe levelled before the break. Ilya Nebylytsya gave Kingsley the lead early in the second half, but Josh Allum restored parity for United 12 minutes from time. Then five minutes from time Kingsley won it with Nebylytsya adding his second.

“Really proud of the lad’s performance on Friday night especially after losing two players to injury in the first half and having to adjust formation,” Kingsley coach Steven Dimitrovich said. “The lads work rate and desire to win was what we expect from our lads and they delivered that on the pitch. We knew a win puts us on top of our group, but the result on Sunday saw us just miss out.”

In Group B, Fremantle City topped the table to move into the quarter-final, winning all three games, the latest a 6-0 win against Gosnells City at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub on Sunday evening. Patrick Loughrey gave Fremantle the lead early, but they had to wait to the second half to take control of the game. With goals from Loughrey, and others to Roberto Soares, Martim Galvao and Alex McLean securing a comprehensive win.

“It was one of those games that we had a lot of the ball and didn’t really find a way through till the second half,” Fremantle’s Hayden Stevens said. “Once we finally found the break through the flood gates started to open and we played some good stuff. Everyone is up and about, it’s another game that people get to show the bosses what they’re made of, but more importantly it’s minutes in everyone legs, building towards the league.”

In the other game in group Morley Windmills secured one of the highest runners-up spots, after an 8-2 thrashing off Quinns at the same venue on Friday evening. Robbie McNeill gave Quinns the lead on 14 minutes, but Musa Baangura levelled for Morley on the half hour. McNeill added his second from the spot two minutes later, but Steve Purton levelled just before half time, also from the spot. After the break Morley took control, with Purton scoring two more to complete his hat-trick.

With others to Joe Allsopp, Otto van der Poel, Stephen Musonda and Christian Vest completed the big win and seal a spot in the next phase. “It was a good second half performance from the boys who listened to what we had to day at half time, as we were no way near our best first half,” Morley coach Marc Anthony explained. “So, it was a good to get multiple scorers and gives us a little more confidence leading into the season.”

In Group C Mandurah City also won all three games to top the ladder, the latest a narrow 2-1 win against Canning City at Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park in the late game on Friday evening. Aaron McCready gave the Dolphins the lead just before the hour mark, but Seth Keimba-Waza levelled for Canning ten minutes from time. Joey O’Brien had a chance to seal the win in the second minute of stoppage time, but he failed from the spot. But two minutes later O’Brien made emends, scoring the winning to seal top spot.

“Another good run out for the boys, and it was good to make a lot of changes, so boys got minutes which was important. We know where we are at and what is needed which is great, good teams find a way to win which is fantastic.” In the late game in group hosts Forrestfield United bowed out of the competition after a 0-1 loss against Curtin University at the same venue on Sunday evening. The only goal of the game came after only two minutes, with Oscar Wright on target.

In Group D, holders Murdoch University Melville moved through as leaders, completing their third consecutive win, after a 4-0 win against UWA Nedlands in the late game at Wanneroo Reserve on Sunday evening. First half goals from Christos Vaenas and Taj Bingwa put Taki Nicolaidis’ side in control, and Vaenas bagged a second half brace to complete his hat-trick to seal the win and top spot. “I thought we started well, and we know we have the energy and the quality to win the ball high up the pitch, and we managed to do that on Sunday and scored two early goals,” midfielder Patrick Sara said.

“From there it was just about controlling the game as much as possible. They had spells where they were on top, but ultimately, I think we controlled the game for the most part. We brought on some real quality young lads in Moses (Macaulay) and Noah (Lummert) and they were pivotal in getting us the next goals. Some really positive signs from the boys, and excited for the game next week.”

Joondalup City also progressed from the group, as the other highest runner-up, this after a 2-1 win against Carramar Shamrock Rovers at the same venue on Friday evening. Liam Peacock gave City the lead in first half stoppage time, but Drew Johnstone levelled for Rovers ten minutes into the second half. But Joondalup secured their win and a spot in the quarter finals when Marcel Dzwonik finished well after good work from Jamie Stewart. “This wasn’t a pretty game, but we knew going into the game it was going to be like that,” Joondalup coach Paul Welch said.

“It was all about a young group of players with a few wise heads learning to deal with what Carramar present you, and in the first half we did not adapt very well to that challenge. I thought we still created the best chances though and went in one up, but with mass changes at half time we looked to rectify that but failure to tackle and clear the ball they levelled. But from then on, we dug deep and was rewarded winner, which sent us into the next stage which is pleasing. All in all, the night series is a learning process and I think we learned a lot about ourselves.”

In Group E, Western Knights finished top, winning all three games, the latest a 5-0 win against hosts Wanneroo City at Wanneroo Reserve in the late game on Friday evening. Alex Kretowicz scored a penalty on 28 minutes, and he added another four minutes later, before Lucas Triglavcanin added a third before the break. After the break Shay Donovan scored twice to seal a comprehensive 5-0 win. “As a coaching team we were pleased to get another win in the preseason competition,” Knights coach Adam Kostrencic said.

“We probably should have added a couple more to the scoreline, but what has been most pleasing is that we are creating the chances in front of goal and limiting opportunities for the opposition from a defensive perspective. This has been consistent over the first three matches, with using different combination of players at various times. We look forward to another competitive preparation match in the quarter final this weekend.”

In the other game of the group, Balga secured their first win, after a 2-1 win against Dianella White Eagles in the early game at the same venue on Sunday evening. Sam Losondo gave Balga the lead on 20 minutes, before Daniel Mackenzie levelled for the Eagles in the shadows of half time. Both sides had chances to win it, but it was Gerhard Janssen’s side who won it 16 minutes from time, with Nathan Scully scoring.

Finally in Group F, Rockingham City pipped Swan United to top spot, after a 2-0 win against Subiaco in the late game at Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park on Sunday evening. City hit the front on 24 minutes, with Jayden Leader scoring from the spot, and they secured the win on the hour with Will Hayes adding the second. “We were pleased with the boys, and I thought they controlled the game start to finish. It's always nice to see your subs come on and make an impact too,” Rockingham coach Kris Donnell said. “Looking forward to the quarter finals now, another good test for this young squad. The group are itching to get back into training and set ourselves up for what should be a cracker Saturday night.”

Swan United did all they could in the early game at the same venue on Friday evening, with Michael Maratea goal on the hour giving them a 1-0 win against Ashfield, but with Rockingham winning on Sunday they missed out on a spot in the knockout stage. “We’re glad to get another win and keep a bit of momentum going even when we didn’t play to our best. Ashfield did really well in the first half to keep us quiet and were good with their pressing, on another day we could have gone in losing,” Swan coach Niall Hughes explained. “We had an honest chat at half time and went over how we expect to play and I think were much better in the second half at moving the ball quickly and created more chances as the game opened up. We got a goal, albeit a fortunate one but we should have scored another not long after. Defensively we were pretty solid and a clean sheet is always pleasing.”



Perth RedStar’s have started season 2023 as they finished 2022 with a win, after beating the Hyundai NTC 3-0 in the opening NPLW WA Night Series Group A game at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday evening. They went through 2022 without losing a game in league or cup, and Renee Leota was the hero in this one, stepping up to fill the shoes of last season’s top goalscorer Larissa Walsh, who has headed to Calder United in Victoria this season, the striker bagging a hat-trick to steer Carlos Vega Mena home. “Well, to be frank, NTC came out full guns blazing and dominated the beginning of the game (we predicted this). We were very much under pressure

“They’re a fit, talented bunch of youngsters and very disciplined. I guess experience does count for a lot though - Things started opening up once we found our composure, played what the game gave us, and took more control from the middle. And at the end of the day - we took our opportunities when we got them and we were clinical in the attacking third - that’s what wins game.”

In the other game in the group on Sunday evening, Balcatta started the competition with a comprehensive 8-0 win against Curtin University in the late game at the venue. New signing Tia Stonehill, who made a successful return from a long-term injury to bag four goals in the big win. Monique Prinsloo bagged a brace, with other goals from another new signing Lucy Bricklebank, and Lauren Conti.

“Curtin are essentially a new team with a new coach, and they have not had the benefit of an extensive preseason together whilst we were able to play a game that reflected our preseason preparation,” Balcatta Head Coach Tim Cash said. “But I thought we demonstrated quality at times and opportunities to improve in many moments. Good start to the campaign, but lots of work to be done as we prepare for the challenge of stronger opposition.”

In Group B Perth SC opened their account with a 4-2 win against Subiaco in the late game at Ellenbrook Sports Hub on Saturday evening. Ella Lincoln scored a brace for the Azzurri, with Abbey Meakins converting from the spot, while the other was an own goal. “I thought we were far from our best, however this was expected,” Perth Head Coach Peter Rakic said. “With a handful of new faces in the changeroom coupled by the ongoing experimentation with different systems on the pitch, it will always prove to be a little shaky at times.

“Nevertheless, we take the three points and move forward, and our focus will remain on building consistency and fluidity within the squad.” In the final game in the group Fremantle City and Murdoch University Melville fought out a 1-1 draw in the early game at the same venue.



Perth Glory have let a two-goal lead slip, to draw 2-2 with second placed Central Coast Mariners in the week 17 Isuzu Ute A-League clash at Macedonia Park on Saturday evening. With the sold-out signs out again at the venue Glory led at the break, when Salim Khelifi marking his return from injury scoring from a free kick. The Tunisian winger added a second from the spot early in the second half, but the hosts paid the penalty late, with the Mariners scoring two penalties of their own, Socceroos striker Jason Cummings converting both.

The dropped points have put a dent in Glory’s push for a finals spot, and Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich was a frustrated man after the game. “The first emotion is disappointment, being at home, we should win from there [2-0 up], if I’m honest, I think we did enough to win the game,” he said post-match. “Obviously the momentum swings on a pretty difficult decision to take [the first penalty] and that moment gives them a little bit of belief.

“That’s all a good team needs and they are a good team. But I felt that for all their possession, we still had the better of the chances. We had more shots on target and some great counter-attacking opportunities where I just felt that we lacked a bit of quality in the execution of it. I felt we did enough to win the game, but I also didn’t think we were great tonight. I thought we turned the ball over cheaply at times and that made us defend for too long.”

There was some good news on the injury front in the starting line-up, with Khelifi and Adam Taggart returning, but two of the clubs’ leaders were missing, skipper Mustafa Amini was out with injury, and Darryl Lachman was out suspended, the big defender missing his first game of the season, they were the only two changes to the side that lost to Melbourne City last week.

In front of another sell-out crowd, it was the Mariners who began the more brightly, with Cameron Cook forced into a smart save to keep out an early header from Brian Kaltak. But it was the hosts who hit the front on 15 minutes with a stunning free kick from Khelifi, his effort from the edge of the box gave Socceroos keeper Danny Vukovic no chance.

Glory continued to take the game to the inform Mariners and the former Glory custodian, Vukovic was having a busy night, getting down well to deny Taggart. But Cook was also busy, the young keeper making a smart save to thwart James McGarry’s curling free kick. Then on the stroke of half time, the hard-working Taggart was inches away from a teasing low cross from David Williams, but at the break Khelifi’s goal was the difference.

But six minutes into the second half the Glory faithful were off their seats again, after Khelifi’s cross hit the arm of Kaltak and referee Adam Kersey pointed straight to the spot. The Tunisian international calmly beat Vukovic from the resulting penalty to double their lead. Despite going two down, the Mariners lifted and Jacob Farrell headed against the bar, while Cook, got down well to foil Samuel Silvera.

The Mariners were then handed a lifeline on 74 minutes, when John Koutroumbis was handled in the box, and following the intervention of the VAR, Cummings made no mistake with the resulting penalty. Then six minutes later it was déjà vu, after Kersey pointed to the spot for the third time in the game, after Aaron McEneff had tripped fellow-substitute Christian Theoharous, and Cummings converted.

Theoharous almost gave the Mariners the lead under 60 seconds later, his shot beat Cook, but goalkeeper could only watch as his upright saved him from conceding three in eight minutes. In a frantic finale, Adam Zimarino came agonisingly close to snatching all three points for the hosts, but Vukovic blocked his effort at point-blank range and thereby ensured that the spoils would be shared for the fourth time in the last five meetings between the two clubs.

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 4 Luke BODNAR (2 John KOUTROUMBIS 55'), 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 10 Salim KHELIFI (19 Zach DUNCAN 55'), 14 Jack CLISBY (43 Adam ZIMARINO 82'), 15 Jordan ELSEY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 18 David WILLIAMS (3 Jacob DOWSE 82'), 22 Adam TAGGART (6 Aaron MCENEFF 62'), 37 Jacob MUIR - Subs not used: RGK Pierce CLARK, 21 Antonee BURKE-GILROY

Central Coast Mariners: GK Danny VUKOVIC, 3 Brian KALTAK, 4 Joshua NISBET, 5 James MCGARRY (31 Christian THEOHAROUS 52'), 6 Maximilien BALARD (10 Matheus MORESCHE 68'), 7 Samuel SILVERA, 9 Jason CUMMINGS, 11 Beni NKOLOLO (18 Jacob FARRELL 52'), 15 Storm ROUX (28 James BAYLISS 85'), 25 Nectarios TRIANTIS (23 Daniel HALL 85'), 98 Marco TULIO - Subs not used: RGK Yaren SOZER, 13 Harry STEELE – Attendance: 4,000 - Referee: Adam KERSEY



The NPLWA Night Series heads into the penultimate round this weekend, and the top two spots in each group are still up for grabs, but wins for Armadale and Inglewood United, will see them qualify for the semi-finals, but it could all change if they slip up, so it sets up and intriguing week four. In Group A, the top two sides meet, with Armadale taking on Stirling Macedonia in the early game at E&D Litis Stadium. (6.30pm) John O’Reilly’s side have won all the three previous games 3-1, and sit two points clear of Stirling, and new recruit Ethan Levitt knows Friday will be a tough contest, as they look to keep their good form going.

“I thought we played well for majority of the match last week against Floreat, and implemented what we have been working in training. The boys are starting to get used to each other and how John (O’Reilly) wants us to play and it’s shows with our results,” the defender explained. “The game against Stirling will be another good test for the team and another chance to work on our style of play and keep improving heading into the season. I believe we have what it takes as a team to come out on top and keep our unbeaten run going heading into the next stage of the competition.”

Stirling are also unbeaten, and a win in this one will see Ian Ferguson’s side take pole position in the group, and defender Luke Palmateer said they will be looking to build on their win against local rivals Balcatta last week. “It was fantastic to pick up another three points in this night series competition with the win against Balcatta, and it keeps the momentum we have had from our previous two games,” he said. “It also allows us to stay in touch with Floreat and Armadale, if we are to progress through our group. They (Balcatta) are very well organised and work hard to maintain their structure and order so to pick up three goals was a great effort all round.”

Palmateer said Friday will be a challenge, but one they are looking forward too. “Armadale have added some quality to their side for the upcoming season, and last year we found it difficult to score in our home tie in which we drew 0-0,” he explained. “If we are to put ourselves as the front runner in this group, we need to score goals and hopefully our new recruits in the forward line can do the job. As we are aware, Armadale have their own high quality of attackers, so it is up to us to stop them from their scoring run of late.”

In the other games in the group, Floreat Athena host Bayswater City in the late game at the same venue. (8.30pm) Both need the three points to keep the pressure on the top two, with Floreat looking to bounce back from their loss against Armadale last week, while Bayswater will hope to build on their first win in the group against Perth. In the final game Perth Sc meet Balcatta Etna in the early game at Dalmatinac Park, also on Friday. (6.30pm)

In Group B Inglewood United hope to book a place in the knock out stage, when they host Perth RedStar in the late game at Inglewood Stadium on Sunday. (7.00pm) Andres Oliveira’s side have won all three games, and are coming off a big win against Cockburn last week, and Michael Domfeh, who scored a hat-trick in the 6-0 win, said they are expecting the RedStar’s to come out hard, after throwing a two-goal lead to lose to Glory last week.

“I thought it was a great win for the boys against Cockburn, and a good performance to show what the squad is capable of,” the striker said. “We are aware it’s in preparation for the season, so not to read too much into it, but on a personal note it’s been good to start the year off strongly. Sunday will be a challenge, and ECU/RedStar have always been a tough opponent regardless of their recent results. It will be a good test to see where the squad is at and a great opportunity to make a semi’s, I’m expecting the game to be an exciting one.”

Olympic Kingsway are two points behind the leaders, and they take on hosts Cockburn City in the late game at Dalmatinac Park on Friday. (8.30pm) Cockburn are still searching for their first win in the group, and are coming off a heavy defeat last time out, while David Tough’s side dropped their first points of the competition last week against Sorrento, and he said they need to put games to bed, after letting Sorrento back into the game to draw 3-3.

“It’s been a good start to the competition for us, but we had the opportunity to make it three from three last week, but we never put the game to bed after dominating, so that was slightly disappointing, but it’s still preseason and the side is improving and we’ve been delighted how the lads have gone about their business,” Tough said.

“This week we take on Cockburn, who haven’t started the group that we’ll, but they have players that can hurt you if you let them, so stopping that is the challenge for the lads on Friday. We’re getting game time into the players which is vital as we progress towards the season opener, which is our main focus.” In the final game of the group, Perth Glory will hope to continue the momentum from their late win against the RedStar’s last week, when they meet Sorrento in the early game at Inglewood Stadium on Sunday. (5.00pm)



It’s the final round of the State League Night Series group stages, and the top spots, plus two highest runners-up are still up for grabs. First in Group A, three sides can still make it through to the knock out stage, and in the first game on Friday evening, Kingsley Westside take on Joondalup United at the Ellenbrook sports Hub. (8.30pm) United have been eliminated, but Nick Jennings side will look to end the group well, and pick up their first win. Kingsley are still in the mix and a win could see them progress, and Adam O’Neill said last week’s win against Maddington was a great lift for the side, and they are looking for another good performance on Friday.

“It was a tough game against Maddington last week, who are a good physical team but I thought the lads battled well all over the pitch right until the final whistle and it was good to see the younger boys come on and show maturity to see out the win,” he said. “Joondalup will be another tough challenge, but we’ve played against them multiple times throughout the last few years and know the style they play. We’ve strengthened our squad this year bringing in some quality players who can really hurt teams, so there’s no reason why we can’t get the win and hopefully go further in the tournament.”

The other game in the group is on Sunday in the late game at the same venue, when leaders Gwelup Croatia take on Maddington White City. (7.00pm). Trim Morgan’s side know a win against second placed Maddington White City will see them progress, but it likewise for City, and a slip up could let in Kingsley, so this one should be a cracker in a tight group.

In Group B, Fremantle City are in pole position, winning both their games, and they know a win against Gosnells City in the early game at Ellenbrook Sports Hub on Sunday will seal a spot in the next stage (5.00pm). Gosnells are yet to win in the group, and have been eliminated, while it’s been a good start to the tenure of Matt Sparrow at Fremantle, winning both games, and midfielder Brian Patterson said it was a solid performance against Morley, and they will need another one to progress.

“It was a good win against a well organised Morley team last week, and it was good to keep our second clean sheet in as many games,” he explained. “We are going into the Gosnells game full off confidence, but it’s always a tough game against them, but the lads are fully focused on getting the three points and into the quarter finals.” In the other game in the group Morley Windmills take on Quinns in the early game at the same venue on Friday. (6.30pm), with both sides still in contention.

In Group C, Mandurah City look in good form, bagging ten goals in their opening two games, and they will qualify if they can beat Canning City in the late game at Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park, on Friday evening. (8.30pm) Canning can’t make the next round, after losing both their games, while for Mandurah it’s been a good start, and striker Joe O’Brien said its only pre-season, but winning breeds confidence.

“Although we won 7-3 it definitely wasn’t our strongest performance, there are areas we need to focus on heading into the season, but we’ve again showed our firepower going forward,” he explained. “We’re looking to cap off the group stage with another win against Canning, so will be striving for another dominant performance going into the knockout stages.” In the other game in the group Forrestfield United host Curtin University, in the early game at the venue on Sunday (5.00pm), with both sides still in contention.

In Group D, holders Murdoch University Melville are in pole position to progress, winning both games, and this week they take on UWA Nedlands in the late game on Sunday at Wanneroo Reserve. (7.00pm) UWA need a win to challenge for a spot in the next stage, and are coming off a big win against Carramar Shamrock Rovers last week. In the other game, Joondalup City, who can still go through, take on Rovers, who have been eliminated, in the early game at the same venue on Friday. (6.30pm)

We have three teams still in contention in Group E, and in the late game at Wanneroo Reserve on Friday, Western Knights know a win against hosts Wanneroo City will move them through. (8.30pm) Knights’ Owen Goodlife said they are getting stronger with each game, and it was a positive performance against Dianella last week, and they are looking forward to Friday, and getting the result to move into the knockout stage. “I think Sunday was an excellent performance in what is always an important match for the club. It was a bench mark with regards to how far we’ve come over the last six weeks and 2-0 didn’t reflect how well we actually played,” he explained.

“I thought we left three or four golden opportunities out there which we hope with more sharpness will be buried as we get closer to the season. Friday will be another interesting test especially with Wanneroo having the home advantage, we know they’re a physical side who are also in with a shout of getting into the next round of the night series. Our squad is getting stronger each week, we just need to keep pushing and implementing what we work on at training and hopefully the strong performance/results will continue as we head towards round one.” In the other game in the group Dianella White Eagles meet Balga in the early game at the same venue on Sunday. (5.00pm) Balga are out of the running, but a win for the Eagles, could see them progress.

There are still three teams in contention in Group F, and in the opening game on Friday evening, leaders Ashfield meet Swan United in the early clash at Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park on Friday. (6.30pm) Both sides recorded 3-2 wins last week, Swan beating Subiaco, while Ashfield beat Rockingham, and a win in this one could move either of them through. In the other game Rockingham City meet Subiaco at the same venue in the late game on Sunday (7.00pm). Subiaco can’t make the next stage, but Rockingham need a win to keep them in contention.



The 2023 NPLW Night Series starts this weekend, and there are two groups of four, with the top two moving into the Semi-Finals. In Group A, Holders Perth Redstar begin their defence against the Hyundai NTC, who they beat to win the Top Four Cup last season, in the early gamer at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday. (5.00pm)

Carlos Vega Mena’s side took all before them last season, and he said they have worked hard in pre-season, as they look for a repeat, but he knows it will be difficult. “Last year was an incredible season for the team and it will be very difficult to match it again this season, but the players have been working hard in the pre-season, it’s always a pleasure to see them putting in 100% in preparation for the upcoming competition,” the coach explained.

“All the teams in the competition have had player and/or coach movements, and we are no exception. We have some new additions to the NPLW squad and I am keen to see these players in action on the pitch. With all the movement between teams, I think it will be an interesting competition in 2023. I am also very happy to be working with Shawn Billam (Assistant Coach) and Jess Wheatman (U21 Coach) this season.:

Taking on the NTC is a tough start for the RedStar, but the coach said he is looking forward to the game, and getting the season started. “NTC are always an unpredictable team, and they are well-coached and have many talented players, also with quite a few new faces this season,” Vega Mena said. “We will be approaching the Night Series competition with the same mindset as last season, one game at a time. We will be aiming to be competitive and plan to challenge each team for the three points.”

In the other game in the group, Balcatta Etna take on Curtin University in the late game at the venue. (7.00pm) Curtin will have a new man in the dug-out this season, with former WA State player and experienced coach Alan Armstrong in charge. Balcatta coach Tim Cash goes into his second season at the club, and he found lots of positives from the first. “We had great moments in 2022 with a Night Series final, State Cup semifinal and a really great league run mid-season, however our performances dipped as we suffered key injuries so we narrowly missed out on top four, so we will take the lessons from 2022 and look to improve and progress,” he explained

“We have a committed group who have trained well in the preseason and we look forward to meeting Curtin on Sunday. The Curtin team is somewhat of an unknown which presents a challenge for us, and their new coach will want to make a good start. We respect all opponents and hope to put on a good show, we love the Night Series and always strive to do our best.”

In Group B Fremantle City, who have new Head Coach Faye Chambers on board, take on Murdoch University Melville in the opening game at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub on Saturday evening. (6.30pm) Both sides had good seasons in 2022, but both will want to improve on the third and fifth place finishes, and a good start in the pre-season competition will help that. In the late game at the same venue Perth SC meet Subiaco. (8.30pm) Subiaco improved last season, and will look to continue that in the preseason, while Perth will look to build on their second-place finish in the league last season.

Midfielder Abbey Meakins had a successful season, taking out Perth SC’s Fairest and Best, and she said the new coach brought the best out of her and the team. “I was pretty pleased with my individual season last year, but it's really a credit to the system we played and how all of the girls were on board. Pete Rakic came in as a new coach and implemented a style of play that really helped my game,” she explained.

“It enabled us midfielders to get on the ball more frequently, myself as a ten, getting involved in more play higher up the field and in turn becoming more involved in a lot of our goal scoring opportunities whether that be assisting or scoring myself. It was quite a different style to what we had played in the past, so it's a credit to the whole team for sticking to our game plan and allowing myself to really grow and thrive in a new system.”

Meakins said the squad are chopping at the bit to get back playing, and with a few new faces, she hopes they can start well. “We are really excited to have our first hit out this weekend, all of the girls have been working really hard throughout pre-season so we are looking forward to putting our fitness and everything we have worked on to the test against an NPL side,” she said. “We have a few big new additions to the squad in Ellie La Monte, Mon Godding and Poppie Hooks, so it will take a bit of adjusting for everyone to gel together, but I can't wait to see what they bring to our team as they are all very exciting players who have already fit really well into our squad.”



Perth Glory will look to bounce back from last week’s loss against league leaders Melbourne City, when they host the inform Central Coast Mariners at Macedonia Park on Saturday evening. (7.00pm) The Mariners are sitting in second spot on the Isuzu Ute A-League table, and are coming off an away win in Brisbane last week, and the men from Gosford will head west riding high.

Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich praised Mariners coach Nick Montgomery ahead of the clash, and knows the quality in his squad, but he is confident his side can get back to winning ways, after their first home loss of the season last week, and get the finals push back on track. “The Mariners are a very good team, they’re very solid and they ask a lot of questions going forward,” he explained. “I’ve got a lot of respect for what Monty is doing at that club and a lot of respect for the way they play and the way they go about their business, so we expect a very difficult game.

“They’re up in second for a reason and it’s not through luck; it’s through some good football. We know what they’re about, we’ve done our analysis and we know where we have to be strong. We think we’ve got some areas where we can ask some questions as well and we’re really looking forward to the challenge. There were huge amounts of positives out of that game [v City] and what we’re focusing on is continuing that momentum, trying to get back on the front foot pretty quickly and make sure we get a result this weekend.”

The last time the Mariners headed west to take on the Glory was in round 18 last season, when the pair shared the spoils in a 0-0 draw at HBF Park, while Glory beat the Mariners in Gosford 2-1 in round three this season, with goals from Giordano Colli and Aaron McEneff. The Irish midfielder will miss this week, his long-term injury has seen him sidelined for a month, but Zadkovich is confident some of the injuries are clearing up, which will be a boost, especially with defender Darryl Lachman suspended.

“It’s all looking positive this week… most of those guys are making some really good headway,” he said. “Salim (Khelifi) has got the boots back on and he’s training, which is a positive and he’s doing really well. He’s slowly training himself into contention again, but I’m still not sure if he may or may not play some part [on Saturday], if it’s not this weekend, then he’ll definitely be close. Aaron (McEneff) is actually building really nicely… he’s got to get some clearance from the surgeon for the next phase of his progression in training, but he’s looking really good.

“Taggs is looking good, he’s trained really well this week and again, it’s a step-by-step process. We’re really trying to make sure we look at the long-term for him and not just throw him in the deep end. He missed a fair bit of football and had a couple of niggles that we needed to sort out and the good thing is that his attitude has been fantastic. It’s been nice to see him get some minutes for us and he’s working his way into contention, for sure.”

In team news for the Mariners, Brazilian star Moresche returns after being out since the back end of last season with a serious knee injury, looking to make an immediate impact this weekend. He replaces Olayinka Sunmola in the squad. Meanwhile, Brian Kaltak also returns from suspension, having missed out last weekend due to his controversial red card obtained against Sydney FC, he replaces Sasha Kuzevski, who drops out of the squad.

Mariners coach Montgomery said the trip west is a challenge, but one he is looking forward too. “We will fly out Thursday, we will train on Friday and then have the game on Saturday night. The trip to Perth always has its challenges, with the time difference and flights, but it is what it is and everyone has to do it. We just crack on with it,” he said. “We know that their stadium has been a big strength for them this season, it is a small ground that makes it feel like a cup game. You have to compete with them, they are a physical team, direct, they like to knock balls into the box whether it is from set pieces or corners. It doesn’t matter where we go, it is with the same mindset to get three points and we will give it our best shot.”

Perth Glory Squad: GK Cameron COOK, GK Pierce CLARK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 3 Jacob DOWSE, 4 Luke BODNAR, 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, 14 Jack CLISBY, 15 Jordan ELSEY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 18 David WILLIAMS, 19 Zach DUNCAN, 20 Giordano COLLI, 21 Antonee BURKE-GILROY, 22 Adam TAGGART, 28 Trent OSTLER, 36 Joseph FORDE, 37 Jacob MUIR, 43 Adam ZIMARINO - Ins: COLLI, FORDE, MUIR - Outs: 29 Darryl LACHMAN - Unavailable: GK Brad JONES (injured), GK Liam REDDY (Not Selected), 6 Aaron MCENEFF (injured), 10 Salim KHELIFI (injured), 24 Adrian SARDINERO (injured)

Central Coast Mariners squad: GK Danny VUKOVIC, GK Yaren SOZER, 3 Brian KALTAK, 4 Joshua NISBET, 5 James MCGARRY, 6 Maximilien BALARD, 7 Samuel SILVERA, 9 Jason CUMMINGS, 10 Matheus MORESCHE, 11 Beni NKOLOLO, 13 Harry STEELE, 14 Dylan WENZEL-HALLS, 15 Storm ROUX, 18 Jacob FARRELL, 22 Cameron WINDUST, 23 Daniel HALL, 25 Nectarios TRIANTIS, 28 James BAYLISS, 31 Christian THEOHAROUS, 98 Marco TULIO - Ins: KALTAK, MORESCHE - Outs: 27 Sasha KUZEVSKI, 47 Olayinka Sunmola - Unavailable: 26 Bradley TAPP (injured)



The NPLWA Night series groups are taking shape after round three on Friday evening, with both having teams with a perfect start to the pre-season competition. In Group A Armadale maintained their winning start with a 3-1 win against holders Floreat Athena in the late game at E&D Litis Stadium. A first half goal from Chris Jackson gave Armadale the lead at half time, but Noah Shamaki levelled midway through the second half for the hosts.

But John O’Reilly’s side regained the lead on 74 minutes with George Ballah scoring, and the points were wrapped up four minutes from time when Lachlan Collins pounced to add a third. “Friday was a was a great performance from the boys and at the end we got the results that we wanted,” Ballah said. “We keep working hard every training session and game, to get more results, and we are looking forward to the next match against Stirling.”

Stirling Macedonia sit two points behind the leaders, this after a 3-1 win against local rivals Balcatta in the early game at Frank Drago Reserve. Asher Nelson gave Stirling the lead early on eight minutes, but Kotarto Yamamoto levelled for Balcatta three minutes later. But Sam Wynne regained the lead for Ian Ferguson’s side, and Alex Tanevski secured the points 19 minutes from time. “It’s great to come away with the win against a tough side,” Stirling defender Brent Quick said.

“Goals were scarce for us last year and our victories always seemed to be by small margins, but I feel our squad this year has definitely improved, we have a lot of depth and talented players who can push the team forward. The game was frustrating at times, our carelessness at the back cost us a goal that we shouldn’t have given up. We still have some work to do with moving the ball quicker and getting players and better deliveries into the box. This week we take on Armadale, who were extremely tough last year and they’ve had a good run this night series so far, so it should be the game to watch.”

The other game in the group was a goal fest as Bayswater City won for the first time in the group, coming from behind to beat Perth SC 6-3 in the late game at Frank Drago Reserve. Perth was ahead on 16 minutes through Fanuel Dawit, but City levelled three minutes later with Kosta Sparta on target. But Perth edged ahead again on the half hour, with Dawit scoring a second, and they led 2-1 at the break. But after the break City dominated, and Jon Stynes restored parity again early.

Before a brace from Ndumba Makeche and another to Sparta and Sam Dweh gave Bayswater the points, although Toby Snook did pull one back for Perth late. “It is always a tough game against Perth but the team stuck to our game plan and we came away with the win,” Sparta explained. “The first half we had many opportunities but did not convert which had us going in 2-1 down, but in the second half we lifted the intensity and scored the chances we created. We only have two games left and we want to make finals so we will continue to push forward with each game and continue to improve.”

In Group B Inglewood United continued their winning start, with a convincing 6-0 win against Cockburn City in the late game at Dalmatinac Park. Michael Domfeh continued his scoring for his new club, firing in a first half brace. The striker completed his hat-trick from the spot on 70 minutes, and Inglewood went on with it, with Harry Evans added a double and Shubham Mokala finished the scoring. “It was a good team performance, with everyone playing their part from start to finish,” Evans explained. “I thought we were clinical in front of goal on Friday, and hopefully we can carry on this form, but we know as a team it is the night series and still have plenty to work on going forward.”

Olympic Kingsway dropped their first points in the group, after Sorrento hit back late to draw 3-3 in the early game at Dalmatinac Park. David Tough’s side led 2-0 at the break, with Ciaran Byrne and David Perich on target. But John Connolly pulled one back for the Gulls early in the second half, but an own goal from Sorrento defender Mark Barnett regained the two-goal advantage for Olympic, and it looked like they would secure the win. But Trevor Morgan’s side hit back with Connolly adding his second, before Gustavo Giron-Marulanda levelled 14 minutes from time, and both sides shared the spoils.

Morgan said it was a disappointment first half from his side, but he was pleased how they fought back after the break. “We were very fortunate to only be two down at half time, maybe four or five nil would have been a true reflection of Olympics dominance in the first half,” the Sorrento coach explained. “We were poor all over the pitch, but a change of shape and hopefully mindset as well in the second half bought us back into the game just after the break. We showed great character to come back after an abysmal first half and being 3-1 down and as disappointed at half time as I was, I was as happy at the end as the players responded brilliantly and put in a huge effort to get something out of the game.”

In the final game Perth Glory produced a stunning late fight back to beat Perth RedStar 4-3 in the early game at E&D Litis Stadium. Glory brought in some A-League players for this one, with Mitch Oxborrow, Matt Hatch, Stefan Colakovski and Luke Ivanovic in their side, but Daryl Nicol and Ryan Finnie gave Callum Salmon’s side the lead before the break, while a stunning free kick from Oxborrow pulled one back in first half stoppage time.

Nicol added a third on the hour, and it looked like that would seal the points, but Shade Stewart pulled one back on 88 minutes, and Laat Mathiang converted a penalty to level it up and four minutes into stoppage-time and Blair Govan was sent off, before Josh Anasmo struck to make it 4-3. “It was a great team effort to come from 3-1 down in the second half and to get the win,” Glory’s Jacob Young said. “We could feel the momentum shift once the second goal went in, and after the penalty was scored, we really felt we could grab all three points. So, it was a fantastic feeling when Josh Anasmo scored, as could be seen by our celebrations after.”



In the State League Night Series top spots and the two highest runners-up are all still up for grabs in all groups, so it will go down to the final group games next week. In Group A, Gwelup Croatia lead the way after coming from two-goals down to draw 2-2 with Joondalup United at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub on Friday evening. Jay Lang fired home from the spot early in the second half, and James Harmer doubled their advantage just after the hour.

But Trim Morgan’s side hit back and Lewis Robinson pulled one back on 81 minutes, and Jacob Williamson earned them a point three minutes from time. “In what was an entertaining game, we threw away the three points with basic errors and poor decision making,” a disappointed Joondalup Coach Nick Jennings said. “Extremely disappointing as up until the last ten minutes we were in control of our own destiny but now bow out of the night series through our own inability to see out the game.”

The other game in the group was on Sunday evening when Kingsley Westside edged out Maddington White City 2-1 at Ellenbrook Sports Hub. Goals from Nick Koefler and Jayden Drummond secured the win for Steven Dimitrovich side, while Nicolas Pardo scored for City, who finished the game with ten men with Samir Ramos sent off. “It was a good game last night against a very well coached side. We knew going into the game that it was going to be a game where we needed to be patient out of possession and we were which was very pleasing,” Dimitrovich said. “It was good to also see the changes that we made from the week before all played well. The win puts us right in contention now to go through so recovery for the boys on Tuesday as we play again on Friday night against Joondalup Utd.”

In Group B, Fremantle City are in pole position for a semi-final spot after a 2-0 win against Morley Windmills on Friday night at Ellenbrook. Hamza Hina gave Matt Sparrow’s side the lead on the half hour, and a late goal from Oliver La Galia won all three points, and they only need to avoid defeat next week to go through. In the other game in the group Quinns secured a 3-2 win against Gosnells City also at Ellenbrook on Sunday. Blake Adams gave City the lead with a long-range shot early, but two late goals in the half from Mason Gallagher and Robbie McNeill put Quinns ahead at the break, and they added a third on the hour.

Aaron Coslani pulled one back for City, but they couldn’t find the equaliser, and bow out of the competition. “It was a disappointing loss, and I thought we were the better team on the day, and played well for the majority of the game, just individual mistakes that let us down,” Gosnells defender James Sharp said. “There was a lot of positives to take away from the game though, its only preseason and looking to get stronger and fitter before the season starts.”

In Group C, Mandurah City all but secured their progression to the knock out stage after a 7-3 win against Forrestfield United at Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park on Sunday evening. Player/coach John Baird gave City the lead on the half hour, and Hamish van Dieken doubled their lead five minutes later. The hosts pulled one back late on the half with Ali Nazary scoring, but Craig Barker made it 3-1 early in the second half. James Bourne halved the deficit from the spot for Eric Williams’ side, but that was as good as it got for the hosts. Joey O’Brien made it 4-2 on the hour, before other goals from Dylan Roders, Sam Byrne, and a second from Van Dieken secured a convincing win, while Ali Nazary scored a late consolation goal, also from the spot late for Forrestfield.

“It was a tough game playing in the heat for both sides, but I thought our first half was really disappointing and we never really got going and we’re quite lucky to be leading at the break,” van Dieken explained. “We were making the game hard for ourselves but at halftime we spoke about this and sorted it out. In the second half we managed to get going and started to get into the game more but it definitely still wasn’t one of our better performances. But too still score seven goals and see the game out comfortably it’s always a positive.” The other game in the group Curtin University secured their first win in the group, beating Canning City 5-0 at Forrestfield on Friday evening. Oscar Wright was the star, grabbing four goals, while Robert Nicolosi added the other, to keep them in the mix for the knock out stage.

In Group D, holders Murdoch University Melville remain top, after a 2-0 win against Joondalup City at Wanneroo Reserve on Sunday evening. New striker Eddie Wynne-Willson scored both goals, the second from the spot, with City ending the game with ten men after Joshua Pasco was sent off. MUMFC coach Taki Nicolaidis said it was a good performance, and the signing of the Gosnells striker is a good one for his side this season. “Very pleased with the win and another clean sheet,” he said. “Eddie was an important signing for me as he has a great attitude and work ethic, finds good areas to be effective in and knows how to score goals.”

In the other game in the group on Friday, UWA Nedlands have kept their hopes of progressing alive, after a 3-1 win against Carramar Shamrock Rovers also at Wanneroo Reserve. UWA led 3-0 at the break with goals from Harvey Caraw, Luke Salas and Max Blackshaw, and they held firm to take the points, although Jamie Gibson did pull one back late for Rovers, who are eliminated. “The first half was very pleasing, I thought the back four kept their shape well and gave us a base to build on,” UWA Coach Richard Abrams said. “Going into the break at 3-0 up defiantly lifted our spirits after last week’s defeat. We are a new side, have a number of injuries presently and players are still getting to know each other so we know there is a lot more to come from this side.”

In Group E, Western Knights are top after securing a second win, with a 2-0 victory against Dianella White Eagles at Wanneroo Reserve on Sunday. Alex Kretowicz, who has returned to Nash Field this season, opened the scoring early for the Knights, and Dianella’s cause wasn’t helped when Dejan Aleksic was sent off, and Shay Donovan wrapped up the points on the hour. In the other game in group on Friday evening goals from Montee Benjamin, Sebastian Munoz, Jayden Licastro and Greg Greenwood gave Wanneroo City a 4-1 win against Balga, to keep them in the mix for the next stage, while Bleron Mamudi scored a late consolation goal for Balga.

Finally, Group F is wide open, with all teams still in the mix. First on Friday evening Ashfield fought back from two goals down to beat Rockingham City 3-2 at Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park. Taylor Carter bagged a brace in the first half to put City in control, but goals from Gareth Hamilton, Benjamin Entwistle and Jared Flavel secured the win for Ashfield. In the other game in the group, Swan United won for the first time, edging out Subiaco 3-2 on Sunday also at Forrestfield. New signing Rhys Loxley opened the scoring early, and Cameron Anderson added a second before the break. Loxley made it 3-0 on the hour, and it looked game over, but a brace from Sean Cronin gave Subiaco hope late, but Swan held firm to take the points.

“We’re obviously very happy to get a hard-fought win, especially after last week’s game, where we conceded two late goals,” Swan coach Niall Hughes said. “I think we improved on last week and showed how dangerous we are going forward and probably should have had one or two more goals before we finally scored our second. But the lads had to work really hard to try and keep Subiaco out, who carried on pushing the entire game and will always carry a threat with Gav Knight up top, who we all know has a great amount of quality. Now we have to get our heads down for another good challenge again next week against Ashfield.”



Perth Glory have made it a hat-trick of wins, after downing Newcastle Jets 4-0 in round 13 of the Liberty A-League at Macedonia Park on Sunday afternoon. In front of another big crowd, Glory dismantled the Jets, with Cyera Hintzen helping herself to a brace, with others to Izzy Foletta and Sofia Sakalis. The win moved Alex Epakis’ side to within seven points of the top four with two games in hand on fourth-placed Melbourne Victory.

The coach was full of praise for his side in his post-match media conference. “I’m really happy, we’re in a good spot at the moment and it’s not here by chance, it’s here because the players are doing very well,” he said. “They’re training hard, they’re executing the gameplan and even in moments when you’ve got to roll your sleeves up and play a different style of game because of the way it plays out, we can offer that as well.

“So as a result of that, four goals, individually everyone did well and I couldn’t be much happier than I am, we’re going after them [Melbourne Victory], 100%. We saw last season that in the hunt for the Finals, the season can pose so many hurdles and ups and downs and we were on the wrong end of that as we missed out by goal difference. So that’s certainly a motivating factor for us. We’re going to continue to take it week by week, but we want to continue to win week by week to give ourselves a chance; that’s the focus.”

Epakis made the one change from the side that beat Western United last week, with keeper Morgan Aquino coming in for Sarah Langman, who missed out due to concussion protocols. The visitors, who were playing their third game in eight days, started the brighter and Aquino saved low to deny Emily Garnier early. But Glory hit back, and Hintzen saw her effort flash wide of the post, and on 15 minutes the hosts found the opener. Sakalis raced down the left, and cut into the box and she was brought down by Murphy Agnew, and referee Georgia Ghirardello pointed straight to the spot.

Sakalis stepped up and sent Jets keeper Georgina Worth the wrong way from the resulting penalty, much to the delight of the Glory faithful. Newcastle hit back, and with new coach Gary Van Egmond in the dugout, they went close to levelling on 22 minutes, but some desperate Glory defending kept them at bay, with Sarah Griffiths effort well blocked. Then just before the break the Glory supporters were celebrating again as they doubled their advantage. Sakalis raced in to the box and found Hintzen, who laid the ball back to Foletta on the edge of the box, and the midfielder fired home, giving Worth no chance.

Glory had the perfect opportunity to make it 3-0 early in the second half, after skipper Nat Rigby’s cross crashed off the crossbar, and hit the arm of Lauren Allan, and again the referee pointed to the spot. Sakalis stepped up, but Worth produced a stunning save away to her right to deny her. That miss didn’t deter the Glory, and they did add a third on 67 minutes, half time substitute Demi Koulizakis finding Hintzen, who powered home from the edge of the box.

It was a great team performance from the Glory, and they added some icing on the cake in stoppage time, when they added a fourth. Sadie Lawrence finding Hintzen, and the American found the top corner of the net, to wrap up the points and send the Glory faithful home happy.

Perth Glory: GK Morgan AQUINO, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 7 Liz ANTON, 8 Hana LOWRY, 9 Demi KOULIZAKIS, 10 Susan PHONSONGKHAM (9 Demi KOULIZAKIS 46'), 12 Sofia SAKALIS (23 Alana JANCEVSKI 75'), 13 Sarah CAIN (14 Hannah BLAKE 46'), 15 Cyera HINTZEN, 18 Sadie LAWRENCE, 19 Izzy FOLETTA (17 Abbey GREEN 77') - Subs not used: RGK Zara BROAD

Newcastle Jets: GK Georgina WORTH, 3 Emily GARNIER, 6 Cass DAVIS, 12 Murphy AGNEW, 13 Lauren ALLAN (4 Josie ALLAN 83'), 14 Lucy JOHNSON (9 Tara ANDREWS 73'), 15 Sarah GRIFFITH, 18 Taren KING (23 Teigen ALLEN 73'), 19 Ash BRODIGAN, 22 Cannon CLOUGH, 25 Lara GOOCH (5 Leia PUXTY 67') - Subs not used: RGK Claire COELHO - Referee: Georgia Ghirardello



Perth Glory’s unbeaten run at Macedonia Park has come to an end, after a 2-4 defeat by Isuzu Ute A-League leaders Melbourne City at a sold-out Macedonia Park on Saturday evening. Ruben Zadkovich’s side took it to last seasons Premiers, and the game was in the balance until defender Darryl Lachman was sent off on the hour. Jordan Bos had given the visitors the lead, before Jack Clisby, who returned to the side after suspension, curled home the equaliser.

Lachman was then sent off for a challenge on Socceroo Matthew Leckie, and Valon Berisha scored from the resulting penalty. Glory weren’t going down without a fight and roared on by the 4,000 crowd, David Williams levelled, but late goals from Leckie and Florin Berenguer sealed the win for City. Zadkovich said he was proud of the way his side went toe to toe with the leaders, but thought the red card swung the momentum dramatically in City’s favour. “It was disappointing to lose, I thought we were excellent in patches tonight and went toe-to-toe with the best team in the comp,” he said.

“We played some really good stuff and the game was 1-1 at the moment that we lost a player [Lachman] and it turned into a bit of a chaotic game towards the end. But up until that 60-minute-mark when we lost Darryl, I thought we were very, very good for a result of some sort; probably the win. We were great without the ball at times and I thought with the ball, there were some very nice passages and it’s just disappointing to get nothing for it.”

It was a sell-out, with the stands packed at kick off, and Zadkovich made the one change to the side that drew with Newcastle Jets last week, with Clisby in for Joseph Forde, while Adam Taggart was on the bench, still recovering from his injury. It was the hosts who made a bright start, without creating clear-cut chances, but it was City who hit the front on 16 minutes with a stunner.

Richard van der Venne found Bos on the left of the penalty area, and the Young Socceroo defender cut in between two Glory players, before curling the ball into the top corner of the net, giving Cameron Cook no chances. Glory went close moments later, with David Williams’ header crashing off the post, but they were level on 25 minutes. Clisby’s curling free kick from the right missed everyone, the ball nestling in the net, much to the delight of the Glory supporters.

Moments later the hosts were awarded a penalty after Jordan Elsey was brought down in the penalty area by Thomas Glover, but after a check by VAR it showed Elsey had strayed inches offside in the build-up. City ended the half well, and Lachman did well to clear Nuno Reis’ header off the line, before van der Venne pounced on a poor clearance from Cook, but his first time shot hit the bar and away to safety, and at the break it’s all to play for in the second half.

It was a cagey start to the second half, with chances few and far between, the best falling to Mark Beevers, whose header from Keegan Jelacic’s cross, went the wrong side of the upright. But the game took another twist on the hour when Leckie raced clear, with Lachman in pursuit, the Socceroos striker fell in the box, and referee Daniel Elder pointed to the spot, and sent the big defender off. It looked harsh, with very little contact, but Berisha found the bottom corner of the net, despite Cook going the right way.

But the ten-men hit back two minutes later, Jelacic’s cross from the left picked out the unmarked David Williams who headed powerfully past Glover for his fifth goal of the season. The crowd were sensing another Glory win, but that all changed four minutes later, Cook’s punch from a corner fell to Leckie, and the former Hertha BSC striker scored with a spectacular bicycle kick, which silenced the crowd. City wrapped up the points in stoppage time, Leckie’s run ended with a pass to Berenguer who slid the ball calmy past Cook.

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 4 Luke BODNAR (19 Zach DUNCAN 46'), 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, (28 Trent OSTLER 85'), 14 Jack CLISBY (3 Jacob DOWSE 77'), 15 Jordan ELSEY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 18 David WILLIAMS (22 Adam TAGGART 77'), 21 Antonee BURKE-GILROY (2 John KOUTROUMBIS 46'), 29 Darryl LACHMAN - Subs not used: RGK Pierce CLARK, 43 Adam ZIMARINO - Red Card: Lachman 60’

Melbourne City: GK Tom GLOVER, 3 Scott JAMIESON, (25 Callum TALBOT 80'), 4 Nuno REIS, 6 Thomas LAM, 7 Mathew LECKIE, 8 Richard VAN DER VENNE, 9 Jamie MACLAREN, 13 Aiden O’NEILL, 14 Valon BERISHA (10 Florin BERENGUER 70'), 15 Andrew NABBOUT (23 Marco TILIO, 70'), 38 Jordan BOS - Subs not used: RGK Matthew SUTTON, 2 Scott GALLOWAY, 18 Jordon HALL, 35 Raphael BORGES RODRIGUES - Attendance: 4,000 - Referee: Daniel Elder



Sam Kerr has continued her goalscoring touch, after bagging four as Chelsea beat West Ham United 7-0 and advanced to the Continental League Cup final in style, booking a place in the showpiece against London rivals Arsenal at the Selhurst Park on Sunday 5 March. The Matildas skipper was on fire scoring a hat-trick in the first half, before added a fourth on the hour.

The Blues were dominate from the first whistle, and Kerr opened the scoring, getting on the end of a Guro Reiten’s free-kick at the back post. The Hammers couldn’t contain a rampant Chelsea and Fran Kirby added a second past Matildas keeper Mackenzie Arnold, before Kerr made it 3-0, finding the far corner after being picked out by Erin Cuthbert. Then in first half stoppage time Kerr sealed her hat-trick, to send Chelsea well in control.

West Ham made four changes at the break, but it had little effect, as Emma Hayes’ side continue to dominate after the break Lauren James added a fifth. Kerr added to her tally, when Reiten’s pressure saw the West Ham defender play a short back pass and Kerr displayed her predatory instincts yet again, intercepting the ball and firing past Arnold, before Reiten wrapped up the scoring.

In other news Kerr and her Chelsea team mates will face holders Lyon in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League, after the draw was made on Friday. The first legs are scheduled for 22 and 23 March, with the return fixtures a week later.

In the other ties, the 2021-2022 runner-up Barcelona will take on Roma in the last eight, while Paris Saint-Germain plays Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich comes up against Arsenal. The semi-final draw was also made on Friday, with the winner of PSG and Wolfsburg set to face the winner of Bayern and Arsenal, while the winner of Lyon and Chelsea will go up against the winner of Barca and Roma. Eindhoven will host the final on 4 June.



Daniel Stynes, a full-time footballer and part-time law student, shares a deeper insight into his life, from his junior football career to his studies, and his relationship and connection with other Perth-born Newcastle Jets players.

When asked about his first football memory, Daniel Stynes recalled of the time he would kick the ball in his local park in Kinross, Perth with his brother and father. “My first real memories of football are going down to the park and playing with my brother and Dad, that would be my earliest memory I have of playing,” said Stynes.

After being inspired by his older brother playing, Stynes decided to take on football himself, with Quinns as his starting ground. He played there for five years, before starting in the Perth Glory academy at the age of 13. “My Father grew up in Dublin in Ireland and played football himself, he and my brother encouraged me to play football at a young age,” he said.

Stynes’ professional football career began when he was playing for Glory, however, he acquired a number of injuries during this time, which caused a few setbacks at the beginning of his career. He decided to take a year off from the A-league, which allowed him to readjust his focus as he learned to love the sport again. He was playing in the NPL with his brother and some mates.

“I had a lot of injuries that stalled my progress and my development and having that season out was the biggest blessing for me mentally, I was able to readjust my focus and readjust my perspective on life. It was an important part in my career because when I came back [to the A-league] it gave me a new perspective on football, to enjoy the moments and to take it for what it is,” said Stynes.

Upon returning to Glory, Stynes launched back into his A-league career where he was named in the 2020 AFC Champions league side. In Doha, Qatar, was where he made his official return starting against Ulsan Hyundai FC, where he went on to score against the side who ending up winning the AFC Champions league.

“That was probably the best moment for my career so far, from coming from two months ago to playing in the NPL, to playing in a world cup stadium in Qatar, and scoring a goal against the eventual winners, that was a great moment,” said Stynes.

After playing with Glory for a few years, Stynes made the move over to Newcastle for the 2022/2023 season. “I love it here in Newcastle, it is similar to Perth as it’s a bit quieter than major cities. The transition here was quite seamless,” said Stynes.

Stynes made the move to Newcastle last year, along with Brandon O’Neill and Callum Timmins, who are also from Perth. Stynes mentioned that having them here has made the transition much easier, with a little bit of Perth with him in Newcastle. “I love the vibe of the city, the people here are lovely as well, I don’t have a bad word to say about Newcastle, it’s amazing,” says Stynes.

The Perth trio have known each other for many years, with Stynes and O’Neill’s friendship beginning from their childhood. “Both of our dads emigrated from Ireland at a similar time, and met through the Irish community in Perth, they played poker together on Friday nights,” said Stynes. “I have known Brandon my whole life, pretty much from birth, he’s like family to me.”

Stynes always admired and respected O’Neill as a footballer, and still looks up to him. “Brandon was always someone that I looked up to, his professionalism and his discipline, I’ve never seen something like it before. It is why he has had such an amazing career and has achieved so much, because of the way he conducts himself is second to none,” said Stynes.

Stynes and Timmins also grew up through the National Training Centre together and have known each other since they were teenagers. “As we got older we were both breaking into the first team at the same time, and both made our debuts in the same season. We were roommates back then and still are to this day. We spend a lot of time together and know each other very well, he’s also like family to me as well,” Stynes said.

From beginning their football careers together in Perth, it has all come full circle for the trio with them all signing with the Newcastle simultaneously. “It’s weird how we have all stuck together throughout this time, but it has been the best time too,” said Stynes.

Away from the football field, Daniel Stynes immerses himself in his studies, by undertaking his bachelor’s degree in law, in which he will complete very soon. “I’ve been studying for around six years, and am very near to completing my degree, with only a few units to go,” Stynes said.

Stynes followed in the footsteps of his brother and sister who are also lawyers, with his other sister as a clinical psychologist. Studying was always an option for Stynes, and he knew from early on that he would go down a similar path of his siblings.

“Studying has always been positive for me, it’s a great way to keep your mind stimulated away from football, and I’ve always found it to be a good mental distraction. You are attaining a degree too, also enhancing your knowledge, and it gives you a backup plan if football doesn’t go according to plan,” said Stynes.

Stynes acknowledged that navigating university life took some getting used to, before finding a balance between football and study. “Trying to balance university at the start was quite difficult, it is a massive transition from school, so I had no idea about university life at the beginning until I found a routine,” he commented.

COVID-19 forced Stynes’ university to move into online learning. That transition meant he was able to focus on his football career in addition to completing his studies at the same time. Stynes is content where he is at the moment with his studies and football career, and is happy to take on either pathway down the track.



Defender Jacob Muir has extended his time with Perth Glory through to 2025. The 20-year old has made seven A-League starts this season after featuring on five occasions in what was his debut campaign in the competition last term.

Having progressed through the ranks of the Glory Academy, the local gained his first taste of senior action in a 2021 FFA Cup tie against Melbourne Victory. Coach Ruben Zadkovich has been impressed by Muir’s progress to date and believes that the centre-back has enormous potential.

"Jacob is a very bright prospect for this club and an important part of this rebuild and this team," Zadkovich said. "He is still honing his craft defensively, but is a natural ball-carrying centre-back who is versatile and comfortable under pressure, especially in possession."

"He has great vision and awareness and his passing range and techniques are rare in a player in his position and of his age. There is no limit to the levels he can reach if his attitude remains as solid as it is now. I've watched him go from strength to strength as a player and person over the last two years or so."

"I have a very strong belief in both his ability and his character. We are delighted to extend his deal as he is a very valuable asset to this club. He's the right age-profile to be a long-term player for Glory and is another shining light to emerge from our Academy, which is a real positive for the program."



After letting the win slip late last week against Newcastle Jets, Perth Glory welcome Melbourne City to the House of Pain, AKA Macedonia Park, on Saturday evening, looking to keep their unbeaten run-on home soil intact (7.30pm). The prospect of playing the league leaders on their home patch is something Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich is relishing, and the opportunity to pit his wits against the league leaders and reigning Premiers.

City head to Perth having only lost once all season, and warmed up for Saturday’s clash thrashing Macarthur 6-0 last time out, but the challenge of taking on Rado Vidosic’s side is one the coach and players are looking forward too. “It’s an awesome opportunity,” he said in his pre-game press conference. “When you get an opportunity to host the best team in the comp over the last couple of seasons and certainly this season, it’s a great opportunity for us to make a statement and that’s exactly what we want to do.

“For the playing group and the staff, it’s more about the three points; it doesn’t really matter who we’re playing. But if you can get the three points in the right fashion, it can be a real statement piece, I love these ones. They got the better of us before [in Round 5] and they were better than us in every facet of the game. But I look back at the last time we had City here in Perth and it was a different contest and we were able to get the win, so where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Zadkovich believes in his player group, and is confident they can match it with any team in the league, but quick to acknowledge the qualities City possess. “It’s a very difficult game for us, but I look to rise to these occasions and I know my team will as well. The belief is very big in that dressing room, so I feel like City better be ready for a game,” the Coach explained. “City have a lot of the ball and for the lack of a better word, they’re a million-dollar team in a lot of positions, the likes of Leckie, Nabbout, Tilio, Maclaren; they’re all Socceroos and World Cup players.

“I look at that and then I look at their foreigners, Berisha and van der Venne and they’re a high-caliber team, full of superstars. I like to think we’re a bit the opposite. We’re a really good, strong team, not so much full of superstars as we are just a really solid unit. We have to stay very clear on what we do and make sure we impose the way we want to play on the game and make sure the game reflects what we’ve been doing and not so much what they’re doing. I feel like if the boys maintain their confidence and start the game well, we can get on the front foot and we want to try and make it an uncomfortable game for them.”

The last time City headed west was in the final round of last season, when Glory ran out 2-0 winners. Calum Timmins gave the hosts the lead at HBF Park, and the midfielder added a second just after the hour, to end the season on a high, this after Glory won their first wooden spoon. Glory match up well with City, and will fancy their chances in this one, and in some good team news Zadkovich said Adam Taggart could start, and Jack Clisby and John Koutroumbis return to the squad after suspension and injury.

“A lot of guys are putting their hands up to be included this week,” he said. “Taggs has trained well this week which is a good inclusion for us… hopefully he gets through today’s session well. Clis is back from suspension and he’ll play a part; whether he starts or is on the bench is yet to be determined. He’s certainly trained well and looks like he wants to be in the mix. Competition for spots is good, which is always a helping hand.”

City have looked impressive this season, with former Glory striker Jamie Maclaren scoring 16 already, while Dutch midfielder Richard van der Venne has chipped in with five goals, three of which came against Macarthur FC last weekend. The coach has promoted Jordon Hall and Arion Sulemani for the trip to Perth as they look to extend their seven-point lead at the top, but Glory supporters will hope their side have something to say about that.

This weekend, there will be recognition at A-Leagues matches of the terrible earthquake tragedy that has occurred in Türkiye and Syria resulting in the loss of at least 20,000 lives with many more injured. Football Australia recognise many Australians have links with the disaster affected communities and we also recognise the joint passion for football that Australia, New Zealand, Türkiye and Syria share. As part of the A-Leagues’ support for the disaster ravaged-populations of Türkiye and Syria, we are encouraging A-Leagues fans to donate to the UNICEF fund. This can be done easily at: By making a donation, football fans can help UNICEF fearlessly deliver life-saving supplies to children and their families impacted by the earthquake.

Perth Glory squad: GK Cameron COOK, GK Pierce CLARK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 3 Jacob DOWSE, 4 Luke BODNAR, 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, 14 Jack CLISBY, 15 Jordan ELSEY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 18 David WILLIAMS, 19 Zach DUNCAN, 21 Antonee BURKE-GILROY, 22 Adam TAGGART, 28 Trent OSTLER, 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 36 Joseph FORDE, 37 Jacob MUIR, 43 Adam ZIMARINO - Ins: KOUTROUMBIS, CLISBY - Unavailable: GK Brad JONES, GK Liam REDDY (injured), 6 Aaron MCENEFF (injured), 10 Salim KHELIFI (injured), 24 Adrian SARDINERO (injured)

Melbourne City squad: GK Tom GLOVER, GK Matthew SUTTON, 2 Scott GALLOWAY, 3 Scott JAMIESON, 4 Nuno REIS, 6 Thomas LAM, 7 Mathew LECKIE, 8 Richard VAN DER VENNE, 9 Jamie MACLAREN, 10 Florin BERENGUER 13 Aiden O’NEILL, 14 Valon BERISHA, 15 Andrew NABBOUT, 18 Jordon HALL, 22 Curtis GOOD, 23 Marco TILIO, 25 Callum TALBOT, 34 Arion SULEMANI, 35 Raphael BORGES RODRIGUES, 38 Jordan BOS - In: HALL (promoted), SULEMANI (promoted)



After the news of midfielder Keegan Jelacic signing an extension to his contract at Perth Glory, young defender Jacob Muir has also agreed to stay at the club until 2025. The 20-year-old has made seven A-League starts this season after featuring on five occasions in what was his debut campaign in the competition last year. He started his football journey at Percy Doyle Reserve with Sorrento, before joining the Glory academy.

Muir made his debut for the club in FFA Cup game against Melbourne Victory in 2021, and the talented defender hasn’t looked back, and Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich has been impressed by the defender’s progress to date and believes that the centre-back has enormous potential. “Jacob is a very bright prospect for this club and an important part of this rebuild and this team,” he said. “He is still honing his craft defensively, but is a natural ball-carrying centre-back who is versatile and comfortable under pressure, especially in possession.

“He has great vision and awareness and his passing range and techniques are rare in a player in his position and of his age. There is no limit to the levels he can reach if his attitude remains as solid as it is now. I’ve watched him go from strength to strength as a player and person over the last two years or so and he takes on information and guidance very well. I have a very strong belief in both his ability and his character. We are delighted to extend his deal as he is a very valuable asset to this club.

“He’s the right age-profile to be a long-term player for Glory and is another shining light to emerge from our Academy and through our ranks, which is a real positive for the program.” Glory Head of Recruitment, Andy Keogh, also believes that Muir has the potential to be a key player for the club moving forward. “Jacob is another WA product who has a very bright future,” he said. “He fully deserves this extension for the contribution he has made to the team this season.”



It’s week three of the NPLWA Night Series, and we will reach the half way mark of the preseason competition, with semi-final spots still up for grabs. In the early game in Group A on Friday evening, Stirling Macedonia will look to build on last weeks late winner against Bayswater City, when they take on local rivals Balcatta at Frank Drago Reserve. (6.30pm) Midfielder Calvin Whitney said the win last week, there first in the group, was much needed.

“Always good to get the win against Bayswater, but I thought it was an even game for both team throughout the game,” he said. “We came out firing the first 15 and they grew into the game, so it was good to see we can match a full-strength Bayswater side, with a lot of outs that we had and the young boys stepped up, and it was great to get the win in the last minute.”

Balcatta are still searching for their first win, but Whitney knows games against them are always tight, with it being a local derby. “Even though Balcatta haven’t won they are always an awkward team to play against, and Friday will be no different,” the midfielder explained. “But we come in confident, but aware of threats that they have. It’s a great challenge for us, and one I’m looking forward to.”

In the late game at the venue, Bayswater City host Perth SC in the Italian Derby. (8.30pm) Both sides are still searching for their first win, and will be desperate to get three points to keep them in the mix for a semi-final spot. Bayswater striker Gordon Smith said although they are disappointed to have lost both games, they have shown good signs, and will be looking for a win in this one.

“Defiantly not the start we all wanted but performance levels have been good for 90% of games we just need to learn as a team to stay switched on for 90 minutes, and the Stirling game was very even, and we were very disappointed to concede from a corner late,” he Scotsman explained. “So, Friday is a vital game for us, and Perth will be a tough, as they have a young energetic squad so we will need to match their energy levels and play to our potential. There’s still nine points to play for so we will be giving our all to make finals.”

The other game in the group takes us to E&D Litis Stadium, where the unbeaten Armadale take on holders Floreat Athena. (8.30pm) John O’Reilly’s side have won both games, while Floreat are also unbeaten, after conceding a late equaliser last week against Perth SC, so this one should be a cracker.

In Group B on Friday evening, group leaders Olympic Kingsway take on Sorrento in the early game at Dalmatinac Park. (6.30pm) David Tough’s side have made a perfect start to pre-season, with back-to-back wins, and defender Calum O’Connell said the win against Perth Glory last week was pleasing, and they will look to build on that against Sorrento. “Yes, it’s a positive start and good performance from the whole group including the subs who made an impact on the game last week,” he explained.

“The Glory are always a technical team and play at high tempo’s and I think we dealt with that well and counteracted them. We play a certain way and we definitely showed consistency in that for long periods in the game. Friday will be another tough game regardless of Sorrento’s start, they will be wanting to change their current situation. They are a very direct team and it will be another tough 90 minutes, but we need to continue our positive start and build on the last two weeks.”

In the late game at the venue, Cockburn City will be looking for a first win in the group when they take on the leaders, and unbeaten Inglewood United. (8.30pm) Inglewood made it two from two with a win against Sorrento last week, while Cockburn picked up their first point with a 1-1 draw against the RedStar’s. City’s Daniel Dols said they’ve had two good games, and have been unlucky in both, but knows its only preseason. “We’ve had two good hit outs and we’ve taken a lot of positives away from them, but also identified a few areas we would like to work on,” he explained.

“It’s great to get some minutes into players legs and we’ve got some exciting additions to our squad from last season. The Night Series is always a great opportunity to take what we’ve been working on all preseason and put it into practice, and we will continue that on Friday. Inglewood are always tough each season and of course it’s a competitive game and we want to win. But at this point of the year, we are more focused on tweaking and refining our system so that we are ready for round one.” In the final game of the group, Perth RedStar and Perth Glory will go in search of their first wins in the competition when they meet in the early game at E&D Litis Stadium on Friday evening. (6.30pm)



We head into the second week of the State League Night Series, and the early game in Group A on Friday evening at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub, sees Joondalup United take on Gwelup Croatia (6.30pm). These sides had different results last week, United losing their opener against Maddington, while Gwelup beat Kingsley Westside, so both will be pushing for the points in this one and it should be a good contest. The other game in the group is on Sunday, at the same venue, and Kingsley Westside will look to bounce back from the first-round defeat, when they take on Maddington White City (8.30pm).

In Group B the two sides who won last week, Fremantle City and Morley Windmills meet at Ellenbrook Sports Hub on Friday evening. (8.30pm) Fremantle overpowered Quinns to open their account, while Morley beat Gosnells. It was a first game in charge at Morley for Marc Anthony, and he was pleased with the win against his former club, but is looking for more this week against a good Fremantle side.

“Last week was a good win, especially as it was our first hit out this year, so we will take a lot of benefit from the game but overall, I was happy with the performance,” the Scotsman said. “We know this week will be a tough game, but excellent for our preparation, as they are a fair bit ahead of us in their fitness and look like they will go pretty close to promotion next season.” In the other game in group Gosnells City and Quinns will look to kick start their competition when the pair meet at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub on Sunday evening. (7.00pm)

Group C takes us to Crazy Domain Stadium, Hartfield Park, and first up on Friday evening Canning City take on Curtin University in the late game, both looking for their first win. (8.30pm) The other game in the group is on Sunday, when hosts Forrestfield United welcome Mandurah City. (5.00pm) Both sides started with wins, and Eric Williams tenure started at United with a win against Canning, while City player/coach John Baird bagged a brace as they beat Curtin, this one should be a tight game.

In Group D, we travel to Wanneroo Reserve on Friday evening, and in the early game Carramar Shamrock Rovers meet UWA Nedlands (6.30pm), with both looking to bounce back from heavy defeats last week. The other game is on Sunday at the same venue, when holders Murdoch University Melville take on Joondalup City. (7.00pm) MUMFC started their title defence with a 5-0 win against Rovers, while Joondalup beat UWA. New Joondalup coach Paul Welch was pleased with the side’s performance, and is looking for more improvement against MUMFC.

“It was good for Ryan (Cantello) and I to finally have a game with a competitive edge to it, to see how the players reacted to what we have been working on, and there were lots of positives to take out of the game, but we will not get carried away, it’s still early days and about building towards the season ahead,” Welch explained. “MUMFC are a good outfit and well managed, but whatever happens in the game it will be a learning experience and that’s what we need to take out of it, learning, applying and keep building towards the coming season.”

In Group E Wanneroo City host Balga in the late game at Wanneroo Reserve on Friday evening. (8.30) Both sides lost heavily last week, and they will aim to bounce back this week. The other game in the group is at the same venue on Sunday, when Western Knights take on Dianella White Eagles. (5.00pm) It was a goal fest for both sides last week, the Eagles hitting six against Wanneroo, while the Knights hit five against Balga, so there should be plenty of goals in this one.

Finally, the Group F games are at Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park. First on Friday Ashfield meet Rockingham City. (6.30pm) Ashfield drew their opener, while Rockingham left it late to edge out Swan United. Rockingham coach Darren Donnachie said it was a good first hit out for the players. “It was good to get some competitive minutes into the legs, Swan were a well organised, compact outfit,” he said. But the lads preserved and showed a good winning mentality to find the two goals late on.

“Kris (Donnell) and I were really impressed with the impact our young bench made on the game, and we took away a few things to work on but a lot of positives as well. We are looking forward to Friday’s game, and it gives us another good opportunity to rotate the squad and work towards having our structures dialed in come round one. Ashfield had a good result last week and will be another good challenge, but at this stage of preseason we are only focused on ourselves and making sure we execute what we’ve been working on in training.” The other game in the group is at the same venue on Sunday, when Subiaco take on Swan United. (7.00pm)



Perth Glory will be aiming for three straight wins in the Liberty A-League on Sunday, when they host Newcastle Jets in a crunch game at Macedonia Park. (4.00pm) Back-to-back wins against Wellington Phoenix, and a stunning win against league leaders Western United last weekend, has seen Alex Epakis’ side make a late surge for a spot in the top four finals, and they are nine points adrift of Melbourne Victory who occupy fourth spot on the table, but they do have two games in hand on the reigning Champions.

The coach has taken positives from his sides recent form, currently unbeaten in their last three games, especially after the loss of striker Rylee Baisden with a season ending knee injury, and he is quietly confident that the gap between them and the top four spot is not insurmountable. “It was a great performance [against Western United] and it’s something that we’re really hoping sets the tone for the second half of the season,” he said. “It’s an exciting opportunity and one that the team and I are going to relish.

“Our backs are against the wall, we’re not expected, based on where we are at the moment, to make the four, but our thinking internally is that if we give every week the performance that we just had and treat every week like a Final, we give ourselves a real chance. We love doing it the hard way, so I’m definitely not writing it off. I want to give us every opportunity and I know the players want to push for that and let’s see where we go.”

The last time the Jets headed to Perth was in round 11 in season 2020-21, when the visitors ran out comprehensive 4-0 winners at Dorrien Gardens. Rhianna Pollicina gave them the lead on the half hour, before a double from Sunny Franco either side of the break put them in control. The points were wrapped up seven minutes from time when Lauren Allan added a fourth.

The Jets will head west this time with a new Head Coach in the dugout, after Gary van Egmond replaced Ash Wilson in control, but despite the off-field turmoil and grueling fixture schedule, but they ae coming off a 2-0 win against Western United on Wednesday, so there is no danger of Epakis underestimating them. “We had the opportunity to observe them on Sunday, and they’ve got another game tonight [Wednesday] and then they’ve got us, so it’s a tough week for them,” he said. “For us, now that we’re in a good space with form, we just have to make sure that we continue to focus upon ourselves.

“We know if we nail our processes, we’ll find a way to win and that’s the key point from our perspective. I think we’ve learned the hard way how to manage going up in games, seeing out games and managing momentum swings. But I’m also very aware that we’re a very different team to what we were two or three months ago when we played them. I’m very confident and optimistic about where we are as a group currently and there is still improvement in us and what we’re doing. It’s just about making sure we don’t take our focus away from the 90 minutes and we see the job out across the whole 90-minute period.”

There was some good news on injuries, the squad picked up no fresh injuries from last week, although long-term absentee Rylee Baisden will again miss out along with midfielder Ella Mastrantonio who will serve the second game of her reduced suspension. The Jets, meanwhile, have enjoyed three wins so far this season and currently sit in tenth spot, and the Glory will be searching for a first home win in this fixture since November 2014.



Talk of promotions and silverware sounded fanciful when Gethin Jones started his Bolton Wanderers journey. Officially billed as ‘Trialist’ in his first run out at Atherton Colls in a practice game viewed only by a handful of socially distanced people.

Now, 100 games into his career as a Wanderer, Jones can reflect on the fact he show of faith has been rewarded. “It feels like a long time ago now but I remember clearly getting told that Bolton were interested,” said Perth-born Jones, who entered Everton’s academy at the age of 12.

“It was just after COVID and Carlisle United had wanted to keep me on but the minute I’d talked to the manager I knew it was the right move for me. He’d said from the start that the aim was to get the club back up to the Premier League and maybe that would have been a strange thing to say at that point.”

“I remember speaking to you guys back in League Two, I think was after the Port Vale game where we’d lost 6-3 at home, and on that day we could have scored eight or nine goals. We were near the bottom of the table but it was the type of football we played, I always thought it would be successful.”

“This year we have worked really hard on making ourselves hard to beat, keeping clean sheets, and that comes as a team. Strikers, midfielders, they all do their bit for that. I honestly knew way back then that it would come good at some stage, and hopefully it does for us this season.”

Jones has been through more than most in nearly three years with Bolton. A few injuries mean he trails Santos by 17 games on the appearance front but so long as he is picked against Peterborough, he will move past Joel Dixon and level with Dapo Afolayan as the second-most-used player in Ian Evatt’s managerial career to date.

Unlike this weekend’s opponent Peterborough United, Bolton have rarely dipped out of the top six during the first half of the season. And victory on the road could theoretically put them third, depending on results for Ipswich Town and Derby County.

“You’ve seen in the last two years that we seem to kick on in the second half of the season and I honestly don’t know why that is,” Jones said. “We’d said at the start of this season that we want to be flying the whole time but I suppose football doesn’t work like that.”

“There have been a couple of spells where form hasn’t been quite what we wanted it to be but I think we have been in there from the start. We’re in a great position now to kick on. All the work that has happened outside the football, the stuff Sharon (Brittan) has been doing, it just makes you feel like it is building back to what it should be.”

Bolton beat Peterborough 1-0 earlier in the season and since the return of Darren Ferguson last month, they have started to show the sort of form expected of them after relegation from the Championship. Jones says he is ready to roll up his sleeves again.

“We go to Peterborough knowing it will be another really hard game,” he said. “Their results have picked up recently and they have got a really good player up front in Jonson Clarke-Harris who we will have to look out for. They are a good team and the new manager has been in there a few weeks now, so they will be expecting to be up there.”

On Saturday Bolton will have to cope without an array of first teamers, the latest of which is the suspended Conor Bradley. Jones - who may well be displaced to right wing-back as a result - is confident the squad has the depth required to hold onto their spot near the top of League One.

“I think if we’d have suffered this sort of thing back in the League Two days we’d have struggled to put a team out,” he said. “Thankfully things are different these days and we have got a stronger squad. We’ll work hard and prepare in training and see what team is picked but we know whoever goes out there can get a result.”



Young Socceroos’ Head Coach Trevor Morgan has selected a strong 23-player squad to represent Australia at the AFC U-20 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2023, and it includes five West Australians. Perth Glory trio Joseph Forde, Kaelan Majeks and Chris Donnell, as well as overseas-based Matthew Dench (Charlton Athletic) and Joshua Rawlins (FC Utrecht), while former Glory midfielder Gabriel Popovic, son of former coach Tony, has also been selected. Both Forde and Donnell have tasted A-League and FFA Cup action with Glory’s senior side, while Majeks has been outstanding for the Glory NPL WA side.

The squad of nineteen locally based players, will assemble in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from February 20, where they have been drawn in Group B of four groups, alongside IR Iran, Qatar, and Vietnam during the tournament that runs 1 – 18 March, 2023. They will need to reach the semifinals in Uzbekistan to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2023, which would be Australia’s first appearance at this event since 2013.

Morgan said the group is strong, and includes some talented players. “We have selected players who are emerging talents in the A-League Men’s competition and overseas leagues that need to be exposed to international tournament conditions, and the AFC U-20 Asian Cup provides up to six games inside 18 days against varied opponents,” he explained.

“This squad of players have been inspired by the performances of the Socceroos in Qatar, and those heading to Uzbekistan can’t wait to pull on the green and gold and represent not only themselves, their families and club, but the extended playing group on the international stage.

“Australia has not featured at the FIFA U-20 World Cup since 2013, and the valuable experience it provides players on their way to the Subway Olyroos and Subway Socceroos is immeasurable. We know the AFC U-20 Asian Cup presents a huge challenge, but these are environments the best players crave, and this tournament presents an opportunity to create history and qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, taking inspiration from the 2019 edition where Korea Republic appeared in the final.”

The competition has unearthed some talented players in the past, the likes of Diego Maradona, David Trezeguet, Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Paul Pogba and 2019 top goal scorer, Erling Haaland, all had their first exposure to international tournament football at previous FIFA U-20 World Cups, demonstrating the career defining opportunity that awaits the Young Socceroos in Uzbekistan.

The FIFA U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2023 is scheduled to run 20 May – 11 June 2023, which will feature 24 teams from six Confederations, including the semi-finalists from AFC U-20 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2023. Due to this tournament being played outside a FIFA international window and following consultation with their respective clubs, a number of European-based players were unavailable for selection, however will be considered should Australia qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia.

All Subway Young Socceroos’ AFC U20 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2023™ matches will be streamed live and free on 10 Play. Game One - 1 March - 6pm WST v Vietnam – Venue: Istiqlol Stadium, Fergana, Uzbekistan. Game Two - 4 March - 6pm WST v Iran – Venue: Istiqlol Stadium, Fergana, Uzbekistan. Game Three - 7 March - 6pm WST v Qatar – Venue: JAR Stadium, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Full Squad: GK James NIEUWENHUIZEN (Melbourne City), GK Alexander ROBINSON (Macarthur), GK Jack WARSHAWSKY (Western Sydney Wanderers), Alexander BADOLATO (Western Sydney Wanderers), Raphael BORGES RODRIGUES (Melbourne City), Rhys BOZINOVSKI (Western United), Matthew DENCH (Charlton Athletic), Chris DONNELL (Perth Glory), Jed DREW (Macarthur), Joseph FORDE (Perth Glory), Jake GIRDWOOD-REICH (Sydney FC), Archie GOODWIN (Newcastle Jets), Alessandro LOPANE (Western Sydney Wanderers), Panashe MADANHA (Adelaide United), Kaelan MAJEKS (Perth Glory), Bernardo OLIVEIRA (Adelaide United), Gabriel POPOVIC (NK Rudes), Joshua RAWLINS (FC Utrecht), Jing REEC (AGF Aarhus), Adrian SEGECIC (Sydney), Aidan SIMMONS (Western Sydney Wanderers), Nectarios TRIANTIS (Central Coast Mariners), Jonny YULL (Adelaide United)



Perth Glory’s improvement over the last month has been encouraging for the club’s supporters, and one player who has played a big part in their rise up the table is Australian-born, New Zealand midfielder Keegan Jelacic, and the 20-year-old has been rewarded after extending his contract at the club until 2025. He has been one most exciting talent in the A-League this season, after heading west from Olympic FC in the Queensland NPL, and scored a great goal against Western Sydney Wanderers in round 11.

Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich is delighted that the attacking midfielder has committed his future to the club. "Keegan is someone who has gone from strength to strength in our environment and really benefited from the program in place," he said. "He is very receptive to being coached and his attitude and application to continually improve has been exceptional which makes him a pleasure to work with for all staff and more importantly, his teammates. I've got a very, very high opinion of young Keegan and I’m firmly focused and optimistic about helping him reach the very top levels of football.

“He has massive physical capabilities and that, paired with an unbelievable technical ability on the ball, makes him quite clearly one of the brightest young talents in the country in my eyes. The scary part is, he has so many areas for improvement and his drive from within to improve is massive. It's my job to continue his development in those areas needed and I take a massive sense of pride in that space. He's an important cog in this rebuilding phase for the team and the club and a huge asset for us to have secured."

Those views were echoed by Glory’s Head of Recruitment, Andy Keogh. "Keegan is one of the most promising young talents in the A-League, and we are delighted to extend his current, two-year contract as a just reward for his exciting contributions to the team so far this season," he said. "Our High-Performance team have worked tirelessly with him and Ruben and the coaching staff have given him great guidance on what is required to go to the next level. "Credit to Keegan; he has taken this opportunity with both hands and proved that the NPL has real quality across this country if you look for the right attributes."



Perth Glory young midfielder Tijan McKenna has been selected in the Young Matildas training camp, as they gear up for next month’s 2024 AFC U-20 Women's Asian Cup Qualifiers. Australia will take on Guam and hosts Kyrgyz Republic with the group winner progressing to Round Two. The 18-year-old is another of the club’s highly-promising homegrown players, a confident and hard-working central midfielder, she made four starts in the 2020/21 season and came off the bench in the other eight games, but has struggled for game time this season, and she was an unused substitute this season when Glory drew 1-1 with Melbourne Victory in round nine.

At international level, McKenna has represented the Junior Matildas, and she played for NPLW Victorian club Heidelberg United last season, and she has been selected in a 27-strong squad for the training camp hosted by Wyndham City Council commencing next Monday. The 10-day camp will assist head coach Leah Blayney, as he prepares for the Asian Cup. “The selected players are part of a group that we have been closely monitoring in various environments across Australia over the past 12 months,” Blayney explained.

“As we finalise our plans for the AFC U-20 Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers, it was important that we identified talent from the full football spectrum and ensured they had access to high-quality minutes. As a result, many were involved in the 2022 Pacific Women’s Four Nations Tournament while a host of others have performed consistently in the Liberty A-League. Our key priorities for the week of training are to build towards those qualifiers and to do so we need to foster strong tactical understanding and group cohesion. This is a fantastic opportunity for this cohort of players to put their hand up for selection through their actions on and off the park.”

The 21 players represent all eleven Liberty A-League clubs, with seven different Member Federations featured. Victorian defender Naomi Chinnama and South Australian midfielder Sasha Coorey have both been ruled out after they sustained medium to long-term injuries. As part of the training camp, the Young Matildas will play two vital training matches against Liberty A-League Women’s ladder leaders Western United and second-placed Melbourne City.

“Both Western United and Melbourne City have demonstrated their playing strength over the course of the Liberty A-League season,” Blayney added. “With the technical quality, tempo and physicality of the two teams, it will stretch this playing group outside of their comfort zone when it comes to these opponents.” The team will also connect with the local community with all 12 to 16-year-olds, particularly girls, invited to Galvin Park on Wednesday 15 February to watch the Young Matildas train from 4 to 5.30 pm. FIXTURES - 2024 AFC U-20 WOMEN'S ASIAN CUP – ROUND 1 QUALIFIERS – GROUP C - Guam v Australia, 7 March 2023, Australia v Kyrgyz Republic - 11 March 2023

COMMBANK YOUNG MATILDAS SQUAD - GK Tahlia FRANCO (Sydney FC), GK Chloe LINCOLN (Canberra United), GK Grace WILSON (Adelaide United) Alexia APOSTOLAKIS (Western Sydney Wanderers), Tegan BERTOLISSIO (Macarthur), Ava BRIEDIS (Melbourne Victory), Claudia CICCO (Wellington Phoenix), Jynaya DOS SANTOS (Sydney), Gemma FERRIS (Western Sydney Wanderers), Jonti FISHER (Football Queensland-QAS), Daniela GALIC (Melbourne City), Sasha GROVE (Canberra United), Shay HOLLMAN (Sydney), Kahli JOHNSON (Western United), Caitlin KARIC (Melbourne City), Zoe KARIPIDIS (Newcastle Jets), Zara KRUGER (Brisbane Roar), Maya LOBO (Macarthur), Tijan MCKENNA (Perth Glory), Alana MURPHY (Melbourne Victory), Emilia MURRAY (Adelaide United), Jessika NASH (Melbourne Victory), Ella O'GRADY (Football Queensland-QAS), Avaani PRAKASH (Northbridge Bulls NSW), Sienna SAVESKA (Western Sydney Wanderers), Anika STAJCIC (Sydney), Mary STANIC-FLOODY (Sydney)



Perth Glory Women coach Alex Epakis has faith his young attacking triumvirate of Susan Phonsongkham, Alana Jancevski and Sofia Sakalis can help the side chase a finals berth. Confidence is flowing throughout the squad following their 3-1 defeat of ladder leaders Western United and, with 10th-placed Newcastle Jets this weekend, Glory are looking to make up ground on the top four.

Glory are nine points adrift of fourth-placed Melbourne Victory but have played two less games than their eastern states rivals. Epakis said his squad will hold no fear for the rest of the season after Phonsongkham and Jancevski both scored against United, while Sakalis also impressed on the wing. “Susan, Sofia, and Alana have all got a serious amount of quality, especially in the attacking moments and you saw that in that game,” he Epakis.

“But the reality is, they’ve put a lot of time and effort to being in the place they’re at at the moment as players, because they were discards at other clubs, they were underutilized and they made a decision to go out of their comfort zone and find another opportunity. I’m really pleased they’re getting the accolades and putting in the performances they are.”

Another young gun who stepped up on the weekend was Isabella Foletta, who made just her third appearance for the season and provided a superb assist for Hannah Blake’s sealer. “The one thing that really stands out for me is that she came late into into preseason, just asking to train and then trained the house down and earned a contract,” Epakis said of Foletta, who played the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons with Glory.

“She’s a local girl and I know that playing for Perth Glory means a lot to her, because she’s getting to represent her family and friends. She goes about her business in a very professional way and then on matchday, she always finds another gear, she just never lets anyone down. I always say with every player that I coach, I try and find a little bit of me in all the players, whatever it may be, and her fighting spirit and tenacity is something that I really resonate with.”



Rising stars Chris Donnell, Kaelan Majekodunmi and Jaylan Pearman have pledged their immediate playing futures to Perth Glory. The trio have each signed extensions to their scholarship contracts, Donnell through to 2024 and Majekodunmi until 2025 while the period of Pearman's agreement is undisclosed.

Glory coach Ruben Zadkovich says the trio have bright futures in the game. "We are extremely delighted to re-sign these young and extremely talented homegrown products to our club," Zadkovich said. "All three have represented the club at national team levels for their respective age groups and their performances have been exceptional."

“We place a huge focus on our young talents at the club and are working extremely hard to create a clear pathway into national teams and to get as many as we can into the professional space at A- League level for Glory. These three are real shining lights and high-quality assets for the club."

Captain of Glory's National Premier Leagues team and an Australia Under-20 international, 18-year old Donnell made his A-League debut last season. "His attitude is first class and he’s someone I’ve worked with very closely on his game, said Zadkovich. "His attitude and application to improve make him a massive asset to the club."

Defender Majekodunmi, 19, is also member of the Young Socceroos and last year was a standout performer in the NPL. "Jaylan is a pleasure to coach and work with; a real quality young professional," commented Zadkovich. "He has one of the best football minds I've seen for a player of his age and has a massive future if things align at the right time."

Pearman, an Australia Under-17s representative, helped Glory win last season's NPL Under-20 league title. "Kaelen is a very commanding specimen who hasn't been in our program as long as the other two, but his ability to adapt and rise to the level is frightening," said Zadkovich.



It was an exciting Week Two of the NPLWA Night Series, and late goals were the order of the round. First up on Friday evening in Group A, Armadale remained undefeated after coming from behind to beat Balcatta 3-1 at Dalmatinac Park. “Really pleased with the second half performance, the lads took on board the information at half time and came out with focus a determination,” Head Coach John O’Reilly said. “We played with a few formations tonight, looking to find holes in Balcatta’s defence, and after half time we took the game to Balcatta. It’s still early doors at the moment but we are progressing forward nicely.

It was Balcatta who opened the scoring with striker Ben Hinshelwood finding the target on 15 minutes, and they held that lead at the break. But Armadale hit back on the hour, when Chris Jackson was brought down in the box, and Daniel Robinson fired home the spot kick. They hit the front four minutes later, Peter Jacobsz firing home from the edge of the box. They sealed the win 13 minutes from time, with Amir Ajan scoring against his former club.

In the other games in Group A on the night, first up at Frank Drago Reserve, Perth SC scored in stoppage time to secure a 1-1 draw against holders Floreat Athena. Nick Ambrogio gave Floreat the lead just before half time, and it looked like that would seal the win, but Abdul Osman found the equaliser deep into extra time. “It was an end-to-end game with chances falling for both sides, but it was a tough pill to swallow conceding right at the death,” Floreat striker Ambrogio said.

“It shows how important it is to stay focused for 90-plus minutes, but that’s football. We move on to next week looking to have another good hit out and get the legs ticking over hopefully with three more points. Finally in the late game at Frank Drago Reserve, Alex Tanevski’s goal secure a narrow 1-0 win for Stirling Macedonia against Bayswater City.

In Group B on Friday evening a late goal from Daryl Nicol gave Perth RedStar a share of the spoils against hosts Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. John Guya had given the Cockerels the lead just before half time, but last season’s top goalscorer Nicol pounced late to give both sides a share of the spoils. “It was a good competitive game for us and I thought we played well and dominated most of the game,” RedStar’s Tom Hough explained. “It’s only our second game back and as a team, and we are showing promising signs, but still have a lot of work to do to get where we want to be.”

The other games in Group B were on Sunday, and in the early game at the Inglewood Stadium, newly promoted Olympic Kingsway made it back-to-back wins, with a 3-0 win against Perth Glory. Calum O’Connell gave David Tough’s side the lead in the first half, and they went on with it after the break, with Ciaran Byrne scoring from the spot on the hour, before Raeez Pandor added a third five minutes from time. “We came into the night series thinking we had to prove ourselves and not many people gave us much hope coming into this league,” Olympic striker Byrne explained.

“But with the players we’ve signed and on the back of our playing style last year I think we will go very well. Like last week against RedStar we knocked the ball around very well had a few chances early on and eventually got our reward. Glory do keep the ball well and gave us a little trouble throughout the game, but we’ve got the experience to deal with these pressures and playing the way we do, we will always score goals and create chances which lead to a 3-0 win. We won’t get too carried away though we still have plenty of work to do and hope to go as far as we can.”

In the final game at the same venue, hosts Inglewood United have also made it back-to-back wins in the competition after a 3-1 win against Sorrento. New striker Michael Domfeh opened the scoring for the hosts on the half hour, but Ryan McLaughlin levelled in the shadows of half time. But six minutes into the second half Anthony Bafobusha restored the lead for Andres Oliveiria’s side, and the points were wrapped up five minutes from time when Domfeh added his second.

“A hard fought for win last night gets a very physical and experienced Sorrento team,” Inglewood new defender Ciaran Salinger explained. “We showed belief in our attackers to get us the goals that we needed and defended well against a very direct Sorrento attack. It’s always nice to see the boys clicking and starting to work cohesively. We know that there is plenty of football and challenges still ahead and we’ve achieved nothing yet.”



The State League Night Series has started with a bang, with plenty of action and goals in all six groups. First in Group A, last season’s NPLWA relegated side Gwelup Croatia started life under new coach Trim Morgan well, beating Kingsley Westside 2-0 in the early game at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub. Charlie Breen converted from the spot on 68 minutes to give them the lead, and he wrapped the points up ten minutes later volleying home from five meters.

“A really good win from the boys tonight. The effort and the attitudes have been engraved in us from the start of our preseason and it’s really starting to show on the pitch,’ Gwelup skipper Paul Grant said. “The Club is delighted with the result, but this is just the beginning of what’s going to be a successful year for Gwelup Croatia, now our minds are set on next week against Joondalup United.” The other game in the group was at the same venue on Sunday evening, when newly promoted Maddington White City beat Joondalup United 2-1. Farruh Mavlonov gave City the lead on the half hour, and Gaston Bazet doubled their advantage 19 minutes from time. Jay Lang scored Joondalup’s late consolation goal from the spot, but it was too little too late.

In Group B, also at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub, Fremantle City started life under new coach Matt Sparrow, with a convincing 7-0 win against Quinns in Friday evenings late game. The port side were 4-0 up at half time with Oliver La Galia scoring a hat-trick and another to Brian Patterson. Alex McLran added a fifth early in the second half, before La Galia added his fourth and Hayden Stevens rounded out the scoring on the hour. “Winning is always nice and to produce a performance like that so early on is quite pleasing, but we all know nothing is won in the first week of February,” Fremantle defender Stevens explained.

“We’ve got a lot of new lads in and to see everyone felt so quickly was really impressive. At the end of the day, it’s more minutes in everyone’s legs and a chance to put into practice what we had been working on, so from our point of view it’s a pleasing start and we go again this Friday.” In the other game in group new Morley Windmills coach Marc Anthony beat his old club Gosnells City 3-1 at Ellenbrook Sports Hub. Steve Purton opened the scoring for Morley on ten minutes, and Musa Bangura doubled the lead two minutes later. Jordan Junco reduced the deficit before the break, but Jordan Nikolajevic sealed the win just after half time.

In Group C at Crazy Domains Stadium Hartfield Park on Friday evening, Mandurah City beat Curtin University 4-0, and all the damage was done in the first half, despite the lights at the venue going out. Player coach John Baird opened the scoring from the spot on 15 minutes, and Hamish van Dieken doubled their advantage moments later. Van Dieken added a third, before Baird scored a fourth from the spot again before half time, to seal a comprehensive win. “Delighted with the score line and performance in patches, we’re looking very fit and sharp,” he said. “Disappointed with the lights going out, as we’d rather get our boys minutes in the bag.”

The other game in the group was at the same venue on Sunday, and hosts Forrestfield United have come from behind to beat Canning City 2-1. New Forrestfield coach Eric Williams’ side were behind early with Sabin Shrestha scoring for City, but Noah Appleby levelled on the hour for the hosts, before a dramatic late winner from David McGuinness sealed the win.

“I thought we started slowly, and an error cost us early, but we settled and forced 10 corners, but weren’t clinical,” Forrestfield Head Coach Williams explained. “We then lost Amro Atta just before half time, but the ten-man fought gallantly and we reshaped the side and kept possession well and were rewarded with two goals. We were conscious of a counter attack late, but held firm to take the points. I was pleased with the effort of our younger players who showed calmness and patience not to give the ball away.”

In Group D Joondalup City new coaching duo Ryan Cantello and Paul Welch started their tenure with an impressive 5-2 win against UWA Nedlands at Wanneroo Reserve on Friday evening. Ethan Casey gave Joondalup the lead early, but they were pegged back on 25 minutes, with Jacob Turner on target. But City took control, and Jason Petrie restored the lead on the half hour, before Lousi Carlish and Liam Peacock made it 4-1.

Luke Salas pulled one back for UWA, but that was as good as it got, and Emilio Chacon added a fifth on the hour to round out the scoring. In the other game in the group on Sunday, holders Murdoch University Melville beat Carramar Shamrock Rovers 5-0. Christos Vaenas put Taki Nicolaidis’ side the lead early, and Francisco Caballero doubled their advantage moments later. Moses Macauley added a third before half time, before an own goal and another to Vaenas rounded out the scoring.

In Group E, at Wanneroo Reserve, Dianella White Eagles began the competition with a convincing 6-0 win against hosts Wanneroo City on Friday evening. First half goals from David Heagney, Jack Taylor and Kristian Despotovski had the Eagles in control. They went on with it after the break with Parviz Shirzadi adding a fourth, before Despotovski and Heagney added their second.

“Friday’s game against Wanneroo was a good blow out for the boys, as we have quite a new squad so it was pleasing to see everyone gel together and get a good win,” Despotovski explained. “We could have played better in my opinion, but still a good hit out for the boys and looking forward to this week against the Knights.” In the other game in group, Western Knights started their campaign with an emphatic 5-0 win against Balga also at Wanneroo Reserve on Sunday.

In Group F on Friday evening, Ashfield and Subiaco have fought out a 1-1 draw at Crazy Domains Stadium Hartfield Park. Adrian Manno gave Subiaco the lead on the half hour mark, but Ben Entwistle levelled on the hour. New Ashfield player-coach James Sammut was happy with their first up performance. “Friday night’s game was a positive first run out, and I thought we started the game well and were the better side early before going down 1-0 against the run of play,” he explained.

“It was nice to get an equaliser early in the second half after making some changes. With tiring bodies, the game started to open up late and could’ve gone either way. We will take a point, hopefully have another good week on the training track and start preparing for next week’s game against a good side in Rockingham.” In the final game Rockingham City have scored two goals in the final two minutes to beat Swan United 2-1 at Crazy Domains Stadium at Hartfield Park on Sunday evening. Rhys Loxley gave United the lead early, and it looked like that would be enough to secure the points, but former Perth Glory Youth player Jayden Leader levelled on 88 minutes, and Joseph Moss won it for Kris Donnell’s side in the final minute.



Former Perth Glory midfielder Jacob Burns has given up his media role in the game, and become part of Macarthur FC coach Mile Sterjovski’s coaching staff, joining the NSW Isuzu Ute A-League club as an assistant coach. The 44-year-old from South West Sydney returns home after spending nine years coaching and working as a director of football in Western Australia.

“It’s a great honour to join the coaching staff here at the Bulls. I have spent many years playing with Mile and I’m proud to now have the opportunity to coach alongside him in my hometown,” Burns said. “I grew up in South West Sydney and know all too well how important football is to our community. I played all my youth football here and now I want to play my part in helping the next generation of players from the region reach the highest level.”

As a player, Burns reached the English Premier League with Leeds United, having also played with Barnsley, Wisla Krakow in Poland and Romanian club Unirea Urziceni. Before moving to Europe, the midfielder played with Sydney United and Parramatta Power before finishing his career with Perth Glory where he won the Joe Marston medal in 2012.Since hanging-up his boots in 2014, Burns coached Perth Glory’s youth team before working his way up to football director of the club.

Sterjovski said the appointment of Burns is a good one for the Bulls, and he believes he has the same approach to the game as himself. “Jacob will bring a lot of energy to the club. He has a deep knowledge of the game from his experience playing for the national team and in Europe,” he said. “He compliments my approach tactically. He’s very strong-minded and disciplined which will be a major asset to the team.”

Burns, who holds a pro-coaching licence, will start with the team on Monday February 13. “We are delighted to have Jacob join our coaching staff,” Macarthur FC chief executive Sam Krslovic said. “He had a great career as a player and has a wealth of experience in football which will add a lot of value to our club.”



Perth Glory's Ella Mastrantonio has shaved one match off her three-game ban after successfully appealing for a reduction in her suspension. The midfielder and the club were able to argue the initial ban she received for her role in a mid-game fracas against the Wellington Phoenix down to just two games.

Having originally been banned for the minimum suspension of two games plus an additional one, Mastrantonio will miss Saturday's trip to Western United and the home clash with Newcastle Jets. She will now be available for the Macedonia Park meeting with Brisbane Roar on February 25.



Rising Parma defender Alessandro Circati says he is in “no rush” to make a final call on his international future. Already capped twice by Italy at Under-21 level, the dual nationality 19-year old has been on Socceroo coach Graham Arnold’s radar since making his Serie B breakthrough last season.

Circati has started Parma’s last two league games, taking his tally to nine matches so far this season, and he is an emerging talent Arnold doesn’t want to let slip his fingers. The former Perth SC and Perth Glory junior is allowed one switch by FIFA, and aims to avoid any missteps and future regrets.

“I want to certain I make the correct decision and I don’t think there’s a rush - time is on my side,” Circati said. “There has been contact with Australia, that was before the World Cup, and I know they’re keeping up with me and following me. It’s better to be wanted (by two nations). It’s a good problem to have, not a bad one.”

Circati is currently unsure where his heart lies. “That’s what I need to find out,” he added. “You’re not able to play one game for Italy and one for Australia and then swap again. “You only have one change and you want to make sure it’s at the right time and it’s the right choice. It’s not like you can change back.”

Circati took pride and satisfaction in Australia’s whirlwind World Cup run to the last 16 in Qatar, where they were ultimately beaten 2-1 by eventual winners Argentina. “I watched every game and I’m proud of what the team achieved,” he said. “To see how a nation like Australia can compete against the very best was really pleasing.”

“I’m very happy for the boys that travelled and the effect on aspiring kids who maybe weren’t into football but have now caught on because of the success at the World Cup. I think the Socceroos’ performances earned the country a lot of respect and we’re no longer seen as inferior to anyone else.”

Parma - once home to Socceroos greats Mark Bresciano and Vince Grella - are sitting in mid-table and looking to eventually rekindle past Serie A glories. Circati is part of that project, as he works to maximize his potential in a tough division he likens to the English Championship.

“My goal is just to make progress and be better than yesterday,” Circati explained. “I don’t set goals on playing a certain amount of games, I just want to play as much as possible. This is a league where you can lose to anyone and beat anyone, anything can happen on a given day.”

“It’s hugely competitive, a bit like the Championship. The table is tight from maybe 14th place to making the top four. “A run of wins can turn things inside out. As a young player this is the perfect place to develop. Every game is a stage to show others what you’re capable of.”



Perth Glory conceded an equaliser two minutes from time, and had to settle for a 2-2 draw against the Newcastle Jets in the Isuzu Ute A-League Week 15 game at Macedonia Park on a warm Saturday evening. In front of another near sell-out crowd, the Glory dominated, but their profligacy in front of goal cost them, this after David Williams missed a first half penalty. But Luke Bodnar gave them the lead just before half time, only for Reno Piscopo to restore parity on the hour.

English defender Mark Beevers regained the lead for Ruben Zadkovich’s side, his first at the club, and it looked like that would seal the points, but Archie Goodwin silenced the home supporters, heading home from close range to give both sides a share of the spoils. The Head Coach was disappointed they couldn’t hold out for the points, and said they need to more clinical in front of goal.

“I thought the game should have been buried by half-time to be honest,” Zadkovich said post-match. “We knew that they’d have a bit of the ball as they like to rotate and move the ball, but let’s call it for what is, I thought a 3 or 4-1 first half lead would have been fair. We missed some real clear-cut chances to put them to the sword and that would have been the game dead and buried.

“Once you don’t take those opportunities, it obviously gives them a bit of hope and something worth chasing and credit to them in terms of coming back twice. To concede late was disappointing… our players are disappointed they didn’t win in front of our fans, but we remain undefeated here.” The coach made two changes to the side that draw against Wellington Phoenix last week, with Bodnar coming into the side to replace Zach Duncan, who dropped to the bench, while Antonee Burke-Gilroy came in for John Koutroumbis.

A win in this one, would see Glory move into the final’s spots, and they started brightly, with Keegan Jelacic racing into the box in the opening minute, only to see his shot hit the side netting. Darryl Lachman then failed to find the target, after a marauding run by the defender, and neat give and go with Ryan Williams before former Glory keeper Jack Duncan produced a superb save to deny Jelacic, after he was picked out by a cross from the right by Ryan Williams.

But the hosts had the perfect opportunity to take the lead on the half hour, after Jelacic was brought down by former Glory midfielder Daniel Stynes, and referee Shaun Evans pointed to the spot. But David Williams saw his resulting penalty tipped around the post by Duncan at full stretch. The challengers were flying in, and referee Evans was a busy man, but Glory couldn’t find the goal their dominance deserve, but that changed in the shadows of the break, Glory hitting the front.

Jelacic’s corner wasn’t claimed by Duncan, and Bodnar was on hand, the former ECU Joondalup defender headed back across goal, and raced off to celebrate with the home faithful. But the visitors went close to levelling in first half stoppage time, Jason Hoffman’s long-range shot was superbly saved by Cameron Cook, and the keeper was caught by Angus Thurgate from the rebound, which saw a melee involving most of the players, but they held a narrow lead at the break.

Both sides had chances early in the second half, David Williams and Newcastle’s half time substitute Trent Buhagiar firing wide, but on 59 minutes it was the Jets who levelled. Beka Mikeltadze and Piscopo combined on the edge of the box, and the former Inter Milan and Torino youngster rifled home superbly, giving Cook no chance and silence the home crowd.

But the hosts weren’t finished, and they looked to have sealed the three points nine minutes from time, after substitute Trent Ostler long ball found Beevers, and the big defender got to the ball before Duncan, and headed into an empty net, the former Sheffield Wednesday, Millwall and Bolton defenders first goal in the A-League. But there was to be a sting in the tale, however, as Jacob Dowse’s header back to Cook was short and Mikeltadze nipped and crossed for Goodwin who headed home from close-range, to ensure the spoils would be shared.

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 4 Luke BODNAR (19 Zach DUNCAN 63'), 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI (43 Adam ZIMARINO 85'), 15 Jordan ELSEY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 18 David WILLIAMS (3 Jacob DOWSE 70'), 21 Antonee BURKE-GILROY (28 Trent OSTLER 63'), 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 36 Joseph FORDE (22 Adam TAGGART 70') - Subs not used: RGK Pierce CLARK, 37 Jacob MUIR

Newcastle Jets: GK Jack DUNCAN, 2 Dane INGHAM, 3 Jason HOFFMAN, 5 Matthew JURMAN, 9 Beka MKELTADZE, 10 Reno PISCOPO (17 Kosta GROZOS 70'), 11 Jaushua SOTIRIO (26 Archie GOODWIN 82'), 14 Mohamed AL-TAAY (19 Callum TIMMINS 70'), 18 Daniel STYNES (7 Trent BUHAGIAR 46'), 25 Carl JENKINSON (24 James McGARRY 77'), 32 Angus THURGATE - Subs not used: RGK Michael WEIER, 8 Beka DARTSMELIA - Referee: Shaun EVANS



Perth Glory have stunned Liberty A-League leaders Western United, after a thrilling 3-1 win at the Morshead Park Stadium, Ballarat on Saturday afternoon. Susan Phonsongkham put Alex Epakis’ side ahead from the spot early, but Emma Robers equalised for the hosts midway through the first half. But a stunning free kick from Alana Jancevski and a goal on her Glory debut for Hannah Blake secured the win and kept their slim finals hopes alive.

The Head Coach was delighted with his side’s performance, probably the best of the season. “I’m very pleased with everyone, we stuck to the structure that we wanted to play, we were focused and we got rewards for playing good football and doing it for 90 minutes,” Epakis said post-match. “It was complete because the players felt comfortable in the moments and we managed the transitions. They [Western United] are a good team and they’re top of the league for a reason, but we were able to nullify their threats and also take our opportunities in the attack.

“I think we know that every performance and result is going to matter and we’re really focused on just making sure that when we walk off the field after 90 minutes, we’ve given ourselves an opportunity to get something from the game. I’m really confident that this was a season-defining performance because we’ve got a run of home games to look forward to and we’re hoping to use the momentum and the positive feeling from this game to drive us home for the next couple of weeks.”

It was Glory’s first game since the 2-0 win against Wellington Phoenix on January 15, and the coach made one changes to that side, with Izzy Foletta replacing the suspended Ella Mastrantonio, while on the bench was new signing Blake. The visitors made a bright start and were rewarded with the lead on 11 minutes, the lively Phonsongkham was brought down by Melissa Taranto, and referee Caitlin Williams had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and the Thai-born striker picked herself up to fire home from the resulting penalty.

The hosts were rattled, but having only lost once this season they rallied, and Sarah Langman had to be alert to deny Robers powerful shot. But the United midfielder was not to be denied on 22 minutes, firing into the roof of the net after a Tyla Jay Vlajnic cross had not been dealt with by the Glory. That set back didn’t deter Glory, and Phonsongkham and Foletta went close to restoring their lead, and they finished the half well, but it was all-square at the break.

United were on the front foot after the break, and it was their best spell of the game, and Foletta cleared the ball off the line superbly, before a fingertip save from Langman prevented Jaclyn Sawicki from giving the hosts the lead. Glory had certainly ridden their luck, but they started to get back into the game, and 17 minutes from time they hit the front. Jancevski, who had only come on the pitch moments before, fired home a long-range free kick from distance, giving United keeper Hillary Beall no chance.

That goal stung United, and they pushed forward looking for the equaliser, but Langman and her defence dug deep to deny them, and with United pushing players forward Glory wrapped up the points with a third goal in stoppage time. Foletta’s inch-perfect through-ball played in substitute Blake, and the New Zealand striker, who joined the club last week as an injury replacement, calmly fired under the advancing Beall to seal the points.

Western United: GK Hillary BEALL, 4 Jaclyn SAWICKI (15 Adriana TARANTO 68'), 5 Aimee MEDWIN, 9 Hannah KEANE, 11 Emma ROBERS, 13 Danielle STEER (10 Kahli JOHNSON 69'), 16 Melissa TARANTO, 19 Tyla Jay VLAJNIC, 20 Sydney CUMMINGS, 22 Alana CERNE, 23 Angie BEARD - Subs not used: RGK Alyssa DALL’OSTE, 7 Francesca IERMANO, 24 Julia SARDO

Perth Glory: GK Sarah LANGMAN, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 7 Liz ANTON, 8 Hana LOWRY, 10 Susan PHONSONGKHAM (14 Hannah BLAKE 66'), 12 Sofia SAKALIS (9 Demi KOULIZAKIS 76'), 13 Sarah CAIN (23 Alana JANCEVSKI 65'), 15 Cyera HINTZEN (17 Abbey GREEN 89'), 18 Sadie LAWRENCE, 19 Izzy FOLETTA - Subs not used: RGK Morgan AQUINO – Referee Caitlin WILLIAMS



The Australia Pararoos have played out a thrilling 0-0 draw with USA in front of 1,027 fans at Cromer Park on Saturday afternoon. It was a great day for the side that included four WA players, with Alessandro La Verghetta and Connor Bunce in the starting lineup, 16-year-old Swan United youngster Rafferty Bacon came on in the second half for his Pararoos debut, while Noah Bremmer-Bell, was on the bench.

Coach Kai Lammert was full of pride for his side’s defensive effort. “What a performance, defensively I think that was one of our best performances in over 20 years,” he said post-match. “What I’m more pleased about is that we had our moments – there was three or four moments where we could have really won it. For us, this is just the start. It’s exciting, we have so many young boys coming through and these boys are doing an awesome job.”

In the team’s second home fixture since Sydney 2000, Australia went toe-to-toe with the world number four-ranked nation in a stalemate packed with close calls. While the visitors created a handful of half-chances early, it was Australia’s Daniel Campbell – first goalscorer last time the side played on home soil back in 2019 – who went closest in the opening half. The midfielder won the ball high up the pitch and found himself through on goal, only to be denied by a strong save from American goalkeeper Sean Boyle.

The second half was headlined by Australia’s talismanic leader David Barber. Earning his 106th cap, 97th as captain, the outfield player-turned-goalkeeper stood tall time and time again to ward off a wave of USA attacks. Barber and his backline defended admirably to ultimately ensure Australia kept a clean sheet, and nearly stole the victory late on as Connor Bunce flashed a powerful effort that was parried to safety by Boyle.

In a heartwarming moment, WA youngster Rafferty Bacon was introduced for his international debut in the closing stages – and so nearly grabbed the winner as he nearly guided an effort goalward. While the match ended scoreless, the healthy crowd on Sydney’s Northern Beaches rose as one to applaud the CommBank Pararoos’ almighty effort against one of the international powerhouses of CP Football.

“USA are a world class team and our guys really dug deep today,” Australian captain Barber said post-game. “We really worked hard, stuck to our process, and stuck to our game plan which was to work hard, be disciplined and wait for our chances. We almost pulled off an upset – while it wasn’t a win, we are really proud of the draw on such an incredible day.”

Australia Lineup: GK David Barber, 2 Ben Roche, 3 Taj Lynch, 4 Alessandro La Verghetta, 5 Daniel Campbell, 10 Connor Bunce, 17 Kaylan Van Heer (12 Benjamin Sutton 47’) (13 Rafferty Bacon 67’) - Subs not used: RGK Christian Tsangas, 6 Timothy Blowes, 8 Riley Stubing, 9 Luc Launder, 14 Augustine Murphy, 15 Noah Bremmer-Bell, 16 Joshua Beekes, 18 Christian Bitsikas

USA Lineup: GK Sean Boyle, 3 Jacob Crumbley, 5 John Sullivan, 10 Frankie Lowery, 11 Jonah Meyer-Crothers (14 Shea Hammond 29’), 13 Joshua Brunais, 16 Wesley Pincince - Subs not used: RGK Hugo Komoransky, 2 Kevin McCandlish, 4 Chileshe Chitulangoma, 6 Jacob Kaplan, 7 Kyle Montgomery, 8 David Bremer, 9 Michael Ruiz, 1. Ethan Haussmann



Perth Glory welcome Newcastle Jets to Macedonia Park on Saturday evening, in week 15 of the Isuzu Ute A-League (kick off 7.30pm) They will be looking to maintain their unbeaten run at the venue, currently sitting at six games, and they will also look to get some revenge for the late loss to the Jets in round two. But Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich said they will retain their positive approach, and he believes that the best way to do that is to take the game to the visitors.

“The big thing for us as a group, is that the members and fans are great and Macedonia Park, in some way, brings that closer to us,” he said his pre-game press conference. “They’re really like an extra man, so we’re really keen to stay on the front foot and keep putting in performances for those guys and make sure that they’re enjoying the games.”

There will be some familiar faces in the Jets line-up, with former Glory quartet Dane Ingham, Callum Timmins, Daniel Stynes and Jack Duncan in the visitors’ squad. But former Glory skipper Brandan O’Neill is absent due to injury, while Jordan Elsey, who will play his first home game for the Glory, against his former club. Zadkovich knows they have a great deal of talent in their line-up, and he said they are ready for the challenge. “I know a bit about nearly every player and coach in this competition, to be honest,” he said.

“Most of the players I’ve either played against or coached against and I certainly have no more focus on those type of players than I do anyone else. I’m more looking at Beka Mikeltadze, he’s a a top player for them, Angus Thurgate, who’s their best player and [Reno] Piscopo who’s another great player for them. They have a lot of key threats and my focus is on how we can be great and nullify those threats; that’s the same process for every team.”

The last time the Jets flew west was in round 11 last season, when the sides played out a 0-0 draw at HBF Park, while the Glory last beat the Jets in Perth in round 14 in season 2020-21, when goals from Ciaran Bramwell and Darryl Lachman secured a 2-1 win, and with both sides unbeaten in the last three games the coach is expecting another battle on Saturday.

“We’ve looked at them last week and in previous weeks as a whole from Round One all the way through,” he said. “They’re a team that is hot and cold. Even last week [a 4-0 win against Brisbane Roar] there were periods when they were cold and periods when they were hot… the scoreline kind of blew out of proportion to the way that game played out. “But we do our analysis on an overall picture and not just last week’s snapshot.”

In team news Zadkovich confirmed Salim Khelifi will miss the game, but had positive news on striker Adam Taggart. “Taggs is a chance, he’s progressed well and the medical team has been doing a fantastic job working with him,” he said. “His attitude has been first-class, he’s been doing everything he can and he’s got that little look in his eye like he wants to be there, which is always nice, we’ll see how he goes tomorrow morning and make a decision late.

“Salim is in a moonboot at the moment and he’ll stay like that for a couple of weeks. There’ll then be some reviews and more meetings with specialists. It’s a serious injury, but one which we can manage. It’s just going to take a little bit of time… he could potentially play again this season. We’ve still got one more training session to go, and there are a couple of boys who have pulled up with niggles from that trip (to Wellington), which is disappointing.

“But I think the effort from the boys on that trip and the way they went about their business was a real positive. We always speak about it taking the depth of our squad and that then delves into a lot of our homegrown younger ones and we’re pretty passionate about their development, so it might be an opportunity for a few of those guys to step into the fray.”

Perth Glory squad: GK Cameron COOK, GK Pierce CLARK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 3 Jacob DOWSE, 4 Luke BODNAR, 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, 12 Luke IVANOVIC, 15 Jordan ELSEY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 18 David WILLIAMS, 19 Zach DUNCAN, 20 Giordano COLLI, 21 Antonee BURKE-GILROY, 22 Adam TAGGART, 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 36 Joseph FORDE, 37 Jacob MUIR, 43 Adam ZIMARINO - Ins: IVANOVIC, TAGGART - Unavailable: GK Brad JONES (injured), GK Liam REDDY (Not Selected), 6.Aaron MCENEFF (injured), 10.Salim KHELIFI (injured), 14.Jack CLISBY (suspended), 24.Adrian SARDINERO (injured)

Newcastle Jets squad: GK Jack DUNCAN, GK Michael WEIER 2 Dane INGHAM, 3 Jason HOFFMAN, 4 Manabu SAITO 5 Matthew JURMAN, 7 Trent BUHAGIAR, 8 Beka DARTSMELIA, 9 Beka MKELTADZE, 10 Reno PISCOPO, 11 Jaushua SOTIRIO, 14 Mohamed AL-TAAY, 17 Kosta GROZOS, 18 Daniel STYNES, 19 Callum TIMMINS, 24 James McGARRY, 25 Carl JENKINSON, 26 Archie GOODWIN, 32 Angus THURGATE, 33 Mark NATTA - Ins: SAITO – Unavailable: 6 Brandon O’NEILL, 30 Noah JAMES



We head into week two of the NPLWA Night Series, and first up in Group A, holders Floreat Athena will look to build on their win against Balcatta, when they take on Perth SC, in a replay of last season’s final, at Frank Drago Reserve (6.30pm) It was a perfect start for Vas Vujacic’s side, but Perth also showed great character in their opener against Stirling Macedonia, scoring late to earn a draw. Perth striker Sam Cook found the opener in the 2-2 draw and he said it was a positive performance and they hope to continue with it against Floreat.

“It's very early days but there were positive signs against Stirling. We played well and I think we deserved to get something out of the game. On a personal note, it was nice to score but the main aim is to win every game we play.” the young striker explained. “Floreat are a good side and this will be another challenge for us. They got off to a good start with a win over Balcatta, but we’ll just focus on our own game and make sure we do everything we’ve been working on and it should be a good game.” In the late game at the venue Bayswater City will hope to bounce back from a first round loss, when they welcome Stirling Macedonia.

Also, in Group A on Friday, Balcatta Etna meet Armadale at Frank Drago Reserve (6.30pm) The sides had contrasting results in round one, Balcatta were beaten by Floreat Athena, while Armadale beat Bayswater City. Armadale Head Coach John O’Reilly said it was a positive start, but is expecting a tough game against Balcatta. “We showed some good signs last week, but it’s still pre-season and we will look to get more game time into the squad,” O’Reilly said. “They (Balcatta) started the competition with a loss last week, so they will be desperate for a win to keep their chances of progressing to the knock out stage. They have a strong side and have recruited well in the off-season, so we need to be at our best from the first whistle.”

First up in Group B, Cockburn City welcome Perth RedStar to Dalmatinac Park on Friday evening. (8.30pm) Both sides are coming off defeats in the opening round, and both need three points in this one to keep in touch of the top two. RedStar Head Coach Callum Salmon said last week’s loss against Olympic Kingsway was their first real hit out of the season, and he is looking forward to another one against Cockburn. “Happy with the players, and where we are at in the lead up to the season,” he said. “It was our first 90 minutes and it was encouraging the boys came through without any injuries, and we’re ready to go again on Friday against Cockburn.”

The other Group B games take place at the Inglewood Stadium on Sunday afternoon, and first up Olympic Kingsway take on Perth Glory. (5.00pm) Olympic won their opening game, beating Perth RedStar, while Kenny Lowe’s Glory were edged out by Inglewood. In the final game of the group, Andres Oliveira’s Inglewood side, who began the competition with a 2-1 win against Glory, will look to make it back-to-back wins when they host Sorrento in the late game at the venue. (7.00pm)

The Gulls were also first up winners, coming from behind to beat Cockburn, with a late strike from Dean Cummings. The midfielder said it was good start the competition with a win, but most importantly to get game time into the legs. “Good to be back playing competitive football after the break. I thought we were organised and hard to break down against Cockburn,” he explained. “Overall, we had more chances, so delighted in the end to get the late goal and come back up the road with the win. Hopefully we can build on that this week at Inglewood but we are expecting a tough game down there.”



The 2023 State League Night Series kicks off this weekend, and it consists of six groups of four teams, with the winners of each group and the best two runners-up moving into the knock out stages. In Group A Gwelup Croatia start lie back in Division One, when they meet Kingsley Westside at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub on Friday evening. (6.30pm) Gwelup reached the final of the competition in 2019, losing 1-3 to Forrestfield United, and under new coach Trim Morgan they will be looking to start his tenure with a win.

Meanwhile Kingsley, who reached the top four finals in Division Two last season, will have coach Steven Dimitrovich in charge for the seventh season at the club, and he said he’s looking forward to the new season and taking on Gwelup in the opener. “My time at the club has been awesome from the moment I walked into the club back in 2017 to the present time the clubs board have helped me achieve the goals that were set out many years ago and when everyone is pushing in the same direction you have the right recipe for success,” he said.

“With the new club rooms due to be open soon it’s exciting times down at Chichester for the season ahead, and the lads can’t wait for Friday to roll round they’ve been put through a very tough January with us only playing their first friendly last weekend against the Knights. Gwelup will be a very good test for us as they’ll be looking to bounce back up to the NPL and will be an important step in our preparations for the season ahead so roll on Friday night it’s always good when you are playing games.” The other game in group is Sunday, when newly promoted Maddington White City meet Joondalup United, also at Ellenbrook Sports Hub. (7.00pm)

In Group B, Quinns will take on Fremantle City in the late game at Ellenbrook Sports Hub on Friday evening (6.30pm). There are new coaches at both clubs this season, Matt Sparrow at City, while Cameron Aitchison has taken over at Quinns. The other game in Group B is on Sunday afternoon, also at Ellenbrook, when new Morley Windmills coach Marc Anthony will take on his former club Gosnells City (5.00pm)

In Group C last season’s Top Four Cup winners Mandurah City take on Curtin University in the late game at Crazy Domains Stadium at Hartfield Park on Friday evening. (8.30pm), while hosts Forrestfield United welcome Canning City to the same venue on Sunday. (5.00pm) In Group D Joondalup City takes on UWA Nedlands on Friday evening at Wanneroo Reserve (6.30pm), while in other game takes place on Sunday afternoon, when Murdoch University Melville meet Carramar Shamrock Rovers. (5.00pm)

In Group E, Wanneroo City host Dianella White Eagles in the late game at Wanneroo Reserve on Friday evening (8.30pm), while in the other game in the group Western Knights meet Balga, in the late game on Sunday evening. (7.00pm). Finally in Group F, Ashfield, whose coach (Greg Hart) left the club in midweek, meet Subiaco in the early game at Crazy Domains Stadium at Hartfield Park on Friday evening (6.30pm), while in the other game in the group Rockingham City meet Swan United at the same venue on Sunday. (7.00pm)

The Swans also have new coaches with Niall Hughes and Colin Morgan taking over, and Hughes has been happy with the pre-season, and is expecting a tough opener against Rockingham City. “Pre-Season has been really encouraging and the step up for Colin and I as first team coaches for the club has been exciting, albeit with a lot more responsibility,” he explained.

“We have been working hard off the field and are fortunate that we have been able to keep together the majority of our squad from last season that finished third and also been able to make some quality additions to the side. On the field the lads have been brilliant too, they’ve been put through some real tough sessions which they have dragged each other through, so we feel we will be in a good place physically come the start of the season and hopefully able to build on what Dan and Eddie started last year.

“Sunday, I believe it will be a really interesting and open game, and it will be good for us to gauge where we are physically and tactically. We haven’t had too many pre-season games in the lead up and obviously we go up against a side who had a good second half to the season last season in Division One and have from the outside looking in, recruited very, very well. I’m sure their aspirations for the season are very high, and I’d probably say they may well be the hardest test we have in the group. That being said the group we have is more than capable of putting on a performance for everyone who makes the trip down to Hartfield Park.”



Perth Glory striker Adam Taggart has started his third spell at the club with a bang, scoring a brace off the bench, as they beat Melbourne Victory 3-1. But after five years away from the club, Taggart missed the club as much as the club missed him, and he sat down with KEEPUP.COM, and remembers fondly his visits to see the Glory, and the smell, which he hopes can bring them success this season.

“When I used to go to the Glory games with my dad, or my mate’s dad, whoever it was, I would always go in there and think: ‘This is the f*****g smell of a football game,” Taggart explained, this after being showered in beer after scoring against the Victory. “I had that same thing the first time I went to Macedonia Park. It’s all these little factors that contribute to this feeling of belonging, and home. I’m sure if you ask most of the supporters, they’d probably feel the same thing.”

The 29-year-old, who rejoined the club in December after a successful spell abroad at Korean K League 1 club Suwon Bluewings and Japanese J1 League outfit Cerezo Osaka. In his time overseas he won K League 1 Golden Boot and Korean FA Cup in 2019, but hampered by injuries after a move to Japan he returned home, and committed to a three-and-a-half-year deal in Perth. “It was almost like a long pre-season to get ready for the best period of my playing career for Perth Glory,” he said.

“I’m 29 and that age where if I spent a couple more years in Japan or wherever it was, then came back when I was on my way down, I don’t think that would have sat right with me. So, I think to have three-and-a-half years at 29, which arguably should be some of your best football you play in your career, it made it feel right, and if I am going to have the best period of my life, I want it to be at Perth Glory.

“It’s where I’m from, doing it in front of family and friends, doing it for a club that I care about, that I want to have a long-lasting relationship with. These sorts of things fit in to what I wanted mentally, and what I needed for myself. I left because I felt I needed to see how far I could go, and doing that was to get overseas, and see what level I could get to… but I definitely missed that feeling of playing for Perth Glory, playing for a club I grew up supporting.

“Especially the last couple of years, I was really craving that sense of belonging. For me, anyway, this is where I feel I belong. It’s where I’ve always felt I belong. So, coming back, it was always on the cards. It was just a matter of time. To be honest, you can look at (my four years abroad) in all different ways… for me that’s just what it was: a long, hard graft in Korea and Japan that helped me so much. I want to bring that to Perth Glory.”

The striker, who is struggling with a thigh injury, spoke about his omission from the Socceroos World Cup squad, and his determination to get back in the green and gold and how he wants to help Glory to success. “I had a couple of injuries at extremely bad times, one was two days before the first playoff game in Qatar, before we played Peru,” he explained. “It looked like I was going to be playing in that game, but I strained my adductor in a training session. Those sorts of things hurt me a lot more than actually not being selected to go to the World Cup.

“Those small setbacks have always been something that hits deep. I was looking forward to that game, I love playing football in those big moments, and you want to be involved in those big ones. Things like that definitely hurt me a lot more, and are a lot more frustrating. Leading up to the World Cup, yeah, I probably did start to have my doubts (about selection) not based on anything externally, I was just getting that feeling. I’m normally pretty spot on with that sort of stuff.

“Arnie called me just before the squad was announced, and told me I wasn’t in the squad. I said, ‘no worries and all the best’. I appreciated the call; I know it’s difficult for people to do that. But that’s that, I didn’t get selected, so you move on and support the boys from afar. Being involved in the majority of that qualifying campaign leading into this World Cup and not going right at the last minute, I think it probably made it easier to accept because I’ve always been someone a bit like that, where I’m never going to come out and smash people for not taking me. It’s just not really the person I am.

“People can think what they want, they can say what they want. But at the end of the day, it’s not really the way I want to go about my business, and I think I never really have done. I’ve got the best job in the world, and I’ve already had so many amazing experiences. If I got to go to the World Cup, I would have been buzzing. I didn’t get to go, and that’s it. I was buzzing to see how well they did, because at the end of the day a lot of the boys are my good mates. It was nice to experience it on the other side, to support them and watch how well they did.

“I think in football, you win some, you lose some. I was lucky enough when I was 20 to go to a World Cup in Brazil, after not playing any of the qualifying games, you know, so I won one there. I got to see an experience something unbelievable in football that not many people get to do… I’ve always been really appreciative of that chance. My decision to come to Perth Glory had absolutely nothing to do with the Socceroos, I think going overseas had a lot more to do with it, to try and see how far I could progress.

“Coming back to Perth Glory was purely about playing for Perth Glory, because I love this club. This is where I want to play week in, week out. The national team stuff will follow good performances, and I think especially coming back here, I haven’t thought about it at all because I have so much love for this place as it is, that I don’t need any more motivation, I don’t need any more satisfaction, I don’t need any more boxes ticked to come back here. It’s purely for Perth Glory.”



Perth Glory has to confirm the signing of New Zealand international Hannah Blake, the striker has joined the club on an injury-replacement contract for the remainder of the Liberty A-League 2022/23 Season. The 22-year-old has been brought on board to replace Rylee Baisden whose season was sadly brought to a premature end by an ACL injury sustained against Melbourne Victory earlier this month.

Blake made her Football Ferns debut against Thailand aged just 17 having previously represented her country at both the Under-17 and Under-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments. The hard-working forward has been based in the USA since 2019 where she has starred for the University of Michigan Wolverines in NCAA Division 1, the highest level of US college football.

Blake is now relishing the prospect of gaining her first taste of football in Australia with Glory. “Having graduated from the University of Michigan, I was looking for the next step,” she told the Glory website “and my first step into full-time football. After getting an understanding of Alex [Epakis] as a coach and Perth Glory as a club, I felt as though this would be a great fit for me and even the short few days that I’ve been here have already confirmed that. I’m hoping to contribute positively both on and off the pitch. I’m looking forward to really focusing on my individual development and then using that to help the team during the back end of the season to pick up as many points as possible.”

The Head Coach believes that Blake will be a major asset for Glory in their Finals race. “Securing Hannah for the remainder of the season is an important addition for us,” he said. “We have a run of games over the second-half of the season and I expect Hannah to showcase her versatility and attacking style of play to help us win matches. She has senior and youth international experience with New Zealand and has just finished off a strong college career at the University of Michigan and I have no doubt she will bring all those experiences with her into the team.

“We searched very hard to find a replacement for Rylee outside the [transfer] window and I have no doubt that Hannah will provide great cover and bring her strengths to the team. She is very excited by the opportunity and I am eager to work with her and have her integrate as quickly as possible.” Blake will be available for Saturday’s clash with Western United at Morshead Park Stadium in Ballarat.



Armadale have made the perfect start to the 2023 NPLWA Night Series, after a well-deserved 3-1 win against Bayswater City in Group A at Frank Drago Reserve. “The squad is taking shape, and the players are responding to what we are doing at training, Head Coach John O’Reilly said. “We have two young exciting visa players jumping on a plane next week, who will be joining up with the squad as soon as they land. Our goal for the year is to be competitive from start to finish and offer exciting football to our faithful army of fans.”

The visitors made a quick start to the game and were ahead on 16 minutes, Haslett firing home with a thunder bolt of a half volley from the top of the box. But the host levelled eight minutes later, with midfielder Hargreaves also firing home with a long-range effort. But in a dominant second half Army took control with a beautiful goal from substitute Angel Andres Jnr, who finished confidently from a Chris Jackson cut back. But the game was sealed on 66 minutes, Peter Jacobsz picked up the ball on the right, glided across the top of the box, before hitting a firm shot back across the goal and into the bottom corner.

Also in Group A, Stirling Macedonia and Perth SC have played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the early game at the same venue. Young striker Sam Cook netted the opener for Perth, but a second-half double from Alex Taneski gave Ian Ferguson’s the lead, and it looked like that would secure the points, but deep into stoppage time Perth salvaged a draw after an own goal.

In Group B on Friday evening Olympic Kingsway started life in the NPLWA with a 2-0 win against Perth RedStar at Dalmatinac Park. Second-half goals from Cian Hirrell and Joshua Samson ensured the win, and Head Coach David Tough was delighted with the first up display from his side. “To get such a good performance was pleasing as we started the game with five new signings in a starting line-up, that hadn’t played together,” he said. “It was also our third game in six days so some of the boys were a bit leggy. We won’t be getting ahead of ourselves as we know it’s only preseason but I think we earned some respect with our performance.”

In the late game at the venue Sorrento came from behind to beat hosts Cockburn City. Justin Tang gave the hosts the lead just after half time, but fifteen minutes from time Joe Tweats levelled for the Gulls. Then two minutes into stoppage time, Sorrento won it, with Dean Cummings finding the target. Sorrento Head Coach Trevor Morgan was happy to start the competition with a win and a pleasing performance.

“A good result for us, but there is room for improvement in many areas both in and out of possession,” he explained. “The players attitude and work ethic were tremendous, but we have to do better with decisions we make on the ball. It’s still early days though, and great to begin with three points against difficult opposition.”

Then on Sunday, there was a double at Inglewood Stadium, and in Group A, holders Floreat Athena opened their defence with a 3-1 win against Balcatta. “It was a solid start to the Night Series, and the performance ticked a lot of boxes for us,” Floreat Head Coach Vas Vujacic explained. “We were quite good in patches, the boys got some important minutes in their legs and we were able to give the young guys some time and experience.”

Floreat were ahead on the half hour, with Noah Shamaki on target. They doubled their advantage in first half stoppage time, with Nick Ambrogio scoring. The game was wrapped up six minutes from time, with Jesse Roberts scoring. Balcatta scored a late consolation goal, through Ben Hinshelwood, but it was too little too late for Glen Grostate team.

In the late game at the venue hosts Inglewood United fought out a 2-1 win against Perth Glory. It’s great to have our first hit out, building on our match fitness and team cohesion,” Inglewood Head coach Andres Oliveira said. “The only down fall is we had 6/7 players out, but it is always good to get a win, but we still have a lot to do before the season start.”

Dylan White found the opener for Inglewood on 25 minutes, and they led by the goal at the break. But the Glory youngsters hit back and were level on 58 minutes, with Corey Sutherland on target. But it was Inglewood who scored the decisive second goal four minutes later, with White scoring his second, to secure the points for the hosts.



Perth Glory have fought back from two goals down to secure a hard fought 2-2 draw against a ten-man Wellington Phoenix at the Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North. The ‘Distance Derby’ didn’t start well for Glory, with Oskar Zawada and Kosta Barbarouses both scoring inside the opening 20 minutes, but David Williams pulled one back before the break.

The hosts then had Tim Payne sent off, and Glory laid siege on the Phoenix goal, and Williams added his second to restore parity, and despite having a number of chances they couldn’t find the winner. Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich was pleased how his side reacted to letting in two early goals, and he thought their performance deserved three points.

“It was an interesting game and it was obviously disappointing to concede two soft early goals… they were well-worked from their [Wellington’s] point of view and I’m not taking anything away from what they do, but I was extremely pleased with the character and resilience the boys have shown,” he said post-match.

“I think what’s important is that we didn’t get lucky to get back into the game, and I thought we played our way back into the game. “We scored two goals from areas that we talked about, so there were some positives from what we did on the ball and a little bit to work on defensively. On the balance of the game, I think we probably should have won. We had the better chances and more of the possession even before they had a man sent off.”

Glory gave a debut to new recruit Jordan Elsey, but striker Adam Taggart and Salim Khelifi missed out due to injury. The coach made three changes to the side that beat Melbourne Victory last time out, with Zach Duncan coming in for Luke Bodnar, Elsey replaced the suspended Jack Clisby, while Joseph Forde came in for Khelifi. The wet weather in the area made the pitch heavy, and it was the hosts who made the better start, and they were ahead on 11 minutes.

Payne made space down the right and his cross was met by Zawada, the Polish striker heading powerfully past Cameron Cook. The visitors were struggling to come to terms with the conditions, but the hosts weren’t and they doubled their advantage nine minutes later. Lucas Mauragis’ cross from the left was fumbled by Cook, and Barbarouses was on hand to fire home the rebound. It looked like being a long day for Zadkovich’s side, but they responded immediately.

Some good movement around the penalty area, ended with John Koutroumbis, who eased past Mauragis down the right, he raced into the box, his shot was parried by Oli Sail, the defender reacted well to head the ball back across goal and David Williams rose above Callan Elliot at the back post to head home. It was a great response from the Glory, and they pressed for the equaliser, and Sail saved well to deny Keegan Jelacic’s cross, which was deflected goalward by Payne, but at the break the host held a narrow advantage.

But the game took another twist early second half, after David Williams was dragged back by Payne as the striker raced clear. Referee Lachlan Keevers showed the defender a yellow card, but after a VAR intervention the card was upgraded to red, and Payne was sent off. The visitors were now on the front foot, and Mark Beevers’ long-range shot was saved by Sail. Zadkovich then made a triple change, introducing Adam Zimarino, Jacob Dowse and Antonee Burke-Gilroy in place of Duncan, Forde and Koutroumbis.

But the ten men weren’t out of the match and Cook had to get down well to save from Bozhidar Kraev effort, before Sail pushed away Mustafa Amini’s shot at the other end. The visitors were knocking on the door, and their patient build up was rewarded ten minutes from time. With the Yellow Fever ready to remove their shirts in a tradition for the clubs supporters, Ryan Williams found Dowse on the left, and his first time cross picked out David Williams, whose diving header gave Sail no chance.

Glory went in search of all three points, and in the final minute Dowse’s dinked cross found Giordano Colli at the back post, and his looping header beat Sail, but crashed off the crossbar. Then in the final minute of stoppage time Glory had one final chance to take the points, Colli’s corner was met by Beevers, the big English defender was left frustrated when the ball again crashed off the crossbar, and Zimarino’s follow header flashed wide of the far post.

Phoenix head coach Ufuk Talay felt Payne should never have been shown a red card and he said it changed the game. “I tried to have a look at it again in the changing room,” Talay told media post-game. “I thought Williams was never going to get to the ball and I think Cal Elliot’s behind Payney as well to be able deal with it. Obviously the officials had a long look at it…and decided it was a red card which I thought was quite soft.

“We had to change our formation and we had to make a sub. I felt the boys did well. Just probably that last lapse…and they score the second. To be honest…I could possibly say we got a bit lucky. The ball hit the post a couple of times. The main thing was playing with 10 men we didn’t lose the game and we walk away with one point.”

Wellington Phoenix: GK Oli SAIL, 5 Steven UGARKOVIC, 6 Tim PAYNE, 7 Kosta BARBAROUSES, 9 Oskar ZAWADA (31 Yan SASSE 89'), 10 David BALL (3 Finn SURMAN 57'), 11 Bozhidar KRAEV (8 Ben OLD 72'), 12 Lucas MAURAGIS, 14 Alex RUFER, 17 Callan ELLIOT, 21 Joshua LAWS - Subs not used: RGK Alex PAULSEN, 13 Nicholas PENNINGTON, 19 Sam SUTTON, 24 Oskar VAN HATTUM - Red Cards: Payne 54’

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS (3 Jacob DOWSE 63'), 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS (20 Giordano COLLI 86'), 8 Mustafa AMINI (4 Luke BODNAR 77'), 15 Jordan ELSEY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 18 David WILLIAMS, 19 Zach DUNCAN (21 Antonee BURKE-GILROY 63'), 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 36 Joseph FORDE (43 Adam ZIMARINO 63') - Subs not used: RGK Pierce CLARK, 37 Jacob MUIR - Referee: Lachlan KEEVERS



The 2023 NPLWA Night Series gets underway this weekend, with games on Friday and Sunday. There are two groups of six teams, with the top two in each qualifying for the semi-finals. Current holders Floreat Athena start their defence with a clash with Balcatta at Inglewood Stadium on Sunday afternoon. (5pm)

Floreat won last season’s final, after first half goals from Robert Petkov and Phil Arnold put them in control, and on the hour, Petkov added his second to increase the lead. Hasani Sinclair had a chance to give Perth some hope ten minutes later, but his penalty was saved by Jason Saldaris. The scoring was wrapped 13 minutes from time, with substitute Bayley Brown-Montgomery adding a fourth.

Floreat skipper Jason Saldaris said after a good pre-season, the players are looking forward to competitive games, and they are determined to hold on their crown. “2022 was a season the players and fans will never forget from beating our rivals in the Night Series final and the roller-coaster of a season,” he said. “After 16-years we finally lifted the league trophy in dramatic fashion. But from all the positives the post season final is a game the squad haven't forgotten and want to be in the driver’s seat come seasons end.

“It’s an exciting first round game against Balcatta who finished the season strong and have recruited very well which will be no easy game, Glen (Grostate) knows how to drill his squad to lock a game down and make it tough for any opponent, we are just taking one game at a time testing and trying new formations and rotations to better the squad.

“But the Night Series is one of the best competitions to play in, the crowds are buzzing and atmosphere after the long pre-season makes playing these games worth every minute.” The other Group A games take place on Friday evening, with Stirling Macedonia taking on last season’s beaten finalists Perth SC in the early game at Frank Drago Reserve (6.30pm), while in the late game hosts Bayswater City meet Armadale. (8.30pm)

In Group B, Top Four Final series winners Perth RedStar meet newly promoted Olympic Kingsway, in the early game at Dalmatinac Park. (6.30pm) Olympic eased to the State League Division One title last season, and they will be looking to get life in the NPL off to a flying start. Head Coach David Tough, who was assistant coach when ECU Joondalup won the NPL title in 2020, said it’s a huge first up test, but one he’s looking forward too.

“The lads have worked hard in pre-season, while I’ve been back to Scotland to see family,” Tough explained. “Ross (Edwards) Guy (McDonald) and Willie (McNally) have put the lads through their paces, as we know we need to improve in certain areas heading into the NPL, and a first up game against RedStar will be a test to see how we have improved.

“Callum (Salmon) and David (Butterfield) have a fantastic playing group, and I obviously know a few personally after my time at the club, so we know we will head into the game as underdogs, but it’s a pre-season game, and we will use it to try different things, but it’s one I’m looking forward too.”

In other games in the group, Cockburn City host Sorrento in the late game at Dalmatinac Park on Friday (8.30pm), while Inglewood United welcome Perth Glory to the Inglewood Stadium on Sunday (7.00am)

Also, ahead of the Night Series kick off Football West has introduced a ‘Hot Weather Policy’ to ensure players and match officials are protected during the summer. The policy is aimed at reducing the risk of heat stroke, a potentially fatal condition which may arise when a player or official continues to exercise despite suffering from heat exhaustion. To ensure the risk is minimised, the following conditions have been introduced:

If the temperature at kick off is forecast to be 32C or higher for junior matches, or 36C or higher for senior matches, Football West will reschedule a competition match and withdraw approval of a friendly match. If the temperature at kick off for any junior match is forecast to be 30C or higher, or 34C or higher for senior matches, a drinks break must be held in each half of the match.



Four West Australians have been selected in the 18-player CommBank Pararoos squad as they open Football Australia’s 2023 calendar of home internationals next month against the USA in New South Wales. Experienced duo Connor Bunce and Alessandro La Verghetta are joined by exciting uncapped prospects 17-year-old Noah Bremmer-Bell, and Rafferty Bacon, 16 from Swan United.

It will mark the CommBank Pararoos first international on home soil in three years as they welcome the world number four on Saturday, 4 February to Cromer Park, the home of Manly Warringah Football Association. Head Coach Kai Lammert has called up a host of familiar faces with history making veteran captain David Barber, forward Ben Roche and midfielder Connor Marsh headlining a host of experienced names.

Among the newest call ups are Victorian duo Kaylan Van Heer and Joshua Beekes with 16-year-old Van Heer named the 2022 Nationals Male Young Player of the Tournament, and Beekes receiving the 2022 Nationals FT3 Player of the Tournament. Swan defender Bacon and Canberra’s Luc Launder (2022 Nationals FT2 Player of the Tournament) will also be vying for their first caps in a squad with representation from the West Coast to the East Coast of Australia.

Bacon said it’s a great honour to represent your Country, and even better with three of his WA team mates. “I’m really happy to be selected for the team and to be playing with boys that are similar if not the same as me. These boys understand what it means to be a part of something like this as well as the benefits this sport has on people with disabilities because it helps us show that we are more than what some people perceive us as,” the Swan United defender explained.

“I’m also really excited to play with the other boys from WA, because I have been playing with them for a long time and I can finally play at the same level as boys I looked up to since I started at the program. It especially means a lot to me because I can help these boys to play to their strengths so they can perform at this level as well.”

The teenager, who will play for Swan United under 18s this season, said the Francis Street club have been a huge part of his life, and he couldn’t thank them enough. “I have been playing at Swan United since I was a young boy and I started the para program when I was around 10,” he said. “The para program has helped me grow as a player and has helped my confidence on the field so much. The club has also been a strong influence on how I play by teaching me the skills I need to really perform on the field no matter which club I’m playing for.

“I owe a lot to Swan United because they have helped me develop as a player and given me the opportunity to play competitively for them, as well as not just seeing me as a person with a disability. They see me as another person, and they have also been an extremely supportive of my time at WA. They are really excited to see how I play for the Pararoos, and also very keen because I am representing them as well.”

Bacon, who will fly out to meet his team mates at the end of the month, said he has some important coaches give him advice over the years, but one stood out. “Ben Whyte, who was my U16s coach and is now my U18s coach, has played a really part in influencing me because he doesn’t get angry when I make a mistake and has a positive impact on my skills as a footballer due to his caring manner,” he explained. “As well as having a positive impact on my life off the field, he was very supportive when my dad passed even though I was having a hard time and getting very angry with things after. He understood and would be supportive all the time. I owe a lot to him as well.”

Lammert was pleased with the composition of the squad ahead of an important international against the United States. “We believe we have selected a great squad for this upcoming training camp and international that provides an essential balance of experience and talented youth,” the coach said. “This is the first step in the preparation for our 2023 international calendar and we are looking for all players to enjoy the challenge playing against one of the top teams in CP football, gain some experience and hopefully learn from it as well.

“It’s very important for our preparation to have these internationals under our belt. We don't get to play too many international matches, so it is extremely crucial for us and it’s an ideal for us to come up against quality opponents early in the year. For the new players, it’s always special for every player to pull on the Green and Gold and its extra special when you pull it on for the very first time,” Lammert added. “I can't wait to see them out there as they have worked very hard for it, and they certainly deserve this opportunity.

“We're obviously playing to make sure we're improving in every performance and our last performances against the USA, but still play our way of football. I'm sure the crowd will enjoy the great football game on February 4 at Cromer Park.” The squad will head into camp on Saturday, 28 January ahead of the international fixture - COMMBANK PARAROOS SQUAD - GK Christian Tsangas, Joshua Beekes, Christian Bitsikas, Benjamin Roche, Kaylan Van Heer (Football Victoria), Rafferty Bacon, Connor Bunce, Noah Bremmer-Bell, Alessandro La Verghetta (Football West), Timothy Blowes Noah Bremmer-Bell, Jeremy Boyce, Taj Lynch, Connor Marsh, Augustine Murphy (Football NSW), David Barber (Football Queensland), Daniel Campbell (Northern NSW Football), Luc Launder (Capital Football)



Perth Glory will aim for a first win on New Zealand soil since 2019, when they take on Wellington Phoenix at Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North on Saturday morning (kick-off at 10am WST). On the back of unbeaten home run of form, Glory head over the ditch, looking to continue their march up the table, currently sitting just outside the Isuzu Ute A-league finals spot, and Ruben Zadkovich’s side could jump into it with a win in the ‘Distance Derby’.

But that’s not the first thing on the mind of Zadkovich, he is focused on consistent performances, and if they get right the ladder position will take care of itself. “We’re not focusing so much on the ladder as we are on ourselves and how we can improve as a team in all the different moments and phases of play,” he said. “In the last little period there, we strung together some good performances in patches and had longer periods of sustained structured football where people knew their role and there was clarity and success in that through the transitions.

“That’s a good sign of the group growing and I want to make it clear that in-house, we’re just focusing on improving. I feel like we have a lot of improvement in us and I feel like we need to improve a lot if we want to be a top team and a team in the top-half of the ladder. You can see there’s real belief in that dressing room and they’ve got faith and belief in each other and what we’re doing and that gives us a good environment which sustains the process.”

The frequent flyer points will again be huge for the Glory, with one of the longest league trips in the world, and with both sides in good form, the Phoenix only having lost once in the last seven games and sitting fourth on the ladder, the coach is expecting another tough encounter. “I think [Wellington Phoenix Head Coach] Ufuk Talay is a fantastic coach,” he said. “He’s someone I know from my playing days at Sydney FC, and he has a very good football brain and he has a very organised and structured team with some very dangerous players, so I’ve got a lot of respect for what Wellington are doing and the way they’re playing.

“They’re probably the form team in the competition at the moment… but I also note that they’ve only won three out of eight at home, so there’s opportunity there. It’s [the trip] another challenge for us as a group and a club to embrace and rise to. I’m pretty disappointed with the fixture and where it’s being played, I think it’s quite poor from a scheduling point of view and whoever made that decision. But the decision is made, it’s an uncontrollable and I’m always very positive and optimistic. I won’t change my ways and I’ll be imparting that on the boys.”

The last time Glory headed to New Zealand, was in round 23 in 2020-2021, when the pair fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw in front of 22,233 supporters at Eden Park. Tomer Hemed gave the hosts the lead early, but goals from Bruno Fornaroli and a stunner from Callum Timmins gave the visitors the lead on 75 minutes. But the hosts restored parity five minutes later with Jaushua Sotirio levelling things up, with both sides sharing the spoils.

Meanwhile, after the scintillating return to the club for Adam Taggart, Zadkovich said the striker is in doubt for the trip along with Tunisian winger Salim Khelifi, while Jack Clisby is suspended, but he will have new signing Jordan Elsey available and could make his club debut. “Adam had a slight strain which we were trying to manage before that game [v Melbourne Victory), but It’s flared up a little bit, it’s not too bad, but it’s something we just need to manage,” he said.

“We’ll look to push him in training tomorrow and see how he goes, but we’ll take the long-term view that if it’s no good, he won’t travel. The nice thing is that we were in strong form before we got Taggs on the pitch. While you can see how much he helps and how much of a high-class, quality striker he is and why he’s important to the way we play, we’ll continue to grow and develop with or without him on the pitch and we want to make it a collective.

“Salim’s injury is being looked at and at this stage it’s looking like a serious injury. It’s a foot injury and he’s getting some scans and those will be looked at by the specialists. Jordan is fit enough and strong enough and ready to play, now it’s just about him settling into our processes, which I’m sure are very different and our structures and understanding with teammates. He’s a great personality and a really good leader, so I think that transition will be smooth for him.”

The hosts will be forced to make a change to their side after All Whites midfielder Clayton Lewis suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Central Coast Mariners and has been ruled out of this weekend’s match. He joins centre back Scott Wootton (calf) on the sidelines.

Wellington Phoenix Squad: GK. Oli SAIL, GK Alex PAULSEN, 3 Finn SURMAN, 5 Steven UGARKOVIC, 6 Tim PAYNE, 7 Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8 Ben OLD, 9 Oskar ZAWADA, 10 David BALL, 11 Bozhidar KRAEV, 12 Lucas MAURAGIS, 13 Nicholas PENNINGTON, 14 Alex RUFER, 17 Callan ELLIOT, 19 Sam SUTTON, 21 Joshua LAWS, 24 Oskar VAN HATTUM, 31 Yan SASSE, 35 Noah KARUNARATNE - IN: KARUNARATNE (promoted) - OUT: 23 Clayton LEWIS (injured) - Unavailable: 4 Scott WOOTTON (injured)

Perth Glory Squad: GK Liam REDDY, GK Cameron COOK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 3 Jacob DOWSE, 4 Luke BODNAR, 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, 10 Salim KHELIFI, 12 Luke IVANOVIC, 14 Jack CLISBY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 18 David WILLIAMS, 19 Zach DUNCAN, 20 Giordano COLLI, 21 Anthony BURKE-GILROY, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Mitch OXBORROW, 28 Trent OSTLER, 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 36 Joseph FORDE, 37 Jacob MUIR, 43 Adam ZIMARINO – Ins and outs: (Not available at time of publishing) - Unavailable: GK Brad JONES (injured), 6 Aaron MCENEFF (injured), 24 Adrian SARDINERO (injured)



With Perth Glory’s Liberty A-League campaign in a hiatus due to Sydney FC ground issues, striker Cyera Hintzen sat down with ‘Impetus Football’ website to chat about her football journey. The American has been a major part of the side for the last season and a half, and she’s thriving in the team’s collective atmosphere and has a deep love of the city and wider state of Western Australia. Hintzen arrived ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, and it was a huge challenge for all overseas players, especially WA, as the borders were shut after only one game due to covid restrictions, leaving Glory to spend the season based in NSW. But this bonded the playing group, but Hintzen said it was a tough time.

“It was a bit of a challenge because I was coming to a country that I’d never been to before and knew really nothing about, expecting to stay in one part of the country but being uprooted to staying somewhere else was a bit confusing at first,” she explained. “I was just getting settled into living in Perth and then had to readjust to a new environment. But it was a great experience to bond with the girls and I think that chemistry and the mentality to fight for each other really showed last season.”

The camaraderie within the group that season drove Glory to the brink of Finals football, failing by just goal difference to eventual champions Melbourne Victory. It was a situation that made it an easy decision for Hintzen to sign on for another year. “I wanted to stay at the club because of the girls and what we created on and off the field last season, I was excited to build off of that,” the striker said. “Also, being able to fully experience Perth because last year we had to go into a hub for the majority of the season in Sydney. Being based in a hotel wasn’t easy and wasn’t the ideal experience, but we made the most of it.”

After the conclusion of last year’s campaign, the likeable striker headed Icelandic to her former club. She enjoyed her time there, but is happy to be back in the west. “After the A-League season, I went back to Valur which was the first club I played for starting my professional career in Iceland. I played in the Icelandic League from May to October,” she said. “It has been an amazing experience being able to finally be in WA. The beaches and coffee are great and I love how laid back it is in Perth. Everyone has a chill vibe and it’s really easygoing.”

Hintzen has teamed up with fellow American players Rylee Baisden and Gabriella Coleman, who she knew from her younger days, and they are both highly rated by Hintzen, who feels Baisden’s ACL injury is a major blow to the club. “I didn’t know Rylee before I came to Perth but it has been a great experience playing with her. Unfortunately, with her injury we won’t get that opportunity anymore which is sad because I feel like we just started to figure each other out,” the former University of Texas player said. “With Gabriella, we are both from Dallas, Texas so I kind of knew her but she was younger than me so we never got to play together before.”

After their excellent 2021-22 and an impressive recruitment campaign in close season, including having many key players tied down long-term, there were high hopes for Glory this season, and they are showing their potential, but have only won twice to date. “I think we started off a bit slow this season and are trying to figure out what the team needs from everyone to bring up our play to the level that we know we can,” she explained “I think we have finally started to fully believe in each other and brought back that fight for each other’s mentality. We just need to put together a full 90 minutes and be more clinical when we have those opportunities in front of the goal.

“I think a successful season for me would just be putting my best foot forward every single day and bringing everything I can to the club to help us win. “I think being in that conversation for finals is the goal because we were so close last year and know we are more than capable of achieving that. So just getting everyone to believe in each other and this club and showing everyone who doubts us that we can be the team to make it to finals.”



Matildas captain Samantha Kerr has revealed the pressure and excitement of building up to this year’s Women’s World Cup in Australia, and what it is like having another international star, America’s Kristie Mewis, as her partner.

The 2023 Women’s World Cup - which is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand - is now less than six months away. But before the tournament kicks off Kerr has an English league and European campaign to complete with Chelsea, while Mewis a United States league season to start in New York with Gotham FC.

“We’re just raging for the next six months to the World Cup, doing whatever we can,” said Kerr. “We both feel like we’ve been gunning for this World Cup for so long now that it’s kind of going to be like we’re just giving everything for the next six months and then it’s gonna be like a breath of fresh air.’

“It’s so stressful when you have a tournament coming up, one injury, staying fit, getting picked on the team, the pressure of a home World Cup, the pressure of being in form, all those things that go into a World Cup. It’s just been building for two years now. So I think we’re both excited and just want to be there and want to do everything we can to perform there.”

Kerr was unable to come home during the pandemic for more than two years and has relished being able to return since, whether in breaks or for internationals. She is next in Australia for matches against Spain, Jamaica and the Czech Republic next month. “I think this next international window in February is going to be amazing,” said Kerr.

“Every time we’ve played at home we’ve broken a record crowd. Recently we played in Melbourne and we had an amazing crowd. Australians love sport and they love the Matildas. Everyone in Australia is absolutely pumped (about the World Cup). My family’s pumped because they don’t have to have their passports out and spend thousands of dollars.”

Mewis and Kerr could face each other in the World Cup, but only if both teams reach the final. It would not be the first time though, they last played against each other in Newcastle when the US met Australia in late 2021. Kerr said she worried that people - especially coaches and teammates - “think we don’t take it seriously because you’re playing your girlfriend.”

“In Newcastle she came on, we were playing against each other, and we went in on each other. We’d kill each other. At the Olympics we were so excited to see each other but I didn’t want people to think that we were just at the Olympics to see each other. I know that people don’t think that, but that’s the worry.”

The pair have been very open about their relationship on social media. “I get more fan mail about me and her than just for myself. It’s nice that people support us so much and relate to us so much,” Kerr said. “We’re not private people… I like sharing who I am outside of football. Football is five per cent of my life.”



Perth Glory quartet Daniel Bennie, Andriano Lebib, Jaylan Pearman and Corey Sutherland have all been selected for the Australia U17 squad to take part in the Antalya Youth Cup in Turkey next month. The WA youngsters were named in head coach Brad Maloney's 23-player squad to face Czechia, Morocco and Uzbekistan, as the Joeys begin their preparation for June’s AFC U17 Asian Cup in Thailand.

All the players were part of the clubs NPLWA side last season, and all impressed as Glory finished the season in eighth place, and it’s a huge opportunity for them to shine in the ‘Green and Gold’. Head Coach Maloney, who played 41 games for the Glory between 2000 and 2002, said it’s a great opportunity for the youngsters “The Antalya Youth Cup presents an exciting opportunity to pit some of the country’s best-emerging footballers against leading opposition from three different continents," he said.

“To be able to play the likes of Czechia, Morocco, and Uzbekistan within the space of six days presents an ideal learning experience for this squad as we prepare for June’s AFC U-17 Asian Cup and hopefully the FIFA U17 World Cup in Peru later this year.”

This will be the first time the Joeys have come together for a camp or tournament since topping their respective Group during the AFC U17 Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers held in Shepparton, Victoria, during October 2022.

Maloney, who was appointed as head coach for the side in August of last year, and his coaching staff have spent the past three months watching matches from both home and abroad to support their planning for 2023 and beyond, with seven new faces being selected in the squad for the Antalya Youth Cup.

“With our elite youth pathways in hiatus for almost three years due to the pandemic, it’s more important than ever we are continually monitoring, scouting, and unearthing talent to ensure every eligible player is on our radar and considered for national team honours,” the former Perth Glory midfielder said.

“We have made several changes to the squad who contested the qualifiers in October, with the view to providing international exposure to as many players as possible and to build depth as part of our preparations for this year’s Asian Cup."

The Asian Football Confederation confirmed earlier this month that Thailand will host the AFC U17 Asian Cup 2023™, with the tournament to now take place between 15 June and 2 July 2023. The draw for the AFC U-17 Asian Cup Thailand 2023™ is scheduled to occur in March, where Australia will need to reach the semi-finals to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Peru 2023™, which runs from 10 November to 2 December 2023.

Full Squad: GK Michael VONJA (Western United), GK Franklin JAN (St George FC), GK Anthony PAVLESIC (Central Coast Mariners), Peter ANTONIOU (Melbourne City), Daniel BENNIE (Perth Glory), Nicolas CALDER (FC Luzern), Zachary DE JESUS (Sydney), Campbell DOVISON (Central Coast Mariners), Mitchell GLASSON (Sydney), Aden GREEN (Western Sydney Wanderers), Max HATELY (Western Sydney Wanderers), Jordan HOEY (Melbourne Victory), , Ryan KALMS (Melbourne City), Pearson KASAWAYA (Sydney), Andriano LEBIB (Perth Glory), Jacob McLACHLAN (Sydney), Andre PARKES (Central Coast Mariners), Jaylan PEARMAN (Perth Glory), Sotiri PHILLIS (Adelaide United), Xavier SMITH (Crewe Alexandra UK), Corey SUTHERLAND (Perth Glory), Fabian TALLADIRA (Adelaide United), Danilo TREFFILETTI (AC Monza Italy)



Perth Glory recruit Salim Khelifi is set for an extended stint on the sidelines after suffering a serious foot injury, while Adam Taggart is no certainty to face Wellington Phoenix on Saturday. the Tunisian international has been outstanding for Glory this season but he limped off midway through the second half of Saturday night's 3-1 defeat of Melbourne Victory.

Glory are still determining the full extent of the injury, but the early signs don't look good for Khelifi. "At this stage it's looking like a serious injury," coach Ruben Zadkovich said. "For me he's been our standout player. With Jack Clisby being suspended and Adam Taggart's quad - it's one of those weeks where we're certainly disappointed to be losing a few quality players."

Taggart's match-winning brace against Melbourne has been soured by a flare up of a quad injury. "He had a slight strain which we were trying to manage before that game. It's flared up a little bit," Zadkovich said. "It's not too much, it's just something we need to manage… we'll look to try to push him tomorrow and see how he goes. But if it's no good, then he won't travel."



Perth Glory defender Jack Clisby has been slapped with two-game ban following an on-field confrontation with Chris Ikonomidis in last weekend’s win over Melbourne Victory. Ikonomidis was shown a straight red card for kicking out at Clisby after being tackled to the ground, while the Glory player was issued his marching orders for retaliation. The A-League match review panel’s decision means both players escape with the minimum penalty.



London club Leyton Orient have secured Jordan Lyden on a short term deal. The 26-year old midfielder, a member of Swindon Town's 2019/20 League Two winning squad, will be based at Brisbane Road until the end of the season, with the club having to option to extend that deal for a further year.

Describing himself as a midfielder who can play both a holding role, and a more advanced role, Lyden is keen to impress for the O’s. "The gaffer (Richie Wellens) got in touch with me a few weeks ago and said that he wanted a midfielder of my calibre,” said Lyden, who played under Wellens at Swindon.

"He gave me a chance to come in and prove my fitness, and thankfully I've been able to do just that, and I'm delighted to be back in first-team football. I was with the gaffer before at Swindon Town, so I know what it is like to work under him and what he wants from his sides."

"The lads have all been so welcoming, which has helped. It can sometimes be daunting going into new environments but they have all been brilliant with me and we all want to achieve the goal of promotion this season. Having worked with the gaffer before at Swindon, it felt like the perfect fit for me."

Wellens is delighted to add Lyden to his squad. "Jordan is a really good footballer, I've worked with him before and he knows how I want my sides to play. He's got a nearly 60% win rate in the matches that he has played in League Two, so he knows exactly how to win games of football at this level."

"Jordan gives us a bit more depth in midfield, and he can play as both a four and an eight, so he gives us both experience and flexibility in that area. Jordan is a fantastic character with a point to prove, and he's settled in well already, and will be keen to push those in front of him."



Perth Glory have lured centre-back Jordan Elsey to the west coast from A-League rivals Newcastle Jets. The experiecned defender join Glory on a two-and-a-half year deal after more than 150 appearances for Newcastle and his hometown club Adelaide United.

Elsey said he was looking forward to playing under coach Ruben Zadkovich. "After speaking with Ruben, I was impressed with his ideas and am eager to join Glory," he said. "In terms of targets, finals is the main goal and I'm looking forward to contributing to this and finishing the season in a positive way."

Elsey started his professional career in 2013 with Adelaide where he was part of the clubs' Premiership/Championship winning side of 2015/16 and their back-to-back FFA Cup success of 2018 and 2019. He switched to Newcastle in mid-2021 and has been a key part of their backline across the past one-and-a-half seasons.

Zadkovich says Elsey will play an equally important role at Glory, on and off the field of play. "Jordan is a great addition to our squad," he said. "He is one of the strongest Australian central defenders in this league and adds stability and experience to our defensive unit."

"His natural aggression and leadership skills will complement us and really consolidate what we are building. He is also a great character to have in the dressing room. We are looking forward to getting him settled and integrating him into our processes and structures."



Perth Glory coach Ruben Zadkovich said Adam Taggart’s match-winning cameo against Melbourne Victory was just scraping the surface of what he can bring to the table. On the first game of his third stint at the club, Taggart came off the bench to score two late goals and secure Glory a 3-1 win.

Zadkovich said Taggart’s performance was just the tip of the iceberg and he was more than just a goal-scorer. “For Tags, it’s always about his mentality to want to do the simple things well and to defend, lead from the front and be a good leader,” commented Zadkovich.

“I’ve seen him at the peak of his powers when I was the captain at Newcastle (Jets) and he was the young pup that rocked up and got the golden boot ... over the last 10 years or so he’s grown a lot as a person and he knows what he’s capable of, but he always puts the team first and so he’s the right character for us to spearhead this rebuild.”

Taggart, who spent the past three years in South Korea and Japan, is still working his way back to full fitness after tweaking his quad several weeks ago. The 29-year old came on in the 70th minute against Victory, and he could be in line for a boost in minutes in next weekend's trip to Wellington Phoenix.

“We will take it slow and steady and always look towards the long term plan, not just for him, but also the team. Tags is a part of the jigsaw puzzle and it’s nice to see it come together. He’s still a long way off being anywhere near his best, but the one thing you get with Tags is goals, and he knows how to deliver when the moment arises."

“It’s going to take time for him to understand our processes and train more with the team and build fitness. We go away to Wellington now and hopefully he recovers and trains well and he can play a part again there, but we’ll just have to play that a little bit by ear.”



Brighton and Hove Albion have confirmed the recruitment of Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams on a contract until summer 2024. The 34-year old leaves French club Paris Saint-Germain in search of regular game-time to book her place at the upcoming Women's World Cup.

Williams will face competition from Ireland's Megan Walsh and Katie Startup, but is far more experienced than either. "She brings a huge amount of experience to the team," Seagulls head coach Jens Scheuer said of Williams, who has played in Australia, Sweden, England and the United States of America.

"She has played over 100 times for Australia and has a good understanding of the WSL from her time with Arsenal. Hopefully, we will see some of her wonderful saves. Now we have three good goalkeepers, the competition will be a lot stronger and that's good for the team. I am sure Lydia will have a big impact."

Williams won four A-League titles with Melbourne City and Canberra United, finished second in the WSL with Arsenal in the 2021/22 season and was a runner-up in the French League with PSG earlier this season. At international level Williams has been a key figure for Australia having competed in two World Cups and three Asian Cups.



Returning Perth Glory striker Adam Taggart has started his second spell at the club with a brace off the bench to secure a 3-1 win against Melbourne Victory at a sold-out Macedonia Park on Saturday evening. A first half strike from Ryan Williams gave the hosts the lead but two red cards to Jack Clisby and former Glory winger Chris Ikonomidis early in the second half changed the game.

Roderick Miranda levelled for the hosts, then enter Taggart, who has headed back to WA from Japanese side Cerezo Osaka. He had only been on the pitch nine minutes when he restored the lead, and he sealed the three points three minutes from time, to move Glory level close to a play-off spot on the Isuzu Ute A-League, and remain unbeaten at their temporary home.

Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich was pleased with the win, he knows there is still room for improvement. “To get three points is always the main thing, but I thought we were patchy tonight,” he said post-match. “In moments we played really well and in other moments, I thought we kind of lost some structure and shape. “But the nice thing about the game for me is just the character. “There’s a real resilience and belief growing in that dressing-room and a real togetherness and I thought that was definitely on show tonight.”

The coach made two change to the side that drew with Sydney FC last time out, with Salim Khelifi returning from injury to replace Luke Ivanovic, while David Williams came in for Jacob Muir, who dropped to the bench. It was a warm Balcatta evening, in front of another big crowd and it was the hosts, who included five former Glory players in their starting line-up, and former Coach Tony Popovic, who began the brighter. Noah Smith fired over the top, before Bruno Fornaroli shot on the turn flashed one wide of the target.

But Glory settled, and roared on by the big crowd created chances of their own, and went close to the opener on 22 minutes. Khelifi, who was a surprise return to the side, raced down the flank and squared the ball to Keegan Jelacic, but the youngster couldn’t find the target. Moments later John Koutroumbis saw his stinging effort tipped over the top by the alert Matt Acton. Jake Brimmer then fired over the top on the half hour, but seven minutes late it was the hosts who found the opener.

Skipper Mustafa Amini and David Williams combined down the right, the later finding Ryan Williams who found the bottom corner of the net, and after a VAR check the goal stood, much to the delight of the Glory faithful. They went close to a second before the break, the Williams pair combining again, but Acton got well to deny Ryan, but at half time Glory held the advantage.

It was an explosive start to the second half, when Clisby and Ikonomidis clashed, and referee Stephen Lucas showed a straight red card to the Glory defender and booked the Victory winger. But after reviewing the VAR the official sent both players off. The hosts didn’t let that affect them, with Khelifi making a surging run at the Victory defence, before curling his effort past Acton, but the post came to the rescue of the Victory custodian. The Victory keeper was the busiest, getting down well to deny Amini’s effort on the hour.

He was at it again six minutes later parrying David Williams shot, and Matt Spiranovic cleared the rebound. But on 69 minutes, and against the run of play Victory levelled. Jake Brimmer’s corner was met by substitute Miranda, whose spectacular volley flew past Cameron Cook. It was game on but Glory played their trump card two minutes later, with Taggart replacing David Williams, and nine minutes later he restored the lead.

Jacob Dowse was sent down the left, and his cross on the run picked out Taggart, who headed home superbly past Acton, and raced off to celebrate with the Shed. He wasn’t finished yet, and three minutes from time he added the third to seal the game. Dowse closed down the Victory keeper, and Acton turned the ball over, and his cross again found Taggart, who bundled the ball home to seal the win and complete a fairy tale home coming for the Socceroo striker.

Victory coach Tony Popovic was disappointed in the result. “You’re never happy when you lose the game, this is obviously a tough trip,” he said post-match. “I thought we started very well, really positive. Just unfortunate at the moment, when we’re on top we can’t score. We didn’t capitalise on the momentum when we had it. It’s just disappointing at 1-1 while we were on top, and you felt we had the ascendency and momentum again, we conceded a goal.”

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 4 Luke BODNAR (21 Antonee BURKE-GILROY 63'), 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, 10 Salim KHELIFI (3 Jacob DOWSE 65') 14 Jack CLISBY, 16 Keegan JELACIC (19 Zach DUNCAN 63'), 18 David WILLIAMS (22 Adam TAGGART 71'), 29 Darryl LACHMAN - Subs not used: RGK Liam REDDY, 37 Jacob MUIR, 43 Adam ZIMARINO - Red Cards: Clisby 51’

Melbourne Victory: GK Matt ACTON, 2 Jason GERIA, 5 Matt SPIRANOVIC, 6 Leigh BROXHAM (14 Jay BARNETT 60'), 7 Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8 Josh BRILLANTE, 10 Bruno FORNAROLI (24 Nishan VELUPILLAY 74'), 11 Ben FOLAMI (9 Tomi JURIC 84'), 22 Jake BRIMMER, 25 Noah SMITH (3 Enrique LOPEZ 46'), 31 Matthew BOZINOVSKI (21 Roderick MIRANDA 60') - Substitutes not used: RGK Ahmad TALEB, 29 Eli ADAMS - Red Cards: Ikonomidis 53’ – Attendance: 3,989 - Referee: Stephen LUCAS



Perth Glory’s January transfer window has opened again, after signing experienced centre-back Jordan Elsey from Newcastle Jets on a two-and-a-half-year deal with the club. The 28-year-old heads west after more than 150 A-League appearances over the last eight seasons, with his hometown club, Adelaide United and the Jets. The defender was delighted to make the move and is looking forward to the new challenge in his career.

"I’ve always enjoyed my time when travelling to Perth," he said, "and this is an exciting move not only for me, but also for my family. "After speaking with [Head Coach] Ruben [Zadkovich], I was impressed with his ideas and am eager to join Glory. In terms of targets, Finals is the main goal and I’m looking forward to contributing to this and finishing the season in a positive way."

Elsey played his junior club football with Parra Hills Knights before joining Adelaide United in 2009 and securing a senior contract in 2013. During his time with Adelaide, he was a regular in the side which claimed the Championship/ Premiership double in 2015-16 and also secured two FFA Cup titles. He then headed to Newcastle and played 35 times, bagging two goals. Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich believes that Elsey will prove to be a key figure for his young Glory side, on and off the field. "Jordan is a great addition to our squad," he said.

"He is one of the strongest Australian central defenders in this league and adds stability and experience to our defensive unit. His natural aggression and leadership skills will complement us and really consolidate what we are building. He is also a great character to have in the dressing room. He is a high-quality person, first and foremost, who gives a lot of himself to his teammates. We are looking forward to getting him settled and integrating him into our processes and structures."



Former Perth SC defender Lachlan Byrd, has signed for Scottish Division One club Airdrieonians, after impressing on trial at Excelsior Stadium in recent weeks. The 20-year-old said he is delighted to have secured his first professional contract, and looking forward to the challenge. “It’s been a long haul, but delighted to get the deal done,” the talented defender said.

“I’d need to start off by thanking my agent Arfan at Eyeconic Sports Management over here, who’s been awesome in not only speaking to clubs on my behalf and getting me the trials but the valuable advice he’s given me throughout the process. Both my parents, especially my dad who have always been so supportive of what has been my dream since I could walk, and of course the fantastic staff and coaches at both Perth SC and Dandenong. My first professional contract is of course a massive milestone for me, but I’m already focused on the next step and propelling myself to the next level.”

The defender was an unused substitute on Saturday, as Airdrieonians drew 1-1 with Kelty Hearts, and boss Rhys McCabe was pleased to strengthen his defence, as they look for promotion to the Championship, currently sitting in fourth place in League One. “Lachie’s a big physical defender who can play right across the back four, he’s quick and strong with good physical attributes,” he told the clubs website. “He’s only 20, so there’s loads of room for improvement in terms of the bigger picture, and we’re delighted to get him in at this point in his career.”

Byrd had trials in the UK prior to covid, but the epidemic put moves on hold, but the move to Airdrieonians, will have many challengers that Byrd will have to overcome, mostly the weather, with the temperature in Scotland dropping below zero quite often, but he said he can’t wait to get started. “The weathers certainly something that’s a shock, but I’m lucky I have English blood in me so it’s been a surprisingly smooth transition to the freezing conditions,” he said.

“I had trialled in the UK in early 2020 just before COVID hit, and went to Salford, Leeds and Sunderland, who invited me back, but despite no offers I always knew I wanted to come back once I had more first team experience and grown more as a footballer. I was recommended my agent Arfan from a scout in the UK and flew out about five weeks, where I trialled at Dunfermline Athletic and Hamilton Academical before being fortunate enough to trial and impress at Airdrie. Scotland has an excellent track record for developing younger players, and also boasts a massive presence of Australian players, so it was an easy decision to come here.”

The defender had successful stints at Perth SC in 2021, helping the Azzurri to the NPLWA title, before a year at Dandenong, where he gained some valuable experience, and he is now looking forward to testing himself in Scotland. “My time at Dandenong was an incredible experience throughout and I couldn’t thank the club, staff and players enough for what was a great season,” he explained. “Unfortunately, we just missed out on making the finals and were one step away from the national round of 32, but I found the level in Victoria to be excellent for someone looking develop. Now it is a new challenge in Scotland, and I couldn’t be more excited to not only test myself at this level but continue to challenge and improve myself day in day out.”



After an explosive radio interview from Perth Glory owner Tony Sage last week, when he said Melbourne Victory’s season to date had been poor, which comes despite a large increase in spending, and he labelled them the Perth Glory B team, which only adds fuel to the fire when the pair meet on Saturday evening in week 13 of the Isuzu Ute A-League at Macedonia Park (kick off 7.30pm).

Victory, who sit bottom of the ladder going into the game, could have six former Glory players in their line up on Saturday evening, and despite their position on the ladder, Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich said there is no danger he will be underestimating Tony Popovic’s side. “I’ve coached against him [Popovic] twice, and Popa is someone I know well,” he said. “He was club captain when I was at Sydney FC as a young player, so I know him as a teammate. It’s well known that he is a strong personality and has a strong mentality and he passes that on to his teams, so we expect a very resolute and focused Melbourne Victory team.”

Glory will be out to maintain their unbeaten home record, and with Macedonia Park packed again the coach is well aware his chargers will have to be at their best, but he has been pleased with the hard work and determination from his squad. “They (Victory) are a massive club with million-dollar players, and they’re a big-spending team,” Zadkovich said. “We expect them to bring all their big guns and rock up to Macedonia Park to give us a very stiff test, so we’ll have to be at our best.

“It’s been nice to have some time on the training pitch to continue improving. We’ve had a really good week on the pitch with the players where the focus and the effort and their application has been very, very good. We’re taking positive steps and heading in the right direction and that’s important to me at this stage. I’m not focusing too much on how other teams are faring, I’m just worrying about what we’re doing, our focus is firmly on us. It’s on improving, growing as a group and getting stronger together.”

Zadkovich gave an update on injured duo Adam Taggart and Salim Khelifi, and said they will probably struggle for Saturday’s game, but both are getting close to a call up to action. “They’re both progressing, whether or not it’s quick enough for this weekend, I’m not sure,” he explained. “We’ll get through tomorrow’s training session and see where they’re at. I’d say they’re both in doubt, but they’re a small chance and if not this weekend, then they’re very close moving into next week. We’ve got a very good physio team which is working around the clock to see if we can get all our players right, so fingers crossed on that one.”

The 24 previous A-League meetings between the two clubs in WA have produced 13 wins for Glory and seven for Victory, while the overall record is almost even, with Victory having claimed maximum points on 20 occasions to Glory’s 19. The last time Victory headed to Perth was in round 22 last season, when the visitors left with all three points, thanks to a second half goal from Italian striker Francesco Margiotta, in front of only 3,342 supporters at HBF Park.

Roderick Miranda is welcomed back into Tony Popovic’s squad after training in the lead up to the trip West. Meanwhile Tomi Juric returns to the selection mix, as well as former Glory striker Bruno Fornaroli, who has joined the Club on a permanent basis. The Uruguayan-born Australian initially joined the Club as an injury replacement player in October and has signed on with Victory squad after the opening of the January transfer window. Rai Marchan will miss the clash with Perth, as he follows concussion protocols after picking up a head knock in last week’s 1-1 draw with Adelaide.

Perth Glory Squad: GK Liam REDDY, GK Cameron COOK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 3 Jacob DOWSE, 4 Luke BODNAR, 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, 12 Luke IVANOVIC, 14 Jack CLISBY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 18 David WILLIAMS, 19 Zach DUNCAN, 20 Giordano COLLI, 23 Mitch OXBORROW, 28 Trent OSTLER, 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 36 Joseph FORDE, 37 Jacob MUIR, 43 Adam ZIMARINO - Ins: OXBORROW, OSTLER - Unavailable: GK Brad JONES (injured), 6 Aaron MCENEFF (injured), 10 Salim KHELIFI (injured), 21 Anthony BURKE-GILROY (injured), 22 Adam TAGGART (injured), 24 Adrian SARDINERO (injured)

Melbourne Victory Squad - GK Matt ACTON, GK Ahmad TALEB, 2 Jason GERIA, 3 Enrique LOPEZ, 5 Matt SPIRANOVIC, 6 Leigh BROXHAM, 7 Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8 Josh BRILLANTE, 9 Tomi JURIC, 10 Bruno FORNAROLI, 11 Ben FOLAMI, 14 Jay BARNETT, 18 Nick D’AGOSTINO, 21 Roderick MIRANDA, 22 Jake BRIMMER, 24 Nishan VELUPILLAY, 25 Noah SMITH, 26 Lleyton BROOKS, 28 Will Wilson, 31 Matthew BOZINOVSKI - In: LOPEZ (promoted), JURIC (promoted), MIRANDA (promoted), FORNAROLI (New Signing) - Out: 4 Rai MARCHAN (concussion protocol), Unavailable: 17 Luis NANI (injured), 20 Paul IZZO (injured)



Fresh off a big win against Wellington Phoenix, that took them to within five points of the Liberty A-League top four, Perth Glory now faces three weeks on the sidelines due to a fixture rescheduling which has left Head Coach Alex Epakis demanding answers.

He has vented his frustration at A-League Women administrators over a scheduling call which leaves his players facing three weeks on ice. His side won't play again until February 4 after a decision last week to reschedule next weekend's game against Sydney FC. The postponement was caused after ongoing pitch remediation at Leichhardt Oval, with the game instead set to be played at Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah on March 29.

Amazingly in one of the biggest states in the country, with football venues a plenty, another venue wasn’t available, with the Sky Blues chief executive Adam Santo saying administrators had sought to relocate the game to next weekend but couldn't find an alternative venue, "with many grounds already in use or undergoing similar renovations".

Epakis said it wasn't good enough on the part of the Australian Professional Leagues (APL), and had voiced his concerns in an email to the them, but disappointingly had not received a response, but the APL denied this, "We offered to host them here and cover the cost and they still said no," he added. "I'm not happy about it," he said. "The APL made a decision to postpone our game against Sydney that was due to be this coming weekend. They've made that postponement due to Sydney FC not being able to source a venue in the largest state of venues. So now we've been punished.

“We're going to play three games in six days at the end of the season across three different states, which isn't fair. It compromises the run that we need to have and most importantly, it's a wellbeing and a safety issue." Commissioner Greg O'Rourke was having none of it, saying had been in contact with the club and Perth were unable to fund switching the game to WA. "We have been trying for a number of weeks to solve with alternate grass-field grounds in NSW,” he said. “Unfortunately, this is a very rare occurrence where an alternative couldn't be found for the original date.”

Glory will continue training and play internal games in a bid to keep fresh during their extended break. "We certainly have to do something to maintain that intense load," Epakis said. "You can't go three weeks of not playing a game and then just expect to perform when you get back." Eighth-placed Glory's return to action on February 4, with a trip to ladder leaders Western United in Ballarat.



Mark Birighitti has admitted fearing he made a massive mistake in joining Dundee United - but now the West Australian goalkeeper is relieved to be showing his true worth. The A-League Goalkeeper of the Year arrived started his time at Tannadice under an avalanche of goals, starting with a 7-0 Europa Conference League mauling by AZ Alkmaar which was followed by a 4-0 thumping from Hearts.

A leaky defence and team short of confidence led to Birighitti being axed and he was left wondering what he had done. Manager Jack Ross paid the price as United slid down the league. In came Liam Fox who steadied the ship and brought back Birighitti, who has responded by playing at the level he knows he can.

“I’m not going to lie, it does cross your mind and at the start of the season when things were not going my way, I did think to myself ‘what have I come to’?,” Bigihitti said. “The AZ game was difficult, but the week before it we’d beaten them and it was amazing. Then seven days on, you’re the most depressing person because of the way it panned out. But that’s football.”

“It was really the Hearts game after that because I had a few shaky moments and my confidence was shot. I found myself out of the team after that. The World Cup break came at a really good time for me, I was able to clear my head, spend some time with my family and that allowed me to come back rejuvenated. I feel like I have come back a totally different person and a totally different goalkeeper. I think that has been showing in my performances.”



Charlton Athletic manager Dean Holden has explained why Ashley Maynard-Brewer wore a protective face mask during the teams’ 2-0 win over Barnsley on Saturday. The 23-year old broke his nose while on loan at Ross County last season and Holden said Maynard-Brewer’s recent time out after suffering a concussion presented the perfect opportunity to carry out a small procedure.

“They basically manually manipulated it back into position,” Holden told the South London Press. “That’s just a protective thing for the next couple of week. The concussion was nothing to do (with the procedure). From what I’ve been told it is a procedure that has been needed for a while. So it was just when we had a little bit of free time to put it back into place again.”



Perth Glory have appealed a three-match suspension handed down to Ella Mastrantonio for her role in a heated physical stoush against Wellington Phoenix. The midfielder is staring down the barrel of a month watching from the sidelines after she was sent off for fighting with Wellington’s Emma Rolston in the first half of Sunday’s 2-0 home win.

The A-Leagues match review panel gave the Glory midfielder three weeks - one weeks more than Rolston - for felling the Phoenix star before grabbing her hair and neck later in the ugly altercation. However, a Glory spokesman confirmed today that the club had initiated an appeal. “We’re in the appeals process at the moment,” the spokesman said.

Mastrantonio took to social media in the wake of the suspension to defend her actions after lashing out at Rolston while she was on the ground, claiming she only reached out as she was shoved backwards, when Rolston rose to retaliate, to regain her balance. “There was never a hair pull in there,” Mastrantonio wrote. “Yet smashing someone in the mouth gets two weeks”.

The pair were found guilty of assaulting a player, which carries a minimum sanction of two weeks, with the panel proposing an additional match in Mastrantonio’s case. With Glory not set to kit up again until February 4, it means Mastrantonio would not be available for selection again until the March 5 clash with Western Sydney Wanderers.



Ipswich Town fans were disappointed after Plymouth Argyle grabbed a late leveller to claim a 1-1 draw from yesterday’s top-of-the-table clash at Portman Road. However, centre-back Cameron Burgess says nothing in the race for promotion will be defined by the result which leaves Ipswich third, seven points behind leaders Plymouth.

Burgess is resolute that Ipswich are still well in the fight to top League One. “One hundred per cent,” Burgess insisted. “It never is at this time of year. I think it's about putting yourself in a position come the last few months of the season and that's our aim, and that's what we do one game at a time, the old cliché.”

“Peaks and troughs and swings and roundabouts and all the old sayings. It's really going to come down to just knuckling down, taking it one game at a time, putting in the right performances, and they give you the points at the end of the day... it's just about keeping doing what we do well, and we'll see where it leaves us at the end of the season.”

Burgess paid tribute to the atmosphere at Portman Road with the crowd a sell-out 29,069, the highest since May 2015 and the club’s biggest ever attendance in the third tier. “A lot of things were a blur in that game with the atmosphere and the occasion and things like that. It just kind of flew past, to be honest,” the 27-year old admitted.

“It was brilliant coming out of the tunnel. It was a special occasion to come out and see all the numbers and everywhere you looked there wasn't an empty seat. A great game to be involved in and proud to be involved in it... Everyone has come to this club to enjoy that atmosphere. It's brilliant to play in front of and I know the fans know that, and they've definitely made their voices heard today.”



After running the gauntlet of a hectic schedule, Perth Glory coach Ruben Zadkovich says he’s proud of his team’s resilience as they extended their unbeaten record at Macedonia Park. Back at their makeshift home stadium for the third time in eight days, Glory overcame a poor first half performance - and a power blackout - to escape with a 2-2 draw against Sydney FC.

Having finished their home stand with three wins, two draws and no losses - with three of those matches coming in the past eight days - Zadkovich paid tribute to his troops for embracing the challenge of making the Balcatta venue a hard place to travel to. “We want to make this place a fortress. We want to be very difficult for teams when they do come here,” Zadkovich said.

“I wouldn’t say I’m happy with (Saturday night) because I want us to win and I expect us to try and win at home and we need to play better than we did for longer periods. But on the other hand, the character and the resilience in the group is huge and seven points out of those nine is is a decent effort.” Glory sit in ninth spot on the ladder after 12 games, but just two points outside the top six.



Veteran defender Kim Carroll is set to make her 150th A-League Women appearance when Perth Glory takes on Wellington Phoenix this afternoon. When the 35-year old steps out onto Macedonia Park she will become just the fourth player in the league’s history to achieve this milestone.

"I wasn't aware it was coming up (the 150th game)," said Carroll, one of only nine players who participated in the league’s inaugural season that are still active. "It'll be more something that when I hang the boots up, I can look back and appreciate a lot more."

Carroll is the first to admit this season hasn't quite gone to plan for Glory, who are second from bottom with one win from eight starts. "I don't want to say we've been unlucky because I think you have to create your own luck," she said. "We've had games where it could have gone either way; we could have grabbed a point or a win."

"I don't think we've quite reached our potential yet; we're still trying to get that final bit and I think it's coming. I don't think we were on the front foot at the beginning (of the season) and once you start to get into that motion of losing, it's hard to get out of."

Apart from appearing for Glory, Carroll turned out domestically for her hometown club Brisbane Roar, where she collected one league Premiership (2008/09) and two Championships (2008/09, 2010/11). The defender also spent a season in Denmark where she represented Fortuna Hjørring in the UEFA Champions League.

Carroll is Glory's most experienced players with 55 caps for Australia to her credit. That impressive tally includes being part of the Matildas 2008 AFF Women's Championship and 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup successes as well as appearing at the 2011 World Cup in Germany.

"The World Cup and Asian Cup are significant highlights in my career," she said. "The Asian Cup was awesome because we were the first Australian national team to win a gold medal at a tournament in the Asian Federation, and obviously the World Cup is a massive stage, and to have it in Germany was great."

Carroll is understandably excited for the 2023 World Cup, which is now less than six months away, and how the Matildas will fare. "The games they've been having in the last year or so have seen the fans getting behind them so I'm sure the Matildas will be getting sell-outs," she said. "Let's hope there are good crowds for the other teams that are coming and (we) really support the whole event."

"There's been a lot of work in the last year or two by the coach (Tony Gustavsson) and they've just got to gel and leading into the World Cup that will happen naturally. Players will always want to do well at a World Cup and that drive will be there for sure, and I think we've got a good chance of progressing a long way and hopefully getting to the top."



Mandurah City says it will continue trying to lure the world’s best teams to Western Australia despite falling short in an audacious bid to bring English Premier League giants Everton down under in 2023. The State League revealed they had “strong interest” from Everton for a series of exhibition games in the heart of Mandurah, initially planned for later this year.

Mandurah president Nigel Mann said Everton had expressed interest in the idea would have played a series of games at Peelwood Reserve, with temporary stands planned to bolster the capacity. “It was going be a week, a festival football, round robin matches, Everton would play against three other teams,” Mann said. “Everton especially, or whoever would be coming out, would be based in Mandurah, money would come into the City of Mandurah, it would bring money into the community.”

Mann said the club had talks with the City of Mandurah and the State Government, but a lack of financial backing scuppered the plan. “Everton had a very strong interest, but it’s whether the club and the actual project could get the finance and the backing from the government,” he said. “Similar to when a promotion’s company gets teams like Manchester United and Aston Villa over to Optus Stadium, they need to have backing from government and that wasn’t forthcoming.”

Mann said he believed the looming Women’s World Cup in July, which will see Perth host five games, may have been a factor in the lack of financial support. Peelwood Reserve did make the shortlist for the World Cup team base camp training sites, but was not chosen. Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries executive director of sport and recreation Mitch Hardy confirmed a meeting with the club, but said no application for funding was forthcoming.

“In mid to late 2022, a marketing and promotions organisation requested a meeting with the Minister for Sport and Recreation - Mandurah Football Club to be in attendance - to talk about opportunities to bring one English football league team to Western Australia in 2023 to play and also be part of the Soccer Festival in the City of Mandurah,” Hardy said.

“Football West advised the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries that with some of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 matches scheduled in Perth in July/early August, those months would be very busy, but they would support any activities if possible.” A City of Mandurah spokesperson confirmed discussions had taken place with the club and Citrus Marketing to bring a high-profile English football club to Mandurah.

Mann said the club would continue to pursue opportunities to bring big-name teams to Mandurah - provided it was financially viable. “Going through the whole process was an eye opener to see what actually is involved in the costs. Involved in not only setting it all up, but also get the teams over as well,” he said. It is not the first time Mandurah has been considered as a possible venue for touring English sides - Championship side Luton Town were touted as would-be visitors in 2020.



Former Perth Glory and Gwelup Croatia midfielder Daniel Stynes, has produced an Isuzu Ute A-League goal of the season contender as Newcastle Jets fought back to draw 1-1 with Western United in Ballarat. The visitors found themselves down early, but Stynes’ stunner levelled things up, and the 24-year-old midfielder said it’s up there with the best goals he’s scored.

“I had one before the goal, that dribbled to the keeper and then I thought ‘you know what, I’ll cut in again and have another crack,” Stynes said post-match. “Me and ‘Hoffy’ (Jason Hoffman) and (Jordan) Elsey were talking about it before that you needed to hit it a little bit outside the post because of the wind, so I had a crack and it went in. “So yeah, grateful but just wish we got three points.”

Stynes went on to say they should have come home with all three points. “We want to be an aggressive attacking team and I think that was evident tonight,” he said. “We had a lot of chances, and had a lot of shots on goal. Look, it’s just one of those games, they’re a good team too, last year’s champions, but in the end, it’s disappointing that we didn’t get the three points but at least we didn’t lose.”

Stynes’ strike gave the Jets a deserved equaliser based on the balance of chances in the opening 20 minutes and they could have easily kicked ahead as the half wore on with more opportunities falling Arthur Papas’ side’s way. Their lack of a cutting edge ultimately came back to haunt them, along with failing to make the most of their numerical advantage in the second-half after Western defender Jacob Tratt was sent-off late in the contest.



Matildas skipper Sam Kerr popped up with late equaliser for Chelsea, in the top of the table clash with Arsenal in the English WSL at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. The former Perth Glory striker had struggled against a tight Gunners backline, but on 89 minutes she rose highest to head home substitute Jelena Cankovic cross, to leave the title race wide open.

"It was a bit of a roller coaster. They had the upper hand for a bit, then we had the upper hand. I thought it was a really good game other than them getting the penalty and us not scoring until late," Kerr said post-match. "Our subs did really well when they came on but I think Jelena just got the ball and put it in the box. The forwards had been getting down there but we hadn't been putting the service in the box and we'd kind of just said 'Let's start putting it in now' and I just read the ball and got on there.

“That's kind of my type of tap in, I love a header so I was very happy to get that one. Some games you touch the ball 20-30 times and then other days like today, you don't touch it. And it is more difficult to stay focused, but you have just got to keep out of your own head, play the game moment by moment, and stay focused. Sometimes it is really hard, sometimes the emotions get the better of you but today I just felt really calm and when the ball came in, I just watched it onto my head.”

The second-biggest crowd in the league's history (46,881) was rewarded with a penalty for the hosts, followed by Kerr’s late equaliser. Many supporters were still outside at kick off, with long queues for the first whistle, and it was the Aussies who were involved in the goals on the day. First former Perth Glory’s Arsenal striker Caitlin Foord was brought down by a clumsy challenge from Niamh Charles challenge just before the hour, and Kim Little converted the resulting penalty.

The hosts had dominated, with Foord, Stina Blackstenius and Lina Hurtig all going close, while the best chance came from another Matilda Steph Catley, whose cross shot was tipped over the top by the alert Zecira Musovic. But Kerr, who headed wide earlier in the game, found the target with two minutes remaining to keep them three points clear at the top of the table. "It almost feels like a loss for us," Foord said post-match. I feel like we've dominated most of the game, had plenty of chances, or the better of the chances... and then one cross and Sam obviously equalises late in the game. So, we're disappointed to concede there... it kind of feels like a loss because I really thought we were the better team today."

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes was thrilled with Kerr’s late equaliser, and said her side were happy to take a point from the game. "Sam (Kerr) can have a quiet game … but to deliver, to stay switched on, trust me, that’s such an attribute," she said. “In terms of our attacking play and the quality into the box and the quality of chances, by our standards it was woeful. I didn’t think our attacking players had good games today, but that’s what top teams can do."



Perth Glory have secured their second win of the Liberty A-League season, and moved to within five points of the top four after a 2-0 win against Wellington Phoenix at Macedonia Park on Sunday afternoon. In Kim Carroll’s 150th league appearance, first half goals from Cyera Hintzen and Susan Phonsongkham secured the win, but both sides ended the match with ten players, after Ella Mastrantonio and Emma Rolston both received red cards for clash before the break.

Glory Head Coach Alex Epakis was delighted to get the win, but knows there is room for improvement as they push for a finals birth. “It was a performance that got us the three points, so you’re always happy to get that,” he said. “There were phases where we were good and phases where we could have been better. I would have liked us to have been more clinical at times

“But as it is, we had a very good performance against Victory last weekend and we’ve backed it up with a solid one today. A third goal would have definitely killed the game off, but nonetheless we didn’t concede, so maybe we took our foot off the gas or maybe we were just smarter without the ball and how we positioned ourselves.”

It was a huge day for Carroll, who received a huge round of applause from the vocal crowd before kick-off, and Epakis made the one change to the side that drew against Melbourne Victory last week, with Phonsongkham coming in for the injured Rylee Baisden, who will miss the rest of the season. It was a perfect start for the hosts, and they hit the front on six minutes. The Phoenix gave the ball away in the middle of the park, and Hana Lowry played the ball to Hintzen, and the American fired home superbly from long-range

Things got better for Epakis’ side eight minutes later, when referee Casey Reibelt pointed to the spot after Lowry was brought down by Mackenzie Barry. Phonsongkham stepped up to take the resulting penalty, and sent Brianna Edwards the wrong way. It was one-way traffic, and Lowry stung the palms of Edwards, as the Glory looked for a third. The visitors went close to reducing the margin on the half hour, Michaela Foster’s corner bouncing off the top of the crossbar.

But four minutes later the game took a twist after an incident between Mastrantonio and Rolston saw the pair sent off for violent conduct, leaving both sides down to ten players. The visitors were getting into the game and Ava Pritchard’s shot flashed the wrong side of the upright, but both sides had late chances, with the game opening up. First Liz Anton was denied by Edwards, before Glory skipper Natasha Rigby headed over the top, but at the break the Glory were in control.

The visitors had all to do after half time, and they went within inches of pulling one back ten minutes in. Paige Satchell sent Foster in down the right, her cross shot beat Sarah Langman, but the crossbar came to the rescue of the Glory custodian. Glory also had their chances, Hintzen blazed over when well-placed, before Edwards did well to deny Lowry. Both were creating some good chances, Sofia Sakalis and Demi Koulizakis fired wide for the Glory, before Pritchard failed to force home Michaela Robertson’s cross.

Langman then produced a smart save to thwart Foster, as the Phoenix looked for a lifeline, before Alana Jancevski saw her shot saved low by Edwards, but Glory held firm to take out the three points. “We got punished for two mistakes which…we’ve got to hold ourselves accountable for,” Phoenix head coach Natalie Lawrence said post-game. “We need to stop making these mistakes that are leading to these goals and start taking our chances as well.

“We knew that the travel was going to be tough, we knew that the heat was going to be tough and we prepared as much as we could for it. There’s some fatigue amongst the girls [and] there’s a little bit of jet lag, but that’s not really an excuse that we’re willing to hide behind. New Zealand is where we want to be and where we want to be based and travel is part of it.”

Perth Glory: GK Sarah LANGMAN, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 7 Liz ANTON, 8 Hana LOWRY, 10 Susan PHONSONGKHAM (9 Demi KOULIZAKIS 57'), 12 Sofia SAKALIS (23 Alana JANCEVSKI 79'), 15 Cyera HINTZEN (17 Abbey GREEN 89'), 18 Sadie LAWRENCE (13 Sarah CAIN 79'), 19 Izzy FOLETTA, 21 Ella MASTRANTONIO - Subs not used: RGK Morgan AQUINO - Red Cards: Mastrantonio 35’

Wellington Phoenix: GK Brianna EDWARDS, 3 Kate TAYLOR, 4 Mackenzie BARRY, 5 Marisa VAN DER MEER (6 Isabel GOMEZ 78'), 7 Chloe KNOTT, 8 Grace WISNEWSKI, 9 Ava PRITCHARD, 13 Paige SATCHELL (20 Milly CLEGG 63'), 14 Michaela ROBERTSON, 16 Emma ROLSTON, 21 Michaela FOSTER - Subs not used: RGK Georgia CANDY, 2 Saskia VOSPER, 17 Claudia CICCO - Red Card: Rolston 35’ - Attendance: 700 - Referee: Casey REIBELT



Perth Glory have fought back from two goals down at half time to snatch a 2-2 draw against Sydney FC, in a dramatic Round 12 Isuzu Ute A-League encounter at Macedonia Park on Saturday evening. The Glory faithful were out in numbers again, but it was the Sky Blues who dominated the first half, with English midfielder Joe Lolley and Socceroo Rhyan Grant on the scoreboard.

But a triple change at the break by Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich had the desired effect, with Zach Duncan heading home early. Then a power failure delayed the game for ten minutes just after the hour mark, but Glory pressed late looking for the equaliser and it duly arrived in the 12th minute of stoppage time, with David Williams heading home to send the Glory supporters a way happy, and continued their unbeaten home record this season.

Zadkovich was delighted the way his side rallied after half time to claim a well-deserved point, but knows they need to improve. “The first-half was quite poor,” he said post-match. “Physically, I think the short turnarounds in those games leading into it probably took their toll a little bit and we kind of knew that would happen. But we wanted to keep some players fresh because obviously late in the game when they [Sydney FC] fatigue, we need to have something up our sleeve.

“So, in some ways, the plan in the second half worked really well, but we didn’t want to start that passive and that much on the back foot. I wouldn’t say I’m happy with tonight because I want us to win and I expect us to try and win at home. We need to play better than we did for longer periods, but the character and the resilience in the group is huge and seven points from the last three games is a decent effort.”

Glory made one change to the side that beat Brisbane Roar in midweek, with defender Jacob Muir returning to the starting line-up, replacing Adam Zimarino, who dropped to the bench. It was another packed house at Macedonia Park, but they were silenced on six minutes when the Sky Blues hit the front. Cameroon Cook had already saved low to deny Diego Caballo, but he was beaten after Glory gave the ball away in the middle of the park, and Lolley raced towards goal, and he wasn’t closed down, and his shot from the edge of the box went in via the post.

It was a slow start by the hosts, but they lifted and went close to the equaliser on the quarter hour. Mustafa Amini sent Jack Clisby down the left, his teasing cross picked out John Koutroumbis, whose diving header was well saved by Sydney custodian Andrew Redmayne. But it was Sydney who doubled their lead on 26 minutes, Diego Caballo’s cross flicked off the head of Darryl Lachman, and the unmarked Grant fired home at the back post.

They went close to a third on the half hour, a quick break down the left by Róbert Mak saw him play Max Burgess in on goal, the striker raced into the box, his shot beat Cook, but crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. Glory needed a lift and the skipper almost found it four minutes later, Amini’s shot flashed just wide. Redmayne saved low to deny Koutroumbis, before Adam Le Fondre fired over the top at the other end. Beevers then saw his header in stoppage time deflected just wide, but at the break Glory had it all to do.

Zadkovich brought on David Williams, Adam Zimarino and Zach Duncan, for Jacob Muir, Luke Bodnar and Luke Ivanovic, and he had an immediate response. Clisby’s in-swinging corner was headed home powerfully by Duncan, and it was game on. Glory were on the front foot, and David Williams fired over the top, but Cook was then required to save on the line after Lachman’s header almost crept in. Williams tried his luck from long-range again on the hour, but it was over the top, before the lights went out.

After a ten minutes delay, we were back into it, and Sydney went close to a third on 72 minutes. Adrian Caceres low cross was deflected goalward by Beevers, but Cook reacted well to claw the ball off the line. The Glory custodian was at it again five minutes later, diving full length to save Lolley’s curling effort. Zimarino fired into the side netting, before Redmayne denied David Williams, and it looked like the visitors would leave with the points, but in the 102nd minute Glory found the equaliser. Lachman’s long pass sent Jacob Dowse racing down the left, he reached the by-line before putting in a superb cross on the run and David Williams but in between two Sydney defenders and headed home, much to the delight of the 3,912 home supporters.

“It was good to contribute to the team, but we were all disappointed in the first half performance,” David Williams said post-match. “We had a good reaction in the second half, and in the position we’re in we have to battle, and it was good to take a point tonight, and we hope to move up the ladder. We have not lost here (Macedonia Park) and we’re taking a lot of confidence from that, and we’ll have a good week off and recover and prepare for the next game.”

Sydney Head Coach Steve Corica said it was disappointing to come away empty handed. “I think after the first-half performance we’re probably very disappointed to concede two goals, especially straight after half-time, and then late on in that game there,” he said post-match. “We had some good chances in that first half to make it 3-0, maybe even four, but we didn’t take them, and then it gives them an opportunity to come back into the game.

“The set piece was the first one, straight after half-time we’ve conceded. We were 2-0 up and then we come out, they get a goal early on and then momentum changes. I think we still had one or two good chances in that second half as well to put the game to bed, but we didn’t do that. We’re conceding too many. The first one was a set piece, a header, and the ball got put in behind us for the second goal and we didn’t deal with the cross coming in, so we have to be ready for anything they throw at us. We have to defend a little better than that in moments. It’s just a bit of focus and concentration lacking at the moment.”

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 4 Luke BODNAR (18 David WILLIAMS 46'), 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, (36 Joseph FORDE 90+1'), 12 Luke IVANOVIC (43 Adam ZIMARINO 46'), 14 Jack CLISBY (3 Jacob DOWSE 90+1'), 16 Keegan JELACIC, 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 37 Jacob MUIR (19 Zach DUNCAN 46') - Subs not used: RGK Liam REDDY, 20 Giordano COLLI

Sydney FC: GK Andrew REDMAYNE, 2 James DONACHIE, 9 Adam LE FONDRE, 10 Joe LOLLEY (25 Jaiden KUCHARSKI 90+2'), 11 Robert MAK, 17 Anthony CACERES, 18 Diego CABALLO, 22 Max BURGESS (8 Paulo RETRE 65'), 23 Rhyan GRANT, 26 Luke BRATTAN, 29 Aaron GURD - Sub not used: RGK Thomas HEWARD-BELLE, 5 Connor O’TOOLE, 12 Pat WOOD, 19 Adrian SEGECIC, 27 Adrian VLASTELICA – Attendance: 3,912 - Referee: Alex KING



Central Coast Mariners have confirmed New Zealand international Storm Roux has signed a one-year contract extension with the club. The 30-year old right back re-joined the Mariners last season after previously making over 100 appearances for the club between 2013 and 2018, returning from a three-year stint at Melbourne Victory.

Roux is delighted to be extending his second stint on the Central Coast. “I am extremely excited. I have been at the club for a long time now and I love the club, the boys and what we have built here,” Roux said. “This is home for me now, and everything about the club I love. I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would rather be.”

Central Coast coach Nick Montgomery spoke about his delight in having Roux on board for another season. “Storm is one of the most experienced players in the squad and is now becoming the leader I wanted on and off the pitch and the boys love him,” Montgomery said. “If he continues to perform and keeps the consistency, I have no doubt he can finish his career here with many good seasons ahead of him.”

Roux, who played juniors for Sorrento and spent four years in the local National Training Centre program, has been one of Central Coasts standout performers so far this campaign. He has started seven games and come off the bench a further two times, including last weekend against Adelaide United when he turned in a strong 30-minute spell despite still recovering from illness.



Matildas captain Samantha Kerr has been recognised for a stellar 12 months by being short-listed for the FIFA best women’s player of the year. The Chelsea striker is one of 14 players nominated for the Best FIFA Women's Player award, with the candidates also including last year’s winner, Alexia Putellas of Barcelona.

Kerr, who was runner-up last year to Putellas, reaped a lengthy list of achievements in 2022 which included winning the English Women’s Super League Golden Boot for a second straight season, being named the English PFA’s players’ player of the year and claiming the WSL-FA Cup double with Chelsea.



Perth Glory return home for week ten of the Liberty W-League, when they take on Wellington Phoenix in the first Womens Distance Derby at Macedonia Park on Sunday afternoon (kick off 4pm). Alex Epakis’ side are coming off the back of a well-deserved 1-1 draw against Melbourne Victory last week, and he is looking to continue that good performance on Sunday. “We aren’t in a position where we can have any slip-ups, and we’ve been very clear about that within the group” he said. “From here on in, we’re going into every fixture, regardless of who we’re playing against, with the idea that we’re going all in to get maximum points. That mindset is a good one to have because we know that there is no Plan B. There’s just Plan A and that is to get a positive result.”

Glory played the Phoenix twice last season, winning both games. First in round nine, goals from Sofia Sakalis, Cyera Hintzen and Mie Leth Jans late winner saw them win 3-2 at the Blacktown Football Park in Sydney. Then in round 14, goals from Hintzen, Aideen Keane, and an own goal from Isabel Gomez secured a 3-1 win at WIN Stadium in Wollongong. The Phoenix, who are still searching for their first win of the season, arrive in the west after a narrow loss against league leaders Western United, and there only point this season was earlier this month in a 1-1 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers. But three of their six defeats have come via a single goal, and in teenage striker Ava Pritchard, New Zealand international midfielder Chloe Knott and fellow Football Fern, Mackenzie Barry, they have plenty of talent.

Epakis said his said will need to be at their best to get the points against a good Wellington side, and keep their finals hopes alive. “They’re a very high-energy team with a lot of young players there and I think some of their performances have been really good,” he said. “It’s a really hard-working side which has a lot of parallels to us as a group as well. I’m going to really enjoy the challenge of coaching against them. Since they’ve come into the competition, I don’t think they’ve let anyone run over the top of them. They are a very good competitive team and we had some tricky encounters with them last year, so we’re fully aware of where we need to be at for this game.”

Epakis also announced that leading goalscorer Rylee Baisden will miss the rest of the season after rupturing her ACL in the draw with Victory, and will now require surgery. “Unfortunately, the results [of the knee scan] weren’t great, it’s a serious knee injury and it’s going to be a long-term one,” the coach explained. “It’s devastating because she’s been fantastic for us and fantastic for the competition and we’re just offering as much support as we can now and putting the steps in place so that she can start the rehabilitation. She’ll be undergoing surgery in the next week or two, it is a huge loss. With Rylee, you get fantastic energy and leadership throughout the group and you also get the quality on the field, so to replace that isn’t easy. It’s something that we’re all going to have to chip in and try and fill the void.”

But on a positive note, the coach praised defender Kim Carroll, the former Matildas centre back will make her 150th A-League Women/W-League appearance. “It’s a huge testament to her as a person and as a player,” he said. “Kim’s been a fantastic servant to the competition and the national team for as far back as I can remember. We’ve been very fortunate to have her here this season and last season. She’s someone who I value a lot and who I know the team values a lot. She’s got a lot of leadership capacity, and she’s still doing the job very much on the field and she’s a good person to rely on. We have conversations regarding the team and what we’re doing and it’s a really good exchange of ideas and I feel that she improves me as a coach. She’s been great and I’m really looking forward to her and the team putting on a great effort and a great performance for this game.”

In other team news Sarah Cain, Isabella Wallhead, Abbey Green, Claudia Mihocic and Gabriella Coleman return to the squad. For the opposition former Glory keeper Lily Alfeld is out injured, while Alyssa Whinham and Betsy Hassett also miss the trip, although Kate Taylor returns from injury. The centre back has been side-lined for the past six weeks and has found it difficult not playing. “I haven’t had an injury like this before and it’s been something that’s been really challenging. Not being able to train day-in, day-out…was really frustrating,” she said. “These past few weeks I’ve been taking it easy managing my load a bit more and building up slowly. I’ve been enjoying being back running, kicking a ball and just being back with the girls and around the squad. I’m at a stage now where my foot is good to go.”

Perth Glory Squad: GK Sarah LANGMAN, GK Morgan AQUINO, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 6 Tijan MCKENNA, 7 Liz ANTON, 8 Hana LOWRY, 9 Demi KOULIZAKIS, 10 Susan PHONSONGKHAM, 12 Sofia SAKALIS, 13 Sarah CAIN, 15 Cyera HINTZEN, 16 Isabella WALLHEAD, 17 Abbey GREEN, 18 Sadie LAWRENCE, 19 Izzy FOLETTA, 21 Ella MASTRANTONIO, 22 Claudia MIHOCIC, 23 Alana JANCEVSKI, 42 Gabriella COLEMAN - Ins: CAIN, WALLHEAD, GREEN, MIHOCIC, COLEMAN - Outs: 11 Rylee BAISDEN (injured)

Wellington Phoenix squad: GK Brianna EDWARDS, GK Georgia CANDY, 2 Saskia VOSPER, 3 Kate TAYLOR, 4 Mackenzie BARRY, 5 Marisa VAN DER MEER, 6 Isabel GOMEZ, 7 Chloe KNOTT, 8 Grace WISNEWSKI, 9 Ava PRITCHARD, 13 Paige SATCHELL, 14 Michaela ROBERTSON, 15 Zoe MCMEEKEN, 16 Emma ROLSTON, 17 Claudia CICCO, 18 Te Reremoana WALKER, 19 Charlotte LANCASTER, 20 Milly CLEGG, 21 Michaela FOSTER - Ins: 3 Kate TAYLOR (returning from injury) - Unavailable: GK Lily ALFELD (injured), 10 Alyssa WHINHAM (personal reasons), 11 Betsy HASSETT (international duty).



Perth Glory will go in search of a third straight win, when they host Sydney FC in Week 12 of the Isuzu Ute A-League on Saturday evening at Macedonia Park (kick off 7.30pm). They are coming off wins against the inform Western Sydney Wanderers and Brisbane Roar, and have picked up ten points from a possible 12, since starting life at their new venue, and they are now only two points out of the top six, and a win on Saturday will see them leapfrog the Sky Blues.

Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich has plenty of belief in his playing group, and he is hoping they can continue their winning run against Sydney on Saturday. “Fortunes change and so does confidence, it’s always on a bit of a balance board for a lot of teams,” he said. “I think momentum is important and I think you need to gain as much confidence and momentum as you can and then ride that wave and that’s what we’re certainly going to try and do.

“It’s difficult circumstances for us at the moment with the quick turnarounds, but the boys are embracing the challenge. We are notoriously good at home and have been for a long time and a lot of that comes down to our supporters who are very loyal and passionate and they give us the feeling of an extra man. I know the players really appreciate that, so we want to continue on with our home form, being strong and making it a place that’s difficult for other teams to come and play at.”

The last time the Sky Blues travelled west was in March last season, when goals from Kosta Barbarouses and Patrick Yazbek secured a 2-0 win for Steve Corica’s side in front of 4,708 fans at HBF Park. They do have a good record in WA, and Zadkovich is expecting another tough encounter again on Saturday, against his former teammate. “[We are] very wary of them, they’re a massive club,” he said. “I know Steve Corica well and I know that club well. They’re a club that wins trophies; I remember me and Stevie winning the first [A-League] championship together.

“They expect to win, they’re a team that has been hot and cold and when they’re hot, they’re good. They won away at Melbourne City which is no easy feat. They’re a strong team and they’ve had a couple of big performances where they’ve put a lot of goals on teams and then they’ve also had some other games where they’ve been vulnerable. So, we’ll look to expose them as much as we can in those areas of potential weakness, but we’ll have to defend well as a collective. They have a million-dollar frontline and we have to make sure we’re on our toes.”

Zadkovich confirmed that new signing Adam Taggart will miss Saturday’s clash, while a number of players will struggle to back up from Tuesday night, but he was keeping his cards close to his chest. “Taggs was tracking really well, but he’s had a little minor setback this week with some tightness in his quad, so he’s going to be one or two weeks away, I’d say, from being able to play some minutes, but he’s still progressing well,” he explained.

“There are a lot of tired bodies and it’s going to be our fourth game in 12 or 13 days, so it’s not an easy period for the boys. But as usual, their professionalism and the standard of our recovery protocols have been really high, so hopefully we can get as many guys on deck at training tomorrow and then we can pick from there. We’re going to have to look at all three [Mark Beevers, Salim Khelifi and Ryan Williams] and I’d have to say they’re all in doubt, which is disappointing.

“But we’ve still got another day and this afternoon and there’s a lot of work being done behind the scenes. A few of those guys will have to pass fitness tests if not tomorrow, then on gameday, in order to see if they’re available. But we’ll focus on the ones we do have, I’m always very positive about that. If someone’s not playing, there’s an opportunity there for someone else who may be desperate for minutes. As long as that desperation shows in their performance and they lay everything on the line, then we should be fine.”

Sydney have struggled this season, and they will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Wellington, their third loss in four games. Skipper Alex Wilkinson and Patrick Yazbek are out due to injury, but they welcome back Luke Brattan and English midfielder Joe Lolley.



Perth Glory women’s coach Alex Epakis believes his side have the firepower to compensate for the loss of star attacker Rylee Baisden to a knee injury. The A-League Women’s joint top scorer, Baisden tore her anterior cruciate ligament when she landed awkwardly while making a tackle during last weekend’s draw at Melbourne Victory.

Baisden confirmed the season-ending injury on Instagram and will undergo surgery within the next fortnight. While Epkais said the loss of Baisden was a huge dent in the side, he backed the likes of Alana Jancevski - who scored the equaliser against Melbourne - Susan Phonsongkham and Gabriella Coleman to make up for her absence.

“With Rylee, you get fantastic energy and leadership throughout the group, you also get the quality on the field, so to replace that isn’t easy,” Epakis said. “It’s something that we’re all going to have to chip in and try and fill the void and the players mentioned, plus a few others, get the opportunity to put their hand up to try and do that on the field.”

Defender Kim Carroll is set to make her 150th women’s national league appearance on Sunday against Wellington Phoenix at Macedonia Park. Epakis paid tribute to the 35-year old former Matilda, who has started all but one game at the heart of the Glory defence this season.

“Kim has been a fantastic servant for the competition, for the national team, for as far as I can remember and we’ve been very fortunate to have her here last season and this season,” Epkais said. “We have conversations regarding the team and what we’re doing, and it’s a really good exchange of ideas, and I feel like she improves me as a coach.”

Despite holding fourth-placed Melbourne Victory to a 1-1 draw last time out, Glory find themselves seven points outside the finals places. Epakis said his team were fully aware of the task ahead of them to reach the top four with only ten home-and-away fixtures remaining to be played.

“We aren’t in a position where we can have slip-ups, we’ve been really clear about that within the group; from here on, we’re going into every fixture regardless of who we’re playing against, with the idea we’re going all in to get maximum points,” he said. “That mindset is a really good one to have, because we know there’s no plan B; it’s just plan A, and that’s to get a positive result.”



Perth Redstar top goalscorer Larissa Walsh has been rewarded for a fantastic season at the northern suburbs club, after agreeing a contract at Calder United in the Victoria NPL. The talented 28-year-old, was outstanding last season, helping the RedStar to a clean sweep of trophies in the NPLW-WA. Her pace and eye for a goal was a huge part of the clubs’ unbeaten season, and she became the only player to score in all three Cup Finals within one league season, finding the net in the 2022 Night Series, State League Cup and Top Four Cup Final.

The striker, in her tenth season at the franchise (Northern RedBacks / Perth RedStar), said what a way to go out. “Yes, 2022 was definitely a season to remember with the RedStar’s. The whole squad worked hard all season and it was good to be rewarded for that hard work with the four trophies,” she explained. “The effort made from everyone definitely helped me achieve my goals individually for the season as well, and I can’t thank them enough.”

Walsh heads to the NPL Victorian Champions for next season in a new chapter in her football journey. Calder won the title last season, and won the double, the second in a row after it finished first in 2019, with the subsequent two seasons being suspended due to COVID-19. The challenge of a new environment is one that the striker is looking forward too, and she said it is the right move. “Happy with the decision to move east, it felt like the right time for me,” she said. “Coming off a great season, and to be able to achieve all that with a core group of girls I have been playing with for 10 years it seemed like it was a good time to try a different challenge, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Club Vice President Tony Mullen expressed his thanks to Larissa on behalf of the Perth RedStar committee. “Larry has been a highly valued member of the senior team since joining us as an outstanding young player from Albany,” he told the clubs website. “Her contribution to the club has been invaluable, having played more than 250 senior matches for Northern Redbacks and Perth RedStar making her a life member of the club. Two Golden Boot awards in succession are a testament to the work she continues to put in to improve her stamina, skill and reading of the game. We wish Larry all the best as she progresses her football at Calder United in Victoria.”

It is with a heavy heart that Walsh leaves the club and most of all her teammates, and she said she will be supporting them from a far. “The girls all know how much I value them and RedStar, they will forever be a part of my football life,” she said. “It will be hard to watch from the afar but I cannot wait to see what this season has for them and I feel all the girls are ready to go again this season and have hopefully another outstanding season.”



After four seasons at Gosnells City, Marc Anthony has decided the time was right to move, and he will coaching Morley Windmills in season 2023. The former Celtic and Perth Glory midfielder, will be joined by his assistant Cathal Lennon, who he has worked with at Walter Padbury Reserve, and he said the decision to move was a difficult one, but the opportunity was one he couldn’t turn down.

“Lennie and I are really looking forward to the challenge ahead of us, but there is a great deal of hard work to do,” the Scotsman explained. “It is a big club, with a fantastic set up we now need to build a squad to match the ambition that the club have going forward. We are well aware of the challenge, but anyone who knows me knows I’m up for it, and hopefully we hit the ground running from the beginning.”

Anthony said he had to think long and hard about the move, as he has made a lot of friends at Gosnells, but he thought it was the right move for him. “It was an extremely tough decision to make, as I had an amazing four years at the club,” he said. “I had a fantastic relationship with everyone there, none more so than the playing group and was backed, trusted, every year by the committee, so leaving was not an easy decision, but I felt it was the right time to move on.”

Morley, who won the Premier League back in 1961 and 1973, but haven’t been in the top flight of WA football since 1997, and with a number of players moving on from last season, Anthony knows it a big challenge but can’t wait to get started. “To be fair, we have only had two sessions, so we are obviously working extremely hard to get the playing group together,” he said. “The club recruited well last season, but a lot of boys have moved on, so we will be looking to bring in some new faces this year, and it’s a challenge but one I’m looking forward too.”



What a difference a few months can make. Back in August fringe Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Birighitti was a crestfallen figure after his Dundee United debut ended in a crushing 7-0 European Conference League rout against AZ Alkmaar. And a few days later he was between the posts when United were humbled 4-0 by Hearts

Flash forward to the here and now, and Birighitti is one of the form ’keepers of the Scottish Premiership. Such is his form that there are rumours of a possible bid from south of the border during this month’s transfer window for the former Perth SC junior. “It was tough initially, leaving Australia and coming into a new environment, a new league,” said Birighitti.

“It was a big change and it was always going to take time. I certainly didn’t get off to the best of starts... it was a bit of a nightmare start. But the break for the World Cup came at a good time. I recharged the batteries, went away to clear the head and I now feel like the Mark of old. Hopefully I can continue on this path and keep putting in performances that help the team.”

Prior to the weekend’s 2-0 loss to Rangers, Birighitti had kept back-to-back clean sheets and he believes he’s still developing his craft. “It’s a tough league here but I think I’m adapting well and at 31 I feel I’m still adding different aspects to my game,” he said. “I’m building some momentum and I’m sure I can play my part in helping us climb the table in the coming weeks.”

“I always wanted to have another crack at Europe after my time with NAC Breda and Swansea, and I’m really enjoying my time here and strongly believe in this playing group here and what we’re capable of. Sitting second last is not an ideal reflection of the team because we have some fantastic players.”

Birighitti moved to Tannadice Park in July after three strong seasons with Central Coast Mariners, who he rises early in the morning each week to watch on TV. “There are a lot of special people involved with that club and it’s very close to my heart,” said Birighitti, A-League Goalkeeper of the Year in 2020/21 and 2021/22.

“I follow all their games and I’m so proud and delighted how well they’re doing. A big part of me coming back to the UK was to be close to my (Welsh) wife’s side of the family. My in-laws hadn’t ever seen their grandkids because of three years of Covid restrictions. That was a big part of moving to Scotland along with the opportunity to springboard my career.”

“But, look, Central Coast is a club I hold dear and the owner Richard Peil is a fantastic guy who I have huge amount of respect and time for. He’s helped the club out enormously since taking over and long lay it continue. I’m up at 4am in the morning to cheer them on. They’re looking the real deal right now and that’s a credit to Richard and the coaching staff, Nick Montgomery and Sérgio Raimundo.”



Perth Glory have maintained their unbeaten home record at Macedonia Park, after a 2-1 win against Brisbane Roar on Tuesday evening. A close-range finish from Darryl Lachman secured the lead for the hosts, but Connor Chapman levelled for the Roar just before the hour. But moments later Mustafa Amini’s shot was deflected into his own net by former Glory defender Scott Neville to secure the points for Ruben Zadkovich’s side, and move them off the bottom of the table up to ninth place on the Isuzu Ute A-League table, within two points of the top six.

The Head Coach was pleased with his sides performance, and the character they showed in a tense game, against a ten-man Roar, who had James O’Shea sent off late, but knows they need to improve. “The points were important to us given the position we’re in, we’re happy to take the points from what I thought was a sloppy affair at times,” Zadkovich explained. “The four-day turnarounds for both teams, especially for them with travel, it takes a lot of quality out of the game, I think. In the end, we’ll just take the points and move on.

“I definitely think the character and the belief in the group is very strong and we’ve had plenty of opportunities and moments [this season] when the team could have rolled over. Bar late in the second half against [Melbourne] City, I think the boys have hung in there pretty well. When you’ve got character and spirit, you’ve got a chance and tonight, that was very much on show from our group. They didn’t drop their bundle when the other team scored; we stayed in the game and started to wrangle back the momentum, so that’s a pleasing sign for me.”

There was a surprise in the starting line-up, with Mark Beevers and Ryan Williams selected, after not being on the official squad list. Adam Zimarino also came into the starting line-up, with Salim Khelifi missing with injury, while Jacob Dowse and Jacob Muir dropped to the bench. Glory, who beat Western Sydney Wanderers last week, were looking for back-to-back wins for the first time this season, while the Roar arrived in the west only losing once this season.

It was the hosts who started the brighter and former Roar striker Luke Ivanovic fired over the top early, before Zimarino teed up Jack Clisby, but Jordan Holmes saved low to deny the Glory defender. John Koutroumbis tried his luck from long-range on the half hour, but failed to keep his shot down, before Kai Trewin did likewise down the other end. But on 34 minutes the Glory faithful were on their feet, as the hosts found the opener.

Lachman started the move, driving into the final third and finding Ivanovic on the right, his cross into the box was spilled by Holmes, and Lachman, who had continued his run, fired home gratefully from close-range. It was a deserved lead for Zadkovich’s side, but the Roar, who were one of the form teams in the league going into the game, looked to hit back before the break, but Jordan Courtney-Perkins could hit the target, after former ECU Joondalup striker Joe Knowles had headed on, but at the break Glory held a narrow lead.

Brisbane were out of the blocks quickly after the break, and Carlo Armiento shot on the run flashed just wide, before the former Glory midfield was denied by Cameron Cook moments later. But their lively start was rewarded with the equaliser on 56 minutes, Armiento’s deep cross was headed home by Chapman at the back post. Glory made a double change after the goal, with Ivanovic and Zimarino replaced by David Williams and Dowsw, and the change had an immediate effect.

Ryan Williams cross from the right on the hour was wasn’t dealt with, the ball falling to Amini, who’s shot deflected off the unfortunate Neville, giving Holmes no chance, much to the delight of the packed grandstand behind the goal. The game took another twist two minutes later, when O’Shea was shown a second yellow card by referee Ben Abraham for a crude challenge on Amini, and was sent off. Despite going down to ten men the Roar lifted, but Glory held firm, and David Williams went close to a third on 76 minutes, but his header flashed over the top

It was a tense time for everyone in the ground, as the Roar pressed for the equaliser, and many in the 3,492 crowd thought they had found it deep into stoppage time. They won a free kick just outside the area, and Nikola Mileusnic’s curling effort looked like it had found the corner of the net, but it hit the side netting, much to the relive of the supporters, and moments later the whistle blew, and another three points on the board, moving them up to ninth.

Roar defender Scott Neville said they had a ‘crack’ despite the short turnaround from Friday’s win. “We did well for the first 15 minutes then they put us under pressure than in the second half we got back into the game,” he said post-match. “Going down to 10 men is tough, and we were chasing the game…we will just need to go back to the drawing board. We showed a bit of resilience there to almost nick a point at the end.”

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 4 Luke BODNAR, 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, (19 Zach DUNCAN 68'), 12 Luke IVANOVIC (18 David WILLIAMS 56'), 14 Jack CLISBY, 16 Keegan JELACIC (20 Giordano COLLI 68'), 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 43 Adam ZIMARINO (3 Jacob DOWSE 56') - Subs not used: RGK Liam REDDY, 36 Joseph FORDE, 37 Jacob MUIR

Brisbane Roar: GK Jordan HOLMES, 2 Scott NEVILLE, 3 Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS, 6 Connor CHAPMAN, 10 Nikola MILEUSNIC, 13 Henry HORE (7 Riku DANZAKI 68'), 17 Carlo ARMIENTO (7 Rahmat AKBARI 68'), 19 Jack HINGERT (35 Louis ZABALA 68'), 26 James O’SHEA, 27 Kai TREWIN, 28 Joseph KNOWLES (11 Jez LOFTHOUSE 77') - Subs not used: RGK Macklin FREKE, 16 Joshua BRINDELL-SOUTH, 37 Thomas WADDINGHAM - Red Cards: O’SHEA 62’ - Attendance: 3,492 - Referee: Ben ABRAHAM



Bolton Wanderers defender Jack Iredale is set to have knee surgery and admits he is “gutted” with the timing of his injury. The 26- year old limped off during his teams' 3-0 win against Barnsley, having initially suffered a tear of his lateral meniscus during the goalless draw against Derby County.

“Gutted about the news of this injury, especially the timing of it and what it means for my season,” Iredale said via social media. “I felt I was starting to pick up some momentum personally and with the team. Just need to pick myself back up and look ahead to surgery and recovering as strong as possible.”

Iredale had become an important member of Ian Evatt’s squad since joining the Whites on a free transfer over the summer. The versatile defender has been used both as a wing-back and in the wide centre-back role at times, making 25 appearances in total. Iredale suffered three anterior cruciate ligament injuries as a teenager.



The 2023 season is not too far away, and the NPLWA and State Night Series fixtures were announced last week, with the NPL games taking place the weekend of 27-29 January and consists of two groups of six teams. Last season’s winners Floreat Athena have been drawn in Group A, along with Armadale, Bayswater City, Balcatta, Perth SC and Stirling Macedonia.

In Group B newly promoted Olympic Kingsway with be joined by Cockburn City, Inglewood United, Perth Glory, Perth RedStar and Sorrento, with group games to be played at Frank Drago Reserve, Inglewood Stadium, Dalmatinac Park and E&D Litis Stadium. In all, there will be five rounds of group games in the NPLM Night Series, with the top two from each group advancing to the semi-finals. The final will be at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday 11 March, as part of a double-header with the Men’s State League Night Series.

The round one matches are as follows - Group A - Stirling Macedonia v Perth SC (Friday 27 January, Frank Drago Reserve, 6.30pm), Bayswater City v Armadale (Friday 27 January, Frank Drago Reserve, 8.30pm), Balcatta Etna v Floreat Athena (Sunday 29 January, Inglewood Stadium, 5pm) - Group B - Perth RedStar v Olympic Kingsway (Friday 27 January, Dalmatinac Park, 6.30pm), Cockburn City v Sorrento (Friday 27 January, Dalmatinac Park, 8.30pm), Inglewood United v Perth Glory (Sunday 29 January, Inglewood Stadium, 7pm)

The Men’s State League Night Series starts on the weekend of 3-5 February and is made up of six groups of four. In Group A at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub, newly promoted Maddington White City, will be joined by relegated Gwelup Croatia, Joondalup United and Kingsley Westside. In Group B, also at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub, new Morley Windmills Head Coach Marc Anthony will come against his former club Gosnells City in the first game, and they are joined in the group by Quinns and Fremantle City.

In Group C at Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park, hosts Forrestfield United will be joined by Mandurah City, Canning City and Curtin University. Holders Murdoch University Melville begin their Night Series defence with a Group D encounter at Wanneroo Reserve against Carramar Shamrock Rovers, also in the group are Joondalup United and UWA Nedlands.

In Group E, also at Wanneroo Reserve, hosts Wanneroo City will be joined by Dianella White Eagles, Western Knights and Balga, while in Group F at Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park, will see Ashfield, Subiaco, Rockingham City and Swan United do battle. The State League Night Series has three rounds of group matches. The top team from each group and the two best second-place sides will make up the quarter-finals.

ROUND ONE MATCHES - Group A (Ellenbrook Sports Hub) - Gwelup Croatia v Kingsley Westside (Friday 3 February, 6.30pm), Maddington White City v Joondalup United (Sunday 5 February, 7pm) - Group B (Ellenbrook Sports Hub) - Quinns v Fremantle City (Friday 3 February, 8.30pm), Morley Windmills v Gosnells City (Sunday 5 February, 5pm)

Group C (Crazy Domains Stadium) - Mandurah City v Curtin University (Friday 3 February, 8.30pm), Forrestfield United v Canning City (Sunday 5 February, 5pm) - Group D (Wanneroo Reserve) - Joondalup City v UWA Nedlands (Friday 3 February, 6.30pm), MUM FC v Carramar Shamrock Rovers (Sunday 5 February, 5pm)

Group E (Wanneroo City Reserve) - Wanneroo City v Dianella White Eagles (Friday 3 February, 8.30pm), Western Knights v Balga (Sunday 5 February, 7pm) - Group F (Crazy Domains Stadium) - Ashfield v Subiaco (Friday 3 February, 6.30pm), Rockingham City v Swan United (Sunday 5 February, 7pm)



Charlton Athletic boss Dean Holden is hoping goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer will train today ahead of tomorrow’s English Football League Cup quarter-final away tie with Manchester United. The 23-year old shot-stopper, who had started every game under Holden, suffered a concussion in training and missed the weekend home win over Lincoln City.

Maynard-Brewer was the hero of his teams’ penalty shoot-out win over Brighton and Hove Albion in the previous round of the competition, diving low to his right-hand side to deny Moises Caicedo. “We’re hoping that he’s going to be back in full training today,” said Holden. “All being well, he will be involved tomorrow night. He’s been fantastic since I came in, so it was a disappointment on the weekend.”



Perth Glory's hopes of scoring another home win have taken a hit with star attacker Salim Khelifi joining a growing injury list. The Tunisian national has been ruled out of tomorrow night's clash with Brisbane Roar at Macedonia Park, joining regular starters Mark Beevers, Ryan Williams and Aaron McEneff on the sidelines.

Tunisian national Khelifi hurt his groin and limped off in the first half of Friday night's shock 1-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers. "There's a few sore bodies," said coach Ruben Zadkovich, who assess Beevers and Williams after the pair under-go late fitness tests prior to tomorrow's game.

"We've spent a lot of time doing recovery ... there's a few guys who are going to have pass fitness tests tomorrow morning to see if they're available. Through this period, especially with the cards we've been dealt with these games so close together, it's really important that everyone's focused and available."

Zadkovich was proud of his young side's performance against Western Sydney, praising 21-year old goalkeeper Cameron Cook who pulled off several sharp saves to earn Glory their first clean sheet of the season. He hoped his players would take confidence from the upset win but said they would face a stern test from a Brisbane Roar side unbeaten in eight games.

"They're probably the form team in the competition," he said. "I think this will be one of our toughest tests if I'm honest, especially with a quick turnaround. Whoever we put out, when we're here in Perth we want to make sure that our members and our fans are represented properly and we want to make this place a real fortress which it's been in the past.

"It's difficult for teams to come here and we need to play a style of football that allows us to get on top and make it difficult for teams." Bottom-placed Perth play six of their next seven games at home after having spent much of the season on the road. Brisbane sit fifth on the A-League Men ladder with three wins, six losses and one draw. 9.1.2023


Perth Glory return to Isuzu Ute A-League action on Tuesday evening, when they host Brisbane Roar at Macedonia Park (kick off 7.30pm). Their 1-0 win against Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday evening showed they can compete with any team in the league, and the supporters have backed them in their new home, with another packed house celebrating the three points on Friday, and Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich has hailed the sense of togetherness in and around the club, as they look to extend their three-game unbeaten run at home.

The league table is tight, and the coach knows that three points would lift them to within touching distance of the top six, but he is well aware there is still a long way to go, but he believes the unity is helping drive the club forward. “The thing I’m most proud of with this group at the moment is that they’ve embraced the hardships and we’re still confronting them with this quick turnaround of games,” he said.

“It takes a real togetherness and that’s something we’ve got at this club at the moment from the top down. Right through from the chairman to the admin staff, the new staff that we’ve brought in in the admin and football departments, to the playing group. It’s still a work in progress, but there’s a real appetite from everyone to want to get better and push the club back to where it needs to be.”

The Roar arrive in the West in good form, sitting in fifth place on the ladder, but only five points ahead of the Glory, and Zadkovich is expecting another tough test, but he is quietly confident they can keep their unbeaten home run going. “We face a Brisbane Roar team unbeaten in eight games; they’re probably the form team in the competition,” he said. “They’ve had four away games, won two and drawn two, so I think this will be one of our toughest tests at home, especially with the quick turnaround. They face the same issue [a short turnaround], obviously, so that’ll be a bit of a leveller and I think we’ll need to be at our best.

“We just have to make sure we get the balance of our team right first and foremost and that’s difficult to do at the moment because we’re not exactly sure who’s going to be fit and available. But whoever we put out, when we’re here in Perth, we want to make sure that our supporters are represented properly and make this place, not just Macedonia Park, but Perth in general, a real fortress which it has been in the past. We want to play a style of football which allows us to get on top and make it difficult for teams.”

The last time the Roar headed to Perth was in round 19 last season, when the visitors scored a 4-1 win. It was a tight first half, but Brisbane opened the scoring just before half time with Juan Lescano scoring. The Argentine bagged as second on the hour, before James O’Shea fired home from the spot, before Glory striker Luke Ivanovic added a fourth. Daniel Stynes scored a consolation goal for the hosts in stoppage time, with the 4,593 supporters heading home disappointed.

Glory will be without the inform Salim Khelifi, due to injury, while Mark Beevers, Aaron McEneff and Ryan Williams will miss again also due to injury, but Zadkovich said they have the players to step up on Tuesday. “Salim (Khelifi) is unavailable and there are a few other sore bodies, so we’re going to have a little injury clinic in the morning and see where we’re at,” he said. “There are a few sore bodies and we’ve spent a lot of time going through our recovery protocols. There are a few guys who are going to have to pass fitness tests tomorrow to see if they’re available.

“People that were missing the other day, like [Mark] Beevers and Ryan (Williams), they’re both back on deck, but still need to pass fitness tests to play. But like I always say, if those guys are out, there’ll be other guys that will step up and through this period, especially with the cards we’ve been dealt in terms of these games being so close together, it’s really important that everyone is focused and available. Performance-wise on the pitch… it’s going to take everyone and everyone needs to be at their best. If we continue in that mindset and continue working hard for each other, then I’m sure we can pick up more points.”

Brisbane have only lost once in their ten games this season, but they have drawn six, their three wins have come against Sydney FC, Newcastle Jets and most recently, Melbourne Victory. Former Glory man Carlo Armiento is their leading scorer with three goals, and he returns to his old club for the first time. “He’s a player we wanted and he’s starting to show what his qualities are so that’s really important for us,” Roar Head Coach Warren Moon said. “I don’t think he’s here to replace Charlie (Austin) or fill his boots…but he’s certainly contributing at the moment, and we’re happy with how he’s going.”

Perth Glory squad: GK Liam REDDY, GK Cameron COOK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 3 Jacob DOWSE, 4 Luke BODNAR, 8 Mustafa AMINI, 12 Luke IVANOVIC, 14 Jack CLISBY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 18 David WILLIAMS, 19 Zach DUNCAN, 20 Giordano COLLI, 23 Mitch OXBORROW, 25 Matt HATCH, 28 Trent OSTLER, 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 31 Chris DONNELL, 36 Joseph FORDE, 37 Jacob MUIR, 43 Adam ZIMARINO - Ins: OXBORROW, OSTLER, DONNELL - Outs: 10 Salim KHELIFI - Unavailable: GK Brad JONES (injured), 5 Mark BEEVERS (injured), 6 Aaron MCENEFF (injured), 7 Ryan WILLIAMS (injured), 21 Anthony BURKE-GILROY (injured), 22 Adrian SARDINERO (injured)

Brisbane Roar squad: GK Macklin FREKE, GK Jordan HOLMES, 2 Scott NEVILLE, 3 Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS, 4 Anton MLINARIC, 6 Connor CHAPMAN, 7 Rahmat AKBARI, 8 Riku DANZAKI, 10 Nikola MILEUSNIC, 11 Jez LOFTHOUSE, 13 Henry HORE, 16 Joshua BRINDELL-SOUTH, 17 Carlo ARMIENTO, 19 Jack HINGERT, 26 James O’SHEA, 27 Kai TREWIN, 28 Joseph KNOWLES, 32 James NIKOLOVSKI, 35 Louis ZABALA, 37 Thomas WADDINGHAM - Ins: WADDINGHAM - Outs: 29 Cyrus DEHMIE - Unavailable: 5 Thomas ALDRED



Dundee United defender Scott McMann has lauded the “calming influence” of Mark Birighitti as the goalkeeper enjoys a Tannadice resurgence. 31-year old Birighitti endured a nightmare start to his United career, with the nadir coming when he shipped 11 goals in two matches against AZ Alkmaar and Hearts.

Birighitti, signed in the off-season from Central Coast Mariners, was then dropped in favour of Carljohan Eriksson before finally reclaiming the gloves at the tail end of October. Since then he has kept three clean sheets in seven appearances and has been particularly solid since the post-World Cup restart.

McMann has nothing but praise for Birighitti, whose wonderful late save in Monday’s 1-0 win at St Johnstone typified the form which saw him named the A-League Goalkeeper of the Year last season. “Let’s be honest, we ALL had a tough time at the start of the season,” said McMann. “Nobody was really at it. It’s taken us a while to adjust to each other.”

“But Birraz (Birighitti) has been excellent in the last few games and hopefully he’ll keep it up for us - because we need him. He’s a calming influence back there. It can take someone a different length of time to develop in a different league and a different country; bringing his family over and things.”

“I’ve not watched too much Australian football but I’d imagine it’s very different. You can see the confidence growing through the back-line — and the whole team. Results breed that togetherness.” McMann and Birighitti are part of the meanest defence in the Premiership over the last 11 fixtures, conceding just 11 goals ahead of Rangers’ visit tomorrow afternoon.



Perth Glory midfielder Keegan Jelacic has lifted the doom and gloom around the club, firing his first goal for the club, to give them a vital and well-deserved 1-0 Isuzu Ute A-League home win over in-form Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday evening. With dressing room fall-outs and other gossip filling the social media pages, Ruben Zadkovich side put that all behind them to thrill another packed house at Macedonia Park, beating second placed Wanderers, and hopefully kick start their season.

The coach was delighted with his side, especially with a number of his experienced players missing. “I thought for long periods of the match, we were the better team,” he said post-match. “We deserved the points and I thought we played really well. Especially with a lot of young guys stepping up and Jacob Dowse on debut against a couple of big centre-backs, I thought his effort was good and he had some good moments. But as a collective, I thought we deserved the points. Inside our four walls, there’s a real big belief, I’m extremely proud of the group and there’s a real togetherness inside that dressing room.”

With the heavy match schedule, three games in eight days, Glory made five changes to the side that lost in Adelaide on Monday evening. In came keeper Cameron Cook, John Koutroumbis, Jacob Dowse, Luke Bodnar and Luke Ivanovic. Liam Reddy, David Williams and Zach Duncan dropped to the bench, while Ryan Williams and Mark Beevers were out injured. Macedonia Park was rocking again at kick off, and Glory went close in the opening minutes, Jelacic firing over the top.

Dowse was making his starting debut for the club, and he was causing the Wanderers problems, and his goalbound shot on eight minutes was well blocked, as the hosts pressed for the opener. Cook, who was making his first start of the season, was called into action on 20 minutes, saving to deny Gabriel Cléùr, as the Wanderers looked to build on their impressive win against Macarthur last week. But it was Glory creating the better chances, skipper Mustafa Amini firing wide from the edge of the box, before Ivanovic was denied by Wanderers keeper Lawrence Thomas.

The Victory custodian was keeping his side in the game, first he saved superbly from Khelifi’s powerful strike from outside the box. Then from the following Khelifi corner, Jack Clisby’s volley from the edge of the box was tipped over the top by the alert Lawrence. The Wanderers were struggling to break down Glory, but their best chance came just before half time, Brandon Borrello’s shot flashing just wide of the upright. Glory suffered a huge blow late, with the lively Khelifi forced off with injury, he was replaced by Joseph Forde.

Wanderers were on the front foot after the break and Cook was alert to save Sulejman Krpic header early, but it was Glory continued to dictate terms. On 58 minutes Koutroumbis picked out substitute Adam Zimarino, but his shot flashed just wide of the post, but sixty seconds later they found the opener. David Williams made space down the left, cut inside the box, the ball fell to Jelacic, and the youngster found the bottom corner of the net, much to the delight of the Shed behind the goal.

The visitors, who arrived in the west in second place on the table, looked for a response and skipper Marcelo’s close-range shot was saved low by Cook, before Oliver Bozanic fired over the top. There was some anxious moments late, as the visitors pressed for the equaliser. Former Glory defender Tomislav Mrcela saw his header saved by Cook, before the young keeper got down well to save Romain Amalfitano’s shot in the final minute of stoppage time, and the final whistle was greeted with a huge cheers, Glory securing three vital points.

Wanderers coach Mark Rudan said the performance against Glory wasn’t good enough. “We are not going to keep building if our mentality isn’t right,” Rudan said. “And it’s games like this where we’ve struggled. We come to Perth, poor lighting, strong winds – so what. These external factors, if we’re going to be a good side, need to be forgotten about. We need to be mentally better, and we’re not there.”

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 3 Jacob DOWSE (18 David WILLIAMS 57'), 4 Luke BODNAR (19 Zach DUNCAN 76'), 8 Mustafa AMINI, 10 Salim KHELIFI (36 Joseph FORDE 44'), 12 Luke IVANOVIC (43 Adam ZIMARINO 57'), 14 Jack CLISBY, 16 Keegan JELACIC (20 Giordano COLLI 77'), 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 37 Jacob MUIR - Subs not used: RGK Liam REDDY, 25 Matt HATCH

Western Sydney Wanderers: GK Lawrence THOMAS, 2 Gabriel CLEUR, 3 Adama TRAORE, 5 Tomislav MRCELA, 6 MARCELO, 7 Ramy NAJJARINE (37 Alex BADOLATO 85'), 8 Oliver BOZANIC (19 Daniel WILMERING 74'), 9 Kusini YENGI (11 Sulejman KRPIC 39'), 17 Romain AMALFITANO, 26 Brandon BORELLO (35 Zac SAPSFORD 85'), 28 Calem NIEUWENHOF - Subs not used: RGK Daniel MARGUSH, 12 Ruon TONGYIK, 36 Alessandro LOPANE - Attendance: 3,912 - Referee: Jack MORGAN



A first goal of the season for Perth Glory substitute Alana Jancevski, has secured a hard fought 1-1 draw against reigning Liberty A-League champions Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Friday afternoon. In one of their best performances of the season Alex Epakis’ side fought back from 1-0 at the break to earn a well-deserved point, and could’ve won it late. The only downside in the game was a serious injury to top scorer Rylee Baisden, the American striker stretchered off on the hour with a knee injury.

Epakis said he was proud of the performance, but the injury to Baisden took the shine off it. “We knew we had to go all in today and we were very clear about that throughout the week; that we needed to get a result just to keep us in the in the Finals’ hunt,” he said post-match. “I think that that performance today was a very resilient, front-foot- based performance. As far as I was concerned, I thought we dominated the chances and we looked really good and I’m very proud.

“It’s just unfortunate that we don’t have more points to show for it, but it’s a really big step in the right direction. It doesn’t look good (the injury to Baisden), which was obvious from the reaction. It’s very heartbreaking and, you know, you just forget about the game for that moment. I don’t know 100% yet, but we’ve just got to remain hopeful, but it doesn’t look great.”

Glory made the one change to the side that were beaten by Western United last week, with Izzy Foletta coming in for the first start of her second spell at the club, replacing Isabella Wallhead who was not in the game day squad. It was a bright start from the visitors and they went close in the first minute, Baisden finding Cyera Hintzen, but her shot flashed wide of the far post. Moments later Hana Lowry’s shot from the edge of the box was saved by Casey Dumont.

The hosts, who beat Glory in round four, hit back and Paige Zois tested Sarah Langman, but it lacked the power to trouble the Glory custodian. Sofia Sakalis then tried her luck from long-range on 20 minutes, before the Melbourne City midfielder was involved again moments later, combining with Baisden to set up Hintzen, but she couldn’t keep her shot down. But on 26 minutes, and against the run of play it was the hosts who found the opener.

It looked like little danger when Alex Chidiac found Paige Zois on the left of the penalty area, but the Victory youngster cut inside Natasha Rigby and curled home superbly, for her first A-League goal. The game opened up after that, and Lowry fired into the side netting, before Rikke Madsen fired wide at the other end. Langman then got down well to save Kayla Morrison’s free kick, and Alana Murphy effort flashed wide, as Victory ended the half the better.

It wasn’t the best of starts for Glory after the break, and all eyes were on Baisden on 57 minutes when the American went down clutching her knee after a tackle on Morrison, and her compatriot Morrison was in distress, and after treatment Baisden was stretchered off and replaced by Jancevski. It unsettled Glory and Victory went close twice in as many minutes, first Madsen fired inches wide, before Langman saved to deny Chidac.

But Glory weren’t finished and on 72 minutes they found the equaliser. Ella Mastrantonio’s ball into the penalty area was well brought down by Jancevski, and she finished clinically past Dumont. Glory went for the win and substitute Demi Koulizakis was sent clear by Jancevski, but the strikers shot on the run was well saved by Dumont, before the Victory custodian saved to deny Susan Phonsongkham, with both sides sharing the spoils.

Melbourne Victory: GK Casey DUMONT, 5 Jessika NASH, 6 Beattie GOAD, 7 Gema SIMON, 8 Alana MURPHY (17 Maja MARKOVSKI 81'), 10 Alex CHIDIAC, 11 Natalie TATHEM, 16 Paige ZOIS (15 Amy JACKSON 81'), 18 Kayla MORRISON, 21 Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT (2 Tiffany ELIADIS 87'), 22 Ava BRIEDIS (13 Sarah ROWE 64'), 25 Rikke MADSEN - Subs not used: RGK Miranda TEMPLEMAN

Perth Glory: GK Sarah LANGMAN, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 7 Liz ANTON, 8 Hana LOWRY (9 Demi KOULIZAKIS 85'), 11 Rylee BAISDEN (23 Alana JANCEVSKI 60'), 12 Sofia SAKALIS, 15 Cyera HINTZEN, 18 Sadie LAWRENCE (10 Susan PHONSONGKHAM 65'), 19 Izzy FOLETTA, 21 Ella MASTRANTONIO - Subs not used: RGK Morgan AQUINO, 6 Tijan MCKENNA - Attendance: 973 - Referee: Kelly JONES



Perth Glory will entertain Western Sydney Wanderers at Macedonia Park on Friday evening, in the first of four Isuzu Ute A-League home fixtures in the space of 15 days. (Kick off 7.30pm WA time). The Glory were forced to play their opening five games away from home, and their supporters suffered, and if that was not bad enough, it seems a little unfair the league has cramped these fixtures in to such small space of time. But that’s the state of play and the men in purple will be looking to maintain their unbeaten home form against an in-form Wanderers side.

Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich is expecting a stern test against Mark Rudan’s Wanderers who currently sit in second spot in the table having accrued 18 points from ten games, and are coming off a 4-0 win against Macarthur FC last week, but he is hoping the home faithful can guide them home. “We’re up against a very good Western Sydney Wanderers team that are full steam ahead at the moment,” he said. “Rudes [Mark Rudan] is what he is, he was a tough, combative player and he’s a tough, combative coach.

“He’s set his team up really well, and I think they’ve built a really tough squad, they have a strong playing roster and they’re a good side. But they’ve got to come here and beat our team and that’s no easy feat to come to Perth and beat our team in front of our home fans. With a quick turnaround, it’s going to take a massive effort for us to get up on Friday night, but I believe that our home fans will definitely provide that extra support we need.“

Zadkovich said they have moved on from the loss against Adelaide last week, which left them languishing at the foot of the table, and he knows a win on Friday will give them a huge boost. “In this competition, one win can turn your season around,” he said. “You look at a team like Newcastle Jets; before they played Adelaide, they were 11th, then they won one game and went into the top six. We’re not that far out of the top six, two wins can get you back in the frame and we’ve got a game in hand on a lot of teams above us as well.

“All the games are worth three points and they’re all important, but it is nice to be home. We’ve got great fans and very loyal Members. So far this year, we’ve had two opportunities to play at Macedonia Park and we’ve put in two pretty good performances, one win and one draw and we’re undefeated. So we’ll look to continue that on Friday.”

Wanderers defence has been miserly this season, and they have kept the most clean sheets in the competition to date, and the last time the sides meet in the west was a HBF Park last season, when they fought out a 1-1 draw. Bruno Fornaroli gave the hosts the lead on 18 minutes, but Keijiro Ogawa levelled 12 minutes from time, in front of 6,893 supporters, but on the whole Glory match up well against the Wanderers, claiming seven wins to Wanderers’ two in this fixture.

The club have suffered a huge injury blow, with influence Irish midfielder Aaron McEneff out injured, but Zadkovich said it gives another player the opportunity to step up, and he’s confident they will. “Aaron has picked up a small injury to his foot, so we’re without him at the moment,” he said. “It looks like not too bad an injury, but enough to keep him out for a couple of weeks, but it’s a big loss. He carries with him a presence and a level of quality which we lacked at times in that Adelaide game, I thought.

“But we’ve got to bounce back really quickly without him. He was one of our big target signings for this season, but there are other quality players there. Zach Duncan, Luke Bodnar, Giordano Colli… young guys with less experience, but they have a level of talent as well and they need to step up to the plate and deliver. While it’s unfortunate for us, especially in our situation, to lose one of our best players, it does provide an opportunity for those young guys and I’m not shy about playing those guys and backing them in and I’ve shown that in the past.”

Perth Glory squad: GK Liam REDDY, GK Cameron COOK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS, 3 Jacob DOWSE, 4 Luke BODNAR, 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, 10 Salim KHELIFI, 12 Luke IVANOVIC, 14 Jack CLISBY, 16 Keegan JELACIC, 18 David WILLIAMS, 19 Zach DUNCAN, 20 Giordano COLLI, 25 Matt HATCH, 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 36 Joseph FORDE, 37 Jacob MUIR, 43 Adam ZIMARINO - Ins: HATCH, ZIMARINO - Unavailable: GK Brad JONES (injured), 6 Aaron MCENEFF (injured), 21 Anthony BURKE-GILROY (injured), 22 Adrian SARDINERO (injured)

Western Sydney Wanderers squad: GK Lawrence THOMAS, GK Daniel MARGUSH, 2 Gabriel CLEUR, 3 Adama TRAORE, 5 Tomislav MRCELA, 6 Marcelo, 7 Ramy NAJJARINE, 8 Oliver BOZANIC, 9 Kusini YENGI, 10 Milos NINKOVIC, 11 Sulejman KRPIC, 12 Ruon TONGYIK, 17 Romain AMALFITANO, 19 Daniel WILMERING, 23 Yeni NGBAKOTO, 26 Brandon BORELLO, 28 Calem NIEUWENHOF, 35 Zac SAPSFORD, 36 Alessandro LOPANE, 37 Alex BADOLATO - Ins: NINKOVIC (promoted), BADOLATO (promoted) - Unavailable: Nil



Perth Glory pushed the unbeaten Western United all the way last week, eventually losing 2-3, but they will take a great confidence out of the game when they make the trip to AAMI Park on Friday evening, to take on Melbourne Victory in round nine of the Liberty A-League (kick-off at 2.05pm WST). They lost to the current champions in round four, but Head coach Alex Epakis believes that an internal reset has improved his side’s chances of toppling them on Friday, but is wary of the heavy workload of games

“The first thing you want to do after a loss is just get back on the field and make things right, and that’s where we are as a group,” he said, “We’re looking forward to having an opportunity to make things right quickly, I thought we did play really well [against Western United] and that performance against 80% of the other teams gets us a result, so to walk away with nothing was probably the most disappointing thing. After the three matches in quick succession with the travel in-between, we’ve now had a bit of time together as a team to kind of decompress and debrief where we’re currently at and reset the ideas that we’re trying to put together on the field.”

A second-half red card to Sarah Cain proved crucial when Glory hosted Victory last month. Melina Ayres had given Victory the lead midway through the first half, but after the sending off, Ayres added a second, before Alexandra Chidiac secured the points for the visitor, But Epakis is quietly confident that his side have what it takes to match Jeff Hopkins’ side in the return fixture.

“We were very competitive in that match before going one player down, and I think that ultimately, we took away a bit of confidence from that, knowing that we could continue to compete while having a player less,” he said. “There were certainly moments where we were really good and on top in that match and I’m hoping to build on that and get the result that we need.”

Cain will be unable to make amends in Friday’s game as she has been ruled out by illness, but the coach said he will look to change things up for Friday’s encounter. “There’ll be a few changes just to freshen it up and bring different characters onto the field,” he said. “It’s important when you have a squad that you utilise players’ strengths for particular matches and particular moments in a season. That’s where we’re at and we’ll see some new faces in the squad this week. Every team in the competition has strong players [including Melbourne Victory] and a certain style of play and we just need to be aware of it, but continue to focus on what we’re doing more than anything.”

After a slow start to the season, Victory have enjoyed four consecutive victories over Wellington Phoenix, Glory, Newcastle Jets and most recently, Canberra United. Victory coach Hopkins said Friday will be a tough encounter. “We’re very, very wary about this game,” he said. “The win away in Perth is a game we won, and we played really well, it was probably one of our best performances of the season. “We’re really focusing on the technical side, and the tactical side for sure, but more around our physical preparation, our ability to work hard, to be cohesive as a team without the ball.”

Melbourne Victory squad: GK Casey DUMONT, GK Miranda TEMPLEMAN, 2 Tiffany ELIADIS, 5 Jessika NASH, 6 Beattie GOAD, 7 Gema SIMON, 8 Alana MURPHY, 10 Alex CHIDIAC, 11 Natalie TATHEM, 15 Amy JACKSON, 16 Paige ZOIS, 17 Maja MARKOVSKI 18 Kayla MORRISON, 19 Lia PRIVITELLI, 21 Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 22 Ava BRIEDIS, 23 Emily KOS, 25 Rikke MADSEN, 27 Rosie CURTIS - Ins: TEMPLEMAN (returns from injury), KELLOND-KNIGHT (returns from illness), KOS (promoted), LIACOPOULOS (promoted) - Unavailable: 3 Claudia BUNGE (injured), 9 Catherine ZIMMERMAN (injured), 14 Melina AYRES (injured)

Perth Glory squad: GK Morgan AQUINO, GK Sarah LANGMAN, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 6 Tijan MCKENNA, 7 Liz ANTON, 8 Hana LOWRY, 9 Demi KOULIZAKIS, 10 Susan PHONSONGKHAM, 11 Rylee BAISDEN, 12 Sofia SAKALIS, 15 Cyera HINTZEN, 16 Isabella WALLHEAD, 17 Abbey GREEN, 18 Sadie LAWRENCE, 19 Izzy FOLETTA, 21 Ella MASTRANTONIO, 22 Claudia MIHOCIC, 23 Alana JANCEVSKI, 42 Gabriella COLEMAN - Ins: MCKENNA, GREEN, FOLETTA, MIHOCIC - Unavailable: 13 Sarah CAIN (illness), 24 Milan HAMMOND (injured)



Armadale Soccer Club are delighted to welcome striker Chris Jackson back to Alfred Skeet Reserve for next season. The striker played for the club in 2018, bagging 24 goals in 18 games, scoring both goals in the 2-0 cup final win against Gwelup Croatia, claiming Army’s first major silverware in the state cup final. The 29-year-old has spent the last two seasons at Sorrento scoring eighteen goals on his travels, and Head Coach John O’Reilly is delighted to have secured the services of the striker once again.

“Chris brings goals to the team. He is an old school striker that thrives on opportunities and half chance to punish oppositions defenders,” he explained. “We are pleased to have brought Chris back to the club and it shows the ambitious direction that the club now wants to go. The committee are focused on bringing in a new level of talent to the team this year and Jackson is just the sort of player to kick off our recruitment drive. Speaking to Chris, he is determination to win trophies, and high on his agenda and my goal is to help Chris, and the team, finish top of the league and claim back his Golden boot from 2018."

Jackson said he is looking forward to returning to the Skeet and playing in front of the famous Army Boys. “It’s good to be back around the club, there has been some back ground, but good to see those familiar faces again,” he explained. “It certainly will be good to have the guys behind me again, they are always excellent in spirit and loud, I’m really looking forward to it.”

The English born striker said he enjoyed his time at the Gulls, and thanked them for the opportunity to play at Percy Doyle Reserve, but unfinished business at the Skeet was a huge pull. “Sorrento as a club was superb, the club, players and the supporters,” he said. “Falling just short of trophies, finishing in the top four twice and reaching the semi-final of the cup twice made my decision very tough to leave unfinished business, but I feel going back to Armadale was the right decision for me, as I’ve got some unfinished business there too.”

He also played a season at Inglewood United before heading back to the UK, but now he is an Australian resident he can’t wait to get started with his new team mates. “My main aim will to be bring Armadale trophies again, if I can reach them goal figures again while doing that, it would be a bonus,” he explained. “I can’t wait to get started, and the club have big plans for next season and I’m really pleased to be here.”



Inglewood United’s 2022 NPLWA season ended in disappointment, and with only one win in the last six games saw them finish sixth, but Head Coach Andres Oliveira has not rested on his laurels, and has brought in striker Michael Domfeh and winger Shubham Mokala returns for season 2023. The signing of the duo is important for the club, who struggled in front of goal last season, and Head coach Andres Oliveira said he is looking forward to working with them.

“Both Shubham and Michael are important signings for us, as we are building from last year,” he said. “I thought defensively last season we were very good as unit, and had the second best in the league, but goal scored we were poor, but that’s not due to players upfront, it was more the way we played. So, bringing in some quality and experience will help us push forward and I’m looking forward to working with the pair, as we look to improve on last season’s sixth place finish.”

Mokala returns to the Inglewood Stadium after a season at Perth SC, this after other stints at Balcatta and Gwelup Croatia, and the 23-year-old is relishing the opportunity to help the club rise the ladder. “I’m very much looking forward to the 2023 season with Inglewood,” he said. “I’ve played for them in the past and know how prideful the club is and am looking forward to reflecting that in how I play this season.”

The winger enjoyed his time at Dorrien Gardens, but he hopes to contribute on the scoresheet, something they struggled with last season. “I enjoyed my time at Perth and the football too, so ultimately it was a difficult decision to leave a big club like Perth, but I’m exciting to join another big club in Inglewood and give myself a change and a new challenge,” Mokala explained

“Looking at the stats from last season, I think Inglewood weren’t short of chances, but maybe they could have been a bit more clinical. I think the signings the club has made (such as Michael Domfeh), as well as the existing players staying on will help to be more ruthless in front of goal and hopefully, I can play a role in that too.”

Domfeh, who started his career at Armadale SC, before stints at Perth Glory, Perth SC and Stirling Macedonia, said he is looking forward to working with Oliveira. “I believe it is a good move for me, and watching how Inglewood play and playing against them previously in the past, I think their team and culture best suit my qualities,” the striker explained.

“Working under Andreas was definitely a factor in the move. Being a striker, I think with my development it’s good to work with someone who understands the position and what’s required. He has also achieved at a high level so looking to do the same this year.”

The striker said the decision to leave Stirling was tough, but he believes the move to Inglewood is best for his football. “Yes, it was a difficult decision leaving Macedonia Park, but I felt I had a part to play with the team finishing third however I do think the system was different to what I was use to in the past,” he explained. “Overall, I enjoyed my time there and wish the club the best in the future, but Inglewood is my future, and I can’t wait to get started.”



To some, playing five games in less than three weeks is a chore, and a test of their physical capabilities. But to Ryan Williams it is business as usual. The Perth Glory winger will lean on his experience of playing multiple games with a short turnaround as his side find themselves in the midst of a frantic run of fixtures.

After bowing to Adelaide United on Monday, Glory takes on Western Sydney Wanderers at Macedonia Park on Friday, before hosting Brisbane Roar next Tuesday and welcoming Sydney FC the following Saturday. After a short break, they then entertain Melbourne Victory to complete a run of five-games in 20 days.

Williams, a veteran with a decade of experience in England where mid-week games are a regular occurrence, is very much in his element. “This is what I’ve been used to for the past 10 years,” Williams said. “Especially after you lose a game, you can carry on to the next one and try and put things right. That’s kind of the beauty of playing games so quickly, you can just forget about the last one and try and move forward.”

While the short turnaround will be taxing on the body, Williams said the bulk of the squad were feeling fit as they prepared for the deluge of games. “It’s more about getting the boys back to where they were before the last game and getting ready for the next one,” he said. “Not so much training, we’ll probably do a little bit of shape stuff, but that’s about it.”



Perth Glory coach Ruben Zadkovich is adamant the club's skewed fixture won't be used as an excuse as he attempts to mastermind their rise up the A-League Men ladder. Glory sit dead last with just two wins and a draw to show from nine games. But seven of those matches have been away fixtures, including the first five of the season when Glory's temporary home venue Macedonia Park was being prepared.

Glory will now play seven of their next eight matches in Perth, starting with Friday night's encounter against second-placed Western Sydney Wanderers. The string of home games will give Glory an excellent chance to snare some wins and climb up the ladder. But with their upcoming four-match stint at Macedonia Park being crammed into 16 days, Glory's squad will be put to the test.

Zadkovich feels like his side have been handed a raw deal on the fixture front this season, but he doesn't want his players to dwell on it. "Look, it just seems to go that way. You get seven out of your first nine games away from home, and then when you do get to play at home, they cram them together in a 16-day period," Zadkovich said.

"It's not ideal. Let's not beat around the bush. It should be a week apart, one home, one away. That's what it should look like. It would give us a much better opportunity to win games. But in the end they just become excuses. It's not what anyone wants to hear. So we just have to embrace the hardships, we need to band together as a group, and try to pick up as many points as we can in front of our home fans."

Glory are six points adrift of sixth spot, but Zadkovich doesn't feel like his team are out of the finals picture. "In this competition one win can turn your season around," Zadkovich said. "We're not that far out of the top six. Two wins can get you back in the frame. This is our home, this is our fortress."



Perth Glory’s depth will be tested during a hectic 16-day period with import Aaron McEneff set to miss the next fortnight through injury. Glory hosts Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday, Brisbane Roar next Tuesday, Sydney FC the following Saturday before ending the home run a week later against Melbourne Victory.

McEneff is likely to be absent for much of that run after missing last weekend’s loss at Adelaide United with a foot issue. Coach Ruben Zadkovich said there was no definitive timeline on the Irish midfielder’s return and fully expected to be without him for at least the next fortnight.

“We’re without him at the moment, it’s a big loss. He carries with him a presence, a level of quality which we lacked at times in that Adelaide game,” Zadkovich said. “It looks like not too bad an injury, but serious enough to keep him out for a couple of weeks.”

McEneff’s absence will open the door for one of Zach Duncan, Giordano Colli or Luke Bodnar to stake a claim for a midfield spot. “They’re younger guys, less experienced, but they have a level of talent and they need to step up to the plate and deliver,” Zadkovich said.

“It does provide an opportunity for those young guys. I’m not shy to play those young guys and back those guys in and I’ve shown that in the past, but I am looking for someone to step up and deliver as well, because we’re at that point we’re at home again, and we want to get a result.”



Centre-half Cameron Burgess insists there’s no need to panic despite Ipswich Town taking only five points from nine over Christmas and dropping to third in League One. The Blues got Christmas off to a great start with a 3-0 Boxing Day victory over Oxford United but followed that up with draws against mid-table Portsmouth and a 10-man Lincoln City.

“Nothing changes, we keep playing the same way. Nothing will change going into the second half of the season now. We keep playing our way and we’ll get results,” said Burgess, whose team are six points behind leaders Plymouth Argyle and two off Sheffield Wednesday. “We believe in ourselves and there’s no reason to change anything. No panic, no change from our point of view.”

Burgess says there will be ups and downs in the remaining 21 matches in the second half of the season. “We’re going to have to deal with a lot of different things and I think we’ve seen that in the last couple of weeks,” he said. “It’ll be an interesting one and hopefully a good ride.”

Was there added pressure going into the Lincoln game seven points behind the Pilgrims? “Not really, maybe it’s time to look at it at some point in the months ahead when the games are fewer, but there are plenty of games, there are plenty more points to play for, a lot of things will change. We’ve seen that year-on-year, there’s no reason to panic.”

While recent results have been frustrating, Ipswich’s performances have remained consistent. “That’s this league,” Burgess said. “I’ve maybe been playing this league a bit too long for my liking. That’s this league, it’s tough to get out of, so you need to be on it as much as we have been and sometimes you need a little bit of luck and things to go your way.”



Coach Ruben Zadkovich has denied Perth Glory’s upcoming run of home games is season-defining but says it is imperative his side begin to find the back of the net more regularly. Glory’s goal-scoring woes re-surfaced in their 2-0 loss at Adelaide United yesterday, a result which ensures they remain rooted to the bottom of the ladder.

After a poor first half, Glory enjoyed more of the ball in the second period but created very few chances and tallied just one shot on target. This Friday’s meeting with Western Sydney Wanderers is the start of a four-game run at Macedonia Park, with Brisbane Roar, Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory all set to follow.

Glory have scored just seven goals in nine games - the least in the league - and have been held scoreless on four occasions. Zadkovich said improvement needed to come from the group as a whole and stressed the arrival of Adam Taggart, who will not be available to take the field until after the Sydney game, would not fix everything.

“As a team, I don’t think we executed well in both boxes. We had more final third entries than the opposition, we got in some pretty good areas a lot of times without the right cross, pass or finish,” Zadkovich said. “That’s a common theme for us at the moment, not scoring enough goals and away from home against a good Adelaide side, you need to take your chances.”

Glory were forced to soak up some sustained pressure in Adelaide which led to just scattered forays forward - but Zadkovich said their low defensive block was not the plan. “The performance was well below our best. We weren’t brave enough to get on the ball in tight areas and play through their press,” he said.

“We missed opportunities in possession more than anything to keep the ball and actually build and play ourselves into the game, which meant we turned it over cheaply and you end up defending for long periods and they obviously pinned us back... we were poor with the ball, poor in possession, and their rotations and their patterns pinned us back a little bit too far.”



Perth Glory’s poor away form has continued in the Isuzu Ute A-League, after a 2-0 loss in round ten against Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Monday afternoon. A goal in each half from Lachlan Barr and Ben Halloran gave the hosts the points, moving them to fourth on the table, while Glory, who were lethargic in the final third, came away from the South Australian capital with a second defeat of the season, leaving them bottom of the table.

Glory coach Ruben Zadkovich lamented a poor showing from his side, particularly in the first half. “It was a game of two halves, in the first half I thought (it was) not good enough from our point of view and it didn't really look like us, lately. I thought the performance was well below our best," Zadkovich said post-match. “We weren’t brave enough to get on the ball in tight areas and play through their press, and I think we looked nervy and made a few mistakes and lost a bit of confidence. We changed things around at the break, and I thought the boys played some good stuff in patches, and I thought we were the better team in the second half, but I thought we were poor in both boxes tonight.

“We had more final third entries than our opposition tonight, so we’ve got in some good areas at times, without the right cross, the right pass or the right finish. It’s a common theme for us at the moment, not scoring enough goals, and away from home against a good Adelaide side you need to take your chances, unfortunately we didn’t tonight.”

Zadkovich made one change to the side that drew with Wellington Phoenix at Macedonia Park last round, with Zach Duncan coming into midfield to replace the injured Aaron McEneff, while Liam Reddy became only the fourth player (and the first goalkeeper) ever to reach 350 A-League appearances in his career. It was backs to the wall early, as the hosts piled on the pressure and Darryl Lachman got in a timely clearing header, while Mark Beevers blocked a shot from Ben Halloran.

The first shot in anger from Glory came on 12 minutes, Ryan Williams trying his luck from long-range, but it dipped just over the top. The hosts should have taken the lead two minutes later, Halloran’s cross picked out Zach Clough, but the English midfielder headed over the top from close-range. Glory was struggling to create chances, and had to settle for long-range shots, and the recalled Duncan tried his luck on 22 minutes, but he couldn’t keep it down.

Glory’s best chance came two minutes later, the lively Salim Khelifi, who signed a two-year extension to his contract in midweek, picked out Keegan Jelacic, but the New Zealand midfielder saw his goal bound shot blocked by Barr. The defender was in action at the other end five minutes before half time, giving the hosts the lead. Clough’s cross from the right wasn’t dealt with by Reddy, his punch only going to Barr who headed home, despite a goal line clearance from David Williams.

Williams was replaced at the break, with Luke Ivanovic replacing him, and the former Sydney FC striker should have levelled nine minutes in. Jack Clisby made space down the left, his cross deflected off a defender, the ball falling to the young striker, but with the goal at his mercy he fired wide of the target. Glory was in again two minutes later, a short corner found Beevers in space in the box, but the defenders shot lacked the power to beat Joe Gauci.

It was a good start for the visitors, who were dominating possession, but missed chances had cost them, and Clough surged into the box at the other end on the hour, but Beevers got back with a superb well-timed tackle, before Reddy got well to save from Craig Goodwin, as the game opened up. Moments later Adelaide midfielder Isaias was picked out by debutant defender Panashe Madanha, but the Spaniard’s shot crashed off the crossbar and away to safety.

But on 72 minutes the hosts doubled their advantage, Ryan Kitto released Goodwin, whose first-time pass released Clough down the left, and the midfielder whipped in a cross to the back post where it was met by Halloran who lost his marker and side-footed past Reddy. Glory did mount a late rally in a bid to force their way back into the game and substitute Jacob Dowse saw his goal bound effort deflected wide, but ultimately the home defence managed to hold firm.

Glory skipper Mustafa Amini gave a blunt interview post-game, and was disappointed how they conceded the opening goal. “We weren’t good enough,” he said. “We were undone by a second-phase set-piece which we’d worked on because we knew Adelaide scored their goals like that. In the second half we opened up and with their quality, they scored a nice goal, but it was the second-phase set-piece that cost us. We had chances to get back into it, but we didn’t take them. The league is very tight and we’ve got three games at home now, so we’ll get home, recover and get ready for Western Sydney Wanderers.”

It was a different story from Adelaide coach Carl Veart. "We were good in the first half, we just didn't create enough clear-cut chances for our liking," he said post-match. "But credit to the boys, they stuck to our game plan and got the three points. It's always great when you win, especially at home ... and to keep a clean sheet as well, that's a great positive for us."

Adelaide United: GK Joe GAUCI, 7 Ryan KITTO, 8 ISAIAS, 9 Hiroshi IBUSUKI (47 Asad KASUMOVIC 77'), 10 Zach CLOUGH (14 George BLACKWOOD 73'), 11 Craig GOODWIN, (27 Josh CAVALLO 90+2'), 13 Lachlan BARR, 26 Ben HALLORAN, 28 JUANDE, 36 Panashe MADANHA, 41 Alexandar POPOVIC - Subs not used: RGK James DELIANOV, 4 Nick ANSELL, 6 Louis D’ARRIGO, 66 Nestory IRANKUNDA

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, 5 Mark BEEVERS, 7 Ryan WILLIAMS, 8 Mustafa AMINI, 10 Salim KHELIFI (3 Jacob DOWSE 77'), 14 Jack CLISBY, 16 Keegan JELACIC (36 Joseph FORDE 77'), 18 David WILLIAMS (12 Luke IVANOVIC 46', 4 Luke BODNAR 88'), 19 Zach DUNCAN (20 Giordano COLLI 68'), 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 37 Jacob MUIR – Subs not used: RGK Cameron COOK, 2 John KOUTROUMBIS - Attendance: 10,024 - Referee: Jonathon Barreiro



Having only signed his first professional contract just six months ago, defender Matt Dench has already reached some memorable milestones this season after making his first-team debut for Charlton Athletic and representing Australia at Under-20 level.

“It’s going well,” Dench said of his season to date. “It’s a huge bonus having signed my first pro contract at this club, then followed that up with being called up to the Australia U20s and making my first-team debut. The opportunities that have come along have been amazing. I’ve hit many of my targets and reaching them creates new ones.”

19-year old Dench made his senior debut for the Addicks in a 3-0 triumph over Gillingham back in August, when he replaced Under-21 teammate Harris O’Connor. “It was very insightful to be in and around the lads,” he said. “All the first team were very helpful to me, and all the other boys involved. Being in that environment shows you what you have to do to make sure you stay there.”

Dench is one of several academy graduates to be promoted to the senior ranks this season. “It definitely motivates us,” he commented. “It shows that there are opportunities there. It’s all about making sure you take those opportunities so that you get more chances to impress and showcase yourself again.”

In addition to his domestic success with the Addicks, Dench has reached new heights internationally with Australia’s Under-20 team, gaining his first outings in the green and gold at the Four Continents Cup in Spain in September. “I couldn’t believe it really,” said Dench of his international call-up.

“Steve Avory called me into his office and told me that I was in the squad and that I’d be travelling to Spain the following week. After that week, we had the qualifiers for the Asian Cup and the World Cup. Steve pulled me into the office the following week and told me the good news again. It was unbelievable. I called my parents straight away.”

Dench’s journey to the Charlton academy wasn’t the easiest path. Having moved to Australia with his family at the age of four, he played juniors with ECU Joondalup and spent time in Perth Glory’s youth set-up before heading back to England at 16 to pursue a career in football.

“Leaving was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “The first two years were a struggle, but there are great people and supporters at this club. Living with the likes of Tracey Leaburn and the boys, they’re like my brothers and they really made me feel like I belong. I knew Charlton was the right place for me.”

The versatile Dench has featured regularly for Charlton’s Under-21 side this season. “I went to a few other clubs before Charlton but when I came here for two weeks, I felt a difference,” he said. “It felt more friendly and welcoming. I knew that if I was travelling the entire world by myself, I needed a place that suited me, and Charlton did. It’s a great club and I made the right choice.”

The honour of representing Australia at the Four Continents Cup was made all the more special when his family travelled half-way around the world to Spain in order to surprise him ahead of the opening fixture. “I actually had no idea about it until the day before the England game,” he recalled.

“I was having breakfast with the squad and one of my teammates pointed to the door and said, ‘I think your family is there.’ I turned around to see my parents, sister and girlfriend. I was just shocked but so happy because that was the first game they were going to watch me play in three years due to Covid. For the first game to be against England and playing for my country was amazing.”



An own goal four minutes from time from Demi Koulizakis has given Western United a come-from-behind 3-2 win against Perth Glory in a thrilling round eight Liberty A-League game at Macedonia Park on New Year’s Day. Glory’s American striker Rylee Baisden bagged her fifth goal of the season to give the hosts the lead early, before American striker Hannah Keane levelled for United, and at the break it was all-square.

Hana Lowry regained the lead for Alex Epakis’ side early in the second half, but the visitors restored parity again with substitute Chloe Logarzo on target. It was end to end football with chances at both ends, but United won it when Keane’s shot was turned into her own net by the unfortunate Koulizakis. The win continued United’s perfect start to the season, while the loss leaves Glory in ninth position, and post-match Epakis thought they were unfortunate not to take anything away from the game.

“It’s disappointing not to get something, I thought some of our players had their best games of the season,” the Head Coach said. “It’s just these moments in the contest that are hurting us and things are not quite going our way. They [Western United] have a certain style of play and we tried to compete and we did really well at times and that’s why it’s so disappointing to walk away with nothing.

“We weren’t perfect, but we’re getting punished for not being perfect. Obviously, we’re not where we want to be currently points-wise, but there’s no other solution than getting better internally in what we’re doing and the tide will turn. We just have to make sure that we’re focused on that.” Glory made two changes to the side that were narrowly beaten by league leaders Melbourne City last week Baisden returning to the starting line-up after missing last week with injury, in place of Susan Phonsongkham who dropped to the bench, while Sadie Lawrence came in for Sarah Cain, who was not in the squad.

The hosts made a perfect start to the game, and were ahead on seven minutes. Sofia Sakalis won the ball on the left before finding Cyera Hintzen, whose pass across the box picked out Baisden, who made no mistake, side footing home from four meters. United looked for a quick response but Jessica McDonald headed over the top moments later. Hintzen then had an opportunity to double the hosts advantage, muscling her way into the box, but a last-ditch tackle from Julia Sardo denied her.

But on 17 minutes the hosts levelled. Melissa Taranto’s corner was headed goalward by Sydney Cummings, but Glory keeper Sarah Langman saved well, tipping the ball onto the crossbar, but Keane was quickest to react, and fired home from close-range. They went close again moments later, Kahli Johnson in on goal, but Langman got down well to save at her near post. Keane was proving to be a handful to Glory and on the half hour she played McDonald in on goal, who rounded Langman, but could only hit the side netting from a tight angle.

Glory thought they should have had a penalty four minutes before half time, Baisden sending Sakalis into the box, and she seemed to be brought down by United keeper Hillary Beall, but referee Caitlin Williams deemed the Glory midfielder guilty of simulation and issued her with a yellow card, much to the displeasure of the home faithful. Langman then produced a stunning save to thwart Young Matildas striker Johnson in stoppage time, to send the sides into the sheds level.

Just like the first half, Glory made a flying start to the second, and eight minutes in they regained the lead. Ella Mastrantonio played Hintzen through, the ball finding its way to Lowry, and the youngster still had plenty of work left to do, but she held off Taranto, before finding the bottom-right corner for her first goal of the season. But United showed why they are unbeaten this season, levelling again 68 minutes.

American striker McDonald raced down the right, her cross from the bye line wasn’t dealt with and Matildas midfielder Logarzo, who had only been on the pitch nine minutes, finished with aplomb. Langman produced another strong save to deny Keane four minutes later, while Koulizakis then fired straight at Beall as both sides pressed for the winner.

The winner duly arrived four minutes from time, a free-kick from Taranto was parried by Langman, with Keane pouncing on the rebound and sending a shot on target, and in an attempt to clear, the unfortunate Koulizakis only helped the ball on its way over the line. Glory cleared the bench and pressed for the equaliser, but United stood firm to take the points back to Melbourne.

Perth Glory: GK Sarah LANGMAN, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 7 Liz ANTON, 8 Hana LOWRY (10 Susan PHONSONGKHAM 89'), 11 Rylee BAISDEN (9 Demi KOULIZAKIS 66'), 12 Sofia SAKALIS, 15 Cyera HINTZEN, 16 Isabella WALLHEAD (23 Alana JANCEVSKI 89'), 18 Sadie LAWRENCE (42 Gabriella COLEMAN 75'), 21 Ella MASTRANTONIO - Subs not used: RGK Morgan AQUINO

Western United: GK Hillary BEALL, 2 Stacey PAPADOPOULOS, 8 Jessica McDONALD, 9 Hannah KEANE, 10 Kahli JOHNSON (18 Aleksandra SINCLAIR 78'), 11 Emma ROBERS (14 Natasha DAKIC 82'), 15 Adriana TARANTO (5 Aimee MEDWIN 60'), 16 Melissa TARANTO, 20 Sydney CUMMINGS, 22 Alana CERNE, 24 Julia SARDO (6 Chloe LOGARZO 59') - Subs not used: RGK Alyssa DALL’OSTE - Attendance: 700 - Referee: Caitlin Williams

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This page was last updated on the 19th January, 2023