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18.5.2024

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17.5.2024

NPL-WA ROUND EIGHT - FRIDAY NIGHT REVIEW

Olympic Kingsway have moved to the top of the NPLM -WA table after a 3-1 win against Inglewood United at Kingsway Reserve on Friday evening. Liam Boland gave the hosts the lead early, but Dhuors Chol levelled soon after. Taylor Garner regained the lead for David Tough’s side before half time, before an own goal 17 minutes from time sealed the win for the hosts. “It was a different game than most people probably thought. Inglewood made it tough to break them down there were set up quite well behind the ball defensively and worked well as a unit but we knew we had to be patient and the goals would come,” Olympic striker Joe Knowles said. “We worked hard and created a couple of good goals and think it was well deserved win, from a hard-working performance from us.”

The hosts found the opener on 19 minutes, Knowles sending Garner down the right, and the midfielder picked out Boland in the penalty area. A great first touch gave the striker time, and he finished with aplomb past Nik Speca. Inglewood, who arrived at the ground at the bottom of the table, hit back and levelled four minutes later. Benson Nsegetse pounced on a defensive mistake and raced into the penalty area, before cutting the ball back to Chol, who found the bottom corner past Adrian Sinagra. Inglewood went close to the lead moments later, Charlie Garnham’s shot from the edge of the box flashed just wide of the post. However, the hosts regained the lead on 35 minutes, Knowles made space down the right and his cross made its way to Garner, who headed home, despite Speca getting a hand to it.

The hosts chased a third to seal the game after the break and it duly arrived on 73 minutes. Knowles’ ball into the box was flicked towards goal by Inglewood defender Jordan Brown, Speca made a great save, palming the ball onto the bar, but in the goalmouth scramble it looked like William Formston turned the ball into the net, although Sasa Njegic was also claiming the goal. “All credit to our lads, we weren’t at our best but we continued to work hard and came away with the three points,” Olympic coach David Tough said. “Taki had his side defensively well organised and they made it very difficult for us to find space.”

In the other Friday night game, a goal deep into injury time from Abdul Osman has given Perth SC a share of the spoils in an entertaining 3-3 draw in the Italian Derby against Bayswater City at Dorrien Gardens. The hosts led at the break with Franc Gamiz Quer scoring, but Cameron Teece levelled for Bayswater early in the second. Osman regained the lead for Kenny Lowe’s side on the hour, only for Teece to restore parity on the hour. It looked like City had won it when substitute Joshua Anasmo scored in the last minute, but Osman had other ideas, finding the equaliser at the death.

“It was a frustrating game because I felt we played well and dominated for the majority of the game,” Perth assistant coach Stuart Banks said. “But when you keep gifting teams goals and need to score four to win, you’re going to drop points, so we have to be better in those moments.” The game burst into life on eight minutes with the hosts taking the lead, defender Gamiz Quer striding forward and hitting a long-range strike that arrowed into the bottom corner of Lewis Italiano’s net. Bayswater hit back and Perth custodian Joe Pollard produced a stunning save to deny Teece moments later. Italiano did likewise at the other end, getting a hand to Ethan Banks overhead kick, but at the break the hosts held a 1-0 lead.

Bayswater were back in the game eight minutes into the second half, a wayward back pass was pounced on by Gordon Smith, his shot was palmed away by Pollard, but Teece was quickest to the rebound to score. The Azzurri regained the lead seven minutes later, Gamiz Quer finding Osman, who curled home past Italiano. But Bayswater hit back moments later, Thiak Kuel finding Teece, whose shot on the turn flew into the net. It was a typical derby with both sides pressing for the winner, and it looked like Bayswater had found it on 89 minutes when they hit the front for the first time. Anasmo received the ball on the right and his pace took him clear, he held off his marker before finishing low past Pollard. It was a bitter blow for the home side, but five minutes into stoppage time they found the equaliser. Substitute Jamie McNelis played the ball out to Banks, and his deep cross found an unmarked Osman who headed home, much to the delight of the big home crowd.

17.5.2024

BELT-UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION – ROUND FIVE REVIEW

It’s been a great start to life in the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division for debutant club Maccabi and they sit third on the table and in week five they host Jaguar at Maccabean Memorial Oval on Sunday afternoon in our ‘Match of the Round’. (All games kick off at 3pm unless stated) Both sides are coming off big wins last round, Maccabi coming home from South Perth United with a 3-0 win, while Jaguar beat last season’s champions Emerald 1-0 to kick start their season.

Jaguar keeper Micheal Dudek said after a slow start to the season they are starting to hit their straps, and back-to-back wins against Emerald in the league and cup has given them a huge boost going into Sunday’s trip to Maccabi. “In the league game it was good to hold out for the win, especially after a couple of losses,” he said. “We were disappointed to lose against Wembley at home for the first time since I've been at the club, we just need to make sure that we keep it as the fortress it's been for so many years.

“To get clean sheets two weeks in a row against Emerald, in the cup and the league, with two different keepers, is a testament to the fact our backline is starting to jell together. Everyone's been working hard at training and we're hopeful that it translates into consistent results going forward. Maccabi are a good team, and their rise through the divisions so quickly, show that they can match it with the best, as well as their solid start this season. But our goal is to rock up to Maccabean Memorial Oval and make it as hard as possible for them to continue their momentum in the Premier League.”

Maccabi coach Ricky Berelowitz has been pleased with their start to the season, and many have been surprised by their good start, but he is taking it one game at a time, said the three games in a week took its toll on the players last week. “Yes, very happy with the start, however we know it’s still very early days and we are still to play some very strong sides, so we’re just going one week at a time and see where we end up,” he explained. “We were okay against South Perth, we had some very tired legs after three games in a week, so we’re just glad to get through with the three points and move on.”

Berelowitz said Jags have been in good form recently, beating the champions twice in as many weeks, and he knows it will be another tough game, but one he is looking forward too. “Jags will be tough this week, we had a very hard game against them in night series and know they have some very talented players,” he said. “So, we’ll need to be at our best again to have a chance of coming away with the win, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

There was a round four catch up game on Thursday evening with Wembley downs maintaining their unbeaten start to the season with a 4-0 win against Kingsley Westside at Butlers Reserve. The hosts were ahead just before half time, Sam Mattock driving run into the box and firing into bottom corner. They doubled their lead with Halil Russo converting from the spot early in the second half, before Josh Chalmers rounded the keeper two minutes later to make it 3-0. Another penalty ten minutes from time from substitute Matt Giudicatti rounded out the scoring.

“We were very slow to get started, and Kingsley were the better team for most of the first half and were probably unlucky to go in one down,” Wembley coach Rob Jackson said. “In the second half we were much better and finally started to play with a bit of intensity. It was a big three points for us and we need to make sure we're rested and ready for another tough game on Sunday."

They are back in action on Sunday when they visit Bortolo Park to take on Peel United, the hosts will look to continue their unbeaten home record, but they are coming off back-to-back defeats on the road, while Wembley head into the game hoping to continue their winning run. In other games, Emerald and North Perth United will look to get back to winning ways when they meet in the early game at Fraser Park. (1.00pm)

The champions were beaten at Jaguar, while North Perth were surprisingly well beaten at Kelmscott. The Roos will be aiming to build on that big win when they travel to Chichester Park to take on Kingsley Westside, Morley Windmills host North Beach at Wotton Reserve, while the bottom two teams meet at Forrest Park, with Joondalup United hosting South Perth United.

17.5.2024

NPLWA – WOMEN’S – ROUND SEVEN REVIEW

The NPLW hits the road this weekend, with league leaders Perth RedStar and the Hyundai NTC making the trip to Wonthella Oval in Geraldton in week seven, when they play in the Football West Festival of Football. (3.00pm) The annual game takes the league to the regions and spreads the world game to the locals, and with the growth of women’s football at the moment, a big crowd is expected on Saturday. The game will be a double header with the NPLM game between Perth Glory and Perth RedStar taking place after it. RedStar coach Carlos Vega Mena said it’s a great opportunity to promote the game.

“The regional week is a great initiative from Football West and it’s great to see football promoted in the country regions. It’s a fantastic experience for the players and being able to participate gives them an extra bit of professionalism,” “The NTC is always a difficult team as they have young energetic quality players who look to play good football. We will have to stay focussed for the 90 minutes if we are to get a good result this week.”

The leaders are coming off a hard-fought win against Balcatta, and Vega Mena said it was a good all-round team performance from his side. “It was a very good performance from the team last week, the players showed maturity on the pitch and we’re solid on all lines against a very good team,” he said. “We created several good goal opportunities and were able to convert on the day. I'm very proud and happy with the team’s performance so far this season.”

The round kicks off on Saturday evening when second placed Perth SC host Subiaco at Dorrien Gardens (5.00pm) Both sides are coming off good wins last week, against MUMFC and NTC respectively, and both will look for a repeat in this one. In other games on Sunday, UWA Nedlands will be buoyed after their first NPL win, when they entertain Balcatta Etna at the UWA Sports Park, while in the final game Murdoch University Melville and Fremantle City will aim to get back to winning ways when they meet at Besteam Stadium.

17.5.2024

NPL-WA ROUND EIGHT - PREVIEW

Floreat Athena sit on top of the NPLWA – Men’s table going into week eight, and in our ‘Match of the Round’ they head to Alfred Skeet Reserve to take on Armadale. (All games kick off at 3pm, unless stated) Floreat moved to the top of the competition ladder after a hard fought 2-1 win against Balcatta in in round seven, while Armadale secured their first win of the season, after coming home from Inglewood with a 4-1 win, which moved them up to ninth, so both sides will be pushing for three points on Saturday.

Vas Vujacic’s side have fond memories of the venue, securing the 2022 title, with a last-minute goal from Bayley Montgomery-Brown, while Alun Vernal’s side will go in search of their first home win of the season, and looking for a repeat of the game last season against Athena. In that game the hosts won 3-1, completing the league double against them. It was Vernals’ first game in charge at Armadale, and his side took control early with Peter Jacobsz scoring, and he added a second on 34 minutes, heading home Amir Ajan’s cross. Chris Jackson converted from the spot to make it 3-0 five minutes later, and despite Nick Ambrogio pulling one back late for Floreat, it was too little too late.

Floreat striker Guy Davies has had to patient to get his starting spot, after returning after a stint at Perth Glory, but he made an immediate impact last week in his first start, scoring in the clubs win against Balcatta. “The game against Balcatta was definitely a challenge for us as a team, as they were very organised,” he said. “But we showed what we were about, took our chances, displayed grit and were difficult to break down, which in the end, earned us a result.” The club were in the relegation mix last season, but head coach Vas Vujacic has turned things around, and Davies said they have worked hard to get back to the top of the table. “To be fair, I wasn’t involved much last season so it’s difficult for me to comment on what’s been the change. But some key factors that have worked well for us this season is that there is a good togetherness in the group,” Davies explained. “Also, following the plan for each game and all individuals knowing their roles, how to contribute each week and executing on that, and long may it continue.”

A trip to Armadale is never easy, but Davies said they head there full of confidence and looking to maintain their good start to the season. “Alfred Skeet is a tough place to go away, and it has a great fan presence for a ground in our league,” the striker said. “That being said, we as a team will be focused on ourselves and what we need to do. We will stick to our plan and aim to continue our good league form.”

Armadale keeper Joel Driscoll returned between the sticks in their win against Inglewood in round seven, and he said he hopes it kick starts their season. “It’s been disappointing in terms of results although we know our performances have been good. It’s still early in the season, so if we can put a couple of wins together, we know we’ll be right back in the mix going into the second half of the season,” he explained. “The game at Inglewood was a well-rounded performance from the team and hopefully a few goals will help us find confidence and convert more of our chances. We know we create a lot as a team, once we find the finishing touch our season will turn around.”

Driscoll said they return home on Saturday, in front of their loyal supporters, and they will be doing all they can to get a positives result. “The fans have been fantastic this season, and we owe them a win on Saturday,” he said. “Floreat have surprised everyone this year and pose a tricky task, but we welcome back a number of players this week which adds good competition back into the squad. If we continue from where we finished against Inglewood it’ll be a great contest and hopefully end with us getting the three points.’

The round starts on Friday evening with two games, and first it’s the Italian Derby between Perth SC and Bayswater City at Dorrien Gardens (7.00pm) This one should be a great game under lights, but Kenny Lowe’s tenure at the Azzurri hasn’t got off to the best of starts, sitting tenth on the table, and they are coming off a big loss at Olympic in the last round, while Bayswater consolidated fifth place with a hard fought draw at the Knights, and three points are must to keep the pressure on the top four.

The other game takes us to Kingsway Reserve, where third placed Olympic Kingsway host bottom of the table Inglewood United. (7.00pm) The hosts are on fire in front of goal, with David Tough’s side scoring five in their last two games, against Perth in the league, and at Mandurah in the cup. Meanwhile Inglewood have had a horrid start to the season, losing all their games and were bundled out of the cup by Division Two side Ashfield last week, and Taki Nicolaidis’ side need to turn their fortunes around, sooner rather than later.

In Saturday other games, we have two local derbies, the first is at Macedonia Park, where Striling Macedonia entertain Balcatta Etna. The two sides met in the cup last week, with Stirling prevailing 1-0, but with only four points separating them on the table, and both coming off defeat in the last round, this one will once again be tense affair. In the other local clash, second placed Western Knights host fourth placed Fremantle City at Nash Field. Both sides have started the season well, the Knights are coming off a draw against Bayswater, while Fremantle edged out Glory. The final game takes us to Wonthella Oval in Geraldton, where Perth Glory takes on Perth RedStar in the Football West’s Regional Festival of Football. (5.00pm)

Former Glory midfielder Matthew George has been outstanding this season, and despite a slow start for the reigning champions, they were delighted to come home from Stirling with the points in the last round. “It’s not the ideal start we would’ve wished for, but the league this season is very tight and it’s still early days, and we just need to stay consistent as every game in the league matters,” he explained. “The win at Stirling was massive for us, especially as both teams needed the points. We fought hard and made it hard for them to create chances and in the end, we came away with the three points.”

George, who played his junior football at RedStar, before playing for eight years in the Glory academy, said Saturday’s trip is a great way to showpiece the NPLWA in regions, but they will focus on themselves, and if they play their game, he is confident they can come home with the points. “Geraldton trip is always a challenge as it’s different having to travel five hours and stay the night before the game, but it will be great for the locals to see some quality football,” he explained. “But at the end of the day we just need to go there and play our normal football and try get the three points, and I’m sure it will be an entertaining game against a motivated Glory team.”

Glory head coach John Walmsley said his side have performed well this season, but he was disappointed last time out against Bayswater, and he will be looking for a response from his players, but he is aware many of them have not much first team experience. “The major positives are that it’s a new group again, with so many players going up to the A-League squad last season, and a lot of the group didn’t have First Team experience and they’ve come in and acquitted themselves really well,” Walmsley told the Glory website.

“The next phase of that for the boys is them being really consistent with the performance and making sure that it’s not just potential that they’ve got, but consistency in their approach and performance every week. In the last couple of weeks, especially the games against Kingsway and Bayswater, there were some good parts of the game, but then there were ups and downs and dips in the performance which we need to minimise, we need to be consistent in all moments in order to get the results.”

Walmsley said the league is very competitive, and Saturday’s opponents are one of the best, but he is looking forward to the challenge. “Teams who you’d expect to be challenging for the title at the end of the season, the likes of RedStar and Stirling [Macedonia], aren’t necessarily where they’d like to be or where you’d expect them to be, but that’s not to say they’re not going to be there at the end. It’s a league where every game is competitive, there’s a lot on it and anyone can beat anyone on the day.

“They [RedStar] won the league last year and have probably got the best squad on paper along with [Olympic] Kingsway, so we’re expecting a tough test against them and it’s always a good game when we play them because they have good footballers which means they want to play a certain type of football. We’re looking forward to the contest and it should be a good game for the neutrals as well.”

17.5.2024

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SEVEN PREVIEW

After last week’s Australia Cup exploits, Sorrento are back in league action on Saturday, when they visit Poolmart Stadium, Peelwood Parade to take on Mandurah City in our State League Division One ’Match of the Round’. (All games kick off at 3.00pm, unless stated). The Gulls stunned NPL side Fremantle last week to move into the last eight of the competition, and have started the season well and are unbeaten in the league and sit second on the table. The Dolphins also played NPL opposition last week but were well beaten by Olympic, and after a stuttering start to the season they have won back-to-back games and will be looking for a third on Saturday.

Last time they played each other at the venue, was in round 16 in season 2017 in the PS4 NPLWA, when the Gulls flew home with the points after a 1-0 win. It was an emotional day for Mandurah, and pre-game both clubs observed a touching tribute to Mandurah City young fan Chris Chandler, who passed away that week, releasing black and white balloons into the air while wearing white caps. The only goal of the game came six minutes from time when Tim Hill’s long-range shot came back of the post and deflecting into the net off the unfortunate Cyril Sharrock.

Sorrento’s win at Fremantle was a huge boost for the club, and skipper Dean Cummings said their form has been building, and the 9-2 win against Rockingham in the last league shows that, with the skipper bagging four on the day. “It was a great win down in Fremantle, and with them being a league below didn’t faze the boys at all,” he said. “We know on our day we have the players and the quality to beat any team in the state, and the last few weeks the team has ramped up the standard. The hard work in training, our shape and the way we want to play has been clicking on a Saturday.”

The Gulls head to Mandurah unbeaten, but the skipper knows they will be in for a battle, but he is confident they can come home with a positive result. “Another big game for us, against a side who only just missed out on promotion last season, so we are expecting a very tough game down in Mandurah,” Cummings explained. “They are a physical side and play direct football, so definitely not a fixture we will be taking lightly.”

After a slow start to the season, the Dolphins are on the up, and winger Craig Barker, who joined the club from the American college system, said their new look side took time to jell, but they are now starting to find their feet. “Of course, it been tough with the introduction of so many players, weather that’s younger lads coming up or new lads coming in is going to be a challenge,” he said. “But back-to-back wins in the league definitely gives us confidence and hopefully the wins keep coming.”

They are coming off a hard-fought win against Joondalup in the last round, and Barker knows they will need another good performance to keep their winning run going, but he is confident they can. “I felt we were very comfortable for long spells of the game against Joondalup, and had a lot of good chances to get further ahead. But they (Joondalup) are a team that’ll always push to the end, and they managed to claw one back at the end which is frustrating not getting the clean sheet, but it’s about getting the three points and we definitely deserved them,” Barker explained. “We’re all aware that Sorrento is a good side, and we know it is going to be tough game, but unbeaten or not it’s just another game for us. We’re Going to go out and try and win, and it will make it that little bit better being in front of the pod.”

The other two unbeaten sides this season are league leaders Dianella White Eagles and third placed Subiaco AFC, and they meet in the late game at Dianella Reserve (5.00pm) The visitors were held to a draw at MUMFC in the last round, leaving them two points behind Saturday’s opponents, while Dianella beat Gwelup to maintain their lead, so this one should be a cracker under lights. In other games Marc Anthony returns to Walter Padbury Reserve with Murdoch University Melville, to take on Gosnells City, Cockburn City, who won for the first-time last week head north to the Pentanet Stadium to meet Joondalup United, while UWA Nedlands head south to play Rockingham City at Larkhill Sportsplex.

In the final game, Kingsley Westside entertain Gwelup Croatia under lights at Chichester Park. (6.00pm) Gwelup sit three points ahead of Kingsley, and will be searching for a second away win of the season, while Kingsley, who were promoted to the division for the first time in their history, will look for a second win of the season. Kingsley coach Steven Dimitrovich said it’s been a huge learning curve for the club, but they showed some good signs last week at UWA, and hope to take it further against Gwelup.

“Yes, a massive learning experience for all of the club this year in Division One. The old cliche if you don’t take your chances in games eventually you get punished and that’s what’s been happening in the opening part of the season. We feel as a group we’ve started to take some good steps forward and have been more consistent in our performances just need to put the full game together and hopefully results start to go our way,” he explained.

“The lads are really looking forward to the game this week against Gwelup and have come back with some good energy after giving them some time off last week with it been cup round last weekend. We know as a group where we are at, and what this game can do for our season. So just hoping that we continue to take the good steps forward and be on the right end of the result at the end of the 90 minutes.”

17.5.2024

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SIX PREVIEW

Ashfield produced a huge upset in the Australia Cup last weekend, knocking out NPLWA side Inglewood, but it’s back to league action on Saturday when they welcome joint league leaders Forrestfield United to the Paintseal Arena, Ashfield Reserve in our week six State League Division Two ‘Match of the Round. (All games kick off 3.00pm). James Sammut’s side will be searching for their first home win of the season, while Daryl Platten’s side will be aiming to continue their winning start to the campaign.

The last time the two sides met in the league at the venue was back in round six in Division One in 2020, when Forrestfield secured a narrow 2-1 win. Oliver Parry gave Graham Normanton’s side the lead in first half stoppage time, before Mitch Crocker doubled their advantage ten minutes from time curing in direct from a corner. Ashfield did pull one back from the penalty spot late through skipper Evans Maranga, but they couldn’t find the equaliser.

Forrestfield coach Daryl Platten has been pleased how his side has responded this season after relegation to Division Two for the first time since 2015, but he knows there is a long way to go. “Yes, very pleased with how the season is panning out so far, especially after the disappointment of relegated last season,’ he said. “We needed to build up a winning mentality, so to start with five on the bounce is great, we can definitely improve however and will take one game at a time as there are some very good teams in this league. “

Last week Forrestfield showed great character to come from behind to beat Shamrock in a had fought game, on an emotional day for the club, and Platten was thrilled to get the win for the Oliver family. “Carramar came last week with a game plan and stuck to it, but once we learned how to deal with that then I think we created some good chances and were a little more clinical than they were,” Platten explained. “It was great to get the win under such sad circumstances, it's been an emotional couple of weeks for the club, and I'm just pleased and proud of the club for how we paid tribute to Scarlett and the Oliver family. We raised a good amount of money for the kid’s cancer support group and I urge everyone to make a donation if they can as it helps families who are suffering to no end.”

They head up the Tonkin Highway to take on neighbours Ashfield, and Platten said they will be on high after their cup win, but he knows they can’t take any team lightly. “We will definitely head to Ashfield in a confident mood, but Ashfield will be confident also coming off their impressive cup win over Inglewood,” the coach said. “We won't be taking anyone in this league lightly, and if we can match teams for work rate, I'm sure we can continue our good form.”

Ashfield assistant coach Nathan Grostate said the cup win was great for the club, and he said it was well-deserved on the day. “James and I were proud of the lads, we dominated most of the game and stuck to our game plan, unfortunately going down to ten men threw a little spanner in the works but the boys dug in and fought to hold on to a draw in extra time,” he explained. “We were more than confident that if we got it to penalties, we would win, so huge props to our squad, it was a well-deserved victory.”

The club have started the season well, but haven’t turned good performance into wins, and Grostate hopes the cup win will give them the confidence to change that on Saturday. “Our season so far has been frustrating for everyone at the club, week in week out we control possession and play the best football but lack that killer instinct in front of goal. It’s been the difference in a few games this year but it’s something we have been working on constantly,” he said. “We’re looking forward to hosting Forrestfield this weekend, and coming off our performance against NPL side Inglewood, we believe that we can beat anyone if we prepare properly and focus on what we have been working on.”

Joondalup City lead the league on goal difference, and this week they head to Maida Vale Reserve to take on third placed Kalamunda City. The hosts bounced back from defeat in week four, with a win at Balga last time out, while Joondalup continued their great start to the season, winning a seven-goal thriller against Quinns in the local derby, so with both sides in good form, this one should be a great contest. In other games on Saturday, Canning City make the trip to Wanneroo Reserve to take on Wanneroo City, East Perth will look to bounce back from a heavy loss last week against Swan when they take on Carramar Shamrock Rovers at Grandis Park, while Swan United will look to kick on from that win when they host Balga at Swan Italian Club, Francs Street.

In the final game Curtin University will aim to make it four straight wins, when they host Quinns at Edinburgh Oval. The visitors were unlucky not to take anything from their local derby against Joondalup last round, losing by the odd goal in a seven-goal thriller, while after losing their opening two games, Curtin have been on fire, and made it four straight wins with a 4-0 defeat of Canning last time out. Curtin coach Troy Reid said the players have been fantastic after back-to-back defeats to start the season, and he knows they need to be at their best against a good Quinns side.

“Yes, the season didn’t start the greatest, but credit to the playing group for how they’ve responded. What’s most pleasing thing is the football is getting better every week which will hopefully translate into a few more wins,” Reid explained. “Quinns are always a tough opponent, and I wasn’t surprised by their competitive result against Joondalup City. Antony has recruited well with some talented attacking players, and they’ll be a dangerous opponent. We just need to focus on limiting their scoring chances and continuing our goal-scoring run and I’m confident we can get the job done.”

15.5.2024

EXPERIENCED DEFENDER ROUX HAILS TREBLE-CHASING MARINERS

Defender Storm Roux says this season’s Central Coast Mariners side deserves to be regarded among the “greatest A-League teams of all-time” regardless of whether they complete the treble by successfully defending their championship. Having already won the A-League premiership and the AFC Cup, the Mariners are just a game away from a second successive A-League Grand Final appearance.

Up 2-1 after a semi-final first leg win over Sydney FC, the Mariners only need a draw in Saturday night’s return fixture to not only qualify for the following weekend’s decider but host it. Roux, who has made 245 appearances for three clubs in an A-League career dating back to 2013, said the Mariners’ achievements this season were already undeniable.

“It’s got to be up there,” the 31-year-old New Zealand international said. “Not only have we won the AFC Cup, won the premiership, we’re doing it at the same time. I don’t think anyone really understands how hard it is with the travel, backing up for games, getting results and playing under pressure. We’ve got to be up there with one of the greatest A-League teams of all-time.”

Roux said the Mariners were “full of confidence” ahead of Saturday night’s battle with the Sky Blues. “It should be a close game, we’re both in the semi finals for a reason, we’re both really good footballing teams. We’re going to come up with a game plan to nullify them and get the result,” commented the defender who played juniors with Sorrento.

“Experience is valuable, we have a young team and for a lot of them (last season) was their first semi-final and to go and win the Grand Final, the boys who were here last season have that experience and know what to expect, how to play in front of a big crowd and having the pressure of being at home and getting the job done, it’s only good experience for the young boys.”

“It helps with game planning, they’re going to be a lot more attacking so we need to deal with that and work out how they’re going to come at us. We are a great attacking team but our defensive structure has been unbelievable this season and the results show that. It should be a great game and great game for the neutral as well so hopefully we get the job done.”

“We’ve won two trophies in the last week and a half so we’re full of confidence. If you told us at the start of the season that we’d be in this position we wouldn’t have believed you but we kept the confidence and the belief and we deserve to be where we are. We’re fully confident in ourselves that we’re the best team in the league so we need to prove that now by getting to and winning the Grand Final.”

14.5.2024

RISING STAR BENNIE LINKED TO OVERSEAS MOVE

Perth Glory young gun Daniel Bennie has been linked with a move to England after an action packed 12 months for club and country. The 18-year old’s promising debut was one of the bright spots in a gloomy season for Glory, with Bennie not looking out of place in the national league. And it appears the talented teenager’s performances have not gone unnoticed overseas either.

Bennie, who left Perth following Glory’s awards night last Monday, is understood to be trialing with a side in the English Championship. His departure would be a blow for Glory, with fellow forwards David Williams and Stefan Colakovski also off-contract, although the club have held talks with the latter about staying.

It has come after a whirlwind year for Bennie, which culminated in him winning the DT38 Under-23 Player of the Season at last Monday’s Most Glorious Player Awards. Having enjoyed a strong 2023 National Premier Leagues season, Bennie earned a call-up to the Australian under-17 side for their Asian Cup competition in June, scoring a vital goal against Tajikistan.

Before he had even kicked a ball in a competitive game for Glory, Bennie came off the bench in the marquee friendly against West Ham United at Optus Stadium and scored against the English Premier League opposition. Despite being only 17 at the start of the season, Bennie quickly earned the trust of new coach Alen Stajcic, who started the teenager in 22 games this season.

14.5.2024

GOING UP! ALESSANDRO CIRCATI WINS PROMOTION WITH PARMA (courtesy waoveryonder.au)

Serie A is set to become home to defender Alessandro Circati after Parma secured promotion back to Italy’s top flight. Parma completed their Serie B campaign on the weekend with a 1-1 draw away to Reggiana, a result which saw them finish top of the table by three points over second-placed Como.

A championship medal with Parma is the icing on the cake of a memorable 12 months for Circati. A regular fixture for I Crociati at centre back, Circati made 31 appearances across all competitions while in October – little over a week after celebrating his 20th birthday – he won his first Socceroos cap in the 2-0 friendly win over New Zealand.

Circati, who played juniors with Perth SC, moved to Parma in early 2021 following a breakout season with Perth Glory, where he was crowned the Most Glorious Youth Player of season 2020. After impressing in the youth ranks, he made his senior debut in February 2022 and quickly cemented his place in manager Fabio Pecchia’s line-up.

Pecchia’s side dominated this seasons’ Serie B, losing just four times and conceding only 35 goals in 38 games. Returning to Serie A caps a dramatic decade for Parma, who found themselves in Serie D as recently as 2016 due to financial issues, with fans taking to the street to celebrate promotion back to the top flight.

Serie A has been no stranger to Australians over the years with the likes of Frank Farina, John Aloisi, Paul Okon, Vince Grella, Mark Bresciano and Zeljko Kalac calling the competition home. Circati is poised to become the second West Australian to play in Italy’s top flight after Trent Sainsbury, who spent the second half of 2016/17 with Inter Milan.

13.5.2024

JUNIOR MATILDAS LOSE TO THAILAND IN FINAL GAME

The Junior Matildas have finished bottom of Group A, after Thailand ended their AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup Indonesia 2024 campaign on a high winning 3-1 in the final group game at the Bali United Training Centre, Bali on Monday evening. Lily Punch had given Australia the lead on the half hour, but missed chances cost them, with Kurisara Limpawanich levelling before the break. Rinyaphat Moondong put Thailand ahead midway through the second half, and with Australia chasing the game they conceded a third deep into stoppage time with Chutikan Kitikhun sealing the tie.

“We didn’t write that script before the tournament but if you look back over the three games, that’s how it has been for us,” Australia coach Rae Dower said post-match. “Today we were camped in Thailand's half - it’s just the last pass, last decision, the kind of cross or shots were lacking - but it’s a great learning lesson for the players going forward. We need to continue to develop that final third product, we need to be more clinical. The Asian Cup is where the best teams are here and it’s something we need to be better at and work on. We have a large majority of players involved in Round One and Two of the qualifying who are injured, it means a big jump up for new players without that experience and this was their first dance at international level”.

Both sides had chances early, Emma Dundas’ shot from outside the penalty box was saved by Thailand keeper Benyapa Singsai, before a long-range shot from Phatcharaphorn Khuchuea almost squirmed in underneath Caoimhe Bray. The deadlock was finally broken on 31 minutes, Talia Younis' header crashed against the bar with Indiana Dos Santos’ follow-up hitting the post, before Punch fired home. Thailand responded seven minutes later when Limpawanich used her pace to good effect, bursting in between Annabelle Yates and Sian Dewey before slotting past the advancing Bray.

Australia had a chance to retake the lead in first half stoppage time, Tiana Fuller shot was superbly saved by Benyapa, the Thai custodian reflexes was on show, tipping the ball over the top. Chances were few and far between early in the second half, the best falling to Rinyaphat, whose free-kick flashed over the top. But on 67 minutes Thailand hit the front, Limpawanich was brought down by Bray just outside the penalty area, and the keeper was shown a yellow card, and midfielder Rinyaphat curled the resulting free kick past Bray into the bottom corner.

The closest Australia came to forcing the equaliser was with five minutes left to play when Kiera Meyers broke down the left to cross to Talia Younis but the midfielder’s effort went straight at Benyapa. With Australia pushing more players forward, Thailand broke free in the sixth minute of stoppage with Rinyaphat cleverly finding Chutikan Kitkhun who made no mistake to seal the tie.

Thailand: GK Benyapa Singsai, 5 Manita Noyvach, 6 Pinyaphat Klinklai, 8 Rinyaphat Moondong, 9 Achiraya Yingsakul, 10 Madison Casteen, 11 Phatcharaphorn Khuchuea (2 Napatsawan Suebsuan 46?'?), 13 Chirarak Khamtan (23 Methini Bupphahao 78?'), 14 Julaiporn Jaimulwong (?4 Siriwimon Mukdasakulpibal 88?'?), 15 Prichakorn Kruechuenchom (12 Matika Thaprik 38?'?) 19 Kurisara Limpawanich (20 Chutikan Kitikhun 79?') - ?Subs not used: RGK Pimlapat Aeewong, RGK Atima Boonprakanpai, 3 Alissada Yuttakas, 7 Rasita Taobao, 16 Nachanok Kosonsaksakun, 17 Aunchidtha Homtago, 21 Porntita Sitthisan

Australia: GK Caoimhe Bray, 2 Amelia Tartaglia (22 Christina Kiceec 55'), 5 Kiera Meyers, 7 Sian Dewey, 8 Talia Younis, 10 Indiana Dos Santos, 11 Tiana Fuller (13 Mikayla Duong 46'), 14 Lily Punch (6 Amelia Bennett 72'), 17 Annabelle Yates (16 Ehva Gutszmit 89'), 20 Alvina Khoshaba, 21 Emma Dundas -Subs not used: RGK Layla Adams, RGK Jessica Skinner, 15 Isabela Hoyos, 19 Danella Butrus, 23 Alice Francou - Referee: Bui Thi Thu Trang (Vietnam)

12.5.2024

BELT-UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION – ROUND FOUR REVIEW

Our week four Belt up Amateur Premier Division ‘Match of the Round’ was a one-sided game with Kelmscott Roos moving to the top of table after a 7-2 win against North Perth United at Frye Park on Sunday afternoon, the loss dropping North Perth to sixth. “It was an overall great performance, and everyone played their part and couldn’t be happier with the result,” Kelmscott coach Rhydeen Botha said. “The crowd was a huge factor in our win yesterday as well, they were loud and proud the whole game and gave us the extra edge on the pitch, so on to Kingsley Westside next week”. The hosts were out of the blocks early, and ahead on three minutes, Kingsley Nteng found space in the middle of the park and played a pin point ball through and sent Dennis Saydee one-on-one with North Perth keeper Cian Flynn and finished well. They doubled their lead moments later, Ralph Mawire sent Dennis Reeder through on goal, and he unselfishly squared the ball to Isaac Koomson for a simple tap in. It was 3-0 on 32 minutes, Saydee was sent through on goal again, this time by Koomson, and he finished low past Fylnn.

North Perth found a lifeline five minutes later, with Gershom Rowland on target, but the hosts took a two-goal advantage into the sheds. The visitors need a good start to the second half to get back into the game, but they found themselves 4-1 down four minutes in. Jared Lange played a wonderfully first-time ball over the top of the defence, and Lemeo Reece finished clinically. The visitors weren’t finished and reduced the margin 17 minutes from time, with Rowland adding his second. But that was as good as it got for Chris Holland’s side, with Kelmscott firing home three more goals late. First on 78 minutes Nteng picked the ball up in his own half before taking the ball past two defenders, rounding the keeper, before firing home superbly over the last defender from a tight angle, for a goal of the season contender. It was soon six, the lively Nteng sending Koomson clear, and the former Armadale winger chipped the onrushing keeper. In the final minute Koomson completed his hat-trick, rounding the keeper and rolling the ball into an empty net. “It was a seriously good performance, one that I will remember for a while,” Kelmscott keeper Taylor Warwick said. “Everyone played their absolute best football and it showed today, and it is a serious statement that we mean business this season, and is an important win for us. We party tonight and then back to work on Tuesday for the next match against Kingsley Westside”.

Morley Windmills moved into second spot, after also scoring seven, after 7-1 against Joondalup United at Forest Park. “Dan and I are delighted with the performance today, the lads played very well as a collective,” Morley coach John O’Reilly said. “We were moving the ball well, winning our one-on-one battles and more clinical in front of goal. Now we must build on this and aim to be more consistent in our game management over the following weeks”. Morley were ahead on eight minutes, Johan Pubill volleying home from the edge of the box. It was 2-0 eight minutes later, Gavin Knight getting on the end of a cut back to score. Joondalup found themselves three down on the half hour, Travis Taylor cutting in from the right and finishing well. Morley led 4-0 at the break, after Knight added his second on the stroke of halftime. Alex Wheelhouse gave Joondalup hope early in the second half, but Morley hit back, with Taylor curling home his second moments later, before Pubill made it 6-1 after bursting into the box and finishing well, before Joseph Juma wrapped up the scoring with a good finish.

Jaguar have secured their second win of the season, and inflicted Emerald’s first defeat of the season, with a narrow 1-0 win at Herb Graham Recreation Centre. The only goal of the game came just after the hour mark, with Paul Sopp on target. The visitors throw everything at the home side late but couldn’t find the equaliser. “It was another tough contest today, I may say as both teams showed some quality of play and character in the entire phases of the game,” Jags coach Josam Muwowo said. “I thought we controlled the game in some moments but Emerald was good to absorb pressure and play with high intensity. We went at half time goalless and came back second half and managed to score the winner. What a fair game on both sides with so much talent with quality, so overall, we are slowly getting the moment but still these a lot of room for improvement”.

Maccabi are up to third, after coming home from Challenger Reserve with a 3-0 win against South Perth. “I thought we worked very hard to grind out the result today,” Maccabi coach Ricky Berelowitz said. “I thought we dug deep this week after a tough week, with three games in seven days, but we managed to come through with the third win”. Maccabi found the opener early, after Jonah Froman was played in behind the South Perth defence to score. Second half substitute Dion Berman made an immediate impact after coming off the bench on 57 minutes, pouncing on a wayward pass to score three minutes later, and he wrapped up the points with the third moments later.

North Beach have won for the first time this season, overcoming Peel United 2-0 at Charles Riley Memorial Reserve. “I'm very pleased we were able to back up our great performance in the cup last week today and take our first points of the season,” North Beach coach Nick Di Carlo explained. “We've been improving weekly and looking much more organised and putting more chances away. Peel caused us some headaches in patches today with the game in the balance, but the resilience was present again and we go in with confidence returning to Wotton Reserve next weekend”.

The hosts were ahead on 14 minutes, Ben Reynolds won back possession out wide and combined with Alex Kretowicz who slipped the ball into Luke Jones who was taken down, and the referee pointed straight to the spot, and skipper Brodie Martin converted the resulting penalty. They made sure of the points 18 minutes from time, substitute Kane Graves won the ball at the half way line, made a strong run down the right before crossing to Jones who found the bottom corner. The game between Wembley Downs and Kingsley Westside was rescheduled for Thursday evening at Butlers Reserve (7pm) with the hosts in Australia Cup action on the weekend.

12.5.2024

NPLWA – WOMEN’S – ROUND SIX REVIEW

UWA Nedlands have won their first ever NPLWA - Women’s game, and kick started their season after a 3-2 win against Fremantle City at Hilton Park on Sunday. “It is great to get our first NPL victory, the squad worked super hard in preparation for the game and the result showed,” UWA coach Lawrence Lewis explained. “Freo have some quality players and making sure they weren’t in the game as much as possible was key. We now look to next week against a strong Balcatta side”. UWA were ahead just before the half hour, Michaela Thawley’s corner wasn’t dealt with, and Alexandra Lyons shot was deflected past Indiana Antunes. They doubled their lead on the hour mark, Lyons’ long-range shot caught out Antunes, the ball going in off the post.

The home side hit back and reduced the margin seven minutes later, Tanika Lala’s cross was turned home by Amma Powell. Fremantle looked for the equaliser, but 16 minutes from time it was UWA who added a third. Amy Hartley raced down the right, and her cross was palmed away by Antunes, but only as far as Erin Armstrong, who fired home from close-range. Fremantle scored a consolation goal in the final minute, Kate Nolan was brought down by Mackenzie Rastatter, and Anna Powell converted the penalty, but it came to late for the hosts.

Alexandra Lyons said all their hard work is starting to pay off. “We're absolutely stoked with how we've bounced back this week and really taken it to a team with quality players and an established history, and getting our first NPLW win,” Lyons said. “It was really nice to prove it to ourselves that we deserve to be here, our hard work is paying off - and to work for each other for 90 minutes. It's a long season and we still have a lot to work on - but we'll savour this and take the energy into next week against Balcatta”.

Perth RedStar have continued their winning start to the season after an entertaining 4-2 win against Balcatta Etna. “It was a big three points for us, we knew the importance of the game going in,” RedStar skipper Sarah Carroll said. “Balcatta are a good team and it’s always a competitive game against them, but I thought we were excellent without the ball, the intensity in our press from the front made it difficult for them to play through and forced turnovers as a result. I’m really proud of the girls too see the game out in the way we did, we were under a little bit of pressure towards the end and struggled to maintain possession as fatigue kicked in but everyone played their part and our experience showed”.

Carlos Vega-Mena’s side were ahead early, with Reina Kagami scoring, but the visitors were level on 24 minutes, with referee Michal Jasinski pointing to the spot after Bronwyn Studman pushed Abbey Meakins in the back, and Meakins picked herself up and beat Gabby Dal Busco from the resulting penalty. But in the shadows of half time, RedStar regained the lead. Balcatta gave the ball away playing out of defence, and Renee Leota played in Momoko Sakairi, and the Japanese striker finished with aplomb from the edge of the box. It was 3-1 early in the second half, Caitlin Douglas winning possession out on the left, and her cross found the unmarked Leota, and the New Zealand striker made no mistake.

Balcatta were back in the game twenty minutes from time, Lucy Jerram’s cross from the left was fumbled by Dal Busco, and Monique Godding fired home the rebound. Balcatta went in search of the equaliser, but it was hosts who added a fourth late. Douglas raced into goal, but was denied by Rebecca Bennett, but the winger was quick to react, and her cross to the edge of the box was fired home superbly by substitute Jayna Ridley, with a contender for goal of the season. “I thought it was a well-rounded performance today, and we managed to control possession majority of the time,” RedStar assistant coach Shawn Billam said. “We created plenty of chances we failed to execute at times, but delighted we continued our good start to the season”.

Subiaco AFC moved up to fifth on the table after a 3-1 win against Hyundai NTC at Rosalie Park on Sunday. “We dealt well with pressure from the NTC for the first 15-20 minutes or so, and then began to settle into the match, and we created some good chances and went 2-0 up into half-time.” Subiaco coach Greg Farrell explained. “After the break the game was quite even, the NTC scored ten minutes from time, off the back of a mistake from us, but we quickly regained the two-goal lead and saw out the game well. It was a good performance against a very dangerous side”. The hosts were ahead on 28 minutes, Tayna Campos playing in Stella Zampogna, who found the bottom corner of the net.

They doubled their advantage moments later, Marianna Tabain and Frankie Murray-Hocking combined to find Campos, whose curling long-range shot looped over the stranded NTC keeper Megan Phillips. NTC reduced the margin ten minutes from time, with Mia Britton crossing for fellow substitute Theodora Mouithys to score at the back post. Subiaco made sure of the points moments later, Murray-Hocking finishing well from a long throw, and the striker was delighted with the win. “It was a very solid performance from the whole team, we were sharp on the ball and created chances from quick touches and great ball movement, a little bit more composure in front of goal is still needed but we pressured well and managed to get the win,” Subiaco striker Frankie Murray-Hocking said. “It’s a stepping stone in the season, but a great three points to give us some momentum into next week”.

In the final game Perth SC kept the pressure on the leaders after a 4-1 win against Murdoch University Melville at Besteam Stadium. The visitors were on the front foot, and were ahead on 25 minutes, Epril Nossent’s cross was headed in by Anika Stajcic, and it was 2-0 just before the interval when Ella Lincoln’s great start to the season continued with a close-range finish. The hosts reduced the deficit five minutes after the break, Taylor Reid’s low shot beating Stacey Cavill. The Azzurri’s two-goal margin was restored soon after, Lincoln the supplier this time, sending Jessica Flannery clear to score, before sealing the three points with a fourth on the hour mark, Daisy McAllister’s lob beating Manon Gebauer.

11.5.2024

AUSTRALIA CUP WA - ROUND FIVE REVIEW

State League Division Two Ashfield have caused a massive upset in the Australia Cup (WA) fifth round, by beating NPLWA side Inglewood United 6-5 on penalties after the tie ended 1-1 after extra time at Paintseal Arena. “The lads showed a lot of character today and put in a complete performance,” a delighted Ashfield coach James Sammut said. “Going down to ten men and then having to go to extra time, it was good to see how hard the lads worked for each other and wanted to win. We created a number of chances even with a man short which was pleasing, and everyone at the club is happy to get through to the next round”.

Inglewood arrived bottom of the NPLWA, without a win in the league this season, and they found themselves behind on the half hour, Ravi Singh sent Hanani through one-on-one with Nik Speca, and he slipped the ball past him from the edge of the box. It looked like that would be the winner, but Inglewood pressed late and they were helped when Ashfield defender Conor McCann was sent off with nine minutes to go, and deep into stoppage time Inglewood found the equaliser. Rene Kisesa received the ball out wide on the edge of the box, and he cut it back to Chris Tilson who bundled the ball home. It went into extra time, and both sides had chances to win it, but failed to take them, and it was off to the dreaded penalty shoot-out, and it was Jared Flavel who scored the winning penalty, much to the delight of the home faithful.

Division One club Sorrento also produced an upset, beating NPLWA side Fremantle City 4-1 at Hilton Park. “I’m very proud of how the boys played today, it was a really mature performance from start to finish,” Sorrento coach Steven McGarry said. “I thought our energy and intensity in the early part of the game set the tone and we created some really good opportunities from good footballing moments but also through our press and we made it difficult for Fremantle to get any rhythm and should have possibly added three or four more in the first half. The boys then shown great character after conceding a penalty and never dropped their levels and eventually got their rewards with three second half goals”.

The visitors, who arrived into the game unbeaten in the league this season, made a perfect start and were ahead on eight minutes. Tim Hill found Hamza Hina on the left, who beat his marker and found Keegan Chambers who made no mistake. It was a strong start from the Gulls, but eight minutes before the break Fremantle levelled, with Patrick Loughrey converted from the spot after a handball in the box, and it was 1-1 at the break. But McGarry’s side regained the lead just before the hour mark, Dario Ramella and Hina combined down the left, with Hina’s low cross was turned home by Chambers.

Fremantle pressed for the equaliser and pushed players forward, and the longer the game went the more gaps and spaces started to appear in the home sides defence, and in the final minute Sorrento found a third, Ramella’s shot was saved by Luke Radonich, but Andrew Maranta fired home the rebound. The icing was put on the cake in stoppage time when the Gulls added a fourth, Neil Kilkenny won the ball deep in his own half, and ran the full length of the pitch, and unselfishly squared the ball to Ramella in the box for an easy finish.

Former Fremantle winger Hamza Hina was delighted to secure a place in the next round. “For me personally this game had a bit more of a meaning having played at Fremantle for the last two seasons, and having nothing but good memories,” he explained. “After seeking a new challenge with Sorrento this year, I didn't think I'd be playing at Hilton Park, but the stars aligned for me to go back once more and feel the amazing atmosphere and support from both sets of fans, although it also didn't hurt that I got to be a part of knocking the old team out the cup”.

There was no upset at the Croatian Sporting Complex, Wishart Street, with Perth RedStar beating Gwelup Croatia 3-0. “Hard and competitive game on a very rough surface and a tight field at Gwelup,” RedStar coach Callum Salmon said. “The boys played some great football, got the game over early and allowed us to get minutes into many of our younger players. Now we are looking forward to Glory next week and happy to progress in the cup”. The visitors found the opener after only three minutes, with Lewis Tucker on target. Nicol added a second six minutes before half time, after good work from Tucker, before Nicol sent Byrce Bafford in to make it 3-0 in the shadows of half time, to seal the tie. “It was a very good performance from the team on a difficult pitch against a team who were desperate to cause an upset,” RedStar striker Daryl Nicol said. “We did exactly what needs to be done in these sorts of games, got ourselves in front early and put the game to bed before the break”.

Perth SC are also through to the next round, after 7-2 win against Division Two side Wanneroo City at Wanneroo Reserve. “I felt we controlled the game from start to finish and the only disappointing thing from us is that we missed quite a few chances to score more goals,” Perth assistant coach Stuart Banks said. “But we’re happy with the performance and we look forward to the next round of the cup”. The Azzurri made a fast start and were ahead on seven minutes, Ethan Banks latched onto a through ball and slotted past Wanneroo keeper Jordan Barbas. But the home side levelled on 22 minutes, Sebastian Munoz converting from the spot after Coby Sutton had dragged him down in the box.

But Perth took control with two quick goals, first on 26 minutes some great work out wide by Gordon Perkins saw him cut the ball back to Sam Cook for a tap in, and two minutes later Perkins fired home the third. The visitors added a fourth on the hour, Banks sent Cook one-on-one with Barbas, who finished well. The home side were awarded another penalty late, when Alex Lazov was brought down by Judd McDougall, and Kane Fitch made no mistake from the resulting penalty. Perth finished the game well, and added three more goals. Josh Cala followed up a shot that was initially well saved by Barbas to smash in the rebound to make it 5-2, Franc Gamiz Quer headed home from a corner for six, before Gamiz Quer completed the scoring, with another header from a corner in the final minute.

Belt Up Amateur Premier Division side Wembley Downs’ cup run as come to an end, after they were beaten 3-0 by Rockingham City at Lark Hill Sportsplex. “Wembley made it difficult for us, especially in the first half,” Rockingham coach Rob Crerar said. “But I was pleased with our reaction in the second half, we now look forward to the draw”. The hosts made a great start and were ahead on four minutes, Shane Boyle racing clear and rounding the keeper to score. Wembley really took it up to their hosts and had chances to level, the best falling to Halil Russo who hit the woodwork.

The hosts had the opportunity to double their lead early in the second half when Boyle was brought down for a penalty, but Christos Vaenas saw his spot kick well saved by Ciaran Macca. They did make it 2-0 on the hour, Vaenas played in Cory McNelis who finished past the keeper from close-range. Russo hit the bar again midway through the second half, and Noah Thavaseelan and Sam Mattock both had chances to reduce the deficit. But the hosts sealed tie with a third 11 minutes from time, with Matt Evans getting on the end of a Taylor Carter cross to score from close range. Rockingham did end the game with ten men after keeper Kieran Shail was sent off in stoppage time for dissent.

“Those not at the game might think it was comfortable for Rockingham, but the scoreline wasn’t a fair reflection of the game. We more than matched them for large parts and as a group will take a lot of confidence from that,” Wembley skipper Jack Mellor explained. “It took us ten minutes or so to adapt to the tempo and conceding early was the worst possible start, but we reacted well and got a handle on the game. We conceded a second early in the second half, but again we showed good character and on another day the game could have gone the other way. Overall, I felt like we won the midfield battle and moved the ball really well so plenty to be proud of, we turn our focus to the league and look to get back to winning ways this week”.

Olympic Kingsway eased through, after a hat-trick from striker Joe Knowles helped them to 5-1 win against Mandurah City at Poolmart Stadium, Peelwood Parade. “It was a solid performance by us, and we started well getting a couple of early goals,” Knowles said. “We then went a man down, but stuck to the game plan and got another two goals within five minutes of the red card. Second half we defended really well as a unit and worked hard together as a team and topped off a great team performance with the win”.

The visitors made a great start, with a brace from Joe Hobson giving them a 2-0 lead after only 24 minutes. But moments later the forward was sent off, but that didn’t stop the Green Machine, with Knowles adding two more. Knowles made it 5-0 on the hour to complete his hat-trick, and despite a consolation goal from Mandurah substitute Fionn Faherty, David Tough’s side moved into the last eight. “I thought it was a game that we controlled well, even when down to ten men, we kept playing and pushing to get the extra goals,” midfielder Joshua Samson said. “Mandurah had a short spell, which I thought we dealt with well, so overall a good performance and really happy to be into the next round of the cup”.

In the all-NPLWA clashes, Striling Macedonia and Western Knights moved through, after wins against Balcatta Etna and Bayswater City respectively. First at Macedonia Park the local derby was decided by a goal on 22 minutes, with midfielder Joshua Bilaloski scoring. Balcatta throw everything at the hosts late, but couldn’t find the equaliser, and the hosts ended the game with ten men after defender Brent Quick was shown a second yellow card and sent off. Meanwhile at Frank Drago Reserve the Knights came from behind to beat Bayswater 2-1. The hosts were ahead seven minutes before the break, a corner was headed past Sam Reilly by Joshua Anasmo. The visitors levelled ten minutes into the second half, a swift counter attack ended with Jesse Lazzaro, whose shot was saved by Lewis Italiano, but Kristian Santich fired home the rebound.

The Knights won it on 75 minutes, Jack Bardsley made an overlapping run, and his low cross was turned home by Lazzaro. “We looked really sharp on the break and even at 1-0 down felt we were going to get a result. Bayswater are really effective on the break and I think playing them last week helped us gauge what they try to do and we handled it for the most part really well,” Knights striker Owen Goodliffe explained. “I think this is our fifth or sixth game coming from behind to get a result in nine games, it’s not a habit we want to get into but it’s a great attribute to have. The whole club is buzzing to be in the final eight and will be looking forward to an exciting game whoever we play in the next round”.

11.5.2024

STATE LEAGUE CUP RESERVES AND UNDER 18'S - SECOND ROUND

In the State League Reserves Cup round three games Perth Glory were the big winners, beating Quinns, who had beaten Fremantle City in the last round, 18-0 at Hilton Park, with Louis Sollitt scoring eight, while Santiago Flores bagged five for the Glory. Canning City, who knocked out Perth RedStar in the last round, beat Gwelup Croatia 1-0 at the Croatian Sporting Complex, while Tomas Despotovski scored four as Dianella White Eagles beat Subiaco AFC 7-2 at the Poolmart Stadium, Mandurah. A ten-man Floreat Athena has beaten Bayswater City 3-1 at Frank Drago Reserve, while Armadale beat Stirling Macedonia 4-3 on penalties after the game ended 3-3 at Macedonia Park. In other games, Perth SC beat Kalamunda City 4-0, with Jack Sprigg scoring a brace at Wanneroo Reserve, UWA Nedlands edged out Ashfield 3-2 at Paintseal Arena, while Rockingham City won a penalty shoot-out 8-7 against East Perth, after the game ended 3-3 at Larkhill Sportsplex.

In the State League Under 18’s Cup round three, league leaders Perth RedStar moved into the last eight, after a 5-1 win against local rivals Joondalup United at the Croatian Sporting Complex, while Perth SC were too strong for Wanneroo City running out 6-0 winners at Wanneroo Reserve with Clarence Musa scoring a hat-trick. A brace from Max Naylor has helped Perth Glory beat Fremantle City at Hilton Park, Hadi Hussaini scored a double as Bayswater City beat Western Knights at Frank Drago Reserve, while Balcatta Etna edged out Forrestfield United 4-3 on penalties, after the game ended 2-2 at full time. In other games, a hat-trick from Loukas Baiardo helped Inglewood United beat Carramar Shamrock Rovers 3-1 at Paintseal Arena, Ashfield, Billy Baker also scored a hat-trick, as Olympic Kingsway beat Subiaco AFC 8-1 at Poolmart Stadium, Mandurah, while Murdoch University ran out 4-2 winners against Swan United at Larkhill Sportsplex.

11.5.2024

GLORY YOUNGSTER SELECTED IN YOUNG SOCCEROOS SQUAD

Perth Glory teenage defender Andriano Lebib has been named in the Young Socceroos squad for a domestic training camp to be held in Western Sydney later this month, and he will now head east to participate in what is a three-day camp based out of the Blacktown Exercise, Sports & Technology Hub. The 18-year-old, who has impressed in the clubs NPLWA side for the last few seasons, and was handed his Isuzu UTE A-League debut when he came off the bench during last month’s Round 26 clash with Sydney FC.

Lebib said it’s been a huge season for him, earning an A-League appearance, and being selected for your country is an honour. “It’s always a great feeling to get a call up for your country and it shows that your hard work at club level is being recognised, so I’m really buzzing about the call up and can’t wait,” the defender said. “After all the hard work and patiently waiting I finally got my debut in the A-League, and I know the result didn’t go our way, but me getting those minutes has driven me to work even harder during preseason to solidify a spot for next season and get more game time”.

The former Cockburn City, Murdoch University Melville and Dianella White Eagles junior said the club’s academy continues to grow, and the youngsters have impressed in the league over the last couple of seasons. “The youth team started off really well this season, despite having some players missing due to being called up for A-league commitments,” Lebib explained. “I feel like people are surprised on this year’s youth team because of their young age. But this year’s team has something different and I don’t know what it is but John and Steve (coaches) are doing a great job with them, I can’t wait to see how they do this season”.

The camp marks the first assembly for the U-20 cohort ahead of a series of activity throughout the remainder of 2024, including the AFF U-19 Youth Championship in July and AFC U-20 Asian Cup 2025 Qualifiers in September. Young Socceroos Head Coach Trevor Morgan is excited by what lies ahead for the group. “This is the beginning of a busy schedule of activity and it’s important we lay the groundwork now on some key elements of our program,” he said. “Players selected will get the opportunity to show what they can bring to the squad in a competitive, internal match which will be valuable in building connections on the pitch.

“We identified this period at the end of the domestic season as the best opportunity to assemble players from this age group currently plying their trade in the A-League Men. We’ve seen many of these boys begin to get regular minutes in senior football and it’s exciting to see them continue to develop – their involvement in the national team pathway is an extension of that. There are also several eligible players in European leagues, so we’re really pleased with the depth of players we have available in this cycle. This age group had some great performances in Europe last year as we looked to build their confidence and international experience, now begins an exciting period for the Young Socceroos.”

Full Squad: GK Taiga HARPER (Western Sydney Wanderers), GK Alexander ROBINSON (Macarthur Bulls), Alexander BADOLATO (Western Sydney Wanderers), Nathan BARRIE (Western Sydney Wanderers), Linus BOURKE (Melbourne Victory), Adam BUGARIJA (Western Sydney Wanderers), Max CAPUTO (Melbourne City), Zachary DE JESUS (Sydney), Frans DELI (Macarthur), Emin DURAKOVIC (Melbourne City), Jesse HOEY (Melbourne Victory), Riley HOLLINGDALE (Western Sydney Wanderers)

Joshua INSERRA (Melbourne Victory), Luka JOVANOVIC (Adelaide United), Andriano LEBIB (Perth Glory), Zach LISOLAJSKI (Western United), Jake NAJDOVSKI (Western United), Tiago QUINTAL (Sydney), Kane RAZMOVSKI (Melbourne Victory), Zane SCHREIBER (Melbourne City), Arion SULEMANI (Melbourne City), Fabian TALLADIRA (Adelaide United), Musa TOURE (Adelaide United), Ben VAN DORSSEN (Newcastle Jets), Luke VICKERY (Western United), Thomas WADDINGHAM (Brisbane Roar), Marcus YOUNIS (Western Sydney Wanderers), Jonny YULL (Adelaide United)

11.5.2024

JUNIOR MATILDAS ELIMINATED FROM AFC U17 WOMENS ASIAN CUP

The Junior Matildas have been eliminated from the AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup in Indonesia, losing 4-1 against reigning champions Japan in their Group B tie at the Wayan Dipta Stadium, Bali, Indonesia on Friday evening. The win secured Japan’s place in the semi-final, along with China PR from the group, while DRA Korea qualified from Group A. The last semi-finalist will be decided between Korea Republic and the Philippines in their Group A match on Sunday.

With only pride to play for against Thailand on Monday, head coach Rae Dower saw improvement compared to their first game. “I’m happy that it was a much better performance than our first game and that was what we wanted,” she said. “We wanted to be here and show everyone that we have the potential to play. There were opportunities in the first half for us and if one or two had gone in, it could have changed the momentum very quickly. But we’re not taking anything away from Japan. They were absolutely superb tonight, and the gap between them and some of the other countries here is very wide. Their passing was very good and their finishing very clinical.”

The Junior Matildas were looking to bounce back from their first up loss to China PR, and Head Coach Rae Dower made three changes to her starting side, and rewarded Indiana Dos Santos for her strong domestic campaign, with the captaincy for Friday's match. The changes included a start for Ruby Cuthbert in the backline, Dos Santos was promoted following a short appearance against China, while Annabelle Yates was rewarded for her tireless effort in the middle of the park, after being introduced late on Tuesday.

The Green and Gold needed a good start in this one, but found themselves behind after only three minutes. Sato Momo Saruang received a long ball from Mitsuki Ota, turned a defender and finished well past keeper Caoimhe Bray. The lively Saruang added a second on 11 minutes, when she received a pass from Kikuchi Hana on the left and with only Bray to beat, finished with aplomb.

Australia went close to reducing the margin on 27 minutes, Sienna Dale, who scored six goals in Australia’s qualifying campaign, was sent clear by a defence-splitting pass from Indiana Dos Santos with only keeper Sakata Korin to beat, but she couldn’t keep her shot down. Australian custodian Bray made a number of fine saves to keep Japan at bay, and at the break the Junior Matildas had it all to do.

Play continued in the same vein after the break, and Bray was called upon early in the second half, with a point-blank stop to her right, denying the strong near-post shot from forward Shinjo. Coach Dower brought on her reinforcements to help change the momentum, Danella Butrus at half-time, then a double change 15 minutes later, with attackers Mikayla Duong and Alice Francou introduced.

But there was little Bray could do when Japan added a third just after the hour. Japanese captain Shinjo Miharu picked up a long pass from Mitsuki Oto, left two defenders on her heels, dribbled past Bray and sent the ball into an empty net. Japan grabbed their fourth goal through midfielder Hirakawa Hina ten minutes from time, curling home from outside the box. Australia scored a consolation goal deep into stoppage time, when Butrus was brought down in the penalty area by Yuna Aoki, and Dos Santos made no mistake from the resulting penalty.

Japan head coach Sadayoshi Shirai believes his side can improve further. “The players performed the best they could do today, but I know that they can do better in future matches,” he said. “The quality of attack and how we played close to the goal area was better than the first game. But we also need to improve and develop our players’ skills in kicking, stopping and delivering the ball.” The Junior Matildas move forward, with their final group game against Thailand taking place on Monday evening.

Japan: GK Korin Sakata, 2 Yuna Aoki, 3 Yuka Makiguchi, 4 Mitsuki Ota, 7 Haruko Kikuchi (13 Chihiro Suguwara 83?'?), 9 Momo Sato (?10 Asako Furuta 83?'). 11 Ririka Nezu (8 Hinako Kinoshita 69?'), 14 Miharu Shinjo, 15 Momoka Honda (5 Manaka Sakaki 69?'?), 17 Tamami Aso, 22 Hina Hirakawa, Subs not used: RGK Airi Nagai, RGK Mao Fukuda 6 Haruko Suzuki, 12 Anon Tsuda, 16 Noa Fukushima, 19 Amiru Tsuji, 20 Mel Hanashiro, 23 Meiko Matsuura

Australia: GK Caoimhe Bray, 2 Amelia Tartaglia, 4 Ruby Cuthbert (22 Christina Kiceec 28'), 5 Kiera Meyers (6 Amelia Bennett 83'), 8 Talia Younis (23 Alice Francou 64'), 9 Sienna Dale (13 Mikayla Duong 64'), 10 Indiana Dos Santos, 11 Tiana Fuller (19 Danella Butrus 46'), 17 Annabelle Yates, 20 Alvina Khoshaba, 21 Emma Dundas – Subs not used: RGK Layla Adams, RGK Jessica Skinner, (GK), 3. Chloe Parker, 7. Sian Dewey, (GK), 14. Lily Punch, 15. Isabela Hoyos, 16. Ehva Gutszmit

11.5.2024

HELL OF A STEP UP: BURGESS ON JOINING THE PREMIER LEAGUE

Ipswich Town defender Cameron Burgess knows all about fairy-tales. But the Perth-raised centre back concedes survival in the English Premier League might stretch the Hans Christian Andersen theme to the limits of credulity, admitting elevation to the world’s most competitive league is “a hell of a step up”.

With last seasons three promoted clubs - Sheffield United, Burnley and Luton - all heading straight back down, Burgess, amid the euphoria over the Tractor Boys’ incredible journey, acknowledges staying up next season would be seismic for a club which has spent the last 22 years toiling outside the top flight.

With Harry Souttar’s Leicester City going up as champions there are suddenly three Australians in England’s top flight, midfielder Massimo Luongo the other Antipodean cog in Ipswich’s promotion machine. “It’s a while since we’ve seen any number of Aussies in the Premier League and as far as we’re concerned as a club, it’s a hell of a step up,” Burgess said.

“We’ll have to wait and see what happens - we’ll certainly attack it and give it our best shot. We’ll have to tweak and change a few things, work incredibly hard and see how we get on. At that level you have take each game on its merits and can’t afford to be naive (in the way you play).”

“The boss (Kieran McKenna) will be across all that - the most experience he’s got is in the Premier League (former Manchester United assistant and Tottenham youth coach), so if there’s ever a league to be involved in with him it’s this one. He’ll be well prepared that’s for sure.”

“From day one of him arriving at the club you knew we were going places - everything with him is gospel really. We believe in him 100 per cent, and are grateful to have him here. The culture he has created is amazing - we’ll run through brick walls for him.”

Burgess, 28, was pivotal in Ipswich’s surge to automatic promotion, playing in 39 of their 46 Championship fixtures. But after a career plying his trade in the lower divisions with likes of Salford, Scunthorpe United, Accrington Stanley and Oldham Athletic, the former ECU Joondalup junior knows he’s stepping into a very different kind of colosseum.

“I’m under no illusions it’s going to be difficult to get a starting spot in the team,” added Burgess, who moved to England in 2011 to accept a spot in Fulham’s academy system. “I’ll enjoy the celebrations for now but when the dust settles get back to preparing to go again. I’m sure we’ll make a few signings as we did when we came up from League One.

“We had a lot of belief in ourselves and that’s what got us over the line. There’s great togetherness in our squad. On my side of things, I never gave up on the dream of playing in the top division because stranger things have happened in football and you always believe the chance might come. It’s been a hell of a journey.”

Despite breaking through at international level, Burgess faces intense competition from the likes of Souttar, Kye Rowles and Parma’s promotion star Alessandro Circati to start for his country in next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Bangladesh and Palestine, the second of which is in his home town.

“The competition is only good for the team and the country - we have big ambitions and the more guys on top form and chasing places the better,” he said. “Being around the national team is a breath of fresh air, a special feeling. I’d like to stick around and play as many games as I possibly can and help the team achieve good things.”

10.5.2024

BURGESS REFLECTS ON HIS JOURNEY FROM ECU JOONDALUP TO THE EPL

Cameron Burgess will play English Premier League football next season, after Ipswich Town won promotion from the Championship last weekend, and he has spoken how all his hard work has paid off. The 28-year-old Socceroos defender said the old Australian cliches of never give up, keep working hard, believe in yourself and never throw in the towel, and for most they are just words, but the Scottish-born, Western Australia-raised footballer is living proof that dreams can come true. he Tractor Boys promotion comes just 12 months after they were promoted from League One into the Championship, and now it’s back-to-back promotions, a great success story for the club. “It’s been pretty surreal to be fair, I won’t lie,” Burgess says. “It’s been a mad journey so there’s not been a lot of time to reflect. It’s been pretty special. To go back-to- back is something crazy that I probably wouldn’t even think about until the day I hang up my boots.”

Burgess, who switched his allegiance permanently to Australia, after being courted by Scotland, where he played for the countries under 18’s and 19’s sides, has made an astonishing rise, making 71 appearances over the past two seasons at Portman Road. But it hasn’t been plain sailing for the defender, four years ago his career was at a crossroad, languishing in the fourth tier and on loan at Salford City when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. After nine years playing in the lower leagues in England and Scotland, from Cheltenham Town to Bury to Scunthorpe United after first arriving at Fulham’s academy as a 15-year-old, he strongly considered a move back to the A-League.

But Burgess stayed true to his Premier League dream, and spent the next two years with Accrington Stanley before he eventually landed at Ipswich. He was forced to wait for an opportunity to get back into the first team due to Covid and then had to recover from a horrific fractured cheekbone and broken eye socket in 2022, but the rest as they say, is history. “I had to just work hard and get myself in the team,” he says. “It’s just been a case of belief in what the club is trying to achieve, belief in the manager and how he goes about things.

“And probably for the first time in a while being able to actually go, ‘you know what, when I get the chance to show it, this is the style of playing that gets the best out of me as a player. When you ask anyone that comes to watch the games, they probably attest to that. They’ll say I’ve improved a lot, which is the same for everyone in the team, but to show that I can do it in a style of football and in a way that suits me down to the ground… it’s been perfect for me.”

Burgess said Ipswich coach Kieran McKenna has had a huge part to play in his return to form, and he is now being touted for jobs at Brighton and West Ham, but the defender said his attention to detail will get him noticed. “Honestly, he’s incredible,” Burgess says. “There are too many words to use I suppose. First of all, I’m forever grateful that our paths have crossed and the job he’s done for me personally and for the for the rest of the boys has been nothing short of amazing. But as a manager, just the attention to detail… the way he works and how dedicated he is, he’s definitely shown with the results he knows what he’s doing and all the boys in that dressing room trust him 100%”.

From Celtic as a boy, to the ECU Joondalup academy in Perth, to a Socceroos debut eight months ago and now headed to the Premier League, and with the 2026 World Cup on the horizon, there is plenty to look forward to for the defender. “I don’t know what’s happened there, it’s all come at the same time,” Burgess joked. “But I guess, it’s just a part of the environment that you work under. Everything’s working out and I’ve just worked really hard and knuckled down, and everyone around me has helped me get to where I’ve got to, which is a big part. “I owe a lot to the people around me, my friends, family, coaches, the club as well. That’s helped me to get into the national team and obviously we have a really strong group there. It was similar to what we have at Ipswich. I guess the culture in both teams has been has been amazing. And it’s great to be part of both groups.”

10.5.2024

WILLIAMS ANNOUCES HER RETIREMENT FROM INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL

WA-Born Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams has announced she will hang up the gloves at international level after the Paris Olympics. Currently with 103 senior caps to her name, Australian football’s longest-serving player will bring an end to her distinguished career in green and gold hoping to win a first Olympic medal later this year. The 35-year-old Melbourne Victory shot stopper, who has played at five World Cups and was part of the 2010 Asian Cup title triumph, made her announcement on social media on Thursday night.

“It’s been a wonderful ride over the last 19 years and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to not only wear the crest and perform for my country, but also to the wonderful memories and fantastic people that I’ve met along the way,” said Williams. “I love the team and I love the girls and I’m going to miss them so much and I just hope that the level of support and love shown to the Matildas and to each and every single player continues”.

Just the second Indigenous footballer to make 100 international appearances, Williams will bring down the curtain on her international career that began on July 28, 2005. “It has been an absolute honour and privilege to represent my country, my heritage, my sport, my family, and many teammates over the past 19 years,” the Katanning born keeper said.

“Playing for the Matildas across FIFA Women’s World Cups, Olympics and Asian Cups has provided me with memories and friendships that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I started in this team as a teenager from Canberra and across almost two decades I never imagine that I would be afforded the opportunity to learn, grow, experience life’s challenges and joys, fight against injustices and be shaped into the person I am today.

“ I would like to thank all those who have cared for me and supported me all these years; from my family, to close friends, the head coaches, goalkeeping coaches, team managers, my incredible teammates, and the Matildas fans. This team is truly special, and I am proud of what it stands for, what it represents for a whole generation of women and girls. It’s just getting started and I can’t wait to cheer on the team from the sidelines when the next chapter of my life begins.”

Williams, who has played for clubs in Australia, USA, Sweden, England and France, is one of only two footballers to represent Australia at senior FIFA tournaments on five occasions (2007, 2011, 2015, 2019, 2023). The CommBank Matildas veteran has also donned the gloves at six AFC Women’s Asian Cups (2006, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022) and two Olympic Games, with Paris set to be her swan song.

She made history as the first Australian female goalkeeper and only the second Indigenous footballer after Kyah Simon to surpass 100 international caps. Football Australia chief executive James Johnson said Williams left an “indelible legacy” on Australian football. “Lydia’s remarkable career has significantly shaped women’s football in Australia, blending exceptional skill with a passion for progress in the sport. She leaves an indelible legacy that will inspire future generations of indigenous and non-indigenous backgrounds.

“It has not only been through her efforts between the posts, with goal-saving dives and vibrant leadership on the pitch, but also in her passion to make the sport better through her role as vice-president of the Professional Footballers Australia. Lydia’s Matildas’ career is truly iconic spanning continents and playing generations. She has given so much to this team and to Australian football and will be long remembered as a legend of the modern game. She has influenced the women’s game in a way that will be felt for generations to come.”

Tony Gustavsson’s Matildas have been drawn in Group B with the world No 4 United States, world No 5 Germany and Zambia. It will be Australia’s fifth appearance in the women’s Olympic football tournament (2000, 2004, 2016, 2020, 2024), with their best-ever finish of fourth coming in Tokyo. The Matildas will play their group stage matches in Marseille and Nice and open their campaign against the Europeans on 25 July.

10.5.2024

NPLWA – WOMEN’S – ROUND SIX PREVIEW

NPLWA – Women’s league leaders Perth RedStar, are the only team to have won all five games this season, and they will look to continue that on Sunday when they host third placed Balcatta Etna at the RedStar Arena (All games kick off at 3pm, unless stated) Both sides are coming off wins last week, Renee Leota’s brace helping them to a 4-2 win against Fremantle, while a double from Faye Phillips, helped secure a 3-1 home win against Subiaco, and with only three points separating the two sides this one should be a great game.

Despite the win against Subiaco, Balcatta coach Peter Rakic said there is plenty of room for improvement from his side. "I personally thought we looked quite vulnerable in our win against Subiaco, but it gave us a lot to work on moving forward, and most importantly we took the three points which I can't really argue about,” he explained. “We had quite a number of our central players missing which lead to a few tweaks in the way we set up, but it's a credit to the girls for adopting the changes and getting on with the performance that was enough for us to get the victory".

Rakic said Sunday is a huge game, and they are ready for the challenge. "As always we know what's at stake against RedStar but we will approach the game with less pressure on the result and aim to be as tough as we can throughout the 90 minutes,” he said. “We've had two very different games against them already this season in the night series and we've seen what can happen in any game of football. The girls have trained really well on top of that, so if we can come out and potentially cause another twist in the race for the top then I think we'll have an exciting match on our hands".

RedStar coach Carlos Vega-Mena said last week showed the league is getting stronger, and he is expecting another challenging game against Balcatta on Sunday. “It’s good to see the competition building within the league every week, and we are expecting another tough game this week,” he said. “Our focus is one game at a time, and we know that every game is important. We will be looking to play our football and put forward an entertaining game”.

Perth SC sit in second place, and they travel to Besteam Stadium to take on Murdoch University Melville. The hosts will be buoyed, after their first win of the season at UWA last week, while Perth stunned the NTC, and assistant coach Federico Achilli said it has given them a huge boost. “The game against the NTC was a surprising scoreline and not one us coaches were expecting but definitely one we are very proud of,” he explained. “The girls played their roles superbly and were very clinical, which has been evident over the last couple weeks. This result definitely gives us a big confidence boost knowing we can compete and put pressure on top of the table and hopefully these performances continue”.

The Azzurri will be hoping to continue their form at MUMFC, and Achilli said they are looking to continue their momentum. “We know playing away to MUMFC is always difficult and the girls will need to be ready for that challenge, however they have been working hard on the training ground and we believe that we are ready for that challenge,” he said. “The biggest thing for us will be to maintain our good standards and our intensity that we have shown over the last few weeks and hopefully continue our momentum and putting pressure on the league leaders”.

In the other games this week, UWA Nedlands head to Hilton Park to meet Fremantle City. Both sides are coming off defeats last week, the hosts at RedStar, while a late goals from MUMFC secured the points against UWA. UWA coach Lawrence Lewis said he was disappointed to not come away with any points in that game. “Considering we started the game really well as these are the games that will ultimately decide the fate of clubs. We are still not through round one yet and plenty of time to go, so we will regroup and hit hard next time,” he said. “The squad has been working really hard in preparation for Sunday’s game against Fremantle, and we want to be able to start strong against a rejuvenated Freo side”.

In the final game Subiaco AFC welcome Hyundai NTC to Rosalie Park (3.45pm). Both of these sides are also coming off defeats, the NTC youngsters have lost back-to-back games including a heavy loss at Perth last week, while Subiaco were beaten at Balcatta. Subiaco’s Frankie Murray said it was a positive performance last week at Balcatta, and despite the loss they took a great deal from the game. “I thought we had a good performance against Balcatta, we moved the ball well and created chances but fell short to a few counter attacks,” the striker said. “It was a positive performance, but not the result we wanted, so looking to put in a hard graft against NTC and get a good result on the board”.

In Hyundai Women’s Division One, league leaders Fremantle City travel to the UWA Sports Park on Sunday to meet UWA Nedlands (3pm), while the other unbeaten team in the league Subiaco AFC host Murdoch University Melville at Rosalie Park (1pm). The round starts on Saturday evening, when last season’s league winners Hamersley Rovers travel to the Poolmart Stadium, Peelwood Parade, to take on Mandurah City, while the final game takes us to Percy Doyle Reserve, where Sorrento entertain Perth AFC. (3pm)

10.5.2024

AUSTRALIA CUP WA - ROUND FIVE PREVIEW

The fifth round of the Australia Cup takes place this weekend, and we have two All-NPLWA ties, with Bayswater City hosting Western Knights at Frank Drago Reserve (5.00pm), while there is a local derby at Macedonia Park, as Stirling Macedonia entertain Balcatta Etna (3.00pm). Some NPL sides also face tricky ties against lower opposition, while Wembley Downs will be flying the flag for the Belt-Up Amateur Division, when they travel to Lark Hill Sportsplex to take on Rockingham City. (5.00pm)

Bayswater and the Knights fought out a 1-1 draw in the league last weekend at Nash Field, with Knights’ Justin Tang scoring late to cancel out Sam Dweh’s goal for City. The Knights beat fellow NPL side Floreat Athena 4-2 in the last round, while Bayswater overcame a gallant Kingsley Westside 1-0. Bayswater defender Jackson Stephens said they hope to use their home ground advantage to move into the last eight. “They (Knights) have proven to be a difficult team to beat this year and fight to the end, although the game on the weekend was a bit scrappy, we felt unlucky not to hold on to our advantage late,” he explained. “This week’s game will be interesting having just played each other, but we hope to use our home-ground advantage in what will likely be another close game”.

Knights’ striker Owen Goodliffe both sides will be desperate to go into the hat for the next round, and is expecting a cracker of a game. “Yes, Saturday will be a pearler of a game, I don’t think anything separated both of us last week and it took fresh legs from both sides to get the goals. The depth they have in their side is immense and Frank Drago is always a difficult place to go,” he explained. “I think from a personal perspective as well, a few members of the squad, last week wasn’t up to the standards of previous weeks. We have had time to reflect on that and are looking forward to a second bite of the cherry and hoping to progress into the quarters with a much better performance this week.”

The other all-NPL game is the local derby at Macedonia Park. Balcatta Etna, who overcame NPL opposition in the last round, returning from Armadale with a 2-1 win, while Striling were too strong for Forrestfield United. Stirling defender Brent Quick said Saturday isa huge game for both clubs, and a win would give them a boost as they play each other in the league the week after. “Very excited for our local derby match against Balcatta. Things haven’t gone our way recently and we are looking to have our response this week,” he said. “We know the weapons that Balcatta have, but we are confident that our performance will show character and hopefully composure. We are looking forward to the weekend and the league bout the following week”.

Balcatta striker Ben Hinshelwood leads the way in the goalscoring ladder with six goals, along with Olympics’ Liam Boland, and he said a local derby is fantastic for the supporters, and with them playing in the league next week, a win in the cup is what they are aiming for. “Stirling aren’t a side you can underestimate especially in a cup round which as we know can be so unpredictable. Considering we’re neighbours there should be a decent atmosphere which hopefully we can capitalise on as a team,” he explained. “Both teams will be out to prove a point due to our back-to-back fixtures with each other both in the league and the cup. I expect that we will go out and put on a display of the attractive football we’ve been working towards in training to prepare for this game. As I alluded to, game management will be a critical factor in this game so we need to collectively remain switched on, we’re all really looking forward to the game”.

It’s been a successful season so far for Wembley Downs, winning the Night Series title, unbeaten in the league and progressing to the next round of the Amateur Cup, but they will have their biggest test of the season when they take Rockingham City on the road. The visitors beat Joondanna Blues in the last round, while the hosts beat MUMFC, but are coming off a big loss at Sorrento last week in the league, Rob Crerar’s side losing 9-2, and they will be looking to bounce back in this one. For Wembley it’s a chance to test themselves against higher opposition, and coach Rob Jackson said it’s a challenge they are relishing. “We’ve done well in the cup competitions recently, winning the Amateur Cup at the end of last season and the Night Series at the beginning of this one, so we’re looking forward to another big cup game,” the coach said. “Rockingham are obviously playing a couple of divisions higher than us so they’ll be expected to progress pretty comfortably. We’re really looking forward to the game and to making sure we give a good account of ourselves”.

Olympic Kingsway head down the freeway to Poolmart Stadium, Peelwood Parade to take on Mandurah City. (2.30pm) David Tough’s side were on the road in the last round, beating Dianella White Eagles 4-0, while Mandurah beat Subiaco AFC at home. These two sides have built up a great rivalry in recent seasons when they were in Division One, and assistant coach Pete Taylor said Saturday will be more of the same, but they are taking it one game at a time. “We’re looking forward to hosting some excellent players, but it’s just another game for us,” he said. “It’s the old cliche of one game at a time from our perspective and we’ll set up and respect them no differently to anyone else. Our intentions are to win every game and this isn’t any different. A couple of regulars are missing so opportunities for some of our energetic young team to take their chances”.

Sorrento are unbeaten in Division One this season, and hit the road in the cup, a trip to Hilton Park to take on NPL side Fremantle City (2.30pm) Fremantle had to come from behind to beat Quinns in the last round, while Steven McGarry’s side were big winners against Maccabi with Dean Cummings scoring four, and the former Perth Glory midfielder said Saturday is a challenge they are looking forward too. “We are all definitely looking forward to the game this weekend, the build up to a cup game always brings a different feeling and this week is no different, especially with our opponents being in a different league,” McGarry explained. “Fremantle have started off life in the NPL with some good results and we will obviously respect them and will prepare accordingly. Our lads have been getting stronger week by week and competition for places is fierce at the moment, so that gives me a good headache in terms of selection”.

Perth SC will look to bounce back from a heavy defeat at Olympic last week, when they make the trip to Wanneroo Reserve, to take on Wanneroo City (3.00pm) Perth beat Cockburn in the last round, while Wanneroo overcame Kalamunda City at home, but are yet to win in the league, and keeper Jordan Barbas said last week’s draw at Ashfield showed they are improving, and Saturday will be a free hit for them. “Aside from the current form, there can't be a better example of an elite club in this state than Perth SC. Their team, on paper and history, is of quality and will be a great challenge for our squad,” the former Fremantle City keeper said. “Funnily enough, since we last chatted, we’ve been at our most depleted with injuries; however, the desire to get results and put in better performances has definitely been there and we’re building which is important with the position we’ve found ourselves in. Under Kenny, Perth is definitely a different beast compared to the teams we’ve played so far this year. We can’t afford for them to get any rhythm in the game, or we’re in for a long afternoon. Hopefully, there's still a little magic of the game lingering for us this round, and we’ll be sure to rock up ready to compete”.

There is another NPL v State League clash at the Croatian Sporting Complex, Wishart Street, where Gwelup Croatia welcome Perth RedStar. (2.30pm) RedStar were the big winners last round, thrashing Baldivis 13-0 with Daryl Nicol bagging five, while Gwelup needed an extra time goal from skipper James Harmer to beat Joondalup United. Gwelup coach Ryan Cantello said when the draw was made his players were excited about taking on one of the best sides in WA, and he is looking forward to the challenge. “The lads were really excited with the draw last week, and it doesn’t get much better than hosting the NPL champions at home in the cup,” he said. “We know the difficult task we face, but if we turn up and perform for 90 minutes on the day, we feel we can cause a big upset”.

In the final game, Ashfield welcome Inglewood United to the Paintseal Arena, Ashfield Reserve. (2.30pm) Both sides have struggled in their respective leagues this season, and will be hoping a cup run can turn their seasons around. United beat UWA in the last round, while Ashfield overcame Alkimos 5-1 with a hat trick from Ravi Singh. Ashfield player/coach James Sammut, who once played for Inglewood, said they will aim to cause an upset. “The cup is always exciting anywhere around the world, and last round we were favourites against Alkimos and this time no doubt we will go in as underdogs against an NPL side in Inglewood,” he said. “The whole club is excited at the opportunity and everyone is focused on giving ourselves the best chance to compete. The league table paints an unfair reflection on Inglewood right now, and they'll obviously be keen to get on track, so we're going to have to be at our absolute best. We look forward to welcoming Taki and Inglewood to Paintseal Arena this weekend and hopefully can put on a good show for everyone”.

10.5.2024

BELT-UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION – ROUND FOUR PREVIEW

It’s week four of the Belt-Up Premier Division on Sunday, and our ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Frye Park for the top of the table clash between the unbeaten Kelmscott Roos and North Perth United. (all games kick off at 3.00pm) The hosts sit second on the ladder, one point ahead of North Perth in third, but they do have a game in hand. Kelmscott are coming off a big win against Jaguar last time with a brace from Amos Doegolia and another from Kingsley Nteng, securing a 3-0 win, and Benn Lewis said it was a huge win for them, and they will need more of the same against the unbeaten United on Sunday.

“It was a great game and performance last time out against Jaguar, and it has filled the boys with confidence for the upcoming games. We set out with a game plan to disrupt their play and take our chances and we did exactly that and got our reward of a 3-0 win,” the midfielder explained. “The boys have been working hard and we’ve started off the season strong, we all know we have another level to go still and we will hopefully show that this weekend against another great outfit. We have had some great games in the past against North Perth and I have no doubt this weekend will be any different. We look forward to the challenge and hope to maintain our unbeaten run and play some good football”.

North Perth had round three off, with Wembley involved in the Australia Cup, but goals from Eamonn Kelly and Kyle Jackson gave them a 2-0 win at North Beach in round two, and defender Luke Woodard said it continued their unbeaten start in the league, and they hope to extend it at Kelmscott on Sunday. “It has been a great start to the season for us as a team and as a club, we knew that North Beach would be a tough team to play, they are a good side our team fought hard, kept our momentum and stuck our game plan which got us a good win away from home,” he said. “This week its going be another tough game, knowing Kelmscott are also unbeaten. We have to stick our game plan, play with a lot of energy and perform the way we know we can, and hopefully come away with a result”.

There was a round three catch-up game on Wednesday evening, with Maccabi beating Joondalup United 4-1 at Percy Doyle Reserve. Maccabi raced to a 2-0 lead within three minutes, with Jacob Wemyss and Hif Hayazi scoring, and Wemyss added his second to make it 3-0. Joondalup found a lifeline before half time, with Craig Harrison cross shot finding the net. But Maccabi sealed the game after the break when substitute Dion Berman was brought down in the box, and although Wemyss spot kick crashed off the post, Jonah Froman was quickest to react to fire home the rebound. Maccabi are back in action on Sunday when they travel to Challenger Reserve to take on South Perth United, who are still searching for their first points of the season.

Maccabi coach Ricky Berlowitz said they will take confidence out of the win at Joondalup, and with it being their third game in a week, Sunday will test his squad. “Very happy with the win but especially happy with the performance, started perfectly scoring two goals so early and then managed the game well from there. They had a spell where we needed to absorb pressure and we did it well. Maybe made it a bit harder for ourselves by not taking all our chances but happy to get the three points,” he explained. “It will be a tough test on Sunday against South Perth, third game in the week will test our depth and fitness, hopefully we can put in a good performance and give ourselves a chance to finish the week off perfectly”.

League leaders Emerald will look to make it four straight wins when they travel to the Herb Graham Recreation Centre to take on Jaguar. It’s been a slow start for Jaguar, with only one win for the season, but they did beat Emarald last weekend in the Amateur Cup with Brian Kiruja scoring the only goal in the 1-0 win, which will give them a boost going into the game. For Emerald skipper Stephen Kinsella the loss in the cup was a tough one to take, and they will look to reverse the result on Sunday. “I feel like we had the better of the chances but just lacked that little bit of luck, although performances have been improving every week and I feel like we’re close to hitting our stride now,” he explained. “Sunday is a great opportunity to right some wrongs but we know it is always a tough game against Jags, but the most important thing is walking away with three points”.

The game between Wembley Downs and Kingsley Westside has been re-scheduled for Thursday May 16 at Butlers Reserve (7pm) with Wembley in Australia Cup action at Rockingham City, while in the final game Peel United head to Charles Memorial Reserve to take on the North Beach. The hosts are still searching for their first win in the league this season, but will be buoyed by the win at Moley in the cup last week. Peel will go in search of their first points on the road, and in the last round were beaten at Morley, and coach Daryl Willmott said it was not an accurate representation of how well they can play.

“We have a few niggles and injuries in the first team lads right now so it was a tough game to take on. Morley clearly are a very well drilled side and held the ball very well through the midfield third but I think all coaches and managers across the league can tell anyone can beat anyone in this league. It's been like that in amateur prem for some years now so we are refreshed and focusing on North Beach,” Willmott explained. “They (North Beach) haven't had a great start to the year, but obviously won Night Series last season and have progressed another round in the cup which again suggests nobody has a guaranteed chance of winning against anyone in the league. We will prepare for what we expect to be a very fit and challenging North Beach side”.

8.5.2024

CHINA PR BEAT JUNIOR MATILDAS IN U17 ASIAN CUP OPENER

The Junior Matildas have begun the AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup Indonesia 2024, with a 3-0 defeat by China PR at the Bali United Training Centre, Gianyar. An early goal from Zhou Xinyi had China in control, before second half goal from Xiao Jiaqi and Zhang Kecan were enough to secure the three points to start the tournament.

Australia never really got going with Junior Matildas head coach Rae Dower believing that their real quality didn’t show against China PR, and they were missing clinical touches with Dower putting that down to first match jitters. “Disappointed but not distraught because we know that this performance is not reflective of us as a team as we had a really good preparation,” Dower said post-match.

“Today perhaps the nerves and conditions got the better of us. When we were 1-0 down, we had some opportunities. We changed it up to try to get something and that left us exposed at the end. I thought our forwards worked really well together but we probably didn’t strike the ball, the final action, final pass just wasn’t on today.”

The match started with Football West NTC keeper Jessica Skinner on the bench, but early running came from China PR, and the pace and trickery of Li Yuhan down the left giving Isabella Hoyos a torrid time. China PR’s first shot on target came after two minutes when Li dribbled past Hoyos to set up Zhang Kecan, but 14-year-old Caoimhe Bray in Australia’s goal managed to block the effort.

From a similar move three minutes later, they took the lead after Li again got away from Hoyos and this time her low cross was finished off expertly by Zhou Xinyi. Australia tried to make use of the windy conditions with shots from distance via Kiera Meyers and Sienna Dale but on both occasions, China PR custodian Hou Shumei was assured with her handling of the ball. After the first half cooling break, Rae Dower took out Hoyos and brought on Anabella Yates, a move that also saw the Australians switch from a back three system to a back four, looking to temper the influence of Li.

The Australians began the second half the better side, forcing China PR on the backfoot with Dale’s driving run from the left being the pick of the bunch but Tiana Fuller was unable to connect to the cross. However, China PR soon rediscovered their tempo and doubled their lead in the 63rd minute, Li struck the bar but substitute Xiao Jiayi managed to control the rebound before unleashing a rasping shot into the top corner.

The instrumental Li struck the bar from another move in the 72nd minute but China PR weren’t to be denied five minutes later as Zhang ran through bravely to nod the ball past the advancing Bray and Chloe Parker before slotting home. Sadly, for Australia, the defeat also came at a cost as the concession of the third goal also saw a heavy collision between Parker and Bray with the former needing lengthy medical treatment, forcing her out of the game. Dower’s side now shift focus to the Japan game on Friday at the Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium, Bali, 7.00pm WA Time)

China PR head coach Gary van Egmond was delighted to see his plans work perfectly. “We created good chances and took them well,” the former Matildas assistant coach said post-match. “It was good that the opponent didn’t score and that’s down to the good transition work that we do. We had a lot of success on the wings, we kept our width well. Made it difficult for them when they had a back three so they had to change to a four. But we adapted to this because we’ve played a lot of games and been together for a long time. Overall pleased, now it’s down to recovery because it’s very difficult conditions for the girls here with the heat.”

China: GK Hou Shumei, 2 Zhang Jie (13 Liu Zeyu 65?'), 4 Song Yu, 5 Yuan Chenjie, 8 Chen Rui, 9 Li Yuhan, 16 Zhang Kecan, 18 Liu Jingwen (11 Wang Dantong 56?'), 19 Yang Yifan (7 Wei Xuanxuan 46?'?), 21 Zhou Xinyi (10 Xiao Jiaq ?56?'), 22 Zhong Yuxin (14 Lin Yuya 85?') Subs not used: 3 Wu Zhe, 6 Cheng Haitang, 12 You Yaxin, 15 Sun Mengyue, 17 Dong Yujie, 20 Chen Ziyi, 23 Ruan Xiuyu Sub

Junior Matildas: GK Caolmhe Bray, 2 Amelia Tartaglia, 5 Kiera Meyers, 6 Amelia Bennett (22 Christina Kiceec 85?'), 8 Talia Younis, 9 Sienna Dale (19 Danella Butrus 62?'), 11 Tiana Fuller, 13 Mikayla Duong (3 Chloe Parker 46?') (7 Sian Dewey 85’), 15 Isabela Hoyos (17 Annabelle Yates 33?'), 20 Alvina Khoshaba, 21 Emma Dundas – Subs not used: RGK Layla Adams, RGK Jessica Skinner, 4 Ruby Cuthbert, 10 Indiana dos Santos, 14 Lily Punch, 16 Ehva Gutszmit, 23 Alice Francou

8.5.2024

TAGGART AND LOWRY TAKE OUT GLORY MGP

After a season of many ups, but mostly downs, Perth Glory capped off their 2023-24 season with the club’s awards night at the State Theatre Centre of WA on Monday evening, with skipper Adam Taggart taking out the men’s and Hana Lowry taking out the women’s Most Glorious Player Awards. Both players performed well in inconsistent seasons, Lowry a dominance in the middle of the park and pinpoint set-pieces, while Taggart lead the line superbly, and was a worthy winner of a number of awards on the club’s annual end-of-season event.

The MGP was one of four awards Taggart earned on the night, as the recently-recalled Socceroos striker also won members’ player of the season, players’ player of the season and golden boot awards. He also won the Isuzu Ute A-League Men’s golden boot, scoring 20 goals in 25 games. Meanwhile, 21-year-old Lowry, who made her debut at just 16 years-old, becoming a mainstay for Alex Epakis’ side, became the youngster player to win the women’s MGP, replacing Sam Kerr, after the midfielder played every minute of all 22 games in the Liberty A-League season.

In other awards on the night, fresh from being voted Professional Football Australia’s goalkeeper of the season and winning the A-League Women’s goalkeeper of the year award, Morgan Aquino scooped the women’s members’ player and players’ player of the year awards. The Glory custodian led the league with 126 saves - 35 more than second-placed Izzy Nino - and recorded a save percentage of 81.1 per cent, while also saving two of the three penalties she faced, while Millie Farrow capped an impressive season by claiming the golden boot award with seven goals.

Daniel Bennie claimed the DT38 under-23 player of the season award, the 18-year-old how came through the clubs NPL side, and announced himself to Glory fans with a goal against West Ham United in the friendly game against the EPL side in July, and went on to have an impressive debut season for the club. Another 18-year-old, Georgia Cassidy, won the Glory’s women’s best youth player of the season award after a season which saw her claim October’s nomination for the A-League Women’s young footballer of the year and called up to the Young Matildas for their under-20 Women’s Asian Cup tournament.

Stefan Colakovski’s superb solo effort against Central Coast Mariners in round ten, and Isobel Dalton’s long-range equaliser against Canberra United in round 16 won the men’s and women’s goal of the season respectively. Finally, tributes were paid to long-serving Glory women’s skipper Tash Rigby who announced her retirement from professional football last week after 117 matches with the club.

8.5.2024

RISDON LEAVES WESTERN UNITED AFTER FIVE YEARS

Western United captain and inaugural player Josh Risdon has parted ways with the A-League Men club after five seasons. Risdon, who was the expansion club's first Australian signing, captained United to their one and only championship in 2021/22, amid Alessandro Diamanti's injury.

The former Socceroo, who played at the 2018 World Cup, departs after 90 games and four goals. "My time here has been great and I've loved every minute of it," Risdon said. "I've been here from the very start, and to see where this club has come in such a short space of time has been incredible."

"From playing at different venues, training out at Georgies at the start to finally being at our home in Tarneit, slowly everything's being built around us. Our first win over in Wellington, the Grand Final, being able to captain this club ... all those things will mean a lot.

"To be able to say I had a part in helping build what's going on here makes me very proud, and is one I'll be able to tell the grandkids." Risdon has been linked to a return to hometown club Perth Glory, where he played 142 games between 2010 and 2017.

6.5.2024

TAGGART AND LOWRY CLAIM MOST GLORIOUS PLAYER AWARDS

Perth Glory men’s captain Adam Taggart has predictably walked away with a swathe of awards, while rising women’s star Hana Lowry made history at the club’s Most Glorious Player Awards. The homegrown pair took out the respective men’s and women’s Most Glorious Player gongs at the club’s annual end-of-season event at the State Theatre Centre tonight.

The Most Glorious Player was one of four awards Taggart went home with. The recently-recalled Socceroos striker also won the Members’ Player of the Season, the Players’ Player of the eason and the Golden Boot awards. It comes after he won the A-League Men Golden Boot last week with 20 goals from just 25 games.

21-year old Lowry achieved an admirable feat, replacing Samantha Kerr as the youngest player ever to win the women’s Most Glorious Player after she played every minute of all 22 games for Glory. Lowry made her debut at just 16 years of age and has barely missed a game since then, becoming a mainstay for Alex Epakis’ side.

Fresh from being voted Professional Football Australia’s Goalkeeper of the Season and winning the A-League Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year award, Morgan Aquino scooped the women’s Members’ Player and Players’ Player awards. Aquino led the league with 126 saves - 35 more than second-placed Izzy Nino - and recorded a save percentage of 81.1 per cent.

Millie Farrow capped an impressive season for the women’s side as she claimed their Golden Boot award with seven goals, as the Englishwoman quickly won over fans and teammates alike in her first season in Perth. Tributes were paid to long-serving Glory women’s captain Tash Rigby who recently announced her retirement 117 appearances.

Daniel Bennie, 18, was rewarded with the DT38 Under-23 Player of the Season award while Georgia Cassidy, 18, won the women’s Best Youth Player of the Season. Stefan Colakovski’s solo effort against Central Coast Mariners and Isobel Dalton’s long-range equaliser against Canberra United won men’s and women’s Goal of the Season respectively.

6.5.2024

BURGESS HELPS IPSWICH INTO ENGLAND’S TOP FLIGHT (courtesy waoveryonder.au)

Socceroo Cameron Burgess is set to become the eighth West Australian to reach the dizzy heights of the English Premier League. Burgess’ club, Ipswich Town, completed a remarkable return to the world’s biggest football league by securing their second successive promotion on the weekend.

After finishing as League One runners-up in 2022/23, Ipswich claimed back-to-back promotions by placing second in the Championship. Ipswich secured their place in next seasons' Premier League with a final day 2-0 win over Huddersfield United which triggered a pitch invasion.

It came just days after Burgess bundled in a close-range header to earn Ipswich a 2-1 win over Coventry City, a result which put them on the verge of promotion. The former ECU Joondalup junior featured in 39 of his teams 46 league games this season as the Tractor Boys ended a 22-year absence from England’s top flight.

Should Burgess, who comes out of contract in August, remain with Ipswich for the 2024/25 campaign he will follow in the footsteps of goalkeeper Andy Petterson, Stan Lazaridis, Chris Coyne, Richard Garcia, Brad Jones, Chris Herd and Jordan Lyden as West Australians to have played in the English Premier League.

Aberdeen-born Burgess started out locally with Joondalup before linking with Fulham, where he made his professional debut in August 2014. He has since chalked up close to 350 senior outings through spells with Cheltenham Town, Oldham Athletic, Bury, Scunthorpe United, Salford City, Accrington Stanley and Ipswich, who he joined in mid-2021.

The towering centre back gained his 100th Ipswich appearance in April’s derby loss to Norwich City. Burgess represented both Australia and Scotland at youth levels but had to wait until he was 28 before making his senior debut in the Socceroos draw with Mexico in September 2023. He currently has seven caps to his name.

5.5.2024

AMATEUR CUP ROUND TWO - REVIEW

It was round two of the Belt-Up Amateur Cup on Sunday, and we had four all-premier division ties, and the current holders Wembley Downs have made it through to the next round, but only just, securing a 4-2 win on penalties, after it had finished 1-1 at full time against Kingsley Westside at Butlers Reserve. “Really pleased to get into the next round after a really tough game against a top Kingsley side. There was very little in it from start to finish and we’re obviously delighted to sneak through via the penalty shootout,” Wembley coach Rob Jackson explained. “I’m really proud of the effort the boys are putting in week in week out and I’m sure they’re looking forward to making Rockingham work hard next week in the Australia Cup tie”.

Halil Russo gave the hosts the lead early, before Ryan Fish levelled before the break, and in the shoot-out, Josh Chalmers fired home the decisive penalty to seal the tie. Wembley skipper Jack Mellor said it was a battle. “It was a tough game against a fired-up Kingsley side. We failed to convert our chances and overall, very wasteful in the final third,” he said. “Kingsley made us work hard for the win. we weren’t at our best but I thought we were the deserved winners on the day. It’s not going to be an easy ride trying to defend the title but we like having the silverware around so will keep the fight”.

Champions Emerald have bowed out, after a 0-1 loss against Jaguar at Fraser Park. The only goal of the game came from Brian Kiruja in the first half. “The game was tough for us as we knew we were playing against a good team that is in top form in the league, we just told the boys to stay calm and absorb pressure,” Jaguar coach Josam Muwowo said. “We knew Emerald will come on us, and we just told the boys to play according to our approach. We missed a couple of chances, until our new signee Brian scored the lone goal for us to win on the day. Overall, the boys showed some positive signs this week coming from two consecutive defeats in the league it wasn't easy for us to revive ourselves”.

North Beach moved through with a big 5-2 win against Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. “Really satisfying result to progress into the next stage of the cup competition. We knew were coming into a tough fixture off the back of a poor start to the league. We had an honest talk as a group last week about where we are at currently, and what we need to improve on,” North Beach coach Nick Di Carlo explained. “We certainly implemented that throughout the week on the track and today and started looking like the team we want to be. We hope to continue our form into the league next week”. The visitors raced to a two-goal lead at half time, with goals from Luke Randazzo and Luke Jones, and Alex Kretowicz added a third on the hour. Ali Gholami pulled one back for Morley three minutes later, and when he added a second moments later it was game on. But it was the visitors who sealed the tie, with Kretowicz grabbing a late double, to complete his hat-trick and win the tie 5-2.

In the other all-premier division tie North Perth United scored in extra time to seal a 3-2 win against Peel United at Woodville Reserve. It was Peel who would find the opener on 12 minutes with Tristan Sullivan scoring, but a goal in the shadows of half time from Eamonn Kelly, sent the sides into the break all-square. The hosts hit the front through Gershom Rowland, but moments later Mitchell Kelman restored parity for Peel. It looked like heading to penalties but in extra time a goal from Tomas Carroll sent North Perth into the next round. “A great win for the club to maintain an unbeaten home run since the season started, Peel where like a new team this time around and were very impressive,” North Perth coach Chris Holland said. “The game was played with high intensity and in all honesty could of went either way, so happy for our lads to be in the quarter finals of the cup”.

In other ties, Ballajura AFC caused the biggest upset of the day, after beating Premier Division South Perth United 2-0 at Challenger Reserve. Brandon Rector gave the visitors the lead early, and a penalty ten minutes from time from Roshann Frederic secured Ballajura’s passage into the next round. “I’m really pleased to get through this round of the cup against a good team,” Ballajura coach Scott Urquhart said. “We had to work hard to stay in the game at times in the first half but in the second we managed the game great. All boys have been working really hard and more than deserved the win today”.

Kelmscott Roos beat Mindarie 5-1 at Frye Park. First half goals from Amos Doegolia Jnr, Kingsley Nteng, Ralph Mawire and Isaac Koomson gave the hosts a great start. Ian Cookland pulled one back for the visitors, but a late goal from substitute Lemeo Wordu completed a comprehensive win for the Roos. “It’s great to get started in the cup, we were unsure on what Mindarie would bring to the game and so we had to make sure that we were switched on from the start,” Kelmscott’s Taylor Warwick said. “I thought we controlled the game completely from start to finish, and with this win, it allows us to go into the game against North Perth full of confidence”.

Goals from Jacob Wemyss and Jonah Froman gave Maccabi a perfect start against Queens Park at Maccabean Memorial Oval. Wemyss added a third on the hour, before late goals from Jared Dimbleby and Liam Fyfe secured the 5-0 win. Last season’s beaten finalist Perth AFC scored two late goals to beat Spearwood Dalmatinac 3-2 at Len Packham Park. Jack Beech gave the visitors the lead at half time, before Ryan Fielder levelled for the host ten minutes into the second half. Giulio Del Dosso regained the lead for Spearwood 12 minutes from time, but Spiro Nenadic restored parity seven minutes from time. It looked like going to penalties, but five minutes later Lucas Pickering scored the winner. “Really happy to progress to the next round and against a good Spearwood side, I thought we controlled most of the game and played some great football, we conceded from a great strike and went in to halftime 1-0 down,” Perth AFC coach Nathan Thorp said. “Second half message was to keep playing as we’d created so many chances in the first half and we took our chances after the break to send us through”.

In the other games a brace from Grant Mowatt, and others to Nick Papa and Scott Wrightson has seen Bayswater City beat Northern City 4-1 at Dryandra Reserve, Kwinana United beat Stirling Panthers 2-0 at Yuluma Park, and Hamersley Rovers edged out Fremantle 2-1 at Hilton Park. A brace from Kori Weetch helped Alkimos beat Joondanna Blues 5-1, while goals from Stuart Fryers and Aref Nazary gave Forrestfield United a 2-0 win against Port Kennedy at Crazy Domain Stadium, Hartfield Park. A hat-trick from Raynell Edmonds has helped Swan Valley to a 5-2 win against Woodvale at Timberlane Park, while a hat-trick from Fabrice Feruz and another from John Monterosso has seen Ellenbrook United beat Olympic Kingsway 4-2. In the final game Quinns were given a forfeit against Perth Hills.




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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