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It’s another huge weekend of football at the State Football Centre, with the Belt Up Amateur Cup Final taking centre stage on Sunday afternoon, with Division Two side Perth AFC take on Premier Division side Wembley Downs. (4.45pm) Both sides have had a tough run to the final, although both had byes in Round One. In Round Two Perth AFC fought out a 2-2 draw against Port Kennedy at Len Packham Park, with goals from Spiro Nenadic, Marko Matic, and they prevailed 7-6 on penalties. Wembley travelled to the UWA Sports Park, and four goals from Luke Thistlethwaite, helped secure a 6-0 win.

In Round Three a brace from Sandro Digirolamo, helped Perth AFC to another home win, this time a 4-2 win against Division One leaders Maccabi, while Thistlethwaite was the star again for Wembley scoring twice as the they beat Fremantle City at Butlers Reserves. Both quarter-finals were tight affairs, first Perth AFC overcame Division One opposition again, this time beating Kingsley Westside 2-1, with Ante Jukic bagging a brace, including the winner two minutes from time. Meanwhile Wembley took on North Perth United, and it looked like their campaign was coming to an end, but a goal deep into stoppage time from David Brownlees sent the game into extra time, and goals from Patrick Sinicki and Jack Mellor sealed the 3-1 win.

Both sides had home ground advantage for the semi-final, and Perth AFC welcomed Premier Division side Kelmscott Roos to Len Packham. Things didn’t go to plan for the hosts, with goals from Benn Lewis and Alex Ekeze, giving the Roos a two-goal lead. But on the hour Spiro Nenadic headed home at the back post. The hosts could sense a comeback and six minutes later they were level, Alessandro Di Girolamo pouncing on a mistake from keeper David Andrews to score. Then moments later they sealed the game, a ball into the box found Lucas Pickering who headed home, much to the delight of the Perth AFC supporters.

At Butlers Reserve, the hosts lead at half time after Jack Mellor found Tom Bish, who controlled the ball well and slotted it past the keeper. After the break Ben Swinnerton’s long-throw caused problems in the Emerald defence, and Mellor raced in on goal and beat the onrushing keeper to head home for 2-0. They sealed the win when some neat build up play ended with Omar Shatila down the left, he cut inside his marker and played a perfectly weighted pass to Niall Thomas, who finished clinically much to the delight of the home faithful. Emerald pulled on back midway through the half, after Andrew Wood’s was brought down in the penalty area, and James Craig fired home the resulting penalty, but it was too little too late.

The cup run has given Wembley a huge boost, and their league form also improved, but coach Bob Jackson said the quarter and semi-final wins were massive, and the lads were magnificent. “I thought we produced two outstanding performances in the QF and SF against two top quality sides so we feel we fully deserve to be there on Sunday,” he explained. “We know we'll need to be at our very best again in the Final, and competition amongst the boys for a place in the squad, never mind the starting 11 has been intense this week, so I have no worries about us being ready for the game.

“The win over Emerald was a huge result for us. We knew that to have any chance on the night we would have to match them for desire and commitment. We have held up Emerald and East Perth as the example to our boys when it comes to being up for every game - week in week out. On the night we more than matched them and it was a real battle. To be fair we rode our luck and Emerald will feel they had enough chances to win the game. We took our chances when they came along and worked really hard to stay in front and see it out.”

The Downs will look to captain Jack Mellor and Alessandro Morabito to control things in the middle of the park, while for Josh Chalmers and Omar Shatila will be their avenue to goal, but Jackson said he needs an all-round team performance on Sunay to take out the game. “As I said, we're fully aware we'll need to be at our very best on Sunday. The fact that Perth AFC have seen off Kelmscott and a very good Kingsley side in the QF tells us we're in for a real battle,” he said. “As with any final it’s all about who performs on the day, be we’ve trained well this week and are focused and confident.”

Perth AFC have played some good football on the road to Sunday’s final, and coach Nathan Thorp said the players have been outstanding, and to come from two goals down to beat Kelmscott was a massive result for the club. “Yes, we’ve had a very tough run to make it to the final, and all of our lads have been amazing in this crazy run we have been on, so full credit to them from Jake Ambrose and I. Playing teams from leagues above is always a challenge but with the quality we have in our group and the belief also we could beat anyone that was drawn next,’ he explained.

“The Kelmscott result in the semi was huge for us, we have belief we can beat anyone, and now to be playing the final is amazing. To be fair, it was by far the worst half of football we’ve played all year, I think nerves got the best of us, but credit to Kelmscott they knocked the ball around well in that first 45 and we couldn’t get near them. But in the second half I thought our nerves calmed and we got the result we deserved after a crazy seven-minute spell.”

AFC keeper Ryan Moss will be vital in the final, he has been one of the best shot stoppers in the league this season, while at the back skipper Daniel Barton pips a tight defensive unit. He has led the side by example this season, and has been a rock, but he is mentally tough and will push his teammates all the way no matter the result or stage of the game. Up top Cisco Jorquera is their talisman going forward, his experience is second to none in the state and his class shows, and he will be pivotal on Sunday.

Thorp said they are ready for the final, and training has been upbeat this week, and they looking forward to the challenge. “With Sunday just around the corner the excitement at training is clearly there to see and feel. We will have a full week on the grass to make sure we are as well prepared for the game as we can be,” he explained. “We head into the game as underdogs yet again in the cup, and with Wembley knocking off the Premier League champions Emerald in the semi’s, we are going to have to be on it and some come Sunday to get the cup. It will be our 31st match in a long season, but the lads are very keen to show the amateur leagues some of the football we are capable of and that we aren’t here to make up the numbers.”

In the Reserves Cup Final Premier Division Emerald meet Division One side Kingsley Westside. (2.30) Emerald needed penalties to reach Sunday’s decider, after it finished 2-2 in the Semi-Final against Wembley Downs at Butlers Reserve. Matthew Giudicatti gave the hosts the lead early, only for Fergal Corry to level, and it looked like Wembley had won it when Connor Liew gave them the lead three minutes from time. But a stoppage time equaliser from Corry took the tie to penalties, where Emerald prevailed 4-3.

There was another tight game at Chichester Park, with Kingsley running out 2-0 winners against South Perth United. Craig Cunningham gave the hosts the lead midway through the first half, and the visitors had Bradley North sent off on the hour, after picking up a second yellow card, and six minutes from time the hosts sealed the tie with Ozren Kotur scoring.



It has been a meteoric rise for the East Perth Football Club, and after only ten years in existence they have fought their way from Amateur Division Five, to be playing State League football next season. They missed out on the title in a dramatic final game of the season, and were supposed to play Morley Windmills in a play-off, but unfortunately Morley were unable to field a side to play the game, so it’s East Perth who will take their place in Division Two next season.

It’s been a roller-coaster ride for many at the club, and current President Christiopher Lynch, who has been in the role for four seasons, said all the hard work is finally been rewarded. “It’s a massive achievement for such a young club and one that we are thrilled about,” he said. “Coming from metros and starting in Division Five to get to where we are now is amazing, the work that the committee, coaches and players have put in to reach this level we are all very proud.”

Lynch said over the past two seasons the Premier Division has been a very competitive league, and they we’re in the race both season’s and were pipped at the post for the title on both occasions, and he was full of praise for coaches Jason Winter and Colm Costello. “We finished third last year, losing out on the last game to Maddington, and this year losing out on goals scored was very hard to take,” he explained. “I’ve seen a few comments that we go up by default again, but in my opinion, we have deserved to go up, we have won Division Five, Four, Three, Two and finished third in Division One, but other clubs couldn’t survive so again we deserved to go up as we have always been competitive and challenged the leagues.

“Even this year we finished level on points with the same goal different just scored six less goals but we have conceded six less than Emerald so our defence has been the best in the league. We wanted the play off to go ahead to feel like we earned it, but again off field problems for other clubs isn’t something we can control and are delighted with the outcome. Colm and Jason have been nothing short of fantastic they came in last year and made a few changes and we finished third and won the night series

“This year the aim was again to finish as high as possible and we did endure a tough start but we have basically changed our whole team from last year. We did start slow but we as a club always had every faith in Colm and Jason and once, we started to gel we looked very good and played some really nice football, in my opinion the best football and team we ever had and it showed by going undefeated at home and winning our last 9/10 games.”

All the hard work for the President will start now, as they look to make an impact in the State League, and he said they couldn’t have done it without a lot of hard work and generous sponsors. “It might be a break for the players but as a committee we are already working on the season ahead, we are looking forward to fielding an under 18 team and hopefully pick up a few extra players but we already have the quality here as the reserves won the league and the first team, I feel would hold their own as it is,” Lynch explained.

“I think Kingsley is a great model to look at and Chris Brady has done a great job there with all their teams being competitive, and this is something we will be looking to do also. We want to build a club from the ground up and do it right with youth to seniors in both women and men’s teams, we want to make a big community and a place for players to express their skills and feel welcome. We have had lots of support over the years and none of this would be possible without Gary Morrell and John Healy so big shout out to them.

“Also going back to Division Five to Division Two, Johnny Tracy was massive for the club back then and deserves a mention, as does Sully who has come in and helped massively. I would like to thank Bill Busby at Ashfield who opened up their ground to us and we look forward to seeing him next season, also Cesare Colli at Inglewood and Ken Shorto at Balga who helped us while we got our own ground this year, and lastly our club sponsors from the start SS Secure, Bortech Contracting, Leen Construction and Knockalla Civil, The New Park and Galway Hooker we appreciate all the support.”

For coach Colm Costello, his attention this week was all about preparing for the playoff game against Morley, but when the news filtered through on Wednesday the game wouldn’t go ahead, he celebrated the promotion, and looked back on a superb season from his new look side. “We’re all delighted with the reward of State League football after an excellent season from the lads, in a really competitive competition,” he said. “Firstly, a huge congratulations to Emerald, also to the rest of premier sides in a brilliant season with lots of quality.

“Emerald spent most of the season at the top and they were the only team that we didn’t beat, so well done to them lads, but we were disappointed to lose out on goals scored obviously, but take nothing away from them lads. For us, after we had a whole new squad this year bar two/three lads, and no matter the quality of the players or coaches it was always going to take time to get our way of playing and trust each other. After the round seven, narrow defeat by Kelmscott, the season completely turned around and huge credit to every player involved.

“We started this year training two nights a week and it made a huge difference and was a big sacrifice for the players to consistently turn up and improve. From that game we finished the season with 13 wins two draws and one defeat so we deserved to be where we were at round 22 chasing the league and in contention for a playoff place, those results speak for themselves. Unfortunately, Morley had problems, which was out of our control, but we were more than ready to play them. In fact, we were looking forward to it to be honest but out of our hands what happened.”

Costello said the club committee has been great to him and Jason since they have been at the club, and each and every coach within the club have played their part in the success. “Jason and I would like to thank all the coaches at the club, who have played a vital part of this successful season, making huge efforts week in week out so they deserve a huge mention too,” he explained. “The lads behind the scenes have been incredible support, they make our job so easy and lay out everything out on training night and match days not just for coaches but for the players too

“The commitment of them lads over last ten years, has been brilliant and getting promoted to the State league, it’s an achievement not many clubs will do or have done in such a short period of time. When we met with the committee this time two years ago in the Greenwood Tavern the plan was to get too Premier, consolidate and then challenge, but in two years the club are now looking going to compete in the State league, so I’m very happy for every one of them.

“Also, for me, and probably the biggest achievements this year, is the club has really become a family club. Having Cabrini Park was a breath of fresh air and to see all the family’s wife’s partners and kids including my own was incredible and they supported the club for every single game. You can’t put a price on that and I’m sure anyone that was at Cabrini on match days would agree, that’s worth its weight in gold.”

Costello, who coached the WA State Amateur Squad for three seasons, taking them to Malaysia in 2018, Kuala Lumpur in 2019, and Kalgoorlie in 2020, said he can now take a little break, but he knows preparation for next season are vital. “The hard work starts now and a lot will go on behind the scenes, but personally I never mentioned 18s or any other criteria until we found out Morley were not playing. I’ve been in football long enough not to plan anything unless it’s 100% happening and guaranteed, so the lads will be busy and I think after a short break will get back preparing,” he explained.

“We are looking forward to a huge challenge after spending many years in the Amateur game and although we will be new to Saturday football it’s a huge chance for us, and we have to grab it and enjoy it at the same time. Maddington have been brilliant this season, so hopefully we can try mix it with the Division Two sides. If we keep the squad we have, who got us here after huge efforts, and add the correct players I have no doubt the lads will do well. Firstly, I’m looking forward to a decent break after such a long season, then get back at it preparing for another huge challenge next season.”



After wins against NPLWA sides and the WA State team last week, Perth Glory will step up their A-League preseason when they take on Melbourne Victory at Hay Park in Bunbury (kick-off at 3pm) Alen Stajcic’s side have played well against local opposition, but he will be looking for them to step it up against A-League opposition on Sunday, and in their second game at Dorrien Gardens on Wednesday evening (kick off 7pm)

The coach is looking forward to back-to-back games against Tony Popovic’s side, as they prepare for the season opener against Newcastle Jets at HBF Park on Sunday October 22 (kick off 4.45pm) “The two games will be a good test for us,” he said. “We haven’t played any A-League opposition yet, so it’ll be good to test ourselves and really see where we’re at. It’s still only a friendly and they’re never a predictor of A-League performance, but it’ll be good to test ourselves against A-League-quality players.”

Stajcic is also excited by the prospect of engaging with the local community in the south-west and taking the game to the regions. ‘I’ve always said that the regions are the strongholds of Australian football and the parts that we haven’t exploited enough,” he said. “They’re the parts, not just Bunbury, but all-around Australia, that we have to target if we are to become the number one sport in the country. We really have to fulfil our obligation in connecting with those communities and building the game because I think that’s the future of our game.

“Football is the number one sport across the country in terms of participation and we need that connection with the top league. To have the fans come out and see games live and have that connection with the players is a massive part of our club and our country as well.” New signings Oliver Bozanic, Antonis Martis, Aleksandar Susnjar, arrod Carluccio and Bruce Kamau are all expected to see more game-time for Glory over the course of both Victory games, while youngsters Daniel Bennie and Jayden Gorman, who both impressed against the state side could also get some minutes, while the visitors are likely to include a host of familiar faces such as Bruno Fornaroli, Chris Ikonomidis, Jake Brimmer, Jason Geria and Daniel Arzani in their travelling party.



The State Football Centre will once again be busy this weekend, not only the Amateur Cup Finals, but we also have the Metropolitan and Masters Cup, Men’s Over 45’s Masters Cup deciders, plus the Hyundai Women's League Cup. In Sunday’s Metropolitan Cup Final Kalgoorlie College will be flying the flag for the country region, when they take on Perth SC Division Two side. (10am) Perth reached Sunday’s final with wins against Ballajura, Belmont Villa, Wembley Downs and North Beach on penalties in the quarterfinal. In the semifinal they traveled to Hamersley Rovers and came home with a narrow 2-1 win. Rodney Peh gave them an early lead, but Tuan Vu levelled for the hosts, but a Jahir Espindola goal secured the win, but they did end the game with ten men after George Shi was sent off.

It’s been a tough run for Kalgoorlie, playing all their games on the road, and coming home with wins against Baldivis, Whitford City, Kingsley Westside, Fremantle City, before beating Perth Saints and Perth SC Premier’s in the quarterfinal and semifinal respectively. Kalgoorlie coach Brock Reilly said the club have worked extremely hard to embrace the competition, and they have showed great character in the cup run. “The tough run in the cup has been something our group has embraced all year. When we enter these metropolitan competitions we understand the time, money and travel, we especially, need to complete in order to be successful,” he explained.

“As far as the draw goes, we love playing the big sides - premier and division one teams - as it's a real challenge and a chance for us to gauge ourselves against some really good opposition. Both Perth Saints and Perth SC Premier were really good sides and to be able to say we can match it with them is something we pride ourselves on. I thought the 2-1 win against Perth SC Premier was probably our best win of the year so far. Huge character from the boys to be able to regroup after going down 1-0 and play well in the 2nd half to turn the result around. Perth SC Premier are a good team, well-drilled, physical, and I expect their side this weekend to be similar.”

The club play in the Goldfields Soccer Association and have another fantastic league season, winning the title. Skipper Jace Reilly and Saxon Epris-Brown are in the engine room in their midfield, and both like to get forward and score, and they will have to pull the strings in the middle of the park. Young defender Sean Nzuwa is a workhorse down the flanks, and is good at both ends of the park, but they have team who work for each other, and the coach hopes they can take out the cup to give them the league and cup double.

“I think the game this weekend will be a great watch, and we will be looking to add another trophy to our collection. But we are well aware Perth SC as a whole are a huge club, very well run and they have plenty of talent throughout all levels. We expect them to be a tough side to play against as they also have some big scalps from their cup run,” Reilly explained. “For us it's about preparing well, playing our best football and hopefully the result takes care of itself. At the end of the day, it's a cup final and anything can happen, should be an exciting fixture this Sunday, we are really looking forward to it.”

In the other final on Sunday Sorrento take on Fremantle City in the Hyundai Women’s League Cup. (12.5pm) The Gulls edged out East Perth 1-0 in the semifinal at Percy Doyle Reserve, while Fremantle overcame Subiaco Gold 4-3 on penalties after the game ended 1-1 at the end of normal time. The games begin on Friday evening, when Kingsley Westside meet Hillarys in the Men’s Masters Cup Final. (6pm) Both the semifinals ended 2-0, with Kingsley beating Carramar Shamrock Rovers at Grandis Park, while Hillarys overcame Forrestfield United at Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park.

In the late Friday game Bayswater City take on Spearwood Dalmatinac in the Men’s Over 45s Masters Cup. Spearwood beat Sorrento in the semifinal, while Bayswater were too strong for Perth City, with Matthew Sparrow bagging a brace, Victor Sikora, Paul Lincoln and S O’Kelly grabbing the others in a 5-0 win, and they will be looking to go back-to-back in the competition after defeating Subiaco AFC in last seasons final. Coach Nick Dyer said t will be another tough game, as they are also are against Spearwood. “We are looking forward to this one, especially after missing out on the league this year,” he said. “We have a strong squad but you need to work hard to win these games. I am hoping we get solid performances from our entire squad. We know Dallies are a decent side, and we’ve had battles over the years, and I’m sure this isn’t going to be any different.”



Joondalup City have announced the appointment of Guy McDonald as their First Team Head coach for the 2024 State League Season. The club finished a disappointing eighth in Division Two last season, and the club are hoping following on from a very successful playing career, McDonald is the man to guide back up the table. He does have a good CV, working at Perth Glory as an academy coach, before taking up role as assistant coach with the clubs under 20’s and First Team.

Following success in both roles, McDonald moved to be an assistant coach at Olympic Kingsway for the 2023 NPL season, and now feels ready to take the next step, to be a first team coach. Holding both a C Licence, and more recently, a B Licence, McDonald was the club’s number one candidate, and they are looking forward to working with him and his support team in the forthcoming season.

McDonald said he can’t wait to get started. “It’s an exciting time to come into the club, create an atmosphere and culture of firstly being good people and give our thriving junior academy a pathway to the senior setup. We will have an identity in the way we play and ensure we are competitive every single week. I’ve been patient in terms of putting my name out there applying for first team jobs to ensure I spent the time to learn my trade as a coach from the best coaches in the state at Perth Glory and Kingsway, I’m really looking forward to it,” he explained. “It wasn’t an easy decision to leave Kingsway, it’s a massive club, run by great people, I will certainly miss it. I want to say a special thanks to David Tough and Ross Edwards for bringing me in and making me feel part of a very special place, and I wish them all the best for next season.”



Emerald FC are the 2023 Belt-Up Premier Division Champions, after their 4-1 win against Jaguar edged out East Perth on goal difference, after they also beat South West Phoenix 4-1 in Bunbury, meaning Shane O’Donovan’s side won the league on more goal scored, to end one of the closest title races for many of years. “The win means so much to us, we’ve been training since January, and it’s been a long slog all year and to finish off with the title is amazing,” Emerald skipper Paul Curran explained.

“It’s the club’s ten-year anniversary and this win is for all the lads who’ve put in so much work to build the club to where it is. It’s been an unbelievably competitive league this year. We’ve gone into every single match knowing that it was going to be a battle. North Perth and East Perth have pushed us all year, they’ve been brilliant, so I want to say well done to those two clubs on a great year, but we’ll go on and celebrate accordingly.”

The hosts had the title in their own hands, but they knew that we had to stay patient and just treat the game like any other. They found the opener from the penalty spot, James Craig converting, but they went into the break still sitting in second place on the table on goal difference. But after the break Emerald doubled their lead with a super volley again from James Craig, before Andrew Wood headed home a third from a corner, which meant they were back to the top. That all changed on when Jaguar pulled one back with Magai Deng on target, his 16th goal of the season to go joint leading goalscorer in the league, and it was a nervous ending for the home supporters, but in the final minute they bagged a fourth, Donal Shanley scoring to win the title for Fraser Park club.

East Perth headed to South West Phoenix on Saturday evening needing goals, but they found themselves behind after only five minutes, with Jeremy Stephens firing home from distance. After a sloppy start the visitors lifted and had the perfect opportunity to level on 37 minutes when they were awarded a penalty, but Niall Murray’s spot kick hit the post and went wide. But three minutes before half time they found the equaliser, Ryan McGready finishing well.

The visitors started to get on top after the break but found Phoenix keeper Kobe Lie in excellent form, but on 69 minutes they did beat him to take the lead. Murray free kick found Ryan Murray who headed back for McGready to grab his second of the night. They added a third when Darran O’Riordan volleyed home from six meters, and it was 4-1 five minutes from time, when Ryan Murray’s pinpoint free kick picked out Conor Convery to head home.

“We started slowly, but after conceding we grew into the game and created chance after chance, but couldn’t hit the target or beat their keeper,” East Perth coach Colm Costello said. “At half time the lad’s realised levels were not where they needed to be but they stuck to it and thankfully got the reward in second half. I honestly couldn’t be any prouder of the lads today, SWP were very good today and we overcame an early goal to win the game. As I said previously you can’t go chasing games and the important thing is to win a football match.

“The lads have dropped very few points in last 15 games and have been on a brilliant run and have put so much effort into this season and I honestly think this group will only get better and better. We obviously had to wait on results on Sunday, and congratulations to Emerald, the table doesn’t lie, but the lads can be extremely proud of themselves for everything achieved. The message to the squad at the start of this season was simple, improve on last year, and that’s exactly what has happened so I’m delighted for them all, and we now wait and see when the playoff against Morley Windmills will be played.”

North Perth United were still mathematically in the title race before the round started, but East Perth’s win on Saturday evening ended that, but they finished the season well, with a 4-1 win against Wembley Downs at Butlers Reserve. They opened the scoring on nine minutes, Patrick Montgomery scoring a diving header, and it was 2-0 ten minutes later, Kyle Jackson racing clear and rounding the keeper to score. But the hosts reduced the margin in stoppage time with Thomas Bish converting from the spot. But North Perth regained their two-goal advantage early in the second half, Darby Gaffney won the ball in the middle of the park and his through ball sent Jackson in for his second. They sealed the win on the hour, Liam Fyfe curling home a free kick from the edge of the box.

“It was great to see such a positive response from the boys after the disappointing day we endured last week, we all wanted to make sure we finished the season on a high,” North Perth coach Alex Carter explained. “We fell just short of winning the league which was our goal all year, however to turn last season’s ladder position around to where we finished this year is still a great result. Congratulations to Shane and the lads at Emerald for winning the league, I know first-hand they were enjoying themselves last night.”

At the bottom of the table, it was also close, South West Phoenix were already relegated and they will be joined in Division One next season by Kwinana United, despite them winning the last game against Peel United 2-1 at Kelly Park. The hosts opened the scoring early, Dean Cooling heading home, and it was 2-0 early in the second half, with Jake Fallows on target. Tristan Sullivan pulled one back for the visitors 20 minutes from time, but they couldn’t find the equaliser. “Obviously extremely disappointed with how the season has turned out, and it’s difficult to really put it into words,” a disappointed Kwinana coach Mark Purvis said. “As I’ve said before I couldn’t ask any more from the players, and the responsibility for this rests on my shoulders.”

Joondalup United survived relegation by just one point, after a 1-0 win against North Beach at Charles Riley Memorial Reserve. The only goal of the game came on the half hour mark, Niall McGurk finishing well Aaron Persse. Joondalup Coach Mike Ford said they had their keeper to thank late for sealing the vital three points. “It was another entertaining game, and North Beach started well without threatening, and we started to grow into the game and was on top for long periods and finally got rewarded with the goal,” he explained. “Like most of the season we could never quite put the game away despite many chances and towards the end they pushed hard and came close a couple time with Pat Lawless making a couple of crucial saves, but a great result for us.”

Kelmscott Roos finished their season with a 3-1 against South Perth United, to remain unbeaten in the league at Frye Park. The Roos hit the front early, some great work down the right by Isaac Koomson, taking on his defender before squaring the ball to Miguel Oliveira who finished clinically. But the visitors levelled just before half time, with Gianluca Pezzino on target. Both sides had chances in a frantic second half, but it was Kelmscott who regained the lead nine minutes from time, Koomson was the provider again, picking out Lemeo Wordu who went one-on-one with Shannon Beniston and finished well. They sealed the points three minutes later, Ishmael Greywood was brought down in the box, and Koomson converted the resulting penalty.

“It was a great game and some of the best football we played, and it was a great occasion in front of a big crowd,” Kelmscott keeper Taylor Warwick said. “Not the season we wanted, but we have to be proud with where we finished in such a tough league. We congratulate Emerald on winning the league for sure, but the win means we stayed unbeaten at home all season which is great, so it’s now time for a break and onto next year.”



Perth Glory have retained the Gold Fields Challenge Cup after a 3-0 win against the Gold Fields WA State Team on Sunday evening at the State Football Centre. They were made to work hard for the win, against a well-organised WA side, but David Williams struck twice and new signing Antonis Martis also found the net in the final 11 minutes as Glory sealed the win.

WA defender Nick Walsh said they gave a good account of themselves on the night. “I thought we showed a great account of ourselves and held our own for most of the game and managed to create a couple of chances which could’ve gone in on another day,” the RedStar’s defender said. “We had a plan and defended very well, and it was unfortunate to concede the goals at the end because I think the score doesn’t truly reflect how competitive we were. Overall, very proud of the team’s performance after only a handful of training sessions.”

The State Team, coached by Andy Ord, started brightly and had the first opportunity on 12 minutes, Perth SC striker David Ninkovic cutting in from the left, but his shot on the run flashed the wrong side of the post. Moments later Glory new recruit Oliver Bozanic saw his long-range effort saved low by former Glory custodian Liam Reddy, before Adam Taggart’s curling effort went wide of the target.

But it was the state side with the best opportunity of the match on 26 minutes. Mitch Oxborrow found Chok Dau on the right, and his low cross found Michael Domfeh, who got in front of Darryl Lachman in the box, but his first time shot flashed inches wide. Glory ended the half the better, and guest state player Neil Kilkenny did well to block Adam Zimarino’s low cross, after he was sent clear by a neat through ball from Taggart, before Taggart volleyed wide of the target moments later.

Glory made a number of changes at the break, and one of them David Willians almost had an immediate impact, his rasping shot from distance took a touch off Julian Teles, wrong footing Reddy, but the keeper produced a great reaction save to deny him. Glory went close again on 55 minutes, Giordano Colli’s free kick wasn’t dealt with and substitute Stefan Colakovski saw his snap shot saved low by Reddy.

The A-League side were having to be patient against a well organised State Team, and they had keeper Oli Sail to keep them level on 69 minutes, substitute Josh Anasmo raced clear down the left, cut inside the box, but the New Zealand international keeper saved well to deny him. Glory went close themselves moments later substitutes Bruce Kamau and Jayden Gorman combining, the later was denied by a great last-ditch tackle from Breckan Baker.

But ten minutes from time the deadlock was finally broken, Gorman won possession on the left and cut the ball back to Williams, who rounded the keeper and fired home from close-range. It was 2-0 moments later, Kamau squaring the ball to Martis who finished with aplomb. Glory’s fitness showed late, and it was 3-0 when Williams added his second after a through ball from Gorman, to seal a hard-earned win, and retain the Gold Fields Challenge Cup. Glory now turns their attentions to next Sunday when their pre-season preparations will be ramped up once again as they take on A-League rivals Melbourne Victory at Hay Park in Bunbury.

“It was tough test against a side with a sprinkling of A-League experience, and they were a good opposition and were up for it, and made it extremely tough for us which was good,” Glory Head Coach Alen Stajic said post-match. “I was a little concerned we got caught out on the counter attack a couple of times, but they only had a couple of good chances, and we need to protect ourselves from that vulnerability. But overall, we got better as the game went along, and once we got that first goal it opened up the floodgates a bit.”

Gold Fields WA State Team: GK Liam REDDY (RGK Rocco LIBERTI 65’), 24 Chok DAU (25 Jesse LAZZARO 77’), 26 David NINKOVICH (44 Josh ANASMO 46’), 27 Zayd FARAH (23 Josh SAMSON 58’), 31 Julian TELES, 33 Michael DOMFEH (45 Kotaro YAMAMOTO 65’), 37 Nick WALSH (43 Kosta SPARTA 77’), 38 Neil KILKENNY (32 Thiak KUEL 65’), 41 Tyler GARNER (40 Liam HUDSON 58’), 47 Breckan BAKER, 48 Mitch OXBORROW (39 Abdul OSMAN 77’) Subs not used: 46 Pieter JACOBSZ

Perth Glory: GK Oliver SAIL (GK), 2 John KOUTROUMBIS (7 Stefan COLAKOVSKI 46'), 29 Darryl LACHMAN (28 Kaelan MAJEKODUNMI 69'), 5 Mark BEEVERS (14 Riley WARLAND 69'), 9 Oliver BOZANIC (21 Antonis MARTIS 46') 15 Aleksandar SUSNJAR (16 Joseph FORDE 46'), 20 Giordano COLLI, 11 Adam ZIMARINO (4 Luke BODNAR 69'), 23 Daniel BENNIE (77 Bruce KAMAU 69'), 12 Luke IVANOVIC (27 Jayden GORMAN 69'), 22 Adam TAGGART (18 David WILLIAMS 46') – Subs not used: RGK Cameron COOK - Referee: Shane SKINNER



Perth Glory new striker Millie Farrow was the star of the show, in the Women’s Gold Fields Challenge Cup bagging a first half hat-trick, to beat the Gold Fields WA State Team 4-0 at the State Football Centre on Saturday afternoon. The former Chelsea, Leicester City and Crystal Palace striker showed she will be a huge plus for the Glory A-League side this season, completing her hat trick in the first half, this after Sofia Sakalis opened the scoring early. The state team had their chances, the best falling to Judy Connolly that crashed against the woodwork, but the Glory were too strong on the day.

The Glory were on the front foot from the kick off and Sofia Sakalis went close to an opener on four minutes, pouncing on a loose pass, but she couldn’t keep her shot down, before Farrow dragged her shot wide moments later. WA keeper Rebecca Bennett then saved low from Liz Anton, before coming out smartly to save at the feet of Abbey Green. But on 14 minutes their early pressure was rewarded with the opener, Sakalis was brought down on the edge of the box by Baxter Thew, earning the defender a yellow card, and from the resulting free kick Sakalis curled home superbly via the post to give Glory the lead.

The State team were struggling to get a grip in the game, but Maja Archibald’s curling effort on 24 minutes, was their best effort early on, but moments later it was Glory who doubled their advantage. Susan Phonsongkham superb through ball meant Farrow didn’t have to break stride, before the English striker rounded Bennett to slide the ball home, for her first goal for the club. But the State team hit back, and an inch perfect through ball from Reina Kagami sent Judy Connolly in on goal, and the Perth SC striker saw here shot beat Morgan Aquino, but the post came to the rescue of the Glory custodian.

Glory continued to threaten and added a third just after the half hour mark, Georgia Cassidy’s through ball sent Farrow clear, and she held off her marker before finishing low past Bennett. It was 4-0 moments later, the State team gave the ball away playing out of defence and Phonsongkham’s neat pass found Farrow, who finished clinically to complete her hat-trick.

Kagami tested Aquino from long-range early in the second half, but the Glory keeper collected easily, and moments later the Perth RedStar striker hit another shot from distance, this time Aquino was forced into a fingertip save to push her shot around the post. Green then tested Bennett down the other end, her shot from the angle was pushed over the top by the State team keeper, before Phonsongkham shot from the edge of the box was saved low by Bennett.

Kagami then pounced on a mistake at the back, rounded Aquino, but her touch was too strong the ball going out for a goal kick, before Kim Carroll’s free kick flashed wide of the far post. Glory trialist Ella Lincoln tried her luck from the edge of the box late, but her curling effort flew wide, but Glory had done the damage early to see Alex Epakis’s side run out convincing winners.

WA State Team: GK Rebecca BENNETT, 22 Laura WALTMAN (24 Violet LONGMORE 46’), 23 Maja ARCHIBALD (26 Lou TANNER 46’), 25 Poppie HOOKS, 27 Monique GODDING (35 Monique PRINSLOO 46’), 28 Judy CONNOLLY, 29 Kim MCCARTNEY, 30 Kim CARROLL, 32 Chari WAINWRIGHT, 33 Baxter THEW, 34 Reina KAGAMI – Subs: None

Perth Glory Line-Up: GK Morgan AQUINO, (RGK Lilly BAILEY 61'), 2 Sadie LAWRENCE, 3 Georgia CASSIDY (14 Olivia WOOD 54'), 4 Tash RIGBY (16 Mischa ANDERSON 54'), 6 Claudia MIHOCIC (13 Clara HOARAU 54'), 7 Liz ANTON, 8 Abbey GREEN (17 Ella LINCOLN 54'), 9 Millie FARROW (15 Tanika LALA 54'), 10 Sofia SAKALIS, 11 Susan PHONSONGKHAM (5 Anika STAJCIC 54'), 21 Sarah CAIN - Subs not used: None – Referee: Referee: Jasmine BREMER



The Belt-Up Amateur league season has come to an end, and we take a look at the four divisions promotions and relegations. First in Division One Maccabi had already won promotion to the Premier Division, but they were joined in the top flight by Kingsley Westside, who edged out Olympic Kingsway, after a 4-1 win at Port Kennedy. Coach Ben Andrews said they are delighted to have earned promotion in such a tight league this season. “We knew heading down to PK that it’s not an easy place to go and get three points, so we are delighted for the playing group to get a positive result and secure promotion,” he explained. “The league has been a really good one to be a part of this year with some really strong teams.

“After a poor start to the season, we really weren’t sure where we would finish up, but one loss in the last 14 games is a real testament to all the players who showed a real desire all year to make sure they got the reward their hard work deserved. We’ve been really lucky this year to have two really hard-working teams with our reserves winning the league and still a cup final to come. Everyone at Kingsley would also like to congratulate Ricky and Maccabi on winning the league, they have been a class outfit all year who play some great football.”

Club President Chris Brady said they are delighted to see the club back in the Amateur Premier League from 2024. “It has been a goal of ours since the second Kingsley Amateur Team entered Division Four in 2017 and really gathered speed after our Premier League team was promoted to the State League in 2019. Three promotions in the last three years speaks for itself,” Brady explained.

“I would like to acknowledge Oli Healey, Chris Donlevy, Robert Holgate and John Cann who coached the side at various stages in the difficult early years when the club’s focus was elsewhere and Mo Livingstone whose three years managing the Amateurs really laid the foundations for the success, we have enjoyed this year. Coaches Ben Andrews and Luke Thompson, Reserves coaches Ryan Lickiss and Lee Williams and all the players can all be very proud of what has been achieved this year. We now look forward to two Cup Finals next weekend and hopefully some more icing on the cake for what has already been an amazing 2023 for the club.” At the other end of the table Stirling Lions and Queens Park were relegated.

In Division Two the title went down to the final game of the season, with Ballajura AFC pipping Cracovia by one point. On the final day Ballajura hosted Belmont Villa and a brace from Craig Highet, and others to Jake Cosenza, Rhys Booth, Brandon Rector and Roshann Frederic secured a 6-2 win, while Cracovia did all they could to win the league, after a double from Leigh Morgan and another to Connor Nicolaidis gave them a 3-0 win against Baldivis, but second place was good enough for promotion for John Sabetta’s side.

Ballajura player/coach Wayne Culverwell said his side have been great all season and they deserve promotion. “Yesterday’s win was a great way to top of a really good season for Ballajura, and the lads were really up for it and got their rewards,” he said. “The lads have been brilliant all year and we are confident and excited about stepping up to Division One. At the other end of the table Tigris and Mandurah City were relegated.

In Division Three Alkimos have taken out the title, with Joondanna Blues joining them in Division Two next season. Alkimos sealed the title with a 4-2 win against Subiaco at Rosalie Park on Friday evening, and coach John Evans said it’s been a rollercoaster season but he is delighted to win the title and earn promotion. “Friday night’s game against Subiaco was a great way to end another successful season. All players got 45 minutes or more, so to come away with three points was a great way to finish Division Three,” he explained.

“All players have given 100% every week, and that’s what’s required to enable us to be successful again this season. To be fair, this season has been a roller coaster of a ride, a lot of highs and lows, but as a group we have finished top of the league again, which is a credit to everyone involved, on and off the pitch. Next season in Division Two will be a massive step, which we are all looking forward too.” At the other end of the table UWA Nedlands and Woodvale were relegated.

Finally in Division Four Bayswater City wrapped up the title a few weeks ago, while they will be joined in Division Three by Wanneroo City, who pipped Swan Valley and Wembley Downs to runners-up spot. Despite Wanneroo being beaten 5-0 by the Champions on the final day, nearest rivals Swan Valley and Wembley were held to 2-2 draws by Mindarie and Sporting Warriors respectively to miss out.

Bayswater City coach Luke O’Neill said it’s been a fantastic season from his players, and thanks the club for all their support. “We are happy and proud of what we have achieved as a team, especially with the club entering the amateur league this season and having to start from scratch,” he said. “The players have worked extremely hard throughout the season and their work has paid off with winning 22 games. From day one Oriano (Colli) and the club have been excellent with both squads, and made everyone feel welcomed. We are looking forward to the off season and having a little break and then starting preparations for next season.”



Fremantle City will play NPL football for the first time after a beating Joondalup United 3-1 in a thrilling NPL-WA/State League First Division Promotion/Relegation Play-off Final at the State Football Centre on Saturday evening. Joel Sollitt had given United the lead just after half time, but goals from substitutes Enzo Marangoni and Bill Orr and one from Alex McLean turned things around for Matthew Sparrow’s side to seal a dramatic victory in front of a big crowd at the home of WA football.

“What a day for the club, we knew heading into this promotion play off it was never going to be easy against a well-organised Joondalup United side, and we lost our skipper Hayden Stevens in the first half to injury which was a big blow,” Fremantle’s Ryan Hogan explained. “Going one down so early in the second half kind of kicked us into gear and the gaffer made some very important subs at the right time. Enzo came off the bench and scored in both legs against Mandurah and what a strike it was from him to draw the game level. From there we knew we could go and win the game, and it was a huge momentum shift for us and the subs had a huge impact on the game. Big shoutout to young Billy who came off the bench to score his first senior goal for the club.”

With promotion on the line, it was a nervous start from both sides, but Fremantle’s striker Oliver La Galia was a constant threat early, and he had the first opportunity on four minutes, bursting into the box on the right, his low shot was saved by Todd Hoyle. Fremantle suffered a huge blow on 22 minutes, with skipper Hayden Stevens limping off with injury, and he was replaced by Roberto Soares. Joondalup settled and started to create chances of their own, Ben Cambell’s shot on the run saved low by Jordan Barbas. But clear-cut chances were few and far between, but Soares and James Harmer fired wide at either end as the tempo lifted.

There was a nervous moment for Joondalup custodian Todd Hoyle on the half hour, Patrick Loughrey cross was fumbled by the keeper, but he recovered quickly to claim the rebound with Dean Hurley ready to pounce. Joondalup were creating the better chances, and Barbas had to be alert on 36 minutes to save Jay Lang’s volley at his near post, before Ben Campbell blazed over the top instead of passing, when they had a three on one break.

Fremantle then had the best opportunity of the game, Hurley’s snap shot from long-range beat Hoyle, but crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. Then in the shadows of half time it was Joondalup who had the final chance, James Harmer’s corner picked out Gary Hill at the back post, but he headed straight at Barbas, and at the break it was all to play for.

Joondalup made the perfect start to the second half and were ahead two minutes in. Elliot Tattersall’s corner wasn’t dealt with and in goalmouth scramble Joel Sollitt fired home, much to the delight of the Joondalup supporters. Fremantle looked for the quick response and after good work by La Galia, Hurley fired over the top. Nick Jennings’ team went close to a second just after the hour, Tattersall’s shot from the edge of the box flashed inches wide of the target. Moments later Fremantle went close to the equaliser, La Galia’s powerful shot whistled just wide of the far post.

But on 72 minutes, Fremantle’s super sub, Enzo Marangoni brought his side level. The striker had only been on the pitch for five minutes when he picked up the ball in the middle of the park and fired home a rocket from distance, giving Hoyle no chance. Soares then saw a curling effort saved by Hoyle as Fremantle looked for the winner. Hoyle then produced a stunning reaction save to deny McLean, then he was out bravely to save at the feet of La Galia moments later.

Both sides were going for the winner, and Barbas pushed Harmer’s shot on the run around the post on 86 minutes, but sixty seconds later it was Fremantle who found it. Marangoni found McLean on the right of the penalty area, and his first time shot found the top corner, and he raced off to celebrate with the Fremantle supporters. It was Joondalup now pressing for the equaliser and Callum Stocks saw his shot at the near post saved low by Barbas.

But five minutes into stoppage time Fremantle added a third, Soares’ cross wasn’t dealt with and substitute Bill Orr fired home to seal victory and their place in the NPLWA for the first time. “What can I say, all the hard work has paid off. I thought it was a typical final, up and down, both teams really giving everything, and thankfully we came out on top,” Fremantle’s Elliot Ireland said. “Enzo with another goal worthy of goal of the season, but I couldn’t be prouder of the lads, it’s been a long season but it’s all worth it after that. Special mention to all our supporters who came and made it such a special night.’

Joondalup United: GK Todd Hoyle, 4 Gary Hill, 5 Jay Lang, 6 Shaun Kilkelly, 7 Benjamin Campbell, 9 Joel Sollitt (10 Callum Stocks 68’), 11 Elliot Tattersall, 12 Ayden Dragun (2 Jackson Dongray 83’), 19 Joel Prout (14 Jude Bailli 55’), 30 James Harmer, 77 Sam McKearnen – Subs not used: RGK Harry Mitchell, 8 Joshua Allum, 15 Adam Buckley, 20 Craig Harrison

Fremantle City: GK Jordan Barbas, 2 Joshua Macri, 3 Patrick Loughrey, 5 Hayden Stevens (10 Roberto Soares 22’), 6 Elliot Ireland (18 Enzo Marangoni 65’), 8 Anthony Topini, 9 Oliver La Galia, 11 Alex Mclean, 13 George Festa, 14 Ryan Hogan, 20 Dean Hurley (44 Bill Orr 91’) – Subs not used: RGK Ryan Barker, 16 Luke Christie, 24 Elijah Haas, 21 Shale Moothen – Referee: Steve Gregory – Assistants: David Teo, Fin Johnson – Fourth Official: Liam Howgate



Subiaco AFC have maintained their State League Division One status after a 2-0 win in the State League First Division/Second Division Promotion/Relegation Play-off Final against Curtin University at the State Football Centre on Saturday afternoon. First half goals from Kaleb Morrison and a Simone Sichel own goal sealed the tie for Marc Wingell’s side, and the scoreline could have been more if not for Curtin keeper Daniel Marques who made a number of fine saves on the day.

Subiaco defender Christian Miraudo said it was a solid performance and delighted to keep their Division One status. “We thought we were the better team over the 90 minutes and deserved the win,” he said post-match. “We had a good game plan and executed it perfectly, so it was nice to be rewarded for all our hard work this year.”

It was a tight opening to the final and it was Curtin who had the first opportunity on four minutes, Oscar Wright racing down the left to the bye-line, his shot from the angle was saved low by Conor Hogan. But three minutes later it was Subiaco who found the opener. Morrison picked the ball up in his own half and raced at the Curtin defence, his pace took clear of his marker and he finished low past Daniel Marques.

They went close to a second moments later, Gavin Knights’ free kick was tipped over by Marques, and on 22 minutes the lively Morrison raced away again, but this time Scott Geare got back with a last-ditch tackle to deny him. That was the last action for the Curtin defender, who limped off with an injury, and was replaced by Jordan Valentini. Curtin were struggling in the final third, and the last thing they needed was to concede a second, and that’s exactly what happened on 28 minutes.

It looked little danger from Adrian Manno’s free Kick into the penalty area, but some misunderstanding between Marques and Simone Sichel, saw the striker head into his own net. Troy Reid’s side needed a lift, and they went close to reducing the margin four minutes later, Daniel Devey’s curing shot beat Hogan, but the post came to the rescue of the Subiaco custodian, and at the break Subiaco were in control.

Subiaco went close to sealing the tie early in the second half, with a great reserve pass from Knight sending Morrison in goal, but Marques saved well to deny him, and Aaron McGuirk’s follow up shot was blocked. McGuirk then saw a long-range shot fizz over the top, as Subiaco looked to kill the tie off. Curtin were struggling to find away past a firm Subiaco defence, but Subiaco continued to have the chances, with Knight racing in on goal from McGuirk’s through ball, but Marques stood tall to deny him.

Curtin did find an opening on 64 minutes, Jai Coker’s cross from the right found Sichel, who couldn’t keep his header down. With Curtin pressing forward Subiaco had a number of chances late, the best fell to ‘Man of the Match’ Morrison, who pounced on a defensive mistake and raced towards goal, but once again Marques stood tall to save, but at the final whistle it was Subiaco celebrating the win, and their survival in Division One.

Striker Gavin Knight said it was a great win for the club. “We had a game plan and stuck to it. We knew an early goal would put pressure on them and it worked,” he said post-match. “Going in 2-0 at half time was brilliant and second half’s target was clean sheet, the first one this season and we achieved that. Now the season is over we plan for next season and do better than this year.”

Subiaco AFC: RG Conor Hogan, 2 Ethan Johnson, 5 Lazar Spasojevic, 7 Zac Benabid, 10 Gavin Knight (13 Agustin Ventre 78’), 11 Aaron McGuirk (4 Maurice Vermeulen 78’), 14 Gaspar Becerra, 17 Christian Miraudo, 19 Adrian Manno, 21 Kaleb Morrison (12 Dominic Manno 93’), 29 Zane Singleton - Subs not used: RGK Samuel Assumption, 9 Oscar Barry, 18 Brendan Griffiths, 22 Emin Holic

Curtin University: GK Daniel Marques, 2 Jeffrey Ledwith, 3 Daniel Davey, 4 Janno Saks, 6 Nathan Smith, 7 Oscar Wright, 9 Simone Sichel, 10 Jai Coker (12 Todd Nyawayi 68’), 16 Dane Meerally, 17 Scott Geare (11 Jordan Valentini 24’), 18 Ali Reza Akbarzadeh (5 Christopher Sutton 46’) - Subs not used: RGK Robert Nicolosi, 8 Angus Cash, 14 Nayan Brown, 15 Carlo Chiellini – Referee: Liam Barclay – Assistants: Jimmy Graham, Brian McKeown – Fourth Official: Alex Novatsis



The Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division title has gone down to the final round of the season, with three teams still mathematically possible of being crown champions, with Emerald, East Perth and North Perth United still in contention. Emerald and East Perth sit joint top of the table, level on goal difference, with Emerald in front on goals scored, so goals will be vital in this weekend’s fixtures.

East Perth opens the round on Saturday evening when they make the trip to Bunbury to take on the already relegated South West Phoenix at Onside Sports Stadium. (5pm) East Perth are the only club of the three, who have applied for promotion, and they head south looking for a big win to put pressure on Emerald, and knock North Perth out of contention. Coach Colm Costello said their season is peaking at the right time, and go into the last game, like they did last season with the opportunity for promotion, but can’t take Phoenix lightly.

“Another final day very like last season, but it’s brilliant to be part of it again. The lads have put a brilliant run together and have deserved the right to be in the mix with some brilliant performances and great consistency week in week out,” Costello said. “Lots of people seem to be predicting the result’s already this week, but we know Phoenix we’re narrowly beaten by Emerald and North Perth a few weeks back by the odd goal, so we are not getting sucked into any of this, we have a huge game ahead of us and we will prepare like every week to try win the game.”

Costello said it couldn’t have been scripted any better, but his players are buzzing and are looking to end the season on a high, and have trained well this week. “We enjoyed a good performance last Sunday but on Tuesday it was straight back into work for Jason Winter and I. Phoenix at home nobody has got an easy game in Bunbury all year, so if we switch off or have lads complacent we will be punished,” he said. “Likewise with Emerald, Jags have been a top consistent team every year since they entered the Premier League, and Josam is a brilliant organised coach and there’s no way Emerald will be getting it easy off Jags.

“It’s a great weekend of football ahead, the coaches are buzzing the players are buzzing and we are ready for another huge challenge and all we can do is try win a game of football, we can’t control anything only our job. The lads have been brilliant after a sluggish start to the Night Series and also the league campaign, but hopefully they produce a big performance on Saturday evening and we wait and see the outcome on Sunday.”

Emerald will be at home on the final day, when they host Jaguar at Fraser Park on Sunday afternoon (3pm) They will go into the game, knowing what they need to do and coach Shane O’Donovan said his players will give it there all on Sunday, and that’s all they can do. “I’ve been absolutely delighted with the season as a whole, we knew after last year to be competitive in this league you have to be consistent. We have done that and put us right in the mix come the last game of the season which is a fantastic achievement for such a small club,” O’Donovan explained.

“The players from both reserves and firsts have put the effort in all year and deserve to be here. Whatever happens in other results, we will be fighting to the final whistle and hopefully celebrating at the end of it. We know Jaguar are never an easy opponent, so we know we will have to be at our best to win. whatever happens in the other game, we as a squad are fully confident that we can get the result we need.”

In other games on Sunday (all games kick off a 3pm), North Perth United travel to Butlers Reserve to take on Wembley Downs, and need a win, and both Emerald and East Perth to lose, if they are to take out the title, and as they say football is a funny old game, so you can’t rule that out, while Kelmscott Roos welcome South Perth United to Frye Park. It’s also tight in the relegation battle, with South West Phoenix already down, Kwinana United and Joondalup United will be fighting it out on the last day.

Joondalup have their survival in their own hands, and a win against North Beach at Charles Riley Memorial Reserve will secure it. Joondalup coach Mike Ford said another performance like last week will be required if they are to stay in the division. “Last week against Phoenix was a cup final game, and this week will be no different,” he said. “We’re expecting North Beach to want to finish on a high, and there are no favours in this league, it’s up to us to get a result. It’s going to be a hard and tough game, but as always very entertaining. Along with Karl Cherrie and the lads we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Kwinana United need Joondalup to slip up and then take all three points when they host Peel United at Kelly Park. Mark Purvis’ side sit two points behind Joondalup, and have a better goal difference, and he knows they will need a favour from North Beach, but he said they are ready for the challenge, and all they can do is get the right result. “We are excited for it, yes, we need a result to go our way but at one stage we were written off so we are going to enjoy this game and play with freedom,” Purvis said. But as I’ve said before if the worst happens then that responsibility is mine alone.”



It’s been a stellar season for Olympic Kingsway midfielder Tyler Garner, helping the club to the Top Four Finals in their first season back in the Premier League since 1999. The 22-year-old’s form has also seen him selected in the WA State squad to take on Perth Glory on Sunday, and the former Kalamunda United junior has also been selected for the Australia Futsal squad for the AFC Futsal Asian Cup 2024 Qualifiers in October.

Garner, who plays for Rockingham Cambio Cumbre Futsal Club, has been selected as an Ala, which is a winger in Futsal, and he is delighted to be selected in the squad. “It’s an honour to be selected and be given the opportunity to represent my country,” Garner said. “I’m really looking forward to meeting up with the rest of the squad for camp next week in Sydney before travelling to Taiwan. Hopefully we can go there, and get the job done and qualify for Asian Cup next year.”

The midfielder said it was a successful season for Olympic, and he is hoping to go one better next season, after losing in the Top Four Cup Semi-Final. “We started the year off so positively winning the night series which was great for the club. We struggled in patches throughout the season with results but still managed to achieve our goal of finishing in the top four,” Garner explained. “As a squad we still feel as if we somewhat underachieved this season despite finishing third, we dropped points in games that we should really be winning. Overall, it was a great first season for us back in the NPL and hopefully we can come back stronger next season.”

Olympic coach David Tough said Tyler had a breakout season with the Green Machine, and wished him all the best on international duty. “It’s a remarkable achievement for Tyler, to once again be selected for the Australia Futsal Team. It reflects his dedication and relentless work ethic. He is an exceptional talent who is only going to improve. I have no doubt that he will make both his family and country proud,” Tough said.

“Tyler played a huge part in the club’s success last season, with us winning the night series and a third-place finish is the first top division trophy and the clubs highest finish since 1981. It's an incredibly promising start to life in the NPL. The club's very ambitious, we’ll look to improve our squad in the off-season, with the goal of achieving another successful season in 2024.”

Garner will meet his teammates in Sydney, and Futsalroos Head Coach Miles Downie has named a 14-player squad, and it features some of Australia’s best male Futsal talent. They will travel to Chinese Taipei for two matches from 7 – 11 October to determine which countries advance to the AFC Futsal Asian Cup™ 2024 to be hosted by Thailand. A total of 31 teams were drawn into eight groups, where Australia is in Group H with Japan and hosts Chinese Taipei. To qualify for AFC Futsal Asian Cup ™ 2024, The Futsalroos will need to finish either first or second in their group to advance to the final stage. The action kicks off on Saturday, 7 October when the Futsalroos face Japan at Taipei University Stadium in Taipei City.

Downie has been working hard to galvanise the squad since taking over the head role in 2022 and is looking forward to returning to the international stage. “The past year has been an exciting period for Australian Futsal and the prospect of competing in the AFC Futsal Asian Cup is something we’re determined to achieve,” Downie said. “In the lead up to this competition we have been working hard to build a squad who we believe have the skills to compete against the Asian nations and who will form part of the national team for years to come. The AFC Futsal Asian Cup qualifiers will be a good test for the squad, and I have full faith that we have the ability to surprise our more experienced opponents.”

On Monday, 9 October, Australia will play host nation, Chinese Taipei, once again at the Taipei University Stadium. The squad features experienced players from the Futsalroos’ AFF Futsal Championship 2022 campaign in Thailand and the recent PacificAus Sports Futsal Series where Australia hosted the Solomon Islands in a three-match international series in Sydney. If the Futsalroos are successful in qualifying for the AFC Futsal Asian Cup 2024™, the top four teams from the tournament automatically qualify for the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2024™ in Uzbekistan.



A spot in the NPLWA – Men’s competition is up for grabs on Saturday evening, when Fremantle City takes on Joondalup United in the NPL-WA/State League First Division Promotion/Relegation Play-Off Final at the State Football Centre in Queens Park. (5.30pm) Both sides fought their way into the final, after two entertaining semi-finals. Fremantle came home from Mandurah City with a 3-1 victory, to complete a 5-1 aggregate win, while Joondalup drew 2-2 at Sorrento, to win the tie on the away goals rule, and end the Gulls 35-year run in the Premier League.

The fixture has been eagerly anticipated by the football community, with it being the first ever play off to gain a place in the NPL, but that was somewhat quashed this week with Football West announcing Joondalup had not met the criteria to join the competition. This decision could have been made a number of weeks ago, but the club are to appeal the decision, and if they win on Saturday, it will be a wait and see situation, something that could have been avoided with some communication earlier.

That’s our thoughts on the disappointing decision, now on to the football. Joondalup United last played NPL football in 2018, but they had a tough job to reach the final, after a scoreless draw against Sorrento in the first leg at Forrest Park, they headed to Percy Doyle Reserve and drew 2-2 to seal the tie, and coach Nick Jennings, who is in his eighth season at the helm of the club, was delighted the way his players battled hard to seal the tie.

“I think you could see, with the relaxed but focused nature of our boys, before and during the game, that we had nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Jennings explained. “Even after falling behind our game plan remained the same to score that away goal and that to hit Sorrento in transition. Then when we had to, we got men behind the ball and made it difficult for them, apart from a moment of magic from a highly talented Danny Douglas we did just that, to come home victors.”

On Saturday it will be the final game for defender Shaun Kilkelly, who announced his retirement last week, and Jennings said they will be doing all they can to send him out a winner. “Shaun is a massive player and personality in WA football, a player I tried to sign many times over the years. My respect for him has grown even more witnessing at first hand his leadership and example he sets on and off the pitch,” Jennings said. “He’s a serial winner and we’ll be doing all we can to send him off a Champion in the final against a good Fremantle side.”

Joondalup skipper Ben Johns said the semi-final was a battle, but they won the battle to seal their spot, and despite the off-field noises, all the players are doing is contracting on another tough game in the final against Fremantle. “It was a hard-fought game with both teams creating chances in the match. Both teams had spells of dominance but ultimately in the end I felt that it was us that wanted it more,” Johns said.

“I thought we were unlucky not to come out of the game with an outright win, but we did enough to progress. There’s a lot of background noise going on off the pitch, but ultimately that’s for other people to sort out. We have a job to do on Saturday on the pitch and everything else is irrelevant at the moment. The boys are very much looking to playing in a final and pushing for a NPL spot after a great season.”

Fremantle City Head Coach Matthew Sparrow said the performance of his chargers over the two legs against Mandurah was outstanding. “Obviously we’re delighted as a group the way we performed against a very strong Mandurah side, we knew they had to come at us and we defended exceptionally well all over the pitch, we spoke about our game plan before the ties and I thought we executed it perfectly,” Sparrow explained. “To score five good goals and limit them down to one goal (penalty) over 180 minutes, the players deserve full praise for their attitude commitment and professionalism.”

City had a mid-season slump, but circumstance didn’t help them during that period, but Sparrow said it’s been a successful season, after beating two NPL sides in the Australia Cup, and ended the season in fine form. “Yes, you could say we’ve been extremely unlucky with injuries to key players throughout the year, along with suspensions and players going away, these are situations that we just have to deal during the season,” the coach explained.

“But once again the boys have responded well to these setbacks, I’ve always told them we can beat anybody on our day and we’ve proved that by beating the champions twice along with knocking out Olympic Kingsway and Perth SC out the cup and now Mandurah twice. Unfortunately, we’ve not been as consistent as we would have liked as the table never lies, but we’ve hit good form at the right time again and everybody connected to the club is really looking forward to the final.”

Sparrow said Saturday is a huge game for the club, as they look for a place in the NPL for the first time. “It’s a game we are really looking forward too, we’ve had some great battles with Joondalup down the years and it’s a club I’ve got fond memories of on and off the pitch,” Sparrow said of his three years at JUFC. “It’ll be the first time the two teams have met in a playoff final like this, the players will get the chance to express themselves at the new stadium on a great surface so hopefully it will be an entertaining game for the supporters and neutrals out there watching.”

Fremantle skipper Hayden Stevens was part of a rock-solid defence against Mandurah, but he said it was a good all-round team performance. “We knew going down there we were going to have to weather some early pressure, which we did, but we also knew a goal would make their life really difficult,” Stevens said. “It probably wasn’t the prettiest game of football to watch, but we knew a solid defensive performance would get us through to the final and that’s what we were able to achieve.”

Stevens said Joondalup will be up for the game, after the news off the park this week, but the defender said they are looking to make some history for the club, and he has full faith in his side to get the job done. “This is the game that you want to play in given the route we’ve had to take to potentially go up, and now we’ve given ourselves that chance, like you said for the first time in the club’s history,” the former Perth Glory Youth defender said.

“I know the boys are all up and about, and raring to go. The last month I feel we’ve really started to click as a group and there is a full belief in the squad and the club. It should be a great game, when we’ve played each other this year it has always been at a decent level. We’ve both had a win against each other this year, so it should be another tough game. However, I have full faith in the boys and the whole club that we can get the job done.”



The State League First Division/Second Division Promotion/Relegation Play-offs has also reached the Final, with Subiaco AFC taking on Curtin University at the State Football Centre on Saturday afternoon (3pm) Subiaco will be hoping to stay in Division One, after finishing 11th in the regular season, and they reached Saturday’s final with a tight 4-3 semifinal win against Swan United. Meanwhile Curtin will be aiming for a spot in Division One for the first time in their history, this after finishing third in Division Two, and overcoming Maddington-Kalamunda White City 3-2 after extra time in a thriller last week, so it’s all to play for both sides.

Subiaco looked safe at the end of the season, but a 3-4 loss in the final game against Gosnells City, when they were winning by three goals, saw them drop into the relegation playoff spot, and defender Christian Miraudo said the play offs are a new challenge, and they had to work hard to get the win against Swan. “The game was exactly how we thought it would go, they were a tough team, but played good football as well,” he said. “They defiantly made us work for it, so to hear the whistle on Saturday felt very rewarding.”

Miraudo said a change of coach midseason wasn’t ideal, but he believes the appointment of Marc Wingell saw them pick up, and he is hoping they can continue next season in Division One. “Marc and Dale are quality coaches they’ve won plenty of trophies and have a lot of experience,” the defender explained. “We had a good back half of the year with them in charge and as a group we definitely feel like we owe them and the club the opportunity to build something special.”

Standing in their way is Curtin, and Miraudo said it will be another stern test, and they know what to expect after playing them in preseason. “We played Curtin in pre-season and we knew they were a good side then, and with this being a final, we know it’s going to be anything but easy Saturday,” he said. “But the boys are up for it, and we are hoping to finish our season on a high and keep the club where it belongs.”

Subiaco keeper Conor Hogan was a busy man at Swan last week, and he is expecting Saturday to be just the same with promotion within their grasp. “We knew it was going to be tough playing away at Swan, and we thought when we scored the first that it would affect Swan,” he explained. “But if anything, it got them more up for it, the lads stuck with it in the second half and defensively I thought we were very good. We are under no illusions Saturday is going to be a tight game, they (Curtin) look good and fit so I’m sure it will be a tough game, but hopefully we turn up with the right attitude and stay in Division One.”

Curtin secured the place in the final after a dramatic extra time win at Maddington, and it continued the rise of the side under the tutelage of coach Troy Reid, and he was delighted with the players attitude to fight out the win. They go into the final looking to play Division One football for the first time in the club’s history with a win, and Reid said everyone at the club has worked extremely hard to get into this position. “Very proud of not just the effort last week but the maturity and grit to find a way to win,” Reid said. “Since the first day I started at Curtin the goal has always been to get to Division One. We’ve been pushing towards that over the last three years, building not just a good playing group but also a winning culture. The boys and everyone around the club has brought into what we want to achieve as a group and I’m excited as to how close we are.” Reid knows Saturday’s opponents will be desperate to keep their Division One status, but he is confident they can get the result to seal promotion. “Subiaco are a strong side with some exciting young players balanced by experience in players like Gavin Knight. I think this blend of youthful energy and experience is similar to ours, which should lead to a high energy game,” Reid explained. “The confidence across our group is sky high at the moment and if we execute how we want to play, I’m confident we’ll get the job done on Saturday.”

Curtin skipper Jeffrey Ledwith said the work rate and commitment of all the players at Maddington was second to none, especially with big home support. “Maddington have a great team and have had a great season, and we always knew it was going to be hard playing at their home ground, especially in front of their massive fan base and it showed over the weekend,” Ledwith explained. “It was great to get the win in extra time, the game was very even all the way to the last whistle and we held firm to get win.”

Ledwith said the players have had a good week on track and are ready to claim their place in Division One. “Everyone is super excited and ready for this weekend. Subiaco are a Division One team for a reason, and we know they will fight to the end to not get relegated, and they showed they are up for the challenge with a win against Swan,” he said. “But the Curtin lads are in high spirits this week, and to have a chance to get promoted is every club’s dream and for Curtin this is a chance to create history for the club.”



WA Men’s State coach Andy Ord has named a 23-man squad to represent WA in the Gold Fields Challenge Cup against Perth Glory at the State Football Centre on Sunday evening (6.00pm) Daryl Nicol is a notable absentee, but the Scottish striker, who was the league’s leading scorer for the second consecutive season, is at his brothers wedding in the UK, while the experienced Bayswater duo Gordon Smith and Ndumba Makeche also missed out.

The only three teams who do not have any representatives are Floreat Athena, Sorrento and surprisingly Top Four Cup winners Stirling Macedonia, and James Bosdet, Calvin Whitney and Luke Palmateer should feel unlucky not to get a gig. Perth SC have five players, Olympic Kingsway four, Perth RedStar, Balcatta Etna and Bayswater City who have three each, while Cockburn City have two and Armadale’s Pieter Jacobsz, who won the Dylan Tombides Young Player of the Year last season, is their sole representative.

We all know at the end of the season many players do have other commitments, but to have a guest player, playing for the WA State representative side, is a kick in the teeth to many players in the league. But the decision has been made and coach Andy Ord will have strong squad to work with. Football West Policy and Advocacy Manager Gareth Naven said Kilkenny will be great on and off the pitch for the WA State side

“Once again, I would like to thank the players who have made themselves available to represent WA and the clubs for their assistance. I also want to acknowledge our State Team naming partners Gold Fields for their ongoing support. The players and coaching team are looking forward to the game and the chance to test themselves against Perth Glory.

"Neil Kilkenny epitomises what it takes to be a professional and is a great example for our state's best young players to try and emulate. The opportunity for him to come in and instill his wealth of experience on the training ground and the change room in the lead-up to the game will give the players valuable insights into life at the next level."

WA State Squad: GK Liam Reddy (Perth RedStar), GK Rocco Liberti (Perth SC), Pieter Jacobsz (Armadale), Declan Hudson, Kotaro Yamamoto, Liam Hudson (Balcatta Etna), Joshua Anasmo, Konstantinos Sparta, Thiak Kuel (Bayswater City), Breckan Baker, Jesse Lazzaro (Cockburn City), Michael Domfeh (Inglewood United), Josh Samson, Liam Murray, Mitch Oxborrow, Tyler Garner (Olympic Kingsway), Abdul Osman, David Ninkovich, Julian Teles, Zayd Farah (Perth SC), Chok Dau, Nick Walsh (Perth RedStar), Neil Kilkenny (Guest player)

Football West have also announced a 16-player WA Women’s State squad, for Sunday’s Gold Fields Challenge Cup match against Perth Glory in the early game at the State Football Centre. (4pm) Hyundai NTC U21s’ Sam Geddes is head coach for the game, and there are three players from NPLWA - Women’s champions Perth RedStar, including Japanese duo Chiori Ikeda and Reina Kagami, five from Perth SC including goalkeeper Rebecca Bennett, three from Balcatta Etna, two each from Hyundai NTC and Fremantle City, and one from Murdoch University Melville.

Football West Policy and Advocacy Manager Officer Gareth Naven said: “Congratulations to all of the players selected to represent the Gold Fields WA State side. “It is great to see the enthusiasm with which they have embraced the opportunity to play against Glory and to show they can compete with some of the best players in the State. Football West would like to thank our partners Gold Fields, who are the name sponsors of the State teams.” Sunday’s game at the State Football Centre kicks off at 4pm. It is the first part of a double-header, with the Men’s Challenge Cup game at 6pm. As part of Glory’s preparations for the A-League Women’s season, it will be played across 35 minutes each way.

WA Women’s State Squad: Baxter Thew, Monique Prinsloo, Kim McCartney (Balcatta Etna), Laura Waltman, Jamie-Lee Gale (Fremantle City), Charli Wainwright (Murdoch University Melville), Maja Archibald, Violet Longmore (Hyundai NTC), Kim Carroll, Reina Kagami, Chiori Ikeda (Perth RedStar), Monique Godding, Rebecca Bennett, Poppie Hooks, Judy Connolly, Gemma Craine (Perth SC) All payment for entry to the ground is by EFT only. Entry on Saturday is $10 per person with all under 16s free.



Perth Glory have signed their second Stajcic this season as former Sydney FC striker Anika Stajcic is unveiled as the newest women’s signing. Stajcic, the daughter of new men’s coach Alen Stajcic, joins Glory after making her A-League debut last season with Sydney FC and following her pathway through the Football New South Wales Institute.

Stajcic, a Young Matildas representative, is hoping to make an impact at Glory. “I want to get a bit more playing time than I got at Sydney last season and I definitely feel that the team here is very together, really connected and willing to fight for each other,” said the 17-year old attacker.

“I’m confident that we can make the finals this year having been pretty unlucky to have just missed out in the past couple of seasons. We definitely have a high spirit and I think that can really take us far in this competition.” Former men’s team coach Tony Popovic had son’s Gabi and Christian both play for Glory during his stint in the west.

Glory coach Coach Alex Epakis is delighted to add more youth and attacking depth to the squad. “Anika holds a very strong competitive mentality, along with a good attacking skill-set and she is very eager to make her mark on this team and contribute to the team success,” Epakis said.



New Hereford signing Jordan Lyden is out to prove his doubters wrong with consistent performances for the Bulls. The 27-year old Aston Villa academy graduate has won the League Two title on two occasions, with Swindon Town and Leyton Orient, however, injuries have plagued his career.

Lyden, who was released by Orient following a hamstring injury, played 64 minutes on debut in Hereford's 2-0 FA Cup win over Anstey Nomads on the weekend. "I was just buzzing to be back out there," said Lyden. "The last time I played was five months ago. Hopefully I showed what I can do... there is a lot more to come."

Lyden is hoping for a consistent run of matches with Hereford having only played in five league matches last season. "The main thing is getting as many minutes as I can under my belt and managing myself in the right way," he commented. "My injuries have come at bad times and been unlucky."

"I've had really bad, bad injuries if you look at my history. I want to get rid of that tarnish on my head which has been following me around for years. I'm trying to prove people wrong and hopefully I can do that here. There is nothing worse than being injured (but) I'm hoping here I can get a good run of games to kick-start my career.”



Goalkeeper Mark Birighitti is on the verge of exiting Scottish club Dundee United with a loan move to Israel on the cards. An Israeli Premier League club has opened talks with the Tangerines over a season-long loan deal, which would need to be completed before the transfer window closes in Israel this evening.

Birighitti, 32, has been surplus to requirements at Tannadice and now has to decide whether to go and play or to remain on the fringes at United. He has not featured this season and is well down the pecking order behind Jack Walton and Scotland under-21 'keeper Jack Newman.



Perth Glory have added another young homegrown talent to their roster with the signing of Australia youth international Lilly Bailey. The 18-year old goalkeeper has just completed a stellar local season in which she helped the National Training Centre to fourth in the league and victory in the State Cup final.

Bailey, who joins National Training Centre teammates Grace Johnston and Georgia Cassidy in the Glory squad, is delighted to reach the next stage of her career by stepping into the A-League. “I’m so excited to be able to come into the squad this season,” Bailey said.

“I’ve been lucky to have been training in the background for a couple of years and have seen first-hand the amount of work that Alex, the staff and the team do. I’m keen to show what I can do, while also being there to support the team and help them achieve their goals.”

Glory coach Alex Epakis rates Bailey as one of the best players in the country in her position for her age. “Lilly is one of the most talented up-and-coming goalkeepers in the country and is another proud local player who is keen to play for her hometown club,” Epakis said.

“She has been involved in various training blocks with our team over a number of years and I am very proud to be able to give her this opportunity to be part of the team. Lilly is a mature young person with a fearless mindset which is very important for her position. Moreover, she is a player that will be able to grow and develop with great support and coaching.”



The Matildas are set for an Optus Stadium showdown against fellow Women's World Cup participants the Philippines after demand for tickets forced the game to be moved to the 60,000-seat stadium. Premier Roger Cook and Football Australia chief executive James Johnson made the announcement at Optus Stadium yesterday, with matchday two of the AFC Olympic qualifiers relcoated from Perth Oval.

Australia will now play the Philippines at 3pm on Sunday October 29, followed by Iran's clash with Chinese Taipei at 6pm. Tickets were exhausted for all three double-header matchdays at the 22,000-capacity Perth Oval, prompting the move to the larger venue. Fans who previously brought tickets for matchday two will receive special access to new tickets.

Johnson said the move reiterated the strong appeal and fanaticism for the Matildas following their historic Women's World Cup campaign. "The Matildas are one of the strongest sporting brands in the country, and it has become strongly evident that passionate support for this iconic team continues to grow and, for the second time in 12 months we need to relocate to a venue with a higher capacity to accommodate the demand," he said.

"We thank Premier Roger Cook, the Western Australian Government and Tourism Western Australia for their co-operation in ensuring a significantly greater number of fans can not only watch the team live, but also be a part of the journey towards the Paris 2024 Olympic Games." The Matildas will need to top their qualifying group - featuring the Philippines, Chinese Taipei and Iran - to proceed to the next phase of qualifying for the Paris games.



Decorated Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams has returned to the A-League by signing with Melbourne Victory for the next two seasons off the back of the Women's World Cup. The five-time World Cup attendee joins from Brighton and Hove Albion after previously having stints with Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal.

Williams, 35, said the World Cup on home soil had made her more eager to return home to Australia and inspire the next generation, especially young Indigenous football fans. "Obviously being overseas for a while now and seeing just the push and the pull of women's football and how it's grown, then how we all did at the World Cup really helping inspire the next generation," Williams said.

"(I was) really humbled and excited seeing a lot of Indigenous kids coming out and supporting. That's always really been something that I've wanted: to give back to the community and provide something for the future. So it was just an opportunity too good to be missed. I just felt that it was time to come back and be at the place where I first started and it'd be the place where I kind of end it all... I'm really excited to come back to the league."

Williams, who won three championships and two premierships with Melbourne City and one of each with Canberra United, replaces departing goalkeeper Casey Dumont. "We're thrilled to have a goalkeeper of Lydia's calibre in the squad for the upcoming campaign," Victory coach Jeff Hopkins said. "Her experience not only at A-League level but across Europe and internationally will be an invaluable asset to our squad on and off the field."

The Matildas return to action in Olympic qualifiers in Perth in October but Williams played down her Paris 2024 ambitions. "It's just gonna depend how I go back in the league, and how my body holds up and everything. I'm obviously not retiring yet," Williams said. "It's more about just getting some games under my belt again, and playing and being home and just enjoying the Aussie sun and the culture again, and laying the foundation for what the future might be. But I will never say no to another international competition."



Alen Stajcic is fond of history. He likes being able to learn from the mistakes of the past. His own personal history and coaching resume is impressive. Four trophies in six seasons with Sydney FC’s women’s side. Four-and-a-half years as Matilda’s coach, where he took them to the Women’s World Cup quarter-final and their highest-ever FIFA world ranking.

After his shock axing from the national team in 2019, Stajic took Central Coast Mariners to their first finals appearance in seven years, before helping the Philippines’ women’s side to a historic run of results which reached its apex at the recent Women’s World Cup.

The new Perth Glory coach is particularly fond of his club’s own history. Specifically, Stajic is full of praise for the club’s purple patch in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, when they were the hottest ticket in town, filled Perth Oval on a regular basis, appeared in four Grand Finals, won two Championships and three minor Premierships.

Stajcic wants Glory to be the biggest team in the A-League, and he knows it possible because he has seen it with his own eyes. He does not know why the club has consistently failed to hit those heights upon the conclusion of the old National Soccer League and birth of the A-League, but he knows there is no reason why the glory days of old cannot return.

“History is always a good teacher and history has shown us that something’s possible first and foremost and what we did well and didn’t do well,” Stajcic said. “Perth Glory, when it was founded in the 90’s, showed what is possible and for whatever reason, during the A-League era, it hasn’t really lived up to those aspirations, goals and objectives that were achieved within the old national league.”

“Those levels weren’t attained in the terraces, in the administration, on the field - no consistency and no stability and sustainability of achievements. I’m hoping over time that we set things in place here that will keep the club successful, not just for half a season or one season, but ongoing. That requires everyone - it’s not a coaching staff model; it’s a whole club model moving forward with with good foundations and principles.”

There are mild similarities between Stajcic’s tenure at Central Coast and Glory. He came to the club after several years of disappointing performances and in 2020, shortly after Stajcic had overseen a wooden spoon in his first full season in charge, owner Mike Charlesworth put the club up for sale. The only way was up and the next year Stajcic took the Mariners to third on the ladder.

Stajcic believes the future of the game in Australia can be steered by smaller market clubs, like Glory. “It’s important to have good clubs and big clubs in Sydney and Melbourne, but I actually think the future expansion and growth is in regional areas,” he said. “So it’s essential that clubs like Central Coast and Perth, Wellington and Brisbane, Newcastle, one-team towns, that they get their act together and are prosperous.”

Stajcic has already begun to instil his methods in Perth, upping training to six days a week and beginning to impose upon his team a desire to play for the purple shirt they wear. After the roller-coaster past five years, Stajcic said he had learnt the importance of unity and being able to convince everyone - not just his players - to come on the journey with him.

“Values and principles are the most important thing within teams and within leagues and within countries if they want to grow so having a good set of core values that everyone wants to stick by,” he said. “Ultimately, I think unity is number one and the more aligned an organization is, or a team or club, the bigger the chance you have of success - but as we know, nothing’s ever guaranteed in sport.”



Perth Glory have signed their third midfielder in as many days with Antonis Martis joining after impressing in trials. The 23-year-old youth academy graduate of Danish giant Midtjylland has been on loan for the past three seasons at Macarthur, where he notched up 23 A-League appearances.

Martis captained the Australia Under-16 side and more recently represented Cyprus, the island of his birth, at Under-19 level. He joins former Socceroo Ollie Bozanic and Jarrod Carluccio, both on loan from Western Sydney Wanderers, in bolstering Glory's midfield stakes for the coming summer season.

"I'm happy to be joining Perth and can't wait to work with Alen Stajcic and his team," Martis said. "It's a great opportunity for me and the team has been forming up well with all the new signings, so it's been exciting. Personally, I just want to contribute as much as I can individually and achieve things collectively as a squad and I feel that we have the team to do so."

Glory coach Stajcic said Martis has a lot to offer Glory. "Antonis has shown his technical capabilities in the A-League previously," Stajic commented. "His resilience and persistence are admirable qualities and his addition will add great depth to our central midfield stocks."



The Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division title will go down to the final game of the season, after some huge week 21 fixtures. In our ‘Match of the Round’ East Perth leapfrogged North Perth United and into second on goal difference, after a 3-0 win at Woodville Reserve on Sunday afternoon. “A brilliant team performance from the lads today they all stood up to a huge challenge,” East Perth coach Colm Costello said. “North Perth have spent the best part of the season at the top, so we knew everyone had to be at their best for 90 minutes and that’s exactly what they did.”

The visitors were ahead on 18 minutes, Chris Smith pressed the North Perth defender, and the pass was intercepted by Ryan McGready who made no mistake past Jamie Serra. East Perth was well on top and Adam McCarron effort hit the post, and McGready was unlucky to narrowly miss from the rebound. But on 37 minutes it was 2-0, Dean Wall’s corner was headed goalward by McCarron and Jamie O’Conner turned the ball home. North Perth needed a good start to the second half, but they found themselves three down in the first minute. A great through ball from the impressive Smith sent McGready in on goal, and he lobbed the oncoming Serra.

It could have been more, but East Perth left with all three points and go into the final game still in the mix for promotion to the State League. “It was a great atmosphere and very big crowd down at Woodville and delighted for the lads, they put so much in every week training and turned up and produced again yesterday,” Costello added. “Jason and I couldn’t have asked for more from the 16 lads this week, delighted for them. It sets up another huge game now next weekend at Bunbury, so it’s back to training and preparing for that again on Tuesday. Still all to play for in the last game of season which is brilliant to be part of.”

Emerald FC are top of the table after a 2-1 win against South Perth United at Challenger Reserve. “A great first half, very dominant all over the pitch and got the goals to back it up,” Emerald coach Shane O’Donovan said. “We lost our composure in the second half and let them grow into it. But overall, I’m happy to get the result to keep us in contention for the league going into next weekend, and everyone is looking forward to an exciting finish to the season.”

The visitors were ahead when Andrew Wood pressed the centre back and nicked it from him, and went through one-on-one and finished well past the keeper. They added a second when Shane Young’s corner found Woods at the back post to head home. South Perth pulled one back ten minutes from time, with Brad North firing home a free kick, to set up a tense finish for Emerald, but they couldn’t find the equaliser and the visitors held firm to seal the points.

Kelmscott Roos title hopes have been quashed after being held to a 1-1 draw by Kwinana United at Kelly Park. “It was a do or die game for both sides, and you could tell as both teams wanted every bit of the result,” Kelmscott keeper Taylor Warwick said. “I thought we played some great football but again couldn’t find the back of the net with any regularity which has been the story of our season. It’s disappointing that we are now confirmed to have missed out on promotion, but next season is already in planning and we will do everything in our power to not make that mistake again.”

It was the hosts, who need the points at the other end of the table, who opened the scoring in the first half, Arron Neal won possession on the left, and delivered a terrific ball in and Hamma Kamel glanced in a header at the near post. But ten minutes from time the Roos levelled, some great work down the right by Ishmael Greywood he took on his marker and whipped a great ball into the box to find Miguel Oliveria who took a great first touch and finished clinically. “Overall, a draw was probably fair but being 1-0 with ten to go I was hoping we could have held on, but I couldn’t be prouder of the group,” Kwinana coach Mark Purvis said. “The players have had to deal with a lot this year and could have easily given up especially after the start to the season and preseason we had. But they haven’t, they have dug deep be given ourselves a chance to stay in the league and as I say could not be prouder of this group.”

In the relegation six pointer at Beldon Park, Joondalup United have secured a 3-0 win against South West Phoenix. Second half goal from Ryan Pellow, penalty, Conor Lindsay and Taylor Cooper secured the win. “A much-needed win against a spirited Phoenix side,” Joondalup coach Mike Ford said. “With the half time score 0-0, it was crucial to come out and start well in the second half and with two goals within 10 min set up the win.”

The round started on Saturday evening, with North Beach coming home from Bortolo Park with a 5-1 win. “We were all disappointed with how the result ended up last week in a tight battle but the silver lining going into this week at Peel was we could play with absolute freedom knowing our status in the league was secure,” North Beach coach Nick De Carlo explained. “It was a great result under the lights and it sets up a momentous battle next week at home against Joondalup who will have everything to play for.” The visitors were on top early, Ben Reynolds played a ball over the top of the Peel defensive line to Dan Yelland-Hunter who calmly took a touch and finished across the face of goal into the bottom corner.

Yelland-Hunter became provider for the second goal after managing to recycle a corner that went deep, sending it back in and causing the keeper to fumble and allow Sam Richardson to tap home from close range. It was 3-0 shortly before half time, Luke Jones heading in from a corner. The hosts pulled one back on the hour, Bradley Mallinder scoring from a corner. But North Beach hit back, Reynolds racing onto a though ball from Yelland-Hunter and easing past two players and finished neatly into the bottom corner. They added a fifth late, Luke Wearing sent a header back across goal and Jones bagged his second for the evening from close range.

In the final game it was seven-goal thriller at the Herb Graham Recreation Centre, with Wembley Downs leaving with all three points after a 4-3 win. “A really impressive away win against an always dangerous Jags to back up a great win at home to South Perth last week,” Wembley coach Bob Jackson explained. “On our day we're a match for any side in this division but we are a young squad and have struggled for consistency at times this season. Credit to the boys for continuing to work hard and improve week by week, we’re looking forward to hosting North Perth in the last game of the season next Sunday.”

It was Wembley who opened the scoring, a sharp finish from Tom Bish. But the hosts hit back before half time, first Mathew Sesay scored, before Conor O’Driscoll gave them the lead at the break. Wembley were level on the hour, David Marshall fired in from just inside the area, and 15 minutes from time they regained the lead, substitute Callum Wilson with a fine finish. Jags restored parity five minutes later with Sesay adding his second, heading home from a corner. But it was Wembley who won it two minutes from time, substitute Kevin Punselie firing in off the bar. The visitors ended the game with ten men after Matthew Giudicatti was sent off.



Stirling Macedonia have won the 2023 NPLWA – Men’s Top Four Cup Final, beating Champions Perth RedStar 2-0 at the State Football Centre on Saturday evening. A penalty early in the second half from Calvin Whitney set Ian Ferguson’s side on their way, before Alex Tanevski added a second 12 minutes later. Whitney was sent off moments later, after receiving a second yellow card, while RedStar also finished the game with ten men after Sonny O’Shea was also given his marching orders, but at the final whistle Stirling were celebrating their first win in the top flight of WA football since 2010.

“It’s a great consolation after letting the league slip through our fingers, and I think we feel that we were the best team this year but we lacked the consistency that RedStar showed throughout,” Stirling defender Brent Quick explained. “The game was quite tight throughout the first half, and we had a couple half chances. The second half we were able to capitalise through our penalty and their mistake in the box, and Calvin and Alex Tanevski did brilliant to score for us. After that it was a matter of seeing the game out. As a defence we were able to control the game and were happy enough to come out with the win and cap off a fairly successful season.”

It was a tight opening with clear cut chances few and far between, the best opportunity went to Stirling on ten minutes, Asher Nelson cutting the ball back to Daniel Faichney, whose shot took a deflection off Ryan Lowry the ball hitting the post before being cleared. Moments later Nelson header at the back post was saved by Liam Reddy, as Stirling pressed for the opener.

Stirling were the side creating the better chances and Blair Govan got back with a last-ditch tackle to deny Alex Tanevski. RedStar were struggling up top without their top scorer Daryl Nicol, although Chok Dau was a constant threat down the left, and he cut inside on 25 minutes, but his curling effort flashed over the top. The best chances of the game came on 36 minutes for Stirling, Whitney’s through ball sent Faichney racing in on goal, but Reddy made a smart save at his near post, but at half time it was still all to play for.

After dominating the first half, it was Stirling who found the opening goal four minutes into the second half. Nelson’s shot struck the arm of RedStar defender Blair Govan. Referee Shane Skinner had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and Whitney stepped up and sent Reddy the wrong way from the resulting penalty. It was no more than they deserved, and RedStar needed to lift, and they went close to levelling with their first shot on target on the hour.

Andy Higgins’ ball found O’Shea, who raced to the edge of the box, his shot beat James Bosdet, but the crossbar came to the rescue of the Stirling custodian. (Double sub for Redstar 61 mins not 51) Higgins was involved again moments later his precise pass finding Dau, who’s cross was well blocked by the alert Hristijan Jankuloski. It was the best spell of the game for the Champions, but 18 minutes from time it was Stirling who doubled their advantage.

Whitney’s free kick in to the box wasn’t claimed by Reddy, and the rebound saw Reddy and Govan get in each other’s way the ball falling kindly to Tanevski who fired home from close-range, and raced off to celebrate with the Stirling supporters. But moments later Whitney was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for a tackle on Theodore Leeming. Then a crude tackle from Dau on Brent Quick sparked a melee, which ended with yellow cards to Dau, Govan and Sam Wynne. RedStar were reduced to ten men late after O’Shea was given two yellow cards for two reckless tackles. A great end of the season for Ian Ferguson’s and skipper Luke Palmateer was awarded the ‘Gary Marocchi Medal’, as best player on the night.

“It's the best way we could have ended the season. To have come so close to potentially winning the league and missing out on that to now beating RedStar who finished ahead of us, it’s a very satisfying victory,” Palmateer said. “We did it the hard way by playing the midweek game against Perth, which really tested our squad’s character. Going behind early in that game to playing through extra time and winning on penalties, it's just reward for enduring through a season of almost to now having something to back up our performances.

“Winning the player of the match was a bit of a surprise, personally I was just really focused on achieving the collective result of winning the cup. But winning that medal, having been coached by Gary Marocchi’s brother Eric for many years at Perth as a junior, makes it special. Playing at the club as a junior was a real formative time in my development, so it meant a lot to receive that from Gary.”

Perth RedStar: GK Liam REDDY, 2 Nick WALSH (5 Lewis TUCKER 77’), 3 Blair GOVAN, 4 Declan HUGHES (8 Daniel KATZ 88’), 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Oscar MALFIORE (6 Theodore LEEMING 61’), 13 Ryan LOWRY, 14 Chok DAU, 17 Sonny O’SHEA, 18 Gomo DUKULY (12 Roland BALLAH 61’), 19 Ryan FINNIE – Subs not used: 15 Sean O’CONNOR, 16 Jeremy TSHONGO, 17 Nyle WEALE – Red Card: O’SHEA 90’

Stirling Macedonia: GK James BOSDET, 2 Brent QUICK, 4 Hristijan JANKULOSKI, 5 Luke PALMATEER, 7 Asher NELSON (3 Ryan MALTON 88’), 8 Gyles DAVIES, 10 Sam WYNNE, 11 Daniel FAICHNEY (14 Kingsley ESHUN 79’), 12 Kai MATTHEWS, 13 Calvin WHITNEY, 17 Alex TANEVSKI – Subs not used: RGK Liam PRICE, 16 Kyle DAVIS, 18 Daniel STEFOSKI, 19 Joshua BOSEVSKI – Red Card: WHITNEY 74’ - Referee: Shane SKINNER – Assistants: Josh MANNELLA, Arvin SHANMUGANATHAN – Fourth Official: Steven GREGORY



Perth Glory have secured the 2023 NPLWA Under 20’s Top Four Final Cup and completed the treble, the first in the clubs NPL history, after a big 8-1 win against Bayswater City at the State Football Centre on Saturday afternoon. Glory Head Coach Ivan Zuvela said they made a perfect start and went on with it.

“I thought we started off very well, scoring two goals in the first five minutes, and it was just one of those games where everything went right for us, and we were clinical in the final third and finished our chances,” Zuvela said. “I’m just so pleased for every player as they have put so much effort and hard work throughout the whole season, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more and I’m so proud and humbled to be their coach.”

Glory made the best possible start, and were ahead in the second minute, with Khoa Ngo on target. They doubled their lead three minutes later, Royie Rahamim getting on the end of Samuel Barry’s cross to head home. It was 3-0 on 17 minutes, Gert Prinsloo won possession off Sasha Demirovic to fire home, before Sebastian Despotovski converted from the spot to make it four moments later. Bayswater conceded another penalty on 37 minutes, and Tadiwanashe Kuzamba made no mistake. Bayswater were on the scoreboard just before half time, when Cory McNelis scored.

Bayswater held firm early in the second half, but they couldn’t keep Glory at bay, and it was 6-1 when Daniel Adesina scored another penalty. Louis Hewings scored the seventh from close range before Abdulla Dofash, run and finish completed the scoring, the result means Glory have completed an U20s treble of league, State Cup and Top Four Cup.

“I thought the scoreline was surprising, as Bayswater have some good players, but it just wasn’t there day and we exploited their weaknesses on the day and run out 8-1 winners,” Glory’s Sebastian Despotovski explained. “I was very happy with the team on the day and the whole year, and we were the first team to ever win the treble at the club, which is a huge achievement, overall, it was a great year from everyone involved with the team.’

Bayswater City: GK Casey ROBERTSON, 2 Kaleb SCOTT-Healey, 3 Benjamin THORPE, 5 Trejuan POTTS, 8 Sasha DEMIROVIC, 9 Celeston FULLER, 15 Jacob ROSSI, 16 Aryan YAZARLOU, 18 Cory MCNELIS, 20 Milan BULATOVIC, 21 Jethro HAAS – Subs not used: RGK Tyler WILKIE, 4 Fletcher ELLERTON, 11 Trevor NYAGWAYA, 13 Adbul MBANO, 14 Joshua BELL, 17 Deng GALUAK, 19 Samuel BADIASHILE

Perth Glory: GK Liam COYNE, 2 Tadiwanashe KUZAMBA, 3 Luke SPRIGG, 4 Manolo VENERACION, 5 Aston MONTGOMERY, 7 Samuel BARRY, 8 Gert PRINSLOO, 9 Royie RAHAMIM, 10 Sebastian DESPOTOVSKI, 11 Khoa NGO, 20 Giovanni DE ABREU – Subs not used: 12 Daniel ADESINA, 15 Daniel JANKULOSKI, 16 Abdulla DOFASH, 17 Louise HEWINGS, 18 Julian KELLY, 25 Kaveen WARAN – Referee: Kai BARTUSCH – Assistants: Naum KOVACSKI, Sam BAKER – Fourth Official: Alex CICCARONE



Perth Glory have added the 2023 NPLWA – Under 18’s Top Four Cup winners to their NPLWA league title, after coming from two goals down to beat Sorento 5-3 at the State Football Centre in Queens Park on Saturday morning. It was a frenetic start to the game with four early goals, and it was the Gulls who opened the scoring on three minutes. A quick throw from keeper Liam Hattersley saw Sorrento hit on a quick counter attack, and Rhys Thompson was found on the edge of the box and he fired home superbly. It was 2-0 moments later, Brodie Roberts finding Jack Sprigg, who found the bottom corner of the net. The Gulls were in full flight, but Glory hit back and reduced the margin, sixty seconds later, Louis Sollitt capitalizing on a defensive mix up to score from close-range.

Amazingly it was 2-2 on 12 minutes, Maxim Uvarov’s corner from the left was only cleared to the unmarked Alexander Bolton, who fired home through a crowded penalty area. Kenny Lowe’s side hit the front on 37 minutes, Bolton and Sollitt combining to find Santiago Flored, whose shot on the turn beat Hattersley. It was 4-2 moments later, Christian Pullella sent Flored down the left, he found Sollitt, who beat his marker before finishing low.

Both sides had chances early in the second half, but Sorrento were desperate to get back into the game, and Glory keeper Keveen Waran saved low to deny Roberts, before Thompson headed wide, with the goal at his mercy. But on the hour Glory made it 5-2, Flored firing home from six meters. They were denied a sixth moments later, Hattersley tipping over Sollitt’s shot on the run, before the Sorrento custodian was out bravely to save at the feet of half-time substitute Alfie Knight.

Sorrento pulled one back 12 minutes from time, Glory gave the ball away on the edge of their penalty area and Roberts finished low past Waren to make it 5-3. Sorrento went close to a fourth moments later, substitutes Leo Rietkerk and Jake Devey combining, the latter seeing his shot was saved by Waran. Then the resulting corner from Rietkerk hit the crossbar, before Oisin Mahon saw his shot saved low by the alert Waran, as Sorrento continued to press. Credit to the Gulls they weren’t giving up and Dilan Catiblanco-Angel was denied by Waran, and Sean Lougheed’s follow up shot was cleared off the line by Hayden Thomas, but Glory held firm to take out the entertaining game.

Perth Glory: GK Kaveen WARAN, 2 William FERSON, 3 Malise MPUNGA (18 Hayden THOMAS 60’), 4 Mark CIN ZAH, 5 Christian PULLELLA, 6 Ziyan LAN (14 Alfie KNIGHT 46’), 7 Louis SOLLITT (17 Tinomuonga MUEMA 67’), 8 Alexander BOLTON, 9 Santiago FLORED, 10 Maxim UVAROV (16 Noah IERACI 60’), 11 Chulu JOHNSON (12 Beckham BAKER 60’) – Subs not used: 13 Andreas PIOTROWSKI, 25 Jim COLLINS

Sorrento: GK Liam HATTERSLEY, 30 Trent SCOTT, 34 Patrick JACKSON (43 Leo RIETKERK 56’), 35 Ronan DOWLING (36 Dilan CASTIBLANCO-ANGEL 81’), 37 Brodie ROBERTS, 40 Rhys THOMPSON (50 Sean LOUGHEED 81’), 45 Zachary GARCIA, 47 Oisin MAHON, 48 Jack SPRIGG (41 Jake DEVEY 63’), 49 Alexander DAY (39 Clarence MUSA 63’), 51 Benjamin NILES – Subs not used: 46 Tom SADLER – Referee: Alex STOJCHESKI – Assistants: Finn JOHNSON, Armold WALSH – Fourth Official: Dragan KOVACESKI



Perth RedStar have completed the double in the NPLWA-Women’s Top Four Cup Final’s, with the first team beating Perth SC 4-1, while the under 21’s beat Balcatta Etna 2-1 at the State Football Centre on Saturday. First in the first team final, goals from Reina Kagami, Abbey Wolley and a brace from Olivia Wood secured the win, and it gave Carlos Vega-Mena’s side the league and Top Four double, and the coach was delighted to end the season with another strong performance.

“Playing Perth is always a challenge as they are a talented team, but we came out strong and were determined to bring home the title. We had a strong starting 11 and it’s a credit to the club for its player development that we had such quality and depth on the bench,” the coach explained. “It makes a coach’s job easy when you have the depth in a squad and know the team won’t drop when substitutes are made. I’m really proud of the way the players can bring my philosophy and playing style to the pitch. They are an awesome group who play quality football. I am truly privileged to be their coach.”

Perth went into the game after a hard-fought win against NTC on Wednesday evening, but they found themselves behind after only eight minutes. The Azzurri thought they had cleared the danger, but the fell to Kagami on the edge of the box, and her shot beat Rebecca Bennett. The Champions doubled their advantage ten minutes before the break, a mis-timed back pass from Matilda Boehm put pressure on keeper Bennett, and Wood nipped in lifted the ball over the Perth custodian.

The second half was a tight affair, but Perth couldn’t find a way back into the game, and five minutes from time RedStar made it 3-0. Kagami was the supplier this time, sending in Wooley, who rounded the Perth keeper before rolling the ball home. They added a fourth in the final minute, Wolley picking out Wood, who made no mistake for her second of the game. Perth scored a late consolation goal in stoppage time, with Gemma Craine scoring, but it was too little too late.

“The Top Four Final was a very clinical performance for us as we stuck to our game plan of a high press and quick ball movement on the great new surface very well. Every game against Perth SC is tough and unpredictable, it was great to put the game away early in the second half,” RedStar defender Bronwyn Studman said. “Overall, the season for us has been fantastic. We have had so many junior players, namely Abbey Wooley, Katie Ritchie Queyen Doan show that they are the future of this club. It would be amiss of me to not comment on the incredible international players we had join us in Reina and Chio who have shown us a whole other level of skill and finishing capability and had a huge impact on the quality of our training and games as a whole.”

In the earlier Top Four 21’s Cup Final, Jessica Wheatman’s RedStar 21’s has come from behind to beat Champions Balcatta Etna 2-1. The coach was delighted with her side’s performance on the day. “I’m super proud of the girls. The football we played was really positive and, in the end, I think the girls got what they deserved,” Wheatman explained. “To come back from a goal down to the champions in both the semi-final and final shows the character of this team. These girls will be playing in NPLW first teams in the near future.”

RedStar had the opportunity to take the lead in the first half, but Kaitlyn Bellanca saw her spot kick go over the top. But it was Balcatta who opened the scoring early in the second half, Nicole Smith’s long-range shot flew past Jayde O’Donohoe and into the top corner of the net. But the game took a twist on 66 minutes, Balcatta keeper Isabella Comito raced out and brought down Natalie Malicky, and referee Darius Andres pointed to the spot and sent the keeper off. Balcatta scorer Smith went between the sticks, but her first job was to pick the ball out of the net, with Charlotte Taylor converting the resulting penalty. RedStar pressed for the winner, and it came five minutes from time, Alkira Mogridge’s corner hit the back of the unfortunate Chloe McGlinn, and into her own net to seal the final for the RedStar.



Fremantle City and Joondalup United booked their spot in the NPL-WA/State League First Division Promotion/Relegation Play-off Final, after Saturday’s Semi-Final second legs. Joondalup United ended the 35-year Premier League stint for Sorrento, after they drew 2-2 at Percy Doyle Reserve, seeing them move though on goal difference. Joondalup assistant coach Steven Flint said it was a huge win for the club.

“Sorrento must be applauded, they hard fought till the very last second of the second game. It was probably not the most attractive games to watch, but on the pitch the intensity was immense. Both sides were fully committed and both games were fiercely competitive,” Flint explained. “We are obviously delighted to get a step closer to gaining NPL status and the JUFC squad proved again to be so hardworking and resilient, especially coming back from a goal down in the second game.”

There was a big crowd of over 1,000 at the venue, and it was the hosts who were ahead on 25 minutes, Danny Douglas’ long ball wasn’t claimed by Todd Hoyle, and Keegan Chambers headed home much to the delight of the home supporters. Scott Witschge went close to doubling the Gulls lead, his shot on the run deflected off a Joondalup defender, but Todd Hoyle produced a great reflex save with his leg to deny him.

Joondalup went close at the other end Ayden Dragun long throw wasn’t dealt with and James Harmer’s volley was deflected over the top. Then from the resulting corner Jay Lang lost his marker to head inches over the top. But in the shadows of half time Joondalup levelled, Elliot Tattersall slipping the ball into Harmer, who finished low past Patrick Hughes.

Lang fired over the top early in the second half, but on 54 minutes Joondalup hit the front. Joel Prout’s long ball was flicked on by Harmer, and Joel Sollitt out-muscled his marker on the edge of the box, and cut the ball back to Harmer, whose shot deflected off David Stokoe and lobbed over Hughes, before racing off to celebrate with the visiting faithful.

Sorrento substitute Gustavo Giron-Marulanda saw an effort whistle over the top as the host looked for the equaliser. Joondalup were defending deep, with former Gulls defenders Ben Johns and Shaun Kilkelly working overtime, but on 74 minutes they were breached, with Sorrento levelling. Witschge’s ball into the penalty area was only cleared as far as Douglas, who brought the ball down before curling it home from the edge of the box.

Both sides had chances in a frantic finish, Tattersall’s header from Lang’s free kick was tipped over the top by Sorrento keeper Hughes, before Chambers’ shot on the turn flashed wide at the other end. Sorrento needed a goal to keep their NPL status, but they couldn’t find it and after six minutes off stoppage time referee David Bruce’s final whistle saw wild celebration on and off the pitch. “Where do I start,” Joondalup defender Shaun Kilkelly said. “It was a fantastic team performance by us. We stuck to our game plan and it worked. We are looking forward to next week. It will be a tough game, and our two games this year have been close, and I doubt next week will be the same.”

At the Genesiscare Stadium, Fremantle City won 3-1 on the day to seal a 5-1 win against Mandurah City. “Tough game like I said it would be, it’s never an easy atmosphere down in Mandurah,” Fremantle’s Elliot Ireland said. “We had to suffer for parts of the game especially in that first half, but I thought we stuck together really well and then we got the goal which I think was so important for us to get the first goal. From then I thought we showed great character to finish the job and entertain our supporters with some great goals.”

The hosts Mandurah City needed a good start, trailing 0-2 after the first leg, and Joe O’Brien and Leigh Griffiths were lively early, and O’Brien’s shot on the run flashed wide on 14 minutes. Fremantle had chances to, Joshua Macri shot crashing off the bar ten minutes later, before O’Brien then fired into the side netting, after nipping in after a mix up between keeper and defender. But in first half stoppage time Fremantle found the opener, Patrick Loughrey’s free kick was headed home by skipper Hayden Stevens.

Mandurah needed a good start to the second half, and they found it four minutes in, after referee Josh Nixon pointed to the spot after Robbie Galvin was brought down by Elliot Ireland. Griffiths stepped up and found the bottom corner to bring the tie level. They went close to a second moments later, O’Brien’s shot from the angle flew over the top. But the game took another twist on the hour, Harry Collins sent off for a late challenge on Oliver La Galia.

Fremantle made their numerical advantage count, and five minutes later they regained the lead. Loughrey’s corner from the right picked out the unmarked Roberto Soares, who had just come off the bench, to head home. Matthew Sparrow’s side sealed the tie ten minutes from time with a third goal, substitute Enzo Marangoni cutting in from the left and firing home superbly from long-range. “We knew going into the game that anything close to our best would be enough,” Fremantle’s George Festa said.

“We had full confidence in ourselves as a squad and on the back of some positive results in recent weeks, trusted each individual to do their job, regardless of starting or making an impact elsewhere and our depth shone through. We seem to have peaked at the right time after a lot of people would've counted us out for promotion, but internally we knew we had the ability to overcome Mandurah despite some difficulty against them in recent history. Congratulations to Mandurah on a top season, and I’m sure it won’t be long until they're knocking on the door of the NPL again.”



Curtin University and Subiaco AFC will meet in next week’s State League First Division/Second Division Promotion/Relegation Play-off Final after both progresed in Saturday’s second leg. First at Maida Vale Reserve Curtin scored late to seal a 2-1 win on the day, and a 3-2 win on aggregate against Maddington-Kalamunda White City. Curtin coach Troy Reid said it was a battle for the 120 minutes, but he was delighted with the strong performance. “Thrilled for the boys and the whole club getting the win in extra time on Saturday in front of a hostile Maddington crowd,” Reid explained.

“Credit to Maddington, they were two of the most even games of football I’ve seen in a long time, and it was only key moments that we took that decided the tie. It’s going to be a big week for the group as we prepare for Subiaco, who I’m sure will go in as favourites. The goal has always been Promotion, and we’re all focused on getting the win on Saturday to reach Division One.”

It was Curtin who hit the front on 17 minutes, Daniel Davey made space down the right, and his cross found Oscar Wright, whose first touch took him away from his marker and he found the bottom corner of the net. But Maddington were level seven minutes later, good work on the edge of the box by Gaston Bazet, he drove into the box and was brought down by Jeffrey Ledwith, and the referee pointed to the spot. Jose Zuniga stepped up and converted the resulting penalty.

It was a great atmosphere with a big crowd on hand, and both sides had chances after the break, but good saves from Rain Blauberg and Daniel Marques meant extra time was called for. It looked like going to penalties but six minutes from time Curtin won it. A good advantage was played by the referee in the leadup to the goal, Jai Coker raced down the right and cut the ball back from the byline, and Wright played the ball to Nathan Smith, who found the bottom corner, much to the delight of the players and visiting supporters. “A very tough game, proud of the boys for the effort they put in and absolutely stoked to get the win,” Smith explained. “Credit to Maddington, good team and for their first season in the state league they've done a cracking job.”

Subiaco AFC also moved into the final, despite a 1-2 loss against Swan United at the Swan Italian Club, Francis Street, winning the tie 3-2 on aggregate. “We knew the game was always going to be a tough one, and it was end to end stuff,” Subiaco striker Gavin Knight said. “We needed to get an away goal which we did and with Swan getting two quick goals it put pressure on us. But we kept clean sheet in second half which got us through to the final.”

The hosts needed a strong start after a 1-3 loss in the first leg at Rosalie Park, but it was the visitors who made the break through on the half hour, after Knight was brought down in the box, and he converting from the penalty spot. Subiaco had a couple of good chances to double their lead, but failed to take them, and the hosts hit back and levelled on the day six minutes later. A Michael Maratea corner was whipped into the front post, Jake Fritchley got out in front of his marker and headed home at the back post.

The hosts were ahead just before half time, Jordy Lyall got possession of the ball in the middle of the park and lofted a pinpoint diagonal over the full back to Fritchley who took a touch and fired a low cross across the box to John Monterosso at the back post to fire home. Swan pressed after the break but couldn’t break down a tight Subiaco defence, and it is Marc Wingell’s side moving into next week’s final. “We had our chances to put the game to bed in the first half, but we didn’t finish it off and ultimately had to work for it,” Subiaco’s Christian Miraudo said. “Second half ended up being a physical battle which we were expecting and thankfully we were able to hold on and now we have to prepare for the final next week. You have to give credit to Swan, who didn’t give us an inch all game, scored some nice goals and played some really good football.”



There is a three-way tie at the top of the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division, with North Perth United, Emerald and East Perth locked on 41 points, and with only two rounds remaining the race for the title heats up this weekend. Our ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Woodville Reserve on Sunday lunch time, with North Perth hosting East Perth. (1pm) The hosts saw their lead at the top of the table disappear last week, with a draw at Jaguar, but they did salvage a point with a late equaliser from Nickolas Bailey. Meanwhile East Perth surge up the table continued with a win against Joondalup, making it six games unbeaten, so to say three points are massive in this one is a huge understatement.

North Perth, who have decided not to apply for promotion this season, sit top of the table on goal difference, but coach Alex Carter said they will be doing all they can to win the title. “Everyone at North Perth is looking forward to the last two games of the season, and hopefully we can do enough this week, then take it to the final day of the season,” he said. “We have been pretty open internally with the squad to embrace the situation we have been in for the last few weeks and that’s chasing a trophy. We haven’t tried to hide away from it, nor will we on Sunday.”

Carter said he will be looking for an improvement from his side, from the last time the sides met in round ten, when they shared the points in a 1-1 draw at Cabrini Park. “Yes, we were really disappointed the way we applied ourselves when we meet East Perth earlier in the season. I really don’t need to say much to our boys on this as they are 100% aware of what is expected this week,” the coach explained. “Hopefully the sun is out and the hill is packed with a good atmosphere on Sunday.”

East Perth skipper Darren O’Riordan said they are finding form at the right end of the season, sitting second on goal difference, and will be doing everything they can to win the title and get promotion to State League football. “Yes, we are on a good run of form, but we are still only taking it one game at a time, we can’t look to far ahead,” O’Riordan explained. “We train how we play and every player plays a big part in the squad.”

The midfielder said Sunday is huge in the race for the title, and slip up can let the other two sides into pole position. “Sunday is a big game at the top of the league of course, but I don't think either team is counting out Emerald, and a draw in our game is a great result for Emerald so obviously we will be going for the win and the three points on Sunday,” O’Riordan said. “Personally, I have been in this position before with Kingsley, so I know what these games are about, and I'll be hoping for a better outcome this time round. As a team we don't fear anybody, so let's bring on Sunday.”

Emerald, who have also declined promotion, sits third on goal difference, and will hope for a favorable result in the North Perth v East Perth game, but they face a tricky tie against sixth placed South Perth United at Challenger Reserve. (All other games kick off at 3pm, unless stated) Emerald coach Shane O’Donovan said it’s been a successful season, and to be in the mix for the title with two games remaining is a fantastic effort from his squad. “Yes, it’s been a great season for us, in a very competitive league. We knew we had to be consistent in our performances and results to be in with a chance and in fairness to the lads they have put a savage effort in this season,” the coach explained. “Hopefully they can get rewarded for it now, just need to give it one final push in these last two games.

The coach knows South Perth won’t just roll over, and their results have shown they can beat anyone on their day, but they head there looking for three points, and take the title race down to the final game. “South Perth, are tough team to play against, as they have shown throughout the season,” O’Donovan said. “So, we know we will have to be at our very best to beat them, the lads are ready for the challenge and hopefully we can get the result we need to put ourselves in the best possible position going into the last game of the season.”

South Perth coach Lee Hayward said they will look to bounce back after last week’s loss at Wembley, but is struggling for numbers this week. “It’s going to be very tough against a good Emerald’s side, and it will be a much-changed South Perth team due to injury and holidays,” he said. “We welcomed back Brayden Burton for the Jags game for the first team since round three, but unfortunately, he got injured again, so he joins Jack Dalla Via, Beau Rahim, Gavin Walker, the league’s top scorer George Stephens and keeper Brian Burke on the side lines. We also have a bit of sickness around the camp this week, so we hope that clears up.”

The round starts on Saturday evening when Peel United welcome North Beach to Bortolo Park (6pm), while Jaguar host Wembley Downs at the Herb Graham Recreation Centre. The other two games will have a say in the relegation places. First Kwinana United need the three points when they host fourth placed Kelmscott Roos at Kelly Park, while in the final game the bottom two sides. Joondalup United and South West Phoenix meet at Beldon Park. It’s a huge trip north for the Bunbury-based side, and midfielder Corey Barclay knows the importance of the game.

“To put it simply this is a do or die game for us, lose and our seasons over, win and we give ourselves another week of hope in staying up. It won’t be an easy game with Joondalup playing much better in the second half of the season and we only managed a draw against them at home,” he said. “They will be up for it just as much as we are because a win for them helps them towards securing safety from the drop. Should be a great game with both teams leaving everything they have out on the pitch.”

Joondalup United have dropped into the drop zone after back-to-back defeats, but coach Mike Ford said it’s a must win game, but like all games this season, he knows it will be tough. “It’s a crucial game for both teams, South West Phoenix will be desperate for a result and we again will need to be at our best to get anything from this match,” he said. “This season has seen every team capable of winning any game, so for both teams this is a cup final situation and no doubt, as all games this season have been, will be very entertaining.”



There will be a Festival of Football on Saturday at the new State Football Centre with five games across the day, and in the NPLWA-Men’s Top Four Cup Final sees Champions Perth RedStar take on runners-up Stirling Macedonia on Saturday evening. (7pm) RedStar beat Saturday’s opponents last week in the semi-final, while Stirling overcame Perth SC in the preliminary final on penalties on Tuesday night, so if this game is anything like they have been this season between the two side, it should be another tight encounter and hopefully a big crowd on hand to watch.

Stirling skipper Calvin Whitney was on target in Tuesday’s win against Perth, and the former Perth Glory Youth midfielder said it was a tough game, but their experience on the night got them through. “Your right, Tuesday was a tough game, as Perth are a well-structured and an organised team which were hard to break down,” Whitney explained. “We had to fight the whole game and take chances when they made mistakes. But with Boz (James Bosdet) in goals and what I know that he’s capable of, I was confident in us when we went to penalties.”

Whitney said on their day they can beat anyone, and they are hoping to do that at the new State Football Centre. “We’re all excited to play at the new stadium and no better way for the final to be against the Champions,” he said. “Obviously RedStar have their threats, but knowing what we have done in the season against them, I know we can come up with a big result on the weekend. So, if everyone in our team turns up on Saturday, I believe we will be lifting the trophy.”

RedStar defender Blair Govan the win against Stirling in the Semi-Final was important, as they had failed to beat them this season. “It was a very hard-fought win last weekend against Stirling, and I thought it was a pretty even game between the two best sides this year,’ the defender said. “I thought we defended as a team really well, and Chok and Daryl worked there magic once again up top. In the second half we sat back a little more but again we were solid and looked like scoring every time we went forward. It’s been a big improvement for us this season being able to grind results out, which at this time of year is all that really matters.”

Govan said the incentive to hold on to their Top Four crown is something the players have spoken about, but they face a stern test against Stirling, but he is confident they can get the job done. “We’re expecting a tight contest against Stirling again this weekend as it always is when we play them,” he explained. “Hopefully they are a little fatigued from there mid-week game, but when there’s a trophy up for grabs on the night that doesn’t really matter as we proved last year. So, we will have to be at our best again and hopefully we can pick up our second trophy of the season, and go back-to-back in the Top Four Cup.

In the Under 20’s Top Four Cup Final, Champions Perth Glory meet Bayswater City. (2pm) Glory reached Saturday’s final with a narrow win against Perth RedStar, while Bayswater secured their place after beating RedStar in the penalty shoot out in the preliminary final on Wednesday evening. Scotlan Morrison gave City the lead just before half, but he was then sent off on the hour. The ten men held firm but Theodore Leeming levelled for RedStar in stoppage time to take it to penalties, and City prevailed 5-4.

Bayswater coach Kevin Castle said to concede so late was tough, but his players showed great character to win the game. “It was a tough game as expected against RedStar, and it made it even harder defending a 1-0 lead for 30 minutes with ten men,” he said. “To concede so late was gutting, but full credit to the boys for having the courage to rise up yet again and get ready for penalties. Every penalty was superb and a great save from Casey Robertson gave Sasha Demirovic the chance to take us to the final.”

Castle said Glory have been the benchmark this season, but games between them have been tight, and he is expecting the same on Saturday. “It’s always hard against a well-coached Glory side, Ivan and Will deserve full credit for what they’re doing with the academy set up,” Castle explained. “Every time we have played them this season it has been a close and exciting game and we expect nothing different on Saturday. Our boys will be up for it and ready to commit everything to the cause to come out on top.”

Glory won the title convincingly, six points clear of RedStar, and 15 points clear of fourth placed Bayswater. Ivan Zuvela’s side won the round three game 4-1 at Frank Drago Reserve, before a narrow 2-1 win at Lark Hill, but the coach knows Saturday is a cup final and will be a tight game. “We know that Bayswater are a very disciplined and well-structured side, and I have a lot of time for their coach, Kevin Castle, and I think he has done an outstanding job this season,” Zuvela said. “I’m really proud of our playing group this year and we are looking forward to another exciting day this Saturday.”

In the Under 18’s Top Four Cup Final Sorrento take on Perth Glory in the early game at the venue (9.30pm) Glory moved into Saturday’s final after dramatic penalty shootout win against Sorrento in the semi-final, but the Gulls bounced back on Wednesday evening, with midfielder Brodie Roberts scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win against Bayswater City to seal their spot. Glory won the first meeting in the league this season, with a 5-0 win in round ten at Percy Doyle Reserve, and they also won the round 16 game 4-1 at Lark Hill so Kenny Lowe’s side will go into this one as favorites.

But Sorrento showed in the semi-final they are up for a fight and pushed the champions all the way, and coach Allan Hodgkinson said they had to work hard to beat a good Bayswater side on Wednesday, and hopes they can take that momentum onto Saturday’s clash. “The Bayswater game was a close encounter as every Bayswater against Sorrento game is. It was a bit of an old school tough game in rough weather conditions we scored in the first half and dug deep showed great character to keep Bayswater from scoring,” the coach explained. “The boys are looking forward to the Glory game. They beat us twice in the league this season, but we pushed them to penalties in the semifinal hopefully the lads can go one better in the final.”



It's NPL-WA Grand Final day this Saturday. The first Grand Final was in 1960, which decided the Top Four Cup played between East Fremantle Tricolore and Windmills.

The Grand Final format has changed between a Top Four and Top Five Cup a number of times. While in some years, it wasn't even played. In 1989, for the first time, the league championship itself was decided by the game, which to this day still has had the biggest ever attendance. In fact, on ten occasions the ultimate prize in WA football was decided by the Grand Final, last occurring in 2014.

Football West has since reverted back to the "first past the post" for deciding the state championship, with the game now deciding the "Top Four Cup", which is separate to the league. Click NPL-WA Grand Finals page for a full history of the decider.



The second legs of the NPL-WA/State League First Division Promotion/Relegation Play-off is on Saturday, and both ties are evenly poised. Firstly, Sorrento host local rivals Joondalup United at Percy Doyle Reserve. (3pm) The Gulls came home with a scoreless draw in the first leg at Forrest Park, and defender Mark Barnett said it was a tight game, as they knew it would be, but missed chances cost them. “The first leg was a dog fight, but full credit to Joondalup who defending outstandingly and hung on at the end,” he said. “I thought we controlled large parts of the game and applied a lot of pressure over their defence which was the plan. We had a lot of chances to score and to win the first leg convincingly however that’s football and we didn’t take those chances.”

Barnett said not many thought they would be this position, but they are and are looking to get the job done on Saturday. “There is a lot riding on the second leg at home for the club considering what’s at stake. I don’t think anyone thought we’d have finished 11th come the end of the season, but here we are and as a playing group we need to accept that and rectify it on Saturday,” the defender explained. “Since the last game of the season keeping the club out of relegation has been our only focus. In saying that Joondalup will be up for this and they will bring the support, we need to be the more mature fighters in the boxing ring come 3pm on Saturday and let our experience take care of the results.”

Joondalup midfielder Jay Lang said a clean sheet was vital in the first leg, and he said the whole club is buzzing for Saturday’s second leg. “Yes, the first leg was a bit of a cagey affair with both teams figuring each other out. I thought a draw on the whole was probably a fair result and importantly for us we were able to keep a clean sheet,” Lang explained. “Saturday is almost like a free hit for us as I don’t think many people thought we would be in this position at the start of the year. Whereas the Sorrento boys have got the pressure of playing at home in front of their fans and trying to preserve their NPL status, so I’m sure it’ll be another tight affair and it’ll come down to who can manage the game better.”

Fremantle City head south to Genesiscare Stadium with a two-goal advantage after the first leg, with goals from Dean Hurley and Enzo Marangoni, while Mandurah will be without Aaron McCready who was sent off last week. Fremantle midfielder Elliot Ireland said last week was a good win, but he is well aware the tie isn’t over, but they head into the game full of confidence they can get the right result. “It was a huge win in the first leg, at home in front of a great crowd,” Ireland said.

“We’ve had some great battles this season with Mandurah, so we knew it was going to be very tough but I thought every single one of our lads was committed to the plan we set out and it worked perfectly. But you know that’s only the first leg, the jobs not finished. In games over two legs you obviously want to give yourself the best chance going into that second leg, I think we’ve done that. But we know how good Mandurah can be, especially in front of their home crowd, I’m sure it’ll be a great atmosphere. Should be a very good game, and we are looking forward to it.”

Mandurah player/coach John Baird will miss the game, and the rest of the season, after tearing his MCL in his knee against Western Knights on the final game of the season. The coach said his players gave it everything in the first leg, but lady luck wasn’t on their side. “Yes, of course it was a disappointing result, but not the performance, the boys stuck to the game plan against a good Fremantle side on their patch, considering we had to make a change after ten minutes with one of our players getting a broken nose,” Baird explained.

“Then to score a goal which has been seen on video to be over the line then to go down to 10 men, six seconds later is disappointing but I felt we handled it well, but in the end lost a second goal. Saturday is not about putting it right, it’s what we need to do to progress to the final simple as that. Yes, we have injuries and suspensions, but we’ve shown we can deliver throughout the squad and I believe we can do it on Saturday.”



There is everything to play for in the second legs of the State League First Division/Second Division Promotion/Relegation Play-offs, with all teams still in the mix to reach the final. In the first game, Subiaco head to the Swan Italian Club, Francis Street (3pm), holding a 3-1 lead from the first leg, after a brace from Kaleb Morrison, but a late goal from Brennan Borzecki has given the Swans a huge boost, but they will be without skipper Michael Yarker, who was sent off in game.

Swan coach Colin Morgan said last week’s loss was disappointing, but the sending off had a huge say in the way the game went, and they are looking to make emends on Saturday. “Look, a disappointing result last week, but the away goal however is massive, and playing the best part of 60 minutes with ten men and managing to get a goal gives us a chance going into this week,” Morgan said. “The lads are furious with the outcome from last week and want to right those wrongs at home. The tie is not beyond us at all, we know where we need to be better from last week, and if we get going at home, we think we are every chance of getting the job done.”

Subiaco striker Gavin Knight, who had a successful stint at Swan a few years ago, said the tie is still not won, and they have been told all week by coach Marc Wingell the same. “Yes, Marc has definitely been drilling it into us all week, saying we only got one foot in the door, and we shouldn’t take Swan for granted,” he said. “We need to stick to game plan and get an early goal. But the confidence is high in the camp, but we all know football is football, and anything can happen.”

In the other semi-final takes us to Maida Vale Reserve (3pm), where the game between Curtin University and Maddington-Kalamunda White City is evenly poised, after the 1-1 draw in the first leg at Edinburgh Oval. Simone Sichel gave the hosts the lead, but Nicolas Roca scored a stunner to level things up, but Curtin will go into Saturday’s game without Scott Geare, who was sent off in the game. Maddington striker Farruh Mavlonov said last week was a great game, but thought a draw was a fair result, and he is expecting more of the same on Saturday. “Yes, it was a tough first leg away at Curtin and I think the draw was a fair result. Their pitch was dry and not in great condition, making it hard for us to play our usual good brand of football.

“It was crucial for us to get a late away goal, and we're happy with the result. Going into Saturday’s game we are undefeated in the league at home, and we hope to keep it that way to reach the final. Even though a 0-0 will see us through on away goal rule, we will be coming down to play for a big win. We have always played an attractive brand of football on our nice pitch, and the boys are buzzing to enjoy the game and win on the weekend. I'm confident we will get the job done in front of a big, loud home crowd.”

Cutin coach Troy Reid said the first leg draw was fair, but they are looking forward to the challenge at Maida Vale, and knows if they play at their best, they can get the right result. “The first leg was a tight game and both teams had chances to win it, but a draw was a fair result in the end,” the coach said. “There’s a buzz around the group at the moment as to how close we are to making the playoff final. But this weekend will be a tough game as Maddington haven’t lost at home all year. We’ve been working hard on a few areas of our game this week and I’m confident that if we play at our best, we can get the job done.”



In the NPLWA - Women’s Top Four Cup Final, Champions Perth RedStar meet Perth SC at the State Football Centre in Queens Park. (4.15pm) RedStar beat Perth in the semi-final last weekend to book their place in Saturday’s Final, while Perth sealed their spot after a 3-0 win against the NTC on Wednesday evening. It was a terrific first-half performance from the Azzurri, with goals from Gemma Craine, Ella Lincoln and Faye Phillips, and they held firm after the break to advance.

Perth striker Ella Lincoln said it was a good performance, especially after the disappointing result at RedStar, and she has been delighted the way the younger players have made their mark in the first team. “It was good to fight back and get a good win after a poor result against RedStar on Sunday,” Lincoln said. “The girls having to come in from the 20’s, that hadn’t started for us yet this season, did very well. It sure won’t be an easy game on Saturday, and we have to be at our best to overcome them, but we’re looking forward to it.”

Perth coach Peter Rakic was delighted with the performance on Wednesday, and he said now they are looking to put to bed their disappointing result in the semi-final. “I'm just happy with the win and the second chance it's given us to play finals football, after such a difficult season, I think we thoroughly deserve to be there on Saturday and that's what I'm pleased about the most for these girls,” Rakic explained. “The defeat in the first semi was hard to accept, but I'm confident our girls will show up to make amends for it. Whatever happens on the day, I know we'll push them to the final whistle. Anything is possible in football and that's the exact mindset that we'll prepare for.”

RedStar coach Carlos Vega-Mena said they are aiming to finish the season on a high, and they are looking forward to playing at the new home of football. “We started preparing for the final after the win against Perth, and regardless of who we are up against on Saturday, we will prepare this week with the same mentality as always and with the same commitment to playing our style of football,” the coach explained. “As always, the team that makes the least mistakes will have more chance to bring home the title, I’m sure Perth feel the same. We are looking toward to participating in the first Top Four Final to be held at the new venue. It will be a great experience for all involved.”

RedStar striker Renee Leota said their win against Perth in the semi-final was convincing, and they have worked on a few things and it worked then, and she hopes it does again in the final. “I thought the performance last week was good, and it was great win for us, so we were stoked to have secured a convincing win against Perth,” she explained. “Our focus was a higher press, putting them under pressure higher up the pitch and winning it back in more dangerous areas. I think that helped us enormously, and we’re be looking for more of the same on Saturday.”

The NPLWA – Womens’ Under 21 final sees Balcatta Etna taking on Perth RedStar. (11.45pm) RedStar’s moved into the final after beating Balcatta 2-1 in the semi-Final, with goals from Freya Bibby and Natalie Malicky. Balcatta bounced back in the preliminary final edging out the NTC 5-4 on penalties to take their spot in the final. Nicole Smith gave Balcatta the lead in the shadows of half time, but NTC substitute Cate McAuliffe levelled in stoppage time to send the tie to penalties, and Chantelle Colalillo scored the fifth spot kick to seal the win.



Maccabi SC will play Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division football next season, for the first time in 15-years, after wrapping up the Division One title with two games to spare on Sunday. The 2-0 win at Port Kennedy with a brace from Mitchell Furness, secured the title, and coach Ricky Berelowitz said having played at the club and just missed out on promotion, now coaching them back to the Premier Division is a proud moment for him and everyone involved at the club. “Obviously myself, the players, everyone at the club and in the community are absolutely delighted to gain promotion, it’s been a very long time since we were last in the Amateur Premier, and we’re really excited to be back,” Berlowitz said.

“Having played for the club in Division One, seven-years ago when we just missed out on promotion, and then seeing the club drop down to Division Three, it’s been really great to be a part of the club for the last few seasons and see some success again. This group of players is really special, a large core has been together since the Division Three days, and I must acknowledge the work done by Ian Joselowski to get this journey started and bring us up to Division One.”

Skipper Dean Gordon said the work the coaching staff have put in this season has been fantastic, and a major reason why they gained promotion. “Our promotion is well deserved in my opinion, and we have been working on this for the past four years having been promoted every season besides the last. The failure of last year definitely gave us the extra motivation to achieve what we did this season. I think it is also important to know some other big reasons why we won this year,” Gordon said.

“Firstly, the job Ricky has done coaching us has been great, we played our system every week with our philosophy focusing on playing out from the back and being very organised defensively which is clear when you see we have only conceded 14 goals this season,” explained. “Secondly, the togetherness of all the lads. We have a squad full of top lads which make it a joy to train hard and work hard in games for each other, and finally, the depth of our squad, we have players on our bench or in our reserves in almost every position that can and have stepped up if needed.”

The success was built on solid back four, having the best defensive record in the league, but the goalscoring exploits of top goalscorer Jacob Wemyss was also a huge factor in their promotion, and he said everyone has done their part in the success. “It’s been a journey, but we’ve had the Premier Division in our sights for the last five years so for us to get there is an amazing feeling,” the striker said. “I think our system was the major key in us winning the league, Ricky’s done an amazing job at drilling it into us and to only concede 14 goals in the league so far shows that.”

The last word went to coach Berlowitz, who thanked his players and the clubs’ loyal supporters, and dedicated the promotion to them. “I’m very proud to get to coach these boys, the level of dedication and commitment has been exceptional, and the numbers at training along with the level and quality they bring has been fantastic for an amateur team, and I’m so happy they have now been rewarded for their efforts,” he said.

“They’ve been a pleasure to coach and I’m privileged to have been a part of the journey with them - really looking forward to testing ourselves in Prem next season. I also want to thank all of our supporters. We’ve consistently had really great support both home and away, and we would like to dedicate this promotion to them.”



Defender Jack Clisby says a lot has changed since he last turned out for West Sydney Wanderers five years ago. Having returned to the A-League club after stints with Central Coast Mariners and Perth Glory, the 31-year old left-back is impressed with developments at the club.

“A lot has changed, the environment where we’re having this conversation - the gym wasn’t around when I was here - the club’s really grown over the years,” said Clisby, who made 42 appearances for Western Sydney across two seasons from 2016.

Clisby has settled in quickly at club and singled out the strong bonds that already exist within the playing squad as a key strength ahead of the coming summer. “I’m really enjoying being here and the boys have been very welcoming for all the new players, not just myself,” he said.

“(There are) some funny guys in the change room and it’s some good camaraderie going on in there. First of all, they are all good people, but secondly, they’re all really good footballers playing in this team, and I’m thinking we’ve got a really good squad of players here.”

The veteran defender is looking to sharpen the attacking side of his game under coach Marko Rudan. “I want to add goals to my game. I’ve scored a few previously, in the last couple of years, I want to keep building on that,” commented Clisby, who scored three times for Glory last season.

“I want to keep helping be part of the goals, creating, assisting, whatever that is, being part of the team, scoring goals as well as being resilient in defence. That’s the thing, being a full-back, you’ve got to be good going forward and good at the back.”

Clisby feels the sky is the limit for Western Australia this coming season. “It always has been a big club and I feel like it’s time for us to challenge with some silverware this year,” he said. “I believe we’ve got the right environment, the right people and the right staff to really be successful this year.”



Perth Glory have signed midfield duo Ollie Bozanic and Jarrod Carluccio on loan from Western Sydney Wanderers. Former Socceroo Bozanic and Carliccio, an Australia youth international, will be part of coach Alen Stajcic options through to January 2024, when the next transfer window opens.

Bozanic, 34, joins GLory with almost 400 senior appearances across a lengthy career which has taken in spells in Australia, England, Switzerland, Japan and Scotland. He has represented Australia on seven occasions, including at the 2014 World Cup, and turned out for Australia on 30 occasions at Under-20 and Under-23 levels.

"I'm very happy to work with Staj and Naz (assistant head coach Nahuel Arrarte) again following our time at the Mariners," said Bozanic, who worked under Stajcic at Central Coast Mariners in 2020/21. "Joining Perth is fantastic. I believe it's a great opportunity for us as a team to unite the fans and create something special this season."

Carluccio, 22, has spent his entire senior career in Sydney, playing juniors with Blacktown Spartans before entering Western Sydney's academy in 2016. A former Australia Under-20 international, he stepped into the A-League in 2020 and has gained 19 A-League appearances for Western Sydney.

"I'm really keen to get in and hit the ground running," Carluccio said. "Success for me would be playing with a smile on my face every week, enjoying myself, trying to be out there as much as I can and helping the team. Obviously the most important thing is team success and if we can build on performing well every week, results will follow."



Young local talent Riley Warland has returned to Perth Glory for a third stint to bolster their defensive stocks. The 21-year old, a one-time signing for now English Premier League side Fulham, has penned a one-year deal with Glory’s men’s side.

Warland has started Glory’s recent pre-season friendlies Stirling Macedonia and Olympic Kingsway following seasons in the National Premier Leagues with Bayswater City, Gwelup Croatia and Perth RedStar. His arrival will off-set the off-season departures of Jack Clisby and Matt Hatch.

Warland came up through Glory’s academy system and in mid-2018 sign for Fulham, where he played for their Under-18 Premier League side. he returned to Glory in 2020 and early the following year made his professional debut against Adelaide United. An 11-game A-League stint preceded his return to the local scene in 2022.

Warland is determined to make the most of his time this coming summer. “It’s always a pleasure to return here to Glory, my boyhood club, who I’m very familiar with and fond of,” Warland said. “I honestly think the sky is the limit for this team and I believe we can achieve a lot more than we have in the past couple of seasons.”

“Glory is a such a great club with great history and I want to be a part of putting this club back where it should be. A lot has changed over the years especially for myself; finding myself again and the love for football coming back. I’ll work harder than ever for my teammates and the fans to hopefully bring a lot of success back to this great club.”

Glory coach Alen Stajcic said he had been impressed by Warland’s season with RedStar, who he helped win the league and reach this weekend’s Top Four Cup final. “After an outstanding season with Perth RedStar, he has displayed the hunger and desire to test himself at the highest level in the country again,” Stajcic said.

“Another Glory junior coming back to the A-League shows the commitment to locally-produced players. I’d like to thank Perth RedStar for granting Riley an early release. As a club, we very much appreciate their cooperation and willingness to do everything possible to help Riley further his football career.”



Borussia Monchengladbach’s Jacob Italiano was given the opportunity to impress with the Bundesliga side’s first team during the international break. The 22-year old has been a mainstay in the club’s second team in the German Regionalliga West league since linking with the club in 2019.

On the weekend Italiano was one of six under-23 players given a taste of first team action in a 1-0 friendly defeat against Werder Bremen. The one-time Inglewood United junior, who left Australia for Germany as an 18-year old, started the match and played an hour but he was used by Gerardo Seoane at right-back.

Italiano made a name for himself as an attacker with Perth Glory but has transitioned to full-back over the past year. He featured at right-back for the Olyroos during the Maurice Revello Tournament in June, having spent the majority of the 2022/23 campaign at right-back and left-back for Gladbach II.

Of Italiano’s 17 appearances last season, 14 were at full-back while he his one and only match this term saw him used in that position. He has now been given a chance to catch the eye of Seoane in that role with Gladbach preparing for a Bundesliga trip to Darmstadt following the international break on September 18.



Perth Glory have continued their winning pre-season run against NPL opposition, after a 4-0 win against Floreat Athena at E&D Litis Stadium. Skipper Mark Beevers gave Glory the lead, before Young Socceroo winger Daniel Bennie doubled their advantage sixty seconds later. New recruit Bruce Kamau came off the bench on the hour to add a third, before Joel Anasmo added a fourth late. Glory Head Coach Alen Stajcic said they are improving each week.

“Another good hit out, our third against NPL opposition, and we play the WA State side next week then Melbourne Victory the week after, and will look to improve the team chemistry,” he said. “We’ve seen gradual improvement, and giving players a run, in different positions and experimenting a bit, it’s all about putting all the pieces together, but it’s only the beginning of the process really.”

Floreat, who were coming off their State League Cup Final win against Inglewood United two weeks ago, started brightly, Sean McManus cross was only inches away from Noah Shamaki, before another cross from the wing back found Phil Arnold, but some tight defending meant the midfielder couldn’t get his shot away. Glory started to get a foot hold in the game and on 27 minutes they found the opener. Adam Zimarino’s cross picked out Beevers, and the big defender headed past Josh Hunter. They doubled their lead moments later, Bennie firing home from close-range. Then five minutes from the break Glory added a third, Zimarino’s in-swinging free kick wasn’t dealt with, and Bennie got the final touch in the goalmouth scramble. Floreat went close to reducing the margin late, after neat lead up play down the left, Shamaki cut into the penalty area, his shot crashed off the post.

Both sides made changes after the break, and the chances came at both ends. More good work by McManus ended with him picking out Guy Davies, but a last-ditch tackle by Aleksandar Susnjar denied him. Down the other end, Kamau, was unable to mark his Glory debut with a goal after he scooped a John Koutroumbis cross over the bar. Robert Petkov was next to go close for the hosts, substitute Luke Ryan cutting in from the left and finding the striker, but he was closed down, and his shot was blocked. But eight minutes from time Glory added a fourth, Luke Bodnar’s cross was headed back across goal by Koutroumbis and Anasmo was on hand to fire home from close-range. Glory will be back in pre-season action on Sunday 24 September when they will face the WA State team at the State Football Centre.

Floreat striker Nick Ambrogio said it was good hit out, and a great experience for the younger players in our squad. “It’s always a good experience playing against a professional side like Perth Glory, and it’s an opportunity for the young boys to see what it takes to get to the next level,” he said. “And Even for the older boys in the team it’s a chance to continue to learn things about their own game they might not notice when playing against semi-professional sides during the season.”

Assistant coach Miki Vujacic said they started well, but after conceding the opening goal they struggled to get back into the game, and believes the players now deserve a break, after a tough season. “I thought we started really well, and were quite comfortable for the first 25 minutes, and it took a while for Glory to really get going but once the first goal from Beevers went in, it deflated us a bit. Then two really scrappy goals soon followed, which killed off the tie,” he explained.

“I thought Glory was solid without being outstanding, they are obviously still working through the squad and the system of play Stajcic wants to implement, and they were also missing a few key players meant they weren't really that polished as yet. For us it was a good hit out, and a chance to have a look at some younger players for next year. I thought we performed admirably, but I think the boys are looking forward to a bit of time off before pre-season rolls around.”

Floreat Athena: GK Joshua HUNTER (RGK Gianluca DE FELICE 75’), 3 Kye MURRAY (3 Filip MINIC 75’), 6 Jesse FULLER (2 Nick SANTALUCIA 75’), 8 Sean MCMANUS, 10 Nick AMBROGIO (22 Jesse ROBERTS 75’), 11 Dennis GALAN, 17 Alex CHRISTODULAKIS, 18 Phil ARNOLD (12 Guy DAVIES 75’), 19 Mohammed AL-ZAIDY (24 Luke RYAN 75’), 20 Andrew PALMER 25 Noah SHAMAKI (9 Robert PETKOV 55’) – Subs not used: None

Perth Glory GK Oli SAIL, 16 Joseph FORDE (42 Kaelan MAJEKODUNMI 60'), 29 Daryl LACHMAN (2 John KOUTROUMBIS 60'), 5 Mark BEEVERS (28 Aleksandar SUSNJAR 46'), 26 Riley WARLAND (37 Shade STEWART 46'), 8 Antonis MARTIS (trialist) (3 Jacob MUIR 60'), 20 Giordano COLLI (24 Joel ANASMO 60'), 11 Adam ZIMARINO (14 Bruce KAMAU 60'), 23 Daniel BENNIE (21 James OVERY 60'), 12 Luke IVANOVIC (18 David WILLIAMS 46'), 10 Salim KHELIFI (6 Aiki TSUKAMOTO 30') (4 Luke BODNAR 60') - Subs not used: RGK Robert COOK – Referee: Shane SKINNER



Stirling Macedonia will play Perth RedStar in Saturdays Top Four Series Final at the State Football Centre, after a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win against Perth SC in Tuesday’s preliminary final at Macedonia Park. Alex Da Rocha gave the Azzurri the lead early, before Gyles Davies levelled for the host. Skipper Calvin Whitney gave Stirling the lead just after the hour, and it looked like that would be enough, but three minutes from time substitute Jeremie Mba levelled. Both sides were reduced to ten men in extra time, but the deadlock couldn’t be broken, and in the shootout keeper James Bosdet saved Zayd Farah’s twice taken third penalty and when David Ninkovich missed Perth’s fifth, it secured the win for Stirling.

“Always good to come through the lottery of a penalty shootout and now we get to play in a final which is always the games you want to play in,” Bosdet said. “To be in the final against RedStar is quite fitting with the way the season has gone. The two best teams in my opinion, so will be another great game and hopefully we can get the job done and finish the season with a trophy.”

It was the visitors who found the opener on 19 minutes, Ninkovich slipping the ball into the path of Da Roche, who finished clinically from the edge of the box. But Stirling were level five minutes later, Kade Fearnall’s free kick found Davies, whose glancing header found the bottom corner. It was a tight game, and both sides had their chances, but on 66 minutes it was Stirling who hit the front, a miss placed pass from Julian Teles was pounced on by Whitney, who finished low past Rocco Liberti.

It looked like that strike would win it for Ian Ferguson’s side, but on 87 minutes Perth restored parity. Farah’s cross from the right was only cleared as far as Federico Achilli, who headed it back across goal and Mba fired across Bosdet finding the corner of the net. It was off to extra time and Teles and Fernall were shown second yellow cards by referee Julian Serra and sent off, but neither side could find the winner, and in the shoot-out Stirling prevailed.

“We are very happy to come away with the win and to have another chance to go up against RedStar. We were well aware of the momentum that Perth was carrying going into the game and we were looking to get revenge for our last loss to them,” Stirling’s Brent Quick explained. “I thought it was a tight game and I believe we didn’t quite play as well technically as we could have, but we were fortunate to get a win from it.

“Calvin and Gyles came up big for us as they have all season scoring great goals and Boz kept us alive in crucial moments as he has done so often. This has been a long season and a competitive one, regardless of everything we have an opportunity to win this cup and it means a lot to us. There will be a lot of battles all over the park on Saturday and if last night is anything to go by, the boys are ready for this match. We cannot wait to rise to the occasion.”

Stirling Macedonia: GK James BOSDET, 2 Brent QUICK, 3 Ryan MALTON (12 Kai MATTHEWS 46’), 4 Hristijan JANKULOSKI, 5 Luke PALMATEER, 6 Dejan SPASESKI (14 Kingsley ESHUN 80’), 8 Gyles DAVIES, 9 Kade FEARNALL, 10 Sam WYNNE, 13 Calvin WHITNEY (11 Daniel FAICHNEY 76’), 17 Alex TANEVSKI (7 Asher NELSON 76’) – Subs not used: RGK Liam PRICE, 18 Daniel STEFOSKI, 19 Joshua BOSEVSKI – Red Card: Fearnall 105’

Perth SC: GK Rocco LIBERTI, 2 Carl MORGAN, 3 Jordan DE LEO, 4 Julian TELES, 5 Luke COLLINS (7 John LARDIS 80’), 6 Abdul OSMAN, 9 Hasani SINCLAIR (11 Jeremie MBA 54’), 10 David NINKOVICH, 12 Zayd FARAH, 18 Archie WHITFIELD (16 Federico ACHILLI 58’), 21 Alex DA ROCHA (19 Toby SNOOK 80’) - Subs not used: RGK Luke MARTINO, 8 Joshua CALA, 13 Max BLACKSHAW – Red Card: Teles 102’- Referee: Julian SERRA



Ipswich Town centre-back Cameron Burgess made his full international debut as Australia drew 2-2 with Mexico in a friendly in Dallas overnight. The 27-year old played the full 90 minutes against the world’s No.12-ranked side, starting alongside Harry Souttar in front of a 50,000 strong-crowd in Dallas, Texas.

“It was a special occasion. I’m really proud on a personal note,” commented Burgess, who has dreamt of playing internationally since his junior days with ECU Joondalup. “It was definitely one of my goals. It's nice to have that ticked off and I’m hungry to get more (games for Australia) now.”

Burgess’ first taste of international football came in front of a boisterous, and predominantly Mexican crowd. “It was good to get out there with the boys, the stadium was a cool place to play football in front of a lot of fans,” said the veteran of 300 league and cup games in England.

“The crowd got it going. It was quite noisy (but) it was all background noise really. A few of the boys were asking about whether they were playing music during the game but I couldn’t tell you if that was going on to be honest. I didn’t hear a thing, I was focused on the game.”

Australia are next in action when they take on England at Wembley in mid-October. Playing at the home of English football would tick another box on Burgess’ football ‘to do’ list and also ease the bitter memory of being robbed of the chance to play there previously with Salford City, in the 2020 EFL Trophy final.

“I missed out on the chance to play at Wembley before (due to COVID) so it would be another crazy experience to play there for Australia,” he commented. “But it’s going back to club football now with Ipswich and focusing on that, doing the best I can there and anything on top of that is a bonus.”

Born in Aberdeen and raised in Perth, Burgess has been based in the United Kingdom since entering Fulham's academy in 2011. He has since played for Cheltenham Town, Oldham Athletic, Bury, Scunthorpe United, Salford, Accrington Stanley and, since August 2021, Ipswich.



We have a three-way tie at the top of the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division after week 20, with another exciting weekend of football. In our ‘Match of the Round’ leaders North Perth United scored with five minutes remaining to earn a hard earned 2-2 draw with Jaguar at the Herb Graham Recreation Centre on Sunday afternoon. It started so well for the visitors, hitting the front on eight minutes, some neat build up ended with Liam Fyfe on the edge of the box, who finished clinically. But eight minutes later they were reduced to ten men, after skipper Kelechi Osunwa was sent off. The hosts took advantage and levelled on 25 minutes, with Magai Deng on target.

Jags then hit the front four minutes later, with Deng adding his second, and 14th for the season. It looked like that would be enough for Jaguar, but five minutes from time United restored parity, Nickolas Bailey on target, to give both sides a share of the spoils, and keep United on top on goal difference. “I was so proud of the boys the way they dug in for 75 minutes with only 10 men on the biggest pitch in WA. It was also a little frustrating in the last 30 minutes as we bombarded Jags goal attack after attack, and on another day, we could have easily had half a dozen,” North Perth coach Alex Carter explained. “The point though could prove vital as destiny is still in our own hands. The group is really embracing the challenge of being in this position. It’s fun to be this deep in the season and getting to play in a belter this coming Sunday against East Perth.”

Emerald have bounced back from defeat last week at North Beach, with a 6-0 win against Kwinana United Fraser Park. “Very happy with the result after a turbulent week for us, but we knew it wasn’t going to be easy coming into this and the first goal would be crucial, thankfully we got it,” Emarald coach Shane O’Donovan explained. “Kwinana had a spell before the end of the first half but we very solid defensively and in the second half we got the third which really killed their spirit. So, it was a good win and a couple of goals as well which may be very important come the end of the season.” The hosts raced to a two-goal lead early, first on nine minutes Jarred McConnell crossed from deep for Ronan Flaherty to head home. It was 2-0 moments later, Shane Young’s free kick to the back post found Flaherty to tap home his second.

Kwinana, who need the points at the other end of the table, steadied, but after half time the home side took control again. It was 3-0 on the hour, McConnell long-throw into the box found Donal Shanley, who rose highest to head home. They added a fourth 12 minutes later, Shane Power cross in to the penalty area, and Andrew Wood got in front of the keeper to head in. The hosts added two more late, first in the final minute Young’s corner picked out Shanley to head home, and in stoppage time Shanley turned provider, bursting into the box before squaring to Josh Cornwall to score.

East Perth moved level with North Perth and Emerald, third on goal difference, after a 4-1 win against Joondalup United at Cabrini Park. “Great performance from the lads today, I thought the first half was our best of the season by a mile,” East Perth coach Colm Costello said. “I thought we kept possession very well and we’re clinical in Front of goal. Last week’s sessions were about creating more chances and being calmer and more clinical and it definitely clicked today.” The hosts hit the front on 12 minutes, a mistake from the defender was pounced on by Ryan Murray who finished well. They doubled their advantage on 25 minutes, Chris Smith got in behind his marker and squared to Ryan McGready who slotted home.

They added a third before the break, a great through ball from Craig Howey found Murray, who crossed first time and was met with a great header from Adam McCarron. Joondalup hit back after the break and reduced the margin on the hour with Conor Lindsay’s stunning effort giving Tommy McCarron no chance. The East Perth keeper was busy, as Joondalup looked to get another, McCarron making a number of fine saves to keep Joondalup at bay, but 20 minutes from time East Perth sealed the points, with substitute Stephen Geoghehan adding a fourth.

Kelmscott Roos also bounced back from their midweek cup defeat, scoring a late goal to beat North Beach 2-1 at Charles Riley Memorial Reserve. “We expected a good game of football against North Beach and that’s exactly what we got, similar to our previous encounters,” Kelmscott’s Benn Lewis said. “We started strong and were controlling the game, unfortunate to miss a few chances before conceding, but we hit back after the break, and managed to seal the game late. We manage to see out the game and keep our promotion hopes alive with a 2-1 win.

“Another great game against North Beach, truly an enjoyable team to play against and wish them the best for the remainder of the season.” The hosts, who upset Emerald last week, were ahead on the half hour, Clayton Arnez heading home at the back post. Kelmscott, whose season was on the line in this one, and they levelled 18 minutes from time, some neat build up play ended with Ishmael Greywood, who finished well. Both sides looked for the winner, but both keepers made important saves to keep it level, but in the second minute of stoppage time Kelmscott won it. A free kick into the box from Greywood found half time substitute Phatehate Kiazolu who made no mistake.

Wembley Downs have continued there good week with a 2-1 win against South Perth United at Butlers Reserve. The hosts reached the Amateur Cup Final in midweek, and these three points seals their survival in the league. “Another fantastic win to back up our midweek cup win. We knew it was going to take all of our efforts and skill to take the points and we certainly were up for it,” Wembley keeper Jeff Cornez explained. “Sunday was one of our best complete passing games, and South Perth keeper had a cracker and they defended really well.

“We will look to carry our momentum into Jags with our goal of finishing as high up on the ladder has possible.” The visitors were ahead early after Wembley’s Jack Mellor scored into his own net. Both sides had chances, with both keepers keeping their sides in the game, but on 71 minutes the hosts levelled, a perfectly timed through ball from Tom Bish found Josh Chalmers who finished calmly past the keeper. Both sides looked for the winner, but it was Wembley who found it deep into stoppage time, a corner from Kevin Punselie was met by a towering header from Cameron Chambers to seal the win.

The final game saw Peel United come home from Bunbury with all three points, after a 4-1 win against South West Phoenix at the Onside Sports Stadium on Saturday evening. “All up I'm very impressed with the lads to pull out a result like that with a very stretched roster currently. It shows the mentality of the playing group in spades,” Peel coach Daryl Willmont explained. “We are looking forward and upward in the goal to bag more points to leap North Beach this weekend at Bortolo. We will be training hard to welcome them for a Saturday game under the lights.”

Peel hit the front on the half hour, Mitch Stopher’s corner was headed back across goal by Bradley Mallinder, and Zac Lee scored from close-range. The visitors doubled their advantage on 69 minutes, a corner was only cleared to the edge of the box and Scott Martin’s half volley through a crowded penalty area found the corner of the net. But the Phoenix halved the deficit two minutes later, with R Brand firing home after a goalmouth scramble.

Peel added a third seven minutes later, substitute Alfie Birmingham raced clear and he crossed to Tristan Sullivan to tap home. They added a fourth late on, Birmingham again the supplier his cross found Martin on the edge of the box, and he made no mistake. “We were light on numbers this weekend and had a few walking with knocks so after a few changes to freshen it up more,” Willmont added. “It gave us a new dynamic going forward and, in the middle, and it was needed as SWP had a big momentum shift after their goal.”



Perth RedStar will play in next weekend’s NPLWA-Womens Top Four Final, after a 5-1 win against Perth Soccer Club in the Major Semi-Final at the RedStar Arena on Sunday afternoon. “The girls trained well during the week in preparation as they knew it was going to be a tough game,” RedStar coach Carlos Vega-Mena said. “First half was pretty even, but we discussed some things in the change room at half and the girls came out determined to dominate in the second. I’m very happy with their performance and their ability to bring this to the pitch.”

The hosts, who have been beaten twice by the Azzurri this season, started brightly and they found the opener on 18 minutes. Olivia Wood made space out wide, and her cross found Chori Ikeda, who made no mistake. But Fremantle levelled nine minutes later, Faye Phillips finding Gemma Craine, who finished well. It was all-square at half time, but RedStar lifted a gear after the break and were ahead six minutes in, when Renee Leota picked the pocket of Matilda Boehm and scored. It was 3-1 moments later, when Jay Colman’s long-range volley flew past Rebecca Bennett. The hosts went on with it and Sarah Carroll broke clear to score a fourth, before Abbey Wooley punished another defensive mistake to seal the 5-1 win. The Azzurri must now regroup for their second chance at home to Hyundai NTC in the Preliminary Final on Wednesday night.

In the Minor Semi-Final the Hyundai Women’s NTC have ended the season of Fremantle City after a 3-1 win at Hilton Park. “A game for us of seeing where the younger ones from Sam’s team are at, although we already knew they were almost there and there about, but also Ben (Anderton) and I are aware that we’ve got some work to do next year,” NTC assistant coach Fernando Barreiro explained. “I thought the game was very transitional which doesn’t really suit us as we like to keep the ball and maintain effective possession and control the game. But credit to Fremantle, they hustled hard and forced us into some mistakes which meant we struggled for any sort of fluency and rhythm.

“But on the positive side we scored some fantastic goals and always looked a threat going forward. Emily Garnett looks like she could be a readymade replacement for Tanika Lalla but we won’t put that kind of pressure on such young shoulders just yet. Still areas that need improvement, but a good outing for some of our injured players coming back like Mia Britton, Klaudia Khoulis and Anna Powell. Not a long turnaround now so it’s all about our recovery and trying to get a team out that can compete against Perth on Wednesday, and it should be another tough test for our young group but an experience they should relish.”

NTC opened the scoring on the half-hour, Mischa Anderson received the ball from a short corner and fired in a cross which flew over Fremantle keeper Dayle Schroeder and into the far corner. But Fremantle hit back five minutes later, NTC keeper dropped the ball and Jamie-Lee Gale fired into an empty net. But it was the NTC who took control after the break with two quickfire goals. First on 74 minutes Emily Garnett eased past her marker and finished clinically from the edge of the box. Then two minutes later it was 3-1, Maja Archibald raced down the left and crossed for Garnett, whose volley was saved by Dayle Schroeder, the rebound fell kindly for Louise Tana to tap in.

The game was very intense game, and it was end-to-end the whole game, with chances at both ends,” NTC defender Mischa Anderson said. “I’m very proud of all the girl’s effort and how all the younger girls stepped up for such a big game. I felt like we took our chances really well and worked extremely hard against a very physical and experienced team. I’m Looking forward to the Perth game as both teams love to play possession biased football and is always a high scoring game.”



Perth AFC have finished runners-up in the Hyundai Women’s League Division One, after a hard fought 2-1 win against Fremantle City at Wauhop Park on Sunday afternoon. Going into the final round of the season, Perth AFC knew a point would secure second place, but a slip up could let in UWA Nedlands, but Rob Caruso’ side secured the three points. “It wasn't us at our best but we played some good football, our finishing let us down as we missed a lot of opportunities but kept our heads even with Fremantle getting physical and trying to put us off our game,” Caruso said. “So proud of the squad and what we have achieved and was great to finish the season with a well-deserved win.”

The visitors found the opener on ten minutes, some neat build up play saw the ball find Amy Ashton on the left, and her low cross was met by Laylana Richardson, who made a late run at the near post to deflect the ball home. Fremantle levelled just after the hour mark, Ashlee Byrne converting from the spot, and it was game on, but the visitors dominated the rest of the game and deservedly won it nine minutes from time. A switch of play on the edge of the box found Keeley Hughes, and she found the top corner with a great strike.

UWA Nedlands did all they could do, beating Subiaco AFC 4-1 at the UWA Sports Park, and coach Lawrence Lewis said it was good to finish off the season with a good win. “It was nice to finish the season off on a win and scoring a few goals also,” he explained. “The last few weeks really haven't gone our way and the lack of goals was hard on us, so we were determined to get a really good result to finish it off.” It was UWA who opened the scoring, the ball was won high in Subiaco’s half, Serena Lin was able to dribble past her marker and slot into the bottom corner.

It was 2-0 when Emily Dinsdale’s corner was parried by the Subiaco keeper, the ball falling nicely for Chloe Rodrigo, to score from close-range. The hosts made it 3-0 after the break, good work by Dinsdale down the left, ended with a cross into the box, which was only cleared as far as Erin Armstrong on the edge of the box, and she found the bottom corner. They added a fourth a Subiaco goal kick was pounced on by substitute Hannah Seeley, who crossed to fellow substitute Charlotte Swan who headed home. Subiaco pulled one back late from the spot, but it was too little too late.

Champions Hamersley Rovers have ended the season unbeaten, after a 5-3 win against Mandurah City at Genesiscare Stadium. “Honestly the game itself was intense but very physical. A lot of bad tackles mixed in with not-so-great refereeing, which lead to me keeper coming off injured. We played a new formation and try to implement a new system. Mandurah did well, had a few good opportunities but we did well to respond back once they scored,” Rovers’ coach Betim Ziba explained. “Overall, the game was competitive and intense but could of lead to a lot of injuries. We finished the season unbeaten with we all enjoyed, and we are happy for the break and will be looking to recruit well for next season.”

The visitors raced to a three-goal lead in the first 27 minutes, with Royan Norman, Brianna Patrick and a Christiane Astorp penalty. But Mandurah pulled one back from Jessica May just before half time, and added a second early in the second half from Amy Terrell. Then just after the hour the Dolphins levelled with Cassidy Moyle scoring, but Rovers finished the game well to seal the victory. First on 70 minutes substitute Cassandra Harvey made it 4-3, before Astorp added a fifth late, to end the season with 31 goals.

In the final game Port Kennedy and Sorrento have fought out a 0-0 draw at Percy Doyle Reserve. “The Sorrento game was a very entertaining one, it ended a goalless draw but he should've scored at least three,” Port Kennedy coach Kevin Cole said. “I thought we totally out played them the whole game, but the ball just didn't go in the back of the net for us.”



Perth RedStar have moved into the Top Four Series Final after a hard fought 1-0 win against Stirling Macedonia in the Major Semi-Final at the RedStar Arena on Saturday afternoon. Top goalscorer Daryl Nicol won it for Callum Salmon’s side and the coach was pleased with his side’s performance, especially against a side they had failed to beat in the regular season. “A very competitive game and the level you’d expect from Stirling and ourselves. I thought the game was even in the first half and nothing really separating the teams,” Salmon said. “Second half I thought we were far better team, in control and unlucky not to finish up 2 or 3-0. Happy we finally beat Stirling and looking forward to an opportunity to do the double and go back-to-back.”

Both sides went close early, the lively Sam Wynne fired over the top for Stirling, while Chok Dau’s free kick whistled over the top. Asher Nelson then pouncing on a stray pass from RedStar and raced into goal, but his shot flashed just wide of the post. But on the half hour it was RedStar who found the opener, a quick counter attack saw Dau race down the left, he picked out Nicol in the penalty area, and the Scottish striker did what he has done all season, finish clinically past James Bosdet.

Ian Ferguson’s side looked to hit back after the break and from Kade Fearnall’s corner, Hristijan Jankuloski’s header flashed over the bar. With Stirling chasing the equaliser the hosts almost added a second, Gomo Dukuly’s effort was well saved by Bosdet, the Stirling keeper tipping it on to the crossbar. At full time it was RedStar progressing to the final, while Stirling must now reset and will take on Perth SC on Tuesday.

Redstar defender Nick Walsh said the clean sheet was important, and they now prepare for the final on Saturday. “I thought we had a great performance, we took our chance early and then managed to see out the game very professionally,” Walsh said. “It is not the way we usually win our games, but it’s finals football and all that matters is the end result and we’re buzzing to be through to the Grand Final.”

Perth RedStar: GK Liam REDDY, 2 Nick WALSH, 3 Blair GOVAN, 4 Declan HUGHES, 6 Riley WARLAND, 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Andy HIGGINS, 14 Chok DAU, 17 Sonny O’SHEA (5 Lewis TUCKER 84’), 18 Gomo DUKULY (11 Oscar MALFIORE 84’), 19 Ryan FINNIE – Subs not used: RGK Marino GOJAK, 12 Theodore LEEMING, 13 Daniel KATZ, 15 Sean O’CONNOR, 16 Jeremy TSHONGO

Stirling Macedonia: GK James BOSDET, 2 Brent QUICK, 4 Hristijan JANKULOSKI, 5 Luke PALMATEER, 6 Dejan SPASESKI, 7 Asher NELSON (14 Kingsley ESHUN 64’), 9 Kade FEARNALL, 10 Sam WYNNE, 12 Kai MATTHEWS, 13 Calvin WHITNEY, 17 Alex TANEVSKI (11 Daniel FAICHNEY 71’) – Subs not used: RGK Liam PRICE, 3 Ryan MALTON, 16 Kyle DAVIS, 18 Daniel STEFOSKI, 19 Joshua BOSEVSKI – Referee: Stewart BEATTIE



In the Minor Semi-Final, Perth Soccer Club secured their place in the Preliminary Final after a 3-0 win against Olympic Kingsway at Kingsway Reserve. Perth hadn’t beaten Olympic this season, but a brace from Abdul Osman and another to Zayd Farah secured the win, and will see them take on Stirling Macedonia at Macedonia Park on Tuesday evening, with a place in the final up for grabs. Perth SC assistant coach Stuart Banks was delighted with the side’s performance.

“It was one of the most satisfying performances of the season. We had a specific game plan going into the game and I thought the boys executed it to perfection. Not just the starting 11 but the lads who came off the bench had an impact on the game too,” Banks explained. “We could’ve had a few more goals but we’re very happy with the clean sheet which has been a focus for us over the past few months and now we look forward to the game against Stirling on Tuesday evening.”

The hosts were coming off a clash with A-League side Perth Glory in midweek, but it was the visitors who were on the front foot early, and were ahead on 19 minutes, Hasani Sinclair’s cross picked out Osman, who finished well past David Keenan. The Azzurri doubled their lead two minutes later, Osman linking up with Luke Collins, the former Armadale midfielder making no mistake for his second of the day.

The hosts were shell-shocked, and looked to hit back but Daniel Walsh’s effort from a corner hit the post, before Perth custodian Rocco Liberti made a smart save to deny Cian Hirrell. Perth almost added a third before the break, but Keenan got down well to thwart David Ninkovich, but Danny Hay’s side held all the cards at the break. David Tough’s side lifted the tempo after the break, but couldn’t break down a tight Perth defence, and six minutes from time Perth added a third to seal the game.

Farah made space down the right, and cut inside his marker before firing past Keenan. Perth’s next challenge will be at Macedonia Park in midweek against Stirling Macedonia, while it ended a successful campaign for Olympic, and they can take plenty of positives from their first season back in the top flight since 1999. “It was a really strong performance from the boys, and we knew what was at stake coming into this game. We had a plan in place and we implemented it to perfection,” Perth’s Luke Collins explained. “Everyone on the day did their roles that was asked of them, I think we could’ve been a bit more clinical in front of goal but non the less we got the win which was most important. In the dressing room after we said ‘that’s just one of three done.’ So, our attention now turns to Tuesday night where we will have a plan in place to beat Stirling.”

Olympic Kingsway: GK David KEENAN, 3 Daniel WALSH, 4 Cian HIRRELL. 8 Ollie ANNIS, 9 Ciaran BYRNE (16 David PERICH 70’), 10 Tyler GARNER, 12 James FANELLI (19 Noah KANZI 57’), 13 Sasa NJEGIC (2 Lebib LEBIB 46’), 14 Liam MURRAY (7 Jamie GARDINER, 17 Joshua SAMSON, 18 Mitch OXBORROW – Subs not used: RGK Joe POLLARD, 5 Calum O’CONNELL 70’), 6 John CHALMERS

Perth Soccer Club: GK Rocco LIBERTI, 2 Carl MORGAN, 3 Jordan DE LEO (13 Max BLACKSHAW 89’), 4 Julian TELES, 5 Luke COLLINS, 6 Abdul OSMAN (7 John LARDIS 66’), 9 Hasani SINCLAIR (19 Toby SNOOK 85’), 10 David NINKOVICH, 12 Zayd FARAH, 16 Federico ACHILLI (21 Alex DA ROCHA 46’), 18 Archie WHITFIELD – Subs not used: RGK Luke MARTINO, 8 Joshua CALA, 11 Jeremie MBA – Referee: Steven GREGORY



In the Under 20’s Top Four Series Semi-Finals, Perth Glory have moved into next weekend’s Final after a tight 2-1 win against Perth RedStar in the Major Semi-Final at the RedStar Arena. It was the hosts who opened the scoring in the shadows of half time, with Theodore Leeming scoring. But after the break Glory levelled on the hour mark, Sebastian Despotovski on target, and the striker won it ten minutes later, adding his second to send Glory in to Saturday’s Final. “I thought it was a very close game over the whole 90 minutes. Both sides came very close to scoring number of goals and to be honest I thought the game could’ve gone either way,” Glory coach Ivan Zuvela said. “We came in down 1-0 at half time and we just spoke about who we are as a group and what it takes to win games like this when you are up against it. I thought our boys just stayed focused and executed the instructions that we gave them, and their effort was fantastic and I was really proud of them.”

In the Minor Semi-Final Bayswater City moved into Tuesday’s Preliminary Final after a narrow 1-0 win against Perth SC at Kingsway Reserve. The only goal of the game came on 70 minutes, a great team goal, with a ten-pass move starting at right back and being capped off with a great finish from Cory McNellis. City coach Kevin Castle said it was a good all-round team performance. “The game was always going to be a battle against a tough Perth side but the boys stuck to the game plan and the principles we work on week in and week out, so all credit to the lads getting us over the line,” Castle explained. “We know there is still a lot to do to get to the final and we have to go through a strong Perth RedStar side first on Tuesday evening.”

In the Under 18’s Top Four Series Semi-Finals, Perth Glory is into Saturday’s final after a thrilling penalty shoot-out win against Sorrento in the Mayor Semi-Final at the RedStar Arena. Sorrento were on the front foot from the first whistle and Rhys Thompson gave them the lead on five minutes, and on 22 minutes Jack Sprigg doubled their advantage. Glory pulled one back on the half hour through Santiago Flored, and they were level 18 minutes from time, with Flored adding his second. So, it was off to the penalty shoot-out and Alexander Bolton scored the sixth for Glory, to give Kenny Lowe’s side a 6-5 win.

In the Minor Semi-Final Bayswater City are through to Tuesday’s Preliminary Final after a 3-1 win against Floreat Athena at Kingsway Reserve. It was Bayswater who opened the scoring on 18 minutes Josh Bell on target, but Floreat, who were pipped in the State League Cup final on Saturday by Perth, hit back and levelled on the hour, with Harry Stonehouse scoring. The game was up for grabs, but five minutes from time Bayswater regained the lead, with Bell adding his second. Then in the final minute Bayswater sealed the tie, with Bell completing his hat-trick. “We had to be at our best to win the game, as Floreat are a well-coached team and have some good players so we knew that we had to work hard for 90 minutes. The first half presented some challenges and to go in at halftime 1-0 in front was important to the outcome,” Bayswater coach Paul Lincoln explained.

“I thought the longer the game went the better we got especially when we changed our shape in the second half “With elimination games the whole team needs to play well and today we didn’t have any passengers. Josh Bell was the catalyst and took his three goals well. I want to pay credit to the referee who overturned an offside decision to allow one of our goals, and it was the correct decision in the end. We now turn our attention to Sorrento on Tuesday night for a place in the final so it will take another team effort to win. The players have worked hard so it would be a reward for all their hard work if we get through.”



Fremantle City will take a two-goal lead into the second leg of the NPL-WA/State League First Division Promotion/Relegation Play-off, after beating a ten-man Mandurah City 2-0 in the Semi-Final first leg at Hilton Park on Saturday afternoon. “I’m really proud of the boy’s performance, we prepared well leading up to this game and everything came together on the pitch, our shape with and without the ball was spot on, tactically we looked ready and nullified their main threats which was really pleasing,” Fremantle coach Matthew Sparrow.

“To start off with a win and a clean sheet gives us a slight advantage going down to Mandurah but we know it’s only half time and next week will be an even bigger test and knowing they will have to take the game to us we need to be ready and put in another perfect performance. The mood in the camp is high and this week will be about recessing everyone whilst ticking over in training to make sure we are fully focused and prepared for when Saturday comes. The fans were terrific today, they definitely played their part and we will need them again for the trip to Mandurah as we really appreciate their support.”

In front of a big crowd at Hilton Park, it was a tight first half with both sides having their chances, the visitors thought they had scored just before half time, Murray Mackintosh’s header looked like it had found the bottom corner, but a stunning low save from Jordan Barbas denied him. Then moments later the visitors were reduced to ten-man after Aaron McCready was sent off by referee Liam Barclay for a late challenge on Patrick Loughrey. The hosts made their numerical advantage count on 68 minutes, Fremantle thought they had a penalty after Elliot Ireland was brought down by Alfie Brincat, but the referee waved play on, but then blew for an indirect free kick after spotting a back pass to the keeper, who picked the ball up. Frem the resulting free kick Dean Hurley fired the ball home via a deflection off a Mandurah player on the line.

Then two minutes from time, Fremantle scored the important second goal, Loughrey was sent down the left and his cross on the run picked out substitute Enzo Marangoni who got in front of his marker to score, much to the delight of his teammates and the home supporters. “It was one of those days where both teams set out to be defensively solid and not give too much away early. Jordan Barbas makes a huge save and then off the back of that, they receive a red card that changes the course of the game,” Fremantle skipper Hayden Stevens said. “I thought neither side really took control of the game but always felt like we would get and chance and full credit to Deano and Enzo because when their chances come, they both took it very well. However, we know the job is only half done, and it’s going to take another massive performance next week down in Mandurah to see us through to the next phase.”

In the other semi-final Joondalup United and Sorrento have fought out a tight 0-0 draw at Forrest Park. Both sides struggling in the final third, but both will go into next week’s game confident they can reach the play off final. “It was a physical, tight, cagey game as expected with a good crowd down at Forrest Park to witness it,” Joondalup skipper Ben Johns explained. “Ultimately, we’re happy with the clean sheet and it heaps even more pressure on Sorrento then there already was for the second leg at Percy Doyle, and our boys are looking forward to it.” Sorrento, who finished second bottom in the NPL, and Joondalup fourth in Division One, looked nervous early, with so much on the line, The first chance went to the hosts, when Ben Campbell’s in swinging corner was tipped over the top by the alert Patrick Hughes. Moments later the Gulls went close, Joe Tweats shot looked like the opener, but former Sorrento defender Shaun Kilkelly cleared the ball off the line superbly.

It was more of the same after the break, with both sides cancelling each other out, the best opportunity fell to the Gulls, Clay Gibbs shot crashed off the post, and Dean Cummings fired the rebound wide. Sorrento midfielder Tim Hill said they had the better chances, but a clean sheet was a huge positive going into next week’s second leg at Percy Doyle Reserve. “We knew it would be a tough game if we didn't manage it well, and for the most part we did,” he explained. “Were disappointed not to have taken a couple goals home with us, but a clean sheet on the road is always good and gives us something to build on in the next leg.”



In the State League First Division/Second Division Promotion/Relegation Play-off, Subiaco AFC have taken a huge step towards the final, after a 3-1 win against Swan United in the first leg at Rosalie Park. Former Swan United striker Gavin Knight said the job is only half done. “I thought we played well in game and deserved the win,” Knight said. “But we only half way there, and we need to get an away goal in next game to have good chance going through.” The hosts were ahead on 10 minutes, Kaleb Morrison raced at the swan defence before finding the bottom corner from the edge of the box. Swan was then reduced to ten men, after skipper Michael Yarker was shown a straight red card by referee Dave Avison on the half hour, and the hosts doubled their advantage in the final minute of the first half, with Morrison again firing home from distance.

The tie looked over when Subiaco added a third early in the second half, Morrison was the supplier this time playing in Agustin Ventre, who made no mistake past Ben Parry. But ten minutes from time Swan found a lifeline for the second leg, Rhys Loxley’s corner from the left picked out Brennan Borzecki, who powered his header home, and it sets up an intriguing second leg at the Swan Italian Club on Saturday. “Look we are obviously disappointed with the result and the overall performance, and we didn’t deal with the conditions very well from the start and didn’t get the ball down and play our own game. Conceding early and then going down to 10 men after 30 mins makes the job even harder in this type of tie,” Swan coach Niall Hughes said. “We hoped to get to half time at 1-0 but we didn’t, so we knew we needed to come out second half and get ourselves in the game through hard work and get that away goal, which fortunately we got late.

“I don’t feel we got the rub of the green in any decisions at all either, which I’m sure any neutral would agree to, which isn’t an excuse for the result, but it didn’t allow us to get any momentum in the game at all. Subiaco had a really effective game plan and took their chances really well and deserved to win the game with what they did in the first half. However, the away goal keeps the tie well and truly alive for when we go back to Francis Street next Saturday and the lads are dying to set things straight.”

In the other semi-final first leg, Curtin University and Maddington-Kalamunda White City have fought out a 1-1 draw at Edinburgh Oval. “It was a tough, physical game between two good footballing teams,” Curtin’s Nathan Smith said. “Both teams went for it and was a good game to watch I've been told, and I'm sure the return leg will produce more of the same.” The sides had played in the final game of the regular season last weekend, with Maddington running out 2-1 winners, but it was Curtin who found the opener in this one on the hour.

Jaxon Illman cut inside and after a series of deflections the ball found its way to Simone Sichel who poked home from seven meters. It looked like that would win it for Troy Reid’s side, but eight minutes from time Maddington levelled, a corner picked out Nicolas Roca, who lost his marker and volleyed home superbly from the edge of the box. The host were reduced to ten men late after Scott Geare was shown a second yellow card by referee Kai Bartusch, and he will miss the return leg at Maida Vale Reserve on Saturday.

If you have any additional information on Western Australian soccer that we have left out, or if you would like to get in contact, email Jacob at jacob@footballwa.net

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